The Pound Drops to a Record Low Against the Dollar

September 26th, 2022

…and other reasons to book a trip to the UK right now

 

This morning every news outlet was splashing out the fact that the Great British Pound is at a record low against the US Dollar. Not long ago, the pound was generally hovering around two USD, but today it $1.07 USD to GBP. Even though the UK is always popular (consistently in the top 10 of popular destinations for luxury travelers, as tracked by Virtuoso, the leading global network specializing in luxury and experiential travel), here are some suggestions of where and why to head across the pond!

 

LONDON

London is so lovely in the fall, and without Thanksgiving, their holiday décor and celebration tends to start a bit earlier.

 

Frieze

Frieze London is October 12-16 and will bring together over 280 galleries from 42 countries, with specially curated sections celebrating the city’s creative spirit. The Frieze at The Bloomsbury package includes accommodation for 2 people, full English breakfast for two, and two tickets to FRIEZE London.

 

City & Country with Belmond

Experience both the bustle of London and the serenity of Oxfordshire, starting with two nights at The Cadogan, a stylish retreat in the heart of Chelsea. The hotel has a rich history and is perfectly positioned for some luxury shopping, visiting museums and nights at the theatre. Then journey to Oxfordshire in style and experience the rural beauty of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, a honey-hued manor nestled in lush gardens (and home to Raymond Blanc’s two Michelin-starred restaurant).

o   Guests at The Cadogan also have exclusive access to Gladwell & Patterson, a family-run art gallery in stylish Knightsbridge. Full of fine oil paintings, watercolors and sculptures by leading artists, it’s an oasis of calm and culture dating back to 1752 (and was frequently visited by Vincent Van Gogh).

 

Stay in a sculpture

The Beaumont’s ROOM is both a sculpture by artist Antony Gormley and a bookable suite. The bedroom occupies the interior of a giant, semi-abstract sculpture that dominates the entrance of the hotel. The mysterious, cave-like space encourages guests to withdraw for a meditative pause and good night’s sleep.

o   With the Stay and Dine offer, guests can book an overnight stay at The Beaumont and treat themselves to a Colony Grill Room lunch or dinner for two from £865 (Per room, per night, including Full English Breakfast, three-course lunch or dinner in The Colony and taxes – this rate is for a regular room, not the ROOM sculpture).

 

Around the World in 80 Days

The Kensington hotel just introduced a the ‘80 Days Around The World’ Afternoon Tea experience, the first in a series of adventurous seasonal teas at the hotel, drawing inspiration from the worldly travels of Phileas Fogg – the protagonist in Jules Verne’s 1872 novel “Around the World in Eighty Days.” This new tea celebrates his journey through a menu of savory amuse-bouche, sandwiches, desserts and scones. Available from September 26 (and with gluten-free and vegan options) the first leg of the journey will whisk guests to cities across Europe and into the Middle East. The menu starts in London, represented by a classic beef pie with a puff pastry top, travels onward to mainland Europe with a Parmesan Gougere filled with tomato cream, then onto Ta’ameya (falafel) with tahini oil – a Cairo streetfood classic. Traditional sandwiches follow, with a menu comprising London’s much-loved lemon and chive cream cheese with smoked salmon, Parisian mustard mayo with ham and pickled gherkin, Italian sundried tomatoes with green pesto and mozzarella and Egyptian cumin houmous with caramelised onions sandwiches. Fresh fruit, plain scones served with seasonal homemade jams, and clotted cream will also be on offer. Continuing to take guests on a journey across the globe, highlight desserts include Banoffee Pie, French Opera Mont Blanc, Italian Tiramisu and Egyptian Raspberry, Rose and Pistachio Twirl dessert.

 

 

SCOTLAND

The Fife Arms in Braemar, 15-minute drive from Balmoral Castle, is excited to announce the inaugural Braemar Literary Festival (October 7-9) that will bring together locals, hotel guests and literary lovers alike. The festival is being held in collaboration with The Royal Reading Room. Inspired by the reading list of Her Majesty The Queen Consort, the digital hub launched in 2021 to connect communities around the world to celebrate all forms of literature. Braemar Literary Festival is co-curated by actor and broadcaster Genevieve Gaunt, who has penned book reviews for The Spectator, the oldest surviving weekly magazine in the world. Additional supporters of the event include the British food writer and critic Tom Parker Bowles, St. Margaret’s performance, arts and heritage venue in Braemar, and local cultural partners. The two-day event will explore the creative use of words and text in their broadest sense, celebrating the works of bestselling authors alongside visual artists, spoken word performers, singer-songwriters, scriptwriters, critics and publishers alike, reflecting the many ways in which the ’literary’ creatively enhances our lives. Highlights from the weekend will include: a three-course dinner by Michelin-starred Angela Hartnett who was awarded an OBE (most excellent order of the British empire) for her services to hospitality and to the NHS (National Health Service) during the pandemic; as well as intimate conversations with Dave Broom, a Scottish whiskey expert and writer; Vicki Perrin, director of the Royal Reading Room; Dr. Frank Tallis, a writer and clinical psychologist; and Sam Leith, literary director of The Spectator.

September 14th, 2022

Gifts for the Traveler on Your List

The best travel gifts are steeped in place, evoking far-away places and once-in-a-lifetime adventures. And when said objects are crafted by expert craftspeople using the highest-quality local materials, the humble travel gift is elevated to a treasured possession. For those shopping for the traveler on their list, here are a handful of swoon-worthy gifts—from a hand-crafted globe depicting the Scottish night sky to a coffee table book sure to whisk you away to Italy’s most glamorous locales.

For the One-of-a-Kind Piece Seeker: New Artisan-Made Festive Gifts from the Scottish Highlands

The skies above Braemar, which is situated in the Cairngorms National Park, constitute the most northerly International Dark Sky Park. The exceptional darkness of the night is what attracts avid stargazers to the area. And now that this limited-edition black porcelain globe ($1,414) has been exclusively created for the Fife Arms, constellation-lovers all over the world can glimpse the star-spangled sky as seen from above the hotel. Marked by needlepoint and hand-painted, each globe is an heirloom piece set in an emerald-green nappa and oak pocket case on an oak stand.

Many artists and artisans call the Scottish town of Braemar home. Several of the village’s top makers have even collaborated on the gifts stocked at the Fife Arm’s gift shop— including adorable egg cosies ($36) crafted by two members of the knitting collective Deeside Knitwits. Like little hats for your ouefs, these hand-knitted fabrics are done in an assortment of colors (inspired by the Fife Arm’s house tartan!) and topped with charming mountain hares, which are found in the surrounding Cairngorms National Park. It’s the surest way to brighten any breakfast table!

