September 23rd, 2021
Whether you’re looking for snow and ski or sun and sand, there is no shortage of ideas for where to spend the holidays – and those last remaining vacation days.
Switzerland is open to Americans as of June 26 and what better time to visit than the holidays when the country is at peak charm? Travelers can fly into Zurich (there are direct flights from major U.S. cities) to experience the magical Christmas markets. There are many to choose from but the best include Christkindlimarkt at Zurich Main Station, the city’s largest market, which features 150 stalls and a giant tree decorated with Swarovski crystals, and Dörfli in The Old Town, Zurich’s oldest market where visitors can find artisan gifts. The veil will have just been lifted on a David Chipperfield-designed extension to the Kunsthaus art museum, doubling the footprint and making it the second largest collection of French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art outside Paris. The museum is also home to the world’s largest collection of Dada art (the Dada art movement was established in Zurich in 1916). Guests of the newly opened La Réserve Eden au Lac, the only luxury hotel on Lac Zurich, receive city passes granting discounts at museums. After Zurich head to Zermatt, the charming, car-free town where you can ski 365 days a year. Switzerland is said to be the birthplace of ski tourism and is home to Europe’s largest glaciers and the most peaks over 13,000 feet. Zermatt is launching a new ski lift this year that will complete an ‘Alpine crossing’ by connecting the Klein Matterhorn to Testa Grigia in Italy’s Aosta Valley for the first time. The iconic Schweizerhof hotel reopened in 2019 with a fresh look following an extensive, eight-month top-to-bottom renovation. Designed in an Alpine-chalet style, Schweizerhof is situated on the main thoroughfare of Bahnhofstrasse at the base of the Matterhorn. Oak walls and marble bathrooms in the guest rooms create a cozy, yet contemporary environment while fun touches like wooden hiking sticks, cow bells and comforters emblazoned with the Matterhorn lend a sense of place.
Palm Beach, FL
From the Gilded Age architecture and bustling art scene to the pristine beaches and miles of bike trails, Palm Beach has been a longtime winter playground for those seeking sunshine. As travelers migrate south, cultural offerings will also be in full swing with a new exhibition at the Norton Museum of Art featuring over 150 works titled, “Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Mexican Modernism from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection.” The exhibit will celebrate art created during a renaissance following the end of the Mexican Revolution in 1920. The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts will also welcome back the Palm Beach Symphony this winter. Art lovers can opt for the 32-room White Elephant Palm Beach, which opened late 2020. With over 130 pieces of modern and pop art, White Elephant Palm Beach offers complimentary educational guided tours of the hotel’s private museum-worthy art collection, which was personally curated by the owners and renowned NYC-based art consultant Emily Santangelo. Explore the works of featured artists including Robert Rauschenberg, whose early creations in the 1950s anticipated the pop art movement, and Sir Christopher Le Brun, a British artist who was knighted in 2021 for services to the arts in England. Several pieces by painter Kenzo Okada, the first Japanese-American artist to receive international acclaim using abstract expressionist style, are on display, as are works by Donald Baechler, part of the 1980s art movement in New York’s East Village. A 54-inch round acrylic work by Orit Fuchs was created for the hotel and is a focal point of the lobby. The 30-minute experience is available every Saturday at 10:00 am.
Nantucket might not be an obvious choice for festive season, but the historic island transforms into a winter wonderland on the Friday after Thanksgiving. The annual Christmas Stroll, taking place December 3-5, 2021, feels like you’re stepping into a Charles Dickens backdrop with every corner of Nantucket’s historic downtown magically transformed. On pause last year, the three-day celebration has become a quintessential New England experience over the last 47 years. As an ode to its roots, the theme of this year’s event will be centered around shopping local for the holidays. Christmas Stroll originally started over four decades ago as an effort to keep residents from leaving Nantucket to buy gifts on the mainland. Today, boutiques remain open through early December and will have elaborately designed storefronts outfitted with twinkling lights. Downtown’s cobblestone streets will also be lined with hundreds of seven-foot fit lit trees decorated by locals. Festive attire and ugly sweaters are encouraged. In the center of town, the White Elephant has been a favorite Nantucket retreat since the 1920s. The property has accommodations for families including suites on the harbor, garden cottages and two in-town Lofts. Guests will also have access to complimentary BMW vehicles to explore the island on their own, available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
It has only been a few years since St. Barth rebuilt itself following Hurricane Irma in 2017 so there’s plenty new to do on the island. It will be in full swing in December, with the harbor filling with yachts for the holidays and myriad glitzy New Year’s Eve parties. The best place to lay low is at The Christopher on Pointe Milou which is reopening for this season with a brand new chef and restaurant. The French Riviera-inspired restaurant will be called “Rivyera” and helmed by Chef Arnaud Faye, a two-Michelin-starred chef and a Meilleur Ouvrier de France who comes from the Chèvre d’Or on the Côte d’Azur (a member of the Grandes Tables du Monde). The Christopher’s westward facing bar makes it the perfect spot to catch the sunset and the New Year’s Eve fireworks.
A white winter takes on a whole new meaning in Anguilla. Forego the freezing snow and head south for miles of white sand beaches and balmy 80 degrees days. The trip is made even easier this winter with American Airlines launching a new direct route from Miami to Anguilla on December 11, 2021. This will be the only direct flight from a U.S. destination to the island. (Those arriving via private jet can also fly directly into Anguilla’s Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport (AXA).) And the best home base on the island is Cap Juluca, A Belmond Hotel, Anguilla. Set on Maundays Bay, the property is a sanctuary for total escapism, with standalone villas dotted along the pristine stretch of beach. Every room is beachfront, giving guests their very own slice of Caribbean Sea. To celebrate the holiday season, the resort has launched a roster of daily programming, including wine tastings, sunset sails, tennis lessons, rum tastings, salt-scrub-making classes, an iron man swim and more. Family-friendly activities include eggnog and smores, gift opening on Christmas Day, and a family beach volleyball competition. Guests can also try ‘The Head Table’ dining experience, where they are invited to enjoy a multi-course feast at Pimm’s filled with Anguillan comfort foods. There will also be a choir performance, Carol of the Bells, on December 24 for some extra yuletide spirit.
Two once-in-a-lifetime experiences are available in one trip this December: witnessing a total solar eclipse and a cruise to Antarctica. The phenomenon will be viewable from the Weddell Sea on December 4, 2021 – the only area in the world where the solar eclipse will be 100 percent visible. There’s a handful of expeditions that will take travelers to the end of the earth in December 2021. PONANT is offering a new itinerary onboard Le Commandant-Charcot, the first luxury hybrid electric polar ship launching in November. The ship will operate on a mix of LNG and battery (when in battery mode, the ship will emit zero emissions). Guests will disembark onto the ice pack to witness this natural phenomenon as the moon passes between Earth and the sun. In a region where the sun never quite sets, travelers will be enveloped in complete darkness for a few minutes. EYOS Expeditions will also offer a private expedition experience on its 12-passenger Naia superyacht – marrying the adventure of an expedition itinerary with the comfort and level of service of a privately-chartered yacht. Quark Expeditions, Hurtigruten, Lindblad, and Atlas Ocean Voyages are offering solar eclipse itineraries as well.
