Posts tagged with "Hotels"

Hotel illustration from Alejandra Villagraat 360 Magazine for use by 360 Magazine

Best Luxury Hotel × History

Have you ever entered a place and feel the historic energy coursing through your bones? In this week’s compilation, we suggest hotels around the world that are filled with history and will certainly make you feel like taking a stroll down memory lane. 360 Magazine is happy to see such beautiful hotels have a huge history attached to them.

NEW: Hotel Motto – Vienna, Austria

The historic building has housed hotels for over three centuries with the first property, The Gold Cross, opened in 1665, which then morphed into Hotel Kummer in 1872 to became a social hub for artists, painters, sculptors, writers, actors, and musicians who gathered for coffee, wine and Austrian delicacies in the hotel’s public spaces. In 1904 the building was refurbished by Ludwig Schwarz, who preserved the original slanted corners and the oversized columns that frame the lobby and entryway to the hotel. The décor of the upper floors was especially elaborate and the interiors have been partially preserved to this day, even after the allied occupation of post-World War II Vienna when the hotel was taken over by the French from 1945 to 1955. Another historical nugget is that Hotel Motto was the birth home of Josef Strauss, son of the famous composer Johann Strauss, who called the hotel home in 1827.

Today Hotel Motto boasts of 83 rooms and 8 suites showcasing fabric-covered walls with floral patterns; custom-designed carpets and tiles are inspired by the framework of the original vintage furniture, and the herringbone hard-wood flooring is seen throughout the property.

NEW: Maalot – Rome, Italy

Located in the original residence of famous Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti (1797 – 1848), known for operas such as Don Pasquale, Lucia di Lammermoor, and Maria Stuarda, Maalot Roma aims to attract a multigenerational clientele looking for a vibrant yet cozy locale to gather with their loved ones in the most central part of Rome. A restaurant and a bar are immersed in a glass roof veranda. Signature elements of the 30 distinctive rooms showcase paintings of hats that depict the “setting your hat down and feeling at home” mood.

Designed to celebrate life and social gathering, Maalot’s restaurant Don Pasquale is set to be an all-day dining experience for locals and hotels guests. Named after one of the most renowned works of Gaetano Donizetti, the restaurant is a place to relax, enjoy a cocktail or a glass of wine alone or in good company.

NEW: Atelier Inès. Arts & Suites – Naples, Italy

Set in Naples’ Vergini district, right in the center of the old town, the grounds where this new hospitality experience is located were between 1900 and 1930 an open-air cinema and theatre. Annibale Oste’s grandfather then erected the building in 1947 and since then it has been the home of the Oste family. In 1980 the ground floor started hosting Annibale’s art studio where he designed and hand-made each and every art piece found around the world in hotels, art galleries and concept stores, public spaces, private collections, and so on.

Nowadays Annibale’s son Vincenzo, together with artist wife Inès, are at the helm of the family hotel featuring six bespoke suits, a showroom, a jewelry boutique, and a common living area dedicated to art and gastronomy experiences. Guests can join creative workshops to craft their own pieces of jewelry and interior design and enjoy a one-to-one lesson with Vincenzo.

Vilòn Roma: Rome, Italy

Opened in 2018, this boutique hotel caters to cultured, independent globetrotting guests while also welcoming the city’s urban elite. However, the history of the building dates back to the middle of the 16th century. Then it was the historical residence belonging to the powerful and princely Roman family of the Borghese. In 1841, Princess Adelaide (who’s hotel restaurant was named after) entrusted the building to the French nuns of the order of the Daughters of the Cross and they founded, the First School for Poor Girls in an attempt to create an institution for less fortunate girls, where they could receive an education that would equip them for a more positive future.

In recent history, the Vilòn welcomed modern-day royalty when Harry and Meghan stayed at the exquisite Vilòn Suite in September 2019.

Borgo Santo Pietro: Tuscany, Italy

Situated in the heart of Tuscany near Siena, Borgo Santo Pietro is a 5-star luxury resort with a holistic spa, cooking school, Michelin-starred restaurant, 300-acre organic farm, vineyards, and 13-acre beautifully manicured gardens. Each of our 22 rooms and suites is individually styled, inspired by the villa’s rich history, with bespoke details executed by local craftsmen and our in-house artisans using traditional techniques. Pioneer of nature-meets-luxury hospitality and slow-living concept, Borgo Santo Pietro lives up to its history of healing and seclusion – once a place of pilgrimage many found refuge, healing, and regeneration in the place that we now call Borgo San Pietro.

Life House Nantucket: New England, USA

Life House Nantucket is the oldest continually operating inn on the island. The 1833 building on Cliff Road, at one of the highest points on the island, was once a personal retreat for Captain Robert Calder in between whaling expeditions before he opened it up to travelers in 1870.

Today, Life House Nantucket is a nonchalant innkeeper’s eclectic escape that reflects her flair for cultivating the island’s native botany and practicing holistic wellness.

Travel illustration by Samantha Miduri for use by 360 Magazine

Top Hotels in Shanghai

By: Emily Bunn

As global travels begins to reopens, the world looks finally leave the confines of their homes. For those who are especially adventurous and looking to take a once-in-a-lifetime voyage, consider Shanghai. Shanghai has a wealth of tourist attractions – like the – as well as delicious cuisine, a lively culture, and beautiful views. For those looking to visit, after your long flight across the world, relax into the clean, cushioned beds and enjoy amazing amenities as these top boutique hotels in Shanghai. All of these hotels are centrally located, so travelers can enjoy all that the city has to offer right outside the lobby.

