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.
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 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.
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
March 13th, 2013
With more and more luxury travelers booking a safari as the choice, out-of-this-world experience, operators are upping their “game.” andBeyond, the organization known for its pioneering eco-tourism, is now offering specialty, niche components to complement and personalize the traditional safari experience to match one’s interests. This includes private game drives focused on getting the perfect picture, learning how to track the Big Five in South Africa, or honing in on the kori bustards during a bird watching adventure in Tanzania. They have even created a yoga package. Add-ons start at $675 per day.
Gain the stealth and cunning of a lion and learn how to track wildlife with the help of a ranger and tracker team in a private, open 4×4 safari vehicle. Search for the elusive leopard, follow the warning cries of baboons to discover a pride of lions, look for clues, such as broken branches, to unearth a herd of elephants.
Rate: From R6,120 ($675), offered at Phinda, Ngala, and Kirkman’s Kamp
Bird Watching, African Style
Set out in a private 4×4 safari vehicle with a specialist birding ranger to enjoy the varied species found in the African bush. Most andBeyond lodges offer this opportunity to spot kori bustards, hornbills, secretary birds, and shining blue and red superb starlings – perfect for avid ornithologists.
Rate: From R6,120 ($675)
February 19th, 2013
We are proud to announce andBeyond as our newest client. andBeyond is a leader in luxury experiential travel and a conservation pioneer offering well-heeled travelers diversity, escape, and natural heritage.
New & Noteworthy
- In the first private game reserve donation of rhinoceros to another country, andBeyond is translocating six white rhinoceros from andBeyond South Africa to Botswana. South Africa lost 668 to illegal poaching last year; Botswana offers excellent security systems to protect the endangered species.
- andBeyond is currently offering honeymoon travelers a 50 percent discount on the bride’s travel across all &Beyond lodges. Highlighted locations include: andBeyond Mnemba Island where guests can swim with dolphins and watch green turtles hatch before they swim off to sea; and andBeyond Kichwa Tembo, located in one of the richest and most diverse wildlife areas in the world.
- The Homestead at andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal is now offering Yoga Safaris. Other speciality safaris include family, photography, birding, and wildlife tracking. (more…)
June 11th, 2012
Ready to become a star? After the success of last year’s contest, Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas is once again looking for an enthusiastic elephant lover and budding TV star between the ages of seven and fifteen to become this year’s Roving Elephant Reporter for the 11th Annual King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament in Hua Hin, Thailand.
As the Roving Elephant Reporter, the winner will become a star of the elephant polo circuit, delivering a television report with VIP access to all areas of the four-day event, including exclusive interviews with participating players, elephant experts, and celebrities.
The winner, along with an accompanying adult, will enjoy an all-expense paid seven-night stay at Anantara Riverside Resort & Spa in Bangkok and Anantara Hua Hin Resort & Spa in Thailand, including return air fares. The reporter will get to explore the Royal seaside town of Hua Hin with a series of signature excursions, including an elephant trek through a local vineyard, a specially devised kids Thai cooking class, an art class on the polo pitch, and more.
“Being the winner of last year’s Roving Elephant Reporter was the most amazing experiences in my life,” said the 2011 winner, 14-year-old, Ann Skelly from Ireland. “From helping with actual vet checks, interviewing the elephant experts and the players including the New Zealand All Blacks and German royalty, to seeing the elephants up close was truly an awe-inspiring experience and I wish all the entrants to this year’s competition the best of luck.”
To enter the elephantastic competition, the media-star-in-the-making must submit a one- to two-minute video on Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas Facebook page. Alternatively, one can mail a CD of the video to:
I Want To Be An Elephant Reporter
17th Floor Berli Jucker House
99 Soi Rubia
Sukhumvit Soi 42