AMPR NOVEMBER NEWSLETTER
November 1st, 2019
See it now: The view from the newly renovated Nayara Gardens in Costa Rica
Costa Rica: Nayara Gardens, Nayara’s first property to open on the edge of Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano National Park, will unveil its renovation on November 15. The new al fresco restaurant, La Terraza del Arenal, will boast unobstructed views of the volcano. A new reception and courtyard will feature an indoor/outdoor design with a central fountain surrounded by chaise lounges and a local artist’s mural depicting the flora and fauna of the rainforest. The family-friendly resort is connected by footbridges to sister properties Nayara Springs and the soon-to-be opened Nayara Tented Camp – one of the first luxury camps in Central America.
St. Barth: Just keep swimming – in your own private pool! Enjoy uninterrupted laps when you book one of The Christopher St. Barth’s four-bedroom villas, two of which will open in December and a third will be available in 2020. With interiors by French designer Olivia Putman, the three new accommodations combine the comfort of private residences with the five-star service of the main hotel.
St. Martin: Belmond La Samanna in St. Martin has reopened for the season with a plethora of new experiences. Among the unique activities is a Caribbean impressionist painting class in a historic French Créole townhouse with Sir Roland Richardson, one of Saint Martin’s most celebrated painters. Guests can also hike up to Pic Paradis, retracing the steps of the indigenous Arawak people with resident archaeologist and archivist Christophe Henocq.
South Africa: This is not your neighborhood treehouse. Three miles away from the nearest lodge and 52 stairs in the air is andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge’s newest residence. Opening on December 5, the completely private, six-level, solar-powered treehouse will have a rooftop deck with an outdoor bed and lounge for al fresco sundowners and dinner for two – all with uninterrupted views of the bush below.
Washington, D.C.: The Dupont Circle has put the final touches on its extensive renovation with the completion of its Penthouse Suite by Clodagh. The space is available in two configurations with one bedroom or two bedrooms. When expanded into two-bedrooms, the suite is one of the largest in the city at 1,980 square feet, with a heated outdoor terrace adding an additional 590 square feet. Step outside to enjoy views of Dupont Circle below and Washington Monument in the distance.
Napa Valley: The new visitor center at Napa favorite Cakebread Cellars is now open, featuring a new courtyard and nine private tasting rooms. Guests can also enjoy vineyard and winery tours, wine and food pairings and walks through the on-site culinary garden, which provides ingredients for the kitchen.
Ireland’s Dromoland Castle has expansive grounds for falconry, fly fishing and archery
“Country roads, take me home. To the place where I…” can partake in falconry, fly fishing and other activities tailor-made for Ron Swanson. Luckily, you don’t need to invest in a second home to enjoy Mother Nature’s finery in November. Below, check out our picks for the best places to channel your inner outdoorsman, or woman:
Ireland: Experience the rugged luxury of Ireland at Dromoland Castle, located in County Clare – the gateway to the Wild Atlantic Way. Dromoland’s falconry program takes guests onto the expansive castle grounds to meet with falcons, hawks and owls, giving them a chance to hold these birds of prey and experience their relationship with their falconers. For guests who would prefer to take to the water, fly fishing is also available from the lakeshore; or from the middle of the lake in one of the estate boats. And, the true swashbuckler can enjoy an afternoon of archery.
Scotland: Belmond Royal Scotsman, Scotland’s only luxury sleeper train, allows guests to tailor their itineraries to explore a range of activities in the Scottish countryside. Among the offerings is a falconry demonstration at Dunrobin Castle, the largest great house in the Northern Highlands. Guests will learn about the different hunting methods of a variety of raptors including golden eagles, peregrine falcons and European eagle owls.
Napa Valley: A glass of wine with falconry on the side. That’s what Napa Valley does. During the Falconry Vineyard Tour at Bouchaine Vineyards, guests learn how to call the birds to land on their arm. The experience concludes with a wine-tasting and lunch in the garden.
Switzerland: A’foraging we will go! Guests at La Réserve Geneva can visit nearby Jura Mountains with a mycologist (fungus expert) to forage for different mushroom types including ceps, horns of plenty and chanterelles, all indigenous to Switzerland.
Chile: Set in the heart of Araucanía in Chile’s Lake District, a lesser-known tourist destination to neighboring Patagonia, andBeyond Vira Vira is surrounded by glacial lakes, frosted-tipped volcanoes and lush national parks. Fly fishing enthusiasts can stand knee deep in the Liucura River, which runs through the property, casting their line for rainbow trout, brown trout or chinook salmon. Alternatively, fishermen can venture into the warm waters of Villarrica Lake by boat.
Italy: It’s time for a truffle hunt! Belmond Castello di Casole’s vast Tuscan estate is home to a treasure trove of truffles. Guests are welcome to join expert hunter Mauro Nesi and his Lagotto Romagnolo dogs to sniff out the precious tubers, which can be found year-round. Once unearthed, the hotel kitchen uses the delicacy to infuse a tasting menu of taglierini, tosca fillet and black truffle tarts.
Embrace winter at Dromoland Castle in Ireland
Fall is still very much in the air, but the festive season will be here before we know it – and with it, the magic of winter wanderlust. Think: curling up by a fireplace, exceptional holiday décor and unique celebrations to ring in a new year. Below, we’ve rounded up places to indulge in the best that winter has to offer.
