Jul 03

The LUXE Guides & Grantourismo Grand Tour Competition

To celebrate the start of the sparkling northern hemisphere summer when travellers traditionally set out on their grand tours of Europe, we’ve teamed up with our lovely friends at LUXE City Guides to host a month of contests in which we’ll be giving away some of their gorgeous Grand Tour Boxed Sets of city guides.

Throughout July we’ll be holding four weekly contests with handsome LUXE prizes. For first prize winners, we have one European Grand Tour Box of eight guides, an Asian Grand Tour Box of eight guides, a Blue Velvet Bespoke Box of five guides, and a World Grand Tour Box of a whopping 12 guides. For runners-up we’ve got some individual guides, including two guides of choice for second prize winners and one guide of choice for third prize winners.

All you need to do to enter is create an inspiring grand tour itinerary, taking in five (5) Luxe cities, and telling us in up to 100 words what you’d loved to do in each destination.

Yes, we want you to do something! The original grand tourists didn’t set off on a grand tour just to sun themselves by the sea – they did things and they learnt stuff. They hiked in Switzerland and picnicked by the Lakes. They learnt to paint in Paris and studied Italian in Florence. Archery and boules were also big favourites. These days, a modern grand tourist might master the art of macaron making in Montmartre, learn African drumming in Cape Town, or take up silver-making in San Miguel de Allende. Cruise the Mekong River. Take tango classes in Buenos Aires. Go vintage shopping in Berlin. Do Thai massage in Bangkok. All fine grand tour activities!

Your Asian-inspired Grand Tour, for instance, might go something like this: First stop Tokyo to learn the art of tea ceremony, Hanoi to purchase some contemporary art, Luang Prabang to make morning offerings to the monks, Siem Reap to learn Khmer cooking and play at being Lara Croft, and Bangkok to recuperate with a spa break.

So how do you enter our weekly LUXE-GRANTOURISMO contests?

1. Visit LUXE blog LUXETASY to note down the destinations covered by LUXE guides – there are 33 cities in total – and get inspired.

2. Create a grand tour itinerary of five (5) Luxe cities in 100 words or less, telling us what you’d loved to do in each destination, and pop it in the Comments below, with your name, Twitter handle and a blog URL if you have one. We’re looking for inspiring itineraries –the sort that make us want to pack our bags straight away!

3. Follow @luxeguides and @gran_tourismo on Twitter; tweet us to alert us that you’ve submitted your entry with a tantalizing glimpse of your grand tour itinerary; and include #LXGTComp in your tweet to identify it as a contest entry. As in: Hey @luxeguides & @gran_tourismo I want to fine-tune my cocktail-tasting skills in Europe! #LXGTComp. Note: it’s important you follow us on Twitter as all contest communications will be via Twitter, i.e. that’s how you’ll find out that you’ve won!

Each week’s contest will be announced with a blog post on Monday and will close on Sunday 6pm GMT. Winners will be announced each Monday. This week we’re giving away a Blue Velvet Bespoke Box of five guides, plus three individual guides. See the Fine Print for more details.

Throughout July we’ll be sharing inspirational travel tips on Twitter on all destinations covered by LUXE City Guides at @gran_tourismo and @luxeguides. Have you been to any of the 33 LUXE destinations? Then do come and share your tips too!

The Fine Print – Terms and Conditions
1. The LUXE City Guides and Grantourismo competitions are open to anyone aged 18 years or over except anyone professionally associated with this competition or the hosts, i.e. LUXE and Grantourismo.
2. All information detailing how to enter the competitions forms part of these terms and conditions. It is a condition of entry that all rules are accepted as final and that the competitor agrees to abide by these rules. Submission of an entry will be taken to mean acceptance of these terms and conditions.
3. Submissions must be your original idea and should not infringe any copyrights.
4. Winners will be chosen by a judging panel from Luxe and Grantourismo. Judges decisions are final. The criteria used will include creativity, originality and an ability to inspire.
5. LUXE prizes include: one LUXE Blue Velvet Bespoke Box featuring eight guides (winners can choose the titles of their choice), two LUXE European Grand Tour Boxes, one LUXE Asian Grand Tour Box, one World Grand Tour Box, and 12 individual city guides for runners-ups (individual guide titles to be picked by the winners): second place winners will get two guides per week and third place winners will get one guide.
6. The LUXE Grantourismo competition opens on Monday 4 July 2011 and finishes on Sunday 31 July 2011. Round 1 will close Sunday 10 July, with winners announced and Round 2 set to begin on Monday 11 July; round 2 will close Sunday 17 July, with winners announced and Round 3 set to begin on Monday 18 July; round 3 will close Sunday 24 July, with winners announced and Round 4 (the final round) set to begin on Monday 25 July. The final round of winners will be announced Monday 1 August 2011.


