Posts tagged with "international travel"

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.

Road Trip via Mina Tocalini for use by 360 Magazine

Exodus Travel Tours Resume

Exodus Travels have announced that their self- guided and award-winning led tours will be resuming for Americans July and August 2021. As the world carefully reopens, the leading small-group adventure tour company is excited to welcome everyone back to explore far-flung places and faraway destinations. 

Once again travelers will be able to experience an expertly curated cycling, walking, or cultural adventure that suits their pace. Self guided trips to Portugal, Spain, France, Switzerland, Malta, and Bermuda will resume this July. 

Adventurers are eager to sip their way through vineyards, tuck into some delicious seafood on the beach, enjoy exhilarating hikes towards dramatic waterfalls, cycle past medieval hilltop towns, or give into the wild on safari. With that in mind, small group-led tours to Greece, Portugal, Spain, Galapagos, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Africa, Iceland, Turkey, and Switzerland will once again be open to Americans this August and September.

Giving Back 

Exodus is committed to building travel back better than ever, and will donate $100 of every 2021 or 2022 booking to their global Community Kickstart Project, which was created to support those hit hardest by the devastating effects of the past 16 months in destinations heavily reliant on tourism dollars. The global initiative provides funds for the following projects, and many more

  • Meals for the vulnerable people of Kathmandu, Nepal 
  • Food packages for families of the porters of Peru’s Inca Trail 
  • Education catch up and school openings for kids in Zambia 
  • Essential hygiene and school packets for families along the Mekong Delta, Laos

Exodus is committed to the safety of all travelers, leaders, staff and local people in the destinations they visit at all times. Health and safety teams work in tandem with leaders to keep guests safe on their adventures, providing assistance from the moment travel is booked to the minute travelers return to home soil. With Exodus, travelers can book with confidence and travel stress-free

About Exodus Travels

Celebrating 46 years and winner of the 2019 National Geographic Traveler Reader Awards and 2020 British Travel Awards, leading adventure tour operator Exodus has a vast range of adventure and activity holidays across seven continents, offering places as diverse and as exhilarating as Kilimanjaro, Machu Picchu, the Ice Hotel and Antarctica. They have hosted over 250,000+ travelers on adventures across the globe. Whether it is solo travelers, couples, groups or families, Exodus offers an incredible choice of trips for all ages and activity levels. Operating in 100+ countries with 600+ tours, Exodus insists on low impact tourism and contributing to local communities. Exodus understands the importance of regenerative travel, now more than ever. Their rewilding initiative guarantees that for every person who travels with them, they will rewild 100 square meters.

Cruise illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Visit Iceland and The Fagradalsfjall Volcano

Everyone is talking about the volcanic eruption happening in Iceland right now. Iceland ProCruises/ProTravel are the premiere travel companies in Iceland, offering soft expedition-style cruises circumnavigating the Island. They announce their availability arrange a trip to the volcano before and after a cruise so travelers can visit this amazing display of nature while visiting Iceland.

The Land of Ice and Fire is once again living up to its name; a new eruption is occurring in Iceland! From Geldingadalur valley, just south of Fagradalsfjall volcano, gleaming lava can be found running in molten rivers and spurting in spectacular jets.

Making this phenomenon even more exciting is its location. The Reykjanes Peninsula is familiar to all travelers to Iceland, as it connects Keflavik International Airport with the country’s capital, Reykjavik; the region is also home to the Blue Lagoon. It is the most accessible eruption in Iceland since the country has become a major tourist destination.

There is a website available to answer the questions of potential visitors and Iceland ProCruises stand ready to make arrangements for a pre or post cruise stay in Iceland. Their expertise assures visitors of a safe and splendid tour of the volcano.

There are hiking tours with guides; some at night which show the breathtaking fountains of fire and vivid orange rivers of lava which are even more striking against the dark sky. Those who want a more personalized experience can also organize private tours. While tourists can visit without an experienced guide, it is not recommended, as no roads lead directly to the site, meaning you’ll have to hike for several hours; only certain operators have permission to drive closer. This is very challenging for those who are not knowledgeable of the local area, particularly considering the rugged terrain and unpredictable weather. It’s best to have a reputable agency make plans for you.

