News from the Vines: Spring 2021

February 11th, 2021

News from the Vines: Spring 2021

What’s Happening in Napa Valley

California lifted its regional stay-at-home order in the Bay Area at the end of January – meaning Napa Valley’s hotels and outdoor dining and wine tastings are officially open for business. As Cabernet Season comes to a close, April means bud break – the official start to grape growing season – ushering in springtime in Napa Valley. During this time of year, temperatures rise and tiny clusters of grapes start to form on the dormant vines – cheers to new beginnings! New flight routes launching add to the region’s accessibility for domestic travelers – United will begin service from New York JFK to San Francisco (1.5-hour drive from Napa) at the end of February. West Coasters can board Surf Air with a private flight from Los Angeles directly to the vines – and frequent visitors can now purchase a destination membership for a bundle of 10 flights. Read on for a breakdown of the latest and greatest happenings across the Valley.

What’s New in Hotels

This year will bring a hotel boom across Napa Valley as long-awaited properties are scheduled to open their doors. Four Seasons Resort & Residences will open this spring 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. Stanly Ranch, an Auberge Collection Resort, is slated to open in the Carneros region along the banks of the Napa River later this year. The 135 open-air cottages will be set on the historic Stanly Ranch Winery estate, which has been producing critically acclaimed wines since the 19th century. Bann at Oak Knoll Napa, which opened its doors at the end of 2020, brings a taste of Thailand to this resort-style bed & breakfast. Owner Lalita Souksamlane, known for her Osha Thai restaurants across San Francisco, was inspired by design elements from three regions of Thailand – North, Northeast, and South. Each room, named after the provinces of the Kingdoms of Siam, features curated art and handcrafted items that showcase the blending of cultures across the country. Napa’s classic resorts are taking stock too. Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs, originally built in 1952 and considered one of the first resorts in Calistoga, will unveil a large-scale renovation in March 2021. The property’s new look will include a Southwestern-inspired restaurant, House of Better; and the spa, known for its mud bath treatments, will offer new outdoor cabana treatment rooms. In the revitalized city of Napa, R Inn Napa just unveiled three new Loft Suites. The apartment-style accommodations feature 20-foot-high ceilings with custom walnut wood and steel floating staircases that lead up to the master bedroom.

What’s New in Experiences

Whether a lover of wine, art, or outdoor pursuits (or all of the above!) – Napa Valley is readying for the spring season with new tasting rooms and outdoor experiences. In celebration of Women’s History Month in March, West Wine Tours in partnership with Visit Napa Valley launched the “Women in Wine Country” tasting tour, available for private reservations up to six guests. Guests are transported in a restored vintage VW bus between three wineries that are helmed by powerhouse ladies. First stop is Fantesca Estate & Winery by Heidi Barrett, known as “The First Lady of Wine.” Continue to St. Clair Brown Winery & Brewery by Elaine St. Clair, the only woman in the U.S. to hold the commercial title of both winemaker and brewer; and end at Crocker & Starr, 40-year winemaking vet, Pam Starr, crafts her Sauvignon Blanc using sustainable farming practices. Anyone traveling to Napa Valley should build in time to stretch their legs with Active Wine Adventures. The new ‘Hike & Wine Tours’ gets travelers’ blood pumping with refreshing walks through the redwood and pine forests, wrapping with a private picnic lunch and tasting at Bremer Family Winery, where the original stone cellar from 1891 remains. And since Napa isn’t all about wine, the first standalone tasting room dedicated solely to luxury California brandies, California Brandy House, opened in November 2020. Visitors are guided through tasting flights, with selections including single-barrel samples that are only available at the tasting space. Art-lovers missing weekend museum strolls can add di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art to their itinerary. The outdoor sculpture park is now open on weekends allowing guests to explore the scenic two-mile loop or simply relax and birdwatch by the property’s 35-acre lake – aptly named Winery Lake.

Looking Ahead to Earth Day – April 2021

April 22, 2021 is Earth Day – a time to celebrate all that is green. While Napa Valley is best known for its wine, it is also recognized for its dedication to land stewardship. Designated as America’s first agricultural preserve in 1968, the region has been practicing sustainability for more than 50 years. This is one of the primary reasons why Napa Valley is, and will remain a wine-growing region for generations to come. Visitors can experience wineries committed to continuing the legacy with the Napa Green Tasting Passport, which gives insider access to 15 wineries passionate about nature and the community. Trefethen Family Vineyards, a 100 percent solar-powered winery, and St. Supery, celebrated for its all estate-grown varietals, are among the participants. Offers range from two-for-one tastings to exclusive access to winemakers. The pass costs $99, with three percent of the profits reinvested in the local community. Travelers can also hike the 53,000 acres of protected land with route suggestions from the Napa Valley Land Trust. Skyline Wilderness Park offers 25 miles of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding, including the 2.2-mile trek to Lake Marie, while the trail up though Robert Louis Stevenson State Park ends at Table Rock and offers a condor’s-eye valley view. And behind the scenes, Napa Open Space District continues to protect and preserve natural areas. Following a challenging year in 2020, the District has implemented the ReLeaf Napa Fund to support and sustain Napa’s parks and trails – a treasured piece of the Napa experience.

WHERE TO GO: MARCH

January 21st, 2021

Where to Go: March

With March comes a new season and many reasons to explore nearby.

Washington DC

Nothing signals spring in DC like the city’s famous cherry blossoms. The 2021 National Cherry Blossom Festival will take place March 20-April 11 with an innovative format incorporating both virtual and personal experiences that adhere to city and CDC guidelines. Programming, which will be free and open to the public, will include locally-curated community experiences that focus on music, cuisine, and visual arts presentations. Of note are the 20 large, vibrant cherry blossom sculptures displayed in dozens of locations throughout the city. For more details, visit nationalcherryblossomfestival.org

The Dupont Circle Hotel reopened in October 2020 following a top-to-bottom renovation including a new bar and restaurant by Martin Brudnizki and a fresh penthouse suite and lobby by Clodagh. Located directly on Dupont Circle, it’s the perfect jumping off point for exploring the city. The property is offering guests who drive to DC an upgrade, $100 food and beverage credit, complimentary parking and a late check-out.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is of course full of natural wonders – and where better to spend World Wildlife Day (March 3)? Just below the Arenal Volcano in the tropical rainforest is Nayara Tented Camp, which opened in December 2019. The property has its own sloth sanctuary that is currently home to 18. Each guest gets their own private, sprawling luxury tent with a large deck and naturally-warm, mineral-spring-fed plunge pool with views of the volcano. A must-do is room service breakfast of local coffee (roasted on property), fresh fruit, and eggs with beans, plantains, and rice.

Costa Rica opened its borders to all U.S. citizens on November 1, 2020. Additional requirements include a negative Covid test result within 48 hours of travel to Costa Rica, medical insurance, and a health pass form – full requirements are listed on Visit Costa Rica’s website here. There are flights to San Jose and Liberia airports in Costa Rica from several US cities including New York, Fort Lauderdale/Miami, Dallas, Atlanta, and Houston.

