With the help from the team at Perowne International, we’re looking beyond the current situation with ideas on where to visit when the travel restrictions are lifted.
Read on for our top picks of out of this world hotels and bucket list destinations to bookmark for when we can travel again. From the new Six Senses resort deep in the Israeli desert, to a private paradise island in the remote Anambas Islands, there is an escape that promises to inspire everyone. Time to dream big during these uncertain times…
Elang, Bawah Reserve – Anambas Islands, Indonesia
Situated in the remote Anambas Islands, Indonesia – between Malaysia and Borneo, Bawah Reserve is made up of six tropical islands, 13 white sand beaches and two crystal clear lagoons ready to be explored by land and sea. In addition to its current 36 lodges (including some of the only overwater villas in Indonesia), Bawah is launching six brand new cliffside lodges on a previously untouched island named Elang later this year. Further enhancing the reserve’s private island experience, guests over 18 can opt to book one lodge or to take over the entire island. It will be home to its own guest-only clubhouse which has been carefully designed around a rock formation and inspired by tribal communal houses in Indonesia as well as a beachside restaurant and bar, spa, private beach and salt water infinity pool, created from a natural hollow and refreshed with every tidal change, complete with a water slide. Guests of Elang will have full access to the reserve’s main island, just a short boat trip away and can take part in the plethora of activities included in the rate, in addition to full board dining experiences as well as a daily spa treatment. Guests even have the option to spend a morning as castaways on a one of the reserve’s uninhabited islands, where they will have free run of the deserted island and enjoy total seclusion from the outside world.
Rates on Elang in a one-bedroom lodge will start from approx. £2,500 per night. Rates on the main island at Bawah Reserve start from approx. £1,700 per night.
The Legian Sire – Lombok
The Legian Sire, Lombok will launch in August 2020, making Lombok and the neighbouring Gili Islands more accessible than ever for the discerning traveller, offering diverse, cultural experiences within the island, which still remains remarkably untouched by tourism. Located on the beautiful 3.8 kilometre Sire
Rates for a suite at The Legian Sire, Lombok
Six Senses – Fiji
Six Senses Fiji is located on the tropical volcanic island of Malolo – part of the stunning Mamanuca Islands archipelago,
Rates at Six Senses Fiji start from approx. £771 per night based on two sharing a Hideaway Pool Villa on a B&B basis.
Nihi Sumba – Indonesia
Escape to and explore the remote and untouched paradise of Sumba, hidden amongst Indonesia’s beguiling islands, at Nihi Sumba – an idyllic hideaway for wanderlust lovers looking to travel again. The size of Massachusetts and totally untouched, yet just a 50-minute flight from Bali— Nihi Sumba is home to just 21 villas amid hundreds of acres of lush gardens and on a private beach, ensuring total seclusion. Guests can go totally off the beaten track and immerse themselves in nature by hiking through dramatic waterfalls, ancient villages and butterfly trails, as well as stand-up paddling down the Wanukaka River to the unique ‘Spa Safari’ by the sea for ultimate relaxation. Guests can also experience the beauty of Nihi Sumba on horseback, riding Sumbanese horses along the mile-and-a-half long stretch of beach. Nihi Sumba is also home to one of the world’s most coveted private waves, known as “God’s Left’ – the ultimate thrill for adventure seekers while calmer waters can be found at nearby Coconut Cove. For the ultimate beachfront views, escape to MaranggaVilla – Nihi’s most intimate hideaway with its own private gardens leading directly to the ocean.
Rates at Nihi Sumba start from £1,627 per night based on two people sharing on a full board basis.
