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Gallivanters's Ultimate Hotel Guide 7th Edition

Gallivanters's Ultimate Hotel Guide 7th Edition

Old Jun 25, 13, 7:54 am
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Gallivanters's Ultimate Hotel Guide 7th Edition

I just got the long-awaited 7th edition of Lyn Middlehurst and David Maslin's book. It's quite a bit smaller in shape than previous editions yet quite lavishly produced. On a quick reckoning there are 147 hotels included, more than a third of them in Europe. There are 15 Amanresorts and 28 Four Seasons. There are a few surprises and quite a bit of culling has been done as well.

It's much less travelled than the old Rene Lecler guides but still a valuable and entertaining thing to have. Unlike many guides, Ms Middlehurst writes well and she still manages to convince me of her impartiality. And David Maslin's photos are quite excellent.


Meanwhile, huge swathes of the world need not bother a particular sort of traveller. I don't think Ms Middlehurst herself is frightened of the world - I think she thinks that her subscribers are. The CEOs she writes for just want to go to the Maldives or Marrakesh to watch TV and have a massage.

Last edited by Pausanias; Jun 26, 13 at 8:51 am
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Old Jun 25, 13, 10:24 am
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I'm not so convinced. Is the guide different than the glossy pamphlet she sends out?
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Old Jun 25, 13, 10:27 am
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[QUOTE=mike_la_jolla;20986586]I'm not so convinced. Is the guide different than the glossy pamphlet she sends out?[/QUOTE

I can't wait to receive my copy. I (often) do not agree with her coverage of certain properties but I enjoy her indepth reviews and photos. She has a gift for bringing the properties to life.
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Old Jun 25, 13, 6:43 pm
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I bought it and think its real nice.

Only thing that gets on my nerves is the fact that she has to mention in every other paragraph that she doesn't like Spa's that use chemicals in their products
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Old Jun 26, 13, 12:14 am
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An excellent resource and thoroughly researched. It's probably the best of its kind. Andrew Harper has lost a lot of his edge.

I do believe other properties could be included but its the best resource of its kind. So much better than those trashy surveys done by Conde Nast, et al.
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Old Jun 27, 13, 8:36 am
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Here's a sample of Lyn's latest work, her opening paragraph on one of the hotels she includes in her Guide:

"Oh, the quality! Oh, the staff! Oh, the attention to detail! After lunch, we discover a mini-turndown in our suite, in case we feel like a jet-lagged siesta, replete with eye pillows and organic essential oil. At turndown proper, there is a decanter of Alkaline Water, PH 8.5, to benefit my health and minimise free radicals. I love this place."

Now, I had thought of offering a prize to anyone who guesses which hotel she is talking about (it's the FSHK) but I think I might say that in an earlier life I was a professional writer and if I contributed a para like that I would expect to be sacked on the spot.

Lyn - I was wondering, should I cancel my reservation at the FSHK in January or should I merely suggest you return to Earth from whichever planet you are currently living on.
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Old Jun 27, 13, 8:53 am
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Originally Posted by Pausanias View Post
....but I think I might say that in an earlier life I was a professional writer and if I contributed a para like that I would expect to be sacked on the spot.

Lyn - I was wondering, should I cancel my reservation at the FSHK in January or should I merely suggest you return to Earth from whichever planet you are currently living on.
This seems to contradict your first post on the subject.

It's difficult to work out whether or not these things are spats between one travel professional and another.

I have an earlier edition of the guide which is an entertaining read let down by a lack of photographs and sketch drawings which don't work for me personally. Pleased to hear that there are some excellent photos in this edition.
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Old Jun 27, 13, 8:57 am
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Originally Posted by Pausanias View Post
Here's a sample of Lyn's latest work, her opening paragraph on one of the hotels she includes in her Guide:

"Oh, the quality! Oh, the staff! Oh, the attention to detail! After lunch, we discover a mini-turndown in our suite, in case we feel like a jet-lagged siesta, replete with eye pillows and organic essential oil. At turndown proper, there is a decanter of Alkaline Water, PH 8.5, to benefit my health and minimise free radicals. I love this place."

