Looking for the Best Beach Hotel in Los Angeles? Malibu Beach Inn

If you’re in pursuit of the perfect coastal retreat, then head straight to California’s famous seaside haven – Malibu. There, in the heart of the small town is the illustrious boutique hotel, Malibu Beach Inn. Hands down the best beach hotel in Los Angeles.

The property itself sits directly on the sands of sunny Carbon Beach, aptly nicknamed “Billionaire’s Beach,” and each of the 47 well-appointed guestrooms display uninterrupted views of the Pacific Ocean. They’re also outfitted with a private balcony and fireplace, guaranteeing maximum restoration right there in your room.
Malibu Activities

Malibu itself lies just north of Santa Monica, but in an enclave that facilitates a ten degree temperature difference and very little wind chill. Which means, the plethora of Malibu beaches are always perfect for sunning, swimming, and surfing.

But while surfing may be the most famous Malibu pastime, what with Surfrider Beach, Little Dume, and Zuma Beach all located in the city’s stretch, it’s not the only way to enjoy the sun and sea. There’s also a handful of locals ready to take Malibu Beach Inn guests to a number of prestigious paddle boarding and kayaking locations.

And if watersports aren’t your thing, head to the hills where horseback riding, hiking, and biking are prevalent. Or skip physical exertion altogether, throw on a dress, a hat, maybe a bow tie, and grab a glass of vino at any of the local wineries.

In fact, Malibu Beach Inn has partnered with Malibu Wines to create the perfect day trip experience. The Malibu Winery Excursion package includes champagne, picnic lunch, and transportation. And by booking with Malibu Beach Inn’s expert reservations team, you’ll be able to skip the entrance line for immediate leisure among an excess of sun, wine, and live music.

No matter which activity you choose, just know that with the Santa Monica Mountains on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other, there’s almost a guarantee you’ll spot some form of wildlife – whether it be a deer, a pod of dolphins, or a family of whales.

 

Local Charms

Part of the Malibu charm derives directly from the innate small town affluence. Local shopping is just down the street with well-loved brands such as Alice + Olivia, Intermix, James Perse, and lululemon; but rest assured that within each store is a personalized experience and a stylist ready to help you find the perfect outfit.

Malibu Beach Inn’s very own CBC (Carbon Beach Club Restaurant) is no different, as Chef Cody Dickey designs his menus around what’s seasonally available. Specifically, Chef Cody ventures to Malibu’s very own One Gun Ranch, where he chats with the farmers about what’s growing and then crafts his dishes accordingly.

CBC’s expert Bar Director, Josh Curtis, mixes up his own concoctions with similar mindset. At the start of each season comes a new cocktail menu, each drink mixed with local produce and homemade provisions. Curtis’s expertise comes from utilizing natural sugars instead of syrup, enabling the patron to fully enjoy the unique flavors of each produce and spirit.

The onsite spa within Malibu Beach Inn is run by leading skin care expert, Veronica Barton-Schwartz, Malibu’s designated skincare queen whose own home spa is located just up the road from the hotel. But her award-winning practices and skincare line are conveniently available inside Malibu Beach Inn’s tranquil, oceanfront spa suite.

Redesign by Waldo Fernandez

When the Mani Brothers purchased the property in 2015 they immediately implemented a soft renovation. They went through and escalated the guest experience by exchanging skincare amenities, private bar items, mattresses, and linens.

However, the bigger project was in syndicate with acclaimed designer Waldo Fernandez. Waldo walked the property and quickly realized that the surrounding sea needed to be the main focal point at all times. So he scrapped the dark wood and heavy furniture, relocated the front desk, built a bar for CBC, and implemented a blue-gray color scheme.

He then took his blues and grays to the guest rooms, where he designed custom pieces of chic white oak furniture and textural rugs. And with that, Waldo Fernandez successfully transformed the feel of the entire property.

With assistance from their expert General Manager, Gregory Day, the Mani Brothers integrated a number of additional amenities such as Smeg tea kettles, Nespresso coffee brewers, Italian Bellino Linen, delicious Bamford hair and skin products, remote controlled Toto bidets, dual HD televisions, and extensive digital in-room entertainment systems.

They also constructed an expansive in-room private bar, featuring Dean and Deluca snacks, an assortment of spirits, and an exclusive selection of wine hand-picked by the onsite sommelier. But of course, if you can’t find what you’re yearning for in the private bar, just call down to Private Dining and Chef Cody will concoct any number of delicious items that are sure to satiate your craving.

Small Touches

Throughout the property, it’s ultimately the immense attention to detail that solidifies an incredible Malibu experience. From moment of arrival, when you first encounter the thoughtful reception agents, ready to assist with whatever you need; to moment of turndown with delectably chosen Vosges chocolates.

