‘The List’ 2016 showcases the very best experiences found only at Belmond’s luxury hotels, trains, and river cruises. In March and April 2016, the spotlight is on once in a life-time experiences at Belmond El Encanto, Santa Barbara and across Belmond’s Italian hotels in Venice, Portofino, Ravello and Sicily.This March, Belmond El Encanto, Santa Barbara, invites aspiring writers to fulfil a lifetime ambition with the launch of their Creative Writing retreat. Budding wordsmiths dreaming of creating the next Oscar-winning screenplay, best- selling romantic novel, or science fiction blockbuster can immerse themselves in the world of creative writing at one of Hollywood’s favourite haunts, with individually-arranged sessions available throughout 2016.
The three-day residential courses are hosted by accredited writing professionals from LA Writers Group, and include a pre-retreat consultation with a mentor to discuss assignments to aid the writing process, 12hours of private creative writing workshops, as well as accommodation in a luxurious Superior Bungalow Suite, daily breakfast, a hosted lunch, and dinner. Guests taking part in the course shall also receive a welcome gift of personalised stationary and Belmond quill pen keepsake, plus an agent-ready printed and bound book of their finished work. Set high on a hillside amidst lush gardens with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, Belmond El Encanto’s Californian style bungalows are the perfect setting to let the creative juices flow.
Santa Barbara has long been favoured by Hollywood’s creative insiders and the laidback Spanish -heritage town has been the setting for many famous films including ‘The Graduate’ starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Banecroft and ‘It’s Complicated’ with Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin. For the past 40 years it has hosted the annual Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference, connecting writers with mentors, agents, and editors; with a legacy of America’s writers attending the event including Fannie Flagg, author or ‘Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café’ and Pulitzer Prize winning writer, Jane Smiley. Guests attending Belmond El Encanto’s writers’ retreat will have access to tickets for this annual event.
An Italian renaissance is launched in April as Belmond’s collection of iconic hotels opens for the season with bespoke experiences designed for curious minds and active souls.
At Belmond Hotel Splendido, guests are invited to ‘take the plunge’ with underwater photography courses in Portofino Bay with a professional scuba diving instructor.
A private tour of Brunelleschi’s Duomo in Florence provides guests of Belmond Villa San Michele with an up close and personal experience of the city’s 15th century landmark.
Get active on the Amalfi with a ‘sightsee-jogging’ tour designed for health conscious guests staying at Belmond Hotel Caruso in Ravello. Here a personal trainer doubles up as a tour guide for a specially curated tour combing exercise with discovery.
A secret and enchanting world is available for guests at Belmond Hotel Cipriani, Venice with a tour of the hidden caves of the Karst region. A private cave can be reserved for special celebrations and a truly individual occasion.
A culinary experience with a difference is on offer to guests of BelmondVillaSant’Andreaand Belmond Hotel Timeo Sicily. In the foothills of Montevergine, the Benedictine Monks of Monastario St Nicolo l’Arena invite guests to participate in a cookery course reconstructing traditional monastic menus whilst tasting wines produced at Mount Etna.