January 18th, 2021
As the travel industry looks ahead, brands are preparing for how to promote a responsible recovery to Covid-19. Luxury travel advisor network Virtuoso, with over 20,000 advisors and 2,000 travel brands in more than 50 countries, is focusing on a ‘conscious comeback’ as hotels reopen in new and innovative ways. CREST (Center for Responsible Travel) and six other global nonprofit organizations have banded together to form the Future of Tourism Coalition with the belief that travelers will demand a more sustainable tourism marketplace. As people look for ways to reduce their footprint, work more responsibly with travel companies, travel to more sustainable communities and better understand the communities they interact with, we have rounded up leading destinations who are laying the groundwork for a more sustainable future – and how travelers can get involved.
If you want to invest in local communities…
Napa Valley, CA
Napa Valley Vintners (NVV), a nonprofit trade association leading the wine region since 1944, has partnered with UNCF to create a new scholarship program for people of color to pursue college degrees in subjects ranging from grape growing, winemaking, marketing, business and more, investing $1 million into the program. Each year over the next five years, NVV will invest $200,000 in scholarships and will encourage its members to bolster the scholarship program with donations to help even more students and to ensure the effort extends beyond five years.
UXUA recruits and trains locals with little to no prior experience in hospitality. Owner Wilbert Das has invested in providing language training and university tuition reimbursement as well as one-on-one mentorship for those who need help in certain subjects that might have prevented them from completing secondary education. Despite classes being one-hour bus ride each way, three staff members completed their degrees in 2019, with 10 currently enrolled. Under the name of U-2020 initiative, the goal is to have 20 staff (out of 85) to complete or enroll in a university program by end-of-year 2020. UXUA also offers life coaching, including financial planning. As a result, 35 employees have bought land in the past six years.
Belmond helped found the Q’omer Wasicha Project in 2015 to promote organic vegetable management and cultivation in local communities as well as fair trade practices. Several communities in the Cusco region are now trained in the production of vegetables and herbs; the sustainable greenhouses allow the harvest of organic crops that would not usually survive the high altitudes of the Andes, including tomatoes, squash and zucchini.
In collaboration with Africa Foundation, andBeyond offers a Conservation Lesson program for both children and adults living in communities close to wildlife areas. Through the initiative, over 1,600 students in East Africa were able to visit andBeyond’s properties, learning firsthand about the wildlife conservation that takes place so close to their home – partaking in game drives with rangers, swimming with dolphins and witnessing turtles hatch. For many, this is the first time in their life they have been exposed to fauna in a meaningful way. These conservation lessons and interactions with andBeyond guides have been a turning point in many participants’ lives; instilling the passion and knowledge of wildlife conservation and community development in them and playing a major part in influencing their careers.
Belmond Eagle Island Lodge has worked with the nearby community village of Xaxaba Island to ensure potable drinking water for the community. Previously unavailable, Belmond donated a Jojo water tank, a leading solution in South Africa to provide safe water, as well as a bowser water tank to ensure a clean water source. Water is then regularly transported from the lodge to the village. Belmond has also assisted with providing medical assistance to the community through mobile clinics. Guests also have the opportunity to visit the neighboring Nxhoga village to learn more about the Khotla from the elders, the meeting and administration system, the cultural relevance of basket weaving and the importance of the fishing industry, witnessing how fishing nets are made.
Dr Hla Tun has been the onboard doctor for Belmond Road to Mandalay, which has been traveling along the Ayeyarwady River since 2004. In addition to his service for guests, Dr. Tun disembarks the river cruise three days per week to lead Belmond’s free health clinic that launched in 2011 as a free service to locals as well as patients who travel for miles on foot to receive medical attention.