September 22nd, 2020
From an experiential work of art in London to the nearly 20,000-square-foot hotel-within-a-hotel in Marrakech, these top suites, villas and standalone accommodations offer the best in amenities, design and privacy around the world.
A one-bedroom sculpture, a baby grand piano, the former residence of the last High King of Ireland – there is no stone left unturned in these top suites.
ROOM at The Beaumont
The Beaumont in London is home to Turner Prize-winner Antony Gormley’s inhabitable sculpture called ROOM. Designed as an experiential work of art, the exterior takes the shape of a three-story crouching man made of stainless-steel – an answer to the City of Westminster’s requirement that new buildings contain public art. The one-bedroom suite is a dark space entirely clad in fumed-oak, featuring only a single, all-white bed and can be taken to pitch black darkness and silence at the flip of a switch. The heavily insulated walls create an extremely quiet inside, free from the sounds of the city, and there is a window high up where guests can see the night sky but no surrounding buildings as Gormley wanted views to be unencumbered. There is nothing in the room other than the bed – no TV, minibar, artwork or telephone – so there are no distractions.
Tokyo Suite at Park Hyatt Tokyo
50 floors above Tokyo’s restless streets, Park Hyatt Tokyo’s residence-like Tokyo Suite has floor-to-ceiling views of the city’s skyline from almost every room, with Japan’s highest mountain, Mt. Fuji, peaking up in the distance. Decorated with the aura of a private apartment, this 2,368-square-foot accommodation is adorned with a Miao headdress and washi lanterns by Isamu Noguchi, designer and creator of The Noguchi Museum in New York. From the baby grand piano in the living room to the library collection of 1,000 books on the arts, this suite is a quiet and comfortable escape from bustle below.
Eden Suite at La Réserve Eden au Lac
Located on the third floor of La Réserve Eden au Lac, the Eden Suite debuted earlier this year as part of two-year restoration project helmed by Philippe Starck. The Eden Suite features glass walls separating the living area from the bathroom with natural light pouring in from the large windows and four balconies with charming ironwork. As the only luxury hotel on Lac Zurich, the suite offers sweeping views to allow guests to admire the boats and the Alps in the distance. Taking inspiration from the location, Starck wanted to give guests the feeling of being on a yacht. He lent his signature contemporary touch with neutral tones and sleek metal accents, while honoring the building’s historical elements. Quirky nautical touches include wooden oars, paintings of sailboats and room numbers printed as if they were on a racing sail.
Brian Boru Suite at Dromoland Castle
Named for one of the last High Kings of Ireland and member of the O’Brien family who founded the Castle in the 16th century, the Brian Boru Suite at Dromoland Castle has a bedroom and sitting room overlooking the property’s lake. The bedroom’s canopy bed, sparkling chandelier, and separate dressing room evoke the Castle’s royal heritage, activities like falconry and pony and trap rides celebrate its history and the 18-hole golf course with a flood-lit driving range embrace modern technology.
TOP STANDALONE ACCOMMODATIONS
For those looking for extra privacy and added space, these standalone accommodations – villas, casas and riads – offer private entrances, plenty of outdoor space and even their own dedicated staff.
Grand Riad at Royal Mansour
Of Royal Mansour’s 53 individual three-story accommodations, the four-bedroom Grand Riad is the undisputed crown jewel. Referred to as the “hotel within the hotel,” the nearly 20,000-square-foot residence features a private library, two swimming pools with built-in water current, a cinema, hammam, gym, multiple dining and living rooms, and a glass-enclosed split-level terrace with a retractable roof. With a private resort entrance, the Grand Riad feels more like a private home than a hotel. No detail is overlooked thanks in large part to a dedicated staff that includes a chef, watchman, housekeepers, and butlers.
Casa do Lago at UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa
UXUA just launched a new casa, Casa do Lago, where not a single tree was cut to create the new accommodation. The house reimagines an old fisherman home and its colonial Brazilian style with reclaimed materials, such as wood sourced from an abandoned plantation, and a modern eye. Wilbert Das, founder of UXUA and former creative director of Diesel, filled the casa with Brazilian art, antiques, and custom pieces from the UXUA DAS furniture collection. The defining feature of this casa is a lake surrounded by rainforest and preserved with modern technology to be sustainable and healthy. The mineral-rich water is home to rare fish species and is a perfect place to swim. The casa is just a short walk from the historic Quadrado of Trancoso but feels like its own tropical universe, celebrating indoor/outdoor living.
Stella Maris at Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi
Out of the 121 villas, Stella Maris is a standout option at Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi – accessible only by traditional dhoni boat. The nearly 6,000-square-feet duplex accommodation features an infinity pool, overwater hammocks with direct access to the ocean, and a BBQ station that is available for private chef service. The ‘smart villa’ (with every light, aircon, and curtain controlled from one central iPad) is stocked with still and sparkling water produced at the property’s onsite bottling plant. Laid-back island style is juxtaposed with modern design elements – from a sleek spiral staircase to a bathroom decked out in black-and-white stripes from head to toe. With an ambiance inspired by the Maldivian night sky, the layout offers stargazing opportunities from various points around the villa, allowing guests to spot both northern and southern hemisphere constellations from a different spot every night.
Fleming Villa at GoldenEye
Channel Ian Fleming in celebration of the 25th James Bond movie, No Time to Die, in the aptly named, five-bedroom Fleming Villa at GoldenEye in Jamaica, where he penned all 14 James Bond novels. Today, his writing desk still remains. The main bedroom looks onto his sunken garden, where he entertained the likes of Kathryn Hepburn and Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden. Guests have access to his private beach and can snorkel in his beloved reef. The grounds also feature a private screening room in what was Fleming’s former garage.
andBeyond Ngala Treehouse at andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge and andBeyond Ngala Tented Camp
Three miles away from the nearest lodge and 39 feet in the air is the new andBeyond Ngala Treehouse. The completely private, four-level accommodation – surrounded by nothing but the South African bush – opened in February 2020 as a new accommodation at andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge and andBeyond Ngala Tented Camp. Fully solar-powered, the treehouse has a rooftop deck with an outdoor bed and lounge for al fresco sundowners and dinner for two, an indoor bedroom, and a full bathroom with an outdoor shower – all with uninterrupted views of the bush below. Couples pack up just what they need for the night and are escorted on a game drive to the treehouse for an unforgettable sleepover, complete with a stocked bar and jars of midnight snacks. Surrounded by a thorn boma fence and just a phone call away from the dedicated treehouse attendant, travelers can feel safe in this otherwise intimidating setting.
Palazzo Vendramin at Belmond Hotel Cipriani
Separated from the main hotel by an ancient courtyard and flowered walkway, Belmond Hotel Cipriani’s Palazzo Vendramin is housed in a 15th-century former palace with views overlooking Venice’s St. Mark’s Square. When booking the new Exclusive Places offer, the 16-room-and-suite palace offers complete seclusion for groups with a separate entrance and private dock along with 24-hour concierge service and daily a la carte breakfast. The top suite, the Dogressa Suite, offers views over both St. Mark’s Square and the Doge’s Palace via floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the sitting room. Build out a fulsome itinerary with private experiences including a sailing aboard Belmond’s Edipo Re, a meticulously restored, 16-meter vintage 1960s sailboat to explore the lagoon; or a mixology masterclass with beloved head barman Walter Bolzonella.
