As much as you love frequenting your favourite holiday destination, we tell you 5 new ways to reinvent that vacation!
By: Jennifer Hawkins, President, Hawkins International Public Relations
Posted on: April 22, 2015
They know your name, your favorite bourbon, your preferred tee time, and the turndown treats that drive your kids wild on their pillows at bedtime. As well-tended travelers know from experience, there is something special – decadent, even – about being welcomed back to the same address again and again.
Attentive staff and familiar facilities aside, however, it’s really up to travelers to assure that their return visits remain as fresh and exciting as when they first fell for their dream destinations. Here are a handful of ways to breathe new life into places you’ve visited before so you’ll keep coming back for more.
1. Who has time to focus when they’re having so much fun on vacation? Flytographer is changing the way people enjoy and remember their favorite destinations by connecting travelers with local photographers who not only know their way around, but are talented at capturing candid, authentic moments on camera. Simply book a shoot with a ‘flytographer’ from the company’s still-growing network of 220 photographers in 130 locations around the world and smile. Perfect for solo travelers, romantic couples, families and groups on getaway, flytographers act as both photographer and ‘local friend’, providing insider information on the destination, while helping to create picture-perfect one-of-a-kind memories that will last and last.
2. Somewhere between feet and four wheels lies the best way to soak in the scenery at a gentle clip. Many hotels have teamed up with designers to create custom bikes that express the style and individuality of the property. Le Meurice in Paris offers chic pistachio-green bicycles with all the trimmings, including a green basket and elegant gold bike locks, while 45 Park Lane in London invites guests to take a spin through Mayfair and beyond on bespoke Brompton bicycles in the hotel's signature purple color. At Chebeague Island Inn, located just 10 miles from Portland off the coast of Maine, guests can explore the 25-square mile island coast to coast on L.L. Bean-designed bikes.
3. Resorts are offering new ways for guests to get up, close and personal with their favorite destinations with Experiential Tours. Rather than walk through wildlife, fly through it on a canopy tour at Omni Mount Washington Resort featuring the longest zip-line tour in New England with views of the East’s tallest peak. Guests at The Dolder Grand in Zurich, Switzerland, can enjoy an art history lesson that will really stay with them courtesy of an Art iPad app that provides insider information on works in the hotel's impressive art collection featuring works by Andy Warhol, Salvatore Dali and others. Kiawah Island, south of Charleston, South Carolina, invites visitors to discover the fascinating flora and fauna that inhabit the island’s diverse ecosystems on a Wildlife in the Wetlands bike tour. Just take it slow, lest you wind up the waterfowl.
4. There is always plenty to see and do during daylight hours, but how about after the sun goes down? Many hotels go beyond comfortable bedding to engage guests well into the night. Surrounded by the Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland, Gstaad Palace can arrange night skiing – complimentary for kids nine and younger – on set evenings through the season, as well as rides on a snow groomer to explore the mountain by night. Couples can score after-hours access to The Spa at Westin Grand Cayman with the Hibiscus Night Spa Package, including exclusive use of the whirlpool, steam room and sauna, plus a 90-minute Lavender Dreams Massage with complimentary Champagne. In Pennsylvania, Omni Bedford Spring Resort hosts a Blindfolded Night Hike available for groups or leisure guests, while Enchantment Resort in Sedona, Arizona invites guests on a Full Moon Red Rocks Hike through the illuminated red rock canyons. Guests at The Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina can opt for Moonlight Yoga on the Mountainview terrace complete with sun salutations and Chandra Namaskara poses for renewal. Shhhhhhh – other people are sleeping!
5. As Pepé Le Pew once cooed to the camera: “Getting there is half the fun.” La Compagnie, the boutique all-business-class airline that is French in spirit and global in appeal, recently launched a new route between London’s Luton Airport (LTN) and Newark International Airport (EWR). With the first flight scheduled to depart Friday, April 24, 2015, travelers can take advantage of the Special Inaugural Airfare of $1,007 round-trip per person for travel through June 30, 2015. The airline’s two baby blue Boeing 757-200’s are designed for comfort with 74 “lie-flat” seats laid out in a 2x2 configuration along with premium inflight amenities including, Samsung Galaxy Tablets preloaded with movies, newspapers, games and books; Caudalie cosmetic amenity kits; and menus created by Michelin-starred Chef Christophe Langrée, accompanied by fine cheeses, premium liquors, and French wines. Bon voyage!
Jennifer Hawkins is a PR and marketing communications specialist who has promoted some of the finest hotels, resorts and lifestyle brands in the world. An experienced professional who has traveled to more than 45 countries, Jennifer spent her early years in Miami with various public relations agencies, promoting numerous products and services. Before opening Hawkins International Public Relations in 2002, Jennifer held the post at PR Relations Director for Orient-Express Hotels. During her tenure, Jennifer also oversaw investor relations for Orient-Express Hotels’ NYSE-listed company, Sea Containers, Inc. Over the years, she has become a respected professional who enjoys excellent relationships with clients and media. Socially aware and committed, she has provided pro bono work to several civic organizations, including Planned Parenthood, Miami City Opera and Dai Bosatsu Zendo. She currently lives in Brooklyn and is dedicated to her husband and their two children. They are all passionate travelers.