The days of piston combustion are numbered, as any owner of a hybrid or fully electric car will tell you. Luckily, petrolheads seeking some solace can get instant anxiety relief with a visit to Great Britain. It has a piston-powered heritage reaching back over a century, and offers plenty of sites that have been optimized for vacation visits.
Holiday self-drivers can start their tour at the horsepower mecca of Goodwood just 90 minutes southwest of London’s Heathrow Airport. With its historic racetrack and airport, Goodwood holds two famous festivals devoted to internal combustion – the Festival of Speed and the Goodwood Revival classic car show. Visitors who want to attend either event should start planning a year in advance for accommodations and tickets. On the other hand, those visiting at other times of the year can reserve a room at the charming Goodwood Hotel, which is generally fully booked up during the festivals. Goodwood resides within a countryside setting and presents an attractive option for dinner and a rest after arrival at Heathrow. The next day, guests can book a driving experience at the track, or even reserve a demo flight in a WWII Harvard warbird trainer priced from £499. goodwood.com
National Motor Museum
There are plenty of palatial heritage manors scattered about Britain that visitors can tour and gain a sense of old-world opulence. But none have an extensive, curated collection of historic automobiles and motorcycles, as is the case at the Beaulieu Estate, in the pastoral New Forest region of southern coastal England. On the rambling grounds of the estate is the National Motor Museum, which preserves and displays a vast array of vehicles across all eras of motoring, on both two wheels and four. There is a predominance of British machinery, but highlights from other nations (BMW, Ferrari, Ducati, etc.) are also displayed. beaulieu.co.uk
Those seeking more adventure in the sky can schedule a flight in a special two-seat Spitfire fighter aircraft at the historic Biggin Hill Aerodrome near London. Rates for these range from £2,750 for a 30-minute local Kent flight to £6,550 for the 70-minute Coastal Patrol flight. bigginhillheritagehangar.co.uk
Classic Team Lotus
From the scenic city of Norfolk, it is a short drive to see the spectacular race car collection at Classic Team Lotus. This is where a host of automotive concepts were conceived, built, tested and engineered to render world-beating sports cars and racing cars. Classic Team Lotus maintains an outstanding collection of Formula One race cars that were piloted by many of the F1 greats. A new larger museum is under construction now and is scheduled to open in 2020. Also coming is a new Customer Experience Centre, which will give visitors the opportunity to take the wheel of a current Lotus sports car on the company’s own twisty test track.
A racetrack driving experience might be the ultimate indulgence for a diehard motorhead, and potentially the peak opportunity for that is waiting at the Silverstone Formula One circuit. Now, visitors can put wheel to pavement on the storied circuit, by choosing from a selection of driving experiences. These include a Supercar Experience (£279), Racecar Experience (£219), Ferrari Experience (£179), Aston Martin Experience (£179), and a Caterham Drift Experience (£119), to name some. Shorter drives are billed as Thrills, and cost less. silverstone.co.uk
A great Barbados vacation starts with great hotel choices. Whether you’re opting for a grand hotel with sprawling grounds, a quiet and quaint bed-and-breakfast, or an easy breezy all-inclusive, you’ll always find personalized service, Bajan hospitality, and a boutique atmosphere at the heart of every stay.
The different types of vacation stays on the island are underscored by the three different properties owned by the OCEAN HOTELS Barbados group.
Ocean Two Resort & Residences is an 88-room, beachfront property set to become an all-inclusive resort in November 2020. Within easy reach of St. Lawrence’s Gap, known for its restaurants and nightlife, Ocean Hotels will always urge its guests to get out and see Barbados. “We really encourage our guests to explore the island,” says Melissa Defreitas, Sales and Marketing Coordinator, Ocean Hotels. “We don’t want guests to feel limited, we want them to have local experiences.” Guests will find both a ground-level pool and an adults-only rooftop plunge pool, and they can choose between rooms and suites. The sounding of a conch shell marks three daily happy hours. The hotel has a restaurant, room service, and multiple bars, including a swim-up pool bar. Other features include a fully equipped fitness centre with cardio and weight equipment, in-room spa services, and massages either in a private area of the Roof Deck Patio overlooking a bay or on the beach.
