Posts tagged with "travel destination"

Skiing, Snowshoeing Popular During COVID Isolation

With the holidays behind us and more snowstorms expected in Park City, Utah, YOTELPAD Park City is seeing a robust level of skiers taking advantage of the new hotel’s first season at the base of Park City Mountain.

The largest ski and snowboard resort in the United States, Park City Mountain has added YOTELPAD Park City last month to Canyons Village with easy access to the Gondola and Orange Bubble ski lifts to enjoy skiing, snowboarding, shopping, dining and après ski.

“We’re finding this year that cross country skiing and snowshoeing has taken a leap in popularity with our guests,” said Brandon Tyler, general manager of YOTELPAD Park City. “YOTELPAD Park City is at the base of one of the best ski mountains in the country, and families are relishing all of our outdoor winter activities.”

One national report showed 2019-20 cross country skiing was up to 5.2 percent from year-earlier figures of 4.9 percent, while year-over-year snowshoeing increased to 3.6 percent from 3.4 percent, according to Cross Country Ski Areas Association.

“With 7,300 acres of open mountain terrain as a playground, guests are loving recreating in the clean mountain while naturally distancing from others,” said Tyler, whose team opened the 144-PAD (YOTEL-speak for condos) hotel Dec. 17, 2020.

The first in the world of its kind, YOTELPAD Park City is a fully tech-equipped hotel with self-service check-in stations, Grab+Go meals and drinks, a 24/7 gym with the latest Life Fitness & Peloton equipment, ski valet service, a fireside lounge and more.

“YOTELPAD’s differentiator is our innovative designs for various-sized PADs, which include Italian furniture that transforms into multiple uses in the same room space,” he said. “Guests absolutely love the European-inspired floor plans because they optimize every inch of PADs, which can accommodate up to seven guests and make it the perfect mountain base for adventure seekers.”

Born from creative leaders at London’s YOTEL, the YOTELPAD concept is drastically altering consumers’ images of hotels.

“This first YOTELPAD is changing travelers’ expectation of hotels, which will cause hotels to adapt to travelers’ demands,” said Tyler. “From top to bottom, these PADs offer incredible options for guests. Intelligently designed PADs allow guests to enjoy the benefits of their stay without added expenses.”

Tapping into the local fresh food options, YOTELPAD provides with several local food options.

“To accommodate guests’ preferences, our Grab+Go food express offers fresh, farm-to-table local food,” he said. “Savoury Kitchen provides breakfast burritos, oatmeal, soups, sandwiches and salads. Dinner originates from Rebekah’s Kitchen, with items such as turkey chili and minestrone stew. Gold Creek Farms provides locally harvested cheeses daily.

“From quality coffees, such as Lavazza, to high-end takeaway meals, we offer a wide array of food, drinks and retail items.”

Already at 85 percent sold, YOTELPAD’s owners can submit their PADs into a nightly rental program when not in use.

“Owners can rent their PADs and instantly be listed in YOTEL’s worldwide network for guests seeking new experiences in an environment with modern designs,” said Tyler.

Operating 17 hotels in eight countries, YOTEL recently opened YOTEL London, YOTEL Glasgow and YOTEL Washington, D.C.

“The YOTEL and YOTELPAD concepts are trending, with 13 more YOTELs under development globally and two YOTELPADs being built in Miami and Dubai,” he said.

The tech-forward hotel has built a strong following for its hassle-free solutions, with travelers seeking out hotels in cities and airports from San Francisco to Europe to Singapore.

To provide mountain resort expertise, YOTEL has partnered with Benchmark, a global hospitality leader, to spearhead day-to-day operations of YOTELPAD Park City. Since acquiring Gemstone Hotels & Resorts in 2016, Benchmark has built a strong Park City presence and manages a portfolio of more than 70 unique projects across three continents, including ski properties in Park City, Vail, Lake Tahoe and Jackson Hole.

For more information, visit yotel.com/parkcity.

