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!
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
FOR THOSE OF US PASSIONATE about wellness pursuits and who feel most at peace close to the sea, there’s nothing quite like the synergy offered by a floating spa integrated into the setting of a luxurious cruise ship. I’m sailing through the Mediterranean from Rome to Barcelona, discovering along the way that the Crystal Life Spa & Beauty Salon on board the Crystal Serenity provides not only the element of high-end indulgence but also the cruise line’s signature commitment to attention and service.
CONSIDERING THAT JUST A LITTLE more than a century ago — 1910, to be exact — Miami’s population was only about 5,400 people, it’s easy to see why this South Florida hot spot has long been considered a boomtown. And the evolution continues to impress as the city gears up to welcome an array of new services, amenities and experiences.
Thessaloniki is the second-largest city of Greece and the most important center of the area. Built near the sea, elegant and refined, the Greek “Lady of the North” is a modern, vivacious city that welcomes visitors eager to learn about its history and culture, and at the same time have fun, relax, go shopping or simply explore the cityscape by the sea.
Ethiopian Airlines added a daily non-stop between Brussels (BRU) and Addis Ababa (ADD). The carrier previously made stopovers in Vienna (VIE) three days a week, increasing the journey time from seven hours to nine.
Experience a big-city hotel stay that doesn’t feel like your typical urban visit at Chicago’s Claridge House, nestled in the sought-after Gold Coast neighborhood. The hotel’s sophisticated décor and serene residential ambience foster the atmosphere of an oasis amid the hustle and bustle of a busy metropolis.
Last month, British Airways announced plans to offset carbon emissions from all its flights within the United Kingdom. The initiative begins next year and carbon emissions are offset via the United Nations’ carbon offsetting scheme, which invests in carbon reduction projects around the world, such as reforestation and rainforest protection.