If combatting climate change is your passion…
Just 200 years after the first man stepped foot on Antarctica, PONANT is launching the first electric luxury polar ship in 2021. It will be able to cut through ice floe up to seven feet thick – meaning it can reach rarely visited places like Peter I Island, where fewer people have visited than have set foot on the moon. It will operate with a mix of liquified natural gas (the cleanest fuel on the market) and electric battery (zero emission and can operate for up to eight hours at a time). Le Commandant-Charcot will be fitted with the latest technology for minimizing environmental impact, as well as a scientific laboratory for conducting operational oceanography missions and research. Under the supervision of naturalist guides and onboard scientists, guests will be able to participate in the research and experiments during sailings, including helping set up a research station on an ice floe; deploying an Argos transmitter, a satellite-based system which collects and shares environmental data; and taking water samples.
In the 1970s and 80s, Costa Rica had one of the highest rates of deforestation in Latin America, but it has since reversed that trend and embraced reforestation. This was largely because of the government’s commitment to the cause, making it illegal in 1996 to chop down trees without approval from authorities. They also launched PES, a program that pays farmers to protect watersheds, conserve biodiversity, or capture carbon dioxide. This has positively impacted tourism. According to the tourism board, over 60% of visitors site nature as a reason for coming. The national parks and protected areas cover over a quarter of the country’s land. Nayara Resorts is committed to the cause. Their newest property, Nayara Tented Camp, sits on a hillside that was completely deforested by farmers over 50 years ago. Nayara hired a reforestation expert to rebuild the rainforest – which began with the planting of 40,000 indigenous trees.
Chris Blackwell’s Oracabessa Foundation is restoring the coral reef as a means to bring back marine life. In recent years, through the Foundation’s efforts, the Bay saw an increase of fish presence by 1,800 percent. Because of its success, the template is being replicated in other fish sanctuaries across Jamaica. New this year, Blackwell’s hotel GoldenEye in partnership with the Oracabessa Foundation opened a new dive shop that is open to locals as well as guests, offering coral planting opportunities, with profits going back into the foundation.
Coral bleaching from factors like climate change and El Niño has led to the death of 60-90% of the Maldivian reefs. As the only luxury property that is located both on the beach and on a coral reef, Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi offers guests the chance to adopt a coral frame ($175 USD per frame) during their stay. The coral frames are built using broken coral fragments found on local reefs, which are then rehabilitated in the property’s coral nursery and left to grow and regain their health.
If you want to save endangered animals…
Iguassu Falls, Brazil
When Belmond took over the Hotel das Cataratas in 2007, it not only invested in the hotel itself, but in the surrounding Iguassu National Park. The company committed 4 million Brazilian Reals to help update the park’s electricity supply, redesign the old park entrance and build a bicycle path from the gate to the hotel. It also donated 1.4 million Brazilian Reals towards the Projeto Onças do Iguaçu (Jaguars of Iguassu Project) to help preserve the last of the area’s jaguars. Ten years ago the population of these big cats was in sharp decline. The Jaguars of Iguassu Project installed night vision cameras around the park and used tracking devices fitted onto captured and released animals to study their behaviors and devise programs to improve their survival and breeding rates. Since the Jaguars of Iguassu Project began the number of jaguars has increased from around 9 to at least 28 (census of 2019). After exploring the national park, guests can stop by the hotel’s boutique and purchase a stuffed jaguar where a portion of the proceeds continue to support the project.
Pangolins are mini (and adorable) dinosaur-like mammals. While not commonly known in the U.S., these native African anteaters are covered in keratin scales, which are highly valuable to poachers, making them the most trafficked mammal in the world. The species used to roam freely in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, but have been locally extinct for decades. Private groups at andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve can have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get up close and personal with these elusive creatures with andBeyond’s Pangolin Conservation Experience and assist in replacing tags and monitoring behavior.
If you want to lead by example…
Gregory Miller is a leader in responsible tourism, an expert in public-private partnerships and a trained environmental scientist who believes in working globally, acting locally, and protecting our precious natural and cultural resources. Greg joined CREST as Executive Director in 2019, bringing to the organization a global track record of high-impact results in sustainable travel and recreation, biodiversity conservation, and policy development. He is also a founder of the newly formed Future of Tourism Coalition, as well as the Outdoor Alliance, National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance, and Parks in Peril program.