Napa Valley

Freshly designed spaces and new experiences with an emphasis on privacy are shaking up the scene in Napa Valley. Yountville’s Baldacci Family Vineyards will open a new hospitality center in March, featuring private tasting rooms, a wine bar, and an outdoor patio overlooking wine country. 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. Meanwhile, 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.

 

WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH

January 21st, 2021

How to Celebrate National Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month – a time to (extra) celebrate the accomplishments of the world’s leading ladies. (Though, let’s be honest, women are historic year-round.) From new tours to dedicated suites, here are inspiring destinations to visit that pay homage to female powerhouses, plus a shoutout to our favorite fearless females.

Nantucket’s Historic Heroines

Throughout the 1800s, Nantucket was home to more history-making women than anywhere else in the country. At the time, American women could not vote, own property or access higher education. Whaling, the island’s isolated location and Quakerism all played a role in championing women’s rights. As a nod to the island’s history-making females, each of the four new suites at the Jared Coffin House, a former whaling merchant’s home, is named after an influential woman from Nantucket. Anna Gardner was instrumental in calling an anti-slavery meeting in 1841 during which Frederick Douglass gave his first speech as an abolitionist speaker. Lucretia Coffin Mott participated in the country’s first meeting about women’s rights in 1848. Maria Mitchell is the first professional female astronomer who opened her own school in 1835 that was desegregated, a controversial move at the time. Mary Coffin Starbuck is recognized for bringing Quakerism to Nantucket in the early 1700s and she ran a trading post that served as the island’s commercial center. The Jared Coffin House will re-open for the season in April 2021. Rates start at $155 per night.

A Guide to Female-Owned Wineries in Napa Valley

Visit Napa Valley announces a new partnership with West Wine Tours to offer a “Women in Wine Country” tasting tour. The privately guided experience will bring groups of up to six guests through the vines of Napa Valley in an Instagram-worthy vintage Volkswagen bus. The journey will include three wineries with women winemakers at the helm. Stops include St. Clair Brown Winery & Brewery by Elaine St. Clair, who is the only woman in the U.S. to hold the commercial title of both winemaker and brewer; and Fantesca Estate & Winery by Heidi Barrett, who is known as “The First Lady of Wine” and is behind California’s most notable cult wines, such as Screaming Eagle, which has a starting price of $700 a bottle. The final stop is Crocker & Starr, owned by founding winemaker, Pam Starr. With a career spanning four decades, she is celebrated for her Sauvignon Blanc and sustainable farming practices. Each stop will include a tasting experience and guests may even get a behind-the-scenes sneak peek with the winemakers themselves. Private transportation for up to six guests, including a driver and lunch costs $650 per bus. Tasting experiences are an additional $240 per person. For more information, visit: https://www.westwinetours.com/.

Who Tours the World? Girls!

Tessa Hempson… is the marine scientist and program manager behind andBeyond’s Ocean Without Borders project in East Africa. Tessa has spent her career exploring and studying oceans around the world, having worked as a helicopter underwater evacuation instructor for the Australian Defense Force; a conservation manager for the Sustainable Seas Trust (SST); and a researcher on the Aldabra Atoll World Heritage Site in the Seychelles. Guests of andBeyond’s three island lodges in Mozambique and Zanzibar can join Tessa in conservation experiences like fish tagging, measuring and monitoring reef systems in the Indian Ocean.

Florence Kuyper …is an expedition leader and naturalist guide on PONANT’s small ship voyages. A self-proclaimed “polar fanatic,” she spends much of the year in 24-hour daylight, splitting her time between navigating the icy waters in the Arctic and Antarctica. But she’s not averse to a bit of heat. She also once crossed the Gobi Desert in Mongolia, walking almost 800 miles alongside a camel caravan. In addition to leading almost 100 expeditions to the Poles, Kuyper also spent five months as a base leader in Port Lockroy, a British station on the Antarctic peninsula. Guests can join her on expeditions that explore Peter I Island - where fewer people have visited than the moon, and Charcot Island - located in the Bellingshausen Sea, which is covered in ice for most of the year making it difficult to reach and virtually unexplored.

 

andBeyond Newsletter

January 21st, 2021

Latest & greatest from conservation-focused, experiential travel company andBeyond. The brand operates 29 lodges across Africa and South America and outfits custom itineraries across those continents and Asia.

To protect wildlife…

World Wildlife Day is on March 3, 2021. andBeyond’s core brand pillar ‘care of the wildlife’ supports and protects species in the reserves where it operates every single day. Some standout efforts include…

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, instilling the passion and knowledge of wildlife conservation and community development in them – often inspiring future careers.

Pangolins are native African anteaters that 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.

To support the community…

World Water Day is on March 22, 2021. andBeyond has worked with its community partner Africa Foundation to lessen the burden of carrying water from boreholes by providing Hippo Water Rollers to the most vulnerable in the community near andBeyond Ngala Private Game Reserve without access to clean running water. Many women and children walk great distances every day to collect water; a task that is not only physically demanding but takes time away from attending school. With andBeyond’s initiative, over 1,200 Hippo Water Rollers have been distributed in the communities of Welverdiend and Thlabekisa. These rollers can carry up to 90 liters of water in a barrel that can be rolled on the ground, enabling people to bring more freshwater home each time and not have to carry a heavy load.

To inspire wanderlust…

andBeyond has launched an online Dream Board to encourage those with a case of wanderlust to start envisaging and planning their upcoming adventures. The Dream Board lives on andBeyond’s website and features a curated array of experiences, itineraries and accommodation from the three continents where the company operates, showcasing not only andBeyond’s own lodges and camps but the wide range of choice that its tour operating arm offers (from mobile camping on the plains of the Serengeti to the Snow Leopard Lodge tucked in the snowy peaks of the Himalayas).

To celebrate women…

Looking towards Women’s History Month in March 2021, here are some of the leading ladies behind the andBeyond brand.

Aziza Mbwana… was andBeyond’s first female guide in East Africa when she began in 2004, and was also the second female guide in Tanzania at the time.

Charli de Vos… is an Ecological Monitor at andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve leading the new pangolin reintroduction project.

Tessa Hempson… is the marine scientist and program manager behind andBeyond’s Ocean Without Borders project in East Africa.

Charity Cheruiyot… was the first female safari ranger in Kenya’s Masai Mara.

Nicole Robinson… has been with andBeyond for 20 years and now runs the show as Chief Marketing Officer.

To stay warm this winter…

Gearing up for a long winter of outdoor dining? Those braving the cold for a bite to eat out of the house can learn a thing or two from a true cold weather expert. Surya Ramachandran is andBeyond’s Snow Leopard Journey guide in the Himalayas. Based in the icy cold Himalayan region of Ladakh, he spends his days embracing the elements on the search for snow leopard and other fauna. This area is high in the mountains and has extreme winters. Surya is well-versed in how to prepare for spending hours on end out in the wilderness in frigid temperatures. Some of his tips include…

  • When I’m at the Snow Leopard Lodge in Ladakh, where it gets mighty cold, I add a thicker full sleeve fleece or down jacket, but never anything too baggy. Overall, one can stay warm and still look sharp if she or he layers right. Never wear anything too loose, no matter how warm they make you feel!”
  • “My standard drink is an Indian Jungle Toddy – consisting of rum, hot water, honey, ginger juice and a squeeze of lime – served in a beer mug. Nothing warms me up quite like this one. A warming cocktail needs to either be hot or spicy.”

