The Leading Hotels of the World Announces The Best Ways to Celebrate the Cultural Side of Summer

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Exciting Takes on Music, Food, Dance and Local Traditions to Brighten the Summer Season

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Jacob’s Pillow is home to America’s longest-running dance festival

Summer comes alive with a host of festivals around the world – celebrating music, dance, gastronomy and local cultures – and there are Leading Hotels right in the heart of all that is happening, giving you a front row seat to the action.

For more than seven decades, the city of Lucerne, Switzerland, has been a meeting place for leading performers from all over the globe – famous orchestras, legendary conductors, virtuoso soloists – who convene to celebrate classical music during the month-long Lucerne Festival. In Jean Nouvel's concert hall, equally famous for its phenomenal acoustics and exquisite architecture, they encounter a passionate international audience who make their way here for these splendid performances. Among the luminaries taking part in this year’s events – from August 15 to September 14 - are violinist Midori; pianists and conductors Daniel Barenboim and Murray Perahia; conductors Heinz Holliger and Simon Rattle; the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and the Berlin Philharmonic. The equally legendary Palace Hotel Luzern, set on the lake shore, currently still has rooms available with rates from CHF 525 per night, single occupancy, and CHF 595 per night, double occupancy, and can make arrangements for guests to take a boat transfer directly from the hotel to the performance hall.

In compensation for the long dark winters in St. Petersburg, nature brings the legendary long summer evenings or White Nights, and the city celebrates! The Stars of the White Nights Festival is considered among the ten best music festivals in the world today, and among the most popular and diverse musical events in Russia. Each year it presents outstanding opera and ballet productions of the legendary Mariinsky Theatre. Created in 1993 by the theater’s General and Artistic Director, Maestro Valery Gergiev, the Festival’s mission was to serve as “a musical gift to the city from the Theatre’s performers and soloists.” Over the two decades since its inception, the festival has extended its run from 10 days to nearly three months, offering the public an exceptional opportunity to enjoy the talents of some of the world’s most gifted performers. During this year’s event, which runs from late May through the end of July, attendees can book the Rocco Forte Astoria Hotel with rates from RUB 15,045 per night, single occupancy, and RUB 16,090 per night, double occupancy, which include breakfast and service charge. VAT and registration fees are additional.

Created by Claude Nobs in 1967, the Montreux Jazz Festival has since evolved into one of the landmark events of the international summer music scene, thanks mainly to its founder’s approach to music based on conviviality and passion. Since the beginning, Claude has been inviting artists to his place to share a good meal before and after concerts. This unique mix of music, food and camaraderie has given him a very privileged place in the artist’s hearts. Headliners have included everyone from Miles Davis and Ray Charles to David Bowie and Prince. Paid performances take place in the Stravinski Auditorium, Montreux Jazz Club and Jazz Lab, as well as on board boats and trains. In addition, there are a number of events offered for free in a variety of locations around town. This year’s Festival runs from July 4 to 19, and there are still rooms available at a number of Leading Hotels around Lake Geneva. At Fairmont Le Montreux Palace, rates start from CHF 599 per night, single or double occupancy. In Lausanne, at Lausanne Palace & Spa, rooms are available on a bed-and-breakfast basis from CHF 450 single, CHF 590 double; while room-only rates at Beau-Rivage Palace start from CHF 440 per night, single or double. In Vevey, Hotel des Trois Couronnes & Destination Spa, nightly rates start at CHF 450, single or double.

Ganesh Chaturthi, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, is one of the important Hindu festivals celebrated with great devotion throughout India. This day is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ganesh, the elephant-headed son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. As the symbol of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune, he is always the first God to be worshipped, and is also known as Vighnahartaa – Remover of Obstacles. Throughout the festival, which can last from one day to 11 depending on the location, people bring idols of Ganesh into their homes to pay homage. On the last day, the idols that are taken out in a colorful and musical procession and immersed in water. Throughout Mumbai, the spirit of the festival is apparent, and celebrated by people of many religions, and surrounding travelers with the rich, local culture. This year, the festival runs from August 29 to September 14, and guests at The Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai will be at center of it all. The hotel can easily arrange for guided tours of the festival, which can include stopping at colorful markets and workshops where idols of Ganesh are made. A breakfast inclusive offer is available which includes buffet breakfast, and is priced from INR 19,500 per night, single occupancy; and INR 21,000 per night, double occupancy. Taxes are additional.

It’s hard to imagine feeling the need to leave the serenity of Wheatleigh, in Lenox Massachusetts, but during the summer, there are two outstanding cultural options nearby: Jacob’s Pillow and Tanglewood. A National Historic Landmark, Jacob’s Pillow is home to America’s longest-running dance festival – hosting more than 50 companies from around the world and offering a range of activities including free and ticketed performances, talks, exhibits, films, classes, tours, and community events. Featuring performances by groups including Dance Theater of Harlem, Mark Morris Dance Group, and Pacific Northwest Ballet, this year’s event runs from June 14 to August 24. Tanglewood concerts can be traced back to 1936, when the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) gave its first concerts in the Berkshires. Over the ensuing decades, it has continued to serve as the orchestra’s summer home. From June 28 to August 30, programs will be offered by, in addition to the BSO, James Taylor, the Boston Pops Orchestra, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, Ellis and Delfeayo Marsalis, Yo-Yo Ma, and Josh Groban, to name but a few. Rates at the intimate, 19-room Wheatleigh start from USD 715 per night, and include a welcome drink, high-speed Internet access, and valet parking.

For the third summer in a row, Zurich turns a little Italian during its taste-inspiring Il Tavolo festival. From June 25 to 29, a touch of the Mediterranean adds zest to the air as top Swiss chefs – including those from all three Leading Hotels in town - bring their culinary visions to life. One of the highlights of the event is the Il Mercato Lunch on Saturday, held at the Zurich Engrosmarkt, where guests will savor dishes prepared by head chefs from the Il Tavolo host hotels plus guest chefs from top Zurich restaurants. There will be 20 mouth-watering dishes at 10 live cooking stations, and guests can wander from station to station, sampling and tasting to their hearts’ content. Among the culinary artists taking part will be Maurice Marro and Olivier Rais, from Baur Au Lac; Gion Fetz, from The Dolder Grand; and Dietmar Sawyere, from Widder Hotel. Fine summer weather, tantalizing cuisine, and convivial atmosphere inspire locals and visitors to meet, mingle and have fun. Nightly rates for hungry travelers start at CHF 540 single, CHF 870 double at Baur au Lac; CHF 540 single, and CHF 700 double at The Dolder Grand; and CHF 570 single, and CHF 700 double at Widder Hotel.

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About The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. (LHW)
When extraordinary and one-of-a-kind intersect, you have likely found a Leading Hotel. As the largest luxury hotel collection, with more than 430 of the world’s greatest properties in over 80 countries, we seek out the exceptional. From grand palaces to intimate city hideaways, from ancient castles to sumptuous safari tent villages, from tropical aeries to mystical paradises, all are utterly unique and boldly independent. Each celebrates the culture of its destination, rather than trying to mask it with corporate-mandated sameness. Established in 1928 by several influential and forward-thinking European hoteliers, it started with 38 initial members. With our eight-decade-long commitment to providing unforgettable, authentic travel experiences, LHW selects only hotels that meet our high standards for quality and distinctiveness. To us, hospitality is not an industry; it’s an art…and our passion.

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Karen Preston
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