At The Siam in Bangkok, book any of our best available rates for three consecutive nights at The Siam, Bangkok and stay one night with our compliments at the exclusive Dhara Dhevi Hotel in Chiang Mai. This complimentary night in a Colonial or Villa Suite is for room only.
This amazing offer is valid until 31st March, 2015.
For bookings and additional information please contact The Siam’s reservations department directly at email@example.com.
Terms & Conditions
- Black out dates from December 21st, 2014 to January 3rd, 2015.
- Complimentary night must be connected with the stay at The Siam and is not to be booked separately.
- This offer can not be combined with any other promotion and advanced purchase rates.
- Complimentary night is subject to room availability.
To visit and explore Dhara Dhevi Hotel in Chiang Mai, visit: http://www.dharadhevi.com.
For more information, please call +66 (2)206 6999 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
When things get tough, the tough get going – to spas, that is. According to a comprehensive wellness travel study released last month by the non-profit research center SRI International, the global wellness market is now worth $3.4 trillion, making it nearly three times larger than the $1 trillion worldwide pharmaceutical industry.
The wellness sectors seeing the biggest spikes in growth and interest include:
- Healthy eating, nutrition and weight loss (108 percent increase to $276.5 billion since 2010)
- Preventative and personalized health (78 percent increase to $243 billion since 2010)
- Complementary and alternative medicine (65 percent increase to $113 billion since 2010)
- Beauty and anti-aging (51 percent increase to $679 billion since 2010)
For vacation seekers, this means wellness travel is no longer a marginal afterthought in getaway options. Rather, the consideration of wellness within one’s travel plans is becoming priority as stressed-out workers and consumers peruse the possibilities in resort destinations that will not provide a welcome change of scenery and lifestyle, but push the reset button on spirit and energy.
In fact, biggest industry sector for this study was wellness tourism, or travel associated with maintaining or enhancing one’s personal well-being and health. Wellness travel alone accounted for $494 billion spent on travel last year.
Answering the call that the quest for wellness travel generates, the destination spa resorts in the Kurtz-Ahlers & Associates portfolio of exclusive resort properties provides a formidable list of choices for the mounting demand.
The Ranch at Live Oak in Malibu, CA is the resort of choice for anyone who is serious about setting goals – and meeting them. Guests get their wake-up calls before sunrise and settle in for a day of hiking, training, great eating, fitful sleeping and, yes, sweet pampering. And they can expect to see a celebrity or two toning up for yet another close-up in this Malibu location so close to the star-studded enclaves of L.A. The ranch accommodates up to sixteen guests in weeklong programs that are all in.
VeraVia in Carlsbad, CA just north of San Diego combines a stay at Park Hyatt Aviara Resort (formerly a Four Seasons property) with a fully customized wellness regimen that fills a full day with hiking, fitness classes, workshops, counseling and healthy eating. The location is in mountains above the Pacific and a calming pool environment is there for anyone who wants to incorporate time to relax. Each guest receives a fully customizable menu of options in daily activity lists that include everything from yoga and Tai Chi to trips to a farmer’s market with a nutritionist. Wellness professionals help guests set life goals and show them paths for achieving them. Active follow-up coaching comes as part of the resort’s approach so that changes can, indeed, be achieved and maintained long after the vacation ends.
Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Baja California is an hour’s drive from San Diego and many miles away in slow and healthy living. The cottages and campus of this easy-access wellness retreat spread about the 3,000 acres of gardens and rolling mountain meadows. The resort accommodates up to 100 guests and provides a variety of fitness programs and activities — from daily morning hikes to Qi Gong to classes in healthy gourmet wellness meals. Weeklong programs run Saturday to Saturday and the inclusive rates wrap all meals, transfers, fitness activities, classes (and there are around 50 classes to choose from each day), lectures, workshops and entertainment into neat and effective programs. Three- and four-night packages are also available for quick tune-ups. A variety of specials and theme weeks take place throughout the year.
