August 25th, 2022
Nayara Resorts is recognized as one of the leading hospitality companies in Latin America, with a collection of elevated, eco-minded hotels offering authentic, immersive adventures in the region’s wildest and most remote corners—from the Costa Rican rainforest to Chile’s Atacama Desert and far-flung Easter Island. Expanding its reach into Panama, Nayara Resorts now welcomes Nayara Bocas Bali into its portfolio.
Originally opened in 2021, the exclusive, all-inclusive, adults-only Bocas Bali property features an array of sixteen over-water villas on a private island in the Bocas del Toro area, off the Caribbean coast—as well as the world’s first over-water beach. Fringed by approximately three miles of coral reefs, the property is a haven for snorkeling and other aquatic sports.
Says Dan Behm, the owner of Bocas Bali, on how the partnership with Nayara came about: “We chose Nayara because of the ideal cultural fit and their proven ability to create extraordinary experiences for their guests.”
Leo Ghitis, owner of Nayara Resorts, is thrilled to welcome this new property into the portfolio as it is an excellent complement to the other hotels in the group. “Nayara Bocas Bali exemplifies what the Nayara brand is all about,” says Ghitis. “Ultra-personalized service combined with extraordinary experiences, and above all, an unwavering commitment to sustainability and our communities.” Nayara Costa Rica is known for its reforestation efforts and sloth sanctuary, while Bocas Bali is known for its fully solar-powered, off-the-grid accommodations and its commitment to protecting the coral reefs and mangroves.
The sixteen over-water villas immerse guests in the lush Caribbean scenery, allowing them to snorkel, paddleboard, or kayak directly from their rooms. Some villas feature glass floor panels for underwater marine viewing while others have saltwater pools and steps that lead into the sea; all were inspired by the barefoot romance of Bali, with natural materials, beds wrapped in tumpang sari canopies (Javanese-style layered beams ornately carved into a vaulted ceiling), and floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing the view out over the sea. In fall 2022, the property will unveil its first Treehouse with plans to add several more in late 2022 and 2023, some floating as high as 40 feet above ground.
A pair of restaurants serve international dishes with a local twist, using the freshest seafood from the Caribbean Sea. Items include toasted local coconut bread (Johnny cakes); ceviche of the day from the morning’s catch; and Caribbean Curry. The Balinese-inspired Elephant House restaurant sits on stilts over the Caribbean Sea and the poolside Coral Café is a cheerful, alfresco setting for a casual breakfast, lunch, or snack. Both restaurant bars serve handcrafted cocktails that perfectly complement the island breeze; The Tipsy Bar, on Kupu-Kupu Beach, is the perfect place to sip a tropical cocktail, toes in the sand.
The property’s idyllic island location makes it a wonderland for aquatic pursuits—from snorkeling and paddle boarding to kayaking through the mangroves and dolphin viewing in the bay (Dolphin Bay is aptly named – pods of dolphins are frequently spotted swimming around). Off property, guests can take a seaplane to Isla Escudo de Veraguas, a remote island known for its three-toed pygmy sloths who like to swim in the water around the island. Other excursions include scuba diving, fishing, visiting indigenous chocolate farms, and exploring Monkey Island—a secluded monkey sanctuary.
In April, Bocas Bali unveiled the world’s first over-water beach, hovering on stilts and stretching 90 feet long by 20 feet wide. With white sand, lush palms, and the Tipsy Bar serving tropical drinks, Kupu-Kupu Beach is an ideal spot to while away the hours and soak up the tropical breeze. A series of stairs descend from the platform directly into the Caribbean Sea, allowing for a seamless transition between sunbathing and deep-water snorkeling.
Bocas Bali uses solar energy, purified rainwater, and an eco-friendly wastewater treatment system engineered specifically for a mangrove island. Five separate environmental studies were conducted to ensure the property posed no risk to the habitat’s mangroves and crystal-clear waters. The overwater buildings were specifically placed to mitigate any interference with the surrounding coral reefs.
After flying into Panama City’s Tocumen Airport, it is an hour drive to Albrook Airport, then about an hour-long flight to Bocas Airport where someone from Bocas Bali will greet arrivals and bring them to the property by boat. (Roundtrip transfers from Bocas airport are included in the rate.) From January 2023, Bocas Bali is launching VIP daily air service directly from Panama City’s Tocumen Airport to Bocas del Toro airport on a nine-seat King Air B200 (leaving Panama City at 4:30 daily and leaving Bocas del Toro at 9:30am daily – a 45-minute flight). The price for this is $500 each way (per person). The resort is also happy to assist in coordinating travel once in Panama.
Rates start at $900 per night for double occupancy on an all-inclusive basis.
- Unlimited five-star dining at The Elephant House restaurant
- Breakfast, lunch, and snacks at The Coral Café
- Villa fridges stocked with drinks and snacks
- Unlimited premium liquors and wines
- Kayaking the mangroves
- Snorkeling, including equipment
- Fitness center
- One boat transfer from Bocas Town to Bocas Bali and a second boat transfer from Bocas Bali to Bocas Town
- Free high-speed WiFi in rooms and common areas
- Concierge service
- Room service
Images Courtesy of Nayara Resorts: https://we.tl/t-IVwHJ1J90t
About Nayara Resorts
Nayara Resorts is a collection of three sister properties set in Arenal Volcano National Park in Costa Rica (Nayara Gardens, Nayara Springs, and Nayara Tented Camp); two properties in Chile (Nayara Alto Atacama in the Atacama Desert and Nayara Hangaroa on Easter Island); and the newest addition, Nayara Bocas Bali in Panama.
July 27th, 2022
There’s infinite wisdom to be gained from the world of travel. One area where travel can be particularly impactful is sustainability. By integrating travelers into communities, instilling a deep reverence toward natural landscapes, and opening minds through fun, educational programming, travel has the capacity to effect lasting change long after a trip has ended. Here are nine hotels, tour operators, and destinations that are combining impact and inspiration in game-changing ways.
