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Tripzter Explores The Idyllic Cook Islands

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Tripzter Explores The Idyllic Cook Islands

Yay, we made it through January! On one hand, we survived “Blue Monday”, but now we can look forward to an extra six weeks of winter (thanks alot Punxsutawney Phil). And to make matters worse, those of us on the Pacific ‘Wet’ Coast are suffering through our 19th day of rain…in a row. Sounds like some of us need to head south, waaay south. And the Tripzter team knows exactly where you should go.

Somewhere, amidst the 1.2 million square miles of the Pacific Ocean, halfway between the Hawaiian archipelago and New Zealand, lie the idyllic Cook Islands. A tepid climate, mosaic of rich traditions, and the warmth of proud people waiting to welcome the weariest of travellers. Devoid of brash fast food chains, gargantuan tour buses, shopping malls or anything resembling its cousin to the far north (Hawaii), Islands like Raratonga, Aitutaki and Atiu are a quiet feast for the soul, and more importantly, a much needed break from all this rain.  Our very own Corporate Travel Manager and perpetual globetrotter, Matthew Quinton, set off to experience the idyllic Cook Islands over New Year’s and here’s what he had to say about his unique experience:

So Matt, how do we get from Vancouver to Paradise..err…we mean the Cook Islands?

I flew with Air New Zealand through Auckland and Sydney. And on the way home, I took United Airlines from Los Angeles back home to Vancouver. One thing to consider with Air New Zealand, is opting for the upgrade to Premium Economy. You get to enjoy business class service (including a premium meal paired with complimentary wine) and of course, more legroom, all for less than you would spend on a business class ticket.


Air New Zealand Premium Economy

What was your favourite memory from your time in the Cook Islands?  

My favourite part of the trip was a day trip we took to the island of Aitutaki. It’s only a 45 minute flight with Air Rarotonga from Rarotonga. Aitutaki is a small island protected by a series of small Atolls and a lagoon…absolutely stunning. The bluest, crystal clear water I have ever seen and soft, white, powdery sand beaches. And even, though I was on a boat with 20 other people, I still felt like I had the place to myself.

Polynesian Culture

Do you have some tips or interesting tidbits our clients might want to know about travelling to the Cook Islands?  

Cash or credit. Most people don’t know, but the currency used is New Zealand Dollars. And avoid using at ATM if you can, otherwise you’ll be shelling out $7.00 per withdrawl – Ouch!

Rent a car. One of the best and easiest ways to see Rarotonga on your own is to rent a car, and there are plenty of companies to rent from. You can circumnavigate the island in just over an hour, and since there’s only one main road, it’s impossible to get lost.Rarotonga Tripzter TravelTake a Tuk Tuk. Another great way to get around the island is by Tuk Tuk. And the best part, they’re quiet, and emissions free which means you get to sit back, relax and enjoy fresh island air while learning all about the history of this beautiful little island from a local expert. And if you’re feeling extra adventurous, hop on an electric bike and take a self-guided tour.

Stick to local drinks! There are many restaurant and café options to choose from, but if you’re trying to keep the expenses down, avoid drinking Coke and Coke Cola related products – You could be paying as much as $5.00 per can.

Leave the diet at home. We all know vacations are a time to be adventurous and enjoy local cuisine, guilt-free. These are a few of my favourite restaurants:

  • Nautilus Restaurant at Nautilus Resort
  • Café Salsa in Aitutaki – best coffee/lunch on the island
  • Café Beluga – best breakfast on the island
  • Tamarind House – Colonial upscale dining with an amazing view!
  • Vaima’s – great food, right on the beach.
  • The Spaghetti House for Italian food at the Edgewater resort.

Tamarind House, Rarotonga

Mingle on Market Day. If you happen to be on Rarotonga on a Saturday, wander down to the waterfront, and next to Avarua, the island’s main township, you’ll find the Punanga Nui Cultural Market. Here you’ll find everything from local art, clothing and jewelry to fresh fish, veggies and fruit, and a great opportunity to mingle with vendors from surrounding islands.

CCIC Church in Avarua, Rarotonga. This quaint church was built in 1853, fashioned from limestone and coral

Enjoy a day of rest. After a day of hustle and bustle at the Saturday Market, set your soul free at Mass in any one of the beautiful local churches on the island. Christianity is a very important component of local culture, so much so, that you’ll be hard pressed to find a restaurant serving alcohol on a Sunday.

If you are looking for a sun-drenched alternative to Mexico, the Caribbean or even Hawaii, the Cook Islands is a great, year round option. And what’s more, if you are looking for a unique destination to ring in the new year, you won’t be dealing with swarms of other tourists.

Aitutaki Lagoon

If you’ve been dreaming of an idyllic Cook Islands escape, or if Matt’s Instagram account is making you jealous and now you can’t get visions of endless horizons and turquoise seas out of your head, we would love to offer you one of our many South Pacific promotions. Pop your details into the form below and we’ll have you on your way to the idyllic Cook Islands.

