Welcome to the Summer of Adventure

June 20th, 2016

Today marks the first day of summer and everyone’s eager to make the most of the beautiful weather.  From sky diving to whitewater rafting, this season is all about embracing thrilling new pastimes.  Below we’ve highlighted four experiences that are ideal for a summer adventure.

Evian Resorts

What better place to paraglide than in the region where the sport was invented? From sailing on the biggest lake in Western Europe to paragliding over the Alpine peaks, Evian Resorts boasts over 80 outdoor activities.  The resorts even offer helicopter rides over the Chamonix Valley followed by a picnic lunch on the mountain.  Located between Lac Léman and the French Alps, Hotel Royal and Hotel Ermitage flourish in the summer with endless adventures for the whole family.

Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle De France


Go on an afternoon excursion with the team of experts at Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France’s sports center.  Choose any activity, from sailing to water skiing, and the resort’s team of Alchemists will combine their professional ability to interact with nature and their knowledge of the island to create an unforgettable tropical experience. You might even spot the hotel’s very own mermaid in the water!

Nayara Springs


Discover the rainforests of Costa Rica while staying at Nayara Springs.  Water rafting, canoeing, and horseback riding are just a few of the many ways to explore the tropical wilderness.  Those feeling especially adventurous might try the canopy tour and zip-line along the top of the rainforest, 150 feet above the ground.

Domaine de Manville


Only a short drive from Domaine de Manville, the Camargue, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the perfect place to explore Provence’s unique terrain.  Bike, bird-watch, and ride horses through the acres of wetlands. Those who wish to stay on-property can hike the 3 kilometer nature trail and take in the French countryside. The family-friendly journey is filled with panoramic views of the Alpilles, the mountain range that dominates Provence’s landscape.

 

 

 

International Yoga Day

June 17th, 2016

On June 21st, yogis from around the world will come together to celebrate International Yoga Day. While yoga’s easy enough to practice on your own or at your local gym, we’ve been looking for some of the coolest places to find your inner Zen. Here are just a few spots that can’t be beat:

On a Rooftop in Barcelona

At the Majestic Hotel & Spa in Barcelona, you can practice yoga on the roof with panoramic views of the city from the hotel’s prime location on Passeig de Gracia. From there, you’ll see Barcelona’s famous mountains and Gaudi’s modernistic Sagrada Familia, all while staying above the bustle of city life. The Majestic Hotel & Spa offers both group classes and private lessons that can be adapted for any level of experience.

Above the Jungle in Bali

At COMO Shambhala Estate, you can take complimentary classes or schedule private yoga lessons in a studio overlooking the Bali forests and mountains. There they practice Hatha Yoga, which combines asanas (postures), better breathing, and meditation. At COMO Shambhala Estate, a 23-acre property set on the River Ayung, yoga is just one part of the holistic wellness regime that begins the moment you set foot on the grounds.

On a Private Beach in Turks and Caicos

At COMO Parrot Cay, yoga classes are offered right on the beach. There’s nothing like the sound of the surf to soothe your senses and get you in a meditative state of mind, and the resort’s location on a private island is the ideal place to find inner peace. The only thing better than Yoga Day is five yoga days, COMO Parrot Cay offers five-day yoga retreats with top instructors like America’s Rodney Yee to allow you to fully dive into the experience.

In the Rainforest in Costa Rica

Nayara Springs has a pavilion set in the heart of the Arenal Volcano National Park in Costa Rica, where you can relax and enjoy one of the many complimentary group yoga classes or a private yoga lesson with an experienced instructor. When you’re completely surrounded by the forest and fresh air, listening to the humming birds sing, and feeling the warm Costa Rican sun on your body, you’ll feel at peace with the world.


what we want for valentine’s day

February 13th, 2015

This Valentine’s Day, it’s not only flowers and chocolate on our minds. We want…

A cocktail class at The Brooklyn Kitchen

This colorful book to sit on a coffee table

One of these, in red, to whip around in

An assortment of (one is never enough!) mini cupcakes from this Upper East Side bakery

