October 26th, 2021
From November through April, the pace around Napa Valley slows down, but with a wave of hotel openings and new experiences—not to mention, holiday festivities and the start of ‘cabernet season’—there’s never been a better time to visit. Wine lovers will delight in just-launched tours, tasting experiences, and promotions, but you don’t need to imbibe to have a great time. Sign up for a weeklong detox retreat, pick ingredients for your farm-to-fork dinner, and celebrate local heroes at a community art exhibition. Whatever you’re looking for, Napa Valley has it. Here’s a roundup of what’s new and notable for the season.
Hotel Openings and Renovations
The temperatures may be cooler this time of year, but the hotel scene in Napa Valley is just heating up. One of the most anticipated openings is Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley, which opened this month in Calistoga. The 85-key property will be Napa Valley’s first and only resort set within Elusa winery, known for its signature Cabernet Sauvignon. The hotel offers two outdoor swimming pools with vineyard views, a restaurant helmed by Michelin-starred chef Erik Anderson with a 250-label wine list, and sumptuous rooms with fireplaces and private terraces. In February 2022, Stanly Ranch, an Auberge Collection Resort, will make its debut on the historic Stanly Ranch Winery estate, a 700-acre private ranch that dates to the 19th century. Wellness is a focus—guests can sign up for weeklong detoxes, pick their own ingredients in the fields for a farm-to-fork dinner, and go on bike rides along the banks of the Napa River. A short walk from downtown St. Helena, the Inn at Salvestrin has recently started welcoming overnight guests in its centuries-old Victorian mansion. Included in a stay is a complimentary wine tasting at the Salvestrin Tasting Room and a tour of the estate grounds and vineyards. Another inn, the historic McClelland House—one of downtown Napa’s oldest bed and breakfasts—has just unveiled a 20-month, multi-million-dollar renovation. Featuring six rooms with antique four poster beds, high ceilings, and Hermès bath products, the property blends heritage and luxury.
This winter, there’s something for everyone in Napa Valley—food, music, art, and, of course, wine. At Joseph Phelps Vineyards, in St. Helena, visitors can now go on a hike through the vines surrounding the Home Ranch, followed by an outdoor seated tasting of their current releases, paired with seasonal bites from their yakitori grill. Meanwhile, Active Wine Adventures has launched new “Wine Adventures” tours, which take small groups on journeys around small-production and family-owned vineyards. Tours are focused on specific wine varietals, regions, and themes—from the Eco-Friendly Tour and Cabernet Lovers Tour to the Ghost Winery Tour (just in time for Halloween!). Napa Valley may be synonymous with wine, but its gastronomic scene stands on its own. The family-owned Peju Winery is now offering private four-course lunches with wine pairings amid the vines.
At Calistoga’s Solage Resort, a new restaurant, Picobar, helmed by Executive Chef Gustavo Rios, serves small plates inspired by Mexican street food in an elegant poolside setting. Almost every cook in Chef Rios’s kitchen hails from a different part of Mexico, which explains the diversity and range of the “border-crossing cuisine.” Guests at Carneros Resort & Spa, will be welcomed by new gardens that have been planted with 50 varieties of organic herbs and vegetables and will supply the resort’s signature restaurant, FARM. Later this year, guests will be able to dine in the garden, eating whatever is fresh in the fields, while learning from culinary gardener Marley Dawson and chef de cuisine John Carney.
Who says it can’t be festival season year-round? At the Yard by Feast it Forward, a new genre-defying events venue in Napa, locals and visitors can now gather to hear live music, play lawn games, sip wine and craft beer, and take part in brand activations and culinary popups. Speaking of coming together and spreading joy, the St. Supéry Estate Vineyards and Winery will celebrate community leaders with its “Everyday Heroes” photo exhibition (on view now through March 2022). Held in its on-site art gallery, the show comprises 25 large-scale black-and-white portraits of extraordinary individuals who’ve served their communities in the fields of food security, mental health, animal rescue, youth mentorship. Enjoy a blast from the past - literally – at the new “Dangerous Games” exhibit at the Napa Valley Museum in Yountville on display through February 22, 2022. Travel through the world of the wild and wacky wonders that were childhood toys of past decades. (Think creepy crawlers made from plastic goop in searing hot ovens.)
