Vermont Adaptive Sports Center, a nationally recognized nonprofit providing year-round sports and recreational programs for people with disabilities regardless of ability to pay, has just opened a $2.5 million, 4,000-square foot center at Mount Ellen at Sugarbush Resort, in Warren Vermont.
Vermont Adaptive promotes independence and furthers equality through access and instruction to sports and recreational opportunities including alpine skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports; kayaking, canoeing, sailing, cycling, hiking, rock climbing, tennis, horseback riding, and more. More than 400 volunteers serve clients of all abilities with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities from all over the world in three winter programming locations in Vermont – Pico Mountain at Killington; Sugarbush Resort in Warren; and Bolton Valley Resort in Bolton. Summer programs are provided state-wide.
Also, Bern Helmets, respected internationally for its proprietary street-inspired bike, snow, and action sports helmets, has partnered with Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports. Between last year and 2022, Bern will have contributed more than 300 helmets in a variety of sizes and styles for snow and bike activities in Vermont for participants with Vermont Adaptive.
Helmets are divided between the new adaptive sports facility in Sugarbush, opening Dec. 10, Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports’ traveling bike fleet and some were given directly to Vermont Adaptive participants. The traveling mountain bike fleet is used by participants all over Vermont and accesses many of the Vermont Mountain Bike Association Chapters’ trails. The traveling fleet is made up of a variety of different mountain bikes that serve those with diverse abilities. Additional helmets were gifted to participants directly to adhere to safety protocols during Winter Programming in 2021.
“Our relationship with Bern is critical to our programs,” said Jeff Alexander, director of strategic partnerships and business development for Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports. “Their donation of helmets enables athletes to ski, ride and bike in safety and in style. Many participants don’t own their equipment; being able to provide best- in- class equipment breaks down one of many barriers to getting outside and playing.”
“Supporting Vermont Adaptive’s mission is consistent with Bern’s DNA,” said Mickey Russell, social media manager. “We’re proud to support their year-round programming efforts in order to help people of all abilities experience the outdoors. This is just one of many ways we hope to get more people outside.”
In addition to sports, Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports year round programming options integrate environmental, holistic wellness, and competitive training philosophies for people of all ages with cognitive, developmental, physical and emotional behavioral disabilities.
BILLINGS, MT– Recently merged Active Adventures of Queenstown, New Zealand and Austin Adventures of Montana, USA have announced a holiday offer for the travel-starved this Black Friday through Cyber Monday.
From Friday, Nov. 26 through Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, this special offer saves travelers $500 (per person) on trips priced over $3,500 that are sold and operated exclusively by either travel brand. This booking offer for departures now through the 2022 season is valid through phone and/or online reservations. (Note: This offer excludes Australia hiking adventures and cannot be combined with other promotions, discounts or offers.)
Interested travelers can reserve a spot and take advantage of these special savings by calling 800-575-1540.
With over 60 years of combined experience, Active Adventures and Austin Adventures set the standard for inspiring, all-inclusive, small-group adventures in the most breath-taking regions of the world. Their teams across New Zealand, North America, Peru, Nepal and the Netherlands ensure every detail is looked after. Hand-picked guides with a wealth of experience and local knowledge lead the way as guests enjoy exclusive accommodations, top-notch dining and unique activities showcasing the best of each region.
Each of their 100+ trips are crafted, encouraging guests to not only challenge themselves physically but also to take a deep dive in the local way of life in every destination. For more information, visit activeadventures.com and austinadventures.com
First Trail in U.S. Designed Specifically for Autism Spectrum Disorder Communities and Families
Project Supported By More Than $3.3 Million in Private Funds
The nation’s first nature trail specifically designed to address the sensory needs of those with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities is open at Letchworth State Park in western New York State. Supported by more than $3.3 million in private fundraising, the new Autism Nature Trail is a one-mile hiking loop that includes eight marked sensory stations, each designed to address a different sensory experience in a safe and supportive environment.
“New York State is leading the nation in creating this public trail purposefully designed to bring the benefits of the outdoors to those on the autism disorder spectrum and their families,” Governor Kathy Hochul said. “State Parks should be accessible to everyone, and this is a welcoming and inclusive place for an underserved community.”