 

About andBeyond

andBeyond designs personalized high-end tours in 13 countries in Africa, five in Asia and four in South America, offering discerning travelers a rare and exclusive experience of the world as it should be. We own and operate 29 extraordinary lodges and camps in iconic safari, scenic and island destinations in Africa and South America. This enables us to positively impact more than nine million acres of wildlife land and over 1,200 miles of coastline. Established in 1991, andBeyond strives to leave our world a better place than we found it through our care of the land, wildlife and people, and the delivery of extraordinary guest experiences.

 

Passion-led family travels

January 14th, 2021

For summer of 2021 and beyond, travel is poised for a comeback and we foresee family vacations topping the list. Here are ideas to quench any family’s wanderlust, from avid astronomers to city slickers…

 

For the astronomer family

  • Todos Santos in Baja, Mexico, is a prime spot for stargazing due to its minimal light pollution and dry clean air. Each of the rooftop suites at the new Paradero Todos Santos comes with its own telescope to take in the evening’s bounty of stars, galaxies and planets that sparkle across the desert sky.
  • On the open-air observation deck at Nayara Alto Atacama, guests check out the most important constellations for the people of the Atacama: the Yacana Llama that runs along the Great River (Milky Way) and the Chacana Cross (Inca Cross) which points to the south. The Atacama Desert’s famously arid atmosphere makes it ideal for stargazing.
  • andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge in Namibia’s Namib Desert abuts a dark sky reserve and has an astronomer on staff to guide guests’ stargazing experiences. Plus, the above-bed sky lights are perfect for spotting shooting stars while drifting off to sleep.

 

For the birding family

  • While most head to Jamaica for its white sandy beaches, birders should note it’s an avian playground with over 300 species. Specifically, the Blue Mountains, set 3,100 feet above sea level, are laced with a network of trails for birdwatching among the Jurassic Park-like landscape. Strawberry Hill’s onsite bird expert, Lyndalee Burks, arranges adventures with knowledgeable local guides – think sunrise and sunset treks to see the rare Crested Quail-Dove or Jamaican blackbird.
  • With a plethora of birds to check off a list (over 500 species in the area), Nayara Tented Camp’s private naturalist guides can lead family’s on daily birding walks to spot toucans, red-lored parrots, green herons, and ruby throated hummingbirds. Tents can comfortably fit two adults and up to two children, plus there are adjoining tents for bigger groups and older kids.
  • All guests at andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve all receive a Star Birds guide to spot the over 400 bird species inhabiting Phinda’s diverse habitats, but passionate birders can book a Birding Safari. One of andBeyond’s guides leads guests on a special game drive to see Rudd’s Apalis, Neergard’s Sunbirds, and Narina Trogons. Phinda Homestead – a stand-alone lodge with four bedrooms – is the perfect private spot for a family.

 

For the beach bum family

  • Families looking for some blue skies and warm sand can make Belmond Cap Juluca in Anguilla their home-away-from-home. For the utmost privacy, families can book a three-, four-, or five-bedroom private pool villa to experience optimal seclusion. Highlights include a full kitchen with a dining atrium for private meals, direct beach access, and a personal freshwater swimming pool. Those who just aren’t ready to leave can stay a month or longer and the property will cover weekly spa treatments, unlimited laundry, daily resort credit, and a dedicated host.
  • Jamaica’s GoldenEye, once home to Ian Fleming and the site where he penned all 14 James Bond novels, offers a collection of stand-alone hut, cottage and villa accommodations. Kids can partake in coconut carving and nature walks led by Ramsey DaCosta, Fleming’s former gardener, while adults enjoy cocktails at Firefly, Noel Coward’s hilltop estate and rumored to have been Captain Morgan’s lookout. Mark the occasion by planting a tree on property with a donation to the hotel’s Oracabessa Foundation, which supports the community through a variety of health- and environmentally- focused initiatives.
  • Off the coast of Zanzibar, andBeyond Mnemba Island is a private island paradise worthy of screen saver. Families can lounge on the beach in their private beach cabanas, go snorkeling or scuba diving with the local dolphins, take a sunset dhow sailboat ride, or take a day trip to Stone Town and learn about the spice trading history of Zanzibar. The thatched-roof bandas have no doors or windows, just woven shades, creating a true Robinson Crusoe feel.
  • UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa sits on the grassy quadrado (town square) of Trancoso, Brazil. This small town has long attracted artisans and those in the know – Anderson Cooper has a house at UXUA and Solange Knowles honeymooned at the property. Their cool beach bar and quartz-lined pool are supreme lounge spots, and more active family members can try their hands at capoeira – the Brazilian martial art – or meet with Dr. Julian at the UXUA Vida Spa to learn about herbal remedies.

For the history buff family

  • Dromoland Castle was built in the 16th century and has a rich history – from starting as the royal seat of the last kings of Ireland to a Temple of Mercury dedicated to a beloved racehorse who saved the family from financial ruin. Families can try the ancient sport of falconry, golf on the 18-hole golf course, try cocktail making or go foraging with a local guide.
  • The magic of Greek mythology still envelopes the Cycladic isles. Mykonos was the home of Aeolus, keeper of the wind. Families can stay in one of the two villas at the soon-to-open Kalesma and catch the sunset over Delos, the birthplace of Artemis and Apollo.
  • Washington, D.C. is awash with American history. The Dupont Circle hotel is surrounded by embassies (former gilded age mansions of the city’s elite) and a 20-minute stroll to the national mall and its monuments. The Penthouse Suite can be booked as a two bedroom and with its sprawling terrace, living room, and dining area it creates a luxurious home-away-from-home.

For outdoorsy families

  • The Chatwal Lodge, scheduled to open on May 1, is nestled within a 30-acre environmentally protected land in the Catskill region. Guests will enjoy panoramic views of the 1,000-acre Toronto Reservoir Lake, ideal for year-round fly fishing; have access to hiking trails dotted with chestnut trees and water streams; and admire myriad native animals, such as white-tailed deer and nesting bald eagles. Adventurers at heart can opt for a treehouse, raised 25 feet above the ground, or a luxury glam tent.
  • PONANT, the leader in expedition cruising, takes guests to remote destinations not accessible to larger ships thanks to its moderate size, design and advanced technology. Lead by naturalist guides and experts, expeditions can opt to take time to watch a caving glacier, make a detour to discover a southern white whale, or go ashore to admire a colony of penguins. New this year, PONANT will launch Le Commandant Charcot, a luxury hybrid polar exploration vessel, that will allow adventurous families to reach the true Geographic North Pole and parts of Antarctica that fewer people have stepped foot on the moon.
  • With over 300 days of sunshine, Zermatt is definitely a pick for the outdoorsmen. While you can ski 365 days a year in the alpine town, there is plenty to do beyond hitting the slopes, including hiking, mountain biking, paragliding, and fly fishing. The iconic Schweizerhof hotel is located on the main thoroughfare of Bahnhofstrasse at the base of the Matterhorn and recently underwent an extensive renovation.
  • Believe it or not, California’s wine country is not just all about wine. Families looking for a breath of fresh air can head to Napa Valley and explore the 53,000 acres of preserved land laced with hiking and biking trails through the mountains. Kids can join parents to explore the di Rosa outdoor sculpture park, or visit with miniature horses – Whinnie the Pooh, Sweet Jane, and Molly – at Jamieson Ranch Vineyard while parents enjoy a vino tasting. Families can opt to stay at Calistoga Motor Lodge – a roadside 1940′s motel in its past life – which evokes a retro-camping feel with rooms designed to mimic a 1960s VW camper. As an ode to its roots, the property offers throwback in-room amenities such as Polaroid cameras and Etch-a-Sketches that kids will love.