We’re looking ahead to exciting debuts in 2020 including the largest penthouse suite in Washington D.C. overseen by Clodagh as well as a new boutique hotel in Palm Beach with a private 1,200-square-foot rooftop terrace.
Penthouse Suite at The Dupont Circle
The pièce de resistance of the largescale, top-to-bottom renovation at The Dupont Circle hotel in Washington, DC is the Penthouse Suite, designed by Clodagh. Debuting this month, it can be booked two ways: as a one-bedroom or two-bedroom. When expanded into two-bedrooms, the suite is one of the largest in the city at 1,980 square feet. The heated outdoor terrace, which overlooks Dupont Circle and has views of the Washington Monument, also adds an additional 590 square feet. For the ultimate private experience: guests can also book the entire penthouse floor with its 12 suites and private elevator. Many also featured heated terraces, and all have been completely redesigned by Bernie Gallagher, the Chairman of the Doyle Collection who is very invested in the design of each property, imbuing them all with a unique sense of style and place.
Park Suite at White Elephant Palm Beach
White Elephant Palm Beach, sister hotel to the White Elephant on Nantucket, will open on November 4, 2020 with 32 rooms and suites. Ideal for friends and multi-generational families, the 3,000-square-foot penthouse Park Suite is a three-bedroom that can be expanded into four, complete with a fully equipped kitchen and spacious living room. With views of Bradley Park, the penthouse includes a 1,200-square-foot rooftop terrace for entertaining. Other decorative accents such as bronze elephant door knockers, bold patterned throw pillows, rattan ceiling light fixtures, and black and white striped side tables are sprinkled throughout.
September 11th, 2020
Hotels with Stunning Views, Even from the (Private) Swimming Pools
Spotting wildlife, gazing at constellations, sipping chilled rosé, cooling off from the desert heat – these are all activities best enjoyed from a plunge pool. A private place to take a dip is a deal-breaking amenity for many when hitting ‘book,’ especially heading into this new world of travel. In fact, luxury travel advisor network, Virtuoso, says that it’s been one of the most requested in-room features from their clients in recent months.
Here are our favorite places around the world to float.
Views of Ocean
Maldives: For those looking to travel as far away from home as possible (we don’t blame you!) Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi awaits. The property opened on July 1, 2019 as the first luxury resort near the capital city of Malé in the last decade – making for a quick and seamless yacht ride from the airport anytime, day or night. Every single villa on the island – whether on the beach, reef, or stilted over the ocean – is equipped with a private infinity pool, dining gazebo, and an outdoor deck with a swinging daybed. Guests staying in a Stella Maris overwater villa can take a traditional dhoni boat straight to their pool and spend the night gazing at both southern and northern hemispheres stars.
Anguilla: Situated in a secluded are of the newly-renovated resort, the multi-story Beachfront Pool Villas at Belmond Cap Juluca have private swimming pools just steps away from the white sands of Maundays Bay. Guests can sway to a private, in-villa reggae concert from the comfort of their own pool float.
St. Barth: New four-bedroom villas at The Christopher, designed by Olivia Putman (daughter of Andrée Putman) blur the boundaries between inside and out and use a mix of natural materials including bamboo, sandstone and volcanic stone, accented with pops of the hotel’s signature orange. With large decks and private pools, they meld the privacy of a villa rental with the comforts of a hotel.
Mykonos: Once home to Greek gods and a favorite destination of Jackie Kennedy as well as artists, poets, designers and actors, Mykonos has long been in the spotlight. But the whole story of the island is rarely told. Enter Kalesma, opening in Spring 2021. Set on a hilltop above Ornos Bay and just under two miles from Mykonos town, Kalesma’s 25 accommodations will be spread across five acres and set against a lush hillside blanketed with 20,000 plants. All suites will offer unobstructed lookouts from the private patio, as well as a full-sized personal heated pool.
Côte d’Azur: La Réserve Ramatuelle is nestled within a cliffside jardin overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Just 15 minutes outside St. Tropez, the property feels like a well-kept secret. Each of the 14 villas comes with its own private garden and pool. The three-bedroom Villa No. 2 has 22,000 square-feet of gardens with unbeatable views of the Mediterranean Sea. Wall-to-wall windows open to the outside, seamlessly blending indoors with outdoors, where an al fresco dining and entertaining area and a private infinity pool and Jacuzzi overlook Cap Taillat.
Thailand: Set among 17 acres of tropical gardens, Belmond Napasai offers a secluded retreat with a collection of standalone villas and suites overlooking Baan Tai beach on Thailand’s Koh Samui. For the utmost privacy, guests can book one of the oceanfront pool residences ranging from one to four bedrooms. The multi-level private homes each feature a massage sala, direct beach access and an oceanfront pool.
Views of Desert + Mountains
Namibia: andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge opened October 16, 2019 after a 10-month complete rebuild in one of the world’s oldest deserts and adjacent to an International Dark Sky Reserve. Ten 1,400 square-foot guest suites have desert views from every corner with thoughtful touches like butler hatches with secret, solar-powered freezer drawers stocked with ice cream and Namibian craft beer; in-room fireplaces and artist easels; large private verandas with outdoor showers and fire pits; and chilled plunge pools to offset the desert heat. Need more about the pool.
Marrakech: Situated just steps from Jemaa el Fna, Royal Mansour is a quiet oasis with an open-air courtyard and the calming fragrance of orange blossoms. The palatial estate, owned by the King of Morocco, is the only all-riad property in Marrakech. No elevators; no carts; no rooms; no crowds. Dotted along petal-pink walkways are 53 private, three-story riads with rooftop terraces and private plunge pools. The Grand Riad is the crown jewel, with a rooftop terrace spread over two levels with a pool that offers views out to the Atlas Mountains.
Views of Wildlife
Costa Rica: Nayara Tented Camp opened in December 2019 as one of the very first luxury tented camps in Central America. The 21 tented accommodations are dotted up a hillside with unobstructed views of the towering Arenal Volcano. Set in the lush rainforest – home to wild flora and fauna like hummingbird, colorful macaw, and over 15 sloths – each tent has an expansive terrace with a private pool fed by warm mineral springs sourced from the volcano.
South Africa: andBeyond Tengile River Lodge is located in South Africa’s private Sabi Sand Game Reserve, which is known for its unmatched leopard sightings. With a name that means tranquil, the lodge features nine floating suites that look out over the Sand river from a forest and each suite offers river views. After a morning game drive, guests can swim in their own personal pool while spotting the elephants and buffalo that regularly graze in the river.
Views of Vineyards
Napa Valley: The three new Maple Grove Villas at Bardessono Hotel & Spa in Napa Valley are available to book individually or as one three-bedroom retreat. The villas have stocked wine fridges, fireplaces and outdoor “cocktail pools” with lounge seating. Bardessono Hotel & Spa is one of only three Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum-certified hotels in the county. Located in Yountville, cuisine reigns king here, with more Michelin stars per capita than any other place in America.
January 25th, 2019
January AMPR Newsletter
For the first time in its 30-year history, The Wauwinet on Nantucket will undergo a multi-million-dollar renovation including a complete overhaul of all 32 guestrooms and bathrooms and updates to the property’s three intimate cottages and the lobby’s library, reopening in April 2019.
Surrounded by the mountains and sand dunes of the Namib Desert, andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge will reopen after a complete refurbishment on October 15, 2019 with floor-to-ceiling glass walls to take in the dramatic desert landscape.
