Black Friday + Cyber Monday Travel Offers 2022

November 22nd, 2022

Black Friday + Cyber Monday Travel Offers

DOMESTIC:

20% Off | Shou Sugi Ban House | Watermill, NY

Shou Sugi Ban House, the only comprehensive wellness program in the Hamptons, will offer early access and a 20% savings to Summer 2023 rates when booking a stay of three nights or more. When booking five nights or more, travelers will also have access to a personal driver during the entire stay.

  • Booking Dates: November 25 – December 31, 2022
  • Travel Dates: June 1 – August 31, 2023
  • Starting Prices: $2,700 pre-discount
  • Link: https://shousugibanhouse.com/

20% Off | White Elephant Resorts | Nantucket, Massachusetts + Palm Beach, Florida

The White Elephant Resorts portfolio, including Jared Coffin House, The Cottages, The Wauwinet, White Elephant, and the Boat Basin in Nantucket, and White Elephant Palm Beach in Florida, will offer 20% off the best available rate.

  • Booking Dates: November 28 – December 3, 2022
  • Travel dates for White Elephant Resorts on Nantucket: Based on availability, minimum stays may apply, black-out dates include all weekends in July and August, some holiday and festival weekends. Cannot be applied to groups.
  • Travel dates for White Elephant Palm Beach: Valid on stays between December 1, 2022, and October 31, 2023. Based on availability, minimum stays may apply, black-out dates include December 23, 2022 to January 1, 2023, February 17 – 19, 2023, March 24 – April 1, 2023
  • Starting Prices (before discount):
    • White Elephant Nantucket: $325
    • Jared Coffin House: $145
    • The Wauwinet: $325
    • The Cottages: $180
    • White Elephant Palm Beach: $595
  • Link: https://www.whiteelephantresorts.com/
  • Booking code: CYBER

 

Third Night Free I Carneros Resort and Spa| Napa Valley, California

Surrounded by grapevines, the stand-alone airy rooms offer a luxe countryside vibe, each with its own fireplace and private patios. Enjoy your third night free!

  • Booking Dates: Now – November 29, 2022
  • Travel Dates: Now – March 31, 2023
  • Starting Price: $609
  • Link: www.carnerosresort.com or (877) 497-7060
  • Booking Code: CYBER22

 

30% Off I Meritage Resort| Napa Valley, California

Dash away to Napa with Black Friday savings that are sure to bring you and yours holiday cheer. Enjoy 30% off stays through June 2023, plus receive a $30 daily resort credit. The offer is available for new reservations only; it cannot be combined with any other offers. Not available for group bookings. Non-refundable. Resort credit is non-cumulative. Blackout dates apply

 

INTERNATIONAL:

$1,000 Discount | andBeyond | Africa + South America

andBeyond, the award-winning luxury experiential travel company with 29 luxury lodges and camps, will offer a $1,000 discount by purchasing one of a limited number of Cyber Monday $4,000 travel vouchers for just $3,000. The $4,000 vouchers can be redeemed on any new 2023 bookings.

  • Booking Dates: The vouchers are only for sale for one day (on Cyber Monday). Payment will be processed by the 30th of November.
  • Voucher Terms and Conditions:
    • The vouchers are redeemable for travel for up to three years.
    • They would only be able to be applied to new andBeyond lodge accommodation bookings in Africa & South America where a minimum of four nights at any combination of andBeyond lodge or camp are booked.
    • The voucher is a payment method that can be used on a booking containing any of andBeyond’s other offers.
    • There are a limited number of 50 vouchers available for sale. A maximum of one Cyber Monday voucher redeemed per booking, and sales are limited to one voucher per person.
  • Link: https://www.andbeyond.com/cyber-monday/

 

NEW SMITHSONIAN JOURNEYS AND PONANT EXPEDITION: A ‘SYMPHONY ON THE ST. LAWRENCE’ FROM QUEBEC TO THE CANADIAN MARITIMES, OCTOBER 16-30, 2023 Featuring Keith Lockhart, Conductor of the Boston Pops

November 9th, 2022

Washington, D.C. (Nov. 2, 2022) ¾ Smithsonian Journeys is collaborating with PONANT on a series of co-branded sailings for 2023. Each of the 21 itineraries will be led by two Smithsonian Journeys Experts—whether an art historian, a solar astrophysicist, or an international relations expert—whose expertise and knowledge will shed new light on a destination and deepen travelers’ immersion in place.

Among the new sailings is the “Symphony on the St. Lawrence,” a 15-day journey from Quebec to the Canadian Maritimes aboard Le Bellot, featuring the Conductor of the Boston Pops, Keith Lockhart, and performances by internationally renowned musicians including pianist Jihye Chang, cellist Alistair MacRae, soprano Allison Pohl, violist Scott Rawls, and violinists Wendy Rawls and Benjamin Sung. Maritime historian Eric Roorda will also be on board to lead engaging discussions about the scenic St. Lawrence waterway and UNESCO-recognized landmarks like Lunenberg, Nova Scotia.

The journey begins in Toronto, Canada’s largest and most dynamic city, which sits on Lake Ontario — the smallest of the five Great Lakes of North America and a gateway to the Saint Lawrence River. The first of four calls in Quebec is Montreal, a cosmopolitan metropolis with a UNESCO-recognized Old Town, the largest outdoor market in North America, and the iconic hill of Mount Royal. From there, it’s on to the capital of the French-speaking province, Quebec City, where narrow cobblestone streets, impressive ramparts and fortifications, and one of Canada’s grandest hotels – the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac — set the scene for Old World romance. At the mouth of the Saguenay River is Tadoussac, the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in Canada and a prime destination for whale watching (including Humpbacks and Belugas). After a day at sea, Le Bellot will arrive at Percé, one of the most beautiful villages in Quebec, which sits at the top of the Gaspé Peninsula and is a gateway to the UNESCO Global Geopark of Bonaventure Island.

On the eighth day of the trip, guests will arrive at the colonial seaport of Charlottetown, on Prince Edward Island, home to the world-famous Anne of Green Gables House, the Prince Edward Island National Park, and the mighty Confederation Bridge, the world’s longest bridge spanning ice-covered water. The next stop in the Maritimes is Cap-aux-Meules, in the Magdalen Islands, which has rich Acadian history and traditions and stunning sandstone cliffs that rise above the Atlantic.

Nova Scotia is next, offering three historical towns for discovery. Charming Baddeck on Cape Breton Island is the point of departure and arrival of the famous Cabot Trail as well as the home of the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site, dedicated to the life of the inventor. Louisbourg boasts the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, a living museum that recreates 18th-century life through the reconstruction of the formerly thriving settlement. And Lunenburg, whose Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a colorful fishing village and a cradle of Maritime culture.

A day at sea brings Le Bellot to Eastport, Maine, a historic seaside town where guests can explore the Tides Institute & Museum of Art, representing the largest and most significant cultural collection along the eastern coast of Maine. The epic journey ends in Gloucester, Massachusetts, a postcard-perfect seaside town that’s long captivated artists including Rudyard Kipling and Edward Hopper.

