Posts tagged with "virgin"

Travel with Virgin Limited in 2020

2020 has undoubtedly been a year like no other and sadly for many of us travel plans were squashed and much of the travel industry was put on hold. Through the global grounding of so many travelers we saw new trends emerge and as we start to look ahead to 2021, Virgin Limited Edition, the luxury collection of properties owned by Sir Richard Branson, has rounded up the trends it has spotted from around the collection. With new vaccines around the corner, we can only remain optimistic that 2021 will bring back some normality and we can finally make up for those lost holidays, making next year one to remember.

NEW OPENINGS:

Necker Island – After more than two years of construction, following the devastating effects of Hurricane Irma, Necker Island is now fully restored to its former glory and looking more beautiful than ever. With the BVI borders re-opening on 1 December, Necker is ready to welcome back guests. Those visiting in 2020 and 2021 will be amongst the first to experience the island following its incredible restoration that has included a brand new Bali Hi complex, two additional guest rooms and the installation of three giant new wind turbines, furthering the island’s commitment towards sustainability and renewable energy.

Moskito Island – Early 2021 will see the much-anticipated launch of Moskito Island in the BVI’s, situated just two miles from sister island, Necker. Home to the Branson Estate which is newly available for rental, next year will see the full launch of Moskito Island in what has already been described as “the most exclusive homeowners association in the world”. As the island sets to launch with brand new uber luxury private Estates for rental, it is most certainly one to watch for 2021….

Trend – As well as commercial travel, both Necker Island and Moskito Island are accessible by private jet, a form of travel that saw a 27% increase in bookings in 2020 following the pandemic outbreak and is likely to continue in 2021 as passengers opt to travel exclusively within their bubble.

STAY FOR LONGER AND WORK REMOTELY:

Son Bunyola – Another trend that has emerged from the pandemic is guests looking to stay away for longer and take advantage of a work life balance with new surroundings as their remote office location. In light of this the much-loved Son Bunyola estate, located in the beautiful UNESCO world heritage site of the Tramuntana mountains in Mallorca with its three individual secluded villas set across a stunning 700-acre private estate, has created a long stay offer for guests looking to stay longer.

Offer – Guests booking a stay of four weeks or more, will receive two free nights each week; a total of eight free nights.

This offer is valid on new bookings for arrivals from 10th April – 11th June and 11th September – 31st October 2021 in Sa Punta de S’Aguila, Sa Terra Rotja and Son Balagueret. Rates are from EUR 7,500 for a stay in Son Balagueret on a self-catering basis. Rates are priced per week and are calculated based on receiving two free nights, per week. A minimum stay of four weeks is applicable.

SAFARI AND CONSERVATION:

Safari is always one for the bucket list and Virgin Limited Edition offers two world-class game reserves offering some of the most spectacular game viewing there is; Ulusaba Private Game Reserve, located in the Western sector of South Africa’s Sabi Sand Game Reserve and Mahali Mzuri, situated in the exclusive Olare Motorogi Conservancy of the famous Maasai Mara.

Today though safari isn’t just about the thrill of a game drive, it is very much about education and long-term conservation and nothing is more important to the Rangers and Guides at both Ulusaba and Mahali Mzuri. Guests on safari can expect to learn in abundance about endangered species and help in the work being done to protect them for our future generation. They will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in local culture, visit the local communities that both  game reserves support and witness some of the hugely important work both camps are doing to educate, develop and protect the livelihoods of those communities.

Offer – Ulusaba Private Game Reserve – Guests booking a stay of four nights or more will receive the final night for free.

Valid for new bookings for arrivals from 2nd January – 30th June and 1st September – 21st December 2021. Stays at Safari and Rock Lodge start from ZAR 12,000 and Cliff Lodge from ZAR 22,200. Rates are quoted per person, per night, based on double occupancy and all rates include accommodation, all meals and drink (including a top quality wine list and champagne), twice daily game drives.

Offer – Mahali Mzuri – All new bookings of three nights or more will be treated to the final night for free.

Valid for arrivals from: 1st August – 21st December 2020 and 2nd January – 15th June 2021, 1st November – 21st December 2021. Rates from US$ 945 per person, per night based on double occupancy and all rates include accommodation, daily game drives and game drives at night in 13,500 hectares, all meals and drinks (including alcoholic beverages), conservancy fees and unlimited access to the exclusive Olare Motorogi Conservancy, visits to the local markets, transfers from the Olare Orok airstrip and all taxes and local levies.

