Posts tagged with "Luxury Travel"

A Weekend in West Touraine

With some of the most iconic appellations in the Loire Valley, West Touraine is home to a wide variety of wineries, foodie destinations and historical sites. Would-be travelers can scout out their next trips to the region for now and read up on the area’s diverse offerings.

Bourgueil

Within picturesque green hillsides, vineyards and houses built with tuffeau stones, the Bourgueil Vineyard is situated on the bed of the Loire River and has been producing wine for over 1,000 years. The vineyard itself spans 3,460 acres and visitors can Segway their way around the vineyards to witness the beautiful countryside and taste different wines at Château de Minière. La Cave de la Dive Bouteille gives visitors the chance to experience and learn about the region’s extensive thousand-year wine history. Guests can marvel at the galleries and old wine presses used centuries ago. For an even more in-depth look at wine in Bourgueil, Âme Wine, a Loire Valley Ambassador, can give private tours of the vineyards and wine caves while tasting local specialties.

A visit to the historic Château de Langeais is also recommended, as the castle was built at a unique junction between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Along with a rich program of events, including guided tours and medieval fashion shows, the château’s collection of medieval furniture and rich tapestries is also available for viewing in the castle’s many galleries.

Local country chef Vincent has a small restaurant located in the heart of the vineyards, with dishes incorporating freshly grown fruits and vegetables and a variety of poultry and meats raised by Vincent himself. Vincent’s son also helps him can some of the fresh produce and offers them to guests in the summertime with a gourmet picnic to go.

Chinon

The largest red wine appellation in the Loire Valley, Chinon has earned a reputation as one of the best places in France to enjoy red wine, but the region’s white and rosés, as well as its local artisanal foods, are growing in popularity as well. There are a variety of ways to experience Chinon wine, such as a visit to Domaine de Noiré. Guests can meet experienced winemakers and go on a variety of excursions, including a riverboat ride on the Loire River and a gastronomic excursion with Le Chapeau Rouge, whose inventive take on local, seasonal cuisine is a must-try for any foodie. The Cave de la Sybille offers a unique wine experience, as the author behind The Life of Gargantua and of Pantagruel, François Rebelais, was born in the region. Sculptures and projections bring François’s iconic pentalogy of novels to life in this wine cellar. For a different way to experience Chinon wine, the winery of Domain PB Couly offers an escape room where players are locked in Bertrand Couly’s wine cellar and have to find out the secrets behind his great wine through riddles, codes and puzzles.

For foodies who love truffles, Baron de la Truffein Ligré near Chinon is a truffle farm that operates on nearly 150 acres of land, using only organic farming practices. Production usually runs from mid-November to the end of February. The farm offers several types of experiences, such as a truffle and wine tasting and a foraging excursion.

Chinon also has an impressive history, as evident in the many notable people who have visited the Royal Fortress of Chinon, which includes Joan of Arc, King Charles VII of France, Richard the Lionheart and many more. Along with touring the surrounding grounds and the three châteaux that comprise the fortress, a variety of activities are available, including an escape room, wine tastings on Thursdays and the property’s HistoPad that allows guests to see exactly how the fortress used to be in the 12th, 14th and 15th centuries. For a chance to stay at these exquisite French castles, Château du Rivau welcomes guests both in the castle and in the former royal stables. A majestic medieval castle – where Joan of Arc fetched horses during the Hundred Years’ War – today welcomes visitors to its beautiful garden, complete with over 450 varieties of roses, resident peacocks, contemporary fairytale-inspired art sculptures and a new restaurant serving local specialties and produce right from the garden.

Azay-le-Rideau

Because of the region’s unique placement at the confluence of the Indre and Loire Rivers, wine has been produced in Azay-le-Rideau since ancient times with several cellars and vineyardproducing dry and semi-dry wines. Château de l’Aulée is also note-worthy for wine lovers. The estate’s cellars were built in 1856 by the Cordier family, a wine merchant family from Bordeaux. Champagne Deutz bought the domain in 1973, restored the property and soil, and replanted Chenin grapes on 91 acres. The grapes are used to make a variety of sparkling wines available for guests to try while taking a tour of the property. Other wineries to visit include Domaine Nicholas Paget, which is family-owned and has been producing wines over five generations, and le Sot de l’Ange, which is known for its artisanal organic wines.

