NEW BUCKET LIST
Discovering Nature in the Galรกpagos Holistic Healing in Italy Slow Travel in Ireland Heli-Hiking in British Columbia
travelandleisure.com NOV 2017
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EDITOR’S NOTE THE NEW BUCKET LIST
Life-changing travel experiences around the world. 49
UPGRADE These cuttingedge wellness amenities will help you eat better, sleep more, and return home refreshed.
WANDER Tuscany’s famous food is all the more satisfying when sampled during a gastronomic road trip—on a scooter. CHECKING IN Chicago’s latest hotels, both new and revamped, marry past and present. ARTIST’S VIEW A book by photographer Martin Parr documents Scottish life and customs. TRIP PL ANNER Fresh itineraries and transportation developments offer unconventional ways to explore Peru.
A PL ACE IN TIME The cave paintings and culinary delights of the Dordogne, in southwestern France, are a portal into human history. FOREVER KYOTO Tradition and innovation meet in the ancient Japanese city. ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK
Transplants from the five boroughs have brought a cosmopolitan edge to the once-sleepy Hudson Valley. 106
AFRICA’S MOST EXCITING
Johannesburg is emerging from the shadow of apartheid and redefining itself as a creative capital.
WORTH FLYING FOR
Breakfast at the Bartlett House in Ghent, New York, page 98.
ON THE COVER Navigating on Zodiacs near the coves of Punta Vicente Roca, on Isabela Island in the Galápagos, page 17. Photograph by João Canziani.
MA R C U S N I LSS ON
Gustav Klimt’s studio in Vienna.
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To learn how to score cheaper airfare and get travel survival tips (such as how to deal with flight cancellations and delays), check out our roundup of all things Thanksgiving. We even have the perfect wines to serve with your turkey feast. tandl.me/tday
7 HIKES TO TAKE ON BLACK FRIDAY
Thanks to the adventure outfitter REI’s #OptOutside campaign, more and more folks are choosing the peace of nature over shopping. Here are T+L’s top treks. tandl. me/blackfridayhikes
AMERICA’S FAVORITE PLACES 2017
From the best shoes for travelers to affordable gifts under $50, our editors compiled more than 40 themed guides to help you find something for everyone on your list. tandl.me/gift-guides
For T+L’s ninth annual America’s Favorite Places survey, we tallied more than 50,000 votes to rank 38 cities across the U.S. in dozens of categories, including architecture, charm, food, friendliness, culture, and style. Find out which destinations earned top marks, as well as the ones readers chose as the most underrated. tandl.me/afp
Escape instantly with must-see photography features that take you to spectacular spots around the globe.
Travel smarter with need-toknow updates on travel news and trends, plus tips and solutions from T+L experts.
An essential digest of the week’s buzziest, most popular stories— so you can be sure you don’t miss the very best.
Get exclusive access to discounts on great trips and travel accessories, all handpicked by our editors.
Stay up-to-theminute with our bulletin of the latest news and standout images posted on our website.
DESTINATION OF THE WEEK Take a virtual plunge into one exceptional location per week, with guides, photos, news, and more.
F ROM L E F T: B RI A N F I N KE ; C OU RT ESY OF GAR MI N
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Operation Vacation NOVEMBER 2017
do not use all of their vacation days each year
Thanda Private Game Reserve, in South Africa.
THE DEALS Operation Vacation offers are always discounted at least 20 percent from published rates. The editor-curated list is updated regularly, so sign up for T+L’s Deals newsletter at tandl.me/newsletters and be the first to know when new offers have been added.
Named the No. 1 Safari Outfitter in T+L’s 2017 World’s Best Awards, Rothschild Safaris is offering an 11-night safari and wine tour in South Africa. The package consists of three nights at the romantic Leeu House in the Cape Winelands and four nights at the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town with daily breakfast, plus four nights at the Thanda Private Game Reserve (two in the safari lodge, two in the tented camp). It includes game drives, bushwalks, meals, transfers, and park fees at the reserve. $4,129 per person ($375 per night); mention T+L when booking at rothschildsafaris.com or 800-4059463; offer valid through December 31.
EDITOR’S PICK: South Africa
COSTA RICA Get 30 percent off a three-night stay in a Root Deluxe suite or Habitat suite at the boho-chic El Mangroove Resort in Guanacaste. Includes daily breakfast, a ceviche-making class, and a fishing trip followed by a private dinner. Doubles from $1,800 ($600 per night); e-mail reservations@ elmangroove.net; offer valid through December 17.
BALI Travelers receive 30 percent off a minimum of two nights at the wellnessfocused COMO Uma Ubud, including daily breakfast, yoga classes, and a choice of activities, such as trekking, canoeing, rafting, and biking. Doubles from $203; use code PROTLOVA when booking at comohotels.com; offer valid through December 19, blackout dates apply.
TEX AS Stay at San Antonio’s Menger Hotel, a historic landmark that’s close to the Alamo and the Riverwalk and has hosted several U.S. presidents. The deal includes accommodations in a Menger Petite room (upgrade available), welcome drinks, early check-in, and late checkout. Doubles from $115; use code TLMENGER when booking at menger hotel.com; offer valid through November 30.
PARIS Luxury Travel Book, a company that rents stylish villas and apartments with concierge services, is offering a seven-night stay in a three-bedroom triplex in St.-Germaindes-Prés, across the street from Les Deux Magots. $1,655 per night for up to six people ($276 per person); e-mail info@theluxury travelbook.com and mention Operation Vacation; offer valid through December 31.
GEORGIA Get three nights for the price of two at the Twelve Oaks Bed & Breakfast, an antebellum mansion on leafy, sprawling grounds in Covington, outside Atlanta. Other perks: a mansion tour, souvenir gift, and daily breakfast. Doubles from $398 ($133 per night); mention code TRAVEL+ LEISURE when booking at 770-385-4005; offer valid through January 31, 2018, blackout dates apply.
SAN FRANCISCO T+L readers can get 40 percent off bookings at the Hotel Zoe, a new boutique property with modern, cheerful rooms in Fisherman’s Wharf. You’ll also be steps from a cable-car turnaround and just a few blocks from twisty Lombard Street and the legendary North Beach neighborhood. Doubles from $180; use code Zoe when booking at hotelzoesf. com; offer valid through December 30.
SHARE Join our movement and tell your friends how you’re using your vacation days with the hashtag #operationvacation. SHARE
C O URT ESY OF T HA N DA SA FAR I . DATA S OU RC E : A L LI A N Z TR AVE L IN S UR A N C E VACATIO N CO NFID E NCE IND EX
Last year, U.S. workers forfeited an astounding 662 million vacation days, according to Project: Time Off, a research initiative headed up by the U.S. Travel Association. In response, T+L launched Operation Vacation, making it our mission to encourage everyone to use their much-needed days off to get away and recharge. As incentive, we’re offering exclusive deals that will help your travel budget go a lot further. Visit travelandleisure. com/operation-vacation to find more than 50 of the best discounts on flights, hotels, cruises, and vacation packages.
The moment you discovered the best of Southern California in one place.
The perfect getaway leaves you with a new perspective and connects you to experiences you wouldn’t encounter anywhere else. It doesn’t have to involve a championship Tom Fazio golf course. It doesn’t have to feature a Forbes Five Star spa and AAA Five Diamond restaurant. It doesn’t have to be set within the picturesque Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve. But it could. Welcome to Fairmont Grand Del Mar, winner of the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award for Top Luxury Hotel in the United States. Gateway to your moment in over 20 countries. fairmont.com/san-diego
Editor’s Note NOVEMBER 2017
From my travels I happen to love German cuisine, which is why I was so excited a few months ago to go on a driving trip through the Black Forest. Because of its proximity to the French border, the region displays an intermingling of culinary traditions, with fantastic results. One highlight was a stop in Baiersbronn, a little town with a whole lot of Michelin stars. The restaurant at the Hotel Traube Tonbach (above right; traubetonbach.de; doubles from $339, entrées $74–$149), which sits on a hillside overlooking the Tonbach Valley, has three. Its chef, Torsten Michel, does magical things in the kitchen, including a sumptuous riff on bouillabaisse made with monkfish cooked in seaweed butter, spinach, tomatoes, and saffron. Not far away is the Hotel Bareiss (bareiss.com; doubles from $585, entrées $101– $115), a thoroughly German resort with its own excellent three-starred restaurant helmed by chef Claus-Peter Lumpp. You wouldn’t come to this region without visiting the lovely spa town of BadenBaden, where I stayed at the exquisite Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa (above left; oetkercollection. com; doubles from $464). If you like a traditional hotel, book a room in the main building; if you prefer something more modern, try the new Villa Stéphanie. Either way, don’t miss a treatment in the topnotch spa.
F ROM TOP : N ATH A N LU MP ( 2 ) ; BR IA N D OB E N
am often asked about the ways travel is changing—the trends driving where we choose to go, what we like and dislike, and what motivates us to book a trip. I’m no seer, but I do pay attention to the feedback you share with us, as well as the data we collect for projects like our annual World’s Best Awards. One trend I bring up frequently is the rise of the “experience” as an ever more important element of travel. What makes a trip special today is what you do as much as where you go. As I see it, leisure time is scarce and precious. Time with loved ones can be hard to come by. Vacations are rare. (By the way, if you think you might end up being one of the millions of Americans who won’t use all their vacation days this year, T+L’s Operation Vacation is here to keep you from becoming a statistic, with exclusive deals on page 10 and more online at travelandleisure.com/ operation-vacation.) For all these reasons, using travel to have a memorable experience, whether that means immersing yourself in a personal passion like wine or photography, going on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, or celebrating a special event, can feel like a more rewarding use of your time than simply going somewhere to check it off your list. It’s with this kind of experiential travel in mind that we bring you what we’re calling our New Bucket List (page 17). It contains 46 awe-inspiring, heart-pounding, brain-building, life-affirming things to do, which also happen to take you to some of the greatest places on earth. Of course, what actually motivates you to take one of these trips doesn’t really matter; it’s about the going—and the doing. What all of these New Bucket List experiences have in common is the joy that comes from discovery. And that’s something that never gets old.
Fall in love with Caymanâ€™s stunning shades of blue. Grace Byers
Into the great white open.
The 2018 Subaru Forester 2.0XT makes winter your wonderland. It comes ®
with standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and a 250-hp Direct-Injection Turbocharged SUBARU BOXER engine, so you can face winter with confidence. ®
Love. It’s what makes a Subaru, a Subaru.
Forester 2.0XT. Well-equipped at $29,495.* Subaru, Forester, and SUBARU BOXER are registered trademarks. *MSRP excludes destination and delivery charges, tax, title, and registration fees. Retailer sets actual price. Certain equipment may be required in specific states, which can modify your MSRP. See your retailer for details. 2018 Subaru Forester 2.0XT Touring shown has an MSRP of $36,090.
THE NEW BUCKET LIST
TAYLO R B UR K
Many people are embarking on journeys in search of a physical challenge, like going on a heli-hiking excursion to Nimbus Mountain, in British Columbia. See page 34.
Travel today isn’t about just checking off a destination and moving on to the next one. It’s about collecting experiences—and returning from each journey feeling transformed as a person. Here are 46 trips to take before you die, each one guaranteed to change your life. travelandleisure.com
THE NEW BUCKET LIST
PLUNGE DEEP INTO AN ANIMAL KINGDOM
On a cruise around the Galápagos Islands, PETER HELLER encounters the archipelago’s diverse native species—and walks away humbled by their beauty.
The sun was settling into the Pacific, and they were dancing on the beach. Two blue-footed boobies. These are seabirds that can fold themselves into missiles and corkscrew into the ocean at 60 miles per hour. But right now, they were two yards away and slowly highstepping toward each other on their outsize webbed, very blue feet. One, presumably the male, offered his sweetheart a twig. “Did you see that?” I murmured. “Him giving her the twig?” “Always works for me,” my wife, Kim, replied. Shortly after touching down on Baltra Island, we boarded our cruise ship, the Celebrity Xperience, and had barely unpacked before sailing off to see the wildlife. At this first stop, the tiny island of North Seymour, we saw magnificent frigate birds—that’s their name, Fregata magnificens—soaring close overhead on black and angled
wings eight feet across, like remnants of the age of pterodactyls. No sooner had I set foot on a trail inland than I had to step between a yellow land iguana and a seagull, and then around two sea lions. Each opened an eye, rubbed its back into the sand, and went back to sleep. It was like walking through that painting by Henri Rousseau, The Dream— remember the nude in the forest with the lions and birds? The peace that reigned, the innocence. We hadn’t been in the Galápagos a day, and already this was the strangest and wildest place I’d ever seen. An archipelago of volcanic islands and numerous tiny islets, the Galápagos are on almost every nature lover’s must-visit list for good reason: they have a higher concentration of endemic animals and plants than almost anywhere else on the planet. The islands’ short distance from the Ecuadoran coast allowed some species to be swept from the mainland and evolve in relative isolation. With very few land predators around, they adapted to be pretty fearless. To protect the wildlife, the Ecuadoran government has designated 97 percent of the archipelago a national park.
C H E LSE A S C H IF F
Kicker Rock, a popular snorkeling and diving spot off the island of San Cristóbal, in the Galápagos.
THE NEW BUCKET LIST
A large Galápagos shark , seven or eight feet in length, cruised by us. It didn’t hurt that the cabins were smartly designed, the galley served delicious meals like grilled lobster and papaya salad, and there was a hot tub on the highest deck. But for us, the best part was getting off the ship and into the water. On day four, as we sailed toward Floreana Island, the sea got rough. The Zodiac plowed through the swell while our lead naturalist, Gustavo Barva, told us the story of early settlers, a handful of eccentric Germans who disembarked in 1929. It was a story of love, betrayal, poison, and murder, and he had us on the edge of our bouncing seats. Just offshore, the captain cut the engine, and Kim and I climbed into a double sea kayak. She set a strong pace, and we headed for a maze of rocky black islets, the spray hitting our faces. In the calmer sand shallows, the water was aquamarine. The swells surged through channels between outcroppings like a gushing stream, and we rode them, sluicing through the gaps. Bright red Sally Lightfoot crabs scuttled on rocks the color of coal. Again, we got the sense of being in a painting where the colors, the wildness, could not be entirely real.
A land iguana on Santa Cruz Island.
And then we saw the pair of sea lion pups. They broke from wrestling on a shallow bar and swam after us. They were so tenacious we laughed out loud. They stared at us with huge, dark, wet eyes, wondering why we were making a ruckus. They seemed to be begging us to get out of the stupid boat and play for real. We did eventually get out of the boat, to snorkel in the waters of Post Office Bay. Kim tapped me as we floated along: a pair of green sea turtles were feeding along the bottom. She stretched out her arms, and the larger one rose to the surface just under her chest, nearly brushing her with its shell. I almost stopped breathing. But I didn’t have much time to recover. A large Galápagos shark, seven or eight feet in length, with a scythe tail and a dead eye, cruised by us at something like 12 feet. It arced around us. My heart started to pound, and just as I began to wonder how this particular encounter might end, a brown blur glided between us and the predator: a huge female sea lion. As she passed, she looked right at us, and we thought we could read her expression: I’ve got this. She did. She circled us twice and chased off the shark.
+ 3 M O R E N AT U R E T R I P S
THE MAGIC OF LOOKING UP, NOT DOWN 1 Sleep Under the Stars Natural
Selection’s new skybeds, which are set in Botswana’s Khwai Private Reserve, offer the ultimate camping experience in the bush. Each platform is raised 16 feet off the ground, offering incredible views of both the surrounding wildlife and the starry sky above. naturalselection. travel; skybeds from $570 per person. 2 Experience Lunar Totality If
you missed out on this year’s total eclipse, no need to worry. Eclipse Traveler, a tour operator dedicated to creating itineraries around these astronomical events, is gearing up for the
next occurrence in 2019. Join them on a 12-day trip through Chile, one of the next countries that sit in the next path of totality. eclipsetraveler. com; from $6,425. 3 Witness the Northern Lights
After a couple of days in St. Petersburg, hop aboard the Golden Eagle luxury train for a 12-day journey across Russia to Norway in search of the northern lights. An astronomer will be on hand to answer questions and identify constellations, and you’ll glimpse local village culture (think folk performances and dog-sledding) before ending in Moscow. geoex.com; from $11,995, all-inclusive.
C O URT ESY OF C E LE BR IT Y C R UI SES
To really explore the Galápagos, go by sea. We chose to sail with Celebrity Cruises, which just added two retrofitted ships—the 48-passenger Xperience and the 16-passenger Xploration—to its Galápagos fleet. I’ll admit that I love cruises. The right kind of voyage, on a small expedition ship, gives access to wild places that can’t be reached any other way. The Xperience was outfitted for adventure, with snorkeling gear, kayaks, and inflatable Zodiacs for landings. And the itinerary was rigorous: we all did two excursions a day, either hikes or snorkels led by a registered Galápagos guide, with a break for lunch on the ship. Once in a while we saw another small expedition ship at anchor, but usually we were all alone.