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  1. Keith

    My Grand Tour is to places I HAVE been, but only stayed briefly. Shortest stay must be Melbourne. I arrived on the shuttle from Laverton Air Base, to catch a train three hours later. But, I had time for a counter lunch, and see a tram rattling past. I want to ride that tram!

    There’s more to Barcelona than Park Guell and a glimpse of Gaudi architecture from a coach; more to Dubai than shopping and extravagance, and much more to Singapore and Hong Kong that a brief stopover allows.

    I’d like to revisit these places, and simply get lost!

  2. Keith

    Oops! Forgot!

    Keith Kellett

    1. Lara Dunston

      Thanks, Keith! Good luck!

  3. jeannie

    Another fun competition! Here’s my submission:

    A seafaring adventure in Asia…

    1. Lara Dunston

      Thanks, Jeannie! That’s an inspiring one! Sounds like fun! You could have left your itinerary here, but no worries at all, it’s a good excuse to go visit your wonderful blog and catch up on your travels. Thanks! Good luck!

  4. Toni

    Begin at Casablanca Hotel Times Square in New York and go to see Yankees v Red Sox. Jet to London and the Savoy Hotel. Have supper followed by an evening at the theatre. Have a nightcap in the American Bar. After breakfast, take the Eurostar to Paris and check into the Hotel Meurice. Stroll and lunch around Faubourg Saint-Honore and Louvre museum. Return to the hotel and prepare for dinner in Le Meurice. Next day, jet to Milan. Now it is time to shop-till-you-drop! Finish by jetting to Bali for some much needed R&R.


    1. Lara Dunston

      Thanks, Toni! That’s a very grand old grand tour itinerary! Good luck!

  5. jeannie

    My grand tour of Asia would start off at a Ayurvedic resort in Sri Lanka where I’d learn meditation and detox with Ayurvedic treatments. Then set off to Phuket to learn sailing and visit beautiful islands. Afterwards, head over to Tokyo and relax at a nearby hot springs. Then go to Hong Kong to introduce myself to relatives and learn Kung-fu. And end the grand tour at a beach in Sydney, Australia where I’d learn to swim, surf, and snorkeling. Then unwind on the beach with a picnic and a bottle of Australian wine, and watch the sunset.


    1. Lara Dunston

      Love it! A healthy, active trip rewarded with food and wine! Sublime. Best of luck!

  6. Marcy Gordon

    Carbon footprint be damned, here’s what I’d do: First I’d got to Amsterdam and smoke some hash. Next I’d jet off to Barcelona for Cava and tapas bar hopping. Then to Miami for a brazilian wax and snort white powder off my personal butlers shaved head. Next Berlin for some underground nightclub action and visit the site of the 1936 Berlin Olympics to ponder the life of filmmaker Leni Riefensthal. In Venice I’d drink Bellini’s till my complexion was peachy. Finally in Rome I’d jump into the Trevi fountain and in my best accented Italian I’d purr “Marcello! Come here!”

    Marcy Gordon

    1. Lara Dunston

      Thanks, Marcy! I’m not so sure about the Bellinis – never been a big fan of them – but each to their own. Best of luck!

  7. Shay Stewart

    Landing in Beijing, I am surrounded by history at every turn in this Forbidden City. Culturally, I am Lost In Translation searching for spirituality at a Shinto shrine in Tokyo. Trying to find my inner youth, I venture to Bangkok’s bar scene that takes me for a whirlwind like no other. Later, I realize that a hangover is best served beach-side and Phuket is just a stone’s throw away. Needing some new threads, glamour is most glamorous when shopping in Singapore. Then suddenly, with someone attractive on my arm, we jet to Hong Kong for drinks+dinner overlooking Victoria Harbour.

    Twitter: @ShayStewart

    1. Lara Dunston

      Love your Eastern-themed trip. Wow, I could easily see myself enjoying that one! Good luck, Shay!

