IN AFRICA, AN ‘OUT OF AFRICA’ LODGE
The film “Out of Africa” hit theaters 30 years ago, and just in time for its landmark anniversary, a safari lodge, Angama Mara, has opened in Kenya’s Maasai Mara on the site where the most memorable scenes from the movie were shot.
Situated on the hilltop overlooking the Great Rift Valley where Meryl Streep and Robert Redford filmed their love scenes, the luxury property is comprised of two separate camps, each with 15 tented suites, and is in a prime location to enjoy seeing an abundance of animals including lions, buffalos and rhinos; it has a fitness center, a swimming pool, a gallery of African art and jewelry and a studio where Maasai women bead bespoke items. Also, in additional to traditional game drives, guests have the option to take hot air balloon and walking safaris.
Nods to the film are throughout, including colorful screens in guest rooms that hint at the scene in the film where Ms. Streep uses the screen in her home as inspiration to begin her storytelling and a pair of plantation chairs in a communal area that are movie lookalikes. Prices from $750 per person, per night.
CUBAN CABARET COMES TO MIAMI
In a sign of the warming relationship between Cuba and the United States, the two nations will come together in Miami to celebrate the new year with dance: El Tucán, a modern cabaret in Miami, will present the rhythm of Cuba witha performance by the renowned Cuban cabaret, El Tropicana de Cuba. The show will mark the first performance of the Tropicana dancers in the United States after 32 years; they became a global attraction after the Tropicana Club, where they perform, opened in the late 1930s in Havana’s Marianao district. El Tucán will also be offering an optional dinner menu to accompany the evening featuring dishes that blend Cuban, Latin and Caribbean fare like tuna belly tostada with grilled habanero salsa. Tickets for the New Year’s Eve performance can be purchased via eltucanmiami.com or by calling 305-535-0065. Prices from $45 a ticket for general entry; from $190 with dinner.
A SAFARI WITH A FOCUS ON ROMANCE
A vacation in South Africa gets couple-y with the eight-day Romantic South Africa Safari from trip outfitter Extraordinary Journeys. Travelers will divide their time between the upscale Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa in Cape Town and Sabi Sand Game Reserve, known for having one of the highest concentrations of wildlife in Southern Africa. Departures run January and February 2016; included are accommodations, a picnic, transfers, most meals, activities and romantic-themed surprises throughout; $3,800 per a person.
NEW TOUCHES AT AN ENDURING BORDEAUX HOTEL
What’s old is new again when it comes to luxury accommodations in Bordeaux, France. InterContinental Hotels & Resorts has taken over the Grand Hôtel de Bordeaux & Spa, a 130-room property dating to 1776, and renamed it the InterContinental Bordeaux – Le Grand Hotel, France. Located in Place de la Comédie, the city’s central square, the hotel has an indoor pool and an expansive spa with a Turkish bath called a hammam; the Gordon Ramsay Group is now overseeing the dining program and has opened the upscale restaurant, Le Pressoir D’Argent, which serves dishes made with seasonal ingredients and pairs them with wines from the region. Prices from 350 euros a night.
A STARWOOD-DESIGN HOTELS PARTNERSHIP
–Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has a new partnership with Design Hotels, a collection of close to 300 independently owned properties united by the vision of their diverse owners. Starwood has been a majority investor in the Berlin-based brand since 2011, and under the collaboration, travelers can book a stay in select Design Hotels through Starwood’s websites, mobile apps and customer contact centers (Starwood Preferred Guest members will earn Starpoints during their stays at participating properties). The initial partner hotels include the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York City; Ten Bompas in Johannesburg, South Africa; and the C-Hotel in Lake Como, Italy; additional properties like the Town Hall Hotel in London will join early next year, and in a press release, Starwood said that more Design Hotels members are expected to sign up over the next 12 months.