Ananda in the Himalayas is a short flight or four-hour train trip from New Delhi, and offers a movie set backdrop for a wellness journey that delves deep into mind, body and spirit. The stay here is in what was once a Raja’s palace and focus is placed on harmonizing energies through meditation, yoga, hiking and mindful walks in the mountains, intense massage treatments based on the wisdom of the Vedas, and healthy ayurvedic eating based on body type. A variety of programs and flexible schedules meet guest demand – whether one wants to stay a few nights or a few weeks. Medical practitioners and wise Buddhist and Hindu spiritualists work with guests to de-stress and reset no matter how long the stay.
(011 91) 1378 227500
Fivelements in Bali puts guests right into the heart of nature with nine thatched cottage suites and villas, each surrounded by primal forest and overlooking the sacred Ayung River. The spa at Fivelements focuses on Balinese culture and wisdom, immersing guests in a holistic spa experience based on harmonizing the physical, emotional and spiritual parts of our inner and outer worlds. Healing here incorporates meditation with deep bodywork and tapping prana energy in rituals performed by authentic healers. Guests here come for the cleansing, the rest, the deep spirit work and bodywork managed through hydromassage, chomotherapy, watsu, reflexology and beauty treatments. All-inclusive retreats run from three days to three weeks and focus on purification, balancing and regeneration, eating life-sustaining foods, and skills for creating inner strength.
(011 62) 361 469 206
Chiva-Som in Hua Hin, a royal resort town on the Gulf of Thailand around three hours south of Bangkok by car, offers a kitchen sink approach to wellness. Find incredible food, sumptuous settings, medical advice and days of satisfying indulgences in eastern and western philosophies of wellness. Guests stay in private Lanna-style cottages and consult with a wellness advisor to get the most from their stay, no matter how long. Retreats can be as short as a three-night stay during a whirlwind visit to Thailand and include classes, spa treatments, meals and consultations. The Niranlada Medi-Spa is available for more involved treatments and therapies, including cosmetic contouring and laser treatments, and all within a soothing and harmonious environment.
(011 66) 32 536 536
SHA Wellness Clinic in Alicante combines world class medical pioneering in interdisciplinary healing arts within a posh Mediterranean setting. The resort’s 93 suites offer luxury with a modern sheen – whites, clean lines, plenty of southern European sunshine through walls of glass. Aesthetics aside, guests come to SHA not only to rest and reset but also to manage health issues, such as smoking, sleeping problems, even cosmetic changes. The SHA Clinic divides into five areas of focus: Anti-Aging Medicine, Aesthetic Medicine, Cosmetic Dentistry, Sleep Medicine and Anti-Smoking and those seeking assistance in these areas find plenty of ways to make affirmative changes in their lives. SHA Spa is there to round out these treatments with beauty pampering and relaxation therapies that infuse eastern calm. A cornucopia of programs available speak to every wish – from relaxation and pampering to intensive restructuring.
(011 34) 966 811 199
Kurtz-Ahlers & Associates– Curator of undiscovered luxury travel locales with insider info and news from our worldwide portfolio of hotels, wellness retreats, and eco-resorts. View our portfolio on our Online Directory.
Sign up up for our Wellness Travel Updates and our monthy newsletter for the latest exclusive offers and news from around the globe, follow us on twitter, like us on facebook or follow us on Instagram and Pinterest.
Lots of news this fall with some exciting hotel openings. Vina Vik in Chile is opening October 1st, Bahia Vik in Uruguay on November 1st and The Norman in Tel Aviv and Pikaia Lodge in the Galapagos have just opened. Read more about the new Vik Retreats here. Read a great article on Estancia Vik from Fast Life Luxury here and read about their upcoming yoga retreat here.
Pikaia Lodge Galapagos is also in the news on the heels of their opening. From CNN Traveler “Alternative tours | Wonders of the World” proposes a way to see wonders without the crowds. Hotel Chatter’s article here touts the in-house tortoise reserve.
Andrew Harper’s Annual Reader’s Choice Awards are always worth a read and we are proud three of our hotels made the list - Halekulani, Twin Farms, and Kauri Cliffs. See the full list here.
Twin Farms was also included in Conde Nast Traveler’s round-up of the best all inclusives, ranking Twin Farms as the best for food fanatics. And About Travel Blog included Twin Farms in their list of Resorts with Must See Art Collections.
