It’s #TravelTuesday and I’m in Argentina on My Way to the Antarctica

 

BREAKING NEWS: THE BLOG WILL BE ON HIATUS FOR TWO WEEKS

As you’re receiving this, I am most likely checking into the Alvear Art Hotel in Buenos Aires. Later tonight I am having dinner with Dan Hallman, one of my besties from NYC who now lives in Argentina. And I am super excited that Dan will also be taking me to Floreria Atlantico, a cool bar hidden behind a flower shop that’s gotten rave reviews in Vogue, Travel & Leisure and the NY Times.

Come Wednesday morning, I will be on my way to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in South America. It’s where we pick up the Nat Geo Explorer and head off to the Antarctica.

  • Please follow me on Instagram if the Antarctica is of interest (and how can it not be?)
  • I’ve been told, if I’m lucky, there’ll be just enough bandwidth to get images and a bit of video posted.
  • Look for the next blog post on Tuesday, January 30th when I will be recapping the trip.

In the meantime, since it is #traveltuesday, I have 3 travel trends to share.

 

#1:  New Ace Hotel in my Neighborhood: And Why I Love that Brand

 

 

I’ve been a fan of the Ace Hotel for almost twenty years. When they first opened in Seattle in 1999, I was there on business and checked them out. I totally fell in love with the vibe, the staff, the whole concept and soon became a regular. Besides Seattle, I’ve tapped into their hospitality in Portland, New York, LA and Pittsburgh. Have not yet made it to Palm Springs or NOLA.

This article perfectly summarizes what makes the Ace so unique and why I am thrilled to have them as a neighbor on the Bowery.

Per Rosie Spinks from Quartzy:

  • Ace was a pioneer when it comes choosing less-discovered neighborhoods and letting the local vibe shape the hotel’s look, feel, and offerings. Because of that, they tend to attract the favor of locals who happily intermingle with hotel guests.
  • Whether it’s food, culture, the lobby as co-working space, or nightlife, it can sometimes be hard to tell if the hotel is created for its guests, or for its surrounding neighborhood.

 

#2:  Las Vegas Entertainment: Looking Forward Vs. Backwards 

 

 

Another example of the shift to the new vs. the has-been:

  • Lady Gaga just signed a 2-year residency deal at the MGM Park Theater.
  • She’s going to be making $1M per show bringing in a total of $75m and setting a new precedent for residencies in Vegas.
  • And Bruno Mars will be there in February 2018 (around Valentine’s Day Weekend).

Britney Spears is credited with opening the gates to younger artists who then attracted a younger audience.

  • However, I say the initial credit for bringing in this new era of contemporary and more relevant entertainment goes to Rehan Choudhry, who changed the game in Vegas when he was hired by the Cosmopolitan Hotel as their first director of entertainment and special events.
  • He went on to create the Life Is Beautiful Festival in Vegas before founding the Emerge Music and Impact Conference.
  • So give credit, where credit is due.

 

#3.  Cruise business is booming as more people take to the seas

 

 

 

Trends to keep an eye on:

The “New Chic” – Ultra-Luxury Hoteliers Offer Yacht Experiences:

  • The Ritz-Carlton & Virgin Voyages have new yachts on order and are adding cruising to their brand offerings.
  • Virgin Voyages is new to the seas and already pre-booking for its 2020 sailings. Virgin is taking $500 deposits for the opportunity to advance book their voyages.
  • The Ritz-Carlton, beginning in 2019, will offer voyages on three lavishly-built yachts with space for only 298 guests. Accommodations include 149 suites, each with its own balcony, and several luxurious duplex penthouses.

Personalized Well-Being Experiences:

  • The global wellness travel segment is projected to grow 10% annually over the next five years.
  • MSC Divina will be launching the first Weight Watchers cruise in the Caribbean.
  • Seabourn has introduced a fleet-wide mindful living program with American celebrity Dr. Andrew Weil. The new program, the first of its kind at sea, focuses on the daily practice of meditation and yoga.

But the trend I find most interesting (of course) is:

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