More information at HERE, including rates and schedules for 2021.

Chateau de Benac via Eric Sander for Geoffrey Weill for use by 360 Magazine

French Affaires Offering New Fall 2021 Programs

French Affaires, a specialty trip planning company promoting French travel and culture, is hosting several one-of-a-kind journeys to southwest France this fall and beyond. Regarded as one of the country’s best kept secrets, the region offers a taste of France at its most authentic, boasting cliffside villages, majestic fortress castles, bucolic countryside, ancient cave paintings and excellent food and wine.  

Following France’s reopening to international travelers in the summer of 2021, French Affaires will host two trips to southwest France this fall, taking advantage of the region’s postcard-perfect autumn weather. The first trip, Southwest France Photography Tour, is a week-long photography immersion from September 30 through October 7, 2021, featuring celebrated French photographer Eric Sander. He will lead the small group through the landscapes, gardens, and architecture of his home territory, the Périgord region, offering photography instruction and coaching sessions along the way. The group will stay at Le Vieux Logis, a historic Relais & Chateaux property in the heart of the quaint village of Trémolat.

The second trip, Fall in Southwest France (October 6-15, 2021), will be a tour through the charming towns of Sarlat, Beynac, Trémolat, Rocamadour, St. Emilion and the city of Bordeaux. The itinerary includes vineyard visits and tastings; outdoor markets; visits to chateaux led by their owners; tours of renowned gardens with experts; and special viewings of prehistoric cave art with a local archeologist.

Beyond southwest France, French Affaires is planning trips to Normandy, Burgundy and Lyon this fall, as well as a trip to Paris over the holidays. 2022 tours will include Corsica, the Basque country, the Loire Valley and Brittany. Especially remarkable will be the Provence trip (May 6-21, 2022), which offers guests a chance to experience life as a local with language classes at the local institute and stays in apartments.

About French Affaires

Founded by Elizabeth New Seitz, a PhD and former university French professor, French Affaires offers highly curated trips to France that celebrate French culture, language, and “l’art de vivre.” These small group journeys, led by Elizabeth Seitz herself, offer travelers authentic and perfectly cadenced experiences throughout the country, including expert-guided wine tastings in Bordeaux, eating through Corsica, photographing in southwest France, and antique shopping in Provence. To keep the spirit of France alive while at home, French Affaires also offers both virtual and in-person experiences, including French language courses, wine tastings, cooking classes, history lessons, guest speakers and even shopping tips.

Airheart illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Airheart Explorer Launches

Airheart Explorer Launches to Help Consumers Navigate Complicated Travel Restrictions & Policies

CLICK TO TWEET: Airheart Explorer launches to help navigate travel restrictions domestic and abroad, so people can travel with confidence: Airheart Explorer

Airheart unveiled their free tool, Explorer, to help people travel again, safely. Travelers can now discover which destinations are accessible and what’s required for their trip, all through one user-friendly platform.

Now more than ever, navigating restrictions and policies for travel is overwhelming. Crowd-sourcing information from friends and family online and visiting countless tourism or government sites is a lot of work and highly error prone. Airheart eliminates the guesswork, so people can travel with confidence. 

Airheart’s data is aggregated from official sources by our data partners, including Sherpa. Then, Airheart further distills and organizes it into a searchable, scannable, easy to understand format, to put travelers at ease when navigating what’s required of them. 

Key Features: 

  1. Discover which destinations – international and domestic – are accessible for travel based on your origin location prior to the booking engine phase where you need to be destination specific. 
  2. View government policies and COVID19-risk data for your destination.
  3. Filter by what’s required of you – quarantine, COVID19 test, masks in public (and soon by your vaccination status). 
  4. Receive notification when policies and restrictions change.
  5. See COVID19 transmission rates per destination. 
  6. View local guidelines for what to expect on-location at bars, restaurants, shops and more.
  7. Pin routes and create a short-list of places on your wish list.

The three founders diligently focus on maximizing the user experience. The team is also extremely well-traveled, multi-passport carriers and currently straddling multiple continents – the US to Australia – to bring this to consumers worldwide. 

