|Hotel and Tour News: Jungle Book in India; Islands in Japan|
Ghana isn’t the most common safari destination, but a new luxury safari lodge in the country might be an incentive to attract more travelers: Zaina Lodge opened recently in northern Ghana in Mole National Park, the country’s largest game reserve. The 25-room lodge is on a ridge overlooking the savanna and has a view of two watering holes rich with wildlife such as antelope, waterbuck, baboons and elephants.
Local everything is an emphasis at the property — local grass, stone and teak are used for roofing, walls, paths and furnishings; over half of the staff are from the area; and local shea butter is used to make furniture polish, soaps and body lotions. Sustainability is also a priority; the lodge has LED lighting and a solar-powered water system. The rate is $350 per person, per night, all inclusive.
A ‘JUNGLE BOOK’ TOUR IN INDIA
A new trip to India from the London-based travel company Wild Frontiers is inspired by the Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling’s famous collection of stories. The trip is in commemoration of a new adaptation of the 1967 Walt Disney Pictures animated film based on the stories and opening in theaters on April 15. Called the Jungle Book Tour, the 12-day itinerary takes travelers to Tadoba and Kanha National Parks, two of India’s most famous tiger reserves, where they take part in twice-daily game drives in search of tigers, leopards and other wildlife, and Satpura National Park for walking safaris. These rich landscapes, according to the Wild Frontiers founder Jonny Bealby, gave Mr. Kipling the inspiration for the characters in his stories such as the “man cub” Mowgli, the fearsome tiger Shere Khan and Toomai of the elephants. The itinerary also includes a stop in Bhopal to see the renowned Bhimbetka cave paintings. The tour includes most meals, accommodations, transfers, entrance fees to parks and guided excursions. The cost is $4,250 a person. Departure is Oct. 18.
VOLCANOES, ISLANDS AND A SPA IN JAPAN
Showing off a little-known side of Japan is the goal of Japanese Adventure: Volcanoes, Valleys, Shrines & Spa, a new private trip from the travel company Remote Lands. As part of the 14-day itinerary, travelers visit the port city of Osaka and the islands of Kyushu and Shikoku; excursions include riding an aerial tramway up Mount Aso, the largest active volcano in Japan; visiting Yakushima Island, off the southern coast of Kyushu and home to some of Japan’s oldest cedar trees; seeing the Takachiho Shrine, dating back 1,800 years; and visiting the Utoco Auberge & Spa on the island of Shikoku for deep-sea therapy treatments. Prices from $1,655 per person, per day.
ART ON VIEW IN A NEW MANHATTAN HOTEL
Art is the focus at HGU, a hotel that is scheduled to open in early April in Manhattan’s Flatiron district. The HGU was originally the Hotel Grand Union, a Beaux-Arts property that was built in 1905. This incarnation, with 90 rooms, will also be influenced by Beaux-Art design and emphasize contemporary art — the property has partnered with Gallery 151 in Lower Manhattan to oversee rotating art installations in the hotel’s shared spaces and within each of the guest rooms. Works from both emerging and iconic names will be featured including pieces by the Brooklyn-born visual artist Fab 5 Freddy and the Italian-born painter Francesco Clemente. The Brooklyn-based artist Evan Yee is behind the installation in the lobby; called Mirror Mirror, the piece reflects the image of the person looking at it into a background that resembles what the scenery would have been like in 1905.