Activities along the Autism Nature Trail support and encourage sensory perception and integration, while also providing enjoyable activities for visitors of all abilities and ages. The stations engage each visitor’s senses, using nature and natural materials as the tools for skill-building. The trail is set up to allow for safe social distancing and planned interaction.
Sensory stations and other features of Autism Nature Trail include:
Sensory Station, where a collection of leaves, moss, fossils, animal fur, acorns and other objects are to be touched, handled, and even smelled;
Sunshine Slope, a gentle maze in an opening that includes a viewing platform, three cuddle swings, and an “Alone Zone;”
Music Circle, where a variety of nature-inspired musical instruments encourage creativity, either alone or with others;
Curiosity Corner, an open space with a gliding seat, ant-shaped boulders, and access to a shortcut back to the beginning of the trail;
Reflection Knoll, a quiet point halfway on the trail under a canopy of trees, with etchings of woodland creatures hidden in the boulders;
Meadow Run and Climb, a place with paths to run, jump and balance along serpentine berms and an obstacle course;
Design Zone, where visitors can manipulate materials from along the trail into patterns and structures;
Playful Path, a place of twisting paths with different surfaces including coarse gravel, log rounds, and sand;
The Nook, an area of carefully spaced seating set under a natural canopy;
The Celebration Station, as the final stop on the trail, this area has a place for visitors to express themselves through writing and drawing about their experiences on the trail.
Located near the park’s Humphrey Nature Center with parking, restrooms and Wi-Fi, the ADA-compliant trail was designed with input from Dr. Temple Grandin, a cattle industry expert who was diagnosed with autism in 1950 at the age of two and is now one of the world’s most well-known advocates for the autistic community.
Support and programming for the trail comes from the nearby Perry Central School District in Wyoming County and Rochester’s Camp Puzzle Peace, an Adirondack summer camp for families living with developmental disabilities. Fundraising for the trail is being managed on behalf of State Parks by the Natural Heritage Trust. The trust is a not-for-profit charitable corporation that receives and administers gifts, grants, and contributions to support public programs for parks, recreation, cultural, land and water conservation and historic preservation purposes.
Last month, Autism Nature Trail supporters marked the sudden loss of one of the project’s most devoted early advocates, ANT co-founder Susan Herrnstein. Her family has requested that any donations in her memory be made to the Autism Nature Trail through the Natural Heritage Trust.
Fundraising will continue to support visitor programming for the Autism Nature Trail. So far, more than 650 separate donations have been made to the project, reflecting more than 430 individual donors, 50 corporate donors, 25 community groups, and 15 foundations.
State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, “The public-private partnership that envisioned and accomplished this innovative project shows what the power of collaboration and commitment can achieve. State Parks values our dedicated staff and partners who have put in countless hours and is grateful for the generous financial support provided by so many donors.”
“Our hope is that the Autism Nature Trail will become an exemplar, widely replicated, taking from what we learned in the seven-year process of creating a first-of-its-kind experience in nature,” Loren Penman, an Autism Nature Trail co-founder and member of the Genesee Regional Park Commission, said. “While others retrofit public places to make them accessible, we have created an accessible place and made it public–and that has made all the difference.”
Gail Servanti, an Autism Nature Trail co-founder and member of the Genesee Regional Park Commission, said, “This is our dream come true and I eagerly await the positive impact a walk on the Autism Nature Trail will have on individuals and families of all abilities.”
“Camp Puzzle Peace was founded out of a desire to share a love of nature and to allow all families to experience the joy of the outdoors in a meaningful way,” Camp Puzzle Peace Executive Director Jen Hackett said. “We are very proud to partner with New York State to expand our purpose by providing programming on the Autism Nature Trail for all families, regardless of ability or diagnosis.”
Perry School District Superintendent Daryl McLaughlin said, “The eyes of the world are on this project. Everything we are doing has never been done before. This project represents what is possible when individuals, groups, and municipalities engage with one another to advance a cause. The Autism Nature Trail will be a powerful instructional space where cutting-edge learning and teaching will occur for all individuals. This project also will be a paradigm shift for economic development.”
About 1 in 54 children in the U.S. have been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ASD is reported to occur in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups and often has a tremendous impact on parents, siblings, and members of the extended family.
