April 12th, 2013
Pavillon de la Reine Celebrates Pop Art in Paris
The first major retrospective of Roy Lichtenstein in more than 20 years will be on exhibit at the Centre Pompidou this July and August. To celebrate Pop Art’s arrival to Paris, Pavillon de la Reine is offering the “Lichtenstein at the Centre Pompidou” experience for guests to enjoy a number of the New York artist’s famous paintings and sculptures, including Look Mickey, Whaam!, and Masterpiece.
“Lichtenstein at the Centre Pompidou” at Pavillon de la Reine includes:
- Overnight accommodations in a Superior room
- Two VIP entrance tickets for Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective
- A museum map
- Daily breakfast
Organized by Centre Pompidou in partnership with the Art Institute of Chicago and the Tate Modern in London, Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective will exhibit the artist’s expansive legacy. Lichtenstein is best known for classic early pop paintings based on advertisements and comic-book treatments of war and romance; his interpretations of paintings by modern masters; and series such as: Brushstrokes, Mirrors, Artist’s Studios, Nudes, and Landscapes in a Chinese Style.
Alongside Andy Warhol, Lichtenstein was a leading figure of the new art movement in the 1960s. It can be said that Pop Art was “defined, refined, and ultimately blown wide open” by the groundbreaking American pop artist. Lichtenstein is most distinguished by his use of hand-painted yet mechanical-looking dots to create areas of tone and color, which became his signature technique.
“Lichtenstein at the Centre Pompidou” is available for travel from July 3-August 31, 2013, with rates starting at €385 per night including tax and service charges.
To book a reservation visit www.pavillon-de-la-reine.com or call + 33 (0) 1 40 29 19 19.
February 21st, 2013
As Fashion Week winds down in New York and continues on, escape to Paris, the city that is home to Chanel, Hermes, Dior, and Louis for your own Fashion Week experience.
Hôtel du Petit Moulin, designed by Christian LaCroix and located in Paris’ trendy Marais district, is offering the “Ooh Là Là Vintage Fashion Masterclass” package. This experience evokes a bygone era with custom-made vintage clothing matched with a decadent champagne and tea service. Ooh Là Là Vintage, a top purveyor of retro fashion, first consults with guests to pinpoint their favorite vintage looks. Then, following a fitting, dressed in their chosen attire, guests enjoy a grand afternoon tea. And for true fashion enthusiasts, sister company Madame Tra La La is on hand to custom-design vintage pieces to be taken home as a souvenir.
Rates from €335 (approx. $440) per night (minimum stay of two nights), including daily breakfast. The package is offered through December 31 (perfect if you want to avoid the hub-bub of Fashion Week).
To book visit www.hotelpetitmoulinparis.com or call 33 (0)1 42 74 10 10
August 23rd, 2012
At AMPR, we’re lucky to work a stone’s throw away from the Union Square Greenmarket. With August’s cornucopia of locally grown produce, it’s hard to shake that “so-many-recipes-so-little-time” feeling while meandering through the various stalls. But fruit-wise, delicate berries from the Hudson Valley – in our opinion – always steal the show.
Fruit tarts are a common sight in France, a country that’s home to a number of exciting properties represented by AMPR. Last week would have been Julia Child’s 100th birthday, and we’re celebrating her legacy of French cooking with a classic tart native to windswept Oléron, a scenic island off France’s Atlantic coast. The recipe is featured in Ruth Reichl’s book Tender at the Bone (a joy to read, by the way!) preceded by a few descriptive lines that had us chomping at the bit to get our hands in the flour:
Danielle took her finger out of her mouth and took a bite. I watched her. She took another. And another. I took a bite myself.
It was magnificent. The fruit was intoxicatingly fragrant and each berry released its juice only in the mouth, where it met the sweet, crumbly crust. “Why is this so much better than other tarts?” I asked.
Madame Deveau looked at me with something like interest. “The American wakes up,” she commented. “It is that the products here are so good,” she said. “Good butter from fat cows and wild berries grown in the island air.”
