THIS FALL I ATTENDED THE Turkish Airlines World Golf Club outing at the Angeles National Golf Club in Los Angeles. Turkish holds tournaments worldwide, with the winners competing in the final playoff in Antalya, Turkey, in October. GT Globility Board member Steve White and Bill Noonan, a longtime friend and industry veteran, joined me on the course. (See my Golf review on page 34.)
Although we played well, with Steve grossing a low score, we did not think we had a shot. At the luncheon, however, we learned Steve was the overall winner, a triumph not only related to his fine game but also to our following the rules. Our group was one of the few teams that played from the indicated tees and followed the Stableford format to the letter. I am proud to announce Steve White will fly business class on Turkish Airlines to compete in the global finish! At the time of printing, this event had yet to take place, but I will report the final winners.
I stayed at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport hotel, just a few miles from the course. Recently renovated, the hotel features many lovely venues for entertaining and meeting. I was particularly fond of the on-site bar area with its festive, welcoming atmosphere.
I encountered a small issue as I unpacked. It seemed the room was not properly serviced. I discovered only one-eighth of a roll of toilet paper with no reserve rolls, shower gel in place of hand soap and no bottled water. I called down and was informed the toilet paper would be brought up. In the meantime, I ordered room service — a club sandwich (with avocado, as seems to be the rule in California) and the best french fries I’ve ever tasted. Two hours later, the toilet paper and some bottled water arrived. I think readers will agree providing several bottles of water is not costly and is a must.
The following day I received a guest survey, which I completed honestly with the positives and negatives. Much to my surprise, I received an apologetic response from the hotel:
Thank you for choosing to stay at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport and providing your honest feedback on the Guest Satisfaction Survey.
Providing the highest level of hospitality is our number one priority and we sincerely apologize for falling short of meeting your expectations. As a teachable moment, we have shared your feedback with the appropriate hotel team to ensure the necessary guidelines are in place to prevent issues like the one we provided you from occurring in the future.
Once again, thank you for your valued feedback and we hope to serve you again whenever your travels bring you back to Burbank.
California was full of pleasant surprises!
Nobu Barbuda is underway in the Caribbean, the newest installation to the Nobu Hospitality portfolio. The Nobu restaurant, all conceived by actor Robert DeNiro, debuted in 2021, and Nobu Barbuda’s first beach club opened this year.
ISN’T IT TIME? It's time to treat yourself to the vacation you deserve, and Celebrity Cruises® offers the perfect escapes. With an award-winning fleet of ships that sail to more than 300 destinations around the world, Celebrity will take you almost anywhere you want to go in style. Enjoy stunning staterooms and suites, culinary experiences imagined by Michelin-starred chefs and intuitive service. Celebrity makes sure your vacation is effortless from the start, which is why drinks, WiFi and tips are Always IncludedSM on every sailing.
Aimbridge Hospitality announced it will open two brand-new resorts at Frenchman’s Reef in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Westin Beach Resort & Spa at Frenchman’s Reef and The Seaborn at Frenchman’s Reef, Autograph Collection, are expected to open in fall 2022. The new properties are part of a $350 million rebuild project on Frenchman’s Reef.
Birds on the brain these days? Head to the Columbia Valley, located between the towering Rocky and Purcell mountains in southeast British Columbia. The newest addition to the BC Bird Trail is marked by friendly communities surrounded by wetlands, featuring a burgeoning avian population. In spring, watch for the striking plumage of horned grebes, as well as songbirds and Lewis’s woodpecker.
When American travelers make plans to visit Portugal, Lisbon is usually their first stop.
Upon our triumphant in-person return to Los Angeles in December 2021 to celebrate our annual GT Tested Reader Survey awards, the FXExpress Publications, Inc. team also revisited one of our favorite city hot spots: Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills for dinner at the on-site Riviera 31 bar lounge.
Turkish Airlines offers premium travelers something new. After signing an agreement with fashion brands Coccinelle and Hackett, the carrier introduced redesigned premium amenity kits for its business-class passengers flying eight hours or more on long-distance flights. The new kits were introduced April 29.
Start planning that long-awaited trip to the island of Ireland. With all travel restrictions now lifted, there has never been a better time to visit.
Lisbon’s popularity has soared in recent years, but within an hour’s drive of Portugal’s capital city, lots of quiet towns and interesting regions that are still somewhat off-the-beaten path await.