New Year, New You

With 2020 nearly at a close, we’ve rounded up our top picks to start the new year fighting fit. From at home workout with Bulldog Online Yoga, to braving the cold waters in Cornwall and hiking in Montenegro, there is something for those wanting to hit the ground running this year (even if they choose to do so in the spa).

Find your flow with Bulldog Online Yoga

Bulldog Online is revitalising the fitness journey this New Year. Every year is the same, the ‘New-Year-New-Mes’ flock to the gyms, saturating every classes on offer. This year there is no need to fight the crowds with Bulldog Yoga helping budding yogis shake off 2020 and work up a sweat in the comfort of your own home. With the seal of approval from Gwyneth Paltrow, who has credited her impressive physique to online yoga streaming platform Bulldog Yoga,this is perfect antidote to the January blues.

The membership runs on a monthly, no contract basis and is just $12.99 (£10.45) per month.

Carlisle Bay Launches a Series of Integrative Health Retreats

Carlisle Bay, a luxury resort looking out over white sand, palm trees and turquoise water, with a backdrop of emerald green rainforest. Sophisticated and contemporary in style, this laid-back Caribbean resort has launched a series of individualised health retreats, including:

  • Initial Health Consultation
  • Daily Sunrise and Sunset Meditation
  • Morning Vinyasa Flow Practice
  • Evening Gentle & Restorative Yoga with Pranayama
  • 2 x Holistic Therapies (Physiotherapy / Acupuncture /Massage / Reiki)
  • Stunning Walks in Nature

Being on retreat is the perfect opportunity to immerse into nature as well as reflect on our own internal landscape and tuning in to the chakras provides the perfect gateway to restore inner harmony and balance. The living philosophy of yoga will be experienced through embodiment and reflection. The morning practices will offer more dynamic practices to invigorate for the day, whereas the afternoons will be reserved for slower flow, restorative practice, meditation and yoga nidra.

Retreats will start from 23 – 30 January 2021 and run on selected dates throughout the year. Integrative Health Retreats will start from US$ 4,300 (approx.. £3,218) per person for a 7-night stay in an Ocean Suite on an all-inclusive basis.

St Michaels Resort Launches Wild Sea Swimming Retreats

St Michaels Resort in Falmouth is diving into 2021 with a new series of ‘Wild Sea Swimming Retreats’ – embracing the numerous mental and physical health benefits associated with cold water swimming including boosting your immune system, reducing stress and improving circulation. In partnership with Swim Lab, each retreat will be led by swim guru and expert coach Salim Ahmed, spanning Friday to Sunday.

Retreats will run from 14 – 16 May, 16 – 18 July and 1 – 3 October 2021. Cold Water Swimming retreats with St Michaels Resort will start from £445 per person based on bed & breakfast basis in a Classic King room and will include a 3-course dinner at The Brasserie on the Bay on the first night.

Get Active in Montenegro with Regent

For globetrotters wanting to immerse themselves in the extraordinary destination of Montenegro, but not to leave their fitness regimes at home, we suggest the new Active Montenegro package from Regent Porto Montenegro which includes:

  • Outdoor guided organic fitness sessions, with stunning views of Boka Bay, at the luxurious new Porto Montenegro Yacht Club Beach
  • Guided hiking from Krstac to Kotor offering spectacular views of the bay and coast followed by picnic (healthy picnic basket provided) at a picturesque location
  • A scenic biking session along the UNESCO protected Kotor bay road dotted with old stone villages
  • Complimentary sports activities and use of sports equipment including swimming, running, yoga mat, stand up paddle boards and bicycles – available on request
  • Rest and regenerate with a Contrast Bathing session, a combination of cold and hot water to aid muscle soreness, at the award-winning Regent Spa and use of the hammam, sauna and ice shower

The Active Montenegro package starts from *€399 per person, for three-nights based on double occupancy and includes activities listed inclusive of a healthy picnic basket, return transfers to hiking and cycling locations, accommodation in a Deluxe Room, access to the Regent Spa, daily breakfast and complimentary Wi-Fi.

Feel Good Escape at La Reserve Geneva

With stunning views of the Alps on the shores of Lake Geneva sits La Réserve Geneva Hotel & Spa. A fully-fledged luxury resort set in 10 acres of beautiful parkland, it is perfectly suited for spa-goers and those who want a relaxing escape.

Home to the world’s first Spa Nescens, a destination medi-spa, guests can receive advice and treatments from a team of therapists, coaches and medical specialists with expertise in the reams of better-ageing. From daily treatments to week-long retreats, Spa Nescens offers an array of experiences for couples and groups to reconnect and recharge their physical, emotional and mental health, at their own pace.