 

For city slicker families

  • Tokyo is the ultimate destination for city lovers – its towering skyline, famously busting crosswalks, jewel box bars, and mix of modern and ancient culture are hypnotic. Park Hyatt Tokyo sits above the city and offers families a haven above the metropolis, especially with older kids. The concierge can book restaurant reservation at in-the-know-only spots and recommend fun stops like Kawaii Monster Café with its rainbow confections, and the whole family can wind down at the hotel with the twice weekly goodnight sleep stretch.
  • London has something for everyone in the family from shopping to museum hopping to tasting global cuisines. Centrally located in Mayfair, The Beaumont is the perfect home base to explore all the Big Smoke has to offer. A destination unto itself, the hotel is home to Turner Prize-winning artist Antony Gormley’s inhabitable sculpture called ROOM. Families can even book the entire fifth floor for up to 10 people, with perks including a stocked pantry kitchen, large dining terrace and private elevator access.
  • While Paris is known for romance, it’s surprisingly family-friendly, offering myriad parks and museums, not to mention the food – who doesn’t love croissants and baguettes? Overlooking the Trocadero and with unbeatable views of the Eiffel Tower are the 10 La Réserve Paris Apartments. The largest apartment can accommodate up to 10 people, but families could reserve multiple flats for larger groups. The neighborhood is also home to the Bois du Boulogne, the 2,000+ acre forest full of hiking trails and ponds, the Jardin d’Acclimation amusement park and the Fondation Louis Vuitton.

 

Opening January 2021: Paradero Todos Santos in Baja

November 24th, 2020

Paradero Hotels, Mexico’s First Luxury Experience-Inclusive Brand,

will Launch with the Opening of Paradero Todos Santos, Baja California Sur on January 15, 2021

Paradero Hotel’s vision is focused on travel experiences the elevate communities, promote authentic encounters, and minimize environmental impact by developing highly curated landscaping projects with suites and amenities.

Paradero Todos Santos, a 35-suite property will open on January 15, 2021. Todos Santos’ debut marks the beginning of Paradero Hotel’s long-term plan to expand its experience-inclusive brand throughout additional unspoiled destinations in Mexico. Less than 50 miles from San Jose del Cabo Airport, Todos Santos has 355 days of sunshine per year and has become increasingly popular as a relaxed surf town and a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Paradero is spread across five acres of untouched land that is situated within the last unspoiled Mesa farming community – an agricultural area comprising 160 acres of family-owned farms. Due to its proximity to the equator, the immediate landscape offers five distinct ecosystems: the desert with 200-year-old Cardon Cacti, the Sierra La Laguna Mountain range, miles of virgin beaches along the Pacific coast, an oasis with 5,000 palm trees, and farmland as far as the eye can see. Because of this diversity, UNESCO has designated Todos Santos as a Biosphere Reserve – one of only two such sites in Baja.

Experiences are at the heart of Paradero Todos Santos. Surfing for different levels at Cerritos or San Pedrito beach, guided hiking and mountain biking along the bluffs of the Pacific coast, private beach set up on unspoiled locations, hands-on farming tutorials, and Baja taco tours are all included in the nightly rate. Trails throughout the property will also be marked for self-guided running and biking around the farms and gardens. A sample of other activities include boating and fishing expeditions, cooking classes, cliffside champagne and burrito tastings.

Rates start at $550 per night, inclusive of experiences. For more information, visit https://www.paraderohotels.com/www.paraderohotels.com.

Experiences

“Paradero” loosely translates to “stop on the road.” It harks back to the days when their ancestors first arrived in Baja, harnessing its bounty to cultivate a sense of home and community.  At Paradero Hotels, the fundamental belief is that extraordinary outdoor experiences go hand-in-hand with sustainability, community development, and conservation. By immersing guests in nature, Paradero instills reverence towards the land. By employing local hands, there is generations worth of knowledge and storytelling. With these values and culture, the goal is to put outdoor experiences first in high-design landscape spaces surrounded by multiverse ecosystems.

To arrive in Todos Santos is to be thrust into the elements—the warm sun, the dusty trails, the sea breeze, and the starry skies. And the immersion only continues the moment guests arrive through the doors. Activities have been designed to re-center guests in nature, rekindling their childlike sense of adventure, while serving as a gateway to the Paradero lifestyle.

Local guides are passionate about delivering outdoor experiences that combine physical challenge and intellectual stimulation with a heavy dose of “wow” factor. Guides will quickly assess skill and comfort level, customizing each adventure to keep guests safe, smiling, and eager for more.  In order to have an authentic Todos Santos experience, guests are encouraged to try myriad experiences that are available in a small group setting (maximum of four- to six-guests) during morning and afternoon sessions. Activities are also available for private reservations, for an additional cost.

Paradero Hotels has tapped the global expertise of others who have successfully operated similar soft adventure products elsewhere, including Jesus Parrilla, Principal of Luxury Frontiers and ex-CEO of Explora, who serves as Strategic Advisor at Paradero Hotels.

Wellness

Shaded by almost 100 locally grown palm trees and other endemic species, the Ojo de Agua Spa will be a wellness oasis and a healing space that is inspired by secret watering holes that coexist between Sierra La Laguna and the Pacific. The focus will be on ancient Mexican healing traditions starting with sound healing and ending with Temazcal ceremonies. Hot and cold plunge pools, as well as a relaxation area will round out the offerings.

Landscaping

Embracing the wild terrain, Paradero is an 80 percent landscape project, 20 percent development project. The 100,000-square-foot botanical garden is the heart of the project.  Mexico City-based landscape architecture firm, Polen, whose past projects include Google’s and Twitter’s offices, selected 80 endemic species (from red sand verbena and Mojave yucca to Shaw’s agave) for the grounds. More than 20,000 plants, including those found on the land prior to building, will be oriented in a way that promotes maximum growth and vitality. More than 30 percent of the flora was grown from seed in the on-site greenhouse, while the remainder was purchased from local greenhouses.

