November 30th, 2020
What’s Happening in Napa Valley
While it’s no secret that Napa Valley has faced some challenges this year, the region is open to visitors and the spirit is stronger than ever. The Glass Fire that broke out in September is now 100 percent contained and most of Napa County’s 45,000 acres of vine were not impacted. For those wondering how to help, the best way to support the community and its members is to visit. And the timing couldn’t be better. As harvest closes out this month, travelers will be welcomed with the start of Cabernet Season – the best time to visit for those in the know. From November through April, summer heat is replaced with perfectly mild temperatures – think warm days, cool nights, and blue skies. The pace slows down and foliage is at eye level as the vines become dormant along Silverado Trail. (Leaf peeping is not just on the east coast!) Brilliant yellow wild mustard flowers are scattered through the vineyards and along country lanes. During this time of year, visitors can more easily nab reservations at Michelin-starred restaurants. Greater access to wineries is another bonus with more opportunities to meet winemakers and receive impromptu glimpses behind the scenes.
What’s New in Wine (and Spirit) Tastings
These tastings are shaking up the scene in Napa Valley, with freshly designed spaces and new experiences with an emphasis on privacy. Napa Valley Distillery, the first distillery to open its doors in the city of Napa since prohibition, opened a new speakeasy tasting salon dubbed the ”Hollywood Room” with cocktails crafted from spirits made just a few feet away. The art deco-designed space is punctuated with tiki bar-like decor. Animal lovers will gravitate towards Oasis by Hoopes, where wines are accompanied by an animal sanctuary and regenerative farm. The outdoor space, which opened in October 2020, is dotted with airstreams, lounge areas made with recycled materials, a farm stand (with produce for purchase), as well as rescued chickens, pigs, and goats. Faust’s new tasting room, housed in a Victorian home originally built in 1878, opened in September 2020 following a four-year renovation. Known for their Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from organically farmed estates, the new space still features the original cellar from pre-prohibition era. And for travelers prioritizing privacy, Charles Krug, the oldest wine estate in Napa, opened five new private WIFI-enabled outdoor tasting cabanas on the winery’s picnic grounds and Trefethen is now offering a nightly after-hours experience permitting only one booking per evening – meaning guests have the whole estate to themselves. Space to watch: Yountville’s Baldacci Family Vineyards will open a new hospitality center in March 2021, featuring new private tasting rooms, a wine bar, and an outdoor patio overlooking wine country vistas.
Neighborhoods to Watch
Calistoga, the northern most town in Napa Valley – famed as a wine-meets-spa destination thanks to its geothermal waters – is in the limelight thanks to a crop of new hotels and multi-million-dollar resort renovations. Four Seasons Resort & Residences will open this winter with 85-rooms and an on-site vineyard and tasting room – a rarity in Napa Valley. As a nod to Calistoga’s wellness roots, the property will offer an eight-room spa with steam pods in which hammocks will be suspended above geo-thermal pools for guests to absorb the heated vapor. Coming soon, Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs, originally built in 1952, will unveil a large-scale renovation. Considered one of the first resorts in Calistoga and known for its mud bath treatments, the property’s new look will include a Southwestern-inspired restaurant, House of Better. This December, Solage, part of the Auberge Resorts Collection, will unveil a $30 million-dollar renovation overseen by architect Howard Backen – considered the creator of “Napa Valley Style” – and Los Angeles-based interior design agency Studio Collective. In addition to 11 new accommodations, Solbar - their signature restaurant – will double the size of the patio for outdoor dining and the new PicoBar, with light bites and cocktails, will sit next to an enlarged pool deck with contemporary loungers and cabanas.
Spanning three buzzy blocks in the heart of Downtown Napa, First Street Napa is an ever-growing hub for shopping, dining, and tasting. Known for its locally owned boutiques and independent restaurants and wineries, the district has recently welcomed a surge of new shops like C’est La Paire for chic boots and handbags; The Bennington Napa Valley for vintage finds; and Copperfield’s Books, a mainstay store returning to First Street. The first standalone tasting room dedicated solely to luxury California brandies, California Brandy House, will open on First Street on November 6, 2020 for outdoor tastings. The new concept will debut with two leading brandy portfolios, Germain-Robin and Argonaut. Visitors will be guided through tasting flights, including single-barrel samples that are only available at the tasting space. For those looking for something on the fizzier side, the first and only dedicated Champagne & sparkling wine lounge in Napa Valley, Be Bubbly, has just opened its doors. Over in Napa’s Oxbow Public Market (a 40,000-square-foot marketplace with an expansive outdoor deck along the Napa River), Bar Lucia opened this summer from owner behind Kara’s Cupcakes. Highlights of the bar include rosé and sparkling wines paired with seasonal bites. Founder Kara Haspel Lind named the bar after her great grandmother and her daughter, honoring the traditions passed down through five generations of women in her family. For those visitors who are overwhelmed with options across the region, a brand-new Napa Valley Welcome Center will open on November 12 as a resource for itinerary-planning. New technology will provide visitors insider tips in a no-touch manner, and a 16-foot video wall will offer a taste of Napa Valley travel inspiration to pedestrians along First Street through floor-to-ceiling glass windows.
