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It’s always

HAPPY HOUR at 40,000 ft.

EMIRATES FIRST AND BUSINESS Anytime is a good time to enjoy a relaxing drink or two in our spacious onboard bar, serving cocktails, canapés, spirits and exclusive wines. You never know who you’ll meet.

Hello Tomorrow

Onboard lounge available on Emirates A380s.


AUTHENTIC TRAVEL CHANGES US. It is when we travel farthest from home that we learn the most about ourselves. On the edge of our personal comfort zones is where we discover new things, grow, share, and connect with others. Uncover the world’s most memorable travel experiences at P R E F E R R E D H O T E L S . C O M #ThePreferredLife


B A N YA N T R E E S E Y C H E L L E S

T H E WAT E R G AT E H O T E L

HOTEL EMMA

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K ATA M A M A

T H E L E E L A PA L A C E N E W D E L H I

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CREATE YOUR PERFECT DAY. EVERY DAY. Holland America Line offers some 500 unforgettable cruise itineraries, giving you a choice of over 400 ports of call in virtually every corner of the world. You’ll cruise in classic style, enjoy award-winning food and wine, and delight in dozens of entertainment options. On shore, remarkable experiences await — with help from our innovative Destination Guides.

Ships’ Registry: The Netherlands


ART

12-DAY ADRIATIC DREAM

NATURE

HOLLAND AMERICA LINE INTRODUCES EXCLUSIVE D E S T I N AT I O N G U I D E S . At each port of call, Holland America Line offers insights into local culture through regionally inspired cuisine and presentations from location insiders — as

HISTORY

well as innovative Destination Guides* created in partnership with the experiential travel experts from AFAR. An intuitive web interface allows you to indicate your areas of interest with a series of personalization tools (art, food & drink, nature, and other passions). For example, on our 12-Day Adriatic Dream cruise, depending on your interests our Destination Guide will provide suggestions on how you can explore the food and art of

FOOD & DRINK

Venice, see the Revelin Fortress in Dubrovnik, or learn about ancient Greek life on Corfu. Start exploring the world at destinationguides.hollandamerica.com.

CONTEMPORARY LIFE Call your Travel Professional or 1-877-SAIL-HAL or visit hollandamerica.com

*Select itineraries; see website for details.


JANUARY/ FEBRUARY

86

FIND A NEW RHYTHM IN JAMAICA

Island Records founder Chris Blackwell reveals the real Jamaica in roadside food stands, the best cup of coffee you’ve ever had, and the simple beauty of taking the scenic route. by MARK BYRNE

110

Photographer Andy Richter makes sense of Taiwanese culture through his camera lens.

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WHERE TO GO 2017

TARA DONNE

BREAKING FREE


JANUARY/ FEBRUARY 98

A WALTZ ACROSS THE ATLANTIC

Ballroom dancing, secret cocktail parties, and pearls: A glamorous cruise on the Atlantic is also a trip back in time. by EMMA JOHN

WHERE TO GO IN 2017 AARHUS, DENMARK 50 ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA 55 ALDABRA, SEYCHELLES 107 ALPHONSE, SEYCHELLES 107 ANGRA DOS REIS, BRAZIL 77

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ARIZONA 34 ARMENIA 41 ASHEVILLE, NC 120 AZERBAIJAN 41 BARCELONA 76 BERMUDA 26 BERN, SWITZERLAND 50 BLACK ROCK CITY, NV 120

WHERE TO GO 2017

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS 92 BUENOS AIRES 34 CALISTOGA, CA 82 CAPE COD, MA 120 CAPE TOWN 36 THE CATSKILLS, NY 120 CHAN CHAN, PERU 46 CHICAGO 120 CUBA 107 CURAÇAO 92 DENVER 76 EGYPT 107 ÉPARSES ISLANDS 107 ETHIOPIA 41 FÉLICITÉ, SEYCHELLES 77 GEORGIA 41

GLACIER BAY, AK 107 GRAND CAYMAN 92 GSTAAD, SWITZERLAND 82 GUAYAQUIL, ECUADOR 76 HAINES, AK 120 HANGZHOU, CHINA 36 HOKKAIDO, JAPAN 32 HONG KONG 107 INDONESIA 107 IRAN 46 JAMAICA 86 JENNER, CA 82 KAPLANKAYA, TURKEY 77 KYUSHU, JAPAN 32 LA PAZ, BOLIVIA 74 LADAKH, INDIA 80

LAKE COMO, ITALY 74 LANAI, HI 77 LANGKAWI, MALAYSIA 77 LEIPZIG, GERMANY 50 LOS ANGELES 120 LYCIAN WAY, TURKEY 44 MAHÉ, SEYCHELLES 107 MÁLAGA, SPAIN 50 MARFA, TX 120 MARRAKECH 36 MEDHUFARU, MALDIVES 77 MEGHAULI, NEPAL 80 MENDOZA, ARGENTINA 60

MIAMI 76 NASHVILLE 120 NEW ORLEANS 120 NEW YORK CITY 74 NOSY ANKAO, MADAGASCAR 80 OKINAWA, JAPAN 32 OMAN 80 THE OPEN ROAD 62 THE OPEN SEA 98 PARIS 65 PARK CITY, UT 120 PARMA, ITALY 50 PHILADELPHIA 120 PHILIPPINES 107 PITTSBURGH 120 PORTLAND, OR 120 PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND, CANADA 60 PERU 74

PUERTO RICO 34 RIO DE JANIERO 74 ROME 76 SANTA BARBARA, CA 120 SANTA YNEZ VALLEY, CA 60 SCOTTSDALE, AZ 80 SEATTLE 76 SEVILLE, SPAIN 76 SHANGHAI 74 SINGAPORE 34 SKALA SIKAMINIAS, GREECE 22 SKOURA, MOROCCO 80 SPEYSIDE, SCOTLAND 60 ST. BART’S 92 ST. HELENA, CA 82 ST. LUCIA 92

TAIPEI, TAIWAN 110 TEL AVIV 36 ULLEY VALLEY, INDIA 41 VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK, RWANDA 80 WADI RUM, JORDAN 44 WASHINGTON, D.C. 36 WEST SWEDEN 29 YOLO COUNTY, CA 120

ART CREDIT EXPRESS/GETTY IMAGES WOOD/DAILY

THE AFAR


In our constant pursuit of absolute beauty, every Forevermark diamond undergoes a journey of rigorous selection. This is why less than 1% of the world’s diamonds are worthy of the Forevermark inscription – our promise of beauty, rarity and responsible sourcing.

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JANUARY/ FEBRUARY p. 38

p. 73

Find the life-size versions at Totem Bight State Park in Ketchikan, Alaska.

WANDER 30 ROADS LESS TRAVELED

Explore western Sweden now: Discover a village fit for a king, a car-free rural paradise, and the country’s oyster capital.

32 NEXT STOP

To get the most out of Okinawa, rent a car, find your spirit beach, and nourish yourself with foods that make the locals live longer than anyone else in the world. 10

AFAR

34 MIX

We’ve all bought a souvenir magnet or two . . . dozen.

36 DOORS ARE OPEN This year’s most notable museum openings.

38 GOOD TRIPS

Seven out-there trips to scratch your adventure itch.

50 CHART YOUR JOURNEY

Think you’ve “done” Europe? Time to check out these under-theradar cities.

WHERE TO GO 2017

CONNECT 55 FEAST

Australia’s most exciting food city will surprise you. Plus, four other up-and-coming food and drink destinations.

62 VIEWS FROM AFAR

The ultimate travel inspiration: the open road.

65 RESIDENT

Lindsey Tramuta, author of The New Paris, shares where to go in her adopted city.

73 STAY

From a swoon-worthy design hotel in Bolivia to an intimate farmhouse in the Himalayas, these are the 30 new hotels to stay in this year.

SPECIAL SECTION 84 TRAVELERS’ CHOICE AWARDS

The votes are in! Here are the places you want to visit most in 2017.

18 CONTRIBUTORS 20 @AFARMEDIA 22 FROM THE EDITOR 26 FOUNDER’S NOTE 120 JUST BACK FROM

ON THE COVER

Parisians continue to frequent their favorite cafés despite the terrorist attacks in the city. Read more on page 65, where five locals share how Paris is only growing stronger. Photograph by Charissa Fay

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: ERIC LAFFORGUE, COURTESY OF EAST MIAMI, ANDREW RAYMOND

p. 34


AFAR.COM @AFARMEDIA

FOUNDERS GREG SULLIVAN & JOE DIAZ

EDITORIAL VP, EDITOR IN CHIEF CREATIVE DIRECTOR EXECUTIVE EDITOR DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY DEPUTY EDITOR SENIOR EDITOR ART DIRECTOR ASSOCIATE EDITORS ASSOCIATE PHOTO EDITOR GUIDES EDITOR EDITORIAL PRODUCTION COORDINATOR EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

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Julia Cosgrove @jules_afar Elizabeth Spiridakis Olson @white_lightning Jeremy Saum @jeremyafar Tara Guertin @afarfotos Jennifer Flowers @jennflowers Andrew Richdale @therichdale Jason Seldon @jasonseldon11 Aislyn Greene @aislyngreene Danielle Walsh @deedubbayew Alex Palomino @palographic Nick Rowlands @pharaonick Nicole Antonio @designated_wingit_time Maggie Fuller, Sarah Purkrabek Lisa Abend @lisaabend Chris Colin @chriscolin3000 Tom Downey @tjdnewyork David Farley @davidfarley Emma John @em_john Chip Conley @chipconley Nina Dietzel @ninadietzel Rainer Jenss @jensstravels Joss Kent @ceo_andbeyond Matt Villano @mattvillano Elizabeth Bell Pat Tompkins Thomas Alexander, Sarah Buder, Ashley Goldsmith, Andrew Raymond

AFAR MEDIA LLC CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER VP, CHIEF PRODUCT OFFICER VP, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER VP, CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER DIRECTOR OF FINANCE DIGITAL AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR AUDIENCE MARKETING SPECIALIST DIRECTOR OF ENGINEERING SENIOR DIGITAL EXPERIENCE DESIGNER SOFTWARE ENGINEERS IT MANAGER STAFF ACCOUNTANT LEARNING AFAR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PROCIRC ASSOCIATE CONSUMER MARKETING DIRECTOR, PROCIRC OPERATIONS ACCOUNT MANAGER PREMEDIA ACCOUNT MANAGER DIGITAL ACCOUNT MANAGER NEWSSTAND CONSULTANT BOARD OF DIRECTORS ADVISORS

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Greg Sullivan @gregafar Joe Diaz @joediazafar Laura Simkins Derek Butcher @derekbutcher Matt Fenster Sean Nakamura Breanna Rhoades Samantha Juda @slam_antha Sherry Jin Anne Nguyen Yue Weng Mak Cricket Wallace Jonathan Chu Erika Stallworth Jordan Robbins Sally Murphy Tom Pesik Adam Bassano Frank Linzan Marshall White George Clark Joe Diaz, Ernie Garcia, Greg Sullivan Priscilla Alexander, Pat Lafferty, Josh Steinitz


Barcelona, Spain

With longer and overnight stays in port on your Azamara Club Cruises® voyage, you’ll have more time to experience the local culture, food, and flair of engaging destinations—all over the world.

®

Visit AzamaraClubCruises.com, call 877.999.9553, or contact your Travel Professional. Azamara Club Cruises® is a proud member of the Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. family of cruise lines. ©2016 Azamara Club Cruises. Ships registered in Malta.


AFAR.COM @AFARMEDIA

FOUNDERS GREG SULLIVAN & JOE DIAZ

EVP, CHIEF REVENUE OFFICER

Ellen Asmodeo-Giglio ellen@afar.com, 646-430-9884

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Bryan Kinkade bryan@afar.com, 646-873-6136

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MARKETING

Maggie Gould Markey maggie@afar.com, 646-430-9879

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Elizabeth Allerton eallerton@afar.com, 646-430-9877

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Terry Crowe Deegan tdeegan@afar.com, 646-461-2265

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WEST COAST

Onnalee MacDonald onnalee@afar.com, 310-779-5648

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CARIBBEAN

Barry Brown barry@afar.com, 646-430-9881

LUXURY SALES DIRECTOR

Kate Hornsby khornsby@afar.com, 646-213-4840

INTEGRATED SALES DIRECTOR

Lauren Peterson lpeterson@afar.com, 646-430-9880

SALES, SOUTHEAST

colleen@afar.com, 561-586-6671

STAY ANEW AT THE PHOENICIAN Introducing a fresh contemporary elegance that touches all 585 redesigned guest rooms and suites at The Phoenician—matched only by its AAA Five Diamond hospitality. Amid the magnificent splendor of the Sonoran Desert, you’ll discover personally crafted offerings that honor both the traveler and the destination. Let the soothing warmth of a fire embrace your spirit as you relax on your private patio. Savor the culinary creations and spectacular views of J&G Steakhouse. Rejuvenate at The Centre for Well-Being spa or on the 27-hole golf course. Your next memorable moments await at The Phoenician, redefined in style and experience.

Colleen Schoch Morell

SALES, MIDWEST

Focus Marketing & Media focusmm@afar.com, 248-909-5430

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AFAR ID Statement AFAR® (ISSN 1947-4377), Volume 9, Number 1, is published bimonthly by AFAR Media, LLC, 130 Battery St., Sixth Floor, San Francisco, CA 94111, U.S.A. In the U.S., AFAR® is a registered trademark of AFAR Media, LLC. Publisher assumes no responsibility for return of unsolicited manuscripts, art, or any other unsolicited materials. Subscription price for U.S. residents: $24.00 for 6 issues. Canadian subscription rate: $30.00 (GST included) for 6 issues. All other countries: $40.00 for 6 issues. To order a subscription to AFAR or to inquire about an existing subscription, please write to AFAR Magazine Customer Service, P.O. Box 6265, Harlan, IA 51591-1765, or call 888-403-9001. Periodicals postage paid at San Francisco, CA, and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to AFAR, P.O. Box 6265, Harlan, IA 51591-1765.


Promotion

AFAR Journeys combines the expertise and insider access of the AFAR Travel Advisory Council with our commitment to experiential travel. The result is easy-to-book custom itineraries to the world’s most fascinating destinations. Next we will turn our attention to Azamara Club Cruises, whose luxurious small-ship cruises are known for longer stays in port, immersive activities, and night touring. You’ll discover its signature offerings along waterways from southern Europe to Asia to Australia. Find the Azamara itinerary that’s right for you beginning on January 5.

go to afar.com/journeys

J

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Y

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GoToBermuda.com


YO U MAY N E V E R MA K E I T BA C K H O M E TH E SA ME .


CONTRIBUTORS

ANDY RICHTER

CHARISSA FAY

ALEX PASQUARIELLO

EMMA JOHN

TARA DONNE

Making new friends: “I have a friend in Taipei who goes by the name Inch, and I went out with her and her friends a lot while I was there. We rode scooters around the massive city and sampled the local food and music.” Too shy: “People in Taipei are really into karaoke. I didn’t join in because I don’t trust my voice, but my friends would often rent a room, drink, and sing together.” See through his lens: on Instagram @andyrichterphoto

Her soul city: “Paris is my favorite place to photograph. I first visited when I was 15, and I fell in love with the food, architecture, and effortlessly chic Parisians.” On café culture: “When I visit, it’s usually for work, and I’m too busy to spend much time in cafés. But when I do get to slow down, one of my favorites is La Fontaine de Belleville. It has a cool vibe and serves excellent coffee.” See her next obsession: on Instagram @charissa_fay

More than a place to stay: “I’ve been struck by how hotels can rejuvenate a city. The Hotel del Parque in Guayaquil, Ecuador, will transform the gateway city to the Galápagos into a destination in its own right.” His favorite stays: “As a guy from Colorado who’s now based on the East Coast, I’ve come to cherish ski hotels. Three things a great one needs: powder, easy slope access, and a ski valet.” Do disturb him: on Twitter @BeingAlexP

Dreams of grandeur: “I’d always wanted to make the classic transatlantic ship crossing from England to New York, because I’m obsessed with the glamour of the 1930s. So when the Queen Mary 2 relaunched, I booked its first voyage.” On cruise misconceptions: “I think people assume that cruises are something you do when you’re older and slower, but I found I was always busy onboard.” Set sail with her: on Twitter @em_john

Not your postcard Caribbean: “I love Jamaica because of its unique voice. The island has its own distinct music, art, and food.” Speaking of food: “When I arrived at Pantrepant, Chris Blackwell’s farmturned-hotel, his cook had a huge meal waiting for me. It was like having your Jamaican grandma make you lunch—super authentic and delicious.” Follow her finds: on Instagram @taradonnephoto

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WHERE TO GO 2017

Photographer Where to Go in 2017 Cover

Writer Where to Stay in 2017 p.73

Writer A Waltz Across the Atlantic p.98

Photographer Find a New Rhythm in Jamaica p.86

ANDY RICHTER

Photographer Breaking Free p.110


9:07PM

The moment travelers toasted a true icon. To all of the readers of AFAR magazine, thank you for selecting London’s The Savoy, A Fairmont Managed Hotel, as a recipient of the first-ever Travelers’ Choice Awards. The next time you’re looking for a truly exceptional travel experience, we invite you to make any of our 70+ hotels around the world your home base for dazzling adventures.

Gateway to your moment in over 20 countries. fairmont.com


AFAR.COM

@AFARMEDIA

/AFARMEDIA

/AFARMEDIA

@AFARMEDIA

AFAR_MEDIA

@AFARMEDIA #TRAVELDEEPER

WE’RE IN THE MOVIE BUSINESS!

If you visit any desert in 2017, make it Jordan’s otherworldly Wadi Rum—explorable by camel or on foot (p. 38).

Want to get a local's guide to Honolulu, discover how Le Creuset pots are made, or (attempt to) master Portuguese phrases? Introducing AFAR in Motion, our in-house video studio, which rolls out new, information-packed travel videos each month—a guide to Cuban hexes, for example, or a behind-thescenes peek at an upcoming magazine feature. Our production crew is busy creating even more for 2017. Until then, check out our work using #afarinmotion on Instagram or at vimeo.com/afarmedia.

Choosing your travels each year is a big decision. That’s where we come in: We’ve narrowed the world down to the 100 places that are begging to be experienced right now, from Okinawa to Jordan. Flip through the next 100 pages for ideas about how to travel deeper in 2017’s best destinations. Looking for the next great food city? Turn to page 55. All about traveling off the beaten path? Flip to page 38. But it doesn’t end with the magazine in your hands. You’ll find even more 2017 travel tips, inspiration, and picks at afar.com/wheretogo. Read about our favorite U.S. cities for a getaway, get your travel horoscope for the year—and take a quiz to find out which of our top 2017 destinations should be next on your list. Plus, see which countries, hotels, and tour operators won your vote in our first Travelers’ Choice Awards. Then get ready to pack your bags.

Let’s Have a Chat

To learn how we chose the 100 destinations in our Where to Go 2017 issue—or to tell us about your favorite spot—join us for a Twitter chat on Thursday, January 5 at 11 a.m. PDT. Use #wheretogo2017 to ask us all your burning questions about the upcoming year in travel.

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FROM LEFT: BRIAN FINKE, JONATHAN POZNIAK/GALLERY STOCK

It’s 2017— Where Will You Go?


6:16PM

The moment a San Francisco legend took a bow.

Congratulations to Fairmont San Francisco for winning an inaugural Travelers’ Choice Award, as chosen by the readers of AFAR magazine. The next time you’re looking for an exceptional travel experience, we hope you’ll choose us again—in San Francisco or at any of our 70+ remarkable hotels around the world. Gateway to your moment in over 20 countries. fairmont.com


FROM THE EDITOR WELCOME TO THE

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WHERE TO GO IN 2017

SKALA SIKAMINIAS, GREECE

readers go in 2017? That was the question I asked our team six months ago, when we started planning and developing this issue. Led by Associate Editor Aislyn Greene, we opted for a wildly ambitious approach: AFAR’s first full issue devoted to where to go in the year ahead. These 100 destinations have been pitched, analyzed, debated, and, finally, edited into a wanderlust-inducing jigsaw puzzle that fills 120 pages. These places are notable for one or more reasons: new hotels (page 73); new cultural institutions (page 36); more accessibility for American travelers (page 38). On page 120, we decided to go big and go home with a list of 16 destinations in the United States that our staff has visited recently and recommends from personal experience. But we didn’t stop there. Rather than being wholly didactic, we also wanted to hear from you, our readers, about the trips you’re dreaming about for 2017. Our premier Travelers’ Choice Awards (page 84) demonstrate your wide range of travel preferences and styles. See afar.com/ wheretogo for the full list of nominees and winners. About our cover. Since the November 2015 attacks in Paris, we’ve heard that occupancy rates at hotels all over the city are way down, and

WHERE SHOULD AFAR

22

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that travelers—especially those from the States—are staying away. Paris is one of our favorite cities, and we believe that now is a better time than ever to revisit the City of Light. On page 65, hear directly from writer and resident Lindsey Tramuta about how Parisians have rebounded with a new sense of resolve. Then book a trip. My number one destination. Last summer, I read a story in the New York Times that stuck with me. Skala Sikaminias is a small fishing village on the Greek island of Lesbos. It garnered attention for the hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Middle East and Africa who were rescued from small boats by its 100 residents. Since then, the local economy—highly reliant on tourism—has been gutted. I believe that we should act with our tourism dollars and support communities when they need it the most. Which means Skala Sikaminias tops my 2017 list. TRAVEL WELL,

Julia Cosgrove Editor in Chief


The drinks are on us! Kayak, snorkel or wade your way up to the floating bar on our private island. Sip your tropical drink while enjoying 5-star service on your all-inclusive luxury voyage in paradise. For more information, contact your Travel Professional, call 877-440-6119, or visit www.pgcruises.com/AFAR

TAHITI | FRENCH POLYNESIA | FIJI | SOUTH PACIFIC


meet the innovators who personify the napa valley


If youÕre looking for the spirit of the Napa Valley, you’ll find it in the creative talents who power its businesses—and wineries are just the beginning. There’s a diverse and dynamic community of makers at work across the Napa Valley in restaurant kitchens, design studios and wellness centers. We’re bringing the destination to life through a series of video profiles on AFAR.com. You’ll be fascinated by the work of these local makers and inspired to experience the Napa Valley for yourself.

To watch these makers in action, visit afar.com/napavalleymakers

visitnapavalley.com

KATIANNA HONG & JOHN HONG, Chefs The Charter Oak & The Restaurant at Meadowood A former competitive gymnast, Katianna embraced cooking with a similar discipline and dedication. She has worked her way up from the bottom to chef de cuisine—and during 15-hour shifts, sparks flew between her and John. The culinary power couple shares an appreciation for the remarkable bounty of the Napa Valley. You might spy them at local farmers markets; meeting with purveyors and artisans; or on hikes that often yield ideas for the kitchen. PAM STARR, Winemaker Crocker & Starr With her partner, Charlie Crocker, Pam has revitalized a vineyard whose history dates back to the 1870s. She describes it as her playground, which she oversees with her dog, Griffin, by her side. Pam mixes artistry, science and grit to translate this soil into Cabernet Franc and other Bordeaux-style wines. She’s grateful not only for the Napa Valley’s wellsuited growing attributes but also for its collaborative community of winemakers, large and small. EMILIO ALVAREZ & RYAN MACDONNELL, Mill Master; Co-Owner Round Pond Estate The vineyards and orchards are a labor of love for Ryan and her family. When they decided to expand into olive oil production, Emilio, a veteran

of the estate since the ‘90s, was a natural choice for mill master. He has steered the growth of the estate’s award-winning oils—benefiting from Rutherford’s rich soil and mild climate—and enjoys sharing the single-press process with visitors. WILLIAM CALLNAN III & NIKKI BALLERE CALLNAN, Ceramicists NBC Pottery Will and Nikki met at a ceramics class back in 1997, and their shared passion became the foundation of their family and business. They work out of a home studio in Angwin, in the mountains above St. Helena, molding custom-made wares with an organic edge. Inspired by the beauty of the Napa Valley, their pottery graces the tables of local restaurants and homes. HELEN BROWN, Spa Director Spa Solage Helen, a triathlete, originally hails from the UK and has spent time in Japan and Hawaii. She’s a relative newcomer to the Napa Valley, lured here in 2014 by an opportunity she says she couldn’t resist: working with the geothermal mineral water and therapeutic mud native to Calistoga. Helen has developed seasonal treatments incorporating local healing plants and oils and imbued with a sense of place.


FOUNDER’S NOTE BERMUDA

The World Is Not a Checklist people who count the number of countries they’ve visited. It’s as if a destination is something to be “done” so that you can move on to the next one, when in fact every trip is distinctive. We can never truly be done with a place. A case in point for me: Bermuda. I first went to Bermuda years ago on a business trip. I remember looking out the airplane window and being amazed by the blue waters and pink beaches that ringed the island and the colorful homes that dotted the countryside. I remember being greeted by a gentleman in Bermuda shorts and a blazer at the Hamilton Princess hotel. And I remember going to some local bars and seeing how much fun everyone was having. My trip was quick. I certainly didn’t feel I had “done” Bermuda. I returned to Bermuda with some friends for the 2015 America’s Cup World Series Regatta, a prelude to the official 26

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America’s Cup races that will take place this May and June. We spent a weekend hanging out with several locals on their boats—it seems that in Bermuda, if you don’t have a boat, you know someone who does—relaxing, eating, drinking, and laughing. Based on my brief visits to the island, that’s my impression of everyday life there. But what do I know? I’ve been in Bermuda for a grand total of four days. That’s why I’m excited to go back for our AFAR Experiences Bermuda event April 28–29. I’ll get to know Bermuda even better. We’ll celebrate with Gombey dancers, who reflect the island’s unique mix of cultures; we’ll see how residents are preparing for the upcoming America’s Cup; we’ll tour the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art with its founder; we’ll connect with locals who have invited us into

their homes—and we’ll do all this (and more) in the company of other fun, interesting travelers. I hope you’ll join us. Be forewarned: If you come to Bermuda with us, it probably won’t be your last trip there. But isn’t this what we want from our travels? Not to have been there, done that, but to have been there and be inspired to return. GOOD TRAVELS,

Greg Sullivan Cofounder & CEO

To register for our Bermuda trip, visit afar.com/experiences.

MEREDITH ANDREWS

I’VE ALWAYS BEEN amused by


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Show Your Love Some Love. nikonusa.com/P900 Nikon is a registered trademark of Nikon Corporation. ©2016 Nikon Inc.


S U N VA L LE Y PA R K A

I N S P I R E D B Y G U I D E S. P R O V E N B Y A D V E N T U R E. OUR FOUNDER, EDDIE, WAS AN OUTDOOR GUIDE. HE CREATED THE FIRST DOWN JACKET PATENTED IN A M E R ICA , A ND FOR 96 Y E A R S, WE’VE BEEN SHARING WHAT HE TAUGHT US BY CONT INUING TO INNOVAT E A ND IM PROV E OUR GEAR. WE MADE OUR SUN VAL L EY PARKA WIT H A FLEECE LINING AND 600 FILL PREMIUM DOWN TO KEEP YOU WARM EVEN WHEN IT DIPS BELOW ZERO.

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WANDER WEST SWEDEN

JESPER YU

The Swedish fishing village of Smögen is so lovely that if you mention it to Swedes, they’ll likely let out an audible gasp of delight. Families flock here to lounge in cafés and saunas, crack open freshly caught langoustines, and gawk at the rainbow of old fishing huts. The best way to experience Smögen: take the road trip outlined on the next page. You’ll start in Gothenburg and pull over for other eating and outdoors adventures along the way.

WHERE TO GO 2017

AFAR

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ROADS LESS TRAVELED LIVE LIKE KINGS The fortress that King Carl X had built in the mid-1600s still presides over the seaside village of Marstrand, 28 miles from Gothenburg. Unplug from modern times in one of the town’s Airbnb rentals. Charter a boat to sail in the morning and, after, take a proper fika (coffee break with sweets) at harborside Bergs, where you can feast on a dozen or so different pastries. Right outside town at Keramik, artist Marketa Schätzová fires up clay creations in the kiln that fronts her shop.

Norway Sweden Gothenburg

SWEDE DREAMS

A meandering drive north from Gothenburg, up Sweden’s west coast, leads to the country’s best seafood, wildly beautiful nature reserves, and the sort of dreamy small-town, rural living that you can find only in Scandinavia. BY ANDREW RICHDALE

EXPLORE THE WILD WEST Drive up to Strömstad, near Norway’s border, to catch the ferry to Sydkoster, Sweden’s car-free, westernmost town. The recently renovated Hotel Koster has 42 wood-walled rooms adorned with nautical kitsch. Rent a bike by the dock and take the only road to the Kosters Trädgårdar, a delicious hippie café run by two scientists who grow their own permaculture crops. Pedal on to explore scenic trails along mountains and soak in the quiet life.

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TAKE A LOAD OFF Smögens Hafvsbad is the rare resort that does everything right: The rooms are clean and modern without being cold; the spa, with its multiple saunas and pools, looks out on the North Sea; and the restaurant serves superlative platters of the area’s famed crayfish and shrimp. While there, hike and picnic at Fykan, a nearby coastal nature reserve with heather-covered rocks and rolling hills.

Brake for Oysters!

The town of Grebbestad is Sweden’s bivalve capital.

illustrations by DRUE WAGNER

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: FRIDA SEGEL, ANDREW RICHDALE, LOLA AKINMADE ÅKERSTRÖM, YADID LEVY. LETTERING BY A. SALAMANDRA.

START IN GOTHENBURG Check in to a decadent room at Hotel Pigalle, around the corner from the city’s best shops, most notably Designtorget. The store showcases chic, functional housewares (watering cans, vases) from Nordic makers. Of the city’s seven Michelin-starred restaurants, nearby Koka is the best value with a $100 tasting menu of seven delicate dishes such as scallops with lemon verbena. After dinner, hit Andra Långgatan, a block-long strip of laid-back bars including Café Publik.


Land of Enchantment.


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NEXT STOP

Fact Sheet Location

Japan’s southernmost tip

Getting there

ON ISLAND TIME

A visit to Okinawa, famous for its long-living people, will make you want to stay as long as you can, too. by JANICE LEUNG HAYES

THE JAPANESE ISLAND OF

Okinawa, rich in seafood and beaches, is part Hawaii, but it’s also part maverick: It was an independent kingdom, Ryukyu, until 1879 and still retains distinct customs. The best way to explore its differences from mainland Japan? By car. (Ask for an English-speaking GPS.)