Architecture

Mexico-born Ruben Valdez and Yashar Yektajo of Yektajo Valdez Architects were charged with blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor living. The sanctuary-like interiors flow into contemplative outdoor seating areas and cactus-studded desert and farmland. The property was designed in a trapezoid shape, with each suite offering views of the wild terrain. Beige-colored concrete will be peppered with materials including tornillo timber and custom-made metal. Triangle patterns, a sacred symbol of the Mayan culture, are incorporated throughout.

Public spaces on the property include the ‘Living Room,’ a multi-purpose hub for gathering and activity planning with an opportunity to meet with guides and learn about experiences. The roof will also double as a yoga deck. Along the perimeter of the property will be a 130-foot-long infinity pool, hot tub, and half-moon lounge deck that will look out onto a horizon of cacti – specifically designed to push guests towards the landscape.

Interior Design

B Huber, the interior design firm behind the new Edition Riviera Maya and Four Seasons Tamarindo, was tapped to create a new brand of hotel experience, offering a sense of community and representative of Mexico. The color scheme focuses on monochromatic tones and incorporates a predominantly sand and natural color palette. All furnishings were custom-crafted and locally-sourced from cities such as Guadalajara and Oaxaca – largely considered the design capitals of Mexico. No detail was overlooked. For each piece of furniture selected for the property – more than 10 suppliers were reviewed before deciding. Key furnishings will also be available for purchase.

Suites

The 35 suites range from 780- to 2,674-square-feet of indoor and outdoor space. Windows are strategically positioned to allow for cross ventilation, minimizing the need for air conditioning. The 16 Garden Suites extend into the landscape with outdoor living areas that will either offer views of the farming fields that encircle the property or look out to the forest of cacti. All Garden Suites will feature a hammock, and some will offer an outdoor circular soaking tub. The 18 Rooftop Suites are distinguished by their panoramic rooftops, all of which have built-in suspended ‘star nets,’ offering high-altitude expansive views of the surrounding farmlands, mountains, oasis, and ocean. The corner Master Casita spreads over three floors and has been designed to feel like a luxury residence, with a kitchenette, spacious dining area and a plunge pool. In all suites – bathrooms feature a rain shower and organic bath amenities made in Mexico.

Culinary

The restaurant, which will be open to the public, offers a theatrical experience with an elevated, open-fire kitchen that features a Josper wood-fired oven and a traditional Oaxacan clay tortilla oven. The menu will incorporate ingredients from the surrounding farms as well as fish and seafood from the Pacific Ocean and Sea of Cortez. Bounty from the on-property chili garden, with 12 different types of peppers, will spice up dishes. Cocktails are just as inventive, made from fresh-pressed juices and elixirs from local shrubs. Guests will also be encouraged to visit nearby restaurants, with the property serving as an insider guide to the best of Todos Santos.

Rates

Nightly rates start from $550 per night for Garden Suites, $650 for Rooftop Suites, and $1,395 for the master suite, plus tax and service; inclusive of experiences.

How to get there

American Airlines, Delta, Eastern Airlines, Southwest, United Airlines, and WestJet are among the carriers that offer direct service from San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Houston, Denver and New York City to San Jose del Cabo Airport (SJD). Paradero can coordinate private transfers to/from the hotel. Five-minute shuttle service to Todos Santos and Pescadero will also be available.

For more information, visit ParaderoHotels.com, follow @paraderohotels

 

Dupont  Circle Hotel Opened October 16, 2020 in Washington, DC

November 9th, 2020

The luxury Dupont Circle hotel is delighted to announce it will open its doors to guests on the 16th October following a largescale renovation. This transforming refurbishment includes a cutting edge bar and restaurant designed by internationally regarded Martin Brudnizki, alongside a new lobby and penthouse suite realized by trailblazing Irish designer Clodagh – known for her trademark ‘life-enhancing minimalism’.
(more…)

White  Elephant Palm Beach to Open November 4, 2020

September 9th, 2020

From one vacation destination to another, Nantucket’s White Elephant resort will welcome  a sister property in Palm Beach on November 4, 2020. The 32-room  White Elephant Palm Beach  is housed  in the former Bradley Park Hotel – originally constructed in 1924 as one of the first resorts on Palm Beach’s Main Street.  During its century-long history, it was initially owned by Colonel Edward R. Bradley, who ran a private and celebrated Beach Club casino on land that is today Bradley Park. For more than 20 years, the hotel served as a magnet for business tycoons and high rollers who frequented the salon. Over the decades that followed, the hotel remained a mainstay for seasonal visitors. In 1980, in part to its architectural significance, the hotel was listed with the Landmark Preservation Commission.

The footprint of the structure and the facade  remains, while  the interiors have been stripped to the bones and rebuilt by Boston-based Elkus Manfredi Architects.  The nationally recognized firm, known for their projects with The Peninsula Chicago and Four Seasons Residences, Boston, worked closely with the Town of Palm Beach to create a new hotel that showcases the history of the existing building while incorporating a contemporary interpretation of Mediterranean-revival architecture. White Elephant Palm Beach will maintain the welcoming feel of a private residence with 13 rooms and 19 suites spread across  four  stories.

The hotel stands one street north of Royal Poinciana Way, Palm Beach’s original Main Street, less than two blocks from the Atlantic Ocean and one block from the Intracoastal Waterway.  White Elephant Palm Beach is adjacent to Bradley Park, which will serve as a grand lawn to the hotel, and is less than a half mile from the newly redeveloped Royal Poinciana Plaza shopping complex.

The layout of the property takes advantage of the South Florida sunshine and features a U-shaped outdoor courtyard that is the social heart of the hotel – a place to relax and recharge, whether lounging on the patio or around the pool. The landscaping features mature, local flora whose lush colors and tropical fragrances envelop guests.  Previews of what’s to come started earlier this year, when White Elephant Palm Beach’s signature restaurant Lola 41 – a Nantucket staple – began serving its globally-inspired dishes and local seafood specialties.

The design captures the spirit of a grand home while maintaining the ambiance of a landmarked boutique hotel. Breaking from the bright pinks and greens that dominate the Palm Beach aesthetic, the White Elephant Palm Beach features a neutral color palette with sleek metal accents and vibrant pops of color. The hardwood floors, Carrara marble, elegant tiles and woven rugs are all interpreted with contemporary style.  Outside, the Mizner-style facade  is  painted a light, creamy-white color with classic black-and-white striped awnings, terracotta roof tiles, and black trim to bring a fresh, sophisticated look to the classic structure. Guests will be welcomed onto the property by a seven-foot white elephant statue by Santa Fe-based artist Fredrick Prescott. (A “sister” elephant statue, Trunket, is on the grounds of White Elephant in Nantucket.)

The statue is just one of 120 original pieces of colorful modern and pop art personally curated by the owners and Elkus Manfredi. The museum-worthy collection will be on display throughout the rooms and common spaces. Featured artists include Robert Rauschenberg, whose early creations in the 1950s anticipated the pop art movement, and Jennifer Bartlett, known for her small, square steel plates that are combined in grid formations to create large-scale works. Several pieces by painter Kenzo Okada, the first Japanese-American artist to receive international acclaim using abstract expressionist style, will be on display, as will works by Donald Baechler, part of the East Village, New York 1980s art movement. A 54-inch round acrylic work by Orit Fuchs was specifically created for the hotel and is a focal point of the lobby; while six prints by Yinka Shonibare, who will unveil a new public sculpture installation in West Palm Beach in 2021, will be found on the second-floor corridor. Doodle Boy, a 10-year-old British artist, was also commissioned to create 30 exclusive pieces for the powder rooms. Using clean black lines hand drawn with a thick marker, he incorporated a hidden signature elephant in each of his drawings.

