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HTL HTL TRAVELTATTLER Professional Purveyors of Travel

THE

Q1 2016

TRAVEL NEWS, TIPS AND TIDBITS

LETTER FROM THE CEO HTL NEWS OFF THE BEATEN PATH IN BALI INTRODUCING PUGLIA TRAVEL TIPS & TRICKS TATTLER TIDBITS

H U F F M A N C H I C A G O

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Professional Purveyors of Travel

LETTER FROM THE CEO Dear Friends of Huffman Travel, Happy New Year! I am just back from celebrating the holidays in Ecuador and the Galapagos. As we bid farewell to 2015, I can’t help but reflect on ‘the places we’ve been’. We had such fun collecting our travel destinations among our team that we are putting together a map to illustrate all the places visited by Huffman Travel Luxury Travel Advisors in 2015. While we will tell you that ‘we haven’t been everywhere’, we sure are trying!

Making friends with sea lion in Ecuador!

The Galapagos was an incredible trip and fits the true definition of a ‘bucket list destination’. Having planned many trips to the Galapagos for clients over the years myself, one would assume that I would have been prepared for the experience…but it still blew me away. I think the most poignant moment was when my 12 year old daughter snorkeled with hammerhead sharks. This is a child who did not want to ‘swim with fish’ or ‘sleep on a boat’ before our trip. The transformation was incredible — thanks to the plethora of wildlife we encountered. Almost every travel publication I’ve picked up in the past few weeks talks about “Where to go in 2016” - and there are plenty! The ‘hot’ destinations that are at the top of my list include; Portugal, Iceland, the Dolomites and Cuba. Experiences that excite me include; The Northern Lights, Churchill (to see the Polar Bears), rafting down the Salmon River and Safari Skiing between France and Switzerland. Wherever and how far away 2016 takes you, may it be filled with many amazing adventures, discoveries and experiences! Sincerely,

Shawna Huffman Owen President & CEO, Huffman Travel LTD

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HTL NEWS Tony Huffman, Founder and Chairman of Huffman Travel LTD, attended the prestigious Virtuoso Chairman’s Event with his wife, Pokey, in November 2015. This ‘invitation only’ event recognizes Virtuoso’s top Member Agencies and was held in Puglia, Italy. Huffman Travel was honored to be selected to participate in this exclusive event, and Tony was delighted with all he discovered in Puglia. (read more about his experience on page 7). The International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) is another invitation-only event to the travel trade. Held annually in Japan, Africa, China and Mexico, it is Cannes that remains the flagship international show. It is ‘where the world meets the world’ and the travel industry’s ‘best in class’ does more business in one week than in months! This event is highly attended by the best of the best as far as travel media, advisors, suppliers, hoteliers, etc. We are pleased to announce that Huffman Travel was well represented by Shawna Huffman Owen and a few of HTL’s advisors; Angela Schoenhard, Stephanie Fisher, André Koester, Monique Owen and. (shown below with Franck Farneti of Cap d’Antibes Beach Hotel & President of Relais & Chateaux Provence, Cote d’Azure and Corsica Delegation)

Some of the finest Italian cuisine was enjoyed in Lecce, Italy.

In travel news for 2016, HTL reminds travelers that when booking air travel, residents of the following states will need a second government issued ID. HTL is recommending travelers use their passports. Alaska, California, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Carolina, Washington state, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


“Bali allowed me to combine a diving trip with exploring a country that had always intrigued me..” - Gabrielle Warncke

NATURAL BALI My travel experiences generally fall into two categories; places I’m interested in exploring for cultural or geographic reasons, and places I want to explore while suited up in my SCUBA gear. This year my dive group settled on the Komodo Islands in Indonesia for our diving destination. My ‘inner adventurer’ was so excited when I learned that our starting and ending points would be Bali! This allowed me to combine a dive trip with a ‘land extension’ that explored a country that has always intrigued me. Our trip started in Denpasar in Bali. The first stop was at Padang Bay, where we saw the Mola Mola, also called the Sunfish. It’s a rare

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sighting, and we were lucky to see one on each dive in this area. The next few days took us to Moyo Island as well as Bima Bay on Sumbawa Island. Both areas are known for macro sightings, which are the tiny creatures many divers might pass by and never even notice., such as seahorses or porcelain crabs. Our fourth day took us to Sangiang Volcano where I experienced something unlike never before; while underwater exploring, I felt the rumble of the active volcano. I was overcome with a mix of intrigue, excitement, and a little bit of fear of the unknown!