Rates start at $13,160 per person, based on double occupancy

About the Smithsonian

Since its founding in 1846, the Smithsonian Institution has been committed to inspiring generations through knowledge and discovery. It is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, consisting of 21 museums, the National Zoological Park, education centers, research facilities, cultural centers, and libraries.  Two of the 21 museums – the National Museum of the American Latino and the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum – are in the early planning stages. The total number of objects, works of art, and specimens at the Smithsonian is estimated at nearly 155 million, of which nearly 146 million are scientific specimens at the National Museum of Natural History. www.smithsonian.org

About Smithsonian Journeys

Smithsonian Journeys is part of Smithsonian Enterprises, a division of the Smithsonian which oversees the institution’s commercial activities, including the Smithsonian Channel, which is available in over 55 million households globally; the retail operation, which includes 35 museum and airport stores, food concessions; an E-commerce business, Smithsonianstore.com, and Smithsonian magazine, which reaches more than 8 million monthly readers, consumer and education licensing, and books. Smithsonian Journeys is a global leader in cultural travel for diverse audiences, offering unique, expert-led trips on all seven continents. In addition to ocean cruises with PONANT, Smithsonian Journeys offers small-group land journeys, river cruises, active journeys, cultural stays, private jet trips, tailor-made journeys for the independent traveler, and student travel programs. For more information visit www.SmithsonianJourneys.org or call 1-855-330-1542.

ABOUT PONANT

PONANT’s “Explore to Inspire” mission is centered around exploration to better understand, learn, share and protect. For more than 30 years, PONANT has been committed to more responsible tourism and voyages of exploration which have meaning. The French-flagged fleet comprises 13 small capacity ships equipped with state of the art environmentally friendly equipment. With PONANT, exploration is refined, authentic and a source of inspiration. The company sails to the Arctic and the Antarctic as well as in the Atlantic and North Europe, Mediterranean, Middle East, Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, Asia, Oceania and South Pacific, the Caribbean, North, Central and South America. For more information, visit  https://us.ponant.com  or call 1-844-747-2873 or contact your travel advisor.

 

NEW PONANT AND SMITHSONIAN JOURNEYS EXPEDITION: A CIRCUMNAVIGATION OF SICILY, April 14-22, 2024

November 9th, 2022

PONANT is collaborating with Smithsonian Journeys on a series of co-branded sailings for 2023 and 2024. Each of the itineraries will be led by two Smithsonian Journeys Experts—whether an art historian, a solar astrophysicist, or an international relations expert—whose expertise and knowledge will shed new light on a destination and deepen travelers’ immersion in place.

Among the new sailings is a nine-day circumnavigation of Sicily on Le Champlain, April 14-22, 2024.  Departing from Valletta, the capital of Malta, the itinerary includes visits to well-preserved Greek ruins, impressive Norman cathedrals, active volcanoes, and a handful of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, giving travelers a sense of these country’s ancient civilizations and cultural riches. On-board discussions by Smithsonian Journeys Experts will complement the excursions, adding important context and illuminating perspectives.

Like Sicily, Malta has also been ruled by various civilizations throughout history, making the destination a fascinating jumping-off point. From Valletta, Le Champlain will make its way to the smaller Maltese island of Gozo to see the megalithic temples of Ġgantija and an adjoining archaeological museum, plus red-sand beaches and a crystal-clear sea. Then it’s on to the southwestern coast of Sicily, home to the seaside commune of Porto Empedocle and the UNESCO-recognized Temple Valley, an archaeological site with temples dedicated to Zeus and other mythological gods. Rounding the western tip of the island, the ship will arrive in Trapani for an excursion into the countryside, the ancient Doric temple of Segesta, and the medieval hilltop commune of Erice. From there, it’s on to Palermo, the capital of Sicily, and one of Europe’s most vibrant and up-and-coming cities, where Byzantine mosaics and baroque churches exist alongside chic artisan studios and trendy restaurants. There, activities range from a tour of the Capella Palatina, a Byzantine-Arab-Norman structure with dazzling mosaics and magnificent inlaid marble floors and walls, or a drive to nearby Monreale to explore its famed Norman cathedral.

Just north of Sicily is Lipari, the largest of the Aeolian islands, characterized by lava stone quarries, a dramatic coastline, and a castle within a fortified citadel. After a visit here, travelers will sail north to Stromboli, taking in panoramic vistas of the active volcano, before crossing through the Strait of Messina to arrive at Taormina, the so-called St. Tropez of Sicily. There, visit a winery on the slopes of Mount Etna — the largest active volcano in Europe— or tour Taormina town with its historic Greek Theater which looks out to the dazzling coastline.

The final port of call is Syracuse, colonized by the Greeks in the 8th century B.C. and one of the most powerful cities of the ancient world, where guests will visit the Roman Amphitheater of Augustus and the 15,000-seat Greek theater.

Rates start at $6,500 per person.

Image Link: https://we.tl/t-2iaiFlPZie

ABOUT PONANT

PONANT’s “Explore to Inspire” mission is centered around exploration to better understand, learn, share and protect. For more than 30 years, PONANT has been committed to more responsible tourism and voyages of exploration which have meaning. The French-flagged fleet comprises 13 small capacity ships equipped with state of the art environmentally friendly equipment. With PONANT, exploration is refined, authentic and a source of inspiration. The company sails to the Arctic and the Antarctic as well as in the Atlantic and North Europe, Mediterranean, Middle East, Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, Asia, Oceania and South Pacific, the Caribbean, North, Central and South America. For more information, visit  https://us.ponant.com or call 1-844-747-2873 or contact your travel advisor.

About the Smithsonian

Since its founding in 1846, the Smithsonian Institution has been committed to inspiring generations through knowledge and discovery. It is the world’s largest museum, education and research complex, consisting of 21 museums, the National Zoological Park, education centers, research facilities, cultural centers, and libraries.  Two of the 21 museums – the National Museum of the American Latino and the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum – are in the early planning stages. The total number of objects, works of art, and specimens at the Smithsonian is estimated at nearly 155 million, of which nearly 146 million are scientific specimens at the National Museum of Natural History. www.smithsonian.org

About Smithsonian Journeys

Smithsonian Journeys is part of Smithsonian Enterprises, a division of the Smithsonian which oversees the institution’s commercial activities, including the Smithsonian Channel, which is available in over 55 million households globally; the retail operation, which includes 35 museum and airport stores, food concessions; an E-commerce business, Smithsonianstore.com, and Smithsonian magazine, which reaches more than 8 million monthly readers, consumer and education licensing, and books. Smithsonian Journeys is a global leader in cultural travel for diverse audiences, offering unique, expert-led trips on all seven continents. In addition to ocean cruises with PONANT, Smithsonian Journeys offers small-group land journeys, river cruises, active journeys, cultural stays, private jet trips, tailor-made journeys for the independent traveler, and student travel programs. For more information visit www.SmithsonianJourneys.org or call 1-855-330-1542.

