2019 Holiday Travel: New, Record-Setting “Mile High Tree” Anchors Denver’s Mile High Holidays Festivities

Denver’s Newest Holiday Attraction – A 110-Foot Digital Tree – Amplifies The Excitement Around The City’s Seasonal Blockbuster Exhibitions, Events And Performing Arts

This year, along with hundreds of holiday traditions and festivities, The Mile High City will feature two brand-new lighting attractions illuminating downtown, making the city look and feel more festive than ever. The Mile High Tree – the tallest digital tree in North America – will feature pre-programmed LED light shows choreographed to multicultural holiday music; and Night Lights Denver – an outdoor projection mapping installation featuring local artists – will also light up the city skyline.

VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau logo. (PRNewsFoto/VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau)

These new attractions complement the already robust programming that makes up Denver’s Mile High Holidays. There are also world-class exhibitions, like Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature and The Science Behind Pixar, at the city’s museums; innovative and immersive performing arts like Camp Christmas and movies with the Colorado Symphony; and plenty of local gifts to be found in neighborhoods, galleries, boutique shops and marketplaces.

Below are just a few experiences to be found during Mile High Holidays. For more information on how to spend a night or a long weekend in Denver, and to take advantage of holiday hotel deals starting at $99, visit www.MileHighHolidays.com.

Blockbuster Exhibitions

Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature, through February 2, 2020

The Denver Art Museum is the sole U.S. venue for the most comprehensive exhibition of Monet paintings in more than two decades. The exhibition features more than 100 paintings spanning Monet’s entire career and focuses on the celebrated French impressionist artist’s enduring relationship with nature and his response to the varied and distinct places in which he worked. In connection with Denver Art Museum, several hotels have created VIP packages that include untimed, skip-the-line tickets, which allow access to the exhibition even if the date is sold out to the general public; these packages can be found at https://monetindenver.com.

The Science Behind Pixar, through April 5, 2020

Enjoy a unique look into the Pixar process, and explore the science and technology behind some of the most beloved animated films and their characters with The Science Behind Pixar at Denver Museum of Nature & Science. This interactive exhibition showcases the science, technology, engineering, art, and math concepts used by the artists and computer scientists who help bring Pixar’s award-winning films to the big screen. With more than 50 interactive elements, the exhibition’s eight sections each focus on a step in the filmmaking process to give you an unparalleled view of the production pipeline and concepts used at Pixar every day. Participate in fun, engaging hands-on activities, listen to firsthand accounts from members of the studio’s production teams, and even come face-to-face with re-creations of your favorite Pixar film characters, including Buzz Lightyear, Dory, Mike and Sulley, Edna Mode, and WALL•E.

Extreme Sports: Beyond Human Limits, through April 12, 2020

Visitors will be put to the test as they jump, fly, dive, climb and explore some of the riskiest activities in the world at this Denver Museum of Nature & Science exhibition. Physical, multimedia and creative challenges place guests inside the minds and bodies of extreme athletes and their passions such as wingsuit flying, ice and rock climbing, parkour, and free diving. Amid exhilarating speeds, breathtaking heights, and profound depths, the stories of these passionate athletes will leave visitors inspired to push their own personal limits.

Beer Here! Brewing the West, through August 9, 2020

Explore Colorado’s brewing industry from the saloons of the Gold Rush through Prohibition to today’s booming craft beer scene at History Colorado Center‘s Beer Here! Brewing the West. Learn about the Centennial State’s brewing past, present and future through historical artifacts, interactive elements and more.

Holiday Performing Arts

Celebrate the Theater, Music and Dance in Denver

Camp Christmas, November 21, 2019 – January 5, 2020

The newest indoor immersive installation from Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Camp Christmas, will feature mesmerizing displays of decorations that shift time and reality. Performed at Stanley Marketplace, Camp Christmas is Denver’s newest holiday experience, where yuletide traditions of the past and present get merrily mashed together in a massive 10,000-square-foot wonderland. All ages are welcome at this family-friendly experience.

