September 23rd, 2021

As of July 19 and August 2, both Ireland and the U.K, respectively, began welcoming U.S. tourists. Fully vaccinated Americans can now travel to both countries without having to quarantine. The development is welcome news – according to Wanderlist, the free social site for travel planning from luxury travel agency network Virtuoso, both Ireland and Scotland are among the top 10 locales affluent travelers are dreaming of. The border openings come just in time for exciting autumn news from the British Isles.


Last month, The Beaumont in Mayfair emerged from a renovation led by Thierry Despont (Claridge’s, Ritz Paris, The Chatwal New York). The architecturally protected, Grade II-listed property has retained its Art Deco aesthetic (for which Despont is also known) while incorporating influences from London, Paris and New York. The common spaces have a fresh look, including the lobby, bar, restaurant and gym. New additions include the Mayfair Suite and the terrace where guests can enjoy drinks and snacks from 8am until 8pm. Guests can expect lots of leather, velvet, bronze and mahogany and neutral cream tones mixed with chocolate, deep reds and golds.

The Kensington, a collection of four adjoining Victorian townhouses in the heart of South Kensington, reopened last spring following a refurbishment including several brand new suites. After an increased interest in long-stay guests looking for a London home base, these suites were reconfigured to enhance the feeling of a luxurious and carefully curated home, using elements and original features of the townhouse to inform the redesign. Bernie Gallagher, Chairman of The Doyle Collection, worked with London design studio Timothy Matter on the new design featuring bold Thibaut wallpaper and pops of color.

Guests can now experience the best of city & country with Belmond’s ‘Town and Country’ package combining two nights at The Cadogan – the British brand’s first London address with private access to the Cadogan Estate Gardens – and one night at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, a 15th-century manor in the English countryside. A one-and-a-half-hour limousine transfer from London to Oxfordshire is followed by dinner for two at Le Manoir’s two Michelin-star restaurant by chef patron Raymond Blanc featuring organic produce grown in the on-site property’s gardens.

All aboard British Pullman, A Belmond Train for an exclusive culinary experience this fall. This October, the day train will journey roundtrip from London Victoria Station through the English countryside while guests indulge in a delicious brunch. On arrival in Oxfordshire, an unforgettable three-course lunch will be served by Raymond Blanc, founder of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, A Belmond Hotel. The ride home will be accompanied by a selection of Great British cheeses and dessert.

How to get there: Most major U.S. cities have nonstop flights to London on British Airways, Delta, American and United. JetBlue launched flights to London Heathrow from New York’s Kennedy Airport on August 11 and will begin flying to London Gatwick on September 29.


The Fife Arms, the 19th-century hunting lodge in Braemar, is owned by art world power couple Iwan and Manuela Wirth and debuted in November 2018 to much fanfare (Prince Charles attended the opening). The Highland hotel recently lifted the veil on a new whisky barBertie’s, inspired by Queen Victoria’s extravagant and hedonistic heir. The bar offers 365 whiskies from Scotland and around the world, curated with the help of World Atlas of Whisky author Dave Broom, and will soon launch two of its own exclusive whiskies. On-the-ground experiences include flights, tastings, and tours of local distilleries, led by Whisky Ambassador Katy Fennema. Those who aren’t traveling there immediately can still bring a piece of the destination home. Thanks to the Fife Arms’ online shop, guests and fans can find a custom tartan or tweed design gift box, afternoon tea set, and the Fife Arms coffee table book from Phaidon. The latest addition is perhaps the most exciting, though. The new collection for dogs includes a coat, bone, collar and leash, all made with the hotel’s house tweed. What better gift for dog lovers or man’s best friend?!

In partnership with the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, guests of Royal Scotsman, A Belmond Train will enjoy a private tour of one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland, Glen Ord; a specialist single cask whisky tasting with the dedicated whisky ambassador; and a tasting at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society headquarters. Back on board, guests can choose from over 50 whiskies to enjoy while gazing out over the countryside in the Observation Car before taking home a year-long membership to Scotch Malt Whisky Society. Next available journeys depart on October 4, 2021; July 20, 2022; and August 22, 2022.

How to get there: There are direct flights to Edinburgh (2 hours from the hotel) from New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston and Washington, D.C., on United, Delta and American. Travelers stopping over in London can fly to the nearest airports, which are Aberdeen (1 hour 15 minutes), Dundee (1 hour 25 minutes), and Inverness (1 hour 55 minutes).


After skipping trick-or-treating last year, parents can make it up to their kids with a memorable Halloween in a real castleDromoland Castle in County Clare will offer family passes to nearby Bunratty Gold Park, which is home to a magical fairy trail, and host spooky activities including a group treasure hunt around the grounds and, of course, pumpkin carving. The tradition actually dates back to Irish immigrants who used to carve turnips. In fact, the name, jack-o’-lantern, comes from an Irish folktale about a man named Stingy Jack. In the old days, people would carve scary faces into turnips and potatoes and place them in windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits.

Dromoland Castle has also crafted a special Thanksgiving week. Imagine roaring fires, fine whiskeys, woodland walks, falconry, golf and the best of local Fall produce in a traditional feast including roast Irish turkey and delicious Irish pumpkin pie. Along with the family-style Thanksgiving dinner, guests at the castle will enjoy additional themed activities including wreath decorating, golf clinic, shopping trips and board games. Calligraphy classes are set to inspire guests with tips and ideas to bring beautiful handwritten notes and holiday cards to the next level. Transfers to and from the Dublin Airport and Antigen tests before returning home are also included. The package is offered from Tuesday, November 23 through Sunday, November 28 and prices start at €5,500 EUR per couple based on a Deluxe room category.

How to get there: There are direct flights to Dublin (2.5 hours from the hotel) from New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston and Washington, D.C., on United, Delta, American and Aer Lingus.

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