Friday, December 10 11:48 AM
Half the fun of heli-skiing is the bragging rights. So why not take it to the next level and combine a heli-ski trip with a squad of professional outdoors photographers who'll capture your adrenaline-fueled adventures and teach you the tricks of their trade?
Starting in March 2011, EpicQuest's heli-ski and photography package will bring together outdoors/ski photographer Scott Markewitz, Powder magazine photo editor David Reddick, and up to eight guests on a seven-day excursion to Alaska's Chugach Mountains. The pros will teach you how to shoot on the slopes and atop remote peaks as well as from a helicopter, but it's not all about looking through a lens--you'll be swooshing through fresh powder on the steeps, too.
Finally, your aprčs-ski tales of derring-do can be backed up with photographic evidence.
Photo: EpicQuest/Scott Markewitz
Thursday, December 09 11:52 AM
If you like the idea of watching a chef at work but prefer to keep your distance from sharp knives and hot sauces, La Terrasse at the grande dame Bellevue Palace hotel in Bern, Switzerland, is the place to eat.
Diners already use an iPad to browse the French dishes on the menu. Now they can use the tablet to watch head chef Gregor Zimmermann cook their dinner. And beginning next year, it will also be possible to connect to the kitchen directly via instant messaging to say hello or share some "constructive criticism."
We're told the communication will be one-way, so you won't hear what the chef thinks of your culinary advice. Probably just as well.
Photo: Courtesy of the Victoria-Jungfrau Collection
Wednesday, December 08 12:27 PM
Locavores are likely to think they've died and gone to heaven when they arrive at Babylonstoren, a 300-year-old working farm in South Africa's Cape Winelands that has just opened 14 Dutch-style luxury cottages in its gardens.
Green-fingered types can roll up their sleeves and get to work planting, pruning, or picking produce. But if getting your hands dirty is the last thing you want to do on vacation--no judgment--you can enjoy the fruits of someone else's labor in the seasonal farm restaurant, Babel, or kick back at the hotel's spa and pool. The comfortable, high-ceilinged suites have modern furniture and open hearths and are housed in traditional whitewashed buildings with ornate gables and thatched roofs.
If you think this place can't get any better, think again: Babylonstoren's first batch of wine will be ready in mid-2011.
Photo: Courtesy of Babylonstoren
Tuesday, December 07 12:31 PM
Powdery white sand: Check. Azure sea: Check. Personal gown consultation with a fashion legend: Check.
If you book all 15 Tortuga Bay villas at the Dominican Republic's Puntacana Resort & Club for your impending nuptials, not only will you benefit from pearls of fashion wisdom from Oscar de la Renta at his New York atelier, but your wedding will include access to nine restaurants, a Six Senses spa, and a 600-acre forest preserve where you can be at one with nature (as well as each other, in the spring-fed pools). And since the resort also owns the airport, your pre-wedding nerves will be soothed by the smoothest of transfers.
Sun, sea, and style. Now that's what your big day should be all about.
Photo: Courtesy of Puntacana Resort & Club
Monday, December 06 12:35 PM
A bit tulip-sniffing organic, a bit debauched, Amsterdam is a city with a split personality. Now a new hotel, opening in January, is looking to bridge the divide.
Comprised of three 17th- and 18th-century canal houses perched on a particularly elegant stretch of the Keizersgracht, the Canal House hotel will include a dusky bar and 23 rooms with a seductive black, purple, and copper palette, plus come-hither open bathrooms that would seem custom-made for an illicit tryst. The tulip-sniffing side? The Great Room restaurant, carved out of a former ballroom, will serve Dutch locavore dishes, and a hidden garden out back includes a Garden House folly for private dinners.
Photo: Amy Murrell