This Beloved Boutique Hotel Just Launched Ultra-chic Camper Van Vacations in the U.S.

This Beloved Boutique Hotel Just Launched Ultra-chic Camper Van Vacations in the U.S.

Camp Hox is basically a boutique hotel on wheels.

This month, The Hoxton — known as the ever-trendy boutique hotel that started in the U.K. — launched Camp Hox, a series of curated camper van experiences across the U.S. and Europe. Bookings went live on May 4 for the second iteration of Camp Hox. Last summer, they hosted the first Camp Hox experience in the U.K., swapping city hotel rooms for glamping tents in Oxfordshire and bringing the quintessential Hoxton decor and amenities to the English countryside.

This year, Camp Hox is expanding to the U.S., Holland, and France. And they’re using camper vans this time around, outfitted with Roberts radios, a fridge stocked with complimentary beer and wine, a portable grill, Hoxton towels and linens, and everything you need to take one of your favorite hotel experiences on the road.

Their first U.S. itinerary is in California. The trip — called Win(e)d down the Windows — starts at The Hoxton, DTLA and takes the Pacific Coast Highway, winding through charming towns where The Hox has earmarked attractions for you (think: vintage shopping and local restaurants). Your destination is Windrose Farm in Paso Robles, where you’ll pull into a campsite that’s already been booked and paid for by The Hoxton. In Paso, Camp Hox has already flagged the best wineries, hiking trails, and beaches for seal spotting nearby. The curated trip (from $1,200) offers the best of the central California coast in two nights, followed by a night in Los Angeles at The Hoxton, DTLA.

Back in Europe, Camp Hox itineraries have moved outside the U.K. to Holland and France. In France, Camp Hox goers will take their vans from Paris to Normandy in La vie on road (from €900), beginning at The Hoxton, Paris (home to the world’s most charming courtyard) and heading to the northern French coast. Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, the camper vans depart from The Hoxton, Amsterdam, right along the canals, and venture up to Friesland (from €875). And, of course, the English brand has a Camp Hox in the U.K., Roll on rolling hills (from £795), leaving from The Hoxton, Southwark, and winding to East Sussex for a dose of coastal countryside bliss. However, the U.K. itinerary already sold out (in one day) — that’s how hot of a ticket Camp Hox is this summer.

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Virgin Hotels New Orleans Is a Chic Tribute to the Crescent City — and It’s Now Taking Reservations

Virgin Hotels New Orleans Is a Chic Tribute to the Crescent City — and It’s Now Taking Reservations

It’s almost time for check in.

Richard Branson is at it again. On Thursday, the entrepreneur announced that his latest Virgin Hotel in New Orleans is ready to take your summertime reservations.

Located in the Warehouse District at 550 Baronne Street, the new-build hotel features 238 guestrooms, which they call “Chambers,” including Grand Chamber Suites and two Penthouses that guests may never want to leave. The Richard’s Flat Penthouse takes up more than 1,000 square feet of space and features one master bedroom, a kitchenette, and floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing the stunning views of downtown New Orleans.

And, being in New Orleans, the hotel will of course be home to multiple dining and drinking outlets, including Commons Club and a rooftop pool and lounge atop the 13th floor, along with its Funny Library Coffee Shop.

“With Virgin Group’s rich history in the music industry and our passion for food and culture, New Orleans is a natural fit for the expansion of the Virgin Hotels brand,” James Bermingham, CEO of Virgin Hotels, shared in a statement. “Each of our hotels are rooted in the communities we serve, and Virgin Hotels New Orleans is no exception. We’re inspired by the city’s vibrant culture and have created a hotel that celebrates the local art, design, and music in a uniquely Virgin way. We can’t wait to open our doors and invite both locals and visitors to join us for a truly personalized experience in the special city of New Orleans.”

The hotel’s interior design, created by local design firm Logan Killen Interiors, incorporates what Virgin calls a “Southern residential feel while combining colorful, tropical architectural motifs with Virgin’s signature style of fun and smart design.”