Fresh off a top-to-bottom refurbishment, The Christopher Hotel will launch three new villas in 2019, each featuring four bedrooms and a private swimming pool.
Belmond British Pullman is hosting a Mary Poppins Returns-inspired afternoon tea journey on February 16, 2019. Families will enjoy balloon artists, face painters, and magicians as the train passes through the British countryside.
This spring, The River Lee in Cork, Ireland will unveil a new look for the lobby, restaurant, bar, and terrace, spearheaded by O’Donnell O’Neill Design.
PONANT will host a gastronomy and wine cruise in partnership with Ducasse Conseil and Chateau Latour aboard L’Austral from April 13-22, 2019. The ten-day sailing, ‘Gastronomy, Vineyards, and Grands Crus’ from Lisbon to Portsmouth will feature ports of call in Porto, Bordeaux, and Pauillac and two gala dinners hosted by chefs Xavier Boireau and Francis Fauvel.
Guinot launched its Anti-Dark Spot Serum this month, a new two-week treatment that uses pure Vitamin C to reduce and brighten dark spots caused by sun exposure and aging.
Carneros Resort and Spa in Napa has completed a renovation of its 94 cottages and suites – all featuring redesigned interiors and exteriors, new furnishings, and relaunched outdoor terraces that are complete with gas fire pits, portable mini-projectors, and telescopes.
La Maison du Chocolat has created a new line of Valentine’s Day confections for this season’s Parisian Dream collection available in boutiques and online on January 24.
Cool Hangout Spots for the Littlest Travelers
Suspended in the treetops amid the 10-acre park at La Réserve Geneva is La Petit Réserve. Free for kids ages six-months to 13-years, including local day guests, the kid’s club has a wooden obstacle course, swings and slide, and a suspension bridge that connects to a treehouse complete with a fireman’s pole, game tables, toys, puzzles, and a coloring station.
Royal Mansour’s dedicated Kids Club, Le Jardin de Lila, turns little ones into global citizens with Moroccan art activities, Arabic lessons, and a complimentary children’s book following Lila, a young girl exploring the hotel’s winding passageways and gardens.
Belmond Reid’s Palace on Madeira welcomes its younger guests to partake in fun activities housed in a traditional Santana cottage with a private kids’ swimming pool where swimming and gymnastics classes can be arranged.
andBeyond’s Bateleur Camp on Kenya’s Maasai Mara offers their fun and educational WILDchild program for the smallest safari-goers. Kids can learn to identify animal tracks and droppings, learn to build a fire the Masai way, and do some fun games and activities while learning about conservation and the role they can play in protecting the world’s fauna.
With treasure hunts and coconut bowling for the 4-12 set and ping pong tournaments and sailing school for tweens and teens, St. Lucia’s Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort’s Sugar Club and Spice Club offer kids their own version of paradise.
AMPR’s Guide to Wellness Travel for 2019
Thanks to its relaxing and mood-enhancing effects, CBD is a trending ingredient in spa treatments, especially prevalent in Napa Valley. Travelers in the region can choose from a selection of CBD wellness massages at Spa Terra at The Meritage Resort or enjoy a sound healing therapy paired with a CBD-infused wrap at Mount View Hotel & Spa.
Viceroy Riviera Maya’s resident shaman oversees the Jardin Pak’al, the garden where he grows herbs used to treat guests at the Wayak Spa. In the K’óben (Mayan herb kitchen), he has individual consultations with the guests to determine their preferences and needs, before creating a personalized healing experience for them held next to a waterfall.
andBeyond’s new Bhutan Yoga Retreat Small Group Journey allows travelers to immerse themselves in the spiritual heartland of Bhutan. Highlights of this 10-day journey include yoga and meditation, hiking Tiger’s Nest monastery in Paro, and exploring the fortresses and temples of Thimphu and Punakha, all led by an expert guide and specialist healing facilitator to help guests find balance of the mind, body, and soul.
Located on the shores of Lake Geneva, La Reserve Geneve’s Nescens Spa is the city’s largest spa, at 20,000 square-feet. Travelers looking to improve their ski, tennis, or golf performance can take part in the special Fitness Preparation Program, which combines coaching, treatment, and nutrition.
Royal Mansour has introduced Bespoke Hammam Treatments where each step of the traditional technique is personalized to the specific skincare needs of each guest using locally sourced ingredients – including purifying clay from the Atlas Mountains and roses from the Kalaat Megouana valley.
Guests at Sugar Beach can get fit with the Piton Recovery, which starts with a hike of the Gros Piton. After descending from the peak, hikers are met by one of Sugar Beach’s personal trainers for a stretching session, rehydration with coconut water, and revitalizing snack of potassium-rich bananas before have a muscle releasing massage back at the spa.
As part of The Chatwal, New York’s partnership with yoga and spiritual guru Eddie Stern, travelers will enjoy a new wellness program featuring nine 12-minute yoga sessions focusing on breathing techniques that balance the central nervous system, available complimentary through the in-room iPads.
Guests at The Marylebone have complimentary access to Third Space, an on-site members-only health club. Guests can snag a coveted spot in the popular group fitness classes and use the 60-foot indoor lap pool – finishing with a healthy smoothie from The Juicery.
Nayara Springs’ new Wellness Program incorporates healthful menus, yoga and meditation, and spa treatments so guests return home thoroughly relaxed and restored.
Not Your Typical Spring Break Destinations
Instead of the Caribbean or skiing, here are places you may not have considered…
Travelers who want an authentic St. Patrick’s Day experience can avoid the Dublin crowds and visit The River Lee in Cork, where a family-friendly three-day festival from March 16-18 offers parades, food, and music.
In March 2019, travelers can join a six-day Oceans Without Borders Small Group Journey to andBeyond Vamizi Island to participate in fish tagging and measuring and monitoring reef systems. Guests will learn what it takes to be an andBeyond dive instructor or a marine biologist, spend time in the local community, and enjoy water sports such as kayaking and snorkeling – with all proceeds supporting Oceans Without Borders.
Almanac Barcelona opened in February 2018 just steps from buzzing Passeig de Gracia. While Azimuth, the penthouse bar with 360-degree views of the city, is popular with locals, the rooftop pool and sun lounge are reserved for guests only. March and April temperatures are in the mid-60’s and it’s just before the summertime tourist rush.
Nearing the end of rainy season, safari-goers will enjoy the greener landscape and abundance of wildlife in Botswana at Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge. The newly reimagined lodge now features a viewpoint overlooking the watering hole in Chobe National Park, where guests can enjoy breakfast with a front-row seat to the passing elephants.
Dallasites can take advantage of the new direct Air France flight route launching on March 31, 2019, between Dallas/Fort Worth and Paris, and stay in the city’s 16th arrondissement at the La Réserve Paris Apartments. Families staying in the Apartments have the option to cook at home in the large chef’s kitchen, have exclusive access to the Roland Garros tennis courts (home to the French Open), and can ride bikes to enjoy an al fresco picnic lunch along the Seine.
Napa Valley continues to celebrate Cabernet Season through April. For adults in the know, this is the best time to visit – think smaller crowds, special hotel deals and winery experiences, and brilliant yellow wild mustard flowers, purple lupine, golden California poppies, and crimson clover are scattered through the vineyards and along country lanes.