When it comes to conservation tourism, andBeyond is in a league of its own. Since its founding in 1991, the brand has secured some of the tourism industry’s conservation firsts: the reintroduction of cheetah to andBeyond Phinda, the groundbreaking translocation of 19 guar at India’s Bandhavgarh National Park, and the Rhinos Without Borders initiative that saw the relocation of 100+ rhinos from the highest poaching zones in South Africa. By staying at andBeyond’s 33 lodges and camps and opting for its tailor made tours and small group journeys, travelers are not only supporting these crucial initiatives across three continents, but also making history. Participate in the pioneering Pangolin conservation experience in a region where the species has been locally extinct for decades. Listen to legendary conservation leaders like Les Carlisle tell you about his decades of experience rewilding destinations around the world. Inspire a younger generation of conservationists by enrolling young visitors in the WILDchild Eco-Guide Challenge, which might include learning bushman skills like catch-and-release fishing, animal tracking, and identifying species of plants and animals.
Le Commandant Charcot
PONANT’s latest addition to its fleet is the world’s first luxury hybrid electric polar exploration ship that’s powered by electric battery and liquified natural gas, a non-toxic source that has the best safety records of all fuel types. With eight departures for the summer 2022 and 2023 Arctic season, Le Commandant Charcot offers guests the chance to venture to the farthest reaches of the globe, where they can participate in citizen science experiments, learn about the conservation initiatives, and tour remote landscapes with a team of naturalist-guides. For example, on a 16-day itinerary to the Geographic North Pole, the most northern point of the Earth’s axis of rotation, one activity is setting up a research station on an ice floe and deploying an Argos transmitter (a satellite-based system that collects and disseminates environmental data). Meanwhile, in Antarctica, on the 30-day journey Unexplored Antarctica Between Two Continents—an all-new and unrivaled half-circumnavigation between the far south of the American continent to New Zealand—guests will deepen their knowledge of the world’s most remote locales through expert-led lectures and excursions guided by naturalists, like observing isolated colonies of emperor penguins on coastal areas along the Bellingshausen Sea. When in battery mode, Le Commandant Charcot can sail for up to eight hours at a time without producing any emissions and with very low noise levels, so as to not disrupt aquatic life.
Hands-on sustainable farming tutorials. Cooking classes with ingredients grown in the garden. A hike through the UNESCO-protected biosphere reserves along the Baja California Peninsula. At Paradero Todos Santos, an 80 percent landscape project and hospitality concept developed by Mexican entrepreneurs Pablo Carmona and Josh Kremer, education has never been so fun—or scenic. The property is spread across five acres in the unspoiled La Mesa farming community, an agricultural area comprising 160 acres of family-owned farms, and located at the doorstop of five distinct ecosystems, including the Sierra de La Laguna Mountain range, and a 200-year-old cordon cacti forest. Every activity at Paradero is designed to immerse guests in these spectacular landscapes and promote a deeper, more authentic connection to the land and the local community. Ultimately, these skills will generate greater self-awareness—encouraging guests to embody the values of Paradero long after a trip has ended.
Mount Nelson, A Belmond Hotel, Cape Town
Situated at the base of Cape Town’s iconic Table Mountain and spread across nine acres of lush gardens, Mount Nelson, A Belmond Hotel offers the rare experience of being amid nature in one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities. The reverence toward the natural world is reflected in the property’s range of unique activities and experiences, like the Fynbos Sunset Walk, a hike that begins just steps from the hotel and winds through one of the most biologically diverse regions on earth with over 9,000 plant species, nearly 70 percent are native to the Western Cape. Belmond guests also enjoy private access to shark scientist Justin Blake for a private ocean boating and snorkeling expedition to explore the underwater world that surrounds Cape Town’s coast. During the half-day excursion, swim through the Cape kelp forests, recently listed as a new Seven Wonder of the World, and the octopus gardens of Oscar-award winning documentary “My Octopus Teacher,” offering to gain a greater understanding of the importance of sharks in maintaining the delicately balanced marine ecosystems. Back on boat, dine on a sustainable seafood-inspired picnic created by Mount Nelson’s Chef Rudi Liebenberg, featuring delicacies sourced from ABALOBI, a South African-based social enterprise supporting small-scale fishing communities globally.
UXUA Casa Hotel
Built by local artisans over a two-year period using traditional building methods and reclaimed materials (nothing is sourced beyond a five-mile radius of Trancoso), UXUA Casa Hotel and Spa is literally built on a sustainable foundation. The property’s influence goes beyond the hotel’s walls, though. At VIDA Lab, the on-site nutritional laboratory and medical kitchen, medical director Dr. Jullian Hamamoto transforms local plants and botanicals—from the on-site garden, the nearby Itaporoca beach, and the 50-acre UXUA ROÇA farm—into healing elixirs and beautifying therapies. Guests can go foraging with Dr. Jullian to learn about the significance of these ingredients, many of which are sacred to Brazil’s Indigeous Pataxó people. At the on-site atelier, guests can interact with local craftspeople and give input into products they’d like made, like kaftans and kimonos made by local weavers. Another notable activity is a capoeira lesson by a professor at the local Capoeira Sul Da Bahia school, which is dedicated to the preservation and study of the centuries-old martial art. One hundred percent of the proceeds for each lesson is donated to the school, and guests can also join in public class sessions with local youth.
Napa Valley is at the forefront of sustainability in wine—the region is home to 40 percent of all certified sustainable wineries in California. Established in 1976, the Land Trust of Napa County protects more than 55,000 acres, roughly 10 percent of Napa County, ensuring the preservation of the land. No other wine region in the world has something like it. Local vintners work with more than 20 industry and environmental stakeholder groups to promote responsible business development and environmental stewardship. What this means for visitors? Plenty of wide-open vistas and sustainably made wine, for one. There’s also an extensive range of activities that promote deeper engagement with Napa’s landscapes. The Napa Valley Bike Trail, for example, is a walking/cycling trail system that will connect the entire region, offering 47 continuous miles of level, paved, dog-friendly trail. Another way to see the sights: motoring around the region with Green Dream Tours, a carbon-neutral business that whisks visitors to sustainable wineries in the region, like Starmont Wines in St. Helena, where they’ll learn about their sustainable processes and techniques.
