A global collection of 47 hotels, trains, river cruises and restaurants, Belmond has defined the world of luxury for more than 40 years. The company’s portfolio includes the famed Belmond Hotel Cipriani in Venice – its first acquisition – the Belmond Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro, the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and the Belmond Royal Scotsman train, as well as leisurely barge trips through the canals of France in Burgundy, Provence and Alsace. Each is iconic, and all offer unsurpassed service and style.
- What’s New: Belmond launched a series of live virtual programs, Belmond Invitations, designed to bring the Belmond experience to the armchair traveler. In addition to live performances on Belmond IGTV (the series kicked off with famed British pianist Joe Stilgoe and and a meditation session with Nadia Narain, celebrity yoga guru to the star), Belmond also introduced Digital Care Packages across its social media platforms and website, which includes guided meditations, playlists inspired by each property and favorite recipes and cocktails from the chefs.
- Wow: In September 2020, 40 lucky passengers will embark on a two-night journey on Belmond Grand Hibernian hosted by Irish Chef Clodagh McKenna. Guests will learn about the traditions of Irish cuisine through hands-on activities such as foraging in Cork and tasting gin that is crafted using whey alcohol from Irish cow’s milk. Expect a smorgasbord that includes artisan cheeses, seafood and local whiskeys in the two dining cabins, plus an observation car that will serve as a social gathering place with Irish spirits and local music.
- Watch this Space: Inspired by the iconic heritage at each of the 47 individual properties, Belmond has partnered with a number of experts for one-of-a-kind activations in 2020 that offer a 360-degree approach to good living, spanning from literature and music to nature and adventure, to enrich both the mind and body. Set sail with Raha Moharrak, the youngest Arab woman to summit Mount Everest, on an exclusive river cruise journey to Bhamo through the untouched northern region of Myanmar, learn self-care on a four-night retreat with celebrity lifestyle gurus Nadia and Katia Narian Phillips at Belmond Cap Juluca and join master florist Simon Lycett at the world-famous flower festival at Belmond’s Reid’s Palace in Madeira for masterclasses in both floral art and cocktail infusions.
Island Outpost is a collection of distinctive hotels and villas in Jamaica created by Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records and the force behind names like Bob Marley and U2. The hotels are known for their interesting character that reflects the authentic sights, sounds and flavors of Jamaica. The collection includes GoldenEye, once the home of Ian Fleming and the site where he penned all 14 Bond novels; Strawberry Hill, a relaxed retreat high in the Blue Mountains where Chris brought Bob Marley to recover from his 1976 shooting, and Pantrepant, Chris Blackwell’s private farming estate in Oracabessa.
- What’s New: Blackwell Rum is debuting a special 007 Limited Edition in honor of the upcoming James Bond film No Time To Die. The 750 ml bottle will retail for $35 and can be found starting in October in major metro markets. A mainstay spirit at each Island Outpost resort, Blackwell Fine Jamaican Rum is inspired by Chris Blackwell’s time honored recipe (his family has been involved in distilling Jamaican rum since the 17th century). This aged, rich fragrant dark rum is filled with the warmth and sensuality of Jamaica.
- Wow: The 25th Bond movie, No Time to Die, which will mark Daniel Craig’s final appearance as 007, is heading back to Jamaica in November 2020. In celebration of the release, movie buffs can retrace the island life of Bond’s creator, Ian Fleming. The author was a former British intelligence officer and discovered Jamaica during a WWII mission in 1942. Four years later, he purchased 15 acres of under-developed tropical land and named it GoldenEye to pay homage to his naval operation that first brought him to the island. He resided at GoldenEye every January and February for more than two decades and wrote a new Bond novel each winter for a total of 14 books. His beachfront bungalow, which is now called The Fleming Villa with five bedrooms, is part of the 52-acre GoldenEye resort. In celebration of the film’s release, the property is offering a four-night package including a private boat trip to Laughing Water Beach – made famous by the first James Bond film, Dr. No and a visit to Firefly – celebrated playwright Noel Coward’s former estate where he frequently entertained guests including Fleming. Starting rate: $3,660 for two guests.
Michel Reybier Hospitality Collection
Michel Reybier’s collection of hotels includes the La Reserve properties in Paris, Geneva, Ramatuelle and Zurich as well as Schweizerhof in Zermatt and La Maison d’Estournel in Bordeaux. Each property showcases the brand’s emphasis on design, with collaborators including Jacques Garcia and Philippe Starck, and top-notch service, from a dedicated butler who can secure a couture-made gown in Paris to a Venetian Motoscafo boat in Geneva.
- What’s New: On January 8, La Reserve opened in Zurich following a multi-year, top-to-bottom renovation of the historic Eden au Lac hotel in conjunction with design superstar Philippe Starck. The majority of the 40 rooms and suites in the French Empire-style building, which is the only luxury hotel located on Lac Zurich, will have views of the lake. Taking inspiration from the location, Starck wanted to give guests the feeling of being on a yacht. He lent his signature contemporary touch, incorporating neutral tones and sleek metal accents, while honoring the building’s historical elements, revealing the original exposed red brick, marble and hardwood floors throughout. Quirky nautical touches include wooden oars, paintings of sailboats and cocktails served in tankards at the rooftop restaurant. The city is now easier to get to from the U.S. thanks to two new direct flights launching in 2020: United’s first nonstop flight from Chicago-O’Hare to Zurich and Swiss Air’s new direct flight from Washington DC (IAD).
