While constantly evolving travel restrictions caused by the global pandemic make traveling somewhat of a tricky thing, for the time being, nothing can keep us from dreaming of the incredible voyages that the future holds.
Since we at Hawkins International and Maverick Creative have Europe on the brain, we’re sharing some news from our beloved European properties – who are as excited about welcoming back travelers as travelers are about jetting off to their next adventure!
The Shelbourne – Dublin, Ireland
The Shelbourne officially reopened on June 29th with new packages and renovations designed to maximize luxury and minimize unnecessary touchpoints, including a D.I.Y. Spa Experience, a Movie Night Package, and Virtual Genealogy Butler sessions. Completion of the property’s multi-million euro refurbishment by Guy Oliver of No.27 The Shelbourne Bar (known locally as the heart of The Shelbourne) is also to note. The Shelbourne’s new D.I.Y. Spa Experience allows guests to curate a personal spa treatment. Upon arrival, guests receive a beautifully designed spa kit, which includes Elemis facial products, body products, and pure essential bath oils as well as a complimentary makeup bag. Enclosed is a step-by-step guide on how to use each product to ensure an experience just as luxurious as the one guests might expect from The Shelbourne Spa. The Shelbourne’s new Movie Package invites guests who are not quite ready to explore Dublin as they might once have to cozy up in their room and enjoy appetizers, dinner, drinks, sweet treats, and a movie. As you may know, The Shelbourne is home to the world’s only Genealogy Butler, Helen Kelly, a leading genealogist, and member of the Accredited Genealogists Ireland. New this month, The Genealogy Butler is officially offering virtual sessions to those who cannot personally travel to The Shelbourne or Ireland at this time, but still want to learn more about their Irish born ancestors.
Coworth Park – Ascot, England
Coworth Park, Dorchester Collection’s 5-star, charming country house in Ascot, complete with its own Polo Grounds and Equestrian center, reopened on July 4th and is available this summer to travelers looking to retreat from the crowds and make lasting memories in the secluded English countryside. Guests will enjoy access to expansive walking trails, horse-riding, bike trails, and 5-star private dining. The property can also be booked as a full buy out for those looking to escape the hustle-and-bustle of London with their closest friends and family. The 70-guest room estate, which will celebrate its 10-year anniversary come October, is set on 240 acres of picturesque Berkshire parkland, just 45 minutes from Central London by car. A stay at Coworth Park promises languid days spent meandering through the hotel’s endless acres of gardens, wildflower meadows, and fields, providing for the perfect change of scenery. For families looking for an entirely private experience, Coworth Park’s Dower House is a perfect choice. The three en-suite completely restored Georgian cottage is secluded from the main house and fully equipped with its own state-of-the-art kitchen and personal chef upon request.
45 Park Lane – London, England
45 Park Lane, Dorchester Collection’s Art Deco hotel just off Hyde Park, reopened its doors to guests on July 4th. A staycation at 45 Park Lane provides the perfect home-base for exploring Hyde Park and London’s green spaces – complete with dinner at Wolfgang Puck’s Michelin starred CUT at 45 Park Lane followed by an in-room spa offering via the hotel’s Wellbeing Bath menu. In Fall, guests of the hotel will have access to the brand new 10,000 square foot Health Club at Mayfair Park Residences adjacent to the hotel and managed by Dorchester Collection, including a state-of-the-art gym, 20-meter heated swimming pool, and hydrotherapy pool. 45 Park Lane offers an unprecedented approach to service during guest stays. Guests will have their very own host on hand as butler, concierge, and personalized bank of useful knowledge ensuring you have your dream London experience.
*With the new partnership between Swiss Deluxe Hotels and PrivateDeal, the following member hotels now offer a “bid your price” booking option in which guests can give their own price proposals. Learn more here!
Grand Resort Bad Ragaz – Bad Ragaz, Switzerland
Well known as the leading medical wellness resort in Europe, and just an hour and a half long train ride from Zurich, Grand Resort Bad Ragaz awaits travelers longing for a socially-distanced, wellness-focused getaway. The resort is comprised of three luxury resorts, specialty Spa Suites and a Medical Health Center and Clinic, and is fueled by the natural thermal waters of Bad Ragaz with various health benefits that include soothing nervous system diseases and more. Spa therapists use the thermal water for the signature treatments, including its exclusive Haki treatments; and doctors and therapists at the onsite Medical Center use the thermal water in various therapies for nutrition and rehabilitation. The resort also features an expansive Thermal Spa, with three indoor and outdoor pools, provides guests access to the coveted Tamina Therme, and for the youngest travelers, children can play and have fun at the Family Spa. After completing a multi-million dollar renovation to the flagship property last year, Grand Resort Bad Ragaz guests can now book the new King Suite located on the second floor of the Grand Hotel Quellenhof, which also features the option of becoming a King Floor stretching 6,500 square feet for complete privacy. Features of the luxurious suite include a large living room, balcony with mountain views, whirlpool bath, steam shower, private butler experience, kitchen, and more.
