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Mandarin Oriental Lake Como

Mandarin Oriental Lake Como

Area: Lake Como, Italy 

Vibe: Sophisticated and stylish

Style: Lakefront 

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.

Pretty Pretty Pugliese

Pretty Pretty Pugliese

Rocco Forte’s newest idyll gathers the ingredients for laid-back luxury.

In the hardscrabble earth of Puglia grows a lifestyle ruled by simplicity. For centuries, the sun and heat here have dictated the architecture and daily rhythms. Meanwhile, necessity nurtured the food and spirit of hospitality. Today, from these austere traditions, Rocco Forte Hotels’ Masseria Torre Maizza casts light on a modern kind of luxury—free from distracting adornment and confining ritual—that lets the goodness of essential ingredients shine through.

Down a chalky road hemmed by stacked stone walls and stands of 700-year-old olive trees sits Masseria Torre Maizza. Part plantation, part fortress, masserie have a particular local pragmatism that combines a lord’s luxury with a farmer’s frugality and a soldier’s sobriety. Masseria Torre Maizza, opened in April as Rocco Forte’s twelfth hotel, is no exception.

The 16th century villa forms a citadel over the forecourt, and grapevine-laced pergolas surround a large pool behind. Beyond, an arched gate leads to a garrison of rooms reaching toward the Adriatic across a landscape softened by ponds and putting greens. Crisp and relaxed, the forty rooms range from breezy ocean-view doubles to sprawling suites with private gardens and plunge pools. Stone floors and vaulted ceilings, tailored linen, handcrafted ceramics and pops of sun-bleached color tame the modernist take on traditional furnishings.

Sensuous essential

As farmers and fishermen the Pugliese were never rich, but always knew their ingredients. This created Puglia’s cucina povera, “poor food”, which says more about its simplicity than its paucity. At Carosello, the hotel’s destination restaurant, dine on reinvented local classics featuring exquisite quality and ingenuity: like the olive oil that is Puglia’s green gold, or its burrata enriched with oozing buffalo cream, or shells of orechiette made with grano arso—burnt grains, once a field scrap, now a delicacy—sautéed with rapini leaves or chickpeas echoing Arab influences from centuries ago.

When the sounds of wind and sea and songbirds beckon outdoors, Torre Maizza’s spa offers a wellness program, including yoga or body and facial treatments in the gardens using olive oil, and sea salt and apricot scrubs. Excursions go even further: just a few miles down the road to the hotel’s private beach club, or on an exclusive mini-cruise to nearby fishing towns and swimming spots. In Alberobello discover Puglia’s UNESCO-listed trove of beehive-shaped trulli homes, and learn about and how to make the region’s ceramics, jewelry, olive oil, wines, pasta and other foods.

Luxury, you see, is easy.

 

The Times Square EDITION

The Times Square EDITION

Area: New York, New York 

Vibe: Cool and sexy

Style: City

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.)

Hong Kong Homecoming

Hong Kong
Homecoming

Rosewood’s new flagship redefines the art of hospitality

The Rosewood Hong Kong hotel opened this year as the brand’s flagship property—its twenty-sixth, including Paris’ famed Hôtel de Crillon, New York’s historic Carlyle, and the Mansion on Turtle Creek, where Rosewood first received guests on a private Dallas estate forty years ago. Despite Rosewood’s world renown, Hong Kong still holds special significance for its owners.

FAMILY MATTERS

Sonia Cheng’s family has owned the land at Victoria Dockside for three generations. She remembers pedaling her bicycle along the water here as a little girl, the views across the harbor to Hong Kong Island’s jagged skyscrapers and towering peaks. Long before that, it had been a key shipping terminus and railhead on the mainland, until Cheng’s family turned the centrally located promontory into a park and cultural center. So there’s a particular tenderness to her voice as she describes their newest venture here.

“With Hong Kong evolving from a business and financial center to becoming a true global cultural capital,” says Cheng, CEO of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, “I wanted to create an iconic property that not only showcases the city’s rich history but also reflects its bright future.”

