T H E T R AV E L O G
L AT I N A M E R I C A
S O U T H PAC I F I C
W H Y T R AV E L W I T H K E R & D OW N E Y The heart of the matter when traveling with Ker & Downey is more than just travel in the form of luxury and style: it’s all about those little ineffable moments, beholding the beauty of the world the way you always imagined. These experiential moments—a breath of fresh mountain air, the rush of adrenaline, the peace of a calm beach, the taste of a new cuisine— whatever it may be for you, you’ll know it when you experience it. And it comes standard on every Ker & Downey journey.
A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
t’s staggering to me that in 2016, Americans left hundreds of millions of vacations days unused. Just think of all the opportunities missed to connect with family, recharge batteries, or discover a new part of the world.
With each issue of Quest, we aim to provide you with the season’s top travel experiences around the world to guide you on just how to use those vacation days each year. This issue is no different—the following pages are filled with inspiration.
Elizabeth Williams shares six sights you shouldn’t miss in the famously happy Kingdom of Bhutan while Laurel Delp tells us how to sip our way through Argentina’s wine country. Ker & Downey’s Katy Heerssen reveals some off-the-beaten-path places in Morocco, and Nicky Brandon visits Kenya to see how seven safari properties are working towards conservation and positively impacting their communities. For Harry Potter fans, Elizabeth Frels shares London’s quintessential stops to celebrate the series, while Martine Bury guides us on an island-hop through Sri Lanka, Oahu and French Polynesia in true Ker & Downey fashion. And that’s just the start of the travel tales found within these pages. As vivid as they are, you can’t truly experience a place unless you go there. Launch your next adventure with us. I’ve spent over thirty years in the travel business. And I have been transformed by the journey too. It's a trip worth taking, a transformation worth experiencing. Don’t leave unused vacation days on the table. Spend them wisely. Go with Ker & Downey.
David Marek President
KE R & DOWN E Y
Contact Ker & Downey or your travel specialist to include Shangri-La Hotel Xian in your next custom journey. +1 800-423-4236 | KERDOWNEY.COM
THE LATEST TRAVELS AND EXPERIENCES FROM OUR LUXURY TRAVEL CONSULTANTS
LISA SU N Where were you last? Japan What is the most memorable place you visited during your trip? I loved my stay at the superb Ryokan Kayotei. It’s a serene nature retreat surrounded by forest, mountains, river, and peace, far away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. What would you recommend from your trip? Definitely a visit to the handicraft artisans. Kayotei’s manager has exclusive access to these talented individuals, and provided me with a very rare opportunity to meet with them. They are truly living national treasures of Japan. Any other tips for travelers? Keep an open mind when in Japan. There are many rules, customs, and formalities, but don’t be shy about them. Ask your Ker & Downey guide and the locals who are happy to offer tips along the way.
Desroches Island Resort
HOT TOPICS: LISA C H A P M A N
H ON E YMOON MA S H - U P S
Where were you last? New Zealand What is the most memorable place you visited during your trip? The Pink Sand Shell beach at Kauri Cliffs in the Northlands. I could have spent hours collecting seashells at this stunning location. What would you recommend from your trip? Spending time with a Maori historian and visiting a traditional Maori Village in Rotorua. I also loved sailing on Tarquin to explore and enjoy the gorgeous scenery and bountiful fresh mussels and oysters found in the Marlborough Sounds. Any other tips for travelers? Spring in New Zealand (September, October, November) is fabulous. Temperatures may be a little cooler, but Queenstown especially is an incredibly fun and lively city when it is ski season.
"Combine unexpected destinations, like an African safari with the Maldives which for most people, are two major bucket list items. Go to Oman and Seychelles for a mix of desert, beach, and active adventure. A few other unique combinations that clients do not usually consider, but are excited to explore for their honeymoon, are Koh Samui and Bali, or the Mediterranean and Maldives—there’s a non-stop flight from Istanbul." – Jessica Rizzolo
GO WILD "In the last few years there has been a major interest in gorilla trekking. Talk about an adventure! To see the gorillas in their natural habitat is an experience beyond words." – Jamie Bell
KE R & DOWN E Y
GIVING BACK When you travel with Ker & Downey, you become a force for good across the globe. These are some of the initiatives and partnerships weâ€™re proud to support.
B OTSWA N A CA MB ODI A ECUA DOR SOUTH A FR I CA KEN YA
EAST AFRICA In 2016, Ker & Downey President David Marek and his wife Gana traveled to Kenya on their annual medical mission. While administering blood tests, dental and eye exams, general doctors' visits, and handing out prescriptions, the team treated over 4,700 people and distributed 6,025 mosquito nets in rural areas of western Kenya.
B OT SWA N A Ker & Downey sponsored a rhino and in tribute, we have named her Ma Palmer after Phyllis Palmer, a Ker & Downey employee for over 40 years. Phyl, as she was affectionately known, was born in Maun, Botswana in 1931 and worked for Ker & Downey in Botswana in many roles. She passed away in 2014 and we joyfully honor her spirit.
K ER & DOW N E Y
W I L DA I D Ker & Downey’s Michelle Nicholson and Devon Chapman attended the exclusive WildAid Gala in San Francisco, where $1.5 million was raised to support WildAid’s mission of conservation and education. Ker & Downey proudly supports WildAid as a travel partner and a sponsor of stateside events.
Photos courtesy of WildAid Gala | David Marek | Grootbos Private Nature Reserve | Austin Mann | iStock
AboutASIA’s initiative to channel revenues into the local education infrastructure of Cambodia is inspiring, but even more impressive is their successful implementation of this idea. With over 53,000 kids and counting, their work is making a big difference in the future of this beautiful country.
E C UA D O R
SOUTH AFRICA Grootbos Private Nature Reserve trains people from local communities and finds work for them in fynbos landscaping and horticulture. A tree is planted in Grootbos’ Ker & Downey Forest for each of our clients traveling to South Africa.
We are happy to announce that Churi, the first Andean condor born and raised in the Andean Condor Huasi Project, was released to the wild in late 2016. This project is overseen by the Galo Plaza Lasso Foundation of Hacienda Zuleta, and experts from the foundation will continue to monitor Churi as he grows and thrives in the area around Zuleta.
KE R & DOWN E Y
GIVING BACK Travel that gives back across the globe
91 JOURNEYS Top itineraries from Ker & Downey
Openings, revamps and the latest travel news
21 THE GUIDE Insider secrets of luxury travel
THE SHOT One memory captured by photographer Tanveer Badal
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ACTIVE / ADVENTURE
DESTINATIONS 26 EA ST AFRICA
36 SOUTHERN AFRICA
42 NORTH AFRICA & MIDDLE EA ST
48 A SIA
56 NORTH AMERICA
FEATURES 28 THE KENYA CONNECTION
CO PY E DI TO RS HALEY BEHAM R I N A C H A N DA R A N A K AT Y H E E R S S E N
NEXT GREAT ESCAPES
A R T D I R E CT I O N & DESI GN AMY WILLIS
CO N TR I B U TO RS E D I TO RS DAV I D M A R E K
50 BEAUTIFUL BHUTAN 54 LIFE IS A BEACH 58 OAHU: THE GATHERING PLACE 60 NAPA VALLEY RISING
E DI TO R I N CHI EF M A RT I N E B U RY
64 THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE
W RI T ERS HALEY BEHAM N IC K Y B R A N D ON M A RT I N E B U RY L AU R E L DE L P ELIZABETH FRELS K AT Y H E E R S S E N ELIZABETH WILLIAMS P H OTO G R A PHERS TA N V E E R BA DA L B E V E R L E Y JOU B E RT LO G O D E SI GN E R IC ROI N E S TA D
LETâ€™S CONNECT O N TH E WEB
70 EUROPE NORTHERN & WESTERN
72 WIZARDING WORLD 76 CAPTURE THE CASTLE 80 MEDITERRANEAN MARVELS
EA STERN & SOUTHERN
ON THE COVER: San Pedro de Atacama Awasi Atacama | Chile
84 SOUTH PACIFIC
FAC E B O O K facebook.com/ KerandDowney
TW I TT ER/ I N STAGRAM @kerdowney
PHO NE 86 THE ULTIMATE AUSTRALIA BUCKET LIST 88 FUTURE ISLAND
E M AI L email@example.com
KE R & DOWN E Y
TA K I N G A I R TO N E W H E I G H T S When reserving your custom land arrangements with Ker & Downey, please ask about our incredible airfare rates. Our experts partner with the best to ensure a comfortable and luxurious journey in transit. Forget the hassles: obtain premium seating at great rates, accrue mileage where available, and get the peace of mind of lenient cancellation policies.
CARRIERS AIR FRANCE A L I TA L I A AMERICAN AIRLINES B R I T I S H A I R WAYS C AT H AY PAC I F I C D E LTA E M I R AT E S KLM L ATA M A I R L I N E S Q ATA R A I R WAYS R OYA L A I R M A R O C S O U T H A F R I C A N A I R WAYS SINGAPORE AIRLINES T U R K I S H A I R WAYS V I R G I N AT L A N T I C V I R G I N AU S T R A L I A
K ER & D OW N E Y
Contact Ker & Downey or your travel specialist to include Rovos Rail in your next custom journey. +1 800-423-4236 | KERDOWNEY.COM
Open in g s , Revamps, a nd th e L a test Tra v el News
N EKUP E S PO RT I N G RE S O R T & R E T R E AT, N I C A R A G U A Thirty minutes from historic colonial Granada, Nicaragua’s first luxury country resort is next-level adventure, outfitted for the most discerning guests. Ideal for group travelers, the intimate, eight-room hideaway (tucked into a 1,300-acre nature reserve) harmoniously blends adrenaline activities, wellness programs, outdoor exploration, and sumptuous creature comforts—from hiking, surfing, and horseback riding, to bespoke dining menus and marimba lessons, to spa treatments and yoga with a view of spectacular Mombacho Volcano. The four-suite La Residencia de Doña Theresita encompasses the 24,000-square-foot main residential compound. Four well-appointed villas have access to a nearby dry riverbed flanked by tropical plants. Steeped in native culture, the property offers many diversions, as well as the option to completely unplug. BY HA L EY BEHA M , M A RTI N E B U RY, & E L I Z A B E TH F R E L S 12
K ER & D OW N E Y
Photos courtesy of Nekupe Sporting Resort & Retreat | Anatara | Hotel Eden Rome | OneFortyEight
AN ANTAR A VI LAM OURA ALGAR VE RE S ORT, P ORTUGA L Located along Portugal’s
southern coast, Europe’s first Anantara resort pairs seaside serenity with Vilamoura’s celebrity glamor in a newly refreshed home. Facelifts to the lobby, spa, kids’ club, and rooftop suites have transformed what was once the Tivoli Victoria into a world-class, seeand-be-seen destination where the legendary golf fairways, four cerulean pools, and glowing golden beaches are always within view. The addition of Sundown ceremonies, Golf and Wine Guru journeys, family- friendly amenities, and Ayurveda-based treatments confirm that the signature Anantara touch is the new norm for jet setting beach-goers.
H OT EL E DE N R O ME, I TA LY Rich heritage and uncompromising elegance are just a few things to expect from the recently-reopened Hotel Eden in the Eternal City. It took more than a year to complete, but the property has entered an exciting new chapter of its 125-year history as a rejuvenating home just a short stroll from the city’s Spanish Steps and Villa Borghese icons. Bruno Moinard of 4BI and Associates oversaw the lobby and bedroom enhancements, reducing the number of guestrooms from 121 to 98 and applying gilded Roman resplendence alongside Bang and Olufsen televisions, Bluetooth sound systems, and Bottega Veneta bath amenities throughout. Elsewhere, the hidden library bar, brand new spa, and top floor brasserie La Terrazza, prove this enduring city oasis still has a few surprises up its sleeve.
ONEFOR T Y E I GH T, N AI ROBI, K E N YA Safari-goers in Kenya have a new boutique hotel in Nairobi to bookend their journey. Newly opened OneFortyEight Nairobi is located next to the Giraffe Sanctuary in the Langata suburb, close to Wilson Airport. The eight-room hotel is a cozy retreat with accommodations in a main house and five wellappointed suites converted from the on-site artist’s studio. Original artwork lines the walls and wildlife like warthogs, peacocks, and monkeys freely roam through the garden. From OneFortyEight, it’s easy to experience more of Nairobi, whether you are there for one night or for an extended stay.
KE R & DOWN E Y
BAWAH PRIVAT E ISLAND, INDONESIA
Wilderness Safaris' latest outpost makes a grand debut within an amphitheater of an eroded volcanic cone, offering unrivaled access to Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and its resident mountain gorillas. Comprised of just six dreamy villas, the intimate digs are slated to set a new standard for luxury properties and conservation tourism. The lodge’s reforestation project aims to restore the surrounding land into an indigenous rainforest. Seventhousand trees have already been planted on the site. Recognizing that protecting the gorillas’ natural habitat is crucial to their survival, Bisate is also working towards the physical expansion of Volcanoes National Park, a goal that will hopefully see an increase in the population of critically endangered mountain gorillas in Rwanda.