THE NEW BUCKET LIST
The next day, we rose at 5:30 and ate a big breakfast of made-toorder omelettes and strong Ecuadoran coffee. The ship anchored off the largest island in the archipelago, Isabela, and we set out on Zodiacs for the sheltered waters of Elizabeth Bay. On the rocks, marine iguanas sunned themselves in a mass of sinuous tails and claws. This species—the only oceangoing iguana in the world—evolved from land iguanas that once lived in the forests of Ecuador. These iguanas dive for algae. Weird. Weirder still was the flightless cormorant whose wings evolved to stubs because there were no predators to fly away from. It’s one reason we travel, I guess. To experience the wholly unfamiliar. And I have traveled a lot. But I have never been in a place
+ 4 MORE WILDLIFE-FOCUSED TRIPS
(REAL ) CLOSE
ENCOUNTERS AROUND THE WORLD Marine Life in Madagascar 1
Time & Tide Miavana, a new 14-villa eco-resort, brings this African country’s unique ecosystem to life for travelers. The lodge sits on a private island in the Loky Manambato Protected Area, allowing you to get close to all sorts of ocean creatures—guitar sharks, Spanish dancers,
dolphins—on snorkel and boat outings. On land, seek out the famed crowned lemurs. timeandtideafrica. com; doubles from $5,000, all-inclusive. 2 Endangered Species in Kenya
On Scenic Air Safaris’ Endangered Species tour, you’ll meet local experts devoted to protecting vulnerable
animals (cheetahs, rhinos, lions). In Samburu National Game Reserve, for instance, you can speak with Saba Douglas-Hamilton and her father, Iain, who run the Save the Elephants foundation. The nineday journey via a private Cessna also includes visits to the Masai Mara and Lewa Conservancy. scenicairsafaris. com; from $9,825.
that unfolded with such surprising juxtapositions: penguins next to iguanas, dancing boobies by nesting frigates, playful sea lions swimming past relaxed turtles. Our Zodiac pushed on and slipped slowly through narrow channels among the mangrove trees—who knew mangrove trees could be red, and grow to 30 feet tall?—and we saw a sea lion sleeping across a branch above the water like a leopard. In our week of cruising from island to island, we would also be dazzled by high headlands covered in pink carpetweed where boobies with red feet sat on white eggs. And estuaries where pink flamingos moved to the slow cadences of the tide. And albatross that, during their mating dance, clacked their bills together like castanets. In the Bolivar Channel, after an evening of seeing minke whales blow all around the ship, we climbed up to a railing forward of the bridge. The ship was headed straight toward a rising half-moon. Over the horizon on our left lay the Southern Cross. Above and to our right were the Big Dipper and the North Star—the northern and southern constellations were spread under one sky. Of course: we were almost on the equator. Kim and I leaned shoulder to shoulder. On the wind, and in the sea, it seemed that beauty breathed all around us, and we stayed out until the moon dropped into the waves. celebritycruises.com; seven-night cruises from $4,499. Peter Heller is an adventure writer and novelist, whose most recent book is Celine.
3 Humpback Whales in Ningaloo Reef From August
through October at Sal S l Salis, S is a rustic-luxe lodge in Western Australia’s Ningaloo region, you can go offshore to swim with the humpback whales that migrate to this wild area. Your swimming
companions will likely include whale sharks, manta rays, and dugongs. salsalis.com. f au; doubles from $750 per person, all-inclusive; $550 for whale swim. 4 Emperor Penguinss on the South Pole
On Natural World Safaris’ 11-day cruise to Antarctica, you’ll fly by helicopter to visit a colony of more than 6,000 birds. Remarkably, these four-foot-tall penguins aren’t afraid of humans, so it’s easy to get close. naturalworldsafaris. com; from $9,238.
CAL L IE G IOVA N N A . I L LU ST RAT IO N BY LU C I N DA R OG E R S
Wild, unspoiled Bartolomé Island.
Introducing the New King of the Concrete Jungle. The all-new Tiguan. Here we see the all-new Volkswagen Tiguan in its natural habitat. The completely redesigned exterior, bold lines, and aggressive stance are a double take waiting to happen. Inside, the Tiguan is a different kind of majestic. With available premium leather seating surfaces and Volkswagen Digital Cockpit that makes navigating so instinctive, you can get lost without ever getting lost. And available 4MOTION® all-wheel drive means you can conquer almost any road, concrete or otherwise. Dramatization. Do not attempt. Always wear proper seat restraints in a moving safari vehicle. Optional accessories shown. Always ensure that your vehicle is equipped with appropriate tires and equipment and always adjust your speed and driving style to the road, terrain, traffic, and weather conditions. See Owner’s Manual for further details and important limitations. *MY2018 Tiguan 6 years/72,000 miles (whichever occurs first) New Vehicle Limited Warranty. Based on manufacturers’ published data on transferable Bumper-to-bumper/Basic warranty only. Not based on other separate warranties. See owner’s literature or dealer for warranty limitations. ©2017 Volkswagen of America, Inc.
THE NEW BUCKET LIST
Travel is a powerful tool, one that can shape and open young minds—as HEIDI MITCHELL discovers, especially in a challenging place like Eg ypt.
Everyone told me not to take my three kids to Egypt. A friend from Pakistan said I was bananas. A half-Egyptian colleague confided she wouldn’t be visiting her paternal grandparents for…ever. My mother begged me to go anywhere else. (“But, please, honey, at least register with the embassy.”) Foolish? Perhaps. Defiant? Yes. Even with terror attacks and unrest in the Middle East dominating the news cycle, I was determined to see Egypt, a place I had dreamed of visiting since I first spied King Tut’s funerary mask at the Met as a four-year-old. For more than a decade, I’ve dragged my kids to every major Egyptian museum exhibition in Chicago, New York, and London. On road trips we listened to corny recordings of the myths of Osiris and Ra (“You rise, you rise…. You are the king of gods!”). The Puffin Classics Tales of Ancient Egypt never gathered dust on our bookshelves. And those kids, now 14, 12, and 8—they shared my dream. In a moment when our country seemed to turn its back on the Muslim world, “as soon as possible” felt like the best time to further my children’s understanding of other cultures. They, like my husband and
The Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, near Luxor, Egypt.
A N D R E I N E K R ASS OV / A L A MY STO C K P HOTO
BROADEN YOUR KIDS’ HORIZONS
I, were unwilling to accept fear as an excuse to write off a place that so occupied their imaginations. And so, gifted with two weeks of spring break and a burning belief that what was happening in Egypt couldn’t possibly be worse than what was unfolding at home, my family resolved to seize the moment. We would take a leap of faith: that our tour operator, Abercrombie & Kent, would keep us safe on our custom, eightday odyssey, which combined a four-day river cruise on the Nile with four days in the Cairo area. That we wouldn’t be seen as ugly Americans, but as enthusiastic ambassadors. And that our kids would appreciate seeing their classroom studies IRL. As our vessel, the Sanctuary Sun Boat IV, departed Luxor bound for Aswan, I confess I felt an unwarranted sense of pride for having taken my family to Egypt despite, well, infinite reasons not to. In port, at least a dozen other tourist boats
THE NEW BUCKET LIST
likely to be hit by a falling object than become a victim of a random act of terror. My kids, and the land of Moses, taught me that the antidote to fear is travel. Their developing minds have few prejudices, and the more exposure we give them to people around the world, the more empathetic they will become. And teach us to become. abercrombiekent.com; 10-day Signature Egypt & the Nile trips from $5,395. Heidi Mitchell is a T+L contributor and lifestyle writer based in Chicago.
+3 MORE TRIPS FOR FA MILIE S
THE WORLD AS THEIR CLASSROOM T+L A-List agent Jack Ezon (212-329-7350; jezon@ovationtravel. com), who plans many family trips for clients, shares ideas on where to go based upon kids’ ages. Itineraries can be customized; prices based on party size. 1 French Culture for Kids, Paris What
eight-year-old doesn’t want to see the Eiffel Tower? Ezon will set up a pastry-making class, a scavenger hunt in the Louvre, or a morning at the Musée d’Orsay, followed by a trip farther afield to Giverny, the site of Monet’s home and garden, for an Impressionist painting class. 2 American Politics for Tweens, Washington, D.C.
At this age, government becomes part of the curriculum—so it’s time
for a trip to the Capitol, where Ezon can set up one-on-one time with a senator or representative. Other fun excursions: a visit to the FBI museum and a private, after-hours tour and dinner at the Newseum, which is dedicated to journalism and free speech. 3 Religious History for Teens, Jerusalem High
schoolers are mature enough to handle a comparative-religion experience in Israel, where Judaism, Islam, and Christianity all have deep roots. In Jerusalem, families can see holy sites like the gold-topped Dome of the Rock, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Western Wall, where Ezon can orchestrate a special tour of the underground tunnels. He can also arrange meetings with local artists, politicians, and Palestinian families for an understanding of the delicate issues they all face in striving for peace.
F RO M TOP : C OL IN MI TC HE LL ; D E AG OSTI N I / G E T T Y I MAGES . I LLU STR ATI ON BY LU CINDA R O G E R S
withered with disuse. Even on that first afternoon, as barren rocky hills rose in the distance, security never crossed my mind. My kids read Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile while my husband and I marveled at how silly it seemed to worry even a little. Children on the shore waved to us, we waved back, and life sailed on. Outside Luxor, at the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, which is dedicated to a female pharaoh who lived in the 15th century B.C., we raced up the ramps to the Osiride columns— alone. The walls were decorated with elaborate scenes of courtly life, the 3,500-year-old paint vivid and seemingly fresh. In the Valley of the Kings, our tour guide, Ehab, noted that just a few years ago, 10,000 people would wait in line in the blistering heat to enter three of the 63 tombs of their choosing. Not today. There were perhaps 50 other travelers, which meant we could linger, often undisturbed, in Ramses III’s tomb and take time to decipher the hieroglyphs with a ruler translator we’d purchased in a gift shop. On our second evening, we visited the Temple of Luxor at sunset, the lights at the feet of several gigantic statues of Ramses II illuminating the cloudless night. As the call to prayer filled the sky, how could anyone be afraid? The kids played hide-and-seek among the pillars, and I asked them over dinner if they felt unsafe. They looked at me like I was bananas, just as my Pakistani friend had. In and around Cairo, the kids were able to get away from us for a bit. In the souk, they roamed freely and bargained for perfumes, knives, and scarabs, while we parents drank strong coffee in a café. When we visited the Great Pyramid of Giza, just outside the city, we walked through metal detectors to gain access and were greeted at the entrance by dozens of Egyptian schoolgirls. They asked to take a photo with my teenage son, and we all laughed at his crimson blush. This became a running joke, as it kept From top: The author rides happening: brave girls at the Sphinx requesting camels with her kids near the photos; girls at Memphis, the ruins of a city Pyramids of Giza; the Temple of Isis in Philae, Egypt. south of Cairo, wanting selfies with him; girls near the entrance to the Egyptian Museum back in the city, pleading for one more shot. Teenagers everywhere, it turns out, all speak the same language of giggles and insouciance. On the last day of our trip, our city guide, Wael, took us off-piste to Dahshûr, about 15 miles south of Cairo, where the pharaoh Snefru erected the Bent Pyramid nearly 5,000 years ago. The police stopped our group before eventually letting us pass onto the barren road that leads to the 150-foot-tall pyramid, though there was no need: we were the only humans in any direction all the way to the horizon. When we finally had to leave, we each instinctively pocketed a small stone. Maybe our keepsakes were once part of the early attempt at the pyramid behind us, or maybe engineers from five millennia ago cast them aside. Our rocks are now safe at home, in Chicago. We survived Egypt just fine, but fear and division persist. So what are we supposed to do? Prepare for the apocalypse and hoard SpaghettiOs? How about, instead, recognizing that we’re more
Where your vacation becomes a
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SEE EXACTLY WHERE YOUR DINNER COMES FROM Sure, crossing a remarkable restaurant off your bucket list is satisfying. But many people are looking for more than a good meal: they want to forage for ingredients, understand how those ingredients are connected to the land and sea, and take part in the creation of their dishes. Alaska, which provides some of the most dramatic scenery and wildlife in the world, is also an unexpected culinary treasure trove. Access Trips, a food-focused tour operator, has created an eight-day itinerary around the state’s bounty of fresh seafood and seasonal vegetables. Starting in Fairbanks, travelers can partake in a range of activities, from taking cooking classes with James Beard Award– nominated chef Laura Cole at 229 Parks, her restaurant outside Denali National Park, to tasting organic birch syrup in Talkeetna and watching an oyster harvest in Kachemak Bay. accesstrips.com; from $5,790. For wine nerds, Sonoma County Winegrowers’ three-day celebration and wine-immersion program is the perfect way to understand what’s inside the bottle. In addition to extraordinary alfresco meals
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IF YOU HAD TO FLY FOR JUST ONE MEAL...
1 The Grill and The Pool, New York City The spirit of the
old Four Seasons restaurant lives on in this lavish reboot from Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi. With its modern revival of classic cuisine (prime rib carved tableside, sole meunière) and a guest list of power players, there is no dining room in town that so thoroughly channels the New York of yore. thegrillnew york.com, entrées $37– $89; thepoolnewyork. com, entrées $41–$74. 2 Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy
Poached halibut at the Pool restaurant, in New York City.
Massimo Bottura starred in the first episode of Netflix’s Chef’s Table series, and a year later, his restaurant made number one on the World’s 50 Best list. He deserves the hype. Among Bottura’s
during fall harvest, participants can attend seminars on blending, go on cave tours, and pick their own grapes. sonoma grapecamp.com; from $5,000 for two people. In South America, Colombia’s burgeoning food scene is gaining international attention. The specialists at Amakuna are experts in planning trips to the country, with personal access to top local chefs like Laura Londoño and Carmen Angel, who will take you to markets in Medellín and Cartagena. Coffee obsessives, meanwhile, can get exclusive access to some of Colombia’s best coffee-growing estates. amakuna. com; from $3,850 for 10 days.
now iconic dishes: tiny tortellini in a velvety Parmigiano-Reggiano cream and “tender and crunchy” suckling pig. osteriafrancescana.it; entrées $71–$107. 3 Den, Tokyo Zaiyu Hasegawa is Japan’s rising star, a master at playfully weaving international flavors into a kaisekiinspired tasting menu. His “Dentucky” fried chicken, stuffed with sticky rice and presented in a red and white KFC-style box, is a cult dish among globe-trotting chefs. jimbochoden.com; tasting menus from $136. 4 Brae, Birregurra, Australia Dan
Hunter, Australia’s buzziest young-gun chef, is known for delicious, oddball inventions like oysterinfused ice cream and
wild mushrooms with milk curd. Brae, his 30-acre farm, restaurant, and hotel, which is 90 minutes from Melbourne, feels like a pastoral fantasyland. braerestaurant.com; tasting menu $193. 5 Vespertine, Los Angeles The
first thing you notice at Jordan Kahn’s Culver City blockbuster—as much an immersive theater production as it is a restaurant—is the ambient music by experimental rock band This Will Destroy You. Then come the avant-garde staff uniforms from designer Jona Sees, and, finally, the wildly creative tasting menu, with bites like macadamia nut “porcelain” and fried saury spine, brushed with a silvery powder made from the fish’s own skin. vespertine.la; tasting menu $250.
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RECHARGE YOUR BODY AND SPIRIT
Ever dreamed about checking in to a spa that could make you live longer? JANINE DI GIOVANNI knows just the place.
In my late 20s, realizing that my career as a reporter was largely playing out in dangerous and physically grueling war zones like Chechnya and Taliban-held Afghanistan, I did two uncharacteristically sensible things. I took out a small pension that forced me to save money, and I promised I would try, once a year, to do a proper detox. Like everyone else on the planet, I felt stressed and tired and overworked and keenly aware of the fact that I was getting older. I loved the idea of entering a luxurious hospital, padding around in a white bathrobe while being told what to do for five or six days, and emerging a new person. The practice of detoxifying the body by fasting or going on a restricted diet has been around for thousands of years. Long before Gwyneth Paltrow popularized the stay-at-home cleanse, most religions built an element of fasting into their doctrine as a way of
physically and mentally refreshing their practitioners. Learning to feel better can be revelatory—which is why a world-class detox should be something everyone does at least once. To me, attempting this process at home is paradoxical. You can’t starve yourself at will any more than you can effectively wax your own legs. You need help. Over the years, I’ve tried most of them. The FX Mayr Clinics in Austria, which began more than 40 years ago, are the original detox centers, but they are very strict. For dinner, you get a cup of tea and a spoonful of honey, and after a few days the deprivation starts to wreak havoc on your mood. Then there are yoga or hiking detoxes. My Italian friend Gloria, who is a philosopher, goes to a place in Brittany run by a woman named Céleste where you drink lemon-scented water and hike all day, inhaling the sea air deeply all the while. More recently, Ashtanga yoga camps became fashionable, along with militarystyle boot camps. I tried both—and left feeling more tired than when I arrived. If you’re looking for a truly lifechanging spa experience, the best of the lot is the Henri Chenot Health Centre
S I MON WATSO N
The outdoor pool at the Henri Chenot Health Centre, a spa in the South Tyrol region of Italy.
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THE NEW BUCKET LIST in Merano, in Italy’s South Tyrol region. The method, now offered at eight spas in Europe and Africa, has been practiced for 43 years. It is based on a combination of traditional Chinese medicine and modern Western science that helps eliminate toxins while “assimilating nutrients and rejuvenating the body.” These were the words of the staff. I tried not to think about what was happening to me. One of the great treats of Chenot is that you make no decisions—you are led around from dining room to massage to pool. A detox for the brain as well as the body.
This is Italy, after all. So even if your meals are the size of thimbles, they are beautiful thimbles. Everyone has a different program, but you’re encouraged to do a weeklong retreat, which can, if you choose, include 30 hours of fasting. The reward is a daily detox bath followed by a warm mud wrap and a deep-tissue massage, all designed to drain your system of impurities. Dr. Henri Chenot is living evidence that all this works. He founded the center in 1980 after beginning his career studying marine biology at the Sorbonne. He is 74 but looks much younger, with a perma-tan and bushy gray hair. He resides on the property, and when you see him, he scratches out notes on a pad about what you should do to be healthier. There are no quick fixes for tons of pizza and booze, he warns. But if his appearance is any indication, following his method could help you discover the fountain of youth. The Chenot Centre is in a former palazzo with Oriental rugs, stately columns, and sweeping corridors so wide you could do cartwheels across them (after the detox headache wears off around day three, perhaps). I woke up early when I was there, looked out from my balcony, and listened to the birds. The Dolomite Mountains in the distance were jagged and snowcapped; the air was intensely pure. The real reason that Chenot is so unlike anywhere else, in my view, is the food. The formula is basically light fasting and small portions, but this is Italy, after all. So even if your meals are the size of thimbles,
they are beautiful thimbles: delicate pastas made from vegetables, creamy soups, Kamut and brown rice disguised to look delicious, desserts that resemble sugar sculptures. But you are not consuming wheat, sugar, dairy, or caffeine. You are hungry. Then you adjust. You grow used to the empty feeling and you notice your body changing before your eyes. I will not lie: on days two and three you feel awful. Personally, I experienced headaches of monumental proportions and was so tired each footstep felt Olympian. But there is hope. You can drag yourself out to the pool in sunny weather, order a “cocktail” made of mint and other green things, and pretend there is tequila inside. You can read an actual book, or you can fall asleep. By day four, you begin to feel wonderful. Something happens to your eyes—they become bright, as does your skin. Your energy level increases and you spring out of bed. My friend Eve spent a week at Merano, and came out, she told me, “feeling as though there was a little motor in the small of my back pushing me forward.” It is pricey, but if health is a priority and you don’t want to suffer in pursuit of it, then this is the place. I am not sure it can make you live forever—and who would want to?—but it will make you feel rather incredible for a while. palace.it; seven-day detox programs from $6,224 per person, all-inclusive. New York–based Janine di Giovanni is a human-rights reporter and the Middle East editor of Newsweek.
