Paradero  Todos Santos in Baja Debuts Exclusive  Taco  Series  in Partnership with  Top Chefs from Across Mexico 

September 27th, 2021

Paradero  Todos Santos will kick off its inaugural  Taco  Series  on September 17,  2021  with esteemed chef Dani González of Culiacan’s Casa Bon. The  Paradero  restaurant is helmed by Chef Eduardo Rios. He was previously with Pujol, ranked one of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2020 and is widely considered to be among the best in Mexico. At  Paradero, Chef Rios creates simple, elevated dishes that are made up of a maximum of five ingredients, all grown in-house or sourced from family farms and other local purveyors in Todos Santos and Baja California.

The  Taco  Series  events is a collaboration between Chef Eduardo Rios and four visiting chefs from acclaimed restaurants in Mexico City, Tulum, Veracruz, and Culiacan. The chefs will draw on their own culinary backgrounds to create tacos that reflect the authentic flavors of Todos Santos. The charming Pacific Coast town is home to a booming culinary scene, thanks to its Mediterranean climate, farm-to-table ethos, and vibrant community of ranchers and farmers. In addition to the restaurant at  Paradero, other standouts include Tijuana born Javier Plascencia’s Jazamango, Barracuda Cantina, a beachside spot that featured in Netflix’s  Taco  Chronicles, Tres Galline a  northern Italian restaurant producing fresh pastas, Noah Sushi, a fresh seafood Baja style sushi restaurant and  Hierbabauena, a plant-based eatery helmed by celebrity chef Javier Plascencia.

The  Taco  Series  dinner—the anchoring event of a multi-day weekend program—will be bookended by a Cooking Master Class the following day, as well as a Tasting Menu dinner that night. Space for each event is limited and priority will be given to hotel guests.

During the  Taco  Series, a total of six inventive tacos will be served, half of which will be the creation of the visiting chef.  Paradero’s  Chef Rios will create the remaining three  tacos, plus dessert. The visiting chefs will put their own distinctive spin on the  tacos using fresh, seasonal produce from  Paradero’s  working organic garden. As Todos Santos is renowned for its seafood, guests can expect creative takes on classic Baja fish tacos, ceviche tostadas, and other regional specialties.  Tacos are made from scratch and cooked in a traditional Oaxacan clay oven, while meat and fish are sizzled in a wood fired  Josper  oven and in a hibachi grill over binchotan  charcoal. From $85 USD++ per person excluding beverages; 35 seats, preference for hotel guests.

Visiting chefs to include Dani  Gonzàlez  of Culiacan’s Casa Bon, Ezequiel Hernandez of Campo Baja, Juan Cruz of Tulum’s Sushi Batta, and finally, Erik Guerrero of  Nemik in Veracruz.  Below are the 2021 dates:

  • September: 17-18 (Fri/Sat) Dani González
  • October: October 15-16 (Fri/Sat) Ezequiel Hernandez
  • November: 26-27 (Fri/Sat) Juan Cruz
  • December: 9-10 (Thu/Fri) Erik Guerrero

The Tasting Menu dinner (from $135 USD++ per person, excluding beverages) will be overseen by  Paradero’s  Chef Eduardo Rios. The dinner will feature 6-7 courses as well as wine and cocktail pairings. Guests who book the Tasting Menu can also sign up for a Cooking Master Class ($50 USD+ per person) earlier that day. During the hands-on session, guests will learn the art of nixtamalization, a traditional maize preparation process, and create heirloom corn tortillas to take home.

The  Taco  Series  is the latest event to cement  Paradero’s  reputation as one of Mexico’s top destination restaurants. Executive Chef Rios beat out at least 20 top chefs who interviewed for the job.  Other events this fall and winter 2021 include special themed dinners celebrating the  Dia  de la Independencia (September 15), Dia  de los Muertos (November 2), Thanksgiving (November 25), Christmas (December 24), and New Year’s Eve (December 31).

 

 

The Christopher in St. Barth Launches New Restaurant: RIVYERA

September 23rd, 2021

Inspired by the French Riviera

Though nestled firmly in the Caribbean, St. Barth evokes an indelible connection to France. Through its fantastic restaurants, relaxed European vibe, excellent French bakeries, and outposts French shops, it feels a bit like the Riviera.

Fittingly, The Christopher’s new restaurant which will open along with the hotel on October 15, with be French Riviera-inspired and will be called “RIVYERA.” Chef Arnaud Faye created the restaurant to transport diners to the South of France, seizing on the elements the two places share: the warmth of the sun on one’s skin, a salty breeze in the air, and the laidback rhythm of sun-drenched destinations. Faye, a two-Michelin-starred chef and a Meilleur Ouvrier de France, shares his passion for the Côte d’Azur through his Mediterranean menu and the overall feel of the new restaurant.

For lunch, one might order Pan Bagnat with seared tuna, a niçoise garnish, and risotto with red shrimp. The dinner menu was designed for sharing with traditional pissaladière tarts, little stuffed vegetables, roasted sea bass with fennel, and some naturally vegan items like tomato tart, ratatouille, and polenta with orange. Diners will also be tempted by a pastry cart with classics such as baba au limoncello, St. Tropez-style milles feuilles, and sweets made with orange blossoms. Breakfast will offer myriad options from fresh fruit and acai bowls to croissants, crepes, and eggs.

The bar will have a new signature cocktail menu to serve as the beginning of the journey to the French Riviera. The menu itself was hand-designed by Nice-based artist Haydée Otero and features ingredients like figs, lemon, rose, and Bergamot. The recipes were imagined by the innovative recipe-creator Victor Delpierre (who was also the world champion at the Coffee in Good Spirits Championship, a competition promoting innovative beverage recipes that showcase the mix of coffee and spirits).

As a Meilleur Ouvrier de France (the designation for France’s top craftsmen) and coming from his position as a 2 Michelin star Chef at the Chèvre d’Or on the Côte d’Azur (a member of the Grandes Tables du Monde), Chef Arnaud Faye brings with him some very impressive credentials. Faye is already quite familiar with St. Barth and the Christopher after the 2019 St. Barth Gourmet Festival where he was the guest chef at the hotel as well as the event’s patron chef.

Faye began his career at several three-Michelin-star restaurants, such as Arnsbourg in Baarenthal, Antoine Westermann’s Buerehiesel and Bernard Loiseau’s Relais. He went on to become head chef at L’Espadon at The Ritz Paris which earned its second Michelin star during his residency. He them went to the Mandarin Oriental followed by Auberge du Jeu de Paume before joining the Chèvre d’Or.

About The Christopher

Located above the rocky shoreline of the sought-after neighborhood of Pointe Milou (home to the raucous Le Ti Saint Barth and some of the poshest villas on the island), The Christopher has long been a refuge for those in-the-know on St. Barth for its understated elegance. Its sunset lounge provides a prime spot to watch the sun go down while drinking a traditional Planteur or Ti Punch, both island favorites. The 42 accommodations comprise 23 rooms and 19 suites, and in 2019 three villas will be added to the inventory. The Sisley Spa has five treatment rooms open to the ocean below, as well as a dedicated Essie manicure and pedicure room.