Looking Ahead to 2021
Black History Month – February 2021
In honor of Black History Month in February, travelers to Napa Valley can explore the roots of BIPOC pioneers in the winemaking business and support local initiatives throughout the region. Leaders in the industry include Brown Estate Vineyards, which was the first Black-owned estate winery in Napa and is now best known as one of Napa Valley’s most well-regarded zinfandel producers. Neighboring Okapi Wines is a micro-boutique winery that produces just a few barrels of wine each year. Founder Dan Johnson limits its production to 300 cases per year to maintain sustainable farming practices. Carneros Resort and Spa is offering a Diversity in Wine Flight featuring four wines by vintners and winemakers of color. The tasting flight is available at two of their onsite restaurants with 10% of proceeds being donated to UNCF. To support diversity in the wine industry, Napa Valley Vintners, a nonprofit association representing more than 500 wineries in the region, has partnered with UNCF to create a new scholarship program for people of color to pursue college degrees in subjects including grape growing and winemaking, with $1 million already invested into the program.
Women Winemakers are changing the way we drink wine (and beer!)
The month of March is all about celebrating women with International Women’s Day on March 8, 2021. As one of the top viticultural regions, Napa Valley is known for its sprawling vineyards, historic wineries and towns that dot the countryside. It is also home to many women who have made names for themselves throughout the area. To name a few, Elaine St. Clair is the only woman in the U.S. to hold the commercial title of both winemaker and brewer. Kathryn Walt Hall is the force behind HALL Wines and WALT Wines in St. Helena and has been in the Napa wine industry for almost five decades, having also worked as an attorney, community activist, and as the United States Ambassador to Austria. During her 40-year tenure in Napa Valley winemaking, Heidi Barrett, who known as “The First Lady of Wine” is behind California’s most notable cult wines, including Screaming Eagle, which has a starting price of $700 a bottle. Today she’s co-founder of her own label, Barrett & Barrett, where she continues to produce some of the top Cabernet Sauvignons.
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.
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
January 25th, 2019
January AMPR Newsletter
For the first time in its 30-year history, The Wauwinet on Nantucket will undergo a multi-million-dollar renovation including a complete overhaul of all 32 guestrooms and bathrooms and updates to the property’s three intimate cottages and the lobby’s library, reopening in April 2019.
Surrounded by the mountains and sand dunes of the Namib Desert, andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge will reopen after a complete refurbishment on October 15, 2019 with floor-to-ceiling glass walls to take in the dramatic desert landscape.
Fresh off a top-to-bottom refurbishment, The Christopher Hotel will launch three new villas in 2019, each featuring four bedrooms and a private swimming pool.
Belmond British Pullman is hosting a Mary Poppins Returns-inspired afternoon tea journey on February 16, 2019. Families will enjoy balloon artists, face painters, and magicians as the train passes through the British countryside.
This spring, The River Lee in Cork, Ireland will unveil a new look for the lobby, restaurant, bar, and terrace, spearheaded by O’Donnell O’Neill Design.
PONANT will host a gastronomy and wine cruise in partnership with Ducasse Conseil and Chateau Latour aboard L’Austral from April 13-22, 2019. The ten-day sailing, ‘Gastronomy, Vineyards, and Grands Crus’ from Lisbon to Portsmouth will feature ports of call in Porto, Bordeaux, and Pauillac and two gala dinners hosted by chefs Xavier Boireau and Francis Fauvel.
Guinot launched its Anti-Dark Spot Serum this month, a new two-week treatment that uses pure Vitamin C to reduce and brighten dark spots caused by sun exposure and aging.
Carneros Resort and Spa in Napa has completed a renovation of its 94 cottages and suites – all featuring redesigned interiors and exteriors, new furnishings, and relaunched outdoor terraces that are complete with gas fire pits, portable mini-projectors, and telescopes.
La Maison du Chocolat has created a new line of Valentine’s Day confections for this season’s Parisian Dream collection available in boutiques and online on January 24.
Cool Hangout Spots for the Littlest Travelers
Suspended in the treetops amid the 10-acre park at La Réserve Geneva is La Petit Réserve. Free for kids ages six-months to 13-years, including local day guests, the kid’s club has a wooden obstacle course, swings and slide, and a suspension bridge that connects to a treehouse complete with a fireman’s pole, game tables, toys, puzzles, and a coloring station.
Royal Mansour’s dedicated Kids Club, Le Jardin de Lila, turns little ones into global citizens with Moroccan art activities, Arabic lessons, and a complimentary children’s book following Lila, a young girl exploring the hotel’s winding passageways and gardens.
Belmond Reid’s Palace on Madeira welcomes its younger guests to partake in fun activities housed in a traditional Santana cottage with a private kids’ swimming pool where swimming and gymnastics classes can be arranged.
andBeyond’s Bateleur Camp on Kenya’s Maasai Mara offers their fun and educational WILDchild program for the smallest safari-goers. Kids can learn to identify animal tracks and droppings, learn to build a fire the Masai way, and do some fun games and activities while learning about conservation and the role they can play in protecting the world’s fauna.
With treasure hunts and coconut bowling for the 4-12 set and ping pong tournaments and sailing school for tweens and teens, St. Lucia’s Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort’s Sugar Club and Spice Club offer kids their own version of paradise.
AMPR’s Guide to Wellness Travel for 2019
Thanks to its relaxing and mood-enhancing effects, CBD is a trending ingredient in spa treatments, especially prevalent in Napa Valley. Travelers in the region can choose from a selection of CBD wellness massages at Spa Terra at The Meritage Resort or enjoy a sound healing therapy paired with a CBD-infused wrap at Mount View Hotel & Spa.
