June 27th, 2023
The summer months are the perfect time to set sail for the remote islands of East Indonesia, where the dry season (April-October) means dependable weather with guaranteed sun and no crowds. To kick off the season, Aqua Expeditions is offering 20 percent off sailings on Aqua Blu —the first ever long-range ocean explorer yacht permanently based in the region—on seven-night Indonesia itineraries from through August 26, 2023. It’s the perfect way to discover the most undiscovered tropical corners of the Komodo National Park without the challenges of organizing a private charter.
Aptly described as a floating boutique hotel, Aqua Blu has only 15 contemporary designed rooms with sea views. Guests will enjoy five-star itineraries and services during their adventure at sea, including an exclusive 1:1 crew-to-guest-ratio. Small group activities and excursions for all ages, including hikes across active volcanoes, daily scuba dives, kayaking and paddleboarding are all led by passionate naturalist guides. Innovative cuisine is designed by consulting chef Benjamin Cross, drawing on inspiration from Indonesia’s fabled spice route. Menu highlights include the 48-hour roasted beef short rib, organic Javanese prawns and freshly caught grilled fish with Balinese sambal. A new dedicated vegan menu is also now available.
Departing from Bali and Flores, the seven-night Komodo voyages will circle the three main islands and 26 islets that comprise the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Komodo National Park, home to prehistoric creatures like the famous Komodo dragon, the largest lizard species on Earth. The region is also a diver’s and snorkeler’s paradise, with 1,000 species of marine life like manta rays, sea turtles, and nearly 300 species of coral. Guests will have the rare opportunity to swim with whale sharks, which originated an estimated 60 million years ago. Clocking in at 40 feet in length, the creatures are considered the ocean’s friendly giant. On land, there will be wildlife spotting opportunities like witnessing the tens of thousands fruit bats that take flight come nightfall.
Rates for a seven-night Aqua Blu expedition cruise with applied ‘Indonesian Summer Special’ rates start at $12,740 per person, based on double occupancy. The offer is available for select category one design suites. The rate includes all meals onboard; selected house wines, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages; excursions; national party entry fee; activity equipment; and laundry.
June 27th, 2023
JUNE 2023 – Belmond, the visionary leader in luxury travel, has entered into a management agreement with Cora Pacific Development, led by entrepreneur duo Barbara Machen and Rosetta Getty, for Milaroca, A Belmond Hotel, Riviera Nayarit on the Pacific Coast of Mexico. Designed by a team of interior maestros, with curation by creative director Getty, Milaroca will be consciously and sensitively built from the ground up.
The signing of an agreement to manage Milaroca further strengthens Belmond’s commitment to Mexico, with its reach now extending to the country’s western region. Milaroca will join two other Belmond properties in Mexico – Casa de Sierra Nevada, a former convent built in 16th century located in the country’s heartland of San Miguel de Allende, and the reimagined Maroma in Riviera Maya on the Yucatan Peninsula which will reopen its doors this August following a complete renovation.
“We have the incredible opportunity to craft a legend of the future with the best partners we could have asked for,” said Roeland Vos, President & CEO of Belmond. “With utmost respect to Riviera Nayarit’s multicultural history, abundant nature and the region’s carefree spirit, Milaroca will encapsulate the essence of contemporary lifestyle, creating a destination for today’s thriving creative community – a new legendary scene where new traditions are made, and long-lived rituals are celebrated.”
Barbara Machen and Rosetta Getty said of the announcement, “Our families have been traveling together to this beautiful area of Mexico for many years. As entrepreneurs and creatives ourselves we understand the importance of the destination that inspire, and we want to share our magical experience; a place for connection, to be returned to year after year, enjoyed by family, friends and peers from around the world, a true home away from home. Milaroca will be like no other resort, and Belmond is the only hospitality brand that truly creates unique luxury experiences in this way. We could not have asked for a better partner.
Consciously Crafted Houses
Immersed in lush mountainous jungle and pearly-white beach stretching over 2 kilometers along Riviera Nayarit, Milaroca will be a new haven for creative minds. Led by Waldo’s Designs and Clements Design, the property’s aesthetic will draw inspiration from the region’s breathtaking beauty, storied native culture, and the bohemian spirit of nearby San Pancho and Sayulita villages.
Milaroca will adopt low-density and non-invasive building practices. Each of the 57 guest pavilions will be a welcoming discovery with a unique collection of contemporary custom-made furniture and crafted objects from local artisans and Mexico’s most exciting contemporary artists. Every detail will be carefully considered, with interiors maintaining an intuitive symbiosis with the outdoor spaces and surrounding jungle.
Curated Creative Community and Cultural Calendar of Celebrations
Milaroca will be a buzzing unique scene for curious minds interested in the latest movements in art, fashion and music: a progressive space for tastemakers, visionaries, and artisans to come together to exchange dialogues and ignite new ideas. Guests will connect with the cultures of the Riviera Nayarit through on- and off-site programming.
Milaroca will bring together the most interesting multi-disciplinary individuals with events, galas and global festivities, drawing inspiration from the cultures of celebrations and rituals rooted in the Cora and Huichol communities. Hosted by Milaroca’s founders, the seasonal soirees – from the New Year’s Eve celebration to the annual summer party, promise to make headlines around the world.
An Invitation to be part of the Legend: Private Villas at Milaroca
Milaroca will introduce a “by invitation-only” opportunity to own one of 27 uniquely-designed private villas serviced by Belmond. These villas will be part of a thriving creative community and will enjoy Milaroca’s coveted facilities, vibrant cultural programming and the in-residence service and experiences crafted by Belmond’s unrivaled hospitality – centered in warmth, attentiveness, intimacy and personalization.
June 27th, 2023
In the summer, Napa Valley serves as an adventure-filled backyard for visitors who come to get outdoors, soak up the sun, and relax amid miles of vines and rugged mountain scenery. While wine tourism is a major draw (rosé season, anyone?), there are also plenty of other activities like ATV tours, olive-oil tastings, family picnics, and outdoor music concerts. Here’s a preview of all that the sunny season has in store:
Napa Valley: Bring the Whole Family!
The region is not just an adult getaway – many Napa Valley lodging properties are offering family-friendly accommodations. Solage, Auberge Resorts Collection offers lawn games, fireside s’mores, bocce courts, a kid-friendly Splash Pad, and a personalized pizza-making experience. Stanly Ranch, Auberge Resorts Collection, has a dedicated kids camp where daily activities include a hawk walk, bike rides, planting vegetables in the farm, and star-gazing on the Great Lawn. Carneros Resort and Spa offers garden tours along with other family-fun activities like a scavenger hunt, kids yoga classes, and a sleep-under-the-stars experience. The Meritage Resort and Spa has adopted a baby goat named Althea! Housed at the nearby Connolly Ranch Education Center (home to more than 85 barnyard animals), where guests can drop by and learn about life on the ranch. Check out Visit Napa Valley’s list of kid-friendly wineries to find the perfect place to taste, with the whole family in tow.
Beyond the Glass – Unique Winery Experiences
Do you like your wine with a side of adventure? Buckle up and embark on an ATV tour of the 1,000-acre mountainside vineyard at Hess Persson Estate, complete with views from Napa Valley to the San Francisco Bay. Afterward, enjoy a wine and cheese pairing or culinary tasting experience with dishes cultivated from produce grown in the estate gardens.
Blending is an art as well as a science. If you sign up for the Bottle Blending Camp at Judd’s Hill Winery, you’ll learn how to perfect your Bordeaux-style blends using samples from four red varietals. It’s a fun and educational way to hone your palate and just as enjoyable if you’re a single, a couple, or a group. There’s room for everyone!
Develop a taste for olive oil and head over to Round Pond Estate to learn about olive cultivation, harvest, and the property’s artisanal methods of production including a traditional stone mill. The estate is home to 2,200 olive trees with the five Italian varieties and three Spanish varieties—see if you can taste the difference during an hour-long tasting. Or visit the new tasting room of Grove 45, a producer of extra virgin olive oil produced in the heart of Napa Valley. Run by mother-daughter duo Ana and Marcela Hernandez, Grove 45 hosts olive oil and balsamic vinegar tastings, paired with seasonal bites.
If the great outdoors is calling you, several Napa Valley wineries host guided hikes that culminate in (of course!) a tasting, offering a true grape to glass experience. At Pine Ridge Vineyards, visitors can partake in a guided moderate hike through the vines while learning about the winery’s sustainable farming techniques and diverse ecosystems, while at Cuvaison, guests can walk through their vineyards before enjoying an ‘Estate Tasting’ and boxed lunch on the patio.
Summer of Sound in Napa Valley
Over the last decade, Napa Valley has become the premier destination for the biggest names in music, hosting both large scale and intimate shows in stunning outdoor venues. Highlights include the Golden States Festival (July 15) and the Down in the Valley Festival (September 2-3), both at the Oxbow RiverStage in downtown Napa, and the Blue Note Jazz Festival (July 28-30) hosted by Dave Chapelle and featuring headliners Mary J. Blige, Nas, and Chance the Rapper at Silverado Resort & Spa.
Other notable concert series running all summer long include the Blue Note Summer Sessions at The Meritage Resort, Festival Napa Valley (July 8-23) with country music star Carrie Underwood set to perform.
Savor After Hours (in residency from June- to September), brings a wholly unique show to Napa Valley. The first of its kind, this cabaret and wine tasting experience, featuring Dancing with the Stars champions Maks and Valentin Chmerkovskiy, is sure to surprise and delight guests. Featuring dance, music, magic, and of course wine, Savor After Hours is quickly becoming the hottest ticket in Napa Valley!
June 27th, 2023
Cap Juluca, A Belmond Hotel, Anguilla, an exclusive oasis on the pristine sands of the island’s famed platinum beach, announces the upcoming launch a new spa in collaboration with Guerlain. Debuting late 2023, Cap Juluca Spa by Guerlain will draw inspiration from Anguilla’s earliest inhabitants, the indigenous Arawak tribe who celebrated the renewal and rejuvenation of each new day, while offering a harmonious connection with nature and a rebalance of energy. A private hideaway on the dazzling shores of Anguilla, this secluded wellness paradise, designed by renowned design studio Rottet Studio, will be a haven of relaxation, where guests will enjoy a collection of Guerlain rituals exclusive to the iconic resort.
Cap Juluca Spa by Guerlain will offer a combination of traditional and innovative treatments that stay true to Guerlain’s multisensory and holistic approach, as well as exclusive treatments created specifically in harmony with the atmosphere, culture, and activities of Anguilla. Each Guerlain treatment is an essential moment of self-indulgence, where every sense is awakened by the spa’s highly attentive Beauty Experts who are meticulously trained in Guerlain rituals.
Designed by renowned design studio, Rottet Studio – who oversaw Cap Juluca’s transformation in 2018 – Cap Juluca Spa by Guerlain invites visitors to reconnect with nature amongst the cerulean sea and a meandering landscape of lush botanicals and untamed winding garden paths. Guests are greeted by an open-air courtyard adorned with emerald mosaic patterns and a central fountain, all framed by an abundance of tropical foliage. The inviting, light-filled reception provides an instant sense of calm, featuring neutral earth tones and mahogany cabinets with cane detailing. A sanctuary of senses, the private treatment rooms boast wide ocean views of Cap Juluca’s famed crescent beach paired with cerused and bleached white oak, limestone flooring, and rough-cut limestone basins.
Spa guests will have plenty of tranquil spaces to relax and unwind post-treatment, from the sun-soaked pool deck to the peaceful solarium. The Calichi Garden, invoking the sacred Arawak fountain, will be the ceremonial soul of the spa, offering the perfect ambiance for private moments and refreshing plunge pool dips.
Located along the shores of Maundays Bay, Cap Juluca’s beach is widely recognized as the best beach in the Caribbean, offering guests a haven for total relaxation and well-being. The introduction of Cap Juluca Spa by Guerlain will allow guests to experience firsthand one of the many ways the enchanting beachfront property has reimagined how guests experience wholeness, creating a world that entwines wellness with travel. After indulging in sublime relaxation, guests can complement their spa experience with sporting activities, from sailing across Cap Juluca’s famed shoreline and horseback riding on the beach to engaging in a friendly match on the resort’s brand-new pickleball courts or keeping fit at the state-of-the-art fitness center.