The five properties that make up Naya Resorts’ portfolio are each located in a spectacular corner of Latin American—from the green valley in the Atacama Desert; Easter Island, one of the most remote places on earth; and the three Costa Rican properties, which are spread over a mountainside facing the majestic Arenal Volcano. With these sublime natural locations comes ample opportunity to learn about these precious ecosystems and the wildlife therein. In Costa Rica, for example, where Nayara planted over 1,000 Cecropia trees—the sloth’s made food source—guests can visit the sloth sanctuary to watch and learn about these creatures and various conservation efforts. While in Atacama, guests can discover the Salar of Atacama with a naturalist guide, navigating its rock formations and watching flamingos fly across the open sky.
Located in the Maldives’ North Malé Atoll, one of the world’s most spectacular and fragile natural environments, Gili Lankanfushi takes great strides to protect its rich marine diversity and safeguard its surroundings for generations to come. Later this year, the resort will unveil a new Marine Biology Center, with a cutting-edge research space and the expansion of the coral nursery. The resort’s primary marine research facility, the lab is where guests can learn from Gili’s team of marine biologists, participating in coral reef cleaning and collecting vital information that benefits organizations like the Marina Research Center. Guests can even help rehabilitate damaged coral by nursing coral on ropes (lines) and transplanting them onto degraded reef areas—an initiative that Gili launched way before it was popular in the Maldives.
La Samanna, A Belmond Hotel, St. Martin
While a beach vacation conjures up visions of sunbathing on velvety shores, guests of La Samanna, A Belmond Hotel can combine seaside bliss and sustainable education. The Escape to Tintamarre experience entails a boat ride to the uninhabited Tintamarre island, in the Saint Martin Nature Reserve, home to rare hawksbill turtles and stingrays. A local marine conservationist will educate guests about the rich marine fauna and local sustainability efforts. Or visitors can venture up the St. Martin’s tallest peaks with a local nature guide, pausing to soak up sweeping island views and admire colorful plants and animals.
July 27th, 2022
Nothing signals ‘vacation mode’ quite like lounging by a pool, listening to the sounds of trickling water as you take in the surrounding scenery. It doesn’t matter if you’re swimming laps on the 47th floor of a Tokyo skyscraper or taking in coastal views from an infinity pool on the Amalfi Coast—there’s something about being near water that immediately energizes the body and soothes the spirit. Here are 8 pools that make the biggest splash.
Park Hyatt Tokyo
The ultimate antidote to the hustle and bustle of Tokyo’s streets? A refreshing dip in the pool of Park Hyatt Tokyo. With skylights and floor-to-ceiling windows, the pool gives the impression of swimming high above the Japanese capital, with 47th-floor views of the skyline and the snow-capped Mount Fuji in the distance. Stretch out on a lounger around the 65-foot pool and order a drink and light bites. It’s worth hanging around until nighttime, admiring the lights of the city while soaking in the warm waters.
Nayara Tented Camp
At Costa Rica’s Nayara Tented Camp, guests have their pick of seven pools, all fed by hot springs and looking out to lush jungle scenery and the majestic Arenal Volcano. Each pool ranges in temperature, allowing guests to cool down on hotter days and warm up when the sun goes down. Thirsty? Ask the bartender to hand whip up a Guaro Sour or an iced Costa Rican coffee.
Don’t miss a nighttime swim, with twinkling stars overhead and the nocturnal sounds of the rainforest filling the warm air.
UXUA Casa Hotel and Spa
Not all pools are created equal. Take the pool at UXUA Casa Hotel and Spa in Trancoso, Brazil. Lined with 45,000 green aventurine quartz crystals—a native Bahian stone that’s said to have healing qualities— the shimmering pool resembles a natural lagoon that’s shaded by lush greenery and fragrant flowers. Add to the pool’s therapeutic effects by supplementing your swim with a Bahian hot stone massage at the spa.
Le Commandant Charcot
The world’s first luxury icebreaker ship is designed to travel through the globe’s iciest, most remote locations like the Antarctic Polar Circle. But don’t be fooled by its ruggedness—the ship has no shortage of luxe amenities, like a heated indoor swimming pool with a large glass roof and a sunroom looking out to the frozen scenery. Extra-intrepid guests can venture outdoors to the heated Blue Lagoon swimming pool, which wraps around the stern of the ship. The waters are heated from 80 to 98 degrees Fahrenheit using recycled energy from the ship. Snag a spot around the giant outdoor fire pit (as a plus, the armchairs are also heated) and order a selection of sweet and savory bites from 11 AM – 6 PM.
Caruso, A Belmond Hotel, Ravello
Italy’s Amalfi Coast is spoiled for breathtaking scenery, but there’s no perch more picturesque than the heated infinity pool at Caruso, A Belmond Hotel. Seemingly suspended between the sea and the sky, the pool is situated at the hotel’s highest point, an astonishing 1,000 feet above sea level. Swim up to the pool’s edge and take in panoramic views of steep cliffs that plunge into the Tyrrhenian Sea. After toweling off, ask the pool concierge to bring you a Kindle with a selection of reading material, or an iPod pre-loaded with the guest’s choice of music.
Palacio Nazarenas, A Belmond Hotel, Cusco
As a former Incan temple turned conquistador’s mansion, Palacio Nazarenas, A Belmond Hotel, is one of Cusco’s most singular stays. It’s also home to the city’s first and only outdoor heated pool, located beyond Inca walls in a cloistered terrace. Swim laps while marveling at the building’s Spanish colonial architecture, then order a Pisco Sour from the poolside Senzo Bar. Don’t miss salsa lessons on the pool deck on Tuesdays and Thursday evenings and live electronic Andean music on Friday night.
Indian Springs Calistoga, Napa Valley
Did you know California’s premier wine country is home to one of the Golden State’s largest natural hot springs? At Calistoga’s Indian Springs, travelers come from far and wide to soak in warm waters that have provided therapeutic relief for thousands of years. Napa’s original inhabitants, the members of the Wappo tribe, built sweat lodges over the area’s bubbling thermal geysers; in the 1860s, notable Californian Sam Brannan created the original spa, volcanic mud baths, and water plunge (now an Olympic-sized mineral pool heated to 92-102 degrees Fahrenheit). After your swim, explore the 17 acres of hills and ponds, lined with olive and pool trees and rose and lavender bushes.
