January 1st, 2020
New Year, New Vacations
Will your 2020 travels take you to one of these new locations across the globe?
Costa Rica: When it debuted in December, Nayara Tented Camp introduced 18 luxury tents set inside a Costa Rican sloth sanctuary. The property was expanded as a part of Nayara’s reforestation project, which will bring in 40,000 indigenous trees, including Cecropia trees – the main food source of sloths.
St. Barth: The Christopher St. Barth unveiled two new four-bedroom villas to close out 2019, and a third is due to open in early 2020. With interiors by Olivia Putman, the new spaces combine the comfort of private residences with the five-star service of the main hotel – and each has a private swimming pool.
South Africa: Three miles away from the nearest lodge and 52 steps in the air is andBeyond’s Ngala Tree House, opening early 2020. The completely private, six-level home – surrounded by nothing but the South African bush – is a new experience at andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge and andBeyond Ngala Tented Camp. The luxury, solar-powered tree house has 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.
Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: All aboard! Three new Grand Suites will join the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express for the 2020 season. The new suites – Vienna, Prague and Budapest – each reflect the European cities the train travels to every year. They’ll appropriately feature bespoke design details that give a strong sense of place. The suites will launch with the first journey of the season on March 21. Guests traveling in one of the Grand Suites will enjoy private transfers to and from the train and a personal 24-hour cabin steward available for all onboard services, including free-flowing champagne and private in-suite dining.
Marrakesh: Open Sesame in Morocco! Royal Mansour has debuted a new Italian restaurant, Sesamo. The menu will be overseen by acclaimed Italian chef Massimiliano Alajmo – he was the youngest chef to be awarded three Michelin stars at age 28. Combining his Italian roots with locally sourced Moroccan ingredients, Chef Alajmo has crafted new dishes, including garlic and red pepper spaghetti with vegetables from Royal Mansour’s gardens and a signature Open Sesame dessert – an almond nougat sphere filled saffron, neroli and almond foam in a passion fruit sauce. The menu will also feature a selection of Chef Alajmo’s signature offerings from his restaurant in Italy, Le Calendre, which is consistently ranked one of the Best 50 Restaurants in the World.
Palm Beach: From one vacation destination to another, Nantucket’s iconic White Elephant Resort will open a sister property on Sunset Avenue in Palm Beach in early 2020. Previews of the renovated historic property will begin January 15, when the lobby restaurant Lola – a Nantucket staple – begins serving its signature burgers and sushi. The new hotel, being completely redeveloped by Boston-based New England Development, represents the total renovation of the Bradley Park Hotel, which dates back to the 1920’s and was one of the first resorts in the area.
Zurich: Located in a 100-year-old historic building, La Réserve Eden au Lac debuted on January 8 after an extensive renovation headed by Philippe Starck. It’s the only luxury property on Lac Zurich to offer the tranquility of a lakeside retreat with the convenience of being just a stone’s throw away from the city.
Bordeaux: Enjoy the feel of a private residence and the convenience of a hotel with the opening of La Maison d’Estournel in spring 2020. The resort is located in Bordeaux’s Médoc region in the former home of Louis Gaspard d’Estournel, the 18th-century maverick behind the Cos d’Estournel vineyard. Alex Michaelis of Soho House is designing the property’s 40 rooms, which are spread across two floors. Complete with a library, tasting room and onsite vegetable garden, the property retains a homey feeling – guests can even go into the kitchen and help themselves to the pantry. The property is located on the Cos d’Estournel vineyard. Offsite activities include fishing on the coast, golf, bike riding and of course, wine tasting.
Wellness Reasons to Travel…
The three-story, hand-crafted Royal Mansour Spa, which looks like an elaborate white birdcage, is reason enough to visit the palatial property. And now, guests can incorporate multi-day wellness programs into a vacation via Royal Mansour’s collaboration with Paris-based micro-nutritionist Valerie Espinasse, a specialist in food intolerance and gut health. Her Wellness Cure programs are developed for individuals with the goal of improving intestinal flora, the microorganisms that live in the digestive track, a vital component for the immune system. Guests will take part in an initial health consultation and fitness test to build an itinerary complete with dietary suggestions and unlimited access to the water therapy facilities including traditional hammams, a water massage bath, sauna and spa treatments that use ingredients from the property’s gardens. Guests will also leave with a program to incorporate the healthy regimen into daily life.
The first wellness retreat of its kind on Long Island, Shou Sugi Ban House, is open in the Hamptons year-round. The 13-room property incorporates many forms of wellness treatments ranging from sound healing to reiki to yoga to hikes on the beach. The multi-day retreats are completely tailored to each individual, including activities like healing treatments, workshops, nutrition, meditation and movement and a spa menu.
The open-air treatment rooms at the Spa at Nayara Springs are cantilevered over the rainforest so spa-goers can hear tree frogs chirping and a babbling stream below. The Volanic Mud Massage is inspired by Costa Rica’s ancient beliefs that the application of volcanic-rich mud regenerates and nourishes the skin and provides energy and inner peace. After the treatment, guests can lounge in a private plunge pool overlooking the rainforest.
