· · · · · · · · · · ·

Luxury travel news of the week

Here’s a round-up of luxury travel stories that have caught the eye this week. To make sure you receive these new weekly alerts in your web browser, please click on the red bell icon in the bottom right hand corner of the page and click ‘subscribe’ (works on desktop only – for other ways to subscribe, please click here). This will also alert you to any other posts on the blog. Should you wish, you can unsubscribe at any time, by clicking on the icon again and selecting ‘unsubscribe’. Luxury hotel to open inside the Palace of Versailles The Palace of Versailles has long served as a popular tourist attraction, but a new luxury hotel set in its lavish grounds means visitors will now be able to stay there. Airelles Château de Versailles will open in spring 2020 – the first hotel to have a home within the perimeters of the Palace grounds. The 14-bedroom property will be designed in an 18th Century style, with architect and interior designer Christophe Tollemer in charge of its aesthetic… [read more] What Thomas Cook’s collapse says about modern tourism The demise of 178-year old British tour operator Thomas Cook is a testament to the profound changes faced by the tourism industry. It also contains clues as to its future direction of travel. On Monday, Thomas Cook announced that it had entered compulsory liquidation after failing to strike a £1.1 billion ($1.4 billion) rescue deal with investors and creditors. The move put 21,000 jobs at risk and stranded up to 600,000 vacationers. The company’s stock had already plunged 90% this year… [read more] Want the Sistine Chapel all to yourself? A travel company is pricing private tours at $5,558 per person On any given day, as many as 30,000 tourists—six million a year—line up to see the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican Museums. The average visitor will be herded through packed hallways before entering the space alongside as many as 2,000 other souls who are also straining to get a glimpse Michelangelo’s famous ceiling frescoes and monumental The Last Judgment… [read more] Monaco Yacht Show unveils its biggest superyacht fleet ever Ever wanted to see what more than $4,000,000,000 looks like when it’s floating on the water? The glitzy European principality of Monaco is about to make that happen. It’s not dumping actual dollar bills into the sea, but is instead assembling $4.29 billion dollars worth of ocean-going real estate in one of the most opulent displays of superyachts ever assembled in one place. Now in its 29th year, the Monaco Yacht Show is the glitziest event on the yachting calendar. Over the course of four days, Port Hercules, the only deep-water port in the tiny country on France’s Mediterranean coast, will welcome 125 superyachts… [read more] Venice clamps down on cheap souvenirs to protect ‘cultural heritage’ Venice is cracking down on souvenir shops selling low-cost goods that have proliferated along the popular canals of the city over the past decade. After stiffening penalties for misbehaving tourists last May, the city is now taking steps to restrict and regulate shopkeepers selling plastic miniature gondolas, cheap carnival masks, crudely manufactured “Murano-style” trinkets, and low-cost leather goods… [read more] We really enjoy hearing from our readers and would love to hear your views on any of these stories! Please click on the comments below and share your thoughts. Thank you. Have a story you’d like to share? Please contact us for details.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

Did you enjoy this article?

Receive similar content direct to your inbox.


  1. I would have liked to have read the piece from the Wall Street Journal on the demise of Thomas Cook but to access it I would have had to subscribe. Instead I’ll have to make an educated guess at what it might have said.

    Firstly, the product of a package holiday lacks the adaptability of bespoke packages you can piece together from the internet.

    Turning to price, being sat at a desk on the High Street is an uneasy experience for those of used to searching hundreds of options on the internet. Nor are we visiting the High Street as frequently as we did.

    Once upon a time the travel agent had some credibility as the expert. Nowadays, 20 minutes of Googling will put together a very sophisticated view of your proposed holiday.

    1. The pace of change in businesses is so fast nowadays that Thomas Cook, with hundreds of shops on the High Street, were just a sitting duck. If you are going to be in the travel business you want to minimise the bricks in the “bricks and clicks” formula. Thomas Cook’s overheads must have been a real millstone around their neck. The way ahead for successful businesses in the travel industry has to be to stay as flexible as you can, ducking and weaving in hyperspace.

  2. It would be good if more cities followed Venice’s example and cracked down on tourist behaviour as well as cheap and tacky tourism.

  3. A hotel within Versailles’ grounds should be a real winner. Trying to “do” Versailles in a day with the problems of parking and queueing is challenging and it doesn’t leave you with enough time to appreciate the Palace and it’s grounds in all their glory. Walking through the grounds, early morning or evening after the masses have departed, would be a very relaxing experience. I’m sure that the Sun King would approve of this development, particularly as the hotel’s decor will reflect and celebrate the grandeur of Versailles.

  4. Having done a packed tour of the Vatican where I struggled to see past people’s heads, I partly get why you would want a private tour of the Vatican. Although I haven’t got $5,558 to spend on it, and why don’t they just round it up and go for $6,000 (?), I can sort of understand why some people would pay those big bucks. It’s a ridiculous sum but if most of it goes to maintaining the art and architecture of the place then that’s fair.

  5. There’s a worrying old saying that as soon as you drive your car out of the showroom it loses about 20% of its value.

    If you are a super yacht owner look away now. Are super yachts like cars? Do they depreciate just as rapidly from being new?

    Frightening to think that of that $4,000,000,000 of yachts on display 20% of that value could soon be gone.

    1. That’s a really good point. I think if you can afford one of these, you’re not expecting to ever need to consider the resale value. The only way a lot of flashy things get more at resale seems to be when they can be sold as ‘this used to belong to so and so’, which then reaches a ridiculous price from a collector or super fan. Can’t see a 4 billion dollar super yacht retaining anywhere near its original cost. I can’t even fathom how a yacht can cost that much to begin with!

  6. The Thomas Cook saga has been front and centre of the news lately, next to the ridiculous Brexit fiasco! It’s hard to imagine such huge masses of debt and how it got that far, surely they knew it was spiralling uncontrollably and this was something they saw coming. And yet, no protections for customers were put in place whatsoever. Perhaps they’d anticipated a government bail out and hadn’t thought they may get turned down. It’s just so worrying that such big names that we see as staples of British society and the high street are going pop so regularly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *