SPECIAL DOUBLE ISSUE
THE WORLDâ€™S MOST EXCEPTIONAL HOTELS AND CLASSIC DESTINATIONS
The Spirit of Travel
CONTENTS JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017
110 THE GOLD LIST 2017 Our all-time favourite hotels, restaurants, cocktail bars and beach clubs
134 INDIA Sadhus and salvation seekers ﬂock to the holy city of Haridwar for a spectacular, spirit-lifting shindig
146 KENYA Built from dreams: Africa’s most incredible new lodge
156 TULUM Still boho after all these years – the crazy, sexy, cool Mexican beach hangout that beats all the rest
166 ACCESSORIES Match this season’s scene-stealing pieces to the hottest travel locations
PHOTOGRAPH: CROOKES & JACKSON
A BEDROOM IN ARIJIJU, KENYA
January/February 2017 Condé Nast Traveller 5
CONTENTS JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017
THE GOLD LIST ISSUE 14 EDITOR’S LETTER 20 CONTRIBUTORS 31 WORD OF MOUTH The places and people setting new standards
43 THE WORLD’S BEST TRAVELLERS The names that are really going places, from Pharrell Williams to the Dalai Lama
172 GLOBETROTTER The Lord of the Rings star Liv Tyler
177 FLAVOUR HUNTER Tables to book Just how far will you go to get a seat at the world’s most exclusive restaurants? World on a plate Caviar and Champagne. Art feed Gold-dipped food. The ingredients Sowing the seeds of love. Sip trip The whisky macks
66 HEALTH ESSAY How a new
191 EVENTS Celebrating our new
Indian spa is stirring up the soul
Chic Stays book at Assouline. Coming up Meet mighty Everest mountaineer Kenton Cool
72 WAY OF LIFE A beautiful Sicilian mansion that comes with its very own princess
78 ROAD TRIP Monaco to Lake
244 THE VIEW FROM HERE Chief’s Camp, Botswana
82 MAN ON A MISSION Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes
87 WHERE TO STAY Exclusive review Oberoi Sukhvilas in the Punjab. Bed-hopping with Soho House founder Nick Jones. The Weekender Our pick of the places to hunker down in the British Isles
92 ON THE COVER: DAR DARMA HOTEL, MARRAKECH PHOTOGRAPHED BY JAMES BEDFORD
8 Condé Nast Traveller January/February 2017
97 STYLE FILE The world’s ﬁrst Chanel spa. Beauty Rock-solid ﬁnds. Shopping Speciality stores in Paris. Destination on the scene Marrakech. Jewellery Pure alchemy
PHOTOGRAPHS: ASHRAFUL AREFIN/IMAGEBRIEF.COM; KATERINA CHELOMBITKO; RENATO D’AGOSTIN; ANA LUI
Como in a BMW 3.0 CSL
G A L O P D ’ H E R M È S , PA R F U M S E L L I E R .
EDITOR’S LETTER WINNER PPA COLUMNIST OF THE YEAR 2016
Everything in this special double-trouble publication is gold, gold, gold. Not as in Spandau Ballet’s ‘always believe in your soul’. Nor really, I hope, gold as in brash. Nor, necessarily, tap nor tooth, nor indeed ticket. Nor handshake, nor rush, nor shower, nor mine. But gold as in ‘exceptional’ and ‘classic’. Gold as in classy (though obviously it’s the opposite of classy to say classy). I’m asked all the time – and not just by hairdressers – what my favourite places are, my best hotels. So here is my list, designed to be as helpful as possible. I can’t give you my favourite moments, the ones that take place in the places in between the actual places, because those are what you can’t prescribe. The best parts of travelling are often the results of happy accidents. But if you are going to try and make those happy accidents happen as much as is humanly possible, I would at least consider the following: Brown and Hudson, a tour operator that goes to extraordinary degrees to arrange entirely bespoke trips, layered with top-notch experiences. It will cost you, but you get the feeling it costs the boss Philippe more; he will not sleep until everything is the best best best. Esencia in Mexico is the perfect beach hotel. It is low-key and fabulous, its design is beautiful but not overcooked, and it’s on the most wonderful stretch of coastline. North Island in the Seychelles is also a beach breaker of hearts, like a shipwrecked love letter written by Gandalf. Plus, while we’re still cleaving to coast, there’s always Soneva Fushi. There is a reason everyone wants to go to Soneva Fushi and it’s not just the rabbits. The Maldives in general. Take the mickey out of them all you like, the clash of sea and beach is mesmerising. It will gouge out your eyes with happiness. Lying on a yellow lilo at Soneva Fushi sucking up the blues below me and above me was like ﬂoating in actual heaven; when I cannot sleep this is what I think of. Luang Prabang. The famous town between two rivers in Laos; full of monks and teak houses and coffee shops and hippies. Delicious. But then so is Bali, despite the astonishing amount of development in the last 30 years. Always Indonesia, and yet also Paris. Crunch the gravel of the Tuileries Garden and marvel at empire. Paciﬁc Yellowﬁn, a boat that mainly operates out of British Columbia; a more special crew of people, skill sets and raw wilderness would be hard to ﬁnd. Except, of course, in the Kalahari Desert; chase the setting sun on the fastest motorbike you can lay your hands on, and then turn 180 degrees and hunt down the rising moon. And yet, if all this is too much, then do not underestimate the potency of a staycation: go to a hotel in another part of town from where you live. It is curiously brilliant being a tourist on home turf; not just to discover different parts of the city, but also to observe your fellow countrymen anew. Once you are out of your own neighbourhood you tend to look at people in a more respectful way, you are both close to them and yet distanced from them, and these fresh eyes bring fresh glories. It turns out, in the right light, even British humans can seem exotic, bordering on amazing. This is the Gold List issue of Condé Nast Traveller. Gold as in brilliant. Gold as in you’d do it all again tomorrow.
MELINDA STEVENS EDITOR MelindaLP
IN THIS ISSUE WE ASKED CONDÉ NAST STAFF TO RECALL THEIR MOST INCREDIBLE TRAVEL HITS. LOOK OUT FOR THEIR ANSWERS IN THE LITTLE GOLDEN BANDS AT THE BOTTOM OF THESE PAGES JONATHAN NEWHOUSE, CONDÉ NAST INTERNATIONAL CHAIRMAN ‘SITTING, JUST LIKE THOMAS MANN USED TO, IN THE READING ROOM AT THE WALDHAUS HOTEL IN THE ALPS’ 14 Condé Nast Traveller January/February 2017
SUPER STAR DISTRESSED GLITTERED LEATHER SNEAKERS, £300, GOLDEN GOOSE DELUXE BRAND (NET-A-PORTER.COM). ALL INFORMATION AND TRAVEL DETAILS ARE CORRECT AT THE TIME OF GOING TO PRESS AND MAY NO LONGER BE SO ON THE DATE OF PUBLICATION. UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED, HOTEL PRICES ARE LOW-SEASON RATES AND RESTAURANT PRICES ARE FOR A THREE-COURSE MEAL FOR TWO WITHOUT DRINKS
THIS IS THE GOLD LIST ISSUE 2017
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Official fuel consumption figures in mpg (l/100km) for the Ford Mustang range: urban 14.1-28.0 (20.1-10.1), extra urban 28.8-41.5 (9.8-6.8), combined 20.8-35.3 (13.6-8.0). Official CO2 emissions 306-179g/km. The mpg ďŹ gures quoted are sourced from official EU-regulated test results (EU Directive and Regulation 692/2008), are provided for comparability purposes and may not reďŹ‚ect your actual driving experience.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes Man on a Mission (p82)
Melinda Gates The World’s Best Travellers (p43)
‘It was the 26 years that my late wife and I spent searching – on eight major expeditions – for Ubar, the lost frankincense city in the Empty Quarter of Arabia. We started in 1968 and found it in 1991!’ He may have failed his A-levels, but record-breaking explorer Ranulph has raised more than £14 million for charity
‘East Africa, on a trip Bill and I took in 1993. We were there on safari, but it was the people we met who made it so unforgettable. This experience got us thinking about opening a foundation, so it’s fair to say it shaped the rest of our lives.’ Philanthropist Melinda is regularly listed among the world’s 100 most powerful women
Nick Jones Bed-hopper (p90)
Liv Tyler Globetrotter (p172)
‘I love Tokyo, I’ve been a fair few times. When we go we stay at the Aman; it’s a really special place. The views are incredible, especially from the spa. My favourite time to visit is in April, so you see the cherry blossom.’ Nick, founder of the Soho House Group, once worked in housekeeping in London’s Westbury Hotel
‘I went to Kenya a couple of years ago, and it blew my mind. I got invited on a retreat by a psychologist friend who needed some guinea pigs. We spent a week in a wonderful place called Hippo Point on Lake Naivasha.’ Film star Liv is currently appearing in hit TV series ‘The Leftovers’
Renato D’Agostin Photographer, Road Trip (p78)
Alistair Taylor-Young Photographer, Haridwar (p134)
‘In 2015 I travelled 7,439 miles across the USA on my 1983 BMW motorcycle. Carrying ﬁlm camera materials on a bike was inconvenient, but going by car – given the extreme weather conditions – would not have been half as exciting.’ Veniceborn Renato works out of his studio in Brooklyn
‘Salta, Argentina. It wasn’t the most comfortable journey – bouncing about in a four-wheel-drive, and staying in interesting places with outside bathrooms on chilly nights. But I was confronted with incredible landscapes that changed dramatically every hour.’ Alistair divides his time between Paris and New York
20 Condé Nast Traveller January/February 2017
PHOTOGRAPH: CAMERA PRESS; LIZ SCARFF/FIELDCRAFT STUDIOS
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MELINDA STEVENS FEATURES ASSISTANT/PA TO THE EDITOR Tabitha Joyce SENIOR EDITOR Peter Browne DEPUTY EDITOR Issy von Simson ACTING DEPUTY EDITOR Michelle Jana Chan MANAGING EDITOR Paula Maynard FEATURES EDITOR Fiona Kerr ACTING FEATURES EDITOR Ianthe Butt EDITOR-AT-LARGE Steve King EDITORIAL/FASHION ASSISTANT INTERN Ben Allen FASHION AND BEAUTY DIRECTOR Fiona Joseph WATCH & JEWELLERY EDITOR Jessica Diamond MEN’S EDITOR David Annand RETAIL EDITOR Thea Darricotte ART DIRECTOR Pete Winterbottom DEPUTY ART DIRECTOR Paula Ellis SENIOR DESIGNER Nitish Mandalia PHOTOGRAPHIC EDITOR Matthew Buck PICTURE EDITOR Karin Mueller CHIEF SUB-EDITOR Rick Jordan DEPUTY CHIEF SUB-EDITOR Gráinne McBride SENIOR SUB-EDITOR Roxy Mirshahi ONLINE EDITOR Laura Fowler DEPUTY ONLINE EDITOR Hazel Lubbock ONLINE ASSOCIATE Alice Riley-Smith DIGITAL PICTURE EDITOR Sharon Forrester
CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Jonathan Bastable, Horatio Clare, Ondine Cohane, Sophie Dahl, Sophie Dening, E Jane Dickson, Helen Fielding, Daisy Finer (Health & Spa), Giles Foden, Jeremy King, Emma Love, Kate Maxwell, Lee Marshall, Thomasina Miers, Reggie Nadelson, Harriet O’Brien, Timothy O’Grady, Tom Parker Bowles, Harry Pearson, Adriaane Pielou (Health & Spa), Antonia Quirke, Paul Richardson, Anthony Sattin, Nicholas Shakespeare, Sally Shalam, Stanley Stewart CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS James Bedford, Mirjam Bleeker, David Crookes, Squire Fox, Alice Gao, Philip Lee Harvey, Ken Kochey, David Loftus, Martin Morrell, Tom Parker, Michael Paul, Bill Phelps, Richard Phibbs, Oliver Pilcher, Kristian Schuller, Alistair Taylor-Young, Jenny Zarins DIRECTOR OF EDITORIAL ADMINISTRATION AND RIGHTS Harriet Wilson EDITORIAL BUSINESS MANAGER Camilla Fitz-Patrick SYNDICATION email@example.com INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR Nicky Eaton DEPUTY PUBLICITY DIRECTOR Harriet Robertson PUBLICITY MANAGER Richard Pickard
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WORD OF MOUTH THE FUTURE CLASSICS
The New scandi foodie city MOVE OVER COPENHAGEN (AGAIN) CASUAL BITES As Noma prepares to close its doors, the search for the next Nordic culinary hit has intensiﬁed. Sweden and Finland are vying for attention, but it’s back in Denmark and the city of Aarhus that one of the most hotly tipped scenes can be found. Inspired by London’s Borough Market, the Aarhus Street Food hub is set in shipping containers inside a former bus garage. Grab a seat at a long table and feast on Vietnamese sandwiches from the Banh Mi Bandits, crêpes from The French Corner and parcels of good old ﬁsh and chips. There are also smarter joints and stalls selling caviar and truffles at the Central Food Market. Make for the outpost of much-loved Aarhus coffee shop La Cabra for killer cortados and home-baked sourdough bread. aarhusstreetfood.com; aarhuscentralfoodmarket.dk
SMARTEN UP For a more formal supper, the one-Michelin-starred Substans and no-menu Hærværk both serve forward-thinking, farm-to-table food. At Substans, a paredback aesthetic – wooden tables, light interiors and a living wall – reﬂects the no-fuss attitude. Here, dishes such as rye-and-rabbit ravioli or rosemary ice cream take centre stage. At industrial-chic Hærværk, menus are based on what’s been picked that day; the moreish pumpkin proﬁteroles are excellent when paired with a glass of natural wine. restaurantsubstans.dk; restaurant-haervaerk.dk
CRAFTY QUAFFS Breathing new life into the city’s bar culture is fresh-on-the-scene cocktail lab Gedulgt (an old Danish word for ‘secret’), a swanky spot from the team behind local favourite St Pauls Apothek. At Gedulgt there are drinks that foam and fume, and hipsters sit around marble tables on Arne Jacobsen chairs. The masterstroke is the American Beauty, a ﬂoral cocktail made with Nordic gin and yuzu, and topped with rose petals. At bare-bricked Great Coffee, bearded baristas serve just that – great coffee. There are also freshly roasted coffee beans and curious-looking brewing equipment to bag. stpaulsapothek.dk; greatcoffee.dk
PHOTOGRAPHS: LINE KLEIN; MONTGOMERY PHOTO
A BIT ON THE SIDE Aarhus is also 2017’s Cultural Capital of Europe. Head to the industrial waterfront to ﬁnd Dokk1, home to Scandinavia’s largest public library. Across town, Olafur Eliasson’s rainbow-coloured rooftop walkway is at ARoS Aarhus Art Museum, which will host the city’s ﬁrst Triennial in April. dokk1.dk; aros.dk MARY HOLLAND Clockwise from top left: St Pauls Apothek; Green Neighbour at Central Food Market; The Drop cocktail at St Pauls Apothek; Landmad grocery store; cod and asparagus at Substans; Grød at Central Food Market; sourdough bread at La Cabra; a barista; Millionaire cocktail at St Pauls Apothek
EDITED BY IANTHE BUTT January/February 2017 Condé Nast Traveller 31
The iconic adventurer UNDERWATER PIONEER JACQUES COUSTEAU There is much we know about trailblazer Jacques Yves Cousteau: his daredevil missions aboard The Calypso, his evolution from hunter and oil-company advisor into one of the world’s ﬁrst ecologists, his role as forefather of scuba diving, even his penchant for red woolly hats. But there is still much that remains a mystery about this notoriously private man. This spring, a new ﬁlm The Odyssey, from director Jérôme Salle, navigates Cousteau’s epic travels, and the impact of his never-ending thirst for adventure on those closest to him. The ﬁlm charts the relationships of Cousteau (played by Lambert Wilson) with wife Simone (Audrey Tautou) and their sons Philippe (Pierre Niney) and Jean-Michel (Benjamin Lavernhe). It begins in the late 1940s in the South of France, where the family dive by day and stargaze at night. Cousteau soon becomes restless, and the couple leave the boys at boarding school and take to the seas. The ﬁlm rejoins them years later as grown-up Phillippe and Jean-Michel accompany their parents on their travels. Cousteau, now well-known, chases ambitious dreams to graft gills to humans and create underwater cities. As they travel to far-ﬂung destinations together, the family ties are put to the test. The ﬁlm’s scenery is mesmerising: France is represented by Croatia’s Pakleni islands, and other locations include the humpback-whale-ﬁlled waters off South Africa and the white wilderness of Antarctica’s Deception Island. ‘The Odyssey’ is released in cinemas this spring by Altitude Film Distribution
FRESH DIVING FINDS Baros Maldives has just launched ‘ﬂuo’ night dives where divers wear a special over-mask ﬁlter to boost blue light and make certain sea-life glow. baros.com Plunge into a mine to search for gems on a new diamond safari from Cape Town’s Ellerman House, then have them made into bespoke jewellery. ellerman.co.za Scuba divers on Príncipe island off Gabon can now stay in smart new camp Sundy, opening this summer. originaltravel.co.uk
From this picture: Audrey Tatou in a new ﬁlm about Jacques Cousteau, The Odyssey; a diving saucer he built; Tatou playing his wife. Above, Cousteau with son Philippe; in later life
GRAINNE MCBRIDE, DEPUTY CHIEF SUB-EDITOR ‘MY FAMILY ONCE BOOKED OUT THE WHOLE PRIVATE DINING ROOM AT NOMA – IT WAS AMAZING AND SO MUCH FUN’ 32 Condé Nast Traveller January/February 2017
PHOTOGRAPHS: COURTESY OF ALTITUDE FILM DISTRIBUTION; BETTMANN/GETTY IMAGES; EVERETT COLLECTION HISTORICAL/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO; KEYSTONE USA/EYEVINE
WORD OF MOUTH
WORD OF MOUTH
THE NED London This sensational hotel launch will cause the biggest stir in the capital. Opening in spring, it’s a bold incarnation of what was once a branch of the Midland Bank (in its heyday, the world’s largest clearing house). The Portland-stone building, designed in the 1920s by Sir Edwin ‘Ned’ Lutyens, will have a whopping 252 rooms with interiors inspired by a Thirties ocean liner, as well as nine restaurants, and a rooftop bar and spa. With Soho House & Co and the Sydell Group (The Line, NoMad) at the helm, rates of interest – from London’s creatives to cool-cat bankers – are pitched sky-high. thened.com
PALACIO TANGARA São Paolo The most talked-about opening in Brazil since Rio’s Olympic ceremony, Palácio Tangará is a neoclassical 141-room fantasy of a palace in the tropical gardens of São Paolo’s Burle Marx Park. As you’d expect from the Oetker Collection, this South American debut is pretty special: the group sets the standard for glamour worldwide (Hôtel du Cap-EdenRoc and Le Bristol Paris). Named after a brightly coloured bird, its smart interiors will be magicked up by top Brazilian designers, with food by culinary whizz Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and a phenomenal Sisley spa. palaciotangara.com
THE WHITBY New York Kit Kemp’s stylish London crashpads – from the Charlotte Street Hotel to Ham Yard – have won scores of loyal fans. She and husband Tim, who head up Firmdale Hotels, opened their ﬁrst New York outpost, Crosby Street, in 2009; the second arrives in February. The long-awaited Whitby, in upper Midtown, will have 86 atmospheric loft-style rooms with ﬂoor-to-ceiling Crittall windows, plus a lovely orangery. The quirky bar is to be festooned with a collection of traditional English baskets, including a Northumbrian ﬁshwife’s creel and a Sussex trug. ﬁrmdalehotels.com
ULTIMA GSTAAD Switzerland Gstaad’s ski-chic landscape is being polished even more this month with the arrival of Ultima Gstaad: 10 suites and seven residences in three contemporary Alpine chalets designed by architect G Hauswirth. The vibe is cosy, fun and ﬁrmly high-end, with fabrics by Hermès and Dedar, bronze ﬁreplaces and, in homage to Alicia Keys (the owners are fans), a replica of her glass Schimmel piano in the entrance. ultimagstaad.com Top row, details from The Ned, opening in a former London bank. Bottom row, Ultima Gstaad
PETER BROWNE, SENIOR EDITOR ‘NUKU HIVA IN THE MARQUESAS ISLANDS, FRENCH POLYNESIA, IS THE MOST FAR-FLUNG AND ASTONISHING PLACE I HAVE EVER BEEN' 34 Condé Nast Traveller January/February 2017
PHOTOGRAPHS: FREDERIC DUCOUT; PETE WINTERBOTTOM
The hot hotels GAME-CHANGER BEDS TO BOOK
WORD OF MOUTH
The new travel concept DESIGN YOUR OWN CAMP Mix-your-own cocktail bars and supper clubs open for a handful of nights; immersive pop-ups are everywhere. Harnessing the trend and adding a high-end twist is a new ultra-bespoke service, Blink, from adventurous tour operator Black Tomato. It allows guests to play hotelier and interior designer, creating temporary camps in some of the world’s most remote corners, from Oman’s Empty Quarter to Bolivia's Uyuni Salt Flats. Guests complete a series of detailed menus, choosing between bell and bubble tents, yurts and lodges, deciding on room layouts and picking furniture, bath products and curios. The level of customisation is extraordinary: hot tubs, spa tents and stables can be arranged, and the camp can be oriented to your favourite morning view. Want an on-site masseuse? Mixologist? Ornithologist? Just tick the boxes. Once the trip is over, everything is dismantled, leaving no trace behind. An antidote to the bland and familiar, this is a truly unique travel experience: there brieﬂy, then gone – blink and you’ll miss it. A three-night stay starts from £8,875 per person full board, based on six people travelling. Price includes bespoke accommodation, experiences and transfers. blacktomato.com Camping in the Uyuni Salt Flats, Bolivia
The Feel-good kicks EXTREME WORKOUTS ARCTIC ICE YOGA Broga, voga even doga (yes, bring-your-dog-to-yoga)… just when you thought yoga couldn’t get more bonkers, the coolest hybrid arrives. From early spring, intrepid devotees can salute the sun on the frozen Byske river in Swedish Lapland with Active North Camp’s new series of Arctic sessions and retreats. The chilly temperature makes the body work harder to stay warm, and releases additional endorphins. activenorth.se
DRUMMING WITH WEIGHTS Very few of us will ever be able pull off an epic drum solo in the style of Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham. Now, even the most musically challenged can rock out a rendition, of sorts, while packing in a workout. Pound classes – where participants air drum to classic hits using weighted drumsticks – is an energising cardio drill in which 15,000 strikes can be racked up in a session. Classes can be found around the UK, USA and Europe, and will soon launch in South Africa and India for the ﬁrst time. poundﬁt.com ROXY MIRSHAHI, SENIOR SUB-EDITOR ‘JAPAN'S YAKUSHIMA ISLAND, WHERE MONKEYS RIDE DEER AND TURTLES HATCH ON THE BEACH, IS LIKE NOWHERE ELSE’ 36 Condé Nast Traveller January/February 2017
PHOTOGRAPHS: STEPHANE GAUTRONNEAU
BUNGEE DANCING The class that everyone from London to Bangkok is talking about is bungee-assisted dance. But this doesn't involve throwing yourself off a crane while jiving: it’s a fun blend of dance and acrobatics. A harness attached at the hip allows Peter Pan-style leaps through the air, which, when combined with a mash-up of dance moves, gives a great core workout. wiredaerialtheatre.com; upswing.org.uk; facebook.com/StoriesToTalesTheatre
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The new culture powerhouses SCENE-STEALING LANDMARKS
ELBPHILHARMONIE, HAMBURG Will rival: Sydney Opera House The buzz: A decade in the making, plagued by delays and spiralling costs (£69 million to £713 million), HafenCity’s will-it-everhappen concert hall opens this January. It comprises a historic brick-warehouse foundation and a new Herzog & de Meurondesigned glass structure hovering above it. Supported by 362 steel strings, its top resembles crashing waves. Its 2,100-seat Grand Concert Hall was developed with Yasuhisa Toyota, one of the world’s top acousticians, so the sound will be sensational. See: World-class orchestras, contemporary pianists, plus a one-man, musical drama starring John Malkovich. Stay: The Fontenay on Alster Lake, which has 131 light-ﬁlled rooms, arrives next summer. It’s the ﬁrst ﬁve-star hotel to launch in the city for 18 years. elbphil harmonie.de; thefontenay.de
THE LOUVRE, ABU DHABI Will rival: The Louvre, Paris The buzz: Set to ripple the art world in late 2017, this is the Louvre’s ﬁrst outpost outside Paris. Whitedomed, futuristic and designed by Jean Nouvel, it ﬂoats just off the coast on Saadiyat Island, and the airy galleries are interspersed with pretty tidal pools. See: Archaeological objects and ﬁne art (Gauguin, Picasso). French museums will loan works, including Leonardo da Vinci’s La Belle Ferronnière. Stay: Ian Schrager brings his Edition hotel brand to the Middle East in late 2017, with 200 slick rooms plus a clutch of residences. louvreabudhabi.ae; editionhotels.com
The smart airline UBER FOR PRIVATE JETS The sharing economy continues to mutate and change the way we travel, with a private helicopter taxi-service helping guests jump the queues at Cannes Film Festival and Coachella, and yachts available at the touch of a button. Now the jet set is getting in on the act thanks to high-end aviation company Surf Air, a members-only club which, for a monthly fee (from £1,950), offers unlimited access to a network of private scheduled ﬂights aboard a ﬂeet of state-of-the-art planes. Already a hit in the USA, Surf Air has since launched in Europe with multiple daily ﬂights from London Luton’s private terminal to cities such as Cannes, Geneva and Zürich, as well as weekend trips to Ibiza. Booking takes no more than 30 seconds online or via its app, plus guest passes are available too. Arrive just 15 minutes before take-off on a super-luxe, eight-seater Pilatus PC-12. There’s also valet parking with staff in jackets by British label Belstaff, which has a history of dressing pioneering aviators, including Amelia Earhart. Plans to introduce new routes to Milan, Berlin, Amsterdam and Barcelona are afoot. surfair.com
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PHOTOGRAPHS: GILDA FERNANDEZ; OLIVER HEISSNER; MOHAU MODISAKENG; TDIC, ARCHITECT ATELIERS JEAN NOUVEL
ZEITZ MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART AFRICA Will rival: MoMa, NYC The buzz: The ﬁrst major gallery in Africa dedicated to modern African art, MoCAA, set in Cape Town’s Grain Silo building, launches early this year. The Twenties building has been reinvented by Thomas Heatherwick, with exhibition spaces carved out of its circular interior. See: Co-founded by ex-Puma CEO Jochen Zeitz, MoCAA will house his renowned art collection, plus hold shows from the likes of contemporary artist Mohau Modisakeng. Stay: Opening in March is The Silo, a smart hotel occupying the six ﬂoors above MoCAA (in what was once the building’s grain elevator). It will have 28 rainbow-hued rooms designed by Liz Biden. zeitzmocaa.museum; theroyalportfolio.com
THE WORLD’S BEST TRAVELLERS THEY’RE ALWAYS MOVING SO THAT EVEN THEIR DOWNTIME IS DYNAMIC. OUR TOP GLOBETROTTERS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY.
PHOTOGRAPH: TRUNK ARCHIVE
BY HARRIET COMPSTON
January/February 2017 Condé Nast Traveller 43
THE WORLD’S BEST TRAVELLERS
PHOTOGRAPH: ART STREIBER/AUGUST
First-edition books and knives. That’s what Jolie is always looking out for on her travels, to add to her two burgeoning collections. And she gets around. Her work as Special Envoy for the UN has taken her on more than 40 ﬁeld missions, meeting refugees from Kabul and Darfur, as well as on the Syria-Iraq border. She says she saves a third of her income, lives on a third and gives a third away. Her children, with ex Brad Pitt, are as international as her movements: Maddox (15), adopted from Battambang in Cambodia; Pax (13), from Ho Chi Minh City; Zahara (11), from Awasa in Ethiopia; and the couple’s biological chidren. Shiloh (10) was born in Walvis Bay, Namibia, and twins Knox and Vivienne (eight) in Nice, France. Jolie has a tattoo on her shoulder of the geographical coordinates of each child’s birthplace. She always takes her family with her on location, spending about £4 million on chartered ﬂights and £815,000 on private tuition a year; she’s keen that her children immerse themselves in local culture, most notably eating crickets when they accompanied her on a Louis Vuitton shoot in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Family homes include a beach pad in Santa Barbara, California, and Château Miraval in Provence, where Jolie and Pitt were married and which houses an art collection worth £20million, including several Banksys.
44 Condé Nast Traveller January/February 2017
Hotel Excelsior With its sought-after sea meets city location, this stylish sanctuary has been hosting movie stars and royalty for over a Century and, after an extensive refurbishment, is due to reopen to much acclaim in late Spring 2017. Be one of the first to visit. Stay 3 nights from £480pp including breakfast and flights.
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THE WORLD’S BEST TRAVELLERS SHERYL SANDBERG Her 2013 bestseller Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead spawned a global non-proﬁt foundation, leanin.org, supporting women in the workplace. Fans include Beyoncé and Diane von Furstenberg, corporates Bloomberg, Citibank, Unilever and Adidas, and 13,000 grass-roots women’s groups in 50 countries including China and Iraq. The 47-year-old Harvardeducated businesswoman also launched the public awareness campaign Ban Bossy to stop girls being negatively labelled when they’re strong. Oh, and she has a day job, too – as Facebook’s COO and Mark Zuckerberg’s right-hand woman (he poached her from Google over a drink at the 2008 World Economic Forum in Davos). The role sees her travelling around the world between Facebook’s 26 offices from Bogotá and Seoul to Tel Aviv (she’s also a director of The Walt Disney Company and is tipped as their next CEO). Based in California’s Menlo Park, next door to Facebook’s offices, Sandberg is a single mother of two children following the death of her husband Dave Goldberg, the former CEO of SurveyMonkey, on holiday in Mexico a year ago (there were tributes to him from Barack Obama and Bono sang at the funeral). It was a good friend, the tennis player Serena Williams, who helped her through the ordeal – they bonded when Williams opened up about the murder of her half-sister, Yetunde. Sandberg says she will never feel pure joy again and is now writing another book, Option B, on loss and resilience.
BRUCE DICKINSON The lead singer of heavy-metal group Iron Maiden and an official 747 pilot, Dickinson ﬂew the band around on their latest world tour in a chartered jumbo called Ed Force One (named after their zombie-like mascot Eddie). They covered 36 countries in six months and clocked up 55,000 miles. Rather extraordinarily, in August the 49-year-old also piloted an Air Djibouti plane from Cardiff to Djibouti City; the national carrier outsources its operations to Dickinson’s sideline business, an aviation company based in Wales. He uses his skills for good causes, too: ﬂying pilgrims to Jeddah, airlifting Britons out of Lebanon during the Israel-Hezbollah conﬂict in 2006 and rescuing holidaymakers stuck in Egypt after the collapse of XL Airways. He also ﬂew a loggerhead turtle, which had washed up on a beach in New Jersey with a damaged shell, to a turtle sanctuary in the Canary Islands. Dickinson is into time travel too; he has a Dalek in the hallway of his London home and a stake in Hybrid Air Vehicles in Bedfordshire, which is building an unmanned spy airship for the US Defence Department (his own defence is less sophisticated; he was ranked seventh in the UK for fencing in the early 1990s). As well as writing racy novels, Dickinson also has a craft-beer label which makes ales such as the limited-edition Trooper Red ’N’ Black Porter.
MATT BUCK, PHOTOGRAPHIC EDITOR ‘FOR SHEER, INDULGENT COMFORT, THE BEDS AT FOUR SEASONS SEATTLE ARE REASON TO HOLE UP IN YOUR ROOM ALL DAY’ 46 Condé Nast Traveller January/February 2017
PHOTOGRAPHS: ALINA GOZIN’A/FIGAROPHOTO.COM; PAL HANSEN; SEBASTIEN MICKE/PARIS MATCH/CONTOUR BY GETTY IMAGES JOE PUGLIESE/AUGUST
The ultimate disrupter, this is a man who looks into the future. The 45-year-old entrepreneur co-founded (and sold for a mint) online money-transfer service PayPal. He is now shaking up not only the space industry with SpaceX, which has 70 planned missions worth £9billion in contracts, but also the car business with Tesla Motors and its game-changing electric cars made by factory robots named after X-Men characters such as Colossus, Vulcan and Havok. Musk pilots his own jet between the Tesla plant near San Francisco and the LA base of SpaceX where he’s building a rollercoaster to ferry staff around. His latest baby is the Hyperloop – a kind of bullet train in a tube which goes from zero to 116mph in two seconds, can reach 700mph and may well be tested in Pune after the president of India took an interest. A speed-seeker, Musk also owns James Bond’s Lotus Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me and is making it a functioning submarine-car. Born and raised in Pretoria, South Africa, he lives in LA’s Bel Air in a mansion with a museum devoted to the Iron Man ﬁlms. Robert Downey Jr said he based his portrayal of superhero Tony Stark on Musk himself. He works 100 hours a week, survives on Diet Coke and fried lobster in black squid ink, and claims to have holidayed only twice in the past dozen years – in St Barth’s and Hawaii. But he’s an epic party-giver; he rented out an English castle for his 30th birthday where his 20 guests played all-night hide-and-seek. Other than reading two books a day (Douglas Adams’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a favourite), his hobbies verge on the extreme such as wing-walking on a Boeing Stearman biplane. Next up: ﬁnding a way to live on Mars.
CHRISTINE LAGARDE A former competitive synchronised swimmer, the ﬁrstever female head of the IMF once said if Lehman Brothers had been called Lehman Sisters, it might not have imploded. Based in Washington DC with her partner, Corsican businessman Xavier Giocanti, she has an office decorated with caricatures of herself, including one as a dominatrix in ﬁshnet stockings whipping a banker. This tough talker attends conferences from Vientiane to Cartagena, and takes the lead on issues such as the cocoa harvest in the Ivory Coast or the future of the ﬁshing industry in Mauritius. She always tries to squeeze in some sightseeing on these trips: after this year’s G20 summit in Hangzhou, she headed off to see giant pandas in Chengdu, and on the way to the 2014 G20 in Brisbane, she went diving on the Great Barrier Reef. She also has a farm in Rouen, where she tends a beloved rose garden and makes jam – in contrast to her smart business image of Chanel suits, Hermès scarves, and that signature steely crop. A teetotal vegetarian, she says she walks quickly because she never has time to work out. IANTHE BUTT, ACTING FEATURES EDITOR ‘WATCHING SWALLOWS SWOOP OVER A FORESTED GORGE AT BALI’S COMO SHAMBHALA ESTATE IS SOUL-SOOTHING STUFF’
THE WORLD’S BEST TRAVELLERS
PRINCE CHARLES He never leaves home without his white leather loo seat, a Christmas present from his sister, so he doesn’t have to sit where others have sat before. Other packing essentials include a silver-plated porcupinequill toothpick, a small red-and-gold cushion for his bad back, and solid-gold collar stiffeners, all stowed in his Louis Vuitton monogrammed luggage with a selection of 60 suits by tailors Anderson & Sheppard costing £3,000 a pop, and more than 200 handmade Turnball & Asser shirts at £350 each. But there are no pyjamas; he sleeps naked. The royal with the biggest travel expenses, he ﬂies on a chartered jet called Head of State to watch the haka while wearing a traditional coat made out of kiwi feathers in New Zealand, to drum with the Sierra Leone National Band Troupe in Freetown and, again to play the drums, in a Rasta-style crocheted cap in Jamaica. His Secret Service codename for trips to the USA is ‘unicorn’. The 68-yearold future king speaks a smattering of French, German and Welsh and is taking Arabic lessons. He owns two cottages in the Carpathian foothills of Transylvania, and skis in Klosters. A fussy eater, he likes vegetables steamed in a particular mineral water, and takes tea between 4pm and 5pm: muffins with boiled eggs – the chef boils seven eggs at a time to ensure at least one is perfect. ALICE RILEY-SMITH, ONLINE ASSOCIATE ‘MY GOLDEN HIDEAWAY IS HEURE BLEUE PALAIS IN ESSAOUIRA – ALL TWINKLING LANTERNS AND PRETTY MOROCCAN TILES’ 48 Condé Nast Traveller January/February 2017
PHOTOGRAPHS: BANKSY, LIVERPOOL, 2011; BANKSY, EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP 2010; CHRIS JACKSON/GETTY IMAGES
He may be chased by the police, art collectors and fans, but nothing can stop the Graffiti Pimpernel from smattering his art upon the world. He sneaked into the Louvre with a framed painting of his version of the Mona Lisa, her elusive expression concealed by an acid-house yellow smiley face. And created a mural of Steve Jobs, cofounder of Apple and son of a Syrian migrant, on a wall in the Calais Jungle refugee camp to dispel the notion that immigrants are a burden to the state. On an undercover trip to Gaza, he produced a satirical travel documentary which went viral. ‘Make this the year you discover a new destination’ was the project’s tagline. Footage included bomb-damaged buildings stencilled with his images, one of a crying ﬁgure wearing a head scarf and another of a white cat to point out there’s more interest in cute cat pictures than war. The core of his art might be maintaining the mystery. Little is known about his everyday life: he allegedly likes pizza; he perhaps travels by chauffeured SUV, and some say he has a gold tooth, a silver tooth and a silver earring. Back home in the UK, he opened the pop-up Dismaland in Somerset, described as a family theme park unsuitable for children, with walls scrawled in subversive political commentary. Last located in Melbourne, his next destination is, of course, unknown.
The thrill of Europe The oasis of RDIÁHV
Le Royal Monceau - Raﬄes Paris
SINGAPORE PARIS DUBAI BEIJING SEYCHELLES PHNOM PENH SIEM RIEP MAKATI MAKKAH ISTANBUL HAINAN JAKARTA
THE WORLD’S BEST TRAVELLERS
PHARRELL WILLIAMS He ﬂies on his private jet toting a custom-made purple Hermès Birkin bag larger than the regular model, a Goyard washbag and a copy of his favourite book, Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. With hits such as ‘Happy’, a TV advert with Jay-Z and collaborations with Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, Snoop Dogg and Justin Timberlake (who he met at church when they were children), the musical chameleon never stands still. He has written a limited-edition hardback Places and Spaces I’ve Been, which includes conversations with Anna Wintour, Zaha Hadid and Kanye West, and his recent single ‘Freedom’ is dedicated to refugees; the video includes shots of him dancing in sweatshops and factories in Paris and Beijing. Williams says he writes some of his best songs on planes, which he puts down to heightened senses in the air, as well as his condition synesthesia, which allows him to see colours when he hears sounds. For downtime, he jets off to the Casa de Campo hotel in the Dominican Republic to watch the sunset and eat Caribbean crab. At home in LA, he practises skateboarding on a half-pipe ramp in his backyard between sketching for his fashion line, the Billionaire Boys Club. His clothes have travelled even further than he has; astronaut Leland Melvin wore one of his T-shirts on a mission to the International Space Station.
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PHOTOGRAPH: PARI DUKOVIC/TRUNK ARCHIVE
THE WORLD’S BEST TRAVELLERS
PHOTOGRAPH: PETER MARSHALL/INSTAGRAM @PETERMARSHALLPHOTO
This record-breaking South African freediver grew up on a landlocked farm with the unlikely dream of becoming a mermaid (she and her sister even had their own mermaid language). She discovered freediving through a friend at university in Sweden and after graduation moved to Dahab on the Red Sea to dedicate herself to the sport. After smashing 11 records and notching up a breath-hold of ﬁve minutes 39 seconds, she gave up competing and is now teaching freediving: in the Caribbean among sperm whales, with dugongs in Papua New Guinea, and hammerheads in Costa Rica. Prinsloo tries to spend three months a year at home in Cape Town, not too far from her favourite diving spot: among the bottlenose dolphins, manta ray and turtles of southern Mozambique. Her post-dive tipple is a glass of Tipo Tinto rum at sunset bar Come & See. She always packs her yoga mat, a wide-brimmed hat, and coconut and vanilla oils to mix as a moisturiser. And her all-in-one sarong serves as sun protection, a bedsheet, a picnic blanket and, once, even as a sail. She cuts out dairy, wheat, sugar, caffeine and alcohol to prepare for deep dives, and eats as much raw food as possible; her mental preparation involves meditation and visualisation. In 2010 she launched I Am Water, a conservation charity teaching underprivileged children in coastal communities how to swim, snorkel and freedive, in the hope that the next generation will become the custodians of the oceans.
52 Condé Nast Traveller January/February 2017
Moment The Team Members of LUX* help people to celebrate life with the most simple, fresh and sensory hospitality in the world.
