This is the 2017 edition of Now Do This, our monthly compendium of timely travel deals and special offers. The current edition is here.
If you forgot to make year-end holiday plans, we found a few options still left. Where is Team Fathom spending their holidays? It’s a mix. Half of us are in Australia, Singapore, San Miguel de Allende, and Peru; half of us are staying home and catching up on piles of novels, which is itself its own vacation. Whatever you do, have a great one.
TRIPS TO BOOK
Spain: Nestled among Spain’s Rhonda mountains is the extremely dreamy La Donaira, an eco-certified horse farm with impeccable design details. The serene nine-room resort has five deluxe accommodations available over Christmas. Rates are 400€ per person per night and include all breakfasts, special holiday lunches and dinners, drinks and snacks in between meals, bicycles (cycling is big here) and the spa (indoor swimming pool, sauna, Turkish bath).
London and Paris: Paris Perfect, the apartment rental company we’ve covered before, and their UK counterpart London Perfect have deals for up to 25% off for Christmas and New Year’s stays. Check Google Flights for the cheapest airfare, and you’re off.
Rome: Get the new year off to an Eternal City start at Baglioni Hotel Regina. The NYE gala party will include live jazz, a big Italian dinner with big Italian drinks, a magic show, and a DJ after midnight. The three-night stay in a deluxe room starts at 2,850€. Email [email protected] to book.
Worldwide with Kimpton: Beginning at 12 a.m. EST on New Year’s Day, would-be guests at Viceroy hotels will have 72 hours to book discounts from 30% or more on properties in LA, SF, NY (45% on Viceroy Central Park), Chicago, Riviera Maya, and Abu Dhabi. Ski bums and snowbirds can take 20% off hotels in Snowmass and Saint Lucia.
Hampsire, England: Fancy a wintry jaunt to the English countryside? The Pig at Brockenhurst is offering a winter treat: you, plus one, on a midweek stay with breakfast and a souvenir bottle of house vino, for just £139. Valid January-February 2018, excluding hols, as Brits like to call them.
Saanenland, Switzerland: For those who want to enjoy the snow without actually playing in it, glam ski hideaway Gstaad Palace has a new offering called Between Heaven and Earth — lunch by helicopter over the Matterhorn, one of the highest mountains in the Alps.
WHERE WE’VE BEEN
I’m just back from the Bahamas, where I stayed at the new Baha Mar, a mega resort with a Grand Hyatt, a very chic SLS, and a soon-to-open Rosewood Hotel. On-site were countless pools, a tasty conch shack, and a big casino where I met killer lady dealers. But I was most impressed by a tour of studios and gallery of The Current, the hotel’s curated program dedicated to Bahamian art and culture, led by local artist Steffon Grant. Quiet Harbour Island was more my speed, and I had a hard time leaving Bahama House, the new eleven-room compound from Eleven Experiences. I’ll be back: I didn’t drink enough mango daiquiris at Sip Sip, the legendary lunch restaurant. — Pavia, CEO
Earlier this month, I spent the most visually satisfying day in southern Connecticut, where I walked the rolling hills of Grace Farms, enjoyed a long lunch at the festively decorated Terrain, and toured The Inn at GrayBarns on the Silvermine River, followed by drinks at the cozy new restaurant. – Berit, editor
I spent early December in the French Alps (they’re already covered in snow) for the grand opening of oh-so-stylish Club Med Grand Massif Samoëns Morillon. I hadn’t done the all-inclusive thing since I was a kid, but it made my trip so, so easy, which was especially gratifying during this crazy time of year. I’m still pretty sore, but not sure if it’s from all-day skiing or all-night dancing. – Kim, contributing writer
Last week we rounded up our top hotel openings of late 2017, including a new luxury tented safari camp in Sri Lanka, a stylish boutique hotel in Copenhagen, and a neo-gothic castle in the Irish countryside. It’s time to start planning your 2018 vacations.
Tennessee’s most luxurious hotel, Blackberry Farm, has broken ground on a new property called Blackberry Mountain. Set among 5,200 acres of wild land, the hotel will fuse the fine dining they’re already famous for and modern comforts with a rustic and adventurous mountain setting. The hotel is scheduled to open in February 2019, and we can’t wait.