Forty minutes southeast of the airport in Naha is Hyakuna Garan, a 17-room boutique hotel that appears to sprout right out of the Philippine Sea. Built in the rustic Ryukyu style, the hotel has hand-worked masonry, ridged clay roof tiles, and—swoon—rooftop ofuros (Japanese soaking tubs).

Okinawa is small enough that you can easily beach-hop. There’s Emerald Beach in the north, with its clear waters and proximity to the Churaumi Aquarium. And the rugged Shiokawa Beach on the northwestern shore, which has fewer amenities but more off-the-grid charm. Or Tropical Beach, off National Route 58, one of the island’s most accessible whitesand beaches. Nourish yourself with those purportedly life-lengthening foods (sea greens, bitter melon, and shikuwasa, a native citrus) at the izakaya Urizun. Try stirfried tofu with egg and bitter melon followed by thimble-size

The island’s capital city, Naha, is a 3-hour flight from Tokyo.

Population 1.4 million

cups of awamori, a distilled rice liquor. Then stop by Umanchu Ichiba, a farmers’ co-op in the multishop Itoman City Market, to stock up on delicacies like mozuku (a native algae) and jimami (peanut tofu) for people back home. Cap the day at nearby Itoman Gyomin Shokudo, where fishermen’s food (fish soup hot pot with tofu and fish head) is served in a room with walls of limestone blocks that keep the sun out and allow the ocean breeze in.

Two more Japanese islands not to miss 5 KYUSHU Just south of Japan’s main islands, Kyushu is home to rolling hills, hot springs, and Saga beef. But it’s not just an idyllic escape. The capital, Fukuoka, has great shopping—and it’s the birthplace of the world-famous pork bone soup tonkotsu ramen.

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6 HOKKAIDO Japan’s northernmost reaches offer beautiful landscapes all year, from winter’s snowy peaks to lavender fields in summer. Hokkaido also has an abundance of dairy farms, which means soft-serve ice cream and light-as-air cheesecakes at every turn.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: SAM SPICER/GETTY IMAGES, COURTESY OF NAHOKO KOIDE, PAYLESS IMAGES/123RF, JAMES WHITLOW DELANO/REDUX, DAVID KOSMOS SMITH, JTB PHOTO/AGE FOTO STOCK

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COME AS YOU ARE ¨

THE VENET IAN LAS VEGAS

v e n e t i a n . c om


MIX

Go in September 2017 for Restival Arizona, a digital detox that’s run in partnership with several Navajo families on the border of their reservation near Flagstaff. It’s a rare opportunity to experience a legit sweat lodge, take workshops on stargazing and other cultural practices, and kick back with tribe members surrounded by wild mesa scenery.

7 ARIZONA

Are they a bit cheesy? Sure. But these refrigerator magnets turn snack breaks into trips around the world.

MEMORIES THAT STICK

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San Juan is in the midst of an electrifying street art movement. Follow @color_libre on Instagram to find new works and get the stories behind them.

8 PUERTO RICO


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Capitalize on the friendly exchange rate at a fresh crop of new-school Argentinian restaurants. Try Chori for chimichurri chorizo and Proper for wood-fired pork dishes.

10 BUENOS AIRES

On its just-launched nonstop flights from the West Coast, Singapore Airlines’ new A350 jets have humidified cabins and LED lighting options to fight jet lag.

9 SINGAPORE

photograph by JEFFERY CROSS


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Inside the NMAAHC, a quiet area called the Contemplative Court offers space to reflect on your visit.

DOORS ARE OPEN

Gowns, Fossils, and Africa’s Avant-Garde

Three new museums diversify the world’s cultural scene. —S.P. 12 Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech Designer Yves Saint Laurent lived in Marrakech on and off for more than 40 years, and his eponymous museum, opening in autumn 2017, will showcase clothing and accessories from his vast archive.

WASHINGTON, D.C.

D.C.’S NEW MUST-VISIT MUSEUM Don’t miss these four elements at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. MELODY MAKERS One of Prince’s tambourines is part of the museum’s music collection, which also includes a violin owned by the grandson of freed slave William Sugg and the 1,500-pound Mothership prop from Parliament Funkadelic’s P. Funk Earth Tour.

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GO FOR THE GOLD The sports exhibit is, in part, an archive of star-spangled Olympic moments. Track and field legend Carl Lewis donated his eight gold medals, and gymnast Gabby Douglas donated the grips she used on her uneven bar routine at the 2012 games.

AFAR

WHERE TO GO 2017

Designed to evoke Noah’s Ark, Tel Aviv University’s museum and center for biodiversity studies will offer visitors the chance to see some of its 5 million artifacts, fossils, and other specimens when it opens in early 2017.

—SARAH PURKRABEK

China’s Camouflaged Museum in the Mountains

The seven halls of Hangzhou’s Folk Art Museum display the beauty of traditional daily life in China. The museum’s collection comprises more than 50,000 pieces, but the building itself is

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WHAT’S NOW Even before it opened, the museum held a symposium on the Black Lives Matter movement. Now, a gallery is dedicated to it, and there are spaces throughout the museum that will change in reaction to current events.

14 Steinhardt Museum of Natural History

as impressive as the works inside. Designed by the celebrated Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, the museum’s rooms climb the hills it was built into, its floors sloping naturally

with the earth beneath it. The windows have a local touch: A latticework of thousands of roof tiles donated from village homes cast trippy shadow patterns along the floors. —S.P.

ART CREDIT

HISTORY IN A DAY Selma director Ava DuVernay’s short film August 28: A Day in the Life of a People, was made for the museum and focuses on six key events in black history that occurred on that date, including Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

When this Cape Town museum for contemporary art from Africa opens in September, it will dedicate galleries to African-made video, photography, and fashion.

FROM TOP: COURTESY OF: ALAN KARCHMER/SMITHSONIAN NMAAHC, ELICHI KANO/CHINA ACADEMY OF ARTS

13 Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa


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GOOD TRIPS

GO FAR OUT

Northern Ethiopia’s volcanic Danakil Depression gets its wild colors from deposits of salt and sulfur.

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VITTORE BUZZI

If you’re a been-everywhere, done-everything traveler, stay ahead of the crowd this year by booking trips to these uncommon (and downright otherworldly) destinations around the globe.


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Spot Some of the Most Seldom-Seen Creatures on Earth

JOSÉ RAGA FUSTE/MAXX IMAGES; ILLUSTRATIONS BY A. SALAMANDRA

Climb high into the Himalayan kingdom of Ulley Valley, India, with Intrepid Travel to see a host of curious wildlife. 12 nights, from $6,180. —M.F.

Tibetan Antelope

The endangered Tibetan antelope is often poached for its soft, warm underwool, called shahtoosh, which is used to make fine shawls.

Himalayan Marmot

Also known as snow pigs, these ground squirrels live in colonies of up to 30 members and cuddle throughout winter for warmth.

Siberian Ibex

The Siberian ibex’s horns are like mammalian tree trunks. You can deduce their age from the number of rings encircling them.

Snow Partridge

The snow partridge, which builds its nest on rocky hillsides, has a plumage of gray and chestnut stripes and a bright red bill.

17-19

PLAN A TRIPLE PLAY

It’s not too ambitious to tackle Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia in one trip. The bordering countries of Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia—known together as the region of Transcaucasia—can seem worlds apart. Each country’s language shares no roots with the others, and while most Azerbaijanis practice Islam, Georgia and Armenia are predominantly Christian. A trip through the region with outfitter Caucasus Travel takes you to Azerbaijan’s

8th-century mosques, Armenia’s Eastern Orthodox monasteries, chic Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi, Georgia, and Dilijan, a mountain resort town that is often dubbed “the Armenian Switzerland.” Caucasus Travel employs only local guides, and their 14-day trip ends with a celebratory toast in Georgia, the birthplace of winemaking. From $3,900. —MAGGIE FULLER

ART CREDIT

Journey to the Edges of Earth

ETHIOPIA

With its technicolor hot springs and lava lakes, the terrain of Ethiopia’s Danakil Depression is so bizarre and extreme, astrobiologists study it for insights into life on other planets. The climax of a visit there is a trek up to the rim of an active volcano, where you can peek into the fiery underworld beneath the Earth’s crust. Guests of Wild Frontiers camp near the edge of the crater (at a safe distance, of course). 10 nights, from $4,440. —M.F.

WHERE TO GO 2017

AFAR

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for the FOOD NOMAD WHERE TO TR AVEL FOR CHARM, CULTURE & CUISINE

BEGUILING BEAUT Y

Charleston, South Carolina Charleston’s fascinating juxtaposition of new and old exudes a sense of joie de vivre that makes it a delicious “must visit” destination.

Full of gorgeous scenery, gorgeous people, and gorgeous weather, Charleston offers something special, something alluring to travelers on a quest to experience the true flavor of a place. While the underpinnings of this Southern gem are assuredly historic, a palpable exuberance exists. For a list of award-winning hotels & resorts, insider tips on where to dine, and a calendar of cultural events, visit ExploreCharleston.com.

@E X P LO R E C H A R LE S TO N

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A CELEBRATION OF SOUTHERN INGREDIENTS The pulse of Charleston has been connected to its kitchens since the late 1600s, when subsistence farming and fishing unknowingly gave birth to today’s prized hyper-local Lowcountry cuisine. Profoundly shaped by local Gullah culture, it’s a rich culinary tradition that revolves around ingredients like okra, field peas, and shellfish as well as heirloom varieties of rice and corn.

CULINARY GETAWAYS A modern playground for standout culinary talent, including a few dozen James Beard Foundation Best Chef Award nominees as well as winners, Charleston is home to a volume of world-class dining normally associated with cities five times its size. Here, dining out is a form of nightly entertainment.

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or many, the definition of Southern food is underscored by two items: fried chicken and biscuits. While those two tasty staples will thankfully never disappear from tailgate parties or engagement brunches, an enthralling new era of sophisticated, playful, and creative riffs on the South’s time-honored recipes and ingredients has arrived. And there is only one place to experience this cuisine evolution: Charleston, South Carolina.

The vitality of Charleston is most evident in the city’s acclaimed dining scene with tiny passion project eateries positioned alongside some of the South’s most renowned restaurants.

FOR INSIDER TIPS ON WHERE TO STAY, EAT & PL AY: EXPLORECHARLESTON.COM


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GOOD TRIPS The Lycian Way footpath spans 335 miles of coastal Turkey and passes such ruins as the tombs of the ancient city of Kaunos, near Dalyan.

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YES, YOU CAN HIKE IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Go for gorgeous landscapes, rewarding cultural encounters, and few crowds. EXPLORE . . . JORDAN’S DESERT Lawrence of Arabia described Jordan’s Wadi Rum desert as “vast, echoing, and god-like.” Roam this expanse of burntorange sand and jagged mountains by jeep, by camel, or on foot, stopping to sip tea with Bedouins in their woven goat-hair tents. A variety of local outfitters can arrange a day or overnight trip from Petra. -NICK ROWLANDS

ART CREDIT KNOP/LAIF/REDUX

EXPLORE . . . TURKEY, SAFELY Some 500 miles from Istanbul, Turkey’s ancient Lycian Way stretches along the country’s southern coast. Traverse it with Equinox Travel to discover two-millenia-old ruins, thickly forested mountains, and the perpetually burning fires of Mount Chimaera, where natural methane seeps from the earth and bursts into flames From $2,500.

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WHERE TO GO 2017


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GOOD TRIPS

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GET AN INSIDER’S LOOK AT THE WONDERS OF IRAN

Fourteen days. Eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites. That’s what’s on the itinerary aboard Golden Eagle Luxury Trains’ new Heart of Persia tour through Iran. Here, some highlights. by NICK ROWLANDS

CHAN CHAN, PERU

Built 600 years before Machu Picchu, the ancient city of Chan Chan is a less-visited site that’s even more mysterious. Located on Peru’s northwestern coast, the long-abandoned desert metropolis of Chan Chan has kept its secrets from archaeologists. Who were these people who meticulously planned the streets winding through plazas, built royal burial platforms, and carved intricate and still-crisp images of local birds, rodents, fish, and turtles on sandstone walls? Newly excavated areas are opening to the public all the time, but increasingly frequent storms threaten to wash away Chan Chan’s delicate walls, making this a site to visit sooner rather than later. Chan Chan is on the outskirts of the city of Trujillo, an hour’s flight from Lima. Two-day entrance tickets are $3. —M.F.

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WHERE TO GO 2017

Day 1 TEHRAN While the Iranian capital is a modern metropolis, you’ll find history at every turn. Practice your haggling in the centuries-old Grand Bazaar. In its mazelike corridors, you can find carpets, perfumes, spices, and gold jewelry, as well as locals picking up household goods.

Day 4 MAHAN Shazdeh Garden was built in the 19th century for the local governor. It’s a prime example of classic Persian style: Handcrafted rock walls and arches, stepped cascading pools, and intricate tile work unite to give the place a largerthan-life, royal elegance.

Day 7 ISFAHAN Imam Square is one of the largest city squares in the world, and it’s surrounded by some of Iran’s most impressive Islamic structures. The mosques, imperial palace, and Grand Bazaar drew together the clergy, the shah’s retinue, and merchants during the 7th-century Safavid Dynasty.

Day 10 SHUSHTAR A system of dams, bridges, mills, and tunnels has been diverting water from the Kârun River into the fortress town of Shushtar for the past 2,000 years. After passing through the tunnels, the water tumbles off a cliff to irrigate the orchard plains below. From $16,495.

LEFT TO RIGHT FROM TOP: JOSÉ RAGA FUSTE/MAXX IMAGES (2), DAVID DE VLEESCHAUWER (2), ARNOLD PAIRA/LAIF/REDUX, DAVID DE VLEESCHAUWER, MARTINA KATZ/IMAGEBROKER/MAXX IMAGES, STEFAN AUTH/IMAGEBROKER/MAXX IMAGES, ERIC LAFFORGUE

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A D V E R T I S E M E N T

BEAUTIFUL SCOTTSDALE

Brooklyn-based blogger Christine Amorose (@cestchristine) is determined to make the most of her weekends, and that mission recently brought her to Scottsdale, Arizona. Here, she shares five can’t-miss experiences, from her favorite desert adventure to insider art tours. 1. HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE There’s nothing quite like the magic of fl oating 5,000 feet up in the air as the sun also rises. And Scottsdale, with its 330 days of sunshine, has near-perfect conditions for taking to the sky. From the hot air balloon, I soaked up views of Scottsdale and the surrounding area, including Camelback Mountain and the tantalizing blue of Lake Pleasant.

2. TOUR OF TALIESIN WEST Iconic architect Frank Lloyd Wright was one of the original snowbirds: When a doctor recommended a stint in the desert after a spell of pneumonia, he moved to Scottsdale for the winter. He was so inspired that he built Taliesin West as his residence and school. But you don’t need to be an architecture buff to appreciate the Insights Tour of this remarkable space. 3. 4WD DESERT ADVENTURE With more than 2,000 types of plants, the Sonoran Desert is second only to the Amazon rain forest in diversity of species. A Jeep ride with Pink Adventure Tours gave me a fi rsthand understanding of how vast and varied this desertscape really is. Just don’t underestimate what they mean by off-roading: Stick to a light breakfast and hold on tight!

Check AFAR.com/arizona for more highlights from Christine’s trip to Scottsdale.

4. DOWNTOWN DINING & DRINKING It’s easy to fi nd excellent Mexican food and margaritas in walkable Old Town Scottsdale—plus farm-to-table dishes and Arizona-made wines on offer. I’m especially partial to Second Story Liquor Bar, a restaurant and bar inspired by the Mad Men era. Savor your gimlet in the leather-and-wood interior or on the balcony. 5. INSIDER’S ART PERSPECTIVE Ace Bailey was born and raised in Scottsdale, and she’s passionate about maintaining its creative heritage while also moving it into the future. When she’s not working as a concierge at Hotel Valley Ho, a mid-century landmark, she gives art and cultural tours. I loved getting her take on Scottsdale’s public art—even its City Hall has a gorgeous stained glass ceiling.


THE DESERT IS HOT Absolutely blazing.

AbsolutelyScottsdale.com


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CHART YOUR JOURNEY

EUROPE, BELOW THE RADAR

Visit the continent with fresh eyes this year by booking a trip to these rising-star cities. by ANDREW RICHDALE

If You Like Go To

What To Do

Stay At

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BERLIN

Leipzig, 25 Germany

BARCELONA

Málaga, 26 Spain

COPENHAGEN

Aarhus, 27 Denmark

ZURICH

ROME

Bern, 28 Switzerland

Parma, 29 Italy

A breeding ground for young artists, Leipzig, with its warehouse parties and Soviet towers, could be Berlin right after the wall fell.

Sunny days by the sea, tapas binges, a bounty of trippy architecture—it’s Barcelona without all the hippies and students.

Like Copenhagen, this second-largest Danish city is home to eye-grabbing modern design and a thriving New Nordic food scene.

Bern has the same sophisticated vibe, Old World architecture, and green spaces as Zurich— just with one third of the population.

UNESCO recently named the birthplace of Parma ham and Parmesan cheese the world’s first Creative City of Gastronomy.

Don’t miss Spinnerei, a 25-acre former mill turned studio compound for 100 artists. Wander through provocative photography exhibits at Halle 14 and shop for elegant corallike sculptures at Claudia Biehne’s studio and shop.

The port city has been occupied by more than five different civilizations in its 2,800 years. Admire the ruins of Phoenician lighthouses and Roman theaters. Back in this century, sip Spanish beer at the new El Rincón del Cervecero.

Aarhus is full of foward-thinking minds. Challenge your palate with the calf’s-blood macaroons at Frederikshøj and admire the spiky Iceberg apartment complex. Get around using the city’s new light-rail, which opens this year.

It’s all about the good life here. Hike up to Rosengarten, a park with 200 types of roses and sweeping views of the old city. And visit the Zentrum Paul Klee for an exhibit on Klee’s relationship with the Surrealist painters of Paris.

Enjoy langoustines and shrimp beignets at F.I.S.H. Sample salami at the market near Strada Matteo Renato Imbriani. Drink your fill of the local lambrusco. And top it all off with the creamy fior di latte gelato from Cremeria Emilia.

Pentahotel (from $95) has a lavish breakfast and is located within walking distance of the train station.

The Hotel Vincci Selección Posada del Patio (from $125) is built on top of the ruins of old Moorish walls.

You enter Hotel Oasia (from $100) via cobblestones, but inside it’s raw plank floors and Scandinavian style.

The 128 rooms at the Bellevue Palace (from $350) are large and comfortable. Ask for one with a river view.

Stay at Hotel Daniel (from $80) for easy access to its restaurant, Cocchi, a shrine to cured meats.

WHERE TO GO 2017

illustration by CHRISTOPHER DELORENZO


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CONNEC T

COURTESY OF LA ROUTE DU SUD

FEAST p.55

VIEWS FROM AFAR p.62

RESIDENT p.65

STAY p.73

A stay at La Maison des Arganiers pulls the curtain back on a hidden side of Morocco (p.73).

WHERE TO GO 2017

AFAR

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ADELAIDE

The Age of Adelaide

The Australian city’s food scene hit it big by starting small. by DANIELLE WALSH

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and as I clutched a cocktail of tonic and Australian gin, I swung open the doors of a wardrobe in Adelaide’s Thrift Shop Bar and found not clothes, but a tiny hidden room. Lanky candles stuck in old soda bottles stood on small tables. “The Narnia Room,” locals call it, for obvious reasons. The Thrift Shop Bar takes its theme seriously. Bartenders pour drinks from behind a bar propped on stacks of vintage suitcases, and 1970s-style dresses serve as T WAS 9 P.M.,

photographs by ANDRE CASTELLUCCI

lampshades. So a magical old wardrobe made sense. But a bar that makes its own liqueurs from native Aussie fruits like quandong and turns them into cocktails that can rival New York’s—in Adelaide? Australia’s “City of Churches”? That’s the stuff of fantasies—or at least it was until three years ago. Most travelers, if they think of Adelaide at all, likely consider the city a convenient base for exploring some of Australia’s premier wine regions, including the Barossa Valley and

McLaren Vale. That’s what originally brought me there. (See “Head for the Hills,” page 56.) But I was shocked to find something I wasn’t even looking for: a food scene as exciting as anything happening in Sydney or Melbourne. To walk down one of Adelaide’s bustling alleys—Aussies call them laneways—is to teeter on the verge of sensory overload. A dizzying array of bars and restaurants fills the side streets with the rich smell of slow-roasting kangaroo tail, and the sounds of chatter and WHERE TO GO 2017

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CONNECT F E A S T

Winemaker Taras Ochota, bottom left, pours local wines at his pizza spot, Lost in a Forest, at left. Pink Moon Saloon, below and previous page, excels at late-night cocktails.

forks clinking on plates pour from the flungopen storefronts. The densely packed parallel laneways of Peel Street and Leigh Street beg for a multistop dinner or a bar crawl. Before arriving at Thrift Shop Bar, I went with my guide, David Sly, a local wine and food writer, to the globe-hopping Peel St. Restaurant for hummus with minced lamb, pomegranate, and spiced yogurt along with banana blossom salad. We chased that with paper-thin prosciutto and a negroni at Clever Little Tailor, a café by afternoon, bar by night. None of these places were here four years ago. And they probably wouldn’t be here now if it weren’t for one of the neighborhood’s most unassuming bars: Udaberri Pintxos y Vino, a wine bar and tapas joint. Tiny and dark, Udaberri traffics in classic Basque food and wine—bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with a salty blue cheese, glasses of the effervescent white wine txakolina—inspired by the time co-owner Rob Dinnen spent in San Sebastián. “When I came back to Australia, I wanted to create a place similar to where I worked in Spain,” Dinnen says. “But we immediately hit a lot of stumbling blocks.” 56

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Head for the Hills

Adelaide’s restaurant scene isn’t the only reason for a food lover to travel to South Australia.

Uraidla, a sleepy town in the Adelaide hills, is where locals go for a weekend of food and wine. (It’s very English countryside-meetsSonoma.) Here, 30 minutes east of Adelaide, winemakers tinker with

WHERE TO GO IN WINE COUNTRY Ochota Barrels Call ahead to set a time to taste wines named after bands and songs. ochotabarrels.com

natural methods, offbeat blends, and grapes you won’t find anywhere else in Australia. You can try many of the area’s wines, as well as some top-notch pizza, at Lost in a Forest. Started by winemaker Taras Ochota and some friends in a former church, it spotlights the founder’s own Ochota Barrels wine—including a pinot noir and chardonnay made only for the restaurant—as well

as other Adelaide Hills stunners, such as a pinot noir from Commune of Buttons. “I’m using my friends’ wines,” Ochota says. “I thought about just serving my wine, but that would be boring.” Across the street, the restaurant Uraidla Hotel offers up more local fare, such as rabbit and pancetta ale pie with celeriac puree, and reds from the tiny town of Basket Range.

Lost in a Forest End a day with creatively topped (honey, prawns) wood-fired pizza. lostinaforest.com.au

sibling duo. communeof buttons.com.au

Commune of Buttons Organic wines made by a

Uraidla Hotel A hotel in name only, this restaurant modernizes Aussie classics. uraidlahotel.com.au


CONNECT F E A S T To plan your own food crawl of Adelaide, visit afar.com/ adelaidefood

Before 2012, Adelaide’s dining and drinking scene was all big-box restaurants, pubs (or “hotels,” as Aussies call them), and up-all-night seedy clubs. Dinnen wanted to open something different: an intimate space where patrons could have a glass of wine and some tapas—not sit down for an entire

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dinner or spend a debauched night downing shots. However, he and his business partner were denied their first application for a license. The problem? The license they sought didn’t really exist. They got the media involved and tried again. This time, after a short trial period, Udaberri (pictured)

was granted Adelaide’s first official small-bar license. That was in 2013. Today, 69 establishments operate under smallbar licenses, many of them in the laneways. Adelaide’s newly energized nightlife scene helps support chefs, artists, and musicians and keeps them from fleeing to


If you are looking for vibrant authenticity with a taste of France in the Caribbean, you will find it all in Martinique!

For more information: us.martinique.org


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4 More Up-and-Coming Food Destinations

bigger cities. Plus, these spots give small local winemakers a stage to showcase and sell their more experimental bottles—an opportunity they otherwise might not have. Sly and I ended the night at Pink Moon Saloon (pictured above), a slender A-frame cabin wedged between two taller buildings. There’s a perpetual wait to cram into the 12-foot-wide space. Once I got past the doorman, I shimmied by patrons indulging in club sandwiches stacked with smoky bacon, chicken, and chipotle sauce to where the bartender was shaking drinks. I ordered a Sugar Pea Southside, a seasonal cocktail made with gin, sugar snap peas, and lemon. I was drunk, not just on liquor or the pleasant warmth of a full belly, but on the satisfaction of being let in on a secret worth sharing. 60

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31 PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND, CANADA This 139-milelong island north of Nova Scotia is small but mighty when it comes to food. The country’s best chefs teach at the Culinary Institute of Canada in Charlottetown, and many graduates stay in the area, enamored with the island’s fresh ingredients. Known for its sea-

food, PEI also sits at a near-perfect latitude for growing wine grapes.

32 SANTA YNEZ VALLEY, CA An influx of restaurateurs, entrepreneurs, and dreamers from Los Angeles, two hours south, have turned this valley—made up of six bucolic communities, including Solvang, Los Olivos, and Los Alamos—into

a dining destination waiting to be discovered.

33 SPEYSIDE, SCOTLAND More than half the world’s malt whiskey is produced in Speyside, a laid-back stretch of countryside near the River Spey. The restoration of several hotels, including the Station Hotel, means now is the time to taste fine malts on a personalized distillery tour.

34 MENDOZA, ARGENTINA A group of pioneering winemakers and talented chefs, plus a growing number of luxury vineyard hotels such as Entre Cielos, have turned Mendoza into the Napa Valley of South America. And while you might go for the malbec, you’ll also find such surprises as biodynamic pinot noir and Frenchstyle merlot.

Learn more about these four places at afar.com/food2017.


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Rolling Home

For outdoor photographer Steve Rokks, a custombuilt van allows him to play longer in the greatest places on Earth. pack up my family and live out of a van, I would; there’s a simplicity to that life I love. My current life—with my wife, three young kids, and a ton of photography equipment—is not conducive to being on the road full time, but I built a van with a bed, a stove, and even a refrigerator so I can head out for stints of a few weeks. The van allows me to take photographs and make films without sacrificing time in places like Yosemite, which is, to me, the center of the universe. There’s no hotel to get back to, no reason to leave, and I find I stay in the moment more. This particular morning, I was in Yosemite waiting to capture Hans Florine’s 100th ascent of El Capitan. As I did most mornings, I opened the back doors while I was making coffee, and that’s when I saw Tunnel View, one of my favorites in the park. It never gets old. The first time I saw it, my jaw dropped. I put the camera away and just looked.”

“IF I COULD

—AS TOLD TO MAGGIE FULLER WHERE TO GO 2017

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PARIS

La Promenade PlantĂŠe

Centre Commercial

Le Syndicat

Verbreuil

Tannat

Centre Commercial

City of Might

Paris has changed since the tragic attacks in November 2015—here, five locals share why it will always shine on. La Fontaine de Belleville

Restaurant Pierre Sang

Le Square Gardette

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CONNECT R E S I D E N T Get Lindsey’s itinerary as well as a full guide to Paris at afar.com/ visit/paris.

Where I Live

Lindsey Tramuta, author of the forthcoming book The New Paris, walks us through her neighborhood, which, little more than a year after being shaken by terrorist attacks, retains its joie de vivre. as told to AISLYN GREENE

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LIVE RIGHT ON the border of the 10th and the 11th arrondissements. When I moved here 10 years ago, the area wasn’t all that interesting for me, a 21-year-old who was just discovering the city. It has changed tremendously since then. Rue Oberkampf, the main drag, was always a busy market street, but when I arrived, it was mostly rundown shops and dingy bars where you’d find old men drinking at nine in the morning. When chef Pierre Sang opened his eponymous restaurant, he created a new energy on the street. Other businesses, especially restaurants and bars, followed. I’ve always loved that this area gives you a more varied view of

EXPLORE LINDSEY’S PARIS

Where to find artistic pastry, sustainable sneakers, and peace and quiet.

the city. On my street there are a lot of bars, but as you head north, you’ll find dynamic Jewish and Arab communities. People like to be out here, drinking and eating and enjoying themselves. I think that social, bon vivant element is the reason the neighborhood was targeted last November. The attacks took place 10 minutes from my home and changed my lovely, easygoing neighborhood. Now people are, understandably, a bit more on edge. But there’s also a resilience, like there was in New York after 9/11. The cafés that were attacked, including Le Petit Cambodge and Le Carillon, have reopened and are busy—we refuse to let what happened ruin our everyday lives.

RESTAURANT PIERRE SANG “He loves to work with local produce, but Sang, who was born in Korea and adopted by a French family at seven, has introduced French people to flavors they weren’t used to—fermentation comes up a lot.” LE CARILLON AND LE PETIT CAMBODGE “These cafés were hit during

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the attacks. Le Petit Cambodge is a trendy Cambodian place and Le Carillon is an old-school bar. Both are important to the neighborhood and were packed the moment they reopened.” LE SYNDICAT “I adore this place, which makes cocktails with classic French spirits (cognac, armagnac) that are popular outside of France

Tannat

but not commonly used in French cocktails. I usually ask the bartenders to surprise me; most recently I tried a gin and tonic made with bonal, a bitter fortified wine.” CENTRE COMMERCIAL “The boutique’s clothes are a hybrid of Parisian bobo chic and casual street wear—and they’re all sustainably made. (The

owners also founded the sustainable shoe brand Veja.) I got a pair of white canvas sneakers here that I wear all the time.” TANNAT “When you step inside the bistro, you’re struck by the reflections from the mirrored ceiling. I still remember this deconstructed lemon tart with toasted meringue puffs and dabs of lemon curd

I ate there. The chef, Olivier Le Corre, used to be a graffiti artist.” LE SQUARE GARDETTE “This park is so quiet that it feels like you’re not in the city. Several spots have popped up around it, including The Beans on Fire, a coffee roastery and café, and Broken Biscuits, a pastry shop. I love their pistachio cakes.”


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Vive le Café!

