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.

 

 

 

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.

 

yoga, rhinos, and dark skies: ampr now representing andbeyond

February 19th, 2013

We are proud to announce  andBeyond as our newest client.  andBeyond is a leader in luxury experiential travel and a conservation pioneer offering well-heeled travelers diversity, escape, and natural heritage.

New & Noteworthy

  • In the first private game reserve donation of rhinoceros to another country, andBeyond is translocating six white rhinoceros from andBeyond South Africa to Botswana.  South Africa lost 668 to illegal poaching last year;  Botswana offers excellent security systems to protect the endangered species.
  • andBeyond is currently offering honeymoon travelers a 50 percent discount on the bride’s travel across all &Beyond lodges.  Highlighted locations include:  andBeyond Mnemba Island where guests can swim with dolphins and watch green turtles hatch before they swim off to sea; and andBeyond Kichwa Tembo, located in one of the richest and most diverse wildlife areas in the world.
  • The Homestead at andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal is now offering Yoga Safaris.  Other speciality safaris include  family, photography, birding, and wildlife tracking. (more…)

more than just turkeys and touchdowns, nantucket thanksgiving

November 14th, 2012

Come celebrate Turkey Day in the same state as the Pilgrims (the Grey Lady isn’t so far from Plymouth Rock!). The island is full of charm in the fall; the summer crowds have dispersed, prices have dropped, and the island is awash with vivid hues of crimson and purple. There’s no better setting for a tryptophan-induced food coma and a belly full of pie!

Stay

With Nantucket Island Resorts’ Hot Dates, Cool Rates promotion, rates at the White Elephant for Thanksgiving weekend (November 22-26) start at $195 and rates at the Jared Coffin House start at $155.

Feast

White Elephant’s Brant Point Grill hosts a special Thanksgiving buffet with all of the comfort foods you’d expect at your grandmother’s house, without all of the cooking and dishes. Think turkey with gravy, roasted leg of lamb, tenderloin, raw bar, warm cranberry bread pudding and house-made pies. Cost: Adults $72; children 4-10 $10; 3 & under free. Reservations required: 508.325.1320

Play

While football may be the traditional Thanksgiving game, golfers will be thrilled to know that post-pie they can go play 18 at Nantucket’s top-notch Sankaty Head Golf Club. This members-only club with coveted ocean views and links-style holes is open (for a fee) to anyone from October to May.

Sip

Nantucket’s own Cisco Brewers, known for its Whale’s Tale Pale Ale and other beers as well as its wine and distilled liquors, is a great place to come in from the fall chill. Taste a flight of beer, wine, or liquor and catch a brewery tour.

Plunge

Take part in a Nantucket tradition with the 11th Annual Cold Turkey Plunge! Every Thanksgiving morning, hundreds of brave souls gather on Children’s Beach and jump into the cold Nantucket Harbor. Prizes are awarded for best costumes, so be creative!

Cook

If you don’t want the Thanksgiving fun to end once you’ve returned home, here’s a recipe from Chef Fred Bisaillon of Brant Point Grill to help you hold on to that autumnal spirit.

Chocolate and Cranberry Herb Scones (makes 20 scones)

Ingredients:

1lb +10oz Pastry flour

2tsp salt

1oz baking powder

3oz sugar

12oz cubed cold butter

2oz egg yolk

2oz egg

15oz heavy cream

6oz cranberries

6oz white chocolate chips

Zest of 1 orange

¼ tsp chopped fresh thyme

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Sift together flour, baking powder, and sugar. Add butter to dry ingredients, mixing on low speed with paddle attachment. In another bowl, combine the eggs, yolks, and cream, then add the egg mixture to the sifted ingredients and butter all at once, mix just to incorporate, then add zest, cranberry, chocolate, and thyme. Pat down dough onto the baking pan about 1” thick. Allow to rest in refrigerator for about 1.25 hours. Cut the dough into 4”rounds or any desired shape, brush with eggwash (one beaten egg, separate from the recipe above, plus 1 T cold water) and allow to sit for 5 minutes then repeat. Bake until golden brown. About 15-18 minutes in a convection oven. Cool to room temp and Enjoy!

 

first zurich food festival will fill the swiss

June 26th, 2012

This summer, Zurich is holding its first ever food festival, Il Tavolo! Beginning on June 27 and lasting until July 1, the event will take place along the beautiful Limmat River in Switzerland, showcasing a mixture of Mediterranean food and haute Swiss cuisine from local five-star hotels and restaurants, including the Park Hyatt Zurich.

