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Travel

Magical new photographs of the wild horses on America's east coast

Magical new photographs of the wild horses that live on a bewitching island off the east coast of America

  • Cumberland Island was the setting for John F. Kennedy Jr and Carolyn Bessette’s wedding in 1996
  • It’s home to a 150-strong herd of wild horses, which roams free across beaches and dunes 
  • The spirited animals have been photographed over 12 years by French photographer Anouk Krantz 

Cumberland Island is one of America’s most bewitching locations – home to the only unmanaged wild herd of horses on the east coast.

The spirited animals have been photographed over 12 years by French photographer Anouk Krantz, captured in enchanting images as they continue to roam across this remote, largely deserted landscape off the Atlantic coast of Georgia.

The pictures first appeared in book Wild Horses of Cumberland Island in 2017 – and the publisher, Images Publishing, has now released a second edition. It contains new equally mesmerising images – some of which are showcased here. They capture some of the 150-strong herd of horses amid their serene sanctuary’s white-sand beaches, immense rolling dunes and old-growth maritime forests.

It’s a truly magical place – with a fascinating, at times bloody, history. It’s thought that horses originally would have arrived with Spanish settlers in the 17th century. There were plantations and Civil War battles there in the 19th century, with the Carnegies buying most of it in the 1880s.

They sold it to the National Park Service in 1972. But a descendant of original owner Thomas Carnegie, Oliver ‘Mitty’ Ferguson, runs the island’s hotel, The Greyfield Inn, which hosted the wedding reception of John F. Kennedy Jr and Carolyn Bessette in 1996. They married in the island’s minuscule First African Baptist Church.

Scroll down to see some of the beautiful new images by Anouk.

The wild horses of Cumberland Island have been photographed over 12 years by French photographer Anouk Krantz

The pictures first appeared in book Wild Horses of Cumberland Island in 2017 – and the publisher, Images Publishing, has now released a second edition

Cumberland Island was the setting for John F. Kennedy Jr and Carolyn Bessette’s wedding in 1996

Cumberland Island, off the Atlantic coast of Georgia, is a truly magical place – with a fascinating, at times bloody, history

It’s thought that horses originally would have arrived on Cumberland Island with Spanish settlers in the 17th century

John F. Kennedy Jr and Carolyn Bessette married in the island’s minuscule First African Baptist Church

The island is a serene sanctuary for the horses, with its white-sand beaches, immense rolling dunes and old-growth maritime forests

The super-rich Carnegies bought most of the island in the 1880s. They sold it to the National Park Service in 1972

A descendant of original owner Thomas Carnegie, Oliver ‘Mitty’ Ferguson, runs the island’s hotel, The Greyfield Inn. He has written the foreword to the second edition of Wild Horses of Cumberland Island

Ferguson writes in the foreword: ‘Cumberland Island is a rarity on the United States’ East Coast in that it moves to a slower speed. It’s a secret you want to share that focuses on life’s basics and is a powerful reminder that “less is more”‘


Ferguson says: ‘We have hosted Anouk at our home next to Greyfield for years, and I always admired how she would set off at dawn so she could explore and capture the island and its wild horses, returning muddy, sandy and tired at dusk’

Cumberland Island, the book says, will now forever be a preserved wilderness, an isolated sanctuary within a world erupting into a modern landscape

Krantz’s work has appeared in prominent galleries and earned accolades from the International Photography Awards and International Monochrome Awards

The island measures 17 and a half miles in length and is three miles wide – roughly the size of Manhattan

Wild Horses of Cumberland Island, Second Edition, by Images Publishing, is out now (RRP £60)

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Cruises

WTTC Launches New Campaign to Keep Wanderlust Alive

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has just announced the launch of a new campaign with the aim of inspiring travelers worldwide to share the hashtag #TogetherInTravel as a way of uniting the travel and tourism community, and stimulating discussions across social media platforms.

Such conversations, highlighted by the hashtag, would serve to show how the travel sector serves a vital function in inspiring our zest for life. The #TogetherInTravel campaign is set to go live on April 20, 2020, at 6:00 a.m. ET, along with a stirring video presentation that invites users from around the globe to unite in a single moment of solidarity by sharing the hashtag.

The campaign consists of three key elements: a highly visual and emotive video; the #TogetherInTravel hashtag to stimulate conversation across social platforms; and TogetherInTravel.com, a dedicated microsite to host the feeds of user-generated content and stories.

