NoMad Las Vegas
Area: Las Vegas, Nevada
Vibe: Chic and sexy
Fun Fact: There are 25,000 books in the NoMad Restaurant
Don’t Miss: The JEMAA pool party
If you’re ready for something new on your next trip to Vegas, here’s a great option: NoMad Las Vegas. Located inside Park MGM—it calls the top floors home—the hotel has all the makings to truly elevate your Sin City experience: gorgeous rooms, great dining led by a world-renowned chef, a weekend pool party and, of course, a casino.
Location: A quick 10-minute drive from McCarran International Airport, the hotel is located right on the famed Strip, close to all the action. But in terms of location, this one is unique: The NoMad sits on the upper four floors of the Park MGM hotel, though it has its own private entrance, as well as its own pool, restaurant, bars and casino. Its central location means it’s easy to check out what the rest of the city has to offer, while never having to stray too far from your home base.
Vibe: Chic and sexy, the hotel has that cool, old-world Las Vegas feel—think lots of wood, antique finishes and velvet textures in jewel-toned colors—while still feeling totally modern. There are close to 300 rooms and suites, from rooms with queen- or king-sized beds to larger suites, like the 1,200-square foot NoMad Suite and the 1,600-square-foot Suite Royale, which sleeps up to four and has its own pool table and dining room. When you’re ready to bring your stay to the next level, check out the Suite Royale Premiere, a two-bedroom, 2,000-square foot suite with a pool table, its own bar, six-person dining room and views of The Strip.
Why We Love It: Along with the great vintage Vegas vibe and the energy of the city itself, there’s so much to love about this hotel—not least of which is the dining experience, which has Chef Daniel Humm and Restaurateur Will Guidara at the helm. The duo are also behind NoMad’s culinary offerings in New York and L.A., plus the World’s Best restaurant winner, Eleven Madison Park in NYC. In Las Vegas, the hotel is home to both NoMad Bar and NoMad Restaurant. The \restaurant is dark and sexy, with lots of club seating and velvet accents, all surrounded by some 25,000 (!) books. “The robust menu celebrates grand, clubby mid-century dining with a dash of theater—Grande Plateaus of Fruits de Mer, seasonal pastas, our signature black truffle-laced Roast Chicken, and Baked Alaska flambéed tableside,” they say. Also not to miss: The NoMad Casino, which offers “high limit” gaming like blackjack and roulette, as well as its own bar. The NoMad Pool is primed for relaxation on the weekdays—and for partying from Friday to Sunday. That’s when you’ll find the JEMAA pool party, complete with DJs, music, bottle service, and more. Along with these features, there are amenities like a spa and 24-hour fitness center, both of which are accessed through Park MGM, as well as lots of space for meetings and events.
Why Go F1rst: If you book your stay through First in Service, you’ll receive a slew of extra amenities, including a $100 food and beverage credit, early-check and late check-out and a room upgrade, if available.
F1S Tips: Want to relax with a spa service? You can head to the spa at the Park MGM—or have the service done right in your room. Also fun: Jazz fans should reserve Sundays for the Jazz Brunch at the NoMad Bar.Conrad Washington, DC
Conrad Washington, DC
Area: Downtown Washington, DC
Fun Fact: The restaurant’s chefs competed on Top Chef
Don’t Miss: The Sakura Club
There’s a new spot in DC to make your home base while visiting the city: Conrad Washington, DC. The flagship property for this high-end Hilton line of hotels, the Conrad is part of CityCenter DC, a development in the center of the nation’s capital, featuring high-end shopping and food options. The Conrad also offers its own signature restaurant and lounge with amazing city views, as well as its one-of-a-kind Sakura Club, which offers exclusive access to unique amenities.
Location: Here’s what makes the location of this hotel distinct: It’s part of CityCenter DC, a hub for high-end shopping and dining, including designer stores like Gucci and Hermès alongside must-try restaurants like Centrolina and Momofuku. And, with its central location smack in the center of Downtown DC, the Conrad is steps away from many DC landmarks: The White House, Smithsonian museums, and National Mall are all around a 15-minute walk and the National Portrait Gallery is a five minute walk. Plus, the hotel is about a 40-minute ride from Dulles International Airport, and just 10 minutes from Washington National Airport.
