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Issue 28 Summer/Autumn 2017


TEA TO SEA A Sri Lankan journey

SWITZERLAND The Top of Europe



Our Top 5

boutique Hotels

with Windstar & Silversea


Through the heart of Australia & the Scottish Highlands

CAMBODIA Living history in Siem Reap

hotels Over 10



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INTRODUCING SILVER MUSE – ARRIVING APRIL 2017 With less than 300 suites, Silver Muse will be the epitome of Silversea excellence. A small, intimate ship with uncompromised levels of service, comfort, design and accommodation, she will offer tailor-made experiences to last a lifetime. From tranquil niches and observation areas to an unprecedented spacious pool deck, outdoor lounges and three open-air restaurants, our tailor-made outdoor spaces have been conceived so that time spent aboard is most definitely, time well spent. Select from Mediterranean voyages of 11-14 days departing from April to August 2017.


Soak up the ambience and awardwinning gastronomic pedigree of what is surely the most comprehensive dining experience at sea. Eight superb restaurants mean more choice than ever while our unrivalled culinary excellence raises the bar in offshore dining.

INTRODUCING SILVER MUSE – ARRIVING APRIL 2017 With less than 300 suites, Silver Muse will be the epitome of Silversea excellence. A small, intimate ship with uncompromised levels of service, comfort, design and accommodation, she will offer tailor-made experiences to last a lifetime. From tranquil niches and observation areas to an unprecedented spacious pool deck, outdoor lounges and three open-air restaurants, our tailor-made outdoor spaces have been conceived so that time spent aboard is most definitely, time well spent. Select from Mediterranean voyages of 11-14 days departing from April to August 2017. And with Early Booking Savings of 10%, a luxury voyage with Silversea is even more irresistible.

Intimate Ship s Ocean-view Suites s Butler Service s Complimentary Beverages s Menu by Relais & Châteaux s Included Gratuities

For more information or to book, please see your Travel Professional, call Silversea on 0800 701 427 or visit Early Booking Savings apply, apply to new bookings made by the offer expiry date. Offer is only applicable on select 2017 Terms & Conditions visit voyages. Additional restrictions may apply. Visit for complete Terms & Conditions. 2 Your ultimate luxury and corporate travel resource.

EXPERIENCE SILVER MUSE IN ALL-INCLUSIVE LUXURY Soak up the ambience and award-winning gastronomic pedigree of what is surely the most comprehensive dining experience at sea. Eight superb restaurants mean more choice than ever while our unrivalled culinary excellence raises the bar in offshore dining.

BvlgariÂŽ Bath Amenities s PratesiÂŽ Fine Bed Linens s Spacious Walk-In Wardrobe s Pillow Menu s Complimentary WiFi

All renderings are intended as a general reference. Features, materials, finishes and layout may be different than shown.

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Editor’s Letter LUXURY magazine has reached a milestone – we’re 10 years of age. It’s hard to believe as we flick through issue #1 and take a moment to reflect on the destinations, hotels and journeys that we have shared in our pages over the past years. Luxury travel has changed somewhat over this time. Some of the significant changes we’ve observed have shaped the way we holiday. For example, the development of Private Island Resorts; the ultimate concept of ‘getting away from it all’, Eco Resorts; where environmental sustainability, local village immersion, conservation and organic produce are key highlights of the experience, Boutique Hotels; where eclectic themes come together with more intimacy than a large hotel but with just the right amount of privacy, Journeys by Train; this mode of travel has

LUXURY Holidays & Corporate Travel Cover image: Mystique Hotel Santorini Photo © George Fakaros

seen a resurgence as odysseys traversing epic landscapes provide a unique and reflective experience, Cruising; the rise of River Cruising to explore the world’s internal waterways, Expedition Cruising to discover remote places and wildlife and Large Ship Cruising where competition to offer the best, biggest and most adventurous onboard experience doesn’t seem to cease. One thing that is constant in the luxury travel sector is the drive to keep searching for new ways to explore ‘luxury’. For a purveyor of fine travel experiences, they hit the mark when they find subtle unexpected gestures that become hallmarks of their brand. It’s all in the detail. For the guest, it is all about appreciating these subtleties. So to this issue. We explore Angkor Wat, a source of inspiration and a pilgrim site for all. We journey to the manicured lush tea plantations of Sri Lanka, then to the country’s stunning coast. It’s then to Europe and the Swiss Alps, where we breathe in the pristine alpine air and marvel at the dramatic landscapes. We travel onboard The Ghan through the red heartland of Australia, taking in the amazing natural beauty and enjoying Outback hospitality. The Belmond Royal Scotsman takes us for another unforgettable journey by train through the Scottish Highlands in summer, which are adorned in masses of wild purple heather. We introduce Silversea’s newest ship Silver Muse, touch on the benefits of small ship cruising with APT and sail away with Windstar.

Publisher: Travel Publications Limited Editorial Director: Philip Harrison Phone: +64 21 477 514 Email: Editor: Melanie Hawkins Phone: +64 21 557 579 Email: Features & Advertising Enquiries: Janice Burmaz Phone: +64 21 630 257 Email: Contributors: Philip Tetley-Jones Janice Burmaz Stuart Walker Jackie O’Fee Toni Gillan Creative Director: James Rangihika Designer: Natalie Barlow

be just as much about the stay as it is about the destination. Enjoy the read and

Contact Details: PO Box 559, Shortland Street, Auckland 1140, New Zealand Phone: 0800 758 759 Website:

keep relishing in what the wonderful world of luxury travel has to offer.

ISSN: 1178-2382

Our Top 5 Boutique Hotels from around the world showcase how holidays can

Our preferred retail travel partner is YOU Travel.

Melanie Hawkins Editor, LUXURY Holidays & Corporate Travel


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Although we endeavour to provide the highest level of quality in our content, the views and opinions contained within this magazine have been obtained from independent sources, and Travel Publications Limited explicitly disclaims any responsibility for the accuracy, content or availability of the information.

We search for familiar flavours, to make you feel at home. A warm welcome. It’s that special feeling of sipping your favourite tea, served just the way you like it. It comes from the thought that goes into everything you taste and touch. Because we understand that there’s nothing as comforting as enjoying the things you love, without having to ask. It’s just one of the lengths we go to, to make you feel at home. Your ultimate luxury and corporate travel resource.



Thereare are many sides Islands Tahiti.. There many sides to to The The Islands ofof Tahiti Yetthey theyare are connected Yet allall connected by by Mana. Mana . Manaisisa a force that surrounds us. Mana lifelife force and and spiritspirit that surrounds us. Youcan cansee see Touch it. Taste You it. it. Touch it. Taste it. Feelit. it. Feel it. Andfrom from the moment arrive, you will And the moment you you arrive, you will understandwhy why our Islands understand wewe say say our Islands are are

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ToTodiscover discoverMana Manafor foryourself, yourself,visit visitTahiti

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28/10/16 10:06 AM

18 Cover Story 24

Top 5 Boutique Hotels

Features 18

Tea to Sea – A Sri Lankan Journey


Riding the Ghan

36 Living History – Siem Reap, Cambodia 40 Tahiti's Bora Bora 42

The Top of Europe, Switzerland


48 The St. Regis Macao, Macau 58 France on Waiheke Island 64 Sail Away with Windstar 70 The Art of Small Ship Cruising with APT 73

Chile's Best Destinations


Silver Muse takes on the World


Onboard the Belmond Royal Scotsman


In Every Issue 8 Review 11

Luxury Preview


Style File


Brand Insider – Singapore Airlines


Travel Accessories

96 Luxury Spa Finder

Property Reviews 54

Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong


QT Museum, Wellington


The Legian, Bali

88 QT Bondi, Sydney

42 73

90 The Ritz-Carlton, Bali 94 Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, Hawai'i

Airline Reviews 57

Singapore Airlines Premium Economy


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Review: Summer/Autumn 2017 Check out these great events happening over the next few months. Ranging from motor shows to some of the biggest international festivals, you’re sure to find something here of interest.

World Masters Games, New Zealand With more athletes than the Olympics, the World Masters Games is the single biggest multi-sport event on earth. In 2017, Auckland will play host to the Games, which are for everyone. Anyone can enter the 28 sport categories on offer. So whether you play to stay fit, to have fun or to win, you can compete in this 10-day festival or just enjoy the festivities. 21-30 April 2017

America’s Cup, Bermuda

Geneva International Motor Show, Switzerland

The British island nation of Bermuda will host the 35th America’s Cup presented by Louis Vuitton. Renowned for its crystal blue water and beautiful pink sand beaches, the world’s best sailors on the fastest boats will come together to battle for the oldest trophy in international sport, currently held by ORACLE TEAM USA.

From its first car exhibition in 1905, this Geneva International Motor Show has become one of the most influential shows of its kind. Visitors can expect to see new models of all types of cars, specially modified vehicles, accessories and much more. 9-19 March 2017

Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival, Ireland Pubs along the city’s Oyster Trail sell oysters by the thousands during the three-day culinary festival. Of course, an oyster’s decidedly salty nature only encourages the eater’s thirst, a remedy roundly suggested by participating pubs in the form of pint of Guinness. 22-24 September 2017

Annual Festivals There are many festivals around the world, here are some to diarise in 2017.


Italy Carnival of Venice (11-28 February)

Glastonbury, UK Glastonbury Performing Arts (21-25 June)

India Holi Festival of Colours (13 March)

Germany Oktoberfest (16 September - 3 October)

St Petersburg, Russia White Nights Festival (11 June - 2 July)

New Mexico, USA Albuquerque Balloon Festival (1-9 October)

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26 May - 27 June 2017


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Shop&Collect Waiheke Island wine is known for its premium quality and because it is not grown in bulk, there are selections at The Loop Duty Free NZ that are not readily available elsewhere. Waiheke produced wines can hold their own with some of the best in the world and The Loop Duty Free NZ is keen to make them as accessible as possible to visitors and Kiwi travellers alike by offering them at duty free prices.



This blend is dominated by deep press fractions of Cabernet Sauvignon and is reminiscent of a “Left Bank” Bordeaux-style wine. Optimum balance and character are achieved through the addition of free-run and press fractions of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot. Fine, dense tannins give this wine great structure and long-term ageing potential. The name Magna Praemia is latin for “great rewards”.

A proprietary blend of 8 varieties from a unique single site 100% coastal Waiheke Island vineyard. This is a wine of depth and complexity with an harmonious balance between power and elegance. Dark berry fruit, cedar, fresh tobacco, chocolate and spices combine to form layers of complexity that will unfurl for years to come. This is a solid wine with firm velvet like tannin structure and gorgeously long length of flavour. Drink: 2017-2030+ under correct cellar conditions.



From an exceptional year and selected area of the vineyard this wine carries the winemaker’s signature. The powerful, notably lush 2010 vintage was barrelmatured for 20 months. Dark, it is very bold, ripe and fruity, with concentrated blackcurrant, spice and liquorice flavours in a super-charged style.

Made in tiny quantities on Waiheke Island this drop has a completely different expression from the usual Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Plump and restrained in the mouth, no aggressive acidity, and further softened by the addition of Semillon.

CABLE BAY WAIHEKE ISLAND PINOT GRIS 2016 $40 This is a beautifully varietal Waiheke Island Pinot Gris, from a lovely cool vintage. Custard apple, golden plum, spiced poached pear and crumble aromas come together to form a delightful nose. The palate is light on its feet, mineral and long. It is outlined with grapefruit pith type phenolics, coupled with lovely fruit sweetness, which creates great overall balance.

On your next visit through Auckland International Airport, stop by The Loop Duty Free to browse our range of Waiheke Island wine. If you already have your flights booked, shop online today and collect when you fly:


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shop & collect at Auckland Airport

Luxury Preview Let’s go to Kokomo! The song ‘Kokomo’ was a massive hit for the Beach Boys many years ago. These days it

Qatar Airways adds Auckland to its network

stands for a sumptuous new resort set to open in March 2017 on a paradisiacal island in Fiji.

From 6 February 2017, New Zealanders

Kokomo will open with 21 spacious beachside pool villas, as well as a limited collection of

can take advantage of daily flights by

five-bedroom hilltop private residences. The resort is set on a 135-acre private island – one

one of the world’s leading airlines.

of 10 small tropical islands in Kadavu’s famous Astrolabe Reef. Guests arrive via the island’s

Connecting Auckland to more than

private floatplane or helicopter and enjoy all-inclusive stays, with luxury accommodations in

150 destinations worldwide, Qatar

traditional Fijian bures, spa experience and a variety of activities and water sports.

Airways will offer the convenience of

Promoted as a place 'where time doesn’t exist,' Kokomo does its best to live up to that promise with accommodations that are designed for privacy, comfort and relaxation. And

a one-stop route to Europe via Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar.

all come with their own private pool. You can choose from the owner’s residence located on the beachfront, one of the four luxury hilltop residences, elevated amidst tropical rainforest with striking views of the lagoon, or opt for one of the beachside villas. Featuring sustainable design and traditional Fijian nuances, your home at Kokomo is alive with both opulence and character.

Auckland to Doha will have the distinction of being one of the world’s longest duration commercial flights. There’s no need to change planes in Australia, or Asia – simply fly direct to the Middle East and take advantage of hundreds of onward connections. It’s great to see highly rated airlines such Dining is set to be a real highlight, with visiting chefs preparing menus that make the most of nature’s bounty. Look out for sustainably sourced produce in every meal – from organic fruit and vegetables, to locally sourced fish, shellfish and lean meats. All Kokomo’s produce

as Qatar Airways touching down in the New Zealand market – the world of travel is richer as a result.

is grown on the island or sourced from the surrounding waters or islands.

Pamper your pets at The Langham Sydney Now there’s no need to leave your four-legged friends behind when enjoying a stay at The Langham Sydney. Their Pampered Pets Program offers The Langham’s renowned 5-star service to fortunate animals, so they can revel in luxury most humans would find appealing. For $120 per night, your pet will enjoy their very own custom-made Langham plush bed, custom Langham food and water bowls and a bag of gourmet treats upon check-in. Petsitting and dog walking services are also available on request.

When you step onboard here’s what you can look forward to: a state-

Delicate dog and cat stomachs are catered to with a dedicated Pet Room Service Menu

of-the-art fleet, premium onboard

featuring dishes made from fresh produce and free from onion, garlic and acids. 'Lassie's

lounges and an award-winning crew

Favourite' – beef steak with chunky vegetables, is a popular dish amongst their canine

who will ensure you arrive relaxed

guests, with cats favouring 'Meow Meow' – grilled salmon with green beans, quail egg,

and ready at your end destination.

tuna, potatoes and olives. Oh là là!

Experience why they were voted

So if you’re keen to provide your pets with the very best treatment in Sydney, The Langham has things down pat. No wonder Johnny Depp was so eager to smuggle his canine companions into Australia.

World’s Best Airline by Skytrax 2015 and World’s Best Business Class by Skytrax 2016. Your ultimate luxury and corporate travel resource.


Luxury Preview You’ll feel like a VIP at Melbourne’s new QT If you’re planning a trip to Australia’s capital of style and culture, the new QT Melbourne hotel is set to offer a refreshing option for your stay. Located in the heart of the Melbourne CBD and only a short stroll to the Collins Street

Tourism boom drives growth at Chateau Marlborough A multi-million dollar expansion at Blenheim’s premier hotel has seen rooms nearly doubled. The Marlborough region’s stellar reputation for wine and food, combined with its landscapes and lifestyle attractions, means that demand is strong amongst luxuryseeking holidaymakers. There’s also an ongoing boom in the conference and corporate travel sector, leading to a high level of bookings.

shopping precinct, QT Melbourne brings a chic new designer landmark to the city’s cultural heartland. There’s a distinctly creative edge to its 188 guestrooms and exciting dining and bar experiences. The stunning building designed by acclaimed architect Angelo Candalepas with a striking façade comprising of varying features harmonises with Melbourne’s heritage, playing homage to its contemporary streetscape location. The design philosophy has an industrial feel, carried through in handcrafted steel, stone and timber. The effect is to create contrasting textures teamed with eclectic interiors of the guestrooms and hotel’s public spaces.

A three-storey wing was recently completed as part of the southern half of the hotel that adds 36 studios and suites to the complex. Chateau Marlborough Managing Director Brent Marshall said it was the biggest hotel expansion in Marlborough. The development of Marlborough Airport, the new ASB Theatre and growth in the Marlborough Convention Centre demanded more accommodation in Blenheim, Marshall said.

With newly inspired drinking and dining establishments, QT Melbourne aims to be a destination not only for guests but locals as well, through its different food and drink experiences. We never need much of an excuse for a Melbourne excursion, and the new QT provides one more reason to check out what’s new in Victoria’s vibrant capital.

Chateau Marlborough is one of only 10 5-star hotels in New Zealand, offering a

boutique selection of studios, suites and apartments, capped by the two-bedroom


Grande Penthouse.


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Luxury Preview The long-awaited opening of Helena Bay Lodge worthy of its stunningly beautiful setting. And now, with the opening of Helena Bay

A delicious change at Parkroyal Melbourne Airport

Lodge, that moment has arrived.

Most airport hotels are more focused

With over four kilometres of coastline, four private beaches and many intimate coves,

on functionality than luxury. However,

An enviable natural location in New Zealand’s Northland region deserves a luxury lodge

National Geographic magazine ranked the coastline second equal in its list of the world’s top-rated islands, coastlines and beaches. The Poor Knights Islands, which have been

the Parkroyal Melbourne adjacent to Tullamarine Airport has changed all that.

shortlisted as a UNESCO World Heritage site feature the world’s largest sea cave and are populated by orca, dolphins and hundreds of fish species.

