Connections Luxury Digital Magazine, Issue 3

Page 1


In this issue...














pg. 6

pg. 20










pg. 34








pg. 70

Magazine produced by:

Gemma Fitchett

Head of Marketing & Communications

+44 (0)7771 976 961

Rachel Garlick Senior Marketing Executive

With special thanks to:

Mike Walsh Chief Subeditor

Louise Longman Journalist

Rose Dykins Journalist

Connections Team:

Greg Reeves

Commercial Director

+44 (0)7814 229 681

David Benitez

Head of Business Development

+44 (0)7453 576 041

Evangeline Estrella Head of Operations +44 (0)7971 660 984

Alejandro Roca Head of Buyer Relations +44 (0)7783 993 688

Silvia Pitton Buyer Manager

Saadia Chowdhury Buyer Manager

Jesse Sharp Buyer Manager

Sam Blunsdon Sales Manager

The Connections Magazine is published by Connections, part of the Travel Weekly Group Ltd, 52 Grosvenor Gardens, London, SW1W 0UA. Registered address: 52 Grosvenor Gardens, London, SW1W 0UA. All information stated in the magazine is correct at time of publication. Materials in this publication may not be reproduced in any form without permission. Registered at the Post Office as a newspaper. ISSN 2633-1322. Copyright ©Travel Weekly Groups Ltd 2019. PART OF JACOBS MEDIA GROUP. Cover: Eighty Days Japan Left: Bali by Alfons Taekema


It’s an absolutely stunning day in London. It feels like summer has finally arrived, so I’ve taken the opportunity to write from my garden in Sheen. Elmo - our family’s newest addition - has moseyed out to join me on the terrace. He no longer watches the birds with dog intrigue, and has instead flopped down for a mid-morning doze. What a life!

These slower moments, where the mind can quieten, are precious. Life’s little joys have kept us going this past year and a half. That first sip of morning coffee, dog walks to Richmond Park, my girls baking, Ben surprising me with wine and cheese for our virtual socials… These are the things that have made me smile.

Now, we’re watching the world begin to unlock and progress with recovery plans. There is a sense of cautious optimism and for the first time in a while, my spirit is rising with hope and confidence that better days are really coming.

I am so proud of what we have achieved at Connections Luxury during this extraordinary time. We created a new digital platform, launched virtual events and talks, and just this month, released the Leaders Network to connect all elements of our membership. Connections Luxury, the international private community for trusted decision-makers, is stronger than ever.

Over the summer, we will be gearing up for Global Travel Week powered by Connections, the new initiative created by our parent company Jacobs Media Group, to support the recovery and resurgence of our industry (page 58). Plus, we are continuing to work with our bespoke partners from across the globe to open up new opportunities for our community.

Like many of you, we are looking forward to meeting again faceto-face, but we will always provide the possibility of doing business virtually. If there’s one thing we have learned, offering flexibility is key.

I wanted to leave these last words for my team. You have been my strength and my support these past months; thank you for being the best sounding board, for remaining dedicated to our industry and to our members, and for never giving up. There’s so much we can look forward to thanks to your exceptional efforts - and this is just the beginning.



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July 2021 5



6 July 2021
July 2021 7 Asia


The Ancient Art of Bonsai AND


Anation steeped in ancient history, even predating the Roman empire, Japan’s heritage coexists with a radically modern, high-tech, innovative culture too. Walking down a Japanese street, you will always be reminded of the symbiotic relationship between past and present, between tradition and progression. Wooden houses and quaint shrines sit modestly next to earthquakeproof skyscrapers. Jam-packed overhead power cables run chaotically through the streets next to showstopping fluorescent billboards. Everywhere you look you see how intertwined and deeply connected

history is with the present day, a dichotomy unlike anywhere else.

One element of history and tradition that has been preserved for centuries is bonsai. Hailing from China and introduced into Japan a thousand years ago, the ancient Japanese believed the shadow a tree creates under the sun is beautiful, enhanced as the wind sails through the branches. This belief, known as ‘wabi sabi’, requires bonsai professionals to clip the branches to ensure they are delicate enough to move in the wind. This incredible tradition has been carried down through generations.

Today, Yoshikawa Masakazu, a Japanese landscape gardener and master of bonsai gardening based in Osaka works on trees that are over a century old, but whose sizes never change. It is said the original creator of this style of bonsai sought to make a portable piece of natural art.

Like many elements of Japanese culture, bonsai is incredibly intricate and methodical and requires a very particular set of tools. But just like the art of bonsai itself, the scissors or shears used by the bonsai masters are steeped in history

8 July 2021

too. A few blocks away from Yoshikawa Masakazu’s landscape gardening workshop is the atelier Sasuke, which specialises in knives and scissors and dates back to 1867.

Facing page: A bonsai tree by Yoshikawa Masakazu & bonsai tools

Above and bottom right: Hirakawa Yasuhiro in his workshop in Sasuke

Top right: Yoshikawa Masakazu

A fifth-generation blacksmith, Hirakawa Yasuhiro is a true artist and master of his craft. His family first began blacksmithing after transitioning from trading in the Edo period, and soon recognized that producing kitchen knives and shears was very profitable. After learning the trade at a young age from his own father and honing his skills, Hirakawa went on to become a swordsmith apprentice as an adult to absorb new ideas and techniques, which today help him to produce the highest-quality knives and shears for which Sasuke is known.

Renowned bonsai professionals, such as Yoshikawa Masakazu, use custom, handmade shears by Sasuke for the shaping and maintenance of their bonsai trees. It is thanks to skills mastered by Hirakawa during his apprenticeship, that he is able to add a curve to the blades of the shears so they act more like propellers creating a smooth, frictionless approach that is reflected in the quality of the bonsai pruning.

Thanks to dedicated masters of specialist crafts like Yoshikawa Masakazu and Hirakawa Yasuhiro, the ancient Japanese arts of scissor craftmanship and bonsai, which depend so heavily on each other for survival, continue to flourish today. Treasuring and securing these unique traditions by passing them down in families will ensure Japan’s history remains very much intertwined with the present, which it is known and loved for.

How to create a Japanese garden

Yoshikawa’s top tips:

1. Avoid even numbers

For example, if using stones, use three instead of two or four

2. No crosses

When placing stones, make sure to not create spaces in the shape of a cross

3. Think carefully about shadows

You mustn’t overlap elements and create a difference in the darkness of the shadows. All should be uniform.

Going against these rules is believed to bring bad luck!

Words by Rachel Garlick

Connections Luxury Member: Eighty Days Japan (

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Deep within the luscious green rainforest of Bali’s bohemian, artist town of Ubud sits an unexpected world of luxury. Surrounded by jungle, overlooking a tropical ravine known as the Valley of the Kings and the ancient Tegallalang rice terraces lies the Viceroy Bali, the intimate and friendly five-star luxury hotel.

The story of this impressive hotel begins with Margaret and Otto Syrowatka, an Australian couple who fell quickly and deeply in love with Bali, the culture, and the people. Riding through the jungle on the back of a scooter in the early 2000s, they came across land for sale, which sparked the idea of a

passion project for their family – a luxury, 11-villa hotel in the outskirts of Ubud, which would allow them to share with the world what they loved about this part of Bali.

Fast forward to today, the resort has grown to 40 stunning private villas, each with their own heated pool and view overlooking the jungle gorge below. There is also a heliport on site capable of landing long range helicopters, a new state-ofthe-art Lembah Spa, and a selection of restaurants with jaw droppping views of the surrounding jungle.

With a reputation for exceptional service and standards, achieved by their high staff-to-villa ratio, the hotel was awarded

10 July 2021
Asia: Bali, Indonesia

#1 Resort in the World by Conde Nast Traveller Magazine in 2018, the only luxury resort in Bali to have won the accolade.

Taking pride in their high quality and luxury offering does not mean the Viceroy Bali has had to compromise on sustainability standards and efforts to help the environment, which Amanda Syrowatka (daughter of Margaret and Otto and current General Manager) has insisted upon.

The resort has included sustainable practices since opening and uses solar panels, a water sanitisation plant, has a zero, single-use plastic policy and a no-waste mantra in the restaurants. Additionally, on site vegetable gardens ensure quality of the produce served in the restaurants, which also limits their transportation footprint.

Syrowatka also feels a great sense of social responsibility to ensure that the surrounding villages have adequate access to well-supplied schools, health facilities and other necessities. As community is a huge part of Balinese culture, Viceroy Bali fundraise for organisations such as Bali Children’s Project and take great care when showing guests to nearby sites like the ancient

Connections Luxury Member: Viceroy Bali (

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Tegellalang Rice Terraces, the local Palaces or markets. Above: Tegellalang Rice Terraces; Main Pool at Viceroy Bali. Pictures courtesy of Viceroy Bali


Dorji Dhradhul


An extraordinary, carbon-free country, this small Bhuddist kingdom has been practising sustainable tourism for decades. Here, Dorji Dhradhul, director general of the Tourism Council of Bhutan, explains how the country's approach has helped prepare it for the luxury travel era of today

What do you personally love the most about Bhutan?

Our selfless kings! Bhutan is happy today because of the visionary, compassionate and prescient leadership of our successive monarchs.

Bhutan is marked by raw natural beauty where the dense foliage changes dramatically as the subtropical jungles merge into a fertile temperate zone and rise up to the great northern glaciers.

The pristine environment is home to exotic wildlife and is the last refuge for endangered species like the black-necked crane, the blue sheep, the golden langur, the takin and even the royal Bengal tiger.

Bhutan has remained a country where age-old customs and traditions are still part of the everyday lives of the people, even while modernisation, development and the strains of global influence are felt more and more.

Bhutan is an all-season destination, providing a unique experience to visitors throughout the year. There is something

for everyone in Bhutan. You cannot find a more enlightening destination today.

Perched high on the mighty Himalayan range, the Kingdom of Bhutan has defied globalisation and chosen to remain a hidden paradise or – in the words of our mesmerised visitors – the “last Shangri-La”.

"Perched high on the mighty Himalayan range, the Kingdom of Bhutan has defied globalisation and chosen to remain a hidden paradise or – in the words of our mesmerised visitors – the “last Shangri-La”

What don’t many people know about this destination?

Bhutan still remains undiscovered by many people in the world. It is a

small country in the Himalayas located between China in the north and India in the south.

Despite being small in size and population, we are blessed to have far-sighted and benevolent kings who have accorded the highest priority and worked tirelessly to develop our country, balancing economic growth with that of social, environmental and cultural issues.

How has Bhutan been able to navigate the pandemic?

We are so fortunate and grateful the king has generously granted Druk Gyalpo’s Relief Kidu fund and other financial schemes to those who are affected by the pandemic.

His majesty the king has been tirelessly travelling to every nook and corner of the country to protect and safeguard our people and to combat the pandemic. Under his majesty’s command, the government initiated numerous interventions under the Economic

12 July 2021 Asia: In Conversation with Dorji Dhradhul

Contingency Plan aimed towards providing livelihood and sustenance aid to those affected by the pandemic.

What is the current situation in Bhutan?

How is tourism recovering?

As we all know, the pandemic has brought about an unprecedented global health crisis that has rippled the world economy and Bhutan is no exception. However, we are taking this moment as an opportunity to revamp our tourism industry in the country.

We have started to reskill and upskill the tourism service providers including the improvement in the tourism sites and infrastructures. We are also closing the gaps and correcting the shortcomings in the various aspects of tourism-related services and standards. And we are in the process of digitalising tourism services and systems to provide a better experience when travel resumes.

How do you see the destination trending in 2021 and beyond?

It is very interesting that the so-called “new normal tourism” is actually something that Bhutan – under the tourism policy of ‘High Value Low Volume’ – has been practising for the last 50 years.

The extraordinary fact about this policy is that it was envisioned and adopted by our fourth king in the early 1970s amid the immense pressure to embrace mass tourism for quick economic fortunes. Today, after 50 years, when this policy is being appreciated by many even globally, we bow with deep gratitude to His Majesty The Fourth King of Bhutan for the timeless gift to the tourism world.

This policy basically avoids mass tourism and overtourism and ensures a balance between economic returns and non-material gains such as preservation of our environment, culture and history, with arrivals guided by the capacities of the various services and resources to ensure wellness and the wellbeing of our guests. These are the elements of future trends in tourism.

I believe the restart of tourism for Bhutan will be much easier and faster, as we will not have to change much to keep abreast of new or future trends.

How is the Tourism Council of Bhutan working with your private sector to build trust and reassurance in luxury travellers?

Globally, one of the learnings from the pandemic is the realisation of the utmost importance of personal health; therefore, assurance of the safety of personal health should be at the core of the tourism rebuilding and recovery packages, Fortunately for Bhutan, we will be mainly focusing on reinforcing the tourism policy of High Value Low Volume, which we have been practising for the

last 50 years. Under this unique policy, all tours in Bhutan are guided to ensure a safe and exclusive experience for tourists, which could be an element in the new normal in tourism.