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1 Sha Wellness Clinic, Spain
2 Rancho La Puerta, Mexico
3 Chiva-Som, om Thailand This is
A-listers like Donna Karan swear by this holistic spa on the Costa Blanca. The highlights: superb macrobiotic meals, a fleet of on-staff doctors, and a mindand-body unit that targets stress using tai chi and qigong. shawellnessclinic.com; six-night stays from $3,832 per person.
For those who want a spa stay that comes with spectacular hikes, nothing beats this 4,000-acre private nature reserve near Tecate. The property is laced with scenic trails, and running programs for marathoners are also available. ranchola puerta.com; sevennight stays from $3,350 per person.
seaside retreatt in Hua Hin offers everything from acupressure reflexology and craniosacral therapy to chi nei tsang, a e stomach massage for digestive issues. There are even programss for people in cancer va remission. chivasom. com; three-night h stays e person. from $2,988 per
I LLUST RAT I ON BY LU C I N DA RO GE RS
VACATIONING TO FIND A WHOLE NEW YOU
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+ 3 MORE ACTIVE TRIPS
1 Walk over Glaciers in Patagonia Strap on
the crampons and trek across a glacier in the Canal de los Témpanos on a 13-day expedition from Wild Frontiers. In addition to spending time on the ice, participants will have the opportunity to explore the surrounding area on horseback and bikes. wildfrontierstravel. com; from $4,445. 2 Trek to Everest Base Camp
PUSH YOUR BODY TO NEW HEIGHTS
It’s one th i ng to ad m i re mou nta i ns f rom the g rou nd. It’s a nother enti rely to cl i mb to the top. JOHN SCA R PINATO joi ns the new breed of travelers ea ger to test thei r l i m its a nd accompl ish a ma zi ng feats.
Growing rowin up in rural ru Illinois, I developed a passion for wide-open spaces, aces, wh which can be hard to come by now that I live in New York City. Craving raving a p physical challenge in a beautiful setting, I found a Canadian outfitter utfitter na named CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures, which has been prov providing access to the mountains of British Columbia for more than 50 years. y Though familiar with heli-skiing, I had never heard of heli-h heli-hiking, in which guests are zipped off to otherwise inaccessible trekking trekk locations by helicopter. After viewing CMH’s images of raging glacial rivers, rugged mountain landscapes, and ziplines, I was sold. I flew to Calgary, Alberta, and drove about three hours west to CMH’s h helipad near the small town of Parson, British Columbia. There I met the international, i 34-person group with whom I would be eating, hiking, and sharing an isolated lodge for the next three days. It took three helicopter helic trips to get all of us to Bobbie Burns, one of two CMH MH pro properties that operate in the summer. Even with its 24 guest rooms, ooms massive fireplace, and panoramic views of the Columbia Mountains, Mou the lodge had the feeling of a friend’s country house.
Only a few hundred people reach the summit of Mount Everest every year. But hiking to the base camp?
More accessible, and still pretty brag-worthy. Adventure Consultants’ 17-day trip winds through the stunning Khumbu Valley, where you’ll sleep in comfortable tents. adventureconsultants. com; from $10,900. 3 Bicycle Across the United States
Imagine seeing Montana wilderness, Michigan farmlands, and New York’s Finger Lakes—all in one trip. You can on Trek Travel’s epic 3,815-mile, 47-day bike ride across the country, from Portland, Oregon, to Portland, Maine. trektravel.com; from $17,699.
On our second day, the helicopter dropped us at a location deeper inside the mountain range, where we stood admiring the two peaks of Nimbus Mountain. We were to climb both that day. It was about four hours before we reached the top of the first. Standing there, surrounded by snowcapped ridges, I felt invincible, until I saw what lay ahead—a 131-foot suspension bridge that would lead me to the second summit. As we each crossed, the others shouted encouragement. Heights don’t generally bother me, but balancing more than 3,000 feet up in the air isn’t easy on anyone’s stomach. That night, a fellow hiker told me that he had thrown in the towel halfway through last year’s climb. This year, after losing 50 pounds, he finished. Another confided that soon after she’d last come to Bobbie Burns, her husband had passed away. This trip, 10 years later, made her feel that life had come full circle. Seeing how a meaningful experience can bring different people together left me refreshed and hopeful. And it was pretty satisfying to cross “climb a mountain” off my bucket list. canadianmountainholidays. com; three-day trips from $2,673. John Scarpinato is a T+L assistant editor.
BR UC E H OWAT T / C MH
Ascending a via ferrata along the Conrad Glacier in British Columbia.
ADVENTURES THAT MAKE YOU FEEL THE BURN
We don’t hide the “real” Jackson behind the scenes. VisitJacksonHole.com
WHAT MOST PEOPLE CALL THE “OLD WEST” WE CALL LAST NIGHT.
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TAKE A BIG BLOWOUT GROUP TRIP
ver the past five years, group travel has taken off. Whether it’s grandparents treating the whole gang to a cruise or old friends celebrating a milestone birthday (hello, 50!) in some tropical locale, these getaways are purpose-built for reconnecting. But finding the right accommodations for large parties can be tricky. One great place is Àni Villas, a new 14-suite estate in the Dominican Republic that gives you a fully staffed beach resort all to yourself. The Río San Juan property’s brilliance is its all-encompassing price model: meals, drinks, laundry, activities, and daily spa treatments are all built in to the rate, so splitting the bill is a breeze. anivillas.com; from $24,450 for three nights for up to 28 guests, all-inclusive. Chartering your own private yacht is another option, and what better place to do it than the Greek islands? British tour operator Red Savannah has three deluxe, fully staffed vessels in the beautiful
Ionian Islands, including the fivebedroom, 52-foot Aurous catamaran at the ready. Each lets passengers take part in fun activities (paddleboarding, windsurfing) right off the boat. redsavannah.com; from $15,088 per week for up to 10 people, all-inclusive. If you want to recapture the freedom of summer camp in high comfort, there’s Taylor River Lodge, Eleven Experience’s haute-rustic six-cabin retreat in Almont, Colorado, which can house up to 32 guests. After a day of archery or fly-fishing, you can all sit down to a farm-to-table meal prepared by an in-house private chef. Buyouts are possible, or you can take over part of the compound—and maybe even bring some new friends into the fold. elevenexperience.com; from $1,670 per cabin per night, all-inclusive.
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443 feet in the sky. noteworthy.co.uk; from $1,253 for five people.
The Greek islands are ideal for a large group.
GETTING IN AHEAD OF THE CROWD
1 Wander the Sistine Chapel Solo
Having the Vatican’s famous site all to yourself seems unimaginable—but Access Europe, whose clients include Ben Stiller and Oprah Winfrey, can arrange it. You’ll get 30 minutes of alone time with Michelangelo’s
masterpiece, with a cocktail reception and dinner to follow. accesseurope.com; from $7,139 for two. 2 Have Your Own Car at the London Eye Nearly 4 million
people visit the observation wheel each year. To get away from the fray, contact Nicola Butler at NoteWorthy, who will book one of the 32 capsules exclusively for you and up to four guests. Picture champagne and canapés
Visit Beijing’s Temple of Heaven at Night This massive 3
complex, where emperors would purge their bodies and commune with the gods, is one of China’s holiest sites. By day, it’s a zoo. But Guy Rubin of Imperial Tours can arrange for a private evening visit, with the complex lit by floodlights. imperial tours.net; tours from $2,020 for five people.
4 Go Behind the Scenes at Moscow’s Kremlin
While official relations with Russia remain as complicated as ever, travelers are still visiting the country in droves. Greg Tepper at Exeter International can arrange for private access to some of the Kremlin’s most sought-after attractions, including the Faceted Chamber and Terem Palace. exeter international.com; tours from $2,660 for up to 18 people.
C H RI ST IA N K E RB E R. IL LU ST RAT I ON BY LU C I N DA ROG E RS
Traveling in groups of 10, 20, or more is off icially a phenomenon. And now more than ever, there are plenty of places that cater to a large crowd.
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TRAVEL BACK IN TIME To glimpse the world as it was, generations ago, all you need to do is rethink your method of transportation. On a nostalgic train journey across Ireland, complete with formal dinners and luxurious carriages, ANDREW MARTIN embraces the rhythms and pleasures of a bygone era.
train operator Belmond strikes out on its own. The carriage interiors are modeled not on those of earlier trains but on notably immobile phenomena: the Georgian mansions of Dublin. Hence, wood paneling in the sleeping compartments, tweed upholstery in the observation car, and an actual mantelpiece in one of the two dining cars.
The Belmond Grand Hibernian as it glides through the Irish countryside.
H E L E N CATH CA RT / C O URT ESY O F BE L MON D
Beyon the windows of the gently swaying dining car, darkness Beyond descended. The heaviness of the rain and our speed were increasing desce at rou roughly the same rate—optimal conditions for cocktail hour on a lux luxury y train. With W an Irish gin and tonic in my hand, I watched the manager ma ager of the Belmond Be Grand Hibernian place a line of small electric lamps on n the long table. As the author of a number of books about trains, I had hoped for just this kind of nod to railway history when I’d train put thiss journey on o my travel to-do list. Table lamps in the restaurant cars, often ca ften shade shaded in pink silk, were symbols of the trains de luxe of the th late te 1800s and an 1900s, especially those of the Wagons-Lits company, whose se sleepers sleepers—including the various Orient Expresses—carried stylish ish travel travelers across Europe until the 1970s. The Wagons-Lits Wa carriages were midnight blue, as are those of the Grand H Hibernian, but in other ways this new offering from high-end
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The train manager switched on the lights. “We always have the lamps on for the last night,” he said. This would be the final evening of six for those on the Grand Tour of Ireland itinerary; for me, it was the last of two, since I was on the shorter Taste of Ireland route. I had boarded on Saturday morning and eaten lunch as we headed north from Dublin, the train gliding above the silvery water of the Malahide Estuary under a misty Irish rain. I sat opposite an Austrian gentleman with a flower in his buttonhole, who explained that he had “experienced all the Belmond services” and had traveled on the company’s flagship, the Venice SimplonOrient-Express, 68 times. “It is actually a very convenient way to go from Innsbruck to Paris,” he said. The VSOE, by the way, is not to be confused with the old Orient Express beloved by Agatha Christie’s generation. That is now defunct, though a new feature film adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express, out this month with Kenneth Branagh starring, is a testament to the train’s enduring appeal. As dessert was served (Guinness-and-chocolate cake with wildblackberry sorbet), we skirted the Irish Sea and the beaches of Balbriggan and Gormanston. By the time we crossed the viaduct over the river Boyne, I was sitting at the desk in my compartment, imagining myself one of the railway-borne statesmen—Ferdinand Foch, commander in chief of the Allies, perhaps—who patrolled the Western Front in converted Wagons-Lits dining cars during World War I. I contemplated a lie-down on the bed: not the planklike arrangement of so many sleeper cars, but a snowdrift of fresh-pressed white linen, topped by a plump embarrassment of pillows. Unlike the old WagonsLits, where washrooms were shared on even the most sumptuous trains, my cabin had its own en suite, with a shower clad in white tiles with beveled edges, like the ones in the Paris Métro. Forty miles later, we crossed the border into Northern Ireland, where we stopped to visit the Titanic Belfast museum, which stands
on the docks where the ship was built by the firm of Harland & Wolff. The exhibition is housed in a glass-and-aluminum-sided building that is designed to resemble a four-pronged star when viewed from above. The prongs are supposed to suggest the prow of the Titanic and are of the same height. “A lot of people think it’s meant to be the iceberg,” the coach driver confided. We were shown to a private function room for a reception of wine and canapés, which I consumed rather sheepishly while looking down on the Titanic slipway, where an outline of the ship appears, flanked by silhouettes of the too-few lifeboats. Later, I wandered through the exhibition in a melancholic reverie, which was deepened by the fact that, by a special concession, we Hibernians had the place to ourselves. Especially poignant was the low-lit floor devoted to images of the ship’s sinking, including the sheer wrongness of the ship with its hull perpendicular to the ocean, like a duck feeding beneath the water. The Grand Hibernian is the country’s first luxury sleeper train, though the island of Ireland is really too small for sleepers— they would fall off the edge before morning. So after heading south, to Eire once again, we slept berthed in pretty Dundalk Station. Stepping onto the platform, I discovered a small museum in a former waiting room, the door propped invitingly open. There was a photograph: Dundalk Station, September 6, 1957. It looked no different from Dundalk Station today. Dinner, which was widely acclaimed, began with Irish grouse offset with cauliflower purée and hazelnut sauce. Fillet of Atlantic turbot followed.
F ROM L E F T: C OURT ESY OF BE LMO N D ; K E N N E TH O ’ H A L LORA N
Left: A sleeper compartment on board the Belmond Grand Hibernian, which takes design inspiration from the Georgian mansions of Dublin. Above: A waiter performs a jig in the train’s observation car.
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I imagined myself as one of the railway-borne statesmen who patrolled the Western Front. now a comfortable drawing room, with people reading the papers, drinking coffee, talking in an indolent, Sundayish way. We approached the elegant town of Waterford on the southern coast, running alongside the Suir River, whose dark blue water matched the color of our train exactly. We boarded a coach that took us through dense woodland to Curraghmore House, the slightly battered but extraordinarily beautiful home of the ninth Marquess of Waterford. His family has lived here for the past 847 years. The former butler to the eighth marquess conducted the least prim country-house tour I have ever been on. If I’d carried an umbrella, however sodden, I’m sure I could have hung it from the elephant’s trunk inside the front
+ 3 M O R E G R E AT T R A I N T R I P S
HOW TO RIDE IN STYLE
1 The Maharajas’ Express, India
Itineraries from three to seven nights allow you to experience top destinations—Agra, Jaipur, Goa—in sophisticated surroundings. The butlers are attentive, and dinner in the two restaurant cars is served on Limoges china. The 448-squarefoot, two-bedroom Presidential Suite has its own carriage. maharajas-expressindia.com; three-night trips from $3,850.
door, one of several hunting trophies I saw around the estate. After getting chilly as our guide explained the reason for the crack halfway up the staircase (the rakish third marquess had ridden a horse up it), I sat next to a roaring fire and gazed through the windows at the 2,500 acres of formal gardens. We reboarded the coach for a guided tour of the factory where Waterford Crystal is made. For those passengers more interested in what was in the glass, a reception in the factory shop followed— and the more champagne we drank, the more Waterford Crystal was sold. That evening, there was more live music in the observation car, and one of the waiters danced a jig, earning raucous applause from passengers who in some cases were only one glass of champagne away from joining in. We were now “stabled” at Bagenalstown, Carlow. As at Dundalk, the station was so quaint I wouldn’t have been surprised if a steam train had puffed past in the night. As we approached our terminus the next morning, most of the passengers were in the observation car. It is a tribute to the operators of the Grand Hibernian that the mood was one of outright dejection. “Oh no!” a woman exclaimed, as the platform slid alongside us. “Dublin!” belmond.com; two-night trips from $3,570. Andrew Martin is an English novelist based in London. His new book, Night Trains: The Rise and Fall of the Sleeper, explores the golden age of sleeper trains.
2 Rovos Rail, Africa This South
African train is a glamorous throwback. In the Edwardian-style dining cars, guests can experience multicourse meals (grilled lobster, bobotie) with wine pairings; instead of watching TV, everyone plays cards in the lounge. Cape Town and Pretoria are hubs, and the train follows multiple routes, even venturing to Tanzania, Botswana, and Namibia. rovos. com; three-night trips from $1,468.
3 Seven Stars, Japan The country has
always been ahead of the curve when it comes to train travel. But the Seven Stars, which does one- and three-night journeys around Kyushu, the southernmost main island, is on a new level. The 14-suite vehicle features shoji screens, warm woods (the showers are lined with cypress), and wide windows to better take in the countryside, with its hot springs and volcanoes. cruisetrainsevenstars.com; onenight trips from $3,005.
I LLU ST RAT I ON BY LU C I N DA ROG E RS
Afterward, there was traditional Irish music in the observation car. I liked the players’ exuberant shouts of “D minor!” or “Key change!” It was like being in a pub in the Irish countryside, long after closing time. My guilty secret as an advocate of night trains is that I often find them sleepers in name only. I tend to lie awake, trying to rationalize the baffling movements of the train: the frustrating interludes of slow crawling, the provokingly long stops. Spending the night berthed at Dundalk Station, I discovered that the solution is to remain stationary but take in the railway atmosphere through the sound— dimly apprehended—of the occasional passing train. I slept as well on the Grand Hibernian as in a good hotel. The next morning, I ate breakfast as we rolled again past the beaches at Gormanston and Balbriggan, now brightly sunlit but still deserted. We returned to Dublin and began heading south, through a hundred miles of the Emerald Isle, its famed 40 shades of green on full display—the reward for all that rainfall. The observation car was
YOU’LL LOVE THE INTIMACY AND CHARM, WHAT YOU’LL REMEMBER IS THE SPIT FROM THE CAMEL.