 

New Taco Series: Paradero Todos Santos

September 13th, 2021

Paradero Todos Santos in Baja Debuts Exclusive Taco Series in Partnership with Top Chefs from Across Mexico

Paradero Todos Santos will kick off its inaugural Taco Series on September 17, 2021 with esteemed chef Dani González of Culiacan’s Casa Bon. The Paradero restaurant is helmed by Chef Eduardo Rios. He was previously with Pujol, ranked one of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2020 and is widely considered to be among the best in Mexico. At Paradero, Chef Rios creates simple, elevated dishes that are made up of a maximum of five ingredients, all grown in-house or sourced from family farms and other local purveyors in Todos Santos and Baja California.

The Taco Series events is a collaboration between Chef Eduardo Rios and four visiting chefs from acclaimed restaurants in Mexico City, Tulum, Veracruz, and Culiacan. The chefs will draw on their own culinary backgrounds to create tacos that reflect the authentic flavors of Todos Santos. The charming Pacific Coast town is home to a booming culinary scene, thanks to its Mediterranean climate, farm-to-table ethos, and vibrant community of ranchers and farmers. In addition to the restaurant at Paradero, other standouts include Tijuana born Javier Plascencia’s Jazamango, Barracuda Cantina, a beachside spot that featured in Netflix’s Taco Chronicles, Tres Galline a northern Italian restaurant producing fresh pastas, Noah Sushi, a fresh seafood Baja style sushi restaurant and Hierbabauena, a plant-based eatery helmed by celebrity chef Javier Plascencia.

The Taco Series dinner—the anchoring event of a multi-day weekend program—will be bookended by a Cooking Master Class the following day, as well as a Tasting Menu dinner that night. Space for each event is limited and priority will be given to hotel guests.

During the Taco Series, a total of six inventive tacos will be served, half of which will be the creation of the visiting chef. Paradero’s Chef Rios will create the remaining three tacos, plus dessert. The visiting chefs will put their own distinctive spin on the tacos using fresh, seasonal produce from Paradero’s working organic garden. As Todos Santos is renowned for its seafood, guests can expect creative takes on classic Baja fish tacos, ceviche tostadas, and other regional specialties. Tacos are made from scratch and cooked in a traditional Oaxacan clay oven, while meat and fish are sizzled in a wood fired Josper oven and in a hibachi grill over binchotan charcoal. From $85 USD++ per person excluding beverages; 35 seats, preference for hotel guests.

Visiting chefs to include Dani Gonzàlez of Culiacan’s Casa Bon, Ezequiel Hernandez of Campo Baja, Juan Cruz of Tulum’s Sushi Batta, and finally, Erik Guerrero of Nemik in Veracruz. Below are the 2021 dates:

  • September: 17-18 (Fri/Sat) Dani González
  • October: October 15-16 (Fri/Sat) Ezequiel Hernandez
  • November: 26-27 (Fri/Sat) Juan Cruz
  • December: 9-10 (Thu/Fri) Erik Guerrero

The Tasting Menu dinner (from $135 USD++ per person, excluding beverages) will be overseen by Paradero’s Chef Eduardo Rios. The dinner will feature 6-7 courses as well as wine and cocktail pairings. Guests who book the Tasting Menu can also sign up for a Cooking Master Class ($50 USD+ per person) earlier that day. During the hands-on session, guests will learn the art of nixtamalization, a traditional maize preparation process, and create heirloom corn tortillas to take home.

The Taco Series is the latest event to cement Paradero’s reputation as one of Mexico’s top destination restaurants. Executive Chef Rios beat out at least 20 top chefs who interviewed for the job. Other events this fall and winter 2021 include special themed dinners celebrating the Dia de la Independencia (September 15), Dia de los Muertos (November 2), Thanksgiving (November 25), Christmas (December 24), and New Year’s Eve (December 31).

U.K. Reopened to Americans

August 10th, 2021

As of Monday, August 2, the U.K. began welcoming back U.S. tourists. The government announced that fully vaccinated Americans are able to travel to England without quarantine requirements. Travelers are required to show proof of vaccination against Covid-19. The rules technically apply to England, but there are currently no travel restrictions between England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, therefore the government is effectively opening up the whole country to visitors as long as they arrive via England. The news comes just in time for hotel reopenings in London, the English countryside and Scotland.

London

This August, The Beaumont in Mayfair will emerge from a renovation led by Thierry Despont (Claridge’s, Ritz Paris, The Chatwal New York). The architecturally protected, Grade II-listed property will retain its Art Deco aesthetic (for which Despont is also known) while incorporating influences from London, Paris and New York. The common spaces will have a fresh look, including the lobby, bar, restaurant and gym. New additions will include the Mayfair Suite and the terrace where guests can enjoy drinks and snacks from 8am until 8pm. Guests can expect lots of leather, velvet, bronze and mahogany and neutral cream tones mixed with chocolate, deep reds and golds.

The Cadogan, A Belmond Hotel, London reopened on May 17. The scene is set for a dramatic entrance through the grand doors off of Sloane Street, past the roaring fireplace, up the sweeping staircase, and through the bronze cast of 600 books to the accommodations. Many of the 54 rooms and suites offer views of the Cadogan Estate Gardens, one of the largest garden squares in Chelsea, to which hotel guests have private access. The property opened on February 28, 2019 as Belmond’s first London address following a four-year, $48-million restoration. While sustaining the original Queen-Anne-Revival style and historic elements such as the 130-year-old wooden paneling, the property was re-imagined as a grand townhouse with an overarching residential feel. New this year, the property has announced a partnership with Harley Street hypnotherapist and sleep expert Malminder Gill. The Sleep Concierge will be a new service exclusive to Belmond guests including a meditative recording by Malminder available via the Belmond app, a pillow menu offering the perfect fit for every type of sleeper, the option of a weighted blanket, a scented pillow mist and a new bedtime tea service. For a more personalized experience, guests can book a private one-on-one session with Malminder.

The Kensington, a collection of four adjoining Victorian townhouses in the heart of South Kensington, reopened on May 17 after a refurbishment including several brand new suites. After an increased interest in long-stay guests looking for a London home base, these suites were reconfigured to enhance the feeling of a luxurious and carefully curated home, using elements and original features of the townhouse to inform the redesign. Bernie Gallagher, Chairman of The Doyle Collection, worked with London design studio Timothy Matter on the new design featuring bold Thibaut wallpapers and curtains and pops of colors.

