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Joe Decker

Our Journey to Italy

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Our Journey to Italy

By Brad Beaty

I am not here to boast or to make anyone envious, but to share the wonderful experience of travel that has been taken away from us all by this tragic pandemic.  Giuseppe and I have had the great fortune, and taken some risk, in being some of the first to “eat our own cookie”.  That is, we sell travel experiences, so if we do not get believe in taking them now, how can we expect others to trust themselves and their knowledge of how to safely travel.  After having safely visited my family in Colorado, we returned home for a few days to work and repack for the next big journey!

We are here on the stunning Amalfi Coast, and I can honestly say that 2020 seems miles away.  I believe that many are curious to know what it is like to take an international trip at this time, and I am very happy to share my experiences.  First, most will ask, how could I go to Italy with the travel ban?  I am a very lucky guy being married to an Italian and American citizen.  Immediate family can travel with anyone having an EU passport to the country it was issued.   There are very specific and strict rules about this, and paperwork to be done ahead of time, but it was by no means prohibitive.  What most people will find prohibitive at this time is that anyone coming to Italy must quarantine for 14 days.  Of course, once you see the pictures, you will note that it is not half bad quarantining….in a way, it is what we really wanted and needed.

Flying here…

What struck me as very sad was that Terminal 1 (the main International Airline terminal) at JFK was eerily empty when we checked in.  Normally, at the evening rush hour it would be teeming with people boarding flights to Europe and the jets would be lined up 20 deep to reach the runway.  Not this time…. we boarded a half full Alitalia fight and took off straight away.  I do know that each airline has it’s own policies about spacing, capacity, hygiene, etc., but the two we have now flown, UA and AZ have been very good (although as I have mentioned prior, UA could stand to do better with spacing).  Both have sanitizing wipes for all passengers, one can clearly see that more time has been spent cleaning the planes.  More importantly, the air is purified more efficiently and effectively.  You feel this more on a long-haul flight.   Drawbacks…. wearing the mask for an extended period of time is a challenge, particularly if you try to sleep on an overnight flight.  We both found that next to impossible.  However, I just kept thinking of all of the doctors and nurses who worked countless hours in the same mask for weeks in a row during the peak of the pandemic.  What did I have to complain about flying to Italy to see family and vacation?  I will say, do not expect normal business class service or food….at all.  But, the priority of safety, you can expect, and even more at this brief era.


As you know, the north of Italy was the second center of the Pandemic in the very beginning.  That was back in March.  Now, in September, it is returning to a new temporary normal.  On the Amalfi Coast,  people walk outside free of masks…. until 6pm.  Indoors, and after 6pm everywhere, they are required, and you will get warned sternly or fined if you do not fully cover your nose and mouth.  We are not there yet, as we are still quarantining.  It was our impression that the quarantine would be much stricter.  We were allowed to rent a car in Rome, drive to our rented villa on the Coast.  In reality, we could have stopped anywhere along the way, and no one has every checked on our listed address since we arrived.  We were contacted via our local person we left as a main contact, to go to get a Covid test on the 5th day.  In true Italian style, it was a bit chaotic when we arrived and the directions, we were given were completely inaccurate…. got to love it!  In the end, it took only about 30 minutes.  The strange thing was that we were requested to come by car (which we no longer had) and it would be at a drive-thru.  Never happened that way at all.  We were also told we would be able to get a physical copy of the test for our future travels in the EU…. we shall see how that one goes!  In the meantime, we are here working and relaxing in this spectacular place we are calling home to respect the quarantine and keep all safe who we can.

Welcoming Le Blanc Resorts in Cancun and Los Cabos

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Welcome Le Blanc Resorts to the Lush Collection

In these uncertain times it is important to look towards the future, and our new Lush Collection Member understands that we will recover as an industry and society. We are proud to welcome Le Blanc Spa Resorts – Adults-Only Luxury All-Inclusive Resorts in the beautiful destinations of Cancun and Los Cabos. They have come on board during this difficult time because they have complete faith in us, and our friends and colleagues in the travel industry. We hope this bit of positive news brightens your day and curiosity, and we cannot wait to tell you more about these All-Inclusive resorts, and hopefully soon showcase them in person

What to Know About Le Blanc Spa Resorts

At Le Blanc Spa Resorts guests are treated to the ultimate in luxury and a completely unforgettable stay. All guests enjoy the following:

  • Luxurious suites that exude chic comfort, smart design, and the latest in technology
  • Gourmet dining from an international array of cuisines
  • Butler Service
  • 24-hour Room Service
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi and unlimited local and long distance calls
  • Premium Liquor

Open the door to even more pampering and indulgence with Blanc Benefits, a curated collection of amenities and services for guests staying three nights or more. The choice is up to you: Soothe yourself at the spa. Challenge yourself on the greens. Recount your day over a romantic dinner for two. Just let your butler know what you prefer, and prepare yourself for one unforgettable experience after the other. 

Le Blanc Spa Resort Cancun – Nestled near the most pristine beaches and very accessible to local flavor. Surrounded by Caribbean Sea featuring soft coral sands and turquoise waters.