"For Bhutan, luxury means finding peace with oneself. To me, nothing can be more luxurious than being happy

What are your predictions for the post-pandemic world in Bhutan?

The pandemic has and continues to impact economies and livelihoods across the globe with tourism being one of the severely impacted industries.

While there is optimism with the planned rollout for the second dose of Covid vaccination in the country, relaxations on travel restrictions and other positive developments may resume under cautious conditions; there are also mixed reactions given the complexity of the virus.

Finally, what is your message to luxury travel agents and tour operators who are looking to promote and book Bhutan for their HNW clients?

Well, luxury can have different interpretations: for Bhutan, it means finding peace with oneself.

Bhutan provides a place to escape everyday stress and connect with nature and find inner peace. Bhutan has always been about the space and managing visitor numbers, so that all visitors get their own space to find happiness.

This is even more relevant with the pandemic requirement to maintain

distance and promote personal health through safe travels.

Bhutan also has lots of high-end international chain hotels and local luxury hotels like Taj Hotel, Six Senses, Aman Resorts, Como Uma, Postcard Resort, Le Méridien, Zhiwa Ling Heritage and Terma Linca Resort.

To me, nothing can be more luxurious than being happy and, if I may add, Bhutan tourism believes “Happiness is a Place”. I would like to invite you all to check out for yourselves if Bhutan is that happy place.


Connections Luxury member

Langa Dorji of Bhutan

Soul Tour & Travel is an independent specialist inbound tour operator. With over 30 years of experience creating tailor-made tours, Langa offers an extensive range of services dedicated to creating custom-made, unique travel experiences to Bhutan.

July 2021 13 Asia: In Conversation with Dorji Dhradhul
Facing page and above: Tiger’s Nest, Dorji Dhradhul, Six Senses Bhutan Pictures: Kinshuk Bose, Tourism Council of Bhutan, Six Senses Bhutan

Old-world charm

From the Gateway of India to the 'Venice of the East', Taj cocoons its guests in a royal haven of a bygone era.


Taj’s flagship hotel is legendary for many reasons, not least for being the country’s first luxury hotel and first harbour landmark when it opened in, then Bombay, in 1903. Its creator, Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata, founder of Tata Group, achieved his goal in creating a unique hotel which, to this day, embodies the unbeatable spirit of Mumbai, the “city that never sleeps”. Last December, Taj Mahal Palace celebrated its 117th anniversary.

Located adjacent to the Gateway of India overlooking the Arabian Sea, the Taj Mahal Palace in Colaba is a blend of luxury and legacy, having hosted maharajas, dignitaries and prominent figures such as Duke Ellington, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as well as Barack Obama. It was here on the steps of the hotel, that Lord Mountbatten announced India’s independence in 1947.

The “Grand Dame of Mumbai” is truly a palace of wonders. Across 22 floors and spanning the Tower and the Palace wing, Taj Mahal Palace accommodates 550 rooms and suites, nine restaurants, a Jiva Spa, swimming pool, one of the largest modern art collections in India, and a luxury shopping arcade. Highlights include the Taj’s worldrenowned butler service, Golden Keys Concierge, daily high-tea and live music. Amongst its impressive amenities, a 24-hour on-call doctor and nurse is available.



Rajasthan’s Udaipur, coined the ‘Venice of the East’, is said to be one of the most beautiful cities in India. At its heart lies Lake Pichola, one of the oldest (and most famous) in India, where city life seems to revolve.

Floating in the middle of the lake lies a magnificent 18th Century palace, world-famous for its appearance in the James Bond film Octopussy. Imagined and built by the young Prince Maharana Jagat Singh in 1743, the original Jag Niwas is the breath-taking Taj Lake Palace of today.

Step onto the island and guests will be cocooned in a royal haven of a bygone era. The palace is adorned with white and black marble, scalloped arches, gold trimmings and rich colours; all around it is intricate and decadent. And while the palace has been impeccably restored, its 66 rooms and 17 suites still retain the original decor and grandeur. A city island of such luxury and tranquility has attracted esteemed guests to its shores; Jacqueline Kennedy, Queen Elizabeth and Vivien Leigh to name a few.

Guests of the island will want for nothing. Taj Lake Palace offers Royal Butlers who are descendants of the original palace retainers, the Jiva Spa, four dining options (Neel Kamal for authentic Rajasthani dishes, Jharokha for Mediterranean cuisine, the seasonal, open-air Bhairo as well as the elegant Amrit Sagar bar), and breath-taking 360 degree views of Udaipur’s surroundings.

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Facing page: Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur, Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai Above (clockwise): Lily pond at Taj Lake Palace, corridor and Rajput Suite Living Room at Taj Mahal Palace Pictures: Indian Hotels Company Limited
Asia: India

A historical tour



nown for paradise islands with white sandy beaches and the clearest aquamarine water, perfect for snorkelling, diving and an array of other activities, the Maldives is a destination that has attracted most of the world’s luxury hotel groups since becoming a tourist hot spot in the 1970s. The first luxury resort opened in 1972 and was followed by others across the atolls, attracting a record 1.5 million tourists in 2019. But there is much more to the Maldives than idyllic water bungalows and a balmy tropical climate. It is a destination with a long and rich history, which is often overlooked.

The Ancient Art of Bonsai

As early as the third century BC, Buddhism arrived in the Maldives and remnants of relics can be found on over 50 islands today. Islam then arrived in the 12th century. Those religions were followed by colonisers: the Portuguese in the 16th century, the Dutch in the 17th and the British in the 19th, all of whom had a unique influence on Maldivian culture. Here we uncover the story of Maldivian national hero, Muhammad Thakurufaanu, who along with his brothers fought an eight-year war to drive out Portuguese invaders and remove their regent puppet on Malé who was trying to convert the Maldives to Christianity. On his journey from the north to the south of the archipelago, Thakurufaanu and his brothers made a few key stops to drum up support, before overthrowing the garrison in Malé, where his tomb lies to this day. Five hundred years on, this is what their journey would look like...


Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi is a 120 all-villa resort with all the appeal you’d expect of a ‘Secret Water Island’, which is a translation of its name. The 16 hectare island features one of the largest lagoons in the Maldives, while the resort includes a 200-metre swimming pool which traverses the length of the island, reinvigorating destination spa and an intricate open-air bamboo bar created by Balinese artisans using only natural building materials.


It was in among the mangroves of Maroshi Island that Thakarufaanu hid his boat Kalhuohfummi from the Portuguese. This small island is home to the oldest tree in the Maldives, the Thaani tree, where Thakarufaanu rested. It is also a lovely local island and very different from the hustle and bustle of Malé.


Gili Lankanfushi Maldives is an eco-resort located on Lankanfushi Islands in North Malé Atoll. The resort is surrounded by natural beauty and rich marine wildlife. Guests may enjoy activities in the surrounding area such as diving, snorkelling and surfing. Accommodation comprises 45 rusticchic thatched villas, many of which include wooden jetties. Each is equipped with modern amenities such as a TV, a minibar and air conditioning. Guests can also enjoy tasty meals at the onsite restaurants and refreshing drinks at the hotel bar. Leisure facilities include a spa and wellness centre.

16 July 2021


Another beautiful local island, a short trip from Hideaway Beach, is


Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa is located on Dhonakulhi Island in Haa Alifu Atoll. This luxury resort offers guests various activities to enjoy, including snorkelling, scuba diving and fishing. Accommodation spans a selection of villas, each spacious and elegantly furnished and equipped with modern amenities such as air conditioning, a TV, safe and minibar. Each villa also boasts a pair of bicycles that guests can use to explore the island. Guests may enjoy delicious meals at any of the on-site restaurants and refreshing drinks at the bar. Leisure facilities include a spa and wellness centre and swimming pools.

Facing page: A water villa at Fairmont Maldives; swimming pool at Gili Lankanfushi This page clockwise from top: Map of Maldives islands & speedboat; Hideaway Beach entrance, aerial shot and beach

Information courtesy of Tomas Cochrane

Connections Luxury Member: Hummingbird Travel ( Kanditheemu Island. It is said to be the birthplace of the Maldivian language, and Thaani script, dating back to 1558, can be found engraved on the door of the island’s mosque.

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Asia: Maldives


Once considered priceless, frankincense, the ‘per fume of kings’, has weaved a romantic scent throughout histor y Rediscover the frankincense trade route in search of a lost civilization, explore Samhuram, the remains of the famed por t where frankincense was shipped from, visit the ancient Boswellia Sacra trees that produce true frankincense, and create your ver y own signature frankincense scent.


Oman has a centuries- old legacy of adorning homes with entrances that are ornate as well as inviting. This love for ar tistic door ways is evident in ever y house, be it ancient or contemporar y and each of these door ways highlights a histor y of its origin Some have simple designs on them while others are adorned in heavy embellishments like metal spikes. Ever y door is exquisite and striking, and warmly welcomes you like only the Omani can.


Green tur tles are hardly seen in any other par t of the world, but in Oman you can enjoy the unique sight of hundreds of green tur tles coming out of the ocean to breathe in the open air and lay eggs on Sharkiya Beach. Explore the interactive museum and then walk the beach with a ranger at sunrise or sunset to witness the bir th of a whole new generation as hundreds of tiny hatchlings emerge from the nest to make their way to the sea.


Offering clear, sparkling blue water and sof t golden sand, our pristine beaches invite you to indulge in sunbathing sessions, refreshing swims, unforgettable family picnics, breath-taking diving and snorkeling or smooth sailing. The most popular beach in Muscat is Al Qurum, which is home to many luxurious hotels and worldclass restaurants. While the famed Ras Al Hadd beach is the home to a green turtle reser ve. Here, on a summer ’s night, you can watch in amazement as female tur tles haul themselves upon the sands to dig their nests.



The Musandam Governate may be cut off from the rest of Oman, but it has one of the countr y ’s biggest enticements for visitors, Zighy Bay Pitched on the east side of the landmass, where the Strait of Hormuz slips into the Gulf of Oman, this mountain-framed sliver of beach and rolling waves has quietly become one of the Middle East’s best options for a sun-andsea escape. The feted Six Senses Zighy Bay resor t offers ever y luxur y you can dream of including opulent villas, along with a world-class spa and restaurants.


Indulge your cultural tastes at the magnificent Royal Opera House Muscat, a spectacular combination of marble, inlaid wood and arabesque design Some of the world’s most famous names in opera and ballet have per formed within this beautiful building and the quality of the productions regularly wins international acclaim. Even if you don’t catch a show, you can still enjoy the social ambiance thanks to restaurants, coffee shops and premium boutiques in the opera house complex.


Haggle your hear t out at Oman’s most famous souq, the Mutrah Souq. This maze of colour ful, indoor stalls offers an abundance of silver ware, antiques, frankincense, garments, spices and saffron-infused halwa. It’s not just a traditional markets but a place for social gathering - rejoice at the sounds of traditional live music per formances, discover the local folklore exhibitions and mar vel at handicraf t demonstrations.



Pitched high up in the nor th of the countr y, in the Al Dakhiliyah region, Wadi Ghul is a dramatic trench sliced into Omani soil. With a depth of just over a kilometer, its size is amplified by the proximity of Jebel Shams, the countr y ’s tallest mountain For an even grander experience, take Balcony Walk, a spectacular path with astounding views on the rocky rim of the canyon that leads to the old abandoned village of Al Sab.


Explore the under water wonderland of the Daymaniyat Islands archipelago, one of Oman’s most famous snorkeling and scuba diving hotspots. Known at ‘ The Aquarium’, this protected nature reser ve features coral reefs teeming with brightly colored flitting fish, dazzling nudibranchs, delicate seahorses and abundant sea turtle population, as well as the regular visits of majestic whale sharks along its coasts.

Literally fit for a king, this mountainside hotel was originally built as a palace for Oman’s Sultan Qaboos. Treat yourself to ever y imaginable luxur y with swim-up rooms, palm gardens strung with hammocks, a world-class spa offering 24-carat gold facials, the countr y ’s tallest atrium, tennis cour ts, a private beach and an amusement park for children If you’re looking for gourmet cuisine, look no further than the five dining venues featuring international cuisines and endless sea views.

20 July 2021 Africa
INTO Africa July 2021 21


Specialising in privately guided luxury safaris throughout Africa, Nomadic Africa customises every itinerary based on your clients’ wants and needs. We take guests to a selection of permanent lodges or camps, all small and personal, in the best wildlife areas. We usually combine private conservancies with national parks and reserves so that you maximise access to a variety of activities and experiences. Partnering with The Original Ker & Downey Safaris, our flagship product is luxury mobile tented safaris throughout Kenya. These camps are set up exclusively for your group, offering the unique experience of a tented camp immersed in the wild yet still providing modern-day luxury!

