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Song Saa Private Island Sihanoukville

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Antigua Paris Milano Venezia La Paz Sucre Paro Punakha Thimphu Val d’Isère

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Uma Punakha, Bhutan


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Raffles Le Royal, Phnom Penh


EDITORIAL

I

Ovidio Guaita, Editor-in-Chief

Tiger’s Nest, Paro, Bhutan

n this issue we invite you to discover the lesser-known parts of Cambodia, far away from the most obvious destinations. In addition to the colonial capital Phnom Penh and its legendary Raffles Le Royal, the country’s top destination has always been Siem Reap, with its fantastic temples. Some time ago an exclusive resort opened on the private island of Song Saa, across from Sihanoukville. We went to take a look at it.

We also offer you our feature on Bhutan, a favourite destination of mystics and nature-lovers, also capable of offering top-level hospitality. Then we investigate Bolivia’s Spanish colonial charm and classic Antigua.

Go beyond your expectations with Resorts Magazine!


contents

26 32 36

TOP 10 Design Resorts

U RAFFLES LE ROYAL MONCEA Paris, France

RT CHATEAU MONFO Milano, Italia

Chateu Monfort, Milano


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TEL LUNA BAGLIONI HO Venezia, Italia

CARLISLE BAY Antigua, Caribbean


contents

56 60

Song Saa Private Island

CAMBODIA exclusive

ROYAL RAFFLES HOTEL LE Phnom Penh

E ISLAND SONG SAA PRIVAT Sihanoukville


BOLIVIA exclusive

72 76

contents

TEL CASA GRANDE HO La Paz

CED HOSTAL DE SU MER Sucre

Hostal de su Merced, Sucre


contents

86 90 96 98

BHUTAN exclusive

UMA PARO Paro

UMA PUNAKHA Punakha

TAJ TASHI Thimphu

BHUTAN travel4travelers


RM promotion

110 112

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ORIENT-EXPRESS slow travel

CHALET LHOTSE Val d’Isère

Eastern & Oriental Express


www.palidano.com


M O S T

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2013

HOTEL COLONIALI

Questa directory offre uno strumento aggiornato e ragionato sulle possibili destinazioni per chi vuole soggiornare in città o nelle vicinanze. Perché a volte non è solo questione di prezzo ma di attenzione al dettaglio, passione e gusto. E tra le soluzioni proposte non mancano appunto le sorprese.

T op 100 P l aces t o St ay i n

Flor en ce

2013

PP

This directory offers an annotated and up-todate instrument for the possible destinations for those who want to stay in the city or nearby. This because sometimes it is not only a question of price but rather attention to detail, passion and taste. Among the solutions proposed, surprises are not missing.

Places to Stay in Florence & Nearby

HOTEL COLONIALI

L’autore, Paolo Gerbaldo, è inviato di Resorts Magazine.

Top 100

Top 100

Dal Settecento fino alla seconda guerra mondiale. Due secoli di lusso ai tropici, tra ventilatori a pale, verande, tè pomeridiani e stuoli di servitori. Molti in Asia ma anche nelle colonie africane e in Centro America. Una storia affascinante di lungimiranti investitori, pionieri e avventurieri costellata di nomi eccellenti come Raffles, Peninsula e Strand. Questa directory ci mostra i migliori esempi sopravvissuti dove sperimentare esperienze e atmosfere d’altri tempi.

Top 100

W O R L D ’ S

Top 100

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and nearb y PalidanoPress


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X, n. 44 febbraio 2014

Editor-in-Chief Ovidio Guaita Senior Editor Lawrence Taylor Contributors Elsa Bozzaotra, Maria Coscarelli, Paola Di Girolamo, Marco Galli, Paolo Gerbaldo, Alessandra Jovinelli, Giuseppe Lai, Daniela Libero, Pamela McCourt Francescone Photos Ovidio Guaita, Lawrence Taylor, Roberto Sessoli and published hotels and resorts Video for iPad and iPhone app Roberto Sessoli Graphic Design Niccolò Angeli www.niccoloangeli.com Layout Graphic Department Palidano Press IT Manager Riccardo Casano www.riccardocasano.com Public Relations Daniela Libero Subscriptions (12 issues) EU 300 €, Rest of the World 350 € Publisher PalidanoPress 3 More London Riverside - SE1 2RE London US Office 1133 Broadway, Suite 708 - New York, NY 10010 www.palidano.com monthly publication © 2014 Palidano Press Ltd All rights reserved. Repruduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly forbidden. ISSN 2043-6629 www.resorts.it

Cover, Song Saa Private Island, Cambodia; right The Carlisle Bay, Antigua.


Our correspondents

All resorts published are choosen by the editorial staff and tested by our journalists-inspectors.

LAWRENCE TAYLOR In Bhutan, between ancient traditions and surprising contemporaneity.

PAOLO GERBALDO Paris, always a source of inspiration. This time Paolo visited Le Royal Monceau.

MARIA COSCARELLI Mary was in Bolivia, between La Paz and Sucre.

PAOLA DI GIROLAMO Venice, romantic destination of choice for Paola.

MARCO GALLI A chalet in Val d’Isere, perhaps more villa than boutique hotel.

DANIELA LIBERO Our correspondent off to Antigua to rediscover a classic: the Carlisle Bay.

ELSA BOZZAOTRA Elsa presents the ranking of the top 10 design resorts around the world.


