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Destination Fall: Gondolas, Leaf Peeping & More

Dreaming of a fall trip that highlights more than just the leaves? For those on the lookout for unique fall activities here’s more about some international autumnal activities perfect for every fall lover:

Monkey Island Estates

Bray on Thames, England

England is beautiful in the fall - the leaves change to a golden red color and the weather cools down - and Bray on Thames, just 40 minutes outside of London, and the surrounding areas boast many experiences for travelers to enjoy. With a three-mile frontage on the Thames, visitors can stroll the streets of Bray taking in the stunning fall foliage by foot, charter a boat to float down the river and go on a culinary tour of the town's three Michelin-starred restaurants. Travelers can also visit the nearby market towns of Henley and Marlow, stop at Windsor to see the world's largest inhabited royal castle, and head to London for a day of sightseeing - Buckingham Palace, the London Eye and Hyde Park are less than an hour away.

YTL Hotels’ Monkey Island Estate just launched six Private Residences, providing travelers with a choice of charming period accommodations throughout the town of Bray. The Residences blend classic style with contemporary and luxury comforts, each with its own intriguing history and story. Guests experiencing the Private Residences can enjoy the freedom, space and privacy of staying with friends and family after a day of exploring. The offerings include Long White Cloud, Brook House and Sundial Cottage, each with three to four-bedrooms, Bray House and Lavender house, located in the heart of the village of Bray, and the one-bedroom Dormer Cottage.


Arosa, Switzerland

Autumn is an excellent time to visit Switzerland as the fall brings amazing colors to the changing landscapes. The weather is cooler - with the occasional snowflake - and the Alps are full of scenic cloudscapes of all colors. Located just a few hours outside of Zurich, Arosa is a charming mountain town perfect for enjoying the outdoors. Visitors can hike and bike the area’s Alpine trails, take a boat out on one of the many lakes, enjoy yoga and other exercise classes on the mountains, visit the Arosa Bear Sanctuary, and take in the breathtaking views from above with a gondola and cable car ride.

The Valsana Hotel and Apartments, inspired by nature and the surrounding Alps, makes for a perfect retreat after a day of exploring. The property boasts 49 rooms and year-round apartments (perfect for social distancing), a spa and a lobby, lounge and restaurant that seamlessly bend together to create a rustic, open concept giving the stunning fall Alpine backdrop center stage throughout the hotel.

THIRDHOME

Stratton, Vermont

Luxury property and travel club THIRDHOME has a variety of homes available up and down the East Coast, including this Stratton Mountain Contemporary Home in Winhall, Vermont. Set on the highest peak in southern Vermont, this Stratton Mountain home offers breathtaking views of the 46-acre estate and the surrounding countryside. Guests will delight in the variety of hiking and biking trails available on site, an ideal site for taking in the fall foliage and enjoying the colorful leaves both in the sky on the ground.

The spacious home, which easily can accommodate 10 guests across 5,500 square feet, features an open floor plan and chef’s kitchen. The exquisite outdoor space has a fire pit and outdoor kitchen, a perfect place for families to unwind after long day of outdoor fall activities.


Cape Town & Johannesburg

The fall season in the USA happens to be the spring season for South Africa. In October and November the temperatures start to heat up throughout the country and temperatures often range between the 60 and 80 degrees range Fahrenheit, making it comfortable climate to be outdoors. While South Africa doesn’t have fall foliage or leaf peeping, this is the time when the Cape Floral Kingdom blooms with a new batch of flowering species, offering picturesque nature experiences. Fall is also shoulder season in South Africa, making it a great time to travel for lower rates and less crowds. Urban cities like Cape Town and Johannesburg are cities that are both rich in history, culture, and new exciting experiences for fall. Situated at the foot of the majestic Table Mountain, Cape Town is well known for its cultural diversity and history. Museums like Robben Island and the District Six Museum pay tribute to the rich heritage and importance of this city to the African Continent. Cape Town is a truly cosmopolitan city, without compromising natural beauty, offering a wide range of experiences from penguin encounters to Africa’s finest wine-lands. Johannesburg has flourished in recent years as a tourism destination thanks to the city’s many urban-renewal projects. From the museums and art galleries to the award-winning restaurants and markets, the city is full of soul with something to offer every type of traveler. For instance, Maboneng Precinct, once deemed a ‘no-go’ area is one of the most successful developments in the city, filled with trendy restaurants, local shops and the hot-spot Arts on Main, an area encompassing artists’ galleries and studios for visitors to peruse. Another flourishing neighborhood, Braamfrontein, is a mix of creative spaces such as the Wits Art Museum and Stevenson Gallery, shops, hip bars and historical focal point Constitution Hill, a former prison and military fort turned museum that shares the story of South Africa’s journey to democracy. For the ultimate and top hotels to stay with in these South African cities, travelers should look to Ellerman House for Cape Town, and The Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa for Johannesburg.

Ellerman House is an iconic hotel located in Cape Town, South Africa. Ellerman House features one of South Africa’s most impressive private art collections and an award-winning wine list. The hotel consists of 13 bedrooms and two 3-bedroom villas uniquely designed to showcase panoramic ocean views and manicured gardens. Ellerman House is a pristine example of Cape Edwardian architecture blended with understated elegance and modern luxury. The Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa is an exclusive 5-star, all-suite hotel located in the affluent suburb of Sandhurst. The hotel emulates the essence of the city with a property that is a unique blend of rich, cultural history with contemporary touches throughout. The Saxon also offers a number of tours to help guests discover the city, including a Johannesburg city tour, Nelson Mandela Museum tour and a Soweto tour, amongst others. These tours give guests the chance to experience the city’s blend of old and new in a comfortable, informative setting.