 

 

MAROMA, A BELMOND HOTEL, RIVIERA MAYA TO REOPEN IN MAY 2023

October 27th, 2022

MAROMA, A BELMOND HOTEL, RIVIERA MAYA TO REOPEN IN MAY 2023

OCTOBER 2022 – On May 25, 2023, the Riviera Maya will welcome the much-anticipated return of Maroma, A Belmond Hotel, the storied hideaway in the beating heart of the Riviera Maya. Nestled between 200 acres of lush tropical jungle and the secluded white sands of Mexico’s Caribbean coast, the legendary property will be completely reimagined with Mayan culture at its core – and will be the first, extensive transformation within Belmond’s North America portfolio under LVMH ownership. This new chapter of Maroma will reveal 10 new waterfront suites, a nature-focused wellness experience in partnership with Guerlain, ground-breaking sustainability initiatives and a new gastronomic era under Mexican-born Executive Chef Daniel Camacho.

A MAYAN LEGEND, REBORN

Internationally renowned designer Tara Bernerd is at the helm of the comprehensive restoration, working hand-in-hand with local artisans to honor Mexican heritage. Blending contemporary craft with the careful sourcing of indigenous materials, the team will create timeless spaces that are authentic to their roots and channel the healing energy of the locale. The original design and architecture of the property will be preserved, including the white stucco buildings, aligned to the Sacred Geometry of Mayan masonry. Curved lines and organic forms inspired by the property’s wild surrounds will inform the harmonious indoor-outdoor flow of rooms, suites and villas. An unrivalled beach resort, each of the 72 accommodations will be spread across Maroma’s private stretch of sand, of which three quarters now have ocean views, including a spacious new waterfront suite complete with a private pool and garden. The property’s three pools will be completely redesigned, featuring Sukabumi tiles handmade from volcanic stone, in the same vibrant turquoise tones as the region’s many natural cenotes.

“Maroma offered a rare opportunity to reimagine this iconic hotel, with its rich and storied history. We sought to retain and enhance the original character, working with local artisans, whilst simultaneously incorporating a contemporary elegance, a warmth that also has a sense of home, that speaks to the needs of the Belmond guest for generations to come,” says Bernerd. Maroma will showcase an extraordinary collection of pan-Mexican art and design. Eighty percent of furnishings and objects will be made by Mexican craftspeople, from a hand-blown glass chandelier and painted clay pots to traditional ‘Saltillo’ floor tiles, meticulously curated for guest rooms.

A WELLNESS DESTINATION WITH INTERNATIONAL ACCLAIM

Founded on the principles of nature and vitality, wellness at Maroma will take on a new dimension with the launch of the first Guerlain Spa in Latin America. A temple for rejuvenation and a place of deep spirituality, guests will feel the vital flow of healing energies from the jungle oasis and wide open sea in the newly renovated biophilic space. Treatment rooms will look out onto the jungle and will incorporate local design elements with geometric shapes and artisanal objects. Healing rituals will be inspired by the power of nature, ancient practices and the sacred Melipona bee, revered by the Mayans for over 3,000 years as a symbol of spiritual resonance. Centered around balance and harmony, Guerlain will create a unique spa menu with its iconic face and body treatments as well as exclusive experiences designed around the Mayan wellness philosophy of sound and healing rituals. A true holistic wellness retreat, the spa will also include a selection of daily workshops in meditation, movement and yoga to resynchronize body, mind and spirit.

COLOURFUL AND CONTEMPORARY CUISINE

Mexican-born Executive Chef Daniel Camacho will continue his legacy of celebrating his country’s rich culinary diversity at Casa Mayor restaurant. Working on a sustainable provenance approach, 90% of ingredients will be sourced from Mexico and almost half from the Yucatán peninsula. A proud member of #PescaConFuturo, promoting sustainable fishery and aquaculture, freshly caught seafood will be sourced from Amigos de Sian Ka’an. Reinventing traditional Mexican cuisine, colorful dishes will range from seafood towers and Michoacan corundas, to Jalisco-style Birria and chocolate cake with Oaxacan black mole, flamed with house mezcal.

For the perfect sundowner, Bambuco will offer a more casual affair, where seasonal herbal drinks made fresh from the garden will sit alongside Mexican wines, tequila cocktails, and an extensive selection of Mezcal. The legendary beach hangout Freddy’s Bar will continue to channel the vibrant spirit of the Riviera Maya, with live music and DJ sets, fresh seafood and cocktails.

BIODIVERSITY: IT BEGINS WITH A BEE

Maroma has a long history of working with local organizations and will continue collaborating with Fundación Selva Maya and Mayahuum to protect the endangered Melipona bee, which is fundamentally important to the ecology of the Yucatán peninsula. Belmond will also launch a new partnership with Guerlain to further amplify this commitment. Combining a legacy of caring, research and community programs, the collaboration will include expanding resident hives, unveiling a new Melipona sanctuary for educational guest experiences and introducing Guerlain’s Bee School and “Women for Bees” initiatives into Yucatán communities. In addition to forming part of the wellness experience, Melipona and other types of honey will also be a feature on the culinary and mixology menus. Caring for the environment will be a priority woven into every aspect of Maroma and its guest programming, with further initiatives including turtle conservation and preserving the local flora and fauna.

FOTOGRAFIA MAROMA: A LIVING GALLERY OF MEXICAN TALENT

The Riviera Maya is a fertile ground for creative expression and artistic development, with its rich culture, storytelling traditions and spectacular natural landscapes. Maroma will further celebrate local artists through a multi-faceted creative concept, Fotografía Maroma, in partnership with curators Fariba Farshad (co-founder and director of Photo London) and Patricia Conde (the founder of Patricia Conde Galeria in Mexico City and the annual exhibition Proyectosjuancano68). Together with Belmond, the curators have hand-picked four Mexican photographers to participate in the inaugural photography series: renowned photographers Patricia Lagarde, Javier Hinojosa, and Ilán Rabchinskey, alongside up-and-coming talent Margot Kalach. The resulting photographs, which capture Riviera Maya through the photographers’ distinctive lenses and perspectives, will be exhibited during Art Basel in Miami, Zona Maco in Mexico City and Photo London.

Images and renderings of Maroma, A Belmond Hotel, Riviera Maya can be downloaded here.

ABOUT BELMOND

Belmond has been a pioneer of luxury travel for 46 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 travelers on breathtaking journeys. Its portfolio extends across 24 countries with 50 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

INSTAGRAM: BELMONDMAROMA

The Future of Luxury Travel: Highlights From Virtuoso® Travel Week 2022

October 24th, 2022

THE FUTURE OF LUXURY TRAVEL: Highlights From Virtuoso® Travel Week 2022

New York (October 19, 2022) – This year, more than 5,000 luxury travel professionals (from 100+ countries!) gathered in Las Vegas at Bellagio, Aria, and Vdara resorts for Virtuoso Travel Week. Virtuoso is a global network renowned for creating meaningful experiences in luxury travel, and its annual Virtuoso Travel Week serves as the pinnacle by bringing together the group’s world’s-best travel partners and the industry’s most influential travel agencies and advisors. With a laser focus on driving future sales while establishing the latest travel trends from around the world, the event sets the stage for the future of travel. Judging by the numbers, the 2022 Virtuoso Week was a tremendous success, providing measurable value to the group’s members, advisors and preferred partners. Some statistics from this year’s event:

  • 98 percent of Virtuoso Week attendees said the event achieved the primary business objective of offering Virtuoso members the opportunity to network and build/further relationships with preferred partners
  • 97 percent of people said that attending Virtuoso Week was a good investment of their time.
  • 90 percent of attendees felt that the new eight-minute meetings were the right amount of time for the one-to-one appointments
  • Globetrotting was among the highest rated events, achieving a score of 9.1 out of 10

New additions featured at this year’s event proved successful as well. For the first time, Virtuoso introduced a Technology Summit featuring speakers from well-known tech entities such as Hopper and Expedia and Virtuoso’s own Senior Vice President, Digital & Consumer Products Travis McElfresh, while also including venture capitalists that fund travel technology. Virtuoso also joined forces with Condé Nast Traveler for the first time, revealing research each brand had conducted during an hour-long panel featuring Condé Nast Traveler Senior Features Editor Rebecca Misner and Virtuoso Senior Vice President, Marketing Helen McCabe-Young.