It’s spotted a gap in the market for travellers who crave a more relaxing, nourishing experience. Their $20 Lounge & Swim package includes a 15% discount on food and beverages at the Airo bar plus three hours’ access to the hotel’s leisure Somewhat surprisingly, given the country’s reputation for gorgeous coastlines, Helena Bay

facilities including gym, heated indoor

Lodge is the only luxury lodge in New Zealand that’s situated on the beachfront. Ocean

pool, spa and sauna steam room.

fishing, diving, helicopters, hiking, riding, biking and farm tours are all available on the

There’s also free Wi-Fi in all areas.

property or directly offshore.

If you’re hungry for some real food after

When designing the Main House, styling ideas were taken from the early European

in-flight fare, the new menu at Airo

buildings such as The Treaty House in Waitangi, Pompallier Mission House in Russell and

offers locally sourced produce. Add a

the Stone Store in Kerikeri. Modern materials were used but the appearance is of a building

chilled beer or fine Aussie wine and

that could have been built a century ago. The base is clad in Northland sedimentary schist,

you’ll be perfectly placed to while away

sourced from a nearby quarry, which formed part of the ocean floor 30 million years ago.

a few hours before your next flight.

The Lodge hosts a maximum of five couples accommodated in five Villa Suites, which are named after New Zealand native birds. All the Villa Suites have extensive balconies with views overlooking Helena Bay beach and beyond to the South Pacific Ocean. Leica binoculars are provided to view the bird life and visiting whales and dolphins.

For an overnight stopover, we’ve found Parkroyal Melbourne Airport to be an excellent option for rest and recovery between long-haul journeys. It offers a direct connection to the airport via two pedestrian sky bridges linking the hotel Just 40-minutes from Auckland by helicopter, Helena Bay Lodge is sure to become a popular destination for local and overseas holidaymakers looking to experience something uniquely New Zealand and undeniably luxurious.

to both domestic and international terminals. Business travellers are very well served with 276 spacious rooms and a whole floor of meeting and event

rooms. Your ultimate luxury and corporate travel resource. 13

Luxury Preview The Langham Auckland takes the honours again

Tour the world by private jet

The New Zealand luxury hotel and

the world in a customised Boeing 777 sound?

resort sector has come along in leaps and bounds in recent years. With fierce competition in the category it’s always interesting to see which property takes

Want to see the world in luxury, but pressed for time? How does the prospect of touring

Crystal AirCruises has put together a boutique collection of global tours, lasting from 15 to 29 days, using the ultimate form of luxury travel. Travel by private jet to fascinating lands in different continents, crafting your own bespoke itineraries in each destination.

top prize in the annual HM Awards.

There are seven global journeys to choose from, taking in every location from Bora Bora

That’s why winning the supreme award

to Bordeaux. Imagine touching down in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles before

is such a feather in the cap of The

traversing the Pacific to Tokyo and sampling the best of Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong,

Langham Auckland.

Manila and Bangkok. Then head to Paris for a complete change of scene – and perhaps dinner in a Michelin-starred restaurant to conclude your adventure. Travelling is a luxurious experience in itself, as you leave boarding passes and airport lounges behind, and embrace a world of luxury. The Crystal AirCruises jet offers expansive spaces for dining, a full-service bar, lie-flat beds, superb cuisine and the personalised services of their expert Crystal Skye Butlers.

Managing Director Franz Mascarenhas is delighted the hotel has been acknowledged as the Best New Zealand Hotel for a second time, having also won this award in 2013. “In addition to our luxurious facilities, the award is a testament to the individual effort every one of our over 400 staff contribute to exceeding our guest’s expectations and creating great

The piece de resistance might just be the private on-board wine cellar. It’s often said

memories,” says Mr Mascarenhas.

that the human palate tends to be blunted by the effects of travelling in a pressurised air cabin, but we’d be willing to test that hypothesis in an exclusive sampling of the finest French vintages en-route to the Taj Mahal or Maldives.

A brilliant new option at Auckland Airport One of Singapore’s hottest hotel groups is moving into the Auckland market with the imminent opening of the Naumi Auckland Airport Hotel in 2017. The Langham Auckland provides timeless style that balances European heritage with elements of New Zealand’s natural beauty. As one of New Zealand’s largest hotels, it embodies a celebration of classic luxury and quiet comfort, offering 409 spacious rooms and suites.


The group's vision is to consistently engage today's discerning traveller in a warm sanctuary of comfort with a stylish design concept, whilst showcasing architectural and design philosophies reflective of city hotels. Each Naumi establishment aims to represent the highest standard of hospitality that is passionate, enthusiastic and intuitive. This translates into exclusive boutique properties that blend up-to-the-minute design with a tranquil, intimate ambience. Naumi’s new Auckland Airport property encompasses quiet gardens with 193 spacious rooms with private patios and over 500sqm of event space. Well-worth investigating when you want the convenience of an airport location in an environment that’s inspirational rather than simply functional.

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An epic rail journey through the heart of Australia

Platinum Service on board The Ghan and Indian Pacific offer guests the most luxurious transcontinental holiday Australia has to offer. Boasting deluxe extras such as Platinum Transfers, in-cabin breakfasts and access to the Platinum Club Lounge and Restaurant, Platinum Service promises and delivers a journey beyond expectations.

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Celebrating 10 years of




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A place of spellbinding, natural sights and immense cultural significance


Evoke romantic images of ancient cultures and exotic treasures

MOROCCO ★ ALICE SPRINGS ★ BORNEO Your in-depth discovery

Dubai A unique visit to, quite possibly, the best hotel in the world.


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South Pacific

LAS VEGAS ★ SYDNEY ★ FIJI Your in-depth discovery


We rate the best the world has to offer

We take a closer look at three of our favourite destinations


The most luxurious seven night getaways

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In this issue, we cover Fiji and Aitutaki

Visit unique wineries and take a guided tour of everything great in this stunning region


The ultimate boutique luxury break

RUSSIA ★ PERU ★ GALAPAGOS Your in-depth discovery


Is Air NZ’s Business Class as good as they say?


Your guide to the top 7 spas in Los Angeles



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Issue 6 Summer 2007/2008

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Issue 7 Autumn 2008

hoLidAYs & coRpoR Ate tR AveL

Tahiti Luxury in Tahiti like you’ve never seen before

AsiA stopoveRs

The beautiful Italia of yesteryear


Eat your way across The Bay with our in-depth review of the culinary capital of America


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chef At 35,000 feet

The Insider scoop on the cuisine served in private jets by renowned chef, Peter Thornley


A foodies’ four day exploration through the culinary delights

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Twice the fun, twice the style

Discover why Phuket is known for it’s stunning luxury resorts we review three of the best


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new YoRk, new YoRk


The insider’s guide to our three city visit

san francisco

A glimpse of life on the other side

The only guide you’ll ever need

24 hoURs in


We island hop around the Southern Croatian Islands

off The beaTen TRack in indonesia


An intrepid Indonesian voyage aboard the luxury yacht, Ombak Putih


Pack smart, travel light and look great

We take you to the newest hidden gem in the current ‘hot spot’ of the South Pacific

A cRUise Like no otheR

12 things you must see

The 7 secReTs of TRaveLLing LighT


We showcase the two hottest for your Europe Trip



hoLidaYs & coRpoR aTe TR aveL

An Asian destination with a unique and unlikely twist

The hot new cruising destination

Surrender to the shimmering hallucination that is Las Vegas

Issue 8 Winter 2008



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The changing face of


Heating it Up in Spain A colourful contrast of siestas and fiestas

back to baLi - paRt ii


We take a closer look at the chic modern resorts of Seminyak and Jimbaran Bay

Five intriguing side trips


MeLBoURne SHopping SpRee

Luxury lodges and epicurean escapes

The Australasian mecca for the fashion conscious

QaNtas aiRbUs a380

YaSawaS, FiJi

Step aboard the new star of the skies

We review the famed Yasawa Island Resort & Spa

cLose to hoMe

a RooM Like no otHeR

Queenstown and Waiheke Island turn on the style

What does $17k a night get you?


Australia CAMBODIA The welcoming people among a showcase of inspiring artefacts

SAN FRANCISCO From Michelin star to market place, discover the Bay’s gourmet secrets

COOK ISLANDS What you didn’t know about this tropical 15-island archipelago

TOP 5 TENTED CAMPS If you love being outdoors but still like your creature comforts, then this is for you


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All its gourmet secrets revealed at the famous Melbourne Food & Wine Festival

Explore this unlikely blend of dense rainforest plunging into the Pacific Ocean in Australia’s Tropical North Queenland

Hawai‘i claims to be like no other place on earth - we find out

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our two-part series starts with an escape to Ubud – Bali’s most idyllic setting

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Ski Resorts Our top five picks. Plus, a look into luxury ski resort creators, Zacamoco

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Top 5


architecturally impressive and visually desirable - you’ll be seduced


Detox your body and de-stress your mind



This is the Land of the Thunder Dragon, a tiny Buddhist country squashed between India and Tibet


CRUISING THE KIMBERLEY Small-ship luxury cruising at its best

ROTORUA A thriving culture and home to some of the world’s most beautiful lakes and scenery - and it’s right here


CRUISE THE MED There’s no better way to see the Mediterranean in just two weeks


An archipelago of sun-drenched islands scattered like diamonds on a backdrop of blue satin


Likuliku Lagoon Resort reviewed

The festival’s almost here - highlights inside

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FasciNatiNG JordaN

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Exploring the ancient majestic ruins of Petra and exotic spice trails

A sneak peak at some state-of-the-art award winning properties

iNdiaN MaharaJa

solo iN italy

Journey by rail through this captivating sub-continent

Savour the tourist spots without the crowds


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VEGAS – thE rEAl dEAl

Traditional Berber hospitality accompanies deliciously sweet baklava

Outlandish and extraordinary – we test drive the city that never sleeps



We meander through the Luberon and perch above the cliffs of Ronda

Relish in eclectic cuisine and eccentric architecture

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We explore the highest hotel in the world – find out how it stacks up

Las Vegas We take you on a journey beyond the casinos



Lush getaway on the Andaman Sea

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AUstRALiAn isLAnd EscApEs


Marvel at some truly remarkable national treasures

Relinquish the ‘rat race’ for some chill-out island time

Be whisked along in luxury through the picturesque Malay Peninsula

RomAntic EURopE

top tRAVEL Apps



Enticing and seductive – Paris, Venice and the Amalfi Coast

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Old world character meets cutting-edge, modern design

Walk the ancient paths once travelled by the Aboriginal people


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Here’s our top five from around the world

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A melting pot of cultures – the spice of life

Fiji’s best bures We reviewed them all – back by popular demand

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The Mediterranean, Continental Europe, Baltic Sea, Alaska, Caribbean, South Pacific & Expedition Cruises



Diamonds in the rough


Heart & seoul

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Where cultural immersion and a vibrant city scene blend together

Korean Air review

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Exploring the salt fields, lagoons & stunning hot springs of Atacama

Snowy havens from around the world

Cambodia, Vietnam, Arabian Gulf, Mississippi River & Beyond


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From fried chicken and waffles to country music and cowboys

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WINDS OF CHANGE Aboard one of the World’s Most Luxurious Sailing Ships



Chuan Spa at The Langham

YASAWAS Fiji’s best kept secret

LIQUID ELEGANCE The art of Cognac, We sample France’s finest

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A TASTE OF ISTANBUL Set off into a back-street tour of this dynamic city

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TAHITI CRUISING In 3 distinctly different ways

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LONDON'S COOLEST NEW HOTELS Anything but traditional

WHITE SAND WHITE WEDDING Tying the knot in Fiji


KAREN WALKER searches for a new fragrance and finds La Colombe d'Or

MARRAKESH Vibrantly colourful

5-STAR BOUTIQUE CRUISING Sophisticated yet uniquely elegant



Lush getaway on the Andaman Sea

The unlikely mix of urban relaxed ambience with down-to-earth Fiji style


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tea to sea A Sri Lankan journey

During a recent visit to Sri Lanka, I was to discover there is a lot more to the story of tea. I had never really appreciated the passion and ethics behind producing a fine tea and the real story about the people who live and work on the tea plantations. We travel east from the coastal city of Colombo to the

Among the hills of the Bogawantalawa region in the

Central Highlands of the Nuwara Eliya. The road is winding

Dimbula district (known as The Golden Valley), delicately

and our chauffeur artfully weaves his way through the

flavoured 'high growns' flourish – the crème de la crème of

small towns and narrow roads with little or no room to

Ceylon teas. Nestled amongst the tea bushes is Dunkeld,

pass the relentless convoy of trucks and buses going about

a 1920’s restored bungalow, which was an original Estate

their daily travels.

Manager’s residence, overlooking the century old tea

With a short lunch break along the way and a welcome chance to stretch our legs, our Tea Trails driver points to an old swing bridge over a river near Kitugala where they filmed the 1957, World War II epic, ‘Bridge Over River Kwai’.


factory of the same name. The factory and estate is one of many owned by the Fernando family. At an altitude of 1250 metres, there are five bungalows scattered throughout this beautiful tea country, all linked by plantation tea trails. This is the home of Dilmah Tea – one

After five hours we reach Ceylon Tea Trails, part of

of the world’s most popular tea brands – and Tea Trails –

Resplendent Ceylon, a group offering small luxury resorts

the world’s first luxury tea resort. Each of the bungalows

throughout Sri Lanka.

at Tea Trails has been masterfully refurbished, combining

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Story: Janice Burmaz

modern day luxury and comfort, whilst retaining its contemporary style and rich heritage. Dunkeld’s 270° vista spans a manicured landscape of lush green tea plants to the shores of a reservoir at Lake Castlereagh. Guests of Tea Trails Norwood Bungalow are ferried across the lake to join the tea factory tour at Dunkeld, taking a more leisurely kayak on their way back. Lake Castlereagh serves as the perfect landing strip for the regular floatplane service that connects Tea Trails with Colombo and Cape Weligama Resort – 30-40 minutes by air versus 5-6 hours by car. Groomed gardens surround the bungalow, a playground for two cheeky little Palm Squirrels running up and down a massive overhanging Flame tree. The rooms are more than generous to take a large four poster bed, elegantly draped in white nets. A bathroom

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almost as big as the main room with

or known as a barking deer. Breakfast

double sinks and mirrors on opposite

beckons, a generous plate of banana,

sides of an old Victoria & Albert claw foot

mango, passion fruit, strawberries and

bath. After a traditional afternoon cream

grapes, freshly baked bread and pastries

tea to die for, a popular ritual is to indulge

accompanied by homemade preserves. A

oneself in a deep immersion hot bath

Sri Lankan style omelette is served with a

soak of cinnamon salts – heavenly.

side of poached tomato, with lashings of

Our local Sinhalese butler, Dayshan

Dilmah English Breakfast tea.

and Chef Gaylan both meet to make

A short ride down the hill, we are

suggestions for dinner – western fare

introduced to Malan who guides us

dishes or traditional Sri Lankan style

through the Dunkeld Tea Factory. We

classics inspired by tea to be served on the

learn all about the management of the tea

front veranda. We can request whatever

plantation, to the art of tea processing and

we would like Chef to prepare or simply

tasting. We observe how Dilmah’s Single

leave it up to him – really!

Origin Tea is carefully plucked by hand

After a divine dinner and dessert, large

in the field, weighed, withered, rolled,

pots of tea are poured (the home brand

fermented and baked ready for packing,

Dilmah’s Norwood Estate and a Green

all within 24 hours of picking so that its

Tea with Jasmine). The final formality of

freshness, flavour and quality are never

the evening 'what time would we like

compromised. Like wine, tea has its own

our morning bed tea delivered?' sets

unique vocabulary, describing the leaf as

the scene for our short yet indulgent

being attractive, chesty, stylish or neat,

stay at Tea Trails. The following morning

and the taste of the liquor – autumnal, full

we take a brisk walk amongst the tea

body, brisk, wild or bakey. We finish our

plantation. As temple music resonates

tea education with a fresh brew of tea,

across the valley, we spot a small deer

leaving Tea Trails with our new knowledge

grazing between the rows, a Red Muntjac

from the tea plant to the teapot.


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Dunkeld Bungalow bedroom

Cream tea at Tientsin Bungalow

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Summerville Bungalow lawn

Cape Weligama


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Grand Ocean View Villa

Next, we head south down country to

We had the pleasure of dining with Merrill

Cape Weligama Resort, also owned by

Fernando (‘Mr Dilmah’) and his son Malik

the Fernando family. The jungle highway

in Colombo. During the evening Merrill said

winds its way past temples and towns.

to us, “we branched out into hospitality

We observe wildlife and waterfalls, cross

because we wanted to share our experience

paddy fields and whizz through busy

and knowledge of tea with people from

coastal towns. In stark contrast to Ceylon

around the world who wanted to come

Tea Trails, yet every bit impressive, we

here for a luxury stay.” However, nothing

arrive at the resort, which is perfectly sited

about the service at Cape Weligama or Tea

on Sri Lanka's southern coast, overlooking

Trails appears to be by accident, definitely

the Indian Ocean with panoramic views.

by design. Both resorts are members of

The sea is warm, the surf is up. The resort is ideal for swimming, body boarding and surfing. Spread over 12 acres, the resort has been cleverly designed in keeping with the landscape. Premier Ocean View

the prestigious Relais & Châteaux. It’s a gourmet luxury experience; a high level of service, and of course afternoon High Tea is served daily at Cape Weligama too, in true Dilmah tradition.

Villas and Suites are set amongst the

I came to Sri Lanka in search of a tea story

privacy of well-manicured gardens, with

and discovered so much more. I left with

private swimming pools. There are four

a newly formed appreciation of tea and

gourmet restaurants, a spa, gym, beach

an understanding that in the ethos of the

club and a 60m crescent shape infinity

Dilmah business, ‘it is a matter of human

pool. The Fernando’s admit that their core

service, run by the people for the people’.

business has always been tea and refer to

Merrill said to me during our conversation,

themselves as ‘accidental hoteliers’ – but

“I like to put back more than I take out,

with just as much passion as they have for

helping others less fortunate makes me

their tea brands.

happy.” Happiness in a cup.

Tip: If you prefer not to endure the scenic drive into Tea Trails, you can book a floatplane or helicopter from Colombo, but you must do this in advance. Also, the scenic floatplane transfer between Tea Trails and Cape Weligama is just 30 minutes. Venture out on a cycle tour visiting ancient temples, through villages and paddy fields of Cape Weligama, or take a cruise on Weligama’s Whale Safari.

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Our Top 5 Boutique hotels

Boutique hotels are ideal for travellers who are wanting a unique and personalised holiday. In contrast to large hotel brands, boutique hotels will distinguish themselves by providing guests with a more individualised and bespoke experience, generally through the setting, ambience, attention to detail and staff-guest interactions. They are often design-led in their theming, style and furnishings, with no compromise on technology. Since the 1980s, the world has seen a flourish of boutique hotels ranging from boho to rustic to uber chic. Here, we showcase our top five luxury picks.


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Amanyara Villa 10 Master Bedroom

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The Lombok Lodge Lombok, Indonesia A short 30 minute flight from Bali is the idyllic haven of The Lombok Lodge. Overlooking the beautiful Medana Bay, the nine suites offer stunning views of Mount Rinjani, Lombok’s famous volcano and the highest mountain in Indonesia. The Gili Islands are easily accessible for Scuba diving and day cruising. The suites are cool, spacious and furnished in coconut-white, greys and creams and either have direct access or are easily accessible to the 25-metre infinity pool. Resident musicians serenade guests every night, as they are treated to the island’s finest cuisine. There are several dining options to choose from, including private BBQs, the exclusive ‘Rijsttafel’ Indonesian Experience and an all-day breakfast menu so as to not rush guests in the morning and make them feel completely relaxed.

Domaine des Andéols Luberon Region, France In a beautiful Provençal setting, on an estate surrounded by bountiful olive groves and shimmering lavender fields, this boutique hotel is a fulfilment of the two owners’ long-standing dream. Each of the 19 villas have been impeccably decorated by theme, inspired by passions and travels. Original modern art, furniture and sculpture are also a feature with over 250 pieces throughout the property. Built from sandy dry-stone, the hotel’s inviting infinity pool looks out over sculpture-filled gardens to the calming countryside vista. Dine under foliage of the majestic centenary tree at La Platane, one of two restaurants on the property that use produce harvested from the extensive orchard, vegetable and herb gardens. Take time to roam throughout the vast acreage past tranquil pools and fountains, glorious gardens and niches of shade beneath Aleppo pines and Lebanon cedars. It will be easy to feel as if you’ve escaped to paradise. (A Design Hotel™)


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Above image: The Lombok Lodge bathroom This image: Amanyara Right image: The Lombok Lodge Poolside Suite

Top left, right and below image: Domaine des Andéols Nature Suites; Maison Blanche; Swimming Pool Images courtesy of Design Hotels™

Amanyara Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands Located between lush parkland vegetation and the turquoise waters of the Caribbean are the timbershingled private pavilions and villas of Amanyara. Each is designed to maximise indoor-outdoor flow with the largest housing six bedrooms. Tranquillity and serenity are foremost with a number of reflection pools throughout the beautiful grounds. Postcard views and an 800m stretch of white power-soft sand flowing into clear, warm waters is on the resort’s doorstep. The wonders of the 27km reef that runs the length of the island beckons – hawksbill turtles, humpback whales and hundreds of migratory bird species are frequent visitors to these waters. Cuisine has a focus around freshly caught seafood – from red snapper to tuna and grouper, complemented by organic produce from the resort’s aquaponic vegetable garden. Aman resorts are known for their impeccable attention to detail and that includes their spa, where one-of-a-kind treatments make for an indulgent state of bliss.

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Zash Country Boutique Hotel Sicily, Italy Set in the natural surrounds of a former winery is an old manor house overlooking Mount Etna and the Ionic sea. The 10 guestrooms can be found across three locations; within a Restored Wine Cellar, where crisp white walls and soft furnishings contrast with volcanic stonework; In The Green, where over-sized glass doors bring the garden and fragrant orange trees seemingly indoors; and in the Manor House itself, where elements of history merge seamlessly with contemporary style. Dining occurs in the old wine chamber, where they say time slows down in order to appreciate the surrounds and the culinary creations that highly acclaimed Chef Raciti and his team produce. Zash comes complete with a wellness Spa that incorporates into its treatments the flow of the cool Mediterranean waters and the energy from the volcanic rock surrounds. There’s plenty to explore beyond the hotel, however sometimes appreciating ‘just being’ is what is most required to recharge. (A Design Hotel™)

This image: Zash Country Boutique Hotel Restaurant 28 page: YourBoth ultimate corporate travel Opposite In Theluxury Green and Room Images courtesy of Design Hotels™


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Mystique Hotel Allure Suite

Mystique Hotel Santorini, Greece Situated in the cliffs of Santorini’s southernmost town of Oia, is a Luxury Collection Hotel comprised of 36 sleek suites and three villas. All open out to panoramic sea-facing terraces or balconies with relaxing daybeds. There is no shortage of the stunning views that Santorini is famous for. With smooth white stone interiors and accents of natural wood, the accommodations are a haven of relaxation with the added bonus of some suites featuring a private plunge or infinity pool. With five dining options, guests can make the most of exquisite outdoor dining, soaking up the views as they change from day into night. Cocktails while watching the setting sun are mandatory at this location. Wander through the hilltop town of Oia and find interesting boutiques or explore the island where you’ll discover wineries, a unique microbrewery and multicoloured beaches that flow into the Agean sea. (A Luxury Collection Hotel)


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Your ultimate luxury andMystique corporate travel resource. 31 Hotel ASEA Restaurant & Lounge Photos Š George Fakaros

Riding the Ghan This is one transcontinental travel adventure that rates highly on the ‘must do’ list.

Most of the well-known transcontinental train trips such as the Orient Express run East to West or vice/versa. Whereas The Ghan either starts or terminates in the Tropical City of Darwin and traverses the vast continent of Australia to the southern city of Adelaide. This complete north to south connection was only completed some 12 years ago when The Ghan terminated in the iconic desert town of Alice Springs – still an epic journey in its own right. We chose to fly into Darwin on a Tuesday afternoon in preparation for an early morning pick up and 9am check in the following day. Our three day journey would see us in Adelaide for Friday lunch, culminating in a relaxing weekend exploring the environs of Adelaide along with some fine dining and excellent wines that the South Australian region is famous for. It is difficult at first to grasp the sheer size of our train – stretching nearly 1km along the track and encompassing 40 coaches, restaurant and service cars, hauled by two large diesel electric locomotives. The heat shimmers off the silver alloy carriages, with the morning temperature already rising to a very warm thirty degrees. Boarding is eagerly anticipated by passengers who are waiting to embark in Platinum or Gold Service. The boarding process is orderly and efficient and we are greeted by our cabin steward with a very hearty Australian smile and “how’s it going”. Our Platinum cabin is spacious and inviting, the large tinted windows afford wide panoramic views from both sides of the train. Our daytime cabin lounge layout is generous, with soft earthy tone furnishings that match a rich wood panelled finishing. Complete with an en suite, it’s very well-appointed for our hotel room on wheels. Our train departs on time heading south. We soon pick up speed to around 110km/hour on our epic three thousand kilometre, transcontinental adventure.


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Story: Stuart Walker

Time for a morning coffee and a nibble

were the rightful owners and guardians of

of freshly baked pastries from the galley

Nitmiluk, the park was then gifted to the

kitchen as we traverse a varied landscape

people of the nation.

of wide open ranch land, muddy creeks and large orchards of various tropical fruits such as oranges and lychees.

We spend nearly two hours exploring the river run canyons learning about the fauna and wildlife, including some alligator

Our ‘Queen Adelaide’ Restaurant car –

spotting. Our native Aboriginal guides

soon to become our second home, is

explain the spiritual nature of the gorge

a combination of traditional saloon car

and its importance in Aborigine mythology,

styling, but with modern clean lines, large

the ‘dream state’ and local taboos.

open viewing windows and an obvious focal point that brings fellow travellers and our enthusiastic young hosts together.

We return to our train in time for a welcome shower and freshen up before dinner as we depart on the next leg of our journey.

Time passes quickly and already there is

Dinner is a gourmet experience worthy of

healthy banter between fellow travellers

any five star Restaurant and features exotic

excited about the journey ahead and our

dishes of crocodile sausage, barramundi,

second coffee melts into lunch time, our

water buffalo and fine Australia wines, as

first of many gastronomic treats.

we ride south to a setting sun of glowing

Barely four hours into our journey,

orange and brown hues over dusty lands.

our train gently pulls into the town

As our train rides into the night, well-

of Katherine, a truly iconic Northern

fed and pleasantly tired after our day’s

outback town for the first of our off train

activities, we retire to our cabin that has

adventures. We’re off to visit the historic

now been transformed into a sleeping

Nitmiluk Gorge formed over 23 million

oasis complete with a night cap of your

years ago and now part of 300,000

chosen desire. Travelling on trains is one

hectare national park. After a historic

thing – sleeping in luxury as your train

and lengthy land settlement in 1989 that

journeys over the tracks to new places

clearly proved that the Aboriginal people

as it gently rocks you to sleep is heavenly.

Nitmiluk Gorge


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Day two dawns as we rise early to catch

We still have some 1,560kms to travel

Day three dawns – after another

the desert sunrise as we head south

southbound as our train pulls out of

wonderful night’s sleep – we have around

with a scheduled midday arrival in Alice

Alice Springs in the early afternoon. With

400km left to run into Adelaide for an

Springs, another key Australian outback

total indulgence we ask our steward to

11.30am arrival. The wide open desert

town made famous by author, Nevil

reconfigure our cabin – our double bed

and scrub landscape has given way to

Shute’s novel ‘A town called Alice’.

viewing platform soon gives way to a

arable farming although not immune

totally decadent afternoon of slumber

from summer droughts, we also pass

as our train, like a giant silver leviathan,

through important industrial areas, such

relentlessly winds its way south across

as Port Augusta, showing clear evidence

scrubby desert and dried up river beds.

of Australia’s vast mineral wealth.

1929 this led to a regular Adelaide to

Refreshed and ready for another gourmet

Guests gather for morning coffee to

Alice passenger train service dubbed

dinner, we are treated once again to a

share our ‘over the tracks’ experience,

‘The Afghan Express’, or ‘The Ghan’.

truly Australia fare of ‘pickled yabbies’

swap stories and plan future adventures

and ‘kangaroo steak’ – our chefs only too

– with the sea now on our right side we

Alice Springs was a key staging point when the first telegraph lines were laid from south to north and with the establishment of a rail head in 1926, by

Our train has a three hour scheduled

modest as they excel themselves once again.

skirt the great ‘Australian Bite’.

variety of outback adventures including

Around 9.30pm our train pulls into

As we pull into Adelaide it becomes

camel riding, four-wheel drive excursions

‘Manguri Siding’, not far from the legendary

and scenic helicopter flights. We opt for

mining outpost of Coober Pedy – in the

the latter with a breath-taking scenic flight

best tradition of a surprise party unveiling,

over Simpsons Gap and surrounding areas

all the blinds on the train have been closed.

that affords a whole new perspective on

As we disembark the train we are greeted

the vast expanse of Australia’s interior.

by a roaring bonfire, hot chocolate, hot

Camel riding is also very popular as our

toddies and sweat treats laid out on tables.

fellow guests attest, and somewhat

We spend an hour of incredible stargazing

symbolic given than the ‘Ghan’ gets

in the totally clear desert sky – even the

its name from the original Afghanistan

rings of Jupiter are visible through one of

cameleers that travelled through the vast

the power telescopes that have been setup

Australian outback.

especially for the occasion.

stopover to enable guests to sample a

very clear to us that we could dispel any myths about The Ghan being just a dusty train trip across the desert. This would have to be one of the best transcontinental adventures, in total luxury and gourmet dining style, with that wonderful sense of being one’s own captive, to indulge in a good book, relax or enjoy a restful afternoon slumber – and of course dream of the next adventure.

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Living history Siem Reap, Cambodia

To think, mine and millions of other eyes have looked at and felt the compelling history of the temples of Angkor Wat; its epic scale of engineering and vast reservoirs.


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Story: Toni Gillan

We are in Siem Reap, Kingdom of Cambodia, laid back and lounging with our feet up in our tuk tuk taking in the 60 minute sunset temple circuit. I've done this before and it is unforgettable. We quieten as the sun begins its slide towards the horizon, filtering light amongst the dense trees. The shadows deepen as we drift by these intimate monuments, enigmatic carvings, imposing gates and silent walls. Even though darkness falls as we conclude our ride, I say I want to go around again to contemplate on those impressions and just feel it all. Of course we don't but that’s what Angkor does to you. It's a source of inspiration and a pilgrim site for all, bearing in mind this is the world’s largest religious building. Tomorrow is our second to last day. Five days here and we left the best till last, but it's a mistake to think you've done it all, because there is always more to see. Yes, start with Angkor Wat if this is your first visit. Best to get it done simply because it's a must on anyone's bucket list. It's hot here so many people do the sunrise over Angkor but really you are spoilt for choice. Get a guide and however long you last out there – hours or days – you must immediately follow it up by going directly to Angkor National Museum with its brain cooling air conditioning. So much information has been imparted out there and in here it will all meld into perspective. The museum should be part and parcel of the temple experience. Outside for ancient beauty, visual appreciation and pure reverence. Inside for an enlivened sense of it all, guaranteeing you a deeper meaningful understanding of the Khmer empire, its history and culture. Don't let your guide just drop you off there – keep them close. Do this and it will set you free from temple gazing. Live and relax into the now with a clear conscious. The reward of taking my advice is discovering the interconnecting. By that I mean straight through from the National Museum is the brand new T Galleria. The DFS Group have just opened their latest store right next door. Defining destination travel shopping as ‘an oasis of luxury’, they boast a curated selection of hand crafted artisan products but this is alongside some 130 international brands spread across a massive 86,000 square feet. It's a duty free department store with a difference and you seem to be able to open and use your purchases immediately. The Artisans d’Angkor complex outside the T Galleria is a socially conscious business aimed at revitalising traditional crafts. If you are shopping for a cause, I have heard about a new creative journey worth investigating. Cambodian artist and interior designer Lim Theam is a Khmer refugee who spent his childhood in France. He returned in 1994 and over the last fifteen years has helped revive the Cambodian craft sector working at Artisans d’Angkor. His new project, Theam's Atelier & Artist’s Studio involves training apprentices in a mixture of arts and crafts using his French, Western and Asian influences, while he paints his own works. So inspired, I bought two pieces from him.

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We're staying at the serene and minimal Shinta Mani, a Bill Bensley theatrically designed masterpiece. So many individual divine artworks to admire and wonder over; such artistic creativity. Our uniquely styled rooms are elegant and modern, with all the amenities you would expect. The ever-smiling staff always courteous and exceptionally attentive with chilled towels ready to refresh. Every morning on the way to breakfast we pass the flower girls serenely preparing and folding Lotus flowers. The leaves of the lotus are completely dirt and water repellent, which has led to its reputation as a symbol of purity and enlightenment. I’m reminded of the Confucian saying, "I love the lotus because, while growing from mud it is unstained.” It’s always hot and humid here. But they’ve got it covered by installing a long, narrow salt pool. It’s cold and takes a bit of getting into but certainly cools you down. The poolside bar is also helpful serving delicious chill-down drinks along with little courtesy snacks, and if you lie there on your sun lounger long enough, a complimentary massage. If you want to stay in their in-house dining is unquestionably worth it. Their chefs serve up local and international dishes and we particularly enjoyed their Cambodian tasting menu. You could never venture forth if you felt like it in this haven. As its green (rainy) season we sadly missed the ‘Well Made in Cambodia’ weekend market and street fair, held in front of the hotel. Internationally recognised artisans, designers and street performers participate in this up-market outlet to showcase their talents. Trained in Paris, Eric Raisina, is a Siem Reap based Malagasy fashion designer and courtier. Famous for his silk fur, I have one of his light, feather ruffled hand-made silk scarves, and armed with an order for two more, visit his boutique shop a short walk from the hotel. As much as I try on, nothing fits me regards form-fitting dresses and ball gowns but my partner happily buys a purple polka dotted silk shirt.


Deluxe Club Room

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Temple town with its spoilt for choice heavenly spas,

your food. Magic, magic, magic. It's not a big place, so email

massages and beauty treatments has some of the brightest

your reservation ahead if time is short.

chefs in Cambodia and I cannot exclaim enough about the food at Cuisine Wat Damnak, rated one of the best in the Asian culinary scene.

Two other places I would recommend on the fly are Haven, which trains disadvantaged young adults into jobs as many restaurateurs do, and a tiny down to earth, out of the way

Chef-owner, Jonannès Rivière mixes Khmer culinary

vegetarian place owned by a burnt out Michelin star chef

traditions, using hyper-available seasonal produce, and draws

that serves divine food (recommended by the owner of

upon French techniques to celebrate them. They feature two tasting menus of five or six courses for US$24-$28 each,

Haven). It's called The Veg G table cafe.

which changes fortnightly. We both enjoyed their signature

This is my third visit to Siem Reap. As such, I was interested

cocktail made with rum, kaffir lime zest, fresh lemon basil

that archaeologists recently revealed using laser technology,

and mint, palm sugar and soda water as we simply admire

the presence of vast underground medieval cities buried

the menu. If visiting only once, order both menus and try

in the jungle. This again brings Cambodia, which is a poor

each other's dishes. Dishes like "Sanday fish grilled in a

land of plenty with such natural beauty, world centre stage.

banana leaf with holy basil, Cambodian green giant eggplant,

In the past decade there has been much foreign investment

burnt garlic and wild mangosteen condiment" and "fresh

especially in the Tourism and the Gourmet sectors here in

pomelo with lime meringue and sorbet, candied pomelo

Siem Reap. Alongside artists, intellectuals, entrepreneurs

skin curd" are on this one. So is “stuffed frog, Mekong Langoustine, water lily and elephant heart stems”, “Tonle Sap croaker fish, coconut tree heart”. Most are served with

and with the help of many aid organisations, Cambodians are being helped to embrace the 21st Century.

home-made sauces, clear broths and emulsions. Chef also

Shinta Mani says Open Doors, Open Hearts. I would add the

finds time to talk to each guest and often personally serves

words Living History.

