September 26th, 2022
…and other reasons to book a trip to the UK right now
This morning every news outlet was splashing out the fact that the Great British Pound is at a record low against the US Dollar. Not long ago, the pound was generally hovering around two USD, but today it $1.07 USD to GBP. Even though the UK is always popular (consistently in the top 10 of popular destinations for luxury travelers, as tracked by Virtuoso, the leading global network specializing in luxury and experiential travel), here are some suggestions of where and why to head across the pond!
London is so lovely in the fall, and without Thanksgiving, their holiday décor and celebration tends to start a bit earlier.
Frieze London is October 12-16 and will bring together over 280 galleries from 42 countries, with specially curated sections celebrating the city’s creative spirit. The Frieze at The Bloomsbury package includes accommodation for 2 people, full English breakfast for two, and two tickets to FRIEZE London.
City & Country with Belmond
Experience both the bustle of London and the serenity of Oxfordshire, starting with two nights at The Cadogan, a stylish retreat in the heart of Chelsea. The hotel has a rich history and is perfectly positioned for some luxury shopping, visiting museums and nights at the theatre. Then journey to Oxfordshire in style and experience the rural beauty of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, a honey-hued manor nestled in lush gardens (and home to Raymond Blanc’s two Michelin-starred restaurant).
o Guests at The Cadogan also have exclusive access to Gladwell & Patterson, a family-run art gallery in stylish Knightsbridge. Full of fine oil paintings, watercolors and sculptures by leading artists, it’s an oasis of calm and culture dating back to 1752 (and was frequently visited by Vincent Van Gogh).
Stay in a sculpture
The Beaumont’s ROOM is both a sculpture by artist Antony Gormley and a bookable suite. The bedroom occupies the interior of a giant, semi-abstract sculpture that dominates the entrance of the hotel. The mysterious, cave-like space encourages guests to withdraw for a meditative pause and good night’s sleep.
o With the Stay and Dine offer, guests can book an overnight stay at The Beaumont and treat themselves to a Colony Grill Room lunch or dinner for two from £865 (Per room, per night, including Full English Breakfast, three-course lunch or dinner in The Colony and taxes – this rate is for a regular room, not the ROOM sculpture).
Around the World in 80 Days
The Kensington hotel just introduced a the ‘80 Days Around The World’ Afternoon Tea experience, the first in a series of adventurous seasonal teas at the hotel, drawing inspiration from the worldly travels of Phileas Fogg – the protagonist in Jules Verne’s 1872 novel “Around the World in Eighty Days.” This new tea celebrates his journey through a menu of savory amuse-bouche, sandwiches, desserts and scones. Available from September 26 (and with gluten-free and vegan options) the first leg of the journey will whisk guests to cities across Europe and into the Middle East. The menu starts in London, represented by a classic beef pie with a puff pastry top, travels onward to mainland Europe with a Parmesan Gougere filled with tomato cream, then onto Ta’ameya (falafel) with tahini oil – a Cairo streetfood classic. Traditional sandwiches follow, with a menu comprising London’s much-loved lemon and chive cream cheese with smoked salmon, Parisian mustard mayo with ham and pickled gherkin, Italian sundried tomatoes with green pesto and mozzarella and Egyptian cumin houmous with caramelised onions sandwiches. Fresh fruit, plain scones served with seasonal homemade jams, and clotted cream will also be on offer. Continuing to take guests on a journey across the globe, highlight desserts include Banoffee Pie, French Opera Mont Blanc, Italian Tiramisu and Egyptian Raspberry, Rose and Pistachio Twirl dessert.
The Fife Arms in Braemar, 15-minute drive from Balmoral Castle, is excited to announce the inaugural Braemar Literary Festival (October 7-9) that will bring together locals, hotel guests and literary lovers alike. The festival is being held in collaboration with The Royal Reading Room. Inspired by the reading list of Her Majesty The Queen Consort, the digital hub launched in 2021 to connect communities around the world to celebrate all forms of literature. Braemar Literary Festival is co-curated by actor and broadcaster Genevieve Gaunt, who has penned book reviews for The Spectator, the oldest surviving weekly magazine in the world. Additional supporters of the event include the British food writer and critic Tom Parker Bowles, St. Margaret’s performance, arts and heritage venue in Braemar, and local cultural partners. The two-day event will explore the creative use of words and text in their broadest sense, celebrating the works of bestselling authors alongside visual artists, spoken word performers, singer-songwriters, scriptwriters, critics and publishers alike, reflecting the many ways in which the ’literary’ creatively enhances our lives. Highlights from the weekend will include: a three-course dinner by Michelin-starred Angela Hartnett who was awarded an OBE (most excellent order of the British empire) for her services to hospitality and to the NHS (National Health Service) during the pandemic; as well as intimate conversations with Dave Broom, a Scottish whiskey expert and writer; Vicki Perrin, director of the Royal Reading Room; Dr. Frank Tallis, a writer and clinical psychologist; and Sam Leith, literary director of The Spectator.