TRIPS TO BOOK
Zambia: Spend your holidays in one of Africa’s last unspoiled wilderness regions. The Bushcamp Company is offering 30% off six-night stays at the award-winning Mfuwe Lodge as well as the recently renovated Kapamba and Zungulila Bushcamps. Priced at $2,100 per person and valid from December 1, 2017 — January 15, 2018. Mention “festive offer” at checkout.
Brooklyn, New York: Cook Space is a gorgeous and approachable culinary school offering an array of classes that range from dim sum and Vietnamese street food to Ayurvedic cooking. Receive a 15% discount when you signup for a class on Black Friday or Cyber Monday by using the codes BLACKFRIDAY2017 and CYBERMONDAY2017, respectively.
British Virgin Islands: Looking for a warm way to recover from Thanksgiving with the family? Head to the Caribbean for the Anegada Lobster Festival on November 25 and November 26th. (Yes, the Caribbean is open! And they want us to all go back!)
North Fork, New York: Looking for romance? Cozy up with your nearest and dearest at the classic-meets-modern Sound View, a renovated motel in Greenport. The secluded seaside resort is offering a winter package that includes a romantic meal for two at The Halyard, plus four bottles of local wine. Rates start at $340, with a two-night minimum.
Charleston, South Carolina: Bookmark this Cyber Monday sale: Well-heeled travelers can save 25% off their stay at The Spectator Hotel between December 1, 2017 — August 31, 2018. Offer available from November 27 — December 1, 2017.
Borneo: The Great Projects (who we’ve covered before on Fathom) are offering their oragnutan voluntourism trip in Borneo at 15% off if booked by November 30. Check out the earnest promo video they made about volunteering to see lots of cute monkey business.
New York, New York: Reasons to visit The Whitby hotel this holiday season: a Thanksgiving-themed package, holiday wreath-making class with master florist Lewis Miller, Sunday movie club with seasonal classics like It’s a Wonderful Life and Home Alone 2, and a special New Year’s Eve evening.
Singapore: This fall marked the opening of the first Andaz hotel in Southeast Asia. Conveniently located just 20 minutes from Changi airport, Andaz Singapore is having a 20% off sale on standard rate room bookings through January 31, 2018.
WHERE WE’VE BEEN
I just returned from the Caribbean Wine and Food Festival in Turks and Caicos, where the spirit of endurance and recovery was both touching and strong. I stayed at Grace Bay Club — one of my favorites — and toured The Residences, their gorgeous new five-bedroom villas, which come with a pool, a private chef, and a secluded white-sand beach. (I so want to come back with a gang…) The final dinner of the festival was held at The Shore Club, the swank new sister property of The Palms, which has one of the prettiest spas I’ve ever seen. — Pavia, CEO
On a recent fall photo walk around Hudson, New York, I crossed these places off my upstate wish list: restaurant and boardroom Wm Farmers & Sons, home decor boutique Hawkins, and This Old Hudson, a studio space and weekend lodging option from the creative agency Zio & Sons, who just released a very stylish Hudson-inspired camera bag in collaboration with ONA. – Daniel, editor
Drum roll please: Aman Resorts has announced their next city destination will be New York City. Scheduled to open in 2020, the Jean-Michel Gathy-designed 83-room hotel will occupy the iconic Crown Building overlooking Central Park.
COMO Hotels and Resorts is opening a new oceanside retreat. COMO Echo Beach is slated to open in February in Canggu, a quaint coastal village with a six-mile beach that boasts some of Bali’s best surf breaks.
Later this winter, Collective Retreats, the pop-up travel company with outposts in Vail, Yellowstone, and Hudson Valley, will open Collective Hill Country, a Retreat at Montesino Ranch. Located on 225 acres of ranch and organic farmland, the Wimberly, Texas glamping site will have 12 tents outfitted in plush beds with 1,550-thread-count Egyptian cotton linens and “farm-to-flame” dining.
