Look at these incredible images taken by our Touch of Spice guide currently guiding clients through the stunning Abel Tasman/Nelson/Malborough regions of the South Island of New Zealand...
All these fabulous pictures have been taken on the beautiful Abel Tasman track:
Jacqui Spice is featured in the following article in Business pages of the New Zealand Herald talking about assisting discerning travellers and clients in New Zealand.
Jacqui Spice, the founder of luxury concierge business Touch of Spice Group, gets to see how the other half lives. In fact she takes the next step - she figures out how they might like to live and then sets about making it happen while they are in New Zealand.
Named one of AmericanConde Nast Traveller`s Top Travel Specialists for 2011, Spice started her career on super yachts in her 20s, based in the Bahamas and Europe. Her work then, as now, was about sourcing and supplying whatever her clients needed. She still remembers organising the transport of a specific pot of yoghurt on a jet from New York to Croatia for a United States client. "That was an expensive pot of yoghurt," she says.
It was a world where "expectations were very high and nobody took no for an answer", she says.
Spice set up Touch of Spice in 2005. She had been working as the general manager of customer service at The Spire Hotel in Queenstown and had heard numerous complaints from overseas visitors that they couldn`t get any response from tourism operators after 5pm.
Spice`s initial business model for Touch of Spice was to work for a handful of clients from her home. Her mission statement for the business was and is: "We are 24/7, we think outside the box and never say no."
View the full article on our Media pages.
Award-winning agent hosts high-flyers...
Making sure a professional table tennis player is on hand for a quick game or re-enacting waka arriving in New Zealand are just some of the things an Auckland travel agent has done for her well-heeled clients - and her personal touch has seen her win a prestigious accolade.
Jacqui Spice, owner of Touch of Spice, has been selected as a "top travel specialist" for 2011 by American Conde Nast Traveler magazine for her knack in pulling off the impossible for her clients.
From the ordinary - well, if being taken out on a luxury launch before a chef cooks fresh crayfish counts as ordinary - to the absurd, Spice`s company goes out of the way to make sure clients experience "the real New Zealand, with a twist of luxury".
"We cater for the discerning middle to high-end client and make sure their holiday is personalised and that there is always someone on call with our concierge service.
"So, we don`t just arrange champagne on a mountain top - we`ll even add music. We`ll get a soloist or even a classical duet. Or we`ll arrange for them to hit golf balls from the top of The Remarkables. If they want to see a re-enactment of the waka arriving in New Zealand, we`ll arrange that too."
Spice won`t reveal her client list, but says some are often in the media spotlight while others are wealthy clients the public may have never heard of. And it really is about pulling off the impossible.
"We had a client who needed us to take the temperature of his bath water every day to make sure it was perfect. We also had to make sure the water cylinder`s temperature was exactly the same every day," she said of one client who stayed in a luxury villa in Queenstown for three months.
"We also had to fly him every day by helicopter to the local events centre so that he could play table tennis and we also had to arrange a table tennis professional to play with him."
The holidays with specialised itineraries created by the Touch of Spice team can start at $10,000 and even hit the $200,000 mark for two stops, which would generally include Auckland and another destination such as the Bay of Islands, Taupo or Queenstown.
And the price tag means no request is too big for Spice and her team. Some of those include taking photographs of employees lying on beds so the client can inspect the firmness of the mattress from afar, as well as photographing fruit so clients can inspect the colour to arranging a black Bentley to chauffeur clients from one vineyard to the next.
The cost will also factor in whether the clients travel by private jet, use a helicopter or need a ride in a limousine through the snow from Christchurch Airport to Queenstown in the early hours of the morning when airlines aren`t operating.
Touch of Spice has offices in Auckland and Queenstown and 15 staff who oversee personalised holidays, corporate functions, villa stays and weddings, and provide a 24/7 concierge service.
The Conde Nast accolade has boosted the company with the team adding a wider portfolio of luxury villas in France and Australia.
"It`s absolutely fantastic to be a niche operator and to be recognised by an international group. I started the company six years ago from home, so to be recognised among the best makes me very proud," Spice said.
This is the fourth year Spice has been recognised by the magazine - she has also been named a "top villa specialist" in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
www.stuff.co.nz Auckland Now
We are delighted to announce that Jacqui Spice, founder of Touch of Spice, as been named as a Top Villa Specialist in the Cond? Nast Traveler Top Travel Specialist Collection for 2011.
This prestigious American travel magazine, which is synonymous for all things excellent in the travel industry, has been conducting this quest annually for the past 12 years. Thousands of travel agents and providers were researched with 133 being chosen from around the world. http://www.cntraveler.com/travel-tips/travel-specialists
While the criteria for selection aren`t listed, it appears that Cond? Nast Traveler is looking for people who can pull the impossible off for their clients because of their connections and reputation, making them the best in the world.
Ms Spice says she is thrilled with the award, not only for herself and her company but for what it means for New Zealand also.
"Awards and endorsements from Cond? Nast Traveler carry huge prestige with influential people on where they should travel to next. Our client base is predominantly Australians and New Zealanders so this award will help us grow our European and American clients immensely."