- Wow: La Reserve Geneva makes exploring the Lake Geneva area super chic via its private Venetian Motoscafo boat. After a quick 15-minute ride, guests can visit the art gallery neighborhood, stroll through the trendy Quartier des Bains, enjoy a cappuccino on the terrace of the iconic café Clemence and shop in the town of Bon Genie.
- Watch this Space: Following the opening in August 2019 as a 14-room property, La Maison d’Estournel will reopen this year after an expansion into a 40-room hotel. Located on Bordeaux’s Cos d’Estournel vineyard in the former home of 18th-century maverick Louis Gaspard d’Estournel, it will retain the feeling of a private residence complete with a library, tasting room, onsite vegetable garden and kitchen where guests can help themselves to the pantry. Offsite activities will include fishing on the coast, golf, bike riding (wicker picnic baskets can be found in the rooms) and of course, wine tasting.
With 82 miles of coastline and 30 miles of bike trails along marshes and cranberry bogs, Nantucket provides a quintessential New England experience, as visitor’s stroll fon downtown’s cobblestone streets and enjoy the breaks of Surfside Beach. Nantucket Island Resorts, an institution on the island, offers the most authentic and atmospheric places to stay: Jared Coffin House, The Cottages at Nantucket Boat Basin, White Elephant, White Elephant Village and The Wauwinet – and soon, the brand will expand to Florida.
- What’s New: White Elephant Palm Beach, a luxury 32-room hotel located in the heart of Palm Beach will open in October 1, 2020. The new hotel represents the total renovation of the former Bradley Park Hotel — which dates back to the 1920’s – transforming it into one of the most luxurious properties in Palm Beach. Architectural firm Elkus Manfredi will create a design respectful of the unique history of Palm Beach while reflecting the mood, pulse, refinement and ethos of the modern, sophisticated traveler.
- Wow: 2020 will mark the 200th anniversary of the real-life horror that inspired Moby-Dick – the sinking of the whaling ship the Essex. Nantucket and its whaling days form the backbone of Herman Melville’s 1851 novel. Today, much of the island’s history is still prevalent and visitors can explore the town. The Whaling Museum, housed in a 19th-century candle factory, tells the story of the rise and fall of the whaling industry. The Nantucket Historical Association offers daily tours to some of the 800 pre-Civil War homes on the island – it’s the largest concentration in the U.S. Highlights include the residences of the commander and the first mate of Essex. During Melville’s first visit to Nantucket, which was surprisingly after he wrote the book, he stayed at the Ocean House, which is now known as the Jared Coffin House – renamed after the original owner who was a successful ship-builder during the whaling heyday. In Summer 2020, the inn will expand with the addition of new suites, and following a 14-year closure, Tap Room will re-open in the property’s basement. The pub-style restaurant was a fixture in the downtown dining scene for more than 40 years.
Nayara Gardens, Nayara Springs and the brand new Nayara Tented Camp, sister resorts connected by footbridges, are set on the fringes of Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano. This is where sustainability meets luxury with simplicity and style. These are the first super-luxe hotels in the Costa Rican rainforest, built without cutting down a single tree.
- What’s New: Nayara Tented Camp opened on December 20, 2019 as one of the first luxury camps in Central America. Located in the Arenal Volcano National Park, the year-round camp is the brainchild of owner Leo Ghitis who was inspired by the luxury canvas lodges of Africa and Asia. The 21 air-conditioned accommodations, each generously sized at 1,496 square feet, have been built at a higher altitude on the hillside to provide unobstructed views of the volcano. Upon arrival at Nayara Tented Camp, every group is introduced to their dedicated naturalist, who accompanies them on experiences throughout their stay (à la safari rangers in the African bush). These expert nature guides (Juan Pablo is a fan favorite) bring guests on sloth sanctuary tours, early morning bird-watching walks and nighttime frog spotting tours on property.
- Wow: Nayara’s ever growing Sloth Sanctuary provides a safe home for the peaceful animals. The sanctuary has quickly grown to shelter more than 15 sloths (the property previously only had one or two in residence). Nayara planted over 1,000 Cecropia trees, the sloth’s main food source, which has attracted the newcomers to the property. As sloths have been losing their habitat from human encroachment, the sanctuary provides a haven from both humans and predators, and they have been thriving in their new environment.
- Watch this Space: Nayara Tented Camp will expand in late 2020 with the addition of a floating reception and bar, new family-style restaurant and a collection of interconnecting presidential tents.
The Doyle Collection
Irish hospitality is at its best at The Doyle Collection whose flagship hotel, The Westbury, is in the heart of Dublin. Sister hotels dazzle in London (The Bloomsbury, The Marylebone and The Kensington), Washington, D.C. (The Dupont Circle), Bristol (The Bristol) and Cork (The River Lee). The hotels are design-inspired with popular bars and restaurants favored by visitors and locals alike.
