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
CEO Michael Gazalah of Manhattan-based City Running Tours explains why exploring a city with the locals makes all the difference.
Magellan: City Running Tours is based in New York but offers personalized running tours in cities across the U.S. and in Toronto, Canada. Would you talk about where your big idea came from? About how you got started?
MG: Sure. I’m a chiropractor and I was working out of a Manhattan gym and I got a call from a friend about an Australian guy who was in town and looking for a running partner. My friend knew I was a runner who could match the guy’s pace and distance requirements. I thought it would be cool to run with him and show him around a bit, so I agreed to go. We clicked and a spark of an idea was born. That was 11 years ago.
Magellan: Do you have a “typical” client?
MG: Yes and no! We know that about a quarter of our clientele – and that number is growing – are returning business professionals, people who make regular visits to our cities. We have clients who run with us multiple times during extended stays. We also offer corporate and group events. We embrace a broad swath of competitive, recreational and social runners. We’re popular with families, whether the kids are running alongside or are tucked into strollers. And we attract slightly more women than men.
Magellan: What do you think your clients are looking for?
MG: That will vary depending on the client; people have different motivations. But we know a big driver for runners is the desire to keep on schedule, to maintain their training and mileage while they’re on the road. Running with a guide means committing to that schedule with ease – without the burden of planning – and being mentally free to simply enjoy the act of running. For many, running with a group or partner is a social experience with the added benefit of exploring unfamiliar parts of the city from a local perspective. For women wanting to run early in the mornings or after work, we offer not only ease, but security. The same for families. The commonality is that people are looking for a broader experience than running alone, which is our value-add. We stop, explore and chat according to the client’s wishes.
Magellan: What won’t you do?
MG: I can’t think of anything off the top of my head that we won’t do, but making smart choices is always the starting point. We tend to run off the beaten path and each run is tailored to the specific needs, wants and abilities of the client. So we’ll run in all kinds of weather but will be constantly assessing routes if temperature or conditions are extreme. For instance, running across the Brooklyn Bridge offers unique challenges due to its exposure to the elements, wind in particular. And running New York during a snowfall can be tricky, but, on the flip side, it possesses a charm because the city is so much quieter than normal. All of our guides are local runners so they know the ins and outs of each place; they know what’s possible and what’s not. Overall, exploring an urban environment means you’ll never know exactly what to expect, as each street and neighbourhood has quirks and tells a different story. That’s an intrinsic part of the journey.
Magellan: What do you like most about what you do?
MG: I like the whole adventure of it. I like showcasing our city to clients and sharing insider tips about New York. I especially like when they tell us that our tours have been the highlight of their trip – that is the highest compliment they can pay us.
City Running Tours services major cities including NYC, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Honolulu, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC and Toronto. It makes it easy to stay with Magellan Luxury Hotels and run with the locals.
Photos provided courtesy of City Running Tours. All rights reserved.
Our Luxury Hotel Consultants Recommend:
Modern Manhattan meets classic Paris under one roof at Baccarat Hotel & Residences New York. The 114 guest rooms and suites are outfitted with custom furniture designed by Gilles & Boissier, and exude the class and timeless appeal of both Manhattan and the City of Lights. Top-notch amenities and first-rate service complete this energetic romantic, elegant hotel experience.
Fit for royalty, the Palace Hotel features opulent furnishings and a sophisticated ambiance with amenities and exceptional service to go along with. A favorite of celebrities and dignitaries, the Palace Hotel is situated in the heart of San Francisco. With three delicious dining options, a sky-lit indoor pool and historic Beaux-Arts beauty, this warm and inviting “palace” provides the perfect San Francisco luxury stay.
Set in the bustling Waikiki Beach Walk development, the luxurious Trump Hotel Waikiki is surrounded by numerous restaurants, shops and nightlife options. However, if you choose not to leave the hotel you won’t be short on choice. It has three distinct restaurants and lounges, one of which offers live entertainment and another with an idyllic outdoor setting. You’ll also find a sixth-floor infinity pool, deluxe beach service and a spa.
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Books. Food. Drinks.
You can rearrange those three words in whatever priority is most important to you, but the outcome is the same: the holy triumvirate of an interesting social experience known as Lit Crawl. It was the brainchild of San Francisco’s Litquake Literary Festival in 2004 and additional venues have launched in Manhattan, Austin, Brooklyn, Seattle, Los Angeles, London, Helsinki, Miami, Portland, Denver, Boston and Chicago.