David Flynn, part owner of the roastery Belleville Brûlerie and the new La Fontaine de Belleville, is on a mission to upgrade the city’s iconic café scene. as told to LINDSEY TRAMUTA 68

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T’S NO SECRET: For a

long time Parisian coffee was awful. The city may have had an amazing café culture, but that never had much to do with the quality. Years ago, when the first specialty coffee shops started to appear, they didn’t look anything like French cafés, partly because of foreign influence (they looked

more Scandi-hipster) and partly because it’s expensive to open a traditional, street-side spot. Since Thomas Lehoux and I launched Belleville Brûlerie more than three years ago, it’s been our goal to be very French and in tune with French culture. When the opportunity came up to buy La Fontaine, a corner café that Thomas and I used to

frequent for beers, we jumped on it. If specialty coffee is to break out of its niche, it has to be served in more traditional places. There’s a lot to love about that style of café—it’s not so focused on one individual product that you lose sight of what’s important: the welcome, the community, the food, and the non-coffee drinks. And that’s a formula worth preserving.


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HOW DO YOU UNWIND?

Three Parisians share their go-to spots for slowing down. —L.T.

GUY GRIFFIN, Owner of Café Oberkampf “I dream of a 5 p.m. meal at Clamato, a seafood restaurant and wine bar in the 11th. I like to sit in the back, where light pours in through the window and you can peek at the garden outside. A plate of razor clams and a glass of white wine would make my Sunday.”

Shop Local

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everything France does is artisanal isn’t a myth,” Lindsey says. “But products in France had declined in quality. Now there is a return to protecting what it has historically been so good at.” Pampering your skin, for example. In 2014, Xavier Desforges de Caulières launched Maison Caulières, a line of creams and oils made with sunflower, rapeseed, and linseed oils produced by his parents’ Loire Valley farm. “We’re talking about a very, very French family,” Lindsey says. “They can trace their history in the valley back 1,200 years to Charlemagne.” The French are wild for the results. “Apparently the actress Marion Cotillard won’t travel without their hand cream.” France’s tannery legacy was rebooted by Verbreuil (pictured), an upscale handbag company that is completely family run. “Sylvie Véron Hériard-Dubreuil designs the bags,” Lindsey says. “Then she and her daughter 70

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HE NOTION THAT

WHERE TO GO 2017

source some of the finest leather in Europe and work with master craftsmen to create these architectural, discreet purses.” In France, few families are as well known as the Loiseaus, whose late patriarch, chef Bernard Loiseau, inspired the character Chef Gusteau in the animated children’s movie Ratatouille. Loiseau took his own life in 2003, after hints that his three-Michelinstar restaurant might be downgraded. Following his death, Bernard’s wife, Dominique, took over the family business. Their daughter, Bérangère, joined a few years later and freshened things up, updating the names of their two Parisian restaurants (now Loiseau Rive Droite and Loiseau Rive Gauche) and developing a line of craft foods that includes beer. The common thread among these new artisans? “All of them are continuing (or building) family narratives that they feel a moral duty to pursue,” Lindsey says. —A.G.

THIBAULT CHARPENTIER, Photographer

“I have an endless love for greenhouses, in particular the Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil in the 16th. It’s calm and little known, with wrought-iron tables perfect for relaxing with a book.”

ÉLODIE FAGAN, La Recho Food Truck “When I need a break, I visit the Jeu de Paume gallery in the Tuileries gardens, which feels like a retreat from the sound and fury of Paris streets. The exhibitions are always tastefully curated and not too big.”

PHOTOS BY CÉLINE CLANET, ILUSTRATIONS BY DAVID WILSON

While researching her book, due out in April, Lindsey Tramuta discovered a mini movement of French families reviving traditional crafts.


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CONNECT S T A Y EMILIANO Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Where to Stay in 2017

COURTESY OF LEONARDO FINOTTI/EMILIANO HOTEL

You’ve got a lot to see this year, so you’re going to need your rest. These new standout lodgings will make you feel comfortable, relaxed, and inspired everywhere you roam.

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CONNECT S T A Y

Hotels that look as good as they feel

60-foot swimming pool on the lake’s edge. From $830.

LAKE COMO, ITALY Finally, a contemporary hotel to match Lake Como’s glamorous image. The sleek, 30-suite Il Sereno Lago di Como is clad in natural materials (walnut wood, stone, bronze), with two vertical gardens reaching up 35 feet to lend a feeling of seclusion and pedestrian pathways that lead to a 74

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38 LA PAZ, BOLIVIA

Atix is the first design-centric hotel to open in La Paz’s Zona Sur district. A facade of stacked glass, timber, and reclaimed stone conceals seven floors, each of which has an aesthetic inspired by a Bolivian landscape (the high Andes, the Uyuni salt flats) and artwork by Gastón Ugalde. Bolivia’s bounty is reflected

WHERE TO GO 2017

39 RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL Noted architects Arthur Casas and Chad Oppenheim designed the Emiliano to be a modernist oasis amid the throngs of bronzed bodies on Copacabana beach. Latticed cobogó facades on the 90 guest rooms offer privacy without sacrificing light or views. From $820.

houses and 10,000 ancient camphor trees from mountain communities endangered by the construction of a reservoir were relocated to a 100acre swath of land just minutes from downtown Shanghai. The 44 villas, private gardens, a spa, and six dining venues offer an alternative to city

41 NEW YORK CITY Kit Kemp, the playful London-based designer behind the Crosby Street Hotel, brings her whimsical style to Midtown with the Whitby Hotel. Three blocks

south of Central Park, the 86 rooms and suites sport warehouse-style windows to illuminate Kemp’s signature bold textiles, colors, and patterns. Relax in the cinema or among the orange trees in the conservatory. From $795. —JENNIFER FLOWERS

On the Rails The Andes by train

40 SHANGHAI, CHINA It literally took a village to create Aman Shanghai. Over the last decade, 50 Ming and Qing dynasty

skyscrapers. Rates not yet available.

PERU Traveling one of the world’s highest

rail routes will get a lot cushier with the May launch of the Belmond Andean Explorer, South America’s first luxury sleeper train. The 34 cabins are outfitted with handwoven fabrics

and alpaca wool blankets. On guided one- or two-night itineraries that stop in Cuzco, Arequipa, and Lake Titicaca, guests can sip pisco sours on the openair deck. From $460 per person. —J.F.

COURTESY OF IL SERENO

Design Minded

in the menu at Ona, which features local ingredients such as quinoa, potatoes, and fish. From $160.

IL SERENO Lake Como, Italy


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CONNECT S T A Y

Urban hotels that are destinations in themselves

SEATTLE The Thompson Seattle adds a dose of style to the city’s hotel scene. The angular glass structure commands views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains, and its interiors riff on Seattle’s aviation heritage with exposed steel and concrete finishes. The Nest lounge, with its two fire pits, draws locals for happy hour, and the locavore-oriented Scout restaurant has already become

a coveted reservation. Score a seat at the chef’s counter for a 14-course exploration of the Pacific Northwest. From $280.

e-bikes, Vespas, longboards, Leica cameras, and other toys. From $299.

44 DENVER

Anchoring the city’s sparkling Brickell City Centre is EAST, Miami. The 352 guest rooms exude calm, thanks to natural woods, abstract ocean art, and mesmerizing skyline views framed by floorto-ceiling windows. Book a table at Quinto La Huella, the first U.S. branch of a revered seaside parrilla in Uruguay. From $380.

The first clue that the Halcyon is not your normal hotel: no check-in desk. Instead, guests are welcomed with an espresso or a cocktail at the lobby bar (where they can return for gratis pick-me-ups during their stay). Turntables with vinyl collections are found in the 155 guest rooms, and the Gear Garage stocks

EAST Miami

45 MIAMI

46 SEVILLE Until last fall, Seville

47 ROME Come spring, Rome’s historic Hotel Eden will reemerge after an extensive face-lift. The 128-year-old hotel’s marble and gold lobby hints at the 98 opulent guest rooms that have been refreshed with gold detailing and original artwork. The new spa will use products from the Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, founded in 1612. The top-floor restaurant, La Terrazza dell’Eden, will serve Italian cuisine with views of St. Peter’s Basilica. From $687.

48 BARCELONA The London-based Soho House group comes to Spain with the Soho House Barcelona, set in a 19th-century building in the lively Barri Gòtic quarter. The private club and hotel embraces classic Catalan

design (traditional tiles, warm hues) in 57 bedrooms, many of which face historic Duc de Medinaceli Square. Social spaces include a lounge serving tapas and a pool with views of the Mediterranean. The spa has its own cavernous pool. From $245.

49 GUAYAQUIL, ECUADOR Long known as a stopover for Galápagos-bound travelers, Guayaquil has graduated from gritty port city to promising Pacific hub. One reason to stay a couple of

extra nights: the standard-setting Hotel Del Parque. Set on the banks of the Rio Daule in an 1890s former Catholic hospice, the 44-room retreat preserves original Republican-era architectural features, including the fountain courtyards, ornate chapel, and bell tower (transformed into a spa treatment room). The hotel is bordered on three sides by a park nurturing native flora and fauna, including the spider monkey, harpy eagle, iguana, and macaw. From $350. —ALEX PASQUARIELLO

CLOCKWISE FROM BOTTOM LEFT: COURTESY OF EAST MIAMI, SUZI PRATT, COURTESY OF FOUR SEASONS RESORT LANAI

In the City

lacked a luxury hotel worthy of the city’s world-class architecture. The Mercer Sevilla changes that. The seductive 12-room retreat occupies a meticulously restored 19th-century palacio. White-onwhite guest rooms mix original wood floors with modern furnishings. The rooftop pool’s deck is ideal for a siesta; in the cocktail bar, the drinks were dreamed up by noted Seville bartender Diego Cabrera. From $687.


CONNECT S T A Y regimens to keep sybarites busy for days. From $335.

53 FÉLICITÉ, SEYCHELLES The powdery beaches, nature reserves, and unique culture of the Seychelles Islands remain largely unknown to U.S. travelers. That could change soon, thanks to better air service and a recent crop of resorts, including the eco-minded Six Senses Zil Pasyon. The only lodging on the island of Félicité, the 30-villa resort leaves a light footprint, with solar power, water filtration, and scientistled projects dedicated to protecting native wildlife. From $1,340.

54 ANGRA DOS REIS, BRAZIL 

By the Sea

Worth, ahem, splashing out for

LANAI, HAWAII  Lanai, a sleepy former pineapple plantation, has entered the spotlight. Following the island’s purchase by tech billionaire Larry Ellison in 2012, the Four Seasons Resort Lanai

underwent an overhaul that reduced the number of guest rooms from 286 to 213 and shook off their dated look with mahogany floors and walls of slate and teak. Guests can dine at outposts of Nobu and Malibu Farm, take flying lessons, learn to make leis, hike, ride horses, or go off-roading. From $1,150.

THE THOMPSON Seattle

51 MEDHUFARU, MALDIVES If you thought the Maldives were only for honeymooners, think again. Soneva Jani offers 25 family-friendly villas, each with a private pool and a water slide that delivers you into a turquoise lagoon below. Summer camp–style programming, an ice cream shop, and an open-air movie theater aim to please younger guests. For the adults: retractable roofs in the master bedrooms for stargazing, and

glamping stays on nearby deserted islands. From $1,870.

52 KAPLANKAYA, TURKEY  Canyon Ranch has brought its spa philosophy to Turkey’s southwest coast, 50 miles from the popular holiday city of Bodrum. The 141 minimalist rooms of Canyon Ranch Wellness Resort at Kaplankaya all face the Aegean Sea. The spa and wellness center, covering more than 107,500 square feet, offer enough therapies, classes, and

Less than a threehour drive west of Rio, the 365 islands of Angra dos Reis are popular with vacationing Brazilians. When it opens later this year, Fasano Angra dos Reis intends to lure beach-obsessed foreigners to its

shores, too. The 54 guest rooms will be furnished with works by local artisans using materials such as straw and fishing nets. Also in the plans: a raw-bar restaurant, a spa, and five pools. From $450.

55 LANGKAWI, MALAYSIA  Langkawi is the name of both a Malaysian archipelago and the largest of the archipelago’s 99 sandy islands. Two new resorts are opening up on the island’s lessvisited southwest coast. The St. Regis Langkawi (from $300) has 85 suites, four overwater villas, and a spa with a natural saltwater lagoon. The Ritz-Carlton, Langkawi (from $450), slated to open this summer near an ancient rain forest, will have its own private beach. The 90 rooms and 29 villas will take design cues from traditional Malay palaces, while basket-shaped spa cabanas will appear to float on the sea. —SANDRA RAMANI

FOUR SEASONS RESORT Lanai WHERE TO GO 2017

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A MEXICAN SPIRIT, A MAYAN SOUL NIZUC Resort & Spa boasts two beaches, six gourmet restaurants, the ESPA spa, a kids club, and a conference center. The luxurious accommodations throughout its 274 private villas and suites feature modern Mayan furnishings. 1-855-mynizuc • nizuc.com

GANSEVOORT MEATPACKING, NEW YORK Opened in 2004, the flagship of the Gansevoort Hotel Group is the first luxury, full-service resort in Manhattan’s vibrant Meatpacking District. Offering a chic retreat from the urban metropolis that surrounds our property, the hotel’s 186 spacious guestrooms include 22 stylish suites and one duplex presidential suite. Many have stunning views of the Manhattan skyline and Hudson River. The result is downtown drama influenced by uptown luxury. gansevoortmeatpacking.com

CELEBRATE CABERNET SEASON AT HARVEST INN BY CHARLIE PALMER Enjoy warm days and cool Napa nights at Harvest Inn by Charlie Palmer now through April. The hotel’s Vineyard View Collection rooms are an elevated tier of newly renovated guest rooms with panoramic vineyard views from sunrise to sunset and under the starry skies. Save 20% when you book at harvestinn.com using the promo code CAB. harvestinn.com/cabernetseason

WHAT’S HAPPENING AT AFAR Bergdorf Goodman, the iconic New York department store, was a fitting location for our recent AFAR Conversations, which explored style and design trends. After guests mingled over cocktails, AFAR Deputy Editor Jennifer Flowers moderated a panel with Alexandra Champalimaud, founder and president of Champlimaud Design; Edie Rodriguez, CEO and president of Crystal Cruises; and Jim Shay, president of ISAIA. * * * We hosted the second installment of our Baccarat dinner series celebrating everyday luxury at its Madison Avenue flagship store. Chef Charlie Palmer prepared a tasting menu accompanied by Boisset wines and dazzling Baccarat crystal. Top left: AFAR CEO & Cofounder Greg Sullivan. Top right: Founder & CEO The Brandman Agency Melanie Brandman.Center Left: CEO & President of Crystal Cruises Edie Rodriguez, AFAR Deputy Editor Jennifer Flowers, President of Champlimaud Design Alexandra Champlimaud, and President of ISAIA Jim Shay. Center right: Partner & Managing Director of BRDAR Inc Franck Sarrabezolles and AFAR EVP & CRO Ellen Asmodeo-Giglio. Bottom right: Jean-Charles Boisset of Boisset Wines, Baccarat President Jim Shreve, Ellen Asmodeo-Giglio, and Chef Charlie Palmer.


CONNECT S T A Y

When you need to unplug

SCOTTSDALE Plenty of Scottsdale hotels help guests unplug, and the Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa is no exception. Its 201 midcentury modern rooms are surrounded by 23 acres of towering

pines, saguaro cacti, and desert wildflowers. But the Andaz adds a twist of local culture, partnering with the 1936 Cattle Track Arts Compound to offer artist-led lectures and studio tours. From $450.