La Reserve Paris
A Parisian sojourn isn’t always conducive to wellness (croissants, anyone?). But at La Réserve Paris, guests can easily keep up with their wellness routines at the oasis-like spa, complete with a 16-meter indoor pool, a hammam, a fitness area, and three treatment rooms for facials and body treatments. Open 24/7 for hotel guests, it is easy to squeeze in a couple laps at the pool before carrying on your day. The pool area can also be bought out for the ultimate in privacy and relaxation.
January 28th, 2022
From the Catskills to Tanzania, here is a look ahead at the most exciting new destinations and renovation plans for 2022.
Chatwal Lodge, The Catskills | Bethel, NY | April 1, 2022
90 minutes from Manhattan, Chatwal Lodge is located at The Chapin Estate, a 2,500-acre gated residential community. Architect and designer Steve Dubrovsky specializes in 19th-century Adirondack style, and he is also a four-time circuit champion of the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association. 10 suites spread among three buildings will feature private patios overlooking the 1,000-acre Toronto Reservoir Lake. Activities will range from fly fishing in the on-property trout stream and kayaking with a to-go picnic to Ayurvedic treatments in-suite.
(Photo credit: The Chapin Estate or Tim Williams, as noted in the file name)
andBeyond Grumeti Serengeti River Lodge | Tanzania | June 6, 2022
Conservation-led luxury travel company andBeyond has announced that andBeyond Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp in Tanzania’s Western Corridor will reemerge from an extensive rebuild, following a flood in April 2020, with a brand-new identity as andBeyond Grumeti Serengeti River Lodge. As part of andBeyond’s ethos, sustainability will be key in the rebuild. With interiors by long-time andBeyond collaborator Fox Browne Creative, the rebuild will use the existing footprint of the former structure to redefine the classical tented camp look in a form that will least impact the natural landscape. Guest suites will double in size and feature deep baths and indoor showers, as well as extensive outdoor decks with private plunge pools. The rebuild will also bring a new family suite featuring an additional attached bedroom. An extended selection of experiences is also being developed in time for the reopening. These will combine with the rich resident wildlife of this remote corner of the Serengeti, as well as the lodge’s ideal location for experiencing the thrilling river crossing and vast herds of the Great Migration.
(Photo credit: andBeyond)
Nayara Tented Camp | Costa Rica | June 2022
Nayara Tented Camp opened at the end of 2019 as one of the first luxury camps in Central America. This June, they are putting the finishing touches on a big phase two which will see the addition of a main building, reception area, bar, lounge, restaurant, swimming pool, and fire pit. There will also be several new accommodations, including: two four-bedroom villas with a living area, dining area, and main deck and pool (with the option to add a third tented bedroom); six two-bedroom tented suites (perfect for families); and two more tented suites. Nayara Tented Camp will then have a total of 38 accommodations altogether, and the new two-bedroom villas will be perfect for larger families and groups and those seeking extra privacy.
(Images to come.)
Opening for the Summer Season
- Jared Coffin House – Opening April 6
The Jared Coffin House, a three-story brick mansion, was built by and named for one of Nantucket’s original shipping merchants. Dating from the mid-19th century, it oozes historic charm and graceful service. As a nod to the island’s history-making females, each of the four suites are named after influential women, including abolitionist Anna Gardner and women’s rights activist Lucretia Coffin Mott.
- Cottages at Nantucket Boat Basin – Opening April 7
The Cottages at the Boat Basin evoke the mood of a quaint New England fishing village, and are the closest guests will get to staying on the water without being on a boat. Most cottages have decks and patios where guests can enjoy al fresco clambakes and picnics. For those traveling with pets, The Woof Cottages welcome pups with Draper Canine beds, a basket of treats and toys, food and water bowls, dog-walking services, and personalized pet tags.
- White Elephant – Opening April 14
The White Elephant has been a favorite Nantucket retreat since the 1920s. The height of preppy New England elegance with grey shingles and white trim. A stone’s throw from the center of town, the property has accommodations for every traveler including suites on the harbor, garden cottages and two in-town Lofts, Easy Street and the Loft at 32 Main and multi-bedroom Residences with kitchenettes. The White Elephant’s Brant Point Grill is a staple restaurant on island and known for their famed Sunday Brunch and Lobster Bloody Mary.
- Wauwinet – Opening April 14
Situated on the northeast end of Nantucket bordering the peaceful Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge, the 32-room Wauwinet is the island’s only Relais & Chateaux property. An adults-only escape, the hotel offers an ambiance of storybook romance. The location is a standout – with access to two private beaches – one on the ocean and one on the Bay. The on-property restaurant TOPPER’S, a don’t-miss dining spot on island, features a seasonally inspired menu with local produce and seafood.
- Kalesma, Mykonos, Greece – Opening April 21, 2022
Kalesma opened in the summer of 2021 and stands apart from other hotels on the island with its amazing service (the owners are bringing in their trusted staff from their three hotspot restaurants in Athens to get it started). They are one of the earliest seasonal openings this year to coincide with their festive Greek Easter celebration. This year there will be new one-bedroom villas with an option to connect for a two-bedroom villa. They are moving and creating a new bar to optimize the views of the water looking both East and West. More information on what’s new for 2022 coming soon!
- Cipriani, A Belmond Hotel, Venice – Opening March 10
Giuseppe Cipriani — also the founder of Harry’s Bar, the birthplace of the Bellini that was inspired by the pinky golden hues over St. Mark’s Square — opened Cipriani in 1956 as a haven for jet-setting travelers. Belmond guests can enjoy the only Olympic-sized swimming pool in the city and exclusive behind-the-scenes tours of the city’s libraries and archives.
- Grand Hotel Timeo, A Belmond Hotel, Taormina – Opening March 15
Grand Hotel Timeo was formerly a private home and converted into a hotel in 1873. The property is adjacent to the Greek theater, stretched along six acres of tropical gardens, with views on the Naxos Bay and Mount Etna.
- Splendido Mare, A Belmond Hotel, Portofino – Opening March 25
One year following its complete restoration by Paris-based FESTEN Architecture, Splendido Mare reopens for the 2022 season. Inspired by its history in a fishing village, the 14-room property is a chic seaside guesthouse with fresh seafood and Italian fare at the onproperty restaurant, DaV Mare, and offers a trip along the Italian Riviera aboard a gozzo, a traditional Ligurian fishing boat.