South Beach Hotel, a “very boutique” 49-room hotel just a minute’s walk from the beach, was inspired by the lively Miami district of the same name. On Barbados’ south coast, South Beach Hotel has a restaurant, poolside food and beverage service, pool deck bar with happy hour and evening entertainment, a meeting room, fitness room, and spa services.
Finally, Sea Breeze Beach House is a 122-room all-inclusive that boasts four bars, six dining options and nightly entertainment. Visitors will also find a kids’ and teens’ program, water sports, fitness room, a beach activities program, meeting room, and wedding and event services. More information is available on any of the three properties at oceantwobarbados.com.
Among CARIBBEAN COLLECTION Barbados’s three all-inclusive properties is Mango Bay (mangobaybarbados.com), a smallish retreat on the west coast. Guests will find 76 rooms, each with a patio or balcony, and a restaurant that features an open-air dining option and BBQ nights. A wide variety of amenities and activities include catamaran cruises, scuba diving demonstrations, glass-bottom boat rides, a pool, water-skiing, Hobie- Cat sailing, paddle boats, snorkelling, and kayaking. And, if that’s not enough to keep you occupied, activities available at an added cost include boat trips, golf, spa services, horse racing, and a trip to the popular Oistins.
Island Inn Hotel (islandinnbarbados.com) is a 24-unit hotel found within the Garrison area – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and features the Boardwalk Restaurant serving local and international cuisine.
The Sands Barbados (thesandsbarbados.com) is a new all-inclusive hotel located on a stunning white-sand beach on the South Coast of Barbados. The property boasts contemporary-style accommodation with 153 rooms within 87 apartments ranging from Superior Garden Studios to Two- Bedroom Oceanfront Penthouse Suites. It is ideal for those seeking a trendy all-inclusive beach holiday and is in close proximity to the renowned St. Lawrence Gap area in Christ Church. Key features include a spa, pool, two bars, roof deck restaurant, nightly entertainment, and water sports, including kayaking, snorkelling, body boards, and free scuba lessons.
Port Ferdinand resort offers laid-back luxury and personalized Bajan service that feels boutique. Set around a 120-berth marina, Port Ferdinand has one-, two-, and three-bedroom villas, luxurious with marble and limestone finishes, coral stone walls, a fully equipped open-plan kitchen, living spaces, and grand master bedrooms and bathrooms. Port Ferdinand also has an array of amenities and services, including a fine-dining harbourside experience at 13/59 Restaurant and Bar Lounge, The Quarterdeck Poolside Bar & Pizzeria, The Sandbox Tree Spa, a fully equipped fitness centre, indoor and outdoor kids’ clubs, and an adult recreation centre and golf simulator. Partnering with Nikki Beach, Port Ferdinand’s beach club, set on 1.4 acres of beachfront near the mouth of the marina, consists of a restaurant, pool, and seating for up to 200 guests. Combining privacy and exceptional service and stylish living with world-class amenities, Port Ferdinand is sure to check all the boxes for your dream vacation. For more, visit portferdinand.com.
Make the most of your long-haul getaway to Asia by combining Hong Kong and Thailand into one trip of a lifetime, as each destination offers a complement of unique and memorable experiences.
CITY AND COUNTRY COLLIDE IN HONG KONG The minute you take off on the Ngong Ping 360 cable-car for Lantau Island, you realize there’s some truth to the saying “sometimes the journey is the destination.” From the window – or below your feet if you get on the crystal cabin with a glass bottom – breathtaking views of mountains, forests and the coast pass you by.
For many, a visit to the largest of Hong Kong’s islands is all about getting up close and personal with The Big Buddha, a giant bronze Buddha that draws pilgrims from all over Asia, but is equally impressive to travellers alike. Lantau Island is full of lush and beautiful places to discover, like Po Lin Monastery, with colourful manifestations of Buddhist iconography, and The Wisdom Path. Here, 38 wooden pillars arranged in an infinity pattern display verses of the centuries-old Heart Sutra prayer, surrounded by nothing but greenery and the occasional glimpse of the South China Sea.
