Wellness 2017: Six Sensational Destination Spas for Healing Vacations

Wellness tourism has become the next big thing in travel. The latest figures by the Global Wellness Summit show travelers take 586 million wellness trips each year — that’s 15 percent of global tourism, second only to cultural tourism in revenues. And wellness travelers spend 130 percent more than the average traveler. Analysts expect the wellness tourism market to grow at a clip of more than 10 percent through 2020, all augmented by the increasing awareness about anti-aging measures to preserve looks and vigor.

10648442_10156439974395088_599536576219072251_oSo what does that mean for those seeking a healing retreat in 2017? Mostly it means that there are many choices, many types of wellness vacations to consider and many things to think about when choosing among the world’s top spa destinations.

Are you seeking help with weight loss only or help with specific facets of your health?

Are you seeking lifestyle changes? Exotic or adventurous experiences? Relaxation? Medical or surgical treatments? A kickstart to a good year? To a great life?

13584872_10157150116210088_329272986678980584_oThen there are costs, locations and philosophies to parse and in the end, no two healing or spa destinations are alike.

To make the choosing easier, here are six sensational spas from Kurtz-Ahlers & Associates that have been curated for their quality stays, excellent programs and unusual approaches to wellness.

Ananda – in the Himalayas

Easily accessible by rail or air from New Delhi, this former summer palace is now a luxury stead in the foothills of the Himalayas and keeps a focus on health and wellness through the ancient wisdom of the Veda texts.

1933672_10156439972330088_6648894647269678994_oYoga, Ayurvedic healing treatments, meditation and eating according to your body type are part and parcel of the philosophies found hear. Programs in detoxification, rejuvenation, self-realization, relaxation and weight elimination are all available in 5- to 14-night packages for sustained results. Healing masters frequently pass through Ananda offering special sessions on mediation, yoga and mindfulness.

Contact
Tel: +011 91 1378 227500
Email: sales@anandaspa.com
Website: www.anandaspa.com

Lake Austin Spa Resort

This all-inclusive luxury spa in the Texas foothills outside Austin offers a big advantage to Americans looking for a quick and healthy getaway – it’s in the U.S. and it is an easy destination to visit.

11259438_10155661919105088_3876513585033899089_nForty cottages and villas spread along the banks of idyllic Lake Austin. Guests partake in daily programs, from yoga on the lake to intensive fitness classes, candlelight meditations, wellness and nutrition talks, cooking classes, painting, paddle boarding, even forest baths. Regular packaged specials mix and match focus themes with healing spa treatments, which include a menu of East Asian treatments and couples (as well as men’s) treatments.

Contact:
Tel: 512-372-7300
Toll-free: (800) 847-5637
Email: info@lakeaustin.com
Website: www.lakeaustin.com


Chablé Resort

Newly opened in the magical jungles near Merida in Mexico’s Yucatan region, Chablé Resort offers a different way to experience Mexico, outside the beach resort corridors and beyond the reaches of mass tourism.

16003097_10158116783285088_8129941628955204526_nRather, the Chablé experience is a quiet one that can be as intense or inactive as you wish amid the 750-acre property’s 40 villas. The spa staff will devise an optimum personal program to match guests’ goals, whether fitness, detoxification, stress management, weight management or rejuvenation. Programs run hand in hand with the resort’s regular daily activities, such as morning yoga, guided walks, biking, meditation and nutrition. Central to the resort is its cenote – a mystical subterranean spring of natural clear waters for soaking and relaxing, a wonderful complement to the resort’s healing treatments that infuse ancient Mayan healing practices and wisdom.

Contact:
Toll-free Tel:  (844) 424-2253
Email: info@chableresort.com
Website: www.chableresort.com

 

Chiva-Som

As Thailand takes off as a premier wellness destination, especially with its widely recognized medical tourism leadership boosted by the fast-rising reputation of Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok, Chiva Som has followed suit.

13603675_10157150116340088_605873804793203922_oThe precious, boutique resort spa in Hua Hin, just over two hours from Bangkok, offers a wellness getaway that blends the best of all worlds. With 54 charming Lanna-style rooms and villas along a sugar sand beach on the Gulf of Thailand, this is a premier retreat no matter what the purpose. Well-trained medical staff members offer assessments and draw up programs, whether for relaxation and meditation or even special medical procedures. All treatments are given to a high standard of practice. At night, guests can partake in guest lectures in English by master healers; or walk on the beach, even head to town, just ten minutes away for nightlife (Hua Hin is the former summer palace location for the royal family). In true Thai fashion, service is extraordinary and at the same time, a stay at Chiva Som, for all its luxe touches, can be affordable for most Americans.

Contact:
Tel: +011 66 32 536 536
Email: reservation@chivasom.com
Website: www.chivasom.com

 

Mukul Beach, Golf and Spa

Nicaragua is fast emerging as the next go to place in Central America and Mukul is sparking much of that growth. As Nicaragua’s first and premier luxury resort on the Pacific’s Emerald Coast, Mukul is the perfect destination to stay in an undiscovered region if relaxation is your goal.

