An expected feature in many cities, hotels and attractions, many gift shops today are predictable, selling the same items with nothing unique or special. Some hotels across the world have set to redefine what it means to be a gift shop, bringing gift shops to the next level by incorporating local communities and the influence of the region into each product.
The Fife Arms, Scotland
With an emphasis on highlighting local artisans and makers, The Fife Arms not only has a physical shop but also features an online shop for guests wanting to browse its products at their own leisure. Playing an integral part in the creative ecology of the Scottish Highlands, the hotel recently commissioned a collection of bespoke seasonal products from Aberdeenshire-based artisans.
Helen Jackson, a basket-maker in Aberdeenshire, makes unique products sold on site and online. Araminta Campbell, a weaver, created the custom tweed and tartan seen in the hotel’s interior, on staff uniforms and in retail products. Her works include cashmere blankets, picnic baskets and dog coats. Handwoven in her own studio, her textiles incorporate local materials, expert craftmanship and traditional skills.
In addition to ready-to-wear items like handwoven kaftans and home goods like lamps and pillows, the UXUA DAS collection also features an entire furniture collection with made-to-order items. Its most popular item in the United States is a three-legged handmade lounge chair made of the reclaimed Brazilian hardwood braúninha.
After opening May 2, Charlotte & Co. is already making waves through its celebration of Irish artisans. Providing visitors with a place to pick up an authentic, Irish-made item, the boutique in Dromoland Castle features a collection of Irish contemporary designs. From chunky, hand-knit Colin Burke sweaters to homewares by KOPPER KEATEN made with reclaimed copper, steel and brass, each product blends various aspects of Ireland. Other products found in the boutique include handmade perfumes made in and inspired by The Burren National Park from Burren Perfumery and freeform architectural modeling kits from ARCKIT.
While only an in-person store at the moment, Charlotte & Co. will soon go online and ship internationally by June.
andBeyond Vira Vira, Chile
Filled with locally made items, andBeyond Vira Vira features items only made by local artisans. This shop includes products like handmade ceramics and blankets, as well as wall hangings made by a local Mapuche weaver. The shop’s most popular item is a footstool that looks like a sheep. All of the money made in the gift shop goes right back into the communities to support local artisans.
The best food tours go beyond reliving a newly arrived traveler of having to figure out which restaurant or bar to hit first. They also provide context in explaining how a destination’s crops and cuisine tie in with a place’s historical events and different populations. During a vacation in Iceland, 20-year veteran tour guide and proud Madeira native Jaqueline Freitas was reminded of this when she put herself in the hands of a savvy Reykjavik guide leading a street food tour.
Wilderness Reserve, an 8,000-acre estate of historic and charming properties, woodlands and lakes, invites visitors to its newly launched YOXMAN, a three-day, Michelin-starred dining experience. Four United Kingdom chefs come together to prepare an array of different cuisines throughout the weekend, and guests are treated to plenty of entertainment throughout the experience.
Rosewood Hotels & Resorts adds to its growing collection with Rosewood Hotel Bauer, slated to open in Venice in 2025. Led by Venice-based architect Alberto Torsello and interior design group BAR Studio, the property will lie in the city’s historic San Marco district.
Much of the global business travel industry has already made sustainable business travel a priority with a focus on reducing emissions and their environmental footprint. But the industry, as well as external stakeholders, such as policymakers, recognize more needs to be done.
PONANT recently announced a new collaboration with Smithsonian Journeys for a series of co-branded sailings for 2023. Led by two Smithsonian Journeys experts, such as an art historian, solar astrophysicist or international relations expert, the 21 itineraries seek to deepen travelers’ immersion and knowledge of different destinations.
Savoy Signature Hotel Group continues to generate a buzz in international hospitality about the way its diverse portfolio shapes Madeira’s future as a destination; the brand keeps existing fans (particularly the traditional group of older British and German visitors) interested while drawing younger, more active travelers beyond the confines of Europe. The Savoy Palace, opened in 2019, took on the “legacy” mantle of a predecessor (the former Savoy Hotel) that stood on the same site, and then reopened with a lot of enthusiasm after the height of the pandemic passed.
Whether you prefer a villa on the beach or an ultra-luxe suite downtown, you’ll find everything you’re looking for in Los Cabos.
Acqualina Resort & Residences, located in Miami’s Sunny Isles Beach, invites guests to enjoy its new elevated pool experience at the adult pool on the property’s north side. Surrounded by palm trees and greenery, the space welcomes guests 18 years and older to indulge in its newest amenities and features.