The Corliss Group Luxury Travel Agency

The Corliss Group Luxury Travel Agency

Well-being, Communication

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    To properly impress, celebrate, or indulge - and we mean once-in-a-lifetime properly - you'll need to push the fine-dining boat out a fair bit further than usual. Here are our recommendations and tips.

    Many of the world's finest dining experiences require more than deep pockets. A certain level of ingenuity and persistence are necessary to garner the “impossible to get reservation”. Intensive research, some local knowledge and foreign language skills can also help to open doors to Michelin-star restaurants' little-known private rooms and to members-only clubs. Some equally special experiences merely require travel to exotic, faraway places.

    Here, you'll find a handful of unique dining destinations, hidden rooms and places of pilgrimage,that only those in the know, know about.

    Noma, Copenhagen

    Claims to be the most difficult restaurant in the world in which to secure a reservation. On the sixth day of the month, every month, reservations open for tables three months in advance. Allegedly more than 20,000 emails flood Noma's computer system on that day. One way around the issue is to book Noma's private dining room, located above the restaurant's main dining room and next door to the prep kitchen and culinary "lab". The long, private space overlooks Copenhagen's waterfront warehouses and a new pedestrian footbridge that links the dockside with the city.

    Annabel's, London

    London's older clubs, like Annabel's, on Mayfair's Berkeley Square, has been welcoming m...

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    TWENTY-FOUR-HOUR butler service? Free kid’s club

    What would grab your attention to book a package holiday? Australians have been touted as the second-biggest holiday spenders in the world (after the Saudis), and travel companies are working hard to nab a lucrative share of that travel dollar.

    On average, Australians spend $3962 on an overseas trip, shadowing the global average of $2300, according to Visa’s latest Global Travel Intentions study. The report also revealed Aussies plan to increase their holiday budget by almost 10 per cent on their next trip to an average $4331.

    So what are travel companies willing to do to turn a holiday-maker’s head?

    Colin Bowman, Flight Centre’s general manager of marketing, says companies are always looking for ways to add value to a package. “I was in Hong Kong recently and the hotel we stayed at offered guests a mobile phone for the duration of their stay with calls charged at a local rate,” he says. “It’s the small but very important inclusions like these which can set a package aside.”

    Matthew Cameron-Smith, managing director of Trafalgar Australia, says savvy Australian travellers want an experience that offers authenticity.

    Cameron-Smith says: “Anyone can pay to have dinner on the Champs Elysees in Paris, but how many can organise a meal in a private 100-year-old goat farm in rural France or a lemon grove in Tuscany?”

    Creative Holidays managing director James Gaskell says everyone loves a bonus – welcome coc...

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    <b>EXPERT weekly advice on your travel dilemmas.</b>

    <b>My husband and I will be arriving in Hong Kong in June at 5am and departing at 8.15pm the same day. Is there anything we can do during this time?</b>

    <b>Doc:</b>With comfy shoes and lots of energy you should be able to make the most of your day. Start by jumping on the Airport Express to Kowloon – it takes 24 minutes and departs every 10 minutes. Then take an early- morning walk along the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade. You’ll get a great view of the busy harbour and see the Avenue of Stars, with statues and handprints of celebrities. Next to the ferry terminal is the Museum of Art showing collections of ancient art and antiques (note: it’s closed on Thursdays). Hop on the Star Ferry across to Central then head to the Pier Eight bus terminus and take shuttle bus No. 15 to the Peak Tram Station. Board the tram for the climb up Victoria Peak for fantastic views. Grab some traditional Asian food at one of the restaurants, then do the one-hour walk around the peak. You may then have time to go back to Central Pier Six and catch the ferry to Mui Wo. From here take New Lantao bus two to Ngong Ping Village (about 40 minutes), where there’s the giant Tian Tan Buddha and the reconstructed village showing traditional Chinese architecture. Or, for a more relaxing afternoon, head back down to the Central MTR train station and take the 10-minute trip to Mong Kok. This is known as “the area that never re...

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    With flowering public gardens and boulevards made for strolling hand-in-hand, this is the perfect time of year to visit the City of Light. Here, we share our favorite tips for finding the perfect views, affordable meals, and making Paris your own.