Paris France

32 Val d’Isère France

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La Paz Bolivia

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Sucre

Bolivia

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Our destinations Venezia Italia

42 Milano Italia

36

Bhutan

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Firenze Cairo Luzern Milano Wien Riyadh Zanzibar Maroc Maldives Capri Chianti Ajman Addis Ababa

Firenze Cairo Luzern Milano Wien Riyadh Zanzibar Marrakech Essaouira Fès Casablanca Maldives Capri Chianti Ajman Addis Ababa

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Milano, Lisbon, Bali, Baku, Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, Langkawi, Biarritz, Dubai, Muscat

Bangkok Brussels Cusco Firenze Forte dei Marmi Jeddah Lisbon Machu Picchu Milano Muscat Riyadh Shanghai Chianti

Bangkok Brussels Chianti Cusco Firenze Forte dei Marmi Jeddah Lisbon Machu Picchu Milano Muscat Riyadh Shanghai Siena Telese Terme

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Shangri -la Rasa Ria, Kota Kinabalu


TOP 10 | design RESORTS

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s t r o s e R e c i serv

azing guests m a r fo e ic rv se g in z ama

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Elsa Bozzaotra

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ai, UAE 1. Armani Hotel Dub Indonesia 2. Amanjiwo, Java, Spa, Bahrain 3. Al Areen Palace & Rah, Maldives 4. One&Only Reethi iraavaru, Maldives G aa nd La at rt so 5. Four Seasons Re 6. Burj Al Arab, UAE sia rt Langkawi, Malay 7. Four Seasons Reso at Sayan, Indonesia li Ba rt so Re s on as 8. Four Se li, Indonesia 9. Bulgari Resort, Ba t, Sultanate of Oman ca us M i ed Ch he .T 10

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TOP 10 | design RESORTS

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3

A 5

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a designer rmani triumphs. As p of our list of Dubai is at the to l te Ho i a an m Ar s Hi argued that it is and as a hotelier. design. It could be st e be th e e th er th wh wi , rj Khalifa accommodations resort and the Bu a y is an elf m its so i d ba an s Du s, fountain cit y hotel, but ming pool, garden of im o sw jiw a s an ain Am nt e co th hotel stands, there is a classic, ute a resort. Then in the M iddle ac tivities to constit Bahrain. They are in e lac Pa n ee Ar e Al present. Borobudur and th ost hip locations at m e th e nc he d an st East and the Far Ea

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e d i w d l r o W s t r o s e R 0 0 1 Top

51 Amanwana ldives at Reethi Rah Ma ly On e& 52 Amansara On 1 aavaru ala Estate, Bali Resort at Landaa Gir ns aso Se ur 53 Como Shambh Fo 2 i aw gk Lan t ce uri sor 54 Shanti Ma Four Seasons Re 3 ence yal Mirage, The Resid Pangkor Laut at s ate Est e 55 One&Only Ro Th 4 Palace 56 Anassa Taj Umaid Bhawan 5 Jimbaran Bay at li Ba ves Rangali Island t sor Re ns 57 Conrad Maldi Four Seaso 6 s ve ldi Ma a, Sp & i Resort 58 Reid's Palace Shangri-la's Villingil 7 e vat Pri nd Isla 59 Amanpulo FrĂŠgate 8 at Sayan li Ba e t sor Re ns aso 60 Grande Roch Four Se 9 try Hotel un Co nd rla o Ku jiw an 61 10 Am raa Hu da Ku at ean Club Resort 62 One&Only Oc 11 Four Seasons s ve ldi Ma a, s sort and Sp 63 Aman-i-Kha 12 Taj Exotica Re z ga Ra d Ba t sor Re 64 Amankora d 13 Gran Resort a Sp & lf Go ra 65 Suvretta House rdu 14 Ve eirah yas ala Him 66 Madinat Jum 15 Ananda in the lla we 67 Aman 16 Amanusa du Cap Ferrat Resort Chiang Mai ns aso 68 Grand Hotel Se ur Fo 17 Resort Nevis 69 Four Seasons 18 Il Salviatino mbo Lodge t, Bali 70 Singita Lebo 19 Bulgari Resor e & Spa 71 The Nam Hai 20 Al Areen Palac Zanzibar e lac 72 The Residence 21 Taj Lake Pa jvilas 73 Sandy Lane 22 The Oberoi Ra mp Golden Triangle Ca ted Ten ns aso 74 Blancaneaux 23 Four Se Spa rr Al Jissah Resort & gh ba 75 Shangri-la's Ba 24 Aman Lodge 76 Amankila 25 Sabi Sabi Earth Lijiang y Ca 77 Banyan Tree t rro 26 Pa sort & Spa Re e lac et Phuk 78 Blue Pa 27 Banyan Tree Palm e Th ly On 79 One& 28 The Legian i a Ma yar g an ian 80 Am 29 The Chedi Ch Tunis Resort Bora Bora ns aso 81 The Residence Se ur Fo a 30 Sayang Resort & Sp sa Ra 's -la gri an Sh 82 31 Amandari rtesin scat 83 Hotel Finca Co 32 The Chedi Mu ita ah An at s den-Roc tiu Resort Mauri 84 Hotel du Cap-E 33 Four Seasons 85 Le Touessrok 34 Cheval Blanc lle Ga ess rtr 86 Soneva Fushi 35 The Fo iera Maya es ell ych Se e Tre 87 The Tides Riv an 36 Bany Country Estate au uh watu 88 Whareka 37 Alila Villas Ulu es ell Seych 89 Muse 38 Four Seasons Ringha hl Hasheesh Sa i ero 90 Banyan Tree Ob e Th 39 ele ch Mi n e Sa lac Pa 91 Villa 40 Beau-Rivage sert Resort & Spa De on t cti sor lle Re Co un ry ch xu 92 Fu 41 Al Maha, a Lu roa Kia 93 42 Palazzo Sasso oon Resort and Spa aivilas 94 Bora Bora Lag 43 The Oberoi Ud h Van Bay cil 95 Six Senses Nin 44 The Oberoi Ce o 96 MesaStila 45 Hotel Splendid try Club Sanya un Co & tel Ho e pir 97 Banyan Tree 46 The Em ce rsa 98 Palazzo Ve 47 Amanpuri urice 99 K Club 48 Le Prince Ma tal Carlton Cannes e dg Lo i en Sw 100 InterContinen a git 49 Sin Resort & Spa 50 Cuisinart Golf