- Villa San Michele, A Belmond Hotel, Florence – Opening March 27
Nestled on a hilltop amid lush trees and terraced gardens, the 15th-century facade is attributed to Michelangelo. Guests are invited to experience the delicate beauty and solitude of a monastery that is as much a part of Italy’s culture as the country’s greatest cathedrals and galleries. A colorful highlight is a 400-year-old wisteria, the only one in Florence to bloom twice a year.
- Castelo did Casole, A Belmond Hotel, Tuscany – Opening April 1
The 4,200-acre property is one of the largest private estates in Italy, nestled in Tuscany’s geographical center between Siena and Florence. A former castle dating back to the 10th century, it has changed hands from Italian aristocratic family to acclaimed cinematographer Luchino Visconti before joining the Belmond portfolio.
- Caruso, A Belmond Hotel, Ravello – April 1
Perched atop the highest point of the charming town of Ravello, at 1,000 ft above sea level, the 11th-century palace adorns Instagram feeds with its heated infinity pool. The historic property features 18th-century Neapolitan paintings, lush grounds with lemon and olive trees, and a two-suite Villa Margherita for those seeking extra privacy.
- Splendido, A Belmond Hotel, Portofino – April 1
Splendido Mare’s sister property – just a quick, complimentary shuttle ride away, is a restored 16th-century monastery. Splendido is nestled up in the hills overlooking Portofino with a heated saltwater pool and Instagram-worthy views from La Terrazza restaurant.
- Villa Sant’Andrea, A Belmond Hotel, Taormina – April 14
Built in 1919 among subtropical gardens, the property enjoys its own stretch on the secluded Bay of Mazzaro, where private cabanas for up to four guests can be reserved. Hop onboard the historic Circumetnea steam train to Mount Etna for private vineyard tours to taste rare vintages and local delicacies, available only to guests of Belmond.
- La Residencia, A Belmond Hotel, Mallorca – Opening March 18
Located in a hillside village located on the northwest coast of Mallorca, La Residencia was the first to attract artists and connoisseurs who put Deia on the map. Book the one-bedroom Suite 67 for added privacy – completely redesigned by British fashion designer Matthew Williamson, balancing his signature botanicals and lively colors while honoring the hotel’s traditional Mallorcan heritage.
- La Réserve Ramatuelle, Côte d’Azur – Opening May 2022
Nestled within a Mediterranean jardin overlooking the Cote d’Azur is the cliffside retreat, La Réserve Ramatuelle. Last summer the Palace hotel lifted the veil on a refreshed lobby, two Michelin-starred restaurant, and terrace helmed by none other than Jacques Garcia who took inspiration from the 1950s and 1960s when Cocteau, Picasso and Picault brought their creativity to the French Riviera.
January 18th, 2021
As the travel industry looks ahead, brands are preparing for how to promote a responsible recovery to Covid-19. Luxury travel advisor network Virtuoso, with over 20,000 advisors and 2,000 travel brands in more than 50 countries, is focusing on a ‘conscious comeback’ as hotels reopen in new and innovative ways. CREST (Center for Responsible Travel) and six other global nonprofit organizations have banded together to form the Future of Tourism Coalition with the belief that travelers will demand a more sustainable tourism marketplace. As people look for ways to reduce their footprint, work more responsibly with travel companies, travel to more sustainable communities and better understand the communities they interact with, we have rounded up leading destinations who are laying the groundwork for a more sustainable future – and how travelers can get involved.
If you want to invest in local communities…
Napa Valley, CA
Napa Valley Vintners (NVV), a nonprofit trade association leading the wine region since 1944, has partnered with UNCF to create a new scholarship program for people of color to pursue college degrees in subjects ranging from grape growing, winemaking, marketing, business and more, investing $1 million into the program. Each year over the next five years, NVV will invest $200,000 in scholarships and will encourage its members to bolster the scholarship program with donations to help even more students and to ensure the effort extends beyond five years.
UXUA recruits and trains locals with little to no prior experience in hospitality. Owner Wilbert Das has invested in providing language training and university tuition reimbursement as well as one-on-one mentorship for those who need help in certain subjects that might have prevented them from completing secondary education. Despite classes being one-hour bus ride each way, three staff members completed their degrees in 2019, with 10 currently enrolled. Under the name of U-2020 initiative, the goal is to have 20 staff (out of 85) to complete or enroll in a university program by end-of-year 2020. UXUA also offers life coaching, including financial planning. As a result, 35 employees have bought land in the past six years.
Belmond helped found the Q’omer Wasicha Project in 2015 to promote organic vegetable management and cultivation in local communities as well as fair trade practices. Several communities in the Cusco region are now trained in the production of vegetables and herbs; the sustainable greenhouses allow the harvest of organic crops that would not usually survive the high altitudes of the Andes, including tomatoes, squash and zucchini.
In collaboration with Africa Foundation, andBeyond offers a Conservation Lesson program for both children and adults living in communities close to wildlife areas. Through the initiative, over 1,600 students in East Africa were able to visit andBeyond’s properties, learning firsthand about the wildlife conservation that takes place so close to their home – partaking in game drives with rangers, swimming with dolphins and witnessing turtles hatch. For many, this is the first time in their life they have been exposed to fauna in a meaningful way. These conservation lessons and interactions with andBeyond guides have been a turning point in many participants’ lives; instilling the passion and knowledge of wildlife conservation and community development in them and playing a major part in influencing their careers.
Belmond Eagle Island Lodge has worked with the nearby community village of Xaxaba Island to ensure potable drinking water for the community. Previously unavailable, Belmond donated a Jojo water tank, a leading solution in South Africa to provide safe water, as well as a bowser water tank to ensure a clean water source. Water is then regularly transported from the lodge to the village. Belmond has also assisted with providing medical assistance to the community through mobile clinics. Guests also have the opportunity to visit the neighboring Nxhoga village to learn more about the Khotla from the elders, the meeting and administration system, the cultural relevance of basket weaving and the importance of the fishing industry, witnessing how fishing nets are made.