57 LADAKH, INDIA

Ladakh, a region in the Indian Himalayas an

hour’s flight north of Delhi, became more accessible 10 years ago when Shakti Himalaya started hosting homestays in restored village houses. The new four-bedroom Shakti Indus River House and threebedroom Indus Farmhouse are well-appointed bases for groups looking to spend a week meditating with monks, whitewater rafting, and hiking to nearby villages and monasteries. Seven-night packages from $5,775 per person.

58 MEGHAULI, NEPAL

SHAKTI INDUS RIVER HOUSE India 80

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Set along the banks of the Rapti River in Chitwan National Park, Meghauli Serai is a prime spot for viewing more than 550 species of birds and 68 kinds of mammals, including leopards, tigers, and rhinoceroses.

The 30 rooms and villas have woodbeam ceilings and cushion covers made from organic banana-fiber fabric, and it’s all just a 30-minute flight from Kathmandu. From $330.

59 NOSY ANKAO, MADAGASCAR Close to 90 percent of Madagascar’s wildlife can be found nowhere else. Miavana, an undeniably overthe-top resort— villas start at 5,000 square feet—on a small island off the northeastern coast, helps you experience it. The resort offers snorkeling, marine safaris, and treks to see native chameleons and lemurs. From $2,500 per person per night.

60 SKOURA, MOROCCO The Dar Ahlam

61 VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK, RWANDA With the June opening of Bisate Lodge, Wilderness Safaris will bring its brand of conservationminded luxury to Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, one of the few places in the world to see mountain gorillas in the wild. Set inside an eroded volcanic

cone surrounded by forest, six thatched villas will host 12 guests. The lodge is partnering with farm owners to rehabilitate gorilla habitats, and visitors will assist in reforestation efforts. From $1,100 per person.

62 OMAN Take in Oman’s otherworldly landscapes from the comfort of Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort in the Al Hajar Mountains and Anantara Al Baleed Resort Salalah on the southern coast. On the rim of a canyon surrounded by mountains, villages, and date plantations, the 115-room Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar has stone walls inspired by ancient citadels. The 136-room Al Baleed Resort Salalah sits between a lagoon and a long white beach. Al Jabal Al Akhdar, from $675; Al Baleed Salalah, from $343. —ANN ABEL

LA ROUTE DU SUD Morocco

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT, COURTESY OF: ANANTARA AL JABAL AL AKHDAR, LA ROUTE DU SUD, SHAKTI RIVER HOUSE

Off the Grid

ANANTARA AL JABAL AL AKHDAR Oman

resort takes its show on the road with La Route du Sud, a six-night driving tour through southern Morocco. The first stop is the hillside Maison des Arganiers, two and a half hours from Marrakech, in a rocky landscape facing miles of argan groves; next comes La Maison de l’Oasis, set in a shady grove, and La Maison Rouge, which sits at the edge of a red canyon. Along the way you picnic on the beach, camp like a nomad, and drive through desert dunes. From $5,849 per person.


CONNECT S T A Y

In the Vines

Three new Northern California wine country escapes

ST. HELENA A top Mexico City hotel is bringing its warm, minimalist aesthetic to St. Helena. The 68room Las Alcobas is decked out in natural materials such as oak, jute, and Carrara marble. Every space is built for pleasure, whether you’re sitting beside your balcony’s fire pit (book one of the 82

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10 rooms with an outdoor soaking tub), in the Acacia House restaurant (with a menu by Bay Area chef Chris Cosentino), or in one of the spa’s five treatment rooms. From $695.

64 JENNER A renovation has breathed new life into the Timber Cove Resort, a 1963 stone, timber, and glass A-frame on the Sonoma County coast. The 46 guest rooms are filled with

WHERE TO GO 2017

midcentury furnishings, rose gold pendant lamps, and antler chandeliers. The Coast Kitchen serves sustainable seafood and organic produce, and guests can sample local wines and cheeses by an ocean-facing fire pit. From $210.

65 CALISTOGA An homage to the classic American road trip, the 52room Calistoga Motor Lodge & Spa draws on camperstyle elements from the ’60s and ’70s, including banquettes and tables that fold down into beds. There are hammocks, a restaurant with picnic tables, hula hoops and Frisbees, and a spa with an outdoor mud lounge. From $250. —J.F.

Snow Bound A fresh take on the Alps

HUUS GSTAAD Switzerland

GSTAAD, SWITZERLAND A modern new option among the gilded old-world hotels that dominate Swiss slopes, the Huus Gstaad is set on a bluff facing jagged peaks. The lobby, with its massive stone reception desk, opens to a cozy library with a fireplace and a telescope, and the garden outside holds a stand-alone cheese chalet that specializes in fondue and raclette. Each of the 135 guest rooms features Alpine

views through floorto-ceiling windows, and just the right amount of Swiss kitsch to remind you where you are (cuckoo clocks, mountaineering lanterns). Another

pleasant departure from other lodges: Huus welcomes kids, who get free ski passes, rentals, and lessons as well as their own restaurant. From $200. —A.P.

FROM TOP, COURTESY OF: STACI MARENGO/TIMBER COVE RESORT, HUUS GSTAAD

TIMBER COVE RESORT Jenner, California


In the Toledo District you can meet Maya families who grow cacao and make chocolate just as their ancestors did—a millennium before it caught on in the rest of the world. That’s the kind of rich and delicious culinary history you can only find in Belize. Discover how to be at travelbelize.org


FIRST our

Your 2017 Dream Destinations BEST INTERNATIONAL CITY

Barcelona

BEST COUNTRY

Italy

A W A R D S

“What could be better than eating fresh pasta and drinking wine while perched at the top of a cliff overlooking bright blue waters, surrounded by history and lemon trees? Nothing.” —KIM TALBOTT-STONE

BEST U.S. STATE

Hawaii We at AFAR are always excited to share our picks of the places we think you should explore in the coming year. But last year, for the first time, we also asked you to tell us where you want to go in 2017. After all, you are some of the world’s best travelers, and we know you’re always out there exploring and traveling deeper in the coolest destinations. More than 10,000 of you cast your votes—here are the winners.

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BEST U.S. CITY

Charleston

“Whatever you want, you can get in Charleston. And hospitality? They invented the word.” —JACQUELYN HOLLIS

BEST ISLAND

Cuba

The newly accessible country (at least for Americans) got top billing on your ballots. Ready to visit? Check out our insiders’ guide to the country at afar.com/cubatravel.


The Best Company to Take You off the Grid Wilderness Travel

The 10 Hotels Where You Dream of Staying Hotels offer more than just a place to sleep. At their best, they act as gateways to a deeper appreciation of the destinations they serve as well as refuges that restore and revitalize their guests. These 10 hotels in some of the world’s great cities won a spot on your travel wish list for those very reasons.

LONDON

This outfitter has been leading adventurous travelers to the far reaches of the globe for 30-plus years. Here are three of the more than 200 trips you can pick from in 2017.

The Savoy

1. A just-ruggedenough trek

TOKYO

Explore Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park without ever setting up a tent. Intense day hikes end at lodges where down pillows and glasses of Chilean wine await. 2. After you’ve seen the other six continents Join a cruise to Antarctica to make all your penguin-watching, glacier-gawking dreams come true. 3. A cultural quest Explore the ancient voodoo traditions of tribal West Africa on a two-week tour of Ghana, Togo, and Benin.

Visit afar.com/wheretogo to see the full list of 125 finalists (and to book trips to your favorites).

PARIS

Four Seasons George V ROME

The St. Regis Mandarin Oriental CHARLESTON

French Quarter Inn NEW YORK

Park Hyatt New York SAN FRANCISCO

Fairmont SEATTLE

Four Seasons Hotel BARCELONA

Mandarin Oriental NEW ORLEANS

The Ritz-Carlton

OH, YOU GUYS AND YOUR OPINIONS . . . Best cop-out vote for Best International City: “All of them!” Most fun-to-say nominated destinations: Funchal, Nesquehoning, Hobbiton And let’s hear it for independent travelers: 13 people voted for themselves as best tour operator.

The Best Cruises THE DANUBE RIVER

Viking River Cruises

Travelers chose Viking for its small ships, elegant cabins, Austrian and Hungarian food, and expert crew. Viking will offer nine different Danube trips in 2017.

THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

The majesty of the Mediterranean is matched by Regent’s immersive programs (including lectures run by the Smithsonian Institution) and lavish ships. It has dozens of Mediterranean voyages to match any whim: Try a week-long cruise from Venice to Rome, or splurge on a 17-night trip from Venice to Barcelona.

WHERE TO GO 2017

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FIND JAMAICA a new rhythm in

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Island Records founder, hotelier, and Jamaica evangelist Chris Blackwell knows something too many people don’t: The island’s best-kept secrets are far from the resorts where most travelers hide away. Writer Mark Byrne was one of those travelers, until he met Chris. p h o t o g r a p h s b y TARA DONNE


BEST COFFEE Here is the

way to get a cup of

in Jamaica:

Drive from a resort along the North Shore, up into the lurid, wild Blue Mountains. The road here looks like a string draped around and through the hills—a thin, wiggling patch of asphalt carved onto ledges, inclining ever higher. About an hour and a half inland, somewhere around 3,000 feet, look for the roof of a shack. You’ll rarely see a whole building; houses up here are built below the road, simultaneously elevated and subterranean. Everything is. But you’ll see a roof, a landing, and stairs leading down along the hillside. Take the stairs to the house below. Smell the air. Coffee. Smoke. Find the person in charge. Ask for a cup. And then watch him prepare the coffee, right there in front of you, a dozen or so yards from the steep farm where it grew. Pay the man and relax. Enjoy it. There is no ordering it “to go.” I’m ashamed to admit how many trips to Jamaica it took me to discover fresh-from-the-source Blue Mountain coffee. Suffice it to say, I have been a bad traveler here—the kind who flies into Montego Bay, gets into the car that’s been dispatched from the resort, checks in, and never leaves the grounds. I didn’t mean for it to turn out this way, but you get into a routine. You find a place you like (in my case, Jake’s, a little bohemian hotel in Treasure Beach, on the island’s southwest side), you note that it fulfills your needs, and then you settle into a rhythm. Don’t get me wrong, rhythm is good. Especially on vacation. But when it means never veering from the road between airport and hotel, year after year, on an island like Jamaica, it’s a problem. This was not how I wanted to live in the world. I needed to be better.  As it happens, Chris Blackwell was willing to help. Letting him give you a tour of Jamaica is a bit like letting the archangel Michael show you around Heaven. He didn’t invent the place, but he’s its advocate nonpareil. As the founder of Island Records, Blackwell brought the nation’s sound to the world. (Have you heard of Bob Marley?) As a financer of The Harder They Come, he helped release one of the island’s most iconic films. As the founder of Blackwell Rum, based on an old family recipe, he gave Jamaica the craft spirit it deserved. And as the man behind Goldeneye, he created a retreat so well-trammeled by the rich and famous that it seemed, for a time, there was simply nowhere else for celebrities to vacation. Blackwell has lived in Jamaica, on and off, his entire life. His mother’s roots on the island date back to the 17th century, and he took his first trip there, from London, at 2 months old. That he was willing to show me around seemed somewhat absurd. But there it was: I’d check into his resort, and then, together, we would explore the country through his eyes.  88

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JAMAICA


Growers in Jamaica’s Blue Mountains produce some of the world’s most sought-after coffee beans. Drink a freshly brewed cup, as writer Mark Byrne did, by visiting James Dennis Coffee. PREVIOUS PAGE: Jungle foliage frames the view from Strawberry Hill.


ABOVE LEF T : Until recently, the rooms at Chris Blackwell’s Pantrepant were open only to Blackwell’s personal guests. ABOVE RIGHT : Any stay at Goldeneye should include backgammon and a Red Stripe or rum punch. OPPOSITE: Blackwell relaxes at Goldeneye.

GOLDENEYE, TO BE CLEAR, IS NOT AN EASY PLACE TO LEAVE.

The land—the former home of Ian Fleming, where he wrote each of the 14 James Bond thrillers that would cement his place in literary and cinematic history—sits next to the tiny town of Oracabessa, on the northern coast. A warm, blue-green lagoon curls from the ocean around a small island and then lets out into a bay. You can look one direction and see a jungle, then turn around and see pristine white sand. Blackwell bought the property in 1976 as a vacation home and a space to entertain family and friends but later he decided to transform it. In 2016, Goldeneye debuted a jumble of new huts, arranged around a small cove, a short walk from Fleming’s house and the resort’s original villas. The huts vary in height—designed, I’m told, to capture cooling breezes and allow guests to forgo air conditioning. And, crucially, they’re much cheaper to book than the villas. Which is key because, up until this point, if you wanted to plan a visit to Goldeneye, you needed to either know Blackwell personally or have the excess capital to shell out potentially five figures on a vacation. (Part of the resort’s enduring gravitational pull is that many of the celebrity guests check both boxes.) With the beach huts, Blackwell has expanded, once again, the ambition of his famous resort. Blackwell is a handsome man just shy of 80. His blond hair has gone white. He’s in good shape. I watched him, again and again, leaping up

stairs two at a time. He’s a quiet speaker; you have to lean in a little to hear the gentle British accent, sculpted at an upper-crust school in England. It’s worth it for what comes out. His stories feature a cast of characters that span nearly a century of gossip pages—Marley, Bono, Grace Jones, Errol Flynn, and Noël Coward in lead roles, Bill and Hillary Clinton in the endless list of supporting cast. (Blackwell once went on a hike with the Clintons while they were staying at the resort; I’ll let you guess which Clinton made it all the way to the end and which one turned back.) I arrived at Goldeneye in mid-August, the night Usain Bolt was to win his first of three gold medals at the 2016 Olympic Games. A small crowd had gathered to watch the race, projected on a screen set up against the ocean, so that the runners, at times, seemed to be sprinting across the darkening horizon. Blackwell arrived just before the race started, having ordered a round of cocktails for the guests. We talked. We drank. We had dinner at a long table, joined by 12 others. The night ended at Blackwell’s private, lagoon-side bar. Blackwell lowered a lamp from the ceiling so that it hovered just a few feet above a card table. It was nearly midnight. A small group of friends—some old, some new, and then me—drank rum punch and passed around a spliff. Blackwell disappeared for a moment and then emerged again with backgammon and a large, freshly rolled joint. He played backgammon deep into the night. WHERE TO GO 2017

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NEW AND UNEXPECTED CARIBBEAN EXPERIENCES

An island vacation used to mean staying inside the gates of a resort, feet in the sand and piña colada in hand. No longer. There’s a new world of reasons to explore farther afield.

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ECO-RIDES CAYMAN Grand Cayman

The best way to see the island’s beachy East End? On a sunrise bike ride with the justlaunched Eco-Rides Cayman. Over the course of about three mellow hours (read: no hills), you’ll pedal past geyser-like blowholes to Colliers Wilderness Reserve for glimpses of iguanas and natural palaces of stalagmites and stalactites, and then head onward to Wreck of the Ten Sail, a park commemorating the 1794 incident in which a convoy of 10 ships sank off the coast and Cayman residents saved nearly all of the shipwrecked sailors. ecoridescayman.ky

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MASALA BAY St. Lucia

The New Delhi–born chef at St. Lucia’s Spice of India—one of the best South Asian restaurants in the Caribbean—recently opened this spin-off in the Capella Marina at Marigot Bay. Along with its authentic curries and biryanis, Masala Bay serves Indo-Chinese Hakka cuisine (expect lots of lemongrass, mustard greens, and fried tofu) and affords some of the island’s best views over the harbor.