It takes literature out of the usual places, such as bookstores and cafes, and moves it into an expanded public realm by way of unexpected venues including: bars, galleries, clothing boutiques, furniture showrooms, parking lots, laundromats, bowling alleys, barbershops, beekeeping supply shops, parks even police stations. Lit Crawl takes over neighborhoods with pop-up events, borrowing the best elements of everyone’s favourite bar crawl and combining them with a “fast-paced mob scene of literary mayhem.” Dozens of writers are invited to read from their work and hundreds and, in some cases, thousands move along designated routes getting “drunk on words” for the illustrious price of absolutely free.
San Francisco’s closing night Lit Crawl now attracts close to 10,000 people and is the world’s largest Lit Crawl event.
Here’s a taste:
Lit Crawl San Francisco – October 15, 2016
From the website: One of the most anticipated literary nights of the year, San Francisco’s Lit Crawl attracts close to 10,000 people, and is the world’s largest such event. In 2008 Lit Crawl NYC launched in Manhattan, also an immediate hit. Austin was next, swarming for the first time in 2011. In 2012, we birthed two more Lit Crawls, one in Brooklyn, another in Seattle. In 2013, we expanded to Los Angeles, Iowa City, and London, and in 2014, a Lit Crawl was launched in Helsinki. Lit Crawl Portland was born in 2015 and this year we welcome Lit Crawl Denver, Boston, and Chicago.
Get drunk on words!
Lit Crawl/Wordstock Portland – November 5th, 2016
From the website: Wordstock: Portland’s Book Festival will be held at the Portland Art Museum and at venues in the surrounding South Park Blocks area on Saturday, November 5, 2016.
The festival will include author discussions and activities for readers of all ages, an extensive book fair, pop-up readings and concerts, a beverage garden, and local food trucks.
Literary Arts is proud to build on Wordstock’s history. We look forward to collaborating with the incredible group of writers, publishers, volunteers, and funders who have built this celebration of literature into an important cultural moment for Portland and for Oregon.
Lit Crawl Los Angeles – October 26, 2016
From the website: The international Lit Crawl phenomenon returns to L.A. with the 4th Annual Lit Crawl L.A. on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 in the North Hollywood Arts District! Over 36 restaurants, bars, galleries, theaters and other hip NoHo venues will host an evening of innovative presentations with the best of L.A.’s literary scene sampling from throughout Los Angeles County and the SoCal region!
Over 40 presenters including readings series, lit journals, performance groups, local presses and more are hosting events at 36+ locations across the NoHo Arts District! Held in three 45-minute rounds, this progressive literary night is a chance to dine, explore, and stroll while enjoying readings and performances!
Lit Crawl Helsinki – Dates TBD
From the website: Finns love books and reading. Kirjakrooli wants to invite all book lovers and writers to meet each other in a casual and friendly environment. These encounters are in their element in the easy-going setting of libraries, cafés, restaurants and such. The Kirjakrooli events take place in the very heart of Helsinki and have no admission fees. It’s just as easy to go and hear your favourite writer or take a peek at (or a listen to…) someone totally new to you while enjoying a cup of coffee, a beer or a meal. There were readings in Finnish, one in English and collaborations with writers and translators in Swedish and Finnish.
Lit Crawl Austin/Texas Book Festival – November 5th, 2016
From the website: A collaboration between the Texas Book Festival and the Litquake Foundation. Inspired by the San Francisco literary festival Litquake’s long-running Lit Crawl (and produced with Litquake’s participation), Lit Crawl features some of America’s most groundbreaking and beloved writers onstage for literary mayhem in places you’d never anticipate!
On Saturday, November 5, Lit Crawl Austin will celebrate its sixth year of irreverent literary programming. Join us on the East Side for a night of performances, games, trivia matches, music, and all-ages storytelling sessions.
National organizations and local literary series like Austin Bat Cave’s Story Department, Five Things, Greetings from Queer Mountain, Gulf Coast, Kickstarter, Slice Literary, and PEN descend on East Side bars, a yoga studio, a small-batch gelato shop, and even the Texas State Cemetery to offer up authors you can’t wait to read and shows you won’t forget.
Lit Crawl Denver – September 2nd, 2016
From the website: It’s the first ever Denver Lit Crawl!
Hosted by At The Inkwell, The Fbomb Reading Series, The Bookbar, The Lighthouse Writers, The Mile High MFA, The Colorado Center for the Book and more! We will be “crawling” down Tennyson Street–6 different venues, 6 different curators, and more literary talent than you can imagine.