Down on Malibu Beach Inn’s private stretch of sand you’ll find imported Italian loungers and lululemon clad beach attendants, ready to bring you any item off the full menu. And if you choose to dine on the terrace instead of the sand, skilled servers outfitted in the fitting johnnie-o blue laid are ready to assist.

And then there’s the Mani Brothers’ carefully curated art collection, expertly placed around the property; the brother’s lithographs and originals transform hallways and dining rooms.

Throughout the entire property, you’ll notice that every detail – big and small – has been carefully thought out. Combined with Malibu Beach Inn’s expert service and close proximity to the sea, it’s no wonder the boutique property is Los Angeles’ best beach hotel.

Malibu Beach Inn
22878 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90265
(310) 651 7777
Email: reservations@malibubeachinn.com
Website: www.malibubeachinn.com

 

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.

www.kurtzahlers.com

Three Exotic Island Getaways for Revving Romance

Every romance can use the heated boost of an exotic island getaway. Some islands escapes, however, can leave a couple cold while other exotic island getaways simply will take their breath away.

Three exotic island getaways that will prime the heart pump with pinch-me dream settings in remote locations are The Brando in the Society Islands of Tahiti, Song Saa, off the coast of Cambodia in the Gulf of Thailand, and Gili Lankanfushi in Indian Ocean amid the islands of the Maldives. The islands all present perfect places for what every couple requires: to disappear, to delight, to discover, to rediscover and to remember.

The Brando: Royalty, Celebrity, Sustainability

Disappearing is easy when your exotic island getaway is deep into the Pacific on an atoll so remote that mutineers of the Bounty tried to hide there. The Brando is an island unto itself on Tetiaro in French Polynesia – an island you might never find except for the glitterati that keep popping in for a weekend or a prolonged stay. Most recently those names included Johnny Depp, Barack Obama, who found the setting calm and evocative for writing his White House memoires; and Pippa Middleton, the younger sister of Kate Middleton, honeymooned there recently with new husband in one of the resort’s 35 lavish villas.

While remote as the crow flies, the island is easily accessible by private plane in a tranquil atoll 30 miles north of the island of Tahiti. The resort proudly shows its LEED platinum certification in its cleanliness, operations and focus on the surrounding environment. Beaches are made of delicious white sand and guests share their spaces with sea turtles, manta rays, colorful sea life and rare birds.

The island does come with more celebrity lore, of course. It is not hard to squint and see a thin, tanned and barefoot Marlon Brando walking the beaches with his new Tahitian bride met during the filming of the 1962 version of Mutiny on the Bounty. He bought the 193-acre island, composed of 12 motus, for around $200,000. It was a favored place for Tahitian royalty at the time and now offers one- to three-bedroom villas on spacious private beaches, each with its own secluded plunge pools and all designed around clean, renewable energy sources.

Villas range from 1,033 square feet to 2,648 square feet with cozy sitting areas in some, living rooms in others, private terraces or decks, lavish bathrooms, dining areas and kitchens in some, palatial closets, even an outdoor tub. Unplugged does not mean disconnected. Villas have rooms furnished with TV and DVD entertainment, with Wi-Fi throughout.

Dining is exquisitely French with the award-winning cuisine of Guy Martin of the Michelin two-star restaurant Le Grand Véfour in Paris. Venues range from the casual Beachcomber Café beachfront restaurant, to the fine dining Les Mutinés by Guy Martin restaurant, to the Te Manu Bar and Bob’s Bar, and in-room service.

Heavenly holistic body treatments happen at the Varua Te Ora Polynesian Spa. At the Explorer’s Center, guests can enjoy lectures from on-site scientists, and a library. Fitness fans can keep up their regimen at a fully equipped cadio and strength training gym – but the activities available may prove more interesting: bicycling, snorkeling, and bird watching, paddle boarding and scuba diving. Guests can explore the lagoon by Polynesian outrigger canoe, take a guided tour of the atoll’s motus, go out stargazing with a naturalist, swim in clear calm waters at Mermaid Bay or relax at the beach or pool.

Indulge in island chic black pearl jewelry or spend the afternoon with marine biologists at the Tetiaroa Society NGO’s laboratory located near the resort. Days are full of discovery in both science and romance.

The Brando is owned and operated by Pacific Beachcomber, which also owns and operates award winning resorts on Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora, as well as the luxury cruise ship m/s Paul Gauguin. Published rates start at $3,381 per couple per night.

Contact:

The Brando
Tetiaroa Private Island, Tahiti, French Polynesia
(+689) 40 866 366
Email: reservation@thebrando.com
www.thebrando.com


Gili Lankanfushi: Where the sea sings and breezes whisper

As the world gets smaller, the Maldives, once as remote as you could utter and still be on this planet, just gets closer and closer. The Maldives is really some 1,900 islands in 26 atolls spread over 56,000 square miles in a scattered archipelago below the nadir of Sri Lanka. Only 200 of those islands are inhabited and find Gili Lankanfushi among them in what seems to be a one island/one resort tradition.

