October 1st, 2019
We’re falling for October in Nantucket.
No Cold Shoulders Here: It’s a little-known fact: Shoulder season in beach towns is the best season, and Nantucket is no exception. Take advantage of the falling temperatures with falling rates – guests who stay two nights, Sunday through Thursday, at the White Elephant Residences & Inn will receive a $50 food credit for Brant Point Grill or TOPPER’s, as well as use of a Jeep for 24 hours.
To Infinity…: andBeyond! The andBeyond Soussusvlei Desert Lodge will open this month after an extensive rebuild. Located in the only Dark Sky reserve in Africa, the lodge will offer programs like stargazing with the resident astronomer and early morning scenic hot air balloon flights.
Throw the Book at It: The much-anticipated Museum of Literature Ireland, which explores the story of Ireland’s famous literary culture, is now open. Located on St. Stephen’s Green, the museum is just an 8-minute walk from The Westbury, where bibliophiles can indulge in a post-museum dinner at on-site Wilde, named after the famous poet and playwright.
Costa Rica – It’s “in tents:” When it opens on December 20, Nayara Tented Camp in Costa Rica will be one of the first luxury camps in Central America. Guests will be able to experience the natural beauty of the Arenal Volcano area, with its plethora of eco-adventures. As a part of the build, Nayara is leaving a protected area of the hill as a sloth refuge and planting 1,000 Guarumo trees – the sloth’s favorite habitat.
Say What?: Seychelles! Luxury cruise line PONANT has launched three new itineraries to the 115-island archipelago. The expeditions will allow guests to explore Aldabra – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and discover hundreds of giant tortoises. Guests will cruise aboard Le Bougainville, one of PONANT’s newest ships. Le Bougainville features the industry-leading Blue Eye Lounge, an underwater sanctuary where guests can enjoy the sights and sounds of the ocean.
Garden of Eden: Located in a 100-year-old historic building, La Réserve Eden Au Lac in Zurich will debut in December after an extensive renovation headed by Philippe Starck. When it opens, it will be the only luxury property on the lake.
Palm Beachin’: Coming late 2019 – just in time to escape winter – is White Elephant Palm Beach. The space is a sister property to White Elephant on Nantucket. Previously the Bradley Parker hotel, the historic structure from the 1920s will remain, but the interiors have been completely gutted and will be re-imagined by architectural firm Elkus Manfredi in a color palette of soft neutrals.
12 Chefs A-Cooking: It’s never too early to think about the holidays! And where better to celebrate than in the Napa Valley. Join Chef Christopher Kostow and The Restaurant at Meadowood team this season for the annual charitable Twelve Days of Christmas celebration. The event invites influential chefs from around the world to cook in collaboration with Chef Kostow, using seasonal products from the Napa Valley. This year’s celebration will benefit Saint Helena Preschool for All, Inc.
It’s All Greek to Me: Coming soon to Mykonos is new hotel Aleomandra, a luxury boutique hotel with 360 degree views of the horizon so that guests can take in the island’s famous sunrises and sunsets. The ultra-private suite and villa property will open in June 2020.
The moody Bloomsbury Club bar is the perfect setting for a Halloween cocktail.
Does any holiday invite such polarizing opinions as Halloween? Die-hard fans will spend months planning elaborate costumes for the freakishly festive celebrations – and as the weekend comes to a close, they’ll swap their Halloween mask for Guinot’s Age Logic Eye Mask to soothe puffiness and brighten dark circles! On the other hand, the demurer among us will say “boo” to the big parties and instead opt for a themed cocktail in a festive setting. No matter your vibe, these destinations around the world will ensure you have a scary good time.
Travel to the Emerald Isle, the hometown of Halloween, to celebrate Púca, a festival commemorating Ireland’s history as the birthplace of the fall holiday. Stay at The Westbury in Dublin and travel to nearby Meath from October 31 to November 2 to commemorate the season with three spooky nights – in Athboy, festival goers will hear a spiritual and historical retelling of the original Halloween story; in Drogheda, the three day event will be commemorated with Halloween music, films and a light installation; and at Trim Castle guests can celebrate with three nights of concerts.
Further to the east in Co. Clare, family-friendly Halloween celebrations are alive and well at Dromoland Castle, where children can enjoy three days’ worth of programming. Held from October 30 through November 1, activities include a haunted high tea, a Halloween fancy dress disco and an All Hallows Eve Bonfire with hot chocolate and marshmallows.
The hometown of Jack the Ripper and the haunted London Tower make an excellent backdrop for Halloween celebrations. After spending the day exploring the ghostly sites of the city, head to The Bloomsbury Club for a mystical menu. Inspired by Tarot cards designed by the bohemian occultist Pamela ‘Pixie’ Colman Smith, the bar has debuted 14 cocktails corresponding with 14 mental states. Upon arrival, a Diviner will read guests’ emotions and will advise as to which of the new drinks to enjoy.
