Monday, November 10, 2014

Client Testimonals- Destination Weddings & Honeymoons

Kali & John Rebant- Secrets Wild Orchid, Jamaica

“We just wanted to thank you again for picking our amazing honeymoon destination. We really loved every minute of it! The resort was beautiful, the staff was super friendly, and the food and drinks were delicious! We look forward to booking our next trip with you!”

Angela & Robert Cronier- Tahiti & Bora Bora

“Once again, best vacation ever! You did a fantastic job. Thanks again for your excellent recommendation, the Hilton Bora Bora was the perfect place to renew our wedding vows. Everything went exactly as planned, it was even better than we anticipated! So romantic, we truly thought we were in Paradise!”

Stephanie & Arthur Truesch-
Celebrity Solstice- Alaska

“We really appreciate all your hard work and dedication to get us the honeymoon of our dreams. We had a great time! The cruise was beyond anything we could have imagined. The food was great, the staff was friendly, and the shore excursions were fun! And, we loved Seattle. It was the perfect balance of relaxation and adventure!”

Happy Travelers!

The Schmidt Family took the ultimate European summer 
vacation beginning in Paris and visiting Naples, Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast and Rome.

Joel Miller and Judi Thurswell hiked Machu Picchu 
while on their Peruvian adventure.

Julie and Jeff Morganroth soaked in the views of Old Town Dubrovnik 
from atop the ancient City walls while on their vacation to Croatia and Prague.

While on their whirlwind tour of Ireland, Michael Ireland, Margaret Huffaker, 
Steven and Katrina Smalenberg, Andromeda Lathrop, Geoffrey Billiu, 
and Ann Zipser visited the fascinating Drombeg Stone Circle in County Cork.

Risa and Bruce Brickman recently returned from a fantastic trip to Italy. 
They traveled to Rome, Florence, Venice, and the Tuscan countryside.

Alan, Beth and Zoey Blasé had a blast in Orlando 
experiencing Disney World for the first time.

Brooke and Lora Brantley-Gilbert celebrated Lora’s 50th in a special way; 
first on a Celebrity cruise in the 49th State of Alaska, and then, in the 50th State of Hawaii.

Sixteen members of the Kelman-Joseph-Katanick family celebrated 
a milestone birthday in sunny Puerto Vallarta at the Grand Velas Resort.

Ten friends took a beer lovers’ trip to  Belgium and Amsterdam. They enjoyed biking the 
countryside and celebrating at the Zythos Bier Festival in Leuven, Belgium.

Bill Seikaly and his daughter, Kristen, hiked the volcanoes and visited 
with sea lions on their vacation to Quito, Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands.

Every Fall, a group of friends gather at Canyon Ranch 
for “girlfriend’s getaway” to relax, recharge, and enjoy the outdoors.

This summer, Lori Strager and her daughter, Debby Klein, enjoyed their Tauck tour 
to Cape Cod, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, and Newport, RI.

Mike and Abby Pecoriello took a selfie at the Berlin Wall 
while on their vacation to Prague and Berlin.

Michael and Jackie Schwartz and Micheal and Sherri Brenner 
ended  their fabulous Mediterranean Cruise in Venice.

Randi Rubinstein and Craig Janes had fun on their week long 
adventure to Orlando and Disney World.
Barry and Barbara Litvin visited the Sibelius Monument in Helsinki, Finland
 while aboard their Celebrity cruise of the Baltic Sea.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Lake Life

Article adapted from Virtuoso Traveler Magazine

Lapping waves, flapping sails, and sunsets over the water- lakeside vacations speak to us. Instead of heading to the Great Lakes this summer (or winter), try one of these spectacular locations. With beautiful Virtuoso properties, incredible scenery and amenities, you can’t go wrong!

LAKE TITICACA-Andean oasis and ancient Incan stomping ground
Sacred to its native cultures, South America’s largest- and highest navigable- lake sprawls along the border of southern Peru and western Bolivia. More than 25 rivers empty into its reed-fringed shores, and the ruins of centuries-old temples and dwellings occupy many of its mountain-marked islands.

Though hydrofoils, barges, steamships, and wooden rowboats cruise its waters, Titicaca’s immensity means the lake radiates peace and solitude. Framed by jagged Andean peaks, its limpid surface reflects low-hanging clouds by day and a glittering, star-studded canvas at night. With many of the lakes 41 islands considered sacred, descendants of the Incas still pay homage at spots such as the Island of the Sun. Drawn by its bevy of birds, ornithologists enthuse over Titicaca’s shores, and sightseers make cultural visits to Isla Suriqui, where the art of reed-boat construction still survives. A visit to the “floating islands,” an archipelago made entirely from totora reeds is also a must.

