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.
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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.
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A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
We’re in this together. At the end of August, a Category 4 hurricane stormed onto the Texas coast dropping tons of rain over much of the state. While Houston and Katy, where the Ker & Downey office is located, was spared from the heavy winds, we received record levels of rain that turned roadways into waterways and flooded many homes and buildings. We count ourselves fortunate. Most of our staff’s homes and our office were spared from the worst of the flooding. It’s times like these that you come to really appreciate your community. So many of you reached out to our staff to offer thoughts and prayers and ask how you could help. We are humbled and grateful for you. For years we have collected donations to assist with philanthropic and conservation efforts around the world, but now our efforts turn to our immediate neighbors. To help them rebuild, we are accepting donations through our nonprofit Manna from Heaven that will go directly towards rebuilding Houston and the surrounding areas, with absolutely none taken out for administrative costs. Let me rephrase that … absolutely 100% of your donation goes to those affected. As I sit in my office in Katy, Texas and look out my window, I see our neighbors' wet sheetrock, shelves, furnishings and valuables all sitting on the curb waiting to be taken away. Money received from you will be spent on rebuilding homes destroyed by the flood. That is my personal guarantee to you. While Houston will most definitely rebuild, sometimes it’s harder for other places hit by natural disasters to do the same. Sometimes the best thing we can do for those places is to get out and travel. Tourism dollars boost economies around the world, especially those who were hard hit by natural disasters that depend on tourists to fuel their economy. It also helps fuel the economy of less-touristed areas. In this issue of QUEST Magazine, we are taking a look at some of those less-travelled destinations that are sure to be hot in 2018—places like Croatia, Tasmania, Jordan and the beautiful, biodiverse waterworld of the Coral Triangle. We also interviewed Corie Knights of WildAid about the positive impact their donors’ trips are making with partner conservation projects in east Africa. As a visual treat, we’re featuring two photo essays: one from travel photographer Austin Mann’s adventure in Alaska, and the other from our clients John and Renata Harbison’s trip to Namibia and Botswana. Throughout these inspiring travel stories, you can enjoy valuable tips, insights, expertise and favorite itineraries from our team of Luxury Travel Experts and our extended family of savvy insiders. A love of exploration and connection to people all over the world is what we all have in common, and we are happy to share these experiences with you. Whether you are looking to see new destinations or travel to a trusted favorite, Ker & Downey is here to help you get there.
David Marek President
K E R & DOW N E Y
THE LATEST TRAVELS AND EXPERIENCES FROM OUR LUXURY TRAVEL EXPERTS
J ILL BRA LEY
T IF FA N Y D E S A LV O
Where were you last? Ecuador What was your most amazing experience? Hiking up to the summit overlooking Pinnacle Rock on Isla Bartolome and snorkeling with penguins around the island: it was a day I will always remember. What would you recommend from your trip? Allow enough time in your travels to take advantage of the variety of experiences Ecuador has to offer, including the islands, beaches, mountains, cloud forests, the Amazon River and colonial cities. Any other tips for travelers? Ecuador has all the climates, so remember to pack plenty of layers.
Where were you last? Cape Town and Namibia The showstoppers? Damaraland, Namibia. Not only is the scenery breathtaking, but I was able to track the rare, desert-adapted elephants and the endangered black rhino, plus hike in search of thousands of years old bushmen rock art. What would you recommend from your trip? Cape Town, Damaraland, NamibRand Reserve and Sossuvlei—they are some of the most unique places on Earth and all should be seen in one’s lifetime. Namibia is the most incredibly vast place I have ever experienced with diverse landscapes. Any other tips for travelers? Take your time getting to experience a destination, and don’t try to fit in too much in one trip.
HOT TOPIC: H O L I D AY T R AV E L Four Places to Start Your New Tradition
S OME T H IN G S IN G U L A R Although December tends to be a wet month in Tanzania’s Serengeti, it’s a great time to view wildebeest herds on their way towards the Southern Plains. You’ll also witness the wonder of baby animals as they make their first forays in the wild world. Tokyo, Japan sparkles with twinkling light displays and giant Christmas trees. See it all and then head to the Japanese Alps to ski down mountains and play in snowy pine forests.
T IME - H ON OR E D C L A SS IC S Spain has deeply spiritual holiday rituals, including nativity processions and concerts in Gothic cathedrals. The festive season begins on December 8 with Day of the Immaculate Conception. At the Madrid Christmas Market, wander among the over 100 stalls selling holiday trinkets in the Plaza Mayor. Iran’s large population of Iranian-Armenian Christians celebrate Christmas as the “Little Feast.” Foodies can indulge with lavish traditional meals like harissa, a chicken and barley stew, prepared and shared after nearly a month of fasting.
Christmas in Madrid KE R & DOWN E Y
GIVING BACK Travel that gives back across the globe
ACTIVE / ADVENTURE
Top itineraries from Ker & Downey
Openings, revamps and the latest travel news
16 THE GUIDE Insider secrets of luxury travel
THE SHOT One memory captured by photographer Jonas Jungblut
DESTINATIONS 22 EA ST AFRICA
28 SOUTHERN AFRICA
36 NORTH AFRICA & MIDDLE EA ST
42 A SIA
48 NORTH AMERICA
56 LATIN AMERICA
FEATURES 24 CAUSE & EFFECT KENYA & TANZANIA
30 IN THE MOMENT NAMIBIA & BOTSWANA
38 TREASURED PAST JORDAN
44 OCEANS AWAY CORAL TRIANGLE
50 THE NEW ADVENTURE FRONTIER ALASKA
58 PERU PERFECT
E DI TO R I N CHI EF M A RT I N E B U RY CO PY E DI TO RS HALEY BEHAM K AT Y H E E R S S E N 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 N IC K Y B R A N D ON DAV I D M A R E K W RI T ERS K E L LY P H I L L I P S BA DA L HALEY BEHAM M A RT I N E B U RY R I N A C H A N DA R A N A ELIZABETH FRELS K AT Y H E E R S S E N J E S S IC A R I Z Z OLO P H OTO G R A PHERS TA N V E E R BA DA L JOH N H A R B I S ON JON A S J U NG B L U T AU S T I N M A N N K R I S T I A N S C H M I DT
LETâ€™S CONNECT O N TH E WEB
64 SCOTLAND OFF THE BEATEN PATH
NORTHERN & WESTERN
68 EUROPE EA STERN & SOUTHERN
ON THE COVER: Elephants in Kenya during a WildAid Donor Trip. By Kristian Schmidt
80 SOUTH PACIFIC
FAC E B O O K facebook.com/ KerandDowney
70 FALL FOR GEORGIA 76 RISE & SHINE CROATIA
82 ON THE WILD SIDE TASMANIA
TW I TT ER/ I N STAGRAM @kerdowney
PHO NE 800.423.4236 +1.281.371.2500
E M AI L email@example.com
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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 EAST A FR I CA
EAST AFRICA The residents of Mbale, Uganda are receiving 6,000 mosquito nets to battle malaria and medicine for up to 15,000 people. We cover the cost of surgeries and team up with local doctors, dentists, nurses and ophthalmologists to provide much-needed care.
B OT SWA N A With each booking, Ker & Downey contributes to Rhinos Without Borders which is working to relocate 100 rhinos from South Africa where they are in danger from poaching. So far 38 rhinos have been moved to the wilderness of Botswana and seven calves were born there.
K E R & DOW N E Y
Photos courtesy of Rhinos Without Borders, Beverly Jobert | WildAid, Kristian Schmidt | Grootbos Private Nature Reserve | Austin Mann | Hacienda Zuleta | David Marek
W I L DA I D The founders of WildAid, Peter and Corie Knights, led a donor’s trip to Kenya and Tanzania with Ker & Downey to visit partner conservation projects and highlight the importance of their mission to end the illegal wildlife trade. Read more about the journey on page 24.
CAMBODIA A portion of every custom Ker & Downey Cambodia journey goes to ABOUTAsia, to provide assistance to adults wanting to learn more about topics ranging from sustainable agriculture to health.
SOUTH AFRICA The Grootbos Private Nature Reserve’s Foundation positively impacts local communities via training and skills development programs that improve their lives and conserve the environment. For each Ker & Downey client who travels to South Africa, Grootbos plants a tree.
E C UA D O R Our clients traveling to South America support the Galo Plaza Lasso Foundation’s ability to provide local children with school supplies, uniforms and summer camps. Run by Hacienda Zuleta, the foundation aims to improve overall living standards of the surrounding communities.
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Open in g s , Revamps, a nd th e L a test Tra v el News
CO MO ECH O BE A C H, B A L I Como Hotels and Resorts is expanding its already impressive range of accommodations with the addition of Como Echo Beach in Bali, opening at the end of 2017. Itâ€™s located on six miles of beach on the south coast of Bali where the rolling waves provide a surf scene that rivals Kuta, minus the crowds. Learn to surf with by-the-hour or week-long courses for the whole family, or spend your days at the COMO Beach Club. Low-lying, sleek, contemporary architecture sets the stage for 52 rooms and suites and 67 one-, two-, and three-bedroom private apartments and penthouses.
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Photos courtesy of Como Echo Beach | Adare Manor | Awasi Iguazú | X2 Chiang Mai Riverside
ADARE MA N O R, I RE LA N D Adare Manor reopens its doors following a lavish, 18-month redo led by RSA Architects and Richmond interior designers. The renovation—which was the largest Adare Manor has seen in 25 years—honors the castle’s Neo-Gothic heritage while incorporating modern amenities. New additions include a 42-bedroom wing and a 350-person ballroom meant to accommodate weddings and special occasions. Take a time-out in the new La Mer Spa, by the pool or at the cinema. Or stroll 800 acres of parkland, gardens, and walking trails, which also received a refresh.
AWA S I I G U A Z Ú , A R G EN T INA By the end of 2017, there will be a new, private and immersive way to explore the Iguazu Falls, which straddles Argentina and Brazil. Awasi’s much-anticipated 14-villa lodge is located on the banks of the Iguazu River, just 15 minutes from the world’s largest waterfall system. Besides its excellent location, guests can enjoy singular access with a private guide and 4WD vehicle assigned to each room. Explore the falls when you want, how you want, and for however long you wish, then return to the lodge. The grounds are a veritable paradise set among the stunning natural scenery. Beyond falls exploration, get to know Argentina’s Misiones Province through visits to archaeological sites, jungle treks and boat rides.
X2 C HI AN G M A I R I VERSI DE, T H AI LA N D Known for their high design boutique properties across Asia, X2 will soon unveil their flagship Chiang Mai Riverside Resort. This swanky 30-room boutique hotel promises to bring a new level of luxury to “the Rose of the North.” Nestling the banks of the Ping River, the hotel seamlessly blends modern design with the traditional Lanna style typical of Northern Thailand. Revel or relax: enjoy the courtyard of 100-yearold tamarind trees, the Jazz Bar, rooftop infinity pool overlooking the tranquil Ping River, spa or signature 4K restaurant.
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HÔT EL LUT ET IA PARIS, FRANC E In early 2018, Paris will reveal Hotel Lutetia, the historic Beaux-Arts hotel that has hosted some of the world’s most celebrated artists (Picasso and Matisse) and writers (James Joyce). Located on Paris’s Left Bank, the classic hotel was taken over by The Set Hotels, known for creating ‘modern grand hotels.’ The three-year renovation, spearheaded by Jean-Michel Wilmotte’s world-renowned architecture firm, reduced the number of rooms, and preserved the historic frescoes, gildings and moldings of this 1910 dazzler. Modern, new touches include it an expansive spa, chic restaurant spaces and a jazz club.