A TASTE OF LOCAL CULTURE:

Kasbah Tamadot – Situated in the spectacular High Atlas Mountains of Morocco, this award-winning Kasbah has gained a reputation for the incredible work it does to support the local villages that surround it. With 99% of staff locals of the surrounding villages, the hotel is renowned for combining luxury whilst immersing its guests in community culture. For a true cultural immersion, guests are invited to join the Authentically Berber Experience. This includes a 2/3 hour walking trek in the Atlas Mountains, tea in a local Berber house, one hour Berber cooking lesson, Berber bread baking and a visit to the Eve Branson Foundation set up by the hotel and Eve herself in 2005.

Offer – Guests booking a stay of four nights or more will receive the final night for free. Those looking to stay a little longer, will be offered two nights free when booking seven nights or more.

This offer is valid for arrivals from 15th October – 21st December 2020 & 1st May – 30th September 2021, subject to availability. Rates are from MAD 6,000 per room, per night based on double occupancy and include accommodation in one of the luxurious bedrooms, suites or Berber Tents, a daily breakfast of hot and cold dishes and all taxes.

PRIVATE RESIDENCES FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY:

Mont Rochelle – 2020 saw an increase in demand for villa and private residence rentals, something that is expected to continue into 2021 as families look for privacy and seclusion away from the crowds. The stunning private Manor House at Mont Rochelle Hotel & Vineyard, set in the beautiful vineyards of Franschhoek, offers the perfect oasis. Made up of four deluxe suites, and a luxurious bunk room for children, as well as two private swimming pools, it offers all the creature comforts of a home while allowing guests to indulge in all the luxuries of a hotel stay. Groups of up to eight people are welcomed to kick back and relax while a dedicated team of staff take care of the rest; from arranging private dining and spa treatments to horse-back riding and wine tasting, no detail is overlooked.

Offer – Groups of up to eight adults and six children will be welcomed to make the Manor House their own for long stays of one month or more.

Rates start from 35,000 Rand per night based on a Bed and Breakfast basis. Rates are inclusive of accommodation and access to all the luxury facilities at Mont Rochelle including the spa and two restaurants Miko & Country Kitchen, a dedicated villa manager, daily breakfast and daily housekeeping. There is also the option for guests to have their own chef or stay on a half board basis. Terms and conditions apply.

The Lodge – Perched high in the Swiss Alps of Verbier, The Lodge will be re-opening this December as Switzerland relaxes its quarantine conditions across most countries.  Groups looking to make the most of the winter season can do so in complete privacy from their own stunning luxury alpine lodge.

Offer – Guests can book the nine impressive bedrooms and suites exclusively from CHF 150,000 for a seven night stay and for the first time The Lodge is also introducing new rates for smaller groups whereby guests can book up to six rooms from only CHF 110,000, or, up to four rooms at CHF 90,000 for a seven night stay. Stays of less than 7 nights are also welcomed in selected weeks of the season, as another first for The Lodge in 2021.

Rates are inclusive of luxury accommodation, all meals including a light lunch for those guests not eating on the mountain, all drinks including a top-quality wine list and house champagne, a dedicated team, inclusive of a 24-hour driver service within Verbier, plus all local taxes. Not to mention full use of the indoor pool, indoor and outdoor hot tubs and a friendly team of experienced staff including Michelin-star trained chefs.

INTIMATE WEDDINGS:

Restrictions around the world saw wedding plans change drastically in 2020. Larger weddings were reduced to much smaller numbers, a change that has been embraced by many as they adapt their plans and look for a more intimate celebration. The Virgin Limited Edition collection of retreats lend themselves to privacy and seclusion; the ideal combination for couples celebrating their honeymoon or those looking for an intimate setting to say, ‘I Do’. From elopements and small ceremonies, to a private ceremony in the African bush, intimate nuptials in amongst the vines, or even a romantic soiree on a secluded beach of a private island, couples are sure to have a wedding that dreams are made of.

Jon Brown, Managing Director of Virgin Limited Edition, commented: “We are delighted to have been able to re-open so many of our properties this year and begin to welcome back our much-missed guests. As we look ahead, we are very excited to be re-opening Necker Island and The Lodge as well as launching Moskito Island. While travel has been limited for so many of us in 2020, it is fantastic to see so many new trends and travel habits emerging. We hope that 2021 will see us welcoming the world back to our properties and our local communities; offering the opportunity to reconnect, celebrate milestones that have passed or simply just to get away from it all in a place that feels a million miles away from reality.”

No one wants to think that travel may not be an option next year, but if that is the case Virgin Limited Edition is offering guests the opportunity to postpone bookings for no fee, and refundable deposits so they can keep on planning and dreaming of their next escape with confidence.

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

SUMMER IN ALPS × FREE NIGHT OFFER

Those looking for a luxury break with a difference this summer should head to the Swiss Alps and take advantage of a free night offer at The Lodge, Sir Richard Branson’s beautiful mountain retreat in Verbier.