Statistics show that young people with autism spend disproportionate amounts of time indoors, often finding comfort in digital activities which results in social isolation. This disconnectedness not only affects individuals with ASD but also can affect caregivers and entire families, who can sometimes feel uncomfortable in outside settings.
Visited by nearly one million people annually, Letchworth State Park covers more than 14,000 acres and is one of the most scenically magnificent areas in the eastern U.S. In 2015, readers of USA Today voted it the best state park in the United States. Surrounded by lush forests, the Genesee River roars through the gorge over three major waterfalls between cliffs as high as 600 feet in some places. The park features 66 miles of hiking trails, as well as trails for horseback riding, biking, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing. Letchworth offers nature, history and performing arts programs, as well as guided walks, tours, a summer lecture series, whitewater rafting, kayaking, a pool for swimming and hot air ballooning.
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 individual parks, historic sites, recreational trails, and boat launches, which were visited by a record 78 million people in 2020. A recent university study found that spending by State Parks and its visitors supports $5 billion in output and sales, 54,000 private-sector jobs and more than $2.8 billion in additional state GDP. For more information on any of these recreation areas, visit www.parks.ny.gov, download the free NY State Parks Explorer mobile app or call 518.474.0456. Also, connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
NEW YORK– Lindblad Expeditions Holdings, Inc, a global provider of expedition cruises and adventure travel experiences today announced that it has acquired majority stakes in DuVine Cycling + Adventure Co., a leading luxury cycling and adventure travel company, and Off the Beaten Path LLC, a leading active travel operator with a specialization in U.S. National Parks. These acquisitions further broaden and deepen Lindblad’s platform of high-quality experiential product offerings in robust adventure travel sectors, including the rapidly growing cycling tourism and domestic expedition market.
Similar to the acquisition of Natural Habitat, Inc., Lindblad will leverage its experience and resources to accelerate the growth of these unique and profitable businesses and capitalize on the growing demand for authentic and immersive adventure travel. These best-in-class companies are also united by a focus on nature and sustainability, and will benefit from Lindblad’s and Natural Habitat’s scale, resources, marketing experience and conservation leadership.
DuVine is an award-winning international luxury cycling and adventure company based in Somerville, Massachusetts focused on providing immersive cultural experiences across the globe through thoughtfully designed itineraries led by expert local guides. DuVine’s trips include top-quality gear and support and are tailored to riders of all abilities with emphasis on exceptional food and wine experiences, along with boutique accommodations. DuVine also currently runs a variety of extraordinary trips that combine sail and biking experiences, which will be further expanded as part of Lindblad. Founded in 1996 by Andy Levine, DuVine’s diverse tour offerings include small group and private custom trips to destinations across Europe, the United States, Latin America, Asia and Africa. Mr. Levine will retain an ownership interest in DuVine and will continue as President and Chief Executive Officer of the new Lindblad subsidiary.
Off the Beaten Path, based in Bozeman, Montana, offers active small-group and private custom journeys around the world, with a long-standing focus on U.S. National Parks and connecting the heart of the traveler with the soul of the place through localized, authentic experiences. Founded in 1986, Off the Beaten Path’s small group product offerings include unique expeditions throughout the U.S, as well as trips across Europe, Africa, Australia, Central and South America and the South Pacific. Cory Lawrence, Off the Beaten Path’s President and Chief Executive Officer, will retain an ownership interest in Off the Beaten Path and continue in this role for the new Lindblad subsidiary.
“Bringing DuVine and Off the Beaten Path into our portfolio of brands will allow us to better serve a broader based clientele that has a diverse set of travel interests”, stated Sven Lindblad, President and CEO of Lindblad Expeditions. “The high level of quality and integrity of both these companies makes them perfect partners in our strategy of expanding our platform of experiential offerings. Our proven ability to leverage our platform and effectively cross market creates the opportunity to accelerate growth across our entire portfolio, and we will continue to look for additional opportunities to broaden and deepen our adventure travel offerings, both organically and through acquisitions, to aggregate larger audiences and generate greater lifetime value from our loyal guests.”
Ben Bressler, Founder and President of Natural Habitat is enthusiastic about the joining of forces. “DuVine offers invigorating experiences in nature for our more active guests, and Off the Beaten Path’s exceptional depth in creating custom U.S. national park adventures will appeal to Nat Hab travelers,” Bressler stated. “These two companies provide Lindblad and Nat Hab guests a depth of choice for premium life-enhancing travel experiences within a family of complementary brands – all driven by protecting our planet and inspiring travelers.”
