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Providing you with the inside word on the newest and most exciting luxury travel experiences around New Zealand and the world, along with keeping you informed of our updates, travel tips, and upcoming events.

Lordens Penthouse - stunning views!

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We hosted UK journalist Mark O'Flaherty at the Lordens Penthouse recently.

Mark, the design and travel writer and photographer for UK publications such as the Financial Times, the Sunday Times, Elle, The Guardian, Esquire and Tatler, tweeted on arrival -

Just checked into the penthouse at Lordens, Queenstown. The view`s not half bad! http://pic.twitter.com/vhBp4rpS  21 Jan

Why not book to stay at Lordens Penthouse and you too can enjoy the view!

  /luxury-accommodation/accommodation/new-zealand/central-queenstown/lordens-penthouse,-queenstown.aspx

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Thank you from Casey & Ali

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What a lovely thank you from Ali Williams and Casey Green! It was my pleasure to work with you and help create your fabulous wedding day!

"Having a wedding planner involved in your day (and Jacqui Spice in particular!) completely changes your whole wedding planning experience.  Not once did I worry if something wasn`t done or ticked off the list, without a doubt it always was!  Building up to the wedding and on the wedding day at no point was I stressed about any of the details, whether it was if the flowers would arrive on time or whether the groomsmen would remember to bring their belts and shoes, I knew Jacqui would have it covered. With her list of trusted suppliers I never had to wait more than a day or less to get an answer to a question.  She would read through all the contracts from the suppliers and through all of their emails taking all that extra `stuff` away from me. 

With regards to our wedding styling - I gave Jacqui a small brief on what I wanted and she read my mind with the rest ensuring all the little extra things that would pull it all together were there.  She even went to the extent of helping my "husband" choose the fabric and the colour for his suit, going to this suit fittings and picking up the fabric from my dress maker and taking it to the suit maker to make all the groomsmen`s ties!   Nothing was too hard and basically you could have anything done for you!  Jacqui smoothed everything over and made sure everything was possible.

Leading in to the wedding Jacqui and her team also helped our guests with their accommodation and transport and with 140 guests on the guest list that took a whole lot of work off me.  My advice for future brides is to definitely use a wedding planner - it changes your whole journey and I didn`t have any stress at all through the wedding planning process.  I will be using Jacqui and her team for my 40th, 50th, 60th and beyond!"

Casey Williams

 

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CATEGORY : News, Weddings

All Black & Bride Stay at Southerly

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We were delighted to host Ali WIlliams and his beautiful bride Casey Green at Southerly after their recent nuptials in Queenstown.

Southerly is a fabulously exclusive and private home located just outside central Queenstown with wonderful lake and mountain views.

Touch of Spice Southerly.jpg

"Southerly was the perfect accommodation for us to relax and unwind in post our Queenstown wedding.  There was plenty of space for us and our friends and the views were breath-taking - so much so we felt like we were on top of a mountain overlooking the beauty of the lake.  We had complete privacy throughout our stay and it was a sanctuary for us to relax and unwind in after our wedding day and over New Years."
Ali Williams and Casey Green

casey and ali

Photo: Courtesy of New Zealand`s Woman`s Weekly - Ross Coffey and Todd Eyre

Click here to view more information on Southerly or contact our Travel & Leisure team to book your stay at Southerly!

 

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Touch of Spice Properties Throughout NZ!

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New Zealand has just got better ??? look where you can experience Touch of Spice throughout New Zealand now.

We have properties the length and breadth of the country from the beautiful Bay of Islands in the North to the alpine splendour of Queenstown and Wanaka.

 map

Why not book your summer holiday with Touch of Spice now? And remember we are offering free nights in February!

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Casey Green and All Black Ali Williams' Magical Big Day!

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We are delighted to have been involved in planning Casey and Ali's magical wedding day in Queenstown last week!

Check out this week`s issue of New Zealand`s Woman`s Weekly for the full article  and fabulous photos (issue dated 9 Jan 2012) of Casey and Ali`s wonderful day, or view online at www.nzwomansweekly.co.nz

Jacqui and the team at Touch of Spice offer our warmest congratulations to the happy couple!

Photos: Ross Coffey and Todd Eyre, courtesy of NZ Woman`s Weekly

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CATEGORY : Weddings, News

Crystal clear waters...

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And this photo is of the Pupu Springs, one of the world's clearest and cleanest natural freshwater springs.

Pupu Springs are located near Takaka in Golden Bay.

How blue is that water! Incredible!

pupu springs

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CATEGORY : News, Luxury Travel

Wow - what stunning scenery!

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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:

Nelson 1

 

Nelson 2

 

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boats

 

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CATEGORY : News, Luxury Travel

You dream it, she'll make it happen.

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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.

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Oh, the absurd demands of the luxury traveller!

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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
AMY MAAS

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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

CN logos

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. 

 

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