At the epicenter of Kowloon’s business and entertainment district, the Rosewood Hong Kong is a destination in its own right. A water front promenade designed by the architects behind New York’s High Line connects the hotel to K11 Musea, an innovative office space with high-end retail, dining and art venues designed to lure young creatives. A few steps further lie the Hong Kong Museum of Art and Cultural Center, and the shopping mecca of Canton Road. A few blocks inland, a more local-style business district will satisfy even the hungriest Instagrammer.

Inside, meanwhile, the hotel is a model of Rosewood’s residential approach to luxury and creating “A Sense of Place”. Materials varying between mineral tones and metallics dispel any notion of institutionality. The service is obliging but never obsequious. The experience is more that of a lavish penthouse than a large hotel. And indeed, the Rosewood Residences are designed for extended stays. Guestroom floors greet you at the elevators with spacious salons, where you can relax with a book before retiring to your harbor-view room or gather with friends before going down to dinner. The eight bars and restaurants offer contemporary takes on Cantonese and international flavors, and private rooms for family-style service.

“Rosewood Hong Kong sets bold new benchmarks for design, guest experience, cuisine, and culture,” says Cheng. “Our ambition is to create a new world standard for ultra-luxury hospitality and a focal point of the vibrant Hong Kong lifestyle, reflecting its incredible dynamism, style and diversity.”

 

Nobu Hotel Los Cabos

Nobu Hotel Los Cabos

Area: Los Cabos, Mexico

Vibe: Beach

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.

F1S-Approved Summer Getaways from NYC

There’s nothing better than getting out there and exploring the world. But the world, at least for the moment, has changed—and your travel plans might have changed along with it. But just because your summer trip to Europe or your plans to climb Machu Picchu have been postponed, doesn’t mean you still can’t get out there and explore—now just a bit closer to home.

Domestic travel is at an all-time high. There is a huge demand for villas and private property rentals—both of which F1S advisors are happy to arrange for you—and, as hotels and resorts begin to reopen, a desire to visit local properties for a much-needed change of scenery.

And we couldn’t be more excited for that. Our newest Weekend Away series inspires safe summer travel plans. It will will focus on great properties within driving distance of major U.S. cities, like New York, L.A., and Miami. We launch the series with road trip escapes from the Big Apple Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more inspiration getaways from the City of Angels and the Beach – Miami Beach that is.

Each place on our list is following extensive safety guidelines, including measures like increased cleaning and sanitizing, social distancing—particularly during activities and with dining—and offering additional hand sanitizers in common areas. Plus, every property has their own specific measures, from new check-in and check-out procedures to protocols like temperature checks and mask requirements. Check the property’s website for a full breakdown, or speak with your advisor.

Mayflower Inn & Spa

Washington, CT

2 hours from NYC

Combine relaxation with outdoor adventure at the iconic Mayflower Inn & Spa in Litchfield County, CT. By day, you’ll be able to explore the hotel’s 58 acres and try your hand at a range of activities—from those that immerse you in nature, like forest bathing or a guided hike, to those that will get you moving, like tennis or kayaking, to those that will help center you, like a private yoga class or meditation. And by night, you can relax in one of the property’s 30 rooms, which include guest rooms with soaking tubs and suites with their own balconies and gas fireplaces. And of course, there’s the spa: At 20,000 square feet, there’s plenty of space to indulge in a massage—like The Mayflower Blend, that features both Swedish and deep tissue techniques—or you can make an appointment to hang by the spa’s pool. Plus, the Inn now has even more options for private dining.

What our advisors say: “I would stay here just to have a treatment at their spa—hands down one of the best in the New England area.” — XX

Gurney’s Montauk

Montauk, NY

2 hours from NYC

With spectacular ocean views, a private beach, and outdoor lobster bakes twice a week throughout the summer, this Montauk hotel makes for an ideal vacation spot. There are lots of different room options, from rooms and suites up through beachfront cottages and a two-bedroom residence with a kitchen and terrace. But they all have one thing in common: A view of the Atlantic. Along with spending time on the beach—check out the made-for-relaxing daybeds at The Beach House (and, of course, the restaurant’s cocktails)—there are activities like tennis and multiple on-site dining options with outdoor seating, including at the resort’s signature Scarpetta Beach restaurant. Also great? The resort has upped its in-room options to feature more food choices, games and activities for kids, and even streaming workouts that you can do before heading out for some time in the sun.

