Welcome to Kanoo Travel UK

Kanoo Travel, a franchise partner of American Express Travel Services, specialise in tailormade luxury holidays for the discerning traveller.

Welcome to our blog pages, here you'll find reports from our staff on their holidays and trips which might give you a great idea for your next trip. We'll also update the pages with our latest offers and deals.

Kanoo Travel can be contacted on 0800 458 3412. Or visit us online at http://www.kanootravel.co.uk/

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Claire Morris in... Las Vegas

The seat belt signs are now on, as we slowly descend through the clouds the sun is shining and we can already feel  the American heat, the strip is in sight and the tensions is building....
Cheers from everyone we have landed in party town.... VEGAS!!!
As we clear customs and get in to our luxurious limousine to the hotel we are all heads out of windows excited soon after we are all checking in to none other than the Encore at the Wynn... WOW!!

We are given our keys and a map of the hotel, for those who haven’t been to Vegas before every hotel needs a map as they are so big you feel like there’s no exit.
My one bedroom suite is huge.  I’m so excited.  I’m running around checking all the amenities just like its Christmas day with all the presents…  I even have two televisions in the bathroom!!
If that’s not living it up I don’t know what is!

After a long flight everyone wants to be fresh in the morning so to finish the first day nicely myself and the group enjoy dinner and cocktails as guests of the Wynn Encore. The general manager gives us a brief show around of what the hotel has to offer and soon we are sitting down in a swanky a la carte restaurant in the hotel. The food is delicious... Me being a food addict I took photos of everything. To start they brought round a seafood platter, I have never tried fish before so I went a little crazy and tried it all.. Oysters, lobster, crab yum yum!!
Well me thinking that was the starter or main? Silly me, were in America… that was just an appetizer to follow we had the biggest chicken Caesar salad I have ever had, fillet steak and cheese cake for desert  WOW what a meal that was, delicious...

Wake up and meet up have a leisurely stroll along Las Vegas Boulevard to the Venetian.
We have a site inspection of this fabulous property followed by lunch in the impressive grand lux café where the architecture and décor is inspired by the look and feel of classic Venetian cafes.
After yet another lovely three course dinner and the odd beer or two we all make our way to the Porte cochere where we are picked up in our limousine and drove to meet Elvis at the Graceland wedding chapel.
The Graceland chapel has been a part of the Las Vegas strip for over 50 years  and is one of the most prominent chapels for a wedding in Las Vegas, Jon Bon Jovi was married here and in 2001 he even held a concert in the parking lot with 75 couples who re-newed their vows with him!

Group then had some free time to wonder the strip… Take photos and get ready for the night ahead.

PARTY TIME - All meet at the Mirage in the well-known 10AK nightclub, the night’s starts smoothly until we hop on the party bus as we move from one club to the other down the strip!
A much needed lie in to help everyone recover…

Breakfast at Denny’s – Its official I love American food.

Transfer to premium outlet Centre for some retail therapy, we were greeted by the onsite manager who gave us a goody bag with lots of offers in the shops and even a coupon to buy a diamond necklace we all felt like VIP’s
After an afternoon shopping spree we all head back to the hotel for a nice dip in the pool.
Evening has approached, we all have tapas style food but obviously in America everything is big… More like a sharing platter!!

Having a stroll around the hotel passing Gucci, Dior, the  Ferrari shop I have now realized that the shopping in Vegas is as good or if not better than New York.

Walking through to the Wynn Theatre – YES the hotel even has its own theatre we watch Le Reve the dream from a thrilling high dive to an underwater tango le reve mesmerized all of us from beginning to end, let senses take flight as dreams swim in the air and dance on water.  This show is a must see.

The night is still young…
We meet our red carpet vip host which gains immediate access to the most amazing clubs in Vegas! For this Vegas VIP pass it normally costs around 80USD We walk straight in to XS what conde nast traveler calls the hottest nightclub in the world where David ghetto and Calvin Harris are among the resident djs, With it holding 1,400 people a dj and bar outside the pool area as well as inside it is a definite celeb hang out.
The next day is very chilled.. Enjoying the lovely 24c sunshine, a wonder around Bellagio and the venetian, a show around in cosmopolitan and the Paris hotel, some cheeky bets  and a trip to Madame  Tussauds
On the evening we get picked up and transfer to McCarran heliport to view the strip at night. It had amazing views of the strip all lit up, was like seeing it on a movie.

Our last day it has been such a great trip it has to end in style.

As we get picked up by our limo at 0530am to transfer to the heliport we fly over lake mead and the hoover dam for amazing sights, soar over the west rim of the grand canyon before descending almost 3,300 feet below the canyon rim for a sun rise champagne breakfast… WOW!