Amanyangyun Shanghai
Looking for some zen, peaceful relaxation, and rejuvenation? Consider staying at Amanyangyun. This boutique hotel is quaintly nestled on the city skirts of Shanghai. Guests can stay in authentic Antique Ming and Qing Dynasty villas in contemporary, luxury suites. Outside of the hotel, the a rescued forest of camphor trees and shimmering lake are the perfect locations for photographs, relaxing outdoors, and appreciating ecological conservation. Enjoy the view on the hotel’s open air, pool side relaxation terrace.

The hotel feature amenities including a spa, fine dining, a sauna, cold plunge pool, jacuzzi, 20-meter heated indoor swimming pool, a 28.5-meter heated outdoor swimming pool, a hair and beauty salon, treatment rooms, relaxation lounges, tea rooms, a pilates and yoga studio, and more!

For more information on this property, please visit their website HERE.

Mandarin Oriental Pudong Shanghai
If you’re looking for a five-star stay in a colorful, lively, and high-quality hotel, look no further than the Mandarin Oriental Pudong. This fine property is located on the serene banks of the Huangpu River, the heart of Pudong’s financial district. Guests get the best of both worlds, as they can easily explore the city, or chose to relax by the waterfront. If you venture outside your lavish suite, be sure to visit the hotel’s sunken bamboo garden.

Providing the utmost quality of service to their guests, the Mandarin Oriental Pudong offers delicious eats, calming spa treatments, a tea lounge, a salon, 25 meter indoor swimming pool, and a high-tech wellness center and exercise studio, among other amenities. If you’re looking to feel refreshed, check out the hotel’s many holistic beauty treatments and services.

For more information on this property, please visit their website HERE.

The Peninsula Shanghai

The Peninsula Shanghai stands out from other stays in Shanghai as the only luxury hotel in the city with a customized car fleet. The extent of the Peninsula’s luxuriousness doesn’t end there though – the hotel also boasts Michelin star-rated restaurants, the deluxe garden suite featuring views over the grounds of the former British Consulate, the Peninsula spa, a steam room, sauna, and a huge indoor, heated pool with an art-deco fireplace.

An exciting collaboration between the Peninsula and Sanrio’s Hello Kitty is again happening this year, now until August 31. With this exclusive stay option, guests can enjoy a limited-edition Hello Kitty and Pen Bear plush toy set and specialty themed amenities, including a bathrobe and slippers and more. Hello Kitty is partnering with the Peninsula’s mascot, The Peninsula Bear, to add an adorable touch to guests’ stays.

For more information on this property, please visit their website HERE.

Bellagio Shanghai
The Bellagio By MGM Shanghai balances celebrating traditional heritage with modern luxe. In the suites, guests can enjoy beautiful interior design, large windows to let in plenty of natural light, and breathtaking views of the Suzhou River. The hotel is also available to be booked for events, such as weddings, meetings, and entertaining.

Ameneties provides by the Bellagio Shanghai include a pool, spa, lounge, grand ballroom, and an atrium, which is equipped with state-of-the-art LEDs and an integrated audio system. The hotel also has three restaurants – LAGO (ran by award-wining Chef Julian Serrano, serving authentic Italian cuisine), Mansion on One (serving classic Cantonese delicacies and an authentic Peking Duck), and Café Bellagio (providing the classic American diner experience with modern sensibilities.)

For more information on this property, please visit their website HERE.

Bvlgari Hotel, Shanghai

Bvlgari Hotel, Shanghai is conveniently located between the bustling Shanghai city center and scenic riverbank views. This property is a part of the SUHE CREEK project, and features breathtaking views of the Bund and of Pudong’s dramatic skyline. However, the inside of the hotel – designed the renowned Italian architectural firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel – is just as breathtaking with its panoramic views, triple-height Ballroom ceilings, and stunning architectural details.

After exploring all of the sights and excites surrounding the hotel, guests are invited to enjoy the fine cuisine inside. Eateries on the property include Ristorante Niko Romito and Bar and the Bao Li Xuan restaurant. For further indulgence, unwind at the BVLGARI spa, fitness center, or workshop gymnasium.

For more information on this property, please visit their website HERE.

The Middle House
Stylish and sophisticated, The Middle House embraces all of the vibrancy of the surrounding city’s fine dining, art, and fashion scenes. Positioned both culturally and geographically in the heart of Shanghai, The Middle House is the ideal stay for those looking to truly experience where they are staying. Designed by Italian architect Piero Lissoni, the striking property exudes fashionable taste with its art collection, minimalist design, and atmospheric interior that ties in traditional Chinese decor elements.

A wide range of gastronomic experiences are available without even having to step out of the hotel. Enjoy continental cuisine at Cafe Gray Deluxe, Italian al fresco dining at Frasca, Cantonese, Sichuanese and Shanghainese cuisine at Sui Tang Li, or sneak away to the underground cocktail lounge at Sui Tang Shang. Afterwards, relax at the hotel’s pool, Mi Xun spa, gym, or yoga studio.

For more information on this property, please visit their website HERE.

Capella Shanghai, Jian Ye Li
Fashionably positioned at the intersection of Shanghainese courtyard living and Parisian design flair, Capella Shanghai, Jian Ye Li welcomes in guests to its luxurious urban sanctuary. The hotel boasts fine dining, with their three-Michelin star chef Pierre Gagnaire at Le Comptoir de Pierre Gagnaire. Other restaurants include la Terrace (offers many alcoholic beverages, with a focus on fine champagne), la Boulangerie (a french bakery), and le Bar (offers cocktails, with an emphasis on using seasonal ingredients.)

Those who stay at Capella are granted VIP treatment with from the property’s Capella Culturists, who provide specially-tailer, bespoke experiences for each individual stay. Culturists are historians, guardians, and native explorers of Shanghai, so they can provide the best recommendations for local restaurants, places, and people. Culturists will provide each guests with a full itinerary of activities and events hosted in the Living Room during their stay. They can even sign you up for an exploratory bike tour in the historical, surrounding area.

