Openings, Revamps and the Latest Travel News
&BEYOND TENGILE RIVER LODGE, SOUTH AFRICA
In a country known for its outstanding lodges, this property on the bend of the Sand River sets itself apart with its environmentally-conscious design and spectacular views of the Sabi Sand Reserve. Crafted with sustainable materials and nestled in the riverine forest, nine thatched suites (complete with private lap pools and decks) reflect the natural beauty of their surrounds. Open, interactive spaces boast locally-sourced patterned fabrics, art and furniture.
ONE&ONLY GORILLA’S NEST, RWANDA
One&Only offers you the chance to get up-close to mountain gorillas roaming in the breathtaking Virunga Mountains. Grab a front-row seat to one of Africa’s most scenic displays of elephants, lions, exotic birds and primates. And your own kingdom at this lavish property is just as spectacular, with every creature comfort you could desire.
STANLEY & LIVINGSTONE BOUTIQUE HOTEL, ZIMBABWE
One of Africa’s most beloved destinations is further enhanced by this 16-suite property. The raw beauty of Victoria Falls is a stark contrast to these polished interiors, replete with white subway-tiled en suite bathrooms, botanical-inspired prints and a fresh color scheme. Wind down with an in-room full-body massage after a hard days’ work visiting the majestic falls and observing giraffes and other area wildlife.
The ever-popular Okavango Delta tented camp on the Xudum River has undergone a fancy refurbishment. Taking cues from an explorer theme, seven tents exude the glamour of the 1920s, reimagined in shades of warm gold, deep greys, rich creams, turquoise and crisp whites — and topped with modern-day amenities such as splendid walk-in showers. Annual floods turn the landscape into wetlands dotted with palm islands, best explored by traditional canoes knows as mokoros.
THE NEST AT SOSSUS, NAMIBIA
Namibia is already an otherworldly experience and now even more so with the opening of this retreat in the Namib Tsaris Conservancy, conceived by South African designer Porky Hefer. The handiwork of social weaver birds inspires the unique nest-like shape of the exclusive-use villa, eight years in the making. Suites are covered in reeds collected from the Zambezi River, while the interiors are cocoons of comfort and style. If these luxury surroundings aren’t already reason enough to head out there, how about sightings of spotted hyenas, leopards and cheetah at the on-site watering hole?
MBANO MANOR HOTEL, ZIMBABWE
Victoria Falls has some new competition vying for your attention. This 19-suite boutique property is just down the road from the entrance to the world wonder. Discerning travelers will welcome the high windows, open ceilings and timbered rafters. A veranda places you in the midst of an ancient teak forest where you can spot birds and beasts as you commune with nature.
Located on a remote island, the revamped camp is keeping all the good stuff like the high-stilted main area hovering in the trees, with additions such as a spa tucked into the palms for extra seclusion. Plunge into a private pool from one of the two villas or five twins, each outfitted with indoor and outdoor showers. With 150,000 acres of private wilderness, there’s plenty to see here, including lions, hippos, antelope, and excellent birdwatching too. Twenty minutes from camp, a raised hideout offers you the chance to sleep under the stars and immerse yourself in the sounds of the bush.
ARRIVALS AROUND THE WORLD
FAIRMONT RIO DE JANEIRO COPACABANA, BRAZIL
Escape to Brazil’s internationally renowned playground, known for its bronzed bodies and sugary fine sands. Remodeled to Fairmont standards, the stylish 13-floor property offers unrivalled views of Sugarloaf Mountain. Pick up some samba lessons and soak up some rays on the iconic Copacabana beach before kicking back in the luxury spa.
FOUR SEASONS ASTIR PALACE, GREECE
It’s only 25 minutes from the city center, but this seaside enclave on the Athenian Riviera feels like a world away. Retro-chic rooms open to vistas of the pine-clad peninsula and shimmering seas that would delight even Poseidon. Opt to sail to the ancient Greek god’s temple on the southernmost tip of the Attica Peninsula or dive into his underwater world from one of the property’s three private beaches.
MV THEORY, GALAPAGOS
The best way to follow Darwin’s footsteps in these famed islands is by luxury yacht. Named after the naturalist's Theory of Evolution, the vessel lives up to its namesake by immersing its guests in nature with panoramic windows (there's even one in the bathroom) and glass-bottom boat excursions to islands inhabited only by sea lions, penguins, and tortoises. Dig into Ecuadorian cuisine on the sundeck; vegetarian and gluten-free travelers will not go hungry thanks to special menus.
AMAMAGNA, DANUBE RIVER
All aboard on AmaWaterways’ newest riverboat AmaMagna, plying the storied waters of the Danube River through Austria, Germany, Hungary and Slovakia. Feel like the captain of the ship from your suite’s private balcony. Exploring storied cities along the route will transport you to simpler times, but expect to find every modern amenity on board, from spacious accommodations with walk-in showers, to a sundeck pool and two spas. Kick off your voyage with a glass of rosé from the wine bar as a musician strums on a violin. Cheers to that.
MANDARIN ORIENTAL WANGFUJING, CHINA
Imagine yourself in the stylish shoes of a Beijing socialite at this boutique hotel surrounded by enviable shopping choices. Classic Chinese décor mixes with the contemporary aesthetic in 73 rooms and suites. And while the Mandarin Oriental’s first property in the city is a sparkly reminder of Beijing’s modernity, you don’t have to go far to experience the city’s heritage — the Forbidden City is only a short walk away.