- What’s New: The Dupont Circle has unveiled a multimillion-dollar hotel transformation in collaboration with Martin Brudnizki Design Studio and Clodagh New York. The renovation welcomes a new 1950’s club-like bar, Doyle by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio; a new restaurant, The Pembroke, with al fresco dining; a new take-out coffee and chocolate bar, Doyle & Co; a new lobby with a cozy fireplace; and a redesigned rooftop floor by Clodagh, includes the Penthouse Suite complete with a heated year-round terrace with a firepit and projector for al fresco movie nights.
Almanac Barcelona is a stylish boutique hotel with luxurious rooms and 30 suites in the heart of the Catalan capital just off the Gran Via on Via de les Cortes Catalane. Designed by Jaime Beriestain, who used wealth of textures and materials to create a sense of sophistication and tranquility, Almanac Barcelona has a vibe that draws locals and visitors to its Mediterranean brasserie and its rooftop bar.
- What’s New: Almanac Barcelona has lifted the veil on a new restaurant, VIRENS. Helmed by Michelin-starred Chef Rodrigo de la Calle as his first project outside of his Madrid-based restaurant El Invernadero, the menu is plant-based and highlights local ingredients.
- Wow: The rooftop experience! Almanac Barcelona features stunning views from the balconies and terraces in a select number of rooms and suites, and from Azimuth, the sleek glass-enclosed rooftop bar where all Barcelona meets for cocktails. The rooftop amenities also include a wading pool and a sun lounge for hotel residents.
- Watch this Space: Almanac Barcelona is the first of a new boutique hotel brand. Plans for a selection of new Almanac hotels are currently under development in landmark locations in Vienna, Zagreb, Prague and Budapest. Next up is Almanac Vienna, opening at the end of 2020 on the famous Ringstraße Boulevard, home to some of the city’s top monuments including the Vienna State Opera House, Parliament and the Museum of Fine Arts.
The Beaumont opened in London’s Mayfair district in 2014. The first hotel project from Chris Corbin and Jeremy King – the acclaimed restaurateurs behind The Wolseley and The Delaunay – the 73-room Art Deco property overlooks Brown Hart Gardens and features a traditional grill-style restaurant, American bar and a towering ‘inhabitable sculpture’ by legendary artist Antony Gormley, which protrudes from the building’s façade. Guest-only amenities include the Cub Room bar, spa and a chauffeur-driven, vintage house car for emissions-free drop-offs in the local area. To match the building’s 1926 roots, the hotel created a fictional history centered on James ‘Jimmy’ Beaumont, an American hotelier who escaped Prohibition-shackled New York to set up shop in London. Jimmy’s touch can be felt everywhere, from the vintage photographs of movie stars hanging in the Colony Grill restaurant to the complimentary in-room minibars.
- What’s New: In early 2020, The Beaumont announced a new initiative to be 95% plastic-free with its toiletries, an industry first in northern Europe. In collaboration with D. R. Harris, London’s oldest pharmacy, and La Bottega, the leading supplier of bath and body brands to luxury hotels, 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. With this move, the hotel has reduced their use of single-use plastic bottles from 32,000 per year to zero.
- Wow: The hotel is home to Antony Gormley’s inhabitable sculpture called ROOM. Designed as an experiential work of art, ROOM is a bookable one-bedroom suite. The exterior takes on the shape of a three-story crouching man made of stainless-steel, while the interior is a dark space filled with the smell of fumed-oak, featuring only a single, all-white bed and can be taken to total darkness at the flip of a switch. While the bedroom is just 43 sq. feet, the walls tower at 33-feet high. The unique shape stems from Gormley’s belief that guests should feel cocooned in a space unencumbered by distractions. Guests enter the room, which is behind a velvet curtain, via a staircase from the marble-clad bathroom. The suite’s light-filled living room is more conventional with art deco furniture, walls lined with Gormley’s sketches and views of Brown Hart Gardens.
- Watch this Space: The Beaumont is hosting a literary series throughout the year. Guests and locals alike are invited to join a discussion with a guest speaker following a drinks reception with canapés.
Christopher St. Barth
Located above the rocky shoreline of the sought-after neighborhood of Pointe Milou (home to the raucous Le Ti St Barth and some of the poshest villas on the island), Christopher St. Barth has long been a refuge on St. Barth for understated elegance. The 42 accommodations comprise 23 rooms and 19 suites. The Sisley Spa has five treatment rooms open to the ocean below, as well as a dedicated Essie manicure and pedicure room.
- What’s New: The Christopher opened two new four-bedroom villas in December 2019 and a third will open in 2020. With the addition of these spacious villas, the 42-room hotel concludes a tiered renovation following the hurricanes of 2017, which included the addition of the new Christo restaurant and a Sisley Spa.
- Wow: The Christopher’s Mango Beach Club offers sweeping views to savor while drinking a traditional Planteur or Ti Pun
ch, both island favorites. It is a prime location to watch the glorious St. Barth sunsets.
- Watch this Space: The Christopher has partnered with Artireef to help rebuild the reef of Pointe Milou (the peninsula on which the hotel sits). Using the biorock process, they’ve constructed four metallic structures anchored by empty conch shells. The structures are charged with low-voltage electricity to help the buildup of crystallized deposit of insoluble mineral salts (necessary for coral growth). This marine cement is three times denser than concrete, and the growth rate of coral is three- to five-times that of natural coral growth. In addition to creating a barrier to the shore, the reef will be more resistant to high water temperatures and pollution.