Viceroy Riviera Maya’s resident shaman oversees the Jardin Pak’al, the garden where he grows herbs used to treat guests at the Wayak Spa. In the K’óben (Mayan herb kitchen), he has individual consultations with the guests to determine their preferences and needs, before creating a personalized healing experience for them held next to a waterfall.
andBeyond’s new Bhutan Yoga Retreat Small Group Journey allows travelers to immerse themselves in the spiritual heartland of Bhutan. Highlights of this 10-day journey include yoga and meditation, hiking Tiger’s Nest monastery in Paro, and exploring the fortresses and temples of Thimphu and Punakha, all led by an expert guide and specialist healing facilitator to help guests find balance of the mind, body, and soul.
Located on the shores of Lake Geneva, La Reserve Geneve’s Nescens Spa is the city’s largest spa, at 20,000 square-feet. Travelers looking to improve their ski, tennis, or golf performance can take part in the special Fitness Preparation Program, which combines coaching, treatment, and nutrition.
Royal Mansour has introduced Bespoke Hammam Treatments where each step of the traditional technique is personalized to the specific skincare needs of each guest using locally sourced ingredients – including purifying clay from the Atlas Mountains and roses from the Kalaat Megouana valley.
Guests at Sugar Beach can get fit with the Piton Recovery, which starts with a hike of the Gros Piton. After descending from the peak, hikers are met by one of Sugar Beach’s personal trainers for a stretching session, rehydration with coconut water, and revitalizing snack of potassium-rich bananas before have a muscle releasing massage back at the spa.
As part of The Chatwal, New York’s partnership with yoga and spiritual guru Eddie Stern, travelers will enjoy a new wellness program featuring nine 12-minute yoga sessions focusing on breathing techniques that balance the central nervous system, available complimentary through the in-room iPads.
Guests at The Marylebone have complimentary access to Third Space, an on-site members-only health club. Guests can snag a coveted spot in the popular group fitness classes and use the 60-foot indoor lap pool – finishing with a healthy smoothie from The Juicery.
Nayara Springs’ new Wellness Program incorporates healthful menus, yoga and meditation, and spa treatments so guests return home thoroughly relaxed and restored.
Not Your Typical Spring Break Destinations
Instead of the Caribbean or skiing, here are places you may not have considered…
Travelers who want an authentic St. Patrick’s Day experience can avoid the Dublin crowds and visit The River Lee in Cork, where a family-friendly three-day festival from March 16-18 offers parades, food, and music.
In March 2019, travelers can join a six-day Oceans Without Borders Small Group Journey to andBeyond Vamizi Island to participate in fish tagging and measuring and monitoring reef systems. Guests will learn what it takes to be an andBeyond dive instructor or a marine biologist, spend time in the local community, and enjoy water sports such as kayaking and snorkeling – with all proceeds supporting Oceans Without Borders.
Almanac Barcelona opened in February 2018 just steps from buzzing Passeig de Gracia. While Azimuth, the penthouse bar with 360-degree views of the city, is popular with locals, the rooftop pool and sun lounge are reserved for guests only. March and April temperatures are in the mid-60’s and it’s just before the summertime tourist rush.
Nearing the end of rainy season, safari-goers will enjoy the greener landscape and abundance of wildlife in Botswana at Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge. The newly reimagined lodge now features a viewpoint overlooking the watering hole in Chobe National Park, where guests can enjoy breakfast with a front-row seat to the passing elephants.
Dallasites can take advantage of the new direct Air France flight route launching on March 31, 2019, between Dallas/Fort Worth and Paris, and stay in the city’s 16th arrondissement at the La Réserve Paris Apartments. Families staying in the Apartments have the option to cook at home in the large chef’s kitchen, have exclusive access to the Roland Garros tennis courts (home to the French Open), and can ride bikes to enjoy an al fresco picnic lunch along the Seine.
Napa Valley continues to celebrate Cabernet Season through April. For adults in the know, this is the best time to visit – think smaller crowds, special hotel deals and winery experiences, and brilliant yellow wild mustard flowers, purple lupine, golden California poppies, and crimson clover are scattered through the vineyards and along country lanes.
Tokyo turns pink during the Cherry Blossom Festival from March 23 – April 27. Park Hyatt Tokyo is near several parks where guests can stroll under the pastel petals.
For an adventurous and warm spring break destination, visit Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano Park. Guests at Nayara Springs can have tours organized for ziplining, white water rafting, and waterfall hikes, among others, observe a variety of wildlife including sloths at the on-site sanctuary, and then relax on property with daily yoga, by their private plunge pool, or at the spa.
…and don’t forget to get a sun-kissed glow before heading out for vacation with Guinot’s AutoBronze, an easy-to-apply tinted gel creating an even and natural-looking bronze without leaving streaks.
February 14, 2019: Belmond British Pullman’s Valentine’s Day lunch
February 8-16, 2019: In celebration of New York Fashion Week, Jacques at The Lowell will be offering a Fashion Week-inspired cocktail menu with drinks inspired by famous designers such as Oscar de la Renta, Chanel, and of course, Yves Saint Laurent (former owner of the Majorelle gardens).