Kenya: Set in the Masai Mara reserve – where the famous final scene of Out of Africa was filmed – andBeyond Bateleur Camp reflects the romantic ambiance of Kenyan safaris of the ’20s and ’30s. With copper free-standing bubble baths, leather buttoned sofas and candlelit decks, guests can spend chilly safari nights under the covers with hot water bottles hand-delivered to their tent.
Ireland: Situated near Newmarket-on-Fergus in County Clare, Ireland, the 16th century Dromoland Castle is the ancestral home of the O’Briens of Dromoland, whose lineage dates back to one of the last High Kings of Ireland. The intimate cocktail bar was once the O’Brien family’s library, and it now serves as a cozy spot to sip authentic Irish coffee next to the crackling fire after a day of exploring the 450-acre estate.
Barcelona: Almanac Barcelona’s star attraction is the rooftop terrace, Azimuth, which offers 360-degree views of the city. This winter, the terrace remains open with festive and cozy décor to provide a warm space for guests to sip on seasonal cocktails.
Paris: Guests at La Réserve Paris can make themselves at home in front of the marble fireplace in the Duc de Morny Library while reading from the selection of over 3,000 antique books from the 19th century. The library is open exclusively for guests during the day, before it turns into a lively bar at night.
London: Set in a former private residence, The Kensington features cozy nooks around every corner. From the intimate K Bar with its artful cocktails to the open fireplaces found in most ground floor rooms, the hotel offers a true home-away-from-home experience this winter. Travelers can celebrate Christmas Day lunch in the library-like drawing rooms of the Town House restaurant with a menu that features everything from Christmas pudding to Perrier-Jouët ‘Belle Epoque’ 2011.
Christmas Stroll, an iconic Nantucket tradition, sees the seaside town transform into a holiday wonderland.
Ireland: The River Club at The River Lee has unveiled its new seasonal installation on its al fresco terrace. The design is inspired by the hotel’s location on the very site of the Old Western Road station, which was used by the Muskerry Light Railway in the late 19th century on its trips from Cork to Blarney. Remnants of the train tracks are still visible. The terrace features a canopy of autumn foliage and vintage décor, including wooden train-style doors dividing each table and old-fashioned stacks of luggage. Come late-November, the Harvest Carriage will welcome interior touches like snow-dusted leaves and twinkling lights.
Charleston: All aboard! This season, a replica of the iconic Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train plays a starring role in the festive lobby display at Belmond Charleston Place. Situated underneath the hotel’s signature Georgian open-arm staircase, which will be wrapped in garland, the fully operational display features miniature European alpine homes, realistic stables and a blacksmith shop that guests can spy through little open doors. After taking in the sights and sounds of the Christmas village, guests can then enjoy The Conductor cocktail at The Thoroughbred Club, which is located just next to the decked-out lobby.
Nantucket: New England’s quintessential Christmas Experience is the Nantucket Christmas Stroll. One part enchanting holiday storybook scene and one part jolly block party, the annual event is filled with old-fashioned fun. 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; and Santa arrives by boat via the Coast Guard. Stay in the heart of it all at the historic Jared Coffin House – a former whaling merchant’s home.
Ring in 2020 aboard the Belmond British Pullman, which also has a number of holiday excursions
New Year’s Eve
Anguilla: With nothing but clear skies and a gentle Caribbean breeze, there’s no better place to escape for the holidays than the beachy island of Anguilla. Belmond Cap Juluca, which underwent an extensive renovation last year, is welcoming 2020 with a seaside celebration on Maundays Bay – complete with Champagne sabering, midnight fireworks and live music and dancing from local Anguillan band, The Mussington Brothers.
Rio de Janiero: Belmond Copacabana Palace in Rio starts the year off with a bang with front row seats to the famous fireworks show on Copacabana Beach. Parties will be held throughout the hotel, with dining and an open bar at Pergula Restaurant and Ristorante Hotel Cipriani, as well as dancing in each of the hotel’s three ballrooms.
England: Step into 2020 by stepping back into 1920 aboard Belmond British Pullman’s vintage carriages on the New Year’s Eve Dinner journey. The train departs from London’s Victoria Station, gliding through the English countryside while guests enjoy champagne, fine wine and a five-course meal. Table magicians will be on hand to provide entertainment. The train will pull back into Victoria Station just after midnight for passengers to disembark into a new year.
New York City: Watch the ball drop in Times Square from the private terrace of The Chatwal’s Producer Suite. Master designer Thierry Despont created the suite with entertaining in mind, and the space has a cozy fireplace in the living room and a spiral staircase leading up to the large roof deck with a view of the Crossroads of the World.
Antarctica: Adventurers can toast the new year on an iceberg with PONANT’s 11-day “New Year’s Day and the magic of the White Continent” sailing, departing Ushuaia, Argentina on December 29. Ring in 2020 while crossing the Drake Passage, considered a badge of honor on an Antarctic voyage. Guests will see Gentoo and Adelie penguins up close during land expeditions, and they’ll explore the icy waters with a team of experienced naturalist guides.
Tokyo: Ring in the New Year half a day earlier than your friends in the States with a visit to Japan. Guests at Park Hyatt Tokyo can enjoy a customary bowl of Toshikoshi Soba on New Year’s Eve. The dish symbolizes good luck for the year ahead, and the staff invites all who want to partake to join them in slurping down a bowl of these auspicious noodles just before midnight. Guests can also dance the night away at the hotel’s New York Bar Countdown Lounge New Year’s Eve party, which will overlook the city skyline from 41 floors in the air.