  8. Jenny @zjenny

    Melbourne winter makes me want to eat! I find myself lost in reveries of fantasy food tours so I’ve planned a trip that’s all about the flavours.
    Bangkok – loosen up with Thai massage and spicy salads. Street eating, people watching, market to market.
    Seoul – for possibly the best food in the world. Must bring a kimchi pot home with me!
    Istanbul – to immerse myself in spices.
    Paris – because I’m actually a sweet tooth. And it’s time I learned French and stopped avoiding pronouncing French words.
    Rome – I’ll be ready for some Italian flavours. And coffee.

    1. Lara Dunston

      Salivated reading your gastronomic grand tour, Jenny! Thanks for entering! Good luck!

  9. Larissa

    Gastronomic Grand Tour
    (or what happens when you write this while watching MasterChef…))

    I’d get started by eating my way through the boroughs of New York, where there’s something for every stomach. Then it’s off to Barcelona for a table at the elusive El Bulli before it closes – failing that I guess I’ll just have to eat all the tapas I can. Next, my stomach should lead me to Hong Kong where duck, dimsum and other mouth-watering delights await. I’d then hightail it to Tokyo for a trip to the markets where fresh seafood is the specialty. I’d finish it up in Melbourne with a nightcap at one of the city’s secret bars.

    Twitter: @tsinelas

    1. Lara Dunston

      Oh yum! Another mouthwatering gourmet-themed entry! Sounds delish! Thanks! Best of luck!

  10. Larissa

    Gastronomic Grand Tour

    I’d get started by eating my way through the boroughs of New York, where there’s something for every stomach. Then it’s off to Barcelona for a table at the elusive El Bulli before it closes – failing that I guess I’ll just have to eat all the tapas I can. Next, my stomach should lead me to Hong Kong where duck, dimsum and other mouth-watering delights await. I’d then hightail it to Tokyo for a trip to the markets where fresh seafood is the specialty. I’d finish it up in Melbourne with a nightcap at one of the city’s secret bars.

    Twitter: @tsinelas

    1. Lara Dunston

      Woops! You’ve entered twice and I’ve accidentally posted it twice. Let me see if I can delete this. If I can’t, well, the judges get to salivate twice, but it only counts as one entry, I’m afraid. But thanks again! :)

  11. Suzanne

    My creative spirit is champing to be unleashed. I would learn the art of lacquer painting in a grass-roots school in Hanoi. While patting a cat in the cemetery of Istanbul’s Suleymaniye Mosque, I would have someone explain to me the principles of Islamic sacred geometry. I would seek out Gauguin’s and Van Gogh’s Paris to soak in their anguish. I would experience a gastronomic mind expansion at Chicago’s Aliena. Finally, I would sit down the front at New York’s Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre expecting the piss to be taken out of me because you shouldn’t take yourself too seriously!

    Twitter: muzungu75

    1. Lara Dunston

      Hi Suzanne – okay, I could do this one too – and would certainly enjoying coming away all the more enriched. Love it! Thanks! Good luck!

  12. nichetravels

    My Grand Tour of the Asia-Pacific starts in Sydney with a sunrise walk along the ocean cliffs of Bondi Beach; followed by a culinary contrast of English high tea at the Fullerton and a steaming laksa from a hawker centre in Singapore; an off-road motorbike tour of Siem Reap’s sprawling Angkorian empire and rice fields tended by the friendliest people; a sunset swim with dramatic rice terrace views and rainforest echoes in lush Ubud in Bali; and finally learning to name 10 different sashimi in Japanese at Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market.

    1. Lara Dunston

      Okay, now that’s *my* idea of a grand tour! Love it! Can feel the breeze and taste the tuna now! Thanks! Good luck!

  13. Forest

    I like to explore the sippable side of cultures. Beginning in London, I would indulge in posh afternoon tea at the Ritz. From there I’d head to the House of Bols in Amsterdam to learn about the history of Genever. Turkey would be my next stop as I hunt for the best rooftop terrace on which to sip Raki. In Tokyo I would learn the art of the tea ceremony and then shop for a serving set to bring home and practice. I would finish things up back in Europe with a quest for the perfect Negroni in its birthplace, Florence.

    1. Lara Dunston

      Oh, I like this! Yes, this is really our kind of grand tour! Though I’d probably finish at The Ritz – might need to sober up by the end of the trip ;) Thanks for your entry! Best of luck!