The serene scene feels a world apart from the dramatic views atop Victoria Peak, the highest point on Hong Kong Island, where dense skyscrapers jet out as far as the eyes can see. Taking in the awe-inspiring skyline is a must for first-time visitors – it’s the iconic image typically associated with Hong Kong and where the grandeur of the city can best be understood.
Perhaps surprisingly, the world-class metropolis is also a natural getaway as a subtropical archipelago made up of over 260 islands with 70 percent rural areas. From beaches to nature trails, parks and outlying islands, you can discover the contrast of the great outdoors along with the exciting hustle and bustle in the hub of Hong Kong. Top options to get in touch with nature include Dragon’s Back, a ridge-top path at Shek O Country Park, considered one of the best urban hiking trails in Hong Kong; and Tai Long Wan, a beautiful bay on the eastern side of the Sai Kung Peninsula.
THE TASTE OF PLACE With 14,000 restaurants to choose from, including Michelin dining and nightlife, Hong Kong is a city full of endless foodie experiences. Indulge in everything from the dim sum at Tim Ho Wan, quite possibly the most affordable Michelin-star restaurant in the world, to the abalone at Forum in Causeway Bay that can cost up to $10,000.
If you’re looking to try a variety of local dishes, a tasty choice is to take part in Hong Kong Foodie Tasting Tours’ Temple Street Night Foodie Tour, where participants can eat like a local and dive into dishes like a sweet “soup” at a 90-year-old iconic Temple Street dessert specialty shop, the region’s infamous curry fish balls; and fresh made-to-order egg puffs, a quintessential Hong Kong snack.
HONG KONG 101 WHAT TO DO: If you only have time to do one thing in Hong Kong, visit The Peak, the highest point on Hong Kong Island. Be sure to take in the stunning 360-degree panoramic views from the Sky Terrace, at 428 metres above sea level, the highest viewing platform in Hong Kong. Keep tradition alive and ride the charming Star Ferry boats, which have been transporting passengers from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon and back since 1888. Discover hidden treasures and get immersed in local culture by embarking on a walking tour through neighbourhoods like Old Town Central and Sham Shui Po.
DRINK IN THE VIEWS: There are no shortage of stunning rooftop bars to choose from, but why not imbibe at the world’s highest bar on the 118th floor, 1,608 feet above sea level, at Ritz-Carlton’s Ozone bar?
STAY IN STYLE: The Peninsula Hong Kong, The Upper House, The Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong and the boutique The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong are some of the luxury properties on offer in Hong Kong.
GET OFF THE BEATEN PATH IN THAILAND: A THREE-HOUR FLIGHT FROM HONG KONG Rich in island-hopping adventures, stunning sandy beaches, inlets surrounded by limestone cliffs, and remarkable cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai, Thailand has long been renowned for its alluring beauty and spectacular scenery. Beyond its bustling capital, there is a world of hidden gems to discover across the country. For a unique experience, head to Chiang Rai, part of The Golden Triangle, where three countries, Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos converge. Throughout the 1960s to early 1990s, this area notoriously supplied most of the world’s heroin. The fascinating history of the area infamous worldwide for its poppy fields, opium warlords and drug smugglers can be explored at The Hall of Opium, an exhibition at Golden Triangle Park. This lesser-known gem also features picturesque and Instagram-worthy attractions like Wat Rong Khun, known as the White Temple and Wat Rong Seur Ten, known as the Blue Temple.
Since the fastest way to connect to a destination is through food, be sure to taste the staple dish made famous in the city, Khao Soi Noodles, before unwinding at one of the many fabulous luxury hotels, like the Four Seasons Tented Camp or the Anantara Golden Triangle.
MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE IN BANGKOK Although Thailand’s capital city has many showstoppers like the Grand Palace and Wat Pho that command attention, Bangkok is constantly evolving and reinventing itself with new shops, restaurants, rooftop bars, and attractions to discover. One of the newest notable attractions is the Mahanakhon Skywalk, Bangkok’s highest observation deck at 314 metres, which offers 360-degree panoramic views from an indoor and outdoor area. The must- see add-on to any Bangkok bucket list features a glass floor with a bird’s-eye view of the beautiful skyline below.