“As seasoned travelers, we found this problem so critical that we dropped everything to work on solving it for the community. Our long-term vision is to create a place for organizing and managing the full lifecycle of a trip, starting with discovery using Airheart Explorer,” said co-founder and CEO, Lindsey Renken. “In a world where we’ve optimized our lives heavily, planning travel is still an inefficient process. We noticed our friends and colleagues experiencing similar issues, and ultimately, this kept a lot of trips from happening. We figured there has to be a better way than the status quo.”

Airheart is where deep product and engineering knowledge meets function. The team’s experience has been pivotal in elevating Airheart Explorer beyond what’s on the market now:  

  • Ivan Vanderbyl, CPO, who’s founded three companies, 2 exits; Former Sr. Director of Product Management at Tricentis; 14 years in software development and product management. He has lived and worked in 5 countries and traveled to over 30 countries. 
  • Arie Litovsky, CTO, adds over 15 years of software development experience to the team. He most recently worked as a software developer at Facebook and Q&A site Stack Overflow. He’s traveled to over 20 countries while adding to his collection of 3 passports and 4 languages.
  • Lindsey Renken, CEO, is an experienced founder; previously raised nearly 1 mil. as a co-founder for a consumer-facing application. B.S. in Biomedical Engineering, UT Austin. Over 11 years in product, marketing and data science. She has traveled to 31 countries and counting, many of which were solo trips. 

“Drawing on the intrepid explorer and fearless solo traveler Amelia Earhart, we hope to clear the path for future travelers,” said Renken. 

For more information and to sign up for the waitlist for features coming this summer, visit Airheart

Bike Ride illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Bike4Tourism × Cycle the World

Bike4Tourism Invites Would-Be Travelers to Cycle the World, Virtually

Seeking a Global Community to Bike Together While Apart and Share Images of Each Other’s Routes

Missing international travel?   Wishing you could host some out-of-town friends to show them your most beautiful locations? Then Bike4Tourism has an inspiring global event tailor-made for you this Memorial Day weekend, on Sunday, May 30th.

Bike4Tourism aims to promote healthy living and sustainable tourism. The goal of the event is to have as many participants as possible, in every country, riding bikes and sharing photographs to the global community of the most beautiful places near their homes.

In sharing each other’s images, cyclists will virtually visit cities, countries and continents, without need for a passport — just a helmet and the will to discover or rediscover the places that surround us and show them to others.

Organizers are hoping for more than 115,000 participants around the world to break the current record.  Proceeds will support environmental conservation charities and aid tourism businesses in financial need following Covid-19 travel restrictions.

It’s hoped that participants are left with even more desire to travel, sustainably, with a huge selection of photos of beautiful places from which to choose their next journey.

All are welcome to participate, and free tickets will be made available for children to encourage family bike rides.   Early bird tickets are available from April 20th.  For more information, visit Bike 4 Tourism, and Facebook.

COVID 19 by Symara Wilson for 360 Magazine, Covid Travel restriction

Coronavirus Mutations × U.S. Travel Restrictions

By: Emily Bunn

A breaking news article featured in The New York Times announced that the United States will be imposing a mandatory requirement for negative COVID-19 test results from all incoming, international travelers. The requirement for proof of a negative test in order to fly will begin Tuesday, January 25th.

The CDC has ordered for all travelers to provide proof of a negative test taken no more than 3 days before their travels. Without documentation of a negative test or documentation of recovery supplemented with a letter from a health care provider or public health official, passengers will be prohibited to fly.

The United States is not the only country to be putting in place tighter travel regulations. Due to new mutations of the virus, many countries are adopting stricter border protocol. The New York Times reports:

“Even as the United States moved to impose travel restrictions, citing the danger of the fast-moving variants, a case of the variant spreading in Brazil was identified in Minnesota.”

Variations of the virus in Brazil and South Africa, due to international travel, both pose the threat of COVID-19 mutating. If the virus does mutate, it is potential that the new strain of such will be unreactive to current vaccination efforts.

The New York Times reports that Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, an adviser to President Biden, has commented: “With the world travel that you have, and the degree of transmissibility efficiency, it’s not surprising.” Further, President Biden has broadcasted a ban on travel by all non-citizens into the United States from South Africa, the U.K., Ireland, and 26 other European countries.

