Just Back! A ‘floating conference’ on the west coast

Happy Thursday Hidden Gem Travel community! Have you felt the change of season from summer to fall where you live? I felt the beginning of the shift when I arrived home from the west coast last weekend.

You didn’t see me in your inbox last week because I attended what I dubbed a ‘floating conference’ with a pre-weekend in Los Angeles. This travel conference was quite different from the one I attended in Las Vegas in August. Combined, these two experiences will help me uplevel all of my clients’ vacations in the coming months and year. The time investment is well worth it.

Read on for the scoop with highlights from my week on the west coast and the reasons why my time there benefits my clients…

Fairmont Century Plaza

As you know, there are many hotels in LA. When deciding where to stay, location is a key decision point due to the omnipresent traffic.

For two nights before the conference, I was fortunate to be hosted by the newly reimagined Fairmont Century Plaza which is in Century City next to the Westfair, open-air mall offering shopping (ie Bloomingdales & Nordstrom), dining (ie Eataly), and seeing a movie (AMC).

Since opening its doors in 1966, Fairmont Century Plaza has been where business meets Hollywood, and it has a long history with the Hollywood scene. I enjoyed the humorous throwback and movie reference cards in my room. For example, the card explaining the minibar references ‘death by minibar’ from the line in ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding.’

The new management team hails from the Savoy in London which tells you the level of service and quality that you’ll experience when staying there. Beyond the modern, sleek room with a soothing gray palette, the Fairmont Century Plaza offers a 14,000-square-foot Fairmont Spa, fully equipped Technogym, and rooftop pool with views of the cityscape.

Hidden Gem Travel clients are VIPs with perks when they stay at the Fairmont Century Plaza through our membership in the Accor hotels elite program. Interested in seeing videos of my room and the lobby? Reply to this email, and I’ll send them to you.

💎 Hidden Gem Tip: If you’re already intrigued, you can simply reply to this email or schedule a chat with me here: www.hiddengemtravelconsulting.com/contact.

Two ‘Centers’

The Los Angeles Tourism Board hosted us for a day. We were transported to the Beverly Center where we sipped a glass of bubbly in ROOM, a VIP space for clients meeting personal shoppers or needing a space to meet, relax or work. Next, we had a delicious lunch at Yardbird, one of a small chain of upscale comfort food-focused restaurants.

The highlight of the day was a tour of the Getty Center where the Getty art collection is on display in a breathtaking environment with contemporary architecture, stunning gardens, and expansive views overlooking Los Angeles. I was excited to see Van Gogh’s famous painting, Irises, and wish I had more time to view the many collections.

💎 Hidden Gem Tip:  When you’re next in LA, make it a point to visit the Getty Center on a nice weather day. It’s well worth the time!

Floating Conference

After my weekend in LA, I boarded Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas for a 3-day floating conference. With long meetings, dinners, and a bit of time to work, it was a packed schedule from morning to bedtime. I was fortunate to be onboard with many travel partners that offer a wide range of travel experiences from private-guided travel to small group itineraries and ocean and river cruises. Since everyone’s dream vacation looks different, having a breadth of relationships is key.

I didn’t have time to explore Ensenada, Mexico but snapped this photo of the flag at half-staff from the deck when in port.

A Highlight – Wanderlist 2.0

One highlight from the conference was the overview of the new version of Wanderlist by a staff member from Virtuoso, my umbrella organization. For those not familiar with Virtuoso, it’s the leading, global network of agencies focusing on luxury and experiential travel.

Essentially, Wanderlist is an online portal where you can research, explore, and create shareable lists of destinations and experiences. It’s one place for all of your travel ideas and dreams. You’ll be hearing more about the latest version of Wanderlist in future newsletters. If you’d like to check it out now, here’s a link: https://bit.ly/wanderlisthgtc

Inspired? Reach out to me now for 2023 and schedule a chat here:  www.hiddengemtravelconsulting.com/contact

💎 Hidden Gem Tip: Follow my Facebook/Instagram pages this week for more travel inspiration: www.facebook.com/hiddengemtravelconsulting or Instagram: www.instagram.com/hidden.gem.travel

Wishing you and your family continued good health,


Share This Post


Hi, I'm Susan Wilson

I’m the founder of Hidden Gem Travel Consulting. As your personal travel advisor, I craft custom worldwide itineraries that astound and inspire you.


Get the Guide!

10 Hidden Gems to Inspire Your Family’s Wanderlist


My signature consultative process uncovers exactly what your family is craving for your next journey—so I can design a tailored, layered experience that speaks to what wows you.

Looking for something?


Enjoy a Wealth of Travel Resources, Guides, & Services​

All in One Place