A great Article from Yahoo here entitled, “Yummy: 8 of the Most Delicious Farm to Table Hotels in the World” features The Inn at Dos Brisas. Up to Wyoming where The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch was featured in AFAR as well as an insightful article on a father-daughter trip in The Denver Post.
Song Saa in Cambodia received a spot on three lists this month. “Nine Intimate, Luxurious Hideaways Fit for Royalty and Celebrities” from a Luxury Travel Blog. “Ten of the best: Teen Adventures Worldwide” from Family Traveller. Lastly, Song Saa made the list from Fodor’s 100 Hotel Awards, in the “Trip of a Lifetime” category.
Our new client, Ol Jogi Ranch in Kenya is also a trip of a lifetime, a private enclave for safari with your closest family and friends. From The Financial Times, How To Spend It “Game Changer” article by Lucia van der Post details her stay at the ranch. In Forbes, Ann Abel writes, “The $210,000 Safari: Ol Jogi Ranch In Kenya.”
Over to another remote outpost, Fogo Island Inn where the press has been constant since their opening. Read this take from John Walters of Newsweek. He visited Fogo Island Inn and interviewed founder, Zita Cobb, an 8th generation Newfoundlander. An article here from Toque and Canoe discusses photography on the island, and two write-ups from Conde Nast Traveller -one on style and architecture, “How Hotels Became More Than Just a Place to Stay” and another on “8 Incredible Hotel Designs.”
Musha Cay in the Bahamas received a mention in a New York Times article, “Group Adventures, With a Sense of Play” detailing the special Treasure Hunt and other magical amenities that are offered on the island.
From Conde Nast, “Nicaragua: A Paradise Poised for Discovery” discusses Mukul, Nicaragua, culture and more of this fascinating country. The Spa at Mukul in a Departures Dispatch roundup of the most ultimate outdoor spa experiences. The gem of the resort, Casona Don Carlos, in Elite Traveler “Top 101 Suites” here.
For wellness this fall Rancho La Puerta is celebrating October 26th and hosting a Mexican Harvest Festival October 26th, details here. In More Time 2 Travel Blog, Sheryl Kraft writes here about how Rancho La Puerta is the perfect spa for men.
Read this great review on SHA Wellness by recent visitor Jessica Rizzolo of Ker & Downey. Spa Finder Top 10 Editor’s picks includes Fivelements Bali here and a write up on AFAR.com this month as well, “Highlight: Nature and Luxury at Fivelements Spa.”
Six Senses Zighy Bay on Blomberg News, “The Resort So Remote You Need a Paraglider to Get There.” Watch Video. CNN also featured Six Senses, “10 Outrageous Spas in the Middle East.”
Boutique hotels in Tel Aviv are few and far between, especially in this Mediterranean metropolis that came of age with seaside mega properties lining Herbert Samuel Street along the beach. The Norman Hotel, Tel Aviv’s newest luxury property that opened recently in the Rothschild Financial District of Tel Aviv may be signaling a departure from that era to a new moment of understated elegance presented in small residential-style properties proffering the personal touch.
The Norman is a blend of 1920s elegance and contemporary sheen in a stately Bauhaus-style edifice containing only 50 accommodations: 30 guest rooms and 20 suites (including two penthouse suites). The outward style evokes a confluence of Nice meets South Beach, while inside, décor blends the ornate with the sparseness and simplicities of Greek islands chic.
It is not by accident that the new Norman Hotel sits in the heart of what is called “White City,” a UNESCO World Heritage Site collection of more than 4,000 buildings built in Bauhaus or International style in Tel Aviv from the 1930s by German Jewish architects who immigrated to Palestine after the rise of the Nazis. By day the neighborhood is at the epicenter of Israeli banking and financial commerce and by night the streets swell with club life, restaurants, gallery parties, open street markets and music.
While those seeking a beach scene will find it on beaches and towering hotels nearby, a scenic 10-minute walk away, the Norman is the choice for those visitors who are seeking a more stately experience, who may have business meetings in Tel Aviv or who may want to relax in a bit of an oasis, far from the madding crowd – but not too far.