M AU R I T I U S R E U N I O N M A L D I V E S C H I N A U . A . E T U R K E Y V I E T N A M | L U X R E S O R T S. C O M
THE WORLD’S BEST TRAVELLERS
RENE REDZEPI The founder and head chef at Noma in Copenhagen, one of the world’s most innovative restaurants, Redzepi is famously obsessed with foraging for local and seasonal ingredients. In addition to the test kitchen above Noma, he established the Nordic Food Lab, not far away on a canal barge where, working side-by-side with a botanist and a biologist, he experiments with ingredients such as reindeer tongue, sea buckthorn and ﬁsh scales that are stored in his so-called Frankenstein’s warehouse. He has taken the whole Noma team with him on gastronomic world tours, once decamping to Tokyo before moving them on to Sydney to prepare a 12-course tasting menu which included crocodile. Research for that meal included two months in the wilderness of Arnhem Land and the Tiwi Islands getting to grips with Aboriginal bush food. Next he’s off to Mexico to sample the country’s many sauces. Growing up between Denmark and the former Yugoslavia (his father’s homeland), he spent his youth picking blackberries and roasting chestnuts, and his current diet at home now remains simple: roast chicken, rye bread and watermelon. A big heavy-metal fan, he likes to blast Metallica tunes over the restaurant sound system to energise his chefs on morning shifts.
An inventor, professor, entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Kyoto-born, Detroitraised Ito started out running one of the ﬁrst internet service providers in Japan and was an early-stage investor in Kickstarter, Twitter and Flickr. He dropped out of computer science at Tuffs University yet went on to become director of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s pioneering Media Lab, which has developed a $100 laptop and extreme 3-D printing of the most complex materials, including coarse bristles and ﬁne fur. One of the world’s ﬁrst bloggers – he started in 1994 – he documents subjects as varied as the antics of his dog and his political musings. He’s also on the board of the Global Voices network which covers under-reported regions. Fans include Barack Obama who included an interview between himself and Ito when he guestedited last November’s American Wired magazine. The 50-year-old tech maestro is never in any city for more than a few days, travelling betwen London, New York and Dubai to meet entrepreneurs and scientists. Although he makes time to visit his homes in Japan – in Chiba, Tokyo Bay and a house in the valleys of Iwate, which has been in his family for 18 generations. Ito always packs his Leica Q camera or scuba gear (he learnt to dive in Dubai when he was CEO of the start-up Creative Commons), and his favourite holiday experiences include swimming with sharks in the Bahamas, chainsawing through Montana’s frozen lakes for winter diving and exploring the wreck of a torpedoed World War II submarine in the sea off Beirut. 54 Condé Nast Traveller January/February 2017
PHOTOGRAPHS: ANDERS SCHONNEMANN; NICO PEREZ
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EX T R A O R D I N A R Y W O R L D S
THE DALAI LAMA This is a monk on the move. Brought up in a hamlet in north-eastern Tibet, the ﬁfth of 16 children, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama began his monastic education at the age of six. He ﬂed China in 1959 aged 24, and has since lived in exile in Dharamsala, India. The 81-year-old has a hectic schedule – his record is one 75-day trip visiting 12 European countries – and he does his best to keep ﬁt: he goes to the gym where he listens to the BBC World News, and has an annual check-up at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. He’s visited Barack Obama in the White House four times, led a peace walk in Londonderry, given a lecture on happiness in Brisbane, and went up a ski lift in Santa Fe when visiting the Tibetan community there. His credits include 100 books, guest-editing French Vogue, winning the Nobel Peace Prize and being godfather to Homer Gere, son of actor Richard Gere. He collects watches – no bad thing with his routine: prayers at 3am, hot porridge at 5.30am, a day of studying and meditation, and bed at 7pm without dinner. 56 Condé Nast Traveller January/February 2017
PHOTOGRAPH: MARCO GROB/TRUNK ARCHIVE
THE WORLD’S BEST TRAVELLERS
THE WORLDS BEST TRAVELLERS
SIR DAVID TANG The Hong Kong-born bon viveur founded clothes label Shanghai Tang, with shops from Miami to Singapore; The Dorchester’s Cantonese restaurant China Tang in London; The Paciﬁc Cigar Company, sole distributor of Cuban cigars in Asia-Paciﬁc; and the China Club restaurant in Hong Kong. Better known as Tango, he’s also the Financial Times’ agony uncle, is publishing a Chinese translation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and always carries a book of crossword puzzles (he has a crossword tattoo on his left wrist, done while on a trip to Bangkok with Kate Moss). But he’s most adored for his legendary parties. Last year, he took a gang of friends including Stephen Fry and Naomi Campbell to Havana, and the same crowd celebrated his 50th birthday with him in Bhutan, staying at Amankora in the Himalayas (the staff, new to the job, were seen heating up food with the vacuum cleaner). He’s also an excellent shot with a good pair of Berettas; once in Kenya, accompanied by Masai guides, he bagged three sandgrouse in one shot (he says he wouldn’t kill anything bigger). Based in Hong Kong (for tax purposes, he says), he also has a house in London’s Belgravia and, astonishlingly, a cottage in the middle of Hyde Park. He never leaves home without his Egyptian-cotton pyjamas by French brand Charvet embroidered with ‘DT sleeping’.
58 Condé Nast Traveller January/February 2017
PHOTOGRAPH: CHARLIE GRAY
EDURNE PASABAN She has been scaling mountains since she could walk and climbed Mont Blanc at 16. This action-packed Alpinist, who grew up in the Basque Country, went on to become the ﬁrst woman to summit the planet’s 14 peaks higher than 8,000 metres, including Everest and K2, where she lost two toes to frostbite. She says it’s thanks to the lucky mascots stowed in her backpack that she’s alive at all: a crocodile soft toy and prayer cards from her grandmother. Daily training includes three hours of cycling and two hours running in the mountains surrounding her apartment, which overlooks the Urumea River in San Sebastián. Pasaban has a trekking company Kabi, which organises hikes around the Pyrenees, and owns the country hotel Abeletxe in Zizurkil, where guestrooms are named after regional mountains. Her penchant for hospitality even continues at altitude: she loves her food and rolls up her sleeves to help campsite cooks. Pasaban’s favourite staple to keep her going in the Himalayas? Traditional Tibetan momo dumplings served steaming hot.
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THE WORLD’S BEST TRAVELLERS
THE BECKHAMS Fashion designer Victoria and football superstar David are often spotted in airports: her wearing Tom Ford shades and carrying a Smythson tote; him sporting a Louis Vuitton duffel bag. She always has positive-energy crystals in her handbags; David, the organiser, wants everything packed in pairs or straight lines. Since retiring from football, he now travels more for charity work. As a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, he’s been to Mount Hagen in Papua New Guinea, visited British troops in Camp Bastion, KARIM RASHID Afghanistan, taught football to the Yanomami tribe in the Amazon, and played in seven charity matches across all continents from a village in Nepal to a frozen pitch in Antarctica. Family holidays have included Ermioni in the Peloponnese, salmon ﬁshing in Iceland and Christmas in the Maldives – with trips to their Napa Valley vineyard which David gave Victoria for her 34th birthday in between. Their younger children Harper, ﬁve, and Cruz, 12, may still be happy to tag along (Harper had notched up 100,000 air miles by the age of three), but the older ones are often busy: Romeo, 14, is a part-time model and 17-year-old Brooklyn is a photographer. The family have lived abroad in cities such as LA and Paris (during which time Tom Cruise offered to loan them his Gulfstream IV for ﬁve months), but home is now London’s Holland Park. David’s local is The Cow in Notting Hill, where he loves a Guinness with a pie.
KARIM RASHID The Willy Wonka of design, Rashid has thousands of creations to his name, including the Bobble bottle (the curvaceous vessel that ﬁlters water on the go), the digital Jak wristwatch for Alessi, and the brightly coloured Garbo bin for Umbra (with sales topping eight million). Born in Cairo to an Egyptian father and English mother, and raised in Toronto, he has designed concept stores for Giorgio Armani in New York and Paris, bags for Issey Miyake, and an avant-garde metro station in Naples. Based in Midtown Manhattan with homes also in Milan, Miami, Belgrade and Toronto, he spends half the year on the move and has notched up 126 countries; on his birthday he gets abstract tattoos representing cities that have inﬂuenced him (23 to date). Rashid is always immaculately turned out, often in a hot-pink and white suit he designed himself (on the website mysuit.com) with rose-tinted Alain Mikli glasses (he owns 50 pairs). He says he can ﬁll a 100-page sketchbook on a short ﬂight – which has resulted in tables for BoConcept and his ﬁrst fashion collection, launching next year. In his bags are Mount Hagen organic fair-trade instant coffee pouches, RXBAR protein bars, Parrot Zik wireless noise-cancelling headphones (mostly electronic music), and a soundproof balaclava-style Ostrich Pillow neck cushion. Recent and current projects include the futuristic Magic Hotel in Bergen, psychedelic condos in Miami, and restaurants in Doha and Tangier. Holidays are not a time to rest: he goes for hard-core workouts at Amansala in Tulum. And when he’s not on the treadmill, he might be on the decks, mixing Drunken Sailor by Antientertainers and Like a Machine by The Emperor Machine. 60 Condé Nast Traveller January/February 2017
PHOTOGRAPHS: STUART CONWAY/CAMERA PRESS; JOSH OLINS/TRUNK ARCHIVE
THE WORLD’S BEST TRAVELLERS
SUSAN WOJCICKI Google’s founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, rented Wojcicki’s garage as their ﬁrst office – and she was their 16th employee, staying with the company for 25 years. Now the 48-year-old CEO of YouTube, she buzzes between the company’s outposts in Tokyo, Sydney and Dubai, and recently launched YouTube Space London, a hub for video-makers with three soundproof studios and editing suites. She’s much in demand at the world’s technology conferences (Fortune Tech in Aspen is a favourite), and earlier this year at the World Economic Forum in Davos, she tweeted a photo of a bottle of her breast milk stored on her hotel balcony to keep it chilled (she has ﬁve children, the youngest is not yet two). At YouTube’s headquarters she has created nursing rooms and car-park spaces especially for pregnant women, and is campaigning to make paid maternity leave a legal requirement in the USA. When she’s at home in Mountain View, California, near her office in San Bruno, she makes it back for dinner every night, and never checks emails between 6pm and 9pm.
62 Condé Nast Traveller January/February 2017
PHOTOGRAPHS: MICHAEL O’NEILL/CONTOUR BY GETTY; TRUNKARCHIVE.COM
RICHARD BRANSON Powered by 20 cups of English breakfast tea a day (white, no sugar) and the odd whole-nut chocolate bar, the founder of the Virgin Group is not slowing down. A poster boy for risk taking, whether in business or in the skies, he and Swedish adventurer Per Lindstrand became the ﬁrst people to hot-air balloon across the Atlantic and he’s tried four times to circumnavigate the world; the latest attempt saw him crashland in the Sahara and being taken hostage by an Algerian warlord. Of course, he also gets in planes, no great surprise as the founder of Virgin Atlantic, exploring Antarctica with Al Gore and diving with tiger sharks in the Bahamas to draw attention to climate change and conservation issues. When he’s home on Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands, he does sport every day and holds the Guinness World Record for being the oldest person to kitesurf across the English Channel. He has other homes on Lake Como and Makepeace Island in Australia, as well as hotels across Africa from the Maasai Mara to the Atlas Mountains – with an enviable vintage car collection in the garages. He loves a cameo – once appearing on Baywatch and, in return for lending the Bond producers a jet, getting a walk-on in Casino Royale. The project du jour is Virgin Galactic, which offers commercial space ﬂight tickets from $200,000.
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THE WORLD’S BEST TRAVELLERS LEVISON WOOD The 34-year-old former paratrooper and TV adventurer is the real deal. Having grown up in northern England, his ﬁrst big trip – on a break from university – was hitchhiking from Cairo to London via Baghdad. A decade later, he walked the length of the Nile, a nine-month journey from its source in the Nyungwe Forest in Rwanda to the port of Rosetta in Egypt during which he escaped a charging hippo by scrambling up cliffs and encountered militia attacking a UN compound in South Sudan. Conditions were punishing; an American journalist covering Wood’s journey died of heatstroke on the trip. Next, Wood walked the Himalayas, a six-month, 1,700-mile journey, breaking an arm en route, travelling through Taliban-controlled territory and climbing the 16,000ft Irshad Pass between Afghanistan and Pakistan. His packing list includes Craghoppers expedition wear, a Belstaff jacket and Altberg hiking boots. Plus, a Dundas London linen shirt for unexpected invitations and his lucky 15-year-old brass compass, which was smashed in a car crash in Nepal and now points south instead of north. On the road, he’s always on the hunt for vintage adventure books and recently picked up a second edition of TE Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom. Wood is now walking the length of Central America before attempting to cross the Darien Gap into Colombia. On return to his 17thcentury house in Hampton Court, it’s all about home comforts of tea and toast. He’s still in the army reserve and spends spare time with the 77 Brigade, an elite new force using psychology and social media to help Britain ﬁght wars.
To read the rest of our World’s Top 50 Travellers, go to cntraveller.com/explorers RICK JORDAN, CHIEF SUB-EDITOR ‘POMPEII. NOT SURE HOW, BUT I HAD THE AMAZING RUINS TO MYSELF – A MODERN GRAND TOURIST WANDERING THE ALLEYS OF 79AD’
PHOTOGRAPHS: HAMISH BROWN/CONTOUR BY GETTY; COURTESY OF BILL AND MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION
MELINDA GATES She says she wants to change the world – not unrealistic given her resources. Born in Dallas, she graduated in computer science from Duke University in North Carolina before taking a job at Microsoft in Seattle. Today, the 52-year-old is married to the richest man in the USA. Their home is a hi-tech mansion on the shores of Lake Washington with a library housing the Codex Leicester, a collection of original writings by Leonardo da Vinci bought at auction for £25million. Yet the couple are giving most of their wealth away through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, founded more than 20 years ago after a trip to Mnemba, off Zanzibar. Gates goes to see many of their projects ﬁrst-hand, including Aids clinics in Kolkata, family-planning centres in Nairobi and a women’s empowerment scheme in Malawi (she joined a group of women in carrying a bucket of water on her head as a show of camaraderie). The family escape is Grand Bugue Island in Belize, but their favourite holidays are to the Serengeti and Kruger National Park, staying at Ulusaba lodge. She always packs two identical jigsaws – hand-carved Stave Xtreme Puzzles costing up to £12,250 – so she and Bill can compete to see who ﬁnishes ﬁrst, as well as a copy of The Sound of Music. For her 50th birthday, Bill threw a themed party where guests came in traditional Austrian dress.
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WE’VE PUNISHED OURSELVES WITH HARD-CORE DETOXES AND GRUELLING ASSAULT CHALLENGES. WE’VE LISTENED TO EVERYTHING THAT’S WRONG WITH US, FROM OUR DIETS TO OUR STRESS LEVELS. BUT NOW A NEW SPA PROGRAMME IS SWITCHING THE TREND BY PRESCRIBING TOTAL IMMERSION IN A FAR MORE JOYFUL ADVENTURE BY DAISY FINER. PHOTOGRAPHS BY ANA LUI
66 Condé Nast Traveller January/February 2017
The outdoor hot tub at RAAS Devigarh in Rajasthan. Opposite, a bathroom at the hotel
Clockwise from left: RAAS Devigarh’s exterior; a terrace with hill views; tiger castings in the Palace Suite; ornaments and a painting in the Devigarh Suite
Biblical monsoon rains have been washing the 18th-century Indian palace all afternoon. Hour after hour, a soft and rather beautiful storm. Small rivers gush down milky-white stone steps. Standing here barefoot with warm water up to my calves, I begin to wonder if this is Mother Earth herself welcoming in a time for change since everything that is happening right now at RAAS Devigarh is focused on profound and authentic transformation. ‘I don’t think you own a building like this, it owns you,’ says Nikhilendra Singh, the force behind this new departure, whose
respectful, full-blooded approach, one that understood privacy and partying in equal measure, and honoured the unique otherworldliness of the building, with its Mawari horse murals, secret passageways and ﬂowering night jasmine. When I visited the hotel in its previous incarnation, the spa was incongruously run by French brand L’Occitane and the restaurant was a boxed-in glass cube. Now wide doors throughout showcase the surrounding Aravalli Hills. More ancient than the Himalayas, these are some of the oldest landmasses in India. Look around and you feel the magnetic pull of the landscape. The scene
THIS IS A POTENT PLACE BY ANY STANDARDS. NOTHING IN MY EXPERIENCE MATCHES RAAS property in Jodhpur marked a giant leap forward on the Indian boutique-hotel scene when it opened in 2009. It showcased gloriously how heritage buildings could not only be ravishingly repaired, but also combined with contemporary interiors, superb service and restaurants with buzz. Singh is renowned for his elegant, sophisticated and swashbuckling touch: nothing pretentious, nothing formal. He wanders about in shorts, with his blue-eyed husky Baboo, and beloved Jack Russell Charles, who he sometimes pretends to hurl off balconies. This in no way belies his personal dedication to India’s cultural and architectural preservation. The fact that one of the country’s master hoteliers now has his hands on RAAS Devigarh is rightly causing ripples of excitement. For while it has always been a monumental building, one somehow felt it lacked a
moves to its own rhythm: plodding cows, the ﬂash of a glittering pink sari, lines of laundry, smoking ﬁres, barking dogs, Jain temples. And then, the birds, swooping and soaring, the volume of their call increasing as the taintless orb of the sun sets and they seemingly own the skies. This is no secret hideaway; it is an open heart and all the richer for it. While India’s other new destination spa, Vana, in the Himalayan foothills, has modern, clean-lined architecture, several spa wings and a muted retreat vibe, RAAS Devigarh is an intimate immersion into a theatrical and primordial dreamscape. One where the unique bedrooms, pretty slate-green swimming pool, refreshed dining spots, a new bar (a little bit clubhouse with books and backgammon), spectacular outdoor hot tub and gym are all actually secondary to the beguiling atmosphere. Fundamentally,
MICHELLE JANA CHAN, ACTING DEPUTY EDITOR ‘RIDING THE INCREDIBLE ATLANTIC ROLLERS OF PLAYA BRAVA IN JOSE IGNACIO IS ALWAYS THE TOP OF MY LIST’ 68 Condé Nast Traveller January/February 2017
Clockwise from far left: a meditation room with sadhu inscriptions; a spa treatment room; a bedroom; the Devigarh Suite; plants in the spa garden
this is what holds you. When the rain stops, the air feels energetically charged, silent but not remotely empty. And at last, the palace has a spa aligned to its splendour. This is the ﬁrst destination outpost from the holistically focused British brand Ila, known for its wild-harvested ingredients, most of them sourced from India. These include Rajasthani damascene rose otto oil (picked at dawn for the highest potency), jasmine from Tamil Nadu, sandalwood from Mysore, and Himachal tuberose. Every ingredient is chosen by founder Denise Leicester for its ability to nourish not just the skin but the heart as well. The week-
consciousness, they have a tender touch that seems devotional. These are rituals of restoration, delicately and subtly executed. They vibrate with an incredible wisdom and sensitivity. Nothing in my experience matches their ceremonious mood, nor their positive effects; not even a heart-lifting dawn yoga class at COMO Shambhala, a deeply moving cabana massage in the rain at Kamalaya on Koh Samui, nor an incredible session with the shamanic healer based at Borgo Egnazia in Italy. A new wellness-food menu includes the likes of moog lentil and holy basil soup, home-grown salads and khichdi, a mixture
THE CEREMONIOUS MOOD OR POSITIVE EFFECTS OF THE RETREAT OFFERED HERE long retreats now launched at RAAS Devigarh are a comprehensive experience. The treatments themselves, each two hours long and focused on a different chakra, have been especially designed, and each reveals its own meaningful surprises. Burning amber is used to ground the root chakra; warmed rose oil is poured directly into a little nest over your heart; a liquid light energy known as ‘sole’ hydrates skin at the deepest level; purifying palo santo incense is wafted around with a giant white feather. Other highlights include a raindrop spine massage, reﬂexology for the kosha bodies (or layers of being), cranial holds, and body scrubs made with 200-million-year-old Himalayan salt mixed with warmed poppy seeds, chosen for their ability to soothe inner vulnerabilities. Beautiful Tibetan and Bhutanese therapists whisper chants and play healing sound bowls. Trained in heart
of yellow lentils and brown rice known for its cleansing properties. But it is the breakfasts that are especially delicous: zingy juices, spiced omelettes, wholewheat pancakes, porridge made with turmeric milk, and dosas. Everything tastes nourishing and light without being depriving. Days start with a knock on your door heralding ‘bed tea’, a little tray with a sticky energy ball and a pot of masala chai or fresh ginger tea left just outside your door (so no chat necessary). Next, a dawn yoga session. Yoga by Ila is different – soft and centred on subtle energy work. Pick between balancing, restoring, grounding or energising, depending on your mood: Faraaz, the wise-man spa manager, will help you ﬁnd your way. All work to increase vitality by awakening the chakras, focusing on marma points, and tuning in with ‘the peaceful breath’. Alongside
EMMA LOVE, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR ‘BORGO SANTO PIETRO IS AN ITALIAN MASTERPIECE: STONE BUSTS, LEMON TREES AND LAVENDER-FILLED COURTYARDS’
Clockwise from top left: a stone seat; interior detail; the outdoor terrace of the Devigarh Suite; spa relaxation area; a painting in the spa yoga, there’s a meditation menu that includes om and ram chanting sessions, and gloriously engulﬁng crystal-bowl sound healing. All these delights take place in gorgeous hidden nooks of the building, such as the Sheesh Mahal, covered in silver and coloured glass and, equally special, a room in which a sadhu meditated when the palace was in ruins for 20 years; his writings still inscribed on the walls. Candles, petals and wonderful heady aromas transport you through the reverie. Ila’s Devi Blessing Journeys are designed to help you get back to your blissful natural state of being, swapping stress and tension
great spirit of the palace. It is being polished, primed and opened up with reverence; so too are you. RAAS Devigarh is potent. To stay here is to obtain a steady, surprising and joyous sense of resting in what by any standards can only be described as the perfect spot. It is to lie on your back under a vast and spectacular hot Indian sky and watch shooting stars burst into being. Time, space, energy, alchemy, serendipity: everything mystical and magical is alive and palpable in the bones of the building. It is a wondrous blend of ancient beauty and new-world cool. It is a late-night Dark and
GET HERE BEFORE THE ENCHANTMENT RENDERS IT IMPOSSIBLE TO BAG A ROOM for a return to self. Programmes run for three, ﬁve or nine nights, or simply dip in as you fancy at the end of a Rajasthan recce. Although don’t expect such happy-making results after a ﬂeeting visit; the whole is deﬁnitely more than the sum of parts. After just ﬁve days here I have a sense of being lost in a delirious soup of cosmic consciousness. I cannot imagine how powerful a ninenight stay might be. The mix is intoxicating, every aspect carefully calibrated to relax the central nervous system, endocrine glands and adrenals. Softly you drop; remarkably quickly you feel the ﬁzz. No detox tears, no depressing tests or weigh-ins. It is impossible to stop smiling. Especially when you add in a hand-carved Himalayan salt cave, silent days, bedtime poems, Vedic astrology readings, and candle-cocooned private dinners. This is no stark Ayurvedic centre or anodyne ﬁve-star bubble. A sort of beauty overdose floods through you. There is an incredible natural high that comes from being surrounded by the 70 Condé Nast Traveller January/February 2017
Stormy cocktail, a funky tune to hum along to, a tented slumber. There are few better places on earth to be rocked into your whole and most exuberant self. And certainly nowhere in the world right now is as riveting – rooted in the deep heritage of the land but with a seductively hip and stylish outlook, and a sanctiﬁed spa that weaves spells of happiness. Get here before the enchantment renders it impossible to bag a room. A lavish star has been reborn. ‘Div’ comes from the Sanskrit word to shine, ‘devi’ is the shining one, and it is indeed RAAS Devigarh’s time to shine. Healing Holidays (+44 20 7843 5592; healingholidays.co.uk) offers ﬁve nights at RAAS Devigarh staying in a Garden Suite from £2,499 per person full board on a ﬁve-day Blessing Journey, ﬂights from Heathrow and transfers
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72 CondĂŠ Nast Traveller January/February 2017
WAY OF LIFE
STRANGER THAN FICTION
IN A GOLDEN VILLA IN SICILY LIVES A PRINCESS WITH TALL TALES TO TELL â€“ OF THE MAFIA KEEPING BOARS IN THE BALLROOM, OF UTOPIAN RAW-FOODIE ROYALS. TAKE OVER THE MANSION AND HEAR THEM ALL FOR YOURSELF BY ROS BELFORD. PHOTOGRAPHS BY SERENA ELLER
WAY OF LIFE
The sicilian seaside town of bagheria does not feel like a place for a princess. After World War II, the area became a Maﬁa power base and planning regulations were disregarded. More concrete than baroque, it is today a labyrinth of low-rise tenements, semidemolished structures covered in grafﬁti and gaudy plastic signage. But back in the 17th century, this town, cradled on a gentle slope between mountains and sea, was the summer retreat of Palermo nobility, with their dozens of neoclassical villas and lush gardens of bougainvillaea and jasmine. I am looking for one of these, Villa Valguarnera, owned by Princess Vittoria Alliata di Villafranca, a title bestowed on her family in 1609 by the King of Spain. I’d heard about the property from an old friend. ‘You can’t miss it,’ he told me emphatically, but I had spent an hour navigating narrow lanes and driving in the wrong direction down one-ways. Finally I see the whorls of a wrought-iron gate behind a pick-up piled high with strawberries. I drive in to ﬁnd myself within the arms of a beautiful oval piazza, like a magical miniature version of St Peter’s Square. Before me the concave façade dances cream and gold in the evening sun, and white stucco statues peer down. I recognise
for the philosopher’s stone,’ she says. ‘The idea was that when Newton found the right woman to carry out his ideas, the world would ﬁnally begin to change. Marianna believed she was that woman, and the design and decoration of the villa are inspired by alchemy.’ From aerial photographs, Vittoria tells me, they have discovered that the villa was designed in the shape of a key. ‘The symbolic key of knowledge,’ she adds. The family’s reputation for radical and esoteric thought continued over the centuries, attracting guests such as Rudolf Steiner, Krishnamurti, Goethe, Linnaeus and Madame Blavatsky. Out-of-favour royalty came too. It was here that Maria Amalia, daughter of the exiled King of Naples and niece of the recently beheaded Marie Antoinette, met Louis Philippe of France in 1806. ‘She walked down the stairs, set eyes on him and fell instantly in love. They married, despite the disapproval of her family. Actually, I don’t think my ancestors were too pleased, because the royal family requisitioned the entire piano nobile.’ And it is the piano nobile which Vittoria has decided to rent out, the second layer of the building which sleeps six across three bedrooms. Accessed by an external staircase, there is a vast recep-
IT WAS HERE THAT THE NIECE OF THE RECENTLY BEHEADED MARIE ANTOINETTE MET LOUIS PHILIPPE OF FRANCE. SHE SET EYES ON HIM AND FELL INSTANTLY IN LOVE the building from a Dolce & Gabbana video starring Soﬁa Loren and directed by Giuseppe Tornatore, which follows the extraordinary renovation of a rooﬂess, pigeon-infested ruin. In reality, Villa Valguarnera lies somewhere between the bohemian and the magniﬁcent. The villa’s butler appears by my side and greets me with ‘Buonasera, sono Filippo’. We enter through the main doors, and I am left in the library to wait for Princess Vittoria. It is a long shelved room with two vast wooden tables covered in paperbacks, vellum-bound tomes, guides to half the world, books on Islam, Buddhism, Sicily, feminism, art and alchemy. Vittoria enters softly, wearing sequined Arabic slippers and an embroidered cobalt-blue kaftan with a ﬁne cashmere jumper underneath (Sicilian spring evenings can be chilly). She has thick carmine hair and delicate features which don’t need make-up. I follow her into the sala dello zodiaco, which has a horoscope frescoed on the ceiling and displays of fossils, coral and seashells, and sink into a raspberry velvet sofa. She opens a bottle of white wine bearing the label Duca di Salaparuta, one of the family titles. ‘My grandfather had the foresight to patent all 54 of our titles – they make good brand names,’ she says with a smile. Vittoria tells me it was her several-times-over great-grandmother Marianna Ucrìa who built Villa Valguarnera in the 18th century. ‘She fell in love with an intellectual called Algarotti, who was writing a book about Isaac Newton and his alchemical search
tion room ﬂooded with natural light, and glass doors opening on to a balustraded terrace that sweeps around the villa. A series of smaller more intimate rooms are frescoed with Pompeiian miniatures, and decorated with period furniture and family heirlooms. The result is that lived-in and liveable aristocratic style found in the most engaging of stately homes. My bedroom is an elaborate boudoir with a brocade-curtained bed built into an alcove, and a stone bath that may or may not have been a relic of ancient Rome. There are grand reception rooms and corridors, all with views of the Mediterranean and Monte Corvo, where Salaparuta grapes are grown. There are little niches to read or write in, and sofas ﬁtting snugly in alcoves for hushed conversations. In a music room there is an upright piano, wind-up gramophone and the collected lyrics of Bob Dylan. Suddenly – and surprisingly – I also come across a kids’ den and curl up on a Seventies vinyl sofa overlooked by a huge painting of a peacock and monkey, and read one of the Horrible Histories I ﬁnd on the bookshelf. There is also a kitchen, more boho student than Elizabeth David, with scarlet walls, Sicilian puppets, a repro of one of Michelangelo’s ignudo sketches, and a long table covered with bespoke lino printed with tin-glazed tiles copied from one of the villa’s ﬂoors. I make some tea and pour it in a mug bearing the word ‘PRINCESS’. One of the great reasons to stay here is that Vittoria is often around and willing to engage in conversations about the villa, her family and Sicily; her stories are truly astonishing. Plus,
Clockwise from far left: Villa Valguarnera’s Casino room; the Zodiac room; a villa sign; the owner Princess Vittoria Allitalia di Villafranca; a view of the gardens; a dining room; a portrait in the Casino room; a bathroom. Previous pages, from left: the Apollo room; the villa’s neoclassical exterior January/February 2017 Condé Nast Traveller 75
WAY OF LIFE
Clockwise from this picture: a ceiling detail and chaise-longue in the Zodiac room; the kitchen; a frescoed room; the Portrait room; a bathroom
she allows guests to use not only the piano nobile, but the entire house (except her bedroom and study) and the gardens. One evening, Vittoria and I have dinner together in an elegant room of antique Syrian furniture inlaid with mother-of-pearl. A Sicilian meal is served in family majolica: pasta with swordﬁsh and tomato; a voluptuous caponata with aubergines, olives, almonds and celery, and a green salad ﬂecked with wild fennel. While we eat, Vittoria recounts her life: how she translated The Lord Of The Rings from English to Italian when she was 15 years old (keeping her age a secret from the publishers by refusing to meet them), how she later created the cultural pages for Italian Vogue, and travelled across the Middle East studying Islamic law with a focus on women’s rights. She tells me about being painted by Robert Rauschenberg (‘He did a portrait of me with a beard to show I was a real man’); of meeting Osama Bin Laden’s family at a party, and of the Maﬁa who stole a 2,000-tonne statue of the Cyclops from her garden by helicopter. That brush with organised crime might have caused some to pack their bags. But this was not Vittoria’s ﬁrst encounter with the Maﬁa. When her aunt died 76 Condé Nast Traveller January/February 2017
in 1988, she left half of Villa Valguarnera to Opus Dei. The family contested the will, but while it was in probate the Maﬁa sequestered the villa and installed a guardian. The intention, it was rumoured, was to open a casino. She has won the villa back but not all of the land. ‘Their power is incomprehensible,’ Vittoria says. ‘When Google Earth was launched, I took a look. Villa Valguarnera had been concealed behind a cloud.’ Another evening, Vittoria walks me through the gardens. She explains to me how our passeggiata symbolises a seven-stage journey to perfection. We climb a low artificial hill, part of the alchemical scheme of the villa, ending at a mottled stone temple dedicated to Urania, the goddess of universal love. The light is low, the sea is glowing and I fully understand why she has not moved away. Villa Valguarnera costs from about £9,800 per week, fully staffed with housekeeping and a cook. Driver, car and use of a skippered sailing boat on request (+39 320 700 9035; sicilyluxuryvillas.com).
Monaco on an early summer afternoon. The petite principality wedged between the French and Italian Riviera oozes old-school elegance.
My borrowed vintage BMW is parked between equally lovely and speedy whips. This is Monte-Carlo, after all: the place to open up the throttle and drive.
Despite being almost 50 years old, this 1972 model is still going strong. And itâ€™s a real head turner, especially when revving at a red.
Looking out at the Mediterranean blue - past postbox apartments and superyachts in the harbour. A pocket of perfect congestion.
78 CondĂŠ Nast Traveller January/February 2017
ROAD TRIP THE ROUTE
MONACO TO LAKE COMO
BMW 3.0 CSL
WORDS AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY RENATO Dâ€™AGOSTIN
Just after the half-way mark, I take a break from the wheel in the colourful district of Montferrat, stocked with pretty churches, castles and palaces.
The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este is an annual showcase and celebration of the world’s ﬁnest classic and vintage cars at Lake Como.
The Italian carabinieri – a police force founded more than 200 years ago - always stop to shake hands with a beautiful woman.
A glass of red at the restaurant in Canonica di Corteranzo, a 17th-century manor house in Piedmont, home to some of Italy’s most important vineyards.
Another stop - at Italy’s Lake Orta, west of Como – to eat Campania-style dishes such as spaghetti with scorpionﬁsh by chef Antonino Cannavacciuolo.
The gorgeous Jardin Exotique de Monaco, full of exotic succulents, has been open for more than 75 years and overlooks the hazy sea.
Villa Crespi - in Moorish style - is inspired by a trip the original owner, a wealthy cotton merchant, made to Baghdad in the late 1800s.
Some say the Concorso d’Eleganza is as much about the spectators as the cars, everything – and everyone – is so polished. Which should win the prize? January/February 2017 Condé Nast Traveller 81
MAN ON a MISSION THE MAN: SIR RANULPH FIENNES Aged 72, the Englishman is the only person to have crossed both polar ice caps and reached the summit of Everest. He’s the world’s greatest living explorer and so hardcore he once amputated his own frostbitten ﬁngers with a fretsaw.
‘The landscape is barren. Birds circle overhead. Lizards scurry across the sand. I look around at the 1,000-plus runners taking part, almost all of them donned in Lycra. At my age, you don’t wear that sort of thing. Nonetheless, I’m dressed in as little as possible. It is 53ºC. I have some experience of long-distance running having completed seven marathons in seven days on seven continents. My training regime for that was thrown a little when, three months before I was due to start, I had a massive heart attack which resulted in doublebypass surgery. Those were demanding runs but this is harder. The main difference is my age; I was 60 then, an entire decade younger. Knowing that I am
‘TWO PEOPLE HAVE BROKEN LEGS. ANOTHER HAS FALLEN ON A ROCK AND SPLIT HIS STOMACH OPEN’
slow compared to the rest of the ﬁeld, I start each leg at the back of the pack. I also have to manage my pace as I have had medical advice from a cardiologist that my heart rate must not go over 130bpm. We run in a long line across salt ﬂats and over undulating dunes. The sand is incredibly ﬁne and your feet sink into it with every step. Good gaiters will stop it from getting into your trainers, but I have frostbite on the outside of one of my toes, which forces me to cut a hole in my shoe – it means the grains are ﬁlling my boot slowly. At night we eat in the mess tents, but we have to carry our rations for the day. I have tubes of energy gel to keep me going. My entrance fee has been generously paid for by businessman Paul Sykes, who is a great supporter of the Marie Curie charity. If I finish the race I will be the oldest Brit to do so, and the charity estimates it will make £2million in sponsorship. But ﬁnishing is not a given as you have to keep ahead of the minimum pace the organisers have set for each stage. At the back of the ﬁeld are a couple of camels with their Arab guides. If they catch you, you’re out.
In the evenings I hear about the fates of my fellow competitors. The dune descents are like scree runs only with sand covering sharp boulders and stones. Two people have broken legs, another has fallen on a rock and split their stomach open. The longest stage is about 55 miles and you need to keep running late into the night. It is dark and my head-torch battery has started to fade. I take a step forward, thinking the ground is higher than it actually is and my foot jolts when it lands. It transpires I have injured one of my glutes and I can no longer stand up straight. By the ﬁnal stretch, I have extreme back pain and the mop-up camels are just 13 minutes behind me. But I shuffle on, anxious that if I don’t complete the race the charity will make nothing. Eventually I reach the finishing line. After I thank my wonderful, patient guide and marathon expert, Rory Coleman, there is only one thing left to do: I turn around and stick two ﬁngers up to the camels in the distance.’ As told to David Annand ‘Fear: Our Ultimate Challenge’ by Ranulph Fiennes is out now (£20, Hodder & Stoughton)
PAULA MAYNARD, MANAGING EDITOR ‘LEARNING TO SNOW BOARD IN JAPAN, WITH DESERTED PISTES AND A SERENE ONSEN TO SOOTH TIRED LIMBS: EXCEPTIONAL’ 82 Condé Nast Traveller January/February 2017
PHOTOGRAPH: REX FEATURES/CHRIS WINTER
‘MY TRAINING WAS THROWN A LITTLE WHEN I HAD A HEART ATTACK AND DOUBLE BYPASS’
THE MISSION A six-day, 156-mile foot race – the Marathon des Sables – through the Sahara desert in southern Morocco
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WHERE TO STAY
THE HEADLINE ACTS EDITED BY PETER BROWNE
EXCLUSIVE FIRST REVIEW
HOTEL OPENING OF THE MONTH TWO DECADES AGO, THE OBEROI GROUP DUSTED OFF INDIA’S PRINCELY TRADITION OF GRAND PALACES AND MADE IT RELEVANT AGAIN. NOW THE DYNASTY HAS ARRIVED IN THE PUNJAB WITH ITS FIRST MAJOR LAUNCH IN 14 YEARS BY STEVE KING. PHOTOGRAPHS BY PANKAJ ANAND January/February 2017 Condé Nast Traveller 87
WHERE TO STAY
Once upon a time, when, in late June or early July, the heat on the plains of lowland India became insufferable, pink-faced British ofﬁcers and administrators of the Raj, together with their corseted wives and unﬂappable retainers, would make the long journey north from Delhi, by horse and cart, through the endless ﬁelds and farmland of the Punjab, onwards and upwards to the relative cool of Shimla, in the forested hills of the lower Himalayas. There, among orchids and butterﬂies and breezes, they would pass the summer, enacting intrigues suitable for adaptation as short stories by Rudyard Kipling and, in their idle moments, casually overseeing the subjugation of one-ﬁfth of the world’s population. Then, as the season changed,
suites, and artfully combined with colonial trappings – chandeliers, four-poster beds, quantities of teak, prints of moustachioed majors and maharajahs, throws and cushions in Punjabi reds and greens. Sukhvilas is the latest chapter in a story that began with the opening of Rajvilas, the ﬁrst of Oberoi’s country retreats, in Jaipur in 1997. Despite the fact that the family-owned company had been running some of India’s best-loved city hotels since the early 1930s, when plans for Rajvilas were announced, they were met with scepticism, even derision. A purposebuilt palace combining traditional Indian design and contemporary Western geewhizzery? Madness, critics scoffed. Too expensive. Too luxurious. Doomed. But
growing fast and regularly tops lists of the country’s most liveable cities. Three quarters of India’s population, however, live not in big cities but in small villages, places many travellers are likely to ﬂy over or drive past with barely a glance. It is much to Oberoi’s credit that they make it easy, through sensitively guided visits, for guests at Sukhvilas to connect with the welcoming and curious residents of the neighbouring village of Palanpur. The closeness to wilderness is another plus. Sukhvilas shares its perimeter with that of an 8,000-acre protected forest – home to leopard, among other creatures – which guests are encouraged to explore in the company of the hotel’s naturalists. The spa will be a strong draw. ‘Sukh’
A PURPOSE-BUILT PALACE WITH INDIAN DESIGN AND WESTERN GEEWHIZZERY? MADNESS, CRITICS SCOFFED. DOOMED. BUT THE DOUBTERS WERE PROVED SPECTACULARLY WRONG they would retrace their steps and retreat down the hill and return to the plains and resume their intrigues closer to sea level. Today’s travellers – not just British ones – have a compelling reason to undertake a similar journey (horse and cart optional). While Delhi and Shimla have long been spoilt for ﬁne hostelries, the in-between section has been less well served. Until now. The brand-new Oberoi Sukhvilas is a stronghold of splendour outside the city of Chandigarh. The entrance to the hotel is through a sequence of landscaped courtyards, surrounded by arches and colonnaded verandahs, their surfaces as smooth and pale as clotted cream. Gilded ﬁnials gleam above domed rooftops. Inside, all is symmetrical, ornamental. Towering brass-framed doors rise from ﬂoors of red sandstone, leading the eye to cornices along which elephants stampede gleefully in gold-leaf frescoes. Off to one side an avenue of fountains, streams and reﬂection pools extends towards a distant horizon. All of this and you’re still in the lobby. Similar Northern Indian features and motifs have been incorporated into the design of the 60 bedrooms, villas, tents and
the doubters were proved spectacularly wrong. Rajvilas was a sensation – glamorous, imaginative, respectful of the past, fully alive to the present – and a gamechanger for India. Similar properties followed. Amarvilas in Agra, Vanyavilas in Ranthambhore and Udaivilas in Udaipur. Location wasn’t the only factor in their success but it certainly played a part. Anyone who has spent a night or two at Amarvilas, for example, with its views of the Taj Mahal, will know how incredibly spoilt it makes you feel. At Sukhvilas, you’re close not to one thing of overriding interest but to several – a city, a village and a forest. The city, Chandigarh, is one of the most remarkable in India. In the 1950s, after partition, Prime Minister Nehru enlisted the Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier to construct a new capital for the state of Punjab, as the old one, Lahore, was now in Pakistan. The result, depending on your point of view, is either a masterpiece of urban planning or a concrete wasteland unfit for human habitation. Personally, I adore it. Many Indians feel the same way: Chandigarh is
means ‘good space’, and though the principle presumably applies to the entire property, the 12,000sq ft spa is to be its epicentre. It will also offer courses of Ayurvedic treatments masterminded by Ram Kumar, an eminence among India’s Ayurvedic doctors – a coup for the hotel. No less wondrous are the restoratives provided by head chef Simran Singh Thapar, who looks like a cross between an invincible Sikh warrior and a Steiff teddy-bear. A local lad, he grew up immersed in the Punjabi culture of hospitality. ‘At home people would come by, drop in. There was food for everyone, always. As we say, the guest is god.’ This might be his motto at Sukhvilas, where he is, in his modest, lyrical, softly-spoken way, rewriting the Punjabi recipe book. Ladies, loosen your corsets. Ampersand Travel (+44 20 7819 9770; ampersandtravel.com) offers a ﬁve-night trip from £3,150 per person, with three nights at The Oberoi Sukhvilas Resort & Spa, Siswan Forest Range, New Chandigarh, and two nights at The Oberoi, Gurgaon in Delhi, as well as ﬂights, transfers and excursions.