Another local specialty of the region is poires tapées, a special method of preserving pears by drying them. Peasants learned this method after the Crusades; after Eleanor of Aquitaine ordered plum trees from Damascus to be planted in the Loire Valley, the confection became a staple of the region. Maison Hérin is known as one of the best local producers of poires tapées, which also offers visitors the opportunity to see how the delicacy is made. Maison Hérin also sells a wide variety of pear-related goodies including different types of confits, terrines, jams and more.

No visit to this appellation would be complete, however, without a visit to Château d’Azay-le-Rideau. Built on an island in the Indre River, this castle was ordered by King Francis I during the 16th century. The castle has been the site of a massive restoration project in the last century to ensure that the castle is structurally sound while keeping its iconic medieval architecture intact.

Kaelen Felix illustrates Elkhart Lake for 360 magazine

Elkhart Lake WI

By Elle Grant x Vaughn Lowery

As summer winds down and fall arrives, many find themselves itching for one last summer getaway, or rather, that first autumn weekend away. 360 Magazine was able to take advantage of such a trip, visiting Wisconsin’s Elkhart Lake this past September. Located in the heart of Moraine State Forest, Elkhart Lake is the ideal natural getaway, being home to lake activities as well as canopied hiking and biking trails.

Elkhart Lake, located on the East side of Wisconsin, is both a stunning sojourn into nature and also a historical destination. With a population just under one thousand, the village maintains a cozy quality, with local shops, restaurants, and activities maintaining a small-town, yet polished feel. Yet during the summertime, the town swells and comes to life. First inhabited by the Potawatomi Indians, the name Elkhart stems from the description Native people had of the area, that the lake resembled the shape of an elk’s heart. Native American culture can easily be explored in the area through local tours and at the Henschel’s Indian Museum. Elkhart is also a significant historical definition in terms of its relationship to racing, reaching its peak in the mid 1950s.

Our stay at the Shore Club was nothing short of superb. The new owners, Tom and Kristin Pagel, have done an incredible job renovating the hotel. Renovations including adding updated technology to enhance guest stays: Netflix, Alexa, a digital concierge through the Whisper app, Peloton bikes will soon be available, and luxury motor sports for those interested. Furthermore, the site also boasts an indoor pool, a game room with ping pong tables and vintage arcade games, and a gym. For those interested in seeing Elkhart on two wheels, free bikes are available for guest use at the front desk. The restaurant on site, the Cottonwood Social, offered consistently well-done meals, including the perfect weekend brunch.

We began our lake escape with a pontoon cruise on the namesake of the area, Elkhart Lake. Before departing, we sipped and snacked on the Osthoff’s signature cocktails and hors oeuvres. On the pontoon boat, we were able to view the lake’s crystal-clear lake waters and receive a tour that included information of the area’s history, legends, and folklore. The evening air aboard the boat made this the perfect way to begin a stay. Following the pontoon ride, dinner at the Osthoff Resort’s newest restaurant, Concourse Restaurant and Lounge, proved to be a unique culinary experience. With specialties such as the honey balsamic trout, seared scallops with sweet pea risotto, and the veal schnitzel with pickled cucumber relish, there was a delicious and refined option forevery set of tastebuds. The restaurant’s décor, a tribute the area and Osthoff’s vintage racing roots, also deserves special note.

Elkhart lake is famed for its historic roots as a racing circuit in the 1950s. During this decade, the village of Elkhart Lake transformed into an open-road race circuit where top sports car drivers traveled from all around the world to take on the unique terrain. Likewise, thousands of fans were drawn to the area, eager to see the athletes and vehicles alike. The racing today is focused at Road America,but the historic circuit is marked with signs denoting Wacker’s Wend, Kimberly’s Korner, and Dicken’s Ditch. This auto focused tour of the area isn’t to be missed. Road America also offers an opportunity to join in on the fun with options such as go-karting and ATVs at this world-acclaimed facility.

