On the Ground: I arrived at JFK with plenty of time to spare for my 9 p.m. departure from Terminal 7 and was quickly checked in and on my way to security. At that time of night — 7:30 p.m. — security is not too crowded, so the process did not take long. Iberia uses the British Airways lounge in Terminal 7, and as I entered I learned my flight was now scheduled to depart at midnight. Due to a second ash cloud drifting toward the South Atlantic, the plane from Madrid had to take a more southerly route that added at least an hour or two to its flight. Ultimately, I ended up spending close to five hours in the lounge. The BA lounge was pleasant and the receptionists were great at updating us on the status of the flight, but even the best service in the world starts to pale after so long a wait. (29/30)
Pre-flight: It was a full flight, but once the boarding process started, close to 1 a.m., it went quite fast, with weary passengers eager to get settled after the long delay. Iberia’s Business Plus Class allowed me to pre-board and stow my bags in a leisurely fashion. The flight attendants were more than accommodating, making up for any frustrations produced by the delay. I enthusiastically took the glass of Champagne that was offered after I had settled into my seat. (29/30)
In-flight: Once off the ground, the flight attendants made up for lost time by quickly starting the food and beverage service. Many people in the Business Plus cabin skipped eating dinner in the middle of the night and took advantage of the lie-flat seats and went right to sleep. I decided to eat and was very pleasantly surprised by the excellent food offered. I had delicious baked cod, a glass of Cuatro Rayas Viñedos Centenarios 2009 and a glass of Sembro 2008 Red D.O. Ribera del Duero, both of which were superb. Iberia has expanded the personal space (87 inches) for each passenger in Business Plus Class, making its seats fully horizontal, so after my meal I adjusted my seat to 180 degrees and snoozed until breakfast. (38/40)
The Experience: My return flight was flawless, in part because I spent almost two hours in the newly renovated Velasquez VIP lounge in T4 at Madrid-Barajas Airport, where I relaxed and had a late lunch from the elaborate buffet that offers snacks as well as hot meals. The lounge is a very attractive, light-filled space with large windows overlooking the runways.
Total Score: 96/100
There may not be snow in Los Angeles this season, but Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills is certainly full of the holiday spirit, with Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s events happening in the hotel’s gorgeous event spaces.
The Islands of Tahiti offer a range of captivating activities for travelers with diverse interests, from hiking to breathtaking waterfalls, riding horses on secluded beaches; swimming with sharks; or immersing in Polynesian culture through traditional dance, music and art. For watersports enthusiasts, the crystal-clear lagoons offer exhilarating experiences like surfing, kiteboarding and paddleboarding. And if you’re looking to relax, the pristine beaches, overwater bungalows and tropical sun offer the perfect setting. With 118 islands and atolls to explore, island hopping is an excellent way to experience the full diversity of The Islands of Tahiti. With its blend of adventure, culture and relaxation, The Islands of Tahiti offer a truly unique travel experience.
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Everyone loves a good Christmas tree, but these iconic hotels around the world take it one step further with designer-styled trees illuminating lobbies and public spaces, wowing all who enter. From Lela Rose to Louis Vuitton, don’t miss these ultra-luxury trees redefining tree decorating as we know it.
In addition to intimate settings, smaller staff-to-passenger ratios, and personalized food and beverage options, river cruises have the advantage of providing a deeper dive into a region’s culture, food and history. The Rhine, Rhône and Danube in Europe and the Mississippi River and St. Lawrence in North America have much to offer travelers with their itineraries, tying together beloved cities and lesser-known destinations along their routes.
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) believes business travel is a fundamental force for good and brings the industry together to connect, innovate and set new standards. With members from across the globe, GBTA engages the many voices of business travel to build a collective future, providing a platform for buyers and suppliers to come together, connect with peers, grow their network and shape the future of the industry.
With the holidays right around the corner, travelers are preparing for holiday travels. For those looking for a last-minute getaway filled with holiday cheer, consider Croatia. With a variety of winter activities perfect for travelers and locals alike, the Christmas countdown in Croatia is in full swing. Leading up to Christmas, Advent in Croatia makes it even more worth your while to visit the country with free winter incentives. If you plan on visiting Croatia, here are five cities going all out for the holiday season: