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/.
September 28th, 2021
From tiger conservation in India to walking safaris in Tanzania to exploring the ecosystem of the Okavango Delta
Conservation-led luxury travel company andBeyond continues to celebrate its 30th anniversary by releasing a fresh batch of limited-edition itineraries designed to highlight its commitment not only to the preservation of wildlife and the environment, but also to educating travelers on the role of sustainable travel in conservation.
Following the launch of the first set of experiences in June, andBeyond has designed three more exclusive itineraries that range from an in-depth look at tiger conservation in India to discovering the origins of Botswana’s famed Okavango Delta and learning the art of guiding andBeyond-style while exploring the Serengeti on foot. Led by the top experts in their field, each of the itineraries is scheduled to take place in 2022.
A Project Tiger Expedition
Hosted by award-winning naturalist, conservationist and wildlife photographer Aditya Panda, the 50 Year Anniversary of Project Tiger expedition celebrates half a century of tiger conservation in India. Travelers will explore three of India’s most thriving national parks, from the famous tiger sanctuary of Ranthambore to Kanha, one of India’s largest conservation areas, and the diverse Kaziranga National Park. Guests will enjoy the unique opportunity to set out in search of eight of the most endangered wildlife species in India, from the magnificent tiger to the Asian elephant, one-horned rhino and Asiatic lion as well as the wild dog, blackbuck, barasingha and wild buffalo. Along the way, they will meet Dr. Raghu Chundawat, one of India’s best known tiger experts, who will share fascinating insights from his decades of wildlife research. A visit to the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation will provide a first-hand glimpse into the rescue and rehabilitation of wild animals.
The itinerary has two departure dates, December 1 to 15, 2022 and January 12 to 26, 2023, with a maximum of six to eight guests. The cost begins from $9,919 per person sharing and includes a donation towards conservation projects in India.
Walking in the Footsteps of a Tanzanian Guide
Walking in the Footsteps of a Tanzanian Guide is a nine-day adventure that provides the opportunity to explore parts of Tanzania’s renowned Serengeti National Park on foot while learning some of the skills taught at andBeyond’s guiding schools. Accompanied by an andBeyond Ranger Trainer and a Maasai guide, guests will explore diverse terrain, encounter iconic wildlife, enjoy unforgettable community interactions and traverse the Serengeti on foot in an educational, informative and entertaining way. They will learn some of the tips and tricks of the guiding trade, from plant and animal identification to tracking, bird and bird call identification, how to use camera traps for research and much more. Setting off from Arusha, the itinerary begins at andBeyond Klein’s Camp, where travelers will learn about the daily lives of Maasai villagers, as well as spend some time at andBeyond’s Mwewe Ranger Training School. After experiencing a series of daily walks, guests move to andBeyond Serengeti Under Canvas, where they will enjoy a classical safari experience, complete with hot air balloon flights over the vast plains. Moving on, they will stay at the freshly rebuilt and reopened andBeyond Grumeti Serengeti River Lodge. Here they will assist the researchers studying the annual migration of topi antelope, a phenomenon far less known than that of the Great Migration of zebras and wildebeest, but no less fascinating.
Designed for a maximum of six guests, this itinerary travels from November 8 to 16, 2022 and costs $11,250 per person sharing, which includes a donation to Africa Foundations Community Leaders Education Fund, a program that provides tertiary education bursaries to students from rural communities.
Care of Botswana’s Okavango Delta, its Wildlife and People
From wildlife conservation to the preservation of one of the world’s key watershed areas, the Care of Botswana’s Okavango Delta, its Wildlife and People expedition examines the miracle of water in the desert. It begins along the banks of the Chobe River with the opportunity to explore the thriving wildlife that rely on the river for their lifeline. Accompanied throughout by one of andBeyond’s Regional Guide Trainers, go off the beaten path and disconnect from the world at a rustic semi-permanent camp and get to know the animals of the Chobe by road and by boat. Then travel to the unexpected oasis of the Okavango Delta, the world’s only inland delta, a marvel of lush waterways amongst the dry sands of the Kalahari. Delve into the Delta in the company of Map Ives, one of the first professional guides to begin unravelling the secrets of this unique ecosystem decades ago. Travel by traditional canoe along the twisting waterways and explore even deeper in the company of a local Bushman who will introduce you to the long-lost lore of the wild. Venture out with the research teams studying wild dogs in the dense heart of the Delta and find out about the elephant herds that inhabit it. Meet some of the local communities and learn about the delicate balance between their needs and the preservation of this magical environment.
This itinerary is run for a maximum of four guests and has three set departure dates in June, July and September 2022. The eight-night experience starts from $19,838 per person sharing (depending on season), which includes a donation to the Africa Foundation, andBeyond’s community development partner of choice.
For more on any of andBeyond’s 30 year limited edition experiences, log on to andBeyond.com or speak to your preferred travel specialist.
andBeyond designs personalized high-end tours in 13 countries in Africa, five in Asia and four in South America, offering discerning travelers a rare and exclusive experience of the world as it should be. We own and operate 29 extraordinary lodges and camps in iconic safari, scenic and island destinations in Africa and South America. This enables us to positively impact more than nine million acres of wildlife land and over 1,200 miles of coastline. Established in 1991, andBeyond strives to leave our world a better place than we found it through our care of the land, wildlife and people, and the delivery of extraordinary guest experiences.
Please note: andBeyond is legally required to use the font ‘trebuchet’ when printing the ampersand in ‘&Beyond’. If this is not possible, please write it out in full, i.e. ‘andBeyond’. The referring website should be www.andBeyond.com.
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 bar, Bertie’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 castle! Dromoland 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.
September 23rd, 2021
Whether you’re looking for snow and ski or sun and sand, there is no shortage of ideas for where to spend the holidays – and those last remaining vacation days.
Switzerland is open to Americans as of June 26 and what better time to visit than the holidays when the country is at peak charm? Travelers can fly into Zurich (there are direct flights from major U.S. cities) to experience the magical Christmas markets. There are many to choose from but the best include Christkindlimarkt at Zurich Main Station, the city’s largest market, which features 150 stalls and a giant tree decorated with Swarovski crystals, and Dörfli in The Old Town, Zurich’s oldest market where visitors can find artisan gifts. The veil will have just been lifted on a David Chipperfield-designed extension to the Kunsthaus art museum, doubling the footprint and making it the second largest collection of French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art outside Paris. The museum is also home to the world’s largest collection of Dada art (the Dada art movement was established in Zurich in 1916). Guests of the newly opened La Réserve Eden au Lac, the only luxury hotel on Lac Zurich, receive city passes granting discounts at museums. After Zurich head to Zermatt, the charming, car-free town where you can ski 365 days a year. Switzerland is said to be the birthplace of ski tourism and is home to Europe’s largest glaciers and the most peaks over 13,000 feet. Zermatt is launching a new ski lift this year that will complete an ‘Alpine crossing’ by connecting the Klein Matterhorn to Testa Grigia in Italy’s Aosta Valley for the first time. The iconic Schweizerhof hotel reopened in 2019 with a fresh look following an extensive, eight-month top-to-bottom renovation. Designed in an Alpine-chalet style, Schweizerhof is situated on the main thoroughfare of Bahnhofstrasse at the base of the Matterhorn. Oak walls and marble bathrooms in the guest rooms create a cozy, yet contemporary environment while fun touches like wooden hiking sticks, cow bells and comforters emblazoned with the Matterhorn lend a sense of place.
Palm Beach, FL
From the Gilded Age architecture and bustling art scene to the pristine beaches and miles of bike trails, Palm Beach has been a longtime winter playground for those seeking sunshine. As travelers migrate south, cultural offerings will also be in full swing with a new exhibition at the Norton Museum of Art featuring over 150 works titled, “Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Mexican Modernism from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection.” The exhibit will celebrate art created during a renaissance following the end of the Mexican Revolution in 1920. The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts will also welcome back the Palm Beach Symphony this winter. Art lovers can opt for the 32-room White Elephant Palm Beach, which opened late 2020. With over 130 pieces of modern and pop art, White Elephant Palm Beach offers complimentary educational guided tours of the hotel’s private museum-worthy art collection, which was personally curated by the owners and renowned NYC-based art consultant Emily Santangelo. Explore the works of featured artists including Robert Rauschenberg, whose early creations in the 1950s anticipated the pop art movement, and Sir Christopher Le Brun, a British artist who was knighted in 2021 for services to the arts in England. Several pieces by painter Kenzo Okada, the first Japanese-American artist to receive international acclaim using abstract expressionist style, are on display, as are works by Donald Baechler, part of the 1980s art movement in New York’s East Village. A 54-inch round acrylic work by Orit Fuchs was created for the hotel and is a focal point of the lobby. The 30-minute experience is available every Saturday at 10:00 am.
Nantucket might not be an obvious choice for festive season, but the historic island transforms into a winter wonderland on the Friday after Thanksgiving. The annual Christmas Stroll, taking place December 3-5, 2021, feels like you’re stepping into a Charles Dickens backdrop with every corner of Nantucket’s historic downtown magically transformed. On pause last year, the three-day celebration has become a quintessential New England experience over the last 47 years. As an ode to its roots, the theme of this year’s event will be centered around shopping local for the holidays. Christmas Stroll originally started over four decades ago as an effort to keep residents from leaving Nantucket to buy gifts on the mainland. Today, boutiques remain open through early December and will have elaborately designed storefronts outfitted with twinkling lights. Downtown’s cobblestone streets will also be lined with hundreds of seven-foot fit lit trees decorated by locals. Festive attire and ugly sweaters are encouraged. In the center of town, the White Elephant has been a favorite Nantucket retreat since the 1920s. The property has accommodations for families including suites on the harbor, garden cottages and two in-town Lofts. Guests will also have access to complimentary BMW vehicles to explore the island on their own, available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
It has only been a few years since St. Barth rebuilt itself following Hurricane Irma in 2017 so there’s plenty new to do on the island. It will be in full swing in December, with the harbor filling with yachts for the holidays and myriad glitzy New Year’s Eve parties. The best place to lay low is at The Christopher on Pointe Milou which is reopening for this season with a brand new chef and restaurant. The French Riviera-inspired restaurant will be called “Rivyera” and helmed by Chef Arnaud Faye, a two-Michelin-starred chef and a Meilleur Ouvrier de France who comes from the Chèvre d’Or on the Côte d’Azur (a member of the Grandes Tables du Monde). The Christopher’s westward facing bar makes it the perfect spot to catch the sunset and the New Year’s Eve fireworks.
A white winter takes on a whole new meaning in Anguilla. Forego the freezing snow and head south for miles of white sand beaches and balmy 80 degrees days. 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. (Those arriving via private jet can also fly directly into Anguilla’s Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport (AXA).) And the best home base on the island is Cap Juluca, A Belmond Hotel, Anguilla. Set on Maundays Bay, the property is a sanctuary for total escapism, with standalone villas dotted along the pristine stretch of beach. Every room is beachfront, giving guests their very own slice of Caribbean Sea. To celebrate the holiday season, the resort has launched a roster of daily programming, including wine tastings, sunset sails, tennis lessons, rum tastings, salt-scrub-making classes, an iron man swim and more. Family-friendly activities include eggnog and smores, gift opening on Christmas Day, and a family beach volleyball competition. Guests can also try ‘The Head Table’ dining experience, where they are invited to enjoy a multi-course feast at Pimm’s filled with Anguillan comfort foods. There will also be a choir performance, Carol of the Bells, on December 24 for some extra yuletide spirit.
Two once-in-a-lifetime experiences are available in one trip this December: witnessing a total solar eclipse and a cruise to Antarctica. The phenomenon will be viewable from the Weddell Sea on December 4, 2021 – the only area in the world where the solar eclipse will be 100 percent visible. There’s a handful of expeditions that will take travelers to the end of the earth in December 2021. PONANT is offering a new itinerary onboard Le Commandant-Charcot, the first luxury hybrid electric polar ship launching in November. The ship will operate on a mix of LNG and battery (when in battery mode, the ship will emit zero emissions). Guests will disembark onto the ice pack to witness this natural phenomenon as the moon passes between Earth and the sun. In a region where the sun never quite sets, travelers will be enveloped in complete darkness for a few minutes. EYOS Expeditions will also offer a private expedition experience on its 12-passenger Naia superyacht – marrying the adventure of an expedition itinerary with the comfort and level of service of a privately-chartered yacht. Quark Expeditions, Hurtigruten, Lindblad, and Atlas Ocean Voyages are offering solar eclipse itineraries as well.
September 23rd, 2021
With summer behind us and a noticeable chill in the air, our minds are on fall travel. Whether it’s a quick jaunt to Nantucket or a long-awaited Antarctic cruise, there’s a little something for everyone.
Following the alarming climate change report from the United Nations, all eyes will be on Scotland where the UN Climate Change Summit will take place in Glasgow on November 1-12. As of August 2, fully vaccinated Americans can travel to the U.K. without quarantine requirements if they show proof of vaccination against Covid-19. Take a trip two-and-a-half hours northeast of Glasgow to the Scottish Highlands. On the way, travelers can pop over to Dundee to check out the Kengo Kuma-designed Victoria & Albert Museum there. Currently on show though January is Night Fever: Designing Club Culture, the first major exhibition exploring the relationship between club culture and design from the 1960s to today. The short drive will be well worth it for a stay at The Fife Arms. The 19th century hunting lodge is owned by art industry power couple Iwan and Manuela Wirth. November is an ideal time for exploring the Cairngorms National Park, the largest national park in the U.K. The hotel’s in-house forager Natasha Lloyd leads two- and three-hour walks for guests. Autumn is a great time for foraging – guests can find wild raspberries, cow berries, blaeberries, fungi (it’s the height of the season) and nettles. Back at the hotel, Natasha hosts workshops where guests can make condiments, cosmetics, and tinctures. Their findings even make their way into dishes (like sweet cicely and pistachio pesto) and cocktails (via in-house bitters and tinctures).
The Antarctic cruising season starts in November with a debut of newly-built, ice-class vessels that are small capacity, environmentally friendly and offer guest excursions including polar diving and hovercraft. PONANT will launch Le Commandant-Charcot, the world’s first luxury hybrid electric polar exploration vessel.It will be powered by electric batteries and liquified natural gas (LNG, currently the cleanest fuel on the market) and there will be zero emissions when operated in the hybrid electric mode. Le Commandant-Charcot will sail to parts of Antarctica that were inaccessible prior to the arrival of the ship, including Peter I Island which has welcomed less visitors than the moon. There will also be a scientific laboratory onboard hosting naturalist guides and scientists to explore these remote and untouched destinations, and guests can also participate in citizen science by setting up a station on an ice floe and taking water samples. Additional new builds include Lindblad’s National Geographic Endurance, Atlas Ocean Voyages’ World Navigator, Quark Expeditions’ Ultramarine, and Crystal Expedition Cruises. EYOS Expeditions, the world’s leader in superyacht charters, has also announced an alliance with Nansen Polar Expeditions to offer a new expedition yacht experience aboard the 12-guest MV Nansen Explorer beginning in November. The new alliance will allow EYOS to reach destinations far removed from where most expedition vessels are sailing. The 12-passenger Naia will also be in the Southern Ocean for the 2021-2022 season and is available for charter during the next Antarctic total solar eclipse on December 4, 2021. EYOS CEO Ben Lyons forecasts that Antarctica will have the greatest number of superyachts in the region this year. Where 10 years ago, there might have been one, the company is expecting at least six yachts for the upcoming season.
Known as “Nantucket Gold,” the island’s Bay Scallops are thought to be the finest mollusks in the world. Only found in the chilly waters off Nantucket from November through March, the sought-after delicacies are smaller, sweeter, more tender and have a more velvety texture than its counterpart from the sea. Bay Scallops grow in shallow water about 10 minutes off the shore in the island’s native inshore eel grass, which doubles as a nursery. It is one of the last surviving viable wild scallop fisheries in the country. Catching and sorting the scallops is just half the story. Shucking and cooking them is the other. They are an incredibly versatile ingredient and can be torched, seared, fried, poached, sautéed, broiled, or eaten raw. Stay at the White Elephant, located just steps from the center of town and the Nantucket harbor, or opt for the historic inn, Jared Coffin House, open year-round. Sailors can opt to dock at the Nantucket Boat Basin, the 240-slip full-service marina.
Italy still ranks as the #1 international destination for travelers who turn to the expertise of Virtuoso, luxury travel agency network with more than 20,000 travel advisors across 50 countries and annual sales between $25-30 billion. Once the greatest seaport in Iate medieval Europe and still one of the world’s oldest cultural centers, Venice turned 1,600 this year. The 17th annual Venice Architecture Biennale will conclude on November 21st. The theme ‘How will we live together’ explores widening political divides, economic inequalities and changing social norms and challenging architects to imagine and create spaces where society can coexist – all the ever more timely during this year of self-isolation. Honoring Venice’s artistic past as the point of convergence for goods from the East and their dissemination to the European market during the 14th century, Cipriani, A Belmond Hotel will host a three-day course, November 11-14, for exploring the ancient disciplines that traveled along the Silk Road, such as a masterclass on Kintsugi, the delicate art of fixing ceramics with gold, and traditional silk print workshops. Guests of the hotel will also have access to behind-the-scenes tours of the city’s libraries and archives throughout the season. During tours of the Fondazione Cini Library and the 13th-century Library San Francesco della Vigna, rare books and preserved manuscripts will be on display exclusively for Belmond guests.
Napa Valley, CA
Following Napa Valley’s bustling harvest season, November is the start of Cabernet Season. The pace slows down as the region’s cabernets are released, giving visitors a first taste of the bold reds synonymous with Napa Valley. The cooler months mean lower hotel rates and a chance to grab reservations at coveted Michelin-starred restaurants. With new vintages aging in the barrels, winemakers are readily available, and visitors can receive behind-the-scenes access to wineries. While the wineries remain a draw, the vines only cover nine percent of the Valley floor. The mountain ranges that bracket the area, the Mayacamas and the Vaca, are laced with hiking and biking trails. With temperatures hovering in the mid 60s, it’s an ideal time for getting out to explore. New restaurants and tasting experiences are shaking up the scene too. Domaine Carneros’s new “Art of Sabrage” experience allows private groups to learn the history, legend and technique of this dramatic ritual dating back to the age of Napoleon; and the creators of Clif Bar recently joined forces with local celebrity chefs to launch new biking experiences at Clif Family Winery. Watch this space: Stanly Ranch, an Auberge Collection Resort is set to be unveiled in late 2021. The 135 open-air cottages will be set on the historic Stanly Ranch Winery estate, which has been producing critically-acclaimed wines since the 19th century.
September 22nd, 2021
Opening June 6, 2022
Conservation-led luxury travel company andBeyond has announced that one of its all-time favorite lodges in Tanzania’s Western Corridor, andBeyond Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp, is to undergo an extensive rebuild that will result in it emerging with a brand-new identity as andBeyond Grumeti Serengeti River Lodge.
andBeyond Grumeti was originally built in the early 1990 and after the Grumeti River burst its banks and the lodge was flooded in April 2020, andBeyond decided that it was time for a comprehensive rebuild.
As with all andBeyond projects, sustainability will be key in the rebuild and the new lodge will include a 130kWh solar system, which will allow it to run on 80% renewable energy. All hot water systems will also be replaced with brand new, energy efficient ones. Wastewater from the laundry will be recycled for other use and rainwater will be harvested for the swimming pools, while brand new technology will be installed to monitor underground water levels and ensure borehole capacity is not exceeded.
An extended selection of experiences is also being developed in time for the launch of the lodge, which will reopen on June 6, 2022. These will combine with the rich resident wildlife of this remote corner of the Serengeti, as well as the lodge’s ideal location for experiencing the thrilling river crossing and vast herds of the Great Migration.
With interior design by long-time andBeyond collaborator Fox Browne Creative and architectural design by Jack Alexander, the rebuild will use the existing footprint of the former structure to redefine the classical tented camp look in a form that will least impact the natural landscape. Reinventing the traditional safari tent, the new lodge will be even more stylish and contemporary, while retaining the rustic and tactile nature of the original camp. The design team was tasked with creating spaces that would bring guests closer to the incredible location – on a tributary of the Grumeti River – while ensuring a sense of understated luxury. The proximity to the river draws a constant flow of nearby wildlife, including a pool particularly popular with resident hippos.
Drawing inspiration from the natural setting, the main guest areas will form a single sweeping arc that will follow the contours of the river, creating a series of sitting and dining areas that will flow naturally together. The design cleverly will provide shelter from the environment while retaining a wide open and natural feel.
More than doubled in size, the guest suites will feature raised ceilings and taller doors, allowing for an abundance of natural light. Canvas, banana fiber and hardwood cladding will add a layer of richness and call to mind the design of the original camp. Guest suites will now also feature deep baths and indoor showers, as well as extensive outdoor decks with private plunge pools. The rebuild will also bring a new family suite featuring an additional attached bedroom.
All buildings will be constructed from lightweight steel frames clad in canvas and sustainably sourced local hardwood. This will allow them to float over the landscape without the need for heavy concrete foundations and slabs, in keeping with andBeyond’s ethos of touching the earth lightly.
While the form of the buildings will draw upon the manyattas, or circular homesteads, of the nomadic Maasai, which can be found across the plains of the Western Serengeti, the color palette for the interiors will take inspiration from the tribe’s vibrant beaded necklaces and the kitenge fabrics found throughout Tanzania’s Great Lakes region. The lively purple tones of the original lodge will be pared down to a more subtle tone reminiscent of hippo hide and accented with bright fabrics and hand-blown glass.
Guest favorites such as the boma and lodge pool will remain almost untouched, while a state-of-the-art gym will be a welcome addition.
andBeyond designs personalized high-end tours in 13 countries in Africa, five in Asia and four in South America, offering discerning travelers a rare and exclusive experience of the world as it should be. andBeyond owns and operates 29 extraordinary lodges and camps in iconic safari, scenic and island destinations in Africa and South America. This enables them to positively impact more than 9 million acres of wildlife land and over 1,800 miles of coastline. Established in 1991, andBeyond strives to leave our world a better place than we found it through their ethos of care of the land, wildlife and people, and the delivery of extraordinary guest experiences.
January 20th, 2021
A welcome respite from the winter weather, Mexico also offers an abundance of beaches, cultural offerings and culinary adventures. Whether for a weekend or an extended stay, we’ve rounded up three destinations for travelers looking for a private Mexico getaway.
For an outdoor adventure: Todos Santos
Pablo Carmona and Josh Kremer, Mexican entrepreneurs and financiers, are making their mark with Mexico’s first luxury soft adventure brand, Paradero Hotels, on February 1, 2021. One-hour away from San José del Cabo Airport, Paradero Todos Santos has a barefoot, bohemian vibe and is a haven for surfers and outdoor enthusiasts. Overseen by Mexico City-based POLEN, who was behind the landscape design of Google and Twitter offices in Mexico, Paradero Todos Santos is an 80 percent landscape, 20 percent construction project. 35 suites are situated within the Le Mesa farming community and an agricultural area comprising more than a dozen family-owned farms. Details with a sense of place include: on-site 100,000-sq.ft. botanical garden with 60 endemic species; artisan-made furniture from Mexico; suspended ‘star nets’ that offer high-altitude views of the surrounding farmlands, mountains and ocean; below-ground spa that is inspired by a secret watering hole in Todos Santos; and an open-fire kitchen with a traditional Oaxacan clay oven.
For a beach escape: Riviera Maya
With buildings handcrafted by Mayan masons, traditional Temazcal treatments on the menu, and one of the world’s longest barrier reefs just 10-minutes away, Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa is a true Mexican escape. Days are spent on white sand beaches while nights are best enjoyed over a private dinner in the observation tower. Highlights include the Kinan Spa which offers a variety of wellness programming pulling from its Mayan surroundings as well as honey-based spa treatments thanks to the on-site apiary, and the new ‘Noches de Cantina’ dining experience centered on the ritual of savoring tequila, inspired by Mexico City’s popularization of cantinas in the 1950s. With Belmond’s new ‘Exclusive Places’ offer, families and small groups can enjoy secluded accommodations among the 200 acres of lush jungle. Casa Leo and Casa Aries, each consisting of four suites, feature four plunge pools, private access to the beach and two private palapa spa areas for in-room treatments.
For a cultural celebration: San Miguel de Allende
2021 marks the 200th anniversary of Mexico’s autonomy from Spain with San Miguel de Allende the first town to receive independence. Housed across six historic casonas, or residences, Belmond Casa de Sierra Nevada is a 37-room retreat in the heart of San Miguel de Allende. Each casona has been carefully restored with local, handcrafted items, ranging from the wooden headboards, exclusive artworks, or antique tapestries. The buildings include a former convent, a 17-century fort and the former residence of the Archbishop of San Miguel de Allende, connected by courtyards, cloisters and the city streets. Now, families and small groups can enjoy an entire 17th-century casona to themselves – complete with butler and dining service. Spend the day at the Sazón cooking school with private tours of local markets and mastering Mexican specialties including salmon crudo and. Celebrate the city’s rich artistic past at the Artist Corner perusing the mini-gallery or partaking in a workshop to craft your own masterpiece.
How to Get There: Land travel is not permitted through February 21, 2021, but air travel is open. Direct flights to Mexico City, Cabo and Cancun are available from major U.S. cities including Los Angeles, Phoenix, Houston, Chicago, New York, Atlanta and Miami. Belmond has rolled out a selection of value-add offers for private jet travelers. They are collaborating with myriad companies and the list includes but is not limited to Jet Linx, Nicholas Air, Silver Air, TradeWind, Private Jet Service, FlyExclusive, and PRVT. Upon arrival, travelers will need to complete health declaration forms and undergo health screenings, including temperature checks.
January 18th, 2021
As the travel industry looks ahead, brands are preparing for how to promote a responsible recovery to Covid-19. Luxury travel advisor network Virtuoso, with over 20,000 advisors and 2,000 travel brands in more than 50 countries, is focusing on a ‘conscious comeback’ as hotels reopen in new and innovative ways. CREST (Center for Responsible Travel) and six other global nonprofit organizations have banded together to form the Future of Tourism Coalition with the belief that travelers will demand a more sustainable tourism marketplace. As people look for ways to reduce their footprint, work more responsibly with travel companies, travel to more sustainable communities and better understand the communities they interact with, we have rounded up leading destinations who are laying the groundwork for a more sustainable future – and how travelers can get involved.
