Posts tagged with "hotel"

Beyond Green illustration by Heather Skovlund (original photo provided by Beyond Green) for 360 Magazine

Introducing Beyond Green

INTRODUCING BEYOND GREEN: A PURPOSE-DRIVEN HOSPITALITY BRAND DEDICATED TO HELPING GLOBAL CITIZENS MAKE TRAVEL A FORCE FOR GOOD

Forward-Thinking Hotel Network Debuts Booking and Storytelling Platforms That Invite Travelers to Explore How to Travel Gently and Travel Well

Committed to building a better and brighter future for people and the planet, Beyond Green officially launches today as a curated guide for travelers seeking a more purposeful way to explore the world, featuring a global portfolio of 27 hotels, resorts, and lodges that exemplify sustainability in action. Debuting at the onset of a new era of travel in which protecting nature, benefitting local communities, and celebrating cultural diversity has taken center stage, this forward-thinking brandinvites travelers to discover, plan, and enjoy adventures that align with their sustainable travel values and aspirations through a variety of intuitive tools and experiences. These include a new brand website; dedicated storytelling via its @StayBeyondGreen social media accounts; exclusive benefits through I Prefer Hotel Rewards; and a celebratory, limited-time Journeyer’s Pick Package. 

“At the heart of Beyond Green is a belief that to travel gently and with purpose is to travel well. More than ever, each of our individual travel choices make a difference, and, together with our outstanding member properties, we designed Beyond Green to make it easier for travelers to enjoy incredible luxury vacations that also support significant social and environmental change for the future,” said Lindsey Ueberroth, CEO of both Beyond Green and its parent company, Preferred Hotel Group. “The world has shown an unwavering need to Believe in Travel, and this is our defining moment to inspire a kinder and gentler way to explore the planet together, where good guests meet good hosts.”

“The question is no longer whether we can transform travel based upon sustainable tourism principles and practices to be a powerful force for saving nature, regenerating ecosystems, and providing tangible social and economic benefits to local people, while also celebrating cultural diversity and inclusiveness around the world. This is now happening, as also represented by Beyond Green members. Rather, the most important question is how travelers help can make sustainability the new normal around the world while also having a great vacation. The answer is when we travel the sustainable way – the Beyond Green way – we can have a positive impact right now on the places we visit,” said Costas Christ, Brand Leader of Beyond Green and President of Beyond Green Travel, also an entity of Preferred Hotel Group.

Digital-First Resources for Inspiration and Information

Experiential travelers looking for a more meaningful way to explore the world can now visit Beyond Green’s website for thoughtful, essential resources and tools to book truly sustainable luxury getaways, from Belize to Bora Bora. The new website features highly curated visual content of each member property and the experiences they offer, along with vivid stories about the world of sustainable travel through its Good Stories blog, where novel content, tips and advice will be added on a continuous basis. The brand also invites travelers to engage in daily dialogues about sustainable tourism, inspiring travel experiences, and best practices for being informed  global citizens on social media by following its newly launched FacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn channels and #StayBeyondGreen and #TravelGently online conversations.

I Prefer Hotel Rewards Member Benefits

As part of the Preferred Hotel Group family of brands, Beyond Green invites travelers to enroll in I Prefer to access meaningful rewards at more than 650 participating properties worldwide. In addition to receiving standard, I Prefer benefits such as points for every eligible stay and early check-in and late check-out privileges, I Prefer members who book stays at participating Beyond Green hotels, resorts, and lodges receive access to exclusive bonus points-earning opportunities that are tied to participation in on-property enrichment activities representative of the three pillars of sustainable tourism. Varying from property to property, these experiences range from an Ecology Tour in San Juan Capistrano at The Ranch at Laguna Beach in California to a specialized lecture on the Gobi Desert at Three Camel Lodge in Mongolia. I Prefer members with Elite-tier status will also receive a welcome amenity or community giving opportunity, in addition to earning 50 percent more bonus points during every eligible stay.

Celebratory Launch Offer

Whether seeking to stay within their own country or satisfy the pent-up desire to dust off their passport and go somewhere new, Beyond Green encourages travelers to seize the moment by taking advantage of a limited-time only Journeyer’s Pick Package, available at 15 participating properties for bookings made by September 30, 2021 for travel through December 31, 2021. Featuring the best available rate plus a unique local experience or meaningful memento exclusively available through this special offer, as well as 5,000 I Prefer bonus points, the Journeyer’s Pick Package include highlights such as, but not limited to:   

  • Private 1.5-hour Shinrin Yoku Forest Therapy session at andBeyond Vira Vira
  • Traditional sunset Dhow Cruise with snacks and drinks at andBeyond Mnemba Island
  • Guided walking tour of the Monastery of Panagia Spileotissa at Aristi Mountain Resort & Villas
  • Body scrub wellness experience using organic ingredients at Borgo Pignano
  • Polynesian outrigger experience at the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa

Where Good Hosts Meet Good Guests: The Beyond Green Portfolio

With plans for steady, thoughtful growth, Beyond Green celebrates its official launch in collaboration with 27 inspiring member properties that each take a unique and genuine approach to hospitality while representing sustainable tourism leadership through actionable, measurable efforts:

  • Americas – andBeyond Vira Vira (Pucón, Chile); Arenas Del Mar Beach Front and Rainforest Resort (Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica), Bentwood Inn (Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA); Blancaneaux Lodge (Mountain Pine Ridge, Belize); Carneros Resort and Spa (Napa Valley, California, USA), Cavallo Point (Sausalito, California, USA); Islas Secas (Gulf of Chiriquí, Panama); Post Ranch Inn (Big Sur, California, USA); Ted Turner Reserves Vermejo (Raton, New Mexico, USA); The Ranch at Laguna Beach (Laguna Beach, California, USA); Turtle Inn (Placencia, Belize)
  • Europe – Aristi Mountain Resort (Zagori, Greece); Ashford Castle (Co. Mayo, Ireland); Borgo Pignano (Tuscany, Italy)
  • Africa – andBeyond Bateleur Camp (Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya); andBeyond Mnemba Island (Zanzibar, Tanzania); andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge (Namib Desert, Namibia); Bushmans Kloof (Western Cape, South Africa); Wilderness Safaris Bisate Lodge (Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda); Wilderness Safaris DumaTau Camp (Linyanti Wildlife Reserve, Botswana); Wilderness Safaris Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp (Kaokoveld, Namibia); Wilderness Safaris Linkwasha Camp (Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe); Wilderness Safaris Mombo Camp (Okavango Delta, Botswana); Xigera Safari Lodge (Okavango Delta, Botswana)
  • Asia – InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa (Bora Bora, French Polynesia); The Brando (Tetiaroa, French Polynesia); Three Camel Lodge (Gobi, Mongolia)

Travelers are invited to access more information on Beyond Green, its three key pillars of sustainable tourism, and its member properties, and book authentic, luxury travel experiences around the world by visiting Beyond Green.