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Get in touch with us and one of our diligent travel experts will contact you shortly. We’re passionate about travel and excited to make all your travel dreams come true. Talk to you soon!

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Madinat Jumeirah

Jumeirah Passport to Luxury

Tripzter Travel offers Exclusive Amenities at Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts

Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts are considered to be among the most luxurious and innovative on earth. They have won numerous international travel and tourism awards.  In addition to this, their exemplary team will ensure your travel needs are exceeded, with the finest service quality and attention to detail making every journey exceptional. Passport to Luxury is an invitation-only program that provides clients of Tripzter Travel with exclusive amenities at all Jumeirah properties.

Especially relevant is that we can promise our rate matches the Best Available Rate at time of booking, yet booking with us guarantees hundreds of dollars worth of exclusive amenities.

Terms and Conditions

  • Bookings made through Tripzter Travel advisors only
  • Subject to availability, blackout dates apply
  • Applies to individual bookings only, no groups


Call your Tripzter Advisor today to check availability for your dates… 


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luxury living las vegas

Luxury Living in Las Vegas

Here at Tripzter, we truly believe the best way to curate and create the most memorable experiences for our clients means we need to test the product (and destination) firsthand. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it. Throughout the year, we conduct on-site hotel inspections, participating in educational trips around the world, and work closely with tourism boards to learn about what’s new and exciting. With Ginger traipsing around the Lonestar State to curate ten-gallon sized experiences, and Anita jet-setting off to the Middle East to show our clients the epitome of Israeli luxury, it was my turn to report on back on how to create the perfect itinerary for luxury living in Las Vegas.

Luxury Living in Las Vegas at the Venetian 

There are over 150,000 hotel rooms in Las Vegas, with 65,000 of those directly on the Las Vegas Strip. From budget to luxury, there are plenty of options to choose from, but in order to experience luxury living in Vegas, we opted for a sky-high penthouse at the Venetian Hotel. The Venetian is conveniently located directly on the Las Vegas Strip, across the street from the Mirage and Treasure Island hotels. It has an impressive selection of restaurants with some of the world’s most prominent executive chefs at the helm, more luxury boutique shopping than one could dream up, a world-famous Canyon Ranch Spa, the hottest nightclub on the Strip (Tao), and one of the world’s largest casinos.

Penthouse Living: Check-in Like a VIP

luxury living las vegas


It was hard not to feel like a celebrity as we breezed past the crowds at the regular check-in counter, opened a door marked ‘private’ and stepped into your very own private Concierge area. Soft classical music floated across the antique-inspired space. Sumptuous baked goods, quaint sandwiches, and fresh fruit on silver platters sat on a linen table, and a beverage station with freshly brewed coffee, tea, and an assortment of juices awaited us. And just in case someone needed something to take the edge off, a meticulously dressed server strolled over to send us on our way with a cocktail (charges applied) and a complimentary bottle of Fiji water to take up to our room.

After an effortless VIP check-in, room keys in hand, we wandered over to the elevators, summoned the 36th floor and zipped up to the top. After passing under a gargantuan crystal chandelier, making our way down a long, but spacious corridor, we reached a set of double doors, slipped in our card key and 3,200 square feet of luxury living space laid before us. Greeted by a formal dining room, a baby grand piano in the corner by a large window and formal salon with multiple couches and large flat screen TV, we retired to our separate wings (yes, wings!) Each wing had its very own over-sized marble bathroom, complete with jetted tub, separate glass-enclosed showers, his and her sinks and matching plush terry cloth robes. And if that wasn’t enough to impress, there’s no better way to end a pavement-pounding day in Sin City than to fall into a heavenly king-sized bed, complete with floor-to-ceiling views of the Las Vegas Strip.

luxury living in las vegas


If a Penthouse is too extravagant of a splurge, the Venetian’s beautiful Bella Suites are the largest on the Strip, with 650 square feet of luxurious living space, and plenty of fabulous amenities to make you feel like you’re living like a high roller.

Luxury Dining in Las Vegas

luxury living las vegas


Gone are the days of the cheap buffets and bad food – Las Vegas has taken upscale dining to a whole new level. With an average of 40 million visitors per year, it’s no surprise the city of sin is home to more critically acclaimed chefs and Michelin Star winners than anywhere else on Earth! As travel experts, it’s our job to know all the hottest spots for the most discerning foodie. Some of my personal recommendations include Thomas Keller’s Bouchon, a sumptuous and classic French Bistro nestled away in the Venzia Tower of the Venetian; Momofuku at the Cosmopolitan – a Korean fusion restaurant serving up foodie delicacies such as fried chicken with caviar, kimchi stew and traditional ox-tail soup; And for those who want to dine on America’s most beloved cuisine, Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak, and Stone Crab at the Forum Shop’s in Caesar’s Palace will surely not disappoint.