Dromoland Castle, Ireland
Think: Cozy spaces. Evenings spent by the fire. Brisk walks through the countryside. Days idle by, with opportunities to enjoy traditional country home activities like falconry or horseback riding. Warm up with afternoon tea or a signature spa treatment. Nights are for indulging in an artful take on traditional Irish ingredients at The Earl of Thomond Restaurant before retiring to the cocktail bar for a tarot-card inspired libation or a glass of Irish whiskey. Then, it’s off to the stately guest rooms for a restful night before beginning another day as a veritable member of the royal family.
- Wow: 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 and its 97 rooms and suites exhibit the best of its regal Irish heritage.
- Watch this space: The castle is only an hour away from Galway, Europe’s 2020 Capital of Culture – perfect for a daytrip to check out the festivities.
Park Hyatt Tokyo
Park Hyatt Tokyo is in the heart of Tokyo, within walking distance of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building and Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall and within close proximity to the New National Theatre Tokyo and Omoide Yokocho. Park Hyatt luxury and style is just far enough removed from the action. It is one of the first design hotels, immortalized by Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson in the movie Lost in Translation.
- Wow: With the lobby on the 41st floor, it comes as no surprise that Park Hyatt Tokyo is loved for its sense of place and sweeping views of all Tokyo and all the way to Mt. Fuji. Japan’s most electric city unfolds outside every window. Another surprising note is the amount of Kobe beef served at the hotel’s NY Grill. It serves 3% of the world’s real Kobe beef. (Outside of Japan, most of what is labeled Kobe isn’t actually Kobe).
Royal Mansour Marrakech
A hotel masterpiece owned by the King of Morocco, Royal Mansour Marrakech is a luxurious collection of 53 three-story riads, each with its own private rooftop terrace and plunge pool. Guests can spend their stay dining at one of four restaurants, relaxing by the new 6,500 sq. ft. pool, or indulging in a bespoke hammam treatment in the breathtaking three-story spa. Despite a 10:1 ratio of staff to guests, the grounds of the sprawling property remain perfectly calm due to the intricate network of underground tunnels through which the hotel’s service staff transports luggage, room service and more completely undetected.
- What’s New: Complementing the elevated cuisine offere at La Table Grande Marocaine, Royal Mansour debuted its new Italian restaurant SESAMO on December 19, 2019. The menu is overseen by acclaimed Italian chef Massimiliano Alajmo, the youngest chef to be awarded three Michelin stars at age 28. This is Massimiliano’s first partnership with a hotel. Combining his Italian roots and locally sourced Moroccan ingredients, he has crafted new dishes, including garlic and red pepper spaghetti with vegetables from Royal Mansour’s gardens and a signature Open Sesame dessert – an almond nougat sphere filled saffron, neroli and almond foam in a passion fruit sauce
- Watch this Space: “The Nest,” a private dining space elevated above the property’s newly expanded gardens will open in Fall 2020.
Shou Sugi Ban House
The first wellness retreat of its kind on Long Island, Shou Sugi Ban House, opened in the Hamptons town of Water Mill, New York on May 16, 2019. The 13-room retreat, set on three acres just next to the Parrish Art Museum, incorporates many forms of wellness treatments ranging from sound healing to reiki to yoga to hikes on the beach. Each day begins with a tea ceremony and ends with a fire ceremony, punctuated by spa treatments, healing arts and cooking demonstrations. The pathways wind through reflective pools and a dining orchard. Landscaping by Lily Kwong is inspired by the local dunescape, and Japanese gardens allow guests to connect with the natural world around them. The guest studios are meticulously planned with a minimalistic focus on clean lines and natural accents for a tranquil, calming environment free from clutter and distractions. Personalized wellness journeys are led by resident and visiting experts to meet the individual intentions of each guest and create an intimate and transformative experience.
- Wow: Shou Sugi Ban House’s programs are completely tailored to the individual. Activities include healing treatments and workshops, nutrition, meditation and movement, and spa treatments. Zero gravity tubs allow guests to enjoy floating sessions that incorporate oils, clays and dried and fresh plants for holistic results. Mads Refslund, co-founder of Noma in Copenhagen, the four-time winner of the world’s best restaurant and two-time Michelin star recipient, leads the culinary program at Shou Sugi Ban House and has been rolling out exciting, seasonal menus.
- Watch this Space: Shou Sugi Ban House is also available for private events and buyouts. Intimate gathering spaces and experiences can be curated to suit the needs of corporate retreats and personal celebrations.
The Chatwal New York
Set in the heart of Manhattan and the original home to America’s first theatrical society called The Lambs Club, The Chatwal has long been immersed in the glitz and glamour of New York’s world-renowned theater productions. This beautiful landmark hotel built in 1905 by Stanford White was restored and renewed by master architect Thierry Despont and re-launched in 2010. The Chatwal has an air of sophistication yet the hotel’s large suites and children’s amenities serve its family first priorities.
- What’s New: The Chatwal has introduced a new Broadway-themed afternoon tea inspired by family favorites Aladdin, The Lion King and Frozen. There is also a customizable s’mores kit for camp-outs. Also popular is The Chatwal’s exclusive collaboration with Eddie Stern, Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow’s yoga and spiritual guru and the co-founder of the Brooklyn Yoga Club and Ashtanga New York. His “Pause & Take a Breath” app, featuring nine 12-minute yoga lessons is now provided to hotel guests on a complimentary basis through the in-room and in-suite iPads. For a more personalized training, Chatwal can also coordinate one-on-one private class appointments with Eddie or one of his instructors.