Each of the Chambers, ranging from 294 to 592-square feet, come with local art on the walls, historical detailing, and Art Deco-inspired elements meant to evoke a sense of old-world meets modern luxury. The Chambers also come in Virgin Hotels’ signature layout with two distinct spaces — the Dressing Room with a full vanity, makeup desk with a well-lit mirror, an extra-large shower with a bench and with Red Flower toiletries, and The Lounge, which comes with the brand’s patented ergonomically designed lounge bed, a red SMEG mini-fridge stocked with street-priced comforts, a high-definition TV, yoga mat, and a cafe worktable.

Beyond the rooms and the pool, the hotel also comes with plenty of common spaces including a 24-hour state-of-the-art fitness center and more than 10,000-square feet of flexible meeting and event spaces.

“New Orleans is a special city, synonymous with celebration. After the year we’ve all experienced, it’s especially exciting to see the city come back to life with locals and tourists enjoying the rich culture, music, food, and nightlife again,” Bermingham tells Travel + Leisure. “Virgin Hotels is thrilled to join the community and we’ve taken great care to create a hotel experience that embraces all of these amazing aspects the city is known for as seen through our locally-inspired design, unique food & beverage offerings, and creative programming. We’re optimistic about the future of travel and look forward to opening our doors later this summer for guests looking to make their next great memories in New Orleans.”

Reservations are currently being accepted for stays starting Labor Day weekend and can be made directly on the hotel’s website here.

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How to Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in Los Angeles

How to Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in Los Angeles

Join the festivities in person and online.

May 1 marked the start of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, a time when we pay “tribute to the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America’s history and are instrumental in its future success.” And there is perhaps no better place to do just that than around the city of Los Angeles.

“L.A. is home to some of the largest AAPI enclaves outside of their native countries, and generations of AAPI immigrants and Asian Americans have helped make L.A. one of the most diverse cities in the country,” Los Angeles Tourism explains. “Cultural institutions, landmark buildings, monuments, and more let visitors explore the rich cultures and histories of the AAPI community.”

Ready to see and do it all? Here’s where you can celebrate both in person and online all month long.

Japanese American National Museum

The museum is hosting virtual events throughout the month of May. This includes the May 13 event Nikkei Uncovered, a virtual poetry reading, as well as the “Detention/Resistance” Zoom panel on May 20, and Art Break Sculpture Workshop on May 25.

East West Players performances

Now in its 55th season, East West Players will showcase six livestream performances of Lavina Jadhwani’s “The Sitayana,” an “artful transposition” of the Hindu epic “The Ramayana.” The performances will take place May 14 to 23.

Los Angeles Public Library

The library’s calendar is chock full of virtual events throughout the month of May to honor Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. This includes livestreaming music performances, film screenings, book clubs, author chats, Asian language classes, and more.

LACMA exhibition

In May, LACMA is hosting the exhibition Yoshitomo Nara, to allow guests to view the Japanese artist’s work. The exhibition will stay on display for an extended period through July 5. The museum is als hosting a free YouTube cooking demo with Sonoko Sakai, author of the award-winning cookbook “Japanese Home Cooking,” on May 25.

The Fowler Museum

The UCLA museum is hosting a Zoom session with chef Perry Cheung, owner of Dumpling Monster as part of its Global Cuisine Cooking Lessons series. This event will take place on May 25.

And this is all just the beginning. A full list of virtual festivals, music, and theatrical performances, films, literary events, and cultural activities can be found here. This way, you can fill your entire month and take these life lessons well beyond May.

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The Best National Parks in Uganda for Beautiful Views, Wildlife, and Lodges

The Best National Parks in Uganda for Beautiful Views, Wildlife, and Lodges

Jaw-dropping landscapes and unforgettable wildlife experiences await at Uganda’s best national parks.

Those who choose to travel are strongly encouraged to check local government restrictions, rules, and safety measures related to COVID-19 and take personal comfort levels and health conditions into consideration before departure.