For the Italy-Lover on Your List: A Coffee Table Book Inspired by La Dolce Vita

If the gift is for the friend or family member who’s always dreaming of an Italian getaway, look no further than Villeggiatura: Italian Summer Vacation ($95), an exquisite coffee table book from Assouline and luxury hospitality brand Belmond. With vivid imagery and evocative descriptions by former Vogue Italia editor Cesare Cunaccia, the book will take readers on a journey to Belmond’s collection of heritage hotels: Capriani in Venice, Splendido and Splendido Mare in Portofino, Villa San Michele in Florence, Castello di Casole in Tuscany, Caruso in Ravello, and Grand Hotel Timeo and Villa Sant’Andrea in Taormina, Sicily. Trust us on this one: you’ll want a copy for your own library.

For the Globe-Trotter Who’s Always Recovering from Jetlag: Plush Boutique Hotel Bedding

White Elephant Resorts is a collection of premier hotels and resorts in Nantucket, MA and in Palm Beach, FL, with an online shop inviting guests to bring a piece of the coastal escape home with them. One of their best-selling items: the uber-plush 100% Egyptian cotton bedding ($225) from Italy’s family-owned Rivolta Carmignani textile brand. Guests have been known to stock up after their stays, crediting the soft pillows and sumptuous duvet covers for their peaceful Zzzs. The set also comes with a decorative throw pillow with an elephant motif! For younger travelers, consider an adorable pajama set ($65)—a collaboration between CJW and White Elephant Hotel—featuring ice cream cones and lobster rolls, and made from a super-lightweight bamboo and cotton fabric.

For the Entertainer: Cocktail Glasses from Some of Our Favorite London Hotels

Nothing says the holidays like festive tableware. If the gift is for a friend who loves to entertain, we’ve got the perfect gift: this chic set of Art Deco-inspired coupe cocktail glasses ($49) from The Doyle Collection. Hand-painted with a gold rim and featuring a long, elegant stem, it’s an easy way to bring a dash of glamor to any holiday festivity.

For the Wellness Traveler with an Eye for Design: Decorative Accents from The Hampton’s Original Wellness Retreat

Beautiful objects go a long way in promoting a sense of balance and harmony. Give the gift of wabi sabi design by splurging on these beautiful ceramics (from $30-$100) made exclusively for Shou Sugi Ban House by New York-based ceramicist Stephanie Charlene. The collection includes three sizes of bowls, side and dinner plates, and tumblers—all made from a groggy white stoneware and finished with a sandy white glaze. To bring wellness on the road, consider the property’s signature Edge of the Woods candle ($88), hand-poured with soy and vegetable wax and naturally scented with notes of lemongrass, rosemary, thyme, pine, and ylang ylang. It’s the easiest way to channel Zen, no matter where in the world you are.

For the Fashion Set: Sustainable Shades from Brazil’s Coolest Beach Town

When Wilbert Das, former Creative Director of fashion label Diesel, opened his eco-chic retreat, UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa, he put the remote Brazilian fishing village of Trancoso on the map. Now, it’s a favorite destination of celebrities, fashion editors, and world-renowned surfers. Channel the destination’s cool factor by purchasing a pair of limited-edition sunglasses ($375), crafted in Trancoso by UXUA artist-in-residence, Mark Inglis, and featuring durable, protective lenses by German supplier Zeis. The sunnies are made of three different varieties of reclaimed wood and sustainably-sourced buffalo bone—making it easy to look and feel good on the fly.

September 14th, 2022

Cheers to Green Cuisine

Green cuisine is sweeping the hotel industry. With properties upping their veggie-forward options and introducing meat-free variations on classic dishes, there’s never been a better time to travel as a vegan, vegetarian, or generally health and environmentally conscious traveler. By embracing plant-forward menus, hotels are appealing to a broader set of travelers and winning over a younger generation of environmentally aware travelers.

When it comes to green cuisine, innovation abounds. At Shou Sugi Ban House, the Hamptons’ first wellness resort, world-renowned chefs Mads Refslund of Noma fame designed a menu that uses a variety of techniques like fermentation, juicing, and en papillote to transform organic foods that are plucked from the hotel’s biodynamic gardens and local farms. Fresh, briny oysters might come from West Robins, a sustainable shellfish operation in Southampton, while the nearby Bhumi Farms might provide sugar snaps, heirloom tomatoes, and mini cucumbers.

At Oxfordshire’s Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, a Belmond Hotel, cooking vegetables is elevated to high art. At the hotel’s signature restaurant—which earned two Michelin stars during its first year and has held them ever since—French chef Raymond Blanc OBE creates stunning dishes that highlight only the finest and freshest ingredients, sourced from his two-acre vegetable garden. Among the 90+ plants that are grown include 20+ species of mushrooms, every French and English herb imaginable, plus an apple and pear orchard and more than 70 varieties. Guests can broaden their botanical knowledge by joining half- and full-day classes at the gardening school. Or they can enroll in the Raymond Blanc Cookery School to learn how to transform the seasonal bounty into multi-course meals.

In the Maldives, Gili Lankfansuhi has made a name as being one of the most sustainable and eco-friendly resorts in the archipelago. Executive chef Hari Govindaraj is passionate about plant-forward cuisine and has introduced a comprehensive veggie-centric menu that transforms locally-grown ingredients into colorful, creative dishes with a sense of place—think: Maldivian vegetable curry with coconut sauce, served with chapatti and poppadum; a beach lettuce salad with pomegranate and mint; and a steamed banana cake with fresh fruits and lemongrass sorbet. Chef Hari’s goal is to create 2,000 new plant-based recipes over the next two years (he’s currently at 600!). Guests can enjoy a plant-based tasting menu in the property’s garden, take part in a private vegan cooking class, or opt for the “Powered by Plants” package. The exclusive experience includes plant-based menus (signature dishes include aloe vera and beetroot tartare, or seared radish and spinach cannelloni), yoga classes, sustainability initiatives like the Coral Lines Project, and vegan treatments at the spa. What’s more, 100% of the resort’s food waste is processed in an advanced rocket composter, producing natural fertilizer for the hotel’s garden.

London might be better known for its bangers and mash than its vegetarian fare, but at L’Oscar, travelers can get their greens without sacrificing any flavor—or culinary prowess! The property’s vegan menu is a celebration of the freshest produce and the city’s crossroads cultures. Enjoy a chickpea velouté with French vierge sauce and seaweed oil to start, followed by an Acquerello risotto with saffron. Sides might include pak choi with shichimi or marinated Japanese aubergine with soy sauce and jalapeno peppers. And don’t miss dessert, especially the pineapple carpaccio with vegan crumble, Madagascar vanilla, and coconut sorbet.