Guest rooms at the Norman come in three styles in the main building and suites come in six configurations in the attached all-suites building. Guestrooms range in size from 300 to 500 square feet, and suites run 500 to 2,700 square feet, many with floor-to-ceiling windows and Euro-style balconies to large terraces overlooking the tree-lined streets and picturesque King Albert Square. The hotel is the remake of two heritage buildings and many of the original facades, design structures and details have been preserved. The interiors are the work of David D’Almada (re: the hotel at the Arts Club London) and Sagrada Associates in London.
The hotel offers daily complimentary shuttles to and from the beach in the warmer seasons. And beach totes and towels come with the guest room.
Oasis of Peace in Tel Aviv
Perhaps the best word choice to describe the élan of the new Norman experience is “peace.” Peace can describe the whites and earth tones of the rooms and suites, the character of the local tile works that cover the floors, and the glistening quality of the hotel’s exteriors amid others like it in this historic district.
And peace can be attached to the amenities guests will find at the Norman, starting with the Library Bar on the main floor, which serves the Norman’s signature pomegranate martini around the clock. Then there is Dinings, a signature restaurant that hails from London and serves delicate Japanese Tapas and sake accompaniments. Special private dining for parties of 20 can be arranged.
The Norman is one of the few non-Kosher hotels in Tel Aviv and is able to manage a variety of menus and tastes. The Norman Restaurant serves French Med fare all day and is the place to go for Niçoise. The Conservatory is an alternative lounge and especially perfect for business liaisons, given its bright and elegant ambiance and element of privacy that requires patrons to be guests of the Norman or with those guests. Those staying at the Norman for business can also avail themselves of The Study with its complimentary use of computers, as well as other business services. The Boardroom is a space that can host meetings and seminars for up to 16 people.
A rooftop infinity pool keeps leisure and relaxation in check as does the Norman’s spa. The hotel has a Yoga instructor on staff and also offers other unusual services to guests with an onsite art curator and a 24-hour concierge team.
Oasis of Art in Israel
In fact, the Norman is a weighty participant in the emerging art world in Israel. Some 100 works of notable Contemporary Israeli artists are exhibited around the property and an onsite art expert is available to discuss many of those works as well as provide private gallery and artists studio tours that allow guests to meet local artists in their own inspiring workspaces.
Finally, the Norman understands that no hotel is an island and its staff of tireless concierge assistants and destination specialists are good at what they do: making hip and hopping Tel Aviv accessible for guests of any age and interest. There are flea markets and food markets just steps away. The city is a hot bed of architecture and art if not living history ancient and recent. Clubs and outdoor party venues bulge with thriving youth cultures and a cacophony of languages. Restaurants and street cafes bustle into the early hours — a United Nations of cuisine for all the world’s tastes and budgets, Kosher and non-Kosher.
The Norman Tel Aviv is at the crossroads of the world. A member of Small Luxury Hotels the Norman may be boutique in size but big in stature and stateliness.
Rack Rates for two with breakfast run around $450 per night.
23-25 Nachmani St., Tel Aviv
(011-97-2) 3 543 5555
Immerse yourself in a world of sophisticated beauty and live a memorable lifestyle experience. Treat yourself to a memorable break in the luxury and elegance of the Armani Hotel Milano.
Book Two, Stay Three
Book two nights in an Armani/Suite (with the only exception of Armani/Classic Suites), and receive one complimentary night. Valid upon request and availability until December 31, 2014.
Live the unique style and philosophy of the Armani Hotel Milano, in line with the Armani promise of a “home-away-from-home” experience. Book a stay in an Armani/Suite and we will be glad to offer you the following additional services for your utmost comfort.
For bookings of an Ambassador Suite receive:
• Transfer from/to the Airport (Malpensa or Linate Airport)
• American Breakfast at the Armani/Ristorante
For bookings of a Signature, Milano, or Presidential Suite receive:
• Transfer from/to the Airport (Malpensa o Linate Airport)
• American Breakfast at the Armani/Ristorante
• A 200€ Armani/SPA Voucher
• A 200€ Voucher valid for the Armani/Bamboo Bar or Armani/Ristorante
Valid upon request and availability until December 31, 2014.
Romantic Escape Package! Visit Twin Farms in Vermont mid-week for three evenings and the fourth night is complimentary.
