With end-of-summer blues, the holiday season sits on the horizon like one last beaming ray of sunshine. As we look toward the festive holidays (and the start of a new year), we’ve rounded up our annual gift guide below – whether looking to wrap up a gift with a bow or extending the celebrations into 2021 with a booked trip.
For the beauty guru: Guinot’s Longue Vie Lèvres uses powerful ingredients including Vitamin C and Niacinamide for anti-aging and softness. Instead of just covering up fine lines and dryness, this lip treatment strengthens and protects the delicate skin on the lips, restoring volume and leaving a balmy and smooth result. Buy in Guinot spas and salons around the U.S. or on Dermstore for $37.
For the hostess with the most-ess: Shou Sugi Ban House, the Hamptons’ first wellness retreat and destination spa, recently launched an e-commerce site including a line of signature ceramics made exclusively for Shou Sugi Ban House by New York-based ceramicist Stephanie Charlene. The collection includes three sizes of bowls (small, medium, and salad); side and dinner plates; and tumblers, all made from a groggy white stoneware and finished with a sandy white glaze. Prices start at $30, and are available to purchase online at www.ssbhouse.myshopify.com or at their onsite shop in Water Mill, NY.
For the fashionista: Wilbert Das, the former creative director of Diesel and owner of UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa, designed limited-edition sunglasses with local Trancoso, Brazil craftsmen. They are handcrafted from three different varieties of reclaimed wood as well as sustainably-sourced buffalo bone with lenses by German supplier, Zeis. Each of the 150 pairs comes with an individually carved leather case by Artist in Casa Mark Inglis, an Irish designer who splits his time between Trancoso, Italy, Bali, and Tulum. Retail price is $360, and it is available via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, through www.uxuacasa.com or at Zerezes retail outlets in Rio de Janeiro.
For the next Bond, James Bond: Chris Blackwell – the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer and owner of Ian Fleming’s former residence, GoldenEye – is celebrating the release of the 25th Bond film, No Time To Die, with a special 007 Limited Edition release of his Blackwell Fine Jamaican Rum. A mainstay spirit at each Island Outpost resort, Blackwell Fine Jamaican Rum is inspired by Chris Blackwell’s time-honored recipe as his family has been involved in distilling Jamaican rum since the 17th century. Available starting in November, the 750 ml bottle will retail for $35 and can be purchased online at www.blackwellrum.com/shop.
For the coffee connoisseur: When Nayara Springs launched its espresso bar, Mi Cafecito, they wanted to showcase the best of Costa Rica. They worked with local coffee farmers to plant organic beans which they roast on property (wafting through the air as they roast and grind) to create super local and fresh coffee. Until the next trip is booked, the coffee is now available to purchase and have shipped home. A half-pound bag of coffee starts at $8.
For the ‘it’s five o’clock somewhere’ enthusiast: Napa Valley Distillery was the first distillery to open its doors in the city of Napa since Prohibition. Cocktail aficionados will love an old school gift set of spirits, bitters, syrups and shrubs – from a Bloody Mary kit to a box of Rum n’ Kola. Or for someone extra special, gift a yearlong membership to The Distinguished Bar Club and they will receive a quarterly box of goodies in the mail, including limited release whiskies, rums, and brandies. The full list can be found here.
THE GIFT OF GOING
A Journey to Trace Your Family History: Dromoland Castle, a 16th century castle-turned-hotel, is set in the countryside of County Clare, Ireland. Families looking to trace their Irish roots can start with Dromoland Castle’s new genealogy package.After filling out their family history, the in-house genealogist, Lorna Maloney, will host a private 45-minute Zoom call with the family to give a genealogy review. Lorna then prepares the full results along with next steps on familial connections or travel suggestions. This can take place over Zoom or, ideally, at the Castle over tea and scones. The genealogy package starts at £220 for the Zoom conference, and nightly rates at the hotel start at $367 per night, based on double occupancy.
A Workshop for the Culinary Buff: In April 2021, Shou Sugi Ban House, Long Island’s first wellness retreat and destination spa, will host a culinary retreat led by chef Mads Refslund. The retreats will incorporate cooking demonstrations, workshops and excursions, interspersed with Shou Sugi Ban House’s signature wellness programming, including morning yoga and beach walks. Refslund, a co-founder of Noma in Copenhagen, the four-time winner of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants and two-time Michelin star recipient, leads Shou Sugi Ban House’s innovative, plant-rich culinary program and designs their hyper-seasonal menus. The retreat starts at $2,260 for two people.
