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.
Organising trips like ours is the job of good travel agents and NOT doing it yourself online.
We did enjoy the most amazing tour of London, France and Italy with Trafalgar Tours. What I loved about the St Paul’s to St Peter’s tour was doing it via high-speed train, what an experience! Our tour guide was really ‘switched on’ and spoke all the relevant languages fluently, thus taking the hassle out of all accommodation, daily excursions and day to day stuff. The knowledge of the tour guides is also out of this world, and we left the tour really feeling like we had had daily history lessons on a very beautiful part of Europe. We will definitely travel with them again soon. Highly recommend them!
Marsha- Europe | Trafalgar Coach Tour
Singapore was great for a one day stopover, Ukraine was amazing as were all the other Eastern European countries we visited – Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, then Italy, Switzerland & France before going to UK. The 3 day stopovers in Boston and in San Francisco were just right given we felt like getting home.
Pamela- Europe | Coach Tour
We’re back from Israel & thank you for organizing that for us. We were very happy with Korean Air – the seats didn’t go absolutely flat like Air NZ except in 1st class, but they were pretty comfortable & the service was great
Sylvia & Arnold- Korean Air | Business Class
Thanks for the phone call yesterday. I had been going to write to you anyway to thank you for a very well organised trip. Everything ran like clockwork and we had a great time. The Pacific Resort’s in both Rarotonga and Aitutaki that you booked for us were excellent places to stay, with very friendly and helpful staff, very good locations and facilities.
Ray- Cook Islands | Pacific Resort Aitutaki | Pacific Resort Rarotonga
I just want to thank you for all the organising you did for our cruise.
Finally we made it and had the most fantastic trip. We thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and I can say that the ship far exceeded our expectations. This is the best time of year to do it apparently. September through December.
The whole trip was wonderful and the weather was fantastic. We were lucky to have a ship that was only 2/3rds full and the other passengers were all of a similar age.
It truly was a fabulous trip and to be recommended.
Donna- Cruise | Captain Cook Fiji
Thank you we had a great holiday.
The Paul Gaugin ship was most comfortable & everything was of the highest standard. We were pleased we booked a cabin with balcony as we so enjoyed sitting out reading there. The food was the best possible & the organisation of boarding, excursions, tender to the beach – all was done extremely efficiently. We would recommend this cruise to anyone.
Thank you for arranging our travel etc.
Sylvia & Arnold- Cruise | Paul Gaugin Tahiti
If I have had to change plans during my trip, he has willingly obliged. I am very happy to provide a positive reference for Paul and Fine Travel.