1555423_10153806656030088_1091053125_nThe resort offers 37 guest accommodations in cottages and villas all opening to an endless ocean horizon. There’s plenty to do at this hideaway that is a two-hour drive (or 20-minute flight) from Managua, whether swimming, jungle trekking, even exploring volcanoes. But time at the spa is a must. Spa Mukul, a white-domed rainforest sanctuary, includes six experiences housed in six individual, private spa suites, each equally harnessing a different ancient healing tradition, often using local Nicaraguan ingredients. Guests choose from six themes of experiences and then wait for the mysteries of healing to unfold. In she Secret Garden: Water is the theme here and guests float their way to bliss. With the Hammam, Moorish architecture pays homage to Turkish cleansing rituals. In the Rainforest Suite, guests immerse and soak in a variety of water experiences. At the Crystal Temple, quartz crystals and stones unloose their magic powers on participants. In the Healing Hut, Asian and Ayurvedic treatments invoke the wisdom of ages, and in Casita Mukul, powerful treatments use ancient indigenous healing practices and traditional Nicaraguan medicinal plants.

Contact:
Tel: +011 505 25 63 71 00
Email: reservations@mukulresort.com
Website: www.mukulresort.com

 

Rancho La Puerta

Ranch0 La Puerta is one of the pioneers in delivering the wellness retreat. It was founded in 1940 and has been leading the pack ever since, offering some five dozen daily fitness classes and programs and easily as many spa treatments, many incorporating ingredients from the resort’s extensive gardens.

297219_10150865317770088_1299632012_nThe resort welcomes some 140 guests each week to its 3000-acre spread of gardens, mountains and meadows located just across the border near San Diego. Fitness is in focus as daily activities include Pilates (Reformer and mat work), extensive yoga, guided hikes on over 25 miles of wild and trails, Feldenkrais, fitness ball, Qi Gong, T’ai Chi, trekking, volleyball, aquaexercise, dance, circuit training, NIA (Neuromuscular Integrative Action), strength training with and without weights, stretch, posture, cross training, cardio-cycling, meditation, and … well, it’s an exhaustive list. Cuisine is fresh, semi-vegetarian and geared for healthy eating. Afternoon and evening programs are also a vital part of the Ranch experience. These feature staff talks and special guest lectures, plus games, workshops, entertainment (musicians especially), arts and crafts classes, and a variety of possibility. Theme weeks bring beauty experts, lifestyle coaches, yoga masters and naturopaths, who generously share their knowledge with guests.

Contact:
Tel: (800) 443-7565
Email: reservations@rancholapuerta.com
Website: www.rancholapuerta.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

 

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Resorts that Belong on Your 2017 Bucket List

Our dream-worthy travel bucket list is a good way to start visualizing a 2017 to remember. Start planning now to find adventure and once in a lifetime experiences from Kurtz-Ahlers & Associates’ exclusive collection of luxury travel resorts and companies from the bottom of Argentina to the eerie night skies of Lapland.

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Argentina

Arakur Ushuaia Resort & Spa puts a luxury stay where few people dare to tread – at the bottom of South America in Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego. Overlooking the Beagle Strait and gateway to the great Antarctic, Arakur Ushuaia’s refined accommodations offer floor to ceiling windows that let in the season’s light and shadows contouring the majestic scenery, all complemented with gourmet food & beverage offerings and exquisite pampering.

Bahamas

Rent a magical private island on Musha Cay in the Bahamas as a world only a talent such as David Copperfield could create. This bucket list dream includes you and 23 of your favorite people, who will stay on an island all their own in five all-inclusive manse spreads and explore a treasure trove of magical sets designed by Copperfield, himself, between swimming and snorkeling in special spots, picnics on the secret islands, movies on the beach, even fireworks and special shows on demand. The catch? You must book the entire island at rates that run $39,000 to $59,000 per night, four-night minimum. But these will be nights to remember

Cambodia

Song Saa is a private island paradise off the coast of Cambodia. Luxury villas over calm, warm waters, yoga on the beach, deep relaxation massages in thatched huts that let in the wind and sun; private picnics in magical spots of your choosing. It’s all included and comes with the chance to give back to the environment and local people in creative and sustainable ways.

Galapagos

Pikaia Lodge let’s the islands of the Galapagos be the star of this journey. While these islands harbor habitats and wildlife found nowhere else, Pikaia Lodge offers luxury lodging like nowhere else in the Galapagos. Located on central Santa Cruz Island, private luxury yachts take small groups of guests around the archipelago to see a panoply of nature at its purist and to swim and dive in warm, clear coves. The Lodge keeps its promise to sustainability without sacrificing stunning views from private villas or foods prepared with care and conscience.

Kenya

Micato Safaris heads deep into the wilds of Kenya and East Africa to reveal to true secrets of the plains. See it all with a 17-day African Splendor safari or create your own dream of Africa with itineraries you can design yourself. Bespoke or classic, elephants or chimpanzees, lodges or luxury tents… Africa is calling and yours for the choosing. Micato’s non-profit arm, AmericaShare, gives back with every tour.