As New Yorkers and tourists alike don costumes and masks, The Chatwal, New York readies its littlest guests for a night of trick-or-treating with its in-suite ‘Dressing Room’ trunk. Inspired by its history rooted in the glitz of Broadway and theater, children are transformed into character with the Wicked Witch of the West’s black hat, Elsa’s tiara or Harry Potter’s signature glasses and wand. Adults can enjoy a themed specialty cocktail, the Corpse Reviver #2 featuring gin, Cointreau and Lillet Blanc complemented with lemon and an absinthe rinse.
Charleston – the seaside city is long on both southern charm and ghost stories. As one of the most haunted cities in America, Charleston has a number of eerie legends and alleged spiritual sightings. Get your fright on with spooky tour of the city, and then unwind at Belmond Charleston Place. Located in the heart of the historic district, the hotel is the perfect home base for all of the city’s adventures.
Carrie Bradshaw once famously told Big, “if you’re tired, you take a nap-a, you don’t move to Napa!” For those who are tired of the traditional Halloween celebrations, check out Wine Country. Spend Halloween weekend among the rolling hills with a glass of wine in hand, before taking just a little bit of time to commemorate the holiday in a quintessentially spooky way – with a murder mystery tour aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train. The three-hour journey includes a multi-course gourmet meal as you solve the crime.
According to Virtuoso, the global luxury network, Japan is the “it” country to travel to this fall – visitors are attracted to the country’s adventure tourism and culinary traditions. Combine both your bold spirit and taste for the local flavors at Tokyo’s Bake Neko (Supernatural Cat) Festival. The event takes place in the bustling neighborhood of Shinjuku on October 13, offering travelers a different kind of Halloween celebration. Locals and visitors alike take to the street of Kagurazaka for a parade, dance performance, and most importantly – to flaunt their creepiest cat costume. While that may not be adrenaline-inducing, it’s certainly something different. Park Hyatt Tokyo is situated in the heart of Shinjuku and offers a luxe home base for the feline festivities.
Trick or treat yo’ self to the antidote to Halloween candy at Shou Sugi Ban House. The Hamptons retreat will host a number of wellness focused weekend retreats this fall. Happening October 18-20, The Healing Power of Wild Plants culinary retreat will give guests the opportunity to learn and interact with local, wild and abundant ingredients, encouraging discovery and connection with the area’s natural bounty. The retreat will feature inventive meals prepared by Chef Mads Refslund, inspiring the sense of smell and taste by cooking with nature.
After enjoying the Jazz Festival of Barcelona, grab a drink at the Azimuth rooftop bar at Almanac.
Summer’s action-packed adventures have nothing on the beauty that is a fall festival. But New Englanders, take note: it’s not all flannel shirts, apple cider and hay rides. (Not that we’re complaining about those!) These international destinations take things up a notch. Below, check out the fall festivals worth traveling for – we’ll note that winter doesn’t begin until December 21 so YES, you can start celebrating the holidays during the autumn months.
Jamaica: Food and Drink Festival
The 5th Annual Jamaica Food and Drink Festival takes place in Kingston from October 26 through November 3. For ten days, Jamaica’s cultural capital celebrates its culinary offerings. Over 50 of the island’s food and beverage experts present at the festival’s seven events, with each celebrating a different facet of Jamaican culinary heritage – themes include Pork Palooza and Meet Street – Jamaican street food. The week concludes with a Sunday Brunch. Guests who book at partner hotel Strawberry Hill in the Blue Mountains during the festival receive 20% off the best rate.
Barcelona: Jazz Festival
One of Europe’s premier jazz events, Voll-Damm International Jazz Festival of Barcelona brings world-class performers to venues across the city to perform everything from jazz’s most recognizable jams to unique compositions. Held from October 29 to November 20, the lineup features free concerts, master classes, lectures and one-on-ones with the artists. Almanac Barcelona’s central location in the Exiample district provides a home base for music-lovers to return to after a day full of musical escapades.
St. Barth: Gourmet Festival
Food and wine and sunshine. As the U.S. cools, St. Barth heats up with the sixth annual Gourmet Festival, held November 6-10. Located above the rocky shoreline of the sought-after neighborhood of Pointe Milou, The Christopher has long been an island refuge for those in-the-know, as well as a site for many of the festival’s activities. The Christopher is hosting the festival’s patron chef, Arnaud Faye – Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) and two-star chef at Château de la Chèvre d’Or in Eze, France. Seven other top French chefs will take part in the festival, each working at a restaurant on the island to create special multi-course menus for both residents and guests. Flying to St. Barth is easier than ever now that Tradewind has expanded its service from San Juan, Puerto Rico; and St. Barth Commuter has added flights from Guadeloupe, St. Martin and Antigua.
Napa Valley: Cabernet Season
November is the start of Cabernet Season in the Napa Valley – the wines have been harvested and the pace of life slows down. November is one of the best times to visit Wine Country, as hotels rates drop and it’s easier to nab a restaurant reservation, to get behind-the-scenes access at wineries and to enjoy one-on-one time with winemakers. The foliage turns to reds and golds and the musty smell of grape crush is still in the air. In a place known for its cuisine, many of the valley’s best restaurants and wineries prepare a special feast, including the End of Harvest dinner at Baldacci Family Vineyards on November 23. Guests enjoy a family-style meal and Baldacci wines along with live music and dancing.