- Wow: The Chatwal has only 76 keys, of which 29 are themed suites with a total of 14 terraces, the highest concentration of terraces for any hotel of that size in Manhattan. Since the building is a landmark, the façade couldn’t be altered during the restoration. They had to build upwards and towards the back of the building, resulting in naturally-carved terraces that guests can enjoy year round. Each terrace is equipped to host small dinner parties and celebrations, complete with 24-hour room service from the in-house Lambs Club curated by Geoffrey Zakarian.
- Watch this Space: The Chatwal will launch a Frozen Broadway package for guests. The offer will be available to book online and include tickets to the show, a backstage tour of St. James Theatre, and a pre-theater dinner at Chatwal’s restaurant, The Lambs Club.
UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa
Wilbert Das, the fashion designer who propelled Diesel to retail stardom, believes that authenticity is the greatest luxury, a philosophy that guided him when he created UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa in the historic town of Trancoso in Bahia, Brazil. The hotel is actually a collection of 13 casas (houses), including Wilbert’s own home, half of which date back 500-years and were restored in collaboration with local artisans using traditional techniques and reclaimed materials. Each detail was uniquely crafted including the work in UXUA’s rustic beach lounge, Almescar Spa and Quadrado restaurant.
- What’s New: UXUA ALMA will be unveiling two new houses to add to the existing 11 casas for a total of 13 separate houses that make up the portfolio of UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa:
- CERAMICA: The latest update for guests to enjoy the UXUA magic is Cerâmica – a suite that manages to feel humble and spectacular at the same time. Tucked into a cozy, nearly invisible corner of UXUA previously occupied by a ceramic atelier, the new casa is a tribute to the arts of ceramic and design. The new house boasts high ceilings and sliding glass doors – reclaimed and restored from a residence in nearby Niteroi, Bahia which was the last beach-house designed by the acclaimed architect José Zanini Caldas. The exterior is composed of triangles that form a square of transparent blue, green and yellow stained glass. Zanini Caldas, like Wilbert Das, took great inspiration from Bahian craftsmen, carving boats and furniture from fallen trees. Marrying the work of the two gives Cerâmica some serious architectural credentials.
- CASA DO LAGO: UXUA’s newest casa is a restoration of a simple fisherman’s home in the colonial Brazilian style. Constructed using antique woods reclaimed from abandoned casas and farms in Trancoso, this tropical heaven features a spacious open-plan living room surrounded by flowers and trees (the home was built around the existing natural landscape), filled with art, antiques and pieces of the exclusive UXUA Casa decor collection such as the acclaimed U Chair. The private swimming pool is crafted using 40,000 pieces of green aventurine quartz. Casa do Lago is just steps from Trancoso’s Historic Quadrado, but it feels like its own tropical universe offering the maximum in indoor / outdoor living, the essence of comfort and the ideal southern Bahian lifestyle.
- Wow: UXUA has recently launched UXUA Vida, a revolutionary initiative to further entrench the resort into the wellness space. UXUA Vida unlocks the power of Brazil’s biodiversity through boutique nutritional science, merging it with the nurturing vibes of Bahia’s joyful people and tropical lifestyle. The programming focuses on a number of fully customizable packages, allowing guests to target specific areas, from destressing to weight loss and fitness. UXUA Vida is guided by medical director Dr. Jullian Hamamoto who creates innovative, personalized treatments from the Vida Lab, a renovated casa within UXUA’s gardens. The space showcases a custom kitchen and is topped by a rooftop covered in edible plants that complement an organic garden 150 meters away. Guests can reserve custom medical packages and pre-book consultations with Dr. Jullian, or they’re welcome to just drop into the Vida Lab, which is open every day. Dr. Jullian will help them to achieve their wellness goals, whether large or small. Examples of conditions that Dr. Jullian has treated include guests who request a deeper suntan or recovery from a sunburn; who are seeking an energy boost or pursuing a calm, balanced mood; or who are tackling a serious medical condition or simply a few aesthetic and beauty goals.
- Watch this Space: With the firm belief that children are more receptive to the environmental challenges facing today’s global warming debate, UXUA has launched a new program for local children between 10 and 12 years old to teach the importance of sustainability and respect for the environment. Mama Trancoso aims to nurture the small class of 10 children per year.
Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi
Maldives is home to 120-plus luxury hotels and the new projects have not slowed down. The islands have recently welcomed properties by Kudadoo, St. Regis and Intercontinental. When the doors opened on July 1, 2019, Waldorf Astoria became the first luxury resort debut near Malé in the last decade. Location is a unique selling point because Waldorf Astoria guests do not need to rely on a seaplane transfer, which is not possible after 6 p.m., from the International Airport to their hotel. There are 121 overwater, beach and reef villas – the smallest is 2,700 square feet – plus a private villa that can sleep 25 guests. A dedicated spa buggy picks up guests from their villas to enjoy a menu of 30+ treatments that are based on earth, water, fire and metal. The 22,000 square feet spa comprises 10 treatment villas. Signature experience is a 90-minute Starlight Ocean Massage that is only available 9–10:30 p.m.
