With just a few days until Christmas, you may have a few more gifts to buy for people on your list. And isn’t the gift of luxury travel one of the finest presents you can offer? Continue reading Last Minute Gifts: Magellan Luxury Hotels E-Gift Cards
With earlier check-in times due to increased security measures, passengers have become a captive audience at airports worldwide. While the downside is longer waits, the upside is the push by many airport authorities to make the experience more pleasurable. The installation of public art in airports – architectural builds, sculptures, water features, moving walkways, murals, mosaics, lighting installations and performance art – are miracle workers in making any terminal pop. Continue reading Discovering Art in Airports
When spring arrives so arrives the glorious season of the house and garden tour. We are no longer tethered to two-dimensional images in magazines or on Pinterest; we are elevated from bystander to participant, able to enter the private spaces that are normally out of our reach.
And others benefit from our robust curiosity: proceeds from the sale of tour tickets fund community groups and select charities. Here are some of the best spring house tours for 2016 happening across the country:
NYC & vicinity
New York Junior League Spring House Tour
May 7th, 2016
VIP advance ticket – $250
Regular advance ticket – $100
As the granddaddy of all house tours, the NYJL Spring House Tour showcases New York City’s prestigious and luxurious residences while highlighting architecture, art, history and the exquisite style of interior design. Admission includes: breakfast at the Astor House, the self-guided house tour, a buffet lunch, post-tour cocktail reception and silent auction. Consult the website for additional advantages accrued to a VIP ticket.
7th Annual Southampton House Tour “Insider’s View”
Saturday, June 4th, 2016
$95 in advance, $110 day of
This self-guided tour provides the opportunity to explore the exclusive enclave of Southampton. Participants will visit a number of extraordinary residences, exploring the area’s architectural history from colonial days to present. Sant Ambroeus will host a post-tour champagne reception at the Rogers Mansion.
Berkeley Architectural House Tours
Sunday, May 1st, 2016
The annual spring house tour is BAHA’s major fundraising event, as well as an opportunity to share information on important Bay Area architects and Berkeley neighborhoods. Visit the website for past and present tour guide books.
2016 Silicon Valley Modern House Tour
Saturday, May 14th, 2016
$35 in advance; $40 day of
For over 20 years, the Venice Garden and Home Tour has been a showcase for the unique homes and gardens of the creative Venice Beach community. The tour changes each year, featuring different properties and neighborhoods.
2016 Pasadena Showcase House of Design
April 17th – May 15th, 2016
$40 advance, $45 at the door
The Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts (PSHA) is a non-profit run by volunteers who produce the annual Pasadena Showcase House of Design. Founded in 1948, it is one of the most successful house and garden tours in the nation.
19th Annual Carpinteria Beautiful Home & Garden Tour
Saturday, April 30th, 2016
Enjoy the day visiting five wonderfully unique homes in the small beach town with a big heart. The tour marks the finale of Carpinteria Beautiful Month and is the main fundraiser for local beautification projects.
2016 Georgetown House Tour
Saturday, April 23rd
$50 per ticket or $40 for groups of 10 or more
For the past 84 years, St. John’s Episcopal Church has organized and hosted the Georgetown House Tour. The 2016 edition features ten homes around the neighborhood and includes admission to the Parish Tea at Blake Hall.
2016 Denver Modern House Tour
Saturday, May 21st, 2016
$35 in advance; $40 online
2016 Seattle Modern Home Tour
Saturday, April 30th
$35 advance, $40 day of; children 12 and under free
Greater Seattle Area; self-driving, self-paced
Check the website for upcoming tours
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Langham Place, New York, Fifth Avenue is a commanding presence on famed Fifth Avenue. With notable attractions just minutes away, the impressive amenities and dedicated service have set a new benchmark for Manhattan luxury hotels. Langham Place, New York, Fifth Avenue has got it all.
Since opening in 1912, The Beverly Hills Hotel has been the epitome of glamour. Known by many as the “Pink Palace”, this California landmark is the place of legends. From the famed Polo Lounge to the luxurious pool and lush grounds, the world’s elite have been experiencing the upscale service and style that has defined The Beverly Hills Hotel for 100 illustrious years.
For over 85 years, the InterContinental Mark Hopkins has identified with true San Francisco luxury. Perched atop Nob Hill and looking out over San Francisco, this historic landmark hotel offers a refined elegance that pays homage to its illustrious past. Combining old-world aesthetics with gracious service and new-world amenities, this award-winning property is widely considered a leader in the hospitality industry.
It’s almost impossible to avoid seeing or hearing about tech entrepreneur Elon Musk these days. His face, his voice, his Falcon 9 reusable rocket and his Tesla brand of electric cars are mainstays of media stories across the globe.
Tesla Motors was founded in 2003 by a group of engineers in Silicon Valley who wanted to prove that electric cars could accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable transport. They would begin with a roadster, produce the Model S (sedan), launch the Model X (SUV), and prepare to launch the Model III in March 2016, a slightly smaller version of the Model S at an affordable $35,000 USD. Production of the Model III will begin in 2017.
