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September 2020

ALENTEJO p. 62 BALI p. 72 DUBAI p. 48 GDAŃSK p. 58 MONTRÉAL p. 56 NEW ORLEANS p. 60 SÃO PAULO p. 68 SEDONA p. 54 TAHITI p. 70

THE GOOD LIFE Discover Sardinia’s secrets to living longer and better. p. 64


LETTER FROM THE EDITOR ®

EDITORIAL Editor In Chief Kimberly Krol kim.krol@globaltravelerusa.com Vice President/Digital Director Katie Skrzek katie.skrzek@globaltravelerusa.com Senior Editor Janice Hecht jan.hecht@globaltravelerusa.com Associate Editor/Copy Editor Patricia Vanikiotis patty.vanikiotis@globaltravelerusa.com Associate Editor Angelique Platas angelique.platas@globaltravelerusa.com Social Media & Editorial Coordinator Mary Melnick mary.melnick@globaltravelerusa.com

ART Art Director Tracey Cullen tracey.cullen@globaltravelerusa.com Staff Photographer Christopher P. Ottaunick christopher@globaltravelerusa.com Special Events Video Editor Vance Piccin

Change of Scenery: Kimberly Krol strolling the gardens at the Getty Center in Los Angeles PHOTO: © KIMBERLY KROL

In the Moment

A

hhhhh. That’s the feeling of a deep breath released, tense shoulders relaxed just a bit and a deeper sink into a comfortable chair. It’s unlikely most of us have experienced many moments like that in the past few months, but I hope, as we enter fall, those moments become more frequent for all of us. It’s the feeling of release when you reach the top of a summit on a hike, when the plane wheels touch the runway or when you dig your toes into the sand on a beach day. Unfortunately, for me, at least — although I’m sure my fellow intrepid travelers will agree — travel typically brings me many of those moments and, with less travel, they’ve been fewer and farther between. But the minute I saw this month’s cover, I felt that “ahhhhh” feeling wash over me. Couldn’t you picture yourself right there, content with your feet in the warm sand, staring at the horizon peacefully? The cover also brought to my mind the lyrics to the Earth, Wind & Fire song, “September.” As this is our September issue and that beautiful blue, cloudless sky on the cover invites us in, I was humming to myself and mouthing (silent singing is best in my case!), “Hey, hey, hey, ba de ya, say do you remember? Ba de ya, dancing in September. Ba de ya,

never was a cloudy day.” While I have been mostly grounded since a business trip to Chicago in February, by the time you read this letter I will have enjoyed a beach escape to Cape May, New Jersey. I look forward to feeling that same ahhhhh moment in a few weeks when I finally dip my toes in the Atlantic Ocean. How have you found your moment amidst all the chaos of this year? And luckily for us, we can escape each month in the pages of Global Traveler. Join us this month as we visit Dubai, Sedona, Montréal, Gdańsk, New Orleans, Alentejo, Sardinia, São Paulo, Tahiti and Bali. We take a closer look at North American destinations next month, bringing you inspiration for closer-to-home journeys this year. Whatever your situation, wherever you are in the world and wherever you may visit this month, I hope you find your ahhhhh.

COLUMNISTS Margaret Backenheimer Debra Bokur J.D. Brown Mark Chesnut Eunice Fried Jack Guy

WRITERS Kristy Alpert Susan Barnes Ron Bernthal Tim Leffel Erich Martin Sheryl Nance-Nash Irene Rawlings

For complete bios visit globaltravelerusa.com

CIRCULATION Specialists John Wroblewski, Louie Atsaves Managers Jayhawk Evans, Mark P. Ford, Teresa Jackson, Anthony “Scraps” Dimera Circulation Director Michele Shannon Circulation Manager Anna Pudzianowski Research Consultant Sharon Sterne

ADVISORY BOARD Chairman Michael Donahue COO Michael Kiely President Carlos Cappuccio Executive Vice President Gary Oswald Deputy Vice President Aviation Edward Jefferson Deputy Vice President Accommodations Stephen Doherty Deputy Director Destinations Wayne Tallman Vice President Special Events/Photography Christopher Ottaunick Secretary Mark Lane Research Director Frank LoVerme Treasurer Kevin Ryan Director of Technology Bob Hancock Director of Digital Advancement Jared Torgan Vice President of Corporate Giving Jim Bolger

GENERAL COUNSEL Thomas F. Goldman CONTACT US General Inquiries/Issue Requests/Reprints tel 267 364 5811 Subscriptions tel 818 286 3134 | gbtcs@magserv.com Public Relations Kimberly Krol tel 267 364 5811 ext 202 | kim.krol@globaltravelerusa.com Letters to the Editor letters@globaltravelerusa.com

Kimberly Krol Editor in Chief

As of publication, the destinations and venues mentioned in this issue were planning to reopen or are currently operating, but many may have restrictions or limitations in place to address current public health concerns. Always check in advance to confirm current requirements and restrictions.

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LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER ®

Finding Our Way

I

trust you had a lovely summer even with the travel restrictions in place due to COVID-19. I visited Florida and made several trips to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. A far cry from my intentions — trips for business and leisure to Kiawah Island, Sarasota, Seoul, Los Angeles and countless other destinations. I hope we can figure out a plan to get travelers flying on a more regular basis. The industry is addressing this issue head on with stricter mask wearing and extreme cleaning techniques for airlines and hotels. When you receive this issue, I won’t be traveling in Europe as planned, but I will fly to Tampa, Florida, spend time in Sarasota, and Look Back, Plan Ahead: Francis arriving in Panama City then head to Cape San Blas to say good-bye Airport last year to the summer while relaxing and watching PHOTO: © FRANCIS X. GALLAGHER sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico. Road trips are on the rise, but I can tell you flying is safe, and the airlines’ HEPA filters are better than any supermarket or home filtration you encounter. United runs its filtration during the boarding process, adding to its United CleanPlus program. Let me remind you this is the final month for voting for the GT Tested Reader Survey awards. You’ll find a ballot in this issue and also at globaltravelerusa.com. During the global health crisis we feel the voting and the awards for the businesses should continue. We will get through this, and we must come out on the other side healthy and ready to rebound back to travel. I know you all miss your journeys and are eager to fly as you did before March 16. Look for a great line-up of issues this fall. The October Class Act edition will highlight all the best premium classes in the air, and November will feature travel in North America. Of course, we will conclude the year with the December issue, this year serving as our “awards issue” covering your picks for the Leisure Lifestyle Awards, GT Tested Reader Survey awards, The Trazees, the Wherever Awards and the Wines on the Wing competition. Normally I plan well in advance for my annual birthday trip around Oct. 10. In fact, this issue includes two reviews from last year’s flight and trip to Lanai, which was spectacular. I planned to take a river cruise on Uniworld in Europe or a safari in Africa this year, but these options have been shelved for next year. I will plan something, most likely last minute. Enjoy the September issue and, as they say, “What a difference a year makes,” and “This, too, shall pass.”

ADVERTISING Publisher/CEO Francis X. Gallagher tel 267 364 5811 ext 200 | fran.gallagher@globaltravelerusa.com Executive Vice President, Associate Publisher Carly Allen tel 267 495 6287 | carly.allen@globaltravelerusa.com Account Executive Sarah Ward tel 310 469 2616 | sarah.ward@globaltravelerusa.com Account Executive Mariana Zenizo tel 52 55 6560 1152 | marzenizo@gmail.com Account Executive Lexi Holstin tel 267 364 5811 ext 205 | lexi.holstin@globaltravelerusa.com Production & Advertising Coordinator Yasser Ogando tel 267 884 1650 | yasser.ogando@globaltravelerusa.com

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38 September 2020

ALENTEJO p. 62 BALI p. 72 DUBAI p. 48 GDÁNSK p. 58 MONTRÉAL p. 56 NEW ORLEANS p. 60 SÃO PAULO p. 68 SEDONA p. 54 TAHITI p. 70

THE GOOD LIFE Discover Sardinia’s secrets to living longer and better. p. 64

Working Well Businesses design healthier and more mindful environments for employees.

42

Arrivals and Departures Despite alliance changes and economic challenges, LATAM forges a positive future.

48 business destinations 48

Destination One: Dubai A visionary approach influences the shape of things to come in Dubai.

54

Stateside: Sedona Reconnect with yourself and nature in serene Sedona.

56 COVER PHOTO: SEASCAPE, CALA LUNA, SARDINIA PHOTO: © ARCHITECTUREVIZ - DREAMSTIME.COM

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MICE: Montréal Montréal has what it takes for cutting-edge corporate events.

58

9–5: Gdańsk Impress clients in Poland’s picturesque city by the sea.

60

After 5: New Orleans New Orleans abounds with after-hours entertainment.

PHOTO: © 2020 EXPO 2020 DUBAI LLC –SO

September 2020

CONTENTS


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September 2020

CONTENTS

in every issue

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74

10 Mail Call 14 News 18 Reviews 23 One on One – Visit Napa Valley 24 One on One – The Parking Spot 26 Technology 28 Wine & Spirits 29 Wealth 30 Spas 32 Golf 34 Chefs 36 Cruising 76 LGBTQ+ 78 Airport Update 80 Medical Tourism 82 Preview

leisure destinations 62

Neighborhoods: Alentejo Pair wine tasting with village life in Alentejo, Portugal.

64

Friends & Family: Sardinia Discover Sardinia’s secrets to living longer and better.

68

Tours: São Paulo Architecture tours in São Paulo nourish the senses.

Bucket List: Tahiti Dive into the tranquil seas of the Islands of Tahiti.

72

Kicking Back: Bali Gain a fresh perspective on wellness as you embrace the island’s bounty.

FX

EXPRESS

P U B L I C AT I O N S , I N C .

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Global Traveler and Globility are registered trademarks of Global Traveler magazine and of its parent company, FXExpress Publications, Inc. Global Traveler is not affiliated with any commercial interests within the travel industry. The opinions expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of the publisher, nor can the publisher accept responsibility for errors or omissions. The magazine cannot accept responsibility for unsolicited articles, photographs or other material. AAM member 04-0361-2. AAM audited circulation 111,517. ISSN 1551-7187 ©2020 FXExpress Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part of text, photographs or illustrations without permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited.

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TO SEOUL AND BEYOND Be connected. To Seoul, Asia, and beyond with Asiana Airlines. Your connection to the world.

Reservations • 1-800-2ASIANA • flyasiana.com


MAIL CALL

Q&A WITH YASSER OGANDO, PRODUCTION & ADVERTISING COORDINATOR One of the featured articles in this issue explores workplace wellness, a concept many are familiar with, but some may lack information about it. I started a conversation with friends in which we exchanged what we believe this concept should look like, so now I am curious to know: What does workplace wellness mean to you? Email us: letters@globaltravelerusa.com

Q&A WITH ANGELIQUE PLATAS, ASSOCIATE EDITOR In our July/August issue, we discussed the reality of 2020 and adapting travel plans, which inspired the questions: What’s next? Are you shifting gears and hitting the road or braving the airline changes? If so, where to? A few readers wrote in with responses:

JENN NEWMAN, VIA EMAIL We will not be flying for a while but definitely taking some weekend road trips. My wife and I have been staying local for now but have some near-future plans to rent a luxe RV and explore. WILSON REILLY, VIA EMAIL My girlfriend and I have an extended RV, purchased last year. We have national parks mapped out in Wyoming, Montana, Utah and Colorado for the fall. CALVIN VALDORA, VIA EMAIL

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FAMILY STYLE In our March 3 issue of eFlyer USA we covered the petition hosted by consumerreports.org asking American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines to stop charging fees to seat families together. This inspired a few readers to write in with thoughts: I strongly oppose charging for family seating. I do not want to be responsible for overseeing someone’s child on a flight. This is the parents’ responsibility, and they should not be charged extra to perform it. Separation can also be a terrifying experience for a child on a flight. WILLIAM HARNED, VIA EMAIL Except for emergencies (maybe one or two annually) families should be able to find seats together by early booking. Other passengers should not have to take up the slack because parents didn’t plan ahead. BROOKE HALL, VIA EMAIL

DO YOU HAVE A STORY TO SHARE? THOUGHTS ON A RECENT GT ARTICLE? Email: letters@globaltravelerusa.com Write: Letters to the Editor 310 Floral Vale Blvd. Yardley, PA 19067 Letters must be written exclusively to Global Traveler and must include your full name, mailing address and contact phone number. Letters become the property of Global Traveler. We cannot respond to every letter. Global Traveler reserves the right to edit letters to the editor for length and clarity. The opinions expressed in Mail Call are not necessarily those of Global Traveler, and Global Traveler cannot accept responsibility for errors or omissions.

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Our family took our first flight in months to our vacation home in South Carolina, where we could easily self-quarantine and work remotely during an extended stay. Philadelphia International Airport seemed clean and was easy to get through — no long lines or backed-up TSA PreCheck. We wore disposable masks in the airport, changed them regularly and doubled up on the flight with cloth masks just to be safe. We also sanitized our hands, seats and luggage. So far, so good!

CONTACT GT


MAIL CALL LETTER TO THE PUBLISHER

but needed to rebook for flights before March 2021. Otherwise, regular penalties apply. As we had a flexible ticket, additional available options enable us to declare (up to four hours prior to departure) an “open” ticket which would be valid for 18 months with only a €20 per-person penalty. As we have travel insurance with “cancel for any reason,” this should cover this circumstance, at albeit 75 percent. iTravelInsured is allowing a one-time date change to existing policies up to one year due to coronavirus. We plan to rebook this entire itinerary next year with the hope the pandemic has abated and travel becomes available, enjoyable and safe. Our October trip to Tuscany/Paris/Amsterdam may be in jeopardy. Time will tell. So, lessons learned: Book your cruise through a trusted and experienced travel agent (I booked through Q Cruise & Travel, a Cunard specialist). Have a good travel insurance policy with a trusted brand (we booked iTravelnsured/Starr through Squaremouth). Choose flexible fares when the price differential is moderate; though more expensive, they provide more options if scheduling goes awry. Know your travelers’ rights; while the two EU airlines provided options for cancellation/reimbursement/rebooking, knowing the EU requirements gave us ammunition in the event we were unable to achieve our rebooking goals. 

After publisher and CEO Francis X. Gallagher sent several travel updates and informative newsletters and before most recently discussing COVID travel experiences in his July/August Publisher’s Letter, an avid reader wrote in with similar thoughts and experiences:

In our April 29 issue of eFlyer USA we discussed hotels, including Marriott, rolling out new cleanliness standards and health policies for guests and staff. We asked our readers: Will a hotel’s cleanliness policy play a part in your future travel decisions? How important are these standards to you? What other cleanliness initiatives would you like to see implemented? Thanks for asking this question! I’d like to see staff wait 72 hours before entering a room that’s been vacated (for their safety), then entering to clean the room, then waiting another 72 hours before letting a patron into that room. No, it’s not ideal for the hotel business. But my guess is there will be enough empty rooms in the first months after re-opening that this could be easily done, and it would be reassuring to me as a guest to know no one has entered my room for 72 hours, and no one else will enter it (no daily cleaning) while I am staying there. This just might get me to stay in a hotel again. FRANCESCA KELLY, VIA EMAIL

Our anticipated trip on the Queen Mary 2 and onward to Mykonos has been put off until next year. Cunard canceled the voyage, but we’re going to rebook for next June, taking advantage of the cruise line’s 125 percent offer. Cunard has been exceptional communicating with customers and generous in terms of cancellation and refunds. I’ve been very impressed by its transparency. Fortunately, we were able to cancel all our hotel and ferry reservations. The Greek government ruled passengers can rebook ferry trips for up to 18 months and, if not used, get a full refund. Hyatt and all our Greek hotels readily refunded deposits or canceled without penalty. And Delta Air Lines replaced our SkyMiles without penalty as well — given I have no elite status on Delta, that was unexpected! We’re now left with our U.K. and EU flights to deal with. The European Union requires refunds, but you need to ask. British Airways provides a voucher if we cancel or a full refund if it cancels. But now travelers can rebook through April 30, 2022. Aegean Air is another story. We had until last Friday to change our reservation without penalty

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IMMORTALIZED BY PAINTERS AND POETS ALIKE kicking back | COOK

ISLANDS

fine vines

TEL AVIV

Torrontés Tango

FAMILY BUSINESS MEETS ROMANCE IN THE WHITE CITY

Argentina’s signature white will have all your senses dancing.

I

n an attempt to describe Torrontés, Argentina’s signature white wine, some have compared it to Pinot Grigio, Viognier, even Riesling. But none come close. Made from the grape of the same name, Torrontés is like no other. It begins with an aroma that conjures up a bouquet of flowers (the honeyed, perfumed Muscat of Alexandria is one of its ancestors), hinting that a sweet wine will follow. But no, Torrontés goes toward dry and fruity with a tangy and spicy edge. It is the perfect aperitif and equally right with shellfish, Niçoise salad, chicken, other whitemeat dishes, lightly flavored cheese and many Asian foods. As Americans discover this intriguing wine, they will also discover that, with a myriad of choices, even the most attractive Torrontés usually costs under $20. And what are the most attractive Torrontés? Among two dozen that I’ve recently tasted, these are my favorites. Xavier Flouret Flaca 2008 ($18) is one of the most elegant Torrontés, with a delicate floral nose that hints of apricot and peach; a dry, Powered by round, well-structured body; a fruit-filled taste and vibrant acidity; and a long, delicious finish. Its Muscat ancestor comes to the fore in Lo Tengo 2009’s ($11.50) vivid, flowery aroma. It goes on to be a clearly focused, intensely flavored, bright and satisfying wine. IN THE COOK ISLANDS, on Rarotonga, I’m walking along a dusty path, edged There is a suggestion of by a plethora of plants and trees. Fat papayas hang from their umbrella-like sweet mint and an evocation trees; bananas, still green on the stem, invite; and mangos, ripe and ready, have of orange and peach in Finca fallen from their roost. Blossoming bushes waft a perfume, butterflies circle halos La Linda 2009’s ($11) aroma, around my head, and a stream gurgles nearby. A mother sow and her family of followed by a relatively full body cartoonish piglets join me on the road. Not one but 10 roosters crow in competing symphonies — though early morning is long past. The sea lies nearby, but and excellent balance. Altogether a here, hiking inland, surrounded by steep hills and much vegetation, I feel like the pleasing, inviting wine. only person left on Earth. Finca El Origen Reserva 2009 ($12) Luckily, I’m not. I share this walk with one of the Cook Islands’ most Ease body, mind and soul in is clean, crisp and refreshing, offering a famous residents, a larger-than-life figure known as Uncle Pa, once a world typical Torrontés floral flavor with pear the natural goodness of the surfing champion. Though an octogenarian, he wears long dreadlocks, treks and peach overtones and a gentle reminder shirtless and sports a colorful sarong. With rippling muscles and the physique of citrus fruits in the A particularly of a 30-year-old man, he belies aging and serves as the metaphorical poster Cook Islands. BY mouth. BECCA HENSLEY harmonious wine. child for his role as this island nation’s most famous healer. An herbalist or The delightful Pascual Toso 2009 ($15) kahuna, he learned from his grandmother about the power of the plants that BEACHSIDE BLISS:herbal notes grow on these less-traveled islands. Intuitive, fearless, with a foot in both the combines keen fruit flavors, Spa treatment on the beach at and a fresh lemony acidity with a trace of past and the modern world, Uncle Pa has helped thousands of people regain Aitutaki Lagoon their health over the years. As we walk, he picks leaves, flowers, berries and honey and floral tones. PHOTO: © STEVE ALLEN | DREAMSTIME.COM Following its aroma of fresh flowers and ripefruit. He tells me how he makes elixirs or poultices from them; he lets me taste fruit, Colomé 2009 ($15) is a graceful wine with notes reminiscent of grapefruit. 72citric globaltravelerusa.com JUNE 2017 The pale-shaded Dominio del Plata’s Crios 2009 ($13.50) has a lilac-scented aroma with peach overtones followed by a dry, tangy taste. 

Art of Healing

www.globaltravelerusa.com

INFO TO GO

A variety of international airlines fly to Rarotonga International Airport on the Cook Islands’ main island. In December 2016 Air New Zealand began weekly non-stop flights on its comfortable Boeing 777-200 aircraft, which offers a new premium-economy option, from Los Angeles (LAX), making the trek from the United States easier than ever.

ICELAND

ADVENTURE AWAITS IN THE LAND OF FIRE AND ICE

May 2011 | Global Traveler | 35

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month we featured blogs about everything from planning safe daytrips to the benefits of taking hikes and walks.

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NEWS, DEALS AND REWARDS What Does It Cost to Stay in the World’s Most Instagrammed Hotels? Inkifi, a company that creates products from users’ own photos using environmentally friendly products, compiled a list of the world’s most Instagrammed hotels.