Offer is subject to availability and valid Sunday through Thursday for travel through December 18, 2014. Blackout dates of Nov. 23–28, 2014. Offer is not combinable with any other promotions.
Note: Stave Puzzling Weekend is November 7-10 at Twin Farms. Challenge yourself with a plethora of elegant handmade wooden jigsaw puzzles and games throughout the weekend, which includes an opportunity to win a two-night stay at Twin Farms.
Contact 802-234-9999 or email@example.com for reservations or more information.
Travel to Six Senses Laamu in the Maldives via Dubai and stop over at the hidden gem of Arabia, Six Senses Zighy Bay en-route. When both properties are booked in the same itinerary, guests will enjoy the benefit of resort credits. $150 at Six Senses Laamu and $100 at Six Senses Zighy Bay.
• Reserve your stay from now until December 31, 2014 for travel between September 1, 2014 and August 31, 2015
• Credits can be used towards food and beverage (excluding mini bar consumption), spa treatments or excursions and are offered per villa per stay
• Minimum stay requirements of three nights at Six Senses Zighy Bay and four nights at Six Senses Laamu apply
• Resort credits can be combined with any rate displayed on www.sixsenses.com
• Advance reservation is required and subject to availability.
To book, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and mention ‘Six Senses Sand and Sea Experience’.
Six Senses Laamu
Beautifully remote, yet easily accessible by plane and boat from Malé, Six Senses Laamu is set in a lagoon where dolphins swim along the sandy shoreline. The only resort in Laamu Atoll, Six Senses is located just five degrees north of the equator.
With villas set over-water and on the palm-fringed island, there are all the creature comforts, plus a choice of overwater lounges and restaurants and amazing excursion experiences. The talented Six Senses chefs prepare mouthwatering dishes, many created from produce grown in the island’s organic gardens.
Guests can snorkel and dive in the resorts’s coral rich house reef among Oriental sweetlips, parrotfish and even green turtles. Yin Yang, the Maldives’ most famous surfing wave that breaks just offshore is an impressive attraction. The waters have so much to offer for fun activities!
Six Senses Zighy Bay
Six Senses Zighy Bay is located on Oman’s northern Musandam Peninsula, a scenic 120-minute journey from Dubai. The most exhilarating arrival is as a companion passenger with the resort’s resident paragliding professional. Launch from Zighy Mountain and thrill to this breathtaking experience as you circle and glide to the bay below!
The setting of beautiful indigenous village-style accommodations and private marina is spectacular with the dramatic mountains on one side and a 1 mile (1.6 kilometer) sandy beach on the other. The resort gives the feeling of exciting remoteness, yet offers every comfort and easy accessibility. From fascinating Arabian cultural outings, shopping for local art and crafts to a world class spa and wellness offerings and exotic regional culinary delights, Six Senses offers a destination that is out of the ordinary.
At Vik Retreats, which are becoming the most talked about properties in jet set circles around the world, you might say life imitates art. The passions Alexander Vik and his wife Carrie, have produced three exquisite lodging properties – and soon to be four – that make an art of fine living in feats that take the raw elements of surrounding beauty and infuse them in to canvases of immersive experiences.
Already known to refined travelers and well-covered by top art, architectural and travel publications, Estancia Vik and Playa Vik just northeast of Uruguay’s resort town of Punta del Este, have put flair and elegance in this jet-set destination, often described as St. Tropez meets Marlboro Country.
Estancia Vik rises from the hills as a ranch from a quieter era, presiding over rolling windswept pastures with only 12 guest suites and daily rhythms that take guests far from the cities to a life of nature and its seasons lived by gauchos.
Five miles away and overlooking the gentle shores of Playa Mansa is Playa Vik, the family’s homage to art in six two- and three-bedroom “casas” and an assortment of suites. Each guest room, each public place, each chosen appointment can be considered a creation of vision as the Viks have tapped several dozen of the top artists in Uruguay and given them room to work in simply stunning surroundings as well as introduced a number of international artists to Uruguay.
At Playa Vik, Uruguayan architect Carlos Ott (think: the striking geometries of glass and metal of the Opera Bastille in Paris) working closely with the Viks created the uneven floor to ceiling glass exteriors and the clean interiors that have become the backdrops for further showpieces of chosen regional and international masters of painting and sculpture.