Jacqui has received awards from Cond? Nast Traveler before, being named as one of their "Top Villa Specialists" in the world in 2009, 2010 and 2011: she is the only New Zealander to have been awarded this accolade.
Be in to win a weekend at the exclusive Tahapuke Touch of Spice Luxury Villa in the Bay of Islands for you and 3 friends.
Touch of Spice have partnered with the fabulous New Zealand skincare company Linden Leaves with a wonderful competition - the chance to win weekend at the exclusive Tahapuke Touch of Spice Luxury Villa in the Bay of Islands.
Stock up on your own pampering and skincare needs and get your gifting sorted for Christmas to be in to win a thoroughly fabulous weekend away for you and your nearest and dearest this summer. Entries are available with purchases of $250 or more of your Linden Leaves favourites.
The competition is running New Zealand wide at the following stores:
Smith & Caughey`s
Queen Street and Newmarket, Auckland
Kirkcaldie & Stains
Quay Street, Wellington
Cashel Street, Christchurch
Full terms and conditions are available in store.
In addition visit the new Linden Leaves Pop Up Store in Smith & Caughy`s Queen Street. This great new concept space is located at the Elliott Street end of the Beauty and Fragrance Galleries on the ground floor.
Not sure what to give this Christmas? Check out our fabulous Queenstown Experiences for that unique and everlasting present!
We have brought together some of Queenstown`s best luxury products and created gifts that are unique, exclusive, personalised and will give lasting memories!
Treat Me! Experience
What could be more divine than a morning of indulgent spa treatments before relaxing with your partner for a romantic long lunch and bubbles?
Art Heli Experience
Truly inspiring and unique, this is a day for art lovers, ensuring a special connection with the dramatic region is formed and a pocketbook of sketched memories accompanies you home.At the end of the day, enjoy private helicopter transfers back to Queenstown to give you a magnificent bird`s eye view of the landscapes you have been painting.
Retail by Design Experience
We take you behind the scenes to meet the people behind some of New Zealand`s iconic designs.
Extreme Golf & The Hills Experience
A must for every golfing enthusiast - tee off on top of the world, and putt at the feet of mountains!
View full details of our Queenstown Experiences here - http://www.touchofspice.co.nz/travel-leisure/travel-leisure-services/queenstown-experiences.aspx
or Contact Us for further details and to purchase.
Great news! From next Monday (5 December) the award winning Amisfield Bistro will be open 7 days a week!
The fabulous Bistro at Amisfield Winery, just outside Queenstown, will be open 7 days a week from Monday 5 December.
Enjoy their famous `Trust the Chef` shared dining experience and sample some of the best wine from the Central Otago region as you relax in the sun in their sheltered courtyard.
Tom Macaulay Amisfield Wine Company`s Bistro Manager says "The Bistro has now been open for six years and we are all very excited to be now able to finally offer our unique dining experience on a Monday. To celebrate when you order `Trust the Chef Menu` @$55 per person on a Monday in December you will receive a complimentary glass of your favourite Lake Hayes wine - just mention how you found out the Bistro is now open on Mondays".
Reservations are essential for Amisfield, particularly in the summer months, so contact our Travel & Leisure team to secure your table!
The stunning property Villa South Pacific now has it's own mini site providing more information on this beautiful villa.
The new Villa South Pacific mini site can be accessed via Villa South Pacific`s listing on our Luxury Accommodation site - http://www.touchofspice.co.nz/luxury-accommodation/accommodation/new-zealand/wanaka/villa-south-pacific.aspx or via the web link directly http://www.villasouthpacificwanaka.co.nz/
Why not check it out and view the fabulous images of this magnificent house, and read about the great facilities on offer - pool, tennis court, pizza oven, outdoor spa to name but a few!
Contact our Travel & Leisure team today to discuss how you can be sitting in the sun by this pool this summer!
21 Mathias, one of our exclusive villas located in Queenstown, has launched a fabulous new website.
Check out 21 Mathias` new website at www.21mathias.co.nz
This stunning villa is located just a few mintues drive from central Queenstown and is the perfect holiday home for your trip to Queenstown, in winter or summer.
Situated in Arthurs Point, 21 Mathias is just a few minutes dirve from Coronet Peak so perfectly placed for skiing in winter and mountain biking in summer.
The Hollyford Heli Hike takes you through some of the most spectacular and stunning scenary in the region.
Judi was lucky enough to experience this fabulous activity earlier in the week.
This is a fantastic and extremely personalised new way to explore the wonders of the remote Hollyford Valley. The one day heli-hike allows you to experience the Hollyford Valley including a jet boat journey on the Hollyford River and morning tea at the remote Pyke Lodge deep in the heart of the Fiordland National Park.
Accompanied by a professional guide, who will explain the history, flora and fauna of this World Heritage area, and flown in your own private helicopter, you will gain access to many remote and dramatic locations that are rarely touched by man. This will definitely be a day to remember!
Thank you to all the team at Hollyford Track!
For more information to book your own Hollyford Heli Hike contact our Travel & Leisure team today.