You don’t have to travel far for wellness, but sometimes, you should. The 107,000-square-foot spa at Waldorf Astoria Maaldives Ithaafushi comprises 10 treatment villas accessible by a dedicated spa buggy that provides door-to-door service. The spa menu of 30-plus treatments is based on earth, water, fire and metal. The signature experience is a 90-minute Starlight Ocean Massage that is only available from 9-10:30 p.m.
If you truly want your wellness aspirations to last all year, La Réserve Gèneve has you covered. Its 20,000 square-foot spa is the largest in the city. Guests meet with a team of therapists, coaches and medical specialists with expertise in the realms of preventive and antiaging medicine, as well as aesthetic medicine. Developed in conjunction with the scientific committee of the Nescens brand, the Better-Aging Signature Body Massage treatment targets all muscle and energy routes, concentrating on the most sensitive areas.
Located above the rocky shoreline of the popular neighborhood of Pointe Milou, The Christopher’s Sisley Spa features five treatment rooms all looking out to the ocean below. The spa’s hot shell massage dissolves muscle tension and helps the body find harmony.
Jumpstart your 2020 fitness journey at Ireland’s most magical address – Dromoland Castle. Think: Cozy spaces. Evenings spent by the fire. Brisk walks through the countryside. Later this month, enjoy a midweek fitness retreat at Dromoland – the package includes a one-on-one fitness assessment with a personal trainer and tailored workouts, as well as healthy meals and a spa treatment. To make the most of the resort’s breathtaking grounds, guests can enjoy a bike ride, guided ramble or a power walk. The program runs for three nights, January 20–22, but the five-star castle is open year-round for authentically Irish wellness experiences.
If the day-to-day grind is Jamaican’ you crazy, head to GoldenEye’s FieldSpa, which features two new spa huts along with a new hammam treatment space and yoga deck. The hotel also has a selection of elixirs, juices and healthy bites incorporating fresh ingredients from the hotel’s farm, Pantrepant. The spa completed its expansion in December 2019, and guests now have direct access to a new spa cove – a crescent of sand nestled along the property’s signature lagoon.
La Maison du Chocolat offers a guilt-free product line, “Bien Être,” which is a collection that is rooted in the idea that top-quality chocolate is, in fact, a healthy snack. The six chocolate varieties are sweetened with natural sugars like honey, pureed fruits and fruit nectar. The rich ganache, which is typically made with cream and butter, is a healthier recipe that combines hazelnut oil for creaminess with natural chicory fiber for substance.
Spa experiences for the littlest guests
The “Bee Pampered” children’s treatment at Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa’s Kinan Spa includes a honey facial and a foot massage tailored to tiny feet. The honey is sourced from Kinan Spa’s own hive of native Melipona bees and is known for its strong anti-microbial and healing properties. As a memento, tots take home Meli, a Melipona bee stuffed animal.
GoldenEye offers a dedicated kids’ spa menu, which includes a “Rub A Dub Dub Bush Bath” – a relaxing soak in an outdoor bathtub. It’s a soothing way to prepare for a deep night’s sleep or an afternoon nap. The treatment incorporates medicinal herbs and essential oils, such as lime, soursop and rosemary. These are known to calm nerves and relax tension in the muscles. As part of the spa programming, kids’ yoga is offered complimentary. At Goldeneye, all yoga is held outdoors with the fresh breeze and calming sounds of the ocean as a backdrop.
Big City Wellness Respites…
Tokyo: Forty-seven floors above the city, Park Hyatt Tokyo’s Club on The Park Spa & Fitness Centre features panoramic views of the city and snow-peaked Mount Fuji. The skyline is visible through floor-to-ceiling glass windows from the pool and exercise machines. After a day on Shinjuku’s bustling streets, guests can wind down with a candlelit Good Night Sleep Stretch, offered twice a week, which features stretches designed to relax the muscles for a restful night ahead.
Barcelona: Only steps from Passeig de Gracia and Barcelona’s stylish district of shops, restaurants and museums, guests of Almanac Barcelona can reset with a ‘Wine Therapy’ spa treatment designed to eliminate impurities and detoxify the skin. The 90-minute body ritual includes a peel, wrap and massage – all infused with the antioxidant properties found in grape extracts. Morning yoga and breathwork classes are also offered on the rooftop terrace, followed by a healthy green juice to jump start the day.
London: Guests at The Marylebone have complimentary access to Third Space, an on-site members-only health club. Guests can snag a coveted spot in the popular group fitness classes and use the 60-foot indoor lap pool – finishing with a healthy smoothie from The Juicery.
New York: From the heart of the Theater District, The Chatwal has an exclusive collaboration with Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow’s yoga and spiritual guru, Eddie Stern to offer complimentary in-room and in-suite yoga sessions. Eddie’s “Pause & Take a Breath” app, featuring nine 12-minute yoga lessons with music by Moby, is now provided to hotel guests through the in-room iPads. Complimentary yoga mats in Chatwal’s signature red are also available.
Charleston: Situated on the fourth floor, the Spa at Belmond Charleston Place offers ten treatment rooms and the city’s only rooftop pool – a 50-foot horizon-edge salt-water pool with a retractable roof. For a full day of pampering, spa-goers can enjoy a sauna, steam room and jacuzzi as well as the in-house Elysium salon.