Additional features included the first-ever Pinnacle Lounge, a by-invitation-only setting for Virtuoso’s top producing advisors to meet with select partners, the Cruise Café, and partner lounges that invited advisors in for a glimpse at various experiences they can offer. Virgin Galactic was a standout as it brought in an actual seat from its spacecraft and provided attendees with a feel for what suborbital space looks like.

As an added nod towards sustainability, this year’s event totes were responsibly made from recycled plastics pulled from oceans. Attendees also had the ability to opt out of receiving the bag and everything in it, and instead make a donation (paid for by Virtuoso) to one of three charitable organizations: World Central Kitchen, Fairtrade International and Natural Resources Defense Council.

Sustainability remains top of mind, not just for the organizers behind Virtuoso Week, but for travelers as well. Below, five other trends from this year’s event, plus the destinations to watch and must-know insider news.

This Year’s Top Travel Trends

Sustainability Remains a Top Priority

In a recent survey, 74 percent of Virtuoso travelers said they’re willing to pay more to travel sustainably if they know where their money is going. And 70 percent agreed that traveling sustainably actually enhances their vacation experience. Travelers are increasingly committed to purposeful travel, and not just in a strictly ecological sense. They’re also seeking out companies and experiences that focus on “benefitting local people and the economy” and “preserving natural and cultural heritage.”

Travelers of All Ages Are Willing to Splurge on Value-Added Services – Like a Good Travel Advisor

According to a recent Virtuoso survey, 76 percent of travelers have accepted that we’re living in a “new normal,” which explains the growing demand for – and increased value of – an expert advisor who can save travelers time, energy and the headache of sitting on the phone for hours with customer assistance. Even Millennials and Gen Zers are turning to travel advisors. “My daughter is 25 years old and she’s an advocate of using a travel professional,” said Virtuoso travel advisor Susan Bowman. “She tells everyone and her friends also agree. They appear to be a generation that gets it, and they’ve figured out that we add value.” Between navigating airport travel and handling trip logistics, many travelers are opting to work with a dedicated travel advisor. “One of the simplest definitions of luxury goes like this: ‘Of course I can do it myself. I don’t want to’,” said Matthew D. Upchurch, Chairman and CEO of Virtuoso. “Travelers want to find someone who really knows what they’re doing, has great connections, saves time and has their back.”

Travelers are Back to Planning Ahead

With people hitting the road in record numbers, there’s never been so much frenzy around booking flights and hotels. In response to this pent-up demand, travelers are now booking their trips an average of 58 days in advance for domestic hotel stays, and 80 days for international trips (compared to 2019’s 44 and 60 days, respectively). “We’ve seen so much last-minute demand and literally the space is not there,” said Virtuoso advisor Beth Washington. “We’re seeing people now willing to think about things for 2023 instead of planning so last-minute.”

Off-Season Travel is Gaining Steam

If it seemed like everyone was in Europe this summer that’s because they were. According to a Virtuoso poll, seven of the top ten international destinations this summer were in Europe, with Italy and France leading the way. The surge in bookings has some destinations, like Italy, concerned about the effects of overtourism. As a result, travel professionals in Italy – the second-most popular spot for fall travel – are urging travelers to visit in the off-season. It’s a win-win for destinations and for travelers who get to see beloved places without the crowds. In a recent survey, the majority of Virtuoso travelers said they’d be willing to visit a popular destination during the off-season. Virtuoso’s own editors suggest booking a room at Passalacqua, the new Lake Como villa from hotelier Valentina De Santis and the Grand Hotel Tremezzo team, which is open year-round – a rarity in the Lake Como region.

The Destinations to Watch

Palm-fringed beaches, crystal clear turquoise waters, island-hopping. No, we’re not talking about the Maldives, but India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Located on the southeastern edge of the Bay of Bengal, the archipelago is known for its spectacular diving and bioluminescent waters, which travelers can experience with nighttime kayaking off Havelock Island.

About a 45-minute drive north of Cabo San Lucas is the East Cape, a relatively unknown stretch on the Sea of Cortés where a new Four Seasons resort has just landed. According to the tourism board, the destination is a nature lover’s dream, situated near the Cabo Puma National Marine Park, a UNESCO Marine World Heritage site.

All eyes are on Greenland! Silversea is set to launch new itineraries in the Arctic country—the world’s largest island—next year, with other cruise lines, including Quark and Lindblad, set to expand their offerings.

Virtuoso on-site tour connection Access Italy let Virtuoso in on one of their hidden gems: the beautifully preserved hilltop village of Civita di Bagnoregio. Located between Rome and Florence, the medieval town is only accessible by a pedestrian bridge. And as for right now, it remains blissfully under-the-radar.

More Insider News from the Week

One of the best ways to plan for future travels is by creating a Wanderlist and sharing it with a Virtuoso advisor, who can make dreams of pearl harvesting in Australia or taking a private tour of Georgia O’Keeffe’s home and studio a reality. Virtuoso tapped into its worldwide network to find out what else was on the experiential horizon for its global citizens.

A new camp inspired by astronauts is touching down in Antarctica in December. Echo, from super high-end tour operator White Desert, will comprise six futuristic sleeping pods and a common area inspired by a visit from Buzz Aldrin and co-founder Patrick Woodhead’s love of Star Wars. The experience runs $104,000 per person and includes an excursion to the South Pole and private flights to and from the ice landing strip on the property’s doorstep.

On November 3, Auberge Resorts will open a relaxed surf retreat in Punta de Mita, on Mexico’s Pacific Coast. Susurros del Corazón will feature 59 rooms and 30 villas clustered around a three-tier infinity-edge pool, which fronts a glorious white-sand beach. Activities include a “surf safari” that will take guests to lesser-known beaches with consistent breaks and little-to-no crowds.

Fiuggi, Italy is the setting of The Ranch’s newest outpost. The wellness retreat will offer weeklong detoxes and hikes along ancient trade pilgrimage routes.

Armendaris is the newest addition to Ted Turner Reserves, known for its sustainable wildlife preserves in the American Southwest. The four-bedroom hacienda is situated on 360,000 acres in New Mexico’s Chihuahuan Desert and comes with a private chef plus experiences like nature photography workshops, wildlife tours and mountain biking.

Iceland is due to get its first rooftop bar! Next spring, the Reykjavik Edition will debut a rooftop perch where guests can sip cocktails while taking in the Northern Lights.