A night in a museum — perhaps the MOMA with a beach — might approach the sensibilities of Playa Vik. However, fusing dreams with rarefied experiences of lodging has become more than a passion for Alexander Vik and his wife Carrie. It is their life’s purpose at present as they open two new properties: another in Uruguay and one in Chile, each as different from one another as beaches and mountains.
The Art of the Beach at Bahia Vik
Bahia Vik José Ignacio opens this November spanning 10 acres in the beach dunes of the José Ignacio peninsula. Find here ten suites and 11 precious design-intensive beach bungalows looking out across the southern Atlantic and the Playa Mansa toward Punta del Este.
Large freestanding, multi-suite bungalows are wedged in the dunes for a sense of solitude between the sand and the ocean. In the main building a central living space of Uruguayan grey slate offers a seamless indoor/outdoor flow for all the guests and provides such comforts as a large game room, small boutique with curated Uruguayan art and local crafts, and a full gym and spa.
Suites attached to the main building have ample private terraces overlooking the beach expanse. Al fresco lounging areas provide plenty of places to relax and look onto four Absolute Nero stone beachside pools set in and against the dunes.
Guests visit this hidden gem as much for the food as the surroundings. La Susana does for the Viks sense of taste what the dazzling art does for design at these retreats. Chef Marcelo Betancourt highlights the flavors of the Southern Atlantic by focusing on the Uruguayan barbecue ritual for fish and meat, with produce from La Susana’s own herb and vegetable garden. The result is fresh, local and organic Uruguayan cuisine. Dishes include asado, complemented by a selection of VIK wines and creative cocktails as well as Uruguayan grass fed beef, white Corvina Ceviche and delectable Calamares a la Plancha. Beachgoers often wander up for lunch and then head back to the beach for a swim and then come back to unwind with a Christiania Caipiroska cocktail watching what has been described as the best sunset on the planet.
Bahia Vik is accessible via the Punta del Este airport, which is serviced by daily flights from airports in Argentina and Brazil. José Ignacio is a 30-minute drive along the coast. International guests may fly to Uruguay’s capital city of Montevideo, 1.5 hours away by car.
Viña Vik: Chilling out in Chile
Also making its debut this year is Viña Vik, located on 11,000 acres of extraordinary nature, which the Vik’s team of oenologist, geologists and climatologists hand-picked for optimal winemaking at their VIK vineyard. Through studied forces of science, technology and labor, the vines of principally Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenère are producing what many consider South America’s finest wine and those efforts are about to be complemented by the opening of a 22-suite retreat in October.
Before the opening of Viña Vik guests have stayed at The Cabin at VIK, a unpretentious yet luxurious four-bedroom cabin designed by Chilean architect Smiljan Radic (think: Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London) with views of a lake and the nature of the Millahue Valley with views all the way to the Andes Mountains. When not sampling the fruits of the vines, guests will be able to hike, bike or ride horses along vineyard trails.
Viña Vik is an easy two-hour drive south from Santiago, in the Millahue valley on the eastern side of the Cordillera de la Costa range, and a 45-minute drive from the more established wine region of Colchagua Province. VIK is the only vineyard on the eastern side of the divide. Viña Vik, the retreat itself, sits on a hilltop with 360-degree views of the vineyard and nature with otherworldly lines of glass and rock ordering the wild and rugged landscapes.
Viña Vik’s stunning, sculptural titanium roof was inspired by the surrounding mountains, the wind and the work of Frank Gehry and Richard Serra. While the rooms and suites maximize the integration of the natural beauty with floor to ceiling windows throughout, they also feature exclusive art by celebrated artists. The Vik Suite exhibits works by Antonio Segui and features a never-before seen hammock-style Vessel Bathtub by Splinter Works, positioned in front of a wall of glass to take in the spectacular views over the lake and vineyard beyond. Covered in hand painted tile, in a scene designed by the Vik’s, the wall and ceiling of the Azulejo Suite depict a playful, panoramic image of the vineyard that celebrates the landscape and the team. Street Artist Diego Roa worked with Carrie and Alex Vik to create the Graffiti Suite, harnessing his talent and creativity to paint a large-scale camera lens. The Chile Suite features a variety of Chilean art and design, Francisco Uzebeaga uniquely portrays iconic film scenes in the Hollywood suite, and the Fornasetti Suite pays homage to the great designer Piero Fornasetti, featuring his original furniture and design elements.