While we can’t comment on how the Big Apple’s Greenmarket compares to the fat cows and island berries of Oléron, we can happily confirm that this tart is a welcome taste of summer – anywhere , anytime. Now, be inspired!
Oléron Raspberry Tart
1½ c. sifted flour
¼ c. sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ¼-inch squares
2 tbs. heavy cream
1 egg yolk
¾ c. blanched almonds, toasted
¾ c. sugar
3 tbs. unsalted butter, softened
3 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 c. raspberries
2 tbs. currant jam and/or powdered sugar, for garnish (optional)
Place sugar and flour in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Add the butter squares to the flour mixture and blend using a pastry blender or forks until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Add cream to the egg yolk and pour into flour mixture. Mix lightly with a fork until the pastry holds together in a small ball. If it’s not moist enough, add a tablespoon or so of water.
Sprinkle some flour across a counter and push the dough with the heel of your palm until it has been worked through. Do not over-mix. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and let rest in the refrigerator for at least three hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the dough and allow to warm on the countertop for ten minutes. On a floured surface, flatten the ball and roll it into an eleven-inch circle. Fit gently into an eight- or nine-inch tart pan with a fluted edge and removable bottom. Press into pan gently, being careful not to stretch the dough. Trim off the edges and freeze for ten minutes to firm.
Line the tart shell with aluminum foil and fill with rice or dried beans. Bake 20 minutes. Remove aluminum foil and filler and bake for five minutes more or until golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool while making the filling.
Blend the almonds and three tablespoons of the sugar in a food processor until it is a fine powder. In a separate bowl, cream butter with the remaining sugar, and then add the yolks. Fold in the almond-sugar mixture and vanilla to combine.
Spread the almond mixture into the pre-baked crust and top with two cups of the fresh berries. Sprinkle the tart with two tablespoons of sugar and bake for 40 minutes or until just set. Cool at least two hours.
Just before serving, cover the tart with the remaining two cups of raspberries. Garnish with powdered sugar or brush the top with a simple glaze made from two tablespoons currant jam heated with one tablespoon of water. Bon appétit!
Photo was taken by Ben from the AMPR team.
July 13th, 2012
© Celeste Hutchins & Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons
The storming of the Bastille not only triggered the French Revolution, but also a mid-summer celebration. Taking place on the 14th of July each year, cities all around the world join France to honor the countries national holiday, La Fête Nationale, a.k.a Bastille Day. Celebrations include much more than tasty wine, French hors d’oeuvres, and shouting “Vive la France!” The day is filled with Military Parades, fireworks, concerts, and balls. Commencing at 9am, join in on the fun with the Military parade, where the crowd will honor the French Military while the French Military Jets distribute blue, white, and red smoke overhead in celebration of the nation’s colors. Post-parade events consist of an invite-only presidential garden party and a gigantic picnic for all on the banks of the Grand Canal. If you need some downtime before the infamous Eiffel Tower firework display, head to Musee d’Orsay or the Louvre – all museums throughout Paris are free to the public in celebration! Nevertheless, be sure to preserve some energy for the lively night scene because the festivities will continue into the wee hours of the morning at various nightclubs and hosted events. Retire with your dancing shoes to a lavish room at either Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome or Pavillion de la Reine to enjoy all the luxuries the French have to offer.
For apparent reasons, there is no better location to commemorate the holiday than in Paris. However if you can’t make the trip, put on your beret and look closer to home because this holiday is internationally celebrated.
June 15th, 2012
Alice Marshall Public Relations now represents Hôtel du Petit Moulin in Paris, France. The boutique hotel designed by Christian Lacroix joins the family of hotels owned by Jérôme Chevalier, that includes Pavillon de la Reine and Le Pavillon des Lettres.
The 17-room Hôtel du Petit Moulin is located on the corner of Rue du Poitue and Rue de Saintonge, nestled in the chic shopping scene that is the city’s hip Marais district. Housed in a 17th-century building, behind the historic façade of Paris’ oldest bakery, the eclectic Hôtel du Petit Moulin opened in 2005. Each of the rooms were individually designed by Christian Lacroix, and the interiors reflect the designer’s vivid imagination and signature palette of vivid colors; room themes range from opulent Baroque to spare Scandinavian to a slightly sci-fi lunar look to zebra everything, and more. A virtual design kaleidoscope, rooms are decorated with blown-up sketches from Lacroix’s own notepads, and antique chairs upholstered in bold, modern fabrics, while bathrooms feature intricate mosaic tiling in a variety of designs, and lawn-green hallways are paired with black-and-white polka dot carpet.
