Director, CreGator, Editor: Kay Van Huisseling
Hero Traveler’s favorite places to visit and things to do in Mongolia include:
UlaanBatar, Gobi Desert, Ugly City Eagle Hunters
“Through Our Lens'” celebrates the beauty of a destination through the point of view of one of our spirited creators. Come along with filmmaker and Hero Traveler Contributor Kay Van Huisseling as he takes us on a breathtaking cinematic journey through Mongolia.
From a Jetsetter online review:
Once owned by the Medici family, this 2,700-acre, 800-year-old medieval village in Montaione fell away from the public eye—that is, until lifestyle hotel brand TUI Blue saw its potential. With the help of the surrounding village’s government, the town has been resurrected into a sprawling five-star resort. Il Castelfalfi, the region’s first new-build hotel in years, offers suites with both sunrise and sunset patio views. Across the street, a disused tobacco factory is now an adjacent boutique hotel, ruinous farmhouses have become holiday homes, and acres of surrounding lands now make up Tuscany’s largest golf course.
The property feels miles away from anywhere thanks to the rolling hills that surround it on all sides, but the village offers a few quaint distractions including a small alimentari (grocery store) as well as a pizzeria, Il Rosmarino. At the entrance of the village is the tower of the ancient castle, La Rocca, now home to La Rocca di Castelfalfi, whose patio is a beautiful place to watch the sunset over Tuscan specialties like Ribollita and ravioli.
To read more: https://www.jetsetter.com/hotels/province-of-florence-italy/montaione-italy/view/hotel-il-castelfalfi/
From a The Florentine magazine online review:
Legend has it that Le Tre Rane was the name of an inn that a young Leonardo da Vinci opened on Florence’s Ponte Vecchio, with a vision of a pioneering cooking style that would embody fine dining and healthy eating, while heightening the taste of being together.
Stefano Frassineti has taken the helm in the kitchen at Le Tre Rane. Born in Chianti and a career cook for almost 30 years, Stefano believes in dishes based on tradition that evolve into an unmistakable identity. He takes an orchestra of seasonal ingredients from personally sourced Tuscan suppliers and conducts them with endless curiosity and creativity. Eight seasonal menus will rotate year round—the current one is centred around freshly pressed extra-virgin olive oil—in addition to an à la carte menu featuring Tuscan meat (and the occasional fish) courses. Start with a delicate ricotta and chard pie, continue with hunter’s chicken tortelli and opt for a beef tagliata or bistecca alla Fiorentina.
To read more: https://www.theflorentine.net/food-wine/2019/10/tre-rane-restaurant-ruffino/?mc_cid=e3c3fdbb7f&mc_eid=69f70995d1
From a Wall Street Journal online review:
We headed west and hugged the shallow shoreline, casting at shadows of fish as the sun mixed with clouds making it more difficult to sight fish. We curled around a point of land I instantly recognized as Cambridge Beaches, where I stayed with my parents on my first visit to the island and where my sister celebrated her honeymoon.
Mr. Linnell used a push pole to move the skiff quietly along shore as he chatted up guests snorkeling nearby, expertly keeping them away from our bonefish spots by urging the snorkelers to take in sights a safe distance away.
I HAD NEVER considered fly fishing for bonefish in Bermuda. Chasing the elusive, silver-green creatures, prized for their fight, was something you did at remote outposts and rustic camps, where showering was optional and accommodations primitive. Such a trip could be fun for a few days, but you’d never dare drag your wife or kids along.
To read more: https://www.wsj.com/articles/for-a-luxe-fly-fishing-trip-try-bermuda-11572455090
From a The Spaces online review:
French literary greats Marcel Proust and Émile Zola visited Les Bains after its opening as a bathhouse in the late 19th century. Decades later in 1978, designer Philippe Stark transformed the place into a nightclub, welcoming a different calibre of guests through its doors. David Bowie, Mick Jagger and Karl Lagerfeld were among the people to make a splash at this Paris institution.
The new Les Bains hotel, revamped by architect Vincent Bastie, features a restored grand entrance that stays true to its Haussmannian roots. Designers Tristan Auer and Denis Montel were drafted in to design the interiors, while outdoor areas have also received an update, including the courtyard, opened up to draw in more light.
Les Bains, the iconic Paris nightclub, has reopened as a 39-room hotel five years after partygoers last enjoyed a drink and a dance. It’s the latest chapter in the life of the 1885 Haussmannian building, which has played host to a who’s who of the creative world.
Les Bains will retain its famous party spirit when the bar, club and restaurant open later this month. And the likes of Jagger and Bowie might still feel the need to let their hair down when they step onto the dance floor, which mimics Stark’s chequered design from 1978.
Les Bains, 7 Rue du Bourg-l’Abbé 75003 Paris
From an Architectural Digest online article:
Champagne is a lot bigger than it seems. Vineyards can be up to an hour away from each other depending on traffic, so it’s best to pick a home base in the heart of the region. The luxurious Domaine Les Crayères was the former home of Madame Pommery’s daughter (Pommery was a 19th century French businesswoman who took over her husband’s successful wine business after he passed away). The space was transformed into a hotel in the early 1980s, where it still retains some of the Belle Époque sensibility from its previous owner.
Champagne is one of those places in the world that there’s truly no bad season to visit. Yet, before you let the bubbles get to your head, remember to plan everything in-advance as many vineyards are small, independently owned, and can’t always accommodate walk-ins. The place is also very spread out, so you should consider renting a car or hiring a driver if you’re booking several tastings. Luckily, getting to Champagne is easy, as it’s only a two-hour train ride from Paris. In fact, some travelers even opt to simply make a day trip out of it. Time spent aside, the grandiose French architecture all the way to the glow of the vineyards will warm your heart (no, it’s not just the alcohol) and have you immediately wanting to come back.
To read more: https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/design-lovers-guide-to-champagne-france
From an Architectural Digest online review:
As a natural paradise rooted in sustainable luxury, only 5 percent of the island is developed, with the rest kept as a nature reserve. “It’s 400 acres of unspoiled jungle, lagoons, mangroves, and beaches that create intimate connections between the land and the traveler,” notes Benjamin Loomis, the architect and developer behind Isla Palenque Resort. From the people to the food to the design materials, everything is sourced locally (most even coming directly from the property).
Let’s strip it back to the basics. Imagine your own private island: 400-acres of lush rain forest with a rich archaeological history and secluded beaches accessible by foot from a beachfront casita. At Isla Palenque, a small private island on the western Pacific shore of Panama, this is exactly what guests are treated to: a sustainable and intimate escape that is the ultimate expression of barefoot luxury. A plane, an automobile, and a boat ride are the minimum requirements to get there, but once you arrive, allow the tide to kiss your feet while you sip a fresh fruit juice at sunset on a beach you have completely to yourself.
To read more: https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/this-private-island-oasis-in-panama-raises-the-bar-on-sustainable-design-retreats