As host of the opening night dinner, Park Hyatt Zurich will be serving a lavish six-course meal prepared by six different chefs.  Join in the fun and watch them as they run from kitchen to kitchen to prepare your five-star dish!

The highlight of the festival will be the Gala Night held at the Swiss National Museum, which will serve a delicious array of foods prepared by the top chefs of Switzerland. The goal of the festival is to highlight the fantastic cuisine Switzerland has to offer, as well as bring the Zurich community together for a few great days of food and fun.  Our recommendation? Stay at Park Hyatt Zurich to be in the middle of the action, or Eden Au Lac for a gorgeous getaway just five-minutes away. Bon appétit!

le petite prince (and princess)

May 30th, 2012

Been there, done that? This summer, embark on a different family-friendly getaway in Geneva, Switzerland, with La Réserve Genève.

Where: Nestled along the shores of Lake Geneva, La Réserve Genève, the contemporary five-star hotel with interiors by Jacques Garcia, features spacious rooms and suites, some even with separate kitchens and living and dining rooms – ideal for families.

Fun for the Little Ones: Younger guests can spend their days at La Petite Réserve, an en plein playground and tree house. Daily supervised age-appropriate activities and babysitting services are available for kids ages six months to 14 years and include tennis, golf, diving, sailing, wakeboarding, and swimming lessons. *

Fun for Adults: Parents can relax poolside indulging in a luxurious spa treatment using products such as La Prairie, enjoying an intimate meal at one of the property’s three restaurants, or cruising around Geneva in one of the hotel’s Tesla roadsters.

Fun Times Together: Geneva is home to a variety of family-friendly festivals this summer, including the Bol D’Or (June 15-17), in which 600 boats and yachts take to the waters of Lake Geneva in a contest for the Golden Cup, or the Fêtes de Genève (July 19 – August 12), one of the biggest events in Switzerland offering over 250 free concerts, crafts, food, and one of the largest musical firework shows in the world.

For more information about La Réserve Genève click here, or call +41 22 959 59 59.

*The kids program is offered Monday through Friday from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM. One week enrollment costs 1,200 CHF (approximately $1,322 USD).

nantucket book festival: june 15 – 17

May 11th, 2012

The Wauwinet, White Elephant

Celebrate Nantucket Island’s rich literary past, present, and future at the island’s first Nantucket Book Festival, June 15 – 17. The weekend’s celebration will include panel discussions, readings for adults and children, pig roast at Cisco Brewery, and opportunities to meet notable authors in person, plus much more.

A handful of local Nantucket authors will be participating including Elin Handbrand, whose books are ideal beach reads, Nancy Thayer, author of 21 novels with her latest Heat Wave due out in June, and Nathaniel Philbrick, New York Times bestselling author of seagoing books.

Stroll down Broad Street and pop into Nantucket Bookworms to buy a book for your literary-themed weekend. (May we suggest Moby Dick?). Rest your head at The Wauwinet or at the White Elephant, both which offer cozy libraries – perfect for leafing through your new book, with a complimentary glass of port of sherry in hand.

To book overnight accommodations, visit www.nantucketislandresorts.com.

For more information about the Nantucket Book Festival, click here.

take your mama out

April 30th, 2012

Forget the Hallmark card or the flowers and take Mom away for a real treat. We’ve put together some suggestions for a Mother’s Day she won’t soon forget.

Where: One&Only Palmilla, Los Cabos, Mexico

What: Get Mom a weekend of spa treatments in paradise.

When: Mother’s Day Weekend

Why Mom will love it: Mothers and daughters can unwind in the privacy of a double Spa villa at the ESPA spa complete with private garden, rain showers, outdoor Mexican daybeds, and whirlpool baths to relax in after a treatment. Special for the weekend are Mother-Daughter Soul-to-Soul moments ($640 for two) that include a Mother-Daughter yoga or salsa experience, an ESPA age-defying radiance facial or intensive facial, a spa lunch, and full use of the heat experience and relaxation area, or the Enduring Memory Mother’s Day Experience ($355) with a two-hour holistic body ritual, an in-villa 30-minute experience including a foot ritual, bath, and relaxation time, a spa lunch, and full use of the heat experience and relaxation areas. And all of this with her now favorite child.