As many U.S. companies continue to extend remote work, hotels pivot to meet a new demand: people working remotely who need a change of scenery. In Breckenridge and Vail, Gravity Haus encourages guests to “Work from Haus” at the properties’ StarterHaus, a tech-forward and functional co-working space. StarterHaus features fiberfueled internet, a 10-person conference room, a phone booth, a kitchenette, a printer, open-air seating along the Blue River and insider access to special programming. At Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale and Hotel Valley Ho, both in Scottsdale, the Come & Play All Day offer includes a day of perks at either property including guestroom access 9 a.m. –5 p.m., access to property pools, a $40 dining credit, an in-room movie, a waived resort fee at Mountain Shadows, complimentary parking and unlimited WiFi. The offer is available Mondays through Wednesdays until Sept. 30. Washington School House in Park City, Utah, will create in-room workstations in its 12 rooms and suites. The workstation will include a printer, office supplies, branded notepads and more. Complimentary Milk Breaks can be ordered, including anything from cookies and milk to crunchy, savory snacks and sparkling water or coffee. The day-use rate at InterContinental Washington, D.C. – The Wharf begins at $239. The guestrooms offer natural lighting, large desks, complimentary high-speed internet access and flexible check-in. Across the pond, The Stafford London’s Mews Suite – Day Hire offer includes a guestroom for remote working and a two-course lunch from the hotel’s The Game Bird restaurant. The Westin Nashville offers a day-use room 10 a.m.– 6 p.m. for $199. The offer also includes complimentary high-speed WiFi, a special valet rate of $15 per car, the on-site WestinWORKOUT fitness center, 10 percent off spa services, L27 rooftop pool use and a free appetizer. _______ gravityhaus.com hotelvalleyho.com marriott.com mountainshadows.com thestaffordlondon.com washingtonschoolhouse.com wharfintercontinentaldc.com

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globaltravelerusa.com SEPTEMBER 2020

Inkifi additionally ranked the world’s most Instagrammed restaurants, landmarks, skylines, theaters, beaches and national parks. Inkifi also compiled a list of what it costs per night to stay in the world’s most Instagrammed hotels. Not surprisingly, No. 1 Burj Al Arab is the priciest, from $1,213.25 per night. Coming in at second place is No. 10, Atlantis Bahamas, from $609 per night. Its U.A.E counterpart, Atlantis The Palm, Dubai, is from $199 per night. Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi is from $270 per night. The most affordable in the top 10 is No. 3 Caesar’s Palace, from $94 per night. _______ inkifi.com

TAP Air Portugal’s New Route to the United States TAP Air Portugal added a new route from Boston (BOS) to Ponta Delgada (PDL), marking the airline’s only non-stop route to the Azores from the United States. The route operates three times weekly on brand-new Airbus A321LR aircraft configured with three cabins: business, EconomyXtra and economy. The inaugural flight departed the Azores July 20 and arrived in Boston early before returning to Ponta Delgada on July 21. “It’s a rare privilege to be able to introduce a new route during such a hard time for the airline industry and global travel in general,” said Carlos Paneiro, vice president, sales, the Americas, TAP Air Portugal. “The Azores has always been incredibly popular with Portuguese Americans, especially in the summer, so we’re thrilled to be able to offer a non-stop flight as well as our Lisbon stopover option.” ________ flytap.com

PHOTOS: © CITALLIANCE - DREAMSTIME.COM, © FRANTIC00 - DREAMSTIME.COM

Hotels Pivot to Accommodate Guests Working Remotely

The top 10 include: Burj Al Arab, Dubai, with 1,828,532 hashtags Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, with 1,765,401 hashtags Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, with 1,567,717 hashtags MGM Grand, Las Vegas, with 1,476,654 hashtags Wynn Las Vegas, Las Vegas, with 471,863 hashtags Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai, with 338,745 hashtags The Venetian, Las Vegas, with 257,279 hashtags Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi, with 195,707 hashtags Waldorf Astoria, New York, with 187,954 hashtags Atlantis Bahamas, Nassau, with 147,641 hashtags


12-Month Barbados Welcome Stamp Visa

Thailand Launches Buy Now, Stay Later Offer Save money on future trips to Thailand with the Tourist Authority of Thailand’s Buy Now, Stay Later offer. A multiphase reopening of Thailand’s borders to foreign tourists began Aug. 1 in geographically secluded provinces. The Buy Now, Stay Later offer allows travelers to buy hotel bonds that increase in value over time. Travelers can connect with included hotels to buy bonds in $100 increments; bonds purchased today for $100 will be worth $150 following a 60-day-plus maturation period.

Barbados is now accepting applications for its new 12-month Barbados Welcome Stamp, a special visa that provides remote workers with an opportunity to transport their home office by relocating to Barbados for up to a year. Documents needed for the visa include two passportsized photos, bio data page of passport, birth certificate, proof of relationship to dependents, entry visa (where applicable) and nonrefundable fees. The visa is valid for one year, and participants can apply for renewal. ________ barbadoswelcomestamp.bb

________

PHOTOS: © PABLO CARIDAD - DREAMSTIME.COM, © FILIP FUXA - DREAMSTIME.COM, © KONTIKI SMALL-YACHT EXPEDITIONS

thailand.buynowstaylater.com

Kontiki Small-Yacht Expeditions to Launch Start-up Kontiki Expeditions will launch maiden voyages this fall. A new concept in luxury ocean vacations focused on conscious travel and immersive experiences, the first two itineraries will travel along the Ecuadorian coast. A fundamental part of the experience is supporting the communities visited. The first ship is scheduled to sail in December; the luxury boutique yachts have only nine staterooms each and can visit smaller ports. Ten crew members and two local experts, including wellness professionals, naturalist guides and a local chef, add to the experience. In addition to the staterooms, the 128-foot-long yachts feature a sundeck, a gourmet salon, two outdoor lounges, a bar, Jacuzzi and a fitness area. Pricing begins at $7,245 per person per week, based on double occupancy, and includes all activities, meals, transfers to and from ports, park entrances, guided expeditions and more.

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________ kontikiexpeditions.com

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Dear Global Traveler readers, At United®, we are passionate about connecting the world safely. We know that many of you are frequent travelers, as well as members and fans of our United MileagePlus® program, and that travel looks a little different to you now than it did before. With our commitment to taking an industry-leading approach to cleaner and safer travel — United CleanPlusSM, delivered in association with Cleveland Clinic and Clorox — we’re putting health and safety first at every step of your journey.

United CleanPlus is just one more way that we aim to set the global standard for travel. United is proud to partner with the leading health experts at Cleveland Clinic to implement new practices that help control the spread of COVID-19 and allow you to travel more safely. We’re also working with Clorox, the most trusted brand in cleaning and disinfecting, to ensure our aircraft cleaning standards meet or exceed CDC guidelines. And our customers and employees are also part of our commitment to safety, because we’re all in this together. Everyone is required to wear face coverings on board and in any United-operated or -owned spaces

“Wearing a mask helps mitigate the spread of COVID-19.” —dr. tom mihaljevic, ceo and president of cleveland clinic

throughout the airport. As Cleveland Clinic’s Dr. Tom Mihaljevic reminds us, the science is clear: Wearing a mask helps mitigate the spread of COVID-19. For 16 consecutive years we have been proud to earn your respect and recognition through the GT Tested Reader Survey awards as the world’s Best Frequent-Flyer Program. United CleanPlus is just one more way that we aim to set the global standard for travel, and we’re continuing to evolve our safety and cleanliness practices in line with scientific findings and guidance from our partners. Together with Cleveland Clinic and Clorox, we hope that when you choose to fly United, you do so more confidently, knowing your safety comes first. Thank you for your support and your loyalty to United and United MileagePlus. At times like these, we are especially grateful for the strength of our MileagePlus member community and the strong bonds we’ve built together. We will continue to earn your trust every flight and every day.

Luc Bondar Vice President, Marketing & Loyalty President, MileagePlus United Airlines

Air quality State-of-the-art, hospital-grade, high-efficiency (HEPA) filters circulate air and remove 99.97% of airborne particles. We’re now running these before takeoff and during the entire flight.


Safe travels Creating a healthier and cleaner experience for customers

Social distancing With social distancing in mind, we’ve added floor decals to indicate 6 feet of space, revised our boarding process so fewer people board at a time, and are now allowing you to scan your own boarding pass.

Face coverings Touchless support

We’re requiring all

Customers can download our

employees to wear

United app for contactless

face coverings in

travel assistance throughout

the airport and on

their journey, and we’ve

board and providing

rolled out a touchless check-in

disposable face

experience for customers

coverings for those

checking bags.

who need them.

United travelers and

Get an in-depth look at united.com/cleanplus/gt


GT TESTED

BLUE HAWAIIAN HELICOPTERS

TOP TAKEAWAYS: On this trip we stayed at some of the best hotels in Honolulu and Lanai and had some fantastic times, but this was a topper!

-------------------------A must-do for any trip to Hawai’i

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IN-FLIGHT: We were seated in the primo spot, next to the pilot — the best viewing, for sure. Lifting off at a busy airport like Honolulu takes some nerves and experience, and Lorne, as an ex-military chopper pilot, knew what he was doing. During a sweeping turn away from the airport, on came the Hawaii Five-O theme song, which was a real hit and terrific introduction to the tour. Lorne spoke throughout, asking us where we were from, if we had ever been to Hawai’i before and if we’d ever been in a helicopter. As we flew over historic sites he added his commentary. The flight path took us over Honolulu, Waikiki, Diamond Head and the coral formation at Kaneohe Bay. Lorne pointed out where various movies have been filmed, such as Jurassic Park. We hovered over the cliffs of Nuuanu Rainforest and Sacred Falls and then flew to the North Shore for some aerial surfing visuals. Some of the best viewing of the USS Arizona Memorial and Pearl Harbor concluded the tour as we headed back to busy Honolulu. REVIEWED BY Francis X. Gallagher

BLUE HAWAIIAN HELICOPTERS bluehawaiian.com

PHOTOS: © FRANCIS X. GALLAGHER

PRE-FLIGHT: One of my most brilliant ideas ever! Why not take a Blue Hawaiian Helicopters tour of Oahu between our morning flight from Lanai and our afternoon flight on United Airlines to Newark? Of course, this all relied on perfect timing, as our Hawaiian Airlines flight arrived at Honolulu at 10:32 a.m. and our United flight was at 3:10 p.m. The heliport lies just two miles from the airport, and we would have to take an Uber or taxi to check in for our noon tour. The tour ended at 1:05 p.m. All looked good on paper, and all worked out perfectly on the ground. The Uber driver had a little trouble finding the spot, but you cannot miss the iconic Blue Hawaiian helicopters taking off and landing. Check-in included reviewing our government-issued identification, weighing each passenger and watching a complete safety video. Once we were ready for takeoff, we were marched out and told to stand in predesignated circles on the tarmac. From there we walked two by two to the chopper for loading and seatbelt check. There were six passengers and one pilot, Lorne, who introduced himself and went through the pre-check details. Lorne wanted all to know where the “comfort bags” were and commented they were there to be used — and we could keep them if we used them! His dry sense of humor added to the flight experience.


GT TESTED

THOMPSON CHICAGO ARRIVAL/CHECK-IN: My stay at the Thompson Chicago, in February 2020, was my last trip before (and since) the COVID-19 pandemic. So while as of press time my stay was just a few months prior, I’m certain the experience is, today, somewhat changed. I arrived in the early morning, having departed from Philadelphia International Airport pre-dawn. Luckily, the lobby was quiet and my room was ready well in advance of the check-in time, which was just what I needed to quickly freshen up before a day of meetings. As you enter the hotel and lobby, it feels like you’re entering a personal home, one that is warm with rich colors and an abundance of comfortable seating.

PHOTOS: © THOMPSON CHICAGO

GUEST QUARTERS: I was booked in a kingbedded room with rainfall showerhead and city view for my overnight stay. The room was almost oriented lengthwise: From the entrance, it opened into a foyer with a wall of windows. The bathroom, to the right of the door, was long, with a sink/ vanity immediately to the left, followed by the spacious shower with the toilet on the right side. The bathroom was quite large with plenty of space for toiletries. It did take me a few tries before I realized where all the different bathroom light switches were located. As I continued into the foyer, a desk sat to the right, facing the windows, allowing for great views and lots of natural light. As I entered the bedroom area, the room opened up more. A bed flanked by two nightstands sat adjacent to the desk and across from a couch and table set against the windows. The TV was mounted on the wall across from the desk. I ran across the street the afternoon of my stay to grab lunch. I brought it back to the room and, thanks to the guestroom’s spacious set-up and separate seating area, I had plenty of space to eat, relax and work. SERVICES/AMENITIES: On the morning of my departure I ate breakfast at the on-site Nico Osteria, which also serves lunch and dinner. I enjoyed my breakfast alongside a good, strong cup of coffee and people-watching through the large windows and my vantage point along the North Rush Street side of the building. Salone Nico is the hotel’s wine bar and cocktail lounge. Private dining options are also available at Nico. Thompson Chicago boasts 12,000 square feet of meeting and event space.

TOP TAKEAWAYS: Location is crucial, and the Thompson Chicago boasts an excellent one in the Gold Coast neighborhood, just off the Magnificent Mile and near Lake Michigan.

-------------------------A $17-a-day destination fee includes coffee and tea in Nico, Lexus house car service Tuesday through Sunday (based on availability), exclusive discounts through outside partners and more.

-------------------------The doormen were exceedingly welcoming and friendly, and they made hailing cabs or waiting for Ubers easy and seamless — especially important during a Chicago winter.

-------------------------My colleagues were staying on the Chicago River, and our appointments and meetings were all over the city; Thompson Chicago served as a convenient home base for all of it and provided easy access to/from Chicago O’Hare International Airport. THOMPSON CHICAGO 21 E. Bellevue Place Chicago, IL 60611 tel 312 266 2100 thompsonhotels.com

REVIEWED BY Kimberly Krol

SEPTEMBER 2020 globaltravelerusa.com

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GT TESTED

GRAN CASA SAYULA HOTEL GALERIA AND SPA

GUEST QUARTERS: Once upstairs, I discovered a small chapel, complete with a charming steeple, tiny pews and stained glass at one end of the rooftop hallway, with another small room, which I believed to be a spa, at the other. My room was just a couple of doors away from the chapel and a small grouping of benches by the

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rooftop ledge — I made a mental note to get some work done there later, with a view. The guestrooms are quite modest. I placed my bag on the (super) firm mattress and noted the TV from a bygone era, décor of the same time period and, in a surprising twist, L’Occitane soaps and shampoo in the bathroom. The rooms offer quaint comforts and actually reminded me of my great-grandmother’s house when I used to visit as a kid. The space will definitely do the trick for a night or two in town.

TOP TAKEAWAYS:

SERVICES/AMENITIES: The hotel’s on-site restaurant, pool and uniquely traditional touches offer a quintessential small-town stay in the heart of this tiny city, with some comforts of home. Easily one of the best perks of the stay is its proximity to everything. Just steps away from the town square, a historic cathedral and La Casa de los Patios (the only other tourist-ready hotel in town), Gran Casa is well-positioned for exploring the city on foot.

--------------------------

REVIEWED BY Angelique Platas

Try the tortilla soup at the on-site restaurant!

-------------------------WiFi was available, but I found my personal hotspot a bit faster.

-------------------------Head to the hotel’s second-floor rooftop area for city views.

-------------------------First-floor guestrooms open right into the courtyard/dining room, so be prepared for diners to be within eye shot upon exit and entry. The town is small, easily walkable and a great rest stop between Jalisco city visits.

-------------------------Watch handmade tortillas come out of the oven on one corner of town, shop local goods on another or take a picture by the Sayula sign in the town square — all in the same day. GRAN CASA SAYULA HOTEL GALERIA AND SPA Ave. Gral. Manuel Ávila Camacho 73 Centro Histórico, 49300 Sayula Jalisco, Mexico tel 52 342 421 1169 grancasasayula.com

PHOTOS: © GRAN CASA SAYULA HOTEL GALERIA AND SPA

ARRIVAL/CHECK-IN: After visiting Sayula’s beloved Jugo factory, a grass-roots cajeta de leche (think dulce de leche) candy-making factory — employing a majority of the town’s residents and pleasing milk candy lovers of Jalisco — I was ready to drop my bags and come down from my sugar rush at the hotel. Cornering half the market on tourist-ready accommodations in Sayula, Jalisco, the Gran Casa Sayula entrance welcomes guests with a splash of colorful tiles, rich paintings and heavy furniture. My guide assisted with my check-in, filling in the many gaps my Spanish provided, and in a few minutes I had my key and an escort to my room. Walking through the open-air courtyard at the center of the two-story hotel, reminiscent of a European piazza, I passed a small pool and more incredible tile work on my way to my room on the second floor.


GT TESTED

QATAR AIRWAYS — QSUITE

PHOTOS: © QATAR AIRWAYS, © FRANCIS X. GALLAGHER

PHILADELPHIA (PHL) TO DOHA (DOH)

ON THE GROUND: I was invited to fly to Doha to see the unveiling of the new plans for the expansion of Hamad International Airport. Due to a family commitment, I had to leave a little later than others who were attending, and I therefore only had a few days in Qatar. The timing of this flight in the evening was perfect and allowed me to fulfill my family duties and then head to Philadelphia International Airport. I really am pleased and feel fortunate we have this direct service from Philadelphia to the Middle East; it makes travel so much easier, and the Qatar Airways service is super. Check-in was fast. The station manager was waiting for me and welcomed me with a big smile. He moved my seat to a more comfortable location, and I was through security in no time, even with a little backup in the line. Qatar Airways uses the British Airways lounge at Philadelphia, which could use a “shave and a haircut.” It was crowded, but I felt lucky to find a seat to enjoy a pre-boarding scotch and a

PRE-FLIGHT: QSuite is Qatar’s answer to a super business/first product. Each passenger in QSuite has their own mini cabin, conducive to sleeping on the long flight to Doha. I can compare this to the Asiana first-class suite on the Airbus A380 (now business), but the QSuite is a tad bit smaller. The crew did everything possible to get us settled and comfortable, including offering pre-flight drinks of juice or Champagne and reading material. They distributed fine amenity kits, detailed menus and a separate vast menu of the wine to be served. I got settled by hooking up my laptop and phone for power and charging.

and watch a movie or two and then sleep for the duration of the flight. Dinner started with garden pea soup followed by tapas appetizers. The main course selections included chicken biryani (with basmati rice), braised lamb with lentil rice pilaf, pan-seared snapper with a red pepper sauce, or penne pasta with basil pesto sauce. I chose the lamb, as this seemed to be a fitting dish for my flight to Doha. The lamb was served with turnips and carrots and went well with the Chilean Escudo Rojo Carménère 2017 I selected. Fine breads accompanied the meal, followed by an apple tart and fresh berries. Prior to landing, a complete breakfast was served, but I chose to have some fruit, as I had a dinner planned upon arrival. Once the meal was complete, I watched the balance of my movie and then turned in. The flight attendant shut the cabin door on my QSuite, and I quickly fell asleep for the rest of the flight.

IN-FLIGHT: My plan was to eat dinner

REVIEWED BY Francis X. Gallagher

few finger sandwiches as I charged my electronics. Boarding was crowded, but the QSuite line was not, and my friend from check-in was there to take me through and on board. “Welcome, Francis. Let me take you to your suite,” he said.

TOP TAKEAWAYS: How fortunate we are in Philadelphia to have this direct service to the Middle East — and on such a fine carrier.

-------------------------The experience could only be topped by a dedicated Qatar Airways lounge in Philadelphia.

-------------------------Arriving at Hamad International offers passengers a taste of the airport’s awardwinning service.

--------------------------

QATAR AIRWAYS qatarairways.com

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GT TESTED

UNITED AIRLINES — FIRST CLASS NEWARK (EWR) TO HONOLULU (HNL)

PRE-FLIGHT: Remember this service is domestic first class (many of my industry friends insisted it would be Polaris, United’s relatively new business class), but it is a unique firstclass service with a nearly fully flat bed. Attendants distributed Champagne and reading material, and I checked out the entertainment system, which seemed to offer a lot of options. Overhead space was plentiful, and I found room to place my briefcase under the seat in front of me even when the seat was fully deployed. IN-FLIGHT: The entertainment proved plentiful, and I was

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proud to see United touting its win as Best Frequent-Flyer Program in the GT Tested Reader Survey awards. (United won this award for 16 consecutive years and is going for the 17th! Read though this issue and you will find the awards voting ballot for this year.) I watched a few movies and enjoyed a documentary about the Apollo 11 space flight. Astronaut Doctor (he likes to be called that) Buzz Aldrin has attended many of our events over the years and has been supportive of our charitable endeavors. The only improvement I’d recommend for this flight is more robust dining offerings. We had a small sandwich and various accoutrements, and the water was only poured from a large bottle to a glass — I specifically asked for a bottle of water but the flight attendant said they only had large ones for pouring, and he did not understand why they did not offer bottles in first class. Nonetheless, we had plenty of snacks such as bananas, crackers, cookies and other treats. I made full use of the United WiFi during the flight and also took a little cat-nap. It is a long flight, and we were hitting the ground running with meetings and tours in Honolulu, so this was essential. REVIEWED BY Francis X. Gallagher

TOP TAKEAWAYS: You cannot beat the non-stop service — better than transiting through the West Coast. At the time, Southwest was flying to Hawai’i, and its service was a far cry from United’s first class.

-------------------------Flight attendants were friendly and on their game. UNITED AIRLINES united.com

PHOTOS: © FRANCIS X. GALLAGHER

ON THE GROUND: We took a car service from my home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, to Newark (about 50 minutes) as we would be gone for more than 10 days and could save on the parking. We probably had more luggage than necessary and both checked a bag. Check-in was swift, as was security, and we had time to stop by the United Club using our United MileagePlus Club Card from Chase for entry. We tried to sneak into Polaris, but it is limited to international business-class travelers; even though this is a long flight, it is still domestic. Boarding was organized and the plane was filled to capacity. Everyone was excited to go to Honolulu, and as this was my annual birthday trip, I could not have been more thrilled.


ONE ON ONE

Linsey Gallagher President and CEO, Visit Napa Valley

What’s the biggest business risk you’ve ever taken? Changing industries, multiple times — from finance to marketing and from wine to tourism

THE BASICS Name: Linsey Gallagher Title: President and CEO Company, city: Visit Napa Valley; Napa, California First job: In high school and college I worked as a babysitter and a waitress; post-undergrad, I was a financial analyst at General Electric Capital Services. Where to next: Given the COVID-19 pandemic, I am actually enjoying “playing” tourist here in Napa Valley and taking advantage of all our beautiful valley has to offer. Visit Napa Valley and Napa Valley Vintners partnered to encourage everyone in the Napa Valley community to rediscover their own backyard and support local businesses, part of our “Napa Valley Spirit” campaign. Napa Valley hospitality-related businesses, including hotels, wineries, restaurants and retailers, created an “Explore Your Backyard” offer targeted to Napa County residents to inspire the community to dine, sip, shop and stay here and support the more than 60,000 people who work in the wine and tourism industries. 