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Bora Bora What is there not to love about Tahiti? Gorgeous tropical isles, picturesque lagoons, lush green vegetation and the graceful Polynesian culture with French savoir faire has made Tahiti a destination most dream of. Bora Bora is just one of the islands in this beautiful archipelago. Here we highlight a few places to stay.

The Brando Eco Chic Owned by Marlon Brando, this boutique resort of just 35 villas on Tetiaroa atoll offers luxury in an environmentally sustainable setting. The resort is 100% energy independent and sustains a large organic fruit orchard and vegetable garden. Polynesian-style villas are equipped with modern amenities and private plunge pool. But nature is the real star attraction, with easy access to the white sand beaches and sparkling waters of the lagoon. The beaches are often visited by sea turtles, manta rays and rare birds. Access is by Air Tetiaroa, which operates daily 20-minute flights from Papeete. Check flight times directly with the airline.

Conrad Bora Bora Nui Stunning setting Making the most of its natural setting is the Conrad Bora Bora Nui (previously Hilton Bora Bora Nui). A beautifully designed arrangement of garden rooms, hillside and overwater villas, this resort is one of the most famous in the Pacific. Countless celebrities have stayed here over the years, many of them reserving the two-storey Presidential Villa. Soaring Mount Otemanu becomes the backdrop to the hotel when approached from the water and the villas enjoy stunning views of the lagoon and beyond. Access is a 20-minute boat ride. The Conrad is now taking reservations for stays starting April 1 2017.


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Maeva Bienvenue Welcome. T A H I T I



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The Top of Europe

Switzerland Our train departs from the small alpine tourist village of Zermatt and climbs effortlessly up 10kms of rack railway to the top of the Gornergrat. On reaching our destination at 10,500 feet, we step out to a 360ยบ panorama like no other, so unreal it looks like a painting and literally breathtaking as we climb to the observation point in the fresh thin alpine air.


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Story: Janice Burmaz

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Dragon ride over Lake Lucerne

Each day we discovered picturesque alpine towns, cascading glaciers spilling down from snowy peaks, lush green meadows, magnificent viaducts, glacial river beds and jade coloured lakes, weaving our way through long serpentine tunnels – such mesmerising scenery that left us in awe. The Swiss rail network is testament to a visionary country that designed and constructed a vast railway network in harsh conditions. By the late 18th century, engineers and hardworking labourers picked their way through mountainsides by hand, letting nothing get in their way. Travelling from France to Switzerland by fast train is made easy, connecting through Strasbourg and Basel, then on to Interlaken, a bustling tourist town nestled between lakes Thun and Brienz. This may sound like a long and tiresome day but to the contrary – travelling in first class, our connections were all in sync and the journey mostly scenic – arriving at our destination quite relaxed. We based ourselves at Hotel Interlaken, one of the smaller hotels that has been smartly modernised but in keeping with its old world character and charm. It has a fascinating history of travelling pilgrims, monks and nuns dating back to the late middle-ages. From our hotel, a short walk to East Station to start our daily alpine excursions to the Oberland and Jungfrau region. We are blessed with beautiful clear skies as we embark on our adventure to the ‘Top of Europe’. This dramatic train ride, weaves its way up the various valleys to the alpine railway junction at Kleine Scheidegg for the final assault on the Eiger. The last leg is simply incredible as our train literally climbs up inside the mountain, stopping midway to reveal a viewing platform sequestered into the very face of the Eiger. Our train then delivers us to what resembles a large space station, the Sphinx Observatorium at 3,573 metres. Access tunnels lead out to an alpine playground, where there is snow 365 days of the year. A perfect opportunity to sit back on a comfy deck chair, whilst soaking up the sun with a hot toddy and marvelling at the view – after all we are now on the ‘Top of Europe’.

Lunch is booked at the ‘VIS-À-VIS’ restaurant, where our friendly Maître d’ ushers us to our reservation on the sun terrace. We are soon sipping on Moët and mopping up a traditional cheese fondue whilst continuing to marvel at the spectacular view of the majestic Matterhorn and surrounding mountains. This was to be one of many unforgettable alpine locations we discovered during our eight-day tour of Switzerland. Exploring Switzerland in the middle of a European summer turned out to be the most epic of adventures. Inspired by The Grand Train Tour of Switzerland, we designed our own itinerary, with a First Class Swiss Travel Pass in hand, waving it around like a magical golden ticket from station to station. This all-in-one ticket gave us the freedom to hop on and off trains, boats and mountain railways, as well as offering generous discounts at many of the national museums.


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Lucerne Bern







St Moritz



Opposite page: Town of Thun; Mäennlichen mountain region This page: Glacier Express crossing the Landwasser viaduct

From the Kleine Scheidegg we opt for an alternative

(45 degrees) Funicular to the Harder Kulm restaurant for a

route down via the small car-less village of Wengen,

sunset dinner overlooking the Oberland Valley – made all the

with a pleasant side trip up to the Männlichen summit

more spectacular by a passing electrical storm.

of Grinderwald. Time for a refreshing Weizenbier on a restaurant terrace overlooking lush green alpine meadows

A ‘must do’ on our itinerary is the Glacier Express, a scenic

listening to the chorus of cow bells ringing as they stroll past

rail journey that operates between Zermatt and St. Moritz.

us on their way to milking.

After a restful stay at Mont Cervin Palace, we embark on an impressive stretch of rail, traversing 291 bridges and 91

The following day using our Swiss Travel Pass once again, connecting to the impressive steam hauled cog railway of the Brienz Rothorn Bahn. The views across Lake Brienz and towards the Jungfrau are sensational and our afternoon is rounded off with a leisurely cruise across the lake (included in our Swiss Travel Pass) back to Interlaken.

tunnels. Large curved panoramic windows allow us to take in the magnificence of the alpine country whilst enjoying first class table service, a niçoise salad and a glass of wine as we cruise along the tracks. After an 8.5 hour journey, St. Moritz slides into view. We have booked a lake view room at Hotel Kulm, the beautifully eccentric décor and

With a now insatiable appetite for heights, directly out

grand entranceway sweep us off our feet. Time to freshen

the front doors of our hotel, we ascend the near vertical

up before a sumptuous fine dining experience at the

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Grand Restaurant for some classic haute

romantic old town of Lucerne and the

cuisine. Kulm is quite the jewel in the

historic river bridges and abutments,

swish town of St. Moritz, which is home

a ‘to do’ on our list is a day trip to the

base to the famous Cresta Run first

summit of Rigi, known as ‘Queen of The

established in 1884 and host of the

Mountains’ on yet another marvel of

Swiss Travel Flex Pass allows

2017 World Ski Championships.

Swiss engineering as this rack railway

unlimited First Class travel within

(steep grade) climbs to a panoramic

Switzerland. The benefits are

summit of nearly 5,900 feet.

undeniably worthwhile. Follow

As an aside, the Glacier Express to St. Moritz used to climb its way over

About Swiss Travel Flex Pass

The Grand Train Tour or chose

the Furka Pass from Oberwald to Realp.

On our final day of departure we walk

This route became impassable during

your own routes – hop on and off

from the front doors of Schweizerhof,

winter snow so a bypass tunnel was built

anywhere you like.

across the bridge to the train platform;

in the 1980’s so that it could operate

at precisely 8:54am our express train slips

year round. Today the Furka Pass railway

quietly out of Lucerne as we begin to

survives as a steam hauled summer tourist attraction with all the charm and appeal of rail travel from a bygone era. Our final Swiss destination is Lucerne via Chur staying at the Hotel Schweizerhof, famous for its long and rich history, and just a 200 metre walk from the station and the old town with views out over Lake Lucerne. Apart from exploring the

The Pass offers discounts of between 25-50% on many side journeys and in some cases are

track our way back to London.

included for free.

This was such an amazing travel

adventure, having the freedom to

explore such a warm and welcoming country, oozing with charm and scenes of grandeur – you could say “we have been Swissed!” #inlovewithswitzerland

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Pearlmaster The Pearlmaster is Rolex’s crowning jewellery watch. Featuring the softly curved lines of the Pearlmaster design, it is characterised by uniquely rich dials and exquisite gem settings of diamonds, sapphires or rubies and available only in 18 ct yellow, white or Everose gold made by Rolex in its own foundry.


The Watchmaking Tour Switzerland is synonymous with watchmaking and its watches are world-renowned. Amongst the rolling hills of Jura is the home of the famous

Ballon Bleu De Cartier Floating like a balloon and as blue as the cabochon safely nestled in its side, the Ballon Bleu watch by Cartier adds a dash of elegance to male and female wrists alike. Roman numerals are guided on their path by a deep blue winding mechanism. With the convex curves of the case, guilloché dial, sword-shaped hands, and polished or satin-finish links of the bracelet... The Ballon Bleu watch by Cartier floats through the world of Cartier watchmaking.

$23,400 Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona

Swiss watches. The scenic 3-hour round trip

The Yacht-Master is revered for its casual yet purposeful

of Jura by rail will take you through space and

allure. The large hour markers and broad hands are reserved

time to places most famous for watch-making, Neuchâtel and La Chaux-de-Fonds where there is the International Museum of Horology (the world’s largest watch and clock making museum),

for Professional models and remain extremely readable in all situations. The Yacht-Master is at home on deck on the open sea as well as on land in an elegant yacht club lounge.


to Saignelégier, Biel and the beautifully restored old town of Delémont.


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Extensive range of premium Swiss made watches available at Partridge Jewellers. Visit:

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The St.Regis Macao Cotai Central, Macau Luxury accommodation comes in many forms. There are intimate boutique hotels that trade on their quirky individuality. There are time-honoured institutions, redolent of heritage and history. There are futuristic resorts, discreet hideaways and nature-friendly eco-lodges. And not to be overlooked, there are the grand hotels of the world.

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Luxury accommodation comes in many forms. There are intimate boutique hotels that trade on their quirky individuality. There are time-honoured institutions, redolent of heritage and history. There are futuristic resorts, discreet hideaways and nature-friendly eco-lodges. And not to be overlooked, there are the grand hotels of the world. These are the places to stay when true, untrammelled luxury is your overriding objective. Heirs to the grand traditions of hospitality, using this to craft an experience where nothing is too much trouble. Simply check in and enjoy the opulence. In this rarefied world, few brands can deliver an experience like St. Regis. Its heritage stretches back to the first St. Regis hotel, which was opened in New York City over a century ago by John Jacob Astor IV. Combining classic sophistication with a modern sensibility, the St. Regis brand has established itself in many of the best addresses around the world, from Aspen to Abu Dhabi. The brand has built a serious reputation in Asia, but until 2015, it was missing from one of the region’s most exciting cities – Macau. No longer. The long-awaited opening of The St. Regis Macao, Cotai Central in December 2015 means that visitors to this stimulating city can now stay in the ultimate luxury hotel on the world-famous Cotai Strip. Join us now for a virtual tour.


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The people behind St. Regis understand that first impressions matter. A lot of thought and artistic inspiration – not to mention money – has gone into the vision that greets you when you first approach The St. Regis Macao. Located in one of the four graceful towers of the Sands Cotai Central complex that rise above the Cotai Strip, the initial impression is awe-inspiring. But that’s only the beginning. The magnificent bas-relief works of art that frame the grand façade of The St. Regis Macao have their own story to tell. Two main panels, each measuring 9.82 metres high and 16.10 metres wide are complemented by eight vertical pieces. Each of the larger panels was crafted from over 40 tonnes of clay and the final masterpieces comprise a combined 50 plates, each weighing 800 kilograms. The creator of these large-scale yet intricate works of art is Portuguese artist, Gil Araujo who drew inspiration from seascape watercolours by the 18th century English artist George Chinnery. Araujo further interpreted the location of The St. Regis Macao at the heart of the Cotai Strip – a reclaimed isthmus which was once the seawaters surrounding Macau – to weave a nautical theme through the frontage of the hotel. The panel on the left of the entrance is an artistic representation of Green Island fronted by three Chinese junks while the right

Curved blown glass chandelier artwork in main lobby

interprets Chinnery’s painting of Praia Grande, a historic port and the dock district of Macau. The vertical flanking pieces may appear to be identical wave motifs, however upon close inspection, you will realise that each panel is a carefully thoughtthrough composition, each one as different to its neighbour as night is to day. It is the magic of light that brings to life the artistry behind these bas-relief sculptures. In his design process, Araujo had to produce just the right depths and angles to perfectly capture natural sunlight while working with strategic illumination at night to play up shadow patterns and add a seductive new dimension to his creations. The artistry continues inside. Above the grand staircase resides a curved blown glass chandelier in shades of amber, bronze, and gold, mimicking ship sails billowing in the wind. Each of the glass rods was crafted in a gold infused glass resembling that of the twisted rope nautical riggings. The structure of the lighting frame, finished in satin bronze detailing, is reminiscent of the ship riggings that once filled the ports of Macau. This nautical theme is fantastically appropriate for the location, as the city of Macau represents a fusion of south Chinese and Portuguese maritime history. A Portuguese trading enclave for 450 years, the City returned to full Chinese control in the late

1990s, and has been comprehensively redeveloped without losing its unique combination of Iberian and Asian influences. Now let’s take a peek inside the suites and guestrooms. The St. Regis Macao has 400 of them, ranging from 53 to 477 square metres, and all furnished with immaculate taste. If budget is no option, we recommend the Presidential Suite, which exemplifies refined living, complete with beautifully crafted oriental-inspired furnishings and captivating views of the Cotai Strip. The epitome of ornamental opulence, this expansive suite features three bedrooms including an exquisitely appointed master bedroom, four bathrooms, separate spacious living and dining areas that comfortably accommodate up to 10 guests, plus a private Entertainment Room. Macau is a fantastic dining destination, with the best in Asian and Iberian influences waiting to be sampled in the city’s many restaurants. So it’s not surprising that The St. Regis Macao should boast an array of excellent bars and restaurants. There’s The Manor, serving exquisite delicacies from around the world, such as Miyazaki wagyu beef and live Australian lobsters. Offering private wine tastings, Decanter Bar provides a sophisticated take on the post-modern bar, offering a selection of rare and storied vintages.

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After dinner and drinks you might feel the need to refresh and rejuvenate. Head for the 38th floor, and step into Macau’s highest spa – the Iridium Spa. Enjoy sweeping views of the Cotai Strip as you prepare for your treatment, with Iridium’s signature scents of violet and iris enveloping your senses. But as every traveller knows, great rooms, bars, spas and restaurants are just the part of the scenery. It’s how the hotel delivers its signature service that really sets the leaders apart from the also-rans. And it’s here that St. Regis has a secret weapon – the St. Regis Butler Service. The St. Regis Butler Service is offered to all hotel guests 24-hour daily. No request is too unattainable or too small to fulfil. If a guest asks for a bowl of exotic fruits to be delivered at midnight, the Butler will gather fresh fruits from the market, or even fly in fruit from around the world to make sure the request is fulfilled. Behind the polished and professional service of the Butler team, is Head Butler, Tony Sharp. With over 30 years of experience, Tony has acquired a vast range of expertise across the breadth of the service industry, having worked in casinos, hotels and resorts, and the private and diplomatic residences of some of the world’s foremost figures. As Head Butler, Tony is responsible for establishing and training his team to the highest standard. He developed the training programs, and wrote all the comprehensive resort and residential service manuals.


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Decanter Metropolitan Bar Suite Living Room

“Nothing delights me more than exceeding guests’ expectations, while maintaining a level of discretion and thoughtfulness based on English traditions of Butler service, which are rarely seen today,” says Tony. “It is this level of service that sets the St. Regis apart and entices our guests to return time and time again.” At LUXURY, we are committed fans of Macau. Just 15 minutes by helicopter or 90 minutes by ferry from Hong Kong International Airport, this fascinating city offers a great alternative gateway to China, or alternatively, as a refreshing stopover on a long-haul journey to or from Europe. The St. Regis Macao is superbly located on the dazzling Cotai Strip to take in all the delights of its location – including over 650 designer boutiques, exceptional cuisine and a huge range of nightlife and family-friendly entertainment. You’ll never be short of things to do in Macau. But if you want to simply rest up and enjoy the ultimate level of opulence, we can’t recommend The St. Regis Macao highly enough.

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Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong

For many people, the key to a great hotel is ‘Location, location, location.’ For others it’s ‘Service, service, service.’ Rare is the property that excels in both categories while also outperforming the world’s best in the quality of its fit-out. However, Hong Kong’s famous Mandarin Oriental manages to score highly on all these fronts, and add a dash of heritage as well.

Its location in the heart of Hong Kong is one of the keys to the

Instead of being deposited in the foyer, we were taken straight

hotel’s success. As one of the world’s great trading cities, Hong

to our suite for an in-room check-in. This is the kind of touch

Kong has been attracting visitors for centuries, resulting in a

that makes life immeasurably better for travellers, and it was

very competitive hospitality and accommodation sector. Over 50

certainly appreciated by our little group. Warm, gracious service

years after it first opened, the Mandarin Oriental has built and

that seems almost psychic in pre-empting one’s needs – this is

maintained a stellar reputation at the top of the tree, making

the mark of a true luxury brand.

the most of its sensational location overlooking Victoria Harbour.