SHOT 3/2/17 11:13:38 AM – Park City, Utah lies east of Salt Lake City in the western state of Utah. Framed by the craggy Wasatch Range, it’s bordered by the Deer Valley Resort and the huge Park City Mountain Resort, both known for their ski slopes. Utah Olympic Park, to the north, hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics and is now predominantly a training facility. In town, Main Street is lined with buildings built primarily during a 19th-century silver mining boom that have become numerous restaurants, bars and shops. (Photo by Marc Piscotty / © 2017)
SHOT 3/2/17 6:46:36 PM – Aerial photos of Park City, Utah. Park City lies east of Salt Lake City in the western state of Utah. Framed by the craggy Wasatch Range, it’s bordered by the Deer Valley Resort and the huge Park City Mountain Resort, both known for their ski slopes. Utah Olympic Park, to the north, hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics and is now predominantly a training facility. In town, Main Street is lined with buildings built primarily during a 19th-century silver mining boom that have become numerous restaurants, bars and shops. (Photo by Marc Piscotty / © 2017)
SHOT 3/2/17 3:57:46 PM – Park City, Utah lies east of Salt Lake City in the western state of Utah. Framed by the craggy Wasatch Range, it’s bordered by the Deer Valley Resort and the huge Park City Mountain Resort, both known for their ski slopes. Utah Olympic Park, to the north, hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics and is now predominantly a training facility. In town, Main Street is lined with buildings built primarily during a 19th-century silver mining boom that have become numerous restaurants, bars and shops. (Photo by Marc Piscotty / © 2017)

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.

Cityscape illustration by Mina Tocalini

Visit Chicago this Holiday Season

The holidays are looking a bit different this year, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t celebrate! From virtual cooking classes and over-the-top pop-up bars to outdoor mini holiday markets and special holiday coffee blends for sale, dance classes and more, we’ve rounded up some of the best happenings and offers for the holiday season this year. Whether Chicagoans are planning to safely visit with close family and friends in-person or virtually, these fun activities, offers and gifts are sure to bring festive cheer to all!

Replay Lincoln Park

This winter season, Chicagoans are invited to share in the spirit of the holidays at Chicago’s biggest and most festive movie experiences: Miracle on West Madison (645 W. Madison St.) and Holly Jolly Drive-In (2833 N. Sheffield Ave.) with Replay Lincoln Park, Chicago’s favorite arcade bar known for its over-the-top pop-ups, beginning Friday, November 27. In an effort to create magical memories for family and friends during a non-traditional holiday season, guests will experience a holiday-style movie experience, enhanced with twinkling decor and appearances by The Grinch, Santa, Mrs. Claus, reindeer and many other favorite characters. The 1.5-hour, family-friendly Miracle on West Madison experience takes place in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood and is available for booking Thursday – Sunday between 5 – 10 p.m. The Holly Jolly Drive-In experience is located in Lincoln Park near Replay Lincoln Park and is 1.5 hours in length and open to guests of all ages, with slots available Thursday and Friday between 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday between 4:30 – 10:30 p.m. Both experiences will run through Christmas Day with more tickets becoming available in the coming weeks. Reservations are required and tickets may be purchased online for $75 per car. Tickets for Miracle on West Madison are available here and for Holly Jolly Drive-In here.

Get in the Kitchen!

Chicago’s party school offering cooking classes and more, Get in the Kitchen! is hosting several holiday events for those who love to cook, mix cocktails and bake, including a Black Friday “Bagel Making Class” in the morning and “Cocktails & Comedy Show” in the evening on Friday, November 27. Get in the Kitchen! also offers culinary and happy hour gifts and gadgets in their retail store and is available for private events including socially distanced holiday shopping mixology parties, private cooking parties, virtual cooking parties and more. Looking for a special deal Whenever it snows, until New Year’s Eve, customers get 15% off their purchases in the store. For more information, visit here.

Santa Baby Bar and Rudolph’s Christmas Bar
For those who enjoy immersive and over-the-top holiday experiences, Santa Baby (3505 N. Clark St.) and Rudolph’s Christmas Bar (3660 N. Clark St.) are returning to Lakeview East this winter! With all of the Christmas spirits you already know and love, both destinations will feature all-new interactive social experiences and wall-to-wall décor. Santa Baby will open on Wednesday, November 20, and Rudolph’s will open on Friday, November 22. Both pop-ups will feature Christmas spirits; multiple bars and experiences, including the Grinch’s Piano Bar, Frosty’s North Pole Rooftop, A Christmas Story Lounge, and more; and appearances from Rudolph, the Grinch and, of course, Santa Claus himself. Guests may purchase tickets and make reservations to the pop-ups online. For more information, visit here and here.