  • AAA Five Diamond Rating for 10 Consecutive Years
  • 260 Luxury Accommodations
  • 6 Restaurants and 5 Bars
  • Fitness Center
  • 3 Pools including 2 Infinity Pools
  • Blanc Spa with 19 Treatment Rooms and Hydrotherapy Facilities
  • $30 million Renovation Completed in 2019
Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos – A new oasis of luxury on the Baja Peninsula. Los Cabos is beloved for being where the desert meets the sea, adding an air of luxurious transcendence to the experiences.
  • 373 luxury accommodations
  • 7 Restaurants and 6 Bars offering an array of international cuisine
  • 4 Outdoor Pools including 1 Infinity Pool
  • Fitness Center
  • Blanc Spa with 25 treatment rooms and hydrotherapy facilities
  • The Residence – a luxury private home within the resort. Featuring 4 ocean-front bedrooms with accommodations for up to 12 guests. 1,400 sq.ft. infinity pool, expansive living room, fully equipped kitchen and spacious dining room.

Celebrating 10 Years of Five Diamond Awards

For 10 years in a row, Le Blanc Spa Resort Cancun has been awarded the coveted AAA Five-Diamond rating and they want to celebrate in the most luxurious way.
Make 10 bookings at any Le Blanc Spa Resort for five nights each and earn a five-night vacation at any Le Blanc Spa Resort, staying in a luxury Ocean View Suite, butler service, exquisite dining, premium drinks, and complimentary airport transfers.
Booking Window: Until August 31, 2020.
Travel Window for Guests: Until December 23, 2020
For more information contact Le Blanc Spa Resorts at

Cancellation Policy Lush Members

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Over the past couple weeks we have received many inquires regarding the flexibility of our members cancellation policies. To reassure you and your clients that we are here to support you, we have compiled a list of our Member’s terms. Therefore you can feel comfortable choosing a Lush Collection Member when your clients are ready to travel again.

Hotel d’Angleterre – Copenhagen: Full refund for cancellations by 12:00pm on day of arrival.
Privilege Italia: Flexible cancellation policy on a case by case basis and dependent on services booked
Romeo Hotel Napoli: Full refund for cancellations up to 48 hours prior to arrival
Villa d’Este: Until May 31, 2020 – Full refunds will be offered up to 48 hours prior to arrival
Villa La Massa: Full refunds will be offered up to 48 hours prior to arrival
Hotel Santa Caterina: For April and May, 7 days prior to arrival for full refund, with no deposit required on new bookings.
Myconian Collection: Flexible cancellation and payment policy available. Contact your local
United Kingdom:
Chauffeur Drive Britain: Prior two days of arrival, no penalty. Within 48 hours of arrival 50% of total is payable. Every cancellation is dealt with on a case by case basis.
Caribbean and Mexico:
The Palms and The Shore Club – Turks & Caicos:
  • Arrivals between now and April 30, 2020 will be able to cancel up to 24 hours prior.
  • Reservations between May 1, 2020 and Dec 19, 2020 will require seven (7) days prior notice.
Le Blanc Resorts: 4 days prior to arrival, full refund will be given. If less than 4 days are given, than 1 room night will be charged. (During Holiday Season at least 15 days prior to arrival is required, earlier than 15 days, 3 room nights will be charged).

Strolling Naples with Romeo Hotel

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Located in the heart of the city, facing the enchanting Bay of Naples, and the imposing Mt. Vesuvius, Romeo Hotel Napoli is within short walking distance to San Carlo Theater, Piazza del Plebiscito, the city’s vibrant historic center, and the world famous Spaccanapoli.

To help you discover this eclectic and charming city, Mr. Romeo, owner of the Romeo Hotel Napoli has created an extensive guide that showcases the culture and heritage of this ancient city. His passion and knowledge is on full display throughout his guide book, Strolling Naples. We look forward to highlighting more of what makes this Hotel and destination so unique.

Romeo hotel is a master of the art of contrasts, a perfect synthesis of modern design, contemporary art and classic “Made in Italy” at its finest. Offering a superb selection of luxury accommodation in the heart of Naples. All featuring the highest level of comfort and style, the hotel includes 79 luxury rooms and suites with spectacular views of the sea and city

Take a dip in the rooftop pool, with the island of Capri and Mount Vesuvius as your backdrop. Head for the spa and try an infrared sauna or a bracing snow treatment. Try the traditional Mediterranean cuisine one night, and award-winning gastronomy the next. Or live the high life with cocktails, cigars and a game on the crystal football table.

Deluxe France Creating Exclusive Itineraries Throughout France

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We are excited to share the news that as of February 1, 2020 Deluxe Drivers has officially changed its compnay name to Deluxe France. This rebranding is designed to showcase them being not only experts in VIP transportation and guided tours but also bring attention on them being one of the most innovative and trusted Destination Management Companies. They have prided themselves on their ability to continue to grow and evolve throughout their history with a goal of always being able to meet and exceed all your clients needs.

You can continue to expect the highest quality range of services, deep knowledge, expertise and meticulous attention to detail that you have always experienced from Julien, Moatez and the entire Deluxe team. A new website has launched that better showcases Deluxe France’s extensive knowledge and creativity with hundreds of exclusive itineraries throughout this beautiful country. Visit for more information.

As always you can reach out to owners Julien Pieve at and Moatez Khalek at for inquires and assistance.

Enjoy this special video highlighting what Deluxe France can do for you and your clients