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city hotel | le royal monceau raffles

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Paolo Gerbaldo

s e ffl a R u a e c n Le Royal Mo ild extravagant brainch

h ly -s o p h is ti ca H o sp it al it y o f h ig

te d el eg an ce .

ght w it h ju st th e ri s g in d n u o rr su U n iq u e e ic is m , to le t th ct le ec ic st ti ar am o u n t o f w ild . im ag in at io n ru n

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S city hotel | le royal monceau raffles

yal Monceau Raffles taying at the Le Ro lity. This highly sophisticated, elegant hospita ing ha rienc enties” s been Paris means expe ris of the “roaring tw Pa e th th wi s ou m the accent on its refined hotel synony arck’s touch, placing St pe ilip Ph by splendidly revived ture. tation toward the fu ds heritage and its orien rks of art and all kin ded by mirrors, wo un e rro th su to s, ite ign su re d e an fre In the rooms gs that give din un rro su e iqu recreated enjoy un ism gives the world of comforts, guests tic lec ec tic tis ar d easure made of space imagination. The m ony. Original use is rm ha of e ns se t ea a gr rks of art appear by Philippe Starck ing. Books and wo liv e siv en int r fo d ne l chandeliers lights in this hotel desig d a forest of crysta an , au ce on M l ya Ro everywhere in the e. the up the main staircas e and relaxation in ers an oasis of peac off ins ar Cl ol. by po nd ing The Spa My Ble ite and a big swimm cterised by pure wh li’s Italian heart of Paris, chara cio, Roberto Rispo ac rp Ca Il t an ur sta rred re asterpieces of At the Michelin-sta redients in little m ing of e us e bl ssi best po classic Italian cuisine makes the chef Pierre Hermé, y str pa of h uc to ative flavour. With the cre ole new level. isu are raised to a wh am tir as ch su rts desse of the delicious gourmets in search r fo p sto ry ato lig th a wine from the Il Carpaccio is an ob e winter garden wi th in ed joy en be flavours of Italy, to is excellent. cked cellar. Service e to restaurant’s well-sto t in a grand hall tru n-starred restauran eli acy, ich M im r int he of ot irit an , es with a sp At La Cuisine mbining large spac co th a of wi irit ne sp isi ’s cu au h ce nc the Royal Mon phisticated Fre so his s er off é dr . ent An lent for innovation Executive Chef Laur e sensitivity and ta iqu un his ing at str menu illu

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INFO HOTEL EAU RAFFLES LE ROYAL MONC e nc Paris, Fra ceau.com www.leroyalmon s 63 Rooms 85 - Suite nts 2 Villas 0 - Restaura arins Cl by nd Ble Spa My Children yes Chain Raffles Affiliation LHW Activities sightseeing 89 Score 90 Environment 90 n sig De 88 Service 96 Cuisine 79 h Healt 90 Spa 92 s om Ro

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fairytale hotel | chateau monfort

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Ovidio Guaita

t r o f n o M u a e t â Ch l a fairytale hote

an u rb an ca st le , in ce n ie er p ex A d re am -l ik e ci en t fa ir yt al es . Th e an s n’ re ild ch y b in sp ir ed m e to g et h er in co ry ra o p m te n an d th e co fi ed so rt w it h it s ra re re ls te o H ia ar et th is Pl an in to ex ce lle n t g in at sl an tr , at m o sp h er es is in e. & C h at ea u x cu s ai el R d an se rv ic e

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D fairytale hotel | chateau monfort

