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Virtuoso Releases "Best of the Best" GuideJanuary 20, 2012 By: George Dooley Travel Agent
Virtuoso has unveiled its Best of the Best: 2012 Guide to the World’s Best Hotel Experiences available to clients of Virtuoso member agencies. The Best of the Best features hotels, resorts, spas, lodges, villas and private islands and retreats in every corner of the world, Virtuoso says with 80 new properties. Clients will find amenities for each property valued at up to $450 per stay.
Not only does 2012 mark the largest guide in the program’s history, it is also a milestone as the network celebrates the 20th anniversary of its Hotels & Resorts Program, Virtuoso reports. Boasting more five-star properties as well as exclusive relationships with more than 489 hotels, Virtuoso’s program ranks as the most prestigious as well as the longest running in the industry, Virtuoso says. The program has grown since 1992 when it consisted of only 21 hotels. Now, twenty years later Virtuoso reports a portfolio of 924 hotels.
In 1992, Virtuoso named just four Four Seasons properties to its program. Since that time, the relationship has steadily grown. Says Don Jones, vice president of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts’ Corporate and Travel Industry Sales for the Americas, “With over 50 member properties, Four Seasons considers Virtuoso one of our most strategic partners. With close to 30 percent year over year sales growth, we regard the Virtuoso member agencies as key to our success in 2011. Their expertise and deep understanding of luxury travel ensures that every trip is a memorable experience.”
Virtuoso reports expansion of its program throughout the years, adding new elements and enhancements. The network’s Preview program, which welcomes a select group of hotels during their pre-opening phase, offers Virtuoso’s membership an exclusive year-long agreement with some of the industry’s most highly anticipated properties.
Says Philippe LeBoeuf, general manager of the Mandarin Oriental, Paris, a Virtuoso Preview hotel, “The impact the network makes is truly remarkable. Virtuoso was instrumental in helping us successfully position and launch Mandarin Oriental, Paris. In a strong city like Paris, we had to arm ourselves with key partners, hence the partnership with Virtuoso. I believe that with the network’s assistance, we have had a great impact and grand opening.”
The guide offers an explanation of the unique benefits and amenities. Room upgrades, breakfast for two daily, early check-in and late check-out, preferred rates and availability and other enhanced amenities are available to Virtuoso guests.
Albert Herrera, vice president of Virtuoso’s Hotels, Destinations & Tours said: “Each of the properties featured in our 2012 Best of the Best guide is selected based on the reviews and recommendations made by our members and the final vetting conducted by our member-based Hotels & Resorts Committee. "
"This program was created under the guidance of our membership for the exclusive benefit of our travel advisors. The annual review process ensures that our guide represents the high caliber and integrity that travelers expect of Virtuoso and our member travel advisors, year in and year out.”