Lit Crawl London – Dates TBD
LitCrawl Seattle – Dates TBD
Lit Crawl NYC – Dates TBD
Lit Crawl London – Dates TBD
Lit Crawl Boston – Dates TBD
Our Luxury Hotel Consultants Recommend:
Located in the posh Upper East Side, The Pierre offers old-fashioned, white glove service with amenities designed to provide guests with an unparalleled luxury experience. With a staff-to-guest ratio of 3:1, The Pierre continues to push the envelope in luxury accommodations. Originally constructed in 1930, The Pierre is the US flagship of Taj Hotels. Celebrating over 80 years in business, The Pierre is an integral part of Manhattan’s history.
What once was the Charles Street Jail is now one of Boston’s must-see luxury hotels, The Liberty Hotel. The storied past is evident from the high vaulted ceilings, exposed brick walls, and open walkways that overlook the lobby. The former exercise yard has been transformed into a private courtyard that has become one of Beacon Hill’s most treasured ‘hidden gardens’. Once a place people longed to escape, The Liberty Hotel is now a place people wish they could stay longer.
Capella, Georgetown is one of the city’s newest residents and latest addition to the prestigious Capella Hotels and Resorts portfolio. Within the brick façade of this intimate boutique hotel, style and sophistication radiate throughout boasting original artwork, sophisticated colors and modern technology. Set along the historic C&O Canal in the heart of Georgetown, guests can expect a luxury hotel experience that is anything but ordinary.
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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
Our Luxury Hotel Consultants Recommend:
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.
The best way to pull off an epic run is to somehow make it fun. Granted, a 26.2-mile marathon (or even a 13.1-mile half marathon) isn’t always a barrel of laughs, but it doesn’t have to be a grueling, joyless ordeal either.
Every year, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series of events is host to more runners than any other running event in the U.S. And with good reason: the event stops in a number of cities across the U.S. and beyond such as Chicago, Seattle, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, and San Francisco. (They also happen to be plenty of fun.) Participants can choose between shorter runs — 5k, 10k, or portions of a relay – or go for the gusto with half or full marathons in any of the participating cities.
At every stop there’s a two-day health and fitness expo that features plenty of the latest in running technology, health and nutrition information, running gear and much more. Whether you’re only setting out for a 5k or doing the full marathon, it’s key to ensure you’re prepared as best as possible.
Like the feeling of pride that comes with wearing a medal around your neck? Check out the Run for the Bling feature, which allows runners participating in multiple Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon events to combine runs and earn special medals on the tour.
And yes, there’s actual rock ‘n’ roll (and more) to be heard — previous entertainers to have been featured at the finish line concert include the Goo Goo Dolls, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Brad Paisley, Train, Pat Benatar and more.
And while there’s plenty of great entertainment to be found before, during and after your run, you can also feel good knowing you’ve helped raise a portion of the $310+ million raised for various charities across the U.S.
Our Luxury Hotel Consultants Recommend:
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Why do over 10 million visitors make the trek to Seattle’s Pike Place Market every year? Well, for the past 100 years the area has combined great flavors, locally made artisanal crafts and innovation in one space.
In 1907, eight farmers set up shop and began selling their wares in the area. Today hundreds of farmers, craftspeople and other businesses open their doors and kiosks every day across the area’s nine acres for tens of thousands of visitors.
With so much to see and do at Pike Place Market, here are some of the key spots you shouldn’t miss:
The world’s first Starbucks
Yes, you can get the iconic chain’s lighter and darker roasts in thousands of outlets worldwide, but Pike Place Market is where it all started. Hey, they even named one of their coffees after the market.
The Tasting Room
Looking for something a little stronger than coffee? Check out The Tasting Room, a co-op of seven Washington wineries offering their wares in a Euro-style cave. If you’re not familiar with Washington State’s incredible red and white wines, you should go.
City Fish Co. and Pike Place Fish Market
Here are two fish stands doing it their own ways. City Fish Co. has been in the business since 1917, and takes pride in high-quality seafood brought in daily. Pike Place Fish Market, meanwhile, also delivers top-quality seafood, but with a bit more fun and flair for the customer.
Local artisans and crafts
Over 200 local and regional craftspeople sell their wares at Pike Place Market. Whether you’re looking for clothing, jewelry, toys, natural herbal products or art, you’re sure to find something that suits your taste.
Eating at Pike Place Market
It’s tough to make it through Pike Place Market without feeling a little peckish. And while there are plenty of ingredients to take away at Pike Place Market, there are a number of spots to chow down no matter what time you’re visiting or what you crave. Fine dining? Cafes? Takeaway counters, bakeries and bistros? Pike Place Market has it all.
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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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