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THE CLUB British Virgin Islands

Located on Norman Island (said to be the inspiration for Treasure Island), this new beach club by day, fine dining restaurant by night is more upscale than most of the beach bars in the BVI. The dishes run from conch ceviche to lobster paella with saffron aioli, and the cocktails skew more craft than Caribbean. Getting there is part of the adventure: The Club runs a ferry from Hannah Bay on Tortola to Norman Island, which has no hotels, or you can stop by during a day of island-hopping on a chartered boat. Antlos, a kind of seafaring Airbnb, connects travelers with boats and captains. theclubbvi.com

By Ann Abel

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CORAL TREE NURSERY Curaçao

Reef devastation is a sad reality in much of the Caribbean, but this new project is a happy exception. In 2015, the Coral Restoration Foundation Curaçao started a nursery of PVC pipe and floating buoys where staghorn, elkhorn, and other coral species are able to grow and reproduce. In just a year, the 400 fragments multiplied to 1,250, many of which the foundation has since transferred to nearby reefs. Travelers can snorkel or scuba dive to see the impressive results. www.coralrestorationcuracao.org

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OREGA St. Bart’s

The menu at this high-end French-Japanese fusion restaurant in Gustavia runs the gamut from classic (tuna tataki, duck confit) to creative (the Kova’s Roll, made with spiny lobster and asparagus, topped with salmon and avocado). The personable chef, who’s responsible for lavish flourishes such as Kobe beef and Petrossian caviar, will likely stop by your table. oregarestaurant.com


LEF T TO RIGHT FROM TOP: James Dennis Coffee ser ves java straight from the source. The lagoon at Goldeneye resor t. Ever ything is fresh at a roadside “cook shop” near Moneague. Goldeneye’s Bizot Bar. Pantrepant’s on-site farm grows produce for the kitchen. Lunch at Scotchie’s means jerk chicken and breadfruit. Blackwell’s Oracabessa Foundation suppor ts local young people through spor ts and training programs. The soft, jelly-like flesh of a young coconut is an island delicacy. A roadside shop sells snacks in Oracabessa. OPPOSITE: The main pool at Goldeneye.


ABOVE: Blackwell’s Pantrepant is spread across 800 acres in Jamaica’s Cockpit Countr y, about 20 miles from Montego Bay. OPPOSITE: A feast at Goldeneye often includes saltfish prepared with ackee, a lychee-like local fruit.

HERE IS THE BEST WAY TO GET LUNCH IN JAMAICA:

Not all that far from the airport in Montego Bay, in a smoky complex of open kitchens arranged around a courtyard, is Scotchie’s. It’s highwayside; if you’re heading east along the main coastal road, no GPS should be required to find it. I had been welcomed at the airport by a man who goes by McGyver, Blackwell’s friend and driver for 20 years. As soon as I got into the car, he handed me a Red Stripe. Fifteen minutes later, he announced, “We’re going to try something,” and then veered sharply onto a side road and parked. This was Scotchie’s. McGyver instructed me to have another beer at the courtyard bar, then he disappeared for a moment and returned with a breast and thigh of charred, crisp jerk chicken and a side of hot, buttery breadfruit. I’d never had breadfruit before; some describe it as bland, but, like many pale beige foods, it has the ability to become a vehicle for flavor—in this case, a slab of fresh, melting butter. Scotchie’s is very good. Go to Scotchie’s. The next day, after one night at Goldeneye, we’re in the car again. McGyver, Blackwell, and I are heading south from Goldeneye to Strawberry Hill, another hotel he owns outside of Kingston. We’re taking the long way, up through coffee country in the Blue Mountains. It’s almost impossible to get Blue Mountain coffee in the United States these days. Much of the land is owned by Japanese investors, and most of the available beans end up in Tokyo. But there are still local operations. 94

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The first one we pull into is a small farm run by a grower named Dennis. His father, grandfather, and great-grandfather all made coffee exactly this way, and Dennis is proud of his joe. It’s not cheap at $20 a pound. But here’s the thing: You can see it growing out the window of the hut where it’s prepared. Dennis grinds the beans in a big hollowed-out stump, using a blunt, rounded club as a pestle. The water is heated over an open fire on the floor. He serves it to you in mismatched ceramic mugs. This—exposing strangers to a piece of Jamaica they might otherwise have missed—is what Blackwell has done his whole life. In his early 20s, working as a water-ski instructor at a hotel near Montego Bay, having barely graduated from Harrow School, Blackwell heard a band playing at the hotel, a Bermudian jazz quartet with a blind pianist. For reasons that escape him now, he told the band that he’d like to record them. He’d never done anything of the sort. But the next day he figured out how. This pianist was Lance Hayward. It was the late 1950s. That record became Island Records’ first release. A few years later, he heard a recording of a young Jamaican singer named Millie Small. He recorded her, too. Her cover of “My Boy Lollipop” sold 6 million records. “I’m not a great salesman,” Blackwell reflects now. “I’ve never really been able to sell anything I wouldn’t buy.” Driving around Jamaica with Blackwell, sampling its coffee, talking about its music, watching him take in the landscape like it’s his first time on the island, you get the sense


Jahourka works at the Strawberr y Hill resor t, which sits high in the Blue Mountains. From the proper ty, you can spot the lights of Jamaica’s capital, Kingston, below.


he would buy every last inch of it if he could. It explains why, for nearly six decades, he’s been its No. 1 salesman.

HERE IS THE BEST WAY TO GET A SNACK IN JAMAICA:

Drive anywhere, smell the air, and be prepared to stop. Having spent the night at Strawberry Hill and the morning in Kingston, we are now making our way north, back to Goldeneye via the main island-bisecting artery, A1. For lunch, we pull off near a tiny town called Moneague. On the side of a road labeled only “Boulevard,” a woman runs a small, open-air food stop. Call it a restaurant. (Why not? What defines a restaurant? A roof? Walls?) The woman who manages the place has been doing it for 30 years, right here, and she has plenty to work with: a couple of stock pots over an open fire, a cooler full of ice, tinfoil to wrap food for the road. We eat boiled corn, slices of fresh avocado, more buttery breadfruit, and chunks of rich, salty fish skin. We each grab a beer from the cooler McGyver keeps stocked in the car. Then Blackwell lays it out for me. “What I love doing is turning people on to something,” he says. “It used to be turning people on to Jimmy Smith. He was my favorite jazz artist. But also, before that, when I was really young, I loved to take people into the mountains and show them the views. I loved that. I think of myself as a kind of guide.” I can verify that he still does this—that there was no reason for us to drive three hours out of our way yesterday for a cup of coffee, to take the twisting, nausea-inducing mountain road instead of this flawless new highway, no reason other than that Blackwell wanted to show off the scenery and bask in its glories himself. Later, as we drove through Oracabessa toward Goldeneye, he expanded. “I want to get people out of the resorts,” he said. I mentioned to him how heretical this sounded coming from a hotel owner. For decades, the prevailing economic principle of hoteliers with island properties has been to keep vacationers on resorts, so they can spend their money there and only there. But Blackwell isn’t so much a hotelier. He’s a host. Which is why, just before we parted ways that day, he invited me to his stay at his home, a farm called Pantrepant.

HERE IS THE BEST WAY TO GET ORANGE JUICE IN JAMAICA: Go to Pantrepant. I hadn’t planned on going there, but Blackwell insisted. “It’s worth it just to see the tree,” he said. “The tree is so good.”

Chris Blackwell’s

JAMAICA

A stay at any of Blackwell’s properties comes with authentic Jamaican cuisine, rooms that are high on charm, and gorgeous views. The Caves Built on the edge of limestone cliffs, all 12 rooms have ocean views. From $480.

Goldeneye Villas and beach huts look out on a clear private lagoon. From $425.

MONTEGO BAY KINGSTON

Pantrepant Stay on Blackwell’s 800-acre estate and farm. From $2,000.

Strawberry Hill A cluster of cottages in the Blue Mountains survey Kingston below. From $310.

The drive from Goldeneye to Pantrepant is almost two hours: an hour or so on a coastal highway, and 30 minutes on roads decreasingly worthy of a name. Eventually, the road fades into a rock-strewn trail. At the top of a hill, a Georgian farmhouse sits under the shade of a giant guango tree—the tree—a great, low cloud of branches, vines dangling gently to the ground. It’s about 300 years old, and possibly Jamaica’s largest. “I bought the property because of the tree,” Blackwell says. If Goldeneye is Blackwell’s roman à clef—his friends and himself superimposed on Fleming’s swinging estate—then Pantrepant is his memoir. It may be his most personal project to date. Here is Chris’s life in Jamaica, almost exactly as he lives it. And here is what it looks like: Orange groves. Thickly wooded hills. Roaming white Brahman cattle. Galloping horses. Coconuts, a variety that hasn’t grown widely on the island in centuries. That majestic Georgian farmhouse. Unpainted wooden fences and low stone walls. It looks like Jamaica. Blackwell has been hosting friends and family at Pantrepant since he bought the property, all 800 acres of it, in 1990. But until very recently, no part of it has ever been available for strangers to book. That Blackwell now, at nearly 80 years old, has finally begun opening up his home to guests may strike observers as proof he’s gone off his rocker. He deserves both the privacy and the idleness offered by a retirement on his farm. His contributions to Jamaican tourism are already extensive, perhaps unparalleled. But to Blackwell, the properties he’s opened have never been about simply giving foreigners a place to stay. They’ve been part of his lifelong pursuit as hype-man for the island he loves. Observed through that lens, he had to eventually welcome visitors to Pantrepant. Here, in the lush Jamaican mountains, is the island at its finest—the freshest food, the most picturesque vistas, the tallest trees and clearest water. Blackwell’s mission is to lead people beyond the resorts, and Pantrepant is the pièce de résistance: a place where the resorts seem to not even exist, seem to never have existed at all.  On my final day in Jamaica, I had breakfast on the veranda of Pantrepant’s single-bedroom home, built a couple of decades before the U.S. revolutionary war. The spread before us had been sourced, that morning, entirely from the farm. Callaloo greens picked from its fields. Poached eggs laid by roaming hens just hours earlier. The orange juice, Chris explained, is some of the world’s best, but Jamaican oranges sell terribly in America because their rinds are green—Americans don’t trust green oranges. We paused to contemplate the kind of baseless cultural fear that causes millions of people to reject a good, ripe fruit because its natural color isn’t the color they’re used to. Then we took another sip. After breakfast, a few minutes before I was scheduled to depart for the airport, I hopped in the back of a truck and rode down the hill to the swimming hole. I took my shirt off, set my shoes on a stone near the edge, and jumped in. It was 10 in the morning; the sun was high but the water still brisk from the night. It was some of the cleanest-feeling water I’d ever swum in, sparkling and cool, fed by a white, misting waterfall just a dozen yards upriver. I floated into the current and swam against it for a moment, then gave up, turned on my back, drifted. I could have let the Martha Brae River carry me from there, down along the pastures, through the orange groves, eventually out into the roiling ocean. Instead, I got out, packed my bag, and went home. On the plane, I had a glass of orange juice—Minute Maid, bright orange, from a can. Here is my final piece of advice: If you do all of this, or even a portion of it, do not end your trip with airplane orange juice. Mark Byrne wrote about a Kenyan safari experience in the July/August 2016 issue of AFAR. Photographer Tara Donne is profiled on page 18. WHERE TO GO 2017

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The original Queen Mary ship made her maiden voyage in 1936 and went on to cross the Atlantic 1,001 times.


during my first transatlantic crossing, celia ryder hosted a glittering cocktail party in her stateroom. The following morning, her room was festooned with thank-you bouquets. I was astonished. Who knew you could send people flowers on a ship? OK, so I wasn’t actually at sea with Lady Celia. She’s a character in Evelyn Waugh’s novel Brideshead Revisited, and I’d made this journey entirely from my couch. But the sheer decadence of that crossing from New York to Southampton, in the 1930s heyday of society cruises, left me infatuated. Since then, I have taken much vicarious pleasure in watching the grandeur and sophistication of that Golden Age of steam travel onscreen. (Remember Fred Astaire chasing Ginger Rogers in Shall We Dance?) But when I learned that the historic Cunard cruise line had spent millions refurbishing the interiors of its flagship Queen Mary 2 to their original art deco splendor, I knew that my moment had come. If I wanted to THE OPEN SEA experience a life I had assumed I could only ever imagine, this was my best chance. WHERE TO GO 2017

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Over the years, the Queen Mary hosted such celebrities as Fred Astaire, Audrey Hepburn, and Mae West, pictured. Interiors of the staterooms on both the Queen Mary and the Queen Elizabeth, opposite, could be customized to passengers’ tastes.


The weeks before the trip were spent panic shopping for all the outfits I would need for eight days onboard. Cunard’s own dress code— smart casual by day, evening dress by night, no scruffy jeans—was stringent enough, but nothing compared to the vision I had of myself as a 1930s heroine in a panoply of head scarves, capes, and silk dressing gowns. How else was I going to make the right impression in the ship’s highest social circles? The Queen Mary 2 was due to set sail from Southampton, bound for New York, to a fanfare of fireworks and flag waving in the late afternoon; her departure is still treated as something of an occasion at the English port. A red carpet ushered me past a string quartet playing Vivaldi, to check-in desks staffed entirely by prim ladies with gray coifs and perfect manners. A short walk across the gangway revealed a lobby with a circular sweep of stairs that seemed built for posing, while a tuxedoed pianist played in the background. So far, so suave. I watched from the observation deck as, on shore, a military band played Sousa marches and Pharrell Williams songs in front of a marquee sheltering local dignitaries, their glasses of champagne poised to toast the ship as she left. Guided by the tiny tugboat invisibly linked ahead, she performed a quarter turn to port—but it seemed from on deck as if she stayed quite still, and the land rearranged itself around her. it turns out that it doesn’t take that long to get used to ship life, or, for that matter, the idea that you’re living in a period drama. I quickly began to chirrup the pleasant “Good afternoon” with which passengers and crew alike greeted one other, and to ignore the tremble of the engine underneath me at the dinner table. I found it surprisingly easy to fill the three closets—one a walk-in—that my generously proportioned stateroom provided. (It also came with a fruit bowl that magically replenished itself, a port-facing balcony, and a steward called Lou, who asked me if I’d like some personalized stationery. I said yes, and only later wondered how one mails anything from the mid-Atlantic.) It did not even seem strange, on day two, to sit having a French manicure as the beauty salon tipped gently from side to side. “You have dry cuticles,” the beautician told me, rubbing a milky unguent into my forearms. I made a mental note to Google what cuticles are, and how one refreshes them. I remember nothing else, because the soft application of creams and oils, combined with the swell of the boat, turned my

spine to jelly and made my eyes roll back in my head. A picture came to me of Cleopatra on her barge, sloshing around in a bath of ass’s milk as she headed to meet Mark Antony. I’d have happily spent all and every day trying out the manifold spa treatments or sitting around the “hydrotherapy pool” in a waffle robe sipping lemony water, but my social schedule didn’t allow for it. The two-page events list, which appeared daily at one’s door like entertainment manna, was exactly what my high-spirited 1930s persona required. Deck games, science lectures, flower arranging, line dancing, even early morning fencing bouts— every hour onboard could be filled several times over, and offered plenty of opportunity to find one’s place on the social ladder. That evening I had two engagements at which to make my mark. The Captain’s Cocktail Party, before dinner, offered only a brief handshake with the captain and, oddly, no cocktails. So when I saw a convivial group holding martini glasses and noted it was composed entirely of handsome men, I sidled up with big eyes and a coquettish line about needing a “real” drink. They told me they had smuggled theirs in from the bar where they had just had their LGBT meeting. But there was still the Black and White Ball that night, where the band played quicksteps and tangos and the dance floor murmured with monochrome movement. I, with only the most basic of waltz steps in my repertoire, watched

achingly from the sidelines, determining then and there that I must learn to ballroom dance. A voice behind me sighed, intentionally overloud. “I just wish there was a single woman around here to dance with. . . .” I turned. The voice was attached to a charming grin, which belonged to a man named Sam. Sam couldn’t dance either, but he was happy to shuffle around inconsequentially in an undangerous corner of the dance floor, and then to accompany me back to his table to meet his elder brother, Freddie, and Freddie’s girlfriend, Dom. The brothers, both in their mid-20s, were traveling with their parents, a pair of inveterate cruiseaholics, and they had already scoped out all the bars on board with a practiced eye. Without them, I would certainly not have discovered the curious nightclub hidden behind the ballroom, where an aging but energetic clientele in tuxedos were Uptown Funking like protagonists in their own body swap movie. As I threw my own jerky, angry shapes, I thought back to the ball and the elegant sweep of gowns across the floor. That, I knew, was where I belonged. The next morning, a sea fog had rolled up almost to the edge of the balconies. Every couple of minutes, a long, deep horn blast projected our position into the white miasma around us. The captain’s midday address on the PA added to the otherworldliness. His announcements, intended to tell us our coordinates and set the WHERE TO GO 2017