For those who are looking for other off-the-beaten path ideas, there’s lots more to discover like the beautiful Wat Suthat temple, located close to the Giant Swing, another interesting attraction originally built in 1784. And, if you’re in the mood for shopping, there’s something for every budget from the Asiatique Riverfront, a night bazaar and mall by the banks of the Chao Phraya River, to the ICON SIAM, a new shopping centre featuring high-end shops like Chanel and Dior.
STAY IN STYLE: The Rosewood Bangkok, Waldorf Astoria and Capella Bangkok are just a few of the new five-star luxury properties to choose from in Bangkok.
DRINK IN THE VIEWS: Relive a scene from The Hangover Part II and grab a cocktail at the Sky Bar at the top of Lebua at State Tower. Another scenic option to watch the sunset is the Moon Bar, located on the 61st floor of Banyan Tree Bangkok, often included in the world’s top 10 rooftop bars rankings, or the open-air rooftop bar at Sala Rattanakosin, which features stunning views of the Chao Phraya River, Wat Arun and the Grand Palace.
WHERE TO EAT: The capital city is home to a wide array of culinary options ranging from world- famous street food to Michelin-starred restaurants. To get a taste for the local cuisine, try some popular dishes like a plate of Phad Thai or a pot of spicy Tom Yum Goong. For a terrific meal, head to Jay Fai, one of only three Michelin-starred street-food venues in the world, but be prepared to wait in line. Curated by the chefs behind Bo.lan, Err! Is another tasty Michelin-starred restaurant offering urban rustic Thai dishes.
Singapore was already the most buzz-worthy city in Asia, but then the film Crazy Rich Asians came along and kicked it up a notch, giving Singapore, a small but mighty city-state in Southeast Asia, a new level of world recognition.
Many will be drawn to the eye-popping Marina Bay Sands (marinabaysands.com), whose three towering tiers are an iconic landmark for Singapore. A stay there includes access to the amazing Sky Park with its two rooftop pools. On the other hand, consider a quick escape from the city at the Capella Singapore (capellahotels. com) on nearby Sentosa Island. This luxury property has a quiet seafront location and upscale colonial vibe. EAT Yes, Singapore has all the premium dining options that could be expected and desired. But why not try the cuisine that is part of everyday life in Singapore and offers a delicious blend of cultural influences? Hawker centres (visitsingapore.com) are convenient collectives where individuals operate small cooking stalls and specialize in preparing specific dishes. Favourites such as laksa, chicken rice, curries and satay can be had at insanely low prices, and enjoyed in an authentic, bustling setting. Don’t miss the stalls that have achieved a Michelin star rating, like world-famous Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle.
Gardens by the Bay (gardensbythebay.com) is an award- winning horticultural destination that spans 101 hectares of reclaimed land on Marina Bay. Its massive Supertrees are vertical gardens that reach up to 16 storeys in height.
Step back in time at the Fullerton Hotel (fullertonhotels.com) on the Singapore River. The old-world ritual of afternoon tea in the Courtyard, or Cantonese dim sum in Jade, can be followed by cocktails at the Lantern Rooftop Bar.
Get your retail therapy at the newly opened Design Orchard (visitsingapore.com), which showcases over 60 local fashion brands on the premium shopping mecca, Orchard Road.
Day | Night
When the hot, hot heat of the tropical sun fades into night, Singapore comes alive with the evening’s more moderate temperatures.
The Singapore Zoo Night Safari (wrs.com.sg) invites visitors to embark on an after-dark adventure under bluish lights on grounds that house over 2,500 creatures, including the Asian elephant, Malayan tapir, and Malayan tiger.
Every globetrotter should attend a Formula 1 race at some point, and the F1 event in Singapore is amongst the most glamorous (www.singaporegp.sg). The “Monaco of Asia” waits until the night time to start the race under super-bright track lighting. The race runs near the end of September.
