Insider Destination Guides For the Return of Travel
With the return to international travel hopefully just around the corner, here are insider guides to some of the top destinations around the world:
Ascona, Switzerland Just a few miles from the Italian border on the Switzerland side of Lake Maggiore sits Ascona, the perfect destination for an authentic Italian vacation - in Switzerland! Boasting colorful cafe-filled streets dotted with palm trees and the Alps towering in the background, Ascona is a truly magical place where travelers can experience year-round warm weather and unparalleled scenic views. Explorers can spend their days taking a stroll through the Botanical Gardens on the Brissago Islands, jetting around the lake on a private boat, visiting Terreni all Maggia's northernmost rice fields in the world, and visiting nearby Locarno to see the famous sanctuary of Madonna del Sasso. Located right on the shores of Lake Maggiore is Hotel Eden Roc, a charming Mediterranean-inspired resort that just debuted 20 new rooms and suites. Featuring a private beach and yacht harbor, guests can relax by the lake in style enjoying boating and water sports, four outstanding restaurants, including Michelin-starred La Brezza, and a 21,528 square-foot Spa and Wellness Center. Bath, England Just a 90 minute train ride outside of London sits the city of Bath. A UNESCO World Heritage site with museums, ancient sites and beautiful architecture for guests to explore, the city is a must-see. Explorers seeking an enriching experience can walk the streets taking in the architecture and visit the area’s treasured spots, such as the Ancient Roman Baths, the Royal Crescent, Bath Abbey and the Holburne Museum of Art without long lines. Additionally, the city boasts the six-mile Bath Skyline circular walk, winding through forests and over rolling hills with spectacular views of the changing leaves. Bath is also home to The Gainsborough Bath Spa, a five-star luxury spa hotel located in the center of town and the ultimate destination for those seeking a relaxing escape. The Gainsborough is the only hotel that has tapped into the natural thermal waters of the area, providing guests with incredible spa treatments and pools to bathe in the healing waters after spending their days exploring the city. Johannesburg, South Africa Johannesburg is South Africa’s largest city offering something for travelers of all interests. From the history, museums and art scene to the award-winning restaurants, world-class malls and markets, this multifaceted city is full of soul and culture. The Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa, a private 5-star, all-suite hotel located in Johannesburg’s affluent suburb of Sandhurst and offers a number of tours to help guests discover the city, including a Johannesburg city tour. The extensive city tour includes a panoramic view of the city, a drive through the central business district, a visit to traditional healing markets and the bustling Hillbrow. Guests also have the opportunity to cross the Nelson Mandela Bridge into Newtown, the cultural district of Johannesburg, to visit Museum Africa and step into a typical shebeen of the 1950s. There’s also an option to for an extended tour that includes additional experiences like a visit to the historic Constitution Hill.
In addition to the Johannesburg city tour, the Saxon is also able to arrange a Nelson Mandela Museum tour and a Soweto tour, and Gold Reef City tour amongst others. These tours give guests the chance to experience the city’s blend of old and new in a comfortable, informative setting. The Saxon emulates the essence of the city with a property that is a unique blend of rich, cultural history with contemporary touches throughout. With the hotel nature-inspired Saxon Spa, onsite gourmet restaurants, and a a red and white wine cellar, the Saxon serves as an excellent base and retreat from the city to unwind and relax. Santiago, Chile Santiago, Chile is known for its historical sites, vineyards and cosmopolitan culture. On a trip to the country’s capital, travelers of all ages and backgrounds can enjoy taking a stroll through Chile's largest farmers market La Vega Centra, the city's Fine Arts Museum and Bellavista, the bohemian artsy center of the city, as well as a walk to the top of San Cristobal Hill to take in the panoramic sites of the city. Other popular activities during include wine tastings at both local wineries, such as Barrica 94, and vineyards just outside the city in the Casablanca and Maipo Valleys. Quasar Expeditions, a leader in experiential travel in Latin America, offers unforgettable tours and excursions throughout Santiago. Guests can spend their days exploring the city, with stays and meals at some of the top hotels and restaurants in town. Whether interested in wine tastings, museums or strolling the local neighborhoods, Quasar offers an authentic Chilean experience for all guests.
Cape Town, South Africa The iconic Ellerman House in Bantry Bay is a just a 10-minute drive to the city center and only 30 minutes to the Cape Winelands. Situated in a residential area, the hotel is far enough from the buzzing city centre to provide guests with peace and quiet, but close enough to pop over the mountain for an impromptu lunch or dinner. A variety of local tours are offered at Ellerman House ranging from the Cape Peninsula to art and wine scene tours. The Cape Peninsula tour takes guests on a tour around the beautiful Cape Point and the surrounding areas. It starts off at Ellerman House and guests are taken on the Victoria Coastal Road through Hout Ba followed by the world famous Chapman’s Peak, or Chappies as the locals have named it. This picturesque road is lined with viewpoints and dolphins and whales can often be seen playing around in the bay. After Chapman’s Peak, guests are taken to Cape Point Nature Reserve where a walk up to the lighthouse to experience the breathtaking view is recommended. The tour continues through Simons Town and ends with a lunch at Constantia, Kirstenbosch Gardens or Kalk Bay. Ellerman House also offers Signature tours in partnership with friends of Ellerman House who have experiences on wine farms or art galleries exclusive to guests of the hotel including the Signature City Art Tour, which takes guests on a private art tour to the winelands in Stellenbosch and Franshhoek. Ellerman House is the quintessential urban retreat for discerning luxury travelers wanting to experience the very best of South Africa. Its exclusive address in Bantry Bay offers spectacular Atlantic Ocean views against the dramatic backdrop of Lion's Head. The hotel also features one of South Africa’s most important and impressive private art collections and an award-winning wine list. With 13 bedrooms and two 3-bedroom villas uniquely designed to showcase panoramic ocean views and manicured garden, Ellerman House is an idyllic space for travelers to stay with while discovering the city and surrounding areas.
Napa Valley, USA
For a trip like no other into the heart of wine country, Napa Valley stands alone as the premier wine destination in the United States. Travelers can indulge in the area’s many wineries, savor world-class restaurants, unwind at the various spas, enjoy a hot air balloon ride over Mount St. Helena, Palisade Cliffs and Old Faithful Geyser, and even hop on the Napa Valley Wine Train as it zips through scenic vineyards and rolling hills. For those looking for a spectacular stay in the heart of Napa Valley the Villa Calistoga, available via luxury travel and property club THIRDHOME offers a spectacular retreat nestled in four-acres of secluded rose gardens, wine vines and gardens. Designed for outdoor living, the 8-bed/7-bath estate has twelve-sets of French doors extending the living space of the house out onto thousands of square-feet of balconies and patios across the estate. Activities abound across the landscaped estate, with a spectacular pool and volleyball, bocce ball and tennis courts perfect for keeping kids entertained. The panoramic views overlook the spectacular gardens on the property and the nearby vineyards, olive trees, Palisade mountains and Mount St. Helena.