The Hip Hop Nutcracker, November 23-24

Innovative digital graffiti and visuals transform the landscape of E.T.A. Hoffmann‘s beloved story from traditional 19th Century Germany to the vibrant, diverse sights and sounds of contemporary New York City. Through this re-mixed and re-imagined version of the classic, performed at Buell Theater in the Denver Performing Arts Complex, the dynamic performers of The Hip Hop Nutcracker take audience members on a journey that celebrates love, community and the magic of a New Year.

The Nutcracker, November 30 – December 29

Children and adults will enjoy Colorado Ballet‘s 58th annual production of the classic Christmas ballet The Nutcracker, held at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House and featuring unforgettable characters, classic choreography, exquisite sets, dazzling costumes and Tchaikovsky’s extraordinary arrangement performed live by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra.

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical, December 3-8

Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical returns to the Buell Theatre in Denver to steal Christmas after a blockbuster debut in 2014. More than 2.5 million theatre-goers across America have been delighted by this heart-warming holiday musical, featuring the hit songs “You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome Christmas” from the original animated TV special. Max the Dog narrates as the mean and scheming Grinch, whose heart is “two sizes too small,” decides to steal Christmas away from the holiday-loving Whos. Magnificent sets and costumes inspired by Dr. Seuss’ original illustrations transport audiences to the whimsical world of Whoville and helps remind them of the true meaning of the holiday season.

Movie at the Symphony: Home Alone in Concert, November 29; Love Actually in Concert, December 6

A holiday classic, Home Alone will feature renowned composer John Williams‘ charming and delightful score performed live by the Colorado Symphony at Boettcher Concert Hall as the film is shown on large suspended screens in Boettcher Concert Hall. Macaulay Culkin stars as Kevin McCallister, an eight-year-old boy who is accidentally left behind when his family leaves for Christmas vacation, and who must defend his home against two bungling thieves (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern). Hilarious and heartwarming, Home Alone is holiday fun for the whole family.

Love Actually is the ultimate romantic holiday comedy. Featuring an all-star cast, the film will take audiences on a tour of love’s delightful twists and turns. The score will be performed by the Colorado Symphony and conductor Christopher Dragon.

Granny Dances to a Holiday Drum, December 7-22

For 28 years, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble has been blending dance, live music, spoken word and seasonal celebrations and customs from around the world into a memorable holiday tradition like no other. A Denver original, Granny Dances to a Holiday Drum is a family favorite that inspires audiences of all ages to discover, celebrate and honor the holiday traditions of cultures from around the world.

Celtic Woman: The Best of Christmas Tour, December 8

The celestial voices of multi-platinum Irish singing group, Celtic Woman, will be coupled with the Colorado Symphony in Denver’s stop of The Best of Christmas Tour. The performance at Boettcher Concert Hall will feature music from the all-female ensemble’s most favorite Yuletide songs.

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker, December 13-14

The one and only Moscow Ballet will present the Great Russian Nutcracker at Denver’s Paramount Theatre. Featuring world class Russian artists, hand-painted sets, Russian Snow Maidens, and jubilant Nesting Dolls – Great Russian Nutcracker brings the Christmas spirit to life for all ages.

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Holiday Travel: Experience Seaside Festive Celebrations at Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai

Lavish Christmas and New Year celebrations are on offer at the glamorous beachfront Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai this festive season. A majestic canopy of frost-white lights and other seasonal decorations will create the perfect festive atmosphere for guests to enjoy a series of activities and culinary treats at the resort over the holidays.

Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai – City Skyline
Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai – Hotel Lobby

For a merry holiday gathering, Noor Lounge’s Festive Afternoon Tea will be available starting December 5, featuring a delectable array of scones, finger sandwiches, cakes and other tasty bites.

Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai Cake Shop
Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai Luxury Spa Daybed
Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai Pool Cabana

Beautifully decorated Christmas cakes, petit gâteaux, gingerbread houses and panettones will be available at The Mandarin Cake Shop. Guests can spoil loved ones by gifting them an elegantly wrapped Festive Hamper packed with Christmas biscuits, chocolates, Panettone and other mouth-watering seasonal delicacies.

Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai – The Bay Fine Dining Restaurant

Christmas menus will be offered at the resort’s highly acclaimed restaurants on December 24 and 25, including an extravagant buffet of international festive favorites at The Bay, the relaxed brasserie-style restaurant with two terraces overlooking the beach. On Christmas Day, Santa will delight children by making a special appearance at the restaurant to bring them gifts.

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2019 Historic Hotels Awards of Excellence Winners Announced

Historic Hotels and Recipients Honored at the Awards Ceremony and Gala at Pinehurst Resort (1895)

Historic Hotels of America® logo

Historic Hotels of America® and Historic Hotels Worldwide® are pleased to announce the winners of the 2019 Historic Hotels Awards of Excellence. Recipients were honored at a special ceremony and gala at Pinehurst Resort (1895) on Thursday, November 7. Awards were presented before an audience of more than 200 industry leaders, owners, senior management, and representatives of the finest historic hotels from across the United States of America and from around the world. Honors were given in multiple categories ranging from Hotelier of the Year and Hotel Historian of the Year to Best Historic Resort, Historic Hotelier of the Year, Lifetime Achievement, and others.

These 2019 winners represent more nearly 500 years of history and include the finest legendary and iconic historic hotels from across the United States of America and from around the world” —Lawrence Horwitz, Executive Director, Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide.

From more than 200 nominees, the following Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide hotels and hoteliers were honored with these prestigious annual awards for 2019:

Blackburn Inn (1828) Staunton, Virginia (Photo: Business Wire)

Historic Hotels of America New Member of the Year: Blackburn Inn (1828) Staunton, Virginia

Hotel Bethlehem, Historic Hotel Bethlehem (1922) Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (Photo: Business Wire)

Best Historic Hotel (76-200 Guestrooms): Historic Hotel Bethlehem (1922) Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

The Wigwam (1929) Litchfield Park, Arizona (Photo: Business Wire)

Best Historic Hotel (201-400 Guestrooms): The Wigwam (1929) Litchfield Park, Arizona

The Hermitage Lobby, The Hermitage Hotel (1910) Nashville, Tennessee (Photo: Business Wire)

Best City Center Historic Hotel: The Hermitage Hotel (1910) Nashville, Tennessee

Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa (1847) Point Clear, Alabama (Photo: Business Wire)

Best Historic Hotel (Over 400 Guestrooms): Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa (1847) Point Clear, Alabama

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Celebrate Christmas And Chinese New Year In The Exciting Garden City At Four Seasons Hotel Singapore

Four Seasons Invites Guests To Stunning Holiday Celebrations, Perfect For Family And Friends To Gather And Make Memories

Christmas and Chinese New Year are important times of celebration across the Lion City. It is also a time when the city comes alive with numerous fun activities at many key attractions to rally young and young-at-heart together. One can revel in the spectacular Christmas light up and Christmas villages on Orchard Road just at the door step of Four Seasons Hotel Singaporeor feel the energy of colorful Chingay Parade during the Chinese New Year season that celebrates harmony in Singapore as well as with the city’s friends from abroad. Children below five years of age also enjoy complimentary dining when staying with Four Seasons Hotel Singapore and kid-friendly amenities such as kid-sized bathrobes and bedroom slippers, a soft toy and age appropriate amenities.

Christmas in the City

Stay in the heart of the city just steps away from the excitement of the island’s longest Christmas street light-up, complete with photo booths, Christmas villages for fun games and great al fresco dining, as well as unbeatable year-end shopping sales in malls dressed up in the season’s best.

