We Ship Worldwide Call 203.293.6148

Travel and Leisure

suzyhoover

Experience
Life is about the experience. At Eleven, they custom-design unique global adventures for family, friends and business associates. Whether heli-skiing near the Arctic Circle in Iceland or casting for bonefish on a remote island in the Bahamas, Eleven experiences are a different kind of escape. We are not found in traditional destinations. Our lodges, chalets and beach houses are miles from the main road - in a historic farming village high along the French-Italian border, on a rugged river in Patagonia, off the coast of Eastern Long Island, and in other unique locations away from the crowd.

In each destination, world-class food and lodging are combined with rigorous guided outdoor activities on mountains, in the backcountry, and on the water for guests of all ages and all skill levels. In urban locations our guides gracefully introduce guests to local culture, knowledge and places known only to native insiders. No matter where in the world they may be, every facility has five star accommodations, award-winning chefs, extensive wine cellars, saunas, steam rooms, spas, and friendly, expert guides who will show you new dimensions of life, friendship, family and adventure.

Their goal is to provide guests with their most unforgettable life experiences. In a world increasingly cluttered by material possessions, our trophies are exceptional and enduring memories of life well-spent. Eleven Experience appeals to highly accomplished and respectful people who love the outdoors and are curious about the world, who appreciate the local environments in which we operate and are eager to live unobtrusively in them during their stay with us.

Check Eleven Experience npw, it's the perfect adventure for living...

Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
suzyhoover

Oktoberfests to Visit If You Can't Make it To Munich

As throngs of thirsty folk head to the halls for Oktoberfest 2015, we round up our favorite Oktoberfests around the country.

Oktoberfest, Fredericksburg, Texas

Texas has strong ties to Germany—Texas German, a dialect, is still used amongst the city's older population. It makes sense then, that towns like Fredericksburg (named after the Ping of Prussia) know how to throw down for Oktoberfest (nearby Addison's Oktoberfest pulls in over 70,000 visitors each September). Fritztown's Oktoberfest is smaller, but just as Germanic. Plus, there's a tuba festival, lovingly called OkTubaFest. (October 2-4)

Harpoon Octoberfest, Boston, Massachusetts

Boston's biggest Oktoberfest celebration takes place in Harpoon Brewery. The brewery showcases its fall beers, and a local German restaurant brings in the festival's fare. And don't worry, there will be chicken dance. (October 2-3)

Acadia's Oktoberfest, Southwest Harbor, Maine

More than 20 breweries take part in this picture-perfect Oktoberfest, which nods to the Bavarian beerfest without getting too verrückt (that would be crazy). While Saturday is for beer and brats, Friday night is for wine and cheese. (October 9-11)

Soulard Oktoberfest, Soulard, Missouri

The Soulard Oktoberfest has all the standard Bavarian food (plus tacos and doughnuts) and festivities, and proceeds benefit St. Louis-area non-profits and German cultural organizations. So you can pat yourself on the back for paying the $5 admission fee, or wear your lederhosen and get in for free. (October 9-11)

New Ulm Oktoberfest, New Ulm, Minnesota

New Ulm was founded by German immigrants in 1854, and is still the sister city to Germany's Ulm. The city's history and rich brewing culture makes for a boisterous Oktoberfest with all the usual draws, plus a 45-foot glockenspiel. (October 3 & 10)

Leavenworth Oktoberfest, Leavenworth, Washington

This Washington mountain town was modeled after a Bavarian village, and so Leavenworth definitely lends itself well to Oktoberfest. Granted, the menu offerings skew more American than authentic—brats on buns are accompanied with cole slaw and baked beans. (Weekends from October 2-17)

Oktoberfest at the Kentlands, Gaithersburg, Maryland

Gaithersburg's Oktoberfest stretches across the picturesque Kentland Village Green, Kentlands Mansion, Main Street, and Market Square—plenty of room for the horse-drawn wagon rides, apple-cider pressing, artists, a cappella groups, and more traditional performers like the Alte Kameraden German Band and the Alt-Washingtonia Bavarian Dancers. (October 11)

Linde Oktoberfest, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Bon Appetit considers this to be one of the best German food festivals in the country, and sponsor Lufthansa is responsible for importing in its Bavarian talent. Needless to say, Tulsa's Oktoberfest is legit. (October 22-25)