 

Unique Perks of the Suite Life – From Private Speed Boats to Unlimited Champagne

August 19th, 2022

Extra-Special Suites

Many travelers, especially those traveling with their families or for business, opt to splurge on a suite for extra room to spread out. But added space isn’t the only reason to upgrade your digs. In some cases, reserving a suite unlocks special perks like private guides, access to your own speedboat, free-flowing champagne, and VIP dining experiences—not to mention bragging rights. From a designer suite on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express to the world’s largest overwater villa, here are 5 suites worth the expense.

andBeyond Phinda Mountain lodge Family Suite

Designed to provide the right balance of privacy and together-time, the Family Suite at andBeyond Phinda Mountain Lodge is cleverly laid out to help you make the most of your group safari getaway. A central living room connects the two wings of the suite, each of which have bedrooms, ensuite bathrooms and outdoor showers, and interleading children’s rooms. A private veranda off the shared lounge offers panoramic views of the surrounding bush (keep your eyes peeled for the Big Five) and connects directly to the lodge pool.  But that’s not all — book the Family Suite and you’ll get your own dedicated private guide and vehicle for exploring the lodge’s 70,560 acres of protected wildlife land, where wildlife like cheetah, black rhino, and nyala roam.

Images Courtesy of andBeyond: https://we.tl/t-cBqthjvYwU

The Marylebone

Get the royal treatment in London by booking the lavish Marylebone Suite. Offering 860 square feet of living space, it’s like owning your own stylish pied-a-terre in the heart of the city, steps from Hyde Park and Manchester Square. The best place to take in the views is the suite’s Scandi-style terrace, complete with a retractable roof and blinds, plush sofas, a fireplace and TV. Or relax inside, where a Julian Chichester dining table, a marble bathroom and whirlpool bath, freshly cut flowers, and complimentary selection of alcoholic and soft drinks will make you feel right at home. Other perks of booking the chic suite include VIP airport pick-up (London City & Heathrow only, one way), in-suite check-in, and access to a dedicated guest liaison who can hook you up with dinner reservations, in-room meals, or anything else you should need.

Images Courtesy of The Doyle Collection: https://we.tl/t-TjR2QQfRr0

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, A Belmond Train

In June 2023, eight new suites will be unveiled aboard the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, A Belmond Train. Two original 1920s and 30s carriages, accommodating just four suites on each car, will be carefully restored, their design inspired by pastoral European landscapes and featuring plush fabrics and furnishings from renowned brands and makers like Majorelle, Dufrene, Leleu, Rousseau, and Lalique.  The La Forêt Suites will evoke Germany’s Black Forest, while the La Campagne Suites will be adorned with rich velvet greens and intricate flower marquetry in homage to Northern Italy’s rolling pastures and vineyards. Les Montagnes Suites will mirror the mountainous peaks of Austria’s Arblerg massig, and Les Lacs Suites will reflect the serene beauty of the likes of Lake Zug in Switzerland and Lake Como in Italy. The suites are portals to the golden day of train travel, with luxuries like private marble ensuite bathrooms and lounging areas that transform into either double or twin beds by night. Additional amenities might include personal 24-hour cabin stewards, complimentary kimonos and slippers, and free-flowing champagne. Cheers!

Images Courtesy of Belmond: https://we.tl/t-XGDz3pabSI

Gili Private Reserve

A Robinson Crusoe fantasy come to life, the Private Reserve at Gili Lankanfushi is the world’s largest overwater villa, stretching across the Indian Ocean in multi-level tiers. Guests spend their days lounging by the infinity-edge pool and in the overwater catamaran nets; working out in the air-conditioned gym; pampering themselves with treatments at the private couples’ spa (complete with a steam room and indoor/outdoor treatment rooms); and sliding down the top-deck waterslide into turquoise waters. Running late on dinner reservations? Luckily guests of Gili Private Reserve have access to their own speed boat, which they can use to travel around the resort or farther afield. By night, enjoy movie screenings at the private cinema, and retire in the guestrooms (of which there are two en suite master bedrooms and a guest suite), which have doors that open to the breathtaking scenery. Other perks of the Private Reserve include a fully equipped kitchen and the option to curate your own wine selection from the 400-label cellar.

Images Courtesy of Gili Lankanfushi: https://we.tl/t-yvZQxT8FTJ

Master Casita at Paradero Todos Santos

Guests of Paradero’s indulgent Master Casita can do as much (or as little) as they want, enjoying access to all the resort’s immersive experience from energizing morning yoga, and taco tours, to farming tutorials, cliffside champagne tastings, and sunset walks. No matter what activities they partake in, guests will come back to the ultimate hideaway in Todos Santos: spread over three floors and designed to feel like a luxurious home away from home, the Master Casita comes with a kitchenette, a spacious dining room, and a plunge pool and suspended “star net” with 360-degree views of the mountains, the Las Palmas Beach, and the La Mesa farming fields. Like all of Paradero’s suites, the Master Casita embraces triangular geometries—a sacred symbol of the Mayan culture–to promote a sense of balance and wellbeing.

Images Courtesy of Paradero Todos Santos: https://we.tl/t-8k9RYFxaLW

 

Beyond a Place of Worship: Three Extraordinary Hotel Chapels

August 2nd, 2022

Beyond serving as places of worship or religious celebration, these extraordinary hotel chapels are portals into local customs and architectural and artistic traditions. Many have been painstakingly restored to their original splendor, offering visitors a chance to travel back in time—to the Italian Renaissance, the Andean Baroque movement in Peru, and the Byzantine period in Greece.

Kalesma Mykonos

Located on the grounds of Kalesma Mykonos, the recently completed church of Agios Dimitrios is an exquisite ode to the island’s Byzantine past, brought to life by Greece’s top contemporary artists and design talents, including creative agency Saint of Athens. As many of the island’s aristocratic mansions contain worship areas with ornate religious imagery, the owners of Kalesma Mykonos wanted to pay tribute to this local tradition. Greek design firm K-Studio oversaw the church’s Cycladic architecture, while the interiors—a collaboration between Studio Bonarchi’s Vangelis Bonios and graphic designer/illustrator Gerasimos Chatzis—drew on a range of influences, including references to great Greek hagiographers, Hellenistic elements, and Byzantine heritage. A typeface was specifically created for the church’s interiors: a predominantly black Byzantine, tribal script with shining gold accents that depicts the Passions of Holy Week. An original soundtrack by musician Stefanos Giakoumakis borrows from the vibrations of the surroundings, fusing the sounds of water and air with choral and orchestral elements.

Monasterio, A Belmond Hotel, Cusco

Walking inside the San Antonio Abad Chapel at Monasterio, a Belmond Hotel, you can’t help but feel the city’s Baroque history wash over you. Built on what was once the Palace of Inca Amaru Qhala, the church—constructed in the aftermath of the 1650 earthquake—features soaring ceilings with large-scale oil paintings in elaborate frames and a resplendent gold altar. It’s an astonishingly beautiful backdrop for weddings and other religious ceremonies. Guests can also exchange their vows within the cloistered walls of Monasterio’s main courtyard, amid grand stone arches, scented gardens, and a 300-year-old cedar tree. It’s no wonder the hotel has been recognized as a historical landmark by Peru’s National Institute of Culture.