About Beyond Green

Guided by a passion to embrace travel as a force for good, Beyond Green is a global portfolio of hotels, resorts, and lodges that exemplify sustainability leadership. To create a more purposeful way to explore the world where good guests meet good hosts, Beyond Green has curated a unique portfolio of properties based on their commitment to deliver on the three pillars of sustainable tourism: environmentally friendly practices that go beyond the basics; protection of natural and cultural heritage; and contribution to the social and economic wellbeing of local communities. To be considered for membership in Beyond Green, a property is vetted according to more than 50 sustainability indicators that align with global sustainable tourism standards and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Owned and operated by Preferred Hotel Group – the family-owned company that manages and operates other hospitality brands including Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Historic Hotels of America, and Historic Hotels Worldwide – Beyond Green ushers in a new way to experience genuine hospitality by the people for the planet. For more information, visit Beyond Green.

About Preferred Hotel Group

Owned and operated by the Ueberroth Family, Preferred Hotel Group is the parent company of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Beyond Green, Historic Hotels of America, Historic Hotels Worldwide, PHG Consulting, and Beyond Green Travel, representing more than 1,100 hotels, resorts, and residences across 80 countries, in addition to a global portfolio of destinations such as Suzhou, China; Guadalajara, Mexico; and Uganda. With more than 200 seasoned travel professionals situated across 20 countries, the company connects independent hotels, hospitality companies, destinations, and tourism bureaus to key markets worldwide through a variety of strategic branding, sales, integrated marketing, revenue management, and comprehensive distribution services, along with other consultancy services. Fueled by its brand promise, Believe in Travel, the company champions an unwavering belief in the transformative power of travel and its ability to enrich people’s lives and create greater tolerance. For more information on Preferred Hotel Group’s entities, please visit Preferred HotelsBeyond GreenHistoric HotelsPHG Consulting, and Beyond Green Travel.

The Brando
The Brando – photo credit: Beyond Green
Cheetah illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

The Royal Portfolio × South Africa

WITH SOUTH AFRICA REOPENED,
THE ROYAL PORTFOLIO LAYS OUT RED CARPET FOR AMERICAN VISITORS

Now that South Africa has reopened to American travelers, The Royal Portfolio is once more welcoming transatlantic guests. “We’re absolutely thrilled to see Americans again,” says The Royal Portfolio’s founder and visionary, Liz Biden.

In order to enter South Africa (and several other destinations), Americans now only need proof of a negative Covid-PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure. “And when it’s time to go home again, we are arranging effortless in-room Covid-testing for re-entry into the United States,” Biden added. Visitors to South Africa benefit from an extremely favorable exchange rate against the dollar, as well as comfortingly rigorous health protocols at the country’s wealth of hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions. 

The Royal Portfolio is a collection of award-winning private hotels and lodges in iconic South African destinations. The Royal Portfolio comprises: 

  • Royal Malewane in the Greater Kruger National Park, with its exquisite Main Lodge, the more intimate Farmstead and the finest interpretive guiding team in Africa.
  • Birkenhead House, perched on a bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean at Hermanus, an ideal spot for relaxing and for whale watching. 
  • La Residence in the wine country of Franschhoek, consistently voted “best in Africa” by the readers of America’s leading travel magazines.
  • The Silo Hotel on Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront: the magnificent top floors of a grain silo that was the tallest building in Africa when it opened in 1924; the building was recently converted by London’s megastar architect, Thomas Heatherwick, into its dual purpose as the Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) as well as The Silo Hotel.

“Our team has created a 10-night Royal Itinerary which includes a stay at each of our four properties, offering the perfect circuit for discovering the wildlife, glamour, cuisine, wines and sophistication of today’s South Africa,” says Biden, “enabling us to look after our guests from the moment they land in South Africa until the moment they leave. South Africa has one of the world’s most advanced private health systems,” Biden stressed, “and with the roll-out of vaccines, low infection rates, and easy access to testing, life is speedily returning to normal.”


For more information, please visit The Royal Portfolio.

Post Vaccination Adventure Image by Sublime Public Relations courtesy of Adam York for 360 Magazine

Post-Vaccination Adventures

President Joe Biden’s recent announcement that the United States will have enough coronavirus vaccines for all adults by the end of May – two months earlier than previously thought – is promising news for travelers. Precautions will still need to be taken, of course, but domestic travel is likely to be popular again this summer, highlighted by national parks, active trips and travel where physical distancing is possible. Here are six dream vacations to take this summer once you’ve gotten your shots.

 

1. Long-Weekend Cycling: Adventure Cycling Association is offering a new collection of long-weekend tours close metropolitan areas to make it easy to give bike travel a try. Options include taking in the crisp mountain air and stunning vistas while cycling around the stunning Lake Tahoe on the California-Nevada border, or leaving behind the hustle and bustle of New York City to bike up the Hudson River valley and visit peaceful state parks. To learn more, visit this website

 

2. Greater Yellowstone Adventures: A stay at The Wilson Hotel in Big Sky, Montana, offers the opportunity to explore the surrounding mountains, rivers and Yellowstone National Park. Go hiking through shaded forests and wildflower-filled alpine meadows, float or fly fish in a clear, cool river, experience the adrenaline rush of lift-served mountain biking at Big Sky Resort, or tour the natural wonders and wildlife of Yellowstone. To learn more, visit this website.

 

3. Explore National Parks by RV: Blacksford is a new recreational vehicle rental business with an all-inclusive pricing model that includes unlimited miles, no generator fees, bedding, bath and kitchen supplies, free Wi-Fi, free annual national park pass and 24-hour roadside assistance. Blacksford also curates road trip experiences by connecting travelers with vetted campsites, guides and other hand-picked attractions. To learn more, visit this website.  

 

4. Channel Your Inner Cowboy: “Yellowstone,” the wildly popular cable television series starring Kevin Costner, has sparked newfound interest in luxury dude ranch vacations. Red Reflet Ranch, a 28,000-acre guest ranch in Ten Sleep, Wyoming, has experienced a surge of guests booking five-figure vacations because of their love for the series. Guests stay in fully-stocked private cabins and enjoy farm-to-table cuisine while participating in equestrian programs, cattle branding, hiking, mountain biking, ATVing, fly fishing, shooting, family-friendly activities and cooking classes. To learn more, visit this website.

 

5. Idaho Hot Springs, Camping and Cycling: Escape Adventures is excited to offer a multiday cycling tour showcasing Idaho’s magnificent Sawtooth Range and some of the state’s most scenic natural hot springs. The tour includes five days of transfixing road rides – including over the highest paved road in the American Northwest – colorful mining towns, wild rivers and remote natural hot springs. To learn more, visit this website.

 

6. Retreat to a Teton Tiny House: With sustainably built, LEED-certified “tiny house” cabins, Fireside Resort is Jackson Hole, Wyoming’s most innovative take on resort town lodging. The resort embraces modern, yet rustic design and presents a fresh approach to luxury lodging. Nestled in a wooded setting at the foot of the Teton Range, the cabins allow guests to get back to nature while enjoying the intimacy of a boutique hotel and the ambiance of their own cozy residence. To learn more, visit this website.