Amboseli National ParkIndia

India opens up in splendid ways through Banyan Tours and SUJÁN’s collection of palace accommodations and luxury camps. India’s complex soul expresses itself in a swirl of color and seductive scents made ever more personal and meaningful with the right guidance and to the right places, whether the Taj Mahal, the caves of Ellora or the vast and ancient markets that stretch through Old Delhi. Experience the deserts where tigers dare to tread at the SUJÁN Sher Bagh or the intricate and bejeweled details of palace décor at the SUJÁN Rajmahal Palace.

Days in New Delhi can be enhanced with a stay at The Lodhi, in one of its exquisitely designed guest rooms or suites with private pools — all overlooking the historic Lutyens that are seven acres of preserved gardens dating back in parts to the 15th century.

If your wanderings should include wellness travel, the quintessential wellness retreat in India is Ananda in the Himalayas. Easily reached by train from New Delhi, visitors immerse in the ancient healing wisdom of the Ayurvedas while enjoying sublime hiking, yoga, meditation, sojourns into the holy town of Rishikesh and the Ganges River, as well as deeply immersive healing practices that will take them to new levels of health and rejuvenation. The luxury accommodations here are the royal rooms of what was once a raj’s summer palace as India becomes a bucket list journey that will change much about the way you see – and live in — the world.

Italy

Make Italy into a must this year with a special stay in a Tuscan Manor at the La Corte dei Papi in Cortona. The 17th century farmhouse has 15 rooms and suites, a spa and a renowned wine cellar all on the hilly border between Tuscany and Umbria. Wine tastings are offered as well as amazing multi-course meals prepared fresh daily. Then head south to the heel of the boot that is Italy for a stay at La Fiermontina in Lecce, an easy drive from Brindisi-Salento Airport (BDS). With pinnacled ceilings and traditional pietra di Trani floors common in Salento’s noblest homes, La Fiermontina’s private quarters feature romantic balconies, locally produced bath products, antiques and contemporary artwork Walk to historic churches, enjoy wine tastings and regional tours. For a taste of fashion and Italian panache a stay in Milan at the Armani Hotel Milan could not get more trendy. Located in the prestigious Manzoni district, top shopping, dining and people watching is right at your doorstep. The Armani Hotel offers 95 guest rooms and suites with elements personally designed by Giorgio Armani and chosen for sculptural, aesthetic and sensual qualities.

Mongolia

Mongolia is yours with tours through Nomadic Expeditions, highlighted with a stay at Three Camel Lodge. Experience colorful festivals where nomads and villagers from all around the land descend for horse racing competitions and eagle hunting adventures. Stay in the Steppes in a decked-out yurt. Go hunting for dinosaur eggs and Buddha treasures in an ancient land few travelers get to experience.

Three Camel LodgeNew Zealand

New Zealand is a world away for most of us and that is not only in distance but in a certain beauty, captured well in such epic film series as Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Much about New Zealand remains large, looming, untouched expanses of fantastical mountain scapes, kauri forests with tree trunks as big as houses, and roiling, steaming volcanic lakes. It’s a country that keeps more sheep than people and one where adventure is an every day occurrence. The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs and the Farm at Cape Kidnappers on New Zealand’s North Island, and the Matakauri Lodge on the country’s South Island offers Kiwi experiences aplenty while wrapping guests in all the beauty New Zealand can muster.

Scandinavia

Nordic Luxury takes you through the wonders of the northlands in bespoke explorations of Iceland, Greenland, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Sweden. Field your way through snow castle fiords and crystalline forests in the northern latitudes. Immerse in remote geothermal springs while gazing at windswept snowscapes as you explore the intriguing country of Iceland. Search for the Northern Lights – and find them.

 

Tahiti

The Brando is there when you are seeking white sand beaches on your own Polynesian island where the star-power is palpable and the remoteness something to be savored. Only 35 villas here on Tetiaroa, 30 miles northeast of Tahiti. But the manta rays, sea turtles and exotic birds are plentiful. For all there isn’t to do there is plenty to do: bicycling, snorkeling, bird watching, diving and paddle boarding among them. Or visit the library and attend lectures and demonstrations given by onsite researchers about Polynesian culture, history, and lifestyle. Find out why Condé Nast readers rated The Brando the top resort in the world.

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United States

The Lodge at Brush Creek in Saratoga, Wyoming makes a great getaway in all seasons. An Orvis-endorsed fly-fishing school makes it a favorite for families, mancations and office retreats. Kids love the ‘lil wranglers programs and Condé Nast readers keeps finding reasons for consistently rating this cowboy country ranch #1 in the USA. Among the accommodation offerings is the recently added Magee Homestead, a collection of seven historically restored cabins with nine total bedrooms that sleeps up to 25 guests.

Twin Farms in Barnard, VT gets the energy pumping through a variety of winter fun to be found on this 300 acre stead near some the best skiing on the east coast. In summer, guests hub at “the farm” while heading on day trips through the Green Mountain State for hiking, antiquing, and fun at nearby fairs and festivals. This fully inclusive Relais & Chateaux resort offers 20 artfully crafted accommodations, each one its own design, plus an alluring spa with a Japanese furo bath, and magnificent gourmet meals and snacks at every turn.

