Doing It With Style

Tour operator Island Destinations specializes in living the good life

By: Marty Wentzel

Four Seasons’ Lodge at Koele
Island Destinations packages
include stays at the Four Seasons’
Lodge at Koele.
Agents who specialize in luxury travel must find new ways to add value to high-end Hawaii vacations if they want stay on top of their game. Enter Island Destinations, the Larchmont, N.Y.-based wholesaler with a decidedly upscale bent, whose 2008 product line aims to help agents satisfy the most discriminating clients.

“Hawaii is constantly reinventing itself, and travel agents need to be open to combining different experiences for their clients,” said Island Destinations chief operating officer Laurie Palumbo.

In examining trends, Palumbo sees elite travelers wanting to spend more time together, whether as a couple or with friends and family.

“Clients are seeking adventure-oriented activities to engage in with their loved ones,” she said. “And, they are looking for exotic body treatments, private dinners on the beach and secluded excursions.”

Selective travelers require innovative suggestions for exploring the islands, so Island Destinations stands ready with specialists who can help arrange vacation itineraries. Options range from ultimate outdoor adventures at Kapalua Resort’s new Mountain Outpost to intimate, traditional healing ceremonies at the Four Seasons on Maui.

For clients who want to make their vacations even more experiential, Island Destinations has added a prestige car-rental collection, available for booking throughout Hawaii. Clients can glide around in Hummers, Cadillacs, Jaguars and the like from $208 per day.

When clients say they want to further broaden their vacation experience, Palumbo recommends combining their Hawaii trip with a shopping and nightlife destination. For instance, Island Destinations now offers stopovers at luxury hotels in Las Vegas. A two-night stay at the Four Seasons Las Vegas starts at $650 per couple.

Collaborating with Hawaii’s top-of-the-line properties, Island Destinations’ 2008 resort packages include the six-night Island Paradise at The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua on Maui; the Volcano Adventure package at Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows on the Big Island; the Balance package at Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa; the romance package on Lanai at the Four Seasons’ Lodge at Koele; and a five-night package at Oahu’s Halekulani.

In addition, when working with Island Destinations, agents earn 15 percent for any new Hawaii booking made and traveled by Dec. 15.