 

Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest, Big Bear Lake, California

The spawning San Bernadino festival is one of the most revered Oktoberfests in the United States, and extensive to say the least—there are three sponsored biergartens (Shock Top, Spaten, and Warsteiner), as well as a variety of bars inside the main tent. We suggest making time to watch the Polka Tots, a group of two- to 12-year-olds that serve as the fest's official dance group. (Weekends until October 31)

Bear Mountain Oktoberfest, Bear Mountain, New York

This Oktoberfest makes up in scenery what it lacks in size—enjoy your pretzel and polka music while sneaking in some Hudson Valley leaf peeping. Some packages include a cruise up the scenic Hudson River. (Weekends until October 31, plus Columbus Day)

 

Blog: Conde Nast Traveler

Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
suzyhoover

Oktoberfests to Visit If You Can't Make it To Munich

As throngs of thirsty folk head to the halls for Oktoberfest 2015, we round up our favorite Oktoberfests around the country.

Oktoberfest, Fredericksburg, Texas

Texas has strong ties to Germany—Texas German, a dialect, is still used amongst the city's older population. It makes sense then, that towns like Fredericksburg (named after the Ping of Prussia) know how to throw down for Oktoberfest (nearby Addison's Oktoberfest pulls in over 70,000 visitors each September). Fritztown's Oktoberfest is smaller, but just as Germanic. Plus, there's a tuba festival, lovingly called OkTubaFest. (October 2-4)

Harpoon Octoberfest, Boston, Massachusetts

Boston's biggest Oktoberfest celebration takes place in Harpoon Brewery. The brewery showcases its fall beers, and a local German restaurant brings in the festival's fare. And don't worry, there will be chicken dance. (October 2-3)

Acadia's Oktoberfest, Southwest Harbor, Maine

More than 20 breweries take part in this picture-perfect Oktoberfest, which nods to the Bavarian beerfest without getting too verrückt (that would be crazy). While Saturday is for beer and brats, Friday night is for wine and cheese. (October 9-11)

Soulard Oktoberfest, Soulard, Missouri

The Soulard Oktoberfest has all the standard Bavarian food (plus tacos and doughnuts) and festivities, and proceeds benefit St. Louis-area non-profits and German cultural organizations. So you can pat yourself on the back for paying the $5 admission fee, or wear your lederhosen and get in for free. (October 9-11)

New Ulm Oktoberfest, New Ulm, Minnesota

New Ulm was founded by German immigrants in 1854, and is still the sister city to Germany's Ulm. The city's history and rich brewing culture makes for a boisterous Oktoberfest with all the usual draws, plus a 45-foot glockenspiel. (October 3 & 10)

Leavenworth Oktoberfest, Leavenworth, Washington

This Washington mountain town was modeled after a Bavarian village, and so Leavenworth definitely lends itself well to Oktoberfest. Granted, the menu offerings skew more American than authentic—brats on buns are accompanied with cole slaw and baked beans. (Weekends from October 2-17)

Oktoberfest at the Kentlands, Gaithersburg, Maryland

Gaithersburg's Oktoberfest stretches across the picturesque Kentland Village Green, Kentlands Mansion, Main Street, and Market Square—plenty of room for the horse-drawn wagon rides, apple-cider pressing, artists, a cappella groups, and more traditional performers like the Alte Kameraden German Band and the Alt-Washingtonia Bavarian Dancers. (October 11)

Linde Oktoberfest, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Bon Appetit considers this to be one of the best German food festivals in the country, and sponsor Lufthansa is responsible for importing in its Bavarian talent. Needless to say, Tulsa's Oktoberfest is legit. (October 22-25)

 

Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest, Big Bear Lake, California

The spawning San Bernadino festival is one of the most revered Oktoberfests in the United States, and extensive to say the least—there are three sponsored biergartens (Shock Top, Spaten, and Warsteiner), as well as a variety of bars inside the main tent. We suggest making time to watch the Polka Tots, a group of two- to 12-year-olds that serve as the fest's official dance group. (Weekends until October 31)

Bear Mountain Oktoberfest, Bear Mountain, New York

This Oktoberfest makes up in scenery what it lacks in size—enjoy your pretzel and polka music while sneaking in some Hudson Valley leaf peeping. Some packages include a cruise up the scenic Hudson River. (Weekends until October 31, plus Columbus Day)