Stretch Bar & Grill
Get in the holiday spirit with Stretch Bar & Grill’s Elf’d Up pop-up, a high-energy holiday pop-up bar perfect for patrons who have an affinity for elf culture. Inspired by the light-hearted Christmas comedy, Elf’d Up will be decorated from floor to ceiling with over 1,000 elves of all shapes and sizes, a 10-foot Christmas tree, an upside-down Christmas tree, wreath chandeliers, strands of festive colored lights, specific tributes to the movie like figurines, wall quotes, snowflakes, Schylling Jester Jack in the Boxes, cut outs of Buddy the Elf and Miles Finch and more. For more information, visit here.

Dance On Broadway
Located in the heart of Chicago’s Lakeview East neighborhood at 3126 N. Broadway St., Dance On Broadway is a brand new, state-of-the-art dance training studio offering classes for children and adults in Ballet & Pointe, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Contemporary, Modern, Tap, Latin and more. From Monday, December 21 through Wednesday, December 23 between 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. for children ages 3-8 and 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. for children age 9+, Dance On Broadway’s Winter Dance Camps include two dance lessons in different genres, an art project and a snack break each day. At the end of the camp, Dance On Broadway will host a performance following COVID-19 protocol that will be sent digitally to the caretakers of the participating children to enjoy. For more information, dance enthusiasts may visit here.

One of a Kind Holiday Show

One of Chicago’s most highly-anticipated annual holiday experiences, the One of a Kind Holiday Show, is going virtual this season presenting more than 300 artists, artisans, and makers from across North America and beyond, from November 12 – December 6 online. For over three weeks, shoppers will have the opportunity to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19, discover new work, experience studio tours and demonstrations, shop for unique and thoughtful holiday gifts, and more through here and @ooakchicago on Instagram and Facebook.

Eleanor’s Very Merry Christmas Wish – The Musical

Eleanor’s Very Merry Christmas Wish – The Musical, a critical and commercial success in its 2019 Chicago World Premiere run, will be available for streaming this holiday season! Based on the heartfelt book of the same name by Chicagoan Denise McGowan Tracy, the family-friendly production is recommended for all ages and will be available to stream November 27 – December 27, 2020 directly into homes through InPlayer for $25 per household. Adding to the fun is the availability of two immersive Eleanor’s Very Merry Christmas Party in a Box options, ranging in price from $45 – $60 plus shipping and handling fees. The 2020 virtual production will feature additional holiday music, and the recorded opening night performance from the successful 2019 World Premiere. Tickets and party boxes can be purchased here.

Hershey Felder’s TCHAIKOVSKY – Live From Florence

Based on the original OUR GREAT TCHAIKOVSKY, and featuring an extended focus on The Nutcracker Ballet, as well as Tchaikovsky’s life in Florence, Italy, TCHAIKOVSKY – Live from Florence will stream on Sunday, December 20 at 7 p.m. CST. The performance will be filmed live on location where Tchaikovsky actually lived and worked in Florence as an interesting, surprising and engaging holiday treat. Tickets are $55 and are available for purchase online, with proceeds benefitting theatres across the world impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Purchase includes the live stream and a full week of on demand access through December 27.

Houndstooth Saloon

Houndstooth Saloon, 3369 N. Clark St., is hosting its Houndstooth Holiday Market on the saloon patio for holiday enthusiasts to enjoy snacks and shop handmade holiday ornaments. Houndstooth Saloon is offering candied nuts, hot pretzels, hot cider and Griswolds’ themed food specials. For more information, visit here.

Dark Matter Coffee

Coffee lovers, rejoice! Chicago’s Dark Matter Coffee, 1117 W. Belmont St., is offering special holiday coffee releases of Old Dank Nic and Chronikkah, as well as holiday gift boxes and themed merchandise for the caffeine fiend in your life! Gift boxes options include four bags of Dark Matter Coffee’s Single Origin Guatemala or El Salvador blends, four bags of Dark Matter’s Barrel Aged coffees and a Portfolio Box Set, which includes bags of A Love Supreme, Unicorn Blood, Starry Eyes and Old Dank Nic. For more information, visit here.

Johnson’s Real Ice Cream
Just in time for Black Friday, Johnson’s Real Ice Cream, 2951 N. Broadway St., is offering free shipping of its delicious ice cream anywhere in the continental U.S. between November 27 and November 29. For year round ice cream lovers, Johnson’s Real Ice Cream is also offering a Black Friday gift card sale, which includes $10 in bonus coupons for every $30 gift card purchase. For more information, visit here.

