Belmond Introduces a New Series of Cultural Experiences Across Europe
Belmond announces a series of cultural, culinary, and nature experiences across its European properties, with the aim to inspire travel once again. Founded in Venice with the acquisition of Hotel Cipriani in 1976, Belmond now extends to 17 hotels, trains, and river cruises across the continent. From the mountaintops of Ravello and the islands of Venice to the canals of France, the new offers span land, rail, and river with exclusive access to cultural institutions, private tours of wineries, and expert-led weekend retreats. Mark the calendar for a European summer with Belmond. Highlighted experiences include:
Guests of the recently renovated 14-room Splendido Mare, A Belmond Hotel, Portofino can take to the seas with former Olympic and America’s Cup sailor and ambassador of One Ocean Foundation Mauro Pelaschier. The two-day offer, June 18-20, will include a three-hour sailing experience with Mauro exploring local marine parks and learning about sustainable sailing practices before returning to the hotel for a bespoke cookery class at the new restaurant, DaV Mare. Splendido Mare is now open.
The legendary 1920s Art Deco Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, A Belmond Train kicks off its 2021 season on June 21 with new one-night journeys to Amsterdam, Brussels, Geneva, Rome, and Florence. The sleeper train will also debut three additional Grand Suites, each featuring private bathrooms with showers, double beds, and a living area with underfloor heating. Additional amenities include a personal steward, free-flowing champagne, in-suite dining, and private transfers to and from the train.
During the long weekend, June 24-27, former Spanish tennis star and winner of 13 singles titles, Nicolás Almagro, will lead a small-group retreat at La Residencia, A Belmond Hotel, Mallorca. Following one-on-one lessons, a tennis clinic, and tickets to an exhibition game with Nicolás and a Lux Tennis professional, travelers will have the opportunity to dine with Nicolás at a celebration dinner on the final night. La Residencia is now open.
Take a tour in Villa San Michele, A Belmond Hotel’s vintage FIAT 1100 Musone for behind-the-scenes access to the local ateliers and artisans spearheading Florence’s New Renaissance. From jewelry and shoes to crystalware and perfumery, each artisan will share how they preserve traditional craftmanship with contemporary styles and materials. The experience will end with a ‘The Art of Packing’ workshop at Louis Vuitton. Villa San Michele is now open.
All aboard British Pullman, A Belmond Train, England for exclusive five-course dinner experiences hosted by Michelin-starred chefs. Beginning on July 16 with one of the U.K.’s most talked about chefs, Ollie Dabbous, the day train will journey roundtrip from London Victoria Station through the English countryside while guests indulge in the seasonal five-course tasting menu with selected pairings from Mayfair wine emporium Hedonism Wines. Rates start at $715 per person. The dinner series will also welcome Simon Rogan, owner of the Michelin-starred UMBEL restaurant group, in August; Michel Roux Jr., a two-Michelin star chef at the helm of Le Gavroche in London, in September; and Raymond Blanc, founder of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, A Belmond Hotel, Oxfordshire, in October. British Pullman is now operating.
Private charters of Afloat in France’s fleet of seven barges, more akin to floating villas, offer custom itineraries along the canals with stops for bicycle rides, wine tastings, and hot air balloon excursions. Available starting August 28, a new vintage champagne tour will be available for six-night itineraries. With accommodations on Pivoine, A Belmond Boat, families and friends will enjoy the best of vintage champagnes with exclusive access to the region’s leading vineyards, Maisons Ruinart, Dom Pérignon, Veuve Clicquot, and Krug. Pivoine is now open.
The third annual ‘Art of Flavours’ gastronomy festival will take place September 9-12 at Reid’s Palace, A Belmond Hotel, Madeira. In addition to a series of dining experiences with seven fellow Michelin-star chefs and a gala dinner, Chef Luis Pestana of the hotel’s Michelin-starred William Restaurant will lead guests to Fajã dos Padres by cable car to share island secrets on cultivating sweet fruits and vegetables before sitting down to an alfresco lunch with freshly caught fish. Reid’s Palace is now open.
Hop onboard the historic Circumetnea steam train to Mount Etna for private vineyard tours to taste rare vintages and local delicacies, available only to guests of Villa Sant’Andrea, A Belmond Hotel, Taormina. Lunch is prepared by Le Mamme del Borgo members, a group of local women honoring traditional Sicilian recipes that have been passed down through generations. For those looking for a more intensive retreat, wine consultant and master Tom Harrow will lead a three-day experience on September 30-October 3. Villa Sant’Andrea will reopen on May 27.
Caruso, A Belmond Hotel, Amalfi Coast partners with a local master jeweler for a goldsmith workshop where travelers will learn about the ancient Roman and Greek techniques, such as granulation and lost-wax casting, before trying their hand at crafting their own masterpiece. Another highlight of the three-night retreat, October 14-17, is exclusive access to the Oplontis archeological site with a private viewing of the collection of gold jewelry. Throughout the season, guests of the hotel will enjoy exclusive access to Oplontis as well as the new excavation sites at UNESCO World Heritage Pompeii and the 2,000-year-old theater at Herculaneum. Caruso will reopen on May 27.
A three-day retreat, October 28-31, will take place at Splendido, A Belmond Hotel, Portofino exploring the destination’s long history with jeans, dating back to the 15th century in the shipyards of Genoa. Following a tour of Museu Diocesano with the museum curator to view what is considered to be the ancestor of modern jeans, a painting done on linen textile stained in indigo blue, designers-in-training will join a series of workshops back at the hotel to create their own custom collection. Splendido is now open.
In partnership with Marchesi Antinori, one of Italy’s most renowned wineries dating back to 1385, Castello di Casole, A Belmond Hotel, Tuscany will host a three-day escape in the rolling hills of the countryside led by wine expert Tom Harrow. Itinerary highlights include special-access tours of Tenuta Tignanello estate and Tenuta Guado al Tasso, tasting some of the most sought-after wines in the midst of Tuscany’s vendemmia season. Castello di Casole will reopen on May 27.
Celebrating 1,600 years of Venetian history, Cipriani, A Belmond Hotel, Venice introduces a three-day course, November 11-14, exploring the ancient disciplines that traveled along the Silk Road, such as a masterclass on Kintsugi, the delicate art of fixing ceramics with gold, and traditional silk print workshops. Guests of the hotel will also have access to behind-the-scenes tours of the city’s libraries and archives throughout the season. During tours of the Fondazione Cini Library and the 13th century Library San Francesco della Vigna, rare books and preserved manuscripts will be on display exclusively for Belmond guests. Cipriani is now open.
For more information or to make a reservation, please visit www.belmond.com.
By ML Staff. Images courtesy of Belmond