Week 04–1, May 2021
“Travel is about the gorgeous feeling of teetering in the unknown.” 〜 Gaby Basora
By LuxPin Team
◆ New York’s iconic Circle Line Sightseeing cruise line is gearing up for the summer season with a host of new options for visitors to the Big Apple. The boat tour company, known for its routes to the Statue of Liberty, returned to the water on April 1, recently launched new options starting May 22 with its Liberty Cruise. Circle Line also announced tickets for its five-hour Fourth of July Fireworks Cruise, which will include a socially distanced party, complete with DJ and cash bar concession stand.
◆ Among the things Santorini is known for, the gorgeous surrounding views rank high. Adding to all that beauty are the picture-perfect hotels, and one of the newest luxury properties on the island, Santorini Sky, is taking things to new heights — literally. The boutique resort has added a new transparent Sky Dome at the highest point in Santorini, so guests can take in views of the island.
◆ The Thinking Traveller is full of exclusive European villas just waiting to ease you back into exploring the world. The villas are located in Sicily, Puglia, Corsica, Mallorca, and other smaller Greek and Italian islands. They’re mainly super quiet getaways (many near the beach), but several villas are available near the cities of Taormina, Catania, and Bari.
◆ The new Disney Wish is already making waves with a series of firsts: the first-ever Disney attraction at sea, a Star Wars-themed lounge for adults, Frozen and Marvel-themed dining experiences, and much, much more. But that’s not all — Disney just revealed a new, one-of-a-kind suite onboard the new ship. The Wish Tower Suite will be the Disney Cruise Line’s most unique suite to date, located in the ship’s forward funnel and offering incredible ocean views and nearly 2,000 square feet of space across two stories.
◆ The Empire State Building, One World Observatory, Top of the Rock, and The Edge all offer spectacular viewpoints high above the streets of Manhattan, but at New York City’s newest observation deck, the real experience will be the journey to the top. Opening Oct. 21, the Ascent, an enclosed all-glass elevator, will rise 1,210 feet above the city along the exterior of the Summit One Vanderbilt tower.
◆ The new +Pool will float in the East River just north of the Manhattan Bridge. Known as the +Pool for its shape, which resembles a plus sign, this project has been in the works for a decade. And the organization behind it all has finally secured an official spot to build the floating pool: the Lower East Side waterfront just north of the Manhattan Bridge. The pool will provide guests with over 600,000 gallons of clean filtered water daily.
◆ A rare behind-the-scenes look at one of America’s most renowned architects. Over the past year, the shift from real-life travel to virtual exploration has allowed art lovers to visit unique places and delve into important collections from around the world without leaving home. This weekend, architecture fans will get a treat when six private Frank Lloyd Wright buildings across the country open their doors for virtual Zoom tours.
◆ The Arizona Biltmore has over 700 guest rooms, seven pools, six food and beverage outposts, and a spa — all on the grounds where Hollywood royalty has played since the 1930s. The Arizona Biltmore, the storied 1929 hotel in Phoenix, just unveiled a $70 million, 15-month-long transformation.
◆ Several casinos in Las Vegas dropped mask requirements this week for vaccinated visitors following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest guidance for Americans who got the jab. MGM, Caesars, and Wynn properties have eased their masked rules for vaccinated visitors.
◆ Dreaming of European summer vacation? That could now be a reality as the EU votes to ease travel restrictions on vaccinated tourists. The European Union approved a proposal Wednesday that would ease travel restrictions for vaccinated tourists from outside the EU, bringing the bloc one step closer to welcoming international travelers this summer.
◆ Starting July 1, the Emirate will end mandatory quarantine protocols for travelers from other countries, including the United States. Additionally, Abu Dhabi will “enhance” its border with Dubai with specific procedures for tourists to make travel between the two emirates easier.
◆ Whether you’re planning a safari vacation or seeking hiking, mountain biking, and kayaking adventures, from ancient deserts to urban mountain ranges, and rain forests to savannahs, here are 10 must-visit national parks in Africa.
1. Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia
2. Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
3. Kruger National Park, South Africa
4. Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
5. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
6. Odzala-Kokoua National Park, Republic of the Congo
7. Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda
8. Table Mountain National Park, South Africa
9. South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
10. Pendjari National Park, Benin
◆ Airbnb castles are found across the US, from small studios to giant fortresses that sleep 14 people. These European-style castles have turrets, stone walls, stained glass, and modern perks like pools. These are the best castles on Airbnb sorted by price from low to high.
1. Private studio in a historic Alabama castle: $104
2. Small rustic castle in Texas: $121
3. Custom-built castle with mountain views in Georgia: $188
4. Chateau-style castle in Oregon: $359
5. Contemporary turreted castle in Louisiana: $451
6. Scottish-inspired castle with a private pub in Tennessee: $457
7. Lavish castle on an island in South Carolina: $660
8. Storybook castle with a pool in the Hollywood Hills: $707
9. Bavarian-style castle on 20 acres with a private pond in Vermont: $750
10. Chateau castle near wineries in California: $793
11. Historic riverfront castle in Minnesota: $942
12. Enormous castle with a Gothic chapel in the Texas Hill Country: $1950