Fred’s Wrigleyville Garage
For Chicagoans with cars who are looking to travel for the holidays, Fred’s Wrigleyville Garage, 3848 N. Clark St. is offering a winter car inspection special, including a battery check, anti-freeze levels, tire pressure, brake inspection, proper oil levels, windshield wiper condition and windshield washer fill for just $25. For more information, visit here.

Best Western Plus Hawthorne Terrace
For those looking for safe, affordable accommodations to visit their loved ones in the city this holiday season, Best Western Plus Hawthorne Terrace, 3434 N. Broadway St., is offering their “Stay Close for the Holiday” special for 20% off the available room rates. For more information or to book your stay, visit here.

theWit Hotel
theWit Hotel, 
located in the Chicago Loop at 201 N. State Street, has officially reopened its doors back to the public for those looking to have a relaxing staycation this upcoming holiday season. theWit Hotel is ensuring the safety of all guests and staff alike with sanitation standards in place to make everyone feel comfortable. The Hilton Property has implemented a Hilton CleanStay with Lysol Protection program, which was developed in consultation with global and local public health authorities, with key features including: guestroom door seals to indicate a patron’s room has not been accessed since it was cleaned; extra disinfection on high touch areas; removal of excess in-room amenities; guest-accessible hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes throughout the hotel; along with contactless check-in/check-out and more. Please visit here to book your upcoming stay or gift a staycation to a loved on this season.

Geja’s Café
Give the gift of fine dining this holiday season. Geja’s Café, Chicago’s iconic fondue and couple’s landmark located at 340 W Armitage Avenue, is offering fondue fanatics a special Holiday Gift Card Promotion that is running now through December 31, 2020. With every purchase of gift cards that equate to $100 will receive a free $30 bonus gift card. For more information or to purchase a gift card, please visit here.

EZ Breathe
Give the gift of good health this year. Since COVID-19, households around the country have been spending more than 90% of their time indoors. Homes have become workplaces, classrooms, restaurants, gyms, and everything in between. With the rise of time spent indoors, the rise of harmful pollutants and germs in the air have also skyrocketed and have been recirculating throughout houses. The E·Z Breathe Ventilation System is a necessity now more than ever to transform homes into a healthy living environment and keep families safe by preventing the spread of harmful airborne particles. Families have the ability to gift one to their loved ones and purchase one for themselves, with self-installations now available to keep everyone’s health at the utmost importance.

Q Clothier
With the holidays just around the corner, it means it’s time to refresh your wardrobe with the latest styles of winter for you and your loved ones. Q Clothier and Rye 51, the side-by-side luxury men’s custom clothier brands provide top quality, hand-crafted attire tailored perfectly for individuals of every lifestyle. A new addition to the Gold Coast neighborhood, patrons have the ability to shop with seasoned experts as you browse the latest and trendiest garments. Bath in luxury as you sip on some whiskey while shopping warmly and safely this season. Visit here for more details.

New Minister of Tourism for Israel

On Tuesday, May 19, the Israel Ministry of Tourism held a Ministerial exchange ceremony between the outgoing Minister, Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin, and incoming Tourism Minister MK Asaf Zamir. Prior to his new position, Zamir was Deputy Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo from 2013 – 2018, the youngest Mayor to ever to hold this position. As Tourism Minister, Zamir is tasked with revitalizing both domestic and international tourism as countries across the world try to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have quite a few tasks ahead of us to help rebuild the tourism industry in Israel,” said incoming Tourism Minister, Asaf Zamir. “We want to open all the industries that support tourism including hotels, tourist attractions, restaurants, cafes and bars as quickly and safely as possible. Tourism is essential for the reconstruction and ignition of the Israeli economy, and we look forward to welcoming travelers from around to world to experience all we have to offer, from Eilat to the North, Nazareth to Tel Aviv-Jaffa, to Jerusalem and the Dead Sea.”

“While it is extremely difficult to leave my post at the Ministry of Tourism, I am very excited for what’s to come under Asaf’s leadership,” said former Minister of Tourism, Yariv Levin. “Together we have made unprecedented breakthroughs through unimaginable investments, establishment of new hotels, development of the digital field, and of course, accomplishments in marketing that have helped make Israel a top destination for travelers from around the world.”