Villa San Michele, A Belmond Hotel, Florence

Declared a National Monument in 1896, the Church of Villa San Michele all Doccia is a Renaissance-era masterpiece, complete with artworks that rival those at the country’s greatest cathedrals and galleries. Belmond faithfully restored the structure in 1988, washing the façade with distilled water and installing steel reinforcements to its weakest parts. The apse and the high altar are flanked with pietra serena columns, and there are four holy water stoups, two of which date to 1515, which is believed to be the year of the church’s original completion. Art aficionados can gaze up at Nicodemo Ferrucci’s Last Supper fresco, which has graced the walls since 1642 but was painstakingly restored in 1999, revealing details previously unseen, like the oil lamp above Christ’s halo. There is also a partially preserved 15ht-century fresco of the Ascension of Our Lord; a painting by Santi di Tito, who also completed works on the Vatican; and a stone coffin bearing the insignia of Pope Eugene IV. A colorful highlight is the 400-year-old wisteria, the only of its kind in Florence to bloom twice a year.

Where to Learn About Sustainability While Traveling – Our Top 9 Picks

July 27th, 2022

There’s infinite wisdom to be gained from the world of travel. One area where travel can be particularly impactful is sustainability. By integrating travelers into communities, instilling a deep reverence toward natural landscapes, and opening minds through fun, educational programming, travel has the capacity to effect lasting change long after a trip has ended. Here are nine hotels, tour operators, and destinations that are combining impact and inspiration in game-changing ways.

 

andBeyond

When it comes to conservation tourism, andBeyond is in a league of its own. Since its founding in 1991, the brand has secured some of the tourism industry’s conservation firsts: the reintroduction of cheetah to andBeyond Phinda, the groundbreaking translocation of 19 guar at India’s Bandhavgarh National Park, and the Rhinos Without Borders initiative that saw the relocation of 100+ rhinos from the highest poaching zones in South Africa. By staying at andBeyond’s 33 lodges and camps and opting for its tailor made tours and small group journeys, travelers are not only supporting these crucial initiatives across three continents, but also making history. Participate in the pioneering Pangolin conservation experience in a region where the species has been locally extinct for decades. Listen to legendary conservation leaders like Les Carlisle tell you about his decades of experience rewilding destinations around the world. Inspire a younger generation of conservationists by enrolling young visitors in the WILDchild Eco-Guide Challenge, which might include learning bushman skills like catch-and-release fishing, animal tracking, and identifying species of plants and animals.

 

Le Commandant Charcot

PONANT’s latest addition to its fleet is the world’s first luxury hybrid electric polar exploration ship that’s powered by electric battery and liquified natural gas, a non-toxic source that has the best safety records of all fuel types. With eight departures for the summer 2022 and 2023 Arctic season, Le Commandant Charcot offers guests the chance to venture to the farthest reaches of the globe, where they can participate in citizen science experiments, learn about the conservation initiatives, and tour remote landscapes with a team of naturalist-guides. For example, on a 16-day itinerary to the Geographic North Pole, the most northern point of the Earth’s axis of rotation, one activity is setting up a research station on an ice floe and deploying an Argos transmitter (a satellite-based system that collects and disseminates environmental data). Meanwhile, in Antarctica, on the 30-day journey Unexplored Antarctica Between Two Continents—an all-new and unrivaled half-circumnavigation between the far south of the American continent to New Zealand—guests will deepen their knowledge of the world’s most remote locales through expert-led lectures and excursions guided by naturalists, like observing isolated colonies of emperor penguins on coastal areas along the Bellingshausen Sea. When in battery mode, Le Commandant Charcot can sail for up to eight hours at a time without producing any emissions and with very low noise levels, so as to not disrupt aquatic life.

 

Paradero

Hands-on sustainable farming tutorials. Cooking classes with ingredients grown in the garden. A hike through the UNESCO-protected biosphere reserves along the Baja California Peninsula. At Paradero Todos Santos, an 80 percent landscape project and hospitality concept developed by Mexican entrepreneurs Pablo Carmona and Josh Kremer, education has never been so fun—or scenic. The property is spread across five acres in the unspoiled La Mesa farming community, an agricultural area comprising 160 acres of family-owned farms, and located at the doorstop of five distinct ecosystems, including the Sierra de La Laguna Mountain range, and a 200-year-old cordon cacti forest. Every activity at Paradero is designed to immerse guests in these spectacular landscapes and promote a deeper, more authentic connection to the land and the local community. Ultimately, these skills will generate greater self-awareness—encouraging guests to embody the values of Paradero long after a trip has ended.

 

Mount Nelson, A Belmond Hotel, Cape Town

Situated at the base of Cape Town’s iconic Table Mountain and spread across nine acres of lush gardens, Mount Nelson, A Belmond Hotel offers the rare experience of being amid nature in one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities. The reverence toward the natural world is reflected in the property’s range of unique activities and experiences, like the Fynbos Sunset Walk, a hike that begins just steps from the hotel and winds through one of the most biologically diverse regions on earth with over 9,000 plant species, nearly 70 percent are native to the Western Cape. Belmond guests also enjoy private access to shark scientist Justin Blake for a private ocean boating and snorkeling expedition to explore the underwater world that surrounds Cape Town’s coast.  During the half-day excursion, swim through the Cape kelp forests, recently listed as a new Seven Wonder of the World, and the octopus gardens of Oscar-award winning documentary “My Octopus Teacher,” offering to gain a greater understanding of the importance of sharks in maintaining the delicately balanced marine ecosystems. Back on boat, dine on a sustainable seafood-inspired picnic created by Mount Nelson’s Chef Rudi Liebenberg, featuring delicacies sourced from ABALOBI, a South African-based social enterprise supporting small-scale fishing communities globally.

 

UXUA Casa Hotel

Built by local artisans over a two-year period using traditional building methods and reclaimed materials (nothing is sourced beyond a five-mile radius of Trancoso), UXUA Casa Hotel and Spa is literally built on a sustainable foundation. The property’s influence goes beyond the hotel’s walls, though. At VIDA Lab, the on-site nutritional laboratory and medical kitchen, medical director Dr. Jullian Hamamoto transforms local plants and botanicals—from the on-site garden, the nearby Itaporoca beach, and the 50-acre UXUA ROÇA farm—into healing elixirs and beautifying therapies. Guests can go foraging with Dr. Jullian to learn about the significance of these ingredients, many of which are sacred to Brazil’s Indigeous Pataxó people. At the on-site atelier, guests can interact with local craftspeople and give input into products they’d like made, like kaftans and kimonos made by local weavers. Another notable activity is a capoeira lesson by a professor at the local Capoeira Sul Da Bahia school, which is dedicated to the preservation and study of the centuries-old martial art. One hundred percent of the proceeds for each lesson is donated to the school, and guests can also join in public class sessions with local youth.