It is a visitor’s imperative to make a stop at the historic Raffles Hotel (raffles.com/singapore). It houses the Long Bar, which is where the Singapore Sling was first concocted. Be prepared to pay handsomely for a big glass of the sweet, potent drink.
The Singapore River is lit by the many clubs and bars that line the river banks at Boat Quay and Clarke Quay. The hot tropical sun is gone, but the humid tropical night remains, welcoming outdoor dining, imbibing and revelry.
End your trip on a high note! Already known for its lush indoor gardens, Changi Airport (changiairport.com) has this year opened the new Jewel attraction, composed of a giant, glass-topped atrium that features a forest valley, canopy park, canopy maze and the plunging Rain Vortex.
DISCOVER BARBADOS DURING THE YEAR OF WELLNESS & SOFT ADVENTURE
You can drive around the entire island of Barbados in just three hours; at just 34 km long and 22 km wide, it’s a small country. But Barbados is big in style– an island nation steeped in history, pride, culture, sport, and a wealth of natural beauty, both rugged and coastal. Don’t be fooled by the call of the Caribbean, there’s more to Barbados than its beaches, although those are pretty spectacular, too. This year, discover every side of the island during Barbados’ year of wellness and soft adventure.
ISLAND SAFARI TOURS Hit the open road with Island Safari Tours. Pile into an open-sided jeep that picks you up at your hotel and takes you on a back- road adventure, zigzagging its way across the hills and fields of the interior of the island and along it’s lesser-known coastlines. All the while, a friendly guide will stop along the way for photo ops and to make sure you learn the history and culture as you go. A terrific way to spend the afternoon.
RUN BARBADOS Runners from around the world flock to Bridgetown, Barbados, each December to participate in the Run Barbados Marathon weekend. Festivities kick-off Friday night with a one-mile run divided into five heats: elite women, elite men, amateurs, children, and a fun run. Saturday afternoon, the festivities amp up with live music, stilt walkers, and crowds gathering to cheer on the 5K run, 5K walk, and 10K run participants. The half and full marathons begin Sunday at 4 a.m. to avoid the punishing Caribbean heat. All races start from picturesque Carlisle Bay with race routes winding their way through historic downtown. Streets are often lined with locals cheering on the runners. Races are professionally timed for serious runners, but still festive and light-hearted enough for casual participants, too.
CULINARY ADVENTURES For a five-star foodie adventure, head to Oistin’s Fish Market on Friday nights. Locals and tourists alike come here to savour the daily catch that fishermen fry, grill, and BBQ at this open-air night market. Lively music and dance, a craft market, and delicious food make this a party you shouldn’t miss. Not sure what to order? Communal tables mean you can ask the person seated next to you. But don’t miss the dangerously sweet rum punch, traditional macaroni pie, and world-famous fishcakes. Worth the wait in line.
UNLEASH YOUR INNER EXPLORER Spend an afternoon exploring the magnificence of Harrison’s Cave, a crystallized, limestone cave characterized by flowing streams, deep pools of clear water, and towering columns. Measuring 2.3 kilometres long with the Great Hall an awe-inspiring 15 metres high, Harrison’s Cave is considered active, as it carries water and its stalagmites are still growing. There are a variety of ways to explore the sights and sounds of the cave’s running streams and waterfalls: enjoy a comfortable guided tram tour, grab your helmets and headlamps for a three hour discovery tour of the cave just as the early explorers did, or travel the cave by foot for a closer look at the formations.
ON THE WATER Relax on the deck of a Cool Runnings catamaran as you sail the crystal-clear Caribbean waters. Spend a full day on the water, with snorkelling stops to see shipwrecks and sea turtles, then anchor in one of the many beautiful coves of Barbados to enjoy a delicious traditional lunch. Sunset dinner cruises are also available, as well as private bookings for special occasions. For more active adventure, find your stoke at Barry’s Surf School. Whether you’re new to surfing or a weekend warrior, you’ll be hanging ten in no time. Try Barry’s two-hour introductory course or more advanced three-day “surf stronger” package.
