Mandarin Oriental Lake Como
Mandarin Oriental Lake Como
Area: Lake Como, Italy
Vibe: Sophisticated and stylish
Fun Fact: Most of the rooms have balconies or terraces
Don’t Miss: The outdoor pool sits right on Lake Como.
Ready for some lakefront relaxation? Then the Mandarin Oriental Lake Como it is. Located right on Lake Como, in the town of Blevio, about an hour outside Milan, this property is primarily housed in a 19th century villa and features stunning lake views throughout. With two distinct restaurants, a huge spa, gorgeous gardens, and a pool that will leave you feeling like you’re floating on the lake itself, you’ll be able to sit back, relax, and take in all the beauty that abounds.
Location: With its enviable location on the banks of Lake Como, this property is mostly located within Villa Roccabruna, a building (the stonework alone is amazing) that hails from the 1800s. The hotel is close to the town of Blevio, which makes it easy to enjoy all that Lake Como itself has to offer. It’s about 50 minutes from Milano Malpensa international airport—plus about an hour from Milano Linate airport and 90 minutes from Bergamo airport.
Vibe: Sophisticated and stylish, the hotel feels historical and old-world while still being modern and contemporary—a juxtaposition that works well. The property is also enveloped by verdant botanical gardens. There are 75 accommodations, divided between rooms, suites, and private villas. They all make great use of the lake, and most of the rooms and suites—which are well-appointed and outfitted in a neutral color palette—have their own balcony or terrace. For something a little different, there are two villas: the one bedroom Villa Della Rocca, which has stunning views from its floor-to-ceiling windows (even the soaking tub has its own view!) and the three-bedroom Villa del Lago, whose entrance is just steps from the Lake and includes an outdoor Jacuzzi and its own private dock.
Why We Love It: The property truly makes use of its lakeside location—from the rooms and suites to the dining options. In fact, both of the restaurants on the property offer amazing views of Lake Como. There’s the hotel’s signature restaurant, L~Aria, which is “tucked away within a lakefront building in the heart of the gardens” and has a huge terrace that overlooks the water and offers stunning views from its outdoor tables. The restaurant, featuring gourmet Mediterranean cuisine, serves breakfast and dinner every day, plus lunch on Sundays. Then, you can snag lunch and dinner, plus afternoon tea and aperitivos at CO.MO Bar & Bistrot. With its cool blue sofas and opulent feel, the restaurant’s outdoor terrace is also lined with tables overlooking the water. But it’s not just water views and great dining, the hotel’s spa—a whopping 13,000 square-feet—is also impressive: there’s a fitness center, beauty studio, and you can enjoy water-themed treatments like “On the Lakeshore” or “The Power of Water,” a 3.5-hour treatment that includes a massage, full-body exfoliation and more. There’s a Thermal Area offering plenty of heat and water experiences, an indoor pool as well as an outdoor pool that juts out right into the lake and includes lots of lounge chairs for relaxing and soaking up the atmosphere. The hotel also has space for meetings and events—and a quick scroll through the gallery of photos on their website will give you an idea of the gorgeous events they can host.
Why Go F1rst: If you book with First in Service, you’ll receive a complimentary buffet breakfast for two every day of your stay, a $100 resort credit, and early check-in/late check-out as well as an upgrade, if available.
F1S Tips: There are plenty of wellness options, including a Finnish sauna and Himalayan salt room, to help you truly relax and unwind.The Times Square EDITION
The Times Square EDITION
Area: New York, New York
Vibe: Cool and sexy
Fun Fact: All of the suites have their own balconies
Don’t Miss: Paradise Club, a dinner theater/nightclub in the hotel
Ready to take on New York City? Start in Times Square—and, while you’re there, stay at The Times Square EDITION. At the hotel, you’ll find everything from great rooms to amazing dining, and of course, perfect views of the city from almost every angle.
Location: Want to be in the center of the action? This property totally delivers with its Times Square location on West 47th Street and 7th Avenue. It’s easily accessible from all three New York airports—about 35 minutes from LaGuardia Airport, 40 minutes from Newark Liberty International Airport and an hour from John F. Kennedy International Airport. Once you’re there, it’s close to multiple subway stops, as well as walking distance to many iconic attractions like Rockefeller Center to Radio City Music Hall to the shopping on 5th Avenue.
Vibe: Stylish and sleek, there’s a lush wall of greenery behind the reception desk—a theme that’s carried throughout the hotel, from the lobby to the guest rooms to The Terrace and Outdoor Gardens. There are 452 rooms and suites, which are outfitted in a neutral palette, with lots of white and natural wood tones. In the guest rooms, you’ll find floor-to-ceiling windows, while the suites all feature their own balconies. At 1,300-square feet, the Penthouse Suite is the largest of all, and along with the balcony, includes a full kitchen, soaking tub and dining area—not to mention the jaw-dropping vistas.