PETE WINTERBOTTOM, ART DIRECTOR ‘MY ULTIMATE TRAVEL HIT? THE RAZOR-CLAM RICE AT SANTIAGO, JUST MINUTES FROM THE BEACH IN QUARTEIRA, PORTUGAL’
January/February 2017 Condé Nast Traveller 89
WHERE TO STAY
BED-HOPPING WITH NICK JONES
HE LISTENS TO CHEESY EIGHTIES HITS AND DRIVES A GOLF, BUT PACKS A PUNCH IN THE BOXING RING AND HAS CREATED THE WORLD’S COOLEST MEMBERS’ CLUBS. THE FOUNDER OF SOHO HOUSE NAMES HIS FAVOURITE HOTELS THE PIG ON THE BEACH DORSET ‘I love all the Pig hotels but this, being near the sea and not too far from London, is the best. It’s just a great idea scaled down. There are no big spas, swimming pools or tennis courts, but the rooms are lovely and so is the service. The owner, Robin Hutson, is a good mate and used to work with me at Soho House. I cold-called him when I was opening Babington, and he had just launched Hotel du Vin in Winchester. We became friends and he gave me advice. Well, actually, he told me Babington House was a stupid idea! He said, “You’ll never ﬁll it up on a wet Tuesday in February.”’ thepighotel.com. Doubles from £145
THE BEVERLY HILLS HOTEL LOS ANGELES ‘My choices aren’t always original, but they’re classics; I’m forever looking to be inspired. This is an old-school hit, and the refurbished rooms are so nice to sleep in. Plus, the food is really good, such as the McCarthy salad taken on The Polo Lounge’s terrace. We have a rule on family trips where I can only use my iPhone for an hour a day. My business never stops, but I have a very capable team, and they want me to leave them alone while I’m away too. There’s nothing more annoying than the bloke on holiday phoning work all the time.’ dorchester collection.com. Doubles from about £455
HOTEL DU CAP-EDEN-ROC CAP D’ANTIBES, FRANCE ‘This place never changes – it’s good old-fashioned stuff, which I prefer. The location is brilliant, more so when you’re in the restaurant overlooking the ocean with a soupe du poisson and a Dover sole. I try to be well behaved when I’m in other people’s hotels because I know how difficult it is to get it right. I tend to get a lot of upgrades to bigger rooms, but when I’m travelling on my own, which is most of the time, I actually prefer the smallest one.’ hotel-du-capeden-roc.com. Doubles from about £500
THE NOMAD NEW YORK ‘This belongs to Andrew Zobler – our partner in The Ned, a new hotel we’re opening in London. The French-American dishes are delicious, especially its famous roast chicken – although if you’re trying to lose weight, this isn’t the one to have! The rooms are so well thought out. If I’m not staying at Soho House New York, I’ll be here or at The Carlyle.’ thenomadhotel.com. Doubles from about £225
AMAN TOKYO JAPAN ‘It’s in a very tall building – most hotels are in Tokyo – but the owners have done a spectacular job with the design. The bedrooms are big and glamorous, yet modern and minimalistic; the views are fantastic too. I do like a city stay, but, to be honest, if it’s the weekend I’d rather be at home. I did karaoke last time I was here, which everyone should do when in Tokyo.’ aman.com. Doubles from about £865 Soho House Barcelona has just opened. Visit sohohousebarcelona.com. Interview by Francesca Babb
TABITHA JOYCE, EDITORIAL ASSISTANT ‘A FEAST SERVED BY SUPER-CHEF JORGE VALLEJO AT MEXICO CITY’S QUINTONIL WAS UNFORGETTABLE. EVEN THE ANT LARVAE’ 90 Condé Nast Traveller January/February 2017
PHOTOGRAPHS: BERNARD TOUILLON
‘I TRY TO BEHAVE IN OTHER HOTELS AS I KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO GET IT RIGHT’
© 2016 · finejewelr y @ t amaracomolli.com
L AKE TEGERNSEE · SOUTHAMPTON · SYLT · PALM BEACH · MUNICH · MARBELLA
WHERE TO STAY
BEST FOR CLIFF WALKS Tresanton Hotel, St Mawes ‘We come to Cornwall for the air, the mild microclimate, the sharp light. And this serene seaside outpost, owned by interiors whiz Olga Polizzi, a cluster of houses in a white-washed ﬁshermen’s village on the wild Roseland Peninsula with the best local art from Julian Dyson, Patrick Heron and Barbara Hepworth. But what I adore most is Pinuccia, the classic racing yacht, for trips around Falmouth Bay.’ Michelle Jana Chan, Acting Deputy Editor
BEST FOR AFTERNOON TEA Claridge’s, London ‘I’ll never tire of Claridge’s: the Art Deco doors, the black-and-white marble tiles, the people-watching. Afternoon tea is my favourite excuse to while away an hour or three in the lobby, a classic ensemble served on the prettiest striped china. Delicious. Timeless.’ Roxy Mirshahi, Senior Sub-Editor
BEST FOR KEEPING BUSY Gleneagles, Perthshire
OUR EDITORS PICK THEIR TOP PLACES TO BED DOWN IN THE UK AND IRELAND
BEST FOR FOODIES Thyme, Gloucestershire ‘Here it’s all about the food – the cookery school is highly rated, and the all-local, all-seasonal dishes served at their pub, The Swan at Southrop, are excellent. But it’s the pinch-me perfect setting and design details which set Thyme above everything else – and made me feel a little bit like crying when it was time to leave all that beauty behind.’ Laura Fowler, Online Editor
BEST FOR AN ART BREAK At the Chapel, Somerset ‘There’s even more reason to love this multi-tasking converted chapel since gallerists Hauser + Wirth landed down the road in 2014. Its restaurant, luminous even on the murkiest day, is Bruton’s de facto meeting place – discuss the gallery’s latest conceptual offerings over an impeccable wood-ﬁred pizza.’ Kate Maxwell, Contributing Editor 92 Condé Nast Traveller January/February 2017
BEST FOR HOLING UP The Bull Inn, Oxfordshire ‘Recently rescued from sad decline, this little place in Charlbury, left, an under-visited Cotswold town, has been transformed into a wonderful foodie pub with Turkish rugs on ﬂagstone ﬂoors. Come here for bracing country walks, cosy log ﬁres and Sunday roasts with all the trimmings.’ Harriet O’Brien, Contributing Editor
BEST FOR A DIRTY WEEKEND Blakes, London ‘The hotel to be anonymous in. The South Kensington bolthole designed by Anouska Hempel is still the place to hide yourself away, with its decadent rooms inspired by faraway lands (Egypt, Russia, India), so you can pretend you’re somewhere you’re not. Lots of dark nooks and heavy damask and adorned four-posters.’ Rick Jordan, Chief Sub-Editor
BEST FOR A SPA FIX Lime Wood, New Forest ‘Here is the loveliest sauna in all of England, with its ﬂoor-to-ceiling windows looking out to a tangle of woodland, plus bubbling thermal pools, a steaming outdoor hot tub and pummelling hot and cold showers.’ Issy von Simson, Deputy Editor
PHOTOGRAPH: JAMES McNAUGHT; MATTHEW BUCK; SARAH LAUREN PHOTOGRAPHY; RITA PLATTS
‘Anyone remotely antsy will love it here. There’s golf, of course, plus an incredible equestrian centre, off-roading (even for kids), tennis, a great swimming pool with a heated outdoor bit, an award-winning, super-duper spa, plus falconry, ﬁshing and shooting. And that’s just for starters.’ Sophie Pither, Contributing Writer
BEST FOR A COOL STAYCATION The Laslett, London
BEST FOR SEA VIEWS La Rosa Hotel, Yorkshire
‘The modern bedrooms here are wonderful and have the most tempting mini-bars you are ever likely to ﬁnd. The Laslett is perfect for a London weekend as it’s within walking distance of Hyde Park and the best restaurants and shops in Notting Hill.’ Matthew Buck, Photographic Editor
BEST FOR SERVICE Chewton Glen, Hampshire ‘No list is complete without the addition of this hotel, one of the most delightful places to stay in the UK, largely thanks to MD Andrew Stembridge and his team, who are unfailingly well-versed, obliging but never obsequious, interested by never nosey, helpful but never hounding.’ Peter Browne, Senior Editor
‘The sea rooms look straight out across the harbour and the pantile rooftops of Whitby to the ruins of the Gothic abbey on the opposite cliff. Last time I stayed, a low mist had settled along the River Esk giving the impression the abbey was ﬂoating on a cloud. Very Bram Stoker.’ Harry Pearson, Contributing Editor
BEST FOR FAMILY FROLICS Babington House, Somerset ‘They’ve thought of everything here: welly boots for tramping about in the woods, all the Gruffalo books on shelves in the Teeny House playroom, and a high tea created for children. I love the cabin on the lake in winter, when the woodburning stove and outdoor bathtub come into their own.’ Fiona Joseph, Fashion and Beauty Director
BEST FOR COCKTAILS No. 131, Cheltenham
BEST FOR A SENSE OF THE REMOTE Inis Meain, County Galway
‘This funky boutique hotel has a cracking little cocktail bar in the basement – the best for miles around. It’s a cheeky place, with a neon cruciﬁx, curious things in jars and Bloody Mary brunches for the morning after the night before. Plus, the lovely town of Cheltenham is just outside the door.’ Hazel Lubbock, Deputy Online Editor
BEST FOR YOUNG AND FUN Artist Residence, Brighton
‘Next stop America! You can’t go any further west in Europe without falling off the edge. If the blustery wind outside doesn’t knock you sideways, the incredible welcome and simple beauty of everything inside this special retreat certainly will. No TVs, no swishy spa, no cocktail bar. Just the ocean crashing right there.’ Aoife O’Riordain, Contributing Writer
BEST FOR MOORLAND YOMPS
The Inn at Whitewell, Lancashire ‘This cool hangout is home to The Set, a laid-back restaurant of reclaimed wood and dimpled copper crockery where chefs ‘A superlative small hotel in the little-known in the open kitchen are Trough of Bowland, this old stone inn has 23 clearly having fun as bedrooms, some with vintage cabinet baths or they serve up the three open ﬁres, some with views over the River set tasting menus. I Hodder (take Room 3 for all three). Guests can love Menu One with borrow walking boots and maps for full-scale its pollock and pig’s hikes deep into the rolling countryside.’ trotter, rib-sticking Sophie Dening, Contributing Editor oxtail and a pudding of spelt granola and ice BEST TO DECOMPRESS cream – as comforting The Cary Arms, Devon as the sweet milk left ‘Enjoy this hideaway from a sun lounger on the deck of at the bottom of my one of the new beach huts. Wrapped in a blanket, with a cereal bowl as a child.’ tipple in hand, you can spend hours watching children leap Gráinne McBride, off the end of the breakwater on Babbacombe Bay, or just Deputy Chief do some cloud-spotting.’ Paula Ellis,Deputy Art Director Sub-Editor
T RAVELLER PROM OT ION
a toast to the
extraordinary Grey Goose celebrates Christmas in a truly exceptional way. From the cutting-edge bars that feature it, to the innovative cocktails created; from the new, limited-edition gift tube, to the drinks you can rustle up at home, make this year a Grey Goose festive season
Clockwise from main image: the festive Grey Goose martini cocktail at home; oyster and martini cocktail served at the American Bar, The Savoy; Marlene Bar, InterContinental Berlin; Grey Goose bottle and limited-edition gift tube. Centre: François Thibault
ade from the ﬁnest ingredients, using soft winter wheat grown in France’s Picardie region and spring water naturally ﬁltered through limestone, Grey Goose has always pursued the exceptional. Crafted by Cellar Master François Thibault, who had the vision and belief to create this remarkable vodka, from ﬁeld to bottle he still oversees the creative process, while the quality continues to speak for itself.
Referred to as the ‘world’s best tasting vodka’, the gift tube adds art and beauty. Available in matt blue and silver, these icy winter colours conjure up a festive feeling and the tubes are embossed with the iconic lone goose motif. Cool, elegant and extraordinary, be a Grey Goose guest or host this Christmas. GREY GOOSE limited-edition gift tube 70cl
This Christmas, Grey Goose is yet again ﬂying above and beyond, with the introduction of a beautifully designed, limited-edition gift tube. It’s time to up the ‘bring a bottle’ ante with an out-ofthe-ordinary offering that will impress both hosts and fellow guests alike. Grey Goose brings a certain French decadence to gatherings and adds a luxury twist to the party vibe.
RRP £38 Available from all quality retailers including Waitrose and Ocado. Visit greygoose.com/uk GREY GOOSE, THE GEESE DEVICE, NOILLY PRAT and their respective trade dresses are trademarks. Sip responsibly. Drinkaware.co.uk
AROUND THE WORLD THIS CHRISTMAS WITH GREY GOOSE LONDON A new offering at the American Bar, The Savoy pairs a crisp, cold Grey Goose vodka martini cocktail with fresh, seasonal West Jersey rock oysters, tabasco and homemade vinaigrettes, served on a silver platter (right).
EDINBURGH With a spectacular view of the city on one side and the Firth of Forth on the other, Harvey Nichols in Edinburgh is a festive shopping sensation. Stop off at the bar for a celebratory Grey Goose martini cocktail.
BERLIN The capital of Christmas markets, Berlin transforms into a twinkling, festive fairytale. This winter wonderland hosts more than 50 markets and Grey Goose will be popping up throughout. Don’t miss the centrally located Gendarmenmarkt. With its impressive concert hall and two symmetrical churches, it is one of the most beautiful places in Berlin, particularly come Christmas when the market opens its doors. Just a few minutes away is InterContinental’s Marlene Bar; home to the hazelnut martini cocktail, served winter-style by Bar Manager Sebastian Grohmer. NEW YORK It’s the most wonderful time of the year! From ice-skating in Central Park to Rockefeller Center’s Christmas tree, from Macy’s Santaland to shopping Fifth Avenue, a New York Christmas is like no other. Toast it with Le Roi, one of Manhattan’s most expensive martini cocktails (a combination of Grey Goose VX and gin) at the Baccarat Hotel’s opulent, crimson-coloured bar.
At home with Grey Goose Roaring log ﬁres, friends and family coming round? Replace mulled wine with the iconic Grey Goose martini cocktail GREY GOOSE MARTINI COCKTAIL Stirred, never shaken, this version of the iconic cocktail is served with a dash of orange bitters. Garnished with a twist of lemon, it will add a taste of zing to any party. 50ml Grey Goose vodka 10ml Noilly Prat (original French dry vermouth) Dash of orange bitters Lemon zest Method A Grey Goose martini cocktail should be made using a ratio of 5:1 vodka to dry vermouth. Build ingredients in a mixing glass, top with cubed ice and stir before straining into a chilled cocktail glass. Always garnish with the peel of a lemon.
GREY GOOSE FIRESIDE Delight guests with an easy-to-make yet sophisticated cocktail. The perfect blend of sweet and tart, with a touch of salt. 40ml Grey Goose vodka 10ml No. 2 organic maple syrup 1 sprig of rosemary 1 pinch of salt 50ml freshlysqueezed pink grapefruit juice Method In the bottom of a rocks glass crush the rosemary leaves into the maple syrup and salt. Fill with ice and add the Grey Goose. Top with fresh pink grapefruit juice and stir well. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary.
GREY GOOSE LE FIZZ This elegant and refreshing creation is the ultimate celebratory cocktail. 35ml Grey Goose vodka 25ml St-Germain Elderﬂower Liqueur 20ml freshlysqueezed lime juice 70ml chilled soda water Method Put all the ingredients (apart from the soda water) into a cocktail shaker, top with ice cubes and shake. Strain into a chilled ﬂute and add soda water. Garnish with a Grey Goose stirrer.
CAYMAN BRAC LITTLE CAYMAN GRAND CAYMAN
3 of life’s little luxuries
There’s more than one type of seahorse in the Cayman Islands.
STYLE FILE THE TRENDSETTERS
THE FIRST AND ONLY CHANEL SPA IN THE WORLD
PHOTOGRAPH: THOMAS DESCHAMPS
‘A woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future,’ said Coco Chanel, who lived here at the Ritz Paris for 34 years until her death in 1971. There is nothing remotely wafty about this spa, situated on the lower-ground ﬂoor of the lavishly refurbished hotel. It feels like being inside a cut diamond. The position of the mirrors and crystal lamps; the perfectly equitable combination of beige, black and white tones; the silk blankets on the treatment beds – not heavy, not light – are all conclusively luxurious. And although there is a vague awareness that other treatments might be happening in other rooms, such is the feeling of space and placidity that you really might be the only one here. Not that the staff over-fuss. The details of any treatment are discussed intelligently by a therapist wearing an enviable jacket, the emphasis for both facial and body treatments less on the Chanel products used, but on one speciﬁc thing: the super-adroit massage. Quietly in the background sounds the calming simplicity of a Schubert ‘Impromptu’. Meanwhile, on the ﬂoor above, tea is being served in the hotel’s oak-lined Salon Proust: silver pots of L’Hiver au Ritz and slices of cake marbré, polished cars purling quietly through the Place Vendôme beyond. No other spa in the world could hope to boast quite so many absurdly elegant treats. ANTONIA QUIRKE ritzparis.com. The Art of Skincare by Chanel au Ritz Paris treatments from about £65
January/February 2017 Condé Nast Traveller 97
THE FOOL-PROOF KIT
AFTER 15 YEARS AS A BEAUTY EDITOR, OLIVIA FALCON’S BATHROOM RESEMBLES A SCIENCE LAB. BUT OF THE HUNDREDS OF PRODUCTS SHE’S ROAD-TESTED, WHICH ARE THE ONES SHE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT?
THE BEST CONCEALER
THE BEST FACE CREAM
I get bored of playing eye spy with my spots, dark circles and those unﬂattering muddy-brown sun spots; Bobbi Brown’s Intensive Skin Serum Concealer has been my best friend for years. It hides ﬂaws – Brown herself says a concealer should always be one or two shades lighter than your foundation for top results – but it also corrects them with a dose of anti-inﬂammatory peptides and myrrh extract, which work to plump up thin skin under the eyes. It comes in a multitude of colours that cover skin tones from porcelain to chestnut, and has amazing staying power – even when sunbathing – let’s face it, sweating – on the beach. £28; bobbibrown.co.uk
If, like me, you like to travel wearing minimal makeup, mix a few drops of Estée Lauder’s Revitalizing Supreme+ Global Anti-Ageing Wake Up Balm with your foundation for fresh-faced glow. This clever concoction turns pasty-looking skin into to perky faster than a Japanese bullet train. It brightens grey skin, tightens pores and wipes out a ﬂaky forehead in one easy hit. It also has ﬁrming ingredients that smooth out crinkles, so my face doesn’t look like a road map even if I’ve spent hours asleep on my travel pillow. £46; esteelauder.co.uk
THE BEST CLEANSING BRUSH Since I started using the Foreo Luna Go about three years ago, it’s literally changed my life and drastically reﬁned the quality of my skin. My moisturiser absorbs faster, make-up sits better and it even helps – if I run it over my temples – to soothe my headaches. Made of silicone and the size of a cotton pad, it deepcleans skin – even sunscreen encrusted with sand. The ﬁnest, by far, of the electronic facial-cleansing brushes. £85; foreo.com
THE BEST MAKE-UP
PHOTOGRAPH AND RETOUCHING: KATERINA CHELOMBITKO. MODEL: ANNA ZAITSEVA. MAKE-UP: VLADA HAGGERTY
Charlotte Tilbury’s Instant Look in a Palette is based on the make-up worn by Kate Moss on her wedding day. It takes me from polished-daytime straight to a night on the town. Plus I never have to deal with a sponge-bag explosion again. The endless combinations include three eye shadows, two blushers, a bronzer and a highlighter. Tilbury is the Monet of make-up, so she intuitively knows what colours are flattering. This is everything a woman needs for world domination. £49; charlottetilbury.com
THE BEST MOISTURISER Unlike modern body creams, which can leave me smelling like a rampant rose garden, Kiehl’s Crème de Corps is a barely scented, gloriously unfussy skin soother. It’s the result of generations of cosmetic and pharmaceutical wizardry – the brand began as an apothecary in New York more than 150 years ago. The oldschool blend of avocado, apricot-kernel, olive and sesame-seed oils is still impossible to beat. £8.50; kiehls.co.uk
FIVE BEAUTY INSIDERS PICK THEIR ALL-TIME FAVOURITE FIXES
FOUNDER OF SUSANNE KAUFMANN
MAKE-UP ARTIST AND BOBBI BROWN COSMETICS FOUNDER
VICE-PRESIDENT OF SISLEY INTERNATIONAL
FOUNDER OF AERIN, AND ESTEE LAUDER’S GRANDDAUGHTER
‘When I travel or when my skin feels especially tight or dry, I like to use a rich body cream. Jo Malone’s Grapefruit Body Crème has a light, refreshing scent, which helps me feel energised for the day. It keeps my skin smooth.’
‘I swear by the 8G Greens supplement and take it every morning at 11am. It’s great for a mid-morning boost and a fantastic way to increase daily greens intake and energy levels. It has a citrusy ﬂavour, plus it’s ﬁzzy which makes it all the more delicious.’
‘Coconut oil is an all-purpose super-food; I add a spoonful to my cereal every morning. It’s great for hair, skin, joints and brain function, and you can see the beneﬁts if you use it regularly. It provides the body with everything that is important for wellbeing, inside and out.’
JO MALONE CREATIVE DIRECTOR AND FOUNDER OF JO LOVES
‘The Re-Nutriv range by ‘I’ve always got two or three Estée Lauder is my go-to. Chanel lip glosses in my I’ve used it ever since I was handbag; I love the shiny, in college. I wash my face thick texture, but most with the Hydrating Creme of all the gorgeous colours Cleanser, and swear by and subtle shimmer. It the Ultimate Diamond makes me feel glamorous Sculpting/Reﬁnishing whether I’m having lunch Dual Infusion serum to on the beach or at a keep my skin hydrated.’ black-tie dinner.’
January/February 2017 Condé Nast Traveller 99
SHOPPING IN… PARIS ITS REIGN AS THE WORLD’S FASHION CAPITAL ENDURES, BUT SOME OF THE CITY’S MOST INTERESTING ADDRESSES ARE FOUND FAR FROM THE BOUTIQUES OF THE LEFT BANK OR THE FASHION BIG-HITTERS ON RUE SAINT-HONORE. THE NORTH-EASTERN ARRONDISSEMENTS, WHICH RUN FROM BASTILLE TO THE CANAL SAINT-MARTIN, FLAUNT SOME OF THE BEST SPECIALITY STORES IN TOWN BY ALICE CAVANAGH
The Used Book Café at concept store Merci January/February 2017 Condé Nast Traveller 101
Clockwise from top left: Café Smörgås at La Trésorerie; shoes at Centre Commercial; lights at Merci; Centre Commercial’s fashion rails; the interiors at Christophe Lemaire’s boutique; a display at Centre Commercial; shops by the Canal Saint-Martin; Scandi inﬂuences at La Trésorerie; corner in the 9th arrondissement
STYLE FILE FIX UP, LOOK SHARP For those who love the understated elegance of Hermès but need something at a snip, go to Lemaire, the boutique of French designer Christophe Lemaire who was until recently artistic director of Hermès womenswear. He brings his luxurious touch to knitwear, chic coats and signature T-shirt dresses. Once the fashion industry’s best-kept secret, he continues to shine in his collaboration with Japanese brand Uniqlo. 28 rue de Poitou (lemaire.fr) THE NON-SHOP WITH NON-SEASONS Parisians love a secret address – something they can hold over their friends. The studio of CristaSeya in the 9th arrondissement is as discreet as they come. There’s no shop front, instead you must make an appointment in advance to be buzzed in. Italian designer Cristina Casini’s line captures the building blocks of a woman’s wardrobe: the perfect knit, the ultimate trench, widelegged trousers and classic T-shirts, in numbered editions, rather than seasons, meaning all items are available at any time. 7 rue Ambroise Thomas (cristaseya.co)
PHOTOGRAPHS: CHARISSA FAY; MATTHIEU SALVAING/FIGAROPHOTO.COM
COOL KIT, KICKS AND CAFFEINE If you’re in need of a proper coffee, a drop of natural wine or a well-cut pair of jeans, head to the streets off the Canal SaintMartin. Centre Commercial has the latest styles from brands including Etudes, Saint James, BaseRange and Bleu de Paname, as well as trainers, fashion and travel books. For men, the look is French lumberjack, with collegiate chic for women. There’s also a children’s outlet around the corner. 2 rue de Marseille (centrecommercial.cc) THE NEWS IN BRIEFS A tiny shop in this quiet part of the 2nd arrondissement (around the corner from a swingers’ club favoured by some politicians), Yasmine Eslami is a sensual line for those who like soft-cup bras and a decent choice of knicker style. Eslami has just been named swimwear designer at Eres so she can cover you up on the beach too. 35 rue de Richelieu (yasmine-eslami.com) FIRST STOP FOR SECOND-HAND FINDS Paris abounds with vintage stores, but Thanx God I’m A VIP is one of the best, due to owner Sylvie Chateigner’s expert eye and methodical knack for merchandising. No need to rummage: racks are neatly arranged, clothes are clean and pressed
and, best of all, colour coded. You’ll ﬁnd classics from the defining eras: a YSL skirt suit from the 1970s or Eighties Alaïa bodycon, each vetted by Chateigner who accepts consignments under strict guidelines: serious labels only and no synthetic fabrics. 12 rue de Lancry (thanxgod.com)
THE CONCEPT STORE TO GET LOST IN No trip to Paris is complete without a visit to Merci on the edge of the Marais. Enter via a courtyard and wander around this three-storey warehouse space, with its selection of vintage and designer furniture from the likes of Tolix and Ciguë, tableware by ceramics brand Jars, and a whole ﬂoor of fashion. Don’t leave without the signature linen sheets. And the Used Book Café has the best scones in town. 111 Boulevard Beaumarchais (merci-merci.com)
THE DECADENT WEEKENDER A former 19th-century brothel, Hôtel Providence is set back from a cobblestoned square, with 18 rooms decked in dark wooden floors and House Of Hackney velvet wallpaper. Rooms range from the jewel-box-like Mini to the top-ﬂoor suite with Sacré-Coeur views. Each has a bar with cocktail shaker and icemaker – for a nightcap after a day’s shopping. 90 rue René Boulanger (hotelprovidenceparis.com)
BROTHERS AND BAGS TO KNOW ABOUT In-the-know visitors and locals seek out Ateliers Auguste, the luggage and men’saccessories shop founded by brothers Laurent and Xavier Valembert. The siblings have a line of canvas and leather bags and backpacks that combine utilitarian appeal with French savoir-faire and ﬁnesse. They also have their own line of leather milk to make sure everything stays supple. 8 rue de Turenne (ateliers-august.fr) HIP INTERIORS AND SCANDI SARNIES La Trésorerie, just off the Place de la République, has a Scandi vibe, with Karsten Lauritsen’s bean table and Gesa Hansen’s pragmatic night couch – as well as European and Japanese organic paints, raw-wood utensils, natural towels and linens, and recycled wool throws. For the best of the French, head to the kitchen supplies section for Deshoulières tableware from Limoges, Chasseur pots and pans, and La Rochère glassware. The adjoining Café Smörgås is great for open sandwiches. 11 rue du Château d’Eau (latresorerie.fr) HOWDY, NEW WINTER BOOTS ‘Gardian’ is the French word for the cowboys from Camargue in the South of France, where the boot brand La Botte Gardiane has had its workshop for 50-odd years. These hand-crafted leather boots have earned their place in a Parisian’s winter wardrobe. Available in varying heights and colours, they look best worn with swagger. 25 rue de Charonne (labottegardiane.com)
ISABEL MARANT LOCAL KNOW-HOW FROM THE PARISIAN FASHION DESIGNER
‘Le Marché des Enfants Rouge food market has stalls selling Moroccan, Japanese and Italian dishes, plus the city’s best crêpes.’ ‘Gros is a ﬁne restaurant down a lovely lane in the 10th arrondissement that serves delicious tapas.’ ‘Make sure to visit Ban Sabaï Royal Spa for traditional Thai massages. It’s the best place to relax after an intense period of work.’ ‘For delicate ﬁne jewellery, I head to the Marais and Stephanie Roger’s second White Bird boutique.’ ‘L’Arbre Jaune is a local spot on rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, serving simple food and a great selection of natural wines.’
HANNAH MOORE, ACTING FASHION DIRECTOR ‘THE OLD HARBOUR HOTEL IN COCHIN TAKES POOLSIDE PAKORAS AND BEERS TO A SPECTACULAR NEW LEVEL’
January/February 2017 Condé Nast Traveller 103
EDITOR’S PICK ‘The 1990s are having a throwback moment. Join the revival with this sleek bag inspired by hit TV series Twin Peaks.’ VICTORIA WRIGHT, STYLIST ShoePeaks clutch, £2,395, Christian Louboutin (+44 8432 274322)
Quilted velvet jacket, £1,535, Maison Margiela (matches fashion.com). Acetate and gold sunglasses, £325, Taylor Morris (taylor-morris.com)
Trainers, £970, Brunello Cucinelli (brunellocucinelli.com)
DESTINATION ON THE SCENE: MARRAKECH
Cape, £636, La Mania (lamania.eu)
THE MOOD: GOLDEN AGE
Shimmer dust, £20, Burberry (burberry. com). Yoga mat, £75, Bodyism (bodyism.com) Sequin-embellished sweater, £1,850, Gucci (matchesfashion.com). Metallic nappa and shearling Marshall boots, £1,150, Jimmy Choo (jimmychoo.com)
104 Condé Nast Traveller January/February 2017
EDITOR’S PICK ‘Forget minimalism; go opulent with this goldstitched velvet design.’ HANNAH MOORE, ACTING FASHION DIRECTOR Velvet georgette dress, £2,475, Adam Lippes (matchesfashion.com)
Mini dog tour bracelet, £350, Hermès (hermes.com). Saint Honore mini trunk, £5,270, Goyard (goyard.com)
PHOTOGRAPH: JAMES BEDFORD
There is perhaps nowhere else so close that feels so far away, so removed from everything we know. This city has challenged and enchanted travellers for centuries: incomparable, often exasperating, always unexpected. In the late-evening light, the Jemaa el-Fnaa glows golden; the great square’s biblical buildings take on a tawny incandescence. It is tempting to think of this remarkable place as suspended in amber, trapped in its own warren of streets, too caught up in its own vivid history to evolve or innovate. And yet around every corner there are signs of constant reinvention. Who would have thought that deep in the medina it is possible to ﬁnd a restaurant such as Nomad, its Maghreb interiors touched with Scandi-modernism and serving clever takes on Moroccan classics? Or that, amid the honk and hassle, one might stumble upon a boutique as sublime as Max & Jan selling fashion-forward African styles? For a taste of this old-school but evolving Marrakech, stay at the wonderfully discreet Dar Darma, pictured, all faded grandeur in a labyrinth of rooms, itself a miraculous version of the medina in miniature. dardarma.com; doubles from about £220. Original Travel (originaltravel.co.uk) offers tailor-made Marrakech trips
T RAVELLER PROM OT ION
Scents Of The Season Capture the magic of the festive period with Molton Brown’s Limited Edition Fabled Juniper Berries & Lapland Pine Collection, and its divine range of exclusive travel retail gifts
othing evokes a sense of festive cheer quite as well as the rich, aromatic aromas that instantly conjure up images of twinkling trees, lovingly wrapped gifts, berried wreaths, laughter-filled gatherings and hearty renditions of ‘A uld Lang Syne’. And this year the seasonal scents are all set to come from Molton Brown.
Inspired by Laponian fables of enchanting forest encounters in the sweeping arctic landscape of northernmost Sweden, the Limited Edition Fabled Juniper Berries & Lapland Pine Collection is a heady blend of pine-bark extract sourced from pristine polar forests harmonised with the bracing freshness of crisp juniper berries – instantly reminiscent of wintry escapades. And then there are the cold and warm facets of this olfactive treat, designed to intrigue the senses further – as master perfumer Carla Chabert of Fragrances Essentielles explains: ‘To achieve a cold feeling akin to a blanket of snow, a hint of ozonic notes was blended with violet leaf. This is counterbalanced by musk, cashmere wood, cedarwood and oakmoss with a hint of vanilla bringing warmth and comfort, like the pleasure of setting foot in a cosy cabin after an exploration in a wintry wilderness.’ Wrap this intriguing blend up in exquisite seasonal packaging – think green and white bottles, polished-silver engravings and delicate, jingling blue bells – and you have the quintessential seasonal scent. So fill your stocking (and, if you really want to make everyone else’s Christmas, fill theirs too). And why stop there? Stocking gifts, small gifts, big gifts – even crackers: from individual must-haves to luxurious gift sets,
Molton Brown has made Christmas shopping easy. Indeed, topping our table must-have list this Christmas has to be the Orange & Bergamot Cracker (only available in airports) – think Sevillian orange oil with bergamot and orange blossom, beautifully wrapped in the perfect festive party piece. Unmistakable, lively, full of its own refreshingly radiant little surprises, it is Molton Brown’s signature scent – forget the figgy pudding, we won’t be going till we’ve got some of these, so bring some right here. The Fabled Juniper Berries & Lapp Pine Limited Edition Collection is available in Molton Brown stores, online at moltonbrown.com and at Molton Brown counters in airports. The Orange and Bergamot Christmas Cracker is exclusively available at Molton Brown counters in airports. moltonbrown.com #AFestiveFable
Molton Brown Orange & Bergamot Christmas Cracker (only available in airports)
LOOP–THE–LOOP DESIGNERS ARE PUTTING A KINK IN GOLD WITH CURIOUSLY CURVING NEW SHAPES. BY JESSICA DIAMOND Do you remember holding a sparkler in a mittened hand on bonﬁre night? And then writing your name in the darkness? A line of crackling white light would be etched into the black and onto the back of your retina, and for a ﬂeeting second it felt like being a wizard. Imagine translating this random fluidity into gold, unconstrained by the usual conventional shapes of jewellery. Well, this is exactly what is happening as a slew of new designers push the limits of composition even further than the relaxed, wearanywhere, at-any-time aesthetic that has dominated for the last decade. This is jewellery like coiled wire, like a cat’s cradle, like a tangle of ribbon, like a doodle; ultra-slender and skin-hugging. Think the ear lobe is the only place to hang from? Now gold is dancing up the curve of the ear like the
trail of a firefly in pieces by Charlotte Chesnais, and in taut lines of diamonds that span from top to bottom by cult jeweller Repossi. Dauphin’s cuffs and rings wrap ﬁngers and wrists in linear gold, while Chesnais again extends her bracelets around the thumb in a loop of metal. Ana Khouri’s rings weave diamonds up and under digits; forget the notion that complete circles are required. Newcomer Anissa Kermiche stacks ear cuffs that clip into the concha (who knew such a name existed?), no piercing needed. Meanwhile, Diane Kordas’s whisper-ﬁne wrap ring and bangle do just that – surrounding the skin in a ﬂourish of slender metal. And the sum of all these parts? Suddenly the idea that gold is hard and unmalleable and constrained by its very nature feels old-fashioned; another jewellery rule has been broken.
Top row from left: gold Stem ring, £6,000, Ana Khouri (doverstreetmarket.com). Bond bracelet in vermeil, £740; Galilea M earring in vermeil, £360; Eden bracelet in vermeil, £1,630, all Charlotte Chesnais (charlottechesnais.com). Middle row from left: Tatouage ring in gold and diamonds, £1,036; Double Rondeur Perlee earring, £782, both Anissa Kermiche (anissakermiche.com). Gold Time ring, £2,035, Ana Khouri (as before). Noble staples, from £285 each, all Anissa Kermiche (as before). Bottom row from left: Elliptique Berbere earring in rose gold and diamonds, £7,950, Repossi (mytheresa.com). Mirian bracelet in diamonds, POA, Ana Khouri (as before). Punk earring in vermeil, £250; Heart ring in vermeil, £370, both Charlotte Chesnais (as before) PAULA ELLIS, DEPUTY ART DIRECTOR ‘DINING ON THE BEAUTIFUL TERRACE OF MUDBRICK VINEYARD ON WAIHEKE ISLAND IS MY TRANSPORT-ME-THERE-NOW MOMENT’ 106 Condé Nast Traveller January/February 2017
You’ll be moved, even while standing still.