 

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

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At Home in Stockholm: A Stay at Ett Hem

Sweden has its seasons and visiting Sweden through the dark and festive winter months should not be overlooked. Christmas in Sweden can be magical, and made into that much more of a storybook journey with a stay at Ett Hem in Stockholm.

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This elegant mansion in the fashionable Ostermalm district of Stockholm was built in 1910 as a home for a government official and his wife and literally means “a home” in Swedish. Reopened as a 12-guestroom hotel in 2012, it is not hard to imagine the characters of Ingmar Bergman’s Fanny and Alexander here in rooms reimagining traditional Swedish craftsman design mixed with elements of antique and contemporary minimalism. Each room is its own statement as Ett Hem offers a running story of childhood whimsy and serious adult sophistication.

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For all its compact richness, Ett Hem is a full service hotel with a gym, a relaxation room with a traditional Swedish sauna, a library, a kitchen with dining area plus  plenty of nooks and crannies to enjoy a custom-designed Swedish meal alone, with friends, or  family style with other guests. There are twelve suites and plenty of common space to lounge comfortably. Guests are as likely to take a snooze in the library with a good book in front of the fire as they are to, sip a warm drink or coffee in the glass conservatory overlooking the garden or retreat to their cozy lair.

Ett Hem

Like a comfortable home, there is a space for every mood. Expect lots of candlelight to brighten the cold shadows of winter and the fading midnight skies of summer.

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Each room has its own personality but all offer the delights of plush bed coverings, cocktail cabinets, rain shower-style walk-in showers, free Wi-Fi, iPad controls, plush slippers, robes, and coveted Bamford amenities. Some accommodations come with a mélange of extras: city views, wood-burning fireplaces, freestanding deep marble soaking tubs, and antique writing desks.

Breakfast comes with every stay, served in the guestroom or in any other chosen area of the property, and is a celebrated moment with fresh berries, warm, fresh-baked bread, cheese and ham and delightful Swedish coffee.

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While Ett Hem’s location is in a quiet neighborhood known for elegant domiciles and embassies, its location is an easy 20-minute amble to trendy City Center and Gamla Stan, the Old Town section of Stockholm is a 40 minute walk. It’s a five-minute skip to the Tekniska Högskolan underground station.

Christmas Markets in Stockholm

Winter wanderers in Sweden will not want to miss Stockholm’s legendary Christmas markets, a tradition that dates back to 1837 in the Old Town district. The square fills with festive stalls serving warm, spirited glögg and selling all manner of Swedish meatballs, smoked sausages and reindeer meat, as well as winter knits, ceramics and handmade toys.

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Nearby is Stockholm’s remaining medieval abbey, the Riddarholmen Church. The magnificent cathedral is also the final resting place of many Swedish monarchs, including Gustavus Adolphus (Gustav II Adolf) and Charles XII (Karl XII). Another spot to visit is the iconic Riksbron (“The National Bridge”), a 44-meter arch bridge in the city centre that leads to Riksdagen (the Parliament Building) and Rosenbad (the Prime Minister’s Office).

In fact, whether in winter or summer, visitors to Stockholm will want to take advantage of the Stockholm City Pass that essentially puts “the whole city in a card.” Visitors can gain entry to more than 60 top attractions, monuments and museums, plus a range of boat and bus tours with this comprehensive sightseeing product.

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It costs approximately $67 ($35 for children) for a one-day adult pass and comes with a free guidebook as well as a hop-on, hop-off combination bus and boat ticket, normally priced at around $47.

The pass works on a simple scan-and-enter system, acting as a ticket into the city’s top attractions and tours and presents a discount on normal attraction and tour prices.

Featured attractions and tours included in the Stockholm City Pass:

•                    The Royal Palace – This is one of Europe’s largest and most regal palaces, and is still the official residence of the King. Highlights include the Royal Apartments and three museums steeped in regal history.

•                    Vasa Museum – This is the revered King Gustav II Adolf’s prize warship, which sank when it was not even a mile into its maiden voyage in 1628. It was salvaged in the second half of the 20th century.

•                    Royal Canal Boat Tour – This is a worthy experience of Stockholm from the water as it travels from the city center into the Djurgården Canal, passing historic buildings, beautiful green spaces and offering a spectacular city skyline.

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•                    Nobel Museum – Visitos can learn about the Nobel Prize and its founder Alfred Nobel, together with the stories of the work of many Nobel Laureates.

•                     Gröna Lund Tivoli – located on Djurgården Island, Sweden’s oldest amusement park offers more than 30 rides and attractions, making it a fun choice for families.

•                    SkyView – The SkyView gondola to the top of the world’s largest spherical building, the Ericsson Globe, comes with a fantastic view over Stockholm from a height of 425 feet.

 

A stay at Ett Hem, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, starts at $835 a night for a double room, breakfast, Wi-Fi, taxes, and service fees included. View this wonderful short film for more information.

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Contact:

Ett Hem
Sköldungagatan 2, SE-114 27
Stockholm, Sweden
+011 46 (0)8 20 05 90
info@etthem.se
www.etthem.se

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

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KAA News Roundup

Happy Holidays! This month we are celebrating by announcing representation of Almanac Barcelona, read more in our December newsletter.