Guestrooms and suites range from 510- to 3,000-square feet featuring custom-designed furniture. King-size beds will be outfitted with Pratesi  linens with  upholstered  backboards accented in a colorful palm and flower print. The same fabric will be found on the back of the desk chairs and on the throw pillow piping. Other noteworthy pieces include console tables  by  Selamat Designs in collaboration with the heritage brand, Morris & Co, which are wrapped inside and out with authentic William Morris “Strawberry Thief” covering. The pattern was originally created in 1883.  Each of the suites will be furnished with plush grey and cream armchairs and couches. The custom-designed wooden arches that frame the entrance to some of the rooms are a defining architectural element of the hotel. 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. The bathrooms feature marble tiles, double sinks crafted from stone, a dry vanity and glass-enclosed walk in showers with L’Occitane bath amenities.

The two penthouse suites are ideal for those who want to entertain, with large living rooms, fully equipped kitchens, and terraces ranging between  800- to 1,200-square-feet. With views of Bradley Park, the Park Suite is a three-bedroom that can be expanded into four, and the ocean-facing Palm Suite is a two-bedroom that can be expanded into three.

Among  other  amenities, guests will have complimentary use of BMW courtesy vehicles, Priority Bicycles and Radio Flyer Wagons as well as exclusive access to Barton & Gray yachts for excursions. A shuttle will be offered to transport guests between the beach and property, and complimentary sweet treats from the White Elephant ice cream cart will be available poolside daily.

“Our main mission is to combine our vision of hospitality with the ethos and style of casually elegant Palm Beach,” comments Douglass Karp, President of New England Development. He notes, “We are pleased to combine our promise of service excellence with the exciting tradition of hospitality in this legendary resort destination. We feel right at home in Palm Beach.”

Reservations are being taken now; rates start at $650 for a guest room and $995 for a suite.

Address: 280 Sunset Avenue, Palm Beach, FL

AMPR Villas & Buyouts

April 1st, 2020

The theme of 2020: It’s all about personal space. People are eager to travel again. And when they do, private accommodations will be a popular option, as guests want assurance that they’ll be able to maintain personal safety and hygiene standards. Here’s a list of villa and property buyouts available both domestically and internationally:

U.S.

Can accommodate over 5 guests…

Bardessono Hotel & Spa, Napa Valley

# of bedrooms: 1 to 3

# of guests: 1 to 6

Price: TBC

The three new Maple Grove Villas at Bardessono Hotel & Spa are available to book individually or as one three-bedroom retreat for a total of 3,705 square-feet of space. Guests that book all three accommodations have exclusive access to the property’s hybrid Lexus during the stay. The villas have stocked wine fridges, fireplaces and outdoor “cocktail pools” with lounge seating. The villas are serviced by Bardessono docents, who can arrange activities like private yoga and meditation sessions, art tours or museum visits. Bardessono Hotel & Spa is one of only three Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum-certified hotels in the county. Located in Yountville, cuisine reigns king here, with more Michelin stars per capita than any other place in America.

White Elephant Loft at 32 Main Street, Nantucket

# of bedrooms: 3

# of guests: 6

Price: Starts at $1,595/night

The historic, three-bedroom White Elephant Loft at 32 Main Street in Nantucket is the only bookable accommodation on Nantucket’s Main Street and walking distance to nearby beaches and Brant Point Lighthouse. This 2,500 square-foot pied-à-terre-style, free-standing loft is located on the 2nd floor of a 19th century brick building, featuring a gourmet kitchen. Guests who book the unit receive the keys to a BMW for the duration of their stay and access to Priority Bicycles for exploring the 30 miles of bike trails.

Anchorage House, Nantucket

# of bedrooms: 3

# of guests: 7

Price: Starts at $1,200/night

Situated on the northeast end of Nantucket, The Anchorage House by Serena & Lily is a three-bedroom cottage as part of The Wauwinet. Guests have access to all the amenities at The Wauwinet and exclusive access to 2020 BMW SUV vehicle is included in the stay.

The Setting Inn, Napa Valley

# of bedrooms: 4 rooms in 3 cottages

# of guests: 8

Starting price: TBC

This historic landmark farmhouse built in 1901 has been renovated and reborn as The Setting Inn and re-opened in Summer 2019. The transformation, which includes fresh interiors, has taken place under new ownership with The Setting Wines, which famously sold one of its bottles for $350,000 at a 2017 charity auction. (Complimentary tastings of these vintages are now offered to all guests.) Each of the oversized rooms is named after a wine growing region and features a soaking tub, fireplace and balcony or porch. Surrounded by vineyards, the property offers views of the Mayacamas Mountains, and lawn games like Connect Four and Ladder Ball. The centerpiece of the quiet courtyard is the red barn, which acts as the property’s living room. Tucked away in quiet Oak Knoll District, the property sits conveniently between downtown Napa and Yountville, which are easily accessible via one of the inn’s complimentary electric cruisers.

 

Can accommodate 10 guests…

The Francis House, Napa Valley

# of bedrooms: 5

# of guests: 10

Starting price: TBC

The Francis House in Calistoga opened in September 2018 in a landmark building steeped in history and prestige. Built in 1886, The Francis House was initially a family home for prominent local merchant, James H. Francis. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has being carefully restored, rehabilitated and redesigned as an exclusive five-room luxury inn. In addition to a private pool, guests have access to an infrared sauna and salt room. Located a couple blocks off Lincoln Avenue, Calistoga’s Main Street, the town’s walkable downtown area is home to tasting rooms and boutiques.

 

Can accommodate over 20 guests…

Shou Sugi Ban House, The Hamptons

# of bedrooms: 13

# of guests: 26

Price: TBC

This wellness retreat and destination spa opened in Water Mill in May 2019. Located adjacent to the Parrish Art Museum off Montauk Highway, the property’s three acres are contained behind a private gate with round-the-clock security. The 13 guest studios are all accessible via private entrances to the outside. Each studio has its own locally-made, kobe-style bed, fireplace and bathtub – half of which are Hinoki ofuro (Japanese soaking tubs). Keeping busy won’t be a problem with the following on-site: open-air movement pavilion with TRX suspension trainers, ballet bar, free weights, kettle bells and other functional props; multiple pools; thermal suite with infrared sauna, dry sauna and steam room; and a tennis court. Travelers looking to stretch their legs can head to nearby Southampton beaches or Montauk’s Shadmoor Cliffs. Resident practitioners can coordinate healing arts treatments, such as sound baths and tea ceremonies, and the culinary team led by consulting chef Mads Refslund is on standby to create a menu for whomever rents out the property.

