Portugal—It is forever known as the land of the explorers, and you too will be filled with the spirit of discovery as you retrace the footsteps of Prince Henry the Navigator or Ferdinand Magellan. Pack your bags and head for the Portuguese countryside for four luxurious nights. The whitewashed architecture of Convento do Espinheiro Hotel & Spa, Evora, (two (2) hours north of Lisbon) is set amongst blue skies with puffy clouds and surrounding countryside verdure. Once a convent dating back to the 15th century, this luxurious hotel is considered a National Monument, located close to the historical city of Evora, classified by UNESCO as a “World Heritage City”. The picturesque surroundings make the perfect spot for enjoying the Portuguese countryside, including wonderful local vineyards. End your Portuguese journey in cosmopolitan Lisbon for a two-night stay at the modern and stylish Sheraton Lisboa Hotel & Spa. Located in one of the city’s most prestigious districts, take in fabulous shopping, theatres, art museums, and nightlife. To send you off in Portuguese style, enjoy a bottle of ruby Porto!
Includes: Four nights (4) for two persons in deluxe accommodations at the Convento do Espinheiro and two nights (2) for two persons at the Sheraton Lisboa Hotel & Spa. Bottle of ruby Porto. Subject to availability.
From Puget Sound to the Cascade Mountains to the cool coffee culture on Capitol Hill, Seattle is the one of the most dramatic cities in the world, boasting an array of unique experiences. A perfect weekend destination for two, take in the culinary and cultural delights in this terrific town. Guaranteed not to be ‘sleepless in Seattle,’ make the luxurious W Seattle Hotel your hub. Leave your bags and meander through the collections at the Seattle Art Museum, designed by renowned architect Robert Venturi. After a stroll through Pike Place Market, antiques stores, and bookshops, get dressed for a special evening at Benaroya Hall, home of the Seattle Symphony. You and your guest, compliments of the Seattle Symphony, will enjoy a private tour of the concert hall and building, followed by a delicious dinner in the dramatic Norcliffe Founders Room, overlooking the Seattle skyline and Puget Sound. And to top it off, enjoy a spectacular concert featuring Nicholas McGegan conducting the Seattle Symphony in “The Songs of Cleopatra” sung by illustrious soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian. And Nic will look forward to meeting you backstage after the performance. The Pacific Northwest doesn’t get much better than this.
Includes: A two-night stay for two people at the W Seattle Hotel, a pass for two to the Seattle Art Museum, dinner for two in the Norcliffe Founders Room at Benaroya Hall (home of the Seattle Symphony), two concert tickets for March 12, 2011, a private tour of the Benaroya Hall, and meet-and-greet with Music Director Nicholas McGegan after the concert.
Enjoy a perfect week of luxury, regional cuisine and relaxation in the idyllic South of France. Get into the mood en francais, with eight (8) weeks of small-group French lessons, offered by The French Class in San Francisco. Before departing for France, you are invited to a champagne reception at the Sausalito home of Philharmonia Baroque Executive Director Peter Pastreich and his wife Jamie Whittington. Once you’ve arrived in Provence, you’ll enjoy a magnificent stay at the Mas du Vieux Charron. This 17th century stone farmhouse, formerly the home of violinist and conductor Alexander (Sasha) Schneider, has hosted such musical legends as Pablo Casals, Isaac Stern and John Adams, and is located in le Paradou, a tranquil village near les Baux-de-Provence. The two-story home, fully furnished with antique Provencal furniture, is light and airy and features a master bedroom, guest room, kitchen, library, two bathrooms, studio, and music room. Take a tour of the back roads of Provence on one of the bicycles provided, warm yourself by the Godin wood-burning stove, buy fresh produce, taste local wines and olive oil, and browse the unique fabrics and antiques in the famous outdoor market in nearby Arles, and cook dinner in the fully equipped kitchen with Viking stove. Just a short walk from the home is the town’s center, where you can grab your baguette from the local bakery. Another highlight of your stay will be the magnificent lunch for four at the charming and popular Bistrot du Paradou, hosted by the proprietor, Vincent. You’ll also tour the ancient village of Les Baux de Provence with pianist and artist Mila Goldberg. You are within half an hour of Arles, Avignon, Fontvieille and Nimes, and only an hour from Marseilles. Can be scheduled, by mutual agreement, between April 1, 2011 and May 15, 2011, or between October 15, 2011 and April 15, 2012. A perfect package for any Francophile—Bon Voyage!
