Gallivanters Guide closing

Old Jun 24, 19, 7:32 am
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Gallivanters Guide closing

The latest edition of Gallivanters Guide contains a letter explaining that the newsletter is closing in June 2020.

The print edition is ceasing immediately. The remaining issues will be emailed as a PDF to save costs. No more subscriptions or renewals are being accepted. It is not clear is existing subscribers will receive every edition until June 2020 irrespective of when their renewal is due - I assume so, as there is no marginal cost, but it wasn't clear.

The letter explains that paid subscriptions have fallen away sharply over the past year and that, given their travel and hotel costs (usually top suites) the maths no longer made sense.

This is, for me, a real shame. I know there is a view by some on here that this forum is as useful, but this ignores the fact that GG was very good as visiting new places soon after opening - more quickly than most of us are, although I beat them to FS Athens! - and by covering a few places in the same city on the same trip it made comparisons easier.

They may have missed a trick by not linking with a Virtuoso travel agent. The deal my blog has with a Virtuoso agent is doing over £500k of bookings annually, on which we split commission, and we don't even focus on luxury hotels much as they generally don't have loyalty schemes. This doesn't have to impact your objectiveness if done properly.

I have been as subcriber for probably 15 years and will miss it.
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Old Jun 24, 19, 8:15 am
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Yes, this is one of the last the last publication, which doesnít gloss over problems or just shares Instagram pictures. A loss of honesty for the greater industry.
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Old Jun 24, 19, 9:43 am
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On a personal note, I have always loved Lynís sense of humor and writing style. As invaluable as the information on hotels and resorts always has been, it also was simply a pleasure to receive a publication that was really the last of its kind in which the personal opinion of the editor was unbiased and unfettered by the commercial advertising pressures that pervade the glossy travel publication industry and dumb down its quality. It was simply a pleasure to come home to a monthly print publication, and as a reader to enjoy the editorís exquisite tastes and often witty flair. How many publications, this day in age, can actually have such a profound impact on oneís quality of life? I cannot think of any other.
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Old Jun 24, 19, 2:21 pm
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A real shame but that would've been one hell of a fun vocation to have while the ride lasted!
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Old Jun 24, 19, 2:25 pm
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Iíve never heard of this before.
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Old Jun 24, 19, 3:01 pm
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Originally Posted by MikeFromTokyo View Post
On a personal note, I have always loved Lyn’s sense of humor and writing style. As invaluable as the information on hotels and resorts always has been, it also was simply a pleasure to receive a publication that was really the last of its kind in which the personal opinion of the editor was unbiased and unfettered by the commercial advertising pressures that pervade the glossy travel publication industry and dumb down its quality. It was simply a pleasure to come home to a monthly print publication, and as a reader to enjoy the editor’s exquisite tastes and often witty flair. How many publications, this day in age, can actually have such a profound impact on one’s quality of life? I cannot think of any other.
I could not agree more. Lyn is one of a kind -- her in-depth knowledge of this industry and everything associated with it is unparalleled. There aren't many other out there who "get it" as much as she does, especially since she never glossed over any problems, but celebrated sheer quality. I am grateful to have been a subscriber for many years -- not only has she taught many of us a lot about what really matters in terms of hospitality, but she is also truly a kind person.

We shall see what this last year holds for GG.

Last edited by scented; Jun 24, 19 at 3:09 pm
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Old Jun 24, 19, 3:07 pm
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If there's a job going to criticise hotels, consider me on the case.
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Old Jun 24, 19, 8:32 pm
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Originally Posted by MacMyDay View Post
If there's a job going to criticise hotels, consider me on the case.
You should be the spiritual successor.
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Old Jun 25, 19, 12:43 am
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I first came across the Gallivanter's Guide in 1995 - copies were strewn around the library area at Amanpulo. It had a distinctive look and rather than photographs it had line drawings. As a journalist and published author, I appreciated the elegant writing style and I liked the overall approach which I could trace back to Rene Lecler and his book The 300 Best Hotels in the World. I subscribed to Gallivanter's for several years - I gave it up because I felt Lyn was following her readers rather than her instincts. There was a total lack of adventure or exploration or encouragement to go outside the safe confines of a Four Seasons or an Amanresort. That was something Lecler did so well - he found hotels in places like Yemen and Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu so I followed him there. Lyn just seemed to offer yet another Four Seasons. I don't blame her for that - she sent me to some great places but fewer and fewer so I gave up. (I did buy the books, though - The Ultimate Hotel Guide.)

Gallivanter's was there at the start of the Aman revolution and the rapid growth in the luxury sector. Luxury hotels are no longer exclusive - they are a dime a dozen in places like the Maldives. That's because Russians, Chinese, Taiwanese, Azerbaijanis, Indians etc etc have passports and an open sesame to anywhere with a private pool and a tasting menu. It has become impossible to keep up and impossible to finance such a project as a little newsletter for a few American and European CEOs.

Gallivanter's did always seem honest, unlike most print journalism these days, let alone the Facebook and Twitter chatter and the army of bloggers. I'll always be grateful to Lyn and David (whom I've never met) for keeping going for more than 25 years without getting obviously bored by being permanently cocooned in luxury. And for writing with such elegance without recourse to foul language, coarse humour and self-conscious offence. Or incessant spelling mistakes, typos and punctuation lapses.

They have no heirs.
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Last edited by Pausanias; Jun 25, 19 at 2:00 am
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Old Jun 25, 19, 1:16 am
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I subscribed many years but stopped when I felt that we did not any more match in terms of which places I wanted to go, including a lack of new, exciting ideas. There was too much "going back to old favourites".

I really enjoyed it as long as were "in line", loved the details and the pictures in particular and also the possibility to communicate directly with Lyn by email to get inside tips for upcoming trips. As a non-native, I have, however, to admit that I found her language too difficult at times, I always had to google translate a number of words used which was a disadvantage for me.

All the best to Lyn and David!
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Old Jun 25, 19, 6:01 am
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I subscribed for a few years and enjoyed it until I realized there was not much there that couldn't be found here.
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Old Jun 25, 19, 6:06 am
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I actually always appreciated their revisiting the same properties periodically, as hotels change so much with the arrivals of new management, renovations, and the opening of new F&B outlets, etc... Indeed the same hotels over the years can fluctuate so much in overall quality that it is important to keep abreast of these changes, which is why the revisiting of the same properties was necessary.

There also were quite many new hotel reviews, to the extent that there were new openings worthy of visiting. I thought they struck a good balance between revisiting great hotels and exploring new ones.
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Old Jun 25, 19, 12:14 pm
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As a current subscriber, this is very sad news and I wish they could continue. Even though they don’t necessarily cover the destinations I frequent most, I find the honest opinion invaluable. Aside from Harper, I am not aware of another similar publication and Harper just doesn’t compare.
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Old Jun 25, 19, 12:31 pm
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I don’t think Harper actually is Harper anymore.
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Old Jun 25, 19, 12:57 pm
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Originally Posted by HKTraveler View Post
As a current subscriber, this is very sad news and I wish they could continue. Even though they donít necessarily cover the destinations I frequent most, I find the honest opinion invaluable. Aside from Harper, I am not aware of another similar publication and Harper just doesnít compare.
Indeed. I think complaints about destinations miss the point that it is not a guide to be blindly followed, but like any high quality publication provides useful information that readers can use to help arrive at their own choices of properties and destinations. People do not have to agree one hundred percent of the time in order for information to have value. I often valued the information in the Guide, even when I chose different properties based on my priorities, or different destinations to the sister hotels of the properties covered in GG. It still provided inspiration of what type of travel I wanted, wherever I chose to go.
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