Bensley Collection – Shinta Mani Wild, CAMBODIA
Glamping goes to a whole new level as you arrive Indiana Jones style by zip line over a river and waterfalls into Bensley Collection’s luxury tented camp, complete with personal butlers. Inspired by an imaginary safari with Jackie O’ you will feel like one of the first to explore this hidden paradise. Enjoy a range of creative luxury adventure activities, feast on delicious cuisine including local freshly foraged ingredients, relax at the Khmer Tonics Spa and join the Wildlife Alliance anti-poaching rangers and researchers as they check camera points and study the untamed forest and its wildlife inhabitants.
CANAVES OIA, GREECE
We don’t really need to give you more excuses to go to Santorini, but this luxury getaway’s brand new villas located in the picturesque village of Imerovigli will give you more of a reason. Prepare to be dazzled. Private infinity pools glisten against the whitewashed palette set against a backdrop of the sparkling blue Caldera and Aegean Seas and fuchsia bougainvillea. Indulge in a candlelit meal on your balcony then drift off into dreams of soaking up more sunshine tomorrow from your king size bed.
CAPELLA BANGKOK, THAILAND
Bangkok’s bustle becomes a distant memory when you are lounging al fresco in this urban oasis. Each suite and villa presents a front-row seat to the Chao Phraya River — a rare feat in such a packed city. The neighborhood, one of the oldest in town, burgeons with a vibrant local arts and restaurant scene. Kick your tension to the curb with a traditional treatment at the Auriga Wellness spa, and savor Thailand’s best cuisine presented by a Michelin-starred chef.
ALILA VILLAS KOH RUSSEY, CAMBODIA
Running away from your problems doesn’t sound like a bad idea when the destination is a far-flung island. To reach your ikat-and-hardwood eco-retreat, you’ll have to hop on a boat. There are only 63 pavilions and villas, each with a private pool cocooned in lush jungle. It’s the perfect setting for living out your castaway dreams.
HOT SPOT: PERU
By Elizabeth Frels
Machu Picchu’s 15th-century Inca citadel is one of the most heart-stopping attractions in the world and continues to be the main reason why many travelers venture to Peru.
But given the recent threats to place the ancient site on UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger, as well as the country’s continued efforts to limit daily foot traffic, it’s high time you discover Peru for what it really is: a one-stop-shop for every wonder a traveler seeks. Between the Amazonian rainforest and Andes Mountains — not to mention its deserts, beaches, world-class cuisine and pisco liqueur — Peru is a superstar destination beyond its Machu Picchu fame.
Lima used to be the forced stopover en route to Cusco, but it’s now a must-do during any visit to Peru. Beyond the city’s culinary reputation and internationally lauded restaurants (of which there are many), it’s the back-to-tradition Limeñan taverns, cutting-edge museums and galleries, and graffiti artists that are contributing to Lima’s reinvention as a hip, sophisticated hub. Take in Pacific Ocean views from high-rise accommodations at Belmond Miraflores Park. Stroll with the locals along the El Malecón promenade, visit the recently refurbished MALI (Museo de Arte de Lima) and soak up the trendy vibe of the Barranco neighborhood. True adventurers won’t want to miss the transformational street art in Lima’s seaport of Callao.
The Sacred Valley is a prerequisite for anyone traveling through Peru, especially as it helps acclimate travelers to the impending heights of Cusco. But its importance goes well beyond utility. Encircled by the imposing Andes Mountains, the mysterious valley is a feast for the senses. In the morning, feed the resident baby alpacas of Belmond Hotel Rio Sagrado before setting out on a quad-biking adventure through the deserted trails of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Stop for a picnic in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by the magnetic energy of the mountains. It’s the perfect place to awaken the spirit with a kintu coca leaf reading or an offering ceremony to Pachamama (Mother Earth).
INTO THE MIST
If Machu Picchu is on your bucket list, there is no better way to travel there than by the glamorous Belmond Hiram Bingham train. If an overnight stay is in order, then Belmond Sanctuary Lodge places you in prime position for being the first in line to experience the morning mists rising over the awe-inspiring ancient city at dawn.
WHITE CITY WONDERS
Volcano-framed Arequipa — known as the White City — awaits down south. This is the land of alpaca wool, condor-filled skies and epic landscapes. That includes Colca Valley and its renowned canyon, said to be twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the United States. Travel there by the Belmond Andean Explorer train, South America’s first luxury sleeper train boasting the highest routes in the world. Pisco sour in hand, gaze out the window to trace the shores of Lake Titicaca at sunrise. Make a luxury Casita at Belmond Las Casitas in Colca Canyon your launching point for spotting Andean condors and exploring the valley with its charming villages.
COLORS OF CUSCO
Step out from your luxe accommodations at Belmond Palacio Nazarenas, housed in a former convent, to behold the energetic buzz of Cusco, once the capital of the Incan empire. The town of Chinchero is the place to go for beautiful, quality textiles. A local weaving workshop known as Centro de Textiles Tradicionales de Cusco (Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco) empowers women to preserve the ancestral art of weaving. Health food lovers will be drawn to the bounty of the colorful Peruvian markets, from Andean grains to Amazonian fruits.
NOTES FROM THE NORTH
Not to be outdone, Northern Peru is equally rich in living cultures and natural wonders. Don’t miss the mighty Amazon, which contributes to Peru’s ranking as one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. From a resident research center or luxury cruise ship, uncover a plethora of pink dolphins, river otters, jaguar, anaconda and 30 species of primates. The true hidden gems of the north, however, are the untouched beaches of Mancora — perfect vantage points for whale watching and indulging in ceviche.