Total flight duration from New York to Malé, the capital of the Maldives, is usually a little more than 18 hours – more if that flight is from Los Angeles. No flights are non-stop from the U.S. and that gives couples more time to enjoy the anticipation of staying in what has been tabbed as one of the top resorts in the world by TripAdvisor.


As romantic island getaway, Gili Lankanfushi could be considered a tempting model of aspiration. The Guests find 45 spacious overwater villas following a 20-minute speedboat ride from Velana International Airport on Malé. Wooden villas rise from the shallow ocean on stilts. It’s a quiet island, less than 2,000 feet long where guest move from one corner of the island to another on bicycles or barefoot in the soft sands. Privacy is the mantra with dedicated 24-hour butler service for each villa, terrace to beach access for each villa (make that six steps and counting), large living areas, expansive bathrooms, outdoor shower, even a roof loft on some villas so you can sleep under the stars.


Each villa offers private over water sundeck or rooftop sundeck with daybeds and dining, an open-air private bathroom with separate glass walled shower area, a king bed, and 2,250 square feet of aromatic hardwood interiors. The Private Reserve takes it to a whole new level with15,069 square feet of space on two floors, adding a second master suite with floor to ceiling windows on three sides, a guest room suite, lavish bath areas, a gym, his and her 24-hour butlers, a  gourmet kitchen, customized wine cellar, personal motorized water vehicles, waterslide, pool, and entertainment room.

There are three restaurants specializing in dishes from Japan, Asia and the subcontinent, often with live cooking stations and always seafood. If nothing else, couples can share the joys of exploring new flavors in the homemade ice creams. Although an island in the middle of nowhere, Gili Lankanfushi is famous for its wine cave and its collection of prized labels that pour at these tables. A favorite Gili Lankanfushi experience is the wine tastings (with chocolate and cheese to complement) put together by the sommelier as well as several unique Tasting Journeys with Sake, wine, whiskey, Champagne and others paired with delectable food.

Remote as it is, there is much to do on this remote romantic island escape. The Meera Spa offers detoxifying couples treatments using seaweed as a central ingredient. Guests can listen to the song of the waves and watch glowing fish below the spa’s overwater location as they are massaged.

Snorkeling and diving in the surrounding clear warm waters is a divine but the resort is also gaining traction as a place to surf. The resort recently opened a dedicated surf center and now offers lessons in all seasons for beginners to pros.

Island fever is rare but should it strike it is easily quelled by a visit to, well, another island. As the capital of the Maldives is only minutes away, guests make day trips for shopping, dining and explorations. Nights offer movies under the stars – with popcorn and chocolate fondue.

Published starting rates run about $1,224 (subject to taxes) per villa per night, not including meals.

Contact:

Gili Lankanfushi
Lankanfushi Island, North Malé Atoll
Republic of Maldives
(+011 960) 664 0304
Email: info@gili-lankanfushi.com
www.gili-lankanfushi.com

 

Song Saa: Floating to Cambodia

The two tiny heart shaped islands forming the remote resort of Song Saa is a mere 45-minute speedboat ride from Cambodia’s southwest coast has been a work of love for Rory and Melita Hunter who discovered the paradise Song Saa in 2006 and went about bringing its magic to life.

As scuba enthusiasts, Song Saa was never intended to exist as a resort paradise alone but always a work in progress – that work being the surrounding island habitats in what became Cambodia’s first marine reserve. Song Saa is the Khmer phrase for “The Sweethearts,” which describes the two side-by-side islands now connected by a bridge across the marine reserve. Island water is treated here and reused for growth of native vegetation. Driftwood and timber are recycled from old fishing boats to build furniture and construction for the resort’s 27 open and airy villas.

While these islands cover a 17 acres there are plenty of beaches, coves, walks, hidden snorkeling and diving sites and nooks and crannies around the resort itself to have privacy and the peace one seeks from a remote exotic island getaway.

Active guests can visit the watersports center for morning snorkels in search of seahorses around coral reefs –a must–, or afternoon kayaking through shady mangroves with the resident marine biologist, or finding out the best places around the island for night-time dips in bioluminescent waters.

All villas have ocean views – some are on the beach and some are over the water. Built with one or two bedrooms, each has its own deck with plunge pool and stunning views. Villas have thatched roofs and cooling stonewalls, huge four-poster fantasy beds wrapped in soft muslin and plenty of other amenities – stocked mini-bar, Wi-Fi, perfumed toiletries. All is part of the tariff, whether for one night or several.

