Openings, Revamps and the Latest Travel News
SHIPWRECK LODGE, NAMIBIA
With a striking minimalist design meant to evoke shipwrecked wooden boats, this modern marvel sits landlocked between two rivers in Skeleton Coast Park. Mingle with other guests on the wraparound deck for uninterrupted views across the sand. Roam the dunes and enjoy an evening sundowner on the stark coast, dotted with abandoned diamond mines, ghostly boats and seal colonies. Believe it or not, desert-adapted elephants and lions roam the hostile landscape too. It is a safari like no other.
LITTLE MACHABA, BOTSWANA
This camp is vintage chic, channeling classic 1950s style. Four luxury tents are connected by decks that meander through the trees. Game viewing is a cinch from your private tent overlooking a floodplain — a hot spot for elephants roaming through the golden grass. If you ever tire of walking safaris and gliding in mokoros (which we doubt), unwind even more by lounging near the pool or indulging with a massage and facial.
SINGITA PAMUSHANA, ZIMBABWE
Following a top-to-bottom renovation by design team Cécile & Boyd, Singita’s classic lodge is open and takes African design to new heights with a muted palette, modern finishes and well-edited, global touches. Eight luxury suites — each boasting two en suite bedrooms — and one five-bedroom villa brim with local textures. Perched on a sandstone ridge overlooking the Malilangwe Dam, the lodge offers the best seat in the house, perfect for taking in the sights and sounds of birds and beasts of the surrounding private wildlife reserve.
BLUE SAFARI, SEYCHELLES
There are very few places left on earth that feel as pristine and untouched by mankind as these 72 sparsely-populated coral islands dotting the furthest reaches of the Indian Ocean. Lucky for us, the Astove Coral House, Alphonse Island Lodge and Cosmoledo Eco Camp make it easy to feel like a castaway living luxe. Unwind in the spa, dive into the turquoise sea and dine on freshly-caught seafood alfresco in this faraway paradise.
MAPULA LODGE, BOTSWANA
This blissfully uncrowded, nine-tented camp is enveloped by a world of glassy lagoons and palm-fringed islands. Elephants and hippos feel right at home in this remote corner of Botswana in the Okavango Delta’s northwest region. Having recently undergone a facelift, the camp is packed with character: chic brass lanterns, Malawi chairs, quirky elephant lamps and royal red rugs. Soak in the swimming pool just like the hippos do in the adjacent lagoon.
Eat a traditional meal with a Rwandan family, pick out colorful fabrics in the market or spend time with a farmer. This Kigali-based, 11-room property expertly eases guests into the groove of local living. Every design detail sticks to the ethos of “made in Rwanda,” from the furniture built with locally-sourced teak to farm-to-fork meals to strong Rwandan coffee.
SOSSUS UNDER CANVAS, NAMIBIA
A natural granite amphitheater protects eight spacious tents from the elements. Sustainable recycled materials blend beautifully into the earthy surroundings, while power is generated from the sun. The camp has the lowest environmental footprint of any in the country, which bolsters the preservation of the dramatic Great Namib Sand Sea — a haunting space where antelopes dash, kicking red dune powder into the air. Treading on silent, shifting sands and sleeping under the inky starlit sky is an experience you won't soon to forget.
ARRIVALS AROUND THE WORLD
THE RITZ-CARLTON RESIDENCES, WAIKIKI BEACH, HAWAII
Stay awhile at Oahu’s first Ritz-Carlton resort, which has just completed a major expansion with the addition of swank Diamond Head Tower. Guests have the chance to truly live like a kama'aina (local) in residential-style accommodations, with the bonus of a world-class spa, Waikiki’s highest infinity pool and Sushi Sho — acclaimed Japanese sushi master Keiji Nakazawa’s private, 10-seat omakase-style eatery where the chef creates culinary treats just for you. Perfect for families with children who don’t want to sacrifice an ounce of luxury, custom orders can be placed with a high-end grocery store, so snacks tailored to the needs of little ones are at your beck and call. In the heart of the action, dive into Waikiki’s famous beaches with views of Diamond Head or explore world-famous shops and restaurants. Venture out to the island’s legendary jewels like the North Shore or the wild, uncrowded west side where you can swim in natural pools, play in waterfalls, hike through jungles and experience rich Polynesian history.
BELMOND CADOGAN HOTEL, ENGLAND
History and literary buffs will be delighted tracing the steps of Oscar Wilde and the kings of England — all esteemed guests of this lovingly restored, Queen Anne-style property. Standing proud between the fashionable Chelsea and Knightsbridge neighborhoods, the property’s 54 rooms are dashing, tailored, intimate and complete with a fireplace, which is a nice, toasty treat on a drizzly London day.
FUTANGUE HOTEL & SPA, CHILE
If getting as far away as possible is your goal, then Chile’s Futangue Hotel & Spa is a natural choice. Colorful textiles and objects inspired by the Mapuche culture are visual additions, making you feel right at home in one of 26 rooms smack dab in the middle of northern Patagonia’s lakes, rainforests and volcanoes. Trek the day away and then succumb to utter relaxation in the spa.
SIX SENSES KRABEY ISLAND, CAMBODIA
Cambodia’s siren call is beckoning us to its powdery sand beaches and crystalline seas. Dip into one of the 40 standalone pool villas set on a 30-acre private island paradise. Budding chefs can join a cooking class and learn how to whip up some delicious Indochine-inspired cuisine. Detach from the world you left behind in the spa, focusing on Cambodian healing traditions.
