EATER Journeys: Rome & Florence

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With a food scene liberally dunked in the olive oil of history, Italy serves up a truly incomparable eating experience. For Italians, cooking and wine are – well – their culture’s bread and butter, all of it farmed, grown and cultivated from the country’s alpine nose to its balmy tail. Tomatoes raised on rich volcanic soil; plump lemons pulled from the branches of Amalfi; focaccia freshly baked in the ovens of Florence. Good food is good culture. With the world-renowned culinary insight from our friends at Eater, we’ve brought together two of the most mouth-watering spots for you to tuck into; Rome and Florence.

WHEN IN ROME

Your gastronomic journey begins in the heart of Rome. On arrival, we will transport you deep within the city to Spalletti Trivelli, your base the next few nights. Set in a traditional Italian garden, this intimate hotel is the ideal spot for those who want to escape the bustle of the city without missing out on all the action. Once settled, tonight’s meal of classic cucina romana at Trattoria Da Cesare al Casaletto is sure to set the bar high. Here, you can check off most of your Roman food bucket list, from the rich cacio e pepe to tender lamb chops, washed down with a glass of classic Sangiovese. Or a few.

FROM BASIL TO BASILICA

Starting the day bright and early, your private guide will lead you out for a special tour of the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica. Beat the crowds with early access to the Vatican Museum to fully take in that grand beauty of the Sistine Chapel, followed by St. Peter’s Basilica, filled with renowned works of art. Finish the day at a Roman trattoria dedicated to la cucina povera, Italian peasant food. This restaurant boasts true Italian form, showcasing a simple use of local ingredients at their seasonal peak.

BEEN THERE, WINE THAT

The following morning, the stories of the Roman Empire come to life. With a day spent among the iconic ruins of this once mighty (and well-fed) empire, you’ll be served up everything from panoramic views on the historic Capitoline Hill to the eye-opening Colosseum. After a big slice of sightseeing, you’ll be ready for a well-deserved trip to Rome’s most traditional enoteche (wine bars) to savor the best wines Italy has to offer. The tasting tour, led by a professional sommelier, pours a delicious tutorial on the styles unique to the Italian peninsula. From there, it’s on to dinner to sample the soulful simplicity of Rome’s classics at Cicolini’s dining room, based in the Appio-Latino quarter. Chef Sarah Cicolini is one of the hottest young chefs in Rome today, serving up hearty plates of carbonara and a sumptuous trippa alla romana.

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Eater Journeys: Mexico City & Oaxaca

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Everyone wants to go to Mexico; where the guacamole is green, and the tortillas are plenty. This epic seven-night Mexico City and Oaxaca experience, inspired by EATER’s top dining recommendations, will serve up a culinary journey like no other. Stirring together hidden street-food spots, critically acclaimed restaurants, and enticing nightlife – this is all about the darkest mole, the freshest margaritas, and the most indulgent enchiladas. Hungry, yet?

TACO ‘BOUT GOOD FOOD

Welcome to great, bustling, heaving Mexico City. Roberto Bolano, the fiery literary prophet of this roaring country, summed it up in the simplest and most powerful way possible. “There are fourteen million people living in Mexico City.” And how can you begin to explain that? Well, via good food and drink. Kicking things off in the beautiful boutique of Las Alcobas hotel, in the vibrant Polanca district, you’ll get a crash course in Mexican cuisine with a mouth-watering walking tour. With a private guide in tow, you’ll satisfy your appetite in traditional food stores, beloved local eateries, and nestled away restaurants. 

MEXICO IS MEZCAL

The best way to understand Mexico City – or any city, for that matter – is to stroll where its locals hang out. Today’s culinary adventure takes you through local markets to learn about spices, produce, and the people who bring them for sale. Once the sun goes down it’s time for a private taco, beer, and mezcal tour around the streets of San Rafael, Anzures, and Condesa. Accompanied by a mezcal master, you’ll savor the smoky, sweet, and herbal flavors of Mexico’s beloved, trend-setting agave spirit. And sample the very best mezcal at La Botia, the city’s first mezcal bar.