 

Napa Valley

Napa Valley is at the forefront of sustainability in wine—the region is home to 40 percent of all certified sustainable wineries in California. Established in 1976, the Land Trust of Napa County protects more than 55,000 acres, roughly 10 percent of Napa County, ensuring the preservation of the land. No other wine region in the world has something like it. Local vintners work with more than 20 industry and environmental stakeholder groups to promote responsible business development and environmental stewardship.  What this means for visitors? Plenty of wide-open vistas and sustainably made wine, for one. There’s also an extensive range of activities that promote deeper engagement with Napa’s landscapes. The Napa Valley Bike Trail, for example, is a walking/cycling trail system that will connect the entire region, offering 47 continuous miles of level, paved, dog-friendly trail. Another way to see the sights: motoring around the region with Green Dream Tours, a carbon-neutral business that whisks visitors to sustainable wineries in the region, like Starmont Wines in St. Helena, where they’ll learn about their sustainable processes and techniques.

 

Nayara Resorts

The five properties that make up Naya Resorts’ portfolio are each located in a spectacular corner of Latin American—from the green valley in the Atacama Desert; Easter Island, one of the most remote places on earth; and the three Costa Rican properties, which are spread over a mountainside facing the majestic Arenal Volcano. With these sublime natural locations comes ample opportunity to learn about these precious ecosystems and the wildlife therein. In Costa Rica, for example, where Nayara planted over 1,000 Cecropia trees—the sloth’s made food source—guests can visit the sloth sanctuary to watch and learn about these creatures and various conservation efforts. While in Atacama, guests can discover the Salar of Atacama with a naturalist guide, navigating its rock formations and watching flamingos fly across the open sky.

 

Gili Lankanfushi

​​Located in the Maldives’ North Malé Atoll, one of the world’s most spectacular and fragile natural environments, Gili Lankanfushi takes great strides to protect its rich marine diversity and safeguard its surroundings for generations to come. Later this year, the resort will unveil a new Marine Biology Center, with a cutting-edge research space and the expansion of the coral nursery. The resort’s primary marine research facility, the lab is where guests can learn from Gili’s team of marine biologists, participating in coral reef cleaning and collecting vital information that benefits organizations like the Marina Research Center. Guests can even help rehabilitate damaged coral by nursing coral on ropes (lines) and transplanting them onto degraded reef areas—an initiative that Gili launched way before it was popular in the Maldives.

 

La Samanna, A Belmond Hotel, St. Martin

While a beach vacation conjures up visions of sunbathing on velvety shores, guests of La Samanna, A Belmond Hotel can combine seaside bliss and sustainable education. The Escape to Tintamarre experience entails a boat ride to the uninhabited Tintamarre island, in the Saint Martin Nature Reserve, home to rare hawksbill turtles and stingrays. A local marine conservationist will educate guests about the rich marine fauna and local sustainability efforts. Or visitors can venture up the St. Martin’s tallest peaks with a local nature guide, pausing to soak up sweeping island views and admire colorful plants and animals.

 

 

Will Travel for Swimming Pools? Our Top 8 Picks:

July 27th, 2022

Nothing signals ‘vacation mode’ quite like lounging by a pool, listening to the sounds of trickling water as you take in the surrounding scenery. It doesn’t matter if you’re swimming laps on the 47th floor of a Tokyo skyscraper or taking in coastal views from an infinity pool on the Amalfi Coast—there’s something about being near water that immediately energizes the body and soothes the spirit. Here are 8 pools that make the biggest splash.

 

Park Hyatt Tokyo

The ultimate antidote to the hustle and bustle of Tokyo’s streets? A refreshing dip in the pool of Park Hyatt Tokyo. With skylights and floor-to-ceiling windows, the pool gives the impression of swimming high above the Japanese capital, with 47th-floor views of the skyline and the snow-capped Mount Fuji in the distance.  Stretch out on a lounger around the 65-foot pool and order a drink and light bites. It’s worth hanging around until nighttime, admiring the lights of the city while soaking in the warm waters.

 

Nayara Tented Camp

At Costa Rica’s Nayara Tented Camp, guests have their pick of seven pools, all fed by hot springs and looking out to lush jungle scenery and the majestic Arenal Volcano. Each pool ranges in temperature, allowing guests to cool down on hotter days and warm up when the sun goes down. Thirsty? Ask the bartender to hand whip up a Guaro Sour or an iced Costa Rican coffee.

Don’t miss a nighttime swim, with twinkling stars overhead and the nocturnal sounds of the rainforest filling the warm air.

 

UXUA Casa Hotel and Spa

Not all pools are created equal. Take the pool at UXUA Casa Hotel and Spa in Trancoso, Brazil. Lined with 45,000 green aventurine quartz crystals—a native Bahian stone that’s said to have healing qualities— the shimmering pool resembles a natural lagoon that’s shaded by lush greenery and fragrant flowers. Add to the pool’s therapeutic effects by supplementing your swim with a Bahian hot stone massage at the spa.

 

Le Commandant Charcot

The world’s first luxury icebreaker ship is designed to travel through the globe’s iciest, most remote locations like the Antarctic Polar Circle. But don’t be fooled by its ruggedness—the ship has no shortage of luxe amenities, like a heated indoor swimming pool with a large glass roof and a sunroom looking out to the frozen scenery. Extra-intrepid guests can venture outdoors to the heated Blue Lagoon swimming pool, which wraps around the stern of the ship. The waters are heated from 80 to 98 degrees Fahrenheit using recycled energy from the ship. Snag a spot around the giant outdoor fire pit (as a plus, the armchairs are also heated) and order a selection of sweet and savory bites from 11 AM – 6 PM.

Caruso, A Belmond Hotel, Ravello

Italy’s Amalfi Coast is spoiled for breathtaking scenery, but there’s no perch more picturesque than the heated infinity pool at Caruso, A Belmond Hotel. Seemingly suspended between the sea and the sky, the pool is situated at the hotel’s highest point, an astonishing 1,000 feet above sea level. Swim up to the pool’s edge and take in panoramic views of steep cliffs that plunge into the Tyrrhenian Sea. After toweling off, ask the pool concierge to bring you a Kindle with a selection of reading material, or an iPod pre-loaded with the guest’s choice of music.

 

Palacio Nazarenas, A Belmond Hotel, Cusco

As a former Incan temple turned conquistador’s mansion, Palacio Nazarenas, A Belmond Hotel, is one of Cusco’s most singular stays. It’s also home to the city’s first and only outdoor heated pool, located beyond Inca walls in a cloistered terrace. Swim laps while marveling at the building’s Spanish colonial architecture, then order a Pisco Sour from the poolside Senzo Bar. Don’t miss salsa lessons on the pool deck on Tuesdays and Thursday evenings and live electronic Andean music on Friday night.