in th is fa iry ta le re am s co m e tru e lo st ch ild ho od. sta lgia of ou r lo ng no d an s ie or em m ol o M ez za no tte, ho te l: all th e th ril ls, te l by arch ite ct Pa ho a to in d te er nv co ro qu e bu ild in g by Th e bu ild in g wa s n ou t of a ne o- Ba tio na Th e sti de le ta th ei r ow n sh ow. wh o m ad e a fa iry rs an d ac to rs in to ta in g ec nc sp rie th pe bo ex joyin g, m ak in g gu es ts fo r evok in g an d en ge ed in sta m a er is et g in ed pr ild e ha s no sin gl drea m -li ke bu It . ns io at ns ll se d we or ie s an lu sive, as an d sh ar in g m em e va in an d in co nc ar s on iti e, fin lik de y all en d is re all st yle, an d in th e Ch atea u M on fo rt fin d ou t wh at th e to oc at ive, th at : te ev r ria ve op we pr ho ap as in th e pi ct ures, t no is it r fo e, er yo u ne ed to go th pe rie nce its el f. an d co un t, bu t th e ex e he ar t-s ha pe d, nt , th e ch ai rs ar ra th e au st in re ne i di or cu ay Yo u m In th e Ru ba e su re yo u no tic e. ak es t m gu to , st se ne ur er co st e er e ev en th br ig ht re d, of wh , ve co Al e tic Th an . a ro m nt ed ch ef Tr op hy Ro om or in en te d by th e ta le es pr s se ur lce co e do l th a de fo re is su re to m el t be ec ia te d in th e “S al ca n al so be ap pr ne od ni gh t’s isi go cu a e d th an of er qu al ity r a lig ht di nn te af , m oo tin g ar te le ea ta s, wh ile br kf as Ri sv eg lio”, a fa iry tin g th em e ro om vi in o, l’s cin te uc ho pp e ca th ct cu p of sle ep in on e of ee ts an d th e pe rfe sw us io lic de of on a va rie ty ha pe d de sig n. be ar in g a he ar t-s th e fa sh io n to pp ed wi th fo am in ut es aw ay fro m m ly on , la bi Ba n za Sa op : dr ea m y, Ri gh t be hi nd Pi az us ua l pl ac e to st un an is rt fo on ea u M di st ric t, th e Ch at ab ly or ig in al ! ni de un g, in ch ar m

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INFO HOTEL t

Chateau Monfor Milano, Italia

umonfort.com

www.hotelchatea

s 10 Rooms 67 - Suite nts 1 ura sta Re Villas 0 Spa yes Children yes Chain Planetaria Affiliation R&C

Hotels

Activities shopping sightseeing and 75 Score 75 nt me on vir En 70 Design 80 Service 78 e Cuisin 77 Health 70 a Sp 78 Rooms

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romantic hotel | luna hotel baglioni

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Paola Di Girolamo

i n o i l g a B l e t o Luna H timeless magic

es t er s g u es ts th e b ff o i n lio ag B l te Lu n a H o m ag ic , ti m el es s a in y it al it sp o o f Ve n et ia n h th e al l it s ch ar m o ve r g in rv se re p e, er at m o sp h e tr an si ti o n fr o m th h g u ro th d ce n tu ri es an te l. co n te m p o ra ry h o tr ad it io n al in n to

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A romantic hotel | luna hotel baglioni

co sm op ol ita n ni ce ha s al wa ys re s an d st yl es , Ve ltu cu nt re ffe di t of ov er th e wo rld . cit y, a m el tin g- po al l ag es fro m al l of s or sit tic vi ed m lco ck , th is ar ist oc ra at tra ct ed an d we its ow n pr iv at e do th we wi l, as na ca on so tle As Fl an ke d by a lit e ha nd of tim e. ha ve st op pe d th to th e da ys of ck ba ne go pa la ce se em s to ve fe el we ha we d ol sh ys ta l gi ve re th d e br oc ad e an cr st ep ov er th s, oe sc fre e, bl ar ou r: m d pr es en t ar e Ve ne tia n sp le nd ni fic en ce . Pa st an ag m d an ry xu lu of hi st or y wi th th e ho te l an au ra t sk ill , re co nc ili ng ea gr th wi d ne bi m ew of th e la go on ha rm on io us ly co tio n. Th e lo ve ly vi va no in th wi n gl io ni th e pe rfe ct m od er ni ty, tra di tio th e Lu na Ho te l Ba es ak io n m s en rd Ga a pl ea sa nt se ns at an d th e Ro ya l ho lid ay, cr ea tin g e bl ta et rg fo un se tti ng fo r an te r an d th e sk y. d be tw ee n th e wa m Pi az za of liv in g su sp en de m in ut es aw ay fro ly on ce ni Ve of he ar t ur se lf am on g Si tu at ed in th e in t fo r lo sin g yo po g tin ar st l ea th e id of th e cit y’s Sa n M ar co, it is Ve ni ce in se ar ch of ls na ca d an s e el eg an t, re fin ed th e wi nd in g la ne st or ic pa la ce s. Th hi d n an s op sh rk , wh er e gu es ts ca ch ar ac te ris tic wo Ri st or an te Ca no va in rts d pa ne ai us nt rio ai va m at m os ph er e is d sp ec ia lit ie s fro m ce lle nt Ve ne tia n di sh es an pa ol o, an d th e ex en jo y tra di tio na l ch ef Co sim o Gi am s an d of ur ill lo sk t co ea of gr e ph te a tri um of Ita ly. Th ea cr , es us he s nt ed ie . qu al ity of th e in gr ite rra ne an cu isi ne t ho m ag e to M ed en fic ni ag m a s, fla vo ur ab le se rv ice lis m an d im pe cc na sio es of pr , sy te ay in Ve ni ce an Th e st af f ’s co ur , m ak in g a ho lid ile of pr gh hi l’s te co m pl et e th e ho pe rie nc e. ex e bl ta et rg fo un

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INFO HOTEL IONI LUNA HOTEL BAGL lia Ita , Venezia tels.com www.baglioniho s5 Rooms 95 - Suite nts 1 Villas 0 - Restaura Spa no Children yes Chain Baglioni Affiliation LHW Activities sightseeing 71 Score 80 Environment 89 n sig De 88 Service 97 Cuisine 48 h Healt 0 Spa 92 s om Ro

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beach resort | carlisle bay

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Daniela Libero

a u g i t n A , y a B e Carlisl beyond luxury

an et ai ls . A re so rt in d n ia al It h it w e B ri ti sh st yl o f g re y e th e n eu tr al h u es er h w ay b ve si u ex cl is e d fo r th e tu rq u o n u ro kg ac b e tl b fo rm a su f p u rp le d an ex p lo si o n o an d n sa e it h w se a, b o u g ai n vi lle a.