A LITTLE BIT MORE What actor or actress would play you in a movie of your life? Jennifer Garner — rural upbringing, solid but not too serious, kind, a working mom What would you be doing professionally if you weren’t in your current industry? I feel fortunate to work in the tourism and wine industries; however, I sometimes wonder what it would have been like to try my hand as a producer at Today or another show. What is your favorite book, movie or television show? I have been a TV series binge watcher all my life (long before Netflix!). My more recent favorites include Downton Abbey, Big Little Lies, Friday Night Lights, Nashville and Call the Midwife. What historical figure, dead or alive, would you love to have dinner with? Oprah Winfrey

THE BUSINESS What is your most recent project, and what was the inspiration behind it? My most pressing and immediate priority is helping our tourism industry and local government partners in Napa Valley weather the challenge of a global pandemic. Napa Valley is committed to the highest safety standards by going above and beyond mandated requirements in order to protect the health and welfare of employees, guests and our community while providing world-class hospitality. Collaboration, partnership, transparency and authenticity are paramount for future success.

Who is someone you admire professionally in the travel industry? Caroline Beteta, president and CEO, Visit California

AS A TRAVELER Tell us about a travel nightmare: A sightseeing daytrip excursion to Angel Falls in Venezuela in a small plane turned into an unexpected multiday adventure in El Pauji, a remote jungle settlement at the edge of Gran Sabana, on the border of Brazil. Share a comical travel experience: While working at the California Wine Institute I traveled to more than 25 countries promoting California wine worldwide. On one of many memorable trips to China, I traveled with renowned wine writer and educator Karen MacNeil, author of The Wine Bible. We were doing a 10-day California wines tour of at

least eight cities, and we were exhausted. We rewarded ourselves with a Chinese foot massage treatment in most cities, and each was hilarious and unique while also usually relaxing. What is your preferred method of travel — planes, trains, automobiles, cruise ships — and why? All of the above, in normal times. However, these days I am fortunate to live in Napa Valley and ride my bicycle on our Napa Valley Vine Trail through our beautiful vineyards while we wait for the COVID-19 pandemic to subside. The 47-mile, safe and scenic walking and biking trail system connects the entire Napa Valley, physically, artistically and culturally — perfect for social distancing. What has been the best example of customer service you’ve experienced during your travels? Traveling internationally for 10 years as vice president of international marketing for the California Wine Institute, I experienced many instances of customer service not meeting expectations. We produced wine experiences and events in challenging environments such as China, Russia and Cuba, as well as more mainstream but often challenging venues in Canada, Japan, Mexico and the U.K. I always love coming back to Napa Valley and our world-class hospitality and wines. We offer the best hospitality of any wine region in the world — warm and welcoming, laid-back luxury, casual elegance and iconic lifestyle.

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PHOTO: © VISIT NAPA VALLEY

What is your favorite aspect of the job? I love the intersection of wine and tourism. I am thankful to be entrusted with the responsibility to steward the iconic and aspirational Napa Valley brand and lifestyle on the world stage. As the official destination management organization, our vision is to elevate Napa Valley as the world’s premier wine country experience, and our mission is to promote, protect and enhance the destination.


ONE ON ONE

Jeff Foland

President and CEO, The Parking Spot

THE BUSINESS What is your most recent project, and what was the inspiration behind it? Helping navigate through these challenging times for the travel sector. While it’s been rather difficult making value-accretive decisions in the ever-changing environment, it’s been equally rewarding work given the team I’m surrounded by every day.

THE BASICS

A LITTLE BIT MORE

Name: Jeff Foland Title: President and CEO Company, city: The Parking Spot; Chicago, Illinois First job: Mechanical engineer at Allison Gas Turbine, working on aircraft engine and military programs Where to next: At this point, anywhere! Let’s go! Like many, I’m ready to get traveling again. My family and I have had the privilege to travel many places but have not yet taken a safari. As such, we plan to travel to Africa for a safari in the near term.

What actor or actress would play you in a movie of your life? I would say Tom Hanks. A sincere, friendly and down-to-earth guy who doesn’t take himself too seriously but is focused and intense when he needs to be. What would you be doing professionally if you weren’t in your current industry? Since I probably can’t ride my Harley professionally, I’d be helping lead a company in an industry where change occurs rapidly and technologyenabled growth is an imperative for value creation. I like to help create

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What is your favorite aspect of the job? Unquestionably, it’s the people I get to deal with every day: a dedicated team focused on driving meaningful change and achieving our full potential while also understanding what it means to have a little fun along the way.    What’s the biggest business risk you’ve ever taken? I was partner at a successful firm and left to help lead a company in bankruptcy in the travel sector. I love the challenge of turnarounds and value creation, and it was a quite adventurous and rewarding journey.

Who is someone you admire professionally in the travel industry? Everyone, literally. Couldn’t pick just one. It’s a tough space, always fraught with challenge and change, yet it is equally invigorating given how it impacts all of our lives.

AS A TRAVELER Tell us about a travel nightmare: I was on a private flight to New York City when suddenly both pilots came back to the passenger cabin to inform us, “Don’t worry, landing gear is inoperable, but we think everything will be okay; we’ve handled it in a simulator before.” Share a comical travel experience: A number of years back I got to my airline gate an hour early and decided to do a little work. Put the earphones in and proceeded to conduct a number of calls. Next time I turned around I realized the gate area was empty … I’d missed the flight while sitting there the entire time! Whoops. Guess I was a little too engaged in those calls. Not terribly funny at the time, but in retrospect I get a laugh out of it.   What is your preferred method of travel — planes, trains, automobiles, cruise ships — and why? I love all forms of travel and consider myself a car and motorcycle junkie. I cruise often as well. But flying remains my first love. There’s nothing like soaring above the clouds and arriving at far-away locations. What has been the best example of customer service you’ve experienced during your travels? Other than our service here at The Parking Spot, which is top-notch, the service experienced with the United Global Services program is superb. From dedicated service staff to rides across the tarmac in a premium auto when running late for connections, it’s tough to beat, in my experience.

PHOTO: © THE PARKING SPOT

and grow things and find challenging environments stimulating. What is your favorite book, movie or television show? I have many, but one book I particularly liked was Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. Maybe it’s my engineering background, but I’m quite fascinated by books that deal with quantum physics and its application in the future. What historical figure, dead or alive, would you love to have dinner with? Wow, that’s a tough question. There are so many. I’d probably say Elon Musk. He’s a big thinker and dreamer who wants to change the world.


ELEVATED END-TO-END SAFETY With the introduction of Air Canada CleanCare+, we’ve elevated the steps we’re taking to keep you safe throughout your travel with us. Learn more at aircanada.com/cleancareplus


TECHNOLOGY

Eat, Sleep and Be Well Try these smart tools to keep you in top shape. BY JACK GUY

SMART NORA Sleep technology is booming thanks to a growing appreciation of the importance of good-quality rest for overall health. As part of that trend, Smart Nora offers an inflating device that fits under your normal pillow, filling with air when a sensor detects signs of snoring. This slight movement returns your airway to its normal position, stopping snoring without disturbing or waking you or your partner. It packs well for travel and also comes with a moneyback guarantee. $359. smartnora.com

FOREO UFO

This high-tech mattress tracks your sleep patterns and adjusts to your body to make sure you get a good rest every night of the week. Cooling and heating technology provides ideal conditions on each side of the bed and also adjusts the temperature to wake you up without an alarm. Sensors track deep sleep, heart rate and rapid eye movement (REM) so you can see a detailed picture of your sleep patterns. The accompanying app combines this data into a sleep fit score, providing advice on what time to sleep to make up for any deficits and encouraging you to maintain sleep fitness. From $2,495, mattress only. eightsleep.com

NIMA SENSORS Food allergies can be life-threatening in extreme cases, making eating out an anxiety-inducing experience. Take that stress away with a Nima sensor, which tests a small sample of food before you eat. It takes a few minutes to return results, but it’s worth waiting to avert a dangerous reaction. Available in both gluten and peanut versions, Nima claims its sensors are 97 percent accurate. $229 plus $5 per sample capsule. nimasensor.com

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PHOTOS: © EIGHT SLEEP, © SMART NORA, © FOREO, © NIMA SENSOR

EIGHT SLEEP POD

Facial masks are having a moment as skincare routines become increasingly popular, and the Foreo UFO Smart Mask elevates the low-tech mask using LED treatments, sonic pulses, heat and cold. Load the puck-like device with skincare serums it dispenses as you hold it to your face, giving a facial mask experience in just 90 seconds. A number of different masks are available, and the accompanying Foreo app tells you exactly how to use them for best results. $199. foreo.com


FOR

ALL THE MOMENTS WE STAND UP

JOE MANGANIELLO Stand Up To Cancer Ambassador

Since 2008, Major League BaseballÂŽ has supported Stand Up To Cancer in its mission to fund groundbreaking research and get treatments to patients faster than ever before. Join us as we stand united to show our support for loved ones affected by cancer.

Visit StandUpToCancer.org/MLB

Photo By ANDREW ECCLES Stand Up To Cancer is a division of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Major League Baseball trademarks and copyrights are used with permission of Major League Baseball. Visit MLB.com


WINE & SPIRITS

To Your Health! Raise a glass of red wine and reap its many benefits. BY EUNICE FRIED

I

t fascinates. It relaxes. It intrigues. It adds complexity to a meal. And now, as a number of scientific studies completed over the past few years have shown, red wine is also good for our

health. According to many of these studies, this ancient beverage not only gives us pleasure but also offers benefits to our well-being. One of the most intriguing results of these studies is wine, taken in moderation, may help to reduce the risk of heart attacks as well as other cardiovascular problems. It offers these benefits, as reported in a Mayo Clinic paper, particularly through resveratrol, a substance found on the skin of red grapes; since all the color in a wine comes from the grape’s skin, resveratrol is present in all red wine. The study states, “Antioxidants in red wine called polyphenols may help to protect the lining of blood vessels in the heart”; resveratrol is one of those polyphenols. Another study by Swedish researchers reported in Annals of Internal Medicine found that compared to teetotalers, light drinkers in their early 30s who consumed wine cut their risk of dying prematurely by nearly a third. The same group, who reported drinking one or two glasses of wine a day, also had significantly higher levels of HDL, known as “good” cholesterol. The reason? The red wine consumed daily helped remove artery-clogging LDLs before they had a chance to choke blood vessels. And in yet another study of 2,900 women, those who consumed a glass of wine daily had significantly reduced markers for inflammation than women who did not drink alcohol at all. Many other studies uphold red wine’s health benefits. And there are other, yet unproven but possible benefits of red wine. For example, red wine possibly promotes healthy bacteria in our system, it may promote longevity, and it may even help our mental health by reducing depression. With such a range of attributes and possibilities, the next time we raise a glass of red wine to toast our dining companions, we can say, with certainty and pleasure, “To your health.”

Rosy Outlook: Drinking red wine in moderation offers health benefits. PHOTO: © NESTEROV91 - DREAMSTIME.COM

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WEALTH

Remote Possibilities Explore ways to engage employees in a work-from-home environment. BY CHRISTINE MELLER

PHOTO: © ROMAN SAMBORSKYI - DREAMSTIME.COM

ALTHOUGH THERE ARE NUMEROUS BENEFITS TO WORKING TOGETHER IN THE OFFICE, EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYEES HAVE SEEN GREAT SUCCESS WORKING REMOTELY, WHICH BEGS THE QUESTION OF WHETHER EXTENDED REMOTE WORKING WILL CONTINUE AS ‘THE NEW NORMAL’ AFTER THE PANDEMIC.

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usiness leaders across many industries have been riding the roller coaster of the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies, traditionally operating in offices, shifted to employees’ homes with little notice. While our technology infrastructure allowed this to happen with relative ease, the toll on our interpersonal skills may fall under the radar. As business leaders, we need to make a conscious effort to lead our teams in both the current and future business landscapes. As you carry out plans to return to the office, recognize things will never be the same, and no one knows what the landscape will be like in the short and long term. We are likely to see staggered teams for a prolonged period, with groups of employees alternating in-office work schedules. We must balance these teams to allow people the resources they need when physically in the office while including those who are not. Although there are numerous benefits to working together in the office, employers and employees have seen great success working remotely, which begs the question of whether

extended remote working will continue as “the new normal” after the pandemic. Here are a few ideas to promote employee engagement while working remotely. PRACTICE EMPATHY. Our personal lives are interacting with our work lives now more than ever, but without informal “watercooler talk” it is easy to miss cues regarding our employees. We need to listen and understand the struggles our employees face in their new environments and propose solutions. People may not be able to work the typical 9 to 5 while parenting, homeschooling and getting their work done, so their work day may be broken into multiple segments. While not ideal, many workers face this reality, and keeping open lines of communication is key to making it work. HOST VIRTUAL EVENTS AND MEETINGS. Due to social distancing guidelines and ensuing concerns, large meetings are unlikely to occur in the near future. That, coupled with staggered schedules, will continue the ongoing

need for virtual meetings. Many people are reluctant to speak up in large virtual meetings, so smaller groups of five to six employees can prove a more engaging supplement, allowing everyone to have a voice. Groups can meet for coffee, lunch or happy hour based on common interests or be randomly selected with a few conversation starters to kick things off. COMMUNICATE PROJECT STATUS. Understanding the status of work is critical in a remote or staggered work environment. As people work irregular schedules, emails or phone calls may go unanswered for extended periods, making it more important than ever for teams to communicate the status of work. Project management apps allow multiple users to document work status and see progress. When used in conjunction with regularly scheduled meetings, they can give the entire team peace of mind about current project status and next steps and allow people to provide input and suggestions for improvement. Ideas can come from anywhere. Encourage employees to speak up about their needs and ideas for engagement. Talk to external contacts about how they keep employees engaged. Talk to children about how their teachers keep classes engaged. We are all in this together, so anything that maintains our sense of community is a win.

The content of this article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional financial advice. Always seek the expertise of a certified financial advisor or other qualified provider with any questions you may have regarding personal finance, investment and money-related issues.

SEPTEMBER 2020 globaltravelerusa.com

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SPAS

Seaside Retreat

Indulge in a spa visit with ocean views in Viña del Mar, Chile. BY KATIE SKRZEK

Splash of Serenity: Spa pool PHOTO: © SHERATON MIRAMAR HOTEL & CONVENTION CENTER

SHERATON MIRAMAR HOTEL & CONVENTION CENTER Ave. Marina No. 15 Viña del Mar, Chile tel 56 32 238 8600 marriott.com

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arrived in Chile early in the morning after an overnight flight. After the long trip, I was excited to reach the Sheraton Miramar Hotel & Convention Center in Viña del Mar, Chile, located about a two-hour drive from the airport in Santiago. The stunning property is nestled along the South Pacific Ocean. After a swift check-in process, I made my way to my room on the sixth floor. All 142 of the property’s guestrooms offer ocean views. I took in the beautiful panorama of Viña del Mar before heading out to explore the city. I spent my first day visiting popular historic landmarks, experiencing a traditional Chilean lunch and strolling along the waterfront. Between travel and sightseeing, it was a long first day. Once back at the property, I was ready to relax. And what better way to relax than a visit to the spa, which I also did that first night. The spa, located on the property’s ground floor (ocean level), sits adjacent to the fitness center if you want to get a

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little workout in before or after your treatment. Open 24 hours, the fitness center offers weights, cardio machines, daily classes and floorto-ceiling windows with views of the ocean. Guided yoga classes are held beside the outdoor pool, weather permitting. Like all of the property’s guestrooms, the spa and fitness center boast ocean views. All guests enjoy complimentary use of spa facilities (sauna, hot tub, indoor and outdoor pools, steam room and lockers) and may book treatments for a fee. The spa offers a variety of treatments including facials, body scrubs, reflexology, hot stones, mud therapy, detoxing and lymphatic drainage. The front desk attendant greeted me and directed me toward the women’s locker room, pointing out the hot tub and sauna along the way. After changing into the provided robe and slippers, I made my way to my treatment room. My therapist mainly spoke Spanish, so I made use of my limited vocabulary as I got situated.


After spending time on many modes of transportation to get to my final destination, my body was ready for a massage. I opted for a 60-minute traditional version. My therapist focused mainly on my back, working on tension acquired during my travels. I tend to prefer medium pressure, and she achieved this balance. Her movements were both relaxing and rejuvenating. The lotions and oils she used had a pleasing aroma without emitting an overwhelming smell. The 60 minutes flew by, and before I knew it, my treatment was finished. I changed back into my robe, and my therapist met me outside with a large glass of water, which she encouraged me to finish. I felt revitalized and ready for the next few busy days of my trip. After my treatment, I made my way to the indoor pool area to relax a bit before heading back to my room. I enjoyed some fruit, juice and water while lounging near the pool and taking in the ocean view. Though the heated pool looked tempting, I was comfortable following my treatment and opted to lounge instead. I ended my indulgent evening in my room with a salad and French fries from the 24-hour room service — life is all about balance! Whether your stay at Sheraton Miramar Hotel & Convention Center is for business or leisure, experiencing the property’s spa is a must.

Revitalize: Sauna with beach views (top), and treatment room (bottom) PHOTOS: © SHERATON MIRAMAR HOTEL & CONVENTION CENTER

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GOLF

Natural Beauty

Enjoy a delightful round at Makefield Highlands Golf Course.

Picture-Perfect: Hole 14 PHOTO: © FRANCIS X. GALLAGHER

MAKEFIELD HIGHLANDS GOLF COURSE 1418 Woodside Road Yardley, PA 19067 tel 215 321 7000 makefieldhighlands.com

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BY FRANCIS X. GALLAGHER

n 2004 Lower Makefield Township, Pennsylvania, purchased 168 acres of land that was an original part of the Penn Grant made to Thomas Bond (circa 1718). The stone Manor House on the property is a registered historical landmark and reminds players of the significant history of the area. Rick Jacobson designed Makefield Highlands Golf Course as a links-style course playing as much as 7,058 yards with five sets of tee boxes. Jacobson pulled from his Swedish roots, loving the outdoors and preserving that native feel here. He has been involved with the designs of many similar courses including Potomac Shores (reviewed in GT September 2016), where he collaborated with Jack Nicklaus. Makefield Highlands and Potomac Shores both seem laid into the earth as if they are a natural feature. The full-service course has a complete clubhouse, restaurant and bar — which for Lower Makefield (a dry township) poses a bit of a controversy. Offering a liquor license only to the town-owned bar seems a little funny to me, and I am not sure William Penn, Pennsylvania’s founding Quaker, would approve, either! Due to the effects of COVID-19, players must book all tee times online, and no cash is involved. There was confusion about registering and providing your credit card to hold the tee time but still having to pay when you arrive inside the pro shop. I teed up with Christopher Ottaunick

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(aka Yammi), Mark Lane and Jim Bolger of the Global Traveler Advisory Board. Makefield Highlands is Jim’s home course; and although I have played here before, he offered insightful tips on the trickier holes. “We are very fortunate to have such a professionally designed and well-maintained course at our doorsteps,” Jim said. HOLE 5 331 yards, par 4 Jimmy instructed us where to hit our drives, adding, “You guys can actually make the green.” A short par 4 with the green tucked on the left side, this hole proves a real opportunity to help your scorecard. Obstacles such as bunkers will catch those attempting to send the ball sailing to land on the green in one shot. Yammi ripped one slightly right, actually overshooting the green and remarkably finding his ball in the fescue beyond. That cost him a stroke and a bogey. Jim and Mark must not have had their Wheaties that morning, as they landed short of the green but still carded a par. I was on the lip of the trap, greenside and pin high — unfortunately, the best I could do was chip the ball up and two-putt for par. This fun hole makes you feel like a master of the course.


Blue Skies: Hole 17 (left), and Hole 18 (right)

HOLE 9 513 yards, par 5

PHOTOS: © FRANCIS X. GALLAGHER

A picturesque closing to the front nine features a pond and the original Bond Stone Manor House on the right. I can see why William Penn enjoyed this part of Pennsylvania. I am not sure Jim and Mark enjoyed hacking their merry way to the green! Yammi and I sent a pair of balls favoring the left side of the fairway, perhaps mentally avoiding the water on the right. Both balls, well-struck, landed safely and in good position. We had equally decent 3-wood shots, sending our balls again on the left side of the hole, mine careening farther afield in the fescue. After an extended search, I found the ball and sent a lob wedge to the green. Two putts later, Yammi and I walked off with pars, whereas Jimmy and Mark carded double and triple bogeys — ouch! HOLE 14 228 yards, par 3 On this truly beautiful hole you can see how Jacobson considered the current natural setting when designing a hole to live within it. It is made more beautiful when you are lucky enough to have a team

which lands all four tee shots on or near the green. Any shot off the mark can cause great hardship, with marshy fescue rough in front and trees all around the green. Yammi and I were on point and nailed our shots to the green in regulation, then twoputted for par. Jim and Mark were a little off but recovered nicely. Perhaps one of the most tranquil and beautiful par-3 holes in Bucks County. HOLE 17 174 yards, par 3 Makefield Highlands boasts really nice par-3 holes. They are challenging; and if you get into trouble, you normally have to pay the price. Hole 17 is well-bunkered but seemed to play a little longer on the day we tackled the course. Yammi hit a nice drive but came up short in the bunker. Mark and Jimmy sprayed their balls around like a pinball machine. I hooked a ball, due to my strong grip, way left and nearly on the road below. While traipsing through the tickinfested fescue I found a Callaway, Top-Flite and other balls, but none of those could be mistaken for my Titleist with the Global Traveler and Trazee logos sitting up high. I took a thrash and the ball lifted high and landed near the cup — much to the shock

of the team. “Great shot,” exclaimed Yammi. He even gave me the putt! HOLE 18 445 yards, par 4 A lovely blue sky with just the right amount of clouds greeted us on the final hole of Makefield Highlands. The Stone Manor sits to the left as the hole descends down to a creek which crosses the fairway. Yammi found out this hazard was drivable, but he was fortunate we were all playing two balls off the tee box in a double long drive contest, and we were able to pick the best. My best drive landed just in front of the creek, and from there I tried to muscle an iron to the elevated green but caught the trap — this sent me walking away with a double bogey. Mark decided he wanted to get a closer look at the historic Stone Manor, and sadly that ball will be a part of the structure for years to come. Jim, on the other hand, pulled together a few good shots and carded a bogey. Probably better not to have a long drive contest on 18, moving forward. We ended the round by socially distancing in the parking lot, enjoying a tailgate with craft beers and a charcuterie assortment.