All aboard British Pullman, A Belmond Train for exclusive five-course dinner experiences hosted by Michelin-starred chefs this fall. On August 6, the day train will journey roundtrip from London Victoria Station through the English countryside while guests indulge in the seasonal five-course tasting menu by Simon Rogan, owner of the Michelin-starred UMBEL restaurant group. A pioneer of the farm-to-fork movement, Simon’s internationally renowned signature style incorporates influences from the natural world, most predominantly those rooted in his Lake District home. The dinner series will also welcome Michel Roux Jr., a two-Michelin star chef at the helm of Le Gavroche in London, in September; and Raymond Blanc, founder of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, A Belmond Hotel, Oxfordshire, in October.

How to get there: Most major U.S. cities have nonstop flights to London on British Airways, Delta, American and United. JetBlue will launch flights to London Heathrow from New York’s Kennedy Airport on August 11 and to London Gatwick on September 29.

Oxfordshire

Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, A Belmond Hotel, Oxfordshire reopened on May 17. Created by celebrated Michelin-star chef Raymond Blanc OBE, the property blends fine dining and an appreciation for seasonal, organic produce. The hotel’s namesake restaurant earned two Michelin stars during its first year and have held them ever since – the only hotel of its kind in England to hold this accolade for over 30 years. A champion of sustainable cooking and farming, Raymond Blanc cultivated a two-acre vegetable garden on property that produces over 90 types of vegetables, including a mushroom garden that sprouts over 20 edible species and an orchard of apple and pear trees. Head back to class with half- and full-day sessions at the gardening school – the first of its kind in the UK – or participate in the vegan masterclasses, a series created by Raymond that focuses on sustainability, zero-waste, and fresh, seasonal produce. Guests can also head over to the Raymond Blanc Cookery School to learn how to transform the seasonal finds into multi-course meals. For an intensive culinary retreat, Chef Raymond Blanc offers a five-night residential course for budding chefs. Presented with a new culinary challenge each day, students will work through subjects from soups and salads to fish and meats before concluding with desserts.

How to get there: Haddenham & Thame Parkway is the closest train station (a 10-minute drive away). Services run every 30-minutes from London Marylebone with a journey time of 45-minutes. Travelers can also catch the train from London Paddington to Oxford. Services run every half-hour, with an hour’s journey time. From there, it’s a 30-minute drive to the hotel.

Scotland

The Fife Arms, the 19th-century hunting lodge in Braemar, Scotland, also began welcoming back guests on May 17. The property, owned by art world power couple Iwan and Manuela Wirth, debuted in November 2018 to much fanfare (Prince Charles attended the opening). The Fife Arms just lifted the veil on a new bar, Bertie’s, inspired by Queen Victoria’s extravagant and hedonistic heir. The bar offers 365 whiskies from Scotland and around the world and will launch two of its own exclusive whiskies this summer. On-the-ground experiences include flights, tastings, and tours of local distilleries and there will also be virtual tastings for fans from far away. Those who aren’t traveling there immediately can still bring a piece of the destination home. Thanks to the Fife Arms’ online shop, guests and fans can find a custom tartan or tweed design gift box, afternoon tea set, and the Fife Arms coffee table book from Phaidon. The latest addition is perhaps the most exciting, though. The new collection for dogs includes a coat, bone, collar and leash, all made with the hotel’s house tweed. What better gift for dog lovers or man’s best friend?!

How to get there: There are direct flights to Edinburgh (2 hours from the hotel) from New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston and Washington, D.C., on United, Delta and American. Travelers stopping over in London can either fly to the nearest airports, which are Aberdeen (1 hour 15 minutes), Dundee (1 hour 25 minutes), and Inverness (1 hour 55 minutes); or take The Caledonian Sleeper, the overnight train service running between Scotland and London, departing from Euston and stopping in Aberdeen and Dundee.

Why Visit DC in the Fall

August 4th, 2021

Fall is the perfect time to visit DC. You don’t have the crowds of spring’s cherry blossom festival and the weather is lovely. It’s also a great domestic travel option for those who want to get away within the US. Here are a few reasons to visit DC this fall:

The newly reopened Dupont Circle Hotel’s Doyle bar terrace is the best spot to enjoy a cocktail and some light bites al fresco and people watch in Dupont Circle (not to mention all the rooms have just been refurbished). The Pembroke restaurant is a popular brunch spot and is reopening for dinner in September.

The Phillips Gallery is celebrating its 100th anniversary – it opened in 1921 as America’s first modern art museum.

A memorial dedicated to the 35th president, The Kennedy Center turns 50 in 2021 and this fall will launch its Archives which will come to life as part of the patron experience.  Designed as a living memorial, oral histories and rarely seen materials from the Center’s Archives will serve as the source and inspiration for a series of overlapping installations throughout the campus. These various installations will include archival artifacts in immersive, dynamic, and accessible ways, in person and online, throughout the season If it isn’t too soon,

The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History is hosting an exhibition, Outbreak, an examination of disease in the modern world prompted by the Ebola outbreak, heightened by the Zika epidemic and coinciding with the centennial of the Spanish influenza pandemic (now through May 1, 2022).

Amtrak, which was incorporated in DC, celebrates its 50thanniversary in 2021 and recently introduced its new Acela trains between Boston and Washington DC that reduce carbon consumption by almost half.

Vaccinated Americans can now go to Ireland!

July 22nd, 2021

As of this week (starting July 19), fully vaccinated U.S. travelers can travel to Ireland without quarantining for the first time in over 15 months. (Before this Americans could travel to Ireland but had to quarantine for 14 days.) Visitors will have to show proof of vaccination. If unvaccinated, tourists will need to show a negative Covid test and must self-quarantine before taking a second test. Unvaccinated children between 7 and 18 will have to show proof of a negative test before entering

Set on 450 acres, Dromoland Castle in County Clare is the most inviting spot to spend a summer or fall holiday. The Castle dates back to the 16th century and offers myriad activities for getting out into the Irish countryside. With the country reopening to Americans and Dromoland Castle offering its four-for-three stay offer, this is the best time to pop over to the Emerald Isle.

For the family:

What kids (of any age) wouldn’t want to explore a castle? Aside from the parapets and suits of armor and grand corridors, kids can go on pony and trap rides, race go karts, try archery and falconry, and play some tennis. Miniature robes and slippers, board games, and bubble bath supplies are perfect for the end of the day.

*Jumpstart the trip before going with a zoom call with resident genealogist Lorna Moloney where she shares her research into any Irish family histories.

For the history buff

Dating back to the 16th century, Dromoland Castle is rife with stories and historical intrigue. Castle historian Jane O’Brien draws on historical sources to reveal what life was like for those who once lived at the castle. She also shares interesting anecdotes, such as the Temple of Mercury on the castle grounds’ provenance (it is a shrine to a racehorse on which a previous owner of the Castle bet the entire castle – since the horse won and he got to keep his property, when the horse died, he built the extravagant shrine).