Andy Levine, DuVine’s Founder and President, stated “I have long admired Lindblad for their exceptional expeditions and commitment to responsible travel, a core value that has also guided DuVine’s philosophy. Our companies share not only a desire to sustain the world’s most compelling cultures and communities, but also the belief that authentic, deeply rooted experiences make travel more fulfilling. DuVine’s journeys offer a new perspective grounded in active travel, local flavor, and an appreciation of nature from the seat of a bicycle. I can’t wait to introduce the transformative power of bike travel to a greater audience of adventure seekers.”
Cory Lawrence, Off the Beaten Path’s President, stated “We couldn’t be more excited to join Lindblad Expeditions and Natural Habitat Adventures to further our mission to change peoples’ lives through exceptional travel experiences. With our unique style of travel, strong domestic presence, and small group and bespoke travel design offerings, we are well-positioned to have immediate impact on the newly expanded family of companies. Expanding awareness of Off the Beaten Path and its unique offerings by leveraging the reach and expertise of both Lindblad and Natural Habitat is a major opportunity for our company in its 35th year of operation. We are thrilled!”
Lindblad Expeditions Holdings, Inc. is an expedition travel company that focuses on ship-based voyages through its Lindblad Expeditions brand and on land-based travel through its subsidiaries, Natural Habitat Adventures, Off the Beaten Path and DuVine Cycling and Adventure.
Lindblad Expeditions works in partnership with National Geographic to inspire people to explore and care about the planet. The organizations work in tandem to produce innovative marine expedition programs and to promote conservation and sustainable tourism around the world. The partnership’s educationally oriented voyages allow guests to interact with and learn from leading scientists, naturalists and researchers while discovering stunning natural environments, above and below the sea, through state-of-the-art exploration tools.
Natural Habitat Adventures partners with the World Wildlife Fund to offer and promote conservation and sustainable travel that directly protects nature. Natural Habitat’s adventures include polar bear tours in Churchill, Canada, Alaskan grizzly bear adventures and African safaris.
DuVine Cycling + Adventure Co. designs and leads luxury bike tours in the world’s most amazing destinations, from Italy’s sun-bleached villages and the medieval towns of Provence to Portugal’s Douro Valley and the vineyards of Napa, California. Guests bike, eat, drink, and sleep their way through these regions and many more while sampling the finest cuisine, hotels, and wine.
Off the Beaten Path is an outdoor, active travel company offering guided small group adventures and private custom journeys that connect travelers with the wild nature and authentic culture of their destinations. Off the Beaten Path’s trips extend across the globe, with a focus on exceptional national park experiences in the Rocky Mountains, Desert Southwest, and Alaska.
KILLINGTON, Vt. —Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports officials have filed an Act 250 permit application with the state of Vermont to build a new, $2 million adaptive sports facility at Sugarbush Resort’s Mt. Ellen. The application states that Vermont Adaptive is the applicant and Sugarbush Resort is the landowner. If approved, Vermont Adaptive’s Executive Director Erin Fernandez said the organization will break ground on the new facility in the spring.
“We’re in the final stages of our fundraising and are grateful for the continued support from Win Smith, Sugarbush, and its new owner, Alterra, to allow us to build our second adaptive sports facility in the state right here at our home at Mt. Ellen,” said Fernandez. “Friends and participants of Vermont Adaptive’s programs at Sugarbush have pledged a generous challenge to match every dollar up to $1 million for this Sugarbush facility. Sugarbush officials have granted a long term lease of the land necessary to build upon. We saw huge growth in our programs and the number of people who can participate in year-round sports when we built our first adaptive sports facility at Pico Mountain in 2013. We’re excited for the potential growth in the Mad River Valley with this next phase of our Home Sweet Home permanent homes campaign.”
Architectural plans, renderings and permitting began in Spring 2018 for the new 4,000-sq. ft. adaptive sports facility. Plans for the Sugarbush facility were designed by Jeff Dunham Architecture. Fernandez said that in addition to donations from individuals, the organization is seeking in-kind support in the form of building materials and more.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Vermont Adaptive in their efforts to build a new adaptive sports facility here at Mt. Ellen,” said Win Smith, president of Sugarbush Resort. “We believe in the great work of Vermont Adaptive and provide full support to realize their vision.”