 

Indian Springs Calistoga, Napa Valley

Did you know California’s premier wine country is home to one of the Golden State’s largest natural hot springs? At Calistoga’s Indian Springs, travelers come from far and wide to soak in warm waters that have provided therapeutic relief for thousands of years. Napa’s original inhabitants, the members of the Wappo tribe, built sweat lodges over the area’s bubbling thermal geysers; in the 1860s, notable Californian Sam Brannan created the original spa, volcanic mud baths, and water plunge (now an Olympic-sized mineral pool heated to 92-102 degrees Fahrenheit). After your swim, explore the 17 acres of hills and ponds, lined with olive and pool trees and rose and lavender bushes.

 

La Reserve Paris

A Parisian sojourn isn’t always conducive to wellness (croissants, anyone?). But at La Réserve Paris, guests can easily keep up with their wellness routines at the oasis-like spa, complete with a 16-meter indoor pool, a hammam, a fitness area, and three treatment rooms for facials and body treatments. Open 24/7 for hotel guests, it is easy to squeeze in a couple laps at the pool before carrying on your day. The pool area can also be bought out for the ultimate in privacy and relaxation.

 

Belmond Announces New Suites on Venice Simplon-Orient-Express for 2023

July 26th, 2022

Belmond unveils a new cabin category aboard the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, A Belmond Train, Europe. Eight new Suites will launch in June 2023, further elevating the original legend of the rails as it crisscrosses through Europe. A classic one-night journey in a Suite will start at EUR 5,500 per person.

Bridging the train’s iconic history and authentic craftmanship with modern comfort and luxuries, the lavish new accommodations will feature a private marble ensuite bathroom and a spacious lounging area by day that seamlessly transforms into either double or twin beds by night. Additional amenities will include a personal 24-hour cabin steward and a complimentary kimono and slippers.

Two original 1920s and 30s carriages, accommodating just four Suites on each car, will be carefully restored and reimagined by expert French craftsmen and designers. Paying homage to the dramatic European landscapes through which the train passes, the Suites are inspired by four regions: La Campagne (the countryside), Les Montagnes (the mountains), Les Lacs (the lakes), and La Forêt (the forest). The interiors will be a celebration of nature’s landscapes, and plush fabrics and furnishings will channel famed Art Deco designers, such as Majorelle, Dufrene, Leleu, Rousseau, Prou and Lalique.

La Forêt Suites will echo the Black Forest, the mountainous region in southwest Germany – a route taken when traveling from Prague to Paris. From wilderness to countryside, La Campagne Suites will be adorned with vivid velvet greens and intricate flower marquetry as an ode to the pastures and vineyards of Northern Italy and the picturesque vista along the Cȏte d’Azur in the South of France. Les Montagnes Suites will mirror the mountainous peaks of Austria’s Arlberg massif, a backdrop on the train’s classic route to Venice. Les Lacs Suites will reflect the beauty of the spectacular lakes passed such as Lake Zug in Switzerland and Lake Como in Italy.

The new Suites will complement the two existing cabin categories, Historic Cabins and Grand Suites. The Historic Cabins exude timelessness in the Art Deco carriages, transforming from day-time lounge into cozy upper and lower beds at night. For the epitome of luxury, the Grand Suites feature private ensuite bathrooms with showers, double beds, and a living area with underfloor heating for private dining experiences. Grand Suite amenities include 24-hour cabin service, free-flowing champagne, and private transfers to and from the train.

From March to November, Venice Simplon-Orient-Express travels through Europe with routes through Czech Republic (Prague), France (Paris and Cannes), Italy (Florence, Venice, Rome and Verona), Austria (Vienna and Innsbruck), Hungary (Budapest), Romania (Bucharest), Switzerland (Geneva), Belgium (Brussels), and the Netherlands (Amsterdam), as well as the iconic route from Paris to Istanbul once a year.

For more information on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, please visit Belmond.com.

 

About Belmond

Belmond has been a pioneer of exceptional luxury travel for over 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 travellers 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 Iguassu 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. www.belmond.com

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What’s New in Europe?

April 12th, 2022

Now that warm weather is on the horizon, Europe is gearing up for the summer season. Here are some newsy bits not to miss…

 

UK

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee will take place in London June 2-5. How a few hotels are celebrating…

·      The Kensington, in the Royal Borough with its classic London feel, has a package with a private royal walking tour with resident Blue Badge Guide exploring the links and history of Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, Green Park and St. James Park through monarchs ranging from Henry VIII to Queen Victoria to Princess Dianna and of course Queen Elizabeth II.

·      The recently renovated Le Magritte Bar at The Beaumont has a special Jubilee Cocktail made with very Keepr’s English Raspberry and Honey Gin, Chambord, King’s Ginger Liqueur, lemon juice, grapefruit juice, rhubarb bitters and English sparkling wine. The specialty cocktail coincides with the opening of the new Terrace overlooking Brown Hart Gardens, a alfresco drinking and dining destination with 1920s-style rattan armchairs and café tables surrounded by lush greenery.

·      On June 5th, catch the train at London Victoria Station for an afternoon tea celebration on Belmond’s British Pullman featuring Windsor Great Park Sparkling Wine from Her Majesty’s own estate. The wine served at Buckingham Palace is produced in limited quantities and is crafted from the classic champagne grape varieties of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. This journey is in partnership with pastry chef Claire Clark MBE and the Luminary Bakery, a non-profit bakery founded to help create jobs, community, and support for women in the workplace. Each couple will receive a copy of Luminary Bakery’s Rising Hope cookbook and Belmond will also make a donation for every ticket sold.

·      Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisions, A Belmond Hotel, Oxfordshire is hosting a series of summer experiences including exclusive access to Sir Paul and Lady Getty’s home and the rarely seen castellated library, including the first edition of Caxton’s printing og The Canterbury Tales, Anne Boleyn’s Psalter and the first folio of Shakespeare’s “Comedies, Histories and Tragedies” on June 16; and an alfresco garden party at the property hosted by Raymond Blanc in honor of Bastille Day on July 14.

*JetBlue also announced a July 19 launch of direct flights between Boston and London.

 

GREECE

Chef Costas Spiliadis of the Milos Restaurant group is returning to his Greek roots with the debut of the 43-room property in Athens: xenodocheio Milos. inside two heritage-listed neoclassical buildings (sandwiched between the historical Pláka and trendy Kolonaki neighborhoods). In addition to being within walking distance of the Acropolis and nearby historic sites, it is the only luxury boutique hotel in the city.

 

When it opens for its second season on April 21, Kalesma Mykonos will introduce a newly redesigned restaurant with uninterrupted water views on two sides, a new hand-painted mural in its onsite chapel, and several suites that have been expanded into one-bedroom villas with full outdoor kitchens and grills.

 

IRELAND

Dromoland Castle’s 18-hole golf course will be in peak condition prior to hosting the 2022 Women’s Irish Open in September (the first women’s professional golf tournament to be held in the Republic of Ireland since 2012).