A Gift that Gives Back on St. Martin: On the French side of the island, Baie Longue beach is home to not only Belmond La Samanna, but also a community of sea turtles. The property partnered up with the nonprofit organization, Sea Shepherds, to protect the land and the turtles that reside. Beginning in April 2021, private groups will now have the chance to join a guide after nightfall to spot the turtles in their habitat – and just might witness the babies hatch and begin their journey out to sea. The experience is $125 per couple, including a donation to Sea Shephards. Nightly rates at Belmond La Samanna start at 676 per night, based on double occupancy.
A Private Island Retreat in the Maldives: Retreat to a private island in the Maldives with Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushifeaturing nine bedrooms, five pools, a private entertainment clubhouse, an overwater spa and a dedicated team of chefs. At more than 300,000 square feet, it’s approximately the size of five football fields. Upon arrival in Malé, travelers are immediately greeted by the property’s private fleet of seven yachts for a private transfer to the island. Additional activities include a private dinner at the wine cellar; a spa treatment on a secluded sandbar; a diving trip with the hotels’ resident marine biologist; and the chance to adopt a coral frame to help rehabilitate the Maldivian reefs. Nightly rates begin at $65,000 per night.
A Scents-ual Tour through Marrakech: When booking a stay at the palatial estate Royal Mansour, guests enjoy exclusiveaccess to the home and laboratory of master perfumer Serge Lutens, who has spent more than three decades developing fragrances from his meticulously designed home in Marrakech. Beginning with a ride through the Medina in a vintage motorcycle sidecar, travelers arrive to the estate for a private tour. Not open to the public and no photos are allowed inside making this a trip guests truly need to see to believe. Rates at Royal Mansour start at $1,200 per night. The cost of the Serge Lutens tour is $730 USD for two and $100 USD for each additional guest, which is paid as a donation directly to the Serge Lutens Foundation, dedicated to the preservation of the home and laboratory.
A Himalayan Journey to Meet a Snow Leopard: This vulnerable, next-to-extinction cat can leap farther than any other animal – seven times its own length and up to 50 feet. The species lives in the mountainous region of Ladakh, known as the ‘Roof of the World,’ a high-altitude cold desert environment on the northern border of India amongst the snow-capped Himalayas. Adventurers can join conservation-minded, experiential safari outfitter andBeyond to explore this wilderness with the region’s most experienced guides, offering the rare opportunity to meet a snow leopard. Guests will also visit the Snow Leopard Conservancy, the non-profit founded over 30 years ago by conservationist and biologist Dr. Rodney Jackson, and spend seven nights with a Ladakhi family in India’s most remote and least populated region. The 12-day Snow Leopard Expedition sets off in small group set-departures in 2021 on January 22 – February 2, February 23 – March 6 and April 10 – 21. Rates start from $6,911 per person, including a $200 donation to the Snow Leopard Conservancy.
An Expedition to Unexplored Regions of the White Continent: Just 200 years after the first man set foot on Antarctica,PONANT, the leader in luxury expedition cruising, will launch Le Commandant Charcot to take guests to parts of the continent not previously explored. Operating off a mix of battery and Liquified Natural Gas, venture to Antarctica in style with just 135 cabins onboard and amenities from Veuve Clicquot, Laduree and Sothy’s. Among the highlights: a sail to Peter I Island, where fewer people have visited than have set foot on the moon; close encounters with Antarctic seabirds, Minke whales and orcas; tethered hot air balloon rides above the White Continent; and hovercraft excursions. Under the supervision of the team of naturalist guides and the on-board scientists, guests will also be able to participate in research and experiments during sailings, including deploying an Argos transmitter, a satellite-based system which collects and shares environmental data. Rates for the 15-night Expedition to Charcot and Peter I Islands starts at £12,720 per person, based on double occupancy.
A Train Journey Where Europe Meets Asia: The 1920s Art Deco icon Venice Simplon-Orient-Express departs on its annual five-night journey from Paris to Istanbul on August 20, 2021. In addition to guided city tours in Budapest and Bucharest, highlights include a cruise along the Danube River, a private visit to historic Peles Castle in Sinaia and a stop at the Black Sea in Varna. For the ultimate experience, book one of the Grand Suites, each featuring private bathrooms with showers, double beds, and spacious living areas with underfloor heating. The Grand Suite experience begins even before boarding, with private transfers to the train station where guests will then be greeted by their personal cabin steward. Additional amenities include free-flowing Champagne, private in-suite dining, and a complimentary art-deco bathrobe as a souvenir. The return journey (Istanbul to Paris) is also available to book on August 27, 2021. Rates for the five-night journey begin at £15,000 per person in a Twin Cabin and £50,000 per person in Grand Suite.