If you want to invest in local communities…
Napa Valley, CA
Napa Valley Vintners (NVV), a nonprofit trade association leading the wine region since 1944, has partnered with UNCF to create a new scholarship program for people of color to pursue college degrees in subjects ranging from grape growing, winemaking, marketing, business and more, investing $1 million into the program. Each year over the next five years, NVV will invest $200,000 in scholarships and will encourage its members to bolster the scholarship program with donations to help even more students and to ensure the effort extends beyond five years.
UXUA recruits and trains locals with little to no prior experience in hospitality. Owner Wilbert Das has invested in providing language training and university tuition reimbursement as well as one-on-one mentorship for those who need help in certain subjects that might have prevented them from completing secondary education. Despite classes being one-hour bus ride each way, three staff members completed their degrees in 2019, with 10 currently enrolled. Under the name of U-2020 initiative, the goal is to have 20 staff (out of 85) to complete or enroll in a university program by end-of-year 2020. UXUA also offers life coaching, including financial planning. As a result, 35 employees have bought land in the past six years.
Belmond helped found the Q’omer Wasicha Project in 2015 to promote organic vegetable management and cultivation in local communities as well as fair trade practices. Several communities in the Cusco region are now trained in the production of vegetables and herbs; the sustainable greenhouses allow the harvest of organic crops that would not usually survive the high altitudes of the Andes, including tomatoes, squash and zucchini.
In collaboration with Africa Foundation, andBeyond offers a Conservation Lesson program for both children and adults living in communities close to wildlife areas. Through the initiative, over 1,600 students in East Africa were able to visit andBeyond’s properties, learning firsthand about the wildlife conservation that takes place so close to their home – partaking in game drives with rangers, swimming with dolphins and witnessing turtles hatch. For many, this is the first time in their life they have been exposed to fauna in a meaningful way. These conservation lessons and interactions with andBeyond guides have been a turning point in many participants’ lives; instilling the passion and knowledge of wildlife conservation and community development in them and playing a major part in influencing their careers.
Belmond Eagle Island Lodge has worked with the nearby community village of Xaxaba Island to ensure potable drinking water for the community. Previously unavailable, Belmond donated a Jojo water tank, a leading solution in South Africa to provide safe water, as well as a bowser water tank to ensure a clean water source. Water is then regularly transported from the lodge to the village. Belmond has also assisted with providing medical assistance to the community through mobile clinics. Guests also have the opportunity to visit the neighboring Nxhoga village to learn more about the Khotla from the elders, the meeting and administration system, the cultural relevance of basket weaving and the importance of the fishing industry, witnessing how fishing nets are made.
Dr Hla Tun has been the onboard doctor for Belmond Road to Mandalay, which has been traveling along the Ayeyarwady River since 2004. In addition to his service for guests, Dr. Tun disembarks the river cruise three days per week to lead Belmond’s free health clinic that launched in 2011 as a free service to locals as well as patients who travel for miles on foot to receive medical attention.
If combatting climate change is your passion…
Just 200 years after the first man stepped foot on Antarctica, PONANT is launching the first electric luxury polar ship in 2021. It will be able to cut through ice floe up to seven feet thick – meaning it can reach rarely visited places like Peter I Island, where fewer people have visited than have set foot on the moon. It will operate with a mix of liquified natural gas (the cleanest fuel on the market) and electric battery (zero emission and can operate for up to eight hours at a time). Le Commandant-Charcot will be fitted with the latest technology for minimizing environmental impact, as well as a scientific laboratory for conducting operational oceanography missions and research. Under the supervision of naturalist guides and onboard scientists, guests will be able to participate in the research and experiments during sailings, including helping set up a research station on an ice floe; deploying an Argos transmitter, a satellite-based system which collects and shares environmental data; and taking water samples.
In the 1970s and 80s, Costa Rica had one of the highest rates of deforestation in Latin America, but it has since reversed that trend and embraced reforestation. This was largely because of the government’s commitment to the cause, making it illegal in 1996 to chop down trees without approval from authorities. They also launched PES, a program that pays farmers to protect watersheds, conserve biodiversity, or capture carbon dioxide. This has positively impacted tourism. According to the tourism board, over 60% of visitors site nature as a reason for coming. The national parks and protected areas cover over a quarter of the country’s land. Nayara Resorts is committed to the cause. Their newest property, Nayara Tented Camp, sits on a hillside that was completely deforested by farmers over 50 years ago. Nayara hired a reforestation expert to rebuild the rainforest – which began with the planting of 40,000 indigenous trees.
Chris Blackwell’s Oracabessa Foundation is restoring the coral reef as a means to bring back marine life. In recent years, through the Foundation’s efforts, the Bay saw an increase of fish presence by 1,800 percent. Because of its success, the template is being replicated in other fish sanctuaries across Jamaica. New this year, Blackwell’s hotel GoldenEye in partnership with the Oracabessa Foundation opened a new dive shop that is open to locals as well as guests, offering coral planting opportunities, with profits going back into the foundation.
Coral bleaching from factors like climate change and El Niño has led to the death of 60-90% of the Maldivian reefs. As the only luxury property that is located both on the beach and on a coral reef, Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi offers guests the chance to adopt a coral frame ($175 USD per frame) during their stay. The coral frames are built using broken coral fragments found on local reefs, which are then rehabilitated in the property’s coral nursery and left to grow and regain their health.