ROHO YA SELOUS, TANZ ANIA In August Asilia welcomed its newest safari camp, Roho ya Selous Asilia, adding a missing link to the southern Tanzania circuit. Taking into consideration the hot and sometimes humid climate of the Selous, the camp was designed to adapt to the environment and changing weather conditions. For ultimate comfort, an air conditioning system blows cool air onto the bed at night. Perched on a hillside in the heart of the Selous Game Reserve—an area known for its abundant wildlife—the camp is surrounded by lakes, wetlands, and open plains. Choose your adventure: explore by boating and walking safaris, game drives, fishing trips or fly camping.
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Photos courtesy of iStock | Roho ya Selous | Singita Sweni Lodge | Nyungwe House | Itz'ana
ITZ ’ A N A, B E LIZ E After two years, Itz’ana is finally opening its doors to guests. Part resort, part private residences, Itz’ana is located in Palencia, just miles from one of the world’s healthiest and largest reef systems. At the heart of Itz’ana is the Great House—a place to gather, eat, drink, and relax. Inspired by the great Caribbean estates, the Great House is home to the sea-to-table restaurant Limilia, the private Rum Room, and a Hemingway-inspired library. There’s also a full-service marina at the resort with a watersports activity center to charter boats, scuba diving, snorkeling, and fishing excursions. The Itz’ana team has gone to great lengths to locally source materials wherever possible, and incorporate special touches like custom-made furniture and chandeliers, hand-made tiles, and vintage lamps. The end result is a luxury resort where every detail from conception to completion has been carefully thought-out.
S I N GI TA S WE N I LO DGE, SOUTH AFRICA Following well-considered renovations, Singita Sweni Lodge has reopened refreshed and with more space in a swoon-worthy locale. In addition to updating interiors, the main lodge was expanded. The new Pool Suite, with a private dining deck, is ideal for families and honeymoon couples. Singita’s commitment to sustainability can be seen throughout the lodge in its cuttingedge design, ensuring the lodge blends with the environment and touches the earth lightly. The addition of a Tesla Powerpack System adds extra energy storage to the lodge’s existing solar power project and further decreases their dependence on fossil fuels.
NY U N GW E H OU SE, RWAND A Last April, One&Only Resorts announced its portfolio evolution, launching One&Only Nature Resorts, Urban Resorts, and Private Homes. The first of its new One&Only Nature Resorts debuts this winter. The sole high-end property in Nyungwe National Park, One&Only Nyungwe House sits on the grounds of a working tea plantation on the edge of Nyungwe National Park—a habitat for over 13 different species of primates and 75 species of mammals. From the lodge, guests will be able to go mountain biking, trekking and kayaking—and experience up-close encounters with rare primates. Twentytwo luxury rooms and suites will offer the best views of the forest and private decks for viewing wildlife at your leisure.
ONE&ONLY SANYA, C HI NA The ‘Kingdom of Butterflies’ is debuting One&Only’s first resort in China with the opening of the One&Only Sanya, located on Hainan Island in the South China Sea. True to the brand's reputation of showcasing a destination, the property is located in an exclusive area of Tofu Bay and was designed to reflect the local culture of the Hainan Province, with an emphasis on privacy and space. These ultra-luxurious digs will feature 190 highly-stylized guest rooms, suites and villas designed by world-renowned architect Jean Michel-Gathy of Denniston International Architects. From every angle, take in commanding views of the azure waters, private beach, coconut palms, and water gardens throughout the resort.
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M E X I CO By Martine Bury
Spanning more than 760,000 square miles that stretch between the United States, Central America, Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea—you can never know all of Mexico. Yet getting to know its vast, varied terrain and diverse culture is one of travel’s most rewarding pursuits. Over 61 hotel projects kicked off in 2017. We’re not alone when we say we’re obsessed.
N O W & N EX T In Los Cabos, a series of new lodgings including a Montage and Ritz Carlton Reserve on the horizon are staking their grounds in this haven where desert meets ocean. With a private Yacht Cove and 145 rooms looking out onto the Sea of Cortés, Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos at Costa Palmas presents minimalist luxe in the remote East Cape. In the charming town of San José del Cabo on Baja’s outer edge, Hotel Mar Adentro, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, is Miguel Angel Aragonés’ architectural masterpiece, inspired by the Pacific Ocean so the element of water takes center stage. Although suites, rooms and villas have been open to guests since late 2016, the architects just completed the second of a three-phase building plan. Dripping in Spanish-colonial charm, UNESCO World Heritage Site San Miguel De Allende’s 5-star boutique hotels and flawlessly preserved central plaza, El Jardin, give way to its bohemian past as a beatnik haven in the 1940s via thriving arts and crafts scenes. Designated the Top City of 2017 by Travel & Leisure, the former silver mining colony is still full of polish
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Photos courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos at Costa Palmas | Chable Resort & Spa | Small Luxury Hotels of the World
Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos at Costa Palmas beach-front cabana
as the hub of new annual festivals, celebrating the nation’s creative output in filmmaking, visual art, haute cuisine, music and fashion design. The lure of Mayan ruins and beautiful beaches made the Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen and Tulum must-visits of the last five years—but there’s a new Yucatan setting the scene for cultural immersion, wellness travel, nature exploration and hyperluxury. North of the Peninsula, sleepy Holbox Island is quickly evolving into the place to unplug, with the bonus of exquisite wildlife viewing—think exotic birds, flocks of wild flamingos, whales and sea turtles. A bit of unexpected delight lies around every corner in tiny Izamal, the Yellow City, distinguished as an important site of Pre-Colombian Maya archeological treasures, temple pyramids and colonial architecture—and the mecca for mezcal. For the ultimate reboot on the grounds of a 19th century hacienda considered to be this year’s best designed property, Chablé Resort & Spa interweaves traditional Mayan gardens, a cellar featuring the world’s largest private tequila collection and 40 stand-alone pool villas amongst the lush foliage of the Mayan forest and the ancient temples of Chocholá. Nestled up to a revered, sacred cenote (cave pool), the spa features state-of-the-art and indigenous treatments, a yoga/meditation room and an adjacent kitchen garden where guests can prepare their own aromatherapy blends or gather ingredients for a cooking class. At the midpoint between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, Hotel Esencia is a stylish escape on the Yucatan’s finest beach, XpuHa. The property will soon unveil 11 new luxury suites decked in custom Mexican textiles and art, including five Jungle Suites and six Beach Suites only steps from the water. A new onsite destination restaurant helmed by Chef Dimitris Katrivesis of Spain’s Michelin-starred El Bulli will cap off the grand reveal. Ultra-private opulence gets an infamous twist at Casa Malca, an exclusive 42-room resort that was once the mansion of Pablo Escobar. Tucked deep in Tulum’s peaceful southern end, the property owned by art world mogul Lio Malca boasts a blue-chip art collection, long white sand beaches and a rooftop bar that offers 360-degree Caribbean and jungle views.
Photos: Top: Hotel Mar Adentro's Pacific views; Bottom: Casa Rosa at Chablé Resort & Spa
REGION ON T HE RI S E The new center of Mexico’s culinary culture is Puebla, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Learn about influential indigenous groups via lively local festivals or delight your taste buds with the perfect mole poblano dish, a sip of pulque or a tasting at a local tequila distillery. Summer ushered in the opening of 78-room Rosewood Puebla a stone’s throw from the Zócalo de Puebla, the main public square containing the city’s most iconic sites. The hotel encompasses a group of exquisitely restored historic buildings; the design incorporates time-honored traditional crafts like Talavera Pottery, and the rooftop infinity pool delivers stunning views of downtown Puebla and volcanoes dotting the valley. Two colonial mansions and a sleek, 40-room building make up Hotel Cartesiano, which will open on the Boulevard of Heroes this fall. Flanked by historic viceregal houses, it’s a swank home base for exploration near must-see sights such as Puebla Cathedral, the Amparo Museum and Callejón de los Sapos antiques market. Want más Mexico? Visit kerdowney.com for new itineraries featuring Mexican cuisine and culture. KE R & DOWN E Y
THE GUIDE Ins ider S ecrets of L ux ury Tra v el
N E X T-U P
Set your sights on a new travel experience. Here are some of the places we predict will be the most talked-about in 2018.
Why Go? Excite all of your senses. Stunning Himalayan vistas are the backdrop to the rich culture, ancient Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, picturesque villages and colorful festivals.
By Nicky Brandon, Catherine Brown, Martine Bury, Rina Chandarana, Elizabeth Frels & Lisa Sun
K E R & DOW N E Y
Snowcapped mountains rise high above monasteries and bustling bazaars in this northern corner of India.
Donâ€™t Miss: Nature lovers and hardy trekkers will love a stay in a luxury camp as a base to explore the rugged high-altitude desert, valleys, lakes and river lands where snow leopards, Asian ibex and Tibetan wolves roam.
THE AMERICAN SOUTH
Southeast Asia’s bright jewel has all the qualities of a hidden gem with so much to discover: sparkling rice paddies, temples peeking over the tops of lush jungles, beautiful beaches and remote villages along the cultural Mekong River.
With a complex culture and a mountainous landscape brimming with natural curiosities, there’s a lot to unearth in this multifaceted South American nation.
Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana each tell a unique story of the American experience.
Why Go? The hospitality and kindness of the locals makes Cambodia a standalone destination—and you have your choice of amazing settings. Stay at a luxury resort on a private island with pristine beaches or at one nestled in a private nature sanctuary. Don't Miss: See Angkor Wat, one of the most impressive temples in the world.
Why Go? See spectacular feats of nature. The salt flats are an otherworldly stop on a Bolivian journey. Salar de Uyuni is known for its salt flats and is one of the world’s highest deserts, surrounded by mountains and volcanoes. Don’t Miss: Visit the salt miners workshop in the small village of Colchani and, at night, stargaze in the blinding white expanse in the middle of nowhere.
S I C I LY Baroque architecture, turquoise-blue beaches and bountiful plates of pasta and seafood make Sicily an Italian destination that still feels untouched. Why Go? Immerse yourself in history and enjoy the romance of the seaside. The city of Taormina is a blend of Greek, Roman and Byzantine history; a pearl of the Ionian Sea.
Photos courtesy of iStock
Don’t Miss: The food: take a full-day gastronomic tour in the city of Bronte, the birthplace of pistachio.
Inviting streets in Sicily
S LO V E N I A Slovenia is a land of fairytale lakes, cliff-side castles and stunning natural scenery. Why Go? Take roads less traveled. Drive through the Vrsic Mountain Pass, learn more about the country’s World War I history and follow Ernest Hemingway’s footsteps as he wrote “A Farwell to Arms.”
Why Go? Immerse yourself in southern hospitality. Taste southern food, listen to the music and learn about the history of this fascinating region of the United States. Don’t Miss: Visit the best bars with a bourbon historian and sample flights at a distillery in Louisville.
ETHIOPIA History and hospitality meet in a land of a deeply spiritual culture, the rarest wildlife and boundless natural treasures. Why Go? Do something different. Eco-conscious travelers will love the remote feeling of the wilderness where swamps and volcanic ridges are home to a wide array of animals and colorful birds and butterflies. Don’t Miss: Visit Bale Mountains National P ark to learn more about conservation programs for the tawnycolored Ethiopian wolf.
Don’t Miss: Indulge in wine tasting, Michelin-starred dinners and multicourse castle meals in Goriska Brda.