In addition to his appointment, Zamir asked that Amir Halevi remain as Director General for the Israel Ministry of Tourism at this time.

“The first challenge that we face is to bring back tourism traffic to Israel – in domestic tourism and certainly in international tourism,” said Director General Amir Halevi. “As we face challenges and decisions regarding the tourism industry workers, who are so important to us, we will work diligently to get each of them and their businesses back on track as quickly as possible. As we begin to face the challenge of reopening to domestic tourism, we are continuing to think ahead on how we can adapt to bringing in international tourists as soon as possible with the greatest attention to everyone’s health and safety.”

As the country begins to ease restrictions, Israel has seen significant movements for residents and domestic travelers with the reopening of small Bed & Breakfast hotels, the reopening of Tel Aviv beaches, and the plans to reopen restaurants, bars and cafés on May 27. In addition, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority has reopened over 20 parks across the country with new health and safety restrictions.

Due to COVID-19, the ceremony was attended by a small audience, and was broadcasted live on YouTube via GPO. The following is a link to the ceremony:
http://gpo.gostreaming.tv:8080/?r=2666&k=7f4bf0a790.

For more information on future travel to Israel or to plan your trip when its safe again, visit https://israel.travel/. To stay inspired, follow IMOT on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/goisrael, Instagram https://www.instagram.com/visit_israel/, and Twitter https://twitter.com/IsraelTourism.

6 Trips to Broaden Your Kids’ Minds This Summer

Now that school’s out for summer, enroll the whole family in a crash course on nature and wildlife with Natural Habitat Adventures

Summer vacation may mean “no more pencils and no more books,” but it can also be a great opportunity for the whole family to learn something new together. Natural Habitat Adventures, the world leader in eco-friendly wildlife-focused expeditions around the globe, offers nature-centric trips designed to get explorers of all ages trading their tablets and phones for GoPros and binoculars. From sailing “Darwin’s Laboratory” in the Galapagos on a private ship to taking moonlit treks through the jungles of Costa Rica, Nat Hab’s family adventure trips are designed around conservation, curiosity and quality time – all disguised as a vacation.

Expand your family’s horizons with these summer experiences:

1. Go exploring in “Darwin’s Laboratory”

Come face-to-face with an outstanding array of wildlife, including sea lions, marine iguanas and giant tortoises on Nat Hab’s 10-day Family Galapagos Adventure. Made famous by evolutionary theorist Charles Darwin, the Galapagos archipelago is the very best place for young explorers to learn about evolution, natural selection and how animals adapt to micro-environments. Sail aboard the National Geographic Islander, a family-friendly ship with a specialty research- and adventure-focused kids’ program on board. Record wildlife sightings in your field notebook, listen for underwater life via the ship’s hydrophone and stretch out in special family cabins designed to sleep up to three. Off-ship, don a wetsuit for snorkeling, paddleboarding and Zodiac adventures with your naturalist Expedition Leader, where you can come mask-to-nose with penguins, turtles and seals.
Priced from $7,650
Dates: July 20 & 27, 2019; July 4, 8, 18, 23, 2020; Aug 1 & 6, 2020

2. Seek out lions after sunset in the Maasai Mara

Make conservation the centre of the conversation on the Family Kenya Adventure, an 8-day, custom-crafted itinerary featuring the Maasai Mara’s charismatic creatures whose futures may be at risk. Learn about poaching and pachyderm rescue during a visit to the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and make friends in high places at the Giraffe Center before heading along the Great Rift Valley into open grasslands. Stretch out in an unfenced luxury tented camp set in the middle of a Maasai Mara private conservancy, and go for guided walks under a sprawling blue sky while keeping your eyes peeled for zebra, hippo and elephant. Later, as evening falls, head out on a sunset game drive in search of lions and other predators to discover life on the plains after dark.
Priced from $7,995
Trip arranged upon request

3. Journey to Peru’s lost Incan Empire

Immerse your family in the emerald-colored jungles and incredible ancient ruins of the Peruvian Andes on a 7-day Custom Family Machu Picchu Adventure. Witness amazing feats of centuries-old civil and hydraulic engineering and learn about Incan astronomy and architecture while exploring the Sacred Valley between Cusco and Machu Picchu. Meet with local Quechua people in Pisac and learn about advocacy conservation projects from the students of Tikapata School. Stay in private stone casitas along the Urubamba River, and experience 15th-century life in Machu Picchu with tales from your private Peruvian guide. Later, compare ancient civilizations with natural Amazonian marvels in the world’s largest tropical forest basin, where kids will take riverboat tours in search of pink river dolphins, or go ashore to scout for the scarlet and green-winged macaws, howler monkeys and leaf-cutter ants that call the Amazon home.
Priced from $4,495
Trip arranged upon request