Vermont Adaptive, nationally recognized for its year-round daily adaptive sports programs for people with any disability, has a total goal of $4 million to build, open and sustain this facility at Sugarbush, as well as to build a new permanent home on the Burlington Waterfront and Bike Path, and to create a sustainability fund to support these programs and facilities into the future.
“People with disabilities are more likely to have other health issues like heart disease, stroke, or diabetes which is why it is so important to provide programs for people to be active and live a healthy lifestyle,” said Fernandez. “This new facility allows us to grow and expand our existing programs and to serve more athletes with disabilities in the Mad River Valley and in Central Vermont, for those vacationing in Vermont, and beyond. More programs like wellness and environmental camps, plus retreats, social events, training seminars, and sport specific programs will be added to serve more people. Additional storage and maintenance spaces allow us to increase equipment capacity. The opportunities are limitless. In designing these facilities we thoughtfully consider and include features that focus on inclusion, adaptability and the participant’s overall experience. It’s a special and exciting time for us as we plant permanent roots in Central and Northern Vermont.”
The organization built and opened the Andrea Mead Lawrence Lodge at Pico Mountain in November 2013 with the Pico Ski Education Foundation, marking the completion of the first phase of the Home Sweet Home campaign. This facility houses the organization’s headquarters and is the hub for year-round programming in southern Vermont and the greater Rutland/Killington region. It is one of the only year-round adaptive sports facilities in Vermont and New England.
Vermont Adaptive’s humble beginnings began on the ski trails at Mt. Ascutney more than 30 years ago in 1987. As the organization expanded throughout the state to meet the recreational needs of those with disabilities, it also began summer programs to eventually become a nationally recognized year-round organization.
Stuck for a special gift for your animal-lover lover? Your art aficionado? Music buff or theater devotee? How about a snow leopard expedition for your adventure seeker? Think about giving the uniquely personal gift that keeps giving: the gift of a travel experience. The holidays is a time of wish fulfillment, so what better gift that tapping into that bucket list. Here are some ideas for the gift of getting away, no matter the time of year:
For the Animal-Lover
Winner: andBeyond Pangolin Adventure
Pangolins are mini (and adorable) dinosaur-like
mammals. While not commonly known in the U.S., these native African anteaters
are covered in keratin scales, which are highly valuable to poachers, making
them the most trafficked mammal in the world. The species used to roam freely
in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, but have been locally extinct
for decades. andBeyond Phinda
Private Game Reserve has committed to
reintroducing the species to the area, and there are already three thriving in
their new environment. Conservation-minded travelers can have the
once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get up close and personal with these elusive
creatures with andBeyond’s Pangolin Conservation Experience and assist in
replacing tags and monitoring behavior. Rates from $3,504 per group (up to six
Runner-Up: Nayara’s Sloth Sanctuary
Ever wonder what it would be like to sleep all
day? And all night? Of course you have. Humans are naturally lazy. But not as
lazy as sloths. The slowest mammal on earth loves to hang around in Cecropia
trees. Spot them in the wild at the new Nayara Tented Camp in Costa Rica, which opens December 20. As a part of
Nayara’s commitment to reforestation, the acres surrounding the resort are
being replanted with thousands of trees, including the Cecropia trees, so that
the sloths can continue to thrive. Take a slow, leisurely stroll around the
property to see these fabulous animals in in-action. Rates start from $1,200
For the Art Aficionado
Winner: La Reserve Paris
Mona-who? Been there, done that. The
latest must-see at the Louvre celebrates much more than the Instagram
overloaded Mona Lisa. Open through February 24, the Leonardo da Vinci
exhibition honors the 500th anniversary of the Renaissance man’s death. Though
almost sold out, guests of La Réserve Paris can skip the line by booking the Leonardo da
Vinci package, including two VIP
fast-track tickets to the exhibition and da Vinci inspired cocktails at Le Bar.
Package rates start at $1,330.
