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w w w. c o r p o r a te l i v e w i r e . c o m / d e - l u x e





10 – 23


The Worlds Ultimate Luxury Hotels – TripAdvisor

24 – 29

Leading Spa’s around the World

32 – 43

Best of Britain

50 – 57

Paris – The City of Lights

58 – 63

A Skiers Escape

64 – 83

Visiting The Home Of Wine

84 – 93


94 – 101


104 – 119


122 – 145


160 – 179


180 – 189

Canary Islands

190 – 205


206 – 223


230 – 233

Czech Rep

236 – 251

The Mediterranean Golf Island – Mallorca

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Editors letter


254 – 261


264 – 269



270 – 275

Hong Kong

276 – 283

Malaysia - A bubbling, bustling melting pot of races, religion and culture!


288 – 291

Discover India

292 – 303

308 – 317

Egypt – Fusing History and Relaxation

318 – 327

Sharm El Sheikh

328 – 343

Morocco - The energy, the emotion, the country that



284 – 287


travels within you 346 – 357


358 – 363


South Africa - South Africa is guaranteed to provide you with the unforgettable journey of a lifetime

364 – 369

Kenya - A Land Of Natural Discovery

370 – 377

Seychelles - Welcome to Another World.

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Middle East

380 – 383

386 – 389

392 – 397

400 – 403

Islands of Australasia

404 – 411


412 – 417

420 – 423

426 – 431

Welcome to Florida - An Insight into the Sunshine State

432 – 437

Los Angeles

438 – 443

Las Vegas – Sin City

444 – 447

Hawaii – A Taste of Heaven

450 – 455


456 – 461

Mexico City – The City of Palaces

462 – 463

Caribbean - Islands of Paradise

466 – 469

The Cruising Life

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Dubai – The Ultimate Destination


Discover Qatar

Australia – Luxury Down Under

North America

The Wonders of New Zealand

New York – The Big Apple

472 – 485

486 – 489



Peru – A Historians Adventure

CONTENTS De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 5


Editors Letter


or most of us, holidays are never long enough; that little escape from the responsibilities of our lives always seems to come to end a significant period before we are ready. Therefore you want to ensure that the time you do spend on vacation is enjoyable, relaxing and full of memories. The Luxury Travel Guide is a summary of some of the best places to visit and stay around the world. We will try and help you find the right location for your needs and most importantly get the most out of your holiday. We have included a selection of information on the most popular destinations to visit as well as some regions we feel you should know far more about and do not get the recognition they deserve. The Luxury Travel Guide provides you with a huge selection of travel ideas and we have suggested some of the best experts around the world to get in touch with when planning your trip. Whether you are interested in a visiting a leading golf resort, staying at the perfect beach paradise or a city break full of activities, we have provided a little bit of everything for those looking to travel in style. You will find comprehensive features highlighting the most popular attractions in areas as well as the things you will find most enjoyable to do while you are there. We hope the publication can provide you with the information you need to plan your next escape and inspire you with some ideas of places you never thought you would visit. Holidays are a time to detach ourselves and enjoy life and we hope the places you visit in 2012 will be experiences you will never forget.


Andrew Walsh Editor & Managing Director

Chief Executive Officer Osmaan Mahmood Editor & Managing Director Andrew Walsh Publisher John Hart Art Director Adeel Lone Staff Writers Mark Johnson, Ehan Kateb Marketing Manager Sylvia Estrada Production Manager Sunil Kumar Account Managers Ibrahim Zulfqar, Norman Lee, Sarah Kent, Mark Parker Competitions Manager Arun Salik Accounts Assistant Jenny Hunter Editorial Enquiries Advertising Enquiries General Enquiries Corporate LiveWire Head Office The Greenhouse The Custard Factory Gibb Street Birmingham B9 4AA Tel: +44 (0) 121 270 9468 Fax: +44 (0) 121 345 0834




TripAdvisor Top 10 Luxury hotels 10 / LuxuryTravelGuide 2012 / De Luxe Series


The World’s Ultimate Luxury Hotels H

ard-earned and much-anticipated holiday time should be enjoyed to its full potential, but with such an abundance of hotels in nearly every tourist destination in the world, the decision of where to stay can be a difficult one.

“These are the world’s best luxury hotels according to TripAdvisor travellers,” commented TripAdvisor spokesperson Emma Shaw. “These properties are up against extensive and tough competition from around the world, but their superior service, stunning accommodation and enviable locations puts them at the top of their With over 50 million users, TripAdvisor travel- game.” lers have visited and reviewed hundreds of thousands of hotels around the world. Heed their Whether in search of a beach break, city escape or advice – the below hotels are tried, tested and the historic hideaway, these luxury hotels are sure to luxury travel world’s best as decided by travellers please even the most discerning of guests. themselves.

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1. Golden Well

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– Prague, Czech Republic


his boutique hotel in Prague has been named the world’s best luxury hotel by TripAdvisor travellers. With its enviable location, the Golden Well’s rooms offer beautiful views over Prague Castle’s royal gardens, while the rooms’ antique-style decor fits perfectly with its historic surroundings. As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “This hotel was absolutely fabulous. The staff couldn’t do enough for us and the rooms are all so unique and beautiful. It felt like I was walking into a spa every time I came into our room.”

GLOBAL De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 13

2. Hotel Prinsenhof Bruges – Bruges Belgium


mainstay of TripAdvisor’s Best Luxury Hotel’s list, this boutique property is famed for its exceptional service and homemade hot chocolate recipe.

Centrally but quietly located, this property is a perfect luxury base for a trip to Bruges.


As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “My husband & I spent 3 nights at this beautiful hotel. The service was absolutely wonderful and our room was just stunning.”

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3. A

lchymist Grand Hotel & Spa - Prague, Czech Republic



he Alchymist is enviably located inside Prague’s Mala Strana neighbourhood, a designated World Heritage Site.

It boasts 27 individually designed rooms and a renowned luxury spa. As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “This is absolutely top in every respect. Highly recommended.” De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 15

4 . Aria Hotel – Prague, Czech Republic


his luxury property is themed after Prague’s musical heritage, with each of its 27 rooms dedicated to a specific style of music or artist. The property was designed by the same Italian designers whose work can also be viewed in Versace stores.


As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “Wonderful location, first-class property.”

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5. Cocoa Island Resort – South Male Atoll Maldives


uiet and secluded, the over-water bungalows at this private island resort offer the ultimate in idyllic luxury.

As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “I can honestly say this hotel & Island was out of this world. If are looking for peace, tranquillity, seclusion and beauty, this is the place to go.”

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6. Hotel Villa Ducale


- Taormina, Italy


njoy views over the Mediterranean and imposing Mount Etna from the terrace in one of 17 luxury rooms, all featuring traditional Sicilian decor. This property prides itself on its service and no request is too much. As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “We spent four nights at this simply perfect hotel and it was the highlight of a memorable vacation to Sicily.�

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7. Taj Lake Palace – Udaipur, India



rguably one of the world’s most famous hotels, the Taj Lake Palace is uniquely located amidst Lake Pichola. Guests are greeted with a rose petal shower and rooms come complete with a Royal Butler. As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “From the moment you are greeted you are made to feel special. Service was wonderful, room superb, gardens and public areas stunning. You will not want to leave.” De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 19

8. Hotel Palazzo Zichy – Budapest, Hungary


his 19th Century property previously served as the home of famous Hungarian Noble. The hotel prides itself on its history, with beautifully maintained period features throughout the entire property.


As one TripAdvisor traveller said “You can’t fail to be impressed when you pass through the imposing entrance of Hotel Palazzo Zichy! The room was modern, comfortable, ultra stylish. Another big plus was the excellent staff, friendly and always on hand with practical advice.”

B 20 / LuxuryTravelGuide 2012 / De Luxe Series

9. Banyan Tree Mayakoba

– Playa Del Carmen, Mexico



eautifully located in Mexico’s Playa Del Carmen, the Banyan Tree Mayakoba spares no expense when it comes to luxurious privacy, with each guest villa looking out onto its own courtyard, hammock, private pool and wetland.

As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “All I can say is WOW! The Villas are beautifully designed, comfortable, and well-appointed, step out of your room and your own private pool and hot tub are right there.” De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 21


10. Baros Maldives


his luxury resort is on a coral-fringed island in the Maldives. Rooms come complete with private pools and butlers, while several excellent restaurants are dotted around the island.

As one Tripadvisor traveller said, “This place is amazing, unbelievable, magical.” 22 / LuxuryTravelGuide 2012 / De Luxe Series

– North Male Atoll Maldives

GLOBAL The best luxury hotels were determined by a combination of TripAdvisor’s Popularity Index and traveller ratings of specific property attributes.

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Leading Spa’s around the Wor L


ondoners in the know flock to the beautiful Art Deco spa at The Dorchester for youth-renewing facials and body treatments. A glamorous boutique spa with nine treatment rooms (two of which are for couples), this is the place to go for a sure-fire beauty boost rather than a full day of spa lounging as there are no thermal facilities. The bijou Spatisserie is an adorable place to meet a girlfriend for lunch or an afternoon cake, while the men can get a shave and a haircut at the barber shop after their treatment. The feel is very Golden Age movie star glam – and you’ll come out of your treatment looking every inch the A-lister.

The Dorchester Spa – London

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Mandarin Oriental - Tokyo



ith its centuries-long spa history and passion for cutting-edge technology, it’s no surprise Japan is a spa trendsetter. And Mandarin Oriental Tokyo  is the place to discover the future, with its oxygenating therapies and innovative massage techniques. Thanks to the spa’s position on the hotel’s 36th floor, guests get unbeatable views of the city’s high-rise skyline in the sauna and by the vitality pool.  De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 25

Com H

eal mind and body at one of the world’s best modern Ayurvedic spas, Ananda in the Himalayas.


With 2,400 square metres of spa facilities and 80 treatments blending Ayurveda with Western therapies, this destination spa is the place to spend days enjoying treatments, yoga, meditation, the steam room and lounging by the pool – all surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery. Time your visit with a Visiting Master for a oncein-a-lifetime experience. Don’t miss the Himalayan Experience, using indigenous ingredients such as ginger and rose for a massage, facial, body scrub and body mask.

Ananda in the Himalayas – India

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mo Shambhala at Parrot Cay

Turks And Caicos


hambhala means ‘peace and harmony’ in Sanskrit and there aren’t many more peaceful places in the Caribbean than Parrot Cay. The spa has an extensive list of therapies including massage, baths and marine treatments while also offering more active pastimes such as kayaking, nature walks and dolphin watching.

GLOBAL De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 27

The Blue Lagoon


– Iceland


s close to a natural experience as you can possibly get, the lagoon holds six million litres of geothermal seawater, which is renewed every forty hours, meaning there’s no need for additional cleansers, likechlorine.

There is something scientific about the composition of minerals and levels of silica which apparently does wonderful things for your skin, and the treatments take place both inside the spa and in the lagoon itself, in the pure, Icelandic open air, making it a super-rejuvenating experience. 28 / LuxuryTravelGuide 2012 / De Luxe Series

La Mamounia Spa – Morocco



he concept behind this Marrakech-based spa in the chic La Mamounia is to bring together the best of all things beauty and relaxation related into one 2,500 square metre pampering sanctuary, where you can book yourself in for a day and leave completely cleansed, polished and beautified top-to-toe. The facilities include two traditional hammams (Turkish steam bath) and a private hammam, nine multiple treatment rooms, a hairdressing salon, six outdoor massage cabins, a jacuzzi and an indoor ozone-heated pool.

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Welcome To..



Best of Britain

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The Houses Of Parliament EUROPE


he Houses of Parliament and Big Ben are one of Britain’s most famous and recognisable landmarks. The Palace of Westminster is a historic building with exquisite architecture that holds both the Houses of Commons and Lords. The Houses of Parliament are full of history and nostalgia and represent democracy in Great Britain. Statues and monuments stand to great people such as Winston Churchill who delivered many famous speeches here during the war.Â

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London Eye


he London Eye offers a unique opportunity to view all of London from the biggest observation wheel in the world.

Spectacular views of the Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. The London Eye offers a unique timed admission booking system. All passengers must have a timed ticket with boarding time before they fly.Â

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o w u th figures o been unv

The A-lis area of t make-up them for photo.Â

Madame Tussauds


ondon’s most famous tourist attraction; why not visit Madame Tussauds and get up close to your favourite celebrities at his amazing day out in London. Wax f Hollywood’s glam comedy chicks have veiled.

st ‘lovelies’ are hanging out in the Blush the attraction in an authentic hair and p movie trailer set, where guests can join a totally unique, thoroughly impressive

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St Paul’s Cathedral


he London Eye offers a unique opportunity to view he present St Paul’s is the fifth cathedral to have stood on the site since 604, and was built between 1675 and 1710, after its predecessor was destroyed in the Great Fire of London.

This was the first cathedral to be built after the English Reformation in the sixteenth century, when Henry VIII removed the Church of England from the jurisdiction of the Pope and the Crown took control of the Church’s life. Features include the Whispering Gallery. The Crypt contains the tombs of Admiral Lord Nelson, Duke of Wellington and also Sir Christopher Wren. all of London from the biggest observation wheel in the world. 36 / LuxuryTravelGuide 2012 / De Luxe Series

Westminster Abbey



he Abbey was founded by Edward the Confessor and consecrated in 1065. Every king and queen of England since William the Conqueror has been crowned here with the exception of both Edward V and Edward VIII and many are buried here too. The abbey also holds the Coronation throne as well as monuments and plaques that help you to remember Britain’s past such as tributes to Britain’s armed forces. The abbey also holds many famous peoples death masks including Henry VII’s. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 37


Palace StBuckingham Paul’s Cathedral


he London Eye offers a unique opportunity to view he present St Paul’s is the fifth cathedral on the uckingham Palace to is have one ofstood the most sitefamous since 604, and was built between Palace’s in the world and is1675 the and 1710, official after its predecessor was destroyed in London residence for H.M the Great Fire of London. Queen Elizabeth II as well as being used extensively by other members of the royal family. This was the first cathedral to be built after the English Reformation sixteenth century, By visiting the Palace in youthe would be getting an inEngwhen Henry VIII removed the Church of Eng sight into the Royal family as well as sampling land from therooms jurisdiction of Ballroom the Pope and theis magnificent like the which Crown took control of theincluding Church’s life. used for many purposes stateFeatures banquets include the Whispering Gallery. The Crypt for visiting Heads of State. From the visit you contains the tombs of Admiral Lord Nelson, Dukein will also see one of the finest working stables ofexistence, Wellington and also Sir Christopher Wren. all the Royal Mews as well as sampling ofsome London from the biggest observation wheel in of the finest works of art from the Royal the world. collection.

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Also not to be missed EUROPE De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 39


Buckingham Palace St Paul’ s Cathedral The Cotswolds


he Cotswolds are scattered with small pretty towns and villages providing pleasant places to while away athe time, easily he London Eye offers unique identified by its mellow stone buildings. opportunity to view he present St Paul’s is the fifth cathedral on the uckingham Palace to is have one ofstood the most Among thesite charming countryside you will find since 604, and was built between famous Palace’s in the world and is1675 the a wealth of interesting places to visit, including and 1710, after its predecessor was destroyed in official London residence for H.M magnificent castles, ancient churches, glorious the Great Fire of London. Queen Elizabeth II as well as being used gardens, stately homes historicofhouses. extensively by otherwith members the royal family. This was the first cathedral to be built after the Spend day exploring English Reformation in the sixteenth century, Bythe visiting the Palacethe youpicturesque would be getting an inCotswold countryside, browse in an art gallery or when Henry VIII removed the Church of Engsight into the Royal family as well as sampling antique shop, soak history thetheis land from or thesimply jurisdiction oftheBallroom the Pope ofand magnificent rooms like up the which area. Shop at some of the oldest chartered weekly Crown took control of theincluding Church’s life. used for many purposes stateFeatures banquets markets in country. Head to the picturesque include the Whispering Gallery. The Crypt for visiting Heads of State. From the visit you market towns to shop or take time out for a leicontains the tombs of Admiral Lord Nelson, Dukein will also see one of the finest working stables surely ramble and stop for a meal in a traditional ofexistence, Wellington and also Sir Christopher Wren. all the Royal Mews as well as sampling pub. The Cotswolds stretch from Ilmington in ofsome London from the biggest observation wheel in of the finest works of art from the Royal Warwickshire for over 100 miles to historic Bath. the world. collection. 

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ffering so much to see and do, all year round, Oxford and Oxfordshire make an excellent destination for all the family what ever the weather. Explore Oxfordshire’s varied landscape, visitor attractions  and rural heritage or experience  walking  trails and  cycling  routes which show you all the hidden treasures on offer here, which makes it the ideal location for  short breaks and holidays. If you’re looking for a cultural getaway or a romantic city break then Oxford is a must. Renowned for its history and heritage, exquisite architecture, and ancient University, Oxford sits at the very heart of this rural county. Take time out to enjoy the county’s bustling market towns, discover the film and literary connections or simply watch the world go by while sipping a drink by the river. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 41


Stratford-Upon Avon


tratford-upon-Avon is a picturesque town beautifully situated on the river with a wealth of black and white timber framed buildings. It is, of course, most famous for being the birthplace of the world’s greatest playwright, William Shakespeare. Enjoy a stroll around the town centre with its good selection of shops, restaurants and tearooms. A great way to explore the town and the neighbouring villages of Shottery and Wilmcote (home to  Anne Hathaway’s Cottage  and  Mary Arden’s) is with  City Sightseeing’s hop-on, hop off buses.  If you want to expend a bit more effort seeing the Shakespeare Houses, then the Birthplace Trust and Stratford Bike Hire have jointly produced a cycle route taking in all the houses.  If you don’t have your bikes with you then you can hire some from Stratford Bike Hire.

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lar coa in Cor sea. It history man to



ornwall is an area of 3,559 square kilometres, situated in the far South West of the UK mainland. It boasts the longest (697 km) and one of the most spectacuastlines in the whole British Isles. Nowhere rnwall are you more than 16 miles from the t is a land of beauty, myth and legend with a y spanning over 4,000 years from Neolithic o the world famous Eden Project.


For More Information On Visiting the United Kingdom Contact: UK Tourist Board W: T: +44 (0) 207 578 1000 De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 43

A Unique London Sighseeing Experience EUROPE


ffering a unique and exciting experience of London, we’re able to arrange special pick-ups and drop-offs from almost any central London location. We can even design your very own route to suit your requirements. It’s a fantastic idea for hospitality and corporate events, team building, company days out, or just a great way to transport your guests to the office party! London Duck Tours operate all year round (last tour dependent upon dusk). Each Duck seats up to 30 people and we have a fleet of 8 Ducks. ~ Classic Sightseeing Tours ~

Our classic tour takes you around the beating heart of London – where royalty mixes with parliament and pageantry! We start with the city’s millennium landmark, the London Eye. Then we’ll lead you past the world famous vista of the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and the home of our current Prime Minister, no 10 Downing Street. Admire the immaculate soldiers and horses at Horse Guards then onto Trafalgar Square, a tribute to Britain’s greatest sailor, Nelson. Onto the refined roads of St James’s, with its gentleman’s clubs, ancient royal Palace, shops fit for a King and the hotel to top them all, The Ritz! But still there’s about the head quarters of our Royal family, Buckingham Palace, Tate Britain, MI5 & 6 before the dramatic splashdown onto the Thames! You’d be quackers to miss it! 44 / LuxuryTravelGuide 2012 / De Luxe Series

A London Duck Tour is ideal for special events, group hire or tailor-made tours.

~ D-Day Duck ~ In a lively, entertaining and informative tour suitable for the whole family, our professional character tour guide will take you around London’s most important Second World War sights including St Paul’s Cathedral, Cabinet War Rooms and Buckingham Palace.


We’ll hear from the greatest Briton of them all, Winston Churchill and bring to life the key events of the London Blitz. Then to the river! Our famous splash down will show you what our extraordinary boats were originally designed for and we’ll reveal the DUCK’s vital role in the Normandy beach landings.

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~ James Bond Tour ~


Our James Bond Tour is a fun-filled trip through the capital on both road and river. You’ll be on the edge of your seat as you take in many central London locations used in the classic film series. Then never say never again as you launch into the river Bond-style alongside MI6! Our suave character guide will lead you on an adventure-packed journey of intrigue, espionage and, of course, Ian Fleming. See where Ian Fleming lived, ‘Q’ worked and Bond bought his boxer shorts! Hear fascinating facts about MI5 & MI6, whisper in very soft voices about those British traitors, the Cambridge Spies and examine a dossier of top secret archive pictures relating to Bond in London. ~ Pirates of Westminster Treasure Hunt ~ Looking for a unique activity that will bring out your inner Buccaneer? Then take the “Pirates of Westminster” Treasure Hunt Tour – a land and river based voyage that takes in the landmarks of London while challenging you to solve tasks both on and off the good ship Moby Duck. This fun-filled, entertaining treasure hunt is designed to bring out your inner pirate, encourage communication skills and above all inspire a spirit of team work. Solve the pirate-themed challenges in order to snatch the treasure from under your opponent’s noses! The only way to win is to combine your strengths and work together!

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~Code Breaker Challenge - Boffins of Britain ~

For centuries, enemy nations around the world have secretly funded secret, underground and undercover networks intent on foul play and major felony! Operating from hidden bunkers, secret tunnels and even garden sheds, their devious plans avoid detection and suspicion from all but the most clever!


Are you a closet code breaker or just breaking your heart to be a boffin? Do you need a quirky and fun code breaking challenge to liven up that landmark birthday, add sparkle to your team building or put some pazazz in your party? Well let your search end here!

It will be your challenge to work as teams of ‘incredibly brainy’ code-breaking masterminds, and using the DUKW as your boffin HQ, crack the secret code and stop our evil adversaries from stealing the tourist attractions of London.

For More Information And Reservations: London Duck Tours W: T: +44 (0) 207 401 0906 E:

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The Dorchester - London


he Dorchester offers rooms of exceptional grace and comfort, all providing views over Hyde Park or the hotel’s landscaped terraces. The suites range in size from the Junior and Stanhope Suites to the generous Dorchester Suites and the famous Oliver Messel Suite. Bathrooms are welcoming and spacious, offering an exceptional combination of style and function, and are said to have the deepest baths in London. They are predominantly made in Italian marble and designed in the classic art deco style - echoing the hotel’s 1930s origins. Known collectively as the ‘roof suites’, the Audley, Terrace and Harlequin are discretely reminiscent of the Hollywood glamour long associated with the hotel. The design of these suites emulates the style in which The Dorchester was originally built in the 1930’s while remaining fresh, modern and luxurious. All three roof suites have large outside terraces, which enjoy unrivalled views over London and a team of dedicated butlers on hand to take care of guests’ every wish.

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For More Information And Reservations: The Dorchester W: T: E: +44 (0) 20 7629 8888 De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 49



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The City of Lights



he ‘City of Lights’ has a lot to offer to its visitors and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. When you are in the city, never for a single moment will you feel there is little to do as Paris has an abundance of sights and attractions. Plan your trip to Paris in such a way that you do not miss any of the must see sights. You can visit the historical landmarks and buildings, ancient churches and temples, beautiful lakes, rivers, botanical gardens and parks. Everyone must visit Paris at least once in there life… but we guarantee you will want to keep coming back.

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Arc de Triomphe T

he Arc de Triomphe is found in the centre of Place Charles de Gaulle and is one of the most famous monuments around the world. The arch is a prime example of 18th century neo-classicism and was designed by Jean François Thérèse Chalgrin, upon commission by Napoleon Bonaparte to commemorate his victory at Austerlitz. The Arch is now the climactic piece in a row of monuments that extends from the centre of Paris to the west (this vista is known as the Axe historique). Although the arch is visible and accessible by foot, the roundabout that surrounds the arch is notoriously difficult to navigate because of the consistently heavy traffic. Since 1920, the Arch has been home to the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, commemorating the casualties from World War I and World War II. An eternal flame, the first of its kind, lies at the head of the tomb and is rekindled at 6:30pm every evening. On Bastille Day, the Arch is also the starting point for the parade that goes down the Champs Elysées.

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Notre Dame Cathedral



he cathedral is one of the iconic examples of architecture in France. One of the first Gothic cathedrals ever built, it lies on the east side of the Île de la Cité in Paris. Construction of the cathedral took almost 200 years, almost as long as the entire gothic period. Many consider it to be a shining example of the Gothic style. Excavations over the years have uncovered that the area surrounding and lying beneath the cathedral holds a great deal of history – hidden rooms and cellars, furnaces, and other secrets. The last century has seen active attempts to restore and maintain the cathedral, most recently, a program started in 1991 to clean and revitalize the cathedral. Expected to take 10 years, the program was not completed until 2005. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 53


Versailles Palace


he palace is truly spectacular and one of the most beautiful and lavish buildings in the world and should not be missed if you are visiting Paris.

The town itself has a reasonable selection of bars, restaurants and shops, as well as a lively market in the town square several days a week. Some people choose to stay in the town rather than Paris itself, as accommodation is generally cheaper than in Paris and the journey into Paris is easy and convenient. If you visit, try to avoid weekends and holidays, when the place can get packed with crowds of French schoolchildren, and arrive early in the day as you need to allow a full day to see everything. Versailles tries to make visiting easy – apart from the usual selection of restaurants and souvenir shops, – the palace boasts several ATMs and places where you can leave luggage. At one time, almost 2200 men were employed on its construction. In 1682, Louis XIV transferred the court to Versailles, where all French monarchs lived until the revolution, and the town of Versailles became the unofficial capital city of the Kingdom of France.

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EUROPE The Hall of Mirrors, with its 17 great mirrors facing the windows, is probably the best known room in Versailles – this is where the treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919, ending World War I. The clock room contains a famous astronomical clock, which took 20 years to construct and you can set your watch by as it supposedly is designed to keep time until the year 9999. Mozart played in this room for the royal family on several occasions, at the age of 7. The other “must-see” sight in the palace itself is the collection of 6 bedroom suites known as the Grands Appartements. As you might expect, each one is magnificently decorated and each one is named after a painting on the ceilings. In one of the rooms, known as the Hercules Salon, you can see the largest and most ornate fireplace in the palace, which was carved from a single slab of marble. In the same room, the body of Louis XIV was put on display in 1715 after his death.

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The Eiffel Tower


he Eiffel Tower is one of the most recognizable structures in the world, and one of the symbolic structures of France. The tower is the tallest structure in Paris. It was originally built as a temporary structure that was to be torn down after 20 years, but survived criticism and demolition to become the icon it is today. The Eiffel Tower initially drew the ire of Parisians – its frame design was considered by many to be ugly, harsh, and generally an eyesore. Structurally, it was just a frame – eighteen thousand pieces of iron held together by two and a half million rivets. But the design was calculated and deliberate, and took into consideration the tower’s great height, as well as wind resistance. As a tourist spot, the tower draws an average of 10,000 visitors a day, who have access to the first three floors, getting them as high as 902 feet. Two restaurants reside in the tower, one of them run by renown chef Alain Ducasse.

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For More Information On Visiting France Contact: French Tourist Office W: De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 57


A Skiers Escape O

ne of the great mountain systems in the world is the Alps, stretching from France via Switzerland, Italy and Germany through to Austria the East. Located on the French-Italian border, Mont Blanc, is the highest mountain in the Alps and is a popular destination for those wishing to pursue the winter sports that including Skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, mountaineering etc.

Of all the resort towns located near Mont Blanc, Chamonix is by far the most popular. Situated near the peaks of Aiguilles Rouges, Chamonix is the highest commune in France. The region is popular for activities such as skiing, snowboarding, rock climbing, canoeing, paragliding and even mountain biking. Chamonix is also famous for its cable cart that leads to the Aiguille du Midi, a mountain that’s part of the Mont Blanc Massif.

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EUROPE The summit of the Aiguille boasts a panoramic viewing platform and a cafe. The Mont Blanc tramway is another popular attraction of c; the tramway provides spectacular views of Mont Blanc as well as a number of drop off points for those looking to go hiking and mountaineering. To top it off Chamonix plays home to the Alpine Museum, filled with exhibitions and artefacts from the Alps as well as a whole section dedicated to skiing. Chamonix also has a number of restaurants. The CafÊ de l’Arve that offers a modern menu and delicious food, for an Asian Fusion dish Alan Peru is certainly unique. A well kept secret is the Lapin Agile which offers a fine wine collection as well as Italian cuisine.

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Chalet Bibendum C

halet Bibendum began as a dream; Olaf and Jolanda’s vision of creating the perfect escape.


Chamonix is more than just another ski resort. It offers a true French mountain experience with world class skiing and the ideal playground for al all types and levels of outdoor activity such as hiking, ice and rock climbing, skiing, paragliding, rafting, mountain biking and canyoning. The town sits at the foot of Mont-Blanc, the tallest mountain in Europe reaching 4810m, 15,781ft.

Being one of the oldest chalets, it has been tastefully renovated and maintains its original features of stone and wooden beams and is ideally located in the tranquil, picturesque Savoyard hamlet of Les Bois, five minutes from Chamonix and a minute’s walk to the La Flégère lift and the 18 holes golf course.  The spacious chalet enjoys stunning 360-degree views of the Mont Blanc massif from panoramic windows, balcony and garden. Bibendum sleeps 8 guests in four ensuite bedrooms. The master bedroom has a French copper bateau bath with wonderful views from the top of the chalet.  A central fireplace divides the living area in two, creating a great separate area for children. At the end of an enjoyable day on the slopes, guests can unwind in the outdoor wood-fired hot tub to soak up more of the fresh mountain air and the incredible views of Les Drus, relax in our well designed sauna or curl up in one of the comfortable sofas in front of the roaring fire. Jolanda and Olaf, attentive when you need them, invisible when you don’t. They will be there to ensure your boots are warmed, your glass is filled and that you always come home to a roaring fire. Your bespoke dinners will be prepared by their excellent French chef.

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Chalet Bibendum is to experience the Bibendum feeling: “Amazing surroundings, delicious food and high services and enjoyable, relaxed evenings in the unique ambiance of a private hotel�.


A memorable holiday is offered to you by Chalet Bibendum, whether it be: your bespoke dinner, enjoying the Mont Blanc Massif, the incredible views from the Drus, skiing the Vallee Blanche, extreme off-piste skiing or if you are looking for a more chilled out form of relaxation; visit the spa, stroll in Chamonix or simply enjoy the stunning scenery.

We love: The Bibendum Feeling. We recommend: Unwind in the spa area, finishing of with a massage treatment before the delicious aperitif which will be served before dinner.

For More Information And Reservations: Chalet Bibendum W: T: +33 6 37 85 18 30 +33 6 80 65 23 46 E:

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Visiting The Home O F

rance has the most diverse wine regions in the world, both in terms of vineyard landscapes and the types of wines they produce. To really appreciate the wines you enjoy drinking, there is nothing better than visiting the place they were made, and it is becoming easier than ever to incorporate a few days in the wine regions into a luxurious holiday in France. A tour around the cellars where one of your favourite wines is made is an unforgettable experience, and especially at the small, family wine producers, typical of most regions of France, you may even get the chance to meet the winemaker, often the owner. When you see at first hand the careful, often physically hard work done in the vineyard, along with the investment in time and equipment (tanks, oak barrels and more) in the winery, you appreciate all the more the costs involved to make a fine wine.

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The wine tasting that follows a tour is, of course, what you have been waiting for. Tasting with the wine producer gives you a much deeper understanding and enjoyment of the wine in the glass even if language might be a barrier at times. Before you leave, don’t fail to ask for recommendations for lunch nearby, the wine producer is sure to offer some insider tips. Many wineries now offer places to stay right in the vineyards, from simple to quite up-market Bed & Breakfasts in farmhouses or châteaux (some even offer an evening meal around a communal table too). Excellent starred restaurants are another feature of the most famous wine regions, with wine lists like books, offering everything from simple young wines, to a list of old and prized vintages from the region.