September 22nd, 2022
September 22, 2022 – Two of the world’s leaders in ocean exploration have joined forces to push the boundaries of underwater conservation and research and embark on critical citizen science missions to the farthest reaches of the planet. EYOS, the authority in private superyacht expeditions, has partnered with Ocean Conservation Exploration and Education Foundation (OCEEF), a 501(c)(3) organization to educate the world about the ocean through immersive, data-collecting missions aboard OCEEF’s five-star research yacht, RV Odyssey. The advanced vessel will circumnavigate the world with missions in Antarctica, the Chagos Archipelago, the Galapagos and other remote destinations, where they will explore aquatic ecosystems teeming with biodiversity alongside top scientists, explorers, students, and educators.
Committed to field research and scientific inquiry, EYOS and OCEEF share a mission to leverage exploration as a way of driving greater awareness about the Earth’s oceans. EYOS Founding Partner Rob McCallum says, “Working with OCEEF in this way is a natural complement to EYOS’ last few years leading and managing the Five Deeps and Ring of Fire expeditions that dove the Challenger Deep and previously unseen deepsea environments. Odyssey represents the new frontier of expedition travel, mixing cutting edge science, with adventure travel and expedition cruising. The opportunity and potential for further discovery with this vessel’s program is immense, and it will be tremendously exciting for all those fortunate enough to be onboard.”
EYOS founders Rob McCallum & Tim Soper have been at the forefront of deep ocean exploration and combining science with private travel for decades, and the company holds several world records and has been instrumental in numerous scientific discoveries. On the exclusive missions aboard the RV Odyssey, EYOS will provide logistical support and expedition leadership, empowering guests to fully take part in this most innovative opportunity in superyacht travel.
Alex Moukas, Founder of OCEEF, adds, “We are very excited to be partnering with EYOS in such a meaningful way. OCEEF’s goal is to provide world-class scientists free access to the vessel and help them design impactful missions. EYOS can help match the scientists and locations with Ocean and Expedition enthusiasts that make these incredible missions possible. We are looking forward to continuing to bring passionate citizen scientists unmatched experiences on and below the world’s oceans.”
RV Odyssey (formerly the MV Alucia) is also a pioneer in underwater exploration in its own right. She launched the French submersible Nautile on the first dives on the Titanic in 1987; participated in the successful search for the black box of Air France flight 447; supported the first filming of the giant squid in the wild with former owner OceanX; and hosted David Attenborough among other luminaries in science and conservation. EYOS founders McCallum and Soper were instrumental in her design and build during the vessel’s four-year conversion from RV Nadir to MV Alucia. McCallum says, “When her conversion was complete in 2011, she was the world’s first hybrid ship outfitted with multiple submersibles, hangared helicopters, world class SCUBA facilities, ocean mapping, and multiple science laboratories. She was one of the most capable expedition yachts afloat– and her current mission with OCEEF is exactly what we had in mind for her all those years ago.” Today, she can accommodate a helicopter, and is equipped with two Triton submersibles, one of which can dive to a depth of 7,500 feet.
Through cutting-edge technology like gamified ocean-learning experiences, OCEEF’s RV Odyssey will engage with millions of children and young adults as it circumnavigates the globe. Empowering the next generation of ocean explorers and conservationists, students will join scientists in an immersive undersea experience as they discover new species, learn the importance of ocean conservation, and share their findings in real time with participants around the world.
Over the next year, the RV Odyssey will embark on a series of first-of-its-kind missions, offering an exclusive 360-degree adventure that will help drive education and a better understanding of our oceans. These immersive adventures include studying mesophotic coral reef ecosystems in the Chagos Archipelago, seeking the killer whales that attack great white sharks off the coast of Cape Town, documenting hydrothermal vents on Antarctica’s Deception Island, participating in threatened species recovery studies in the Galapagos, and journeying around the Mediterranean—from Sardinia and Sicily to Crete and Santorini—and discover ancient Roman and Greek triremes (triple-decker warships).