Tawnycolored Ethiopian wolf
Slovenia's fariytale lake
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GOOD S T U F F It’s always the giving season. Go for gear that gives back. By Martine Bury
Canada Goose PBI Camp Hoody in PBI Blue $600 | canadagoose.com
STATE Colby Kensington Backpack in Whiskey | $135 statebags.com
Support a simple vision—rid the planet of plastic bottles— and benefit charities like UNICEF, (RED) and American Forest Foundation. 17 oz. S’well Bottle in Green Jasper $35 | swellbottle.com
Warm, windproof, self-packable— and a portion of proceeds funds the research and conservation efforts of Polar Bears International.
FLIGH T PAT T ER N S
Your travel accessories don’t have to be boring. -MB
Very Troubled Child’s travel trunks, bags, cases and small leather goods are shaking up luxury with a good dose of whimsy. The creation of Italian entrepreneur Alberto Favaretto fuses together clean lines, fine leather and modern sensibility with themes of grand journeys and the natural world. To further stand out from the crowd, luggage can be customized to order and personalized with hand-painted initials. verytroubledchild.com 18
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Photos courtesy of Canada Goose | STATE | S'well | Very Troubled Child
For every bag purchased, STATE delivers a backpack filled with learning tools and supplies to an American child in need.
10 TH IN G S Y OU NE E D TO K N OW ABOU T C U B A TR AVE L N OW By Katy Heerssen
Ker & Downey has been partnering with travelers to create their own journeys to Cuba since August 2015. Recent policy changes on American travel to the country have stirred up questions about traveling to Cuba and the future of visiting a place that is so close, but was once too far out of reach for many.
operator, a private guide and driver, and your own in-country concierge for constant support. Our legal, people-topeople trips will get U.S. citizens to Cuba with all of these boxes checked, ensuring that your trip is on the up and up, and giving you the peace of mind that comes with our meticulous planning.
The good news: Cuba is not out of reach with Ker & Downey.
2. Getting to Cuba
1. What Do the Policy Changes Mean? In short, the people-to-people style of travel offered by Ker & Downey and our in-country partners are not going to be impacted, for the time being. The recently-announced changes will impact self-planners the most. Arranging a journey on your own that avoids the now-prohibited government-connected businesses is a challenge. Cuba is best explored in the hands of an expert tour
The routes to get to Cuba are varied, with Delta, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines and Frontier Airlines among the carriers operating flights to the country. Arrive direct to Havana from New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Houston and, of course, Miami. There are direct flights from Miami into several smaller cities too, including Cienfuegos: they only operate once a day so connections can be tricky, but starting here allows for more rural exploration before heading to the Havana city lights.
3. Topes de Collante Via private 4x4 vehicle, make your way into the Escambray Mountains for a day of hiking. There are a variety of paths to the hidden waterfalls, each with a refreshing swim as your reward. Spot hummingbirds, Cuban Trogan and Cuban toddy among other birds as you explore. Also hidden in the hills: a private contemporary art museum featuring sculptures and other works from the 1980s. 4. House of Music in Trinidad Music and dance define the essence of the island and its culture, and our favorite place to experience it is in Trinidad. Grab a table or a seat on the steps and watch as the locals mingle and move. The mojitos, cervezas and laughter are plenty while a live local band performs, and the dancers are ever eager to teach the steps of salsa to visitors.
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5. Viñales Valley
7. Hershey Town
Follow a local guide on a hike into the most fertile tobacco-growing country in Cuba. Visit a tobacco farm to learn about the cigar-making process from the start from its proud proprietor. Continue on to take in the views from Los Jazmines lookout: the mogotes, the red soil and the lush vegetation paint a beautiful landscape.
Established in 1916 by sweets tycoon Milton S. Hershey, in its heyday Hershey was a self-sustaining community with a successful sugar refinery as its centerpiece. Today the factory is gone and the industry has disappeared, but the community remains, warm and steadfast. In Hershey you’ll meet a local family, share a meal in their home (and some fresh fruit from their backyard garden, if you are lucky) and get a glimpse into life in the town and in Cuba. It’s a direct observation of the challenges and ingenuity that have become quintessentially Cuban.
6. La Fábrica de Arte Cubano Conceived as a multipurpose arts and entertainment venue, the FAC is a three-level mecca for creativity in Havana. Fashion shows and live music, film screenings and dance performances, artist signings and DJ battles … the space is big enough to host them all simultaneously, with well-stocked bars dispersed throughout. Arrive early to walk the art and photography exhibits, or stay all night to mingle with people from all over the city. But plan your trip ahead of time: exhibits change quarterly and the space will close for as long as a month while it is refashioned.
The restaurant at Paseo 206
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8. Stay in Trinidad Trinidad is an impressively-preserved colonial city and we recommend spending two days here instead of its larger neighbor, Cienfuegos. Connect with the charm of the town in Hostel Tuti, a quaint and quiet casa particulares close to the historic quarter. From here, visit the House of Music, a local pottery studio and find tranquility in one of the city's park spaces.
Photos courtesy of iStock | Paseo 206
A local tobacco farmer
"The private sector is thriving, and our way of experiencing Cuba is a direct pipeline to its amazing people. " 9. Stay in Havana In Havana, we recommend the elegant and intimate confines of Paseo 206. Positioned in Vedado and a comfortable distance from the Malecon, guests of this boutique hotel are surrounded by fine antique furnishings from France and modern finishes. Privately-operated casas particulares abound in Havana too, from modern apartments to converted colonial homes. Your Ker & Downey travel expert will help select the option that's right for you. 10. Why Go Now The private sector is thriving, and our way of experiencing Cuba is a direct pipeline to its amazing people. Many young Cuban entrepreneurs are realizing the benefits of tourism and ensuring that each experience retains its authenticity. You won’t see big brands anywhere in Cuba today, but change is inevitable.
DESTINATIONS T he Wor l d of Ker & Downey
Tortilis Camp, Kenya
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TA N Z A N I A Visit Ruaha National Park, the biggest in the country and a place to spot large prides of lions and other predators.
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Photos courtesy of iStock | Reid Bader | Nicky Brandon | Flickr, Jenny Mealing
Meet with the Mursi, Hamer and Karo locals in Omo Valley, the home of 18 diverse tribes.
R E P U B L I C O F CO N G O Trek into the remote jungles of Odzala-Kokoua National Park, home to one of the worldâ€™s highest populations of Western Lowland Gorillas.
M AU R I T I U S Dance to the rhythmic drum beat of Sega, the island nationâ€™s traditional music genre.
K E N YA Spend a night fly camping in the African wilderness.
R WA N DA Watch chimpanzees swing through the high canopy in the mountainous Nyungwe rainforests.
CAUSE & EFFECT We check in with Corie Knights on the work WildAid and its conservation partners are accomplishing in Kenya and Tanzania. By Haley Beham
ince 2000, WildAid has made it their mission to end the illegal wildlife trade. To highlight the importance of their work and showcase some of their various conservation projects, Corie Knights leads donorsâ€™ trips around the world each year. In June she and her husband Peter, who founded WildAid, traveled to Kenya and Tanzania with Ker & Downey and 11 philanthropists to visit some of their partner conservation projects and check in on the progress their partnership is making. Corie sat down with us to share details of their journey with heart.
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"We hope to raise much needed funds for our 'Poaching steals from us all' campaign and with these local projects really immerse our biggest supporters in what we do and why we do it." -Corie Knights
model will be replicated at the adjacent 20,000-acre Mutara Conservation Area with funds from this donor trip. A 25-mile solar-powered perimeter fence will be installed, a rhino protection unit for the area will be established, and neighboring pastoral communities will be engaged to enhance long term sustainability of the area.
What were the highlights of your trip? We saw hundreds of elephants in Tarangire in Tanzania; met Sudan, the last male northern white rhino at Ol Pejeta; visited the chimps that have been rescued at the Sweetwaters sanctuary; checked in with the rangers at Ol Jogi (my heroes), to see how well baby Mei Mei, the once-blind baby rhino, is progressing; had an up close and personal meeting in the hide at Ol Jogi with a rhino (who did not know we were there); and took a balloon ride over the Maasai Mara with hundreds of wildebeest and zebra below us. We also saw a beautiful leopard who came very close to our vehicle in the Mara. What conservation projects did you visit at each property? We met with four of our partner projects in Tanzania and Kenya. While at Oliver’s Camp, we visited PAMS Foundation, which provides conservation support in Tanzania. The funds raised through the WildAid donors’ trips will be used to engage communities in reducing human-wildlife conflict in the Tarangire-Manyara region with the use of chili and beehive fences to help keep elephants away from crops, and conducting conservation education activities in local schools adjoining Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Parks. At Ol Pejeta Bush Camp, we visited Ol Pejeta Wildlife Conservancy, the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa, and home to the last three northern white rhinos on the planet. Because of its success, Ol Pejeta’s conservation
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At Ol Jogi, we met with the Ol Jogi Ranger Patrol. The trust placed in the rangers is enormous. The temptation to receive large sums of money from poaching gangs for information as to the whereabouts of the rhino is huge. Nearly all incidents of poaching in recent times can be attributed to inside information given to incoming gangs. As such, it is vital to keep the rangers safe and motivated, both for their own welfare and for the welfare of the iconic species they risk their lives to protect. Funds raised through WildAid will be used for professional anti-poaching training for four commanders and 24 rangers in the Ol Jogi rhino protection unit, as well as upgrading radio communications from analog to digital. At the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi National Park, funds will be used to support the activities of the new Mobile Response Team and nine fully-equipped Anti-Poaching Teams operating across the greater Tsavo Conservation Area and surrounding regions. They work to eradicate poaching for commercial bush meat, ivory and rhino horn within operational zones by deterring poachers through patrols and on-the-ground presence, snare removal, and reducing illegal cattle grazing and charcoal burning. Over the past 15 years alone, the DSWT’s AntiPoaching teams have removed in excess of 150,000 illegal snares and arrested more than 1,700 poachers. What do you hope to accomplish with these donor trips? We hope to raise much needed funds for our “Poaching steals from us all” campaign and with these local projects really immerse our biggest supporters in what we do and why we do it.
You can adopt an elephant at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org). - Jessica Rizzolo, Luxury Travel Expert
MAKE A DIFFERENCE:
GO ON A WILDAID JOURNEY For April 2018, we have a trip to the Galapagos planned on "WildAid’s Passion" a 12 passenger, 14-crew luxury yacht. www.wildaid.org/passion June 15th-25th, 2018 we will be traveling with Ker & Downey back to Kenya to visit the projects listed in the article and Amboseli Trust for Elephants, helmed by Dr. Cynthia Moss. July 22-26th, 2018 we will host our 9th annual whale shark trip in Mexico. We swim with hundreds of whales sharks and if we are lucky, giant manta rays. We bring National Geographic level underwater photographers with us to catch people up close with these gentle giants. And from September 17-27 we will return to Kenya with Ker & Downey. – Corie Knights To get involved with WildAid’s projects, head to their website www.wildaid.org and sign up to receive their online newsletters. You can also join the Knights on a WildAid trip. When you book, you make a tax deductible donation to support the organization’s good works. Or attend their annual gala, held this year at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on November 11th. Wildlife champion Josh Duhamel will be attending along with musical guest David Foster, and celebrity chefs Traci Des Jardins and Mary Sue Milliken. To purchase tickets, head to the event website: www. wildaid.org/gala2017.