Dining is a treat with Khmer fusion classics mixed with fresh local seafood and locally grown produce. Menus changed seasonally, if not daily, as diners enjoy the panoramas and the creatively repurposed driftwood décor. Guests, too, can get creative – about where on Song Saa to dine. Impeccable private meals can be presented just about anywhere one can sit and take in the beauty.

While spending some island time at Song Saa, a romantic island getaway should also contain some spa time and on Song Saa those moments are built into highly transformative experiences. Many of the treatments and themes have been inspired by the Khmer people and their use of natural herbs, plants and ancient relaxation practices to support the body’s natural healing.

Song Saa Private Island is accessible via private boat or yacht from Sihanoukville, a three-hour drive from Phnom Penh International Airport in Cambodia.  Private yachts of all sizes can be moored there with a day rate inclusive of resort facilities, pool, restaurant and bar access, and some non-motorized sports. Helicopter transfers are also available from nearby cities, including Siem Reap.

Nightly rates run around $1,300 per night, inclusive.

Song Saa Private Island
#108e1, Street 19
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Tel: +011 855 23 686 0361
Email: reservations@songsaa.com
Website: www.songsaa.com

 

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.

www.kurtzahlers.com

Enjoy some more time in London at The Beaumont

Take advantage of The Beaumont’s Four Nights for Three offer to spend some more time exploring London and Mayfair.

Rates:
Rooms from £480/night for 3 nights, plus one night complimentary
Studios from £760 /night for 3 nights, plus one night complimentary
Suites from £1,295/night for 3 nights, plus one night complimentary

The ‘4 for 3’ rate is available for stays from 21st July to 3rd September and 7th October to 29th October 2017.


With this package you will be treated to a number of complimentary amenities:

A ‘Help Yourself’ morning coffee, tea, juices, home-made Viennoiseries and preserves in The Cub Room
A private in-room bar with soft drinks and snacks
Wifi throughout the hotel
Use of the hotel’s vintage Daimler for local trips (subject to availability)
Use of the Spa and Gymnasium throughout your stay.

Learn more >>

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Chable Resort in The Yucatan Wins Prix Versailles Design Award

Nestled in the heart of the Mayan forest, the five-star Chablé Resort & Spa is now considered the world’s best-designed hotel. The property is the winner of this year’s Prix Versailles award, a designation presented by UNESCO and the International Union of Architects to the structures that have the most remarkable interior and exterior architecture.

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Special Offer at Almanac Barcelona Opening September 1st

Almanac Barcelona opens this summer with an offer created to Awaken Your Senses. Be the first to experience Europe’s most exciting hotel opening with The Awaken Your Senses Package, valid September 1 – October 31.

Details:

– 10% off Best Available Rate.
– Almanac cocktail and a bite for two at our rooftop terrace Azimuth offering sweeping views over the city.
– 50€ credit per room and stay that can be used in Línia – Mediterranean brasserie offering all-day dining and sharing menus, or use the credit towards a healing and revitalizing touch in our Wellbeing center
– A full daily breakfast for two is always complimentary at Línia Restaurant as are select beverages in your mini bar.
– An Almanac branded gift per room upon departure – as a memory of your stay.


Conditions:

Valid from 1st September to 31st October 2017
Rates are subject to 10% state tax.
City tax of EUR 2.48 per person per day applies.
Offer is subject to availability, is not applicable for groups (10 rooms or more) and cannot be combined with any other offers.
No charge for bookings cancelled more than 48 hours prior to arrival for rooms.

Learn more >>

 

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Deluxe Escape at Ultima Gstaad

Discover the benefits of a stay in the heart of the Bernese Alps and immerse yourself in the luxury world of the Ultima Gstaad. The Deluxe Escape is the perfect option to detox yourself and enjoy a moment of pure relaxation.

Offer includes:

1 night in a Deluxe Suite
Welcome drinks
VIP Welcome packages
DUCHESSA Detox Dinner for 2 persons
2 massages at Ultima Spa by La Prairie
2 Detox juices
1h of private yoga class
Total : CHF 1’160
Upon availability until August 30st

Information & reservation:
reservations@ultimagstaad.com
+41 33 748 05 50

Inclusions: Use of all hotel facilities, continental breakfast, access to Ultima Spa by La Prairie, complimentary Wi-Fi, city tax and VAT

Click here for booking and more information >>

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Third Night Free at The Resort at Pedregal

Getaway to Los Cabos until September 4th or October 4 – December 21st: book two nights and get the third night free! Indulge in the most luxurious, Five Diamond resort in Cabo San Lucas with this new, exciting offering and enjoy all of the wonderful amenities of the resort. Offer includes welcome margarita, airport transfers, breakfast, and more.