Post Vaccination Adventure Image by Sublime Public Relations courtesy of Adam York for 360 MagazinePost Vaccination Adventure Image by Sublime Public Relations courtesy of Adam York for 360 Magazine

Post Vaccination Adventure Image by Sublime Public Relations courtesy of Adam York for 360 Magazine

Fireside Resort. Post Vaccination Adventure Image by Sublime Public Relations courtesy of Adam York for 360 Magazine

World Art Day illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

World Art Day Travels

In honor of World Art Day on April 15, 2021, here are some of the best destinations and hotels for curated art experiences from around the world. Whether it be an outdoor mural scene, a hotel’s private art collection, an artist-in-residence program, or new exhibits scattered throughout a country, there are many ways to celebrate World Art Day! And while safe travel may not be possible yet for everyone, virtual experiences are a great way to show appreciation and support. 

DOMESTIC

Hamilton Princess & Beach Club – Hamilton, Bermuda

Known as “The Pink Palace” from its iconic pastel exterior since 1885, it’s the interior of Hamilton Princess that is inside the hotel that makes it fit for royalty. A little-known secret is that the property is home to one of the most comprehensive contemporary art collections in the world. The vast and ever-evolving collection has an estimated multi-million dollar value. There really is no other resort where you can see an 18 ft tall KAWS sculpture or an original Banksy up close. Hamilton Princess has created the Escape Artist Package which includes a private tour of the contemporary art collection including pieces by Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Takashi Murakami, Banksy, KAWS, Julian Opie, Yayoi Kusama, and Ai Wei Wei ,  complimentary passes to the island’s art museums with private tours upon request, complimentary Twizy electric car rental to get to and from the museums, and an assortment of art-inspired amenities and gifts, including a limited edition Mari Andrew print. 

St. Pete/Clearwater

Quickly becoming a museum mecca with 30+ museums in the destination, downtown St. Pete also boasts over 500 outdoor murals created by local and international artists throughout the hip Central Arts District. The newest additions are showcased during the annual mural festival SHINE St. Pete and can be experienced with a guided walking tour. This alfresco art experience has also been modified for COVID-19 safety as travelers can now discover them independently with this comprehensive, ever-growing list and through the app, PixelStix. And not to be forgotten, the most popular museum in the destination, The Dalí Museum, will continue to host the immersive Van Gogh Alive exhibit through June 13, 2021. The exhibition features more than 3,000 Van Gogh images at an enormous scale, viewed through high-definition projectors and synchronized to a powerful classical score. Advanced-purchase, timed-tickets are required to visit. 

Providence, Rhode Island

Known as Rhode Island’s creative capital, Providence is one of the country’s most diverse and vibrant cities for the arts, due in large part as the home to The Rhode Island of School of Design (RISD) which cultivates a creative community. Providence’s artistic offerings are best experienced on foot via Avenue Concept, Rhode Island’s first privately funded public art program. They offer two self-guided tours offering comprehensive stops with dozens of murals and sculptures to visit in Downtown and South Side/West End. As of August, a new latinx-led public art banner project honoring the healthcare workers who have helped manage the COVID-19 crisis has launched throughout the city. 

New Orleans – The National WWII Museum

The National WWII Museum’s newest special exhibit “SOLDIER | ARTIST: Trench Art in World War II” explores the unique military pastime of creating art, souvenirs and tools out of the discarded materials and waste of war. Featuring more than 150 artifacts, many of which have never been exhibited, the collection also includes a background on the creators, providing a rare glimpse into the circumstances of war and the ingenuity and resourcefulness of servicemembers in the field. Such items range from souvenirs, such as ashtrays and jewelry made by servicemembers for their loved ones at home, to forbidden items like radios and musical instruments made by prisoners of war. The exhibition will be open to the public through January 2, 2022.

Daxton Hotel (Birmingham, MI) 

Opening in April 2021, Daxton Hotel features a monochromatic palette in rich, saturated color to showcase avant-garde lighting and furniture in bold shapes. This backdrop is juxtaposed with an art collection of over 400 pieces curated from across the world by Saatchi Art. The thoughtful collection is inspired by the street art found throughout the city of nearby Detroit and reflects the movement and energy of Motor City’s local scene. In addition to the distinctive art originating from across the world including Peru, Macedonia and South Korea, each guestroom is outfitted with a custom headboard backdrop from local floral muralist, Ouizi. Art in public spaces includes the restaurant Madam’s large-scale painting series of 12’ portraits in a feminine, a suspended wire installation in the conference room encouraging dialogue, a full-sized mechanical horse and 9’ pink metallic bunny. Art tours for the building are offered the first Friday of the month, providing the opportunity to engage and experience some of the Daxton Hotel’s significant works. 

The MC Hotel – Montclair, NJ

Located just 45 minutes outside of NYC, the 159 room MC Hotel is at the intersection of culture and community in the heart of Montclair’s thriving artistic community. With art curated from established and up-and-coming artists in every room, the hotel is part art gallery, part meeting place. Currently on display are pieces from painters Ryan Chin and Siona Benjamin-Kruge as well as mixed-media artist Basia Goszczynska to name a few. At guest check-in, travelers will be met by a sculpture of a flower from Karen Kimmel that stretches across two walls. The sculpture features textiles that were meticulously hand-punched then painted onsite. On the lobby wall of the bar, guests will see a sculpture from Goszczynska which is made from salvaged oyster farming bags, marine rope and steel wire. He also continues this unique interpretation of upcycling to shelves of the bar which displays Rainbow Collections, a piece featuring crowdsourced microplastics and salvaged baby food jars.

Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa – Atlantic City, NJ

Within a two-hour drive of New York and an hour drive of Philadelphia, head toward the Las Vegas of the East Coast known for its bustling boardwalk, glitzy high-rise resorts, five-star restaurants, four-mile-long boardwalk, and six-mile-long beach. In search of an indulgent escape, this fast-paced resort is an art lover’s dream. Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa features numerous extravagant glass sculptures that seem to drip effortlessly from the ceiling and rise majestically from the resort’s floor. Those colorful works of art are none other than world-famous Chihuly glass, created by master craftsman Dale Chihuly, and some of our guests come to our resort just to take in the signature pieces by the American artist. Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa houses a number of stunning Chihuly pieces across the property, from the main entrance of the casino to the corridor connecting Borgata to The Water Club. Take a look at the gallery of Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa’s Chihuly, and the next time you visit, play a game of trying to find all of the signature artwork throughout the resort. As the artist himself one said, “Glass has the ability, more than any other material, to bring joy and a certain happiness to people.” Chihuly, who was born in Washington in 1941, has had countless exhibitions of his work across the globe, from Venice to London to the Netherlands, and blew his own glass until he had a tragic car accident in 1976. Afterwards, due to challenges with his eyesight, Chihuly began serving as a director of a team of artists, who have created hundreds of massive glass installations found in buildings across the globe. 

