Supertravel & Rejuvenating Retreats

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& Rejuvenating Retreats







very century comes with its own challenges and as 21st century humanity has learned to measure time

in ever smaller units, time seems to have “shrunk” – we need more of it and we want it to be “quality”. Quality of time and life, living longer and better, investing in one’s physical and spiritual wellbeing, and enjoying the amazing experiences the age of fast travel and fast information have made accessible are all things we now take for granted. Beyond Black curates, every year, the best selection of destinations, not just according to us, but based on endorsements from arbiters of taste, sustainability and elegance that we profile in our sister publication,

BBeyond ( First published in 2017 by BB PUBLICATIONS

© B.B. Publications 2017 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the publisher of this book. ISBN 978-1-905904-37-2 Designed by SUPERTRAVEL


This edition is focused on retreats like no other: from a private island to a yacht; from tropical villas to urban rejuvenation hubs; from resplendent private homes to spas that take wellness to a whole new level… We have literally done a “round the world in a single book” travelogue, so that you don’t have to trawl through “Google’s top ten”. This is an edition to treasure because the places we’ve selected are, in addition to super-special (hence “Supertravel”), impervious to the vagaries of time and age. They will be there long after they become just memories of a trip, as a testament to the ingenuity and inspiration of the people who built them and to the awesome beauty of nature.


Contents 4 Introduction

54 The Ranch Malibu

94 Legendary Expeditions

08 Over Yonder Cay

62 Anax Resort & Spa

100 Dromoland Castle

14 Villa Manzu

68 Villa Riva

106 Maçakizi

22 Palmasola

72 Maradiva Villas Resort & Spa

112 Grace Hotel Panama

28 Lime Samui 36 Samata Yacht 40 Casa Fryzer 48 Rancho Cielo 52 Claughton House



76 Dr Daniel Sister’s Anti-Aging City Clinics 82 Abigail Tan-Giroud 85 Doris Hangartner 90 Winnie Chiu

118 Four Seasons Bogota 122 Four Seasons Bahrain 126 Hotel Excelsior Lido 132 Hotel Armani Milano 138 Dillip Rajakarier


Over Yonder Cay { Bahamas }


ver Yonder Cay (OYC) is part of the Exumas archipelago, itself often described as one of the most beautiful locations on Earth. Anyone who has ever island-hopped in the Bahamas knows the necklacelike string of cays, many of which some mere sandbanks in the middle of the sea; others credulity-defying in their extravagant splendour - are privately owned and can be rented in their entirety. OYC belongs to a Bosarge Family Trust and represents the most accomplished example of matching considerable resources and determination to create a technologically advanced, ultra-high end ecological retreat. The vision of Dr W.E. Bosarge, OYC is an exercise in sustainability that transcends the



underlying remit of the island which is private rental of four spectacular villas and associated state-of-theart amenities accessed by seaplane transfer. Bosarge is an eminently successful and gifted individual turned passionate environmentalist and philanthropist. A former NASA mathematician, an entrepreneur who developed predictive financial market technologies and an active supporter of regenerative medicine stem cell and cancer research, Bosarge has developed the island as a fully functional sustainability lab of the Caribbean region. Add to this the fact that he is a keen yachtsman with an unerring eye for contemporary aesthetics and you have the secluded wonder that OYC is today.





The first off-the-grid island in the Bahamas relies on renewable energy to provide 95 per cent of its power needs, supplemented by enormous battery banks that harvest extra power for sunless days. By way of an emergency, three diesel generators can meet demand and also recharge the batteries.



correctly identified the zeitgeist of our generation, offering an eminently palatable solution to those who have uncompromising expectations coupled with environmental conscience.

OYC’s renewable micro-grid is operated by an Intelligent Weather-Forecasting Controller that continuously optimizes the island’s energy usage and production. The island also produces its own water using re-mineralizing technology.

These uncompromising expectations are met through a combination of facilities, including a private superyacht marina, a nine hole parthree golf course, the use of two resort yachts, a wine cellar to rival any Michelin star restaurant and worldclass chefs preparing the freshest of seafood dishes with emphasis on lean and healthy.

This is what sets OYC apart on the ultra-high luxury stakes of an area that has no shortage of spectacular rental properties: Bosarge has

The four villas, each of them positioned to offer the best exposure and views, are extremely spacious, as beautifully designed as you would expect them to

be, with that ultra-functioning aspect that defines everything on the island. The slick yet opulent interiors, infinity pools, entertainment systems, in-door cinemas and private beach access are a given because the island counts the great and the good among its clientele, whether corporate or individuals. The activities are equally varied and alluring, but the overriding attraction is this constant emphasis towards preserving the eco-system of the island. Ultimately, OYC encapsulates and affirms a lifestyle choice for the environmentally-minded, adrenalinloving, privacy-seeking, seafaring millennials of very substantial means. ■


Villa Manzu { Guanacaste, Costa Rica }


osta Rica, a country of magnificent waterfalls, tropical forests and rich biodiversity, has long been a magnet for the wellheeled who appreciate the friendliness of its people as much as its incomparable beauty. The country’s Pacific coast, with its yearlong warm climate and less rainfall than the Caribbean, is a tourist magnet boasting a fabulous array of private villas. The Gulf of Papagayo in the north-western Guanacaste province has seen the development of the country’s most exclusive resorts, including the prerequisite Four Seasons, but the jewel in its crown is the Papagayo Peninsula where only 30% of the landmass can be built up, so as to preserve the natural beauty of the environment.



At the very edge of this peninsula is Costa Rica Pacific Coast’s most exceptional villa, Manzu. Surrounded from all sides by stunningly landscaped tropical gardens and wild tracks, and overlooking the ocean, this is a 5 acre paparazzi-free zone private estate, originally built for personal use. Completed in 2012, the villa was conceived by the owner as his dream home and executed by renowned Costa Rican architect Abraham Valenzuela. The owner’s vision, interpreted with a degree of creative license by Valenzuela and Houston interior designer Lynn Yellen, was to build a retreat that is at once cohesive and surprising in the way it flows, eliciting an emotional response from the moment one walks in.

Valenzuela’s philosophy to engage the senses is translated here in a multitude of inspirational and life affirming symbols, from the intricately carved doorways to the hieroglyphics chiselled into wood and rock at the entrance of the property and in the spa area. The very unique layout ensures that the eye is always captivated by a point of beauty or a work of art, with elegant hallways leading into new spaces, each framing a dramatic view of the spectacular landscape. Custom-designed ceilings with handplaced stone patterns inspired by Van Gogh’s “Starry Nights” and swirling floor patterns representing the tree of life will astonish and delight lovers of art and design. The fusion of indigenous cultures, including African, Indian, Balinese, Thai, Mayan and local Chorotegan influences, creates a deeply spiritual atmosphere, enhancing the feeling of ultimate peace and relaxation. The vast suites, each with a character of its own, are positioned on the edges of the building, so that guests can retreat to unfettered solitude.





The nucleus of the villa consists of a succession of large common areas and an open kitchen where Chef Mariano Fernandez delivers daily tour de force culinary experiences.

which is created by the infinity pool above. Just behind the waterfall is an open air massage table with a breathtaking view of the ocean. The area exerts a magnetism all of its own.

Guests are free to join in or simply observe. The Argentina-born chef is something of a local celebrity for his innovative style, his bakery, and for catering to the most idiosyncratic tastes and diets using the best local produce. The wine cellar is phenomenally well stocked, as is the cigar selection.


Villa Manzu has the most amazing cavernous spa with exceptionally high walls, positioned under a 34 ft waterfall



This warrants its own chapter because it is as unique and as tailored as the villa itself. Accommodating groups of between 14 and 20 guests, the property has 18 specially trained staff, proficient in Costa Rica’s history, culture and every manner of activity, water and land sports, natural treks and adventures one can ever dream of. The adventure squad is employed by the owner to create a fully customised

experience for the guests and the brief is to keep them entertained without having to call, book or wait for anything, ever. This is probably why and how Manzu stands out amongst its glamorous peers on various exotic beachfronts around the world. At this level, the enchantment of a place is often a given, the facilities taken for granted, and perfection of service expected. What makes this estate truly magical is its intense beauty and the sense that your anticipations have been met before you’ve even formulated them. ■


“In a cool solitude of trees Where leaves and birds a music spin, Mind that was weary is at ease, New rhythms in the soul begin.” WILLIAM KEAN SEYMOUR The Cats of Rome: New and Selected Poems