 

Blog: Conde Nast Traveler

Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
suzyhoover

The longest season: New Hampshire's Lakes Region

When to go: Late September through late October

Why go: The secret to finding a lingering foliage season is steering clear of the weather that knocks leaves from their branches. "I would choose those locations away from the wind of the coast and at higher elevations," says Jerry Monkman, co-author of The Colors of Fall Road Trip Guide. This New Hampshire region—which encompasses Lake Winnipesaukee, Squam Lake, Lake Ossipee, Mirror Lake, Newfound Lake and Lake Winnisquam—is protected from the harsh winds of the coast and doesn’t rise more than 600 feet above sea level, giving you the best chance for a long leaf season.

Where to get the best view: Obviously, from the middle of a lake (pick one). Bring a kayak and tone your paddling arms. "You can see red maples along the waterways showing their bright colors on the trees, and then reflected down into the water as well," says Tai Freligh, communications manager for New Hampshire's Division of Travel and Tourism Development.

The most variety: New York's Adirondack Mountains

When to go: Late September through mid October

Why go: To get the most variety, you need to go where there is geographic diversity, and contained within the Adirondacks you'll find marshes, river valleys, hardwood forests and high-elevation alpine environments. "These areas have a good population of sugar maple trees which, in my opinion, are the most attractive in the fall," Rzonca says. "Other popular species include birch, aspen, oak and silver maple, all of which turn yellow. These trees are then complimented with the brilliant crimson of the red maple. When you put all these trees together, it provides a fantastic contrast and variety of color."

Where to get the best view: "One of my favorite locations is John Boyd Thacher State Park, located on the Helderberg escarpment in Voorheesville," says Eric Scheffel, Senior Public Information Specialist for Empire State Development. "It not only has great fall foliage, but also offers amazing views of the Hudson-Mohawk lowlands—including the City of Albany—and the southern Adirondacks. While it’s known to many Albany-area residents, I’ve found that most visitors from outside the area have never heard of it."

 

The least crowded: Southern Wisconsin

When to go: Second week of October

Why go: In general, leaf-peepers in the Midwest don't have to contend with the same kinds of crowds that they do in the Northeast. "I tend to think that the entire region is rather underrated," says Marek D. Rzonca of the Foliage Network. "Historically, when people think of fall foliage, they think of the Northeast and New England. That thinking is not without merit, as the displays in much of the Northeast are spectacular, but the Midwest has its gems as well. Wisconsin has grown in popularity, at least on our site." Danielle Johnson, from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, calls the small resort town of Lake Geneva a "hidden gem for fall color" in Wisconsin. "Crowds die down in the fall," she says, "making it the perfect time to visit."

Where to get the best view: The Lake Geneva Shorepath Walk. The 21-mile trek gives you plenty of opportunities to see the fall colors set against the lake—and, as a bonus, it'll also take you through the backyards of historic mansions. Johnson says the town owes its popularity to the Chicago fire. "Wealthy Chicagoans fled to their second homes in Lake Geneva after the fire and made them their new homes," she says. This includes a number of properties that once belonged to the prominent Wrigley family. (Black Point Estate is the only one currently open to tours.)

 

The latest season: Southern Ohio

When to go: Late October

Why go:  Procrastinating? Better head south. "Typically, the foliage progression moves from north to south," Rzonca says, "so areas in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois tend to change later than the more northern states." In southern Ohio, leaves will still be hitting their peak in late October.

Where to get the best view: According to Ohio's Fall Color Report, you'll need to stretch your legs in order to get the best view. Throughout the state's parks, you can still find seven historic fire watchtowers—most of the others were dismantled from scrap—including one in the Tar Hollow State Forest in the southern part of the state. It's a long climb to get to the top, but you'll be able to get a panoramic view with autumn leaves stretching for miles in every direction.

 

The most dramatic: Glacier National Park, Montana

When to go: Early October

Why go: Timing is everything at Montana's rugged northern park, where the window between the summer rush and winter snows is razor thin, and it varies every year. The bright yellow larch and aspen and red maples aren't overshadowed by the area's jagged peaks and vertigo-inducing big sky—but it's close.

Where to get the best view: The Going-to-the-Sun Road over Logan Pass is not only poetically named, it's the park's most popular driving route.

