Luxury travel with T’ROKA is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before.
Redefining Luxury Travel With T’ROKA
Are you a tourist or a traveller? That is the question. “The idea of the traveller only came to me in the last two years or so,” reveals the affable Ben Foo, president of Holiday Tours & Travel. “Before this, I was a different kind of traveller. More Airbnb-oriented, budget oriented,” he admits with a smile. “But my perception changed after Covid.”
Ben Foo believes that travelling has to be about more than just visiting a beautiful hotel and location. He feels a traveller should also be open to discovering the soul of a place. To fully immerse themselves in the “sights, sounds, and flavours of” their chosen destination. Hence, the launch of T’ROKA, a luxury consumer travel brand from Holiday Tours & Travel (HTT) that aims to provide all that (and then some) to luxury travellers everywhere. Through its vast network of airline and hotel partnerships across the globe—courtesy of HTT’s 50-year legacy in the business—T’ROKA is on a quest to redefine the way travellers explore and connect with the world.
Peace Of Mind
“How would you like the assurance and peace of mind that whenever you travel with your loved one, things such as safety and protection against unforeseen circumstances such as contracting Covid overseas, or the joy of a seamless journey from beginning to the end, all that is taken care of by a professional who knows you and what’s important to you?” he asks, making his pitch.
“On top of that, when you stay at a hotel under our collection, you are showered with benefits that you don’t normally get when you book directly with the hotel. Benefits such as room upgrades, hotel credit, a personal travel advisor at your disposal. And even things like a personal guide, a driver at your location or even a photographer. Better still, to experience all that as one of our members without having to pay any fee. Knowing all this, wouldn’t you want to be a part of T’ROKA? I think a lot of people will say, ‘Why not?’”
How To Sign Up With T’ROKA
How it works is pretty straightforward. All you need to do is to sign up for the membership programme via their website (www.troka.co). “The moment you contact us and make your first booking, you immediately get a room upgrade, complimentary breakfast for two, and the service of one of our travel advisors. And you don’t have to pay anything for those benefits.”
The aforementioned travel advisor is one of T’ROKA’s major strengths. Each booking will be assigned to one travel advisor. Their job is to learn about your particular concerns and needs, hopes and expectations. Are you outdoorsy, are you spiritual? Do you like a jam-packed holiday or are you more chilled? From flights, safety concerns and visa requirements, to dining, cultural and personal interests. The travel advisor will help to personalise experiences unique to you. He or she will be your point of contact throughout your trip, ready to assist and advise when needed.
There are three tiers to a T’ROKA membership, and with that first booking you automatically become a Classic member. So how does one get bumped up to the next tier? “Upon your second booking with us, you immediately get upgraded to a Signature membership,” Foo beams. “We want people to experience our benefits as soon as possible. So once you become a Signature member, you unlock the added benefits of up to hotel credit, late check-out and early check-in options.”
The last tier, the Prestige membership is then unlocked upon the eleventh booking. That adds on exclusive VIP benefits across all hotels within T’ROKA’s collection, and special invitations to private events, on top of what you’ve gained through the Classic and Signature statuses. “What we aim to do at this level of benefits now is to add on even more benefits,” says Foo.
‘Hotel First’ Approach
Naturally, all benefits are subject to the hotel’s availability. For T’ROKA, Foo and his team have carefully selected 300 out of the 7,000 hotels they are in partnership with around the world. “We want T’ROKA to practise a ‘hotel first’ approach,” Foo explains. “Because we believe exceptional accommodation is the foundation of a very immersive experience.” Consider a tailor-made journey of the self through one of the happiest places on earth, Bhutan–by way of Amankora’s circuit of exotic Himalayan sanctuaries, to witnessing Central Java’s awe-inspiring Borobudur at dawn from Amanjiwo’s elegant poolside villas. For beach holiday lovers, picture The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort overlooking the alluring waves of the Indian Ocean, nestled between verdant rainforest and white-sand beaches on a private island that offers relaxation unlike any other..
Finding The Flavour of A Place
Prior to T’ROKA, Ben Foo went through an immersive experience himself on a recent trip with his wife to the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort in Oman, one of the highest resorts in the world. The hotel had arranged a morning hike for the couple, with the help of a local guide. “The guide came from one of the villages along the canyons. When we walked through the villages, my wife and I realised that they were all empty. The guide then told us that once, the village was prosperous thanks to agriculture. And how for centuries his ancestors would climb all the way down the canyon with their trade, then journey for seven hours by horse to the next town to sell their produce. But now their natural spring has dried up due to global warming, forcing everyone to leave their villages.”
“As he was narrating all this, I really began to get a ‘flavour’ of the history of the place and its people. What struck me was when the guide told us that he had invested his own money to bring in a pipe to water his farm. Hoping that it would then overflow to neighbouring farms to bring some life back to his village.” The guide would soon lead Foo and his wife to his farm and house, where he served them tea. As they sat and drank, the guide gazed out to the canyons. He then told them that it was his vision to see all the villagers return to their homes one day.
“When he said that I felt really moved. Because I realised that I wouldn’t have experienced that place this way if I hadn’t met this man,” Foo continues. “I felt very invested in his vision. So I asked him, seeing as I was from Holiday Tours & Travel, if I were to bring some travellers his way, would he look after them and show them what he showed us? And he replied, ‘Absolutely!’ So I felt like I was able to contribute something back to this community.”
Discovering One’s Self
“And I think that was the idea behind T’ROKA,” says Foo. “We wanted it to be a ‘hotel first’ approach because the very best hotels around the world are already investing in these things. Take Amanjiwo for example. The conservation of the place, the investment in the community. And this kind of story that you take back with you when you go home, you will cherish this memory. Really getting to the soul of the place, you can’t put a value to that—it’s priceless. In the process, I discovered myself. Hence T’ROKA (derived from the Malay word for ‘discover’). The discovery of what moved me. You can’t fabricate that. So that’s the essence of T’ROKA.”