For more information on this property, please visit their website HERE.

The PuLi Hotel and Spa
An urban escape in downtown Shanghai, the PuLi Hotel knows how to create incredible guests experiences through their principals of “modern science” and “ancient healing.” Enjoy fine dining at the hotel’s Michelin starred restaurant, PHÉNIX eatery & bar, garden terrace restaurant, or bar.

Amenties at The PuLi include a 24-hour dedicated guest service specialist, in-room dining, concierge, laundry and valet services, and a Michelin-starred restaurant. Furthermore, the hotel’s Health Club is equipped with a state of the art gymnasium, micro bubble bath, sauna, steam room, pool, experiential showers, whirlpool, 25-metre heated infinity pool, and the UR SPA.

For more information on this property, please visit their website HERE.

The Sukhothai Shanghai
At The Sukhothai Shanghai, it is understood that hospitality is an art form. As such, the hotel prides itself on delivering a personality approach as according to each guests’ personal preference. Take a leisurely load off at the spa with a range of Southeast Asian-oriented body and facial treatments. If thats not your thing, visit the Cha House to observe colonial, baroque-style architecture.

Centrally located downtown, adjacent to two Grade-A office towers and a retail mall, guests are sure to stay entertained their whole trip. For travelers who prioritize business, the hotel’s Grand Shanghai Ballroom is available to be rented out for meetings, weddings and celebrations. The Sukhothai Shanghai knows how to expertly accommodate all of their guests, and as such, was awarded the 2021 Trip Advisor’s Traveler’s Choice Award.

For more information on this property, please visit their website HERE.

Park Hyatt Shanghai
One of the highest hotels in the world, located on floors 79 to 93 of the Shanghai World Financial Center (SWFC), the Park Hyatt Shanghai grants guests unbeatable, breathtaking city views. Positioned above the center of Shanghai’s Lujiazui business district, those who stay at the property are granted a scenic outlook over the city skyline and Huangpu River.

The property is comprised of 173 luxurious rooms, each of which are equipped with a work area, rain shower, and deep soaking tub. Also located within the property are several restaurants and the renowned Water’s Edge Spa. Upon arrival, guests will have access to amenities including free wifi, concierge service, a spa, room service, indoor infinity pool, laundry, meeting facilities, free parking, a fitness center, and more.

For more information on this property, please visit their website HERE.

Spa illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Schloss Elmau: The Destination Spa

Schloss Elmau, the destination spa, resort and cultural retreat in the Bavarian Alps, was featured in the most recent episode of “Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond The Lobby,” a series on BBC’s documentary streaming channel, BBC Select. In the most recent episode, the show’s hosts (chef Monica Galetti and food critic Giles Coren) explore Schloss Elmau’s sublime setting, visiting the hotel’s six lavish spas and taking in the alpine scenery from the comfort of infinity pools, saunas and saltwater pools. Giles Coren even braved the 15-degree plunge pool.

Schloss Elmau’s owner, Dietmar Mueller-Elmau, was featured in the episode discussing his vision for the resort’s wellness experience: “I tried to build a spa that I might be tempted to use myself. I like privacy; I like a sense of calm. So I need lots of space, lots of privacy, many different pools. I still haven’t used [the spa] though, because I think that the imagination of using it is better than the reality.”

Schloss Elmau is in good company among the hotels featured in the BBC series. These include the timeless Claridge’s in London, The Silo, Cape Town’s most stylish mainstay, and the beloved Ashford Castle in Ireland.

The full episode is available on AmazonPrime and AppleTV (more information here). Watch the episode preview on YouTube

For more information on Schloss Elmau, visit their website.

glass of wine via Mina Tocalini for use by 360 Magazine

Top Ten Things To Do This Summer in Temecula Valley

For travelers looking for a getaway with wide-open spaces that feels far away, Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country is the perfect place to book a summer vacation. Whether it be a family reunion or a summer escape, picturesque Temecula Valley is an ideal wine-plus destination to enjoy relaxing summer days. Here are ten reasons you should choose Temecula Valley as your next summer getaway destination.

1. Live Entertainment

Temecula Valley Wine Country, Old Town Temecula, and Pechanga Resort Casino have restarted their entertainment lineups featuring headliners, popular tribute bands, local musicians, and comedians. Many of the wineries and restaurants also host local musicians on a weekly basis.

Just some of the summer concerts in wine country are Jerrod Niemann on September 12 and Eli Young Band on September 24, both at Wilson Creek Winery. Peltzer Winery will host The Killer Dueling Pianos on July 22.

Thornton Winery’s popular Champagne Concert Series will resume this year on August 28, September 11-12 & 18, October 2 & 23. Musicians include Peter White & Euge Groove, Dave Koz & Friends, Summer Horns, Chris Botti, RNR, Rick Braun & Richard Elliott, and Boney James. Tickets sell out quickly.

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa will continue its Jazz Concert Rhythm on the Vine on July 18 with Paul Brown & Gregg Karukas; August 1 with Brian Simpson, Steve Oliver & Will Donato; and August 15 with Michael Paulo, Adam Hawley & Darryl Williams.

Pechanga Resort Casino welcomes Hotel California – A Salute to the Eagles on August 20, Paris by Night Live Show on August 22, Comedian Sebastian Maniscalco on August 27 and Chicago on September 19.