Another reason to celebrate is the Conde Nast Traveller Gold List 2017: The 20 best hotels in the world.  Jawai by SUJAN in India makes the list at #2 as well as Ett Hem in Stockholm and The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, New Zealand.

Ann Abel from Forbes lists her top 10 hotels of 2016 which includes Rajmahal Palace by SUJAN and Faena Hotel Miami Beach.

More news from Faena; A big congratulations to Restaurant of the Year: Pao by Paul Qui at Faena Miami Beach. Faena Miami Beach is more than a hotel, as The Faena District comprises several blocks of mid-South Beach. The Faena District officially opened November 27th, read more from Wallpaper Magazine.

The Faena Forum brings entertainment to The Faena District, and their grand opening was well attended, as was the charity event during Miami Art Basel featuring Madonna and raising money for Raising Malawi. Read more on this star-studded event in W Magazine and Vogue.

Ready for a luxury getaway with the girls? Absolute Travel recommends a stay at Mukul. The Standard agrees, calling Nicaragua the new Costa Rica in their article.

Mukul also features a world class spa, as does Rancho La Puerta in Mexico.  Both are featured in Jetsetter, “These 12 Hotel Spas Are Next-Level.” More than a hotel spa, Destination Spa Rancho La Puerta has created a new retreat specific for runners.

Pikaia Lodge in The Galapagos was recommended by Andrew Harper in The Hideaway Report, read the candid review here.

Another hotel review, but across the pond in London. The Beaumont was reviewed by Fathom, “Living an Art Deco Fantasy in London.”

People Magazine featured The Brando this month, “Inside Marlon Brando’s Exotic Resort: Everything You Need to Know about the Private Island.” The Tahitian resort was also featured in Architectural Digest, “5 Off-the-Beaten-Path Destinations for Warm-Weather Vacations,”  and Best in Travel Magazine, who awarded The Brando the Best Resort Spa in in French Polynesia.

Journey through Burma with The Strand Cruise and a stay at The Strand Hotel. Read about the journey in The Robb Report, “Luxury Burma by Land and Sea.”

Fogo Island Inn is celebrating giving back this holiday season alongside National Geographic with their unique lodge’s giveaway program.

For the ultimate holiday treat, escape to Twin Farms for a weekend. Get inspired by Town & Country Magazine’s article, “A Luxury Sleepaway Camp for the Ultra-Rich.”

Tours to Mongolia: A Touch of Class amid Dinosaur Eggs and Flaming Cliffs

Luxury adventure tours to Mongolia are few and far between. The Mongolian-American tour company, Nomadic Expeditions, has taken this challenge to new tiers of possibility, opening up this place to western travelers with an abundance of comfort and luxury for memorable immersions in a fast-disappearing way of life.

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No visit to Mongolia is complete without a foray into the Gobi Desert, an easy half-million square miles of arid dunes, rugged cliffs, craggy mud flats and rolling hills of short, rough grasslands. Visit in the popular summer months or opt for spring, a lovely time filled with warm days and chilly nights where visitors can roam the expanses by SUV, horse and camel and scarcely see another human. And there is, indeed, so much to see.

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Nomadic Expedition Offices in the USA

Nomadic Expeditions, with offices in New Jersey and Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, was founded in 1992 by Mongolian-American Jalsa Urubshurow. This visionary, whose parents had migrated to the U.S. in 1952 to escape Russian persecution in Mongolia, wanted to share his ancestral homeland with sophisticated westerners. Soon after establishing Nomadic Expeditions, Urubshurow set about building a luxury eco-lodge in the Gobi Desert. Locals helped him build what is now Three Camel Lodge, built from scratch using wood and materials that could be sourced as closely as possible. The lodge is comprised of gers, tented dwellings used by nomads for centuries, though these luxurious versions have helped Three Camel Lodge win international hospitality and media awards.

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Journeys into the Heart of Mongolia

Adventure-minded and sophisticated travelers  keep Mongolia atop their bucket list for reasons that easily stand out for anyone who visits.

You won’t find traditional five-star resorts here but you will find a sky filled with 5,000 stars. You won’t find white sand beaches (Mongolia is the world’s second largest land-locked country, right behind Kazakhstan) but you will find the endless dunes that make up 10 percent of the Gobi Desert and reach heights of 100 feet in their shifting waves. You won’t find mixologists and trendy bars, but you will sip cocktails as you watch the waning sun turn the Flaming Cliffs into a desert of fire. You won’t be shopping for souvenirs in upscale malls but you will be scavenging for dinosaur bone chips in a valley where nearly a century ago fossilized dinosaur eggs were found by American adventurer Roy Chapman Andrews, said to have been the original inspiration for Indiana Jones. How to tell a dinosaur relic from recently deceased animal bones? The dinosaur bone sticks to your tongue, of course, as every Mongolian nomad knows.

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Guests of Nomadic Expeditions are treated to an extraordinary experience in this remote corner of the world. Tours are managed by English-speaking staff that take guests to outcroppings in the middle of a vast landscape that still have remarkably preserved petroglyph drawings of animals and nomadic life. Comfortable late model Toyota Land Rovers provide the horsepower. Guests hike, trek, ride back-friendly two-humped Bactrian camels, watch festive local competitions in all manner of hunting and animal mastery and get to have a front row seat to an ancient and disappearing culture that has not changed for a thousand years.