You may never run out of ways to get out on the water in The Florida Keys. But sometimes, you’ll want to stop and soak up the atmosphere. It’s motion, and emotion, in perfect balance. ﬂa-keys.co.uk 0208 686 2600
THE GOLD LIST 2017
PHOTOGRAPH: MICHAEL TUREK
OUR ALL-TIME FAVOURITE HOTELS, RESTAURANTS, COCKTAIL BARS AND BEACH CLUBS
HORSE RACING AT NIHIWATU IN INDONESIA 109
THE GOLD LIST 2017
PHOTOGRAPH: JEN JUDGE
A love letter to light, written in concrete. Everything everyone says about Amangiri is true. Including the fact that it is impossible to get a room. Part hotel, part art installation, Amangiri is a luminous place of startling beauty, but also ridiculously fun. The swimming pool wraps itself around a rock 164-million-years old, the clouds above are pink, and cowboys on horses trail across the distant desert for hours, the dust kicking up behind them like half-formed thoughts. But here also, a short drive away, are beautiful slot canyons like deep tunnels of melted rock, and Lake Powell, the iridescent flooded canyonland where there’s doughnutting behind speed boats driven by blond boys called Chad. Brilliant for families, but also, with its terrace ﬁres and rooftop beds open to the clang of crashing stars, absurdly romantic, Amangiri manages to be all things to all people. And yet while the freshness and lightness of touch is remarkable, its staff superlative and the green juice certainly the freshest you’ll ﬁnd in the tri-state area, it is the design that has everyone wide-eyed and exhilarated. Like being inside a living James Turrell sculpture where the shades of the world are hyper-realised, Amangiri seems to exist in some parallel – and wildly more spectacular – universe. +1 435 675 3999; amangiri.com. Doubles from about £1,375 full board, including private transfers to and from Page Airport and group daily hikes
SINGITA SABORA TENTED CAMP GRUMETI, TANZANIA
Safari-lovers go to Africa to see game, to walk in the wild and to relax while surrounded by nature. But Sabora, a tiny dot of a camp in the 350,000-acre private game reserve owned by American philanthropist Paul Tudor-Jones, also supplies a dose of the most decadent old-school glamour. During the Great Migration, the wooden decks of the nine tents become surrounded by thousands of animals, bleating and harrumphing (even watching as you serve on the unfenced tennis court), making Sabora the perfect spot to soak up Africa. The big, lavishly decorated mess tents are lined with silk Persian rugs; there are sun-bleached animal skulls, glossy tortoise shells and giant seedpods to examine, and leather-bound safari photography books to pore over on a feather-stuffed sofa. The vast tented bedrooms – as close as you’ll get to an Out of Africa ﬁlm set – are scattered with antique mahogany carvings, silver brushes and mirrors, and dominated by wooden fourposters. After a massage in the shade, a G&T in a crystal tumbler, and slow-roasted marmalade guinea fowl followed by raspberry soufflé in the twinkling light of silver candelabra, all that’s left to do is gasp at the vastness of the Milky Way above. Or – this being a private reserve – go out on a night drive to spot a leopard stalking an impala, or listen to the chilling whoop of hyena on the hunt. +27 21 683 3424; singita.com. From about £1,040 full board per person per night, including twice-daily safaris and transfers
THE GOLD LIST 2017 TITILAKA LAKE TITICACA, PERU At first glance, Titilaka’s neo-industrial entrance appears to have turned its back on new arrivals. But step into the airy lobby and it’s easy to why: the entire hotel is built to make the most out of South America’s highest, largest, most wondrously beautiful lake on the other side. Everyone comes to this corner of the world to visit Titicaca’s curious islands, but only guests at Titilaka get ﬂoor-to-ceiling views of the lake and its soaring dome of blue sky. And, as if this isn’t enough, there’s a wrap-around terrace with double beds and deck chairs from which to take it all in. The bright interiors are crafted by architect Jordi Puig, the owner Ignacio Masías and his sister Sandra Masías (also the team behind the smart Hotel B and the new Atemporal hotels in Lima). Untainted sunlight streams in, warming the adobe brickwork, plush sofas, throws and rugs in bold Altiplano colours, and bespoke Pop-art pieces. During the day, a choice of 14 outings is offered as standard, ranging from rafting or exploring the archaeological site of Sillustani to taking a catamaran to Bolivia’s glorious, car-free Island of the Sun. On your return, indulge in a massage or kick back in your room – all 18 have lake views and heated ﬂoors, and most have big bathtubs. Start the evening with pisco-powered cocktails at sunset – a pit-ﬁre is lit to tame the Andean chill – before a supper of New Peruvian dishes such as alpaca carpaccio, mountain trout ceviche and quinoa soufflé. Before bed, make one ﬁnal visit to the deck to see one of the best night skies on the planet. +51 1 700 5100; titilaka.com. Doubles from about £820, including meals, excursions and transfers
BERKELEY RIVER LODGE
PHOTOGRAPHS: CROOKES & JACKSON; MARK WILLIAMS
WESTERN AUSTRALIA The Kimberley, in the far north-west of Australia, is one of the emptiest places on Earth. It is possible to drive for days without seeing any sign of human habitation. Yet here, on a sensational stretch of dramatic coastline, stands this unique wilderness lodge. It is so sequestered that the only way to get here is by helicopter or air taxi (or perhaps private yacht). People come for the isolation – in few places can the nights appear darker or starrier – but also for the deep, tranquil comfort of the 20 smart villas which seem to ﬂoat like a lovely little armada on the coastal dunes. All the bathrooms are outdoors for long showers beneath a yellow tropical sun in the clear Australian sky. Some of the cabins look out on the snaking Berkeley River, others have views of the Timor Sea. And this sea is for looking at, not for swimming in, because the glittering water teems with bull sharks and saltwater crocodiles. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it. Go ﬁshing off the two islands called, mysteriously, Aunt and Uncle. Or take a guided boat tour down the river – the best way to see the wild Kimberley and all that lives here: ghost gums and bottleshaped boab trees, brahminy kites, jabiru birds with beaks like screwdrivers. The hotel chef can make up a fabulous lunch box ﬁlled with salads and focaccia to take along and enjoy with a cold beer beneath the Casuarina Falls. And if you are desperate for a dip, there is a beautiful swimming hole (without crocs) at the far end of the ﬁrst creek on the right. +61 8 9169 1330; berkeleyriver.com.au. Doubles from about £875
JAWAI RAJASTHAN, INDIA
PHOTOGRAPH: MARTIN MORRELL
Big cats are notoriously elusive and tiger safaris especially require a fair dollop of managed expectations. Which is why Jawai – where leopards are the thing – is so extraordinary. This smart Rajasthani safari camp is in a district of small villages and farms rather than a wildlife sanctuary, and leopards are highly visible, coexisting in almost supernatural harmony with the human population (there hasn’t been a leopard attack in more than a century). The camp itself melts into a landscape of acacia forests and mustard ﬁelds, the horizon studded with the smooth-sided granite hills where the leopards live. Its nine suites are in spruce, canopied safari tents outﬁtted with chrome campaign desks and crimson lampshades and cushions that echo the red turbans of the local Rabari herdsmen. Winding paths lead to a splash pool, a dining tent, and a clearing where guests feast on thali curry by starlight. This is safari but not as you know it: at dusk, watch the sleek silhouette of a female leopard padding down a rock face, ignoring children on the dusty road, while music plays noisily from a nearby temple. There’s magic at play in Jawai, and it’s of the most bewitching, tail-twitching variety. +91 11 4617 2700; sujanluxury.com/jawai. Doubles from about £665 full board, including twice-daily game drives
THE GOLD LIST 2017
THE GOLD LIST 2017 SEPIA
SYDNEY (pictured left)
It’s the little things that count here. Take the salmon ball presented as an amuse-bouche: bite into it and a filling of smoked salmon roe provokes tantalising shock-waves of intense ﬂavour. This is what chef Martin Benn does best: create seemingly simple dishes that astonish with their complexity, combining French techniques with Japanese ingredients such as dashi jelly, wakami oil and sobacha. Spanner-crab meat is teamed with sake-vinegar jelly, pea and horseradish and folded as carefully as origami; a simple curl of squid, decorated with miso-cured egg yolk and a wasabi ﬂower, calls to mind the curves of a Miró painting. And Benn’s nine-course menus end as strongly as they begin, with puddings such as The Pearl, a pristine sphere of white chocolate and finger lime. +61 2 9283 1990; sepiarestaurant.com.au. About £270 for two
India’s restaurant critics are notoriously picky, which makes the non-stop gushing that has flowed since chef Manish Mehrotra’s opened here in 2009 so signiﬁcant. His genius lies in splicing global ingredients into regional recipes from India’s 29 states. So the stuffing he uses in the traditional kulcha – one of the country’s 400-plus breads – is chilli hoisin duck, or applewoodsmoked bacon, or wild mushrooms and truffle oil. Kofta, the delicately spiced Indian dumpling, is made here with tofu instead of paneer and served with a wok-tossed quinoa pulao. The result is not so much fusion as synergy: inventive twists that serve to accentuate the complex flavours of Indian food, and reason enough to plan a trip to the Indian capital. +91 11 4323 5151; indian accent.com. About £150 for two
Norman Laprise, an early adopter of farm-to-fork food, shook up Montreal’s French restaurant scene when he opened here 23 years ago. And it’s still ahead of the game. Line-caught tuna is served with aubergine purée, matsutake mushrooms, herring roe and dulse sauce and the winter foiegras poelé comes with ground pine, crushed popcorn and ash oil. Everything is faultlessly executed and yet feels utterly spontaneous. The interior is as dramatic as it is sober, with a ﬂoating wine rack showcasing some of the restaurant’s excellent vintages as the main decorative feature. The polished staff, in true Montreal style, switch effortlessly between French and English, orchestrating proceedings like well-rehearsed actors in a long-running Broadway show. +1 514 499 2084; restaurant-toque.com. About £125 for two
Keens serves fantastic steak but became famous for its even more fantastic mutton. It opened in 1885 and in 1935 served its millionth mutton chop. Somebody played a fanfare on a bugle that had supposedly been used in the War of the Roses. The manager gave a speech and waived the bill. The great shepherd in the sky alone knows how many mutton chops Keens has sold since then. A flock of a lot. Even without the fanfare and the speech, and even if you have to pay the bill, a Keens mutton chop remains one of the glories of Midtown Manhattan. Look out for the 50,000 long-stemmed clay pipes that hang, with a peculiar elegance, from the ceiling – not that you’re likely to miss them. Lillie Langtry, JP Morgan, Teddy Roosevelt and Babe Ruth ate here. You should too. +1 212 947 3636; keens. com. About £155 for two
Lima’s culinary boom may have produced fancier restaurants but none, surely, is better loved than El Mercado, the casual lunch-only affair opened in 2010 by superstar local chef Rafael Osterling. Tucked away down a Miraﬂores side street, the permanently packed, semi-open-air space has the informal clatter and hum of an actual market with bartenders serving superb Pisco Sours to the endlessly replenished queue. As well as a full range of top-grade ceviches, the menu also includes excellent tiraditos such as the Nikkei (yellowﬁn tuna sliced thin, marinated in lime and served with sesame oil and avocado aïoli). Other highlights include a superlative shrimp burger and the causa original, Osterling’s upmarket take on the Peruvian staple of mashed potato terrine layered with seafood. +511 221 1322; rafael osterling.pe. About £60 for two
Fashions come and go but Wilton’s has stuck to what it does best for more than 250 years: serving traditional food, perfectly cooked and simply presented. The salmon is fresh from a Scottish river; shellfish delivered live are cooked upon arrival; grouse, still feathered, are rushed from the moor on the night train to London. Chef Daniel Kent sources the very best ingredients to be found in the British Isles: even the cured trout comes from a chalk stream. Ending the feast are Edwardian puddings such as syllabub and triﬂes soaked in sherry, or a Welsh rarebit of mustardy cheese on toast triangles. It’s more of a dining room than a restaurant, where amorous liaisons are played out in the depths of the green velvet booths, and deals brokered by captains of industry and politicians. Discretion is as much a part of Wilton’s as its service. +44 20 7629 9955; wiltons.co.uk. About £120 for two
THE WHITE ROOM
Arctic-white walls exuberantly encrusted with gold give this venerable 19th-century building its name. There the history stops. A recent revamp has introduced funky spherical chandeliers, a classyyet-cool tone and an invigoratingly fresh take on the food. Chef Jacob Jan Boerma is guided by three culinary fundaments – ‘citrus, spice and vegetables’ – and his dishes are delicate, full of secrets and liable to mini explosions of surprising flavours. A slice of lime gives prawn tartare a zing as it slips onto your tongue; an intense zap of lemon lurks beneath a perfectly cooked piece of trout, with green-mustard sabayon. Wasabi, curry, Indonesian spices all play cameo roles. Each plate is feat of beauty, with bold colours, odd shapes and energetic composition. +31 20 554 9111; restaurantthe whiteroom.com. About £155 for two
Belgian chef Alois Vanlangenaeker won Zass a Michelin star in 2002 for dishes such as spaghetti Positano (made with a variety of local tomatoes) and John Dory in a lemon crust with a buffalo yoghurt and potato purée. Armed with a fabulous array of seasonal produce grown on the slopes of Il San Pietro hotel’s sun-drenched gardens, he now has a new €3-million kitchen designed by Andrea Viacava in which to work. Dinner is served on the most romantic of terraces overlooking the coast, or at the olive-wood chef’s table. Dishes, served by white-jacketed waiters, are hugely accomplished and the atmosphere is elegant, but this is far from being pompous; slabs of sizzling pizza are served as an amuse bouche on colourful ceramic plates from nearby Vietri, a marvellously grounding touch. +39 089 825455; ilsanpietro.it. About £145 for two
The view from the terrace here is the same enjoyed by F Scott Fitzgerald when he rented this Art Deco villa, now the family-run hotel Belles Rives. A nostalgic Riviera vibe prevails, from the Thirtiesstyle dining room to the Picasso-inspired ceramic plates. The delicate Mediterranean ﬂavours created by Yoric Tièche are pure joy: salt-crusted sea bream with artichokes, and sautéed monkfish with passionfruit-ginger glaze, followed by whimsical puddings of rum-infused pineapple flambé with black-sesame ice cream, and limoncello soufflé. It’s easy to see why it was recently given its ﬁrst Michelin star. After-dinner drinks are virtually compulsory in the Fitzgerald bar, where you can imagine Scott puffing away on Chesterﬁelds while scribbling notes for Tender is the Night. +33 4 93 61 02 79; bellesrives.com. About £180 for two 117
SIX SENSES ZIGHY BAY OMAN
Here you are, in the fabulous desert and coastal adventure that is Oman. The light is astonishing, the beach pale gold. This is an unplugged beach hotel that is perfectly executed. It’s easy to get to for that hit of winter sun (just a two-hour drive from Dubai), and the smart, eco-friendly villas have private, sandy gardens with small pools. You can bring the children, yes, but the restaurants and general vibe also deliver a dollop of Middle Eastern candlelit charm. Despite the butler-with-buggy service, the essence here is barefoot cool: goats wander about, ﬁg and lemon trees line the bicycle paths, and ever present in the background are those astonishingly beautiful, mysterious mountains. Be sure to get on the water for a different perspective: set sail into Haffa Bay where children still take boats to school. And when you want to retreat, the spa has the most amazing, deeply intuitive therapists. What’s so special about this place is that for all the sharp trimmings, including private wine cellars, the overall mood is heartfelt and lolling. +968 26 735555; sixsenses.com. Doubles from about £530
THE GOLD LIST 2017 NIHIWATU SUMBA, INDONESIA Originally built as a simple surf lodge in the 1990s, Nihiwatu was bought by American entrepreneur Chris Burch four years ago, who transformed it into a smart barefoot retreat. Sumba island, which Burch likens to Bali 40 years ago, has pristine beaches, quiet forests and traditional villages, where ikat weaving is still done by hand and cattle are used as dowry. The 33 bedrooms here are all seductive with elaborate, shell necklaces used as decoration and cushions covered in colourful batik; even the outdoor, eggshaped bathtubs have been artfully gilded. Only 10 guests at a time are permitted to ride the left-hand break that made Nihiwatu the stuff of surf legend; everyone else lounges by the infinity pool, hikes through the surrounding rice paddies to out-of-time villages or gallops on horseback down the beach. No one wears shoes here, and everyone seems to don board shorts in the restaurant, where Australian chef Ben McRae produces sensational green-papaya soup and Thai pomelo salad with prawns. Everyone is invited to visit one of the projects supported by The Sumba Foundation: a philanthropic vehicle for local medical clinics, clean-water projects, and a schoollunch programme that has increased attendance ﬁgures. And if that doesn’t pull your heart strings, says foundation director Steve Bierman, you just don’t have a heart. +62 361 757149; nihiwatu.com. Villas from about £535 full board
PHOTOGRAPHS: JULIEN CAPMEIL; MICHAEL TUREK
CYPRUS Overlook, for a minute, the family-friendly fanfare surrounding this Mediterranean pile on the north-west coast of Cyprus: Anassa is so much more than somewhere to keep children happy. There are grown-up suppers to eat beneath lantern-lit olive trees, phenomenally ﬁrm massages in the comprehensive spa, clouds of heavily-scented lavender and jasmine in the gardens and thick rolled towels on the day beds. A perennial favourite for spring and autumn sunshine, the hotel recently underwent a gentle nip-and-tuck to the tune of seven ﬁgures, resulting in a smartening of the bedrooms, a refreshing of the communal areas and an opening of a boutique that gives Matches a run for its money. Now the whole place is glowing. Sunlight bounces off the polished marble ﬂoors and bougainvillaea erupts from terracotta urns. Fling open the pale-blue shutters for stellar sea views of the gin-clear waters of the Akamas National Park on one side and the bobbing marina of nearby Latchi on the other. Make no mistake, Anassa is big – the rolling lawns, the different levels of the pools, the winding path down to the wide scoop of pebbly beach – but it is well considered. Everything is muted and understated – a nautical striped chaise longue is as wild as the design gets – but a rotation of visiting artists means there is always something engaging on the walls. +357 26 888000; anassa.com. Doubles from about £380
THE GOLD LIST 2017
PHOTOGRAPHS: CEDRIC ANGELES/INTERSECTION PHOTOS; ULI WEBER
JAMAICA An easy drive along the north coast from Montego Bay, this is the most glamorous of Chris Blackwell’s merry trio of hotels (the founder of Island Records, who made Bob Marley a global superstar, also owns Strawberry Hill and The Caves). The centrepiece here is, of course, the ﬁve-bedroom villa which was once home to Ian Fleming, and where he wrote his James Bond novels. But put the literacy legacy and Marley music connections aside, what makes this hotel continue to shine is its clever combination of spacious clapboard villas and funky, feel-good Jamaican spirit. It’s a tough choice deciding between the step-onto-the-sand beach villas and those facing the lagoon near the tiny, lemongrass-scented spa. The look is similar – polished wooden ﬂoors, white walls and high ceilings, outdoor showers – but the lagoon-side cottages are more private and come equipped with kayaks. Watersports are the thing at Goldeneye, with stand-up paddle boarding, glass-bottom-boat rides around the bay and morning ﬁshing trips. Or simply laze on the beach and play backgammon at the open-air Bizot bar, where the driftwood shelves are lined with bottles of Blackwell rum. At night, cross the torch-lit wooden bridge to The Gazebo for delicious suppers of curried shrimp with coconut rice. Six years after opening, this gorgeous, laid-back hideaway still has serious groove. +1 876 622 9007; goldeneye.com. One-bedroom ocean-front villas from about £850; beach huts from about £350
COASTAL HOTELS HOTEL IL PELLICANO TUSCANY, ITALY Opened in the 1960s on a wild, rocky stretch of Tuscan coast by a dashing British aviator and his American wife, Il Pellicano has just celebrated its 50th birthday. For its ﬁercely loyal clientele, this discreetly elegant seaside refuge is a club as much as a hotel, one where staff are greeted like family and fellow guests become good friends. So how do ﬁrst-timers fare? Pretty well, these days. Savvy socialite Marie-Louise Sciò, who runs the hotel with her father Roberto, likes to keep things fresh and interesting. In her time, she has raised Il Pellicano Restaurant to dizzying heights with exquisitely presented, surprisingly light dishes. It was ﬁrst under Antonio Guida (later poached by the Mandarin Oriental in Milan) and currently with Pugliese chef Sebastiano Lombardi, ably abetted by Federico Morosi, one of the most talented bartenders in Italy (Bono is a fan of his watermelon-based Angurita cocktail). Two books have been published on Il Pellicano and its food, with contributions from the fashion photographer Juergen Teller and writer Will Self; the hotel has even launched its own travel app. Only the interior design of the 50 bedrooms remains resolutely old-school, with wonderful Tuscan antiques, terracotta ﬂoors, Carrara-marble-lined bathrooms and ﬂoral-paisley four-poster canopies. There are rooms in six cottages in the landscaped grounds, set amid olive and cypress trees, but the suites in the main building outdo all others by providing the fastest route to the heated seawater pool and beach terrace. +39 0564 858 111; pellicanohotels.com. Doubles from about £345
PHOTOGRAPH: MATTIA PELIZZARI
CLASSIC COCKTAIL BARS
THE GOLD LIST 2017 69 COLEBROOKE ROW
SALON DE NING
LONDON (pictured left)
With its unmarked side-street door, white-jacketed bartenders, jazz pianist and party vibe, this legendary spot is like tripping back to Fifties London. Even in the afternoon, the small, black-and-white, retrodesigned room is buzzing with cocktail lovers. The candlelit tables are so crowded with exquisite drinks there’s barely room for the olives and mini saucisson. Every one is innovative, including the Manhattan Steel Corp, made with maraschino liqueur and dry essence (a distillate concentrate of macerated grape seeds). Almost too beautiful to drink, each is the creation of owner and mixologist Tony Conigliaro and his team at the Drink Factory. Newcomers are often surprised by their simplicity, but every cocktail is cutting edge and the changing menu has gained a cult following. +44 7540 528 593; colebrookerow.com. Manhattan Steel Corp £10.50
Ah, the myth of Fifth. Not the most poetically named of avenues. Nor, these days, the prettiest. And yet – enchanted. Especially when seen from up high. Take the express lift, therefore, from the lobby of The Peninsula, at Fifth Avenue and 55th Street, to Salon de Ning, the hotel’s elegantly eastmeets-west-styled rooftop bar. Stand as close to the edge of the terrace your sense of vertigo allows. Cast your gaze up and down the street, which suddenly seems endless, seething with life and energy, and submit to sheer skyscraper hoodoo. Then take a seat or a day bed, recline into its plump silky cushions and raise a glass of something chilled and exotic – the house riffs on classic cocktails are unfailingly catchy – to what may still be the greatest city on earth. newyork.peninsula. com; +1 212 903 3097. Ning Sling about £20
This city is not exactly known for innovative drinks, but considering how good a classic Negroni and Aperol Spritz is, it’s never really been an issue. Yet thanks to this place, locals and visitors are coming to appreciate the talents of the inventive barman, craft cocktails and a speakeasy vibe. Here you’ll ﬁnd unusual twists on classics, for example the Negroni comes with mezcal and the perfect Dark and Stormy with top-shelf tequila. This bar is in one of Florence’s most beautiful re-purposed Renaissance palazzos – the building dates from the 1500s when it was the residence of Bartolomeo Concini – with a huge skylight, an imposing zinc bar, antique Murano chandeliers and back-lit bottle racks. It is easy to see why it’s become the new hotspot for the fashion crowd and design hounds. +39 055 9067188; localeﬁrenze.it. Negroni about £18
LITTLE RED DOOR
THE LOBO PLANTATION
Come here for a nightcap or ﬁve – it’s open until 3am on Saturdays – after bar-hopping around the Marais. It’s a laid-back spot with love-seat sofas, dimly lit corners and round-back chairs upholstered in a mish-mash of colourful fabrics. But to be in the thick of things, take a velvet-covered pew at the bar, where barmen with impressively high pours are dressed in denim shirts, dickie bows and aprons printed with ﬂowers and butterﬂies. Bottom line: they’re having fun and the atmosphere here is super-friendly as a result. The Bartender’s Board Special changes fortnightly; original concoctions include The Hedgewitch, made with Amontillado sherry, Kamm and Sons botanical spirit, whisky, blackberry liqueur and honey, garnished with a dehydrated blackberry. It’s a tribute to the mixologist’s mother’s favourite tipple. +33 1 42 71 19 32; lrdparis.com. House cocktail from about £12
Just as Ferran Adrià was the wunderkind of the Spanish restaurant scene in the 1990s, the debonair Javier de las Muelas was its cocktail-bar impresario. He first shimmied his way into the spotlight in 1978 with the opening of emblematic Dry Martini. Almost 40 years later, he’s still going strong. How grown-up it feels to be in his gloriously old-fashioned world of polished-teak-panelled walls, racing-green leather armchairs and marble bar tops trimmed with gold. So cultish is its appeal there are now outposts from London to Singapore. But you really can’t beat the original joint, which hawks 100 variations of the classic Martini, as well as some of De las Muelas’ more outré inventions, such as The Pipe – a lethal concoction of Glenmorangie and Lagavulin whiskies, absinthe, spice droplets and smoke. Salut! +34 932 17 50 72; drymartiniorg.com. The Pipe about £14
To step down from the CBD streets into this basement bar is to be transported into a scene from a Gabriel García Márquez novel. Except the retired Latin American colonels pondering their childhoods have been replaced with the smart Sydney set. It’s a wonderfully warm space, wood-lined and furnished with Chesterﬁelds and tropical-print armchairs. And, given the colonial Caribbean feel, it’s no surprise that the drinks are ﬁrmly rooted in rum. Choose from 250 different varieties, or the bartenders are happy to unleash a touch of theatre with the Old Grogram: spiced rum teamed with stout vermouth and then set alight. Clever design details get a little lost in the low lighting (keep an eye out for the pillar covered with Cuban bank notes), but don’t leave before paying respect to the striking wall mosaics and painted porcelain sinks in the bathrooms. thelobo.com.au. Old Grogram about £11
CAFE GRAY BAR
One of the city’s wonderful traditional bars, untouched for decades, the original Los Galgos closed its doors in 2015. But thanks to a rescue mission instigated by the savvy team behind the famous 878 bar in hip Palermo, an important slice of Buenos Aires’ Thirties history has been saved. Features such as French oak boiserie and beaten-up encaustic floor tiles keep the essence of the old Asturian tapas bar alive. And, given their taste both for nostalgia and a stiff drink, porteños have ensured that the relaunch has been an enormous success. It’s open all day, so start with a mid-morning cortado and come back for a vermouth and soda. But the cocktail that stands the test of time is the Negroni. One too many? Rib-eye seared medium-rare on the wood-burning grill will do the trick. +54 11 4371 3561; barlosgalgos.com.ar. Negroni on tap about £4
Hong Kong is at its shimmering best here, high on the 49th ﬂoor of André Fu’s seductively designed Upper House. Head up, past soothing limestone ﬂoors and sandstone sculptures, until you reach the buzz and beat of this glorious space. Hong Kong’s beautiful people compete for the best views from the 14-metre stone-topped bar, and the lights in the harbour dazzle. Bartenders shake up signature cocktails such as the Earl Gray Martini or, the perfect pick-me-up, the Hong Kong Highball (Belvedere vodka, fresh ginger, lemon juice, pomegranate seeds and bubbles). Then linger longer on a powder-blue velvet banquette with a plate of oysters or killer polenta fries with acclaimed chef Gray Kunz’s citrusy-fiery ketjap. The world can wait. +852 3968 1106; upperhouse. com. Hong Kong Highball £13
Peer through The Aviary’s large window and you might think you are looking into a science lab as mixologists bend over huge steel counters pouring liquids, pumping smoke and infusing ice. Where the caged-in kitchen at chef Grant Achatz’s bar stimulates curiosity, the cocktails satisfy. The drinks are even more spectacular than the big chandeliers and ﬂoral displays, and are served by staff who also know how to deliver drama. Some cocktails arrive with bright-green ice or in porthole-shaped decanters filled with orange slices and cranberries, others in a bottle with a miniature ship inside. The Rob Roy, a mix of whisky and sweet sherry, is served in a bag ﬁlled with lavender air. If choosing is too difficult, there are prix-ﬁxe drinks menus with nibbles too. +1 312 226 0868; theaviary.com. Rob Roy £16 123
DUNTON HOT SPRINGS COLORADO, USA
The hummingbirds are practically an issue. Hundreds of tiny perfect feathered ﬁngers pulse around the porch, furiously busy in an otherwise hazy world of plotting rivers, whispering aspens and dandelions lolling under the weight of their gargantuan heads. There’s a huge difference between hotels created for commercial enterprise and hotels as labour of love, where the owners live and invite their friends to stay. For all of Dunton’s rough-and-ready mining bones and the fact that, not so long ago, it housed a biker gang whose names are carved with knives into the bar, it has the most sophisticated swagger. Underﬂoor heating, copper baths, beds like beautiful wet concrete looking out over rushing waterfalls and teepees. There is serious trekking and ﬁshing for trout here, horse riding and endless plunging into the hot springs, brown as a penny, good for the soul. Dunton has a sister property opening up in Telluride imminently. Until then, head to the River Camp; the cabins at the main lodge are truly decadent, but there is a very special quiet Wild West otherworldliness to living in tents at the water’s edge. +1 877 288 9922; duntonhotsprings.com. Cabins from about £710
THE GOLD LIST 2017
HOTEL CRILLON LE BRAVE
PHOTOGRAPH: DITTE ISAGER
PROVENCE, FRANCE The Vaucluse, that part of Provence where agriculture is the culture, may be lavender-scented and Grenache-splashed, but it is also tough and down to earth. Viewed from the terrace at Hôtel Crillon, its weather-beaten greens, browns and mauves take on a Cézanne-like allure. The once-desolate village where this 36-bedroom hotel has been evolving elegantly since the early 1990s is a settlement on a low ﬂank of Mont Ventoux, yet, with a glass of Viognier and a featherlight piece of aubergine tempura in hand, you could be soaring sky-high over the plain. As well as the expansive, half-roofed terrace bar and restaurant, where a jazz band plays and the ex-Negresco chef sends out gastronomically plated pork and mountain lamb, there’s a nominally less glamorous bistro, tucked into one of the many stony nooks that are so unfakeably ancient, mossy and charming. A pétanque piste lies hidden just beyond the swimming pool, and a new adults-only sunbathing corner seems like a wonderfully sensible idea when families are splashing about in the afternoon. You may have the pleasure of walking along a narrow street or passing the old church to reach your room. Big, cool and very quiet, they combine chic linens and mineral tones of grey and heather with original tomette ﬂoor tiles and whopping wardrobes. If the huge walk-in showers don’t soothe your woes, a new spa in the vaulted former stables provides treatments suitable for everyone from heavily pregnant women to Tour de France emulators. +33 4 90 65 61 61; crillonlebrave.com. Doubles from about £295
COUNTRY HOTELS BABYLONSTOREN FRANSCHHOEK, SOUTH AFRICA This is so much more than a hotel: it’s a working fruit farm with a historic Cape Dutch homestead, a destination restaurant, an award-winning vineyard, a brilliant bakery and, above all, a sensational garden. Over the past 10 years, owner Koos Bekker and his wife Karen Roos have transformed what was once a derelict, 300-year-old farm at the foot of the Simonsberg mountains into the coolest destination in the Cape winelands. The couple recruited Patrice Taravella, responsible for Le Prieuré d’Orsan cloistered garden in the Loire Valley, to establish the 3.5-hectare walled kitchen garden that is the core of the property and which supplies the restaurant, known for its fresh, inventive salads and vegetables picked young and cooked whole. The hotel itself is small, with just 13 suites carved out of old farm-workers’ cottages which line the oak-tree-edged avenue bordering the garden; the original farmer’s house was recently converted into a nine-bedroom lodge. Roos delights in combining the historical – small, shuttered windows and rough-hewn stable doors set in thick whitewashed walls – with the contemporary. Kitchens in the cottages are essentially clipped-on glass boxes that jut into the little private gardens; a Philippe Starck Ghost chair presides over a traditional ﬁre-blackened hearth; on a modern four-poster bed is a handmade crochet blanket, and everywhere the sound of water running through culverts in a gravity-fed irrigation system that dates back to ancient Babylon itself. Nowhere else in the winelands manages to feel as fresh or relevant as Babylonstoren. +27 21 863 3852; babylonstoren.com. Doubles from about £260
THE FARM AT CAPE KIDNAPPERS HAWKE’S BAY, NEW ZEALAND Set on a 2,400-hectare working sheep and cattle station, The Farm isn’t yet 10 years old, but it feels like it’s been here forever. Perhaps the most beautiful of Julian Robertson’s stable of super-smart New Zealand lodges, it has 22 rustic-chic bedrooms and a wonderfully stylish private house, the Owner’s Cottage. All are dramatically positioned on a grassy ridge overlooking its superb 18-hole championship golf course and surrounding farmlands, with the orchards and celebrated winelands of Hawke’s Bay in the distance. On a clear day it’s possible to make out snow-capped Mount Ruapehu on the horizon. The main structures resemble a cluster of farm buildings, with a domed silo that houses a wine cellar in its basement and an intimate snug on the ground ﬂoor. Throughout the property, wonderful farm-related objects – old tractor seats, metal cartwheels, wooden grain boxes – are deployed as artworks and the Colorado-based interior designer Linda Bedell has used plenty of tweed and leather to keep the rural dream topped up. Chef James Honore sources the best produce from this bountiful region – cheese from Havelock North, mushrooms from Napier, Hawke’s Bay lamb – and supplements them with his own home-grown sweetcorn, fennel, lettuce and tomatoes. From fresh laid eggs with crispy New Zealand bacon for breakfast in the farmhouse kitchen to pre-supper canapés by the open ﬁre, The Farm really does deliver the whole New Zealand package – and on a wonderfully grand scale. +64 6 875 1900; capekidnappers.com. Doubles from about £1,045 half board
GRAND HOTEL A VILLA FELTRINELLI
THE GOLD LIST 2017
LAKE GARDA, ITALY
PHOTOGRAPHS: LU CAS ALLEN; CAMILLA STODDART; MARK WILLIAMS
In truth, Villa Feltrinelli does not require its official preﬁx of Grand Hotel, for those who care about such things know exactly what it is. Its highly ornate, neo-Gothic turreted form, in bands of gold and terracotta, has stood since 1892 in the little town of Gargnano on the edge of Lake Garda, described by DH Lawrence as ‘one of the most beautiful places on earth’. The villa and its park were created as a family summer retreat by the sons of lumber magnate Faustino Feltrinelli, who frequented it until the war when Mussolini was housed here under German guard for over a year. It was returned to the family, but years of neglect and different ownership followed until hotelier Bob Burns restored it, beginning a new chapter in 2001. This is a house of Venetian mirrors and frescoed walls, of Libertystyle stained-glass windows and carved wooden ceilings, of service as plentiful and polished as the silver; where art is original and paper hand-made, fabrics bespoke and gardens tiered with ancient lemon trees. Twenty one bedrooms ensure exclusivity, some in the grounds, others in the villa; all are sumptuous, marble bathroom ﬂoors heated. There’s a swimming pool in the lawn next to where croquet is played. Down by the lake, two private boats await. This is a place for those who yearn to escape, to indulge in lobster and langoustines, truffles and tiramisu, and to sleep on the ﬁnest of pillows in lakeside tranquillity. +39 0365 798 000; villafeltrinelli.com. Doubles from about £1,030
CLASSIC BEACH CLUBS
PHOTOGRAPH: MIRJAM BLEEKER
THE GOLD LIST 2017 PARADOR LA HUELLA
JOSE IGNACIO (pictured left)
VIRGIN GORDA, CARIBBEAN
With weathered wood and big windows open wide to catch the sea breeze, La Huella encapsulates the barefoot charms of Uruguay’s José Ignacio. Specialising in simple, delicate dishes cooked on open ﬁres, it is certainly no secret and the queues can snake down the sun-baked, dune-backed beach. But who’s in a hurry? Kick back on the golden sands with a jug of zesty, sangria-like clericot while staff hand out sombreros: this place is so welcoming even ﬁrst-timers feel like they’ve come home. It’s utter bliss to be led to your table under the raffiashaded terraces, where long-time regulars gather over black corvina and juicy octopus between ocean swims. As the sun sets, join in the dancing on tables or go skinny-dipping in the phosphorescent ocean – no one will blink an eyelid. +598 4486 2279; paradorlahuella.com. Cocktails about £8
With perhaps the most spectacular beachfront location on the island, this quintessential Balinese foodie hotspot morphs seamlessly from chic beach club by day to relaxed restaurant at night. It has lured the sun-kissed and beautiful to Seminyak for 16 years and shows no intention of ﬂagging. Sip on a signature Gin and Juice cocktail (gin, pink grapefruit, Campari) while watching the sunset from a poolside day bed or grandstand seat on the ﬁrst-ﬂoor terrace. Feeling peckish? Perhaps start with the yellowﬁn tuna tartare and move on to the sublime roasted Balinese pork with coconut and fern-tip salad, served under the stars in the à la carte restaurant. There’s also the option of a five- or 10-course tasting menu in the more intimate and innovative Mejekawi. +62 361 73 6969; kudeta.com. Cocktails about £8
Beach bars around here are generally dozy and ramshackle, but Cocomaya has poise and grace. It’s a pretty place with plenty of polished concrete, stone and natural wood, glass and mirrors, and it sits on a beautiful stretch of sand with views of nearby Camanoe, Scrub and Dog islands. The food, like the atmosphere, is barefoot-elegant with a Latin-Asian fusion menu of sharing plates (corn tacos, scallop ceviche, seared coriander tuna) eaten at tables hidden among Virgin Gorda’s famous volcanic boulders. It’s ideal for a quiet lunch or dinner, although for most folk this place is more about gravitating from sun bed to bar and back. Try the Champagne Cocktail with ginger and lychees, which adds just the right amount of bite and tropical freshness to the ﬁzz. +1284 495 6344; cocomaya restaurant.com. Champagne Cocktail about £9
10 PUNTO 7
A world away from the flash and razzle of the yacht-saturated beach clubs on Formentera’s north coast, this insider bolthole overlooks a neardeserted stretch of the gorgeous Playa Migjorn. The design is simple but smart with plenty of whitewashed wood, director’s chairs and rattan, and it’s always packed with a dashing crowd sipping the signature cocktail of watermelon with vodka, set to a soundtrack of laid-back beats. New chef Anuar Gonzales Fasabi is from Lima and has updated the menu by introducing Peruvian ﬂavours to an already long and delicious list, including some of the best sushi on the island, not least the 24-piece platter of pillow-soft, super-fresh nigiri and sashimi. Bag a spot on the roof terrace with a perfectly mixed Campari Shakerato to celebrate the completion of yet another perfect day. +34 660 985 248; 10punto7.com. Cocktails about £7
With new openings such as Scorpios and Jackie O’s constantly upping the ante, this 13-year-old classic has had to constantly evolve to stay ahead of the pack. Last year saw the arrival of four slick $5,000-a-day cabanas, with a seven-course meal for six, exclusive use of a giant hot tub and a private butler thrown in. Despite being positively stately by beach-bar standards, Nammos still knows how to have fun: long lunches routinely slide into bacchanalian parties with Leonardo di Caprio holding court. Seafood is sourced from a boat that works almost exclusively for the club, and there’s a beef bar serving the best cuts of Wagyu and kobe. For those who don’t fancy tackling the winding road leading down to Psarou beach, make like Mariah Carey and moor a yacht in the bay or, better still, use the helipad. +30 22 8902 2440; nammos.gr. Cocktails about £13
Skip the busy streets of Buzios and head straight for the surfers’ cove of Praia Brava where Brazil’s best beach bar awaits, fashioned from a blue fisherman’s shack on a headland of wild green pasture. It’s a deliciously laid-back spot, so lose the shoes and sink into an oversized day bed overlooking the ocean; staff are so attentive its barely necessary to wiggle a finger before a replacement ice-bucket of rosé arrives, or handwoven blanket appears at the slightest inkling of an unseasonal breeze. Order fabulously fresh seafood from the chalkboard menu, with delicate ceviche and butter-soft calamaretti, which keeps Michelin-starred chefs coming back on their days off. The glamorous owner, Santiago Bebbiano, is a brilliant host and by late afternoon he’ll have everyone dancing, high on life and lemongrass Mojitos. rockaﬁsh.com. Cocktails about £8
CARPE DIEM BEACH
LE CLUB 55
At the far end of the town of Türkbükü, an unmarked path meanders up into the hills to the Maçakizi, a regal hotel and classic beach club (the name translates as Queen of Spades) on Bodrum’s most exclusive bay. Hidden behind a riot of bougainvillaea, the terraced wooden decks meander down the hillside to the sea and have hosted a smart yachtie set and innumerable Hollywood A-listers for almost 40 years. Revellers arrive early to snap up a seat at the bar, feed the incongruous ﬂock of tame ducks, and sip a signature Dirtier Diva (rum, passion fruit, ginger, lime and chilli). The restaurant has a terrific supper menu, including dishes such as pan-seared sea bass and roast rack of lamb with sun-dried-tomatoand-feta pesto and smashed potato. +90 252 311 2400; macakizi.com. Dirtier Diva cocktail £14
Nothing says exclusive beach bar quite like needing a boat to get there. Set on the spiky little island of Marinkovacoff, 10 minutes by private yacht or water-taxi from sister venue Carpe Diem Bar in Hvar Town, this has been attracting a sassy crowd for almost 30 years. Days are spent bronzing on giant cushions, playing volleyball and bobbing about on giant inﬂatable unicorns in the blue-blue sea. Plates of seared tuna and lobster linguine are eaten on day beds under smart white drapes. After midnight, locked in by thick pine forest, it becomes the ultimate private venue, with Espresso Martinis and Mojitos on the menu. The full-moon parties are epic, with DJs such as Pete Tong and Roger Sanchez ﬂying in from Europe’s big-name clubs. +385 21 742 369; carpe-diemhvar.com. Cocktails about £8
Back in 1955, when Brigitte Bardot was ﬁlming And God Created Woman on then-deserted Pampelonne beach, St Tropez natives Bernard and Geneviève De Colmont came up with a terriﬁc idea: between takes, they dished up family-style lunches to the crew from their ﬁsherman’s hut. Before long, this morphed into Cinquante Cinq, a hangout for rock stars and government bigwigs alike to quaff rosé with the locals, undisturbed. There’s something deeply charismatic about this low-key landmark. Ever-gracious owner Patrice de Colmont shows guests to their favourite tables, set back on a deck surrounded by tamarisk trees. In peak season, it’s full of whippet-thin models and silver-maned industrialists, feasting on grilled fish with ratatouille and luscious wedges of tarte tropezienne. +33 4 94 55 55 55; club55.fr. Glass of wine about £8 129
THE PENINSULA SHANGHAI CHINA
