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.
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
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May 7th, 2012
With the spring weather upon us, we have our hearts set on Europe. Whether you’re traveling to London for the Olympic Games or hoping to stay as far away as possible, we have a suggestion for every traveler’s delight.
For the Olympics:
The Halkin is a hidden gem in Belgravia. Clean lines and impeccable service define the London favorite, along with its award winning nahm restaurant serving up authentic Thai fare. Guests can even order this haute Thai cuisine for room service!
What’s New: Celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year, The Halkin has certainly made its mark on the London hotel scene. To celebrate, The Halkin has partnered with William Curley, renowned patissier and chocolatier, to fashion a Couture Chocolate Afternoon Tea. This is a Champagne tea service inspired by the chocolatier’s new book, Couture Chocolate, and will include a selection of chocolate patisserie, homemade scones with clotted cream and preserves, and a selection of freshly made sandwiches.
Rates: Rates start at £260 ($422) per night.
This well known London hotel is famous for its Met Bar that first opened in 1997 and set the trend for the ultimate great night out in the heart of London! Now the Met Bar has re-opened its doors with a whole NEW look featuring an expanded and innovative cocktail menu and classic seasonal British cuisine. For the first time, the Met Bar ended its “Members-Only” policy, making it accessible to all from early in the day to late at night.
What’s New: The new COMO Shambhala Urban Escape offers key Asian-inspired therapies as well as a resident acupuncturist. Among the treatments on offer are the Dr. Perricone facials (the COMO Shambhala Urban Escape is the only spa in the U.K. to work with this popular U.S. product line) and COMO Shambhala PURIFY facials, suitable for men and women.
Rates: Rates start at £229 ($372) per night.
For the Culture:
Belmond Afloat in France
Discover the French countryside from a new perspective with Afloat in France, a small fleet of luxury barges ideal for a group of family or friends on vacation. Fashion an itinerary that matches the interests of the crowd (think golf, cycling, or antiques), and relax in Belmond style over fine French dining and wine while meandering through the ever-changing scenery.
What’s New: Explore the finest vineyards from the Rhône Valley to Gevrey-Chambertin on the new seven-day “Wine Discovery Tour” aboard the Napoleón, which features instructive tastings, wine-centric French dinners, and guided walks through some of the region’s most famous vineyards. To ring in the new tour, each “Wine Discovery Tour” attendee is rewarded with a free one-night stay at a luxury five-star hotel in Paris.
Rates: Rates start at €4,450 ($5,825) per person, based on double occupancy of a cabin.
Le Pavillon des Lettres
The charming Pavillon des Lettres, an impossibly chic retreat for art and literature lovers, is the perfect alternative to Paris’ traditional hotels. Combining art, literature, and fine design, each of the hotel’s 26 rooms is devoted to a letter of the alphabet and a corresponding international writer (think B for Baudelaire or H for Hugo).
What’s new: Crazy Horse Cabaret, the avant-garde icon of provocative Parisian nightlife, celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2012 with Le Pavillon des Lettres. Together they are offering a package that includes amour-inducing accommodations and VIP tickets to the show.
Rates: Rates start at €265 ($351) per night.
Crystal Cruises Royal Explorer Sailing
Stockholm to London
From the old-world charm of Stockholm’s Gamla Stan to Helsinki’s cutting-edge Ice Bar, revel in the rich cultural life and fascinating museums of these Baltic capitals. From August 14 – 25, spend 11 days exploring these spectacular lands with Crystal Symphony, with calls in St. Petersburg, Russia; Helsinki, Finland; Berlin/Warnemünde, Germany; and Copenhagen, Denmark.
What’s New: Fresh from a $15 million drydock, Crystal Symphony will be showing off her newly redesigned public spaces. Guest chefs Orjan Johannessen and Odd Ivar Sovod will also be joining the cruise, along with wine expert Eugenio Jardim and mixologist Simon Ford to celebrate the Crystal Wine & Food Festival.
Rates: Check here for current pricing and special offers
For the Cuisine:
Park Hyatt Milan
Cozily situated in the heart of Milan next to the Duomo and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, this hotel is a natural favorite for visiting celebrities, design mavens, and vacation travelers alike.
What’s New: After a recent collaboration with the famous English fashion designer, Paul Smith, Park Hyatt Milan now serves their culinary creations upon beautiful, hand-painted dishes designed specifically for the hotel by Smith.