Dr Hla Tun has been the onboard doctor for Belmond Road to Mandalay, which has been traveling along the Ayeyarwady River since 2004. In addition to his service for guests, Dr. Tun disembarks the river cruise three days per week to lead Belmond’s free health clinic that launched in 2011 as a free service to locals as well as patients who travel for miles on foot to receive medical attention.
If combatting climate change is your passion…
Just 200 years after the first man stepped foot on Antarctica, PONANT is launching the first electric luxury polar ship in 2021. It will be able to cut through ice floe up to seven feet thick – meaning it can reach rarely visited places like Peter I Island, where fewer people have visited than have set foot on the moon. It will operate with a mix of liquified natural gas (the cleanest fuel on the market) and electric battery (zero emission and can operate for up to eight hours at a time). Le Commandant-Charcot will be fitted with the latest technology for minimizing environmental impact, as well as a scientific laboratory for conducting operational oceanography missions and research. Under the supervision of naturalist guides and onboard scientists, guests will be able to participate in the research and experiments during sailings, including helping set up a research station on an ice floe; deploying an Argos transmitter, a satellite-based system which collects and shares environmental data; and taking water samples.
In the 1970s and 80s, Costa Rica had one of the highest rates of deforestation in Latin America, but it has since reversed that trend and embraced reforestation. This was largely because of the government’s commitment to the cause, making it illegal in 1996 to chop down trees without approval from authorities. They also launched PES, a program that pays farmers to protect watersheds, conserve biodiversity, or capture carbon dioxide. This has positively impacted tourism. According to the tourism board, over 60% of visitors site nature as a reason for coming. The national parks and protected areas cover over a quarter of the country’s land. Nayara Resorts is committed to the cause. Their newest property, Nayara Tented Camp, sits on a hillside that was completely deforested by farmers over 50 years ago. Nayara hired a reforestation expert to rebuild the rainforest – which began with the planting of 40,000 indigenous trees.
Chris Blackwell’s Oracabessa Foundation is restoring the coral reef as a means to bring back marine life. In recent years, through the Foundation’s efforts, the Bay saw an increase of fish presence by 1,800 percent. Because of its success, the template is being replicated in other fish sanctuaries across Jamaica. New this year, Blackwell’s hotel GoldenEye in partnership with the Oracabessa Foundation opened a new dive shop that is open to locals as well as guests, offering coral planting opportunities, with profits going back into the foundation.
Coral bleaching from factors like climate change and El Niño has led to the death of 60-90% of the Maldivian reefs. As the only luxury property that is located both on the beach and on a coral reef, Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi offers guests the chance to adopt a coral frame ($175 USD per frame) during their stay. The coral frames are built using broken coral fragments found on local reefs, which are then rehabilitated in the property’s coral nursery and left to grow and regain their health.
If you want to save endangered animals…
Iguassu Falls, Brazil
When Belmond took over the Hotel das Cataratas in 2007, it not only invested in the hotel itself, but in the surrounding Iguassu National Park. The company committed 4 million Brazilian Reals to help update the park’s electricity supply, redesign the old park entrance and build a bicycle path from the gate to the hotel. It also donated 1.4 million Brazilian Reals towards the Projeto Onças do Iguaçu (Jaguars of Iguassu Project) to help preserve the last of the area’s jaguars. Ten years ago the population of these big cats was in sharp decline. The Jaguars of Iguassu Project installed night vision cameras around the park and used tracking devices fitted onto captured and released animals to study their behaviors and devise programs to improve their survival and breeding rates. Since the Jaguars of Iguassu Project began the number of jaguars has increased from around 9 to at least 28 (census of 2019). After exploring the national park, guests can stop by the hotel’s boutique and purchase a stuffed jaguar where a portion of the proceeds continue to support the project.
Pangolins are mini (and adorable) dinosaur-like mammals. While not commonly known in the U.S., these native African anteaters are covered in keratin scales, which are highly valuable to poachers, making them the most trafficked mammal in the world. The species used to roam freely in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, but have been locally extinct for decades. Private groups at andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve can have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get up close and personal with these elusive creatures with andBeyond’s Pangolin Conservation Experience and assist in replacing tags and monitoring behavior.
If you want to lead by example…
Gregory Miller is a leader in responsible tourism, an expert in public-private partnerships and a trained environmental scientist who believes in working globally, acting locally, and protecting our precious natural and cultural resources. Greg joined CREST as Executive Director in 2019, bringing to the organization a global track record of high-impact results in sustainable travel and recreation, biodiversity conservation, and policy development. He is also a founder of the newly formed Future of Tourism Coalition, as well as the Outdoor Alliance, National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance, and Parks in Peril program.
Joss Kent joined andBeyond in January 2012 and brought with him a passion for working with local communities and preserving land and wildlife. He came to andBeyond after several years as CEO of Abercrombie & Kent. Starting his career as a game ranger, Joss has gone on to champion leading sustainability and community initiatives including Ocean Without Border and Rhinos Without Border and continuing a partnership with the Africa Foundation to work with local communities to fill their needs, from building schools to creating water filtration systems.
Cindy Pawlcyn is the chef behind Mustards Grill, a Napa Valley landmark for more than 30 years. She opened the restaurant when the region was still largely pasture, with few restaurants and even fewer chefs (none whom were women!). Then, at 28 years old, Pawlcyn was also among the first to plant an organic garden outside her restaurant. Today, Mustards is still a Napa favorite, and has served more than one million pork chops – her signature dish.
Charity Cheruiyot was the first female safari ranger in Kenya’s Masai Mara. Having grown up in a small village as a member of the Kalenjin tribe, Charity paved her own way to a future in the bush. She now is a favorite ranger among guests of andBeyond Bateleur Camp, teaching the brand’s values of care of the land, wildlife, and people.
Wilbert Das, the former creative director at Diesel, founded UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa in Trancoso, Brazil. Today, Wilbert’s life in Trancoso extends far beyond the (unmarked) entrance of UXUA. As the town’s “unofficial mayor,” he is steadfast in his support of the community and proves that eco-conscious efforts and a propensity for high design are not mutually exclusive.