Connections Luxury Member: Nomadic Africa (

22 July 2021 Africa: Supplier Spotlight


Located at the foot of Mt Kenya, Borana Conservancy provides a unique and diverse habitat for a wide variety of wildlife, including a thriving population of both black and white rhino, lion, elephant, buffalo, giraffe and many more. The Borana family consists of Borana Lodge and Lengishu, both found in the heart of Borana Conservancy. Borana Lodge is perched on a hillside above a dam with exceptional views across Borana Conservancy to Mt Kenya. The lodge consists of six standalone cottages, each unique in style and designed with the hillside in mind, providing the utmost in privacy. All retained earnings generated by Borana Lodge are invested into the core operating costs of Borana Conservancy which includes the recurrent training and welfare of over 100 wildlife rangers of whom 13 are women. Lengishu is an exclusive-use family home which opened its doors in May 2019. This spectacular property is the most recent addition to Borana Conservancy and

consists of six luxurious rooms with sunrise views across Borana, Lewa and deep into the Northern Frontier District.

Connections Luxury

Member: Borana Lodge and Lengishu ( &

Facing page: Luxury Safari Camp

This page, clockwise from top: Aerial view of Borana Lodge; Borana Lodge suite; Borana Lodge living room; Borana Lodge

Pictures: Shaun Mousely, Borana Lodge

July 2021 23
Africa: Supplier Spotlight

Fall in love with Africa

Owner of upscale private travel company Adams & Butler, Siobhan Byrne Learat has found her true passion in Africa. Together with her Kenyan Samburu husband husband Kasao, she has launched Adams & Butler Africa, designing tailor-made safaris across the continent. Here Siobhan tells us more about how her lovestory with Africa began, and the importance of responsible and sustainable tourism...

Everyone always asks why Africa – I just live, breathe and eat it! When am there I am at my happiest and I want to share this love and passion with my clients. There are so many, different places and ways to enjoy Africa, and the trick is to discover what is a good fit with your client and their particular wants, desires and dislikes.

Some clients are a little hesitant when they visit Africa for the first time. Others are very, very adventurous, and always want to explore everything. Some clients are scared about animal and insect encounters. Different camps and lodges suit different people for different reasons, all having their own style, culture and ambience. When you establish a strong open relationship with a property or DMC, they become an extension of yourself and care passionately for your clients as much as you do.

My first visit to Africa was to South Africa with my children to celebrate my divorce and newly found freedom. My two younger children were very young at the time but were as smitten as I was. My two older boys used to sneak out at night together with the hotel and lodge staff, unbeknown to innocent me! South Africa is very varied in its offering and is great value for children. It is the perfect first visit to Africa.

Then, I went to Kenya and discovered my new home. A few years later I met my second husband Kasao in Kenya who was working in Richard’s Camp in the Mara, and was a Warden in the Kenyan Wildlife Service. He was also an elder of the Samburu tribe in the North of Kenya.

I was born in the city, and Kasao was nervous about how I would relate to life in the bush with my prospective in-laws. After all, it is unusual for somebody from Kasao’s village to marry an outsider – and I had been gently warned by Kasao that his mother could be difficult. I braced myself for a culture shock as I set out to meet Kasao’s family. We drove there for 12 hours, then had to walk up the side of a mountain to get to the village. Kasao’s mother was really nice to me: she brought me water to make coffee, and the next day too. On the third day there was no water, but Kasao’s mother was repeating a phrase in her own language, Maa, which I couldn’t understand. I learnt that she was saying, “Daughter, wash my cup.” It meant I had been accepted into the family – and I scrubbed that cup!

There are so many, different places and ways to enjoy Africa, and the trick is to discover what is a good fit with your client and their particular wants, desires and dislikes "

Africa: Guest Contribution
“ 24 July 2021

Kasao’s mother now affectionately calls me ‘Dita’, ‘Daughter with the long hair’. I think the Kenyans are like the Irish: they have a very good sense of humour, they’re very welcoming, very warm. But the traditional family have no money whatsoever: in some instances they own just a teapot or basin. I don’t even think I saw a plate when I was there the first time: maybe a bowl and a saucepan, that was it. But I love it there, when I come back to Ireland after a trip there, people comment on how relaxed and happy I am and that I look 10 years younger.

The elders once had a talk about me leaving the boma to go to the loo at night in case I would be at risk of a hyena or possibly even a leopard. I was shocked and amused that my nightly wonderings had garnered their attention. What I love most about Samburu is the solitude; sometimes you can walk for hours and not see anyone. When you pass a warrior, they just silently walk by you without even a nod.

In Africa, sustainability and, at a minimum responsible travel, is at our core. We always try to create experiences that are unique and not the usual, like taking footfall away from over-visited parks and reserves to lesser-known gems, which enable smaller, local communities and businesses to survive and thrive. Think Ruaha over Serengeti in Tanzania or Gonarezhou over Hwange in Zimbabwe. Think people and tribes as well as wildlife, so adding in amazing rich cultures such as the Samburu in Kenya. We want to give a travel experience to clients where they not only see and do but rather feel and engage. Underpinning this, is a commitment to safeguarding our planet for future generations. Our clients post-Covid have a higher appreciation for the rawness and splendour of Africa. It’s like coming home after the traumatic effect of Covid. It’s real and we all need real and authenticity now. Contrived experiences, though perfect and idyllic, are a thing of the past; they don’t reflect the new values of the post-Covid world.

Three years ago, I thought, if I wasn’t married to a Kenyan, Rwanda would be my favourite country in Africa. Every part is beautiful. Its greenness and deep red earth has to be seen to be believed. My favourite experience was Chimp tracking and of course visiting the Gorillas. I was honoured to be invited to the Gorilla naming ceremony by the Tourism Minister. Then I met Zimbabwe and her people, and I fell in love again. You have to visit Africa not just for the animals but also the people. If you just think Africa is for safaris and wine – you are missing out on its essence and vibrancy.”

- Siobhan

Connections Luxury Member: Adams & Butler (

Clockwise from top: Sunset Safari in Kenya; Gorillas in Rwanda; Samburu Elders; Hot Air Ballooning in Angama Mara; South Africa

All images courtesy of Adams & Butler
July 2021 25


Originally from Zimbabwe, Ivan Carter is a conservationist, a television show host, a wildlife photographer, and a professional hunting guide.

How did you get your start as a safari guide?

I’ve always been fascinated with how wildlife and ecosystems interact. I worked at a wildlife orphanage in Zimbabwe, but soon realised I needed to be out in the wild so I started guiding. That led to 30 years of guiding all over Africa. I spent 200 days a year guiding trips to remote parts of Tanzania, Kenya, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Madagascar and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

What made you move from guiding to conservation?

Having kids was a turning point. I saw ecosystems I had enjoyed as a kid that no longer existed, and too few people were stepping up and doing something about it. I did a TV series called Carter’s WAR (Wild Animal Response) where I did my bit to highlight human-wildlife conflict and potential solutions. That led to setting up The Ivan Carter Wildlife Conservation Alliance. Everything about the way we run our foundation is sustainable and results-based – it’s not full of volunteers

Everything about the way we run our foundation is sustainable and results-based – it’s not full of volunteers with unrealistic hopes and dreams" "

with unrealistic hopes and dreams. We focus on four initiatives and give them enough resources to actually achieve their goals.

Can you tell us about the projects the foundation supports?

We run the largest lion recovery initiative in Africa – in 2018, we put 24 lions into an area in the Zambezi Delta where there hadn’t been lions in 30 years, and today there are just over 70. We work with the Giraffe Conservation Foundation in Namibia; a chimpanzee sanctuary in southeastern DRC; and we support the Southern African Wildlife College, which trains about 1,000 rangers a year.

How has the pandemic affected your work?

There has been a great financial slump in the conservation world – last year we raised about 60% of what we normally raise. We shut down development but kept the core components. The lions didn’t stop breeding and the elephants don’t stop moving, so we had to carry on protecting them. We had been busy growing, but Covid-19 gave us time to take a breath and find innovative ways of raising money, doing conservation and using anti-poaching technology.

Is there any such thing as a sustainable safari?

I want as many people as possible to go on safari, but they have to go in a sustainable manner. The cheapest places don’t have the money for conservation. They have to focus on volume, but that has the highest impact because it comes at the expense of the ecosystem. The sad

The sad reality is that not everyone should be able to afford it – safaris should be costed so that tourists are able to pay for the conservation necessary to support them" "

reality is that not everyone should be able to afford it – safaris should be costed so that tourists are able to pay for the conservation necessary to support them.

What can UK agents do to help travellers understand the importance of conservation?

The agent is in a very strong position: they determine where the money flows and who gets their business. I would encourage them to ask for tangible results. What does the lodge you are sending your clients to do for its community? Does it support wildlife research or anti-poaching teams? Do they serve water in plastic bottles? If agents are asking these questions, over time everyone will have to invest in conservation otherwise they won’t get the business.

Interview by Katie McGonagle for Travel Weekly (

Images: Serengeti, Tanzania; Ivan Carter in Murchison Falls National Park; giraffe in Namibia

26 July 2021 Africa: In conversation with Ivan Carter
July 2021 27
Africa: In conversation with Ivan Carter


With the trend of eco-travel already on the rise and the pandemic initiating a rapid growth in technology, the spread and desire to travel sustainably has accelerated.

But, is the luxury industry truly listening to this great behavioural reset when only 14% of travel businesses stated that their CEO is a sustainability activist, and only 55% have an active sustainability strategy?

Together with Positive Luxury, we spoke to an expert panel to hear their thoughts...

We’re privately owned, family run and a value-led organization. We believe in responsible business, which covers everything from sustainability and beyond, for example, how we interact with the local communities is important to us. Ultimately, I believe we have an obligation to act for the benefit of society at large, beyond the business objectives

The challenge we face is cultural. When people go to a buffet, they want to see a full buffet. They have the habits of pleasing the eye and there is a lot of food wastage. Ultimately, we need to educate the customer. There is public awareness and government legislation for recycling, water consumption, it is always reduce, reduce reduce. But no matter what you do, if individuals don’t have it themselves, it affects generations to come. We are engaging kids that come to our resort to begin that education

28 July 2021


Do you believe that sustainability is critical to your business’ success? 61%

Yes, it’s critical 31%

It’s somewhat critical 0.8%

No, it’s not critical

Do you have an active sustainability strategy currently in place in your business? 43%

Yes, we do 30%

No, we don’t 28%

We have somewhat of a strategy

The shift that we’ve seen is consumers will be travelling with the aspiration of doing good when they do


Get your house in order. Know your business, know your carbon footprint, know your own operations. Then set a strategy to go greener. It is not an option, it is a necessity

Image courtesy of 62°NORD
July 2021 29 ConnecTALKS: Build Back Better


What do you love the most about our industry?

I chose this industry because I was drawn to the way in which travel connects different cultures with one another, widening our horizons and enriching our lives. Working within this industry teaches you a lot about people and life, as well as how to navigate unknown and challenging situations. I have been very fortunate to stay in many luxurious properties across the globe throughout my career and I have been introduced to different cultures and enjoyed unique experiences.

Tell us about your career journey in travel. What attracted you to join Aman in 2018 as the Regional Director of Sales?

I began my career in Germany, where I am originally from, studying hotel management. After graduating, I moved to Switzerland and then on to France with the goal of learning French (I am a native German speaker). A bilingual postgraduate programme in tourism management brought me to London. Over the years, I was fortunate enough to work for several leading hospitality brands. I have always been

particularly interested in leisure travel, where people are able to connect with a place and a culture that can be very different from their own. I also enjoy helping others create lasting memories with loved ones.

I believe Aman, where the guest experience is at the core of its operations, is able to connect others to a destination through transformative experiences that provide a unique insight into the spirit of a place. I feel very lucky to be working for a brand that is a pioneer in this regard, and with eight properties currently under construction at Aman, I am excited to see what the future holds.

I have always been interested in leisure travel, where people are able to connect with a place and a culture that can be very different from their own "
AMAN 30 July 2021

This past year has seen a huge digital transformation and acceleration. How has Aman found the transition to digital?

The past year has demonstrated just how much we all rely on technology. During this time, a period that has been particularly challenging for the travel industry, Aman took the opportunity to launch a new website ( By enhancing our online presence, we hope to offer our guests a more streamlined browsing and booking experience, while attracting new visitors to the world of Aman. The year-long project required extensive research into user journeys, and we carried out detailed surveys with our guests to help gain an understanding of their preferences.

As well as beautiful properties, Aman also provides private jets, yacht hire, private camps and driving journeys. Can you tell us a bit more about the unique Aman products our readers may not know so much about?

Aman has always been revered as a provider of transformative and unique experiences in some of the Earth’s most inspiring destinations. Over the past year, we have seen an upturn in bookings from our hotel’s local markets, with domestic travel resuming first in many of our destinations as international travel restrictions remain in place. This has led guests to rediscover the diverse landscapes that are located within close proximity of their homes. With this in mind, we launched Aman Driving Journeys to enable guests to explore their surroundings, and the journeys have proven to be very popular so far.