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THE NEW BUCKET LIST
The prayer halls at the Grand Mosque in Touba, Senegal. + 3 M O R E E D U CAT I O N A L T R I P S
JOURNEYS THAT BRING HISTORY AND CULTURE TO LIFE
RETURN TO YOUR ROOTS When it comes to discovering your ancestral past, there’s no time like the present.
esearching your family tree is nothing new. But modern resources, from DNA-testing kits like 23andMe to websites like ancestry.com, have prompted a growing interest in genealogy. And many tour operators are responding to this trend with heritage-themed trips. Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection (uniworld.com; nine-day sailings from $3,799) offers Jewish heritage excursions on its Remarkable Rhine itineraries. Passengers can tour Amsterdam’s Jewish Historical Museum and, in Frankfurt, learn about the legacy of the Rothschilds, the wealthy banking family. Some operators, like the Ireland-based Adams & Butler (adams andbutler.com; genealogical consultations from $956) have genealogists on staff. Just provide your personal history and the researchers will incorporate a visit to your ancestral village (or even your actual home) into a larger, bespoke Ireland itinerary. Similarly, in Sicily, the high-end villa company Thinking Traveller (thethinking traveller.com; villas from $9,200 per week) has partnered with Palermo-based Passage to Sicily, a local operator that can take you to your hometown or, perhaps, connect you with distant relatives (inquiries from $60). For more than 25 years, Spector Travel of Boston (spectortravel.com; nine-day trips from $2,599) has been curating African ancestry and culture tours across the continent, with a focus on Ghana, Ivory Coast, and Senegal. If none of its predetermined programs suit you, the staff can design a custom itinerary. In Senegal, for example, you can take an emotional walk through the Goree Island Slave House & Museum, a unesco World Heritage site; Ghana trips might include tours of the coast and Elmina Castle.
first time, the National WWII Museum is leading a 10-day journey to important locations in the Pacific theater, including Iwo Jima, Pearl Harbor, Guam, and more. The trip is led by military historians Richard Frank and Jonathan Parshall, along with museum curators, but you’ll also be joined by veterans who will recount the events that took place on those battlefields generations ago. March 2018; nationalww2museum. org; from $13,999. 2 Discover Ancient Mayan Kingdoms
Join Jeff Karl Kowalski, a Maya expert from the Archaeological Institute of America, on this 14-day journey through the jungles of Mexico, Guatemala,
and Honduras. When you’re not exploring famous sites like Palenque, Tikal, and Copán, use your free time to bird-watch or unwind at a remote jungle lodge. January 2018; archaeological. org; from $8,345. 3 Study the Art of Perfume-Making in Morocco Artisans of
Leisure, a T+L World’s Best tour operator, can arrange a visit with Abderrazzak Benchabane, one of the country’s most renowned perfume makers, as part of a five-day tour through the country. You’ll spend about an hour in a private Marrakesh workshop with Benchabane, who was a close friend of Yves Saint Laurent, as he explains the science behind mixing and matching oils. You’ll even get to concoct your own custom scent to take home with you. artisansofleisure. com; from $5,970.
Additional reporting by Jacqueline Gifford, Flora Stubbs, and John Wogan.
A RA B IA N E YE / G E T TY I MAG ES . IL LUST RAT I ON BY LUC IN DA ROG E RS
1 Hear the Forgotten Stories of World War II in the Pacific For the
+ “Whether it’s a few minutes with a meditation app or a sun salutation, a moment of calm sets the tone for the day.” —Sylvia Betesh Lebovitch, senior travel consultant at Ovation Vacations
HOW TO BE A HEALTHIER TRAVELER With more people prioritizing self-care during trips, some companies are meeting their needs and desires with new hotel-room designs, nutritious dining options, and better ways to exercise. Here are the latest developments that will help you stick to your diet, get a better night’s rest, and return home rejuvenated.
Illustrations by Michael Brandon Myers
Upgrade rooms can also expect filtered water, a memory-foam mattress, and a healthy roomservice menu created with the help of nutritionists from the Cleveland Clinic. marriott.com; doubles from $130.
STANDARD HOTELS All the
properties’ gyms have Peloton bikes, similar to those used in studio cycling classes, with screens for watching 3,000 scenic routes and livestreamed classes. Vegan and gluten-free options are available on all menus, including room service. The Standard Spa in Miami Beach also has hydrotherapy, a hammam, and a DIY mud lounge. standard hotels.com; doubles from $199.
WESTIN HOTELS & RESORTS
CHECK IN TO CLEANER LIVING Big hotel chains are integrating fitness areas into rooms, installing adjustable LED mood lighting, adding air- and water-filtration systems, and creating healthier menus. These six brands are doing it best. By Shivani Vora
EDITION HOTELS The four
Ian Schrager–designed luxury hotels operated by Marriott International have partnered with fitness company Yoga for Bad People to produce streaming videos that guide you through a variety of poses. They even provide a mat. The Miami Edition also has a stateof-the-art gym where guests can sign up for beach boot camps by RoyaFit. editionhotels. com; doubles from $445.
EVEN HOTELS This brand from
InterContinental Hotels Group wants travelers to have a holistically healthy stay—bedding is woven with eucalyptus fibers, which have a cooling effect, and some rooms have standing desks. Each of the rooms at Even’s six locations in the U.S. has fitness-class videos on demand and a training zone with a yoga mat and a wallmounted exercise station. even hotels.com; doubles from $199.
HILTON The company’s Five Feet to Fitness program allows guests to select one of 11 options for in-room fitness activities, such as a spin bike, a TRX workout system, medicine balls, and yoga equipment. The rooms are available to book at the company’s innovation lab at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner, in Virginia, as well as at the Parc 55 San Francisco, with more coming to Hilton properties in Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Las Vegas, New York City, and San Diego. hilton.com; doubles vary from $128 (McLean) to $282 (San Francisco). MARRIOTT HOTELS Though
they look like standard guest rooms, Marriott’s Stay Well rooms at six properties (Atlanta; Charlotte, North Carolina; Richmond, Virginia; Tampa; and two in Orlando) have air-purification systems to minimize airborne allergens and odors. Guests in these
+ “Pack resistance bands in your luggage and use the hotel’s stairs for a quick aerobic workout.” —Karen Ivanhoe Benson, wellness expert and advisor at Travel Experts
Guests at all Westin properties can rent New Balance workout clothes and sneakers for $5. Front desks have running maps to help guests explore the neighborhood, and some locations even have a Run Concierge who leads group outings. Other select properties have specially designed WestinWorkout guest rooms with treadmills and stationary bikes. westin.com; doubles from $129.
NEW AGE WELLNESS
The latest travel trend is to offer far-out ways to de-stress and refocus. By Christopher Tkaczyk
otels and resorts have been hopping aboard the “mindfulness” bandwagon by expanding their spa menus far beyond traditional yoga and massage. At the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, California (post ranchinn.com; doubles from $875), guests seeking to let go of their exes or welcome someone new into their lives can schedule a fire ceremony with a shaman (90 minutes for $365). The Tri, in Sri Lanka (trilanka.com; doubles from $325), offers Quantum Yoga, which combines ancient Indian healing with the concepts of quantum physics. And Canyon Ranch, in Lenox, Massachusetts, and Tucson, Arizona (canyonranch.com; from $925 per person, all-inclusive), hosts workshops in building spiritual character, crystal sound activation treatments, and clairvoyant readings.
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CLASSPASS FOR THE WORKOUT SAMPLER
Members can buy a package (options starting at $25 per month for three classes), which can be used at thousands of gyms and fitness studios in 41 cities in the U.S., as well as in nine cities abroad, including London, Sydney, Toronto, and Vancouver. Partners include Dailey Method, Fly, Corepower Yoga, Exhale, Extend Barre, and Barry’s Bootcamp (see right). classpass.com.
ANYTIME FITNESS FOR THE WORLD TRAVELER
Members can visit any of its 3,700 franchised locations in 30 countries. Facilities and amenities vary, though most locations have personal training, as well as Zumba, cardio, and conditioning classes. The cost of a membership depends on where you live, but averages about $40 per month. anytimefitness.com.
WORKOUTS ON THE FLY
Keeping up with your gym regimen while traveling is easier than ever, with several popular new fitness chains opening locations all around the U.S.—and even overseas. By Cailey Rizzo
SOULCYCLE FOR THE SPIN ADDICT
Although prices differ at SoulCycle’s 83 studios, you can purchase a package of passes (or one class for $30) that can be used at locations in Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, southern California, Texas, and Washington, D.C. Other locations require a separate package. Every studio offers rental shoes, which will free up valuable suitcase space. soul-cycle.com.
BARRY’S BOOTCAMP FOR THE HARD-CORE EXERCISE FANATIC
Members at Barry’s Bootcamp can get the same high-intensity workouts at a studio in Dubai, Oslo, or Nashville. Though purchased classes and packages do not transfer between cities, devotees can use ClassPass (see above) at any of Barry’s 35 locations worldwide. barrysbootcamp.com.
ROAM FITNESS FOR THE GYM BUFF ON A LAYOVER
The first of Roam’s airport gyms opened earlier this year at BaltimoreWashington International Airport. Day passes are $25 and give you access to cardio equipment, stretching mats, and free weights. Reserve one of the four private bathrooms with showers so you can freshen up before heading to your gate. roamfitness.com.
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Upgrade SMARTER EATING
Sticking to your diet while traveling is easier than you think. Try these options while exploring your next destination. By Cailey Rizzo and Shivani Vora
Don’t want to waste precious time with a sit-down breakfast? Try Grab & Go Cereal Cups. These gluten-free, vegan, and organic servings of cereal are equally good alone or with milk. The seven varieties, such as the sweet, salty, and crunchy blueberry-hemp, are lightly sweetened with coconut sugar and will keep you sated for hours of sightseeing. $2.49; purelyelizabeth.com.
Sakara is an organic-meal-delivery program with plantbased dishes that are gluten- and dairy-free. The menu changes weekly, but past specialties have included jungle-curry noodles with coconut rice and a harvest bowl with roasted brussels sprouts, sauerkraut, brown rice, and kale. Five-day meal plans can be delivered to your hotel or Airbnb throughout the U.S. for $420. sakara.com.
and balance blood-sugar levels. Signature dishes include a salad of young coconut and vegetable noodles and maki rolls with jicama, shiitake, avocado, and cucumber. comohotels.com; doubles from $299, entrées at the COMO Miami Beach range from $14 to $40.
Pressed by Kind bars
Guests staying at any of COMO’s 13 resorts and hotels can dine on Shambhala cuisine, a program designed to boost concentration and energy
Some five-star properties are adding amenities designed to help guests get some shut-eye.
Visitors to New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, or Portland, Oregon, can order healthy premade meals from Munchery, which brings food cooked by local chefs to your hotel. Menus change with the season and include nutritional info for every dish. Entrées range from $12 to $17 and can be ordered same-day or up to a week in advance. munchery.com.
Pick up an Epic Bar, a low-carb, high-protein snack that is a great alternative to beef jerky. Made with a mix of high-quality meat, fruits, nuts, seeds, and spices, it comes in 12 unusual flavors, including chicken with sriracha and lamb with currant and mint. Whether exploring a city or on an epic hike, it’s a smart way to recharge. $2.79; epicbar.com.
SLEEP IS THE NEW LUXURY
are a healthy alternative to fruit roll-ups and have a good chew factor. Each of the six varieties, like the strawberry-applechia, has five or fewer ingredients and no added sugar; each counts as two fruit servings. The bars are great for snacking on planes or long road trips. $1.79; kindsnacks.com.
Rather than having to count out all of your vitamins or supplements into separate travel cases before a trip, let start-up Care/of do the work for you. The service delivers vitamin packs, customized to your needs and individually wrapped for each day of the week. Throw them in your carry-on to fill in any gaps in nutrition while on the road. From $5 per month; takecareof.com.
+ “Eating the catch of the day or local produce likely means fresher, less processed, and more nutrientdense food.” —Sylvia Betesh Lebovitch
n the world of upscale hotels, sleep aids have become a top priority in the same vein as spas, says Ignacio Maza, the executive vice president of Signature Travel Network, a group of more than 1,000 luxury hotels. He says travelers today are more stressed out than ever before: “People are expected to be ‘on’ 24/7 and are sleeping poorly or not enough, and as a result, hotels see an opportunity to offer solutions.” Take the spa and hotel brand Six Senses. The collection of nine properties enlisted Michael J. Breus, a psychologist who calls himself the Sleep Doctor, to create the Sleep with Six Senses upgrade. The program ($165 for the first night, $30 a night thereafter) gives guests access to a bevy of sleep aids, including moisture-wicking linens to keep body temperature stable, sound machines, a jasmine room spritzer, a yak-wool eye mask, bamboo-and-cotton pajamas, guided sleep videos, and an on-site Sleep Ambassador to coach guests on getting a better night’s rest. sixsenses.com; doubles from $325. The Peninsula Hotels in New York City and Chicago recently introduced a Peninsula Sleep Ceremony by Espa ($550). Performed by candlelight, it begins with guided meditation and breathing, followed by a hot-stone massage to release muscle tension, a facial cleanse, and a scalp massage. Guests staying in Peninsula suites in New York can peruse a seven-page Suite Dreams menu, with different pillows available for back sleepers, side sleepers, and stomach sleepers. peninsula.com; doubles from $595. The pillow menu at Conrad Hotels & Resorts, meanwhile, is available to all guests. Though each property typically has a dozen options, they vary by destination. The Conrad Centennial Singapore, for example, has an organic-buckwheat pillow that molds to the head’s shape to relieve muscle spasms, as well as tatami and U-shaped head-support pillows. conradhotels.com; doubles from $386. — S.V.
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Tuscany on Two Wheels The culinary pleasures of this iconic region somehow taste even better when you’re in the driver’s seat—of a scooter.
BY DAVID AMSDEN
The medieval town of Pietrasanta, in Tuscany.
Photographs by Andrea Wyner
s I pressed the ignition button on my white Vespa, I found myself seized by panic. My heart beat like a jackhammer, and a faint tremor crept into my fingertips. Judging from the facial expressions of my girlfriend, Stephanie—raised eyebrows, pursed lips—it was clear that she, too, was battling jitters as she fired up her own Vespa, a contrasting cherry red. What on earth had we gotten ourselves into? We were in a parking garage on the outskirts of Florence, readying ourselves for a six-day road trip in search of the sort of divine culinary experiences Tuscany is so famous for. Zipping from town to town, from enoteca to trattoria, we
would sample the gooiest stracciatella, the boldest Brunellos, the lardiest lardo. In other words, we would do what everyone comes here to do— be gluttons—but the Vespas would lend an air of spontaneity to our travels. No set departure times, no prebooked hotels. We’d ride until we felt like stopping, crashing at the most convenient, comfortable inns we could find. Vespas, manufactured in the Tuscan city of Pontedera since 1946, offer an adrenalized and accessible way to absorb, rather than merely navigate, your surroundings—something I discovered nearly a decade ago when I rode one for the first time in Rome and became an immediate convert. To Americans accustomed to SUVs, crowded interstates, and the notion that only leather-clad outlaws can travel on two wheels, the idea of using a scooter for a longer excursion might seem ludicrous. But mention it to a European and you’ll get a shrug and a grin—a bit goofy, sure, but perfectly reasonable. Vespas are powerful enough to handle twisty back roads, less intimidating than motorcycles, and preposterously fuel-efficient. What better way to infuse our journey with a dose of authenticity and adventure? That, at least, was the fantasy. Reality, that stubborn scourge, intervened on our first morning with a tempestuous thunderstorm—the reason for our ragged nerves. Our departure was delayed by hours, throwing a wrench into the itinerary we had roughly sketched out with the help of Francesco Venzi, the amiable owner of Central Italy Motorcycle Tours, the local outfitter that had supplied us with the scooters. Though the rain eventually subsided, the roads were slick and the air was frosty as we crossed the Arno, making our way south into the storied hills of Tuscany. Twenty minutes into our ride, it started to pour again. On the famous Via Chiantigiana, with its corkscrew climbs through stands of cypress, I found it next to impossible to savor the open vistas. By the time we pulled into Greve in Chianti, the hub of the local wine industry, I was cursing myself for not having packed rain gear and again questioning our overall sanity. We came to a stop in the main square, a quaint, triangular plaza
Grilled octopus at Babazuf, a trattoria in Siena.
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Cypress-lined hills near the town of Panzano, in Chianti.
teeming with flower vendors, restaurants, and tasting rooms. Though drenched and exhausted, Stephanie and I both were also grinning, the absurdity of the situation causing us to break into fits of laughter. Our goal had been to end the day in Pienza, 2½ hours farther south. “Um, not happening,” Stephanie declared, reminding me that the point of this trip was to make it about the journey, not the destinations. Rather than see the rain as a hindrance, we opted to think of it as a kind of guide, one that at the moment was telling us to call it a day. We checked in to the Albergo del Chianti, a no-frills hotel on the plaza, and set out for some food and drink. To the untrained eye, every restaurant in Tuscany looks more or less identical—making it a challenge to discern between those pandering to tourists and those committed to tradition. Our dinner that night was a bland, caloric bust, but another experience more than made up for it. Earlier in the evening, we’d visited Diversus,
a nondescript wine bar and restaurant, simply because it was on the ground floor of our hotel and a glass of wine, any glass of wine, would be a godsend after our discombobulating day. As soon as we sat down, we were approached by an affable gentleman who introduced himself as Bernard Buys, the co-owner of the establishment as well as Le Muricce, a nearby vineyard. “What sort of wines do you like?” he asked. “Alcohol-forward?” I ventured. Either ignoring or failing to register my attempt at humor, Buys spent the next hour regaling us with stories. Belgian by birth, he discovered a love of wine in France and now lives in Tuscany during the harvest season. He spoke of picking grapes in a paternal tone bordering on the religious. All the while he poured us tastes from
CASTIGLIONE DELLA PESCAIA
RENTING AND RIDING A VESPA 101
1 / FIND A LOCAL
Florence-based Central Italy Motorcycle Tours (cimt.it) will map out a manageable route; a rental costs $220 to $350 per week. Novices can do this trip, though it’s smart to take a practice spin (or two) at home.
2 / PACK LIGHT
3 / DRIVE SAFE
4 / DRESS RIGHT
A carry-on-size duffel is the way to go, since it can rest comfortably between your feet while riding. A small satchel with valuables can be stowed in the lockable compartment under the seat.
On country roads, you are subject to the same rules as cars, but in some towns and cities you can take a Vespa onto streets that are off-limits to automobiles. Parking is a cinch: as long as you’re not blocking traffic, you’re good.
A jacket, ideally waterproof, is a must for protection and warmth; ditto a pair of long pants and leather gloves. A pair of earbuds will help block out wind noise (though by law you can cover only one ear).
M A P BY H AI SA M H USS E I N
Spring into fun with a trip to Busch Gardens and Adventure Island. Look beyond the expected and youâ€™ll find surprising thrills for the whole family.
A WHOLE OTHER WORLD AWAITS.