Old Town Temecula Community Theater returns with its weekly Jazz at The Merc every Thursday, Country Live on the first and third Saturday, Speakeasy at The Merc every second Saturday, as well as special showings on July 23-25 and Comedian Ace Guillen on July 31

2. Craft Beers & Spirits

Temecula Valley produces more than wine, and there are plenty of tasting rooms to fill a day of exploring. Batch Mead pours local mead and hard cider, and Galway Spirits is a small batch craft distillery that produces flavored vodka, whiskeys, and gin. Not-to-miss breweries include Ironfire Brewing Company, Oscar’s Brewing Company, Refuge Brewery and Stone Church Brewing.

3. Refreshing Plunges

Cool off in one of the pools at the many lodging options, during a spa rejuvenation, or even while wine tasting. There is nothing like taking a dip in the pool after soaking in some California sunshine.

4. Wine Country

A day in wine country can begin with a hot air balloon floating over the vineyards, sipping award-winning wines while absorbing the breathtaking scenery, dining al fresco, listening to live music, walking through the vineyards, watching a beautiful sunset, then staying the night among the vines.

5. Outdoor Recreation

There are several ways for travelers to play under the open skies and scenic backdrops. Whether group or solo activities are preferred, there are plenty of choices for outdoor fun. Golf at Temecula Valley’s top courses, Journey at Pechanga, Temecula Creek Golf Club, or CrossCreek Golf Club. Bicycling in Temecula Valley can be mountain biking at Vail Lake or Santa Rosa Plateau, electric biking in wine country or Old Town Temecula, or standard bicycling on the miles of trails throughout Temecula.

6. Healthy Foods

Indulge without the guilt on some of the tastiest summer menu options our creative chefs have put together. Local farm ingredients and vitamin rich foods never tasted so good. Restaurants can be found in wine country, Old Town Temecula, Pechanga Resort Casino, and around town.

Farmers Markets are open every Tuesday at Vail Headquarters, Wednesday at Promenade Temecula, and Saturdays in Old Town Temecula.

7. Cool Cocktails

Temecula Valley is known for its quality beverages and craft cocktails are no exception. Fresh, local ingredients and products are used to serve up innovative and tasty drinks at local bars, speakeasies, and restaurants. Vineyard Rose at South Coast Winery Resort & Spa is serving a Beautiful Day cocktail that includes Malfy Rosa gin, Aperol, Ruby Cuvée Tranquile, hibiscus, and lime. Avensole Winery Restaurant is featuring a Lemon Aventine which consists of grape based vodka, lemon, and dry vermouth. Devilicious Eatery serves up a Brambleweed: which is vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup, and Lejay built up over ice in a glass. Espadin’s Skinny Margarita is always a hit featuring their agave syrup.

8. Old Town

Old Town Temecula is a day of fun on its own with breweries, shopping, dining, entertainment, arts, culture, and special events. Stop in Temecula Valley Museum for an overview of Temecula’s history then pick up some unique made-in-Temecula products at Temecula Olive Oil Company, Temecula Lavender Company, and Old Town Spice & Tea Merchants, and grab a treat at Old Town Sweet Shop. Check performance times at Old Town Temecula Community Theater and grab dinner before the show then a Night Cap at Apparition Room or Thompson & Twain speakeasies.

9. Guided Tours

Wine country transportation companies, wineries, breweries, distilleries, and Old Town Temecula all offer guided tours. A look behind-the-scenes and an educational opportunity can be priceless and it definitely makes for a special memory.

10. Stay the Night

Resorts, villas, cabanas, casitas, inns, and vacation rentals are found in wine country among the rolling hills of vineyards. Visitors can also choose to stay in Downtown Old Town Temecula within walking distance of the historic district or Uptown at their favorite brand hotel, or in the peaceful canyon nestled in the foothills at Pechanga Resort Casino or Temecula Creek Inn. Accommodations can match any traveler’s needs and budget.

Check hotel packages to pair activities with a stay. It isn’t too late to start planning a summer vacation in Temecula Valley.

Traveling illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

11 Travel Safety Tips

By: Doug Parisi, Director of Training

With many starting to travel again, there are new safety precautions people should take given COVID.

Here are 11 tips to ensure your long-awaited travel plans aren’t interrupted.

  1. COVID Enforcement Isn’t Your Responsibility

If you find someone not following the mask rules, inform someone who is in charge. Don’t risk being detained or removed due to an altercation with a stranger.

  1. Don’t Rely On Technology For Your Itinerary

We are dependent on our smart phones for almost everything. Low batteries, lost phones or no signal can disrupt your plans. Before you leave home, print your dates, times, confirmation numbers, locations, and contact information for all your travel. Rental cars, airlines, hotels, and tourist attractions can help you recover lost information.  Share this information with friends and family.

  1. Don’t Risk Your Safety For The Perfect Photo

Selfies have resulted in unnecessary injuries.

  1. Don’t Make Your Vacation Public Until You Return Home

Posting on social media announcing a trip informs people your home is vulnerable, since no one is around.

  1. Let Your Financial Institution Know You Are Traveling

Monitoring charges on credit cards is common today. If your credit card company/financial institution doesn’t know you are traveling, it could result in extra scrutiny on your account due to out of state charges. If your financial institution can’t contact you about out of state charges, it might result in charges being declined while you’re away.

  1. Back Pockets Are Horrible Place For Valuables

Wallets, passports and valuables should be kept in secure spots, such as cargo or in front pockets. Minimize your wallet or have an alternate wallet just for travel.

  1. Travel With A First Aid Kit

A small one for air travel or a larger one for road trips.  Don’t rely on emergency services in the short term.  Secure wraps, tourniquets, bandages, and hemostatic agents, which can all save lives. This is a must for any cross-country travel.

  1. Be Aware of State Laws

If you are driving through a state, make sure you know the state laws for securing your weapon or speaking to an officer if you are stopped. Violations can be met with fines, confiscation of the weapon or even arrest.

