FOR THE NATURE LOVERS
So near, yet seemingly
Given the rising number of wealthy tourists paying a visit to the swiftly developing cities of Cape Town and Johannesburg as well as the beautiful Cape Winelands, there’s no better time to visit South Africa. The safari experience remains to be its biggest draw: In the last two decades, super-luxe game reserves have popped up left and right, allowing visitors to experience all the trappings of five-star accommodations while
Apart from stunning scenery and unrivaled opportunities for nature appreciation, New Zealand has warm, friendly locals and a flourishing dining scene (it’s said that there are more cafés in its capital per capita than in New York City) to be proud of. Most visitors head to the South Island for an adventure of a lifetime, but there are other spots worth visiting in the North Island within a scenic drive from the country’s two busiest cities. A lush, private enclave within the tourist-populated Huka Falls is Huka Lodge, a series of cottages designed by esteemed decorator Virginia Fisher. Rupert Murdoch, Bill Gates, and Miuccia Prada are just a
With stretches of powdery white sand, shimmering waters, coral sunsets, and nary another soul in sight, the Seychelles isn’t called the Galápagos of the Indian Ocean for nothing. Take your cues from Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, who recently put the extravagant North Island in global headlines when they chose the premier resort for their honeymoon. Only 11 exquisite, 450-square-meter villas, each equipped with a private plunge pool, comprise the resort, which proudly honors its almost virgin environs and wildlife and encourages guests to do the same. There are four pristine beaches within reach, but the foremost attraction of this gloriously remote island is its inaccessibility. north-island.com.
FOR BAREFOOT LUXURY
Crystal clear waters, fine sand beaches, and those photogenic rock formations all make quite a strong case for why Pangulasian should be a definite option for a quick getaway. There are a handful of activities that come complimentary with a night at El Nido’s most exclusive island in Bacuit Bay, Palawan, including early morning snorkeling with sharks (supervised, of course), boat trips to the popular Big and Small Lagoons, and kayaking within the island’s spectacular mangroves. Take in 360-degree views of El Nido at sunrise or sunset on the lookout, a manageable half-hour trek away in the company of able guides. Pangulasian’s beach villas are steps away from the water, with the restaurant and library in close proximity, while pool villas each have a 22-square-meter pool on the balcony looking out to the sea. elnidoresorts.com.
Located in sleepy Siargao, Surigao del Norte, Dedon Island is three hours from Manila, or an hour from Cebu, owned by Belgian entrepreneur Bobby Dekeyser. Since Dekeyser also happens to own outdoor furniture brand Dedon, it’s no wonder the resort is so thoughtfully composed, with architects Jean-Marie Massaud and Daniel Pouzet taking charge of designing all nine glass-and-wood cabanas in the four-acre property, infusing each with locally made Dedon pieces. While you’ll be perfectly content to enjoy the peace and privacy of a resort that only accommodates 20 people at a time, there are also outdoor activities to try out, such as deep-sea fishing or surfing the famous break, Cloud 9. dedonisland.com.
The 2013 earthquake may have destroyed a number of Bohol’s churches and historical sites, but its natural
FOR THE EUROPHILES
Like the city it calls home, Venice’s Hotel Cipriani boasts a storied past. It was founded in 1958 by Giuseppe Cipriani, who invented the Bellini cocktail, and has since welcomed the likes of Margaret Thatcher and Sophia Loren as well as a sparkling cast of Hollywood’s brightest: George Clooney, Clint Eastwood, Daniel Craig, and Brad and Angelina Jolie. Commission the hotel’s private boat to explore the hundred little islands that make up northeastern Italy, including the renowned Murano, the center of Italian glassmaking. There are also the quintessentially Italian things to experience, of course, such as riding the iconic gondolas, strolling the cobblestoned roads, and trying out authentic gelato and pizza. hotelcipriani.com.
Known as the vacation haunt of European trust fund princesses and American icons like Jackie Onassis and Elizabeth Taylor, Gstaad is a quaint, picturesque ski village that hosts a number of upmarket boutiques, luxury lodges, and restaurants serving the famous Swiss fondue. The newest and finest in town is The Alpina, a chalet-style luxury hotel that was the first to rise in Gstaad in the last 100 years and cost a spectacular $337 million to build. Besides its prime location in Oberbort, Gstaad’s most exclusive area, its winningest features include a private cinema, a 21,000-square foot spa, and cathedral-style ceilings in the suites. A trip to Alpina can be as much for skiing as for gastronomic pleasure, too, with acclaimed executive chef Marcus Lindner heading the hotel’s Michelin-starred Restaurant Sommet.
Paris has a history of being overrun with honeymooners and tourists, but the charm of the beautiful French capital is a long way from wearing off. New to the city is the Peninsula Group’s introduction in Europe, the Peninsula Paris, which is situated along Avenue Kléber in the 16th