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Park Yourself at Fairmont - World's Best Green Spaces Make Fantastic Front Yards
Publish Date :
May 23, 2013
From UNESCO Sites to City Parks, Fairmont Highlights Green Spots Around the World
In need of a cure for Nature Deficit Disorder? A term coined by author Richard Louv, the theory connects a number of maladies and social ills to a lack of exposure to the Great Outdoors. As more people lose their connection to parks and natural spaces, Fairmont puts green at guests’ fingertips with hotels – both urban and remote – that offer up-close-and-personal access to wilderness playgrounds that can be enjoyed by adults, kids, and everyone in between. For travelers looking to find a soul-satisfying remedy for nature withdrawal, Fairmont has the answer with top parks that are just steps from hotel front doors.
For summer bookings with Fairmont, visit Everyone’s An Original for special offers that make connecting to Mother Earth easier than ever.
UNESCO-Certified: Exceptional Natural Beauty
As The Fairmont Banff Springs celebrates 125 years in the center of one of the world’s most stunning national parks, it’s worth remembering the words of 19th Century railway pioneer and hotel magnate Sir William Cornelius Van Horne: “If we can't export the scenery, we'll import the tourists.” Along with sister properties Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, there is no better gateway into Banff National Park and Jasper National Park, the crown jewels of the Canadian Rockies. Guests can canoe glacial lakes, scramble over icefields, and hike to The Burgess Shale – one of the world’s most important fossil sites.
Top City Parks: A Greener Shade of Urban
Visits to skyscraper-studded metropolises don’t have to rely on walks through concrete jungles – some of the world’s most magnificent green spaces have been urban refuges for over a hundred years. One of the world’s most famous parks sprawls north of The Plaza in New York City. Central Park dates to the 1850s and is a National Historic Landmark containing woods, rambles, lakes and miles of walking paths. Visitors have been known to go bouldering, boating, bird watching and more. On the West Coast, Stanley Park has its own illustrious history as the green heart of Vancouver. With soaring ancient trees, flocks of birds and numerous bodies of water, this massive urban park is a hop, skip and jump away from Fairmont Waterfront and Fairmont Pacific Rim along the famed 14-mile seawall – popular with runners, bikers and amblers of every variety. Montreal can boast that it’s the only city with a mountain downtown: Mount Royal. Designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, who also designed New York’s Central Park, the park is a favorite destination of the run club at Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth, which brings guests and colleagues together for weekly runs on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.
Most Blissful Lakeside Retreat
A serene body of water can do wonders for the soul, whether it’s far from civilization or surrounded by idyllic scenery. On the shores of Lake Geneva, Fairmont Le Montreux Palace offers a setting surrounded by mountains, vineyards, fields and forests. Having inspired artists from Lord Byron to Vladimir Nabokov to Freddie Mercury, the Swiss Riviera is a lakeside Eden of historic hamlets, inspiring castles and unadulterated beauty.
Best Animal Attractions
Travelers come from all over the world to spot wildlife in Africa’s famed parks and preserves. Fairmont Mara Safari Club in Kenya’s legendary Masai Mara has direct access to an astonishing array of wild animals (including the coveted Big 5: lions, leopards, elephants, buffalo and rhino), especially during the unparalleled Great Migration. To ensure the area is full of wild animals for many years to come, the resort has also teamed up with Working Wildlife Land Management Company to manage the Ol Choro Oiroura, a wildlife conservancy, which has begun a successful rhino breeding project. North of the lodge is Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club. In nearby Aberdare National Park, guests have caught glimpses of elephant, buffalo, zebra, colobus monkey and waterbuck. Also, next door is a non-profit animal orphanage guests can visit, which focuses on the reintroduction of the endangered Mount Kenya antelope - the bongo.
Top Pastoral Mind & Body Remedy
While many hotels & resorts boast quaint gardens, few come close to the sprawling Yue Feng Island Organic Farm onsite at Fairmont Yangcheng Lake in Kunshan, China. In order to offer local, organic produce for the resort’s sustainable menu items, this 200-acres private, organic herb and vegetable farm sits along the resort’s namesake lake. Guests are able to pick their own herbs, seasonal vegetables and fruits, all of which can be prepared by the hotel’s chefs in its restaurant or in the garden underneath an outdoor lakeside tent – making it a bucolic outdoor escape for any traveler. To truly experience all the farm has to offer, guests can also join resort chefs for organic cooking demonstrations in one of two Glass Houses, one that sits on the edge of the lily pond and the other among the rice fields.
Best Pink Sand Rail Trail
Within Bermuda’s 21-square-mile footprint lays extraordinary pink sand beaches, spectacular walking trails and breathtaking seascapes with exotic plants. The Bermuda Railway was originally built in the 1920s alongside the island’s stunning coast, and has the reputation of being the most expensive, per mile, ever constructed. Running the width of the island, the converted rail trail is managed by the Bermuda Parks Department and is easily accessible from The Fairmont Southampton and The Fairmont Hamilton Princess, and is where some of the loveliest sightseeing in Bermuda can be enjoyed.