Joss Kent joined andBeyond in January 2012 and brought with him a passion for working with local communities and preserving land and wildlife. He came to andBeyond after several years as CEO of Abercrombie & Kent. Starting his career as a game ranger, Joss has gone on to champion leading sustainability and community initiatives including Ocean Without Border and Rhinos Without Border and continuing a partnership with the Africa Foundation to work with local communities to fill their needs, from building schools to creating water filtration systems.
Cindy Pawlcyn is the chef behind Mustards Grill, a Napa Valley landmark for more than 30 years. She opened the restaurant when the region was still largely pasture, with few restaurants and even fewer chefs (none whom were women!). Then, at 28 years old, Pawlcyn was also among the first to plant an organic garden outside her restaurant. Today, Mustards is still a Napa favorite, and has served more than one million pork chops – her signature dish.
Charity Cheruiyot was the first female safari ranger in Kenya’s Masai Mara. Having grown up in a small village as a member of the Kalenjin tribe, Charity paved her own way to a future in the bush. She now is a favorite ranger among guests of andBeyond Bateleur Camp, teaching the brand’s values of care of the land, wildlife, and people.
Wilbert Das, the former creative director at Diesel, founded UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa in Trancoso, Brazil. Today, Wilbert’s life in Trancoso extends far beyond the (unmarked) entrance of UXUA. As the town’s “unofficial mayor,” he is steadfast in his support of the community and proves that eco-conscious efforts and a propensity for high design are not mutually exclusive.
September 22nd, 2020
From an experiential work of art in London to the nearly 20,000-square-foot hotel-within-a-hotel in Marrakech, these top suites, villas and standalone accommodations offer the best in amenities, design and privacy around the world.
A one-bedroom sculpture, a baby grand piano, the former residence of the last High King of Ireland – there is no stone left unturned in these top suites.
ROOM at The Beaumont
The Beaumont in London is home to Turner Prize-winner Antony Gormley’s inhabitable sculpture called ROOM. Designed as an experiential work of art, the exterior takes the shape of a three-story crouching man made of stainless-steel – an answer to the City of Westminster’s requirement that new buildings contain public art. The one-bedroom suite is a dark space entirely clad in fumed-oak, featuring only a single, all-white bed and can be taken to pitch black darkness and silence at the flip of a switch. The heavily insulated walls create an extremely quiet inside, free from the sounds of the city, and there is a window high up where guests can see the night sky but no surrounding buildings as Gormley wanted views to be unencumbered. There is nothing in the room other than the bed – no TV, minibar, artwork or telephone – so there are no distractions.
Tokyo Suite at Park Hyatt Tokyo
50 floors above Tokyo’s restless streets, Park Hyatt Tokyo’s residence-like Tokyo Suite has floor-to-ceiling views of the city’s skyline from almost every room, with Japan’s highest mountain, Mt. Fuji, peaking up in the distance. Decorated with the aura of a private apartment, this 2,368-square-foot accommodation is adorned with a Miao headdress and washi lanterns by Isamu Noguchi, designer and creator of The Noguchi Museum in New York. From the baby grand piano in the living room to the library collection of 1,000 books on the arts, this suite is a quiet and comfortable escape from bustle below.
Eden Suite at La Réserve Eden au Lac
Located on the third floor of La Réserve Eden au Lac, the Eden Suite debuted earlier this year as part of two-year restoration project helmed by Philippe Starck. The Eden Suite features glass walls separating the living area from the bathroom with natural light pouring in from the large windows and four balconies with charming ironwork. As the only luxury hotel on Lac Zurich, the suite offers sweeping views to allow guests to admire the boats and the Alps in the distance. Taking inspiration from the location, Starck wanted to give guests the feeling of being on a yacht. He lent his signature contemporary touch with neutral tones and sleek metal accents, while honoring the building’s historical elements. Quirky nautical touches include wooden oars, paintings of sailboats and room numbers printed as if they were on a racing sail.