Tokyo turns pink during the Cherry Blossom Festival from March 23 – April 27. Park Hyatt Tokyo is near several parks where guests can stroll under the pastel petals.
For an adventurous and warm spring break destination, visit Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano Park. Guests at Nayara Springs can have tours organized for ziplining, white water rafting, and waterfall hikes, among others, observe a variety of wildlife including sloths at the on-site sanctuary, and then relax on property with daily yoga, by their private plunge pool, or at the spa.
…and don’t forget to get a sun-kissed glow before heading out for vacation with Guinot’s AutoBronze, an easy-to-apply tinted gel creating an even and natural-looking bronze without leaving streaks.
February 14, 2019: Belmond British Pullman’s Valentine’s Day lunch
February 8-16, 2019: In celebration of New York Fashion Week, Jacques at The Lowell will be offering a Fashion Week-inspired cocktail menu with drinks inspired by famous designers such as Oscar de la Renta, Chanel, and of course, Yves Saint Laurent (former owner of the Majorelle gardens).
February 16, 2019: Belmond British Pullman’s Mary Poppins Returns-inspired afternoon tea journey
February 2019: Guinot launches its new Lift Summum Treatment designed to firm and smooth the delicate skin of the face, neck, and chest.
Spring 2019: The Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C. relaunches its new bar, lobby, and Dupont Suite after a multi-million dollar renovation.
March 2019: Guinot launches its new Clean Logic Range, a cleansing skincare regimen formulated with anti-aging properties suited for fragile skin.
March 2019: andBeyond’s first Oceans Without Borders Small Group Journey departs for andBeyond Vamizi Island
March 3, 2019: Napa Valley Marathon
March 15-18, 2019: Yountville Live is a four day event celebrating music, food, and wine with programming including cooking classes, wine-paired dinners, a red carpet gala, a street festival, and live music throughout the weekend.
March 21-24, 2019: Stay with The Christopher Hotel during the annual St. Barth Bucket
March 26 – April 5, 2019: During Easter break, Sugar Beach offers a variety of children’s programming including tie-dying, chocolate making, boat tours, and an Easter egg hunt.
March 27 – April 7, 2019: Tokyo turns pink during the Cherry Blossom Festival
April 2019: The Wauwinet reopens following a multi-million-dollar renovation
April 2019: Napa Valley Arts in April
April 1, 2019: andBeyond’s 11-day Southern Chile Islands & Lakes Expedition kicks off in Santiago and travels to Chiloé Island, south into the Chilean Lake District, and ends with a stay at the new andBeyond Vira Vira.
April 2, 2019: andBeyond’s first Endangered Eight Impact Journey departs to search for eight threatened species in India’s wildlife sanctuaries.
April 15-22, 2019: PONANT’s newest EXPLORER ship, Le Bougainville, departs on its inaugural cruise
April 26-28, 2018: Nantucket’s Daffodil Festival
April 10th, 2018
The Lowell’s ever-popular Pembroke Room, known for its chic Afternoon Tea and polished service, is relaunching in April 2018 – complete with a new outdoor terrace for alfresco brunching.
PONANT announces the first electric hybrid Icebreaker ship coming in 2021, which will safely cut through ice flow up to eight feet thick and travel to the true geographic North Pole (at 90 degrees North Latitude).
andBeyond Phinda Homestead in KwaZulu-Natal will reopen on September 1, 2018 after a complete rebuild. This standalone safari lodge allows travelers a completely private safari experience, ideal for family or group travel – no sharing safari vehicles and total control over the day’s schedule.
From March 1 through April 30, The Dupont Circle in Washington DC is celebrating the National Cherry Blossom Festival with a special ‘In Full Bloom’ package including a stay at the hotel, the chef’s cherry blossom themed welcome amenity, a $25 dining credit, and complimentary valet parking.
Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort has officially opened two of the five ultra-luxe Beachfront Collection residences. Images of the new homes – complete with infinity pools and floor-to-ceiling glass windows – are available for stays now.
Domaine de Manville in the heart of Provence received its first Michelin Star for its restaurant, l’Aupiho, helmed by Chef Matthieu Dupuis Baumal.
Vista Collina Resort in Napa is projected to open Summer 2018 and will feature 145 guestrooms. Adjacent to the property will be the Village, featuring nine tastings room, a food and wine center, and a 16,000 square foot lawn for concerts and events.
Jamaica’s GoldenEye launches veggie cocktails, featuring local produce from Pantrepant, the hotel’s farm. New elixirs include: the Cucumber Martini; Beetroot, Bourbon, and Scotch bonnet cocktail; and the Arugula and Celery Sour.
Royal Mansour Spa has unveiled a new series of bespoke hammam treatments where each step of the hammam process can be customized beginning with three types of body wraps, two types of kessa gloves, and a variety of Leonor Greyl shampoos for varying hair types.
Belmond has expanded its Italian portfolio with the acquisition of Castello di Casole, a historic castle hotel in the heart of rural Tuscany. The intimate 39-room hotel sits within 4,200 acres of farmland, vineyards, and olive groves – one of the largest private estates in Italy.
Travel to Brazil is easier than ever with a newly-launched e-visa system for American travelers To make the most of a Brazilian vacation, travelers can book Belmond’s ‘Grand Tour of Brazil’ – a five-night itinerary that includes the brand’s properties on Copacabana Beach and in Iguassu falls – or go off-the-beaten-path with a visit to UXUA on the remote shores of Trancoso.
Strawless and Flawless
Hotels are eschewing plastic straws for more sustainable options like paper or bamboo. According to The Last Plastic Straw project, 500 million straws are used and thrown away every day in the US, which is about 175 billion per year.
Nayara Springs, set on the fringes of Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano, only uses bamboo straws across the property’s restaurants and bars – mixologist Monica Gonzalez is on-hand to whip up poolside cocktails made with local fruits.
The Doyle Collection’s London hotels (The Marylebone, The Kensington, and The Bloomsbury) just officially became plastic-straw-free and are now moving to roll out this policy brand-wide, from Dublin to Cork to Washington DC.
andBeyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp and the new andBeyond Bateleur Camp (reopening this month after a complete renovation), both on Kenya’s Masai Mara, have discontinued all plastic straw usage – falling into line with their ethos: care of the land, care of the wildlife, care of the people.
Go Global with Locals
andBeyond’s new philanthropic-focused itineraries in Tanzania, Kenya, and South Africa give guests first-hand experiences with the locals in the community, like participating in school conservation lessons in Tanzania.
Guests of Nayara Springs can visit the source of the resort’s chocolate at a local farm. The owners will teach travelers the process of chocolate-making.
During PONANT’s voyages through the Northwest Passage, guests will have opportunity to meet with locals in charming Inuit villages to learn about the culture.
Majestic Hotel & Spa has an exclusive relationship with local marine biologist Anna Bozzano, the only tour guide approved to visit the Barcelona Fish Market where she teaches about the market’s innerworkings.
Connecting guests with the local community is elemental to every Belmond experience. Highlights include art lessons with Jose Luis Arias, a graduate of the local Instituto Allende, at the newly renovated Belmond Casa de Sierra Nevada, and a walking tour with a former prison guard of Nelson Mandela’s that begins at Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel.
Sugar Beach guests who hike the Gros Piton follow a guide from the local village up the two-hour climb.