Of Wine Wink Lorch


Wink Lorch Wink has always worked in the world of wine, for more than 20 years she has been a wine educator and wine writer, contributing to books and magazines in the UK, the USA and elsewhere. She lives between London and the French Alps and has become a specialist on the obscure wines of the Jura and Savoie in eastern France. Wink is also an experienced editor and an early adopter of on-line publishing, Wink launched in 2007 to offer independent travellers who enjoy wine a comprehensive on-line resource to plan trips in the wine regions of France. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 65


The Magic o

The choice of when to travel can be tough. For the die-hard wine enthusiast, winter is a good time as wine producers have time to spend with you. For the prettiest scenery, when the vines are a vibrant green, choose spring or early summer, April-June. The height of summer means inevitably more tourists, but it is also the time of wine festivals in many regions and these can offer a really fun experience for all the family. A visit in autumn (September-October) means lovely colours on the vines, and may coincide with harvest when the wine producers may be too busy to spend much time with you, but the experience of seeing the ripe grapes picked and pressed is wonderful. 66 / LuxuryTravelGuide 2012 / De Luxe Series

of Champagne



ny Champagne lover will adore a visit to the homeland of the quintessential bubbly wine. Very easily accessible by train from Paris or by car from England, the capital of the region, Reims, has some splendid hotels and restaurants of all levels, where you can immerse yourself in the luxury of Champagne living by night, and by day, discover the incredible deep chalk cellars originally dug by the Romans for roads, and now used by many of the illustrious Champagne Houses. In Epernay, home to many Champagne producers, the small town revolves around the industry. Several famous Champagne names are open for tours in the many miles of cellars that stretch under the town and during the tour the intricate process of making Champagne is explained. Look out for the wine shops that sell Champagnes from the smaller growers too, or better still make an appointment to visit one of the family Grower Champagnes outside of Epernay in one of the small, outlying villages. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 67


Wining by the River Loire


ne of the world’s great wine rivers, the Loire is home to wines of all shades and styles. For the visitor this undulating river dotted with grand châteaux provides a wealth of choice of activities for a relaxing holiday, and a host of welcoming winegrowers. Starting from the east, the little hilltop town of Sancerre makes an excellent base to taste the Sauvignon Blancs of both Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé (from Pouilly sur Loire); cheese lovers should try the lovely match with the local Chavignol goats’ cheese. To explore the great châteaux of the Loire you need to travel west to Tours, reached by train from Paris in under an hour. Tours is a vibrant town in summer, and nearby you will find the lovely white and sparkling wines of Vouvray from Chenin Blanc grapes and made in cellars dug into the limestone cliffs. To the west you can head towards the pretty town of Chinon for Cabernet Franc reds.

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EUROPE Continuing on towards the Atlantic, Saumur or Angers are both fine towns to base yourself, and in the Anjou region as well as Touraine, you will find many mansions and smaller ch창teaux that have been converted into sumptuous accommodations. For a holiday at a different pace, consider renting bikes to explore the riverside, you will never be too far from a welcoming wine cellar.

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The fine Châteaux of Bordeaux


rguably the wine world’s most famous region, Bordeaux can seem somewhat inaccessible to the wine lover at first. It’s true, to visit the most famous wine châteaux you need to be part of an organised tour, have a personal introduction, or with some, simply reserve a tour far in advance, but recently a few innovative châteaux are opening their doors on a more regular basis. The Médoc and Graves on the Left-Bank of Bordeaux is Cabernet Sauvignon country and home to some of the grandest names in wine. The landscape is gentle, but punctuated by wine châteaux that range from simple mansions, to ornate 18th century buildings, and to the most modern and innovative winery architecture in France. The tourism offering is growing to match the stature of the wines, and these days you can enjoy vineyard visits by horse and carriage, ballooning or perhaps a tour in a classic car.

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EUROPE A very different and more relaxed atmosphere prevails in Saint Emilion (a must visit little town) and sleepy Pomerol, on Bordeaux’ Right Bank, but here too you need to prepare well in advance to visit the grandest names. Don’t dismiss the smaller châteaux of the region and outlying appellations such as EntreDeux-Mers or the so-called Côtes group of appellations, as it is in these that you will receive the warmest family-style welcome and be able to taste and even purchase more wines than at the grander names, where trade is generally only done through importers. Whilst here, don’t fail to visit the city of Bordeaux, its buildings restored to former glory, and with a choice of very up-market hotels and restaurants, and some funky wine shops and wine bars too.

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Gastronomic discoveries in Burgundy A


oeuf Bourguignon, coq au vin, escargots in garlic … all these gastronomic dishes are synonymous with Burgundy, home to the wonderful food-friendly wines of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Burgundy is divided into districts: from the north, Chablis (home to steely whites), Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune (together forming the Côte d’Or or golden slope, a fabulous strip of south-eastern facing vineyards); Côte Chalonnaise, Mâconnais and Beaujolais (strictly part of Burgundy, but in reality closer to the city of Lyon). You might be shocked on a visit to Chablis to find that such a famous wine emerges from such a modest little town. Nothing beats visiting a Chablis grower willing to give you an instruction (preferably by tasting) of the difference between simple Chablis, the Premiers Crus and the lofty Grands Crus. If you are lucky the grower will take you to see the best vineyards or if you ask him, they are sure to direct you to a pleasant picnic spot, right in the heart of the vineyards.

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EUROPE Beaune makes a wonderful gastronomic base to visit the big guns in Burgundy wine, based around Nuits Saint-Georges and Beaune itself. It’s a pretty little town (best avoided in the height of summer) with at its heart the unmistakable buildings of the Hospices de Beaune, with their distinctive coloured roofs. Ask in the best restaurants for recommendations and introductions of producers to visit, and then indulge in exploring the villages with famous names you’ve only ever drunk before, like Meursault, Puligny Montrachet, Volnay and Pommard. For a more relaxed experience, explore the more southerly wine areas of the Côte Chalonnaise, or the Mâconnais where you will find some great value wines, made by very hospitable wine producers. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 73


Bucolic delights near Lyon


he great city of Lyon is renowned for its love of fine food and wine, and it’s also close to several interesting wine regions. The deep and long-lasting Syrah red wines of the northern Rhône Valley, like Côte Rôtie and Hermitage, are from vineyards that start south of Lyon, stretching from the Roman city of Vienne to Valence, both cities that boast very smart Michelin starred restaurants and hotels. Here you will find awesomely steep vineyards with the wineries usually at the bottom of the slopes. Don’t miss the lovely Viognier white wines from Condrieu or even the white St-Joseph and Crozes Hermitage. The hill of Hermitage itself offers great views over the landscape. North of Lyon you will find the bucolic Beaujolais district, with plenty more to offer than the once ubiquitous Beaujolais Nouveau. Today producers of the juicy reds from the Gamay grape are increasingly turning back to their traditions of making fruity, but much denser and longer lasting wines. With vineyards on gorgeous rolling hills and welcoming village restaurants, the region also boasts one of France’s largest and quite excellent wine themed museums, the Hameau du Vin.

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For those who love mountains and enjoy adventurous wines from obscure grape varieties and unusual styles, there’s no better regions to visit than the Jura or Savoie, north-east and east of Lyon, and also easily reached from Geneva. The capital of the Jura wine region, the small town of Arbois, once home to the scientist Pasteur, is where you will learn all about the sought-after Vin Jaune, as well as a plethora of other wines gaining a niche following amongst a clique of American wine lovers. The ever-improving restaurants and hotels help you find the best wines in the region. As for Savoie, at the foot of France’s best ski slopes, you will discover some delicious, light wines, as well as a selection of fine Michelin starred restaurants and smart hotels, near Aixles-Bains and the large Lake Bourget.

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Pefumes of Provence



he huge old Provençal district stretches south along the Rhône Valley through Avignon to Marseille and east to the Italian border beyond Nice. The finest red wines are traditionally found in the southern Côtes du Rhône region between Montélimar and Avignon, with the pebbled soils of Châteauneufdu-Pape regarded as producing the finest wines, from a huge mix of grape varieties. You can buy wines at all price levels here, and likewise with the lodgings and restaurants, there is a wide offering from ancient villages turned into luxury residences to homely Bed & Breakfasts, or chic hotels in Avignon or Nîmes. Don’t overlook the up-and-coming reds of the Côtes de Provence, grown in vineyards that emerge straight out of a painting by Cézanne or Van Gogh. In the west of the region the area around Aix-en-Provence and Les Baux, far inland from the Mediterranean coast is particularly beautiful, although who could resist the vineyards with gorgeous coastal views like those at Bandol, Cassis and even St-Tropez. Crisp dry rosés is what Provence is best known for, conjuring up images of blue skies, and lazy lunches of bouillabaisse, the famous fish soup, with its side dish of garlic sauce called aioli. Both southern Rhône and Provence wines match perfectly with the Mediterranean cuisine with plenty of olive oil and colourful vegetables.

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The New World of Southern Franc T EUROPE

he vast area of vineyards in the Midi, or Languedoc, stretches west of Marseille to the Roussillon district at Perpignan near the Spanish border. Along with the more scattered south-western vineyards from Carcassonne north to the southern reaches of Bordeaux, the south is undergoing a welcome revolution. Not only do the wines offer serious competition to those warm flavours so enjoyed from the best of the New World of wine in California or Australia, but many wineries open their doors happily to welcome visitors. These southern regions of France are ideal to combine a wine discovery holiday with soaking up the sun by the seaside, walking in the hillsides inland, or exploring towns steeped in Roman history. Look out for music and theatre festivals too, often held in the wine regions.

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Alsace: land of spices and wine


n the border with Germany, the cute villages and the wines of Alsace between Strasbourg and Colmar, and onwards to the Swiss border near Mulhouse, present a lovely cultural mix. Alsace has traditionally been the most hospitable of wine regions, with cellar doors flung open to welcome visitors to tastings, and a programme of wine festivals in a different village each weekend during the summer. Their wines are simply labelled with one of the seven permitted grape varieties including the fine Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer whites and the lone red, Pinot Noir. Their dry, but full styles make them perfect to match with a range of foods from local river fish or wholesome pork recipes, to modern Asian influenced spicy dishes. In good years, some luscious sweet wines are made too. You can work off all the hearty Alsace food and wine, with a network of marked walks through the pretty timbered houses of the villages and the vineyards on the hillsides, beneath the forests of the Vosges mountains. Here is a paradise for those who enjoy outdoor pursuits ranging from hiking to water-sports, but who also love to indulge in the fine food and wine this region has to offer.

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Wine Travel Guides T


his extraordinarily comprehensive online resource offers all you need to plan your own wine tour around the wine regions of France, with some coverage in Spain and Italy too. The guides are aimed at the independent traveller who wishes to incorporate a wine tour into his holiday, and are also perfect to use by the wine-loving business traveller in Europe, who might enjoy a weekend free to explore the wine regions.

Each wine travel guide focuses on a single microregion, with 48 guides to France (including two to the island of Corsica), along with two guides to Rioja in Spain and two guides to Tuscany. The guides contain detailed background information to the wines of each area, detailing the geography, grape varieties, appellations and wine styles produced. The Recommendations The unique information provided by Wine Travel Guides is a concise, personal selection to the best wine producers to visit, as well as places to stay, eat and shop, all chosen by insider experts for each region. There is no other on-line resource providing such in-depth and knowledgeable wine tourism information for Europe. The wine producers are selected as some of the best in the region, who are open for visitors, though be warned, many require appointments to be made in advance.

Don’t take our word, read what ot

Everything is free to view on and you can prepare your wine tour direct from the website, with Google maps available for each recommended wine producer, restaurant or accommodation. Each recommendation includes full contact details including website links and GPS codes along with useful information about opening times and prices.

“The wine travel guides to Champagne wer number of the recommended houses and re Primack, UK

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“I reckon the guides are as authoritative an Had a good browse of the guide to St-Emili Mawer, Website of the Week, Daily Mai

“These guides are great for people traveling Loire, and we have had nothing but great e member, USA

Wine Travel Guides also has a blog written updated with articles monthly and can be a

PDF Guides


To make planning easier, PDF versions of each guide are available to purchase. These are useful to download and save them on your mobile device or maybe print some of the pages in advance of your trip. The PDF versions of each guide, may be purchased either singly (with a discount for multiple guides) or a very good value annual membership provides access to the latest version of each guide. Annual Gift Membership may also be purchased.

thers have said about Wine Travel Guides:

nd detailed as anything you’re likely to find on the web…. ion, and it’s packed with brilliant information.” - Fred il, April 2010

g to wine regions. We have used them in Burgundy and the experiences! Well worth it.” - Cathrine Todd, Gold

re indispensable and right on the mark. We visited a estaurants, and we can’t wait to go back.” - Daniel

n by owner Wink Lorch and other contributors. It is accessed directly at

To Access the complete Guides and for Membership: WineTravelGuides W: E: B:

Facebook: Twitter: De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 83



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ne of the best countries in the world to live, is it really a surprise that Switzerland is one of the most visited countries in Europe.

This landlocked country may not offer sandy beaches but who needs them when you have the beautiful Alps, exciting cities such as Zurich and Lucerne, the jaw dropping Rhine falls and the picturesque Appenzellerland. Combining Luxury with culture and adventure, Switzerland is a heaven for today’s tourist.


Christian Landis - Tourism and Regional Expert, Best of Switzerland Tours Christian is born and grown up in ZĂźrich and is fascinated of travelling and getting to know different cultures since his childhood. He started his career with an apprenticeship with a Tour Operator and has now already 20 years of experience in the tourism branch. He also lived and worked in Latin America for some years and since he is back in Switzerland he loves organizing excursions to the most beautiful places of his country.

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he most visited city in Switzerland is Zurich. This cosmopolitan hub houses a number of architecturally and significant sites. One of which is the Grossmunster, an old Romanesque church, a symbol of reformed Switzerland, the tower offers stunning views of Zurich.

Nothing illustrates Zurich’s diversity better than the Rietberg Museum, this museum houses Europe’s most amazing collection of Asian art. For a nice quiet stroll, nothing offers a more beautiful view than a walk alongside Lake Pomenade. Other fantastic sights in Switzerland include the Chinese Garden, the Kunsthaus, Lindenhof and the coffee museum. One of the most popular activities to do in Zurich is to quite simply shop and the country is renowned for its chocolate. For chocolate lovers, Sprungli is the place to go in Zurich- its flagship store on Paradeplatz offers a wide variety of chocolates, the unique Luxemburgerli (a sweet pastry and cream snack that resembles a burger) and the Grand Cru Sauvage truffle. 86 / LuxuryTravelGuide 2012 / De Luxe Series

This is also the perfect place to enjoy a fin fast lunch or afternoon tea. For an authen meal the Zunfthaus Zur Waag restaraunt is place to visit. Hotel Widder is the ideal stay in when in Zurich, located in the Ol this hotel offers a unique service and is r by many as the best in Zurich. The ALD tel Splügenschloss is a boutique hotel loca small side street and offers an attractive alte

“Visit the former industrial area Zürich West, today an upcoming and trendy district. In the abandoned factory permises some of the hottest clubs, interesting museums and shops of trendy fashion brands can be found. Also Switzerlands highest building, the Prime Tower is located in this part of the town.” Christian Landis


ne breakntic Swiss s the best hotel to ld Town, regarded DEN Hoated on a ernative. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 87


Located near Zurich you can find the largest waterfall in Europe, known as the Rhine falls. Easily accessible by car, bike and even public transport the Rhine falls have been visited for decades. There are number of viewing platforms located on both sides of the Rhine offering spectacular views of the falls. Another way to see the falls is via a boat trip, fly over or while enjoying a meal at the Schloss Worth Castle.

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“Visit the cheese factory at Stein, the local beer brewery in Appenzell town or the interesting museum of local traditions!� Christian Landis

EUROPE A truly hidden gem located an hour outside of Zurich is Appenzellerland. Recommended to us by our expert in the region, Appenzellerland is known for its picturesque green hills and rugged mountains seen in the movies. To truly learn about Swiss culture and tradition a visit to Appenzell is a must. Here you can discover Swiss traditions such as painting, yodelling, dance, the Alpabzug (the trek of cows up the alpine) and Silvesterklausen (men dressed in traditional clothes with bells). Appenzell has a long and rich history in mineral water production and beautiful colourful houses. Appenzellerland is a great place to enjoy a round of golf, go hiking, biking and even paragliding.

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EUROPE A trip to Switzerland will not be complete with out a visit to the Alps. Mount Titlis is one of the tallest peaks and offers incredible views. On your way up you will pass by a number of ski slopes, hotels as well as the Glacier Grotto. Tunnelled over 100 feet below the surface this innovative route is certainly one of the highlights of visiting Titlis. Mount Titlis is also home to the first revolving aerial cableway in the world known as the Rotair. The Trubsee Alpine Lodge is great place to stay, enjoy the views and go out for a spot of Skiing. The hotel terrace is a Luxury Hotel located near Titlis, built in 1903. This Art Noveau building offers a sauna, a golf course and meeting rooms as well as free Wi-Fi.

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A quaint smal zerland’s dark cerne’s landma 14th Century. tures of medie popular site in building playi and a number

The Richard W dergone renov reopen hopef can’t help but views of Moun Swiss Alps. F buy head on o taurant were i Palace Luzern charm combin a great hotel t the Lake Luce tecturally nam provides beau


ll town, Lucerne, is certainly Switk horse. The most famous of Luarks is Chapel Bridge, built in the y. You will see hundreds of piceval city life and history. Another n Lucerne is the KKL, a stunning ing host to the Lucerne art gallery r of Concert Halls.

Wagner Museum has recently unvation and reorganisation; it will fully next year. In Lucerne you t be distracted by the panoramic nt Pilatus and majestic Rigi in the For the best Schnitzel money can over to the Old Swiss house resits prepared next to the table. The n has somewhat of an old world ned with modern comforts and is to stay at. For beautiful views of erne and the mountains, the archimed Art-Deco Hotel Montana uty on the outside as well as inside.

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TheBest of Switzerla


EST OF SWITZERLAND TOURS is an official partner of Zurich Tourism and holder of the Q-Quality Seal of Swiss Tourism.

We are a Swiss company with multilingual professional guides, focusing all our efforts on showing you the BEST of the marvellous Swiss mountains, landscapes and places. DISCOVER Zurich on one of our interesting City Tours! ENJOY the breath-taking views of the Alps on our Mountain Excursions! EXPERIENCE our tailored tours with private guides! We also offer transfers, events and hotel accommodation. Contact us for your individual proposal! 92 / LuxuryTravelGuide 2012 / De Luxe Series

land Tours EUROPE

For More Information And Reservations: Best Of Switzerland Tours W: T: E: +41 44 710 50 50 De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 93



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Heidelberg EUROPE


eidelberg is arguably the most romantic city of Germany. Its location is directly at the foot of the hilly Odenwald, a typical German mountain range full of forests and rivers. Heidelberg is famous for its castle with its morbid flair. The famous English painter and artist William Turner visited Heidelberg several times and his painting of the Heidelberg castle is archetypical. Heidelberg is the location of the oldest university of Germany (founded in 1386). The university is still one of the most prominent in Germany and Europe and the urban life of Heidelberg is dominated by students. Nevertheless, the region offers a element of escapism and beauty in rural Germany. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 95


Rhine Valley


unning along the bank of the Rhine River from Bonn to Wiesbaden, this hiking trail passes through some of the most picturesque forests, villages and vineyards in Germany. The trail through the Rhine valley gives you spectacular views of mountains, castles, mineral springs and small country inns. The area from Bingen to Koblenz is a UNESCO World Heritage Site boasting 40 castles and stately homes.

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he vibrant German capital offers a lot of entertainment as well as cultural delights. You can see most of the city from a boat trip on the Spree River.

Tours usually go around Museum Island, past the government buildings and reveal the most picturesque parts of the city. Particularly attractive is the night tour, which allows you to see the city in a totally different light. If not from the waterways, discover the city walking along its streets and squares, such as the most famous, Unter den Linden  or  Kurfuerstendamm  alleys and the former East Berlin centre –  Alexander Platz  or the only recently adapted to a shopping and entertainment centre Potsdamer Platz. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 97


Munich M

unich, although known as a large and sophisticated business centre, is a city that carries a warmth and charm unlike many other of Germany’s major urban areas. It appears that the Prussian formalism ingrained in much of country’s north missed Bavaria and Munich.  The inhabitants of Munich genuinely like to enjoy themselves and the feeling is infectious. Munich offers numerous galleries, exceptional museums, wonderful opera and a world-class symphony orchestra.  History is on display in the delightful Old Town, which is a charming area to walk. The city is a really great experience; compact and park-like, it offers much to see and do. In the nearby areas of Bavaria, you will find some of the best castles in Germany and other interesting attractions.

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Neuschwanstein Castle



ing Ludwig’s castle, south of Munich is the Romanesque building that inspired the Disney castle. Although over run with tourists this doesn’t detract from the perfection of this castle both inside and out. The most beautiful and picturesque view of the structure is from Mary’s Bridge, a stop half way up the hill towards the castle. You can be taken there by horse drawn carriage making this an even more fairytale like experience. Nearby is the equally beautiful Hohenschwangau Castle.

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ologne is another great place to visit in Germany. Right at the top of the list would be the famous Cologne Cathedral which is everything it is stated to be and more. Dedicated to the three Wise Men, it is a treasure trove of spirituality, history, and Gothic architecture, all moulded into one supreme experience that will enchant and exhilarate. If you’re on a round of churches, there are about ten more showcasing various period architecture and bits of history with a touch of the mystic in some cases.

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rankfurt is a great German city to visit. Famous for its fabulous airport, the city is awash with visitors most of the year.

While here, you should certainly visit the fantastic Alte Nikolaikirche  known for its red and white edifice. It dates back to the 13th century and has plenty of historic facts to add to its allure. The Alte Oper or the Opera House is another magnificent building with a beautiful fountain that will take your breath away.

Frankfurt EUROPE

Looking at this vibrant piece of architecture you’ll be hard put to believe that it was almost totally destroyed in the world war bombing. After admiring the building you might want to stay back for a concert or ballet.

For More Information On Visiting Germany Contact: Tourism In Germany W: T: +49 69 974 642 69 De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 101

The Ritz-Carlton - Berlin


One of the most exclusive hotels in Berlin


evel in the energy of this cosmopolitan city, then retreat to the exceptional luxury of The Ritz-Carlton - one of the most exclusive hotels in Berlin. Conveniently located near the Potsdamer Platz, our hotels Berlin address in the city center inspires visitors with soaring architectural edifices, upscale shopping, and over 40 screens to support the city’s world renowned film academy and famous film festival. Here, in the hub of this re-emerging city, ideally located amongst hotels in Berlin, Germany, guests are invited to take in both historic sights and modern marvels.

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For More Information And Reservations: The Ritz-Carlton W: T: +49 30 33 77 77 De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 103




st in be

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Duman Kafelebasi



ome is one of the most visited destinations in the world. Once the capital of western civilization, Rome, also known as the “Eternal City”, is endowed with incredible antiquities, gorgeous piazzas, tunning fountains, great food, and an exhilaratng ambiance. We summarise just a few of the est places to visit.

“Rome was, is and always will be one of the world’s most compelling cities. Nowhere else seems to have managed to combine a heritage of classical antiquities and medieval buildings - from Renaissance palaces to intricate Baroque piazzas. The grandeur of the Colosseum and of the Vatican, the magnificence of St. Peter’s basilica to Trevi Fountain and flamboyant Baroque buildings – the list is endless.”

Duman Kafelebasi, Owner of RomeInLimo – After working for many years for several travel agences and tour oprators, Duman started his own company in year 2000 that has grown by the year and is now one of the best known tour opertors in the country. The company start in Rome and now is operating in most of the country, with great professionalism, excellent services and great staff. Company motto:

“Our job is to make your trip unforgettable!” De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 105


The Vatican & The Sistine chape


t. Peter’s Basilica, the centrepiece of the Vatican, is one of the most sights you must see in Rome. The grandeur of its interior is enhanced by statues, art and installations created by such notable artists as Michelangelo, Raphael, Bernini and others. When you visit, ensure Be you study the Basilica’s impressive dome; it is recorded as one of the largest and highest in the world. You also have the option of ascending to the top of Saint Peter’s where you will have a terrific opportunity to view Rome in all its glory. Inside the Vatican Museums you will find some of the great treasures of the country.  No visit would be complete without seeing the stunning Sistine Chapel, Raphael’s rooms  and the amazing collection of the  Pinacoteca (the Vatican Art Gallery). The Holy See is the centre of the Roman Catholic faith and St. Peter’s Square and is where you will find the entrance to the Vatican. This is the area you may have seen on television as it is well known as the site where Catholics gather to hear the Pope pray, as well as to watch for the white smoke signalling the election of a new pope.

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“For four years, Michela Sistine Chapel. It was no drips paint on my face,’’ he did, of course, driven Julius II, who signed him his spiritual developmen most famous figure, whi ‘’I just took away everyt

Some of the most interes Judgment.’’ In the mamm of anguish on their way in various stages of undr



angelo went to work on the ceiling 50 feet above the floor of the ot his favorite thing to do. ‘’My brush is above my head and ’ he wrote. ‘’I am bent like a bow and my back aches” but paint as if he had no choice in the matter by the Medicis and Pope m to a contract for the Sistine project. In stone, he said, lay nt. ‘’David was already in the marble,’’ he wrote of perhaps his ch he had chiseled from a 15-foot-high block seven years earlier. thing that wasn’t David.’’

sting parts of ‘’Michelangelo, Restored’’ involve ‘’The Last moth rendering, hundreds of figures are caught in all degrees to the kingdoms of heaven and hell. Many of them are painted ress, which mightily displeased the Popes.” Duman Kafelebasi

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The Pantheon S


ome say if you can only go to see one sight in Rome this is it. The Pantheon is one of the true glories of ancient Rome and one of the best preserved monuments of the Roman Empire. The Temple of the Pantheon is located where Agrippa built an earlier tribute to the Roman Gods in the first century. The Pantheon was constructed by the Emperor Hadrian and his plans included the spectacular rotunda and its marvellous dome that are regarded as architectural marvels.

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ery few people would want to visit Rome and not see the Colosseum. It is not just one of the most popular tourist attractions in Italy, but in the world. It is a stunning reminder of Roman history and just a fantastic structure to marvel at. It has been featured in movies, literature and artwork and seeing it is something that everyone should do at least once. Of all the places to visit in Rome, the Colosseum is definitely one of the best. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 109


Trevi Fountain


onsidered by many to be one of the most impressive fountains in Rome, the Trevi Fountain features an impeccable design and beautiful sculptures. One of the most popular activities for people visiting the fountain is to throw a coin over their left shoulder to guarantee a return visit to Rome.

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Piazza Di Spagna



he area is a fantastic and very popular meeting place in Rome and includes the famous Spanish Steps (the Scalinata della Trinita’ de Monti) which lead from the piazza to the church Trinita dei Monte. The steps are an incredibly popular place for visitors to be photographed and therefore it can get very busy throughout the year. The name “Spanish Steps” derives from the fact that the stairway was originally built to connect the Spanish Embassy to the Vatican and the Embassy of Spain has remained in the square to this day. Near the Spanish Steps, you will find the KeatsShelley House commemorating these famous authors who once resided on this square. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 111




urrounded by olive groves and the vineyards of Chianti, Siena is one of the most beautiful cities of Tuscany. Set on three hills, the city is drawn together by winding alleyways and steep steps, whilst the Piazza del Campo stands at its heart, and the Duomo and St Maria della Scala serve as additional cultural landmarks. Famed for the “Palio�, the annual historic horseraces, it is also home to one of the oldest Universities in Europe. In addition to the bustling daily life of the streets and squares of the city, Siena offers many cultural events, concerts, cinema, theatre and a wide range of sporting activities.

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aples is situated between two volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields. The city is famous for its art, culture and gastronomy and is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

The wonderful historical, artistic and archaeological heritage is an important part of the city. Its name comes from the Greek Neapolis meaning ‘new city’. Its close proximity to many interesting sites, such as Pompeii and the Bay of Naples, makes it a good base for exploring the area. Naples is a lively and vibrant city, full of wonderful historical and artistic treasures and narrow, winding streets with small shops, making it worth at least a few days visit. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 113






he largest island in the Mediterranean Sea makes an excellent holiday destination. Like Sardinia, it has excellent beaches and wonderful cuisine. You will also have the luxury of being able to island hop- the Aegadian Islands, Aeolian Islands and Pantelleria Lampedusa are all nearby and very accessible. Sicily is a traditional and rustic island with a rich culture and a potent mix of architecture, arts, cuisine, literature and music. You can spend your time sitting on beaches, visiting archaeological sites or sampling the locally caught fish. Make sure you include a visit to the Selinunte, which is an ancient building containing five temples centred on an acropolis. The east coast of Sicily is more developed and tourist friendly and the west coast is more untouched. As you travel down the latter you’ll be amazed how friendly the Sicilian people are and how pleased they are that you chose to visit Sicily.

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“This town is home to the largest collection of Renaissance art and architecture in the world. In the 1700’s, Voltaire wrote that the Renaissance in Italy marked one of mankind’s greatest cultural achievements. Today, Italy has the most, and best preserved, Renaissance art in the world. The largest concentration of high art and architecture of Renaissance Italy, hence of the world, is in Florence. To travel in Florence is to truly take a trip back in time, to the age of discovery, when mankind passed from the darkness of the Middle Ages to a time of luxury, increased artistic freedom and scientific advancement.” Duman Kafelebasi



lorence is a fascinating place and an art lovers dream. A popular city nestled in the rolling hills of the Tuscany region, Florence has plenty to offer the visitor. If you’re thinking of staying in the area ere are lots of holiday apartments in Florence to oose from. The city has numerous museums led with famous paintings and sculptures. Two aces we recommend you visit are the Pitti Pale and the Uffizi. The latter hosts work by Caraggio, Leonardo da Vinci, and Michelangelo and ceives approximately 1.6 million tourists a year ou should book before you go or unfortunately ce a long wait).

so take your time to explore the rest of the Tusny. Known as Renaissance country, the region fers some of the most beautiful scenery in the orld. The extraordinary countryside and coastne keep vacationers happy and the ever flowg supply of fine wine and cuisine will certainly ease food connoisseurs.

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destination in contrast to Rome but certainly no less impressive, Venice is one of the most famous cities in Italy. The region is famous as one of the world’s most romantic travel destinations and is certainly perfect for a weekend getaway. In the middle of the city you will find the grand square ‘Piazza San Marco’ where the basilica is located (it’s rumoured that Napoleon called the square the drawing room of Europe). If you are looking to visit an area for of history and culture then Venice will spoil you. It is reported that Venice has more artistic masterpieces per square kilometre than anywhere else in Europe and there are numerous churches, museums, and palaces worth visiting. One highlight is the Bridge of Sighs (Ponte dei Sospiri) which is an enclosed bridge that passes over the Rio di Palazzo. Obviously no visit with your partner would be complete without a trip on a gondola and despite the cost, they are well worth it for the experience.

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Amalfi Coast



he Amalfi Coast, is a stretch of coastline on the southern side of the Sorrentine Peninsula of Italy in the Province of Salerno, extending from Positano in the west to Vietri sul Mare in the east. Amalfi is the main town on the coast and is an important tourist destination together with other towns such as Ravello and Positano. The area incorporates thirteen towns and runs from the Gulf of Salerno to that of Naples. It is characterized by creeks, coves and cliffs on the sea, a variegated and breathtaking landscape that result in travellers coming again and again. Each of the towns has its own traditions, and natural and artistic treasures. You will find a selection of gardens and lemon yards which offer a stunning array of flavours and scents. If you are going to visit Italy, the Amalfi Coast is certainly somewhere you will want to go.

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RomeInLimo W

ith years of experience, RomeInLimo is a tour operator/travel consulting and limousine service company that prides itself on its customer service, integrity, and passion for Italian art, history, and culture. We specialize in luxury car hire and tailor made personalized tours in Rome, and throughout Italy. We employ only professionals, which allows us to provide the utmost quality of experience for our clientele.


Our company mandate centres on the satisfaction of our clients, as we aspire to only the highest standards of service. We believe that the best advertising is a happy client; one who will recommend us to their family and friends, and use our services again in the future. For your convenience and enjoyment we offer luxury sedans, vans, and mini-buses, accompanied by knowledgeable drivers who are eager to make your experience in Italy memorable. At your request, we provide licensed tour guides with exceptional knowledge of Italian culture, art, and historical sites.

Rome in a day

This day trip is designed for those who wis enjoy all the highlights of ROME IN A DAY relaxed pace. After you are greeted by your E lish speaking driver, you will make your wa the historical center and begin your tour at National Monument of Vittorio Emanuele I Piazza Venezia. You will continue on to the sp dors of Ancient Rome, which include the vici of the Roman and Imperial Forums, the Colise the Capital and Palatine Hills, the Circus M mus, and the glorious Pantheon. Moving on, will walk through the famed Piazza Navona, s ping at the Spanish Steps, before throwing y coins into the Trevi Fountain.

You will pause for a traditional Italian lunch fore you head over to the world’s smallest s Vatican City. The duration of your afternoon be spent in the Vatican’s Museums, Sistine Cha and St. Peter Basilica before you are returne your hotel at the end of the day. Tivoli Gardens and Hadrian’s villa.

After you are greeted by your English spea driver, you will begin the tour of Rome’s coun side. You will arrive at the most interesting d nation of the ancient Roman elites; Tivoli. In morning you will spend time visiting the anc ruins and countryside villa of the Emperor Ha an before lunch. Continuing on, you will arriv Villa D’Este, the renaissance summer estate kn for its exquisitely manicured gardens, fount and highly praised fresco paintings. When have completed all of your sightseeing, you wi driven back to Rome.