Palmasola { Punta Mita, Mexico }


exico’s Pacific coast has been flexing its muscle on the ultra luxury development stakes for a while now, but its crown jewel is undoubtedly the aptly labelled Riviera Nayarit with its phenomenal beaches, spectacularly contrasted by the majestic ruggedness of the Sierra Madre mountain range. The area is blessed by a year-long warm climate as it shares the same latitude with Hawaii. The arrowhead-shaped Punta Mita peninsula, on the northern tip of Banderas Bay, boasts some of the best snorkelling, diving, fishing, surfing and golf in the world, exquisite flora and fauna, and ocean views to die for. It is also in close proximity to Jacques Cousteau’s beloved Marietas Islands, a Unesco protected site, with their



astounding marine bio-diversity and now famous “hidden beach”. Punta Mita is home to an ultraexclusive gated development with two iconic hotel resorts, Four Seasons and St Regis, and to some of the most amazing private villas on earth, either owned or frequented by an impressive roll call of Hollywood A-listers and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs (regular flights from San Francisco take just 3.5 hours while LA flights take 3). The gem among them is Palmasola, a dream-like private beachfront villa, perfect in every possible way, originally conceived by its owners as their personal retreat. Having explored a number of super high end ocean front destinations in





search for the right location, they set eyes on a solitary palm tree on a private beach shared by the Four Seasons and fell instantly inspired. With convenient direct flights and all the signature facilities and security of a world class resort, this couldn’t have been a more perfect choice. Designed by star architect Manolo Mestre, Palmasola’s village like environment balances shared common spaces with ample private spaces so that up to nine couples or four families are comfortably accommodated for a week or longer. The exceptionally well-landscaped grounds, featuring rare trees, a “river runs through it” style swimming pool and a succession of relaxation, socialising and dining alcoves and



spaces provide a visually striking counterpoint to the ocean at the very edge of Palmasola. The interiors, created by Erica Krayer and Ofelia Uribe, are all pared down elegance, with handmade pieces and an emphasis on comfort, as well as visual impact. What has turned this fairy tale estate into the supremely polished and sophisticated resort of today, however, is the thoughtful and uncompromising selection of superbly trained staff providing highly personalised service that truly makes Palmasola one of a kind. The nine suites can accommodate up to eighteen adults, or twenty guests total including children, who are looked after by a General Manager and his

assistant, a concierge, three waiters, four housekeepers, gardeners and not one but two chefs – a remarkable staffto-guest ratio surpassing even 5 star hotels. Naturally, there are activities – this is, after all, an accomplished beach estate, bordering the Pacific Ocean with all the requisite water sports, and two Jack Nicklaus golf courses on site. Palmasola is, in fact, the ultimate beachfront retreat for friends, family and/or business associates to relax in privacy while enjoying nature, fabulous activities, fine dining and each other’s company. The Palmasola experience goes well beyond nearly any other beachfront property in the world - it is utterly bewitching. ■

{ Palmasola Punta Mita, Mexico T: 650.330.3456 F: 650.644.3390 E: }


Lime Samui { Koh Samui, Thailand }


ime Samui is a secluded three-villa retreat on the western coast of Koh Samui, conceived and built by British entrepreneur Colin Baker. The villas are nothing short of spectacular in that clean, pared down contemporary style that informs the aesthetic preferences of a new generation of ultra-affluent travellers who are also sustainability conscious. Baker, a former financier, has gone into property development with a welldefined vision of what he wanted to achieve. The villas, built on a former coconut plantation overlooking the ocean, have the most amazing sunset views over the gulf of Thailand and the protected island archipelago of the Angthong National Marine Park, of Alex Garland’s The Beach fame. As far as the eye can see, nothing but the tropical magnificence and turquoise sea framing the perfect seclusion of the property.



Designed by an award-winning architect, the villas reflect the owner’s obsession with detail. Baker was closely involved in the creative process, sketching the ideas that underpin the essence of buildings and ensuring that they are not simply outstanding works of art, but also eminently liveable. Imagining how guests would interact with the space, where they would sit, congregate and relax and then testing each detail has paid dividends: the villas are in high demand by TV and photo shoot crews, product launches and of course, private guests. The villas were built in a sequence, the last one being Villa Spice, the setting of a popular reality TV show. Each subsequent project presented an opportunity for several refining tweaks: a Jacuzzi in the swimming pool, a larger outdoor space, a waterfall, a softening of the interior... Accommodating between 10 and 15 guests, all villa share the same ultra-





cool modern design and oversized infinity swimming pools, some even have large private cinemas, with the full service you would expect of this calibre property.

family who recently flew to Koh Samui in their own jet, accompanied by Colin, opted for staying in one of the villas rather than at the already booked Four Seasons hotel on the island.

You have a private chauffeur throughout your stay, fully staffed spas and professionally trained chefs that provide the best in Thai cuisine but also cater to Western palates.

And if you don’t own your jet, you can still get to Koh Samui in style and privacy with 365 Aviation, Colin Baker’s private jet charter company. 365 Aviation is one of his tie-in investments that has grown organically catering to exceptionally demanding clients around the world. 365 Aviation is truly independent, with no affiliations, and caters to individuals of exacting needs.

The most striking features of Lime Samui, however, remain the 180 degree views and unforgettable sunsets for which the west side of the island is justly famous. In fact, so seductive is Lime Samui that a member of an affluent Chinese SUPERTRAVEL


While most private jet hire companies offer a concierge service, 365 is built on client loyalty because it truly cares

about every detail (if a client likes a 25 year old whisky, he gets precisely that, not a 20 year old version). It also sources the exact aircraft configuration its clients require, including finer privacy details. Any destination on the globe can be reached, either for business or a special occasion. Crew is tailored to the client and service is uncompromising. The client base consists of heads of states and corporations, royal families and just ultra-wealthy individuals. Colin Baker’s world is thus an accomplished loop of everything you would wish or require, at a minimal exertion cost to yourself. ■


“Action done totally brings relaxation; relaxation done totally brings more action.” BHAGWAN SHREE RAJNEESH When the Shoe Fits: Stories of the Taoist Mystic Chuang Tzu




Samata Yacht The romance of cruising the Indonesian archipelago { Indonesia }


he phinisi is a traditional Indonesian two-masted sailing yacht that never fails to capture the imagination with its elegant lines and tropical wood construction harking to a by-gone age of sea-faring in ultimate style.

Raja Ampat and the Banda Sea. The voyages are tailored around the seasons (Komodo, May to September; Raja Amat, December to April; Banda Sea, October December and April to May) and the guests’ preferences.

Samata is a 42m motoryacht phinisi, built in 2004 to the highest specification and outfitted to accommodate small groups of guests in relaxed luxury. This is a three deck vessel with 5 suites (the master suite enjoys its own deck) and a crew of 14 taking care of 10 to 14 guests maximum.

Exploring the amazing diversity, from the drier Komodo National Park through to the lush jungle of West Papua, the myriad of uninhabited black or white sand beaches with turquoise blue water, the vibrant coral reefs and rare fauna (from exotic birds to Komodo dragons) is an adventure in itself. Now imagine doing all this from the total safety and no holds barred pampering on board this stunning yacht.

Stepping on board the Samata is the beginning of an experience like no other. The beautiful phinisi offers tailored cruises around 17 000+ islands between Komodo National Park, SUPERTRAVEL


The experience is exponential, says cruise director Michael Click, one of

two westerners tasked, together with the crew, to ensure that you enjoy, among other things, world-class scuba diving or snorkelling tuition and certification, a full menu of water sports, ranger-guided island treks/ natural habitat tours and above all, unmatched hospitality. Indonesia presents a unique environment where tidal conditions protect coral reefs from dramatic temperature changes and when corals bloom, the sight is something to behold even if you are on Samata just for the relaxation rather than the diving. Leaving the constant connectivity of modern life behind, you would detox utterly and completely, adopting a relaxed rhythm and reconnecting with


family and/or friends in a home-like atmosphere and total privacy. There are no prescribed programs, itineraries or meal times and the cruises are fully inclusive. You can follow the weather or your whim, quite literally going with the wind or with an on-the-spur impulse to change course.The resident Chef is completely versatile and will submit sample menus prior to the cruise in order to establish what your tastes SUPERTRAVEL


are but in practice, most people settle for the delightful surprises of classic Indonesian cuisine. Among the 14 staff is a masseuse to take the edge off diving or water skiing exertions. The open layout and flow of the boat, the ability to choose your own pace, and the spectacular seascape of the tropics make this one of the most romantic and unforgettable voyages of a lifetime. â–


Casa Fryzer

Cabo’s crown jewel

{ San Jose del Cabo, Mexico }


acques Cousteau once referred to the Sea of Cortez as “the aquarium of the world” and while this captures the imagination in a poetic way and is eminently accurate, it doesn’t begin to describe the marine diversity and spectacular beauty of the Baja California peninsula of which Los Cabos, in the southern tip, is the most coveted area. Casa Fryzer is located in San José del Cabo, the epitome of prize real estate on the south-eastern coast of Baja California.