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The Verandah Grill, pictured, was open only to first-class travelers on the Queen Mary. Opposite, the ship’s kennels cared for the dogs of Elizabeth Taylor and other stars.


ship’s time, tended to meander. This particular one became an earnest treatise about sea cucumbers, which, he said warningly, were feeding on ever-increasing quantities of phytoplankton and “now growing to enormous lengths.” He gave the sense they might, at any moment, loom out of the fog, looking to feast.   Dance lessons took place just after these briefings, and were comparatively easy to follow. The instructors were briskly efficient, the steps weren’t half as hard as they had looked from the side of the dance floor—and being single and female offered a huge advantage. Most of the women were hampered by the uncertain lead of their husbands. Those without partners, however, were scooped up by the half-dozen “gentlemen hosts,” a roving band of ballroom enthusiasts paying their passage to the United States with their silken-footed skills. Stuart, an immensely tall and narrow Scot, patiently led me through my first dance, maintaining a constant murmured “cha-chacha!” to keep me in time. Peter, from the gruff north of England, taught me to fox-trot. He was in his 60s and nearly a head shorter than me, so that I often felt I had been coupled

a ballroom three-quarters empty, there are few things more charming than a full one meeting its purpose. Come 3 p.m., the place buzzed like high season at the Savoy, the only difference being that the Savoy doesn’t station waiters at the door to squirt antibacterial sanitizer on your hands as you enter. Whitecoated stewards swarmed the tables with silver teapots and platters of sponge cakes, and to the background clinking of a couple of hundred china cups, I found Elise and Anna, their table already hemmed with male admirers, including a Manhattan lawyer named Ted who wore his tuxedo with an ease that suggested he spent half his life in one. Elise explained that they were on their way home to the States from the Middle East, where they had spent their first five years out of college teaching Palestinian children. The cruise was their treat to themselves. I was in love with them by the end of my second scone; I don’t think I was the only one. from that moment, my life onboard began to assume a pattern. In the afternoon, Elise, Anna, and I took our ballroom class; after

regular hangover and provided an excuse to wear two outfits a day. It even offered me the opportunity, having overslept and dressed in a hurry, to finally enter a room with the words: “So sorry I’m late for bridge; I couldn’t find my pearls.” Ship life became an art in itself. If it was too windy to promenade around the deck, Elise and Anna would make for the ship’s gallery, where the art lectures were accompanied by free champagne, or head to its 500-seat planetarium, where they could learn about the night sky that was currently being obscured by North Atlantic clouds. I, meanwhile, retired to the mahogany-paneled library or sat at the bar, choosing cocktails that would complement my lipstick. We moved steadily south. By the time we passed the resting place of the Titanic, some 400 miles off the coast of Newfoundland, the skies were endless blue, and the aft decks— where pools, Jacuzzis, and sundecks were layered like wedding cake—took on the ambience of the Riviera. I lay on my lounger and listened to the Noël Coward playlist I had compiled. With my eyes closed, I could imagine a gramo-

with an uncle at a family wedding. It was the following day, learning to samba, that I met Anna and Elise. Thirty years younger than most of the room, they giggled irrepressibly at their own attempts to shimmy and wiggle simultaneously. Anna was a game dancer, Elise a good one. She had beautiful teeth, the blonde hair of a Busby Berkeley babe, and a charisma that enthralled me even as I envied everything about her. They suggested we make our ballroom debut together at the tea dance that afternoon. I felt like I’d been asked to a sleepover by the head cheerleader. If there is nothing more depressing than

dinner we monopolized the dance floor, sharing between us the few single men who weren’t busy with LGBT meetings. Ted turned out to be the kind of charming wealthy gallant who always turns up in 1930s fiction, and emitted little nods and courtesies as he led us round the room, his smile hung on invisible hooks behind his ears. When the band packed up, we hurled ourselves through the doors of the nightclub with Sam, my Uptown Funk partner. Each morning, Anna, Elise, and I would meet again at Bridge for Beginners. I am no use to anyone at a card table, but the muffled, studious air suited my

phone nearby and a valet on hand to change the records. Occasionally I stood up, not to stretch so much as to pose. One afternoon the captain announced that a pair of whales had been spotted on the port side. It was the fastest I saw anyone move in eight days. But it wasn’t only the whales that became objects of fascination. One of the curious phenomena to emerge in the closed society of a ship is that people you have never heard of become celebrities. The a cappella group who provided our evening entertainment left a wake of appreciative sighs wherever they went. Women vied to share a hot tub with a TV journalist who had

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LIVE OUT YOUR SEAFARING FANTASIES

Whatever your dreams—having a tropical island all to yourself, following in the tracks of Indiana Jones, dancing the rumba all night—these five new cruises can make them come true. —maggie fuller

paradise found

On Ponant’s new “Scattered Islands and the Seychelles” expedition cruise, you’ll spot green sea turtles and snorkel amid remote coral atolls in the Mozambique Channel. You’ll explore the Éparses Islands before heading to Aldabra and Alphonse in the Outer Seychelles and winding up in Mahé, the largest island in the Seychelles.

pharaonic treatment

A treat for anyone interested in the history of Egypt, the Abercrombie & Kent “Petra to the Pyramids” experience includes a cruise down the Nile in a traditional double-sailed dahabeah

with an Egyptologist and a night at the Old Cataract hotel in Aswan, a legendary haunt for explorers.

seek enlightenment

A new wellness program designed by Seabourn in partnership with Dr. Andrew Weil pairs daily yoga classes with seminars on happiness and healthy aging. Achieve maximum harmony on the “Pearls of Australasia” cruise, which makes several stops in both Indonesia and the Philippines before landing in Hong Kong.

como los cubanos

Get to the heart of Cuba on Fathom’s

new cultural immersion cruise. To complement onshore dancing lessons, Cuban cocktail classes, and architecture tours of Havana, guests can learn more about the country through onboard workshops, Cuban movies, and local cuisine.

alaskan adventure

Explore the ever-changing icy coasts of Alaska’s Glacier Bay with Lindblad Expeditions–National Geographic: Each craft in its small-ship expedition fleet, including a new 100-passenger vessel, can navigate narrow fjords and get up close to humpback whales and the impossibly blue Sawyer Glacier.


couldn’t bear the thought of missing out on the early dances, when the floor was emptier and your partner could spin you more freely. the vision of brideshead’s cocktail party remained before me—and what was that personalized stationery for, if not to invite my fellow passengers round for a French 75 cocktail? I marshaled my resources. A liter of gin from the shop in the lobby, combined with the free bottle of fizz I’d found in my fridge, was a good start. Room service sounded a little surprised when I phoned asking for a dozen lemons, but still sent them to my room. On our penultimate morning onboard, my room steward, Lou, offered to deliver my invitations for me. I asked him to filch me a cocktail shaker, too, and gave him a $20 tip, which made him look decidedly nervous. Then I headed down to the buffet to secure my canapés. I stood around the deli counter until no one was looking, stashed plates of cold cuts, cheese, and olives in my bag, and bolted for the elevator. It is a mark of what a transatlantic crossing does for one’s manners that my guests, a few hundred miles from the nearest 7-Eleven, still

arrived with gifts. The girls pinned an orchid from the ship’s flower-arranging class to my dress; Ted brought vintage champagne. We headed to the balcony and looked down on the early evening deck walkers, clad in windbreakers, with a faint condescension. The imminent end of our voyage, combined with the strength of the French 75s, fostered a confidential atmosphere. Jai told us about his parents, a Hindu couple from the Punjab who valued machismo and from whom he had hidden his love of dance most of his life. It was only on his 40th birthday, Jai said, when he impressed his father with the way his fancy footwork attracted the ladies, that he had finally revealed his secret. Sam raised an eyebrow and asked him if there were other benefits of being a dance host on a cruise ship. “Oh no,” said Jai, an untied dicky bow hanging louchely from his collar. “That’s definitely not allowed.” Unmoored from the real world—on a floating island with six piano lounges—I had come within kissing distance of my 1930s pipe dream. That final night in the ballroom, smooth seas gave way to swell, and we clung to our dance partners, pitching and rolling across the floor. I watched and wondered as this group of strangers, protected from embarrassment by convention, cast inhibition aside and moved intimately together across the floor. Was anything, I wondered, as great a fantasy as this? When the music ended—when even the DJ had run out tunes, and the rest of the ship had gone to bed—we climbed to the top deck for a final tango, playing tinny Argentine music out of someone’s iPhone. It was nearly 5 a.m. as we sailed into New York, too early for fireworks or a triumphalist military band. We passed, in the predawn glow and last night’s clothes, beneath the Christmas tree lights of the VerrazanoNarrows Bridge and heard the sound of heavy doors opening and shutting, the ship’s rails soon lined with hundreds of sleepy passengers who didn’t want to miss the view. A red ball of sun glinted through the cracks of a familiar skyline. When it finally broke free, Manhattan seemed to have burst upon us: long awaited and magical, but also a signal of impending loss. The Queen Mary 2 passed the Statue of Liberty and began her final pirouette into Brooklyn. I watched the monarch and the goddess perform their majestic pas de deux, and bade a silent farewell to the Golden Age. Contributing writer Emma John is the author of Following On: A Memoir of Teenage Obsession and Terrible Cricket. She is profiled on page 18.

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ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF CUNARD EXCEPT THIS PAGE: KURT HUTTON/ PICTURE POST/GETTY IMAGES. LETTERING BY CHELSEA PETAJA.

delivered an onboard lecture about interviewing George Clooney. My new friends and I, meanwhile, spent much of our time discussing the gentlemen hosts. We had our favorites, now, for the various dances. We knew that Steve would give you a sexy rumba, and that you didn’t quickstep with Richard, who put in an extra step that threw you off. We knew that Stuart considered the Viennese waltz so “dangerous” for the novice that an invitation to dance one with him was a sign you had earned his respect. We all wanted to tango with Jai, who was not only the best dancer but also a wonderfully funny companion, and who joined us and Sam in the club every night, a handheld fan at the ready to cool him down. The dancing hadn’t just affected me—it had infected me. I woke up every morning with strange new aches in my arms and my legs. When I heard background music, my brain started parsing it into steps—slow, quick-quick, slow, slow. The weight of a door, as I pulled on its handle, felt like an invitation to chassé. One night, at the ship’s fine dining restaurant, I bolted down the five-course menu because I


The Queen Mary 2, pictured, has New York departures scheduled every month from May through December 2017. Opposite, passengers emerge from the first-class swimming pool of the original Queen Mary.


BREAKING


FREE Photographer Andy Richter discovers another side of Taipei.

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“IT’S EASY TO GET LOST IN THE RED HAIR OR THE FUNKY ATTIRE.” TAIPEI


T

“THERE’S AN OLD-FASHIONED WAY OF THINKING THAT’S STILL VERY PREVALENT IN TAIWAN,”

photographer Andy Richter says. “But it was obvious by the way I saw young people dressing that they were starting to question the conformity preached to them.” Richter, based in Minneapolis, stayed with a local couple while he was in Taipei, and he talked with his hosts about what he was seeing on the streets and in cafés. “They explained to me that parents in Taiwan are very strict,” Richter says, “and very hard-working. Their kids are under a lot of pressure. These young people start with tutors at three or four years old, and the idea is to memorize and memorize and memorize and do as well as possible until you have a good job at the end and you’re happy.” Richter started to see the outfits and hair as the teens’ way of wrestling with the pressure, and expressing who they are as individuals. With no translator (most of the time) and no knowledge of Mandarin, Richter interacted through his camera lens. “When I was taking their portraits, they were free. I got to see them how they wanted to be seen,” he says. “In fact, many of them were posing or performing for me, even though they didn’t know what I was doing there. We didn’t understand each other, but we made sense of each other through the camera. And I understood them in the best way I know how: visually.” –sarah purkrabek WHERE TO GO 2017

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“I WASN’T TRYING TO EXPLAIN HOW LIFE WORKS THERE.”


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“MY SUBJECTS ARE AWARE OF ME. THIS ISN’T A CULTURE THAT GETS NERVOUS AROUND THE CAMERA.”


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WHO: AFAR STAFF

WHEN: ALL YEAR LONG

HASHTAG: #TEAMAFAR

JUST BACK FROM

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85. ASHEVILLE, NC

86. MARFA, TX

87. PORTLAND, OR

88. YOLO COUNTY, CA

89. HAINES, AK

90. NEW ORLEANS, LA

91. BLACK ROCK CITY, NV

92. NASHVILLE, TN

93. LOS ANGELES, CA

94. PARK CITY, UT

95. SANTA BARBARA, CA

96. THE CATSKILLS, NY

97. PHILADELPHIA, PA

98. PITTSBURGH, PA

99. CHICAGO, IL

100. CAPE COD, MA

AFAR

WHERE TO GO 2017

LETTERING BY A. SALAMANDRA

In 2016, the AFAR team logged approximately a bazillion miles traveling to such places as Denmark, Cuba, and Mount Fuji, just to name a few. But we also spent a good portion of the year exploring our own backyard—the USA. The result: 16 destinations closer to home that travelers should explore now. To learn more about what we saw, did, and ate—and to plan your trip—visit afar.com/teamafar.


W I NNER : BES T CR U ISE T O S A I L T H E D A N U BE I N 2 0 17

- AFAR Travelers’ Choice Awards

BY R I V ER, BY SE A.

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©2016. Travel + Leisure and Time Inc. Affluent Media Group are not affiliated with, and do not endorse products or services of, Viking Cruises. Viking Ocean Cruises was voted Best Large-Ship Ocean Cruise Line by Travel + Leisure readers in the 2016 World’s Best Awards.

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Jan/Feb 2017