If you want to save endangered animals…
Iguassu Falls, Brazil
When Belmond took over the Hotel das Cataratas in 2007, it not only invested in the hotel itself, but in the surrounding Iguassu National Park. The company committed 4 million Brazilian Reals to help update the park’s electricity supply, redesign the old park entrance and build a bicycle path from the gate to the hotel. It also donated 1.4 million Brazilian Reals towards the Projeto Onças do Iguaçu (Jaguars of Iguassu Project) to help preserve the last of the area’s jaguars. Ten years ago the population of these big cats was in sharp decline. The Jaguars of Iguassu Project installed night vision cameras around the park and used tracking devices fitted onto captured and released animals to study their behaviors and devise programs to improve their survival and breeding rates. Since the Jaguars of Iguassu Project began the number of jaguars has increased from around 9 to at least 28 (census of 2019). After exploring the national park, guests can stop by the hotel’s boutique and purchase a stuffed jaguar where a portion of the proceeds continue to support the project.
Pangolins are mini (and adorable) dinosaur-like mammals. While not commonly known in the U.S., these native African anteaters are covered in keratin scales, which are highly valuable to poachers, making them the most trafficked mammal in the world. The species used to roam freely in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, but have been locally extinct for decades. Private groups at andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve can have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get up close and personal with these elusive creatures with andBeyond’s Pangolin Conservation Experience and assist in replacing tags and monitoring behavior.
If you want to lead by example…
Gregory Miller is a leader in responsible tourism, an expert in public-private partnerships and a trained environmental scientist who believes in working globally, acting locally, and protecting our precious natural and cultural resources. Greg joined CREST as Executive Director in 2019, bringing to the organization a global track record of high-impact results in sustainable travel and recreation, biodiversity conservation, and policy development. He is also a founder of the newly formed Future of Tourism Coalition, as well as the Outdoor Alliance, National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance, and Parks in Peril program.
Joss Kent joined andBeyond in January 2012 and brought with him a passion for working with local communities and preserving land and wildlife. He came to andBeyond after several years as CEO of Abercrombie & Kent. Starting his career as a game ranger, Joss has gone on to champion leading sustainability and community initiatives including Ocean Without Border and Rhinos Without Border and continuing a partnership with the Africa Foundation to work with local communities to fill their needs, from building schools to creating water filtration systems.
Cindy Pawlcyn is the chef behind Mustards Grill, a Napa Valley landmark for more than 30 years. She opened the restaurant when the region was still largely pasture, with few restaurants and even fewer chefs (none whom were women!). Then, at 28 years old, Pawlcyn was also among the first to plant an organic garden outside her restaurant. Today, Mustards is still a Napa favorite, and has served more than one million pork chops – her signature dish.
Charity Cheruiyot was the first female safari ranger in Kenya’s Masai Mara. Having grown up in a small village as a member of the Kalenjin tribe, Charity paved her own way to a future in the bush. She now is a favorite ranger among guests of andBeyond Bateleur Camp, teaching the brand’s values of care of the land, wildlife, and people.
Wilbert Das, the former creative director at Diesel, founded UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa in Trancoso, Brazil. Today, Wilbert’s life in Trancoso extends far beyond the (unmarked) entrance of UXUA. As the town’s “unofficial mayor,” he is steadfast in his support of the community and proves that eco-conscious efforts and a propensity for high design are not mutually exclusive.
December 3rd, 2020
News from the Vines: Winter 2020
What’s Happening in Napa Valley
While it’s no secret that Napa Valley has faced some challenges this year, the region is open to visitors and the spirit is stronger than ever. The Glass Fire that broke out in September is now 100 percent contained and most of Napa County’s 45,000 acres of vine were not impacted. For those wondering how to help, the best way to support the community and its members is to visit. And the timing couldn’t be better. As harvest closes out this month, travelers will be welcomed with the start of Cabernet Season – the best time to visit for those in the know. From November through April, summer heat is replaced with perfectly mild temperatures – think warm days, cool nights, and blue skies. The pace slows down and foliage is at eye level as the vines become dormant along Silverado Trail. (Leaf peeping is not just on the east coast!) Brilliant yellow wild mustard flowers are scattered through the vineyards and along country lanes. During this time of year, visitors can more easily nab reservations at Michelin-starred restaurants. Greater access to wineries is another bonus with more opportunities to meet winemakers and receive impromptu glimpses behind the scenes.
What’s New in Wine (and Spirit) Tastings
These tastings are shaking up the scene in Napa Valley, with freshly designed spaces and new experiences with an emphasis on privacy. Napa Valley Distillery, the first distillery to open its doors in the city of Napa since prohibition, opened a new speakeasy tasting salon dubbed the ”Hollywood Room” with cocktails crafted from spirits made just a few feet away. The art deco-designed space is punctuated with tiki bar-like decor. Animal lovers will gravitate towards Oasis by Hoopes, where wines are accompanied by an animal sanctuary and regenerative farm. The outdoor space, which opened in October 2020, is dotted with airstreams, lounge areas made with recycled materials, a farm stand (with produce for purchase), as well as rescued chickens, pigs, and goats. Faust’s new tasting room, housed in a Victorian home originally built in 1878, opened in September 2020 following a four-year renovation. Known for their Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from organically farmed estates, the new space still features the original cellar from pre-prohibition era. And for travelers prioritizing privacy, Charles Krug, the oldest wine estate in Napa, opened five new private WIFI-enabled outdoor tasting cabanas on the winery’s picnic grounds and Trefethen is now offering a nightly after-hours experience permitting only one booking per evening – meaning guests have the whole estate to themselves. Space to watch: Yountville’s Baldacci Family Vineyards will open a new hospitality center in March 2021, featuring new private tasting rooms, a wine bar, and an outdoor patio overlooking wine country vistas.