An article published today on AP News reported that in attempts to increase vaccination efforts, President Biden announced that his administration is planning to purchase 100 million doses of each of the approved coronavirus vaccines–Pfizer and Moderna. Vaccination deliveries to states will be surged for the next three weeks. The Biden administration has announced that they plan to vaccinate 300 million citizens by the end of summer, as reported by The New York Times.

The President, in a White House briefing on January 26th, commented on importance of increasing vaccination supplies to help Americans:

“And to a nation waiting for action, let me be clearest on this point: Help is on the way.  We can do this if we come together, if we listen to the scientists.”

These efforts come at an especially critical time, as the global number of coronavirus cases has surpassed 100 million, reports The Wall Street Journal. However, that has been recent speculation regarding the accuracy of that number. In New York, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration has been accused of undercounting the amount of coronavirus deaths that occurred at nursing homes. A report released by Letitia James, the Attorney General of New York, shows that the coronavirus death count appears to have been cut by approximately 50 percent. The report compares the number of facility deaths publicized by the Department of Health–1,229 deaths, versus the number of facility deaths reported the Office of Attorney General–1,914 deaths. This staggering discrepancy between reported deaths has spurred suspicion against Cuomo, and the Office of Attorney General (OAG) is conducting an on-going investigation concerning the cause of these variances.

However, there is still hope. In Los Angeles, Governor Gavin Newsom rescinded the county’s stay-at-home order this past Monday, reports The Los Angeles Times. This new jurisdiction will allow for all counties in California to return to the four-tier, colored-coded system of assessing coronavirus risk. Lifting the imposed stay-at-home order could allow for the reopening of personal care services and outdoor dining. While LA has been particularly hard hit by coronavirus, the city actually has a higher vaccination rate than most other comparable cities in the U.S. The New York Times reports that “83 percent of the doses the city has received have been administered, compared with 74 percent in New York City; 52 percent in Bexar County, which includes San Antonio; and 58 percent of the doses ordered in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix.”

While the coronavirus situation is still being closely tracked and monitored, hospitalizations and the number of patients in ICUs have been steadily declining. With hospitalizations at their national lowest since December 13th and an increase in vaccination efforts, there is progress to be recognized, despite current setbacks and uncertainties.

Despite progress in vaccination efforts and decreasing corona virus cases, new virus mutations pose critical cause for concern. In countries across the Asia-Pacific region, a new, more infectious variant–the Delta variant–is causing stay-at-home orders to be again put into place. This new variant was first identified in India, and has quickly been spreading. As restrictions begin yet again, countries across the globe are grappling with the harrowing fate that the pandemic is far from over.

In some major Australian cities, such as Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, and Darwin, residents have been forced into strict lockdowns. Flights are even being banned due to the new threat, with Hong Kong barring British entry. Indefinite stay-at-home orders were extended by the Malaysian government on Monday. In Malaysia, the new variant is especially threatening, as only 6% of the country’s residents are fully vaccinated, reports the New York Times.

India has faced a devastating, major second wave of coronavirus due to the Delta Plus variant, a sub-lineage of the Delta variant. This past spring, the dangerous variant caused thousands of deaths per day, and forced residents into partial stay-at-home orders, yet again. Much like in Malaysia, in India only 5% of the population is fully vaccinated. In fear of a third wave of the virus, Maharashtra’s chief minister, Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray, has authorized the use of a fourth vaccine in an attempt to increase vaccination supplies.

In good news, the Covid-19 vaccination is largely effective against the new Delta variant. However, this Delta variant is 50 percent more contagious than several of the other variants of concern, such as the Alpha variant.

As countries continue reopening, people look toward high vaccination rates to change the coronavirus game. In the U.S. and Britain, officials are planning to, or already have, lift most pandemic restrictions. White House secretary, Jen Psaki, recently announced that the United States would send two million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to Peru. Additionally, the U.S. looks to send 2.5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine to Pakistan. A third shipment of 1.5 million Moderna vaccination doses will be sent to Honduras from the United States.