What our advisors say: “Gurney’s is an icon in the Hamptons for a reason. Make sure to grab a drink or a bite to eat at The Beach Club—legendary beachfront dining you can’t find anywhere else in the area.” — XX

Primland

Meadows of Dan, VA

8 hours from NYC

Though it’s a bit further afield, consider making this resort—which is situated on 12,000 acres in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains—your ultimate destination. The outdoor activities alone make the drive worthwhile: Try everything from hiking, biking, and horseback riding to fly fishing, archery, and tomahawk tossing (!), as well as golf and wingshooting. (There’s a max of 9 people per activity.) You can even sleep surrounded by nature in one of the resort’s three secluded treehouses. There are other room options, too, including the Mountain Houses, which can sleep anywhere from 2 to 22 people and come complete with their own kitchens. Be sure to try the Blue Ridge BBQ on weekend evenings, along with multiple other dining choices. Families will appreciate the “Family Fun” program for kids under 12—a chance for parents to visit the on-site spa!—as well as the stargazing observatory.

What our advisors say: “I had a client there for a dad-daughter trip and they raved about the service and said the grounds were amazing. Plus, they were able to spend lots of time in the outdoors.” —Mayla Melo

Shou Sugi Ban House

Water Mill, NY

2.5 hours from NYC

Want to focus on your wellness? This soothing Long Island hotel—which is “inspired by the Japanese principals of wabi-sabi”—offers guest retreats, including the Vitality Immersion and the Signature Reset, both of which are running this summer. In the two-night Vitality Immersion retreat, for instance, specific activities—such as a micronutrients and immunity workshop, tea tasting, and yoga nidra class—are included and, thanks to current protocols, are completely private. You can also choose a Custom Stay and tailor the experience to exactly what you’re looking for. Whichever you choose, you’ll stay in one of the Guest Studios, all of which have patios, gas fireplaces, soaking tubs and the ability to get to the outdoor saltwater pool—plus a table outside each studio for private dining. Not to miss: the outdoor dining options around the property (like in the gardens) and the chef Mads Refslund-made private beach bonfire dinner.

What our advisors say: “This wellness retreat is what we all need in our lives right now. Also an ideal place to do a property buyout just for you and your closest friends.” —XX

Twin Farms

Barnard, VT

5 hours from NYC

*Please note that Vermont requires visitors from certain NY areas to quarantine upon arrival. Click here for the most updated information.

Nestled on 300 acres close to Killington, VT, this hotel was originally the home of author Sinclair Lewis and journalist Dorothy Thompson in the late 1920s—and today features a whole range of unique rooms and activities. Along with the rooms in the Main House, you can book the 2,215-square-foot Studio cottage, which has a hot tub, the 3,350-square-foot, 2-bedroom lodge, which boasts a private patio, or one (or all!) of the four Farmhouse suites, among others. Outdoor activities range from kayaking, paddle boarding, and tennis to biking and hiking 9 miles of trails. Plus, guests can try their hand at bocce and croquet on the lawn—and there are other activities, like picnics, bonfires and garden tours that can be arranged. Don’t miss the daily Cottage Champagne & Canapé service, as well as the additional private dining options. Plus, dogs can stay in select rooms and amenities like treats and blankets are offered.

What our advisors say: “This is the place people retreat to when they just want to escape from it all. I would highly recommend renting the farmhouse—it’s like having the whole place to yourself.” — XX

Duvine Hudson Valley Bike Tour

Amenia, NY

2 hours from NYC

Here’s a totally different idea: Go on a bike tour. Duvine offers bike tours all around the world—including in New York’s Hudson Valley. The four-day and three-night tour starts out at the Troutbeck hotel in Amenia, which will be your home base for the duration of the trip. From there, each day features cycling throughout the area, including Connecticut, with rides ranging from 19 to 48 miles. Stops include local farms, farm stands, and a whiskey and bourbon distillery, among others. All meals are included, as well as specific gear and activities.