February 16, 2019: Belmond British Pullman’s Mary Poppins Returns-inspired afternoon tea journey
February 2019: Guinot launches its new Lift Summum Treatment designed to firm and smooth the delicate skin of the face, neck, and chest.
Spring 2019: The Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C. relaunches its new bar, lobby, and Dupont Suite after a multi-million dollar renovation.
March 2019: Guinot launches its new Clean Logic Range, a cleansing skincare regimen formulated with anti-aging properties suited for fragile skin.
March 2019: andBeyond’s first Oceans Without Borders Small Group Journey departs for andBeyond Vamizi Island
March 3, 2019: Napa Valley Marathon
March 15-18, 2019: Yountville Live is a four day event celebrating music, food, and wine with programming including cooking classes, wine-paired dinners, a red carpet gala, a street festival, and live music throughout the weekend.
March 21-24, 2019: Stay with The Christopher Hotel during the annual St. Barth Bucket
March 26 – April 5, 2019: During Easter break, Sugar Beach offers a variety of children’s programming including tie-dying, chocolate making, boat tours, and an Easter egg hunt.
March 27 – April 7, 2019: Tokyo turns pink during the Cherry Blossom Festival
April 2019: The Wauwinet reopens following a multi-million-dollar renovation
April 2019: Napa Valley Arts in April
April 1, 2019: andBeyond’s 11-day Southern Chile Islands & Lakes Expedition kicks off in Santiago and travels to Chiloé Island, south into the Chilean Lake District, and ends with a stay at the new andBeyond Vira Vira.
April 2, 2019: andBeyond’s first Endangered Eight Impact Journey departs to search for eight threatened species in India’s wildlife sanctuaries.
April 15-22, 2019: PONANT’s newest EXPLORER ship, Le Bougainville, departs on its inaugural cruise
April 26-28, 2018: Nantucket’s Daffodil Festival
January 2nd, 2019
andBeyond Tengile River Lodge opens on December 1 as a completely new property in South Africa’s Sabi Sand Game Reserve with nine suites raised above ground level, designed to give a floating impression over the riverbed.
The Dupont Circle will relaunch in Washington D.C. in Spring 2019 unveiling a multimillion-dollar hotel transformation in collaboration with Martin Brudnizki Design Studio and Clodagh with the new Doyle bar and new restaurant.
Jamaica’s GoldenEye will unveil its new FieldSpa this month with two new spa huts, a new hammam and yoga deck, and a selection of elixirs, juices, and healthy bites incorporating fresh ingredients from the hotel’s farm, Pantrepant.
Belmond Cap Juluca in Anguilla and Belmond La Samanna in St. Martin will reopen in December 2018 following top-to-bottom renovations. Cap Juluca will have a new sea-view infinity-edge pool and a rustic beach bar dubbed The Cap Shack. La Samanna will have a new restaurant, two bars, a spa, and the largest private wine cellar in the Caribbean.
Following a top-to-bottom refurbishment, The Christopher’s formal dining restaurant,Christo, led by Chef Nicolas Tissier recently relaunched with a focus on organic meats and vegetables.
A gastronomic adventure through Southeast Asia, Eastern & Oriental Express is collaborating with four international chefs throughout 2019 to introduce immersive culinary experiences onboard the train. Highlights include edible art during a chocolate painting workshop with Singaporean pastry chef Janice Wong and a spices lesson with French chef Didier Corlou who combines the flavors of East and West.
PONANT will host a new itinerary titled, “History, Art, and Architecture Along the North Sea” led by the General Director of the Municipal Museum of Bruges onboard the newest addition to the EXPLORERS series, Le Dumont d’Urville, departing August 25, 2019, exploring exhibits in Holland and Belgium.
In December, Almanac Barcelona’s rooftop bar transforms into the Azimuth Winter Rooftop Lounge, a glassed-in winter wonderland with mulled wine inspired by the brand’s hometown of Vienna.
With the Very Lowell Holiday Package, suites are decked out with custom holiday décor(stockings hung above the fireplace, trees lit, and holiday books in-room) and families can enjoy the city with VIP Tickets to Wollman Skating Rink and a Holiday Afternoon Tea in the Pembroke Room.
In The Spirit of Giving
andBeyond’s new seven-day Phinda Impact Small Group Journey offers conservation-minded travelers the opportunity to experience 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.
With the firm belief that children are more receptive to the environmental challenges society faces today, UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa has launched a local initiative, MAMA Trancoso, for children between 10 and 12 years old to teach the importance of sustainability and respect for the environment. Guests are invited to join the students in their daily instruction before collaborating on creative content in the form of photography, music, and video to raise awareness of the threats to their surrounding environment.
In 2005, Chris Blackwell, of Island Outpost hotels, established the Oracabessa Foundation, a nonprofit focusing on vocational training and environmental protection. Guests who donate $1,000 to the foundation can have a tree planted at GoldenEye, along with the likes of Johnny Depp, Kate Moss and President Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Guests staying at Nayara Springs and Nayara Resort, Spa & Gardens in Costa Rica can visit The Proyecto Asis Wildlife Rescue Center to volunteer and help care for and feed a variety of animals. Back at the resorts, guests can also observe more than 15 native sloths at the on-property Sloth Sanctuary on property.
For guests looking to support the local Mexican community, the artisan soaps offered byViceroy Riviera Maya’s Soap Concierge are made by local Mayan communities following ancient tradition with organic ingredients found on the Yucatan Peninsula.
At Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, guests can volunteer their time to give back to the community in the nearby town of Soufrière at the local soup kitchen.
To celebrate 100 years of its exterior rosy hue, Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel‘s famed afternoon tea will serve pastel-pink treats, including raspberry-filled white truffles, wild berry tea Turkish delight, and pink pavlova paired with their own Mount Nelson Tea – a blend of six teas and rose petals from the on-property gardens.
Guests of Royal Mansour can enjoy a traditional Moroccan afternoon tea featuring nos-nos coffee, a plate of sweet pastries, and a selection of Moroccan pancakes with thyme honey created by Royal Mansour’s pastry chef.
Dalloway Terrace at The Bloomsbury has transformed into a cozy winter haven with seasonal tea offerings such as English Peppermint and 2nd Flush Muscatel, harvested high in the Indian Himalayas in the region of Sikkim. Guests can escape the cold with hot water bottles and Foxford woolen blankets, while sipping on warming tea in the fully covered and heated patio.
andBeyond’s Tea & Tastes of Sri Lanka journey begins in the country’s capital of Colombo before traveling into Tea Country. Travelers will experience the tea-making process from the experts and sip on varieties of tea native to the region.
At the newly-renovated Pembroke Room at The Lowell, the Tea Sommelier can recommend a tea to each guests’ liking from French purveyor Dammann Frères, paired with elegant bites including tea sandwiches, caviar blinis, scones with homemade lemon curd and Devonshire cream, and macarons.
Guests at Park Hyatt Tokyo can enjoy tea while taking in views of Mt. Fuji from the hotel’s Peak Lounge on the 41st floor of the Shinjuku Tower. The leaves are picked from the hotel’s very own plot 300 miles away in the Inokura tea fields in the city of Nara.
The Ackerman Heritage House in Napa offers a traditional Sunday tea with finger sandwiches, pastries, and cakes all served on period-correct silver, linens, and tableware from when the house was built in 1888.
The new Shou Sugi Ban House, a wellness retreat opening in The Hamptons this coming spring 2019, will begin each day with a tea ceremony.
In addition to private sessions and a treatment at the spa, The Chatwal‘s Dip Into Wellbeing meditation sessions by Donna D’Cruz come with Sleep Kits with a fragrant candle, incense, power stone bracelet, a sleep mask, and a notepad with pen for journaling for a restful sleep.
Travelers can unwind at Bardessono Resort & Spa with the Peaceful Sleep treatmentwith an essential oil bath, a calming body butter, and a warmed herbal pillow in their beds with smell of an aromatic candle to lull them to sleep.
Park Hyatt Tokyo’s Good Night Sleep Stretch, a complimentary 30-minute program, is designed to prepare the body for restful sleep. It consists of slow stretches and breathing exercises to loosen muscles and bring the body into equilibrium.
Nayara Springs, tucked below the Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica, offers evening yoga classes by candlelight in the yoga pavilion cantilevered over the rainforest. The soundtrack (chirping tree frogs and a babbling stream below) sets the audio scene for low-impact poses designed to relax the body in preparation for sleep.
Solage Calistoga is a contemporary oasis with a spa that offers evening floating meditation called Aqua Vibrations in which a guest sits in a mesh chair, partially submerged, in the open-air geothermal mineral pool (96 to 98 degrees), gazing at the stars and moon, before heading off to bed more centered and relaxed.
Guinot’s Crème Night Logic works throughout the night to relax the skin, creating a rested and refreshed complexion – as if waking up after a good night’s sleep. This moisturizer specifically acts at night (when the skin is in its resting and repairing phase) to neutralize the effects of stress, reduce tension, and deeply hydrate.
Winter 2019: The River Lee in Cork, Ireland unveils an expansive renovation with an updated bar and restaurant.
January 2019: Guinot launches its new Anti-Dark Spot Serum, a two-week treatment that works to reduce and brighten dark spots caused by sun exposure and aging.
January 1, 2018: Belmond Cap Juluca offers a ‘Surf & Bubbles’ New Years Day Brunch
January 1, 2018: Guests at Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort can enjoy ‘Recovery Brunch’ with fresh food and hydration for a little revitalization to start off the year right.
January 11, 2019: andBeyond’s Snow Leopard Expedition will depart to track the elusive snow leopard through the Himalayan region of Ladakh.
January 12-20, 2019: The Napa Lighted Art Festival takes place throughout Downtown Napa showcasing lighted art displays.
January 20-27, 2018: Napa Valley Restaurant Week offers multi-course prix-fixe menus for lunch and dinner at restaurants throughout the Napa region
February 14, 2018: Belmond British Pullman’s Valentine’s Day lunch
February 2019: Guinot launches its new Lift Summum Treatment designed to firm and smooth the delicate skin of the face, neck, and chest.
Spring 2019: The Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C. relaunches its new bar, lobby, and Dupont Suite after a multi-million dollar renovation.
March 15-18, 2019: Yountville Live is a four day event celebrating music, food, and wine with programming including cooking classes, wine-paired dinners, a red carpet gala, a street festival, and live music throughout the weekend.
March 21-24, 2018: Stay with The Christopher Hotel during the annual St. Barth Bucket
March 2019: Guinot launches its new Clean Logic Range, a cleansing skincare regimen formulated with anti-aging properties suited for fragile skin.