“It’s like couture,” Christian Lacroix has said of Hôtel du Petit Moulin. “Where the harmony is created from a puzzle of inspirations, where the feeling of the moment is nourished with elements from the past, where modernity lives in the tradition of the present.”
After a day of strolling around the historic Place des Vosges and exploring nearby sites, such as Notre Dame and the Bastille, unwind in the hotel’s stylish bar, that features “scrap book” walls and modular, 60s seating in luminous Liquorice All-Sort shades of yellow, orange, lime, and pink. You may even catch a glimpse of Christian himself.
Rates start at 250 euros (approximately $313 USD) per night. For more information visit www.paris-hotel-petitmoulin.com.
May 22nd, 2012
In addition to the permanent collection of artwork and sculpture adorning Le Pavillon des Lettres, the literary-themed hotel, located just off Paris’ Champs Elysées, has launched an ongoing art series that will showcase collections of original artwork on a rotating basis.
The first installation features the photographs of local Parisian photographer, Blaise Lavigne, and can be viewed (and purchased) from now through June 10. The artwork is dotted among the hotel’s public spaces, seamlessly blending with the décor.
Lavigne’s exhibit, entitled Correspondences, features 25 stunning portraits of readers – a perfect complement to the literary atmosphere of Le Pavillon des Lettres. Like all of his work, Lavigne’s images play on light and form, creating a sense of fragility and dream-like elegance.
Following Lavigne’s exhibit, Le Pavillon des Lettres will feature Jean-Daniel Henry’s photography collection, “Les portraits dans le Noir” (portraits in the dark) from September 6 through December 31.
For more information about Le Pavillon des Lettres, visit www.pavillondeslettres.com or call 33 (01) 49 24 26 26.
For more information about Lavigne’s work visit www.blaiselavigne.com.
About Le Pavillon des Lettres
Opened in November 2010, the boutique luxury hotel combines arts, literature and fine design, with each of its 26 rooms devoted to a letter of the alphabet and an international writer corresponding to that letter. Think H for Hugo or B for Baudelaire. Text from the corresponding author’s book, poem or play is painted above the bed and a hard copy of the piece can be found on the nightstand, right next to the iPad in each room – loaded with international bestsellers and playlists from jazz to classical and beyond. The two top floor penthouse suites offer sweeping views of the Eiffel Tower and the Grand Palais.
April 24th, 2012
- Rain or shine, this is one event that no one wants to miss. On April 26, 2012, as part of the 2012 Park Hyatt Masters of Food & Wine, Park Hyatt Seoul will be offering a Korean ethnic earthenware Onggi class followed by a reception and full course dinner with exclusive, locally-produced caviar and sturgeon complemented by an excellent wine selection.
- Make downtime fun in Thailand with Anantara activities: chef-led Thai cooking class and market tours at Anantara Lawana on Koh Samui, 120 minutes of bliss with the Pearl of Andaman signature treatment at Anatara Phuket Villas’s Anantara Spa, a Floral Foot Ritual, Traditional Chinese Herbal Back Massage, and Pearl Facial.
- Take advantage of a rainy day at sea to try an onboard enrichment program at Crystal’s Creative Learning Institute. Take a crash course in a foreign language with Berlitz, taste wine with the Society of Wine Educators, or create a work of art with Crystal’s Masterpeice Art Program, the most comprehensive art program at sea.
La Réserve Ramatuelle
- April marks the re-opening of La Réserve Ramatuelle. Dedicated to health, the hotel has indoor and outdoor fitness options that include an indoor pool and a fitness center with Technogym equiptment – guests can stay fit rain or shine! In April, La Réserve is offering the third night free for any reservation of two nights!