We were staying in one of the signature suites – a Harbour View

This is a luxurious oasis in the heart of bustling mega city,

Suite. Delightfully spacious at 72 square metres, it included a

perfectly placed to restore your energies after a long day’s

marble foyer leading into the lounge with rich wood-panelled

international travel or a determined assault on shopping and bars

walls and silk-upholstered inserts. This décor added a lovely

or nearby Lan Kwai Fong. My experience certainly bore this out.

warmth to the space as well as a nod at the hotel’s Asian heritage.

Our family party arrived fresh (if that’s the word) off a long-haul

The suite’s fit-out was subtly sumptuous in classic Mandarin

flight. We were met at the airport and driven by one of the hotel’s

Oriental style. For instance the master bedroom is furnished

fleet of Tesla vehicles directly to the hotel. It was the perfect start

with opulent Jim Thompson ruby red silk wall coverings, rich

to a relaxing stay – and that was just the beginning.

Chinese Elm timber panelling and elegant designer light fittings.


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This image: Restaurant Pierre From top right: Captain's Bar; Indoor Spa Swimming Pool with underwater sound system; Harbour View Suite Bathroom

Smart, one-touch mood lighting throughout the suite helps create the perfect ambience. The bathroom deserves its own review – it’s that good. The size of a typical Hong Kong hotel room, it is immaculately finished in marble with a supersized free-standing tub taking pride of place so you can soak in comfort while enjoying grandstand views of the harbour. In addition, there are separate his and hers spaces, a glass-walled double-sized shower with multiple nozzles, and yet more harbour views. The complimentary Bottega Veneta toiletries were appreciated too. If I had to sum it up, I’d describe this bathroom as equivalent in quality to a high-class spa facility. Such attention to detail speaks well of Mandarin Oriental standards – and these were also apparent in the hotel’s in-house spa. A luxurious retreat spread over three floors, with décor reminiscent of 1930s Shanghai, it offers a chance to reset

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Mandarin Oriental at a glance

tired bodies after a long journey and begin

modern French cuisine in a breathtaking

a personalised journey towards optimum

environment. Also worth a visit for its

health. Guests are invited to arrive

atmosphere and a cold beer or cocktail is

45-minutes before their appointment

the legendary Captain’s Bar. A Hong Kong

time to make the most of the spa’s heat

institution for over 50 years, it’s the sort

and water facilities, which soothe muscles

of place where locals drop in after work

and loosen limbs to prepare the body

and mingle with the international set –

for a deep therapeutic experience. I also

and sometimes end up staying all night.

enjoyed the superb indoor swimming pool

If only the walls could talk…

with its current jet system, video wall, mood lighting, underwater sound system and electrical sunblind.

Harbour View Suite

Category: Luxury City Hotel. Suite reviewed: Harbour View Suite. What’s great: The pedigree of this hotel and its grandstand location. Also like the boutique size giving a sense of exclusivity, and the service is as you would expect – faultless. What’s not so great: No Club Lounge. Editor’s tip: Pay extra for a room or suite facing the magnificent harbour. Book lunch at Man Wah, their Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant on the top floor for the stunning Cantonese cuisine. A cocktail and taking in some live jazz at the Captains Bar is a must – a Hong Kong institution for decades.

Throughout our stay, life was made immeasurably easier by the services of an expert concierge. This hotel understands

Is it possible to eat badly in Hong Kong?

that a busy city calls for an expert guide,

I guess it’s a theoretical possibility, but

so it offers its superb concierge services to

rather unlikely, given the city’s status as

guests. Having someone on call to attend

one of the world’s most food-obsessed

to our needs and arrange whatever we

cities. All this is by way of saying that

needed was hugely beneficial.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong has some very real competition if it’s to keep guests in-house rather than exploring the city’s many inspirational restaurants.

In my opinion the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong has all the attributes of a great city hotel. Discreetly luxurious, with a multigenerational heritage of hospitality, it

The hotel meets this challenge with

makes the most of its superlative location

aplomb, with nine superb restaurants,

by personalising your stay. Hong Kong is

bars and cafés on offer. It would take a

endlessly stimulating, so sometimes you

longer stay to work through them all,

just need a luxurious retreat in order to

but I was particularly impressed with

recover your energy and set you up for

the food at Pierre on the 25th floor. This

the next day. I can’t think of a better place

stunning two-Michelin starred restaurant

to do so than at this hotel.

offers Pierre Gagnaire’s outstanding

Rate: From NZ$770 to NZ$1626 per night for a Harbour View Suite. Website: hongkong

Location Suite size Suite interior Overall service level Food & beverage Hotel pool Business needs Spa facilities Value for money

Discreetly luxurious, with a multi-generational heritage of hospitality. 56 Your ultimate luxury and corporate travel resource.

Singapore Airlines Premium Economy The facts

Singapore Airlines Premium Economy Review The gap between Business and Economy class has become a whole lot smaller thanks to Singapore Airlines. This is an airline that has listened to customer feedback and successfully combined elements between the two classes, which I believe has hit the ‘sweet spot’ in premium passenger service. Their new improved Premium Economy seat offers Business Class style benefits but without the expense of a Business Class ticket, which is exactly what the market has been waiting for. On a recent return flight to Singapore,

Everything about the new Premium seat

I experienced first-hand an airline’s

is designed for comfort – upsized, large

Plane: 777-300ER.

commitment to improving passenger

pillows, oversized fluffy blanket, larger

comfort and service while at the same

than usual TV screen, a set of high quality

Cabin: Premium Economy configuration 2 + 4 + 2.

time managing to fit four seat classes

Phitek noise cancelling headphones

onboard one aircraft. The benefits start

and one of those nice bendy adjustable

way before you step onboard. Priority

reading lights, but that’s not all. I

check-in along with privileges such as

follow Mr. Bean’s lead and make myself

fine French Champagne and extra dining

comfortable. After all, I could eat, drink

options almost sounds too good to be

and a couple of movies later, I decide to

true I know, but I can assure you that

set myself up for sleep mode. With plenty

it isn’t. On entering their designated premium cabin, the 2-4-2 configuration is very smart looking with the airline’s signature bright orange accent colour and soft grey tones. The smell of the leather seats immediately made me feel like I am a priority passenger.

out of the way, I stow away the table and plug my mobile device into a very

Route: Auckland to Singapore.

convenient USB plug (one of two provided on each seat) to recharge my devices (in flight mode of course). Then my final visit to the bathroom (amenity kit provided) and turn in. I like this seat configuration as it certainly makes for easy access especially

Economy Class really stand out. Added

when other passengers are sleeping.

increased seat pitch allowing more personal space with extra room to stretch out, which for me is a must on any long haul flight. I am seated in the middle set of four seats – next to me a very tall guy, due to his height, had obviously chosen an aisle seat. After take-off, I observed the tall guy who wasted no time adjusting his seat back and headrest, then out popped the

Entertainment: Great selection on the 13.3” (33.7cm) touch screen monitor with noise cancelling headphones. Baggage allowance: Priority baggage with a 35kg allowance.

of storage space and everything tucked

The differences between Premium and seat comfort with an extra-large seat,

Seat: Seat pitch 38” (96.5cm), seat width 19.5” (49.5cm), recline 8” (20.3cm) lie-flat seat.

The menu offering is on an executive level with high quality meals and great selections, you can even order your meal prior to flying by choosing from ‘Book The Cook’ online. A fabulous drinks list that includes Ernest Rapeneau French Champagne. Premium cabin service is

Flight time: Approx. 10 hours.

prioritised; meals are served around the

Price: Return Premium Economy Airfare (as at February 2017) NZ$2,304.

same time as Business Class passengers, which left me feeling quite smitten in my premium seat.

Highlight: The comfortable seat and I loved the Ernest Rapeneau Champagne – a nice touch.

calf and foot-rest, enabling him to really

Comparing the difference between the

stretch out. Looking very pleased with

cost of this seat and one in Economy

himself and the end result – the perfect

Class, for the extra cost (from NZ$400,

length and fit, he let out a funny grunt of

Auckland - Singapore return), this

content. It reminded me very much of a

product is definitely value for money,

Tip: Check if ‘Book The Cook’ is available on your flight. I was able to pre-select on the return flight from Singapore. It’s a great service with slightly more menu choices.

Mr. Bean skit. Where was teddy?

more like a business offering to me.


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Story: Philip Tetley-Jones

France on Waiheke Island Devotees of fine wine will tell you it’s all about terroir: the combination of topography, geology and climate that comes together in a particular vineyard and yields itself to the skills of the winemaker. The Old World is rich with traditions of

Indian Summers that put a mild stress

approach Luc has taken to developing

winemaking that exalt the unique nature

onto the vines, which is very good for

vineyards that generate unique and

of vintages from a particular patch of

quality. Its clay soils and often steeply

characterful wines.

earth. Here in New Zealand we don’t have

sloped vineyards resulting from the

the same history of understanding what

extremely varied topography of the island

the right combination of landscape and

offer a broad range of varietal options to

grapes is capable of. But we’re learning.

the winemaker.”

Just ask Kiwi winemaker Luc Desbonnets

What adds weight to Luc’s observation is

perched above the glistening waters of the

his track record on Waiheke. Since 2005

Hauraki Gulf and has several tiny parcels of

he has had 21 of all the 23 red wines he

grapes planted upon it to suit its specific

of Frenchmans Hill Estate on Waiheke Island in the Hauraki Gulf.

“In 2006 we developed three incredible and distinct coastal sites here on Waiheke – Te Rere, Expatrius and my own Frenchmans Hill Estate. Each site is

has made rated as exceptional by Wine

topography and soil profile. The result is a

“Waiheke Island is a well defined and

Advocate publications using the Robert

total of nine wines coming from 14 parcels

unique land mass,” he says. “It has a very

Parker 100-point wine rating system.

of vines in total for each vintage. They are

distinct maritime climate with long dry

This level of success is a tribute to the

not only great winegrowing sites but they


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Winemaker, Luc Desbonnets

are each stunningly beautiful so we feel very privileged.� Luc honed his approach to winemaking during a seven-year apprenticeship in the land of his forbears. Seven vintages in the Rhône Valley, Burgundy and Bordeaux opened his eyes to the possibilities of small vineyards tended with care in a range of precisely chosen locations. With such role models in front of him, Luc decided to emphasise quality and individuality rather than quantity and standardisation when producing his own wines.

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Such an approach is ideal for an area such as Waiheke Island

Adding to the vinous appeal is Waiheke’s growing popularity

where property values are high and tourism competes with other

on the luxury travel circuit. Celebrities and well-heeled

land uses to push prices up. You have to think very carefully

holidaymakers from around the world have discovered the

about the best use for each plot of ground.

beauty of this sunny island just 40 minutes from downtown

“I focus intensely on the expression of individual vineyard sites.

Auckland. Many now spend a few idyllic days there – and a lucky

We view ourselves as specialist growers of unique wines that

few even get to stay at Luc’s boutique cottage amongst the olive

we planted on specific sites. We know which segment of

trees overlooking the Putiki estuary at Frenchmans Hill Estate.

each parcel of vines goes into which wine. We have rigidly adopted the protocols of the French grand cru wines where grape yields are strictly limited and wines are produced from single sites only.” This unrelenting focus on quality is now paying dividends, with premium outlets such as The Loop Duty Free stocking the exclusive range of Frenchmans Hill Wines. Loop General Manager

It’s not unknown for visitors to discover the quality of the local wines on an island tour. What better souvenir of a happy holiday than a bottle of Frenchmans Hill Estate picked up from The Loop Duty Free store on their homeward journey? There’s a pleasing irony to all this – one that will appeal to wine lovers and luxury holidaymakers alike. To create great wine, the

Tom Byrne is a big fan.

vines need to experience a little stress. The same dry climate that

“Waiheke wine is known for its premium quality and because

wines to work harder.

make Waiheke summers so relaxing also forces the island’s grape

it is not grown in bulk, many of the brands we stock, such as Frenchmans Hill Estate are not readily available elsewhere. Wines

The result is great fruit, which becomes superlative wine in the

such as Luc’s can hold their own with some of the best in the world

hands of a master winemaker such as Luc Desbonnets. Keep that

and we are keen to make them as accessible as possible to visitors

in mind next time you sip a sumptuous red with Waiheke Island

and Kiwi travellers alike by offering them at duty-free prices.”

on the label.


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QT Museum Wellington

There’s a new brand of hotel establishing itself in

New Zealand, one that has excited many travellers throughout Australia. The brand is QT Hotels & Resorts, synonymous for creativity and a contemporary style of experiential hospitality. LUXURY magazine has had the pleasure of experiencing locations in Sydney, Gold Coast and Bondi before visiting the Wellington newcomer. Each hotel has its own unique signature style of décor, inspired by the city in which it resides, focusing on the hotel experience, great food with attention to detail and service. It has become a hot favourite on our list of places to stay – always fun and memorable.

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We were super excited about QT’s latest

The renowned Hippopotamus

acquisition, a well established iconic,

Restaurant and Cocktail Bar has

hotel, previously known to some as the

undergone a soft refurbish, out with

Museum Arts Hotel or ‘Hotel de Wheels’.

the starched white tablecloths and

Located but a stone’s throw away from

in with plush velvets and bright print

Te Papa Museum and the downtown

furnishings, adding another level of

shopping area, in a remarkable feat of

gorgeousness to the already funky

engineering in 1993, the building was

and luxurious look of this fine

relocated to this site from 180 metres

dining restaurant.

up the road. As part of the artsy hotels evolution and the beginning of a new chapter, it has acquired the new name ‘QT Museum Wellington’. Museum Arts Hotel art lovers need not be concerned however, as the hotel’s core charm remains the same.

Dining at Hippopotamus is a delightful affair; the restaurant received a global award for Dilmah’s High Tea Challenge in 2015. The Hippopotamus High Tea is a delicious selection of hand crafted sweet and savoury amuse-bouches, petit fours and tiny sandwiches on

QT has contributed to the look by

tiered stands, floral teapots of tea

adding more quirk and chic styling

served in china cups. For a touch of

along with the hotel’s existing collection

elegance, choose a glass of Champagne

of fine contemporary art. We feel

or a cocktail. The dinner experience

that this is quite an exceptional

is an extravagant culinary exhibition

hotel experience.

of food, art and theatre. In keeping

Private dining


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QT Museum Wellington at a glance

Executive Suite

Category: City Hotel. Suite reviewed: Executive Suite. What’s great: We loved the artsy theme of the hotel. The dinner and High Tea at Hippopotamus was outstanding. What’s not so great: There was no view from our suite and a bit of a trek to get from the apartment side to the restaurant but hey, it’s well-worth the walk, looking at all the amazing artwork on display. Editor’s tip: Book one of the new Harbour View Suites at the front of the hotel. If you are wanting to dine at Hippopotamus, make a booking before you arrive, it’s extremely popular. Rate: From NZ$369 per room per night for an Executive Suite. Lobby

Website: and

with the hotel’s artistic theme, plate-by-

kitchenette and a bathroom big enough

plate is presented as a work of art, only

for a party. The hotel’s 24 Harbour View

to be deconstructed and appreciated to

Rooms bring together a mixture of pure,

the delight of the diners. We especially

natural materials with bold colours and

Suite interior

enjoyed our waiter’s performance in

textures, creating a visually intriguing and

Overall service level

creating Crêpe Suzette, a befitting

elegant guest experience, in signature

flaming finale dish of the evening.

QT style. There is more to come as the

Location Suite size

Food & beverage

front entranceway will soon develop a

Hotel pool

The accommodation offering includes

smart new food and beverage offering

Business needs

hotel style and spacious apartment

to Wellington’s already exceptional food

style rooms connected to the hotel by

and beverage scene. We welcome the QT

Value for money

corridors of eclectic art pieces. The suites

brand as it captures the essence of our

have been amplified up with accents

Capital’s creative culture. We have heard

of gold bling, a Bose sound system, a

that the next QT will be in Queenstown,

Nespresso coffee machine, a full mini bar,

just quietly, so please watch this space.

Creative, quirky and artsy.

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sail away with



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Have you noticed that cruise ships seem to be built on a gargantuan scale these days? They’re more like mobile apartment buildings than graceful vessels. Of course, these ocean-going giants offer certain advantages, such as ample space and a host of amenities. But for those of us who relish the romance of travel, there’s nothing quite like a boutique cruise ship. And best of all is a boutique cruise ship that’s carried to its destination by the power of the wind. Imagine leaving port on a sunny afternoon, and feeling the sea breeze on your face as the ship’s sails are hoisted aloft for the first time. See the wind fill the billowing canvas as your vessel surges through the ocean waves. In a few hours you’ll retire below to your luxurious cabin, but for now you’re content to enjoy the thrilling adventure of ocean travel from the deck of a modern, high-tech sailing ship. This is life onboard one of Windstar’s fleet of sailingyachts and power-yachts. It’s an experience like no other, with the opportunity to visit tiny ports and islands away from the usual sea lanes. Because the great thing about a Windstar cruise is that you can enjoy 21st century luxury while experiencing a taste of life from a more gracious, slower paced era. For a start, you won’t be jostled by the crowds. With fewer than 300 guests on board, there are no lines and no waiting – just a warm and intimate ambience. Every itinerary is expertly crafted and artfully planned, visiting both boutique ports and bucket-list capitals. Immerse yourself in local culture and cuisine, and a behindthe-scenes experience with Windstar’s complimentary Destination Discovery Events. Each stateroom and suite has been designed entirely for your comfort, from the plush leather headboard to

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the fine Egyptian linens and marble bathroom. Unwind in the thoughtfully designed spaces, with more room for storage than you’ve ever imagined finding on a ship, as well as luxurious touches like L’Occitane en Provence bath products and concertquality sound from the Bose SoundDock. Soft lighting. Beautiful artwork. Soothing, seascape colour schemes and spectacular ocean views from every stateroom. You’ll find it’s surprisingly easy to relax into the rhythms of a Windstar ship, gazing up at the sky and watching the seabirds that follow your wake. These boutique cruising ships have no shortage of diversions to keep you amused during lazy days at sea. Think relaxing massages in WindSpa, workouts in the Fitness Centre, relaxing on the deck or taking a dip in

Prix, sample Europe’s best seafood in Spain’s Galicia region and taste world-famous wines in Bordeaux.

the whirlpool. If you’re feeling more adventurous, make a

Two new European voyages have been added to the Windstar

splash from the Watersports Platform off the yacht’s stern –

list for 2017. They showcase the best of the Mediterranean with

swimming, kayaking, sail boarding, even water skiing – and it’s

port calls in Italy, Slovenia, Montenegro and Greece. Revel in

all complimentary. After dinner, try your luck in the Casino and

the beauty of quaint seaside towns, historic ports and pristine

dance to live music in the Lounge. And that’s before you even

beaches in locations such as Dubrovnik, Corfu and Korcula.

arrive at your destination.