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Ancient Dreams at Three Camel Lodge

At Three Camel Lodge, each ger is given to capacious, cozy and clean furnishings, a wood-burning stove for heat prepared and tended by staff, plush towels, an attached bathroom with hot water (very rare in these parts), electric lights, and all the endless views one could ever imagine.

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City soundscapes are traded for rural reverberations: neighing horses, baying goats and lambs, hissing camels, vociferous herdsmen. Winds blow along the plains, a cerulean sky nearly void of clouds marks most days.

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After a long day wandering the steppes, guests head back to the Lodge for some tea with yak milk, followed by creative cuisine, fine wines (Urubshurow keeps a wine cellar stocked with stellar appellations), rare vodkas, and entertainment provided by local villagers.

No day is like the other on a Nomadic Expeditions tour and all days are light years in time from Western experiences or daily lives.

IMG_9251Special Picks: The Golden Eagle Festival happens in October in the Altai Mountains of Western Mongolia. Kazakh hunters come from afar with golden eagles in tow to enter them into competitions of speed, agility, and accuracy, all accompanied by days of ceremonies and dance performances.

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Another treasured experience is a spiritual tour of Mongolia with Buddhism scholar Robert Thurman in a land where Buddhism was once silenced. The journey heads to sacred sites and temples and includes meditation sessions, as well as insights into the history and renewal of Buddhism in this land.

DSC_0055Jalsa Urubshurow, Founder and CEO of Nomadic Expeditions, will join Robert Thurman on this special journey happening June 25  – July 7, 2017 and priced at $10,900 per person/double occupancy. (Single Supplement: $1,650). Donations will be given to Tibet House in the amount of $1,000 per traveler.

All tours to Mongolia start with flights from Beijing to Dalanzadgad Airport and then a 90-minute drive to Three Camel Lodge.

Nomadic Expeditions arranges both escorted group journeys and customized private tours and, while specializing in cultural and adventure expeditions from the rugged Altai Mountains in the west and the stunning Lake Hovsgol in the north to the vast steppes of the Mongolian heartland and the rugged Gobi Desert, it also offers immersive tours into Bhutan, China, Siberia, and Tibet.

Hotrsetrek. Photo by G.Lehman

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

Three Camel Lodge
Mt. Bulagtai Bulgan County
Umno-Gobi Province, Mongolia
(011) 976-11-325786
USA Toll-free: (800) 998-6634
info@threecamellodge.com
www.threecamellodge.com

 

 

Special Offer at The Brando – The World’s #1 Resort

Readers of Conde Nast awarded The Brando their highest honor as the #1 Resort in The World; book your escape to paradise by June 30th to save up to 20%.

Offer details and conditions:

– Stay 3 nights and save 10% discount on contract room rate. Booking code: “STAY3”.
– Stay 4 nights and save 15% discount on contract room rate. Booking code: “STAY4”.
– Stay 5 nights and more and save 20% discount on contract room rate. Booking code: “STAY5”.

Valid until June 30th, 2017, (Dec. 21-Jan 10 excluded)

tetiaroa-islandThe above discounts are applicable on both the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 low season rates.
The above discounts are applicable on both the All-inclusive and the American breakfast only rates.
The above offer is cumulative with Air Tetiaroa Fly Free offer but does not apply on Air Tetiaroa rates.
The above offer is not retroactive and is valid for new bookings only.
The other contract terms apply.
The Brando Information

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Three-night package in Tuscany at La Corte dei Papi

A historic family estate with modern-day stylings, La Corte dei Papi a tranquil Tuscan getaway for gourmands and those seeking a truly unique experience. La Corte dei Papi dates back to the 1700’s and The Papi family has taken great care over generations to preserve the history of the Relais. The hotel boasts just 15 suites including beautiful Spa Suites and an excellent restaurant housed in the estate’s original wine cellar.

home_6Three-night Package for 2017 Includes:

• 3 nights’ accommodation in a luxurious room with every comfort
• Italian Spumante in room at clients arrival
• Welcome dinner with à la carte Menu in the romantic atmosphere of our Restaurant ( drinks excluded )
• Daily Buffet Breakfast
• Complimentary early check-in upon availability
• Complimentary late check-out upon availability
• Free Wi-Fi internet access

Price for 2 people for the whole package with accommodation in Deluxe Double Room = Euro 1.100,00

Valid: March 2017 until November 2017

La Corte dei Papi Information >>

The Strand Hotel & Cruise Special Offer

Experience the best of land and water in mystical Myanmar. For cruise bookings in all cabin categories receive 25% a discount off the Published Rate, two nights complimentary (pre or post) at The Strand Hotel in a Superior Suite, and one round-trip domestic flight per guest.

Contact Jared Green, jared.green@thestrandcruise.com

The Strand Cruise Information

The Strand Hotel Information

Celebrating the Old and the New at Two Iconic Hotels in India

Visiting India, travelers are presented with a swirl of experiences. Waves of colors from saffrons, to pomegranates to midnight blues surround; hypnotic sounds rising from complex sitars to percussive tablas fill the quiet spaces; stories running from the mythic to the magical provide meaning in everyday things; mischievous monkeys vying with oxen and automobiles in the dusty streets create surprise and curiosity; and architectural momentum from mughal to minimalism sweep the skylines and offer the simplest moments of awe.