- While it might be raining outside, at Geejam it’s always jammin’ no matter the weather. The hotel has its own recording studio where guests can learn the recording process and record a track on the mic.
- Rain is a fact of life in Scotland; lucky for us, the Scots have had centuries to figure out how to make the best of it. Orient-Express’ The Royal Scotsman’s new season is sure to entertain during April showers with elegant Scottish dinners, breathtaking views, and the quiet comforts of private Edwardian-style carriages.
One&Only Ocean Club
Park Hyatt Tokyo
- Stay high and dry on the 41st floor while indulging in some sweet temptations. Every weekday afternoon, the Peak Lounge offers a tea plate and sweets buffet showcasing quintessential Japanese confections, such as warabi mochi sprinkled generously in sweet toasted kinako and a panna cotta accented with sakura sauce and macaron.
- Borrow The Wauwinet’s complimentary Hunter Boots to explore Nantucket on a rainy afternoon. Watch the storm roll into the bay or take a short walk to the Whaling Museum and check out the 46-foot skeleton of a sperm whale that washed ashore in 1998.
Le Pavillon des Lettres
- Take advantage of the rain and catch up on your reading. There’s no better place than the intimately luxurious Le Pavillon de Lettres, Paris’ first literary hotel. Guests can curl up by the fireplace or read from one of the hotel’s many iPads, loaded with international bestsellers, in the privacy of their rooms.
Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa
- Let the rain be your excuse to take a break from the outdoor activities available at the Victoria-Jungfrau and indulge in the signature treatment at the hotel’s ESPA Spa, the authentic Swiss Alpine herb poultice massage. The herbal foot ritual, full-body poultice massage, and relaxing head and scalp massage are guaranteed to relax you from head to toe.
- When rain has one homebound, get that face ready for summer. Start with a gentle exfoliation with Gommage Grain d’Eclat, follow with quick swipe of refreshing Lotion Hydra Fraîcheur toner, and finish off with 10 minutes of the smooth and gentle Hydra Sensitive Face Mask (voted Best Overall Face Mask by NewBeauty).
- Rainy days and Mondays get you down? Make the best of an April shower and take a “Spa-Cation” at the Peninsula Spa. This includes a 60-minute ESPA massage, a special lunch, and complimentary use of the pool and fitness center.
Inn on the Alameda
- Let it rain, let it rain!!! While rainfall in Santa Fe is negligible, when it does rain, it pours! Take shelter in the Inn’s cozy Agoyo Room and enjoy a Turquoise Margarita or a New Mexican wine while sitting in front of the roaring fire.
- While April showers are nourishing the earth, Shakti guests can nourish their souls by sitting in meditation with Buddhist monks in a Sikkimese monastery, meeting with a real medicine man in a remote Ladakhi village house, or creating a bespoke itinerary featuring customized adventures.
Royal Mansour Marrakech
- April showers may be cold and dull, but traditional Moroccan hammams are not! At 27,000 square feet, Royal Mansour’s two-story spa features thirteen treatment rooms, a fitness center, gymnastics area, a salon, two hammams, and an indoor swimming pool. Try out their signature Slimming Body Massage to prepare for the summer ahead!
Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens
- A little rain never spoils the party in Costa Rica! Don’t fret – the almost-daily showers usually don’t last more than a few minutes, leaving just enough time to sample a sommelier-selected assortment of 33 South American wines and Latin American tapas at Nostalgia Wine Bar at Nayara, near the Arenal Volcano in the heart of the rainforest.
January 25th, 2012
Crazy Horse Cabaret, the avant-garde icon of provocative Parisian nightlife, continues the celebration of its 60th anniversary with Le Pavillon des Lettres, extending an invitation to see the show and get a room. In a perfect marriage of the arts (literature and burlesque go hand in hand, non?), the literary hotel and the legendary theater are offering a package that includes amour-inducing accommodations, VIP tickets to Crazy Horse’s 60th anniversary celebration show, Désir, and some take-home memorabilia.