November 9th, 2020
Nayara Resorts, known for its three properties in Costa Rica often ranked amongst the top hotels in the world, is thrilled to announce a new partnership with Tánica hotels in Chile. This is Nayara’s first foray beyond Costa Rica and they look forward to offering guests their incredible customer service and gracious hospitality, starting with Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa in Chile’s Atacama Desert and Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa on Easter Island.
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.
September 9th, 2020
Costa Rica is opening its borders on September 1st to US citizens who are residents Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Virginia and Washington, D.C., and as of September 15 to Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Colorado (with driver’s licenses from those states). Additional requirements include a negative Covid test result within 48 hours of travel to Costa Rica, medical insurance, and a health pass form – full requirements listed on Visit Costa Rica’s website here.
Just below the Arenal volcano in the tropical rainforest, Nayara Tented Camp and Nayara Springs are both currently open (operating at 50% occupancy). Nayara Springs is adults only and Nayara Tented Camp (just opened in December 2019) is family friendly, so those looking for a getaway with or without children can find a perfect refuge.
March 6th, 2019
The Grand House
Shou Sugi Ban House is a new kind of wellness sanctuary offering three-, four-, and seven-night retreats focusing on transformation, healing, and an exploration of one’s self, and it’s opening this May in Water Mill. This is not a spartan retreat model; guests’ days comprise many forms of wellness ranging from beach hikes, reiki, spa treatments, sound healing, and meditation punctuated by gourmet cooking demonstrations (menus curated by Mads Refslund, formerly of lauded Noma restaurant in Copenhagen).
Nayara Tented Camp will open in Fall 2019 in Costa Rica. Each tent – designed by veteran luxury safari tent company Luxury Frontiers – will have a private plunge pool filled with naturally warm water from the nearby Arenal volcano’s hot springs, with open views of that volcano and surrounded by a sloth sanctuary.
Inspired by the anticipated live-action Lion King coming out this summer, andBeyond’s new itinerary lets kids live out their own adventures in hakuna matata style through the Masai Mara, Serengeti, and Ngorongoro Crater.
The Grand House, a hybrid venture between a luxury hotel and a home rental service will debut in March 2019 with a portfolio of maisons particulières situated in central Rome. Additional properties in Florence and Milan are scheduled to open by 2020.
Napa Valley’s Louis M. Martini Winery will re-open in March 2019 following an extensive restoration of the historic space. One of the first wineries to open at the end of Prohibition, the new space will seamlessly integrate indoors and out and feature 30-foot-high glass walls with views into the barrel cellar.
The Kensington is getting guests into nearby Victoria & Albert Museum’s Christian Dior – Designer of Dreams exhibit with The House Of Kensington Experience, a new three-night package including a stay in a Signature Suite, two tickets to the exhibition (hard to come by due to the show’s popularity), and a round of exclusive Dior-inspired cocktails at the hotel’s K Bar.
With its announcement of the most popular spring travel destinations, global luxury travel network Virtuoso revealed that Americans are staying closer to home and seeking sun in Los Angeles, Miami, and Orlando. European destinations including Italy, France, and the UK remain popular while Switzerland, Greece, Morocco, and Japan are seeing the largest growth year-over-year.
The Falconry Vineyard Tour is a new tasting offering at Bouchaine Vineyards in Napa Valley. Guests interact with owls, hawks, and falcons and learn how to call birds to land on their arm. The experience concludes with a wine-tasting in the garden.
This summer, GoldenEye is introducing new guest experiences including yoga and guided meditation sessions that conclude with vibrational healing ‘sound bath’ using Tibetan singing bowls; as well as complimentary excursions to Firefly, Noel Coward’s hill home and rumored to be Captain Morgan’s lookout.
Families traveling with little ones can explore London with a helping hand from their very own Mary Poppins with The Kensington’s new Suite Nannies package. A nanny from the UK’s leading nanny agency will arrive each day equipped with her own carpet bag filled with toys and surprises.
Belmond British Pullman continues its celebrity chef pop-up dinner series including a July 20th event with Raymond Blanc of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons and a zero-waste menu with Michelin-starred chef Merlin Labron-Johnson. Beloved British baker Mary Berry will kick of the series with two afternoon tea journeys May 3 and 4th.
CREST (Center for Responsible Travel) will hold its annual World Tourism Day forum on September 27, focusing this year on Impact Tourism.
Daylight Saving Time starts March 10th – here are a few outdoor activities to take advantage of that extra hour of sunshine
Azimuth Rooftop Bar
Located in the heart of Manhattan, The Chatwal, New York offers complimentary Chatwal-red bicycles for the active traveler to explore the city, armed with a bespoke NYC Bike Map and a picnic dinner.
The Grand House will offer its guests the opportunity to fly an Agusta Westland 109 helicopter from Rome to Bolgheri Vineyards where Gelasio Gaetani d’Aragona Lovatelli, oenologist extraordinaire, will lead a private tour of the vineyards and cellars of Castello di Bolgheri and Argentiera. The tour ends with catching the sunset while flying over Monte Argentario on the way back to Rome.
Guests can enjoy the varied landscape in and around Viceroy Riviera Maya with horseback riding, ATV tours, cenote (sinkhole caves) tours, bird watching, and jungle hikes.
The Kensington’s Slice of the City tour, Snapshots of Kensington, brings guests to the most Instagram-worthy locations in the neighborhood. The local host will double as both a guide to the best photo ops and a personal photographer to help travelers get the shot.
La Réserve Geneva’s private and super chic Venetian Motoscafo boat gives guests the most stylish was to get to the city center – a 15 minute cruise across Lake Geneva.
Guests at Nantucket Island Resorts have complimentary access to Priority Bicycles to cruise the 30 miles of scenic flat bike trails on the island. Explorers are provided with a map of popular sites, including the oldest house on Nantucket – built in 1686; Sankaty Lighthouse – located in the historic fishing village of ‘Sconset; and Cisco Brewery – known for their local beers and live music.
In downtown Napa, visitors can explore the Rail Arts District (RAD) – the 1.7-mile outdoor art gallery showcasing murals, sculptures, landscapes, and parks – beginning at Napa’s Oxbow District and continuing along the Napa Valley Vine Trail bike and pedestrian path and the Napa Valley Wine Train tracks.