Photos courtesy of WildAid | Kristian Schmidt
AFRICA SOUTH AFRICA Spend the night counting stars from your treehouse at the Lion Sands Reserve.
B OT SWA N A Spot black-maned lions on a guided game drive through the iconic Kalahari Desert.
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B O T S WA N A
Photos courtesy of MORE Luxury Hotels & Lodges | Wilderness Safaris | Royal Chundu | iStock | Azura at Quilalea
ZIMBABWE Escape the crowds and explore the vast wilderness of Hwange National Park, where large groups of elephants congregate around waterholes.
ZAMBIA Watch hippos at rest from the riverfront suites of the Royal Chundu.
M OZ A M B I Q U E Relax with the sounds of gentle waves lapping against the sandy beaches on the islands of the Quirimbas Archipelago.
NAMIBIA Soar over the red dunes of the worldâ€™s oldest desert and track the rare desert elephants of Damaraland. KE R & DOW N E Y
IN THE MOMENT PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOHN HARBISON
On a Ker & Downey-curated trip to Namibia and Botswana, travelers John and Renata Harbison photographed the haunting scenes and many moods of two of Southern Africaâ€™s most alluring destinations. They share the experience in their own words.
Visiting Namibia is about entering a landscape of expansive vistas and sweeping scenery with an otherworldly feel. We arrived in Namibia in June, and wound up enjoying the isolation and remoteness that comes from a country bigger than Texas with a population of only 2.1 million people. Other than Windhoek, the capital city, it is an experience largely absent of people and only sparsely inhabited by wildlife due to the intensity of its desert environment. It is easy to fall into the spell of this enchanting spectacle.
ohn took this at Hoanib Skeleton Coast in the remote northwestern part of Namibia. It was just at dusk, and the last rays of sunlight were struggling to penetrate the haze of a dust storm caused by winds that started blowing around midday. Within minutes, the wind and dust would subside, but this image captured much of the feel of being in Namibia.
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ost of Namibiaâ€™s Atlantic Coast is covered 40 miles or so deep in dunes, representing an area approaching 80,000 square miles of inhospitable and inaccessible dunes. The largest dunes are at Sossusvlei, and Big Daddy is almost 1,000 feet tall.
t Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp in northwest Namibia we experienced a rare treatâ€”watching a herd of six elephants slide down a 15-foot steep sandy embankment one-by-one. They were clearly enjoying themselves. The last was the big bull elephant, and he trumpeted his presence at the top before putting his two front feet forward and kneeling on his back legs as he swooshed down the dune.
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e spent three nights in the privately-owned Ongava Game Reserve which is on the southwest boundary of Etosha National Park, the largest and oldest national park in Namibia. There, we saw several black rhinos, quite relaxed and foraging close by in the last rays of sunset. There are only about 5,000 in the world.
e stayed at Jack’s Camp in Botswana’s Kalahari Desert primarily to see meerkats. We started at sunset on our second day and enjoyed them in the warm last light of the day, although they were shy and wouldn’t let us get too close to them. On the last day, our perseverance paid off: Renata experienced a once in a lifetime treat of a group of ten meerkats huddled around her, with two of the youngest ones on her lap.
Take along your Ker & Downey buff. It can be used as a bandana, sun guard, scarf, hat, neck gaiter or dust screen. - Tiffany DeSalvo, Luxury Travel Expert
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NORTH AFRICA & MIDDLE EA ST
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M O R O CCO Journey to a local village at the foothills of the Atlas Mountains and visit with a local school.
Experience a private tour of the new Grand Egyptian Museum.
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Photos courtesy of iStock | Grand Egyptian Museum | Jordan Tourism Board | La Perle Theater | iStock
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U N I T E D A R A B E M I R AT E S Go out for a night at the La Perle Theater in Dubai as a VIP guest.
J O R DA N Hike the Jordan Trail from the green hills of the north to the craggy deserts of the south.
Q ATA R Kayak through the mangrove forest at Al Khor.
IRAN Shop for traditional Iranian sweets at Haj Khalifeh Ali Rahbar in Yazd.
Explore anceint history in Jordan.
TREASURED PAST Discover six amazing ways to explore Western Asiaâ€™s most inviting oasis. By Rina Chandarana
laced with striking desert landscapes , the Arab Kingdom of Jordan offers ample opportunities for total immersion in its diverse history. Experience all of it: see spectacular ruins, sample sumptuous cuisine, soak up local culture and glamp in the heart of nature. Peaceful and safe, the land of ancient kings, traders, prophets and pilgrims is yours to explore.
Due north in Jerash, visit icons of antiquity that include representation from the Bronze, Roman, Byzantine and various Muslim periods. Set among the mountains, youâ€™ll find the ancient city of Gerasa, one of the most well-preserved sites of Roman architecture outside of Italy. Paved streets, hilltop temples, theatres, public squares, plazas, baths, city walls, towers and gates transport travelers over 2,000 years back in time. Catch the exhilarating, daily reenactment of Roman games, complete with horse-drawn chariot races and gladiator battles. Jordan is a land of interfaith coexistence, where Islamic minarets sit near Christian sites. Visit the Biblical site near Mount Carmel where the Transfiguration is said to have taken place. In the Christian village of Madaba, see the ancient mosaic map of the Holy Land and the remains of a Byzantine church. Look out over the landscape at Mount Nebo, where Moses viewed the promised land. The region of Bethany is where the historic John the Baptist lived.
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Warm welcomes from the locals
Nights Under the Stars In the southwest valley of Wadi Rum stay in a secluded Bedouin-style tent, surrounded by towering rock formations that punctuate the stunning light of the sunset. Chat with new friends under the starry desert sky. Luxury tents boast showers for freshening up after a day exploring the hot sands, and plush low cushions for sitting and sipping nightcaps. The Bedouins still live in the area around Petra, following their traditional lifestyle and keen to share this captivating place with visitors.
Accept the invitation to a home-cooked meal, a glass of warm tea infused with fresh mint or a cup of thick, cardamom-flavored coffee. Jordanian hospitality dates back to days along the region’s ancient trade routes. Camel caravans carrying frankincense and spices on the King’s Highway were offered food and water before resuming their journeys. Family bonds are important—meals are a time-honored way to gather everyone together over shared dishes of fragrant rice, fresh vegetables and meats.
City Streets Stroll the pathways of bustling Amman. The young and modern capital city brims with opportunities to explore historical sites and haute boutiques. Wander through the souks to score sparkling jewelry and handcrafted treasures. Breathe in the scent of pungent spices, and then sample mouth-watering cuisine. Creamy hummus and fresh fattoush salad are always on menu in one of the city’s many restaurants.
Lost City of Petra Travel through winding canyons to see the awe-inspiring view of the 2,000-year-old red sandstone city of Petra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Carved into the cliffs during the third century, it was forgotten for 1,000 years and then rediscovered in 1812. Also known as the Treasury, this complex is a multihued labyrinth of tombs and temples, and an imposing amphitheater. Reach this hidden gem by making your way through a narrow rift. Launch your exploration of Petra at the Movenpick Resort. Marble floors and fountains, opulent inlaid furniture, and live music will take you back to the time when archaeologists like Thomas Edward Lawrence roamed these deserts searching for ancient artifacts. His life adventures and detailed writings about the Middle East inspired the Oscar-winning film Lawrence of Arabia.
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Take your water bottle with you to reduce your consumption of plastic.
– Nicole Porto, Luxury Travel Expert
A narrow pasage at Wadi al-Hasa
Photos courtesy of Jordan Tourism Board; jasoncharleshill
An oasis of healing and splendor awaits at the resorts that focus on using natural elements. Relax and rejuvenate at the Evason Ma’In Hot Springs Resort & Spa’s hot spring waterfall. Experience the sensation of weightlessness during a dip in the saline Dead Sea in Madaba Governorate, the world’s oldest natural spa and lowest point on earth. These deep, blue waters are believed to be healing and beneficial for skin. Kempinski Ishtar’s signature massage uses Dead Sea salt and mud to pamper guests. Succumb to a feeling of profound wellbeing while looking out to the arid landscape.
The Lost City of Petra
O U R S U G G E S T E D I T I N E R A RY
B E D O U IN TRAILS 8 DAYS / 7 N I G HTS T HR OUG H A MM A N , P E TR A , WA D I R U M, DE A D S E A The trail of adventure is lit on this exciting seven-night Jordan luxury travel excursion over the sands of Jordan. Youâ€™ll travel to Amman, the Dead Sea, the Wadi Rum, and even Petra, where Ker & Downey will give you an exclusive look inside the historic Petra Treasury, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Contact Ker & Downey or your travel specialist to include Jordan in your next custom journey. +1 800-423-4236 | KERDOWNEY.COM
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VIETNAM Have dinner at an exclusive private venue set amidst rice paddies in HoI An.
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Photos courtesy of iStock | Austin Mann | Green School Bali | The Siam
Go on a private sunset gondola cruise away from the crowds.
CAMBODIA Get private access to temples after hours.
INDONESIA Enjoy an eco-tour of the Green School in Bali, followed by a class to learn how to make bamboo houses from an expert.
L AO S Visit the coffee roasting plant of a U.S. expat who made coffee culture huge in northern Laos.
THAILAND Take a private Muay Thai class with an experienced professional fighter.
Jetty over turquoise waters at Bawah Private Island
OCEANS AWAY A trip to the tropics reveals a colorful underwater world in Southeast Asia. By Rina Chandarana
ome places are designed to blow your mind. Others are born with a certain x-factor and bestowed with blessings: lush, green islands cloaked in white sand, wrapped in blue-green oceans; a kaleidoscope of sea life, protected and thriving; a natural playground for all. The Coral Triangle is such a place. Encompassing the vast aquatic expanse that includes Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, East Timor and the Solomon Islands, the planet’s epicenter of biodiversity invites you to dive into the adventure of a lifetime.
BASK IN LUXURY Feel happily stranded in paradise at Bawah Private Island where rest and delight are the only items permanently on your agenda. An official marine conservation area, the protected waters surrounding the lavish eco-retreat enable the Anambas Archipelago’s reefs to flourish. Accessible only via ferry and seaplane from Singapore, the six islands that constitute Bawah are rich with adventure. Tuck into one of 35 villas—overwater, on the beach or in a tropical garden— and choose your adventure, or not. Snorkel in clear waters as rays gracefully glide by and majestic whale sharks pass through the property’s three lagoons. On foot, explore uncut primary forests teeming with birds. Or luxuriate in your villa bath, clad in recycled copper, teak and bamboo. A place to both unplug and to connect to nature, Indonesia’s most exclusive new resort is sure to inspire a fresh perspective.
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EXPLORE NATURE’S AQUARIUM Wade into the clear waters surrounding Indonesia’s Raja Ampat Islands and discover soft coral jungles in hues of orange, red, purple and pink. Home to more 30 percent of the world’s reefs and over 2,000 species of fish, this archipelago is the bullseye for ocean diversity. Take in mother nature’s beauty on a sailboat ride on the Si Datu Bua. Navigate eleven jungle-draped Indonesian islands, explore white sand beaches and dive into the postcard perfect waters. Whether you enjoy snorkeling or scuba diving, you won’t miss the spectacular show below the water’s surface. Six of the seven marine turtle species— including Leatherback and Loggerhead turtles—spend most of their lives in this region. Turtle conservation programs ensure that the local species, many of which are endangered, continue to thrive by protecting their nesting beaches and trying to curb overfishing, which accidentally traps sea turtles. In an effort to protect the biodiversity of this region the Raja Ampat government became the first Indonesian regency to declare its waters a shark sanctuary in 2010, outlawing the capture and killing of sharks, rays, dugongs and turtles. Since that year, the World Wildlife Fund has worked with local communities and lent a hand, establishing marine protected areas to monitor the health of the coral reefs.