 

Can accommodate over 60 guests…

The Wauwinet, Nantucket

# of bedrooms: 32

# of guests: 64

Price: TBC

Situated on the northeast end of Nantucket, bordering the peaceful Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge, the 32-room Wauwinet offers the feel of a private home. Built in 1875, the Inn is situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Nantucket Bay. It’s the only property on Nantucket with access to two private beaches. During the fall, lobstering, surfcasting, cooking classes and scenic drives to neighboring ‘Sconset in the property’s 1948 Woody are included in the stay. The on-property restaurant, TOPPER’S is recognized for its 1,400-bottle wine list – the largest on island – and fresh oysters, plucked from the Bay 300 yards from the property.

 

INTERNATIONAL

 

Can accommodate over 5 guests…

Grand Riad at Royal Mansour, Marrakech

# of bedrooms: 4

# of guests: 8 people

Price: Starts at 400,000 MAD/night

Each of Royal Mansour’s 53 accommodations is an individual, three-story riad. The four-bedroom Grand Riad is the undisputed crown jewel. Referred to as the “hotel within the hotel,” the 19,375 square-foot residence features a private library, two swimming pools, a cinema, hammam, gym, multiple dining and living rooms, and a glass-enclosed split-level terrace with a retractable roof.  Guests of the Grand Riad also enjoy the services of a dedicated staff that includes a chef, watchman, housekeepers, and butlers.

Four-Bedroom Villa at The Christopher, St. Barth

# of bedrooms: 4

# of guests: 8

Price: Starts at 3,900 Euro/night

The brand-new four-bedroom villas at The Christopher, St. Barth, designed by Olivia Putman (daughter of Andrée Putman) blur the boundaries between inside and out and use a mix of natural materials including bamboo, sandstone and volcanic stone, accented with pops of the hotel’s signature orange. With large decks and private pools, they meld the privacy of a villa rental with the comforts of a hotel.

 

Can accommodate 10 or more guests…

Fleming Villa at GoldenEye, Jamaica

# of bedrooms: 5

#of guests: 10

Price: Starts at $6,365/night

Channel Ian Fleming in the aptly named, five-bedroom  Fleming Villa at GoldenEye in Jamaica (where he wrote all 14 James Bond novels). The grounds are home to a private beach, pool, and movie screening room (Fleming’s former garage). The Sunken Garden – where Fleming used to entertain the likes of Kathryn Hepburn and Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden – is the ideal location for a private dinner party.

For larger groups, guests can rent out the 23 Beach Huts at GoldenEye. The layout for the huts was conceived to blend the indoors and out; the sounds of the tropics with the feel of a hut on the beach. Separated from main property, those book the one and two-bedroom Huts have exclusive access to Snorkeler’s Cove, teeming with colorful coral and tropical fish, as well as Button Beach for sunning, swimming, paddleboarding and kayaking. The starting nightly rate for the Beach Huts buyout is $12,730/night.

The Beaumont, London

# of bedrooms: 5

# of guests: 10

Price: Starts at 7,380 GBP /night

The Beaumont’s fifth floor presidential suite, The Roosevelt, can be adjoined with neighboring suites and rooms to create a private floor. The Roosevelt Suite has a spacious sitting room featuring a working fireplace and a library stocked with books from neighborhood bookstore Haywood Hill; a separate dining room seating eight; a pantry kitchen that is stocked to guests’ wishes; and a large terrace for outdoor dining. The fifth floor also comes with its own private elevator bank.

Belmond Afloat in France

# of bedrooms: Total of 7 river barges ranging from 2 to 6 bedrooms

# of guests: 4-12 guests

Price: Rates for the two newest barges, Lilas and Pivoine start at 50,920 Euro for a six-night itinerary, fully inclusive

Collectively known as Belmond Afloat in France, Belmond’s fleet of seven luxury barges are available for private charters with a nearly 1:1 crew to guest ratio. Accommodating anywhere from four to 12 passengers, guests can also book two or more barges to float in tandem for larger parties. More akin to floating villas, the barges feature a dining room, lounge, and sundeck as well as private floating pools. The week-long itineraries are all-inclusive and completely customizable to meet the individual desire of each guest. Families can take part in ATV rides and ziplining led by the onboard guide, while culinary buffs can enjoy book Belmond Napoleon for the newest six-night itinerary featuring a different Michelin-starred restaurant every day.

Private Pool Villa at Belmond Cap Juluca, Anguilla

# of bedrooms: 5

# of guests: 12

Price: Starts at $5,225/night

Belmond Cap Juluca in Anguilla reopened following a complete renovation in December 2018 with the addition of three new, private pool villas. The five-bedroom Beachfront Pool Villa offers an escape for large groups and families – fully-equipped with a private swimming pool just steps away from the white sands of Maundays Bay, known to be one of the best beaches in the Caribbean. A dedicated beach butler is on hand to make sure guests’ private slice of beach is always prepared to their liking.

 

Can accommodate over 15 guests…

La Chartreuse de Cos d’Estournel, Bordeaux, France

# of bedrooms: 8

# of guests: 16

Price: Starts at $20,000/night

Located in the heart of a 200-acre vineyard in Bordeaux, La Chartreuse is the private residence of Michel Reybier, the owner of La Réserve hotels in Paris, Ramatuelle, Geneva and Zurich. The Jacques Garcia-designed house is decorated in a mix of European antiques and Asian tapestries has six bedrooms and two suites; a library; dining room; hammam; indoor and outdoor swimming pools; and a wine cellar, of course. Staying at La Chartreuse means an exclusive opportunity to experience life on the Cos d’Estournel estate from the inside. The vineyard is one of just 14 Chateaux ranked as Second Growth in 1855.

 

Can accommodate over 20 guests…

Ithaafushi Private Island at Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi, Malé

# of bedrooms: 3-bedroom beach villa + 2-bedroom overwater villa + 4-bedroom residence

# of guests: 25

Price: Starts at $65,000/night (TBC)

When the doors opened on July 1, 2019, Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi became the first luxury resort debut near the capital city of Malé in the last decade. Location is a unique selling point because Waldorf Astoria guests do not need to rely on a seaplane transfer from the international airport to their accommodations, which is not permitted after 6 p.m. due to daylight restrictions. Instead of a nonoptional overnight in Malé, a private fleet of seven yachts is available 24/7 for a 40-minute trip with drinks, snacks and onboard amenities provided by a ‘Yacht Concierge.’ In addition to this indulgent option, privacy-seeking guests can also opt for a standalone Stella Maris villa (2), one-bedroom duplex unit that is accessible by a traditional dhoni boat.