Looking ahead to this weekend, July 30-Aug 1, 2021, the return of  a major musical festival threatens a super-spreader event. The highly infectious variant of COVID-19 has again created a surge in the number of recent coronavirus cases. As festival fans migrate to Chicago for Lollapalooza – the first of which held since 2019 – the Windy City braces for the potentially devastating impact.

Fortunately, the festival is taking several precautions to prevent the spread of the virus. All attendees must be fully vaccinated or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of event entry. However, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns that not all guests will be honest about meeting these requirements.

The head of the BBB, Steve Bernas, warns of the potential for festival scammers who fabricate fake vaccine cards and negative test results. “We anticipate a double whammy this year not only the tickets but also the vaccine cards,” Bernas said in a statement. “The scammers will be out in full force.” He continues, cautioning ticket buyers to be on high-alert: “Just like finding tickets, there are countless ways for consumers to find vaccinations cards online, with online marketplaces, ticket sellers, resellers and the like…and unfortunately, some of them are rip-offs”

One of Chicago’s top coronavirus experts, Dr. Emily Landon, also weighed in on the weekend’s festivities. She argues that Lollapalooza’s 72-hour testing window is too lenient, and that the city is inviting in a massive spike of cases by holding the concert. NBC Chicago reports that Dr. Emily Landon commented, “Lolla has let us down with respect to how vigorously they’re restricting people based on the things that they sort of initially told us (about how) ‘we’re going to be really strict’ and now it’s like they’ve lightened up quite considerably on checking vaccines and negative tests.”

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady expressed concerns similar to Dr. Emily Landon’s. Recognizing the importance of getting vaccinated, she commented the following in a coronavirus update last week: “We want people to have a good time and we want this to be as safe as it can be…And so certainly we’ll be watching that just as we do any other gathering, but I am more concerned about the many people who have not chosen the COVID vaccine.”

Still, Chicago’s mayor and top doctor still haven’t wavered their support for the much-loved music festival. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot expressed her desire the event to occur as safely as possible, though she didn’t comment on the recent uptick in case numbers and coronavirus hospitalizations. NBC 5 Chicago reports on the current coronavirus statistics in the city:

“Chicago’s average daily number of new cases rose to 130 per day early Monday – a 76% jump compared to last week. The city’s average daily case rate was at 90 per day last week and 41 per day the week before that, meaning it’s more than tripled in roughly three weeks. However, it is still significantly lower than the more than 700 cases per day the city was seeing earlier this year and last, before vaccines were widely available.”

Additional safety measures, including mandatory mask-wearing on public transport, will also be enforced. The Chicago Transit Authority is offering reduced ticket rates this weekend for Lollapalooza travelers.

As Summer winds down, COVID-19 cases are beginning to rise yet again. Several virus variants, including the new Lambda variant, are causing major concern among Americans. In an attempt to quell concern, several cities have launched vaccine passport programs.

Across the United States, metropolitan hubs including New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans are requiring residents to show proof of vaccination before entering indoor spaces. That means that visiting gyms, concerts, restaurants, and more will require citizens to have both of their required vaccination shots. Vaccine passports are not being put in place to stop public gatherings, but are intended to creater safer enviroments outside of one’s home.

However, many Americans are opting to stay indoors yet again, thanks to new variant threats. The Lambda variant, which was first detected in Peru and is quckly spreading through South America, is causing concern among citizens. The New York Times reports that “On June 14, the World Health Organization designated it as a “variant of interest,” meaning, essentially, that experts suspect it could be more dangerous than the original strain.

However, it has been reported that the Lambda variant is likely not as contagious as other deadly virus mutuations, like the Delta variant. And fortunately, the Lambda variant is able to be combatted by the vaccines that have currently rolled out across the U.S. The New York Times records the climbing numbers of the Lambda variant, “As of mid-June, Lambda had been reported in 29 countries, territories or areas, according to a June 15 update from the W.H.O. The variant had been detected in 81 percent of coronavirus samples sequenced in Peru since April, and 31 percent of those in Chile to date, the agency said.” However, assessing the virus has been difficult due to Latin America’s limited ability to conduct geonomic surveillance and follow-up laboratory studies, reports the NYT. Scientists and medical professionals around the world are currently conducting research to better understand this new variant and its implications.

