Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Holidays!


Happy Holidays to all and best wishes for a Happy New Year!

Enjoy this video from our recent trip to New York. Saks' "The Snowflake and the Bubble" holiday display was spectacular. Video was graciously provided by Michael Serino.

The office is closed Friday, December 24 for the long weekend. We will re-open on Monday, December 27. Next week will be another short week, since we're also closed on Friday, December 31. I will be checking email and voice mail periodically over the holiday weekends. As always, you may call the FROSCH 24/7 Hotline if you have a travel emergency on a trip I've arranged. The contact information is at the top of your itinerary.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sustainable Design Summit at Halekulani


The first Architectural Digest Design Passport land program, “The Sustainable Design Summit at Halekulani,” March 11-13, 2011, is now available for booking. Join Architectural Digest for an enlightening weekend, exploring sustainability in all its forms at the luxurious Halekulani Resort, on Oahu’s Waikiki Beach. From intimate panels and private tours to gala dinners with organic fare, guests will enjoy up-close experiences with AD-selected hosts including interior designer Martyn Lawrence-Bullard and landscape architect Andrea Cochran—plus all of the amenities of this breathtaking resort. I inspected this property in April and was impressed (here are my Photos).


Vacation Inclusions:
  • 4-nights Ocean View* or Diamond Head Ocean Front** accommodations
  • Daily breakfast for each morning (either in House Without a Key or Orchids)

Our Exclusive Offer:
  • Architectural Digest Reception
  • Architectural Digest Dinner
  • Architectural Digest Gift
  • $200.00 Food & Beverage Credit
Click here for more information and specific details on the exclusive amenities featured with this itinerary. This package is available exclusively through Signature member agencies.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

VIP Package for SoBe Wine & Food Festival

FOOD NETWORK SOUTH BEACH
WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL

VIP Travel Package: February 25 - 27, 2011


We’re delighted to announce the next Food Network Travel Festival Package to the South Beach Wine & Food Festival (SOBE) is now available.

This exclusive VIP Package includes:

  • Two nights accommodations in Miami within walking distance of the festival
  • Access to Perrier-Jouet Bubble Q presented by Allen Brothers and hosted by Bobby Flay*Invitation to an exclusive cocktail party with Aarti Sequeira
  • Speedline access to Whole Foods Market Grand Tasting Village
  • Private meet and greet with Duff Goldman along with access to Food Network's Best Thing I Ever Ate at the Beach
  • Reserved Seating at Paula's Down Home Cookin' Sunday Gospel Brunch hosted by Paula Deen
  • Food Network Gift Bag filled with wonderful goodies

Stay in a ocean view studio suite with Signature amenities at The Tides South Beach or a deluxe room at the Albion Hotel South Beach.

Click here for more information on this exclusive VIP package or call me for more details.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Non-stop Elmira-Fort Lauderdale!

The Elmira-Corning Airport is getting non-stop service to Fort Lauderdale just in time for Thanksgiving, and fares are starting at $45 each way plus tax (based on availability). Allegiant Airlines is flying twice a week (Mondays and Fridays) and the schedule is offered through May 2011 as of this posting.

The flight times aren’t ideal:
Elmira-Fort Lauderdale 7:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.
Fort Lauderdale-Elmira 4:10 p.m. - 6:50 p.m.

This is a great option for flexible folks visiting family, but it is not recommended if you have a fixed schedule (and NEVER for cruise passengers). Allegiant is a charter airline, and the government rules regulating them are very different from the commercial airlines (like Delta and US Airways). If Friday's flight is cancelled (for weather, mechanical issues, whatever), they must book you on the next available flight or provide a refund. Hopefully, Monday's flight has seats available, so you'll only be 3 days late... They will not re-accommodate you on another airline. Here's a link to their Contract of Carriage, look at number 85.

Allegiant Airlines is based in Las Vegas, and was founded in 1997. They started flying from Elmira two years ago with non-stop flights to Orlando's Sanford Airport (here's the link to my post).

Monday, August 23, 2010

NYC Wine & Food Festival

We’re delighted to announce the first Food Network VIP Package to the New York City Wine & Food Festival available exclusivelythrough members of Signature including FROSCH.

