Roundup: New Luxe Summer Experiences

Looking for new, unique experiences to take advantage of this summer? Forget the uninspiring tours, the hotel you’ve stayed at three times before and the traditional dining. These new travel adventures are must-sees and will leave you with lasting memories (and wanting more).

Sceptre Tours Offers Packages to Newly Renovated Ashford Castle

Ashford Castle

With Ireland's Ashford Castle fresh off a $75 million dollar two-year renovation, Sceptre Tours is spotlighting the property in many of its Ireland packages this year.

Paula Carroll, director of marketing and sales at Ashford Castle, said, "The renovation at Ashford Castle preserved the historic elements of the 800-year-old 350-acre property, while adding new amenities including a movie theater, billiards room, cigar terrace, lakeside cottage, boutique wine cellars for private dining, and a children's game room."

Additionally, all 82 guestrooms and suites, as well as all public areas, were redesigned, using antiques, original art and modern technology. The outdoor areas were also expanded, including the School of Falconry, the equestrian center, the nine-hole golf course, tennis courts and the only Orvis-endorsed fishing property in Ireland. This July, a spa with five treatment rooms; an indoor, ozone-filtrated swimming pool; and a gym will open.

Sceptre's packages include:

Ashford Castle & Beyond - 5 nights from $2,088 per person

Royal Endeavors - 6 nights from $1,848 per person

Ireland's Best Welcome - 5 nights from $2,498 per person

Silversea Expeditions to Start Shackleton Voyages This Summer

For a limited time, Silversea Expeditions will host a series of four Shackleton Centenary Voyages to Antarctica, inspired by Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance trip nearly 100 years ago.


On the 18-day trips, which begin in November 2015, guests will sail roundtrip from Ushuaia on the Silver Explorer and will enjoy walking or boating excursions to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, Elephant Island, and the Antarctic Peninsula. Amenities include gourmet food, wine and spirits, a personal butler, and all Zodiac transportation. The Shackleton Voyage will depart November 14, 2015, and January 3, February 2, and December 22, 2016.

Guests onboard the Silver Explorer will be able to discover the historical and wildlife experiences that Shackleton and his crew encountered. An on-deck exhibition, hosted by the Royal Geographical Society, will give guests the opportunity to see original copies of artifacts and images taken by the Endurance’s photographer, Frank Hurley

Dinner in the Sky: Haute Cuisine in Brussels

Summer has arrived in Europe, and with the warm weather, a slew of exciting events. If you’re traveling to Brussels this month, don’t miss a unique culinary experience in the European Capital. “Dinner in the Sky” is haute cuisine in every sense of the word; 22 guests are invited to a table floating above the city, where a Michelin-starred chef serves fine dishes paired with wines and unparalleled views.

Brussels Dinner

The concept first got its start in Brussels in 2006, and now it’s traveled the world and showcased the cooking of some of the world’s finest chefs (like Joël Robuchon, Pierre Gagnaire, Alain Passard, and Heston Blumenthal.) This year, Dinner in the Sky will host seven of the best chefs in Brussels, including Yves Mattagne of Sea Grill**, Lionel Rigolet of Comme Chez Soi**, Pascal Devalkeneer of Chalet de la Forêt**, David Martin of La Paix*, Giovanni Bruno of Senzanome*, Luigi Ciciriello of La Truffe Noire* & Bart De Pooter of De Pastorale** and of WY*.

Bookings can be made online, and there is one lunch and two dinners available daily (7:30 and 9:30 pm). A five-course meal is served. For more information, visit

Gordon Ramsay to Open Bread Street Kitchen in Dubai

These days chef Gordon Ramsay is on a roll. He recently arrived on the Bordeaux restaurant scene, where a flurry of fabulous new eateries (including Joel Robuchon at La Grande Maison) are shaking up a once staid scene. Not only has Ramsay taken over the reins at the Grand Hotel de Bordeaux, but he’s also just announced plans for a new restaurant in the United Arab Emirates.

As reported by Eater, “Four years after shouty chef Gordon Ramsay's first Dubai restaurant Verre crumbled, he is making his return to the city.” Ramsay will be opening an outpost of the Bread Street Kitchen inside the Atlantis, The Palm resort.

To quote the official press release, the ambiance will be “informal and accessible,” the cuisine will be “modern European” and the drinks will be concocted by “imaginative mixologists.” The Bread Street Kitchen is currently found in London and Hong Kong, and will also be exported to Singapore next year.