Now, I had thought of offering a prize to anyone who guesses which hotel she is talking about (it's the FSHK) but I think I might say that in an earlier life I was a professional writer and if I contributed a para like that I would expect to be sacked on the spot.

Lyn - I was wondering, should I cancel my reservation at the FSHK in January or should I merely suggest you return to Earth from whichever planet you are currently living on.

Pausanias, what is the purpose of these attacks on Ms. Middlehurst and the Guide? If you don't like it why do you subscribe?

I simply adore the Guide, and it is in fact the only travel publication to which I subscribe. I love the properties covered, the photography, and Lyn's writing style.

I completely disagree with your comments on the quotation regarding FS Hong Kong.
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Old Jun 27, 13, 9:01 am
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i doubt everyone receives organic products, but that is a matter of catering to individual guest preferences/requirements
(FS HK is well regarded here, and that catering to guests would be an example)

my impression was that it was the (description of) organic products that was being referred to
sounds like that was the case >
Originally Posted by Pausanias View Post
Sorry, I thought people might have a sense of fun, humour and irony on this site. Maybe people take things like this seriously . . . eye pillows and all.
originally >
Originally Posted by Pausanias View Post
Unlike many guides, Ms Middlehurst writes well and she still manages to convince me of her impartiality. And David Maslin's photos are quite excellent...I don't think Ms Middlehurst herself is frightened of the world

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Jun 27, 13 at 9:11 am
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Old Jun 27, 13, 9:05 am
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Sorry, I thought people might have a sense of fun, humour and irony on this site. Maybe people take things like this seriously . . . eye pillows and all.
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Old Jun 27, 13, 9:19 am
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Question About the Guide

I have a question about the guide. I'm not trying to be off topic here, so Mods, if you feel that I am please feel free to remove this post - I certainly won't be offended.

Leaving aside the writing style issue noted by Pausanias, I actually have a question about the content of what was posted. Having been to the FSHK a couple of times (and I do love it), I have never received the level of service that Ms. Middlehusrt is referring to (specifically, the 'mini turn-down', but it also seems that the water at the evening turn down may have been chosen specifically for her). My very strong hunch is that she received this level of service because of who she is and because the hotel knew who she was and was trying to impress her (after all, she does not travel anonymously).

So, as a loyal guide reader, if you take her advice and stay at the FSHK, but do not get the level of service that she writes about (assume the service is very good, but not as bespoke as she indicates she received), do you complain? If so, to whom (the hotel or Ms. Middlehurst)? I'm just curious if loyal readers of the guide expect the same type of treatment that she gets or if you just use the information provided as a general guideline. If the latter, I'm not sure what the purpose of writing about these very specific service related benefits that she receives is.

Again, I'm not trying to be difficult or demean the guide in any way - this is just something I've always been curious about and I've never really had a chance to ask it of a group of loyal guide readers.
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Old Jun 27, 13, 9:37 am
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"Oh, the quality! Oh, the staff! Oh, the attention to detail! After lunch, we discover a mini-turndown in our suite, in case we feel like a jet-lagged siesta, replete with eye pillows and organic essential oil. At turndown proper, there is a decanter of Alkaline Water, PH 8.5, to benefit my health and minimise free radicals. I love this place."
Goodness. I'm actually speechless. I can't think of a good comeback to this tripe that wouldn't get me banned. That is an actual quote?

Originally Posted by Pausanias View Post
Lyn - I was wondering, should I cancel my reservation at the FSHK in January or should I merely suggest you return to Earth from whichever planet you are currently living on.
I've found that a grasp of 'Reality' is not one of Lyn's strengths. But I ordered the guide out of curiosity. AH may be out of date, but at least the reviews were done incognito and hence are far more accurate. Also, Lyn willfully blinds herself to the simple fact that she gets different treatment than the rest of us.
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Old Jun 27, 13, 9:43 am
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Originally Posted by xracer View Post
My very strong hunch is that she received this level of service because of who she is and because the hotel knew who she was and was trying to impress her (after all, she does not travel anonymously).
While, like Pausanias, I don't particularly enjoy her writing style, your bolded quote is my number one reason for not relying much (if at all) on GG.