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CHEFS

Deep Roots Chef Rodrigo de la Calle highlights a passion for plant-based cuisine in Barcelona. BY KIMBERLY KROL

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WHICH FOOD IS YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE? AND, ON THE OPPOSITE END OF THE SPECTRUM, WHAT IS ONE INGREDIENT OR FOOD YOU HATE TO USE? If it’s a guilty pleasure and I say it, it won’t be a secret anymore! On a healthy side, I love ginger and I use it everywhere. On the contrary, I don’t like bush meat, which happens to be so popular in Spain — wild boar, hare, all of that.

WHAT DISHES WOULD YOU SERVE AT A PRIVATE DINNER PARTY? I’d say vegetables and rice, for sure. WHAT WAS THE FIRST MEAL YOU EVER PREPARED ON YOUR OWN? It was a chocolate flan, kind of like a Spanish pudding, when I was 8 years old. IF YOU COULD DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE IN ONE DISH, WHICH DISH

WOULD IT BE AND WHY? Beef tartare — it is the essence of my whole cuisine. WHICH CULINARY TREND WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE DISAPPEAR? Red aged meat; I don’t know why, but it looks rotten to me. VIRENS Almanac Barcelona Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes 619-621 08007 Barcelona, Spain tel 34 930 18 70 00 almanachotels.com

PHOTOS: © ALMANAC BARCELONA

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IRENS at Almanac Barcelona presents a confluence of plantbased, locally sourced and honest cuisine helmed by Michelinstarred chef Rodrigo de la Calle. Rather than serving in a supporting role, at VIRENS vegetables star, aligning with De la Calle’s long-time affinity for them. There are options available with chicken, beef, pork and fish, but every item on the menu can be adapted to vegetarian or vegan diets. Born in Madrid and raised in Mogón, a small town in Jaén, De la Calle’s culinary roots run deep, as the son of a farmer and grandson of cooks. Together with Chef Santiago Orts, he created the gastrobotanical concept, introducing unknown or unusual vegetable spices into cuisine. VIRENS is De la Calle’s third restaurant and his first in Barcelona. He holds two Michelin stars, including one for Madrid’s El Invernadero. Since early 2019 he has also held the role of chef advisor for Air China, responsible for crafting the airline’s first- and business-class menus. Almanac Barcelona is an upscale lifestyle boutique hotel with 61 rooms and 30 suites designed by interior designer Jaime Beriestain. Since February 2018 the hotel in the heart of the city has been noted for its contemporary culture, modern design and local inspiration.


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Globility

ABU DHABI p. 68 THE SOURCE FOR LUxURY BUSINESS TRAVELERS

ACCRA p. 62 AMSTERDAM p.70 BANGKOK p. 58 CHARLOTTE p. 54 LAS VEGAS p. 60 NICARAGUA p. 56 SEYCHELLES p.72 SOFIA p. 64

ABU DHABI

A HALF-CENTURY OF BUILDING CASTLES IN THE SAND

WINE & SPIRITS

Savor the Flavor

HANGZHOU

Straight or mixed, enjoy the unique spirit of Svedka vodka. BY EUNICE FRIED

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vedka is a Swedish vodka whose quality outpaces its price. First made by Guillaume Cuvelier in Lidköping, Sweden, in 1998, it arrived in the United States in 2007 through its American owner, Constellation Brands, and has since become the vodka of choice for many American drinkers. Taken by its winning combination of taste and cost, they made it one of the top-selling vodka brands in the United States. While Svedka is only 22 years old, Sweden remains one of three countries considered the world’s oldest vodka makers, along with Poland and Russia. Svedka is made of Swedish winter wheat — four pounds needed for every bottle — and distilled five times. Like most vodkas, it is bottled straight as well as in a number of fruit forms. Among them are lemon, cherry, strawberry and peach. Straight Svedka contains 40 percent alcohol, while its flavored variations have 35 percent. And while some brands of vodka cost as much as $40–45 for a 750 ml bottle, Svedka

IMMORTALIZED BY PAINTERS AND POETS ALIKE fine vines

TEL AVIV

Torrontés Tango

SUNNY SIDE UP

FAMILY BUSINESS A warm welcome awaits in remarkably resilient San Juan. p. 48 MEETS ROMANCE IN THE WHITE CITY

Argentina’s signature white will have all your senses dancing.

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n an attempt to describe Torrontés, Argentina’s signature white wine, some have compared it to Pinot Grigio, Viognier, even Riesling. But none come close. Made from the grape of the same name, Torrontés is like no other. It begins with an aroma that conjures up a bouquet of flowers (the honeyed, perfumed Muscat of Alexandria is one of its ancestors), hinting that a sweet wine will follow. But no, Torrontés goes toward dry and fruity with a tangy and spicy edge. It is the perfect aperitif and equally right with shellfish, Niçoise salad, chicken, other whitemeat dishes, lightly flavored cheese and many Asian foods. As Americans discover this intriguing wine, they will also discover that, with a myriad of choices, even the most attractive Torrontés usually costs under $20. And what are the most attractive Torrontés? Among two dozen that I’ve recently tasted, these are my favorites. Xavier Flouret Flaca 2008 ($18) is one of the most elegant Torrontés, with a delicate floral nose that hints of apricot and peach; a dry, Powered by round, well-structured body; a fruit-filled taste and vibrant acidity; and a long, delicious finish. Its Muscat ancestor comes to the fore in Lo Tengo 2009’s ($11.50) vivid, flowery aroma. It goes on to be a clearly focused, intensely flavored, bright and satisfying wine. There is a suggestion of sweet mint and an evocation of orange and peach in Finca La Linda 2009’s ($11) aroma, followed by a relatively full body and excellent balance. Altogether a pleasing, inviting wine. Finca El Origen Reserva 2009 ($12) is clean, crisp and refreshing, offering a typical Torrontés floral flavor with pear and peach overtones and a gentle reminder of citrus fruits in the mouth. A particularly harmonious wine. The delightful Pascual Toso 2009 ($15) combines keen fruit flavors, herbal notes and a fresh lemony acidity with a trace of honey and floral tones. Following its aroma of fresh flowers and ripe fruit, Colomé 2009 ($15) is a graceful wine with citric notes reminiscent of grapefruit. The pale-shaded Dominio del Plata’s Crios 2009 ($13.50) has a lilac-scented aroma with peach overtones followed by a dry, tangy taste. 

To Your Taste: Svedka Vodka, Rosé and Strawberry Guava. Try a Tropical Cooler with 2 parts Svedka Strawberry Guava, 2 parts soda and garnish with fresh sliced strawberries. PHOTOS: © SVEDKA VODKA, © MAKIDOTVN - DREAMSTIME.COM

ICELAND

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ranges $15–20. How best to enjoy Svedka? By itself and in as many additions and variations as your imagination allows. To understand it in its natural state, begin with a small taste of Svedka straight. Chill a bottle in the freezer for a couple of hours or more. (It won’t freeze; it has too much alcohol to do that.) Pour a small amount in a chilled glass. Sip, slowly — very slowly — savoring each taste. The purpose is not to get drunk but to consider its flavors and enjoy every drop. For mixing, the possibilities are virtually endless. Pour equal parts of a flavored Svedka and water or soda in a chilled glass and mix well. Garnish with citrus peels. Or combine 1 ounce each of Svedka vodka and rosé Svedka; 2 ounces grapefruit juice; and ½ ounce each of vanilla syrup, lemon juice and hibiscus tea. Shake and strain into a Collins glass filled with ice. Perhaps, best of all, create your own Svedka original. Skål!

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CRUISING

Be Your Best at Sea Health and wellness programs chart a new age in cruising. BY J.D. BROWN AND MARGARET BACKENHEIMER

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Fitness Focus: Oceania Cruises workout PHOTO: © OCEANIA CRUISES

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ruises offer a deluge of opportunities to overindulge, but cruise lines also increasingly cater to passengers who want to disembark in better shape than when they boarded. This means more than expanding gym space or updating exercise equipment. New programs to maintain (or even improve) health and wellness for mind as well as body are multiplying. While buffet-and-booze cruises with Broadway-style shows and hightech amusements are just the ticket for many holiday passengers, others seek more healthful alternatives. The “goop at Sea” cruise epitomizes this trend, as Gwyneth Paltrow brings her own health and wellness brand, goop, to a Barcelona-based Mediterranean voyage. The inaugural cruise — originally scheduled to depart in August but postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic — will sail aboard Celebrity Cruises’ new 2,910-passenger ship, Celebrity Apex. Talks and workshops will center on

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the wellness of mind, body and soul. Goop’s own staff will tailor healthful meals, and passengers can meet with trailblazing healers. Likewise, Crystal Cruises’ massive 71-day sailing aboard Crystal Symphony from Athens to Auckland, departing Oct. 11, 2021, features a “Mind, Body & Spirit” theme. Experts on tai chi, yoga and Pilates will be on hand; the spa will utilize principles of feng shui to achieve stress reduction and rejuvenation; and passengers can employ weighted vests and walking poles for a “Walk-on-Water” on the 360-degree Promenade Deck. Meanwhile, Silversea Cruises also turned its spa and fitness facilities toward holistic and ancient wellness practices by adding programs in acupuncture and fat-burning nutrition. And Lindblad Expeditions now offers a wellness program on all its National Geographic ships with the philosophy that nature is revitalizing and the wilderness is its tonic. Certified Wellness Specialists lead morning stretching and exercise programs, aerobic shore


TO SLEEP, PERCHANCE TO DREAM

walks and individualized spa and massage treatments. Oceania Cruises makes wellness a major focus on its cruises worldwide, both on board and on shore. Its Wellness Discovery Tours feature some 50 shore excursion options, from mineral baths in Rome and reflexology on a rice barge to meditation with a monk and traditional dance therapy. Passengers can also practice beach yoga and tai chi or partake of Chinese traditional medicine remedies. All of Oceania’s ships serve gourmet “Vitality Cuisine” in the Grand Dining Room and raw juices and smoothies at Waves Grill. The cruise line also moved beyond lobster and caviar with plant-based health-and-wellness treats including “cheese burgers,” “ice cream” and “crème brûlée.” Since 2016 Dr. Andrew Weil, a pioneer in integrative medicine combining physical, social, environmental and spiritual well-being, has presided over the wellness and spa programs of Seabourn Cruises. Each of Seabourn’s ships has a Mindful Living Coach certified in yoga and meditation to conduct seminars and classes. The new spa treatments (an Earth Grounding Massage and a Restorative Salt Stone Massage) flow from a similar mind-body perspective. Seabourn’s two annual “Voyages to Wellness” cruises, one in Arabia, the other in the South Pacific, are often led by Dr. Weil himself. The cruises offer daily morning meditations, yoga exercises and stretch and Pilates classes, as well as seminars on managing stress, anxiety and chronic pain; heart health; diet and nutrition; hypnosis; aging; vitality; laughter; and sleep. Nearly every major cruise line now offers its own menu of wellness programs, including New Age spa treatments, alternative health workshops, mind-body exercise sessions, plant-based dining options and special shore excursions. The newest luxury at sea, it seems, is selfimprovement rather than self-indulgence.

Experts concur a good night’s sleep is key to health and wellness, especially on a cruise where the setting is new, the pace of life is unpredictable and the bed is unfamiliar, perhaps even uncomfortable. To ensure sufficient shut-eye at sea, Regent Seven Seas Cruises goes the extra league. Exclusively for guests of the Regal Suite on the Seven Seas Splendor, the new “Restorative Sleep Ritual” should eliminate the need to count sheep (or dolphins). This wellness program begins with the Serene Spa & Wellness “Around the World Massage,” fusing a Swedish rubdown with treatments employing bamboo stalks, heated volcanic rocks, coconut poultices, Moroccan argan oils and mind-soothing scents from India and Egypt. The centerpiece of the ritual is a milk bath. Described as “transcendent” and “nourishing,” the milk bath is steeped in vitamins, amino acids and herbs designed to soften and rejuvenate the skin. All that remains is a bed every bit as comforting as the spa treatment and milk bath, and Regent Seven Seas’ answer is a $200,000 Vividus bed, handcrafted in Sweden by certified bed artisans over a nine-week period, its many luxuriant layers handstitched together to create a zero-gravity, floating platform completely detached from all earthly cares. With its “Restorative Sleep Ritual,” Regent Seven Seas believes it can deliver the “most natural, deeply relaxing sleep in the world.” Or, at least, at sea.

Self-Improvement: Crystal Cruises yoga (top), and Oceania Cruises hot stone treatment (bottom) PHOTOS: © CRYSTAL CRUISES, © OCEANIA CRUISES

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FEATURE

Working Well Businesses design healthier and more mindful environments for employees. BY SUSAN B. BARNES

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reating a wellness environment in the workplace is a terrific idea, and many companies acknowledge the benefits of providing health and wellness programs to employees. However, the concept is anything but new. More than a century ago, Johnson & Johnson offered its New Jersey-based employees access to an on-site health center and a fitness

Stillness: Office meditation PHOTO: Š NYUL DREAMSTIME.COM

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center with a swimming pool and basketball court. In the 1970s, the company followed with the launch of Live for Life, an on-site wellness program with “access to behavior modification tools and education on topics like nutrition, stress management and more.” Fast-forward to today, and wellness in the workplace provides its own business model. Last year the International WELL Building Institute, whose mission is to “lead the global movement to transform our buildings and communities in ways that help people thrive,” held its inaugural Workplace Wellness Leadership Summit, and the findings proved enlightening. Key takeaways from the summit included these elements: Environments play a pivotal role in shaping how we live and work; leadership must be involved in creating, supporting and maintaining a culture of health; and health and wellness programs cannot be developed with a one-size-fits-all mentality. “Organizations are investing deeply in a culture of health and well-being, and not simply from an altruistic perspective but with the understanding that the health of a business is linked to the health and well-being of the people who work there,” said Rachel Gutter, IWBI president. As companies grapple with work safety issues during a global pandemic, seeking ways to conduct business without exposing employees to the coronavirus, the IWBI developed the WELL Health-Safety Rating for Facility Operations and Management. This evidence-based, thirdparty verified rating for all facility types focuses on operational policies, maintenance protocols, emergency plans and stakeholder education to address a post-COVID-19 environment now and broader health- and safety-related issues in the future. In Cleveland, Michelle Venorsky founded Hello, a 10-person marketing agency, because she “craved a culture that worked on a human level and allowed me to thrive at my career but also be a mom. I couldn’t find it, so I created it myself.” Though she admits she will never be able to compete with the bigger agencies in regards to “super high” salaries, Venorsky found other ways to compensate her team. “I can’t compete with salaries, but I can [compete] in regards to mental health, wellness and treating people as if they come first, not the client,” she said. “And that’s what wellness means to me. Everyone’s well-being. Because if our team is taken care of, then the work will be that much better — and it is! Our client work is so much better because people aren’t stressed or feel forced into [a] box. They are given the freedom to excel at all aspects of their life.” Wellness programs offered through Hello include 100 percent coverage of Class Pass “so everyone can work out when and where they want,” even during the workday; and a masseuse is regularly brought into the office. As far as work-life balance, Flex Fridays mean no one comes into the office on Fridays, everyone is encouraged to take time off through Hello’s unlimited paid time off and there are no set office hours.

Creative Space: Britt Design Group-designed outdoor office space (top), library (middle) and workroom (bottom) PHOTOS: © MATT BATISTA

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“You’re hired and we trust you,” Venorsky explained. “Go be at your kids’ school, come in late, take a mental day, run and get your nails done ... we don’t care.” She added that in seven years, no one has abused these programs. Once a month, someone plans a surprise outing for the Hello team to take a break together — a Joy Ride. This year the agency collectively decided to turn their Joy Rides into goodwill, and now each ride focuses on giving back and donating time to organizations. “Because helping out is good for the soul and others,” Venorsky said. Antoinette Marie Johnson, founder and CEO, Cohere, a Philadelphia-based creative agency, fashioned an innovative workplace that not only features creative workspaces but also incorporates wellness. In addition to its weekly Lunch & Learn series for the team to participate in hands-on workshops, from composting to the chemistry of kombucha to making a natural facial scrub, Cohere offers daily meditation sessions and promotes initiatives to develop practices to better

Time Out: The Wellness Project NYC meditation (top) and planting party event (bottom) PHOTOS: © LAUREN LUCILE CREATIVE

themselves and the communities they impact. “Cohere’s belief is the more familiar our team is with creative and sustainable practices, the better we are equipped to bring these to our clients and generate impact in Philadelphia and beyond,” said Johnson. “It’s mindfulness, wellness and fostering creativity through programs that enliven our philosophies and show care for our employees.” As a company that provides at-home laboratory tests for food sensitivity, cholesterol and more, it comes as no surprise Austin-based Everlywell takes pride in its workplace wellness initiatives and even built its offices with those initiatives in mind. An in-house yoga studio is in its final stages of completion, and the gym stays open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, complete with Peloton bikes. The company offers Headspace memberships for all employees; and bottomless fresh berries, Greek yogurt, hummus and guacamole are delivered several times a week, as are supplies of organic, gluten-free and Paleo-friendly snacks. Fresh flavors of “spa water” are brewed daily, an on-site barista makes her own

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chemical-free syrups, seven types of nondairy milk are available and local kombucha is on tap. For organizations looking to enhance their on-site wellness programs for their employees, a number of companies specialize in doing just that, like The Wellness Project NYC, boasting the tagline “Healthier humans. Better business.” Rachel Brown and Sarah Jacobs founded TWP, the industry’s first creative corporate wellness consultancy, in 2012 to “provide fun and educational programming.” The team, whose clients include Aetna, American Express and Viacom, has a proven track record of not only facilitating healthy change but also contributing to an overall improved corporate culture. “TWP is very different from other similar wellness providers in that we’re co-founded and run by two holistic nutritional counselors with backgrounds in both the corporate world and entertainment — that really informs all of our programming,” said Brown and Jacobs. “Our programming makes holistic health accessible and approachable, and we really make health and wellness fun.” Another aspect of wellness in the workplace is the actual design of the space, from the building itself to office settings.

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Laura Britt, founder of Britt Design Group, provides insight. Her clients include the University of Texas Longhorn Wellness Center, the Air Force Academy and her own company. The firm moved into its new 3,300-squarefoot office space late last year, specifically designed with health and wellness in mind and in accordance with the WELL Building Standard set forth by IWBI. WELL is the premier standard for buildings, interior spaces and communities seeking to implement, validate and measure features that support and advance human health and wellness. When it comes to designing spaces, Britt and her team work a lot with biomimicry or “the design and production of materials, structures, and systems that are modeled on biological entities and processes.” Essentially, they take inspiration from nature. “Being connected with nature makes us feel good,” Britt said. “That’s why we like to go to the mountains, we like to go to the beach, we like to hear water, to hear waterfalls. It impacts us in a positive way.” When designing, the team tries to incorporate that connection to nature, to touch upon all the senses, especially sight and sound, including using natural light. “We’re bringing in natural light and connecting to

the outside,” she explained. “Anytime we can do that for office design, we certainly encourage it.” Other tips Britt shares with her clients: Incorporate small movements into their workdays, from installing sit-to-stand desks — giving employees options about how they work — to having employees walk to one centralized trash location rather than placing trashcans at everyone’s desk. “Have them get up, think about what they’re throwing away and actually move to do so,” encouraged Britt. “We try and incorporate these little movements into our days. The trash can is a funny example, but it works.” Britt was scheduled to speak at IWBI’s The WELL Conference in Scottsdale in August; however, the conference team canceled the event due to the pandemic and is considering options for future events, including a virtual event and dates for 2021. “I think it’s really important to pay attention to the design space, as well as to the health and wellness of employees,” explained Britt. “It’s the responsible thing to do, and it certainly impacts the bottom line. When we can reduce sick days, people being out of the office and disruption to workflow, and just help people feel better, it’s a positive impact in every regard.”

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Arrivals and Departures Despite alliance changes and economic challenges, LATAM forges a positive future. BY ERICH MARTIN

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Top Flight: LATAM aircraft (top), LATAM wine service (left), and premium economy (right) PHOTOS: © LATAM

ast year, LATAM shocked the airline and travel industries when it announced its plans to withdraw from the oneworld airline alliance. As of May 1, LATAM Airlines Group officially left the alliance while keeping an eye on the future. LATAM notified alliance leadership of its plans last September and immediately announced the foundations of a strategic partnership with Delta Air Lines. The partnership includes a fair amount of monetary investment from Delta’s side and threatens to create a massive alliance aligning two of the strongest airlines in the Americas. The partnership includes a $1.9 billion investment from Delta, representing a 20 percent stake in LATAM. Other investments in the airline from Delta include $350 million for the establishment of the partnership and the purchase of some of LATAM’s Airbus A350 aircraft. Delta is also represented on the LATAM board of directors. Despite its departure from oneworld, LATAM maintains its strong relationships with many of the participating airlines. Bilateral agreements with British Airways, Finnair, Japan Airlines, Qatar Airways and others remain in place. Passengers can still book flights for these partners on LATAM’s website, earn and redeem frequent-flyer miles across carriers, have reciprocal lounge access and more. The airline is terminating its partnership agreement with American Airlines.