From August 9-16, 2023, Cap Juluca will also debut the fourth edition of its “Play Like a Pro” academy in partnership with LUX Tennis, where guests will have the opportunity to participate in an exhilarating itinerary of private lessons, youth tennis clinics and a beach tennis exhibition on the shores of the breathtaking Maundays Bay, all led by famed professional tennis players Tommy Haas and Nicolas Almagro. Guests seeking experiences that incorporate elements of mindfulness, nutrition, and longevity activation can take advantage of the resort’s Wellness Series, which ranges from must-visit yogis, nutritionists, and plant-based chefs in the pursuit of holistic wellbeing.
June 5th, 2023
Park Hyatt Niseko launches partnership with Nikka Whiskey, Park Hyatt Kyoto celebrates the Gion Matsuri festival, and Park Hyatt Tokyo launches summer menus
Park Hyatt Niseko Hanazono, Japan’s premier mountain resort in Niseko, Hokkaido, has launched a partnership with Nikka Whisky, a distillery in Yoichi, Hokkaido, offering guests a peek into the art of Japanese whiskey making. The new, two-night package offered June 23-25 and July 7-9, will offer guests:
· A Yoichi distillery tour
o A private tour of Yoichi Distillery in Hokkaido to learn the fine art of Japanese whiskey making. The chief blender, Mr. Ozaki, will accompany the tour, and guests will have the chance to see private areas not open to the general public. The Yoichi Distillery is Nikka’s first distillery, built in 1934. The founder of Nikka Whisky, Masataka Taketsuru, often referred to as the “Father of Japanese Whisky” chose the town of Yoichi in Hokkaido because of the similar environmental conditions to Scotland, where he learned whiskey-making.
· An immersive Teppan dinner with specially curated whiskey pairing
o The hotel’s signature restaurant will serve a lavish Teppan dinner featuring dishes carefully tailored to pair with the Nikka whiskies. Locally sourced Hokkaido delicacies such as sea urchin and Ezo abalone cooked by the Teppan chef at the counter paired with a refreshing highball made with NIKKA SESSION or a limited edition Miyagikyo whiskey with a peaty aroma. Along with the Hokkaido yellowtail dish with herb butter sauce, three different single malt Yoichi whiskies are planned to be provided to experience making a custom blend.
· A special whiskey-themed Pierre Hermé Paris Afternoon Tea
· A barbecue dinner made to savor Hokkaido’s finest ingredients with an open bar featuring a selection of Nikka Whisky products, with their chief blender, Mr. Ozaki, in attendance. A special barbecue will be set up in the Chapel Garden (weather permitting) for dinner.
· A lunch at The Lounge
· Daily breakfast
Happening in Kyoto…
The legendary Gion Matsuri festival, one of the most famous festivals in Japan, dating back to 1869 takes place in Kyoto in July. Park Hyatt Kyoto guests have preferred seating at some of the festival events, such as “Yoi-yama” street party event, the procession of mikoshi, etc. On-property highlights include a Japanese tea pairing at the exquisitely renovated Kyoyamato, a traditional Japanese restaurant run by a seventh-generation Kyoto family, complete with a Soyotei teahouse from the Edo era. Plus, a guided tour of the grounds led by a Shinto priest, and a seated Zazen meditation at nearby temples that are off-limits to the general public.
Happening in Tokyo…
Each of Park Hyatt Tokyo’s restaurants are offering special menus for summer.
· Kozue, the traditional Japanese restaurant, will have a “Bounty of the Sea” menu from July 7-August 6 showcasing the freshest seafood caught in Hakodate, Hokkaido, transported by train, and plated on the same day.
· New York Grill will offer Matsusaka beef and Australian black truffles. Matsusaka beef is known for its delicate marbling and buttery tenderness and has been carefully raised in Mie Prefecture for centuries.
· Girandole’s French Riviera theme will be offered July 7-31 and include Provençal dishes such as bouillabaisse, Niçoise salad, and Pissaladière.