Make time to savour the delectable Christmas-inspired lunch and dinners at One-Ninety, a Modern Asian Brasserie at Four Seasons Hotel Singapore too. Tuck into entrées in a garden-like ambience and enjoy favourites such as traditional oven-roasted turkey with chestnut stuffing and grilled winter vegetables, and Asian-spiced glazed ham with lemongrass, pineapple raisin sauce among others; end with a decadent desserts such as tropical coconut mousse and calypso mango yule log, Valrhona chocolate pot de crème, assorted macarons and chocolate pralines all made in-house by the pastry brigade led by Pastry Chef Audrey Yee, a Four Seasons veteran and graduate of the renowned Le Cordon Bleu School in London.

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Crystal Yacht Cruises Unveils 2022 and Q1 2023 Deployment for Award-Winning Crystal Esprit

With 55 sailings of enriching discovery, adventure and all-inclusive luxury, Crystal Yacht Cruises announced today the comprehensive roster of 2022 and early 2023 itineraries for Crystal Esprit. A number of new options punctuate the collection of regionally focused voyages, with dozens of seven- and eight-night options catering to busy travel schedules or easily combined into longer adventures. In addition to exploration of hubs of profound history, featured destinations also capitalize on the 62-guest Crystal Esprit’s adventurous spirit, with numerous locales that are ideal for active, outdoor pursuits. Featured are 11 new itineraries in the areas most popular among Crystal yachting guests, including five in the Greek Isles; four along the Amalfi Coast and French and Italian rivieras; the United Arab Emirates; and the Holy Land.

The scope of choices available to Crystal yacht guests in 2022 and into 2023 blends some of the world’s most famously captivating destinations with less visited spots, including harbors not accessible by larger vessels. We continue to listen to what our guests want most and are thrilled to add more voyages in those regions,” said Mark Spillane, Crystal Yacht Cruises’ director of sales and marketing. “Crystal Esprit was made for destinations like the Seychelles, the Italian Riviera, the islands of Greece and Cyprus and Capri – places ideal for exploring in the carefree atmosphere of a private yacht, with the exceptional onboard experience and service for which Crystal is celebrated.”

The Crystal Yacht Cruises experience is consistently lauded by travelers worldwide and was recently voted “Best Small-Ship Cruise Line” by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler. Among the options for Crystal Yacht Cruises guests in 2022 and 2023’s first quarter are:

Exterior View of Crystal Esprit (Courtesy of Crystal Media Centre)

Intensive Greek Isles discoveries, with a dozen seven- and eight-night voyages to the ancient icons, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and white-washed seaside villages in Mykonos and Santorini in response to guest demand; a morning call to Delos, allowing guests to explore the UNESCO Site before most other visitors; Hydra and others, as well as Nydri/Lefkada and Parga on the western shores of the mainland. Select itineraries also feature calls to the Peloponnese region and Corinth Canal and Turkey’s Turquoise Coast in Kas, Kuşadasi, Bodrum and Kalkan;

Springtime Mediterranean riviera voyages for the first time in three years, with six-, seven- and eight-nights, highlighting the glamour and regal history with overnights in Nice, Monte Carlo, St-Tropez, Capri and Porto Venere, as well as calls to Cannes, Corsica, Marina di Carrara, Positano, Portofino and a maiden call to Otranto, the gateway to the baroque city of Lecce. At least one overnight on each itinerary allows deeper exploration beyond the ports and more time for guests to wander the famous coastlines at their leisure;

Crystal Esprit – Eden Island (Courtesy of Crystal Media Centre)
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The Peninsula Hotels In Chicago, Beverly Hills And Manila Achieve World’s Best Hotel Bars Accolade From Forbes Travel Guide

Forbes Travel Guide (“FTG”), the world-renowned and only global rating system for luxury hotels, restaurants and spas, has unveiled its Verified List for 2019’s World’s Best Hotel Bars, naming Z Bar at The Peninsula Chicago, The Club Bar at The Peninsula Beverly Hills and The Bar at The Peninsula Manila as three of only 45 bars around the world to earn the accolade. This comes on the heels of the Forbes Five-Star Awards announcement in February 2019, in which The Peninsula Hotels achieved Forbes Five-Star status across all ten of its hotels, resulting in The Peninsula Hotels being the first and only hotel brand to achieve the highest possible FTG rating for all its hotels.