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Bali, continued The remaining portion of the diving t r i p wa s s p e n t e x p l o r i n g s i t e s throughout the Komodo Islands and Rinca Island. Experiences ranged from seeing the graceful Manta Rays with their extensive wingspan and acrobatic movements, to minuscule nudibranches, including the spectacular Spanish Dancer. Some of the sites were so healthy and abundant with sea life that it felt like I was floating through the pages of a National Geographic photo journal. With my diving concluded, I made my way back to Denpasar. Upon arrival, I was off to explore the life and culture of the local Balinese people. I started with a short trip to Seminyak on the west coast. This hip and chic area is growing significantly and offers many great restaurants, shopping and nightlife opportunities. Tanah Lot is a water temple worth visiting that resides one hour north of the city, and I highly

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recommend an early morning excursion to miss the traffic and the crowds when visiting this site. Continuing to the north, I checked into the UNESCO World Heritage site of Jatiluwih. The landscape is a sculpture that was meticulously perfected over hundreds of years by many generations of farmers. These skilled agriculturalists collectively created an intricate infrastructure of dams, canals, and aqueducts to irrigate their individual rice fields more than efficiently. When I walked through the terraces, the gentle song of water that continuously trickled down from one rice paddy into the next was mesmerizing. Ubud is the artistic and cultural center of Bali. The ARMA museum is a living museum that showcases many different types of art. I was able to observe

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Bali, continued artisans engaged in various Balinese art forms; painting, woodcarving, batik, weaving, and dancing. Visitors are able to participate in classes of their choosing. Should you wish to add pieces of art to your collection, there are many local shops that line the streets of Ubud. Another amazing part of the Ubud area is the natural setting within a 30-60 minute drive. I opted for some hiking and a downhill mountain biking experience that took me on the country roads through the rice terraces. This is where I was able to see the real Bali, and felt that I experienced a significant step back in time. Even my guide, who grew up in a farming family, acknowledged the simplicity of the Balinese living in the countryside and the lack of basic conveniences. We passed local children playing in their yards and local farmers working in the rice fields, or gathering grass to take back to their livestock. We saw locals bathing in the streams or carrying large tubs of water on their heads to take back to their homes. My explorations continued on to the east of Bali which is less visited by the average traveler because of the distance from Denpasar. However, the area near and to the east of Manggis was my favorite part of the country. I took a fantastic hike from Kastala to the Tenganan Village, which was another great exploration into the “real” Bali. In addition, two of the temples, Tirta Gangga and Taman Ujung, are well-preserved and less visited. They were enjoyable to explore without the crowds and had a less “touristy” feel. While in this area, I stayed at Amankila where the service was superb. The tranquility of the property was a welcome experience after long days of traveling and touring. The final leg of my journey brought me back to the Uluwatu and Jimbaran areas in Southern Bali, which did not disappoint. The service I experienced at the Bulgari Bali was second to none and the property was stunning. It could be a destination in and of itself. I visited the Uluwatu Temple and enjoyed the Kecak Dance performance (which describes the eternal love story of Rama and Shinta, two deities in Hinduism) and will never forget watching this dance as the sun set in the background. I found Bali to be very different from other parts of Indonesia; a melting pot of individuals from various parts of the country with a wonderful mix of culture, luxury properties, historic temples, and active experiences.

“Ubud is the artistic and cultural center of Bali.”

