Top Bespoke Hotel Experiences for Millennial Travelers

Off the Map Travel has announced that it is inviting travelers to Narvik, Norway, to spend a night with wolves at the new Wolf Lodge.
Off the Map Travel has announced that it is inviting travelers to Narvik, Norway, to spend a night with wolves at the new Wolf Lodge.

Relaxation, getting away from home and exploring are the top three on the “Destination Attitudinal” list for Millennials, according to MMGY Global’s 2015 Portrait of American Travelers, while experiencing new cuisines, pursuing a hobby and playing/participating in a sport also make respectable showings. The following new experiences each touch on one or more of these.

“Night With the Wolves”

Polar travel and Northern Lights experts Off the Map Travel has announced that it is inviting travelers to Narvik, Norway, to spend a night with wolves at the new Wolf Lodge and search for the Northern Lights with its “Night With the Wolves” package.

At the newly opened lodge, guests will have the opportunity to observe wolves close-up in their natural Arctic environment. The lodge is set inside a wolf enclosure at Polar Park, home to a range of native Arctic animals, including wolverines, Arctic foxes, bears, lynx, reindeer and wolves. Travelers can enjoy a stay, as well as a “wolf viewing,” in the lodge by night, and experience a supervised, face-to-face “Wolf Kiss” with the socialized wolves by day.

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The Wolf Lodge can comfortably accommodate 10 guests, and has an open-plan area, including a fully equipped kitchen with a hand-crafted dining table, and a living room that looks out into the natural environment. Five guest rooms and a shared bathroom occupy the lower level.

Guests looking to enhance their Arctic wolf experience can participate in a hunt for the Northern Lights, either from the warmth of the Wolf Lodge, or as part of a new Lights at the Lodge gondola adventure led by a Northern Lights expert. Travelers will make their way up Narvik Mountain (Narvikfjellet), which overlooks the port of Narvik and the fjord beyond and then enjoy a gondola ride leading to a two-floor lodge at the mountain summit. Visitors can stay warm inside while enjoying refreshments and awaiting the colors of the Aurora. Guests can also sit outdoors and experience the show from one of the lodge’s three viewing platforms. Note: If weather prevents the gondola from running, a second lodge, half-way up the mountain, is reachable by road and a short walk.

A four-day, three-night “Night with the Wolves” itinerary to Narvik with Off the Map Travel is priced from £2299 per person (approximately $3,150), based on four travelers, excluding flights. The program includes all transfers, one night at the new Wolf Lodge with dinner and a guide, a Wolf Kiss to meet the wolves face-to-face, accommodation for two nights in a four-star hotel with breakfast daily, a hunt for the Northern Lights from the hotel’s sky bar, a boat trip along the fjord to search for wildlife, and the new “Lights at the Lodge” Aurora hunt up Narvik Mountain with a guide.

Honey from the Clift Hotel’s Bee Sanctuary will be used in new dishes at the hotel’s Redwood Room.
Honey from the Clift Hotel’s Bee Sanctuary will be used in new dishes at the hotel’s Redwood Room.

Honey Bees, Decompression

San Francisco’s Clift Hotel is celebrating the arrival of spring with the debut of a new rooftop Bee Sanctuary and Cocktail Herb Garden, along with the launch of a spring-themed Decompression Hour menu. In 2015, Clift Hotel brought 100,000 bees, including 10 queens, to its new rooftop “suites.” Local bee keeper Roger Garrison was responsible for positioning the box hives to mimic the city grid below, in representation of a miniature San Francisco complete with tiny sky scrapers and the gold dome of City Hall. Today, the honey bee population has reached 800,000 and annual production of up to 70 pounds per hive of honey is expected by this summer.

The harvested honey will be used by Clift’s Executive Chef Thomas Weibull to create a menu of items set to be served in the hotel’s Redwood Room, as well as room service dishes, breakfast selections and banquets. Also, some honey will be packaged as gifts, while a portion will be donated to local medical centers in need of local honey.

In addition to the launch of the rooftop Bee Sanctuary, the property has also curated a garden of all-organic herbs and citrus trees with cocktails and mixology in mind, set in the hotel courtyard on the second floor. No fertilizers or pesticides are permitted when growing the plants, which are cared for regularly by Nijad Fares, Clift’s director of food and beverage, along with Chef Thomas.

The hotel’s mixologist Tony Kim and his team at Redwood Room have already begun to infuse local spirits such as No. 209 Gin with home grown herbs, flowers, lemons and limes. The organic herbs will also be incorporated into select menu items.

In late March, the Redwood Room will debut a new Spring Menu for Decompression Hour, offering some of the newly created signature cocktails concocted with the property’s herbs and honey, along with light fare. Select beers and wines will also be available. Decompression Hour is available Monday through Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m.; reservations are not required.

Earlier this month, Clift Hotel launched a new Chemistry Happy Hour, an event designed specifically for singles. Every Tuesday from 5 to 7 p.m. there will be an activity to keep attendees engaged, allowing them to mingle, stress free, at the hotel bar.

First-floor Surf Villa at The Cape, A Thompson Hotel in Los Cabos
First-floor Surf Villa at The Cape, A Thompson Hotel in Los Cabos

Surf’s Up in Los Cabos

The Cape, A Thompson Hotel, in Los Cabos, is now offering guests a chance to test their surfing skills. In partnership with Mansa Vida, a travel production company founded by pro-surfers Rob Machado and Tim Curran, the hotel will host a surfing retreat. And it’s not just about riding the waves. The retreat will explore the sport, music and the art of surf culture. Guests will be taught by some of the best in the sport, including Curran, pro-surfer Damien Hobgood and surf photographer Tom Servais.

The three-night event will be held May 19-22. We hear room options vary, but guests can be booked into The Surfer Villa. This three-bedroom, two-story villa is a chill place to hangout. It also comes with a kitchen, gaming room, a private outdoor patio, a plunge pool with sauna and more.

Retreat-goers will dive into the waves with Curran and Hobgood, where there will be hands-on coaching. This experience is open to surfers of all levels. In the evenings there will be film screenings of cult favorites, followed by a Q&A period with the pros and Servais. The trip is limited and is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. There is also an option for a five-night package. Note: Pricing can be adjusted for large groups. To book, dial The Cape directly at 877-793-8527.

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