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various bottles not available in the United States: a tart Sangiovese, a ruby-red Chianti Classico, and a supple Merlot, each complemented by plates of exquisite cured meats and cheeses. By the time we ambled back out onto the square, our day’s misadventures had become a distant memory. The next morning, we rode southwest toward the seaside province of Grosseto, an area long popular with Europeans but still largely undiscovered by Americans. Not that we were trying to be pioneers. Grosseto promised clear skies, so that’s why we picked it. Any doubts I had about the Vespas were obliterated as we zigzagged through vineyards, forests, and cliff-side villages where wizened old Italians waved at us. As I felt the intoxicating sense of freedom and a visceral communion with the landscape, I realized you simply can’t experience a destination the same way from the hermetic womb of an automobile. We stopped for lunch in the medieval city of Siena, where our Vespas easily navigated the catacomb-like streets, and pulled up right in front of a thimble-size trattoria called Babazuf. We’d chosen it via the indispensable mobile app of Osterie d’Italia, an annual guide that highlights largely traditional restaurants that adhere
The proprietor spent the next hour regaling us with stories, speaking of harvesting grapes in a paternal tone bordering on the religious. to Slow Food philosophies. We could hardly say a word, reduced to monosyllabic grunts by a spread that included a delicate eggplant tart; weightless, multicolored gnocchi improbably dense with flavor; and a hearty, intricately spiced lamb stew. As we rode onward, hills and woodlands opened up to verdant flats, a glittering coastline, and, eventually, Castiglione della Pescaia, a Mediterranean town surrounding a historic harbor. We stayed at Riva del Sole, a lovely full-service resort where we drank Prosecco on the beach as the sun dipped below the horizon, painting the wispy clouds with brushstrokes of lavender and tangerine. After scootering our way into the town center, we dined at La Fortezza, a tavern tucked in an ancient fortified wall. I’d never thought much about seafood being part of Tuscan cuisine, but after devouring the restaurant’s signature dish—a gigantic platter of freshly caught lobster served over handmade tagliolini—I will now. Over the next few days we rode north, navigating our way through fields of red poppies, taking tight switchbacks through classic hilltop towns like Volterra, and finally reaching Lucca, which we used as a base for the next two days. Having become comfortable with the scooters, we pushed the motors with a ride into the steep Apuan
Above: Cheese and charcuterie at Il Bacchino, a restaurant in Massa Marittima. Left: Siena’s Palazzo del Campo.
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Wander Left: Lunchtime at La BotteGaia, a restaurant in Pistoia. Below: The cathedral in Massa Marittima.
Alps, where we skirted high peaks and dozens of marble quarries before making our way down the mountains and into Pietrasanta, an artsy coastal town. There, on the advice of a local, we slipped into a café called Libero for lunch. At this modern take on a traditional trattoria, we made a meal out of various small plates: steak tartare, Camembert crostini, a heaping platter of various crudi. A buffet of the simplest flavors had been
EATING YOUR WAY THROUGH
The writer consulted the mobile app of Osterie dÕItalia, an annual guide produced by Slow Food Editore that highlights off-theradar taverns across Italy. Though it’s all in Italian, the interface is easy and the selections spot-on. Pick a place at random and spend the day scooting there—you won’t be disappointed.
mysteriously elevated, in what we’d come to see as the trademark of Tuscan cooking, to high art. Before we knew it, we were the only ones there, unaware that the restaurant had closed an hour earlier. The owner didn’t seem to mind. After we’d paid the bill, he poured us two glasses of grappa and treated us to an impromptu seminar on Tuscan olive oils. We learned why olives must be pressed soon after harvest (to avoid oxidation), why the oil is bottled in dark bottles (to keep sunlight out), and how, as with wine, you wanted to use light, silky olive oils for fish and spicy, throatscratching varieties for meats. The following day, we’d be heading back to Florence, but for the moment that seemed like an eternity away. Leaving the restaurant, the sun was still shining, the Vespas beckoning. “Where to next?” Stephanie asked. “Who knows?” I replied.
1 / BABAZUF Tucked away on a
3 / DIVERSUS At this warm and
5 / LA FORTEZZA Seafood takes
street near Siena’s central plaza, this osteria is famous for its delicate house-made pastas—particularly the five-colored gnocchi and tagliatelle with black truffles. osteriababazuf. com; entrées $8–$21.
friendly spot on the central plaza in Greve in Chianti, owner Bernard Buys pairs his vast selection of Tuscan wines with exquisite cured meats. diversusrestaurant.it; entrées $12–$22.
center stage at this trattoria built into the ancient fortified wall that once protected Castiglione della Pescaia. The signature lobster over tagliolini is a must. lafortezzacdp.it; entrées $14–$45.
2 / IL BACCHINO Don’t bother reading the menu at this tiny enoteca in Massa Marittima. Just ask the owners to bring you their best local cheeses and cured meats. 8 Via Moncini; 39-0566-940-229; small plates $4–$11.
4 / LA BOTTEGAIA This osteria
6 / LIBERO With a menu heavy on
in Pistoia serves flavorful, hearty dishes like duck macaroni and artichoke tart in Parmesan sauce. Try the lardo, sliced paper-thin and illicit with flavor. labottegaia.it; entrées $10–$16.
the freshest of local ingredients and small plates (platters of crudi, various crostini), this restaurant embodies the relaxed, creative spirit of Pietrasanta. 16 Via Stagi Stagio; 39-0584-790452; entrées $9–$19.
Sources: Simmons Research, Multi-Media Engagement Study, Spring 2016; GfK MRI, Spring 2016.
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Checking In Past meets present at these new and revamped Chicago properties, which offer history-rich locations, standout restaurants, and plenty of stellar views. BY RICHELLE SZYPULSKI
THE GWEN, A LUXURY COLLECTION HOTEL
Magnificent Mile Just north of the river, the Gwen offers a prime location for shopping—Michigan Avenue is just around the corner, and a Nordstrom-anchored mall is a mere sky bridge away. This year’s multimillion-
dollar remodel is accordingly stylish. Each of the 311 spacious rooms and suites has been outfitted with sleek, gilded furniture, granite-lined bathrooms, and custom murals that mirror the building’s exterior sculptures, carved by the Chicago-born artist Gwen Lux in 1928. thegwenchicago.com; doubles from $199.
Above: The Gwen’s fifthfloor lobby transports guests back to the glamour of 1930s Chicago.
RITZ-CARLTON Gold Coast
Following a $100 million, 18-month renovation, this 434room icon (which was managed by Four Seasons until 2015) has fresh energy and a renewed sense of place. It all starts in the 12th-floor lobby, which has shed its dated décor in favor of a modern design
that’s meant to evoke Chicago’s architecture. The space now houses a buzzy bar, a café, and a dramatic, Lake Michigan–inspired mobile. Other new amenities include a club lounge and an expanded spa and fitness center where you can gaze out over Navy Pier from the treadmill. ritzcarlton. com; doubles from $329.
BR A N D ON BA RR E
The Windy City Hotel Boom
Checking In ACE HOTEL
Gold Coast For its latest property, Viceroy disassembled and painstakingly restored the former Cedar Hotel, a 1920sera brick-and-terracotta structure. Above, it erected a gleaming new 20-story glass tower with dramatically angled floor-to-ceiling windows, so guests can enjoy sweeping views of Lake Michigan and the city’s skyline from many of the 180 rooms. But the biggest draw may be the restaurants: at Somerset, James Beard Award nominee Lee Bolen turns out upscale comfort food like duck-leg gnochetti, and at the indoor-outdoor rooftop lounge, Devereaux, the daiquiris flow freely. viceroyhotels andresorts.com; doubles from $305.
Between River North and Old Town This boutique-hotelhostel hybrid is modeled after one of the city’s traditional field houses—indoor recreation centers for those cold winters. No detail has been overlooked, from the second story’s floorto-skylight assemblage of vintage sports equipment to the basement game room’s custom slot-car tracks. It’s the type of place where everything’s got a story— which the superfriendly staff is happy to tell. Private rooms and shared hostelstyle dorms are available, and groups will love the apartment-like suites with bunk beds and mini kitchens. fieldhousejones.com; doubles from $75.
THE BLACKSTONE, AUTOGRAPH COLLECTION Cultural Mile
Set in a 1910 BeauxArts building, this downtown stunner is equal parts hotel and gallery, with more than 1,600 works by local artists on display. Noteworthy pieces include hand-cutstencil paintings by David Soukup and Michael Hernandez de Luna’s fake stamp sheets. In addition to
the art, this year’s $12 million refresh brought a more modern look to each of the 335 guest rooms. That’s not to say that the hotel’s past has been forgotten: the lobby still has its original crown molding and brass-paneled elevators, and in-room notepads are printed with doodles left by former presidential guests, including JFK and Teddy Roosevelt. theblackstonehotel.com; doubles from $189.
From top: A guest room at the new Ace Hotel Chicago; the Blackstone hotel’s Catalan restaurant, Mercat a la Planxa.
F ROM TO P: C OU RT ESY OF AC E H OT E LS ; C O URT ESY O F TH E BL AC KSTO N E , AUTO G R A PH CO LLECTIO N
Given the brand’s track record and millennial clientele, it should come as no surprise that Ace chose to open in a renovated turn-ofthe-century cheese factory in the emerging Fulton Market District, right across from Google’s Chicago offices. In the 159 guest rooms, styled by Commune Design, you’ll find an uncluttered sense of comfort: warm, handwoven textiles, steel-pipe furniture, and the company’s signature turntables. And though the hotel is within walking distance of some of Chicago’s top restaurants (such as Roister and Girl & the Goat), don’t overlook City Mouse, the lobby restaurant, which serves burgers and a killer brunch seven days a week. acehotel.com; doubles from $249.
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T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E .CO M / P R O M O/C H E C K- I N /
Let the Games Begin
n Think of Scotland (out now, $40, Damiani), Martin Parr uses unpublished images from his archive to highlight the country’s diverse customs. The photographer, who is known for his sometimes satirical take on modern life, uses the camera to celebrate oftentimes mundane subjects. One Scottish tradition featured in the book is the annual Highland games, a set of tournaments held from May to September that some historians date to the fourth century. While Parr’s shots might give the impression that the events are mainly about pasty men parading around in colorful tartan kilts, there are actually plenty of exciting activities. Competitors show their skills in contests like the
hammer throw, hill races, and tugs-of-war throughout the country’s Highland region—famed for its picturesque castles and rich clan history. Additionally, dancers hop to bagpipe music, battling for the top title in a number of styles, including the Highland fling and the traditional sword dance. To mark the occasion, hundreds of pipers and drummers march down the streets, entertaining spectators along the way. For travelers, it’s a unique way to meet locals and spend the afternoon. T+L A-List agent Claire Schoeder can help you plan the perfect trip to the Scottish Highlands. Contact her at 800-533-6336, ext. 4011, or at email@example.com.
MA RTI N PA RR/ MAG N UM P HOTOS
Documentary photographer Martin Parr’s new book depicting life in Scotland will make you want to book a trip to the Highlands next summer. BY JOHN SCARPINATO
ARE YOU A TOMORROW CHANGER? ENTER NOW Conservation doesnâ€™t happen without the support of communities and for conservation to work properly we need to respect, work with and involve them at all steps along the way. Moses Muthoki, Manager Community Development, Ol Pejeta Conservancy
CALL FOR ENTRIES The World Travel & Tourism Councilâ€™s Tourism for Tomorrow Awards recognise the best Travel & Tourism businesses and initiatives that are helping transform our world for the better through sustainable best practice and a forward thinking mindset. Apply for the Awards now at: wttc.org/T4TAwards Watch the incredibly inspiring story of Ol Pejeta Conservancy, among others, by going to wttc.org/transformingourworld
Peru, Five Ways
New opportunities to experience the Land of the Incas are taking travelers off the beaten path—and well beyond the country’s best-known treasure.
BY JESS MCHUGH
The ruins at Kuélap, in northern Peru.
JAVI E R PI E R IN I
achu Picchu might hog all the attention, but Peru has much more to offer visitors than a single destination: Lake Titicaca and the Pacific shores along the Pan-American Highway north of Lima make for tranquil beach getaways; the capital’s food and wine scene is one of the best in South America; and attractions like the Nazca Lines and the Paracas National Reserve provide alternatives for visitors who have already explored Machu Picchu. Peruvian tourism is booming—this year, a record 3.8 million international visitors are expected—and the travel industry has responded with new itineraries and infrastructure to satisfy those hungry for more immersive ways of experiencing the country. Here are five new trips worth taking.
An Epic Train Ride Through the Andes
The Andean Explorer is the first sleeper in South America and connects regions that have long been inaccessible by car. It combines the luxury of an upscale hotel with the nostalgic romance of longdistance train travel, complete with a piano bar, a soon-to-open spa car, and an observation deck for sipping pisco sours while absorbing the mountain views. Along the route—which stretches 428 miles from Arequipa, in southern Peru, to Cuzco— guests can experience a traditional reed-boat ride on Lake Titicaca, see the 8,000-year-old cave paintings of Sumbay, or stop by the ruins of Raqchi. belmond.com; two-night trips from $1,405. After refurbishing its Aria Amazon ship two years ago, Aqua Expeditions has debuted specialinterest departures. For eco-conscious travelers, naturalist Jean-Michel Cousteau hosts a limitedrun series of conservation cruises, with lectures, excursions, and video workshops. Food lovers can sign up for culinary expeditions with Pedro Miguel Schiaffano, chef at Lima’s Malabar, which include market tours and cooking classes. And next year the brand plans to introduce wellness-driven itineraries on the Amazon. aquaexpeditions.com; three-night trips from $3,645.
A Cable Car to Remote Northern Ruins
On the edge of the Peruvian Amazon, the preInca city of Kuélap is nearly three times as old as Machu Picchu and covers a much larger area—it’s the biggest stone ruin in the Americas. But until this year, the site could be reached only via a fourhour hike or a harrowing two-hour road trip. That all changed in January, with the much-awaited unveiling of a new gondola system from the village of Nuevo Tingo. Visitors can now reach the site in 20 minutes for less than $6—though with views this extraordinary, you’ll wish the ride were twice as long. telecabinaskuelap.com; T+L A-List agent Gisela Polo is knowledgeable about the area. gisela@big five.com.
A Countrywide Hacienda-Hopping Tour
Boutique tour operator Aracari recently launched its Private Homes of Peru collection and tour, featuring encounters with notable locals—among them artists, collectors, farmers, and Paso horse trainers—and exclusive stays at haciendas and private residences across the country. A highlight
From top: A new cable car makes the ruins at Kuélap more accessible; a berth on the Belmond Andean Explorer.
is Tacama Winery, the oldest vineyard in South America, where guests can sample wine and pisco on the 16th-century estate, then spend a night in the home of the vineyard’s proprietors. aracari. com; eight-day trips from $6,940.
A Guided Trek in the Sacred Valley
This year, Mountain Lodges of Peru announced its longest journey yet, the 10-day Grand Andean Experience. Combining elements of the outfitter’s Lares and Salkantay treks, the trip starts in the Quechua village of Pisaq and culminates in a sunrise ascent of Machu Picchu. En route, you’ll hike, bike, ride horses, meet locals, and bed down each night in well-appointed mountaintop retreats. mountainlodgesofperu.com; from $4,700. F ROM TOP : E RN ESTO B E N AV ID ES / A F P / G E T TY I MAG ES ; C OU RT ESY OF BE LM O ND
A River Cruise in the Amazon Basin
Discover a place so serene that your laughter can be carried all the way down a
golden sand beach by a warm breeze. Home to historic sugar plantations, majestic,
cloud-piercing volcanos, and even a fortress of past civilizations. A mystical island
where you’ll befriend wild monkeys, sip local rum, and dive ancient sunken ships. Down here, we have a special brand of kicking back and relaxing. We call it limin’…
and we are pretty sure once you try it you’ll never want to leave. SKB
Tell them you’ve GoneLimin.com
PL AC E
Some of the earliest art work ever created can be found in the Dordogne, the bucolic gastronome’s paradise in southwestern France. JEFF GORDINIER visits the region to marvel at cave paintings, devour foie gras, a n d l o o k f o r h i s p l a c e i n t h e g r a n d s w e e p o f h u m a n h i s t o r y. Photographs by AMBROISE TÉZENAS
Beynac, a perfectly preserved medieval village near the Dordogne River.
pend a few days in the Dordogne and there will come a moment when you cannot help but notice the flow of time. I don’t mean the ticking of the clock or the pressure to cram more sights into the span of a week. If anything, the languorous pace of life in this department of southwestern France erodes that guidebooky impulse to overdo it on churches and museums. I’m talking about time’s slower, deeper currents—a continuum that stretches back centuries. For me, the moment came at the top of a hill in Limeuil. Limeuil is the sort of small, cobblestoned village you might accidentally, tragically drive through without stopping. It is distinguished by its daunting verticality: all of its narrow lanes wind up a hill. The hill is crowned by the Panoramic Gardens, a place where walnut, chestnut, and oak trees overlook the confluence of two significant rivers, the Dordogne and the Vézère. In the rolling terrain surrounding these rivers, oh, about 17,000 years ago, the evolution of human consciousness took a major leap forward. The landscape was different back then, barren of trees, yet swarming with beasts. Those beasts inspired the Ice Age residents of the Dordogne to begin painting and carving beautiful images on the walls of caves throughout the region. Before visiting the Panoramic Gardens, I’d eaten lunch at a restaurant called Au Bon Accueil. Maybe the multiple glasses of 2012 red from Château Laulerie in nearby Bergerac had loosened me up enough to commune with the primordial history of the place. Or perhaps it was the salade de gésiers confits—though calling it a salad would be optimistic from a
From top: Roast duck with potatoes and orange at Au Bon Accueil, in the village of Limeuil; Camille and Mathias Marquet tend to their vines at Château Lestignac. Opposite: A street in Limeuil.
Lascaux IV, the newly opened cave-art museum in the village of Montignac. Right: Prehistoric artifacts at the Cave of the Sorcerer, in St.-Cirq-du-Bugue.
health standpoint. Really, it was a frill of greens cradling a hot, salty, fatty mound of duck gizzards that had been simmered to the apex of tenderness, served in a style that chefs like to refer to as “dump it on a plate.” I inhaled the dish with atavistic delight, then followed it with cross sections of rolled-up roast pork, a regional specialty, accompanied by hot-from-the-oil crescents of garlic-flecked potatoes. After finishing with a slab of walnut cake, I took my slow stroll up to the gardens, where tufts of mint and dill and tarragon and thyme perfumed the air. I breathed in the good smells, feeling guiltlessly full from my meal. We are wired to want this, I thought. I remembered a passage from The Cave Painters, a 2006 book by Gregory Curtis that had provided me with an excellent tutorial on the mesmerizing prehistoric art of France and northern Spain. Mystery will always enshroud the paintings and engravings, but some archaeological evidence, Curtis writes, suggests that the Gallic hunter-gatherers of 17,000 years ago “broke every bone open to get at the marrow inside.” They probably slurped it down raw, then made a soup by dropping the bone fragments into water warmed by hot stones pulled from a fire.
