Roses, Reading, and Romance.

April 22nd, 2016

Are you feeling the love this weekend?

April 23rd happens to be Barcelona’s most romantic day of the year, giving Cupid quite a run for his money.

Known as Sant Jordi Day, the Catalan tradition dictates that gents give ladies a single rose while women give a book in return. Throughout the city, you’ll see plenty of makeshift book and rose stalls lining the streets, encouraging love birds to celebrate.

Joining in on the festivities, Majestic Hotel and Spa in Barcelona sets up a rose stand offering ‘pay what you can’ roses. All proceeds will go to the Fundacio IRES, helping children at risk of social exclusion. Celebrating a loved one and giving back? A win win in our book.

Even if you can’t make it to Barcelona this weekend, grab your sweetheart and celebrate on Saturday. All of us at AMPR plan on enjoying the holiday with a little Gaudi reading material, some roses, and of course….a glass or two of rosé.

Foodie Getaways

November 24th, 2015

Thanksgiving is just a few days away, and while we all have food on the brain…

It’s not your average tasting menu; AMPR clients are stepping outside of the expected luxury culinary offerings to provide guests with experiential, and often hands-on, foodie vacations. Yes, you can go to a Michelin-starred restaurant most anywhere, but can you shop souks with the chef? What about a hotel with its own dairy farm? Ever hand-painted an éclair? And, what’s the best way to get kids to eat their veggies? Have them go farming with chef, of course. Keep reading for a selection of hands-on epicurean experiences, trends, “healthy” eating, and a few other noteworthy food happenings across the globe.

Bon Appetit!

HANDS-ON EXPERIENCES

Tree-to-Table Chocolate

At UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa in Trancoso Brazil, cocoa trees grow in the hotel’s garden. The cocoa pods are harvested on property and the beans are left to dry and ferment in the sun. Guests are invited to take part in the rest of the process and make their own chocolate with UXUA chefs who also use the fruits of their labor to create UXUA’s desserts and ice creams.

Michelin Shopping List

Among the souks of Marrakech, Royal Mansour Michelin-starred Chef Yannick Alléno frequents the Jamaa el Fna marketplace for ingredients such as lemon confit from the Bab Ftouh stand and olive oil sourced from the nearby Atlas Mountains. Chef Alléno welcomes guests on his shopping trips.

Eat (and Pick and Cook) Your Veggies!

Children at andBeyond Kichwa Tembo join the chef in the organic vegetable garden and fill a basket with veggies of their choice. After, the chef works with them to create a custom lunch creation.

Catch of the Day

Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, offers guests the opportunity to meet, and fish with local fisherman in a simple row boat for local favorites such as: wahoo, dorado, and king fish.

Before It’s Gone, Tsukiji Fish Market Private Tour

The days of the Tsukiji Fish Market are numbered as Tokyo plans to close the institution to build roads in support of Olympics 2020. At Park Hyatt Tokyo, Chef Angerer brings guests on private market tours, enabling them to skip the hour-long wait and experience the tuna auction. Guests will meet with the hotel’s fish suppliers who offer fresh-from-the-sea sashimi tasting.

Périgords on the Burgundy Canals

Belmond Afloat in France luxury barges take guests through the truffle fields of Burgundy to spend the afternoon hunting Périgords, the aromatic jewels of France. Then, back to the ship to enjoy their well-earned spoils, made-to-order.

Learn to Shuck an Oyster

TOPPER’S at The Wauwinet serves ocean-to-table oysters – plucked from local Retsyo Oyster Farm. Guests enjoy a Bay Cruise led by island legend Captain Rob to see the oyster bed, learn about how they’re harvested, and receive a tutorial about how to properly shuck an oyster.

TRENDS

Latest Fashion Trend: Éclairs

Specialty éclairs are popping up on the menu of luxury hotels from New York to Barcelona.

Park Hyatt hotels serve the confection with interesting flavor pairings worldwide, such as Pistachio and Cointreau in Paris. In New York, Pastry Chef Scott Cioe hand-paints his signature raspberry rose éclair and teaches éclair-making classes at the hotel.

Majestic Hotel & Spa launched a new menu of éclairs for their Majestic Fashion Tea, inspired by the creations of Salvatore Ferragamo, Bulgari, Jimmy Choo, Rosa Clara, and more. The Perugia is Vanilla & Tonka Bean Mousse described to be as delicate as Brunello Cucinelli cashmere.

“HEALTHY” EATING

Gluten-Free Wine Pairings

B Cellars Vineyards & Winery in Napa Valley recently launched a wellness tasting experience. A three-mile hike through the vines is followed by a healthy “B-Bite” food and wine pairing comprising gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan selections prepared in B Cellars open kitchen (an element not found in other wineries in Napa Valley).

Food is Science at COMO

COMO Shambhala Cuisine from COMO Hotels and Resorts was created to boost concentration, balance blood-sugar levels, and encourage overall mental and physical wellbeing. Food is described on the menu as “enzyme-rich” and is primarily raw and vegan. Dishes (such as: zucchini carpaccio; flax and walnut flat bread with cashew nut “hummus,” avocado, and tomato salad; and pineapple sundaes made with cashew nut milk and young coconut sorbet) are available at 12 COMO properties worldwide – including the new room service menu at the recently renovated Metropolitan by COMO, London.

NOTEWORTHY

Buy the Farm

To guarantee the freshest and highest quality dairy products for guests, Nayara Springs created its own local dairy farm where all of the milk and cheese is sourced for the hotel’s restaurants.

