What's on Our Table This Thanksgiving
Wanderlust With Us - Issue XXVII
November 12, 2020
The Greatest Hits
As countries begin to open for US travelers, we thought it was only appropriate to re-introduce some of our favorite blog segments that featured destinations you can travel to now!
Partner Profile: Andrea Filippi, Belmond
Vice President, Global Sales
Andrea, tell us what you've been doing...
"Whenever I meet someone from outside the travel and hospitality industry and I am asked “what do you do?”, my first answer is always: “I probably have the best job in the world!”
As Vice President of Global Sales at BELMOND, I am fortunate enough to travel all over the world, with the added privilege of visiting the most beautiful destinations - experiencing deep and authentic immersions in local cultures.
What makes my job even more exciting and rewarding is the countless number of inspiring people I meet through my travels: knowledgeable travel advisors, true characters and great storytellers – spanning from local fishermen to opera singers! Add to the recipe the bonus of leading a team of 170 passionate sales professionals, who collaborate relentlessly with expert travel consultants at crafting bespoke lifetime memories for their clients who become our Guests – and invest some of their time to celebrate life in “BELMOND style”.
As a positive thinker by nature, I always look at my glass being half-full vs. half-empty. This helped me going through the pandemic crisis with a renewed sense of responsibility, providing me with an appetite to collaborate with my team and our peers in the industry, rethinking how we can enhance the customer experience in the next future. I refer to the future as the era of a
“New BETTER Normal”, past this “temporary abnormal” phase. There are lots of exciting news and innovations in store, stay tuned!
From a personal standpoint, I used to take an average of 250 flights a year, a few months ago I was concerned at the perspective of being grounded in lockdown, unable to fly anywhere. After 118 days of consecutive “no-fly period”, I actually feel grateful for the opportunity of slowing down and spending more time with my wife Stefania and my daughter Greta – a treat I certainly was not accustomed to until now!
I am normally based in Milano but as the city was the one being hit the hardest in Italy with Covid-19, we decided to move to our summer house and happy place in Puglia, where we plan to stay throughout the season, rejoicing with the simplest pleasures of life.
In all honesty, I do miss travelling and I will jump on the first opportunity to catch a plane and keep doing what I love most: traveling and exploring.
#travelbecause: exploring is an enriching experience. Always!"
Our Resident Foodie, Jenna Tornese, Explores Maui
Hawaii is open now with a negative COVID test and Jenna, our food-driven travel advisor, had the pleasure of vacationing in the beautiful Wailea area this year. Her first stop was the Fairmont Kea Lani, a family friendly hotel with plenty to offer including three pools and a water slide! Jenna spent her days poolside, ordering delicious drinks and small bites from Ama, the swim up bar and grill. Her recommendations? The Hibiscus Margarita paired with the fresh Ama Poke Bowl. This was perfect for a sun filled day. They even offered complimentary fresh pineapple that was too delicious to pass up. The Fairmont’s hospitality was unmatched. Jenna’s Tip: If you sign up for the Accor Club program, the hotel offers complimentary cruiser bikes to take around the Wailea area!
Before heading over to the Four Seasons Maui at Wailea, she opted for an adventurous snorkeling trip that she highly recommends for her clients. She saw lively coral reefs, colorful fish, and a family of friendly sea turtles. Jenna remembers one of the turtles coming up for air right next to her and she was shocked by how close they got to the visitors! After a busy day of swimming in the ocean, she could not wait to get back to the Four Seasons to eat at Ferraros where she ordered her absolute favorite meal, Pappardelle Bolognese. “It was deliziosa!” Jenna’s Tip: If you want a romantic beachside dinner with a sunset view, this is the perfect setting. Make sure to make a reservation in advance since tables fill up quickly! Not only does the Four Seasons have wonderful dining experiences (If you’re a steak and seafood lover, Spago is a dream), but they also offer complimentary Cabanas and beach loungers which allow guests to completely relax and enjoy their time while on property.
Where to Stay in Tahiti: Splurge vs. Savvy
Splurge: The Brando
Here’s an offer you can’t refuse: An exotic stay at The Brando, the former Polynesian home of Marlon Brando. The only true all-inclusive luxury resort found within the islands of Tahiti, the eco-friendly Brando fuses carefree luxury with cutting-edge technology in 36 welcoming villas on private beaches with plunge pools. Set within a bio diverse natural sanctuary, the resort offers naturalist-led tours and a professional-led photo safari. You can learn Polynesian dance or how to play the ukulele, or you can take part in plentiful water sports. Holistic spa treatments are inspired by ancient traditions.
Barack Obama picked The Brando to start the first chapter of his life post-presidency. Learn more about his stay at this once in a lifetime property here. "If Leo has been able to come here on several different occasions with different girls and not a single photo has come out, that’s where I need to go. — Barack Obama"
Blessed by the trademark vanilla scents of the Island of Taha'a, Relais & Châteaux's Le Taha'a Island Resort and Spa is sublime. Offshore from the island, on Motu Tautau, the resort maintains an exclusive ambiance with just 45 over water suites, 10 one-bedroom Beach Villas and 2 two-bedroom Royal Beach Villas. It's a place where you may be as lazy or as active as you wish. Spend every day at TAVAI Spa or go Jet Skiing, paddling, snorkeling or diving. Choose from three dining options, including a gourmet restaurant built seamlessly into the trees.
Fun Fact: Everyone has had room service but have you ever had it delivered by canoe? When staying in the over water bungalow, opt for the canoe breakfast where you get lagoon-side service!
We always recommend clients take the red eye flights each way to avoid an unnecessary overnight in Papeete.
If you want to use points to fly, Air France flies a couple of times per week, but the business seats are angle flat (vs the lie flat on the new Air Tahiti Nui Dreamliners)
Interested in surfing? We have our own private surf instructor that can take you out to experience the waves year-round.
Sounds Like St. Barth's
Since many clients have been traveling to St. Barth's now that they are open, we thought we would send you there too with this wonderful island inspired Spotify playlist. Grab a glass of rosé, close your eyes, and imagine you’re beach side at Eden Rock, where the famous “beach boy” butlers attend to your every need.
Punga - Klingande
Wicked Games - Parra for Cuva
Karma, You Got Owned – Tep No
Klanga (De Hofmar Remix)- Gostan
True Thoughts – Parra for Cuva
Sexual Healing (Kygo Remix) – Marvin Gaye
Hvar (feat MSP) – Kiso
Riva Restart the Game (spada Remix) – Klingande
In the Air Tonight - Delancy
Are You With Me – Lost Frequencies