  1. Have Cash On Hand For Emergencies

Don’t use unfamiliar ATMs. Many travelers have been scammed by recording devices or card readers.  When possible, use credit cards to minimize the amount of cash on your person.

  1. Secure Your Items In The Hotel Room Safe

Too many people hide belongings in suitcases. This is a known practice that is easily thwarted.  Instead, secure your treasured items in the hotel room safe to be extra safe.

  1. Be Aware Of Your Surroundings

Situational awareness is critical when traveling.  Be aware of cars or people who may be following you. Trust your instincts when you start to feel unsafe.

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
Kayaking illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

What’s Trending in Tennessee

What’s New, Trending and Blooming this Spring in Tennessee

  • Memphis – Memphis Zoo’s all-new Kangazoo Experience lets you get face-to-face with kangaroos roaming free in the walk-through exhibit. Visitor favorites also include giraffe-feeding, the panda exhibit and Sting Ray Cove.
  • Jackson – Discover what makes Jackson a unique place for music lovers of all backgrounds whether you’re looking for new eclectic sounds, blues and gospel, country music or more with live performances of Jackson’s Hidden Tracks.
  • Nashville – Enjoy premiere shopping, world-class dining, live music and views of downtown at Fifth + Broadway. This 300,000 square foot multi-level mecca is a must-see and home to the National Museum of African American Musicand Assembly Food Hall featuring two dozen restaurants on multiple levels.
  • Columbia – The Mulehouse is a 55,000 square feet new music and event venue located a few blocks from the downtown square, established by country radio personality and broadcaster, Blair Garner.
  • Manchester – A brand new concert series features live, in-person performances in a socially-distanced setting at the Bonnaroo Farm. Concerts on the Farm includes performances by Billy Strings, Jon Pardy, Jameson Rodgers, The Avett Brothers and more.
  • Chattanooga – Grab your thinking caps, maps and don’t forget your mask. Take adventure to the next level. Learn more about Chattanooga’s top attractions and neighborhoods during the Spring Break Safari Scavenger Hunt.
  • Knoxville – Three levels of magical crystal barrooms wait to be discovered in downtown Knoxville. Bernadette’sbarrooms include the Knox County Quartz House, the Amethyst Lounge, and a stunning rooftop of Crystal Gardens.
  • Gatlinburg – Anakeesta will be in full bloom with the launch of Blooms and Tunes featuring colorful nature-themed art installations, live music and a new spring-themed menu at four restaurants in the park.
  • Townsend – The Smoky Mountain Bigfoot Festival Noon-10 p.m. May 22 includes live music, vendors, food trucks, bigfoot competitions, oral histories, 1-mile fun run and more at the Townsend Visitor’s Center.
  • Johnson City – Grab a scavenger hunt clue card online or from a downtown business to search for 15 bronze animal sculptures as part of Wildabout Walkabout Scavenger Hunt from the public library and King Commons Park to Main and Market Streets.

New Restaurants, Breweries and Distilleries

  • Memphis – Renowned chefs Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman are at it again, this time with their Little Bettie pizza joint inside Wiseacre’s newly opened downtown taproom.
  • Clarksville – The Thirsty Goat is a newer gathering place outside of the city that features a beer garden, artisan coffee shop and oven-fired pizzas.
  • Murfreesboro – Biscuit-based meals made baked fresh daily are at the forefront of Maple Street Biscuit Co. Jams and jellies are also made in-store. Featured on Food Network, The Squawking Goat dish is an all-natural fried chicken breast, fried goat cheese medallion and house-made pepper jelly atop a flaky biscuit.
  • Columbia – Wolf and Scout Coffee Car is located in the Columbia Arts Building serving varieties of coffees and their signature drink, the Wolfhunter.
  • Carthage – Cajun wings, honey BBQ wings, onion rings, fries and delicious sides are on tap at Something 2 Wing About.
  • Farragut – 35 North, located in the heart of Farragut, features the area’s best food trucks, local brews, wine and spirits and features two patios, an outdoor fireplace and a place for gathering.
  • LaFollette – Twin Flame features amazing hot dogs, burgers, wings, catfish, specialty drinks and much more with carry-out and dining room seating available.
  • Wartburg – The MoCo Brewing Project is Morgan County’s latest brewery and coffee shop with signature beers named and influenced by local landmarks. The owners brew beer, coffee and offer flavored coffee and hot chocolate.
  • Sevierville – Tennessee Shine Co.uses family recipes and small-batch distilling, features a tasting bar and Moonshine Tour.
  • Johnson City – Watauga Brewing Company is a three story brewery, restaurant and rooftop bar. Restaurant On 2 combines upscale New American cuisine with Appalachian and southern roots. The chef uses local, seasonal foods in her menu. 

New Attractions and Exhibits

  • Memphis –Visitors can enjoy movie nights and world-renowned musicians in an all-new outdoor setting at The Grove at GPAC.
  • Memphis – Graceland celebrates the 50 anniversary King of Rock ‘n’ Roll meeting then President Richard Nixon with a special pop-up exhibit and artifacts with Dear Mr. President: Elvis and Mr. Nixon.
  • Nashville – Once Upon a Spring at Gaylord Opryland includes a live story time show, art activities, cookie decorating, scavenger hunt, boat rides and other fun programming.
  • Knoxville – Zoo Knoxville’s The ARC (Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Campus), open spring 2021, will showcase the zoo’s pioneering conservation work with these species and feature revolutionary STEM education resources.
  • Johnson City – Paradise Acresis a family farm park with an 18-hole mini-golf course, outdoor laser tag, barn-side drive-in theater and U-Pick produce.