Stay at Chris Blackwell’s Farm


Chris Blackwell, the man who discovered U2 and Bob Marley, recently opened Pantrepant, his farmstead in west Jamaica to guests of Island Outpost resort group. Visitors can stay in the two-bedroom guest cottage and have full access to the grounds – enjoying farm fresh dishes using just-picked callaloo and mangos, milking cows at the dairy, and plucking eggs from chickens.

CIA-Only in Napa Valley

The fifth annual Flavor! Napa Valley wine and food festival will be held March 16-20, 2016. Participating chefs are all graduates of the historic Culinary Institute (CIA) of America. Area vintners will host wine-paired dinners at their wineries and top winemakers will lead wine tastings at the CIA California campus.

New Celebrity Chef Restaurant in Bermuda

Celebrity Chef Marcus Samuelsson recently opened his latest culinary endeavor, Marcus’ at Hamilton Princess & Beach Club Hotel in Bermuda.

We hope these brief bites were enough to whet your palate!

and they say print is dead…

August 10th, 2015


Seussville’s newest resident has seen record-breaking sales and has been the #1 bestseller according to Publishers Weekly. With more than 200,000 copies sold in the first week, What Pet Should I Get? is Random House Children’s Books’ fastest-selling picture book to date. This all comes as the result of the long-anticipated transformation of Theodore Geisel’s lost manuscripts, a posthumous picture book for the ages. Once again, Dr. Seuss reminds us of the joy that the innocence of childhood (and a few furry friends) can bring. In honor of the release’s success, we’re highlighting a few animalistic experiences crafted for the youngest travelers.


“If I Ran the Zoo”- Belmond Northern Belle allows kids to “run” the Chester Zoo of the United Kingdom. They will walk among the wildlife, discovering some of Britain’s most exotic creatures. The grounds include several play areas, where kids ages 3 and up can monkey around and get their faces painted like their favorite creature.


“One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish”- To fish, you wish? We’ve got the dish- go to Jamaica. At GoldenEye, there are a variety of water activities for kids of all ages. From snorkeling and kayaking to jet skiing and deep sea fishing, GoldenEye is the perfect place to swim with the fishies of the Oracabessa Bay.


“Horton Hears a Who”- Point Yamu by COMO, overlooking the Andaman Sea in Phuket, organizes family excursions to the Gibbon Primate Sanctuary. Here, kids can ride bareback through elephant village, making friends with Horton’s endangered Asian cousins.


“The Cat in the Hat”- But these cats don’t use a litter box! At andBeyond Phinda Homestead, we’re tracking cheetahs. Kids can join andBeyond’s WILDChild Programme for a day of crafts and activities, or embark on a private guided safari with their family to spot these elusive predators first-hand.

ice cream sandwiches, all grown up

July 31st, 2015

August 2nd is perhaps the sweetest day of the year. We’ve got the scoop on where you should be celebrating Ice Cream Sandwich Day (pun intended). Here are our picks for the best childhood favorite revamps.

After work (New York City):
Skip happy hour and satisfy your sweet tooth. As if Shmackary’s cookies weren’t tasty enough on their own, you can amplify your dessert by adding vanilla bean gelato. Choose any two cookies (they have over 65 different flavors) to create the ultimate frozen treat. We suggest one Classic Chocolate Chip and one of their seasonal Blueberry Cobbler cookies- you won’t be disappointed.
Photo Courtesy of Shmackary’s

At the beach (Montauk):
No one feels bikini-ready after a sugar binge. Here’s a way to celebrate and lessen the guilt that your two-piece brings. The Fresh Fruit Ice Cream Sandwich at Harvest on Fort Pond is served with vanilla gelato, hot fudge and raspberry coulis- so not entirely guilt free, but fruit is healthy right?
Photo Courtesy of Yelp(er) Jay G.

At home (your kitchen):
Now this one is definitely not your traditional childhood treat- Cognac-Ice-Cream sandwiches. Inspired by a bakery in San Francisco that refused to separate booze from dessert, this recipe is sure to impress any of your “adult” guests.
Photo Courtesy of The New York Times

In Paradise (Brazil):
Made from cashew nuts of local farms and cacao beans from the garden, UXUA’s homemade ice cream is the center of this savory sweet. When dessert meets innovation, only good things can happen!

runway to the world

July 17th, 2015

After a decades-long hiatus, Men’s Fashion Week returned to the New York runway. A few styles rose to the top of the AMPR list of favorites, probably because we couldn’t help but envision them against the backdrop of the world’s most fashionable travel experiences. Wondering what to pack for a weekend on Nantucket or your next Milan jaunt? Here’s your guide:

Designer: Carlos Campos

A classic look with a contemporary flair. Transition seamlessly from a tour of La Sagrada Familia to dinner at Petit Comité and drinks at El Bar de Majestic.

Designer: Nick Graham

Can you say, Nantucket? The ideal outfit for the land of seafood, sunsets, and seersucker.

Designer: Hvrminn

A suit worthy of the fashion capital that is Milan. A stay at Park Hyatt Milan provides an equally stylish launching point for taking in the sites…and for more shopping.

Designer: Michael Kors

You’ll unquestionably be the most stylish safari-goer in South Africa. The leopard may be the star of andBeyond Exeter River Lodge, but we think you’ll get some admiring looks, too.

Designer: David Hart

Jamaica is calling! The vibrant colors match the spirited sights, smells, and sounds of the island. Sunglasses recommended.

Spotted: Street Style

Granted, they’re not actually runway looks, but Fashion Week attendees/star athletes Victor Cruz and Dwayne Wade look like they stepped off the plane for a Parisian dinner at Le Gabriel. Blue lobster all around, s’il vous plaît!

Photo Credits:
JP Yim/Getty Image, Robin Marchant/Getty Image, Fernanda Calfat/Getty Image, Michael Kors, Mr. Dume, Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

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