This personalized bag for traveling

This little gadget for when our hearts get pumping

A bottle (or two or three) of this chilling in the fridge

Kleenex, Maker’s Mark, and this ice cream

 

Have a good weekend!

how to celebrate national rum punch day

September 18th, 2014

This week in  NYC we really started to feel the chill creep up.  Instead of rushing for cashmere throw blankets and Farmer’s Market hot apple cider, we’re burying our heads in the proverbial sand and grasping one last inch of summer.  How?  By throwing a Rum Punch Party! We highly recommend you do the same to celebrate National Rum Punch Day on Saturday, September 20.  Here’s how:

Step 1: Mix up one or all of our preferred rum libations (recipes below)

Step 2: Tune into some Reggae and steel drum beats (may we suggest the Jolly Boys?)

Step 3: Fill your home with sand and palm trees and transform your bathtub into a swimming pool (optional)

Traditional Rum Punch at Sugar Beach in St. Lucia

3 oz fresh pineapple juice
3 oz fresh orange juice
1 oz g St. Lucia Distillers Crystal White Rum
1 oz St. Lucia Distillers Bounty Rum
1 oz grenadine syrup for color

Shake all ingredients with ice and pour into an ice filled glass. Sprinkle the top with fresh nutmeg and dress with fresh pineapple.

Planteur at Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France in Saint Barth

  • 2 oz white and dark rum
  • 1.5 oz orange juice
  • .5 oz pineapple juice
  • .5 oz guava juice

Shake over ice and add fresh lime juice and cinnamon.

Blackwell Rum Cooler at Island Outpost’s GoldenEye in Jamaica

  • 2 oz Blackwell Rum
  • 1 lime
  • 1/4 orange
  • Brown sugar to taste
  • 1 can of ginger ale
  • 6 to 10 ice cubes

Mix Blackwell Rum with muddled lime and orange, brown sugar and crushed ice, top with ginger ale and garnish with orange slices.

 

AMPR TOP FIVE: bars with a view

July 15th, 2014

This summer, we’re taking our olives and twists on tour.

Here are our top five destinations for the most luxurious 5 o’clock somewhere.

1. MASAI MARA GAME RESERVE, KENYA

AMPR’s favorite garnish this summer is the sound of the Great Migration rattling the ice cubes in our gin and tonic. The only barrier between you and the wild is the drink in your hand at andBeyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp, situated where the forest meets the plains.

2. TOKYO, JAPAN

Sip Yamazaki neat at Park Hyatt Tokyo’s The Peak Bar, 41 stories into the sky and lit entirely by washi paper lanterns.

3. RAMATUELLE, FRANCE

Suspended between the clouds and the Mediterranean Sea, La Réserve Ramatuelle’s bar overlooks the crystal waters of the French Riviera. Hotelier Michel Reybier serves his private label Cos d’Estournel, a Sauvignon Blanc grown from his personal vineyard.

4. NANTUCKET ISLAND, MASSACHUSETTS

Sit under the Brant Point Grill’s shady canopy and gaze out at The White Elephant statue, a harbor-side symbol of the eponymous hotel’s history. Drink of choice: Lobster Bloody Mary.

5. SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

The Living Room at Park Hyatt Sydney offers a front-row seat to the Sydney Opera House and world-renowned harbor. With a glass of Penfolds in hand, everything is looking good from “down under.”

 

 

 

2013 Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Award Winners

October 15th, 2013

The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs

The results of Condé Nast Traveler 2013 Readers’ Choice Awards are in. This year, the 26th annual Readers’ Choice Awards boasted its highest-ever participation with 79,268 readers casting 1.3 million votes. The result is a compilation of the best cities, islands, cruise lines, airlines, hotels and resorts in the world.

The #1 spot for Top Hotel & Resort in the World was a tie between The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs in Matauri Bay, New Zealand and La Residence in Franschhoek, South Africa.