The Feel Good Escape programme from Spa Nescens at La Réserve Geneva isa 3-day escape from the daily routine and a chance for guests to let go and freely enjoy the exceptional environment around them. Whether solo, as a couple or with friends, it is a chance to reconnect and recharge guests’ physical, mental and emotional batteries at their own pace. A balance of health, fitness and relaxation, the programme includes:

  • Signature spa treatments including a 90-minute massage and 60-minute facial
  • Two two-hour yoga sessions
  • A sunrise walk or snowshoe trail with a mountain guide with a meditation session at the peak of the mountain
  • A two-hour fitness session with a personal coach

The Feel Good Escape programme starts from 1,690 CHF (approx. £1,390) per person for two nights, excluding lunches and dinners.

Experience the very best in spa from around the world at Cottonmill

Situated just 20-minutes from Kings Cross but a world away, Cottonmill Spa features a selection of the world’s best spa experiences and treatments direct from Japan, Switzerland, California and more. To provide guests with the ultimate global spa experience all under one roof, the team behind Cottonmill Spa travelled the world to research, sample and import the experiences to the UK. 

From Alpine infinity pools and German thermal baths to hillside medi-spas, Himalayan wellness retreats and Moroccan riads to Japanese sleep pods and cliff top Californian spas, Cottonmill has taken inspiration from around the world to create a world class facility combining relaxation, connection with nature and restoration of the senses.

Book the Two Night Club Rendezvouz package which includes:

  • Two night’s accommodation
  • 2 x 60 minute Premium or Classic treatments
  • Three course dinner in The Restaurant one night
  • Three course dinner in The Brasserie on other night
  • Lunch in The Pantry on day of arrival or departure
  • Use of all spa facilities including Cottonmill and The Club – Spa Gardens, Deep Relaxation Room, Whisper Room and Garden Room from 12 noon on arrival day to 11am on departure day, bedroom check in is from 3pm.
  • A full and hearty breakfast buffet both mornings
  • Robe, towel and slippers

Price from £649.00 per person (based on two people sharing)

andBeyond Travel Live Panel: What is the Impact of Covid-19 on Conservation in Africa?

On Tuesday 17th November 2020, conservation-led luxury travel company andBeyond brought together a range of industry leaders in wildlife conservation and biodiversity, led by Dr Sue Snyman, an expert in ecotourism and environmental education. The panel discussed the impact of Covid-19 on conservation, and shared thoughtful insights on how we can best care for Africa’s biodiversity whilst simultaneously balancing the needs of its rural populations. Here’s a short summary of what we learned…

IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON WILDLIFE & OCEAN CONSERVATION

The biggest takeaway from the discussion, reinforced by each member of the panel, was just how much of an impact the Covid-19 crisis has had on conservation in Africa. This comes as no surprise, seeing as travel and tourism consistently remain one of the key growth drivers of Africa’s economy, contributing around 8% of annual GDP. With travel restrictions bringing tourism to a standstill, it was inevitable that the effects would be felt across the continent. This sad truth was underscored by Drew McVey, WWF’s East Africa Wildlife Crime Technical Advisor, who said that GDP for East Africa is forecasted to drop 4.6% in 2020, a devastatingly huge loss.

Barry Mthembu, andBeyond Phinda’s Habitat Manager, responsible for all aspects of conservation at the Phinda Reserve, highlighted the threat to conservation efforts posed by a lack of revenue. As a Private Reserve, Phinda relies on guests to generate a revenue stream, but with government guidelines forcing the lodges to close, this revenue has been lost entirely. Even prior to the global pandemic, Africa’s conservation areas were struggling for finance, with many protected areas sadly underfunded.

Luckily, Barry was able to share some good news, drawing attention to the strong relationship Phinda share with their local community, providing many locals with employment. When the pandemic struck, there were serious concerns that widespread unemployment caused by loss of jobs in the tourism industry would give rise to an increase in poaching and other illegal activities on the reserve, carried out by locals seeking alternative sources of income. Thankfully, this worrying prediction did not come to be, and Barry accredits this to the relationship between the reserve and the local communities, which has ensured local families continue to protect and preserve the wildlife of Phinda, despite the circumstances.

The panel also discussed the repercussions of the global pandemic on ocean wildlife, emphasising the consequences of rising levels of single use plastic, much of which sadly ends up in our oceans. As Covid-19 cases rose, global oil prices dropped, prompting a mass increase in plastic production due to the usage of oil as a vital ingredient in its production. This, combined with an increased demand for plastic to produce PPE and disposable facemasks, has given rise to new form of plastic pollution caused by the bi-products of Covid-19.