OCEEF invites travelers to support its missions in Antarctica this winter season by traveling aboard RV Odyssey for the most exclusive experience possible – a firsthand look at the very research participants are helping support. With a tax-deductible donation of $150,000, donors and their friends or family members can be invited onboard the RV Odyssey and join the crew of scientists, expedition leaders, and students to experience life onboard.
As RV Odyssey is classified as a research vessel, in cooperation with researchers on-board and local communities, OCEEF is able to get Special Research Permits and conduct operations in unique locations that are typically closed to all other visitors.
100% of the proceeds go to supporting the research and educational mission of OCEEF– whether searching for the Colossal Squid in the deepest parts of the Antarctic or analyzing hydrothermal vents on Antarctica’s most active volcano. In addition, OCEEF supports ongoing scientific studies and scholarships for local communities and students – ensuring a long-lasting impact on the future of ocean conservation.
For more information on OCEEF or to make a donation, please visit https://www.oceef.org/.
Founded in 2008, EYOS is the world leader in private superyacht expeditions charters. Specializing in bespoke itineraries that take travelers to the most remote and culturally rich parts of the world, EYOS operates across all seven continents. They hold several world records and world ‘firsts,’ such as the furthest south that any vessel has ever reached in history, and the first commercial expedition to the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the ocean. In 2019, EYOS pioneered the first ever “single cabin” departures allowing travelers to book individual cabins on a superyacht. All journeys are guided by a team of experts with decades of experience.
About Ocean Conservation Exploration and Education Foundation (OCEEF)
OCEEF aim to help shape a world where people appreciate the importance of the Ocean and take action to protect it and ensure its sustainability. The Foundation is taking one of the most capable Oceanographic vessels around the world to educate the world about the Ocean and help develop practical ways to save it by educating a new generation of ocean stewards. OCEEF leverages technology to change hearts, transform minds, and advance awareness about ocean conservation and research.
September 15th, 2022
After a two-and-a-half-year closure
Nayara Resorts will finally open Nayara Hangaroa on September 15! The hotel joined the Nayara portfolio during its two-year Covid closure so this will be the first time it is open and operating as Nayara Hangaroa.
Due to its extremely remote locale, Easter Island has been incredibly strict throughout Covid to protect its population. The island officially reopened in August and is ready to welcome visitors. There are currently three flights per week from mainland Chile and LATAM is planning to add more starting in January 2023.
Nayara Hangaroa is the perfect home base to explore the island – from guided tours to Ahu Tongariki for the best photo opps on the island (with the 15 moai making up an iconic view) to solo ATVing discovering secret caves and remote beaches to catching the sunrise over the moai before checking out and heading to the airport. Guests who book the combination of both Nayara Hangaroa and Nayara Alto Atacama (in Chile’s Atacama Desert) get a 15% discount.
What’s happening on the island?
The Tapati Festival is the biggest party of the year on Easter Island and is tentatively planned for February 1 to 15, 2023. The festival began in the 1970s as a way of maintaining and promoting the Rapa Nui culture among the islanders, particularly fostering a sense of identity among the children. The festival comprises dancing and singing competitions, sporting events like swimming, canoeing, and horse racing, and crowning a Queen of the Tapati for that year. One highlight is the Haka Pei competition which involves sliding down the island’s steepest slope on banana trunks.
More about Nayara Hangaroa…
Guests at the 75-room property are immersed in the culture of the island and have at their fingertips unforgettable experiences like sunset over the moai in Tahai and hiking Ara O Te Ao, one of the oldest paths on the island leading to a massive crater. The hotel is in a prime location just a five-minute walk from the town of Rapa Nui, allowing travelers seamless connection with the local community.
The design of Nayara Hangaroa was inspired by the history of the island, particularly the ancient Orongo stone village. This is central to the Rapa Nui culture and history and is where the birdman cult took place and where the ancient Rapa Nui chose their next king. The architecture blends in with the environment through its grass roofs and colors and textures of the island. Standout designs include the reception area modeled after the old houses that were made with boats, the wooden pillars seen throughout the hotel made of cypresses brought from the south of Chile, and the handcrafted items in the rooms such as the one-piece clay bathtubs made in large ovens and the hand-carved vanities.