Runner-Up: Belmond La Residencia
It’s P-art-y time in Mallorca! Deia,
the hillside village on the island’s northwest coast, is an artsy town
welcoming painters, sculptors and writers for inspiration. Among Mallorca’s
most famous former residents is Joan Miró, and Belmond La
Residencia is home to the
largest exhibition of his paintings
in a hotel anywhere in the world. Thirty-three of his
will be on display in Café Miró, the hotel’s bistro, until September 2020. The
hotel lawn is also one of Spain’s largest outdoor sculpture gardens, and it
features Tete (1975), a Miró bronze head. After taking in
the art, enjoy Belmond La Residencia’s “Tea with Miró,” which is inspired by the artist’s signature use of bold
colors and abstract line drawings. The tea is served on an exclusive tea set
made of La Cartujade Sevilla porcelain with a design based on Miró’s 1952 work, Sans titre. The setwill
be available for purchase in the on-site boutique. Rates start at $470 per
Fore! The Golfer
Winner: Belmond Royal Scotsman
Hit the links with Belmond Royal Scotsman as the
train travels through the heart of the Highlands from tee time to tee time.
Golf enthusiasts can customize the two- to seven-night journeys by adding
rounds at Scotland’s renowned courses such as Gleneagles, Royal Donorch Golf
Club, Castle Stuart Golf Links and Kingbarns Golf Links. A veritable ‘country
house on wheels,’ the Royal Scotsman will also make stops at local distilleries
including Strathisla Distillery, the oldest working distillery in the Scottish
Highlands. Journeys start at $3,158 per person for the two-night Taste of the Highlands itinerary.
Enjoy a golf experience fit for a king at
Ireland’s Dromoland Castle. Set on a 450-acre
estate, the 15-century castle’s parkland course is the perfect place to hone
golf skills. Take a lesson at The Academy, the on-site golf school helmed by a
resident PGA pro. What’s more, Dromoland can coordinate private transfers and
tee times at Ireland’s famed links courses, including nearby Lahinch,
Ballybunion, Tralee and the new Adare Manor. Rates start at $355 per
For the Adventure Seeker
Winner: andBeyond Snow Leopard Expedition
Known as ‘Little Tibet’ or the ‘Roof of the
World’, the mountainous region of Ladakh is situated on the northern border of
India and is home to the snow-capped Himalayas, cobalt lakes and an abundance
of wildlife, including the elusive snow leopard. The species, listed as
‘vulnerable’ and rare to find, lives in this high-altitude cold desert
environment and can be seen during winter months. Conservation-minded,
experiential safari outfitter andBeyond offers travelers the opportunity to
explore this wilderness with the region’s most experienced guides, offering the
rare opportunity to meet a snow leopard, if luck strikes. The 12-day Snow Leopard
Expedition sets off in small
group set-departures in January, February and March 2020. Rates start from
$6,891 per person, including a $200 donation to the Snow Leopard Conservancy.
Runner-Up: Ponant Emblematic Antarctica Cruise
Journey to the ends of the earth, but make it
luxury. Swap icicles in your eyelashes for a champagne toast on an Antarctic
iceberg with Ponant, the leader in polar cruising. Each trip to the
southernmost continent challenges adventure seekers with the trip through the
Drake Passage – the 600-mile stretch of ocean between South America and the
Antarctic peninsula that boasts some of the roughest seas in the world. Keep an
ear out as the captain will often stop and redirect the ship to point out
passing whales, Gentoo and Adelie penguins, and crabeater seals. Once in
Antarctica, expedition guides and naturalists will lead daily Zodiac excursions
with visits to research stations and former whaling stations. Rates start from
$13,310 per person for the 11-day / 10-night Emblematic
For the Theater Goer
Winner: Chatwal, New York
Do you like your theater with a little side of
murder mystery? If so, you’ve come to the right place – The Chatwal, New
York. Designed in 1905 by iconic American architect
Stanford White – who was famously killed by his mistress’s husband atop Madison
Square Garden – The Chatwal was once home to the prestigious Lambs, America’s
first professional theatrical club. The Chatwal continues to play homage to its
history as the epicenter of Broadway. A dedicated theater concierge can offer
access to the most sought-after shows; and guests can enjoy a pre-theater
dinner at Geoffrey Zakarian’s The Lambs Club at The Chatwal. Rates start at
$595 per night based on double occupancy.