It was built by Joe Fryzer, a serial entrepreneur and property developer, as an example of what is possible in Mexico and as the ultimate luxury gateway home to the bay itself. Casa Fryzer is one of the most exceptional private villas ever to have been conceived and built, with a wow factor that challenges the conventional theory that Mexico comes short on delivering ultra high end quality. The location for the estate, high above the Palmilla hotel (One&Only





Group), was strategically chosen for a number of reasons, not least because of the fabulous swimmable beaches down below, the perfect weather and the proximity of a golf course and an airfield which offers an easy 2 hour flight to Northern California. The villa has a commanding spot on the cliffs of Los Cabos, with phenomenal views over the Pacific, and a private beach. The owner set out to prove that luxury does not have to be a geographical concept, outfitting the villa with a German kitchen, Swedish cinema seats, Italian furniture of the highest state of the art spec, and hiring renowned Texas designers, Wilson Associates to create the interiors. Fryzer’s trademark is supreme comfort and the world’s best, largest and most indulgent swimming pools. He has reinvented poolside lifestyle, in fact, firstly by expanding the size of the pool with each property he built, then adding at Casa Fryzer, mini ‘islands’ with built-in cocktail tables, a pool bar, conversation booths, and even a fire pit accessed by a bridge. The quirky dining room table is surrounded by water. The 8200 square ft Spanish hacienda style villa itself has six bedrooms and eight bathrooms, a gym, a home theatre/screening room and a wine cellar, as well as it own staff quarters. Labour is, of course, relatively inexpensive in Mexico and property taxes low, which makes owning the estate not just an indulgence but a very sound investment. Casa Fryzer, an exceptional and awe-inspiring example of uncompromising quality and creative ingenuity, was built as a real estate investment and is for sale. ■




“A man of ordinary talent will always be ordinary, whether he travels or not; but a man of superior talent will go to pieces if he remains forever in the same place.” WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART




Rancho Cielo { Playa Hermosa de Santa Teresa, Costa Rica }


osta Rica is perhaps the only country in the world whose environmental credentials are on par with the beauty and diversity of its nature. Its Pacific coast is the undeniable jewel in a crown of fabulous playas (beaches). Playa Hermosa de Santa Teresa, on the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, is a home to a 25 acre ranch-style property that was built as a family compound and has since grown into an ultrasustainable private mini-resort-cumorganic farm.


The owners/managers, a husband and wife team, were dedicated environmentalists even before they built the ranch. The family foundation, sangham. com, supports children and pure water projects. SUPERTRAVEL


Nicoya (named after the peninsula, which is indication enough of the family’s enduring love for the small Central American country) and her husband, Grey, a green home builder with an environmental biology degree, approached developing Rancho Cielo the way they approach all things, i.e. what impact will it have and how can they make it a positive one. The concept is not one of commerciallymotivated hospitality but rather, the expression of a lifestyle ethos Undertaking any project for Nicoya and Grey Hecht always involves considering the environmental and social landscape of an area and evaluating its future impact. “We knew that the land, a 25 acre parcel with 300 feet of elevation bordering one end of Hermosa beach,

would be developed and wanted to ensure that it would be done with stewardship and respect because of the huge impact on both community and environment.” Rancho Cielo was built so that the structures are barely visible from the beach or the surf line-up – from there, it looks just like a lush jungle mountainside. The property boasts the largest known water catchment system on the peninsula, with grey water used for landscaping. The ranch is off the grid and mostly powered by solar energy. The social responsibility program is second to none, with employees being offered on-site vocational training, driver’s license courses, and quality of life assessments.


“I love the idea of being and sleeping outside, but I also want to be comfortable.” “None of this is about business, says Nicoya, we would do it all even if Rancho Cielo were a private residence.” Rancho Cielo is a concept that evolved from a large family vacation project. The family wanted a high end boutique property, with services to match and communal space for spending private time together. Once the ranch was built, the family felt compelled to share it and its ethos SUPERTRAVEL


with like-minded people. Having an organic farm about to get certification just 15 minutes away has a huge drawing power because most Playa Hermosa supplies are trucked in from San Jose, some 5 hours away. As it is, Rancho Cielo provides not only its own guests, but also the local town with organic staples such as honey and seasonal fruit. In fact, its reason for being was to employ local people and offer the community freshly sourced

produce. The long-term plans are to become entirely self-sufficient and build menus for guests around seasonal produce availability.


Designed by Grey Hecht, together with a local architect, the villas are positioned around the central swimming pool in a cohesive way rather than spread around the 25 acre property. The rationale was to have both privacy and intimity. The property is conceived for families or

friends to spend time together so the gathering spaces are a major focal point. The villas are distinctly contemporary in style, with floor to ceiling windows framing the tropical gardens, and at the same time very Central American, with magnificent hard wood decks and ceilings.This is pure Nicoya style. “I love the idea of being and sleeping outside, but I also want to be comfortable. Creating comfortable spaces where one is essentially outside and where the finishes of the house blend into the natural landscape or the landscape is brought in with large

windows was very important to us. My husband uses local building materials whenever possible - this is not only a “green” practice but an endeavour to stay congruent with the look and feel of the place.” The ranch sleeps 14 depending on the configuration desired by the guests. Connecting with nature and total immersion in a healthy, organic lifestyle apart, guests have the option of trying out or indulging in their passion for surfing. Playa Hermosa is quite famous for it and caters to all experience levels.

Yoga classes can be taken either at a nearby studio or privately with an instructor on the Rancho Cielo yoga deck. This being Costa Rica, guests can discover Zip-lining, Hiking, ATV exploring and, for foodies, the great variety of good restaurants in town or the on-site chef’s menus, catering to all needs including mini health retreat diets. Rebooting body, mind and soul is, in fact, the very definition of staying at Rancho Cielo. ■


Claughton House

{ Sri Lanka }


laughton House, described by visitors as superb and spectacular, has impeccable credentials: it was designed by iconic Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa in an area of breathtaking beauty, overlooking the island’s southern coastline. Its colonial-meet-modern architecture and open plan layout allows natural ventilation;it has huge living spaces with amazing views across the gardens to Kudawella Bay and the Indian Ocean beyond; the art deco pool appears ‘suspended’ between the villa and the sea, and the five classically decorated en-suite bedrooms combine to make this one of the most memorable family holiday villas you would ever experience.



The accommodation is split between two buildings, allowing maximum privacy and yet, the succession ofbeautifully manicured entertainment and outdoor spaces make it possible to enjoy meals, BBQs and social time together, or simply retreat in the vast sumptuousness of the gardens. These outdoor living areas seem to cascade down a series of levels, each ingeniously furnished and decorated in spare contemporary style, complementing this classic building to perfection. A yoga shala at the top of the hill, as well as great surfing at the beach below, would please the more active guests – otherwise, total relaxation among the palm tree-dotted grounds is the order of each day. As one might expect, the service is on par with the spellbinding location and state of the art amenities. The resident chef gets consistent 5 star reviews and this is an excellent opportunity to sample an array of local curries prepared with 100% fresh local produce. Claughton House is the perfect retreat for families and/or friends who value a bit of seclusion, decorum and some serious pampering in visually stunning surroundings. Any vantage point of the property allows views of the highly scenic Dikwella Bay and if you feel the need for exploration the house is conveniently located to ancient temples, large wetlands for exotic bird watching, the national parks and Hummanaya, the second largest blow hole in the world. ■


The Ranch Malibu { California, USA }


et against the undulating backdrop of Malibu’s rolling, rugged hillscape, The Ranch is a prized jewel for wellness aspirants worldwide. A holistic lifestyle retreat like no other, The Ranch hosts the only program to combine concepts of physical, mental and emotional well-being - and deliver demonstrable results. The Ranch opened in 2010 with the principles of helping guests to achieve and, importantly, sustain their personal health goals at its core. The founders, Alex and Sue Glasscock designed the program after Alex benefited first hand from a wellness retreat that he now describes as a “transformational” experience. Not only did he leave the retreat feeling rested and re-energized, he also lost 11 pounds and “significant” inches from his waistline. Impressed by the results, but inspired to do more, Alex and Sue set about designing a bespoke experience to espouse the benefits of a balanced lifestyle. Crucially, they wanted their offering to go beyond physical health benefits and empower the individual through a specifically tailored, comprehensive regimen of exercise, nutrition and oneness with nature.



The resulting retreat – The Ranch Malibu – is both an extraordinarily beautiful destination and a proven, results-oriented health and wellness program. A 200 acre working ranch in the Santa Monica mountains overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the property itself is testimony to Sue’s affinity with interior design. It provides a luxurious, relaxed and nurturing environment for guests to feel utterly at ease while pushing themselves to get the best out of – and for – themselves. Designed to be rustic yet refined, it is a far cry from, say, the Spartan simplicity of a purely fitness focused resort. Guests stay in their own private cottages, which are beautifully decorated with reclaimed wooden floors, limestone bathrooms, and queen and king-sized beds. It’s an important aspect of what Alex and Sue aspire to provide for their guests: an atmosphere of acceptance, tranquillity and equilibrium. The immersive, bonding atmosphere between the guests and their surroundings, and between one another, is key to the experience. Today, The Ranch excels in its ability to marry practicality with ideology. References to nature, for instance,


are not hippy-inspired foibles; they’re specific in their aims. The mountainous location provides the perfect landscape for the program’s daily hikes. The natural produce from The Ranch’s certified organic garden provides the source of their widely acclaimed vegan haute cuisine – filling and delicious but also calculated to provide only the necessary calories through nutrientdense foods and no more. Phones are discouraged during visits to The Ranch, with no cellular service on property and WI-FI connection available in-rooms only. There is a shared business centre with a computer and phone for urgent matters and phone service, but The Ranch encourages guests to disconnect whenever possible. That’s because excessive use and overreliance on technology isn’t just bad for the soul, it is also detrimental to your health. Blue light from phone, tablet and computer screens can inhibit sleep; hunching over a keyboard has a disastrous impact on one’s posture. The program itself can appear intense to the uninitiated – 10-12mile daily hikes, yoga classes, and vegan meals – but the most consistent feedback The Ranch receives from past guests speaks to a new-found understanding of how their bodies are meant to work. Disconnecting from some of the fallacies of our contemporary lifestyles for either a 4 day (The Ranch 4.0), 7 day (The Ranch Malibu) or 10 day program (The Ranch 10.0) gives guests the opportunity to “reset”, and to take stock of what it means to live well. Guests go home with a new-found appreciation for the long-held, but so often disrespected, credos of regular exercise, proper nutrition and personal and social balance.