In November, Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace will unveil six vegan suites, constructed without animal products and featuring vegan menus and amenities.

Starting this fall, guests of Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole can hop a private plane and discover a remote corner of Yellowstone National Park, where they’ll meet with an expert naturalist to learn about the area’s elusive gray wolves – and maybe even see a few up close.

Safari operator Singita has created art galleries at its Sabi Sand and Kruger National Park Lodges. These spaces will showcase the work of pre-eminent and emerging African artists. The initiative is part of Singita’s overarching mission to celebrate and incorporate local culture into its offerings.

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About Virtuoso

Virtuoso® is the leading global travel agency network specializing in luxury and experiential travel. This by-invitation-only organization comprises over 1,200 travel agency locations with more than 20,000 travel advisors in over 50 countries throughout North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. Drawing upon its preferred relationships with more than 2,200 of the world’s best hotels and resorts, cruise lines, airlines, tour companies and premier destinations, the network provides its upscale clientele with exclusive amenities, rare experiences and privileged access. Normalized annual sales of (U.S.) $25-$30 billion make Virtuoso a powerhouse in the luxury travel industry. For more information, visit www.virtuoso.com.

 

What’s New at Cap Juluca, A Belmond Hotel, Anguilla

October 24th, 2022

What’s New at Cap Juluca, A Belmond Hotel, Anguilla

A Michelin-studded culinary program, cabaret-inspired fitness classes, and tennis clinics with U.S. Open Winner Iga Świątek round out the offerings for the 2022/23 season

Cap Juluca, A Belmond Hotel, Anguilla reopened for the 2022/23 season on October 15th with Michelin-star chef takeovers as part of the Culinary Shores series; dancer-led fitness classes inspired by Moulin Rouge and Paris’s other top cabarets; and a Tennis Pro Star series with Polish tennis star Iga Świątek, who is currently ranked No.1 in the world by the Women’s Tennis Association. Here’s a glimpse of what’s ahead.

Culinary Shores Series

The third installment of Culinary Shores series will draw an international roster of Michelin-starred chefs—from Los Angeles and Rio de Janeiro to Andalusia and beyond—to the velvety shores of Cap Juluca, A Belmond Hotel. From October 26-28, two-star Michelin chef Josiah Citrin of Los Angeles fine dining restaurant Mélisse will host three days of events, including a charcoal beach dinner, a hands-on workshop dedicated to cooking with charcoal (and learning his famed ‘Midnight Margarita’ recipe!), and a five-course Californian-Anguillan fusion dining experience inspired by Mélisse.

The festivities will continue December 16-18, with the arrival of three-star Michelin chef Angel León. Recently named the 13th best chef in the world, León is the visionary behind renowned hotspot Aponiente, in Cádiz, Spain, where he’s pioneered cooking with ‘alive salt’ and ‘edible light’—innovations that he’ll uncover during an exclusive workshop for 15 lucky winners of a raffle draw. There will also be a one-off beachfront dinner on Maundays Bay, a unique 5-course dinner curated by the chef, and a toast to ‘edible light.’

The star-studded lineup will also include a takeover by two Michelin star chef Alberto Landgraf of Rio de Janeiro’s Oteque (ranked #47 in the World’s Best Restaurants in 2022) from April 6-9, 2023. The chef will draw on his Japanese and Brazilian heritage to create a gastro-barbecue under the stars, as well as a creative workshop showcasing his use of modern and traditional cooking techniques. On the closing night, guests can indulge in ‘Nossa Gastronomia Brasileira,’ an intimate multi-course fine dining experience that fuses Brazilian and Anguillan flavors.

Expert-Led Wellbeing Experiences

From November 23-27, Cap Juluca is joining forces with the Kalon Movement Studio to offer a fitness program inspired by the rigorous barre workouts of dancers at the Moulin Rouge and other top Parisian cabarets. Professional ballerina Emma Rigby, formerly of London’s Royal Ballet School, and cabaret dancer Jessica Bennett will guide guests through twice-daily muscle strengthening sessions that combine ballet and Pilates movements. While guests of Cap Juluca can always improve their ground strokes with the property’s resident tennis pro, this festive season will bring about a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn from Polish tennis star Iga Świątek during the third edition of the Tennis Pro Star Series, running November 13-14. Currently rated No.1 in the world by the Women’s Tennis Association, Światek holds three singles championship titles: The French Open in 2020 and 2022 and the US Open in 2022. This is a unique opportunity for aspiring tennis players to partake in tennis clinics, meet & greets, as well as watch a spectacular tennis exhibition match between Świątek and a local pro at Cap Juluca’s tennis courts. There will be plenty of opportunities to learn the tricks of the trade from this incredible athlete. On the horizon for early next year is an artist residency with San Francisco-based visual artist Rachelle Reichert, who is known for exploring themes of climate change and industrialization through specific extracted materials like salt. From January 16-18, Reichert will showcase unique artworks made of handpicked Anguillian salt — plus team up with Cap Juluca Wellness and Chefs’ teams to create unique pairings that heighten the senses and educate guests about the island’s centuries-old salt-picking history.

Villa Accommodations

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

Now that American Airlines has expanded service, introducing an additional scheduled flight to its daily service from Miami to Anguilla, escaping to paradise has never been easier. This will be the only direct flight from a U.S. destination to the island. Tradewind will also resume flights between Anguilla and San Juan beginning December 15, or 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

Effective October 1, 2022, visitors, vaccinated or unvaccinated, are no longer required to present a Covid-19 Test to the airlines on the check-in and arrival at the ports of entry on Anguilla. Kindly note that travelers transit through St. Martin still needs to fill out the EHAS form.

GIFT GUIDE: Bring Braemar, Scotland Home with Artisan-Made, Luxury Products

October 13th, 2022

The New Christmas Collection and All-Time Best Sellers from the Fife Arms Help Bring the Nature and Style of Braemar, Scotland Home

For a holiday gift that’s a cut above the rest, feast your eyes on these hand-crafted collectibles from Scotland’s Fife Arms. Lovingly handcrafted by some of the best local and regional artisans, these gifts speak to Scotland’s rich craft heritage and deep storytelling traditions. From a writer’s gift box and sable-hair paint brushes to a cocktail stirrer from Queen Elizabeth II’s silversmith, these 25 gifts are sure to bring festive cheer and artful inspiration to the most discerning travelers on your list.

The Fife Arms Tartan Gift Box

A treasure trove of tartan imagined by Scottish textile artist Araminta Campbell (who designed the hotel’s house ‘sett,’ or pattern), this curated gift box is steeped in the woodsy coziness of the Scottish Highlands. Among its treasures include a buttery-soft cashmere scarf, a hot water bottle wrapped in tartan cashmere, a tin of Brodies Scottish shortbread, and a set of black-and-white postcards wrapped in yarn and featuring a Fife Arms pencil.

Needle-Felted Christmas Tree Decoration

What will it be — a flying stag, a white hare, a highland cow, or a ptarmigan bird? These needle-felted Christmas decorations will dress your mantelpiece in holiday cheer, bringing some of the beloved animals of the Highlands into your family home. Artist Doreen Cowe uses fleeces from local farms in Aberdeen to create these charming animals, each of which takes 2-3 hours to make!

