Celebrated annually in honoring fathers, fatherhood and paternal bonds, this special day pays tribute to the influence of fathers in society. Upscale Living magazine went in search of a few spoils for the special fathers out there, who deserve something exceptional.
OFF-ROADING AT ASHFORD CASTLE IN IRELAND
Ashford Castle, the historic 800-year-old castle in western Ireland that is celebrating 80 years operating as a luxury hotel this year, just introduced its newest activity for dads to experience Western Ireland’s rugged landscape: Off-Roading. Olympian David O’Loughlin designed two courses for guests to experience these scenic Irish lands: a 1.5-hour course around the grounds of Ashford, and a “Discover Connemara” full-day course that takes approximately seven hours to cover the full terrain in Derroura Forest Park, considered the “gateway to Connemara.” Participants will learn how to drive their vehicle across the challenging terrain for this action-packed experience, including obstacles such as the bumpy ‘Rock Garden’ and the ‘Tipping Point’ triangle. The course also offers a deep-water crossing, rut driving, descents and ascents and side slope driving maneuvers in the Derroura forest. To unwind after a long down on the road, dads can try some of Ireland’s best whiskeys, including Ashford’s very own bespoke Midleton Very Rare Cask, in the Castle’s Billiards Room, and end the evening in the adjoining Cigar Terrace.
KICK IT LIKE BECKHAM AT ZURICH’S BAUR AU LAC
The Baur au Lac, Zurich’s storied grande dame luxury hotel, offers the ultimate Father’s Day experience with their “Kick it Like Beckham” package. The package includes two nights in your category of choice; a limousine transfer with entrance to the interactive, newly open World Football Museum (FIFA); ice cold beers and snacks and a three-course menu at Rive Gauche restaurant. For an extra treat, the hotel can arrange a biking tour of Zurich. https://www.bauraulac.ch/en/kick-it-like-beckham.html
HIKING, SOAKING, AND JAZZ IN THE BAVARIAN ALPS
Situated in the heart of the Bavarian Alps, Schloss Elmau is one of the most luxurious spas and cultural resorts in Germany. The resort offers 162 rooms and suites, five restaurants, six separate and lavish spas, the largest bookstore in any hotel in Germany, and a concert hall that hosts more than 200 live classical, jazz and world music concerts throughout the year. June is an ideal time for families to visit the resort as it’s the perfect time of year to hike the 70+ summits located right around the resort, in addition to e-mountain-biking, swimming in the crystal-clear lakes, kayaking and playing tennis or golf.
GOLDEN CURRYWURST AT THE ADLON IN BERLIN
The iconic Hotel Adlon Kempinski, located right next to the famous Brandenburg Gate, is an ideal spot to take dad for the perfectly indulgent Father’s Day meal. Families can enjoy the hotel’s signature “Adlon-Currywurst,” a luxurious take on the traditional German street food, which is served with edible gold flakes on top. Pair that with the Adlon’s extensive selection of local German beers, and it’s the perfect Father’s Day meal. Even more, guests can ride around Berlin in style via the Adlon’s very own Rolls-Royce Ghost, the latest addition to the Adlon’s luxurious set of cars, to feel like a true VIP for Father’s Day.
BIKING THROUGH THE LOIRE VALLEY, FRANCE
Home to some of the most spectacular scenery in France, the Loire Valley is a region that offers visitors endless ways to explore its famous chateaux, vineyards, and nature. This year, the region is celebrating the 500th anniversary of the French Renaissance, which will welcome in a ton of events, exhibits and more in honor of this occasion. An excellent way for families to experience the region for Father’s Day is by biking through these scenic lands. La Loire à Vélo is a scenic bike route spanning 560 miles that winds through the picturesque Loire Valley, allowing travelers to explore the region’s most incredible chateaux, villages, vineyards, and landscapes on two wheels. The full route takes travelers all the way from Cuffy (near Nevers) to the Atlantic coast, where they can pit stop for a glass of Sancerre, a visit to the Chateau de Chambord, a tour of the royal city of Blois, and so many more iconic sites and cities along the Loire, including Chaumont-sur-Loire, Amboise, Tours, and Chinon. Travelers looking for a shorter ride through the Loire Chateaux can look to Indre à Vélo, a 124-mile bike route that connects the Berry province with the town of Azay-le-Rideau, including serene trails along the Indre River, and past such historic sites as the medieval Fortress of Montbazon, the Chateau de Chenonceau, and Chédigny, the only village-garden in France on an alternative trail.
A GOURMET GETAWAY AT LE RELAIS BARNARD LOISEAU IN BURGUNDY, FRANCE
Le Relais Bernard Loiseau, the 5-star Relais & Chateaux property in the heart of Burgundy known for its gastronomy thanks to its iconic two-Michelin-starred restaurant, is offering a special package for Father’s Day this year. The package includes an overnight stay, a bottle of Bernard Loiseau’s own signature wine, a six-course tasting menu at the two-Michelin-starred restaurant, a special gift of chocolates, and access to the newly opened spa. https://www.bernard-loiseau.com/en/information/special-offers.html
FATHER / SON TRIPS WITH THOMSON FAMILY ADVENTURES
Thomson Family Adventures, the leading tour operator dedicated for family travel, has a variety of itineraries perfect for a last-minute father/son trip on Father’s Day:
FOR THE DAD WHO LOVES HISTORY, a visit to Egypt (June 13th – June 22nd) is an absolute must. Families can step back in time and discover the amazing wonders of Ancient Egypt, with a visit to the Great Pyramids on a camel and sailing down the Nile on a traditional Egyptian style boat. This ten-day trip begins on June 13th and ends on June 22nd.