I understand in today's Social Networking society a critic's anonymity is incredibly hard to maintain, but she doesn't even try ... so I would expect management to be in top form for her stays.

That being the case, the only information I may use would be when she has a terrible experience -- if a luxury hotel cannot manage to get it right for such a noted individual, why on Earth should I expect even that level of service?
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Old Jun 27, 13, 10:00 am
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indeed gallivanters could not have remained covert for long, a cost of being "one person"

andrew harper >
Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri View Post
harper update - http://www.fa-mag.com/component/cont...icle/5298.html >

After a quarter of a century circling the globe, the original Andrew Harper retired six years ago and was replaced by his handpicked successors. Today, two contributing editors, both of whom remain anonymous—one based in New York, the other in Paris—carry on the role under the same pseudonym.

Andrew Harper is no longer just a little broadsheet, but a full-fledged service owned by CapStar Partners, an Austin, Texas-based private equity group that bought it in 2005.

“We really are a travel service that places a focus on customizing trips for individual members or even larger groups who have met through being members,” explains Harper’s director of travel planning, Sandi Ferreria. “Where we differ from a standard travel agency is the reach of our ground operations ability, which includes connections with local concierge services and, for example, park rangers who know just when to bring guests to remote locations. That information and the ability to use it is what we specialize in.”

Harper has made increasing use of intermediaries in its dealings with clients, says Ferreria.

“These days, we rarely hear directly from those traveling,” Ferreria says. “It is usually a trusted associate who requests information about becoming a member. Once they join, it is also rare to book a trip directly with them.”.

“Our private auction sales are definitely up, as everyone is looking for value, and our recommended hotels and travel partners are creating some of the best offers we’ve ever seen,” says one of the anonymous Harper correspondents.

...

Boutiques like Harper are cost-effective ways for advisors to deliver specialized services to ultra-high-net-worth clients, according to experts.

“For an advisor, it is difficult to give great service in a small niche,” explains Richard Weylman president and CEO of the Weylman Center for Excellence in Practice Management, the only online university for financial professionals in the affluent marketplace. “The affluent are seeking out an elevated experience. By hooking up with a firm like Andrew Harper, you position yourself as not just a financial resource but a trusted go-to source for life issues.”

“Our firm considers more than just the financial health of our clients, and when appropriate, seeks to take an interest in their personal well-being,” the representative says. “We frequently recommend Andrew Harper membership, as it provides the best in travel advice and planning services. We’ve actually seen two generations of clients become members.”
also http://triangle.bizjournals.com/tria.../biz/7381.html
http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/st....html?page=all "15,000 to 20,000 members"

Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri View Post
new low for harper >

http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/...27#/7c427327/4
uses amanjiwo service to market itself, including quote referencing elephant ride ["return"] to property, which is no longer offered

http://www.andrewharper.com/blog/upd...onto-and-more/
March 21, 2012 Until recently, guests at this Adriatic Coast resort could only stay in the Villa Milocˇer, an eight-suite mansion on the mainland. Now, many of the suites on the tiny adjacent island of Sveti Stefan can be booked. Housed within a former fishing village, all 47 accommodations are scheduled to be finished by April.
many island reports here, starting in 2010 - vuittonsofstyle in sep and Fliar in oct >
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/luxur...l#post14615360
new pool has been pushed back again >
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/luxur...l#post18156050
harper launched q club travel agency in 1994

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Jun 29, 13 at 10:47 am
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Old Jun 27, 13, 12:38 pm
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I'm a subscriber of the monthly guide and I've bought the seventh edition of the book.

I love it, I love Lyn's style of writing and sense of fun which comes through so clearly to me. Her attention to detail is incredible and over the years via the guide and emails (as a subscriber) she has guided me to getting the same level of attention that she gets at many of the worlds finest hotels.

I still have my first edition of The Ultimate Hotel Guide and I smile as I recall flicking through it when I was a teenager organising big family holidays and all the memories come flooding back.

I will use the current edition for more holidays with the assistance via email of Lyn. Yes, I'm still the one doing the organising, despite the next generation of my family snapping at my heels!
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