 

ITALY

Belmond is partnering with internationally acclaimed art gallery Galleria Continua on an exclusive project, entitled MITICO, that will kick off during the Venice Biennale (April 19-22). This project represents the beginning of Belmond’s participation in Venice’s world-renowned artistic and cultural programming. Each of the four participating artists will install works in landmarked Belmond gardens across Italy—beginning with Indian artist Subodh Gupta’s “Cooking the World” installation in Cipriani’s Casanova gardens during the Venice Biennale. In May, three major installations will be revealed: Argentinian artist Leandro Erlich’s “Window & Ladder” at Tuscany’s Villa San Michele; Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto’s “Accarezzare Gli Alberi” (L’Etrusco) at Castello di Casole; and a garden installation by Cameroonian artist Pascal Marthine Tayou in Sicily’s Grand Hotel Timeo.

 

Additional Belmond getaways:

At Splendido Mare and sister property, Splendido, discover the Portofino that has lured artists and writers to the coastal town throughout the centuries. Following a complete restoration that debuted last summer, Splendido Mare is the epitome of Italian glamor, with a picturesque location overlooking the yacht-filled harbor and 14 rooms filled with Ulrich Guglielmo armchairs, Carrara marble surfaces, and works by Italian painter Gabriele Cappelli.

 

At Belmond’s Cipriani, the city’s most iconic stay, guests will have access to exclusive experiences that will deepen their perspectives and whisk them away from the crowds. During tours of the Fondazione Cini Library and the 13th-century Library San Francesco della Vigna, rare books and preserved manuscripts will be on exclusive display for Belmond guests. Meanwhile, at the tiny island of Giudecca, guests will tour medieval pharmacies, visit an authentic gondola boatyard, and meet one of the last “moecante” (soft-shelled green crab) fishing families.

 

A hidden treasure of the Amalfi Coast, Ravello is known for its cliffside gardens and dramatic Tyrrhenian Sea scenery. Guests at Caruso, an 11th-century palace set on a cliff’s edge 1,000 feet above sea level, have exclusive access to secret underground networks deep below the historic town full of archeological treasures from Roman times.

 

Set on a craggy coastline on the secluded Sicily’s Bay of Mazzaro, Villa Sant’Andrea has been dazzling visitors since the 1950s. After a day on the hotel’s private beach, guests can meet members of the Rodolico family, who have been building handcrafted boats since 1908 or spend an afternoon with a fisherman and enjoy lunch inside his home overlooking the Messina Strait.

 

FRANCE

Nestled within a Mediterranean jardin overlooking the Cote d’Azur is the cliffside retreat, La Réserve Ramatuelle opens for the season in May following last summer’s refurbishment courtesy of Jacques Garcia. This comes just in time for all business-class airline La Compagnie’s new seasonal route from Newark to Nice (launching May 7).

SPAIN

Located just off Passeig de Gracia, Almanac Barcelona recently launched VIRENS, a new vegetable-forward restaurant helmed by Michelin-starred chef Rodrigo de la Calle of Madrid’s acclaimed El Invernadero. Growing up as the son of a farmer, chef de la Calle and his family would move with the seasons: autumn in Castilla-La Mancha for the harvesting of corn, winter in Andalusia for olives, and spring/summer for mixed vegetables in their huertas in Aranjuez. Guests can expect dishes that spotlight seasonal ingredients like fried artichoke hearts with liliaceae cream and white asparagus with black garlic demi-glaze and capers. To compliment the menu, the VIRENS team makes in-house fermented and sparkling beverages, such as kefir, kombucha, and mead.

 

Mallorca is an island of many sides, and at La Residencia, guests can truly choose their own adventures. Belmond guests can round out their visits by touring a neighboring country estate and enjoying a picnic on the grounds of the Sa Bassa Blanca museum. For a different feast of the senses, meet acclaimed winemaker Javier Jara for a walk through his 15th-century winery, Son Sureda Ric. The experience will conclude with a bossa nova performance amid vines, with Javier on the guitar and his talented wife, Carmè, on vocals.

 

SWITZERLAND

Located 10 minutes outside Switzerland’s second-largest city, La Réserve Geneva feels much farther thanks to its location within a 10-acre park on the shores of Lac Léman. With Europe’s largest alpine lake for its front yard, the property is more like an urban resort. At over 20,000-square-feet, the Nescens Spa is the largest in the city. (The Nescens brand was developed by Professor Jacques Proust, a pioneer in anti-aging medicine, at Geneva’s Center for the Prevention of Aging at the Clinique de Genolier.)

 

CROATIA

PONANT will debut its iconic three-masted sailing yacht, Le Ponant, following a complete refit led by Jean-Philippe Nuel Studio in July. With a 1:1 staff-to-guest ratio and welcoming just 32 guests, PONANT invites travelers to feel as if they’ve stepped aboard their own private yacht. The first voyage will depart on July 10 with a seven-night itinerary, Croatia, under sail aboard Le Ponant. Sailing roundtrip from Dubrovnik, travelers will explore seven Adriatic islands. After cruising through the Bay of Kotor, ports of call include Mljet, known for its national park; Korčula, including a private performance of Moreška, a traditional sword dance; Vis, with an optional diving excursion to World War II shipwrecks; and Brač for a winetasting in the town of Bol. Prices start at $10,890 per person based on double occupancy.

 

New Hotel Openings and Renovations

January 28th, 2022

From the Catskills to Tanzania, here is a look ahead at the most exciting new destinations and renovation plans for 2022.

Chatwal Lodge, The Catskills | Bethel, NY | April 1, 2022

90 minutes from Manhattan, Chatwal Lodge is located at The Chapin Estate, a 2,500-acre gated residential community. Architect and designer Steve Dubrovsky specializes in 19th-century Adirondack style, and he is also a four-time circuit champion of the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association. 10 suites spread among three buildings will feature private patios overlooking the 1,000-acre Toronto Reservoir Lake. Activities will range from fly fishing in the on-property trout stream and kayaking with a to-go picnic to Ayurvedic treatments in-suite.

(Photo credit: The Chapin Estate or Tim Williams, as noted in the file name)

andBeyond Grumeti Serengeti River Lodge | Tanzania | June 6, 2022

Conservation-led luxury travel company andBeyond has announced that andBeyond Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp in Tanzania’s Western Corridor will reemerge from an extensive rebuild, following a flood in April 2020, with a brand-new identity as andBeyond Grumeti Serengeti River Lodge. As part of andBeyond’s ethos, sustainability will be key in the rebuild. With interiors by long-time andBeyond collaborator Fox Browne Creative, 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. Guest suites will double in size and 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. An extended selection of experiences is also being developed in time for the reopening. 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.