Opening midyear in the Anambas Archipelago in Indonesia, Bawah Private Island is a pristine tropical hideaway. A ferry ride from Singapore to Batam, followed by a one-hour flight on a private seaplane, transports guests to paradise. Behold six islands of lush jungle, 13 fine white sand beaches, and three clear blue lagoons spread over an official marine conservation area, teeming with underwater life. Bawah is a place for curious adventurers, with most of the island completely untouched by the outside world. Even the build left a low environmental footprint: during the five-year construction process, crews built the resort and its 35 safari-style tented villas without the use of heavy construction equipment, breaking rocks and boulders for building material by hand.
JA BALI R ID G E RU AH A, R U A H A N AT ION AL PARK, TANZAN IA
K ER & DOW N E Y
Asilia is known for having safari properties in some of the most prime locations in Africa. They’re continuing the tradition with the opening of Jabali Ridge, set to welcome guests to Tanzania’s Ruaha National Park in September. Set among boulders high up on a rocky kopje, the lodge’s ten suites blend seamlessly into the wild environment. The distinct vegetation zones of Eastern and Southern Africa converge in Ruaha National Park, creating a wildlife conservation area that supports a great and varied number of species. One-tenth of the planet's lion population, the endangered African wild dog, bat-eared fox, and roan antelope roam in Ruaha. It's also home to one of the world’s largest elephant populations. What’s more, the number of visitors to Ruaha is so few, you get the feeling you have the park all to yourself.
Photos courtesy of Bisate Lodge | Bawah Private Island | Jabali Ridge Ruaha | Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski | King Lewanika Lodge
BISAT E LOD G E, RWAN D A
G R AN HOTE L M AN ZANA KE MPI NSK I L A HABAN A, CUBA It’s no secret that Cuba is undergoing a major renaissance moment. One year after U.S. tourists began flooding the Caribbean island, the deluge shows no signs of relenting, which is why the unveiling of the Gran Hotel Manzan Kempinski La Habana in Old Havana couldn’t be timelier. The 246-room hotel is the first of its kind: the country’s first modern five-star property, managed by Europe's oldest luxury hotel group, and housed in a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A colorful 120-year heritage, a rooftop swimming pool, a one-of-a-kind Cuban cigar lounge, a Resense spa, and views over Parque Central in La Habana Vieja are just a few of the reasons why this Kempinski newcomer is about to become the most coveted address in Havana.
KING LE WA N IK A LOD GE, L IU WA PL AIN N AT ION A L PA R K, ZAM B IA The first and only permanent lodge west of the Barotse Floodplain of the Zambezi River immerses guests in an ultra-private safari experience in unspoiled nature. A collaboration of Time + Tide with conservation nonprofit Africa Parks, the Barotse Royal Establishment, and the Zambian Department of National Parks and Wildlife, the sustainability-focused property accommodates up to 15, and boasts six openfront, tented villas with private decks, outdoor showers, and furnishings that emulate safari’s golden era. Dedicated photographic guides lead shutterbugs of all abilities to nab the perfect shot—perhaps the area’s legendary lion prides, booming cheetah and hyena populations, or Africa’s second-biggest wildebeest migration, if the time is right. KE R & DOWN E Y
Authenticity and Sustainability in South America
We have noticed many trends this year, but the move toward authentic and sustainable luxury travel is here to stay. This comes as the United Nations proclaimed 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, and as travelers have been looking for non-mass market ways to responsibly reduce their footprint and engage in a closer connection with each destination they visit. This trend is especially true for South America, where authentic and sustainable luxury travel is most in demand and supplied through three specific cornerstones of tourism: sustainable design, immersive experiences, and honest food. Fortunately there are properties like Awasi Patagonia and Awasi Atacama, two of the most extraordinary luxury hotels in South America, delivering this triumvirate of authenticity and sustainability in spades. Using Awasi as an example, here is how we are seeing these trends in action in South America.
Immersive experiences Modern travelers donâ€™t mind getting wet, dirty, and sweaty if it means delving deeper into the local landscape. They want to explore places in their raw state in the company of knowledgeable and engaging naturalist guides. For them, authentic tourism is not about detracting from the environment, but elevating it through immersive and tailored activities. Excursions are the foundation of the Awasi experience. Each suite is allocated their own personal guide and vehicle, and every exploration is private and catered to each guestâ€™s preferences and pace. Travelling this way opens up an entire network of unique and exclusive sites and landscapes that are untouched by most tourists. And since the locals are more apt to open up to two or three individuals than to a larger group, access to their culture is much more special.
Sustainable design Travelers aren’t necessarily choosing properties because of their sustainability, but they appreciate efforts that allow them to enjoy responsible practices without compromising comfort. The luxury they are after is therefore not expressed by opulence, ostentation, and overwhelming infrastructure, but rather a firm sense of place created by a fusion of personalized service and design elements in harmony with the cultural and natural world that surround them. At Awasi Atacama, everything was built out of respect for the natural surroundings, environment, and culture, utilizing only local materials that have been sourced within 100 kilometers of the hotel and that have been used in Atacama for thousands of years. Even local workers participated in the construction so they could contribute ancient techniques and knowledge transmitted over several generations to create a truly modern and luxurious hotel meant to withstand the temperatures of the Atacama Desert.
Honest food Today’s traveler cares about food—not necessarily about fancy dining, but about having access to fresh local ingredients prepared in an honest and delicious way. Hands-on cooking classes, visits to nearby herb and vegetable gardens, and excursions to local farmer’s markets are all essential for travelers wanting to understand where their food comes from, who is preparing it, and whether the recipes are local, global, or fusion. Fortunately for travelers to South America, both Awasi hotels are the only Relais & Chateaux-affiliated properties in each wild region, a badge that screams culinary excellence and intimacy. True to expectation, Awasi Atacama Chef Juan Pablo Mardones can often be found foraging the desert for ancient herbs and berries to bring as many ancient ingredients—like purple potatoes, patasca, quinoa, wild sage, and chañar—into his surprising nightly dinner creations. Similarly, Executive Chef Federico Zeigler of Awasi Patagonia draws his artistry from such local specialties as guanaco tartar and lamb asado. Pair these culinary treats with wine lists curated by the famous Chilean sommelier Hector Vergara, and you have more than a few reasons to trek to glacier-studded Patagonia or to the driest desert on earth in Atacama to stay at Awasi. This is why Ker & Downey trusts the Awasi difference. It is true authentic and sustainable luxury travel at its best.
Contact Ker & Downey or your travel specialist to include Awasi in your next custom journey. +1 800-423-4236 | KERDOWNEY.COM
The Montage Palmetto Bluff on the banks of the May River in South Carolina might be America's most exquisite place for front porch sitting and sweet tea sipping. Surrounded by centuries-old live oaks draped in Spanish moss, this plantationstyle lowcountry resort delivers southern charm and hospitality. A recent renovation included the addition of 150 rooms and suites, a 13,000 square-foot spa, pool, and fitness center, and several restaurants and retail spaces. As enticing as the screened-in porches of the River View Cottages are, you can also soak in all the 20,000 acres of coastal marshland through adventures like horseback riding, paddle-boarding, a Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course, fishing—or two of our personal favorites, clay shooting and naturalist-led alligator “hunts”(the reptiles are observed, not disturbed).
ALILA FORT BISHANG ARH, J AIPUR, INDIA One of the most anticipated hotel openings of the year, Alila Fort Bishangarh is set to open its doors to guests on July 1. After a seven-year restoration and renovation project, the 230-year-old warrior fortress, located at Bishangarh Village in Jaipur, strikes a balance between historic preservation and modern luxuries. The original fort has been left intact, with the new hotel built above and outside. You can appreciate the 6.5-foot thick, battle tested walls, still bearing openings for firearms and the old turrets. You will also find large bathrooms with standalone tubs, wireless Internet, and comfortable daybeds in each of 59 gorgeous suites. Perched on a granite hill, the property boasts grand windows with endless views of Rajasthan’s stunning landscape. The former dungeons have been recast as airy Spa Alila. Carved out of granite rocks, the spa offers a variety of indulgent treatments and yoga classes to promote well-being. 18
K ER & D OW N E Y
Photos courtesy of Montage Palmetto Bluff | Alila | SUMAQ Machu Picchu Hotel | Country Club Lima Hotel | Belmond Andean Explorer
M ON TAGE PA LM E T TO BLU F F, S OUTH C A RO LI N A
PERU By Elizabeth Frels
An affable and ancient culture, a textile heritage defined by its color explosion, a proud and progressive foodie scene rivaling the Michelin stars of Europe, a landscape comprising 84 ecosystems and 24 climates, and one singular seventh Wonder of the World—it’s no wonder Peru features on so many top traveler lists year in and year out. Yet the Land of the Incas isn’t slowing down. After a well-considered refurbishment, SUMAQ Machu Picchu Hotel has unveiled a series of amped-up activities that connect to rituals of Peruvian culture—from a shaman-guided mystical tour of the country’s main attraction to a traditional Andean destination wedding to a Pachamanca meal cooked in an underground oven. Multi-million dollar renovations, inaugural launches, and brand new experiential offerings slated for the coming year have secured Peru’s designation as the boundary-pushing hot spot this travel season. Here is what’s on the horizon. Country Club Lima Hotel is undergoing an $8-million renovation project slated for completion this August. All 83 rooms, as well as the lobby and public areas, will see a welcome facelift without any closures to the property. Rock star chef Virgilio Martinez—a recent addition to the Chef’s Table lineup—will unveil his cutting edge Mil Restaurant this spring. Sitting 11,500 feet above sea level, the Mory restaurant will only serve food grown and prepared using ancient Peruvian techniques. In May, Belmond unveiled the highlyanticipated Belmond Andean Explorer, Peru’s first luxury sleeper train. The 68-passenger train will depart on one-and two-night journeys through the natural wonders and ancient kingdoms of the Peruvian Andes, from Cusco to Lake Titicaca and Arequipa. Finally, Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of Jacques Cousteau, will embark on several special departures aboard the Aria Amazon cruise vessel in February and October of 2018. Each cruise through the Northern Amazon will feature oncein-a-lifetime interactions and excursions with this world-renowned champion of ocean conservation and environmental protection.
THE JOY OF TAILOR-MADE
The Awasi Difference Intimate Properties | Excursions in Private | World Class Cuisine
patagonia & atacama â€¢ chile w w w . a w a s i . c o m
Contact Ker & Downey or your travel specialist to include Awasi in your next custom journey. +1 800-423-4236 | KERDOWNEY.COM
THE GUIDE In s ider S ecrets of L ux ury Tra v el
Awasi Atacama, Chile
W R IT T EN & E DI TE D BY M A RTI N E B U RY
KE R & DOWN E Y
TRAV EL NOW! Ker & Downey’s trip-savvy experts share insights on why there’s never been a safer, advantageous, or more exciting time to see the world. Go ahead, and take your dream journey.
FUTURE FORWARD: The new world of luggage is smarter, sleeker, stronger, and value-driven. Here are three maverick brands we love.
AWAY Two former eyewear executives researched travelers’ wants and needs to build directto-consumer suitcases with unbreakable shells, luxe materials, built-in USB ports, great looks, and nice prices.
JUST GO "Today, travel is about taking everyday moments and turning them into transformational experiences. In-depth cultural exchanges, uninterrupted time with the family, genuine philanthropic work, and surprising, unplanned moments you never expected—these are the intangibles only garnered from exploring abroad. There are so many headlines preventing people from traveling beyond their immediate comfort zone. If we as humans never break through that barrier of fear, how will we ever say we truly lived? "
The Bigger Carry-On in Black | $245 awaytravel.com
– Elizabeth Frels, Product Manager
"China, India, and Vietnam are among the safest destinations to travel now, with an ever-growing variety of luxury resorts, boutique hotels, and eco-retreats. Culturally-rich, there is something for everyone— families, couples, and single travelers. Find superb ancient sites, stunning scenery, outdoor adventure, culinary delights from street food to imperial dishes, and so much more." – Lisa Sun, Product Manager
A22 Carry-On in Hunter | $295 raden.com
A millennial CEO approached this line like a tech startup. The result? Minimalist design meets intuitive function in an appconnected suitcase with a built-in charger and scale. It even updates travel status via push notifications on your phone with the Raden App.
PARAVEL The founding duos’ fashion pedigree launched a runaway hit among the jet set that boasts elegant Italian leather details, ultra-lightweight construction and toughas-nails durability in signature water-, stain-, and spill-proof canvas.
"The travel value right now is incredible! The dollar is up against currencies including the Euro and the South African Rand." – CJ Whatley, Air Department Manager
K ER & DOW N E Y
The Grand Tour in Scout | $345 | tourparavel.com
PICTURE PERFECT: Take better travel photos with tips from Lindsay Silverman, senior product manager for pro DSLR, and accomplished photographer at Nikon.
Photos courtesy of Away | Raden | Paravel |Aman Summer Palace | istock | Avene | Raen
Depending on the trip, what type of camera do I need? A DSLR type camera is a great option and investment for any trip because of its amazing image quality and versatility. With different lenses it can capture any scenario from landscapes, to food, portraits, safari, and architecture. If you want a lighter more compact DSLR, look for a DX-format camera. For maximum image quality and low light ability, carry a full frame camera. Tips for shooting scenery, animals or people? It’s a good idea to explore your camera's autofocus options to see what modes are available. Additionally, scene modes make it easy to automatically set up the camera for any scene you might find yourself in. For animals, use a long telephoto lens to keep yourself at a safe distance. Shoot at fast shutter speeds (above 1/125) for sharpness, and always turn on VR image stabilization. A general tip is to always focus on the eyes, and to be patient and wait for the perfect image. The best shots of people are often candid, and are usually made with a short prime lens like the 50mm f/1.8 or 35mm f/1.8. Get close to your subject to immerse yourself in the culture and personality of what you are photographing. Set the camera to a wide (low number) aperture to bring emphasis to your subject. Use a wide-angle lens, and your camera's landscape mode to optimize the settings to create vivid shots with wide depth of field.