4. Safari closer to home in Yellowstone National Park

Embark on an unforgettable wildlife adventure without leaving the continent on Nat Hab’s 7-day Hidden Yellowstone Wildlife Safari. Learn how this North American ecosystem works, understanding the importance of ecological balance between predators and prey, and follow naturalist Expedition Leaders into lesser-known areas of the park where bison, bighorn sheep, bears and wolves live largely undisturbed by tourist crowds. See the secret lives of Lamar Valley wolves using a high-powered spotting scope and talk fire ecology—how nature recovers from the ravages of wildfires—with your guide. In an extraordinary natural setting selected for conservation by President Teddy Roosevelt in 1872, guests can engage in enlightening conversations about how hunting along Yellowstone’s perimeter affects the ecosystem inside the park, and why competing political interests threaten the park’s apex predators even to this day.
Priced from $5,295
Dates: August 27 & 29, 2019

5. Scout for sloths on horseback

With its neon-billed toucans, jungle-fringed rivers, mist-cloaked cloud forests and towering volcanoes, Costa Rica is like something out of a child’s imagination. Encounter geothermal phenomena and extraordinary tropical wildlife in one of the most biodiverse places on Earth on this Custom Family Costa Rica Adventure. Join scientists and conservationists at ecological research centers for some interactive exploration of the country’s rain forest ecosystem and discover how cacao beans are transformed into tasty treats with chocolate-making lessons. Soar above the forest canopy on a zip line, search for sloths while on horseback, brave a nighttime bat walk at the 850-acre Tirimbina Rainforest Center and take in the views at the Arenal Observatory Lodge, adjacent to the country’s most famous volcano.
Priced from $5,095
Trip arranged upon request

6. Dog sled across the Arctic tundra

No time for a summer excursion? Surprise the kids with a mid-term getaway to the planet’s “living laboratory” when it comes to climate change in the North. The Arctic tundra around Churchill, Manitoba is one of the nature’s last great frontiers—for now. Learn about its delicate ecosystem and the impact of a warming world on Nat Hab’s 6-day Churchill Arctic Family Adventure, where naturalist Expedition Leaders lead a family-focused adventure that’s all about pairing environmental awe with conservation awareness. Helicopter over frozen Hudson Bay in search of polar bears, race through the boreal forest on an authentic sled dog ride, and climb aboard Nat Hab’s special Polar Rover, a monster-sized truck specially designed for up-close wildlife observation—look for caribou and Arctic fox. In evenings, take in the stunning night sky—and if you’re lucky, the northern lights.
Priced from $5,995
Dates: Nov 16 & 18, 2019

For more information about Natural Habitat Adventures, visit www.nathab.com.

About Natural Habitat Adventures
Natural Habitat Adventures has been a leader in responsible adventure travel and ecotourism since 1985. From polar bear tours in Churchill to small-group Galapagos cruises, from Alaska grizzly bear adventures to African safaris, our journeys, led by professional naturalist guides, reveal the planet’s most extraordinary nature destinations. As the world’s first 100-percent carbon-neutral travel company—and the conservation travel partner of World Wildlife Fund—we offer eco-conscious expeditions from Antarctica to Zambia with a multitude of adventures in between. For more information, visit nathab.com.

Rising Isreal Tourism

Israel Tourism continues to rise, as more travelers are choosing the country as their next travel destination. In 2019 so far, the country has seen a total of 1.9 million visitors, compared with 1.75 million during the same period in 2018. This past May, 440,000 tourists entered Israel, marking an increase of 11.3% over the previous year, and a 26.8% increase when compared with May 2017.