The Aman Driving Journeys provide guests with the opportunity to drive sports cars, SUVs or classic vehicles on single or multi-day trips. With the sanctuary of an Aman property providing the base for a flexible itinerary, all drivers are given a personalised iPhone that has been pre-loaded to include bespoke guides, recommending off-the-beaten-

track stop-off points –from coffee shops and galleries to all the best photo opportunities. All meals enjoyed during each journey are arranged by Aman, whether a casual picnic or an exquisite fine dining experience in a local restaurant. A support vehicle is also always provided.

After a year in which health has been at the forefront of every conversation, the journeys conveniently offer guests the ability to travel in a crowd-free environment, within the security of a “travel pod” of close friends and family. To further enable guests to access our exceptional locations via secure methods of transportation, we are pleased to offer the Aman Private Jet, a Bombardier Global 5000, seating up to 12 passengers at a time. Catering for both short- and long-haul trips, the Aman Private Jet is ideal for group travel. With flexible departure times and seamless customs clearance overseen by the Aman team, passengers can now journey to one of our properties in a protected environment feeling relaxed and stressfree.

We now have an expert team, the Aman Private Travel Specialists, who are dedicated to assisting our guests with their private travel arrangements, ensuring that their every need is catered to and every personal desire is met.

Aman destinations are renowned for space and privacy. Have you seen an increase in client demand for these features since the pandemic? Are there any other notable shifts in client behaviour and spending habits? At Aman, we are very fortunate to be recognised as a global pioneer in the creation of peaceful sanctuaries far removed from daily life, offering seclusion, privacy and wellbeing to our

guests. Our approach to design and operations at every property focuses on space as paramount, enabling us to look after a limited number of guests at one time, while offering large freestanding pavilions and villas, many with their own living and dining areas and individual swimming pools. In creating such environments, we have been able to cater to the changed desires of the current traveller amid this pandemic. We were able to open Amangiri’s sister property in Utah last summer, Camp Sarika, a luxury encampment surrounded by 600 acres of desert. In keeping with Aman’s ethos, Camp Sarika is a remote sanctuary with only 10 one- or two-bedroom tented pavilions, each with their own living area, dining area, bar, private outdoor terrace and plunge pool. With all camp activities offered al fresco in multiple settings, such as yoga, hiking and meditation, our guests are able to social distance without impacting their stay. We are lucky to have experienced a high demand for the camp following its opening, with many now booking it on an exclusive basis via our new ‘A Camp of Your Own’ offer, where across select dates this year and next, groups of up to 30 guests can experience the secluded retreat all to themselves.

Aman further offers maximum space in utmost seclusion and privacy through its collection of multi-bedroom villas at several of the brand’s hotels

Facing page: Amanzoe, Greece Above & right: Camp Sarika at Amangiri, US July 2021 31
In Conversation with Barbara Shelbourne

and resorts. Each villa offers full and privileged access to the property’s facilities and includes a wealth of professional support such as a private chef, personal butlers, babysitters, yoga instructors and spa therapists. Amanzoe in Greece welcomed a new two-bedroom villa to its collection this season.

However, the masterpiece of Amanzoe’s villas is the Acropolis-inspired Villa 20, which features nine bedrooms and six private pools, a 650sqm spa, expansive indoor and outdoor living areas, and space to sleep up to 18 guests.

Interestingly, we have noticed that many of our guests desire longer stays at our properties, enabling them to establish a home-away-from-home. With working outside the office becoming the new normal, a longer stay allows guests to work from a new environment, while enjoying some well-deserved time off creating lasting memories with friends and loved ones. To answer such demand, we recently launched an ‘At Home with Amanyara’ exclusive offer at our resort in the Turks and Caicos in the Caribbean. Here, guests can book a 30-night or longer stay that includes accommodation of their choice, return airport transfers, laundry, complimentary long-distance calls, use of all non-motorised water sports equipment and access to the Clubhouse featuring a boxing gym, indoor games room, outdoor football pitch, volleyball court, basketball court and tennis courts. In addition, the offer includes full spa access and two complimentary daily fitness classes, educational programmes for children and teenagers at the resort’s Nature Discovery Centre, and movie nights in the cinema for the entire family.

During the Connections Spring Virtual Event, we got to explore Amanzoe in Greece’s Peloponnese and saw how important the local community and environment is to the functioning of the resort. From using local produce to utilising local services, can you tell us a bit more about Aman’s sustainability strategy?

Sustainability at Aman is considered holistically, with a focus on four key pillars: local heritage, local culture, environmental protection and social responsibility. Aman has long been recognised for its considered approach to architecture, with each property meticulously designed to live in harmony with the surrounding environment.

Fourteen of the brand’s hotels and resorts are located within or close to Unesco World Heritage Sites, offering serene retreats that are carefully integrated into these sacred spaces. In order to care for such environments and ensure a symbiotic relationship between each property and the natural setting it

32 July 2021

inhabits, Aman engages with surrounding communities in every destination, striving for a deep understanding of the local culture and recognising the power of working collectively to achieve a common goal: preservation of each hotel or resort’s precious surroundings. Amanzoe is located in the Peloponnese countryside, known as ‘The Garden of Greece’. The resort’s fragrant gardens are filled with citrus, pomegranate, carob and olive trees that are harvested every year. The property’s organic garden is tended to by a team of gardeners yearround and includes a variety of fruit, vegetables and herbs, all of which are incorporated into dishes in the resort’s dining venues and treatments at the 2,850sqm Aman Spa. Amanzoe’s olive oil is used for hydrating massages and soap is made from crushed olives and infused with eucalyptus from the resort’s trees, providing antibacterial and antiseptic

This year, we are pleased to announce the launch of new multi-day Extreme Sports Retreats that have been developed to test the limits of one’s mental and physical stamina and harness the healing powers of nature. Ideal for the very active and adventurous, the retreats enable guests to challenge their endurance and strength while undertaking exhilarating physical activities in some of Aman’s most mesmerising destinations – from Rosa Alpina in the Unesco-protected Dolomites in Italy to the private-island of Amanpulo in the Philippines.

In addition to the retreats and for those based in the UK, The Aman Spa at The Connaught Hotel, London, is now offering a new 12-month Extreme Fitness Membership specifically designed to help prepare individuals wishing to participate in one of the retreats. The package includes an initial consultation with expert trainers who will assess

Finally, on a personal note, if you were planning your dream Aman trip, which resorts would you pick to visit and why? Where to begin?! All of our properties are unique and offer access to distinct landscapes that are intriguing and spellbinding in their own right. Top on my list is a stay in Amankora’s five lodges in Bhutan. The legendary Buddhist Kingdom only recently opened up to foreign visitors and remains enticingly devoid of the trappings of tourism. Spread across the country, our lodges –Paro, Thimphu, Gangtey, Punakha and Bumthang – offer unprecedented access to the destination and an intimate insight into the nation’s rich cultural heritage.

In Europe, I would love to spend a few nights at Aman Venice in Italy. The 16th-century Palazzo is one of the city’s most significant buildings. The hotel sits right on the edge of the Grand Canal and offers two private gardens, as well as only 24 rooms and suites, several of which still feature ancient frescoes by the 18th-century painter Tiepolo. I can imagine nothing more relaxing than enjoying a leisurely alfresco lunch or a bespoke cocktail in the hotel’s Canal Garden, while watching the boats drift by on the water!

properties to ensure a deep cleansing. In early October every year, guests of Amanzoe are invited to visit nearby Ermioni village to experience the annual pomegranate festival that takes place in the many plantations that surround the village. The festival includes talks on the history of the ancient fruit and its beneficial qualities, and the opportunity to sample traditional dishes made with fresh pomegranate. Further celebrating nature’s bounty, guests of Amanzoe are also able to visit nearby Didyma village each spring to view its vast fields of wild tulips. Didyma is the only village in Greece to grow this species of flower.

Aman has some exciting announcements for 2021 and beyond. Could you tell some of what is in store?

Our strategy at Aman continues to focus on offering guests access to the Earth’s most remote and beautiful destinations in unparalleled and undisturbed luxury with opportunities to enjoy unique adventures amid spectacular scenery.

the physical needs of the individual, crafting a bespoke fitness programme comprising 50 private lesson credits for use throughout the year. Looking towards the future, we will continue to develop new urban sanctuaries following the success of similar projects, such as Aman Tokyo in Japan, to give our guests the chance to enjoy the Aman lifestyle in culturally rich environments.

Lastly, Amanjena in Marrakech is also on my list. The resort is located just minutes from the Unescoprotected medina of Marrakech, but

provides only 40 Pavilions and Maisons, offering a serene sanctuary filled with palm and olive trees and centred around an emerald reflective basin.

Later this year, Aman will open its fourth property in the US, Aman New York on Manhattan Island. The hotel is situated in the heart of the city at the crossroads of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, overlooking Central Park and occupying the iconic Crown Building. In 2023, Aman will open its second urban sanctuary in the US, Aman Miami. This will encompass a hotel complete with an exclusive collection of branded residences, located on Miami Beach and occupying the site of the former Versailles Hotel.

Connections Luxury Member: Aman (

Facing page: 1. Amanpuri, Thailand 2. Amanjiwo, Java 3. Amanruya, Turkey 4. Amandira, Indonesia 5. Amankora, Bhutan 6. Amanyara, Turks & Caicos 7. Amanyangyun, China 8. Amanjena, Morocco This page: Amanzoe, Greece, and Aman Venice, Italy All images courtesy of Aman Hotels

July 2021 33
In Conversation with Barbara Shelbourne
July 2021 35 Europe

Meet Slovenia’s Eden eight...

Slovenia – the green heart of Europe – sits at the crossroads of the Alps, the Mediterranean, the Pannonian Plains and the Karst. In a single day, you can indulge in Alpine adventures, enjoy coastal Mediterranean cuisine, explore the mysterious Karst landscapes, and experience luxury wellness treatments with therapeutic water in Slovenia’s spas. As a cherry on top its capital Ljubljana is one of the greenest capital cities in Europe. In this edition, we explore the eight hidden Slovenian gems of EDEN... ‘

July 2021 37 Europe: Slovenia

The European Destinations of Excellence Network (EDEN) is a relatively unknown European scheme, but an important initiative promoting sustainable tourism models across the EU. The network includes eight Slovenian destinations that are waiting to be uncovered and experienced. Explore their rich natural and cultural heritage and breathe in the freshness of green nature...

Podčetrtek lies at the very heart of the region by the Sotla River. The Terme Olimia spa and the village of Olimje with its monastery and one of Europe’s oldest apothecaries beckon visitors to stop and explore. Orchards sprawling across the meadows and Podsreda Castle are part of the Kozjansko Regional Park.


Koper is a town of a hundred suns which adorn the medieval Venetian palaces. The sun warms up the lagoon of the Škocjanski Zatok Nature Reserve, home to hundreds of birds, the Karst Edge and world-famous climbing areas. Istrian cuisine can be enjoyed at numerous events.

As a Unesco World Heritage Site, Idrija boasts the secondlargest mercury mine in the world. It is also the birthplace of a distinct lace-making tradition, a specific culinary legacy and unique technical heritage. Discover “klavže” – water barriers that are the Slovenian equivalent of the pyramids in terms of their ingenious design. Set out to visit the Unesco Geopark.


Welcome to Brda, a sunny and sweet region full of invigorating moments. Kick back and relax with a glass of lovely regional wine and get ready for a culinary extravaganza as you attend the traditional festivals, wander through romantic villages or roam amongst the vineyards, olive groves and orchards.

The Soča Valley is the leading outdoor destination in Slovenia – a valley of action, festivals and discoveries. The emerald-green river hosts various water sports, while numerous thematic trails run along the river that uncover the heritage of the First World War as well as other stories of the valley.

38 July 2021 Europe: Slovenia


The Upper Savinja Valley and Logar Valley with the crystalclear green River Savinja, preserve the indigenous Alpine way of life. Experience the region’s natural beauty in a glacial valley, on a tour of the Kamnik and Savinja Alps, along the stunningly scenic Solcava Panoramic Road, in a flower garden or on the white slopes of the Golte ski resort.

Laško is the confluence of wellbeing and health, brewing, beekeeping and herbalism. In the town below a castle, the Thermana Laško Spa is located right next to the Savinja River, and the Rimske Terme Spa is not far away.

Considered the warmest river in the country, the River Kolpa is a beauty of southern Slovenia, and it is surrounded by the Kolpa Landscape Park. As you go down the clear, warm, and biodiverse River Kolpa, you will notice that it changes its character many times – it starts as a mountain torrent at its source and ends as a slow river flowing through plains further downstream.

Learn to make...