Theater buffs visiting The Westbury in Dublin can explore the history of Ireland’s stage with
the complimentary Theatre Walking Tour every Thursday morning. The 90-minute
stroll begins in the vibrant Georgian Quarter and brings guests to key sites
around the city, including a behind-the-scenes look at the famed Abbey Theatre,
which has nurtured the talents of Irish playwrights like William Butler Yeats.
The tour also includes a lesson on ancient Irish storytelling at the Setanta
Wall, and a look at the drama-inspired artwork within the National Gallery.
Rates start at $277 per night.
For the Movie Buff
The 25th James Bond movie, which will mark
Daniel Craig’s final appearance as 007, is heading back to Jamaica. In
celebration of the April 2020 release, movie buffs can retrace the island life
of Bond’s creator, Ian Fleming. The author was a former British intelligence
officer and discovered Jamaica during a WWII mission in 1942. Four years later,
he purchased 15 acres of under-developed tropical land and named it GoldenEye
to pay homage to his naval operation that first brought him to the island. He
resided at GoldenEye every January and February for more than two decades and
wrote a new Bond novel each winter for a total of 14 books. His beachfront
bungalow, which is now called The Fleming Villa with five bedrooms, is part of
the 52-acre GoldenEye resort. Fleming’s
writing desk and sunken garden where he would entertain the likes of Noël
Coward and Katherine Hepburn are available for guests to enjoy. Rates start at
$6,365 per night.
Runner-Up: Park Hyatt Tokyo
Guests of Park Hyatt Tokyo can channel Bill Murray while sipping on a whisky flight in
the hotel’s 52nd floor New York Bar. Famed as the location of Sofia
Coppola’s Lost In Translation, the bar’s signature L.I.T cocktail
with Japanese sake and peach liqueur can be enjoyed to the soundtrack of live
jazz while overlooking the sparkling city skyline. Rates start at $600 per
For the Romantic Beach Bum
Winner: Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi
“Love Island” – not just a reality show,
but something that could actually be your reality. Give the
gift of an ultimate couples’ vacation in the Maldives. When it debuted in
July, Waldorf Astoria Maldives
Ithaafushi became the first
luxury resort to open near the capital of Malé in the last decade. The journey
to tranquility begins with a yacht ride from the airport to the resort. The 122
accommodations include 39 beach villas, each of which features a swimming pool
and a private alcove on the beach with an outdoor hammock and two sunbeds.
Surround yourself with sand and surf on a nearby sandbar, available for a wine
pairing dinner or a yoga class. Rates start at $1,700 per night.
Runner-Up: Belmond Cap Juluca
Set on the white sands of Anguilla’s Maundays
Bay, known as one of the most pristine beaches in the Caribbean, each room
at Belmond Cap Juluca has its own private slice of sand complete with a dedicated
beach butler. Guests of the newly renovated property can soak in the Caribbean
sun and sway to live calypso and reggae at the Cap Shack, a laid-back beach bar
with a vintage ’80s food truck serving up everything from fish tacos to rum
punches and poke bowls. Rates start from $725 per night.
For the #InstagramFamous Friend
Winner: Dalloway Terrace
Off to Europe for the festive season? Why not
hit two countries in one – visitors to The Bloomsbury in London will be treated to a Merry Swissmas
celebration. The hotel’s heated, al fresco restaurant, Dalloway Terrace, has
launched a collaboration with the alpine resort town of Gstaad. Stroll from
Regent’s Park into snow-dusted pine garlands and frosty foliage. Gstaad’s Swiss
traditions overwhelm the terrace, with bespoke “Scherenschnitte” (Swiss paper
cuttings) on display around the restaurant. Guests can warm up with Foxford
woolen blankets and warming cocktails like an alpine toddy – a hot toddy with a
chamomile twist. Cocktails are delivered to the table with a Retro Viewer that
allows guests to gaze upon the picturesque mountains of Gstaad between sips.
Afternoon tea starts at $50 per person.
Runner-Up: Almanac Rooftop
360-degree views of Barcelona, check.
Instagrammable décor, check. Craft cocktails, check. Almanac Barcelona’s Azimuth rooftop bar is open year-round, beckoning guests
with its coral-hued, cocoon-like lounges and cozy blankets during the mild
winter months. The city is known for its gin and tonics, with the clear liquid
and fizzy bubbles the perfect accessory for an Instagrammable rooftop view.
