What is Virtuoso and Why Does it Matter?
At Bell & Bly Travel, we’ve built deep connections across the travel industry. In addition to our key partnerships with top travel companies and hotel brands over the globe, we are affiliated with Virtuoso – the world’s most prestigious leisure travel association.
Here is all you need to know about Virtuoso and how you can benefit from this valuable partnership.
What is Virtuoso
Virtuoso is a global network of the top travel advisors (like us!) and the top hotels, guides, local operators, and cruise lines in the world. Each member is thoroughly vetted in order to join Virtuoso.
In addition to passing rigorous quality standards to join, the travel partners must agree to give special perks to the clients (like you!) of Virtuoso advisors.
Virtuoso also serves as a conduit for us to stay constantly in the loop with our partners around the world and be up to date with the latest trends, hottest destinations, Covid-19 issues, and more. We are always working to cultivate these relationships by meeting with our colleagues and building strong connections with operators.
This means that when you reach out to us with an inquiry, we are most likely working to plan your trip by speaking to a friend at a hotel or with our close colleagues who offer bespoke guiding in your destination. So, if you are celebrating something special, we have the “in” to get you VIP status. If something goes wrong, we can quickly work with our connections to make it right.
What’s the value for you?
As members of Virtuoso, we are privileged to be able to build strong bonds with partners around the world. We do this at Virtuoso conferences, on our research trips, by meeting in person when partners come to visit us, and now during quarantine – we’re meeting regularly via zoom with hoteliers, specialized tour guides, and more.
The value of relationships shows when the rubber meets the road. During Covid-19, our partners were willing to renegotiate cancellation and rescheduling terms for us, so that our clients could be protected (while many people who booked trips online lost all their deposits).
We also very often have partners who go above and beyond for our clients for special occasions or to help when something has gone wrong. For example, we had a couple traveling with a baby in Europe when their baby got sick. Instead of continuing to tour, they needed a last minute stay near the airport where they would fly out. After one phone call to our partner at our favorite hotel in town, the family had a room and a doctor waiting on standby for when they arrived.
Another client was celebrating a babymoon and we were able to sneak some ultrasound photos to our partners from the husband – the hotel had photos of the couples’ children and the ultrasound framed and waiting for them in their room with special babymoon treats like chocolate and fruit.
At Bell & Bly Travel, we are some of the most well traveled people in the world – Sarah has been to 100 countries, and the team lives abroad! Even so, the learning opportunities afforded to us by our Virtuoso membership are absolutely imperative to providing the best experiences for clients. Virtuoso advisors have access to huge volumes of information that is just not available to the public or to non-Virtuoso advisors.
That access, combined with our core value of “Always Be Learning,” means we are continuously taking advantage of best-in-the-industry educational opportunities, attending on-line training sessions from Virtuoso Academy and webinars, and meeting our partners at Virtuoso Travel Week.
This means better trips for you, and access to experiences you didn’t even know existed.
This will really shine through during your first Discover Call with us! We’ll be asking things like what are your hobbies at home, what activities your children enjoy, and other things that may not seem relevant to a trip to Italy for example. But when you tell us your son or daughter or partner is in love with fashion… and your itinerary comes back to you with a behind the scenes fashion tour with an Atelier – you’ll understand!
In addition to the obvious convenience factor, there are other quantifiable perks to booking with us as proud members of the Virtuoso network. We can enhance your trips with privileged access to exclusive amenities, offers, and unique experiences that you can’t get on your own.
Benefits vary by destination and properties, but the exclusive amenities at hotels and resorts usually include:
- Room upgrades upon arrival, based on availability
- Virtuoso-only welcome presents (i.e. a nice bottle of wine!)
- Daily breakfast for two
- Early check-in and late checkout, based on availability
If you’re dreaming of a luxury cruise, complimentary amenities usually include:
- Shipboard credits
- Virtuoso-exclusive shore excursions
- Welcome aboard receptions
- Dedicated onboard hosts
- Private car and driver
- Gourmet dining
- Pre-paid gratuities
Each item in this list may seem small, but they can really add up. We’ve had clients receive over $1,000 of value from these amenities, even from short stays of 2-4 days.
Now that you are well aware that Bell & Bly Travel can get you VIP perks and help you enjoy trips of a lifetime – grab your calendar and let’s get started!