Pajtičke, the miniature version of the real savoury onion loaf, a regional specialty. Savoury Pajtičke with onion and walnut stuffing are an excellent snack. They can also be a side and go well with vegetable and meat dishes as a substitute for bread. Some restaurants in the Cerkno region serve savoury pajtičke with a welcome aperitif.


Leavened dough:

• 1kg white flour

• 30g yeast

• 1 tsp sugar

Walnut filling with onion:

• 100g ground walnuts

• 2 onions

• 5 tbsp oil

• 2 tbsp breadcrumbs

• 1 tsp salt

• black pepper grains


Use the ingredients to make leavened dough and let it rise. In the meantime, prepare the filling, using walnuts and onion as the main ingredients. Peel the onion and slice it. Heat some grease in a pan and panfry the onion. Fry the onion slowly until its turns yellow and all the liquid evaporates. Add the fried onion to the ground walnuts and give everything a good stir, adding salt and pepper.

When the dough rises, roll it out to the desired thickness, spread it evenly with the stuffing and roll tightly. Cut the roll into slices about 2–3 centimetres thick and place them on a greased baking tray. Bake for about 30 minutes at 160–170C. Bon appétit!

Pictures: I Feel Slovenia

July 2021 39 Europe: Slovenia


From ancient historical sites, to world class art galleries, to quaint seaside towns and Michelin-starred restaurants, take in Italy at a slower pace

40 July 2021
Europe: Italy July 2021 41
42 July 2021

An Italian Odyssey

Italy works well as a long-haul, longer-stay destination, allowing luxury travellers to slow down and relish its reviving pace of life

Italy is certainly worth taking time over – something that is right on trend for travel 2021. The fact is, for their long-haul holidays this year, travellers are not going to want to hit the ground running for a fast-paced city break with as much crammed into each day as possible, with little time for reflection and relaxation.

“People have learned to slow down over the past year and appreciate their surroundings,” says Maria Elena Rossi, marketing and promotion director for ENIT Italian Tourist Board. “For travel, we think this means the journey itself will become a larger part of the mindset. Rather than rushing to get from place to place, people will take their time to go deeper in fewer places. People will want to enjoy the immersive Italian experience.”

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more multi-faceted,

July 2021 43

better value and more desirable destination that sells itself on quite so many levels as Italy. Travellers often fixate on the cities’ sights, but there are so many other ways to send them on a showstopping Italian Odyssey they could not have imagined, and curate longer, less crowded and more imaginative itineraries that will satisfy luxury travellers’ renewed priorities for 2021.

No matter how much you think you know Italy, no matter how many times you have visited, there is always something to surprise you "

As well as the ancient history, world-class art galleries and the 'When In Rome' bucket list sights, there’s tremendous scope for pairing these things with an unhurried self-drive road trip through the Alps in a classic car, or a wellbeing escape to a seaside resort that’s still under most seasoned travellers’ radars.

Take Procida, for example – a tiny island off the coast of bustling Naples. Crowned Italy’s Capital of Culture for 2022, visitors can stroll through its peaceful cobbled streets and patchwork of pastel buildings, soaking up Renaissance history and stopping for an aperitvo when they stumble upon the perfect al fresco spot.

“With a population of just 10,000 people on a piece of land that is less than 4 sq km, Procida is a perfect place for luxury travellers to immerse themselves in the Italian way of life,” says Rossi. “No matter how much you think you know Italy, no matter how many times you have visited, there is always something to surprise you.”

As most of us have become accustomed to a slower pace of living, we’ve also been trying to make moremindful, ethical lifestyle choices – including what’s on our plate. Which is yet another reason why Italy comes out top for 2021.

In 1989, Italy became the birthplace of the global Slow Food movement, a push-back against the global fast food culture. Slow Food is not only about championing regional cuisine and producers, biodiversity and natural ingredients. It’s also about representing the remarkable stories and people behind sun-ripened produce, wine ageing in hand-crafted barrels, and intricate pasta pieces folded with care and finesse. Finally, Slow Food is about convivial dining – taking pleasure in every part of it: joining in the picking, preparing, chopping and

cooking, and sharing a languorous meal with others as the hours melt away and wine glasses are replenished over and over.

To give luxury travellers a taste of Italy’s slow food scene, take them to where the Slow Food movement first began in Piedmont in Italy’s northern Langhe region. Here, they can e-bike and hike from one extraordinary food experience to another – vineyards, Three-Michelin-star dining in Alba, cookery classes, cheese festivals, family wineries, truffle hunting through valleys with an expert and their canine assistant. Aim for a two-week itinerary timed with the autumn harvest and devastatingly beautiful colours, rounding the trip with a seaside stop at Portofino, and a train ride along the dramatic Cinq Terre coastline to explore Medieval villages and hidden hiking trails.

44 July 2021 Europe: Italy
Page 40-41: Cinque Terre Previous page: Trumpeteer in Tuscany Above: Truffle hunting in Alba; Procida; Vintage car in Tuscany Pictures: Andrea Cairone, Filippo Andolfatto, Laurent Gence, Josh Hild, Karl Muscat

Trending Italian Experiences

Show travellers a new side to a timeless destination

Michelin-star dining in Florence

Set inside the Byzantine-era Pagliazza tower, Ristorante Santa Elisabetta was recently awarded a second Michelin star. Executive chef Rocco De Santis is a master of delectable modern twists on classic Italian staples. Diners can opt for a five, seven or nine-course meal.

Italian road trips curated by luxury hotels

Several luxury hotel brands – including Four Seasons, Kempinski and Aman – now arrange self-drive tours that send guests out onto the open road in a classic car, stopping to stay at their Italian properties along the way.

A retreat to one of Italy’s loveliest lakes

The 15-suite Aria Wellbeing Retreat & Spa near Lugano is now available for exclusive hire. Overlooking Lake Lugano, it’s set within a 35,000 sqm park, so as well as providing supreme privacy, it has a winning combination of mountain, forest and lake views, and an expansive wellbeing programme centred around the 1,500 sqm spa and surrounding natural beauty.

Reconnecting with nature in Langhe

The newly opened 39-room Casa di Langa is a luxury eco-retreat nestled amid the rolling hills and endless vineyards of Italy’s stunning Langhe region, a Unesco World Heritage Site to the north of the country. Set amid 42 hectares of land, guests can upskill at the property’s wine academy or cooking school, or reap the benefits of all-natural treatment at the spa.

A heli-hiking tour of the Dolomites

With wild open meadows, dense woodlands and dramatic mountainous terrain, the UNESCOaccredited Dolomites mountains are home to thousands of hiking trails, along with the distinctive Ladin culture, cuisine and language (a fusion of Italian and Austrian). An exhilarating addition to a regular hiking itinerary could be a daily private helicopter ride to a drop-off point.

Words: Rose Dykins

Above: Casa di Langa Eco Retreat

July 2021 45

Rev up for Emilia-Romagna

Home to the medieval cities of Bologna, Ferrara and Ravenna and the birthplace of Ferrari, Lamborghini and other sports car brands, startpoint for an Italian roadtrip

46 July 2021

The Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy stretches from the Apennine Mountains to the Po River in the north with beach resorts dotted along the Adriatic coast.

It’s Italy’s ultimate foodie destination, where the fertile plains produce some of the best-known signature ingredients of Italian cuisine including prosciutto crudo and mortadella, balsamic vinegar of Modena and parmesan cheese, from Parma.

It’s also blessed with the magnificent colourful cities of Bologna, Ferrara and Ravenna, with their Renaissance palaces, medieval and Romanesque churches, and Byzantine artworks – all of which can be enjoyed without queues or crowds.

But it’s the region’s rich motoring history that makes Emilia-Romagna an ideal destination for car enthusiasts. Emilia-Romagna is home to some of the world’s best-known luxury sports car brands including Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini, Ducati, Pagani, Dallara and more and is widely seen as the epicentre of the Italian motor industry.

With its own ‘Motor Valley’ route, Emilia-Romagna is a mecca for motoring enthusiasts from around the world who are drawn to its motor-themed museums, attractions and events. Visitors who want to explore the region can enjoy a self-drive holiday on one of the many itineraries that take in all of the region’s superb motoring history – along with the region’s verdant countryside, pastel-coloured towns and grand, luxury hotels.

A must-see first stop on any self-drive itinerary through Motor Valley would be in Modena at the Maserati Showroom and the Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari, about the life and work of Enzo Ferrari.

The Maserati showroom exhibits a variety of cars bearing the famous Maserati Trident logo and offers a 40-minute guided tour on the history of the marque, plus there are factory tours available to the heart of the production floor.

From here, visitors can continue on foot to the nearby Enzo Ferrari Museum which is housed in a futuristic pavilion — a masterpiece of the neofuturistic Czech architect, Jan Kaplicky. Here, makes and models are on display tracing the magical story of Enzo Ferrari’s 90 years of life. Alongside this pavilion is the historic factory of Enzo’s father, now restored and home to the Ferrari Automobile Museum.

Modena’s historic old town is a real gem of Italy’s north. There’s the Piazza Grande, Modena cathedral and the Ghirlandina bell tower – the symbol of Modena.

Lunch can be enjoyed at the lively Albinelli Market, Modena’s art nouveau-style covered market which sells local produce from great hunks of parmigiana reggiano,

bottles of Vecchia Modena Lambrusco and just-stuffed tortellini. And you won’t want to leave without trying and buying some of Modena’s famed balsamic vinegar – one of the most precious treasures of Italian gastronomy.

After lunch, car enthusiasts can rekindle their motoring passions with a trip to the Stanguellini Museum of Vintage Autos. Among the 30 or so interesting cars on display, the standouts include Fiat’s first Sport 750 and 1100, the Stanguellini Junior 1100 and the Stanguellini-Guzzi Colibrì.

Day two of a Motor Valley tour might start with a side trip to the city of Maranello, home of Ferrari and the Formula One racing team Scuderia Ferrari.

What awaits you here is a place that has become legendary – the Ferrari Museum – and a chance to immerse yourself in the extraordinary history of the “Prancing Horse”, Ferrari’s nickname and logo. The most-famous Formula One racing cars are on display here, as are legendary sports cars, the automobiles of the Gran Turismo series and road cars.

Saving the best for last, the final stop on a luxurious and languorous drive through Emilia-Romagna would be to Bologna, the lively, historic capital of the region.

Its Piazza Maggiore is a sprawling plaza lined with arched colonnades, cafes and medieval and Renaissance buildings such as City Hall, the Fountain of Neptune and the Basilica di San Petronio.

Car lovers will want to visit the headquarters of Lamborghini, the producer of luxury sports supercars. At Lamborghini, you can visit MUDETEC (the Museum of Technologies), where cars of various makes are on display and a driving simulator offers visitors an interactive experience.

Two-wheel fans will want to spend an entire morning at the Ducati Museum in Bologna, where 32 motorcycles constructed between 1947 and the latest superbikes from recent seasons recount the story of the evolution of Ducati’s renowned racing bikes.

Europe: Italy
July 2021 47
Words: Louise Longman Previous page: Dallara Stradale Above: Bologna, Ferrari Museum, Ducati Exhibition Pictures: Motor Valley, Felix Dorn, Shutterstock/Fed Photography
48 July 2021 Europe: Italy
July 2021 49 Europe: Italy
Facing page, clockwise from top left: Sicily, Matera, Florence, Venice This page: Puglia, Italy Pictures: Flo P, Piermario Eva, Drew Dempsey, Alistair Boyd, José Jóvena

Sun-soaked Malta

Chic harbours, grand hotels and a melting pot of cultures make Malta a captivating luxury holiday destination

50 July 2021

Nestled between Sicily and Tunisia in the middle of the Mediterranean, the sun-soaked island of Malta is an archipelago of three main islands, of which Malta is the largest, followed by Gozo and the largely uninhabited Comino.

This is an ancient temple-building civilisation. Occupations by Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs and Normans have all left their mark on Maltese culture with an impressive collection of archaeological sites, three of which are on the Unesco World Heritage List: the capital Valletta, the Megalithic Temples – in particular the Ggantija temples in Gozo, older than the pyramids in Egypt - and Hal Saflieni Hypogeum, underground chambers hewn out of rock. Malta’s historical sites can also house private functions and offer tours with local guides.

Making the biggest impression on Malta were the Knights of St John from 1530, a roaming order of Catholic warriors. They transformed Malta into a maritime power and furnished it with Europe’s finest art and ornate baroque architecture including the Grand Master’s Palace and the façade of St John’s CoCathedral.

As well as its stunning architecture and rich history, Malta is renowned for its artisanal products. These include lace, filigree jewellery and glassblowing, with Valletta and Malta’s smaller towns and villages still maintaining these centuries-old practices.

Malta’s walled capital of Valletta has long-been an attraction for visitors. This captivating 16-century goldhued city is dominated by baroque and Renaissance architecture including The Manoel Theatre and The Auberge de Castile, the Prime Minister’s office. There are also several old palazzos that have been converted into boutique accommodation, mostly in Valletta, but also in other towns. Valletta is also home to two rare paintings by Caravaggio.