As I ambled through the Dordogne for four days in May, I couldn’t shake this image of our ancient ancestors rooting at the marrow. Maybe it’s because the local cuisine is so unabashedly, even punishingly rich. Somewhere along the way, I picked up a book of local recipes containing instructions on how to bake a foie gras cake and how to plant nuggets of foie gras in the creamy depths of crème brûlée. I kept encountering shops selling foie gras and nothing else. So frequently did I encounter foie gras on restaurant menus—sometimes four or five permutations in a single place—that I began to view it as a staple, like rice in Thailand or tortillas in Mexico. In one town, I saw a poster that appeared, from a distance, to be a map of local hiking trails— a welcome reprieve, because my body
IN THE ROLLING TERRAIN SURROUNDING THESE RIVERS, O H , A B O U T 1 7, 0 0 0 Y E A R S AG O , T H E E VO L U T I O N O F H U M A N C ON S C IO U S N E S S T O O K A M AJ O R L E A P F O RWA R D .
was by then begging for a strenuous perambulation. But when I looked closely, I saw that it was actually a guide to the famous truffle fields of the Périgord, this fertile pocket of the northern Dordogne: an epicurean treasure map. People in the Dordogne do like to eat. If there is a single thread connecting the cave painters of prehistory to the wine-cellar connoisseurs of today, it is the persistence of a hearty appetite. In fact, Henry Miller, the American writer and professional scamp who made
appetite a central theme of his work, mused in his book The Colossus of Maroussi that the Dordogne felt like a place where living well appeared to have been the default mode for millennia. “Actually it must have been a paradise for many thousands of years,” wrote Miller, who spent a month ensconced in the luxe serenity of Le Vieux Logis, an ivy-cloaked inn in a former Carthusian monastery in Trémolat, just before the start of World War II. “I believe it must have been so for the Cro-Magnon man, despite the fossilized evidences of the great caves which point to a condition of life rather bewildering and terrifying. I believe that the Cro-Magnon man settled here because he was extremely intelligent and had a highly developed sense of beauty.”
The dining room at Le Vieux Logis, in TrĂŠmolat. Opposite: A stone cottage next to a cliff face, near the entrance to the Cave of the Sorcerer.
S O F R E QU E N T LY DI D I F I N D FOI E G R A S ON T H E M E N U TH AT I BEGA N TO V IEW IT AS A STAPLE , LIKE RICE IN THAILAND OR TORTILLAS IN MEXICO.
hat had brought me to the Dordogne, even more than the cuisine, was the same thing that has lured visitors for decades: the paintings of the Cro-Magnon era. This year saw the opening of Lascaux IV, a state-of-the-art museum devoted to prehistoric cave art. It is located on the outskirts of the village of Montignac, a short stroll from the original hole in the ground where some French boys and their dog discovered the Lascaux paintings in 1940—not long after Henry Miller passed through the area. Designed by Snøhetta, the Norwegian architecture firm, Lascaux IV looks from a distance like a sleek, pale sliver sliced into the land to help you gain entrance to its depths.
In spite of its contemporary glass-andconcrete façade, the building provides an astonishing portal to the history of the site, which the French government closed to the public in 1963 to preserve the artwork within. Lascaux IV offers a meticulous simulation of the caves, far surpassing in precision and thoroughness the replica held in Lascaux II, an older museum nearby. Designers have recreated the subterranean art galleries of these FlintstonesÐera muralists down
Château Lalinde, on the Dordogne River. Left: Du Bareil au Même, a tapas bar in Montignac.
to every nub and curve. The air inside is cool. Your nostrils pick up an earthy musk. You hear drips and pings. You feel as though you’re in a real cave, but you don’t have to worry about banging your head. Whether you are beholding actual cave paintings or their captivating facsimiles, you will probably find it impossible to refrain from developing your own hypothesis for why they were made. Were the swirling The black-and-ocher tableaux of horses and bison Details Prehistoric meant to serve as a kind of tribal signature? sites, restau A backdrop for stories passed down through rants, and generations? Instructions for a hunt? Religiously more, page 118
significant décor for a shaman’s magic show? Plenty of books (including The Cave Painters) have gone spelunking in this territory, but the truth—as my Lascaux IV tour guide, Camille, kept reminding me—is that nobody really knows why they were made, and nobody ever will. It is immediately and inescapably apparent, however, that the paintings qualify as extraordinary works of art. What leapt to my mind when I visited Lascaux IV, as (Continued on page 112)
F O R E V E R
K Y O T O Japan ’ s former imperial capital resounds with a sense of tradition— especially in wintertime , when colors are muted and branches are weighted with snow. Don’t be deceived , writes PICO IYER . Behind the historic façade lies a vibrant, beg uiling modern city. Photog raphs by ARM ANDO R AFAEL
A maiko, or apprentice geisha, walks down Hanamikoji Dori, in Kyotoâ€™s historic Gion district. Opposite: The entrance to Imasa, a restaurant in Gion, which is known for its traditional wooden merchantstyle buildings.
I moved to Kyoto from New York a little before winter, 30 years ago, I knew something of what awaited me: Silent, snowbound statues N around the city’s 1,600 Buddhist temples, blond-wood plaques offering prayers in its 400 Shinto shrines. The suggestive magic of high shoes clacking down narrow lanes in the geisha district. Archers demonstrating their skill in the 400-year-old competition held at Sanjusangen-do, or the Temple of 1,001 Goddesses, each January. Everywhere, a refinement developed over the 10 centuries Kyoto was home to the Japanese court. What I didn’t expect was an ancient capital seasoned and savvy enough to keep itself constantly new. Since my arrival, temples have begun opening their gates after nightfall for “Light-Up” displays that project holograms across white raked-sand gardens. I glimpse more and more kimonos amid ever-morefashionable old wooden houses. The Super Mario Brothers were born in Kyoto, as was the bard of global suburbia, Haruki Murakami. The other day I came upon an International Manga Museum, four blocks away from the former Imperial Palace. What remains unique about this city of students and master craftspeople is its ability to take in every cutting-edge trend, together with 50 million visitors a year, while always remaining itself, a portfolio of exquisite details. As I walk down one of the central shopping arcades downtown, a clatter of pachinko parlors and fast-food outlets and dyedblonde girls in heels, signs remind me The that there are still seven temples and Details a shrine along its 1,600-foot expanse. Hotels, restaurants, November has always been the best and temples, season for visiting, because the skies page 118 are cloudless and sharp, and the rusting leaves offer symphonies of perfectly choreographed color. Winter only deepens that classically Japanese mix of poignancy and beauty. One recent afternoon, I saw a sign in Kyoto that announced, not untypically, nostalgia, but new, kyoto western. Ah, I thought: 1,223 years old and forever young.
Pico Iyer is a regular T+L contributor who has been writing about Japan since he moved there in 1987. The author of The Lady and the Monk, he is currently completing two books on his adopted home.
Archers in traditional dress compete in a centuries-old tournament at Kyoto’s Sanjusangen-do, or Temple of 1,001 Goddesses.
Snow-clad rakan statues depicting the disciples of Buddha stand outside Rokkaku-do, a temple named for its unusual hexagonal shape (roku means “six” in Japanese).
Kyoto is known for traditional guesthouses, or ryokans, like Moyashi House, where rooms are furnished with a futon, sliding shoji doors, and tatami-mat flooring.
Vending machines offering a dazzling array of drinks line the sidewalk of Gojo Dori, one of the main streets connecting Kyotoâ€™s old town with the newer part of the city.
Wooden votive plaques inscribed with petitions crowd the shelves of a Shinto shrine on the grounds of Rokkaku-do. The Japanese think nothing of making appeals to animist Shinto gods while also praying to the Buddha in temples a few feet away.
Just a couple of hours outside the city in the Hudson Valley, stylish expats in search of a romantic alternative to urban life are invigorating rural towns from Ghent to Germantownâ€”and, along the way, providing compelling new reasons to visit. by Maura
photographs by Marcus
Fresh mafaldine pasta served with huitlacoche, sweet corn, and Parmesan at Fish & Game, in Hudson. Opposite: Fall foliage lines a country road in the Hudson Valley.
You can’t stroll down Warren Street, the main shopping corridor of Hudson, New York, without running into an indie actress. There’s former Girls lead Jemima Kirke stacking Victorian bangles up her filigreed forearm at Bavier Brook, a vintage jewelry store. The woman with the halo of brown hair talking to the barista at Wm. Farmer & Sons restaurant is none other than Transparent star Gaby Hoffmann. And if you happen to sit at a table outside one of the town’s artisanal bakeries or fair-trade coffee shops on a weekend morning, you’re likely to spot that darling of alternative cinema, Parker Posey, out window-shopping with Gracie, her Bichon Maltese poodle. Such sightings reflect the fact that a cross section of East Coast creatives has made a broadening cluster of towns in upstate New York, from Kingston to Kinderhook, their refuge. Call it the Un-Hamptons, if you will, or the Hudson Valley’s answer to Brooklyn. And it’s not just actresses: There are also corporate execs who’ve cashed in and left the city to sell highly curated homewares or raise heritage livestock. There are city chefs who’ve opened country restaurants closer to the farms from which they source their ingredients. There are artists, musicians, and an inordinate number of woodworkers who’ve turned fixer-upper buildings into hotels, gallery spaces, and recording studios. No matter their calling, they all came looking for the same kind of small-town, semirural utopia—the sort of place where people leave their front doors unlocked and neighbors know one another other by name. In the process, this optimistic crowd has transformed a humble region of upstate New York (an easy twohour train ride from Manhattan) into a destination for visitors from farther afield, replete with stylish hotels, ambitious art spaces, and sophisticated restaurants. e would drive by this building all the time,” said Lev Glazman of the landmarked four-story structure he and his business partners repurposed as the Bartlett House bakery and restaurant last fall. Along with Alina Roytberg—with whom he cofounded the luxury skin-care line Fresh—and his partner, Damien Janowicz, Glazman spent nine months renovating the brick building in Ghent, a village a few miles north of Hudson. He’d spotted it en route to the weekend home in Copake Lake that he and Janowicz share. “It was a railroad hotel up until around 1909, then a recording studio, then a real estate office, and then a crash pad for various architectural firms,” Janowicz told me.
While work on the building was under way, the trio salvaged as many of its original features as possible. They used the old exterior windows to create a glass wall overlooking the airy kitchen, and balusters from the stairs to make bakery shelves. Upstairs, they created a dining room and a culinary lab to test recipes for what Glazman calls Bartlett House’s “no-fuss cuisine” (think pork chops with bacon-braised greens and roasted potatoes). It’s also where dishes are developed for the group’s latest project, the Maker, a new hotel in downtown Hudson set to kick off a gradual opening this fall. The Maker is an 11-room property that occupies three different buildings: an 1850s clapboard house, a Georgian mansion, and a corresponding carriage house—all smack in the center of Warren Street. (“It’s a combination of the entire American architecture vernacular,” Janowicz said.) The plan may be grand by Hudson standards, but few things seem beyond the reach of the entrepreneurs who turned an artisanal soap operation in Boston into a global beauty brand. The Maker will be the newest on a list of innovative places to stay that have opened over the past year or so, including Rivertown Lodge, a 27-room hotel in a converted Art Deco movie theater in Hudson; the Collective Hudson Valley, a retreat with luxury tents on the outskirts of town; and Foxfire Mountain House, a stylishly renovated 100-year-old inn in Mount Tremper, in the nearby Catskill Mountains. Being part of a groundswell of world-class hotel projects is one thing, but what really seems to get Glazman excited is how he and his partners have used the Bartlett House to forge a connection with the community. “When we opened, there was an hour-and-a-half wait to get in. The locals were so proud of what we did to revitalize the place,” Janowicz said. “There’s something that feels right about having this bakery where people can come in to get a pullman loaf to make the kids’ school lunches.” When I visited one weekday morning last summer, the tables in the dining room and on the outside porch were filled with families and young couples enjoying a late breakfast—several of whom, notably, were leafing through the local paper rather than staring blankly at their phones. Glazman looked pleased, telling me, “I want to bring back muffins, old-fashioned ones. I’m sick of the cupcakes and the Cronuts.” (Continued on page 105) Opposite, clockwise from top left: Peppers for sale at the Copake Hillsdale farmers’ market; a landscape by Irish photographer Richard Mosse at the School gallery, in Kinderhook; lunch at Gaskins, a gastropub in Germantown; the Bartlett House, in Ghent, formerly a railroad hotel and now a bakery and restaurant.
There are artists, musicians, and an inordinate number of woodworkers whoâ€™ve turned fixer-upper buildings into hotels, galleries, and recording studios.
A guest room at Foxfire Mountain House, in Mount Tremper. Opposite: Kinderhook Farm, which supplies restaurants from Hudson to Brooklyn.
P H OTO C RE D IT T E E K AY
Dorper sheep grazing at Kinderhook Farm.
Besides being able to bring a dash of pride back to the region, what also feels right to newcomers like Glazman is the opportunity to work with local farmers and create jobs in an area that has, for the past three decades or more, suffered the effects of a sagging economy. Hudson started out as a whaling town in the late 1700s, when a British embargo banned imports into Boston Harbor and Nantucket during the Revolutionary War and enterprising whalers discovered that the Hudson was deep enough The for their ships to navigate. Some of the supporting Details industries that sprang up around whaling (foundries, The best places to stay, eat, ironworks) lingered on after the trade in whale prodand see art, ucts declined in the 1840s, but by the time the railroad page 118 came to town in 1874, Hudson had become a small regional hub. More recently, it’s become known as one of those places that always seems on the verge of something—when the wave of antiques dealers arrived in the early 1990s, for instance, or when Etsy set up an office there in 2011. Like many residents, Glazman hopes that the latest influx of entrepreneurs, with their fresh ideas and visitor-friendly businesses, can be the start of a more lasting change. espite the Hudson Valley’s economic peaks and troughs, the region has always taken rightful pride in its cultural heritage. From the mid 1800s on, the Hudson River School lured Romantic painters including Thomas Cole and Frederic Edwin Church (Olana, Church’s Moorish-inspired home, is today a museum just south of Hudson). More recently, the region’s idyllic landscape beckoned contemporary artists, including Ellsworth Kelly, Brice Marden, and Marina Abramović, all of whom have established studios—and country homes—in the area. The area’s artistic pedigree inspired gallerist Jack Shainman to open an outpost of his New York City gallery in Kinderhook, just a few miles from Ghent. In 2014 he bought and renovated what had been the Martin Van Buren Elementary School, creating a 30,000-square-foot gallery space named the School. Shainman admits he was a bit naïve about the enormity of the architectural undertaking (the gymnasium needed excavating to open up the space, and geothermal heating had to be installed to properly store the art), but he couldn’t be more pleased with the results. “I wanted it to continue to serve as a place of education,” said Shainman, who has owned a nearby farm since 1999. I visited the School to see a group show, “The Past Is Present,” in which artists from around the world dealt with some of our nation’s darkest issues: gun violence, poverty, racism, and environmental degradation. One of the gallery’s cavernous rooms was filled with an Easter Island–size head of Fidel Castro, made up of thousands of door hinges collected from buildings in Cuba. Another was devoted to memorabilia and photographs of the Black Panthers. An upstairs classroom, the original paint still peeling from the walls, showed artist Hank Willis Thomas’s collaboration with Kambui Olujimi: a video re-enactment of Thomas’s cousin being murdered for a gold chain outside a nightclub in Philadelphia in 2000. It was one of the most
arresting art shows I’d seen in a long time, and to experience it here, in this small-town setting, made the experience even more surprising. Despite the heavy subject matter, the local community has embraced Shainman’s project. It’s not unusual to see schoolchildren taking a tour or a choral group rehearsing in one of the rooms. longside all this cultural activity, many towns have also witnessed a corresponding retail resurgence, spurred by the arrival of tastemakers from Manhattan and beyond. Take Germantown, an unassuming hamlet about 30 minutes south of Hudson. Despite a blink-andyou’ll-miss-it Main Street, the town is quickly filling with stylish shops. Alder East, housed in the former stables of the Rockefeller family (the village is the industrialists’ ancestral home), sells local ceramics and soaps, but there are also jute rugs from Australia and clothing by cult fashion labels from London and Japan. Next door I came upon Luddite, a beautifully curated store specializing in antique lighting and furniture. And down the street, just a few doors past liquor supplier Lawlor’s Package Store, the designer Michael Robbins recently opened a showroom for his Shaker-influenced furniture. “I wanted to move up here years ago when I was still living in New York City,” the Virginia-born Carla Helmholz, owner of Alder East, told me. “It reminded me of growing up in the South, but with more liberal people.” After a stint in Portland, Oregon, where she opened the design store Alder & Co. in 2012, she and her business partner decided to relocate and open Alder East. “We picked Germantown because we liked how it felt so small,” Helmholz said. “And also because of Gaskins.” A gastropub housed in a former grocery store, Gaskins is Germantown’s anchor, as visitors quickly learn. Nick and Sarah Suarez, the husband-and-wife team behind the place, used to work the Manhattan and Brooklyn farm-totable restaurant circuit—the Modern, Gramercy Tavern, Marlow & Sons, Franny’s. But around three years ago, they realized they were ready to decamp from the city. They were planning to start a family, and since both had grown up in New York State, the idea of moving somewhere more rural had a (Continued on page 116)
At Kinderhook Farm, neighbors stop by to pick up local honey, bright-eyed millennials take summer internships in neo-homesteading, and families come to do farm stays at the rustic guesthouse. travelandleisure.com
Something is happening in Johannesburg . Emerging from the shadows of apartheid, a new generation is rising up, creating a place defined by freedom of expression. SAKI KNAFO explores why the sprawling metropolis has become
AFRICAâ€™ S MOST EXCITING CITY.
photographs by ADRIAAN LOUW
Public art at the Cosmopolitan, a former hotel that now houses restaurants, artistsâ€™ studios, and a gallery.