“The tours and day trips that we o course be customise for you accor English speaking driver with you w and town. We also offer private walking tour 118 / LuxuryTravelGuide 2012 / De Luxe Series

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After you are greeted by your English speaking driver, you will make your way to the small city of Pisa. Here you will spend a portion of your morning at the Leaning Tower and the main square. Continuing on along the scenic route in the Tuscan countryside, before arriving at the Renaissance city of Florence. Here you will explore the Church of Santa Croce, the Duomo and Baptistery, the Ponte Vecchio, the Pitti Palace, and the Piazza of Michelangelo prior to lunch. Moving on, you will stop at the Accademia*, which houses Michelangelo’s famous sculpture of David.


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Florence and Pisa

Pompeii, Positano and Wine tasting This day excursion is designed for those wish to enjoy the highlights of Positano on the Amalfi Coast, the archeological site of Pompeii and a guided visit in a wineyard located in the National Park of Mount Vesuvius where the famous wine Lacryma Christi DOC (Tears of Christ). You will be greated by your English speaking driver, before making your way along the Coast to the picturesque coastal village of Positano located on the Amalfi Coast. Here you will spend the duration of the morning, before continuing the day to a vineyard, located at the foot of Mount Vesuvius to enjoy an amazing view of the bay of Naples and a guided visit in the vineyard with a light lunch in a beautiful terraced garden where you can taste the specialty of the area. During your lunch you can taste six different wines of Lacryma Christi among white, red and rosè and finish with a distilled grappa of apricot. The day will continue to the archeological site of Pompeii, the ancient city whose ruins were preserved by the volcanic eruption that devastated it in 79AD, where you can spend the duration of the afternoon

offer are all pirvate for you only, that can of rding to your wishes. Each day we have an with luxuary vechiles to take you to each site

For More Information And Reservations: RomeInLimo Company W: T: +39 328 6526 705 E:

rs, transfers from airports, ports, city to city.” De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 119

The St. Regis - Rome

Iconic Reputation, Epic Elegance, Lavish Accommodation


umptuously luxurious, The St. Regis Rome was named to Condé Nast Traveler’s 2011 Gold List due to its unsurpassed setting and amenities. Opulent interiors and an austere façade add to the seductive atmosphere of this landmark hotel.


Find sanctuary and pampering in the elegant kamiSpa, sip a Negroni in Le Grand Bar, or dine on perfectly prepared traditional dishes at Vivendo. Our dedicated staff ensures guests’ every experience is exceptional, each moment memorable. Each of the 138 guest rooms and 23 suites feature a unique identity and are exquisitely appointed in a combination of Empire, Regency and Louis XV styles. An elevated level of St. Regis Butler Service is available for our suite guests.

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For More Information And Reservations: The St. Regis Rome W: T: E: +39 06 470 91 De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 121



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Welcome to Spain


pain is considered an exotic country in Europe due to its friendly inhabitants, relaxed lifestyle, wonderful cuisine, vibrant nightlife, and world-famous folklore and festivities. Among many places worth visiting are Spain’s thriving capital Madrid and the vibrant coastal city of Barcelona.  With great beaches, fun nightlife, many cultural regions and historic cities, Spain makes a great destination for any kind of trip. A country of large geographic and cultural diversity, Spain is a surprise to those who only know its reputation for great beach holidays. There is everything from lush meadows and snowy mountains to huge marshes and deserts in the south east. 

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Joan Callis - Managing Director. Bercelona Guide Bureau Joan was born and bred in Barcelona and loves it. Graduate in Tourism, he worked in travel agencies, spent a year in London to conquer English and three years travelling and working around the world – India, Japan, USA... Home again, he used this useful knowledge of people’s ways and needs to guide in Barcelona, founding Barcelona Guide Bureau with guiding colleagues in 1990. He became the Managing Director after taking an MBA at EADA. His company maxim: “A customer is the most important visitor in our premises, he is part of our business and the purpose of it”. - Mahatma Ghandi We welcome you to experience Barcelona with us. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 125




adrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The city is best known for its great cultural and artistic heritage, a good example of which is the El Prado museum and Retiro Park. El Prado museum features one of the world’s finest collections of European art, from the 12th century to the early 19th century. Founded as a museum of  paintings  and  sculpture, it also contains important collections of other types of works. El Prado is one of the most visited sites in the world, and is considered to be among the greatest museums of art.  The Retiro Park is a magnificent park, filled with beautiful sculpture and monuments, galleries, a peaceful lake and host to a variety of events; it’s one of Madrid’s premier attractions.

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adiz is said to be the oldest city in Western Europe and is full of history. Archaeological remains can be found throughout the old town and the Archaeological Museum (Plaza de Mina) exhibits are definitely worth a look. The town is surrounded by massive stone walls and forts which helped protect the city. The forts of San Sebastian and Santa Catalina are open to the public. While in the city you should also pay a visit the Cathedral of Cadiz and climb to the top of the North Tower for a stunning view of the entire city.

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Barcelona EUROPE

La Sagrada Familia Basilica


a Sagrada Familia is one of Gaudi’s most famous works in Barcelona. It’s a giant Roman Catholic Church that has been under construction since 1882. Although incomplete, the church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can visit the crypt were Gaudí is buried. A museum tells the story of this great architect and the history of the church. You can also visit the towers. An elevator and a long walk will lead you to the top of a tower from where you have a magnificent view over Barcelona. 

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The Magic

c of Antoni Gaudi

“The jewel in the crown of Gaudí’s works, the temple is a synthesis of his overall conception of architecture. The richness of detail and its significance need explaining in order to appreciate this fascinating and extraordinary building in full. Gaudí wished the temple, which is still being built, to be financed by the people, not by taxes or funding, and that is just what your entrance fees do: finance the completion of the building started in 1882. We wish you can stay on and savour the building for long as it is very worthwhile, visit the crypt and museum and compare the contrasting styles of the Birth and Passion façades.” Joan Callis

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Casa Milà (La Pedrera)


asa Milà is the largest civil building designed by Gaudi. The apartment block was constructed between 1906 and 1910. It was Gaudi’s last work before devoting himself to the construction of the Sagrada Familia. The building breaks with traditional architecture by using not a single straight line. On the outside, the undulating balconies look like a series of waves. The top floor, attic and the extraordinary roof are open to visitors.

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Casa Batlló


“You cannot say you know Gaudí’s architecture until you have visited one of his apartment buildings. Casa Batlló, one of Antoni Gaudí’s masterpieces, is not just a building but an artistic legend; hidden behind an exceptional façade which reflects a tranquil sea is a world of surprises and refined architectural details. The visitor can’t miss it.” Joan Callis


he facade of the Casa Batlló is made of sandstone covered with colorful trencadis (a Catalan type of mosaic).

Typical of Gaudí, straight lines are avoided whenever possible. The first floor features irregularly sculpted oval windows. Balconies at the lower floors have bone-like pillars, those on the upper floors look like pieces of skulls. These features gave the house the nickname ‘House of Bones’. The enlarged windows on the first floor gave it another nickname, ‘House of Yawns’. The colourful scaled roof recalls a reptile skin.

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Parc Guëll


uëll Park is one of the world’s most fascinating parks. The pavilions and main staircase look like they belong in a fairy tale.

The dragon-like lizard at the centre of the trencadis-ceramics decorated staircase is the best known symbol of the park. Another famous feature of the park is the Gran Placa Circular. Originally intended as a market place for the residents, this plaza is bordered by what is known as the largest bench in the world. The colourful ceramic serpentine bench twists snakelike around the plaza. The view from the plaza is spectacular, you can see as far as the Mediterranean Sea. 

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“Demonstration of how far ahead of his time Gaudí was, this residential suburb was financed by Eusebi Güell and meticulously planned by Gaudí with intertwining roads and footpaths, water catchment, market place and square, gardens and lodges. The now familiar mixture of highly advanced technical engineering and fantasy decoration is epitomized by the famous mosaic dragon or salamander. It was listed as World Heritage by UNESCO in 1984.” Joan Callis

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ontserrat is a mountain and an exceptional Natural Park. Towering at over 4000 feet high, Monstserrat is visible for miles. With weird shapes and rounded peaks that jut into the sky; there are paths, stairs, caves, chapels and hermitages scattered over the mountain, extraordinary landscapes and wonderful views. 

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“Montserrat is a mount a unique Natural P and a massive rock o 4000 feet high, visible miles, with weird sha and rounded peaks that into the sky; there are pa stairs, caves, chapels hermitages scattered o the mount extraordinary landsca and wonderful view Joan Callis


tain, Park, over e for apes t jut aths, and over tain, apes ws.”

La Rambla


a Rambla is the most famous street in Barcelona and is considered the heart of the city. The street is filled with street theatre, stalls, café’s, shops and famous buildings. The footpath is lined with trees and if you head in the direction of the Port Vell, a wooden walkway leads you to the Maremàgnum, a complex with shops, movie theatres and a large aquarium.

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Palau de la Música Catalana


(Palace of Catalan Music)


he Palau de la Música Catalana is a beautiful concert hall and is one of the most interesting modernist architectural gems. More than half a million people a year attend musical performances in the Palau that range from symphonic and chamber music to jazz and Cançó (Catalan song).

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“Its diaphanous room f with natural light filters through the g walls of the hall and enormous tear-shaped light, make you ima yourself in the midd a fantasy garden fu plants and flowers, re tions, symbols and int colours. If you hav chance to enjoy th sound of the organ and very near the muses leaned out from the wa the stage, is sure you feel like as a real perform art Joan Callis


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Barceloneta Beach


ccording to a documentary by the Discovery Channel in 2005 Barceloneta beach was declared the third best beach in the world. Known for its sandy beach its many restaurants and nightclubs along the boardwalk the beach can be both exciting and tranquil. Only a fifteen minute walk from the city centre the location couldn’t be more convenient. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 139


Magic Fountain


tunning and awe inspiring are just two of the words that can describe this fountain. A spectacular display of colour, light, motion, music and water acrobatics - if you mix all these elements together in just the right combinations, you end up with pure magic! The magic fountain is a “must see� when you come to Barcelona.

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“The Magic Fountain was one of the last projects on the site of the 1929 Universal Exhibition, which included the cascades and smaller fountains which fill Avinguda de Maria Cristina in Barcelona.The centrepiece, however, is the monumental fountain built on a platform at the end of the avenue, which lies halfway between the Palau Nacional and the Plaça d’Espanya. The last renovation work was carried out and music was incorporated into the visual show.” Joan Callis

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Barcelona Guide Bu B

arcelona Guide Bureau (BGB) is a tour operator founded in 1990 by a group of local expert guides who wanted to perfect the tour services offered to tourists and travel agents.

BGB specializes in guided tours in and around Barcelona and Catalonia and we are known for our quality service and reliability. We show the most interesting and attractive aspects of the city of Barcelona, adapting the tour and the explanations to the type of visitor, taking into account where they come from, their characteristics and expectations. Our services include: - Barcelona Daily Sightseeing Tours: Regular coach tours for individual clients, in English, with guaranteed departure daily from Plaça Catalunyaand Fast Track entrance to the monuments included. We offer many different itineraries:

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- The Gaudí Tour: This tour will take you to the best of Antoni Gaudí, a visionary architect during Barcelona’s modernista (art nouveau) period early last century that graced Barcelona with nearly all his extraordinary and beautiful buildings. No less than 7 have been listed as World Heritage by UNESCO. We will explain what makes them extraordinary: the details, the symbols, the structural secrets, the technical innovations, and give you a guided tour of Park Güell and the Sagrada Família.  - The Montjuic and Panoramic Tour: This tour combines two areas of natural beauty used by Barcelona for culture and recreation:

ureau EUROPE - The Waterfront which is a living example of how the very old can be successfully combined with the very new: the Old Port with its Dock warehouses and the Gothic Drassanes or shipyards have been preserved and incorporated into a remodeled recreational area, with the Aquarium, the World Trade Centre and the Olympic Village built for the ‘92 Games, transforming an industrial part of the city into apartments facing the sea, beaches, marina, and parks, criss-crossed with bicycle paths; - MontjuĂŻch Hill with its parks, art galleries, museums and the 1992 Olympic Ring of sports stadiums also provides spectacular views over the city. We will also visit the charming Poble Espanyol.

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- The Montserrat Tour: this tour will take you around a unique mountain within a Natural Park, and a massive rock over 4000 feet high, visible for miles, with weird shapes and rounded peaks that jut into the sky; there are paths, stairs, caves, chapels, hermitages scattered over the mountain, extraordinary landscapes with wonderful views and a Benedictine monastery nearly 1000 years old, perched half way up the mountain and sheltered by its peaks. There is also a basilica with the Chapel of Our Lady of Montserrat known as La Moreneta, the patron saint of Catalonia. You will discover a library of nearly 300,000 volumes; the oldest boys’ choir in Europe; a basilica full of paintings, gold lamps and decorated chapels, a museum with paintings by El Greco, Picasso and Dalí among many others and treasures from ancient Egypt. - The Gaudi Plus Tour: you will not be able to say you know Gaudí’s architecture until you have visited one of his apartment buildings. You will on this tour. We then go to the Finca Miralles Gate and the Pavillions of Finca Güell and finish with a visit to the amazing Colonia Güell and its crypt, 15 Km away from the city centre and one of Gaudí’s buildings you cannot miss.

Private tours: Visits fully customized and tailormade to each customer’s requests: Walking Tours, Gymkhanas, Bike Tours, Team building activities, Tapas tours, Guide-actors, Architecture Tours, Shopping Tours and Monothematic Tours. Other services: transfers, liaison Interpreters, tour leaders, tourist routes, incentive trips or conventions.

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For More Information And Reservations: Barcelona Guide Bureau W: T: E: +34 932 682 422 De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 145


C Plea W

ish for an island lapped by crystalline turquoise waters and fringed with endless beaches of warm white sand.

Imagine a place where calm is a way of life that captivates visitors throughout their stay. Enjoy this unique island, its diversity, its nature, its spectacular beaches and dunes- a gift for those looking for all year round spring weather and an oasis of sensations by the sea. The Gran Hotel Atlantis Bahia Real combines the perfect setting and facilities for business and pleasure, less than four hours away from the UK Much of the hotel’s appeal can be attributed to the local microclimate with the island enjoying an astonishingly consistent ambient temperature, which rarely goes above 28 degrees centigrade or below 20 degrees at any time of year.

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With over 300 days of sunshine annually, coupled with spectacular scenery and beaches, the island is an idyllic location. For the discerning connoisseur, the hotel proudly offers five restaurants, each offering gourmet cuisine; the buffet La Alacena; the Spanish restaurant Las Columnas; the Japanese restaurant Yamatori; the Beach Club restaurant Las Palmeras and La CĂşpula run by Michelin-starred international chef, Carles Gaig. Wine lovers will delight in the ample choice from the extensive selection from the bodega offering the most exclusive wines and champagnes available. Voted the best SPA in Europe, the Spa Bahia Vital has more than 3,000 square metres dedicated to wellbeing of the mind and body.

Combining Business & asure in the Perfect Location The Gran Hotel Atlantis Bahia Real 5*GL where holidays are a lifetime experience.

EUROPE The hotel is also considered as a leading venue for conferences and meetings. Having an event hosted at the Gran Hotel Atlantis Bahia Real is a unique experience with an unrivalled setting. Whilst you enjoy the relaxing ambience, you can take in the sensational views across Lobos and Lanzarote. The hotel prides itself on being able to offer exceptional event facilities and efficient organisation to ensure that any event runs smoothly and is a memorable experience for its guests. Situated facing the clear blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean and next to the sand dunes of Correlejo, Fuerteventura’s beautiful nature reserve, the Gran Hotel Atlantis Bahia Real 5*GL majestically integrates colonial elegance with the most modern five star facilities. The hotel is the first establishment on the island to receive this accreditation as recognition of its integration into the beautiful natural surroundings.

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With 17 treatment rooms, a hairdressing salon and a state of the art gym offering personal trainers, it is a world devoted to beauty and relaxation. Activities like sailing, fishing and windsurfing take full advantage of the ocean location.


Gran Hotel Atlantis Bahia Real’s timelessly courteous customer service creates a natural environment where handpicked professionals cater to each guest around the clock with discretion and diplomacy. Even seasoned travellers find themselves surprised at how a visit to this award-winning five star resort transforms a mere holiday into a perfect lifetime experience. With a wide range of accommodation available including the Royal Suite, the Suite Bahia, the Suite Atlántico, and junior suites and deluxe double rooms and only four hours away from the UK with flights from every major UK airport, Gran Hotel Atlantis Bahia Real is within reach, whether you are looking for a seven or fourteen-night stay or a quick island escape to recharge the batteries. All of this makes for an unrivalled experience, which explains the hotel’s 45 per cent return rate. Contact our dedicated team of professionals on site who will tailor make your holiday to fit around all your needs.

For More Information And Reservations: Gran Hotel Atlantis Bahia Real W: T: E: +34 928 537 153

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The hotel is also considered as a leading venue for conferences and meetings. Having an event hosted at the Gran Hotel Atlantis Bahia Real is a unique experience with an unrivalled setting.


Recent Awards Most Excellent European Hotel 2012. Awarded by the prestigious international mark of distinction. Condé Nast Johansens, the leading independently produced multi-media source for today’s traveler, sourcing hotels, spas and venues for leisure and business in the UK, Europe and the Americas. Marque of Excellence Gold Award 2011. Thomson ALC TUI UK. Recognition by customers for outstanding service standards and quality of accommodation. TUI Holly, TUI Germany 2011. TUI awards the top TUI hotels worldwide with the TUI Holly. Certificate of Excellence 2011. TripAdvisor Travel Community. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 149

Gran Meliá Palacio de Isora EUROPE

Timeless luxury with an avant-garde fla


ran Meliá Palacio de Isora is located on the south west coast of the island of Tenerife, right down on the beach front, just 35 minutes from the Reina Sofia Tenerife South International Airport, and 90 minutes from the island capital, Santa Cruz, and a mere 40 minutes from the Las Cañadas del Teide National Park, where you will find the highest peak in Spain. The Gran Meliá Palacio de Isora hotel lays at the point of convergence of some of the most beautiful elements of the Canary Island natural environment, with the ever-present Atlantic Ocean at its feet, the elegant silhouette of the island of La Gomera on the horizon and the majestic figure of Mt. Teide as a backdrop.

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In a warm atmosphere that invites guests to experience new sensations and to live moments of magic, the Gran Meliá Palacio de Isora property is in perfect harmony with its surroundings and offers a broad range of services and facilities designed to satisfy the most demanding travellers and anyone seeking to enjoy an unforgettable experience. The imposing colonial Plaza Atlántica, welcomes travellers, surrounded by an ample assortment of luxurious rooms, all fitted down the smallest detail. The Rooms at the Gran Meliá Palacio de Isora are decorated with exquisite taste and equipped with all of the facilities and services guests may require during their stay. The greatest care has been taken of even the tiniest detail to ensure your stay in Tenerife is a truly a unique experience. We guarantee maximum guest relaxation, not only thanks to the tranquillity of our rooms, but also to the special care and attention we pay to the preparation of your bed, using the highest quality bedding and also offering you a chance to choose from our large selection of different size pillows or even special pillows for guests with allergies or special needs. Plus The Villas, which offer “heaven on earth” accommodation and top services.

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Then th capacity proposa area of La Gom built-in relaxati dreame more p Sub-tro Canary with ro


YHI Sp mind, m scenden of profe equipm

The ho perb qu taurant unique

Five int and six most di

From N its own deliciou and sea the poo tional I Dani G

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here is the 260 m long and 5,000 m3 y pool in the form of a lake, our al of an “inland sea” with a 125 m long infinity pool overlooking the island of mera, with 70 water beds within and 2 n water rituals that will guarantee real ion with the views you have always ed of. Next to the lake, there are four pools for adults and two for children. opical gardens, lakes with fish and native y Island plants and a small private beach ck pools on the coast.

For guests who wish to try all of the fine dining alternatives we offer a half board option with Dine Around to allow you to choose from the set menu at any of the à la carte restaurants (Club Ocean, Oasis Pool Grill and Market Grill) as well as our Pangaea Show Cooking Buffet.

a, a 2,000 m² oasis to revitalise body and makes discovering the best of you a tranntal experience thanks to a wide menu essional treatments and modern exercise ment.

It is also a unique venue for congresses, conventions and incentive travel and other events, with a total of 15 different lounges and all the technical equipment and additional services necessary to make your meetings a resounding success. All of this comes with the best possible service and personal counselling of our team of specialists, which will enable you to optimise your events in an area of almost 3,000 m² that we have for this very purpose.

ternational gourmet restaurant options x bars and lounges to satisfy even the iscerning tastes.


tel offers an extraordinary range of suuality cuisine with several theme ress and bars that allow guests to enjoy a and extensive culinary experience.

The Red Level at the Gran Meliá Palacio de Isora is the most exclusive service provided by Gran Meliá Hotels & Resorts and boasts the most superior range of personalised and luxurious services. It is designed for adults only (over18).

Nami a Japanese restaurant, which has n sushi bar and teppanyaki tables, to the us Mediterranean cuisine serving paellas afood dishes at the Oasis Pool Grill by ol, as well as our own versions of tradiIberian fare at the Calima Restaurant by Garcia’, holder of two Michelin stars.

For More Information And Reservations: Gran Meliá Palacio de Isora W: T: +34 922 86 9000 E: De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 153

Hotel La Fuente De La Higuera &


Beauty, friendliness and excellent food


magine being invited for a lazy holiday to a small luxury suite hotel combining beauty, friendliness and excellent food….then you probably have summed up the “Hotel La Fuente de la Higuera”.

In a renovated rural olive oil mill, with beautiful Ronda within sight, where traditional Spanish architecture meets post-modern design and eclectic furnishing. A ten minute-drive from cosmopolitan Ronda but with all the country house comforts to tempt you to just siesta by the pool or on the lawn. A terrace restaurant, serving delicious food above the pool, an honesty bar in the library and a choice between helping yourself or letting our staff pamper you. A unique residence, in fact, whose philosophy might be summed up by “busy doing nothing”...

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& Lodge



ll our rooms and suites have their own private terrace or garden and en-suite bathrooms. Individually designed interiors where detail is finessed down to the last bathroom fitting DĂŠcor from around the world, with an intriguing collection of art from 19th century Dutch representational to contemporary abstract. The original paintings, furniture and even the boarded flooring reflect an attention to detail. Bright, south-facing suites to catch the sun summer and winter- with log fires to curl up besides on cooler winter afternoons. The hotel is centrally heated. Internet connection in reception and a library are also available. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 155



ur restaurant offers a daily changing three course menu for dinner and a lunch menu based on creative Mediterranean cuisine.

Whenever possible we use vegetables and herbs from our own organic gardens, our fish comes fresh from the Andalusian coast, and our meat from organic suppliers

Olives, lemons, all of our gazpacho’s ingredients, potatoes, name it; we pick it fresh for you. Special care is taken in preparing our food, not only when it comes to our fish or meat dishes also with our innovative vegetarian dishes. Whether your choice be a dessert, fish, meat or a vegetarian dish, our chefs will prepare your meal with tender loving care which will be reflected in how your food looks and tastes.

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ierra de las Nieves” and the Sierra de Grazalema you can choose between a laid back holiday, short weekend luxury trip or to explore Andalusia’s treasures.

From wine-tasting, hiking, bird watching, to abseiling: from the Hotel & Lodge you can visit new and old wineries, walk for hours through natural parks, go horseback riding, paragliding, fly with a hot air balloon, rent a bicycle, climb mountains or watch the special local birds. We will also be pleased to show you our favorite jogging-route. For the more adventurous among us, ballooning, canyoning, 4 x 4 routes, abseiling and more can be arranged for you. If you would rather be in a group to do so, we work together with the company Exploramas whose work and desire it is to get you excited.

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he Lodge and its sister “Hotel La Fuente de la Higuera” are seven kilometers apart. This luxury space has the best of two worlds: the friendly service of our hotel and the exclusivity of ones own private space with full chef & maids- service to attend to all of your needs and wishes. It is a modern yet classic building, free-standing in 22 acres of private grounds with panoramic quite spectacular views over the “Sierra de las Nieves” and towards Ronda. The Lodge can accommodate up to fourteen guests. The next village “Arriate” is two kilometers away. Historical Ronda is 5 kilometres seven kilometres from the Lodge. The Lodge is a family (or group of friends) holiday villa that can be rented out fully served, self catering or a mix of both. Bienvenidos a La Fuente de la Higuera

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Voted 4th best hotel in Spain b


by TripAdvisor Travellers

For More Information And Reservations: Hotel La Fuente & The Lodge Ronda T: E: W:

+34 952 165 608 +34 952 114 355 De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 159



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Filipe Cordeiro – Director, Different Portugal Filipe was born in Ericeira. At the age of 6 he moved to Lisbon, a city that he knows from east to west. Filipe loves living, travelling and know the world through its friendships. Filipe worked as a sales man and a programmer, but it was his passion for travelling and for Portugal that lead him to found Different Portugal in 2011. The company aims to provide unique and unforgettable moments to our visitors, or friends as he likes to call them. Friendly and always attentive to details, he designs every Different Portugal tour with the goal of showing the best his country has to offer.

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Lisbon L


isbon is found on the north banks of the River Tagus and is a fantastic place to visit throughout the year. The city has plenty of history with some stunning churches and palaces to visit as well as an impressive local castle. Lisbon is very different to most European cities and is rich in culture and atmosphere. The architecture is striking and has a real sense of importance about the region. Any visitor will find Lisbon unique and a utterly fascinating city to visit. When seeing Lisbon for the first time you will want to visit Baixa, found around Rossio and Praça do Comércio but also Alfama and Mouraria and Belém, set on the Tagus River. If you are a museum lover you will be spoilt for choice. Lisbon has a huge selection of ancient and modern art and numerous places to visit to see the pieces. The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, National Museum of Contemporary Art, National Coach Museum, Berardo Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art and Carmo Archaeological Museum are just a few. If you are looking for a little entertainment then Lisbon has plenty to offer; Bairro Alto is the centre and has numerous restaurants and bars for you to relax and unwind. You will also be able to take in some traditional Portuguese music (Fado) and the atmosphere is especially good through the summer months. If you are simply looking for a little commercial escape, the biggest shopping mall in Iberian Peninsula, Centro Comercial Colombo, will offer you many options. For those who prefer to shop in local markets, there is a fascinating flea market at the Campo de Santa Clara.

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“Belém, where the Portuguese sailors depart in the Age of Discovery bringing new worlds to the world, is one of those places where you feel the History. Also delight yourself with the unique Belém cream pastries, one of the seven Wonders of Portuguese Gastronomy! Also not to be missed is the Fado Museum, listed as an UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in November 2011“ Filipe Cordeiro

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Sintra “Quinta da Regaleira is, along with Pena, Monserrate and Seteais palaces, one of those magic and romantic places that only exist in fairy tales. The luxurious park featuring lakes, grottoes, wells, benches, fountains, and a vast array of exquisite constructions are not to be missed.“


Filipe Cordeiro


intra is considered one of the most romantic and picturesque towns of Portugal. The town boasts three unique palaces, a charming town centre and some of the best walks in the region. Sintra is the second most populated area of Portugal, after Lisbon, but the locals prefer to keep the status as a town. There are numerous castles and splendid 19th century mansions, well maintained gardens and enjoyable mountain treks. The UNESCO World Heritage Site recognition highlights the historical importance and visitor appreciation of the town. The Moorish castle and Pena Palace are reached by a short walk but bus service links the four locations (the train station, the historic town, the Moorish castle and Pena Palace) are available. From the top of the Pena Palace or the Moorish Castle, Lisbon can be viewed to the east, the Atlantic to the west and to the south the mouth of the Tejo and the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, with stunning views across them all.

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short train ride along the shore from Lisbon’s Cais do Sodré station  leads to Cascais, a romantic fishing village that became a popular resort favoured by European nobility and kings in the early 20th century. Today it is a colourful cosmopolitan town with charming pedestrian streets, luxurious villas, fashionable shops, restaurants and bars.

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Porto P


orto is one of Portugal’s largest cities and offers visitors plenty to see. Along the coast, holiday resorts like the cosmopolitan beach of Espinho, busy ports like Matosinhos, with splendid seafood, and traditional fishing towns like Póvoa de Varzim, but where there is also a fantastic casino. Inland you will find the quaint charm of Amarante, with 17th century mansions overlooking the river and famous for a kind of sweet egg pastries called “papos de anjo”. The Douro Valley, is separated from the Minho Region by the Douro River. The wine production area extends along the Douro River, as well as along its tributaries that run from the Spanish border to roughly 100 kilometres outside of Porto. Port, Portugal’s most famous wine, is produced in this region. Though there are many countries that produce versions of this sweet, heavy wine, authentic Port only comes from Portugal’s Douro region.

“Apart from Port wine, in Porto you can find one of the most beautiful coffee shops in Portugal, the historic Majestic Café, and the Lello Bookshop, considered one of the most beautiful bookshops in the world.“ Filipe Cordeiro

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Guimarães “More than ever, Guimarães deserves a visit in 2012. The birth city of Portugal is the European Capital of Culture this year.“ Filipe Cordeiro



uimarães is a city in Minho and is one of the most historical regions in Portugal, said to be where “Portugal was born”.

It has a beautiful castle, and a palace to visit, from the beginnings of the country. The Castle has been classified as one of the New Portuguese Seven Wonders and is the European Capital of Culture in 2012.

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The Algarve

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he Algarve is the perfect holid tion as it really does have som everybody. It’s steeped in hist all the modern amenities fo holiday, is very family orientated, h sports facilities, and great seafood.

The Algarve weather  is special, with hours of sunshine per year, the climat tently pleasant, with no huge seasona The Algarve is easy to reach, and eas around. Flying time from most of Eur der 3 hours and  private airport tran Faro  to your  accommodation  are eas online. The Algarve has a unique bl and new. You can find the ultra-mod to jowl with the traditional and quain part of it’s charm.

For those seeking active holidays, yo great range of sports and leisure activ is a golfers paradise, with over 25 golf choose from. Water sports enthusiast for choice, as are lovers of good living w selection of restaurants, bars and club


day destinamething for tory, boasts or a luxury has superb

“Dona Ana Beach (Praia D’Ana) in Lagos is one of those beaches that stay in your memory for ever. While in Lagos, a calm but vibrant village, enjoy an afternoon in one of the several street coffee shops in the historic centre. Take time to relax in world known for its fantastic golf courses.“

over 3,000 te is consisal extremes. sy to travel rope is unnsfers from sy to book lend of old dern cheek nt, which is

Filipe Cordeiro


ou’ll find a vities. This f courses to ts are spoilt with a huge s.


agos is one of the most visited cities in the Algarve, due to its variety of touristfriendly beaches, bars, restaurants, and hotels. It is renowned for its vibrant summer nightlife and parties. Yet, Lagos is also a historic centre of the Portuguese Age of Discovery, home of Henry the Navigator, historical shipyard and, at one time, centre of the European slave trade. TripAdvisor has recently classified Lagos as the favourite travel destination from a list of 20 cities around the globe. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 169




he delightful town of Óbidos, with white houses adorned with bougainvilleas and honeysuckle was captured from the Moors by the first king of Portugal, in 1148. The king later presented it to his wife, Queen Santa Isabel.


Encircled by a ring of medieval walls and crowned by the Moorish castle, Óbidos is one of the most perfect examples of a medieval fortress. Inside the walls, which at sunset take on a golden colouring, you can sense a cheerful medieval ambience. Try and visit the Igreja Matriz de Santa Maria (Parish Church of Santa Maria), the pretty Capela de São Martinho (Chapel of S. Martinho) and, outside the town walls, the Igreja do Senhor da Pedra (Church of the Senhor da Pedra).

“Óbidos means “fortified city”. Two things that cannot be missed in Óbidos are the Medieval Market (July) and the famous sweet liqueur “Ginjinha”, which is drunk in a chocolate cup. In the Medieval Market the castle and the surrounding town recreate the spirit of medieval Europe.“ Filipe Cordeiro

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átima is a sma located 88 mil is a major Cat because of rep Virgin Mary in 1917 b children. Millions of p especially for the main October 13th.




all town in Portugal les north of Lisbon. Fátima tholic pilgrimage site ported sightings of the by three local shepherd pilgrims visit each year, n festivals on May 13th and


he town of Tomar was the headquarters first of the Templars, and later of the Order of Christ. The castle, known as the Convento de Cristo, still exists today, and is well worth a visit. The nearby Church of Santa Maria do Olival was elected during the Portuguese Discoveries as the mother church of all the churches of Africa, Asia and the Americas. The original construction remains in the beautiful Gothic facade, marked by the Signum Salmonis, the true mark of the Knights Templars counterpoised on an enormous rosette. The church also houses the famous pantheon where 22 Master Templars were buried. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 171



“The Chapel of Bones at the Royal Church of St. Francis is one of the main attractions in Évora, along with the Temple of Diana, a roman temple. The Chapel of Bones impresses the visitors as its walls and central pillars are covered with human skulls and other parts of skeletons.“


Filipe Cordeiro


vora is one of Portugal’s finest towns. It is a true open-air museum with a large number of wonderfully preserved monuments and buildings of public interest that led UNESCO to protect it as a World Heritage Site. The main square, Praça do Giraldo,  is the best place to start a visit. It was an execution ground during the Inquisition, but is now filled with shops and cafés, and surrounded by attractive townhouses with wrought-iron balconies. A fountain erected in 1571 in front of the Renaissance Santo Antão Church dominates one end of this spacious square.