PHOTOGRAPHS: MATTHEW BUCK; ANDREW ROWAT
It’s not just the ﬂawless recreation of Art Deco opulence, the Chanel showroom, or the bedrooms overlooking Huangpu River with views of jostling tankers and ﬁshing boats. It’s not even the chilli-hot noodles for breakfast in the marble-pillared lobby. No, what makes The Peninsula Shanghai so impressive is the service. When on a rainy morning taxis are scarce and there is talk of an hour’s wait, somehow the doorman conjures up a deep-green vintage Roller and an important meeting is saved. An army of concierges is always on hand, such is the attention to detail. But it’s also fun to potter around the wonderfully restful bedrooms, which are havens from the bustle of Shanghai. Sip green tea and phone friends for free; Instagram the Star Trek-style Oriental Pearl TV Tower lit up in princess purple. And the electronics demand a go, from triple-choice curtains at the touch of a button to the nail-polish blow-drier tucked into the panelling in the enormous dressing room. The food, both Chinese and Western, is wonderful. This year executive chef Terence Crandall has garnered Michelin stars aplenty (two in Yi Long Court, one in Sir Elly’s Restaurant). The heated pool, spa and ﬁtness suite are tip-top too. This might not be the coolest hotel in the world, but it is one of the most impressive. A conjuring trick? Maybe. Incredible staff, for sure. +86 21 2327 2888; shanghai.peninsula.com. Doubles from about £330
THE GOLD LIST 2017
THE CARLYLE NEW YORK The hotel opened for business in 1930 and neither the Great Depression, nor any subsequent blip, ripple or nuisance, social, political or economic, has left so much as a muddy footprint on its immaculate threshold. At a certain point, probably during the Kennedy administration, with which The Carlyle was closely associated, it morphed into something more than a mere hotel; it became a locus of myth and magic. To spin lightly off 76th Street through its unresisting revolving doors and into its black-and-gold lobby is to pass into another, lovelier world – one that’s not quite real, and all the better for it. People who call The Carlyle an Art Deco hotel are either careless or have only seen it from the outside. It actually comprises a wild jumble of styles – Orientalist ﬂounces here, neoclassical ﬂourishes there, cheerful twitters of Wiltshire chintz, and shouty outbursts of butch, blocky mid-century Manhattan modernity. The biggest rooms aren’t necessarily the best – there are some here the size of broom cupboards that are more charming than entire villages in Provence. The ace up The Carlyle’s sleeve is Bemelmans Bar, of which every good thing you’ve ever heard is true. Though the lights are low, the murals, by Ludwig Bemelmans, author and illustrator of the Madeline books, are soul-brightening, and the superb Martinis even more so. +1 212 744 1600; the carlyle.com; doubles from about £315
ETT HEM The name means ‘a home’, which is exactly what this townhouse feels like – if, that is, your home has a private chef, impeccable interiors, a ﬁtness suite with Pilates equipment and a mini-spa with hot-stone massage area, not to mention 12 bedrooms with the sort of exquisite wood panelling you didn’t think anyone could make any more. For the rest of us, Ett Hem feels more like heaven. It’s located in the heart of the city in Lärkstaden, one of Stockholm’s most architecturally stunning neighbourhoods, but when you step through the door into the walled garden it feels like you’re a world away. The building dates from 1910 and British designer Ilse Crawford has created timeless interiors with a blend of classic Scandi icons (a bit of Finn Juhl here, some Hans Wegner there), contemporary pieces, including the monumental brass bar in the living room, and an abundance of copper, marble and stone from the island of Gotland. Anyone can stroll into the kitchen to ask a handsome young chef to whip up something seasonal and local – all meals are made from scratch each day, based on what produce is at its best. Browse the library, or idle away an afternoon reading in the orangery; there’s simply no place more delectable to lodge in the Swedish capital. + 46 8 20 05 90; etthem.se. Doubles from about £360
PHOTOGRAPHS: PER RANUNG; ROBERTA VALERIO
LA RESERVE PARIS A star was born when the thick, red-velvet curtains at No 42 Avenue Gabriel parted and the doors to La Réserve opened. Instant classic. Two years on, the instant has passed but the classic remains. La Réserve may well be the most thrillingly sensuous hotel in Paris – a city not unacquainted with such pleasures. It occupies a former hôtel particulier, built in 1854 by Baron Haussmann as a present from Napoleon III to his half-brother, the Duc de Morny. One wonders what category of dwelling the baron might have been called upon to assemble had the emperor and the duke shared identical parentage. The location does the place no harm – a macaron’s throw from the Place de la Concorde, with airy views across treetops towards the Grand Palais and the Eiffel Tower. However, as they say about all kinds of raving beauties, it’s what’s inside that counts. Credit for La Réserve’s inner loveliness goes to design panjandrum Jacques Garcia. He sweetly insists that he took his cues from the building itself and from the art of the period – in particular, a painting by James Tissot entitled Le Cercle de la rue Royale. This is not wholly convincing. There’s nothing in Tissot’s insipid tableau to prepare anyone for the rampant sexiness of La Réserve. Happily, Garcia’s respect for the past appears to have been quite overwhelmed by his lust for saturated colours and strokeable textures. The opulence is shameless, and irresistible. + 33 1 58 36 60 60; lareserve-paris. com. Doubles from about £945
ELLERMAN HOUSE CAPE TOWN This glorious place, set on a cliff overlooking Bantry Bay and owned by the Edwardian shipping magnate Sir John Ellerman, is an intensely private, cosseting space; non-residents are only permitted if they are visiting a guest, or on an official art tour. For this little beauty (there are just 13 bedrooms in the house) positively shimmies with one of the ﬁnest South African art collections in private hands. The owner, conservationist Paul Harris, says sharing it with others is part of the fun. ‘We set very high standards,’ he says, ‘but we don’t take ourselves too seriously.’ And what a warm welcome awaits. The snug library and separate sitting room, with its grand piano and sea-green walls coated with priceless, 19th-century Pierneef landscapes, open out onto a wide dining terrace, from which a balustraded staircase leads down to the lawn and Mediterranean-blue swimming pool lined with plump sun beds. Below this, almost invisible from above, is a bespoke bunker of a cutting-edge contemporary-art gallery; there is also a massive wine cellar, spa and two vehemently modern villas. But the real charm, of the kind that warms the cockles, will always lie in this much loved pink-stucco house with its polished mahogany antiques and crystal whisky decanters, ﬁne-china tea sets, deep-pile carpets and heavy drapes, now with added twinkle after a recent, barely imperceptible and entirely appropriate refurbishment. There is little doubt Ellerman continues to be the most exceptional place to stay in the fairest Cape of all. +27 21 430 3200; ellerman.co.za. Doubles from about £505 CONTRIBUTORS: ANN ABEL, DAVID ANNAND, JONATHAN BASTABLE, RODNEY BOLT, PETER BROWNE, PIPPA DE BRUYN, KAREN BURSHTEIN, ONDINE COHANE, SEVIL DELIN, SOPHIE DENING, DAISY FINER, LANIE GOODMAN, LISA GRAINGER, JAMES HENDERSON, LAUREN HOLMES, UTE JUNKER, SYBIL KAPOOR, STEVE KING, EMMA LOVE, HAZEL LUBBOCK, MARY LUSSIANA, GRAINNE MCBRIDE, LEE MARSHALL, SORREL MOSELEY-WILLIAMS, CHRIS MOSS, NONIE NIESEWAND, SOPHIE PITHER, ISSY VON SIMSON, CHARLOTTE SINCLAIR, ANTHONY SATTIN, MELINDA STEVENS, TARA STEVENS, NICKY SWALLOW, TRICIA WELSH, STEPHEN WHITLOCK
heavenly creatures ON THE BANKS OF THE GANGES IS A HOLY PLACE HINDUS SEE AS A GATEWAY BETWEEN THIS WORLD AND THE NEXT. ITâ€™S THE SITE OF THE GREATEST HUMAN GATHERINGS ON EARTH, AS MILLIONS OF PILGRIMS WASH AWAY THEIR SINS AND HOLY MEN VOW TO FREE THEIR SOULS WORDS BY STANLEY STEWART. PHOTOGRAPHS BY ALISTAIR TAYLOR-YOUNG
In haridwar there were two kinds of people: those who wanted something and those who didn’t. Anyone could see that the people who didn’t want anything seemed to be having a good time, while those who wanted stuff were all aﬂutter. They had the air of stressed bankers faced with a black hole of several billions, an impending enquiry, and a talkative mistress. Haridwar is one of India’s four great tirthas, or crossing points between this world and the next, between what is and what might be, between your life and your hopes. It is also one of the settings for the Kumbh Mela, the spectacular Hindu religious festival held every 12 years, and reputed to be the largest human gathering on the planet. The last major Kumbh Mela, in 2013 at Allahabad (like Haridwar, a crossing point), attracted 120 million pilgrims, apparently somewhat short of expectations. Unsure I could face the loo queues, I had opted for a sort of Kumbh Lite, held every three years in Haridwar, on the moonless night of Shiva. It pulls in only a million or so, barely loose change in the world of Indian crowds. I was staying in a tented camp, the Laskhmi Niwas, pitched in the grounds of the Nagar Kutir ashram on the fringes of the city, away from the crush. My fellow campers were a jolly piratical gang of sadhus, India’s ubiquitous holy men. Sadhus are the original dropouts. They had given it all up – homes, jobs, the chance of a freshly ironed shirt – to wander the highways and byways of India in search of enlightenment and a square meal. They travelled light with a cloth bag, a walking stick, a few dental issues. They had come here from their retreats high in the Himalayas to bathe in the Ganges. Down on the ghats, the stepped riverside embankments in the centre of town, a few hundred thousand pilgrims were struggling to get changed beneath bath towels. Stepping gingerly on the wet stones, they approached the holy river: stringy men stripped to baggy white boxers, naked children sleek as otters, ﬂeshy women in wet saris, frail old folk whose underwear looked like it might be swept away in the current. There was a carnival atmosphere about these ablutions, some strange cross between Blackpool on a bank holiday weekend and Lourdes on Good Friday. Music blared, priests prayed, dogs barked, loudspeakers crackled, cows pooped, children wailed, pilgrims held their arms aloft in supplication, itinerant salesmen worked the crowds selling hand-rolled cigarettes, balloons, towels, and shampoo while the pilgrims lowered themselves into the water, holding hands, squealing anxieties, ducking beneath the viscous surface. A blubbery young man at my elbow was keen on a photograph. ‘Could you?’ he asked. Waist-deep in the river, he turned to face his smartphone, smiling and waving as if it was a holiday snap. Skipping back up the steps, he was trembling with excitement. ‘I want to wash away my sins,’ he said. He didn’t go into details. Further along the ghats, pilgrims were decorating their kavads with plastic ﬂowers and plastic teddy bears. An open wooden framework, three or four feet long, and carried across the shoulders like a yoke, the kavads were used to transport jugs of Ganges water home, invariably on foot: barefoot for the seriously devout, shod for the backsliders. It was destined to bless friends, family, houses, crops, babies, new cars, business propositions, lovers, weddings, and whatever else seemed to be in need of a holy watering. Everyone wanted the gods on their side, everyone desired divine intervention in an indifferent world – a fresh start, a second chance. Everyone wanted to better their life chances, to have a bit of a heavenly leg-up with the age-old issues of ﬁnding and keeping a mate, a decent job, a run of good fortune. Everyone, that is, except the sadhus. Indifferent to fate, aloof from the fevered pilgrims, they sat beneath banyan trees sipping tea and smoking cigarettes. Leaving the riverbanks, I plunged into the back alleys of Haridwar where I was borne along by a rising tide of freshly laundered pilgrims, past smoking food stalls and pyramids of spices, past loud hawkers and brightly lit shops. The currents eddied for a moment at an intersection where a young man was stirring a vast pot of steaming pilau and three old gentlemen were bent Opposite, bathing in the Ganges River at Har Ki Pauri ghat in Haridwar. Previous pages, sadhus gather for their evening meal at Geeta Mandir ashram in the ancient city 137
over treadle sewing machines that had been the latest innovation when Queen Victoria was still grappling with Albert’s English. A cow parted the stream of people as effectively as a royal litter, then another tide of pilgrims carried me sideways along an alley before depositing me in a quiet yard on the riverbank. I had arrived at the cremation ghats where white-clad ﬁgures were gathered around wooden pyres on which the remains of recently deceased relations and their desires were going up in ﬂames. To one side of the burning ghats, sitting cross-legged on the ﬂoor of a small ofﬁce, was a bespectacled grim reaper, an elderly fellow, the recorder of deaths. He gestured for me to sit on the carpet beside him, then ordered tea. He had spent a lifetime here keeping a kind of parish record. Long, horizontal ledgers were piled high around the dusty room. He lifted one down and showed me the names crowded together on the unfolding pages. They stretched back decades to the time of his father and his grandfather. Open on his lap was the current volume. With a long pen, he carefully entered the name of the latest arrival, whose burning odour hung all around. Then he closed the ledger and shrugged. ‘Their revels now are ended,’ he said. ‘All are melted into air, into thin air.’ He smiled at my surprise. ‘Prospero, The Tempest, Act Four.’ Outside in the yard dung-spattered cows gazed dolefully at passers-by. The souls of the deceased must cross the River Vaitarani to the realm of Yama, the Hindu god of death. The cows, it is believed, help them. The dead hang onto their tails to get across the celestial river to the next world. After a day in town, among the heaving crowds of pilgrims so focused on self-cleansing and self-advancement, I was happy to get back to the peace of the ashram and my friends, the sadhus. The guardians of the faith, the vanguard of the gods, they perched on the world as lightly as birds. There were a dozen or so sadhus staying in the ashram. They all had beards that would have impressed Methusaleh, and long, matted hair embroidered with shells and coloured thread. Their foreheads were smeared with bright tikka paste signalling their allegiance to Shiva, and on their skinny torsos was a confusion of beads known as Shiva’s tears. I thought of them as Old Testament prophets who had gone rogue; Moses, perhaps, after a lifechanging acid trip with a couple of ﬂaky girls, wearing nothing but sandals and ﬂowers. They thought of themselves as being free. They were also friendly, thoughtful, and charming. You couldn’t hope for better room mates. I say room mates but really I was too attached to the pleasures of this world to be considered part of the gang. I hadn’t renounced everything and taken up a life of early-morning meditation and smiling. I was a traveller, not a devotee. The Lakshmi Niwas camp was in a walled compound on the banks of the Ganges; Lakshmi, the camp owner, is a follower of the ashram’s guru. Laid with colourful dhurri rugs, the tents were furnished in a colonial style with travelling chests and mahogany writing tables, ﬁne bed linen, a shower and a ﬂush loo. There were electric fans, drivers, chefs, guides and porters, and also laundry service. In the evening, after a sumptuous vegetarian dinner in a beautiful mess tent, I sat out on my porch in a planter’s chair smoking a cigar and watching the evening fade across the Ganges while the sadhus chanted around the banyan tree. I usually dropped in on them post-chanting in their durna, a sort of ashram living room where they sat cross-legged round the sacred ﬁre like an extended family seated at a domestic hearth for a bit of companionable drugtaking. Along the walls, strings of lights hung between images of Shiva, pictures of gurus and a useful calendar from Sanjeev Cement Company Ltd. The ﬁre, which was never allowed to go out, was tended by the sadhu I knew only as the Fireman. Smeared with ash, he was naked but for several marigolds in his hair. Sadly his navel-length beard did not preserve his modesty; his willy looked like a shy forest creature peeking out from a tangle of vines. Nakedness – sky-clad is their term – is one of the ﬁnal stages of a sadhu’s Opposite, from top: the evening meal at Geeta Mandir ashram; a ﬁgure on the streets of Haridwar. Previous pages, from left: sadhu Rome Baba practising morning yoga on the banks of the Ganges; a sadhu joins his hands in a yoga posture 140
journey, naturism with a spiritual bent, a sign he has thrown off the conventions of the world along with his trousers. I got used to it, though I had to close my eyes when the Fireman was at the crease in our afternoon cricket games. The sadhus were a surprising lot. Among their number was a former lawyer, a former teacher, a former IT salesman, and, of course, a Swedish former model. The latter was the original hippy chick whose personal geography included Chelsea in the 1960s, Kathmandu in the 1970s and Ibiza in the 1980s. When her fellow groovers retired to suburbia, Uma had gravitated to India and a contemplative life of chanting, smoking weed and tending a garden, the only foreigner and the only woman in the ashram. The Fireman’s right-hand man, a diminutive fellow with a voice that would make Barry White sound like a soprano, did the honours, lighting up a chillum, a hashish pipe the size of a Cuban cigar. As it was handed round like a sacrament, a contemplative stillness descended on the group, interrupted only occasionally by giggles. ‘Detachment from attachments,’ the Fireman said, stroking his beard as if it were a pet collie. ‘Moksha,’ he whispered, his voice now a wheeze. ‘Liberation.’ The following morning found me on a small island midstream in the Ganges with Rome Baba. Silver light spilled across the surface of the river. The blue peaks in the distance were the foothills of the Himalayas. Rome Baba and I had become boon companions. He had acquired his nickname because he had spent several years in Italy, and we bonded over our shared ability to speak very bad Italian. The language suited him. In Hindi, he sounded rather serious. In Italian, he became ﬂamboyant and ﬂirtatious. His Italian former friends would have approved of his dress sense: Rome Baba was a bit of fashionista in the sadhu world. Today his bare torso was laced with long necklaces and strings of beads. His waist-length hair, pulled into an elaborate topknot, was completely covered with ﬂowers – yellow marigolds, white carnations, pale strings of jasmine – so he appeared to be wearing the kind of spectacular Easter bonnet favoured by rural folk on the American prairies in the 1930s. He looked like a celestial prince, a member of a heavenly delegation. I suddenly had an image of him at the Gates of Paradise, winking mischievously at me, beckoning me inside while plucking a ﬂower from his hair and offering it to Parvati, Shiva’s wife. Rome Baba was also an impressive yogi. In his mid-50s, he had the ﬂexibility of a 14-year-old Romanian gymnast; so far I had managed to dodge his earlymorning yoga classes although others spoke of them with awe. This morning on the river island he was tying himself into elaborate knots. One moment his ankles were behind his head. The next his head was behind his behind. All this without the slightest threat to the Easter bonnet. Should the wind change and he become stuck, I worried I’d never be able to unpick him. As we made our way back across the side channels, Rome Baba was telling me the story of his life. It threatened to be interminable, beginning as it did with learning to walk. He stopped in midstream as he reached a crucial moment during his stay in Rome. There was a girl, a betrayal, a broken heart. ‘Paula took my face in her hands,’ he said. ‘She told me she was leaving for Copenhagen.’ The cold river surged about our thighs. ‘I cried. Tears and tears and tears. Five days. That is when I understood the pain of attachment. So I met a beautiful woman in Piazza di Spagna. We made love in the Villa Borghese and I surrendered to the loss of Paula.’ He grinned and pulled me up, dripping like a wet dog, onto the bank. ‘We must accept our fate, and not waste our energies desiring what we do not have. We must learn to live this moment,’ Rome Baba said. ‘Because it is the only moment we have.’ Greaves Travel (greavesindia.com; +44 20 7487 9111) offers bespoke itineraries to India. A trip to Haridwar starts from £2,200 per person, including ﬁve nights full board at Lakshmi Niwas camp, BA ﬂights, tours and daily activities. The camp runs during special Hindu festivals. Contact Greaves for the latest operating information. Opposite, sadhu Mahant Jaswant Giri in an asana, or yoga posture, during his morning practice. Previous pages, a candyﬂoss seller at the festival 145
IS THIS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL HOUSE IN AFRICA
THE VISION OF ONE DETERMINED CHARACTER, ARIJIJU IS QUITE UNLIKE ANY OTHER SAFARI LODGE. ITâ€™S ALSO A SECRET WEAPON IN THE BATTLE TO SAVE RHINOS FROM EXTINCTION. PETER BROWNE GOES TO KENYA FOR A FIRST LOOK PHOTOGRAPHS BY CROOKES & JACKSON
THE OWNER WANTED PEACE AND PRIVACY, AND SO THE CONCEPT OF THIS HIGHLY Although laikipia county in the Kenyan highlands is just a few miles north of the equator, the early-morning air is cool and tangy. When the sun reaches its zenith, shining brightly in arching, chinablue skies daubed with high, scudding clouds, there is a clarity to the light that makes it possible to see over great distances, and in incredible detail. The views from here, on the western reaches of the 32,000-acre Borana Conservancy, are of seasonal river valleys coated in acacia and wild olive trees across naked savannah and rolling foothills to magniﬁcent Mount Kenya, etched on the horizon like an engraving. The owner of this extraordinary house, who prefers to remain nameless, says he ﬁrst came to Laikipia because the landscape reminded him of his childhood home in central Nigeria, where his English mother, a chemistry teacher, and Nigerian father, a lawyer, raised him and his two sisters. His parents, who met and married in England, moved to Nigeria shortly after it gained independence from Britain in 1960. Later that decade, when the country was torn apart by the Biafra War, he and his mother and siblings were rescued by Swedish aid workers and ﬂown to the volcanic island of São Tomé, and from there to Portugal before ﬁnally reaching England. His father stood his ground, and when the war ended the family were reunited in the peaceful highlands around the city of Jos. It was there, as a
young lad set free in the African bush, that the owner says he had ‘the most idyllic childhood, running around with a catapult chasing guinea fowl. At that age – about 14 or so – all I wanted to be was a game ranger.’ Instead, he would go to Yale and then Harvard Law School, where he met the Norwegian woman who would become his wife. He got a job at McKinsey & Company in New York as a management consultant and, as a reward for his progress, was sent to Johannesburg to head up the company’s strategy for the Standard Bank of South Africa after Mandela came to power. The posting re-ignited his love for Africa, and so he took leave of absence from McKinsey and went off in search of investment opportunities in Nigeria – which he found. Many years later, he is now the CEO of an ethical energy company dealing with solar, wind and gas projects in the country of his birth. But he’s never forgotten his childhood dream of becoming a game ranger. Arijiju – the house takes its name from the Maasai word for the hill on which it was built – stands on the Borana Conservancy, owned by Michael Dyer, a third-generation Kenyan. Originally a cattle ranch, like much of the land around here, it shares a boundary with Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, which has been at the forefront of rhino conservation in Kenya for more than two decades. Borana operates both as a working cattle ranch,
Above, from left: exploring the wildly diverse Borana Conservancy on horseback; rustic and elegant design in a bathroom at Arijiju; the living and
REDUCTIVE RETREAT, ALMOST SPIRITUAL IN ITS SIMPLICITY AND BEAUTY, TOOK SHAPE traversed by the nomadic Maasai with their cows and goats, and as a wildlife sanctuary. It’s a balancing act that’s anathema to safari purists who prefer even the illusion of pristine wilderness, devoid of any sign of human habitation, but with the commitment and involvement of local communities it has proved a successful conservation model. The property is well stocked with plains game – zebra, giraffe, Grant’s gazelle, eland and hartebeest – as well as lion and enormous herds of elephant. But the big news is it recently became home to 22 black rhinos, translocated from Lake Nakuru National Park and neighbouring Lewa – which had reached its own carrying capacity of 70. With rhinos constantly under threat from armed poachers, Borana has had to invest heavily in security to protect them, including an anti-poaching unit. To help raise the money, Dyer decided to lease three parcels of land to like-minded investors on which to build private homes, on the understanding that the houses would be made available to paying guests, the proﬁts from which are fed back into conservation projects on the land. The owner of this, the most beautiful house of all, had already been visiting Borana for 12 years when the opportunity to build his own home came up. He says he wanted his London-based children to know Africa, and to experience the joy and freedom
he himself felt as a child, and, with central Nigeria now too dangerous to return to, the highlands of Kenya have given the family a key to the continent. For the owner, the complex world of conservation is gradually taking precedence over high ﬁnance. ‘I am ﬁnally starting to do what I always wanted to do,’ he says. Sunlight hits the bedrooms at Arijiju first and arrives at the cantilevered swimming pool and its reed-covered terrace in the afternoon. It took the owner three years to settle on this precise spot. Before any building got underway, he tested for wind direction and watched how the light fell and cast shadows. He tells the story of how a group of chameleons under an old olive tree, sheltered from the prevailing wind and warmed by the afternoon sun, helped mark the position of one of the verandahs. As for the structure, the owner knew what he didn’t want – an old-fashioned, A-frame, thatch-and-brick safari house – but other than that, little came to mind. Working with two architects Nick Plewman from Johannesburg and Alex Michaelis from London – ideas were teased out, discussed, ruminated on. If an A-frame roof was out of the question, then it should be ﬂat, but that ended up looking too modern; the owner was keen to create something unobtrusive and embedded in the landscape, so the
dining room opens onto a veranda with views of Mount Kenya. Previous pages, the master suite, one of three bedrooms in the main house 149
Clockwise from top far left: the entrance to Arijiju; the pool; picnic on the Ewaso Nyiro River; an Indian Campaign desk in one of the cottages; lunch on the pool terrace; a bedroom in a cottage
A GROUP OF CHAMELEONS UNDER AN OLD OLIVE TREE, SHELTERED FROM THE WIND ﬂat roof was topped with turf, creating something more nuanced. Gradually, other ideas and inﬂuences began to emerge. Michaelis had always been inspired by Le Thoronet Abbey, a Cistercian monastery built in Provence in the 12th century, distinctive for its lack of embellishment. References to the buried, rock-hewn churches of Lalibela in Ethiopia came out to play; the owner’s need for peace and privacy were noted. And so the concept of this highly reductive retreat, almost spiritual in its simplicity and beauty, took shape. For ﬁve years he says he spent every free waking hour thinking about, or working on, the house. During its construction, he was on site every six weeks. ‘Yes, he was very hands-on,’ says Plewman. ‘He has real vision and was the driving force behind everything. It turned out to be an amazing collaboration, with a big team of creatives and craftsmen all working together.’ Both architects credit local contractor Ben Jackson with delivering something which has far exceeded their expectations: a 21st-century house built with 12th-century craftsmanship – all the quarried Meru stone was hand-chiselled by local masons – that feels ancient and wise, honest and elemental, but also very contemporary. It is truly remarkable how well Arijiju sits in its landscape. Literally cut into the bedrock, it is reached down a winding path created by the British garden designer Jinny Blom; the
heavy, studded front door is triple height, arched and reticent; the entrance hall like a tunnel into an ancient fortress. Within, the intense, equatorial light cascades into a cloistered courtyard, illuminating the living rooms and bedrooms that lie easily around it; above it, to one side, is a roof terrace reached by a hidden stairway. Outside, smooth-cobbled verandahs lead off all the rooms; the pool terrace fans out at the base of a ﬂight of wide stairs, and beyond that, obscured from view, is the gym, a traditional hamman and spa. Two exquisite guest cottages set discreetly apart from the main house. The interior design is by Johannesburg-based Maira Koutsoudakis, who also created the smart-but-relaxed look at North Island in the Seychelles – considered by many the benchmark for all private-island hideaways – and Segera Retreat, also in Laikipia and owned by the conservationist Jochen Zeitz, former CEO of Puma. Where the internal walls have been left bare, all polished concrete or exposed rock, Koutsoudakis has introduced opulence in the form of large-scale chandeliers (even in the smallest rooms in the house and cottages), enormous French mirrors, limitededition bronze tables from Cape Town, leather-and-rafﬁa carpets from Morocco and outsize leather Campaign wardrobes and desks from India. ‘Nothing shouts, but everything carries enormous weight, or is richly textured, or has a smooth lustre that is
Above, from left: the cloistered courtyard, inspired by a French abbey; a copper bathtub and steel-and-glass shower in a guest room; a giraffe, one
AND WARMED BY THE AFTERNOON SUN, HELPED MARK THE POSITION OF A VERANDA restful on the eye,’ she says. ‘Because the owner has roots on both continents, and is a very elegant man himself, it felt right to fuse the ﬁnesse of Europe with the rusticity of Africa.’ A keen runner and sportsman, the owner sent his regular masseuse (the best in London, he says) to train an already-brilliant therapist he found by chance in the nearby market town of Nanyuki. He made sure the gym equipment was up to his exacting standards, and the house has both tennis and squash courts. Beyond that, there are also traditional morning and evening game drives, guided walks, mountain biking on well-established trails, and horseback safaris across Borana and beyond. The owner is keen for Arijiju to be used as a base for exploration rather than a static safari lodge (‘A bit like a Colorado dude ranch with wildlife,’ he says). Each year he and his family have discovered new adventures on Borana. One of their favourites is a day out at Ngare Ndare Forest, on the south-eastern boundary of Borana, where a tree-top-canopy walkway meanders through towering red cedars and deep swimming holes are the colour of Tanzanite, edged with emerald ferns fed by rumbling waterfalls. But perhaps the best way to absorb the immensity of Laikipia County and the diverse East African landscape is to take a helicopter expedition with one of the scions of a well-known Kenyan family,
Jamie Roberts (his brother Willie has Sirikoi camp on Lewa; one of his other brothers owns Richard’s Camp in the Maasai Mara). In a Roberts helicopter it is possible to explore the snow-covered Batian and Nelion peaks of Mount Kenya and go ﬂy-ﬁshing on the mountain’s almost inaccessible Lake Michaelson, or follow the Ewaso Nyiro River north over Samburu County, landing on Ol Lolokwe mountain – which rises suddenly from the volcanic plains that surround it – with its primordial cycad forests and astonishing views north to Lake Turkana and Ethiopia. These are phenomenally high-octane, adrenalin-pumping safaris and easily completed in a day if you wish. So it’s good to know that beautiful Arijiju stands waiting, candles lit, logs crackling in the baronial ﬁreplaces, the bar open for pre-supper drinks on the roof terrace under the stars. There can surely be few sights more serene, or welcoming, in all of Africa. A one-week stay at Arijiju for up to 10 people can by organised by Africa specialist Journeys by Design (+44 1273 623790; journeys bydesign.com). Prices start from £6,930 per person and includes all local game activities and four hours of spa treatments daily, excluding international ﬂights and off-ranch activities. A full-day helicopter safari into the northern deserts costs from £1,900 per person. Accessed by helicopter, a lightweight ﬂy-camp is also available.
of the many animals that can been seen around the house. Previous pages, the candlelit roof terrace, where barbecues are often held 155
Day beds at the SanarĂĄ hotel. Opposite, the bar at the NĂ´made 156
THERE ARE CERTAIN PLACES THAT CAPTURE THE SPIRIT OF A TIME, A SCENE, A PERSON YOU WANT TO BE. OF ALL THE BEACH SPOTS THAT HAVE TURNED OUR HEADS IN THE LAST 20 YEARS, TULUM IS STILL OUR FAVOURITE. BY ANTONIA QUIRKE. PHOTOGRAPHS BY JON ATTENBOROUGH
A Girls from
We are driving through the streets of downtown Tulum in a gummy heat, our eyes choked with all the brightly painted posadas, and crates of glass-bottled Fanta, and teenagers cramming tacos with minced pork. Here are bike-repair shops, displays of statuettes of the grim reaper and piles of cabbages sold by a grandmother listening to waltzes on the radio. Not far away, overhanging the Caribbean, are the ruins of what was once a small city during the ﬁnal decades of the Mayan civilisation, trading turquoise when the Spanish came in the 1520s bringing pestilence for 70 years. After that, nobody much turned up until a handful of North American hippies in the 1970s with backpacks and tools to cut through the jungle to the beach. Big-game ﬁshermen followed, staying at the only lodge near the lagoons. In the 1980s, it was still relatively quiet, just campers and divers, and Pablo Escobar occasionally ducking and diving in a white-terraced villa folded into gnarled thickets of trees. By the 1990s Tulum’s reputation was growing. With photographers and fashion folk, yoga bunnies and gypsetters, cute kids making necklaces or opening beach shacks made of little more than taurpalin sheets 158
and a bunch of ropes. Everyone was happy to be here. For one of the loveliest, longest beaches in the world; for fresh mango and orange juices mixed up by pretty girls in leather skirts and buzzcuts; for the low-key, freewheeling, simple pleasures of the place. But precisely what made Tulum so special – no big hotels, no brands, no chains – has also been the root of its vulnerability. Endless disputes about land ownership ﬂared recently when 16 properties, including Coqui Coqui, perhaps the best-known little hotel on the beach, were turfed out. And yet, either way, the monied tide seems unstoppable. Handsome Portuguese strum guitars on the steps of shops along the beach road selling jewelled dreamcatchers and Dom Pérignon. Girls from Manhattan, done up like Talitha Getty, zip by on pushbikes, limbs tanned to nutmeg from clambakes on Cape Cod. Millionaire art collectors and eco-entrepreneurs launch whimsical hotels modelled on medieval Persian caravans and Tolkienian halls, which unfurl along the seemingly endless pale-glimmering stretch.
The tropical dawn comes blindingly fast, darkness thinning through soft rose to blue
up like Talitha
Getty, zip by on
pushbikes, limbs tanned to nutmeg
Clockwise from this picture: a table made from a tree trunk at the Nômade; Tulum beach; barbecue at the Nômade. Opposite, from top: a guest on the beach at the hotel; Posada Margherita
as a lolling wisteria. Out come the brown pelicans patrolling the surf like exam invigilators, swooping occasionally to catch a ﬁsh – and they always do; the seas are full. Fishermen here don’t bother much with boats, they just wade into the water with nets for grouper and snapper, or spears for the elegant-looking boquinete, which end up pouting on Tulum’s barbecues, skin crisping to an opalescent pink. With the light come the first of the pretty people. A fashion photographer friend, well-used to perfect ﬂesh, told me that even he blanched at Tulum’s gleaming beauties – alternative culture seekers, Burning-Man-Balearic-boho meets Ojai diamonds, a bevy of burnished Stevie Nicks-a-likes with smooth faces doing dawn yoga in the waterfront space at the Sanará hotel which seems to ﬂoat above the sand. All the younger men look like Jeff Bridges in the 1976 King Kong, with surf-muddled, blonde-tipped hair, bracelets of suede and gold. Ordering water for my breakfast; every meal I’ve ever eaten sits inside me like a leaden lump. I’m in the right place: Tulum is to clean eating what Mittenwald is to Kartoffelkloesse, all the hotel restaurants and beach-road stalls CONTINUED ON PAGE 162
This place has its own scent. It comes and goes on the breeze as morning thickens and iguanas emerge to lounge in the sun
A swing at the Nômade. Opposite, from top: a guest at Casa Malca; Nômade’s Macondo restaurant; a breakfast jar at the hotel. Previous pages, a cabana at the Nômade at sunset
serve romaine-and-parsley juices, and ‘planetary soul food’. A man peeling prickly pears for passers-by as though carefully opening a heap of presents. Having rolled out of hammocks, a gang of frat boys with heavily muscled torsos tanned the colour of dry earth head in the direction of a beach stall looking for a hangover cure, and ﬁnd it in fresh coconut ﬂesh drizzled with lime juice and salted chili ﬂakes. By 10am the hotels’ cabanas and day beds have been set up on the beach, which is wide and long enough to never feel full. Most of the buildings are single-storey and wood-and-thatch-unobtrusive: a Gilligan’s Island, only with clinking ice. Snatches of post-mindfulness-hour, soul-searching conversations waft towards me: ‘It’s a woowoo thing’; ‘I’m much more interested in the question than the answer’; and most intriguingly, ‘after that night in Harlem with Cher…’ By a tree, two ravishing, beanpole Russian women strike trapezeartist poses for their tech-whizz consorts, eventually falling on them and folding up their pale-glistening legs to be kissed. Travelling in Mexico in the 1920s, DH Lawrence wrote that the country ‘has a faint, physical scent of her own, as each human being has…’ In Tulum that scent is of the speciﬁc resin from a Mayan tree burned for spirit-cleansing rituals. Not as pungent as incense, it can be very subtle, as though discreetly detected on a wrist or neck, something approaching white cloves mixed with tobacco. It comes and goes on the breeze, as the morning thickens and iguanas emerge from behind sprays of wild yellow ﬂowers to lounge in the sun.
Man is a fragile god. And the world is but a series of suns: no beginning and no end, created and destroyed, light going out only to ﬂare into life again, like tinder. This sort of Aztec-y stuff gets talked about a lot along Boca Paila, a place entirely caught up in the wonder of spiritual bewitchment. Nepalese prayer ﬂags are strung up like bunting at a World War I chutney sale. And ﬁre ceremonies, and Aboriginal Dreamtimes, and Native American sweat lodges, all of it jumbled together into an amiably cosmic grab-bag of myths. At noon I take a walk north along the sand towards the ruins, passing beach platforms for stretching, and pop-up chai bars, and areas devoted to sound-healing journeys. Among the notices pinned up for today: a ﬂying mermaid class led by Young Grandmothers from the Moondance 162
Movement. A New York City friend of mine once met ‘an ancient dude with a lot of stories’ in Tulum who turned out to have been Jim Morrison’s shaman. ‘He had intense things to say,’ she wrote to me, ﬁrmly. ‘I quit my job last week.’ It’s hot, and I ﬂop on the sand, which is as white and fine as dust, occasionally lifting like smoke on the breeze. Through some trees I can see what looks like a campsite – there are a couple left here, vestiges of when this was very much a word-of-mouth destination for travellers. The preferred look on this end of the beach is more Jack Sparrow than Jeff Bridges. Davide from Calabria comes to join me, bare brown legs and feet that haven’t worn shoes, he says, since 1995. Pointless here, he shrugs, the salt water and ants just eat them off your feet. Davide tells me he can remember when the
A friend of mine once met a man in Tulum who turned out to have been Jim Morrison’s shaman. Soon after their encounter, she quit her job
jungle came right up to the water and he had to ﬁght a path through ferns thick with cinnamon-coloured hummingbirds and you ‘couldn’t see the sky for branches’. Further south, fat prawns are being ﬂung directly from the sea onto grills for lunch at the fashionable hotels, and the bars on the sand are opening, artfully constructed from sun-bleached wood to look like the ﬁnal frames in the movie when the camera pans back and the actors sink a beer, having made it to paradise after great tribulations with $20 million in the bank and a new identity. The sand stretches away towards the end of the peninsula in a blindingly perfect crescent. As someone hangs a bikini to dry on a hammock woven from green vines, Chopin plays on a small radio. But all music sounds incongruous. All news and world events a too-clamouring background noise. ‘What’s kept you in Tulum this long?’ I ask Davide, immediately realising it’s a stupid question. And more, that I can’t stop saying the word. Tulum. It sounds like honey on the tongue. ‘I was looking for something mystic,’ frowns Davide, ‘and I have received a beautiful gift from life.’
Just as dawn is quick, the night comes down bewitchingly fast, the road suddenly full of men emerging from a day’s work in the jungle, waiting for pick-up trucks, massaging their feet and eating the scarlet-ﬂeshed mamey fruit. Red-breasted sapsuckers swoop and skim the ground before returning to tap at the spiked trunk of ceiba trees that line the way, along with the torches now being lit outside restaurants and bars. There is no mains electricity here. (Although there was for a while in the 1980s when Escobar determinedly routed pylons from the town to his house through thick jungle, like Fitzcarraldo dragging a boat across Peru. They still stand, long defunct.) Instead, the hotels use generators, many switching them off in the evenings when everything is gorgeously illuminated by ﬁre and candles: the spangly sprayed VW Beetles parked outside; the vintage ﬁshﬁnned American cars; the shops selling fringed dresses and beaded bags, all lanternlit in the last rays of pink-hot twilight. Now starts the commingling. Americans, Argentinians, Spanish. A tide of perfect tans in Penny Lane kaftans, the sun-blasted newlyweds, the gilded reunion gangs and birthday parties, all leaning delightedly against each other and raising cocktails. Cycling past in a wind-tattered straw hat is the actor Joel Edgerton, his basket stuffed
Living here is like being inside a kind of dream woven of poinsettia and mezcal and the bright glances of pretty girls
Clockwise from this picture: Casa Malcaâ€™s rooftop; the bar at Hotel Tiki Tiki; a mixologist at Arca bar; sunrise on Tulum beach; grilled prawns at the NĂ´made. Opposite, from top: El Solar cocktail and tables at Arca bar
with bottles of wine. Paths zig-zag beyond the bars through dim thickets of trees and shoots of fountain-like leaves into dense jungle. A continuous primeval dark. Later, over on the beach by the Nômade hotel, with its central feasting hall constructed like a retreat for a world-touring Boromir, are swags of Moroccan and Chinese lanterns, and a band playing covers of Radiohead – the sort of group that makes even a song by Seal sound coolish. All the girls wear Valentino dresses slashed up the thighs, and sway in the shadows giving hard, appraising, sexy looks to the singer, a dead ringer for Dennis Wilson circa his Paciﬁc Ocean Blue album. I get talking to a dive instructor, Carlos, from Mexico City. ‘Oh, wanderlust,’ he laughs, explaining what brought him to Tulum. His outﬁt – dark waistcoat, a pair of cream cut-off trousers – makes him look like one of Fletcher Christian’s mutineers. His forearms are dipped in freckles. ‘Actually, I came to make a farm in the middle of the jungle, but it didn’t work out,’ he admits, remembering his first tough couple of years doing odd jobs in the Yucatán, working his way from Tunkas to the markets of San Juan de Dios, and then to the state of Quintana Roo, where he stayed with a family who taught him how to kill iguanas with a slingshot and roast them over the ﬁre. He says being in Tulum feels like ‘living inside an infatuation’. Inside a kind of dream woven of poinsettia and mezcal and the bright glances of pretty girls. Near midnight, the sky is ferocious with low-hanging stars – so vivid it feels like we’re in a vineyard and might pluck one down. The band is packing up and the girls lounging so comfortably it’s as though the sand were a sun-warmed lilo. And always, the continual surf, a few feet away, the colour of moonlight.