Vibe: Stylish and modern, The Conrad has all the trappings of a great city hotel: Incredible views from floor-to-ceiling windows, sleek, spacious rooms and an unexpected contemporary atmosphere enhanced by elevated terraces and a curated art collection. The 360 rooms feature a sleek, natural décor, while at the same time showcase the intuitive technology that is a staple of the Conrad brand, with smart lighting and streaming options for the HDTVs. Guests can opt for either a deluxe room or suite, the largest of which is the Presidential Suite. Clocking in at 2,405 square feet, it boasts its own kitchen and dining room, gas fireplace, office area and reading nook, and a custom baby grand piano made by DC native, Warren Shadd. Should you opt for one of the Park View or specialty suites, you’ll also receive access to the Sakura Club, a private club on the 10th floor that offers meals made by a private chef, whiskey tastings, a concierge service to help with restaurant reservations, and more.
Why We Love It: As the Americas flagship for the Conrad brand, the Conrad Washington, DC features a wealth of incredible assets that truly make it stand out. Not only is the central location fantastic for travelers looking to explore DC, but the offerings within the hotel are fabulous in their own right. Here, you’ll find the hotel’s signature restaurant, Estuary. Led by Top Chef and James Beard Award finalists, brothers Bryan and Michael Voltaggio, Estuary features a menu with dishes that reimagine the traditional flavors of the Chesapeake Bay. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch are served at the restaurant, and there are two distinct private dining rooms and a prominent bar and lounge, as well. Another must-try: Summit, aptly named for its spot on the rooftop of the Conrad. Along with creative cocktails, Summit offers inventive small plates (avocado fries, anyone?), all with sprawling views of the nation’s capital. If you’re hosting an event or a party, consider renting the terrace event space, also on the rooftop of the Conrad. If hosting outdoors isn’t the right vibe for your event, the Conrad also features 32,000 square feet of meeting space, including three conference rooms, two ballrooms and two executive boardrooms, all elevated above ground level and all featuring natural light through floor-to-ceiling windows.
Why Go F1RST: If you book through First in Service, you’ll receive continental breakfast for two every day of your stay, a $100 hotel credit, a welcome amenity and early-check in/late-check out as well as an upgrade, if available.
F1S Tips: Choosing a room with Sakura Club access really does have its perks: Afternoon tea? Cuisines from around the world? 24-hour access? All included—plus lots more.The Lodge at Blue Sky
The Lodge at Blue Sky
Area: Wanship, Utah
Vibe: Rustic luxury
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.Equinox Hotel New York City
Equinox Hotel, New York City
Area: New York, New York
Vibe: Sophisticated wellness
Fun Fact: Can’t sleep? Ask for the Equinox Sleep Coach
Don’t Miss: The 60,000-square-foot Equinox Club
Fitness and wellness take center stage at this new Hudson Yards hotel—the first for the Equinox brand. That includes access to the 60,000-square-foot fitness center and SoulCycle studio, the signature Electric Lemon restaurant, and guest rooms that help prioritize sleep—plus so much more to make you centered and happy during your stay.
Location: Set in Manhattan’s newest neighborhood, Hudson Yards, the hotel is located at the corner of 33rd street, between 10th and 11th avenue, at 33 Hudson Yards. And it’s quite the new neighborhood: You’ll also find lots of restaurants and shopping like Dior, Fendi and Neiman Marcus (plus so many more), as well as the climbable Vessel, which is fast becoming a must-see for tourists and New Yorkers alike. The area, on the west side of the city, is accessible by bus and the 7 subway train—and is about an hour from JFK airport, and half hour from both LaGuardia airport and Newark International Airport.