“Our priority has been to provide a seamless transition for customers as we work toward offering the leading connectivity in the Americas,” a LATAM spokesperson said in a statement. As it leaves oneworld, LATAM affirms it has no current plans to join any other alliance. “LATAM is committed to offering leading connectivity between Latin America and the world as well as provide the best travel experience to continue being the first choice for customers traveling to, from and within the region.” To complicate matters, however, in May the COVID-19 pandemic forced LATAM to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy, causing some speculation as to Delta’s stake in the airline group. For its part, Delta expressed no regret about the deal. “We remain firmly committed to our partnership with LATAM and believe that it will successfully emerge a stronger airline and Delta partner for the long term,” said Ed Bastian, CEO, Delta Air Lines. In July the U.S. Department of Transportation approved plans by Delta and LATAM to codeshare on U.S.–Chile routes while the two carriers formally requested antitrust immunity for their long-awaited joint venture. According to the two carriers, when demand conditions return to pre-pandemic levels, the incentives of the joint venture would enable them to offer “seamless metalneutral service in over 7,000 city-pairs, including new or expanded service on at least 18 nonstop routes.” Leading up to its departure from

oneworld, LATAM made changes and adjustments for the future. In New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, LATAM transferred operations from Terminal 8 to Terminal 4. As Delta serves more than 90 destinations from Terminal 4, the move facilitates more seamless service for passengers catching a Delta connection off a LATAM flight. The move went into effect Feb. 1 and coincides with the two airlines’ continued efforts to implement additional bilateral lounge access and mutual frequent-flyer benefits.

‘WE REMAIN FIRMLY COMMITTED TO OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH LATAM AND BELIEVE THAT IT WILL SUCCESSFULLY EMERGE A STRONGER AIRLINE AND DELTA PARTNER FOR THE LONG TERM.’ — ED BASTIAN, CEO, DELTA AIR LINES.

While planning for continued service post-alliance withdrawal, LATAM continued to improve its in-air product. In January it announced a new premiumeconomy cabin for international flights and flights in Latin America on its Airbus A320 family fleet. Premium economy is available on short- and midhaul flights, while the airline’s Premium Business Class remains available on long-

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Customer Care: LATAM VIP Lounge beds (top), and reception PHOTOS: © LATAM

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haul flights. Upon implementation, LATAM will be the only airline to offer premium-economy service across its entire portfolio of destinations. On short flights, LATAM passengers can purchase standard economy or premium economy. In addition to distinct cabin options, economy

it is offered and on certain international flights. In-flight amenities are even better and include a guaranteed seat in the first three rows of the aircraft, a blocked middle seat for increased privacy, an exclusive overhead bin for luggage and differentiated onboard service including

customers can also choose certain LATAM+ seats. Lacking the amenities of premium economy, these options offer more space and reserved overhead bins. At the airport, premium-economy passengers enjoy priority check-in, increased baggage allowances, priority boarding, priority baggage claim and VIP lounge access in airports where

complimentary snacks and drinks. While the premium-economy product became available on all flights in March, last year LATAM rolled out an updated and improved Premium Business Class across its fleet. Passengers enjoy direct aisle access, 180-degree reclining seats, ample storage space and more. The rollout preceded a new wellness-inspired experience. The cabins include mindful dining concepts to promote rest including lighter dinners and fuller, more nutritious breakfasts on overnight flights. New service protocols ensure fewer interruptions, while premium bedclothes and mattresses ensure a comfortable flight. According to LATAM officials, the Premium Business Class has been well-received by customers as it rolled out across the entire network. As LATAM works to better its in-flight product, it also works to expand its network to provide customers with an ever-expanding portfolio of potential destinations. LATAM launched 27 new routes in 2019 and this year announced a new non-stop service

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between Santiago (SCL) and Frankfurt (FRA), scheduled to start June 30. Due to the pandemic, the carrier delayed the launch of that flight to the first quarter of 2021. The service will strengthen the relationship of the two countries while significantly reducing the time it takes to travel between them. The planned itinerary will offer 10 weekly flights. LATAM’s efforts to expand its network and give passengers more options have not gone unnoticed, for the second year earning the airline “Best Cabin Service” and “Best Flight Entertainment Service” in Latin America in the Airline Passenger Experience Association’s 2020 Regional Passenger Choice Awards. “These awards are a direct acknowledgement of the passengers to the crews that serve the millions of passengers a year. … And they confirm that we are well-focused on improving the experience of our passengers,” said Juan Ordoñez, vice president, On Board Service, LATAM Airlines Group. “Today we can say that there is no other airline in the region that offers as many cabin options as LATAM.” Last year the group was also recognized as the most punctual global airline according to the annual “On-Time Performance Review” from Cirium, the expert consultancy firm that analyzes travel data. The report uses information from more than 100,000 daily flights, airports and airlines. In 2019 LATAM was on time or ahead of schedule 86.7 percent of the time. “This achievement is the result of systematic work to consistently better our processes and ensure that punctuality is a top priority across the entire company,” said Hernán Pasman, chief operating officer, LATAM Airlines Group. LATAM pushes the envelope for passengers, but the effort to serve a wider audience doesn’t end there. In February LATAM announced the introduction of two new cargo routes for goods originating in the United States and destined for Latin America. The new routes — Miami (MIA)–Panama (PTY)–Bogotá (BOG) and Miami–Cali (CLO) — increase cargo capacity for general cargo, electronics, pharmaceuticals and dangerous goods. The introduction of the routes further solidifies Panama and Colombia as importing countries. As a cargo leader in Latin America, LATAM operates one of the biggest and most modern warehouse facilities at the Miami airport. Throughout 2019 the airline transported 903,000 tons. Latin America’s most robust airline may have left its alliance, but it did so with the support of Delta Air Lines and other major carriers. It is far from isolated as it faces a new future.


2020 GT Tested Reader Survey Awards Ballot Please write in your personal favorites, based on your own experience, on the line next to each of the following categories.

HOTEL BEST AIRLINE BEST

Overall Best Airline in the World_____________________________________________________ Airline Alliance________________________________________________________________________ Aircraft Type _________________________________________________________________________ Airline Website _______________________________________________________________________ Fastest-Growing Airline – Trans-Pacific______________________________________________ Best Corporate Program for Business Travelers__________________________________ Best Airline for . . . Business Class___________________________________________________________________ International First Class_________________________________________________________ Domestic First Class_____________________________________________________________ Onboard Service ________________________________________________________________ Lounges _________________________________________________________________________ Flight Attendants________________________________________________________________ Flight Attendant Uniforms ______________________________________________________ Airline Cuisine___________________________________________________________________ Security__________________________________________________________________________ First-Class Seat Design_______________________________________________________________ Business-Class Seat Design _________________________________________________________ Best New Airline Service Launch_____________________________________________________ Best Airline Cabin Cleanliness _______________________________________________________ Best Frequent-Flyer Programs Overall Best Frequent-Flyer Program___________________________________________ Elite-Level Program______________________________________________________________ Bonus Promotion_______________________________________________________________ Award Redemption______________________________________________________________ Customer Service _______________________________________________________________

BEST AIRLINE BY LOCATION Best Airline in . . . Africa_____________________________________________________________________________ Australia and New Zealand______________________________________________________ Central/South Asia and India __________________________________________________ China____________________________________________________________________________ Eastern Europe__________________________________________________________________ Europe___________________________________________________________________________ Mexico___________________________________________________________________________ The Middle East _________________________________________________________________ North America___________________________________________________________________ North Asia (excluding China)____________________________________________________ The South Pacific________________________________________________________________ To South America and Central America_____________________________________________ To Japan______________________________________________________________________________ Trans-Atlantic Airline_________________________________________________________________ Trans-Pacific Airline__________________________________________________________________

AIRPORT BEST Overall Best Airport in the World____________________________________________________ Overall Best Duty-Free Shop in the World___________________________________________ Airport Staff/Gate Agents____________________________________________________________ Airport Dining________________________________________________________________________ Airport Shopping ____________________________________________________________________ Fastest-Growing U.S. Airport_________________________________________________________ Duty-Free Shops in . . . Asia______________________________________________________________________________ Africa_____________________________________________________________________________ Europe___________________________________________________________________________ The Middle East_________________________________________________________________ Best Airport in . . . Asia______________________________________________________________________________ Africa_____________________________________________________________________________ Europe___________________________________________________________________________ The Middle East_________________________________________________________________ North America___________________________________________________________________ South America___________________________________________________________________

Best Individual Hotel in the World ________________________________________________ International Hotel Chain__________________________________________________________ Domestic Hotel Chain______________________________________________________________ Lifestyle Hotel______________________________________________________________________ MICE Hotel _________________________________________________________________________ (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, Exhibitions) Hotel Website______________________________________________________________________ Best Frequent-Stay Programs Best Hotel Rewards Program in the World___________________________________ Elite-Level Program____________________________________________________________ Bonus Promotion_____________________________________________________________ Award Redemption____________________________________________________________ Customer Service_____________________________________________________________

HOTEL BEST BY LOCATION Best Hotel in . . . Asia____________________________________________________________________________ Europe_________________________________________________________________________ South Korea___________________________________________________________________ The Middle East_______________________________________________________________ The United States _____________________________________________________________ Best Hotel Chain in . . . Asia____________________________________________________________________________ Europe_________________________________________________________________________ Latin America__________________________________________________________________ Mexico_________________________________________________________________________ The Middle East_______________________________________________________________

OTHER BEST Overseas Delivery Program _______________________________________________________ Rental Car Company_______________________________________________________________ Tourism Destination_______________________________________________________________ MICE City ___________________________________________________________________________ (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, Exhibitions) WiFi Service_________________________________________________________________________ Luggage Brand_____________________________________________________________________ Hotel App___________________________________________________________________________ Airline App__________________________________________________________________________ Best Small- to Mid-Sized Business Program ______________________________________ Credit Cards Best Overall Credit Card___________________________________________________________ Best Small-Business Credit Card __________________________________________________ Best Credit Card Special Events ___________________________________________________ Credit Card Rewards Program_____________________________________________________ Frequent-Stay Affinity Credit Card ________________________________________________ Promotions____________________________________________________________________ Benefits________________________________________________________________________ Redemptions__________________________________________________________________ Frequent-Flyer Affinity Credit Card_________________________________________________ Promotions____________________________________________________________________ Benefits________________________________________________________________________ Redemptions__________________________________________________________________ Best Cruise Line Affinity Credit Card_______________________________________________

PLEASE MAIL THE COMPLETED SURVEY TO: Kevin Ryan, Citrin Cooperman & Company, LLP, 1800 JFK Blvd., 20th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19103 | Or FAX to 215 545 4810 Or vote online at globaltravelerusa.com/gt-tested-awards-ballot Name Street Address City Home Phone

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TAHITI Sea God: Neptune’s statue and fountain PHOTO: © JERZYC DREAMSTIME.COM

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DESTINATION ONE | DUBAI

Future Forward A visionary approach influences the shape of things to come in Dubai. BY SHERYL NANCE-NASH

Cityscape: The promenade of Dubai Marina (left), and Burj Al Arab luxury hotel with the marina in the background (right) PHOTOS: © EVGENIY FESENKO DREAMSTIME.COM, © SALETOMIC - DREAMSTIME.COM

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hen it comes to transformation, Dubai is a master. It’s hard to imagine this cosmopolitan city, the fourth-most visited in the world, once tied its livelihood to fishing, trading and pearl diving. The discovery of oil in 1966 marked the beginning of a new era. But even with that good fortune, Dubai was not content to be a one-trick pony and in the 1970s started diversifying its economy. Today oil represents less than 1 percent of its gross domestic product, whereas at one time it embodied more than 50 percent.

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Dubai thrives on reinvention and innovation. The bulk of its varied economy relies on a mix of trade, logistics, financial services, hospitality and tourism, construction, real estate and manufacturing. In 2004 the Dubai International Finance Centre became part of the landscape, establishing the city as a go-to place for service industries like IT and finance. Dubai boasts an Internet City — home to the likes of Microsoft, Dell, Oracle and IBM, among others — as well as Media City, with the BBC, CNN, Reuters and other news operations. Dubai remains one of the world’s leading aviation and automotive export hubs. (You’ve never seen so many Ferrari, Maserati, Bentley and exotic car dealerships in one place.) Its port, Jebel Ali, is the ninth-busiest in the world and the heart of export trade in the Middle East. It’s not surprising Dubai is the second-wealthiest


LODGING

DINING

Avani Ibn Battuta Hotel Next to Ibn Battuta Mall and convenient to Dubai Marina, Mall of the Emirates and JBR Beach, the chic new 4-star hotel offers 24/7 dining. Liquid Pool Bar serves tapas, drinks and shisha.

Camel Station Feast on Emirati street-style food. In addition to burgers and creative pizzas, try the specialty Baby Camel Salad with mixed leaves, watermelon and camel meat topped with sesame seeds and homemade plum dressing.

Sheikh Zayed Road, Ibn Battuta Mall $$

The Dubai Mall, Financial Center Road $$

Burj Al Arab Jumeirah The eye-catching, sail-shaped building on an island features over-the-top suites, nine restaurants, four pools, a private beach and a luxurious spa and lies close to Wild Wadi Waterpark, Dubai Hills Golf Club, Ski Dubai and Mall of the Emirates.

Meshico Mexican cuisine presents a contemporary twist with savory chilies, sauces, spices and herbs. The restaurant’s two floors feature vibrant décor reminiscent of the ancient Aztecs with glass piñata chandeliers and 300 hanging hummingbird alebrijes (Mexican folk-art sculptures).

Jumeirah Street $$$$$

emirate, behind Abu Dhabi. The powers that be in Dubai grasped the concept of “If you build it, they will come,” a paraphrase of the much-quoted line in the movie Field of Dreams. While the city’s first highrise, the World Trade Centre, appeared in 1979, the building boom didn’t explode until the 1990s. The city longed to become a top tourist destination, but back then it didn’t offer much in the way of hotels. The answer was the Burj Project (Burj Al Arab hotel). That kickstarted the building of fantastic hotels and skyscrapers that are now the city’s hallmark. Dubai built, and people came, reaching an all-time high of 16.73 million international overnight visitors in 2019. That number may increase exponentially when Dubai hosts Expo 2020 next year. Originally scheduled to open this October, the six-month, multibillion-dollar global innovation fair was postponed until Oct. 1, 2021, due to the coronavirus pandemic. This will be the largest event ever held in the Arab world, with some 25 million visitors expected. According to the Bureau International des Expositions, “Expo 2020 Dubai is gearing up to help shape a post-pandemic world and create a better future for all,” focusing on “a collective desire for new thinking to identify solutions to some of the greatest challenges of our time.” The benefits of the Expo will linger long after the final day of events. District 2020 will

The Oberoi, Dubai Rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows offer views of Burj Khalifa, the cityscape or pool. Enjoy all-day fine dining with Arabic, Asian and Western cuisine. Indulge in spa aromatherapy and Eastern, Western and signature Oberoi massages. The late-night lounge has live music. The Oberoi Centre, Business Bay $$$

The Pointe at Palm Jumeirah, Block B $$$$ Thiptara Savor royal Thai cuisine and Bangkok-style seafood at an outdoor waterfront restaurant with views of the Dubai Fountain, Burj Khalifa and water shows. They call it Thiptara (“magic at the water”) for good reason. Palace Downtown, Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashed Blvd. $$$$

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‘EXPO 2020 DUBAI WILL BRING THE WORLD TOGETHER FOR A ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY TO HELP CREATE A BETTER FUTURE FOR ALL.’ — SUMATHI RAMANATHAN, DIRECTOR, DESTINATION MARKETING, EXPO 2020 DUBAI

A Look Ahead: Expo 2020 Thematic District (left), Al Wasl Dome (opposite top left), and Sustainability Pavillion (opposite top right) PHOTOS: © 2020 EXPO 2020 DUBAI LLC –SO

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JUST THE FACTS

emerge at the Expo site, with more than 80 percent of the Expo-built structures retained and repurposed. Expo 2020’s Sustainability Pavilion will become a Children and Science Centre. Many other major structures, including Al Wasl Plaza and the Mobility Pavilion, will remain as permanent fixtures. The ecosystem will comprise commercial and residential space; parks and gardens incorporating water elements; world-class social and cultural platforms; education facilities; and diverse hospitality, retail and food and beverage offerings. It will also become a focal point for the region’s meetings and events industry as the home of Dubai Exhibition Centre, furthering the U.A.E.’s reputation as a destination for major conferences and driving business growth. The goal is to create a meaningful legacy that will benefit generations to come.

CHECKING IN WITH SUMATHI RAMANATHAN Director, destination marketing, Expo 2020 Dubai How was Dubai chosen for Expo 2020? The host city for each World Expo is chosen by the member states of the governing body, the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE). In November 2013 Dubai won a record number of votes to be granted the right to host the 2020 World Expo. We competed against Turkey’s İzmir, Brazil’s São Paolo and Russia’s Yekaterinburg. What will Dubai do differently from other World Expos? Expo 2020 Dubai will bring the world

together for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help create a better future for all. Highlights include 60-plus live shows daily; a record 192 participating countries showcasing the world’s best architecture, culture, design, heritage, music and innovation; and 200-plus food and beverage outlets offering more than 50 cuisines. Each country will have its own pavilion — for the first time in World Expo history — providing a platform for nations to showcase the best of their achievements, culture and aspirations as well as host their own events and networking opportunities. Country Pavilions will be in one of three Thematic Districts — Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability — which will facilitate greater connection and collaboration between countries facing similar challenges. Youth will play a central role in

Expo 2020 from the Expo School Program, through which 1 million school students are expected to participate. Youth have designed some of the Country Pavilions, and a high proportion of young people will work at Expo 2020, including in managerial roles. What return on investment do you expect? Expo 2020’s budgeted capital expenditure is AED 25 billion ($6.8 billion). A global report published by global consultancy EY revealed Expo is expected to contribute AED 122.6 billion ($33.4 billion) to the U.A.E. economy through 2031. This economic activity is expected to support approximately 905,200 jobs in the U.A.E. across this period. The economic impact will benefit a wide range of sectors including transportation, retail, food and beverage, hospitality, construction and business services.

Time zone: GMT +4 Phone code: Country code: 971 City code: 04 Currency: Arab Emirate dirham Key industries: Trade, logistics, financial services, hospitality and tourism, construction, real estate and manufacturing

COMING AND GOING U.S. citizens can visit visa-free but must have a passport valid for at least six months beyond the date of entry plus a return ticket or other proof they will be leaving the U.A.E. within 30 days. The U.A.E. now welcomes U.S. travelers with safety measures such as temperature checks, mandatory masks and COVID-19 testing in place.

OFFICIAL LANGUAGE Arabic

INFO TO GO Fly into Dubai International Airport or Al Maktoum International (Dubai World Central). Before some flights were suspended during the pandemic, Dubai served more than 7,000 weekly flights operated by 125 airlines from 260 destinations on every continent (except Antarctica). Once you arrive, getting to your hotel is easy via taxi or apps like Uber or Careem; the cheapest option is to hop on the Metro. You can ride all day for about $6.

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DIVERSIONS Simply put, there is no place on the planet quite like Dubai. On the one hand, Dubai is a mega-city, high-tech, modern and off the charts with wow factor. Yet there is Old Dubai, rich in Emirati culture. Visit the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding. Settle in for lunch and sample traditional dishes like chicken biryani, veal machboos, salad, white rice, vegetable and chicken saloona, and lugaimat (a crunchy, sweet dumpling) for dessert. You’ll get a bit of history and a wide-ranging discussion about the culture and customs. Individuals representing more than 200 nationalities call this intriguing city home. While in Old Dubai pop into the Dubai Museum; it’s a great way to glimpse Dubai’s past. Do make your way through the souks to marvel at the gold, spices, textiles and everything in between. Quite frankly, there’s so much to do and see, you’ll need to prioritize. For family fun, take your pick of aquariums, waterparks and theme parks, like IMG Worlds of Adventure or Motiongate Dubai (reopening Sept. 23). If you’re a shopper, you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven. But even if you aren’t, the malls of Dubai are something to see, as they’re not only stuffed with designer shops but also cafés, restaurants, movie theaters, ice skating rinks and more. You probably won’t have time for all the museums. For history go to Dubai Museum, Etihad Museum and the Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House. The Coffee Museum and the Hatta Heritage Village living history museum also prove popular. But to get a glimpse of the emerging arts and culture scene, spend time on Alserkal Avenue for interesting art galleries, yoga studios and hip food spots. If you like adventure, you’ll want to experience the Heritage Desert Safari in a 1950s Land Rover. Play “I spy” Arabian oryx in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve. The Ghaf tree forest in the dunes gives new meaning to the perfect

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Instagram moment. Check out the falcon show. Hang out at a Bedouin camp. Enjoy demonstrations of Arabic coffee and breadmaking, henna painting, camel rides and traditional performances . If you prefer your adventure on water, there’s Kite Beach — kitesurf, wakeboard or stand-up paddle board. Another iconic Dubai experience is the La Perle by Dragone show. You know they play hard or go home in Dubai: Expect stunts and special effects you’ve never seen before. No trip to Dubai is complete without a visit to Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building at 2,717 feet. At the base you’ll find the much-photographed Dubai Fountain, the world’s largest choreographed fountain system. When you’ve tuckered yourself out, pamper yourself at a spa. The city is legendary for its hammams that incorporate ancient healing techniques with locally sourced natural ingredients. Follow that up with a decadent meal. Gastronomy, like much else in Dubai, is over the top, be it celebrity-backed restaurants like Chef Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen & Bar or Ossiano at Atlantis Dubai, an underwater bar and restaurant where you can enjoy live music.

Iconic Sights: Dubai Fountain (top), and Arabian oryx in the Desert Conservation Reserve PHOTOS: © HEL080808 - DREAMSTIME.COM, © ALEXEY STIOP DREAMSTIME.COM


STATESIDE | SEDONA

Where Spirits Soar Reconnect with yourself and nature in serene Sedona. BY SHERYL NANCE-NASH

S Time to Reflect: Practicing yoga at Cathedral Rock PHOTO: © TWILDLIFE DREAMSTIME.COM

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edona is all about mind, body and soul. People come to this Arizona haven seeking solace, healing and adventure. No doubt, no one goes home disappointed. The moment your eyes set on the massive red rocks, the awe puts you on the path to transformation. Nothing is ordinary in Sedona, which lies two hours north of Phoenix and 30 miles south of the Flagstaff peaks. At Red Rock State Park you can take a guided hike with SPEX Sedona Philosophy Experience. Start your walk with meditation by a gurgling creek and let the adventure begin — and, possibly, the tears flow.