“The May 2019 tourism statistics continue the consistent upward momentum and record-breaking trend in incoming tourism to Israel,” stated Tourism Minister Yariv Levin

Below are some of the latest hospitality updates in Israel:

NEW DEVELOPMENTS & RENOVATIONS:

  • Dan Caesarea Unveils Renovations: After eight months of renovations, the Dan Caesarea Hotel has reopened. The hotel underwent a NIS 80 million renovation to attract a younger generation, upgrading 116 rooms and suites, the lobby, dining room, event halls, spa, children’s club and public areas with sleeker options.
  • Jordache Enterprises Group to Open Six New Hotels: Jordache Enterprises group is expanding its hotel business in Israel by opening six new hotels in Israel in 2019. The group will open three new four and five-star hotels under the Herbert Samuel brand: the 162-room Milos Dead Sea Hotel; the 110-room Opera Tel Aviv Hotel, and the 30-room Boutique Tel Aviv Hotel. In addition, the Setai hotel brand will also open three hotels with a five-star rating.  
  • Isrotel Announces Plans to Open 11 New Hotels in Israel: Isrotel announced that it has plans to open 11 hotels in Israel, eight of which will be built by 2022. Five hotels will be in Tel Aviv, with others being built in Eilat, Jaffa, Jerusalem, the Dead Sea and the Negev Desert.

TRANSPORTATION & INFRASTRUCTURE:

  • Ben-Gurion Airport to be Expanded: Israel’s Transportation Ministry approved a NIS 3 billion expansion plan of Ben-Gurion Airport, expanding Terminal 3 by 80,000 square-meters, adding 90 new check-in counters, four new baggage hall conveyor belts, and expanding immigration checkpoints and parking facilities. In addition, a fifth passenger concourse will be constructed to accommodate additional aircrafts. This expansion will allow the airport to increase to accommodate up to 30 million more passengers a year.
  • Bubble On-Demand Shuttle Service Launches in Tel Aviv: Bubble, a new on-demand van shuttle service, has launched in collaboration with the Dan Bus Company in Israel to bring easier transportation to travelers in Tel Aviv. Passengers can now be picked up and dropped off at existing bus stops in Tel Aviv by ordering through the app.
  • New Bus Line Connecting Ben-Gurion Airport and Tel Aviv Hotels: Kavim has launched a new public bus route, 445, which will operate 24 hours a day, Sunday through Thursday, to connect the Ben-Gurion Airport and Tel Aviv’s hotel areas. Stops will include Ben Yehuda Street, Yehuda Halevi Street, Menachem Begin Street and the railway complex.

OTHER NEWS:

  • Neil Patrick Harris Appointed Tel Aviv Pride Ambassador: American actor, writer, producer, magician and singer, Neil Patrick Harris, was honored as the official International Ambassador for Tel Aviv Pride 2019, joined by husband, chef and actor, David Burtka. Download images here. Photo credit: Ilan Spira.
  • Israel Ministry of Tourism Introduces Interactive Map: The new interactive map of Israel displays thousands of items of information, including attractions, hotels, restaurants, hiking routes and other accommodation options. Tourists can filter and search items to easier allow them to navigate the country. In addition, the site is translated into 11 languages.
  • Mobile App Released to Make Old City Jerusalem More Accessible for the Visually Impaired: The Tower of David Museum and the Center for the Blind in Israel partnered to launch a mobile app that provides guided tours and routes for the visually impaired to experience Old City Jerusalem. The app provides evocative descriptions of the sights and encourages the listener to physically interact with the area through touch.

About the Israel Ministry of Tourism:

The Israel Ministry of Tourism (IMOT), is Israel’s national tourism agency responsible for planning and implementing marketing and promotional initiatives to position Israel as a preferred travel destination. IMOT aims to increase tourism traffic to contribute to Israel’s economy, and to enhance and diversify the visiting experience. IMOT works to promote Israel’s impressive assortment of historical, cultural, culinary and religious attractions – each the perfect blend of tradition and modernity.  IMOT offices in North America are located in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago and Toronto.

St. George’s Chapel

Everyone is talking about the royal wedding. The dress, the bouquet, the beautiful couple – the list goes on. But, if St George’s Chapel isn’t on your list, it should be. It is considered as one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in England. Its elaborate stone fan vaulting is hailed as being one of the best in the world. St George’s Chapel at Winsdor Castle in England, is a chapel designed in the high-medieval Gothic style. It is both a Royal Peculiar, a church under the direct jurisdiction of the monarch, and the Chapel of the Order of the Garter. St George’s is governed by the Dean and Canons of Winsdor and it seats approximately 800 people.

The chapel was established in the 14th century by King Edward III and it has been the location of many royal ceremonies, weddings and burials. The Chapel is located in the Lower Ward.