Vibe: Sleek and modern, the hotel is the place, as they say, “where the science of fitness meets the art of travel.” There are 212 rooms and suites, which are “dark, quiet and cool”—a motto you’ll see carried out throughout. It’s in the contemporary décor and black and white colors, the blackout blinds, the soundproofing, the shower with three showerheads, and the “proprietary sleep system.” All the rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows, some with views of the Hudson River and others with a full-on city view. The largest of the suites is the 1900-square-foot “EQX two bedroom corner suite,” which sleeps up to six and includes a separate living and dining room space.
Why We Love It: Just as the name implies, this hotel puts fitness and wellness at the forefront—and then takes it one step further. Here’s what we mean: Upon check-in, all guests receive 24/7 access to the huge (we’re talking 60,000-square-feet) Equinox Club. There, you can stick to your usual fitness routine, try your hand at any number of classes (you can even take some on the Vessel!), go one-on-one with a personal trainer or take a SoulCycle class in their dedicated studio. But that’s just the start of the wellness options: The 27,000-square-foot spa features everything from cryotherapy to an infrared sauna to the traditional offerings like facials and massages. Need more? There’s an indoor saltwater pool, an outdoor pool with great views, you can have an in-room IV vitamin drip or hang out in the super-relaxing sounding E.Scape Pods, where you can “enjoy a meditation session incorporating our intelligent audio library and EEG data, developed with sleep scientists, to help you manage stress and switch off.” Now, on to the dining options. Electric Lemon, the hotel’s signature restaurant, sits on the 24th floor—the views from the 8,000-square-foot terrace alone are worth the trip—and offers American cuisine, plus everything from cold-press juices to drinks and dessert. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and there’s also a bar on-site, as well as in-room dining, including the RoomBar, their take on the mini bar, with cocktails, snacks and more.
Why Go F1rst: If you book with First in Service, you’ll receive daily continental breakfast for two, a $100 hotel credit, and early check-in/late check-out as well as a room upgrade, if available.
F1S Tips: If you take sleep seriously, then this is the place to be: From the blackout curtains to the “ high-grade STC (Sound Transmission Classification)” for quiet to the lux bedding and the Equinox Sleep Couch on hand, you’ll truly be able to rest and relax.Botswana, Call of the Kalahari
Botswana, Call of the Kalahari
With luxe Botswana lodges, Belmond Safaris take you into the heart of Africa.
When your small plane glides low and slow enough over the green savanna to observe migrating herds, when the rhythm of singing voices and clapping hands brings joy to your daily rituals, when constellations take on new depth and noises take on new dimensions in the lightless night, you realize, no matter where you’re from, that this place is where you’re of. No wonder Harry and Meghan keep coming back.
WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE
Botswana has the world’s largest population of elephants. Why? Because Botswana alone among its neighbors avoided armed conflict in its half-century of independence. The wars in Angola, Zimbabwe and Mozambique had nothing to do with elephants (though they gave poachers cover). But simply bearing witness was enough. As Rudyard Kipling wrote: “The elephant’s a gentleman.”
Sitting around the Boma, you’ll learn of the myriad ways our lives interweave with theirs. Much more than a campfire, the Boma is where elder tribesmen have received one another with feasts and folk tales, dance and song since long before colonial times. Elephants, music and history will be your constant companions at Belmond’s Botswana lodges. A oneness that begins with the melodious voices of the staff who greet your jeep bouncing up the red-earth track.
Some enchanted eden
Belmond’s Savute Elephant Lodge sits in Chobe National Park, Botswana’s first. The Chobe River flows into the Zambezi and thunders over Victoria Falls into a deep crack on an otherwise uninterrupted expanse of African mesa—an ocean of land teaming with wildlife. At the lodge, herds of elephants and buffalo gather at the stream beneath your terrace pool. On game drives at dawn and dusk, see zebra and giraffe graze on the grasslands, hippo and crocodile wallow in the watering holes, and follow leopard and lion stalking their prey through the brush. Every outing is different, and none predictable.
Victorian-era travelers believed that consuming copious amounts of gin and tonic protected them from malaria (hmm—likely story). Enjoy yours with fellow guests presuming to be Dr. Livingstone lounging beneath lazy fans before dinner, contemplating the sunset over a horizon of low treetops. The lodge’s chef prepares gourmet interpretations of barbecued meats and other regional specialties, paired with fine wines and champagne. For more intimacy, a butler can serve dinner suite-side.