Tesla’s award-winning all-electric sedan, Model S, is available for test drives in showrooms worldwide. At the end of 2015, they began delivery of the Model X to their Signature reservation holders and will offer test drives sometime after pre-order fulfillment is complete.
The company has more than 200 Tesla-owned and operated stores in North America, Western Europe and Asia. Aside from the bricks and mortar showrooms, they organize Tesla experiences including Winter Driving Experiences, See the Spectrum, Tesla on Tour, Grand Opening VIP Receptions and Brunch and Drive events. Owners taking delivery of their cars receive an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the factory in Fremont, California.
Potential clients can schedule a test drive appointment online or by phone with their nearest showroom location. No showroom near you? Arrange a test drive in a city you are visiting for business or pleasure. Tesla has also partnered with select luxury hotels to offer guests access to its vehicles as permanent house cars or for limited time test drives. Hotels offering the Model S sedan as a house car include Virgin Hotels Chicago and The Crawford Hotel, Denver. And if you’re flying to London, take a test drive at Heathrow or Gatwick airport or at other Central London locations.
To schedule a Tesla test drive log on to: https://www.teslamotors.com
To search for an upcoming event: https://www.teslamotors.com/events
Virgin Hotels Chicago does things different from top to bottom. Chambers – not rooms, as there’s more than one room per accommodation – are modern and spacious, while suites offer even more comfort and elegance. Dining and drinking options offer guests inspired fare, while The Spa is the ultimate in indulgence no matter what your schedule.
Located in the iconic Denver Union Station, The Crawford combines modern elegance with the station’s rustic roots, creating a luxury hotel experience unlike any other. This stately building is close to an incredible array of shops and restaurants, with Coors Field and MLB’s Colorado Rockies not far away. Rooms combine comfort, timeless charm and modern amenities.
The Savoy’s reputation as one of London’s premier hotels isn’t without merit. Many of the 260+ rooms feature breathtaking views of the River Thames and are as comfortable as they are stately. For over 100 years, the stylings and service at The Savoy have set the standard – it is considered London’s first luxury hotel.
Whether you’re traveling with the family or are simply an out-and-out animal lover, the zoo is a fascinating place to see and learn about the incredible fauna we share the planet with.
North America is home to some of the world’s most remarkable zoos, and offer the chance to see the animals of the world up close while learning more about them and the ways in which these institutions are working to preserve wildlife. Here are three of the continent’s most remarkable zoos.
San Diego Zoo
One of the world’s most famous zoos, the San Diego Zoo features a remarkable collection of animals in a variety of themed galleries. With the largest zoological membership association in the world, it’s supported by a passionate community of animal lovers. The 100-acre zoo has been operating since 1916, and is home to over 3,700 endangered and/or rare animals. It’s home to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, which is rich in both plant and animal species housed in a protected native species habitat.
Located in Scarborough, Canada’s premier zoo features over 5,000 animals from more than 500 species. At over 700 acres it’s one of the world’s largest zoos, and features six miles of walking trails, an interactive kids’ wildlife experience, seven geographic regions and plenty of rides. Highlights include the gorilla rainforest, the giant panda experience, the Great Barrier Reef exhibit, and the Tundra Trek gallery featuring both underwater and above-ground viewing areas.
Since 1918, the Denver Zoo has been home to some of North America’s great animal exhibits. The zoo’s commitment to Carl Hagenbeck’s notion that animals should be seen without being impeded by bars or fences — but rather in a quasi-natural habitat — has long been embraced by the zoo. Get up close with animals via the Animal Adventures program, take a guided tour of the park, hand-feed giraffes at the Giraffe Encounter exhibit, step into the wild at the Primate Panorama, or experience the Bear Mountain national historic site, the zoo’s oldest exhibit.
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The gorgeous Rocky Mountains offer no shortage of discovery and adventure. Nowhere is that more the case than around the Denver area.
So if the Colorado capital is in the works as a destination for you, consider getting away from the city on one of these breathtaking picturesque day trips.
Jump in a car and head up Mount Evans, home of the highest paved vehicle road in North America. Wind your way right to the top of the 14,260-foot summit, and take in one of the most incredible views of the Front Range. Located around 60 miles from Denver, a trip up Mount Evans is a great way to see the surrounding landscape. On your way up (or down), check out the M. Walter Pesman trail, home to an incredible array of flora (especially wildflowers) and fauna.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Itching for a good hike? Located 70+ miles northwest of Denver, Rocky Mountain National Park’s 400 square miles is home to extensive hiking trails as well as incomparable waterfalls, pristine lakes, horseback riding and much more. Nearby Estes Park features plenty of spots to grab a bite to eat and meander through some shops if you need a break from hiking.
Around halfway between Denver and Rocky Mountain National Park, the city of Boulder is certainly worth a visit. This burgeoning college town features plenty of live music, great places to eat, and a number of unique shops (including the Celestial Seasonings herbal tea factory).