Gabrielle Warncke gabrielle@huffmantravel.com

- Gabrielle Warncke

Luxury Travel Advisor

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“Puglia has only recently been discovered.” - Tony Huffman

PUGLIA UNCOVERED Located at the heel of Italy’s ‘boot’, or the southeastern part of the country, Puglia has only recently been discovered as an unspoiled tourist destination within this ever popular country. Local Italians have been going to Puglia in summers for the last decade or so, but others are discovering it only recently. Its two airports, Bari and Brindisi, are easily reached and are equal distance from the heart of Puglia. We flew to Bari from Milan, and upon departure, flew from Brindisi to Rome. One could easily combine this destination with the Amalfi Coast, Naples and Capri. My wife, Pokey, and I joined about 125 other Virtuoso member owners

and supplier / partners for six days in this most intriguing setting of Italy. We stayed at Borgo Egnazia, a beautiful and contemporary five star oasis in the center of Puglia. Owned by the gracious Melpignano family, this lovely property is perched above the crystal blue Adriatic Sea and offers a variety of activities. In addition to taking in the historical sights of Puglia, one should allow enough time for the spa, a round of golf or one of their cooking, mixology or p h o t o g ra p hy c l a s s e s . So accommodating are the hosts, guests will feel as if they are


Puglia, continued honorary members of the Melpignano family during their stay. What makes Puglia unique is its relaxed, authentic ‘country’ atmosphere. I found the people to be genuine and friendly, and the scenery spectacular. The area is known for culture and history and is is abundant with medieval castles, Baroque and Romanesque churches, noble palaces, historical residences, ruins and markets. From Ancient Greeks to the Romans, from the Byzantines to the Normans, many civilizations have ruled over Puglia. Archaeological excavations have uncovered priceless artifacts and works of art that testify to the various cultures that were once there. In fact, so rich with history is the region, there are villages in southern Puglia that were original colonies of Magna, Greece and ancient Greek is still spoken to this day. It is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites; the fortress Castel del Monte, trulli (unique drystone huts), and Sanctuary of San Michele Arcangelo, a masterpiece of medieval art and international pilgrimage destination. Puglia boasts over 500 miles of coastline and is hugged by two seas, the Ionian and the Adriatic,

resulting in a variety of coastlines that range from sloping beaches to steep cliffs peppered with small communities. Locorotondo, Alberobello and Cisternino have been recognized as some of the most picturesque little villages in Italy, but I found the nearby town of Lecce especially charming. It is a shopper’s haven and a gourmet’s paradise. It is known as the ‘southern Florence’ because of its magnificent Baroque architecture. I recommend an Tony and early morning start, Pokey in Puglia strolling the streets at leisure and having a wonderful lunch at one of the many restaurants on the beautiful Piazza Oronzo. A word of caution: Puglia is known for its amazing cheeses, particularly fresh mozzarella, as well as olive oil and wine. In fact, Puglia is one of the top 10 destinations for wine lovers. ( This is a fabulous destination for both families and couples who wish to get away from it all and still have plenty to do. It’s certainly a destination for travelers looking for relaxation, but it also offers a plethora of options for the more active traveler to e n j oy ; g o l f , b i k i n g , sw i m m i n g , t o u r i n g , shopping…. (and, of course, eating), all in a very casual atmosphere.

- Tony Huffman Founder and Chairman tony@huffmantravel.com

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Professional Purveyors of Travel

TIPS & TRICKS PACKING & PLANNING FOR…..

BALI •

PUGLIA

Avoid touching or patting Indonesians on the head as it is believed to be the holiest part of the body and absolutely not done

••

This friendly destination is an easy ‘self drive’, but you need a GPS!

Because of the terrain, make sure you have comfortable walking shoes

Apart from shaking hands, there is minimal physical contact between men and women. Remember to always use your right hand, to give or receive. The Balinese consider the left hand unclean

Brush up on your Italian before you go! This is off the beaten track and not everyone will speak English

Car aficionados, we challenge you to find more open and inviting roads for driving high performance vehicles like Ferrari, Maserati or Lamborghini

Wine snobs, do not underestimate or overlook Puglia! This is a destination for wine connoisseurs; Don’t miss the grand cellar room at Tormaresca or the boutique tasting rooms at Castel di Salve and L’Astore Masseria

Do not talk to or stand in front of someone with your hands on your hips, as it is very impolite and a sign of aggression – same with pointing your finger

·Feet are considered unclean so do not rest them on tables or have them facing other people

Dress appropriately when entering temples – cover your knees with a sarong

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ADVISORS Each issue of Travel Tattler will help you ‘get to know’ two fabulous members of the Huffman Travel team..and what makes them so passionate about travel!