A limited amount of packages are available, which provide you with VIP access to NYC Wine & Food Festival events. The Signature exclusive package includes two nights at the brand new Eventi Hotel walking distance to most festival events. You will enjoy VIP access to select events as well as exclusive experiences ONLY available to Signature member guests. The package includes five VIP festival tickets including an “Invitation Only” Cocktail Party in the Food Network studios with Melissa d’Arabian star of Ten Dollar Dinners and the soon to be announced winner of this year’s Next Food Network Star!

VIP tickets include:
--Private Cocktail Hour at Food Network Kitchens co-hosted by Melissa d’Arabian and Aarti Sequeira, the season six winner of The Next Food Network Star!
--Tacos & Tequila hosted by Bobby Flay (already SOLD OUT to the general public)
--Paula Deen Brunch with reserved seating
--Sweet hosted by Duff Goldman and Sandra Lee with Speedline Access
--Grand Tasting Session with Speedline Access

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Pompeii

I usually advise clients to explore the Amalfi Coast when stopping in Sorrento to enjoy a relaxing day enjoying the stunning scenery and little resort villages. Instead of taking my own advice, I went to tour the ruins of Ancient Pompeii. It was as hot, long and tiring as I have cautioned; the four-hour walking tour over uneven terrain in the very hot sun of July was not for the faint-hearted, especially considering all the important artifacts have been moved long ago to the museum in Naples. Still, it was a rare chance to experience a Roman city and is an essential stop on the Grand Tour. It was an hour by bus from Sorrento to the ruins with some great views of Mount Vesuvius along the way. Upon arrival, we entered the Roman city of Pompeii. The tour visited the Forum, the bakery shop, the fast food joint and the plaster cast of several victims including the Dog of Pompeii. We also saw the Roman mosaics, some wall paintings and the iconic dancing fawn.

Here are my photos from Pompeii.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Olympia

The ship arrived in Katakolon, Greece which is on the mainland. This area is close to Olympia, Birthplace of the Olympics. Our Guide was fascinating and helped bring the ruins to life. Unfortunately the tour did not include admission to the museum, but I was able to skip our brief shopping time to go in and browse the extensive collection. There was a whole room devoted to bronze miniatures, and the statues were impressive.

There is nothing much else of interest in this area, although some tours include a "Zorba Event." How could it be as good as Anthony Quinn dancing in the film?!

Here are my Photos.

Corfu

Welcome to the Greek island of Corfu!

Here's the tour I selected for the morning: Achilleion Palace, Perama & Corfu Town, which visited the Austrian Empress Elisabeth's home built in 1891. There were very pretty gardens, sculpture and lovely views from the three terraces. Corfu Town was small and charming, pretty easy to enjoy on your own. Perhaps next time, I would choose to travel North to one of the beaches and swim in the Aegean Sea...

Here are my photos from the morning.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dubrovnik

This walled Medieval city looks exactly the same (well, except for the tourist shops). The old square, the narrow streets, the Franciscan Church were all enchanting. Here's a link to more information about Dubrovnik.

This is the Shore Excursion we chose: Historic Dubrovnik & Village Life. The village farm was really charming and we tasted some delicious treats.

Here’s a link to my photos from Dubrovnik.

Hotel Cipriani


Hotel Cipriani was an oasis, the ideal place to stay during the summer. Just five minutes away from the bustle of St Mark’s Square, their complimentary water shuttle was a pleasant way to get to the heart of Venice Island. The hotel docks steps away from the St. Mark’s Vaporetto stop, making the whole city within easy reach. If I had more time, I would have retreated to their Olympic-sized pool for an afternoon swim during the hottest time of the day. After a Bellini, head back to Venice Island for dinner and strolling.

My “Palladio Suite” was spacious, with a little terrace and a Lagoon view. I loved the bathroom, especially the shower: two heads converging plus the hand-held was wonderful. Room décor was a little Laura-Ashley-goes-to-Venice for my taste, but every detail was perfect (look at this closet!). The gardens were charming. Dinner at Cip’s Club looked like a fabulous way to watch the sun setting on St. Mark’s Square.

Here's a link to my Slideshow.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Venice


"To spend one's mornings in still, productive analysis of the clustered shadows of the Basilica, one's afternoons anywhere, in church or campo, on canal or lagoon, and one's evenings in starlight gossip at Florian's, feeling the sea-breeze throb languidly between the two great pillars of the Piazetta and over the low black domes of the church — this, I consider, is to be as happy as is consistent with the preservation of reason."