Gloria Guevara, President and CEO of WTTC, remarked, “Dreaming is part of our zest for life and our new campaign encourages thoughts of the brighter days ahead. Travel and Tourism is a critical sector to the global economy, accounting for one in four of all new jobs worldwide and contributing 10.3 percent to GDP.”

She continued, “The concept for the #TogetherInTravel campaign was borne out of a desire to rally everyone who is passionate about travel, to unify those who are working hard to rebuild the sector and to spread a message of solidarity that we are one global community, and one where travel brings us closer, at the right time.

“Our message is that everyone can still stay inspired with future travel ideas and bookings—and, in the meantime, be part of a virtual space for sharing, connecting and collectively inspiring.”

For more information, visit togetherintravel.com.

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Destinations

Some New York City Landmarks Have Been Turned Into Hospitals

New York has become the focal point for the coronavirus in the United States. With over 74,000 reported cases, New York hospitals have quickly become overcrowded. In response, New York City landmarks have been converted into temporary make-shift hospitals.

At least three popular city landmarks have been turned into temporary hospitals so far. According to NBC News, Mayor Bill de Blasio indicated that New York City will see even more of these makeshift medical centers.

“We’re going to use every place we need to use to help people,” de Blasio told reporters Sunday. “This is the kind of thing you will see now as this crisis develops.”

A 14-tent hospital has been set up in Central Park near Mount Sinai Hospital. It includes 68 beds and a 10-bed intensive care unit. Each bed provides its own ventilator. The hospital is staffed by 60 to 70 medical professionals who have volunteered to help patients who were not able to check into a proper hospital.

The Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the cite renown for holding the U.S. Open, has started converting into a 350-bed hospital early on Tuesday.

“I’m looking forward to the day when this is going to be a place for tennis again,” de Blasio said in a conference held at the tennis center. “But in the meantime, I’m inspired by the fact that people are stepping up.”

The Javits Convention Center has been turned into the city’s largest make-shift hospital, with 2,500 beds to house sick patients. The center started to receive its first patients earlier this week.

“Javits Center’s done many magnificent exhibitions and transformations, and they never cease to amaze me, but this is a transformation that I don’t think anyone could ever anticipate,” Cuomo said Monday.

The city received even further help after the Navy hospital ship, known as the Comfort, docked in Manhattan on Monday. The 1,000-bed ship is currently accepting patients who not infected with COVID-19 in order to free more hospital space for those who infected.

“We knew from the outset that expanded hospital capacity was critical,” Cuomo tweeted Monday. “We asked and the federal government answered.”

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Destinations

Seeing Bangkok in new light at Hyatt Regency

There are few skylines more compelling than Bangkok’s. As seen from above, the Chao Phraya river snakes through a sea of ancient temples and towering steel. At sundown, the sky fades to a bluish gray as the cityscape begins its steady nighttime transformation from flickering twinkles to a full-on grid of neon. To see Bangkok from its rooftops is an unforgettable experience, and a recently opened hotel is bringing it alive with a fresh perspective.

In December 2018, the Hyatt Regency Bangkok Sukhumvit opened its doors, marking the Hyatt Regency brand’s entry into the capital of Thailand. The luxe hotel embodies many of the buzzwords that make Bangkok so iconic: high-tech, traditional, a touch of audacity.

The hotel sits on one of the city’s most well-known thoroughfares, near the Nana neighborhood, the veritable red-light district of Bangkok. 

The nod to the traditional is matched only by the 21st-century touches that bring this hotel to the forefront of modern design. 

The 31-story, mixed-use development (it also includes condos and retail shopping) was conceived as a modern Thai house, and each detail is a nod to Thai history as told through decorative pieces of art, furniture and rugs. Walls and tucked-away corners pop with elegant sculptures designed by local artist Ajarn Nontiwat Jantanapalin.

The hotel features 273 guestrooms, including 21 suites. Each room has floor-to-ceiling windows that give a sweeping, clean line over the city. Rooms start at 377 square feet, and each one is equipped with the Hyatt Mobile Entry technology, which means that a guest can use a smartphone to open their room.

In addition, each room has a Handy smartphone that allows guests to stay connected while exploring the city. Guests on the 27th floor have access to the Regency Club Lounge, which includes privileges like private check-in and checkout as well as complimentary food and beverages with city views.

