June 21st, 2013
The 39th annual American Express Queenstown Winter Festival, the Southern Hemispheres biggest winter celebration, kicks off today. Thousands of locals and visitors alike will hit the streets and slopes of Queenstown, New Zealand to partake in more than 75 different events (most of which are free and fun for the whole family), such as firework showings, performances by major Kiwi musicians and comedians, and on mountain skiing and snowboarding.
Perfect for families attending the festival, Matakauri Lodge‘s “Family Heaven” package includes two nights’ accommodation with an interconnecting second bedroom, daily pre-dinner drinks, gourmet dinner, full breakfast and mini-bar, spa treatments for all family members, a four-hour babysitter with room service, and a private dining experience. Guests can attend the festival, exploring beyond the lodge, and then return back to luxury once the day is over.
Originating in 1975, the Winter Festival began when a group of locals decided to use the arrival of snow as an excuse for a party, bringing residents and visitors together. The tradition was born and, over the years, this little celebration has grown immensely, attracting people from all over the world to join the Kiwis in welcoming the winter. Now an iconic event, marked and circled on every local resident’s calendar, the festival attracts 45,000 attendees. The annual Winter Festival is all about celebrating the community, the mountain environment, and the start of the winter holiday season.
For more information on the Matakauri Lodge’s “Family Heaven” package visit: http://www.matakaurilodge.com/family-heaven
For more Winter Festival Information visit: www.winterfestival.co.nz
June 18th, 2013
Hotel bars are making a serious comeback; for some simply being the cool kid again isn’t enough, so they are upping the ante. From Tokyo to Nantucket, these hotel bars are offering exclusive, limited edition whiskys, wines, and craft beers that travelers won’t find anywhere else…
The Wauwinet’s Woody 25
Nantucket Island, MA
In celebration of The Wauwinet’s 25th anniversary year, the inn’s award-winning restaurant, TOPPER’S, has teamed up with Triple Eight Distillery in collaboration with Cisco Brewery to create a custom-made 10-year-old Woody 25 single malt whisky.
- Aged 10 years on island, the whisky, with its robust 44.4% alcohol content, is the color of a deeply strawberried golden straw.
- Its nose evokes an equally rich aroma of sweet almond, apples, and cranberries that is balanced with warming vanilla and earthy oaken tones.
- The taste, initially spicy and herbal, quickly mellows to flavors of honeyed treacle and caramel, with a long, dry finish of toasty oak and herbal anise – perfect to savor along with freshly shucked oysters or a decadent Lazy Lobster Bake from TOPPER’S.
How is it best served? Neat, of course! But for those who like a little something extra, a menu of carefully-crafted Woody 25 cocktails has been created for TOPPER’S to celebrate the silver anniversary of the inn. While individual servings of Woody 25 will be on the menu for those dining at TOPPER’S at $25/glass, the option to purchase one of the limited run of 200 bottles at $250/bottle is only available to those guests staying at the hotel.
The Calistoga Ranch Sotero Cabernet
Located in the heart of Napa Valley wine country, Calistoga Ranch offers an exclusive Sotero wine to its hotel and restaurant guests. Made with cabernet grapes harvested from the hotel’s on-property vineyard, this private label is grown sustainably and aged in 70% new French Oak for 28 months.
- Incredibly smooth and polished, in the nose there is a familiar presence of soft barrel vanillin, warm black cherry, and a little spice box.
- Once in the mouth, this wine is a swirling rollercoaster ride of milk chocolate and caramel with a little dash of espresso supported by layers of generous black fruit riding on the rails of youthful tannin and moderate acidity.
- As the wine opens up over time, more red fruit fumes gush from the glass and the young texture improves.
The Calistoga Ranch Sotero is available for guests to purchase at $90/bottle in the restaurant, gift shop, or via room service. Depending on the harvest, about 100 cases are produced each year. Bottled unfiltered and unfined, it is 100% Calistoga Cabernet.
Park Hyatt Tokyo’s Exclusive Craft Beers – Park Brewery and Citrus Amber Ales
Each summer, Sankt Gallen Brewery creates two extraordinary craft beers to be exclusively served at Park Hyatt Tokyo for a limited period. This summer, the brewery, known for its citrus infused craft beers, has created the Park Brewery Ale and Citrus Amber Ale for the hotel.
- Hopped with seven different aromatics, the Park Brewery Ale has a sharp, hoppy flavor similar to an IPA.
- The Citrus Amber Ale is made using Shiranui – a Japanese orange and grapefruit hybrid.
From July 1-September 16, Park Hyatt Tokyo will host the Park Brewery Craft Beer Happy Hour daily from 6-8pm. During the happy hour, guests can enjoy unlimited glasses of these two refreshing brews alongside the chef’s special German-style appetizer plate that includes pretzels, sausage, gherkins, and more for JPY 3,800/person (approx USD $38).