Recently renovated, Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge lends a modern style to skills that define the architecture, furniture, and cosmopolitan and traditional objets d’art. The twelve large, bright, thatched and tented rooms can be as open or sheltering as you wish: French doors, netted canopy beds, air conditioning, and airy bathrooms go well beyond glamping.
Islands in the stream
For a change of scenery, climb aboard a 12-seat Cessna and follow the sun westward to Eagle Island Lodge, another of the Belmond Safaris experiences. Enjoy the isolation of a private island in the unique setting of an inland river delta where the Okavango evaporates into the sky above the Kalahari rather than meet the sea.
By canoe and powerboat explore channels that cover 5,800 unpopulated square miles—roughly the size of Connecticut—classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site, and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, along with Mount Kilimanjaro, the Nile and Sahara. In addition to the by-now ever-present lions, elephant and zebra, you’ll see flocks of wading heron and flamingo, and ostriches strutting through hip-deep grass.
With accommodation similar to Belmond’s Savute Elephant Lodge, Eagle Island adds a twist of sensual style—somber mineral tones, private plunge pools outside each room, and sculptural, monolithic, black bathtubs—that melds into the sage-scented morning mists.
“There’s no better way to understand how connected we are with all this,” says F1RST’s Erika Reategui, an Africa veteran. Her experience in luxury conservation excursions includes work with the Jane Goodall Institute. “Something like 77% of wildlife has disappeared since mankind came to be—10% of that just since 1990. There’s no better way to understand how precious this is than to feel it for yourself.”
FOUR SEASONS MONTREAL
Stylish city life comes calling at this new Four Seasons property in Montreal, located at the heart of the famed Golden Square Mile neighborhood. And it caters to some of the best aspects of an urban escape: a great location, top-notch dining, and of course, amazing city views throughout
This 18-floor building is the new centerpiece of the “Golden Square Mile” neighborhood in Montreal, which is also where you’ll find The Montreal Museum of Art, McGill University and lots of shopping and dining options. It’ll take about 30 minutes or so to reach the hotel from Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport—and the hotel can set up transportation (think limo or rental car) for you.
You’ll get major sophisticated city vibes at this property, which is decked out in a modern sensual design, with touches of gold, marble, and dark wood throughout the 169 rooms and suites. All the rooms are on the upper levels (so floors six through 12), which means you’ll get amazing views from the floor-to-ceiling windows. The largest of the suites, the Presidential Suite, has two bedrooms, an 8-person dining table and a whirlpool bathtub.
With so much to do when visiting a city—especially one like Montreal—it’s easy to see your hotel as just a place to sleep. But that’s not the case with this Four Seasons property. And one of its standout features is one of our very favorites: The “Social Square,” located on the third floor lobby and totally open-concept. What will you find? Let’s start with the food. Chef Marcus Samuelsson—of Harlem’s Red Rooster fame—has expanded his offerings with the signature MARCUS Restaurant + Terrace, as well as MARCUS Lounge + Bar. At the gorgeously-designed restaurant (there’s lots of white marble and greenery), which offers all three meals plus weekend brunch, expect lots of seafood and locally-sourced options. But the real highlight is the terrace, which is open all year, giving you a chance to see and experience the outdoors even deep into the Canadian winter. Shopping is also part of the Social Square, including an entrance to Holt Renfrew Ogilvy department store. And since walking around the city can get tiring, when it’s time to relax you can also retreat to the hotel. The 8-room spa offers everything from treatments like the Rose Gold Hydrating Facial to other features, like Kneipp Water Therapy. Also on the wellness front, there’s a 24-hour fitness center, with celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak at the helm, and an indoor pool. Hosting an event? The ballroom can hold up to 450 people.
When you book with First in Service, you’ll get breakfast for two, a $100 food and beverage credit—perfect for trying the restaurant—an upgrade, if available, as well as a welcome note at check-in.