WALK ON THE WILD SIDE Perched high in the hills of St. Joseph Parish, take in Barbados’ breathtaking east coast views at Naniki. Proprietor Tom Hinds, welcomes you to his peaceful property with 10 cozy self-contained cottages, pool, restaurant, and new wellness centre. Get back to nature with hiking, biking in the countryside, yoga classes, or by visiting nearby Bathsheba Beach’s incredible coastline.
Emerging from a tropical palm grove along 2,000 feet of pristine white-sand beach in the Dominican Republic’s unspoiled northeast coast is Club Med’s first new resort in the Americas in 25 years, the Michès Playa Esmeralda. A hidden paradise of all-inclusive luxury, this eco-chic retreat features four boutique villages to entice every type of traveller. In case you need any more convincing, here are six reasons to make your next vacation a Club Med vacation.
CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE.
One resort, four boutique villages. Explorer Cove is an adventurous refuge that offers multi generational families a treasure trove of activities. The colourful heart of the resort, Caribbean Paradise, suits everyone’s vacation needs. Peace and wellness await in the adult-only Emerald Jungle. Archipelago is an oceanfront, adult-only sanctuary designed with luxury seeking romantics in mind.
A resort with a conscience means you can feel good about your vacation. At this Green Globe certified resort, say goodbye to single-use plastics and hello to solar panels and electric shuttle services.
VACAY WITH A VIEW.
Discover a variety of inspiring and breathtaking vistas at local excursions, like El Limon’s cascading waterfall, whale watching at Samana Bay, yoga on a treetop platform, or the peak of Montaña Redonda with its swing at the top of the world – totally instagrammable!
Unique to Club Med, their Exclusive Collection vacation package embodies the sophistication and comfort of all-inclusive luxury and includes pre-arrival contact, concierge service, small group transfers, in-room continental breakfast, turn-down service, premium liquor brands, and evening champagne service.
There’s fun for the whole family at Michès Playa Esmeralda with some iconic Club Med sports and activities to experience, like family paddle boarding, trying out a Hobie Eclipse or electric jet surf, taking a run or leisure walk on the fit trail, and horseback riding on the beach.
THE CARAMEL SECRET.
Dining in The Family Restaurant, one of three gourmet dining options on site, becomes an adventure when the kids are invited to the hidden “Caramel Room” for a decadent dessert experience filled with their favourite treats. If the adults are looking for a treat of their own, stop by one of the hotel’s four bars, three wine cellars, beach lounge, or coffee shop.
It’s the new New York. There’s no better time to plan a quick trip to NYC than 2019, when there will be a record number of restaurant, cultural attraction, and hotel openings across the five iconic boroughs.
CHECK-IN As of 2021, NYC will have a staggering 140,000 hotel rooms to choose from. A sure bet is the European glamour of Mr. C Seaport (mrcseaport. com). From the fourth generation of the storied Cipriani family, Mr. C Seaport is an intimate escape in the heart of downtown’s historic, cobblestoned Seaport District. Rooms are elegant and calm, with attentive service, and the hotel is just around the corner from landmarks like Market Hall at Pier 17, the Charging Bull, and 9/11 Memorial Museum.
BON APPETIT For brunch, lunch, or an afternoon aperitif, there’s an exciting mini French revival happening in NYC’s food scene. Share a cheese board or grab a hazelnut flour chocolate cake at La Mercerie (lamerceriecafe.com). Tribeca’s hot spot du jour, Frenchette (frenchettenyc.com), was recently named one of the best new restaurants in America by Eater. And New York institution, Pastis (pastisny.com), is set to reopen under new management after a four-year hiatus, bringing a piece of Paris back to NYC.
EXPLORE Hudson Yards (hudsonyardsnewyork.com) is the city’s newest neighbourhood and largest development since Rockefeller Center. Visit the 100+ shops, including New York’s first Neiman Marcus, stroll the High Line, indulge in 16 different dining experiences curated by Thomas Keller, stay at the new Equinox Hotel, check out the first-of-its-kind, multiuse arts centre, The Shed, and climb the neighbourhood’s permanent centrepiece, The Vessel.