Food & Beverage
The two restaurants on property – Poerava and Kaloa – and Vaikoa, the pool bar, all offer recipes using locally caught fish seasoned with Polynesian spices, with the ceviche being particularly popular.
- Poevara is the main dining experience with an airy inside and a large outdoor terrace with ocean views.
- Kaloa is a minimalist lounge with large banquette seating, comfortable pillows, and sunset views. Popular with guests and locals for creative cocktails and the freshest local seafood.
- Vaikoa is the main bar by the pool specializing in cold dishes and refreshing drinks.
The 75 rooms are the most spacious on the island and have been designed by Chilean interior designer Paula Gutiérrez showcasing locally made handicrafts and made to exude the magical energy of the island. The design team eschewed sharp angles and opted for mostly rounded edges – recommended for a better night’s rest. The rooms prioritize natural light and natural materials such as cypress logs lining the ceilings, clay soaking tubs, and volcanic stones framing the bed and bathroom. To intensify the sense of disconnection and the wonder of Rapa Nui, the rooms intentionally lack televisions.
Embracing Polynesian culture, Spa Manavai seeks to heal the body and spirit. The enriching therapies, massages, and treatments are all based on natural products from the island aimed at creating a deep relaxation, enriching the soul, mind and body.
Being a guest at Nayara Hangaroa means taking in the island and immersion into its wonder and ancient history, especially, but not limited to, the awe-inspiring moai dotting the island. The majority of the hotel’s guides are local Rapa Nui people who are well versed in the history and culture of the island.
- Visit Ahu Tongariki for the best photo opps on the island and to see the 15 moai that make up one of the island’s most iconic views.
- One of the oldest paths on the island, Ara O Te Ao, leads to the Rano Kau lookout point, the island’s largest crater, and onto Orongo, the ancient ceremonial village.
- See the moai at Ahu Akivi – the only moai on the island that look out across the sea (all the others have their backs to the ocean).
- Get the full spectrum by catching the sunrise at Tongariki and the sunset at Tahai.
- Experience the sea by sailing between the three islets in front of the Rano Kau cliff, known locally as the Motu Nui and known for its concentration of marine birdlife.
- Traverse the island on bikes or ATVs stopping at historic caves, empty beaches, and taking in the coastline.
- End a visit by watching the sunrise over the moai before checking out and heading to the airport.
Rates start at $678 per person per night, all inclusive.
Images Courtesy of Nayara Resorts: https://we.tl/t-BSmxMur9Da
To visit Easter Island, you can see the full requirements here, which include:
- A negative PCR test result taken 24 hours before boarding. (An antigen test from a health center will be allowed in minors under 6 years old.)
- Mobility Pass (certificate of vaccination and identity document for foreigners)
- Single Entry Form (FUI)
- Round-trip ticket
- Reservation at a tourist service registered in SERNATUR or invitation letter from the Provincial Delegation.
- 7-day health follow-up
- * Along with these requirements, passengers flying from abroad shall be tested with a mandatory antigen test upon their arrival on Rapa Nui/Easter Island
About Nayara Resorts
In addition to the three properties in Arenal Volcano National Park, Nayara Resorts has also expanded to Chile’s Atacama Desert and Easter Island, and most recently to Panama’s Bocas Del Toro. All properties share spectacular natural settings, immersive guest experiences, five-star service, and a commitment to sustainability and community impact. Nayara Resorts is the vision of Colombian hotelier Leo Ghitis, who sought to bring international standards of hospitality and excellence to Central and South America.
September 14th, 2022
London was one of summer 2022’s top travel destinations, capturing 22 percent of European bookings by some measures. Now, the city is preparing for an action-packed fall. This October promises an impressive lineup of can’t-miss cultural and sporting events, giving travelers the perfect excuse to visit when the temperatures are crisp, the leaves are changing color, and the crowds have thinned out.
The expert concierge at The Beaumont, a landmark-listed boutique jewel overlooking the quiet Brown Hart Gardens in Mayfair, has helped narrow down their favorites of the season. And the recently-renovated property has also announced two new offers: a blind-folded wine tasting at The Colony Grill Room and a Spa Break package.