Why we love it: If you’ve previously shied away from staying in Times Square, this hotel will definitely have you changing your mind. The central location aside, there is lots to rave about—starting with the dining. The signature restaurant, 701West, is helmed by Michelin-starred chef John Fraser and offers a variety of cuisines, with inspiration from “classical French, Asian, and Latin fare.” The restaurant itself is gorgeous, with vibrant velvet blues and greens. Another option: The Terrace and Outdoor Gardens, which are surrounded by greenery, has outdoor seating, and where you can enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner, or weekend brunch. And for something totally different, be sure to check out Paradise Club, “a modern-day Cabaret” that starts off with dinner theater before transforming to a dance club, open till 4AM. Plus, there are lots of other amenities you’d come to expect from a great hotel, including a 24-hour fitness center (with floor-to-ceiling windows and a wraparound outdoor terrace overlooking Times Square) as well as space for events.
Why Go F1rst: Book through F1S to receive a daily complimentary full breakfast for two at The Terrace and Outdoor Gardens, a $100 F&B credit to be applied in all outlets (excluding Paradise Club), a special chef amenity, as well as a room upgrade and early-check in/late check-out (if available).
F1S Tips: For a great way to unwind, have a drink on the terrace of the Lobby Bar—the nighttime view alone is worth it (but the cocktail choices don’t hurt, either.)A different kind of Holiday Travel
Why You Should Consider a Family Vacation Now
How Our Partners Are Keeping You Safe
How Our Partners Are Keeping You Safe
Borders and cities are beginning to reopen, and demand for travel is improving. The result: the travel industry is – slowly but surely – sparking back up. So when you’re ready to travel again, we’re ready to guide you again. Deciding how to get there and where to stay is just as important as deciding where to go in the first place. Which airline should you choose—and are they regularly disinfecting their planes? Should you stick with a car service over public transport once you land? What happens if you forget your mask? Here at F1S, our travel advisors can answer all these questions—and lots more!We partner only with the best of the best, especially when it comes to safety. And it’s no surprise our partners have stepped up in a big way. Here’s a look at some of the ways three of our select partners are working to keep you safe, across all types of travel.
“EmpireCLS has always maintained an extremely high level of duty of care to our guests,” says David Seelinger, Chairman and CEO of the company, which provides chauffeur services in more than 700 cities around the world. “While previously this had to do with the safety and security of the driving experience, the Covid situation has prompted us to extend that duty of care to providing the best possible environment from a cleanliness standpoint.”
And they are doing just that—extensively sanitizing their vehicles, car seats, and other communal items, like chargers, between uses. “We have gone above and beyond with our safety and cleanliness protocols, working with International SOS to develop new regimens, which include electrostatic spraying—which lessens the chances of the virus sticking to any surface—outfitting our vehicles with three-layer air filtration, limiting chauffeur-guest contact, and so much more,” explains Seelinger.
Among other measures, drivers wear N-95 masks, use gloves when touching guests’ luggage, provide masks and sanitizers for passengers, removemagazines from vehicles, and skipp the front seat for passengers. (For a full look, the company created a video highlighting many of these updated protocols.)
“We have been the leader in our industry in terms of developing cleanliness protocols for ground transportation,” says Seelinger. “If someone needs to be driven in a car, the ride-share services simply do not have the control [that] we do over the in-car environment or the cleanliness protocols our chauffeurs must maintain worldwide.”
Whether hopping on a plane was something you did every week for work pre-Covid, or just every few months for fun, you may be hesitant to board a plane these days. But let what Delta is doing ease your fears: “The travel journey from airport curb to baggage claim has been reimagined to provide a safer and cleaner experience, both during and after Covid-19,” explains Matt Kutches, General Manager-Global Sales, Delta Air Lines.
To that end, the airline employed the Delta CareStandard, which includes additional hand sanitizers and plexi-glass shields at boarding, cleaning communal surfaces like kiosks and security bins (they also partnered with Lysol), plus completely sanitizing—via electrostatic spraying—the entire plane. Middle seats are left empty to help with social distancing, pillows are tossed post-use, and you’ll find Care Kits filled with a mask and hand sanitizer and, on some flights, snack bags too.
Also great? Not only did Delta create a Global Cleanliness Division, but they also partnered with the Mayo Clinic. “Deepening our relationship with [the] Mayo Clinic provides additional safety and Covid-19 infection control measures for customers and employees,” says Kutches. The medical center has “developed and will oversee Covid-19 testing of Delta’s full workforce,” he says, as well as advise in a variety of other ways, from helping the customer experience team to creating an advisory council including both Mayo Clinic and Delta execs.