There is just one road along Boca Paila. Follow it away from the ruins and after a while the hotels begin to dwindle. Only a few private houses now, the route increasingly potholed until you reach Laguna Campeche, with panthers in the surrounding jungle and the occasional crocodile plunging into the shallows with a ruddering tail. Entering the lagoon by boat, reeds mass thickly to the sides, dotted with trailing sprays of scented things, and the unusually shaped luxuriance of rare pink orchids standing high as a van. Hidden tributaries lead to sandbars and endless false turns, like a complicated map of streets and alleys, the water shot through with unexpected
reverberating colours, a milky amethyst, an agave blue. Everything dancing with ﬂy catchers, plump with their primrose-yellow breasts, and sternly overlooked by herons and ibis – and all of it as far as the eye can see, nothing disgraced by any sort of building save an occasional wooden pontoon stretching into the reeds. It is hard to believe that such a sight, such vast fecundity, still exists in the world. One time, a man in his ﬁfties called Santiago told me about being raised in a village near here, speaking only in a Mayan dialect, swimming in the lagoon without fear of the crocodiles or the spiders in the jungle as big as puppies. ‘When I was young,’ Santiago said, ‘everything was free.’ Now he had to pay 70 pesos to swim in the cenotes, the freshwater sinkholes that he used daily as a child. He shrugged. All things must change. The writer Sybille Bedford observed that in rural Mexico in 1946 the only things you needed money for were matches, salt and drink, everything else could be bartered or grown, raised or ﬁshed. Here you wouldn’t even need to buy the salt. It is mawkish to overplay the notion of an Eden-like innocence, but few places feel as immensely old as parts of Tulum. Unchanged since the world began. One day, I have a snoop around the remains of the ﬁrst hotel to have been built here – as a ﬁshing lodge in the 1970s, tucked into an immaculate lick of the beach, its longempty rooms fleeced with moss and ensnared by creepers. In what had been the gardens, I come across a dinosaur bone. Huge and mounted long ago as a curiosity for guests, like Ozymandias it overlooks the continual, white-pouring surf while a few children sit in the sand rolling pitaya fruit to each other in front of it, as though making offerings to a slumbering god.
A TASTE OF THE NEWEST ADDRESSES NOMADE Cabanas and beach tents, Berber rugs and silverbeaten plates – this hotel feels as if it has been constructed out of things spilled from a camel train. It’s like a village unwound on the sand, only one made from gauzy hangings and partitions. Outdoor lunches of grilled octopus are the best along the beach, and in the evening Asian food is served on a table made from a giant tree trunk. nomade tulum.com. Doubles from about £120 SANARA Discreet and gentle, 19-room Sanará is constructed from tiles, glass and cream stone. The emphasis is eco and the restaurant exceptional, serving healthy food that tastes almost suspiciously heartening (chicken broth; a salad of shrimp and moringa leaves). A yoga studio overlooks the sea, as does the spa where – unusually – the treatment-room windows are ﬂung open for sea breezes. sanaratulum.com. Doubles from about £265 CASA MALCA Once Pablo Escobar’s hacienda, this luxurious space was redesigned by its new owner, the art dealer Lio Malca. At the entrance are gigantic wooden doors hung with curtains made of hundreds of antique lace Mexican wedding dresses. There is nothing to fault here. From lunches of freshest ceviche to the bedrooms overlooking the quietest stretch of beach. casamalca.com. Doubles from about £380 BEST SPA The Yäan Wellness Spa has Mayan-themed treatments and beautiful plunge pools beside which healers sit and press fragranced ﬂannels to your face. yaanwellness.com AND YET, NOT TO BE MISSED Casa Jaguar and long-standing Hartwood restaurants for a sense of being at the jungle’s entrance, and Arca bar, a cool space with high-raised lanterns. casajaguartulum.com; hartwoodtulum.com; arcatulum.com GETTING HERE Virgin Atlantic (virginatlantic.com) ﬂies twice a week from London Gatwick to Cancun. 165
THINK YOU CAN SPOT WHAT'S REAL AND WHAT'S NOT? THIS SEASON'S CRUCIAL KIT FOR THE SHARPEST GLOBETROTTERS IS FULL OF SURPRISES, IN SCENES CRAFTED FROM PAPER BY SET DESIGNER HATTIE NEWMAN STYLED BY VICTORIA WRIGHT. PHOTOGRAPHS BY OLIVIA JECZMYK
FOR LADIES WHO LUNCH AT GRAMERCY TAVERN IN NEW YORK Clockwise from top left: Ghost tassel keyring in metallic leather, £275, Anya Hindmarch (anya hindmarch.com). ABClick T charm (on keyring), £215, Fendi (fendi.com). Wild in Dior bracelet in gold, tourmaline, resin and lacquer, £1,700, Dior (dior. com). Multi-ﬁnger ring in glass pearls, £410, Gucci (gucci.com). Live, Love, Laugh Panama notebook, £45, Smythson (smythson. com). Celeste satin clutch with detachable buttons, £1,050, Jimmy Choo (jimmychoo.com). Leather heels, £750, Prada (prada. com). Calfskin key case, £245, Charlotte Olympia (charlotteolympia.com). Embroidered gloves in nappa leather, POA, Christopher Kane (christopherkane. com). Sunglasses, £290, Miu Miu (sunglasshut.com)
FOR RITZY-GLITZY BEACH GOERS AT THE SAND BAR, EDEN ROCK ON ST BARTH'S Clockwise from bottom left: limited-edition sunglasses, POA, Dolce & Gabbana (dolcegabbana.com). Stela hat, £260, Yosuzi (yosuzi. com). Swim shorts, £225, Orlebar Brown (orlebar brown.co.uk). Bikini top, £140, Eres (eresparis.com). Les Zèbres de Tanzanie towel, £370, Hermès (hermes.com). Pom-pom necklace, £395, Rosantica (net-a-porter.com). Leather platform shoes, £615, Miu Miu (miumiu.com). Leather heels with shells, POA, Dolce & Gabbana (as before). Beaded earrings, £185, Tory Burch (toryburch.co.uk)
FOR DAPPER BACKPACKERS AT LA GRANJA IN IBIZA Clockwise from far left: resin peace-sign brooch (on left pocket of backpack), £355, Chanel (chanel.com). Leather eye bag charm, £223, Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci (givenchy.com). Minnie Be Mine rubber pins, £160 for a set of seven, Maison Michel (michel-paris.com). Crystal bomb sticker, £75, Anya Hindmarch (anyahindmarch. com). Leather passport cover, £90, William & Son (william andson.com). Leather pouch £225, Mulberry (mulberry. com). Metal and resin bangle, £240, Marni (+44 20 7245 9520). Floral strap, £730, Fendi (fendi.com). Lock Me Speedy earrings, £445; Speedy Slap bracelets, £140 each, both Louis Vuitton (louisvuitton.co.uk). Leather Nautical card box, £155, William & Son (as before). Sunglasses, £376, Prada (sunglasshut.com). Studded bangle, £360, Fendi (as before). Cashmere and silk Carré en Boucles scarf, £840, Hermès (hermes.com). Trainers, POA, DSquared2 (dsquared2.com)
AROUND THE WORLD WITH
THE DAUGHTER OF ROCK-STAR ROYALTY HAS FORGED HER OWN STELLAR PATH IN BLOCKBUSTERS SUCH AS ARMAGEDDON AND THE LORD OF THE RINGS – AND SHE’S EVEN TAKEN ON A WORLD GRANDMASTER IN CHESS Where have you just come back from? ‘Australia. I was in Melbourne for a couple of weeks ﬁlming the new season of The Leftovers and I loved it; it’s beautiful, a very sweet city. One of the reasons I originally took a role on the show was because it was being filmed in New York and I wanted to get back to work but also be a good mum and be around for all the important stuff with my kids. But then we ended up shooting the second season in Austin and the third in Australia.’ Where have you felt happiest? ‘I grew up in Maine and all over New England and I always feel very grounded in those places, like I know where I come from and who I am. The ﬁrst holiday I took with David [Gardner, her partner] was to a tiny island called North Haven in Maine, which is so magical, but it’s an eight-hour drive, and then a ferry ride. It’s a journey I’ve been doing all my life but as an English person David couldn’t understand it. He just thought, that’s so long. There’s nowhere you drive to for eight hours!’
PHOTOGRAPH: VENETIA SCOTT/TRUNK ARCHIVE
A place that most lived up to the hype? ‘Copenhagen. Helena Christensen has been one of my best friends since I was a teenager. She’d always shown me pictures of Denmark and I loved all the Danish things she had. When I went for the ﬁrst time, I was blown away.’ And one that least lived up to the hype? ‘I’m such a weirdo. I enjoy everything, even if it’s not great. I can make an adventure out of anything. I don’t particularly love Las Vegas – it’s not somewhere that interests me – but if I had to go, I’d make it fun. Every city has some little treasure.’ What is your favourite city? ‘That’s so hard, but maybe New Orleans. My godmother lives there and has a lovely house in the French Quarter. I ﬁrst went to stay with her when I was 16, and it was so decadent and kind of wacky. I fell in love with all the people I met, who seemed so eccentric; a mix of Southern and European rolled into one.’
Describe your favourite view ‘The one from my country house in Upstate New York. It looks out over the Hudson River, and there are mountains behind it. I’ve just visited and all the leaves were bright red, orange and yellow – it was just so beautiful.’ What do you pack ﬁrst? ‘Everything – the kitchen sink! I always take a camera with me, and my Belstaff cape; it’s a little green cotton raincoat and it’s perfect to travel with. Then I overpack with tons of underwear and probably too many beauty products and toiletries.’
‘I’M A SUCKER FOR A COUNTRY FAIR WHERE YOU CAN WIN STUFFED ANIMALS AND EAT FRIED DOUGH’ Describe a childhood holiday memory ‘One year my stepfather, Todd Rundgren, took us all to Kauai in Hawaii. I’d never gone anywhere warm for Christmas before. It was such a different experience; there was no Santa and no Christmas tree, so when we woke up in the morning he’d put all our presents under a palm tree outside. Todd now has a house out on Kauai and I’ve gone back many times, but I remember that ﬁrst trip so vividly.’ Who is the most interesting person you’ve met on your travels? ‘I was in a friend’s house in New York once and I met a Maasai warrior. He was the most beautiful man. My friends had bought him an outﬁt to wear, so he was in Converse All Stars, Levi’s 501s, a white T-shirt and a leather jacket – he was dressed like this greaser and he just looked so cool. We talked for hours.’ What’s the smartest hotel you’ve stayed in? ‘The Ritz in Paris. The decor was so Marie Antoinette and they put me in this huge suite, which was amazing. I can’t wait to go back and see what they’ve done with the redecoration.’
Sightseeing or sun lounger? ‘If it’s a hot place, I’m always in the water, swimming all the time, but otherwise I’m pretty balanced. I like a bit of both.’ ‘I lost my heart in…’ ‘Tuscany, for sure. I made Stealing Beauty there when I was 18 – I actually had my birthday on set – and I fell in love with every single thing about it.’ Confess to one thing you’ve taken from a hotel room ‘I used to steal ashtrays (I have a whole collection) but now hotels don’t really have them. Another thing I do – which is so silly – I always take the bars of soap that I’ve only used once because I feel so bad about wasting them.’ What’s your guilty pleasure? ‘I’m a sucker for a country fair where there are rides and you can win stuffed animals and eat cotton candy and fried dough.’ What would you most like to ﬁnd in your mini-bar? ‘M&Ms, red wine and potato chips.’ Most regrettable holiday souvenir? ‘There’s a famous toy store in Tokyo called Kiddy Land. Every time I go, I buy an extra suitcase and ﬁll it with stuff. I once bought a Godzilla toilet-paper dispenser, so when you pull the toilet paper, it screams at you like Godzilla. I thought it was the coolest thing, but I got home and never used it.’ Where has been the most exceptional place you’ve visited? ‘I went to Kenya a couple of years ago, and it blew my mind. I got invited on a retreat by a psychologist friend who needed some guinea pigs. We spent a week in a wonderful place called Hippo Point on Lake Naivasha. There were giraffes and hippos, and monkeys climbing in the windows.’
Liv Tyler stars in the third season of ‘The Leftovers’, which is coming to Sky Atlantic in 2017. Her second capsule for Belstaff is available now in stores and on belstaff.com
SIMON LEADSFORD, PUBLISHING DIRECTOR ‘HOTEL DU CAP-EDEN-ROC IS CLASSICALLY STYLISH WITH IMPECCABLE SERVICE AND A COOL CHAMPAGNE BAR’
January/February 2017 Condé Nast Traveller 173
World-class resorts, the diverse terrain of a rugged continental divide, world-famous Rocky Mountain powder, the most scenic wilderness backdrop you’ll ever ski against – even hot springs to soothe weary muscles at the end of the day: nothing quite compares to the heart of the Canadian Rockies
castle on one of those lakes? What if the snow under your skis was the world-famous Rocky Mountain powder; ski lifts came with heated seats; queues were often non-existent, and you could even enjoy some wildlife spotting on your way down, deep as you are in Canada’s oldest national park?
here are few feelings that can surpass those of standing on top of a mountain, high above the treeline, breathing in the purest of air and gazing across mile upon mile of snow-capped peaks; clipping yourself into your skis, the sense of anticipation mounting; pushing off and feeling that ﬁrst rush of snow sliding smoothly past underneath you; gathering momentum as you head downwards ever faster; and hearing the soft swish of your skis cutting brand new lines as you ﬂy down tree-lined slopes, where ice sparkles on evergreens rising softly against wintry blue skies.
But what if that mountain was not just any mountain, but a Rocky Mountain, surrounded on all sides by the vast monoliths of more Rocky Mountains, wending their craggy way through a UNESCO World Heritage Site? What if those mountains were sliced through by
runs that go on and on as far as the eye can see, winding through a wintery wonderland of dramatic frozen waterfalls, frosty forests, plunging glaciers and glacial bowls running down to cosy towns – not to mention beautiful frozen lakes, and an even more beautiful ice
One of the largest ski areas in North America, Lake Louise Ski Resort offers spectacular views, gloriously long runs and a huge diversity of terrain for beginner, intermediate and expert skiers and riders alike. Big open bowls beckon for those just ﬁnding their ski feet; twisting chutes and gullies up the ante for the more adventurous. Just southeast from Lake Louise is Sunshine Village: tucked up high at 9,000 feet, with runs that cut across the Continental Divide (and two Canadian provinces), its 3,300 acres of ski and snowboarding terrain include the 12-acre Rogers
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Clockwise from main image: iceskating on Lake Louise; snowshoeing; après-ski; a helicopter ride over Kananaskis; skiing at Sunshine Village; winter dog sledding. Centre: winter hikes at Johnson Canyon
FLY AWAY Save 20% on a trip to Banff with British Airways Holidays, with seven nights at the 5-star Fairmont Banff Springs from £1,129 per person, including return ﬂights from London Heathrow to Calgary. Visit ba.com/banff for more details.
Terrain Park for boarders and Delirium Dive for truly challenging terrain. And then there’s Banff, the bustling hub of the Canadian Rockies – and the perfect base for cross-country skiing. Out in the backcountry you can venture along groomed tracks through virgin territory; pass by historic pioneer log cabins; explore dense forests and even traverse lakes, the stillness broken only by a puff of wind or a soft release of snow from an overladen branch. And when you’ve carved, schussed, traversed and freeridden to your heart’s content, this wintery wonderland also provides a breathtaking backdrop for a wealth of alternative snow-based pastimes. Adrenaline junkies can take on snowtubing at Mount Norquay (complete with towing system back up the hill) – or try their hand at ice climbing, starting at Banff ’s indoor climbing wall, moving on to the exhilarating experience of waterfall ice-climbing with some of the talented Yamnuska guides (half- or full-day lessons), and perhaps even tackling the technical challenge of the iconic Mount Columbia or Mount Temple. Gentler winter experiences include guided snowshoeing trips among the serene Rockies scenery, ice-walking tours along glittering frozen canyons, romantic sleigh rides, or iceskating under starry skies (don’t miss an early evening glide on Lake Louise itself). Rush through forested paths, pulled along by enthusiastic dogs; cycle over softly crunching snow on fat bikes; gaze at awe-inspiring views from the Grizzly Gondola; marvel at the masterpieces that the international ice carvers create over a 34-hour competition in the January Ice Magic Festival. Then wrap up another wonderful day with a torch-lit dinner and a downhill or cross-country ski, experiencing the Rockies from a truly magical, moonlit perspective.
HOW TO GET THERE Fly non-stop to Calgary with British Airways Holidays* on the super-comfortable Boeing 787 Dreamliner and you can be on the slopes in just 10 hours, with some of the top Rocky Mountain resorts just two hours from Calgary. Visit: ba.com/banff *24hr holiday helpline, ATOL protected, low online deposits and combine and save when booking a package
FLAVOUR HUNTER THE TASTE MAKERS
IS YOUR NAME ON THE LIST? BOOKING THE BEST TABLES HAS, FINALLY, GONE COMPLETELY BONKERS When you’re eating an al-desko sandwich, those socialmedia updates taken at the world’s most exclusive dining spots can be as baffling as they are appetising. The ones by travellers who insist on photographing every course at Hiša Franko, Ana Roš’s foodie retreat in Slovenia’s Soča Valley, and who treat The World’s 50 Best Restaurants rankings as a to-do list. But I’ll bet your favourite memories involve sharing delicious food in beautiful places. And everything is tastier when you have to work for it, as Eduoard and André Michelin surely sensed when they produced their ﬁrst guide for French motorists back in 1900. One star meant a restaurant was good; two that it mérite un détour – was worth a detour. And three meant it vaut le voyage – deserved a schlep cross-country. But in this age of EasyJet, Instagram and Chef’s Table, the succulent Netﬂix series that proﬁles far-ﬂung chefs with a reverence once reserved for artists, the highest accolade would surely be vaut le pèlerinage, worth the pilgrimage. Because eating out has become a matter of devotion for some. It’s not enough to lay down top dollar (or yen or krone) for supper at Eleven Madison Park or Sukiyabashi Jiro or Noma. You must show true piety. Talula’s Table in Pennsylvania has a waiting list of precisely one year; to get a table in 2018, you must be the ﬁrst caller at 7am on the corresponding date in 2017. To eat at Rao’s, a red-sauce joint in New York frequented by Martin Scorsese and the Clintons, you have to buy a season ticket (up to about £20,000 for the same time every Friday, say) and even then you have to be invited. And the appeal of Faviken, Magnus Nilsson’s locavore joint near Sweden’s UNESCO City of Gastronomy, Ostersund, is not just the bog butter or colostrum puddings. It is the fact that there are just 12 covers, a year-long waiting list and you have to invest in snowboots to get there. Still, most exclusive of all is Damon Baehrel’s eponymous restaurant at his farm in upstate New York. The archetypal backwoods genius, Baehrel claims to do everything himself, from foraging for marigold blossom to extracting the sap from sycamore and grinding his own ﬂour. This he turns into 23-course, £330-odd feasts which he serves himself before doing the washing up. Where can this experiential one-upmanship possibly end? Securing an invitation to French wunderkind Iñaki Aizpitarte’s actual home for Christmas lunch? Acquiring a Michelin-star oneself? Eating on Mars? In LA, the Kokiri Lab is applying virtual reality to dining. One of its tricks is to use scent and a simulated Japanese restaurant to fool you into believing agar-agar (a tasteless gelatin-like substance) is actually high-grade sushi. In time, this technology could create a sort of gastronomic Disney World, where you could stroll around sampling dishes from Central in Lima or The Test Kitchen in Cape Town. For now, you have to ask the guys if you can visit their labs. But I’d say it’s a surer bet than holding out for a table at Baehrel’s place: the website says it has been closed for reservations since 2014 and apparently there are no tables available until 2025. RICHARD GODWIN
EDITED BY TABITHA JOYCE January/February 2017 Condé Nast Traveller 177
THIS MONTH’S RECIPE Whichever type of caviar you opt for, never has the fashion for buying the best quality you can, and doing as little as possible to it, rung so true. Look for clearly deﬁned texture with no oiliness or mushiness. All you need is a handful of warm, boiled waxy new potatoes, a dollop of crème fraîche (optional), and a tin of caviar, newly opened, and kept chilled on ice. Use a horn or mother-ofpearl spoon, as metal impacts on the delicate ﬂavour. The trick to extracting maximum pleasure from each mouthful is to roll the eggs along your palate with your tongue and burst them. Anything extra – chopped egg, onion or chives – is just distracting pretension.
PHOTOGRAPH: STUART OVENDEN
CAVIAR WITH NEW POTATOES
WORLD ON A PLATE THE INGREDIENT: CAVIAR
BY JOANNA WEINBERG
BY MALCOLM GLUCK
I once dated a man so glamorous that when he announced he was taking me out for dinner to eat eggs, I was a little put out. The restaurant, just off Berkeley Square in Mayfair, no longer exists; but the point of the menu was the tiny pearls of sturgeon roe that have been cherished across millennia for their rich, mineral tang. Caviar’s story has always been one of feast and famine, boom and bust. The word comes from the Persian khav-yar, meaning ‘cake of strength’, and it’s believed Persians were the ﬁrst to savour it – though the Ancient Greeks also cited eating it (according to Aristotle, it was carried into banquets to a fanfare of trumpets and surrounded by ﬂowers). In 2nd-century-bc Russia, a single jar was worth 100 sheep, and by the Middle Ages it had become the highlight of a party, eaten warm with hot apple preserves. While all 27 varieties of sturgeon produce the distinctive black eggs, only three are prized: beluga, ossetra and sevruga. In the late 19th century, Henry Schacht, a German immigrant to the USA, started selling caviar fast and cheap for a nickel in bars – the pretzels of its day, its saltiness serving simply to make customers drink more. By the end of the century, the USA was the largest exporter in the world. So big, so fast, so quickly over. By 1915 there were so few sturgeon left that a complete ﬁshing ban ensued for 40 years. Sturgeon are more ancient than the dinosaurs. The wild variety are to be found primarily in the Caspian and Black Sea, growing as long as 12ft. For decades, the wild-caviar market was dominated by Russia and Iran, but it broke wide open after the dissolution of the USSR, creating a toxic mix of poaching and overﬁshing. By 2007, stocks were so depleted that bans were enforced in the region, and by 2011 ﬁshing for wild sturgeon was illegal.
There is a school of thought that claims ice-cold vodka is the only accompaniment to caviar. For myself, I regard Champagne as the ne plus ultra here, and one in particular as the very ﬁnest of the ﬁne. We will come to that shortly but let me ﬁrst deal with the scholars who insist on their spirit. Will it be Russian or Polish? Neither. My gold standard is made by Jason Barber, an ingenious Dorset dairy farmer. It is the smoothest and most caviar-friendly vodka I have tasted in a decade. His rare Black Cow is made from the whey, run off from the curds used to produce his cheese, and triple-distilled to the utmost purity (with an echo of creaminess). And yes, it should be enjoyed chilled. So cheers (not na zdorovie) to Marks & Spencer for stocking it at a mere £26 a bottle.
CAVIAR WAS SOLD FOR A NICKEL IN BARS, THE PRETZELS OF ITS DAY, ITS SALTINESS SERVING TO MAKE PEOPLE DRINK MORE Today, only farmed caviar is available, from a number of countries. Less romantic, perhaps, but no lesser a product. The large, grey roe of beluga, with its opalescent ‘eye’ at the centre, is the most lusted after on the fanciest of super-yachts. But don’t be fooled into thinking that you get what you pay for – according to Gunter Corsten-Gerhards of Princesse d’Isenbourg et Cie, supplier to London’s social set, the price depends not on the ﬂavour but on the ﬁsh’s rarity and its difﬁculty to farm. It is ossetra, beluga’s slightly smaller cousin, that has won the wallets – and taste buds – of discerning customers. For guilt-free pleasure, seek out brands such as Mottra, which has developed a technique of massaging the precious cargo out of live ﬁsh rather than killing them.
WHAT SETS THE GREATEST CHAMPAGNE APART IS THAT IT PROVOKES SENSUALLY AS IT SATISFIES INTELLECTUALLY Now to our Champagne. You cannot get away here with any old bottle. It is true that certain supermarkets, particularly Waitrose, have perfectly respectable Blancs de Noirs and Blanc de Blancs priced at under £20 a bottle. These are delicious and no one should be toffee-nosed about them. For celebrating a successful journey home from work, they have much to recommend them. But to sit alongside the roe of the majestic sturgeon, we must seek a more rariﬁed bottle. M&S itself has a strong candidate: Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2006. This is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, of the ‘06s. It is elegant and richly classy with a delicious undertone of Charentais melon. It costs £120 from 200 branches of the retailer. But is it the very ﬁnest of them all? Not quite. This is, remember, a gold issue. And gold is not silver. My ﬁrst choice, then, has to be the magniﬁcent Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millénaires 1995, a sublime 100 per cent Chardonnay Champagne, available at just a handful of retailers including Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges and Noel Young for around £150 a bottle. It is a remarkable bubbly, having spent 19 years on its lees (most vintages spend around six), and so has acquired a sublimely nutty depth yet not lost its essential freshness. It is often remarked, by wine critics, that there are English sparkling wines, cavas, and bubblies from New Zealand and California that rival Champagne. This may be true, but what sets the greatest Champagne apart from all other bubblies is that it will provoke sensually as it satisﬁes intellectually. It will possess character and maturity yet be ineffably pert and incisive. It is this consummately witty combination that costs money, and makes the Blanc des Millénaires the greatest available.
HAZEL LUBBOCK, DEPUTY ONLINE EDITOR ‘HAPPINESS IS CLUTCHING A FRESH COCONUT IN THE THATCHED PAVILIONS AT THE GORGEOUS AMANKILA IN BALI’
January/February 2017 Condé Nast Traveller 179
A RICH DIET The Ancient Egyptians regarded gold as a sacred food; in India, decorating sweetmeats with edible gold leaf was a sign of wealth and when the Elizabethans wanted to dine like Croesus, they gilded pomegranates. Recently, gold has embellished risotto (at Elsa restaurant in Monaco), doughnuts (at Brooklyn’s Manila Social Club) and even Scotch eggs (at Launceston Place in London). Want to make the world’s most expensive burger? Just add gold leaf – ounce for ounce, it’s pricier than solid gold. But is it in good taste? Well, it doesn’t actually taste of anything, not even that bitter tang you get with other metals. So while it’s preferable to be born with a gold spoon in your mouth than a silver one, perhaps it’s smarter to stick to 24-carat artistic creations we can lust after – like the objects on this page – rather than actually consume. RICK JORDAN
180 Condé Nast Traveller January/February 2017
PHOTOGRAPHS: ASHRAFUL AREFIN/IMAGEBRIEF.COM; DEPOSIT PHOTOS; PLAIN PICTURE/ELEKTRONS08; WENDY VAN SANTEN. TOP LEFT: ‘COMPANIONS’ BY PAE WHITE , PHOTOGRAPHED BY FREDRIK NILSEN
Give an art experience to a loved one this Christmas royalacademy.org.uk/ giftmembership
Joan Mitchell’s ‘Salut Tom’, 1979, in the Abstract Expressionism exhibition, at the Royal Academy of Arts, London. Work on loan from the National Gallery of Art, Washington © Estate of Joan Mitchell. Photo © David Parry
Be surrounded by art in 2017
ninJa ingredients SUPERHERO VEGETABLES SIGNAL A NEW FOOD REVOLUTION
THE BEST NEW INVENTIONS FROM SUPER-CHEF DAN BARBER
SINGLE-UDDER BUTTER ‘You’ve heard of single-origin coffee; this is single-udder butter. We separate our grass-fed cows’ milk and label it by individual animal. Each batch produces a unique butter: Jillian, a docile Normande, makes a butter that’s mild and grassy while Sunshine, a Shorthorn cross who often ventures away from the herd to seek the perfect bit of pasture, makes one that’s sweet and ivory white.’ 200-PER-CENT WHOLE-WHEAT BREAD ‘A brilliant farmer I know once compared a bag of all-purpose ﬂour to rotten produce – stripped of all ﬂavour and nutrition. I’ve never looked at grain the same way since. Last year, we built a bakery with its own mill. We use the usually discarded outer layer of grain, which doubles the quantity of bran in the mix.’ RED-PEPPER EGGS ‘For years we’ve been experimenting with different kinds of chicken feed in search of eggs with brighter yolks. By mixing the hens’ feed with pepper puree (birds, it turns out, can’t taste the spice), their yolks turn this amazing electric-red colour. It’s a nutritious diet for the hens and a more nutritious egg too.’
182 Condé Nast Traveller January/February 2017
PHOTOGRAPHS: PEDEN + MUNK
Here in Upstate New York farmers work with chefs to invent superior seeds. New vegetable varieties that have made it onto dishes include Magic Mountain tomatoes, bred to be disease-resistant and extra juicy
Foodie pioneer Dan Barber doesn’t just source the best produce. He invents his own. Having led the way in ﬁeld-to-fork eating from Blue Hill Farm in Upstate New York, he is now stirring up the next food movement. ‘Flavour doesn’t start with the chef, or even with the farmer,’ he says. ‘It begins with plant breeders – the people writing the recipes for the seeds.’ In a world where most producers are asked to grow for yield and uniformity alone, Barber is reinventing the rules – working with a number of scientists to select for ﬂavour and nutrition as the absolute top priority. Along with non-GM plant breeders across the USA, he has created new varieties packed with even more of the good stuff – most famous is the honeynut squash, small enough to ﬁt in the palm of your hand with twice the sweetness. Next he’s working on a potato that’s so creamy it doesn’t need to be smothered in butter or sour cream.
FLAVOUR HUNTER storm-lashed Highland bothies. Something that would help them forget about the cold and their hunger pangs and give them an agreeable buzz, hopefully without making them go blind. Such stuff, or its mass-produced modern equivalents, is still out there – and these days it’s perfectly legal too. But whisky has moved onwards and upwards. It has transcended its humble origins, cultivated better manners, learnt to speak in gentler tones and to make its way in polite society. Its progress has been geographical as well as cultural. Like all great drinks, whisky remains quintessentially local, deﬁned by and ﬁercely loyal to its birthplace. The taste, aroma and texture of a good whisky are always speciﬁc to the place where it was made. And yet – another paradox – as well as being
AUTUMNAL, SMOKY, SPICY. DARK CHOCOLATE, SHERBET, LEMON. PENCIL LEAD. SLIGHTLY FUNGAL
WHAM DRAM INTELLECTUAL, BAMBOOZLING, WHAT IS IT ABOUT WHISKY? ‘Liquid sunshine.’ I like to imagine that when George Bernard Shaw lit upon that lovely term for whisky – glass in one hand, pen in the other, a crooked smile rumpling the grey area where his moustache and beard met – he was thinking of its ability not only to improve his mood but also to delight his eye. Whisky occupies a broad and luscious spectrum that runs from pale-lemon chiffon to trombone-yellow to deep, dusky amber. Which makes it a ﬁne subject for this gold-themed issue – and prompts the following observations on certain of its other beauties and paradoxes. Once upon a time whisky was something that cranky tenant farmers cooked up on the sly in
Certain of the whisky clan’s members – its honourable Glenﬁddichs, its baronial Balblairs, its lordly Dalmores, its positively ducal Glenfarclases – have become very grand indeed. Really, in drinks terms, quite as grand as it’s possible to be, and in every respect the equal of even the most aristocratic of Burgundies and Bordeaux, Champagnes and Cognacs. Wherein lies this grandeur? What makes posh whisky so amazing? The answer, I think, is to be found in yet another of whisky’s paradoxes – one that concerns the relationship between simplicity and complexity. The apparent simplicity of what goes into the still versus the manifest complexity of what ends up in your glass. When I sat down to write this piece I glanced at an old notebook. Among other things it contains my tasting notes on Glenmorangie’s Companta, which was released a couple of years ago and remains a favourite of mine. I sampled it in the company of its creator, Bill Lumsden, one of the most brilliant ﬁgures in the business. Bill’s experiments with wood ﬁnishing – ageing his whiskies in non-traditional casks – divide opinion. But the results can be spectacular. Of the 2014 Companta release I scribbled: ‘Autumnal, smoky, spicy. Dark chocolate, sherbet, lemon. Pencil lead. Slightly fungal. Sweetness of toasted marshmallow. Tang of balsamic vinegar.’ All this – and that’s not the half of it – from a simple porridge of cereal, yeast and water, and a few years spent lying around in old casks. Witchcraft. But that is a story for another day. Or another lifetime. STEVE KING
BEN ALLEN, EDITORIAL ASSISTANT ‘A SUMMER’S EVENING ON THE TERRACE OF ENOTECA BALDI IN PANZANO-IN-CHIANTI: SMALL-TOWN ITALY CAN BE SUBLIME’ 184 Condé Nast Traveller January/February 2017
PHOTOGRAPH: PEDEN + MUNK/TRUNCKARCHIVE.COM
the most parochial of drinks, whisky is also among the most cosmopolitan and well-travelled – adored, or at least available, wherever human beings gather to numb their senses. Today it is Scotland’s third-largest industry, after energy and ﬁnancial services, worth something in the order of £5 billion a year. And 90 per cent of it is consumed abroad.
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READER OFFER Quote ‘Condé Nast Johansens/ Traveller Promotion’ when making your reservation to receive a complimentary bottle of champagne and room upgrade. Subject to availability. Terms & conditions apply.
HILLSIDE BEACH CLUB, FETHIYE, TURKEY +90 252 614 8360 condenastjohansens.com/hillsidebeachclub Hillside Beach Club is a chic coastal resort set amid pine trees beside one of the Mediterranean’s prettiest bays. Offering a peaceful atmosphere and views of clear blue crystal waters, its exclusive location, graceful style and sincere staff make Hillside Beach Club a great choice for any occasion.
Wherever you choose to rest your head, be sure to pick one of Condé Nast Johansens’ ultimate retreats and you won’t be disappointed
BOHEMIA SUITES & SPA
GRAN CANARIA, CANARY ISLANDS
+39 338 960 8713 condenastjohansens.com/masseriasusafa A family home for ﬁve generations, Masseria Susafa has opened its doors for guests to savour centuries-old pastoral pleasures and traditional Sicilian customs and tastes in modern, hospitable comfort.
+34 928 563 400 condenastjohansens.com/bohemiasuites Bohemia Suites & Spa is a sophisticated oasis surrounded by the volcanic beauty of Gran Canaria. Enjoy eye-catching views to the Maspalomas Dunes and azure blue Atlantic Ocean from its ﬁne-dining restaurant 360° and the Atelier cocktail lounge. Daring design, personalised service, the luxurious 600m² Siam Spa, Apple and multimedia systems, and a perpetual summer await.
+43 662 84 56 22 condenastjohansens.com/hotelgoldgasse Hotel Goldgasse is more than an exclusive boutique hotel, it’s an intimate lifestyle experience. Come and celebrate the famous Salzburg Festival and enjoy the city's attractions from our memorable hotel where traditional and contemporary design harmoniously fuse together, and personalised service complements exceptional cuisine.
V VILLAS HUA HIN, MGALLERY BY SOFITEL
BULGARI HOTEL, LONDON
HUA HIN, THAILAND
+66 2309 3939 condenastjohansens.com/villashuahin A contemporary lifestyle resort for well-travelled, sophisticated individuals, V Villas comprises 23 exclusive pool villas, each with an inviting living space, welcoming bedrooms, spacious en-suite bathrooms and a secluded garden with large private pool. View life from a new perspective. Find time for romance, revival and recreation.
020 7151 1010 condenastjohansens.com/bulgarilondon The Bulgari Spa forms part of the Bulgari Hotel, London and is one of the largest and most exclusive spas in the centre of the capital. The brainchild of Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Partners, the spacious 2,000m² Bulgari Spa reﬂects a contemporary Italian design ethos inﬂuenced by the rich heritage of Bulgari.
+90 252 661 09 00 condenastjohansens.com/dresortgocek A 20-minute drive from Dalaman Airport, D-Resort Göcek resides within the picture-perfect Turkish Riviera. Inside, there are crisp-white rooms and suites, The Breeze seafront restaurant, new Günaydın Steakhouse, cool Japanese Q-Lounge and three-ﬂoor D-SPA. Jacuzzis, a traditional hammam, vitality pool and wood saunas provide the space to unwind. Not eligible for reader offer.
THE BETSY - SOUTH BEACH
EL CONVENTO BOUTIQUE HOTEL
01539 432375 condenastjohansens.com/holbeckghyll With heart-stopping views across the Lake District and Cumbria, sublime award-winning cuisine and an indulgent health spa, Holbeck Ghyll is a multi-award-winning country retreat offering a luxurious homefrom-home ambience.
+1 305 531 6100 condenastjohansens.com/thebetsyhotel The Betsy – South Beach is expanding! The Betsy’s new Art Deco wing will soon be completed and house 70 more guest rooms and suites, additional dining outlets and stunning venues including a sparkling rooftop pool. Be the ﬁrst to experience the new amenities and receive a third night for free when booking a Classic Balcony Room or superior room category. Simply quote ’CNAST‘ when booking.
+502 7720 7272 condenastjohansens.com/elconventoantigua Begin 2017 with a stay in majestic Antigua Guatemala. A city set between volcanoes and lined with colonial landscapes, this is the perfect place to relax, learn Guatemalan history and sample a ﬁne selection of innovative local and international cuisine.
GRAN HOTEL ATLANTIS BAHÍA REAL
THE GREAT NORTHERN HOTEL
THE FORTRESS RESORT & SPA
FUERTEVENTURA, CANARY ISLANDS
GALLE, SRI LANKA
+34 928 537 153 condenastjohansens.com/bahiareal Have you ever enjoyed a special moment that you wanted to last forever? Stay at the beachside Gran Hotel Atlantis Bahía Real where time slows down and the unique experiences are unforgettable. Not eligible for reader offer.
020 3388 0800 condenastjohansens.com/gnhlondon The Great Northern Hotel is one of London’s ﬁnest 5-star boutique hotels, located in the city’s vibrant and culturally exciting quarters of King’s Cross. The recipient of many prestigious, international design awards, The GNH is also home to destination restaurant Plum + Spilt Milk, celebrated for the quality of its seasonal Modern-British dishes.
+94 91 438 9400 condenastjohansens.com/fortress Reminiscent of Galle’s famous Dutch Fort, The Fortress Resort & Spa is a masterpiece of Dutch and Portuguese colonial-inspired design offering modern, luxury boutique resort facilities on Sri Lanka’s southern coast.
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VILLA PRINCIPE LEOPOLDO
THE OAKLEY COURT
NANUKU AUBERGE RESORT
PACIFIC HARBOUR, FIJI ISLANDS
+41 91 985 88 55 condenastjohansens.com/leopoldohotel An all-suite hotel offering breathtaking views over Lugano’s lake and the mountains, Villa Principe Leopoldo presents a gourmet restaurant, exclusive spa and tailor-made services to guarantee top standards of comfort and luxury.
01753 609988 condenastjohansens.com/oakleycourt Situated on a stunning stretch of the River Thames with 33 acres of landscaped grounds and a Grade II-listed Victorian gothic mansion, the 118 bedrooms at The Oakley Court offer exceptional comfort in an unrivalled location.
+679 345 2100 condenastjohansens.com/nanukuﬁji Located in the epicentre of Fiji’s cultural and soft-adventure heartland on an endless strip of private, white-sand beachfront, the all-villa Nanuku Auberge Resort sets previously unseen levels of hospitality on the islands. Not eligible for reader offer.
THE PHOENIX RESORT
THE PILLARS HOTEL
THE ARCH LONDON
AMBERGRIS CAYE, BELIZE
+501 226 2083 condenastjohansens.com/thephoenixbelize This elegant, modern, luxury beachfront resort in San Pedro features spacious condominium suites, the Red Ginger restaurant, a pool bar, rooftop lounge, Sol Spa, two heated saline outdoor pools, a ﬁtness centre and concierge services. Complimentary daily cocktail hours, wine and chocolate tastings, painting classes and more are available.
+1 954 467 9639 condenastjohansens.com/pillarshotel Voted one of the top three hotels in Florida by Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards in 2012 and 2013, The Pillars Hotel is ideally situated on the Intracoastal Waterway. Comprising 18 rooms it offers a casually elegant and charming experience where guests are treated to exceptional levels of service.
020 7724 4700 condenastjohansens.com/thearchlondon The Arch London is a shopaholic’s paradise, located minutes from Oxford Street in a luxurious Georgian townhouse hideaway in the heart of central London. Save 20% on our luxurious suites by quoting ‘CNJ20’ upon booking via The Arch website or reservation team.
SHANGRI-LA’S BORACAY RESORT & SPA
HOTEL MUSE BANGKOK
BORACAY ISLAND, PHILIPPINES
HIGH ATLAS MOUNTAINS, MOROCCO
+63 36 288 4988 condenastjohansens.com/slbo Discover a paradise within a paradise at Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort & Spa. Sheltering in a private cove, this is an idyllic island retreat set beside awe-inspiring pristine waters under skies ablaze with breathtaking hues, encased by exotic ﬂora and fauna.
020 7754 5563 condenastjohansens.com/lamandier One of Morocco’s most exceptional boutique hotel resorts, L’Amandier provides tranquillity and calm inspired by a simple and spiritual way of life while maintaining the quality, service and cuisine of a barefoot luxury destination.
+662 630 4000 condenastjohansens.com/hotelmuse Make some lasting memories at Hotel Muse Bangkok and indulge in their vintage cocktail collection. Enjoy a variety of wine and comfort food served under Bangkok’s starry skies at The Speakeasy, Hotel Muse’s incredible rooftop bar with views of the Bangkok skyline.
PRAIA ART RESORT
SOUTH CAROLINA, USA
01727 864477 condenastjohansens.com/sopwellhouse A luxurious hideaway ﬁve minutes from the charming city of St Albans, Sopwell House is a historic country house dating back to 1603 set within 12 acres of Hertfordshire countryside. Features include complimentary Wi-Fi and Sky HD with Sky Sports package.