The Beaumont Picks:
Start with Eureka Day, the European premiere of playwright Jonathan Spector’s 2018 drama starring Helen Hunt. The satirical play is about a mumps outbreak at a school in California, and the frenzy that ensues as parents squabble over mandatory vaccination. Timely, smart, and laugh-out-loud funny, it’s been described as “wince-inducing” satire that’s sure to get people talking. Runs at the Old Vic theater through October 31.
This fall, the first major British exhibition of the great American Realist painter Winslow Homer will be on view at the National Gallery. The “Force of Nature” exhibition will bring together more than 50 paintings, covering over 40 years of Homer’s career, spanning the American Civil War and the artist’s stints in France, England, the Bahamas, Cuba, and Bermuda. Visitors can expect sketches of battle and camp life, turbulent seascapes, and works that reflect Homer’s interest in the pressing issues of his time: conflict, race, and the relationship between humans and their environment. On view through January 8, 2023.
Finally, America’s National Football League is due to return to London this October, with three must-see games. On October 2, the Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints will open the series, followed by a game between the New York Giants and the Green Bay Packers (their first London appearance!) on October 9. Both games will take place at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. This year’s series will conclude at Wembley Stadium, with the Denver Broncos playing the Jacksonville Jaguars on October 30.
News from The Beaumont:
Be sure to check out the hotel’s newest services and amenities—including a blind-folded wine tasting at The Colony Grill Room. Sommeliers Giorgio Scavarelli and Antonio Verrando will take guests on a fun-filled exploratory wine journey, with the aim of introducing them to new and perhaps unfamiliar grape types and wine styles. For €50 per person, the sommeliers will pour four wines that will correspond to the selection of dishes ordered. Guess the wines served (name and vintage), the wine flight is free! Insider’s tip: Scavarelli is a native of Piedmont, so you might want to level up on your Nebbiolos and Barberas before the experience!
The Beaumont has also introduced a Spa Break package, which is available every day of the week, for one or two guests who are staying at the hotel for a single night. It includes a 90-minute spa treatment (choose from massages and facials), plus a glass of Gusbourne in the Gatsby’s Room, and the daily ‘Beaumont Baker’s Basket’ breakfast, among other inclusions. From €949 for a Classic Room.
September 14th, 2022
Gifts for the Traveler on Your List
The best travel gifts are steeped in place, evoking far-away places and once-in-a-lifetime adventures. And when said objects are crafted by expert craftspeople using the highest-quality local materials, the humble travel gift is elevated to a treasured possession. For those shopping for the traveler on their list, here are a handful of swoon-worthy gifts—from a hand-crafted globe depicting the Scottish night sky to a coffee table book sure to whisk you away to Italy’s most glamorous locales.
For the One-of-a-Kind Piece Seeker: New Artisan-Made Festive Gifts from the Scottish Highlands
The skies above Braemar, which is situated in the Cairngorms National Park, constitute the most northerly International Dark Sky Park. The exceptional darkness of the night is what attracts avid stargazers to the area. And now that this limited-edition black porcelain globe ($1,414) has been exclusively created for the Fife Arms, constellation-lovers all over the world can glimpse the star-spangled sky as seen from above the hotel. Marked by needlepoint and hand-painted, each globe is an heirloom piece set in an emerald-green nappa and oak pocket case on an oak stand.
Many artists and artisans call the Scottish town of Braemar home. Several of the village’s top makers have even collaborated on the gifts stocked at the Fife Arm’s gift shop— including adorable egg cosies ($36) crafted by two members of the knitting collective Deeside Knitwits. Like little hats for your ouefs, these hand-knitted fabrics are done in an assortment of colors (inspired by the Fife Arm’s house tartan!) and topped with charming mountain hares, which are found in the surrounding Cairngorms National Park. It’s the surest way to brighten any breakfast table!
For the Italy-Lover on Your List: A Coffee Table Book Inspired by La Dolce Vita
If the gift is for the friend or family member who’s always dreaming of an Italian getaway, look no further than Villeggiatura: Italian Summer Vacation ($95), an exquisite coffee table book from Assouline and luxury hospitality brand Belmond. With vivid imagery and evocative descriptions by former Vogue Italia editor Cesare Cunaccia, the book will take readers on a journey to Belmond’s collection of heritage hotels: Capriani in Venice, Splendido and Splendido Mare in Portofino, Villa San Michele in Florence, Castello di Casole in Tuscany, Caruso in Ravello, and Grand Hotel Timeo and Villa Sant’Andrea in Taormina, Sicily. Trust us on this one: you’ll want a copy for your own library.