HOW WE CAN CONTINUE TO CARE FOR THE CONTINENT’S BIODIVERISTY WHILST BALANCING THE URGENT NEEDS OF ITS RURAL POPULATIONS

Looking to the future, it is clear that there is a delicate balance to be achieved between meeting the urgent needs of Africa’s rural communities whilst continuing to protect the continent’s delicate ecosystem. The two go hand in hand, for if the wildlife of Africa’s conservation areas is thriving, tourism will increase and create more job opportunities for locals.

Fran Read, Global Media Manager of African Parks, a non-governmental organisation focused on conservation in South Africa, emphasised the importance of not compromising on conservation efforts in a bid to help the economy recover. As travel restrictions ease, there may be temptation to maximise tourism in order to escalate income and restore the economy. However, it is crucial that tourism brands in Africa remain mindful of the toll that high levels of tourists take on the delicate ecosystems of Africa’s game reserves, and keep this at the forefront of their minds when resuming tourism activity.

With hopes of 2021 being a brighter year for travel, we look forward to seeing Africa’s tourism industry re-opening safely and responsibly, integrating local communities into the re-opening of conservation areas in a collaborative, and mutually beneficial effort to get Africa’s tourism industry back on its feet.

To watch the full episode and to learn more about the expert panel, head to the andBeyond website: https://bit.ly/3o364am

The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Reels

Chances are you’ve seen Reels on Instagram already, even if you didn’t realise it at the time. This new feature, which is currently being rolled out internationally, allows users to create short 15-second video clips often set to catchy music.

Now, if this concept sounds a little familiar, you’d be right! Almost everyone is directly comparing it to TikTok. But what exactly is Instagram Reels, and how can you use them as part of your wider digital marketing strategy? We’ve rounded up everything you need to know.

What Are Instagram Reels

Instagram Reels provide a new and fun way to easily record and edit 15-second videos and share them to Stories, Explore Feed, and on your profile. Videos can either be filmed live or pre-recorded and uploaded from your camera roll, and then edited using a variety of features including audio, text, AR effects, and stickers.

First launched in Brazil in late 2019, Instagram Reels are now available in over 50 other countries, including the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, and Japan, on both iOS and Android.

How Are Reels Different to Stories

  • While these two features may sound similar, they have some key differences:Reels offers more advanced editing tools, including AR effects, speed controls, and the option to execute cleaner transitions between frames.
  • Reels can be shared to both the Explore page and on Stories. When you upload a Reel, you can also choose to post it to your Feed, where it will appear in a dedicated section of your profile (similar to IGTV posts).
  • If you include original audio (ie sounds you have recorded in the video), your audio will be attributed to you, and other users can use it to create new reels.

Why Should Brands Use Reels:

1. They are here to stay

While Instagram don’t yet provide the same level of analytics for Reels as they do for Stories and feed posts, the app has launched a new Reels button on the main Instagram navigation bar, suggesting that they won’t be disappearing anytime soon!

2. Reach and exposure beyond your followers

The Reels algorithm hasn’t been locked down yet but it feels very similar to the TikTok For You page and is most likely influenced by who you already follow, what content you interact with, and where you’re located. This means that you don’t have to be following an account to see their Reel – providing you with a unique opportunity to access new audiences.

3. Genuine engagement and entry-level to video editing

The style of videos posted on Reels, and similarly on TikTok, are often shot on mobile phones, providing you with a unique chance to dip your toe in the video editing world. Now more than ever, the focus is on genuine engagement instead of professionally filmed and edited content which means that you don’t need to have expensive gear and blockbuster budgets to get involved.

Some Ideas To Help Get You Started

1. Go Behind the Scenes

Give your audience an insight into the inner workings of your brand with behind-the-scenes content that showcases the personality behind the business and creates a more personal experience. Showing personality helps build trust amongst your audience, increasing the likelihood of converting followers into consumers.

2. Take Followers on a Virtual Adventure

Travel inspo and wanderlust locations are already hugely popular on Instagram, and brands have a unique opportunity to capitalize on this using Instagram Reels. Take viewers on a tour of your surrounding area, sharing secret spots and the best locations for visitors to get their Insta-worthy shot.

3. Educate

While short film videos were originally all about entertainment, we’ve seen a hug shift towards more educational content – tapping into the growing trend for micro-learning. Carefully think about your product /offering and whether there is an opportunity to create a ‘how-to’ reel. Speak to your team and find out about any special talents or hobbies that could potentially translate into authentic and engaging content – whether its bee keeping or micro-brewing, your followers will begin to have a much clearer understanding of who you are and the people behind the brand.

