It was a luxe, upscale estate in the Rhône Valley that started it all: a passion for exceptional service, cuisine, and hospitality that came to define Relais & Châteaux. Now, the association is celebrating 60 years of being at the top of the game with a year of over-the-top events, festivals, and gourmet feasts.
History buffs and fans of American Horror Story will love the chipped paint and cracked porcelain sinks, the stained tiles and rusting hospital beds in the halls of the Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital—open to visitors today for the first time in 60 years.
If the Gucci and Prada storefronts weren't enough to dispel any impression of Aspen as a humble mountain town, the Shigeru Ban-designed Aspen Art Museumshould do the trick. The 35-year-old art institution recently debuted a new $45 million building created by the Pritzker Prize-winning architect and funded entirely by private donations from the city's wealthy patrons.
For the adventure traveler, extreme sports such as sky-diving, zip-lining, and base jumping may be the ultimate adrenaline kick. The thrill of hurtling through the air with nothing but a parachute and a thin windsuit is a bonus to the unique, birds-eye perspective jumpers get.
Yet even in these death-defying leaps, there is a moment of Zen that may appeal to even the mellowest sightseer.
Come fall, people around the world will be celebrating the season’s bounty with food festivals. Lots of them. While New Englanders gather to taste the best artisanal ciders, coastal communities feast on fresh seafood. In California, it's time to sip wine. Whether you're craving a foodie getaway or are simply in the right place at the right time, these are five of fall’s top food festivals.
CALIFORNIA: Flavor! Napa Valley This November, join the Culinary Institute of America and the region's top vineyards for a week of wine and food tastings. Culinary superstars Michael Chiarello, Todd English, and Andrea Robinson will be at the helm of vine-to-table signature dinners and hands-on demonstrations. Learn to make your own cheese, and to note a wine's distinct terroir while blindfolded. November 19-23.
Floral design superstar Michael Gaffney has cracked “the DaVinci Code of flower design,” and he’ll be the first one to say it. If you’ve have ever marveled at professional bouquets and wondered why your own arrangements look so disorderly, book a spot at the pop-up Floral Design Classes at Hyatt Union Square New York.
Most hotels discard leftover amenities, which is good for hygiene, but not so much for the environment. Today, an increasing number of properties worldwide donate their extra products for recycling and reuse, thanks to nonprofits such as Clean the World. Since 2009, the organization has collected and sterilized more than 17 million bars of soap and 325,000 gallons of shampoo and conditioner and distributed them to those in need—eliminating hundreds of tons of waste in the process.
Melanie Lieberman is the Editorial Projects Assistant and a member of the Trip Doctor News Team. You can follow her on twitter at @LittleWordBites.
Summer in the city can be stifling, with its sticky-hot subway cars and the odor of leftovers slowly broiling behind every restaurant. For those of us who don’t have a Hamptons-home perched on a sandy stretch of beachfront, it can be hard to slip away from the city for the ultimate, sink-your-toes-in-the-sand summer escape.