Road America and Elkhart Lake are famous as one of the oldest, largest, and most iconic tracks in the world. Currently, its original course is registered on the National Register of Historical Places, emphasizing its significance. Gaining popularity in the 1940s and 1950s, the post-World War II economy spurred on the influx of sporting luxury automobiles. For Elkhart specifically, the notable Sports Car Club of America were the main organizer of their races. Incredibly popular races such as the RoadAmerica 500, SCCA National Sports Car Championship, the United States Road Racing Championship and the IMSAGT Championship. Today, it continues to host luxury races and draw motorsports fans and can even be found in numerous racing video games!

Following a wild time racing, time winding down at the Aspira Spa was well-needed. Inspired by local Native American practices and traditions, but fused with modern technology and science, the spa offers the ideal treatment for any interest party. The inside space of the Aspira is thoughtfully designed and embraces the concept of Feng Shui as well as the natural elements. Personally, we enjoyed the Element Facial; this facial is a mask focused in traditional Chinese medicine representing the five elements. These five elements are wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Harmony can be restored through the combination of colored light and essential oils inspired by these elements. By exalting the healing practices of indigenous cultures around the world, Aspira is able to provide a holistic, organic, and thorough approach to healing and relaxation.

Traveling back in time once again, visiting the Carriage Museum at Wade House transported us even further back – back to the 1860s stagecoach era located within this Wisconsin Historical Site. To get a full experience of the period, we were able to travel in that manner: horse-drawn carriage! The museum also features Wisconsin’s most diverse collection of transportation of this manner with over 100 horse-and-hand drawn vehicles. For the transportation enthusiasts, this isn’t to be missed.

When one thinks of wine country, Wisconsin might not exactly spring to mine. Yet award-winning sommelier Jaclyn Stuart operates Vintage Elkhart Lake, a charming shop where she hand-selects all wines available. The tasting at her bar came paired with cheese plates, potato chip flights, and other delectable pairing bites. The shop, beyond wine unique to the area, also sells other local delicacies for those interested in bringing home a taste of Wisconsin.

It would hardly be a trip to the lake without time spent on the lake fishing. Elkhart Lake is 119 feet deep and 292 acres wide, providing the perfect home to a variety of fish species: musky, walleye, northern pike, largemouth and smallmouth bass, yellow perch, bluegill and crappie all inhabit the lake. Going with a licensed guide like Jay Brickner will aide in explaining all those numerous species. Below the surface isn’t the only place to find remarkable species – a variety of endangered bird call this estuary home including bald eagles. Whether or not fishing is an interest, time spent on this beautiful, blue lake is worth taking a boat out for. A little closer to shore also boasts the best of the lake’s charms. From the time when Native Americans lived along its banks, Elkhart’s pristine quality has been appreciated. Taking advantage of more advanced activities like a hydrobike or other watersports can be a more adventurous way to embrace lake life. Other options including standup paddleboard, jet skis, and speedboats. Even taking a walk in the sand along the shoreline is another greatway to take advantage of all the lake has to offer.

The natural beauty of Elkhart Lake region is its most obvious draw, but the culinary seen isn’t to be underestimated. Lake Street Café, serving California Bistro style fare, also offers Wisconsin’s third largest wine list ensuring the perfect pairing for any dish. Quit Qui Clubhouse features classic pub and grill fair with a Wisconsin twist, including homemade soups, chili, sandwiches, burgers, and more. Siebkens Resort and 67 Saloon are also phenomenal dinner options reflecting inspiration from the area.

Elkhart Lake proved to be a much-needed September getaway. The natural beauty paired with the historical aspects of the Native American culture in the area as well as the history of luxury racing makes this an incredibly well-rounded destination.

beauty

Leopara Lighting System

Achieving the perfect lighting, especially on the go, can present its challenges. We’ve all been faced with such a dilemma: dingy lighting in a hotel room bathroom, making makeup or shaving nearly impossible. Or even just brightening up a space during travel for a quick touch up in the car. Luckily, a new product from Leopara solves these issues. Their patented technology features a 360° makeup lighting system that is compact, portable, and delivers bright, gorgeous lighting through wireless GlamPanels that attach and detach to any mirror.