Fitler Club, Philadelphia, PA

Fitler Club is Philadelphia’s ultimate “work/stay/play” destination, where hotel guests are granted exclusive access to all the club’s amenities for the duration of their stay. The club encompasses 136,000 square feet and includes a world-class gym and spa, a 14-room boutique hotel (The Rooms at Fitler Club), collaborative workspace (Offsite), indoor pool and a movie theater. Art lovers will enjoy the Fitler Club’s Collection, which has works by famous artists featured throughout the property. The collection includes pieces by Damien Hirst, Alex Katz, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Pamela Hanson, Mel Bochner and more. Fitler Club’s Artist In Residence program, bringing the work of Philadelphia artists, acclaimed and up-and-coming, to people’s everyday lives. Fitler Club assembled a vast collection by local artists, within a non-traditional gallery space that is Offsite, Fitler Club’s expansive workspace. Artists include King Saladeen, Eileen Neff, Elizabeth Osborn and more. Each of the artworks are on loan by the artists and every piece is for sale. In addition, those who are unable to visit the gallery in person can still enjoy the collection through an interactive virtual experience on the club’s website, which gives information on each piece located throughout the property. 

California

California is gearing up for a culturally enriching year, as various art happenings are slated to open throughout 2021. Peppered across the state, here are some key art events that visitors may enjoy for a uniquely artistic and local experience, showcasing the history and vibrancy of California:

  • Desert X + Outdoor Art in Greater Palm Springs: The third installment of the internationally acclaimed biennial art exhibition, Desert X, returns in 2021, starting March 12 through May 16. The 2021 artist lineup includes a diverse group of 13 artists ranging from locals like Kim Stringfellow to international representatives like Zahrah Alghamdi. Visitors can explore these new outdoor art installations across the desert region for an exciting socially distant experience. While in the region, be sure to check out the region’s booming art scene by walking or driving through various neighborhoods to check out artworks like the “PS I Love You” Sculpture, permanent pieces created for Coachella Music Festival, like “Etherea” and more. Find additional outdoor art in the Greater Palm Springs area here
  • The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA): The OMCA will unveil its newly refreshed garden and outdoor amphitheater space in spring 2021 as part of its multi-phased campus improvement project. This beautiful renovation will include updated outdoor sculptures, revitalized landscaping with native California plantings, new ADA accessible ramps and a permanent stage for outdoor performances- encompassing the Bay Area’s natural beauty. 
  • Santa Barbara Museum of Art:The Santa Barbara Museum of Art will reveal a new, multi-floor wing in spring 2021 that will be home to new photography and contemporary art galleries, as well as renovated galleries, as part of its multi- year, $50 million renovation. The museum hired Kupiec Architects’ Bob Kupiec, who is known for his projects at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Times Square, Bryant Park and more. 
  • Carmel Mission:To mark Carmel Mission’s upcoming 250th anniversary, the Carmel Mission Foundation is renovating the Mission’s main entrance and restoring a 100-year-old adobe museum that sits adjacent to the renowned Basilica. Additionally, The Harry Downie Museum at Carmel Mission is also planned to open in October 2021, showcasing “the Evolution of Carmel Mission” photography exhibit.
  • San Francisco Music Hall of Fame:Slated for this spring, the halls of the music-themed Music City Hotel will feature a gallery of transcendent local musicians including a curated collection of photographs from Getty Images, The San Francisco Chronicle and numerous local, respected photographers. A dozen local and national music writers were hired to create original one-of-a-kind gallery text that accompanies each photo. Visitors can listen to a playlist of songs by artists featured in the gallery, which includes a guided audio tour with local DJ Mike Waterman.

Texas

The art in Texas is top notch, specifically noting the art of the major cities along with other safe havens for creatives such as Marfa and which have recently gained traction. A few examples of the major cities and more of the unknown include: 

  • San Angelo, an oasis in West Texas off the beaten path, has quickly grown as a Texas art hub, with a lot of the art outdoors and accessible to the community at all times. Highlights like the Chicken Farm Art Center, where local artists are set up in refurbished farm buildings, as well as Paintbrush Alley, where over 50 artists have donated their time to create artwork in the downtown alley, are stand-alone destinations worth checking out when in San Angelo. Lastly, the Pop Art Museum which is also outdoor murals has been positively received by the community, with 31 pieces done by local artists throughout a former bowling alley, including a piece from James Gill who worked directly with Andy Warhol at the forefront of the Pop Art movement. 
  • The diversity and affordability of Houston has created an internationally acclaimed art scene, home to graffiti parks, modern museums and everything in between. Highlights include: 
  • James Turrell’s Skyspace Structure, an interactive installation which will test your perception of light and color. Wednesday through Monday weekly, the “Twilight Epiphany” sequence will take place, changing colors of lights from the built-in LED system. Guests can peer through the roof’s square-shaped aperture and into the darkening sky. Admission is free and seat reservation can be made in advance
  • Sawyer Yards, a creative campus located in Houston’s historic First Ward is set in a working train yard and made its home in a former industrial complex with several rice silos at the complex’s center. On the second Saturday of each month, the warehouses are open to the public allowing for individuals to meet the artists and explore their work, varying from paintings to sculptures to jewelry. 
  • Many people don’t often think of Dallas as an art-centric destination, but the cosmopolitan city is home to the largest contiguous urban arts district in the nation. Though to experience art in Dallas one never has to enter a gallery; during a quick trek through any of the city’s walkable neighborhoods murals and iconic sculptures will reveal themselves. Here are a few:
  • Fair Park is home to many well-known works of public art, but the Crystal Chandelier at the Music Hall, by artist William Martin is often cited as a favorite.
  • Dallas City Hall Plaza boasts the large bronze sculpture The Dallas Piece by renowned British sculptor Henry Moore. It was given to the City in 1978 by W.R. Hawn in memory of his wife.
  • Deep Ellum is known for its eye-catching murals. The murals give life to otherwise mundane walls and buildings and reflect the life and times of the residents. As a result, Deep Ellum has evolved into its own exhibition of sorts and visitors have enjoyed exploring and discovering them all. Click here for a look at some of the murals and this map provides directions.