April 10th, 2018
The Lowell’s ever-popular Pembroke Room, known for its chic Afternoon Tea and polished service, is relaunching in April 2018 – complete with a new outdoor terrace for alfresco brunching.
PONANT announces the first electric hybrid Icebreaker ship coming in 2021, which will safely cut through ice flow up to eight feet thick and travel to the true geographic North Pole (at 90 degrees North Latitude).
andBeyond Phinda Homestead in KwaZulu-Natal will reopen on September 1, 2018 after a complete rebuild. This standalone safari lodge allows travelers a completely private safari experience, ideal for family or group travel – no sharing safari vehicles and total control over the day’s schedule.
From March 1 through April 30, The Dupont Circle in Washington DC is celebrating the National Cherry Blossom Festival with a special ‘In Full Bloom’ package including a stay at the hotel, the chef’s cherry blossom themed welcome amenity, a $25 dining credit, and complimentary valet parking.
Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort has officially opened two of the five ultra-luxe Beachfront Collection residences. Images of the new homes – complete with infinity pools and floor-to-ceiling glass windows – are available for stays now.
Domaine de Manville in the heart of Provence received its first Michelin Star for its restaurant, l’Aupiho, helmed by Chef Matthieu Dupuis Baumal.
Vista Collina Resort in Napa is projected to open Summer 2018 and will feature 145 guestrooms. Adjacent to the property will be the Village, featuring nine tastings room, a food and wine center, and a 16,000 square foot lawn for concerts and events.
Jamaica’s GoldenEye launches veggie cocktails, featuring local produce from Pantrepant, the hotel’s farm. New elixirs include: the Cucumber Martini; Beetroot, Bourbon, and Scotch bonnet cocktail; and the Arugula and Celery Sour.
Royal Mansour Spa has unveiled a new series of bespoke hammam treatments where each step of the hammam process can be customized beginning with three types of body wraps, two types of kessa gloves, and a variety of Leonor Greyl shampoos for varying hair types.
Belmond has expanded its Italian portfolio with the acquisition of Castello di Casole, a historic castle hotel in the heart of rural Tuscany. The intimate 39-room hotel sits within 4,200 acres of farmland, vineyards, and olive groves – one of the largest private estates in Italy.
Travel to Brazil is easier than ever with a newly-launched e-visa system for American travelers To make the most of a Brazilian vacation, travelers can book Belmond’s ‘Grand Tour of Brazil’ – a five-night itinerary that includes the brand’s properties on Copacabana Beach and in Iguassu falls – or go off-the-beaten-path with a visit to UXUA on the remote shores of Trancoso.
Strawless and Flawless
Hotels are eschewing plastic straws for more sustainable options like paper or bamboo. According to The Last Plastic Straw project, 500 million straws are used and thrown away every day in the US, which is about 175 billion per year.
Nayara Springs, set on the fringes of Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano, only uses bamboo straws across the property’s restaurants and bars – mixologist Monica Gonzalez is on-hand to whip up poolside cocktails made with local fruits.
The Doyle Collection’s London hotels (The Marylebone, The Kensington, and The Bloomsbury) just officially became plastic-straw-free and are now moving to roll out this policy brand-wide, from Dublin to Cork to Washington DC.
andBeyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp and the new andBeyond Bateleur Camp (reopening this month after a complete renovation), both on Kenya’s Masai Mara, have discontinued all plastic straw usage – falling into line with their ethos: care of the land, care of the wildlife, care of the people.
Go Global with Locals
andBeyond’s new philanthropic-focused itineraries in Tanzania, Kenya, and South Africa give guests first-hand experiences with the locals in the community, like participating in school conservation lessons in Tanzania.
Guests of Nayara Springs can visit the source of the resort’s chocolate at a local farm. The owners will teach travelers the process of chocolate-making.
During PONANT’s voyages through the Northwest Passage, guests will have opportunity to meet with locals in charming Inuit villages to learn about the culture.
Majestic Hotel & Spa has an exclusive relationship with local marine biologist Anna Bozzano, the only tour guide approved to visit the Barcelona Fish Market where she teaches about the market’s innerworkings.
Connecting guests with the local community is elemental to every Belmond experience. Highlights include art lessons with Jose Luis Arias, a graduate of the local Instituto Allende, at the newly renovated Belmond Casa de Sierra Nevada, and a walking tour with a former prison guard of Nelson Mandela’s that begins at Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel.
Sugar Beach guests who hike the Gros Piton follow a guide from the local village up the two-hour climb.
Guests at La Réserve Paris can create their ownbespoke scent with the help of a professional ‘nose.’
Thanks to Kinloch Anderson, kilt maker to Her Royal Highness the Queen, travelers on Belmond Royal Scotsman are swept to the showroom for a private fitting, and a fully customized kilt arrives at their doorstep 8-10 weeks later in the family tartan or a pattern from the train. During their journey, guests will find a complimentary set of Highland Dress (kilts for men, skirts for women) awaiting them in their train cabin.
One of the new Beachfront Collection residences available to buy or book for stay at St. Lucia’s Sugar Beach will have a waterslide connecting an infinity pool to a lower level hot tub and yoga deck.
Guests who book the top, three-bedroom suite at the White Elephant, White Elephant Village or The Wauwinet will receive the keys to a BMW for the duration of their stay.
At andBeyond Mnemba Island, instead of your typical tray of room service arriving in your room, the lodge will dig a custom “sand castle” dining room on the beach in front of your suite and serve freshly caught seafood surrounded by lantern light.