Settle into one of the coral cocoon-shaped chairs at Azimuth rooftop bar at Alamanac Barcelona for a sunset cocktail while taking in the 360 views of the city.
Shaking Things Up
Instead of a cooking class, guests are learning from the experts how to craft local libations
Guaro Sour at Nayara Springs
andBeyond Bateleur Camp’s new gin bar gives a nod to the gin and tonic tradition dating back to colonial East Africa, when the classic choice for sundowners originated as a medicinal tipple to fend off malaria. With 16 different types of craft gin to pick from, guests can learn from the expert bartenders to create the perfect G&T with ingredients grown in the lodge’s organic vegetable garden.
The Bellini, Venice’s signature cocktail composed of peach juice and prosecco, was invented by Giuseppe Cipriani, founder of Belmond Hotel Cipriani, in 1948. Today, guests can learn how to make them at the Gabbiano Bar with beloved bartender Walter Bolzonella, a protégé of Cipriani’s, who has been with the hotel for over 40 years.
Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort offers rum tastings led by the in-house rummelier who teaches guests about the island’s rum history including Sugar Beach – the property sits on a former sugar plantation that produced the key ingredient for 17th century rum makers.
No visit to Peru is complete without a Pisco Sour (or two), and guests of Belmond Hotel Monasterio can learn how to make the traditional cocktail with pisco lessons led by the resident barman. While tasting the different types of pisco, guests will learn the history and distillation techniques of the national drink before mastering their favorite variation.
Sidecar, the Art Deco cocktail bar at The Westbury in Dublin, recently launched mixology classes with their white dinner jacket-clad head bartender (who also happens to be Daniel Craig’s doppelgänger).
Resident mixologist at Nayara Springs, Karla Elizondo Castro, teaches guests a lesson in mixology the Costa Rican way – adorning cocktails with flowers and herbs from the on-property garden at this adults-only resort tucked in the rainforest. Her signature Guaro Sour (made with a local rum-style spirit) is garnished with Borraja and tarragon flowers.
Guests at Viceroy Riviera Maya can participate in a hands-on Artisanal Cocktail Coaching class at the beachside Coral Grill & Bar and learn how to make property favorites like the Xcalacoco Wish (made with a crème tequila liqueur).
Bartenders at The Christopher teach guests to make St. Barth’s potent Ti Punch with sugar, lime, and rum.
Guests Get Involved
Travelers can join a six-day Oceans Without Borders Small Group Journey to andBeyond Vamizi Island to participate in fish tagging, measuring, and monitoring reef systems.
Guests of UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa are invited to become students again at MAMA Trancoso, an education initiative teaching the skills to identify environmental threats and the actions needed to combat these abuses. As part of the daily instruction, guests can collaborate with the small class of students on awareness campaigns and political activism through social media, short films, and community events.
Guests aboard PONANT can join beach clean up excursions in the Seychelles through the brand’s new partnership with the Aldabra Clean Up Project (with its goal of combatting plastic pollution and preserving the Aldabra Atoll in the Seychelles).
In 1997, Chris Blackwell of Island Outpost hotel established the Oracabessa Foundation, a nonprofit focusing on vocational training and environmental protection. GoldenEye guests who donate $1,000 to the foundation can have a tree planted on property, joining the likes of Johnny Depp, Kate Moss, and Bill and Hilary Clinton.
andBeyond’s Phinda Impact Small Group Journey is a 7-day journey that combines wildlife conservation (with an experience like rhino notching or elephant collaring), interaction with the local community, and a day-in-the-life of an andBeyond ranger – from learning tracking to rifle training to sleeping out beneath the stars.
March 26 – April 5, 2019: During Easter break, Sugar Beach offers a variety of children’s programing including tie-dye, chocolate making, boat tours, and an Easter egg hunt
April 2019: The Dupont Circle completes the final stages of its multimillion-dollar renovation of the bar, restaurant, lobby, and suites
April 2019: Throughout April and early-May, The Woof Cottages at Nantucket Boast Basin will waive pet fees and provide a special dog-friendly turndown treat
April 2019: Napa Valley’s 8th annual Arts in April celebrates the region’s cultural offerings with more than 50 events taking place at wineries, museums and galleries throughout the month.
April 2, 2019: andBeyond’s first Endangered Eight Impact Journey departs to search for eight threatened species in India’s wildlife sanctuaries
April 15, 2019: PONANT’s newest vessel, Le Bougainville, departs on its inaugural sailing
April 18, 2019: The Wauwinet reopens following a multi-million-dollar renovation
April 20, 2019: The Wauwinet will host the Easter Brunch Adult Egg Hunt where one lucky duck will find a golden egg with a surprise gift inside
April 20, 2019: Belmond Eagle Island Lodge hosts a performance by the London Philharmonic Orchestra
April 26-28, 2019: The Nantucket Daffodil Festival Weekend honors the more than three million daffodils that bloom every spring on Nantucket. The Wauwinet will offer a Daffy Tailgate Lunch at TOPPERS and a Daffy Tailgate After Party.
April 28, 2019: Whether a London Marathon participant or spectator, The Doyle Collection’s trio of London hotels provide the perfect home base to enjoy the race
May 2019: Shou Sugi Ban House will open in Water Mill as a wellness haven offering multi-day programs.
May 3 and 4, 2019: Mary Berry will host two afternoon teas aboard Belmond British Pullman
May 5, 2019: Guests can celebrate Cinco de Mayo at Viceroy Riviera Maya with a Mayan Cuisine Class and learn to cook the indigenous fare of the Yucatan Peninsula.
May 11, 2019: andBeyond’s Bhutan Yoga Retreat departs to travel through Asia’s spiritual heartland and to achieve balance of mind, body, and soul with guided yoga and deep meditation
May 12, 2019: andBeyond’s Phinda Impact Journey embarks to explore South Africa through game drives, ranger training, sleeping out under the stars, and visiting the local community
May 18, 2019: Visit Robert Mondavi Winery for their Fume Blanc Release and Lobster Feed Party, set among the vines of the famous To Kalon Vineyard
May 21-25, 2019: The Chelsea Flower Show takes place in London, stay nearby at The Kensington to usher in the spring season
June 20-25, 2018: The 23rd annual Nantucket Film Festival