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Paul Collins

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paulI am proud to have founded a business that now includes a team of keen, talented, travel professionals who as stakeholders, are committed to enhancing clients travel enjoyment.

I have held many positions in the travel industry over the last 30 years and none has been more satisfying than founding Fine Travel in 2003. Our title and byline sets the tone for all our endeavours relating to product selection, presentation and service delivery.

My office is very portable. I have a laptop and (VOIP) phone with my Auckland DDI so I am able to set up office wherever I can connect to the internet. I have managed our business and my clients travel arrangements from –

Rarotonga – On a deck 20 meters from the lagoon at Bella Beach bungalows. A hammock obstructed my view.

Melbourne – Staying privately in South Yarra an easy walk to both Toorak Road and Chapel Street. So many shops, cafes and restaurants.

Houston – Staying privately overlooking a lake in The Woodlands. Very hot in summer so no working by the pool. Had overnight trips to both San Antonio and Austin…well worth a visit. A southern road trip through Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama to Florida has been a highlight. The food, music and people make the journey memorable.

Destin Florida – Located in the pan handle staying at The Henderson Park Inn which is beachside and alongside a nature reserve. (Turtle nesting spots are roped off.) The sand is like white sugar, the sea is clear blue and full of fish including dolphins. Pelicans fly in formation and dive into the sea. A stunning spot that will get a return visit.

Naples Southwest Florida – A beach town on the Gulf of Mexico staying at the Ritz-Calton golf resort. A true 5 star experience with the sister property located right on the beach. Stunning mansions along the beach. Reminded me of Noosa and Port Douglas. Had a great daytrip across the everglades to Fort Lauderdale and down the Atlantic coast to Miami. So much glitz and glamour. Great people watching. We spotted alligators by the roadside on the way back.

Maastricht Netherlands – Staying privately as our daughter was attending the local university. We worked at night and used the days to explore the charming cobblestone streets of Maastricht. The ancient and modern and being so close to Germany, Belgium and France the locals are fluent in 4 or 5 languages. We used our Eurail pass for trips to Amsterdam and did overnights in Brussels and Brugge. ( Photo above is by a canal in Brugge. Very quaint.)

Honolulu – Stayed at both the JW Marriott and Waikiki Outrigger. Both top properties in the best location. Waikiki has a real buz about it. So many people in a relaxed warm environment heading to/from the beach, shops and restaurants. The beach can be packed with people of all shapes and sizes. I can recommend Dukes at Waikiki Outrigger for a long lunch and sundowners. One of the LOL moments is watching the sun go down from Waikiki beach and people around start clapping.

Kauai Island – Rented a beach house in Poipu which is the southern side with the best beaches. My office setup overlooked a surf beach that attracted body surfers, boogey boarders and large sea turtles. Along the beach a bit was often roped off for a monk seal or two that had come in for a rest. We were an easy walk from Brennecke’s Beach Boiler restaurant that had a good value menu and a popular Happy Hour. It is a rent a car and explore type of island.

Cancun Mexico – Stayed at Casamagna Marriott which I can highly recommend. My office view was out from our balcony to the deep blue Caribbean where cruise ships passed, pelicans dived, mother turtles came up to lay their eggs, jet skis skimmed, para-sailors floated by and all and sundry enjoyed the pristine beach. The real highlight was sharing this holiday environment with the local Mexican plus Latin American guests and staff who are warm, friendly and fun loving people. The quality and value of the restaurants is very high and if you love seafood then Cancun is the place for you.

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