New Hotels & Places to Stay

  • Memphis – Walk the line between southern hospitality, offbeat and elevated cuisine to get a genuine taste of Midtown’s unconventional personality, storied art district and Overton Square at The Memphian, set to open April 2021.
  • Memphis – Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis is within walking distance of the city’s famed entertainment district, nestled in a vibrant neighborhood known for lauded music venues, historic landmarks, southern comfort and Memphis-style barbecue.
  • Nashville – W Hotel Nashville is set to take the stage in the heart of the Gulch. Opening spring 2021 with 346 rooms, the new hotel will welcome visitors with curated local tunes, garden-to-glass cocktails and welcoming communal spaces.
  • Pigeon Forge – Pigeon Forge RV Resort along the Little Pigeon River includes 149 RV sites, camping, riverside fishing, illuminated river walk. On-property offerings include on-site concierge services, a pool, and hot tub, playground, picnic pavilion, a dog park, golf cart rentals, a retail store, conference room, gym, and laundry facilities.

New Stores

  • Columbia – Columbia features several new stores including Cope (in the Columbia Arts Building with a variety of trendy plants), family-owned jewelry store Tillis Jewelry on the downtown square and Southern Clutter Boutique with a variety of clothing, accessories, home goods and crafts.
  • Farragut – Euphoric Cheese features cut-to-order cheeses from all around the world, a wide variety of charcuterie items, specialty groceries and a selection of local brews. Items such as chocolate-covered figs, blue cheese stuffed olives, creamed honey and rosemary crackers will make your grazing board memorable.
  • Kingston – That Local Cheeseboard Co.features handcrafted charcuterie boards & boxes, grazing tables, customizable boxes, corporate catering, and gifts and items for special occasions.

Hot/Trending Places for Spring

  • Hornbeak – Vacation while you dine at Blue Bank Fishhouse & Grill at Blue Bank Resort with delicious weekend specials, local craft beer, live music, fire pits, butterfly garden & front row seating to a beautiful sunset on Reelfoot Lake.
  • Alamo – Drive through the 5.5 miles of safari roads in your own car, interact and feed animals at Tennessee Safari Park. After the journey, experience the walk-through zoo, enjoy refreshments at the concessions, the playground area, and the petting zoo.
  • Clarksville – Downtown at Sundown Concerts at Downtown Commons includes free live music the first and third Friday nights May through October. The large urban outdoor park allows space to socially distance with your chairs or blanket.
  • Linden – Experience serenity on the water. Commodore River Adventures offers an uncrowded, individual or small-group, artisan kayaking experience.
  • Nashville – Celebrate spring, warmer weather and longer days with more than 150,000 blooming bulbs and fun seasonal activities during Cheekwood in Bloom.
  • Nashville – Board the General Jackson Showboat, one of Gaylord Opryland’s most popular attractions, for cruises featuring first-class live entertainment, delicious meals and gorgeous views of Nashville.
  • LaFollette – Chapman Hill Winery is a quaint winery with an elegant tasting room nestled in the hills of East Tennessee on the edge of Norris Lake. Bring a lawn chair or blanket for the Vineyard Vibrations live music series.
  • Farragut – Enjoy a stroll through town, a heritage trail, cemetery and educational sites to learn history of the area, pioneer settlements and more through artifacts, photos and stories during the Farragut History Walk.
  • Harriman – Lakeshore Park offers recreation fun for the family and is home to the Gupton Wetlands area, where at least 114 species of birds can be found. Bring bikes, kayaks, fishing poles and enjoy scenery and trails.
  • Lancing – Lilly Hopyard Brewery is tucked away in the woods near the Obed Wild and Scenic River. Warm up around the campfire, watch the game, play corn hole, listen to live music and enjoy the Sauced Frog eatery.
  • Winchester – Stroll with family and friends during Food Truck Fridays at the downtown Farmers Market Pavilion on the Boulevard. Downtown merchants will stay open late on the first Friday of every month.
  • Johnson City – At the 40-acre Tannery Knobs Mountain Bike Park, riders can experience the thrill of off-road riding from the gnarly, rocky downhill of the Black Diamond to smooth dirt paths on the green trails.
  • Pigeon Forge – Explore larger-than-life plant sculptures adorned in half-a-million colorful flower blooms, dance under an Umbrella Sky and indulge in garden-fresh flavors from chefs during Dollywood’s Flower & Food Festival.