Congratulations to all the winners of the 2013 Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards including:

Top 100 Hotels & Resorts in the World: #1 The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, #7 One&Only The Palm Dubai, #22 (tied) Phinda Private Game Reserve, One&Only Palmilla, #63 Nayara Hotel Spa & Gardens, #75 Park Hyatt Dubai

Top Midsize-Ship Cruise Lines: #1 Crystal Cruises

Top Hotels in the Middle East: #1 Park Hyatt Dubai

Top Resorts in the Middle East: #1 One&Only The Palm Dubai, #2 Anantara Qasr Al Sarab, #5 One&Only Royal Mirage

Top Resorts in Central & South America: #1 Arenal Nayara Hotel & Gardens

Top Resorts in Baja, Mexico: #1 One&Only Palmilla

Top Hotels in Australia & the Pacific: #1 Park Hyatt Sydney

Top Hotels in the Atlantic: #2 One&Only Ocean Club, #4 Parrot Cay

Top Hotels in New England: #3 The Wauwinet, #7 White Elephant Hotel

Top Resorts & Safari Camps: #4 Phinda Private Game Reserve, #25 Lake Manyara Tree Lodge

Top Hotels in Chicago: #4 Park Hyatt Chicago

Top Hotels in Northern Europe: #5 Park Hyatt Hamburg

Top Hotels in South America: #4 Park Hyatt Palacio Duhau

Top Hotels in Washington, D.C: #5 Park Hyatt Washington, D.C.

Top Resorts in the Caribbean: #5 The Caves, #6 Hôtel Saint-Barth Isle de France, #10 Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort

Top Hotels in France & Monaco: #6 Park Hyatt Paris-Vedome, #18 Pavillon de la Reine

Top Hotels in Africa: #7 One&Only Cape Town

Top Hotels in Japan and South Korea: #7 Park Hyatt Seoul, #8 Park Hyatt Tokyo

Top Islands in the Caribbean: #7 St. Barths

Top Hotels in the Southwest: #8 Inn on the Alameda

Top Resorts in Europe: #10 Chewton Glen

Top Cities in the United States: #10 Napa

Top Hotels in Southeast Asia: #13 Park Hyatt Saigon

Top Resorts in Asia: #16 Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp

Top Hotels in Central Europe: #17 Park Hyatt Zurich

Top Hotels in China: #29 Park Hyatt Shanghai, #37 Park Hyatt Beijing

 

For the complete list of 2013 Readers’ Choice winners, click here: http://www.cntraveler.com/readers-choice-awards

welcome fall with guinot – save tans, banish dry lips, and wake up fresh

September 5th, 2013

Labor Day has come and gone; summer whites are getting traded for earth tones; and the autumn season is looming. Guinot has the solutions for easing the transition and preventing fall’s potential skincare havoc.

 

Losing a tan

Instead of fading away as September rolls in, Guinot’s Hydra Bronze can prolong the life of the diligently earned summer sun tan. The gradual tanning lotion creates a natural-looking tan that will last through the gloomiest days of November (and beyond).

 

Dry Lips

Dried and cracked lips from salty ocean water and sun exposure do not mix well with the aubergine and burgundy hues of fall lipstick. To get lips healthy and ready for a smooth coat of color, one can use Baume Lèvres Confort lip balm to soothe and soften. Best of all, applied a few minutes before lipstick, it works as a perfect primer.

 

Wake up calls

It’s easy to hop out of bed in the summer; when the sun starts rising later and there’s a chill in the air it’s not so enticing to emerge from under the covers. Three minutes of Masque Dynamisant Anti-Fatigue not only gives tired faces a quick boost of radiance, but the cold essential oils give the skin a burst of energy, making anyone feel and look like a morning person.

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queenstown winter fest kicks off today

June 21st, 2013

The 39th annual American Express Queenstown Winter Festival, the Southern Hemispheres biggest winter celebration, kicks off today. Thousands of locals and visitors alike will hit the streets and slopes of Queenstown, New Zealand to partake in more than 75 different events (most of which are free and fun for the whole family), such as firework showings, performances by major Kiwi musicians and comedians, and on mountain skiing and snowboarding.

Perfect for families attending the festival, Matakauri Lodge‘s “Family Heaven” package includes two nights’ accommodation with an interconnecting second bedroom, daily pre-dinner drinks, gourmet dinner, full breakfast and mini-bar, spa treatments for all family members, a four-hour babysitter with room service, and a private dining experience. Guests can attend the festival, exploring beyond the lodge, and then return back to luxury once the day is over.