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A beach resort | carlisle bay

so be r st yl e wi th an d Am er ica n ia te d by Eu ro pe an ec pr ap h uc m y, ar e fu rn ish ed wi th a fo cu s on ec ol og r ye ar. Th e su ite s te af m ar ye ck ba e ils in th e re so rt, fro vi sit or s wh o co m sp ire s al l th e de ta in s, as en ce lin an e eg ad el m r nth e Ita lia th e sa m e so be e es so m ac hi ne s to m pr sa es e n th lia te Ita ra st tic nt s de m on th e au th en ra au st re e re n th ve gi s. Th e er en ce is to we ls an d ro be o, an d Ea st , pr ef tim Ot , en go rd di ga In at ow n ec ol og ica l sp iri t: n in th e re so rt’s d pr od uc e is gr ow an d, u. ia oo er af ss se ha sh to fre ef Da ni el Ec al di re ct io n of ch un de r th e pe rs on

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beach resort | carlisle bay

pe rie nc e, ly un fo rg et ta bl e ex tru a is h ac be e th e on id en tia lit y an d Af te rn oo n te a- tim ys . Co m pl et e co nf da al ni lo co of m rs of th e Br iti sh wi th al l th e ch ar ich is wh y m em be wh y, da d e th of r de lik e be in g wa tc he pr iv ac y ar e th e or wh o do n’ t re al ly le r op he pe ot r y he an ot m d is an d ro ya l fa m ily, an Ba y so of te n. Th sle rli sle Ca rli Ca sit y vi , wh ay lf wh ile on ho lid ng ou t fo r yo ur se wo rth wh ile fin di an ce of th is re as on s m ak e it e th e tru e sig ni fic nc rie pe ex to e pl ac Ba y is th e pe rfe ct its pe ac e. wi th ou t di st ur bi ng – d an isl l fu wo nd er

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INFO HOTEL CARLISLE BAY and Barbuda Antigua, Antigua om y.c ba www.carlisle82 Rooms 0 - Suites nts 4 Villas 0 - Restaura a Sp e Spa Blu Children yes Chain none Affiliation LHW Activities activities beach and sea 84 Score 88 Environment 78 n sig De 85 Service 93 Cuisine 81 h Healt 84 Spa 80 s om Ro

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S P E C I A L

C A M B O D I A

A land of contrasts and surprises, ancient traditions and relatively little important modernity. A land yet to be discovered in many of

CAMBODIA its aspects. Siem Reap is definitely the most popular destination, but there is still so much to learn in the surrounding area.


by Lawrence Taylor

Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville from

our journalists flew to Phnom Penh with Oman Air via Muscat and Bangkok


SPECIAL | cambodia

The lush and dominant tropical landscape, is just softened by the timeless smiles of the inhabitants.

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Hospitality is an attitude, a lifestyle, a way of being. A resort cannot help but reflect so much generosity.

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SPECIAL | cambodia

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Lawrence Taylor

Raffles Le Royal Phnom Penh

Khmer hospitality

Raffles Le Royal is a colonial hotel built in the late 20s. It had a makeover in 1997 and was then refurbished in 2011. Now it has all the exclusive facilities and technological gadgets demanding guests have come to expect.

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A

SPECIAL | cambodia

visit here will not be easily forgotten. It all starts when you are met by the airport receptionists who accompany you to the sleek shiny black BMW series 7, offer you a cold towel and a refreshing drink, wishing you a pleasant stay at the Raffles. It is just a short trip to the beginning of the tree-lined allÊe which leads to the porte cochere of this formidable grande dame. The welcome is cordial and the check-in effortless. In no time you are in the charming room reserved for you. The decor is a tasteful blend of Khmer, Art Deco and French colonial. All around the rooms are impressive objets d’art designed by local artisans expressly for the Raffles. The hotel, with its gleaming white marble floors, has a total of 170 guest accommodations. These include State Rooms, Landmark Rooms and Suites, Executive Suites and the delightful Personality Suites. One of the latter was the choice of Jacqueline Kennedy when she visited Cambodia back in 1967. Today it is decorated with memorabilia of her stay. The graceful old colonial buildings which compose Raffles Le Royal frame a courtyard where guests can enjoy blissful tranquility, immersed in a luxuriant tropical garden complete with an inviting swimming pool. For guest who want to stay in shape during their stay, Raffles Le Royal boasts the Amrita spa, which includes a well-equipped gym. There are a number of dining options at the Raffles, but the favorite is certainly the fine-dining restaurant Le Royal, where guests can enjoy the best of Khmer and classic French cuisine. The Elephant Bar is, of course, a must for before and after dinner drinks. So if Cambodia is your destination, you will find hospitality at its best at Raffles Le Royal.

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INFO HOTEL RAFFLES LE ROYAL Phnom Penh, Cambodia www.raffles.com Rooms 133 - Suites 37 Villas 0 - Restaurants 2 Spa Raffles Amrita Spa Children yes Chain Raffles Affiliation none Activities sightseeing Score 78 Environment 77 Design 82 Service 85 Cuisine 81 Health 68 Spa 68 Rooms 84

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Lawrence Taylor

SONG SAA

Private Island

Cambodian luxury Just in front of Sihanukville, a private island hosts the most exclusive resort in the country. It proposes sustainable luxury totally immersed in a tropical jungle which descends gently into the ocean.