Clarity is an important part of what The Ranch seeks to impart to its guests and, as is often the case, the challenges of the program are a matter of a perception. After all: who wouldn’t relish a break from one’s routine to escape to a world of daily nature walks, yoga, and specially prepared 5-star healthy meals? The daily massages from their highly trained and experienced team wouldn’t go amiss, either. SUPERTRAVEL


Naturally, the results extend beyond a change in mindset. Women and men routinely lose 3-6% of their body weight, we are told, along with substantial inches of fat loss and muscle gain, and improved cholesterol levels. An important part of guests’ experience is their ability to see – as well as feel – the results. It is for that reason that the team at The Ranch weigh and measure guests pre and post stay so they can see the changes they’ve

made in their bodies during their time at the Retreat. Medical testing is included as part of the retreat through Bod Pods and cholesterol testing, which allows guests to assess – in data-driven terms – where they are on the road to healthy and balanced living.At a time when we are confronted with a ‘tyranny of choice’, The Ranch stands out for its ‘no options philosophy’. While relinquishing control is one of the most challenging things one

can do – especially over oneself – the results speak for themselves in this instance. Guests return from The Ranch with a renewed sense of what it means to be healthy. They take the benefits of living in the moment, with a truly balanced lifestyle, and carry that forward as part of their daily routines. It’s a testimony to the transformative power of the place that guests want to take their experience with them wherever they go after they leave. ■

{ For more information on The Ranch Malibu, visit }


“Bizarre travel plans are dancing lessons from God.” KURT VONNEGUT




Anax Resort & Spa { Mykonos, Greece }


nax is an independently-owned five-star resort that graces the shores of the idyllic Mykonos. Part of the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea, the island is known to some for its beach parties and nightlife. Those who have had the pleasure of experiencing a traditional Mykonian welcome, however, tell a different tale. Unfettered by the expectations of mass market tourism, there are those on the island who see the island for what it truly is: a haven of natural beauty, a palimpsest of glorious antiquity and a benchmark for outstanding hospitality. On the waterfront of the picturesque Agios Ioannis sits something very special. Anax, which means ‘king’ in Ancient Greek, combines a passion for traditional Greek hospitality with a thoroughly contemporary approach. The resort and spa offers a truly



authentic Mykonos experience within the most luxurious of settings. Here, wellness is about more than living the good life. Anax offers only the very best of local food, hospitality and spa treatments but, more than that, it is set apart by its unwavering commitment to excellence in service. “Anax is a chance for me to be able to express my personality and do things a little differently,” says Evgenia Rather Kousathana, the owner and general manager of the hotel. “Growing up in New York but being, in fact, Mykonian helped to make me “person- sensitive” - that is, empathetic to the needs of an individual rather than to people, or “clients”, as a general term. Superlative service is the number one goal we have here at Anax.” As such, and unlike corporate-owned hotels, Anax is entirely the achievement

of Evgenia and her husband and coowner, Thanasis Kousathanas. “Mykonos involves generations of local families whose expertise is hospitality”, Evgenia tells us. Previously, they had worked together at the Resorts of Mykonos hotels, a collection owned by Thanasis’ family. In 2007, he discovered an opportunity to buy land in Agios Ioannis and fulfil a shared dream of an independently operated hotel. “We wanted to build a sanctuary where one can come and forget their worries and just enjoy the beauty of our island,” Evgenia says. Over the next five years, the resort became reality. Combining an innovative approach to Cycladic architecture and beautiful, sumptuous interiors, Anax captures the eternal allure of the island lifestyle. Contemporary furniture and art pieces, hand-picked by Evgenia and Thanasis, invoke the aesthetic spirit of





Mykonos. The pair describe their island idyll as “intimate, private and secure”, testimony to their aspirations of conjuring a destination that surpasses world class. Famed interior designer Antonis Martinos was intimately involved throughout the project, and became like family to Evgenia and Thanasis. With its noble archways and pure white interiors, punctuated by discreet, effortless touches of colour, Anax is designed for the unashamedly elitist - those who demand a lifestyle that is aesthetically balanced, entertaining and sumptuously relaxing all at the same time. The magnificent infinity pool, designed by Aude Mazelin, raises up the crystalline Aegean ocean. At night its tranquil waters are speckled with light, lowering the cosmos to your feet. At the right hand of every great king (‘anax’) is his queen (‘anasa’). The Anasa Spa is a tranquil sanctum that complements the experience of the hotel itself. Guests are spoiled for choice with SUPERTRAVEL


signature therapies, all to the soothing sound of the lapping waves. The holistic spa treatment begins with a full back massage to induce a state of relaxation; followed by an anti-oxidant salt peel; and finishes with a Dead Sea mud application. New to Anasa is the Cleopatra Gold face-mask: a uniquely opulent treatment with pure 24 carat gold and natural plant extracts. The pure gold penetrates the layers of keratin, deep beneath the skin, impeding collagen deterioration and restoring one’s youthful glow. Also taking inspiration from the Egyptian queen is a therapy that utilises donkey’s milk to restore one’s youthful beauty. This face and body treatment uses a powerful elixir of natural ingredients that are rich in vitamins, minerals and proteins. These, and many more, are representative of Anax’s wellness ethos, which avoids prescriptive fitness regimens or medical diagnoses. Rather, it is

about beautifying body and soul with pampering, enriching treatments. Complementing the Anasa spa are a fully equipped fitness centre, sauna and Hamam. At the resort’s two bars and restaurant, guests can savour the finest in Greek and Mediterranean cuisine. There is a venue for every meal and mood, each with a stunning view of the sea. At the stylish Lumina, cocktails both familiar and exotic go hand in hand with the perfect setting for intimate, stimulating conversation. Indulge in casual outdoor dining at the Neraki bar, from refreshing breakfasts to an all-day menu of fresh salads, and lounge by the scintillating pool. The Kyma restaurant offers upscale Greek cuisine from a truly excellent culinary team – specialities include lamb, octopus and traditional desserts. All freshly made from organic, local ingredients and produce.

As is customary for hoteliers, Evgenia tells us that her goal for Anax is to create a sense of loyalty in her guests so that they want to return time and time again. The difference is that for some, this goal represents mere marketing pragmatism. When Evgenia speaks, however, there is an unmistakeable sense that there is more to it than that. Anax is a personal vision come to life; a mirage incarnate in an enthralling setting. Evgenia and Thanasis want to share that vision with the world. The emphasis they put on genuine Mykonian hospitality, over and above well-worn (and often soulless) corporate service, gives them the confidence of bringing guests under their spell. In this part of the Aegean, people once claimed that that no-one could resist the sirens’ call. Nowadays, not even kings could fail to be charmed by the delights of Anax. ■



oh Samui is one of the most exotic and desirable destinations in the world, famed for its unrivalled beauty and exclusivity. On its northern shore is Villa Riva, a unique and truly exceptional property, built by its owner on a cliff overlooking a cove and its beach, ensuring maximum privacy in addition to spectacular views.

The villa consists of a small number of selfcontained pavilions, artfully positioned amid tropical gardens, and a staggering 32-metre infinity pool with built in whirlpool Jacuzzi. Lest the description sounds somewhat familiar (most villas we feature being extremely high spec), take a moment to admire the fusion architecture: pagoda-style roofs, vaulted ceilings, full height

Villa Riva { Koh Samui, Thailand }




windows and the clever dialogue between traditional Thai and contemporary Asian styles.

The 8 bedroom suites (including a dedicated children’s room) are all individually designed and furnished.

This dialogue is also reflected in the interiors: locally outsourced natural materials, such as teak and Mai Dang timbers, lava stone and Thai crafted pieces blend effortlessly with high end Balinese and Burmese furniture, iconic brands and new tech facilities throughout.

The semi-private beach below is flanked by rocks, offering seclusion and a natural rock pool (accessibility subject to tides). Villa Riva is of course fully staffed, with its own multi-lingual manager and a trained chef, as well as private transportation.

As you would expect it, the villa sports its own floodlit tennis court, but also the increasingly popular private cinema room. A private tennis coach or yoga teacher, personal trainer, massage therapist or beauty consultant can be arranged on request.