Guests at La Réserve Paris can create their ownbespoke scent with the help of a professional ‘nose.’
Thanks to Kinloch Anderson, kilt maker to Her Royal Highness the Queen, travelers on Belmond Royal Scotsman are swept to the showroom for a private fitting, and a fully customized kilt arrives at their doorstep 8-10 weeks later in the family tartan or a pattern from the train. During their journey, guests will find a complimentary set of Highland Dress (kilts for men, skirts for women) awaiting them in their train cabin.
One of the new Beachfront Collection residences available to buy or book for stay at St. Lucia’s Sugar Beach will have a waterslide connecting an infinity pool to a lower level hot tub and yoga deck.
Guests who book the top, three-bedroom suite at the White Elephant, White Elephant Village or The Wauwinet will receive the keys to a BMW for the duration of their stay.
At andBeyond Mnemba Island, instead of your typical tray of room service arriving in your room, the lodge will dig a custom “sand castle” dining room on the beach in front of your suite and serve freshly caught seafood surrounded by lantern light.
Located on the shores of Lac Léman, La Réserve Geneva has its very own Venetian Motoscafo boat that takes guests to go to and from the city center.
Majestic Hotel & Spa’s Royal Penthouse Suite – the largest suite in Barcelona – is home to a Bar Au Parfum stocked with five 200 ml bottles of Atelier Cologne, available for use throughout the stay. Guests can take home a complimentary leather case, engraved with their name and filled with 30ml sized bottles of each of the colognes.
April 2018: Belmond La Residencia will unveil a new suite created by fashion designer Matthew Williamson.
April 2018: Belmond will add two new barges to its Belmond Afloat in France fleet. The two “floating hotels” will travel the rivers of Champagne and Alsace
April 2018: The Pembroke Room at The Lowell completes a renovation
April 7-17, 2018: andBeyond’s Eat, Pray and Love journey departs in India
April 28-29, 2018: Hamilton Princess & Beach Club in Bermuda will serve as the official host hotel for the ITU World Triathlon, the first time it is held in Bermuda
May 4, 2018: In honor of its 100th anniversary, Majestic Hotel & Spa Barcelona will serve a new pre-fixe dinner replicating the hotel’s original restaurant menus
May 19, 2018: The Royal Wedding will be screened all day at The Kensington in London
May 25, 2018: La Maison du Chocolat’s Bien Être collection is available in boutiques and online
June 10, 2018: Sterling Vineyard’s 2nd Annual RoseFest will feature 30+ Napa Valley rose tastings with a portion of the proceeds supporting the Susan G. Komen Foundation
June 15-16, 2018: In honor of the Nantucket Boat Basin’s 50th anniversary, the marina will host its first-ever Father’s Day Fishing Tournament where teams will compete for the top title in categories such as heaviest fish and most fish caught
February 5th, 2018
Travelers can take on the trending neighborhood of Shinjuku in Tokyo with Park Hyatt Tokyo’s original English Shinjuku area map designed by Japanese fashion illustrator, Hiroshi Watatani. Guests can navigate the winding alleys and track down the best (and often hidden) pint-sized bars, restaurants, and shops per the map’s insider advice.
As part of the final phase of the renovation that doubled the property’s footprint, Royal Mansour will open their new Kid’s Club in Le Jardin this month.
Former Rockette-turned-celebrity fitness trainer, Amanda Kloots is heading to Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort this month to lead fitness classes under St. Lucia’s shady palms. Amanda will teach her signature classes The Dance and The Body, the same workouts she does with her celebrity clients like Zendaya, Hannah Bronfman, and Zach Braff.
andBeyond Phinda Vlei Lodge will reopen in June 2018 in South Africa after a complete refurbishment, inspired by the plantation-style homesteads of KwaZulu-Natal’s sugar cane and pineapple barons.
Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa is launching ‘Slow Beauty’ wellness retreats in April 2018, including a workshop on the health benefits of Mayan-inspired rituals, a bicycle tour through the Mayan jungle, and a Shaman ceremony on the beach. The retreat will focus on anti-aging daily rituals that allow for personal reflection and connecting with the mind, body, and soul.
PONANT is introducing a new itinerary ‘Green and Gentle Lands: Exploring Gardens and Historic Sites,’ including special access at Kew Gardens and Chelsea Physic Garden and a gala luncheon at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh. The journey departs May 14-22, 2019 sailing to the British Isles, Belgium, and Norway.
La Réserve Genève is offering a special package for the Geneva International Motor Show, March 8-18, 2018. The offer includes a stay in a superior room, daily breakfast, entry to the show, and transfer to/from the Palexpo convention center in a Bentley Flying Spur or Bentayga.
Napa Valley’s Ink House opened as a four-bedroom Inn in January 2018. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the property was first built in 1885 by prominent Napa farmer, Theron Ink as a single-family home.
Bermuda’s Hamilton Princess & Beach Club now offers complimentary BMW bicycles for guests to explore the town and waterfront.
Laces and Limos provides a new Napa Valley winery tour experience with its fleet of eco-friendly electric Tuk Tuk vehicles.
Isn’t It Romantic?
Adventurous couples on andBeyond’s 11-day Romantic East Africa safari sleep in cozy stilted treehouse suites at andBeyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge, picnic on Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater floor, stargaze on the Serengeti plains, and swim with dolphins at andBeyond Mnemba Island off the coast of Zanzibar.
Couples at the adults-only Nayara Springs indulge in a private romantic dinner in their own newly-built stone pavilion tucked amongst the flora and fauna of Costa Rica’s rainforest – complete with a personal chef and specially-designed gourmet menu, featuring herbs and vegetables grown on-property and cheese sourced from the nearby dairy farm.
Valentines can laze in bed all day with special his and hers Valentine’s Day pajamas with The Lowell’s Valentine’s Day package.
Park Hyatt Tokyo’s Pastry Boutique will offer an array of Valentine’s chocolates and sweets for 2018 – from sake truffles to apple-shaped cakes to rose petal macarons. The goodies have a longer shelf life as in Japan, the holiday White Day follows Valentine’s Day (where boys are expected to give sweets to the girls who gifted them Valentine’s Day treats).
La Réserve Paris is celebrating the holiday with a Valentine’s Day Offer, including a complimentary upgrade, Champagne, and a surprise VIP welcome in the room, followed by dinner at the two-Michelin-starred Le Gabriel.
Domaine de Manville is welcoming guests with a couple’s spa treatment including a relaxing bath, followed by Champagne, and capped off with a five-course caviar dinner at La Table.
For a night out on Broadway, The Chatwal offers its guests two tickets to the Tony-Award-winning Beautiful: The Carole King Musical with a three-course, pre-theater dinner at The Lambs Club and a ‘Beauty’ manicure at The Chatwal’s Red Door Spa by Elizabeth Arden.
Royal Mansour’s ‘St. Valentine’s Stay’ package includes a three-night stay in a one-bedroom Riad and a Valentine’s themed dinner at La Table. Guests can relax with a spa treatment for two in the hotel’s three-story spa in the privacy of their own Spa Suite, featuring a hammam, a plunge pool with a terrace, and a relaxation area.
Belmond Charleston Place Hotel’s ‘Glamorous Getaway’ package is perfect for a Galentine’s Day in the heart of downtown Charleston. It includes accommodations on the hotel’s privately-accessed Club Level, with full access to the two-story Club Lounge and its complimentary all-day food and beverages, and a $50 toward the new in-house Elysium Salon.