Pisco sours, vibrant textiles, and panoramic views from each of Titilaka’s 18 suites immerse guests in the world of the Andes. This sleek, intimate lodge offers a variety of excursions, including island-hopping, hiking, kayaking, and wildlife viewing. Unravel any knots with a one-hour massage per room, complimentary for Virtuoso guests.
Carolyn and Richard Frank
LAKE COMO- Italian playground for the crème de la crème
With its unusual wishbone shape and dramatic setting against a backdrop of snow-kissed peaks, this cobalt-colored lake an hour from Milan has lured  many luminaries and celebrities to its shores.

Perhaps best maneuvered in a red Ferrari, the twisting roads that fringe Lake Como define the region’s jet-set spirit. In summertime, the lake is a veritable child’s toy-filled bathtub of activity, with Jet Skis, sailboats, wind surfers, and swimmers splashing in its glacial waters. First popularized by Victorian travelers, this resort destination retains some belle epoque grandeur, exhibited in the architecture of shoreside villages such as Bellagio, Tremezzo, and Como. Snazzy boutiques, waterfront eateries, and gelato shops brim with hot-weather crowds, but romantic nooks can be found for those who desire something more reclusive. End your day with an evening saunter along the lakeside promenades.

Like most hotels of its pedigree in Italy’s Lake District, Grand Hotel Tremezzo occupies the heart of a terrace-laced park. Providing lake views galore, this art nouveau property proudly bears its heritage in drawing rooms and period decor. The 97-room classic exhibits an Italian zest for fashion with bright colors and an eclectic mix of modern art. Virtuoso guests can toast their stay with a complimentary three-flight wine tasting at the hotel’s wine bar.
Augie Paniagua
LAKE LOUISE- Canadian backcountry in Banff National Park
Like a mirror, this turquoise lake reflects the towering pine trees and mountains that surround it. A pristine retreat in Alberta’s Rockies, the area earns its status as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

It takes commitment to make the trek here. Though far-flung, the lake can still be reached by train as it was in the Victorian era, when well-heeled travelers first christened the region a vacation wonderland, popular for its hot springs. In the winter, tour the area aboard horse-drawn sleigh- warmed by a buffalo robe and with hot chocolate in hand, of course- or swirl across the nature-made ice rink on skates. Summertime transforms the spot into a splashy playground: Bike or hike the lakeshore trail, with puts you face-to-face with Victoria Glacier, a vista so beautiful that it’s impossible to take a bad photo of it.

As lofty as its surroundings, The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise reigns as queen of the Canadian Rockies. Regal and castle-like, the 487-room property manages to be both stately and welcoming, extravagant and casual- attributes that ensure it’s as ideal for families as for honeymooners. The hotel treats Virtuoso guests to a professional portrait session and a framed photo souvenir.
Patti and John Zussman

Virtuoso News

Every August in Las Vegas, Virtuoso holds the ultimate luxury travel shopping and networking event: Virtuoso Travel Week.  This year, the 26th annual Virtuoso Travel Week had a record number of attendees– 4,420 people from 92 countries. With over 8% more attendees than last year, this year’s participation underscored this year’s theme– “Enriching lives through human connection”. Nothing beats being together in person with the travel industry’s most prominent players.
Gateway Travel advisors were there once again, meeting with and fostering relationships with world-renowned travel companies and hoteliers. We serve as personal shoppers for our clients; keeping up-to-date with the latest travel trends, hotel renovations, and information on hundreds of destinations.
We came home energized and excited to share some wonderful new discoveries with our clients!


This past September, Gateway held its Annual Destination Showcase at The Reserve in Birmingham. The night was a huge success with over 230 clients showing up to meet and greet with 22 companies representing the “best of the best” in tour operators, cruises, and hotels. There were great offers and information available on river cruising, safaris, adventure travel and more. 

Lucky clients that entered our raffle won tickets to Europe courtesy of Delta Air Lines, a three-night stay in an over water bungalow at the Four Seasons Bora Bora, along with many other travel gifts. We look forward to planning some great adventures this year, as well as, seeing you all next September at another fun-filled event!

Companies represented: Abercrombie & Kent, Absolute Travel, Adventures Asia, Alexander + Roberts, AMA Waterways, Azamara Luxury Cruises, Brendan Vacations, Celebrity Cruises, Classic Vacations, Crystal Cruises, Delta Air Lines, Four Seasons, GOGO Worldwide Vacations, Holland America Line, Lakani World Tours, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Seabourn, Silversea Cruises, Tauck, Trafalgar, Travelex Insurance, Viking Cruise Line, Virtuoso