TRIPS TO BOOK
- Tel Aviv: Hotel Montefiore is hosting Michelin-star chef Bo Bech of Geist Restaurant in Copenhagen as part of this year’s Amex Round Tables event in Tel Aviv, November 12-17.
- Hollywood, Florida: The Diplomat Beach Resort, the iconic Florida hotel fifteen minutes south of Fort Lauderdale airport, has just completed a stylish and fun $100 million renovation. Consider it a family-friendly, laid-back alternative to South Beach.
- India: Holiday in style with a spectacular Abercrombie & Kent nine-day tour of India that includes two visits to the Taj Mahal (sunrise and sunset) and a sail on the shimmering Lake Pichola. Prices from $8,995 per person.
- Papua New Guinea: Try your hand at island survival with Oceana Expeditions Kabakon Survivor experience. Guests are dropped off on a secluded island and left to fend for themselves (with a little help, of course).
- Puglia, Italy: Dreaming about opening your own boutique hotel? Here’s your chance. Pre-book your stay at Amberlair, a historic villa surrounded by olive trees and vineyards that is crowdsourcing funding to meet their 2020 opening date.
- Europe: Cross the continent the scenic way. Eurail is having a 20 percent off sale for train passes purchased through December, including Global Pass (good in 28 countries), Select Pass (2-4 bordering countries), and One Country Pass (choose from 22).
Catskill Mountains, New York: Reasons to visit Scribner’s Lodge this fall: Yoga for Bad People and fly fishing with Esopus Creel (10/27-29), bushwhacking (11/4), and a stay-three-nights-for-the-price-of-two weekday special.
- Big Sur, California: Highway One is open! After a massive landslide wiped out a section of the road, the iconic route on the Cali coast is welcoming cars once again. Quick, make a reservation for Post Ranch Inn.
WHERE WE’VE BEEN
- Great rainy day hang: Sir Adam, a new Design Hotels property in Amsterdam Noord. It has hearty burgers, games, ‘zines, huge floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the river, and a rock-and-roll vibe. Jump on the ferry for literally one minute and you’re at Central Station. – Jeralyn, editorial director
- I’m still thinking about my long weekend at São Lourenço do Barrocal, a stylish family-run farm estate in Portugal’s Alentejo region. I spent my days reading by the pool, dining on farm-fresh cuisine, and indulging in treatments at the Susanne Kaufmann Spa. – Berit, senior editor
- In Marrakech for the Pure travel show, I stayed at three great hotels. Opulent Hotel Selman outside the city has a pool that goes on forever and a dazzling equestrian program. In the medina, Villa des Orangers delivers understated luxury at its finest (and has a cute resident turtle!), while La Sultana is a labyrinth of sumptuous connecting riads. I ate so well at all of them. – Pavia, CEO
While in Marrakech, Jeralyn and I attended a preview of the stunning new Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech, adjacent to Jardin Majorelle. Along with Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris, it’s one of two new institutions dedicated to the designer who so loved Morocco. – Pavia, CEO
- One of the most memorable experiences from a recent day in Madrid was walking through El Matadero, a former municipal slaughterhouse-turned-vibrant multidisciplinary art center. A design center, theater, cinema, cafe, multiple gallery spaces, and plenty of beautiful public space are set on what used to be a gruesome and miserable plot of land. The juxtaposition is sort of like art in itself. – Daniel, editor
- Considering Ghent, Belgium, for our next Euro escape, so we can book a stay at 1898 The Post, a stunning neo-gothic post office-turned-boutique hotel.
- Relais Christine, a Fathom Favorite in Paris, has just finished a chic renovation by designer Laura Gonzalez. A Guerlain spa will open this month.
- This month marks the opening of Dave, a new affordable boutique hotel with a fun-loving attitude in the heart of Tel Aviv.
- Classic Americana is a nice weekend aesthetic. Try it on in spring 2018, when the Blackburn Inn opens in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.
TRIPS TO BOOK
- Paris and London: Need an excuse for a last-minute city break? Perfect Experiences, the luxury apartment rental and concierge service, is offering up to 30 percent on stays of up to five nights or more through September 25, 2017.