In order to get the most bang for your burlesque buck, we suggest some pre-Paris homework… In a documentary showing at the Film Forum in New York City now through Tuesday, February 7, and currently available anytime, anywhere on Netflix, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman has captured the mystique of the most famous nude dance show in the world with “Crazy Horse: Désir.” Wiseman’s new film takes a behind-the-scenes look at the painstaking creation, grueling rehearsals, and ultimate unveiling of the 60th anniversary show.
Radiating the timeless elegance of Paris, Le Pavillon des Lettres features 26 intimate rooms, each dedicated to a letter of the alphabet that pays homage to corresponding French and international literary geniuses. A stay in a room named for, and decorated with the works of such writers of passion and romance as F for Flaubert (Madame Bovary), S for Shakespeare (Romeo & Juliet), or T for Tolstoy (Anna Karenina) is sure to enhance the experience.
This offer includes :
- Deluxe Room accommodations
- Daily breakfast
- Two VIP tickets to Crazy Horse
- Crazy Horse photo book
- Rates start at 440 euros per night ($570 USD)
- Valid for travel now through December 31, 2012
- Minimum two-night stay; based on double occupancy
For additional information visit:
www.pavillondeslettres.com or call +33 (0)1 49 24 26 26
December 1st, 2011
La Réserve Genève Hotel & Spa, Geneva, Switzerland
Nestled on the shores of Lake Geneva, La Réserve Genève Hotel & Spa is offering guests the perfect holiday getaway. Complete with a private ice-rink and traditional Christmas Market-style winter chalets, La Réserve Genève will be transformed into a true Winter Wonderland starting December 13.
Set within La Réserve Genève’s large onsite gardens, the Winter Wonderland will offer spectacular views of Lake Geneva. La Réserve guests can book a private skating lesson or glide solo across the ice before enjoying the festive winter chalets. Despite the chill in the air, a chic waitstaff will be serving festive treats such as crêpes, waffles, oysters, mulled wine, Sancerre, Champagne, and caviar.
A two-night weekend stay at La Réserve Genève starts from $1,076 (based on two sharing a double room) and includes full use of all hotel facilities including the spa, fitness center, swimming pool, indoor tennis courts, and the Winter Wonderland. To book: www.lareserve.ch / +41 22 959 59 59.
La Réserve’s Winter Wonderland is open to hotel guests only from December 13, 2011, to February 26, 2012.
Eden au Lac, Zurich, Switzerland
While the singing Christmas tree at Werdemühleplatz and the hot spiced wine at Europe’s biggest indoor Christmas market may keep Zurich merrymakers grounded, the most festive spot in town is perched high above the city streets! Eden au Lac’s Top of Eden terrace is celebrating the holidays in high style with private fondue tastings and a rooftop Christmas market.
Nothing beats fondue – except for fondue with a view! Choose from truffle or classic flavored fondue paired with mulled wine while enjoying amazing views of Lake Zurich. Stay warm with gingerbread, hot chestnuts, and cozy blankets. The festively decorated terrace can now be exclusively reserved for a private fondue tasting for two for just 310 CHF (approximately $337).
Skip the crowded stores and take shopping to the next level at Zurich’s smallest Christmas market located on Top of Eden! From November 27-December 23, guests can shop the city’s best kept secret while snacking on Wienerli sausages, roast chestnuts, and Christmas biscuits for 49 CHF (approximately $53).
Pavillon de la Reine and Le Pavillon des Lettres, Paris, France
Paris at Christmas time is magical, with vin chaud and gingerbread sold in the Tuileries, twinkling lights adorning the Champs-Elysées, and charming holiday markets such as the historic Marché de Noël. The impossibly chic Pavillon de la Reine and new literary-themed sister hotel Le Pavillon des Lettres are the ideal places to ring in the Yuletide with luxurious accommodations and special seasonal treats.
Guests of both hotels who book the “Parisian Christmas” package for the festive season will have the option to explore Paris’ grand boulevards by night on an enchanting chauffeur-driven journey past department stores awash with lights and elaborate window decorations, by the lavishly decorated tree on Notre Dame Cathedral’s main plaza, and down the majestic Champs-Elysées lined with light-drenched trees stretching all the way from Place de l’Etoile and the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde.