Cabernet Season: Why Go Now
On the heels of Napa Valley’s harvest is cabernet season, which stretches from mid fall to spring. During this time, visitors can get a taste of newly released Cabernets while taking advantage of the region’s slower pace, lower hotel rates, and wider access to winemakers. (Visitors will also have an easier time nabbing reservations at Michelin-starred restaurants like La Toque and Bottega.) This year marks the 12th annual Winter in the Wineries Passport program. For $60 per person, guests receive complimentary wine tastings at 14 participating wineries in Calistoga, Lake Country, Pope Valley, and St. Helena. Other perks include complimentary corkage at participating restaurants and discounts at Calistoga hotels, spas, and shops. Visitors who are especially interested in St. Helena should consider the “Little Book of Big Experiences” wine passport, a $75 purchase with an $800 value. That gets you wine and food pairings, tastes of rare-batch wines, and private wine tastings at 14 of Napa Valley’s top wineries.
While Napa’s wineries are always a draw, keep in mind that the vines only account for nine percent of the county—in other words, there are plenty of other activities to do beyond wine tasting. With temperatures hovering around the mid 60s, it’s an ideal time for getting outdoors, whether that means hiking the trails that crisscross the Mayacamas and the Vaca mountain ranges, biking the Napa Valley Vine Trail, or lacing up your sneakers for the Napa Valley Marathon on March 6, 2022.
Napa Valley may not be your typical snow-covered wonderland, but its festive spirit has drawn holiday visitors year after year. Some of this season’s highlights include the Calistoga Tractor Parade (December 4), during which an array of tractors bedecked in holiday lights will roll through the streets of Calistoga, and the St. Helena Holiday Wine Barrel Tour, a scavenger hunt-type experience where residents go hunting for decorated wine barrels around town. Napa Valley’s only ice-skating rink will be open at Vista Collina Resort from November 12 through January 2. Visitors can work on their figure skating moves, before warming up with hot chocolate and wine around the fire pits. Santa Claus will also be stopping by every weekend from November 26 to December 19 for family photos and reading time. The new year will kick off with the Napa Lighted Arts Festival, January 8-16, 2022, a free open-air event where local and Bay Area artists will design works of art that will light up downtown Napa.
October 14th, 2021
Today, Belmond reveals an exclusive cinematic design partnership with filmmaker Wes Anderson. Paying tribute to both the golden age of cinema and travel, Wes Anderson has reimagined the Cygnus carriage aboard the legendary British Pullman, A Belmond Train, England.
With a love of trains and a passion for craftsmanship, Wes Anderson – famed for films including TheDarjeeling Limited, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and most recently The French Dispatch – has been able to carefully balance the historical preservation of the Art Deco-inspired carriage with a modern interpretation of design. The carriage is instantly recognizable as a Wes Anderson design through his signature symmetrical lines, unique color pallets, and art nouveau style. The bespoke design also introduces an elevated guest experience with two new private coupés in the carriage.
Commenting on the design collaboration, Wes Anderson says, “I love trains! I have often had the chance to invent train compartments and carriages in my movies — so I was immediately pleased to say ‘yes’ to this real-life opportunity, and very eager to make something new while also participating in the process of preservation which accompanies all the classic Belmond train projects. They are keeping something special alive; igniting this endangered species of travel into a new golden era.”
A STORIED DESIGN
Each carriage aboard British Pullman has a unique history and continues to be at the cutting edge of design and craftsmanship. With Cygnus’ design, Wes Anderson has paid careful tribute in his dream-like storytelling to the origins of the 1950s carriage.
Named after the Greek God of Balance, Cygnus is often personified as a swan and immortalized as one of the most recognizable constellations in the night sky. Detailed reference to the myth and legend can be found throughout the design in the intricate waves and swan detailing in the marquetry. From the meticulously positioned silver leaf on the ceiling that reflects like water, to the swan shaped champagne coolers – the carriage is a tribute to the majestic swan.
OFFERING A NEW LEVEL OF PRIVACY
Cygnus carriage features two private coupés where every detail of the design and experience takes a journey aboard British Pullman to a new level of luxury. The intimate space, with 360-degree carefully handcrafted marquetry, can be exclusively booked for up to four guests – beginning at London Victoria where the Train Manager greets guests with priority boarding and ensures free flowing champagne is available throughout the journey.
Contemporary British menus are served on special crockery, with additional flourishes from British Pullman’s Head Chef and exclusive cocktails served in glassware only available in the private coupé.