The Fife Arms Artist’s & Writer’s Gift Box

Buying for a writer? This beautiful gift box —inspired by the Artist’s Studio, a room in the Fife Arms that pays tribute to the Bloomsbury Group and the interiors they created at Charleston House – is sure to stoke their literary aspirations.  A horn magnifying glass, thistle paperweight, and a set of postcards make for beautiful desk accessories, while a cashmere silk stole (in the hotel’s custom tartan pattern) will keep your writer friends cozy as they burn the midnight oil. Finally, the Fife Arms Botanical Painting & Writing Inks Artist’s Sketchbook is an inspiring canvas for all their best ideas and observations.

Scottish Botanical Painting & Writing Inks

Artisans Rebecca Wallace and Pip Seymour worked in close collaboration with the Fife Arms to create this bespoke set of natural inks which are made from seasonal plants and botanicals (elderberry, nettle, birch soot, meadowsweet and more) foraged from the hotel and its surrounding landscapes by the lodge’s in-house forager. Pair with a sable brush, a Scottish reed pen, or a traditional dip pen for exquisite results!

Hand-Knitted Highland Hare Egg Cosies

These adorable egg cosies were 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!

Scottish Reed Pen

The most common writing implements in antiquity, reed pens have long been favored by calligraphers and artists alike (including Van Gogh) for their precise and expressive ink strokes. This set of traditional reed pens were made from common reeds that were harvested in Scotland in late spring, cut when they were green and soft, and have stiffened over time, becoming strong enough for writing and drawing.

Constellation Journal

The skies above Braemar, which is situated in the Cairngorms National Park, constitute the most northerly International Dark Sky Park. This ‘Constellation’ journal — crafted by Glasgow-based bookbinding studio Juju Books, which is run by a prize-winning bookbinder and QEST Craft Scholar Gillian Stewart—is an ode to the area’s star-filled night skies, with soft linen book cloth hand finished with celestial flourishes in gold.

Artist’s Concertina Sketchbook

Also from the Glasgow studio Juju Books is this beautiful ‘Concertina’ sketchbook. The notepad is ideal for doodlers thanks to its clever folding arrangement that allows for the pages to be used front and back, portrait and landscape, opening 4 different ways. Best of all, its paper is milled from recycled coffee cups, hand-bound in soft linen book cloth, and hand-tooled with gold foil to finish — an exquisite mix of high and low!

The Fife Arms Leather Luggage Tag

Made from bridle leather, a durable material that is traditionally used in horse saddles, this handsome luggage tag (in black and tan) adds an air of refined luxury to your luggage. Each tag is individually crafted in the Scottish workshop of McRostie, which has been making handcrafted leather goods since 1887, and has a unique patina that will only get better with age.

Florentine Sable Brushes

Handmade in a family-run workshop in Florence, Italy, these superior quality paint brushes boast an exquisitely fine tip made from pure sable hair. Choose from a set of three (with a small, medium, or large brush) or individual brushes that pair beautifully with other gifts like the Scottish Botanical Painting & Writing Inks.

Sterling Silver Glassware Accessories

Add some Scottish flair to cocktail hour with these sterling silver glassware accessories, hand crafted by the Edinburgh-based workshop of Hamilton & Inches. Since its founding in 1866, the firm has been the go-to silversmith of the English aristocracy, known for its responsible sourcing and practices and its peerless design. Choose from a cocktail stirrer with a stag’s head design, stag antler ice tongs, or a decanter label (or “bottle tickets”) that can help you elegantly identify the juice in your decanter.  Other treasures include a ‘Highland Cow’ cocktail stirrer stamped with the Platinum Jubilee hallmark, a silver stirrer engraved with the Fife Arms crest, or a silver wine coaster that’s both practical and pleasing to the eye, designed to prevent spillages and slide between diners on polished tables.

The Fife Arms Celestial Globe

The exceptional darkness of the night is what attracts avid stargazers to Cairngorms National Park, the majestic setting of The Fife Arms. And now that this limited-edition black porcelain globe 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.

The Fife Arms Paper Globe

Charlotte Bourros is a skilled paper artist based in southwest France who creates classic glass globes that capture the essence of a place. For The Fife Arms, Bourros created a bespoke globe that features the hotel’s façade amid Scottish flora and fauna and other iconic images of the Highlands — all intricately hand-crafted out of cards. It’s the ultimate memento from the property, transporting guests to the special place from the palm of their hands.

The Fife Arms Christmas Stocking

This hand-stitched stocking from Hunt & Hope is crafted using 100% British wool that’s sourced, spun, and dyed in the UK. Depicting a majestic Highland stag, a leaping hare, the rushing Clune Water, and a glass of whisky, it’s a heritage piece that’s meant to be passed down through the generations.

The Fife Arms Binoculars

Guests of the Fife Arms are known to stop by the hotel’s gift shop to stock up on durable essentials before long hikes through the Cairngorms National Park. A favorite purchase are these state-of-the-art Leica Trinovid 8×42 HD binoculars, housed inside a structured bridle leather case crafted by McRostie’s Scottish workshop that can be easily swung over the shoulder on outdoor adventures.

The Fife Arms Deer Leather Journal Cover

Billy Tannery is known for its sustainable, black-tanned leather goods that age beautifully over time. The small-batch tannery used deer hides sourced from around the U.K. to craft this leather journal cover which features the Fife Arms house tartan and its crest—plus a journal made of recycled leather fibers and a Fife Arms pencil.

The Fife Arms Deer Leather Backpack

Also from Billy Tannery is this handsome zip-top backpack, which is crafted from deer hides sources from around the UK. The thick and buttery-soft carrier features two pockets and a padded laptop compartment, with a lining trimmed with the Fife Arms house tartan.

Elsa’s Cocktail Suitcase Hamper

For the ultimate holiday gift, look no further than the Fife Arms signature hamper, packed into a handmade linen-bound suitcase with leather handle and straps, and containing the very best the hotel has to offer: a cocktail shaker, 2 Highball glasses, a silver candle holder, a stag’s head cocktail stirrer, Scottish honey and tea, Fife Arms playing cards, Albamhor Body wash and hand & body lotion, and the Fife Arms notebooks, postcards, and pencil.

The Fife Arms Cocktail Shaker

When it comes to holiday entertaining, the difference is in the details. This handsome nickel-plated cocktail shaker inspired by the hotel’s glamorous Art Deco cocktail bar is sure to leave a lasting impression, adding a dose of retro style to your bar cart.

New Restaurant: Hyper-Local Ingredients Take Center Stage at Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa in Interlaken, Switzerland

October 13th, 2022

HYPER-LOCAL INGREDIENTS TAKE CENTER STAGE AT THE NEW RESTAURANT
BY VICTORIA-JUNGFRAU GRAND HOTEL & SPA IN INTERLAKEN, SWITZERLAND

New York, NY (October 11, 2022) – With “zero-kilometer” cooking gaining traction in the restaurant world, hotels, too, are starting to embrace the concept of hyper-local food that changes with the seasons, spotlights small family growers, and transmits a sense of place. A leading example is Radius by Stefan Beer, a just-opened concept at the Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa in Interlaken, Switzerland, where executive chef Stefan Beer and his team exclusively feature ingredients within a 50-kilometer radius of the hotel.