HotelPlanner’s Delta Variant Coverage:

America’s comeback is in jeopardy. The Delta variant is surging, prompting concerns that we need another lockdown. Travel executives are already huddling, discussing potential next steps to both protect guests and their businesses’ bottom lines. Americans were traveling in record numbers, and people are wondering if this could slow down the sector. How could the Delta variant, and other emerging variants, impact travel?

“We are watching the rapid uptick in Delta variant case infections closely, says Tim Hentschel, Co-Founder and CEO of HotelPlanner. “Although some families may choose to curtail their summer travel plans, we remain confident that the vast majority of Americans who were planning to travel this summer will keep their plans, while exercising more caution with crowds and destination selection. For those who are already vaccinated, the Delta variant shouldn’t be a deterrent to summer travel because they should be protected.”

ABOUT HOTELPLANNER

HotelPlanner is a leading travel technology company that combines proprietary artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, and a 24/7 global gig-based reservations and customer service network, to quickly and seamlessly serve all traveler hotel & accommodation needs from a single platform.

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ADVENTURES IN MIYAGI PREFECTURE

Known as the “Land of Contrasts,” Japan’s Miyagi Prefecture is home to a variety of outdoor activities for travelers to enjoy. From cycling to surfing and even paragliding, Miyagi’s wide range of landscapes has no shortage of opportunities to try something new. Below are a few places travelers can dream of visiting when travel restrictions are lifted.

With a variety of biking trails to choose from, Miyagi is the perfect place to cycle through paths that stop by some of the prefecture’s most famous sights. For coastal views, Oshika Peninsula offers more than 40 miles of rolling hills and coastal panoramas, including a view of Kinkasan Island, a majestic island home to sacred deer that roam about the island freely. In the countryside, Marumori Loop is a popular cycling spot for locals. The low plains offer excellent views of the mountains, charming villages and rice fields. Experienced bikers can cycle through the mountainous wilderness of Mount Zao. These incredibly remote passes are grueling but are totally worth it for the beautiful scenery, secluded hot springs and countryside cafes.

Speaking of Mount Zao, the region is one of Miyagi’s best destinations for outdoor adventures. Skiers and snowboarders can opt to tackle the remote slopes on their own, but a guide is considered essential for anyone not trained in winter mountaineering and acquainted with the terrain of Mount Zao. Luckily, M’s Guide is a winter mountain guide service based at Sumikawa Snow Park and can tailor any outdoor excursion for guests.

For watersports, three-time paragliding national champion Takeshige Yamaya offers tandem paragliding experiences in Matsushima Bay, perfect for travelers to experience one of the Three Most Scenic Spots in Japan. Setravelndai and even Mount Zao can also be seen from the sky. In Sendai, Barefoot Surf offers a variety of SUP (stand-up paddle boarding) and surfing excursions for any skill level.

Travelers looking to spend the night outdoors can stay at the Fukiage Kogen Campground in Northern Miyagi. The grounds are surrounded by scenic views of mountains and quiet forests. The campground even has its own hot spring, walking trails, pub and plenty of cute goats. While travelers can bring their own equipment, guests can be supplied with all the gear they need with advanced reservations.

For more information on Miyagi, please visit http://www.visitmiyagi.com.

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.

Croatia by Patrick Cooper for 360 magazine

Christmas In Croatia

By Patrick T. Cooper

This year has been anything but ordinary. Extraordinary would even be an understatement! Most who dare to read this article are grappling with the thought of where your first travel destination will be post-pandemic. Well, forget pulling out all of those dusty ornaments and slaving in the kitchen to prepare the family meal. Croatia is calling you to blend your love of travel with holiday traditions to make your season a memorable one.

Croatia offers a unique old-world feel with a hip awareness that locals will eagerly share while illustrating the countries fair and flare. The gift of travel is evergreen and never antiquated. Give the gift of lifetime memories well beyond the impact of material goods. This past year should be your throttle boost to knock off the destinations of the world that you have always hungered to see. Christmas in Croatia is not just a catchy title but a rhythmic vibe that will have you singing in the city streets.