There might be a silver lining to Uganda being so bafflingly underrated as a tourist destination: the chance to explore world-class natural attractions while dodging the masses seen in neighboring countries. Offering more than just gorilla trekking (though it’s indeed phenomenal), the Pearl of Africa is home to a treasure trove of wildlife and soul-stirring landscapes, the best of which can be explored within the country’s well-protected parklands.

With that in mind, here are four excellent national parks in Uganda — with corresponding lodges — to consider for your next East African adventure.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Few African parks can rival Queen Elizabeth’s biodiversity, from its savannas and crater lakes to its dense forests and wetlands. Nearly 100 mammal species roam this equator-straddling park, which contains four of the Big Five animals. However, it’s perhaps best known for its tree-climbing lions in southerly Ishasha. Other highlights include languid boat tours along the Kazinga Channel, where buffalos, elephants, and hippos coexist along the scenic banks, and the Kyambura Gorge, a sunken forest amid the savanna where nearly 30 endangered chimpanzees dwell.

Where to Stay: Kyambura Gorge Lodge

Perched atop the lush Kyambura Gorge, this eco-luxury lodge from Volcanoes Safaris has community and conservation at its heart. Formerly a coffee estate, the recently upgraded resort features eight plush bandas and a bevy of activities, from beekeeping and village project tours to guided gorge hikes and twice-daily game drives in Queen Elizabeth.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Rwanda might be the best-known destination for African gorilla trekking, but it is Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest that holds half of the world’s gorilla population.

Intrepid travelers endure steep hikes along this UNESCO-listed park’s verdant slopes to find the world’s largest primates, with many describing the journey and privileged encounter as “life-changing.” To learn how indigenous, forest-dwelling peoples once lived in the park area, the Batwa Cultural Experience in neighboring Nkuringo is a must.

Where to Stay: Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge

At nearly 7,000 feet above sea level, the aptly named Clouds is Uganda’s highest inn and a top lodging choice for gorilla treks — it’s situated a stone’s throw from Bwindi’s Nkuringo gate. Ten classic, high-beamed stone cottages dot the hillside, and on a clear day, seven Virunga volcano peaks reveal themselves for unforgettable views of Uganda and beyond.

Kipedo Valley National Park

Bordering South Sudan and Kenya, Uganda’s most remote national park is an off-the-beaten-path destination that’s well worth the trek. Outstretched acacia trees dot the semi-arid landscape, filled with both familiar wildlife and animals you can’t find anywhere else in the country, including cheetahs, aardwolves, and black-backed jackals. Its far-out location rewards travelers with minimal crowds and natural beauty that rivals that of more popular East African parks, such as the Maasai Mara and Serengeti.

Where to Stay: Apoka Safari Lodge

For Apoka guests, a safari drive isn’t required to see Kidepo’s zebras, elephants, and warthogs (though it’s highly recommended). These animals, drawn by a watering hole and abundant grassland, will come to you instead. There are arresting views for miles from the park’s sole upscale lodge, best experienced from the granite-carved infinity pool or one’s outdoor sunken stone bathtub.

Murchison Falls National Park

Uganda’s largest national park offers more than its name suggests. Popular safari wildlife and the endangered Rothschild’s giraffe cover the endless savanna, while 450 birds species and fearsome hippos line the Nile River, where tour boats glide through sedate, wide-mouthed waters. Its eponymous attraction, though, is among the most spectacular sights in Africa: the Victoria Nile squeezing through a bottlenecked gorge to create the world’s most powerful waterfall. Take a hike to the top of the falls for up-close access to Uganda’s best-known natural wonder.

Where to Stay: Nile Safari Lodge

Nile Safari Lodge, a stylish, eco-conscious retreat along the banks of the iconic river, is an excellent base from which to explore the park’s top attractions. Travelers can choose from accommodations that include solar-powered Deluxe Bandas and a two-bedroom Family Villa, which has its own private pool and expansive terrace.

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