Last Minute Escape Los Cabos package includes:

• Complimentary third night

• Breakfast for two each morning in Don Manuel’s restaurant

• One set of roundtrip complimentary transfers from Los Cabos International Airport. Transfers are via our private luxury vehicles. Of course, you’ll be welcomed to Los Cabos by our Airport Greeters!

Also included are The Resort at Pedregal’s regular amenities – a welcome Margarita or refreshing Hibiscus water upon arrival, welcome bottle of Tequila, daily afternoon snack of two Coronitas and chips with guacamole, a refreshment center stocked with soft drinks, juices, coffee and bottled water, our nightly turndown service and sweets, and cookie treats upon departure.

The following dates in 2017 are currently available for arrival on:

May 14th to September 4th, 2017

October 4th to December 21st, 2017

Dates available subject to change without any notice

Take advantage of this Los Cabos getaway today and call reservations at 844-733-7342 or book online.

Please note: This is a three-night package ONLY; additional nights will be at prevailing BAR (Best Available Rate), by Room Type. Breakfast for two is included in the additional BAR rated nights. Free nights are not cumulative; only the 3rd night is free for stays longer than 3 nights. Dates are subject to change based on inventory availability.

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Luxury Travel to Mongolia? Nomadic Expeditions

Luxury travel to Mongolia? The words luxury and Mongolia do not usually mingle in the same breath but a fast-rising favorite to this region is challenging that notion. Today’s luxury travelers seeking to travel beyond the borders and a bit off the grid while retaining all the comforts are seeking luxury tours to Mongolia through Nomadic Expeditions.

In Mongolia you can follow your bliss by horse, by train, by camel, by car into the land the time forgot. Nomadic Expeditions sets up all manner of luxury travel adventures that remain beyond bounds for most travelers but now are accessible for the few that want to travel in the footsteps of Genghis Khan.

Known as Chinggis in this region, there are statues, parks and squares dedicated to the 12th century conqueror that founded the Mongol Empire and helped to turn it into the largest contiguous empire in history. And a night or two in Ulaanbaatar will provide insight into much of that history, accessible mostly through museums and temples.


Travel to Mongolia Now

However, to see Mongolia and know Mongolia, travelers best be on their way sooner than later. The Mongolian capital is seeing the pressures that have befallen most Asian cities, especially in China, over the last quarter century with a rush to modernize. The capital now has its first true five-star hotel, the Shangri-La, and the recently erected Blue Sky Tower, the city’s tallest skyscraper at some 300 feet. And those are only the first part of the city’s 2030 master development plans, which also include construction of regional towns and satellite cities, an updated railway, airport and mass transit system and grids of modern apartment buildings to complement the Soviet-style blocks that now house the city’s estimated 1.3 million residents (nearly half the country’s population).

But in Mongolia, through Nomadic Expeditions, you can mix history and legend with adventure and ease. You can ride the Silk Road by train from Moscow to Almaty crossing once treacherous no-man’s lands and visiting 6th century outposts that eventually opened up this world to western civilization. You can trek with a dinosaur expert to unearth fossils and footprints still echoed among the rocks of the Gobi Desert. You can ride with noble horsemen on the steppes of Mongolia and sleep in a decked out yurt at Three Camel Lodge surrounded by the purity and emptiness of a land that time forgot.

Nomadic Expeditions takes visitors to places they have read about in fiction or dreamed about in fantasy, preserved Shangri-las and legendary kingdoms that do exist for travelers willing to put in the time and effort to travel there and beyond.
True Nomad: Jalsa Urubshurow

Nomadic Expeditions is the work of Mongolian-American entrepreneur and business owner Jalsa Urubshurow. Part of what goes into making Nomadic Expeditions work is Urubshurow’s focus on preserving Mongolia’s delicate and relatively untouched ecosystems and respecting its history and precious ecology.

In 1992, upon invitation from Mongolia’s first democratically elected Prime Minister who was eager to encourage western tourism to this land, Urubshurow founded Nomadic Expeditions, Inc. and committed his company to sustainability while also taking the reach of his forays beyond luxury travel to Mongolia to other remote regions nearby: Tibet, Russia, Bhutan, and China.

He opened Three Camel Lodge in 2002 in an exotic and otherwise difficult to access area in the middle of the Gobi Desert.

While the lodge provides a taste of the nomadic life with warm, comfortable and well-equipped yurts, guests still get a sense of life in the Gobi – the quiet infinity of it, endless lands under sky and stars, interrupted by the rare yak or sheep-herder and little else. Hot water, private bathrooms (with L’Occitane toiletries) electricity, sumptuous feasts – little is neglected in this isolated lodge of many treasures. Three Camel Lodge has been recognized internationally by such publications as National Geographic Adventure magazine, which ranked it among the world’s top 50 eco-lodges.