— Henry James, "Venice: An Early Impression" (1872)

The flight arrived a few hours late so I splurged on a water taxi to the hotel (fabulous, felt like James Bond arriving in style). Hotel Cipriani is wonderful, a quiet oasis 5 minutes by boat from St Mark’s Square (complimentary hotel shuttle operates every ten minutes 24 hours a day). The “Palladio Suite” has a lagoon view from the balcony, lovely.

Immediately headed to St. Mark’s Square. Enjoyed Bellinis and lunch at Harry’s Bar, fave haunt of Hemingway (cold zucchini soup and cuttlefish salad). Dinner at Al Covo was delicious (mussels and monkfish). Between meals, I walked all over Venice enjoying the city’s charm.

Day 2 began at Rialto Bridge and the Fish Market. Ate brunch at Florian’s, which was highly recommended by Henry James, Dickens and Proust (shrimp salad with radicchio). The 24-hour vaporetto pass was a pleasant way to cruise the Grand Canal (18 euros). Ate a wonderful dinner at Osteria Antico Giardinetto (crudo platter and pumpkin gnocci with zucchini flowers and shrimp).

The tour of Doge’s Palace and St Mark’s Basilica began at 8am on Day 3. Managed to get lost in Cannaregio which completed my Venice experience. I’ll definitely come back to spend more time, but not in summer: too hot, too humid and too crowded. The billboards were disconcerting, but I suppose they must fund the restoration work somehow. Where are the famous cats of Venice?

Here are my Venice photos.

Regent's "Seven Seas Mariner" set sail at 4pm, cruising past Venice Island and Lido. Next stop is Dubrovnik, Croatia...

Friday, July 16, 2010

Win a free trip to Australia

Click here to WIN a Great Barrier Reef dream vacation.
Take a brief survey and you'll automatically be entered in our sweepstakes for a chance to win an air-inclusive, 5-night vacation to the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef.
Click here to discover more about the land Down Under.
Click here for more information about the Great Barrier Reef.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Summer Update

Please note that I will be out of the office from Saturday, July 17 until Wednesday, August 4.

I am escorting a group of 34 on Regent’s Seven Seas Mariner. It’s an amazing Mediterranean itinerary visiting Croatia, Greece, Albania, Italy, France and Spain. I’ll be staying at the legendary Hotel Cipriani before the cruise and Le Meridien Barcelona at the end. Travel details and photos will be posted to my Blog during the trip. Yes, I’m really excited!

Here's a map of the itinerary:

Please get in touch now if you would like to make travel plans before I leave. As always, I will be checking voicemails and emails while traveling but my response time will be slower than usual. If you have a travel emergency while I’m away, please call the FROSCH 24-hour hotline (the information is detailed at the top of your travel itinerary).

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Royal Hawaiian

The Royal Hawaiian was my home in Honolulu on my recent trip to Hawaii. This Starwood hotel is part of The Luxury Collection. Click here for my Slideshow.

What I loved:

  • Great location in the heart of Waikiki Beach, this landmark luxury hotel is perfectly situated on a lovely stretch of sand with awesome views of Diamond Head.
  • Beach service: All beaches on Oahu are public and serving alcohol is not permitted, but the Royal Hawaiian was grandfathered in allowing beach service in a roped off section of the beach.



  • Fabulous décor: Recent restoration updated the style while retaining the classic features (like the hand-carved doors).
  • Sensational luau. This ocean-front dinner show called Aha'aina was truly a 'Royal Celebration' with first-rate talent and a delicious sit-down meal.
What I liked less:

  • Small rooms. This historic property opened in 1927. Guest rooms are small and bathrooms are very small. Consider a suite.
  • Small pool, but exchange privileges with Sheraton Waikiki next door gives access to large free-form pool.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Four Seasons Update


Four Seasons Preferred Partner program is an exclusive, invitation-only network of travel specialists from around the world. When you book your stay at Four Seasons with FROSCH, a Four Seasons Preferred Partner, you are entitled to additional benefits, which include: daily full American breakfast for two, an upgrade based on availability at time of check-in and an extra value-added amenity, such as: a spa credit of USD100, a golf credit of USD100 or lunch for two once during your stay (up to USD85, excluding gratuity and alcohol). You're entitled to these exclusive amenities simply by reserving your room with me!