The majestic Si Datu Bua sailing the sea
Photos courtesy of Bawah Private Island | Si Datu Bua | iStock
"Six of the seven marine turtle speciesâ€” including Leatherback and Loggerhead turtlesâ€” spend most of their lives in this region."
Leatherback turtles inhabit this diverse underwater ecosystem.
BECOME A STEWARD OF THE SEA Locally, the nature-based tourism industry employs millions in this region while ensuring a minimal environmental footprint. Eco-conscious travelers will love the secluded feel of the Pangulasian Island Resort in the Philippines, located on a private island surrounded by a marine sanctuary. Conservation of these reefs is also vital for the longevity of other world reefs because they help to restock oceans throughout the South Pacific and Indian Oceans as small living organisms travel through the waters and settle elsewhere. See many majestic creatures, large and small, in the wild at the Reef Dive Resort at Mataking Island. From there, discover an underwater world of sharks, barracudas, parrotfish, whale sharks and Green and Hawksbill Turtles on an excursion to Sipadan Island.
A sarong is the perfect multitasking cover-up for walking along the serene beaches of this slice of paradise. - Jessica Rizzolo, Luxury Travel Expert KE R & DOWN E Y
UN I TED STATES
TENNESSEE An after-hours tour gets you into the king of rock and rollâ€™s Graceland home minus the crowds.
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Photos courtesy of Miami Art Basel | iStock | Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau
Get insider access and admire collections from galleries around the globe at Art Basel.
U TA H Swim, hike, rappel and explore the routes along the canyons of Zion National Park.
P E N N SY LVA N I A Learn about history of Gettysburg with a private guided tour of a battlefield.
K E N T U C KY Dress your best and head to the horse races at the Kentucky Derby after touring the Churchhill Downs Racetrack.
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Stunning waterfalls in Waimea Valley
An isolated wilderness, Alaska is home to some of the worldâ€™s largest national parks and most pristine natural beauty, and it beckons as an adventure destination for those willing to forge through its wild terrain. By Austin Mann and Haley Beham
This past June, travel photographer Austin Mann explored the raw nature of Alaska, armed with his Sony A9, iPhone 7 Plus and the new Apple iPad Pro 10.5. Mann stayed at the remote Winterlake Lodge, accessible via floatplane or helicopter or dog sled, and its sister property, Tutka Bay Lodge, which is accessible primarily by boat. Both properties are family owned and you can feel it in the details and care taken by the staff. Because of their remote setting, the staff is more like family, and guests are treated like family, too. Here, Austin shares his journey in his own words.
The untamed landscape around Winterlake Lodge is rich with wildlife and outdoor activity. From there, you can go fly-fishing, whitewater rafting, paddle boarding, canoeing and hiking. You can also take a helicopter up to the glaciers to see where the Iditarod dog sled teams train and learn how to race the dogs.
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In the middle of the summer at Winterlake Lodge, you can board a helicopter and fly up to a glacier. Up here you can go cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and even mush the dogs (aka ride and lead a dog sled all over the glacier). The lodge provides all the equipment you need and makes the whole experience super comfortable.
The beauty of Tutka Bay Lodge is in its intimate atmosphere. With only six guest cabins, thereâ€™s a high level of service and the itineraries are flexible. On this particular evening, there was some whale activity reported, so everyone who wanted to see the whales jumped in a boat with Gus, the guide manager, and cruised to the locations where the whales had been seen. It was a rainy, cold evening, but inside the boat, we were warm and comfortable, and the staff provided everything we needed from parkas to boots.
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From Tutka Bay Lodge, you can go on a bear viewing adventure in Katmai National Park. To get there you fly in a small plane to an undisclosed location in the park and land on a black beach. Thereâ€™s no airstrip which means the experience with the bears is primitive and raw. In fact, this location is so secretive, the pilots hide the planes so no one flying overhead can find it. After landing you set out with the pilots, who are also guides, and hike around the peninsula to view the bears. At times, we were as close as 30 feet to a bear, but we still felt safe.
A portrait of a young coastal brown bear in Katmai National Park. At one point this curious bear started walking towards our small group. It was fascinating to watch our experienced guides stand their ground and literally speak to him—almost like a pet dog. After a while, the little fella turned around to go play with his friends instead.
“I’ve adventured all over the world many times but was profoundly moved by the unique, vast beauty I experienced in Alaska—there’s nothing else like it in the world.” – Austin Mann
Winterlake Lodge is open from June 1st to October 1st and from January 20th to April 30th. Tutka Bay Lodge is open May 1st through September 15th. Both properties are unique to the Alaskan frontier. For those seeking the next great adventure, Alaska is a destination waiting to be experienced.
A couple sea kayaking in Tutka Bay.
O U R S U G G E S T E D I T I N E R A RY:
A LASKA A DVENT U RE: W I L D FRO N TIERS
9 DAYS / 8 NIGHTS T HR OUG H AN CHORAGE, IDI TA R OD T R A I L , KACHEMA K BAY STAT E PA R K & G IRDWOOD
Layer up for a busy day of hiking in the wilderness. The mornings are chilly, but afternoons are comfortable. -Catherine Brown, Luxury Travel Expert KE R & DOWN E Y
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BOLIVIA Stay in the worldâ€™s first hotel made entirely of salt and set your sights on the Eyes of Uyuni.
Experience art in Callao, where local artists have transformed former derelict spaces into galleries and street art canvases.
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Photos courtesy of Fernando Diez | Maya Trails | Cristalino Jungle Lodge, Edson Endrigo | iStock | Enigma
BRAZIL Meander through the Tapajos region of the Amazon aboard a private yacht.
BRAZIL Paddle down Ushuaiaâ€™s Lasiphashai River into the Beagle Channel in your own inflatable canoe to view stunning wildlife.
G UAT E M A L A Partake in a community-based coffee tour and traditional Guatemalan family lunch.
M E X I CO Enjoy a participative weaving session with an expert backstrap-loom weaver in Oaxaca.
CHILE Track the elusive pumas of Torres del Paine on a Southern Patagonia safari.
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PERFECT Experience the Land of the Incas on the ultimate bucket list trip. By Elizabeth Frels
KER & DOWNEY’S NEW HIGH-FLYING ADVENTURE invites you to journey to the uncharted corners of Peru in search of the country’s finest hidden gems. Private jets and exclusive-use train charters give unprecedented access to these far-flung hotspots, while placing the essence of Peru right in the palms of your hands. Here are five reasons why this jet-setting itinerary should be at the top of your 2018 travel to-do list.
There are train rides, and there are train cars. Uncharted Peru features some of the most exquisite forms of private chartered travel including the newly minted Inca Princess Presidential Class train service to and from Machu Picchu. This exclusive-use train car is the newest and highest level of train travel available to those journeying to and from the mighty citadel. Not only are guests able to enjoy the entire carriage for themselves, but they are also treated to live Peruvian music, comfortable lounging areas, an entire bar devoted to Pisco and outdoor viewing decks to soak in the passing Andean colors. There is even time to enjoy an exquisite tasting menu on board as you sit back in your private presidential carriage and experience the full extent of personalized train travel en route to one of the world’s most extraordinary archaeological treasures.
MOTHER EARTH MOMENTS One of the most indelible ways to connect with the traditions of the local Peruvian people is through a Pachamama ceremony in the breathtaking Sacred Valley. Pachamama, or Mother Earth, is a revered goddess of the indigenous people of the Andes. According to Inca legend, Pachamama is an ever-present and independent deity believed to control fertility, preside over planting and harvesting and cause earthquakes. To submit offerings to Pachamama is an amazing and authentic cross-cultural experience for any traveler to Peru. During the ceremony, you are given an opportunity to present your intentions through three undamaged coca leaves. Health, work, prosperity, protection—no request is off the table as long as it is given with an open heart. The instrumentalist plays his effervescent music while the shaman calls upon the mountains, the glaciers, the condors, the pumas and the snakes to honor the wishes held within your coca leaves. Sealed with a hug and sent up with a final burning, it is here where your connection to both the earth and to the people around you is at its most powerful.
Inca Princess Presidential Class train
Photos courtesy of Inca Rail | Elizabeth Frels
TRAIN CAR STYLE
"... it is here where your connection to both the earth and to the people around you is at its most powerful."
Mother Earth ceremony in Sacred Valley
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One last flavor profile comes in the form of local beer tastings at Lima’s new craft breweries. The last thing one might expect to find in Peru is a booming craft beer scene, yet between Peru’s rich grains and fruits and the creativity of the local people, the country’s breweries are giving Pisco a run for its money.
PISCO PROFICIENCY Pisco is not only a source of national pride for the Peruvian people; it also boasts an interesting history as rich and complex as the country itself. The elixir dates back to its origins to the Spanish conquistadors when, in the mid-16th century, Marquis Francisco de Caravantes imported the Pisco grapes to Peru from the northwest coast of Africa.
CULINARY CAPITAL The verdict is in: more people are traveling to Peru for the country’s gastronomy than for Inca ruins. In fact, the country’s capital Lima now boasts the most highest-ranking restaurants on the planet, with Virgilio Martínez's Central and Mitshuharu Tsumura’s Maido both cracking the top 10 of the 2017 “World’s 50 Best Restaurants” list. Uncharted Peru not only offers plenty of time in Lima to dine out at these restaurants, but it also allows you to dive into the gastronomical highlights of the city with a dedicated food expert, who will teach you all there is to know about Peru’s super-food fruits, authentic Peruvian ceviche and artisan beer. At the local market, you will have the chance to taste such regional specialties as cherimoya, pacae, mango, passion fruit and aguaymanto, learning about Peru’s climates and traditions without leaving your chair. Your culinary expert will then take you to a local restaurant and order off the menu so you can enjoy the authentic Peruvian flavors in new combinations inaccessible to the public. Prefer something even more local? Rise early in the morning and join your expert for an expedition to the local fish market, where you will have the chance to pick out your fish and create your own ceviche—a delicious dish many Limeños prefer for breakfast.
Hundreds of years later, Peruvian Pisco is still distilled with the same traditional methods as those first vines, and utilizes only eight grape varieties to ensure authenticity remains the standard, no matter where you travel in Peru. Uncharted Peru gives you the chance to uncover the legend behind Pisco on an exclusive visit to the oldest distillery in the Americas. Here you will meet the Master Distiller and hear stories of four centuries of Pisco heritage.
JET SETTING SPEED Private jet access is the final and perhaps most important highlight of Ker & Downey’s Uncharted Peru. To travel in style aboard a private jet is to take the hassle out of travel altogether. Aerial flights above the mysterious Nazca markings, quick connections to the ancient architecture of Arequipa, and easy transfers from one destination to the next place the entire country within your reach. Your private jet will even have you at the world’s highest navigable lake, Lake Titicaca, in time for sundowner cocktails and the next day’s sunrise explorations of the floating Uros Islands. From beginning to end, this immersive journey proves no corner is off limits when private jet access, exclusive-use train cars and profound cultural experiences are at your disposal in a diverse and distinct country.