Goatfell, Teardrop Hotels – Sri Lanka
Escape to Goatfell, perched amongst tea bushes amidst the Concordia Estate, and on an astonishing edge-of-the-world elevation above Nuwara Eliya. Part of Teardrop Hotels’ portfolio of small yet stylish boutique hotels, Goatfell is a former superintendent’s residence turned boutique hotel and home to just four ensuite bedrooms in the main house, with living and dining rooms. This intimate experience follows through at every point of guests’ stay – from butler service to the restaurant’s menu, which draws on seasonal vegetables grown on site and by the hotel’s neighbour, translated into a combination of Sri Lankan and Western dishes. The interiors of the former bungalow resonate with the warmth and country charm of a bygone era, offering log-fired sitting rooms and panoramic tea field views 2,000 metres above sea level – all which can be enjoyed from an infinity swimming pool. This contemporary take on a traditional planter’s bungalow offers guests the ultimate immersion into Sri Lankan culture – without compromising on indulgence and relaxation. Guests can escape and explore the sights of the colonial-era hill station of Nuwara Eliya or visit Horton Plains to peer down from World’s End and stroll through the reserve’s plains, or even embark on an excursion to Sri Lanka’s third-highest mountain Tothupola
Rates at Goatfell start from £352 per night based on two people sharing on a full board basis.
Highlights on Mongolia with Scott Dunn – Mongolia & Vietnam
Head to the most remote regions of Mongolia with tailor-made tour operator, Scott Dunn – offering guests an opportunity to explore off-grid one of the world’s true last frontiers. Launching later this year and geared towards those seeking eye-opening cultural experiences, Scott Dunn is offering the ‘Highlights of Mongolia’ either as a stand-alone destination or twinned with Vietnam. Seemingly untouched by tourism and only recently accessible to the outside world, Mongolia’s vast wilderness of deserts, majestic mountains and green steppes makes the destination a paradise for adventure enthusiasts and intrepid travellers alike. From the swathe of the Gobi Desert in the south, home to vast shifting dunes, ancient fossils and the spectacular Flaming Cliffs, to the Altai mountains in the west, land of the eagle hunters and the stunning Lake Khovsgol in the north, Mongolia’s diversity is astounding. Scott Dunn’s destination experts will help put together the ideal itinerary to help guests discover the true essence of the ‘land of the blue sky’.
Scott Dunn offers a 14-night trip through the highlights of Vietnam and Mongolia from £10,200 per person including flights, accommodation and daily experiences.
Taj Lake Palace – Lake Pichola, Udaipur, India
This 270-year-old white marble palace floats like a mirage in the middle of Lake Pichola and looks dazzling from the shore, making it one of the most private and exclusive hotspots in the world. Reached by a short boat ride, it was built as a summer retreat by Maharana Jagjit Singh who ruled Udaipur in the 17th century. It has undergone major refurbishment which has gone a long way to restore its palatial feel with marble floors and rich furnishings, making incredibly opulent and ideal for an unforgettable Indian escape. Meals can be enjoyed from Jharokha – an informal all-day restaurant serving both buffet and a la carte from around the world, Neel Kahal – a fine dining option specialising in signature Rajasthani food which overlooks the famous lily pond and Bhairo – a breath taking rooftop contemporary western cuisine restaurant offering scintillating views of the beautifully lit Palace of the King of Mewar and the sparkling waters of Lake Pichola. Special experiences at Taj Lake Palace include the in-house fortune teller who is available each afternoon to read guests palms, beautiful traditional dance performances each evening to be enjoyed alongside cocktails and snacks and relaxing treatments onboard the hotels exclusive Jiva Spa Boat.
Rates at Taj Lake Palace start from approx. £541 per person per night on a B&B basis.
Islas Secas – Gulf of Panama
Located off the Pacific Coast of Panama, recently opened Islas Secas truly is one of Central America’s best kept treasures and affords adventurous travellers endless opportunities for escapism. The highly exclusive, privately-owned archipelago of 14 beautiful islands in the Gulf of Chiriquí, is home to four individually designed Casita sites sleeping up to just 18 guests. The resort’s dedicated Adventure Concierge offers thrill-seekers a myriad of activities both on land and at sea. Guests can dive into the aquatic wonders of the Gulf on one of the hotel’s thrilling marine safaris, ‘fly’ along the coastline on an e-foil surfboard, swim with the Pacific’s fish-storied waters, or witness the natural beauty of a migrating Humpback whale. Islas Secas’s strong eco-reserve credentials also attract the most eco-conscious of travellers, with100% of the property’s energy being solar-generated and 75% of the archipelago left untouched by the human hand. Islas Secas is an inspired eco-destination befitting the most intrepid traveller, combining the wonders of Panama’s incredible natural land and seascape with genuinely sustainable hospitality and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for adventure.