The view from the roof of Hallmark House, a new hotel in Johannesburgâ€™s Maboneng district. Above: Chefs Mandla and Viva at Dig Inn, a food stall at Market on Main, in Maboneng.
ithin a converted warehouse in what used to be one of the most dangerous parts of Johannesburg, you can eat gelato made by an Italian who had the machines shipped over from his family’s store in Rome. You can taste golden fish from Mozambique cooked in the Congolese style, with rice and plantains, sample corn cakes with four kinds of sauce made by a Zulu bohemian who describes his style of dress as “funky Amish,” or try ginger roti made by Rastafarians who, when you ask where they hail from, will tell you they are citizens of the “celestial paradise of the fifth dimension.” Nearby, on a rooftop, you can dance to salsa music. On the street below, you can watch a drunken Frenchman wave his hands like a rhythmically challenged conductor while musicians play marimbas made from wooden pallets. Around the block, as techno from Zimbabwe rattles the speakers of a car parked nearby, you can meet a jeweler from one of the townships who used to get the brass for his rings by melting down discarded kerosene stoves, but now makes pieces out of silver and gold for the affluent shoppers who roam the neighborhood. That’s how it always is on Sundays at Market on Main, in Maboneng, a neighborhood I’m pretty sure is unlike any other in Africa—or the world. Some people may tell you it’s like New York City’s Williamsburg or Los Feliz in L.A., but in comparison with Maboneng, the forces of change in those places move at the pace of continental plates. Ten years ago, Maboneng didn’t exist. I don’t mean it wasn’t yet trendy. I mean the name hadn’t been invented. If you had walked through the area then— and you would not have walked through the area then—you likely would have seen abandoned warehouses that had been “hijacked” by criminals who extorted punishing rents from people living without running water
or electricity, five to a room. Almost everyone with money lived and worked out in the suburbs, behind steel barricades and electric fences. Most tourists to Johannesburg would stay in the suburbs, too. They rarely saw much of the city, except what they happened to glimpse through the windows of the car taking them between their hotel and the airport, which connects the wonders of southern Africa to the rest of the world. Until recently, people didn’t come to Johannesburg to visit Johannesburg. They came on their way to the dunes of the Namib, or Botswana’s Okavango Delta, or the wine country outside Cape Town. The goal was to get in and out of the city as fast as possible. Today, skipping the city would be a mistake. Johannesburg is as dynamic and exciting as any place I’ve been. Apartheid scarred South Africa and cut it off from most of the rest of the world, and corruption and crime do still plague the country. But although South Africa faces serious problems—and its president, Jacob Zuma, is a highly controversial figure—it has become relatively stable, with the continent’s largest economy. In certain neighborhoods of Johannesburg today, you can glimpse the possibility of a diverse, peaceful, and creative future. My tour guide couldn’t believe how quickly the city was changing. “None of this was here a month ago,” he’d say, taking me down a block lined with murals. Then we’d turn a few corners and he’d grin and say, “If you were on this street six months ago, you would have been running.” That is how fast the fires of development are spreading in Johannesburg. One day, a block is Beirut circa 1982. The next, it’s TriBeCa 2003.
ne of the latest additions to Maboneng is a high-end hotel. I had the good fortune to spend five nights there. Called the Hallmark House, it is 16 stories of coal-black paint and slashing steel beams designed by the GhanaianBritish architect David Adjaye, who has an apartment in the building. It opened in January. I arrived in July. When I told people—Joburgers—that I was staying in a luxury hotel on Sivewright Avenue between Error and Charles,
Market on Main, the Sunday food event at Arts on Main, a studio and retail development that helped put Maboneng on the map.
From left: Painter Victor Kuster in his studio at August House, a warehouse repurposed as an art and production space; baby carrots with kumquat and star anise labneh at Urbanologi; the bar at Hallmark House; a mural depicting Nelson Mandela in Maboneng.
it blew their minds. They found it unfathomable that someone had opened an upscale hotel on that street. It was in the Hallmark’s gleaming lobby that I met Galleries, Gerald Garner, who gave me an introduction to the city’s restaurants, and more, dark and fascinating history. Like so many of the people page 118 I encountered in Joburg, Garner was a man of many hustles: tour guide, author of two local guidebooks, owner of a tapas bar in a former garage. Together, we set out through Maboneng on foot. The walls passed in a colorful blur of street art. I saw a surreal dreamscape involving a giant diamond balanced on top of a human skull, a towering replica of a famous black-and-white photograph of Nelson Mandela, and a menagerie of African animals—zebras, crocodiles, elephants, rhinos. There was also a roaring tiger, which has nothing to do with Africa but looked fantastic. Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa. The nearly 8 million residents in its greater metropolitan area include many immigrants and people of European or Asian ancestry, but most of the population is black. For this reason, people often say that Joburg is a “real African city,” as distinct from “European” Cape Town, where a greater percentage of the population is white. The Details
After walking a few more blocks, Garner and I boarded a bus headed for the downtown business district, where a handful of new restaurants and residential developments are attracting members of South Africa’s growing middle class. As we got off the bus, Garner explained how the city became notorious for crime and poverty— “Detroit times ten,” as he helpfully framed it for my American ears. In Joburg, as in so many cities with industrial pasts, the downtown core is surrounded by rusted-out factory neighborhoods, which in turn are ringed by wealthy suburbs. In the days
In Johannesburg, you can glimpse the possibility of a diverse, peaceful, and creative future.
of apartheid, Garner explained, laws were passed to keep black people out of the inner city, forcing them to live on the outskirts in squalid, crowded settlements called townships. In the 1950s, the apartheid government passed a law stating that no business in Johannesburg could employ more than six black workers. Outside the city, however, the white captains of industry could avail themselves of as much cheap black labor as they pleased. “And so the factories left Johannesburg,” Garner said. “The buildings emptied out. Maboneng is a prime example of a place where that happened.” A visitor could spend days touring places associated with the battle against apartheid, beginning with the superb Apartheid Museum. There’s also Constitution Hill, the old fort where political prisoners were held, which
now houses the country’s Constitutional Court and a gallery displaying works by contemporary South African artists. And Nelson Mandela’s old law office inside Chancellor House, the former headquarters of the African National Congress. And Soweto, the largest township in South Africa, which gained international attention in 1976 when police opened fire on a crowd of protesting schoolchildren, killing several and sparking a riot in which hundreds died.
here’s a duality to life in South Africa right now that makes it an interesting place to get into conversations with strangers. As I wandered around Johannesburg, I kept thinking of something Garner had said: “In some ways we are a traumatized society. But there is a new generation that is trying to reinvent society, and they want to talk about it.” Jonathan Freemantle, a Cape Town–born painter who came to Johannesburg to make art, is someone who wants to talk about it. “In a way, northern Europe is running out of ideas. It’s looking backward,” he said. “This place is too young for that. There’s a creative revival happening that gives the area a profoundly exciting edge.” Three years ago, Freemantle was walking past the defunct Cosmopolitan Hotel, a Victorian building in Maboneng with peeling columns and bricked-up windows, when he (Continued on page 113)
(Dordogne, continued from page 93) well as several actual caves in the Dordogne, was how much the beautiful images of animals tumbling across those rock walls belong to a continuum that links ancient Sumer and Egypt, Greece and Rome, leading eventually to Picasso and Miró, Haring and Basquiat. (At Lascaux IV, there is an interactive room devoted to drawing connections between the cave paintings and famous artworks of the 20th and 21st centuries.) I thought in particular of the relationship of Basquiat and Haring with graffiti, because the cave paintings and carvings of the Dordogne come across as a prehistoric version of tagging. They broadcast the most elemental of messages: “I was here.” Once you’ve been initiated into the cave-art cult, it’s hard to break free. The images haunt you. Two days after visiting Lascaux IV, I drove over to the Grotte de Rouffignac, where a little train carries you through the darkness into depths that get cooler by the minute. During the ride, a guide points out smooth, woklike pockets of rock in which cave bears used to curl up and hibernate. Eventually you descend toward numerous carvings of mammoths—Rouffignac is sometimes known as the cave of a hundred mammoths. Many of my fellow passengers were French children who became tremendously excited when the guide, using a flashlight, pointed out the faint outlines of tusks and woolly torsos. This was only natural. Despite being created with just a few spare strokes, the engraved creatures are instantly, charmingly recognizable—even kind of cute, with their shaggy snouts and alert eyes. I felt the jones again the next day. I still had time in my schedule for one more cave, so I steered the rental car through the busy market in the town of Le Bugue, over some train tracks,
and up a hill until I got to the Grotte du Sorcier, or Cave of the Sorcerer. Woodsmoke was chugging out of the chimney of a squat stone hut nestled against a cliff. Moss coated the rock shingles on top of the dwelling; ferns and flowers sprouted from the slope of the roof. It looked like a scene out of The Hobbit. Inside, I found Lola Jeannel, who leads tours and oversees the little Cave of the Sorcerer shop. She asked me to wait in an adjacent building, where I surveyed a cabinet des curiosités naturelles—a display case containing hyena teeth, the terrifyingly massive jaw of a prehistoric wolf, the tibia of a rhinoceros. Eventually Jeannel came to tell me that since I was the only visitor, she would give me a private tour. “If you think about it, prehistory is very new—brand-new,” she said. New to us, she meant: many of the prehistoric engravings and drawings in France have been discovered only during the past 100 years or so. In the early 1950s, a farmer used to store his wine in this cave, unaware of or indifferent to the animals carved into the rock. You can’t really blame him. It’s not an especially dramatic cave. If you don’t look closely, the engravings are nearly invisible. Once someone like Jeannel points them out, however, they come to life—in part because the Cro-Magnon artisans who made them often used the contours of the stone to give the images a sense of motion and three-dimensionality. Jeannel and I proceeded a few steps deeper to get a glimpse of the “sorcerer,” a figure that is just vague enough to allow everyone to interpret it differently. What I saw was the outline of a large baby. And why not? The engravings, she said, “are like clouds. You can see many things in them.”
he same could be said of the Dordogne itself. The fact that it is not one of the most popular tourist destinations in France—not Provence or Paris, not the gastronomic magnet of Lyon or the chic beaches of the Riviera— makes it easier for a visitor to come without a trunk full of preconceptions. There is Michelin-starred, Relais & Châteaux luxury, to be sure,
but time and time again I found that it was presented with a warm, effortless modesty. You travel to the Dordogne to see artwork created before the dawn of civilization, but you end up feeling like you’ve touched down in the most civilized place on earth. Le Vieux Logis, the refuge in Trémolat that captivated Henry Miller, seems to operate on the forgotten principle that you might want to unwind and linger, staying put instead of scurrying around. One evening I got dinner in the hotel’s main restaurant, where the cooking of chef Vincent Arnould succeeds at a perennial French sleight of hand: it sounds heavy on the menu, but feels light on the fork. The service is ceremonial but warm. After I showed up for my reservation, I wasn’t led to my table right away. A hostess encouraged me, instead, to linger in the outdoor courtyard with a chilled glass of vin de pêche, an aperitif made with peach leaves. I sipped the drink. I studied the breeze. I nibbled on one amusebouche after another. There was no pressure—the table inside was mine whenever I wanted it. In a place like this, it is pointless to watch the clock. After eating an appetizer of white asparagus stacked next to dainty curls of—yes—foie gras and an entrée of tender pink spring lamb, and then going a little overboard with the restaurant’s bountiful cheese cart, I went for a walk along the country lanes that thread through Trémolat like silk. I did the same thing again the next night. “Eat cheese and go for a walk” strikes me as a sensible approach to life. Everywhere I went in the Dordogne, I encountered the same spirit I’d gleaned from the cave paintings. Call it an accidental elegance. I found it in that hilltop garden in Limeuil. I found it when I dropped by the charmingly unkempt headquarters of Château Lestignac, near the hamlet of Sigoulès, where Camille and Mathias Marquet make organic wines that American sommeliers have been going crazy over lately. I found it when I ambled into a beer bar called Plus que Parfait in the city of Bergerac and met Xavier Coudin, a bearded DJ who was spinning old, obscure American soul records while a crowd danced like
(Dordogne, continued from page 112) extras in a Quentin Tarantino film. The songs seemed to float through the room like dust mites from some time out of mind. I wasn’t sure what decade I had landed in, and I didn’t care. The most striking example of the local style may have been my dinner at La Table du Marché Couvert, a diminutive restaurant next to a food market in Bergerac. In spite of its association with Cyrano, the romantic gent known for his proboscis and his poetic way with words, Bergerac doesn’t spring to mind when you think of must-see metropolises in France. I didn’t know what to expect when I wandered into La Table, where the cave-bearish chef Stéphane Cuzin was working in a kitchen the size of a canoe. But Cuzin wound up delivering one of my favorite meals in recent memory—as vibrant and colorful as a field full of wildflowers. It began with a parade of amuse-bouches. The one that left me gently reeling looked like a toy salad piled in a bowl by a precocious child after a hike: tiny beige mushrooms, bright-green fava beans, divots of olive. Together, these elements fused into a tiny still life, a bonsai manifestation of the French landscape. Cuzin’s signature appetizer? You guessed it—foie gras. But this was foie gras reinvented through the alchemy of a chef’s touch. Cuzin had paired the cool, cylindrical torchon with spring peas and raspberries, and it came to my table with the customary accompaniment of toasted brioche. I could feel it happening again, and deepening: the slowing of time, the marrow-savoring of the moment. We are wired to want this. A pattern had developed here in the Dordogne. I knew I had to follow up dinner with another walk. As I wandered through Bergerac, I noticed small, quick clouds whisking back and forth above my head. They were flocks of swallows, rising and falling in unison, landing in the branches of trees and then, in a mutually agreed-upon instant, launching back into the sky. The only reasonable thing to do was to stop and watch them. Jeff Gordinier is the food and drinks editor for Esquire. He is working on a book about the chef René Redzepi.
P (South Africa, continued from page 111) realized it could be a great place to have a gallery. Luckily, he had a friend with access to large amounts of capital. So they bought the building, renovated it, and invited their favorite local artists to hang their work on the walls. Then they asked some of those artists to move their studios into the former guest rooms. They reopened the hotel bar and planted the garden with hydrangeas and roses. The old building, Freemantle told me when I visited, “was like a dowager who was here in the gold rush, and all her snooty friends got scared and fled for the suburbs, and she stayed in her chair with her Versace dress and her G&T. I said, ‘Let’s pour her a fresh drink and find some young chaps to flirt with her.’ We wanted to make this a place where the genteel would mix with the reprobates and artists.” Across the street from the Cosmopolitan, I came across a tiny store named Afrosynth Records. I spent two hours there, hoping to find some of the gorgeous marabi jazz that was one of several South African styles Paul Simon borrowed from on his 1986 album Graceland. The owner, DJ Okapi, steered me toward a section devoted to another genre: bubblegum, a kind of synth-happy South African disco that emerged in the 1980s. Most of the labels that produced bubblegum shut down long ago, and South Africa’s isolation under apartheid was one of the reasons the records never reached the rest of the world. As a result, they’re very rare, and a kind of cult has grown up around them. As I was leaving the store, a kid with shaggy blond hair caught sight of one of the records I’d pulled off the shelf and asked— begged—me to give it to him. When I said yes, he clasped his hands together and gave me a little bow.
eople say Johannesburg owes its existence to an accident. As the story goes, 130 years ago an English prospector was walking through a barren field in the middle of nowhere when he stubbed his toe. Looking down, he saw he’d stumbled onto a kind of rock that is often found near gold deposits. Within a few years, a city had sprung up on the veld—a bustling frontier town of Brits and Australians and failed California 49ers chasing one last chance to make a fortune. Over time, the city reinvented itself again and again, growing first into the biggest and most prosperous city in Africa, then getting razed and rebuilt and surgically segregated by the architects of apartheid, then falling into violent disarray as apartheid collapsed and businesses fled. But it somehow remained a prospector’s town—a beacon for people from southern Africa and beyond, who came in hopes of realizing their dreams of a better life. One of those people was the barista who poured me a cup of Ethiopian Kana through a complicated glass contraption at Craft Coffee in Newtown, a neighborhood not far from Maboneng that is beginning to become the kind of place where baristas pour Ethiopian Kana through complicated glass contraptions. He told me his name was Lovejoy—that’s it, just Lovejoy—and when I asked how he became a barista, he paused and said, “It’s quite an interesting story.” In 2009, the economy in his native Zimbabwe got so bad that the government stopped printing money. So he hitchhiked to Cape Town, a threenight journey, and got a job sweeping floors at a high-end roastery called Origin Coffee. “After some time I got an opportunity to stand behind the bar pouring coffee, and that was the biggest break I could ever have,” he said. A year later, he entered his first barista competition. Two years after that, he was crowned the all-Africa champion. When Craft opened in Johannesburg, the owners tapped him to manage the shop. I asked if he could tell me something about the coffee I was drinking. He said, “You get a lot of dried fig, citrus fruit. They dry the coffee with the skin on, so you get all those good sugars.”
(South Africa, continued from page 113) ver those first few days, as I ate marjoram-cured lamb-rib kushiyaki at Urbanologi, a restaurant in what used to be a warehouse for mining equipment, or listened to that effervescent marabi music in the jazz club in the basement of Hallmark House, I kept hearing about a developer named Jonathan Liebmann. People said he had single-handedly willed Maboneng into existence. Articles described him as a “visionary.” The more I heard and read, the more curious I became. He seemed to loom over the neighborhood like a colossus. One day, as I was leaving the hotel, I spotted a guy in his mid 30s waiting for the elevator. He had on the international cool-guy uniform of tight black jeans and leather jacket, and his hair was tied back in a ponytail. It took me a moment to realize I’d seen his picture in some of the articles I’d been reading about Maboneng. “Liebmann?” I called out. I went over and introduced myself, and he invited me to come up with him to the Hallmark’s unfinished two-level penthouse, which a team of workers was racing to complete for him and his pregnant wife before the baby arrived. Liebmann is the founder of Propertuity, the company responsible for the development of almost every building in Maboneng. Ten years ago, when he was only 24, he bought a sooty brick warehouse at the heart of the area and turned it into Arts on Main, a mix of restaurants, galleries, artists’ workshops, and retail spaces. He convinced South African art star William Kentridge to move his private studio into the building, a major coup. Rather than depend on the city’s notoriously unreliable police department, he hired his own small army of security guards to keep watch over the streets. Backed by a silent partner, Liebmann then developed Main Street Life, a building with 178 apartments, a small hotel, and a cinema that specializes in South African independent films. Next came Main Change, which has a co-working space for start-ups and freelancers, a rooftop bar, and a popular Asian-fusion restaurant called the Blackanese. Altogether, Propertuity has developed 30 buildings in the Maboneng neighborhood.