A Guide to the Ultimate Winter Escapes

Whether it’s a rural escape in the Scottish Highlands, a luxurious spa day in the Hertfordshire countryside, a weekend of peace and quiet in the Cotswolds or a night in the City as you’ve never seen it before, The Mango Agency have rounded up our favourite ways to use up 2020’s abundance of annual leave.

City Breaks

BRING MAN’S BEST FRIEND AND STAY AT ONE ALDWYCH, COVENT GARDEN, LONDON

We all fell even more in love with our pooches during lockdown, which is why the stylish One Aldwych in Covent Garden has opened its elegant doors to four-legged guests for the first time.  Partnering with its neighbour, Bow Wow London, the first and only dog boutique in Central London, One Aldwych guarantees a warm welcome to its canine visitors.  Spend the day exploring Covent Garden, on the doorstep, or enjoy a brisk walk along the tree lined River Thames with man’s best friend in tow, before settling down in the glamorous Lobby Bar, cocktail in hand.

Canine guests can choose an overnight stay, sharing their accommodation with their humans at no extra charge. They will be provided with a Bow Wow bed and bowl, whilst in residence, and treats from Bow Wow London to take home. If pooches are feeling a little “ruff”, they can book in for a post lockdown top-to-tail pampering at Bow Wow London’s grooming salon – just a bone’s throw away. Lizzie and Spencer, One Aldwych’s famous papier maché dogs (in the picture) are on duty, welcoming their furry four legged friends to their hotel.

CURIOUS AND CURIOUSER AT BANKSIDE, LONDON

Bankside hotel is the perfect base to explore the capital’s creative offerings this autumn.  Sharing its patch with some of London’s most iconic cultural institutions on the South Bank of the Thames, Bankside is the perfect base for discovering the capital’s creative offering. Whether it is appreciating pop art at the Tate Modern’s new Andy Warhol exhibition or taking in the sights on the Southbank Centre and the Hayward Gallery, there’s something to intrigue and entertain the culturally curious.

For its reopening this season Bankside has created a ‘Culture Curious’ initiative, to encourage guests to delve into the culturally vibrant neighbourhood. By booking tickets at local galleries, shows, and museums, guests can claim up to 30% off their room rate, along with late checkout allowing for more time to explore, as well as supporting the businesses within the area following the pandemic. It’s the perfect way to use up that un-used annual leave.

Proving its dedication to the area’s creativity, the ‘Culture Curious’ initiative does not discriminate between paid and free events, the only requirement is that guests must have a ticket to be shown at, or before, check-out.

SHOP TILL YOU DROP AT LONDON’S GREAT NORTHERN HOTEL

Combining the clean lines of the station’s contemporary architecture and the grande dame grandeur of a Grade II listed building, Great Northern Hotel is right next to King’s Cross station, and a short stroll to the hustle and bustle and style of Islington’s chic Upper Street. The newly renovated area of Coal Drops Yard is just a short walk away, where shoppers and foodies can explore the range of boutique stores, eateries and services on offer – even including local workshops and classes which visitors can take part in.

On arrival, check in to one of 88 rooms, all elegantly and thoughtfully designed with deeply comfortable Hypnos beds and wood panelling. On each floor there is a 24-hour Pantry with Nespresso machines, cakes and pastries, for guests to use throughout their stay. When hunger strikes, choose to dine at Plum & Spilt Milk (which takes its name from the dining livery of the Flying Scotsman) with views over the sloping roof of Kings Cross station and an Art Deco influence, serving a modern British menu – or sit with a cocktail at GNH Bar and watch the world go by.

Country Escapes

DISCOVER THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS WITH THE FIFE ARMS, BRAEMAR

The Fife Arms, deep in the Highlands at the heart of the village of Braemar in the Cairngorms National Park embraces its majestic location and, since re-opening in September, guests are positively encouraged to roam and ramble freely, with the help of hotel’s new Self-Guided Directory.  The guide features walking and cycling itineraries and has been curated to suit all levels of ambitions. Whether it’s for lone rangers, family outings or a romantic stroll, the new guide reveals the best locations for wildlife spotting, for foraging and to see local sights. Scavenger hunts, nature trails and activity sheets are also available for the younger guests to take with them on their adventure into the big outdoors.