Located on the shores of Lac Léman, La Réserve Geneva has its very own Venetian Motoscafo boat that takes guests to go to and from the city center.
Majestic Hotel & Spa’s Royal Penthouse Suite – the largest suite in Barcelona – is home to a Bar Au Parfum stocked with five 200 ml bottles of Atelier Cologne, available for use throughout the stay. Guests can take home a complimentary leather case, engraved with their name and filled with 30ml sized bottles of each of the colognes.
April 2018: Belmond La Residencia will unveil a new suite created by fashion designer Matthew Williamson.
April 2018: Belmond will add two new barges to its Belmond Afloat in France fleet. The two “floating hotels” will travel the rivers of Champagne and Alsace
April 2018: The Pembroke Room at The Lowell completes a renovation
April 7-17, 2018: andBeyond’s Eat, Pray and Love journey departs in India
April 28-29, 2018: Hamilton Princess & Beach Club in Bermuda will serve as the official host hotel for the ITU World Triathlon, the first time it is held in Bermuda
May 4, 2018: In honor of its 100th anniversary, Majestic Hotel & Spa Barcelona will serve a new pre-fixe dinner replicating the hotel’s original restaurant menus
May 19, 2018: The Royal Wedding will be screened all day at The Kensington in London
May 25, 2018: La Maison du Chocolat’s Bien Être collection is available in boutiques and online
June 10, 2018: Sterling Vineyard’s 2nd Annual RoseFest will feature 30+ Napa Valley rose tastings with a portion of the proceeds supporting the Susan G. Komen Foundation
June 15-16, 2018: In honor of the Nantucket Boat Basin’s 50th anniversary, the marina will host its first-ever Father’s Day Fishing Tournament where teams will compete for the top title in categories such as heaviest fish and most fish caught
December 18th, 2017
As 2017 comes to a close, Belmond is moving full steam ahead with a host of year-end celebrations, fresh dining experiences, new packages highlighting the brand’s iconic heritage and its famed Hollywood connections.
THE ART OF BELMOND:
As the final installment of Belmond’s series of films celebrating ‘The Art of Savoir-Vivre,’ ‘A Fond Farewell’ illustrates the brand’s promise to make every journey with Belmond an unforgettable experience. Further reinforcing this concept is the new partnership with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, which launches in Madeira on December 7, 2017 and will continue throughout the collection with additional dates and locations still to be announced.
Belmond’s ‘Exceptional Music in Exceptional Locations’ program begins at Belmond Reid’s Palace with a three-night package inclusive of London Philharmonic Orchestra concert tickets for two, dinner at the hotel’s Michelin-starred William Restaurant, and a short-drive to the soaring Pico do Arieiro to enjoy breakfast during sunrise. Priced at €380 (approx. $447 USD) per night, based on double occupancy.
‘TIS THE SEASON:
The festive season is upon us, and celebrations are underway at Belmond properties around the world:
Bringing together two hospitality legends, a replica of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train plays a starring role in the holiday lobby display at Belmond Charleston Place. Open to the public November 29, 2017-January 2, 2018, the fully-operational display features miniature European alpine homes, realistic stables and a blacksmith shop that guests can spy through little open doors. After watching the train make its way around the track, visitors are encouraged to spend the evening enjoying a contemporary Southern supper serenaded by jazz musicians at Charleston Grill.
For the month of December, Oxfordshire’s Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons will host a series of Christmas Carol Concerts with featured performances by top choirs from across the country. Priced at approx. $342 per person, the evenings include a Champagne Laurent-Perrier reception, concert at St Mary’s Church, and a four-course dinner at the property with accompanying wines, coffee and petits fours.
Belmond’s famed Eastern & Oriental Express train will host a festive three-night New Year’s Eve journey from December 29, 2017 – January 1, 2018. Following an evening departure from Singapore, the train’s first stop is Malaysia’s lively capital, Kuala Lumpur. Here guests can choose between the Cultural Tapestry tour – visiting historical sites such as Independence Square and the Jamek Mosque – or the Kampong Traditions and Crafts tour which includes a look at the city’s best handicrafts. On December 31, travelers will spend the day in Bangkok touring colonial Georgetown or taking a tour highlighting the region’s culinary heritage, before returning to the train for a celebratory dinner complete with live Thai dance performances, a DJ, and fireworks. Priced at $4,730 per passenger based on double occupancy.
A BEAR’S LIFE:
Ahead of the January 12, 2018 release of PADDINGTON 2, guests are invited to celebrate “A Bear’s Life with Belmond” across the brand’s Peruvian collection of six hotels and day train, and aboard the Belmond British Pullman – the UK day train guest-starring in the new film:
In Paddington’s homeland of Peru, Belmond has created new four- and seven-night packages 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. Rates begin at $3,158 per person for the four-night package, and $4,804 per person for the seven-night; both offers include stays at Belmond properties across Lima, Peru, Machu Picchu, and the Sacred Valley as well as select meals and domestic transfers.
Across the pond, Belmond British Pullman will host three steam-hauled Paddington Afternoon Tea journeys on December 2, 2017 as well as on February 16 and April 7, 2018. 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 each adult traveling, one child under 16 travels free; rates begin at $721 for a group of two adults and two children for the afternoon.