The 5-star concierge service can arrange any number of activities from golfing nearby to a full range of water sports, elephant rides, ATV safaris and temple visits. Above all, the villa is a private home and this is nowhere more evident than in its art gallery that hosts the owner’s

private collection and at the same time promotes local artists. It is said that every house has its own soul and in Villa Riva this is defined by a sense of timeless serenity and the kind of “kick off your shoes” comfort that makes you want to never stray off its luxuriant grounds. The owners have been careful not to over-landscape the grounds, in fact, ensuring that disruption to nature is minimal and allowing it to tell its own glorious story, in concert with some of the most dramatic sunsets over a bay you are ever likely to experience. ■

{ Villa Riva Samui 90/11 Moo 6, Maenam, 84330 Koh Samui, Thailand T: (66) 061-959-4422 / (66)081-421-35 E: }


Maradiva Villas Resort & Spa { Mauritius }


n a lush 27-acre setting with the turquoise waters of Tamarin Bay lapping the white sandy beach, the 65 villas of Maradiva Villas Resort & Spa are at the heart of a vibrant tropical garden, ideally situated for coral diving, big game fishing, world-class golf and national parks. Inspired by the colonial residences of the sugar cane plantation owners, each villa, equips with private pool, features Hermès wallpaper and amenities, a tranquil living and dining area, a butler service upon request to ensure that every guest need is met. Our holistic spa, awarded at the Seven Stars Global Luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle Awards in October 2016, is a combination of the wisdom and heritage of the Asian philosophies of wellness and well-being. We offer healing, yoga and meditation sessions mastered by accomplished scholar,



authentic Ayurveda treatments, and exclusive signature services. The philosophy of Maradiva Spa is intrinsically rooted in Indian and Asian ancient approach to wellness. We believe our treatments enhances the positive flow of energy by treating mind and body naturally and holistically. With a large infinity swimming pool, three a la carte dining rooms and several dining options, fitness centre, and over 200 staff members dedicated to serving its guests, this ‘All Villa Resort’ offers world class facilities, the personalised service of a family owned and managed resort and the epitome of Mauritian Hospitality. Guests may opt to relax and enjoy the facilities offered by the resort or venture out to experience the authentic Mauritian culture and the natural wonders of the island. ■





Dr Daniel Sister’s

Anti-Aging City Clinics The ageing process on the face is multi factorial. It causes damage to the dermis and epidermis with decreased collagen, elastin, skin, fatty layers, number of cells and the extra cellular matrix. This in turn leads to changes in skin texture, firmness, radiance, volume, flexibility and the appearance of wrinkles.

But the ageing process is more than this—it is a complex interaction between varieties of facial elements, which occurs like a domino effect. And it happens in four main facial layers: skin, fat, muscles, and bones. The amount of fat that decreases with age causes a deflated effect, which leads to volume loss andthe hydrating and elastic functions of the skin don’t work as efficiently. The fibroblasts producing elastin, collagen and hyaluronic acid work better when they are under a degree of stretch. The bony facial skeleton changes. The nose and the eye sockets increase by 20% in size with age and the infra orbital region physically moves backwards so the holes are not only bigger, but are also pushed back.




The presence of hyaluronic acid (HA) in the skin declines over

eye pigmentation, along with the jaw line and into the naso labial

the years, resulting in a loss of moisture, elasticity, firmness

folds. It can further be injected into the cheeks, crow’s feet, neck

and volume. Signs of natural skin ageing become apparent with

bands and the lines between the eyebrows. Finally the remaining

wrinkles, loss of volume in the cheeks and thinning lips.

product is rubbed into the skin through the micro injection points using a glove.

When a patient is injected with hyaluronic acid we do re-create volume and by creating more tension more hydration is

PLATELET RICH PLASMA (PRP) is not a volumetric filler,

achieved. Unfortunately, the effects are temporary, short

but a biological cell therapy using the patient’s own platelets

lasting and somehow HA does not re-create what is continuously

and enriched plasma that enhances cell proliferation

disappearing. The ageing phenomenon of the face is not limited

over the short term. PRP also stimulates the bone cells,

to collagen, fibroblasts but also to bone loss on which HA does

improving bone resorption. Moreover the different

not have any effect.

growth factors will also improve blood circulation in the treated area. PRP is defined as a HIGH concentration of the patient’s blood

Dr Sister, a renowned anti-aging expert has developed a new non-invasive skin rejuvenation treatment based on injecting a combination of platelet plasma, hyaluronic and succinic acid.

Platelet Plasma with hyaluronic Acid and Succinic Acid: the new gold standard

PLATELETS in a SMALL volume of Plasma.

HA (hyaluronic acid) As most aesthetic practitioners are aware, injecting HA into the skin stimulates the restoration of the dermis by increasing the amount of collagen (through fibroblast stimulation) in the skin, which promotes improved water retention to volumise the skin

Platelet Rich Plasma improves the dermal-epidermal layer of the

at various levels.

skin and boosts collagen formation thanks to the growth factors present in the plasma.

Dr Sister offers a full range of noninvasive and minimally invasive anti-aging treatments, including: Botox, Carboxy Therapy, Chemical Peels, Dermal Fillers, Hormone Therapy/Balancing, Surgery-free Neck Lift, Plexr Plasma Soft Surgery System for blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), eye bags, face and neck lifts, removing moles, treating scars and removing stretch marks and Weight Loss/Management (full list on Dr Sister has clinics in London, Oslo and Guernsey

HA also directly attracts water into the skin to further increase skin turgor and hydration. This reduces the visible signs of ageing,

Hyaluronic Acid associated with succinic acid equally improves the

such as fine lines and loose skin.

collagen formation with an added action on the skin pigmentation and elasticity.

When combined, HA and sodium succinate lead to the restoration of cells, an increase in skin elasticity, firmness and tightness,



Mixing the three ingredients together, the treatment can be

improved colour and texture, as well as a reduction in the signs

Injected under the eyes to improve the eye socket and the under

of ageing and fatigue. ■


The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it. SYDNEY J. HARRIS





Tan-Giroud If you like your tycoons 20th century style: loudly assertive, accessory-laden and grandiloquent, you’d miss Abigail Tan-Giroud in a blink and at your peril. In a blink, because she looks improbably young, unassuming, and almost fragile in her great big hotel just off Tottenham Court Rd, London. At your peril, because underestimating her in business, and most specifically in the business of hospitality, would be a serious mistake. The hotel is one of many in the St Giles Group, itself part of IGB Corp, headed by Robert Tan. Abigail, his daughter and a third generation scion of Malaysia’s eponymous real estate dynasty, has literally lived and breathed the hospitality business since she was a toddler who had a precocious fascination with hotels. She is one of a new breed of family empire builders who were educated in Europe or/and the US and who have learnt the business from the bottom up, leading the expansion, bestowing their own vision and thinking as custodians rather than profligate heirs of old.




Some people collect art; others collect antiques or wine, or just experiences. The Tan family collect hotels. In the last few years they have been expanding their portfolio through acquisitions in the United States and the Caribbeans, as well as in London and Abigail is in charge of this expansion. As is often the case with successful and driven individuals, it’s her ability to wear different hats that impresses: dealing with and reigning in contractors, hiring staff receptive to her work ethos and ultimately building a brand for the 21st century.

“We collect hotels”

The brand strategy is based on a simple value proposition: offering top service at sensible prices. Beyond that, the finer touches are a reflection of Abigail Tan-Giroud’s vision and sensibilities. Like many modern women of her background and generation, she has broken the mould of the traditional heiress with concepts such as social impact, sustainability and community writ large across her plans for the brand. She says St Giles employees are trained to think as a team of equals and to take collective responsibility for everything at the hotels. This community spirit carries over to guest engagement – the St Giles group developed the first ever user-generated VR campaign in the hospitality

industry, a digital platform for creative expression that showcases guests’ travel experiences, shot as 360 ° videos in the hotels’ immediate vicinities. The motto Be Central embodies the spirit of the hotel group with its strong appeal to the contemporary urbanite but also, its strive to preserve the cultural authenticity of each property in the portfolio. Carbon and social footprints are a 21st century preoccupation and while many of us do little more than vent some existentialist angst about it, Abigail Tan-Giroud seems acutely aware of the social impact large hotels have on the local community. Expect the future St Giles foundation in the UK to engage disenfranchised youth and train them in the hotels and restaurant kitchens. Expect the large wall spaces to showcase local artistic talent. Expect the St Giles brand to carve its place in the major hotel league. What can we expect of Abigail Tan-Giroud herself? She may be a slip of a girl, but like a true chip off the old block, she is blazing trails just as her grandfather, who made the Tan fortunes, once did. She remembers him fondly and I daresay he is looking down on her with an equal measure of fondness and pride. ■

Doris Hangartner The Total Gem Experience { Zurich, Switzerland }


oris Hangartner is a gemmologist, which is immediately evident when you set eyes on her selection of semiprecious stones. She is also a fabulous designer and someone who understands that our relationship with gems is very personal and very sensual.


Have you ever looked at a beautiful gem and felt it was so beautiful, it’s almost edible? Has the multi-colour nuancing evoked an abstract painting? Have you almost detected its scent? If you have, you would understand the Hangartner concept which is, to all intents and purposes, the full Monte of sensations: there is the aspect of the gems, exquisitely cut and set with



unerring flair; there is the artistic aspect, with a special stone matching the painting that inspired it set in a frame ; then there is the scent and lastly, the handmade Swiss chocolate that accompanies the Hangartner series. For gem lovers this could not get more personal and more comprehensibly immersive.


Hangartner is a consummate professional with a clean aesthetic approach and a strong contemporary bias. Her collection offers a complete departure from the staleness of traditional jewellery that often emphasises the wearer’s age, placing instead an emphasis on the beauty of the gem and its cut.




The large statement pieces with cabochon-cut moonstone or peridot, or a massive single pearl with its subtle palette of colour nuances are to die for, and at the same time positioning the wearer firmly as an empowered modern woman.

The quirky carbon-set rings are works of art in their own right. For those with a preference for the more traditional, Hangartner has created stunning rings and earrings, once again emphasising the quality of the gems, ensuring they look anything but dated.

