Virtuoso: The Luxury Travel Network That Makes Good Vacations Great

Are travel agents obsolete? Not for luxury travelers who upgrade with Virtuoso

Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey
••• Virtuoso can get you to Istanbul's Blue Mosque in style. ©Getty Images/Ascent/PKS Media Inc

Clients of Virtuoso Luxury Travel Agents Network Love This Organization

Maybe you've seen a sign at a luxury hotel or on an upscale cruise announcing, “Cocktail Party for Virtuoso Clients.” And you’ve wondered who Virtuoso luxury travel agents are is, or how you could become a Virtuoso client and join the party, read on.

What Is Virtuoso?  Virtuoso is an exclusive network of high-end travel companies who work together to create customized vacations for luxury travelers.

 

An American company whose roots go back to 1951, Virtuoso's decades of travel outreach add up to extensive links to the luxury travel industry. These include travel agents (or as Virtuoso calls them, "travel advisors"). The network is global and deep: nearly 400 independent travel agencies (and over 11,000 of their travel agents) in 34 countries are Virtuoso members. Plus luxury travel providers like hotels, airlines, cruise lines, car rental companies. and tour operators (specifics below)

Can Travelers Join Virtuoso, and Does It Cost? Individual travelers can’t join Virtuoso, but their travel agent, hotel, cruise ship, airline, tour operator, or spa can. Sometimes these services are free to the client (the traveler), and sometimes there's a cost 

How the Virtuoso Luxury Travel Network Operates

Virtuoso works as a connector between its members: travel agents on one hand, and travel-industry partners on the other.

The travel agents create exclusive vacations drawing on the travel partners, delivering deluxe itineraries, upgraded rooms, enhanced travel services, and valuable perks to luxury travel clients.

Luxury travelers benefit from the Virtuoso network in several ways. Virtuoso travel agents can customize client vacations with high-end, value-added travel components offered by Virtuoso travel partners.

 Virtuoso also arranges exclusive benefits for travel agents to pass on to their luxury travel clients. The relationships agents and partners forge through Virtuoso translates into a VIP experience for clients

Clients of Virtuoso travel agents and other travel partners (hotels, cruise ships, airlines, spas, etc.) can enjoy valuable yet complimentary perks. Typical benefits include: Airport transfers; hotel "comps" worth hundreds of dollars, often including rate discounts, room upgrades, executive club floor status, breakfast, cocktails, early check-in and late checkout, gift such as botte of wine in room or logo polo shirt, resort activity such as golf; cruise-ship cabin upgrades, shipboard credits and vouchers, parties, gifts, private excursions; when flying, special fares, cabin upgrades and preferential seating, drink tickets, airport lounge access, VIP baggage handling; category upgrades from car rental partners; extra treatments and services from spa partners

The Virtuoso hotel network is extensive, numbering about 900 properties in over 80 countries. Hotel brands participating in Virtuoso constitute a who’s who of luxury travel:  Amanresorts, Anantara, Belmond, Canyon Ranch, Fairmont, Four Seasons, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, InterContinental, Jumeirah, Mandarin Oriental, Oberoi, One&Only, Park Hyatt, Peninsula, Raffles, Ritz-Carlton, St.

Regis, Setai, Six Senses, and other no-question luxury hotels

Virtuoso's cruise partners include many of the world's top cruise lines, both conventional big ships and smaller, yacht-like craft.  Virtuoso partners at sea include Azamara, Celebrity, Crystal, Norwegian, Oceania, Paul Gauguin, Princess, Regent, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, SeaDream, Silversea, Star Clippers, and Viking.

The Virtuoso network also covers dozens of luxury tour operators who organize upscale or unusual vacations and expeditions around the world.

Many of these vacation experts are devoted to specialty travel: sports-centric travel, adventure travel, "green" travel, cultural travel, culinary travel, or family travel. Some of these well-reputed names:

• Abercrombie & Kent
• Absolute Travel  
• Artisans of Leisure
• Backroads
• Butterfield & Robinson
Kensington Tours
• Lindblad Expeditions
• Tauck Expeditions
• Plus many more

Virtuoso is the exclusive agent in the Americas for high-altitude "suborbital" flights on Virgin Galactic.

How to Start Getting Virtuoso Luxury Travel Benefits

The way to enjoy Virtuoso perks is to use a Virtuoso travel agent who's a fit for your travel style. To start tapping into their trip-planning expertise.To accomplish this, you can search a travel advisor catalog at virtuoso.com and even take a Meet Your Advisor quiz.  You can also call Virtuoso and staffers will then recommend travel agents depending on your interests (number is below)

Luxury traveler Nick L., an office designer, takes frequent upscale vacations from his homes in New Jersey and Florida. He says, "Virtuoso travel agents get you upgrades and freebies that would be hard to come by on your own. The extras make you feel like a real VIP. For me, a Virtuoso travel agent is the insider way to go."

To Learn More About Virtuoso

• Call Virtuoso at 866.401.7974 for info and Virtuoso travel agent referrals
• Visit the Virtuoso website
•  Facebook
• On Twitter (@Virtuoso)
• Photos on Pinterest
• Virtuoso’s blog
• Virtuoso Life and Virtuoso Traveler Magazines