Sensei Lāna’i, A Four Seasons Resort

Set within the secluded island’s 90,000 acres, Sensei Lāna’i, A Four Seasons Resort is a one-of-a-kind wellness retreat, founded by Larry Ellison and Dr. David Agus, with the goal of helping people live longer healthier lives. At the heart of the retreat is the Sensei Way, which distills preventive health science, data and research into three simple paths for everyday living: move, nourish, and rest. These principles go beyond just healthy eating and exercise, encouraging guests to nourish their mind, body and soul, starting with an extensive art collection that inspires a creative spirit and enhances relaxation. With design envisioned by Todd-Avery Lenahan of TAL-Studio, the resort blends a sense of seclusion with wide open spaces surrounded by the forests in the spiritual uplands of Lāna’i. Intentionally placed among expansive garden foliage, the retreat houses a premier outdoor sculpture garden that includes larger-than-life pieces from renowned artists like Botero, Plensa, Lobo and more. As guests venture further, Ju Ming’s “Tai Chi Arch” opens to an onsen garden and Robert Indiana’s iconic “Imperial LOVE” sculpture ignites a sense of joy and rejuvenation. The artwork throughout the hotel was commissioned expressly for the retreat and here, art-loving guests will encounter these pieces for the very first time, stimulating thought and reflection. Other featured artists include David Ellis, Miya Ando, Haure Shimomoto, Sky Pape, Brooks Shane Salzwedel and Lauren Collin.


Rapid City, South Dakota

In the small town of Rapid City, South Dakota, where there’s no shortage of bucket list outdoor art experiences, you’ll find Art Alley,a functioning alley that was transformed into a place for artists to create and share their work with the public. The walls are covered in pieces from local artists, many anonymous, and are constantly changing as new works pop up, providing a new experience every visit. Before this area became known as Art Alley, local artists used to hang canvas artworks on the walls and eventually this evolved into painting murals. It wasn’t until a group of passionate artists and community members worked with city officials to nurture this organic art form into the Art Alley we know today. Other art-centric experiences in Rapid City include the City of Presidents, a collection of life-size bronze sculptures of past presidents placed along the city’s streets and sidewalks, the Dahl Arts Center and more.

Hewing Hotel(Minneapolis, MN)

Since opening its doors in 2016 the 124-room luxury lifestyle hotel has provided an unmistakable all-Minnesotan experience in the bustling North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis. The former farm implements showroom and warehouse built in 1897 has been reborn as a cultural center for the community retaining its original brick and timber rustic charm. Immersing guests in Minneapolis, the hotel offers unique experiences with Minnesotan flair such as a monthly music series, Alley KAT! Perkins Pop Up Concert in the adjacent alley with season 6 The Voice semi-finalist Kat Perkins. The visual art of the area is on display through regularly rotating installations of local artists. The current collection includes works from Minneapolis-based artists Roko and Toni Gallo reflecting the beauty and talent within the area. 

INTERNATIONAL

Costa Rica

Mesoamerican, South American and Indigenous influences are reflected in Costa Rica’s rich art history and colorful culture. Visitors can explore Costa Rica’s capital city and cultural hub of San José which is home to some of the country’s most important art museums, consisting of diverse collections of painting, drawing, sculpture, pottery, wood carvings and more. 

  • Museo de Arte Costarricense: The Costa Rican Art Museum offers free admission and boasts a permanent fine arts collection of over 6,000 pieces from Costa Rican artists, spanning almost two centuries. One of the most intriguing displays at the museum is the outdoor sculpture garden, where visitors can see works by renowned Costa Rican artists like Jorge Jiménez Deredia, Edgar and Francisco Zuñiga, José Sancho and Max Jiménez. 
  • Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo: Costa Rica’s Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MADC) is situated on the site of the country’s old national liquor factory. MADC has four exhibition rooms for rotating and permanent collections of contemporary hispanic art, an auditorium and an open-air terrace for performances and events. There are approximately 900 pieces housed in the museum’s permanent collections. Currently on display at MADC is the “Inferno Tropical” special exhibition, which consists of works by six Latin American women artists from Costa Rica, Cuba, Venezuela, Panama and Brazil. Inferno Tropical is part of a series of exhibitions called “Female Voices of Latin America,” representing the largest mega-exhibition of living Latin American women artists in recent times.

Dominica

Presented by The Waitukubuli Artist Association (WAA) “WhoOosh!! 2” virtual exhibit is the first of its kind in Dominica, showcasing photography, sculptures and paintings created by local artists. The exhibit was filmed using a 360° camera in the abandoned Roseau Anglican Church, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria in 2017. The exhibit is an immersive experience that allows the audience to experience this real place from afar. Just like in a video game, virtual attendees can look around in any direction, interact with objects and people and examine the art up close. The exhibition is themed around the impacts that recent hurricanes have had on the artists’ way of life, interpreting their very own experience of resilience in various artistic forms. To attend, head to kubuliarts.com.

Victoria, Australia

With its brightly-colored bustling laneways, world-class theater district and inspiring art and cultural museums, Melbourne is a city fit to fulfill any art-lovers dreams. The city’s laneways are works of art in themselves while also leading inquisitive city strollers into quirky bars, old-school restaurants and hipster eateries, and hidden art galleries where there’s even more art to absorb. Those looking for a grander stage can find jaw-dropping performances in Melbourne’s theater and musical stages like the Princess Theater and Her Majesty’s Theatre in the East End Theatre District, or the inventive Malthouse Theatre. Melbourne’s art museums span the gamut – from Aboriginal art at the Birrarung Gallery or Ian Potter Centre, to modern and contemporary art at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art or National Gallery of Victoria. When it comes to art – whether it be public, modern, Aborginal or performance – there’s always something inspiring to view in Melbourne, Australia.

Argentina

Known as South America’s capital of culture, Buenos Aires, Argentina, was appointed as UNESCO’s first City of Design with the opening of the Metropolitan Design Center.  Not only that, but the city was also the birthplace of Tango, which first originated in Buenos Aires dance halls in the 1880s. Now, travelers can witness world-class tango each year during the city’s International Tango Festival and World Cup. In 2013, Argentinian artist Alfredo Segatori painted what was then the longest mural in the world, located in Barracas. And, finally, if you didn’t need more artistic inspiration to visit this lively city, Buenos Aires also hosts the world’s most important collections of Latin American art. The Museum of Latin American Art is home to the Fundación Costantini art collection which consists of 400+ masterpieces including paintings, sculptures, photography, and engravings by famous 20-century Latin American artists. 

safari illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Angama Mara Appoints New General Manager

Azei Lago, Opening Team Member of the Award-Winning Safari Lodge, Promoted to Lead the Team

Angama Mara is delighted to announce the appointment of Azei Lago as General Manager.

Following an exhaustive search that included hundreds of applications from around the world, including Kenya’s finest hospitality professionals, hoteliers and safari operators alike, the renowned property overlooking the Maasai Mara has chosen to promote from within and confirm one of its own as its new General Manager.

“I know that Azei will be an accomplished steward, and a nurturing, fair, yet uncompromising leader, committed to pushing the team to even greater heights,” says Nicky Fitzgerald, CEO. “I am so proud we are rewarding talent from what we call ‘The University of Angama’ and will now have a fully Kenyan hospitality team caring for our guests.”

“Azei was the stand-out candidate with the appropriate mix of hospitality excellence, fanaticism about guest delight, and a true leader with a history of building and empowering his teams,” says Steve Mitchell, Angama Mara’s co-founder. “He is well-loved, well-respected and embodies everything about the ‘Angama way’ and our values of respect, honesty, courage, joy and humanity.”

