Some people say you should wait to visit Kenya during the migration. Mark my words: That’s not necessary. I’ve seen plenty of animals in Kenya’s Maasai Mara year-round, and with fewer spectators. Being alone in the bush is everything. That’s what’s on my mind as I gaze into the reserve’s seeming vastness in so-called off-season. From my vantage point, atop a kopje, I spy numerous creatures, large and small. Though they look like toys or free-form dots from here, I can easily imagine them in their habitat: hippos in the river, elephants encircling babies, lions atop rocks as focused as sentries, leopards lounging on tree limbs and hyenas sauntering down a dusty road. This morning, on my game drive, I see them all.
Toasting their honor, I sip a bubbly South African wine. I’m sitting on a red plaid blanket, neatly arranged near the cliff’s edge. Together with my friend, I dig into a picnic hamper packed with snacks by my able butler. Though I’m just a short walk from the lodge, I feel a world apart. Essentially in the wild, there’s no guard nor naturalist standing by, nor butler for that matter. It’s just my friend and me on a cliff in Kenya — and we feel strangely surreal and free, as if we were the last people on Earth.
This is how it seems, anyway, as we picnic, surrounded by nature, ensconced in a silence so quiet it seems to hum. We didn’t wander off alone, mind you. That’s a safari no-no of the first degree. Our safari lodge, family-owned and -operated Angama, offers guests a unique opportunity to immerse in nature and romance. Called the Out of Africa experience for the fact Sydney Pollack’s gorgeous movie was filmed on this exact spot, the adventure plunges you into the landscape safely. A guide walks you about 15 minutes from the lodge to a small clearing, amid trees, set on a ledge, overlooking the Mara Triangle. Snacks, libations, pillows and blankets have been arranged in a vintage display worthy of the film. Becoming Robert Redford and Meryl Streep, or whomever you like, you sit down and simply immerse in the ponderous eternity of Kenya.
Angama lies atop the lesser-traveled portion of Kenya’s great park, the Maasai Mara. Slightly elevated, it’s relatively mosquito free, and offers jaw-dropping vistas. Stylishly contemporary, it consists of two identical camps, each with 15 tent-inspired suites apiece. They’re connected by paths, and a common area, complete with pool and cultural center, serves as the resort’s heart. Known for its customized safari days, the resort urges guests to be impulsive, to play and relax at will. Walking safaris, hot air balloon rides, days in the organic garden, game drives, village visits, time in the photographic lab — truly anything is possible. But for me, this Out of Africa picnic trumps everything. Here, I’m part of a dream, somehow connected to Kenya on the deepest level. Just like the animals.
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Since its prestige for attracting the world elite grew in the 1960s, Greece remains the go-to destination for glittering holidays. Each step of the journey is enrobed in luxury, from culinary traditions with the highest standard of execution and name-brand, high-end shopping to first-rate wellness locales and elite accommodations, like 5-star hotels, private villas and yachts.
I imagine that when writer Hans Christian Andersen mused, “Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale,” he was standing at the edge of Copenhagen’s historic Tivoli Gardens, one of his favorite haunts, enlivened by the swirl of human happiness that surrounded him: children laughing; carousels spinning; games of chance played for prizes; lovers holding hands; hungry people whispering over sweets, hot drinks, beer and towering, open-faced smørrebrød, Denmark’s quintessential sandwich. That fairy tale lives on today at the second-oldest amusement park in the world, a spectacle of folly architecture, bakeries, gardens, rides, restaurants, puppet shows and joy ... and which also happens to be one of the city’s most storied places to convene for business.
The restored Park Hyatt Toronto reopened its doors, bringing luxury, sophistication and glamour alongside a nod to the hotel’s Canadian heritage. Alessandro Munge of Studio Munge collaborated on the hotel’s refresh, drawing inspiration from Canada’s seasons and natural landscapes.
GBTA’s Convention 2021 will bring the business travel industry together for the first time in a long time. Once again, you’ll learn and connect with experts and each other, along with discussions with leading thinkers, entrepreneurs and change makers addressing the issues that matter most.
The Global Business Travel Association, the world’s largest business travel and meetings trade organization, recently released a statement from GBTA CEO Suzanne Neufang regarding the Biden administration’s recent announcement that the U.S. travel ban will be relaxed in November for vaccinated travelers from 26 Schengen countries, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Arriving early afternoon in Puerto Rico, we jumped in an Uber and took a short, 15-minute drive from the airport to La Concha. As it was Tuesday, the streets were not too busy and the hotel lobby was calm. During the weekend, the scene likely would have been more bustling. We were greeted by a staff member who requested proof of vaccination and government-issued ID, and were given a wristband to indicate we were fully vaccinated. All guests are required to be vaccinated and wear masks at all times while moving around the hotel. Hand sanitizer stations were placed around the lobby, in elevators and in each common area.
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.
The Rittenhouse has long stood out as one of Philadelphia’s finest hotels, centrally located in one of the city’s poshest neighborhoods. Needless to say, I knew I was in for an afternoon of luxurious pampering when I hopped in my car and headed down I-95 from my suburban home to the heart of the City of Brotherly Love. As I drove through the seemingly endless roadwork on the highway, I realized just how long it had been since I’d driven this once-familiar route into the city as a result of the pandemic. Of course I was eager for the relaxation and bliss that was in my future, but it was also a welcome feeling to head back into Philadelphia for a moment of normalcy.