A KAHLORIFIC EXPERIENCE

Next up is a tour of the city’s southern neighborhoods, with lunch at Xochimilco’s market. Your guide will whisk you away to the picturesque cobbled streets and brightly-colored houses of San Angel to explore the artisanal market of Bazar del Sabado. From there, you’ll experience the cultural hub of Coyoacán, including a visit to the Blue House, Frida Kahlo’s lifelong home, followed by a fresh and flavorful market lunch at Mercado Coyoacán. Once refuelled, traverse the Aztec canals of Xochimilco by boat and marvel at the famous works of fine art by Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo at the Museum of Dolores Olmedo’s. Wind down the day at Contramar, the groundbreaking, must-visit seafood restaurant from acclaimed chef and restaurateur Gabriela Cámara. Read More

Argentina, Chile & Antarctica: A Luxury Adventure to Patagonia and Beyond

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There are few landscapes on earth that can rival Patagonia. Grassy steppe that rolls into jagged peaks and intimidating glaciers that extend all the way down icy fjords – it’s arguably the world’s best adventure ground. But there is perhaps one place that could top it. A little further south, across the tempestuous waters of the Drake Passage, lies the frozen expanse of Antarctica. A place that only a lucky few have set foot on, it intrigues and mystifies in equal measure. Surrounded as it is by towering icebergs and cut through by plunging crevasses, the landscapes here make a worthy opponent for Patagonia. So why not put the two into perspective and spend two weeks working your way through two of the world’s most beguiling continents. From the tango-filled streets of Buenos Aires, through the majesty of Chile’s Torres del Paine and down to the islets, bays and caps of Antarctica, there’s not a sight to be missed.

Tango through Buenos Aires

Start your adventure in Argentina’s buzzing capital, Buenos Aires with an overnight base in the charming Palermo neighborhood at Legado Mitico. Get to know the city as you link up with one of our expert guides for an in-depth tour through the history of Plaza de Mayo, the vibrancy of La Boca and the cuisine of San Telmo before sitting down to a traditional bodegon lunch at La Brigada. As for the evening, that calls for another Argentine tradition – tango. Leaving your hotel in signature Black Tomato style, in a vintage car, you’ll arrive at the art-deco Faena Hotel for their famous Rojo Tango show. Full of kicks and flicks and signature sensual moves, you’ll want to take a few lessons yourself.

Patagonia & Perito Moreno

The next morning, you’ll leave the city behind as you fly south to El Calafate and make your way into Argentinian Patagonia. Embodying the true spirit of the area, from the area’s indigenous roots to the blend of style between Crillo settlers and modern-day travelers, drop your bags at Eolo before diving headfirst into the staggering landscapes that sit on your backdoor.

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Morocco: A Luxury Adventure in the Sahara Desert

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Versatile and full of intrigue, Morocco perfectly lends itself to all manner of luxury vacations. Extending from snow-capped mountain ranges to rocky hamada and the sweeping sand dunes of the Sahara Desert, there is a lot to explore here. The good news is that our travel experts have found the perfect way to do it. Get off the beaten track and discover a lesser-known side to Morocco as you venture out of Marrakech and into palm-fringed oases and sweeping deserts in this luxurious 10-night adventure. From the ancient kasbahs of Skoura to the history of Zagora, there is plenty to discover. But there’s also an opportunity to disconnect as you head out into the untouched dunes of Erg Chigaga for a night in the desert with only the stars above you for company. Away from the crowds and embedded deep within Moroccan culture, it’s an adventure worth taking.