If you met Liebmann, you might observe that he suffers from neither an overabundance of modesty nor a lack of ambition. When I asked about his plans for Maboneng, he said, “I created this neighborhood. It’s become so inextricably linked to my identity that I can’t imagine ever stopping.” I doubt that Joburg ever looks more deserving of its reputation as a city of opportunity than it does from the penthouse of a Propertuity high-rise. Of course, not all Joburgers see the city this way. At a backyard barbecue I met Anaz Mia, one of the founders of a printmaking collective whose work calls attention to issues of racial and economic injustice, and his wife, a constitutional lawyer named Alex Fitzgerald. The three of us hit it off and quickly got into a conversation about gentrification. Mia spent a good hour laying out a detailed critique of the changes afoot in Joburg. “And yet,” he said at the end, “I have to admit that there’s something magical about being able to walk down the street with Alex without fear of getting robbed.”
he collective that Mia belongs to is called Danger Gevaar Ingozi. The day after the barbecue, I stopped by their studio on the outskirts of Maboneng, where the artists showed me their black-and-white linocut prints. Linocut printing, a technique in which artists cut into blocks of linoleum with chisels, has a proud history in Johannesburg. Under apartheid, black artists relied on the medium to create the iconic posters and pamphlets of the resistance, and artists at DGI see themselves as heirs to that tradition. One of their starkest images took its inspiration from Maboneng itself. Two years ago, when developers evicted people from a building in the area, protesters marched through the streets, burning tires and throwing rocks until the police drove them away with rubber bullets. In the rebellious spirit of the apartheid-era printers, the DGI artists took up their chisels in solidarity. The resulting print depicts a group of black protesters being forcibly removed from the hallway of a men’s hostel that was being repurposed by developers. It is a testament
to both the complexities and the possibilities of Maboneng that you can see a copy of the piece on display in a Maboneng wine bar, upstairs from a truck that sells frozen yogurt and gojiberry iced tea. On my last night in Joburg, I accompanied Mia and Fitzgerald and some of their friends to an art opening at August House, a loft building a couple blocks from Maboneng. “This is the avant-garde,” Mia said as we walked into the space. About a hundred people were standing around, chatting over an electronic dance track and drinking beer. Someone was cooking chicken on an indoor grill. Everyone was wearing something fun—a fluorescent-yellow Adidas jumpsuit stands out in my memory. At the far end of the room, I stopped in front of a mixed-media piece depicting a group of men sitting around a boom box, most of them dressed in the style of 1960s Hollywood. One wore boots that resembled spats. Another had on a mauve suit and black gloves, with a cream homburg balanced on his knee. The style of the image was sketchlike yet fully realized, as though the artist had first rendered the scene completely, then erased all the details that didn’t matter. I tracked down its creator, Bambo Sibiya, and told him that I loved his work. Like the men in the painting, Sibiya was dressed impeccably, in a tailored suit of royal blue with a shirt and tie of the same rich color. He told me that he’d based the figures on people like his uncles, who came to Johannesburg in the 1960s to work in the mines. “They used music and fashion as their way of fighting back against the oppression of apartheid,” he said. “They used the power of being gentlemen.” Several of his other paintings were hanging on the walls. They captured similar scenes, all in the same distinctive style. Bambo Sibiya—look out for that name. I believe he has a bright future. He’s retrieving moments from Johannesburg’s dark past and turning them into scenes of vibrant beauty and light. I can’t think of anyone who better embodies the spirit of the city. New York–based Saki Knafo writes on travel, culture, and business for the New York Times, the Atlantic, and GQ.
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(Hudson Valley, continued from page 105) pleasing symmetry. When they opened Gaskins in 2015, the couple still lived in one of the apartments above the midnight-blue clapboard restaurant, which proved handy, as Nick was always in the kitchen and Sarah was normally seating guests and making cocktails. (Last spring they had a baby boy, Milo, and moved to a house nearby.) Their seasonal menus feature updated classics like wood-roasted chicken with garlic scapes and house-made cavatelli with sausage, broccoli rabe, chiles, and ricotta. They’ve also collaborated on popup dinners with Mile End, the cult New York City “haute” deli. In fact, Mile End owners Noah and Rae Cohen Bernamoff have just taken over a nearby market, together with a clique of foodie friends. Otto’s, a beloved Germantown institution since 1927, is being quietly updated with produce from local farms, butchercut meats, and fresh-cut flowers. While the town’s burgeoning food scene is an obvious draw for visitors, the Suarezes are also interested in feeding the locals. To that end, they host a popular taco night. “Literally everyone comes out for that,” said Nick, who, along with his wife, is keen to put down roots in the community. “We want this to be a gathering place,” Sarah added. The Suarezes credit two veteran urban transplants, Lee and Georgia Ranney of Kinderhook Farm, with helping them get the lay of this scenic land. “They really rolled out the welcome mat for us, and hosted dinners so we could meet people,” Sarah said. The Ranneys have been running Kinderhook since 2004, when an old college friend lured them away from a cattle ranch in West Virginia. For Lee, a former lawyer, and Georgia, an artist, the goal was pretty simple:
to raise happy and healthy animals in a sustainable way. Today they run a 1,200-acre farm with Dorper sheep, heritage-breed pigs, and free-range chickens, which they sell to a network of artisanal butchers and restaurants from Hudson to Brooklyn. One mild afternoon, Georgia took me on a tour of the farm, which, with its rolling meadows and pristine red barns, felt like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. “This area is sort of a utopia for many people because it’s still close to New York and Boston, yet far enough to offer space and quiet, and allow people to take in the landscape,” she said while lobbing beef scraps to one of her hulking white Maremma sheepdogs. Kinderhook Farm feeds into a bucolic fantasy shared by both locals and visitors: it’s a place where neighbors stop by to pick up grass-fed ground beef and local honey, where bright-eyed millennials take summer internships in neo-homesteading (feeding chickens, building fences), and where families come to stay at their rustic guesthouse. When I asked Lee to describe a typical client at the farm stay, he answered, with a wry smile: “Brooklyn resident, age 38, 2.3 kids. Wants the children to learn where their food comes from.” or every taco truck, third-wave coffee shop, or boutique selling Hans Wegner chairs, there are still scrappier patches in Hudson, vestiges of the town’s industrial roots. Take the laid-back breakfast joint that Hannah Black and Carla Perez-Gallardo, two young art-school grads, took over in the summer of 2016. The peach-shingled storefront, located in a less gentrified part of town, had for years been run by Deborah Fiero, who grew up nearby. Black and Perez-Gallardo, who had both done tours cooking and catering in New York City, decided to reinvent it as a lunch and dinner place called Lil’ Deb’s Oasis. “We wanted to keep the name to pay homage to Deborah, and also to signal that this place was open for the people of Hudson, the locals and the younger creative types who moved up here,” Perez-Gallardo said.
“We wanted it to be a place where you can get a ten-dollar plate of food.” On the Saturday night I visited, the 30-seat space was full of young artists and makers clutching Pacificos and digging in to generous portions of spiced lentils and rice served with garlicky greens, sweet plantains, and whole fried fish— what Black and Perez-Gallardo describe as “tropical comfort food.” (Perez-Gallardo is part Ecuadoran, while Black, a native Alabaman, spent time cooking in Mexico.) Most of the crowd was fueling up for a late night at the Half Moon, a nearby dive bar that was hosting a disco danceoff. The whole place had the raucous vibe of early 1990s Brooklyn or, perhaps, downtown New York in the 70s. References to that last scene are somewhat intentional. The women behind Lil’ Deb’s Oasis wanted to create a restaurant along the lines of Food, the legendary 70s SoHo canteen started by the artists Gordon Matta-Clark, Carol Goodden, and Tina Girouard. They did that with Miami-meets-Memphis design— pink and turquoise décor, pottery made by a local ceramist—and shout-outs to creative collaborators at the end of the menu. Making my way back down Warren Street from Lil’ Deb’s Oasis, I stopped at the Spotty Dog Books & Ale, a cozy bar and bookshop housed in an old firehouse. Several Manhattan transplants I know had recommended the place. It was Sunday afternoon, and the book section of the shop was just as busy as the wood-paneled bar. While some visitors pored over the poetry and local history selection, others were working their way through the lengthy menu of IPAs. A group of musicians was setting up for an early evening concert at the rear of the store. It felt at once quaint and cosmopolitan, serious and lighthearted, fashionable and old-fashioned— an exact expression, I realized, of what makes Hudson and its surroundings such a special place to be right now. Maura Egan is executive editor of Departures magazine, and writes about art and culture in and around New York City.
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Our guide to this month’s featured destinations, including the best places to eat, sleep, and explore.
HUDSON VALLEY, NEW YORK (Escape from New York, p. 98)
GETTING THERE Take Amtrak’s Empire Service train from New York City’s Penn Station two hours north to Hudson. LODGING Collective Retreats Hudson Valley Choose one of the luxury tents (think Pendleton blankets and antler chandeliers) or stay at the lodge; both sit on a working organic farm. Ghent; collective retreats.com; tents from $500. Foxfire Mountain House Located on 10 acres near Woodstock, this 100-year-old inn features 11 bohochic rooms with Moroccan tiles, sheepskin rugs, and the occasional piece of taxidermy. foxfiremountain house.com; doubles from $175. Kinderhook Farm Lee and Georgia Ranney raise pasture-fed Angus cattle, sheep, heritagebreed pigs, and chickens on more than 1,000 acres of rolling hills. Book the rustic barn, which accommodates up to four adults, for an authentic farm-stay experience. Ghent; kinderhookfarm.com. Rivertown Lodge This movie theater turned hotel has 27 rooms with wood-plank floors and vintage Danish furniture. The open lobby, with its pair of wood-burning stoves and tavern, is a popular spot for late afternoon cocktails or espresso. Hudson; rivertownlodge. com; doubles from $199. RESTAURANTS & CAFÉS Bartlett House This bakery and restaurant, housed in a historic brick building in Ghent, has become the place for weekend brunch. Be sure to grab a baguette or pearrosewater muffin to go. bartlett house.com; entrées $19–$32. Fish & Game Zak Pelaccio’s farmto-table restaurant in the center of Hudson has an ambitious, eclectic menu, showcasing dishes like fish ragoût with turmeric and rice noodles. fishandgamehudson.com; entrées $30–$40. Gaskins This upscale tavern in Germantown has been a local favorite since it opened in 2015.
Expect comfort food at its finest: duck breast, fried chicken sandwiches, and house-made pasta. gaskinsny.com; entrées $12–$30. Lil’ Deb’s Oasis Located in Hudson, this bare-bones joint serving Caribbean- and South American–influenced dishes has become the de facto canteen for the area’s young creative set. lildebsoasis.com; entrées $10–$18. GALLERIES The School New York gallerist Jack Shainman rehabbed this former elementary school into a museum-quality art space for group shows as well as retrospectives, like a recent one of 1990s provocateur Andres Serrano. Kinderhook; jackshainman.com/school. September Gallery New York City transplant Kristen Dodge runs this simple, raw space, which shows works from a mix of emerging and established artists. Hudson; septembergallery.com.
(A Place in Time, p. 84)
GETTING THERE The Dordogne is a 90-minute drive east of Bordeaux, which is reachable via a connecting flight or two-hour ride from Paris on the recently launched bullet train. Rental cars are available at both the airport and train station. HOTEL Le Vieux Logis Henry Miller’s early novels are pretty gritty, but his well-documented stay at this gem in Trémolat suggests that he also appreciated a bit of charm and elegance. Each of the property’s 25 rooms is filled with period furniture and overlooks the village or the peaceful garden. vieux-logis. com; doubles from $190. RESTAURANTS & BARS Au Bon Accueil Way up the hill (yes, you’ll have to walk) in Limeuil is some of the most honest and satisfying grub in the Dordogne—
think rabbit casserole and creamy mussel soup. au-bon-accueillimeuil.com; entrées $13–$27. La Table du Marché Couvert Chef Stéphane Cuzin looks too big for his compact kitchen, but he’s got a delicate touch with both foie gras and vegetables. Bergerac; table-du-marche.com; prix fixe menus from $43. Plus que Parfait Bergerac’s bohemians gather here at night to listen to funky grooves and sip even funkier beers and ciders. 12 Rue des Fontaines; 33-5-53-61-95-11. ACTIVITIES Grotte de Rouffignac The tour of this cave is in French only, but English-speaking kids will enjoy the electric-train ride, regardless. Rouffignac-St.-Cernin-de-Reilhac; grottederouffignac.fr. Grotte du Sorcier Worth a visit to witness prehistoric art, fossils, and engravings. St.-Cirq-du-Bugue; grottedusorcier.com. Lascaux IV Go to this museum to experience reproductions of each of the drawings found at the Lascaux caves. Stop on the roof for panoramic views of the Vézère Valley. Montignac; lascaux.fr.
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA (Africa’s Most Exciting City, p. 106)
GETTING THERE Fly nonstop to Johannesburg from major U.S. hubs like New York and Atlanta.
Craft Coffee This bright, modern roastery and café in Newtown sources beans from all over the world, then roasts them in-house. craftcoffee.co.za. Mad Giant At this sprawling brewery in an old warehouse, you can choose from among five house-brewed beers and enjoy a bite at Urbanologi, an upscale restaurant sharing the space. madgiant.co.za; entrées $4–$48. GALLERIES Arts on Main The story of Maboneng began with the redevelopment of this red-brick factory complex, which contains art star William Kentridge’s studio and a print workshop that offers tours to the public. On Sundays, the space becomes a hub for the neighborhood’s vibrant weekly market, with food stalls on the ground floor and tables lined with clothes and crafts upstairs. artsonmain.info. August House Some of the city’s most exciting artists live, work, and show their art at this loft building just outside Maboneng. august house.co.za. Constitution Hill The former prison complex is now home to South Africa’s Constitutional Court and a large collection of African artworks. constitutionhill.org.za. The Cosmopolitan This restored Victorian hotel houses an art gallery, artists’ studios, a lush, English-style garden, and a restaurant that serves refined local dishes. thecosmopolitan.joburg.
KYOTO, JAPAN (Forever Kyoto, p. 94)
HOTEL Hallmark House Architect David Adjaye designed this sleek luxury hotel, located in the Maboneng Precinct. hallmark house.co.za; doubles from $77.
GETTING THERE Fly to Tokyo, where there is regular rail service to Kyoto. The Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train takes about 2½ hours.
RESTAURANTS, BARS & CAFÉS Blackanese Sushi & Wine Bar Chef Vusi Kunene serves sushi with local flavors like biltong (beef jerky) and strawberry at this intimate space in Maboneng. theblackanese. co.za; entrées $7.50–$9.
HOTELS & RYOKANS Four Seasons Centered around an 800-year-old ikeniwa (pond garden), this new property is a tranquil oasis, with 123 light-filled guest rooms and suites, a teahouse, and a large spa. four seasons.com; doubles from $991.
2017 STATEMENT OF OWNERSHIP, MANAGEMENT AND CIRCULATION
Hoshinoya A restored, century-old riverside villa in Arashiyama with woodblock-print designs, shoji sliding doors, and tatami mats. Guests can see cherry blossoms from their rooms. hoshinoresorts. com; doubles from $356. Ritz-Carlton A luxury property known for its standout service and sleek rooms; request one with a river view. ritzcarlton.com; doubles from $1,083. Tawaraya This is arguably the best ryokan in Kyoto (if not all of Japan). The traditional rooms overlook private gardens; kaiseki dinners are served en suite. 278 Nakahakusancho; 81-75-211-5566; doubles from $762, including dinner. RESTAURANTS & BARS Honke Owariya Head here for some of the finest soba noodles in town. They are made of buckwheat flour from Hokkaido and boiled to order before being placed in a tasty broth made with dried seaweed. honke-owariya.co.jp; entrées $7–$27. Renrakusen If you’re looking for a quality steak, this restaurant specializes in high-grade Ohmi beef. The cuts are so tender, you won’t even need a knife. 105 Nakajimacho; 81-75-241-4358; entrées $75–$100. Yoramu A trip to Japan wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a sake bar. This one, located on Nijo Dori, is intimate (the bar seats up to nine people) and has an extensive list. sakebar-yoramu.com. TEMPLES Rokkaku-do An urban Buddhist temple just south of Karasuma Oike Station that is known for its hexagonal shape. 248 Donomae-cho; 81-75-221-2686. Sanjusangen-do Located across from the Kyoto National Museum, this Buddhist temple houses 1,001 life-size statues of the goddess Kannon. sanjusangendo.jp.
Content in this issue was produced with assistance from Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa, Celebrity Cruises, CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures, Hallmark House, Hotel Bareiss, Hotel Traube Tonbach, and the Ritz-Carlton.
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Worth Flying For
GUSTAV KLIMT’S STUDIO in VIENNA , AUSTRIA Illustration by Wayne Pate
n the well-heeled Hietzing neighborhood of Vienna there stands a two-story villa the color of bone, framed by twin staircases with baroque railings. The garden is verdant, thick with wildflowers and fruit trees. Handsome, carved-wood furnishings dot the building’s interiors. This is the Viennese painter Gustav Klimt’s last surviving studio, where he retreated in the final years of his life to focus on his erotically charged paintings of women and vibrant nature scenes. As a particular fan of Klimt’s, I had always been curious about his secluded studio practice. Still, I braced myself for a collection like so many I’d seen before—a stale exhibit peppered with textbook facts and a tourist-packed gift
store hawking branded souvenir coffee mugs. Instead, the workshop’s unadorned rooms hosted dozens of lesser-known, unfinished works and portrait studies of his models. I gazed at evocative pencil squiggles and gold-flecked oil paintings that shimmered in the morning light. Shadows danced across black-and-white furniture and sinuous line drawings. The atelier felt like a living work space, as if Klimt himself could return and pick up his brush at any moment. A visit will draw you back to the present moment and remind you of your capacity to experience awe. When I exited the studio onto the leafy street corner, the trees seemed to sparkle with an extra, Klimt-like magic. klimtvilla.at. — ANNA FURMAN
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