And if you’re still hesitant, Kutches recommends talking with your travel advisor. “Do your research, consult your travel advisor to hear more details on what initiatives Delta has deployed to keep customers and our employees safe throughout the travel ribbon,” he says.
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
Ready for a hotel stay—even in your own city? (Us too!) Many hotels have upped their safety game, including Four Seasons. “As the significant impact of COVID-19 on global travel became clear, we very quickly understood that our guests would want measures in place to create a safe, worry-free environment when they decided to travel again,” explains Ben Trodd, Senior Vice President, Sales and Hotel Marketing, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “This insight helped guide the creation of our enhanced global health and safety program, Lead With Care, which builds on our already stringent health and safety measures.”
Lead with Care—which is in place in all Four Seasons properties—includes a whole range of different measures, from increased sanitizing (including use of electrostatic spraying and ozone technology) to offering contactless check-in and digital menus at restaurants to “Lead with Care kits” in all rooms, which include masks and sanitizers to (of course) mask-wearing for guests and staff. And to help manage these changes, each property now has a “hygiene officer.” Plus, similarly to Delta, the hotel partnered with Johns Hopkins Medicine International.
“Guests staying at Four Seasons also have the added confidence of being able to control the level of in-person contact and engagement they have with our team through the use of the popular Four Seasons App and Four Seasons Chat,” says Trodd. “Launched in 2015 and 2017 respectively, these well-established digital platforms are a key components of Lead With Care, providing guests with contactless service options, while still fostering connections and creating highly personalized experiences.” Guests can do things like order room service and make spa reservations and, when chatting, real people—on the property where you’re staying—are behind the responses, and they can answer you in upwards of 100 (!) different languages.
“While I can’t speak to other brands, guests should have no hesitation when considering a [stay] at a Four Seasons right now,” says Trodd.
Nobu Hotel Los Cabos
Nobu Hotel Los Cabos
Area: Los Cabos, Mexico
Style: Sleek and laid-back
Fun Fact: With chef Nobu as a founder, expect amazing food
Don’t Miss: Lounging by one of the resort’s four pools
When you’re ready for a beachfront escape, here’s a new choice to top your list: Nobu Hotel Los Cabos. The first hotel in Mexico for the Nobu Hospitality team— whose founders are chef Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert Deniro and actor/producer Meir Teper—the resort offers everything from amazing dining (of course) to multiple pools to lots of wellness options, all against a stunning ocean backdrop.
Location: Situated on the Baja Peninsula in Mexico, this resort in Cabo San Lucas is on El Suspiro beach—and has the amazing views that you’d expect from its waterfront location. It’s located inside the Diamante complex, which includes a world-renowned golf course and lots more—and it will take you about 45 minutes to drive to the hotel from Los Cabos International Airport. Once there, you’re about half an hour from most of the off-site activities and attractions, including the famous El Arco and the marina.
Vibe: Sleek and sophisticated, this design-forward hotel offers lots in the way of, as they describe it, laid-back luxury. Expect lots of wood, stone and wood tones, all against a neutral color palette. There are 200 guest rooms and suites, with some overlooking the water and others with views of the nearby golf course. The “deluxe room swim-up,” which opens right up to the pool as well as the Zen Suite and Sake Suite, both of which have ocean views. The two-bedroom Nobu Suite, which is over 2,600 square feet, boasts a chef’s kitchen, pool table and wrap-around terrace that looks onto the water. Pro-tip: When deciding where to stay, head to the hotel’s website where you can take a 360-degree tour of the room or suite and really get a feel for each.
Why We Love It: You’ll find everything you need to relax at this hotel—from great pools to amazing dining options. Let’s start with the dining. With renowned chef Nobu Matsuhisa as one of the founders of Nobu Hospitality, you can expect that the food will be top notch. At Nobu Restaurant you’ll find the Japanese fusion cuisine that Nobu is famous for, as well as two bars, all with the ocean in the background. Malibu Farm is a farm-to-table restaurant offering organic choices for all three meals, and at Pacific Restaurant you’ll find “fine dining Mexican concept with a-la-carte service and traditional taco & mezcal pairings.” Rounding things out are Cortez Swim-Up Bar and Playabar, offering drinks and food poolside. Speaking of pools, there are four at the resort, including an infinity pool. Other amenities to check out: On the wellness end, the spa includes a salon and a fitness center with yoga and spinning classes. Plus, there are lots of other activities, like beach volleyball, a Kids Club that offers yoga, origami and face painting for the younger members of your group, as well as golf, including access to the nearby Diamante: The Dunes course.
Why Go F1rst: If you book with First in Service, you’ll receive a complimentary breakfast for two throughout your stay as well as one complimentary lunch for two. Plus: early check-in and late check-out and an upgrade, if available.
F1S Tips: You won’t have to leave your four-legged family members at home: the hotel is pet-friendly and offers amenities like pads and bowls.