Brian Boru Suite at Dromoland Castle
Named for one of the last High Kings of Ireland and member of the O’Brien family who founded the Castle in the 16th century, the Brian Boru Suite at Dromoland Castle has a bedroom and sitting room overlooking the property’s lake. The bedroom’s canopy bed, sparkling chandelier, and separate dressing room evoke the Castle’s royal heritage, activities like falconry and pony and trap rides celebrate its history and the 18-hole golf course with a flood-lit driving range embrace modern technology.
TOP STANDALONE ACCOMMODATIONS
For those looking for extra privacy and added space, these standalone accommodations – villas, casas and riads – offer private entrances, plenty of outdoor space and even their own dedicated staff.
Grand Riad at Royal Mansour
Of Royal Mansour’s 53 individual three-story accommodations, the four-bedroom Grand Riad is the undisputed crown jewel. Referred to as the “hotel within the hotel,” the nearly 20,000-square-foot residence features a private library, two swimming pools with built-in water current, a cinema, hammam, gym, multiple dining and living rooms, and a glass-enclosed split-level terrace with a retractable roof. With a private resort entrance, the Grand Riad feels more like a private home than a hotel. No detail is overlooked thanks in large part to a dedicated staff that includes a chef, watchman, housekeepers, and butlers.
Casa do Lago at UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa
UXUA just launched a new casa, Casa do Lago, where not a single tree was cut to create the new accommodation. The house reimagines an old fisherman home and its colonial Brazilian style with reclaimed materials, such as wood sourced from an abandoned plantation, and a modern eye. Wilbert Das, founder of UXUA and former creative director of Diesel, filled the casa with Brazilian art, antiques, and custom pieces from the UXUA DAS furniture collection. The defining feature of this casa is a lake surrounded by rainforest and preserved with modern technology to be sustainable and healthy. The mineral-rich water is home to rare fish species and is a perfect place to swim. The casa is just a short walk from the historic Quadrado of Trancoso but feels like its own tropical universe, celebrating indoor/outdoor living.
Stella Maris at Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi
Out of the 121 villas, Stella Maris is a standout option at Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi – accessible only by traditional dhoni boat. The nearly 6,000-square-feet duplex accommodation features an infinity pool, overwater hammocks with direct access to the ocean, and a BBQ station that is available for private chef service. The ‘smart villa’ (with every light, aircon, and curtain controlled from one central iPad) is stocked with still and sparkling water produced at the property’s onsite bottling plant. Laid-back island style is juxtaposed with modern design elements – from a sleek spiral staircase to a bathroom decked out in black-and-white stripes from head to toe. With an ambiance inspired by the Maldivian night sky, the layout offers stargazing opportunities from various points around the villa, allowing guests to spot both northern and southern hemisphere constellations from a different spot every night.
Fleming Villa at GoldenEye
Channel Ian Fleming in celebration of the 25th James Bond movie, No Time to Die, in the aptly named, five-bedroom Fleming Villa at GoldenEye in Jamaica, where he penned all 14 James Bond novels. Today, his writing desk still remains. The main bedroom looks onto his sunken garden, where he entertained the likes of Kathryn Hepburn and Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden. Guests have access to his private beach and can snorkel in his beloved reef. The grounds also feature a private screening room in what was Fleming’s former garage.
andBeyond Ngala Treehouse at andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge and andBeyond Ngala Tented Camp
Three miles away from the nearest lodge and 39 feet in the air is the new andBeyond Ngala Treehouse. The completely private, four-level accommodation – surrounded by nothing but the South African bush – opened in February 2020 as a new accommodation at andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge and andBeyond Ngala Tented Camp. Fully solar-powered, the treehouse has a rooftop deck with an outdoor bed and lounge for al fresco sundowners and dinner for two, an indoor bedroom, and a full bathroom with an outdoor shower – all with uninterrupted views of the bush below. Couples pack up just what they need for the night and are escorted on a game drive to the treehouse for an unforgettable sleepover, complete with a stocked bar and jars of midnight snacks. Surrounded by a thorn boma fence and just a phone call away from the dedicated treehouse attendant, travelers can feel safe in this otherwise intimidating setting.
