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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.

NoMad Las Vegas

NoMad Las Vegas

Area: Las Vegas, Nevada

Vibe: Chic and sexy

Style: City

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.

Sensory Deco Daydream Miami

Sensory Deco Daydream Miami

Tap into your Inner Design Junkie with All your Senses

When you hear about a weekend in Miami, perhaps neon lights and the pulsating bass of nightclubs come to mind. But there’s another side to Miami — Art Deco history; a science museum; an innovative shopping bazaar; and tasty cuisine — that makes it a sophisticate’s destination — especially for visually oriented travelers. Aside from the beach and bling,  you can curate your own “high/low”  sensory immersion, from lush accommodation to local street tours.  Here’s our prescription for the perfect adventure.

ROMANCING AT THE FAENA

Stay at the stunning Faena Hotel to create  the perfect fantasy fairy tale where, depending on the room — whether sleeping quarters; public areas; verandas overlooking the sea; or poolside — you can mentally imagine yourself in a romantic European daydream to a lavish Turkish caravan. Created by Argentinian real estate developer Alan Faena — with interiors collaborators— costume/set designers Catherine Martin and Baz Luhrmann), cherry red accents everything from  opulent chairs to beach umbrellas.   Once you check in and are greeted by the bronze  Damien Hirst  grab a poolside table  for lunch at Los Fuegos, where you can chose from a selection of tasty selection of fish, meat, salads.

Stimulating the senses in Miami

In the afternoon,  head over to  Wynwood to see art collections starting with the Wynwood Walls   — an incredible outdoor collection of street and graffiti artists including Kenny Scarf, Swoon, Shepard Fairy and others — that was started by developer Tony Goldman a decade ago. Each year, new international art stars are highlighted.  The  displays are free of charge. Seeing them feels like visual skateboarding.

Afterwards, take it indoors to the Rubell Family Collection  Contemporary Arts Foundation — housed in the 45,000 square foot former Drug Enforcement Agency — and you’ll see  the work of  Cindy Sherman, Jean Michel Basquiat,  Kara Walker, Jeff Koons and more up close in the permanent collection, as well as other  temporary exhibits.

In the district itself,  you’ll find folks selling sea shell jewelry and taco trucks on the street. So grab a conch and a snack before heading back to the hotel to indulge in one of the spa treatments at the Tierra Santa Healing House before dinner.    Formulated around South American concepts, in addition to massages and facials, you can opt for  a shamanic healing body ritual.  Think muds, scrubs, stones, sacred oils, and healing butters.

For a luscious first night taste sensation,  eat at Wynwood Kitchen for  latin spiced cuisine — and  for dining within futuristic paintings by Shepard Fairey, Christian Awe, and sculptures by David Benjamin Sherry. Or try  Alter,  for multi coursed, responsibility sourced local dishes.

By the next morning, you’ll be ready to strap on your trainers  for the the  Art Deco Walking Tour. Started by the Miami Design Preservation League, it delves into the history of the hotels dotting  the shoreline that  started as stucco cement apartment houses during the Prohibition Era for working class families.  You can stroll with both locals and tourists and imagine yourself in another era,  perhaps as a player in in one of the gambling houses run by mobsters in the 1940’s.  Al Capone was right at home in Miami Beach, as were working class families who moved into these originally cheap and cheerful apartment houses facing the shoreline.  Later, singer Gloria Estefan bought one of the properties. Fashion designer Gianni Versace had to knock one of the original buildings down to make space for his pool.  While the construction seems deceptively simple, with small windows and often four to six floors, they were modeled on rich movements, including  expressionism of the 1920’s; Cubism; and Bauhaus.

Two post tour options to round out the afternoon are the Perez Art Museum  and  the  Frost Science Museum,  where you can tap your inner child surrounded by  tropical fish and sea horses.  Frost  offers immersion into local sea life  with an aquarium;  a planetarium; and exhibits on evolution from dinosaurs to birds. There are interactive schemes so you can explore the mind/body connection or play engineer for an hour in the design lab.

The Perez Art Museum —  right next to the Frost —  features  local and global artists of the last two centuries  and a sculpture garden.   You can tap  off the zen vibes after a walk in the art and flora, by tasting some of the “poke bowls” — marinated fish and vegetables over rice— at the museum’s cafe that overlooks both the outdoor installations and the water.

If you stay the evening in  the design hood,  try  Joey’s Wynwood — located in the Wynwood Art District — for pastas and speciality pizzas.   Or head back to the Faena Hotel for a late afternoon yoga class at the spa. Indulge in  the cooking of  Paul Qui at PAO restaurant, which features  a fusion of Filipino, French,  Spanish, and Japanese flavors. Then try  the spicy margaritas at the Saxony Bar and catch  live music at the Living Room.

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.

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.

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.

 

Belmond Cap Juluca

BELMOND CAP JULUCA

Maundays Bay, Anguilla

Waterfront escape

Beach

Get around the resort in turquoise VW vans!

Being able to “swim to breakfast”

Beach lovers, rejoice: The Belmond Cap Juluca in Anguilla recently re-opened after extensive renovations—and the result is what vacations are made of. That is: A white sand beach, stunning water views, villas with private pools and seafood served sea-side, with the chance to unplug and relax against a truly gorgeous background.

Location:

Just 20 minutes from the airport, Belmond Cap Juluca occupies an enviable location right on Maundays Bay, a stretch of turquoise beach on the western side of the island. The resort is Belmond’s second property in the Caribbean, with the first on the island of nearby Saint Martin.

Vibe:

The property’s description of its “barefoot luxury” couldn’t be more accurate—and can be felt throughout the resort, from the green-tiled pool to the limestone floors to the 108 rooms and suites, which all overlook the ocean. The rooms, suites and villas are outfitted in whites and grey and other neutrals, with pops of blue and green, which all feature a private terrace (equipped with lounge chairs that are just begging to be napped on), while others allow you to walk straight out to the beach.

Why we love it:

Let’s start with the colors: From the white Greco-Moorish buildings to the blue of the water to the botanical designs and greenery throughout the resort, the surroundings alone can quickly transport you to a place of pure chill. Then, add everything else: While relaxing can easily get top billing, lots other cool offerings abound. There are pedal bikes and turquoise VW vans to take you around the resort; to relax and re-set, there’s a spa, The Arawak Spa (with its own pool!), and 24-hour fitness center; and a resident yoga instructor to lead classes throughout the day. Plus, there’s a whole slew of activities to tug at the heartstrings of water lovers, like kayaking and snorkeling, and sports fanatics, like golf and basketball. When it comes to drinking and dining, there are four options: the signature Pimms, which offers a chance to try local eats, the Cap Shack with its vintage food truck, where you can sip on a cocktail while you dig your feet into the sand, as well as Maundays Club, serving Peruvian tapas and Cip’s by Cipriani.

 

Why you should Go F1RST:

When you’re ready to jet off to the beach, booking through F1S will earn you a welcome treat, breakfast for two, $100 food and beverage credit, and complimentary upgrade at check-in, if available.