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You think you’re merely going to make your way to the top of a peak, but it’s much more than that as you tell your life story and learn from the wisdom of great minds like Socrates, Descartes and Aristotle shared by your guide. Suddenly things make sense. Keep the flow going with a visit to one of the 15 spas. A Spa for You Sedona Day Spa and Sedona’s New Day Spa prove two of the best. Don’t expect what you’ve experienced elsewhere. At Sedona’s New Day Spa, treatments include Native Wisdom Spa Rituals like Wheel of Life Gem Stones Reading, Sweat Lodge and Vision Quest. The Desert Nature Body Treatments

feature Turquoise Sage Mountain Arnica and the Cedarwood Citrus Wild Chapparal. Not only can you feed your soul in Sedona, but the cuisine is impressive, too. You’ll discover places like Mariposa Latin Inspired Grill, Cress on Oak Creek and Elote Café showing off the area’s finest gastronomy. But then there’s the quirky, comfortable, make-you-feel-good ChocolaTree Organic Oasis restaurant with its gluten-free, vegetarian, no-processed-sugar, ultra-healthy, tasty, creative food. Its marketplace offers food, supplements, essential oils, local artists’ crafts and jewelry, books and more. What makes it really special is the backyard


and a patio area with tables and chairs for dining and gardens which provide some of the food used in the restaurant. There are a couple of hammocks and aerial space (think Cirque du Soleil) where people can “play at their own risk.” The restaurant offers educational programs including meditation, gardening (so people can learn to grow their own food), food as medicine workshops, live food classes, om chanting and more. All that and they make awesome, healthy chocolate. It’s so Sedona. Sweeter still, you can visit wineries and breweries in the area. No trip to Sedona is complete without soaking up the sacred vortex energy said to open your mind and have healing powers. Sedona boasts the distinction of having five vortices. The favorites are at Airport Mesa, Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock and Boynton Canyon. Each is unique; some rev you up, some put you in chill mode. After your encounter, expect to feel different, rejuvenated. Enhance your experience with great talk during your exploration. Take a guided tour with Sedona Soul Adventures. There’s no shortage of places to do yoga in Sedona — even at a vortex — through Aumbase Adventures. Similarly, you can find reiki treatments, meet with psychics and get tarot readings in this town. The sky is so clear you’ll want to take the Sedona Stargazing tour with astronomers. If you prefer therapy of the retail variety, no worries;

you can find an array of art galleries, boutiques and shops to cure what ails you. As for places to serve as your home away from home, they range from uber luxe resorts like L’Auberge de Sedona and villas to creekside cabins, Airbnbs and everything in between. For sure the Sky Ranch Lodge features one of the best Red Rock views, overlooking Sedona 500 feet below. As much as Sedona is about peace of mind, it embraces tourism, which comprises about 70–75 percent of the economy. The goal is continuous improvement. “Three new hotels are likely to open in the next 18–24 months; we’re exploring ways to make the community even more bikeable and walkable and to expand our bike lanes and come up with better parking solutions,” said Molly Spangler, director of economic development, City of Sedona. In the next two years many organizations and the U.S. Forest Service Red Rock Ranger District will work on the Western Gateway trail system project to give hikers, bikers and equestrian riders 27 new miles of trails, according to Kegn Moorcraft, director of communications, Sedona Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Board. What makes Sedona a great place for business or pleasure? Said Moorcroft, “Your spirit will soar and rejoice in the silence of nature when you explore Red Rock Country. Seek off-the-beaten-path sites and reconnect to the Earth, your family, your partner, your children and your friends.”

SCENIC DRIVES While not technically a scenic drive, this tour takes you off the road and into Sedona’s redrock landscape. With Pink Adventure Tours, visitors can wind through Sedona’s scenery in pink Jeep Wranglers, with 17 different tour options available in and around Sedona. Sedona boasts an abundance of gorgeous fall foliage, highlighted against its red-rock backdrop. Take a half-day ride through Oak Creek Canyon along State Route 89A, named one of the most scenic routes in the country. Take 89A north 15 miles from Sedona to the top of Oak Creek Canyon, where a scenic viewpoint will offer vistas of the changing leaves. Continue on I-17 and either visit Flagstaff or return to Sedona. Since you are in Arizona, should your schedule allow, allot a full day to visit the Grand Canyon. Pass along the south rim of the canyon off of SR-64, with a historic lookout tower at Desert View. Drivers can also travel through a Navajo reservation as they head back toward Flagstaff and Sedona.

Earthly Delights: Red-rock cliffs in Oak Creek Canyon (above), and Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte in Sedona (left) PHOTOS: © OLEKSANDR BUZKO - DREAMSTIME.COM, © BEATRICE PREVE - DREAMSTIME.COM

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MICE | MONTRÉAL

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Back to Business Montréal has what it takes for cutting-edge corporate events. BY RON BERNTHAL

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ontréal is often described as one of the most European-looking cities outside Europe. Add in numerous outdoor cafés, a Paris-influenced Metro, safe streets and bilingual population, and it is no wonder planners choose the city more than ever for MICE events. According to Tourisme Montréal, Montréal welcomed 11.1 million tourists in 2019, an increase of 2.2 percent over 2018. Compared with the year prior, cross-border arrivals were up 5.4 percent while the number of overseas tourists climbed 7.3 percent. In 2019 Montréal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport welcomed 20.3 million passengers (inbound and outbound), marking a 4.5 percent increase over 2018. For a third year in a row, Montréal retained its title as the top host city in the Americas for international events, MONTRÉAL HOSTS MORE according to the International THAN 100 FESTIVALS EVERY Meetings Statistics Report for 2019 recently released by the YEAR, FROM WORLD-CLASS Union of International AsCULINARY EVENTS TO LARGE sociations. The city welcomed 129 international events last OUTDOOR GATHERINGS. year, more than destinations like New York, Washington, D.C., Toronto and Buenos Aires. Also in 2019, the International Congress and Convention Association crowned Montréal No. 1 in North America for international meetings for a fourth consecutive year. “Were it not for the COVID-19 global pandemic, our city would have continued hosting international events and attaining new levels in 2020,” said Yves Lalumière, CEO, Tourisme Change of Montréal. “Just like its citizens, Montréal and the members of its Scenery: Le Bateau-Mouche business tourism community have been resilient and proactive with Montréal in the face of the pandemic, so that once we have the green light skyline (top), Le from the national and international authorities, we may conBateau-Mouche dining room tinue building on the momentum the city was experiencing.” (bottom left), and The Palais des Congrès (Montréal Convention Centre) Hyatt Regency banquet hall developed new health measures under a reopening operating (bottom right) guide and introduced new services such as hybrid event turnkey PHOTOS: © BATEAUpackages and a video and podcast studio to help customers MOUCHE OF MONTRÉAL, reach more participants by tapping into digital opportunities. © HYATT REGENCY MONTREAL According to Robert Mercure, CEO, Palais des Congrès, “Once again, the synergy between the various players in the industry, businesspeople, the academic community and our invaluable Ambassadors allowed us to host numerous events, and maintaining this team spirit will matter more [than] ever as we strive to meet the challenges engendered by the pandemic.” Montréal hosts more than 100 festivals every year, from world-class culinary events to large outdoor gatherings. The

bigger events include the Montréal International Jazz Festival; Just for Laughs; and Montréal en Lumière (Festival of Light), encompassing music, theater and dance performances; food and wine events; and light installations including one at the iconic Jacques Cartier Bridge (February–March). Montréal offers many deluxe MICE hotels such as Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth (950 rooms); Le Centre Sheraton (982); Le Westin Montréal (455); Loews Hôtel Vogue (142); The Ritz-Carlton, Montréal (98); and the Hyatt Regency Montreal (595). All offer ample meeting space, fine dining and catering options. Newer additions to the meeting hotels sector include the boutique 90-room Le Mount Stephen in a restored historic building with floor-to-ceiling windows, on-site spa and the British-inspired Bar George. The modern, tech-savvy Hôtel Monville offers 269 guestrooms as well as meeting space on the 20th floor, situated just steps from the Palais des Congrès. The 169-room AC Marriott Montréal Centre-Ville marked Marriott’s first AC Hotel brand in Canada. After a 20-year absence, Four Seasons returned to Montréal in 2019 as an 18-story, 166-room, mixed-use hotel complex that includes retail spaces, a restaurant and bar, a Four Seasons Spa and 18 luxury residences. Two excursion companies offer meeting and dining space on board St. Lawrence River cruise boats. Le Bateau-Mouche launched in 1992 and earned the Tourism Grand Prix from the Office des Congrès et du Tourisme du Grand Montréal in the Tourist Innovation category. With the addition of a 440-squarefoot, open-air deck, the boat’s full length now reaches 110 feet, with a capacity of 190. For MICE groups, Le Bateau-Mouche offers several options, including a 1.5-hour tour that departs from the Jacques-Cartier Pier at the Old Port of Montréal and passes Montréal Olympic Stadium, Montréal Science Centre, Jacques Cartier Bridge and Habitat 67. The 3.5-hour dinner cruise includes fine-dining menu options, a live musical performance and a sound and light experience. Cruises are scheduled to resume May 2021. Another option for St. Lawrence River cruising is the AML Cavalier Maxim. MICE planners can negotiate a complete buy-out or use one or more of the boat’s four decks. The cruise offers guided sightseeing and lunch or dinner cruises. Deck A features a multipurpose panoramic room with a capacity of 250. Deck B has the Maxi Club, with access to an outdoor terrace and a capacity of 160, and the Intimate Atrium, a private lounge with a panoramic view accommodating 60. Deck C, on the upper level, features windows on both sides and a 210-seat terrace. Other popular MICE activities on the St. Lawrence River include jet boating and rafting in summer and learning to play ice hockey or curling in winter.

UNIQUE VENUES Relive more than 500 years of history at Château Ramezay – Historic Site and Museum of Montréal. A former governor’s residence, the colonial manor dates back to the 18th-century French Régime and became a museum in 1895. Its collection of rare artifacts provides a unique view of the history of Montréal and Québec; visitors can also take part in educational and cultural activities. Host a reception for up to 100 people in the French colonial-style Governor’s Garden, or book an indoor meeting room (accommodating 35) or The Château for a group of 100. chateauramezay.qc.ca Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal (Museum of Contemporary Art), also known as the MAC, offers MICE planners a trendy environment on the Place des Arts, where many of Montréal’s international festivals hold gala events. A larger, newly designed MAC will open at the same location in 2021 with an eclectic angular overhang and new spaces for Le Restaurant du MAC opening onto an outdoor terrace. The expanded and transformed venue will greatly enhance the options for group events. macm.org

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9–5 | GDAŃSK

Connect in Gdańsk Impress clients in Poland’s picturesque city by the sea. BY IRENE RAWLINGS

Rise and Shine: Old Town at sunrise PHOTO: © NIGHTMAN1965 DREAMSTIME.COM

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dańsk, a historic city located on Poland’s Baltic coast, is one of the prettiest in the country. Narrow, three-story, Dutch-looking houses line cobblestoned streets in the picturesque Old Town. Every building is painted in subtle and sublime shades of ochre, russet, periwinkle, celadon green and rose gold. During World War II, the city was 90 percent destroyed. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, it was painstakingly rebuilt — brick by brick. In the early 1980s Gdańsk became the birthplace of Solidarity — Solidarność — a pro-democracy movement that started in the Gdańsk Shipyards. Helmed by Lech Wałęsa, who went on to become president of Poland, the nonviolent protests swept the country and led to the demise of the Communist regime in Poland. Gdańsk’s coastal position determined the economy of both the city and the region, dating back to the times of the Hanseatic League (1358–1669), when its

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strategic location made it a wealthy and powerful trading city. Traditional industries in Gdańsk are still associated with the sea, but software startups and petrochemical, pharmaceutical and biotech companies now bring in foreign investors — from nearby Denmark and Sweden and from other EU countries as well as Great Britain, Asia and the United States. Poland is a member of the European Union but still uses the złoty; however, euros, U.S. dollars and U.K. pounds are widely accepted. In 2018 more than 1,000 business events (trade shows, expos and conferences) took place in the city. Although still under the radar as a leisure destination, Gdańsk offers 15 museums; seven theaters (everything from puppets to Shakespeare); dozens of after-hours clubs; wide, sandy beaches; and more than 100 miles of scenic bike paths. Numerous carriers fly to Gdańsk Lech Wałęsa Airport. From JFK and Newark Liberty International airports, Lufthansa, LOT Polish Airlines and KLM offer one-stop 12- to 14-hour flights. From Los Angeles International Airport, the one-stop flights take 13 to 18 hours. Once in Gdańsk, a taxi or Uber gets you to the city center in about 20 minutes. (At press time, Poland’s pandemicrelated border restrictions for U.S. citizens remain unchanged. U.S.


Quaint Beauty: Mariacka Street amber and jewelry shopping (top), view of Old Town and the Motlawa River (middle), and a milk bar (bottom) PHOTOS: © BJÖRKDAHL PER - DREAMSTIME.COM, © MICHAL BEDNAREK - DREAMSTIME.COM, © MISTRALXXX DREAMSTIME.COM

citizens who do not meet one of the existing exemptions are not allowed to enter the country.) When it comes to lodging, you’ll find a variety of options. Nearly 20 upscale, 4and 5-star hotels (including traditional, condo and design-driven boutique hotels) opened in the city since 2017. Most feature sophisticated conference facilities and offer secretarial and translation services, although Gdańsk is a young city and almost everyone speaks English. Stay in or near the Old Town, if possible. This magical part of the city boasts several business-friendly hotels within walking distance of nearly everything. Consider the Radisson Blu (142 tasteful rooms and suites, fast WiFi and underground parking), Hotel Gdańsk Boutique (in a restored 19th-century granary, with 2,153 square feet of meeting space), Puro Gdańsk Stare Miasto (six design-forward conference rooms with state-of-the-art technology and catering by the hotel’s award-winning restaurant), or Deo Gdańsk Old Town (354 guestrooms and nine meeting rooms). Last summer, InterContinental Hotels Group opened a 240-room Holiday Inn on historic Granary Island in Old Town. Catering to business travelers, it offers high-tech meeting rooms for 10 or 100. For old-world elegance with comfortable beds, big marble baths and the latest-generation technology, reserve a room at Hotel Podewils. A restaurant terrace overlooks the Motława River, perfect for alfresco lunch meetings with a million-dollar view. All hotels offer in-room workspaces with all the modern conveniences and over-the-top breakfast buffets. They can arrange crowd-pleasing business lunches with classic Polish dishes reinterpreted by young chefs using fresh and local ingredients. For informal breakfast or lunch meetings, choose Sztuka Wyboru, set in a historic 19th-century building, now a sleek white-gray bookshop and art gallery with glass stairs connecting the two levels. Sit at a table, at the counter or in a sink-into armchair. Have espresso and sweet fritters while admiring eye-catching contemporary art. If you’re having a quick bite between meetings, stop at one of the milk bars (cafeteria-style restaurants that serve high-quality traditional Polish food and beer at low prices). Two excellent options: Stągiewna Bar Mleczny (a cute eatery on the water), or grab a seat outside at Neptun Milky Bar. To impress your clients, take them to Restauracja KOS for grilled Baltic salmon or succulent ribs in a deliciously boozy sauce (infused with Żubrówka vodka). Goldwasser Restaurant — with four intimate rooms, a terrace and a 25-seat banquet room — is one of the oldest restaurants in the city. Locals come here for perfectly grilled, gold flake-topped steaks washed down with the iconic Goldwasser vodka. Kubicki, opened in 1918, was one of the most popular restaurants of the time and still is. The décor pleases with antiques mixed with contemporary pieces and oversized, plush chairs. Order the fish of the day or roast duck with red cabbage. If you can stay a few extra days, jump on a tram to Sopot, a charming seaside town just 15 minutes away. Stay at the Sofitel Grand, a venerable spa hotel with its own private beach, exclusive restaurant and handsome Art Nouveau architecture. Stroll along Bohaterów Monte Cassino (Heroes of Monte Cassino), lined with shops and restaurants and leading, ultimately, to the sea.

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AFTER 5 | NEW ORLEANS

The Good Times Roll New Orleans abounds with after-hours entertainment. BY PATRICIA VANIKIOTIS

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Night Hours: Jester’s Bar and Restaurant on Bourbon Street in the famous French Quarter PHOTO: © LAWRENCE WESLOWSKI JR DREAMSTIME.COM

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he question when considering options for entertainment in New Orleans after the workday wraps up is less “What can I do?” and more “How can I fit it all in?” With the unofficial motto of “Laissez les bon temps rouler” (“Let the good times roll”), The Big Easy offers a wealth of opportunities to dine, imbibe, dance, listen, learn, gamble or just hang out in several different neighborhoods. Most first-time visitors to the Crescent City zero in on its oldest district, the French Quarter. Several tour operators offer lively and informative walking tours of the area. Subject matter ranges from voodoo, vampires and ghosts to food and drinks, history and heritage. With tours averaging two hours, you’ll have plenty of time afterwards to pursue other entertainment. You might begin near the river, strolling Jackson Square to enjoy the street performers — magicians, jugglers, musicians — and local artists’ works before pursuing an iconic cocktail at an establishment that originated it. Pat O’Brien’s features the Hurricane along with dueling grand pianos, or stop in at Hotel Monteleone’s Carousel Bar and channel Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams as you sip a

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Vieux Carre. New Orleans attracts award-winning chefs from around the world while also boasting home-grown cooks who’ve served up traditional regional food for decades. Fuel your evening at such James Beard-recognized establishments as Galatoire’s and Justine, or watch the shuckers at work while chowing down on alligator, shrimp and — of course — oysters at Felix’s Restaurant & Oyster Bar or Acme Oyster House, just off Bourbon Street. Enjoy a terrific rabbit and sausage jambalaya and other Creole and Cajun dishes, served with attitude, at Coop’s Place, or consider learning how to make local favorites yourself. Both the New Orleans School of Cooking and the Mardi Gras School of Cooking offer hands-on dinner classes limited to just 10 participants. Now you’re set to listen to some jazz in the city of its birth, take in a cabaret or burlesque revue, or dance the night away at a dance club (though current COVID precautions may place limitations on some activities). Krazy Korner on Bourbon Street showcases outstanding blues, R&B and zydeco acts, and The Jazz Playhouse in the Royal Sonesta New Orleans hosts jazz greats nightly in an intimate setting. For the best of live music in the widest range of genres, Frenchmen Street (actually in neighboring Faubourg Marigny) can’t be beat, with more than a dozen clubs concentrated there. And LGBTQ+ visitors will find a warm welcome throughout the city, but the French Quarter’s so-called “Lavender Line” (where St. Ann Street crosses Bourbon Street) hosts a number of the most famous gay and gayfriendly bars, including Café Lafitte in Exile, the oldest continuously operating gay bar in the States. Close out your evening (or welcome the dawn) by circling back to the riverside for coffee and beignets at 24/7 Café Du Monde, a revered icon in this lively, lovely city.


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NEIGHBORHOODS | ALENTEJO

A Perfect Blend Pair wine tasting with village life in Alentejo, Portugal.

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Local Charm: Old vineyards with red wine grapes in the Alentejo wine region near Évora (top), and the Medieval Fortress of Monsaraz (bottom) PHOTOS: © AHFOTOBOX DREAMSTIME.COM, © KARTOUCHKEN DREAMSTIME.COM

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BY TIM LEFFEL

n the daytime, Alentejo’s visitors tour a verdant countryside dotted with vineyards, cork trees and churches that look like they jumped out of a fairy tale. At night, many travelers sleep in a castle, in one of the Pousadas de Portugal where the rates don’t require a royal income. With most visitors to Portugal heading to Lisbon, the Algarve or the Duoro wine region, the Alentejo towns remain uncrowded and serene. When I stopped by Casa Agricola José de Sousa Rosado Fernandes Winery in the town of Reguengos de Monsaraz, the “guide” had to clean his grape-stained hands from moving hoses around between tanks. Down in the deep cellar, though, he showed me huge clay vats that mimic the same fermentation process used in ancient times. That night we ordered a bottle from the winery at a restaurant two blocks away. The Alentejo region has about 30 percent of Portugal’s land mass but only 5 percent of its population. Meal times are often farm-to-table without much effort or distance. A glass of wine inside the Estremoz or Monsaraz fortresses can be accompanied with aged cheese, cured olives, fresh bread and olive oil from lands just outside the centuries-old walls. The main city, Évora, has fewer than 60,000 residents and is still partially enclosed by a medieval wall. This compact town, a UNESCO World Heritage city, features Roman temple ruins from more than 2,000 years ago, a former palace and Gothic churches. With several wine tasting rooms and stores, this makes a great place to get an overview of local wines. Portugal boasts nine main grape varieties, but few are familiar to foreigners. For those who can’t tell an Alfrocheiro from a Roupeiro, the small blessing here is most wines are blends, anyway. With wines priced mostly for the local market, a wrong choice won’t cost much. In the villages, locals don’t eat out much, so finding the best dining spot is often a matter of following the sound of laughter to a café. For a true local experience head to Borba, where a few cafés serve wine made with traditional methods in the same space as the café serving food. While you’ll find dozens of wineries scattered around Alentejo, many are clustered around Borba, Vila Viçosa and Estremoz — also popular stops for historic architecture created with marble mined nearby and castles straight out of an epic adventure movie.