- Big Sur, California: Take to the skies with a chopper ride over one of the USA’s most stunning landscapes. While Highway 1 is undergoing repairs, the iconic southern route to Big Sur is accessible to guests of Post Ranch Inn via helicopter from Hearst Castle Pergola in San Simeon, California. The Hearst Castle helicopter package is available through October 7, 2017.
- Scandinavia: Go see what all the fuss is about in Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Oslo. Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) is having a big sale, with deals from $499 round-trip for travel between their seven US gateways and Europe from October 4 and May 31. Don’t wait: The sale ends August 24.
- Cartagena: If you haven’t been to Colombia yet, here’s a great reason to head down. Our pals at Skylark scored a great airfare-plus-hotel deal at the chic and charming Tcherassi Hotel. (You’ll have to join Skylark to get the rates.)
- Marfa, Texas: For Burning Man vibes in the West Texas desert, head to the 12th annual Trans-Pecos Festival of Music + Love. The communal, nomadic campground concept (guests sleep in vintage trailers, Sioux-style tepees, yurts, and safari tents) runs from September 28 to October 1, 2017.
- Chesapeake Bay, Maryland: Classic car aficionados will want to head to Inn at Perry Cabin by Belmond from September 21-26 for the return of the Concours d’Elgance. The hotel is celebrating the three-day event with a special package that includes accommodations, champagne, and VIP tickets.
- Asia: If you’ve got a spare $64,888 in a cupboard somewhere, consider Remote Land’s 17-day, Aman Hotels journey through Asia. Sixteen people will fly private jet and hotel-hop from China to Bhutan to India to Sri Lanka from October 8-24. If you want even more, the 21-day trip in April includes Vietnam, Montenegro, and Japan.
- Southeast Asia: Another reason to fly east in the spring: May is the kickoff for planting season in Cambodia and Vietnam. Get your fill of lush tropical landscapes on an Aqua Expeditions Mekong River cruise during «green season.» Book now to take advantage of the special summer rate of 30 percent off departures between May 1-July 27, 2018.
WHERE WE’VE BEEN
- I went on a grand hotel tour in London last July. In brief: I spent opening night at Nobu Hotel Shoreditch, the chain’s first standalone hotel, where I loved the calm Zen vibe and the brass fittings in the bathroom (really! they were gorgeous!). I toured the don’t-call-it-a-Soho-House Ned and tried to count the 400 restaurants in the former bank building (kidding, though barely). I previewed the trippy Mandrake, which has the best multi-beast taxidermied kangaroo-deer-peacock I’ve ever seen, as well as a beautiful atrium with hanging vines. I found Flemings Mayfair to be as great as Fathom contributing editor Christina Ohly says it is. And I had my best meal of the trip at chef Ollie Dabbous’s restaurant at super charming Henrietta Hotel in Covent Garden. That is all. – Pavia, CEO
- I have a long list of cute Hudson Valley B&Bs to check out, but had a helluva time finding one that allows kids. One of our 24 Best Travel Blogs & Websites, And North, tipped me off to Audrey’s Farmhouse, a very cozy, 280-year-old farmhouse in Wallkill, run by a cool couple who outfitted five bedrooms and a cottage with chic furniture, Aesop toiletries, coffee table books, and taxidermy. They make a killer breakfast, converted a pool into a natural swimming hole (with frogs!) and set up a few hammocks, walking paths, and a fire pit in their big backyard. Looking forward to going back once snow falls. – Jeralyn, editorial director
- I checked into to the recently opened Hotel RL, a budget-friendly property on the border of Bushwick and Bed-Stuy with a charming back garden, decent lobby bar, and community-oriented performance space. I’m glad that more boutique hotels are popping up in Brooklyn, especially outside Williamsburg, though this one felt more like a step above a hostel than anything else. Still, being able to earn a free night stay by donating to Project Wake Up Call, the hotel’s partner philanthropic initiative, is a nice way to book an affordable room in the heart of Brooklyn. – Daniel, editor
- We’ve got our eye on the late August arrival of Proper Hotel San Francisco, a new hotel concept from former Viceroy Hotels CEO Brad Korzen and his design superstar wife Kelly Wearstler. Also in the pipeline are outposts in Hollywood, Downtown LA, Austin, and Santa Monica.
