On the Ground: Arriving at London City Airport, just 10 minutes from the Four Seasons Hotel in Canary Wharf, I quickly learned that everyone on BA 001 is treated like a VIP. Check-in and security were the fastest I have seen since the 1970s: less than 10 minutes from curbside to gate. A gate agent is even positioned outside the main airport entrance, and there are multiple self-service kiosks just inside. (30/30)
Pre-flight: BA has made the departure gate into its lounge, where passengers are greeted by name. It has plenty of room for the 32 passengers on the flight. Friendly, helpful staff were ready with light snacks, including fresh fruit and Champagne. Passengers can check in just 15 minutes before boarding, which takes place just 10 minutes before departure, so there is no need for extensive services in the lounge. Boarding the narrow-body A318 took place outside via a single stairway but was accomplished efficiently. The first thing passengers notice on board is that there are only eight rows of 2-2 seating, with wide black leather seats which become fully flat sleepers. The plane projects a clubby atmosphere, almost like a private plane. (29/30)
In-flight: Since the runway at London City is too short for the narrow-body plane to take off with a full load of fuel, the flight must make a stop in Shannon, Ireland (SNN). On the 70-minute flight, drinks were served immediately after take-off, with a unique snack of a prosciutto-like ham atop a potato and apple salad with pea shoots. During the 35-minute stop in Shannon, passengers deplaned and quickly cleared American security screening and U.S. immigration and customs. While we waited in an adjacent lounge for 15 minutes before re-boarding, we enjoyed Irish coffee, Champagne and canapés while listening to a harpist. After take-off, an impressive dinner service was offered, with the choice of filet of beef with Madeira sauce, British corn-fed chicken with Somerset cider sauce, grilled sea bass with roasted fennel, pasta with zucchini and eggplant tomato sauce or smoked Scottish salmon and prawns. A single sour note was the beef, reheated beyond recognition and swimming in moisture from the accompanying vegetables. A single button turned the comfy chair into a sleeper. Once under the warm duvet cover, staying awake was impossible. Shortly before arrival at JFK, there was a full English tea with warm scones and clotted cream. Passengers also have access to WiFi for SMS, text by cellphone and web browsing, but no voice access. (37/40)
The Experience: The convenience of London City Airport to the financial district and Canary Wharf — and arriving without having to clear U.S. customs in New York — is unique in travel across the Atlantic. I was in a taxi at JFK 10 minutes after leaving the aircraft. So while the stop at Shannon makes the flight one-stop, the experience must be measured in door-to-door travel time. From start to finish, there was an admirable level of attention and comfort.
Total Score: 96/100
Since Cheval Blanc, an extraordinary, newly designed and refurbished 72-room hotel owned by Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey, launched in September 2021, it has been the talk of the town. Le Tout-Paris remarks about its WOW factor … and the hard-to-get reservations for the 30 seats at Plenitude, the intimate, first-floor gastronomic outlet headed by chef Arnaud Donckele, who earned three Michelin stars at Cheval Blanc Saint Tropez. Reservations are also recommended for Limbar, the ground-floor bakery/café/tea shop/bar where we watched Pastry Chef Maxime Frédéric preparing desserts and an absolute must-have for dinner at Le Tout-Paris, the 7th-floor, all-day brasserie. This brightly colored space, with its raised seating and Fauve-like floor tiles and the adjacent Milanese restaurant, Langosteria, both have access to terraces facing the Seine River, with amazing views encompassing Notre Dame to the Eiffel Tower.
Located in the South Pacific, The Islands of Tahiti are just eight hours by air from California. Surrounded by pristine, crystal-clear blue waters, the 118 islands and atolls offer natural beauty, authentic island culture and unique French Polynesian style. The Islands of Tahiti are world-renowned for white-sand beaches, stunning turquoise lagoons and varied landscapes ranging from coral atolls to volcanic mountain peaks. Privacy comes naturally in The Islands of Tahiti and offers visitors the space to relax and reconnect and to be Embraced By Mana. Mana is the life force and spirit that connects all things in The Islands of Tahiti.
Nevada-based The Spa at Green Valley by Well & Being and The Spa at Red Rock by Well & Being celebrate the start of 2022 with new health, wellness and spa treatments available through March 31. Both spas offer an array of treatments for guests wanting to relax and unwind before 2022 kicks into full gear.
To allow visitors to safely and responsibly enjoy their trip to Barbados, the island announced streamlined port entry protocols. Barbados’ Ministry of Health and Wellness released the following protocols for all travelers planning on coming to the island.
Go ahead, take a nice, deep breath. Because a Seabourn voyage is all about this moment you’ve come so far in life to embrace. It’s not an escape, it’s an arrival.
Mar Del Cabo launched a new luxury beach fishing experience with an interactive paella workshop for guests. The Los Cabos-based hotel offers guests an immersive experience that takes them through the journey of creating paella, starting with a fishing session.
It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Santorini, Greece, with us.
IHG® Business Edge: Working Together with SMEs for a smarter way to manage travel
COJE Management Group raised the bar when it comes to cuisine and cocktails. The Boston-based group, founded by Chris Jamison and Mark Malatesta, offers guests the ultimate dining experience with old-world hospitality and an array of cuisines for every guest to enjoy. With culinary director Tom Berry incorporating the cuisines he encountered during his travels to South America, Cuba, Japan, Southeast Asia and France, each restaurant has distinguished itself as a must for anyone visiting Boston and each is designed exclusively in-house using inspiration from different regions and countries around the world.