 

With Switzerland fast becoming a ‘must-visit’ destination and no town showcasing the beauty of the country more than Verbier, the spectacular Alpine views and an unrivalled variety of activities during the summer months make it the perfect summer getaway.

 

 

Between June and September 2019, The Lodge welcomes individual room bookings and its latest free night offer on stays of four nights or more makes it a must stay this summer. 

 

An outdoor Jacuzzi, stunning mountain views and flowing bubbles await when booking one of the chalet’s nine beautiful bedrooms. Stays at The Lodge are inclusive of all meals and drinks, and the Swiss and International cuisine, prepared by Michelin-trained chefs, is guaranteed to be one of the highlights.

 

Get to know the area with a gentle hike, or simply soak up some alpine sunshine from a hammock on the picturesque lawn. Those looking to unwind can enjoy a treatment in the capable hands of the resident beauty Relax and unwind with a treatment in the capable hands of our resident beauty therapistRelax and unwind with a treatment in the capable hands of our resident beauty therapisttherapists, or breathe in the mountain air during a refreshing morning yoga session. The buzzing town of Verbier is just a five-minute walk away and offers a wealth of designer boutiques for shopaholics looking for some retail therapy. 

 

The Lodge has an indoor pool, indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis, spa, a steam room, a party room, two bars and an award-winning Head Chef. There are plenty of activities on offer around the area from hiking to canyoning, to mountain biking to paragliding and much more.

 

Rates start from CHF 940 (approx. $930.00 at today’s exchange rate) per room, per night based on two adults sharing and guests staying four nights or more will be treated to their final night for free.

 

For bookings please call T: 877 577 8777 (US toll free). Alternatively e-mail enquiriesusa@virginlimitededition.com.

Free Philie

“Real 40 Year-Old Virgin “Bachelor” continues search for his one true love in America this Spring, 2019”

In this day and age it seems that romance has become an Instagram ideal; everyone striving to become the illusive “#goals” that are seen in the media. Since the birth of dating app Tinder in 2012, the dating world has been changed forever and social media has taken a strong hold over how we interact with others. Some may think real romance is a thing of the past or something that can only be seen on ABC’s The Bachelor. Shows that have fallen under the large umbrella of the Bachelor Nation have gained notoriety over the years for their strict formula of creating “true love.” Just last week football player Colton Underwood ended his search for love, seemingly as well as his reputation of being a virgin.

Philipp Hebestreit, a German 40 year-old “real-virgin bachelor,” hopes to follow in Colton’s footsteps by taking his search for love to the states. He launched his initial campaign “Free Philie” ten years ago, making headlines in his attempts to enlist the public in his search for the one. To launch his search in America Hebestreit will begin his search in New York City’s Time Square district later this month.

“My parents are my inspiration and the reason I began this campaign to find my one true love,” said Hebestreit. “They have been deeply in love for several decades and it’s the kind of everlasting love you just don’t see anymore.”

“Most Romantic Man in the World…” – Marie Claire

“Free Philie,” one of the largest searches for love in the word, began in 2008 with a lonely plea on Hebestreit’s personal blog. His post garnered the attention of a multitude of women and sparked his curiosity in expanding his search even further. He then took to the streets of several German cities with flyers and large posters. His efforts became even more elaborate with newspaper advertisements, recorded video messages, bulletins and cars equipped with “Free Philie” flags.

He began going even bigger with his attempts and traveling further in order to reach a wider audience. He donned a full body shield in Hamburg, sent out thousands of messages in bottles into the North Sea, advertised on electric boats in the canals of Amsterdam, placed speaking stands in London’s Piccadilly Circus, placed an inflatable Frog at the Eiffel Tower, and even more international exploits for love. Philipp Hebestreit has spread his “love art” as far as Austria, Switzerland, Norway and Italy.

“A phenomenon that is conquering the hearts of women around the world…” – Wall Street Journal

Hebestreit is one of the very few virgin men turning to the public in order to enter his first relationship. This aspect of his sexuality is what drew most of the attention to his search as Philip is amongst just 10% of European men of his age to remain virginal. Those choosing celibacy often keep this fact to themselves to avoid social backlash. As for Philip, he tackles this topic with pride sparking public discussion. It is through his “Free Philie” campaign that Philip has attempted to tackle the belief that male virginity in the Western world should be something to be ashamed of.

By bringing attention to the conversation of virginity, “Free Philie” gained international attention in the form of letters, packages, texts and emails from celebrities and other public figures from over 100 countries. He received gifts such as lingerie and nude photos to a “Medal of Knightliness,” and a 5 foot teddy bear that caused his P.O. box to be terminated.

While stateside, ten years after the campaign’s inception, Philip will begin in New York City and continue his travels with teasers on his whereabouts on his “Free Philie” social media accounts.

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