Want to reconvene with nature? Explore the Boulder Creek Path on a bicycle or by foot, or hike the Flatirons in Chautauqua Park.
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While sales of macro-brewed beer by the big guys continue to slump in the U.S., there’s a category on the upswing that packs plenty of flavor and fun — the craft beer industry.
Smaller regional breweries are developing beer in styles that run the gamut from crisp Czech pilsners to smoky, oak-aged porters and everything in between (and that’s plenty).
If you’ve never been to a beer festival whose focus is regional, micro-brewed or craft beer, you should absolutely change that. Here are three beer fests that are more than worth your time:
San Francisco — The Bay Brewed — March 29
In addition to boasting an incredible food culture and countless high-end wineries in the vicinity, San Francisco is also home to some of the country’s best breweries. Throw in some incredible music and you’ve got yourself The Bay Brewed 2015: A Rock and Roll Beer Festival. Featuring Tumbleweed Wanderers, Guy Fox and more, tickets include the unlimited chance to taste local beer from local brewers such as 21st Amendment, Anchor, Magnolia Brewing and Speakeasy Ales & Lagers. Beer and rock and roll — what more could you ask for?
Boston — American Craft Beer Fest — May 29 and 30
BeerAdvocate, one of the country’s foremost beer-rating websites, and Harpoon Brewery come together once again to bring the American Craft Beer Festival, at the Seaport World Trade Center in beautiful Boston. Your admission gets you in the door and gives you a chance to taste over 600 beers from 140+ American brewers with thousands of other beer enthusiasts. With plenty of beer history right in the Boston area (as well as some tremendous places to eat), it’s the perfect setting for beer lovers to experience new brews.
Denver — Great American Beer Festival — Sept. 24-26
For over 30 years, Denver’s Great American Beer Festival has been helping bring the best and the boldest brews to new palates. Hosted by the Brewers Association at the Colorado Convention Center every fall, over 2,000 beers are poured throughout the weekend for the public, making it the largest ticketed beer event in the U.S. There are also dozens of beer judges evaluating the brews on-hand and making decisions on beers entered in the competition. Be the first to see and taste all the medal-winners.
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As if to prove the saying, “Ask and you shall receive” we are happy to announce the addition of Denver and Seattle to our portfolio of destinations after hearing from many of you that these are places to which you like to go.
Known as the “Mile High City” because it’s, well, a mile above sea level, Denver is located right next to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Surrounded by mountains, greenery and plenty of sunshine the city is a terrific place in which to commune with nature and take in the scenery. But aside from the 200 parks and stunning mountain views, this city has incredible architecture, museums, nightlife and a top restaurant scene.
Denver’s architecture reflects each of its boom times: Victorian, when silver was discovered; turn-of-the-century, when gold was found; and contemporary, when the energy boom added 16 skyscrapers to the downtown skyline in a three year period between 1980 to 1983.
Several of the Victorian and 20th-century buildings can be found in Lower Downtown (known as LoDo for those in the know), many of which have been refurbished to house restaurants, art galleries and shops. This is also brewpub central, with six brewpubs and micro-breweries found within easy walking distance of each other. And if you’re hungry, there are more than 90 restaurants, music clubs and cafes in LoDo.
With an active sports scene that includes seven professional teams, loads of shopping including the 16th Street Pedestrian Mall and more than its fair share of kid-friendly activities, Denver will rise, like the mountains, to any occasion.
Surrounded by water on two sides and gentle mountain slopes in the distance, Seattle is found on the eastern shore of Puget Sound, with its 1400 miles of shoreline. A true maritime city, Seattle serves as a major port for boating of all kinds. If you’re feeling a bit adventurous ride in a Duck – an amphibious vehicle created during WWII – that tours some of Seattle’s best attractions, rent a kayak, charter a boat or do some flightseeing on a float plane. If you’re in the city on the first Saturday in May, thousands of spectators line the shore of the Montlake Cut to watch the parade of boats and celebrate Seattle’s official Opening Day of Boating Season.
One of the city’s claim to fames is its café and coffee culture – this is where Starbucks started, after all. If you consider yourself a Starbucks fan you might want to make the pilgrimage to the original Starbucks at Pike Place Market (a famous destination unto itself covering nine acres) or go on a taste-intensive guided Coffee Crawl.
Seattle also has more than its fair share of galleries and museums so feel free to indulge in an art binge. From larger galleries including the Seattle Art Museum with installations such as Japanese Neo-Pop and Indigenous Beauty, to smaller museums like the Nordic Heritage Museum focusing on the history of immigrants from the five Nordic countries to the US, to neighborhood art walks, you’ll find the scene that’s right for you.
Award-winning chefs, a love of a good pint of ale (as evidenced by not one, but three, beer festivals held throughout the year), a strong sports scene, and wine country just outside the city limits round out a visit to Seattle.
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