One of the best ways to discover a destination like a local is via motor vehicle. From a bespoke BMW embodying the geography of Cape Town to vintage car outings in Provence, here are hotels that offer guests a a vehicle experience in style.
Hotel Eden Roc — Explore Corippo by Vespa
Hotel Eden Roc in Ascona is a resort with Mediterranean charm and unrivaled lakeside views, just 15 minutes from the Italian border. Poised for adventure, the property offers a variety of complimentary vehicles - Smart cars, vespas, e-bikes, and more - for guests to take out for a day to explore the surrounding area. One fan-favorite experience is seeing Corippo by vespa. Located about 30 minutes outside of Ascona, Corippo is the tiniest village in Switzerland with less than 20 residents. After cruising through the winding alpine roads, taking in the breeze off of the lake, travelers can trek through the quiet, stonewalled homes and trellises into the forest. After enjoying their day off the beaten path in Corippo, hotel guests can zip back to the Eden Roc for a relaxing spa treatment and lakeside dinner.
Tswalu — Photographic safari vehicle
While Tswalu guarantees a private vehicle and dedicated, experienced guiding team with every booking, those who are really serious about taking wildlife photos will appreciate the introduction of a fully equipped photographic safari vehicle and specialist guide. Like all Tswalu’s safari vehicles, the modified vehicle is a Land Rover. It’s geared to meet the needs of a solo photographer, but has plenty of space for a second guest. A rotating swivel seat allows for an uninterrupted, 270-degree arc and can be locked into position. The seat is fitted with a stabilizing arm and platform for taking sharp, steady images, even with a long lens. There are also brackets, slings and bean bags to assist with stability and sharpness. Hatches cut into the sides of the Land Rover afford the photographer the opportunity to lie flat on a firm mattress to photograph animals at eye level.
Ellerman House — BMW Bespoke Masterpiece 7 Series
Cape Town’s iconic hotel, Ellerman House has collaborated with BMW and renowned South African artist, Nic Bladen to create a bespoke masterpiece, expanding their collection of exceptional African art with an innovative and experiential twist by using a BMW 7 Series as the canvas. More than a just car, the vehicle is an original work of art embodying the culture and geography of Cape Town. Ellerman House celebrates local culture and roots in every aspect of the property, with each detail carefully curated to cultivate an experience that is authentically South African. The BMW pays homage to the local environment and Cape Floral Kingdom, one of the smallest yet richest of the world’s six Floral Kingdoms, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its ‘Fynbos’ which has infused itself into the Cape’s art, history and cuisine. Through expert artistry, Nic pioneered a technique to develop perfect castings of organic matter using ‘cire perdue’ or ‘lost wax casting.’ By preserving leaves, flowers and sometimes entire plants in bronze and sterling silver, Nic showcases the rich biodiversity of the Cape Floral Kingdom in his work. For this project, Nic worked with skilled guitar maker and furniture designer, Colin Rock, to deep sink and infuse his botanical sculpture castings into the panels of the BMW, while still giving each sculpture visual artistic dimensions. The result is a harmonious blend of technology and fine craftsmanship to create a masterpiece and experience that celebrates native roots, flora, and the journey of travel. The BMW just launched in late 2020 and transfers guests to and from the hotel for arrival and departure, elevating the Ellerman House experience for to guests.
Hotel Crillon Le Brave — Vintage Car Outings in Provence
Provence, France is widely known for its fairytale kingdom-like land consisting of colorful fields of lavender, rolling vineyards, and historic stone architecture. While walking, hiking and cycling are popular, there are other unique ways to discover the the rural landscape and heritage of Provence. Hotel Crillon Le Brave, a Maisons Pariente property, is the ultimate hideaway for travelers to stay with, providing a ‘home away from home’ in true Provencal style. The helpful concierge at the hotel can assist in arranging and a vintage car outing to relive the charm of times gone by in the country via old and classic vehicle. Guests can have their pick between a Mehari, Mini Moke, Fiat 500, 2CV, Triumph or Mustang. After a day of exploring Provence, guests can enjoy the hotel’s dramatic spa set in a former 18th century vaulted stone sable, a tasty meal celebrating local cuisine in one of the two gourmet restaurants, private tastings in the hotel’s private cellar, or catching up on some reading in the tranquil garden.