O U R S U G G E S T E D I T I N E R A RY:
U NC HA RTED PERU
13 DAYS / 12 NIGHTS T HR OUG H L IM A , PA R AC AS , AREQUIPA , LAK E TI T I C AC A , SAC R ED VA L L EY & C U S CO 60
K E R & DOW N E Y
Don’t forget that an Alpaca can spit at you. -Trista Gage, Luxury Travel Expert
Travel in maximum comfort and space. Be amazed by the landscape that offers the nature and Andean culture with our panoramic windows. Enjoy our excellent onboard service. First Class features a luxurious Observatory- Lounge carriage offering live music and a bar serving crafted cocktails, including Peruvian classics like the Pisco Sour. Get a breath of fresh air and take in spectacular scenery from the balcony. Delight on an exquisite gourmet menu prepared using Andean ingredients including trout, quinoa, accompanied by our selection of wines.
Contact Ker & Downey or your travel specialist to include the Inca Rail in your next custom journey. +1 800-423-4236 | KERDOWNEY.COM
NORTHERN & WESTERN
EUROPE DENMARK Discover history and creativity on a private architecture tour through Copenhagen.
LU X E M B O U R G Travel to the fairytale landscapes of the Mosel Valley, the birthplace of Luxembourg wine.
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S COT L A N D Fish amid the winding rivers, heather-clad hills, and misty glens of Cairngorms National Park.
Photos courtesy of iStock | Piaffe_c Spanische Hofreitschule_Michael Rzepa | Vaux le Vicomte
FRANCE Dine with the castle owners at the Loire Valley’s iconic chateaux.
AU S T R I A Witness a Spanish Riding School performance from your very own VIP viewing lounge.
WA L E S Explore the cathedral spires of St. Davids— Britain’s smallest city.
KE R & DOW N E Y
OFF THE BEATEN PATH Just back from the land of big skies, storied Medieval castles and golf, Luxury Travel Expert Jessica Rizzolo shares her top picks for unique adventures.
Active adventure and wildlife were not terms that I would have associated with Scotland prior to visiting, but they were the highlights of my recent journey. In addition to culture, history, castles, golf and whiskey tasting—which are quintessential to Scotland—it’s fun to infuse the experience with a splash of the great outdoors.
While getting connected with the untouched beauty of Scotland’s wild and hidden wonders, you don’t have to forgo luxury. A Ker & Downey journey to the Land of the Brave can combine the best of the outdoors and classic Scotland stops like whiskey tastings at a private member’s only club and stays at five-star properties.
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TAKE A HIKE A nice compliment to the wild and untouched west coast is the Isle of Skye, which offers numerous opportunities for the active traveler to get off the grid. The Old Man of Storr is the most popular hike on the island, and well worth it. The iconic “Old Man” is a pinnacle that was formed by an ancient landslide, creating one of the most photographed places in the world.
RIDE ON Mountain biking is one of the best ways to explore Scotland, especially portions of the Highlands. Two wheels get you into remote areas of the country that can’t be accessed by car or sometimes even foot. The sweeping backcountry trails in the Cairngorms offer a choice of skill-appropriate paths for riders of all levels. To connect to the countryside and feel like a local, pedal through Rothiemurchus Forest and pass by an old logging trail, winding rivers and serene lochs.
Another popular hike on Skye leads to the enchanting Fairy Pools, located on the River Brittle at the foot of the Black Cuillins. The pools are vivid colors of blue and green and a popular swimming spot for adventurous swimmers. But beware—the waters are rarely warm. For raw nature in its purest form, take a boat cruise from Elgol to Loch Coruisk. It’s yours to explore on your own. Hikes around the area give you access to a remote part of Scotland not many people know about.
SET SAIL The West coast is a haven for wildlife and nature enthusiasts. Take a rib boat cruise to Corryvreckan to see the world’s third-largest whirlpool. Marvel at the myriad of seals and birds; during certain times of the year see otters, whales and puffins too. Sail from the charming seaside village of Easedale. A five-minute ferry takes you across to the vehicle free, neighboring island of Seil—the perfect place for a post-cruise lunch.
Go sea kayaking through the Arisaig and get up close to wildlife. The water is crystal clear, the beaches are golden, and seals follow your kayak as you explore the waters. In the late summer months when the sun is hot, you can swim amongst the seals and enjoy a picnic lunch on one of the uninhabited rocky islands.
O U R S U G G E S T E D I T I N E R A RY:
LUXURY EN G LAND & SCOTLAND A DV E N T U R E
14 DAYS / 13 NIGHTS T HR OUG H LON D ON , L AK E DI STR I C T, H IG H LANDS, ISLE OF SKYE, G L EN N EV IS & ED I N B U R G H
Keep a fleece on hand since the weather can get drizzly. -Elizabeth Frels, Luxury Travel Expert
Photo courtesy of iStock | Wilderness Scotland
A bit further up the coast, Fort William is a breathtaking launching point for a hike to Britain’s tallest mountain, Ben Nevis. The rolling green hills, winding streams and waterfalls of the Glen Nevis Valley below make the eighthour (roundtrip) journey worth every step. For Harry Potter fans, the iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct is just a short drive away. The Jacobite steam train, often described as the greatest railway journey, crosses the viaduct and offers a different vantage point while giving your tired legs a rest.
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EASTERN & SOUTHERN
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Photos courtesy of iStock | HiÅ¡a Franko: Suzan Gabrijan | Tika Tours
Watch history come to life on a World War II tour through Kiev.
CZECH REPUBLIC Enjoy exclusive access to the hidden corridors of the Prague Astronomical Clock Tower.
K ER & D OW N E Y
I TA LY Picnic inside Sicily’s stunning Valley of the Temples within the lush Kolymbetra Gardens.
GEORGIA Experience the Georgian art of polyphonic singing with a private vocal performance by the Rustavi Choir.
PORTUGAL Discover the Alentejo skies with the astronomers of the Alqueva Lake Observatory.
S LOV E N I A Secure a coveted reservation at Hiša Franko, the culinary home of Ana Roš, the World’s Best Female Chef 2017.
The Russiaâ€“Georgia Friendship Monument was built in 1983 to celebrate the bicentennialof the Treaty of Georgievsk.
GEORGIA Writer Kelly Phillips Badal visits Eastern Europe’s on-the-rise destination and discovers a new luxury travel scene, wildly beautiful landscapes and her keen love of the country’s wine, cheese and bread. PHOTOGRAPHY BY TANVEER BADAL
eorgia draws comparisons to France and Italy for its rich history of wine and love of food; Switzerland for its snow-capped Caucasus mountain range; Berlin and Brooklyn for its active, atmospheric capital, Tbilisi. There are 16,000-foot ski peaks, Black Sea beaches, and picturesque medieval villages. And here’s the mind-boggling thing: travel time between each wildly different place is often just a matter of hours. Faced with a wealth of choices, I center my trip around Tbilsi and the mountain getaway town of Stepantsminda, with a stopover at the ancient capital city Mtskheta and a loop through the storied Kakheti wine region.
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Tbilsi’s Old-WorldMeets-New-World Charm Delightfully chic, Rooms Hotel Tbilsi is the launching point for my husband and me. A formerly abandoned publishing houseturned-Design Hotels standout, it’s flush with antique rugs, distressed leather and vintage Soviet movie posters. There we meet our Ker & Downey guide Levan Dvali, a Batumi-born-and-raised Georgian. He leads us through twists and turns to the whimsically-named Sophia The bellboy at the Rooms Tbilisi Hotel Melnikovas Fantastic Duhan, a caférestaurant tucked in the courtyard of Tbilisi’s Literature Museum. Under a leafy awning we try our first taste of khinkali, hefty meat and herb-filled dumplings and khachapuri, a tasty cheesebread sometimes called Georgia’s twist on pizza. These two beloved staples appear, in various iterations, on every menu in the country. You can’t visit Tbilisi without exploring the old quarter, where the faint gross scent of the Abanotubani district’s ancient domed sulphur bathhouses mixes with a cacophony of shops, cafes and street stands. Here, elegantly dilapidated wooden homes with gingerbread lattice balconies hang from rocky cliffs overhead, and a shady path snakes down to the city’s tranquil and muchphotographed little waterfall. Hike high among the winding streets for views of the wide Mtkvari river dividing the city, higher still to stand at the feet of Kartlis Deda, the venerable Mother of Georgia statue presiding over the city’s best panoramic view. From there it’s easy to pick out some of the daring architecture that visually demonstrates the wave of modernity erupting out from this fifth-century city. Don’t miss seeing the bow-shaped Peace Bridge or mushroom-shaped Justice House. One example of a group epitomizing past-meets-present is the Sukhishvili Georgian National Ballet—which wasn’t scheduled to perform during our trip. But a phone call from Tika Svanidze Vancko, Ker & Downey’s in-country insider, secured entry to a private practice-cum-performance helmed by soloist Lika Tsipuria. Even seeing the dancers sans wigs and weaponry is a powerful display of art, as Georgian ballet is no delicate dance. It’s pure athleticism, with stomping, twirling, and tornado-fast spins and dips, punctuated by drums and vocal polyphony. It’s absolutely unforgettable. We’ve saved a visit to the Queen’s sulphur bathhouse for a late-night treat, soaking the day away in a steamy, ancient brick-arched private spa chamber filled with bubbling water from the city’s natural hot springs. After a leisurely post-soak cup of tea we emerge: rosy, scrubbed and ready for more.
K ER & DOW N E Y
A residential house in a quiet area of Tbilisi KE R & DOWN E Y
The Magnificent Caucasus Mountain Region The best way to travel around Georgia is via car and driver, although there are in-country flights to major destinations (and helicopters can whisk you nearly anywhere). The historic Georgian military road points our way to the Caucasus mountain-ringed countryside. We pause at one of the more breathtaking hilltops along the way, the site of the sixth-century Jvari monastery which overlooks the former capital city of Mtskheta. This ancient town is Georgia’s spiritual heart. Levan points out the 11th-century Svetitskhoveli cathedral below, one of many impossibly old and meticulously cared-for churches we’ll see throughout our journey. “Georgia is churches, churches are Georgia,” he declares. Nestled high in the southern Caucasus mountains, our destination Stepantsminda, née Kazbegi, has recently
Epic view from the deck of Rooms Hotel Kazbegi
developed from little more than a trading post with nearby Russia to a premier hiking and skiing destination. One of the major reasons for the shift is the presence of five-yearold Rooms Hotel Kazbegi, which brought upscale amenities to the highlands for the first time. A restored Brutalist building and former Soviet resort—it’s been reimagined with an enormous communal area, expansive terrace, and a subterranean heated pool—all offering stunning alpine views and a glimpse of the town’s peak-perched 14th-century Gergeti Trinity Church. It’s tempting to simply kick back (and many vacationing Georgians do just that) but that isolated little church is worth the effort of ascension. We hire a local jeep and driver to reach the top, lurching along an unpaved road that twists through forested ravines to triumphantly reach the crest. Along the way, Levan teaches me the Georgian word gamarjoba, a polite way of saying hello that loosely translates to “I wish you victory.” Atop a 7,119-foot peak, that sentiment seems entirely appropriate.
"Gaikhare, we repeat over and over, coached by Levan. It’s another distinctly Georgian term, a friendly way of saying thank you that implies, 'I wish you happiness.' We can’t say it enough."