- Wow: Different from Bora Bora, Seychelles and Mauritius, Maldives represent the ‘one island, one resort’ philosophy that provides optimum seclusion. This is why Waldorf Astoria handles everything on the island, such as the production of its own still and sparkling water. Similarly, the average stay for American guests is five nights so the expectation is a vast range of culinary options. This is exactly what Waldorf Astoria offers with 11 specialty dining venues – the highest number in the Maldives. The selection includes: Seven private bamboo pods that are located at the highest point on the island; a rustic wine cellar cave with 750,000 bottles of wine that include special releases and rare vintages from all around the world; and a Middle Eastern restaurant that is designed as a traditional Arabian villa featuring 31 antique doors and windows that date back 400 years. Just as a comparison, the average number of restaurants and bars per hotel in the Maldives is 3 and 1, respectively.
With 25 suites and two villas, the hotel will open in Summer 2020 to introduce a luxury experience that balances fun and privacy with genuine insider knowledge of off-the-beaten-path sites. The seasoned trio behind the project – who also established Athens hotspots Sea Spice, Pere and Ubu – are all local to the island, and the resort will share a modern expression of Mykonian traditions. Translating to “invite” or “calling,” Kalesma welcomes guests to become a part of the island’s community.
- What’s New: Set on a hilltop above Ornos Bay, Kalesma’s acc
ommodations are spread across five acres and set against a lush hillside blanketed with 20,000 plants. All rooms offer unobstructed lookouts, as well as a full-sized private pool. Classic Mykonian warmth and hospitality will be on full display with experiences like shared guest-only dinners; sunset celebrations at the restaurant; a dedicated concierge who can direct guests to the best beaches depending upon the day’s winds; and a personal shopper to help the fashion-conscious discover local shops.
- Wow: Pere Ubu, the restaurant at the property’s peak, shines with its 360-degree panoramic perspectives of the sea, offering guests the rare opportunity to catch both the sunrise and sunset from the same spot. With its menu of Greek dishes, the restaurant embodies Kalesma’s community ethos with nightly sunset celebrations, evening DJ entertainment and weekly culinary events like intimate dinners exclusively for Kalesma’s guests.
From its start in 1991, the luxury safari company andBeyond has been dedicated to conservation – Care of the Land, Care of the People, Care of the Wildlife are at its core. While this philosophy is more widespread now, andBeyond was the first to dedicate its business model to this higher mission. CEO Joss Kent continues to invest in andBeyond’s own schools to ensure the best training of guides, most of them locals who interact with guests and are an integral part of the safari experience. andBeyond safaris are elevating, life-changing experiences with mind-blowing stories to tell. A “WILDchild” children’s program brings it to life for the next generation who will soon be the new stewards of andBeyond’s vision in Africa, Asia and South America.
- What’s New: andBeyond and wildlife broadcasting experts WildEarth have come together to stream twice daily, personalized game drives that armchair travelers can view from the comfort of their home. Each lasting approximately three hours, the safaris will be streamed in real-time from two renowned South African game reserves, andBeyond Ngala Private Game Reserve (which shares unfenced borders with the famed Kruger National Park) and Djuma Private Game Reserve (part of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve). Authentic and non-scripted, the game drives will follow the sights and sounds of the African wilderness as they unfold. Hosted by expert andBeyond and WildEarth
field guides, the drives will be streamed over a variety of social media platforms each day during the month of April. Viewers will be able to interact with their safari hosts and have their questions answered in real-time, just as if they were actually on the game drive vehicle.
- Wow: Three miles away from the nearest lodge and 52 steps in the air is andBeyond’s new Ngala Treehouse. The completely private, four-level tree house – surrounded by nothing but the South African bush – opened in February 2020 as a new experience on offer at andBeyond Ngala Private Game Reserve. The luxury, solar-powered tree house has a rooftop deck with an outdoor bed and lounge for al fresco sundowners and dinner for two, an indoor bedroom and a full bathroom with an outdoor shower – all with uninterrupted views of the bush below. Couples pack up just what they need for the night and are escorted on a game drive to the treehouse for an unforgettable sleepover. Iin addition to the stellar surrounds, there’s a stocked bar and jars of midnight snacks). Surrounded by a thorn boma fence and just a phone call away from the dedicated treehouse attendant, travelers can feel safe in this otherwise intimidating setting.
- Watch this Space: andBeyond will expand its portfolio of luxury lodges into Asia in October 2020 with andBeyond Punakha River Lodge, a property in Bhutan set in the Serigang Village in Punakha. The lodge will be located on the Mo Chu River, allowing guests access to activities such as kayaking, hiking, and catch and release fishing.
The global leader in polar expedition cruises, PONANT features small luxury vessels that can venture where larger ships are not able to explore. As evidence of this claim, the brand has already completed more than 400 expeditions to the Antarctic and Arctic – more than any other cruise line. Founded by Jean-Emmanuel Sauvée and his fellow naval officers in 1988, PONANT has plans to grow to a total of 12 ships by 2021, each with only 88 staterooms.
- Wow: Each of the Explorer ships will feature an industry first: an underwater multi-sensory lounge called Blue Eye that allows guests to experience the subaquatic world through sight, sound and feel. Evocative of cetaceans and jellyfish with rounded furniture directed toward two large, eye-shaped portholes, the lounge features digital screens displaying feeds from three underwater cameras along with a collection of Body Listening Sofas that vibrate in unison to the sounds of the ocean.