With an extensive career in the hospitality industry spanning three decades – including running several restaurants and hotels and teaching hospitality management – Azei (pronounced ah-Zay) has been with Angama since its pre-opening, joining as a camp manager and most recently serving as Operations Manager. He succeeds Shannon and Tyler Davis, who are returning to the U.S. after six years at Angama Mara.

“My DNA is about delighting guests through passionate service. One cannot deliver this alone, and fortunately, this already exists at Angama,” said Azei. “As a family grows, it needs familiar stewardship and leadership with common values, ensuring continuity while promoting growth of both the business and the people who work within it. Being in a position where I can continue to make a meaningful change within Angama and in our surrounding communities, is a fulfillment of my dreams.”

Beloved by both guests and staff, Azei can trace his generous and welcoming nature back to his upbringing. Raised in a modest Nairobi household that was always full of visitors, both short- and long-term, Azei credits his early home life for his career in taking care of guests.

For more information about Angama Mara, please visit their website.

ABOUT ANGAMA MARA

High above the Maasai Mara where some of the most romantic scenes from “Out of Africa” were filmed, Angama Mara comprises two separate and intimate camps, each encompassing 15 tented guest suites. Built on the edge of the Great Rift Valley on one of the most sought-after sites on the continent, this lodge offers heart stopping views as far as the eye can see. The lodge, helmed by industry veteran Nicky Fitzgerald (formerly of &Beyond), boasts outstanding game viewing 12 months of the year, with private access to the reserve. Inspired by the Swahili word for ‘suspended in mid-air,’ Angama Mara floats 1,000 feet above the Maasai Mara, where, every morning, hot air balloons sail past the 30-foot-wide floor-to-ceiling glass fronts of each suite. In addition to consistently excellent game viewing, including Africa’s Big Five, guests enjoy walking safaris, garden-to-table lunches in the shamba, editing their images in the photographic studio, a fitness center, a 40-foot-long swimming pool, a curated gallery of African art, clothing and jewelry, and a sun-filled studio where local Maasai women work at beading bespoke items. Angama Mara was named #1 Safari Lodge in the World by Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards 2018 and was named in the top ten safari lodges in Africa in the Travel+Leisure World’s Best Awards 2020. Opening in 2020, Angama Safari Camp is a sole-use camp situated amidst the mega herds of the Great Migration and features the same fresh safari aesthetic as its sister camp Angama Mara. For assistance in planning a safari, the bespoke travel concierge service, Angama Safaris, is standing by to ensure smooth, seamless and safe travels around East Africa.

Azei Lago by Angama Mara for 360 Magazine

Lego Illustration Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

LegoLand Discovery Center Westchester

BUILDING MEMORIES AGAIN – LEGOLAND® DISCOVERY CENTER WESTCHESTER REOPENS TO GUESTS ON MARCH 26

Attraction Welcomes Nominations for Deserving Family to be VIP Guests on Reopening Day and Invites Guests to Honor Local Healthcare Workers with Ticket Donations for Visits Shared on Social Media

LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester is thrilled to announce they will officially reopen its doors to guests on Friday, March 26th, welcoming fans back after over a year being closed due to local regulations. Guests can enjoy a day of family fun with signature experiences including MINILAND, LEGO® Racers: Build and Test, and LEGO® 4D Cinema! The ultimate indoor LEGO playground is looking for nominations for a deserving family to be the first to experience the attraction when it reopens. Nominations can be submitted on the attractions Facebook page or emailed to Westchester@LEGOLANDDiscoveryCenter.com

Taking extra precautions for health and safety, LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester has implemented enhanced physical distancing measures, new limited capacity 2-hour playtimes, LEGO® bricks just for families to use during playtimes, and stringent cleaning protocols before each playtime following the guidance of local and national health officials.

“The health of our guests and employees is of utmost importance. We are taking proactive steps to provide visitors with a safe, comfortable environment when we welcome them back to LEGOLAND Discovery Center again,” said Laura Whitman, General Manager of LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester. “After over a year spent social distancing, we hope to provide our fans with a day of togetherness, learning, creating, and carefree play.”

As part of the reopening, LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester will also honor the tireless work of local medical professionals by donating complimentary tickets to local organizations and their healthcare heroes. For every guest who tags the attraction in a social media post during their visit, LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester will donate one ticket to a local healthcare worker from a health care partner to be announced soon.

Families are encouraged to visit https://www.legolanddiscoverycenter.com/westchester as soon as next week to purchase tickets and check out LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester’s visit safety tips.

ABOUT LEGOLAND® DISCOVERY CENTER WESTCHESTER
LEGOLAND® Discovery Center is the ultimate indoor LEGO® playground and has 11 locations across North America including Arizona, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Kansas City, Michigan, Philadelphia, San Antonio, Toronto, and Westchester. Geared towards children ages 3 to 10 and their families, the attraction features millions of LEGO® bricks and multiple attractions including Master Builder Academy; Kingdom Quest Laser Ride; Merlin’s Apprentice Ride; LEGO® 4D Cinema; Build and Test; MINILAND™ featuring iconic landmarks; LEGO® Friends Heartlake City, and more.

Visit LEGOLAND® Discovery Center’s site for attraction info and locations. LEGOLAND® Discovery Center is a part of the Merlin Entertainments Group. 

About Merlin Entertainments plc 

Merlin Entertainments plc is a global leader in location-based, family entertainment. As Europe’s number one and the world’s second-largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin now operates more than 130 attractions, 19 hotels, and 6 holiday villages in 25 countries across four continents. Merlin’s purpose is to deliver memorable experiences to its 67 million guests around the world, through its iconic brands and multiple attraction formats, and the commitment and passion of its 28,000 employees (peak season).

Visit Merlin Entertainments site for more information and follow on Twitter @MerlinEntsNews

 

hotel at night by Mina Tocalini for 360 Magazine

HECKFIELD PLACE: FIRST 100% BIODYNAMIC HOTEL IN UK

The Georgian Manor Estate Hotel and Home Farm Completes Three-Year Conversion to Holistic Approach to Agriculture. 

Heckfield Place, the award-winning Georgian manor estate turned luxury hotel in Hampshire, England (about an hour outside of London), has achieved 100% biodynamic certification; becoming the very first hotel and farm estate in the United Kingdom to receive this designation.

This pioneering accreditation culminates a three-year process of conversion to biodynamics, an alternative form of agriculture that adopts a “closed loop” and holistic approach to farming–eschewing the use of chemicals ­to regenerate soil health to preserve the land for future generations, and to produce healthy and nutrient-rich foods.  As biodynamic growers, Heckfield uses the cycle of the moon to determine when to carry out cultivations. For growing a root crop such as carrots, the team works when the moon is in an earth constellation (goat, bull or virgin). For leaf crops, such as lettuce and spinach, they cultivate when the moon is in a water constellation (crab, scorpion or fish). For flowers, the focus is when the moon is in an air constellation (twins, scales or water carrier) and to encourage fruiting, the moon will be in a fire constellation (ram, lion or archer).