    Have a plan, but be flexible

    John Baxter, author of The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris, recommends that you pick one must-see for each day in Paris, but improvise the rest of the day. This combination of planning and spontaneity is ideal for Paris, a city that offers not only super-famous sights like the Louvre, Notre Dame, and the Arc de Triomphe, but also super-secret spots that are all the more special for being off the beaten path. "Paris can't be done with just a map or a guidebook. You have to get lost, frustrated, Overwhelmed. Only then will you find that perfect café, that market that seems like a local secret, or that hidden garden. You have to discover Paris for yourself and then it will be yours, "says Rebecca Geoffroy-Schwinden, a Ph.D. candidate in musicology recently returned from a year in Paris.

    Get the perfect view

    Dubbed "this useless and monstrous Eiffel Tower" by the city’s most prominent artists when it was proposed by engineer Gustave Eiffel, Parsons ultra-iconic observation tower debuted as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair and quickly became so popular that it was never taken down. These days, the only "monstrous" thing about the tower is the lin...

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    No question about it, airfares on some routes are higher than they were four or five years ago, although Airfare watchdog airfare searchers frequently find hundreds of fares crisscrossing the country for $250 or less round-trip. And even though fares seem higher, let's not forget that, adjusted for inflation; most fares are actually lower than they were 10 or 20 years ago. That said, here’s my best advices for making your airfare dollars go further.

    1. There’s no "magic" day or lead time to buy the best airfare.

    A lot of airfare experts think they're clairvoyant, so they know where airfares are headed or how far in advance you should start looking for a fare. The latest myth is to buy exactly 54 days in advance.

    2. So search often, over a long lead time, and pounce when there’s a deal!

    Fares fluctuate throughout the day, and the number of seats offered at the lowest fares also changes frequently.

    3. Get airfare alerts by e-mail

    This is perhaps the easiest way to track airfares. Many travel websites offer e-mailed airfare alerts, letting you know when fares go down, and they all have something to offer.

    4. Sign up for the airlines ' e-mail feeds and frequent flier programs

    Speaking of promo codes, the airlines want to develop a relationship with you, so ethyl send you special deals, such as 50% of promo codes or two-fers, if you sign up for their e-mails.

    5. Use Twitter

    E-mail is great, but some of the most amazing airfare deals last only a short ti...

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    You already know to budget for tips when you travel. But you should also know who to tip when you travel.

    It's a no-brainer to tip the maid—at least a couple bucks a day.

    But don't forget to leave a tip if you’re staying at a bed and breakfast, or even a rental property. Those places have to get cleaned too.

    Did you get any recommendations or reservations from the hotel concierge? You should reward those tips with a small tip.

    Plus, with so many airport pickups and ride-share services being booked online or through apps, a lot of people forget to bring cash to tip their drivers.

    That free courtesy shuttle? It's always nice to give the driver a buck or two, especially if he helped you with your luggage.

    Remember, while tipping is commonplace in the U.S. the rules change when you go abroad. Look for an app like GlobeTipping, which gives you suggestions in 200 countries.

    Even Starbucks has an app that lets you tip baristas straight from your phone, so watch out for that technology in more establishments.

  • Smartphone Travel tips with Corliss Group

    Well-being, Environmental Design

    When the smartphone was in its infancy and app stores were not yet operational, its best built-in app to help travelers was the Maps app. There were no walking directions provided, just a map that you needed to interpret to help you get to your destination.

    These days, smartphones have so spoiled us that we wonder how we have lived without it.

    For example, the technologically-advanced descendant of the first map app now features not only driving and walking directions, but also directions for those who take public transportation (for some countries, at least). This has made it easier for travelers to navigate through some foreign countries the same way that natives do.

    With the right apps, you can turn your smartphone into an indispensable travel companion that can save you money; if your pockets cannot afford travel just yet, you can even do a little armchair traveling from your smartphone.

    Below are some handy apps to have when exploring foreign territory:

    Bla Camera Pro ($0.99, iOS)

    Dubbed by its developers as "the worlds first smart camera," Bla Camera has something called P.E.A.R. Technology, which analyzes data like light and weather and consequently recommends a filter and setting based on your environment.

    Camera Plus Pro ($1.99, iOS)

    Camera Plus Pro is another alternative to your phones regular camera app which lets you tweak more settings. Apply filters and see the effects before snapping your photo; edit and share from within the app. You can also...

