It has been a busy week here at Louisa White and I have something exciting to share with you! You, our valued clients, now have access to another premier and ultra-exclusive program, the Belmond Bellini Club. What does this mean for you? And who is Belmond?
Well, let me tell you. For starters, Belmond is one of the most impressive brands in travel. They have been pioneering authentic, enriching, and inspiring travel since they were founded in 1976. Their portfolio includes a breathtaking assortment of 34 hotels, 6 trains, river cruise ships, and three safari lodges. The Bellini Club is an invitation-only club for the very best travel agencies, and they do not have a consumer facing loyalty club. Not unlike the Virtuoso-exclusive amenities that we can arrange for you, the Bellini Club will also provide you with access to some exciting and exclusive benefits, amenities, and experiences. To kick off this exciting new chapter, this week I have rounded up my top nine favorite Belmond experiences.
1. The Venice Simplon Orient Express Made famous by Agatha Christie and several subsequent movies, the Orient Express is one of the most spectacular, luxurious, and unique ways to travel between London, Paris, Venice, Istanbul, and other iconic cities of Europe. Embark on your own travel back in time to the roaring 20's and the golden age of travel.
2. Afloat in France Charter your own private sailing and take your family or friends to glide along the romantic French waterways. Holding between 4 and 12 guests, these itineraries will take you renowned local vineyards, historic sites, and traditional markets, all while enjoying the finest French dining onboard. Take in views of historic chateaus and blazing field of sunflowers from the deck as you lounge in the pool.
3. Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Oxfordshire England One of Britain's finest gastronomic destinations, Le Manoir is tucked away in the pretty village of Great Milton just outside Oxford. Holding 2 Michelin stars since 1985 and surrounded by orchards and vegetable gardens, they are known for their cooking school, gardening classes, and even for flower arranging workshops. This intimate boutique hotel is truly a destination in and of itself.
4. El Encanto, Santa Barbara California An enchanting hideaway sitting high in the hills above Santa Barbara, this iconic California hotel perfectly blends glamour with a laid-back lifestyle the state is known for. Be sure to have the El Encanto cheese which is made from the milk of the hotel's cow, Ellie.
5. Eagle Island Lodge, Okavango Delta, Botswana The location of the Lodge could not be more breathtaking. Watch game from a viewing platform shaded by palms and overlooking a lagoon and see the spectacular wildlife by canoe or even on a horseback safari. A land of great journeys, Botswana has placed an enormous importance on low impact tourism and is known as one of the world's last great wildernesses.
6. Cap Juluca, Anguilla, British West Indies Set on a 7-mile-long white sand beach, every room (all of which are beachfront) at Cap Juluca is brimming with Caribbean magic. The resort is both serene and secluded while offering a robust range of activities to keep your family entertained. Some of the finest dining on Anguilla is found at Cap Juluca, though no one would blame you if you and your family can't bear to tear yourselves away from the view out your five bedroom beachfront villa and instead have a chef come cook for you.
7. Sanctuary Lodge, Macchu Pichu Peru Belmond has so many incredible properties and experiences in Peru that is can be hard to choose just one. From their luxurious Hiram Bingham and Andean Explorer trains to the Hotel Monasterio in Cusco, Rio Sagrado in the Sacred Valley, or Las Casitas in Colca Canyon, you could spend your whole time in Peru experiencing Belmond. But it must be said that the Sanctuary Lodge is a truly extraordinary experience in one of the world’s most sought-after destinations. The only hotel located adjacent to the ancient Inca citadel, guests staying here enjoy exceptional access to the UNESCO World Heritage site from early morning to late afternoon, when most other visitors have left.
8. Napasai, Koh Samui, Thailand Nestled amongst lush tropical gardens and a sandy beach on the north shore of Koh Samui, a getaway to this secluded hideaway can be as lively or relaxing as you like. Spend your days by the pool, at the spa, or you could learn Thai boxing, go windsurfing, or take a tour through the countryside to learn traditional flower arranging and cooking.
9. Hotel Caruso, Amalfi Coast, Italy An 11th century palace set on the cliffs, the hotel has been expertly restored to preserve the ancient walls and fresco-covered ceilings. Ideally situated to explore the nearby towns of Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi, and Pompeii, there is also a complimentary daily boat excursion, or you could hire the boat for longer private cruises along the coast. Enjoy tours of the garden, pizza making classes, or simply take in the spectacular views from the pool.