+39 0962 190 2890 condenastjohansens.com/praiaartresort A corner of heaven, Praia Art Resort provides the rare chance to really relax. Comprising 10 rooms, this intimate boutique hotel resides beside the sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters of a protected marine reserve offering authentic Calabrian hospitality, understated elegance, privacy and exquisite local food.
+1 843 518 5100 condenastjohansens.com/restoration Located on Charleston’s iconic King Street, The Restoration is a luxury boutique hotel offering a fully immersive 'New South' experience with a dynamic collection of curated outlets across food, retail, culture, health and wellness.
MIRAGGIO THERMAL SPA RESORT
HOTEL DUQUESA DE CARDONA
THE ST REGIS LANGKAWI
+30 23744 40000 condenastjohansens.com/miraggio The new and truly spectacular Miraggio Thermal Spa Resort does nothing less than change the world of wellness. This is the world’s ﬁrst and largest thermae resort located directly beside the sea.
+34 93 268 90 90 condenastjohansens.com/duquesadecardona Hotel Duquesa’s 16th-century building was once home to kings, and its grandeur endures – from the imposing columns and vaulted ceilings – to the Art-Deco windows and wrought-iron balconies. Al fresco tapas and barbecue dishes are served on the panoramic sky rooftop restaurant to stunning vistas. It’s all about location and luxury here, and Hotel Duquesa does it with effortless style. Not eligible for reader offer.
+60 4 960 6666 condenastjohansens.com/stregislangkawi Located in the coveted Langkawi archipelago, The St Regis resort is a natural paradise fringed by a 600-metre, white-sand beach overlooking the emerald green waters of the Andaman Sea. With its distinct heritage and signature butler service, it offers uncompromising luxury and bespoke service.
HOTEL TORRE DI CALA PICCOLA
+39 0564 825111 condenastjohansens.com/torredicalapiccola Enjoy Hotel Torre di Cala Piccola’s exclusive location on the Tuscan Argentario coast. The 52 charming rooms were built around a 15th-century Spanish tower facing an astonishing panorama. Quote ‘Condé Nast Johansens‘ when booking two nights to enjoy a free aperitivo at sunset and a 15% saving in the restaurant.
01339 881230 condenastjohansens.com/dounesidehouse A breathtaking location, coupled with luxurious accommodation, outstanding facilities and a passionate, attentive team, your stay at Douneside House in the Scottish Highlands is guaranteed to be a truly memorable one.
+55 41 3622 1044 condenastjohansens.com/lapinha Located in south Brazil, surrounded by a sub-tropical forest and an organic farm, this award-winning destination spa provides a holistic experience of wellbeing. A multi-disciplinary team, excellent hotelier standards, warm Brazilian culture and European heritage all converge here. Not eligible for reader offer.
T R AVELLER AD VERT ISEM EN T FEAT U RE
LA VERANDA RESORT PHU QUOC MGALLERY
TERRA NOSTRA GARDEN HOTEL
TELUNAS PRIVATE ISLAND
BY SOFITEL, PHU QUOC ISLAND, VIETNAM
RIAU ISLANDS, INDONESIA
+84 077 3982 988 condenastjohansens.com/laveranda Rediscover the elegance of colonial Indochine on Vietnam’s most picturesque isle, Phu Quoc. This 19th-century seaside mansion, set in lush botanical gardens, is a luxury beachfront boutique resort with 70 well-appointed rooms, an organic spa and ﬁne-dining restaurants ideal for romantic getaways, spa vacations and family holidays. Not eligible for reader offer.
+351 296 549 090 condenastjohansens.com/terranostra A unique boutique hotel in the largest and most breathtaking botanical garden of the Azores, Terra Nostra Garden Hotel features a volanco-fed outdoor thermal swimming pool set at a constant 38°C. Surrounded by one-of-a-kind ﬂora, with species you cannot ﬁnd anywhere else in the world, experience the lush mysticism and magic of São Miguel Island.
+62 811 7710951 condenastjohansens.com/telunas Hidden in the Riau Islands, 50km from Singapore, Telunas Private Island awaits you. Experience the sunrise from your over-water Sea Villa, refresh with delectable meals and an island beverage at the Sand Bar, and rejuvenate at the newly built spa. Not eligible for reader offer.
INTERCONTINENTAL SAMUI BAAN TALING NGAM
THE BAKER HOUSE 1650
RESORT, KOH SAMUI, THAILAND
NEW YORK/LONG ISLAND, USA
+66 7742 9100 condenastjohansens.com/intercontinentalsamui This exclusive enclave has 79 Thai-inspired villas and rooms, all with uninterrupted views over the Gulf of Thailand. The private beach, seven swimming pools, awardwinning spa, private-butler serivce and beachfront restaurant all come together to create Koh Samui’s ultimate luxury experience. Quote ‘Condé Nast Johansens’ to enjoy US$100 resort credit when staying a minimum of three nights.
+39 06 58 330 733 condenastjohansens.com/garibaldi Tucked away in Rome’s ancient Trastevere quarter, Buonanotte Garibaldi is a luxurious and cosy three-bedroom guest house. Owned by textile artist Luisa Longo, the property features sophisticated hand-painted organzas, silks and taffetas, and a charming Mediterranean-styled courtyard and terrace.
+1 631 324 4081 condenastjohansens.com/bakerhouse A previous winner of the Condé Nast Johansens Most Excellent Inn Award, The Baker House 1650’s ivy-covered walls and formal English gardens create a distinctive European feel. State-of-the-art amenities abound and include three swimming pools and an inviting spa. Additional luxury accommodation is available in the Baker Carriage House.
NITA LAKE LODGE
MILAIDHOO ISLAND MALDIVES
BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA
BAA ATOLL, REPUBLIC OF MALDIVES
+62 361 730402 condenastjohansens.com/luna2studiotel Renowned for award-winning and personalised services, Luna2 Studiotel is a chic, ultra-modern alternative when staying along Seminyak beach. Featuring 14 spacious studio rooms, the intimate Orbit restaurant, a 25-metre pool, private cinema and underground nightclub, Luna2 Studiotel promises a cosmic guest experience.
+1 888 755 6482 condenastjohansens.com/nitalakelodge Nestled on the shores of a glacier-fed lake, just a short walk from the base of Whistler Mountain, Nita Lake Lodge comprises oversized suites, unique dining and an award-winning spa. Discover how Nita’s genuine service with a personal touch will elevate your Whistler experience.
+960 665 4441 condenastjohansens.com/milaidhoo Milaidhoo is a boutique luxury resort in the Baa Atoll’s UNESCO biosphere reserve, close to Hanifaru Bay. This is the perfect choice for nature lovers where the surrounding house reef is known as an outstanding snorkelling and diving site in its own right.
ORIGINS SAFARIS AUTHENTIC AFRICAN EXPERIENCES SINCE 1963.
At Origins Safaris we are passionate about ensuring a unique and authentic safari that suits your requirements. A holiday to an African destination is a powerful experience full of excitement, adventure, exploration, romance and raw simplicity; whether you want exclusive boutique hotels with butler service & helicopter rides or the simple yet true heart of African adventure and wildlife. Origins Safaris can make your dreams come true. We are so much more than just a travel broker - our professionalism and reliability means that we go the all important extra mile, to make sure your dream safari (whether on the beach or in the bush) is safe, memorable, educational and most of all, great fun.
Tel: +254-(0)20 2042695-7 or +254-(0)20 2710171-2 DOU!PSJHJOTBGBSJTDPNtXXXPSJHJOTBGBSJTDPN XXXGBDFCPPLDPNPSJHJOTBGBSJT
PHOTOGRAPH: JODY TODD
TRAVELLER EVENTS THE INSIDE TRACK ON THIS MONTH’S HAPPENINGS
THE PARTIES, LAUNCHES AND TICKETS TO BOOK FOR INFORMATION ON FUTURE EVENTS VISIT CNTRAVELLER.COM/EVENTS January/February 2017 Condé Nast Traveller 191
Arthur Plattner & Lucas Pisani
Dana Gers & Sandra Choi
Natasha Duffield & Craig Markham
Emel Turner & Paula Richards
Ed Grant & Chloe Delevingne
Tara Agace, Greg Williams & Ortensia Visconti
Filled with vintage globes and Jamie Aston ﬂowers, Maison Assouline in London was the setting for the launch of Condé Nast Traveller’s ﬁrst ever book, Chic Stays: love letters to the world’s most beautiful hotels written by our favourite wanderers, including Soﬁa Coppola and Eddie Redmayne. Guests sipped Moët & Chandon Champagne and CIROC vodka cocktails with Fever-Tree soda water, and ate canapés by Koﬂer & Kompanie. Alice Temperley and Erdem were among the contributors eager for a ﬁrst look at the big, bright coffee-table book.
Melda Bur & Tom Bartlett
Laurent Feniou & Prosper Assouline
CHIC STAYS: CONDÉ NAST TRAVELLER’S FAVOURITE PEOPLE ON THEIR FAVOURITE PLACES: BUY IT NOW FOR £55 AT AMAZON.CO.UK
Countess of Burlington & Vassi Chamberlain
Pete Winterbottom & Matthew Buck
Adam Browne & Tom Konig (holding Arthur the dog) Hugh Robertson
Melinda Stevens & Jaisal Singh Charles Delevingne
Thomasina Miers & Adrian Harris Earl of Burlington & Antonia Bury 192 Condé Nast Traveller January/February 2017
Gherardo Gaetani Dell’Aquila D’Aragona & Marie-Louise Scio
PHOTOGRAPHS: HUGO BURNAND
James Cook & Poppy Delevingne
JOIN CONDÉ NAST TRAVELLER’S MEMBERS CLUB TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS MONTH’S SPECIAL OFFERS FROM HEALING HOLIDAYS, BRITISH AIRWAYS AND AVIS*
Healing Holidays is offering a 10% discount on any seven-night holistic detox programme at the sublime Absolute Sanctuary on the beautiful Thai island of Koh Samui. Plus, receive two additional nights and complimentary upgrade to a deluxe room, as well as a postural analysis and personal Pilates session. Call 020 3031 3838; email info@ healingholidays.co.uk or visit healingholidays.co.uk/ absolutesanctuary and quote CN018. Book by 06 February 2017. Subject to availability. Terms & conditions apply.
Save 20% on a seven-night stay at the ﬁve-star Fairmont Banff Springs, from £1,129 per person including ﬂights with British Airways Holidays. Set in the heart of Banff National Park, this is Canada’s world-famous ‘Castle in the Rockies’, with golf and incredible skiing, and lavish treatments in the spa. Visit ba.com/banff or talk to a British Airways Canada travel specialist on 0344 493 0122. Valid for travel 16 January – 01 February & 17 – 30 April 2017. Book between 15 December 2016 – 31 January 2017. Subject to availability. Terms & conditions apply.
Hit the open road with award-winning car-rental expert Avis, which is offering readers seven days’ rental for the price of ﬁve across hundreds of European cities, airports and country towns in Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. Book online at avis.co.uk/condenast. Subject to availability and change. Terms & conditions apply.
EASY WAYS TO SUBSCRIBE BY PHONE 0844 848 5202 (REF CCT16334) OR CNTRAVELLER.COM/SUBSCRIPTIONS *Condé Nast Publications Ltd accepts no responsibility for any of the Members Club offers. Terms and conditions apply
CONDÉ NAST TRAVELLER INVITES YOU TO AN EVENING WITH
KENTON COOL THE 12-TIME EVEREST MOUNTAINEER WHO WILL ATTEMPT TO BECOME THE FIRST PERSON TO SCALE THE WORLD'S THREE HIGHEST PEAKS IN THREE MONTHS
BOOK NOW: TRAVELLERS-TALES.EVENTBRITE.CO.UK Come and meet trailblazing adventurer Kenton Cool in conversation with Condé Nast Traveller’s David Annand at Mr Fogg’s Residence in London. Our Traveller’s Tales series gives you the chance to hear behind-the-scenes stories from some of the world’s most fascinating explorers in an intimate setting. Cool has helped Sir Ranulph Fiennes overcome his fear of heights by leading him to the summit of Mount Everest, forged new paths on a never-before-climbed route on Annapurna III, and was the ﬁrst British man to scale Everest in the wake of last year’s devastating earthquake. He has also written an autobiography, One Man’s Everest, which details his ongoing struggle since shattering both heel bones in 1996 after falling 12ft from a cliff-face in Wales. The injury still limits his mobility after long days on the mountain, sometimes forcing him to move around snowy peaks on his hands and knees, but has yet to curb his ambitions.
6–8PM, MONDAY 6 FEBRUARY 2017 MR FOGG’S RESIDENCE, 15 BRUTON LANE, LONDON W1J 6JD
LAURA FOWLER, ONLINE EDITOR ‘THERE’S SOME INEFFABLE MAGIC AT WORK IN THE DYLAN, RIGHT WHERE YOU WANT TO BE ON AMSTERDAM’S KEIZERSGRACHT' 194 Condé Nast Traveller January/February 2017
PHOTOGRAPH: MARTIN HARTLEY
Tickets are £45 per person and include two cocktails, canapés and a goodie bag
QUICK-FIRE QUESTIONS Strangest meal? ‘During the cocktail hour at the Explorers Club dinner in New York there was a table groaning with crazy canapés: roasted scorpions, dried tarantula, barbecued snake. I got stuck in.’ Never travel without? ‘Stripey, a stuffed mouse that has been up the summit of every mountain I’ve ever climbed.’ Best souvenir? ‘Red-hot chilli paste bought from a roadside truck stop in Bhutan. It’s about to run out, and I’m gutted.’
All-time hero? ‘The famous British mountaineer Sir Chris Bonington; many years ago he published a big coffee-table book that inspired me to start climbing.’ Travel hit list? ‘I’ve never been to Antarctica, or Tierra del Fuego, and I’d love to go to both.’ Desert-island read? ‘After Everest by Howard Somervell. He was on the 1922 and 1924 Everest expeditions and worked as a missionary doctor in India in the 1920s and 1930s. Everyone talks about Mallory but he was arguably the better all-round climber of his day.’
DAVID ANNAND, MEN'S EDITOR ‘SET IN THE VERDANT SPLENDOUR OF THE SRI LANKAN HILLS, CEYLON TEA TRAILS IS SIMPLY THE BEST PLACE ON EARTH FOR A G&T'
In a secluded corner of Zakynthos island, Porto Zante Villas & Spa is quietly winning some of the world’s top travel awards. Such accolades come as no surprise at all to those who have already discovered its magic
odest. Personal. Utterly charming. These are the thoughts that spring to mind when it comes to Porto Zante Villas & Spa. Modest, because despite being voted one of the World's Best Family Hotels by Condé Nast Traveller; Top 100 Hotels of the World by Hideaways and Europe’s Leading Villa Resort by the World Travel Awards, this ﬁve-star hotel, tucked away on the Greek island of Zakynthos, remains a wonderfully discreet hideaway dedicated to the privacy of its
guests. Personal, because although it has been the choice of famous clientele, including heads of state, business whizzes and international artists, over the years this member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World has never lost sight of its essence as a boutique luxury hotel, while quietly treating every guest like royalty. And as for utterly charming: where do we begin?
world class Perhaps it is Porto Zante’s divine location, edging the sands of a secluded private bay, overlooking the island’s famously cobalt waters. Perhaps it is the huge, worldclass luxury villas, set so close to the sea you can hear the waves lapping as you drift off to sleep. Perhaps it’s down to the fact that each of these beautiful havens positively ooze individual character, decorated and furnished with selected pieces of Armani Casa and Gervasoni and paintings of prominent Greek artists, while also coming bedecked with everything from Bang & Olufsen entertainment systems, Christoﬂe (Paris) cutlery and glasses, Bernardaud design porcelain and Bulgari guest amenities. Not to mention each one having a private pool and, in many, a stretch of private beach – perfect for lazing away the day away under the island’s cerulean skies. Or perhaps it’s the fact that these are hideaway villas you really can hide away in, as a couple or with
your family – a rare treat in a hotel. You don’t even have to emerge to enjoy the exquisite Greek and Mediterranean cuisine (there is, naturally, 24-hour ﬁve-star hotel service complementing the inviting Club House Restaurant and Bar) – or to enjoy one of the hedonistic head-to-toe spa treatments.
the natural choice Having said that, the hotel’s waterfront Spa & Thalassotherapy (for which, incidentally, Porto Zante was also awarded Greece’s Leading Hotel Spa at the World Travel Awards in 2015) is worth making the break for. Think over 20 spa therapies inspired by Greek nature and the power of aromatherapy, administered al fresco in front of the Ionian Sea. Alternatively, for those who prefer to head a little further aﬁeld, Zakynthos is an island that abounds with alternative zen-inducing moments. Simply walking atop one of its white-cliffed peninsulas, set against a palette of electric-blue seas and azure skies, will leave you breathless. Head onwards and you could stumble upon sleepy Venetian villages; picnic on Shipwreck (Navagio) Beach (acclaimed as one of the world’s best beaches); head out to Turtle Island, a protected home to sea turtles; explore the Blue
T RAVELLER PROM OT ION
Caves; or wow the kids – and yourself – with a visit to Ancient Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games. Water sports and snorkelling off the hotel’s beach; horse riding, private cruises to secluded areas of the island, day excursions to nearby Kefalonia, cycling, diving, helicopter tours and even big game ﬁshing: Zakynthos is a natural playground for old and young alike. For the really young, Porto Zante’s Kids Corner – complete with new playground – will entertain little guests. And for the ultimate in authentic Greek experiences, take an early morning boat trip out with the local ﬁsherman, Mr Nikos, to help catch the fresh ﬁsh for the hotel’s guests that day. Utterly charming, indeed.
royal appointment This summer Porto Zante added new Royal Villas to its villa selection. For further information or for reservations, please call + 30 210 8218640 or 020 8882 6767 from the UK; e-mail reservations@ portozante.com, or visit the website portozante.com
Images clockwise from far left: View of Porto resort; Pool villa at Porto Zante; Gateway to the pool area; Porto Zante is a paradise for water sports; Pool villa sitting room; Pool villa bedroom interior. Centre left: Shipwreck Beach (also known as Navagio Beach). Centre right: Seafood par excellence at the Club House Restaurant
When it comes to making travel plans, there’s no more important decision than your honeymoon. It’s the stamp in your passport that marks the beginning of your greatest love story. There are no rules when it comes to booking, except choosing a destination that ignites childish excitement in both of you. Whatever your travel nectar might be: toasting your future with a ﬁne Sauvignon in a sun-dappled Spanish ﬁeld, bedding down in a chic chalet or bumping around in the back of a dusty Land Rover in the savannah, this section has it covered. From ﬁercely handsome home-grown hotels to far-ﬂung lust-worthy beach retreats (did someone say ‘over-villa with retractable roof?’), there’s no limit to the fun you can have while dialling up the amour – unlimited calories for starters once the big day is over... Short on time? A minimoon to Marrakech or Megève provides a deliciously exotic jolt. Been saving up for this moment your entire life? Let us introduce you to the ‘mega-moon’: an off-the-charts no-expense-spared trip to otherworldly lands such as Madagascar and Bora Bora. Herewith the most romantic hotels on the planet...
IN ASSOCIATION WITH
Aragu Restaurant and Cru Lounge, Velaa Private Island, Maldives
to traditional markets, ornate temples and golden
Thailand’s glorious swathes of golden sands draped in
Buddhas. From Phuket, traditional longtail boats or
palm trees have merited an almost iconic status,
ferries carry you off to explore nearby islands: Koh
gracing magazines around the globe. On the mainland,
Lanta’s eclectic shops, colourful sea gypsy villages and
world-famous resorts include fashionable Hua Hin.
National Marine Park; Phi Phi’s beach parties,
Eastwards, the warm waters of the Gulf of Thailand lap
charismatic macaques and 50-metre snorkelling
he ﬂowers are ordered, the guest list is agreed,
at the tranquil shores of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and
visibility; the evocative limestone outcrops and caves
the menu is set; you’ve even written your vows.
Koh Tao (ideal for a summer honeymoon); to the west,
of myriad smaller islands; or Khao Sok National Park
All that is left is the honeymoon: that heavenly
Phuket, Krabi, Koh Phi Phi (of The Beach fame) and the
for a night in a luxury tented lodge at Elephant Hills,
‘alone time’ when at last it’s just the two of you.
dreamy Similans (all perfect following a winter
with its eponymous residents nearby. Alternatively, the
It has to be perfect. But one of you wants ﬁve-
wedding) dot the Andaman Sea.
easterly island of Samui is home to everything from
star pampering in a private pool villa; the other wants
charming ﬁshing villages to bustling beach bars, vast
some off-the-beaten-track adventure. One of you
Buddha statues to Secret Buddha Gardens, while
wants to experience a truly different culture; the other
Aside from its glorious beaches, Thailand's unequivocal
Angthong National Marine Park offers a true tropical
wants to be sure of ﬁve-star cuisine night after night.
allure lies in its diversity: coastal beauty combining with
island escape. Venture north from here and you can
Where to head for a harmonious start to your married
rich culture to create a plethora of honeymoon
enjoy the sleepier Koh Phangan (sleepier, that is,
life? Top spot: Thailand.
possibilities. Phuket’s bustling ‘old town’ alone is home
except for the monthly full-moon parties) – or, for the
This page, clockwise from right: oceanfront inﬁnity pool, Anantara Rasananda; ﬂoating camp, Elephant Hills; Rayavadee, Krabi; villa with ocean panorama pool, Six Senses Koh Yao Noi. Opposite page, clockwise from main: Phranang Peninsula; residents at Elephant Hills; a longtail boat; Wat Arun, Bangkok
TURQUOISE HOLIDAYS’ TOP ISLAND PICKS QA 30-minute boat ride from Phuket, within the limestone monoliths of Phang Nga Bay, Six Senses on Kho Yao Noi offers world-class service, breathtaking bay views and a private pool villa you’ll never want to leave. Seven nights from £1,485pp QFor those looking for a bit more going on locally, the stunning Rayavadee in Krabi is perfectly positioned just steps from Railay Beach story. Alternatively, in northern Thailand, the
– giving couples the opportunity to eat on the
charming cities of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai
beach as well as in the privacy of their suite.
offer their own regional culture, night markets
Seven nights from £1,530pp
and ‘old city’ life. And for those wanting to
QAnantara Rasananda on Koh Phangan is
explore truly off the beaten track, the
idyllic for summertime honeymoons. Enjoy walks
surrounding countryside beckons with rolling
up the golden sandy beach, explore the jungle,
ﬁelds, jungle-clad hills and traditional hillside
indulge in delicious Thai food, kick back and
villages. After which, what better than to head
enjoy the start of married life together in
back to your boutique resort for another
paradise. Seven nights from £1,265pp
heavenly Thai massage.
QTailor-made itinerary: Thailand is best experienced as part of a multi-centre itinerary. A 14-night honeymoon incorporating the bustling
ultimate getaway, the even sleepier Koh Tao boasts
HOW TO GET THERE
city of Bangkok the charming Chiang Mai and
some of the ﬁnest diving in the world.
Voted Condé Nast Traveller’s ‘Best Tour Operator 2015’, Turquoise is a family-run company at the forefront of luxury travel, whose focus on those special touches and unique experiences ensures the ultimate honeymoon. With an inside knowledge of every destination featured, its team of specialists can personally recommend itineraries and hotels – from luxury boutique to international brand – to create a unique honeymoon to suit every individual style and budget. Turquoise Holidays also offers a complimentary Gift List Service, run by a full-time team, blending a traditional gift list with travel tailored to your honeymoon. For a free consultation in the London or Beaconsﬁeld ofﬁces, where you can start planning your once-in-alifetime honeymoon over a glass of champagne, call 01494 678400, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit turquoiseholidays.co.uk
a week on one of the stunning southern beaches
INNER BEAUTY The true draw of Thailand, however, is the ease with which you can ﬂy (direct, by the way) and ﬂop, recover from your wedding celebrations – and then explore the rest of the country with a network of direct internal ﬂights enabling a multi-stop experience. At the heart of the action is the bustling capital, Bangkok, a modern cityscape intersected by quiet canalside communities and dotted with the iconic temples of Wat Arun, Wat Pho and the Emerald Buddha Temple (Wat Phra Kaew). From the capital, history and nature lovers can travel out to Kanchanaburi (under two hours away), famed for the The Bridge on the River Kwai
starts from £2,000 per person including international ﬂights and private transfers.
To book an appointment to meet the Turquoise team or discuss your no-obligation honeymoon itinerary to Thailand, please call 01494 678400 or email email@example.com
T RAVELLER PROM OT ION
Come-hither city hotels – the perfect start to married life
The Peninsula Paris A palatial 19th-century hotel ﬁlled with modcons, this historic landmark was where Joyce met Proust and where Gershwin composed ‘An American in Paris’. Carefully restored over the course of four years by craftsmen (some of whom worked on repairs to Versailles), The Peninsula is one of the city’s ﬁnest examples of architecture. Inside, its Belle Époque good looks mix with plenty of light and space, and the lobby ﬁlled with hundreds of crystal leaves is breathtaking. Diners ﬂock to L’Oiseau Blanc located on the roof as much for its menu as its smashing views – from the Sacré-Coeur to the Eiffel Tower – and this year (2017) sees the introduction of ‘the most exclusive table in
Clockwise from top: view of the Eiffel Tower from The Peninsula Paris; The American Bar, The Savoy, London; Katara Suite at The Peninsula Paris
Paris’ – a table for two accessible via a private staircase. Frankly, the whole place is a recipe for indecent behaviour. Honeymoon high: Touring the city in the hotel’s 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II. Room key: The Katara Suite has the feel of an elegant Parisian apartment. peninsula.com
The Savoy, London Overﬂowing with drama and Edwardian elegance, The Savoy is where royals, heads of state and visiting A-listers lay their heads (Frank Sinatra, Christian Dior and Katharine Hepburn among them). Think lashings of gold leaf, perfectly plumped velvet cushions and swathes of canary-yellow silk. Take a moonlit stroll along the Embankment before turning in for Pickering Place cocktails at the hotel’s gentriﬁed American Bar – where Elton John
VA VA VROOM Planning a British honeymoon? For just £20, Avis will deliver your rental car directly to your door. The Prestige Collection features classic Porsches, sleek Jags and convertible Mercedes. avis.co.uk
is known to swing by and belt out a tune from time to time. Room key: One-bedroom River View Suite. fairmont.com
J A M A I C A
A N T I G U A
S A I N T
L U C I A
B A H A M A S
G R E N A D A
B A R B A D O S
let the HONEYMOON begin
A 5-Star Luxury Included® honeymoon at Sandals Resorts is as close to perfect as you’ll ﬁnd. Pristine beaches. Exotic islands. Decadently romantic suites, many with private pools and butlers. Endless land and water sports, including unlimited scuba diving* and golf ^. 5-Star Global GourmetTM Dining at up to 16 outstanding restaurants. Unlimited premium spirits and Robert Mondavi Twin Oaks wine served 24/7. Plus beach parties and authentic “island” entertainment. It’s all included, all unlimited, all the time. So take a closer look at Sandals and discover the perfect honeymoon for two people in love. *Free for certiﬁed divers. ^Mandatory caddies at cost.
LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED COME IN-STORE TO SEE OUR SANDALS SPECIALISTS MAKE AN APPOINTMENT AT SANDALS.CO.UK/STORE ALTERNATIVELY, Call 0800 742 742 Visit Sandals.co.uk • See Your Local Travel Agent
UP TO 16 GOURMET RESTAURANTS PER RESORT
UNLIMITED LAND & WATER SPORTS INCLUDED
T RAVELLER PROM OT ION Soho House, Barcelona The latest ‘House’ to ﬂing open its doors, Soho House Barcelona is located in the city’s Gothic quarter and has 57 rooms, two restaurants, a Cowshed spa, cinema, and best of all, a pose-tastic rooftop pool. Featuring all the usual Soho House trimmings: vintage Chesterﬁelds, burnished brass lighting and staff who wouldn’t look out of place on a catwalk, this seductive Spanish bolthole has all the qualities for a sizzling speedy city moon. Be the ﬁrst to check it out… Room key: One of the corner suites with a balcony overlooking the marina at Port Vell. sohohousebarcelona.com Beldi, Marrakech A mass of 15,000 sweet-scented rose bushes surround this rustic country club turned hotel. Rooms are stripped back and simple, ﬁtted out with stripy Berber bedcovers, giant terracotta urns and antique Moroccan chests. No minibars, nothing whirrs or blinks. Everything, from the mud-based pisé walls to the polished concrete ﬂoors, is inspired by the
Clockwise from this image: Soho House Barcelona; the roses at Beldi, Marrakech; a bride at Abadia Retuerta LeDomaine, Spain
European grande dames and lesser-known bohemian beauties – with none of the jet lag Abadia Retuerta LeDomaine, Spain A wine-lover’s fantasy, this converted 12thcentury abbey two hours north of Madrid comes with its own award-winning vineyard, cellars crammed with Grand Cru plus a topnotch Michelin-starred restaurant. There’s actually a sommelier installed in the spa – ‘I’ll have the Sauvignon with my deep-tissue massage please...’ Rooms are the essence of religious cool, hung with century-old Christian tableaux and zingy Miró prints, and because there are only 30 of them, the hotel never feels busy. The surrounding pine-scented terrain is ripe for hiking, biking and helicopter rides, or if your idea of a good time is stretching out by the pool, LeDomaine’s is hard to beat. ledomaine.es
ancient Berbers. Dining is a highlight. Plates, tablecloths, glasses, even the bread and the olive oil, is hand-made on the premises: Beldi has its own recycled glass factory, pottery and embroidery atelier plus a hefty veggie garden. Arrange a private candlelit dinner in the greenhouse (jazz pianist optional) or dinner à deux among the roses. Nothing quite compares. Honeymoon high: Beldi’s sister hotel Kasbah Beldi is surrounded by 15 hectares of grapefruit trees on the banks of Lake Takerkoust (45 minutes away). Head over for a picnic with wondrous views of the Atlas Mountains. Room key: Number 38 is larger than most and comes with a private terrace and outdoor bathtub. beldicountryclub.com
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hard to fault the quirky opulence and sheer vibrant wonder of the place. Boudoir-like suites come with fawn leather sofas, ceiling-to-ﬂoor mirrored walls and trademark Starck lighting. Elsewhere, you’ll ﬁnd an impressive modern art collection, private cinema and cocoonlike Clarins spa. For those with a spirit of adventure, the Royal Monceau is the most exciting address in Paris. rafﬂes.com Room key: The pink and grey Presidential Suite (designed by Philippe Starck). Villa San Tommaso, Sicily Want to steer clear of other honeymooners? Hole up in this rustic private villa and you won’t have to deal with anyone else – except
Clockwise from top: Arany Spa swimming pool at Park Hyatt, Vienna; Villa San Tommaso, Sicily; Katara Presidential Suite at Royal Monceau, Paris; Royal Penthouse Suite at Park Hyatt
Park Hyatt Vienna Occupying a former banking HQ a stone’s throw from Vienna’s oldest cafés and boutiques, this statuesque hotel is one of the grandest in the city. Soaring marble columns in the former cashiers hall spell real wow factor, and rooms are perfectly polished with parquet ﬂoors, gilded bathrooms and views of the baroque buildings lining Am Hof square. At teatime, the hotel’s Art Deco
café comes to life with some of the prettiest patisserie in the city (raspberry éclairs and pistachio-nougat gateaux), and after 6pm, oysters and Champagne are rolled out. After exploring Vienna’s boulevards, museums and art galleries, the spa beckons. And what a spa. With a wink to its former incarnation, what was once the bank’s vault is now a glittering swimming pool lined with real gold tiles. Honeymoon high: Riding a ﬁaker (horse-drawn carriage) through the streets of Vienna. vienna.park.hyatt.com Royal Monceau, Paris In a city known for romance, there’s no shortage of seductive hotels but the Royal Monceau, walking distance from the Champs Elysées, is a cut above. First opened in 1928, it’s since been spruced up by Philippe Starck and become the go-to for well-heeled Europeans. Home to Matsuhisa Paris and II Carpaccio, two of the city’s top restaurants – and with pastry legend Pierre Hermé installed in the kitchen – this is one place you’ll need to loosen your belt. For design aﬁcionados, it’s
that is for your private chef, oh, and the maid (who comes daily). With a huge pool all to yourselves, terraced gardens, a sprinkling of palm trees and a hot tub, this bijou villa close to the Sicilian city of Syracuse has ‘do not disturb’ written all over it. Honeymoon high: Climbing Mount Etna for a sunset aperitif. thethinkingtraveller.com
Honeymoon in Antigua and Barbuda for an unforgettable taste of authentic Caribbean hospitality
t’s no surprise this sun-drenched, candy-bright Caribbean paradise is renowned as a classic honeymoon haven: with palm-fringed, peaceful bays and warm turquoise seas, this place is bliss for beach lovers. However, with a huge array of luxe hotels, a melting pot of colour, culture, incredible food and historic sites, there’s so much more to these super cool Caribbean isles.
After an easy seven-and-a-half hour ﬂight from the UK you land in the twin-island state of Antigua and Barbuda. The captivating thing about the vibrant island of Antigua is that it heaves with intriguing things to see and do at every turn. Wind your way along the roads and wonder at the luscious tropical ﬂora spilling out onto the twisty lanes. The sweet-hued houses that dot the hillside come in every shade from pretty pastel pink to zingy yellow – all a perfect contrast to the brilliant green landscape. Native and unique to the island, are the ﬁelds of miniature Antigua black pineapples – if you’re lucky, you’ll pass a friendly local selling them roadside. Make sure you try some – they are totally scrumptious. Through jungly palms and banana trees laden with fruit, you’ll chance upon a 19th-century grey stone church, turn the next corner and ﬁnd a tumbledown 17th-century sugar mill – this place is steeped in fascinating history.
A visit to English Harbour (within the UNESCO World Heritage Site area) is a must: a naval yard for warships in the 18th century and home to Nelson’s Dockyard (named after the infamous Horatio Nelson who was stationed here in 1784) – it’s an enthralling snapshot into Georgian navy life and the heritage of the island. On Friday night, the Fish Fry is obligatory – foodies will love the crab cakes, coconut shrimp and conch fritters. Food really is epic here: be sure to pop to Turners Bar for a toes-in-sand picnic feast of curried lobster and whole red snapper. For a jolly steel-drum-spectacle, head to Shirley Heights on Sunday evenings. From 4pm, on a little ridge high above English Harbour, the Lookout Bar hosts a fun-ﬁlled evening of steel pan and reggae bands with a barbeque serving all sorts of delicious jerk marinated meat, washed down with oodles of local rum
and coconut water. The atmosphere’s electric, views are magical and the impossibly clear night sky twinkles with a zillion stars. Antigua offers some of the best sailing in the Caribbean. Come April, the world’s mega yachts descend upon English Harbour for the Caribbean’s famous Sailing Week and boat lovers should charter a yacht to ‘chase the race’ for a fully-loaded must-see sailing marvel. It’s a big year for anniversaries in 2017 with the 30th Classic Yacht Regatta in July and the 50th Anniversary Sailing Week in April – May, plus back on the island, the much anticipated Antigua Carnival in July – August will celebrate 60 years. And there’s so much to do on dry land: hike the trail to Boggy Point and gape at the awe-inspiring views. Shoppers will love Heritage Quay’s arcade at St John’s – the island’s capital. Redcliffe Quay, complete with restored townhouses, brightly painted shutters and a myriad of local cafés is worth a visit too. Yes, Antigua is charmingly laid back, but there’s also luxury in abundance and heaps of fabulous places to stay. Sitting alongside a peaceful cove, you’ll ﬁnd the seriously stylish Carlisle Bay – the suites are gorgeous and the food fantastic. Hermitage Bay, a collection of 17 cute wooden cottages set amid sweet-scented
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tropical blooms and jaw-dropping views over the butter-soft beach is the perfect spot for romance. Located on its own little island, a seven-minute boat ride from Antigua, you’ll ﬁnd the fancy Jumby Bay: a dreamy little place surrounded by a glittery turquoise lagoon. The beaches are something special and with a whopping 365 – one for each day of the year – you are quite literally spoilt for choice. From the prettiest hidden bays with water so perfectly clear and shallow, to wild beaches nestled among jagged rocks and roaring oceans; there really is a beach for your every whim. Dickenson Bay, a mile-long stretch of oyster-white sand and delightfully warm water, is wonderfully lively with all sorts of buzzy beach bars and hip hangouts. For sensational sunset views and dazzling white sand, go to the remote south-west corner of the island where you’ll stumble across Ffrye’s Bay – a hidden gem. But for true seclusion, sister-island Barbuda, fringed with pristine sands is sleepier and well worth a pit-stop. Go to visitantiguabarbuda.com to ﬁnd special offers, the Beach Bar Trail, the Excursions Guide & the Events Calendar.
Opposite page top: plunge pool and deck at Hermitage Bay. Bottom: Hobie Cats at Jolly Beach. This page, clockwise from top left: Shirley Heights; hummingbird in the trees; colonial downtown St John’s; the white sands and turquoise waters of Antiguan beaches; a cottage at Cocobay. Centre: an Antiguan carnival goer
WHERE ARE YOU? Win a seven-night stay at Hermitage Bay on an all-inclusive basis including ﬂights with British Airways. Made up of 30 spacious, freestanding suites, and ﬂanked by over 140 acres of lush undeveloped land, guests of Hermitage Bay truly feel as if they have been transported to their own private paradise. Visit cntraveller.com/competitions from 4 January 1 February 2017 to enter. Terms & conditions apply.
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Luxury trips on the wild side
Alila Jabal Akhdar, Oman Basking in splendid isolation and enveloped by spectacular canyons, gorges and rock formations, this off-the-radar refuge is paradise for hikers and nature-lovers. Sculpted from local ophiolite rock, the resort has a romantic fortress-like feel and its cliff-hugging pool has views one can never tire of. Omani touches abound, from the rattan-clad ceilings in the bedrooms to the curling pale-grey perfume of frankincense burning in the lobby, and each of the villas (of which there are 78) comes with a large private terrace overlooking a vast rocky abyss. Out of this world. Honeymoon high: Each May, 7,000 damask rose shrubs turn the valleys a vivid shade of pink. Take a scenic hike to one of the ancient hill farms and load up on rosewater. alilahotels.com
Boulders, Arizona Dotted with yucca, agave and paloverde trees plus endless varieties of cacti, the Sonoran Desert is one of the greenest in the world, and this quiet retreat provides the perfect
bouncing-off point. Particularly magical in the evenings, when the desert sun casts a blushing-orange glow across the 12-millionyear-old boulders in its backyard, Boulders’ scenery is hard to beat. Hikes, moonlit bicycle tours, hot-air balloon rides and horse-riding are just a few of the high jinks on offer for active types, and agave wraps and facials await lounge-lovers in the spa. Promise Rock is the place to go to watch the sunset; time it right and a butler will appear out of nowhere with dinner for two. Room key: Opt for a private casita – they come with mesquite wood-ﬁre burners. theboulders.com Le Chalet Zannier, Megève Nothing beats the romance of the Alps: majestic Mont Blanc looming in the distance and ‘champagne’ air so clean it gives you a
Room key: Suite 2. lechaletzannier.com Mufasa, Lake Malawi Sail up Lake Malawi and you’ll be leaving the modern world behind you completely – you’ll be lucky to even get a phone signal. Mufasa, your home for the duration, is a 38-foot catamaran and the lake’s only live-aboard vessel. Days are spent snorkelling in crystalclear, skin-softening waters, squeaking along white-sand beaches and stopping off at ﬁshing villages that have never seen tourists. The lake’s shores throw up the occasional wildly luxurious eco-lodge, of which Kaya Mawa and Clockwise from main image: private pool at Villa Jows, Alila Jabal Akhdar, Oman; Mufasa, Lake Malawi; suite at Le Chalet Zannier, Megève, France; Juniper restaurant at Alila Jabal Akhdar; Boulders, Arizona. Inset: Loisaba Tented Camp at dusk
high. With just 12 rooms spread across two charming stone-clad chalets, this bijou hotel is as cosy as it gets (Uggs are provided in all the rooms). Interiors are raw and reﬁned (stone, aged wood and smart organic linens) and with La Ferme de Mon Père – one of the hottest restaurants in town – under your roof, you needn’t stray far. Not to worry if you’re not keen skiers, everything from horse-and-carriage rides to husky excursions can be arranged.