Guests can also travel in the open carriage as part of the regular Pullman experience or choose to book the entire carriage for groups and celebrations up to 26 people.
A CINEMATIC CELEBRATION
Arnaud Champenois, Senior Vice President, Brand & Marketing, Belmond, comments, “At Belmond we are custodians of timeless heritage. We are always seeking new ways to remain relevant and create new legendary adventures. It is our mission to keep the travel dreams alive by collaborating with the most creative talents, who share our passion for design and craftsmanship.
It has been a privilege to work with Wes Anderson who is one of the most captivating story tellers in the world and a true legend.”
THE FINAL DETAIL
British Pullman, A Luxury Train, England, offers a host of day journeys throughout the year from London Victoria Station. ‘Pullman Dining by Wes Anderson’ starts from $545 (£400) per person. The ‘Pullman coupé by Wes Anderson’ starts from $2,455 (£1,800) per coupé. The full carriage hire price is available on request. To book or for more information, visit belmond.com or call 0 845 077 2222.
Belmond has been a pioneer of luxury travel for over 45 years, building a passion for authentic escapes into a portfolio of one-of-a-kind experiences in some of the world’s most inspiring destinations. Since the acquisition of the iconic Hotel Cipriani in Venice in 1976, Belmond has continued to perpetuate the legendary art of travel, taking discerning global travellers on breathtaking journeys.
Its portfolio extends across 24 countries with 46 remarkable properties that include the illustrious Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train, remote beach retreats like Cap Juluca in Anguilla, Italian hideaways such as Splendido in Portofino, or unrivalled gateways to world natural wonders such as Hotel das Cataratas inside Brazil’s Iguazu National Park. From trains to river barges, safari lodges to hotels, each unique property offers an incomparable experience with its own story to tell. The essence of the Belmond brand is built upon its heritage, craftsmanship and genuine, authentic service. Belmond sees its role as custodians of timeless heritage, dedicated to preserving its assets through sensitive ongoing restoration plans. Belmond is part of the world’s leading luxury group LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. Belmond.com
October 11th, 2021
A new restaurant, experiences, and flight route make Cap Juluca a must this winter
Cap Juluca, A Belmond Hotel, Anguilla will reopen for the 2021/22 season on October 22 with a new Peruvian restaurant, the only one on the island; two new guest experiences; special programming for Thanksgiving and festive season; and a new direct flight from Miami launching on December 11 with American Airlines.
New Restaurant: Uchu
Taking inspiration from Belmond’s collection of properties in Peru, Uchu, named after the Quechuan word for spice, will feature a menu of contemporary Peruvian cuisine inspired by three of the country’s regions: the coast, the jungle, and the highlands. The restaurant will offer a casual chic seafront dining option by day with a lunch menu based on local seafood, including ceviche, Anguillan crab cakes, and Quinoa Poke. As the sun fades, Uchu will transform into a stylishly elegant lounge complemented with live DJ entertainment.
Highlights on the menu will include Pollo Pachamanquero traditionally prepared in a clay pot; Lomo Saltado, a traditional stir fry; and a Red Snapper Patarashca, originating from Peru’s Amazon region. Don’t miss the Raspadilla Cart – a traditional shaved ice maker offering a cool treat in the afternoon sun – or the Ceviche Bar serving up the freshest seafood. Surrounded by natural wooden tones, lush tropical flora, and the sparkling emerald infinity pool, Uchu seamlessly blends Peru’s culinary diversity with Anguilla’s connection to the sea. The launch rounds out Cap Juluca’s extensive food and beverage options with four restaurants, also including traditional Caribbean at Pimms, Italian in partnership with Cipriani at Cip’s by Cipriani, and the casual beachside Cap Shack, the property’s vintage food truck.
Pisco is at the heart of the new signature cocktail menu. Complemented with fruits and herbs native to Peru, such as lemongrass, cape gooseberry, and eucalyptus, refreshing twists on the classic piscolada and ginger vanilla mojitos will be served – mirroring Uchu’s regional experience. A favorite will be the chicha morada sours, served as popsicles for a fun, contemporary twist on the classic drink originating in the Andean regions. A variety of Peruvian wines and artisanal beers will also be available.