For the sportsman:

Activities abound on the grounds, enough to fill several days with all different pursuits, including…

  • Falconry – said to have been around for over 4,000 years, falconry remains an enduring popular activity at castles and country homes. Dromoland Castle’s falconry program takes guests out onto the beautiful castle grounds with falcons, hawks, and owls, giving them a chance to hold these birds of prey and experience their relationship with their falconers.
  • Golf – The castle is a great home base for getting out on the fairways at famous courses like Lahinch and Ballybunion, not to mention its own 18-hole parkland course. The driving range’s floodlights make it an excellent spot to fit in a little evening practice, ideally followed by a freshly poured Guinness at the golf club.
  • Fishing – the castle’s own lake is generously stocked with trout, perch, and other fish and guests can set off in a rowboat or cast from the shore. The kitchen is happy to cook up whatever is caught!
  • Clay shooting – this can be arranged for any skill level, from beginners to experts. Each session includes 30 clays and lasts between 40 minutes and an hour, depending on the size of the group.
  • Archery – channel the past practicing archery on the grounds of the castle. Expert guides instruct guests how to hit their target.
  • Cycling – complimentary bikes are available to explore the myriad paths that criss cross the 450-acre estate.

For the foodie:

In addition to sipping craft cocktails, touring the wine cellar, sampling the tasting menu at the Earl of Thomond fine dining restaurant, nibbling scones and clotted cream at afternoon tea, or trying local dishes at Shannigan’s gastropub, there’s a new truly local offering: foraging. While foraging seems a relatively new trend, it has long been part of the fall tradition in County Clare. Oonagh O’Dwyer, leader Dromoland Castle’s foraging program, brings guests to forage things like sloes (used to make sloe gin), crab apples for jams and chutneys, blackberries for pies, jam, and syrup, Alexander seeds (that taste of black pepper), nettle seeds (a super food), hazelnuts, Carrageen seaweed (an anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial – often used as chest medicine in the winter), dandelion roots for coffee, and pignuts (which taste like walnuts).

For the gardener

André le Nôtre, known for designing the gardens a Versailles, also designed the gardens at Dromoland Castle. Head Gardener Dorothea Madden leads garden tours of the castle, and upon request, private gardens nearby. Reminiscent of The Secret Garden, the walled garden was at one point infested with briars. Dorothea led the charge in hand digging every inch of it and restoring it to its former glory, including planting the Castle’s very Dromoland Rose. This summer, the property is offering dining in the garden.

How to get there

There are direct flights to Dublin from several US cities including New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Los Angeles. From Dublin, two-and-a-half-hour drive (or 50 minutes via a private helicopter transfer).

Current rules

Vaccinated visitors are allowed into the country without quarantining as of July 19. If visitors don’t have valid proof of vaccine, they will need to present evidence of a negative PCR test result within 72 hours prior to arrival into the country, self-quarantine until they get a negative post-arrival test – this will be provided through the HSE (Ireland’s Health Services). More information here.

Summer rates start at $717 per night.

 

About Dromoland Castle

Set on 450 acres of parkland with 97 rooms and suites, Dromoland Castle dates back to the 16th century when it was home of the O’Brien family, whose 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.

Destination Weddings from Nantucket to the Masai Mara

July 13th, 2021

Now that travel is gaining traction and so rescheduled weddings are popping on the calendar, we foresee a boom in destination nuptials. Here are our top picks from nearby (the Hamptons) to a bit of a hop (Ireland) to more exotic (the Masai Mara).

A Hop (close to home)

Shou Sugi Ban House, Hamptons, NY – for a Hamptons soirée

Shou Sugi Ban House, the wellness retreat and destination spa in the Hamptons hamlet of Water Mill can now accommodate a tent that can hold 120 seated or 150 standing guests. The Glass Pavilion, lined with sliding glass doors on either side, can fit 50 people seated or standing and offers seamless transition between interior and exterior. With its floor to ceiling windows, it is the perfect spot to take in the landscape architecture designed in collaboration with Studio Lily Kwong (The High Line). The cherry blossom trees are in full bloom come spring and the outdoor firepit offers a cozy ambiance during the winter months. The Hamptons vernacular-style Main Barn can accommodate 50 people standing and has an oversized projector for photo and video screening. The property is also available for buyouts and can now accommodate up to 52 guests. There is also an option to do a partial buyout of 13 guest studios accommodating up to 26 guests. The team works closely with groups to arrange experiences they are interested in, including wellness programming, spa treatments and meals designed by Chef Mads Refslund, co-founder of Noma in Copenhagen, who oversees the culinary program. The three house Teslas are even available for use. Onsite amenities include a private tennis court, a variety of pools, a thermal suite, a kitted-out fitness studio, and a rooftop deck. Shou Sugi Ban House is located next to the Herzog & de Meuron-designed Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill. For larger weddings taking place at the museum, it is a great option for bridal party and wedding guest accommodations.

Images courtesy of Fredrika Stjarne for Shou Sugi Ban House: https://we.tl/t-mbYluSq537

Super Special: Newlyweds looking for a deep connection can participate in the Couple’s Shamanic Healing. The onsite Shaman will clear energy, bring in light, and cut any energetic cords causing stagnation and concretion.

White Elephant, Nantucket, MA – for a picture-perfect New England fête

Located a few steps from town, the White Elephant has been a favorite Nantucket retreat since the 1920s; the height of preppy New England elegance with grey shingles and white trim. This is the place where families visit for generations and brides dream of being married. From the elegant Ballroom to intimate spaces overlooking the harbor, White Elephant can accommodate parties from two to 300 guests – or throw a grand celebration by reserving the entire property. Begin with a ceremony on the Harborview Lawn, then wine, dine and dance under the stars on the Harborview Terrace. The wedding party can indulge in renewing treatments at White Elephant Spa by Darya, relax in cushy wicker lounges overlooking the water, cruise the harbor in a Hinckley Picnic boat or top off the celebration with a lavish brunch. A stone’s throw from the center of town, the property has accommodations including suites on the harbor, garden cottages and two in-town Lofts, Easy Street and the Loft at 32 Main and multi-bedroom Residences with kitchenettes. The White Elephant’s Brant Point Grill is a staple restaurant on island and known for their famed Sunday Brunch and Lobster Bloody Mary. The hotel also has a partnership with BMW so wedding guests can sign out cars to explore the island on their own.

Images: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/fmo0kuw7ojgtl0j/AABL5ere88g0htlwicSr8M90a?dl=0

Super Special: White Elephant Resorts offers the Hy-Line Ferry Package to wedding couples to assist with roundtrip transportation for their guests to and from the island. The package can be added to a Harborside Terrace wedding or a full buyout wedding weekend.