For the Globe-Trotter Who’s Always Recovering from Jetlag: Plush Boutique Hotel Bedding
White Elephant Resorts is a collection of premier hotels and resorts in Nantucket, MA and in Palm Beach, FL, with an online shop inviting guests to bring a piece of the coastal escape home with them. One of their best-selling items: the uber-plush 100% Egyptian cotton bedding ($225) from Italy’s family-owned Rivolta Carmignani textile brand. Guests have been known to stock up after their stays, crediting the soft pillows and sumptuous duvet covers for their peaceful Zzzs. The set also comes with a decorative throw pillow with an elephant motif! For younger travelers, consider an adorable pajama set ($65)—a collaboration between CJW and White Elephant Hotel—featuring ice cream cones and lobster rolls, and made from a super-lightweight bamboo and cotton fabric.
For the Entertainer: Cocktail Glasses from Some of Our Favorite London Hotels
Nothing says the holidays like festive tableware. If the gift is for a friend who loves to entertain, we’ve got the perfect gift: this chic set of Art Deco-inspired coupe cocktail glasses ($49) from The Doyle Collection. Hand-painted with a gold rim and featuring a long, elegant stem, it’s an easy way to bring a dash of glamor to any holiday festivity.
For the Wellness Traveler with an Eye for Design: Decorative Accents from The Hampton’s Original Wellness Retreat
Beautiful objects go a long way in promoting a sense of balance and harmony. Give the gift of wabi sabi design by splurging on these beautiful ceramics (from $30-$100) made exclusively for Shou Sugi Ban House by New York-based ceramicist Stephanie Charlene. The collection includes three sizes of bowls, side and dinner plates, and tumblers—all made from a groggy white stoneware and finished with a sandy white glaze. To bring wellness on the road, consider the property’s signature Edge of the Woods candle ($88), hand-poured with soy and vegetable wax and naturally scented with notes of lemongrass, rosemary, thyme, pine, and ylang ylang. It’s the easiest way to channel Zen, no matter where in the world you are.
For the Fashion Set: Sustainable Shades from Brazil’s Coolest Beach Town
When Wilbert Das, former Creative Director of fashion label Diesel, opened his eco-chic retreat, UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa, he put the remote Brazilian fishing village of Trancoso on the map. Now, it’s a favorite destination of celebrities, fashion editors, and world-renowned surfers. Channel the destination’s cool factor by purchasing a pair of limited-edition sunglasses ($375), crafted in Trancoso by UXUA artist-in-residence, Mark Inglis, and featuring durable, protective lenses by German supplier Zeis. The sunnies are made of three different varieties of reclaimed wood and sustainably-sourced buffalo bone—making it easy to look and feel good on the fly.
September 14th, 2022
Green cuisine is sweeping the hotel industry. With properties upping their veggie-forward options and introducing meat-free variations on classic dishes, there’s never been a better time to travel as a vegan, vegetarian, or generally health and environmentally conscious traveler. By embracing plant-forward menus, hotels are appealing to a broader set of travelers and winning over a younger generation of environmentally aware travelers.
When it comes to green cuisine, innovation abounds. At Shou Sugi Ban House, the Hamptons’ first wellness resort, world-renowned chefs Mads Refslund of Noma fame designed a menu that uses a variety of techniques like fermentation, juicing, and en papillote to transform organic foods that are plucked from the hotel’s biodynamic gardens and local farms. Fresh, briny oysters might come from West Robins, a sustainable shellfish operation in Southampton, while the nearby Bhumi Farms might provide sugar snaps, heirloom tomatoes, and mini cucumbers.
At Oxfordshire’s Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, a Belmond Hotel, cooking vegetables is elevated to high art. At the hotel’s signature restaurant—which earned two Michelin stars during its first year and has held them ever since—French chef Raymond Blanc OBE creates stunning dishes that highlight only the finest and freshest ingredients, sourced from his two-acre vegetable garden. Among the 90+ plants that are grown include 20+ species of mushrooms, every French and English herb imaginable, plus an apple and pear orchard and more than 70 varieties. Guests can broaden their botanical knowledge by joining half- and full-day classes at the gardening school. Or they can enroll in the Raymond Blanc Cookery School to learn how to transform the seasonal bounty into multi-course meals.