The Leopara Lighting System comes with numerous impressive features, making it the perfect purchase for applying make-up flawlessly, or achieving the perfect shave. The four mirror-mountable LED GlamPanels illuminate even the darkest space as they are engineered with 5000k Daylight White LEDS that mimic natural light. This effort towards natural light provides the ideal color temperature for grooming, avoiding the troublesome overly white or yellow lights often present when traveling. Compact, wireless, and mirror-mountable, the easily portable Leopara Lighting System can travel mirror to mirror, car to house, on the plane, to your hotel, and anywhere else you need to go! It fits right into any bag in its custom case along with a 4-in-1 USB charging cord. Cases come in three colors: Onyx Chrome, Electric Pink, and Leopard Lux.

Crafted from a matte black, high-quality aluminum with a polycarbonate lens, the Leonara is lightweight, durable, sleek, and chic. To attach to any mirror, merely use the GlamPanels to create a vacuum seal. Mirrors aren’t the only option either – any non-porous surface will work with the Leonara Lighting System including other glasses and screens, making it all the more convenient.

In 360’s experience with the product, we found the convenience to be overwhelming. For those always on the go, like 360, the convenience of having excellent lighting in a moment, anywhere, truly came in handy. It proved excellent for grooming needs while traveling. Not only that, but it also became useful in unexpected ways. For those taking pictures on the go, achieving the perfect lighting in content can be challenging. Yet with the Leopara lighting system, pictures are suddenly illuminated by a clean, natural light. Selfies, pictures of landscape, or food pictures all benefited from being a bit more lit with Leopara just out of frame.

The Leopara Makeup Lighting System is the brainchild Rachel Vicknair, a global beauty educator, former pro dance, and film and TV talent who need a solution to a major problem she repeatedly faced when traveling: bad lighting! On her company’s aim, Vicknair states they are “on a mission to change the way the world gets glam by developing innovative tools and accessories that empower women and their beauty routines, rather than limit them.” Before founding Leopara, she worked extensively in the beauty, wellness, and biotech industries. Vicknair also advises FLIK, the Female Laboratory of Innovative Knowledge, a community for female founders and leaders to connect with apprentices in order to provide mentorship. The Leopara system is now available on Leopara.com and Amazon for purchase.

Mahali Mzuri Re-opens to International Travelers

As international flights to Kenya start to resume, Mahali Mzuri, the luxury tented safari camp in the Maasai Mara, owned by Sir Richard Branson and part of the Virgin Limited Edition collection of properties, has re-opened its doors once again.

With a robust set of new safety measures in place that go above and beyond local government guidelines, the camp is well prepared to bring back the magic of the Maasai Mara, putting the safety and wellbeing of its guests at the very heart of everything it does. With Kenya awarded the “Safe Travel Stamp” by the World Travel and Tourism Council for adopting global health and hygiene protocols, it makes for the perfect destination for those looking for the safety of an adventure away from the crowds.

Mahali Mzuri is located in the northern region of Kenya’s famous Maasai Mara ecosystem in the Olare Motorogi Conservancy and offers a ringside view to some of the most awe-inspiring wildlife viewing there is and also happens to be right in the path of the annual Great Migration.

Jon Brown, Managing Director of Virgin Limited Edition, commented: “We have always remained optimistic that we may be able to open some of our properties this summer and we were thrilled to announce the opening of Mahali Mzuri, the second in our collection to do so.

We have been welcoming back our resident Kenyan guests for the past month and so we are very excited that airlines such as Kenyan Airways will resume flights once again in October and allow our US guests to visit us too (subject to a negative COVID-19 test from the past 96 hours).

“Our teams have been at the forefront of ensuring we are welcoming back our guests with meticulous safety and hygiene measures, ensuring complete peace of mind and trust in everything we do.

“Guests can expect to see some slight changes around the camp, but we will never lose sight of the incredible experience we have always offered.  Guests can even stay at camp on a longer stay ‘work from home’ basis with the peace and serenity of the Kenyan bush as their backdrop, and the thrill of a game drive when it’s time to pack up work at the end of the day.

“The team in camp have been incredibly excited to finally be welcoming back guests and the wildlife are as prevalent as ever and certainly ready and waiting too!”