PACKING: SU N ESSEN TIALS Wherever, whenever— stay covered.
Tips for taking photos at night? Night photography can be a challenge because there is less light and the camera wants to use slower shutter speeds, which can blur a photo. First, always hold the camera steady if you don’t plan to use a tripod to get sharp photos. Don’t be afraid to turn on your camera's flash to illuminate close subjects—just be aware of reflections. Your camera has a setting for ISO and Auto ISO. Explore these camera settings, and use higher ISOs when in challenging light to increase your camera's sensitivity. Simple lighting rules? Know the golden hours! Early in the morning and before dusk are when the best light is available, with a warm, soft glow that flatters your subjects. Every other time of the day, watch out for harsh shadows from sun. If your faces are full of shadows, use your built-in flash as a fill flash to eliminate them for a nice picture. Take a lot of photos. Keep exploring from different angles, different lenses, and come back at different times of day.
Healthy, chemical-free sunscreen from a venerated French skincare line, in 5 oz. for your checked bag or 1 oz. for your carry-on. Avène Travel Size UltraLight Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion Spray SPF 50+ | aveneusa.com
Cool in any context, whether it’s seaside in Corsica or on safari in Zambia.
RAEN Remmy 52 Sunglasses | Matte Brindle Tortoise (Polarized) | nordstrom.com KE R & DOWN E Y
Thorntree River Lodge, Livingstone, Zambia
a Short distancei from the famous Victoria Falls
Set in Zambia’s Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park, just a short distance from the Victoria Falls. Activities include visits to Victoria Falls UNESCO World Heritage i site, cultural village visits, sunset river cruises on our own private boats, fishing, and visits to the Livingstone Museum. Thorntree River Lodge v and Botswana. dp . is the perfect linkage for your safari experiences in Zimbabwe, Zambia
A Zambezi River safari feel in Zambia Drawing inspiration from local customs and culture, it is a modern contemporary design with tented roof structures to maintain the feel of authentic Africa. The lodge will boast 8 twin rooms and 2 family units comprising of 4 beds each. Each unit will have its own indoor and outdoor bathrooms, as well as a luxurious private plunge pool. ¥ Short distance from Victoria Falls ¥ Stunning riverside location ¥ Inside the National Park it offers a Zambezi River safari feel
An authentic African experience RESERVATIONS: Contact Ker & Downey or your travel specialist to include in your next custom journey. +27 21African 7010Bush 270Camps | firstname.lastname@example.org +1 800-423-4236 | KERDOWNEY.COM www.africanbushcamps.com
DESTINATIONS T he Wor l d of Ker & Downey
Saruni Samburu, Kenya
KE R & DOWN E Y
AFRICA U G A N DA Witness the birth of baby gorillas at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
M AU R I T I U S Indulge in a glorious over-water massage.
K E R & D OW N E Y
R WA N D A
K E N YA
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Photos courtesy of iStock | Nicky Brandon | Miavana | Shanto Ananda Maurice | Sayari Camp
Fish and dive at Miavana on the Nosy Ankao private island.
K E N YA Dance alongside Samburu maidens and warriors at Sasaab in the Samburu National Reserve.
TA N Z A N I A Experience the drama of the Great Migration.
ETHIOPIA Interact with the Mursi, Hamer, and Karo locals in Omo Valley, the home of 18 diverse tribes.
A cheetah and her cubs at Mara Plains Camp
THE KENYA CONNECTION Ker & Downey’s Nicky Brandon finds canvas, conservation, and community at Kenya’s most spectacular stays. By Nicky Brandon and Haley Beham
Throughout my 20-plus years in the travel business, I’ve been on countless safaris, experienced all the traditional village tours, and stayed in lodges that rank among the best. Still, there is always something new to discover, and my last trip to Kenya absolutely blew me away. I stayed in seven lodges on my journey, each offering something unique in the form of authentic experiences, access to stunning sundowner locations, and exceptional hospitality. What's more, each is committed to conserving Kenya’s natural resources and wildlife, and are intimately involved in the development of their local communities.
"we hope guests will take away a love for kenya and a desire to return. if people want to come back, you know you’ve done a good thing.” Mikey Carr-Hartley with the Safari Collection
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Giraffe Manor Nairobi
Photos courtesy of The Safari Collection
“Giraffe Manor needs little explanation,” says Mikey Carr-Hartley, owner of the iconic hotel. Its resident tower of Rothschild giraffes have made the place a must-stop on any Kenya itinerary. Where else can you share breakfast with a giraffe poking its head through the window? There's no doubt about it; a stay at Giraffe Manor is special. It’s just 30 minutes from Nairobi, and it's surrounded by 140 acres of park and forest. The foliage-covered boutique hotel was built in the 1930s by Sir David Duncan and purchased in the 1970s by Jock Leslie-Melville and his wife Betty. At the time, the couple translocated two highly-endangered Rothschild giraffes to the property for a breeding program, with the hope of releasing breeding pairs back into the wild and securing future generations of this elegant species. Since the Leslie-Melvilles began their mission at Giraffe Manor, the population of Rothschild giraffes has grown from around 120 to 1,200. The mission overall has also expanded. Today, the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (AFEW) Giraffe Center at the hotel operates conservation and education programs for Kenyan school children and visitors from around the world.
For each guest staying at Giraffe Manor, a donation is made to the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (AFEW) and wildlife conservation projects across Kenya.
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"my privilege is to give back on behalf of the safari collection. the job is often emotional, but never fails to be incredibly rewarding. i get to make small but very genuine differences to the lives of tens of thousands of people while helping to conserve wilderness and endangered species." Mark Boyd with the Safari Collection
Masai Mara National Reserve From the back of the safari vehicle, a fully-garbed Masai spotter scans the wilderness for everything from the Big Five to an elephant shrew. He is all eyes and ears on the game drive through an exclusive area of the southern Masai Mara. From June to September, you will have a front row seat to the migration from Sala’s Camp, no tracker needed. A stay at Sala’s Camp recalls the bygone era of travel: exceptional hospitality, fine dining, and an authentic safari experience under the canvas of eight tented suites. This level of luxury and exclusivity in the bush is hard to find in the Mara. The camp sits near the Sand and Keekerok Rivers, which attract large numbers of wildlife. Yet it’s far away from busier safari crowds.
Sala’s Camp provides staff and vehicles for the annual rhino census. For each guest that stays at Sala’s Camp, the Safari Collection donates $5 per night to the Rhino Monitoring Team to assist with fuel costs, training, and daily activities. Sala’s Camp also assists with data collection, funding, and serves as home base for staff from the Mara Cheetah and Lion projects when they are in the southern Masai Mara.
Solio Lodge Mount Kenya “solio lodge is the only lodge on kenya’s first private conservancy. the quantity of the rhino there and the density of wildlife is mind-blowing.” Carr-Hartley
Guest conservancy fees contribute directly to rhino conservation. In its commitment to the surrounding community, Solio Lodge has rebuilt the local Honi and Leburra Primary Schools in the last two years.
Located on the equator between Mount Kenya and the Aberdare Mountains, Solio Lodge offers a variety of experiences. From game drives and walking safaris, to horseback riding and fishing for rainbow trout in the glacial lakes of the Aberdares, you can do as much or a little as you want. For an extraordinary view, take a Tropic Air helicopter flight from camp to Mount Kenya. It departs in the morning and flies over the concession up to the remote lakes of Mount Kenya, where a breakfast picnic awaits. Over 250 rhinos live in the Conservancy, renowned as the most successful rhino breeding reserve in Kenya. It's not uncommon to have a sighting of up to 40 rhinoceroses at one time. Through their efforts, Solio’s team has translocated over 100 black and 60 white rhinos to protected areas of Kenya and Uganda.
ol Donyo Lodge Mbirikani Masai Conservation Area Set on 300,000 acres of Maasai-owned land far away from the tourist circuit, ol Donyo resides in a singular region of Kenya, with Mount Kenya as the backdrop for its seven suites. The inspiration for Hemingway’s Green Hills of Africa, this swath of land provides a corridor for animals to move freely between neighboring Tsavo, Chyulu Hills, and Amboseli. A walk along the area’s volcanic craters and lava tubes led by a reformed poacher is filled with information about the volcanic history and geology of the area, and about his experiences going from a poacher to an antipoaching ranger. And, as ol Donyo is the only lodge in the Mbirikani Maasai Conservation Area, you won’t see a fleet of mini buses on your game drives.
Ten thousand people make their home in the Mbirikani Group Ranch. Each guest’s stay makes a direct financial contribution to the community and to Big Life Foundation, which leads anti-poaching patrols on the Mbirikani and surrounding ranches. The foundation started the Maasai Olympics to discourage lion hunting among Masai warriors as a traditional rite-of-passage. The games have been hugely successful according to Craig Millar, Head of Security at Big Life Foundation.
Sasaab Samburu National Reserve Sasaab is unlike any other place in Kenya. Inspired by Moroccan design, the stylish property sits hidden away on a rocky ridge on the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro River. The area is dry and arid, with a desert-like terrain, which lends itself to a wholly different safari experience than in places like the Masai Mara. A huge variety of animals reside in Samburu National Reserve, from big cats and elephants to the Samburu Special Five (Grévy's zebra, ostrich, reticulated giraffe, generuk, and beisa oryx). The lodge’s Samburu village tour is one of the most genuine you’ll find, but fly camping in the wilderness under a blanket of stars is truly unforgettable.
Conservation fees contribute to the costs of running the conservancy (which supports over 600 families), wildlife management, providing clean water, and building schools. The lodge also has a food program which feeds 250 local school children daily, and grants scholarships to three women from the local community. Parent company The Safari Collection runs talks in the Masai Mara and Westgate Conservancy which focus on health issues and female empowerment. Each year they also host week-long clinics all over Kenya, including dental clinics in the Masai Mara communities. KE R & DOW N E Y
"the maasai olympics have been hugely successful in deterring warriors from hunting lions. in combination with predator compensation funds, lion killing has declined by over 90%. the lion population has gone from less than 20, to over 140 in 15 years.â€? Craig Millar
Mara Plains Masai Mara Conservancies The sounds of hyenas and grunts of lions provide a soundtrack to life in the bush surrounding Mara Plains. Stationed at a bend in the Nikitiuk River in the Olare Motorogi Conservancy, the lodge lies in a very remote area of one of the world’s richest ecosystems. Getting there requires a scenic journey across the river via a wooden footbridge, flanked by verdant tree branches. Upon arrival, friendly staffers greet you with a cold towel and a refreshing glass of juice. Tents are tucked under a canopy of trees overlooking sweeping savannahs. Unique to Great Plains Conservation’s properties, each tent is outfitted with professional camera equipment that resident guides teach you how to use during your stay.
Fees collected from guests directly contribute to sustaining the Olare Motorogi Conservancy, which is leased from the local Maasai community and more than 1,000 families. One of Great Plains Conservation's largest projects, Rhinos Without Borders, aims to relocate 100 rhinos from high-density populations that attract poachers to safe havens in Botswana. So far, 26 rhinos have been relocated.
Angama Mara Masai Mara National Reserve
Photo courtesy of Beverley Joubert
The lodge sits suspended on the edge of the Rift Valley’s Ololoolo Escarpment, one of Africa’s most prized parcels of land. With private, unrestricted access and wraparound vistas, it’s no wonder Hollywood chose this exact location to film scenes for Out of Africa. To take advantage of those stunning views, the property’s 30 suites have end-to-end glass frontage windows. Pack your days full of safari activities, hot air balloon rides, and Maasai village tours. Or simply watch the animals from your deck. While game viewing is extraordinary, Angama Mara’s joyful team of Kenyans is what makes a stay there truly special.
“angama mara was inspired by three things. delight guests at all costs. celebrate our fantastic view from every vantage possible. and above making a profit, the business should make many small but meaningful and sustainable differences to the community and conservancy.”
Operating on the philosophy of doing well by doing good, the entire staff village, including a community-owned dukka and clinic, was built utilizing knowledge from the 60 lodges the Fitzgeralds built over their 30-year careers. With an eye to sustainability, all drinking water for guests and staff is purified and bottled on-site.
Nicky Fitzgerald KE R & DOWN E Y
AFRICA ZIMBABWE Spy on the busy watering hole from your private tent at Somalisa Camp.
ZAMBIA Children can become rangers for a day and learn to identify footprints and droppings with the skilled guides of Norman Carr Safaris.
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B O T S WA N A
NAMIBIA Travel by train through the outlands of the Kalahari Desert.
Photos courtesy of Somalis Camp | Rovos Rail | Boat House | Norman Carr Safaris | iStock
Shop for your own ingredients and put them together in traditional dishes on a private Cape Malay cooking safari.
B OT SWA N A Visit the Rhinos Without Borders operations, saving rhinos' lives from poaching in other countries.