In the Maldives, Gili Lankfansuhi has made a name as being one of the most sustainable and eco-friendly resorts in the archipelago. Executive chef Hari Govindaraj is passionate about plant-forward cuisine and has introduced a comprehensive veggie-centric menu that transforms locally-grown ingredients into colorful, creative dishes with a sense of place—think: Maldivian vegetable curry with coconut sauce, served with chapatti and poppadum; a beach lettuce salad with pomegranate and mint; and a steamed banana cake with fresh fruits and lemongrass sorbet. Chef Hari’s goal is to create 2,000 new plant-based recipes over the next two years (he’s currently at 600!). Guests can enjoy a plant-based tasting menu in the property’s garden, take part in a private vegan cooking class, or opt for the “Powered by Plants” package. The exclusive experience includes plant-based menus (signature dishes include aloe vera and beetroot tartare, or seared radish and spinach cannelloni), yoga classes, sustainability initiatives like the Coral Lines Project, and vegan treatments at the spa. What’s more, 100% of the resort’s food waste is processed in an advanced rocket composter, producing natural fertilizer for the hotel’s garden.
London might be better known for its bangers and mash than its vegetarian fare, but at L’Oscar, travelers can get their greens without sacrificing any flavor—or culinary prowess! The property’s vegan menu is a celebration of the freshest produce and the city’s crossroads cultures. Enjoy a chickpea velouté with French vierge sauce and seaweed oil to start, followed by an Acquerello risotto with saffron. Sides might include pak choi with shichimi or marinated Japanese aubergine with soy sauce and jalapeno peppers. And don’t miss dessert, especially the pineapple carpaccio with vegan crumble, Madagascar vanilla, and coconut sorbet.
September 13th, 2022
Paradero Launches Paradero Sea of Cortez,
A Luxury Multi-Night Sailing, Adventure & Culinary Experience
Since launching in February 2021, Paradero is the first experience-inclusive brand in North America, offering experiences that deeply connect guests with nature, wellness, adventure, and local culture. Paradero’s inaugural property is in the magical land of Todos Santos – Pescadero –home to several landscapes, microclimates, and cultures. The hotel and landscaping project is inextricably tied to its surroundings, which span five different ecosystems, including the historic privileged farming community of La Mesa.
One of the most undiscovered coastlines in the world is now a lot more accessible with the launch of “Paradero Sea of Cortez,” two exclusive-use catamaran itineraries along the Gulf of California. Sea of Cortez is the very area where French oceanographer, marine conservationist, and filmmaker Jacques Cousteau dubbed it the “Aquarium of the World” after exploring it in the 1960s. Guests join the custom-built vessel at a marina that is just an hour’s drive from Paradero Todos Santos. From there they set sail to discover stunning virgin beaches, uninhabited islands, secret snorkeling spots, and vibrant off-the-beaten-path coastal locales.
A variety of destinations are within reach—from Isla Partida and Isla Ballena to La Paz. Of special note is Espiritu Santo Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site with red volcanic rock formations, vibrant reefs in tranquil waters, sea turtles, stingrays, blue whales, orcas, grey whales and 98 species of birds. Other highlights include a snorkel through sea caves at the Caleta Partida, a beach set-up on the velvety shores of the crescent-shaped Playa Bonanza, and a hike along the scenic Cascada Seca trek at Playa Candelero. Along the way, paddle-boarding and kayaking opportunities abound. And when guests stay overnight, they will experience incredible sunrises and sunsets, and once-in-a-lifetime stargazing with a full view of the Milky Way.
As part of Paradero’s DNA, culinary elements are equally important. Adventurers will sample the brand’s award-winning culinary offerings like fresh sashimi with right-out-of-the-water Chocolata clams, sea urchin and scallops.
The gleaming, all-white vessel was built in Vendée, France, by Lagoon Catamarans, the world’s leader in sailing catamaran cruisers. It was constructed over a 15-month period, during which Paradero advised on design and materials. In keeping with the brand’s emphasis on sustainability, 30 percent of the resin used in the hull is crafted from recycled fibers, and the interior wood is sourced from FSC-certified forests. All fabrics in the saloon and cockpit are also made from recycled materials.
The sailboat features four cabins (each with an en-suite bathroom and separate shower) and nearly 500-square-feet of living space, including plush outdoor seating and over-water net beds on which guests can relax as the boat carves through the sea. Fully serviced with a captain, crew, and private chef, bartender, and a senior experience guide, “Paradero Sea of Cortez” is the ultimate luxury sailing experience in one of the most underrated destinations on earth.