 

Can accommodate over 30 guests…

La Reserve Paris Apartments

# of bedrooms: total of 10 apartments ranging from 1 to 4 bedrooms

# of guests: 1 to 40

Price: Starts at 1,700 Euro/night for the one-bedroom apartment; starts at 25,000 Euros/night for full buyout

Overlooking the Trocadero in the capital’s 16th arrondissement (meaning unbeatable views of the Eiffel Tower) are the 10 La Réserve Paris Apartments. There are 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-bedroom flats, ranging from 1,500 to 3,000+ square-feet. The La Reserve Paris Apartment building has its own private street entrance and spans just four floors, accessible via a large staircase. The ground-floor units have expansive garden terraces while the higher units have large balconies with outdoor dining tables. Guests can feel like they have their own pied-a-terre by renting out one apartment or buy out all 10 apartments, accommodating up to 40 family and friends. Each unit has a large kitchen and the pantry and wine cellar come fully stocked. Furniture can even be rearranged to guests’ liking. For long-term stays, the apartment can be decorated with original works of art selected by guests and a home gym and cinema can be set up.

Belmond Royal Scotsman, Scotland

# of cabins: 22

# of guests: 40

Price: TBC

Departing from Edinburgh’s Waverley Station, Belmond Royal Scotsman travels on circular routes through the heart of the Highlands and is Scotland’s only luxury sleeper train. With only 40 passengers on board, the train replicates a ‘Country House on Wheels’ and has two, three- or four-night itineraries. Guests can also tailor itineraries with bespoke excursions depending on each traveler’s preferences, including stargazing in the Cairngorms, which boasts some of the darkest skies in Europe; hiking the gorges of Aviemore; canoeing on Loch Ness; clay pigeon shooting at Rothiemurchus Estate; or teeing off for golf at some of the country’s most famous links courses.

 

Can accommodate over 150 guests…

Dromoland Castle, County Clare, Ireland

# of bedrooms: 97

# of guests: 190

Price: Starts at $33,000/night

Set on 450 acres with gardens based on the same designs as the Gardens at Versailles, Dromoland Castle can trace its heritage back to the 16th century when it was home of the O’Brien family. The lineage dates back 1,000 years to Brian Boru, one of the last High Kings of Ireland. Converted to a hotel in the 1960s and fresh off a $20 million renovation and restoration, Dromoland Castle exhibits the best of its regal Irish heritage. The property offers amenities and country home activities, including an 18-hole, par 72 parkland golf course that weaves around the grounds. Multigenerational families have the perfect venue at Dromoland, with tailored activities like tennis lessons, bespoke golf clinics, horse and buggy rides, archery, garden tours, falconry, bubble baths on demand, and even a genealogy expert to help trace Irish familial roots.

 

Sustainability Initiatives Around the World

March 1st, 2020

KEEP IT LOCAL: Opened May 2019, Shou Sugi Ban House, the destination spa and wellness retreat located in the pastoral hamlet of Water Mill in the Hamptons, features a culinary philosophy that focuses on sustainable foods, with an on-site garden and a hyper-seasonal, plant-based kitchen. The food program is headed by Noma co-founder Chef Mads Refslund, who has tapped several methods of gardening rooted in Austrian scholar Rudolf Steiner’s biodynamic philosophy. His method has been described as a ‘spiritual-ethical-ecological’ approach to agriculture. Gardener Albert Zielinski of Alley Crops is a Southampton native who has worked closely with an agricultural master to learn about biodynamic farming, as well as natural and spiritual sciences. This hands-on knowledge and training gave him a radical new perspective on life and food, and he has since dedicated himself to repairing damaged ecosystems in order to prevent further food insecurity and health crises.

WHATA RE-REEF! The Christopher St. Barth has partnered with Artireef to help rebuild the reef of Pointe Milou, the peninsula on which the hotel sits, by creating marine cement that is three times denser than concrete. The growth rate of coral there is three- to five-times that of natural coral. In addition to creating a barrier to the shore, the reef will be more resistant to high water temperatures and pollution.

PLASTICS, BEGONEThe Beaumont in London has eliminated its use of single-use plastic bottles, taking the 32,000 plastic bottles used per year out of the equation. In collaboration with D. R. Harris, London’s oldest pharmacy, and La Bottega, The Beaumont introduced an innovative collection of toiletries comprising a solid shampoo bar and a solid body wash bar, as well as a body cream and a hair conditioner in fully recycled and recyclable aluminium tubes. All products are air-travel friendly, last longer, reduce water waste and eliminate plastic packaging. Any left-over toiletries, plus all the packaging will be repurposed and recycled.

RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL: In Chihuahua, Mexico, the CREST – Center for Responsible Travel – team has been working with two indigenous communities near Copper Canyon to create authentic, indigenous tourism experiences that have a direct economic benefit on the local community. Designed to help the communities benefit economically from tourism while preserving their land and culture, this project offers tourists the opportunity to participate in women-run cooking and handicraft demonstrations and take a variety of hiking and storytelling tours in the Canyon led by licensed guides.

A FAMOUS FOREST: Plant a tree next to Jay Z to benefit the Oracabessa Foundation in Jamaica. Founded in 1997 by Chris Blackwell, owner of Island Outpost, the organization has a strong commitment to improving the lives of the local community. The Foundation accomplishes this through a variety of initiatives, specifically in the areas of health, environment, education, sports and entrepreneurship. Guests of GoldenEye, which is part of Island Outpost, are able to get involved by planting a tree on the property (as celebrities like Johnny Depp, Kate Moss, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Jay Z and Beyonce, Jude Law, Richard Branson and River Phoenix have done) with a donation to the Oracabessa Foundation. The Foundation’s initiative to restore the local coral reef has proven so successful, it’s a template being replicated in other fish sanctuaries across Jamaica.

IT’S ELECTRICPONANT will launch its new Le Commandant Charcot ship in May 2021, making it the first luxury electric hybrid ship to reach the North Pole. Operating off a mix of battery (no emissions) and Liquified Natural Gas (the cleanest fuel on the market), the vessel will travel to some places in Antarctica where fewer people have been than the moon. Every part of the design was taken into account when building the ship. For example, even the paint used on the hull has been specifically designed to reduce friction and thus use less energy for propulsion. A team of 16 specialists are aboard each expedition will help guests participate in  environmental research and experiments during sailings.

GETTING SCRAPPYBelmond Mount Nelson’s Chef Rudi Liebenberg has introduced a new rotating five-course Wasted! menu featuring reimagined scraps and byproducts of fruits, vegetables, and meats. Hosted at Chef’s Table, guests to the South African hotel will be able to watch as ginger trimmings and buchu become cordials while trout trimmings are transformed into tartare and tempura.

THE NEED FOR LEEDBardessono Hotel and Spa in Yountville, California, is one of only three Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum-certified hotels in the county. (LEED is the highest and most rigorous form of green developments accreditation in the U.S.) The resort, which was built in 2009, was designed to be as environmentally friendly as possible and features onsite waste management; low water use; and a solar system discreetly mounted and concealed on the hotel’s flat-topped roofs.

ONLY SOLAR: andBeyond’s long term goal is to ensure that each of its lodges run on solar power. The newly opened andBeyond Sossusveli Desert Lodge in Namibia draws 65% of its power from renewable resources, with each of its 10 suites completely self-sustaining, acting as their own solar power plant. andBeyond Ngala Treehouse opened on the border of South Africa’s Kruger National Park in February 2020; the new standalone treehouse is three miles away from the nearest lodge and also fully solar-powered – offering a completely private yet sustainable experience in the bush.

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