Insider tip: If Glacier's blockbuster road is closed, nearby Flathead Lake offers scenic vistas and plentiful huckleberry picking.

 

The least crowded: Western Maine

When to go: Late September through early October

Why go: The season here might be short, the weather chilled and the location remote, but if it were easy, everybody would be doing it. Secondary bonus: Lodging is often not as expensive as it might be in showier areas better known for their leaf season.

Where to get the best view: Most Maine visitors are familiar with Acadia National Park, but Grafton Notch State Park, one of Maine's biggest, is where you should go for day hikes that won't put you in the path of other tourists. See the leaves as you hike your way to Screw Auger Falls, which was impressively carved out by a glacier.

Credit: Conde Nast Traveler

 

 

Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
suzyhoover

Old World Glamour of Train Travel

Below: Seven Stars in Kyushu
Japan’s ultraluxe rail line traverses the dramatic mountainous island of Kyushu, stopping at the rustic town of Yufuin, a destination famous for its hot springs.
Photos: Courtesy of Kyushu Railway Co.

Every detail is considered in the Seven Stars’ passenger suites. The walls feature Kumiko latticework, made by local craftsmen in Okawa, Fukuoka, without the use of nails. The sinks, meanwhile, were created by the late Sakaida Kakiemon XIV, a celebrated potter.

In the dining car, extensive rich wood detailing, from the chevron parquet pearwood floors to the coffered, arched ceiling, competes with epic views of Japan’s countryside.

Below: Rovos Rail
South Africa’s Rovos Rail has one of the largest fleets of refurbished trains from the late 1960s and early ’70s, and operates painstakingly restored vintage coaches.
Photos: Courtesy of Rovos Rail

Given the spatial limitations of a train coach, transforming one into a luxurious sleeper is no easy feat, requiring all kinds of architectural strategizing.

Period details abound on the Rovos coaches, including the carved-teak pillars of the dining car, which emulate the design of a 1924 train restored by the South African firm.

Below: Al Andalus
The Al Andalus traverses southern Spain’s scenic Andalusian region, departing from Seville (or Grenada) and stopping at various gastronomic and cultural destinations.
Photo: Courtesy of Renfe

Several of the coaches used for the Al Andalus were originally built in the 1920s and welcomed British monarchs traveling from Calais, France, to the Riviera. The interiors have a mix of period details, like the metalwork and lighting, and Belle Epoque–inspired flourishes.

Below: Andean Explorer
Traveling through the highlands of Peru, the Andean Explorer overlooks dramatic terrain, from Cusco to Lake Titicaca. A bar car with panoramic windows and an open-air observation deck provides an ideal vantage point.
Photo: Courtesy of PeruRail

The wood paneling, bronze details, and elegant geometry of the ceiling of the dining car summon the Pullman trains of the 1920s, the inspiration behind the Andean Explorer’s design.

 

Below: Golden Eagle
The Golden Eagle’s Trans-Siberian Express tour travels through the Ural Mountains, across the steppe, and around Lake Baikal, the world’s oldest and deepest freshwater lake.

Photo: Courtesy of Golden Eagle Luxury Trains

The Golden Eagle’s bar car is fit for a czar, with traditional Russian furnishings, including crystal from the centuries-old Dyatkovo factory and ceramics from the Imperial Porcelain Factory in St. Petersburg.

Below: Belmond Royal Scotsman
The Belmond Royal Scotsman weaves its way around the picturesque Highlands and glassy lochs of Scotland.

Photo: Courtesy of Belmond

Polished marquetry walls give warmth and elegance to a Belmond Royal Scotsman sleeper car, while historic prints and carefully chosen textiles add a sense of traditional Scottish style

Below: Eastern and Oriental Express
Belmond’s Eastern and Oriental Express passes through a variety of Southeast Asian locales. The dining car windows of the train were extended to allow for more panoramic views of the scenery.

Photo: Courtesy of Belmond

The interior design scheme of Belmond’s Eastern and Oriental Express combines Southeast Asian touches with colonial embellishments. Chinese and Thai lacquer abounds, while the observation car is covered with teak paneling. The Presidential Suite, pictured here, features inlaid wood, antique brass fittings, and campaign-style furniture to accommodate the room’s small dimensions.