M OZ A M B I Q U E Dive the reefs of the Bazaruto Archipelago, home to over 1,200 species of marine creatures.
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Tents at Hoanib Skeleton Coastal Camp
NEXT GREAT ESCAPES Looking for adventure or a pristine place to unplug? Dive into Southern Africa’s many coastal charms. By Katy Heerssen
Africa’s wildlife and diverse interior lands are the stuff of safari dreams, often eclipsing the allure of the shores. Along the continent’s Southern coast, you can find authentic culture, explore abandoned shipwrecks, and safely face your fears of sharks. Bounded by the Southern Ocean, Indian Ocean, and mighty Atlantic, Southern Africa presents a world of natural treasures beneath the waves and across dramatic, white sand beaches.
NAMIBIA Namibia’s Skeleton Coast has earned its name by virtue of its famously treacherous rocky outcroppings, almost constant breaking waves, and miles of thick and unforgiving marshland. The stark beauty of this stretch of coastline inspires both awe and fear, at once unmistakably desolate yet harboring a thriving ecosystem all its own. Cape fur seals travel every year to the Skeleton Coast to mate, give birth, and hunt for fish in November and December. The colony at Cape Cross Seal Reserve has seen as many as 210,000 seals at once, stretched out in the sand singing a chorus of grunts and bleats. The heavy surf and marshes are no match for these agile underwater navigators, but the orcas and whales farther offshore do prove a danger. Some 6,200 square miles of coast has been designated the Skeleton Coast National Park, most of it only accessible via flying safari. From the air, the overwhelming desolation and contrast with the blue Atlantic is nothing short of astounding. HOW TO SEE IT: We recommend a flight between
three tented camps with Skeleton Coast Safaris. By day, embark on a private plane to access far-flung areas of the coast, and retire to camp in the evening. Each tent includes en suite baths and cozy comforts, plus the benefit of seclusion in an untouched and beautiful natural landscape.
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Southern Right wales in migration near Grootbos Natural reserve
SOUTH AFRICA The migration of the Southern Right whale is a well-known natural phenomenon in the waters of the Western Cape. While it’s exciting to catch their pilgrimage, they aren’t the only show in town. Incredible marine life sightings can be had, including humpbacks, Bryde’s whales, African penguins, and colonies of over 60,000 cape fur seals. The drive along the Cape Peninsula is considered to be among the most beautiful and scenic in the world. One of the most popular—and daring—marine encounters in South Africa is cage diving with Great White sharks close by. Skilled guides assist thrill-seekers as they climb into the cages attached to the boat and descend into the water with the sharks. HOW TO SEE IT: A highlight in South Africa is the exclusive Grootbos Private Nature Reserve. Hidden amidst fynbos
and milkwood trees on Walker Bay, Grootbos blends breathtaking excursions with opulent accommodations. The lodge’s location enjoys an excellent vantage point for viewing the Southern Right whale. In season, you will see the whales up close aboard the Whale Whisperer, a specialized sightseeing boat setting out from Grootbos to Dyer Island.
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Photos courtesy of: Previous page: Hoanib Skeleton Coastal Camp | Grootbos Private Nature Reserve | Azura Quilalea
Kayak through the Quirimbas Archipelago
MOZAMBIQUE Situated off the northern coast of Mozambique, the Quirimbas Archipelago area includes 32 unbelievable islands. Outside of a few lodges on these isles, the land has never been fully developed, which results in an air of separation from the rest of the world. These sun-drenched tropical havens contain some of the richest coral reefs in the world and provide an unparalleled environment for an abundant array of marine life. Nearly two-million acres of enchanted forests, mountains, savannahs, mangroves, and coral reefs comprise the protected area in Quirimbas National Park. Plus, its 11 uninhabited coral islands offer an endlessly-interesting safari experience by land and sea. HOW TO SEE IT: Grab one of the nine seafront villas at the stunning Azura Quilalea, located on the uninhabited Qualilea
private island within the protected Quirimbas area. This property is dedicated in equal measure to ultimate luxury via butler service and to eco-conscious living via wind and solar power. The protected reef system surrounding Azura Quilalea provides incredible snorkeling and diving opportunities directly off the main beach.
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NORTH AFRICA & MIDDLE EA ST
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J O R DA N Fly a hot air balloon over the Wadi Rum valley.
Photos courtesy of iStock | Riad Mena | Reid Bader | Dahabiya
U N I T E D A R A B E M I R AT E S See Abu Dhabi from above in a private sea plane.
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IRAN Visit the sacred Tower of Silence and meet one of the oldest living practitioners of the Zoroastrian faith and rituals.
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Enjoy your own private riad in Marrakesh.
Sail aboard a traditional Dahabiya barge with a private guide.
Q ATA R Go behind the scenes at the Museum of Islamic Art, Doha.
Desert nights under the stars at Dar Ahlam
DESERT ROSE Wander narrow streets—or blaze a trail through golden dunes. Morocco is best experienced off the beaten path. By Katy Heerssen
Framed by the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, the Kingdom of Morocco is enigmatic. At once ancient and modern, traditional and contemporary, the North African country’s concoction of cultures—Spanish, French, Arabic, Berber—influence the intricate details that delight the senses on any given city street. It’s so much bigger than a breezy piano bar fit for Humphrey Bogart, or a bustling square packed with performers and steaming food stands. While city life is vibrant, historic, and exciting, there is another world beyond the walls of Marrakesh’s Medina.
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Lush palmeraies dot the arid landscape, often surrounded by settlements and villages taking advantage of the rare waters. Located just outside Ouarzazate and sustained by the Skoura palmeraie is Dar Ahlam, a 19th century Kasbah built on what was once a sultan’s hunting ground that has now been transformed into one of Morocco’s most elite hotels. “House of Dreams,” as the hotel’s name translates, is an understatement. Between your first massage in the secluded garden, peaceful desert picnics and thrilling mountainous treks, you may have to pinch yourself more than once. This gracious abode is isolated, far from fast-paced civilization but close to the swirling dunes and endless sandy vistas. Head into the silent Sahara and partake in sundowners on the sands, or extend the experience with an overnight stay (at additional charge). Dar Ahlam creates a magical evening in the desert, with candles cascading down the dunes that surround the luxurious furnished tent, a roaring bonfire completing the scene. Further excursions offer a chance to discover the Dadès and Draa valleys on four wheels. The Dadès River valley, also known as the Valley of the Roses, produces coveted flowers and rosewater imported for use in perfumes and products around the world. The valley flourishes ahead of the rose harvest each May, alive with color and intoxicating fragrance. Visitors in this area will also see Todra Gorge, a massive canyon chiseled by years of river flow. Cliffs flecked with shrubs and grasses, fireworks of green against the neutral sand and stone, rise to 1,200 feet above the shallow trickle of the Todra River. Morocco’s longest river, the Draa River, winds through the unforgiving rocky terrain, bringing life to the endemic flora and tiny towns that have sprung up next to the flow. Life here today is much like it was a millennium ago. Nomadic herders tend to sheep in the mountainous outcroppings, living their lives with few modern conveniences. For them, it may as well still
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be the Middle Ages. Meet these proud, generous souls and perhaps share a cup of tea in their homes within a cliffside cave. The Region of the Thousand Kasbahs boasts imposing stone fortresses rising out of the sand, beacons for ancient travelers and safe havens from desert marauders. See the legendary Kasbah Aït Benhaddou, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has been the filming location for several motion pictures, including The Man Who Would Be King and Gladiator. A thriving monument, Kasbah Aït Benhaddou is still home to a handful of Berber families, continuing to live and work in the city as their ancestors have for centuries past. Visit the desert side of the Atlas in the middle of your Moroccan journey, bookended by stays in Fez and Marrakesh. The rugged drive back over the range takes travelers through many small Berber villages where fine handcrafted wares can be procured to continue the journey as souvenirs. Most notable is the village of Tallatast, where residents are sustained by traditionallymade pottery and goat breeding. The Berbers possess their own language, style of calligraphy, and unaffected way of life that is threatened by modernization and assimilation with each passing generation. Outreach programs, funded in part by tourism revenue, have helped to build a school that offers reading and writing lessons to residents of all ages, as well as a venue from which to help the younger generations learn traditional weaving and crafting methods. This project also improves the health and quality of life of the residents with hygienic and life skills education. The sands of time in the Sahara long since paused are beginning to stir as Berbers start to assimilate into modern society, rushing to catch up with contemporary counterparts north of the Atlas. Though the two worlds of Morocco are divided by the Atlas Mountains, modern influences continue to creep into the Berber settlements, threatening to make intimate encounters with these tribes a scarce experience in years to come. Ker & Downey’s Moroccan escape, Land of the Berbers, will present the best of the old and new in this enticing region: the color and splendor of the larger cities and the subtle elegance of the desert. The cosmopolitan country is best discovered on both sides of the Atlas, where visitors can still effortlessly experience a simpler era. Contact Ker & Downey or your travel professional to plan a journey to Morocco.
Photos courtesy of Dar Ahlam | iStock | Intro photo by Andrew Littman
o trip to Morocco is complete without a visit to the quieter side of the Atlas Mountains, where rock kisses sand and the Sahara begins its long stretch across the north of Africa. This range divides the country: to the north, the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts with famous cities like Fez, Casablanca and the capital city, Rabat; to the south, a vast desert speckled with tiny oases and Berber settlements.
Photos clockwise from top left: Dar Ahlam at night; Ripe oranges; Colorful tiles on beautiful fountain in Kasbah Of Taourirt; Roasted vegetables dish
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L A N D O F TH E BERBERS
11 DAYS / 10 N IG HTS T HR OUG H C ASA BL AN C A , O UA R Z A Z ATE , MA R R A K E S H & E SSAO U I R A
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CHINA Take a sidecar motorcycle tour through Shanghai.
CHINA Walk the length of the Great Wall, and finish with private dinner on the wall.
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Photos courtesy of iStock | Vietnam Tourism
Take a private tour of an orangutan site with a specialist.
VIETNAM Float on a bamboo basket in Hoi An.
B H U TA N Trek to Tigerâ€™s Nest Monastery with a private guide.
INDIA Find balance with a private yoga class in Agra.
Amankora Punakha Lodge courtyard terrace
Explore six not-to-miss sights in the magical Buddhist kingdom on the edge of the Himalayas. By Elizabeth Williams
S H O RT LY A F T E R I R E T U R N E D H O M E F RO M B H U TA N , I connected with an American construction consultant who has traveled to the country for 20 years, building luxury hotels for tourists and log cabins for the royal family. “I was lucky enough to experience Bhutan prior to the introduction of the Internet and TV,” he recalled. “To have seen it then and traveled extensively during this period was truly stepping back in time.” Although he saw the effects of progress and modernization just two years later, he says, even now there are large areas of the country that seem timeless and unchanging. Bhutan in 2017 feels like a place out of time, an innocent, peaceful—and famously happy—kingdom that still lives up to its reputation as the last Shangri-La. While the mountains are majestic, the air is crisp and clean, and the colorful temples are glorious, it’s that intangible quality of being untouched that accounts for a lot of the country’s allure. People still wear traditional clothing, put on their finest to visit the combination religious-civic halls called dzongs in every town, drink butter tea and eat prodigious amounts of chili, and observantly practice an especially altruistic form of Buddhism. The biggest city, Thimphu, is the only world capital without a single stoplight; a white-gloved guard directs traffic instead. Hotel projects are sprouting all over, and a wider national road is nearing completion, which will make more parts of the country accessible. For now, people who visit explore a circuit through the country’s center and west, with stops in five or six villages and towns. Here are the highlights.
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PARO TIGER’S NEST
Photos clockwise from top left: Tiger's Nest Monestary in Paro; COMO Uma Punakha reatreat buidling and valley; Monk in Paro; Amankora Punakah lodge at night; Prayer flags
Photos courtesy of iStock | Uma by COMO Punakha | Amankora | Uma Paro
If you get one photo from Bhutan, this should be it—provided you are up for the trek. It is generally the last stop on tours of the country for good reason: It is a two-hour hike, from 8,500 feet to more than 10,000, and it is helpful to be acclimatized to the country’s high altitudes before you attempt it. It is a slog, but the journey made me appreciate the accomplishment of building it back in the eighth century, when it was home to the guiding force of Himalayan Buddhism, Guru Rinpoche, believed to be the second incarnation of the Buddha. Paro is also the site where all the history, belief systems, and legends that I had heard for two weeks in Bhutan came together.
HIKING THROUGH VALLEYS AND OVER PASSES
NATIONAL TEXTILE MUSEUM
The name Bumthang translates as “beautiful valley,” and there are, in fact, four of them in the region. Several important, centuries-old temples and monasteries reside here. Notably, Kurje Lhakhang contains three temples and 108 stupas, and Tamshing Lhakhang, founded in 1501 by one of the country’s most revered teachers. As moving as it was to see the monuments, my spirit was more touched by the scenery as I explored slowly on foot, descending into a valley or cresting a hill to find fields of flapping prayer flags, put up to honor the dead or to send pilgrims well wishes as they make their way across rugged terrain.
This new, modern building in the capital of Bhutan houses exquisite specimens of weaving in the traditional styles from throughout the country. I loved admiring them, but I was captivated by the videos of Bhutanese people dressing in ghos (men’s robe-like garments) and kiras (the long, tight wrap skirts worn by women). For both genders, it is a time-consuming process— one I appreciated even more when my hotel sent staff to dress my friends and I in kiras. After 15 minutes of professional tucking and tying, I looked glamorous, but walking and sitting in the outfit made me grateful to have been born in the West.