- Later this month, Verride Palacio Santa Catarina, an 18th-century Portuguese palace-turned-hotel will be making its debut in the heart of Lisbon.
- Renowned Danish ballet dancer Alexander Kølpin is behind the fall opening of Sanders, a stunning 54-room boutique hotel in Copenhagen’s historic center.
- Edition Hotels is making a big commitment to Tokyo. Come 2020, the Ian Schrager-designed boutique will open not one, but two new properties.
- How can you go on safari without using a year’s worth of vacation days? Nomad Tanzania’s Streamlined Safari is a good option. In six days, you’ll see a Discovery Channel checklist: the Serengeti plains, the Ngorongoro crater, a Masaai tribe, and, of course, amazing wildlife. It’s available year-round, but if you want to see the Great Migration, go between June and November. Rates begin at $5,283.
- It’s not too late to book a trip to see this summer’s total solar eclipse — the first in decades. On August 21, 2017, the newly opened Anvil Hotel in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, will host a jam-packed day of fun events, including a moon-flow yoga class, local bands, and a tailgate lunch. Individual tickets are $375 and can be reserved by calling the hotel directly, or come for a four-night stay, which starts at $1,145.
- At LE Miami last month, we learned about La Donaira, a gorgeous eco-minded retreat in southern Spain. From August 18-22, they’re hosting their first Pause Festival, five days of concerts, yoga,workshops, tapas, and vino. The big idea? To connect by disconnecting. Sounds like an excellent excuse to go see it all firsthand.
- Dreaming of Iceland? The Nordic country’s affordable air carrier, Wow Air, has launched a new route connecting Chicago’s O’Hare (ORD) to Keflavík (KEF). One-way fares start at $150.
- Start planning your trip to the biggest balloon fiesta in the world, the 46th Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, which takes place October 7-15, 2017, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Check out the daily schedule of events.
- If you’re looking for a summer steal, consider a last-minute getaway to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, where you can save 30 percent on luxury villas and residences at Esperanza, an Auberge Resort.
- Enjoy summer in Amsterdam like the Dutch do. Conservatorium, a Fathom Favorite hotel, is offering a Welcome to Holland package, which includes a private cycling tour, canal boat ride, and a picnic in Vondelpark through September 17, 2017. Rates start at €566.50 and require a two-night stay.
- The beautifully renovated Pulitzer Amsterdam is conducting a little VIP action during the annual Grachtenfestival, August’s ten-day classical music showcase for emerging and established talent. Guests of the hotel can enjoy cocktails, bites, and concerts in the inner garden (8/13 and 8/16), not to mention incredible seats for The Pulitzer Concert, which is staged on pontoons floating on the water directly in front of the hotel. Really get into the spirit by booking the Music Collector’s Suite, a two-room suite complete with a collection of vinyl, a vintage record player, and instruments.
If you want help planning any of these trips, email us at [email protected] to book through the Fathom Travel Desk.
- Want to show mom Mother’s Day love? Take her away. 21C, our favorite museum-cum-hotel in Lexington, Kentucky, is offering a Renew, Refresh, Relax package for an overnight stay in corner room, $100 spa credit, breakfast, and a Malin + Goetz gift bag.
- One for the family: Memorial Day weekend at Mohonk Mountain House in upstate New York. The agenda includes A Jelly Bean Field Day and a magic show for the littles, tomahawk throwing and archery for the apathetic teens.
- It’s Great Migration season though Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, and to celebrate the arrival of the zebras (by the hudreds of thousands!) and widebeests (a million of ’em!), Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti is giving guests the fourth night free.
- Do you do that thing where you go on vacation and find yourself planning your next vacation? We do, too. The folks at Baglioni Resort Cala del Porto, a fantastic Tuscan hotel that we visited last year, will give guests who go to Italy two free nights at their sister hotel Baglioni Resort Maldives. Yes, you’ll be thanking your July vacation in January.