The Wauwinet, Nantucket, MA – for an elegant, beach-side wedding

Situated on the northeast end of Nantucket located between two private beaches, the 32-room Wauwinet is an adults-only escape with the ambiance of storybook romance. Smaller, more intimate parties can take place in one of TOPPER’S private dining rooms. TOPPER’S, a don’t-miss dining spot on island, where the seasonally inspired menu shines with local produce and seafood. A highlight of the menu is the Retsyo Oysters – sourced 300 yards from property. For larger weddings, the inn has a special option of reserving the entire hotel for the weekend. It offers the feeling a private luxury home. The entire wedding party can enjoy a rehearsal clambake on the beach, followed by a tented wedding ceremony and reception on the lawn as well as a goodbye brunch on the following day. During the spring and fall months, The Wauwinet offers complimentary activities, including boating, lobstering, cooking classes, and scenic drives of neighboring ‘Sconset in the hotel’s 1948 Woody. Guests also receive have access to a BMW SUV for use throughout the stay, available on a complimentary, first-come first-served basis. Buyouts start at $13,500 per night.

Images: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/fgcmt8wv7klybxk/AAAv92HVtDKggbM5UjaJ_3qoa?dl=0

Super Special: For larger weddings, the inn has a special option of reserving the entire hotel for the weekend, welcoming up to 64 guests – offering the feeling a private beach home on island.

Dupont Circle Hotel, Washington, DC – for a city elopement

Right on Dupont Circle, the hotel is the perfect spot for an elopement. Its signature Terrace Suites give couples the chance for an al fresco ceremony looking over the rooftops of DC. Seeing an uptick in interest in intimate weddings, the property – which recently reopened after a top-to-bottom renovation with designs from Martin Brudnizki and Clodagh – launched a new elopement package which includes a two-night stay in a Signature Terrace Suite, florals, assistance in sourcing a photographer at a preferred rate, a champagne toast, a justice of the piece, and parking. Rates start at $6,000.

Images Courtesy of The Doyle Collectionhttps://we.tl/t-Bw9n3lYy1Y

Super Special: For a bigger group, one can book the Penthouse Suite with its sweeping views from the large terrace – perfect for a cocktail reception or intimate dinner party.

A Skip (a bit further away)

Cap Juluca, A Belmond Hotel, Anguilla – for the picture-perfect Caribbean escape

Located in the British West Indies on the serene shores of Anguilla, Cap Juluca, A Belmond Hotel is a sanctuary for total escapism with 108 guest rooms and suites, all with large private verandas or balconies overlooking the pristine white sandy shores of Maundays Bay. The property features four dining destinations, a show-stopping infinity-edge pool, an authentic Arawak Spa and a 1,800 square foot events pavilion overlooking the bay. Every detail is taken into account for the couple’s preferences with options to recite vows beside the water, indulge in an Anguillan barbeque on the beach, or throw an intimate reception in one of the private pool villas. An island retreat for the entire party, the resort also offers a roster of daily programming, all available for private reservations, including wine classes, sunset sails, rum tastings, early-morning bird-watching, salt-scrub-making classes and more.

Images: https://wetransfer.com/downloads/683bb53ebf6f71880a4c0ee8d77c814320200116175817/cd333d

Super Special: Just a smooth 25-minute ride across the Caribbean Sea via a private boat transfer, newlyweds can continue the celebrations at sister property La Samanna on St. Martin. Travelers can seamlessly experience two Leeward Islands in one trip.

The Fife Arms, Scotland – for a dramatic, highland celebration

The Fife Arms is a former 19th century hunting lodge set within the striking Scottish Highlands. The property was purchased by the celebrated art world couple Iwan and Manuela Wirth (co-presidents of Hauser & Wirth) and opened in 2018. Interiors are a charming blend of old and new, deeply luxurious with surprising, eclectic touches and 16,000 works of art. Nearby castles and the Cairngorms National Park, the largest National Park in the UK, make it an especially enchanting setting for a wedding. The in-house team can create events that celebrate the best Scotland has to offer from whisky tastings, golf excursions and art tours to private chef lunches on a grouse moor, picnic teas in the forest and bespoke spa packages. They also work with local vendors including florists and photographers. The Fog House can seat up to 50 people. The room, with its large, wood-burning fireplace and impressive antler chandelier looks out onto the internal courtyard.

Images courtesy of The Fife Arms: https://we.tl/t-FRETvxsRPb

Super Special: With a collection of art done by the likes of Picasso, Man Ray and Queen Victoria, getting married here is like saying ‘I do’ in a world-class museum. Where else can you take your bridal portrait in front of a Gerhard Richter painting? Guests can even join a guided tour of the hotel’s collection.

Dromoland Castle, Ireland – for a fairytale wedding in a castle

Dating back to the 16th century, the grand Dromoland Castle sits on a 450-acre estate replete with an 18-hole golf course, spa, several restaurants, a walled garden designed by the same designer as the gardens at Versailles, and what castle would be complete without turrets and authentic suits of armor lining the expansive corridors? The castle can host anything from an elopement for two (with a ceremony on the Cliffs of Moher and an elaborate celebration dinner back at the castle) to a full buyout of its 97 rooms for up to 200 people. Ceremonies can take place in the walled garden or under a marquee tent with a castle backdrop or in any favorite spot on the grounds. From horse drawn carriage arrivals, champagne receptions on the lawn, dancing under the stars or in the Brian Boru Hall, night caps in the jewel box bar… the experts at Dromoland Castle will create the dreamiest castle celebration.

Images Courtesy of Dromoland Castlehttps://we.tl/t-Xemps8SP0a

Super Special: For a very authentic feel, Dromoland Castle can arrange traditional Irish dancers and musicians to add a fun and local feel to the celebration.

Nayara Tented Camp, Costa Rica – for a super-romantic, intimate I do

On a private deck surrounded by rainforest with the imposing Arenal Volcano in the background, couples can opt for an intimate wedding ceremony at their own luxury tent at Nayara Tented Camp. With a day leading up to the wedding of pampering in the spa, soaking in the hot springs under the rainforest canopy, private yoga and mediation sessions, and any wedding hairstyling, brides and grooms will begin their lives together in a complete state of zen. Celebrations post-ceremony can be a private dinner cantilevered over the canopy or a wine-paired feast taking over the balcony of Nostalgia Wine Bar. The honeymoon begins in the sprawling tent with its private plunge pool filled with naturally warm hot spring water, indoor and outdoor double showers, a complimentary mini bar, and beautiful four-poster king-sized bed. Couples can’t forget about the complimentary room service breakfast set up on the private deck.

Images Courtesy of Nayara Tented Camp: https://we.tl/t-xQeTIA6Bbo

Super Special: A sloth sanctuary envelopes the entire property, so there may be wedding photo opps with a sloth in the background.

Kalesma Mykonos – for the dreamiest, Grecian ceremony

Greece opened in May and has been welcoming tourists with open arms. Kalesma opened on May 20 and is the dreamiest spot for a destination wedding. Nuptials can take place outside of the on-site chapel – a classic Cycladic-style chapel with a domed roof. The celebration can continue around the aloni – an original threshing stone found on the property – and at restaurant Pere Ubu with sunset views over the water. With 25 suites and two villas (all with private full-size pools) it’s perfect for a buyout to host all the couples’ nearest and dearest. The concierge can arrange activities for the group such as beach picnics, sailboat cruises around the island, reservations at beach parties, and historical tours of nearby Delos island.

