Where to go now that the U.S. has lifted its Covid Testing Requirements

June 13th, 2022

According to a recent poll by luxury travel agency network Virtuoso, 84% of consumer respondents are more likely to travel internationally now that the U.S.’s Covid-19 testing requirement has been lifted. (Let us know if you’d like more intel from Virtuoso!)  Here are some international travel ideas.

 

Europe

Why? The euro is at its lowest against the dollar (currently at $1.04 to €1).

  • Ireland

o   Fly to Shannon for a quick trip to Dromoland Castle for a weekend of golf, falconry, and even surfing (nearby Lahinch is known for luring surfers all summer) – golfers can play their 18-hole course before the ladies of the Women’s Irish Open in September.

o   Fly to Dublin for a weekend at The Westbury with visits to the Guinness store house, listening to music outside of a pub, and strolling through the Georgian neighborhoods.

  • Greece

o   The cobalt blue sky against the whites of Kalesma Mykonos are an Aegean summer personified. Faithful to its Greek roots and local traditions, the hotel has unveiled the artistic re-interpretation of the small church of Agios Dimitrios on property. Curated by graphic designer and illustrator Gerasimos Chatzis, the murals on the walls reference he friezes of ancient temples with their main body narrating the Passions of Holy Week. A bespoke soundtrack was also created mixing sounds of water and air with European orchestra instruments and voices of a choir.

o   With the new xenodocheio Milos in Athens, celebrated Greek chef Costas Spiliadis of the estiatorio Milos empire is returning to his roots – while marking a new chapter in the evolution of the Milos brand. Straddling the historic area of the Plaka and the trendy Kolonaki district puts it in prime location for exploring old and new.

  • France

o   Nestled within a Mediterranean jardin overlooking the Cote d’Azur is the cliffside retreat, La Réserve Ramatuelle opened for the season in May following last summer’s refurbishment courtesy of Jacques Garcia. This comes just in time for all business-class airline La Compagnie’s new seasonal route from Newark to Nice (which launched in May).

  • Spain

o   Just off Passeig de Gracia, Almanac Barcelona recently launched VIRENS, a new vegetable-forward restaurant helmed by Michelin-starred chef Rodrigo de la Calle of Madrid’s acclaimed El Invernadero. Guests can expect dishes that spotlight seasonal ingredients like fried artichoke hearts with liliaceae cream and white asparagus with black garlic demi-glaze and capers.

  • Italy

o   Belmond has partnered with internationally acclaimed art gallery Galleria Continua to host a series of large-scale artworks in its landmarked gardens across Italy. Indian artist Subodh Gupta kicked off the partnership with his large-scale “Cooking the World” installation in Cipriani’s Casanova gardens on April 23. In May, the final three major installations were revealed: Argentinian artist Leandro Erlich’s “Window & Ladder” at Florence’s Villa San Michele; Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto’s “Accarezzare Gli Alberi” (L’Etrusco) at Castello di Casole in Tuscany; and a garden installation by Cameroonian artist Pascal Marthine Tayou in Sicily’s Grand Hotel Timeo. The works will be on display until the properties’ seasonal closures in November.

o   The new Dior pop-up spa is available at Splendido, A Belmond Hotel, Portofino from June 1-September 30, 2022. The hotel’s serene gardens overlooking the Portofino Bay will be the setting for two Dior spa gazebos, offering the brand’s signature skincare treatments, including a new Dior Bronze Signature Massage, which focuses on boosting radiance and glow while also repairing the skin from the effects of the Italian sunshine.

 

UK

Why? The Great British Pound is also at its lowest against the dollar since Covid began (currently at $1.22 to £1, compared to $1.41 to £1 last June) and JetBlue announced a July 19 launch of direct flights between Boston and London.

  • The Dalloway Terrace at The Bloomsbury is awash in colorful flowers with a partnership with The Botanist Gin. Guests can sip summery tipples like the Dalloway Collins, a cocktail comprised of The Botanist Islay Dry Gin, earl grey syrup, lemon juice, mandarin foam and LE soda water.
  • On July 15, The British Pullman, A Belmond Train, will journey roundtrip from London Victoria Station through the English countryside while guests indulge in the seasonal five-course tasting menu by Simon Rogan, owner of the Michelin-starred UMBEL restaurant group and a pioneer of the farm-to-fork movement. The dinner series will continue with Michel Roux Jr., two-Michelin star chef at the helm of Le Gavroche in London, in September; and Raymond Blanc, founder of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, A Belmond Hotel, Oxfordshire, in October. For a more private affair, the historic Cygnus carriage was recently completely reimagined by filmmaker Wes Anderson.

 

Japan

Why? Japan is just beginning to reopen for the first time since Covid began.

  • Park Hyatt Tokyo’s New York Bar, 52-flights above Tokyo, was immortalized in Lost in Translation. This summer, its corresponding restaurant, New York Grill, is offering Olive-fed Wagyu Beef. (The cattle are raised on an olive farm. After the olives are pressed for oil, the leftovers are fed to the cattle who then fertilize the trees (with nothing going to waste). At New York Grill, Chef Paul Gajewski serves the rich, buttery, supremely marbled meat with a its high oleic content which improves the tenderness and umami flavor.

 

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