Nantucket: Christmas Stroll
Head to Nantucket December 6-8 for one-part enchanting holiday storybook scene and one part old-fashioned block party. Created 45 years ago to lure shoppers from the mainland before shuttering the shops for the season, Christmas Stroll is the quintessential New England experience. You’ll feel like you’re stepping into a Charles Dickens novel as carolers wander through the cobblestone streets singing holiday tunes; the Whaling Museum hosts the annual Festival of Trees, which features 80 brilliantly decorated trees designed by local artists. Santa even arrives via the coast guard. Every block of Nantucket’s historic downtown is lined with extravagant shop windows and twinkling lights. Stay in the heart of it all at the Jared Coffin House. As an added bonus, direct flights from NYC are offered this weekend.
London: Christmas Festivals
From the Christmas markets to afternoon tea to ice skating at Somerset House, London offers festive activities for the whole family during December. After a day of hopping from one Christmas tree to the next, board the Belmond British Pullman for a festive day trip to the award-winning Bath Christmas Market. Guests will enjoy a three-course brunch before spending an afternoon browsing the more than 170 chalets brimming with artisanal gifts, local delicacies and piping hot cider. The return journey will venture back from the West Country with a four-course dinner accompanied by the sommelier’s choice wine. Belmond’s day train offers 14 holiday themed journeys through the British countryside, including trips to Canterbury to hear carolers at England’s first cathedral; and a visit to the Lincoln Christmas market.
Giving Thanks for Dinners Abroad
Enjoy a specially prepared feast in your own private home-away-from-home in Marrakech.
For those of us who are thankful for travel this Thanksgiving, you’re in luck! Whether you find yourself as an expat in need of a traditional turkey; or simply want to take the opportunity to vacation abroad, check out the below destinations to visit for Thanksgiving.
The Doyle Collection welcomes its American guests to give thanks at their London properties with special menus to celebrate the holiday. 108 Brasserie, set on the cobbles below The Marylebone, will serve free-range bronze turkey from Worcestershire accompanied by pumpkin pie with cinnamon cream. Traditional dishes – such as chestnut risotto, roast turkey with apricot stuffing and pecan tart – are included at the menu at Town House, The Kensington’s cozy restaurant with intimate porticos overlooking South Kensington’s tree-lined avenues.
There’s nothing like a home cooked mean in your home-away-from-home in The Eternal City. To make Thanksgiving extra special, let The Grand House do all the work. Cristina Bowerman, the only Italian female chef who’s received a Michelin Star since 2010, will arrive at your residence to cook a full-course Thanksgiving dinner in the privacy of your own kitchen. Marrying the flexibility of a home rental operation with the high-touch services of a five-star hotel, The Grand House is a collection of diverse properties spread throughout Rome. Each accommodation in The Grand House portfolio has a distinctive identity and layered history. Guests will have plenty of entertainment for the extra days they decide to spend in Rome: from a private oboe and violoncello concert and before-and-after hours tours of the most sought-after monuments and museums to a helicopter ride to the Bolgheri Vineyards in Tuscany for a private wine tasting with the owners of Bolgheri castle.
As the only all-riad property in Marrakech, Royal Mansour was created under the discerning eye of King Mohammed VI of Morocco. Set your Thanksgiving dinner table at the Grand Riad – the most palatial of the accommodations. At nearly 20,000 sq. ft., the home can accommodate up to 14 people with food prepared by a personal chef. Among the amenities at the Grand Riad is a two-level roof terrace, two swimming pools – one in the garden and one on the roof – a home cinema and gym.
If your extended family is Jamaican you crazy, escape to Island Outpost in Jamaica for a turkey dinner, complete with side dishes like callaloo, string beans and sweet potato that are sourced from owner Chris Blackwell’s farm, Pantrepant. But a stay will satisfy more than your hunger cravings – it’ll also give you a reason to give back. Blackwell founded the Oracabessa Foundation in 1997 to improve the lives of the local community through a variety of initiatives. Guests of GoldenEye are able to get involved by planting a tree on the property and making a donation to the Foundation.
New York City
Located in the heart of the theater district, The Chatwal’s penthouse suites, the Producer Suite and Director Suite are designed with entertaining in mind, with a separate dining area and outdoor balcony access. The two suites can also be connected for larger families traveling together. For an intimate Thanksgiving dinner, guests of the penthouse suites can enjoy all of the holiday fixings without any of the hassle courtesy of the dedicated butler service and the renowned Lambs Club by Chef Geoffrey Zakarian.
The Great Migration takes place each year when over two million wildebeest, 200,000 zebra and 500,000 gazelles migrate from the Serengeti National park in Tanzania to Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve. Thanksgiving time is often the best time to witness this wildlife spectacle in the Serengeti, and andBeyond’s Serengeti Under Canvas, a mobile campsite that tracks the migration within the Serengeti National Park, provides the ultimate viewpoint. If you are willing to forgo the traditional turkey and stuffing for a bush meal cooked on an open fire, Serengeti Under Canvas is the way to have a Thanksgiving your family will never forget.