Cap Juluca is launching two new experiences this season. Honoring Anguilla’s reverence of the sea, Belmond guests can join local third-generation Anguillan fisherman Shawn Romney to learn about the importance fishing has for the local community. Using a traditional yo-yo reel, they will head over to the eastern point of Maundays Bay, a favorite local fishing spot for decades, and cast a line searching for a yellowtail snapper, blue runner, or parrotfish before taking the fresh catch back to Uchu for a private ceviche lunch. The two-hour fishing experience is offered complimentary for up to four guests at a time, excluding the ceviche lunch.
Set off in the property’s sea blue vintage Volkswagen van to explore the island’s 33 beaches. Guided by a Belmond Villa Host, no detail is overlooked for a perfect beach day, outfitted with beach chairs, towels, a cooler stocked with refreshing water, lemonade and frozen fruits, and a polaroid camera to capture candid shots from the day. A gourmet picnic lunch will be set up filled with a la carte menu items such as a smoked salmon poke bowl or lobster sandwich. As the sun sets, guests can opt for a champagne toast and sunset cruise back to Maundays Bay. The experience starts at $800 plus service fees for two people; additional $500 for the optional sunset cruise, depending on available boat.
These two new offers further enhance a robust variety of experiences on property. A playground for water activities, guests can also venture on an offshore trip to the tiny chain of uninhabited islands of Prickly Pear Cays, acquire an open water dive certification, or take part in windsurfing, water skiing, or snorkeling off the coast. As the sun rises, avid bird watchers can join local conservationist Jackie Cestero on a morning walk around Cove Pond, a nesting habitat for over forty species of tropical birds – from the green-throated Carib to the Antillean Bullfinch. Guests looking for a little relaxation can spend the afternoon at the Arawak Spa villa, located just 30 steps away from the water’s edge, featuring a private swimming pool, fitness center, three all-suite treatment villas and private relaxation terraces that overlook the Caribbean Sea. Treatments incorporate local and organic ingredients, including Anguillan salt, balsam bush, clay, and even a touch of Mount Gay rum.
Celebrate by the Sea
A white winter takes on new meaning in Anguilla. Skip the below freezing temperatures and head south for miles of white sand beaches and balmy 80 degrees days. The festive season in Anguilla is centered around great food and family fun, savoring mouth-watering coconut tarts and rum cakes or decorating the native, white flowered five-finger bush. Cap Juluca will host a roster of daily programming for couples and families alike, including wine tastings, sunset sails, tennis lessons, rum tastings, salt-scrub-making classes, an iron man swim along Maundays Bay, and more. For some extra yuletide spirit, there will be a choir performance, Carol of the Bells, on December 24 and a kids gift opening along with eggnog and s’mores on Christmas Day. Then, raise a glass to the new year island-style at the all-white New Year’s Gala – filled with a four-course dinner menu, live music, dancing, and fireworks over the sea.
Private Pool Villas
Cap Juluca’s three- and five-bedroom villas offer optimal seclusion for family and friends traveling this winter. The multi-story pool villas include a full kitchen with a dining atrium for private meals, direct beach access, and a personal freshwater swimming pool. Guests can spread out with 5,540 square feet of space – nestled in a private area of the property’s beachfront. 24/7 villa host service is on hand to assist with arranging group activities from a sunset cruise to tennis lessons, assist with dinner reservations, and share local insight into island experiences.
How To Get There
The trip is made even easier this winter with American Airlines launching a new direct route from Miami to Anguilla on December 11, 2021. This will be the only direct flight from a U.S. destination to the island. There are also flights from major U.S. cities into Anguilla with connection through San Juan. Travelers can also fly into St. Martin and take a 25-minute boat ride to Anguilla. Those arriving via private jet can also fly directly into Anguilla’s Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport (AXA).
Entry Requirements: Visitors to Anguilla who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, must be fully vaccinated (last dose or only dose 21 days prior to arrival) to be granted entry to Anguilla. Visitors must also fill out an application form prior to scheduled travel, including the desired time frame of stay, proof of health insurance, and a negative PCR test within three to five days before arrival. Upon arrival in Anguilla, a PCR test will be administered, and travelers will be asked to remain within the resort until receipt of the negative test result (results are usually received within 6 to 12 hours of testing). Once guests have received the negative rt-PCR test result, they can leave the resort and explore the island at will. There is a cost of $200 per person to cover the testing fees. For more information, please visit https://escape.ivisitanguilla.com/.