To accompany guests’ excursions, The Fife Arms’ chefs have created a glorious Highland Picnic, which can be ordered up the day before. The picnics come in a Fife Arms hamper backpack with homemade pies and hearty sandwiches with meats and smoked salmon sourced locally, sweet treats made fresh by the pastry team and flasks of tea and coffee to help guests warm up on a frosty day.

WATCH THE SEASONS CHANGE IN THE COTSWOLDS, AT THE PAINSWICK

In the picturesque village of Painswick, surrounded by rolling hills and ancient woodland, The Painswick is a wonderful base for exploring the best of the classic Cotswolds country.  Togged up with wellies and walking maps and even a delicious picnic, guests can head out to enjoy hundreds of miles of public footpaths – and adorable, picturesque villages just waiting to be discovered.

Following an active day full of fresh country air, the obvious next steps are (1) an indulgent soak in a glorious roll-top bathtub, (2) an aperitif in front of a cosy fireplace and (3) a hearty dinner.  With just 16 rooms, each one an oasis of comfort, The Painswick is a truly relaxing spot.

RECHARGE AND UNWIND AT SOPWELL HOUSE, HERTFORDSHIRE

Just a short 20-minute train from central London, Sopwell House hotel in Hertfordshire is the ultimate luxurious post lockdown destination for couples, friends and families, focusing on indulgence and seclusion.

Guests of The Club at Cottonmill, the hotel’s new state-of-the-art spa, are spoilt for choice with an indoor/ outdoor hydrotherapy pool leading out into the spa garden, private hot tubs, fire pit, two Relaxation Rooms, Whisper Room and Garden Room, featuring warming fire places and day beds to curl up on. The Club area is accessible to members and a limited number of guests or residents on Club packages.

Signature treatments draw upon the soothing and healing powers of sand and water, including an Amber & Quartz Crystal Bed, the first of its kind in a UK spa. A perfect stress reliever, the bed immerses the body in hot sand, easing tension and stimulating cells. For those needing to unwind, Vichy Shower treatments gently let hydrotherapy bring the body back to balance, hydrating the skin in the process.

RELAX AND TAKE A DIP AT ST MICHAELS RESORT AND SPA, CORNWALL

Escape to the Cornish coastline this Autumn with a seaside spa break at St Michaels Resort, Falmouth. The resort underwent a multi-million-pound transformation in 2018, which included St. Michaels Spa It now offers the South West’s largest hydrothermal pool with 21 massage stations, herbal Finnish sauna, experience showers, heated relaxation beds and the world’s only Cornish sea-salt steam room. Beyond the pool, guests will find the hotels peaceful south-facing Spa Gardens complete with red cedar hot tub and Finnish barrel sauna.

There are a variety of spa breaks to choose from – so guests can experience bed and breakfast, health-focused spa lunches, delicious 3-course dinners and a choice of luxury spa treatments.

Taking Pacha Global: The Mango Agency wins Pacha Group

The Mango Agency is thrilled to announce its appointment as lead global agency for Pacha Group, as the iconic hospitality, music and lifestyle company enters a new evolution in its journey.   With a rich, storied heritage based in music, community, and artistry, Pacha is set to extend its global footprint and bring the spirit of the brand to more people in more ways.

Destino Pacha Resort

Known as the ‘Destination to reconnect with the island,’ Destino exudes a natural Ibizan aesthetic and echoes the energy of the island. Situated against the backdrop of the bay of Talamanca, the white palette and earth tones create an ambience that enhances the calm surroundings. With gastronomy at the heart of the experience, the open-air restaurant delivers a menu of creative Mediterranean cuisine using local produce and the day club presents poolside cocktails accompanied by a Balearic soundtrack.

Lío Ibiza

Sensuality, fun, hedonism, freedom, and magic return to the unforgettable nights of the white island in one of the most creative cabaret restaurants in the world. In its 10th season, Lío Ibiza is more alive than ever and will celebrate a journey through time, in which those milestones of its history will return to the stage, interspersed with new and current numbers under the artistic direction of Joan Gracia.

Situated on the sea, with the city of Dalt Vila as an epic setting, from the beginning Lío Ibiza has delivered an ethereal cabaret show that is provocative, sensual and glamorous. Lío Ibiza returns more alive than ever, to write a new era in its history.

About The Pacha Group

The Pacha Group is an international family-owned holding company that operates in the music, leisure, entertainment, hospitality, fragrance and fashion sectors, among others, with a large international presence through its brands: Pacha Ibiza (Night club) , Lío, Destino Pacha Resort and The Hotel Pacha. A business group characterized by exporting the Ibiza lifestyle to the whole world, a carefree, fun, sophisticated lifestyle committed to the environment and the people of the island.