Take a private sabrage lesson with Verve Napa Valley. Learn the ancient art form and how to sabre a bottle of sparkling wine.
Enjoy a sunset picnic for two at Firefly, Noel Coward’s former hilltop home, offering the best views of the sunset in Jamaica.
A Special-tea Offer
andBeyond takes travelers to the family-run Glenburn Tea Plantation, set against the back drop of the Himalayas, to witness a tea harvesting and brewing from start-to-finish – from the withering, rolling, fermenting, drying, and sorting of tea leaves to a tea tasting along the banks of the River Rungeet.
Belmond British Pullman is hosting themed Paddington Afternoon Tea journeys in honor of the movie release of Paddington 2. While onboard the 1920s and 30s carriages – which are featured in the movie – parents and their little cubs will be treated to live musical entertainment along with an array of sweet and savory snacks including mini-cakes and marmalade sandwiches.
For Park Hyatt Tokyo’s proprietary blends of tea, the leaves are picked from the hotel’s very own plot 300 miles away in the Inokura tea fields in the city of Nara with exclusively-grown black, green, and oolong teas.
Inspired by the movie release of Beauty and the Beast, Town House at The Kensington in London is offering a ‘Tale as Old as Time’ Afternoon Tea, with Mrs. Potts and Chip Potts dishware, a Cogsworth Chocolate Tart, and a Lumière White Chocolate Mousse.
The Pembroke Room’s Afternoon Tea at The Lowell is one of New York City’s best kept secrets and has a Tea Sommelier to help guests choose their perfect match from over 15 teas on the menu. The blends are sourced from French purveyor Dammann Frères and are paired with traditional English tea sandwiches, caviar blinis, and foie gras canapés.
The famous afternoon tea at Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town offers a range of teas from around the world, including the hotel’s very own Mount Nelson Tea – a blend of six teas from India, China, Kenya, Sri Lanka, and rose petals from the hotel’s own signature pink roses.
Majestic Hotel & Spa is launching a dedicated Vegan Afternoon Tea in February, featuring mini almond mousse, Gianduja chocolate short bread with confit lemon, and a Majestic vegan cookie.
Spring Break Ideas for the Family
In Paddington’s homeland of Peru, Belmond has created new four- and seven-night itineraries that include family-friendly activities such as bear-shaped cookie making, a Paddington-themed movie-under-the-stars night, afternoon tea in a secret garden, and of course plenty of marmalade to go around.
The Chatwal welcomes its ViBabies to New York with new amenities designed to help the youngest VIP guests and their parents travel in comfort and style. Delivered in a cherry-red Margherita Missoni backpack, ViBabies will receive an Honest Oh Baby! Kit filled with a line of all-organic toiletries, a Chatwal Charlie plush toy, a bedtime story book, and a menu of organic baby purées curated by The Lambs Club.
andBeyond Bateleur Camp on the Masai Mara will reopen with a new family suite in March, just in time for spring break. The littlest andBeyond travelers can enroll in the WILDchild program for fun (and educational) safari activities with the rangers, such as Maasai obstacle courses and building a fire the Maasai way (and of course roasting marshmallows) – a scrapbook is on hand to document their memories in the bush.
Explore the streets of Barcelona with Majestic Hotel & Spa’s scooter program, offering folding scooters and helmets (both child- and adult-size), a backpack with water and snacks, and an iPad loaded with themed maps and itineraries. For extra credit, families can select the Spanish language tour option to take in La Sagrada Familia and Casa Mila in the native tongue.
From ziplining to kayaking to nature and waterfall hikes, Nayara Resort, Spa & Gardens is the adventure-packed vacation of every kid’s dreams. Families can explore the Arenal Volcano, with all its flora and fauna (including Nayara’s sloth sanctuary), by foot – or add a little thrill via bike, horseback, or ATV.
Nantucket’s White Elephant offers the Mini Chef program, where children are invited to decorate cupcakes and cookies in 45-minute weekly sessions. For a fun night in at the hotel, children can snuggle up in kid-sized robes and have an in-room camp-out, complete with teepees and faux, indoor campfires.
St. Lucia’s Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort’s Sugar Club and Spice Club offer kids and teens their own version of paradise. The Sugar Club welcomes children ages 4-12 and offers treasure hunts, arts and crafts, and coconut bowling, while the Spice Club caters to teens and tweens with ping pong, croquet, pool tournaments, and pinball machines, as well as a sailing school.
Jamaica’s GoldenEye was the former home of Ian Fleming and the site where he penned all 14 James Bond novels. His gardener, Ramsey Dacosta, still works on the property and leads activities, including coconut carving and nature walks for children.
While Napa Valley is famous for wine, the region has plenty to offer to families. Sign up for a tour of the Castello di Amorosa, a 13th-century Tuscan castle and winery perched on a hill just south of Calistoga, where kids can sip on grape juice. Stroll di Rosa, a museum where families can participate in activities including painting portraits.
March 2018: andBeyond Bateleur Camp reopens after an extensive renovation on the Maasai Mara
March 4, 2018: The Napa Valley Marathon celebrates its 40th anniversary
March 6-18, 2018: andBeyond’s Snow Leopard Expedition departs in the Himalayas
March 21, 2018: Venice Simplon-Orient-Express launches new Grand Suites
April 2018: The Pembroke Room at The Lowell completes a renovation
April 7-17, 2018: andBeyond’s Eat, Pray and Love journey departs in India
April 20, 2018: La Réserve Ramatuelle will re-open for the season with renovated villas
April 22-25, 2018: Domaine de Manville is introducing a new, three-day wedding workshop with Style Me Pretty editor Stephanie Weers and photographer Tamara Gruner
April 28-29, 2018: Hamilton Princess & Beach Club in Bermuda will serve as the official host hotel for the ITU World Triathlon, the first time it is held in Bermuda
May 2018: La Maison du Chocolat’s Bien Être collection is available in boutiques and online
May 16-20, 2018: Nantucket Wine Festival will feature more than 600 wines from 150 global wineries
July 15th, 2014
This summer, we’re taking our olives and twists on tour.
Here are our top four destinations for the most luxurious 5 o’clock somewhere.
1. MASAI MARA GAME RESERVE, KENYA
AMPR’s favorite garnish this summer is the sound of the Great Migration rattling the ice cubes in our gin and tonic. The only barrier between you and the wild is the drink in your hand at andBeyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp, situated where the forest meets the plains.
2. TOKYO, JAPAN
Sip Yamazaki neat at Park Hyatt Tokyo’s The Peak Bar, 41 stories into the sky and lit entirely by washi paper lanterns.
3. RAMATUELLE, FRANCE
Suspended between the clouds and the Mediterranean Sea, La Réserve Ramatuelle’s bar overlooks the crystal waters of the French Riviera. Hotelier Michel Reybier serves his private label Cos d’Estournel, a Sauvignon Blanc grown from his personal vineyard.
4. NANTUCKET ISLAND, MASSACHUSETTS
Sit under the Brant Point Grill’s shady canopy and gaze out at The White Elephant statue, a harbor-side symbol of the eponymous hotel’s history. Drink of choice: Lobster Bloody Mary.