Rates: Rates start at €540 ($715) per night.
Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme
Recently accepted into the prestigious Palace Hotels Group, the five-star Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme offers a sensual, understated elegance that extends throughout the hotel – from the lavish rooms and suites to the captivating social areas and exquisite spa.
What’s New: Refreshed and ready for spring, guests can enjoy lunch or dinner on the terrace in an intimate and confidential ambience in the most glamorous neighborhood in the city. Make sure to try the chef’s newest creation, the Non-coupable, a guilt-free dessert that features fresh market strawberries, a base of low-fat cheesecake and cream, finished with a tangy spark of crystallized thyme and lemon.
Rates: Rates start at €1180 ($1550) per night.
For the Scenery:
La Réserve Ramatuelle
St. Tropez, France
Located just outside St. Tropez, this stunning property, with 360° views of the Mediterranean Sea, is an intimate, elegant getaway that is ideal for discerning travelers.
What’s new: La Réserve Ramatuelle just added four new health and wellness programs that combine medical assessments, personal training sessions, physical activities, and personalized diets for a total care approach.
Rates: Rates start at €650 ($861) per night.
Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa
Located in the picturesque mountain setting of the Bernese Oberland, this five-star hotel and spa, known as one of the most beautiful hotels in Switzerland, is in the ultimate location for a summer vacation. Whether visiting for a wellness weekend or a family holiday, the unique grand hotel atmosphere is sure to provide memories that last a lifetime.
What’s New: Offering everything from snacks to cakes to tasty drinks, the hotel has recently renovated its outdoor dining area, the Victoria-Jungfrau terrace, adding a new lighting system designed to create the perfect atmosphere for dinners under the starry, summer night sky. With the addition of 110 seats, the terrace can now accommodate up to 150 guests.
Rates: Rates start at 443.10 CHF ($488.16) per night.
April 6th, 2012
La Réserve Ramatuelle, an intimate French retreat dedicated to health, wellbeing, and relaxation, just added four brand new programs for Spring 2012. Combining medical assessments, spa treatments, personal training sessions, targeted physical activities, relaxation, and appropriate diets, La Réserve Ramatuelle’s new health and wellness programs range in length from three to six nights and feature a total care approach. With never-ending views of the Mediterranean and a host of new health inspired programs, La Réserve Ramatuelle offers the most discerning travelers and spa aficionados an escape on the French Riviera unlike any other.
Energy Program (7 days, 6 nights)
Following a medical assessment and personal trainer consultation, the invigorating retreat will devise a health plan with personalized energy-boosting diet. Participate in daily sport and health activities – Pilates, yoga, aqua strength training, Nordic walks, and healthy cooking lessons. Freshen the skin with “Better Aging” treatments and a therapeutic therapy (choice of relaxing massage, reflexology, acupuncture, or shiatsu – finger and palm pressure.)
Dates: April and May 2012
Cost: 1650 € for activities and meals. Accommodations are an additional cost.
Weight Loss Program (7 days, 6 nights)
Following a medical assessment and personal trainer consultation, this healthful weight loss retreat includes three personal training sessions, daily sport and health activities, a Cellu M6 endermology session to reduce fatty tissue, La Réserve’s signature “Better Aging” Body Treatment, a hydrotherapy session, one therapeutic treatment, and a personalized health plan with a customized slimming diet and therapeutic natural drinks.
Dates: April and May 2012
Cost: 1650 € for activities and meals. Accommodations are an additional cost.
Beauty and Well-Being Break (5 days, 4 nights)
This pampering program includes only the best treatments – a Crème de la Mer Excellence Facial Treatment and a Crème de la Mer Excellence Body Treatment, a La Réserve Better Aging Face Massage and Better Aging Body Treatment, a hydrotherapy session, manicure, feet beauty treatment, daily sport and health activities, and a customized well-being diet.
Dates: April and May 2012
Cost: 1390 € for activities and meals. Accommodations are an additional cost.
Express Fit & Beauty (4 days, 3 nights)
For a quick ‘get fit’ fix, La Réserve Ramatuelle’s Express Fit & Beauty program includes three Nordic Walking sessions, a hydrotherapy session, one therapeutic treatment, a La Réserve Better Aging Body Treatment, a Crème de la Mer Excellence Facial Treatment, daily sport and health activities, and a customized well-being diet.