TRONGSA ROYAL HERITAGE MUSEUM
One of the country’s larger, more impressive medieval dzongs is located here. It is worth a visit. Yet more engaging is this museum, which collects centuries worth of spiritual art and offers an excellent crash course in Bhutanese history and cosmology. Even with only a rudimentary understanding, Tantric Buddhism as practiced in the Himalayas, is deeply fascinating and moving.
PHOBJIKHA GANGTEY MONASTERY
There are more monasteries than yaks in Bhutan. This one from the 17th century is especially beautiful. The details on the prayer wheels and painted pillars are spectacular. The extensive complex includes a central monastery, meditation hall, sleeping quarters, school, and courtyard, which hosts the annual blacknecked crane festival, in honor of one of the region’s most majestic species. You will probably see some of the birds in the fields around the monastery or your hotel. Or you can visit the crane center, which is focused on conservation and home to a good-size population of these graceful birds.
PUNAKHA PHALLUS CENTRAL
Here’s another instance where Bhutanese spirituality gets tricky to talk about. As in many traditional cultures, fertility (of people and of land) is paramount, and this village is the center of the country’s celebration of the powerful phallus. Most homes and businesses have large specimens painted on their exterior walls, and the main temple was built in honor of a divine madman who 500 years ago took an unorthodox approach to teaching, using his own to subdue evil forces and convert demons into guardians. When I visited, a priest was offering blessings to female visitors—many of whom make special trips when they’re hoping to conceive—and I let him tap me on the head with a wooden model and an archery bow.
ESSENTIAL TRAVEL TIPS WHEN TO GO It rains much of the year in Bhutan, with monsoon season lasting, roughly, June to August. spring and autumn boast lush vegetation, crisp air, and blue skies.
STAY With a focus on harmony and wellness, Amankora offers ultraluxe accommodations in five modern minimalist lodges that make the surroundings— glacial river valleys, the towering Himalayas, and dense forests—the star of the show. On the far western end of a deep-green valley overlooking the Mo Chu River, COMO Uma Punakha, Bhutan is a great launching point for cultural exploration. Tucked into the trees, 29-room COMO Uma Paro, Bhutan—a royal family fave—stands a stone's throw from important landmarks.
KNOW The Bhutanese have a legendary sense of humor and fun. I had been warned that my guides would expect their guests to tell jokes and sing songs with them, and sure enough, they took breaks from their own joking and good-natured teasing to ask their American charges for jokes and songs. Come prepared with a few entertaining bits. And if you are invited to karaoke, go. Belting out 1980s American music in their kiras and ghos is a national pastime.
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BEACH Indulge in the art of slow travel in Sri Lanka. By Martine Bury
Everyone I speak to these days seems to want to go to Sri Lanka. What’s the allure? Before I traveled there, I thought it was the quest for unspoiled shores or an exotic safari. Instead, I discovered a country with welcome surprises around every corner, profound beauty and mystery—and a hypnotic cadence to life. In Sri Lanka, all movement is languid. Warm Indian Ocean waves kiss golden sand beaches. City traffic flows, bumper to bumper, but unrushed. Wearing weather-appropriate, gauzy cotton saris, Sri Lankan women go about their daily life—strolling through colorful fruit and vegetable markets or quietly making offerings at local temples. After 25 years of civil war and a valiant recovery from 2004’s devastating Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, the largely Buddhist island nation is beginning to breathe again, and the world is catching on. Whether you are drawn to Sri Lanka’s ancient ruins, eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites or tropical coastline—embrace the unexpected.
"No other destination makes a stronger case for slowing down. That’s when the magic happens."
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EAT Two resorts provided home base for my Sri Lankan adventure. Holding court on a secluded Indian Ocean beach on the island’s south coast, Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort provided luxurious digs in the form of a spectacular villa, complete with a personal plunge pool and a daily show of langur monkey antics outside my window. Creature comforts—from an Ayurvedic spa to beach cruiser bicycles—tempted me to stay. A kick-starter of coffee infused with local cinnamon, and a chef-guided tour of Tangalle town made exploring off-property easy: follow your stomach. Discovering Tangalle, a critical fishing port, began at the docks, lined with brightly painted boats. Time stood still on a detour to a rice paddy, where a few laborers meticulously worked in the filtered sunlight. After collecting the morning’s catch of bay crab, lagoon prawns, local tuna, and a multitude of fish, we repeated the process in a labyrinthine vegetable market. We picked whatever looked good: green coconuts and mangoes, fresh curry leaves, giant jackfruit, okra, Sri Lankan long beans, and more.
Later, Anantara’s Spice Spoons cooking class brought our bounty to life as sweet, spicy, and pungent aromas emanated from flame-warmed clay pots. Fueled by champagne and Chef Anak Koonmart's stories of the history in each ingredient, we feasted. Food makes powerful memories. At the resort we experienced soulful, local flavors on meandering Sri Lankan time. FOLLOW YOUR HEART Tucked between the Indian Ocean and Kalu Ganga River, Anantara Kalutura, the island’s newest resort, is a gateway to Sri Lanka’s artisanal traditions and to the world of late Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa. His distinct work has influenced modern building design throughout South Asia. Bawa originally crafted the plans for the hotel in 1995, to fit his vision of an oasis that would marry Sri Lankan and Dutch architectural styles. Although he passed before this came to fruition, his vision inspired what now stands as a beautiful example of tropical modernism, from Anantara’s bleach-white and wood A-frame main building to indoor-outdoor concept suites and pool villas. Enormous batik banners designed by Barbara Sansoni, featuring Bawa’s favorite motifs, swoop from the ceiling of the main building’s upper deck. As it captivated me, the décor and onsite Geoffrey Bawa Library might inspire you to delve deeper into the architect’s Sri Lanka. It’s well worth making the pilgrimage to one or all of his masterpieces—including his nearby Lunuganga Country Estate and gardens, the Sri Lanka Parliament in Colombo, or the steel and glass Jayawardene House, Bawa’s final work, in the tiny town of Mirissa. East and north of Colombo, scores of lush national parks offer sanctuary for relaxed safaris, with elephants, leopards, sloths, water buffalo, and hundreds of bird species in view. This island beckons travelers to stay awhile, and certainly to return.
Photos courtesy of Anatara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort | Anantara Kalutura | iStock
WANDER From the sacred city of Kandy in the forested Hill Country to the immaculate beaches of Thalpe, Sri Lanka’s towns and cities offer many diversions, including ancient temples, towering Buddha statues, and world-class surfing, if that is your speed. I found myself especially drawn to the Old Town of Galle, with its fortifications, whitewashed architecture, sidewalk cafes, boutiques, and antique shops. Established by the Portuguese in the 16th Century, and later developed by the Dutch and British, the living UNESCO World Heritage Site conjures old Holland and Cape Town—but it is steeped in the island’s sensuality.
Photos Top: Local fisherman in Sri Lanka; Left: Shopping for fresh ingredients; Right: A colorful suite at Anantara Kalutura KE R & DOWN E Y
UN I TED STATES
H AWA I I Take a scenic private helicopter flight over the dramatic coastlines, volcanoes, and waterfalls.
Go on a private distillery and microbrewery tour, followed by a tasting with a master distiller.
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Photos courtesy of iStock | Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp
A R I ZO N A
N E W YO R K
Take an immersive, private tour with a Navajo guide.
Get special access to a Broadway show, including a pre-show meeting.
CALIFORNIA Embark on a private marine wildlife cruise through Monterey Bay.
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"THE GATHERING PLACE" Discover soulful island experiences in Hawaii's ultimate melting pot. By Martine Bury
Stunning waterfalls in Waimea Valley
y first visit to Oahu, 16 years ago, took an unexpected but auspicious turn. I was a reporter covering the North Shore’s legendary winter surfing championships. Little did I know the official start of competitions relied on whims of Mother Nature. Until the very second the wave heights and water conditions reached a sweet spot, no events would begin. I camped out for nearly three weeks, mostly at Turtle Bay Resort. With idle days, I would drive—cutting through the historic Dole Pineapple Plantation—and get purposefully lost, discovering the ancient island’s icons and secrets. Hidden crater hikes, heli-tours, glider rides, the occasional luau or casual backyard kalua meals with everything roasted in an underground oven: I was hooked. The volcanic archipelago’s third largest island offers a tropical climate, biodiversity, and compelling history on every inch of its nearly 600 square miles. Native Hawaiian culture runs deep and the trappings of modern tourism— from Waikiki’s Chanel boutique and hipster gastropubs to Chinatown and luxe resorts—dish diversions. Yet, it’s all about aloha ‘āina, love of the land, tied to the Hawaiian people’s treasured “sense of place," and respect for the ocean.
Photos courtesy of iStock | Four Seasons Ko Olina
Oahu provides unique opportunities to pass the days away on perfect beaches, like serene Lanikai and Kailua on the windward side, and view life-altering sunsets at places like Diamond Head State Park. Take a detour, and get aquainted with the island’s unique gardens. A 2,000-acre spread of fertile Waimea Valley is home to over 5,000 tropical and subtropical plant species, and walking trails that lead to spectacular Waimea Falls with its inviting swimming hole. Tucked in a lush rainforest beneath
soaring hills, University of Hawaii’s Lyon Areboretum in Manoa Valley offers a peek at Hawaii’s rarest plant species and the chance to join fun, horticultural workshops. For something different, explore the alien, palm and plumeria dotted desert-scape of Koko Crater Botanical Gardens. Or enjoy time out at Foster Botanical Gardens, in the middle of bustling Honolulu. Dive into history at must-visits Pearl Harbor Memorial and Bishop Museum or go off-the-beaten-path. Archeology buffs: learn about the sacred heiau, Hawaiian temples, at sites such as Puu O Mahuka Heiau on Pupukea cliffs on the North Shore and Kane'aki Heiau to the west. Now a center for Islamic arts and culture, my favorite Oahu hangout is Shangri La, the fascinating, Islamic-style mansion of famed American heiress Doris Duke. On an island of abundance, it’s fitting that you have your pick of fantastic stays. Sleep in storied spaces at The Royal Hawaiian Resort Waikiki—affectionately dubbed the “Pink Palace of the Pacific.” Opened in 1927, the 400-room, Spanish-Moorish style hideaway has played host to a long list of celebrities, dignitaries and opulent events. Sumptuous and historic, The Kahala Hotel and Resort sits on the South Shore’s softest white sand beach and stands apart in its reputation for impeccable service. For fashionistas, the vibrant Halekulani is an all-out stunner, complete with an oval-shaped pool and sleek Nobu restaurant. Tracing a pristine stretch of the North Shore, the recently-refurbished Turtle Bay delivers ocean views from every room. And, new kid on the block Four Seasons Ko Olina offers spacious rooms, a peaceful retreat at the 35,000+ square foot Naupaka Spa & Wellness Center and a Mercedes-Maybach S600 to whisk away guests in style.
Ocean views at Four Seasons Ko Olina
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Photos clockwise from top left: Tasting select wines at Archer Valley Hotel; A couple enjoying an evening at Farm at Carneros Resort & Spa; A lunch spread at Charter Oak; A table set at Kenzo restaurant
NAPA VALLEY RISING Elegant Cabernet Sauvignon, Michelin-starred restaurants, and sweeping estates have always defined California’s most famous wine destination. These days, it’s full of surprises. By Martine Bury
L Photos courtesy of Archer Valley Hotel | Carneros Resort & Spa | Charter Oak | Las Alcobas
ong before Napa Valley became one of the world’s foremost wine regions, it was the wild west—a land of gold fever, stagecoach bandits, and pioneers. Today, this place that also ignited the era of modern winemaking maintains its coveted status with a fresh spate of restaurants, tasting rooms, and hotels. Anchoring resurgent Downtown Napa’s culinary scene, Oxbow Public Market gives visitors a chance to savor the local bounty. Next door at the Culinary Institute of America, The Restaurant at Copia offers lively meals in the eclectic environment of a culinary campus. Head to Kenzo for Chef Kenzo Tsujimoto’s kaiseki and sushi menu, featuring the fresh catch flown in from Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji Fish Market. Opening soon: Charlie Palmer Steak and The Charter Oak by Restaurant at Meadowood alums Chef Christopher Kostow and Nathaniel Dorn. Indulge for now at the chef-driven eateries that opened in 2016, like Morimoto and Michelin two-starred chef Matthew Lightner’s Ninebark. Hear live music at Blue Note Napa on the first floor of the 19th-century Napa Valley Opera House. Try a private tasting at Riverhouse by Bespoke Collection, surrounded by modern art and collectibles. And, if you love craft brews, make plans for Stone Brewing’s Napa Tap Room and Pilot Brewery, set to open later this year. Beyond the lure of a vibrant hub, Napa’s towns still reign for sweeping natural scenery, vineyards, unique character, and exclusive experiences. Named for the mountain that anchors its north end, St. Helena is an icon by its own right. Major national landmarks and well-preserved architecture mingle effortlessly with Michelin-starred restaurants, beautiful boutiques, charming streets, and hip tasting rooms that give you a sampling of what’s on offer at the 416 vineyards that comprise this local American Viticultural Area. For foodies, there’s no greater place in the U.S. to satisfy your palate than Yountville. The town’s
total area of one and a half square miles is home to some of the country’s most important restaurants—many Michelinstarred, like Chef Thomas Keller’s legendary French Laundry and Bouchon Bistro. For the classic California wilderness, Calistoga offers breathtaking, forested vistas, sophisticated retreats, and famous hot springs. While you might be taken with the fresh mountain air and pristine surroundings, downtown Calistoga invites epicures and aesthetes to wander into the shops and eateries for artisanal goods and fresh, local bites. On the lodgings front, the Carneros Inn just completed various enhancements, with more to come. Yountville’s Vintage Estate is undergoing a design-forward refresh. Ultra-private, hilltop hideaway Auberge du Soleil recently revealed eight lavish guest rooms and suites. Now open, Las Alcobas—the St. Helena outpost of Mexico City’s swankiest boutique hotel—delivers a chic, serene stay, and bucolic views. Stay tuned for the unveiling of downtown’s Archer Hotel Napa and Four Seasons Resort and Private Residences Napa Valley. At Meritage Resort & Spa, grab a glass of wine, and then relax at the acclaimed Spa Terra with a treatment 40 feet beneath the vineyard. After, visit the Stags’ Leap Vineyard’s historic manor house winery for a tasting experience. Sip alfresco at Stewart Cellar’s hip tasting salon in Yountville, or hide out in a wine cave at Pine Ridge Vineyards Cellar 47. If you are curious about craft wine, discover exquisite examples at Picayune Cellars in Calistoga. Be sure to seek experiences where you can meet or dine with local winemakers. Take a bike and tasting room tour, or stay at a private vineyard hotel. Soar above the pretty valleys in a hot air balloon or linger over a romantic dinner in a wine cave. The Napa Valley is an exceptional blend of American small town charm and European elegance, ripe for the picking.