ROSEWOOD BANGKOK, THAILAND
With so many superb properties to choose from in one of Asia’s most frenetic cities, the ultra-luxe Rosewood hotel is poised to be on every hot list for 2019. Comprised of two high-rise buildings shaped like a traditional hand gesture greeting, the new property symbolizes Thai hospitality. Plunge pools and large terraces are private retreats, away from the hustle and bustle of the fast-paced hub. Savor delicious meals in one of three restaurants and indulge with cocktails at the bar.
INFINITY LUXURY YACHT, GALAPAGOS
Set sail on a luxurious, 20-passenger yacht and explore the Galápagos Islands, a bucket list destination. Panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows and private balconies open to exquisite views of the world-renowned bio-diverse islands. Sea salty air brushes your skin as you dine al fresco. Hop offshore, channel your inner Darwin with a naturalist guide and behold a mind-boggling array of unique wildlife in this pristine archipelago aboard one of the region's newest, most exclusive vessels.
COMO UMA CANGUU, BALI
COMO Hotels and Resorts makes a splash on Bali’s south coast with 52 rooms and suites that blend high design and flawless service with the relaxed attitude of a surf hotel. Guests can further make themselves at home in one of 55 additional one- and two-bedroom surfside residences plus 12 plush, three-bedroom penthouses. Situated along six miles of pristine coastline in the boho chic village of Canggu, the 2.2-acre spread is all about the beach. Take advantage of the hotel’s partnership with Tropicsurf, which offers expert-led surfing lessons for all levels, and find a few of the country’s famous surf breaks a stone’s throw from your accommodations. Sample menus of fresh fare made with ingredients sourced from the island’s farms, and don’t miss the unparalleled pampering and healing experience at COMO Shambhala Retreat.
BAIRRO ALTO HOTEL, PORTUGAL
All the cool kids hang out in Lisbon’s buzzy Bairro Alto neighborhood, home to this boutique property set to unveil its lengthy renovations this winter. Part of the overall reimagining by Pritzker-winning Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto de Moura, the addition of an 18th century building ups the room count to 87. Late night cocktails, a must-do, are sipped on the terrace facing the Tagus River.
ST. REGIS, EGYPT
On the banks of the Nile, the soon-to-open St. Regis will make a luxurious home base for exploring Egypt’s largest city, Cairo. Luxury touches abound, from distinctive papyrus garden murals and oriental-style rugs to pearl inlaid nightstands and marble bathrooms fit for a queen. Lounge with a Hibiscus Mary, the property’s take on the iconic St. Regis Bloody Mary, featuring an exotic hit of cumin and mint.
HOT SPOT: BOTSWANA
By Haley Beham
With over one-third of the country’s land designated as national parks and reserves, the landlocked nation just north of South Africa is as wild and varied as they come. From the life-giving waters of the Okavango Delta to the dry and arid Kalahari Desert, the landscape offers just as much diversity as the wildlife. It's no wonder the exclusive safari destination is one of the most popular in Africa.
Make a Splash
Famous for its wildlife, Botswana adopted a low-volume tourism model over 30 years ago, ensuring the ecosystem thrives and remains pristine. The results are clearly seen in the untouched and relatively undeveloped wildlife destinations, offering a truly off the beaten path experience.
The Okavango Delta is one of the last great wildernesses on earth, where an abundance of bird and animal species flourish. Here, you’ll find game viewing experiences like nowhere else in the world: trips through the delta in a mokoro canoe, motorboat safaris, private game drives in open 4x4 vehicles and walking safaris for the truly adventurous. Take in the waterworld from Kanana, a water camp that has developed a loyal following of travelers thanks to its mokoro safaris and incredible bird watching and fishing.
To the west of the Okavango Delta you’ll find the Moremi Game Reserve, widely regarded by safari lovers as one of the finest game viewing regions in all the world. Moremi is home to one of the largest concentrations of elephants on Earth. Base yourself within the reserve at Okuti, not only for its location and five-star amenities, but for the delightful staff who offer a spectacular safari experience from start to finish.
The newly opened Dinaka welcomed their first guests in March. Located on the edge of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in an exclusive private reserve, Dinaka is host to one of the most unique bio-diversities in southern Africa. Activities at Dinaka focus on exploring the vast Kalahari and its wildlife, and there’s a lot of it. Kalahari lions, brown hyena, oryx and over 200 species of birdlife, including the pale chanting goshawk and kori bustard, call the desert landscape home. At night, Dinaka’s sleep-out deck is one of the only places you can truly dream comfortably under the stars. Thanks to the dry climate, you don't even need a mosquito net.
PRO TIP! Don’t miss out on the Bushman experience at Dinaka. It is one of the most authentic interactions you’ll have on your whole safari.
- Devon Chapman, Designer
Safari with Heart
Ker & Downey’s Desert to Delta Safari gives back to Bana Ba Letsatsi, a center in Maun, Botswana, that supports over 250 at-risk orphaned children and youth. The center is a safe place for the children to receive counseling and education, but also provides for basic needs like food, clothing, medical attention and showers. Simply by traveling to Botswana and enjoying a luxury safari at Okuti, Kanana and Dinaka, you are making a direct impact on the lives of the children by keeping the doors open, the water running and the lights on.