Built into the VIK winery and Viña Vik design are earth-sustaining technologies and practices that focus on minimizing the need for energy and maximizing use of natural resources to heat, cool, ventilate and irrigate. Water is collected and recycled and solar technologies are employed.
Naturally, Viña Vik is as much about the food as the design. Chilean terroir is not only experienced through the exceptional wine, but also through use of locally grown and produced ingredients that emphasize authentic South American cuisine. Traditional South American barbeque, fresh fish and seafood, locally grown fruits and vegetables and homemade breads and pastries are all prepared in-house with the signature of what it means to be hosted at a Vik Retreat.
Rates: Viña Vik is set to open in October with 22 suites and an infinity Absolute Nero swimming pool, restaurant, wine spa, and roster of activities for an all-inclusive price of $1,200 a night.
The retreat is a two-hour drive from Santiago. Car rentals are available and the drive is easy to navigate on well-marked highways. Transfers can be arranged.
Max Broquen, Director of Vik Retreats
(+598-94) 605 212
Travel plans to Italy should include a cooking class or two and a stay at a marvelous country manor in the middle of the Tuscany. La Corte Dei Papi offers both with a dash of panache and a sprinkle of history.
For villa in Italy fantasies that conjure images of “Under the Tuscan Sun,” this is fantasy found. The Relais was a labor of love for the Papi family, heirs to the 17th century family manor that is now a grand auberge with 15 exquisite rooms and suites. David Papi with his mother Gabriella lovingly restored and modernized the manor. All the structures are original but now those cavernous spaces are spa suites and romantic lairs looking out onto a cascade of rolling hills, gardens and vineyards.
But guests that come this way get much more than amazing ambiance for their time. There are wine tastings to experience, magnificent meals to enjoy, country walks and bike rides to take, spa journeys to indulge and cooking lessons to learn. Owner David Papi is there every step of the way with guests, from arrival and check-in, through planning and assistance in maximizing their stay, through managing details of accommodations and comforts and on through their departure.
Getting to La Corte Dei Papi is half the fun. The village of Cortona is a little more than 100 miles from Rome, but there are trains from Rome to Terontola and Camucia, both just a few miles from the Relais and from where cars can be rented, taxis can be found or a transfer can be arranged.
Practically on the border of Umbria and Tuscany, an easy train trip from Florence through ancient Etruscan lands, guests can rent a car and explore the historic mountain villages and or wander the legendary wine country here. Day trips through the Tuscany might include Siena, Monteiggioni, San Gimignano and the Val d’Orcia. Umbrian explorations might lead to picnics on Lake Trasimeno or ambles through the Umbrian capital of Perugia.
But days at the Relais La Corte Dei Papi can be equally replete with Italian splendor. First, there is the food and perhaps in Italy it always starts with the food. Chef Giuseppe Masciopinto makes everything in these kitchens: the pastas, the breads, the pastries, the entrees, even the marmalades. The ingredients are local and reflect the changing seasons with foods and dishes carefully sourced and planned with assistance from owner David Papi. Cooking classes are a must at the property for guests who want to bring a bit of the Tuscany home.
In the warm months, guests dine in candlelight, al fresco by the pool, in the shadows of olive trees and pines and overlooking the gardens. And days can be spent under the Tuscan sun as well, soaking in the rays by the pool, walking the floral gardens and enjoying the amenities available in the spa suites.
Furnishings and ambiance is what one would expect in such a period manor – and fairytale bedrooms with fine linens and draping textiles, antique furnishings, wooden or tile floors, exposed wood beams, stone walls, cathedral ceilings – bathrooms with deep porcelain tubs inside marble frames.