One of the highlights of the Hyatt Regency Bangkok Sukhumvit can be found perched on the top three floors of the hotel. Spectrum Lounge & Bar has positioned itself as a prime gathering spot for guests, business travelers and upscale residents looking to see and be seen with a cocktail in hand and the intensity of an illuminated Bangkok by night.

The lounge experience serves choice cuts of grilled meats, seafood, craft cocktails and whiskey, with live music permeating the three-story space, which opens to an open-air rooftop.

There are two other dining outlets, including a lobby lounge bar and Market Cafe, which serves authentic Thai cuisine.

For a different city view, this time during the day, step out onto the sixth-floor terrace for an outdoor, free-form swimming pool tucked amid a lush garden. Other amenities of this outdoor playground include a whirlpool, pool bar, steam room and a 24-hour gym.

To ease city exploration, the hotel is located with direct access to the BTS Skytrain Nana Station. It is within a short trip to the National Museum, Asiatique Riverfront, EmQuartier shopping and the Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha.

Rates begin at $155.

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Categories
Destinations

Seeing Bangkok in new light at Hyatt Regency

There are few skylines more compelling than Bangkok’s. As seen from above, the Chao Phraya river snakes through a sea of ancient temples and towering steel. At sundown, the sky fades to a bluish gray as the cityscape begins its steady nighttime transformation from flickering twinkles to a full-on grid of neon. To see Bangkok from its rooftops is an unforgettable experience, and a recently opened hotel is bringing it alive with a fresh perspective.

In December 2018, the Hyatt Regency Bangkok Sukhumvit opened its doors, marking the Hyatt Regency brand’s entry into the capital of Thailand. The luxe hotel embodies many of the buzzwords that make Bangkok so iconic: high-tech, traditional, a touch of audacity.

The hotel sits on one of the city’s most well-known thoroughfares, near the Nana neighborhood, the veritable red-light district of Bangkok. 

The nod to the traditional is matched only by the 21st-century touches that bring this hotel to the forefront of modern design. 

The 31-story, mixed-use development (it also includes condos and retail shopping) was conceived as a modern Thai house, and each detail is a nod to Thai history as told through decorative pieces of art, furniture and rugs. Walls and tucked-away corners pop with elegant sculptures designed by local artist Ajarn Nontiwat Jantanapalin.

The hotel features 273 guestrooms, including 21 suites. Each room has floor-to-ceiling windows that give a sweeping, clean line over the city. Rooms start at 377 square feet, and each one is equipped with the Hyatt Mobile Entry technology, which means that a guest can use a smartphone to open their room.

In addition, each room has a Handy smartphone that allows guests to stay connected while exploring the city. Guests on the 27th floor have access to the Regency Club Lounge, which includes privileges like private check-in and checkout as well as complimentary food and beverages with city views.

One of the highlights of the Hyatt Regency Bangkok Sukhumvit can be found perched on the top three floors of the hotel. Spectrum Lounge & Bar has positioned itself as a prime gathering spot for guests, business travelers and upscale residents looking to see and be seen with a cocktail in hand and the intensity of an illuminated Bangkok by night.

The lounge experience serves choice cuts of grilled meats, seafood, craft cocktails and whiskey, with live music permeating the three-story space, which opens to an open-air rooftop.

There are two other dining outlets, including a lobby lounge bar and Market Cafe, which serves authentic Thai cuisine.

For a different city view, this time during the day, step out onto the sixth-floor terrace for an outdoor, free-form swimming pool tucked amid a lush garden. Other amenities of this outdoor playground include a whirlpool, pool bar, steam room and a 24-hour gym.

To ease city exploration, the hotel is located with direct access to the BTS Skytrain Nana Station. It is within a short trip to the National Museum, Asiatique Riverfront, EmQuartier shopping and the Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha.

Rates begin at $155.

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Categories
Travel

Head to this action-packed new Spanish resort be fizzing with vitality

On your marks, get set… glow! Head to this action-packed new Spanish resort and the whole family will be fizzing with vitality

  • Mar Menor Beachclub is the latest super-luxe addition to the Neilson empire
  • Every second can be crammed with sports from volleyball to mountain biking
  • Buffet-style breakfast and lunch and four evening meals a week are included  

We’ve always dragged our children across Europe on holiday, staying in a rented house and stopping off at a supermarket en route.

In the months before departure, my husband Guy would painstakingly plan the Eurostar journey, the overnight stopovers, and even the toll payments. For my part, I would simply look forward to the freedom of waking up with the day stretching ahead, ours to do with as we like.