Home cooked Georgian feast at the Svanidze family château in Signagi
Kakheti’s Vibrant Viticulture Travel to Georgia, and you will drink wine— you’ll be pressed and presented with it at every meal, your person toasted and your glass refilled until you protest (but why refuse?). Keep drinking, trying varietals with tongue-twister names like rkatseteli, mtsvane or tsitska, which your palate has likely never encountered. The culture and the country’s 8,000-year viniculture are pleasurably, inexorably linked. “Wine is our life liquid,” Château Svanidze winery owner George Svanidze tells me. “Georgia is the motherland of wine.” It isn’t yet harvest season when we arrive at the Svanidze family château in the town of Signaghi, a famous corner of the Kakheti wine region, but all the better. We’ve come specifically for a traditional family-style supra, or Georgian feast. Here, I try my hand assisting in the making of khinkali, attempting to master the neat twist that seals each juicy pouch. I watch closely as a local baker pulls long, parenthetical-shaped pieces of bread called shotis puri from the sides of a traditional round, open oven called
a tone, emerging wonderfully crispy at the ends. Pork and chicken turn on skewers over an open-air grill, infusing the air. When we sit down, the table nearly groans with pleasure at the addition of khachapuri and vegetables too. Of course, there’s room for wine. While Georgia has some industrial wineries, the family winery tradition is strong. Most of the country’s 100,000-odd micro-wineries produce wine by an ancient method, filling huge clay urns called qvevri with grapes— skins, seeds, and all—and burying them in the ground to ferment. The Svanidze family wines are crafted this way, in an organic process where taste is paramount. None of us officially takes on the part of tamada, or toastmaster, a pivotal role at any traditional Georgian feast, so we embrace the act together. For ages we sit, calling out toasts accompanied by dry red Saperavi and a semi-sweet Kindzmarauli, long after we can’t eat another bite. Gaikhare, we repeat over and over, coached by Levan. It’s another distinctly Georgian term, a friendly way of saying thank you that implies, “I wish you happiness.” We can’t say it enough.
Georgian visas aren’t required for U.S. citizens which makes traveling easier. -Nicole Porto, Luxury Travel Expert KE R & DOWN E Y
The stunning city of Split, Croatia
RISE & SHINE
Quest’s Editor in Chief Martine Bury went island hopping in Croatia and discovered a different Mediterranean in the region known as Central Dalmatia.
When I think of Europe’s great seaside escapes, I think of the French Riviera, Mallorca, Spain or Kefalonia, Greece. In Croatia, everything is fresher and more surprising: a layered history, a profound wine culture and islands so vivid they actually look like precious jewels.
SPLIT The stark contrast of the Adriatic Sea’s cerulean blue with the sun-bleached sandstone of Split’s Old Town makes a powerful first impression. Cloudless cobalt skies frame the Mosor Mountains and golden sand beaches trace the coast as far as the eye can see. Nearby neighborhoods are so verdant they look like forests wearing terracotta rooftop hats. From walls to cobblestone streets to underground waterworks, Croatia’s second largest city reflects the struggle of civilizations—which at different turns included the Greeks, Romans, Slavs, Venetians, AustroHungarians and Ottomans. And the main thoroughfare, Riva Boardwalk, flanked by ruins, is immaculately preserved. The first order of business in this ancient hub on the mainland is to take a stroll. Begin with a visit to the Gallery of Fine Art, and then embark on a private tour of Old Town and Diocletian Palace’s outstanding landmarks, including the Temple of Jupiter which is guarded by statues of Egyptian Sphynxes. Outside the Golden Gate, make a wish and rub the patinated toe of the 88year old statue of medieval bishop Grgur Ninski. Don’t forget to visit the imperial palace’s Game of Thrones sets above and below ground.
KE R & DOWN E Y
The Old Town of Zadar
With a prime location among this UNESCO World Heritage Site’s alleyways and 200 buildings, Hotel Vestibul Palace sits in the middle of the action near the ancient Roman Peristyle. Throughout, chic shops and hip restaurants and bars spill out onto the sidewalks. Operated by a young brother and sister team, Bokeria Kitchen & Bar serves a delicious, well-curated and beautifully plated overview of regional food and wine. Grab a tasting of flights and small bites at Uje Olive Oil, Food and Wine, or meander over to Zinfandel restaurant and jazz bar and allow the gregarious staff to ply you with carafes of hand-selected regional examples. Venture beyond the palace to Konoba Matoni to try traditional Dalmatian fare under coved ceilings and wrought iron chandeliers. For a different perspective overlooking the city’s popular beaches, tuck into Hotel Park. If it’s warm, head out for a swim. If you have extra time in Split, take a day trip that interweaves Dalmatian history and wine to the seven seaside villages of Kaštela, birthplace of the Tribidrag wine grape determined to be the ancient antecedent of Zinfandel. Or head to the colorful city of Zadar, with its Roman and Venetian ruins, Soviet Era architecture in the new town and curious Sea Organ along the sea wall, which fills the Old Town with music created by the Adriatic’s waves. Split is the prime launching point for exploring Central Dalmatia’s beautiful islands. Hop aboard a private yacht and spend as much or as little time as you like. During the summer months, snorkelers and divers can explore shipwrecks in the blue depths along the Dalmatian Coast. On a clear day, sailboats glide along the sparkling Adriatic. Struck by the immaculate waters, I can see urchins in the shallows.
In this region, winemaking is often a family tradition. Croatians will tell you that everyone grows a few vines in their yards to produce a few bottles for celebrations. To experience the best of this practice, head to boho-chic Senjković Winery, which is run by husband and wife team, Saša and Magdalena Senjković. Upon guests’ arrival, Magdalena prepares beautiful hors d’oeuvres and Sasa pours something light. Pair your tasting with stories of the craft inherited from his great grandfather.
Photos courtesy of iStock | Croatia Tourism Board | Little Green Bay | Martine Bury
Rikard Petrić, winemaker at Jako Vino d.o.o., Stina Winery, surveys the vineyard.
Dalmatia’s largest and tallest island is famous for bright white Brač marble, which was used to build both Diocletian’s Palace and The White House in the U.S. Take a car to the highest point, Vidova Gora, and see Italy in the distance if the conditions permit. On summer nights, a seasonal air flow called Gažul creates the perfect climate for night sailing, a major spectacle here. The vineyards of Brač are distinguished by their growing medium, the white stone called stina. A private tour of the STINA Vineyards’ cellars and ultra-modern tasting room is the best introduction to Croatia’s dizzying number of varieties: from crisp, white pošip to the heady red plavac mali.
Sunny Hvar Island sparkles with Riviera-style glamor—the bars, harbor-side cafes, the yachts and the exclusive Pakleni Islands a speedboat ride away. This is especially true in Hvar Town where the narrow passageways reveal a vibrant world of beautiful people sipping coffee or wine against the backdrop of 13th-century buildings and dramatic Gothic architecture. Try regional seafood dishes, like hvarska gregada, Croatian fish and potato stew served in a dutch oven along with wine and crusty bread at one of the seaside eateries. Escape the crowds and walk along the bay to the 15th century monastery and its serene gardens, which houses a modest but impressive art collection, including 16th-century Venetian painter Matteo Ingoli’s rendition of The Last Supper. Don’t miss the chance to tour Fortica Španjola, Hvar’s imposing hilltop fortress. It’s the gateway to the true charms of this island city, which lie beyond in the pine-forested hills. A day’s road trip reveals small towns, lavender fields and family vineyards. In these hidden gem regions, you can also fulfill your athletic yen, with opportunities to hike or bike.
Of all the Central Dalmatian islands, Korčula is magic. Dense with pine trees, undulating hills edged with old wine terraces, olive groves, secluded bays and farms of collard greens (that’s right), you’ll see a million shades of green. Arrive to Vela Luka by boat and trace the coast on a chauffeured drive with a local historian, ending at the town gates where locals perform the traditional Moreska Sword Dance. The island is also popular for cycling, with paths for every level, as long as you love a view. If the timing is right, tour the steep, quiet streets of walled, medieval Korčula Town at sunset, stopping at the rumored birthplace of Marco Polo and continuing past the delicate, pastel facade of 16th-century Gabriellis Palace. Stay at Lešić Dimitri Palace, a Relais & Châteaux hotel housed in the 18th-century Bishop’s Palace. Inspired by Marco Polo’s travels along the Silk Road, each suite recalls a stop along the storied trade route with names like Ceylon, India and Arabia. Eat outside at the hotel’s LD Restaurant, which dishes seasonal Adriatic cuisine created by Head Chef Marko Gajski. He personally ensures you take the culinary journey guided by samplings of local olive oil and wine.
Spend a few days relaxing at Little Green Bay, a private hideaway on the island’s Lozna Bay side accessible by boat or transfer over the hill from Hvar Town. Fifteen rooms face either the aromatic herb garden or the calm, green-blue bay which tempts guests to take a dip. “It’s like a swimming pool,” says Mathieu Grinberg, the Frenchman who owns the hotel with his interior designer sister Julie. Mathieu takes personal care of each guest, making sure every item on your wish list gets ticked. What he and the friendly staff really hope, however, is that you give in to the natural beauty and barefoot luxury of this flawless spot.
Korčula’s old walled city
DUBROVNIK There is nothing like approaching King’s Landing from the sea. Although technically in South Dalmatia, the most famous walled city is a must-visit. The crush of tourism in recent years requires approaching Dubrovnik with creativity. Spend the day on a guided hike or kayaking excursion or sail to one of the lovely nearby islands or resort towns. Tour the sites from Game of Thrones. Head into the city after 4 p.m., when the cruise ships have departed and locals venture out for music and cocktails. Sleep at six-room St. Joseph’s Boutique Hotel, a luxuriously restored 16th- gem in the quiet quarter of Old Town. With attentive service and freshly baked local pastries delivered to your suite when you wake, this sweet little hideout is a reminder that the best travel experiences are all about feeling at home.
PRO TIP! Despite having a pleasant Mediterranean climate, the Adriatic is known powerful winds that turn up along the Croatian coast. Pack a light windbreaker, even in summer. - Liane Soukup, Turquoise blue waters surround Little Green Bay.
Luxury Travel Expert
KE R & DOWN E Y
AUSTR A LI A FI J I FR EN CH POLYN ESI A N EW ZEA LA N D PA PUA N EW GUI N EA
AU S T R A L I A Sip a variety of wines, including ports dating back to 1879, at South Australiaâ€™s oldest operating vineyard.
NEW ZEALAND Skip stones: Hop from one massive boulder to another in Moeraki.
K ER & DOW N E Y
AU S T R A L I A Sample flavors from award winning chefs, sommeliers and local producers during the Margaret Riverâ€™s Gourmet Escape.
F R E N C H P O LY N E S I A Watch stone weight lifting, palm tree climbing and coconut cracking competitions in Tahiti
NEW ZEALAND Photos courtesy of iStock | www.margaretriver.com
Swim with dolphins in the open ocean in Kaikoura.
NEW ZEALAND Learn about the rebuilding of the town of Napier and its art deco architecture.
KE R & DOWN E Y
A couple exploring the wilderness of Tasmania
ON THE WILD SIDE The island at the edge of the world is a hot spot for culture, gastronomy and natural wonders. By Rina Chandarana
Just 150 miles off the Australian mainland, Tasmania might as well be worlds away. The farflung island state—which also encompasses 334 islands dotting the Pacific and Indian Oceans— offers the same turgid mix of unspoiled wilderness, fruitful vineyards, fascinating history and authentic Aboriginal culture that captured the imaginations of Charles Darwin and Mark Twain. At once strange and beautiful, it’s a must-stop on your Australian adventure.