24 hours in Marrakech

Flying into Marrakech, you’ll spend your first night amid the opulent surrounds of Villa des Orangers, getting to grips with the city on an afternoon private tour of the winding souks and atmospheric Jemaa el Fna square. In the morning, you’ll leave all of this behind as you are met by your private driver-guide who will be at your side for the next eight days of this adventure. Leaving the medina behind, you’ll travel through the heart of the Atlas Mountains, stopping off at the ancient Glaoui kasbah in Telouet, on through the Ounila Valley to the hilltop fortress of Ait Ben Haddou and on through Ouarzazate to the palm-fringed deserts of Skoura.

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Antrim, Donegal & Mayo: An Adventurous Family Vacation in Ireland

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For centuries, the Emerald Isle has been home to any number of myths and legends with Atlantic tides sweeping in to unveil the new and untold, before rolling back out again to leave you with secret discoveries. The perfect destination for a family vacation filled with adventure and intrigue, in Ireland, the outdoors becomes a classroom for curious minds to latch onto. Spend nine-days traveling through Ireland meeting local characters and personalities as you go, from a farmer and his sheepdog to a fossil hunter and real-life Leprechaun whisperer – there’s never a dull moment. Couple that with castles to rest up in at night and kayaks to explore Dublin in and you have the perfect action-packed family adventure.

Life on the River Liffey

Flying into Dublin, you’ll be swiftly whisked off to The Merrion hotel where a quick stroll around neighboring Merrion Square ought to do the trick to beat any post-flight fatigue. Just a hop away from many of Dublin’s best sights as well as a host of trendy stores and restaurants, The Merrion is the perfect launchpad into the city. Join a local historian to get your bearings on a private walking tour before taking to the water tomorrow and seeing the city from a whole new perspective.

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Diamond Circle: Get off the Beaten Track in Northern Iceland

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Iceland; the country on everyone’s lips. But after you’ve climbed inside Þríhnúkagigur, snorkelled the Silfra Fissure and traversed the Golden Circle – what comes next? To answer that question, we’re looking north to the second city of Akureyri, the untouched wilderness of Myvatn and the, as yet undiscovered, Diamond Circle. Outside the realms of the tourist tracks of south Iceland, the north is a step back in time to Iceland as it once was – raw and unknown. To really appreciate the difference though, start off seeing on the Golden Circle (after all, it’s still spectacular), before heading north to hidden hot waterfalls, caves of the silver-screen and a dash of nature yoga. Grjótagjá, Gjástykki and Þeistareykir; they may not be known now, so get there before they are.

The Classic

Touching down, your trip starts in the trendsetting capital of Reykjavik with a stay at the chic Hotel Alda, just off Laugavegur. Spend the evening getting to know the bars and restaurants that lie just a short stroll away before getting a sense for Southern Iceland the next day. In the morning, jump in your private super jeep for the day as you head east to the Golden Circle. A route carved between Iceland’s most iconic sights, there is no better introduction to this spellbinding country as you curve through the ethereal beauty of Þingvellir National Park and onto the geothermal power of Geysir and the thunder of Gullfoss. Head back to Hotel Alda in the evening for one last night before heading north to Iceland’s true wilderness early tomorrow.

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Alaska & Hawaii: An Ice & Fire Adventure

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One of the greatest joys of traveling through the United States is the variety of landscapes you encounter along the way – and the pace at which they change. We’ve traveled from north to south and east to west to take in each and every state but one journey we can’t get enough of is that across the outliers of Alaska and Hawaii. Think Alaska – and the mind conjures up images of sweeping landscapes where people are few and far between. Then – consider Hawaii and tropical hues seep in to give everything the iridescent glow of island life. Think of the two together and you have a contrast which defies explanation. So much so, it can only really be experienced. Spend twelve nights between these two naturally beautiful states as you discover hole up in remote luxury in the wilds of Alaska before watching the sunrise from atop a volcano and snorkelling through hidden lava caves in Hawaii.