Endless Entertainment 

Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world. There are more live music productions, comedy acts, magic shows, conventions and special events than anywhere else in the world – That’s on top of the infinite gaming possibilities! On my latest trip, I managed to incorporate a quick trip out to the Red Rock Canyon, saw a cowboy Melodrama at Bonnie Springs Ranch, caught the late-night showing of Le Reve at the Wynn and cheered on Martin Truex Jr. in his race to the finish at NASCAR.

Planning trip to Vegas shouldn’t be a coin toss – Elevate your experience from exciting to exceptional. Tripzter agents are here to curate and create your perfect luxurious Las Vegas getaway.

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Get in touch with us and one of our diligent travel experts will contact you shortly. We’re passionate about travel and excited to make all your travel dreams come true. Talk to you soon!




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Israel travel

Israel Luxury

A journey to Israel, through the eyes of Anita

I am excited to have been invited as a guest of the Israeli Tourism Board on what is truly a trip of a lifetime. I am honored to be spending the next nine days touring the Holy Lands of Israel and taking in the rich heritage and vibrant culture this beautiful country offers.

I have had a love affair with Israel after researching this amazing country for a recent client trip. I had grown up with the stories in the bible, and have always known that Israel is the centre of faith for so many. With thousands of followers making pilgrimages to the various religious sites each year, it is easily one of the most visited nations in the world. What I was surprised to learn, was about the revolutionary culinary scene, the exciting nightlife, the bustling tech industry, the iconic architecture and the up and coming viticulture that attracts so many young visitors each year.

My upcoming travels will include a balance of both historical treasures, such as the biblical sites of Jerusalem, Caesarea, Akko, Masada and the Judean Desert as well as the modern sites including, contemporary art galleries, trendy cafes, sun kissed beaches and the Bauhaus architecture in the streets of Tel Aviv, known as the “White City”. Basking on the shores of the salty Dead Sea will be a highlight for me and I am very curious to sample local wines cultivated from these ancient lands.

Tel Aviv is known as the “New York of the Middle East” and is such a cosmopolitan city. With so many cultures converging in this small coastal town, it is a melting pot of traditions and truly the ideal location for creative culinary fusion. A self-proclaimed ‘foodie-nation”, Israel takes pride in their place amongst the International culinary scene. I am beyond excited to seek out and explore the many markets, juice stands, food stalls, restaurants, cocktail bars and boutique organic hotels for which Israel is famed.

I am graciously being hosted for these nine days by Isrotel Hotels, Gordon Tours and El Al Airlines. Be sure to check out Tripzter Travel’s Facebook page for my airline profile, hotel spotlights, destination snapshots, videos and more.

– Tripzter Travel Advisor Anita

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Crystal Cruises Luxury Travel

Is there any luxury travel brand more exciting than Crystal Cruises at moment? Making news day after day, it’s getting hard to keep up. With all of this new product to experience, let us help you make your next Crystal dream a reality.

Crystal Cruises Logo

Crystal Cruises – Embark on the award winning Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity for the epitome of luxury and all inclusive value. Crystal lures back frequent cruisers, time and time again, often regardless of the itinerary. If you haven’t experienced the Crystal Difference, it’s time.

Crystal Cruises - Crystal River Cruises Logo

Crystal River Yachts – Crystal’s five ultra-luxury River Yachts continue to reflect the high standards of perfection in the Crystal brand.  Service, space, quality and choices – usher in a new era in luxury, all inclusive European river exploration with Crystal River Yachts.

Crystal Cruises River Cruise


Crystal Cruises - Crystal Yacht Cruises

Crystal Yacht Cruises – Exclusive to only 62 guests, the beautiful Crystal Esprit is a symbol of unprecedented privilege. Explore intimate seaside ports on a truly all inclusive yacht, where even the spa and jet skis are included. The Crystal Endeavor (available for booking this fall), is the worlds largest mega yacht built specifically for expedition cruising (polar class). With 100 guest suites and a fine assortment of “toys” including helicopters, submarines and electric amphibious zodiacs.

Crystal Air – Coming in 2017, Crystal AirCruises’ luxury private aircraft with fully-reclining flatbed first-class seats and Crystal’s world-renowned service onboard.

Crystal Cruises - Crystal Air Plane

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Travel To Incredible India!

Luxury Travel: Incredible India

If you’re ever going to spend the money to travel like a king, India would be a good choice for that indulgence. Whether you’re after the unexplored South of India, the Golden Triangle, North India with Tigers or the exotic Rajasthan, we can help create a customized tour fit for royalty.

India has something for everybody… Markets, plantations, wildlife, vibrant and colourful festivals, fascinating history and amazing food. We can create an experience fit for you, no matter what your interests.

Would you like us to send you a sample itinerary of what we can do? It’s easy, just say hi.

India - Travel to Devaraja Market

Devaraja Market*

India - Mysore Palace, Mysore

Mysore Palace, Mysore*

India - Travel to India

Tea Plantation*

*All images are courtesy of Vasco Travel