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verybody knows by now that Asia is rapidly becoming the world’s new rising star of the 21st century. From technology to fashion, from art to luxury holidays, Asia is where the party is. The Cambodians, of course, did not want to be excluded. They have developed the country newest and most luxurious resort: Song Saa Private Island. Situated on the island of Koh Oun in the warm tropical waters off the coast of southern Cambodia, about a threehour drive from the capital, Phnom Penh, this breath-taking resort is now taking reservations. For those who are looking for something special, something different, something exclusive, Song Saa has it all.

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The resort boasts three types of accommodation: Ocean-view Villas, Water Villas and Jungle Villas. The Ocean-view Villas give guests the opportunity to wake up in the morning and step right onto the candid white sand of this intimate paradise. For those who choose one of the Water Villas, which are built out over the ocean, the living room has a viewing area which permits you to observe the colorful fish playfully swimming in the azure water below. The Jungle Villas, on the other hand, are immersed in the most luxuriant vegetation found anywhere in Southeast Asia... and no little mischievous monkeys to steal your belongings. At a resort, no stay could be complete without a spa experience. The Spa Sanctuary at Song Saa is guaranteed to please even the most demanding guests. After a friendly welcome, which includes delicious herbal teas, prepared therapists will massage your stressed body until you are transported to a realm of pleasure and tranquility. Let’s not forget to eat. There are various dining options at Song Saa. Whether you prefer exquisite Khmer specialties of traditional international fare, you can find it all at Vista, the principal restaurant at the resort. Oh, by the way, the view is to write home about.

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INFO HOTEL

SONG SAA PRIVATE ISLAND Sihanoukville, Cambodia www.songsaa.com Rooms 0 - Suites 0 Villas 27 - Restaurants 2 Spa yes Children yes Chain none Affiliation Virtuoso Activities beach and sea excursions Score 81 Environment 90 Design 83 Service 83 Cuisine 74 Health 73 Spa 77 Rooms 86

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S P E C I A L

B O L I V I A

A trip to Bolivia is to open up to new sensations, have new stories to tell, collect different emotions. Bolivia captivates

BOLIVIA

with its history, traditions, people and its landscapes.


text by Maria Coscarelli, photos and video by Roberto Sessoli

La Paz to Sucre from


SPECIAL | bolivia

But nature is the undisputed queen, who here reigns over an unforgettable scene that becomes the centerpiece of any discovery.

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Maria Coscarelli

CASA GRANDE La Paz

luxury in the capital

A hotel that welcomes guests with all the warmth of Bolivian hospitality – 3350 metres above sea level! After hours of traveling, guests will find an oasis of peace and luxury in the residential district of Calacoto.

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T

he Bolivian capital is a truly unusual city, the only city in the world to be built right inside the crater of a volcano, at an elevation ranging from 4100 m in its highest parts to 3300 m in Calacoto, at the city’s southern end, the most exclusive neighbourhood in La Paz. Here, the Handal family presented its new jewel in May 2013: the Casa Grande Hotel. The facility is a new addition to the Casa Grande Suites range, with an emphasis on the word “casa”, home, continuing with the original idea of creating places with a family feel. And in fact the staff feels like family: ready to respond to all their guests’ requests. The building itself is modern and eclectic in style, designed with a big central space, so that as soon as guests enter they feel as if the hotel staff has been waiting just for them. Every room is perfectly planned down to the tiniest detail and equipped with the most advanced technologies. Guests can relax in a heated indoor swimming pool on the third floor with a view over the world’s highest-altitude city. Next to the lobby is the restaurant, Yerba Buena. Bolivian chef Luis Fernando Ayala’s experience in the Basque country is evident in a variety of dishes combining local and Spanish flavours, backed up by a good selection of natural seasonal produce. Before retiring to their rooms, guests may enjoy an authentic Italian gelato at Puro Gelato & Caffè or a nightcap at the Casabar, a cosy piano bar on the top floor with a beautiful view of Bolivia’s capital city - a thrilling scenario perfectly summing up the meaning of a visit to La Paz.

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INFO HOTEL

CASA GRANDE HOTEL La Paz, Bolivia www.casa-grande.com.bo Rooms 65 - Suites 1 Villas 0 - Restaurants 1 Spa yes Children yes Chain none Affiliation none Activities sightseeing Score 68 Environment 50 Design 79 Service 76 Cuisine 82 Health 66 Spa 54 Rooms 72

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Maria Coscarelli

HOSTAL DE SU MERCED Sucre a real Bolivian hostal

A simple motto: the warmth of home at the service of guests. This is what you most appreciate at the Hostal de su Merced, located in the heart of a city protected by UNESCO.