Images courtesy of Kalesma: https://we.tl/t-ZOeIR3sg61

Super Special: With both sunset and sunrise views, there wedding photos will be dramatic and beautiful with the sea, the sky, and the white villas dotting the hillside.

Splendido Mare, A Belmond Hotel, Portofino – for the chic sposa and sposo

Located down the hill from sister property Splendido, the 14-room Splendido Mare reopened on April 16, 2021 following a complete restoration led by Paris-based designers FESTEN Architecture. Inspired by its history in a fishing village – where there has not been a new house built since 1935 – Splendido Mare features antiques and locally sourced elements such as  terracotta tiles from Impruneta and marble from Carrara. For intimate celebrations, opt for the Ava Gardner spanning the top floor of the property, outfitted with subtle nods to the actress who stayed at the guest house while filming Barefoot Contessa. Make the 14-room retreat a private summer home with a full buyout, accommodating up to 32 guests. The 100-piece art collection sets the scene featuring specially commissioned items by Italian painter Gabriele Cappelli as well as cinematic photography and abstract pieces by local artists. The new restaurant, DaV Mare focuses on seasonal and locally sourced ingredients, and signatures dishes includes a humble tomato pasta (paccheri alla vittorio). For dessert, do not miss the little gelateria in the heart of piazzetta. Buyouts start at $29,000 per night with a minimum two-night stay.

Images: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/s5tk6alz4uk6afp/AADASC-dzVmRFldv39xttlXIa?dl=0

Super Special: For intimate celebrations, opt for the Ava Gardner Suite spanning the entire top floor of the property and outfitted with subtle nods to the actress who stayed at the guest house while filming Barefoot Contessa.

Royal Mansour Marrakech, Morocco

Owned by the King of Morocco and situated on nearly seven acres of gardens in the heart of Marrakech, couples will be hard-pressed to find a more majestic setting than Royal Mansour for their destination wedding. The property is composed of 53 three-story riads (private homes), lending itself nicely to either a full-property buyouts or an intimate elopement for two. Royal Mansour’s three-story, white latticework spa is a bridal dream come true, and available for hair/nail styling for the big day as well as pre-wedding treatments such as four-hand massage and traditional hammam. Centered around a hand-tiled fountain, the hotel’s open-air lobby is a favorite amongst couples as the location for their vows. Other options include The Grand Riad, a hotel-within-the-hotel with a glass-enclosed split-level terrace and private property entrance; or for a more intimate micro-wedding, the newly built The Nest, an open-air space elevated above the newly expanded gardens with views overlooking Marrakech, accommodates up to eight people.

Images: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/4cqwvkpnrn8mqsm/AAC1wfBuL3nQwmzMu5vpilOda?dl=0

Super Special: Book The Grand Riad for the ultimate private retreat. A veritable hotel-within-a-hotel, the 19,375-square-foot crown jewel of the property features a glass-enclosed split-level terrace, a hammam, cinema, two swimming pools and a private property entrance.

A Jump (a bit of a journey)

andBeyond Bateleur Camp, Kenya – for an unforgettable savannah ceremony

Wedding parties can take over one or both camps at Bateleur Camp on Kenya’s Masai Mara for a truly unforgettable safari wedding.  With twice-daily game drives, sundowners in a different picturesque spot each night, and culminating with a traditional Maasai ceremony, andBeyond can create the wedding of a lifetime.

Images Courtesy of andBeyond: https://we.tl/t-I9LUDEJeBP

Super Special: The on-property gin bar has a selection of 16 different types of craft gin for tasting flights or specialty cocktails infused with fresh botanicals grown in the lodge’s organic vegetable garden.

PONANT AND SMITHSONIAN JOURNEYS ANNOUNCE WINTER 2022 SMALL SHIP EXPEDITIONS

July 12th, 2021

New Itineraries to Antarctica, Costa Rica and Panama, the Caribbean, and Japan will Feature Smithsonian-crafted Cultural Experiences Onboard and on Land

PONANT, a leader in small ship expeditions, announces new winter 2022 itineraries in collaboration with Smithsonian Journeys, the travel program of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex. Drawing on Smithsonian’s resources dating back 175 years, the new sailings will feature notable experts and experiences that embrace local cultures and dive deeper into a destination’s history, cuisine, language, environment, and wildlife. PONANT and Smithsonian Journeys are rooted in common values – focusing on cultural immersion and discovery – with a goal of further inspiring guests to become global citizens through travel.

Departures exploring Antarctica, Costa Rica and Panama, the Caribbean, and Japan, will provide opportunities to engage with a variety of experts, ranging from geologists and scientists to astrophysicists and historians. The full list of sailings can be viewed here. Highlights include:

Antarctica: The White Continent, L’Austral

The 11-day itinerary will journey into the heart of the Antarctica peninsula. Travelers will begin by crossing the Drake Passage, considered a badge of honor during an Antarctic voyage, before disembarking on Zodiac outings to explore the icy continent. The journey will take guests up close to Gentoo and Adelie penguins and seals and will redirect or stop navigation in order to witness passing humpback whales. The cruise will be accompanied by PONANT’s team of naturalist guides and two Smithsonian Journeys Experts, astrophysicist Michelle Thaller, who serves as the assistant director for Science Communication at NASA’s Goddard Space Center, and geologist Wayne Ranney with over 40 years of experience leading trips to Earth’s most spectacular landscapes, who will join guests on excursions to research stations, volcanic beaches, and along icebergs and ice floe.

Departure on January 22, 2022 / 10 nights, 11 days

Starting from $9,830 per person

Panama and Costa Rica by Sea: The Natural Wonders of Central America, Le Champlain

Embark on an eight-day cruise from Colón, Panama to Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica passing through the Panama Canal. Ports of call include the UNESCO World Heritage site Darién National Park for treks through the wilderness; an exclusive hosted visit to the Punta Culebra Nature Center at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama City; and Carara National Park, home to over 10,000 species of plants, 300 species of birds and 200 species of butterflies.  Guests will join engaging discussions onboard with two Smithsonian Journeys Experts, Matthew Larsen, Director Emeritus of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, centered around the importance of ecosystems and Ralph Nurnberger, historian and expert in international relations.

Departure on January 24, 2022 / 7 nights, 8 days

Starting from $4,410 per person

Cruising the Caribbean’s Windward Islands, Le Dumont-d’Urville

Join Smithsonian Journeys Experts, Caribbean historian Franklin Knight and geophysicist Carola Stearns, with experience in climate geomorphology, while discovering the most enchanting islands of the Caribbean Sea. Departing from St. Lucia, home to The Pitons, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the ship will travel to ports larger vessels are unable reach: Portsmouth, Dominica; Les Saintes, Guadeloupe; and scattered islands and uninhabited cays in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Along the way, there will be opportunities to snorkel and scuba dive in the crystal-clear waters to observe turtles, barracudas and parrotfish; birdwatch along nature trails; and spend days exploring private beaches.