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    Why go?

    Known as the Dragons Tail, this 30-mile peninsula poking into the Irish Sea feels like a place apart: a stronghold for Welsh language and culture with a distinct microclimate which can see it basking in sunshine while the rest of north Wales is lashed by rain. The chichi yachting town of Abersoch may have been colonised by well-heeled holidaymakers and second homers, but elsewhere youll find empty golden beaches, fishing hamlets and peaceful clifftop walks.

    What to do

    Start by visiting Porth y Went, the new National Trust centre in Aberdaron (nationaltrust.org.uk). You can pick up maps, walking routes and ideas for days out, such as a visit to the "whistling sands" at Porthor which squeak as you walk on them, or a boat trip to Bardsey Island, a medieval pilgrimage site. Llyˆn Adventures can organise canoeing, kayaking and coasteering (llynadventures.com), but if you prefer to stay on dry land, the Wales Coast Path runs right around the peninsula. For a day at the beach, Llanbedrog is postcard-perfect.

    Where to eat

    Llyˆn is famous for its lobster, crab and mackerel, all of which youll find on the menu at Twnti Seafood Restaurant, in a converted barn in the hills behind Pwllheli (twntiseafood.co.uk). At Venetia in Abersoch, chef Marco Filippi puts an Italian spin on seafood dishes such as Aberdaron crab linguini (venetiawales.com).

    Where to stay

    The National Trust has cottages and apartments to rent in Porthdinllaen, Aberdaron and Rhiw, some of which ...

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    RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

    Spring break is not far away. So, it's time to start planning that trip, if you haven't booked it already. This is when those smartphones and tablets come in handy, right? I mean, they are supposed to help us be more organized. It's not really working for me. On this week's Wingin' It, though, we're going to attempt to help you make best use of your digital devices when traveling.

    (SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

    MARTIN: Here to help us out is Tom Samiljan. He is the tech correspondent for Travel and Leisure magazine. We've asked him to help us sort through some of the many travel apps on the market - some apps that could make your trip planning a little less stressful - we hope. Tom joins us from our studios in New York. Hey, Tom.

    TOM SAMILJAN: Hi.

    MARTIN: So, I'm just going to start off with, like, the million-dollar question. What is the most used travel app on your portable device right now?

    SAMILJAN: Kayak.com I like the most because not only can you search for plane tickets, but you can also get hotels, car rentals. You can manage all of your travel information there. So, it'll send you updates if a flight is delayed. Another place to check out is Yapta. Yapta is...

    MARTIN: Yapta? Can you spell that for me?

    SAMILJAN: Yes. It's Y-A-P-T-A. And Yapta lets you set an alert. So, say you'll search a specific itinerary on a specific airline at a specific time. Yapta will send you an alert any time that price of that particular flight goes up or down.

    MARTIN: ...

  • Hong Kong is not exactly known for being cheap. The former British colony, perched on the shore of the South China Sea, frequently graces ‘most expensive cities in the world’ lists for its sky-high rents, acres of posh shopping malls, and dazzling displays of wealth (think Rolex shops on every other corner, women clutching Prada bags as they hail taxis, lapdogs in bejewelled collars).

    But despite its glitz, the city still has plenty of bargains – provided you know how to find them. In general, Hong Kong Island itself is the most expensive part of town, while the Kowloon Peninsula across the harbour and the adjoining New Territories are gentler on the wallet.

    The home to dim sum, brisket noodles, huge fluffy pork buns and other delights, Hong Kong abounds in budget eats. Wherever you go, the city has hole-in-the-wall restaurants with lines snaking out the door. Unlike many Asian cities, Hong Kong does not have a huge street food presence these days. But just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there – former street vendors now hawk their bowls of noodles, dumplings and braised chicken feet inside public ‘cooked food centres’. The unadorned concrete-and-tile design of these buildings can look a little forbidding, but they generally have produce, meat and fish markets on their bottom floors, and cooked food on the top.

    When it comes to free things, you can’t beat nature. Those who haven’t visited Hong Kong before are often shocked by how green th...

With so many new travelers visiting us, you may wonder who is The Corliss Group, and what do they do for the travel world?

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