(Photo credit: andBeyond)

Nayara Tented Camp | Costa Rica | June 2022

Nayara Tented Camp opened at the end of 2019 as one of the first luxury camps in Central America. This June, they are putting the finishing touches on a big phase two which will see the addition of a main building, reception area, bar, lounge, restaurant, swimming pool, and fire pit. There will also be several new accommodations, including: two four-bedroom villas with a living area, dining area, and main deck and pool (with the option to add a third tented bedroom); six two-bedroom tented suites (perfect for families); and two more tented suites. Nayara Tented Camp will then have a total of 38 accommodations altogether, and the new two-bedroom villas will be perfect for larger families and groups and those seeking extra privacy.

(Images to come.)

Opening for the Summer Season

US

Nantucket

  • Jared Coffin House – Opening April 6

The Jared Coffin House, a three-story brick mansion, was built by and named for one of Nantucket’s original shipping merchants. Dating from the mid-19th century, it oozes historic charm and graceful service. As a nod to the island’s history-making females, each of the four suites are named after influential women, including abolitionist Anna Gardner and women’s rights activist Lucretia Coffin Mott.

  • Cottages at Nantucket Boat Basin – Opening April 7

The Cottages at the Boat Basin evoke the mood of a quaint New England fishing village, and are the closest guests will get to staying on the water without being on a boat. Most cottages have decks and patios where guests can enjoy al fresco clambakes and picnics. For those traveling with pets, The Woof Cottages welcome pups with Draper Canine beds, a basket of treats and toys, food and water bowls, dog-walking services, and personalized pet tags.

  • White Elephant – Opening April 14

The White Elephant has been a favorite Nantucket retreat since the 1920s. The height of preppy New England elegance with grey shingles and white trim. A stone’s throw from the center of town, the property has accommodations for every traveler including suites on the harbor, garden cottages and two in-town Lofts, Easy Street and the Loft at 32 Main and multi-bedroom Residences with kitchenettes. The White Elephant’s Brant Point Grill is a staple restaurant on island and known for their famed Sunday Brunch and Lobster Bloody Mary.

  • Wauwinet – Opening April 14

Situated on the northeast end of Nantucket bordering the peaceful Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge, the 32-room Wauwinet is the island’s only Relais & Chateaux property. An adults-only escape, the hotel offers an ambiance of storybook romance. The location is a standout – with access to two private beaches – one on the ocean and one on the Bay. The on-property restaurant TOPPER’S, a don’t-miss dining spot on island, features a seasonally inspired menu with local produce and seafood.

Europe

Greece

  • Kalesma, Mykonos, Greece – Opening April 21, 2022

Kalesma opened in the summer of 2021 and stands apart from other hotels on the island with its amazing service (the owners are bringing in their trusted staff from their three hotspot restaurants in Athens to get it started). They are one of the earliest seasonal openings this year to coincide with their festive Greek Easter celebration. This year there will be new one-bedroom villas with an option to connect for a two-bedroom villa. They are moving and creating a new bar to optimize the views of the water looking both East and West. More information on what’s new for 2022 coming soon!

Italy

  • Cipriani, A Belmond Hotel, Venice – Opening March 10

Giuseppe Cipriani — also the founder of Harry’s Bar, the birthplace of the Bellini that was inspired by the pinky golden hues over St. Mark’s Square — opened Cipriani in 1956 as a haven for jet-setting travelers. Belmond guests can enjoy the only Olympic-sized swimming pool in the city and exclusive behind-the-scenes tours of the city’s libraries and archives.

  • Grand Hotel Timeo, A Belmond Hotel, Taormina – Opening March 15

Grand Hotel Timeo was formerly a private home and converted into a hotel in 1873. The property is adjacent to the Greek theater, stretched along six acres of tropical gardens, with views on the Naxos Bay and Mount Etna.

  • Splendido Mare, A Belmond Hotel, Portofino – Opening March 25

One year following its complete restoration by Paris-based FESTEN Architecture, Splendido Mare reopens for the 2022 season. Inspired by its history in a fishing village, the 14-room property is a chic seaside guesthouse with fresh seafood and Italian fare at the onproperty restaurant, DaV Mare, and offers a trip along the Italian Riviera aboard a gozzo, a traditional Ligurian fishing boat.

  • Villa San Michele, A Belmond Hotel, Florence – Opening March 27

Nestled on a hilltop amid lush trees and terraced gardens, the 15th-century facade is attributed to Michelangelo. Guests are invited to experience the delicate beauty and solitude of a monastery that is as much a part of Italy’s culture as the country’s greatest cathedrals and galleries. A colorful highlight is a 400-year-old wisteria, the only one in Florence to bloom twice a year.

  • Castelo did Casole, A Belmond Hotel, Tuscany – Opening April 1

The 4,200-acre property is one of the largest private estates in Italy, nestled in Tuscany’s geographical center between Siena and Florence. A former castle dating back to the 10th century, it has changed hands from Italian aristocratic family to acclaimed cinematographer Luchino Visconti before joining the Belmond portfolio.

  • Caruso, A Belmond Hotel, Ravello – April 1

Perched atop the highest point of the charming town of Ravello, at 1,000 ft above sea level, the 11th-century palace adorns Instagram feeds with its heated infinity pool. The historic property features 18th-century Neapolitan paintings, lush grounds with lemon and olive trees, and a two-suite Villa Margherita for those seeking extra privacy.

  • Splendido, A Belmond Hotel, Portofino – April 1

Splendido Mare’s sister property – just a quick, complimentary shuttle ride away, is a restored 16th-century monastery. Splendido is nestled up in the hills overlooking Portofino with a heated saltwater pool and Instagram-worthy views from La Terrazza restaurant.

  • Villa Sant’Andrea, A Belmond Hotel, Taormina – April 14

Built in 1919 among subtropical gardens, the property enjoys its own stretch on the secluded Bay of Mazzaro, where private cabanas for up to four guests can be reserved. Hop onboard the historic Circumetnea steam train to Mount Etna for private vineyard tours to taste rare vintages and local delicacies, available only to guests of Belmond.

Spain

  • La Residencia, A Belmond Hotel, Mallorca – Opening March 18

Located in a hillside village located on the northwest coast of Mallorca, La Residencia was the first to attract artists and connoisseurs who put Deia on the map. Book the one-bedroom Suite 67 for added privacy – completely redesigned by British fashion designer Matthew Williamson, balancing his signature botanicals and lively colors while honoring the hotel’s traditional Mallorcan heritage.

France

  • La Réserve Ramatuelle, Côte d’Azur – Opening May 2022

Nestled within a Mediterranean jardin overlooking the Cote d’Azur is the cliffside retreat, La Réserve Ramatuelle. Last summer the Palace hotel lifted the veil on a refreshed lobby, two Michelin-starred restaurant, and terrace helmed by none other than Jacques Garcia who took inspiration from the 1950s and 1960s when Cocteau, Picasso and Picault brought their creativity to the French Riviera.

 

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