Palazzo Vendramin at Belmond Hotel Cipriani
Separated from the main hotel by an ancient courtyard and flowered walkway, Belmond Hotel Cipriani’s Palazzo Vendramin is housed in a 15th-century former palace with views overlooking Venice’s St. Mark’s Square. When booking the new Exclusive Places offer, the 16-room-and-suite palace offers complete seclusion for groups with a separate entrance and private dock along with 24-hour concierge service and daily a la carte breakfast. The top suite, the Dogressa Suite, offers views over both St. Mark’s Square and the Doge’s Palace via floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the sitting room. Build out a fulsome itinerary with private experiences including a sailing aboard Belmond’s Edipo Re, a meticulously restored, 16-meter vintage 1960s sailboat to explore the lagoon; or a mixology masterclass with beloved head barman Walter Bolzonella.
We’re looking ahead to exciting debuts in 2020 including the largest penthouse suite in Washington D.C. overseen by Clodagh as well as a new boutique hotel in Palm Beach with a private 1,200-square-foot rooftop terrace.
Penthouse Suite at The Dupont Circle
The pièce de resistance of the largescale, top-to-bottom renovation at The Dupont Circle hotel in Washington, DC is the Penthouse Suite, designed by Clodagh. Debuting this month, it can be booked two ways: as a one-bedroom or two-bedroom. When expanded into two-bedrooms, the suite is one of the largest in the city at 1,980 square feet. The heated outdoor terrace, which overlooks Dupont Circle and has views of the Washington Monument, also adds an additional 590 square feet. For the ultimate private experience: guests can also book the entire penthouse floor with its 12 suites and private elevator. Many also featured heated terraces, and all have been completely redesigned by Bernie Gallagher, the Chairman of the Doyle Collection who is very invested in the design of each property, imbuing them all with a unique sense of style and place.
Park Suite at White Elephant Palm Beach
White Elephant Palm Beach, sister hotel to the White Elephant on Nantucket, will open on November 4, 2020 with 32 rooms and suites. Ideal for friends and multi-generational families, the 3,000-square-foot penthouse Park Suite is a three-bedroom that can be expanded into four, complete with a fully equipped kitchen and spacious living room. With views of Bradley Park, the penthouse includes a 1,200-square-foot rooftop terrace for entertaining. Other decorative accents such as bronze elephant door knockers, bold patterned throw pillows, rattan ceiling light fixtures, and black and white striped side tables are sprinkled throughout.
September 14th, 2020
For many, the work-from-home lifestyle has become the new normal. The option to change up the location of that ‘home’ is becoming increasingly enticing as borders slowly begin to open around the world. Luxury travel advisor network, Virtuoso, has seen the trend expand as of late, noting “If micro-vacations were born from a lack of time, extended stays are the answer to a strained work-life balance brought on by incessant Zooming.” [Misty Belles, Managing Director of Global Public Relations]
The following properties have taken their hospitality to the next level with extended stay deals that offer a true home-away-from-home – from the Irish countryside to the beaches of Jamaica.
County Clare, Ireland
Set on 450 acres with gardens based on the same designs as the Gardens at Versailles, Dromoland Castle can trace its heritage back to the 16th century when it was home of the O’Brien family and last high kinds of Ireland. Two couples or a family of four can now make this once royal home their very own with a month-long stay in the Grania O’Brien Suite. The two-bedroom apartment features its own kitchen, fireplace, and private terrace with a garden and outdoor space. With the long stay offer, guests can take advantage of the 18-hole golf course with daily access to the golf academy and the golf buggy. The rate includes unlimited laundry, daily breakfast, 24/7 IT support for those setting up a home office, and a personal host to attend to guests’ every need. Cost for 30 nights is €29,000 (approximately $34,182 USD) (valid September 1, 2020-April 1, 2021, excluding Christmas and some closed out dates) *Americans are welcome in Ireland right now, but must self-quarantine for 14 days.
