Recommend October 2015 - (Page 8)

editor's notes When the Recommend editorial team sits down to think about the assignments for the the Luxury & Spa issue, we analyze the word luxury from all angles, because what's luxury to one of your clients might not be luxury to another. For example, in the Mexico feature on page 24, we focus on high-end stays at all-inclusive hotels-which is an attainable vacation for many of your clients-and juxtapose that with a birthday bash for teens that costs upwards of $2 million. A bit less costly, but no less extravagant, is a 24-day South America FIT tour highlighted in the Latin America story on page 43. As Latin America editor Carla Hunt notes in the piece, the numbers help tell the story of such a booking: 754 e-mails exchanged and a cost of $260,000. Leaf through the Latin America article, however, and you'll find other equally enticing tours priced at rates that might ring a bit more affordable for your clients. In fact, we've truly covered a range of price points and experiences in this issue, because luxury is relative. We've got everything from butler suites in the Caribbean (page 14)-think someone at your client's beck and call 24/7- to independent driving tours in Europe (page 46). But there's no denying that nowadays, everyone-no matter their net worth-wants a bit of spa time, and you'll find plenty of coverage on that front in this issue as well. Whether your clients are taking to the high seas or sailing along the world's riverways, ships are upping the ante when it comes to their on board spa offerings. As Michelle Fee, CEO/co-founder, Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, says in the Spa Treats piece on page 32, "...shipboard spas have also evolved during the years. I remember sailing in the 80s and there were one or two different spa treatments to choose from. Today, the choices are endless." So popular is spa time on board, that Fee recommends agents tell their clients to make their spa reservation as soon as they board. Also gaining popularity are wellness vacations-ideal for those travelers looking to continue their healthy living while on vacation. Our two onsite reviews-The BodyHoliday in Saint Lucia and MGM Grand's Stay Well rooms in Las Vegas-speak to that client. I'd love to hear from you on how your high-end clients' bookings have changed over the years and what it takes to put together a successful luxury vacation, no matter the price point. -Paloma Villaverde de Rico group publisher/editorial director associate publisher editor-in-chief associate editor art director latin america editor caribbean editor cruise editor web editor/copy editor contributing editor corporate director of marketing marketing associate production manager ad traffic coordinator laurel a. herman terence k. murphy paloma villaverde de rico michelle marie arean janet del mastro carla hunt ed wetschler vivian holley melissa bryant sergio ortiz sharon lewen amor pagan irizarry estrella bibas daimee feliz chairman/founding editor hal herman president/editorial director laurel a. herman executive vice president gary herman miami corporate headquarters: 5979 nw 151st. st., suite 120, miami lakes, florida 33014, tel: (305) 828-0123; fax: (305) 826-6950 corporate director of sales: garey bell,, tel: (305) 828-0123; ext. 181; cell: (770) 235-8225 caribbean, central & south america, south florida, georgia: terry murphy, tel: (305) 828-0123; ext. 120; fax: (305) 828-0799 northeast usa, eastern canada, europe, maryland, virginia, D.C.: monique agaliotis,, tel: (917) 244-7000 colorado, utah, idaho, montana, wyoming, texas: garey bell,, tel: (305) 828-0123; ext. 181; cell: (770) 235-8225 florida, southeast and midwest usa: brenda goodwin,, tel: (305) 828-0123; ext.160; fax: (305) 826-6950 western usa, nevada, new mexico, alaska, arizona, western canada, asia: lisa marie costa,, tel: 310-804-9465 hawaii: alan rock,, tel: (310) 721-2825 mexico city: renata villa,, tel: 011 52 555-255-3212 cancun: margarita alvarez, tel: 011 52 998 287 1545; fax: 011 52-998 884-1716 E-mail me at Recommend's 19th Annual Readers' Choice Awards 2015 Vote for your favorite destinations, tour operators, resorts, cruise lines and transportation service in a variety of categories for a chance to WIN one of two $100 American Express gift cards. Visit let's get social Hang out with us @Recommendmag and And if you want to see what our editors are up to away from the office, follow them @EdWetschler & @AreanWanderlust. 8 october 2015 RECOMMEND, Vol. 31, issue number 1, (ISSN 0034-1452) is published monthly by Worth International Media Group. OFFICE OF PUBLICATION: 5979 N.W. 151st St., Suite 120, Miami Lakes, FL 33014.Periodicals postage paid at Hialeah, FL and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to RECOMMEND Circulation Department, P.O. Box 171070 Hialeah, FL 33017-1070. RECOMMEND is distributed at no charge to qualified travel agents and tour operators. Paid annual subscriptions are available for $48 in the U.S., $96 in Canada, payable in U.S. dollars in advance. Published for North American distribution. Canada Post: Publications Mail Agreement #40612608. Canada Returns to be sent to Pitney Bowes International, P.O. Box 25542, London, ON N6C 6B2 Copyright© 2005 Worth International Media Group. All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A. Recommend is not responsible for unsolicited photography, art or manuscripts. Subscriptions: To manage your subscription, visit or email

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recommend October 2015

Editor’s Notes
Hotel Desk: Starwood’s The Luxury Collection
Tour Talk: Defining Luxury
The Butler Did It
The BodyHoliday, Saint Lucia
Spa Wars
Raising the Bar in Mexico
Spa Treats
Chic Stays
Official Florida Travel Industry Education Program—Destination Weddings & Honeymoons Course
Stay Well at MGM Grand
Southbound, by Design
Speaking “Bespoke” in Europe
Indulgent Experiences
New Asian Beauties

Recommend October 2015