Park with History: Seigniorial Wilderness
While red, cinnamon and blonde bears may have disappeared from most of Quebec due to overhunting, at Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello and Fairmont Kenauk, the properties’ historic legacy as a protected Seigniorial Estate has preserved many acres of wilderness for travelers looking to reconnect with nature and try to spot these elusive beasts. One of the continent's largest and most carefully protected wilderness habitats, guests can fish, hunt, shoot sporting clays, canoe and hike, all from the splendid isolation of a preserve that has been in existence since the 17th Century. Maintaining continued balance and preservation of this spectacular wilderness, which boasts more than 70 lakes within its borders, is the responsibility of staff biologists, ensuring nature lovers will enjoy this special area for many years to come.
The Savoy, A Fairmont Managed Hotel, offers the world’s first Green Butler to connect guests to all things green around London. In addition to providing all the traditional ‘butler’ services such as unpacking and packing (using recycled tissue paper, of course), The Savoy’s Green Butler also has an in-depth knowledge of the area’s cutting-edge eco-restaurants, eco-bars, environmental architecture and eco-retail. Making sure that a stay at The Savoy opens guests’ minds to a different side of London, the Green Butler can also direct guests to the stunning Royal Parks around town, lead them to London's wild side with a trip to ZSL London Zoo - which has been thrilling visitors of all ages since 1847, or help them discover the city’s many World Heritage sites, local parks, nature walks, bicycle paths, jogging routes and more.
Highest Number of Habitats
From Mauna Kea's winter snow-capped mountaintop to the flowing lava of Kilauea Volcano to tropical rainforests and a teeming undersea world, the Big Island of Hawaii has much to offer the nature-deprived traveler. The Fairmont Orchid can help guests explore 7 of Earth's 8 biomes that are represented on the island of Hawai’i, including the amazing Volcanoes National Park. Home of the Hawaiian demi-goddess Pele, travelers can take a walk thru a crater, a lava tube, and the devastation trails, or see the current lava flow from a bird’s eye view.
Top for Flora Finding
There’s much more wildlife in Africa than the famed Big 5, and the stunning flora that populate Kwazulu-Natal in South Africa are worth a visit of their own. Under an abundant forest canopy, Zimbali - Zulu for "valley of flowers" - is an unspoiled sanctuary. Within this subtropical paradise, Fairmont Zimbali Lodge & Resort helps guests get the most out of this unique 50-hectare reserve. Providing a refuge to the rich variety of local flora & fauna, the conservation area features pathways and wooden viewing decks throughout. Zimbali has several natural spring water lakes which create a beautiful habitat for 85 species of bird, hosts of butterflies and a wide variety of indigenous plant life. But there is also plenty of animal life within the reserve, which includes the bush buck, blue duiker, bushbaby, vervet monkey, banded mongoose and more.
Best Biospheres where Nature & Culture Meet
Around the world UNESCO designates Biosphere Reserves as places where biological and cultural diversity come together. In Quebec, Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu offers paddling through Domaine Le Pic Bois, a part of Charlevoix’s designated biosphere. Housing black bears and countless birds and mammals, it is also a place for guests to explore cultural attractions such as historical gardens, a pottery center, papermaking center, historic mills, art galleries, working studios and much more. In Mexico, Fairmont Mayakoba is closely tied to nearby Sian Ka'an, the third-largest protected area in Mexico and also a UNESCO Biosphere. Offering one-of-a-kind sightseeing, it is home to nearly every species of the region's wildlife, and gives guests the chance to explore 27 Mayan sites.
The Park at the End of the Road
Steps from The Fairmont Empress along the south shore in Victoria, British Columbia, the 62-acre Beacon Hill Park is Mile "0" of the 8,000-kilometer Trans-Canada Highway. A natural refuge since 1882, the park is best known for its natural features, with remnants of the fragile, native Garry Oak, spring shows of blue flowering camas, native wildflowers, grassland and Douglas-fir woods perfect for serene solace after a long drive. More than a hundred bird species live here, along with river otters, raccoons and squirrels while sunfish, painted turtles and crayfish make their homes in the waterways.
ABOUT FAIRMONT HOTELS & RESORTS
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is a celebrated collection of more than 65 luxury properties around the globe, including Shanghai's Fairmont Peace Hotel, The Plaza in New York, and Makkah Clock Royal Tower in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The luxury brand's distinctive hotels offer a sense of heritage and sophistication, warm, engaging service and culturally rich experiences. A community and environmental leader, Fairmont is also recognized internationally for its responsible tourism practices and award-winning Green Partnership program. Fairmont is owned by FRHI Holdings Limited, a leading global hotel company with over 100 hotels under the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel brands. The company also manages Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel branded luxury private residences club, whole-ownership residences and serviced residences properties. For more information or reservations, please call 1-800-441-1414 or visit fairmont.com.
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