There’s no denying that Nantucket is the quintessential summer destination, but true insiders know that fall is when the island really shines. The crowds disperse and beachcombers can spread out across the island’s 82 miles of coastline. The local boutiques and restaurants remain open, and travelers are still able to enjoy outdoor offering such as biking, sailing, lobstering and golfing. Those looking for a last dose of vitamin sea before winter sets in can make White Elephant Resorts their home. Stays for 30 nights or more after Labor Day will receive 25% off. Families or groups can opt for an in-town Residence or Loft at the White Elephant (closes for the season on December 6); the three-bedroom Anchorage House by Serena & Lily at The Wauwinet (closes for the season on November 2); or a Cottage at the Boat Basin (closes for the season on October 18).
There’s no better way to spend the week than with toes in the sand and a Red Stripe in hand. Travelers who book 30 nights or more at GoldenEye in the quiet fishing village of Oracabessa will receive 30% off accommodations. Previously Ian Fleming’s home and the site where he penned all 14 James Bond novels, today the property is owned by Island Records founder, Chris Blackwell. Set alongthe pristine coast, among lush tropical gardens and around the calm waters of the property’s lagoon and secluded beaches, the 52-acre estate now encompasses 45 stand-alone villas, cottages, and Beach Huts. Guests also have the option to book Fleming’s original five-bedroom home, where his writing desk remains. Daily breakfast and unlimited laundry are included. Not valid December 20, 2020-January 3, 2021.
Following months of being cooped up at home, the ‘close to home travel’ trend just won’t cut it for some. Built-up wanderlust means getting as far away as possible, and the Maldives is open of business. With the ‘Live Unforgettable’ offer, guests of Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi staying seven nights or longer will receive a 30% discount on accommodations including roundtrip airport transfers via the property’s fleet of yachts, daily breakfast, and nightly dinner credit of $100 per person for two. Privacy-seekers might opt to make a Stella Maris over-water villa their home-away-from-home, which is only accessible by traditional dhoni boat and features a private infinity pool, BBQ setup, and hammocks swimming over the turquoise blue ocean. Available now through December 20, 2020.
Nayara Tented Camp is one of the first luxury camps in Central America. Located in the Arenal Volcano National Park, the year-round camp is the brainchild of owner Leo Ghitis who was inspired by the luxury canvas lodges of Africa and Asia. The air-conditioned accommodations, each generously sized at 1,496 square feet, have been built at a higher altitude on the hillside to provide unobstructed views of the volcano. The indoor/outdoor design of the Camp blends contemporary, barefoot-luxe touches and unique-to-location design features: a master suite created as a nod to traditional African safari style tents fused with a Costa Rican sense of place; canopy beds with a botanical headboard mural; private plunge pools fed by natural mineral hot springs; and double-head outdoor showers. Guests who book stays 30 days or longer receive 35% discount on accommodations, along with laundry service, twice daily cleaning service, valet parking, breakfast and daily yoga.
September 11th, 2020
Hotels with Stunning Views, Even from the (Private) Swimming Pools
Spotting wildlife, gazing at constellations, sipping chilled rosé, cooling off from the desert heat – these are all activities best enjoyed from a plunge pool. A private place to take a dip is a deal-breaking amenity for many when hitting ‘book,’ especially heading into this new world of travel. In fact, luxury travel advisor network, Virtuoso, says that it’s been one of the most requested in-room features from their clients in recent months.
Here are our favorite places around the world to float.
Views of Ocean
Maldives: For those looking to travel as far away from home as possible (we don’t blame you!) Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi awaits. The property opened on July 1, 2019 as the first luxury resort near the capital city of Malé in the last decade – making for a quick and seamless yacht ride from the airport anytime, day or night. Every single villa on the island – whether on the beach, reef, or stilted over the ocean – is equipped with a private infinity pool, dining gazebo, and an outdoor deck with a swinging daybed. Guests staying in a Stella Maris overwater villa can take a traditional dhoni boat straight to their pool and spend the night gazing at both southern and northern hemispheres stars.
Anguilla: Situated in a secluded are of the newly-renovated resort, the multi-story Beachfront Pool Villas at Belmond Cap Juluca have private swimming pools just steps away from the white sands of Maundays Bay. Guests can sway to a private, in-villa reggae concert from the comfort of their own pool float.