  14. Charlotte

    Start off in Cambodia where a visit to Thommanon is first on the itinerary then to try Trey Ch’ien Chou ‘Ayme , a short hop to Beijing to lose myself in the Forbidden City before a game of Mah Jong, next stop Istanbul to try the nargile after visiting the Hagia Sophia, soon jetting off to Berlin so I can see the Museumsinsel followed by the topography of terror museum. Then finally to the big apple New York its self where I catch a broadway show and after find myself paying tribute to the victims of 9/11 at Ground Zero.

    My twitter username is @KevaKeya

    1. Lara Dunston

      HI Charlotte – we were in Cambodia recently – sigh – love your trip too! Thanks for your entry! Best of luck, Lara

  15. Ernest White II

    Start your Grand Tour right with a sexy send-off at Berlin’s ultimate daylight house party, Club der Visionaere. Channel your inner Hemingway in Paris with Literary Traveler’s Lost Generation tour of the Left Bank. Jet down Miami way to work on that beach bum with an hour-long capoeira class, followed by a belly-full of zesty Haitian stewed goat and pumpkin soup at Tap Tap. Catch a cotton candy sunset on the throwback Ferris wheel at LA’s Santa Monica Pier. Finally, wrap up souvenir shopping – for youself – with tailor-made couture from Seoul’s labyrinthine Dongdaemun district. Now you can sleep.

    Twitter @FlyBrother

    1. Lara Dunston

      Oh I like that, too – especially the sound of the Haitian goat stew. Don’t think I’m in any state for capoeira at the moment ;) Best of luck!

  16. Christina S.

    My itinerary would be places my husband & I got a taste of on our Mediterranean cruise honeymoon. Starting in with Madrid private flamenco lessons. On to Barcelona, where we’d go on a chef-led tour of the best tapas bars. In Florence, we’d go on a guided tour on the history of the churches in this beautiful red-roofed city. After a luxury train ride to Rome, we would fulfill a dream of touring the Vatican with an expert on Catholicism. Finally, we’d feel the romance of Paris for the first time together – w/ lots of Nutella crepes!

    Twitter: @MiddleSeatView

    1. Lara Dunston

      Hi Christina – Round #1 (week #1) of this competition closed yesterday, but you’re very welcome to enter this into Round #2 (week #2) above, which started yesterday. Good luck!

  17. Tracy Turner

    Start in Shanghai visiting the Yuyuan Garden and drinking tea in the Grand Hyatt, overlooking The Bund. Take the Maglev to fly to Hong Kong for a trip to Disneyland and a day at the races, before heading to New York where you can blow your winnings on Madison, and enjoy a taste of France at Balthazar. Step back in time to Florence, exploring the Renaissance city in a vintage Fiat 500 and watch the sunset from the Piazzale Michelangelo. Finish in London with a canal boat trip from Little Venice to Camden and a celebratory evening at Babylon Roof Gardens.

    1. Lara Dunston

      Hi Tracy – could you please re-post this entry in the Comments at the end of the next competition post? Link below. Thanks for your entry and best of luck!

  18. Lara Dunston

    Hi everyone

    Week 1 / Round 1 of this competition has now closed, and Week 2 / Round 1 kicked off yesterday.

    Please leave your entries in the Comments at the end of this post:


    best of luck!

  19. DisarmDoors

    Here’s my Week 4 Submission to the Luxe Guides GranTourismo competition. There are two ways to consume it. You can just read the words below or, if you really want to take the journey, have a fiddle with the following link: http://bit.ly/p8h8hQ

    Join Melbourne’s coffeescenti at Dead Man Espresso, before retiring to the effortlessly chic digs, The Olsen.

    It’s coffee for coffee’s sake amongst the cobbled lanes of magical Luang Prabang. Give in to the siren-call of Kiridara’s poolside deck for sundowners.

    It’s all artisanal threads and spectacles at Hong Kong’s The Armoury. Then, feeling quite the dandy, mingle with local lovelies at Aqua Spirit.

    Enter Berlin’s Dandy of the Grotesque and feel the ache of kühl. Then Nola’s for fondue. Lecker!

    Finish with a quick visit to Kate Somerville to have this Grand-Tour-ravaged visage ready for its LA close-up. Luxe, indeed.

    1. Lara Dunston

      Love your entry! But I need to ask you to move it here: http://grantourismotravels.com/2011/07/25/the-luxe-guides-grantourismo-grand-tour-competition-week-4/ Sorry about that. Best of luck!

  1. On a Grand Tour of Asia « Somewhere there is Jeannie

    [...] **This post has been entered into the The LUXE Guides & Grantourismo Grand Tour Competition.** [...]

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