Harbour views

The best views of the Mediterranean can be seen from Valletta’s Grand Harbour – the perfect spot to enjoy high tea. From Valletta, it’s an easy day trip out to wander the unspoilt streets of the 3,000-year-old Mdina Old City that rises above the surrounding fields.

Thanks to its rich history, Malta’s culinary scene is an enticing mix of Mediterranean cuisine with influences from neighbouring countries and past occupants. Malta is also home to a staggering five Michelin-starred restaurants – quite astonishing when you think of the size of the island – and an array of wineries with guided tours and tastings available on Malta and Gozo.

Traditional Maltese food is rustic and based on the seasons. Staples include lampuki pie (fish pie), rabbit stew, bragioli (beef olives), kapunata (a Maltese version of ratatouille) and widow’s soup, which features a small round of ġbejniet (sheep or goat’s cheese).

A trip to the Marsaxlokk fish market on Sunday morning will show you just how varied the fish catch is in Maltese waters. When fish is in abundance, you’ll find aljotta (fish soup). Depending on the season, you’ll see spnotta (bass), dott (stone fish), cerna (grouper), dentici (dentex), sargu (white bream) and trill (red mullet). Octopus and squid are very often used to make some rich stews and pasta sauces.

In Valletta visitors can enjoy coffee and pastizzi – a traditional Maltese savoury pastry served with mushy peas or ricotta. And where better to enjoy this treat than in one of the oldest palazzos in the city, St George’s

Europe: Malta

Square. Here you’ll discover the old grand building of Casa del Commun Tesoro, or Treasury of the Order harking back to the rule of the order of the Knights. Inside, the beautiful décor is highlighted by the grand vaulted ceiling which is embellished with paintings by renowned Maltese artist Giuseppe Cali.

Venturing beyond Valletta, you’ll find the cliffs of Dingli on Malta’s west coast and the highest point on the island. A good way to explore Dingli Cliffs is on a Segway tour, starting from the Buskett Gardens.

To appreciate the sheer density of the tiny island of Malta, it’s best to take to the sea to soak up the views. Surrounded by the sparkling Med, there’s a wide variety of water sports including paddleboarding, kayaking and sailing, with one-day and multi-day charters around Malta, Gozo, Comino and Cominotto.

Sea excursions

A typical itinerary might head from Valletta up the east coast to Mellieha, where you can anchor at Paradise Bay and enjoy the beach and crystal-clear waters for swimming. From here you might head to Comino for a spot of snorkelling and diving and to see the Blue Lagoon, one of the most breathtaking beaches in Malta.

Another itinerary might travel past the fortifications of the Grand Harbour and explore anchorages such as it-Tlett Hofriet (the Three Holes) or the clear blue waters of Selmun bay.

Malta’s sister island, Gozo, is also worth a visit, either as a standalone destination or for a day trip, using one of the ferry-boats connecting the islands. Definitely a quainter alternative to the mainland, with more green areas, Gozo is more sparsely populated and yet offers myriad attractions for the young and young at heart.

Visitors can explore the island via quad bike, jeep or even tuk-tuk, allowing them to roam at their own pace. They can experience old traditions such as the milking of goats and sheep and watch as this milk is prepared into traditional gozitan cheese.

Words: Louise Longman Facing page: View of Valletta Above: Upper Barrakka Gardens Pictures: Malta Tourism Authority
July 2021 51

Small & mighty Catalonia

A rich past has given way to an unstoppable present.

"Catolonia has an impressive list of accolades, counting 59 Michelinstarred restaurants, 11 distinct winemaking regions and 36 Unesco World Heritage Sites

The Mediterranean destination of Catalonia is rich with a millenary history, its own culture and language, as well as a wealthy historical and natural heritage. Plus, it is partnered for 365 days a year by a wonderful ally: its climate. Temperate and mild, it is characterised by dry, warm summers and moderately cool winters - with skiready snow found in the highest peaks of the Pyrenees. It is an advantage that is hard to beat.

Small but mighty, Catalonia is extremely diverse. Its colourful heritage has been formed over thousands of years of history, avant-garde art and cuisine. In this region, Roman and medieval remains stand beside incredible architecture by great masters, from Gaudí to Norman Foster, and century-old businesses and handicraft workshops share neighbourhoods with trendy shops and luxury hotels.

It is a land rich in wines and fresh products from the sea, market gardens and mountains. Thanks to this and its ancient culinary traditions, Catalan food is now one of the most highly rated in the world. In fact, the destination is home to 59 Michelin-starred restaurants (boasting a total of 74 stars), 11 wine-making regions (officially classified as Denominations of Origin), and 36 Unesco World Heritage Sites.

The cosmopolitan city of Barcelona is the great gateway to the world of sensations offered by this fascinating territory. Only short distances separate the capital from the peaks of the Pyrenees, the medieval villages of Lleida, or the beaches: the great expanses of sand of the Costa Daurada and the Terres de L’Ebre, or

the Costa Brava´s small, hidden coves.

Catalonia is a luxury destination, a sun-blessed Mediterranean region offering a myriad of exquisite attractions. Exclusive and fancy spots, breathtaking cuisine and fashionable shopping experiences are all dressed with a pinch of thousands of years of cultural heritage.

The Catalunya Premium brand, which belongs to the Catalan Tourist Board, includes companies and specialised organisations offering unique products and exclusive services especially for the most-demanding customers.

All of them offer unique, enriching experiences based on exclusive, personalised treatment, adapted to the culture, and special needs of each visitor. They guarantee Premium experiences to help their customers enjoy the authentic Catalonia.

If your customer has a dream, the Catalunya Premium Partners will make it come true...

Above: Catalonia Facing, clockwise from top: Girona - Costa Brava, Mas Salagros, The Grand Tour of Catalonia, skiing in the Catalan Pyrenees, Terres de Lleida

Pictures: Carles Rabada, Mas Salagros, Catalunya Premium, Julien Paoletti

52 July 2021 Europe: Catalonia

With a good handful of sparkling Michelin stars, deserted coves, untouched medieval villages and a particularly fertile land, Girona has it all. Made up of a rugged landscape mix of mountains and coastline, Girona not only surprises travellers, but also enamours them with its seafaring spirit. Girona is a land of muses, magic and charm. Nothing is impossible here.

Terres de Lleida

Fields of fruit trees presided over by an elegantly imposing cathedral from the heights of the city – this is Lleida. It represents tradition, simplicity and a return to origins that help us to discover the simple things of life, those we most appreciate but are sometimes forgotten: pa amb tomàquet (tomatorubbed bread) and olive oil; strolls through vertiginous gorges; stars in the sky; pilgrim routes; landscapes.

The Catalan Pyrenees

The Catalan Pyrenees are a top destination for adventure sports. Here you can climb the highest peak in Catalonia, Pica d’Estats, soar in a hot-air balloon, go mountain biking or be daring and go rafting on the Noguera Pallaresa, the best whitewater river in Iberia. And in winter, skiing and snowboarding are practised in some of Catalonia’s 16 alpine and Nordic ski resorts, such as Baqueira Beret, one of the most prestigious ski resorts in Europe.


Embrace the slow movement and disconnect at Mas Salagros. Located in a nature reserve, with views of the Catalan Coastal range, Mas Salagros runs a 100% sustainable operation, making this hotel the only place of its kind in the Iberian Peninsula. You will find everything from ecological materials, energy and amenities to local and seasonal ingredients for restaurants.

As well as being an eco-resort, the property also features a fantastic thermal bath circuit managed by the international firm AIRE Ancient Baths.

Live an unforgettable journey of sensations by candlelight in a 15th century farmhouse where you will go through different water rooms at a series of temperatures.

The Grand Tour of Catalonia encompasses a host of iconic itineraries that stretch along the scenic roads and celebrate the art, history, gastronomy, landscapes, people and traditions of this unique territory that’s nestled between the Mediterranean and the Pyrenees.

A circular route of more than 2,000 kilometres, the Grand Tour connects so many of the region’s highlights. While it can be explored in under two weeks, visitors may choose to break the journey into sections to enjoy at a more leisurely pace; starting from Catalonia’s capital city of Barcelona, the route travels to Roman Tarragona, Lleida, La Seu and Figueres, before winding back to the beginning.

From exploring La Garrotxa in a balloon, kayaking down the river Ebre or learning how to make one of Catalonia’s traditional dishes esqueixada, there is so much to see, do and explore. In fact, the Grand Tour can be split into 13 distinct sections, each with memorable recommendations to help visitors make the most of this spectacular region.

July 2021 53 Europe: Catalonia
The Grand Tour of Catalonia Mas Salagros Girona

Immense Andalucia

At the southern tip of mainland Spain lies Andalucia, a destination bursting with colour, vitality and brilliance. Visit it once and it will beckon you back for years to come.

Without doubt, Andalucia is one of the country’s most authentic and passionate regions. So immense and diverse is this sun-filled destination, it is impossible to ever truly have “done it” (it is, on its own, larger than countries like Denmark or Switzerland).

Stretching from south-east to south-west, Andalucia is home to a spectacular collection of eight provinces, each one named for its capital city: Cadiz, Cordoba, Jaen, Huelva, Almeria, Malaga, Granada and Seville.

Together with its 800 kilometres of coastline, Guadalquivir River valley, Tabernas desert and the snow-capped peaks of Sierra Nevada, Andalucia will deliver wonders for every traveller.

Touchtown in Malaga, the birthplace and home of Pablo Picasso, for the entrypoint to all Andalucia. From here, explore the dramatic landscape of Almeria’s Cabo de Gata-Níjar or Mars-like Rio Tinto in Huelva, visit Ronda’s Puente Nuevo bridge, head to modern Marbella and its luxurious Puerto Banús marina or the white villages of Cadiz, or visit the dreamlike olive groves of Jaén or authentic tapas bars in Granada. And for a truly authentic Flamenco experience, Seville is just the ticket. Beginning its history in the countryside, Flamenco became widely appreciated with the opening of cafés cantantes, before rising in popularity with performances being held across Spain.

Andalucia’s unique composition of history and multiculturalism can be seen through its impressive and world-famous monuments, most notably influenced by the Moors. Granada’s fortress of Alhambra (“Red Castle”), The Mezquita of Córdoba, The Alcazaba of Málaga and The Royal Alcázars of Seville, are a few that are so mesmerising, repeat visits are guaranteed. In fact, the latter captured the hearts of Hollywood so much that it inspired author George RR Martin and was later chosen as a film location in HBO’s The Game of Thrones. Co-writer David Weiss said: “There’s nowhere on earth that is more like the water gardens we pictured than this place …It is as if [the Alcázar] was designed for us many years ago.”

A destination of hidden gems, beautiful coastlines and sun-ripened food, it is little wonder why Andalucia continues to allure Spaniards and international guests alike.

Facing, clockwise from top: Torremolinos, Seville, Malaga, Marbella, Granada, Cordoba Pictures: Camille Brodard, Clark van der Beken, Bas van der Linden, Pablo de la Fuente, Sebastian Yepes, Girl

July 2021 55 Europe: Andalucia
with Red Hat

Leadership Focus Group



Information sharing is the main priority with the recognition that a lot of changes can happen at short notice so it is even more important to have the correct contacts. Our buyers want ideas for exclusive experiences and access to information and other resources that are not available to the wider public. One possible way to do this is to have a Members’ login on their websites or via a third party such as Connections.

1. Improve product knowledge with more training

2. Regular appointments with the Tourism Board/ DMOs

3. Maintain flow of information

4. Videos! It is simpler to send a video to a client and evokes a better reaction than words

5. Present curated experiences to matchmake with client needs and expectations

6. Sharing contacts of suppliers such as DMCs/hotels to build relationships

7. Quick response times with quotes


Our buyers asked, in particular, for details about which businesses such as restaurants and shops are still open. They recognise that a lot of change has occurred and they need assistance in curating new itineraries. There is also a clear trend towards developing memorable experiences that allow for a more emotional connection with the area. The focus is much more on nature and meeting locals rather than visiting the popular tourism spots. Privacy and exclusivity are priorities, but there is a trend towards getting more in touch with the culture and the people of the region.

1. The best of the best quality and service provided for the experience

2. Privacy, discretion and personalisation

3. Authentic experiences including the chance to engage with locals; emotionally connected tourists will be more curious and want to get a deeper insight into local living and culture

4. Creativity is key in designing experiences; create an itinerary that cannot be bought anywhere else

5. Experiences that trigger all the senses

6. Unique and iconic locations

7. Give them balance to relax and reconnect

8. Sustainable travel with a higher demand for nature and access to space

27 - 30 September 2021

58 July 2021 presents
Kia Oval, London 4-5 October Virtual


What is it?