Nkwichi Lodge are worth dropping anchor for, however sleeping on board is just as romantic, thanks to the gentle rock of the boat and the wondrous glow of the Milky Way above. danforthyachting.com Loisaba Tented Camp, Kenya This small camp comprising six tents opened last May and sits on one of Kenya’s most important elephant corridors. Game viewing
is off the charts (giraffe, zebra and wild dogs), and in between bush drives and gin and tonics, there’s ﬁshing, village trips and horse-riding to enjoy. Want to extend your trip? The camp is part of a new ‘sky safari’ circuit (skysafari.com) allowing travellers to visit Loisaba as part of a wider itinerary including Meru National Park and the Masai Mara – all by private plane. Honeymoon high: Loisaba’s bar clings to the edge of a 600ft escarpment with views all the way to Mount Kenya. Room key: Honeymoon tent (number 12) comes with its own pool. elewana.com
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COMO Parrot Cay Hotel, Turks & Caicos Entirely self-sufﬁcient (the island produces its own electricity and water), it’s perfectly acceptable to waft about like castaways here. You’ll soon ﬁnd your rhythm: rising late, downing towels on one of the island’s bone-white beaches and wading out into the shallows to keep cool. When the midday sun gets too much, there’s the heavenly spa to retreat to, (voted ‘most tranquil spa in the world’ in Condé Nast Traveller’s 2016 Gold List). Food is a highlight thanks to COMO Shambhala’s super-healthy rainbowcoloured plates, or for something a bit different, the hotel will arrange a tiki-hut dinner on the beach. Honeymoon high: When there’s a full moon, book a candlelit spa treatment under the stars. Room key: One-bedroom beach house. turquoiseholidays.co.uk Sugar Beach, St Lucia Delivering colonial Caribbean luxe with a strong dash of daring, Sugar Beach is a modern-day Romancing the Stone-esque
PA R A D I S E M O ON S Lust-worthy, ﬂy-and-ﬂop beach escapes Top: Como Parrot Cay, Turks & Caicos. Left: Cobblers Cove, Barbados
retreat. Whitewashed plantation-style villas are dotted around the hills, surrounded by ﬁcus trees, red cedars and ﬂowering heliconias, and the resort is home to one of the best treetop spas in the world. To cap things off, St Lucia’s extraordinary pitons rise from the sea seemingly book-ending the resort. This year sees Glenconner, a second white-sand beach added, providing further mileage for that barefoot post-dinner stroll…
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adorned with absurdly large ﬂowers and warm smiles at every turn. Complimentary afternoon tea (scones and Wedgwood china) is served every day and has been for the last 25 years – well worth dragging yourselves off the beach for – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Cobblers Cove’s charming old-fashioned ways. Honeymoon high: A trip to Bridgetown Market with chef Leo to pick up ingredients for a dinner à deux. Room key: The Camelot suite on the top ﬂoor of the hotel’s main plantation house comes with a rooftop terrace and plunge pool. cobblerscove.com
Honeymoon high: Sailing around the pitons aboard Sugar Beach’s 42ft yacht, Manatee. turquoiseholidays.co.uk Cobblers Cove, Barbados Candy-cane striped umbrellas, wooden ceiling fans and palm-tree prints are just a few of the things that make this hotel so iconic. Expect classy colonial architecture, rum cocktails
1. ESSENTIALS TRY-ME KIT, LIZ EARLE, £24.75, UK.LIZEARLE.COM 2. FICO DI AMALFI SHOWER GEL, ACQUA DI PARMA, £31 FOR 200ML, UK.ACQUADIPARMA.COM 3. VIRGIN ISLAND WATER, CREED, £160 FOR 75ML, CREED BOUTIQUE, LONDON W1 AND CREEDFRAGRANCES.CO.UK 4. REJUVENATE INTENSIVE BODY BALM, AESOP, £25 FOR 120ML, AESOP.COM 5. WOMEN’S TRAVEL LUXURIES SET, MOLTON BROWN, £40, MOLTONBROWN.CO.UK
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On the hunt for ultimate paradise perfection? With pristine beaches, fabulous food and vast over-water villas, it’s no wonder Gili Lankanfushi tops the honeymoon hitlist
Clockwise from top: view from a hammock; Business Class with Qatar Airways; Gili Lankanfushi at sunset; romantic bath with a view
erched on a tiny coral island in the North Malé Atoll, surrounded by inﬁnite swathes of slick white sand and crystal-clear waters you’ll ﬁnd Gili Lankanfushi. The Maldives are renowned for their breathtaking beauty and this place is no exception. The 45 over-water villas are effortlessly chic – think natural wood and glass, over-water hammocks and sprawling panoramic views. The standalone Crusoe Residences are peaceful and private – just the place to hang out and while away dreamy sun-soaked days looking out at the luminous sparkly sea, Champagne in hand.
For a serious spoil, choose the uber-luxe Private Reserve. At 1,700 sq metres, it’s the world’s largest
over-water villa and with its own sea garden, natural coral pool and spa, you will never want to leave. However, if you do, there’s a myriad of activities to try including watersports and yoga, the surf school and sensational diving. Plus, the Meera Spa is simply superb, offering holistic wellness journeys and blissfully relaxing massages.
foodie heaven From secluded meals on the beach, to a fantastic street-food market, Gili Lankanfushi is a foodie’s paradise. Head to the Overwater Bar and sip a herbal mojito made with fresh basil and mint straight from the garden, followed by a mouthwatering feast of locally caught ﬁsh. Or sneak away to the chilled underground cellar complete with over 400 wines and expert sommeliers. If it’s romance you’re after, you’ll ﬁnd it here by the bucket-load: want a sumptuous picnic on your very own private one-palm island? Done. Fancy ﬂying a seaplane to spy a secret message written on Palm
Where are you? Enter Condé Nast Traveller’s ‘Where Are You?’ competition for the chance to win your dream honeymoon to Gili Lankanfushi. The lucky couple will receive a luxury ﬁve-night stay for two in 2017, with business-class ﬂights courtesy of Qatar Airways. To enter, visit cntraveller.com/competitions from 1 December 2016 to 3 January 2017. Terms, conditions and blackout dates apply.
Beach, or booking a ‘Love Treasure Hunt’? Done. All you have to do is call upon your very own Mr Friday – a personal assistant and friend who will ﬁx your dreams in a ﬂash. Pure heaven. Gili Lankanfushi is priced from $1,385 USD per night based on two people sharing (excluding taxes). Call +960 664 0304 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, go to gili-lankanfushi.com
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Soneva Jani, Maldives This year sees the ﬁrst full year of operation for this hotly anticipated Indian Ocean escape. Tucked away in the lesser-visited Noonu Atoll, it has 25 chic villas sprinkled across ﬁve palm-strewn islands (so masses of space), but what really sets the resort apart is the technology and imagination that’s gone into the place. Villa roofs retract at the press of a button allowing the spectacular night skies in, and there are two-storey over-water villas with slides from the top deck straight into an Evian-clear lagoon. Honeymoon high: Scanning the starry skies in the Maldives’ ﬁrst overwater observatory. soneva.com
Clockwise from top: over-water villa at Soneva Jani, Maldives; Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives; dining on Palm Beach at Gili Lankanfushi; interior, over-water villa at Soneva Jani
Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives So many Maldivian resorts, so little time... This one, in the North Malé Atoll, was the ﬁrst ever all over-water villa resort and is as good as it gets. Not too large (44 villas), it has sound eco credentials and strong spa game (reiki, meditation and Tibetan singing bowls). Ride around barefoot on bicycles, snorkel with mantas and give in to your every desire at meal times – there’s nothing they can’t whip up here. Sleeping under the stars for a night, dining on a deserted island and watching movies with your toes in the sand are just a few of the things in store for honeymooners.
Honeymoon high: Dinner in Lagoon Champa, a tiny thatched hut on stilts with glass ﬂoors. Located offshore, boat required. Room key: A Crusoe Residence. gili-lankanfushi.com
GREECE CHIC Santorini, Crete, Zante and Corfu have long been associated with honeymoon romance but mainland Greece, which is much less crowded, is well worth considering. Monemvasia in the Peloponnese, for example, has a Byzantine fortress, spectacular empty beaches, limestone caves, plus crumbling underwater cities just waiting to be explored. monemvasia.gr
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Take your honeymoon to a whole new level at Blue Waters, Antigua, with the help of Caribbean specialist Turquoise Holidays hat is it that makes for a perfect honeymoon? Heavenly beaches? Tick. Glorious tropical sunsets? Tick. Delicious food? Tick. Divine suites? Tick. Blue Waters, Antigua has all of these – but this is quintessential Caribbean with some fabulously quirky twists.
So it is that heavenly beaches come in the form of sublimely soft sands and gorgeous hidden coves; glorious tropical sunsets can be experienced in private from the cliff-top Spa terrace and inﬁnity pool, complete with Champagne and canapes à deux overlooking the Caribbean Sea; three different restaurants all serve delicious cuisine – including healthy options for those on the resort’s brand-new wellness retreat by Living Retreats (1 May–31 October 2017), with daily optional activities including yoga, core exercise and cookery demonstrations. Alternatively, there are private spots aplenty for romantic picnics, from the stunning 17-acre tropical gardens to the resort’s private boat, Monterrey Blue. After which, what better than a traditional rum punch – or any other cocktail you care to ask Carolyn, Antigua’s famed mixologist, to conjure up by the beach pool. As for divine suites, Blue Water’s Cove Suites takes divine Clockwise from top: aerial view of Rock Cottage; Rock Cottage plunge pool; the view from a Deluxe Beachfront room; Cove Suite
to a whole new level. Wake up to the sound of the sea just metres from your over-sized bed, pad through your breeze-ﬁlled living area for breakfast on your whitewashed balcony and spend your days sauntering down to the beach or taking a dip in the inﬁnity pool – reserved exclusively for Cove Suite guests. Or, for the ultimate honeymoon hideaway, book the two to ﬁve bedroom Rock Cottage – set on its own headland, complete with private inﬁnity pool and plunge pool, and even your own chef for unadulterated, luxurious romance.
Reader offer A Caribbean specialist, with ﬁrst-hand knowledge of all featured hotels and destinations, the family-run Turquoise Holiday Company puts the passion and imagination back into the honeymoon travel experience. Enjoy seven nights at Blue Waters in a Cove Suite (complimentary upgrade from a Hillside Junior Suite subject to availability) on a bed & breakfast basis, from £2,499 per person, including international ﬂights and private transfers. Honeymooners will also receive VIP check-in and welcome gifts, a romantic nightly turndown service, a champagne breakfast, a ‘Sunset Champagne’ experience, a one hour couple’s massage and a private gazebo dinner for two. Contact the Turquoise team to book a no-obligation honeymoon appointment, or to receive your tailor-made honeymoon quote. Call 01494 678400, email email@example.com, or visit turquoiseholidays.co.uk
DREAMING Following a recent renovation, the fabulous Kanuhura resort is a true sanctuary for the senses. Welcome to the unveiling of an icon
hose in search of barefoot luxury need look no further – when most people think of the Maldives, they envisage over-water bungalows, dazzling turquoise waters and vast stretches of soft, white sand. That’s exactly what you’ll ﬁnd at Kanuhura. Re-opening December 2016, having undergone a multimillion pound makeover, this hidden gem has seriously set the standard. After 15 glorious years, and with
beaches in the archipelago, is a little piece of paradise. The renovations are breathtaking and with the effortlessly cool supermodel Erin Wasson as muse, Kanuhura nails ‘gypset chic’ (an on-trend mix of gipsy plus jet-set) – think natural elegance with a free-spirited vibe, all inspired by the rugged, indigenous beauty of the island. P R I S T I N E WAT E R S
The lavish Kanuhura Villas and Suites – some overwater, others beachside, ooze boho luxe; sumptuous swathes of silk, hot hued fabric and contemporary art blend ﬂawlessly with natural stone, timber and thatch raftered ceilings. The Beach and Pool Villas nestle Sun Resorts at the helm (Long Beach Golf & Spa neatly among the ﬂora and fauna of the perfectly Resort, Sugar Beach Golf & Spa Resort, La Pirogue pristine island and the Water Villas come with beautiful Resort & Spa and Ambre Resort & Spa), the refurb is semi-open bathrooms, smooth polished-stone baths, seriously slick and the whole place sparkles, but one huge monsoon showers and a private decked terrace thing remains: unrivalled access to idyllic beaches, tropical bright atolls and laid-back island living. A short with secret access to that jaw-dropping lagoon. Nature is the reason to come here. Take your pick of places to 40-minute hop from mainland Malé by private chill and marvel at the sheer prettiness of it all – from seaplane, this island, which sits smack in the middle of your own private plunge pool, freshwater inﬁnity pool the Indian Ocean and with one of the most iconic
T R AVELLER AD VERT ISEM EN T FEAT U RE This page, clockwise from right: view of Kanuhura; playing the drums; champagne by the sea; Kanuhura Beach; palm-tree swing. Centre: beach picnic. Opposite page, clockwise from main: Erin Wasson, Kanuhura gypset muse; accommodation at Kanuhura; sailing in the pristine waters
or the dreamy shores, the beaches really are palmtree-dotted perfection. The staff are present and in-tune, pre-empting your needs before you know them and making sure everything is faultless. They are on hand to help with absolutely anything and can arrange a whole host of activities for you in the blink of an eye. And, it’s all about the outdoors, so take your pick of adventures: from big-game ﬁshing and island hopping to private-island picnics and sunset cruises – there’s so much to do. With endless shoals of vividly coloured ﬁsh, manta rays, turtles and baby sharks, the Lhaviyani reef packs a serious punch – the diving is top notch but you can also snorkel or nip around on a glass-bottom boat. Thrill-seekers will love the huge number of watersports on offer, including kite surﬁng, water skiing and parasailing, while soul-searchers will adore the ultra-healing yoga, real-deal meditation and soothing stretch classes.
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Every inch of Kanuhura is catch-your-breath stunning. Meander barefoot among the jungly sand paths to one of 10 culinary experiences. Dining is diverse, with a wonderful range of restaurants including Dagas, which serves imaginative and delicious Maldivianinspired plates such as fantastically scrumptious meat and ﬁsh grilled right in front of you, all set on the powder white beach. Drift, the Jehunuhura Island Grill – accessible via super speedy boat – is just the place for a romantic rendez-vous. There’s also a sunset cruise aboard a traditional dhoni (Maldivian boat), where you can feast on caviar and freshly caught crustaceans all served with oodles of Champagne. You must try the interactive cookery demo in the Chef ’s Herb Garden and don’t miss a fabulously punchy rum cocktail (or two) at Iru, the Sunset Beach Lounge – with swings at the bar and beach rocking chairs, it’s just the place for sunset gazing. Kokaa, the Wellness Retreat & Spa, is a complete oasis of calm and the place to go to ease jet-lag weary limbs. The nature-inspired treatment menu is spot on, offering everything from mind-melting massages to all sorts of ﬁve-star facials, scrubs and wraps. You will leave with skin so supple it shines. A pure unfettered paradise. To book contact your preferred travel professional, or book online at kanuhura.com. For further information call 01753 883265
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brilliantly geared towards couples to this day. Last December saw the resort up the ante with a handful of splendid thatched over-water villas just like in the Maldives. Each one comes with butler service. Honeymoon high: Sailing down the Martha Brae River on a bamboo raft. sandals.co.uk
Sandals, Jamaica As far as all-inclusives go, Sandals Royal Caribbean Montego Bay practically wrote the rulebook. Occupying the largest stretch of powder-soft sand in northern Jamaica, this was Sandals’ very ﬁrst opening, and remains
Grand Velas Los Cabos, Mexico You could be among the ﬁrst to christen this magniﬁcent, all-inclusive resort located in hip Los Cabos. With 304 sleek suites, it’s a sprawler, but with size comes splendour – and serenity, if you have kids in tow, thanks to a brilliant kids club and separate hangout for teens. Expect luxury on tap (L’Occitane goodies in the bathroom), a handful of Clockwise from top: Sandals Royal Carribbean resort, Jamaica; Ambassador Suite at Grand Velas Los Cabos, Mexico; suite balcony at Blue Waters, Antigua; Martha Brae River raft cruise, Sandals Royal Caribbean resort
ravishing restaurants and a spa with a long list of soothing agave-based treatments. All this just 35 minutes from the airport. Honeymoon high: Whale watching around the Baja California peninsula. Room key: Presidential Suite. loscabos.grandvelas.com Blue Waters, Antigua What started as a 16-room hotel more than 50 years ago, is now one of the jazziest hotels on Antigua spanning 17 acres of prime coastline. Relaxation is the name of the game here. Really, the only decision you need to make is pool, hot tub or sea. But while it’s highly tempting to keep to yourselves 24 hours a day, the Pelican Bar’s steel band is worth emerging for, as is the manager’s weekly cocktail party. Honeymoon high: A boat trip to Prickly Pear Island, a pinprick just off the coast measuring only 100 yards across. Room key: Rock Cottage, a grand beach house set on the headland has epic ocean views, and comes with its own pool, staff and the option of a private chef. bluewaters.net
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H O T E L S T H AT D E F I N E T H E D E S T I N AT I O N ™ Boasting inspiring views of the Taj Mahal, ITC Mughal is a modern monument to a storied dynasty, embodying the exquisite architecture of the Mughal era in an atmosphere of contemporary opulence. Experience the true essence of each destination at The Luxury Collection, a curated ensemble of the world’s most iconic hotels. Explore the collection at theluxurycollection.com
A LUXURY COLLECTION HOTEL AGRA, INDIA ITC H OTE LS . I N / TH E LU X U RYCOLLECTI ON ITC GARDE NIA, BE NGALURU I TC G R A N D B H A R AT, G U R GAON , N E W D E LH I CA PI TA L R EG I ON ITC GRAND CE N TR A L, M U M BA I I TC G R A N D CH OLA , CH E N N A I ITC K AK ATI YA , H Y D E R A BA D I TC M A R ATH A , M U M BA I ITC MAURYA, NE W D E LH I I TC M U G H A L, AG R A I TC R A J PU TA N A , J A I PU R ITC S ONA R , KOLKATA I TC W I N D S OR , B E N GA LU R U
Clockwise from this image: ITC Maurya, New Delhi; the pool courtyard at ITC Grand Bharat, Gurgaon; Kaya Kalp – The Royal Spa, ITC Mughal, Agra
T RAVELLER AD VERT ISEM EN T FEAT U RE
Travel to India with ITC Hotels and experience warm hospitality, authenticity and grandeur, with an emphasis on responsible luxury
TC Hotels, in association with The Luxury Collection, offers 11 unique properties across India, each inspired by the history and culture of the region in which they are located. These are opulent residences with roots: every hotel celebrates India through its warm hospitality, architecture and cuisine while upholding the highest standards of sustainability.
The Golden Triangle Begin amid the intoxicating sights, sounds and smells of New Delhi before retreating to ITC Maurya. Its instantly recognisable stupa design pays tribute to the Mauryan dynasty, plus it’s home to Bukhara and Dum Pukht, two of the country’s most sought-after restaurants. Next stop Agra and the Taj Mahal, where ITC Mughal offers a regal welcome. Winner of the Aga Khan Award for its representation of Mughal architecture, this is a retreat in the truest sense of the
word. A must-visit on any Rajasthani journey is the ‘pink city’ of Jaipur, home to palaces, forts and bazaars. Here, ITC Rajputana, designed to echo the region’s havelis, embraces the spirit of royal Rajasthan. To complete the Golden Triangle with ITC Hotels, check into ITC Grand Bharat back in New Delhi, India’s ﬁrst all-suite luxury retreat. In an idyllic spot, it offers luxury, creative cuisine, a vast spa and a 27-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course. Southern splendour Beyond the Golden Triangle, ITC Hotels brings other parts of India alive. In southern India, ITC Grand Chola is a landmark in Chennai from which you can stroll Marina Beach, soak up the sights and sounds of the city before retreating for rejuvination at the spa. Travel on to Bangalore and check-in at either ITC Gardenia (inspired by the city’s ﬂourishing gardens) or
aristocratic ITC Windsor. Sign off your southern sojourn in Hyderabad with a stay at ITC Kakatiya overlooking Hussain Sagar Lake. Bright lights, big cities For those heading to either Mumbai or Kolkata, ITC Hotels has properties in both. There’s the vintage ITC Maratha or super-stylish ITC Grand Central for anyone Mumbai-bound and Kolkata is home to ITC Sonar, India’s ﬁrst business resort, nestled amid a million trees. For further information or to book visit itchotels.in/luxurysojourns
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Rwanda & Seychelles Trailﬁnders has come up trumps twinning an adventure in Rwanda with a ﬂy-and-ﬂop sojourn in the Seychelles. First up, you’ll spend a handful of nights tracking gorillas through the misty forests of the Virunga conservation reserve, seeing the primates’ fascinating interactions and chest-beating antics ﬁrst-hand. Then, you’ll be swept onto a jet plane bound for the Jurassic islands of the Seychelles, and whisked into the glamorous environs of the Banyan Tree hotel for a week of swimming with turtles, drinking coconuts and exploring empty coves with nothing but a picnic hamper. trailﬁnders.com
Top left and top right: Benguerra Island, Mozambique. This image: Beyond Ngala Safari Lodge bush dinner, Mozambique. Bottom: dining at The Palm, Dubai
From city to island or safari to beach, get the best of both worlds on a twin trip
Dubai & Maldives Dubai and the Maldives are ideal honeymoon partners. One&Only The Palm is Dubai’s most beguiling beach retreat featuring one of the smartest palm-tree-lined swimming pools in the Middle East, sumptuous suites plus a chic ‘n’ petite Guerlain spa with Bastien Gonzalez nail salon. Then just four hour’s ﬂight from Dubai, plus a short seaplane ride, One&Only Reethi Rah occupies one of the archipelago’s largest islands and is as upscale as it gets (it has an ESPA spa and a Japanese restaurant to rival Nobu). Each villa is the size of a house and unfolds onto its own stretch of ﬂawless beach – it’s about as close as it gets to hiring your own private island. oneandonlyresorts.com
South Africa & Mozambique The bush and beach combination is a honeymoon classic – and for good reason. Recently reopened following a top-to-toe polish, Ngala Lodge in South Africa has 20 thatched cottages dotted across a private game reserve that shares unfenced borders with the Kruger National Park – cue high densities of elephant, buffalo and rhino. Just a helicopter ride away lies Benguerra Island, a paradise ﬁlled with indigenous casuarina pine trees located on one of the least-visited, watery corners of the world. There are few better examples of barefoot luxury: seriously soft sands, a kaleidoscope of coral glittering below the surface and a dozen rustic-chic casinhas. andbeyond.com
Your luxury Abu Dhabi desert escape awaits…
Surround yourself in luxury with a romantic desert escape at Anantara Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort. Perfect for couples, this luxury desert YL[YLH[VќLYZWYP]HJ`HUKL_JS\ZP]P[`HTPKZ[[OLYVSSPUNZHUKK\ULZVM(I\ +OHIP»Z,TW[`8\HY[LY9PKLHJHTLSV]LYZ\UZVHRLKK\ULZHUKYLSH_ PU[OLMYLLMVYTZ^PTTPUNWVVS^OPSLKLZLY[^PSKSPMLNYHaLZPU[OLZOHKL ILSV^HUKILPUZWPYLKI`NSVYPV\Z(YHIPHUKtJVY[OH[JOHUULSZVULVM[OL ^VYSK»ZTVZ[HUJPLU[HUKYL]LYLKJ\S[\YLZ
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SPEAK TO AN EXPERT
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Push-the-boat-out trips of a lifetime Velaa, Maldives The tiny (perfectly round) island of Velaa has giddy-inducing natural beauty and villas that will ﬂoor you, but the resort’s outstanding feature is how understatedly elegant it is. Ocean-chic décor leans just the right side of outré with shabby-chic Balinese rugs, motherof-pearl walls and sexy Conran-style lighting – and butlers are more likely to tease you than to kowtow. There are hi-tech water toys such as hoverboards, jet packs and two-man submarines to play with in the waves, and a magniﬁcent over-water Clarins spa to retreat to when you need some downtime. And in case you want to work on your handicap while on honeymoon, there’s even a small but perfectly formed golf course. Honeymoon high: With a staff/guest ratio of 8:1, the service at Velaa is unrivalled. velaaprivateisland.com
Clockwise from top: terrace at The Romantic Pool Residence, Velaa, Maldives; Four Seasons Bora Bora; Miavana, Madagascar
Miavana, Madagascar Ofﬁcially marking Madagascar’s ascent into ultra-luxury, brand-new Miavana is being heralded as the new North Island (where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge honeymooned in the Seychelles). Built from scratch across four completely unspoiled islands off the northeast coast of Madagascar, Miavana is a great ﬁt for eco-conscious travellers. With just 14 villas, the resort is not only a sanctuary for rare animals and threatened sea creatures but helps hundreds of people in the local community. Your contribution? Padding about on virgin beaches (careful not
to disturb turtle hatchlings), marvelling at the unique ﬂora and fauna and pinching yourself that you’re really there. Nirvana. Honeymoon high: A 10-minute helicopter ride will have you spotting lemurs on the mainland. Room key: Villa 11. scottdunn.com French Polynesia You’re certain to out-exotic any fellow newlyweds with this island-hopping extravaganza taking in Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora. Checking
in to a trio of heart-stopping hotels including Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, a trip to French Polynesia is an immersion in true paradise. Splash about in topaz-blue lagoons, and should you have the upper-body strength, why not try your hand at surﬁng? On land, you can hike through jungles of wild mango, mosey around markets, stroll through plantations and explore ancient archaeological sites before returning to your ﬁve-star lodgings for a ﬂametorched Polynesian feast and drumming long into the night. Best time to go? June to October. carrier.co.uk
T RAVELLER PROM OT ION
Clockwise from top: suite at Zawadi, Zanzibar; Six Senses Zil Pasyon; the beach at Calabash, Grenada
Under-the-radar hotspots and far-out newcomers with unrivalled privacy and seclusion
Six Senses Zil Pasyon, Seychelles This honeymoon hotspot on the island of Félicité opened with great applause at the end of last year. It has a sensational setting tucked between giant granite boulders overlooking the ocean, and only a third of the island is inhabited, leaving the rest of it an untamed tropical wilderness. This year sees Zil Pasyon’s spa opening with ﬁve treatment rooms jutting
out across the vivid blues of the Indian Ocean. Choose a hammock on Grand Anse beach and you’re unlikely to encounter another soul. Honeymoon high: Hiking to the highest point on Félicité and watching the sun set over neighbouring islands La Digue and Praslin. Crackling bonﬁre, Champagne and creole nibbles optional. Room key: Villa 30 is closest to Grand Anse beach. You can practically roll out of bed onto the white sand. turquoiseholidays.co.uk Zawadi, Zanzibar Occupying a sleepy corner of southeastern Zanzibar, this brand-new property cast open its doors last summer. Rustic thatched roofs top sandblasted White Company-style interiors for a fresh, natural feel, and each of the nine oceanfront villas is neatly concealed by clouds of bougainvillea and palm fronds. Snorkel straight from the beach or head down to the dive centre for a recce of the Oba-Oba lagoon, a subterranean expanse teeming with snappers, rays, turtles and coral wonders.
TURQUOISE DREAM All of the hotels featured on this page can be booked through The Turquoise Holiday Company. Visit turquoiseholidays.co.uk or call 01494 678400 for more information.
Honeymoon high: Trekking through the Jozani Forest, home of the endangered Zanzibar red colobus monkey. Room key: Room 1. turquoiseholidays.co.uk Calabash, Grenada It’s a hushed, in-the-know crowd who ﬂock to this chic Caribbean lodge – often returning several years in a row. All of Calabash’s suites have recently been updated with an understated natural look (rock walls, coral motifs and wicker armchairs), and at the pool, modern ledge-style loungers lend themselves perfectly to stretching out cocktail-in-hand. Down at the beach, there’s a breezy blue-and-white beach club where you can feast on shrimp bisque, breaded butterﬁsh and burritos with your feet in the sand. The best part? Breakfast cooked in the privacy of your room and served on the veranda. Honeymoon high: Sailing to Hog Island for a lavish lobster lunch. Room key: The Penthouse Suite. turquoiseholidays.co.uk
W OST WANTED THEA DARRICOTTE uncovers your world
TORY BURCH S/S 17 toryburch.com
FLOWER POWER The Real Flower Company have a spectacular range of Christmas bouquets including the Juliet Winter Garden Bouquet – named after the pretty David Austin rose it features. From £65, realﬂowers.co.uk
WINTER SUN BLAST Tune in to Condé Nast Traveller’s sunshine state of mind with some of the latest experiences, places to stay and fashion and beauty picks Josh Wood Colour Care Mask, £10, marksandspencer.com
Thea’s DON'T FLY WITHOUT...
Skin Laundry Starter Kit, £75, skinlaundry.com
Lano Lemon Hand Cream Intense, £8.99, net-a-porter.com
VISIT QATAR Experience traditional cuisine and Qatari hospitality at the Qatar International Food Festival in March 2017. Showcasing local and international cuisine across more than 60 food stalls, the vibrant festival will give guests the opportunity to sample authentic Middle Eastern cuisine from the best producers around. visitqatar.qa
STAR SNACKS Simon Rogan’s new bar snacks menu at Fera at Claridge’s includes stewed rabbit and lovage (pictured) and pea mousse with cod and calamint. Many of the dishes use ingredients which have been carefully nurtured by hand on Rogan’s 12-acre farm in the Lake District. With no need to book, Michelin-starred cuisine has never looked so tempting. feraatclaridges.co.uk
Paperless Post personalised stationery, 10 cards x 10 envelopes, £24, paperlesspost.com
Caran d’Ache are launching a collaboration with Paul Smith. Individual pen, £35; box set of eight pens, £290, carandache.com
OUR MAN ON THE GROUND
Anya Hindmarch Alligator Smiley Cross Body Bag, £6,900, harrods.com Fendi’s Your Seven Ways to Rome, is a special guide that opens the doors to the most hidden secrets in Rome. £25, Fendi boutiques
what to pack
ghd Flight Gift Set, £49, ghdhair.com Russell & Bromley ‘Twist’ Knotted Bow Flat, £195, russellandbromley.co.uk
The new Eye Lift Firming Treatment from Dr Murad delivers ﬁller-like results with zero Van Cleef & Arpels ‘Perlée’ variation downtime. £45, ring, yellow gold and malachite, £2,100, murad.co.uk vancleefarpels.com
Gucci embellished wool-blend mini dress, £2,370, net-a-porter.com
1. Therapie Himalayan Detox Salts, 400 grams, £37, roquesoneil.com
our 3 favourites
2. Unbeelievable Health Bee Prepared Max, £14.99, unbeelievable health.co.uk
ROUND HILL HOTEL AND VILLAS
3. Dr Sebagh Rose de Vie Cream Cleanser gently cleanses, nourishes and protects, £32, drsebagh.com
EXECUTIVE CHEF MARTIN MAGINLEY Describe your culinary style... Modern – but I always ensure that my dishes are infused with distinctive Caribbean ﬂavours. Our menu is designed around the LCCC concept – ‘Light Clean Caribbean Cuisine’ – as we always use the freshest local ingredients. What is your favourite dish on the menu? It has to be Oxtail Ravioli with Lobster Butter Bean Ragout and 21-year Appleton Rum Onion Conﬁt Sauce. Where is your favourite place to watch the sunset? Our Inﬁnity Pool Bar is an amazing spot – and sunset is the perfect backdrop for special events such as weddings and private al fresco dinners. What is your most requested cocktail? The Round Hill Rum Punch – the dash of apricot brandy gives it a unique ﬂavour. roundhill.com
EUROPE-UK DAISYBANK COTTAGE Nestled in the heart of the New Forest, Daisybank Cottage Boutique Bed and Breakfast is a luxury hideaway in a place of outstanding beauty. Daisybank offers a warm, contemporary style with some fine old-fashioned hospitality. An Arts and Crafts house, inspired by the architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, dating back to 1901, Daisybank's 7 spacious rooms have been renovated to the highest standard, while many of the quirky original features have been preserved. Call 01590622086 or visit www.bedandbreakfast-newforest.co.uk
LA SABLONNERIE HOTEL. A convivial corner of a beautiful island. Gorgeous gardens, peace and tranquillity, birds, butterﬂies, ﬂowers, horses and carriages – no cars – how could one not enjoy this amazing paradise? You will ﬁnd this hotel to have a great ‘joie de vivre’ as well as terriﬁc food. La Sablonnerie has recently received the highly coveted award from Condé Nast JohansenS - ‘Small Hotel of the Year’. Visit www.sablonneriesark.com or call 01481 832 061.
BRIMSTONE HOTEL is the epitome of luxury, nestled in the very heart of the Lake District. To stay in any of the 16 rooms or suites is to escape into relaxation, enhanced by the attentive service of the host team. The beautiful scenery is enough of an incentive to visit; the food, rooms and spa are reasons to stay. 015394 38062 – www.brimstonehotel.co.uk
HOTEL TOWNHOUSE 27 Located in the beautiful historical centre of Belgrade in Serbia, Townhouse27 is an authentic boutique hotel with exceptional award winning service. Stay in Belgrade’s highest rated venue across the board, where the 21 large luxury rooms and comfortable suites exude contemporary design, peace and quiet. With a personalized approach to each guest, the impeccable service, tempting breakfast and nearby ‘must see’ sights give reason enough for your perfect city stay. The charming garden provides a special retreat during sizzling summer days, complete with homemade sweets. For nature lovers, the luxury winery offers an exceptional wine experience in the vicinity of Belgrade. T. +381 11 20 22 900 firstname.lastname@example.org www.townhouse27.com
LUXURY BED & BREAKFAST MÁLAGA A luxury holiday destination in Andalusia, close to Málaga, Marbella and the Costa del Sol. Dos Iberos was designed for luxurious pampering and privacy and offers five rooms with stunning views, tasteful décor and a refreshing infinity pool. Besides a delicious breakfast you can also enjoy lunch and dinner. The perfect base to explore the Andalusian highlights. Awarded with TripAdvisor Travellers´ Choice 2014 and 2015 and Certificate of Excellence 2016. ¡Bienvenido…welcome! www.andalucia-holidays.com Tel. +34 657 292 405
KAYAKAPI PREMIUM CAVES - CAPPADOCIA Carved into the rock face, this deluxe, premium cave hotel overlooks the beautiful town of U ̋ rgu ̈p in Cappadocia / Turkey. Offering elegantly-decorated suites with Cappadocia views, rooms and suites at the Kayakapi are traditionally decorated, with modern touches adding an element of luxury. With a large outdoor pool, spa with Turkish Bath, gym, restaurant and wine from its own cellars, Kayakapi Premium Caves - Cappadocia promises to meet your every need. www.kayakapi.com email@example.com +90 384 341 88 77
LA BORDE is an elegant but intimate retreat in Burgundy’s rolling landscape, only 90 minutes from Paris. The personalised service you receive makes the 16th century former chateau your home for the duration of your stay. The cuisine, exquisite gardens, and timeless beauty of the manor itself are only a few reasons why La Borde is a must for anyone seeking a tranquil escape. +33 (0)386476901 www.lbmh.fr
HOTEL ALEXANDRA Like staying with a Danish design loving friend in Copenhagen, Hotel Alexandra is situated on the door step to the City Hall Square, the Latin Quarter, the main shopping area, Strøget, and the Tivoli Gardens. Probably the only spot on Earth where you can sit in, rest in, sleep in and admire so much world-famous Danish mid-century vintage furniture. The 61 rooms and hotel decor will transport you back in time to the 50’s and 60’s. www.hotelalexandra.dk Tel: +45 33744444
AFRICA & INDIAN OCEAN
THE ZANZIBAR COLLECTION Exotic, Luxurious, Zanzibar! A privately owned collection of beautiful boutique hotels, lying on one of the Top 30 Island beaches in the world. Offering a range of watersports, stunning Spas & East Africa’s only National Geographic affiliated PADI 5 star Dive Centre. The latest addition to the collection is the tranquil & stunning Zawadi Hotel, offering undoubtedly the best ocean views on the Island. Baraza Resort & Spa was voted as the No.1 Hotel in Africa & also among the Top 25 Hotels in the World on TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Awards. www.thezanzibarcollection.com
-)$$,% %!34 CORTIJO LA HAZA De-stressing Andalusian style! Cortijo La Haza, a true gem, is a little piece of rural heaven in breath-taking scenery. Book a stay and you will be welcomed like a long lost friend, enjoy the tranquillity and try the exquisite food. La Haza has 6 cosy, tasteful, en-suite guestrooms, a saline infinity pool, terraces and a garden with relaxing hideaways. With personal attention from the welcoming and generous hosts, you’ll have all the ingredients for a perfect holiday! firstname.lastname@example.org www.cortijolahaza.com Tel. +34 618440167
MOULIN DE LARCY: DORDOGNE FRANCE A haven of tranquillity and calm, where you can revitalise your mind, body and soul. Situated in the heart of the Dordogne valley, the apartments, which are comfortable and at the same time elegant, spacious, luxurious, span the sparkling waters of the river Dronne. They have been designed so that each one is private. Max 2 adults per apartment. Contact email@example.com Tel : +33553912389 www.le-moulin-de-larcy.com
ABSALON HOTEL–ABSOLUTE HEAVEN Located in Copenhagen, one of the design capitals of the world, the recently renovated Absalon Hotel fits right in. Combining classical architecture with the colourful, modern textiles and wallpapers of award winning Designers Guild, the hotel has a contemporary yet cosy feel. For that extra bit of luxury, choose one of the superior rooms (pictured). TEL.: +45 3331 4344, E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.absalon-hotel.dk/en/
LESARRAIL Set amongst the vineyards of the ‘Malpere’, a beautiful wine growing area in the south of France, you will find LeSarrail, a hamlet of 4 luxury houses sharing their own heated pool, with panoramic views of unspoilt countryside and a backdrop of the Pyrénées mountains. www.lesarrail.com +33 (0) 468 765 966
HOTEL PRIMA DONNA Set in six acres of woodland overlooking the miles of Mediterranean sands of Patara Beach, this luxury beach hotel in Antalya, Turkey, provides the perfect secret getaway. Perfect for honeymooners, this child-free haven offers an oasis of calm. With eclectic designs, each of the six unique woodland lodges with private terrace is set in its own secluded woodland space, and the sunsets are amongst the best in the world! www.hotelprimadonna.com +90 532 13085 90
Dream Destinations CHÂTEAU RIEUTORT Set in beautiful south of France, this 18th century château and wine domain offers an unforgettable escape for a maximum of 55 guests. With Chateau suites and self-catering gîtes, you can enjoy 2 swimming pools, the Hérault river and extraordinary wine. www.chateau-rieutort.fr T: +33 4 67 89 38 20
HERITAGE LISBON HOTELS Live the Portuguese Charm and Tradition in the Historic centre of Lisbon. Stay in one of the 5 Heritage Lisbon Hotels Collection – As Janelas Verdes, Heritage Avenida Liberdade Hotel, Hotel Britania, Hotel Lisboa Plaza and Solar Do Castelo. Tel: +351 213 218 200 email@example.com www.heritage.pt
AUSTRALASIA & OCEANIA THE HUKA RETREATS www.hukaretreats.com Three sister properties – these chic and understated statements of exclusivity and seclusion present exceptional hospitality experiences, to the world’s most discerning travellers, in three stunning destinations. GRANDE PROVENCE ESTATE, South Africa, a one-hour drive from Cape Town. 300-year old heritage wine estate offering award-winning wines and cuisine, with an art gallery. Stunning accommodation awaits at The Owner’s Cottage, with every comfort at La Provençale Villa in the Vineyards. T +27 (0)21 876 8600 E firstname.lastname@example.org DOLPHIN ISLAND, Fiji, offering a private 14-acre Pacific island paradise filled with beauty & romance, with luxury ’castaway’ time, for a maximum of 8 guests, on an exclusive-use basis. HUKA LODGE, New Zealand, legendary since 1924 for its unrivalled location, exquisite hospitality, unique adventures & experiences. A private and stylish property with just 25 suites. T +64 7 378 5791 E email@example.com for both Huka Lodge and Dolphin Is. reservations.
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THE VIEW FROM HERE Of all Africa’s big-game safaris, we dream of Botswana, where the wilderness is at its most extreme – from the arid Kalahari in the south to the waterlogged Okavango Delta in the north. The latter is a huge haven of elephant and buffalo herds, reintroduced white rhino, and Okavango specialities such as sitatunga, tsessebe and red lechwe, which live among the papyrus swamps and seasonal ﬂoodplains dotted with islands and latticed with waterways. And the largest and most special of these islands is Chief’s, which seethes with wildlife. It is also home to Chief’s Camp, setin the startlingly beautiful Mombo Concession, former tribal hunting grounds that have since recovered and are now known as Africa’s predator capital. Part of the Abercrombie & Kent portfolio, the camp has 12 newly revamped pavilions, three times bigger than the previous rooms. There are decks with deep plunge pools, outdoor dining areas and chill-out salas. The interiors are clean and linear, using pale natural woods and muted earth tones to offset rustic handicrafts. As part of the makeover, there’s now also a new Geoffrey Kent Suite decorated with evocative photographs of the safari pioneer, and with its own bar and ﬁrepit. Although it’s much more fun to gather round the campﬁre with other guests. Head off for a game drive with Martin Tsheko, a brilliantly knowledgeable guide whose forensic tracking skills deliver private audiences with elusive cats, hyena and wild dogs, and thenreturn to base to share tales of cheetah pursuing reedbuck and lion devouring fresh kills. IAN BELCHER sanctuaryretreats.com. From £795 per person per night full board, including game activities
244 Condé Nast Traveller January/February 2017
IT’S OUR NATURE TO DELIGHT
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