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onsaraz is a ti lage that main dieval atmosp fortified by th today its 150 or so perm ancient white houses with wrought-iron balconies.




iny fairytale walled vilntains a delightful mephere. It was originally he Knights Templar, and manent residents live in h outdoor staircases and


urope’s largest artificial lake, measuring 83 kilometres in length is located in the Alentejo region, in Southern Portugal. It is a fantastic place to visit with your family or friends where you can choose between mooring on an island, in direct contact with nature, or in one of the various quays offering access to the surrounding settlements and tourism attractions: the Alqueva Dam, the new village of Aldeia da Luz, Mourão, with its castle and 13th century fortifications and Monsaraz.

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lthough it served as the nation’s capital during the Middle Ages, it is betterknown for the  University of Coimbra, which is one of the oldest in Europe and the oldest academic institution in the  Portuguese-speaking world. There are many archaeological structures which date to the  Roman era, when Coimbra was the settlement of Aeminium, such as its well-preserved aqueduct  and crytoporticus. Similarly, buildings from the period when Coimbra served as the capital of Portugal (from 1131 to 1255) still remain. 174 / LuxuryTravelGuide 2012 / De Luxe Series


“Aveiro is sometimes called the “Portuguese Venice”. While in Aveiro enjoy a ride in the typical and colourful boats, called “moliceiros” and taste one of the local delicacies “ovos moles”, made from egg yolks and sugar.“ Filipe Cordeiro



he city of Aveiro has a population of approximately 57,000 inhabitants.

Part of the city is bathed through canals, bridges, and painted boats called moliceiros, similar to the gondolas of Venice. For this reason, the city is called the “Portuguese Venice”. The real charm of Aveiro lies in its coast, with fantastic sandy beaches. This local coast is well known as Silver Coast, due to the beauty and cleanliness of the area.

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Naturtejo Geopark T


he Naturtejo Geopark is the first Portuguese geopark. The Geopark covers six municipalities in the centre of Portugal: Castelo Branco, Idanha-a-Nova, Proença-a-Nova, Nisa, Oleiros and Vila Velha de Ródão).The Geopark has an extraordinary historical, geological and gastronomical heritage. When visiting the Naturtejo Geopark you will have a deep contact with nature. Apart from the geomonuments, as for example the amazing Portas de Ródão or the roman gold mine of Conhal do Arneiro, the Geopark includes the Natural Park of Tejo International, one of the most important wildlife sanctuaries in Europe. The Naturtejo Geopark also has one of the greatest nets of walk trails of the country. The ancient history of the region endowed it with many castles, churches and palaces, reaching a rare diversity in Portugal. The many historic and schist villages are also symbols of the ethnographic wealth of the region.

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“The Naturtejo Geopark is a park where history, tradition, nature and gastronomy combine very well. The geomonument Portas de Ródão, the schist villages of Figueira and Foz do Cobrão are not to be missed. The historic village of Monsanto, a village that developed around impressively big and miraculously balanced granite boulders, was voted in 1938 as the “Most Portuguese village in Portugal” “ Filipe Cordeiro

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Welcome to Different Portugal! EUROPE

Our regular tours incl

Sightseeing tours: V friendly atmosphere se es in Portugal and disc and products of Portug mately the culture of ou


Thematic tours: Allow experiences and increa the Portuguese culture more about the Fado, t regional wines, or learn Portuguese dishes in classes.

That is the story behind Different Portugal, an animation tourist company that was founded in 2011 by Filipe, who is passionate by its country, Portugal, and loves traveling and getting the most of every place he visits. We want to share real places and experiences in Portugal in a unique, warm, friendly way.

Routes (4 days/3 nigh stone villages, the geom of walking trails that Portugal’s Routes, allo ancient history of our way and in constant Each Different Portug to a gastronomic produ Naturtejo Geopark regi termelon, wine, sweet ry and olive oil.

sn’t it amazing when we visit places where friends live and they show us around all the sites only locals know? The greatest memories we take back home are of moments lived in the authentic country, not only in the touristic sites.

At Different Portugal we provide both regular private tours and tailor-made private tours in Portugal allowing you to know the real Portugal in a customised and memorable way. We also organise group activities for companies while showing you some of the best Portuguese traditions.

Other services includ trips or conventions.

Let us be your P 178 / LuxuryTravelGuide 2012 / De Luxe Series

Come with us and discove


w yourself memorable ase your knowledge of e and traditions. Know taste Portuguese n traditional our hands-on cuisine

hts): The historic schist monuments and variety characterize Different ow you to discover the r country in a relaxed contact with nature. al’s Route is dedicated uct characteristic of the ion: cheese, cherry, wachestnut, arbutus-ber-

de: transfers, incentive

Portuguese pal!

er a Different Portugal!!

Private tours allow personalised treatment and programme flexibility. Tours to both well-known places and hidden sites that really portray Portuguese culture and tradition Take your time visiting our wonderful monuments - there’s no rush! Professional, friendly and thoughtful team with outgoing personalities Relaxed, warm and cosy travel environment.


Visit in a warm and everal fascinating placcover unique traditions gal, knowing more intiur country.

Why Different Portugal?

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The Canary Islands T

he Canary Islands are a group of seven Spanish islands situated off the coast of North-Western Africa. The islands offer a relaxing, tranquil retreat that provide travellers withglorious weather all year round. The region is an extremely popular destination for visitors from Europe. Their tropical location make them a prime getaway spot during the winter but even with the islands’ increasing tourism, it is still possible to explore unspoilt areas, such as their wild beaches, mountainous regions, and national parks. If you are simply looking to sit back, relax and enjoy the sunshine then obviously the Canary Islands are a perfect choice. However if you do wish to explore beyond your typical paradisiacal island vacation and experience much more of what the islands can offer you will find an astonishing range of diversity and landscapes unlike any other you will find in this part of the world.

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EUROPE As many readers will know, the islands are a volcanic establishment and boast four of the highest peaks within Spanish territory. The scenery can be described as nothing less than breath-taking. Be stunned by rugged, red, Marslike panoramas or enjoy the unfamiliarity of the black, sandy beaches. The landscape offers something unique and unlike anything you will find on a traditional island paradise.

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repare to find yourself awe-struck at the extra-terrestrial landscapes of this extraordinary island, which boasts about 300 volcanoes. Even though all seven islands are of volcanic origin, Lanzarote has most recently felt the devastating effects of its volcanic eruptions in the 18th and 19th centuries, when some 200 square kilometres were scorched and covered in ashes. This region of petrified lava make up the National Park of Timanfaya and its Mountains of Fire, where visions of a lifeless, prehistoric (or even apocalyptic) earth, with enormous craters of an incandescent red colour, can be seen on a bus or even camel tour. Its unique atmosphere has made it a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and one of the most impressive natural parks in all of Spain.

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As the island is qu travel to its extrem car. Heading nort Verdes, or “Green ago by lava stream also the Jameos de ranean caves and l species of blind c point of the island Rio extends over t spot, you can expe ma of the ocean a La Graciosa, whic ferry destination.

Not only is Lanzar tastic landscapes b compete with any best ones are locat island. Playa Blan has long stretches waters, and so do beach. For a less t Papagayo, a beaut impressive cliffs.

Andrew Walsh


uite small, you can easily mities and go on excursions by h, you’ll pass La Cueva de los ns’ Cave,” created 3,000 years ming from an eruption, and e Agua, a network of subterlakes and home to a rare crabs. At the northernmost d, the prow-like Mirador del the ocean. Here at this windy erience a magnificent panoraand of the neighbouring islet ch is a very recommendable

“Like the rest of the Canary Islands, the island of Lanzarote was formed over 15 million years ago by a massive volcanic blast. And it’s a good thing that dramatic event once happened as now we have the beautiful beaches and mountains to enjoy for ourselves on holidays in Lanzarote! Being a volcanic island, the beaches on Lanzarote are originally black and you’ll still find some in this condition.”

rote home to bizarre and fanbut also to beaches which can y found in the tropics. The ted in the southern part of the nca, one of the most popular, of clear sand and crystalline oes the nearby Las Coloradas touristy one, check out tiful large cove encircled by

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he oldest of the Canaries, this island is known for its kilometres-long beaches of white sand and shallow, clear water, perfect for water-skiing, wind-surfing, fishing, or sailing. It has the longest coastline of all seven islands, spanning 340 kilometres, and is easily accessible by a 40-minute ferry from Lanzarote. Fuerteventura is also notable for its dry climate, giant white sand dunes, and camels ready to give tourists a lift just a stone’s throw from the beach. One is reminded of the island’s close proximity to Africa, especially when visiting the Dunes National Park, where the tranquillity of snaking dunes likens to a mini-Sahara.

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On the eastern coves which a diving, due to and rock form

In the souther called Jandía m tant wild area

Almost all the and offer an away from the any roads can ferry-ride ove protected nat of bird and

rn part, a region of virgin beaches makes up one of the most impors on the island.

e beaches here are nude beaches experience of untouched nature e bustle of tourism, where hardly n access. You can also take a short er to the Island of Lobos, a tural reserve where a great variety plant species can be spotted.


n coast, you’ll find steep cliffs and are ideal for snorkelling or scubao the subterranean trove of caves mations.

“Fuerteventura has a deserved reputation as offering some of the quieter holidays to the Canary Islands. Compared to holidays in Tenerife and Gran Canaria, that’s certainly true. But if you’re looking for great beaches, lush vegetation and a peaceful atmosphere, then Fuerteventura is for you!” Andrew Walsh

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Gran Canaria


his island gets its nickname “pequeño continente” from the unrivalled diversity of landscapes and climactic zones within its relatively small territory. In an excursion by car, you can easily admire desert scenery, areas of dense tropical vegetation, snowy mountain ranges, and immense cliffs that plunge into extensive white sand beaches, all within the space of a few kilometres. The most extraordinary sights on this island are its steep ravines of granite rock, which plummet from almost 2,000 meters high to meet the coastline. From just about anywhere you can appreciate the sheer force of nature that Gran Canaria has to offer. Its vegetation can be found in such far-away places as America, Europe, and Africa.

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“Enjoy year-round great weather, and in fact the climate changes very little from summer to winter. This is especially true of the soutern resorts you can visit on Gran Canaria. They enjoy temperatures around 25C, even in December and January.“ Andrew Walsh

EUROPE You can explore a variety of flora in areas like Tejeda, with its lush green valleys of almond trees, and Mogan, a valley where tropical fruits are cultivated. There are also many fishing villages worth visiting for their mountainous sea views and small-town charm, such as Agaete and Arinaga. In the ancient city of Arucas, huge banana plantations, rocky coves, and volcanic areas form neighbouring landscapes. Don’t forget about the endless white sand beaches and turquoise waters, which can be enjoyed in Maspalomas, located next to an area of sand dunes, and also in Playa del Inglés, both of which make up the more popular areas for beach-going. For quieter beaches and pretty coves, try La Costa de Bañaderos or Playa de las Nieves, both of which offer incredible mountain views. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 187

Tenerife L EUROPE

ike Gran Canaria, Tenerife, the largest island of the Canaries, boasts a large variety of mountain, forest, and beach landscapes with an ever-warm climate. Most notably, it contains the majestic Mount Teide, a massive volcano which, at 3,718 meters2, is the highest peak in all of Spain and the third largest volcano in the world. Mount Teide and its surrounding volcanic craters and peaks of Las Cañadas make up the extensive Mount Teide National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. You can take the cable car all the way up close to the summit of Mount Teide, and if you’re up for some walking, load your lungs up with oxygen for the altitude. There are numerous hiking trails that showcase a view of an extraterrestrial landscape. These mountain ranges separate the island into two climate zones, with the north being greener and more humid and the south being hot and dry. If you’re a wine connoisseur, you would love a drive up north to Taraconte, famous for their red wines, where fertile vineyards contrast with coastline cliffs.

The most surprising thing about the be in Tenerife are the stretches of thick, sand found on some, for example on Pl El Puertito and Playa del Roque on the e coast.

There are also a number of beautiful old colonial cities to visit, including Garachico to the west, which has black sand beaches and naturally-formed pools, and La Laguna to the north, a historic city considered to be the cultural capital of the Canaries. La Orotava is another old city which is adorned with colonial mansions and gorgeous gardens, situated in the sea of banana plantations that make up the Orotova Valley.

In the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife beaches are worth visiting: Las Teresita artificial beach with 1,500 meters of sand en from the Sahara desert, and Las Gavio remarkable nude beach with black sand extraordinary waves and even more o tunities to get out in the nude, check ou beautiful, hard-to-access beaches of Pla los Patos and Playa de Bollullo.

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eaches , black laya de eastern

e, two as, an d takotas, a d. For opporut the aya de

For More Information On Visiting The Canary Islands Contact: Islas Canarias W: T: +34 928 293 698 E: De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 189


Bulgaria Y

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If you when y warm w just loo winter

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Numer relieves church liefs an since an you wil to deci 190 / LuxuryTravelGuide 2012 / De Luxe Series


ou will find Bulgaria in the heart of The Balkan Peninsula. It may be a small country but it is full of a fantastic selection of things to see. The Bulgarian weather also allows untry to be visited during all seasons.

are a beach fan then come in the summer you can enjoy the long sandy beaches and the waters of Black Sea. If you are a keen skier or oking to try the sport for the first time, the resorts are ideal for you.

even millennia, many people have left their on Bulgaria lands - pre-historic communihracians, Greeks, Romans, Bulgarians, Slavs Ottoman Turks have marked their culture, edge and wisdom.

rous golden and silver treasures, rock s, fortresses, architectural ensembles, hes and monasteries prove history, faith, bend fights of the people who have lived here ncient times. There are so many things which ll want to see and learn, the only issue will be ide what to visit first!

Alexandra Dimitrova – Managing Director, Altours BG Alexandra has been in the travel industry for over 20 years. She holds a master degree in Economics, and has extensive education in International Tourism and Management. Alexandra creates an unforgettable travel experience, sharing with you out-of-thebox travel ideas. She manages all details of your tour in the most friendliest and professional way, helping you finalize it just as you want it. With deep interests in culture, history, archaeology, Alexandra has wide experience in designing private and group cultural tours. Her recent experience includes some exceptional tours for Wine, History and Art Societies. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 191

The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral T


he cathedral is one of the places you must see when visiting the Bulgarian capital city of Sofia. Construction of this Russian Orthodox Church was started in 1882 to designs by the Russian architect Alexander Pomerantsev however it was mainly just foundations that were laid, the building was finally completed in 1912. You will find the building in Alexander Nevsky Square in central Sofia. The church is dedicated to the national saint Alexander Nevsky and Tsar Alexander II. It is a memorial to the 200,000 Russian soldiers who lost their lives in the Russian-Ottoman War, which ultimately resulted in Bulgaria being liberated from Ottoman rule.

“Built in Neo-Byzantine style, it serves as cathedral church of the Patriarch of Bulgaria and is one of the largest Eastern Orthodox cathedrals in the world, one of Sofia’s symbols and primary tourist attractions. The interior is decorated with Italian marble, Brazilian onyx, alabaster, and other luxurious materials.“ Alexandra Dimitrova

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Sofia - The Streets of Gold

ofia is an area unlike any other and has fantastic history. The city started growing over 7,000 years ago and is Bulgaria’s modern capital. When you visit you will see a strong relationship between past and present. Monuments to its rich Thracian, Roman and Ottoman history are found alongside the modern sights of cosmopolitan city life. You will find nearly 200 historical landmarks and architectural monuments that offer a fantastic blend with Sofia’s unique skyline.

EUROPE “The streets of Sofia are paved with gold! Paved in 1917

with yellow-bricks - a gift from the rulers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire on the occasion of the marriage of the Bulgarian tsar Ferdinand I. The yellow-bricked pavement will lead you to many of the best city sites - from the President office to Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.“ Alexandra Dimitrova

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Boyana Church, Sofia “Boyana Church owes its global fame to the wall-paintings (1259), demonstrating the exceptional achievements of the Bulgarian medieval culture. The portraits of Sebastocrator Kaloyan and his wife Dessislava are the oldest realistic images of monumental art in medieval Europe, created before the Italian Renaissance, before Giotto.“


Alexandra Dimitrova


he church dates back to the late 10th century and is one of the oldest churches in the world. The church was inscribed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979 and is famous for its paintings which include portrays of the church-donors Sebastocrator Kaloyan and Sebastocratoress Desislava as well as the Bulgarian King Konstantin Assen Tih and Queen Irina. The church is an exceptional sight to visit and a fantastic example of east European medieval art.

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busy north when

The kilom comp othe actua pels stunn you v wellhund


Ivanovo Monastery & Rousse

ousse is the fifth largest city in Bulgaria and is a very popular tourist destination. We would recommend a visit for a weekend as there is plenty to keep you y and area has the best dining and nightlife in hern Bulgaria. Rousse is the best place to stay n visiting the nearby rock monasteries.


Ivanovo Rock Monastery is found about 20 metres south of the town. The monastery is pletely unique and very different from any r buildings you will find in Bulgaria. You will ally find a network of small churches, chaand cells which are set into the rocks with ning views of the Roussenski Lom River. If visit you will also be impressed by the -preserved wall paintings which date back dreds of years.

“Important stage in the development of the European

culture, the rock-hewn monasteries contain some of the best frescoes of the Bulgarian medieval religious art. Rousse is known for its Neo-Baroque and Neo-Rococo architecture. It is the birthplace of Elias Canetti, winner of Nobel Award for literature.“ Alexandra Dimitrova

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lovdiv is not only one of the largest cities in Bulgaria but also one of the oldest with a history going back over 6,000 years. Plovdiv stretches over a territory of 53 square kilometres in Central Southern Bulgaria, in the Upper Thracian Lowlands, at the foot of the Rhodope Mountains. In Plovdiv you will find the ruins of an enormous Roman Stadium with a length of 180 metres and with a capacity for over 30, 000 spectators. Marble reliefs, pottery and other relics provide evidence of the Bulgarian influence in the city during the Middle Ages.


Plovdiv is a beautiful area with many areas to explore. Any visitor must go and see at least one of the museums and archaeological monuments. The region known as the ‘Old Town’, includes houses from the National Revival period and an imposing open-air museum situated on the sight of the ancient Trimontium.

”The oldest continually inhabited city in Europe, older than Rome and Athens, and contemporary to Troy and Mycenae. Existing as a settlement about 8,000 years ago, it became a town 3,000 years ago during the Trojan war. It has kept traces of many ancient cultures - Thracians, Macedonians, Romans, Slavs, Byzantines and Bulgarians.” Alexandra Dimitrova

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arna is known as the seaside capital of Bulgaria and is the biggest city at the Bulgarian coast (third largest city in Bulgaria). The city lies in the Bay of Varna, nestled in a deep valley between the Frengen Plateau and the Avren Plateau.


The city’s structure is extremely impressive and actually resembles an amphitheatre. There is plenty to see and do as wells surrounding you in beautiful scenery. If you are not a beach lover then do not be put off, you can still visit one of the many gardens, vineyards and groves.

EUROPE ”Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Modern cultures mingle and coexist throughout the city. The artifacts of the first high-developed civilization in Europe have been found in the area - over 3,000 golden tools with total weight of 6,5 kg rated as the oldest crafted gold in Mankind’s history (6,000 BC).” Alexandra Dimitrova

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Melnik M


elnik is a town in south-western Bulgaria, in the Pirin Mountains, about 400 metres above sea level. The town is an architectural reserve and an incredible 96 of its buildings are cultural monuments. It is one of the smallest towns but is one of the most beautiful regions in the entire country. Do not be put of its size, you would be happy with an entire holiday spent at this adorable place.


�Centre of viticulture and wine industry, the smallest

Bulgarian town, with only 350 inhabitants, is located amidst a natural fortress of majestic sandstone pyramids. Melnik red wine is said to be one of Winston Churchill’s favorites. The Melnik vine grows only here and nowhere else in the world.� Alexandra Dimitrova

he Bal the bo the ea count

The Balkan P Balkan moun most entirely part in Serbia to be the hear

The Greeks r the name of Greek mytho very importa as a natural b were home to

The Balkan R will find dens as well being dear, bears an

If you visit the will find the its rose growi es 85 per cent 198 / LuxuryTravelGuide 2012 / De Luxe Series

Rose Valley & Balkan Mountains do without the Bulgarian attar of roses. The Bulgarian oleaginous Rosa Damascena yields 85% of the world’s production. Up to 3,500 kg of rose flowers are required for just 1 single gram of the precious attar of roses whose price equals that of gold!” Alexandra Dimitrova


lkan mountain range stretches from order between Bulgaria and Serbia in astward direction through the whole ry until it reaches the Black Sea.

”The world’s perfume and cosmetics industry could not

Peninsula takes its name from the ntains. The mountains are located aly in Bulgaria (with only a very small a). This is why Bulgaria is considered rt of the Balkans.

referred to the range Haemus, after the King Haemos of Thrace from ology. The mountains are actually ant in Bulgarian history; they acted boundary of the Bulgarian state and o freedom fighters for many years.

Range is incredibly impressive. You se beech forests, stunning waterfalls g able to spot local wildlife such as nd wild boar.

e region south of the mountains you Rose Valley. The area is famous for ing and this part of Bulgaria product of the world’s rose oil. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 199

Rila Monastery ”Largest spiritual and cultural temple on the Balkans, it

is the most visited tourist site in Bulgaria. An inaccessible fortress from the outside, the monastery reveals a totally different world behind its heavy gates – exquisite architecture with arches and columns, 1,200 outdoor murals, sunlit verandahs and old fountains.”


Alexandra Dimitrova


his building is one Europe’s most well known monasteries and you will be overwhelmed by its sheer size. The monastery is set in a forested valley in the Rila Mountains and is a major attraction for both Bulgarian pilgrims and tourists. You will find that visiting in the Spring and Autumn is best simply to avoid the huge number of visitors that flock here. We would advise you stay at a hotel relatively near so you can experience Rila’s beautiful evenings and get a glimpse of one of the best sunsets you could imagine.

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the Tsa which Veliko capital

The cit pezitsa bit of h Bulgar zitsa w main r

ty is situated on three hills, Tsarevets, Traa and Sveta Gora. The hills have their own history; Tsarevets housed the palaces of the rian Emperors and the Patriarchate. Trapewas known for its many churches and as the residence of the nobility.


ou will find the city in north central Bulgaria and it is considered the administrative centre of Veliko Tarnovo Province. The city is also known as the ‘City of ars’ and has stunning, unique architecture brings tourists to the region all year round. Turnovo is also famous as the historical l of the Second Bulgarian Empire.

Veliko Turnovo

”Capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire for over 200

years, the town attracts many tourists with its unique architecture. Tsarevets hill housed the Palace of 22 Bulgarian Emperors, the Medieval Fortress and the Patriarchal Cathedral. The ‘Sound & Light’ Show reproduces the glorious and tragic history of the Second Bulgarian Empire.” Alexandra Dimitrova

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Thracian golden and silver treasu “More than 80 Thracian golden and silver treasures, unearthed in Bulgaria, have conquered the modern world. The various artifacts - rhytons, facial masks, pectorals, jewelry and weapons, are examples of the Thracians unique way of life, culture, religion, mastery, art and crafts, enabling a great civilization to take its deserving place in Mankind’s history.“


Alexandra Dimitrova


he Thracians are the people considered to be the first settlers in Bulgaria.

The Thracian gold and silver treasures date back to ancient times. The treasures are very unusual and come in a variety of shapes and designs. Similar to the Egyptians, the Thracians believed in life after death and therefore were buried in monumental tombs with their most prized possessions. Many of these tombs can be viewed and you can see the temples features some very impressive furniture and paintings

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“The tomb - masterpiece of architecture and art, owes its world fame to its murals, ranking among the best-preserved examples of early Hellenistic painting.“ Alexandra Dimitrova



“Small town, situated on a rocky peninsula and linked with mainland by a narrow isthmus. Founded by the Thracians more than 3,000 years ago, the town is a genuine treasure-house of architectural and artistic monuments, featuring more than 40 ancient orthodox churches splendid examples of Byzantine architecture.“ Alexandra Dimitrova



essebar is extremely popular with visitors from all around the world. One of the oldest sanctuaries in the region is the Basilica built on the coast at beginning of 5th century. St. Ivan the Baptist Church was built much later, in the 11th century, and is a typical cross-domed church with three naves, and four columns supporting the dome.

The old quarters of Nessebar are well worth visiting and you will be impressed by some of the old houses, stone walls, and streets. Nessebar is one of the few places on Earth where you can eat a scrumptious fish or lobster meal under the thick shade of an ancient Roman Fortress, and at the same time feel the breeze coming from the sea nearby. The spirit and history of the region is hidden in the narrow coastal cobble streets. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 203


A Tradition of Excellence in Cultural Travel


ltoursBG is a leading tour operator in the field of cultural, historical and specialty interest tours, specialized in designing exclusive personalized itineraries. We are the first to present Bulgaria as a destination with 8,000 years of culture and history, unique in its diversity, and as one of the oldest European civilizations with a major place in World’s history. We create and market our own travel programs and provide high-quality travel services, operating ready-to-book guided cultural tours for groups and tailor-made itineraries for business and private travelers, small groups or couples. This includes helping you choose the most suitable stay available at the most competitive tour prices and match your budget and luxury style. We continuously strive at fulfilling our clients’ needs and exceed their expectations – attention to detail ensures you will enjoy a totally hasslefree traveling. We provide the perfect balance between organized activities and free time for individual exploration and relaxation.

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Besides, AltoursBG offers an extraordinary scope of customizable cultural travel opportunities on the Balkans – combined tours with Romania, Madcedonia , Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia. Luxury at a budget, whatever cultural tour package you choose, you’ll benefit from a range of special extras that will certainly add to the pleasure of your stay. Our cultural tours exclusively match the interests of private travelers and groups, travel companies and organizations, members of prestigious universities and professional groups from all over the world. Our travel partners and friends are from different parts of the world - the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan, etc.

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Best Selection of Hotels & Restaurants Our hotels selection offers the best combination of quality and convenience - close to major attractions and shopping areas in the cities, near the most important cultural and historical sites in the capital and in the countryside. The selection of our traditional restaurants offer you possibility to be aquainted with the local cuisine with its own characteristics, originality and exceptional variety.

eful Design & Comfortable Pricing r tours are designed to see and do a lot withrushing. You will enjoy a comfortable bale between guided sightseeing and leisure time eedom to rest up or wander on your own.

erb Value & Quality r top quality travel packages are with just ut everything together in one price - hotel acmmodations, some meals, transfers and transtation, entrance fees and local taxes, guide vices, and more... All major sightseeings are o included, amounting to significant savings. veling with us, you will never encounter extra enses or ‘surprises’ along the tour.

owledgeable Guides & Professional Drivers r experienced travel professionals are with throughout the itinerary. They are knowleable, caring, helpful, and always there when need them. Not only that, they are friendly, , and great to spend time with.


Our Tours

Guided Sightseeing & Cultural Exchange Our guided sightseeing tours will show you the destination ‘behind the scenes’. You will experience the variety of cultural, historical and archaeological sites, customs and traditions of the places you are visiting. Our creative custom designed private and group tours, short breaks and weekend escapes develop and support special Cultural Connections - including participation in local activities, special meals and wine-tastings, lectures, home visits, receptions, traditional performances and concerts - all contributing to your deeper understanding of local people and places. Personal Attention & Care Our success is based on knowing you and delivering genuine personal attention. Many past travelers are on a first-name basis with our staff. In addition, many recommend our guides and drivers to their friends and colleagues because they have shared meaningful travel experiences and have become personal friends.

For More Information And Reservations: Altours BG Touroperator W: T: +359 2 944 1405 F: + 359 2 843 5886 E: De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 205


From beautiful sandy beaches to the majestic Taurus Mountains, Turkey has it all.

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Welcome toTurkey


ith a proud and rich cultural heritage combined with contemporary comforts, Turkey is not to be missed. A branch between Europe and Asia, the country is as diverse as it is inviting. Fine dining on open rooftops provide the perfect folly to a day of shopping and exploring of the Taksim and Sultanhamet districts of Istanbul. Not a fan of the big city, then Cappadocia may be just your thing. The region boasts amazing underground cities and fabulous natural wonders. Nothing illustrates Turkey’s history better than the region. But if you quite simply want to relax, then the luxury resorts, beautiful beaches and the great weather of Antalya may be just the thing for you. Whatever your test, there is something to sample in Turkey.

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Ayd覺n Ayhan G羹ney Director, Argeus Tourism & Travel Ayd覺n was born in the historic region of Cappadocia, Turkey. He has been in the tourism industry for over 23 years and is one of the owners of Argeus Tourism & Travel which was established in 1993. Aydin creates his own tailor made tours and itineraries which draw on his many years of experience. He also specialises in special interest tours. With a keen passion for biking, Aydin is the first professional mountain bike guide in Turkey. He was the organization director for both the European Mountain Bike Championships in 2007 in Cappadocia and the European Road Bike Championships in 2010 which were held in Ankara. Aydin is currently the organizer of the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 209

EUROPE The oldest district of Istanbul is Sultanhamet and the influence of its colourful past is still on display today. The Ice cream vendors, rooftop restaurants, Nargile bars and stunning architecture are only but a small attraction compared to the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. Visiting both you will certainly be blown away by the sheer beauty and rich history of the two monuments. Not too far from the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia lies the Topkapi Palace, the home of the Sultans and kings of old. If shopping is more your thing then the grand bazaar provides the perfect arena to pit you business skills against the local merchants. These merchants are experienced, smart and understand trading.

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Of all the luxury Rast Hotel certain boutique Hotel in stunning views, q end suites. The ho allow you to obse glory. With the S and the Blue Mosq other, the open-air certainly one of th all of Istanbul.

Taksim is undoub of Istanbul. This leisure and transp you can find the b Oteli, Ceylan Inte Istanbul as well as is famed as one of in Europe. Istikla square and here yo outlets from high luxury boutiques; something to suit Cultural centre an in Taksim Square a visit.

Aydın Ayhan Güney


y hotels in Sultanhamet, the nly stands out as the premier the district. It offers quality restaurants and high otel is situated perfectly to erve Sultanhamet in its full Sea of Marmara on one side que and Hagia Sophia on the r restaurant of the Rast is he most romantic locations in

“Built in the 6th century by the Emperor Justinian, it was one of the largest basilicas in the Christian world. After the Ottoman conquest, it was converted into a mosque and is today one of the most magnificent museums in the world.“

btedly the cosmopolitan heart s is the business, shopping, port centre of the city. Here best luxury hotels, the Divan erContinental, Hyatt Regency s the Hilton Istanbul. Taksim f the major shopping districts al Avenue starts from Taksim ou will find numerous fashion h end global brands to small you can certainly find your style. The Ataturk nd Opera house are located and are undoubtedly worth De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 211

EUROPE Taksim also has a vibrant dining scene. The Changa restaurant is considered one of the top restaurants in the world. The Changa presents old and new Turkish styles in tantalising fashion. The restaurant is spread over three floors and its unique trademark is the kitchens glass ceiling enabling diners to walk over and observe the kitchen area. The Banyan restaurant also offers amazing cuisine as well as stunning views of the Bosporus while you dine.

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Nisantasi is anoth of Turkeys most and the “Mecca o

Here you can find within walking d Vuitton, Hugo B a few. The City N shopping mall aim

Nisantasi itself is of Turkey and is f buildings.

d small, boutique outlets distance such as Gucci, Louis oss and Armani to name but Nişantaşi, opened in 2008, is a med at the high end consumer.

s home to the rich and famous famed for its Art Noveau


her part of Taksim and is one expensive shopping districts of Fashion”.

“Now, for what many people consider as one of the most unique places in the world, as well as being the world’s largest and oldest Palace; the Topkapi Palace and Museum. Here is the crown jewel of the Ottoman Empire, showing its treasures and timeless elegance. The residence of the Ottoman Sultans for almost 400 years.“ Aydın Ayhan Güney

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“In Cappadocia’s magical landscape of fairy chimneys, in the ancient village of Urgup, is a unique hotel carved into a mountain cliff, the Yunak Evleri. This hotel includes six cave houses, 30 rooms dating back to the 5th and 6th centuries and a 19th century Greek Mansion. Yunak Evleri is an inspiring hotel – an ideal base for exploring Cappadocia’s elaborate underground cities, hidden cavernous churches and enchanting rock terrain.“


Aydın Ayhan Güney

In the more central region of Turkey lies Cappadocia. A popular tourist destination with a history dating back to 6500 B.C, the Lycians, Greeks, Persians, Byzantines and Ottomans have all left their mark on the region which makes Cappadocia a unique travel destination. One of the key features of Cappadocia is the large number of underground cities, there are estimated to be roughly forty and six of them are open for visits. Among the most popular are the Kaymakli Underground City, Derinkuyu Underground City, Ozkonak Underground City and Mazi Underground City.You may want to visit the Goreme Open Air Museum, a vast monastery complex each with its own Church.

