With temperatures dropping and the changing colors of the leaves ushering in the pre-holiday cheer, November is an ideal time to jaunt around the globe. In search of a sumptuous food and wine excursion? Head to Napa Valley or Mexico. Want to immerse yourself in arts and culture? The city of Istanbul or the perennially beautiful Paris awaits. For charitable endeavors, Laguna Niguel and Hong Kong are prime destinations. Here’s where you should travel to this month.
Punta Mita, Mexico
Why wait until the spring to take a golf vacation? From November 23 through 26, show off your golf swing and dine in style at picturesque Punta Mita as part of The St. Regis Punta Mita’s sixth anniversary celebration, which plays host to the second edition of the St. Regis Golf Cup, played on the property’s beloved Jack Nicklaus course, as well as the XX International Gourmet Festival — the 11-day food extravaganza, which actually starts on November 13, includes a host of workshops, wine pairings and wonderful live music events — along the stunning shores of the Riviera Nayarit.
Where to Stay: The St. Regis Punta Mita’s anniversary package includes a three-night stay in a deluxe room, participation in The St. Regis Golf Cup (or a 60-minute massage for non-golfers), along with breakfast, lunch and dinner and other gourmet cuisine paired with Casa Madero wines and Patrón tequila prepared by guest executive chef Pato Persico. In addition to these indulgences, you will also enjoy beachfront yoga and a marine safari to Las Marietas Islands.
Food, vino and film lovers will want to head to wine country for the fourth annual Napa Valley Film Festival between November 12 through 16. Taking place over five gorgeous autumn days, this year’s event will feature 125 films, 300 filmmakers, 50 chefs and 150 wineries. Films will be screened across 14 venues in the postcard-perfect towns of Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga. There will be plenty of opportunities to hobnob with Hollywood’s elite at VIP receptions and Vintners Circle dinners, pre-screening wine tastings and a series of celebrity chef gatherings. Other NVFF highlights include the festival gala, awards ceremony, celebrity tribute (Kevin Costner is one of this year’s recipients) and wrap party.
Where to stay: Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Meadowood Napa Valley has partnered with the NVFF to host the festival’s artists-in-residence program that spotlights directors of the narrative and documentary films, making the hotel an excellent base for the week. Book the Bed & Breakfast Getaway and you not only better your chances of meeting some of the directors but you also get a bottle of Napa Valley cabernet and breakfast credit of up to $50 in the privacy of your room or in The Grill.
Novembers in Paris often mean rain and chill. Of course, the City of Light combats inclement weather with an abundance of museums. The October 27-debuted Fondation Louis Vuitton, which houses the art of France’s richest man and CEO of LVMH, Bernard Arnault, just happens to be the city’s latest and greatest. Nicknamed “The Iceberg,” the stunning edifice designed by famed architect Frank Gehry took 13 years, 100 engineers and 3,000 workers to complete. Composed of 12 glass sails that envelope the main building in an asymmetric pattern, the structure contains 11 galleries that feature temporary exhibits (through March 16, 2015, one showcases Gehry’s process for designing the building) in addition to Arnault’s collection (like Ellsworth Kelly’s “Spectrum VIII, 2014” with its bright rainbow-hued panels).
Where to stay: Book a room at the Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris, located less than 10 minutes from the Fondation Louis Vuitton and mere steps from the Champs-Élysées. Aching from walking the halls of the museum? The spa package is an excellent choice for your stay, because it comes with elegant accommodations, a daily continental breakfast and a choice of a 50-minute massage or facial.
While other parts of the country are experiencing quickly descending temperatures, Southern California still makes for an ideal destination for surf, sun and, on November 8, showing a bit of sympathy. The second annual Diamond Ball, hosted by Four-Star The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, benefits the Wounded Veterans Initiative of Canine Companions for Independence. When you purchase a ticket to the event, you’re not only doing your part in helping the organization pair our four-legged friends with people to better their quality of life, but you’re gaining entry into the four-course gala dinner, access to the silent and live auctions and a chance to dance.
Where to stay: Though you’ll be at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel for the sake of helping others, nowhere does it say that you can’t do something nice for yourself in the process. The hotel’s Celebrate You package is filled with all sorts of goodies, namely a bottle of champagne, valet parking, breakfast for two and a pastry amenity.
While Thanksgiving is the meal that gets the most attention this month, there’s another culinary event that we can’t wait for. On November 21, Mario Batali’s Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Del Posto will hold its annual Festa di Tartufi, a delicious ode to Alba’s white truffles. Savor Piemontese-inspired dishes like veal braciole with white sugo finto, fettucine with Alfredo spuma, and sunchocke carpaccio with walnut gremolata and fonduta, along with Barolo wine pairings. This decadent Italian meal almost makes us forget about turkey. Snag your tickets here.
Where to stay: Four-Star Trump SoHo New York puts you only two miles from Del Posto. To prepare for your dinner, spring for a treatment at the Four-Star spa. We recommend the Moroccan hammam experience, which includes a full-body exfoliation followed by an application of warm, detoxifying Ghassoul clay, a rinse and a scalp massage.
Art aficionados will want to trek to Turkey, home of the ninth annual Contemporary Istanbul event (November 13 through 16) that brings an international focus to Istanbul’s dynamic art scene. The show opens the gateway to contemporary art in the Balkans, the Middle East and, this year, China. It’s expected to draw international artists and collectors with exciting digital and design exhibits, dialogues about art now and in the future, and modern works from the aforementioned geographic regions along with Italy, Russia and Singapore. The event runs concurrent to the Istanbul Design Biennial and Artistanbul.
Where to stay: Book the Discover with You package at The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul for sumptuous overnight accommodations that include daily American breakfast, a $50 hotel credit per night, a Turkish welcome gift, an afternoon tea for two and cocktails in the Bleu Lounge & Grill.
People often head to Hong Kong for business, shopping or to indulge in world-class Cantonese cuisine, but this November, the city proves a perfect destination from which to promote prostate cancer awareness as part of Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong’s MOvember campaign. For men (MO Bros), it’s simple: Shave off your facial hair and register at www.hk.movember.com, then visit the Mandarin’s Barber with proof of an official MOvember account for a complimentary mustache trim throughout the month. For the ladies (MO Sistas) who are trying to transition their skin into the colder weather, a complexion-soothing service at the Mandarin Salon — a 60-minute Pash Rash facial is designed to soothe irritated, dry and flaky skin — is just the ticket.
Where to Stay: Book the Five-Star hotel’s Celebration Retreat promotion to receive room service for breakfast or breakfast in Clipper Lounge or Café Causette for two, a welcome bottle of champagne, chocolates, a late checkout and HK$500 credit (about US$65) to use in the hotel’s excellent restaurants, The Mandarin Spa or The Mandarin Barber.