Departure on February 13, 2022 / 7 nights, 8 days

Starting from $3,900 per person

Treasures of Japan by Sea, Le Soléal

Sail from Kobe, one of the first Japanese ports to open to international trade in the 19th century, to Japan’s second-largest city of Osaka, where rich heritage blends with the country’s industrialization and modernization. The sailing will be accompanied by Smithsonian Journeys Experts, Jonathan Hall, Japanese film and literature expert with 20 years of experience as a Japanese-English translator, as well as Timon Screech, a specialist in the art and culture of early modern Japan. Highlights of the itinerary include an Udon-noodle master class at a Takamatsu cooking school; a visit to Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park; and a tour through Korakuen Garden, one of Japan’s Three Great Gardens in Okayama.

Departure on April 15, 2022 / 7 nights, 8 days

Starting from $6,500 per person

 

About PONANT

Created in 1988 by officers of the French Merchant Navy, PONANT has created a new style of cruising, under the French flag, through a unique conception of sea travel and a commitment to promoting sustainable and responsible tourism. Accessing exceptional territories aboard yachts featuring refined design, on which the art of living and excellent cuisine takes pride of place: such is the promise of a unique and authentic PONANT voyage.

For more information on PONANT’s worldwide itineraries to the Arctic and Antarctica, as well as in the Atlantic and North Europe, Asia, Mediterranean, Indian Ocean, Eastern Asia, Oceania, and Central and South America, visit https://us.ponant.com, call 1-844-747-2873, or contact your travel advisor.

About the Smithsonian

Since its founding in 1846, the Smithsonian Institution has been committed to inspiring generations through knowledge and discovery. It is the world’s largest museum, education and research complex, consisting of 19 museums, the National Zoological Park and nine research facilities.  There were nearly 22 million visits to the Smithsonian in 2019. The total number of objects, works of art and specimens at the Smithsonian is estimated at nearly 155 million, of which nearly 146 million are scientific specimens at the National Museum of Natural History. www.smithsonian.org

About Smithsonian Journeys

Smithsonian Journeys is part of Smithsonian Enterprises, a division of the Smithsonian which oversees the institution’s commercial activities, including the Smithsonian Channel, which is available in over 55 million households globally; the retail operation, which includes 35 museum and airport stores, food concessions; an E-commerce business, Smithsonianstore.com, Smithsonian and Air & Space magazines, which reach more than 8 million monthly readers, consumer and education licensing, and books. Smithsonian Journeys is a global leader in cultural travel for diverse audiences, offering unique, expert-led trips on all seven continents. Smithsonian Journeys offers small-group land journeys, ocean cruises, river cruises, active journeys, cultural stays, private jet trips, tailor-made journeys for the independent traveler and student travel programs. For more information visit www.SmithsonianJourneys.org or call 1-855-330-1542.

###

Media Only:

Lauren Wintemberg, Alice Marshall Public Relations; 212-861-4031; lauren@alicemarshall.com

Angela Ferragamo, Smithsonian Journeys; 202-633-6028; ferragamoa@si.edu

AM/PM NEWS #4: Inspired by Travel News and Culture Trends

June 30th, 2021

Discovery Channel’s ‘Shark Week’ will turn 33 next month and if 45 hours of programming is sufficient to entice you for an enthralling trip, opt for Belmond’s brand-new offer in Cape Town with a shark scientist. As many Americans are dusting off their passports, we have compiled a list of summer destinations from the Caribbean and Mexico to Europe before work-from-hotel is no longer an option. And for when you are ready to travel with the extended family, we have the choice in Marrakech, ready to meet all expectations by all ages. More than ever, nostalgia is a significant element in entertainment (shout-out to fellow fans of Cobra Kai, The Mighty Ducks and Gilmore Girls) and there are some similarities in travel, especially on the heels of the past year. One of our beloved travel icons, Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, is back on track and with more itinerary options than before. Maybe it is this heatwave in New York City, but we are already thinking about ski trips and as Switzerland welcomes Americans, Zermatt stands out with its 300-day bluebird conditions. 

Marine biologist for the day:

Mount Nelson, a Belmond hotel in Cape Town, now offers an exclusive, private experience with shark scientist Justin Blake. Conservation-minded adults and kids as young as eight years old can partake in the ocean boating and snorkeling expedition to explore the Cape kelp forests, featured in Oscar-winner ‘My Octopus Teacher’ and recently named one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Lucky adventurers might spot an octopus and even hear a tagged shark. Maximum capacity is six guests at $265 per person; double-occupancy at $700 per person.

Last hurrah for remote work:

As offices are reopening, the next two months might just be the last chance for fully-remote office hours. Even though we have invested in our standing desks, striking plants and library-inspired bookshelves in our apartments/houses, it is hard to beat an ‘office’ inside a luxury hotel. Some of our favorite options include: Cap Juluca on the pristine Maundays Bay of Anguilla; Nayara Tented Camp in Costa Rica where hot spring-fed pools are dotted amidst the lush rainforest; La Reserve Paris overlooking the sparkling cityscape; Splendido Mare surrounded by the refreshing scents of Portofino’s orange blossoms; Dromoland Castle in Ireland with a walled garden by the very designer behind the gardens of Versailles; Paradero Todos Santos situated within the Le Mesa farming community; and Ian Fleming’s original five-bedroom home in JamaicaWe can share the latest and greatest on travel regulations to these destinations.

This three-story riad will not disappoint in-laws:

Thinking about an extended family holiday? Opt for the four-bedroom Grand Riad at Royal Mansour in Marrakech. The nearly 20,000-square-foot residence features a private library, two swimming pools with built-in water current, cinema, hammam, gym, multiple dining and living rooms, and a glass-enclosed split-level terrace with a retractable roof. With a private entrance, the Grand Riad feels more like a private home than a hotel. No detail is overlooked thanks to a dedicated staff, including a chef, watchman, housekeepers, and butlers.

Nostalgic about train travel?

Evoking the Golden Age of glamour, Venice Simplon-Orient-Express by Belmond expands its immersive, slow travel experiences across Europe with five new boarding points in Rome, Florence, Geneva, Brussels and Amsterdam. Aboard the train’s restored Art Deco carriages, guests will be whisked along one-night journeys from Florence and Rome, passing the Italian lakes and snowy Swiss mountains, before arriving in Paris. Wind through the Brenner Pass as the train crosses from Geneva to Venice or take off on a grand tour of three European Capital cities – Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam – during a Venice to Amsterdam itinerary.