Heckfield’s Farm now provides in myriad of ways for the hotel: from flowers, beautifully arranged by its floral consultant Kitten Grayson Flowers along with its in-house florist, to rotating arable crops and organic produce that inspire the seasonal menus at the hotel’s restaurants Hearth and Marle, led by Culinary Director Skye Gyngell, who champions a root-to-plate ethos.

In 2020, the Heckfield Home Farm opened its own micro-dairy to produce milk, cream and butter for the hotel and local community from the estate’s Guernsey herd, along with 90 sheep and 20 pigs. An average of 400 chickens and 20 beehives provides eggs and honey.

The farm serves as a shining example of the self-sustaining relationship between the land and the house and captures the essence of the hotel’s unique approach to luxury hospitality in its role as custodians for the 438-acre estate to ensure a sustainable future for the land on which it resides.

“Being certified as biodynamic allows us a clearer framework and positive intent; if we choose chemical-based agriculture as the program for our soils, we will destroy the very life we all depend on,” says David Rowley, Head Market Gardener, Heckfield Estates. “Alternatively, we can choose to feed our soils, encourage all the microbiology and the beings and cycles, seen and unseen, picture the farm 100 years in the future–what would we like our grandchildren to see?”

For more information about sustainability at Heckfield Place and its Home Farm, please visit their website.

ABOUT HECKFIELD PLACE:

A Georgian family home dating to the 1700s, Heckfield Place has been lovingly restored to its classic origins and rewoven into its surrounding 400 acres of farmland, ancient heather and woodlands. The estate’s farm, two walled gardens and orchards nourish renowned chef Skye Gyngell’s epicurean cuisine, bringing the outside gloriously into the property’s three restaurants–Marle, with its outdoor balcony overlooking the property, the Sun House, a unique space for up to 30 guests in the Upper Walled Garden, and the open-flamed Hearth. Aiming to be as sustainable as possible, the estate has a biomass energy center to power hotel water and central heating; an aerobic digester to process all recyclable waste and provide compost for the garden and pellets for the biomass energy center; harvest rainwater and capture spring water. As part of the Assembly, the hotel’s event rooms can host up to 120 guests and the new state-of-the-art, Dolby Atmos surround sound cinema can accommodate 67 viewers. There is also an extensive wine cellar and tasting room, as well as the full service Little Bothy Spa.

Travel illustration by Maria Soloman for 360 Magazine

TREEHOUSES, SAMURAI HOMES & KIMONO RETREATS

With Japan on the top of many travelers’ bucket lists once travel restrictions are lifted, the country is expecting a tourism boom like no other. This has lead to the creation of many new hotels and resorts, particularly located outside of Tokyo and Kyoto. Along with new properties to open in 2021, many hotels that have opened in 2020 with unique experiences and offerings, and are eager to welcome international guests. Below is a sampling of some of the most unique hotels in Japan:

wanoi KAKUNODATE – Akita Prefecture-Opened March 13, 2020
Renovated from a historical storehouse, wanoi KAKUNODATE offers travelers a step back in time. The town of Kakunodate was known as “Little Kyoto” for samurai residences. Each of the three rooms at wanoi KAKUNODATE highlights this incredible history. The Nishinomiyake Bushigura room, inspired by the ancestor of the Nishinomiya family who was a highly regarded samurai at the time, echoes his story through its design, including tactile tools once used by samurai. The Nishinomiyake Gakkogura room was originally a storehouse for pickles. Guests can experience that history by taking a bath in a repurposed pickle barrel bathtub. The Tanmonogura room is located right next to the samurai residence street. It stands as the oldest of the three storehouses, originally built in the late Edo period.

The pickle bathtub in the Nichinomiyake Gakkogura room at wanoi KAKUNODATE (© East Japan Railway Company), Geoffrey Weill Associates, the Japan National Tourism Organization for 360 Magazine

Nordisk Hygge Circles – Mie Prefecture-Opening Spring 2021
Located in Japan’s Mie Prefecture amidst towering trees and roaring waterfalls, the Nordisk Hygge Circles is a new luxury campground. The campground is intended to be a healing space for guests, while providing a sustainable camping experience. The Nordisk Hygge Circles was designed by Japanese-Danish architecture team Third Nature, who won a regenerative tourism competition launched by Danish outdoor gear company Nordisk. The campsite will consist of three main areas: a rest area with reservable circular cabins and glamping tents, a “learning field” for nature-inspired excursions and workshops, and an area where guests can pitch their own tents.

Nordisk Hygge Circles in Mie Prefecture (© Third Nature, Structured Environment, Henrik Innovation), The Japan National Tourism Organization, Geoffrey Weill Associates, for 360 Magazine

Nipponia Shirataka Former House of Okuyama – Yamagata Prefecture-Opening April 2021
Renovated from a house that was previously owned by a distinguished Japanese family in the silk production business, this “kimono retreat hotel” offers guests an escape in the rural town of Shirataka while experiencing Japan’s kimono culture. The hotel will span 8,000 square meters with five different buildings and eight guest rooms. Owned by Tomihiro, a 400-year-old kimono fabrics store, the retreat allows guests to partake in traditional craft and local lifestyle activities.

NIPPONIA Shirataka Former House of Okuyama  (© 2021 NIPPONIA Shirataka), Geoffrey Weill Associates, and Japan National Tourism Organization for 360 Magazine

Treeful Treehouse EcoResort-Okinawa Prefecture-Opening Spring 2021
Located in Nago city, in the north of Okinawa island, the Treeful Treehouse EcoResort lives by the ethos of ‘sustainable luxury.’ Using minimal electricity produced solely by solar power, the resort features a number of sleek and design-forward treehouses that are seamlessly integrated with nature. One is completely suspended with 360-degrees views and contemporary interior design, built on the side of Genka River–considered one of the clearest waters in Japan. A passionate environmental project, the resort has engaged with Okinawa locals on various initiatives, including removing man-made concrete to restore the natural landscape, and re-building a watermill in an effort to “improve their area environmentally, culturally, and economically.”

Treeful Treehouse EcoResort in Okinawa (© Treeful Treehouse EcoResort), Geoffrey Weill Associates, and Japan National Tourism Organization for 360 Magazine

Fauchon Hotel Kyoto-Opening March 16, 2021
A meeting of two worlds, the Fauchon Hotel Kyoto, from the famous French gourmet food company Fauchon, will stand as the company’s first hotel outside of Paris. The hotel will open in the center of Kyoto with 59 guest rooms and suites. Along with its iconic Pâtisserie & Boutique Fauchon, Fauchon Hotel Kyoto will be home to a variety of restaurants and bars, including Salon de Thé Fauchon and Le Grand Café Fauchon. The hotel will also be home to Le Spa Fauchon, which will offer a wide range of body and face treatments.