- Watch this Space: PONANT will launch the first electric hybrid cruise ship with luxury appointments in May 2021, yet another pioneering development in polar exploration. It will be the first ship to reach the true geographic North Pole. The vessel will also travel to parts of Antarctica where fewer people have been than the moon. There will be experiences like polar diving, hot air ballooning over the glaciers, kayaking between the ice floes and hovercraft excursions.
Visit Napa Valley
Though only 29 miles long, Napa Valley is packed with 500 wineries and hundreds of restaurants, hotels and a branch of the famed Culinary Institute of America. Yet the surprising secret is that only 9% of the valley floor is dedicated to vineyards. The remaining 53,000 acres are loaded with opportunities for hiking, swimming and biking. There is even a new Napa Valley Beer Trail with five breweries dotting the 29-mile strip, and the Old West town of Calistoga has built a whole wellness industry around its famous hot springs and therapeutic volcanic ash featuring at least 15 spas. In addition, there are dozens of galleries filled with art treasures to explore in Napa and other area towns.
- What’s New: Napa Valley will soon open its first Four Seasons. The Calistoga-based hotel will have an on-site vineyard and tasting room – a rarity in Napa Valley – and 85 rooms, all with private outdoor spaces. The décor will include local touches like a map of Napa Valley designed by Nick Cann, a St. Helena-based artist and a “Grapes of Wrath” book that will be displayed on the wall. 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.
- Wow: There are more than 40 arts and culture institutions and 70 wineries housing a total of more than 10,000 works offered in Napa Valley. The first culinary museum featuring the 4,000-piece personal cookware collection of Williams-Sonomas’ founder, Chuck Williams opened at the Culinary Institute of America in fall 2018. The nearby Rail Arts District – inspired by Wynwood in Miami – has introduced a series of new murals, including mosaics using pieces of rubble from the 2015 earthquake, as well as a piece commissioned by Napa-based artist Gordon Huether who is known for his large-scale public art installations featured around the U.S. The di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art is also a must see for anyone interested in art and culture. Guests can do a three-mile hike through the outdoor sculpture garden, which includes pieces like the world’s tallest filing cabinet and a car hanging from a tree. There’s also interesting works dotted throughout Napa Valley. In St. Helena for example, the largest and oldest exhibit in Napa Valley is a 66 million-year-old Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton available for purchase for $3.9 million. Comprising 45% real fossils, the skeleton, which measures 42 feet in length was found in 2008 in Montana and Wyoming. The exhibit was recently relocated to the Erin Martin Design Showroom in Napa. Several wineries also feature their owners’ collections – among them is Hess Collection, which has its own 11,000 square-foot gallery and HALL Rutherford, showcasing select works in the property’s wine caves.
- Watch this Space: Downtown Napa, previously a drive-through town, continues to transform with more than 65 restaurants and 27 tasting cellars. (Two decades ago there was only one tasting room and half the number of restaurants.) The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at Copia, the brainchild of Julia Child as well as Robert and Margrit Mondavi, now offers daily cooking classes and tastings from local wineries. The opening of Kenzo introduced the town’s first Michelin three-star chef. Napa also offers a growing nightlife scene, with highlights including Blue Note, downtown Napa’s first Jazz Club, and JaM Cellars, a tasting room that moonlights as a recording studio.
A unique destination winery on the historic Oakville Cross Road in Napa Valley, B Cellars is known for its blends of grapes from 12 area vineyards overseen by noted grower Andy Beckstoffer. Top winemaker Kirk Vinge transforms this bounty into B Cellars’ wonderful range of wines. It is set within a former horse ranch property with winery buildings modeled on a series of barns. Tastings are staged in a welcoming Hospitality House that adds to the ambiance. In addition there is an apiary where honey is produced, as well as a chicken coop creating almost a mini-farm experience on site.
- Wow: B Cellars has an impressive 15,000 square feet of caves for barrel storage. It is the only Napa Valley winery with a demonstration kitchen where a chef prepares delicious tapas called B Bites to pair with the wines during the tastings.
Amenities and Indulgences
Known around the world as a beauty industry leader, Guinot has consistently led the charge in skincare, from game-changing technology and techniques, to maintaining the most stringently high standards in the development and manufacturing of their products with a focus on the results and not on being trendy. Guinot’s collection of treatments and products won’t be found in big stores. The collection is carried in over 1,000 selective spas and salons within the US.
- What’s New: Guinot’s new Mirific Anti-Aging Body Oil restores the skin’s youthful appearance and protects against signs of aging. While the face typically receives the most attention in anti-aging products, the rest of the body is just as vulnerable to aging, which is most often caused by dehydration and results in decreased elasticity. Guinot’s new light and fresh body oil combines seaweed extract with camellia, passion flower, primrose and argan oil to firm and restore the skin’s natural barrier, resulting in soft and silky skin.
- Wow: Guinot’s new micro-current eye treatment uses roller electrodes that switch between positive and negative polarity to stimulate the eye muscles, resulting in an instant, non-invasive eyelid lift in just 25 minutes. This, combined with an eye massage and a Vitamin C eye mask, works to reduce puffiness and boost circulation. Lasting about one week per treatment (and longer if done regularly), Eye Lift is perfect to do leading up to an event or wedding.