The Full-Day Sailing Experience (from $4,480) has capacity for up to 10 passengers and includes 7-8 hours of sailing, while the Paradero Baja Getaway (from $8,320) is a two-night, three-day journey with room for up to 8 guests. Both options include full-service, dining and an open bar, and round-trip transportation between Paradero Todos Santos and the marina. “Paradero Sea of Cortez” is only available for Paradero Todos Santos guests and it is not available for a standalone catamaran reservation at this time.
September 6th, 2022
Since its founding in 2008, UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa—the first Brazilian hotel accepted as a signatory to the UN Global Compact— has been a beacon of change in the Bahian town of Trancoso. Among its most impactful achievements include the creation of the Organic Festival Trancoso, an annual event dedicated to raising awareness about the benefits of organic food and its positive impact on the environment and community.
This year’s event—the third-ever Organic Festival Trancoso, running October 6-9, 2022—will bring together leading chefs, organic producers, brands, and thousands of tourists from all over Brazil, in an effort to engage the community and visitors in a dialogue about sustainability and agriculture.
The program will include classes, lectures, lunches, and dinners with special guests including Roberta Sudbrack (crowned Latin America’s Best Female Chef in 2015), Morena Leite (Capim Santo, São Paulo), TV personality and chef Danielle Dahoui (Ruella, São Paulo), and Gabriela Barreto (Futuro Refeitório, São Paulo), Guilherme Gerard (UXUA Quadrado, Trancoso) among many others. The action will largely take place in the town’s historic square, next to the São João Batista church, and the new community garden at non-profit Associação Despertar Trancoso.
The three-day event kicks off with free classes, a grilled meat experience hosted by chef Roberta Sudbrack, and a dinner with chef Sandra Marques (Capim Santo, Trancoso), Morena Leite, and famed Bahian chef Dadá at the Capim Santo restaurant. On the 8th, the all-star chefs and organic supplies will unite for a big picnic in the Historic Square — a hallmark of the Organic Festival Trancoso—where signature dishes will be served for just 20 reais ($4) for the entire community. The festival will end with a luau hosted by chef Thiago Madeiros at UXUA Praia Bar and a free concert by Brazilian singer Alice Caymmi.
The event is made possible through the support of the NGO Conservation International Brazil, plus sponsorships by Cãna Cachaça, Simple Organic Cosmetics, Amma Chocolate, Vivente Wines, and Pacco bottles. Several other hotels in addition to the UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa have also pledged their support, including Capim Santo Trancoso, Pousada Tutabel, and Casa de Perainda, as well as a handful of restaurants that participate by incorporating organic ingredients from local producers on their menus.
Images Courtesy of UXUA: https://we.tl/t-ipkLlnEXmP
About UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa
When Wilbert Das, former Creative Director of fashion label Diesel, opened his eco-chic retreat, UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa, he put the remote Brazilian fishing village of Trancoso on the map. Built by local artisans over a two-year period using traditional building methods and reclaimed materials (nothing is sourced beyond a five-mile radius of Trancoso), the boutique hotel is very much a product of its environment, situated on the historic main square of the village. Sustainability and wellness are a focus: at VIDA Lab, the on-site nutritional laboratory and medical kitchen, medical director Dr. Jullian Hamamoto transforms local plants and botanicals—from the on-site garden, the nearby Itapororoca beach, and the 50-acre UXUA ROÇA farm—into healing elixirs and beautifying therapies. Guests can go foraging with Dr. Jullian to learn about the significance of these ingredients, and the wellness philosophy of UXUA, informed by traditions of Brazil’s Indigenous Pataxó people.
Did you know? UXUA’s influence goes beyond the hotel’s walls: when UXUA first opened, the tradition of capoeira was practiced by few in Trancoso. Today, the sport is thriving in the region, thanks to the hotel’s generous support of Capoeira Sul da Bahia, a school dedicated to the preservation and study of the centuries-old martial arts-inspired dance form.
Watch this space: Conservation International Brazil and its Deliberative Board member Bob Shevlin, an UXUA co-founder, have recently recruited tourism industry and non-profit partners to launch FUTURI, a regional alliance developing regenerative tourism models. More at www.futuribrasil.com and insta #futuribrasil