Dolder Grand – Zurich, Switzerland
Located between the pulsating city of Zurich and the invigorating, natural beauty of Switzerland’s unspoiled countryside, The Dolder Grand is an oasis perfect for relaxation and rejuvenation. The hotel is home to a renowned 43,000-square-foot spa, allowing for easy social distancing with new safety and hygiene measures. Aside from the diverse list of treatments offered, the spa public areas are sure to have something for everyone including three outdoor whirlpools overlooking the scenic city center, Chill Out room for meditation, Snow Paradise room, and Japanese-inspired sunaboros filled with warm pebbles to encourage rest and relaxation. The Dolder Grand has even created “Destination Dolder,” offering methods of exploration by bike, private guest cars, or shuttle-service with various routes to make the most of seeing the beautiful destination including the nearby Adlisberg forest. Additionally, travelers passing through or looking for a gourmet bite to eat on the go can experience the new Mc Dolder Drive-In for delicious pastries from Christian Hümbs or the “Dolder all Stars” brunch on the weekends. Check out The Dolder Grand’s Instagram Highlights (here) to see posts on the Take Away service.
Gstaad Palace – Gstaad, Switzerland
Open for its summer season from July 10th to September 13th, Gstaad Palace is excited to safely welcome guests for another season of memories in the Bernese Alps. A longtime favorite address for international travelers, royals and celebrities, the charming chalet village is one of the last family-owned Palaces, since opening in 1913. Available now for only the summer season, guests can enjoy a private dinner for two in a secret and naturally private garden space for a surprise four-course menu tailor-made for each guest. Or travelers can choose to embark on an exclusive culinary experience at the Walig Hut, where culinary director Franz W. Faeh will not only cook a delicious lunch, but will also act as your private guide as you make your way to the Walig Hut by e-bike for gorgeous scenic views of Gstaad.
The Lungarno Collection – Florence & Rome, Italy
When ready to travel, the Ferragamo-family owned Lungarno Collection hotels will be waiting to welcome guests. Currently, the Portrait Roma, Portrait Firenze, and most recently, the Hotel Continentale are all open to travelers looking to safely explore Florence and Rome. A new contactless digital system will be used for check-in/check-out, in addition to being used for overall smart communications, such as ordering room service or speaking with staff through chat or video. Guests can enjoy breathtaking views of the Ponte Vecchio from La Terrazza, the stunning rooftop bar on the Consorti Tower, now allowing 18 guests at a time to respect social distancing. A full list of new protocols to protect colleagues and guests can be found here.
ToursByLocals – Everywhere
ToursByLocals is an elite tour marketplace that specializes in curating bespoke experiences for luxury travelers to transcend the mundane and discover the true essence of a destination and its culture through the eyes of a local. Offering private tours in 165 countries worldwide – from the most prominent destinations to remote, off-the-grid locales – ToursByLocals connects discerning travelers in search of authentic, immersive excursions, with exceptional and inspiring local guides who take pride in their home cities.
Private, local guides across Europe are eager to return to doing what they do best – showing visitors and locals alike the very best of their hometowns. In Paris, ToursByLocals’ most popular destination, tour guide David can take visitors to all the famous sights while stopping at local street markets and beloved macaron shops along the way. In Italy, Carmine, who has been leading tours for more than 30 years, continues his family tradition of showing visitors around the Amalfi Coast, inviting travelers to join him on his secret routes that avoid tourists through Ravello, Amalfi, Positano, Sorrento and beyond. Visiting the Netherlands? Tour guide Stefka offers a 3-day private tour exploring the “Best of Holland,” including stops at The Hague, Van Gogh Museum, a traditional village, and more. For those who may still be stuck at home, or simply uneasy about venturing outside of their hometowns, ToursByLocals is newly offering a series of virtual tours throughout Europe, including experiences like learning to make traditional Russian pancakes, exploring the Louvre or the Duomo, and so much more.