Belmond Unveils Series of Cultural Experiences Across Europe
Belmond has announced a series of cultural, culinary and nature experiences across its European properties. The new offers span land, rail and river with exclusive access to cultural institutions, private tours and expert-led weekend retreats.
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 Pelaschier 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.
The 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 with private bathrooms and 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.
Belmond Venice Simplon-Orient-Express Budapest Grand Suite
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 Almagro and a Lux Tennis professional, travelers will have the opportunity to dine with Almagro at a celebration dinner on the final night.
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.
Aboard British Pullman, A Belmond Train, guests can enjoy an exclusive five-course dinner experience hosted by Michelin-starred chefs. Beginning on July 16 with Ollie Dabbous, the day train will journey roundtrip from London Victoria Station through the English countryside while guests indulge in the seasonal tasting menu with selected pairings from Mayfair wine emporium Hedonism Wines. 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.
Pivoine, A Belmond Boat
Private charters of Afloat in France’s fleet of seven barges 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 vintage champagnes with exclusive access to the region’s leading vineyards, Maisons Ruinart, Dom Pérignon, Veuve Clicquot and Krug.
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 al fresco lunch with freshly caught fish.
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 to October 3.
Caruso, A Belmond Hotel, Amalfi Coast partnered 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.
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.
Castello di Casole, A Belmond Hotel, Tuscany
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 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.
Celebrating 1,600 years of Venetian history, Cipriani, A Belmond Hotel, Venice will host a three-day course (November 11–14) exploring the ancient disciplines that traveled along the Silk Road, such as a masterclass on Kintsugi, the 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.