Though the scenery may be stunning, the experience of travelling is far more enriching than simply admiring the view. With this in mind, Red Carnation Hotels has, at each of our properties, developed a unique collection of Experiences. These are exclusive itineraries that combine the deep heritage of our locations with the local knowledge of their communities. Whether it’s a private, tailored tour of a world-renowned museum or a toast to the sunrise 5,000 feet in the air, here are just some of the stories you can tell with Red Carnation Hotels’ Experiences.
Behind the scenes in London
“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.” Samuel Johnson opined the iconic phrase in 1777 and almost 250 years later, the writer’s wisdom rings truer than ever—especially for guests at Red Carnation Hotels.
The Montague on the Gardens enjoys a prime location between The British Museum and Faber & Faber, the publishing giant behind Seamus Heaney, T. S. Eliot, and Kazuo Ishiguro—with backstage passes to both. Enjoy a private, after-hours tour of The British Museum accompanied by an expert academic. Undistracted by the daytime crowds, it’s an opportunity to stroll at leisure through humankind’s most incredible artistic endeavours. Or step into the hallowed Faber & Faber halls, where the works of 13 Nobel Laureates have debuted. Here, you’ll received individualised tutorials in creative writing from the publisher which has defined English literature for the past 90 years.
On the other end of town, The Milestone Hotel & Residences is located in one of London’s most culturally resplendent neighbourhoods: Kensington. Once jovially dubbed “Albertopolis”, the area has been the playground of the Royal family for over 400 years, with every street hiding historical secrets. Allow us to reveal them on our illuminating neighbourhood walking tour with Russel Nash. He’s one of only a handful of Blue Badge Tourist Guides in London—the highest level of guide the UK has to offer.
From the rooftop at Hotel 41 in Belgravia, the gardens of Buckingham Palace are on resplendent display. Here, guests can roll out a mat under the instruction of a private yoga teacher and gaze out across the royal treetops during their sun salutations. Or, if you prefer another form of rooftop relaxation, learn the elegant act of Champagne sabrage and settle back with a sophisticated sundowner.
Above the clouds in South Africa
Described as “the fairest cape” in all the world by Sir Francis Drake, the shoreline of South Africa retains its incomparable lustre nearly 500 years on. While most often viewed at ground level, by far the most beautiful way to explore the fair cape is by air. Guests overlooking the ocean from The 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa can drift above the rosy landscapes in a hot air balloon as the sunrise dyes the Cape vineyards ochre and mountains lilac-blue. Or, if the pace of balloon is too languid, take to a helicopter and meet the living legend and long-founded friend of Nelson Mandela, Christo Brand. Christo was an inexperienced prison officer when he first met the late Nelson Mandela. Listen to his incredible stories while retracing the steps of Mandela across the Cape Town coast.
With the watchmakers in Geneva
From the smooth styles of Jaeger-LeCoultre to the time-tested classics of Patek Philippe, Switzerland’s watches are coveted the world over. Guests at Hotel d’Angleterre are invited to create a personal, one-of-a-kind watch, made with the luxury components of Geneva’s best brands. Spend the day with experienced makers at Initium, learning how these extraordinary time-keepers are assembled. Then, choose each component—from cured leather strap to stainless steel cog—to create an individual masterpiece, just in time to wear for drinks at The Leopard Bar.
Among the fields in Dorset
Dorset’s picturesque pasturelands inspired the likes of Jane Austen and Thomas Hardy. Surrounding Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & Restaurant, they were also the inspiration behind Black Cow vodka, made from nothing but the whey from grass-grazed cows. Visitors interested in Black Cow’s unorthodox, unique distilling process can tour the distillery before sampling its award-winning texture in a signature martini at The Bar.
Otherwise, try your hand at ancient art of hawking. The subject of England’s oldest colour-printed tome, hawking has a long heritage in Dorset, remaining to this day a pastime of the local aristocracy. Learn how hawks are trained and watch them in action around Summer Lodge’s expansive gardens.
Amazing tailored Experiences can be found at each and every one of Red Carnation Hotels’ global properties.