Checked out the hotel; dump our bags and a last minute gamble? Go on then…

Transfer to the airport, bags checked in on the ’virgin outside bag drop’ and UK here I come…

What have I learnt about Vegas? The strip is so much bigger than I thought, I now know if a customer rings where all the hotels are positioned, the hotels are like shopping malls, they say new York city doesn’t sleep.. Well neither does Vegas, bring plenty of cash comfy shoes and strong sun cream

What will I upsell now I have experienced it? Our attraction ticket suppliers – Helicopter trips, the VIP pass for the nightlife, Le Reve show, Madame Tussauds the hotels are all unique, and they all have something great about them.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Bernie's Adventures in.... Japan

We arrived into Tokyo very early 4am after our 12 hour British Airways flight, then we were wizzed over to the train station to catch the  Shinkansen Express Bullet train to Kyoto.
Wow ! our speed reached 178 MPH passing snow covered Mount Fuji – Japans most famous & highest mountain. Kyoto was the Old ancient Capital of Japan till 1868 and has retained far more of a feel of “ Old Japan “ than Tokyo. We stayed at the Westin Hotel located amidst a picturesque mountain backdrop but also in the centre of the City. 

Our 1st  visit was to the Golden Pavilion so beautiful & yes it was dripping in Gold and also rain! just like Manchester! Then it was onto a quick Rickshaw ride in the rain through the scenic Bamboo Forest, a complete sea of green. That night we had a grand meal at a local Teriyaki Bar  - such speed, skill & perfection by the Japanese Chef.

Up early ready for my visit to the Emperors Imperial Palace so quite & serene with stunning beautiful gardens. Next we were driven to the enormous Nijo Castle of the Shogun to check out the Samurai Soldiers hide out. The afternoon back to school did well in the Calligraphy class, my teacher was pleased with me gave me a Gold Star! Meeting “ Maiko “ apprentice Geisha was a highlight of our visit to Kyoto, she was just so perfect, rather elegant & beautiful. She was so impressed with my bold red shellac nails that when she made us all Green tea I was served 1st. That night we dined at a very special  5* French Bistro a la carte seven courses! Au Revoir

To-day we set off to the oldest Zen Buddhist Temple 1202 – so serene & total enlightenment, such natural beauty. Some local retail therapy along Sanjo St a vibrant traffic free shopping area, lots of bargains and specialty items. Lunch was at a very busy Sushi restaurant we sat with the locals. The Sushi was so colourful and elaborate. We were then treated to a nice brew - visit at a Ryokan ( Japanese Guest House ) in the heart of the Old Gion district To-night we dined at a local inn had very authentic Japanese cuisine served by Geishas, such artful presentation.

Next day time to hit that Bullet Train again – the Virgin trains from Manchester will feel quite slow for me now ( 118 MPH  compare with 178 MPH ) Oh and quite all cell phones have to be on silent ! I had a great time with them on the subject on MAN United – I am a MAN City fan! The locals were laughing at us as we gazed upon Mount Fuji  – just gobsmacked once again! 

Arrived into one of the oldest ( 1872 ) main stations in Tokyo - Shinagawa a major hub for over 100 train & metro lines. Over 54.000 passengers an hour! We had a ten minute walk to our trendy Crown Prince Hotel, very large rooms with a balcony over-looking the main square and gardens with wonderful views. Then we were rushed back to the Metro- Underground to attack this for the day, what fun we had.

Our trip across the City underground with two changes to the Tokyo Sky Tree was a dream – just how everything worked out so perfect for us. The visit to the Sky Tree all 640 metres & 450 floors was so easy and great fun especially for families. Fantastic City views a good organised venue.
We went shopping after on Asakusa st ( like our Oxford st ) very lush & divine famous name brand shops, also walked along the famous Takeashita St.

The shopping and entertainment street, that is a meeting and focal point area for eccentric teenagers to dress up in elaborate character colourful costumes. They parade along the narrow street that is lined with cafes, internet shops and boutiques – like the dog designer store, oh and a £land – YENland !
There was no chewing gum or rubbish on the ground or any Graffiti at all and not a “ Yobo “ in sight just polite young people having fun. Oh and they loved my 10yr old Samsung cell phone – were just lots of laughs & giggles about it !

Tonight ( our last night ) was spent as a VIP guest at the Crown Prince Hotel, we were wined and dined again with fresh food cooked in front of us. We languished at the live Langoustines cooked in minutes ( poor things ! ) tasted so good. Mid-night bedtime and up at 3am, we departed at 4am for the airport and good-bye to Japan what a brilliant trip in the beautiful land of the rising sun.