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Volcanic eruptions centuries ago sculpted what are today some of the best natural wonders such as the Red Valley, Rose Valley, Cavusin and Pigeons’ Valley. With Cappadocia being such a large and diverse region covering many provinces of Turkey hiking or air balloon may be the more suitable methods to view such breathtaking scenery. In terms of accommodation, the Yunak and the Kale Konak both offer luxury living space but with a twist; both being cave hotels. The Yunak, located in the village of Urgup, is a hotel carved into the cliff. The hotel includes six cave houses and thirty rooms. The Kale Konak Cave Hotel is a mansion located in Uchisar dating back to the first centuries, offering both charm and elegance. A visit to Cappadocia would not be complete with out dining at some of the local restaurants. The Ziggy Cafe is the perfect place for a meal or a few drinks, with four terraces on ascending levels, cool jazz music and welcoming staff. The Ziggy Cafe is situated near the Yunack Cave Hotel. The Elai restaurant brings with it the sophistication and luxury found in Istanbul but without the noise and crowds. With panoramic views and gentle music, the Elai is the perfect foil for a long day of touring Cappadocia.

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EUROPE Ephesus contains one of the largest collections of Roman Ruins in Europe. Ephesus has been home to notable people, including Manuel Philes, the Byzantine poet as well as the painter Zeuxis. Ephesus was a major sea port connecting the traditional trade routes to the Aegean sea and the names connected with the ruins are reminiscent of its former glory such as the Odeon Theatre, Fountain of Pollio, Temple of Hadrian, Basilica of St John and the library of Celsus. 216 / LuxuryTravelGuide 2012 / De Luxe Series


“One of the most important ancient sites not only of Anatolia, but the world; a city with thousands of years of history. Founded in the eleventh century BC by the Ionians and in its day it was definitely the most important ancient sea port connecting the traditional trade routes to the Aegean Sea.” Aydın Ayhan Güney De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 217


If your one for the sandy beaches and golf retreats, Antalya may be the place to go. Located on the Mediterranean, Antalya is the country’s biggest international sea resort. The Letoonia golf resort, located along the sea shore, is spread over seventy-five acres of land is the perfect getaway- offering golf , natural beauty and entertainment. If a little more luxury is what you require the Mardan Palace Antalya offers everything you could want from a five Star hotel. Superior suites, to meeting and conference rooms as well as a number of restaurants including a unique aquamarine restaurant. If this is not enough there is also a deluxe spa and a number of activities such as scuba diving, golf and even skiing and paragliding in the Taurus Mountains. No trip to Antalya would be complete without a visit to the Doner Gazino, located on the Tunek Hill. This rotating restaurant offers panoramic views of the gulf of Antalya and the surrounding mountainsides.

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Argeus Tourism & T EUROPE

Top quality service to discerning travell


rgeus Tourism & Travel was founded by a group of tourism professionals in Cappadocia with the aim of giving top quality service to discerning travelers in Turkey. For them, the tradition of Turkish hospitality is paramount, so both the staff and contractors are encouraged to see the people travelling with them as guests, not clients. As tourism professionals, Argeus Tourism sees the need to specialize in certain tourism subjects rather than have a finger in every pie. They appreciate the importance of attention to detail, showing trust in people before accepting trust, and the need of good quality service.

They define their market as individual travellers or small groups interested in cultural, archaeological and easy-going outdoor activities during their travels. They have continuously studied the needs and expectations of the guests in order to continuously improve the service.

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lers to Turkey

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Eighteen years on, Argeus Tourism & Travel is a family of professionals who all share the same ethos. If you like to travel only with your family or close friends, you are getting ready for your honeymoon, you know it is difficult to travel, even with people you already know, you want a holiday just for yourself, travelling off the road to extraordinary destinations gives you more satisfaction or you are looking for maximum flexibility on your holidays... Argeus Tourism knows that you have lots of reasons for custom-made tours. They design tours more for individuals than large groups and are well aware of your wants and needs. They can easily put together the tour programs you are interested in on the web page or, simply by giving the details you want to the personnel who are experts on all parts of Turkey. A program can be especially designed for you. Do not hesitate in getting in touch with the experts at Argeus Tourism. They will always find an answer to any of your requests and give their opinions and suggestions on your Turkish program that you have already prepared.

For More Information And Reservations: Argeus Tourism & Travel:

W: T: E: +90 384 341 4688

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Argeus Tourism & Travel design tours more for individuals than large groups and are well aware of your wants and needs.

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Sacred House

Who are looking A sacred



n extraordinary region, unmatched in the world, a fascinating beauty. An exciting artistic treasure. Supernatural harmony of shapes and colors. A perfect landscape for history and art lovers. An invaluable treasure of culture. A bridge between East & West, the melting pot of peoples, languages, religions, cultures, memories. That is Cappadocia. Sacred House is a 250 years old Greek mansion hewn from caves where history, art and modern comforts meet to provide that certain old-world touch.... It is as magical and unusual as you could imagine at this very individual hotel. Everywhere are curling candelabras, reverent icons, colorful hangings and ornate fireplaces. Step inside the elegantly appointed courtyard with its aristocratic lobby and medieval decorated atmosphere, step back to the days when master craftsmen cared a lot about the details. Once the mansion of a Greek aristocrat, it is now a hotel where special courtesies are provided in an elegant, refined setting. Precious decorations and beautiful antique furnishings enhance the atmosphere and luxurious comfort of the 12 totally different rooms. Each room is decorated in its own very distinctive style, the interiors reflecting the formation of the rock of which they are part. All 12 “concept design”, keep the marks of different periods and different antique Anatolian culture and offers a hidden modern comforts at the same time. In the hotel where classic and neoclassic styles meet with the basic colors of romanticism, many fire lights offer a warm and romantic atmosphere to its guests. 224 / LuxuryTravelGuide 2012 / De Luxe Series

Our potions, like the tartly refreshing min lemonade that greets you on arrival, or the sistently moreish cheery liqueur of a forgot recipe that awaits you in a crystal decanter w you first enter the room. A variety of fine Ana lian and international wine complementing dinner menu of old, long forgotten cuisine of tiquity. Your dinner at Sacred House, served medieval atmosphere with antique candle sti silverware, and chevalier tables will be a ‘knightly’ one to remember a long time.

10 with fireplaces, a total of 12 concept roo all displaying the most excellent illustration Middle Age Art, each decorated differently uniquely with worthy antique or handicraft niture and accessories on a large scale.

Bathrooms come with Jacuzzis, candle sticks contemporary luxury to follow up your encha ing day in Cappadocia.

Dinner menu accompanied by old, forgotten ancient cuisines which are served in an medie atmosphere supported by antique silverware, antique chandeliers and chevalier tables.

For the searchers, g for something sacred in their lives, d love, passion or affection...


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For More Information And Reservations: Sacred House

W: T: E: +90 384 341 7102

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Casa dell’Arte Residence

Turkey’s first contemporary boutique



asa dell’Arte Residence is a unique seafront, stylish hotel located in one of the most enchanting spots of Bodrum, the old fishermen’s village of Torba.

Every stone, every painting, every sculpture at the hotel is an original piece of artwork. The Buyukkusoglu family collection is exhibited throughout the hotel; in the lobby, in the rooms, in common areas, in the garden and even by the pool for the guests’ enjoyment. Art exhibits varying from contemporary art to photography, objects and ethnic culture are exhibited at the art gallery in the hotel premises. There are individually decorated 12 guest suites and a private villa at the hotel. The left wing of the hotel, comprising of 6 suites, is the exact mirror image of the right side. All suites are named after signs of horoscopes and authentic, unique artworks from the family collection catch the eye in each of the loft-like suites. To accentuate the artwork exhibited, the rooms are all decorated in white and cream colors. All of the beds and closets in the rooms are custom built by Turkish and Italian furniture makers. All suites are equipped with LCD screen televisions, satellite system, DVD, wireless internet connection, electronic safe, individually controlled air-conditioning, smoke detector, mini bar and selective daily care products. Luxurious yet never ostentatious, the Casa dell’Arte Residence lives and breathes the aesthetic and cultural atmosphere of past, present and the future.

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Cas sev Mu Res


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sa dell’Arte Residence offers its guests veral dining options; Casa dell’Arte utfak, Guest Kitchen and Gonca Seafood staurant.

hosen as;

ertificate of Excellence For the Year of 11 from Tripadvisor’ 00 Best Summer Holidays for 2010’ e Times ewcomer Best Hotels of Europe 2009’ eo Saison Feb inner Best Small Hotel 2008’ Travel + isure est Boutique Hotel 2007’ - The Guardian

sa dell’Arte Hotel offers its guests not only vacation, but a unique experience with the agical touch of art… Every detail is conved masterly for a dream vacation in this agnificent hotel. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 227

Art Residence Cappadocia by Casa d C

asa dell’Arte is pleased opening of our new in guesthouse, ‘Art Resid nestled in the hills of U Cappadocia, Turkey.


The wonderful surroundings o ley inspired the creation of th Cappadocia. Art Residence Cap cient cave home transformed in contemporary escape from real

The house itself is a beautifully with three private suites, locate and two living rooms. The dini windows for you to enjoy the w Erciyes Mountain and a horizon dreds of hot air balloons as the

Each of the three rooms - nam Musketeers; Athos, Porthos uniquely styled room showcas renowned Turkish artists. Th their own private bathroom, tw private entrance.

The common area of the house room, a dining room with lar look out over the valley providin point to watch the famous Cappa the morning.

Cappadocia is an area in the C Turkey and has one of the mo unique landscapes in the world known for its moon-like landsc ground cities, cave churches an into the rocks. Uchisar and the s are visited by hundreds of thou each year.

With direct flights from both Ata al Airport and Sabiha Gökçen bul to Nevşehir and Kayseri air and 1 hour respectively to Uchis Cappadocia is the ultimate escape for the senses. 228 / LuxuryTravelGuide 2012 / De Luxe


d to announce the ntimate 3 bedroom dence Cappadocia’ Uchisar,

of the Uchisar valhe Art Residence ppadocia is an annto a lity.


restored property, ed over two floors ing room has large wonderful view of n dotted with hunmorning breaks.

ed after the Three and Aramis, are ses artworks from e rooms all have wo with their own

e includes a large rge window’s that ng the best vantage adocia balloons in

entral Anatolia in ost interesting and d. The city is best cape, many undernd houses carved surrounding cities usands of tourists

aturk Internationairports in Istanrports (30 minutes sar) Art Residence

For More Information And Reservations: Casa dell’Arte Hotels of Arts & Leisure W: T: E: +90 252 367 1848 De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 229


Czech Republic Prague Castle


ee the hourly changing of the guard or wander across the Charles Bridge at night to see this ancient building gorgeously lit up.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Prague Castle is the largest in the world and has been renovated and updated over the years – resulting in an eclectic but beautiful mix of Gothic, Renaissance and 20th century styles. Large portions of the grounds are open to the public, with a network of museums and galleries. Historically the home of Bohemian kings, currently it houses Lithuania’s heads of state and the country’s crown jewels.

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Petrin Lookout Tower EUROPE


etrin lookout tower is one of the most famous places in the Czech Republic. This tower is 60 meter high and it resembles the Eiffel Tower of Paris. Even though it is shorter than the Eiffel tower, it has a strong resemblance structurally and as the tower is located on top of Petrin hill, it seems higher in size. You can either walk up to the tower or you can avail the lift, which is there for disabled person. If you love hiking, then you can enjoy this trail on top of the tower. This place is one of the major tourist draw and was built on 1891. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 231


Charles Bridge


t is of the Gothic bridge, which connects the old town and Mala Strana. Charles Bridge was previously known as Stone Bridge and was constructed in 1357, by the Czech king and the Roman Emperor Charles IV. This bridge is one of the famous monuments, which was built during Charles reign. A number of vendors stand on both side of the bridge, selling different items and you can also enjoy sunrise and sun set from this bridge, which is a wonderful experience.

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n o r s

T d C p c o t

Freedom Square



reedom Square is large and traffic free except for a couple of tram lines. The area makes a lovely place to wander round or sit and enjoy a drink at one of the numerous watering holes as you indulge in a bit of people watching. You really cannot miss it, it really is the heart of the city and it would be impossible to visit and not end up there sooner or later.

The square, originally known as Lower Market, is dominated by the large column in the Northwest Corner. This is a monument to victims of the plague. If you look closely on the ground near the centre of the square you can also see the remains of the old Church of St. Nicolas which once stood there.

For More Information On Visiting The Czech Republic Contact: Czech Tourism W: T: +420 221 580 611 E: De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 233

Savic Hotel Prague EUROPE

Surrounded by the most significant historical landmarks of Prag Savic Hotel lies heart in the city centre


oused in a Gothic and Renaissance building still showing parts of its origin back in 1319, the Savic hotel can be found right at the heart of the Old Town a stone throw away from Astronomical Clock at the Old Town Square.

Surrounded by picturesque narrow cobbled alleys, the hotel is only 300 meters away from famous Charles Bridge and is also very close to all Prague’s sights as Jewish cemetery, Wenceslas Square, Old Town Hall and many others. All the rooms and bathrooms have been renovated just recently and are equipped with all modern amenities, but without altering the 14th-century looks with original wooden painted beams in some of the rooms. 234 / LuxuryTravelGuide 2012 / De Luxe Series



For More Information And Reservations: Savic Hotel Prague W: T: E: +420 224 248 555 De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 235


The Mediterranean L

ess than 3 hours after taking off from most European destinations you are landing in Palma and suddenly everything changes. Its warmer, its more relaxed, and most importantly, you are on holiday. This sun-kissed island has one of the best coastal drives in the whole of southern Europe and has been voted the 5th best location in the world to live in. Better than that it is a fantastic place to play golf. For fifty years Mallorca has been central to European summer tourism but it is only in the last ten years that the island has made its mark as a golfing holiday destination. It all started in 1929 with the intended construction of a four hole course at the side of the road leading to the lighthouse at Formentor. This was never finished but in 1932 a nine hole course and the Hotel del Golf opened in Puerto Alcudia. The course was used until 1936 when construction of nine more holes was begun but never finished as the civil war intervened. It was taken over by the military and turned into an aerodrome .

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Golf Isla


Thirty years later a WWII aviator Steve Kusak, an American born to Polish parents, formed a company with a friend and two Mallorcan businessmen. They bought five million square meters of land behind Palma with a 13th century castle which they restored to create a hotel and built a nine hole golf course, all based on the Hotel Dolder of Zurich. Prince Rainier of Monaco struck the first drive at Son Vida in 1964 and golf in Mallorca as we know it was born.. The eighties and nineties heralded a boom in course development which whilst slower has continued over the last ten years ,culminating in the opening of the most exclusive course to date – Son Gual - in October 2008. The island now boasts 20 public courses where anyone can pay and play meaning it can justly claim the title of Mediterranean Golf Island.




John Little - Director, Mallorca Golf Connection Born in 1951, John spent his childhood in an idyllic riverside village in Huntingdonshire and was educated at The Perse School for Boys, Cambridge. John emigrated in 1970, living in Australia and working for the Commonwealth Trading Bank, later being transferred to Papua New Guinea in 1972. He moved to Mallorca in 1978 where he entered the world of professional yachting scraping hull bottoms and left in 1995 as an “Ocean Yachtmaster�. In 1999, together with Keith Buckett, a friend and business partner, they started Mallorca Golf Connection, which gave him the chance to combine work and the sport he loves, and its been a great combination. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 237


Castillo Hotel Son Vida


he majestic and elegant Castillo Hotel Son Vida is located high above Palma de Mallorca in the most renowned estate of Son Vida. Built in the 13th century and surrounded by subtropical lush gardens, the hotel situation means guests have incomparable views of the Bay of Palma from many of its 164 rooms and suites.

Gastronomic variety can be found in the restaurant Es Vi with an exceptional selection of over 400 different and exquisite wines. You can enjoy typical Spanish tapas in the historic ambience of the renowned Bar Armas. And for the ladies, complete relaxation of Body and Soul in the fabled beauty Spa.

The Son Vida golf course wends its way around the hotel grounds and the two other hotel courses are only a buggy ride away, making it the perfect location for a golfing holiday. 238 / LuxuryTravelGuide 2012 / De Luxe Series









ocated next to the 18th green of Golf Son Vida this is a true golfers hotel offering a singular golfing experience that stands unequalled in Europe. The room rates include green fees, driving range, and practice facilities, with no restrictions and guests can have the choice of four nearby Arabella golf courses Son Vida, Son Muntaner, Son Quint as well as at the 9-hole Son Quint Executive course. Add to that preferential starting times, and either direct buggy access or complimentary shuttle transfer to all four courses.



Sheraton Arabella Golf Ho-

The hotel offers all the expected luxuries of quality five star accommodation, two distinct dining experiences at restaurants serving Spanish-influenced delights using fresh and authentic ingredients, though each features its own distinct atmosphere and unique specialties. For relaxation there are indoor and outdoor pools, a fitness pavilion and a beauty spa, or you can sip a sundowner and watch the final puts being sunk on the 18th green. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 239


Son Gual, 5983 meters, par 72


he jewel in the crown of Mallorcan golf has to be Son Gual, the most exclusive course to date which opened October 2008. The dream of German industrialist Adam Pamer, no expense was spared in the creation of this masterpiece. Designed by three-time German Amateur Champion, Thomas Himmel, who molded the course into the landscape by moving 1.4 million cubic meters of earth. Add in acres of vibrant wild flowers, 800 mature olive trees, bunkers the size of beaches, acres of water including a waterfall, tee to green conditioning which is impeccable and two superb closing holes. The result is a magnificent golfing experience. It is already listed in the top one hundred courses of Europe, has established itself on the PGA Seniors Tour and is a probable future venue for the Mallorcan Classic, a regular European Tour event.

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Alcanada, 6152 meters, par 72



ocated on the northern tip of Mallorca close to the town of Alcudia and owned and built by Peter Porsche of car family fame, it was opened in October 2003.

Two essential requirements for a top category golf course, a privileged setting and a first rate architect. Both Robert Trent Jones Snr and Jnr were involved in creating a course designed for difficult pars and easy bogies. The course is long and reasonably open, the scenery is spectacular, running from the coast up into the rolling hills. The view across the bay to Alcudia with the island and its lighthouse is a special feature. Plenty of very elevated tee shots means the wind often comes into play on the holes near the sea. Bunkers are used to great effect. The fairways are lush, perfectly manicured with the greens fast and true. A true hidden gem in the north of the island.

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Son Vida, 5601 meters, par 71


on Vida is the oldest golf course on the island. F.W. Hawtree originally designed Son Vida and the course opened for play in 1964. In 2001, German architect Kurt Rossknecht remodeled and improved the layout, especially the greens, which are now beautifully contoured and very slick. Son Vida must be one of the island`s most beautiful courses and there are some stunning views. Some of the fairways appear very tight from the tees but they widen appreciably around the landing area of a decent drive. A number of the two-shot holes feature difficult doglegs, which will tempt the bigger hitters. Son Vida is a solid course that offers beauty and variety. The closing five holes are especially challenging and the 18th is a testing par five featuring a double dogleg and two lakes and a stream. If you make the green in two then reward yourself with a drink in the clubhouse.

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Son Quint, 5929 meters, par 72 T


he third and final addition to the Arabella Resort courses, Son Quint opened in September 2007 and is located in a picturesque setting a stone’s throw from the Son Vida & Son Muntaner . Due to its elevated position, there are lovely views over the Bay of Palma and the ubiquitous pine and olive trees, set amongst two giant lakes, make for another glorious environment in which to play golf. And it is well placed to catch the cooling sea breezes in the hot summer months.

The course itself, whilst not hilly, has plenty of contours with which to test your judgment and the greens are notably fast. Four different tee-box positions and an abundance of sand traps create challenges for all levels of players. Notable is the tee shot on the 8th hole, which has Palma Cathedral as the backdrop and the 12th, a par three with a frightening carry over water. Only a narrow escape route helps those not willing to take it on. A modern course in every sense, including a club house with great facilities and buggies that come programmed with GPS, Son Quint is a rising star on the Mallorca golf scene.

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Son Muntaner, 5968 meters, par 72 T


his is the senior of the three courses of the Arabella Golf Resort opened in 2001. Kurt Rossknecht, the architect behind many of the top courses in Germany (Motzener See, Gut Thailing and Am Alten Fliess ), not only laid out the 18 holes at Son Muntaner , he also upgraded the neighboring Son Vida course at the same time.

The course is surprisingly lush for a Mediterranean layout; it is routed over rolling terrain in two loops of nine, with ponds coming into play at several of the holes on the front nine. Stone dykes have been incorporated into the design (the par four features a delightful ha-ha wall) and many of the greens are pleasantly hourglass-shaped.

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The 15th stands out as a difficult and long uphill par 5, and water has been used on several holes to great effect. Beautifully maintained by a very professional team who look after all three courses, Son Muntaner will not disappoint the most seasoned of players.

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Mallorca Golf Holidays


999, the year that Paul Lawrie won the Open after Jean Van de Velde collapsed on the last hole at Carnoustie.

There were eleven 18 hole courses on Mallorca and it had become obvious a company selling holiday golf to northern Europe was urgently needed, especially for the larger groups who were starting to explore somewhere different other than Portugal and the Spanish costas. Mallorca Golf Connection( ) was started by Keith Buckett and John Little using the   internet which was a new untried medium for small business in Europe.  How quickly things have changed. The early days were difficult, but the speed with which the world wide web was accepted helped enormously.

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Today the public can play twenty 18 hole and the company is booking many thous greenfees per year for several thousand clients.

As well as greenfees we organize all type commodation, hotels, villas and apartmen car rental or coach transport for larger gr 2010 saw two new innovations.

The rapidly increasing airline transport for sports equipment made club rental a ous chance to help clients offset the over of their golf holiday. 40 euros for one week al is less than some courses charge in club per round. ( )

German golfers have always been an integ of the local holiday market and in 2010 w joined by Rita Abel who  looks after the n all german speaking clients at

Tailored Golf Holidays An example of our golf holiday offers would be – -Five nights for two people in a twin room in a five star hotel overlooking the sea.

Discounted Green Fees at all courses

courses sands of regular

-Accommodation -Coach hire -Car Hire -Golf club hire

es of acnts plus roups.

charges an obvirall cost ks rentb rental

gral part we were needs of


-Golf at three local top courses and a rental car from the airport with all driving directions supplied. The cost is 1500 euros.   We have many more offers at very varied price ranges, so please write and ask us to prepare your very own golf escape to our paradise golf island.

For More Information And Reservations: Mallorca Golf Connection W: T: E: +34 971 234 890

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Welcome To..




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f you are thinking of visiting the region and do not have the time of Galรกpagos tortoise to explore then you may have to limit the number of islands you choose to descend upon. If you speak to anyone who has visited Thailand and ask where you should go to first you will almost always be given a different response. It is simply a question of finding the best island for you.

Thailand has three main sets of islands; those to the east of Bangkok, those in the southern Gulf of Thailand and finally those in the Andaman Sea, off the west coast of Thailand. You will find that in each of these areas there are usually just a few islands where the weight of the numbers choose to visit. To the east of Bangkok you have Ko Samet and Ko Chang, in the Gulf you have Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan and Ko Tao, and in the Andaman you have Phuket and Ko Phi Phi. These areas are very well developed and have received visitors for almost twenty years. The result of such large numbers of individuals going to these islands means you will find a fantastic selection of hotels and restaurants as well as more established shops and markets.

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ASIA Thailand has three main sets of islands; those to the east of Bangkok, between Bangkok and the Cambodian border, those in the southern Gulf of Thailand and finally those in the Andaman Sea, off the west coast of Thailand, between the Burman and Malaysian frontiers. You will find that in each of these areas there are usually just a few islands where the weight of the numbers choose to visit. To the east of Bangkok you have Ko Samet and Ko Chang, in the Gulf you have Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan and Ko Tao, and in the Andaman you have Phuket and Ko Phi Phi. These areas are very well developed and have received visitors for almost twenty years. 256 / LuxuryTravelGuide 2012 / De Luxe Series


a little local advice will normally lead you to a quieter spot, you could always take a boat trip to one of the lesser known islands which are never far away


The result of such large numbers of individuals going to these islands means you will find a fantastic selection of hotels and restaurants as well as more established shops and markets. However you must expect the hustle and bustle that comes with the experience. If you do wish to escape though, a little local advice will normally lead you to a quieter spot or you could always take a boat trip to one of the lesser known islands which are never far away. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 257

ASIA If you have little interest in visiting anywhere but deserted beaches then you’re going to need to wander further than you’d have needed to ten years ago. Don’t make the mistake of assuming the entire island needs to be deserted, both Ko Samui and Phuket have totally deserted beaches that run for mile after mile, but for a real island experience, consider Ko Rok, Ko Phra Thong, Ko Ra, Ko Lipe, Ko Chang and Ko Tarutao. For those looking for the ultimate paradise escape, you will be pleased to hear that there is a huge choice of spa and lifestyle resorts across Thailand, and again Phuket and Ko Samui are the premiere destinations for these types of self-contained resorts. Some particularly tasteful ones have also appeared on Ko Lanta, and, more recently, Ko Chang. 258 / LuxuryTravelGuide 2012 / De Luxe Series

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One of the most iconic islands is undoubtedly Ko Phi Phi. Mr Di Caprio’s ‘The Beach’ scenes have resulted in millions of requests to see the stunning location. Be prepared to be shocked by the beauty of the location but the popularity has led to this area becoming a little unlike what you see in the movie. When islands have the waters surrounding them like Thailand does it is almost unthinkable not to at least consider the diving experience. Ko Tao is Thailand’s diving mecca. Phuket is also popular with divers, but mainly for its cruises and trips out to the Similan Islands.

You may have been told how beautiful Thailand is and how it is a place that you visit and never want to leave. You may have heard that the food is unlike anything you will try anywhere in the world and the people have an unforgettable attitude to life. You may have been staring at that screensaver of the clear waters and endless sandy shores and just thought to yourself, is this place really as good as I’m being told? ... You needn’t worry, it really is this good. 260 / LuxuryTravelGuide 2012 / De Luxe Series

ASIA For More Information On Visiting Thailand Contact: Tourism Thailand W: T: +66 02 250 5500 De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 261

The Peninsula - Bangkok


A Sanctuary By The River Of Kings


he Peninsula Bangkok is within easy access of the business and shopping districts of Bangkok and is close to several of the city’s numerous attractions. Adjacent to the Saphan Taksin Station of the Bangkok Sky Train (BTS), The Peninsula Bangkok is also just 35 minutes from Don Muang International Airport. Among the largest in Bangkok, each one of the guest rooms features pioneering technology, allowing hotel guests to control their environment with the touch of a fingertip.

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ASIA For More Information And Reservations: The Peninsula - Bangkok W: T: E: +66 28 61 2888 De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 263



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eijing is the capital of the People’s Republic of China, the centre of the nation’s politics, culture and international exchanges and a modern metropolis full of vitality.

Beijing is one of the six ancient cities in China together with Xian, Luoyang, Kaifeng, Nanjing and Hangzhou. It had served as the capital for the dynasties such as Jin (1115 AD - 1234 AD), Ming (1368 AD -1644 A D) and Qin (1644 AD - 1911 AD). Some of the best sights include Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace and the Beijing Capital Museum.

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ian, is the largest city in north-west China. More than 3,000 years of history including over 1,100 years as the capital city of ancient dynasties, has endowed Xian with an amazing historical heritage. Tourists marvel at the numerous historical sites and cultural relics in and around the city. The best attractions to visit include the Terra-cotta Army, the Banpo Museum and the Big Goose Pagoda.

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hanghai is located in central-eastern China, confronting the East China Sea and is the largest city in China. Shanghai is mainly sectioned into two parts: Pudong (east of the Huangpu River) and Puxi (west of the Huangpu River). Shanghai has two airports - Shanghai Pudong International Airport ( PVG ) and Shanghai Hongqiao Airport. Shanghai Pudong International Airport caters for international flights while Hongqiao for domestic flights. When in Shanghai we would recommend visiting the Shanghai Bund, the Shanghai Jade Buddha Temple and the Shanghai Huangpu River.

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Tibet T


ibet is a place far away from the rest of the world with the endless hills and the stunning Himalayas. Today, travel networks are much improved and the most popular areas and quite accessible. Lhasa is the political and cultural capital of Tibet. There are numerous scenic spots and historical sites in the area. The best places to visit include Potala Palace, the Nobulingka, Drepung Monastery and the Jokhang Temple. Shigatse is the second biggest city in Tibet. Shigatse means in Tibetan “The Estate that materializes one’s Dream “. If you do choose to visit, be sure to see the Tashilhunpo Monastery as it is the region’s main historic attraction.

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ASIA For More Information On Visiting China Contact: China National Tourist Office W: T: + 1 212 760 8218 De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 269


Hong Kong

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ong Kong is one of the most vibrant, exciting and ambitious cities in the world, a fusion of East and West, old and new, high tech and traditional a city of dazzling contrasts. Though greatly influenced by years of British rule and enjoying many Western comforts and conveniences Hong Kong is essentially a very Chinese city and retains its Chinese heart with pride. Visit Hong Kong and enjoy amazing architecture, lively street markets, traditional medicine shops, dai pai dong street food stalls and colourful festivals. Check online travel sites for great deals on cheap flights and package deals to Hong Kong. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 271

Yuen Po Street Bird Garden


ccupying an area of about 3000 square metres, this charming Chinese-style garden is located on Yuen Po Street in Mong Kok.


It is the favoured gathering place of Hong Kong’s songbird owners and has 70 or so songbird stalls selling row upon row of macaws, songbirds, mynahs, cockatiels and starlings in beautifully lacquered traditional Chinese birdcages.

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Tai O Fishing Village



ocated on the North Western edge of Lantau Island, Tai O village is rare example of a Chinese stilt-house community.

Home to the Tanka people, a community of fishermen who have built their homes on stilts above the tidal flats for generations, the village is also famous for its dried fish and shrimp sauce with many top Hong Kong chefs paying personal visits to buy exclusive Tai O produce. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 273


Lamma Island


ocated less than half an hour by from downtown Hong Kong, Lamm an oasis of laid back boho bars and tiques, arty culture, the occasional h and plenty of Chinese tradition. The air is c the beaches golden and the seafood delic There’s also great hiking complete with s views.

Here, cars are banned, the bicycle being the mode of transport - hardly surprising per that, in recent years, many expats and com ing locals have moved here to escape the inte of Hong Kong Island or Kowloon.

Two of the most popular places to visit on island are the villages of Sok Kwu Wan and Shue Wan. Sok Kwu Wan’s famous terraced taurants raised on stilts above the bay offer a r of delicious chilli crab, garlic prawns, deepsquid and steamed fish with ginger and sp onions - all firm favourites.

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Located between the two villages is Sham (beach), the only place in Hong Kong w green turtles regularly lay their eggs.

Temple Street Market H

ong Kong’s most famous open-air market, Temple Street Market opens at 2:00pm but only really comes to life after dark.

Here you’ll find fortune-tellers, opera enthusiasts and a mix of vividly lit stalls selling an array of electronic gadgets, watches and leather to clothing, souvenirs and luggage. Temple Street is in Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon.


ferry ma is bouhippy clean, cious. cenic

main rhaps mmutensity

n the Yung d resrange -fried pring

Wan where

For More Information On Visiting Hong Kong Contact: Hong Kong Tourism Board W: T: +852 2807 6543 E: De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 275



A bubbling, bustling melting pot of races, religion and culture

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alaysia has a wide range of beautiful places to visit. The sheer diversity of tourism destinations is astounding.

These include the high-tech city of Kuala Lumpur, tropical island of Langkawi, colonial hill stations of Genting and Cameron Highlands, numerous pristine beaches, National Parks, and the world’s oldest tropical rainforests. We have put together a summary of the best places to visit.


Kuala Lumpur K

uala Lumpur is like opening a book that has various exciting chapters. Yes, this only global city of Malaysia appears blessed with colours of modernism along with rich heritage. Though formally it spans over an area of 244 square kilometres, its plush precincts virtually get bigger to embrace the entire world. Kuala Lumpur is situated at the confluence of Sungai Gombak and Sungai Klang, and that is how it got its name, which literally means ‘muddy confluence’ in Malay language. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 277


Negeri Sembilian


egeri Sembilian literally means “Nine States�. It is so called because it comprises a federation of nine states.

Located on the southwest corner of Peninsular Malaysia, Negeri Sembilan encompasses an area of 6,645 square kilometres and a 48 kilometre long coastline.

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enang, literally meaning Island of Betel Nut, is famous for its natural scenic beauty.

Also known as the ‘Pearl of Orient’, Penang entices visitors with its warm seas, golden beaches, lush greenery and delicious cuisine.