Includes: Champagne reception at the home of Peter Pastreich and Jamie Whittington; French lessons (for one person) for 8 weeks at The French Class and a single one-year membership; One-week stay for up to four (4) people at le Mas du Vieux Charron; a walking tour with Mila Goldberg of les Baux de Provence; lunch for four (4) guests Bistrot du Paradou. Dates must be mutually agreeable, available between April 1, 2011 and May 15, 2011, or between October 15, 2011 and April 15, 2012.
Randall Grahm—winemaker, philosopher, raconteur, the “Rhone Ranger.” You are cordially invited to join Randall and his partner Chinshu at Bonny Doon Vineyard in gorgeous Santa Cruz. Randall will regale you with tales of “terroir” and the adventures of wine making during your special private tour and wine tasting at the Bonny Doon Winery. And, of course, good wine begs for good food. Following your tour, eight of you will indulge in a superb meal at the acclaimed Bonny Doon Cellar Door Café, touted as having “…the freshest locally grown ingredients executed with a light touch and without artifice”. While tasting delectables like glazed arctic char, Randall will present you with your very own autographed copy of his James Beard award-winning book, “Been Doon So Long.” “Randall Grahm… is an original thinker with warmth and a sense of humor. They are on full display in Been Doon So Long… an anthology… of several decades worth of literary satires, reveries, incessant yet clever puns and gnomic prognostications. Mr. Grahm’s thoughts are brilliantly observed and beautifully rendered.” – Eric Asimov, The New York Times
Includes: A private tour and tasting for eight at Bonny Doon Vineyard, wine, dinner and dessert for eight with Randall Grahm at the Cellar Door Café, autographed copies of “Been Doon So Long” (one per couple) and one bottle of wine per couple (Randall’s pick).
Return to the birthplace of Western civilization—Greece—while enjoying the height of modern-day luxury. Your marvelous trip will feature three nights in Athens at the Grande Bretagne, and four nights at the Romanos Resort. With breathtaking views of the famed Acropolis and Parthenon, regal Constitution Square and the Parliament, lush Lycabettus Hill or the original Olympic Stadium, the multi-awarded 5 star Hotel Grande Bretagne offers an unrivalled perspective of Athens’ mythical history. You’ll spend the next four nights at The Romanos, Costa Navarino. With the crystalline waters of the Ionian Sea serving as the perfect backdrop, The Romanos, Costa Navarino—near Pylos—is a beacon of sophistication blending Messinia’s rich history with the contemporary amenities of Navarino Dunes. In addition to an elegant array of dining and leisure options, guests are invited to explore Navarino Dunes’s 4,000 square meter Spa and the Bernhard Langer championship golf course—the first signature golf course in Greece. Largely untouched by mass tourism, Costa Navarino harbors cultural values, traditions and a history of more than 4,500 years, which live in harmony with one of the most stunning scenic landscapes of the Mediterranean. Here, you’ll discover palaces and vaulted tombs from the Mycenaean era, classical temples, Byzantine churches and medieval castles, all set in a breathtaking sun drenched, lush landscape that enjoys a temperate climate, making it an ideal year-round destination. It is a land of rolling hills and rugged mountains, protected bays and beaches, and broad valleys of lush olive groves, fields and vineyards. To get you in the mood, we’ll send you off with your very own bottle of Ouzo—Opah!
Includes: Three (3) nights for two persons in a Deluxe Room at the Grand Bretagne Athens, with American buffet breakfast included daily & four (4) nights for two persons at The Romanos, Costa Navarino Resort in a Deluxe Room, with American buffet breakfast included daily. Subject to availability. The Romanos is subject to seasonal (winter) closure. Bottle of Ouzo.