For all its exclusivity, a Windstar cruise can be surprisingly

Stunning itineraries have been compiled for the following

good value too. All meals in all venues onboard are part of

destinations: the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Greek Isles,

the package, including a spectacular deck barbecue and room

Turkey and the Black Sea, Italy, Northern Europe, Panama Canal,

service menu. You’ll enjoy a Champagne welcome reception and

Costa Rica and Tahiti. With new destinations Arabia and Asia

unlimited use of the Fitness Centre and water sports equipment.

coming onboard.

All onboard entertainment and port lectures are included too.

Windstar also offers Themed Cruises, providing intimate access

A cruise is wonderful at the best of times – but a Windstar cruise

to some of the world's most exclusive destinations and events.

is in a class of its own. You owe it to yourself to experience one,

Experience the exhilaration of watching Monte Carlo’s Grand

at least once in your lifetime.

Experience Tahiti by sailing ship The world’s most stunning tropical destination – seen from the deck of the world’s most romantic mode of travel. Does it get any better than this? Windstar has put together a schedule of cruises for those who wish to experience true luxury in the Pacific. Permanently based in Tahiti and sailing year-round is their ship Wind Spirit, which glides between the isles, slipping into shallow lagoons where the colours seem too vivid to be real. Imagine seeing Bora Bora, Moorea, Fakarava and the other islands of French Polynesia for the first time from the teak deck of your sailing ship. It’s the kind of super yacht experience normally reserved for billionaires – but now available to all. Or at least, those who are wise enough to reserve their cabins for the next season’s cruises.


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180 Degrees from Ordinary — broad teak decks, beautiful interior spaces, award-winning service, exclusive access to hidden places and legendary landmarks, this is life on a private yacht — Windstar Style

CLASSIC ITALY & DALMATIAN COAST 8-Night Cruise from NZ$3,999*pp

CRUISE THE ISLANDS OF TAHITI 7-Night Cruise from NZ$3,899*pp

Cruise: Rome • Amalfi • Giardini Naxos • Kotor Dubrovnik • Split • Rovinj • Venice (or reverse) Multiple departures May to October onboard Wind Surf, Star Pride, Star Breeze or Star Legend

Cruise: Papeete • Moorea • Tahaa • Raiatea Bora Bora • Huahine • Papeete Weekly departures year-round onboard Wind Spirit

Always Complimentary on a Windstar Cruise.... Champagne Welcome Reception • Spectacular onboard deck barbecue • Exclusive Destination Discovery Event All meals, in all venues onboard • Non-alcoholic beverages, including specialty tea and coffee drinks onboard Fully equipped Watersports Platform - use of all water sports equipment included • Access to the Open Bridge Onboard entertainment, including local performances in most regions • Beautiful Sail Away from every port PLEASE CONTACT YOUR TRAVEL AGENT FOR MORE INFORMATION *Rome to Venice based on Cat S, 03 October 2017 sailing. Papeete return based on Cat BX, 03 March 2017 sailing. Cruise fares are in NZD, per person, share twin in an Oceanview stateroom. Includes port taxes and Your ultimate luxury and corporate travel resource. 67 government fees (correct as at 14/10/16). Gratuities are additional. Cruise only, flights are additional. Subject to availability and currency fluctuations. Terms and Conditions apply. Travel Agents please contact Francis Travel Marketing on 09 4442298 |

Simon Turcotte New Zealand General Manager Singapore Airlines

Brand Insider Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines practically invented the concept of luxurious air travel with its groundbreaking advert campaigns. While other airlines were pushing tickets and destinations, the Singapore Girl was gracefully exemplifying the idea that air travel might be an opportunity to enjoy care and attention while flying between continents. New Zealanders have now been enjoying the services of Singapore Airlines for 40 years, so it seemed like a good time to ask General Manager (New Zealand), Simon Turcotte for some of the insider secrets of his airline’s success.

LUXURY: Singapore Airlines is known for its world-class product and service. In a very competitive market, how do you come up with ideas to keep offering an enhanced experience that is different from anything else out there? ST: Our focus on service is absolute. As a business we’re committed to continuous service improvement and we are very proud of the enviable record we have for leadership in this area. Every new and innovative service offering we provide our customers has been carefully considered and developed because we have listened to what our customers tell us. This feedback combined with our continuous drive to improve helps to ensure our product and service offerings remain innovative and relevant to our customers. LUXURY: When was the Singapore Girl created? ST: She’s been a brand icon since the 1970s, recognised as the symbol of Asian hospitality, and we believe she represents the extraordinary standard of service and care that we’ve always provided to all our passengers.


LUXURY: Tell us about some of the new developments for New Zealanders travelling on Singapore Airlines going forward. ST: An important focus for the New Zealand team is building up our new ‘Capital Express’ service connecting Wellington, Canberra, Singapore and beyond. We launched the four-times weekly service in September 2016 and we’re delighted with the response so far. Next year we will also start taking delivery of a batch of five new A380 aircraft. These aircraft will feature all-new cabin products in Singapore Airlines Suites, Business Class and Economy Class in addition to our existing Premium Economy product. The new cabin products will also be retrofitted to the existing A380 aircraft in the fleet. LUXURY: You’ve worked in some interesting places with Singapore Airlines. Can you tell us about them? What were some unique challenges you faced? ST: I’ve worked in Ahmedabad, India and most recently in Barcelona, managing Spain and Portugal. Those were both exciting posts that had their own strengths and challenges.

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However, nothing beats the complexity and challenge of adding a new route! As a network carrier you're always looking out for opportunities and studying options worldwide, and Southwest Pacific has long been a key part of our network. With the launch of the ‘Capital Express’ service in September we’re linking Wellington, Canberra and Singapore four times a week. It’s the first time the two Australasian capitals have been linked by direct flights and the first ever international flights out of Canberra. We’re the first non-Tasman carrier to serve three New Zealand cities. We’re working with local partners to develop the market for leisure travellers as well as business, and that means working with tourism authorities on both sides of the Tasman and across the globe. Canberra has some wonderful experiences for luxury travellers – did you know it hosts an annual truffle festival? LUXURY: What are some interesting trends you have noticed in air travel? ST: In-flight Wi-Fi is no longer a novelty, but for some travellers, being in control of personal technology, rather than having it

control you, is key to starting a restorative break. They welcome the chance to reflect and concentrate without constant distractions. There are other firm trends visible in the luxury travel market. Boomers want to explore and have adventures without compromising on service and quality – think luxury expedition cruises in exotic locations like the polar north. Millennials want to add some bonus playtime onto business trips. And the opportunity for service to the Chinese luxury traveller remains significant. LUXURY: How do you define luxury in air travel? ST: Luxury is much more than just the physical cabin on board. It is really about the entire experience from booking to homecoming. In air travel, luxury is all about the personal touch, being able to sleep and eat and watch and do what you want when it suits you, not on the schedule of others. Luxury is that indefinable quality, service that exceeds expectations and the sense that your every need has been anticipated and is taken care of before you even realised you had it.

In terms of local operations, we’ve definitely maintained that first class service out of Auckland. There’s a solid market for that and we're keen to serve it. If you look at the floor space on the aircraft that's dedicated to the front cabin, it has been expanded year on year because the market is there. LUXURY: What bucket list travel items are you keen to tick off within the next two years? ST: I travel regularly but still have so much of the world to visit. Singapore Airlines and its regional arm SilkAir have a network of 102 destinations in 34 countries, so there is no shortage of choices! I always enjoy mixing adventure with a bit of rest and relaxation so I'm looking forward to climbing Mount Kota Kinabalu, South East Asia's highest peak, on the island of Borneo in Malaysia. It's an accessible climb even to non-alpinists and provides breathtaking views from its 4,096-metre peak. Afterwards, there are plenty of gorgeous beaches in the region to take a well-deserved rest!

LUXURY: What’s your favourite destination and why? ST: There are many great places in the world to visit but one of my favourite destinations is the Maldives. It offers a countless number of luxury accommodation options across the many islands and atolls. There is something magical about staying in a villa above the Indian Ocean and watching the sun rise and set. I'm an avid diver and my best diving experiences have been in the Maldives as the marine life is so rich. For those who don't dive, there is usually plenty to see just by snorkelling at the resort's local reef. I would highly recommend it at least once in a lifetime. LUXURY: Can you share a tip for travellers? ST: Leave some space, not in your suitcase but in your schedule. The most memorable travel moments often happen when you leave room to act in the moment and do something spontaneously.

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The art of small ship cruising with


Bigger isn’t always better. If you nurture a passion for exploring picturesque ports or venturing into the wilder parts of the world, a supersized cruise ship may not be your best option. Chances are, it simply won’t be able to access the destinations you want to discover.

Instead, consider the advantages of a

Experience a sublime fusion of

As well as cruises in classic locations such

boutique cruise ship. Whether it’s a river

quintessential French elegance and

as the Mediterranean and Caribbean,

journey, an expedition to remote fjords or

21st century luxury. With its distinctive

APT can take you to many less-visited

a luxurious cruise with a super-yacht feel,

silhouette that complements the refined

frontiers. You could discover the

small ship cruising with APT has a lot to

interiors, Le Lyrial is a very sophisticated

magnificent Chilean fjords, explore

recommend it. And you won’t be giving

way to see the world. Smooth and

Australia’s remote Kimberley coast,

up anything in the luxury department –

quiet, this is a cruising experience that

or even head to the lonely splendour

far from it.

is guaranteed to enhance the stunning

of Antarctica. These journeys are perhaps

scenery of the Aegean and the

best described as expeditions rather than

Adriatic Seas.

cruises, but there are no compromises

On a vessel such as Le Lyrial you’ll enjoy an opulent mega-yacht existence. With

on comfort. You’ll benefit from the

just over 100 staterooms and suites,

Fine French cuisine is served every day,

Le Lyrial merges a chic atmosphere,

and you’re also spared the hassle of

elegant décor, luxurious accommodation

paying separately for drinks, sightseeing

and warm ambience with unrivalled

excursions, tipping and taxes. They’re

comfort. Cruising along the coast, it will

all included in your fare, so you can kick

There’s also the world of river cruising

dock in small ports and traverse waterways

back and concentrate on the unfolding

to discover. Experienced travellers know

that are inaccessible to larger vessels.

vistas that greet you every day.

that an APT river cruise offers the chance


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Hebredian Sky

same stellar standards whether you’re island hopping in the Mediterranean or encountering Iceland for the first time.

Island Sky in Lofoten Islands, Norway

to see a continuously unfolding panorama of landscapes and towns from the comfort of a floating boutique hotel. You’ll unpack once, and then enjoy each new day in a new place. That’s because the world’s great river systems are avenues of history and culture, with the Rhône, Seine, Rhine, Danube, Mekong, Yangtze and Ganges offering access to a succession of sights. A boutique cruise is hands-down the best way to visit many of these destinations on one trip. However, river travel is not just about castles and cobblestones. Perhaps you have a hankering to cruise on the wild side, and explore the tropics. APT offers luxury river cruises up Botswana’s Chobe River and the mighty Amazon. Imagine swimming with pink river dolphins, hiking through rain forest or fishing for piranhas. The boutique cruise boats that ply these waters typically carry just a few dozen guests, so you’ll enjoy an experience that’s a world away from the typical cruise. It could be just the ticket to awaken your senses if standard-issue holidays are starting to pall. If travel is all about unique experiences – and we believe it is – you owe it to yourself to explore the world of small ship cruising. There’s simply nothing quite like it. Every day is different – but at the end of it you’ll return to the comfort of your boutique cruise ship and the welcoming smiles of the crew. Order your favourite drink, and unwind as you discuss the day’s adventures. Bliss.

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See Europe like you never imagined Magnificent Europe Experiencing Europe with APT really is something else. Only with APT can you board Australia's most awarded, all-inclusive luxury Europe River Cruise. Absolutely everything down to the last detail is taken care of so that you can lose yourself in the moment. It truly is unforgettable. INCLUDED – Experience spacious Twin Balcony Suites# with a glass conservatory style balcony and an outside balcony


RIVER SHIP gne Bonn 14 Colo GERMANY h rnac — Cocktail Reception and private classical concert at Vienna's Ande berg Bam berg eim rg h s e City Palace, featuring members of the Mozart Boys Choir m Rüd iltenbe urg Nure b M ein SLOVAKIA — Unforgettable day trip aboard the luxurious Majestic Imperator train Würz nburg z Dürnst g n e r i h u lava L t b Ro egens ratis — Private tour and a lavish banquet at Germany’s Namedy Castle au B s s a R P elk INCLUDED – Expert services of an APT Cruise Director urg MVienna b z BUDAPEST l a S INCLUDED – Butler, room service, complimentary laundry and INCLUDED – APT Royal Signature Experiences exclusively crafted for you, including:

champagne on arrival^



INCLUDED – All sightseeing, meals, beverages†, tipping, Wi-Fi, airport transfers and port charges

Budapest to Amsterdam 15 days from $$8,495* pp, twin share ENQUIRE FOR SUPERDEAL OFFERS

Visit or see your local travel agent *Conditions apply. Prices are per person (pp), NZD, twin share and include port charges. Prices are correct as at 5 December 2016, but may fluctuate due to changes in availability, surcharges, fees, taxes or exchange rates. Price based on EUMCR15: 9 December 2017 (Cat. E). Limited suites/cabins/staterooms on set departures are available and are subject to availability. DEPOSITS & FINAL PAYMENTS: A first non-refundable deposit of $3,000 pp is due within 7 days of booking. Final payment due 100 days prior to departure. ^Select suites only. †Complimentary beverages exclude French Champagne, 72 spirits Your travel premium and selectedultimate wines. Australianluxury Pacific Touringand Pty Ltd.corporate ABN 44 004 684 619. APT5125 resource.


best destinations

The long, slender country at the base of South America is one of global tourism’s most exciting destinations. From jagged, snow-capped peaks to buzzing cities and high-altitude deserts, it combines a multitude of spectacular landscapes within its borders. With direct daily flights from Auckland, more and more Kiwis are finding out what makes Chile one of the hottest tickets in 2017. Here are our six top picks for a Chilean holiday with the wow factor.

Patagonia Do you love the great outdoors and wide, open spaces? They don’t come much greater, or wider open, than Northern Patagonia. This is the place to encounter Chile’s gaucho heritage or undertake the ultimate road trip by car or bike. The Carratera Austral (Southern Highway) is 1,000 kilometres of pristine landscapes and possibly the freshest, most invigorating air in the world. Perhaps one of the most stunning cave networks in the world, Cuevas de Marmol is a 6,000 year-old sculpture located on the glacial Lake General Carrera in Southern Patagonia. Located in the centre of the lake shared by both Chile and Argentina, these somewhat submerged marble caves are a geological masterpiece. Particularly spectacular are the swirling patterns on the cave interiors created by the reflection of the lake’s azure waters, which change seasonally.

Torres del Paine The towering granite peaks of Torres del Paine seem to have sprung from the mind of an exceptionally imaginative painter. Situated in the south of Chile, this remote region enjoys up to 17 hours of light during the summer. Paddle a kayak through colossal blue and white icebergs and fill your phone or camera with jaw-dropping images.

The Atacama The world’s driest desert is packed full with adventures. Discover vast salt flats, active geysers and gorgeous blue lagoons in an environment that’s unlike any other. Situated on the high Andean plateau, its crystal-clear skies come alive with millions of celestial bodies every night. If you travel to stimulate your sense of wonder, the Atacama is not to be missed.

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Santiago Magnificent as its natural landscapes are, Chile is also a nation of sophisticated cities. There’s nothing quite like sipping one of Chile’s superb wines while sitting in a cosmopolitan Santiago bar. Diverse and dynamic, this Pacific capital is full of art galleries, museums and markets. On no account miss the famous Central Market – it’s a gourmet’s delight.

Chiloé Discover a different side of Chile. A southern archipelago of myths and folklore, with a unique indigenous culture and superb seafood. The island of Chiloé offers unspoilt landscapes plus a host of opportunities to explore nature by foot or kayak. Picturesque churches dot the islands, houses sit on stilts over the water, and the national parks will captivate you with their intense evergreen vegetation.

Easter Island Polynesia’s most remote – and intriguing – civilisation took root here. Over 1,000 brooding moai statues dominate the landscape, raising questions about the people who created them. Why did their civilisation rise so spectacularly and then apparently disappear? Easter Island is the world’s most remote inhabited place, and a must-see for global adventurers. How many times have you caught yourself saying “I must visit South America”? Now’s the time to act on that wish. Start with Chile.


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Silver Muse

takes on the world Get ready to pack your Louis Vuitton luggage and block out

Boston and vibrant New York, every aspect of this spectacular

some time in your 2017 diary. The latest addition to the Silversea

region is covered. Explore the beautiful old streets of Savannah

fleet is getting ready for its maiden voyage.

before arriving in sun-drenched Florida on 12 October 2017.