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erlis is the smallest state in Malaysia. The state is famous for its serene unspoilt beauty, rustic rural scenes and verdant paddy fields.

The expanse of verdant paddy fields makes the landscape appear like a huge canvas of brilliant green or gold, depending on the season.

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abah is a tropical paradise located at the northeast corner of Borneo.

In ancient times it was known as the “Land Below the Wind� because it lies below the typhoon belt. Sabah attracts visitors with its scenic beauty, rugged landscape and cultural diversity.

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arawak, the largest state of Malaysia, is better known as the land of fabled White Rajahs, the hornbill and the orang-utan.

Located on the north-western shore of the island of Borneo, Sarawak is a preferred tourist destination for those seeking culture, nature and adventure tourism. The rainforests of Sarawak are home to the richest and most diverse ecosystem of the world.

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erengganu is one of the three east coast states on Peninsular Malaysia.

Terengganu is the repository of Malaysia’s cultural heritage and is home to the lilting Gamelan and the mesmerizing “Ulek Mayang” dance. It is a serene state, with numerous small villages, quiet roads, and secluded islands and beaches.

ASIA For More Information On Visiting Malaysia Contact: Tourism Malaysia W: T: +44 (0)20 7930 7932 E: De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 283



Daisetsuzan National Park


he qu La ch Shogun T a fire. O Japan tod trance ga


he Daisetsuzan National Park is Japan’s largest national park covering an area of 2,309 square kilometers (1,432 sq mi). Located in central Hokkaido, the second largest of island of Japan, this park consists of several mountain groups, volcanoes, lakes and forests, as well as some of the most spectacular hiking and skiing territory in the country.Â

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Located Daisho-R Japan wh is 3.3 met cm (15 in you enter the most of gold. T hind this den. The a priest-g adopted f

Chion-In Temple (Kyoto)


e Chion-in Temple in Kyoto is the headuarters of the Buddhist (Judo-Shu) Pure and sect, built in the year 1234 by Genhi. The temple was rebuilt by the third Tokugawa Lemitsu, after it was ruined by One of the oldest buildings standing in day, the huge, two-storey San-Mon enate can be dated back to the 1600s.

on the premises of the temple is the Ro bell tower. It houses the largest bell of hich was made in the year 1636. This bell ters (11 ft) tall, 2.7 meters (9 ft) wide, 29 nches) thick and weighs 67.5 tons. When r in the main hall of the temple building, stunning part is the altar that is made The main hall is called the Mie-Do. Bes hall is the entrance to a beautiful gare garden was constructed by Gyokuenbo, gardener. The style of the garden was from Kobori Enshu’s tsukiyama-rinseny.

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Kasuga Taisha Shrine (Nara)


his shrine was built by an influential family called the Fujiwara family. It is located in a forest at the foot of Mt. Mikasa-yama. The shrine was to be rebuilt completely every 20 years; however this custom was stopped in the 19th century. The temple has many lanterns that are lined up along the temple walls. These lanterns are lit on the festival of the ‘Big Lantern’ which takes place from February 2 - 4 and August 14 – 15.

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T W a m t

C l m e t w T e



Mt Fuji (Near Tokyo)

ount Fiji is Japan’s highest mountain which stands at a height of 3,776 meters (12,385 feet). Actually a dormant volcano that last spewed lava in 1707.

This mountain is a must see when in Japan. While you can climb Mt. Fuji at any time of year, an ascent in midwinter is strictly for veteran mountaineers only because the trail gets icy and treacherous.

Climbing season is from July to August with many local Japanese trekkers coming here as well. This mountain is a serious climb; it should not be taken lightly as many climbers often suffer from altitude sickness. A fantastic place to visit for those who like a bit of adventure, Mt. Fiji is visible from Tokyo and is often shrouded by cloud or by snow, especially in the winter.

For More Information On Visiting Japan Contact: Japan National Tourism Organization W: T: +81 3 3201 3331 E: De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 287

Discover India




arjeeling is a popular tourist town in the Indian State of West Bengal. Famous for its tea production and outstanding scenery, it’s often thought to be one of the most beautiful valleys in the world. The lush green environment, cooling breeze and amazing views makes an atmospheric and photogenic destination. In fact Darjeeling is the only location in eastern India that attracts large numbers of tourists. The more adventurous visitors come here for trekking and river rafting and many others just enjoy leisurely scenic walks taking in the extraordinary views.

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ormally known as Bombay, Mumbai is the most populated city in India. Noisy, frantic and polluted, Mumbai is a melting pot of different cultures, religions and wealth extremes. Even though the city is developing at a fast rate, unfortunately you’ll still see many scenes of poverty. The city is also the birthplace of Indian cinema and there are many theatres to watch movies from all over the world (including the worlds largest IMAX dome theatre). A visually impressive city Mumbai has a large metropolitan area comparable to the size of New York’s skyline and a fine but eclectic mix of colonial buildings, stylish bars, colourful bazaars and shiny new malls. Finding something to do here would not be a problem. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 289




he famous idyllic party place should not be missed and it’s still one of the most popular places to visit in India. If you decide to take a trip, I recommend not leaving the island’s coastal areas. Goa is the smallest state in India and has the most beautiful beaches by far – when you’re here you’ll want to make the most of them.

Many refer to Goa as a tropical paradise and when you’re here enjoying the warm temperatures, clear turquoise water and palm trees you’ll also probably agree. If you time your visit around the the Goa Carnival held every February you’ll be treated to three days and nights of music, lights, dancers and awesome food. This is when the legendary King Momo takes over the state and the island becomes party central. Originally celebrated in the 1800s by locals only, now both tourists and locals come here to have a good time. 290 / LuxuryTravelGuide 2012 / De Luxe Series




gra is an unmissable stop on your tour of India. There are many places of interest to a visitor in Agra, the most famous of course being the iconic and beautiful Taj Mahal. A UNESCO World heritage site and an eternal symbol of love (it was built by an emperor in memory of his third wife). The white domed structure boasts delicately detailed interiors, tranquil gardens and a collection of other impressive buildings. The Agra Fort is the sister monument of the Taj Mahal and also holds UNESCO heritage site status. The striking fort dates from the year 1000 but was later remodelled in the 1500s to be used as a palace. Thirteen kilometres from the Agra Fort you will find Akbar’s Tomb, a stunning redochre sandstone tomb and another architectural masterpiece.

For More Information On Visiting India Contact: Incredible India W: T: +91 33 2282 1402 E: De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 291



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epal, being the country of the highest mountains and hills in the world, offers excellent trekking and adventure facilities. Various places which lie on hill tops offer both walking and historical study facilities.


Mr. Manohar SJB Rana Chief Executive Officer, Yeti Travels Manohar is considered the “The Number 1 Go To Guy in the Nepalese Travel Trade” and has over forty years of experience in the market. Manohar has an MA in Economics and was Vice President of Nepal- France Chamber of Commerce 1996 to 2002. He is currently Vice President of the Nepal Association of Tour Operators (NATO) and has held the position since 2006. Manohar has won numerous awards including the Tourism Heritage Award 2010 and 2011, the National Citizen Award 2008 and the Special Tourism Award 2008. He was also instrumental in organising the logistics to bring both Concord and the first Boeing 747 to Nepal – “Getting it done, when many said it was impossible”. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 293




athmandu is the arrival point for most of the visitors in Nepal. This small mountain sheltered valley is the historic centre and the capital of Nepal. This is the place where kingdoms rose and fell, palaces and temples were built and rebuilt, and art and cultures are refined and protected. Kathmandu city is the largest in Nepal and is surrounded by green hills all over. Scattered around the valley are hundreds of temples and shrines, traditional villages and agriculture scenes of timeless beauty. You can see all these places by taxi, cycle, bus and by foot.

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atan is separated form Kathmandu by the Bagmati River and is the second largest town in the valley. It is also known as Lalitpur, which means city of beauty. Patan has a long Buddhist history and have stupas at four corners. Like Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square is also packed with temples. Most of these temples were built during the Malla kings period.

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haktapur,also known as Bhadgaon or the city of Devotees, is the third major town in the Kathmandu Valley. Bhaktapur was the capital of the whole valley during the 14th to 16th century. Much of the town’s great architecture dates from the end of 17th century. This town is also well known as the Newari Architecture town. Bhaktapur rises upon the northern bank of the Hanumante River. All visitors to Bhaktapur Durbar Square are charged a small fee.

In March 1992, the ‘forbidden’ kingdom of Mustang was opened to the outside world. Now, for the first time in recent history, foreign travellers are able to visit Lo Manthang, the seat of an ancient kingdom dating back to the 15th century. The Kingdom of Lo is situated along the north central border of Nepal north of the main range of the Himalayan in the upper reaches of Mustang District. Lo and the area directly to its south, called Baragaon, which both fall within Upper Mustang, can be claimed as one of the most outstanding areas of the Himalaya. The Everest Region or the ‘Khumbu’ is one of the most popular trekking regions in Nepal. There are two ways to see this region; one is simply to fly, the other is a ten day trek. The Khumbu is not just famous for its proximity to Everest but also its Sherpa monasteries and villages. To climb the mountain most people aim to make it to the Everest base camp to then prepare to climb the Kala Pattar to make it to the top. 296 / LuxuryTravelGuide 2012 / De Luxe Series

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Pokhara P


okhara is the second largest city in Nepal. The city is a very popular travel destination and boasts a tranquil atmosphere and the amazing surrounding countryside. The skyline of the city offers a panoramic view of the Himalayas and is also a base camp for many trekkers looking to conquer the Annapurna circuit. The Pokhara valley has many locations for water activities but one of the other significant attractions is the Seeing Eye Clinic. Massage treatments are provided by blind therapists who have been trained in the highest standards of therapeutic massage techniques.

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orkha is almost midway between Kathmandu and Pokhara. After travelling from Kathmandu towards Pokhara for 118 kilometres, the diversion to Gorkha is on the intersection at Abu Khaireni, and from there it is a short 18 kilometres drive northward to the birthplace of King Prithvi Narayan Shah, the first ruler of the Shah Dev Dynasty.

The Bardia national park is one of the largest and most undisturbed wilderness areas in South East Asia. The park holds a number of different species and hundreds of different birds. There are a number of places to stay in the local area such as the Bardia Wildlife resort, the Tiger lodge and Mr B’s place.

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ansen is among a few towns outside the capital which has a rich legacy of traditional art and architecture. Perched on the lap of the spectacular Srinagar Danda Hill, Tansen, commands a gorgeous panorama of the Himalayas as well as the plains of Terai.

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Located at an elevation of 1310 meters, Tansen, is a pleasant place to visit during any season of the year. The hill of Srinagar, half an hour’s walk up Tansen Bazaar is a rare vantage point to view the contrasting manifestation of nature. An Incredibly long panorama of the mountains encompassing Kanjiroba, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and Langtang Himal at a stretch is visible from here. Tansen is a good ‘put off point’ for short as well as long treks. You can visit some of the beautiful points on the Kali Gandaki River such as Ranighat Palace and Ramdi Ghat, the dense and serene woody slopes of Rambhapani and Satyawati Lake.

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Yeti Travels


or over 45 years we have been serving clients with only the finest services. We have remained independent throughout and continue to be a locally owned family run business with a truly unique and personalized approach. With over 220+ employees we are largest equal opportunity employer in the Himalayan Region. We are amongst the few Operators in Nepal that does not outsource any services; instead we provide services using in-house human resources (such as multi-lingual guides, porters, and drivers) to ensure stringent quality standards are always meet. Furthermore we own and operate the largest fleet of comprehensively insured deluxe vehicles.

Yeti has been the Travel Partner for many International Organizations, Embassies, Diplomatic Missions and Multinational Companies as their Preferred Travel Management Contractor. We have an extensive list of corporate clientele, please see below for a selection of our most prestigious Corporate Accounts.

Located at an elevation of 1310 me is a pleasant place to visit during of the year. The hill of Srinagar, h walk up Tansen Bazaar is a rare v to view the contrasting manifestati An Incredibly long panorama of th encompassing Kanjiroba, Dhaula purna and Langtang Himal at a s ible from here. Tansen is a good ‘p for short as well as long treks. Y some of the beautiful points on th daki River such as Ranighat Palac Ghat, the dense and serene woo Rambhapani and Satyawati Lake.

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eters, Tansen, g any season half an hour’s vantage point ion of nature. he mountains agiri, Annastretch is visput off point’ You can visit he Kali Gance and Ramdi ody slopes of

For More Information And Reservations: Yeti Travel Management Center W: T: +977 142 247 40 E: De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 303

Nature Trail


Travels and Tours, Trekking and Expeditions


epal is an enchanting land which every year sees more and more visitors. So if you are thinking about visiting the region and would like to travel the area you may be overwhelmed by the number of travel and trekking agency options available. The Luxury Travel Guide can however recommend one of the most established companies in the region who have been organising trips for over fifteen years. Nature Trail (Travels and Tours, Trekking and Expeditions) has been leading the way in the travel trade industry providing both leisure and adventure activities in Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan and India for more than a decade. The company organize tours, trekking and expeditions for groups as well as individual travelers and cater to all age groups.

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They tailor make programs and packages to suit the interest, physical fitness and budget aspect of an individual / group. Nature Trail have a commitment to provide prompt and quality services exceeding guest satisfaction, and ensure a continued effort in maintaining the trend that has won them the prestigious title of the being first Trekking/Tour Company of Nepal to be awarded the Certificate of Registration – ISO 9001:2000 in recognition of the Company’s Quality System, on 6th October 2005.

Safety and security are massively important at Nature Trail. If it is personal items and cash, or hygiene and sickness, the company will fully take care of you and your belongings. Furthermore they will guide you in necessary preventive measures to be taken. After all, the guarantee of a worry free trip is a matter they are very proud of.


Chitwan is Nepal’s most popular National Park offering excellent opportunity to see Royal Bengal Tigers, one horned Rhino, crocodile and thrilling wilderness experience into its deep and thick jungle. Bardia is Nepal’s second most popular National parks offering excellent jungle safari. Ride on an elephant’s back or on four wheeler will lead you to path where you can discover some rare natural habitats. This safari consists of canoe rides on the jungle’s rivers, nature walks, birds watching excursions and quick Tours around the villages to discover unique culture and traditions of the local village people.

For More Information And Reservations: Nature Trail W: T: M: E: + 977 1 4701925 or 4701805 or 4700592 +977 9851022394 (24 hours) , De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 305

Welcome To..




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Fusing History and Relaxation

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gypt is perhaps best known as the home of the ancient Egyptian civilization, with its temples, hieroglyphs, mummies, and - visible above all - its pyramids.

The country stimulates the imagination of western tourists like few other countries and is probably one of the most popular tourist destinations world-wide.


The country is bordered by the Mediterranean and Red Seas and geographically dominated both by the Nile River and its fertile well-watered valley, and by the Eastern and Western deserts.

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Mahmoud Eid – Managing Director, Sharm Vacation Mahmoud was born in 1979 In Ismailia, Egypt. He has been involved in the tourism industry in Sharm El Sheikh for almost ten years and has a passion for customer service. Mahmoud spends a significant amount of time with tourists in Sharm, the Old Market and Naama Bay. He appreciates all visitors to the region are different and takes the time to understand all of his clients needs and provides them with tailored travel services to leave them going home happy. Mahmoud describes his biggest motivation as his customers. He is always looking for feedback from his guests to continually improve the business and establish Sharm Vacations as the leading travel company in the region. Mahmoud can be contacted by phone, email or through the website and will look forward to hearing from you. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 311


Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx

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hile in Egypt it’s a must to visit the great pyramids and the Sphinx. There are in fact three main pyramids in Giza; the Great Pyramid of Khufu (or Cheops), The Pyramid of Kafhre and the smaller Pyramid of Menkaura. Each Pyramid is a tomb to a different King of Egypt. In front of the pyramids lies the Sphinx, or Abu al-Hol in Arabic, “Father of Terror”. Carved out of a single block of stone, this enormous cat-like sculpture has mesmerized millions of visitors.

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The Mohammed Ali Mosque


ituated on the summit of the citadel, this Ottoman  mosque, the largest to be built in the first half of the 19th century, is, with its animated silhouette and twin minarets, the most visible mosque in Cairo. This mosque, along with the citadel, is one of the landmarks and tourist attractions of Cairo and is one of the first features to be seen when approaching the city from no matter which side.

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The Egyptian Antiquities Museum



he Egyptian Museum of Antiquities contains many important pieces of ancient Egyptian history. It houses the world’s largest collection of Pharaonic antiquities, and many treasures of King Tutankhamen. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 315


River Nile Cruise


Nile River Cruise takes you up close through 5,000 years of ancient Egyptian history. And, as your boat smoothly glides by the palm-tree dotted river banks, you view timeless farming scenes and drifting sand dunes.

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Sharm El Sheikh

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ou will find Dahab on the east coast of the Sinai peninsula. The region is a sleepy, laid back place, which is very popular with European visitors.

The region is a very nice town in which to relax and enjoy the local cultures while watching the Red Sea lapping gently at the shore, and generally chill out. On the other hand, it is also a Mecca for divers and snorkellers, boasting some fantastic dive sites, and a plethora of dive clubs and schools for those who wish to learn.

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Naama Bay S


ome consider the area the heart of Sharm. This long sandy bay was where the first hotel appeared in the early 1980’s. The development is now complete and the seafront boasts a beautiful paved walkway following the full sweep of the bay. Naama Bay is busy and bustling, and where most of the shops, bars and restaurants are to be found. The region is fantastic if you often want to be out in the evenings. The beach at the front of the bay is popular with sun-bathers but keen snorkellers would be better off elsewhere.

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Shark Bay



hark Bay is a small bay that is located north of Naama Bay. This bay consists of a rugged shoreline that drops down below the surface to a sandy canyon. There are many crevices that contain numerous soft corals and many red fish. The red fish, which are called “lyretail coralfish”, are said by some divers to be the reason it is called the Red Sea. The reef is very beautiful, but you might take a look out into the blue waters every now and then. You might see a  barracuda, a spotted eagle ray, or a  shark, for which the bay was named. You can explore the moderately sloping reef to the south, gradually ascending before turning back to the north.  This section shows dense growth of both hard and soft corals, although less pristine than at some places along this coast.  Fish life is a diverse experience, with angels, parrotfish, grouper, wrasse and morays among the attractions on the reef. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 321

Scuba Diving & Snorkelling



bviously the whole region is famous for some of the best places to dive in the world. The Red Sea’s clear azure waters and coral reefs draw diving enthusiasts to return every year. Sharm El Sheikh is considered to be the most extraordinary diving destination in Red Sea. There is some shore diving from Sharm, but boat trips are necessary to access the best reefs.  The dive sites are diverse and abundant in hard and soft coral formations and a range of marine life, including jacks, snappers and barracudas.  Some of the world’s most famous dive sites such as Ras Mohammed and the wreck of the Thistlegorm await the experienced diver. The Straits of Tiran have four circular reefs rising out of deep water and is surrounded by steep dropoffs.   Ras Mohammed also has steep dropoffs to depths of over seventy metres.  There are shallow, calm coral gardens as well as some excellent drifts in strong currents.  For the more advanced diver there are day boats going as far as the wrecks of the Dunraven and Thistlegorm.  Alternatively, you can go on a mini safari and stay overnight on a boat. Even if you’re not a diver, you can still marvel at the wonders of the Red Sea by means of a snorkelling trip.  You can choose from snorkelling from the shore at some of the stunning local sites, take an organised boat trip or even charter your own boat for the day.  These trips include an experienced guide to show you some of the best locations and marine life.

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Desert Safari


ince antiquity, people were drawn to the desert each in their own quest for something, be it riches, adventure, fame or even worship. Desert expeditions can be challenging, both physically and mentally, but however long or short, they leave you with a feeling of exhilaration that no other experience can bring.


Taking a desert tour of Egypt offers much more than fascinating historical sites and many travellers make a point of visiting an oasis or heading out into the desert lands of the Sahara while on a visit to the region.

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St Catherine’s Monastery S

t Catherine’s Monastery is an Orthodox monastery on the Sinai peninsula at the foot of  Mount Sinai. One of the oldest Christian monasteries in the world, St. Catherine’s incorporates the burning bush seen by Moses and contains many valuable icons. Above the monastery is Mount Sinai where Moses received the Ten Commandments from God. Because God spoke to Moses in these places, this area is sacred to three world religions: Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

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Sharm Vacation “S

harm Vacation Excursions” is a local tour operator in the Nabq area of Sharm, Office No.13, beside the main gate of Jaz Mirabel Club Hotel. They have a comprehensive website, with contact details & in-depth explanations about the excursions available.


One can book trips for Cairo (bus or plane) Jersualem, Luxor or Petra as well as those within Sinai,like St. Catherine’s Monastery, Mount Sinai, Jeep Safaris, the Coloured Canyon, snorkeling trips, diving, quads, buggies, & a 2 day trip to Petra & Jerusalem, which is not offered by all operators. They will be happy to discuss any special requests, or tailor-made trips, & can also arrange airport transfers. A Selection Of Activities Available

Cairo Private Tours: Enjoy your visiting to Cairo private from Sharm El.Sheikh by Bus or by Plane. Luxor By Plane: Visit Valley of the Kings, Memnon statues, Hatshepsut temple and Karnak temples. Buggi Trips in the Desert: Discover the desert and enjoy running in mountains by buggi or moto safari. Quad Runner: Adventure Trip on a four wheel motor quads to discover the beauty of Sinai. Horse Ride & Bedouin Tea: Enjoy ridding in the desert, visit the Bedouin tent and enjoy your free tea. Dolphin Show & Swim: enjoy the dolphin show and swim with these magnificient animals with it all being captured on DVD or picture, to enable you to treasure the memories for years to come.

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All The

e Way


For More Information And Reservations: Sharm Vacations W: T: +2 0111 0259 529 De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 327

Morocco AFRICA

The energy, the emotion, the country that travels within you

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Welcome to Morocco


ust an hour on a ferry from Spain is the fascinating country of Morocco. The geography of Morocco is as unique as it is diverse, with Mediterranean beaches in the north, the legendary Atlas Mountain ranges and the scintillating Sahara in the South. The rivers that flow down the Atlas Mountains offer beautiful lush river valleys. The effect of invasions and colonial rule has certainly left its mark on the country. Morocco’s history begins with the Berbers who inhabited the country until Rome extended its empire to the region after defeating Carthage in 146BC. The influence of Rome is still apparent today via the Roman ruins at Volubilis. The next and most obvious influence on Morocco is that of the Arabs and in particular Islam. French is widely spoken in Morocco, especially in Casablanca and it has its own local dialect- this is no doubt the lasting influence of France who were the last major power to invade Morocco. 330 / LuxuryTravelGuide 2012 / De Luxe Series


Aaron Johnson - Morocco Manager – Experience it! Tours Aaron has a zest for travel and adventure, which is what first brought him to the exotic nation of Morocco. After meeting his wife in Fes, he decided to dive into Moroccan life and culture by learning the local Arabic dialect, which has endeared him to the local people. Over the last 6 years, Aaron has traveled extensively throughout Morocco, collecting experiences that enable him to provide firsthand expertise in his role of EIT Morocco Manager, as he creates customized tours and directs EIT’s Morocco office. After experiencing the warm hospitality of Moroccan culture, Aaron seeks to create equally amazing experiences of this rich culture for each of his clients.

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asablanca is the largest city in Morocco and the economic heart of the region. The city allows for a relaxing holiday away from the tourist centres such as Marrakech or Fes. Here the main sight is the King Hassan II Mosque, the largest mosque in Morocco and the third largest in the world. It has a beautiful interior complete with water features and a roof that opens. The city itself is home to the modern fashion scene in Morocco. The Maarif area of Casablanca contains stores that sell many global brands including Zara, Gucci and Armani. The Casablanca twin centre features two sky scrapers; the West Tower forms in part a shopping centre (the biggest in Africa) complete with a supermarket, restaurants and luxury boutique stores. The East Tower contains the five star Kenzi Hotel. If you fancy getting away from the hustle and bustle of central Casablanca then the Mazagan beach resort maybe just for you. Located on the outskirts of the city, the resort offers fantastic views of the Atlantic Ocean, a luxury spa, a golf course, fitness centre and even a casino. The restaurants serve mouth-watering Mediterranean and Moroccan dishes as well as offering an extensive wine list.

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“Being the 3rd largest mosque in the world with the largest minaret makes the Hassan II Mosque the most important attraction in Casablanca. It is also the only Moroccan mosque that non-Muslims can enter and enjoy an interior tour. With the picturesque backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean and the craftsmanship within its magnificent structure, this monument is well worth a visit.� Aaron Johnson

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es is the spiritual home of Morocco and is famous for its ancient walled city. It is the best preserved Islamic city in the whole of the Arab world and one of the great cities of History. One of the most famous attractions in Fes is its medina. In recent times tourism to Fez has increased simply because of the desire to visit the medina and its colourful markets. The Merenid Tombs provide excellent views of the Medina as well as the city and surrounding countryside. A lot of the shops and restaurants have rooftop terraces providing a great place to watch the sunset and enjoy the city.

The Bou Inania Madrasa is an excellent example of Morocco’s beautiful architecture and is one of the oldest educational institutions in the world. It is one of the few religious establishments in Morocco which allows Non-Muslim visitors. Away from the Medina you will find the Villa Nouvelle district and the luxurious Zagora restaurant known for its classic Moroccan and International cuisine as well as its comprehensive wine list from local vineyards. 334 / LuxuryTravelGuide 2012 / De Luxe Series

“Visiting the ancient medina of Fes is like stepping back in time to catch a glimpse of what life was like in this 1200-year-old, walled city. Strolling through the narrow passageways – only travelable by foot or donkey – will awaken your senses to this complex and vibrant culture.” Aaron Johnson


The best restaurants in Fes are located within the Medina, the Al Firdaous displays Moroccan art, belly dancing and music along with fantastic cuisine and a homely service all located in an historic 15th-century aristocratic house. The Medina The L’Ambre Restaurant located in the heart of Fez offers a fine dining experience, serving classic Moroccan cuisine and offering a spectacular terrace. The L’Ambre is located at the world famous Riad Fes. Here you can stay in the fabulous royal suite which offers a private terrace as well as panoramic views of the Medina and Atlas mountains. A Riad is a traditional Moroccan house with a courtyard. For accommodation outside the Medina, the Sofitel Palais Jamal is one of the best luxury hotels in Morocco and is as stunning architecturally as it is relaxing. The Sofitel boasts a Spa, health club, swimming pool, tennis courts and 24 hour room service.

“Wandering through the ancient streets, you would never guess what jewels await you beyond the walls of this restored Moroccan palace. Riad Fes combines traditional Moroccan architecture with luxuriously spacious rooms. If you want to feel like royalty in a palace, you should consider staying in this unique riad. ” Aaron Johnson De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 335




ocated not far from Fez are the Roman ruins of Volubilis. Volubilis was the administrative centre of Rome in Northern Africa and was inhabited well after the fall of the Roman Empire. Marrakech is located at the foothills of the Atlas Mountains and shares many parallels with Fez. It too has a popular Medina as well as a French Villa Nouvelle. The Djemaa El-Fna, in the heart of the Medina, is one of the more popular attractions in Marrakech. Filled with musicians, dancers and food vendors at night and snake charmers and monkey shows by day, it is a fantastic experience. One of the more expensive tourist attractions within Marrakech is the Majorelle Gardens, filled with plants from all over the world as well as the Islamic Museum of Art. The El Bahioa and Badi Palaces offer majestic views and underground passages to explore as well as the grandeur of being royalty. The Le Tobsil is a friendly and stylish restaurant offering fine Moroccan cuisine. However if you are looking for an exotic experience the Le Yacout is situated deep within the Medina and offers a number of settings including a relaxing terraced rooftop in an intimate glassed in salon or a lush cushion-filled main room.

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”The famous Djemaa el-Fna is one of the center attractions of Marrakech. Coming alive at night with local storytellers, entertainers, and mouth-watering barbeque pits, the square is well worth a visit. A quiet cup of tea on the terrace of an adjacent café provides a spectacular aerial view of the bustling square.” Aaron Johnson


The Al Baraka restaurant offers fine dining in a quaint little courtyard full of orange trees, musicians and belly dancers. The Maison MK provides the perfect accommodation for the luxury traveller- this boutique hotel offers a gym, spa, designer pool, restaurant as well as only six rooms. This small number means the whole Riad can be booked exclusively with one Grand Master Suite and a further five bedrooms. The Dar Donat offers a contemporary feel with a an classic Moroccan decor. Originally part of the Dar El Glaoui’s palace and with an exquisite lounge, beautiful pool and friendly staff, this hotel certainly does give you the impression of royalty.

”Volubilis is one of the best preserved

antiquities in Morocco. With its impressively well-preserved mosaics and arches, this Roman site is a must see for those interested in ancient history.” Aaron Johnson De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 337

Sahara Desert “The Sahara Desert is considered the Highlight of Morocco. Climbing onto the back of the one-humped camel and caravanning to the majestic dune of Erg Chebbi will make you feel as though you are riding into the mystic tales of the Arabian Nights! Don’t miss the sunset and/or sunrise over the dunes.“


Aaron Johnson


he Sahara Desert is nothing if but unique. Here you can find a number of small desert towns such as Merzouga, Tata and Erg Chebbi to relax in the heat with a cool refreshing drink. The most popular activities in the Sahara include watching the sunset and sunrise, camel trekking through the majestic sand dunes, 4 x 4 drive adventures as well as a visit to the traditional berber villages. In terms of accommodation you have the option of staying at a hotel such as the Haven La Chance, Hotel-Sahara and Hotel Yasmin or a more unique option of staying in a deluxe berber tent in an oasis. The Sahara at night offers spectacular views of the night sky. The Hotel- Sahara even offers an astronomical observatory to view the night sky in its full glory.

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“After wandering through the desert, you will enjoy sleeping in the unique Berber Tents made from camel hair and sheep wool. Travelers of many styles will enjoy experiencing the Berber tents, which are located in the oasis near to the Sahara dunes. The Deluxe Tents include normal beds, running water, showers, and western toilets. Experiencing the Moroccan night sky from within your Berber Tent will provide you with memories for a lifetime.“ Aaron Johnson

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Experience It! Tours’ M

orocco…a complex cultural crossroads of the Arab/Muslim world, the African/sub-Saharan world and the western, “globalized” world...the land of storytelling, spices, hospitality, and wonder! Although Morocco is more available now than ever before to travelers from all over the world, this exotic destination maintains an aura of mystery, which can prove daunting to the most experienced of modern travelers. Perhaps tales woven of mystical Morocco have enchanted you, perhaps you too have dreamed of experiencing this rich tapestry of culture and landscape…but don’t know where your story in Morocco will begin… The Luxury Travel Guide is pleased to present Experience It! Tours, a family-owned, integritybased company, which has helped travelers realize their dreams of experiencing Morocco for over 10 years. With offices and staff in both Morocco and the United States, Experience It! Tours provides authentic private, custom-designed tour experiences

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of the real Morocco for travelers of diverse ages, stages, and cultures. Experience It! Tours selects the best in professional tour guides, private drivers, as well as high-quality, authentic Moroccan accommodation, excursions and cultural activities to create unique, tailored tours based on the travel styles and preferences of each individual or group. Because of their extensive presence in Morocco, Experience It! Tours is able to maintain a high level of service accountability through personal relationships with their professional tour guides, private drivers, and accommodation staff. If for any reason you have problems while in Morocco, you can be assured that our staff, who live in country will be available to help solve your issues.

Morocco AFRICA

Experience It! Tours advocates responsible tourism, with the end goal to provide the most benefit to all concerned. They are committed to integrity-based service, conducting all dealings with honesty and openness, and providing prompt and knowledge-based travel advice, specific to the Moroccan culture and landscape. Experience It! Tours ensures that each traveler is well prepared to experience Morocco through direct communication with experienced representatives and by offering a wealth of cultural and travel guidance prior to each custom tour. Experience It! Tours provides onthe-ground support through the duration of each tour, providing an ambiance of security, confidence, and enjoyment to each traveler. Whether you are a veteran traveler returning to Morocco or a first-time traveler dreaming of exotic destinations, Experience It! Tours will create a travel experience unique to you, your budget, your dreams‌your trip of a lifetime! Let your story in Morocco begin‌

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The Imperial Holidays Tour enables you to discover the secrets of Morocco’s Imperial Cities in a matter of 8 days, while enjoying the best in colorful and romantic Moroccan accommodation! Visiting the ancient medinas and markets of Fes and Marrakech, Casablanca’s famed mosque, and Rabat, home to Morocco’s King are highlights of the Imperial Holiday experience. The Classic Morocco Tour is an 11-day exploration of the Moroccan landscape, from the alluring alleyways of the ancient Fes medina, to the red-earth Kasbahs and shimmering dunes of the Sahara, to the vibrant nighttime festivals of Marrakech! You will experience it all! The Fabulous Fortnight Tour provides you with the luxury of losing yourself in the ancient cultures of Morocco…a 14-day opportunity to indulge in the “extras” on top of the Classic Morocco Tour highlights… the picturesque blue city of the North Chefchaouen, a traditional massage and spa treatment in Marrakech…days by the seaside in Essaoiura.