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FRIENDS & FAMILY | SARDINIA

The Good Life

INFO TO GO

Discover Sardinia’s secrets to living longer and better. BY RON BERNTHAL

Mediterranean Mix: (Left to right) The coast of Porticciolo, a street in Cagliari with old houses and the Church of Saint Michel, and cork oak trees whose bark was recently harvested for making wine corks PHOTOS: © FRANCESCO MALTINTI DREAMSTIME.COM, © RSFOTOGRAPHY DREAMSTIME.COM, © JANINA LANDISA DREAMSTIME.COM

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hirty years ago, after Belgian demographer Michel Poulain and Sardinian doctor Gianni Pes discovered regions on the Italian island of Sardinia with large numbers of centenarians, other researchers looked into the phenomenon to determine why so many island residents were living past the 100-year mark. American researcher Dan Buettner pointed out in his studies that men in several Sardinian villages live the longest and healthiest lives of men anywhere on the planet, almost completely free of cardiovascular disease. And while women around the world generally outlive men, in Sardinia both sexes grow old together, perhaps resulting in the longest marriages in the world. My significant other and I did not expect to increase our life expectancy by spending a few weeks

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in Sardinia, but after visiting the island’s mountainous interior we began to understand why Sardinia is known as one of the world’s “blue zones,” a term derived from the blue circles Poulain and Pes drew on their map of Sardinia that highlighted the villages with the most residents over 100 years of age. Of course, not all Sardinians live that long, but there are still 10 times more centenarians per capita on Sardinia than in the United States. Sun-splashed and peaceful, Sardinia offers individuals, couples and families the perfect vacation retreat, whether coming from other destinations in Europe or directly from the United States. Accommodations can include upscale seaside resorts along the coast, simple farm stays in the interior or quiet yoga retreats on hilltops overlooking the

Sardinia has three main airports, all served by major and budget airlines from many Italian cities and select European cities, especially during summer season. If you book accommodations or a rental car in northern Sardinia, fly to Alghero (AHO) or Olbia (OLB) airports. For southern Sardinia, fly to Cagliari (CAG). Taxis are available at airports to reach hotels, but it’s best to rent a car upon arrival, as roads are well-maintained and feature good directional signage. At press time the EU continued to ban American travelers due to high U.S. coronavirus infection rates.


Mediterranean. You’ll also find comfortable business hotels in Cagliari, the island’s bustling capital city. Although mass tourism to Sardinia began in the 1970s, after Prince Aga Khan developed a portion of the island’s Emerald Coast into a jet-set hideaway, European writers and artists had come for decades before that, basking in the sun and enjoying great food and incredible scenery. During peak season, June through September, the coastal beaches are packed, but the island’s interior can provide a quieter, more authentic and healthier experience. Small enough to cover comfortably by car in a week yet diverse enough to offer snow-covered mountains in winter and tropical-looking fishing villages year-round, the island possesses a look and lifestyle so out of time that writer D.H. Lawrence’s comment in his 1921 novel Sea and Sardinia that it “does not belong to our presentday world” still rings true today. Near the northern village of Calangianus, travelers pass through miles of dense groves of trees whose trunks are covered not in normal tree

bark but in soft, brown cork. From these natural cork oak forests more than 100 companies in Sardinia extract their product. At the island’s largest cork factory, Peppino Molinas & Sons, huge stacks of cork sit outside the plant. “The men use an axe and special tools to strip the cork from the tree, then bring it to the factory where it is left outside,” said marketing manager Piera Cossu. “The cork must remain outside for a minimum of 12 months before it is brought into the factory for cutting. Each tree is stripped at regular intervals of 10–12 years. Once inside the factory the cork is inspected for quality, defects and tree diseases. The cork is boiled after its seasoning outside, then machines punch holes in the flat cork to produce the familiar wine stoppers. Approximately 2.5 million cork stoppers are produced each day at this factory.” Driving from Calangianus to the west coast city of Oristano can take two hours using the modern highway that skirts the towns or a full day traveling through ancient hilltop villages with cobblestone lanes and along coastal roads

LODGING

DINING

Palazzo Doglio For business travelers in Sardinia’s capital, this deluxe 72-room hotel provides modern rooms and suites, dining and bar, wellness center and meeting spaces.

I Frati Rossi Ristorante Located in Porto Cervo on Costa Smeralda, the restaurant’s terrace perches on a hill overlooking the sea. Savor the fresh fish, seafood and pasta dishes.

Vico del Logudoro, Cagliari $$$

Via Paolino Azara, Arzachena $$$$$

Pullman Timi Ama Sardegna On the southeast coast this 5-star, 275-room resort offers a Thalassa Sea & Spa Center with four- to six-day wellness breaks and seawater therapy.

Ristorante Osteria Gourmet Li Finistreddi Part of a charming hotel, the restaurant overlooks the sea and offers lunch and dinner. Menu items include tuna tartare, buffalo mozzarella, Musto grape figs and ponzu sauce.

Via dei Ginepri 3, Villasimius $$$$$ Valle dell’Erica Resort Thalasso & Spa The 5-star, 271-room property offers Le Thermae Centre with chalets for treatments, a cardio fitness gym, sauna, Turkish bath, four outside swimming pools and seawater therapy. Str. Liscia di Scopa, Santa Teresa Gallura $$$$$

Li Finistreddi Country Retreat, Via Micalosu, CannigioneArzachena $$$ Trattoria Portixedda The small restaurant in the pretty coastal town of Oristano serves favorites like grilled swordfish, prawns and cuttlefish along with excellent local vegetables. Reserve your table in advance. Vico Solferino 6, Oristano $$$

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Island Charm: Boats on the river in Bosa (top), and olives on a branch (bottom) PHOTOS: © KEMALTANER DREAMSTIME.COM, © JANINA LANDISA - DREAMSTIME.COM

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with breathtaking views of the sea. Stop for lunch in fishing towns like Bosa, where mullet, tuna, swordfish, clams, mussels, eels and lobster fill local markets every day. Close to the village of Cabras, thousands of pink flamingos wade in the shallow lagoons, and nearby vineyards produce some of the best wine in the country. At the Contini Winery, established in 1898, “Four generations have watched over the grapes,” said Paolo Contini, one of the family members. “Over time the mistral winds from Spain and France helped spread favorable soil onto Sardinia, which gives the wine here a special taste and smell,” said Contini. The winery has vineyards just outside the village and a small tasting room in Cabras where visitors can sample the product and purchase bottles to take home. The island’s traditional “healthy” wine, a red known as Cannonau (named after the Grenache grape) is so ubiquitous that about one bottle in every five of Sardinian wine is a Cannonau di Sardegna. The

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Cannonau wines tend to be high in anthocyanins and polyphenols, antioxidant-rich compounds which have been linked to heart health and associated with Sardinians’ longevity. On the short drive from the Contini Winery to the village of Gergei, the scenery changes drastically from the lowlands of the west coast to the foothills of the 6,000-foot Monti del Gennargentu range. Here, amid the hilly sheep pastures and small villages dominated by stone churches, you’ll see groves of olive trees, home to the Argei Le Fattorie Renolia company that produces unfiltered, organic extra virgin olive oil from the Mallocria olive, a type you can find only on Sardinia. The production of olive oil has been a tradition in Sardinia since the Phoenicians, and its importance to the island’s lifestyle cannot be exaggerated. “In Sardinia none of the companies mass produce their olive oil. Although they do ship some product to customers in Europe, very little Sardinian olive oil finds its way to supermarket shelves in the United States. Most of it is kept here, sold in small village markets and to local restaurant chefs,” said Sylvia Hernberger, an Argei employee happy to show us around. At Argei it takes about an hour from the initial washing of the olives to their arrival under the press, which grinds them into an olive paste. A spinning process then extracts the oil, which is stored in stainless steel containers and left to settle for about a month, during which the oil becomes clear and ready for bottling. The olive harvest begins in September or October, and visitors are welcome to view the process and taste the product. In his book, The Blue Zones Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100, Dan Buettner says Sardinian cuisine is essentially peasant food. “The food is beans, greens and whole grains,” said Buettner. “They eat a lot of bread and cheese, mostly Pecorino, and vegetables from their gardens.” The traditional Pecorino cheese is made from the milk of grass-fed sheep, high in omega-3 fatty acids. Meat is largely reserved for Sundays and special occasions. Located close to the village of Luogosanto in northeastern Sardinia, Balaiana Eco Retreat offers a program that includes yoga and meditation as well as coaching and massage training. Elke Bayer, retreat founder, is a certified Anusara yoga teacher. The property offers private rooms and baths, a pool, a dining hall with an organic menu and excursions. The nearby village features houses painted in warm earth tones with geraniums, bougainvillea, lemons and orange trees providing a peaceful and nicely scented atmosphere. Another wellness venue is Yoga in Sardinia, a cultural nonprofit association that offers a few days or a week of gentle hatha yoga, pranayama and yoga nidra as well as hiking and mountain biking. “Being on retreat means we have time to give each person individual attention, with the option to have one-to-one mentoring included in the price so you can discuss any experiences or challenges you have with your practice,” said co-owner Alexandra Redmond. The group uses the Galanias Hotel as its main base, a quiet property close to the sea in the countryside near Bari Sardo.


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Best Island Pacific Rim Five Years in a Row

A Thank You from the People of the Cook Islands “Unprecedented” is the choice word used to describe the chaotic times we presently face. The future remains uncertain, this we know. But one thing that will never change is our commitment to all of you. The Cook Islands may be a small place, where only 18,000 people live, but our tiny population is big in heart. The people of the Cook Islands have remained dedicated to doing everything possible to protect our country during this time – its people, oceans, lagoons, mountains, and environment –and therefore her visitors, able to maintain a COVID-free status even now. We know you see our islands the way we see them: as a little paradise. We know this because you, the readers of Global Traveler magazine, have voted the Cook Islands as Best Island Pacific Rim for the fifth year in a row. Which means you’re already familiar with our crystal blue lagoons, and you’re already aware that our mountains are so lush and green they make it impossible to ever again deny the life-giving, healing power of plants. And you’ve already experienced the staggering We want to sincerely thank you for gracing the Cook Islands with your votes again this year. Our gratitude is only exceeded by our honor in accepting this outstanding award.

For those of you who haven’t visited yet, we are a nation of 15 islands spread over a biodiverse South Pacific sea that’s roughly 3 times the size of Texas. Each of our islands is unique. Several have subterranean networks of caves. One is home to a watery village of shacks built on heads of coral, where divers harvest black pearls. All are unspoiled. Travelers have compared even the most developed of our islands, Rarotonga, to Hawai‘i before the high rises. fine-dining restaurants. But even on these two islands, most businesses are small and family owned. Our national building code prohibits the construction of anything taller than a coconut tree. Our mindful approach to development has allowed us to retain a strong sense of community. Visitors often remark on the friendliness of our people. They notice that even the way we say hello – kia orana, which means, I hope you have a long and healthy life – reflects the kindness and the selflessness built into our culture. Travelers also tell us they appreciate how easy it is to mingle with locals and learn about our way of life. When the time is right, we look forward to welcoming you to our little paradise. And then welcoming you back again, because the percentage of people who only come once, well — that’s little, too. Meitaki Ma‘ata (Thank You) With Love From A Little Paradise

CookIslands.travel


TOURS | SÃO PAULO

Building on Style Architecture tours in São Paulo nourish the senses.

BY RON BERNTHAL

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ith 12 million residents, the sprawling metropolis of São Paulo is the biggest city in South America … and definitely one of the most dynamic. It boasts four business districts, 39 municipalities and hundreds of neighborhoods, wealthy and poor, covered with flourishing trees and flowers. It’s no wonder Paulistanos say it takes a lifetime to truly understand the hyper-pulse of Brazil’s fast-moving city. In recent years, São Paulo added so many innovative architectural structures to its stunning early- to midcentury residential and commercial districts, travelers to Rio de Janeiro began cutting short their time in that city to hop on one-hour commuter flights to experience São Paulo. Sexy new samba and juice bars, colorful cultural spaces and sharp-looking mixed-use projects seem to pop up overnight, and taking an architecture and design tour provides a feast for the senses. Around SP, in business for 10 years, offers its own creative itineraries for small groups or will customize special-interest tours. “We assist individuals and groups, and we are able to accept reservations with just 24 hours’ notice,” said Luis Simardi, partner/owner, Around SP. “Our Architecture Tour can be more general, where we will show the visitor the diversity of styles and architects that exist in our city, or we can focus on a specific architect or style.” Depending on the sites visited, Around SP will use vehicles or organize walking tours. The architecture tour stops at several Oscar Niemeyer structures. Niemeyer, Brazil’s most famous architect, died in 2012 at the age of 105, and his Brutalist-style buildings include the iconic 1966 Copan Building, a 38-story residential building with a curving façade located close to art galleries that often occupy other modernist, mid-century edifices. Around SP can show visitors the Museum of Art São Paulo, a mid-1960s glass-and-concrete gem designed by Lina Bo Bardi. The museum itself offers a wonderful collection of European and Latin American art; it lies close to Vila Madalena, a trendy neighborhood with restaurants and boutiques and an amazing amount of street art. Zoning laws in this district restrict building heights to eight floors, and São Paulo’s top architectural studios like Triptyque, Isay Weinfeld and Andrade Morettin have projects here. The striking IMS Paulista building, designed for Instituto Moreira Salles, one of Brazil’s largest cultural institutions, opened in 2017. Rising seven double-height stories, the Andrade Morettin Arquitetos Associados design houses a collection of photography, literature, visual arts and Brazilian music events. Visitors should not miss the aptly named, six-story Hotel Unique, opened in 2002. Designed by São Paulo architect Ruy Ohtake, the modern building features an inverted arc, and the Italian-made circular windows contribute to its distinctiveness. The sophisticated

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rooftop Skye Bar lounge and pool offers great views of Ibirapuera Park and the São Paulo skyline. The 21-story Fasano hotel opened in 2003, an architectural icon by Isay Weinfeld and Marcio Kogan, mixing 1930s style with travertine marble walls and an English brick façade. If time allows, ask Around SP to add Livraria Cultura at Iguatemi Center to your tour. Few visitors know about this cultural bookshop, beautifully designed by Marcio Kogan. Although most books are in Portuguese, stop in for coffee or snacks, admire the interior and strike up a conversation with locals perusing the shelves. It’s a good way to begin to understand this colorful and exciting city.

Vibrant Design: Museum of Art in São Paulo (top), and street art in Batman Alley in the Vila Madalena neighborhood (bottom) PHOTOS: © DIEGO GRANDI DREAMSTIME.COM, © BERILIU - DREAMSTIME.COM


BUCKET LIST | TAHITI

Take the Plunge Dive into the tranquil seas of the Islands of Tahiti. BY SUSAN B. BARNES

Underwater World: (Left to right) Blacktip reef sharks, curious dolphin, oyster with pearl and a school of tropical fish in Rangiroa lagoon PHOTOS: © IZANBAR - DREAMSTIME .COM, © YANN HUBERT DREAMSTIME.COM, © KRILT - DREAMSTIME.COM, © SEADAM - DREAMSTIME .COM

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counted the blacktip sharks gracefully gliding past our small dive group as they went about their midmorning rituals. They seemed unaware of our presence in their underwater world, about 100 feet below the incredibly clear water’s surface. When I reached 70 in my counting exercise, I was only about two-thirds of the way across the ever-moving wall of sharks in Fakarava’s South Pass. As I floated, watching, what caught me by surprise was how calm and controlled my breathing remained at that depth with all of that activity happening on every side. As my body gently swayed with the current, the sheer beauty of the scene unfolding before me far outweighed any thoughts of fear or anxiety. A sense of peace washed over me as I watched in awe of the life simply existing in this undersea world.

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Bora Bora, Tahiti and essentially all of French Polynesia occupy the prime spots on many bucket lists, their positioning bolstered by images of crystal-clear waters in gradients of blue, deserted white-sand beaches with reaching palm trees and dreamy overwater bungalows. For scuba divers, even more enticements may just nudge the destination to the No. 1 spot on the list. With water visibility at about 130 feet, temperatures ranging from 79 degrees Fahrenheit in winter to 84 degrees in summer, and a difference of only about one-half degree from the surface to 166 feet below, you may be hardpressed to find better diving conditions. Add world-class dive sites with myriad options of open water to advanced diving including lagoons, drop offs and passes, plus more than 1,000 species of marine life and 20 shark species, and diving in French Polynesia becomes even more appealing to those eager to dive in. Marine life is so rich here, in fact, scientists consider the 2.5-million-squaremile Polynesia sea zone the “richest aquarium on Earth.” During my week-long French Polynesian dive trip, I visited the islands of Tahiti, Fakarava, Rangiroa and Bora Bora, diving into the “aquarium” off of the latter three with TOPDIVE, realizing each of the islands has its own personality. Fakarava in the Tuamotu Islands archipelago, for instance, is known not only for the wall of sharks but for its rich coral reef systems, vibrant schools of fish by the thousands and underwater passes with swift-moving currents that ramp up drift diving to seemingly warp speeds. Likewise, marine life abounds in the waters surrounding Rangiroa, the world’s second-largest atoll, also found in the Tuamotu Islands. Here, 240


INFO TO GO Daily, eight-hour direct flights arrive from Los Angeles (LAX) in Papeete, Tahiti (PPT), on Air Tahiti Nui. Once in French Polynesia, inter-island flights are available to more than 25 of the 118 outlying islands, making island hopping fast and easy. In July, French Polynesia reopened borders to international tourism from all countries. All travelers must have a negative COVID-19 test carried out within three days prior to their international air departure and must present the certification receipt on the Electronic Travel Information System. During the stay, visitors must self-test four days after arrival in the Islands of Tahiti.

islets loop together more than 110 miles to completely encircle a deep lagoon known as Moana-tea, or Peaceful Ocean. On the other side of the chain of islets lies Moana-uri, or Wild Ocean, where you may spot larger marine life such as whales, manta rays, sharks and dolphins while drift diving. A highlight of one of my Rangiroa dives occurred when a pair of curious wild dolphins came close to check out our odd-to-them “pod.” The calm, crystal-clear lagoons of Bora Bora in the Society Islands archipelago are full of marine life as well; bright, tropical-colored fish dart in and out of lively coral gardens while manta rays dance over underwater canyons. Discover plenty of fun topside on nondiving days, too, like a personal Fakarava tour with Enoha, an islander who also shares a lagoon-front art gallery with his wife, Cécile. Or go off-roading on an ATV with Heiarii and Fakarava Adventure. Choose your own freshly harvested oyster (and, therefore, pearl)

at a pearl farm, or hop onto a bike and explore the islands on two wheels. Of course, there is nothing wrong with sitting back, relaxing and soaking in the stunning atmosphere surrounding the islands, especially after a day of diving. Options for staying in French Polynesia are as varied as the dive sites and islands themselves. Choose from traditional Tahitian guesthouses, or pensions, such as Tokerau Village on Fakarava; a beachfront hotel like Hotel Kia Ora on Rangiroa, reopened in July; or a luxury resort such as Conrad Bora Bora Nui. On the boat ride back to the north side of the island after our two dives in Fakarava’s South Pass, TOPDIVE dive master Mana and I chatted about the wonders of the underwater world we had just witnessed. “If I could live my life underwater, I would,” Mana said as he gazed at the horizon. After spending a week in the undersea world of the Islands of Tahiti, I wholeheartedly understand his sentiment.

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KICKING BACK | BALI

Find Balance in Bali Gain a fresh perspective on wellness as you embrace the island’s bounty. BY KRISTY ALPERT

Self-Care: Four Seasons Sacred Nap (top), Four Seasons purnama yoga (bottom left), Four Seasons meditation (bottom right), and (opposite page, left to right) Kristy Alpert doing yoga on the beach and consulting with a healer PHOTOS: © FOUR SEASONS RESORT BALI , © KRISTY ALPERT

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nly two hours into my digital detox I felt the unremitting urge to take my phone off airplane mode to check my emails or see if I had any messages from friends and family back home. I still carried my phone in my hand like an accessory, using it as a camera while I explored the grounds of what would become my home for the next few weeks during my wellness and yoga retreat in Bali, but the absence of its vibrating notifications was causing my fingers to twitch in temptation as I gazed out over the beautiful black sands of Balian Beach. I had come to Bali with the goal of leaving as a healthier and more self-aware version of myself, and already I could see the journey toward a healthier me would prove the challenging adventure of a lifetime. For three weeks I would stick to a strictly vegetarian diet, swapping red meat for sautéed squares of organic tempeh and jackfruit at dinner and morning sausages for thick strips of fresh papaya and smoothies sweetened with sapodilla fruit. We were encouraged to turn off our phones for a minimum of 16 hours each day (24 hours if possible) and switch from coffee to decaffeinated green tea, to be sipped only after the first yoga session of the morning. The routine seemed ruthless at first, but by the third day I was noticeably well-rested and accustomed to my new caffeine-free lifestyle … with my phone neatly stashed away and a sun-kissed glow already gleaming on my skin from afternoons spent surfing and practicing yoga on the beach. Bali has been a beacon for wellness for centuries, where visitors often leave glowing on

the inside and outside thanks to this Indonesian island’s intrinsic focus on spiritual self-care and whole-body wellness. Bali’s beautiful varied landscapes — ranging from rugged coastlines with sandy beaches to picturesque rice terraces and lush forests — produce an abundance of exotic fruits and tropical flowers, long harnessed by locals for use as natural remedies for fighting disease or healing common ailments. The Balinese focus on spiritual wellness began with the introduction of Hinduism on the island, and today Bali is home to the largest concentration of Hindus outside of India. Offerings of colorful fruit and flowers line the streets as aromatic incense perfumes the air. Balinese Hinduism combines the ancient healing arts and rituals of the Balinese people with a spiritual focus on four main pillars — dharma (right way of living), artha (means of life), kama (enjoyment of life) and moksha (liberation and self-actualization) — with the goal of maintaining a balanced life. To help obtain balance, the Balinese have long turned to ancient balians, or local healers, skilled at healing everything from a broken bone to a broken heart. Currently more than 8,000 balians practice on the island of Bali (four times the number of doctors), each working to help restore balance for their patients’ health, whether due to internal or external factors. Balians have become popular with tourists over the years — thanks in part to Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir, Eat, Pray, Love — and today many of the island’s top resorts offer their guests private one-on-one sessions with some of Bali’s most well-respected healers along with a range of

LODGING

DINING

Fivelements Retreat Bali The nine luxury suites along the Ayung River are in high demand at this award-winning, eco-conscious retreat where plant-based cuisine, yoga and holistic treatments create an atmosphere of wellness.