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SPECIAL | bolivia

S

ucre, the white city, the most cultured of the Bolivian cities, welcomed us with a clear sky. It is the constitutional capital of Bolivia and something of which its inhabitants are proud. It is with the same pride, and also with care, that we are greeted at the Hostal de su Merced, whose motto is: the warmth of home at the service of guests. The hostel is located in a typical middle-class, fully restored 18thcentury house. The 26 rooms are all full of furniture from the 1800s, a style which here is referred to as “Republican style.” A real dive into the past. But what really strikes us is the friendliness of the hosts, who take care of the smallest details of what used to be the home of their grandparents. It is with this same attention that they look after their guests. The love of tradition has inspired the Gautier Zelada family, hostal owners for five generations. The hotel is located in the historic center of the city, declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1991. Just two “cuadras” away and you are in Plaza 25 de Mayo, the pulsating heart of the city. Enjoying a sunset on the terrace from which you can touch the surrounding rooftops, in the company of a mate and delicious cookies (homemade, of course) is one of the best moments of our stay in the city. But the next morning breakfast is no less enjoyable,with attention to the smallest details. The scent of baked products guides the visitors towards an ideal return home to old fashioned and beloved flavors. Not surprisingly, of all the many memories, the one guests will surely take back home will be the one they experienced upon entering the sunny patio of this elegant manor house, immediately feeling right at home.

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INFO HOTEL

HOSTAL DE SU MERCED Sucre, Colombia www.desumerced.com Rooms 17 - Suites 6 Villas 0 - Restaurants 1 Spa no Children yes Chain none Affiliation none Activities sightseeing

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S P E C I A L

B H U T A N

A little reign in the Himalayas, suspended between earth and sky, between the past and the future. Monasteries, dzong

BHUTAN fortresses, traditions thousands of years old: a voyage of discovery, almost a pilgrimage, definitely a fascinating encounter.


by Ovidio Guaita and Lawrence Taylor

from Paro to Punakha passing from Thimphu


SPECIAL | bhutan

Traveling to Bhutan means coming face to face with a new land, its people and their faith.

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There are few places that extend such an invitation to meditation. Amid monasteries, dzong fortresses and hermitages.

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Lawrence Taylor

UMA PARO

Paro

isolated …but not too much

The pr o perty i s extensi v e a n d st a n d s a lone o n a hi l l fro m w h e r e you h a v e a bea u ti ful vi ew o ver t h e v a l l e y of P a r o es peci al l y fro m th e c i r c ul a r r e st a ur a n t , one of th e best i n the c oun t r y.

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T

he strikes are sonorous and intense. They are coming from a clearing on the side of the driveway that goes up to the villas. Finally, we realize that the resort gives archery lessons and some guests are passionately exercising. This tradition is still widespread in Bhutan, regardless of social class and age. We consider trying it while our butler escorts us to the villa 15, the most isolated in the large garden that now abuts on the forest and from which - every now and then - a bear emerges to eat the apples on the trees the garden. The Uma Paro was the first property of the COMO hotels to be opened in Bhutan. With its traditional architecture and large garden, it offers rooms, suites and villas, some with a room for treatments. One of the glories of the resort is, in fact, the Como Shambhala Spa, offering a range of treatments designed by the well-known international brand. The spa is flanked by one of the few pools in the country and has a decent gym. But what is special about our experience at the resort is Kamal, our butler. It is he who thoughtfully offers to unpack for us, prepare coffee or tea, book a restaurant or a treatment. He suggests excursions and is incredibly efficient when it comes to room service - details that make a difference and decree the success of a stay.

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INFO HOTEL

UMA PARO Paro, Bhutan www.comohotels.com Rooms 0 - Suites 0 Villas 29 - Restaurants 1 Spa yes Children yes Chain Uma Affiliation none Activities sightseeing Score 79 Environment 87 Design 78 Service 82 Cuisine 75 Health 68 Spa 75 Rooms 85

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Lawrence Taylor

UMA PUNAKHA Punakha

tea with His Majesty

We visited the resort - also the destination of the royals of the country - experiencing attentive personalized service and fine cuisine ... with a view.

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T SPECIAL | bhutan

he guard stops us a few meters from the entrance of the resort. He is courteous, smiles and asks us to wait a few minutes. Their Majesties, the King and Queen, are coming for tea. After a moment his motorcade emerges discreetly from a curve. The agents are at attention while the SUV enters the resort, without screeching tires or sirens, almost on tiptoes. A moment later comes the procession of the Queen. The agents say goodbye and thank us. Then we enter as well. This discretion and courtesy strike us. The understated behavior of a young royal couple who find themselves managing the destiny of this small and very old country, where traditions are still strong and tourism very controlled. Soon we understood why the royals chose the Uma Punakha for their afternoon tea. The choice of international blends is excellent, and so are the espressos and pastries. The cuisine is definitely one of the highlights of the resort. The terrace surrounding the main building offers a priceless view of the villages and monasteries the same view enjoyed from the rooms, not large but well organized and boast large windows that allow guests to admire the scenery. Uma Paro is a boutique resort. There is a small spa, but no pool or gym. It is not a problem because the guests are always out visiting the local dzong or climbing hills to visit monasteries. The design, contemporary-Bhutanese, makes great use of wood and local stone, giving a feeling of warmth. The staff is attentive to your every need, personalizing our stay - usually short but definitely intense.

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INFO HOTEL

UMA PUNAKHA Punakha, Bhutan www.comohotels.com Rooms 8 - Suites 0 Villas 3 - Restaurants 1 Spa yes Children yes Chain Uma Affiliation none Activities sightseeing Score 75 Environment 87 Design 84 Service 77 Cuisine 77 Health 46 Spa 74 Rooms 80

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Lawrence Taylor

TAJ TASHI Thimphu

a blessing in the capital

It looks o l d but, i n rea l i t y, i s q ui t e m odern.

Th e Taj Tash i i s a n oa si s of

elega nce i n the hea r t of t h e c i t y.