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Nothing is ever simple in India, a country that boasts 5000 years of civilization and a kaleidoscope of some of the world’s oldest religions.

DancingBut some things make the going easy, if not simply exhilarating. Some of those experiences are wrapped up in stays at two of India’s most iconic hotels: The Lodhi in New Delhi and the SUJÁN Rajmahal Palace in Jaipur. And the two hotels in India could not be more diverse.

Naturally New Delhi
The Lodhi in New Delhi, a forward-leaning mix of contemporary minimalist architecture with touches of raj elegance, offers a top luxury stay on the margins of Lutyens’ Delhi, overlooking Lodhi Gardens – an oasis from the enchanting chaos that is New Delhi. This former Aman hotel brings sharp edges and spacious acres of stone that yield to impressive clean lines to meld with traditional intricate details.

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The Lodhi’s 40 rooms and suites are big enough for royalty – some of the most spacious accommodations in the city. Each deluxe room has its own private balcony, daybed and plunge pool. Bathrooms are large with an adjoining dressing room and walk-in wardrobe. Living spaces are given to a comfortable sofa and armchairs. For longer stays, the Lodhi offers 28 pied-a-terre apartments spread over the territory, and worthy of consideration if only for their location by some of Delhi’s most prized green space.

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The Lodhi Gardens, loved by lawmakers and romantics alike, is celebrating its 80th year. The 90-acre gem is a favored place for butterflies and birds as it interlaces rare blooms and grasses amid medieval grand tombs protected by the Archaeological Survey of India.

What’s inside the Lodhi is as impressive as the surroundings. The property features eclectic pop-art pieces curated by Apparao Galleries that seem to complement the moods of the various hotel spaces.

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The property offers three restaurants serving Western, Indian and eclectic Asian dishes. It also has a large and artfully designed lap pool, spa, fitness center, tennis court and bar.

Location counts and The Lodhi has it. Guests can easily walk the mile to Connaught Place and the famous Khan Market. The property is 12 miles from Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL).

Quintessentially Jaipur

Meanwhile, visitors to India seeking variety in lodging experiences can consider a hotel fit for royalty at the SUJÁN Rajmahal Palace in Jaipur.

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Now a Relais & Chateaux property, the SUJÁN Rajmahal Palace was originally built as a palace for the Maharaja of Jaipur in 1729 as a garden retreat for his wife, and remained an official residence until the mid-20th century. Home to the Maharaja of Jaipur, this exquisite royal palace is located at the heart of Rajasthan’s bustling capital. An enclosed oasis, secluded in verdant gardens, Rajmahal Palace is the repository of a celebrated history. The palace reopened under the management of  SUJÁN in 2015 with 14 Royal Apartments, Suites and Palace rooms all given to bold Indian styles.

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Guests of the palace have included Jacqueline Kennedy, Queen Elizabeth II and Lord Louis Mountbatten.

The Palace has seen many avatars over the years and recently underwent a spectacular refurbishment. Many of the original features remain: the exquisite chandeliers and marble staircases of the original palace are still there and one can experience the grand 1930s Art Deco feel of that bygone era in the color choices and wall patterns. Its bay windows, mirrored doors and meticulously appointed interiors allow guests to be transported to a new era of 21st century regal living.

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Rooms are made ever more palatial with high ceilings and personal belongings of the Royal Family of Jaipur, such as old books and photographs that are found amid the restored original furnishings. Fresh-cut roses and jasmine flowers add wonderful aromas to the spaces.  Each room is a work unto itself with grand designs that tell the many stories of Jaipur, its rulers and their legacies.

Inspired by the palace’s historic features and the history of the Royal Family of Jaipur, the design elements include the use of family crests, traditional royal motifs, old world art pieces and sensuous fabrics.

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SUJAN also offers some wonderful fine dining experiences. The Colonnade restaurant on the original veranda of the Palace is open 24 hours for resident guests with a menu of comfort foods (the restaurant features the best club sandwich in the city) and traditional Indian dishes in a spot overlooking the palace lawns and garden. At 51 Shades of Pink, a dining room inspired by Norman Parkinson’s 1952 Vogue cover, energizing breakfasts are served. The Orient Occident, with its high ceilings, gilded mirrors and original artworks, brings guests into an experience of the rich heritage of the rulers of Rajputana and offers authentic Indian recipes mixed with the fine European cuisine.

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Afternoon tea is a daily ritual at the Palace, presented in full British fashion and served in the Palace Gardens.

When cocktail hour calls, the Polo Bar is the place. Turquoise and white hues offer backdrop to the original silver polo trophies collected by HH Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II, who chose Rajmahal Palace as his own personal private residence when he ruled in 1958.  An Art Deco swimming pool looks over the gardens and the SUJÁN Spa unlocks the magic of the Vedas in carefully selected Ayurvedic treatments to relax body and soul.