DIANE COLAIZZI

KRISTA WISSINGER Krista joined the Huffman Travel team in early 2014 and has earned her certification as a Virtuoso Certified Travel Advisor. She was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. She and her mother have taken annual trips since she was young, and is thrilled that she is able to couple her love of travel with her profession. Krista is always looking for more opportunities in terms of personal travel experience so she can use her first-hand experience to better advise her clients. She has been on many cruises as well as traveled to Mexico, Bahamas, England, and France. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband and son. She also enjoys many outdoor activities such as golfing, hiking, biking and canoeing. Her favorite travel moment thus far is enjoying champagne with her mother at the American Bar in the Stafford after a long day of sightseeing and shopping.

Diane is passionate about traveling to unique and exotic destinations. Every year she organizes a small group of travel enthusiasts to join her on a luxury cruise and/or land tour that she personally designs. As a Travel Specialist, Diane offers travel planning services to include multi-country extended trips, multi-generational gatherings for special occasions and personalized romantic and relaxing weekend getaways. Diane has been a Luxury Travel Consultant since 1990 and joined Huffman Travel, Ltd. in 2001. That same year she earned her Certified Travel Counselor Certificate and her Destination Specialist Certificate in Special Interest Travel. Both certificates show a commitment to and knowledge of the travel business. Diane is proud to be part of the Huffman Travel team and the exclusive Virtuoso Network, the world’s most prestigious luxury travel consortia. She works as an independent consultant for her loyal clients as well as new referrals. Her favorite recent destination? Cornwall in the UK. She explained, “It was so awesome because of the picturesque coastal villages, incredibly friendly people who speak English, tiny back roads lined in colorful hedgerows and wildflowers….and an interesting history!”

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Professional Purveyors of Travel

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TIDBITS

LA RÉSERVE PARIS - SAY HELLO TO A NEW CLASSIC Just a stone’s throw from the Champs-Elysées sits La Réserve Paris, this new gem captures the essence of ‘Parisian’! Once the private residence of designer Pierre Cardin, the city’s most stylish new address boasts rich fabrics, marble fireplaces, elegant furnishings and the discreet atmosphere of a private club. As if overlooking Grand Palais, Eiffel Tower, and the Pantheon weren’t enough, the hotel plans on offering ‘ACE Experiences’ (Art, Culture, Emotion), which will entail private flea market tours, exclusive personal shoppers to assist with fine vintage furnishings, as well as a private dinner with one of the most acclaimed sommeliers in the world, Paolo Basso. We LOVE the day trip they’re offering to Cos D’Estournel, complete with a wine tasting and lunch at a the owner’s mansion!

AMANERA - TRANQUIL SANCTUARY IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC The Huffman Travel Team is a huge fan of all things Aman and their new hideaway, open late last year, in the Dominican Republic is no exception! Aman is known for ‘out of this world’ settings, and this luxe property is surrounded by 2,000 acres of pristine tropical forest that stretches along nearly seven miles of continuous coast. Each of the 25 one bedroom casitas enjoys views from an expansive terrace and is accessed through private gardens. Golfers love the fairways of the stunning (and adjacent) Playa Grande Golf Course. Perched above the ocean on dramatic cliffs, the resort appears to simply ‘float’ above a three tiered water feature and offers glorious views from every angle - including the open air bar and lounge. Did we mention there is a spa with a yoga studio and full gym? This property is simply amazing!

LUXURY CRUISING IN THE GALAPAGOS WITH SILVERSEA The Silver Galapagos is one of Silversea’s sleekest ships. Enjoy seamless excursions and up-close encounters with giant iguanas, sea lions and penguins by day, and the luxury digs of this newly remodeled vessel by night! All accommodations are ocean view suites - how cool is that? Enjoy the services of your personal butler, spacious accommodations and gourmet cuisine as you explore unique ecosystems and even more unique wildlife. Silversea has refined and redefined luxury exploration with all inclusive comfort! H U F F M A N

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