Please click here for the latest updates from Four Seasons.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Food Network Cruise



Don't just watch the Food Network...experience it! We now have the pleasure of offering you exclusive access to authentic and engaging Food Network travel experiences with memorable cruises featuring Food Network stars.

You're invited to join fellow fans on our inaugural Food Network at Sea cruise, featuring Iron Chef Cat Cora and Chef Aaron Sanchez of Chefs vs. City. Travel to the Eastern Caribbean on board the award-winning Celebrity Solstice and savor an amazing array of one-of-a-kind culinary experiences. The 7-night cruise departs on August 22, 2010 from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Ports of call include San Juan, St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands; and St. Maarten.

You will enjoy All Access to "by invitation only" Food Network events including:
  • VIP Pier-side check-in
  • Enriching Culinary Demonstrations led by Cat Cora and Aarón Sánchez
  • Food Network VIP Lounge & Screening Room
  • Dine around featuring favorite Food Network recipes
  • Red Carpet Welcome Aboard Reception
  • Caribbean Cocktails at The Lawn Club
  • Battle of the Celebrity Solstice Chefs competition event
  • In addition, Food Network guests will receive pre-paid gratuities and special turndown gifts!

Ocean View Stateroom from $1519 per person
Veranda Stateroom from $1539 per person

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Safari Sweepstakes!


We interrupt the Hawaii focus with an exciting opportunity to win a free trip trip to Kenya! This DREAM vacation includes: economy roundtrip airfare on Emirates from select US gateway cities. Two nights at The Norfolk with breakfast, two nights at Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club with full board, and three nights at Fairmont Mara Safari Club with full board and two daily game drives. All transfers by land and air, park fees and taxes and fuel surcharges are also included. Enter now to win.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Big Island

I've been too busy on the Big Island to post until now, my last morning in Hawaii. Here's a summary of my itinerary here:

Thursday, April 29. Breakfast at JW Marriott Ihilani (with resort tour) and then flight from Oahu to Kona on the Big Island. Welcome to the Fairmont Orchid (love the Deluxe ocean-view room here) and dinner at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel (with resort tour).

Friday, April 30. Breakfast at Waikoloa Beach Marriott (with resort tour) and lunch at Sheraton Keauhou Resort (with resort tour). A little break was scheduled for shopping in Kona Town, but I managed to arrange a resort tour of the stunning Four Seasons Hualalai instead (sorry Mom). Then we had a resort tour of Hapuna Beach Prince, and a superb dinner at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel (with resort tour).

Saturday, May 1. At 6am, Blue Hawaiian picked me up for my two-hour "Big Island Spectacular" Helicopter Tour and it was amazing! I took a million photos and a little video but haven't even looked at them yet, but here are some professional videos for you to enjoy. Then I went for a mile hike, ate breakfast and enjoyed the beach for a couple hours before our resort tour of the Fairmont Orchid. The grand finale was the the dinner show "Gathering of the Kings."

Wish I had a little more time to enjoy the beautiful spa, explore the petroglyphs and swim with the resident turtles.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Goodbye Oahu

We are at the Honolulu Airport waiting to board our flight to the Big Island. Last night we had a wonderful dinner at Orchids at Halekulani (the coconut cake was divine). Then we celebrated our last night on Oahu with a delicious lavender-cucumber Mojito at RumFire, the ocean-front hot spot at the Sheraton Waikiki. The moon was full, the breeze was as refreshing as the drink, and the view of Waikiki Beach was sensational.

It's a 45 minute flight to Kona on the Big Island. We check into the Fairmont Orchid and then head to dinner at Mauna Lani Bay.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Seaplane Tour of Oahu

I had an amazing experience on the Island Seaplane Tour of Oahu. I took one million photos, click here for the Slideshow. Enjoy our Happy Landing!.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Welcome to the Royal Hawaiian

Aloha! Greetings from the Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort on Waikiki Beach. It's a beautiful day in Honolulu. It's a beautiful property and my room is lovely. This is my first Pink Palace hotel experience (but I hope it won't be the last).

Last night we enjoyed the Royal Hawaiian Luau Aha'aina which is an amazing dinner show. The Samoan Fire Dancer was my personal favorite.

We've been touring resorts since 6am this morning. So far, we've seen the Royal Hawaiian, Sheraton Waikiki, the Westin Moana Surfrider and the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Next stop, Trump International. And tomorrow, I will ride a Seaplane.


