As much as we all ADORE Aspen, and brag that there is no destination quite like it, residents of Aspen have to admit “Wanderlust” does occur from time to time; especially during the off-season. For those who visit Aspen for seasonal ski vacations, we share your pain if Ryan Boudreau, Aspen’s “go to” weatherman, offers a less-than-epic forecast, or when that dreaded day in April arrives when the Highlands lift closes… but not your cravings for partying at Cloud 9.
In every issue, “Luxury Beyond Aspen” will spotlight destinations, resorts, cruises, and experiences that we promise will make it well worth leaving the Aspen bubble for.
Fairmont Grand Del Mar
Del Mar, California
With its combination of elegant décor and European inspired architecture, upon entering the lobby of the Fairmont Grand Del Mar, you will feel transported from the bustling city of San Diego to an old Mediterranean estate. This pristine coastal canyon resort lies on 400 acres and is only five miles from the Pacific Ocean. If you are like me, you won’t need or want to leave this resort during your stay. Having an incredibly relaxing massage in the Fairmont’s Spa, followed by High Tea, served in the elegant Library Room, was the perfect day of pampering for my girlfriends and I! Careful of those scones – they are irresistible, and if you don’t want “tea” you can opt for champagne instead!
If a golf get away is what you’re after, a Tom Fazio golf course (boasting with dramatic elevations and lush fairways) is on property! Plus sailing, fishing, shopping, horseback riding, paddling, and biking all can be found within a 15- minute drive. I suggest spending a day at the Del Mar Races, (try the Turf Club’s Bloody Mary – the BEST!). There are two amazing options for dining at this property, Addison and Amaya. Addison features Relais & Châteaux’s Grand Chef William Bradley. Chef Bradley takes an artisanal approach to cooking, combining local ingredients with contemporary French influences. Amaya serves Continental cuisine with stunning views of the golf course for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. It’s no wonder The Fairmont Grand Del Mar is a Forbes Five Star/AAA Five Diamond luxury resort – they surely earned it!
Hotel Ambassador à l’Opéra
Right in the heart of Zurich, this luxury boutique hotel is perfect for the discerning traveler. Exuding a casual elegance, the hotel is part of the former Uto Castle, which was built in the Neo-Baroque style in 1898. Being just steps away from beautiful Lake Zurich and across from the Zurich Opera House makes this one of the most sought after properties in Zurich. There are 45 stylish rooms, all luxuriously decorated. Chef Pascal Gloser has made the experience of dining at Restaurant Opera a culinary gift. While surrounded by inspiring surrealist-baroque wall paintings (depicting scenes from the world of opera), Chef Gloser tempts diners with sophisticated dishes. The restaurant abides by the same motto as the hotel: Sustainably Yours.
My favorite part of this property was “The View”, a roof top bar with a secret passageway. It offers anything from pop-up yoga in warm weather to fondue and wine tasting in the winter. The view from the roof is spectacular – overlooking the lake, city and alps.
A stay at The Hotel Ambassador à l’Opéra will make you feel as though you’re the royalty for whom this castle was built.
The Cape, A Thompson Hotel
Los Cabos, Mexico
Entering this new beachfront retreat where every vantage point overlooks El Arco (the arch) and the Bahia Cabo San Lucas horizon made me stop in my path, close my eyes and say “ahhhh”! The architecture, by visionary Javier Sanchez, is intuitively interwoven within its natural landscape creating a relaxed 1960s Southern California-meets-Baja aesthetic. All rooms at this luxury boutique hotel include a free-standing copper bathtub as well as a swinging day bed on its ocean front balcony (loved this).
After a sun filled day at the pool, visit the spa. It is nestled within natural rock formations, and with its subtle interplay of light and shade, it offers a beautiful ambience. Dining at Manta will treat you with one of the most desirable views in Cabo San Lucas. Chef Enrique Olvera’s incredible menu celebrates pacific coast traditions by taking inspiration from Mexico, and adding influences from Peru and Japan. Plus Manta offers a specialized beverage menu focused on tequilas and sakes which all complement Manta’s fresh local ingredients. This dining experience will not disappoint! A bonus about The Cape; it has an incredible rooftop lounge with live music that is the perfect spot for a sunset cocktail.
In the midst of Scotland’s Granite City, lies a gem, Malmaison. With the décor being a mix of deep colors, warm woods and fine leathers you will be welcomed into this boutique property with an Old Charm Scotland meets modern day luxury ambience. The location of the hotel couldn’t be more perfect; just a few minutes from city centre, and a short drive to many castles, golf courses and historical sites. The rich, dark and warm elegance of the hotel extends to its guest rooms, which are tastefully decorated in traditional plaids, each with a traditional Scottish roll top bath.
Be sure to dine at Malmaison’s award winning Brasserie, and if private and sultry is what you are looking for, the intimate private dining room ‘Boudoir’ is for you (talk about sexy).
Top off the evening with the good stuff in the cozy Whisky Snug for a personal tasting or a classic cocktail in the casual Malbar lounge.