Dates: April and May 2012
Cost: 1090 € for activities and meals. Accommodations are an additional cost.
For more information visit www.lareserve-ramatuelle.com. To book, call +33 4 94 44 94 44 or email email@example.com.
February 24th, 2012
April 1 marks the re-opening of St. Tropez’s La Réserve Ramatuelle with expanded Boot Camp offerings. The cliffside hotel has some of the best views of the Mediterranean; the entire sea-facing exterior is made up of floor-to-ceiling windows to maximize exposure and fill rooms with natural light (Goodbye darkness before 5 PM!). The star is the 13-room spa that offers an exclusive La Mer treatment (the renowned beauty company designed a series of treatments for the hotel).
Shed that winter weight with the hotel’s signature Boot Camp – a five-night personalized program encompassing yoga, Nordic walks, invigorating spa treatments, and healthy, low calorie cuisine – perfect for getting in shape for the summer months to come.
6:30 AM One-hour yoga session
7:30 AM Breakfast
8:30 AM Departure on a 3-4 hour countryside walk
1:00 PM Lunch at the hotel
2:30 PM Balneotherapy session (bathing healing treatment involving minerals)
3:00 PM Body wrap
3:30 PM Jet shower
4:00 PM La Réserve Better Aging body treatment
6:30 PM Relaxation session
8:00 PM Dinner
The Boot Camps are offered in *April, May and June with rates starting at 2700 euros per person including accommodations. Minimum four persons per program.
For more information visit www.lareserve-ramatuelle.com. To book, call +33 4 94 44 94 44 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
April: 2-7; 9-14; 16-21; 23-28
May: 14-19; 28 – June 2
August 31st, 2011
Who doesn’t want that inherently French, effortlessly slim look? La Réserve Ramatuelle has the best way to maintain that swimsuit-ready figure you worked so hard to attain without fasting or quick-stepping through tires. The très français boot camp will have two sessions in September and October. Set just outside of St. Tropez, La Réserve Ramatuelle is surrounded by quintessential Cote d’Azur scenery and nearly 360 degree views of the Mediterranean Sea – a great spot for hikes through the Cyprus trees and olive groves.
While strenuous, this boot camp is hardly roughing it, chéries! Walks through the Mediterranean countryside, spa treatments, and delicious (and healthy) local flavors cooked up by Chef Eric Canino will have you feeling svelte, not spent. Designed for groups of 4-8 people, it’s a great excuse to bring along some friends.
The Boot Camp is a five-day (four-night) program. Guests start with a medical assessment to measure physical aptitude. The next day, training kicks off with an hour-long yoga session and healthy breakfast before a guide leads a fast-paced walk through the hills and along the coast. While sure to get hearts pumping, the duration and pace of these walks is determined on an individual basis. After the walks, guests can relax for the rest of the day, enjoying a healing and rejuvenating spa program that includes balneotherapy, body wraps, and the La Réserve Better Aging body treatment. (This detoxifying, slimming, and draining treatment enables cellular regeneration while eliminating blockages and tensions in the body.) Guests can also add à la carte experiences such as beauty and body therapies exclusively crafted for La Réserve by La Mer.
September 18-23, Price: €5450
October 10-15, Price: €4950
Rates include accommodations in a Deluxe room and full board. Prices are per person based on single occupancy. Boot Camp program not including accommodations cost €2700 per person for the five day program.
Example of a typical day’s activities – day 1
6:30am Yoga session (1 hour)
8:30am Morning Walk
1pm Lunch at the hotel
3pm Body Wrap
3:30pm Jet shower
4pm La Réserve Better Aging body treatment
6:30pm Relaxation session
8pm Dinner at the restaurant
June 29th, 2011
With designer Jean-Michel Wilmotte receiving accolades for his designs for the just-opened Mandarin Oriental in Paris, we can’t help but let our minds wander south of the City of Lights to Wilmotte’s impeccable work at La Réserve Ramatuelle. Do as the French do this time of year and head to the slice of paradise, just minutes from the heart of Saint-Tropez and overlooking the majestic Mediterranean Sea.
In addition to its luxurious rooms and suites, the ultra-private rental villas are the perfect escape. Take advantage of one of the spa’s signature treatments from La Mer specially crafted for the property. Or, kick things up a notch by participating in the spa’s six-day program promoting stress reduction, weight loss, and overall mind-body relaxation.