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For More Information And Reservations: Experience It! Tours W: T: E: A: +1 315 828 6249 or +1 315 828 6661 171 Weeks Road Springfield Center, NY 13468 USA De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 343

Dar Warda AFRICA

Far away from the hustle and bustle of the medina…


ar Warda is an intimate riad in Marrakech of just five bedrooms. It lies in the heart of the medina, and as such is the perfect place for a romantic city hideaway, with excellent value rates to boot. Decorated in a traditional style, with zelliges, heavily carved wooden frescoes,tadelakt bathrooms and beijimet flooring from Fez, it keeps alive local building materials and centuries-old craftsmanship. Minimal in size and facilities, this riad is the antithesis of the large-scale resorts that are starting to populate Marrakech. There’s a small garden patio with plunge pool, and food can be catered for by the in-house chef (it’s fantastic, and well worth trying out at least once). There’s also a petite library and lounge area and a terrace with views over the Koutoubia Mosque. Each of Dar Warda’s bedrooms is elegant and refined, with traditional fittings and fixtures, as well as cable TV. Thery are spread over three floors, meaning that some benefit from immediate access to the pool area, whilst some open onto the terrace, with views across the Atlas Mountains.

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For More Information And Reservations: Dar Warda

W: T: F: E:

+00 212 524 37 83 56 +00 212 524 38 74 57 De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 345



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uite simply the hidden gem of Africa Senegal boasts stunning landscapes, unrivalled beaches and a culture unique unto itself. The country’s capital is enough to keep the most experienced of travellers busy. Perched on the seaside, Dakar has an elegant feel combined with the hustle and bustle of modern day life. Not to be outdone by Dakar the fishing port of Saly offers an ideal holiday destination with Luxury Hotels, Water-Sports, restaurants and sandy beaches. But if a safari is more your thing the Bandia Nature reserve offers an astonishing look at some unique and beautiful animals. To simply admire the beautiful Landscape a visit to the Sine-Saloum Region will do more than suffice. Dakar is the Capital of Senegal and is without doubt one of the friendliest cities in the world. The people here are proud of their reputation for “Teranga” (hospitality) and are extremely helpful and welcoming. One of the most popular sights in this city is the African Renaissance monument, a huge monument dedicated to Africa’s emergence from European rule and Slavery. Being perched on the coast Dakar offers quality seafood. Seafood restaurants are plentiful at the Les Almadies area of the city.

Abdoulaye Diallo Managing Director, Diallo Tours Abdoulaye graduated from the English Department of Dakar Cheikh Anta Diop University. He is an MA Holder which was achieved through training in the tourism industry. Abdoulaye has 10 years of experience as a tour guide and tour planner. He is fluent in French, English and Spanish. Abdoulaye Founded Diallo tours in 2005 and has been providing top quality travel services ever since. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 347

“Discover Goree island with its slave history by visiting the famous slave house museums. You can also visit the women and historical museums. Strolling around the beautiful streets, shopping in the art craft market or having a coffee at the various cafes and restaurants will be a memorable trip.”


Abdoulaye Diallo


or a great atmosphere, relaxing drink and a bit of shopping, Goree Island is well worth the visit. This Island was the location for the transportation of slaves and includes some colonial ruins as well as the landmark “house of slaves”. For amazing views and great food the Radisson blu Dakar is certainly popular and well worth the visit, especially to watch the sunset. In terms of Luxury accommodation the Meridian President is without doubt the most luxurious of them all. The hotel offers water sports, golf, a conference centre, and deluxe suites with breathtaking views of the sea. For a hotel located in the heart of the business district Sofitel Teranga Hotel may be just for you, located close to the shopping districts as well as boating a open rooftop restaurant offering amazing views of the Atlantic, a heated swimming pool and luxurious rooms this hotel is quite simply perfect.

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“Take a fabulous trip down to the Sinesaloum delta river region where narrow creeks and slim sand banks are perfect for boat tours, presenting you with rich bird life as your boat cruises through the waterways.” Abdoulaye Diallo



visit to the stunning landscapes of Senegal will also give you the chance to spend time at nomadic villages such as the Sine-Saloum.

Here you can meet the nomadic people of the Fulani and Sereres and immerse yourself in their culture and unique way of life. Following this visit a ride on a river boat is the ideal way to take in the truly stunning landscape and wildlife of the Sine-Saloum region. One of the unique examples of wildlife in the region is the baobab tree, also known as the tree of life, offering shelter, food and water to animals and humans alike. The Sine-Saloum region is as beautiful in the day as it is at night but for this you may have to look skywards, the earth’s roof glistens at night with a chance to observe the stars in their full glory. To spend the night in the Sine-Saloum region need not involve a lack of quality; on the contrary the Royal Lodge Hotel is as luxurious as they come. The hotel is located next to a beautiful sandy private beach offering uninterrupted views of the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the desert on the other. The hotel boasts a private Jacuzzi, a swimming pool, 28 luxury lodges and restaurant offer-

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aly is a major fishing port that offers a simple and relaxing holiday destination with the thrill of an adventure holiday. Here in Saly you can unwind on the near perfect Sandy beaches, relax in your luxury accommodation, dine at some of the best seafood restaurants and shop at the local market. Golf, sailing, fishing, water skiing, buggy tours and windsurfing are just some of the activities that you can do here. In terms of accommodation the hotel Neptune offers a great way to unwind with its luxurious tropical garden, fantastic restaurant, African architecture and a large swimming pool.

If you fancy a hotel closer to the Marina, the Hotel Lamantin is for you. This hotel offers amazing African style, freestanding luxury huts with a Serere Decor as well as the famous Beluga restaurant which offers a delicious menu rich in flavour, fusing together a mix of cuisines and techniques. For the golf enthusiast Saly is home to one of Africa’s best courses, the 18 Hole Golf De Saly. With a number of lakes and amazing Baobab tree’s this golf course is as beautiful as it is challenging.

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enegal, like the rest of Africa is teeming with wildlife and the Bandia Nature reserve located outside of Saly is the ideal place to observe all the wonderful creatures this country has to offer. Entering with your own car or one of the rentable 4x4’s, this small but diverse nature reserve allows you to get up close and personal with the freely roaming white rhinos, giraffes, monkeys, buffalos and crocodiles to name but a few.

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Diallo Tours Services


iallo tour and travel agency is located in Senegal, West Africa. Diallo tours is based in Mbour, located 84km from Dakar, the capital of Senegal. Our goal is to give you the opportunity to discover more about African cultures and civilisations. Situated at the western edge of West Africa, Senegal is the gateway to explore Africa. Our professional and experienced team will help you discover this beautiful region.  In addition to its endless golden beaches, nice sunny weather, deluxe coastal resorts, tourist facilities, and friendly, welcoming people; Senegal has many highlights to offer visitors. The history, wonderful landscape, wildlife, bird parks and richness of cultural diversity in this great country make the region a paradise to visit.  It will be always a pleasure for the team to organise tours for you. 

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“Dakar is the capital of Senegal and it is a modern city with more than 2 million people. The city features beautiful contemporary buildings, combined with historical colonial houses. It is vibrant, with active open-air markets, cafe terraces, and delicious food.� Abdoulaye Diallo

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The r

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-Airport Assistanc -Hotel reservation -Hotel assistance -Excursions and ro -Tour ‘a la carte’  -Transportation in -A Car rental Servi -Incentive group h -Leisure and sport -Golf, water sports -Quad biking plus

n air conditioned vehicle ice handling ting activities that include; s, Tennis, horse riding, Hunting,  many more!


range of services include:

ce n    ound trips 

For More Information And Reservations: Diallo Tours Services W: T: F: E:


A: +22177 636 7630 +221 33 954 88 98

Tours and travel Agency Central office: Rue 11 Novembre BP:435 Mbour, Senegal De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 357

South AfricaKruger Nat


South Africa is guaranteed to provide you with the unforgettable journey of a lifetime


he Kruger National Park in the Limpopo Province is the largest game reserve in South Africa, and life in the bush is pretty much guaranteed to take your breath away. Kruger is home an impressive array of species: 336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals. In addition to this natural smorgasbord, you can visit archaeological sites like Masorini, to see remains from the lives of hunter-gathers, and later Iron Age people, and Thulamela, where evidence of human life 1.5 million years ago is still found.

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tional Park AFRICA


s well as “The Big Five” (buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion and rhino) Kruger National Park is home to “The Little Five” (Buffalo Weaver, Elephant Shrew, Leopard Tortoise, Ant Lion and Rhino Beetle), the “Birding Big Six” (Ground Hornbill, Kori Bustard, Lappet- faced Vulture, Martial Eagle, Pel’s Fishing Owl and Saddle-bill Stork), and the “Big Five Trees” (Baobab, Fever Tree, Knob Thorn, Marula, Mopane) – so don’t forget to pack your binoculars.

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he undisputed Great White Shark capital of the world even has its own Great White Shark embassy, but if you’re no thrill seeker, don’t be deterred, Gansbaai offers natural, unspoilt beauty both in and out of the water. You can whale watch from the cliffs of De Kelders, enjoy miles of pristine white sand at Pearly Beach, walk in ancient Milkwood forests, visit the penguin colony of Dyer Island, see cape clawless otters and black oyster catchers on Gansbaai’s secluded beaches, or take a boat to Shark Alley to see seals and, if you’re feeling brave, dive with Great White sharks.

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The Garden Route



rom Mossel Bay in the Western Cape to the Storms River on the Eastern Cape border, The Garden Route is a seriously scenic stretch of South Africa’s southeastern coast. Look out for over 300 species of bird; enjoy the route’s ten nature reserves as well as the marine reserves that are home to coral reefs, dolphins, seals and much more. In several of the bays along the Garden Route there are Southern Right Whale nurseries; the whales come to calve in the area from July to December (Plettenberg Bay is a particular whale hotspot).

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The Drakensberg Mountain Range K

nown by the Zulu as UKhahlamba (the Barrier of Spears) the Drakensberg, a World Heritage Site, is a 200-kilometre-long range of mountains, the largest proportion of which falls in the province of KwaZulu-Natal.

The Drakensberg Mountain range is a paradise for walkers, adventure seekers and wildlife lovers alike. Rock and cave art painted by the now extinct San tribe – also known as the Bushmen – depicting daily life several thousands of years ago can be seen across the range, and these paintings are definite must-sees.


Outdoors lovers can hike, ride, rock climb, abseil, white water raft and much more.


he wi be th lost. Wa tary and Churchill, Mahatma

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KwaZuluNatal Battlefields

ally knowledgeable guides take visitors ulu-Natal Battlefield tours, recounting s and atmosphere of each battle. Two of famous battles that took place in Natal happened at Isandlwana and rift, the latter of which was made immortal in the 1964 film Zulu.


e battlefields of KwaZulu Natal have itnessed bloody military campaigns etween the British, the Boers and he Zulus and have seen many lives alk in the footsteps on famous milihistorical figures such as Winston , Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead, Gandhi and General Louis Botha.Â

For More Information On Visiting South Africa Contact: South Africa Tourism W: T: +27 (0)83 123 6789 De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 363


A Land Of Natural Discovery

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Nairobi AFRICA


airobi is the city at the heart of Kenya and the primary gateway to the vast game reserves and national parks of East Africa. The name Nairobi comes from the Masai words enkare nyarobe meaning sweet water, as this area was a watering hole for the Masai and their cattle. One of the largest cities between Cairo and Johannesburg, Nairobi is cosmopolitan, lively and interesting. The city centre is modern and prosperous and the services are well organized and efficient. Places of interest include Kenya National Museum, Snake Farm, Nairobi National Park, Railway Museum, National Archives, McMillian Memorial Library, Parliament House, Kenyatta Conference Centre, Karen Blixen Museum, Kiambethu Farm and Langata Giraffe Centre & Bird Sanctuary. There are also many colourful markets to explore as well as the famed Carnivore Restaurant. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 365

Masai Mara



pe th an th br th Co sp en


ich in game and birds, the Masai Mara is the scene of the spectacular annual migration of wildebeest and zebra, when millions of animals follow the unbroken cycle of survival as they move between Tanzania and Kenya in search of fresh grasses. The sight of more than a million of these creatures moving as a great mass across the savannah is one of the most breathtaking sights in nature. Visitors to the Masai Mara from August through September are certain to see the great herds of wildebeest and zebra.

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From the Rift Valley escarpment, to the rolling plains and the groves of woodlands, the Masa Mara is a vast and varied landscape. The Mara River bisects this great reserve and provides a rich habitat along its banks. And everywhere, the seemingly endless herds of animals live out their daily lives to the rhythm of nature. The Mara host to lion, cheetah, hippo, elephant, leopard buffalo, warthog and giraffe, to name a few, holds splendour and surprises within its boundaries Any visitor is sure to see why the Masai Mara is Kenya’s most famous, and favoured, park.


Lewa Downs

ewa Downs is a 40,000 acre ranch, home to the Craig Family since 1924, hosting a diverse array of wildlife in some of Kenya’s most spectacular scenery. The snow-capped eaks of Mount Kenya dominate the views to he south, where the southern boundary rises to n altitude of some 6,500 ft above sea level. To he north, the terrain drops away rapidly with reathtaking views of Samburu, Ololokwe and he Mathews Range beyond. The Lewa Downs onservancy supports a myriad of plains game pecies, all perfectly adapted for the semi-desert nvironment.


The thinly striped and endangered Grevy’s zebra and the chocolate brown reticulated giraffe are common. The lance-like horned Beisa Oryx and the rare greater kudu are seasonal visitors. Gunther’s dikdik, with its huge nasal swellings, the giraffe-necked gerenuk and the beautiful blue-legged Somali ostrich are resident all year. The swamp has become a sanctuary for the fascinating semi-aquatic sitatunga antelope and its primary predator, the leopard. Birdlife is equally rich with numerous species of Bustards, Plovers, Coursers and birds of prey. At night, leopard are frequently encountered along with bush babies, aardvarks, bat-eared foxes, caracal and various mongooses, genets & civets - a few days at Lewa Downs is a unique combination of hospitality, spectacular scenery and abundant wildlife.

g ai a a e r a, d, s s. s

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mboseli is equally famous for its big game as well as its views of Mount Kilimanjaro. This park is one of the best places in Kenya to view large herds of elephant and buffalo as well as lion, cheetah, giraffe and plains game. The scenic landscape is dominated by the sparkling, majestic snow-cap of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak at 19,340 feet. Within Amboseli National Park, you will find the Cynthia Moss Elephant Research Centre which has been instrumental in our ability to understand and, ultimately, to help save these magnificent beasts. A wild region where the pastoral Masai and their cattle can be seen living in harmony with nature, Amboseli is a rich introduction to Kenya.

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For More Information On Visiting Kenya Contact: Magical Kenya W: T: E: +254 20 2711 262 De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 369



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Welcome to Another World... Let your journey of personal discovery through the world’s most beautiful islands begin...



he Seychelles  islands are blessed with a year-long warm, tropical climate, it’s always a good time to visit, although different times of year may be better suited to your particular interests.

Conditions for swimming, snorkelling and especially diving are superb during April/May and October/November when the water temperature sometimes reaches 29 degrees and visibility is often 30 metres plus. The ‘SUBIOS Underwater Festival’, showcases Seychelles’ extraordinary underwater world through a series of film shows, talks and competitions, while the ‘Festival Kreol’ (a week-long celebration of Creole heritage and traditions) is held in March and October respectively of each year.

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AFRICA The Seychelles Sailing Cup, an international sailing event, is held in January and the International Fishing Competition in March.  Further local fishing competitions are held throughout the year. The diversity of the Seychelles landscape rushes up to greet you the moment your aircraft begins its descent and promises a long list of things to do. Seychelles is famous for having some of the best beaches in the world, pristine and unspoilt.  Some are framed by age-old granite boulders. Others offer powder-soft sands, turquoise waters and sublime opportunities for swimming, snorkelling or pure relaxation.

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AFRICA Scuba dive in an ocean of kaleidoscopic colours and swim alongside 40-foot long, plankton-eating whale sharks or skim the surface of the turquoise waters on water-skis, a kayak or a catamaran. If the world’s best fly-fishing can’t tempt you, why not, from the comfort of the boat, enjoy unrivalled deep-sea fishing instead? catch could include marlin, sailfish, green jobfish and skipjack tuna. There are great opportunities for island-hopping between the 16 islands that currently offer accommodation.   These range from sumptuous 5-star resorts to rustic island lodges and cozy beachside bungalows. On your way, you will discover such gems as the legendary Vallée de Mai, home to the legendary Coco-de-Mer

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You will also find proud national monuments, beautiful Creole houses, artists’ studios, national reserves and marine parks, as well as breathtaking natural wonders above and beneath the waves.  Various excursions will introduce you to the pleasures of glass-bottom boating, or enjoying a choice of water sports. 


There’s also golf, horse-riding and guided nature tours where to enjoy some of the rarest species of flora and fauna on earth. Not forgetting the mellow  Seychelles  nightlife where you can take in a casino, some local bars and fine restaurants offering unforgettable Creole and international cuisine.

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What sets Seychelles  apart from so many other holiday destinations is its wide variety of islands, each one with its own particular geography, character and history.  Whether you choose a day excursion to one of the many Inner granitic islands, or an extended stay on one of our exotic island hideaways, Seychelles has something exceptional to offer.  Island hopping whether by boat, plane or helicopter promises a true sense of the islands’ diversity. Each has its own character: a timeless miniature world, flourishing in splendid isolation far from the hubbub of modern life.


Nature trails wind their way through granite peaks and lush mist forests, and hidden coves harbour secrets that few, if any, have discovered.

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AFRICA Experiencing more than one island during your stay is a must and will add a dimension to your holiday experience that you will never forget. Whatever your choice, a regular network of air and sea transport operating out of the principal  island  of  Mahé  will cater for most itineraries.    Ferry services, domestic flights and even helicopter transfers are also available on a daily basis to many of the islands. 376 / LuxuryTravelGuide 2012 / De Luxe Series


For More Information On Visiting Seychelles Contact: Seychelles Tourism Board

W: T: E: +248 4 67 13 00

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Welcome To..


The Middle East

Dubai E


xtravagant, materialistic, well publicized and quite incredibly luxurious, this small corner of the Middle East is a dream come true for every luxury traveller.

The Ultimate De Dubai Fountains

There are only three seven-star hotels in the world; Dubai is home to one the Burj Al Arab Hotel. While the other two 7 star hotels are found in Abu Dhabi, Emirates Palace and Milan, Town House Galleria also known as the Seven Stars Galleria.


et on the 30-acre Burj Khalifa Lake, the fountain shoots water jets as high as 500 ft, equivalent to that of a 50-storey building. The fountain is 900 ft long and has five circles of varying sizes and two central arcs. The Dubai Fountain performs daily, with the performance repertoire including Sama Dubai; Baba Yetu, an award-winning song in Swahili; the Arab world’s top-selling dance number Shik Shak Shok; and the signature piece of world-renowned Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, Con te partiro (Time to Say Goodbye).

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Burj Khalifa MIDDLE EAST


he world’s tallest building, a wonder to the eyes, a stunning work of art and an incomparable feat of engineering the Burj Khalifa is all that and more.

More than just the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa is an unprecedented example of international cooperation, symbolic beacon of progress, and an emblem of the new, dynamic and prosperous Middle East. The Burj has an outdoor observation deck, named At the Top on the 124th floor. The observation deck features the Behold Telescope, which allows visitors to view the surrounding landscape in real-time.

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Burj Al Arab

Aq D


n its relatively short tenure on the Dubai coastline this legendary and symbolic hotel has attracted international attention and awe, ensuring its place as one of the most photographed structures in the world, and consistently voted the world’s most luxurious hotel.  Designed to resemble a billowing sail, Burj Al Arab soars to a height of 321 metres, dominating the Dubai skyline. Illuminated at night by choreographed lighting representing water and fire – Burj Al Arab is simply individual, inspired, impressive.

This all-suite luxury hotel in Dubai reflects the very finest that the world has to offer. With a discreet in-suite checkin, private reception desk on every floor and a brigade of highly trained butlers, you can be assured of the ultimate in personal service throughout your stay. 

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uba larg Aqu tion quite possibl world, set at t ing manmade Island.

The Palm Isla imagination. of a palm tre the naked ey crowning tou become one tractions. You tis Dubai—a resort comple scale luxury h

Aquaventure beachfront, so for those who of the Arabia are found bet and watersca ture playgrou With nearly fi ter, there is so Aquaventure

Aquaventure Water Park


ai is synonymous with grand, ger-than-life attractions  and uaventure Dubai is no excepn. This water park in  Dubai  is ly the most ambitious in the the top of one of its most amaze constructions, Palm Jumeirah

ands have captured the world’s All three, each in the shape ee, are visible from space with ye. Aquaventure Dubai is the uch of Palm Jumeirah and has of the city’s most popular atu’ll find Aquaventure at Atlanfabulous, beachside hotel and ex in a city full of fantastic, uphotels.

Dubai is set on 2,300 feet of o there’s plenty of opportunity o wish to lazily enjoy the seas an Gulf. Decks and platforms ween the thrilling rides, slides, apes that make up the advenund of this water park in Dubai. ive million gallons of fresh waomething for everyone at Dubai.

For More Information On Visiting Dubai Contact: Dubai Tourism w: t: +971 42 82 11 11 e: De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 383

Burj Al Arab - Dubai MIDDLE EAST

Arrive in absolute awe, stay individually inspired.


n its relatively short tenure on the Dubai coastline this legendary and symbolic hotel has attracted international attention and awe, ensuring its place as one of the most photographed structures in the world, and consistently voted the worlds most luxurious hotel. Designed to resemble a billowing sail, Burj Al Arab soars to a height of 321 metres, dominating the Dubai skyline. Illuminated at night by choreographed lighting representing water and fire – Burj Al Arab is simply individual, inspired, impressive. This all-suite luxury hotel in Dubai reflects the very finest that the world has to offer. With a discreet in-suite check-in, private reception desk on every floor and a brigade of highly trained butlers, you can be assured of the ultimate in personal service throughout your stay. Upgrade your experience at Burj Al Arab with your chauffeur driven Rolls Royce.

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For More Information And Reservations: Burj Al Arab - Dubai W: T: E: +971 4 301 7777

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Discover Qatar

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atar is fast developing as a major Mid-east destination, after opening its doors to tourism since 1989.

Qatar is home to major historic forts, modern luxury hotels, impressive seascapes and sandunes.


Doha, the capital of Qatar is located halfway down the east coast peninsula. Doha is an important commercial and Cultural center and is connected perfectly with the outside world through state-of-the art seaports, airports and telephone links. Tourists can explore the natural environment of Qatar by taking an exciting desert safari, relaxing at the many beaches and pools or just enjoying their favourite sport. There is something for everyone in this wonderful place. National Museum of Islamic Art Located in Doha, The Museum of Islamic Art draws much influence from ancient Islamic architecture, yet has a unique design. It was the first of its kind in the Persian Gulf and has a very large collection of Islamic art, plus a study and a library. It is one of the world’s most complete collections of Islamic artefacts, with items originating from Spain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, India, and Central Asia.

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Khor Al Udeid Beach


The Khor Al Udeid Beach is one the most beautiful tourist attractions in the Middle East. It provides a relaxing and tranquil environment for anyone who wants to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Originally the cen Zubarah is now a r the north-western c about 105 km from tress which was orig restored as a museu


The beach showcases tall and beautifully shaped dunes which can make for a fun inland desert safari. This is a place where you can sit and relax yourself in calm surroundings. The warm and pristine waters of the Gulf will make your outing all the more memorable.

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nter of power in Qatar the ruined and deserted town in coast of the Qatar peninsula Doha. Noted for its old forginally built in 1938 and was um in 1987.

Doha Golf Club Doha Golf Club boasts an 18 hole Championship Course, a 9 hole Academy Course, an enormous driving range and putting green, 8 artificial lakes, graceful landscaping and a beautiful clubhouse designed in old traditional  Arabic style, which has been located at one of the highest points on the course giving it a magnificent prominence. A sight to behold amid the surrounding barren desert, the gloriously green Doha Golf Club has an internationally recognised 18-hole course, which hosts the annual Qatar Masters in March. Open to non-members, it also has a flood-lit, nine-hole academy course for those in a hurry. The opulent, marble-rich clubhouse sports an excellent restaurant called Il Mediterraneo.


For More Information On Visiting Qatar Contact: Qatar Tourism W: T: +974 44 997 499 De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 389

Welcome To..



Australia Luxury Down Under

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rom the prehistoric gorges of Kakadu National Park, to the white sails of the Sydney Opera House, Australia is a country as big your imagination.

Kick back on a beautiful beach, watch a dazzling performance at the Sydney Opera House, or immerse yourself in the world’s largest coral reef the Great Barrier Reef. Australia truly has something for everyone and a place everyone should visit at least once in their lives.

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Sydney Opera House


nside are six auditoriums where dance, concerts, opera and theatre are staged, plus the left-of-centre Studio for emerging artists. The acoustics are superb; the internal aesthetics like the belly of a whale. Â The Sydney Opera House has a1000 rooms, 300 corridors and hundreds of tales and secrets. Step inside the inspired venues where more than 1600 performances come to life each year.

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Uluru - Largest Rock



luru in the heart of Australia is a striking rock monolith rising spectacularly from the desert plain. One of Australia’s most popular tourist attractions, it was better known as Ayers Rock until its Aboriginal name, Uluru, became more popular. The largest free standing rock in the world this is truly a site to see.

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Great Barrier Reef


ne of Australia’s most remarkable natural gifts, the Great Barrier Reef is blessed with breathtaking beauty.

The reef contains an abundance of marine life and comprises of over 3000 individual reef systems and coral cays and literally hundreds of picturesque tropical islands with some of the world’s most beautiful sun-soaked, golden beaches.

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Kaka in Au conc in th Nour

Kakadu National Park

adu National Park is the largest national park ustralia. It contains one of the highest centrated areas of aboriginal rock art sites he world; the most famous examples are at rlangie Rock and Ubirr.



akadu National Park an Australian Natural Icon covers almost 20,000 square kms and is 257 kms East of Darwin the capital city of the Northern Territory, tralia.

For More Information On Visiting Australia Contact: Tourism Australia Head Office W: T: +61 2 9360 1111

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Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts AUSTRALASIA

Four Seasons Hotel Sydney Reveals Sy Most Luxurious Hote


our Seasons Hotel Sydney has completed the final phase of a two-year hotel refurbishment, unveiling its ‘pièce de résistance’ - four newly refurbished signature suites. At $1.6 million, the final-stage of the upgrade included a complete revamp of the exquisite Presidential Suite, Deluxe Royal Suite and two Royal Suites. Perfectly positioned on the hotel’s 34th floor, the Presidential and Deluxe Royal Suites offer stunning panoramic views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, while the two Royal Suites offer views over Sydney’s CBD, Circular Quay and Walsh Bay. Designed by one of Australia’s leading interior and architecture practices, Bates Smart, the suites were transformed to take on a New Yorkstyle apartment circa 1930, evoking a feeling of warmth, elegance and refinement.

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Dramatic and theatrical, The Presidential Suite is one of Sydney’s finest for visiting royalty, rock stars and celebrities. In the generous living spaces, the dark palette and leather detailing is rich and warm. The elegant hand-selected furnishings are complemented by an eclectic collection of photography. With the Sydney Opera House as its backdrop, the master bedroom is an intimate cocoon featuring an elegant four-poster bed with linen canopy. The master bathroom is indulgent and spacious with warm, silvery travertine that echoes the suite’s parquet floor. A luxurious large central bathtub takes prime position in the bay window, offering views over Sydney’s Circular Quay.

ydney’s tel Suite

On arrival, grand, full height double doors welcome guests; beautifully crafted bench seats are positioned in front of the expansive windows, inviting guests to drink in the views.

Parquet floor, timber wall paneling, wallpaper and soft Roman blinds create a feeling of intimacy and warmth. Sensuous, tactile furnishings and custom-design pieces have been placed throughout the suites. The lighter palette has touches of subtle watery blues and soft silvery greens to create a restful, relaxing ambience. Four Seasons Hotel Sydney’s exquisite new suites exude ‘wow’ factor that exceeds guest expectations of luxury and comfort, delivering numerous memorable moments from arrival to departure.

For More Information And Reservations: Four Seasons Hotel Sydney W: T: E: +61 2 9250 3315 De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 399


The luxurious Royal Suites feature strong undertones of penthouse glamour but with an intriguing, metropolitan twist. Two suites are accented in light tones and the third offer darker, moodier tones. On arrival, grand, full height double doors welcome guests; beautifully crafted bench seats are positioned in front of the expansive windows, inviting guests to drink in the views.


Islands of Australas


i a f y s t

T i d b t

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Rarotonga & the Cook Islands AUSTRALASIA


cattered over a vast expanse of empty ocean the size of Western Europe, the tiny Cook Islands is a castaway’s dream come true. If you’ve ever fantasised about escaping to a remote desert island, far from the hustle and bustle of the modern world, then look no further than these 15 fascinating islands, where you’ll find a thousand years of Polynesian culture sitting side by side with some of the most spectacular natural scenery in the South Pacific.

The jewel in the crown is Rarotonga, the largest island – a bewitching blend of craggy mountains, dense jungle and glorious bone-white beaches – but you really need to get out and explore some of the other islands as well.

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Solomon Islands


he Solomons remains an undiscovered gem for adventure travellers, divers and those seeking a genuine Melanesian experience. Flee the dusty streets of Honiara and maybe a wander through the museum, and hit the water. In the Western Province, coral islands encircle huge lagoons, volcanoes bubble away underwater, locals practise magic and summon sharks. This is a famous dive destination, thanks to the wealth of coral reefs in the Central Province area, like the Nggela Islands. Exciting underwater topography and hundreds of sunken WWII wrecks await your perusal around Ghizo Island.

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Papua New Guinea



ravelling in PNG can be quite the challenge. With almost no tourism infrastructure and limited information available in books and on websites, it can feel like you’re stepping into the great unknown. But this is exactly why travellers find this country so compelling. Nothing is contrived for tourists and every experience is authentic - even the main island of Bougainville is a largely DIY travel experience. The striking natural beauty and countless complex cultures offer some riveting and truly life-affirming experiences. The island of New Guinea, of which Papua New Guinea is the eastern part, is only one-ninth as big as Australia, yet it has just as many mammal species, and more kinds of birds and frogs.  De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 403




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his tropical paradise of beautiful beaches, blue lagoons and swaying palm trees makes for a perfect holiday. Well known for stunning sunsets, breathtaking waterfalls, awesome surf, and pristine rain forests, Fiji unsurprisingly draws thousands of visitors to its shores each year. Comprising more than 300 islands, the country is a vibrant melting pot of cultures, where East Indian, Polynesian, Melanesia, Chinese and European converge to form a unique cultural medley. Full of colourful attractions, awe-inspiring scenery, friendly people and cultural and sporting activities aplenty, Fiji offers something for everyone.  De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 405


Astonishing Hot Springs and Mud Baths


iji’s hidden hot springs gem is believed by locals to have healing properties. Regardless of its claims, the three pools, warm mud baths and lush natural backdrop combine to make a seriously relaxing experience.

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Boat trip through mangrove forests



any parts of the coast along Viti Levu are covered in mangrove forests. These areas are extremely rich in wildlife a boat journey through the meandering corridors of the mangrove forests up the Rewa River Delta daily from Nausori makes for an adventurous journey.

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Naihehe Sacred Caves


ituated deep in the Sigatoka Valley, the caves are popular with tourists. Once a fortress of Fiji’s last pagan tribes, the caves contain a priest chamber, sacred pond and great Cathedral Chamber. The caves are still considered sacred today and locals still frequent to pay tribute to their ancestors.

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Scaling Mount Batilamu



iji boasts spectacular vistas aplenty, however, for unparalleled views, take a day trip from Nadi or Lautoka to scale the ‘sleeping giant’, Mount Batilamu. The ascent takes hikers through the Koroyanitu National Heritage Park past tempting waterholes, through small villages, and up to green-swathed, panoramic summits. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 409

Scuba-diving F AUSTRALASIA

iji has been called ‘the soft coral capital of the world’ and few seasoned divers will deny that Fiji has some of the finest scuba diving in the South Pacific. Diving is possible year-round, with the best sites including Beqa Lagoon, Rainbow Reef or the Somosomo Straits with the famous Great White Wall.

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For More Information On Visiting Fiji Contact: Fiji Tourist Board W: T: +(679) 330 2433 E: De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 411


The Wonders of New


bub rain for the

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ew Zealand is a unique land of breathtaking scenery as craggy coastlines, golden beaches, lush rainforests, snow-capped mountains, bbling volcanic pools, rivers jumping with nbow trout, and glacier-fed lakes compete attention; a region beautifully showcased in e Lord of the Rings trilogy. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 413

Sky Tower


truly captivating experience awaits visitors to Auckland’s Sky Tower.