The aha moment is forthcoming once you maneuver through the city cafes at the center of Zagreb. Beyond the city’s annual Festival of Lights is a community that is welcoming, warm, genuine and excited to educate you on the rich culture of this region in the world. While travel has been practically extinct this year, this story gives you ample time for planning to experience The Ultimate Holiday Gift – Christmas in Croatia.

Christmas in Croatia by Patrick Cooper for 360 mag

The Bucket List

Positioned on the Adriatic Sea, Croatia is a country at the intersection of Central and Southeast Europe. The Croatian economy is dominated by the services and industrial sectors as well as agriculture. Tourism is the paramount source of revenue, ranking Croatia among the 20 most popular tourist destinations in the world. The country measures 21,851 square miles and a population of 4.07 million, most of whom are Catholic.

Zagreb, Croatia’s northwestern capital, is riddled with distinguished 18th and 19th– century Austro-Hungarian architecture contributing to your eyes dancing as you wonder about the city. Most infatuated upon my arrival, I, of course, had to make the 13th-century St. Mark’s Church and the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary as my initial stops. From the colored rooftop of the church to the edifice of the cathedral, I hastened to mark three destinations off of my travel bucket list.

At this point, I have piqued your curiosity, similar to anxious adolescents on the night before Christmas. Never fear, I will be the calming hand to give you a Croatia travel cheat sheet. The path is now lit!! Continue reading and start preparing to soar into the unknown and craft memories to enhance your personal journey.

Lights in Zagreb

By day, Zagreb’s main square is perfect for people watching. A brief stop in Dolac’s open-air market will intensify your cultural submersion. Prepare to indulge in the ultimate Christmas experience by evening. The city literally lights up!! The splendid display of the holiday spirit is like no other in the world. Advent on European Square, Advent on Zrinjevac, Ice park, and Advent in Tunnel are all close in proximity and offer an array of souvenirs, decorations, food and beverages to heighten the beginning of your fairy-tale in Croatia.

Truffle Hunt in Istria

Everyone loves a day trip to Istria which includes phenomenal hunting. Fetching some of the world’s most renowned mushrooms is quite an adventure. Prior to exiting the field, fuel up with your personalized truffle cooking class at Karlić Tatufi. Opting for the scrambled truffled eggs and a variety of truffle-infused pastries is the perfect breakfast to start the day. Excitement ensues watching the eagerness of canine energy to hunt the delicacy of the Croatian culture. The benefits of eating, education and exposure culminate in creating a magical endeavor.

Truffle photo by Patrick Cooper for 360 magazine

Rest in Rovinj

From the sleek curbside appeal, the Grand Park Hotel Rovinj is perhaps one of the sexiest hotels that I have visited. Modern, yet minimalist furnishings and features make this property award-winning. Beyond the architecture, you prepare to be rewarded with elegantly appointed seafront views overlooking St. Katarina Island and the Old Town of Rovinj. Completed in 2019, this hotel represents a collaboration with Milan studio Lissoni Architecture by Piero Lissoni. From its beaches, pool, dining and spa the Grand Park Hotel Rovinj is an unforgettable designed stay.

Grand Park hotel photo by Patrick Cooper for 360 magazine

Chocolate in Opatija

A chocolate Santa Claus is such a treat!! Literally one of Opatija’s sweetest events happening the first weekend of December is when you should be ready to taste and experience the finest chocolates from the world’s best chocolatiers. Everywhere the eye can wander, you shall see white, milk and dark chocolate creations that elevate from edibles to works of art.

By all means, secure your global selfie stamp by posing with famous individuals like Gustav Mahler and Isadore Duncan of Opatija at the Open Air Theatre at the Park Angiolina.

Chocolate Santas by Patrick Cooper for 360 Magazine

Castles in Rijeka

Korzo is the main promenade in Rijeka. It is the focal point to capture the hustle of the city and a quick coffee in a multitude of cafes. At nightfall, it is the climb to the Trsat Fortress that will illuminate your love for Rijeka, Croatia. Never before have I seen such a delicate display of holiday savoir-faire. From carriages to castles dripping in bright lights, prepare to spend your upcoming holiday in this historical winter wonderland. Croatia is certainly worth planning an entire year in advance.