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N I C A R AG UA
PA N A M A
G A L A PA G O S
U R U G U AY
CO LO M B I A
C O S TA R I C A
G U AT E M A L A
Retreat to the oasis of San Pedro de Atacama for a spectacular hot air balloon ride.
BELIZE Get up close and personal with the resident sealife on a private snorkel trip in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley.
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Photos courtesy of Ken Spence Photography | Hacienda Sarapampa | Hacienda Zuleta | Uruguay Tourism
ARGENTINA Paddle down Ushuaia’s Lasiphashai River into the Beagle Channel in your own inflatable canoe to view stunning wildlife.
PERU Enjoy a delicious, seven-course lunch at the lovely Hacienda Sarapampa in the Sacred Valley.
U R U G UAY Sip your first taste of Tannat, Uruguay’s signature wine, in Colonia, and enjoy a private wine and cheese pairing in the cellar at Finca Narbona Wine Lodge.
E C UA D O R Visit Otavalo’s Condor Park, where the rescue center uses the time-honored art of falconry to rehab hawks, owls, eagles, and condors.
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Lush vinyards in Mendoza
Photos courtesy of Singular Santiago | Borangรณ
GRAPEVINE Take a sip-by-sip journey through Mendoza, Argentina, and discover much more than Malbec. By Laurel Delp
THE FLIGHT FROM BUENOS AIRES WAS EARLY , but my driver was waiting for me at Mendoza city’s small but modern new airport. Winds were just kicking up as we left, turning onto Route 40, one of the longest highways in the world, for the threehour drive to San Rafael at the southern end of Mendoza province, which lies in the center west of Argentina.
To the east, the Andes towered over our route. We passed towns marking the wine centers of Luján de Cuyo and the Valle de Uco, where vineyards were lined with walls of poplars. Wherever there were rivers and creeks, weeping willows were whipped in the wind and severed branches snaked across the road. The aspens bent gracefully, shielding the vineyards from the punishing gusts. Occasionally, a farm or orchard popped up next to a water source, forbidding as the terrain was. With the Andes ever-present, the snow-capped peaks changed hues with the setting sun. A lone cloud overhead turned vermillion and a full moon rose over the plains, which were taking on a blue tint. It was the kind of drive you never forget. Like most foreigners, I thought the famed wine region of Mendoza was a confined area like the Napa Valley, or perhaps a bit more spread out, like Sonoma. In fact, the province is somewhere between the sizes of Georgia and Michigan, and distances between wineries can be formidable. And yes, Malbec is king, but expect to try Bonarda and Torrontés, among the usual suspects, and some truly great blends, especially GSMs (Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre).
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Photos courtesy of iStock | The Vines Resort & Spa Photos courtesy of The Vines Resort & Spa | iStock
Open-fire cuisine at The Vines
A PERFECT PAIRING Combine two areas to make the journey simple. I chose San Rafael and the Valle de Uco. In San Rafael I checked into the Algodon Wine Estates in their small inn surrounded by vineyards and sweeping lawns with willows weeping by creeks. As I wandered around the property, birds swooped over my head protecting their newlyhatched chicks in nearby trees. The tasting room was closed for renovation, but I tried a new wine with each meal. A couple of historic vineyards are among San Rafael’s wineries, including Bodega la Abeja, founded in 1883, and Suter Family Winery, founded by Swiss immigrants in 1900. The Valle de Uco is fast becoming Mendoza’s most famous wine area. I checked into The Vines, a sea of vineyards that seems to be halted only by the abrupt rise of the Andes. The area has been developed by an American and an Argentinian who have sold vineyards to a variety of owners, both amateur and professional. To further solve the distance problem, they have created a Winemaker’s Village, where several excellent wineries—some with art galleries—are within a short distance of one another, including Solo Contigo and Corazon del Sol. The Vines’ own Recuerdo Malbec always wins high scores, and a wonderful
experience is a private blending session with wine director Mariana Onofri. The resort restaurant, Siete Fuegos, is run by Francis Mallmann, Argentina’s most famous chef, who’s a genius with the country’s open-fire cuisine. I fell in love with Mendoza, the city, and its streets lined with trees and acéquias, the open irrigation channels. After a devastating earthquake in 1861, the city was rebuilt with five open squares for escape. The largest, Plaza Independencia, is an expansive shady park centered by a fountain. I spent hours on the pedestrian street, Sarmiento, which is lined with outdoor cafes and appealing shops. There’s no shortage of good restaurants, including 1884, Francis Mallmann’s Mendoza flagship in a 19th-century winery, or Argentine-Mediterranean cuisine at Maria Antonieta a few blocks away from the Plaza. Within easy reach are the two original Mendoza wine regions, Luján de Cuyo and Maipú. Cavas Wine Lodge, a Relais & Chateaux property, is the place to stay in Luján de Cuyo, a 40-minute drive south from Mendoza city on the route that crosses the Andes to Chile. Just outside Mendoza, Maipú has wineries and olive oil factories that can easily be visited by bicycle.
"To savor the true taste of this bountiful wine country, wind away and explore at your own speed." 66
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BUENOS AIRES Legendary as the city is, first-time visitors are always surprised by its diversity. First, donâ€™t expect Spanish colonial architecture; once they had overthrown the Spanish, Argentinians favored Belle Epoque French architecture. The city is full of charming neighborhoods, each with its own personality, and there are wonderful restaurants throughout. And yes, you can learn to tango. But Buenos Aires is so much more than a dance. Recoleta is where you will find almost all the five-star hotels, and the Palermo neighborhoods (SoHo, Hollywood) are full of trendy boutiques and cafes. In the historic San Telmo district, the Sunday flea market is world-famous. Whatever you do, donâ€™t miss the alfajores, delicious sandwich-style cookies filled with chocolate, dulce de leche, and more.
Photos courtesy of Grace Cayafate | iStock
In the northwest of Argentina, Salta is a bucolic but stunning province. Some call it Mendoza 30 years ago, with possibly an even more beautiful capital city. Relax in the hammam at the House of Jasmines Estancia de Charme. You can ride with gauchos, take a cooking lesson, visit villages known for their weaving and crafts, then take in the wine country around Cafayate, some 6,000 feet above sea level, where vineyards lie at the foot of spectacular mountains in rugged, rocky countryside. Cafayete is the source of the best Torrontés grapes. Appropriately, five-star Grace Cafayete’s spa specializes in grape and local salt-based treatments. A special wine country surprise is the James Turrell Museum at the Hess Family Wine Estates Colomé. A gaucho performs at Grace Cafayete
IGUAZÚ FALLS One of the world’s most magnificent waterfalls, Iguazú on the border of Argentina and Brazil is second only in height to Victoria Falls and is the widest expanse of falls in existence. The area is a riot of birds and blossoms, and one of the great life experiences is heading into the falls by boat.
Experience the rush of Iguazu falls
SOUTHERN PATAGONIA, THE GLACIERS From El Calafate at the edge of Los Glaciares National Park, visit these awe-inspiring natural phenomena. You can view them by trekking across the ice, or from another perspective, by boat. Occasionally the advancing glacier at Perito Moreno sheds ice into Lake Argentino, a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Glaciers in southern Patagonia
NORTHERN PATAGONIA, THE LAKE DISTRICT If you want to be humbled by natureâ€™s beauty and power, Patagonia is the place for you. The vast Patagonia region is radically different from north to south. Visit San Carlos del Bariloche, the famed ski area with its alpine lodges, ride horses through a cattle ranch, hike, or go fishing on one of the azure lakes.
"If you want to be humbled by natureâ€™s beauty and power, Patagonia is the place for you." Hiking in northern Patagonia
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NORTHERN & WESTERN
AUSTR I A
GR EEN LA N D
N ETHER LA N DS
B ELGI UM
I CELA N D
DEN MA R K
I R ELA N D
SCOTLA N D
EN GLA N D
ESTON I A
LI ECHTEN STEI N
SWI TZER LA N D
FI N LA N D
LI THUA N I A
FR A N CE
LUXEMB OUR G
GER MA N Y
Take flight on a helicopter ride over the Alta River.
NETHERLANDS Take an artist-guided tour of the Van Gogh museum, then enjoy a private workshop and paint your own canvas in the Van Gogh atelier.
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Photos courtesy of Scandinavia Heli-quest | Ballyfin | iStock | The Grove | Van Gogh Museum Photoline Carolien Sikkenk
N O R WAY
Journey through Ireland via some of the countryâ€™s most luxurious estates.
Walk in Jane Austenâ€™s footsteps across the Palladian Bridge in Stourhead, Wiltshire.
FRANCE Take part in a private Perfume Atelier workshop in Grasse, and compose your own custom fragrance with a Master Nose.
WA L E S Stay in the heart of the Welsh countryside at the Grove of Narberth, a privately-owned country house hotel perfect for families. KE R & DOWN E Y
Historical Steam Train is crossing the Glenfiann Viaduct
Celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Harry Potter series with an immersive Harry Potter tour of some of the quintessential sites from the books and films. By Elizabeth Frels
M UC H O F T H E JOY O F R E A D I N G and watching the Harry Potter saga is to revel in the fantastical world created by J.K. Rowling. Wizards, villains, spirits, and magical beasts move through highly-detailed buildings, amazing castles, charmed forests, and maze-like rooms. Whether you are young or young at heart, pack your imagination and visit these scene-stealing locales in real life.
THE JACOBITE Jump aboard Scotland’s legendary steam train—one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world—and the route for the fictional Hogwarts Express. Coast over the Glenfinnan Viaduct, one of the most recognizable engineering marvels in the country, towering over the Loch Shiel. The gorgeous loch was also used as a stand-in for Hogwarts Lake. Here, Buckbeak dipped a toe in the water in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Harry and Hermione looked out across it from the Astronomy Tower at the end of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. For the ultimate muggle-friendly adventure, pair this 84-mile train journey with a cruise aboard a luxury Highlands motor cruiser. Perhaps you will catch a glimpse of one of the loch’s elusive residents: the Loch Ness Monster, or a “kelpie” (water horse), which plays a strong role in Scottish folklore, as well as Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
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Ker & Downey can also arrange a London itinerary including coveted tickets to Harry Potter and The Cursed Child at The Palace Theatre.
Discover the young wizard’s London on a private tour through the city. See the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron and walk along the alleyways and medieval winding roads that were JK Rowling’s inspiration for Diagon Alley and Knockturn Alley. Enjoy exclusive access to the visitor’s entrance and the staff entrance of the Ministry of Magic. It was here that the golden trio entered the Ministry under the influence of polyjuice potion. Make a stop at London’s King’s Cross railway station, an essential part of the pilgrimage. Have your photo taken at Platform 9 ¾ and pass the neo-gothic façade of St. Pancras International, where Harry and Ron took to the sky in the Weasley’s Ford Anglia. Later, see several of the locations where Lord Voldemort’s Death Eaters wreaked havoc, including the Millennium Bridge which they destroyed in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
WARNER BROS. STUDIOS True Potterites cannot visit the United Kingdom without a stop at Warner Bros. Studios in Leavesden just outside of London. The elaborate studios bring this intricate world to life. Explore the detailed sets, costumes, props, and animatronics. You will have the opportunity to walk the original stone floor of the iconic Hogwarts Great Hall, encounter some well-known creatures, and wander down Diagon Alley. Discover the magic behind Harry Potter and experience a ride on a broomstick, or allow a wand to choose you in Ollivander’s wand shop. In the backlot, between wandering the exterior sets, take the opportunity to enjoy a frothy Butterbeer, a non-alcoholic beverage reminiscent of shortbread and butterscotch.