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For guests that want a more adventurous experience of India without sacrificing luxury, Sher Bagh, SUJÁN’s jungle getaway from the city is just a few hours drive from the Palace and offers 12 sumptuous tents in the wild. Luxury camping includes jungle wildlife safaris and tiger tracking, affording guests a rare and exciting immersion in the India few visitors get a chance to see.

Royal Tent Exterior Night Shot

 

The Pink City

Jaipur is known throughout the world as the Pink City for its intricate fortifications carved out of salmon colored sandstone. But it is also India’s city of jewels as the Old City is filled today as it has been for centuries with artisans practiced in the arts of cutting gems and precious stones. These items sparkle and beckon from shops all over Jaipur run by merchants all too willing to cut visitors a good deal on polished adornments.

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The élan of Jaipur, experienced in the architecture, cuisine, colors, dress and culture of the city can trace back to the intermingling of Rajput and Mughal dynasties. As the Mughal Empire waned at the end of the eighteenth century, the kingdom of Jaipur stood fast against incursions from the southern kingdoms and made alliances with the British throne to protect against these threats. The result was a lifestyle Jaipur came to symbolize – one that immersed in the glamour imported by the Royals, the sophisticated cocktail soirees of the time, and the serious sport played on the area’s polo fields.

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Fabulous Festivals in Delhi and Jaipur

The best time to visit India is in the winter months. The weather is cooler and drier and a world of festivals is usually underway. And there is nothing like a festival in India, usually dowsed in palette of pageantry, to mark nearly every day of the year.

Top Winter Festivals in India include:

The Elephant Festival during Holi, usually happening in March and April. This event is especially colorful in Jaipur.

BanyanThe Kite Festival in January, when the skies over Jaipur and Delhi swarm with wild-looking kits in flight and often in battle with one another.

A January Camel Festival in Bikaner, near Jaipur, offers a view of village life that cannot get more colorful or exciting.

CamelndiaRepublic Day on January 26 is celebrated all over the country with parades as only India could present.

Basant Panchami is celebrated in early February as a dedication to Saraswati, Goddess of learning and music. Especially celebrated in Delhi, everyone dresses up in yellow and they offer gifts to the deities.

Other less traditional events to consider during this time are the Book Fairs going on in Delhi and Jaipur in early January as major celebrations of international literary arts. Also the Jaipur Film Festival is scheduled to take place January 7-11, 2017 with a roster of independent films in 16 categories and a lavish Red Carpet event on the last day.

Contact:

The Lodhi
New Delhi 110003
(011 91) 11 43633333
reservations@thelodhi.com
www.thelodhi.com

SUJÁN Rajmahal Palace
Sadar Patel Marg
Jaipur 302-001
(011 91) 1414143000
reservations@sujanluxury.com
www.sujanluxury.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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KAA News Roundup

Condé Nast Traveler’s 29th Annual Readers’ Choice Awards named The Brando in Tahiti the #1 Resort in the World and The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch #5 Resort in the World, #1 Resort in the U.S.

Two exciting hotel openings include The Strand Hotel, an iconic hotel in Yangon reopened November 15th after an extensive renovation.

December 10th will see Chable Resort in Mexico’s Yucatan open, an exciting new destination spa with pool villas and a spa next to a cenote.

The Brando was featured along with Song Saa and Pikaia Lodge as one of 50 perfect spots for the ultimate honeymoon from The Telegraph.

Pikaia Lodge in the Galapagos is now recommended by Andrew Harper, a well-deserved accolade as the best hotel in the archipelago.

Mukul makes the list of “56 Wonderful Places to Honeymoon Right Now” from Travel + Leisure and read about Nikki Sharp’s recent stay at Mukul on her blog.

Up to Miami, where Conde Nast Traveler writes on The Faena in, “Why Miami’s Hotel Restaurants Are Worth Traveling For.” Read more about the Faena District in Spears, “Is Miami’s billion-dollar district the USA’s most ‘dramatic’ urban project?”

Find wellness in Wyoming at Magee Homestead at Brush Creek Ranch, a new, adults-only wellness retreat featured in American Spa.

Twin Farms in Vermont is promoting Art of a Vermont Winter which includes several exciting special events including a vertical tasting of Screaming Eagle’s 2002, 2003 and 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon vintages on December 3rd.

Fogo Island Inn in Newfoundland was featured on the Travel Channel, “Canada: Bucket List-Worthy Hotels.”

Over to Europe where The Armani Milan was feared in Luxury London, “Hotels for Fashionistas.”

In Cambodia, Song Saa Private Island has received some inspiring 5 star reviews for the work their foundation is doing from Great Non Profits.

A fascinating article from National Geographic, “Mosquitoes May Meet Their End Thanks to Marlon Brando” on the innovative program at The Brando Resort that has nearly eradicated the insects on the island, no pesticides or genetic engineering needed.

“Dubai: A Safe and Fascinating Middle East Destination” on the Huffington Post features The Address Hotels. Read about a wonderful journey through India by Prana Journeys including stays at The Lodhi and Ananda Spa.

A big congrats to Rancho La Puerta, awarded the #1 destination spa in all of North America by Spa Finder’s Wellness Travel Awards.