FOR THE DAD WHO LOVES AN ADVENTURE, a trip to Baja California Sur (June 15th – June 21st) is a perfect blend of relaxation and sports. Dads can learn to surf with a professional instructor in Los Carritos and even swim with whale sharks in the beautiful Bay of La Paz.
With over 90 itineraries throughout the world, there are plenty of trips to book as a present for dad:
FOR THE DAD WHO’S A FOODIE, he can satisfy his taste buds with a culinary trip to Vietnam, complete with tours of the best street food in Ho Chi Minh City and travels through the Mekong countryside. Trips are available in August and December.
FOR THE DAD ITCHING TO CROSS SOMETHING OFF HIS BUCKET LIST, he can finally cross off trekking Machu Picchu with a trip to Peru. Along with an exploration of the grounds of Machu Picchu, dads and sons will get to trek through the Andes Mountains with an option to extend their trip into the Amazon. Trips are available in July and December.
A TRIP TO CUBA WITH CLASSIC JOURNEYS
With more than 90 itineraries in 42 countries on six continents, Classic Journeys offers one-of-a-kind experiences all over the world. With a culture so incredibly influenced by its history, the unique music and art scene of Cuba is an absolute must-see for any culture enthusiast and makes for an unforgettable trip father and son trip. Classic Journeys’ 4-day/3-night “A Long Weekend in Havana” itinerary is an immersive trip of a lifetime anchored around the country’s vibrant music and art scene. Connect with Havana’s musicians and artists while learning about how the arts and humanities have survived and thrived with the Cuban people at the heart of the movement. With a fantastic mix of events including a visit to Ernest Hemingway’s home and a morning visit with Cuba’s leading dance company, List Alfonso Dance Cuba, to watch a rehearsal, this itinerary is packed full of personal encounters with Cuban people from all strata of society. Guests will also be partaking in a salsa lesson, visit the Museum of Fine Arts and will experience some of the finest new restaurants Havana has to offer.
June 20-23, 2019 (additional tours scheduled for June 2019 – December 2020).
SUMMERTIME IN COLORADO ROCKIES AT DUNTON RIVER CAMP
Treat dad to an unforgettable outdoor adventure this Father’s Day at Dunton River Camp. Located at Cresto Ranch, Dunton River Camp is comprised of eight luxurious canvas tents located in an alpine clearing in the Colorado Rockies. The seasonal resort includes the main lodge located only 20 feet from the Dolores River; a restored 19th-century farmhouse, with dining room, guest salon, and wraparound deck with spectacular views of the San Juan Mountains. Each tent features a king size bed with luxury bedding, gas stove, spacious en-suite bathroom, and private lounging porch. Guests can explore and hike over 1,600 acres of wilderness area in the San Juan Mountains. Additionally, Cresto Ranch guests have complimentary access to Dunton Hot Springs’ Bath House, outdoor hot springs and restaurant. For the adventurous, Cresto offers guided on- and off-property activities available late spring through early fall. Complimentary activities include fly fishing, horseback riding, mountaineering, mountain biking, rafting, and archeological day tours. Guests can also enjoy vineyard tours & tastings, spa services, yoga, and photography/fine art lessons for an additional fee.
FATHER’S DAY AT NEMACOLIN WOODLANDS RESORT IN THE SOUTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA WOODLANDS
The sprawling Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in the Allegheny Mountains of western Pennsylvania is an unparalleled destination retreat ideal for a Father’s Day getaway. Set on 2,000 private acres in the Laurel Highlands, the resort home to 2 PGA golf courses, an Adventure Center (where guests of all ages can try out zip lining, bungee jumping, off-roading, skiing and more), a Wildlife Academy (home to an Equestrian Center, animal nursery and animal habitats, home to tigers, lions, black bears, bison and more), a bowling alley and lots of woodlands for hiking and mountain biking. https://www.nemacolin.com/fathersday
BARBER SHOP + CHIVAS AT QT SYDNEY IN AUSTRALIA
QT Sydney is a trendy design hotel set within the walls of two beloved iconic Art Deco buildings in the central business district: the now-defunct Gowings department store and the still-operational State Theatre. The hotel’s flagship restaurant, Gowings Bar and Grill, serves European brasserie-style cuisine with edgy contemporary design, and it’s Gilt Lounge cocktail bar is a local favorite. Guests are greeted with quirk and intrigue at every step, such as with the “Directors of Chaos,” the red-wig-bedecked, leather-clad ladies who help orient arriving guests. This Father’s Day, treat dad to shave and facial at QT Sydney’s antique-style barber shop, SpaQ while toasting to whiskey neat courtesy Chivas Regal and their men of chivalry. SpaQ offers various customized barbering services, including luxury traditional wet shaves, and a no-nonsense, yet thoroughly modern approach to men’s skincare and grooming. https://www.qthotelsandresorts.com/sydney-cbd/spaq/#barber-shop/
Heléne Ramackers is a freelance journalist who enjoys interviewing local and international celebrities but thinks she has found her calling amongst the travel writing fraternity. A creature comfort girl at heart, she loves all things opulent. Her first taste of the bushveld was all it took to get bitten by the ‘bush-bug’, an absolute life-altering experience. She now longs for the expanse of wide open spaces, a pollution-free sky and the roar of a lion lulling her to sleep. When she’s not fantasizing about her next leopard sighting, she thrives on taking photographs of her family and loves capturing the beauty of sunrises, sunsets, rainbows and the magnificence of the full moon. Born and bred in Cape Town, this wife and doting mother loves visiting the beauty that is right on her doorstep – the splendor Table Mountain, the crashing waves at Bloubergstrand and the alluring scenery of the winelands. To add Upscale Living to her portfolio is a dream come true!
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