August 23rd, 2012
At AMPR, we’re lucky to work a stone’s throw away from the Union Square Greenmarket. With August’s cornucopia of locally grown produce, it’s hard to shake that “so-many-recipes-so-little-time” feeling while meandering through the various stalls. But fruit-wise, delicate berries from the Hudson Valley – in our opinion – always steal the show.
Fruit tarts are a common sight in France, a country that’s home to a number of exciting properties represented by AMPR. Last week would have been Julia Child’s 100th birthday, and we’re celebrating her legacy of French cooking with a classic tart native to windswept Oléron, a scenic island off France’s Atlantic coast. The recipe is featured in Ruth Reichl’s book Tender at the Bone (a joy to read, by the way!) preceded by a few descriptive lines that had us chomping at the bit to get our hands in the flour:
Danielle took her finger out of her mouth and took a bite. I watched her. She took another. And another. I took a bite myself.
It was magnificent. The fruit was intoxicatingly fragrant and each berry released its juice only in the mouth, where it met the sweet, crumbly crust. “Why is this so much better than other tarts?” I asked.
Madame Deveau looked at me with something like interest. “The American wakes up,” she commented. “It is that the products here are so good,” she said. “Good butter from fat cows and wild berries grown in the island air.”
While we can’t comment on how the Big Apple’s Greenmarket compares to the fat cows and island berries of Oléron, we can happily confirm that this tart is a welcome taste of summer – anywhere , anytime. Now, be inspired!
Oléron Raspberry Tart
1½ c. sifted flour
¼ c. sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ¼-inch squares
2 tbs. heavy cream
1 egg yolk
¾ c. blanched almonds, toasted
¾ c. sugar
3 tbs. unsalted butter, softened
3 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 c. raspberries
2 tbs. currant jam and/or powdered sugar, for garnish (optional)
Place sugar and flour in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Add the butter squares to the flour mixture and blend using a pastry blender or forks until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Add cream to the egg yolk and pour into flour mixture. Mix lightly with a fork until the pastry holds together in a small ball. If it’s not moist enough, add a tablespoon or so of water.
Sprinkle some flour across a counter and push the dough with the heel of your palm until it has been worked through. Do not over-mix. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and let rest in the refrigerator for at least three hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the dough and allow to warm on the countertop for ten minutes. On a floured surface, flatten the ball and roll it into an eleven-inch circle. Fit gently into an eight- or nine-inch tart pan with a fluted edge and removable bottom. Press into pan gently, being careful not to stretch the dough. Trim off the edges and freeze for ten minutes to firm.
Line the tart shell with aluminum foil and fill with rice or dried beans. Bake 20 minutes. Remove aluminum foil and filler and bake for five minutes more or until golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool while making the filling.
Blend the almonds and three tablespoons of the sugar in a food processor until it is a fine powder. In a separate bowl, cream butter with the remaining sugar, and then add the yolks. Fold in the almond-sugar mixture and vanilla to combine.
Spread the almond mixture into the pre-baked crust and top with two cups of the fresh berries. Sprinkle the tart with two tablespoons of sugar and bake for 40 minutes or until just set. Cool at least two hours.
Just before serving, cover the tart with the remaining two cups of raspberries. Garnish with powdered sugar or brush the top with a simple glaze made from two tablespoons currant jam heated with one tablespoon of water. Bon appétit!
Photo was taken by Ben from the AMPR team.
July 20th, 2012
La Réserve Ramatuelle has officially been named a palace hotel. Only 11 other hotels of the 188 five-star hotels in France have earned the prestigious title since it was created in 2010. Appointed by the French Government, according to specific criteria, palace hotels are considered the best of the best, adhering to the highest standards in quality of service, accommodations, and care for guests.
Nestled on a hillside just outside St. Tropez, La Réserve Ramatuelle is composed of nine rooms and 19 suites designed by internationally renowned architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, and 12 villas designed by interior architect Rémi Tessier. The property features strong lines and a minimalist design, creating a modern yet natural environment, with the ocean-facing side of the building made mostly of glass.
An integral part of the guest experience, the spa focuses on anti-aging without the use of invasive procedures. Individual treatments from La Mer, as well as the hotel’s signature line, are available. The spa’s signature offering is an all-encompassing six-day program that offers a bespoke plan to promote anti-aging and wellness. After a consultation with onsite experts, guests are prescribed a combination of up to four spa treatments each day, an exercise regime, custom meal plans, and stress-reducing practices. Spanning more than 10,000 square feet, the spa features an indoor pool with a jet lane, an outdoor pool and pool house, a steam bath, and a fitness center with Technogym equipment and a Kinesis Wall. Outdoor physical activities include walking, canoeing, kayaking, and hiking.
The property joins 11 other hotels on the list. These include:
- Four Seasons Hotel Goerge V, Paris
- Le Bristol, Paris
- Le Meurice, Paris
- Le Plaza Athénèe, Paris
- Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme, Paris
- Le Byblos, St. Tropez
- Le Chateau de la Messardière, St. Tropez
- Les Airelles, Courchevel
- Le Chevel Blanc, Courchevel
- Hôtel du Palais, Biarritz
- Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, St. Jean Cap-Ferrat
LA RESERVE HOSPITALITY COLLECTION
6, Cours de Rive . 1204 Genève . Suisse
DIRECT T+ 41 22 317 16 16 . P +41 79 909 95 08 . F+ 41 22 317 97 13
June 7th, 2012
We’ve found that hanging with locals is the best way to experience a new destination authentically – and where better to do that than at a local market? USA Today lists the greatest food markets around the world and many happen to be in some of our favorite cities (including NYC – check out the Union Square Greenmarket right near our office!). Whether they’re called markets, bazaars or souks, you’ll find tasty treats in any of these sweet spots, so be sure to stop by and grab a quick snack while sightseeing.
Navigating through the maze of souks might be a little overwhelming at first, but we guarantee you will be delighted by fresh spices, oils, and olives. Complete your stay at the Royal Mansour Marrakech, where many of these ingredients can be found in the cuisine in the hotel’s three restaurants, overseen by thrice Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alleno.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe Farmers Market
After a relaxing stay at the cozy Inn on the Alameda, start your day with a trip into town for some shopping and people watching at the Santa Fe Farmers Market, which hosts 150 vendors in a LEED-certified building in the Santa Fe Railyard. Retreat back to the rustic Inn for a little R&R before exploring more of the oldest capital city in the nation.
Guests staying at the elegant Palace Luzerne can enjoy both the beautiful Alpine scenery and the proximity to the heart of town – and don’t forget one of Switzerland’s best food markets! Stroll along the Reuss River while shopping for nuts, fruits, and mushrooms, or pick up one of the Wochenmarkt’s own cookbooks. This market also makes for a great day trip from Geneva (just 3 hours away) and at La Réserve Geneva, guests can take the new Tesla Roadsters out for a spin on their way to the market.
Made famous by scenes in blockbuster films, like Bridget Jones’s Diary and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the centuries-old Borough Market invites locals and tourists alike to pop in and perhaps duck out of the rain. Fresh fruits and homemade breads in the summer and warm drinks and decadent desserts in the winter – there’s always a good time to visit this market. It is just a quick Tube ride from the Metropolitan London, where guests can take advantage of the COMO Shambhala Urban Escape spa, or The Halkin, one of the first design-led boutique hotels in the world.