Jacobs Media Group’s new annual travel trade event to support the recovery and resurgence of the travel industry. It brings together its market-leading brands to create a highly-impactful, time-efficient agenda to help delegates network, do business, gain insight and expand opportunities. Travel sectors covered include luxury, mainstream travel and travel technology.

When and where is it?

The event will be hosted from 27-30 September 2021 at The Kia Oval in London. Our virtual programme will take place online from 4-5 October. Luxury delegates are also invited to a pre-event, private reception on Sunday 26 September.

Who can attend?

Global Travel Week is designed exclusively for decision-makers. The event welcomes worldwide destinations and their private sector to meet UK agencies. Some international agencies have also been invited. It’s worth knowing that every delegate in attendance has been reviewed and qualified.

How do I ensure I have meetings?

One-to-one meetings are guaranteed. Each delegate will have the opportunity to select their preferred meeting partners, and a personalised agenda of meetings will be provided ahead of Global Travel Week.

Why do you have experiences during meetings?

It’s scientifically proven that positive, shared emotions are at the heart of strong relationships. Apply that to meetings, and it helps fast-track the trust you need to do business in the future. This is known as the ‘Connections Way’ - our pioneering networking formula. You’ll enjoy a spin in a supercar, afternoon tea, massages and cocktail-making - to name a few!

What else is happening during the week?

Delegates will have the privilege of hearing from top industry leaders who will be featured in panels led by Jacobs Media Group’s leading brands: Travel Weekly UK; Aspire; Unity Through Tourism; the Global Travel & Tourism Resilience Council; the Association of Touring and Adventure Suppliers (ATAS). We are also hosting networking lunches and private receptions to make the most of meeting new faces in-person! Plus, our travel tech brand, Travolution will be leading an all-day session on 30 September to focus on how technology is underpinning our recovery.

What if I can't attend in-person?

Flexibility is at the core of Global Travel Week. If you can't attend in-person, or prefer not to, you can choose instead to attend our virtual programme which includes the opportunity to meet one-to-one with delegates worldwide. Our specialist online meeting platform has been tried, tested and received a 100% satisfaction rate from our delegates.

July 2021 59 Europe: Global Travel Week powered by Connections
Register via
Clockwise: Italy, Portugal, Denmark, Turks & Caicos, Andalucia, Uganda, Slovenia, Malta, Los Cabos. Pictures: Karl Kohler, Julia Solonina, Adrian Cuj, Jack Cohen, Shutterstock/horsemen, Keith Kasaija, Mikita Karasiou, Mike Mahlii, Christoper Kuzman 60 July 2021 Europe: Portugal


It’s time to travel at your own pace and enjoy the simplicity of life and small pleasures July 2021 61


The country is well known for being a special sun and sea destination, a place to enjoy the outdoors and exercise. The bathing season runs from May to October, giving plenty of time to explore the many excellent beaches that Portugal boasts along its coast. And with 372 Blue Flag beaches, it is not easy to choose!

As for exercise, diving, surfing and body-boarding are just some of the possibilities. To relax, a long walk at the seaside or a fresh glass of wine at sunset will complete the day. The important thing is to feel the sea and be inspired by the wide horizon and the blue sky. Portugal may be a small country, but the variety of its landscapes is a surprise. To enjoy nature in all its charm, we recommend activities, such as hiking or horse riding, and taking in the fragrance of the wildflowers on a beautiful sunny day.

Exploring Portugal by bike is a unique experience. Take it at your own pace, sensing the aromas and sounds that might otherwise pass unnoticed. Whether choosing to have the sea at your side, go up and down mountains or meander through the towns and villages, the options are endless.

With a pleasant climate, without great extremes of temperature, and a sun that shines throughout the year, Portugal offers lovely conditions to enjoy nature.

It's Time to Be

After more than a year of dreaming and holding the desire to travel, we finally arrived at a positive moment. Portugal is perfect to take time away from the daily routine, stay relaxed, eat well and invest in your wellbeing. With opportunities all over the country, Portugal offers true havens to rekindle the relationship with nature, discover healing waters and sands, or restore the body’s balance.

It’s time to be. Time to start. Time to go.

62 July 2021


From north to south, the country can be discovered through its different regional flavours, food and wine: the freshest fish on the Atlantic coast; the sausages, cheeses and delicious meat dishes in the countryside; and the Mediterranean diet, simple and refined at the same time, in which bread, olive oil and aromatic herbs have an important place at the table. Portugal is a country with a strong wine tradition, and the excellent quality of its wines is recognised around the world. To appreciate and know them, there is nothing like visiting the regions where they are produced. Wine is also an excellent excuse to discover the landscapes, heritage, culture and people. It is easy to find unique experiences while enjoying the authentic taste of what is produced by traditional methods, with unquestionable quality. Everyone is invited to be a little bit Portuguese and enjoy meals without rushing and make a toast to the best in life, being with friends, at the table, in a conversation that goes on for ever.


Monasteries and convents of historic and artistic importance, outstanding monuments, historic centres and cultural landscapes that offer some of the most beautiful natural scenery in Portugal – all have been considered by Unesco to be worthy of World Heritage status. The list is completed with icons that express a way of being, like fado. A visit to these Portuguese contributions to world history is a must and a great way to get to know the country. The territory has been inhabited for thousands of years and its national boundaries have been defined for eight centuries. This long history is reflected in a particular culture that is the result of the mix of the many peoples who settled and those that the Portuguese encountered on their journeys of discovery. Travelling around the country and choosing secondary roads will lead to a world of authenticity just waiting to be discovered. The Historical and the Schist villages, the refreshing river beaches and the frontier castles are some of Portugal’s hidden cultural gems. It is a magical world, where time passes more slowly and people always have the time to welcome visitors and to share their stories, crafts and traditions. But fans of contemporary art and architecture will not be disappointed. They will fall in love with the works of award-winning Portuguese architects such as Álvaro Siza Vieira and Eduardo Souto de Moura, along with many others scattered across the country.
Previous, facing page & above: Portugal; Praiada Galé; Fontainhas, Algarve; Batalha, Centro de Portugal; and Quinta do Quetzal
Europe: Portugal July 2021 63
Pictures: Andre Lergier, Frederic Ducout, ATAlgarve, Emanuele Siracusa, Joao Silva

Madeira Island

“I should think the situation of Madeira the most enviable on the whole earth. It ensures every European comfort with almost every tropical luxury.”

- H N Coleridge, 1825 64 July 2021 July 2021 65
Europe: Madeira

Discover the 'Pearl of the Atlantic'

An idyllic and remote haven located in the Atlantic, Portugal’s Madeira is the award-winning island destination that will capture your heart and soul. With quiet confidence, it awaits your arrival

Along with the French Riviera, the 19th Century saw Madeira become one of the first European tourist destinations visited by the aristocracy. An island that has long drawn politicians, artists and royalty to its shores, it comes as something of a surprise that Madeira remains relatively unknown to the luxury traveller of today. Yet for those fortunate to have landed, it has offered a sanctuary bursting with natural life, charming authenticity and warm hospitality.

Accessible via a 90-minute flight from mainland Portugal, the island of Madeira lies 500km west of Morocco along the African Tectonic Plate, and forms part of the Madeira archipelago alongside sister island Porto Santo. Rising above the vast underwater mountain range, Madeira Island is rugged, botanical and unspoilt; so diverse is its landscape that you can sail the coastline, swim in natural pools and climb above the clouds in a single day. Add the benefits of the Gulf Stream and Madeira is an exotic sanctuary for wildlife with balmy temperatures year-round. The island is a natural marvel, with one of its wonders being the prehistoric Laurisilva Forest, now listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site. It is no wonder that in years gone by, Madeira’s good air has been recommended to help in the recovery from illness.

Beyond its natural beauty, the island has long been renowned for its fortified wine, which flourished in the 17th Century. It has been so revered that it was mentioned by Shakespeare in Henry IV, Part 1, was used by Thomas Jefferson to toast the Declaration of Independence in the United States, and was also said to have impressed Winston Churchill with its with its ability to preserve its taste even when left unopened for years. Testament to this, Garrafeira Nacional at Time Out Market in Lisbon once had a 250-year-old bottle of Madeira wine which could be sampled for €150.

To discover more about its rich history and unique qualities, a visit to Blandy’s Wine Lodge in Funchal

city is a must. Those arriving in late August will also be able to enjoy the annual Madeira Wine Festival which celebrates the country’s oldest traditions. (Don’t forget to sip the local and sweet Poncha wine too!)

No matter what time of year, there’s plenty to do on the island. Madeira's climate means it is recognised as one of the best European winter destinations, with many attractions being open all year round - including the Quinta Monte Palace tropical garden and and its famous wooden sledges which provide a quick and exhilarating way to travel between Monte and Funchal. From spring, visitors will witness why the destination is coined ‘the island of flowers’ and up until autumn, its coast is frequented by dolphins, sea lions and whales. In fact, Madeira’s marine life and warm water temperatures make it a rising destinations for diving.

Though a small island, Madeira’s friendly people, customs and unique sense of place mean guests can easily feel like a local, which is why those that experience Madeira once are sure to feel compelled to return time and time again. Madeira’s ability to capture the hearts and souls of its visitors is thanks to an authenticity that has endured through the centuries.

Poised to welcome guests from around the world, there is no doubt that Madeira’s re-emergence onto the luxury travel map is only just beginning. As Visit Madeira’s Executive Director, Nuno Vale rightly points out, “The new tourist is seeking uncrowded and unspoilt destinations, sustainable tourism and a sense of authenticity. Madeira has long been up to that challenge.”

Words: Gemma Fitchett

Connections Luxury in Madeira was hosted virtually from 28 June - 2 July 2021.

Previous page & above: Madeira

Pictures: Henrique Seruca, Francisco Correia

July 2021 67
Europe: Madeira

A palace in the Atlantic, this fivestar hotel is prominent in Funchal's skyline. Imagined by interior designer Nini Andrade Silva in partnership with architects RH+ , Savoy Palace is a celebration of all Madeira has to offer.

Standing in place of the former Savoy Hotel, Savoy Palace is Madeira’s largest hotel, with 352 refined rooms, apartments and suites. Those in superior accommodation will benefit from an ample balcony opening to the ocean, while its presidential suites come complete with their own swimming pools.

Inspired by Madeira’s Laurissilva Forest, the hotel is also home to a state-of-the-art destination spa complete with 11 treatment rooms and a fitness centre.

For when hunger hits, there are four restaurants and four bars, offering light meals, Mediterranean dishes and international cuisine.

Jardins Do Lago

On the outskirts of Funchal you’ll find Jardins Do Lago, an elegant 18th-century Madeiran quinta, which is as well known for its rich and diverse botanical gardens as it is for being the residence of renowned French and British families - as well as to “Colombo”, the Quinta’s giant tortoise.

Jardins do Lago features 40 south-facing rooms and suites, the Beresford dining room, billiard room and a host of leisure facilities. Golfers can take advantage of packages to the island’s courses.

For over 125 years, Belmond Reid’s Palace has perched high on the clifftop above Funchal Harbour.

Founded in the 19th Century by William Reid, it was here that Winston Churchill retreated to write his war memoirs, and George Bernard Shaw learnt to tango.

Belmond Reid’s Palace is also renowned for its memorable dining, thanks to its Michelin-starred William Restaurant as well as its afternoon tea - an unhurried, elegant service hosted on the terrace overlooking the Atlantic.

Beyond its walls, the Belmond adventure continues. Guests can choose to hire a beautiful Princess V50 yacht to explore the island’s hidden treasures, jump in a 4x4 to climb above the clouds and watch the sunrise, or join their Michelinstarred chef, Luís Pestana, and Madeira fashion designer Patricia Pinto for a private atelier.

A five-star boutique hotel nestled within subtropical gardens and a banana plantation, Quinta Casa Branca is an architectural wonder. It is owned by the descendants of John Leacock (initiator of the Madeira wine trade with England in the 18th century), who worked in partnership with architect João Favila Menezes to create one of the first design hotels on the island.

The contemporary glass structure houses 41 rooms, two suites and the Phytocéane Spa, with views out to the hills above Funchal city as well as to the ocean.

Set apart from this modern hotel lies the family Manor House which accommodates five luxurious suites and a dining room. Nearby, there is also a swimming pool and 19thcentury villa.

A glamorous retreat, Quinta Casa Branca carefully combines its past with a vision of its future.

Quinta Casa Branca Savoy Palace Belmond Reid's Palace
68 July 2021
Left: Savoy Palace Below: Belmond Reid's Palace
Europe: Madeira

Time to sur f

# TimeToBe

It's time to start. We take a big breath, go along the coast and row towards new horizons. From top to bottom, we return to the sand and emerge again. Because this time's got the tide in our favour. It's time to surf. It's time to be.

70 July 2021
Americas July 2021 71

Moskito Island

Perched peacefully in the turquoise waters of the British Virgin Islands is Moskito Island, Virgin Limited Edition’s second luxury island paradise in the exclusive Caribbean destination.