At 328 metres, it is the tallest man-made structure in New Zealand and offers breathtaking views for up to 80 kilometres in every direction.

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Auckland Museum A

uckland Museum is filled with Maori and Pacific Island collections. Otara Market, on Ponsonby Road has the country’s finest expression of Polynesian culture and local foods, while Auckland’s Karangahape Road is New Zealand’s funkiest street.

AUSTRALASIA De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 415


Aoraki Mount Cook


he effort of a steep climb up the mountain is repaid with outstanding views over alpine glaciers, snow-capped peaks and crystal-clear lakes. Standing 3754m (12,316ft) high, Aoraki Mount Cook is the highest mountain in New Zealand. The mountain, which attracts climbers from all over the world to its snow-covered peaks, stands in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park on New Zealand’s South Island.

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Waitomo Caves W

aitomo Caves, where explorers can abseil into the ‘Lost World’ cave, are the most visited, especially famous for their glow-worm grottos. You can also try cave rafting or tubing, where participants float through the cave system on custom-made tyres keeping an eye out for glow-worms.


For More Information On Visiting New Zealand Contact: New Zealand Travel W: T: +64 9 914 4780 De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 417

Welcome To..

North America

New York


Times Square


ongs have been written about this famous intersection of at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue and stretching from West 42nd to West 47th Streets. The Times Square consists of the blocks between Sixth and Eighth Avenues from east to west, and West 40th and West 53rd Streets from south to north, making up the western part of the commercial area of Midtown Manhattan. One of the most memorable things about Times Square is the annual New Year’s Eve ball drop that has been going on since 1907. The annual event brings millions of people from around the world and is currently hosted by Dick Clark and Ryan Seacrest.

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The Big A


The Metropolitan Museum of Art



here are so many museums in New York to choose from, but the one that stands out the most has to be this one. Known as “The Met” to its patrons, it can be found on the east side of Central Park, along what is known as the “Museum Mile”.  The Met holds one of the largest collections of art dating back to ancient times and offers modern collections, as well.  The Met was founded in 1870 and as of 2007 occupied more than 2 million square feet of space.  One of people’s favourite sections in the Met is the “arms and armour gallery”.  This collection holds more than 15,000 medieval pieces from England, France, Persia, Rome, Egypt, and Ancient Greece.  The Met could occupy a month of your time, just on its own. It is, by far, a place not to miss. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 421

The Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island T


he center cover 22 hattan be was built ing in 19 have an opera ho Columbia Unive of 1929 forced t the project.


echnically, not a part of New York City, Liberty Island is actually a part of New Jersey, but don’t tell a native New Yorker. The island sits out in New York harbour and is the home to one of the most famous statues in the world – the Stature of Liberty.  This was a gift from the people of France to celebrate the US Centennial, even though the statue was received in 1886.  It is 151 feet tall and covered in sheeted copper.  Up until people started trans-Atlantic flights, the Statue of Liberty was often the first sight people saw when coming to the United States before they came into Ellis Island.  This is the next stop on the journey if you take the Statue of Liberty ferry.  The tour of Ellis Island is very interesting.  Found at the mouth of the Hudson River, Ellis Island was the main facility for immigrants coming into the United States from Europe.  Through these gates, more than 12 million immigrants were tested for diseases and processed into the United States.  It was the final stop on the long journey to prosperity and freedom.

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Today, some of t New York City re you can find the building), home Saturday Night Hall is in Rockef in a show with th than 350 million a show at Radio C most famous bui when visiting is for public art an find tthe giant and the ice skatin


Rockefeller Center

r is comprised of 19 buildings that acres of land in downtown Manetween 48th and 51st Streets.  It t by the Rockefeller family start930.  Originally, the plan was to ouse on the land, once owned by ersity, but the stock market crash the withdrawal of the Met from


the most important buildings in eside at Rockefeller Center. Here e GE Building (formally the RCA e of NBC, the Today Show, and Live.  Also, Radio City Music feller Center where you can take he world famous Rockettes. More n people have taken in a movie or City, making it one of New York’s ildings.  Another point of interest “The Center”.  An area put aside d statues.  This is where you can Christmas tree each December ng, as well.

For More Information On Visiting New York Contact: I Love New York W: T: +1 800 2255 697 De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 423

The Waldorf Astoria - New Yo A

s one of the first ‘grand hotels’ to combine elegance with luxurious amenities and services, The Waldorf Astoria has been world renowned for over a century.


For our guests’ convenience, we offer luxurious guest rooms and select, spacious suites. Cheerful bedrooms, oversized marble bathrooms and original Art Deco motifs give our rooms a delightful residential ambience. The Waldorf stands as a unique dining destination, with four distinctive restaurants, three lounges, and of course, 24-hour room service. Superior hotel amenities and services include booking privileges at the incomparable Guerlain Spa at the Waldorf Astoria. Hotel guests are encouraged to explore the hotel, a New York City landmark, considered an extraordinary living Art Deco museum. We are dedicated to the elegant service traditions of the world’s grand hotels. We hope to do everything in our power to ensure your future experience here is delightfully memorable.

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For More Information And Reservations: The Waldorf Astoria - New York W: T: E: +1 212 355 3000 De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 425

Welcome to Florida NORTH AMERICA

An Insight into the Sunshine State


nown as the Sunshine State Florida has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to kick back and relax on the beautiful beaches, experience the diverse range of excellent cuisines, enjoy the buzzing night life, explore Florida’s Keys tropical paradise or have some family fun at the Walt Disney World Resort you will surely find something to make this destination one to remember. With warm winter temperatures and summertime highs that average in the low 90s, Florida’s weather is inviting year round.

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ith amazing sub tropical weather Miami is one of the most visited cities in the country. Known as the “Cruise Capital of the World” the Port of Miami has been voted the number one cruise passenger port in the world for more than two decades. Miami Beach is a barrier island connected to the mainland city of Miami by a series of bridges. It’s home to a large number of beach resorts and offers a great shopping experience with the famous Lincoln Road Mall and other shopping centres. Due to its length Miami Beach is broken down into three districts; Mid Beach, South Beach and North Beach. South Beach is regarded as one of the most popular places to visit while in Miami. Home to several prominent restaurants including “News Cafe,” “Mango’s,” and the MTV-popularized “Clevelander” and with a very active club and bar scene it’s not surprising to see why. With an exceptional range of internationally recognised restaurants dining in Miami really opens up a great variety for all tastes and culinary preferences.

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hile it is often described as a swamp or forested wetland, the Everglades is actually a very slow-moving freshwater river which is nearly 50 miles wide. The Everglades National Park protects the southern 25 percent of the original Everglades. It is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, and is visited on average by one million people each year. Home to more than 350  species of birds, 300  species of fresh and saltwater fish, 40 species of mammals, and 50 species of reptiles the National Park is a great place to see a wonderful range of wildlife.

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Miami MetroZoo is q the best zoos in the na city enables the zoo to ferent animals from A asia. Being one of the the country, the exhib You can view all sorts o species from white tige crocodiles and even ko


quickly becoming one of ation. The climate in the o house a variety of difAfrica, Asia and Australe first free-range zoos in bits are entirely cageless. of exotic and endangered ers, gibbons, Cuban omodo dragons.

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Walt Disney World


ocated in Lake Buena Vista,  near Orlando, is Walt Disney World. It is, by far, the most popular theme park resort in the world. Some visitors describe it as a place of magic, wonder, and fantasy; others speak of fun, excitement, and relaxation. The centrepieces of Walt Disney World are the four theme parks: The Magic Kingdom,  Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Walt Disney World also has the world’s two most popular water parks,  Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, both heavily themed. Two shopping and entertainment districts, Downtown Disney and Disney’s Boardwalk, provide extensive shopping, dining, and entertainment options.

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For More Information On Visiting Florida Contact: Visit Florida W: T: +1 305 529 4300 De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 431


Los Angeles


he city of Los Angeles  also known as the “City of Angels” is the largest city in California. Located on a broad basin in Southern California, it’s surrounded by vast mountain ranges, deep valleys, forests, desert, and the Pacific Ocean. Known for being the center of the world’s entertainment industry LA has a host of things to do and see.

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J. Paul GettyMuseum



he museum at the Getty Center contains “Western art from the Middle Ages to the present;” its estimated 1.3 million visitors annually visit which makes it one of the most popular museums in the United States.   The museum at the Getty Villa contains art from “ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria”.

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Griffith Observatory S

itting on the south-facing slope of Mount Hollywood in L.A.’s Griffith Park, it commands a view of the  Los Angeles Basin, including  downtown Los Angeles  to the southeast,  Hollywood  to the south, and the  Pacific Ocean to the southwest.


The observatory  is a popular tourist attraction with an extensive array of space- and  science-related displays.


Santa Monica Bay

anta Monica Bay consists of 50 miles of scenic coastline with 22 separate public beaches, providing recreational opportunities to visitors year round.

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t , e -

Paramount Studios T

he only remaining “big name” studio located in Hollywood and the only continually operating studio in Tinseltown.


NORTH AMERICA De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 435


Venice Beach


enice was the creation and dream of one man, Abbott Kinney. Kinney was an investor who built a sort of recreation of Venice, Italy including a massive system of canals and a huge entertainment complex. Venice Beach, California, is a unique destination unto itself, where shopping, dining, sports, recreation, and entertainment abound. Transport yourselves to an era of the past, present, and future, as you experience all that Venice Beach has to offer.

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For More Information On Visiting Los Angeles Contact: Visit California W: T: E: +1 (916) 444-4429 De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 437


Las Vegas Sin City


icknamed Sin City , Las Vegas is situated in the midst of the southern Nevada desert landscape.

The city has giant mega-casino hotels, decorated with lavish care and attention to detail to create a fantasy-like atmosphere.

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Bellagio Fountains NORTH AMERICA


he Fountains of Bellagio  is a vast, choreographed water feature with performances set to light and music.   The performances take place in front of the Bellagio hotel and are visible from numerous vantage points on the Strip, both from the street and neighbouring structures.   The fountains are set in an amazing 9-acre manmade lake. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 439

Circus Circus F

or years, this fun loving hotel has been a popular destination for families travelling to Las Vegas with children.


The vibrant pink and white stripes reminiscent of a circus tent are accented throughout the public areas and offer a whimsical feel to the resort. As the largest space frame dome in the United States, the Adventuredome offers a unique indoor theme park experience.

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Hoover Dam



amed one of the Top 10 Construction Achievements of the 20th Century, Hoover Dam continues to draw crowds more than 70 years after its creation.

Attracting more than a million visitors a year, Hoover Dam is located in Black Canyon, just minutes outside of Las Vegas. Hoover Dam is the highest concrete dam in the Western Hemisphere, standing at more than 725 feet above the Colorado River.

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Grand Canyon G

rand is an understatement. Glorious, exalted, divinely inspired — all are more apropos adjectives to describe THE canyon. One glimpse of its majesty is all it takes to understand why the Grand Canyon is considered one of the natural wonders of the world.


The canyon is a staggering 277 miles long. At its deepest, it is about a mile from the rim to the Colorado River far below and it is as much as 18 miles wide in some spots. The beauty and vibrant colours of the rocks, the mighty river flowing through the center and the wide variety of plant and animal life that inhabit the canyon combine to make it a spot that 5 million people from around the world visit each year. Take a day tour from one of the numerous local tour companies for an unforgettable experience.

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For More Information On Visiting Las Vegas Contact: Visit Las Vegas W: T: +1 (702) 892-7575 De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 443



Hawaii’s Big Isl


awaii is a traveller’s dream with six unique islands to choose from, each with a distinctive personality. Immerse yourself in Hawaii’s fascinating culture, bask on white-sand beaches, and  dine  on  freshcaught seafood and Island-picked tropical fruits. Although Hawaii is a fabulous destination to explore year round, the  very best time to see Hawaii is during the transition period between the dry season and the wet season; April and May or September and October. Hawaii is truly a destination with something for everyone to enjoy. 

A Taste of Hea


arger than all of the other islan bined, the island of Hawaii, or Big Island, is vast enough to hold world’s 13 climactic zones—fro beaches to snowcapped mountains.

See waterfalls, rainforests and botan dens in Hilo, explore the calm and clear of Kona, or view Kilauea, one of the wor active volcanoes, in  Hawaii Volcanoe Park. 444 / LuxuryTravelGuide 2012 / De Luxe Series





he second largest island is home to what some believe are the best beaches in the world. The waters off of Maui are also some of the best places in the world to  whale watch  every winter. Wake up early to catch the Haleakala sunrise, stroll through the historic hot spot of  Lahaina  town, or drive the long and winding road to Hana for spectacular scenery.


nds comr Hawaii’s d 11 of the om sandy

nical garwater off rld’s most National De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 445

Kauai T


he oldest and northernmost island in the Island chain is graced with dramatic, natural beauty. Outdoor adventures and romantic escapades flourish on Kauai. Explore the beaches of the Coconut Coast, see  Waimea Canyon, “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” or take a boat ride to marvel at the towering cliffs of the Napali Coast.

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ome to the state capitol and the majority of Hawaii’s population, Oahu is a vibrant mix of natural and cultural wonders with the modern arts, entertainment and amenities of the 21st century. See pro surfers take the big winter waves of the legendary North Shore, relive American history at the memorials and museums of Pearl Harbor, or soak up the sun and take a surfing lesson on Waikiki Beach.



For More Information On Visiting Hawaii Contact: Go Hawaii W: T: E: +1 808 923 1811 De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 447

The Fairmont Orchid - Hawaii

A luxurious Hawaii resort inspired by Culture, Well-Being and Gen



uring your stay with us in paradise, make time to enjoy the wonders of Hawaii. From Mauna Kea’s winter snowcapped mountaintop to the sizzling Kilauea Volcano of Madam Pele’s flowing lava to tropical rainforests and a teeming undersea world, Hawaii has much to offer the spirited traveler. Warm your soul with friends, family and new memories during your stay at our Hawaii resort’s breathtaking accommodations. Vacation on our 32-acre luxury Hawaii hotel and resort and enjoy a sugar-white sandy lagoon and aquamarine waters, a year-round children’s program, four restaurants and three lounges, and the exclusive Fairmont Gold. If it’s blissful escape you seek, relax and rejuvenate at our luxurious Hawaii hotel’s Spa Without Walls featuring waterfall massage hale (huts) and breathtaking oceanfront massage cabanas that draw from our island’s natural healing mana (power). At the beach, be sure and meet the native Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles that bask on our shoreline every afternoon. Or discover island-style fun and culture as you paddle an outrigger canoe, hike through the largest petroglyph field in the Pacific, learn to weave a coconut leaf basket. Decades ago, visitors to the islands were intrigued by the “aloha” spirit, charm and warm hospitality of the Waikiki Beachboys. Their cultural knowledge, ocean skills and storytelling talents were legendary. Through the Orchid Beach Club program, this tradition -- and the spirit of old Hawaii -thrives at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii resort’s accommodations.

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nuine Aloha


For More Information And Reservations: The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii

W: T: E: +1 808 885 2000

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anada is an extremely large county, but most urban attractions are gathered along the border with the U.S. Some travellers feel that the best tourism and travel in Canada lies in its natural landscapes.  A great deal of attention is paid to the western third of the country but the eastern third, also, has much to offer. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 451

Pacific Rim National Park P

acific Rim National Park Reserve in British Columbia is made up of three separate regions: Long Beach, the Broken Group Islands, and the West Coast Trail.


Open from mid-March until mid-October, the park is a haven for hikers, comprising varied terrain of rugged coastline and lush rainforest. Keep your eyes peeled for whales, seals and sea lions (especially in the spring) and there is a plethora of exciting bird species to spy on.

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Toronto C

anada’s most populated city attracts millions of visitors a year with good reason. The city has attractions that span the modern to the historical and the cultural to the commercial. Packed with buzzing bars, fantastic restaurants and live music venues, it’s certainly got a strong claim to the crown of Canada’s party capital.

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Niagara Falls T

he Niagara Falls are voluminous waterfalls on the Niagara River, straddling the border between Ontario and New York. On the Canadian side, Queen Victoria Park offers platforms with spectacular views of the falls, and underground walkways that lead into observation rooms which give the illusion of being within the falling waters.


The observation deck of the nearby Skylon Tower offers the best birds-eye view of the Falls – not one for the faint-hearted!

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The Canadian Rockies

he Canadian Rockies comprise the Canadian segment of the North American Rocky Mountains range. This natural beauty spot houses five national parks, four of which (Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and Yoho) make up the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage site, and it’s easy to see why. Tourists will be spoilt for choice with stunning landscapes comprising peaks, glaciers, lakes, waterfalls, canyons and caves. A visit will be a memorable experience.


For More Information On Visiting Canada Contact: Canada Travel W: T: E: 0870 380 0070 De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 455


Mexico City

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The City of Palaces



his expansive city of 20 million and over a mile high is built on the ruins of Tenochtitlan, the ancient Aztec capital.

Reminders of past civilization pervade the city, particularly at the Templo Mayor excavation and Anthropological Museum at Chapultepec Park. Fine shops can be found in profusion in the Zona Rosa.

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Castillo de Chapultepec T

he castle on Cerro del Chapulín (Grasshopper Hill) has borne witness to all the turbulence and grandeur of Mexican history. In its earliest form it was an Aztec palace, where the Mexica made one of their last stands against the Spaniards.


Later it was a Spanish hermitage, gunpowder plant, and military college. Emperor Maximilian used the castle, parts of which date from 1783, as his residence, and his example was followed by various presidents from 1872 to 1940, when Lázaro Cárdenas decreed that it be turned into the Museo Nacional de Historia.

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Catedral Metropolitana T

his is the largest and one of the oldest cathedrals in Latin America. There are five altars and 14 chapels, mostly in the ornate churrigueresque style. Like most Mexican churches, the cathedral itself is all but overwhelmed by innumerable paintings, altarpieces, and statues—in graphic colour—of Christ and the saints.

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Palacio de Bellas Artes T


his striking structure is the work of Italian Adamo Boari. Inside the concert hall a Tiffany stained-glass curtain depicts the two volcanoes outside Mexico City. Today the theater serves as a handsome venue for international and national artists, including the Ballet Folkl贸rico de M茅xico.

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For More Information On Visiting Mexico City Contact: Visit Mexico W: De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 461


he Caribbean islands have been captivating travellers for centuries. They are most famous for their beaches- stretches of palmbacked sugar-soft sand that rise from gin clear shadows in a striking blue sea - but it’s also an easy life in the islands.


The climate is wonderful virtually year-round, the pace of life is laid-back and the people are generally charming and welcoming. And the islands are relatively close to the USA and UK, by comparison with other tropical destinations. The Caribbean is a perfect place to take time out and relax.

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Islands of Paradise



he islands of the region are divided into three main groups—the Bahamas, the Greater Antilles, and the Lesser Antilles. The Bahamas is an archipelago, or a group of 700 islands north of the Caribbean Sea. People inhabit only about thirty of the Bahamian islands. South of the Bahamas are the largest islands of the Caribbean, called the Greater Antilles. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 463

Atlantis - Bahamas NORTH AMERICA

Experience the wonder and excitement of Atlantis, P


n awesome combination of world-renowned elegance, luxury and the kind of amenities only the Caribbean’s most spectacular resort destination can offer. The Reef offers vacationers all the comforts of home in spacious, well-appointed studios, luxurious suites and spectacular penthouses featuring private balconies with breathtaking water, harbor or terrace views. Each suite is expertly designed and situated directly on Paradise Beach so guests never have to spend a moment settling for anything other than the very best. Just steps away from the white-sand beach and crystal-clear Caribbean, The Reef Studio is a spacious, beautifully appointed accommodation with deluxe amenities, kitchen and living areas as well as private balconies. Resort guests can enjoy the gorgeous Bahamian views surrounding The Reef. Choose from terrace views, Nassau Harbour views, ocean views or even premium ocean views.

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Paradise Island.


For More Information And Reservations: Atlantis Paradise Island, Bahamas W: T: E: +1 888 877 7525

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The Cruising Life P


robably the most popular way to cruise the sea is on a large liner. These behemoths are extremely well equipped to offer a Luxury service to rival most five star hotels. Luxury cruises offer onboard swimming pools, health clubs, cinemas, casinos, tennis courts, a huge number of fine dining options and most even offer small shopping centres.

In many ways these cruises can be considered a home away from home. The most Luxurious rooms are fitted with private bathrooms, Wi-Fi, king sized beds and balconies to view the beauty of the sea. The prospect of visiting a number of destinations all without the hassle of going through airports or the cramped conditions onboard a train means cruises will certainly remain popular, especially among those wanting to travel in style. Popular luxury cruise lines include Cunard, Seaborn, Regent and Crystal. The World residence at sea is a private residential community where the residents travel the globe without ever leaving their home.

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If you don’t want to share, a private luxury yacht may be more your thing. Also known as a super yacht, these vessels are expensive, privately owned and professionally crewed. Super yachts usually come with 3 decks; the lower deck contains an exterior swimming platform and may feature a guest cabin, engine room and the crew quarters.


The main deck boasts a number of en suite guest cabins, a lounge, dining room, kitchen, the owners suite and even a gallery or library. The upper deck includes a bar, a ski lounge, an outdoor dining area, a state room (which is part of the owner’s suite), a gym, captain’s cabin and bridge. A super deck can be found on some yachts on the roof of the upper deck, this is where the hot tub is normally found. More recently giga yachts have become popular, they typically have 5 decks and incorporate features such as a helicopter landing pad, swimming pool and a mini submarine. These are the elite among super yachts.

A more classical and somewhat of a cult ship is a windjammer. This is a large sailing ship traditionally used to carry cargo. Today windjammers offer luxury voyages and offer an alternative way to travel the world’s seas. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 467

It’s More Than A Vacation!


iberate yourself from the schedules and demands of your everyday life on an Island Windjammers Caribbean tall ship sailing cruise. Escape on a beautiful tall sailing ship to secret, unspoiled corners of the Caribbean.


Freedom From The Ordinary This won’t be your typical cruise vacation. No lines, no formal wear, and no pressure. Whether it’s a casual picnic on the beach, dancing the night away on deck, or falling asleep under the sails and stars, each day of your Island Windjammers cruise will be a unique and exciting adventure.

No Experien

You don’t need to be an e joy Island Windjammer find you on an intimate Grenadines, far from the the opportunity to dive tacular turquoise waters and cool off under a wa a fascinating historical s distillery. Or better yet, r with a cold beverage and

Leave your real world yourself with sea, sand, a simple joys of life—sunsails in the breeze, a wo tly beneath your feet—as hidden island paradise.

Island Windjammers of bean tall ship sailing cru Vincent & the Grenadine Diamant. Built in 1978, maintained and refurbis the highest level of comf fessional crew works ha thing is running shipsha

Diamant hosts an intim sengers in six air condi cabins feature porthole 110V outlets.

Choose a cabin with a d upper berth, or one with lower berths.

Cruises depart year-roun Marina, located in St. Ge 468 / LuxuryTravelGuide 2012 / De Luxe Series

nce Required

experienced sailor to enrs cruises! Each day will Caribbean island in the e masses. You might have and snorkel in the specs, or hike up a mountain aterfall, or take a tour of site such as an old rum relax on a deserted beach d a good book.


behind, and surround and sails. Rediscover the -soaked days, the snap of ooden deck rolling gens you chart a course for a

ffers year-round Caribuises to Grenada and St es on board the schooner Diamant has been wellshed in order to provide fort and safety. Our proard to ensure that everyape.

ate group of twelve pasitioned staterooms. All es, private facilities and

double lower and a single h both double and single

nd from Port Louis eorge’s, Grenada.

For More Information And Reservations: Island Windjammers W: T: +1 877 772 4549 E: De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 469

Welcome To.. S

South America



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Rio Raul Melo is known as Carioca, a nickname for people who are born in the city of Rio de Janeiro. He has lived in Rio most of his life, except for a year he spent in Toronto, Canada. Raul graduated in History, Bussiness Administration, Marketing and Economics. His passion, however, has always been History and it was the reason he became part of the Sport Laboratory of the Rio de Janeiro Federal University. Raul is a licensed guide of the Ministry of Tourism and is also an instructor for the Tour Guide Technical Course Cieth.


nice mixture of the Indian, White and Black cultures, fermented in magnificent natural scenery. Rio is a cosmopolitan city and has been Brazil’s capital for almost 200 years. Rio de Janeiro is the cultural centre of the country, with plenty of cinemas, theatres, museums, concert halls, art galleries and libraries. The restaurants in the city offer a lot of options, from international cookery to traditional dishes from all Brazilian regions.


Raul Melo – Managing Director, Rios de Historia

Priscila Melo is also known as Carioca, and is a historian. She is a specialist in African and Black History in Brazil. Priscila is a teacher at the Technical Tour Guide Course Cieth. She is in love with the history of Rio de Janeiro. Priscila has already lectured in many institutions of great importance, such as the Nacional Historical Museum and the Copacabana Fort. Rita Pinheiro is known as Carioca aswell, She is an accountant and graduated in Tourism. Rita is responsible for the cultural projects in which Rios de Historia partners with private companies. Rita focuses on itineraries to develop still unknown areas of the city.

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Maracana Stadium M


aracana Stadium is one of the largest football stadiums in the world. It was the location of the World Cup Final of 1950 when Brazil lost to Uruguay before a crowd of two hundred thousand people. What is more impressive than the stadium itself is the enthusiasm of the Brazilian football fans.

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Copacabana Beach C

opacabana beach is one of the most famous beaches in Brazil. The nearly three kilometres of sandy beach looks out on the Guanabara Bay and offers a spectacular view of Sugarloaf Mountain. A fort at each end of the beach provides tourists with an opportunity to get to know a little more of the history of both the city of Rio de Janeiro and the country of Brazil.


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The Botanical Gardens E


ven for non-nature lovers, the gardens are a must-see in Rio. There are several paths fanning out from the main gate, each taking you to a different area with a contrasting theme. The Sensorial Garden and the Orquidรกrio should definitely be visited. This makes for a good outing on a cloudy day because the treetops protect you from any rain. Head out first thing in the morning so you can spend some time wandering around and enjoying the peacefulness before the crowds arrive.

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Cristo Redentor



risto Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) is the Brazilian name of the world famous Art Deco statue overlooking the city from the peak of mount Corcovado. Like no other of Rio’s many scenic attractions, the statue has come to represent the cultural identity of Rio de Janeiro. Two million tourists visit the Cristo Redentor year, awed by the breathtaking view from the platform by foot of the statue, 700 metres above sea level. All the wonders of the city can be contemplated within a single 360 sweep: The Sugar Loaf, the sand and surf of Copacabana and Ipanema and the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, the dense forests of the Serra da Tijuca Mountains, the Maracanã Stadium, Central Rio and the majestic Bay of Guanabara.

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Feira de São Cristovão



o call this market enormous does not really do it justice! With over 600 stalls showcasing the culture of the northeast, you will find food stalls (barracas) selling Bahian cuisine as well as beer and cachaca (cane liquor), which flow in great abundance here.  On the weekends you might catch live bands playing forro plus samba groups, MPB and capoeira circles.  In addition to food and drink you can find souvenirs, handicrafts, trinkets, etc.

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Rest of Brazil The Cathedral of Brasilia SOUTH AMEMRICA


he Cathedral of Brasilia is an amazing building, designed by Oscar Niemeyer. The Cathedral was completed in 1970 and became the seat for the archdiocese of Brazil. The building is considered to be the symbol of Brazil. It is constructed of 16 concrete pillars, each of them weighing 90 tons. The roof of the grand building is made of glass, so that there is an open view of the sky. Statues and sculptures also make the visitors hold their breath, so the Cathedral is definitely worth visiting! De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 479




antanal is a wide territory spreading in the central part of the continent in Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay, which is famous for its rich collection of ponds, rivers, small and bigger, which cross it and make it full with life. Different species find home among the breathtaking variety of rainforests, savannas and picturesque landscape. Especially in the rain season the place is full of life, but even in the dry season, there are still ponds which remain full of water and provide life for the countless animals, inhabiting this piece of paradise. Pantanal is a preferable destination for everybody who loves nature!

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The Ch

hapada Diamantina National Park E

verybody, who is keen on having an ecotourism tour in breathtaking beautiful nature has heard about The Chapada Diamantina National Park. This beautiful place covered with caves and strange rock formations, crystal water lakes and untouched green wildness attracts all adventure lovers and was declared a National Park in 1980. The exotic plants and various species make it absolutely fabulous and desired destination for everybody, who appreciates the variety and uniqueness of nature.


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Amazon Rainforest


he Amazon Rainforest is spread over several countries, but its biggest part is in the territory of Brazil – about 60% of The Amazon Jungle is there. Of course, the forest is to be admired for its special beauty and picturesque landscape, the species of flora and fauna, that can be found there and the special charm of nature, which is not destroyed by the human hand... Spread along the river, the rainforest provides views and experience that tourists will remember for life but having a journey there is an adventure for brave and courageous only!

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guazu Falls is also a place not to be missed, the falls are located on the border between Brazil and Argentina and their beauty makes them one of the most famous waterfalls in the world. The horseshoe shape of the falls, their height and the flow of almost 450,000 cubic meters water make them an attraction worth seeing. The beauty of the surrounding nature, the contrast between the white and blue thundering water on the green picturesque background, make the observer forget the time and just bow before this creation of nature! De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 483

Rios de História


Rios de História comes with the proposal of receptive care and tours for travellers interested in gathering knowledge, culture and history to their experience..


ur aim is to show a different side of Rio de Janeiro. Rio is already famous for its carnival, beautiful beaches and soccer but it’s also very rich in Portuguese and French historical influences. A city full of African and European mixtures, capital of the Portuguese colony, of the Empire and the Republic. Rio is the cultural capital of the country and that´s why Rios de Historia created very special tours. We offer tours based on Brazilian History. An African itinerary showing the influence of black culture in our city, visits to Petropolis, the Imperial City, a little piece of Germany just 70 km from Rio. A walking tour through the streets of Rio, where some corners take us to the beginning of the 20th century when our city was known as the Tropical Paris. Our guides are registered in the Ministry of Tourism and are trained to present the sites in an interesting, fun and above all, a Carioca way and are fluent in English, Spanish and French. All our services happen in partnership with companies who value quality and good service to their clients. Thus, all the events organized by Rios de Historia are well-marked by professionalism and the pursuit for outstanding services to all who come to our activities.

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For More Information And Reservations: Rios de Historia W: T: +55 21 3283 4583 E: De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 485


Peru A Historians Adven

linging to the Andes, between the parched coastal desert and the lush expanse of the Amazon rainforest, Peru offers such a diverse range of experiences that it can be difficult to choose between them.


Pachacamac Temple

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uilt by different leaders throughout the centuries and between the years 200 and 1450 AD, this religious compound is made entirely out of clay and houses the giant pyramids of the sun and moon. This comprehensive sightseeing tour will give you an insight on the culture, history and architecture of both the Inca and pre-Inca people.


Machu Picchu



or many visitors to Peru  and even  South America, a visit to the lost Inca city of Machu Picchu is the highlight of their trip. With its spectacular location, it’s the bestknown archaeological site on the continent. This awe-inspiring ancient city was never revealed to the conquering Spaniards and was virtually forgotten until the early part of the 20th century. In the high season from late May until early September, the maximum limit of 2500 people arrive daily. Despite this great tourist influx, the site manages to retain its air of grandeur and mystery, and is a must for all visitors. De Luxe Series / 2012 LuxuryTravelGuide / 487

Hiking the Colca Canyon I SOUTH AMEMRICA

t’s easy to book overnight trekking and/or sightseeing tours from Arequipa, Peru’s second largest city. The journey passes through remarkable volcano country, at heights  as high as 4,900 meters, before descending into the stunning, lush Colca Valley below.  There are several mountain villages in the valley but the most popular with tourists is the town of Chivay, celebrated for its natural hot springs and dramatic views.


hough Machu Picchu is the clear fan favourite when it comes to Incan archaeology, the Sacred Valley is a must for history buffs and cultural connoisseurs. Geographically, the Sacred Valley stretches along the Urubamba River from Pisac to Ollantaytambo. Aside from the ruins and archaeological sites, the region is well known for its remarkable landscapes and lush agriculture.

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Discover the Sacred V

Lake Titicaca W

orlds collide around Lake Titicaca. Here the desolate altiplano (Andean plateau) meets the storied peaks and fertile valleys of the Andes. Green, sun-dazed islands contrast with freezing dirt farms. Ancient agrarian communities live alongside the chaos of the international marketplace.


Valley of the Incas

For More Information On Visiting Peru Contact: Peru Tourism W: E:

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For more information contact us and a member of the marketing team will be able to assist

T: +44 (0) 121 270 9468 F: +44 (0) 121 345 0834 E: W: www. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------The Custard Factory - Gibb Street - Digbeth - Birmingham - B9 4AA - United Kingdom

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