But now, after much deliberation, we are taking our two children — Herbie, 15, and Iris, eight — on a new adventure: an all-inclusive Neilson activity holiday. Perhaps it’s the mention of the ‘8am 5km run’, but I have never dreaded a holiday more.

Non-stop fun: Mar Menor Beachclub in Spain, where every second can be crammed with sports from volleyball to kayaking

Mar Menor Beachclub in Los Urrutias, southern Spain — a 40-minute transfer from Murcia airport — is the latest super-luxe addition to the Neilson empire.

Alongside rival Mark Warner, Neilson has been providing all-inclusive active holidays for more than 40 years. Both companies seem to have weathered the package-holiday dip that caught Thomas Cook by surprise last year, but the central premise is the same — all holidaymakers are expected to do is turn up.

That doesn’t mean you just lie around all week. Far from it. Every second can be crammed with sports — from volleyball and mountain biking to boxercise classes and catamaran joy-rides. This is not a holiday for fat-cat lazing.

When we mention it to friends who have already been, they speak about it with the zeal of the newly converted. ‘Sign up for as much as possible, as quickly as possible,’ they would say conspiratorially.

All the kids’ clubs, and almost all of the fitness activities, are included in the price, as is the daily buffet-style breakfast and lunch, and four evening meals a week. (And, no, you don’t have to share tables — although by the end of the week the teens invariably do.)

Spa treatments and any drinks from the rooftop and beach bars are added to your bill, which, even when you know this, will still give you a nasty shock at check-out.

Our first glimpse of the resort is of the gleaming white facade, behind which a horseshoe of identical-looking rooms curves round three pools with loungers and cabanas.

Mar Menor, in the Iberian Peninsula, is a saltwater lagoon with a unique, protected ecosystem. It isn’t the most scenic of places — it looks straight across to the high-rises of La Manga — but Neilson knows its stuff, and it is the perfect place for water sports.

First, we are given an activity planner from which to select free daily group lessons in tennis (fortunately streamed so that barely-hit-the-ball players like myself don’t have to be humiliated by Wimbledon wannabes like my husband), yoga, windsurfing and Zumba. We add a few paid-for extras: kite surfing, a scuba diving trip and a massage.

We had pre-booked the children into kids’ clubs, but even before Iris’s ‘Sharksters’ session begins, she works herself into a frenzy, crying after a dip in the pool as she hasn’t made any friends in the first five minutes. Her near hysteria culminates in a gash on her foot. It is at that moment, blood gushing between her toes, that the real Neilson magic happens.

Within seconds, first aider Summer — by name and nature — turns up. Like a knight in smiling armour, she hoses down Iris’s foot and dresses it. By the second day, Iris is happily hobbling off to her club, assiduously ignoring us when we wave to her in the pool.

Mar Menor Beachclub, pictured, is a 40-minute transfer from Murcia airport. It is the latest super-luxe addition to the Neilson empire

As the week unfolds, it becomes even clearer as to why Neilson has an evangelical following. The staff are extraordinary. Many of them, I learn, went on holiday with the firm when they were children. They go on a ‘zero-to-hero’ training course, and it shows. The trickier the guest, the nicer they become. And there can be no trickier guests than the 30-odd recalcitrant teenagers who are trying their best to mingle.

I take myself to the ‘teen talk’ at the beach bar. There is only one other mum there — Liz, a sailing whiz with two teenage girls, both Neilson devotees. ‘It’s difficult to persuade them to do any other holiday now,’ Liz admits.

Instead of the pep talk I’d expected, we get an illuminating insight into what to expect from our not-so-little darlings in the coming week. ‘They will drink. Usually on the beach — so if you can’t find them at 1am, that’s where they’ll be. The best thing you can do is give them a curfew.’

As it turns out, they are relatively well-behaved, gathering during the day at the poolside area, complete with bean bags. By night, they have the time of their lives in the exercise area, their mobiles moving around in the dark like flirtatious glow worms.

On the plane home, my son is pinging emojis to a hastily set-up WhatsApp group, while only seats away from his new friends.

‘Best holiday ever,’ says Herbie. My husband and Iris agree. We have all been well and truly converted.

TRAVEL FACTS 

Celia and her family travelled with Neilson holidays to Mar Menor Beachclub, from £499pp based on two adults staying for seven nights, including return flights from London Stansted and transfers (neilson.co.uk). The cost for a family of four (two adults and two children aged two to 14) sharing an interconnecting room is from £1,535. 

 

 

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