About Michael

Founder of Visual Itineraries, Michael lives in Portland, Oregon.

Some of the coolest hotel designs in the world

Found a terrific article on Hative (a design and inspiration blog) with photos of some amazing hotel architecture. Pictured here is the Ocean Flower in the Maldives, which apparently is for sale:

The Ocean Flower, Maldives

Other properties featured include the nearly-invisible Mirror Cube house in a forest in Sweden, Hapuku Lodge treehouses in Kaikoura, New Zealand, the Bubble Hotel in France, the Poseidon Undersea Resort in Fiji (not yet open), Ubud Hanging Gardens hotel in Bali, and Loisaba in Kenya (where I had the pleasure of staying in 2005). Here’s one of my photos from Loisaba:

Loisaba Star Beds, Kenya

Loisaba Star Beds, Kenya

Internet Travel Leads – Best Practices

Yesterday I did an hour-long webinar for members of the Destination Wedding & Honeymoon Specialists Association (DWHSA) on best practices for travel agents for working with internet leads (as opposed to brick and mortar walk-in clients, referrals, repeat clients, etc.). Essentially I shared what we’d learned about how travelers shop on the internet, how they tend to work with agents and OTAs, common misconceptions they have about working with travel agents, and statistics on what works and what doesn’t, gained from my experiences with both Visual Itineraries and TheBigDay Honeymoon Registry (which I co-founded in 2001). Continue reading

Diving and snorkeling in the Seychelles

The Seychelles has a special place in my heart–I went there on my honeymoon in 2005, visiting Mahé, Praslin, and Desroches islands. Fabulous destination, especially if you’re a scuba diver, like me. Biggest, densest schools of fish I’ve seen anywhere, and I’ve gone diving all over the world. Tons of octopus too, which is pretty cool–I saw 8 in one dive alone. Continue reading

Selfie in a Volcano in Vanuatu

OK, I think I’m a bit of an adventurer…and have done my share of rappelling, too. And I’ll admit to taking the occasional selfie.

But I’m not in this guy’s league.

volcano in Vanuatu
Sam Crossman and documentarian George Kouronis drop into crater of Marum volcano in the South Pacific’s Vanuatu, one of 5 places on Earth that have persistent lava lakes.

Check out their stunning video here on Wimp.com.

Overwater Bungalows – not just in Tahiti

When you think of overwater bungalows, you (like most people on the planet) probably think immediately of Tahiti.

In fact, they’re not really a native Polynesian thing–they were invented by the Bali Hai Boys, Kelly, Muck and Jay, who came to Tahiti from California several decades ago.

Coconuts Beach Club Resort, Samoa

Coconuts Beach Club Resort, Samoa

Although they’ve become wildly popular in French Polynesia, they’ve also been built all over the world–most notably in the Maldives.
Continue reading