Rates start from approx. £1,731 per night on an all-inclusive basis, including all F&B, select activities on and off-island, and road and boat transfers between the city of David Airport and Islas Secas.
Hotel Esencia – Riviera Maya, Mexico
Located on Mexico’s pristine Caribbean coast surrounded by lush Mayan jungle, sits the idyllic Hotel Esencia, on an exclusive 50-acre private estate. Hotel Esencia is positioned right on the stunning, tranquil beach, Xpu-Ha (pronounced ‘shpooo-ha’ by those in the know), hailed as being the finest stretch of sand in the region and one of the most protected and untouched beaches in Mexico where sea turtles make their nests each year. The boutique hotel is perfectly situated, equally between Tulum, Playa del Carmen, under cenotes and Mayan Pyramids, treating guests to some of Mexico’s finest cultural spots, all within easy reach. For those seeking aquatic adventure, just steps off the hotel’s beach lies a reef sanctuary teeming with sea turtles and colourful exotic fish – one of the region’s best kept secrets. In the five years since being purchased by American entrepreneur and entertainment powerhouse, Kevin Wendle, the hotel has cemented its reputation as one of the world’s hottest beach resorts – a spot that prides itself on excellent service as much as it does gorgeous interiors and offering its well-heeled guests the utmost privacy.
Rates start from approx. £606 per night in an entry-level Jungle Room Suite. The rates are based on two people sharing on a room-only basis and is subject to 19% tax and 10% service per night.
Matetsi River House – Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Set on a private 15km stretch of the mighty Zambezi and just 45 minutes from Victoria Falls, Matetsi Victoria Falls is unique in that it offers guests both world-class safari experiences as well as an idyllic retreat from which to visit the Falls. Matetsi River House is the ideal place to reconnect with family and friends, thanks to the spacious, exclusive-use four-bedroom villa that has been decorated in the same contemporary African style as the main lodge, complete with fire pit and private swimming pool. Guests are looked after by a dedicated team including a private chef, butler, guide and tracker during their stay and will explore the Matetsi Private Game Reserve’s 55,000 hectares of pristine wilderness by foot, vehicle and boat, while great herds of elephant, buffalo and plains game delight and amaze. Guests are also able to enjoy once-in-a-lifetime adventures as for those staying four nights or more, Matetsi Victoria Falls offers a bucket-list helicopter ride where guests will pass over the thundering Falls, soar along the Zambezi River and the immense Batoga Gorge, then over to the Zambezi National Park for some aerial game viewing.
Rates start from approx. £3,859 per night on an exclusive-use basis for eight guests. Rates include accommodation, meals, house selection of non- alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, laundry and safari activities.
Bushmans Kloof – Cederberg Mountains, South Africa
Nestled deep in South Africa’s Cederberg Mountains and with 7,000 hectares to explore, this South African National Heritage Site allows travellers to self-isolate and immerse themselves in breath-taking surroundings whilst being able to enjoy a range of both exhilarating and relaxing activities. Guests will be mesmerised by the impressive and dramatic landscape that encompasses them as they enjoy secluded waterfall hikes, nature drives and swimming in crystal clear water pools. With many having experienced unprecedented levels of stress during recent times, guests at Bushmans Kloof are also able to relax and indulge by enjoying al fresco massages in the secluded Riverside Gazebo, with treatments drawing on ancient Africa traditions and using an exclusive line of body-care products. Organic, home-grown cuisine is also a highlight, with Bushmans Kloof boasting its very own vegetable gardens and unique San medicinal and herb garden, all of which can be enjoyed during a candlelit dinner under the starlit sky, deep in the wilderness.