WILDERNESS With a population of just a little over 500,000, Tasmania has vast areas of wilderness and plenty of places to enjoy the view. Nearly forty percent of the island is protected as national parklands. Kayak along the rocky coastlines and spot the seals, penguins and dolphins that play in the turquoise waters and on the white sand beaches of Wineglass Bay. Hike through forest trails past rivers and lakes in Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park, teeming with wombats, wallabies, eagles and platypus. Feed Tasmanian devils and meet with a gang of friendly kangaroos on a night tour in Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. Take in stunning vistas of Mount Wellington from The Islington Hotel. Or drive out 20 minutes from Hobart to the peak for city views and a look at the Tasman Peninsula.
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ART & CULTURE Once a notorious penal colony and a shipbuilding hub, the capital of Hobart is a thriving center of gastronomy and culture. Festivals and a vibrant foodie scene give the city a lively buzz. The Wooden Boat Festival celebrates Australia’s maritime culture, bringing together the biggest collection of wooden boats in the southern hemisphere. The country’s largest private museum, the Museum of Old and New Art is privately funded by Australian businessman David Walsh. Situated almost entirely underground, MONA houses a controversial collection that includes ancient Roman mummies, scores of provocative oddities, and rare works such as Sidney Nolan’s 150-foot mural, Snake, inspired by Aboriginal mythology.
The unique MONA in Tasmania
STAY The Henry Jones Art Hotel sits among Hobartâ€™s oldest waterfront warehouses. Formerly a factory, the 19th-century building features more than 500 works of art including prints, paintings and sculptures from Tasmaniaâ€™s visual artists. Appreciate art here, but venture out to take in the sights at the Salamanca Market in the old town where local artisans sell hand-made pieces of woodwork, jewelry, glassware and ceramics.
Art installation at The Henry Jones Art Hotel
FOOD & WINE
Photos courtesy of MONA | Henry Jones Art Hotel | Jonathan Wherrett
HISTORY Once considered the end of the world, Tasmania was home to some of the largest and most notorious penal colonies. Travel through time at these UNESCO World Heritage Sites to learn more about the 165,000 convicts who were transported here in the 18th and 19th centuries to toil in harsh conditions. The Coal Mines Historic Site once held 500 convicts who labored underground. Nightly ghost tours are offered for the brave.
Fresh air, rich soil and clean water are the trifecta that produces fresh food and drinks. Apples were its first export, but today Tasmania offers a cornucopia of seafood, cheese, honey, nuts, fruits, craft beers and cool-climate wines. Local chefs whip up delicious meals with seasonal bounty from the local farmers markets. Every year, the Taste of Tasmania festival in Hobart brings together close to 70 stalls of foods from around the state. Mild summer and long autumn days provide optimal conditions for Pinot Noir, Riesling, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Gris and sparkling wines to be sipped at one of the many picturesque wineries. Visit the James Boag brewery or distillery to sample cider, whisky and gin. Pair your finds with oysters or abalone caught by your guide on a trip out to sea.
O U R S U G G E S T E D I T I N E R A RY:
I CO N S O F AU STRALIA
14 DAYS / 13 N IG HTS T HR OU G H SYD N EY, DA I N TR E E
Taste local treats on a food tour.tel.
Visit the many festivals that take place on this Australian island, including the charming Cygnet Folk Festival in the Huon Valley. - Lisa Chapman, Luxury Travel Expert
R AIN FOREST, AYER S R OC K, KA N G A R OO IS L A N D & H O B A RT KE R & DOWN E Y
Located in the forested slopes of the Ngorongoro Crater, Gibb’s Farm overlooks the iconic Great Rift Valley. Recently named Best Safari Lodge in Africa and #5 of The Top 100 Hotels in the Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards 2017 readers' survey, the farm captures the essence of Tanzania’s rich history, deeply rooted in East African culture and the local community. Originally established in the 1920s, 21 uniquely decorated cottages overlook magnificent gardens and are the ideal base for exploring the nearby national parks. Immerse yourself in this sanctuary for the senses, where the farm’s gentle rhythms impart peace and well-being in unparalleled surroundings. Contact Ker & Downey or your travel specialist to include the Gibb's Farm in your next custom journey. +1 800-423-4236 | KERDOWNEY.COM
JOURNEYS Ker & D ow ney 's Top I tinera ri es
KE R & DOWN E Y
R O M A N T I C C E L E B R AT I O N S
I T I N E R A RY
BEACHES OF PORTUGAL
9 D AY S / 1 0 N I G H T S Dive into some of the worldâ€™s most coveted waters on this 9-day holiday to the best beaches of Portugal. Ker & Downey has designed this journey to inspire even the most discerning beach lovers as they look for a bit of rest, relaxation, and luxury in Southern Europe.
K E R & D OW N E Y
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: LISBON | TIVOLI AVENIDA LIBERDADE DAY 3-4: COMPORTA | SUBLIME COMPORTA DAY 5-7: ALGARVE | TIVOLI CARVOEIRO DAY 8-9: LISBON | TIVOLI AVENIDA LIBERDADE
A sumptuous and romantic palace, Tivoli PalĂĄcio de Seteais Sintra Hotel transports you to the elegance and atmosphere of the XVIII century.
Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort represents the debut of the Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas in Europe, bringing authentic luxury to The Algarve, southern Portugalâ€™s wild coast.
The iconic Tivoli Avenida Liberdade Lisboa is a true landmark of the Portuguese capital, offering impressive luxury services and exclusive experiences.
Contact Ker & Downey or your travel specialist to include one of these options in your next custom journey. +1 800-423-4236 | KERDOWNEY.COM
L U X U RY S A FA R I
I T I N E R A RY S U G G E S T E D J O U R N E Y AT A G L A N C E :
A L U X U R Y TA N Z A N I A S A FA R I
1 4 D AY S / 1 3 N I G H T S This luxury Tanzania safari allows you to spend 14 days off the beaten path exploring the private conservancies of Chem Chem. Authentic cultural experiences with the Kurya and Masai tribes, stunning wildlife viewing, and luxury boutique lodges with exceptional fresh cuisine make this safari unforgettable.
DAY 1: ARUSHA | LEGENDARY LODGE DAY 2-3: LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK LITTLE CHEM CHEM DAY 4-5: TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK CHEM CHEM SAFARI LODGE DAY 6-8: SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK | MWIBA LODGE DAY 9-10: SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK | SINGITA EXPLORE MOBILE TENTED CAMP DAY 11-14: SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK SINGITA FARU FARU LODGE
K E R & D OW N E Y
Legendary Expeditions holds a privileged position among safari outfitters, offering luxury properties in some of the finest wildlife reserves of Tanzania. Our tailor-made safaris draw on 25 years of experience, as well as our proprietary rights to several private wilderness zones. Guests enjoy sole access to some three million acres of pristine African bush, well removed from the traditional safari circuit. We are proud of our reputation for unrivalled excellence, offering diverse wildlife encounters, superlative service and first-class accommodations. We bring our guests to the most sought-after destinations, creating a private safari where they bask in our undivided attention.
Contact Ker & Downey or your travel specialist to include Legendary Expeditions in your next custom journey. +1 800-423-4236 | KERDOWNEY.COM
L U X U RY C R U I S I N G
I T I N E R A RY
G A T E W AY T O T H E O R I E N T
1 2 D AY S / 1 1 N I G H T S Ker & Downey presents a taste of the most memorable and historic sites in China. Spend 12 days discovering the blend of old and new permeating the nation, from the ancient Great Wall to the grand scale of the Three Gorges Dam.
K E R & D OW N E Y
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: BEIJING | WALDORF ASTORIA BEIJING DAY 4-5: XI’AN | SHANGRI-LA HOTEL XI’AN DAY 6-8: THE YANGTZE | SANCTUARY M/S YANGZI EXPLORER DAY 9-12: SHANGHAI | THE PENINSULA SHANGHAI
CHINA O N T H E YA N G T Z E Awe-inspiring natural beauty, iconic UNESCO World Heritage Sites and centuriesold cultures are just some of the riches waiting to be discovered along China’s legendary waterway.
Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer offers three- and four-night cruises between Chongqing and Yichang, bringing guests as close as possible to central China’s most captivating landscapes. Meander through the Three Gorges, which extend 120 miles into the river’s middle reaches. Discover the ancient Fengdu Ghost City. Take a whirl on a wooden sampan along the Shennong Stream as Tujia boatmen spill local secrets. Contact Ker & Downey or your travel specialist to include Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer in your next custom journey. +1 800-423-4236 | KERDOWNEY.COM
AC T I V E / A DV E N T U R E
I T I N E R A RY
THE ZIMBABWE A DV E N T U R E S A FA R I
1 0 D AY S / 9 N I G H T S Zimbabwe is a standalone star. From the legendary elephants of Hwange to the Big Five beauty of Mana Pools, Zimbabwe boasts some of the most unspoiled and untouched safari encounters on the planet.
K E R & DOW N E Y
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: HWANGE NATIONAL PARK | SOMALISA CAMP DAY 4-7: MANA POOLS NATIONAL PARK ZAMBEZI LIFE STYLES DAY 8-19: VICTORIA | VICTORIA FALLS RIVER LODGE
Situated in the Zimbabweâ€™s Zambezi National Park and nestled on the banks of the iconic Zambezi River, Victoria Falls River Lodge is ideally located for exploring the historical sights and leisure activities in the vibrant town of Victoria Falls. Each of the lodgeâ€™s thirteen thatched, luxury tents features a private deck and plunge pool from which guests can take in panoramic sunsets. Spacious open-plan dining and lounge areas, a sparkling infinity pool, riverside bar and Africologyaffiliated Toa Spa create a winning formula for high style in the wild. Personal service, incredible wildlife viewing, fine dining and a variety of onsite recreation options add up to an unforgettable stay.
Contact Ker & Downey or your travel specialist to include Victoria Falls River Lodge in your next custom journey. +1 800-423-4236 | KERDOWNEY.COM
SHOT ONE PICTURE, ONE MOMENT, ONE MEMORY CAPTURED BY PHOTOGRAPHER JONAS JUNGBLUT
This was shot in the Kirchle Gorge outside of Dornbirn in western Austria. Created by snowmelt, it is now dry, and a hidden gem for those in the know. Its name loosely translates to 'small church' and stems from its shape. The space is used for concerts from time to time making use of the unique acoustics. Within about thirty minutes of being there, we watched the light rays wander across the space while pondering all the creatures that had stayed, rested and inhabited the Kirchle in the past couple thousand years. Stories of cavemen, knights and bears have surely been played out here.
Jonas Jungblut was born and raised in Berlin, Germany and relocated to California to pursue photography at the age of 20. Since then Jonas has traveled the world extensively, survived the 2010 8.8 earthquake in Chile, amongst other random encounters, got stranded on a deserted island, and spat sparks out of his fingers during a lightning storm on a sand dune. His work has been published in magazines and books internationally and he currently resides with his wife and two boys in Santa Barbara, CA. jonasjungblut.com @jonasjungblut
KE R & DOWN E Y
MALARIA KILLS MORE THAN WITH
ONE MILLION PEOPLE
E AC H Y E A R ,
OF THEM OCCURRING IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA.
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OUR GOAL TO P R OV I D E
TO 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
DONATE 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 W W W. K E R D OW N E Y.C O M A N D TYPE
“NETS FOR AFRICA”
UNDER ADD SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS
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T R AV E L .
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L U X U R Y.
Casa Malca | Mexico Courtesy of Design Hotelsâ„˘
Forget group tours, long lines, or packaged 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
K E R D O W N E Y. C O M
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