The extent of the collection is phenomenal: from jade to red spinel, virtually the full span of precious gems, at their absolute best and cut either brilliant or cabochon style, are represented.

This is a visually stunning, streamlined jewellery series that steers firmly clear of the clichĂŠs and allows you to enjoy wearing your gem investment on your sleeve as it were.


To compliment your ring, earrings (many of which are two-tiered in the sense that they deconstruct into two pieces), pendant, chocker, bracelet, etc., you can purchase you favourite gem in a display with a work of contemporary art by Lisa Sharpe. You get a box of utterly divine chocolates reflecting the particular gems of the collection and a fabulous scent, formulated and packaged specially for Doris Hangartner by a perfume expert. â–


“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” ANDRE GIDE




Winnie Chiu

Meeting Winnie Chiu is something of a breathtaking experience. It’s not just the high-octane energy field she seems to inhabit, nor necessarily the sheer breadth of her activities, or the staccato monologue that pours out of her (she can pack a phenomenal amount of information in the space of a few minutes), punctuated by her work ethic and business strategy commentary – rather, it’s the jaw-dropping realisation that in the space of a few years she has accomplished enough to rival many a grey-haired tycoon.




The Hong Kong-born, UK-educated business administration graduate could have easily taken the “scenic route” through life– she is a scion and heiress apparent of the Far East Consortium Chiu dynasty. Instead, having worked for Credit Suisse post-graduation and toyed with the offer of heading their operations in Japan or Malaysia, she threw her formidable energy and passion into developing one of Kuala Lumpur’s most affluent shopping malls in Malaysia, which was part of a mixed development comprising 2 blocks of serviced apartments, retail shops as well as offices. Not only was she overseeing the construction of it, but also tenant occupancy which she increased several-fold in the 3 months preceding the grand opening.

she outlines her strategy with the impressive precision and foresight of a hard-boiled entrepreneur. ‘Know your customer’ is an adage many ignore when mapping out the shiny path to a successful project. Not Winnie Chiu – she unpacks the Chinese consumer market for you in a few short minutes and if you ever thought that the middle was not profitable enough, think again – she just reinvented it. Her 4-star city hotels cater to a new generation of Asian travellers who prefer to spend on brands than on hotel suites and grand ballroom splendour. She makes sure that their hotel card comes pre-loaded with discounts, perks and a Handy mobile phone with loads of data, so that they don’t have to pay for roaming.

Reader, sit back! Winnie Chiu was just 23 at that time. The narrative flow moves at vertiginous pace on to the building of her Dorsett brand, a group of some 32 hotels in Asia, Europe and now Australia. Somewhere in between she also managed to establish a vastly successful burger chain operation in HK which she sold in order to focus on building more hotels. Lest you are tempted to dismiss her Monopoly-like expansion as a post-Brexit asset acquisition exercise,



Loyalty, as you can imagine, is high, especially as she finds the time to do her own customer research, listening to guests’ comments in hotel lifts and at breakfast, and taking note. The London Dorsett Shepherds Bush Hotel will soon have a sister, the Dorsett City in Aldgate, launching in 2017 and her Australia operation includes, in addition to hotel expansion, partnering with a Sydney-based casino giant.

BBeyond’s focus is, of course, on philanthropy and this one of the reasons why we have chosen to profile Chiu. She is one of these transformational philanthrocapitalists who approaches every non-profit project with a strategic business outlook, but from the position of the donor or sponsor, understanding that charity giving has to be a win-win proposition. One of the youngest ever members of the board of governors of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Society, she was instrumental in rebranding the HK Phil, making it more relevant to her own generation. Volunteering to direct the orchestra for a few minutes for a full stage performance would have been a major challenge for her, but raised considerable funds and has since become anecdotal. She is extremely passionate about her work on the executive committee of The Academy for Performing Arts and the opportunities that cultural exchange in general offers young people. In fact, she is a tremendous giver to young people – not just in terms of funding a variety of educational programs and scholarships, but in dedicating her own time. Mentoring and teaching, from business to

basic job interview skills, Chiu has earned some heavy weight credentials on the philanthropy stakes precisely because she takes this personally. Anyone can open their wallet, but how many of us would offer our time? Ultimately, she says, the lesson is cross-generational and cross-societal: none of us has an entitlement to anything; if we want to succeed, we have to put in the work. Listening to her, I cannot help but wonder what she does for fun. The question seems to take her by surprise because she simply doesn’t know how to stand still. When pressed, she conceded spending a couple of hours at the Royal Academy, indulging a passion for art. BBeyond is privileged to meet some of the most outstanding people on the planet. Winnie Chiu, an attractive 30 something and a natural born leader, is incredibly impressive and inspirational. Impressive, because of her mastery both of the finer detail and the overall picture – her grasp of the market and vision for the future are nothing short of staggering. Inspirational, because, well beyond understanding the rules of wealth oblige, she has positioned herself as a game changer on the philanthropy stakes. ■


Legendary Expeditions { Tanzania, Africa }


hose who love the majestic wilderness of Africa (and those who are yet to discover it) know that not all safaris are equal. The cue for the featured Tanzania specialist is in the name: Legendary Expeditions. For the expeditions to be legendary, they need to have a distinguishing characteristic, in addition to taking you on the greatest experience still available to man today (“still”, because the natural habitat of some of the most magnificent animals on earth is shrinking).



Legendary Expeditions offers two diametrically opposed concepts fused in a package that has a once-in-alifetime quality about it: exclusivity and conservation. Offering a 5 star accommodation and associated services in the great wilderness may come across as counter intuitive to committed conservationists, but it becomes possible through a number of factors. For starters, Legendary Expeditions have sole access to 3.4 million acres of prime

wilderness. Guests have the freedom to roam and explore as they wish: each couple, group, solo traveller or family is allocated their own private vehicle and guide at no extra cost, which means they are free to make up their own schedule. ‘There is no limit – bar respect and consideration for the environment, of course – on activities: no fixed departure or return times, and no rules holding them back from offroad driving, night game drives, flycamping, sumptuous three-course

bush dinners, exploring the bush on foot, skimming the treetops in a helicopter, interacting with ancient indigenous tribes… The company’s mobile, Legendary Serengeti Camp offers year-round access to the Great Migration and draws on a long history of safari-going to recreate the adventure spirit of the original explorers. All this is a fortunate by-product of a wider effort to contribute toward the





“Appreciating and affirming the value of the wilderness areas that we protect, and making memories associated with them and talking about them to friends back home all ensures the longevity of these precious places.”



conservation of Tanzania’s wild places. Legendary Expeditions lease protected areas from the government and, through the Friedkin Conservation Fund, engage in community development with the local population, practice intensive anti-poaching, and conduct research and monitoring of these efforts and of the wildlife there.

The Friedkin Conservation Fund works to engage rural communities in the conservation of their natural heritage through education programs and the promotion of sustainable livelihoods and anti-poaching initiatives. It also monitors, researches and facilitates initiatives in sustainable utilization of natural resources.

The Friedkin Conservation Fund was established in 1994 for the purpose of conserving more than 3.4 million acres of Tanzania’s protected wildlife areas through anti-poaching operations and working in close partnership with the Wildlife Division of Tanzania and other national law enforcement agencies. The Fund sponsors and oversees community development projects in conjunction with neighbouring village communities.

Legendary Expeditions’ guests are encouraged to partake in these impact philanthropy initiatives through visiting conservation areas and the communities they support. It facilitates cultural experiences with the Datoga, walks with the Hadzabe hunter-gatherers, and football games with local children who attend the schools supported by the Friedkin Conservation Fund.

The Friedkin Conservation Fund also manages a purpose-built Geographic Information System (GIS) and database for mapping and research, to complement their anti-poaching and community development efforts.

Appreciating and affirming the value of the wilderness areas that we protect, and making memories associated with them and talking about them to friends back home all ensures the longevity of these precious places.

Each itinerary is custom-created and tailored to the individual client but the experience is made all the more memorable by the guides who each have their own unique and engaging personality. What they have in common is a deep respect for the wilderness and its inhabitants, and a sense of pride in Tanzania’s rich natural heritage. They are major stakeholders in the conservation efforts. Nostalgia apart, safaris hold an enduring attraction and in fact, an ever-increasing allure for those whose lives revolve around the digital and/ or urban space, spinning dangerously away from nature. The ability to reconnect with raw, primeval and unvarnished wilderness at its purest in Tanzania, one of the most unspoilt countries in the world, is an experience Legendary Expeditions does in exceptional style. ■


Dromoland Castle { Clare, Ireland }


n the west coast of Newmarket-onFergus, County Clare, Dromoland Castle is a retreat that is at once unashamedly opulent but reassuringly welcoming. Originally built in the 16th century, it is one of the grand dames of the Irish castles - and the kind of idyllic escape most people could only dream of.

Set on the magical shores of Lough Dromoland, the castle’s demesne includes over 450 acres and enjoys dreamy views of the Irish countryside. The recreational activities on offer are plentiful and include: access to a worldclass, championship parkland golf course; horse riding; fishing; falconry; archery; and myriad hiking trails. Outside of Dromoland Castle’s facilities, the hotel’s proximity to The Cliffs of Moher, Bunratty Castle, Folk Park – and its inclusion in the Wild Atlantic Way – make it an exciting departure point for the adventurous.