Alchemy Bali’s first all-vegan and raw food restaurant continues to create some of the island’s most splurge-worthy treats, like vegan nachos and raw lemon coconut cake.

Puri Ahimsa Banjar Baturning, Mambal $$$$$

Jl. Penestanan Kelod 75, Sayan, Ubud $$

Four Seasons Resort Bali At Sayan The Sacred River Spa draws on ancient Balinese traditions and treatments to leave guests feeling renewed while at this 60-room luxury resort in the Ayung River Valley.

Essential Take a seat in the industrialchic dining room or pop into the bamboo bar to enjoy this restaurant’s essential oilinfused cocktails and mindful plant-based entrées that mark the menu.

Jl. Raya Sayan 29, Sayan, Ubud $$$$$

Jl. Batu Bolong, Gg. Nyepi 22, Canggu $$

Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve Each of the 35 luxury suites and 25 private pool villas come with a certified 24-hour patih (butler) who helps ensure each stay is memorable and personalized. Jl. Raya Kedewatan, Banjar Kedewatan, Ubud $$$$$

Penny Lane Without a doubt the place to be in Bali right now, this tapas bar and lounge is an Instagrammer’s dream, with breezy interiors and chic smoothie bowls served in coconuts. Jl. Munduk Catu 9, Canggu $$

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INFO TO GO Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar is Indonesia’s second-busiest airport, with domestic arrivals from Jakarta (JKT) and Yogyakarta (YIA) and international flights arriving from Seoul (ICN), Sydney (SYD), Tokyo (NRT), İstanbul (IST) and more. The airport lies at the southern tip of the island, approximately eight miles south of Denpasar. Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt provide car rental services. Road congestion in many of the major cities often brings traffic to a stand-still, so allow for ample time when arriving and departing from DPS. Taxi counters are located after customs, but agree on a price with each driver before departing since taxis are both metered and fixed-fare. The Novotel Bali Ngurah Rai Airport Hotel makes a convenient choice for passengers with early departures or late arrivals. As of press time, only nonresident travelers with special circumstances were being allowed to enter Indonesia due to the coronavirus.

Riverside Retreat: Spa at Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve PHOTO: © RITZ CARLTON

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other wellness offerings. The Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan works with two local healers (Djik Dewa, who specializes in Kundalini energy, and I Wayan Linggen, who explores healing through yoga and meditation) at the resort while also crafting authentic experiences that include private transportation, a prepared offering and appropriate attire for guests looking to meet with a local balian at his or her home. A dramatic bridge entrance above the sacred Ayung Valley welcomes guests to this 60-room resort, where most rooms feature a private rooftop pond and meditation deck that align with the resort’s ethos of nourishing the body and spirit through the use of fresh water. Water flows freely through most of the grounds, providing a serene soundtrack for the resort’s complimentary classes (including hatha yoga and an introduction to meditation), Balinese spa rituals, bespoke experiences ranging from a guided bike tour through Bali’s rice fields to the signature Tri Hita Karana (“the three sources of life”) program that includes a tour to the famous Tanah Lot water temple, a plantbased Balinese cooking class and a restorative spa experience. At Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, guests choose from any of seven different healers, each with his or her own gift specialty. The most popular is a 90-minute session with Ibu Ketut Mursi, an

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intuitive blind healer who uses touch and intuition to help realign and release any blocked energy patterns through massage and reflexology. The herbal oil she uses in her treatments has been passed down through generations of healers in her family, and each session ends with customized suggestions for optimizing each person’s health and well-being. The resort is located within Bali’s spiritual and cultural center of Ubud, where 35 suites provide sanctuary among Mandapa’s village-like oasis. The property was built around an ancient temple and active rice terraces, where the mighty Ayung River rushes past as manicured trails wind their way from the multiple dining facilities to the luxurious spa sanctuary and yoga platforms. Complimentary yoga is offered twice daily, and the rest of the resort’s activities revolve around the Balinese lunar calendar, honoring special Balinese celebrations like Nyepi, the Day of Silence, during which the entire island goes quiet without even a single incoming or outgoing flight. You’ll find countless yoga retreat options throughout the island — Fivelements Bali, The Floating Leaf and Naya Ubud stand apart from the rest with their upscale offerings and accredited teaching staff — but daily classes are available for drop-in students at The Yoga Barn and Taksu Yoga in Ubud. Healthy eating is easy throughout Bali, where roadside fruit stands act as vibrant stop signs between destinations and local farmers markets gleam with fresh produce. Vegan and vegetarian restaurants are more than just a trend in Bali, and many of the island’s top restaurants are unapologetically meat-free. Alchemy has been Bali’s top restaurant for nearly a decade, but the creativity and ingenuity of this raw and vegan café never waned. It makes its cold-pressed juices fresh with a Norwalk juicer to maximize enzyme and nutrient retention, and its medicinal soups (turmeric laksa, cream of mushroom) offer the perfect pairing for decadent mains like a vegan BLT made with homemade coconut bacon on a crispy lettuce “bun,” or zucchini noodle cannelloni with mushroom ragu and cashew “cheese.” Create your own smoothie before heading to the brand-new cooking school to learn a few healthy culinary tricks from Alchemy cofounder and chef Shanti Allen. Bali’s chicest cocktails pair with vegan tapas at the island’s new restaurant, Essential, where pure essential oils infuse everything from the drinking water to the cocktails. The plant-based menu includes some seafood options, but Essential is best known for its sharable tapas-style dishes like miso eggplant, tempeh croquettes and plantain fritters. A holiday in Bali does so much more than taking you out of the office for a few days or providing a sunny spot for kicking back with a fruity cocktail. The island’s bountiful blend of fresh foods and fresh perspectives on wellness make it possible for travelers to leave feeling refreshed.


PHOTOS: © MILKOS - DREAMSTIME.COM, © ISABEL POULIN - DREAMSTIME.COM, © MARYNAG - DREAMSTIME.COM, © COLICARANICA - DREAMSTIME.COM, © RICHAIR - DREAMSTIME.COM, © ANANTARA HUA HIN, © STEFAN DAHL - DREAMSTIME.COM, © MONGKOL APHISUTHISARN - DREAMSTIME.COM, © ENCHANTED _FAIRY - DREAMSTIME.COM

GET SOCIAL Make Global Traveler your travel companion! Like our Facebook page; connect with us on LinkedIn; and follow us on Twitter @GTmag #travelnews and #traveldeals, Instagram @globaltravelermag #snapshots and Pinterest pinterest.com/global traveler for travel updates, deals and more. Share your updates with us by using #globility. If you haven't checked them out lately, here's a sampling of what you may have missed:

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Embark on a trip to Navajo Nation to visit historic sites, parks, monuments, markets and trails.

TripAdvisor names the top beach destinations in the United States.

Delta Air Lines adds layers of protection for safe travels.

American Airlines and JetBlue will codeshare on designated flights, opening American customers to JetBlue’s domestic network, specifically in New York and Boston, while JetBlue passengers can enjoy American’s vast international connections.

Thailand’s Buy Now, Save Later campaign lets travelers purchase hotel bonds that increase over time to help save money for a future vacation.

Discover Black-owned hotels for your next trip.

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Forest bathing reduces stress, frees up creativity and boosts feelings of happiness.


LGBTQ+

Warm Welcome Key West rolls out the rainbow carpet for LGBTQ+ travelers. BY MARK CHESNUT

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historic event took place back in 2015, when Florida’s first same-sex marriage united local gay activists Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones. The fact the ceremony took place at Key West’s Monroe County Courthouse says a lot about the destination’s long-time welcoming attitude. Today more than 250,000 LGBTQ+ visitors vacation in Key West yearly, according to Key West Business Guild, a nonprofit devoted to promoting the destination to LGBTQ+ travelers. And the southernmost city in the continental United States is more than just a gay vacation hot spot: About 30 percent of Key West’s 25,000 residents identify as part of the community. So it’s no wonder the destination enjoys such a great reputation with gay globetrotters from around the world. Same-sex weddings and honeymoons remain a major focus for the destination’s tourism industry … and with good reason. Key West was Florida’s first city to recognize same-sex domestic partnerships and marriage equality, and the city’s Monroe County was the state’s first county to recognize those same rights for the entire chain of Florida Keys. Most gay and lesbian weddings in Key West and the Florida Keys are intimate gatherings with fewer than 30 guests, according to Guy Ross, LGBT sales manager, Monroe County Tourist Development Council. “Perhaps the only ‘change’ that we are seeing now with the advent of marriage equality is the inclusion of more family members and more mainstream friends in gay and lesbian ceremonies,” he said. Memorable entertainment offers another selling point for Key West. Nightlife fans out among several bars including Bourbon St. Pub, which hosts fanciful theme parties, and LaTeDa, a boutique hotel home to world-renowned female impersonators. The Key West Pride celebration takes place in June, while Fantasy Fest brings yet another parade and lots of open-air festivities to the city’s streets in October (canceled this year due to the global pandemic). A variety of gay-owned and gay-friendly hotels also roll out the welcome mat for LGBTQ+ visitors — including the male-only Island House and Equator Resort hotels, as well as Alexander’s Guesthouse and a variety of upscale properties welcoming all travelers. In Key West the rainbow carpet rolls out just about everywhere — even in the streets, where the four corners at the intersection of Duval and Petronia streets boast permanent rainbow crosswalks. Intimate Gathering: Wedding venue on a Key West beach PHOTO: © ANATOLII VEREZHAK - DREAMSTIME.COM

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2020 Trazees Awards Ballot Please write in your personal favorites, based on your own experience, on the line next to each of the following categories.

AIRLINE BEST

DESTINATION BEST

Favorite International Airline____________________________________________________________

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Friendliest City___________________________________________________________________________

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AIRPORT BEST

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OTHER BEST

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HOTEL BEST Favorite Individual Hotel________________________________________________________________ Favorite Hotel Chain____________________________________________________________________ Favorite Lifestyle Hotel Chain___________________________________________________________ Favorite Hotel Website__________________________________________________________________ Favorite Hotel Rewards Program_______________________________________________________ Favorite Hotel Chain in Asia_____________________________________________________________ Favorite Hotel Chain in Europe_________________________________________________________

PLEASE MAIL THE COMPLETED SURVEY TO: Kevin Ryan, Citrin Cooperman & Company, LLP, 1800 JFK Blvd., 20th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19103 | Or fax to 215 545 4810 Or vote online at trazeetravel.com/trazees-2020-voting

Favorite Hotel Chain in Mexico_________________________________________________________ Favorite Hotel Chain in the Middle East________________________________________________

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Favorite Hotel Chain in South/Central America________________________________________

Street Address

Favorite Green Hotel____________________________________________________________________

City

Favorite Hotel App______________________________________________________________________

Home Phone

State

ZIP Code Email


AIPORT UPDATE

Up and Coming Incheon Airport leaps forward to become the leading global airport. BY MARY MELNICK

INCHEON AIRPORT CONSTANTLY STRIVES TO KEEP UP WITH THE CHANGING TIMES.

I Purchasing Power: Incheon Airport dutyfree shopping PHOTO: © JULIEN VIRY DREAMSTIME.COM

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ncheon Airport, the largest airport in South Korea, opened in 2001, serving as a hub for Asiana Airlines, Air Seoul, Air Incheon and more. As the primary airport for Seoul Capital Area, it works hard to keep its spot as the main hub in the region. Going beyond aesthetic value, Incheon Airport is revolutionizing airports, challenging boundaries and pushing technological limits. Before your flight, make sure to visit the Observation Deck, with locations available in terminals 1 and 2. The Mount Oseongsan Observatory Deck in Terminal 1 offers the perfect place to catch a panoramic view of the airport and get a glimpse of airplanes taking

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off and landing on the runway. If your flight departs from Terminal 2, visit the PR Observatory Deck, where you can enjoy the airport facility as well as view different types of airplanes. If you have time after you explore, head to one of the multiple spas, relaxing rooms or nap rooms. Or pause in one of the many lounges, grab a bite to eat or hit the shops. Incheon Airport constantly strives to keep up with the changing times. It’s currently in the middle of a four-stage construction project with plans to expand as one of the top three global airports, taking total capacity to 100 million annual passengers by 2024. Incheon remains competitive with the opening of new duty-free shops for travelers to visit throughout the terminals and with the expansion of the Smart Entry Service automated immigration system. As a result of these changes and other enhancements, the number of passengers surpassed 70 million and the number of flights exceeded 400,000 last year for the first time since the airport’s opening. Based on its foundation as the main hub airport in Northeast Asia, Incheon Airport continues to develop into a new center of growth, generating global economic activities as various industries converge, such as the cutting-edge technology and MICE infrastructures, along with aircraft maintenance and international logistics industries. The airport will also transform services in response to the Fourth Industrial Revolution by introducing state-of-the-art technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, robots and biometric recognition. With the fastest, easiest and safest services, Incheon Airport will continue to develop technologies and invest in facilities to ensure every second travelers spend at the airport is convenient and comfortable. INCHEON AIRPORT airport.kr


ADVERTISEMENT

Aeroflot – your route to Russia and beyond The Russian flag carrier offers outstanding service and convenient connections FOUNDED IN 1923, AEROFLOT is one of the oldest airlines in the world. Over the past decade, Aeroflot has transformed under the current management team led by CEO Vitaly Saveliev. Today, it is the undisputed leader in its home market of Russia, recognized worldwide by industry experts and passengers alike for its high quality of customer service and all-around passenger experience. Aeroflot today ranks among the largest 20 airlines globally by passenger numbers, carrying 37.2 million passengers in 2019 (60.7 million including the other airlines of Aeroflot Group). As the Russian flag carrier, Aeroflot maintains a global route network. In the United States, Aeroflot operates flights to and from four destinations: New York City, Washington, D.C., Miami and Los Angeles. Through its modern hub at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport, Aeroflot offers quick and convenient connectivity from the United States to destinations in China and across Asia, India and the Middle East.

Aeroflot is also a proud member of the SkyTeam Alliance, giving passengers access to an expanded route network and the unique service of the global alliance. One of Aeroflot’s strongest competitive advantages is its fleet. The airline operates one of the youngest fleets of any global carrier operating more than 100 aircraft, with an average aircraft age of less than 5 years. Aeroflot holds 4-Star Airline status from Skytrax, and has been named Best Airline in Eastern Europe eight times at the Skytrax World Airline Awards. It also holds Five Star Global Airline status from APEX, the U.S. passenger association.

Time Performance Review. Aeroflot also won two categories at the World Travel Awards 2019 — Leading Airline Brand and Best Business Class. The airline was also named the world’s strongest airline brand by Brand Finance, the authoritative U.K. agency. The airline industry has been among those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. But we will emerge stronger from the crisis, and look forward to flying again and giving more passengers the opportunity to experience our warm Russian hospitality and award-winning service.

In 2019, Aeroflot received a 5-star punctuality rating from OAG and was the world’s most on-time mainline airline, according to Cirium’s annual OnLEARN MORE AT aeroflot.com


MEDICAL TOURISM

Slimming Solutions Seek a new approach to weight loss in locales across the globe. BY DEBRA BOKUR

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Healthy Pursuit: Medical travelers seek weight loss procedures overseas. PHOTO: © ELNUR DREAMSTIME.COM

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eight loss is among the most commonly cited reasons for medical travel, and those in search of surgical or other solutions comprise a significant portion of medical travelers from the United States. According to a June 2019 study published in the peer-reviewed journal Obesity Surgery, Mexico and Turkey remain the top destinations for U.S. travelers seeking bariatric surgery, followed by Lebanon and Romania. Multiple types of medical procedures fall into the category of bariatric — or weight loss — surgery. The most commonly performed include gastric bypass (Roux-en-Y), laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG), adjustable gastric band (often referred to as lap bands) and biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch. Loss of body mass results from the reduced capacity of the stomach to hold foods or absorb nutrients; surgery may also modify the production of hormones that influence the perception of hunger and satiety. Serious health repercussions resulting from obesity range from diabetes, osteoarthritis and heart disease to an increased risk of strokes, yet U.S. health insurance plans rarely cover the costs for bariatric procedures, which can run upwards of $20,000. This fact prompts a growing number of travelers to seek medical care in global locations. While surgical procedures for weight loss are offered at highly regarded, Joint Commission International-accredited hospitals — such as Hospital Angeles Tijuana in Tijuana; Amerimed Hospital in Cancún; and Christus Muguerza Sur Hospital in Monterrey, Mexico — medical travelers also have a choice of high-end, nonsurgical, medically supervised programs abroad offered within resort-like settings. This option most often features an educational component to help medical guests maintain or further their goals at home, combined with luxurious accommodations in desirable locations. At ADLER Spa Resort THERMAE in Bagno Vignoni, Italy, guests are coddled in high luxury, and the weight loss experience combines effective programs with Italian charm. According to marketing manager Elisabeth Wittmann, “Americans will feel perfectly comfortable as they will meet English-speaking staff in all areas of the hotel, from reception and spa management to therapists, restaurant staff and tour guides.” Weight reduction programs anchored in the ancient medical practice of Ayurveda range from 10 days to more than

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five weeks at the historic Ayurveda Parkschlösschen estate in Traben-Trarbach, Germany, where Ayurveda medical physician Vanita Kansal closely supervises programs. “Many people are looking for more natural procedures SERIOUS HEALTH REPERCUSSIONS that help them lose RESULTING FROM OBESITY RANGE weight and increase health,” said Kansal. FROM DIABETES, OSTEOARTHRITIS “There’s a growing AND HEART DISEASE TO AN consciousness that the traditional ancient INCREASED RISK OF STROKES, medical system of YET U.S. HEALTH INSURANCE PLANS Ayurveda — which includes Panchakarma RARELY COVER THE COSTS FOR as a deep cleansing BARIATRIC PROCEDURES, WHICH program for our body and mind — is CAN RUN UPWARDS OF $20,000. a sustainable path to weight balance and more health in general. Being cared for as well as guided through the process by professionals, getting the right food and lots of inspiration to eat and live healthier at home, too, helps to create a quick start [to] a new approach to life.”


2020 Wherever Awards Ballot Whereverfamily.com, the trusted travel source for the modern family, has opened voting for the 2020 Wherever Awards. Please write in your personal favorites, based on your own experience, on the line next to each of the following categories.

Best Family-Friendly Domestic Airline_____________________________________________________

Best Family-Friendly International Destination____________________________________________

Best Family-Friendly Airline in North America_____________________________________________

Best Family-Friendly Domestic Destination________________________________________________

Best Family-Friendly International Airline__________________________________________________

Best Family-Friendly Caribbean Island_____________________________________________________

Best Family-Friendly Frequent-Flyer Program_____________________________________________

Best Family-Friendly Beach Town

Best Family-Friendly Hotel Chain__________________________________________________________ Best Family-Friendly Resort Chain_________________________________________________________ Best Family-Friendly Individual Hotel______________________________________________________ Best Family-Friendly Frequent-Stay Program______________________________________________ Best Family-Friendly All-Inclusive Hotel____________________________________________________

Northeast/Mid-Atlantic U.S. (Maine–Maryland)_______________________________________

Southeast U.S. (Virginia–Georgia)_____________________________________________________

Florida (East)___________________________________________________________________________

Florida (West) _________________________________________________________________________

Florida (Panhandle)____________________________________________________________________

Gulf U.S. (Alabama/Louisiana/Mississippi)____________________________________________

Texas__________________________________________________________________________________

West Coast U.S.________________________________________________________________________

Best Family-Friendly Pet Hotel_____________________________________________________________

Hawai’ian Islands______________________________________________________________________

Best Family-Friendly Hotel Kids Club_______________________________________________________

Best Family-Friendly Multigen Destination of the Year____________________________________

Best Family-Friendly Vacation Company___________________________________________________

Best Family-Friendly Amusement Park____________________________________________________

Best Family-Friendly Domestic Tour Company____________________________________________

Best Family-Friendly Waterpark____________________________________________________________

Best Family-Friendly International Tour Company_________________________________________

Best Family-Friendly Rental Car Company_________________________________________________

Best Family-Friendly Cruise Line___________________________________________________________

Best Family-Friendly Travel Provider of the Year__________________________________________

Best Family-Friendly Multigen Cruise Line_________________________________________________

Best Family-Friendly Domestic Airport_____________________________________________________

Best Family-Friendly Cruise Line Kids Club________________________________________________

Best Family-Friendly International Airport_________________________________________________

Best Family-Friendly Credit Card___________________________________________________________

Best Family-Friendly Airport Dining________________________________________________________

Best Family-Friendly Credit Card Rewards Program_______________________________________

Best Family-Friendly Airport Shopping_____________________________________________________

PLEASE MAIL THE COMPLETED SURVEY TO:

Name

Kevin Ryan, Citrin Cooperman & Company, LLP, 1800 JFK Blvd., 20th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19103 | Or FAX to 215 545 4810 Or vote online at whereverfamily.com/wherever-awards/

Street Address City Home Phone

State

ZIP Code Email


PREVIEW

Dude Ranches The words “dude ranch” still evoke the cowboy mystique in every generation from aging Baby Boomers to the 20-somethings of Generation Z. And it’s an attainable dream. Anyone can escape a frenetic urban existence for a ranch vacation, ditching electronics to connect with horses, ranch hands and fellow “dudes.” For those seeking big skies, glorious scenery and adventures that don’t include horses, there’s a ranch for that, too. Today’s ranches literally offer something for everyone, from mountain biking to fishing, climbing, hiking, ATV riding, swimming, zip-lining, yoga, massage and even snow sports. PHOTO: © RED REFLET GUEST RANCH

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Live the French way Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills 8555 Beverly Boulevard, 90048 Los Angeles Visit www.sofitel-los-angeles.com


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