The camp opening was just in time for the world-famous migration and as it now patiently awaits the arrival of the migration to enter the Olare Motorogi Conservancy and right in the path of Mahali Mazuri itself in the coming weeks, guests are once again being treated to twice-daily game drives led by expert guides. With 12 luxurious tented suites that look out onto some of the world’s most stunning scenery, Mahali Mzuri offers a truly intimate experience amidst an astonishing natural spectacle.

For more information on Mahali Mzuri, or Virgin Limited Edition, call T: 877 577 8777 (toll-free in the USA). For bookings please e-mail enquiriesusa@virginlimitededition.com for more details.n Lim

Angama Mara x Tented Camp

Angama Mara the award-winning safari lodge overlooking Kenya’s Maasai Mara, has announced the July 2020 introduction of Angama Safari Camp, a seasonal sole-use tented camp situated in a remote wilderness region of the southwestern Mara Triangle.

The team that created Angama Mara has reunited to launch the new Safari Camp with Jan Allan‘s tent design and interiors by Annemarie Meintjes.

Comprising four tents, sleeping up to eight guests, the camp will offer absolute privacy in the midst of the mega herds of the migration and abundant resident wildlife. “The design, quite unlike any other mobile tented camp, will be fresh, light and uncluttered, making for easy living while echoing many of the most loved elements of its older sister. There will be Fermob and Vogel furniture, there will be red and blue. As with the Angama Mara lodge, Angama Safari Camp will have the very best of everything, but also just the right amount of everything,” adds owner of Angama, Nicky Fitzgerald.

The tents are unprecedented in design with a distinctive look created through a playful and unusual roof shape. Below the roof sits a landscape-oriented inner tent, allowing for the bedroom, dressing room and bathroom to open up onto the view. Designed for maximum cross-ventilation, the tents also have a four-layer roof system to help keep them cool. Inside, the guest tent beds will be extra-length king and can be made up as a double or twins. The ensuite dressing room, double bucket shower room and private toilet offer the same high levels of comfort as Angama Mara.

Tucked away in a forest below the towering western wall of the Great Rift Valley, guests will have access to extraordinary wildlife experiences right on their doorstep and can tailor-make their safari days, leaving the Safari Camp as early as 6am and returning after sundown at 7:30pm. Aside from the migration, the region of the Mara Triangle where Angama Safari Camp is located is home to cheetah, resident prides of lion, large elephant herds, buffalo and abundant plains game.

Angama Safari Camp will welcome its first guests in early July and will operate until the end of September, with October on request. There is a minimum three-night stay and children of all ages are welcome. “Angama’s little camp will delight our guests by capturing the essence of the glorious adventure of the Golden Age of the African safari – romance, privacy, unconstrained freedom, stories shared around the campfire, dinners lit only by starlight, gentle Kenyan service, the nights either wrapped in silence or filled with sounds of hyena and lions calling, surrounded by a million migrating wildebeest,” concludes Fitzgerald.

ABOUT ANGAMA MARA
High above the Maasai Mara where some of the most romantic scenes from Out of Africa were filmed, Angama Mara comprises two separate and intimate camps, each encompassing 15 tented guest suites. Built on the edge of the Great Rift Valley on one of the most sought-after sites on the continent, this lodge offers heart stopping views as far as the eye can see. The lodge, helmed by industry veteran Nicky Fitzgerald (formerly of &Beyond), boasts outstanding game viewing 12 months of the year, with private access to the reserve. Inspired by the Swahili word for ‘suspended in mid-air,’ Angama Mara floats 1,000 feet above the Maasai Mara, where, every morning, hot air balloons sail past the 30-foot-wide floor-to-ceiling glass fronts of each suite.

In addition to consistently excellent game viewing, including Africa’s Big Five, guests enjoy walking safaris, garden-to-table lunches in the shamba, editing their images in the Photographic Studio a fitness center, a 40-foot-long swimming pool, a curated gallery of African art, clothing and jewelry, and a sun-filled studio where local Maasai women work at beading bespoke items. Angama Mara was named #1 Safari Lodge in the World by Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards 2018.

Angama Mara, Tented Camp, Safari, 360 MagazineAngama Mara, Tented Camp, Safari, 360 Magazine,