For more sedate guests, a spa with six treatment rooms – and many tantalising offerings - two dedicated mani-pedi rooms, and a gazebo-covered outdoor hydro-pool, are sure to fulfill the most demanding of relaxation requests. The castle also lays claim to a fantastic restaurant; an epicurean’s paradise, the gastronomic odyssey here is nothing short of exciting. A Michelin-star quality and 5 star restaurant, the Earl of Thomond Restaurant has won many accolades and endless guest endorsements. (For those in a decadent mood, the chef is on hand to curate a bespoke menu for private picnics and events.) Alternatively, there is the splendid drawing room where guests can indulge in the traditional afternoon tea experience. Dromoland is as impressive in its furnishings as it is with its abundant, romantic offerings. Lavish, velveteen interiors and enchanting libraries, replete with antique and modern classics, are only the most obvious examples of the castle’s munificence. The rooms have been updated to a fresh, modern standard, yet compliment and even embrace the historical charm. This truly is a hotel to indulge the senses and discover a state of well-being. ■




“I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” ROBERT FROST




Maçakizi { Bodrum, Turkey }


açakizi - the Queen of Spades in Turkish - is the maturest hotel in trendy Bodrum; the life's work of an enterprising visionary. It is also one of the finest examples of laidback luxury we have experienced. A thoroughly contemporary aesthetic, impeccable hospitality, and the natural beauty of the landscape itself make for a world-class retreat. Sahir Erozan has spent much of his life in hospitality. Indeed, the hotel's name and ethos is a tribute to his mother, whose own establishment attracted the great and the good. As a young man Erozan discovered an untouched little cove, within the undeveloped bay of northern Bodrum, to call his own. Over the years he has carefully cultivated,



refined and expanded Maçakizi, both as an establishment and a concept. Today, the walls and walkways bloom with a kaleidoscopic profusion of flowers, and purple bougainvillea cascades in great tresses from arbours of thick, lignified vines. Much like the man himself, the hotel has a relaxed, confidant vibe; it belies a meticulousness and unceasing dedication to the guests' comfort. Every detail – from the expansive, open-plan architecture to the selection of artwork hanging in each room - reflects a singular aesthetic that is at once very cool but also homely. The staff is similarly attentive – there is always someone on hand, with an earnest smile and swift to help out.


A typical day begins with a buffet breakfast in the dining area/lounge, the morning sun tempered by a gentle sea breeze. We particularly recommend the prepared granola bowl with fresh yoghurt and chia, but one can create their own with all sorts of cereals, fruits, nuts and seeds. More indulgent is a tasty selection of fresh pastries – our favourite was a walnut and tahini cookie SUPERTRAVEL


- and Turkish cheeses. Afterwards, a visit to the waterfront is a must. From the promenade you can slip straight into the sea: the water, cool and briny, caresses the shoreline and is perfect for swimming or just floating. The spa offers both the traditional Turkish hamam and beauty treatments by NUXE. Massages, either individual or

as a couple, can be taken in a secluded part of the gardens. For those who haven't fallen into a state of lethargy, there are both private and group yoga classes; and the well-equipped gym also offers personal training. Wellness junkies, however, might investigate The LifeCo Bodrum. Just five minutes' walk from Maçakizi, this detox and rejuvenation centre offers a wide

variety of therapies and comprehensive, extended-stay treatment plans. In the evening, dinner is a suitably light affair, with a pared-back Mediterranean cuisine of simple, yet bold flavours. The wine list is exhaustive, of course, but the regionally produced Isabey Sauvignon Blanc was particularly good this year. The hotel fosters a lively, social

atmosphere with two bar areas, and frequently hosts wedding parties. We experienced a particularly exuberant one first hand, carrying on late into the morning after, which ended with a collective jump into the sea.

water nor an overdeveloped mess; and the vast, green-and-ochre landscape by the pristine sea remains picturesque. It's an ideal time for first-time discoverers, or for those looking for a more authentic kind of experience.

Bodrum, as an international luxury destination, is relatively young but rapidly developing. It's neither a back-

Maçakizi, ahead of its time and all the more easy-going for knowing it, is the quintessential heart of it all. ■





Grace Hotel G

race Hotel Panama is part of a group owned by the Logothetis Greek shipping family. Its modern entrance announces a 5 star hotel and stepping inside, you are instantly crossing the bridge between the continent’s less salubrious aspects and ultra-high end hospitality. Marble, marble, marble everywhere underscores the hotel’s opulence and the rooms have breathtaking views of this incredible city of skyscrapers through floor to ceiling windows. We could catch a glimpse of the swimming pool area just on the floor below ours, gleaming in the sun and overlooking the glass buildings all the way to the bay. The lofty reception area of Grace houses its main restaurant where we had both dinner and buffet style breakfast. Dinner was seafood themed, with a grilled octopus salad, followed by tuna carpaccio with mustard, soya and sesame seeds dressing, grilled sea bass with mustard coating, while our




{ Panama City }

guest Veronica Vallerino had a seafood ceviche with a glass of Argentinia Malbec. My travel companion had an outstanding Chilean white, while I indulged my passion for micheladas. A nice touch at the Grace is the Greekborn manager stopping by to introduce himself and have a chat with the guests. A well-travelled man, with exhaustive first-hand knowledge of Central and South America, he would be your best one stop shop for any type of advice related to your tourist or business visit. Breakfast at the Grace is, as you would expect, quite delicious, with a variety of fresh fruit juices and smoothies, smoked salmon and caper garnished cocktail spoons, local specialities and pastries, and of course great coffee. If you are travelling across the continent, or even if you are in Panama for a short visit, it is quite the most civilised place to stay at and that’s saying a lot coming from a team that has had its share of indulgences. ■





Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop. OVID




Four Seasons


{ Bogota, Colombia }


he hotel is split in two, in the sense that it occupies two buildings, within 15 minutes drive of each other. We stayed in the modern building, located in what we discovered was the most vibrant and trendy part of town. This is a relatively small hotel (just 69 rooms), in a distinctive red brick building, beautifully renovated inside and out. The rooms are suite size, with an island wardrobe area beyond which is the glass encased shower room and free-standing washbasin mini-station. The beds are king size and extremely comfortable; service impeccable and friendly.



The hotel has a spa on the lower ground floor, with a full size gym, treatment and steam rooms. The lobby is where the heart and soul of the hotel are. A walk-through area, comprising indoor and open air lounging spaces, a street level covered terrace, and the breakfast room with a green wall atrium beyond complete this ensemble, allowing guests to pick and choose where they want to have a drink or a meal. Just opposite is the Brasserie, a European style, super-trendy eaterie, and next door, an Italian restaurant,

both very smart and sophisticated, with an affluent clientele. In fact, smart and sophisticated, with a great buzz to it is a description that would fit the whole area, teeming with elegant boutiques, shopping malls, designer wear and countless fresh fruit smoothie bars. Bogota is a tourist-friendly city, even though the underlying danger, mostly of pickpockets, is still there. We never once felt threatened, in spite of discreet warnings, and spent hours walking around. The area of the museums (Bottero and del Oro) has many bars and shops selling gems, primarily the country’s mined gem, emerald. â–





Four Seasons

Bahrain { Manama, Bahrain }


f the title does not persuade you of the lavishness of this hotel, then we’ll further explain: the FS Bahrain is, in fact, owned by a member of the Bahraini royal family. Palatial in proportions and with an attention to the detail to match, the hotel is quite unlike anything we’ve ever seen (or stayed in). The gigantic lobby, with giant marble slabs framing the large open windows is the general reception-cum-lobby area and sees a bevvy of sophisticated



Fit for a King

looking guests and visitors lounging around in the opulent space, which is adorned with olive trees, quirky art and kooky adornments. Equally impressive are the rooms. Everything seems to be supersized: from the King-size bed to the all-marble expansive bathrooms. Particularly noticeable was the tasteful art placed within the full length mirror and the super plush (and comfortable) beds. The view, too, is equally awesome, with

rooms overlooking the city of Manama from the comfort of a private island. The hotel is complex-style in the sense that, due to its large scale, it boasts several restaurant and entertainment areas. We loved the outdoor pool area. With an infinity pool that traces the edge of the Manamian river – that leads to the ocean – it’s as if you’re swimming through the city. There is a cool terrace


area with canopies for guests to while away the time or take meetings. Enticing dishes such as the quinoa, shrimp and avocado salad, or the cheesy nachos, threaten to take up your time as you indulge in a long afternoon feast. Equally tempting is the bar which has the Middle Eastern charm of allowing smokers inside – the perfect environment for a glass of wine and cigar in the late hours. Another highlight for the gourmand is the breakfast. Almost to the point of bursting, the breakfast is replete with every kind of breakfast offering – from typical Middle Eastern style, to Continental, to Asian. It is a breakfast fit for a king and one that will leave you not only pleasantly full but utterly satisfied. A hotel, in short, we will surely be returning to! ■ SUPERTRAVEL



Hotel Excelsior Lido { Venice, Italy }


f you’re looking for a magical stay in Venice, then this fairytale hotel ticks all the boxes.

