Well 2012 was a huge year for me, not just in the travel I actually did and the amazing hotels and resorts I got to experience but professionally also (and this all goes hand in hand fortunately!). In January I started the blog Where’s Brent Been? Thirty thousand hits later I am humbled you all love to read it! I also grew my retail travel agency business dramatically by expanding my team (with thanks to my fabulous business partners) and I also became affiliated with Smartflyer one of the largest and most successful travel agencies in New York! Now I have my very own office in Manhattan!
So a year later with 75 nights spent in luxury hotels & resorts around the world equating to 33 International flights.. you have the year that was…
It started in the Maldives and I mixed it up with stays at Six Senses Laamu, Dusit Thani Resort & Huvafen Fushi. This is one blissed out island archipelago, go now for some fun in the sun. Honestly don’t miss it, it is everything you dream about and more.
Shanghai was next and a fabulous stay at The Puli which has to be the chicest urban resort in the world right now and one all others will be judged. Then it was to Hong Kong which I visited three times in 2012, once after this stay in Shangahi (for ILTM) where I stayed at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, then it was Hotel Icon and The Upper House in October. (Review of the Upper House to come!)
Bali made my destination list next when I was honored to be invited to attend Amankila’s 20th anniversary,and as you would have read Amankila is one of my very favourite beach resorts in THE WORLD. What a privilege that was and the personal highlight of 2012. This trip I decided to expand my stay beyond Bali so started at Amanjiwo in Java and then made my way to Amandari in Ubud (where I bunkered in the most beautiful river top villa – number 15) then to Alila Villas in Uluwatu for some sleek poolside lounging (one of my most popular posts!) and finally The Legian in Seminyak, the iconic resort that has upped the ante this year with a chic refurbishment. Now that was some glam island hopping in Indonesia!
Next I hightailed it to Las Vegas to attend Virtuoso Travel Week under my new affiliation with the fabulous Smartflyer agency in New York, I now have a luxury agency outpost in New York for all of my United States based clients! The week in Las Vegas was spent at the ultra luxurious Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas. I also popped into The Mondrian Los Angeles on the way through and then after Vegas it was onto my very favourite hotel in New York the Crosby Street Hotel which was a nice way to end the trip, honestly this hotel is fabulous and the glamour quotient is high. Don’t miss this one!
Hong Kong with my entire travel stylist team from Australia was next with a stay at the new Hotel Icon then I jetted down to Phuket for a relaxing week spent poolside at Andara Resort (one of the few resorts I actually used the gym!) and on my way back to Hong Kong I slipped in a two night sneak peek at The Siam in Bangkok .. this was another highlight of my travel year! Back to Hong Kong it was my very best friend, Marco Meneguzzi’s 40th birthday celebration where I stayed in great style at the über chic Upper House.
Last trip of the year was for to Cannes for ILTM. I started the trip in London at the new Firmdale property Dorset Square Hotel and spent a night at the beautiful Bulgari in one of their Knightsbridge suites. I then jetted to Zurich to check into the stunning Dolder Grand Spa Retreat, high in the hills above Zurich. I needed this rest to prepare for my week in Cannes at ILTM of course where I stayed at Hotel Five then the last stop of my travels was Milan and a stay at the amazing Armani Milan– it doesn’t get more Milano than that! I will be blogging my stay at these hotels over the holidays so stay tuned!
So that as the year that was, thank you all for sharing the ride with me and my adventures around the world, its been a huge year and I look forward to a bigger and even more exciting 2013 …. is this even possible?? …. you bet!
As always dear Brent, what can I say except… You are a fantasy and I adore you for it! Keep flying yourself and booking flights for me…. X Thomas