What our advisors say: “What a perfect way to explore the Hudson Valley’s beautiful scenery, along with fantastic guides and amazing food. It’s also a perfect way to burn the dreaded quarantine 15!” —XX

Want more ideas?

We love these properties, too:

· Canyon Ranch in Lenox, MA; 3 hours from NYC (Opening on July 23, 2020)

· Castile Hill Inn in Newport, RI; 3 hours from NYC

· Inn at Perry Cabin in St. Michael’s, MD; 3.5 hours from NYC

· Inn at Little Washington in Washington, VA; 5 hours from NYC

The Lodge at Blue Sky

The Lodge at Blue Sky

Area: Wanship, Utah

Vibe: Rustic luxury

Style: Ranch

Fun Fact: The Creek Houses are for adults only

Don’t Miss: Heli-skiing, heli-snowboarding—even heli-yoga 

Nature lovers, take note: If you want both the great outdoors and lux accommodations, then The Lodge at Blue Sky is the place for you. Set in the mountains of Utah, the 3,500-acre ranch offers everything from great dining to rejuvenating spa treatments to tons of fantastic activities—all set against a breathtakingly beautiful backdrop.

Location: This rural resort is set in the middle of the Uinta Mountain Range and Wasatch Mountain Range in Wanship, Utah. It’ll take you about 45 minutes to reach the lodge from Salt Lake City International Airport and it’s easily accessible by car. If you’re interested in seeing any nearby cities, Park City is about half an hour from the resort, while Salt Lake City is about 40 minutes away.

Vibe: Peaceful and bucolic, the lodge offers three distinct types of accommodations: Sky Lodge, Earth Suites, and Creek Houses. At Sky Lodge, there are 19 suites, all of which have private terraces, high ceilings and contemporary décor, with lots of wood tones and neutral colors. The two-bedroom signature suites clock in at 2,240-square-feet, and are each spread out over two floors, offering separate dining and living rooms, as well as a large terrace. For a different feel, there are the Earth Suites. They are “designed as a natural extension of the land by utilizing locally-sourced limestone and living grass roofs”—and all have a private terrace and outdoor fireplace. Lastly—and only for the adults—are the one-bedroom Creek Houses, which are located right along Alexander Creek and feature floor-to-ceiling windows, a terrace, and more.

Why we love it: There’s so much to experience at this resort, particularly when it comes to the wide variety of activities. And we really do mean a wide variety: There’s fly fishing, biking, horseback riding, an 18-stand sporting clay course, and of course, miles and miles of hiking—not to mention painting, photography, and so much more. There are a number of ski resorts in the area, including at the nearby Park City Mountain Resort, which offers a private lounge exclusively for Lodge guests. But if you’re really looking to take things to the next level, ask about the heli-program. Whether you choose heli-skiing, heli-mountain biking or even heli-yoga, you’ll be able to take a helicopter ride to experience nature in a totally new way. On the dining front, there are eight different options, including a few private dining options, as well as The Bar + Lounge, The Refectory, and Yuta. At Yuta, much of the food is locally and sustainably sourced, with ingredients like eggs and honey coming straight from the resort’s farm, Gracie’s Farm. Then, to truly unwind, head to the Edge Spa at Blue Sky, which overlooks Alexander Creek and offers treatments like “Back in the Saddle Massage” and “High Whisky Journey,” which starts with a whiskey, salt and sage foot soak. Plus, there’s a heated pool, meditation classes, and more.

Why Go F1rst: If you book through First in Service, you’ll receive a $50 breakfast credit for two every day of your stay and a $100 resort credit, as well as early check-in/late check-out and a room upgrade, if available.

F1S Tips: Yogis in particular will appreciated the special yoga experiences the lodge offers, including “yoga in silks” ”snowshoe and yoga” and “heli-yoga and meditation”—plus free yoga classes four days a week.