Several years in the making, the intimate fine-dining restaurant transforms locally grown ingredients into epicurean delights. The rigorous sourcing method has led Beer and chef de cuisine Michael Althaus to partnerships with independent producers and the discovery of unexpected ingredients such as soya at the Reikenhof farm in Wichtrach, saffron in Chrummbaum, and shrimp at the EyHof farm in Burdgorf. The restaurant even has a magazine that shares the tales of these discoveries and profiles the small producers.

The nine-course ‘menü vo hie’ (local menu) features mirabelles from Victoria-Jungfrau’s gardens, duck from the nearby town of Einigen, and wood sorrel from around Thun. Guests can expect dishes like raw Sigriswil trout with sorrel and cucumber, Aemme shrimp with buttermilk, pears, and black garlic, and local plums with Meiringer curd cheese and homemade vinegar. There is also a seven-course vegan menu, with dishes like cream cheese-buckwheat balls and tortellini with smoked pumpkin. The menu will change frequently based on seasonal ingredients that can be sourced from the small producers.

Wines come from the off-the-radar canton of Bern, with a focus on the Thunersee and Bielersee regions. Sommelier Torsten Noack has discovered some hidden gems, including a few bottles of one-barrel-only whiskey at Rugenbräu AG brewery.

Radius will round out the dining offerings at Victoria-Jungfrau dating to the mid-1800s. The Belle Époque property features renovated accommodations, opulent salons, trickling marble fountains, six tennis courts, a 5,500-square-meter spa with a vaulted indoor swimming pool, an outdoor saltwater pool, and a garden terrace. It is also an ideal jumping-off point for outdoor adventures like hikes, zip-lining, and paragliding — or the scenic train ride up to Jungfrauoch, Europe’s highest train station with views of the Aletsch Glacier.

About Michael Reybier Hospitality

For more than 20 years, Michel Reybier has been blazing the trail for a singular, highly contemporary vision of luxury and hospitality. Each of the Michel Reybier Hospitality destinations upholds his cherished values of excellence, authenticity and simplicity. Whether in a hotel, a villa or a private apartment, in the mountains or by the sea, in the countryside, in the heart of the vineyards or in the city… A sole requirement: namely exceptional places that throb with a distinctive emotion. A sole ambition: to share a refined art of living, dedicated above all else to our guests’ well-being and pleasure. This holistic approach is based on unforgettable experiences, where sport, food, wellness and passion form an inseparable whole. This approach is supported by the medical expertise of Nescens, whose ultimate goal is to ensure people live better, healthier lives for as long as possible. The promise of instilling meaning into each and every moment. www.michelreybierhospitality.com

Where to Stay in the Swiss Alps

October 13th, 2022

Where to Stay in the Swiss Alps

Switzerland has four distinct seasons, each offering unique charm and outdoor adventures. But in winter, the country’s top mountain resorts are abuzz with travelers who flock from all over the world in search of pristine powder, festive Christmas markets, fresh mountain air, and, of course, belly-warming seasonal cuisine like raclette and mulled wine. Here are the most scenic destinations in the Swiss Alps to put on your radar—plus 6 mountain accommodations for every traveler.

Why Zermatt?

The Matterhorn is one of the world’s most iconic mountains, and in Zermatt, travelers have views of the shark-tooth peak at every turn. But that’s not the only reason to visit. World-class skiing, buzzy dining (including a handful of Michelin-starred spots), and an enchanting car-free old village are among other draws. In winter, outdoor pursuits range from snowshoeing, ice-skating, skiing (you can even ski over the border to Italy), even curling … the options are endless!

Mont Cervin Palace for postcard-perfect mountain views

Located in the center of Zermatt at the foot of the majestic Matterhorn mountain, the Mont Cervin Palace is one of the resort town’s most prestigious addresses. The 170-year-old grand dame exudes Alpine elegance, with chateau-style interiors, three gourmet restaurants, and a fabulous spa with an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, sauna, treatment rooms, and modern fitness center. There’s also an ice grotto ideal for soothing sore legs post-skiing. Biggest perk? Guests of Mont Cervin Palace get exclusive access to ski the Matterhorn before anyone else on Thursday mornings.

Schweizerhof for a high-style ski lodge

Fresh off an extensive renovation, the Schweizerhof is a modern take on a traditional ski lodge, with 95 Alpine-chic rooms and a setting at the foot of the Matterhorn. Interiors are cocoon-like, done up in fleece, leather, and white marble surfaces, and there’s also a decadent spa and an indoor swimming pool. The centerpiece is arguably the show kitchen at the hotel’s main restaurant, where chefs grill exquisite cuts of meat and prepare dishes with Valais origins — one of the hottest tables in town! For families, the Kid’s Club has everything a child could dream of including arcade games, a climbing wall, and movie nights. Sports gear is available to rent and an in-house ski expert can assist first-timers.

Monte Rosa for boutique flair and a deep sense of history

At the Monte Rosa hotel, travelers can stay at the very address where tourism in Zermatt was born. Dating to 1839, the property still channels the glamor of yesteryear, with its beautiful Belle Epoque dining room and just 26 individually styled rooms and 15 suites, which offer views of the Matterhorn and the mountain landscapes of Zermatt. Did you know? The property is famous for being the unofficial headquarters of the Alpine Club, an association of English mountain climbers. In July 1865, a group of seven climbers, including famed mountaineer Edward Whymper made it to the top of the Matterhorn for the first time before a rope broke and four of them fell to their death. The tragedy was front-page news around the world and made Zermatt famous, sparking a tourist boom that has continued ever since.

Why Crans-Montana?

Since it became a tourist resort in 1893, Crans-Montana has drawn visitors near and far, thanks to its picturesque setting overlooking the Rhone Valley, 300 days of sunshine per year, and fresh mountain air, which is said to be the purest in all of the Alps. Its high-altitude slopes attract powder hounds who beeline for the Plaine Morte Glacier (located 3,000 meters above sea level!), while families delight in the child-friendly activities, like the Etoile Bella Lui winter festival (December 2-January 8).

Crans Ambassador for ski-in/ski-out access and a decadent spa

A trio of iconic snow-capped mountains—the Eiger, the Mönch, and the legendary Jungfrau—set the scene for a seriously breathtaking stay at Crans Ambassador, a 150-year-old property that practically offers ski-in/ski-out access in winter and hiking paths just 200 meters from the hotel. For apres-ski, enjoy mountain views, mulled wine, and Swiss specialties like raclette and fondue at the Lounge Bar 180°. Guests can also unwind with pampering massages and body treatments at the spa, which has a large heated indoor pool, a fitness center, and a sauna.

Why Davos?

The largest resort in the Alps, Davos is a paradise for winter sports enthusiasts, with 58 ski lifts, 300 kilometers of slopes, 150 kilometers of cross-country ski tracks, and 150+ kilometers of snowshoe and winter hiking trails. Off the pistes, you can take the Schatz-Funicular up the mountains to explore the Alpine Botanical Gardens (open May through October), located at 1,900 meters and home to 5,000 species of plants. Families will love the town’s themed nature trails, like the Sculpture Path, which features stone installations and tree carvings by local artists.