Spring Festivals & Events

  • Gatlinburg (March 18-20) – Explore the new Gatlinburg St. Patrick’s Day Celebration complete with traditional Irish music, food, fireworks, and more. The city will be decorated with Shamrock green and feature fireworks show at 10 p.m. Friday at the Space Needle.
  • Bell Buckle (March 20) – The historic town adapts Daffodil Days to include a tree seedling give away, spring bulbs vendors on the square, spring items in stores, and a book signing by beloved former Tennessee Poet Laureate Maggi Vaugn.
  • Chattanooga (March 20-21) – Come see the High Falls flow green during Shamrock City at Rock City featuring Irish food, specialty beer from Chattanooga Brewing Co., bagpipers, pop-up Irish dance performers, and virtual scavenger hunt.
  • Linden (March 26-27) – The Blooming Arts Festival mixes fine arts, local craftsmanship, performances and fantastic local eats. Masks and social distancing recommended. Sanitization stations will be up on Main Street.
  • Pigeon Forge (March 26-28) – Cowboy cooks circle the wagons for the one-of-a-kind outdoor Pigeon Forge Chuck Wagon Cookoff that features chuck wagons–the original food trucks. Attendees can sample the offerings at lunch.
  • Murfreesboro (March 29-April 2) – Looking for a fun and safe way to kick off spring? Stop by the Discovery Center for Mess Fest. Get creative and messy with free outdoor activities such as making oobleck, elephant toothpaste and more.
  • Spring Hill (April 2) – Grammy Award Winner Casting Crowns performs a socially distancing family-friendly drive-in concert 7 p.m. at RippavillaTickets benefit the Well Outreach Food Pantry.
  • Crossville (April 2-June 24) – Cumberland County Playhouse kicks off its 2021 spring season with productions like Clue on Stage, The Savannah Sipping Society, Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now and Duck Hunter Shoots Angel.
  • Savannah (April 3) – The 9th Annual Generals Breakfast kicks off at 9 a.m. at Cherry Mansion with an outdoor breakfast, storytelling program and a Q&A by the homeowners. Tickets are $15. Masks and social distancing are encouraged.
  • Murfreesboro (April 23) – Travis Tritt with special guest Frank Foster takes the stage at 7 p.m. at Hop Springs Beer Park. There’s live music every weekend at the family & dog-friendly park with food and a huge selection of craft beers on tap.
  • Harriman (May 1) – The May Day Craft and Antique Fair will have vendors that display handmade crafts, vintage items and antiques, food vendors, live entertainment and classic car show.
  • Granville (May 1) – The Cornbread & Moonshine Festival features whiskey tastings, cornbread tasting, food, music, and craftsmen. Admission is $5. The new Whiskey Decanter Museum also opens with over 3,000 whiskey decanters.
  • Cookeville (May 1) – Cookeville Storyfest 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. in the big tent in Dogwood Park includes headliners Andy Offutt Irwin and Minton Sparks, and an amateur storytelling competition.
  • Tellico Plains (May 1) – The Tellico Trout Festival 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. downtown gathers fishermen, river sports enthusiasts and families for fun, education, food, entertainment and outfitter services.
  • Gatlinburg (May 1-3) – Guests can begin a creative journey in crafts, woodworking, basket weaving, jewelry making and more during Hands on Gatlinburg in the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community. Register in advance before workshops sell out.
  • Pigeon Forge (May 5-8) – Textile art and techniques to stitch quilts are on display at Pigeon Forge’s A Mountain Quiltfest. Guests can register for instructional classes. The free quilt exhibit and vendor hall are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the LeConte Center.
  • Sweetwater (May 7-8) – Head to Historic Downtown Sweetwater for the Blooms, Bluegrass and BBQ Festival with live music, barbecue competition, vendors, picker’s corner, kids’ zone and fun activities.
  • Smithville (May 8) – Center Hill Lake Fest 4-10 p.m. at The Burlap Room Beer Garden and Dispensary features plenty of space to socially-distance while enjoying food from local food trucks, craft beer and local vendors. Please wear a mask in vendor and restroom lines. Tickets for the kid and pet-friendly event start at $20.
  • Rugby (May 8) – Raise a cup to Queen Victoria during the Queen’s Tea at Historic Rugby. The festive tea will include sandwiches, scones and dessert. Tickets are $22.
  • Wartburg (May 15) – The Tennessee Mountain Laurel Festival is filled with music, food, exhibits, creative arts, crafts, a car show and 24 designated scenic trails 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. around courthouse square.
  • Harriman (May 22-23, May 29-31) – Join a weekend of fun with costume contests, pirate Olympics, treasure hunts, get a picture with a mermaid or scallywag or shop the merchant village for unique treasures at the 5th Annual Tennessee Pirate Fest.
  • Bell Buckle (May 29) – Load up the car and go on an adventure in Historic Bell Buckle geocaching for prizes 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. during the Bell Buckle Car Cache and Pig Bash. Registration information can be found here.
  • Donelson (May-October) – Stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables, shop from local vendors, listen to live music and stroll through the historic grounds of Two Rivers Mansion Fridays 4-7 p.m. during the outdoor Hip Donelson Farmers Market.

For a complete list of what’s happening in Tennessee, visit the calendar on the website.  

Las Vegas-Based Tour Provider

When Bindlestiff Tours owner Rachel Urban opened the Las Vegas-based adventure tour company nearly 10 years ago, she sought to offer adventurers the most immersive experiences throughout the Southwestern United States, Alaska and Western Canada. In the days leading up to the pandemic, Bindlestiff Tours was doing just that. Business was booming and the company welcomed thousands of international visitors each year.

Then borders closed, shutdowns began and the international tourism industry dried up. As reservations were cancelled and trips delayed, many tour operators opted to close their doors entirely. Yet, Bindlestiff made the bold, yet tough, decision to remain open last year as one of the only fully operating national park tour companies in Las Vegas during the height of the pandemic. Today, Bindlestiff continues to fight challenges created by the pandemic while still welcoming drive-market travelers to keep the business afloat.  

“Like many small businesses in the tourism industry, we’re fighting every day to keep our operation running while safeguarding our staff and customers’ health and well-being,” said Urban. 

With group size limits, mask enforcement rules and social distancing guidelines differing state by state, Bindlestiff’s high operating and cleaning costs for their spectacular multi-state tours through Nevada, Arizona, Utah and California have risen while the number of guests they are able to accommodate continues to remain restricted. 

Navigating which national parks and campsites are open also presents another obstacle for Bindlestiff Tours. A spike in COVID-19 cases often leads to sudden park or campsite closures or limited access to certain destinations which creates challenges in how Bindlestiff times tours, according to Urban.

Last-minute tour reservations and cancellations also add to the company’s dilemma of planning how many guests they are able to welcome on a given day. 

“While it certainly has been difficult to accommodate travelers visiting Las Vegas on a whim, it brings us such gratitude knowing there are still domestic tourists searching to get away and immerse themselves in nature,” said Urban. 