Into the Wild

After a quick overnight in Anchorage on arrival, it’s straight out into the wilderness as you pull up in the small town of Talkeetna to board a helicopter to your home for the next three nights. Tucked deep within the Alaska Range at a towering 6,000ft above sea level and ensconced amid peaks and glaciers, Sheldon Chalet is as unique as it comes. Home to just five suites, each with a view that you’ll never tire of, spend the next three days alongside like-minded travelers as you discover the majesty of Denali. Whether trekking across a glacier, rappelling down a rock face or trekking into the historic mountain house – no day here is the same as another and with a helicopter on permanent standby, Denali truly is at your fingertips.

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Kuala Lumpur to Pangkor Laut: Off the Beaten Track in Malaysia

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If you thought there was little more to Malaysia than the pearlescent beaches of Langkawi and the bashful orangutans of Borneo, this ten-day trip will have you thinking again. Peninsular Malaysia is a fascinating destination where history, culture and food combine to create something just as colorful as the landscapes that surround them. Filled with intel from our South East Asia experts, this trip promises to get you under the skin of the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur before taking to the mystical Cameron Highlands to cool down. Through the jungles of Belum and onto the shores of Pangkor Laut, prepare to see what caught our eye in Malaysia.

New Cuisines in Kuala Lumpur

Begin your journey in the subwaypolis that is Kuala Lumpur, staying at the luxurious Mandarin Oriental. Sitting next to the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, staying here means you’re right in the heart of the action. With your own personal guide on hand, explore the old and new charms of this vibrant city. From towering skyscrapers, colonial builds and traditional mosques and temples; get a feel of what makes this city tick. Kuala Lumpur also boasts some incredible food stalls open – many staying open until the wee hours of the morning. Don’t know your char kuey teow from your mee goreng, your roti canai from your roti bom? We’ll send you out with an expert guide to get to grip with all the best delicacies.

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Nizwa, Wahiba & Muscat: Discover Arabia’s Gem in Oman

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The Sultanate of Oman is a sure-fire contender for any ‘off the beaten track’ award, and for that reason, we just had to share this Arabian gem with you. An eight-night whistle-stop tour of Oman’s northeastern region is sure to leave you yearning for more as you witness the spectacular sand dunes of Sharqiya, try mouth-watering Omani cuisine in a Nizwa souk and experience total cultural immersion in the coastal town of Sur. Spend your nights in enchanting Bedouin camps, hilltop hideaways and luxurious beach-side abodes as you fall for Arabia’s gem.

History & Culture in Nizwa

Hit the ground running as you leave the bustling city of Muscat behind and make your way to the historic inland town of Nizwa. Enjoy the mesmerising landscapes that have enriched Omani life for thousands of years. The small verdant town of Fanja is a particular highlight for us, with its rich history and wild wadis whilst the town of Jabrin is home to one of the most impressive forts in Oman and is your last cultural pit stop before arriving at the Sahab Hotel; the ideal spot from which to watch mesmerising sunsets and sunrises.

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South Sri Lanka: A Cultural Safari Adventure

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From epic palm covered beaches to legendary tea estates, historical fortress towns and spectacular National Parks, Sri Lanka has it all. For a taste of the best that this country has to offer, embark on this seven-night Sri Lankan safari adventure through and take in tea plantations reflected in the shimmer of Koggala Lake, the stealthy prowl of a leopard through Yala National Park and the dip of the sunset over Galle’s fortified walls.

Welcome to Sri Lanka

As soon as you touch down in Colombo, you’ll take a trip inland, uphill and back in time to the intimate suites of Kahanda Kanda. Sitting on a twelve-acre working tea estate, overlooking an endless green vista of rolling tea-carpeted hills this boutique hotel makes for an idyllic start to your trip. The blossoming gardens, iridescent infinity pool and massage pavilion add a little bit of luxury in these remote surroundings. Spend some time learning about the journey from leaf to cup before exploring the area on foot. Immerse yourself in the nearby cultural hotspots before checking out some of the tempting beaches that lie just a few miles away.

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