Rendering of the Grand Café at the Fauchon Hotel Kyoto, Geoffrey Weill Associates, and Japan National Tourism Organization for 360 Magazine

For updates on travel restrictions to Japan, please visit this website

The Concord Hotel, 360 MAGAZINE, New Hampshire, four diamond, aaa

Venice’s Hotel Ca’ di Dio May 2021

Venice’s newest 5-star hotel, Ca’ di Dio, will be born in May 2021. The hotel sits within a transformed ecclesiastical compound dating from 1272 that has hosted Crusaders, pilgrims and tourists for more than eight centuries.

“We are honored to have been asked to represent the Ca’ di dio,” says Geoffrey Weill, “particularly at this moment in history when revolutionary vaccines are combatting a pandemic that has crippled the travel business in Venice and throughout the world.”

Located on the Riva Ca’ di Dio, the hotel overlooks Venice’s legendary lagoon, and is located adjacent to the Arsenale and the gardens that house the city’s Biennale, one of the world’s most iconic art festivals and exhibitions. The Ca’ di Dio is an easy stroll along the waterfront from bustling St. Mark’s Square.

The 66-key Ca’ di Dio (pronounced Ka-di-dio) is one of a new class of properties managed by Italy’s VOI Hotels, to be known as V-Retreats. The Ca ‘di Dio, like all V-Retreats, is set to be an oasis of peace, a palace of timeless beauty imbued with the finesse and warmth of Italian hospitality. The hotel’s general manager, Christophe Mercier, has a rich history of managing some of Venice’s finest properties.

The creation of the Hotel Ca’ di Dio was entrusted to the studio of the internationally renowned Spanish architect Patricia Urquiola. “My goal was to create an original and distinctive concept,” says Urquiola, “a Venetian ‘mansion,’ deeply linked to the history of the city with fine woods, rich textiles, colors, finishes and Murano glass; each decorative, architectural and lighting element is the result of the skillful hands of skilled craftsmen who combine the passion for their work with the secrets and techniques of Venetian tradition.”

The Ca’ di Dio’s accommodations comprise 57 suites and nine Deluxe rooms, spread over three floors. Ten suites have a unique view of the lagoon and San Giorgio Maggiore Island; two of the suites have a large roof terrace overlooking the San Marco Basin.

Two internal courtyards are home to the hotel’s Alchemia Bar and the Essentia Restaurant, whose design combines Venetian tradition with Urquiola’s contemporary signature. The hotel’s indoor-outdoor VE-RO Restaurant overlooks the breathtaking Venetian lagoon. Named for its Venetian roots, its cuisine is inspired by traditional dishes of the Veneto, reset in contemporary tones, respecting the seasonality of fish and produce. Many of the ingredients will come from the Ca’ di Dio’s vegetable garden secreted within yet another internal courtyard.

The Ca’ di Dio will offer a state-of-the-art wellness program in its Spa Pura, and will welcome small meetings and events. The colors and comfort of the reading room provide the ideal location for contemplation. The hotel’s elegant boutique will offer a selection of Murano glass produced exclusively for the Ca ‘di Dio. The hotel’s side canal entrance provides direct docking for water taxis and the hotel’s water-transfer cruisers.

The opening of the Ca’ di Dio coincides with a new reclaimed future for the city of Venice. “I was in the city in October when the Acqua Alta threatened the customary flooding of the city,” says Weill, “and for the first time, the lagoon’s new high-tech water barriers were set in motion, saving the city’s treasures from the customary flooding.”

The Venice Biennale 2021 has been postponed to 2022 because of Covid-19. The Venice Architecture Biennale, is now slated for May 22, 2021 to November 22, 2021.
Full details of the new Hotel Ca’ di Dio are at https://www.lifestyle-voihotels.com/en/ca-di-dio/and will be expanded in coming weeks.

Travel story illustration by Maria Soloman for 360 MAGAZINE

Setouchi in Japan

The region of Setouchi in Japan is curious, cool, creative and boasts an impressive level of experiences. It’s the authentic side of Japan that awaits with a restorative element that is unparalleled, offering countless experiences to choose from. Seven prefectures spanning the idyllic Seto Inland Sea, making it the iyllic blend of explorations across land and sea…close your eyes and begin to dream after considering inspirational ideas…

  • Eat your way through Setouchi…Kagawa is known as the Udon Prefecture. Home to these slurp-worthy thick white noodles and boasting the highest number of udon restauuranst in Japan. Sanuki udon has a square shape and flat edges and is native to Kagawa, comprised of wheat, salt, soy sauce and dry sardine- try your hand at creating them with a master chef or hop around to sample it at multiple eateries. And, naturally, no journey to Setouchi is complete without tasting the famed Wagyu Beef in Shimani, known the world over. Juicy, tender and stellar. Consider pairing it with a glass of Japanese wine at the Chateau Misen winery
  • Luxe it up overnight…Aman + Adrian Zecha have teamed up on a stellar collaboration to launch a new ryokan-inspired hotel brand in Japan called Azumi- the first will open on an island in Setouchi along the Seto Inland Sea- a fusion of culture, harmony, wellness and exceptional design
  • Hit all the power spots where mystical energy flows on a northern drive route, stopping at temples, shrines and cultural sites in Tottori, Shimani and Yamaguchi, or take the eastern route for the most ridiculously gorgeous views through Okayama, Hyogo and Tokushima (NB- a power spot for romance as it’s shaped like a heart)
  • Pick fruit in Yamaguchi! Apple, Mandarin orange; Blueberry; Pear; Strawberry; Grape and wrap it up at a stay at Nagato Yumoto Onsen and the Otozure ryokan, welcoming guests for 600 _ years and truly the setting of a brilliant love story from hundreds of years ago. A gorgeously designed property with a true sense of place, focused on toji, hot spring recouperation.
  • Chill in a hot spring and completelty surrender to a natural therapeutic experience at Kaike Onsen in Tottori, the highest hot spring source in the prefecture, and take a stroll on the beach afterward before digging into a huge pot of fresh rich meaty snow crabs, a specialty of the region (best season Nov- Mar). Misasa Onsen is a great hot spring alternative, with water rumored to be extremely healing.
  • Cycle the famed Shimanami Kaido….do all 70 KM or book a support car or boat bike ride back if you just want a taste. This exceptional route is a cyclist’s paradise, treating riders to impossibly gorgeous views between the islands of Shikoku and Honshu.
  • Get your Sake on with a hop around 7 of Hiroshima’s best breweries along Saijo Sakagura Dori and the Fujii Shuzo Brewery Exchange Hall in Takehara city. Sample to your delight and compare with the contenders for the winner of the day.
  • Get greeted by a white rabbit at Hakuto Beach in Tottori…just one of the ubiquitous sculptures and art installations found across multiple islands in Setouchi. The legend has it the rabbit of Inaba was crying because it suffered from threats from alligators but today, it’s a welcoming symbol to travelers who arrive to dig into watersports or trek through caves, across cliffs, discovering unusual rock formations

Connect with Setouchi Tourism in Japan for more info.