MORE The new Statue of Liberty Museum (libertyellisfoundation.org), on track to open May 2019, will feature three interactive gallery spaces, an outdoor plaza, and rooftop terrace. Head to Williamsburg, Brooklyn to hang out with the hipsters at Domino Park – eat tacos, snap a selfie at the fog bridge, or play a game of bocce ball (dominopark.com). Next summer, MoMA (moma.org) celebrates its 90th anniversary with the completion of an expansion project to increase gallery space by 30 per cent.
They don’t call it the city that never sleeps for nothing. Here’s what’s great when it’s late.
DINNER In this city, dinner is an event not just a meal. At the recently opened Manhatta (manhattarestaurant.com), located on the 60th floor of 28 Liberty Street, Frenchinspired flavours are always served with a side of incredible views. For lighter fare, try Misi (misinewyork.com) in Brooklyn, a celebration of simple Italian cooking, serving iterations of fresh pasta and seasonal vegetables.
SHOWTIME With tickets to Hamilton or Harry Potter and the Cursed Child near impossible to come by, check out some of Broadway’s (broadway.com) star-studded hits of the season, like Network starring Bryan Cranston; To Kill a Mockingbird, play by Aaron Sorkin and starring Jeff Daniels; or The Lifespan of a Fact, with Broadway heavyweights Daniel Radcliffe, Bobby Cannavale, and Cherry Jones.
CELEBRATE In June 2019, NYC will be the first US city to host WorldPride (2019- orldpride- stonewall50.nycpride.org). The month-long celebration will feature a jam-packed schedule of energizing rallies, inspiring lectures, and epic parties. Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, more than three million visitors are expected within the month of June.
PERCH What better way to take in the bright lights of the big city than at one of New York’s hottest rooftop bars? Check out the cocktails and sweeping skylines from Make Believe (sixtyhotels.com), a whimsically decorated social club high above the vibrant Lower East Side; the aptly named, The Roof (publichotels.com/eat-and-drink/ the-roof) for a sexy, energetic vibe; Mr. Purple (mrpurplenyc.com) on the 15th floor of Hotel Indigo offering a bar, restaurant, pool, and variety of seating options; or the newly opened Pier 17 (pier17ny.com) for their summer concert series.
Barbados can provide touching experiences for those who appreciate a good massage. Offering a host of spa experiences, such as facials, skin analysis, manicures, pedicures, and body therapies, as well as a number of choices for the health-conscious traveller that can lead to overall healthier lifestyles, Barbados deserves to be top of mind for those seeking wellness while on holiday.
The island counts among its tourist offerings some of the world’s premier spa resorts, which enable guests to choose among the likes of rejuvenating in plunge pools rich in valuable nutrients, or soaking in a hot tub, while being pampered by trained staff. And, in addition, to spa choices familiar to North Americans are offerings native to the Caribbean.
Specific spa options include Soothing Touch Day Spa (soothingtouchspa.com) which offers an authentic Caribbean spa experience. Aesthetic treatments can include massages, facials, manicures and pedicures, body wraps and scrubs, and body waxing. For professional, modern, and sophisticated care, Fame the Grooming Club (famethe-grooming-lub.business.site) is a barber shop in Holetown supplying services and products designed to enhance physical appearance and stimulate mental relaxation. Found on the west coast of the island, Schotherapy International (schotherapyspa.com) offers lifestyle consultations, which include a smell test and detailed skin analysis used to effectively tailor treatments to suit your specific needs.
In between spa appointments, guests will enjoy dazzling evening sunsets from the island’s famed beaches lined with palm trees. The widespread popularity of yoga has reached Barbados’ shores as well, with vacationers looking to keep up their practice of the ancient discipline, while enjoying a warm Caribbean sun and sea breezes. Many hotels now offer yoga classes, and visitors will find plenty of yoga centres to choose from as well. Unusual options for yoga enthusiasts include classes that that put the participants on paddleboards floating on the ocean. Indeed, the island can now proudly claim to be home to some of the best yoga resorts found anywhere in the Caribbean, with those retreats employing teachers who are both well trained and with valuable earned experience.
