On the Ground: I was returning with my family, four of us in total, after a relaxing trip to Fiji. This was a true “Family Business” trip, much like our regular column in Global Traveler (see page 82). At Nadi International, the line for Tabua (business) Class was short and we checked in swiftly and pleasantly. As I do for all flights, I carried my roller bag to the departure and security points. At security, I was told that my bag weighed 26 kilos and the maximum for carry-on was seven. My attempts at negotiation with the security staff were unsuccessful, so we played along and transferred two-thirds of my clothing to my family’s carry-ons. Once inside the Air Pacific Tabua Class lounge I transferred it back and, of course, my hand luggage was fine for the overhead. Unfortunately, this is where Air Pacific lost some points. In the lounge there was a little buffet and a full bar. (15/20)
On Board: It was impressive to see the nose of the Boeing 747-400 nearly close enough to touch as we entered the plane. There is nothing like a 747 for takeoff and landing, and airline aficionados love the sound as the nose landing gear is retracted and you can hear the tires spinning to a stop with a whoop, whoop.We were offered a preflight cocktail as we waited for the rest of the aircraft to board. At first I was not pleased with the idea of a quick menu, but the choices were vast. Air Pacific has the right formula for this return flight: Feed the business class and let them sleep. I selected the vegetarian meal (we had been indulging for a week at Turtle Island Resort). The food was perfect and what Air Pacific called a “light meal” was really quite filling.
After the meal, I watched a movie and then decided to turn in. Now don’t laugh, but I placed some of my carry-on luggage on the floor in front of my seat and turned my standard Fijian business-class seat into a nearly flat bed — the seats are wide enough for you to turn on your side and curl up — and then I slept for eight full hours. When I awoke, I was offered breakfast and we prepared to land at LAX. (35/40)
The Experience: The flight attendants kept the businessclass passengers pleased. The only bad part of the experience was arriving at a remote gate in the Tom Bradley terminal at LAX, then having to board a shuttle bus to the main terminal. (38/40)
Total Score: 88/100
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.
IHG® Business Edge: Working Together with SMEs for a smarter way to manage travel
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.
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.
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.