Editor’s Notes

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We ended 2012 with a new design and freshened up our editorial approach, and 2013 will bring even more must-read articles as we up the ante in both print and online. This month, I’ve hit the refresh button on the editor’s notes column—I’ll be doing it from time to time throughout 2013—so you can read what our talented team of editors have to say about the industry as a whole. Our Latin America editor Carla Hunt always has something on her mind, as does Caribbean Editor Ed Wetschler and Asia/South Pacific editor Sergio Ortiz, but I thought it best to start the ball rolling with our Associate Editor, Deserae del Campo ([email protected]):

Luxury travel was never my “thing.” Honestly. I don’t mind finding my way from the airport to the hotel (and back again) with luggage in tow and a city map in my back pocket. When I travel, I don’t search for the hotel with the best spa or large balconies with a jacuzzi. That being said, I do know luxury when I see it, and it’s all over the pages of this month’s Luxury & Spa issue.

Travel agent Marilyn Ross of Journeys Unlimited gave me her insight on what makes a true luxury vacation: spacious rooms (preferably suites) with upgraded amenities such as jacuzzi tubs, balconies, and room service; exceptional restaurants and spa treatments; and a calming and beautiful atmosphere. I can attest to this list. Flip through this issue to read my onsite reviews of Celebrity Cruises’ “Modern Luxury” Solstice class vessel, Celebrity Reflection (page 16) and Karisma’s El Dorado and Azul Hotels in Riviera Maya (page 22). Our oh-so-lucky editor-in-chief shares with us her trip to Belize where she stayed at El Secreto (page 26). A story that had me itching to take my shoes off, too (you’ll see why), while Carla Hunt takes us on a journey through Kenya’s uber-luxe camps and excursions mixed with a bit of culture (page 38). In this issue I also learned that luxury isn’t just about the accommodations, the spa or even the pampering. It’s also about the adventure in seeking out new horizons, and I think you’ll agree when you read Carla’s Tour Talk feature on GeoEx (page 14). In this issue you’ll also find the Hamburg Travel Planner 2013 (page 29), ideal for those clients looking for a town where chic-meets-maritime-charm.

I want to share another thought from Marilyn that I think explains it all when it comes to creating unforgettable vacation experiences for your clients: “Knowing a client’s personal preferences and catering to that, or exceeding those expectations, is the key to creating their perfect luxury vacation. This requires a lot of communication with the client. What you imagine is important to them may not be their most important aspect, so ask, ask, ask!”—Deserae del Campo

Falkland Islands Xpert

We also are pleased to introduce a new, online-only specialist course on the Falkland Islands, FIXpertFalkland Islands Xpert. If your clients love nature and planting their feet on less-trampled lands, then sign up on edu.recommend.com and learn about this nature lover’s paradise located off the coast of South America.