Where: Inn on the Alameda, Santa Fe, New Mexico

What: Show Mom how much you care by sending her to the welcoming Inn on the Alameda for a weekend of adult-only relaxation.

When: Mothers Day Weekend

Why Mom will love it: With the Please Your Parents Package, Mom and Dad can enjoy a weekend away from the kids in Deluxe Accommodations at the Inn, including the Inn’s signature continental breakfast, afternoon wine hour, and one box of yummy bizcochitos, the official New Mexico state cookie.

Rate: Nightly rate is $220 plus tax per room per night. With a regular rate of $270 plus tax, this package has $50 nightly savings and applies to the Inn’s Deluxe Rooms only. The stay must include Mother’s Day, Sunday May 13, 2012, but there is no minimum night stay requirement. The offer is subject to hotel availability.

Where: The Peninsula Spa, New York

What: An amazing ESPA “Spa-Cation” without leaving the island

When: Perfect for the week before or after Mother’s Day

Why Mom will love it: Play hooky and take your mama out! Without hopping on planes trains, or automobiles, have a spa-cation right in the city. You and mom can indulge in a 60-minute treatment, a special lunch, and complimentary use of the pool and fitness center. It’s available Monday-Thursday for $285 per person.

Where: White Elephant and Brant Point Grill, Nantucket, Massachusetts

What: Breakfast in bed is a nice gesture, but we bet Mom will enjoy the “Best Brunch on the Island” even more!

When: Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 13, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Why Mom will love it: From the Benedict Burger to the make-your-own Bloody Mary bar, a Sparkling Station for mimosas, and a brand new tapas station, this brunch is complete with all of Mom’s favorites.

Rate: Brant Point Grill’s Mother’s Day Brunch is $55 for adults, $25 for kids ages 6-12 and $5 for kids ages 3-5. Combine your brunch with a stay at White Elephant and enjoy special Hot Dates Cool Rates, starting at $195 per night.

Where: Park Hyatt Beaver Creek, Avon, Colorado

What: Located in the heart of the Colorado Rockies, this luxury chateau-style resort features many amenities, including the 30,000 square-foot Allegria Spa, with a full-service fitness center, slopeside pool and hot tubs. This world-class spa is offering the “Her Day, Her Way Mother’s Day” package, an exceptional package for moms to unwind on their special day.

When: Mothers Day, Sunday, May 13, 2012.

Why Mom will love it: Spoil Mom with an extra luxurious spa escape with the “Her Day, Her Way Mother’s Day” package that includes a 50-minute Swedish Massage; choice of one of three select treatments (25 minute Sweet Lavender Body Scrub, 30 minute Custom Facial or Express Manicure & Pedicure); champagne; take-home spa gift; and access to Aqua Sanitas, the health club, the pools and hot tubs.

Where: Parrot Cay, Turks & Caicos

What: Max and relax with Mom for a stress-free weekend away

When: Mothers Day Weekend

Why Mom will love it: Stress is a fact of life for mothers and daughters alike, which is why Parrot Cay has designed a Stress Management Wellness Package to target and relieve sources of tension and worry. Professional consultants will take things down a few notches with deep relaxing therapies, enlightening outdoor pursuits, and smart tips to put some of the carefree “island life” of Turks & Caicos into the home routine. Let the experienced personal fitness trainers convert pent-up stress into a productive mother-daughter workout, and follow it up with mind- and body-balancing yoga and meditation.

wash off the sun, salt, and sand with guinot’s new gel douche soleil

April 19th, 2012

Guinot’s new Gel Douche Soleil to the rescue! This NEW shower gel, made especially for bathing after sun exposure, is here just in time for Spring and Summer 2012. Sun, salt, and chlorine dry the skin, while sunscreens leave minerals behind. This shower gel has been formulated to dissolve sunscreen residues and UV filters while neutralizing the effects of chlorine and salt water. While all things relating to a day at the beach or pool tend to cause skin dehydration, so, too, do many ordinary soaps and cleansers. This after-sun superstar has Jojoba Oil to moisturize and soften, preventing dehydration and making it gentle enough for sunburned skin.

TO USE:Lather with Gel Douche Soleil in the shower to wash away sunscreens, salt, and chlorine.

Gel Douche Soleil comes in a 300ml bottle priced at $30.  Guinot products are carried in over 1,000 spas and salons within the US.  To locate a spa, visit www.GuinotUSA.com.

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