TM & © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © JKR. Harry Potter characters, names and related indicia are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photos left: On set at Warner Bros Studio; Right: Sophia aged five and her father Martin venture into the Forbidden Forest at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London
“The stories we love best do live in us forever. So whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”
Photo courtesy of iStock
THE REAL HOGWARTS There were many sources of inspiration behind Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Outside of London, find enchantment in Oxford, famous the world over as the City of Dreaming Spires. Its captivating history is nowhere more apparent than in Christ Church College, where Harry Potter fans will undoubtedly recognize the Great Hall as the inspiration behind Hogwarts’ own Great Hall. Visit the Gloucester Cathedral nearby. This medieval marvel was transformed into the corridors of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Many scenes from the film were staged here, including: the troll scene in Harry Potter and
the Philosopher’s Stone, the location where Moaning Myrtle flooded the girls’ bathroom in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the exact spot where the fateful words ‘the Chamber of Secrets has been opened’ appeared, and the corridor which led to the Gryffindor Common Room. Another key Hogwarts site is Alnwick Castle, the site of Hogwarts in the first two Harry Potter films. Channel your inner wizard, and experience life as a Hogwarts student. Join the castle’s resident wizarding professors to take part in a broomstick training session, on the very spot where Harry had his first ever lesson in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
EDINBURGH: HOME OF J.K. ROWLING See the captivating city through the brilliant author’s eyes. Stay awhile at the North British Station Hotel, where Rowling finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (she even signed a bust in the suite where she wrote it). Or sip tea at one of the two café bars that both claim to be where she wrote most of the first two Harry Potter books. Nearby, Tom Riddle’s grave is a significant site, complete with a snake and the engraving “Non Omnis Moriar” (‘Not all of me will die’)—widely speculated to be Rowling’s inspiration for Horcruxes, the objects in which the series’ dark wizards or witches hide fragments of their souls.
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CASTLE Ashford Castle is a stellar place to launch an Emerald Isle adventure, where the sky is the limit. By Martine Bury
O N T H E S H O R E S O F LOUG H C O R R I B , Ashford Castle conjures fantasy against one of Ireland’s most sweeping and romantic backdrops—a moody, blue-gray lake dotted with islands, leafy forests nestling up to the picturesque village of Cong with its stately stone church, and the first inklings of nearby Connemara National Park’s untamed landscape. Famously, John Wayne and Maureen Ohara’s The Quiet Man (1952) showcased this beautiful setting. Dating back to Anglo-Norman times, the 13th century castle has had many illustrious owners, including the Guinness family, who rebuilt it in the Victorian fashion, nurtured and developed the surrounding woodlands, and ultimately gifted the property to the Irish government. Eventually this sprawling royal retreat was converted into a hotel, which served an eclectic roster of notable guests— including King George V, Oscar Wilde, Ronald Reagan, Brad Pitt, and a few members of the Beatles. Completely refurbished and relaunched in 2015, Ashford has a way of indulging you while serving up warm, gracious Irish hospitality. Take your pick of cozy guest rooms awash in fine materials and heirloom pieces (no two the same). Eat in a range of dining establishments to suit your mood, from afternoon tea with garden views in the Connaught Room and swank cocktails at the Prince of Wales Bar, to gourmet courses in the George V Dining Room and casual eats at the Dungeon, clad in red walls and Medieval style. Meet the estate’s two resident Irish Wolfhounds, Cronan and Garvan, as they make their morning rounds. All that is fit for a queen or king, you can do. Channel your inner genteel sportsman at Ireland’s School of Falconry at Ashford Castle, with horseback riding, archery or clayshooting. There’s also golf, lake cruising, zip-lining, tree climbing and bicycles to explore the sprawling grounds. After play days, tuck into serious comfort. Housed in an imposing bronze and glass conservatory designed by French architect Phillipe Bonino, Ashford’s Spa melds into the scenery with views of the lake. Celtic myths and legends are showcased in tile and stone details, handhewn by local artisans. While décor touches pay elegant tribute to the Gothic past, five treatment rooms offer state-of-the-art pampering using organic, Irish products.
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Photos Above: Ashford Castle's stunning grounds; Below left: The art of Falconry: Below right: A deluxe king room at The Merrion
Photos courtesy of Ashford Castle | The Merrion
TOWN TO COUNTRY While Ireland’s rolling countryside offers an impressive lot of storied castles and grand estates, you can experience a taste of how aristocratic city dwellers lived at The Merrion in Dublin. A lavishly restored Georgian-era building, the hotel is ideally located to see the best of the creative and intellectual hub that spawned great artists, from James Joyce to Bono. It’s across the street from Parliament and a quick stroll from modern eateries and lively watering holes—as well as main attractions like Trinity College, Stephen’s Green, the National Gallery and the historic Guinness Storehouse. A leisurely way to spend your time between high tea and the cocktail hour is to take The Merrion Art Tour with a local art historian, viewing the hotel’s coveted collection. A stay in this gracious home sets the scene and tone before taking in the bucolic landscape on your private, chauffeured drive to Ashford Castle.
EASTERN & SOUTHERN
A LB A N I A
GEOR GI A
R OMA N I A
A R MEN I A
R USSI A
A ZER B A I JA N
HUN GA RY
SER B I A
B OSN I A &
I TA LY
SLOVA KI A
HER ZEGOVI N A
SLOVEN I A
B ULGA R I A
MON TEN EGR O
SPA I N
CR OATI A
POLA N D
CZECH R EPUB LI C
UKR A I N E
M A LTA Explore aboard our favorite yacht on a multi-day expedition through the surrounding Mediterranean islands.
B U LG A R I A Enjoy a private Bulgarian folk dance lessons and a bagpipe concert.
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C R OAT I A Partake in an authentic swordplay and archery class at Croatiaâ€™s Klis Fortress.
Photos courtesy of iStock | Portugal Horseback Riding | Bulgaria Tourism
Traverse through the untouched scenery of Serra de GrĂ˘ndola on a Lusitano horse.
GREECE Embark on a scenic guided bicycle ride through the fields and vineyards of Nemea.
RUSSIA Enjoy early entrance to The Hermitage, meet the curator, and accompany him throughout the museum.
Spend 11 epic days in Greece and Malta. By Katy Heerssen
Greek culture is a tapestry of myth, legend, and history woven together at the geographical crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. It is blessed with a wealth of white sand beaches, sunbleached ruins, cobbled footpaths, aquamarine coastlines, and 130 million bountiful olive trees spread among 2,000 islands in the Mediterranean. Nearby, the tiny island of Malta is a lesserknown jewel with an equally rich history and ancient ruins to rival those in Greece. Combine these countries for a perfect seaside getaway.
DAYS 1-2 Launch your journey with two days in the ancient capital of Athens. You will need time to take in the unique blend of past and present alive in the city’s streets. Take a private walking tour to visit a few culture-defining sites, including stops at the UNESCO World Heritage Athenian Acropolis, the Hephaisteion temple, Hadrian’s Library, the Roman Agora, and the New Acropolis Museum. Guided by an expert, explore the traditional markets and authentic character of Athens’ many picturesque neighborhoods. Stay in Hotel Grande Bretagne, a heaven of uncommon grandeur and service. From the iconic Greek pillars to romantic views of the Acropolis, its enchanting location within walking distance of the capital’s best offers a palatial ambience from which to explore the city. After acclimating to the relaxed pace and embracing the famous Greek joie de vivre, it’s time to island-hop.
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DAYS 3-5 The chic island of Santorini brims with dramatic views, a romantic atmosphere, and mysterious sunsets. Its famed whitewashed houses are perhaps best encapsulated at Canaves Oia. While it will be difficult to tear yourself away from your cliffside suite, you will not want to miss out on nearby delights: tasting award-winning wines at a local winery, wandering through the scenic paths of Oia, dining under the stars, and mingling with locals. Visit smaller islands via your private yacht on the Aegean Sea. A highlight here is Folegandros, a jewel-box island dubbed by locals as the “Island of Peace” that has become fashionable to international jetsetters. Despite this reputation, it is still an untouched piece of true Greece.
DAYS 6-8 Continue onward to Mykonos, perhaps the most renowned of all the Greek Islands. Explore its divine sandy beaches, unique Cycladic architecture, cosmopolitan nightlife, and giant whitewashed windmills and chapels scattered along the countryside. Enjoy the view from your waterfront bungalow at Mykonos Blu. Orient yourself with the most famous beaches and architectural marvels of the island with a private guided tour, followed by a private boat excursion in search of some of the more pristine, off-the-beaten-track beaches and snorkeling spots. If you are inspired to break away from the beach, take a day cruise to Delos, and visit one of the most important mythological, archaeological, and historical sites in Greece.
Go for full immersion upon arrival with an exclusive cooking class and dinner in a private home. Then step into the quiet luxury and impeccable style of boutique luxury hotel accommodations at Palazzo Consiglia. A walk through the rolling countryside will take you from St. Thomas Bay to the Delimara Lighthouse and ends at the Marinisi Estates of Marsovin Winery, complete with a picnic lunch. You will also encounter local artisans in the gilding studios of a Maltese clockmaker and explore the cities of Rabat and Mdina. On your final day in Malta, set out on a half-day tour of the capital city of Valletta, where a veritable treasure trove of monuments, art, and a buzzing culture await. For the grand finale of your morning, visit to St. John’s Co-Cathedral, arguably the most important site in Valletta and the mother church of the Knights of St. John. End your trip on a high note, with a private sailboat dinner cruise through the Grand Harbor of Valletta.
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Photos courtesy of Mykonos Blu | Canaves Oia | iStock
Known as the “Jewel of the Mediterranean,” the Maltese Islands—though small—boast some of the best sights and views on planet Earth. Here you will find temples that pre-date Stonehenge and the pyramids at Giza, some of the clearest waters in the world, and a capital city more akin to a baroque masterpiece than a metropolis.
Contact Ker & Downey or your travel specialist to include Canaves Oia in your next custom journey. +1 800-423-4236 | KERDOWNEY.COM
SOUTH PACIFIC Cruise the Sydney harbor and take in the city from your boat.
NEW ZEALAND Go on an immersive exploration of the Marlborough Wine Region with Marlborough Lodge.
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FI J I FR EN CH POLYN ESI A N EW ZEA LA N D PA PUA N EW GUI N EA
Photos courtesy of iStock | Catherine Brown | Australia Tourism | Marlborough Lodge
AU S T R A L I A
AUSTR A LI A
NEW ZEALAND Head off the beaten path on a trek through Abel Tasman.
AU S T R A L I A Take a hike on a Kings Canyon rim walk.
AU S T R A L I A Learn to surf with a private instructor.
AU S T R A L I A Learn about native reptiles on a bush tracker tour.
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AUSTRALIA BUCKET LIST
Australia is a place to experience the world. From awe-inspiring natural wonders and exotic wildlife to vibrant cities, it’s worth carving out enough time to soak in the incredible life of this sprawling continent. Add these ten experiences to the top of your must-dos.
By Katy Heerssen
Diving and snorkeling Ningaloo Reef at Sal Salis All nine luxury oceanfront tents of Sal Salis are mere footsteps from the UNESCOprotected waters of Ningaloo Reef, a haven of puffer fish, wobbegong, black tip reef sharks,migrating whale sharks, giant schools of barracuda, and a snuggly 600-pound grouper lovingly known as the “BFG”.
Dine under the stars at Ayers Rock’s Table 131° Arrive to the sound of the didgeridoo and take your coveted seat at Table 131°, a unique dining experience hosted by Longitude 131° where an a la carte menu and wine pairing is accompanied by the ever-changing colors of Ayers Rock as the sun sets.
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Hiking at Saffire Freycinet Set in the pristine Freycinet National Park on the east coast of Tasmania, the relatively undiscovered hiking trails around Saffire Freycinet lodge lead to secluded bird-filled lagoons, white sandy beaches, and the pink granite peaks of Hazards Mountains towering over Great Oyster Bay and the Tasman Sea.
Spectacular views and uncaged wildlife experience at Southern Ocean Lodge
Cruising through The Kimberley aboard the Coral Princess Oceanic Discoverer
The beachfront Southern Ocean Lodge commands incredible views of the infinite waters and the wilderness of Kangaroo Island, also known as “Australia’s Galapagos” for its diverse populations of sea lions, fur seals, kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, platypus, birds, and whales.
Embark on a luxury Australia cruise in search of The Kimberley’s maritime treasures aboard the Coral Princess Oceanic Discover, where up-close encounters with the coast’s stunning natural wonders are led by a resident marine biologist.
Experience a 19thcentury homestead at Arkaba Station A refurbished 1850s homestead with an intriguing pastoral history and working sheep station, Arkaba Station offers laid-back countryside stays and interactive bush walks into the rugged Flinders Ranges.