Last year saw the island host the L’Atitude 13° North Barbados Beach and Wellness Festival, which drew yoga and meditation instructors, speakers, chefs, and others to collectively provide a transformational experience for those who attended what was described as a family-friendly blend of healthy Caribbean activities, cuisine, music, and conversation around well-being. Organizers noted with pride that all the festivities and activities enjoyed a beautiful backdrop in a destination known for its relaxed ambience.
To learn about more of the spas, yoga, and wellness activities happening in Barbados, check out visitbarbados.org.
It’s not always easy to appreciate the many aspects of culture in an exotic destination when the relaxing white sand beaches and clear waters are calling your name. But culture runs deep in Tahiti, the name given collectively to the 118 islands that make up French Polynesia. While the French language remains as a legacy of colonialism, the Polynesian roots of the nation are still firmly established and celebrated through events, tours, and festivals that express a native love for the essence of Tahitian culture – called “mana”.
CULTURAL CELEBRATIONS Throughout the year, there are 16 days devoted to traditional dancing and singing representations across Tahiti. The Tere ‘A’ Ati cultural and historic event takes place on Rurutu in the Austral Islands. Here, visitors take long walks with stops at ancestral sites and sacred natural formations on their way to the three villages of Moerai, Avera, and Auti. Tere Faati is a circular tour of the island of Tahiti on a traditional “Le Truck” bus. The tour unfolds to the sound of the ukulele with stops at scenic and culturally vital sites. Also, check out the Tere Na Uta tour, which introduces visitors to the magnificent nature of the islands. Riding four-wheel-drive vehicles, visitors escape the main roads and are guided to places of natural beauty and spiritual significance.
TATTOO CONNECTION One of the most authentic expressions of culture in Tahiti is through body art. The word “tatau” originated in the islands of Tahiti, before evolving to “tattoo.” Tattooing is a sacred experience, and the tattoos of Tahiti are believed to carry supernatural powers to prevent the loss of mana. Traditional Tahitian tattooists work in nearly all the main inhabited islands of French Polynesia, and their reputation attracts visitors from around the world.
DISCOVERIES AT SEA Divers, snorkellers, and adventurers alike come from all over to swim in the warm waters that surround the islands of Tahiti and teem with life from tiny clown fish to awe-inspiring humpback whales, which arrive between July and November. The combination of canyons, caverns, and coral beds provides a multitude of hiding places for marine life, and are home to more than 1,000 species of fish. For those wanting more adventure at sea, small luxury cruising options are a great way to check out a number of The Islands of Tahiti.
GUESTHOUSE GETAWAY Laid-back and off-the-beaten path, Tahitian guesthouses are a great way to immerse yourself into French Polynesian life. Smaller than a resort and often much more secluded, traditional guesthouses are typically family-operated and renowned for their rustic warmth and Tahitian hospitality. Of course, if you can’t quit the five-star lifestyle, Tahiti abounds with diverse accommodations like luxury resorts The Brando or the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa or private villa rentals for customized travel. For more on booking tours, cultural experiences, and accommodations, visit tahititourisme.ca.
Among the ways of exploring Turkey’s famed Cappadocia region is by hot-air balloon, which give visitors lofty and dramatic views of Cappadocia’s volcanic terrain, frequently described as moonscape-like. Those keen on the up-up-and-away routine can head skyward in a balloon at sunrise. Flights of an hour or more are available, and passengers may have breakfast on board, followed by a hampagne toast after they’re back on terra firma.
Cappadocia itself has been described as a “wonderland of unique geographic formations sprinkled with green vineyards and fruit orchards.” Its features include the Goreme Open Air Museum, with that volcanic valley home to elaborately painted churches literally hewn from stone. Bordering valleys and villages are home to people who carved their dwellings from rock. Also of note, the famed Silk Road worked its way through the region long ago and visitors today can see stops built along the route to host wealthy traders. Visitors who prefer to stay closer to the ground can explore the diverse region on marked hiking trails or by horseback. For details on how to get sky-high views of Turkey’s lunar-like Cappadocia landscape, visit www.turkeytourism.ca.