From there, guests head to nearby “Mongolian musts:” the Flaming Cliffs that, at certain hours, make the Gobi appear to be rising up in preternatural conflagration. With a knowing guide, guests wander the cliffs and valleys in search of fossils – from the Jurassic era. Dinosaur eggs and skeleton finds are not uncommon.


Value of a Destination Specialist

Whether seeking a high end experience of luxury travel to Mongolia or getting their on a budget, travel to Mongolia is not easy. It takes time, patience, special permits and visas and a strong sense of adventure. This is not a destination for people looking for Las Vegas style non-stop entertainment. The world moves slowly here and offers a rare, and becoming more rare, dip into a vastness, a silence, a deep history full of ancient traditions quickly becoming more elusive by the day. It requires a destination specialist that knows the land and can read the traveler to present an experience that flows from the heart. For Mongolia and beyond, Nomadic Expeditions is that guide.

Why use a destination specialist? Not all travel is as easy as a packaged weekend in the Poconos. Small as the world is, many corners remain remote, unpredictable and full of adventure and that, of course, is often why we travel. As we test the bounds of world geography we also test ourselves and come out stronger, wiser and with great stories to tell.

 

Planning a trip to Mongolia

 

Travelers looking to explore Mongolia might want to make those plans coincide with one of the country’s age-old festivals of skill, pageantry and sheer beauty.

 

Tsagaan Sar (Mongolian Lunar New Year): It’s celebrated between the end of January and end of February and is mostly about the Sar feast, which includes dairy products, mutton and horse meat, rice with curds, fermented mare’s milk, dumplings and cookies stacked high as mini mountains.

 

Khovsgol Ice Festival: This happens in March when temperatures are still as cold as minus 31 degrees F in the windchill. There are horsesled races, ice rally drives, wrestling and tug-o-wars all  on frozen Lake Khovsgol at Siberia’s edge. Even in the sultry summer months, temperatures here hover at 18 degrees F.

 

Gobi Camel Festival: Also a winter fest in March, this gathering near Dalanzadgad celebrates everything Bactrian.

Nauryz Festival: this is a celebration of Spring and renewal at the time of the Vernal Equinox. People settle rivalries and debts, fill all vessels in the house with milk, yogurt and grain, and welcome the coming year’s fortune of plenty.

 

Naadam Festival: Celebrated in summer across the land, Naadam festivals bring on traditional dress and “manly” competitions.

 

Eagle Festivals: The golden eagle festival held in the fall celebrates eagles preparing for a winter of hunting. The festival hails from ancient falconry arts that were practiced by neighboring Kazakhs and the fests remain much the same as they always were. These artful pageants spring up across the Altai Mountains of western Mongolia as the weather begins to cool. They make stunning visuals against Mongolia’s wide skies, endless plains and mountain ranges.

Luxury travel to Mongolia is best managed in the more temperate months of summer, from June to August, when temperatures range between 54-and 80 degrees F. Expect some rain, but not enough to become a bother.

 

Nomadic Expeditions, Inc.
1095 Cranbury-South River Rd. Suite 20A
Monroe Twp., NJ 08831
(609) 860-9008
(800) 998-6634
Email: info@nomadicexpeditions.com
www.nomadicexpeditions.com

Rekindle Your Shared Sense of Wonder at Magee Homestead

Planning a ranch vacation in Wyoming can be as simple as taking the road not taken from the barely marked fork in the road and hoping it lands on a ranch with some horse herds and stables for humans. Or it can be an ornate affair that requires perfection in a place of rustic sensibilities.

For a luxury adults only ranch stay offering a highly-sophisticated and bespoke all-inclusive experience Brush Creek Luxury Ranch Collection is able to rustle up the right answer: The Magee Homestead. These are nine individual cabins amid the open plains that allow for full privacy for romantic getaways and time spent reconnecting with friends. For weddings, celebrations, bonding time, meetings or corporate super functions, a ‘Rent the Homestead’ option brings it home.

 

Nestled on 7,000 acres of expansive ranchlands in South Central Wyoming’s North Platte River Valley, the private, all-inclusive Magee Homestead offers a secluded boutique experience amid the breathtaking wilderness of the Western United States. Anchored by stunning Magee Lodge featuring private dining room, outdoor patio and great room with bar and billiards,  guests have exclusive any reason at any time, and the quiet boutique complex provides for all needs right there. This is not a haven for young children, except on a buy-out basis. It’s an adults-only option at the ranch that can be reserved by the cabin or by the entire bank of cabins.