THE ART OF CINEMATOGRAPHY:
With properties in over 24 countries, Belmond provides ample opportunities for travelers to follow in their favorite film stars’ footsteps:
The Belmond Hiram Bingham train offers daily roundtrip service to Machu Picchu and was named for the famed explorer upon whom the Indiana Jones character is based. Similarly, Belmond Hotel das Cataratas is the only hotel located within Iguassu Falls, Brazil – the setting of “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.”
Located in idyllic St. Michaels, MD, the Inn at Perry Cabin by Belmond provided the setting for the wedding reception and touch football game in the 2005 comedy, “Wedding Crashers.
At Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea, The Godfather Tour brings guests on a mobster-approved tour of Sicily in a Fiat 500 with stops including the St. Lucia church where Apollonia and Michael Corleone were married; the village of Forza D’Agrò where Michael Corleone first arrives in Sicily; and Francis Ford Coppola’s favorite Bar Vitelli.
Embracing the art of savoir-vivre, dining at a Belmond property is an unforgettable experience in and of itself:
Rio’s iconic Belmond Copacabana Palace has unveiled a new look for its famed restaurant, Pérgula, designed to embrace the city’s Carioca culture. Highlights from the relaxed, tropical space include a dedicated Tapioca Pancake Counter – perfect for a sweet and savory breakfast – and a new Copa Caipirinha Trolley that brings Brazil’s most famous cocktail right to the tableside. The Pérgula Poolside Verandah & Pool Bar, which overlooks the world-famous ‘Copa’ swimming pool, doubles as a chic all-day dining spot and by night transforms into a glamorous setting under the stars for upbeat tunes and the best caipirinhas in town. In early 2018, the restaurant will also boast the Pérgula Outdoor Ocean View Terrace giving all-day diners front row seats to Rio’s dreamlike views over Copacabana Beach.
Belmond Miraflores Park has created a new private rooftop dining experience, aptly named “Romance on the Rooftop.” Suspended on a clear platform over the hotel’s 11th floor pool, guests will be surrounded by flowers and candlelight while dining on a four-course menu and listening to a live violin performance.
August 15th, 2012
Park Hyatt Milan has recently unveiled its collaboration with one of England’s most famous and respected fashion designers, Paul Smith, who has crafted an exclusive collection of serving plates for the hotel’s gourmet restaurant, VUN.
As a regular guest at Park Hyatt Milan, Paul Smith has become a good friend of the hotel’s General Manager, Claudio Ceccherelli. It was one night, while enjoying a sumptuous meal at VUN, that the pair came up with the ingenious idea to create signature Paul Smith serving plates. Quickly the idea became an exciting reality!
Manufactured by Richard Ginori, a limited number of 200 pieces have been created exclusively for the hotel. Smith’s brave take on British styling is often recognized through his bold use of contrasting colors and signature stripes. And it is this distinct style that adorns the plates’ outer rims and, in turn, brings to life the culinary creations of VUN’s Executive Chef, Andrea Aprea. Each of the hand-painted plates is numbered and signed by Paul Smith himself, making each an individual work of art.
Always at the forefront of British fashion, Paul Smith is recognized as a menswear icon around the world. Renowned for its classic British tailoring and style, the label’s collections are primarily produced and sourced in England and also, appropriately, Italy. As one of the most refined hotels in the city, the Park Hyatt Milan is a chic retreat and an ideal partner for an influential fashion brand such as Paul Smith.
Located in the heart of Milan overlooking the famous Galleria Vittoria Emanuele II, the five-star Park Hyatt Milan offers a splash of contemporary style and color steps away from Milan’s renowned attractions and landmarks. Occupying a palace-style building dating back to 1870, the boutique Milan hotel showcases eye-catching interiors designed by Ed Tuttle and a remarkable glass cupola where Lucio Fontana’s ‘Head of Medusa’ serves as a stunning centerpiece. Not to be outdone, its expansive rooms and suites, some of the most luxurious accommodations in Milan, beautifully blend authentic Italian finishes with sleek amenities and state-of-the-art technology.
March 22nd, 2012
Can you picture a more beautiful setting to curl up and read a book?
The extravagantly luxe Royal Mansour, a showcase of Moroccan splendor located in the heart of Marrakech, is everything short of a palace, and what palace would be complete without a library? With a retractable roof and a large telescope for stargazing, the library features over 500 titles in French, English and Spanish. Some titles which grace the shelves include, “Splendor of Quran Calligraphy and Illumination” by Martin Lings and “Impression of the Sahara” by Jean Loic Lequellec. From Moroccan guide books to art, architecture, décor, cuisine, travel, culture, crafts, and calligraphy, Royal Mansour’s collection is as diverse as it is beautiful.
Riad rates start at €1,650 per night.
For more information about Royal Mansour Marrakech, please visit, www.royalmansour.com, and check out their new Twitter page www.Twitter.com/RoyalMansour.
November 18th, 2010
If you have a fear of what’s below you in the ocean, a “new” (man-made and man-shaped) reef in Mexico might not be the place to conquer it. However, if you want to swim among statues and see the latest in coral reef restoration efforts, this is your spot… an artificial reef off the east coast of Mexico made entirely from human statues. Mastermind behind this installment is British artist, Jason de Caires Taylor, who used local Mexican residents to create the ‘life casts’ and shaped each of the 350 statues from materials with a neutral pH to encourage coral growth.
Creepy or awesome?