Friday, April 16, 2010

Aloha!

My trip to Hawaii has been confirmed for April 26-May 3! I'm really excited to stay at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Honolulu and the Fairmont Orchid on the Big Island. The itinerary is manic; we tour three or four resorts per day.

Highlights of the trip will be: having dinner at the new Trump International, and the Halekulani (both with resort tours). On the Big Island, I'm arranging a private tour of the Four Seasons Hualalai. I'll try to make time to visit Pearl Harbor and the volcano too.

I'll be posting details and photos here, so stay tuned.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Fees for Carry-on Bags

Spirit Airlines has taken baggage fees to the next level and begun charging for carry-on bags. In fact, passengers will pay more for carry-on bags than checked bags (although personal items are still free). The excuse is that overhead bins are too crammed, which makes getting on and off the plane take longer. The logic is if you bring less, you pay less.

The big question is: Will other airlines add similar fees? Wait and see - I'll keep you posted.

Here's is a summary of Spirit's new policy:
-If it's small enough to fit under the seat in front of you, it's free (16 x 14 x 12").
-Carry-on bag for overhead bin costs $30 online, $45 at gate (22 x 18 x 10")
-First Checked bag is $19 online, $25 at airport
-Second Checked bag is $25 online, $25 at airport
-Third, fourth and fifth checked bags cost $100 each.
*Members of their Club pay reduced baggage fees.
The new policy is in effect for tickets purchased after April 6, and travel departing August 1, 2010 and beyond.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Architectural Digest Cruise

You are invited to join like-minded travelers who share a passion for architecture and design.

As part of our Signature Personal Enrichment Series, we have partnered with Architectural Digest magazine to create a collection of cultural itineraries for travelers who view the world through the lens of design. With this collection of exclusive cruise and land vacations, you can now delve deep into a design adventure through invitation only experiences such as: behind-the-scenes access to cultural attractions, architectural sights, museum and gallery exhibits; and attend intimate presentations by some of the world's top architects and designers, and much more.

The first vacation offered in the series is a 14-night Mediterranean Cruise from Lisbon to Rome on The Yachts of Seabourn's brand-new Seabourn Sojourn departing October 11, 2010. Ports of call include Valencia, Mallorca, Sicily, Malta and Naples. The cruise will be hosted by an Architectural Digest Guest Lecturer. Exclusive amenities include a private shore experience in either Palma de Mallorca or Siracuse, Sicily. Click here for more information.


Friday, February 26, 2010

Announcing Bon Appetit Travel Series

You are invited to join like-minded travelers who share a passion for food and wine.

We have partnered with Bon Appétit magazine to create a travel program for epicurean enthusiasts. Delve deep into a culinary adventure through invitation-only experiences such as: hands-on cooking classes and wine and food pairing dinners.

The Bon Appétit Travel Series kicks off with two enriching voyages aboard the six-star, all-suite Seven Seas Mariner. In addition to our exclusive Bon Appétit experiences hosted by distinguished culinary experts, your value-packed cruise fare includes almost everything imaginable: roundtrip airfare; unlimited shore excursions; all beverages including fine wines, beer and premium spirits; reservation only restaurants at no additional charge; all onboard gratuities and more!

Bon Voyage & Bon Appétit!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

This time of year always brings out romantic stories and travel promotions of all sorts. Here are few to inspire you.

*Kimpton Hotels "Rub the One You're With" offer is a perennial favorite including a private in-room massage class for two so you can bring the romance home.

*Princess Cruises' Department of Romance has sponsored a Romance Summit this week on board the Crown Princess, hosted by "Love Boat" Captain Gavin MacLeod.

I love planning romantic getaways any time of year, and have a treasure trove of suggestions for ways to wow your partner.
Click here for Romance in Mexico.
Click here for Romance in the Caribbean.
Click here for Romance in Hawaii.
Click here for Romance in Europe.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Airlines Raise Fees Again

The New Year has brought another wave of fee hikes from airlines. Delta, Continental, United, American, and US Airways have all increased checked baggage fees. Yes, they are obnoxious, but consider that air fares are lower now than they've been in the last ten years.

Here is a handy chart of the current Airline Fees.
Here is a link to Luggage Limits with detailed baggage allowance information.
Hope you enjoy this piece from Smart Money by Kelli B. Grant with good travel advice.