Almanac’s signature ‘Dealer’s Choice’ cocktail is elevated with dry sherry from
Jerez, grapefruit bitters and artisanal tonic water. Rates start from $287 per
For the Foodie Focused
Winner: Chuck Williams Culinary Arts Museum in
Give the gift of the CIA. No, not that CIA
– the Culinary Institute
of America at Copia in Napa Valley is
the perfect place for travelers to the region to become immersed in the local
food culture, with daily cooking classes and tastings from local wineries.
Newly opened at the CIA, the Chuck Williams Culinary Art Museum features the
4,000-piece personal culinary collection – including rare special cookware,
bread baking and culinary tools, appliances, and tableware – of the
Williams-Sonoma founder. Admission to the museum is free. Class and tasting
pricing varies with rates starting at $30.
Runner-Up: Shou Sugi Ban House
Get a taste for the flavors that put Noma in
Copenhagen on the map! Chef Mads Refslund, formerly of the world’s best
restaurant, now directs the food and beverage program at wabi sabi-inspired
wellness retreat and destination spa Shou Sugi Ban House in the Hamptons. The plant-based menu is inspired by Nordic,
Japanese and New England cuisines. Located in Water Mill, New York, adjacent to
the Parrish Art Museum, the 13-room property incorporates many forms of
wellness in its multi-day retreats, which include spa and healing arts
treatments, workshops, meditation and movement. Rates start at $550 per person.
P.S. Don’t forget the most important carry-on
items when traveling: chocolate and a face mask. La Maison du Chocolat’s Bars Unhinged ($14) are the perfect plane-size snack (think mini
deconstructed chocolate bars). Guinot’s Newhite Instant Brightening Mask ($77, set of seven) is a travel-size sheet mask that removes
those post-flight dark circles and creates a glow in 10 quick minutes.
WINDHAM MOUNTAIN RESORT, N.Y. – Windham Mountain Resort and the Adaptive Sports Foundation have joined forces with the Capital Region Nordic Alliance, Inc. to offer Nordic and ParaNordic activities at Windham Country Club this winter, including cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, orienteering, and biathlon (light-based and paintball).
Beginning Saturday, December 15, 2018, the Country Club will be open from 9am to 4:30pm, Friday through Sunday, with additional hours during holiday periods. Trail fees will be $10 for adults and $8 for youth. Children ages six and under are free. An additional fee of $10 for adults and $5 for youth will be charged for orienteering or biathlon activities. Rental equipment and PSIA certified Nordic lessons are also available. Capital Region Nordic Alliance, Inc. plans to work closely with The Adaptive Sports Foundation in Windham, making these services available to children and adults with physical and cognitive disabilities and chronic illnesses.
“Last year, we offered cross-country skiing and snowshoeing at the Country Club, but it was contingent on natural snow, making operations difficult. This is an exciting expansion because the orienteering and biathlon activities will be available whether there is snow on the ground or not,” says Kristen Garraghan, Director of Operations at Windham Country Club. “I had the pleasure of managing Nordic operations at Windham Country Club toward the end of last winter and I’m thrilled about this new partnership. We’re looking forward to a great season!” adds Russ Myer, Executive Director of the Capital Region Nordic Alliance.
Capital Region Nordic Alliance, Inc. is a 501(c) 3, not for profit outdoor recreation alliance supporting veterans, adults and youth with disabilities. The organization focuses on year-round activities in the Nordic and Paralympic Nordic sports to the entire community. Proceeds from Capital Region Nordic Alliance’s operations at Windham Country Club will support its programming. For more information visit capitalregionnordicalliance.org.
Windham Mountain Resort is a year-round destination in the Great Northern Catskills of Greene County, NY, about two and a half hours north of New York City. With 285 skiable acres, Windham boasts 54 trails serviced by 12 lifts, with a new high-speed, six-passenger detachable lift for 2018/2019. The Resort offers six terrain parks, Terrain Based Learning™, beginner packages, lodging, dining options, an Adventure Park, the full-service Alpine Spa, sunset skiing, and much more. In the summer months, Windham Mountain Bike Park is famous for its World Cup course, but also features a three-mile-long beginner trail. Windham Mountain Country Club is an 18-hole public golf course with a private club atmosphere. Visit windhammountain.com for details on these activities and more, and for information on upcoming events.