This exclusive prairie hideaway designed as a luxurious and rejuvenating haven for adults means an experience tailored to your preferences. Dedicated guides greet you onsite to embark on your personal adventures such as horseback riding, fly fishing and mountain hiking. The luxury Spa facilities include a grotto soaking pool, a hot tub, and sauna and steam rooms. Equally as revitalizing is time spent at the outdoor swimming pool, which offers cabanas and poolside dining for a full day of relaxation An array of classes geared for solos and small groups, including Yoga and Meditation in the Yoga Yurt. A dedicated concierge is on hand to arrange all activities, no matter how spontaneous or planned and a staff manages all the extras, including packing and unpacking for guests.

Rustic fine dining, too, gets individualized attention within the Homestead with an emphasis on fresh, organic and responsibly sourced ingredients via it’s “pasture to plate” program, featuring Ranch-raised Akaushi beef, as well as a 6,480 square foot greenhouse. Under the watchful eye of Chef de Cuisine, AJ Buchanio, daily menu options include items for vegans, vegetarians and conscious holistic diets as well as those that want to splurge a little from the other side of the Rocky mountain inspired spectrum.  Impromptu gourmet picnics to company or wedding feasts are enjoyed in unforgettable settings indoors and out.

The large cabin suites and residences are located in one- to three-bedroom log cabins and come packed with luxe amenities, such as four poster King beds, chic antique furnishings and appointments, a cozy sitting area, heated bathroom floors and a large, roll-in shower. Some of the units come with fireplaces and efficient kitchens. The Simeone Deary Design Group that also handled the Waldorf Astoria in Chicago, among other prestigious projects, designed all cabins.

And they also carry a little history. The property was a cow camp and hay-producing ranch more than a century ago and the smaller cabins on the property, recently renovated to become the individual luxury lodging cabins they are, were once used as housing for ranch hands and cowpokes. The cabin names –TZ, Elk Hollow, Burgess, Wood, Pearce, Downie and Wiant – are the originals on the property. A stagecoach from the Gold Hill Stage route originally located on the Magee Homestead has been moved, completely refurbished and also serves as an elegant cabin suite on the main ranch.

Magee Homestead all-inclusive getaways stays start at $875 per person, per night and up. Packages are available on the website.

A one-stop destination for the ultimate Wyoming luxury vacation Magee Homestead guests are an easy 13 miles from the front gate with private air access via Saratoga’s local airport. The boutique ranch is approximately a 1-hour drive from Laramie, Wyoming and a 3.5-hour drive from Denver, Colorado, with the scenic ski town of Jackson Hole within 5 hours.

 

Contact

Magee Homestead at Brush Creek Ranch
6429 State Highway 130
Saratoga, Wyoming
Phone: (307) 327 – 5284
Email: guestservices@mageehomestead.com
Website: www.mageehomestead.com

 

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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Two New Luxury Hotels to Add to the Visit List: Ultima Gstaad in Switzerland and Almanac Hotel Barcelona

If you are planning a vacation in Europe, a visit to Switzerland in summer or winter can turn into a vacation of perfection with a stay at the precious new Ultima Gstaad, which opened in December. Take in the shades of the Bernese Alps in glistening whites or calming greens from your terrace in one of 17 suites and residences to be found at this complex of over-the-top chalets. There is no best time to visit Switzerland. Gstaad is open all year and each season has its reason.

The exquisite scenery of the alpine foothills matches the stunning interiors of Ultima Gstaad. The Ultima is actually three expansive wooden chalets that combine contemporary elegance with traditional alpine design. No reception desks here as all admin is done privately and personally, as can be said about all of the amenities and services at the property. Rather guests will find a cascading seven-foot crystal Chandelier and a glass Schimmel piano customized by Alec Monopoly, a reproduction of one owned by singer Alicia Keys.

Where Roger Moore Parks his Car

Tones here are all whites and silvers and the sheen of glass against warm blond woods, soft beige textiles and some velvety reds. Nothing is loud; nothing offends. It’s quiet and discreet charm here as it has been through the decades as Gstaad became the winter playland of the uberclass vacationing in Europe: Louis Armstrong and the Aga Kahn, Elizabeth Taylor, Julie Andrews, Sophia Loren, Grace Kelly, Peter Sellers and Roger Moore were frequent visitors. Today one might see John Travolta, Roman Polanski, George Soros, Madonna or Steve Wynn. Roger Moore was once quoted as saying, “the locals are more interested in my car than they are in me.”

Gstaad Meets Call of the Alps

Gstaad, a German-speaking alpine village of around 10,000 some 3,400 feet above sea level, is an easily accessible place from major European cities and marvelously walkable along its traffic-free mile district with plenty of luxury brand shopping to entertain. Find a medley of known stores there, including Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Chopard, Brunello Cucinelli, Prada, Moncler, Ralph Lauren, and Cartier and smaller boutiques stocking such labels as Chloe, Dolce & Gabbana, Tod’s, Burberry, Dior, Oscar de la Renta, and Marc Jacobs.