The sleek new Silver Muse is launching from Monte Carlo this

Silver Muse’s adventures continue as she commences her

April. With a stunning range of itineraries in the Mediterranean,

circumnavigation of South America on 13 October, a 66 day

it’s already looking like the hottest ticket in cruising. Thirteen

voyage of this land of stunning extremes. Shorter sailings are

of her European ports of call boast UNESCO sites, including

on offer including an 19 day voyage through the Caribbean with

the gorgeous Cinque Terre coast in Liguria, the historic centre

a full transit of the Panama Canal. Central Panama stretches

of Rome, the archaeological site of Olympia, and the Tower of

out from the canal across three provinces and into two oceans,

Belém in Lisbon.

comprising everything from the lush mountains of the Cordillera

Perhaps you’ve ‘done’ Europe recently and fancy something different? No problem. Following her Mediterranean voyages, Silver Muse will make her very first transatlantic crossing in September 2017, with highlights including the historic district of Old Québec in Canada and the iconic Statue of Liberty in New York City. Departing Southampton on 12 September, you’ll have the opportunity to see North America at its best by combining two

Central to the beautiful beaches of the Pearl Islands in the Bahía de Panamá. As she reaches South America, World Heritage Sites in Valparaiso and Rio de Janeiro are certain to delight, with a kaleidoscope of colours thrilling the senses with man-made and natural wonders. All up, Silver Muse’s 2017 schedule takes in 34 countries and 130 ports. That’s quite a smorgasbord to tempt cruise lovers.

voyages on a 30 day sojourn. From the pretty shores of Nova

While destinations are naturally the main focus when

Scotia, the spellbinding autumn colours of New England, to historic

considering a cruise, Silver Muse’s plush fit-out is an attraction


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This image: Silver Muse, New York This page from top: Veranda Suite; Art Café

in its own right. There are eight signature restaurants to choose

restaurants. Step inside and there’s a spacious beauty salon as

from every night, including the elite seafood and grill Atlantide,

well as a Spa equipped with nine massage rooms, two steam

the Asian-fused Indochine, the informal outdoor restaurant,

rooms and two saunas. Perfect for freshening up after an

Regina Margherita, serving its signature home-made Italian

excursion ashore or making the most of a sea day.

Pizzas from the pool-side or the intimate and elegant setting of Silver Note, offering tapas and jazz style entertainment. Silversea classics such as the Hot Rocks outdoor grill and signature restaurant La Terrazza will continue to please, while firm favourite La Dame remains the only Relais & Châteaux restaurant at sea.

The relaxation continues when you retire to your rooms – on this all-suite, all-verandah ship. It offers the highest number of large suites in the entire Silversea fleet: 34 Silver, two Royal, four Grand, and four Owners’. A clever layout means guests benefit from unprecedented flexibility, thanks to a

This wide selection of gourmet dining options is even more

very high number of connecting suites at all categories (62 in

noteworthy when you consider that Silver Muse is designed for

total). All suites offer state-of-the-art technology and in-suite

just 596 guests. Silversea are promoting it as the most intimate

entertainment, featuring two HD screens and an interactive

new ship in the luxury market. As well as cutting down the

TV system with a huge library of movies, songs, newspaper

jostle and queue factor, this enables a tailor-made experience

and other media contents, on top of the fleet-wide

shaped around your needs and preferences.

complimentary Wi-Fi.

From early morning to late at night, guests will be offered

If there’s a phrase to sum this up it has to be ‘small ship luxury.’

a multitude of options and venues to relax in, have fun and

It’s the hallmark of the Silversea experience. The launch of

socialise. Outside activities will revolve around the beautiful

Silver Muse will expand their fleet to nine ships, once again

Sky Deck, featuring the biggest swimming pool in the Silversea

raising the bar in the premium luxury cruise market.

fleet, a huge relaxation area, three whirlpools and two open-air

We can’t wait to step aboard.

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Onboard the

Belmond Royal Scotsman As our Scottish hosts wave goodbye on the rear platform of the saloon car, the Belmond Royal Scotsman pulls out of Edinburgh’s Waverly Station after our journey onboard this classic tour of Scotland – I am reminded of the quote from Benjamin Disraeli: “Like all great travellers, I have seen more than I remember and remember more than I have seen.” As we boarded our intercity connecting service to London it was time to reflect in total contrast from the high speed service we were now on, to an art of train travel that we had experienced over the past five days where time is generous, the hospitality is warm, the food is sumptuous and it is all about the journey and not the destination. After being piped aboard our train in true Scots tradition, our ‘Scottish Sojourn’ had taken us north from Edinburgh over the famous ‘Fourth Bridge’, an absolute wonder of nineteenth century engineering, through Dundee to our first evening resting place at the small town of Keith and home of Grant’s Whiskey Distillery. From Keith we continued to venture north via Inverness and then west to the Kyle of Lochalsh, stabling for the second night at this terminal station, well-known as the gateway to the Isle of Skye. Day three saw us retracing the line past the picturesque fishing village of Plockton and climbing over the beautiful valley of Strath Bran to Inverness – then turning south to the quiet Scottish village of Boat of Garten in the Cairngorms National Park, our stabling for the third night. From here our train continued to travel south and then east to our fourth and final night in the heart of Dundee, followed by an early


morning run back into Edinburgh over the Bridge of Tay and yet another chance to marvel at the grandeur of the Fourth Bridge before arriving back into Edinburgh. Our sojourn had been choreographed with our train effectively being our ‘Hotel de Wheels’ and a luxury coach that joined us at various stages for the numerous off train excursions that had been planned for us by Belmond Royal Scotsman and led by our tour host Marion. The observation car, situated at the rear of the train, was beautifully decked out in warm tartans, lush wooden panelling and soft furnishings – more akin to a country manor or ‘Balmoral’ as they are called in Scotland – this was soon to become our second home and focal point for drinks, relaxing and meeting new friends. This was the perfect viewing platform, light and airy – no stuffy air conditioning here – just open the windows or better still – an outside balcony where you can really embrace the journey whilst returning a friendly wave from a local farmer or fellow traveller. Over the five day journey, we had traversed the eastern coastal areas of the Firth of Tay, through to the Lochs and valleys of the West Isles, the lush lowland and the expansive highlands of the Cairngorms. The unique imagery of Scotland abounds – fishing villages with their solid stone crofts, distinctive white walls and slate roofs, tunnels of lush green

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Your ultimate luxury and corporate travel resource. Belmond Royal Scotsman on the Glenfinnan Viaduct


Story: Stuart Walker

overhanging trees, golden yellow fields of barley – effectively ‘whisky in waiting’ as I was told, through to rambling highlands of purple heather, as if nature had inspired its very own tartan on the landscape.

All this prefaced by an equally sumptuous entrée of smoked Scottish Salmon Gravlax or a Consommé’ of Oxtail perfectly paired with a ‘Little Beauty’ Pinot Noir from New Zealand.

Our off-train excursions were many and varied, starting with a spirited early morning walk with Marion, through to historic castles such as Eilean Donan and Ballindalloch, where we were personally hosted by the modern day Laird, through to the former Queen Mother’s childhood home, the impressive fairy tale Glamis Castle. Other side activities included clay target shooting at Rothiemurchus Estate, river walks and farm tours where you could get up close and personal, hand feeding some very tame deer.

Not forgetting dessert – always my favourite. Every night was a surprise and with delights such as Pineapple Upside-down Cake, Lime & Mascarpone Icecream or Timbale of Berries in Champagne Jelly.

With all this activity it was certainly a healthy way to build up an appetite – breakfast would consist of fresh fruits of the season, cereals, yoghurts, then generous rashes of dry cured bacon and free range eggs, traditional black pudding for those inclined, and smoked haddock or kippers – very traditional Scottish breakfast fare. This was accompanied by lashings of tea or piping hot coffee, traditional freshly baked breads, pastries and local preserves. Lunch was fortunately a lighter tasting affair and yet another demonstration of our chef’s creativity with such dishes as Roasted Butternut Squash, Asparagus & Parmesan Risotto, Parmesan Wafers & Red Wine Reduction, served with a very crisp Italian white wine followed by a sweet tempter of White Chocolate & Raspberry Delice. Dinner was in a class of if its own – with two of the four nights reserved for more formal dining, always a great excuse to get dressed in one’s finery and made all the more special by celebrating a birthday onboard. Formal or informal, dinner was indeed a gastronomic affair befitting a five-star hotel restaurant. Local fare was definitely the order of the day. If we weren’t indulging in a fillet of North Sea Halibut with a Freshwater Crayfish Butter Sauce, then it would be a Prime Fillet of Pure Bred Aberdeen Angus Beef, or Roast Loin of Pentland Lamb with a Mint Hollandaise & Lamb Jus. Perfectly matched with an equally deserving French Burgundy or Italian Dolcetto.


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After dinner we would retire to the observation lounge to be entertained by stories from a Jacobite clansman or some local Scottish musicians. All the while being further tempted by exquisite cheeses and traditional Scottish bannocks, plus a digestive or two! While being entertained, the turn-down fairies prepared our cabin, slippers and robe at the ready, everything neatly stowed away with a copy of tomorrow’s itinerary and weather forecast on the side table. Scotland is legendary for its malt whiskies and The Royal Scotsman does this legend proud with a selection of over 65 of the best Scottish malts onboard – whilst sharing a Lagavulin (Islay single malt) with a fellow guest on our last night, it was clearly a case of ‘too many great whiskies – not enough time’. The final night was a great chance to kick up our heels as the entertainment spilled out of the observation car onto the platform at Dundee station for some impromptu Scottish dancing, much to the hilarity of our hosts. As our intercity express train pulled into St Pancras Station in London – in just 4.5 hours we had travelled further than we had in four and a half days on the Royal Scotsman. By marked contrast the Scotsman is a distinctly unhurried convivial affair, a great chance to socialise and cement new friendships and best summed up by a Tim Cahill quote: “A Journey is best measured in friends rather than miles.” Travel Tips:  hen you book with Belmond, W remember to hire a kilt.  est to take soft luggage for B easy stowaway.

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GoPro Hero 5 Black What is it? The most powerful, easy-to-use and durable GoPro ever. What makes it so special? An ultra-wide angle glass lens, 4K video and crystal-clear audio allow you to produce pro-quality videos and time lapse footage. You can control it by voice and remote monitoring, plus it’s waterproof to 10m. Where can you get it? The Loop Duty Free stores. Price: NZ$566

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Bali, Indonesia

In 2016 The Legian celebrated 20 years in

premium. But with its first-mover advantage

the top rank of luxury properties in Bali.

as a Seminyak pioneer, The Legian enjoys a

The competition amongst resorts on

prime, spacious location on the coast.

Indonesia’s world-famous holiday island is more ferocious than ever. Staying in front of

Hidden behind imposing high rock walls

the pack is no small achievement, so it was

lies this boutique, 68 all-suite property in

time to see if The Legian Bali was as good

undoubtedly the finest location in Seminyak.

as I remembered.

It's a coveted beachfront site with a very wide frontage and right in the middle of all the

Location, as always, counts for a lot.

action with well-known neighbours such as

Seminyak is many people’s pick as their

Ku De Ta restaurant.

preferred strip of the south Bali beach strip – a touch more exclusive than Kuta,

As soon as you enter the mood-lit lobby of

with plenty of designer shops and some

natural stone, dark woods and fine art, with

of the island’s top bars and restaurants.

cascading water features and placid fishponds

Because of its popularity, Seminyak is now

teeming with well-fed koi (fish), there’s the

densely populated, with land at an absolute

feeling that you are somewhere very special.

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Main pool at dusk

Immaculately maintained and enjoying

bathrooms and furnishings that are elegant

driver are at your disposal to help guide

the luxury of ample acreage, The Legian

yet comfy and welcoming. Precious,

you through the organised chaos of a

is beautifully designed, with suites facing

traditional art pieces are carefully placed

shopping expedition or to simply take

the ocean, and all built with a standard of

throughout, to create an inviting interior

you out to dinner or sightseeing.

materials and workmanship that would

space redolent of exotic Bali. Off the very

not be economically viable today. It's

large open-plan lounge and dining area,

one of those iconic properties whose

double sliding doors reveal the master

seem to pre-empt your requests. For

timeless architecture looks even better

suite complete with romantic four-poster

instance, when a member of staff

as it weathers with age.

bed facing the ocean and opening out to

overheard that my kids liked surfing,

a massive 12-metre long balcony that runs

he organised the hotel’s lifeguard to take

the entire length of the suite – a rarity in

them out the next morning. Best of all,

these parts. You can imagine the pleasure

the surf break is right in front of the hotel

of waking up to sound of waves breaking,

so we could supervise them from our

and looking out to the sunrise from the

daybeds built into the wall and perched

comfort of your bed.

right above the sand.

The second bedroom has its own opulent

Outside, the privilege of space is

bathroom with a centred feature bath,

apparent. The famous two-tiered infinity

dedicated his and hers areas, and a

pool has been upgraded to three tiers,

separate toilet and shower for two.

taking centre stage at the resort and

Located at the rear of the suite, this

appearing to cascade magically into the

bedroom provides a nice degree of

waves of Seminyak beach. The poolside

Entry is via a secret entrance and private

separation if you’re travelling with family

area is equipped with ample loungers

lift. At 274 square metres, the suite

or friends. It too opens to its own full-

and supersized daybeds that are all

is colossal in size and more akin to a

sized 12-metre balcony – perfect for a

well spaced, ensuring extra privacy –

sizeable apartment. Upon entering the

game of cricket!

yet another clue that you are in an

We stayed in Seminyak Suite 521, which is one of the hotel’s three signature suites located at the centre of the property. It comes with its own dedicated butler available 24/7 to fulfill all your requests. Our butler was Sande, and he exemplified the level of charm and professionalism that sees so many guests return year after year. He and his fellow butlers work quietly and competently behind the scenes to ensure your Legian experience exceeds all expectations.

foyer the advantage of having a close-up, unobstructed direct ocean view is clearly apparent – there is none better in Bali.

The Seminyak Suite comes with some delightful complementary touches. There’s a scrumptious selection of treats

Service is so well honed that the staff

exclusive property. Expect to be tempted throughout the day with an array of appetising treats and refreshments.

The style is pared-back luxury with parquet

for afternoon tea by the pool, in the

The quality of dining lives up to the

native wood floors, stone and marble

restaurant or inside your suite. A car and

property’s luxury rating. I’m not normally


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a big breakfast fan but freshly squeezed papaya juice, delicious banana and macadamia pancakes and a well-made espresso, eaten alfresco style with the waves crashing mere metres away, is a great way to start the day.

The Legian Bali at a glance

Executive chef Luke MacLeod leads the restaurant team. Australian by birth, Luke has spent much of his life perfecting his craft at Michelin-starred restaurants in France. His cuisine combines obvious talent and flair with the best of local ingredients, and the results are spectacular. Don’t miss the Lombok sashimi, Wagyu ribeye and our favourite – tamarind and chili-braised octopus. The menu is ever-changing, with fresh ingredients being sourced locally and paired with excellent wines. There’s an array of dining options – from the Ocean Bar to Club Lounge – to suit every mood and whim. Bali has become a real foodie destination, and in our view The Legian is more than keeping pace with the trend. On a more relaxing note, I enjoyed a superb 60-minute massage delivered by staff trained in the art of traditional Balinese massage. A visit to The Spa at The Legian Bali should be on your must-do list, with a choice of treatments and handcrafted massage oils infused with native plants. Soothe away the aches and stresses of the modern world in a holistic, calming ambience.

Seminyak Suite Bathroom

Over three days we had the chance to explore and enjoy all The Legian has to offer.

Category: Luxury Island Resort.

Yes, there are newer properties, but none in this area of Bali that compare with the

Suite reviewed: Seminyak Suite.

multi award-winning Legian. It has style and class like no other and with a service level that cannot be faulted. If I had to boil its appeal down to three words, I’d say it’s ‘sophisticated yet welcoming.’ The prime location and boutique scale of the property size is an invaluable asset. The management also deserve the highest of accolades for not only maintaining The Legian’s position as one of the world’s great hotels but for their tireless efforts to constantly improve. If you have any plans to visit Bali – and you should – The Legian comes with my highest recommendation. It’s a must-stay property.

What’s great: Where do I start? I love everything about this stunning property from the prime location to the exclusive but unstuffy luxury ambience, and of course the impeccable service. What’s not so great: Leaving… just wished I could have stayed longer. Editor’s tip: If you are looking for the best of luxury in Bali, stay here and for as long as you can. All suites are ocean facing so you can’t go wrong. Rate: From NZ$670 to NZ$2496 per night for the Seminyak Suite. Website:

Location Suite size Suite interior Overall service level Food & beverage Hotel pool Business needs Recreational facilities Spa facilities Value for money

Sophisticated yet welcoming.

Your ultimate luxury and corporate travel resource. Sunset Suite Master Bedroom


QT Bondi,Sydney I visit Sydney two to three times a year. When I’m there it’s usually for meetings or to refresh the wardrobe over a weekend of shopping and great food. Normally I stay in the city, but this time I thought I’d try something a bit different. Bondi is such an incredible part of Sydney.

fully equipped kitchens. The supermarket

In the morning its massive beach is the

definitely came in handy for breakfast

perfect backdrop for an early stroll,

supplies and snacks. Great if you are

walking up and over the rocky cliffs on

staying for longer holidays in Sydney.

either side. By night, the sophisticated bars and restaurants offer incredible views

While we’re on the rooms, most feel

of the beach while the sun sets behind

spacious and feature complimentary

around 20-30 surfers. A great place to be

Wi-Fi, cable TV, movies and coffee pods.

in spring or summer.