Below: Venice Simplon-Orient-Express
The original Orient Express took its first trip in 1883, departing Paris for Istanbul. Today’s iteration, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express continues to represent the height of luxury European travel but travels a different route, leaving London for Venice via France, Switzerland, and the Austrian Alps.

Photo: Courtesy of Belmond

The exquisitely restored Art Deco coaches of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express convey the spectacular craftsmanship of the era, with stunning exotic wood paneling and fine metalwork. French artist René Prou designed the six sleeper cars, each of which is inlaid with an Art Deco marquetry design.

The formal dining car of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express evokes the golden age of European travel, the 1920s and early ’30s, with elaborate table settings and top-shelf crystal and china. René Lalique designed the Tulip wall lights throughout the train as well as a series of Bacchanalian-themed wall panels.

 

Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
Second Shout Out

Sit back and relax, here are some incredible water views that can't be missed.

La Sponda, Positano, Italy

 

Dock Kitchen, London, UK

 

Nobu, Malibu, CA

 

The Red Bicycle, Santorini, Greece

 

Club del Doge Restaurant, Venice, Italy

 

On the Rocks, St. Barts

 

Sierra Mar, Big Sur, CA

 

Surf Lodge Restaurant, Montauk, NY

 

Les Remparts, Eze Village, France

Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
Second Shout Out

These incredible photography shots went viral and we had to share.

Évora, Portugal

Venice, Italy

The Alps, Austria

Burano, Venice, Italy

Lisbon

Montemor o Novo, Portugal

 

 

Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
Second Shout Out

More than 173,000 pots of plants and herbs form a living carpet in front of the Antwerp City Hall in Belgium on Monday. To celebrate the 450th anniversary of the city hall itself, artist Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven selected 31 different species to create a large geometric design in bold, bright colors.

Pedestrians walk over the High Bridge, New York City's oldest standing bridge, for the first time since it was closed in the early 1970s. It connects Manhattan and the Bronx and spans the Harlem River.

A man works on a sawdust carpet along the streets in the early hours during the Corpus Christi feast on Sunday near Albacete, Spain.

Four velociraptors "emerged" from a shipping container at London Waterloo station early Monday morning. The stunt was to promote the film Jurassic World, which opened this past Friday.

Members of Team Vestas Wind watch the sunset during the eighth stage of the Volvo Ocean Race on Monday. The stage started in Lisbon and ended in Lorient, France.

A view of the art installation "Plastic Bags" by Cameroon-born artist Pascale Marthine Tayou in Leiden, Netherlands.

 

Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
Second Shout Out

Calabria is a peninsula in which the Apennines descend into the sea in the Aspromonte. It is bounded on the north by the Pollino National Park, which it shares with bordering Basilicata. Calabria has 800 km of shoreline; the mountains are never more than 40km from the sea.

But Calabria contains startling natural beauty and spectacular towns that seem to grow out of the craggy mountaintops. It has three national parks: the Pollino in the north, the Sila in the centre and the Aspromonte in the south. It's around 90% hills, but skirted by some 780km of Italy's finest coast (ignore the bits devoured by unappealing holiday camps). Bergamot grows here, and it's the only place in the world where the plants are of sufficient quality to produce the essential oil used in many perfumes and to flavour Earl Grey tea. As in Puglia, there are hundreds of music and food festivals here year-round, reaching a fever pitch in July and August.

Admittedly, you sometimes feel as if you have stepped into a 1970s postcard, as its towns, destroyed by repeated earthquakes, are often surrounded by brutal breeze-block suburbs. The region has suffered from the unhealthy miscegenation between European and government subsidies (aimed to develop the south) and dark Mafia opportunism. Half-finished houses often mask well-furnished flats where families live happily, untroubled by invasive house taxes.

This is where to head for an adventure into the unknown.

Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
Second Shout Out

Luxembourg
A marvelous mix of old and new

The capital of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is one of the most spectacular cities you’ll ever see. It’s mix of ancient and new is awe inspiring - Ville de Luxembourg welcomes you with history, culture, chic restaurants, high-fashion, and a rather slow-paced nightlife. That’s not to say that Luxembourg doesn’t know how to have fun, on the contrary. You’ll enjoy the city’s festivals more than anything else, and there are numerous nightspots, jazz clubs, theater performances and concerts to choose from.

Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon

Pages

Back to Top