An honour of this calibre is truly extraordinary, especially given the amount of hard work and meticulous attention our team collectively puts into each of these establishments,” said Carson Glover, Vice President of Brand Marketing & Communications at The Peninsula Hotels. “Every detail, from the design and ambiance to the unparalleled service, to the incredible food and drink offerings, is carefully curated to provide an exceptional and unforgettable guest experience.”

Z Bar at The Peninsula Chicago

Z Bar Terrace at The Peninsula Chicago (Photo Credit: The Peninsula Hotels)

Located above Chicago’s iconic Michigan Avenue, The Peninsula Chicago’s recently-opened rooftop lounge, Z Bar, boasts expansive city views, an array of distinctive, globally-inspired cocktails, boldly-flavored food and the latest tunes from around the world. After being transported to The Peninsula Chicago’s rooftop terrace via dedicated elevators cloaked in lush forest artistry, guests can enjoy an expansive indoor-outdoor space including a rooftop terrace, the perfect place to experience a sophisticated take on Chicago’s rooftop scene.

Z Bar, The Peninsula Chicago (Photo Credit: www.forbes.com/)

The Club Bar at The Peninsula Beverly Hills

The Club Bar at The Peninsula Beverly Hills (Photo Credit: The Peninsula Hotels)

Reminiscent of an elegant gentleman’s club, with beautiful California birch-paneled walls and gleaming brass details and sconces, The Club Bar offers guests premium drinks and gourmet small bites. Luxury leather chairs surround the crackling fireplace, creating an authentic yet timeless atmosphere. The Club Bar’s drink list includes rare single-malt whiskies, scotches, tequilas and cognacs, as well as a comprehensive selection of wines by the glass, along with the hotel’s private-label Keller The Peninsula Sonoma Pinot Noir.

The Club Bar, The Peninsula Beverly Hills (Photo Credit: www.forbes.com/)

The Bar at The Peninsula Manila

The Bar at The Peninsula Manila (Photo Credit: The Peninsula Hotels)

Just a few steps from Salon de Ning and a short walk from the famous Lobby, The Bar at The Peninsula Manila echoes the dimly lit bars of Cuba, and is the ideal setting to enjoy the signature Batangas Old Fashioned, or savor a malt whisky in an intimate space. The plush armchairs and leather couches encourage intimate conversation among guests. The Bar, boasting predominant colors of cobalt blue and dark brown, is inspired by the character of an old school gentleman who enjoys a flavorful cigar and a crisp drink.

Forbes Travel Guide’s The Verified List for 2019’s World’s Best Hotel Bars recognizes 45 distinguished bars, across 13 countries, and represents hotel bars that performed exceptionally on standards related to the quality of their beverage programme, their presentation and their luxurious service.

Each hotel bar was meticulously inspected and scored using criteria such as elements of luxury standards, which reflect sumptuous comfort, choices and conveniences, including a special level of attention to details, and also food and beverage quality standards, which play an important part in the guest experience. Bars must also demonstrate the technical aptitude of their staff, such as their ability to listen to guests’ individual preferences and to deliver beverages at correct temperatures.

We’ve seen hotel bars evolve enormously in our 60-plus years of operating Forbes Travel Guide, hence the focus of our fourth Verified List,” said Filip Boyen, CEO of Forbes Travel Guide. “Hotel bars are now destinations in their own right and have the ability to transform a hotel experience. We congratulate all of the bars on the list, which were vetted and verified based on the most rigorous standards. They not only scored highly, but also provided the most luxurious experience for hotel and local guests alike.