Originating in 1975, the Winter Festival began when a group of locals decided to use the arrival of snow as an excuse for a party, bringing residents and visitors together. The tradition was born and, over the years, this little celebration has grown immensely, attracting people from all over the world to join the Kiwis in welcoming the winter. Now an iconic event, marked and circled on every local resident’s calendar, the festival attracts 45,000 attendees. The annual Winter Festival is all about celebrating the community, the mountain environment, and the start of the winter holiday season.

For more information on the Matakauri Lodge’s “Family Heaven” package visit:  http://www.matakaurilodge.com/family-heaven

For more Winter Festival Information visit: www.winterfestival.co.nz

“poo walks,” animal tracking, and crafts: andbeyond brings the family vacation into the bush

April 19th, 2013

No more waiting in line to ride Thunder Mountain. Swap riding the loop-de-loop for tracking leopards, cooking up tasty treats in a bush kitchen, and going on “poo walks.” As a leader in the industry of experiential travel, &Beyond is launching a new WILDchild program, offering children an interactive learning safari experience, an activity traditionally reserved for adults.

WILDchild, offered at &Beyond lodges throughout Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa, creates daily missions and excursions for children in the care of rangers, trackers, babysitters, and cooks.

Sample of Daily Missions:

Every lodge has a range of missions that is suitable to the lodge environment and will be given to the WILDchild to complete daily.

  • Poo Walks – embracing the juvenile fascination with scatology, trained rangers at Sandibe help children collect the dried dung of various animals to take back to the lodge to analyze (hyena droppings are often white due to the amount of bones these scavengers consume, while elephant dung is hardly digested and often resembles a ball of hay)
  • Animal Tracking – heading out with an expert ranger at Kirkman’s Camp to find clues such as broken twigs or freshly rubbed-off bark to find where certain animals are hiding
  • Fishing – going to the river at Xaranna to catch fish or to get a little messy with a round of “Kleilat” (a local game involving mud flinging)
  • Arts and Crafts – making traditional Zulu bows and arrows or embracing the modern, African love of recycling plastic into new objects such as animal figurines or purses at Phinda
  • Cooking – joining the chefs in the kitchen at Sossusvlei to learn to make homemade pasta and fresh bread or to decorate cookies and cupcakes

WILDchild Gear

Each child gets a WILDchild backpack with a special logbook and other goodies. Throughout the safari, the log is filled with mementos from the bush, notes, stickers, and badges. Each &Beyond lodge has a signature item to add to the bag (solar powered flash light, magnifying glass, compass…).

For more details on andBeyond’s 32 extraordinary lodges and camps in Africa and India, visit andBeyond.com.

 

lion tracks, snapshots, and kori bustards

March 13th, 2013

With more and more luxury travelers booking a safari as the choice, out-of-this-world experience, operators are upping their “game.”  andBeyond, the organization known for its pioneering eco-tourism, is now offering specialty, niche components to complement and personalize the traditional safari experience to match one’s interests. This includes private game drives focused on getting the perfect picture, learning how to track the Big Five in South Africa, or honing in on the kori bustards during a bird watching adventure in Tanzania. They have even created a yoga package. Add-ons start at $675 per day.

 

Animal Tracking

Gain the stealth and cunning of a lion and learn how to track wildlife with the help of a ranger and tracker team in a private, open 4×4 safari vehicle. Search for the elusive leopard, follow the warning cries of baboons to discover a pride of lions, look for clues, such as broken branches, to unearth a herd of elephants.

Rate: From R6,120 ($675), offered at Phinda, Ngala, and Kirkman’s Kamp

 

Bird Watching, African Style

Set out in a private 4×4 safari vehicle with a specialist birding ranger to enjoy the varied species found in the African bush. Most andBeyond lodges offer this opportunity to spot kori bustards, hornbills, secretary birds, and shining blue and red superb starlings – perfect for avid ornithologists.

Rate: From R6,120 ($675)

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