Zermatt by the numbers for skiers:

Switzerland is the birthplace of ski tourism and home to Europe’s largest glaciers. Skiing is available 365 days a year in Zermatt and the destination has over 300 days of sunshine. There are more than 220 miles of ski runs for all levels and the area around the Matterhorn has pistes up to 12,700+ feet above sea level – the tallest in Europe. With 54 ski lifts, Zermatt will unveil a new one this year that will complete an ‘Alpine crossing’ by connecting the Klein Matterhorn to Testa Grigia in Italy’s Aosta Valley for the first time. Designed in an Alpine-chalet style, Schweizerhof is situated on the main thoroughfare of Bahnhofstrasse at the base of the Matterhorn. Oak walls and marble bathrooms create a cozy yet contemporary environment while fun touches like wooden hiking sticks, cow bells, and comforters emblazoned with the Matterhorn lend a sense of place. The Kid’s Club has everything a child could dream of: Arcade games? Check. Climbing wall? Check. Movie nights? Check. Sports gear is available to rent and an in-house ski expert can assist first-timers.

France Three Ways: Land, River and Sea

June 24th, 2021

As of June 18, France moved the United States to its “green list” of countries, which is open to unvaccinated travelers as long as they submit a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test that was taken within 72 prior to boarding. Previously, the U.S. was on France’s “orange list” of countries, and only vaccinated leisure travelers could enter from the U.S. carrying with them a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test. According to luxury travel agency network VirtuosoFrance is the #3 international destination being booked by Americans this summer. The border opening comes just in time for big news in the country.

BY LAND

As the saying goes, Paris is always a good idea, but the City of Light seems to be having an extra special moment right now. Recent openings include the iconic, LVMH-owned department store La Samaritaine which emerged from a 16-year closure this month and the highly anticipated Bourse de Commerce, the Tadao Ando-designed museum housing the Pinault collection. Dedicated to the history of Paris, Musée Carnavalet, the city’s oldest museum, reopened last month after being closed for four years. In other art news, the Musée Jacquemart-André will debut a Botticelli exhibition (September 10 –  January 24, 2022) – just off the heels of the record-setting auction at Sotheby’s. La Réserve Paris Hotel and Spa is a pick for those looking for discreet luxury. The 40-room property is located in a c. 1854 Haussmann-style mansion that was once owned by the Duc de Morny, step-brother of Emperor Napoleon III. Thanks to an exclusive new service, guests will receive the La Réserve treatment from the minute they step outside their doors. The service will include a private car transfer from their home to the airport and a VIP meet-and-greet and fast track to their plane.

A pick for groups and families, the La Réserve Paris Apartments overlook the Trocadero in the 16th arrondissement – meaning unbeatable views of the Eiffel Towel. The top floor apartments can be connected to create a nearly 4,000-square-foot pied-à-terre. The building has its own private street entrance and guests buying out the top floor would receive a key for private elevator access. The flats have a large kitchen and the pantry and wine cellar come fully stocked. Large balconies can accommodate intimate dinner parties prepared by a private chef. Furniture can be rearranged to guests’ liking and even a home gym and cinema can be set up.

Nestled within a Mediterranean jardin overlooking the Cote d’Azur is the cliffside retreat, La Réserve Ramatuelle. The Palace hotel reopened on May 12, 2021, lifting the veil on a refreshed lobby, two Michelin-starred restaurant, and terrace helmed by none other than Jacques Garcia. Garcia is no stranger to the brand having designed La Réserve Geneva, La Réserve Paris and La Chartreuse de Cos d’Estournel, the Bordeaux home of founder Michel Reybier. He took inspiration from the 1950s and 1960s when Cocteau, Picasso and Picault brought their creativity to the French Riviera. A special touch is the sculpted lights designed by Julien Capron, grandson of the famous Vallauris ceramic artist Roger Capron. Julien also designed the handmade jars and artwork in the library comprised of blue and green ceramic tiles.

Guests shouldn’t miss La Réserve à la Plage, the hotel’s beach club which opened in 2019 on the famous Pampelonne Beach. Designed by Philippe Starck, the open-air setting and wood and rattan décor create a bohemian atmosphere that perfectly fits the coastal Mediterranean locale. Guests of La Réserve Ramatuelle have the advantage of a complimentary shuttle from the resort to the beach (a less than 10-minute ride) and have priority when booking the restaurant and beach chairs.

Located in the heart of a 200-acre vineyard in Bordeaux, La Chartreuse de Cos d’Estournel is the private residence of hotelier Michel Reybier. The Cos d’Estournel vineyard is one of just 14 Chateaux ranked as Second Growth in 1855. Available exclusively for buyouts, 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.

The 14-room La Maison d’Estournel in the Médoc region has no shortage of outdoor activities; an ocean, rivers and vineyards can all be found nearby, after all. Experiences include fishing on the Gironde River, a private visit the oldest lighthouse in France still in operation, and biking along the Bay of Arachon followed by lunch in an oyster farmer’s hut. Adults can’t have all the fun and kids get in on the action too, with farming classes complete with friendly donkeys, sheep and chickens; street art workshops led by a local painter; and surfing lessons on the coast with a professional.

BY RIVER

Collectively known as Belmond Afloat in France, Belmond’s fleet of seven luxury barges are available for private charters accommodating anywhere from four to 12 passengers. More akin to floating villas, the barges feature a dining room, lounge and sundeck as well as private floating pools. Each barge also comes equipped with bicycles for rides into the local villages or to peddle alongside the barge as it floats down the canal. The week-long itineraries are all-inclusive and completely customizable to meet the individual needs of each guest. Belmond is launching two new itineraries this August including a vintage champagne tour with accommodations on Belmond Pivoine. Families and friends will enjoy the best of vintage champagnes with exclusive access to the region’s leading vineyards, Maisons Ruinart, Dom Pérignon, Veuve Clicquot, and Krug. For an in-depth look at the annual grape harvest, opt for the week-long journey on Belmond Amaryllis filled with Grand Cru wine tastings; a masterclass on the ancient art of cooperage, where the group will try their hand at creating a wooden barrel by hand; and participating in the time-honored pigéage, or grape-stomping, with Belmond-only access at Domaine Drouhin-Laroze.

BY SEA

Returning to its roots, PONANT, the leader in luxury expeditions, is offering 15 sailings along the French coastline this summer. Departing on July 2, Le Bellot – the fifth installment in the PONANT EXPLORER series featuring the world’s first underwater lounge, the Blue Eye – will sail roundtrip from Saint-Malo on eight-day itineraries exploring the Breton Coast. Highlights include the brand’s namesake islands, Ponant Islands, and a stop at the island of Houat, home to less than 200 inhabitants all year round. Other sailings include circumnavigating the island of Corsica with stops in the seaside resort of Saint-Laurent as well as Roccapina Beach with its granite lion, a rocky outcrop of pink granite naturally shaped by erosion into the form of a crouching lion.

Categories

Archives