For many Parisian Christmas guests, the holiday season would be incomplete without a generous helping of delightful bites, who may opt to visit one of the most beautiful chocolateries in Paris instead, where they will learn about the fascinating history of chocolate-making and sample their decadent creations.
The “Parisian Christmas” package includes accommodations for two in a Deluxe Room at Pavillon de la Reine or Le Pavillon des Lettres and either a chauffeured evening tour through Paris or a visit to local chocolatier.
Package rates at Pavillon de la Reine and Le Pavillon des Lettres start at €450 and €350, per night respectively. Two night minimum stay is required. Package is valid for travel December 11 through December 27. To book: www.pavillon-de-la-reine.com Tel : 33 (0) 1 40 29 19 19 or www.pavillondeslettres.com or Tel : 33 (0) 1 40 24 26 26
October 26th, 2011
Escape the humdrum of the holidays and leave behind the crowded stores, traffic, gift-wrapping, and tangled lights in exchange for a stress-free season at one of these 10 alternative spots. Whether it’s close by or halfway around the world, it’ll surely be unforgettable.
Enjoy the holidays stateside…
Where: White Elephant and Jared Coffin House
What: A New England holiday
Why: Nantucket Island celebrates the season with Nantucket Noël, a month-long celebration that runs November 25–December 31. The highlight event is the Annual Christmas Stroll Weekend, December 2–4. Stores, shops, and restaurants open their doors for shoppers (almost everything on the island is on sale!), carolers sing favorite holiday tunes, and Santa Claus arrives aboard a Coast Guard vessel. Steps from historic downtown, White Elephant is the perfect place to spend the weekend. For a longer stay, the Jared Coffin House is ideal. Open all season long and built in 1845, this historic hotel will have you feeling the spirit of the holidays.
When: White Elephant rates start at $195 per night from December 1–5. Jared Coffin House rates start at $155 per night during this special season.
Jump the pond…
Where: Hotel Crillon le Brave
What: A traditional French holiday experience
Why: Hidden in a tranquil town in France, Hotel Crillon le Brave is the perfect place to go for a peaceful escape. Festivities start on December 23 with a classical music concert in the local village church. On Christmas Eve, the hotel hosts an elaborate dinner that is sure to get guests into the Christmas spirit, who are also invited to celebrate the New Year with champagne in La Grange, the cozy bar, followed by a decadent dinner in the restaurant by a roaring log fire.
When: Holiday rates start at $329 dollars per night from December 23–January 2.
Salisbury and Canterbury, U.K.
Where: Onboard Orient-Express British Pullman
What: Festive seasonal journeys that rival the magical Polar Express (and you don’t have to go as far as the North Pole!)
Why: Hop on the British Pullman and enjoy the caroling in Canterbury or Salisbury’s world famous cathedrals. Following the concerts, guests are welcome to roam freely through the festive cities. With each excursion, they can look forward to a delectable brunch served with a Bellini on the outward journey and a four-course meal with wine and champagne on the way home. To make the trip even more unforgettable, upon return to London, guests visiting Salisbury may choose to stay overnight at The Goring, a luxurious hotel adjacent to Buckingham Palace, where Kate Middleton spent her last night as a commoner.
When: Rates begin at £350 ($550) per person and include brunch and a four-course dinner with champagne and wine. Dates for the Canterbury journey are December 6 and 13, 2011, and for the Salisbury journey, on December 15, 2011.
Where: Le Pavillon des Lettres
What: A cozy Parisian getaway
Why: The new Le Pavillon des Lettres is housed in a classic Haussman townhouse in the 8th arrondissement. The hotel features 26 rooms – each devoted to a letter of the alphabet and an international writer corresponding to that letter. Shakespeare, Baudelaire and Rousseau are among the authors whose quotes are elegantly scrawled on the walls en Français. Settle down in the hotel’s library, next to the fireplace, and spend the holidays relaxing and reading while sipping a sumptuous cocktail from the honesty bar.
When: Rates start at £250 ($345) per night.