The immersive tour operator celebrates the small victories such as welcoming travelers from neighboring states, even if group sizes remain small, and continues to offer flexible booking conditions, value tour pricing and additional traveler options. 

Among these additional options are Bindlestiff Tours’ new multi-day, self-driving camping tours and private, custom single- or multi-day tours from Las Vegas.


The self-drive camping tours, also available with hotel upgrades, offer travelers an opportunity to socially distance under the stars. According to Urban, these tours are designed for guests interested in driving to the national parks of the American Southwest on their own, while still receiving expert guidance and an immersive, personalized adventure. 

Guests are provided with all the necessary camping equipment and tour guides assist with camp set-up in scenic locations. Expert tour guides meet guests at key locations throughout the tour and escort groups on remote hiking trails to spectacular viewpoints while providing live interpretive wildlife and nature content throughout the adventure. 

According to Bindlestiff, guides also facilitate evening campfires and locally sourced, fully catered al fresco dining options at camp or for hotel guests. 

To enhance the self-drive experience, Urban says guests can download the recently reconfigured Bindlestiff Tours mobile app. Now featuring tour narrations in English for domestic travelers in addition to multiple languages for international visitors, the app allows travelers to access additional details, instruction and information.


For families or groups of friends of four or more interested in experiencing national parks in a more intimate setting, Bindlestiff also offers private, custom tour options. These tour packages are pre-made and offer exclusive one-on-one attention from a dedicated, expert local guide. Guests may select day tours or multi-day outdoor camping tours or the comfort of hotel accommodation. Guides escort groups on a completely private tour throughout the experience. Guests have the option to choose from classic itineraries or request a custom-tailored tour and add on other areas of interest, according to Urban. 

Despite the overall decrease in travelers resulting from the pandemic, Bindlestiff Tours understands the importance of continuing to provide vacationers with spectacular opportunities to visit some of the country’s most breathtaking national parks when they are ready to travel again.

“During the height of the shutdown last year, we were one of the only fully operating tour providers in Las Vegas,” said Urban. “We understand the importance of offering travelers expert guides for incredible experiences they’ll never forget, especially during such a difficult time. It truly brings our team joy.” 

As Bindlestiff continues to expand its tour offerings when more people begin to travel again, the challenges of remaining viable and laying the foundation for recovery in a post-COVID economy remains present. This year, Bindlestiff is excited to launch “glamping” tours that allow families and private groups the peace of the great outdoors paired with more elevated living accommodations.

According to Urban, the tour company remains hopeful about the future. She said guests booking trips with Bindlestiff this year have felt reassured about their health and safety – some even going as far as sharing their uplifting experiences on social media. 

“Our company is beyond grateful we have remained open throughout these challenging times to welcome those searching to get out of their houses and into the wilderness,” said Urban.

For more information about private custom tours and self-drive tours, visit www.bindlestifftours.com

Beating the Competition: How to Make More From Your Airbnb 

If you have some space to spare in your home, Airbnb is an excellent way to make a good income. But today, there are loads of listings in almost any neighborhood, and let’s face it; better homes, better amenities, nicer views… And the truth is that these days you can’t compete on prices alone.

This spells the need to rethink how you run your facility. 

You want first-time guests to love it so much that not only will they long to come back, but also they refer you to their circles. For this to happen, you need to bring your A-game. Roll up your sleeves and get ready. Here’s to make more from your Airbnb.

  1. Focus on the Bedrooms

You will be surprised at how much attention people give to bedrooms and sleeping areas when choosing vacations. This is an area that will require you to put your best foot forward if you are to stand out. 

Think doonas with quality filling, white hotel-style linen, and so on. 

Ensure to capture these details in your listing as well so that potential guests know what to expect beforehand. This can significantly help increase your bookings.

  1. Think Sustainability

Going green campaigns in recent years have increasingly focused on what individuals can do on a smaller scale. Combined with national-level policy, individual efforts create a considerable impact as well. 

As a business owner, running a sustainable property is advantageous on several fronts. 

The key ones are that one, you are likely to attract like-minded, pro-green proponents to your property. 

The second is that you can use the specific sustainability features on your property to separate yourself from other Airbnb’s in your locale when marketing. This does not have to be anything complicated; water conservation, live plants, composting, and so on are small touches that can amplify your brand. 

  1. Welcome Pack

Let’s face it: everyone loves freebies. To understand just how much, look at reviews left for different hotels and see how prominently the idea of welcome packs feature. 

This will require some creativity, however. Because you are a business looking to make a profit, your accommodation fees will dictate what your welcome pack should hold. Ultimately, it’s the time and effort you put into making your guests feel warm and fuzzy that matters.

Items like candy, fruit, or local delicacies will work well enough. 

While it’s okay to mention this in your advert, you can opt to leave it as a surprise. There is no expectation of a grand welcome pack, and the surprise element can add you extra guest points.

  1. Make It Family-Friendly

Most vacationers with young children will tell you the hassle they go through to find family-friendly accommodations. If you have a location where families will make up a significant percentage of guests, making your facility family-friendly can give you an edge. 

Think about things like cots, high chairs, laundry powder, free washing/machine, extra mattresses, and so on. 

You can also consider building a safe child corner where parents can leave their kids playing as they unwind. You can take this a notch higher and have a resident baby minder at a fee. 

The opportunity to explore, relax and unwind while a resident baby minder takes care of their little ones for a couple of hours is a dream come true for most parents. 

Think Outside the Box

Guests have lots of options today more than ever before, and being the choice facility will take some thinking outside the box. Luckily, these do not have to be expensive undertakings. Small, thoughtful additions are often enough to woo your guest and keep them coming back for more.

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