Page 97

t r av e l

Wide blue yonder With New Zealand hosting the FIFA U-20 World Cup this month (30 May – 20 June) what better excuse do you need to visit? Hire a car and explore to your heart’s content, but always factor in extra journey time because every ‘scenic attraction’ is staggeringly beautiful. In the North Island, explore urban Auckland, hit the beach on the Coromandel Peninsula, pose in front of hobbit holes in Matamata and bungy into a canyon in Taihape, before taking the ferry to the South Island. There, marvel at turquoise lakes, trek to the highest point in Queenstown for the best view of lightning-shaped Lake Wakatipu and be blown away by the West Coast’s glaciers and Mount Cook. Photography © Zain Hirani

The more the meze Recently opened on the Greek Halkidiki peninsula, Ikos Oceania resort offers the best of both worlds: relaxation and exploration. Waiter service to your sun lounger and the string of on-site restaurants serving Pan Asian, Italian and French cuisines will appeal to those who want to fly and flop, while visitors hoping to get some local flavour are pointed in the direction of the best Greek cuisine as part of a dine-out experience. With Mount Athos and the caves of Petralona on the doorstep, there’s plenty to explore, as well as eat, outside of the resort too.

Rooms from £235 a night;

A dip by the Duomo

winter Sun and spa winners 


Sixth sense Characterful Andalusian bolt hole Puente Romano Beach Resort in Marbella will be adding to its relaxation potential when its new ocean-front spa opens this month. The Six Senses Spa will offer wellness retreats for guests who want to make the most of the hydrotherapy pool, heat and ice showers and herbal steam room. Set in a traditional whitewashed building, the blue-tiled interior has a number of treatment rooms where a range of natural products from The Organic Pharmacy will be used in signature massages and facials.

From £190 a night;


Take the plunge With suites that appear to float in the air above the sea, a mangrove junglecum-wildlife sanctuary and oceanfront infinity pools, the set-up at the Hyatt Playa del Carmen, Mexico, is attuned to rest and relaxation. Scheduled to open this month, the hotel will also include a Cenote-inspired spa, complete with a series of distinctive natural swimming pits often found on this part of the Yucatán Peninsula. The treatment menu reflects the natural surroundings with restorative Mayan massages and alternative healing therapies.

From £140 a night;

Not far from the gondola congested Grand Canal, JW Marriott Resort & Spa celebrates its grand opening this month from its own island, surrounded by 40 acres of immaculately manicured gardens. If the private church for weddings and the largest spa in Venice (complete with an acqua-tonic pool and a hammam) wasn’t enough, the rooftop infinity pool overlooks the lagoon to the famous St Mark’s Square, so you can sightsee between leisurely lengths of breast stroke. Meanwhile down by the water’s edge, guests can learn Venetian rowing, go sailing, or take a private boat from the dock to the historic centre in only 15 minutes.

Rooms from £285 a night including breakfast;


Profile for Runwild Media Group

Vantage Magazine June 2015  

Welcome to the June edition of The Vantage magazine, celebrating the dynamism of the area and bringing you the latest features, articles and...

Vantage Magazine June 2015  

Welcome to the June edition of The Vantage magazine, celebrating the dynamism of the area and bringing you the latest features, articles and...