Neighborhoods to Watch
Calistoga, the northern most town in Napa Valley – famed as a wine-meets-spa destination thanks to its geothermal waters – is in the limelight thanks to a crop of new hotels and multi-million-dollar resort renovations. Four Seasons Resort & Residences will open this winter with 85-rooms and an on-site vineyard and tasting room – a rarity in Napa Valley. As a nod to Calistoga’s wellness roots, the property will offer an eight-room spa with steam pods in which hammocks will be suspended above geo-thermal pools for guests to absorb the heated vapor. Coming soon, Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs, originally built in 1952, will unveil a large-scale renovation. Considered one of the first resorts in Calistoga and known for its mud bath treatments, the property’s new look will include a Southwestern-inspired restaurant, House of Better. This December, Solage, part of the Auberge Resorts Collection, will unveil a $30 million-dollar renovation overseen by architect Howard Backen – considered the creator of “Napa Valley Style” – and Los Angeles-based interior design agency Studio Collective. In addition to 11 new accommodations, Solbar - their signature restaurant – will double the size of the patio for outdoor dining and the new PicoBar, with light bites and cocktails, will sit next to an enlarged pool deck with contemporary loungers and cabanas.
Spanning three buzzy blocks in the heart of Downtown Napa, First Street Napa is an ever-growing hub for shopping, dining, and tasting. Known for its locally owned boutiques and independent restaurants and wineries, the district has recently welcomed a surge of new shops like C’est La Paire for chic boots and handbags; The Bennington Napa Valley for vintage finds; and Copperfield’s Books, a mainstay store returning to First Street. The first standalone tasting room dedicated solely to luxury California brandies, California Brandy House, will open on First Street on November 6, 2020 for outdoor tastings. The new concept will debut with two leading brandy portfolios, Germain-Robin and Argonaut. Visitors will be guided through tasting flights, including single-barrel samples that are only available at the tasting space. For those looking for something on the fizzier side, the first and only dedicated Champagne & sparkling wine lounge in Napa Valley, Be Bubbly, has just opened its doors. Over in Napa’s Oxbow Public Market (a 40,000-square-foot marketplace with an expansive outdoor deck along the Napa River), Bar Lucia opened this summer from owner behind Kara’s Cupcakes. Highlights of the bar include rosé and sparkling wines paired with seasonal bites. Founder Kara Haspel Lind named the bar after her great grandmother and her daughter, honoring the traditions passed down through five generations of women in her family. For those visitors who are overwhelmed with options across the region, a brand-new Napa Valley Welcome Center will open on November 12 as a resource for itinerary-planning. New technology will provide visitors insider tips in a no-touch manner, and a 16-foot video wall will offer a taste of Napa Valley travel inspiration to pedestrians along First Street through floor-to-ceiling glass windows.
Looking Ahead to 2021
Black History Month – February 2021
In honor of Black History Month in February, travelers to Napa Valley can explore the roots of BIPOC pioneers in the winemaking business and support local initiatives throughout the region. Leaders in the industry include Brown Estate Vineyards, which was the first Black-owned estate winery in Napa and is now best known as one of Napa Valley’s most well-regarded zinfandel producers. Neighboring Okapi Wines is a micro-boutique winery that produces just a few barrels of wine each year. Founder Dan Johnson limits its production to 300 cases per year to maintain sustainable farming practices. Carneros Resort and Spa is offering a Diversity in Wine Flight featuring four wines by vintners and winemakers of color. The tasting flight is available at two of their onsite restaurants with 10% of proceeds being donated to UNCF. To support diversity in the wine industry, Napa Valley Vintners, a nonprofit association representing more than 500 wineries in the region, has partnered with UNCF to create a new scholarship program for people of color to pursue college degrees in subjects including grape growing and winemaking, with $1 million already invested into the program.
Women Winemakers are changing the way we drink wine (and beer!)
The month of March is all about celebrating women with International Women’s Day on March 8, 2021. As one of the top viticultural regions, Napa Valley is known for its sprawling vineyards, historic wineries and towns that dot the countryside. It is also home to many women who have made names for themselves throughout the area. To name a few, Elaine St. Clair is the only woman in the U.S. to hold the commercial title of both winemaker and brewer. Kathryn Walt Hall is the force behind HALL Wines and WALT Wines in St. Helena and has been in the Napa wine industry for almost five decades, having also worked as an attorney, community activist, and as the United States Ambassador to Austria. During her 40-year tenure in Napa Valley winemaking, Heidi Barrett, who known as “The First Lady of Wine” is behind California’s most notable cult wines, including Screaming Eagle, which has a starting price of $700 a bottle. Today she’s co-founder of her own label, Barrett & Barrett, where she continues to produce some of the top Cabernet Sauvignons.
About Visit Napa Valley
Visit Napa Valley is the official destination management organization for the Napa Valley, with a mission to promote, protect and enhance the region’s position as an attractive travel destination and enhance its public image as a dynamic place to visit, live and work.
The Napa Valley, conveniently located just an hour from the San Francisco Bay Area, consists of the following distinctive towns, including, from north to south, Calistoga, St. Helena, Rutherford/Oakville, Yountville, the city of Napa, American Canyon, and the outdoor recreation area of Lake Berryessa.
For additional information on the Napa Valley, or to plan your Napa Valley experience, please explore VisitNapaValley.com, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram @VisitNapaValley.