The Verified List throws a spotlight on amazing hotel bars in China, France, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Morocco, the Philippines, Portugal, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Incorporated in 1866 and listed on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (00045), The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited (HSH) is the holding company of a Group which is engaged in the ownership, development and management of prestigious hotel, commercial and residential properties in key locations in Asia, the United States and Europe, as well as the provision of tourism and leisure, club management and other services. The Peninsula Hotels portfolio comprises The Peninsula Hong Kong, The Peninsula Shanghai, The Peninsula Beijing, The Peninsula Tokyo, The Peninsula New York, The Peninsula Chicago, The Peninsula Beverly Hills, The Peninsula Paris, The Peninsula Bangkok, and The Peninsula Manila. Projects under development include The Peninsula London, The Peninsula Istanbul and The Peninsula Yangon. The property portfolio of the Group includes The Repulse Bay Complex, The Peak Tower and St. John’s Building in Hong Kong; The Landmark in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; and 21 avenue Kléber in Paris, France. The clubs and services portfolio of the Group includes The Peak Tram in Hong Kong; Thai Country Club in Bangkok, Thailand; Quail Lodge & Golf Club in Carmel, California; Peninsula Clubs and Consultancy Services, Peninsula Merchandising, and Tai Pan Laundry in Hong Kong.

Forbes Travel Guide is the only global rating system for luxury hotels, restaurants and spas. Our anonymous professional inspectors evaluate based on up to 900 objective standards, with an emphasis on exceptional service, to help discerning travelers select the world’s best luxury experiences. The only way to get a Five-Star, Four-Star or Recommended rating is by earning it through our independent inspection process. For more information about Forbes Travel Guide, please visit forbestravelguide.com.

Dollywood’s 35th Anniversary Features “Budding” New Festival, Packed Calendar of Events

Park Celebrates Milestone In 2020 With Pre-K Child’s Imagination Season Pass, Return of Gazillion Bubbles Show

Dollywood commemorates its 35th anniversary season in 2020 with a gorgeous new festival, a calendar packed full of must-see events, and new and returning entertainment offerings featuring some of the greatest performers from around the world.

Every member of the family should have their 2020 Dollywood season pass early, because it’s going to be an anniversary celebration no one will want to miss.

Dollywood’s Mystery Mine Roll

Dollywood’s 35th Anniversary Season begins on March 14, 2020 with Festival of Nations (March 14-April 20). The epic stage production of Namaste India and Ole! headline the festival. Namaste India provides guests a journey across India via the myriad dance forms for which the country is known, and Ole!features the self-proclaimed “Gypsy Kings of Comedy.” Popular returning acts are Drumstruck, JigJam and the Invaders Steel Orchestra. International food favorites pair well with the diverse entertainment offerings for an escape around the world in the heart of the Smokies.

Dollywood’s “budding” new event, the Flower & Food Festival (May 8-June 14), features brilliant splashes of spring color with numerous vibrant displays of expertly-manicured flowers and plants created by tremendously-talented horticulturists. This springtime event is blooming with fun and discovery around each corner thanks to a number of iconic displays.

Advertising photos for Dollywood Splash Country’s River Rush, a new water roller coaster. Photo by Steven Bridges http://www.stevenbridges.com

In partnership with the internationally-acclaimed Mosaicultures flower sculpting team, Dollywood creates living, larger-than-life sculptures including a butterfly umbrella, a depiction of Dolly Parton’s mother quilting the Coat of Many Colors, various animal scenes and beautiful environmental imaginations. Interactive displays also are found throughout the area. A stunning visual element greets guests on Showstreet, as hundreds of colorful umbrellas are suspended above the pathway creating a dazzling “Umbrella Sky.”

Dollywood’s Splash Country – The Cascades

In addition to the beautiful flowers and landscaping, a wide-selection of culinary creations that take inspiration from spring in the Smokies will delight guests’ taste buds. Featured items include spring beef over crispy potatoes, heirloom tomato and feta cheese galette, savory lime chicken legs over rice pilaf, and caprese skewers with a balsamic reduction. Refreshing specialty drink options include pink watermelon lemonade slushy, rose lemon spritzer and fresh violet slushy.

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