In Case You Missed This…

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Did you miss the new monthly column in KC Dossier, written by Barbara King, Co-President of Great Getaways Travel? No worries, you can read it here. Enjoy!

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Quick quiz: What do Armani, Baccarat and Olivia Newton John have in common and why do I, a travel advisor, care?

The answer is all three have world-class hotels. Armani, known for its high quality threads, has transferred that demand for perfection to its properties. Every detail in its two hotels, in Milan and Dubai, has been designed or curated by the famous design house. In November 2014 I visited the Armani Hotel in Dubai, located in the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, and spoke with Spencer Wadama, General Manager of Armani Hotels & Resorts. I jokingly asked if all the key staff wore Armani-designed clothing. Suppressing a condescending raised eyebrow moment, he replied, “But, of course.” Obviously, my joke missed its mark.

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Australian recording artist, Olivia Newton John, known to Boomers like me for the songs “Hopelessly Devoted to You” and “Physical,” entered the hotel scene 10 years ago as one of the founders of award-winning Gaia Retreat and Spa near Byron Bay, Australia. A boutique property with 19 rooms, you can design your own retreat—active, tranquil, or a combination—and enjoy both the highly praised spa and the healthy, gourmet cuisine.

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Baccarat, the French manufacturer of fine crystal glassware since 1734 and recognized worldwide for its finely crafted pieces, recently opened its first branded hotel in New York, the Baccarat Hotel & Residences, across the street from the Museum of Modern Art. Talk about location—wow! Avoiding my lame attempt at humor with the GM of the Armani property, I will not ask who designed the breathtaking chandeliers or the crystal glassware used in the bar.

Speaking of crystal, cruising fans will be delighted to learn that the oh-so-popular luxury line, Crystal Cruises, will be ordering a new-build ship to add to its fleet of two, once the new owners of the line take over. By the way, family cruising options continue to abound with the new Norwegian Escape, launching in the fall, 2015 and Royal Caribbean Cruises’ just launched Quantum class ship, Anthem of the Seas.

One last tidbit for lovers of unique experiences: Did you know that 21C Museum Hotels is developing the historic Savoy Hotel and Grill into one of their exquisite art experience properties? We’ve known all along what the world is discovering—everything truly is up-to-date in Kansas City.

About This Is KC’s Travel Expert

imageBarbara King, daughter of an importer, founded Great Getaways Travel in 1992 as a concierge-style boutique travel company. Having traveled the world, King understood the need for knowledgeable, professional advisors. The first agency in the metropolitan Kansas City area to be invited to join Virtuoso—the travel industry’s leading luxury network spanning over 25 countries—in April, 1996, King has held steadfast to the mission of creating unparalleled life experiential vacations for her clients. Great Getaways Travel consistently ranks as one of the area¹s top agencies and is the only one whose entire focus is on leisure travel. In recent years Great Getaways has ranked in the Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies in Kansas City, most recently at #67; King has been honored as one of the Top 100 Kansas Citians; and Great Getaways was inducted into the prestigious 25 Under 25, as a top company with under 25 employees. For more information, visit greatgetaways.travel.