- Watch this Space: Guinot’s new Détoxygène treatment will launch in April 2020 as a 60-minute facial that helps detoxify environmental pollutants from the skin. City-dwellers are especially susceptible to toxins through air pollution and exhaust fumes, but damage can also be done at home through internal irritants like stress, lack of sleep and diet. To combat this almost unavoidable issue, Détoxygène combines an exfoliation, detoxifying mask and a reoxygenating massage to restore the skin’s protective barrier, creating a radiant glow in just one hour.
La Maison du Chocolat
Dedicated to the art of magical chocolate confections since founder Robert Linxe opened the first boutique on rue du Faubourg-St.Honoré in 1977, La Maison du Chocolat has grown into a global family of boutiques including several in New York. Chef Nicolas Cloiseau, current Creative Director, was named Best Craftsman Chocolatier in France earlier in his career and continues to build on this honor.
- What’s New: Mother’s Day is just around the corner and La Maison du Chocolat’s celebrated gift is the hat box. Inspired by the look of travel hat boxes and filled with a custom assortment of chocolate goodies, the boxes range in size – perfect for showing Mothers around the world a small token of appreciation. The boxes can be filled with a wide range of La Maison du Chocolat’s collections and products.
- Wow: The newest addition to the La Maison du Chocolate family is Bars Unhinged, a collection of sweet and savory bars by Chef Nicolas Cloiseau. Paying homage to Chef Cloiseau’s favorite childhood pastime of sharing chocolate with friends, Bars Unhinged is the culmination of 18 months of careful research and worldwide travel to trusted chocolate plantations. Chef Cloiseau selected the finest cocoa beans from Brazil, the Caribbean and South America, juxtaposing the chocolate’s delicate silkiness with hazelnuts from Italy, almonds from Spain, and pecans from Mexico. The result is a line of “inside out” bars where a constellation of the decadent nuts is visible from the outside.
- Watch this Space: Mother’s Day is just around the corner and La Maison du Chocolat’s celebrated gift is the hat box. Inspired by the look of travel hat boxes and filled with a custom assortment of chocolate goodies, the boxes range in size – perfect for showing mothers around the world a small token of appreciation. The boxes can be filled with a wide range of La Maison du Chocolat’s collections and products.
Virtuoso is a network of approximately 22,000 travel advisors from the best luxury travel agencies in 50 countries. Virtuoso advisors use their global connections to plan the most memorable experiences for their clients, from weekend getaways to dream vacations. With over $30 billion in annual sales, Virtuoso has access to hard data and can forecast industry trends.
- What’s New: Virtuoso has launched Wanderlist, a travel planning experience that allows travelers to create a virtual bucket list. The new tool builds a roadmap for travelers of future vacations via an online, Pinterest-like interface to identify preferred destinations and experiences. It starts with Virtuoso advisors sending a questionnaire link to their clients. The Netflix-style portal allows users to explore more than 160 places and 1,500 experiences tailored to specific interests. The survey is also shared with travel companions – family, friends, partners – and enables users to sync interests and plan future trips that will make everyone happy. Modeled after a financial planning tool, Wanderlist will ensure travelers receive a good return on time (our only non-renewable asset). Its long-range approach saves travelers time and money as advisors take into account factors like foreign exchange rates, economic climate, seasonality, etc. when planning, often resulting in as much as a 25% savings.
- Wow: Virtuoso is responsible for $30 billion in annual travel sales. $420 million happen during the annual Virtuoso Travel Week alone.
- Why Use A Travel Advisor?
1. Personalized planning for every niche and budget leads to trips of a lifetime for clients.
2. Each advisor brings special expertise and top connections to the experience.
3. Advisors have access to special rates and perks such as upgrades, spa credits and late checkout.
4. Advisors know about special events and tours that can turn a trip into something truly extraordinary.
5. If something goes wrong, the advisor is there to take action. The peace of mind is priceless for clients.
Center for Responsible Travel (CREST)
CREST is a non-profit organization dedicated to responsible tourism. Large-scale development can damage ecosystems, pollute environments and exploit local communities. CREST is marking its 15th year of studying best practices for managing travel in an environmentally and culturally responsible way to help guests make a positive input on destinations. Among its projects are studies of climate change, coastal and marine tourism in the Caribbean, the preservation of indigenous cultures and ecotourism.
- What’s New: CREST has decided to cancel its World Tourism Day Forum this year to focus instead on supporting tourism relief and recovery efforts during this critical time. This organizational shift has enabled CREST to address the COVID-19 crises by:
- Releasing the 2020 edition of The Case for Responsible Travel: Trends & Statistics, which will have a special feature on the impacts of COVID-19 and the importance of addressing another key threat to the travel industry’s future – climate change.
- Hosting a webinar in honor of World Tourism Day that will share the findings of their 2020 Trends & Statistics report and feature expert commentary on the business, destination and consumer cases for responsible travel. (Please save the date for this webinar on September 29, 2020.)
- Highlighting the importance of an environmentally sustainable and socially responsible approach to tourism’s recovery in media interviews and outreach. Now more than ever, CREST’s voice is needed to help shape relief and recovery efforts.