Where: Royal Mansour Marrakech
What: A Rockin’ Moroccan New Years
Why: Spend the advent of a new year in utmost relaxation unwinding in a private riad, a Moroccan style house decorated with luxurious hand-done tile work and mosaic-covered courtyard floors. Visit Royal Mansour’s own traditional-style hammam, while the children are entertained at the exciting Kids Club, before a luxurious meal with menus created by three Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alléno, or escape into the city of Marrakech for a bite while soaking in the unique rhythms of the centuries-old city.
When: Holiday rates start at $2,228 for a one-bedroom riad from December 15 to January 7.
As far as you can get…
Paro Valley, Bhutan
Where: Uma Paro
What: Ten days of exploration in this culture-rich Himalayan Kingdom
Why: With sweeping mountain views, there is no shortage of adventure at Uma Paro. Bring the whole family during Uma Paro’s 10-day holiday program and attend lectures on Buddhism, go for hikes in the Himalayas, watch an archery contest, or participate in candlelit yoga sessions. There will also be a special mask performance, a Bhutanese film night, and an evening of traditional music and dance. Children 12 and under who are sharing a villa with their parents stay free.
When: rates start at $330 until December 31, 2011.
Koh Samui and Koh Phangan, Thailand
Where: Anantara Lawana Resort & Spa and Rasananda Phangan Island Resort & Spa
What: Two island experiences for the price of one
Why: For anyone wanting to get away for a week of relaxation and exploration before the holiday season kicks into high gear, the “Two Island Experience” package from Anantara is a perfect fit. The six-night island hopping adventure begins with a three-night stay at Anantara Lawana Resort & Spa on beautiful Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand, to be whisked away by speedboat to the more remote yet infamous island of the full moon parties, Koh Phangan, for an additional three-night stay at Rasananda Phangan Island Resort & Spa.
When: rates start at $578 through December 20 and include accommodations, daily breakfast, speedboat transfer, and roundtrip airport transfers.
Where: Uma Ubud and COMO Shambhala Estate
What: A Balinese escape for the mind, body, and soul
Why: The holidays can be exhausting, so treat the family to a well deserved break at Uma Ubud. This exotic retreat overlooking a valley is the perfect place to unwind and explore with its lush forests, sweeping rice paddies, and COMO Shambhala Retreat spa. Nearby in the town of Ubud is COMO Shambhala Estate, a secluded, residential health retreat with a focus on wellness and relaxation. The Discover COMO Shambhala program allows guests to design their own wellness experiences at the retreat and is the perfect way to decompress during this stressful season.
When: Holiday season rates start at $290 per night from December 20–January 6 at Uma Ubud, and the Discover COMO Shambhala program at COMO Shambhala Estate starts at $1,400 for three nights.
Where: Shakti Kumaon Village Experience and Shakti 360° Leti
What: A unique getaway that’s far off the beaten path
Why: Experience the culture and beauty of India this fall with Shakti’s Kumaon village walking experience followed by a stay at 360° Leti, the boutique hotel set at 8,000 feet elevation.
When: Season is from October 1 until April 30, 2012.
A four-day, three-night Shakti Kumaon village experience is $1,307 per person, based on two or three adults, and includes accommodations, food and beverage, activities, English-speaking guide and porters, car at disposal, and roundtrip transfer between Kathgodam train station or Pantnagar airport and village houses, and taxes. Rates for a three-night, four-day package at 360˚ Leti start at $1,916 per adult, based on two traveling on a twin/double share basis. Rates include accommodation in a private cottage, all food and beverage, activities, English-speaking guide and porters, car at disposal, roundtrip transfer between Shakti Kumaon village experience and Shakti 360˚ Leti, and all taxes.
Chiang Rai, Thailand
Where: Anantara Golden Triangle Resort & Spa
What: An elephant adventure in Northern Thailand
Why: For anyone seeking an unforgettable holiday adventure with the whole family, Anantara Golden Triangle Resort & Spa’s Mahout Discovery package is just the ticket! Learn how to feed, bathe, and ride these gentle giants through the forest during a 3-day mahout training course. Perched on a lush hillside near the borders of Burma and Laos, the resort, so rich in culture, is a blissful escape for adults and children alike.
When: rates start at $342 per night based on double occupancy through December 31.