Hotel staff can arrange special wine tastings, bringing in local experts to give the inside story on wines of the region. Horseback riding, boating on the lake, designer shopping in the ancient town of Cortona nearby, and wine trail itineraries can all be supplied by Relais La Corte Dei Papi’s ready staff. Famous wine cellars in the Cortona region include Antinori, Avignonesi, Poliziano, Montepulciano, Pienza and Montalcino, which can also be toured for the day with a private guide and escort. Bicycles are available to anyone who wants to peddle down the local country roads to markets and towns only a few kilometers away. And, for those who want to play Marcello Mastrianni for a day, renting the latest Ferrari or Maserati model is but a phone call away.
The Relais includes Wi-Fi and breakfast in its rates and guests often return – with families in tow — for generational retreats and weddings as the Relais La Corte Dei Papi, with only 15 guestrooms and a breathtaking location, is the perfect size for buy-outs.
Relais La Corte Dei Papi has several packages on tap that run through early 2016. Perhaps the simplest and most popular is the Romantic Weekend, which includes three nights at the Relais with strawberries, Champagne and a bouquet of red roses in room upon arrival, plus buffet breakfast each morning with a smorgasbord of fresh cheese, salami, fruit, home-made cakes and bread – or breakfast in bed — and a romantic gourmet dinner (excluding spirits). Finally, it also includes a late checkout. Rates start at $1,161 for two for the three nights.
La Corte dei Papi
(011 39) 0575 614109
Kurtz-Ahlers & Associates– Curator of undiscovered luxury travel locales with insider info and news from our worldwide portfolio of hotels, wellness retreats, and eco-resorts. View our portfolio on our Online Directory.
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With the onset of fall coming soon, it is a good time to start planning a beach vacation. Mukul in Nicaragua is at the top of our list, and the Huffington Post agrees. Their Travel section featured Mukul in their roundup of “10 Cool Pools Around the World.” And Mukul was featured in another Huff Post article, “Surf’s Up! 8 Top Destinations for Riding the Waves.”
After some over indulgence this summer, a wellness break could be in the cards. Self Magazine Editor Joyce Chang details her experience at The Ranch at Live Oak Malibu for her readers here. Yoga Spa Holidays suggests a trip to Ananda Spa in India for a stress relieving holiday. “Nestled beautifully amidst the scenic Himalayas in Rishikesh make it the resort an ideal place to take a break from the stressful schedules.” Read more here.
Lots of great press for Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico this month. La Jolla Mom’s blog writes about her cooking school experience here, Eating Bird Food blog writes about “Rancho La Puerta for Food Lovers” and blogger Misty Tosh writes about the different ways to experience The Ranch here.
New client Song Saa in Cambodia is another great beach resort which is very wellness and eco minded. And, it is also good for families. Family Traveller writes about Song Saa in their article, “Ten of the best: Teen adventures worldwide.” Lawfully Chic writes about Song Saa’s sustainability programs and their new 4-day “Journeys of Change” program here and USA Today Travel writes about the luxury aspect of both Song Saa and The Siam in “How glam can you go? Asian hotels for the 1 percent.”
Back in North America, but just barely, one of the four corners of the world is home to the remote outpost of Fogo Island Inn where local and expert forager Mona Brown supplies The Inn with berries, edible plants, and more. Andrew Harper Travel writes here about the unique Artisans’ Guild at Fogo Island, “Quilts and Carvings at the Fogo Island Artisans’ Guild.”
Down south to Vermont where the New York Times features Beauty Guru Tata Harper on her home state of Vermont and her favorite places including Twin Farms. Read article. US News & World Report lists the best all inclusive and Twin Farms gets the honor for “best for foodies” and USA Today featured a first hand account of a weekend at Twin Farms here.
Down further south to Texas, The Inn at Dos Brisas was featured by Austin Monthly in their article, “Three Texas Hidden Gems.” The organic farm is out of this world, and Sherman’s Travel blog agrees, “4 Hotels With Amazing Farms You Can Visit.”
Way down south to Uruguay, Vik Retreats new Jose Ignacio dining venture, La Susana, received a write up from Departures Magazine, “Beach Bites in Uruguay”and Harper’s Bazaar included both Estancia Vik and Playa Vik on their “South America Hotlist.” The Vik winery in Chile is a marvel in itself, being featured in Architectural Digest and Stylepark this month.
Cheers to a beautiful fall!