St. Barth: New four-bedroom villas at The Christopher, designed by Olivia Putman (daughter of Andrée Putman) blur the boundaries between inside and out and use a mix of natural materials including bamboo, sandstone and volcanic stone, accented with pops of the hotel’s signature orange. With large decks and private pools, they meld the privacy of a villa rental with the comforts of a hotel.
Mykonos: Once home to Greek gods and a favorite destination of Jackie Kennedy as well as artists, poets, designers and actors, Mykonos has long been in the spotlight. But the whole story of the island is rarely told. Enter Kalesma, opening in Spring 2021. Set on a hilltop above Ornos Bay and just under two miles from Mykonos town, Kalesma’s 25 accommodations will be spread across five acres and set against a lush hillside blanketed with 20,000 plants. All suites will offer unobstructed lookouts from the private patio, as well as a full-sized personal heated pool.
Côte d’Azur: La Réserve Ramatuelle is nestled within a cliffside jardin overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Just 15 minutes outside St. Tropez, the property feels like a well-kept secret. Each of the 14 villas comes with its own private garden and pool. The three-bedroom Villa No. 2 has 22,000 square-feet of gardens with unbeatable views of the Mediterranean Sea. Wall-to-wall windows open to the outside, seamlessly blending indoors with outdoors, where an al fresco dining and entertaining area and a private infinity pool and Jacuzzi overlook Cap Taillat.
Thailand: Set among 17 acres of tropical gardens, Belmond Napasai offers a secluded retreat with a collection of standalone villas and suites overlooking Baan Tai beach on Thailand’s Koh Samui. For the utmost privacy, guests can book one of the oceanfront pool residences ranging from one to four bedrooms. The multi-level private homes each feature a massage sala, direct beach access and an oceanfront pool.
Views of Desert + Mountains
Namibia: andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge opened October 16, 2019 after a 10-month complete rebuild in one of the world’s oldest deserts and adjacent to an International Dark Sky Reserve. Ten 1,400 square-foot guest suites have desert views from every corner with thoughtful touches like butler hatches with secret, solar-powered freezer drawers stocked with ice cream and Namibian craft beer; in-room fireplaces and artist easels; large private verandas with outdoor showers and fire pits; and chilled plunge pools to offset the desert heat. Need more about the pool.
Marrakech: Situated just steps from Jemaa el Fna, Royal Mansour is a quiet oasis with an open-air courtyard and the calming fragrance of orange blossoms. The palatial estate, owned by the King of Morocco, is the only all-riad property in Marrakech. No elevators; no carts; no rooms; no crowds. Dotted along petal-pink walkways are 53 private, three-story riads with rooftop terraces and private plunge pools. The Grand Riad is the crown jewel, with a rooftop terrace spread over two levels with a pool that offers views out to the Atlas Mountains.
Views of Wildlife
Costa Rica: Nayara Tented Camp opened in December 2019 as one of the very first luxury tented camps in Central America. The 21 tented accommodations are dotted up a hillside with unobstructed views of the towering Arenal Volcano. Set in the lush rainforest – home to wild flora and fauna like hummingbird, colorful macaw, and over 15 sloths – each tent has an expansive terrace with a private pool fed by warm mineral springs sourced from the volcano.
South Africa: andBeyond Tengile River Lodge is located in South Africa’s private Sabi Sand Game Reserve, which is known for its unmatched leopard sightings. With a name that means tranquil, the lodge features nine floating suites that look out over the Sand river from a forest and each suite offers river views. After a morning game drive, guests can swim in their own personal pool while spotting the elephants and buffalo that regularly graze in the river.
Views of Vineyards
Napa Valley: The three new Maple Grove Villas at Bardessono Hotel & Spa in Napa Valley are available to book individually or as one three-bedroom retreat. The villas have stocked wine fridges, fireplaces and outdoor “cocktail pools” with lounge seating. Bardessono Hotel & Spa is one of only three Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum-certified hotels in the county. Located in Yountville, cuisine reigns king here, with more Michelin stars per capita than any other place in America.