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O

ne cannot help but notice it. The Taj Tashi is one of the most impressive buildings in the capital. The style is typical Bhutanese: whitewashed brick walls without plastering, wooden roofs covered with slate held in place by small boulders, hence no need for nails. Even the interior decoration is traditional: floors and wooden furniture painted in black, paired with brown marble from Belgium. Rooms and suites all have a good view, sometimes superb and enhanced with a little balcony. We chose a suite and check-in took place in the room; however, not before we had received a warm welcome from the staff. The Internet connection is chargeable and, unfortunately, is still not very fast (unlike in other properties visited), but the other qualities of the property more than compensate for this. The large and well-equipped gym for example, or the spa, whose therapists are able to offer a structured menu of treatments. Then there is the formal restaurant, the Chig-ja-gye. Refined and traditional, with particularly attentive service, and where we

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INFO HOTEL

TAJ TASHI Thimphu, Bhutan www.tajhotels.com Rooms 75 - Suites 9 Villas 0 - Restaurants 2 Spa Jiva Spa Children yes

were received by staff members in traditional dress. Bhutanese food is elegantly composed of balanced flavors, medium spicy and therefore also suitable for the most delicate palates. The Taj Tashi is undoubtedly the best hotel in town. The traditional Indian hospitality chain here is combined with the strong local tradition. The result is of great charm, maybe the espresso is not perfect, but you know, those who live in Italy are difficult in this regard. A small temple in the courtyard of the hotel is available for the guests. A monk received us for a blessing, a ritual that is moving, regardless of personal faith.

Chain none Affiliation none Activities excursions Score 73 Environment 63 Design 79 Service 76 Cuisine 74 Health 61 Spa 72 Rooms 83

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SPECIAL | bhutan

BHUTAN

The Enchanted Kingdom

An ancient monarchy, a little nation where Tibet comes to an end, high up in the Himalayas. Naturally sheltered against foreign influences, Bhutan has preserved its language and traditions and is still waiting to be discovered.

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Ovidio Guaita photo Lawrence Taylor

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SPECIAL | bhutan

There is a dragon on the flag because the people of Bhutan call their country Druk Yul, the “land of the dragon”, which also explains why the national airline is called Druk Air.

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D

zongkha, the official language, is completely incomprehensible to Westerners, and though they speak seven languages between the two of them, we can’t understand a word our driver and our guide say to one another. Even their gestures are confusing. Their ancestral language developed independently from ancient Tibetan and has been the official language of this tiny kingdom since the 12th century. Like the language, ancient traditions still have strong roots among the 650,000 inhabitants of the towns and villages clinging to the country’s steep slopes and in its valley floors. The main places to visit are the capital, Thimphu, Punakha in the north and Paro, where the international airport is located. Travellers can customise their itinerary at will, but these are definitely the classic destinations. As is so often the case, geography has a great impact on art, and Bhutan’s location, squeezed between Tibet and India, has created a style that borrows from the traditions and idioms of both

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In addition to temples, it is worth visiting the country’s dzong fortresses, most of which are in good condition; Punakha dzong (on the right) is definitely one of the most interesting and important of these. Known as the winter capital because of its relatively mild climate, this small town in northern Bhutan also has a royal palace, which is closed to the public as it is still in use.

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Other interesting dzongs may be found in Paro, particularly Rinpung Dzong, where Bernardo Bertolucci filmed a number of scenes in Little Buddha.

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cultures. Buddhism is the official religion and, until not long ago, the country’s monasteries contained its only schools. Hinduism is common in the south, on the border with India. There are plenty of monasteries to visit, often in hard-toreach locations such as the Tiger’s Nest, the monastery of Takstang, just outside Paro, perched 900 metres above the valley floor at an altitude of 3100 metres above sea level. These are amazing places to visit; their mystical air, the amazing landscape, the faith pervading the ancient walls, the mixture of pilgrims with western visitors make a monastery visit a truly amazing experience. Other interesting dzongs may be found in Paro, particularly Rinpung Dzong, where Bernardo Bertolucci filmed a number of scenes in Little Buddha.

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RM

promotion


Villa San Michele, Fiesole


novitĂ &eccellenze rm promotion

Orient-Express in Italy

In the country beloved by Goethe, where visitors have continued to come since the days of the Grand Tour, the pearls of the OrientExpress are reopening for the 2014 season.

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Paolo Gerbaldo

Hotels in harmony with their dreamy locations. Venice, where the Hotel Cipriani is the first and last stop of the luxurious, legendary Orient-Express. Florence, to be admired from Villa San Michele. Portofino, in praise of silence, at the Hotel Splendido. Ravello, with all the views and sensations Caruso loved so much. Taormina, where the Grand Hotel Timeo offers the best of history and the sea. Next spring, Orient-Express trips to Italy will be nourished by a heritage of shared values based on the philosophy of top quality hospitality. INFO HOTEL

ORIENT-EXPRESS www.orient-express.com

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novità&eccellenze rm promotion

Chalet Lhotse Discreet and secluded luxury in Val d’Isere.

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Marco Galli

This chalet has five suites with a balcony in Val d’Isere. The views overlook the village and the Bellegarde Face. It is complete with an outdoor bath and a spa with an indoor pool and hammam. All the rooms are made of wood and decorated in a contemporary chic mountain style. A chef is available for breakfast and à la carte dining.

INFO HOTEL

CHALET LHOTSE Val d’Isère, France www.chaletlhotse.com

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