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Hop a private plane, land in a one-hundred percent sustainable, ultra-private, tropical paradise, and behold: The Brando. By Martine Bury
every iconic stay has an inspiring backstory —riveting history, well-considered design, or an incredible location. Situated in the breathtaking Tetiaroa Atoll among French Polynesia’s naturally blessed Society Islands, The Brando has many. From a storied past as the summer retreat of Tahitian royalty, to an intimate connection to Hollywood luminary Marlon Brando, to a new standard for innovation, sustainability, and luxury—this place pretty much has it all. Two parallel personal stories ultimately converged to create The Brando. After falling in love with the South Pacific islands while filming 1962’s Mutiny on the Bounty, actor Brando purchased Tetiaroa in 1964, with the idea of preserving the pristine environment and Tahitian culture. Richard Bailey, Chairman and CEO of Pacific Beachcomber, S.C., first travelled to Tahiti on a family trip in 1963, and returned in the 1970s to dive into the world of tourism. Both men married Tahitian women, and raised families there—making their respective forays into hospitality. Out of the blue, in 1999, Brando reached out to Bailey for help in turning his vision for a true eco-luxury resort into a reality.
“marlon was one of the first champions of the environment,” says bailey. “he had very specific ideas that were even farther out there than my own— carbon neutrality, the use of the deep ocean water as an energy source. we worked out a way to do that and many other innovative technologies.” Ten years of thoughtful planning followed by a meticulous four-year build, the resulting slice of paradise is a remote, exclusive island outfitted with high-tech and lavish amenities in 35 sumptuous villas. Located on either the Turtle Beach or Mermaid Bay sides of the island, each villa has private beach access, an infinity pool, and drop-dead gorgeous views. From fine dining and champagne-stocked mini bars to excursions, spa treatments in twig-wrapped, cocoon-like pods, and all forms of ocean play, any experience one can imagine is included in the cost of the stay. A state-of-the-art research center connects guests to the conservation mission via on-staff scientists and naturalists. Whether you want a picnic on a deserted beach, a photo safari, birding excursion or snorkeling with rays and sharks, Bailey explains “this whole atoll is a playground.”
Photos courtesy of The Bando | TMK
Since opening, the property has attracted a string of A-Listers drawn to this ultra-exclusive escape, where privacy and service are an art form, and the carbon footprint is nil. Yet, much like the moment the resort’s famous namesake first laid eyes on this islet, it’s still all about location. “The atoll is the star of the show,” says Bailey. “The Brando presents an opportunity to discover this unbelievable environment—birds and fish and coral. The villa is elegant, completely luxurious. But it’s designed to get out of the way so that you experience these islets.”
Photos: The Brando is the first LEED Platinum certified property in French Polynesia. Opposite page: Aerial view of The Brando; Bottom right: One bedroom villa KE R & DOW N E Y
ZAMBIA Despite being the second largest park in Africa, wildliferich Kafue National Park is a hidden gem on the safari circuit. More than 55 different animal species make their home here amid rivers, wetlands, and miombo woodland. Explore one of the most diverse safari experiences on the continent from Shumba Bush Camp and Busanga Bush Camp, located in the heart of the Busanga Plains.
Contact Ker & Downey or your travel specialist to include the Kafue National Park in your next custom journey. +1 800-423-4236 | KERDOWNEY.COM
JOURNEYS Ker & D ow ney 's Top I tinera ri es
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C U LT U R A L
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NORTHERN THAILAND ENCOUNTER
1 1 D AY S / 1 0 N I G H T S Contemporary luxury meets centuries-old tradition during your jaunt through the northernmost destinations in Thailand. Travel from the bustling hub of Bangkok to historical sites and intimate luxury camps.
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S U G G E S T E D J O U R N E Y AT A G L A N C E : DAY 1-3: BANGKOK | MANDARIN ORIENTAL BANGKOK DAY 4-6: CHIANG RAI | FOUR SEASONS RESORT GOLDEN TRIANGLE DAY 7-9: CHIANG MAI | FOUR SEASONS RESORT CHIANG MAI DAY 10-11: BANGKOK | MANDARIN ORIENTAL BANGKOK
THAILAND Two sophisticated resortsâ€”one nestled in a lush valley, the other secluded on an island shoreâ€”and an incomparable tented camp. Sample each individually, or combine two or three unique views of Thailand into a once-in-a-lifetime journey. As different as they are, our three Thai properties welcome you with the same Four Seasons spirit, highlighting thoughtful service and exceptional quality.
Contact Ker & Downey or your travel specialist to include Four Seasons Thailand in your next custom journey. +1 800-423-4236 | KERDOWNEY.COM
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FRANCE THROUGH THE AGES
1 7 D AY S / 1 6 N I G H T S Embark on an elegant “Tour de France” following the roads from the past. On this 17-day luxury France tour, uncover the history of France from the Greek and Roman occupation in Southern France, through medieval times in the Pyrenees, up to the Renaissance in the Loire Valley, and concluding around Paris, admiring the splendors of the Grand Siècle of King Louis XIV. 94
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S U G G E S T E D J O U R N E Y AT A G L A N C E : DAY 1-2: ARLES | LE MAS DE PEINT DAY 3-8: CANAL DU MIDI | ROI SOLEIL DAY 9: CARCASSONNE | HOTEL DE LA CITE DAY 10-11: LACAVE | CHATEAU DE LA TREYNE DAY 12-13: LOIRE VALLEY | CHATEAU DE LA BARRE DAY 14-15: PARIS | LE BRISTOL DAY 16-17: VERSAILLES | TRIANON PALACE HOTEL
P R I VAT E A C C E S S T O FRENCH ARISTOCRACY Discover the exclusive world of French aristocracy at your very own elegant Loire Valley chateau, owned by Comte and Comtesse de Vanssay and their family since 1404. Located within a private 100-acre park and garden, Château de La Barre is the ultimate mixture of beauty, refinement, understated luxury, and authenticity. It is also a perfect base from which to discover the untouched Loire Valley countryside and its historic sites. The three rooms and three suites are decorated with designer fabrics and 18th century antiques, without compromising on comfort, and twice a week, guests may enjoy the "Grand Siècle" gourmet dinner hosted by the owners.
Château de la Barre Contact Ker & Downey or your travel specialist to include Château de la Barre in your next custom journey. +1 800-423-4236 | KERDOWNEY.COM
AC T I O N / A DV E N T U R E
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TRAILS THROUGH THE S A C R E D VA L L E Y
1 3 D AY S / 1 2 N I G H T S This luxurious physical, cultural, spiritual 13-day journey which includes horseback riding, leads you along the unbeaten trails of the mysterious Incas to the legendary ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru.
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S U G G E S T E D J O U R N E Y AT A G L A N C E : DAY 1: LIMA | ARTS BOUTIQUE HOTEL B DAY 2-3: CUSCO | BELMOND PALACIO NAZARENAS DAY 4-8: HORSE RIDING DAY | MOUNTAIN LODGES OF PERU DAY 9-10: MACHU PICCHU | MACHU PICCHU PUEBLO DAY 11-13: SACRED VALLEY | SOL Y LUNA LODGE & SPA
MOUNTAIN LODGES OF PERU Y E A R S
LODGE-TO-LODGE ADVENTURES TO MACHU PICCHU JOIN US FOR A TRIP OF A LIFETIME!
USA/Canada 1-877-491-5261 | Europe +44 0-800-014-8886 Contact Ker & Downey or your travel specialist to 1-800-445-497 include Brazil 800-891-5372 | Australia Mountain Lodges of Peru in your next custom journey. Peru 51-84-262640 +1 800-423-4236 | KERDOWNEY.COM
email@example.com | www.mountainlodgesofperu.com
AC T I V E / A DV E N T U R E
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V E N T U R E TO T H E VO LC A N O E S
1 0 D AY S / 9 N I G H T S This exclusive itinerary journeys to the volcanic behemoths, sandy beaches, and tropical paradises of Central America. Pair high-flying adventure with low-stress water relaxation in Costa Rica’s Arenal and Rio Perdido volcanic regions and on Nicaragua’s stunning Emerald Coast.
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S U G G E S T E D J O U R N E Y AT A G L A N C E : DAY 1: SAN JOSÉ | HOTEL GRANO DE ORO DAY 2-3: ARENAL | NAYARA HOTEL & GARDENS DAY 4-5: RIO PERDIDO | HOTEL RIO PERDIDO DAY 6-8: EMERALD COAST | MUKUL RESORT DAY 9-10: MANAGUA | ELEMENTS HOTEL BOUTIQUE
Contact Ker & Downey or your travel specialist to include Nayara Resorts in your next custom journey. +1 800-423-4236 | KERDOWNEY.COM
HONEYMOON / ROMANCE
I T I N E R A RY
A J O U R N E Y O F B E A C H & B AY QATA R & S E YC H E L L E S
1 2 D AY S / 1 1 N I G H T S
S U G G E S T E D J O U R N E Y AT A G L A N C E :
Visit Seychelles by way of Doha, Qatar, and balance the best of beach luxury and fantastic culture. This journey does double-duty along the Arabian Peninsula and in the Indian Ocean, with private peeks at legendary museums, cities, natural wonders, and unforgettable coastlines.
DAY 4-10: SEYCHELLES | NORTH ISLAND
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DAY 1-3: DOHA | ST. REGIS DOHA
DAY 11-12: DOHA | FOUR SEASONS HOTEL DOHA
Discover Qatar on your stopover Travelling through Doha during your journey? If your transit is five hours or more, you can apply for a free pre-approved transit visa to enter Doha without any additional fare charges up to seven days in advance of your arrival.* Stop over and explore the attractions and culture of this Arabian treasure. Visit qatarairways.com/qatartransitvisa or any of our * Terms and conditions apply. Visa is only valid when transit is between five hours and up to a maximum of 96 hours from the time of arrival into Qatar. It can be requested up to 90 days prior to arrival in Qatar. Contact Ker & Downey or your travel specialist to include Qatar Airways in your next custom journey. +1 800-423-4236 | KERDOWNEY.COM
SHOT ONE PICTURE, ONE MOMENT, ONE MEMORY CAPTURED BY PHOTOGRAPHER TANVEER BADAL
Winter in Iceland can be summarized as highrisk, high-reward. After a couple of days of constant rain and gray skies in Reykjavik, my wife and I decided to drive to the countryside. We landed at the wonderful Hotel Husafell in Vesturland, had dinner, and went to bed. The next morning, we woke up to a wonderland, with the sun shining and the sky blue. We decided not to make any touristy plans, and instead drove along the small country roads. We viewed quaint churches, hay stacks glistening in the sun, and the constant trickle of snow melting into rivers. We saw tourists by the side of the road, petting pony-sized Icelandic horses. On the previous night, the concierge mentioned that we should not miss the natural hot springs at our hotel. We decided to head back as the sun was going down, at the strange hour of 4 p.m. To our delight, the pools were completely empty. We took turns hopping from one to the next—all boasting varying degrees of heat—while the snow fell. Eventually, the sun disappeared behind the hills. One of the hotel staffers stopped by to tell us the Northern Lights were beginning to appear. The winter day lasted only a few short hours, but all in all, it was one of those perfect days in travel.
Tanveer is an editorial and commercial travel photographer, based in Los Angeles. He has traveled to over 50 countries and contributed photography for Condé Nast Traveler, BBC Travel, The New York Times, and others. In 2014, he traveled the entire year with his wife, Kelly, a travel writer. Together they have contributed articles and photography from their adventures for various magazines, luxury hotels, and blogs. @tanveerbadal
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Ker & Downey Nepal offers the finest, most complete adventure in Nepal. Our programs enable you to experience all aspects of this wonderful exciting country.
Located in the Annapurna Mountains, we offer trails using purpose built lodges. All lodges are a day's walk apart and allow guests to experience in comfort some of the most spectacular mountain vistas in the world. Trekking in Nepal has always been associated with sleeping in small tents on hard beds or mats, washing in cold water, sharing communal toilets, and living fairly basically. Ker & Downey is unique in Nepal as we offer the only program which allows guests to experience the magnificent scenery in style and comfort whilst staying in en-suite rooms with beds fitted with sheets, blankets, down pillows, and hot water bottles.
Contact Ker & Downey or your travel specialist to include Ker & Downey Nepal in your next custom journey. +1 800-423-4236 | KERDOWNEY.COM
MALARIA KILLS MORE THAN
ONE MILLION PEOPLE
E AC H Y E A R , W I T H
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T O C O M M U N I T I E S TO H E L P R E D U C E T H E R I S K
O F L I F E -T H R E AT E N I N G D I S E A S E S
D O NAT E F O R E V E R Y N E T P U R C H A S E D K E R & D OW N E Y W I L L D O N AT E A N E T. D O N AT E S E C U R E LY O N O U R W E B S I T E AT K E R D OW N E Y.C O M /G I V I N G - B AC K / N E T S - F O R -A F R I C A AND TYPE
“NETS FOR AFRICA”
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T H E L U X U R Y M A G A Z I N E F O R W O R L D T R AV E L E R S
L U X U R Y.
Anantara Tangalle Peace Haven Resort | Sri Lanka
Forget group tours, long lines, or shared experiences; with Ker & Downey, everything is a completely tailored fit and our artistâ€™s signature is threaded throughout. Let us offer you the opportunity for something rare and exotic, an exclusive journey that no one else can duplicate, and a one-of-a-kind adventure filled with the thrill of experience and the luxury of privacy. This is Ker & Downey.
K E R D O W N E Y. C O M | I N F O @ K E R D O W N E Y. C O M | 8 0 0 . 4 2 3 . 4 2 3 6
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C O N T A C T Y O U R T R AV E L P R O F E S S I O N A L O R V I S I T U S O N T H E W E B A T