The bigger sister of Sir Richard Branson’s home of Necker Island (an impressive 125 acres as opposed to 74 acres), Moskito Island is home to the Branson Estate (among other private estates), which can accommodate up to 22 people in 11 bedrooms across three private luxury villas.

Let’s explore...

Getting to Moskito Island

The closest international airport is on Tortola (Beef Island – airport code EIS) which is a 35-minute flight from San Juan and an 80-minute flight from Antigua. It is possible to fly to the British Virgin Islands via many parts of the Caribbean, with the most popular routes being via San Juan, Antigua and St Thomas. Private jets can land at Beef Island and at the airport in St Thomas (STT).


The average monthly temperature in the British Virgin Islands ranges from highs of around 82F (28C) in January to highs of roughly 95F (35C) in July. In short, it’s hot and sunny pretty much all year round! There is a consistent sea breeze and the water temperature doesn’t stray far from 76-80F (24-27C).


At the northeast tip of Moskito Island is Headland House, an impressive villa arranged with three bedrooms, spacious living areas that can accommodate up to 40 people for dinner, and an infinity pool that meanders around the Master Suite. You can quite literally step out of bed in


this room and straight into the pool! Beach Villa and its guest houses – Turtle, Gecko and Palm – sit in an enviable sheltered position just above a sandy beach with views out to sea and up to Headland House. Perfect for al-fresco dining with beautiful sea views, this villa can accommodate up to eight people in four bedrooms.

Finally, the east-facing Mangrove Villa looks out on to the water in the direction of Necker Island. Nestled among the mangrove trees, all rooms are elevated and connected both to Headland House and to the neighbouring Beach Villa by wooden walkways. Accommodating two in the Treetops Master Suite, there are three additional guest houses – Lake House, Sunrise and Sea Breeze – which can accommodate up to six additional guests.


On the eastern side of Moskito Island is the shared recreation area where guests and homeowners can take advantage of a diverse range of activities and dining opportunities.

Watersports Pavilion, which is the go-to place to arrange activities including paddleboarding, kayaking, sailing, snorkelling and more. For the more extreme watersports fans, guests can also learn to kite-surf with instructors, and waterskiing and wakeboarding can be enjoyed at nearby Prickly Pear Island.

Back on land, Moskito Island is home to some beautiful hiking trails, with guided tours available, and team sports, treasure hunts and beach olympics can be arranged for all the family.

Connections Luxury Member: Virgin Limited Edition (

Pictures: Virgin Limited Edition

The Beach House sits at the heart of the recreation area and has direct access to a beautiful sandy beach. With a bar, coffee station, TV and infinity pool with sun loungers, this is the perfect place on the island to relax.

The recreation area also features a tennis pavilion, which has an observation area overlooking the two tennis courts on island. The grandstand steps work well as a seating area for spectators and also for movie nights, and downstairs in the Pavilion is a gym and wellness facility. Not far from the Tennis Pavilion is the

Clockwise from top left: Headland House from the beach; Headland House infinity pool; The Great Room at Headland House; Flamingos; beach view Above centre: Private dining on the beach
Americas: Supplier Spotlight July 2021 73 74 July 2021

Born to be wild

With its miles of unspoilt coastline, wide, open spaces and big skies, California has long been synonymous with road tips. And with California having fully reopened in mid-June, it’s anticipated the iconic road trip will appeal to many travellers craving the freedom of the open road

The first cross-country road trip originated in California in 1903, when Horatio Nelson Jackson took a bet that he could drive from San Francisco to New York in 90 days at a time when cars were mostly driven in cities and many roads were unpaved or non-existent.

Hiring bicycle racer and mechanic Sewall Crocker and travelling in a Winton car, the two men set out on May 23, 1903, driving across open prairies, wearing out tyres and waiting for parts to arrive by train. The journey took them - and a pitbull named Bud they bought along the way - 63 days and has ensured the California Road Trip has become a rite of passage ever since, celebrated in music, literature and film.

These days, holidaymakers and everyday explorers make their way across California’s 400,000 miles of roads and 840 miles of coastline, choosing road trips that take them along cliff-lined beaches, redwood forests, the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Central Valley farmland and the Mojave Desert.

Road trip itineraries are as varied and diverse as the state itself. has a range of itineraries to choose from that list key stops along the way, must-visit diners and places of interest.

There’s the 968-mile, seven-to-10-day, Born to Be Wild trip that heads south from the tree-studded Redwood Coast to A-lister hangout Malibu. Steer your car through 315-foot-tall sequoia sempervirens with a 70-foot circumference and fold in your wing mirrors as you squeeze through one massive redwood’s six-footwide tunnel, which was hand-carved in 1937.

Hugging the coast initially, the itinerary takes you through Mendocino, Bodega Bay and Tomales Bay, before heading inland to Napa Valley and its grand estates and wineries. You’ll then head to Shaver Lake, a sapphire gem hugged by pine forest in the granitestudded Sierra Nevada Mountains and across to Mammoth Lakes before heading to Lone Pine, Alabama Hills and Red Rock Canyon State Park, before finally reaching the sunny shores of Malibu.

For beach lovers, there’s the 616-mile, four-toseven-day Top Surfing Spots itinerary to experience some of California’s best beaches and iconic surf.

"We have over 400,000 miles of roadways in California and 840 miles of coast. There is no better sense of freedom than the freedom of your own itinerary and the wonder and scenic diversity of an off-the-beaten-path road trip, connected by our iconic gateway cities

Caroline Beteta, Visit California

Starting from the seaside town of La Jolla, which secured its place in wave history in 1937 when surfing pioneer Woody Brown rode here, the route winds its way up the Californian coast travelling through 15 stops where you can catch a wave.

There’s the series of point breaks at Trestles in San Clemente, where you have to hike from the San Onofre State Beach car park, and the Wedge at Newport Beach, a world-famous bodysurfing and bodyboarding wave which forms during swells then slams into incoming waves resulting in 30-foot-high waves. There’s also a stop in Surf City USA – no surfing road trip would be complete without a stop here – where the pier at Huntington State Beach is perhaps southern California’s holiest surf shrine thanks to a pedigree that dates back a century to legends Duke Kahanamoku and George Freeth.

Shorter road trips, but equally as iconic, include the 496-mile, three-to-six day Amazing Desert Oddities itinerary which takes in bizarre roadside attractions in the Californian desert, such as 130 gigantic scrapmetal sculptures of animals, including dinosaurs and a saber-toothed cat, at Borrego Springs Sculptures.

For foodies, there’s even a 176-mile, two-day Southern California Taco Tour, which allows you to track the story of the humble taco, with its Californian roots traced to the rolled tacos smothered in avocados from Cielito Lindo in East Los Angeles.

Americas: California
July 2021 75

Dream big

The Golden State of Luxury is waiting to welcome you...

California is preparing to welcome visitors back after the coronavirus-induced state shutdowns devastated the US travel industry last year.

With the US and the rest of the world closed to international visitors during the pandemic, it’s believed more than 37 million Americans travelled domestically more than 50 miles from home during this year's Memorial Day weekend at the end of May – a significant date in the US calendar that usually signifies the unofficial start of summer and summer travel.

Building on its appeal as an outdoor destination full of dreams and possibilities, the Golden State is banking on pent-up demand from travellers keen to hit the road and easily social distance and explore California's diverse landscape – from the snow-capped peaks of Lake Tahoe and the wineries of Sonoma and Napa Valley, to its stunning coastline, where tall rocky cliffs are interspersed with stretches of soft sand.

It’s also likely that travellers will seek out lesser-known Californian destinations to escape the crowds, such as Placer County with its riverside campsites, hiking trails and swimming holes or Shasta Cascade’s Lake Almanor, in the northeastern corner of California.

The vast, open spaces of the Grand Canyon, Redding and Yosemite are set to be popular spots for hikers and families keen to escape the crowds and explore the great outdoors after a year of lockdowns.

California’s beaches of Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz and Malibu are also expected to attract holidaymakers keen to experience the Golden State’s free-spirited appeal, renowned surfing and water sports and and the sense of freedom afforded by the expansive coastline.

Disneyland Park and Disney California Park reopened on April 30 after being closed for more than a year, with Disney’s hotels and resorts welcoming visitors back with a series of phased reopenings.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its guidance allowing people who are fully vaccinated to travel safely in the US. The CDC recommends unvaccinated people take certain precautions before travelling, including taking a Covid-19 test, wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.

Words: Louise Longman

Previous page: Big Sur

Clockwise from top: California at dusk, Los Angeles, Malibu

Pictures: Mick Hault, Grant Porter, Viviana Rishe, Cameron Venti

People want the sense of freedom and escape, and we as agents of travel –not travel agents – are the purveyor of that It is so important that we continue to provide the opportunity, the offerings and the inspiration

Americas: California
Caroline Beteta, Visit California 76 July 2021
California is open and welcoming visitors! July 2021 77
The Golden State invites you to once again enjoy the distinctive California vibe of laid-back luxury, where all dreams are always welcome.

Working hard or hardly working?


Mexico’s premier sustainable wellness retreat are inviting guests to embrace working from home and join them for longer stays to work remotely

Situated on the pristine coastline of the Riviera Maya is the stunning Palmaïa, The House of AïA. This laidback, eco-friendly paradise has embraced the cool vibe of beach-side towns like Playa Del Carmen and Tulum through its design and its ethos, while maintaining the high level of service that rival other luxury hotels along the Caribbean coast.

The ideal remote working set up

Appealing to a target demographic of young professionals who have flexibility in where they work, Palmaïa, The House of AïA are offering fiber-optic-powered air-conditioned suites that overlook natural, white sand beaches, and extras including built-in bluetooth speakers and Nespresso machines to keep your work going.

In addition to personal suites, the resort is also home to The Atlas Club & Community, their spacious, community oasis behind enormous glass walls offering a comfortable co-working space to focus your concentration, nurture your creativity, and enjoy spontaneous conversation. The Atlas Club also has lightening fast internet as well as a health café and juice bar to fuel your work sessions.

78 July 2021

Need help?

To ensure nothing interrupts that workflow, Palmaïa, The House of AïA also offers free IT technical assistance and computer repair advice. It’s also only a 10-minute bike ride to the Apple Store, so even in paradise you’ll stay on track when it matters most.

Time for a break?

Release any pent-up energy by jumping from your video calls and emails into the crystal-clear sea for a swim, or take part in one of the many wellness activities on offer. From the bike sharing service, to kayaking and snorkelling, to yoga and meditation, Palmaïa, The House of AïA has plenty of activities to ensure you get the perfect balance between work and play. Find out more at

Americas: Mexico
Clockwise from top: Bike Sharing Service; The Atlas Club; Swimming; Beach club working; Suite working Pictures courtesy of Palmaïa, The House of AïA
July 2021 79
Connections Member: Palmaïa, The House of AïA

It’s a well-known psychological fact that nothing is remembered without emotion, and by sharing an experience with another human, it creates a shared emotion. When we remember that person, we remember the emotion. Of course if the emotion is positive, we are far more likely to pick up the phone and reach out to each other in the future.

No doubt, these couple of years have been some of the toughest years our industry has faced. Through it all, we have stood united for travel together, offering knowledge and guidance to navigate a most uncertain time. We have been inspired by the incredible stories of support and collaboration and today, the industry is starting to show signs of recovery.

In response to the virtual world in which we live in, we have adapted our brand to ensure that no matter where you are in the world, there will always be an opportunity to network and do business.

Presenting a powerful directory of decisionmakers, including 1,600+ buyers from around the world, a versatile event programme, ConnecTALKS series, news bulletin and online Leaders Network, members can now connect, share, learn and do business with the best in the industry, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


Virtual one-to-one meetings


Qualified delegates in attendance


Live experiences brought to you from around the world

80 July 2021

Calendar of Events

Exclusive to members of Connections Luxury, the international private community for trusted decision-makers in luxury travel

February Wednesday 23 Quarterly One-Day Virtual Event

April Wednesday 27 Quarterly One-Day Virtual Event







Monday 11 - Tuesday 12

Connections Luxury Wednesday 13 Quarterly One-Day Virtual Event

Connections Luxury Social in Dubai

Sunday 26 - Wednesday 29

Connections Luxury

Global luxury buyers & suppliers

Monday 10 - Tuesday 11

Connections Luxury Wednesday 12 Quarterly One-Day Virtual Event

Sunday 25 - Wednesday 28

Global Travel Week powered by Connections

Global luxury buyers & suppliers

Connections Luxury Social in Cannes

Global luxury buyers & suppliers

Global luxury buyers & suppliers

Global suppliers & UK buyers with a small contingency from overseas

Global luxury buyers & suppliers

Interested in joining Connections Luxury? Visit Correct at time of publishing Connections Luxury: 2022 Calendar of Events July 2021 81
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