AlpenGold Hotel for architecture-lovers and families

With an oval shape and an undulating steel facade, the AlpenGold—the largest hotel in Davos—was designed after a pinecone found in a nearby forest. The striking property is located at an altitude of 1,600 meters, where it looks out over Lake Davos and the lush mountain valley. Families will want to check out the nearby Adventure Park Davos Färich, which has a rope park, a skate bowl, and two children’s playgrounds. Back at the property, there’s also a Kids Club offering 2,500 square feet of child-friendly space, including a ‘Mini Club’ where kids can make, paint, club, and place—and make a few friends along the way. The property also offers regular shuttles to the town of Davos, a short ride away.

Why Interlaken?

Interlaken translates to “between the lakes,” so you know the mountain town is spoiled for natural beauty! Visitors can swim, kayak, or take a relaxing cruise along Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. Or they can get a jolt of adrenaline by skydiving in front of the Eiger mountain or trekking along the 200-meter glass-bottomed pathway—aptly named the Thrill Walk— suspended high in the sky at the Schilthorn summit. Most visitors choose to punctuate their trip with a scenic train ride to Jungfraujoch, aka the Top of Europe, home to the continent’s longest glacier.

Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa for mountain luxury and hyper-local cuisine

This Belle Époque beauty dates to the mid-1800s and boasts an unbeatable location with commanding views of the snow-capped peak of Jungfrau. It’s even hosted esteemed guests including Goethe and Byron. The Belle Époque property features renovated accommodations, opulent salons, trickling marble fountains, six tennis courts, a 5,500-square-meter spa with a vaulted indoor swimming pool, an outdoor saltwater pool, and a garden terrace. It’s also an ideal jumping-off point for outdoor adventures like hikes, zip-lining, and paragliding. Don’t miss the hyper-local dishes at new restaurant Radius by Stefan Beer, where the Swiss chef and his team create tasting menus with ingredients sourced within a 50-kilometer radius of the hotel—a rigorous sourcing method that has led to partnerships with independent producers and the discovery of unexpected ingredients.  Other restaurants include the Ristorante Pizzeria Sapori for stone-baked pies, hearty pasta dishes, and freshly caught fish, and La Terrasse Brasserie for authentic brasserie cuisine with a Swiss twist.

 

NEW Culinary Experience in Barcelona through Family-Owned Spanish Hospitality Brand

October 7th, 2022

NEW Culinary Experience in Barcelona through Family-Owned Spanish Hospitality Brand

In a city as beloved by travelers as Barcelona, it can be hard to pull back the curtain on the dining scene, discovering lesser-known haunts and gaining locals-only insight. Guests of Almanac Barcelona can fast-track their knowledge of the Catalan capital’s unique culinary tapestry by opting for the just-launched Barcelona Foodie Package, a one-of-a-kind offer that combines two nights’ accommodation, a chef-led tasting menu, a guided city food tour (with stops for wine, olive oil, and vegan charcuterie!), and an exclusive visit to one of Spain’s finest Cava producers— to name a few of the inclusions!

Located at the intersection of Passeig de Gràcia and the Gran Via boulevard, Almanac is a stylish boutique property that puts guests within the heart of the action. It also offers a more authentic glimpse into the city, being one of Barcelona’s few family-run, locally owned hospitality brands. Mix with locals at the panoramic rooftop bar, which looks out to La Sagrada Familia in the distance, or try chef Rodrigo de la Calle’s Michelin-starred “green haute cuisine” at the Virens restaurant, where the menu changes every two weeks and ingredients are sourced from local providers and surrounding farms just beyond the mountains.

Guests who sign up for the Barcelona Foodie Package will enjoy an exclusive tasting menu at Virens, with chef Rodrigo tableside to explain his vision, culinary techniques, and unique sourcing methods (his hunt for rare and underappreciated ingredients like carissa plums, white figs, and codium algae have taken him around the world). Your meal might begin with a glass of fresh-brewed hibiscus kombucha (there’s always a different flavor on tap), followed by beetroot tartare, grilled eggplant with curry and huacatay leaves, and finally, a Jerusalem artichoke tiramisu.

A guided, three-hour food tour will take guests to some of Barcelona’s top food haunts, like Orolíquido, in the Gothic Quarter, which boasts one of the largest collections of olive oil in Spain. After a tasting of different varieties (the shop stocks 20+ different brands), peruse the shop’s other natural products like cosmetics made from olive oil, artisanal salts, and balsamic vinegars aged 150 years. The tour will continue at Mercat Santa Caterina, a historic market built in 1848 and completely remodeled in 2005, with an undulating, mosaic-like roof (it’s the city’s first covered market). There, guests can discover a colorful array of fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, and meat, plus two stalls dedicated to Jabugo ham, the trendy Cuines Santa-Catarina restaurant, and a vegan delicatessen specializing in plant-based charcuterie! The final stop will take guests to Vila Viniteca—one of the most prestigious wine merchants in Europe—housing more than 4,500 bottles of Spanish wine like Sherry and Cava plus liquors and spirits, 400 of which are exclusive to the shop. Founded in 1932, the family-owned business participates in numerous winemaking projects with Spanish winemakers; be sure to ask all about these partnerships during your wine and cheese tasting in the private cellar!

As part of the package, guests will be transported 45 minutes south of Barcelona to the renowned Torelló Cellars for an exclusive tour by owner Toni De la Rosa Torelló, plus a farm-to-table brunch and a wine and Cava pairing. Surrounded by 135 hectares of vines, the winery has a history dating to 1951 and is renowned for its dry, long-aged Cava, made from traditional Catalan grapes like Xarel.lo.

Also included in the Barcelona Foodie Package include daily buffet breakfast for two and airport transfer to and from the hotel. From €2,040; services subject to availability and date confirmation.

About Almanac Barcelona

Located just off Passeig de Gràcia, Almanac Barcelona is a stylish home base for exploring all the Catalan capital has to offer, with just 61 rooms and 30 suites, all of which have either a Juliet balcony, private terrace, or floor-to-ceiling window “cubes” with built-in daybeds that jut out over bustling Gran Via. As one of the city’s few family-owned Spanish hospitality brands, the boutique property prides itself on offering an authentic glimpse into Barcelona. (Just peek the hotel’s art collection, which features work acquired from local galleries.) At the rooftop bar, Azimuth, mingle with locals while taking in views of La Sagrada Familia and Mount Tibidabo. Meanwhile, at the ground-level Virens, chef Rodrigo de la Calle (of Madrid’s El Invernadero fame) crafts plant-forward interpretations of Mediterranean cuisine, with a focus on fermented foods like kefir and probiotic drink pairings. (De La Calle was once chef Joël Robuchon’s ‘green cuisine’ consultant, so you know he’s a master at preparing inventive, delicious plant-forward dishes.) The creative dishes spotlight fresh seasonal bounty from local providers and farms surrounding the city—as well as rare and unknown ingredients like carissa plums and white figs.

Did You Know? Renowned perfumer Jimmy Boyd created the hotel’s custom scent.

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