Ampersand Travel offer
Singita Castleton – Sabi Sand Reserve, South Africa
Singita Castleton, surrounded by 45,000 acres of untouched wilderness in South Africa’s Sabi Sand Reserve, has been given a refreshing new look and the exclusive-use villa now includes a brand-new yoga pavilion alongside its state-of-the-art and fully equipped fitness centre, and massage treatment rooms reachable through a private walkway in the tranquil gardens. The living areas extend outdoors onto deep, covered verandas overlooking a busy waterhole nearby where game regularly gather to drink. As part of Singita’s Private Villa Collection, up to 12 guests of Singita Castleton will access exclusive comforts such as a private game-viewing vehicle and a personal staff team including a Field Guide, private chef and host meaning they can truly relax and enjoy travel once more. Game drives, mealtimes and activities are entirely according to travellers’ own preferences giving them complete freedom to design their days as they wish.
Rates for Singita Castleton start from £13,481 per night for up to eight guests.
*CLOSER TO HOME*
Can Ferrereta – Santanyí, Mallorca & Sant Francesc – Palma, Spain
Located in the quaint rural town of Santanyí in the south east of Mallorca, Can Ferrereta wil
Rates at Can Ferrereta will start from €315 per night on a B&B basis. Rates at Sant Francesc start from €325 per night on a B&B basis.
Six Senses Shaharut – Negev Desert, Israel
Set in the Israeli Negev Desert, Six Senses Shaharut
Rates at Six Senses Shaharut will start from approx. £860 per night based on two people sharing on a B&B basis.
62ºNORD – Sunnmøre, Norway
Founded by Norwegian couple Knut and Line Flakk, 62ºNORD is a leading experiential travel company committed to offering highly personalised, world-class adventures on the North West coast of Norway. The Flakk’s have taken their love and passion for their home region, Sunnmøre, to a whole new level, tailor making all aspects of an itinerary, with a team of local guides and experts to reveal the awe-inspiring beauty of the region. From breathtakingly beautiful hikes, world-class skiing and helicopter adventures to deep sea fishing, wildlife safaris and destination dining, visitors will instantly disconnect from the stresses of daily life. In addition, 62ºNORD’s privately owned collection of restaurants and boutique accommodation located in and around the region, further enhances the guest experience, drawing on the distinct Art Nouveau and traditional Norwegian architecture, fresh coastal cuisine and noble Viking heritage.
Deplar Farm – Troll Peninsula, Iceland
Escape to one of Eleven Experience’s most unique properties, the remote Icelandic lodge, Deplar Farm. The Nordic-inspired lodge is located on the stunning Troll Peninsula, surrounded by untouched mountain terrain and completely secluded. With deep valleys left behind by long-gone glaciers, the area is now cut by rivers at the bottom of the glacial valleys, which have taken over 10,000 years to form. Skiing in Iceland is a unique experience as active travellers have the novelty of skiing down to the sea, together with freshly powdered slopes each day. Guests can enjoy the lodge’s extensive wellness area as well as a unique indoor/outdoor pool, heated to 38 degrees from thermal springs, with a swim-up bar and built-in sound system. The 13 rooms are cosy and stylish and come the evening, guests can feast on local Icelandic delicacies cooked by the private chef.
Rates at Deplar Farm during the winter season (1 Nov- 14 March) start at £1,370 per person per night (based on double occupancy). This includes customised adventure itineraries, all gear necessary for activities, pre-arrival planning with an Experience Manager, all in-house meals, house alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages, daily housekeeping and airport transfers to/from Akureyri. Flights to Akureyri start from £400 return per person with Iceland Air.
Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel & Spa – Amalfi Coast, Italy
Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel & Spa is a spectacular former 17th century monastery which was lovingly transformed into just twenty beautiful sea-view guest suites. Hidden away on Italy’s iconic Amalfi Coast – the hotel boasts the finest setting in this part of Italy, nestled into the side of a cliff, allowing for panoramic views over the breath-taking Gulf of Salerno. Guests can while away hours between the hotel’s incredible heated infinity pool, stunning landscaped gardens, Michelin-starred restaurant and the unique, award-winning spa. Active guests will love the hotels ‘health and hike’ package, allowing them to explore the stunning Italian coastline and escape the crowds by hiking the little-known route called ‘Valle delle Ferriere’ or ‘Ironworks Valley’ with a private guide; beginning at the ‘Piazza Duomo’ in Amalfi and ending at the ‘green heart’ of the coast.
Rates start from approx. £346 per room per night on a B&B basis.