Set apart from the main Venetian Lagoon on the island Lido, which was once the home of the Doge of Venice, Hotel Excelsior Lido is a mere 15 minutes from St. Mark’s Square. Its proximity to, yet removal from, all of the Venetian landmarks and tourist attractions makes it an attractive choice for guests who value privacy, discretion and enjoy a little dolce far niente. The hotel itself is an architectural masterpiece; a Venetian palace in a Belle Epoque style fused with Moorish elements. We loved the grandeur and appreciated the ubiquitous Italian elegance; subtle, but well-defined. The large lobby, for instance, is very spacious with only two magnificent lion sculptures and a handful of sofas adorning it. There is a soft and languid air that thus pervades the hotel lobby, tinted with an air of magic and adventure.



Also notable is the cool design throughout: the aqua blue bar, green-roof terraces, lime green bedrooms and the most romantic, ivy-clad private jetty. If you’re looking for adventure, it’s not far. Guests can explore the sandbar that is Lido or hop on a complimentary motorboat ride to Venice. Alternatively, Murano (home to the world famous glass) and the other Venetian islands are a short ride from the main boat terminal. Possibly our favourite feature of the hotel however is its very own private beach where you can take a refreshing dip, the perfect antidote to a long day in the centre. The Hotel Excelsior Lido opened in 1908 with 3,000 guests from all over the world flying in for the event. Today, not much has changed. We visited during the Ferragosto on August 15th only to be witness to a feast that rivalled Belshazzar’s and a festive after party as only the Italians know how. The hotel has long been home to razzmatazz - with the first ever Venice Film Festival in 1932 being held on its terrace – and it still is today. ■





Some of the secret joys of living are not found by rushing from point A to point B, but by inventing some imaginary letters along the way. DOUGLAS PAGELS These Are the Gifts I’d Like to Give to You




Armani Hotel Milano { Milan, Italy }

“I love things that age well - things that don’t date, that stand the test of time and that become living examples of the absolute best.” GIORGIO ARMANI


f you like your hotels like you like designer clothes, then step into the world of Armani. The Armani Hotel in Milan has been perfectly tailored, showcasing the best in Italian elegance. Above and next to the Armani store on Via Alessandro Manzoni and in the fashion district, the hotel is in the heart of Milan. We loved the sleek, minimalist design of the hotel. Minimalism, or perhaps



the old adage that less is more, is the essence here. The hotel features state-of-the-art technology throughout. With a touch of a button you can turn off everything in your room and draw the curtains. With minimal effort you can order room service via the in-room ipad. Following this theme, the meals are small but presented like a fashion sketch. The idea, perhaps, mirrors

Michelin star food. But whilst the food at the Armani Hotel is small in portion, it packs a punch in taste. Our room looked over the city and has a vast marble bathroom. Just like the rest of the hotel, it has been designed to somehow mirror a private home, albeit a very grand one. Inasmuch as this is a technology-led hotel, Armani knows that the design is in the details.





We loved the quirky and fun aspects such as the stone shaped glittering toiletries, the rain showers in the bathrooms, the cool and comfortable private terraces that the suites have and the 360 degree view of Milan that you can enjoy in the pool and spa area. It is the subtle but oh-so important



details that breathe freshness into the hotel and set it apart from other design hotels. The hotel is one the best examples of functional and beautiful modernity in Milan and a must-visit for those looking for style, ease and comfort. â–



Rajakarier Everybody in business knows that innovation is key to relevance. In the hospitality industry, innovation is paramount – be it in concept, design or both. Bangkok-based Minor Hotel Group have recently expanded their portfolio into Europe and the UAE, adding trophy brands to their already impressive portfolio and sprucing them up with powerful strides in innovation.



We met with the CEO of the group, Dillip Rajakarier, to discuss the group’s expansion, the current state of play in the hospitality industry, and their future plans. Minor Hotel Group currently operates 146 hotels, resorts, and serviced suites in 22 countries across the Asia Pacific, Middle East, Europe, South America, Africa, and the Indian Ocean. The future goals of the group are perhaps best articulated by the youngest brand in the group: Avani. Avani caters to millennials in the sense that, besides being replete with all the technological devices that one would expect, the properties are as much defined by their smart-casual, cutting-edge contemporary design as by their state-of-the-art technological offerings. 139 SUPERTRAVEL

The Residences at Anantara Phuket

Minor Hotel Group: 5 brands to rule them all Avani is one of 5 brands within the Minor Hotel Group: Avani, Per Aquum, Tivoli, Oaks Hotels and Resorts, and Anantara. The brands espouse a particular identity, each catering to a different age group. Once could say that for each decade of your life the Minor Hotel Group has a type of hotel that will play host to your needs, wants and desires. Without trying to pigeon-hole the brands, as they cater to all audiences, it is the subtle nuances that define them. The Avani brand, launched in 2012, comprises 14 hotels in Botswana, Lesotho, Malaysia, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, and Zambia. Design-led and tech-savvy, these are the hotels that show the greatest promise in terms of defining innovation in the 21st century. Per Aquum launched in 2003. A boutique brand, it has only three properties: Huvafen Fushi and Niyama in the Maldives and Desert Palm in Dubai. Make no mistake though: for such a small group, it is a powerhouse in design and innovation, with The Huvafen Fushi Hotel by PER AQUUM being home to the world’s first underwater spa, LIME. A new resort on the Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar in Tanzania is currently in the works. Oaks Hotels and Resorts: As majority shareholder of the company, Minor Hotel Group oversees the maintenance of properties mostly in Australia and New Zealand, with a small number of sites in the UAE. The Oaks Hotels and Resorts concept is simple but effective: self-contained apartment accommodation.

Tivoli: the latest acquisition of the group. Tivoli is the driving force behind Minor Hotel Group’s expansion into Europe and South America. A recent acquisition (2016), this now adds 14 properties to the MHG portfolio across Portugal and Brazil, with plans in the works to expand further afield.



Anantara is the baby of the group. Founded upon a series of unfortunate events, it now represents the flagship model of the group: combining private residences with the hotel experience. The brand celebrated its 15th anniversary last year, marking a total of 35 hotels across Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The jewel in the crown are the Anantara villas in Phuket. The Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas, palatial in size – the residences go up to 5,000 square feet – offer a unique opportunity to property investors and holidaymakers alike: one can purchase a villa to use at any given time, with the added benefit of being able to lease them out via the Anantara main hotel.

Fine-tuning a concept brand It is Dillip Rajakarier’s astuteness that marks him out as a formidable CEO. Quietly confident and extremely knowledgeable about the hotel industry, he speaks in a relaxed – almost muted – voice, stressing the important facts surrounding the industry at large and MHG’s positioning – both within the general industry and by geographical location.


He is not only aware of all the demands of the consumer, but he actively encourages his team to think – and act – two steps ahead of the curve. He is cognizant of the brand junkies that fly from one branded residence to another. He is sensitive to the demand for ultra-luxurious time-share leases (or, as per the current fad terminology, ‘owner membership clubs’) that have come into demand. He is appreciative not only of the traditional hotel experience that people expect – but also of the heightened demands and expectations driven by frenzied keyboard warriors and social media users. Above all, he is acutely aware of the 30,000-odd hotels operating within the same industry and he makes it a priority of the group to constantly differentiate and innovate within a relentlessly evolving market. Having established the basic consumer wants, it is under Rajakarier’s guidance that they have fine-tuned the hotel experience into three distinct concepts: the residences, the membership club and the hotels themselves. It is an approach that has allowed the group to expand rapidly whilst maintaining a loyal – and growing – customer fanbase. Consciously or otherwise, Rajakarier transmits a sense of calculating opportunism. We ask about future plans and the reply is measured but firm. With the recent expansion into Europe and Oman, Rajakarier is currently scouting out potential areas of interest. Destinations such as the UAE and Cuba come up in conversation, in addition to a potential foray into the UK market.

Weathering the storm With the recent acquisition of Portuguese hotels – and sales from the UK making up a large proportion of their customer base (60%) – does he worry that Brexit will affect business? The answer is an unequivocal ‘no’. Rajakarier states that there are ample historical examples to suggest that whilst global disasters (the Gulf War, for instance) do have an impact on the hospitality industry, their effects are usually short-lived. Property – and specifically, hospitality – is a long term game and not for the faint of heart.



Taking CSR to new heights Whilst the Minor Hotel Group is a market leader in innovative design, tech and brand concept, it sets itself the same standards in its approach to CSR. It is notable that although each hotel brand has its own distinct identity, it is the group’s twin ethe of experiential stays and innovative CSR that brings them together holistically. The Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation, The Mai Khao Turtle Foundation, Adopt-a-Coral, Coral reef rehabilitation projects at PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi and PER AQUUM Niyama are a few examples of CSR efforts dedicated to preserving the environment, the indigenous and a more egalitarian approach to business. A recent acquisition of land in Cambodia saw the group publicise their plans to do exactly nothing with it: rather than build, the group have left the land alone to encourage rehabilitation of the area and to create a new lease of life for a self-sustaining ecosystem. It is this kind of savvy, charitable and respectful attitude that has elevated MHG to a position where it can develop in a sustainable way – both in terms of their current business goals and with an eye on future developments. For those looking to re-create the successful expansion that the Minor Hotel Group has managed, another Dillip Rajakarier will be needed. Taking a leaf out of his and MHG’s book, however, could be the first step to imitating a recipe of success that only a few know how to cook well. ■




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