The quirky QT minibar always surprises, and the ensuite’s unique walk-in shower,

QT Bondi is the latest hotel to take up

deep bath tub and designer décor is

residence at this popular beach district.

inspired by the location.

It’s the only boutique designer hotel in Bondi. Here you can experience a cool

Positioned in the centre of Bondi Beach,

mix of Bondi ‘barefoot luxury’ with

QT Bondi brings a distinctive sense of

all the comforts you would expect to

quirk, fun and unique design with interiors

find in a designer hotel. This is chic

by renowned designer Nic Graham and

beachside glamour.

digital art by artist Shaun Gladwell.

The hotel entrance is unassuming, and

We ventured to town most days and the

that’s by design. You enter either from the

short Uber ride was easy. What we loved

side or the main street that is adjacent to

was coming home each evening to Bondi,

a mini supermarket. That’s important as

knowing we would wake up in the coolest

each room is apartment-style, featuring

place in town.

Atrium Suite living room


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QT Bondi, Sydney at a glance

Bathroom with double vanity

Category: City hotel with a difference. Room reviewed: QT King. What’s great: Great location, good value. Perfect if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the Sydney CBD, but still get a cool urban vibe. What’s not so great: Rooms are great, but not as fun and cheeky as the rest of the hotel. A more subdued feel to what we have come to expect from a QT. That said, the standard is still very good indeed. Editor’s tip: Try QT Bondi if you'd like something a bit different to the typical city CBD weekend away. This place is as much about a celebration of Bondi Beach as it is a cool hotel. We can't wait to go back. Rate: From NZ$332 per night for a QT King room. Website: bondi-beach

Location Room size Room interior Overall service level Food & beverage


Hotel pool


Business needs Recreational facilities Spa facilities


Value for money

Bondi ‘barefoot luxury’.

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Ritz-Carlton Bali, Indonesia

Picture a peninsula on the southern tip of Bali, bathed in sunshine, with cliffs overlooking the white sand beaches of the Indian Ocean. You’d immediately recognise it as the perfect site for a world-class resort.


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The location is Nusa Dua – the home of five-star luxury in Bali. And the recent arrival beachside in this exclusive enclave is the world-famous Ritz-Carlton. Open now for nearly two years, The Ritz-Carlton has set a new benchmark for gracious living, rivalling some of the finest resorts in Bali, and indeed anywhere in the world. The resort makes a dramatic first impression, with its palatial reception and two of its signature restaurants set along a cliff face with grandstand views out to the Indian Ocean. This gorgeous setting provides a bird’s eye view of the location, and lets you appreciate the size and remarkable layout of the accommodations below. The drama continues as you are escorted to your suite or villa. A cantilevered glass lift descends from cliff top to sea level, revealing clusters of low-rise pavilions with infinity pools that snake along the length of the resort. This layout promises direct pool entry for the ground floor suites, so we were pleased to see our home for the next three days would be the Ritz-Carlton Suite with lagoon access. The Ritz-Carlton is our favourite type of hotel – an all-suite and villa resort built

Your ultimate luxury and corporate travel resource. The Pool Pavilion


to generous dimensions. Even the Junior

gardens. Many guests find their holiday

fittings are fittingly chic, in keeping with

Suites are almost 100 square metres, so

home so appealing they barely leave the

the timeless Ritz-Carlton style. You might

you’ll never feel crowded. Arriving in such

privacy of their accommodation for their

describe it as modern in feel, but with a

surroundings, we immediately relaxed and

entire stay. This ensures the resort feels

distinctively Balinese touch. The bathroom

drank in the beauty of our location.

quiet and relaxed even when it’s nearing

was the size of a generous hotel room,

full capacity.

with flooring made up of large marble

The main pool complex is located

slabs, not mere tiles. A freestanding

beachside. It’s built around a dual lava

Our home was Suite no. 5106, and what

rock-edged, tiered infinity design with

a home it turned out to be. At 128 square

private gazebos and beachfront bales that

metres, it was exceptionally spacious even

are complimentary to guests. The ideal

for a family of four. The design is open

With such beautiful quarters to relax

location to laze away an afternoon with a

plan with a large lounge and dining area

in, it’s not surprising that some guests

good book and perhaps a cocktail or two.

and separate master bedroom suite. Both

disappear and never partake of the

these spaces opened out to a full-length

restaurants and resort facilities. While

balcony complete with double-sized day

it can be tempting to seclude oneself

bed and an oh-so inviting infinity pool.

in luxury, we wanted to enjoy the

This pool is shared with the neighbouring

Ritz-Carlton experience at its fullest.

suites but designed in such a way to feel

With a superb spa and no fewer than

exclusive and private. Needless to say, it

six restaurants throughout the resort,

was a hit with our water-loving kids.

this was no hardship.

The interior of the suite is a mix of marble

Bejana Restaurant is the top choice for

and native woods in muted tones. The

fine dining, offering authentic Indonesian

Service is always at hand, whether you fancy a refreshing facial mist spray to take the edge off the tropical heat or a selection of fresh fruits to stimulate your taste buds. As always, it’s these little extra touches that count when you stay at a five-star resort. They’re what separate the good from the great. The secret behind this exquisite service – apart from the stellar standards of the Ritz-Carlton brand – is the very high staff-to-guest ratio. Someone is always on hand when you need them – and perhaps, before you even know you need their services. Buggies are always at the ready to whisk you around the property at a moment’s notice. It truly feels like an effortless existence. This service ethic is supported by a quality of design and construction that makes the most of the remarkable setting. The resort is laid out on the theme of an upscale Balinese village with a mix of luxurious suites and villas terraced amongst tropical


Culinary Cave

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feature tub, shower for two and separate storage space completed the picture.

cuisine such as Lombok-style grilled

opportunities to tune up your wellness,

spring chicken, Kalimantan-style sambal

and was a particular hit with my family.

prawns and Sumatran-style braised beef. Located on the upper cliff, it’s ideal for entertaining guests or enjoying a special dinner. If you’re curious about the flavours and subtleties of Indonesian cuisine there’s Culinary Cave, a gourmet learning centre where you can receive hands-on instructions from one of Bejana’s skilled chefs.

Speaking of families, a special mention must go to Ritz Kids. It’s the resort’s child-focused activity programme that feeds their sense of wonder and satisfies their appetite for fun. Young guests have the chance to explore storytelling, nature and the unique Balinese culture, with its amazing dance, music and performance aspects. Other

Other restaurants on-site include The

days might be taken up with a trip to a

Beach Grill, where fresh seafood is the

coral reef or a forest expedition. Children

starring attraction, and Breezes Tapas

love it – and so do their parents.

Lounge for cocktails and light bites beside the pool. If you enjoy Japanese cuisine, Raku serves the freshest, most toothsome sashimi you can imagine. To start the day, exquisite selections of buffet breakfast are available at Senses.

The Ritz-Carlton Bali at a glance

There is no shortage of luxury properties vying for the tourist dollar on Bali these days, and you’ll find quite a few in the Nusa Dua area. In my opinion, The Ritz-Carlton, Bali deserves its place in the top tier. By designing a resort that

The resort’s signature spa was another

makes the most of its spectacular setting,

highlight of our stay. Set in lush Balinese

and then imbuing it with the highest

gardens, The Ritz-Carlton Spa blends

standards of service, The Ritz-Carlton

the finest qualities of indigenous natural

provides a uniquely luxurious escape

ingredients from the Indian Ocean with

from the modern world. It should be on

ancient Balinese methods and modern

every shortlist of outstanding hotels in

techniques to offer a distinctive wellness

a location where the competition is very

experience. The hydro pool offers more

stiff indeed.

The Ritz-Carlton Suite Lagoon Access

Category: Luxury Island Resort. Suite reviewed: The Ritz-Carlton Suite Lagoon Access. What’s great: Very new property and all suites are spacious and beautifully appointed. Great pool and numerous food and beverage options. What’s not so great: Beach is a little tidal and construction of property next door can hinder the view from some rooms. Editor’s tip: Make sure you pay extra for a Lagoon Access Suite – well-worth the extra cost. Also request a location close to the beach and pool as it is a large resort. Rate: From NZ$595 to NZ$1176 per night for a Ritz-Carlton Suite Lagoon Access. Website:

Location Suite size Suite interior Overall service level Food & beverage Business needs Recreational facilities Spa facilities Hotel pool Value for money

Grandstand views and gracious living. Your ultimate luxury and corporate travel resource. 93

Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea


Can the best become better? That was the question in my

mind as I booked my family’s suite in the newly rejuvenated Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea. Make no mistake, I’ve been a fan of this luxury beach resort

If you feel like getting even further away from it all you can

for a very long time. I have had the privilege of staying at

book a private cabana by one of the resort’s three impressive

Four Seasons Maui on several occasions, and each time was an

pools and relax in your own special space. The Serenity Pool

unforgettable experience. More recently I’d heard reports that

can be reserved for a fee while cabanas at the Fountain and

the property had undergone a major refurbishment – involving

Waterfall Pools are complimentary and available on a first-

a floor-to-ceiling renovation of all suites plus extensive

come-first-served basis. Add some tropical sunshine and the

improvements to the entire resort – so I was bursting with

feeling of luxury is palpable.

curiosity to see the outcome.

Such things are impressive, but we were also curious to see

I was not to be disappointed. Four Seasons Maui at Wailea has

how the multi million-dollar refurbishment looked. So let’s

added a new dimension to the concept of Hawaiian luxury.

take a look at the accommodation.

Although the resort’s comprehensive refurbishment

We were booked into Suite 707, which is an Ocean-View

project started over a year ago, it was only completed in

Prime Executive Suite. First box ticked – what could be better

November 2016. The resort’s management kept a tight lid on

than watching the sunset from over the wide blue Pacific?

developments as they did not want word to leak out until they

At 130 square metres it’s one of the largest hotel suites on

were satisfied everything had met their very high standards.

Maui, and it was fantastic to be able to unwind in all that

That day has finally arrived.

glorious space. On a practical note, the layout included a generous lounge and dining area plus a separate bedroom.

But before I go into the new and improved aspects of this

The sofa converts to a bed and the dining room has ample

world-beating resort, a word on what made Four Seasons

room for a rollaway bed, so there’s plenty of room for the

Maui a standout previously.

family, with privacy for all.

Some resorts just have an X-factor that is hard to define.

Two large balconies and their attendant ocean views added to

The best I can come up with is a combination of service and

the palatial feeling. With one balcony off the master bedroom

location, blended with amazing design. It all comes down to

and another off the lounge, we had the perfect stage for

making the guests feel special. Whether you’re one of their

taking in the tropical ocean views. Order a Hawaiian cocktail

regular A-list guests, a family on the holiday of a lifetime,

at sunset and I guarantee you’ll feel on top of the world.

a loved-up honeymoon couple, or even a hardened travel magazine reviewer, the Four Seasons team will pamper and cater to your every need.

Throughout the property no expense has been spared in creating a relaxing but sophisticated ambience. All guest rooms and suites have been refreshed with dedicated art packages,

Even at full capacity, the resort operates perfectly and doesn’t

and a lucky few suites have had the addition of antechambers

creak under the strain of its guests’ requirements. The secret lies

for additional flexibility and security. The resort’s rejuvenation

in the way things are laid out, with dedicated adults and family

extends to the grounds, with new poolside landscaping, new

areas, a plethora of pools, plus a very high staff-to-guest ratio.

poolside cabanas and some very exclusive hillside oceanfront

As a result, you never feel that your personal space is crowded,

sanctuaries. It all adds up to a very special experience in one

or that you’re in anything less than a very exclusive resort.

of the world’s most beautiful settings.


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Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea at a glance

Ocean-View Prime Executive Suite

Category: Luxury Island Resort. Suite Reviewed: Ocean-View Prime Executive Suite. What’s great: In a word, everything. Hard to fault this property as it excels in every area and is a personal favourite. Love the newly remodelled suites, have really lifted the standard for Hawai’i and nothing really compares. What’s not so great: That I can’t move in permanently. Editor’s tip: Book for at least 5 days and make advance dinner reservations for Ferraro’s – ask for a table by the sea. Poolside cabanas are free so get up earlyish and grab one before breakfast. Rate: From NZ$700 to NZ$2570 per night for an Ocean-View Prime Executive Suite. Website:

Ocean-View Prime Room

Location Suite size

From the bespoke patterns and textiles to the curated art collection, each room and suite at Four Seasons Maui at Wailea has been transformed into a stylish personal retreat. And it gets better – the latest oceanfront luxury suites offer more flexibility

Suite interior Overall service level

than ever before, with configurations of one, two, three and four-bedroom floor

Food & beverage

plans. These 21 state-of-the-art suites even come with a dedicated personal assistant

Hotel pool

who manages a team tasked with taking care of every detail for guests in these

Business needs

top-tier accommodations.

Recreational facilities

Because after all, isn’t that what a great holiday is all about? A fantastic location on one of the world’s most beautiful tropical islands – Maui. A hospitable greeting from one of the world’s great hotel teams – the Four Seasons group. And the finishing touch

Spa facilities Value for money

is a seriously luxurious suite with a view to die for. It doesn’t get much better than this. As I said at the start of this review, I have been a fan of Four Seasons Maui at Wailea for a long time. In that regard nothing has changed. With their latest investment in

Newly rejuvenated for enhanced perfection. Your ultimate luxury and corporate travel resource.

refurbishment, this resort has achieved the impossible: It’s made the best even better.


luxury spa finder

La Spa Naturale at Paihia Beach Resort & Spa Picture yourself in a spa in a warm Pacific location, the fragrant scent of Tahitian Monoi oil wafts through the air, gentle sounds of the ocean and island music relax and refresh you during an exquisite Thalgo Polynesia Spa experience. LUXURY magazine has discovered this idyllic spa and an extensive offering of heavenly spa experiences in a peaceful and unique location.


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La Spa Naturale is this special destination

discerning diners both local and from

and day spa, situated at the international

around the world. This is the perfect

award-winning Paihia Beach Resort &

accompaniment or precursor to an

Spa, overlooking the picturesque Bay of

equally indulgent spa experience at

Islands in the north of New Zealand.

La Spa Naturale.

The spa adjoins the resort, where guests

For whatever reason you need to be

have the use of the main pool, sauna

pampered – as an individual, as a couple

and steam rooms. The resort’s layout has

or as a group, this is a stunning spa

its luxury studios and apartment style

location. The professional team at

units facing directly out towards the

La Spa Naturale offer a specialized range

ocean, with access to five heated plunge pools and a saltwater swimming pool.

of spa treatments, using Thalgo marine based luxury products, as well as beauty

Provenir Restaurant on the first floor,

treatments for face, body, hair, hands

was revamped and rebranded recently

and feet. The Spa has five beautifully

to an international style restaurant as

appointed and private treatment rooms,

we discovered during our stay, and the

including a couple’s room, a balneo bath,

epitome of fine dining. Chef Marcus

Vichy shower and luxury Pedi couches.

is constantly pushing the culinary

The Thalgo high performance skin care

boundaries and has built a reputation

range is made from natural marine

around his creativity using fresh local

ingredients and shares a synergy with

ingredients, much to the delight of

La Spa being so close to the ocean.

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Paihia Beach Resort & Spa

We are here to experience the Polynesia Spa Ritual by Thalgo. This is a full body experience taking us on a sublime tropical journey from island to island, across the lagoon waters of the Pacific. We relax side by side, as this personalised couple’s spa ritual helps us relax from our busy daily routines and provides a truly memorable occasion. The heart of this treatment is the Thalgo Algomonoi, a blend of protective and moisturizing Tahitian Monoi and Micro-Algae from the Pacific, rich in trace elements and known for its wonderful stress relieving properties. The treatment ritual takes ninety minutes or longer if you prefer. The gentle sounds of Tahitian music play in the background while the scent of vanilla wafts through the warm air as we cast off on our wellness journey of four sensory island stopovers.

ho’e ~ first stopover Taha’a, the Vanilla Island; for an exotic body scrub using fine crumbled coconut shells mixed with white Bora Bora island sands and sea salt mixed with a vanilla blend to exfoliate the skin, a tingling sensation leaving it silky, soft and velvety. piti ~ second stopover Lagoon Island of Manihi; This spa bathing experience delivers all the richness of Manihi to relax the body and provide optimum hydration, lavished by its extracts of white water lily and citrus essential oils we gracefully unwind. toru ~ third stopover Bora Bora, the White Sand Island; we surrender to an exquisite slow and powerful Mahana massage performed with the hands, forearms and tuiponois sachets of hot sand, while breathing in the sweet scent of Tiare, a type of Gardenia. maha ~ fourth and final stopover Raiatea Sacred Island; Polynesian sacred oil is gently massaged into our skin, leaving a wonderful feeling of wellbeing and an iridescent pearl finish. Our replenishing Thalgo full body spa experience is complete.

It’s easy to see why Paihia Beach Resort & Spa received a World Luxury Hotel Award in 2015. There is no excuse not to spoil yourselves here. You can fly in from Auckland by helicopter or plane, the resort will organise this for you. Dine in at Provenir restaurant, laze around in a heated plunge pool or enjoy cocktails by the pool. For the ultimate weekend spa escape, this is a haven of peace and tranquility. La Spa Naturale is open every day and offers an extensive range of Thalgo luxury retail products and gift vouchers.


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THALGO Spa Rituals are truly unique sensory experiences, the ultimate fulfilment from the heart of the Oceans. THALGO exclusive massages include Polynesia and Indoceane with their melting and enveloping textures and divine scents offering an escape to an enchanting spa destination. The perfect summer gift for yourself and friends. THALGO Spa Rituals and Gift Vouchers available from La Spa Naturale, Chuan Spa, Ikoi Spa

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THE DAY-DATE 40 The international symbol of performance and success, reinterpreted with a modernised design and a new-generation mechanical movement. It doesn’t just tell time. It tells history.


100 Your ultimate luxury and corporate travel resource.

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