The hotel concierge can arrange a car for guests arriving in Geneva, and car transport to Saanen for guests arriving by private plane. As a vacation in Europe, a trip to the Ultima Gstaad is incredibly easy and smooth.

Skiers will be looking at cable cars that connect surrounding ski areas such as Wispile and Rinderberg, with hundreds of miles of all-level mountains and cross-country trails. Elevations on these mountains run around 6,500 feet. But the cables work year ‘round and offer summer guests wide vistas of open verdant meadows with ambling goats and sheep in scenes that might be plucked right out of Heidi. The weather in this part of Switzerland averages from January lows of 34 degrees to July highs of 73 degrees.

Ultima Gstaad: Ultimate Retreat to Luxury

Ultima Gstaad’s guests can content themselves at the chalets as well as the mountains and village. There the emphasis is on food, service, aesthetics and wellness.

Guest quarters may be suites or multi-bedroom residences that spread out from 700 to 2,100 square feet for families or a group of friends. Both options offer ample space and comforts. Even the smallest of options amid the six generous configurations offers plush furnishings with design driven-amenities: fireplace, desk area, living area, walk-in closet, marble bathroom – a veritable cocoon in an ice palace much of the year with the warm wood walls and ceilings.

Dining is about candlelight and crystal at Duchessa. In the living room style setting guests will be treated to Italian fare and fine wines in a country known for providing the finest chefs to the grand restaurants and kitchens of the world. Three bars provide cocktails and top shelf spirits or organic juices and teas.

And then there is the Ultima Spa. The 8,600-square-foot oasis that guests have all to themselves with an indoor swimming pool, hammam for luxuriating, sauna and massage suites where guests are rubbed and smoothed in La Prairie anti-aging products. Through the spa’s collaboration with Aesthetics Clinics® guests can have their DNA tested for strengths and weakness and create individually tailored treatments to match desired goals.

Rates start at $562 per night in low season. A Wellness Package, available now, is a three-day retreat with a medically supervised detox treatment based on personal DNA. The package includes three nights in a Deluxe Suite and three specially designed detox dinners at Duchessa for $11,516.

Contact: Ultima Gstaad
Gsteigstrasse 70
3780 Gstaad, Switzerland
(+41 33) 748 05 50
info@ultimagstaad.com
ultimagstaad.com

 

New Luxury Hotel in Barcelona City Center

For those vacationing in Europe this summer a new exciting option for vacations in Spain may be the Almanac Hotel Barcelona, which will be Barcelona’s latest luxury hotel when it opens late summer. And its location, in Barcelona’s city center, could not be more inviting. The new 91-room property along Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes is practically within throwing distance of some of Barcelona’s iconic draws.

This new hotel in the center of Barcelona is steps away from Paseo de Gracia and Plaza Cataluña and in easy walking distance to Las Ramblas and buildings designed by Modernist master architect, Antonio Gaudi. Almanac Barcelona will be the first of a series of Almanac properties in a new luxury chain that is also targeting locations in Vienna, Prague, Budapest and Zagreb.

Modernist Twist

Decor at the Almanac Hotel Barcelona is richly imaginative: a blend of modernist simplicity with unpredictable touches for the senses — a hotel that is meant to be seen, heard, smelled, tasted and touched. Expect gray, beige, and gold tones with accents of oak and walnut and the use of antique mirrors that complement the copious use of Ibiza marble.

Guest rooms will measure 366 square feet and suites will range from 484 square feet to 1,345 square feet. Watch for unusual details such as bowed windows overlooking the city in the hotel’s “Cube Rooms,” complemented by a comfy sofa nook. The Almanac will debut a “Connect & Collect” app to give guests access to a personal concierge and area guides, and provides international calling free of charge, even when outside the hotel.

The hotel’s rooftop will become a sun sanctuary by day with a pool and sun lounge and a nightlife magnet by night with inventive cocktails served on a terrace overlooking the lights of Barcelona. Dining will be done at Linia, the Almanac’s Mediterranean brasserie in an upscale but casual setting that opens onto the avenue.

The Almanac Hotel Barcelona mezzanine will become the business hub of the hotel with a 10-person conference space and two private dining rooms illuminated by natural light. And, of course, the hotel will welcome guests to its fitness and wellness center that will have a treatment area, steam sauna and relaxation lounge.

Rooms will start at around $476.

A summer vacation in Europe with all the amenities, would be well spent with nights at the Almanac Hotel Barcelona.

Contact: Almanac Hotel Barcelona
Gran Via de Les Corts Catalanes 619-621
08007 Barcelona, Spain
reservations.barcelona@almanachotels.com
www.almanachotels.com