THE EXPERIENCE: The wildlife experience of a lifetime! The lodge is only minutes away from the headquarters of the Parc National des Volcans from where visitors trek on foot to see the magnificent Mountain Gorilla perhaps one of the most dramatic, thrilling and poignant wildlife experiences possible.
THE LODGING: The lodge, situated in the foothills of the mighty Virungas, the chain of 15,000 ft volcanoes stretching through Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, affords wonderful views of the volcanoes and the surrounding countryside. Guest cottages and the main lodge building have been beautifully constructed and appointed and the lodge is the perfect base from which to explore this unique and fascinating corner of Africa.
MONGOLIA - Terelj Hotel
THE EXPERIENCE: Located a mere 50 kilometers from the capital city of Ulaanbaatar, Terelj Hotel and Tereljmaa Spa offer sublime refuge surrounded by majestic mountains and the stunning tranquility of the Terelj River. Located near the birthplace of Ghengis Khaan, the "great unifier", the hotel provides a truly a unique experience; a rare opportunity to behold antiques, original art and traditional culture in the most luxurious comfort Mongolia has to offer.
THE LODGING: Nestled in the heart of the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, Terelj Hotel and Tereljmaa Spa sets a new standard for luxury, elegance and hospitality in Mongolia. Experience the breathtaking nature of the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park in Mongolia's most luxurious, and only, 5-star hotel, Member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. No expense has been spared to ensure the complete comfort and relaxation of each guest.
VANUATU - Ratua Private Island
THE EXPERIENCE: Vanuatu is an archipelago of 83 islands in the South Pacific with a unique blend of intact tribal communities, resorts, beaches and geography ranging from accessible volcanoes and tropical rain forests, to waterfalls and pristine underwater environments. The lush tropical acres of the island ensure incredible adventures to choose from. Guests can trek, buggy, bicycle, snorkel, canoe, enjoy a horse-pulled carriage or horseback on one of more than 15 horses which roam free on Ratua.
THE LODGING: Ratua Private Island sits in the Vanuatu Archipelago. A preserved sanctuary, this beautiful island property is environmentally friendly embracing the local cultural and beautiful surroundings creating unique experiences for all who stay. Offering ten individual Indonesian-style villas beautifully furnished with eclectic, vintage pieces, accommodations here are comforting and island-inspired. These 200-year-old homes were reconstructed and offer stunning views and a private deck or beach. An exotic blend of local ingredients and therapies are being designed for an ultimate therapeutic experience at the spa as well for those looking to relax.
DJIBOUTI - Djibouti Palace Kempinski
THE EXPERIENCE: Wedged between Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia, Djibouti's Red Sea coastline offers some of the best coral reef sights in the world. Snorkeling and diving are favorite ways to pass the time, and climbing the black lava fields to the peak of a volcano is an experience adventurous travelers will remember for a lifetime. Visti Tadjourah the "city of the seven mosques" with its white buildings that were built long ago.
THE LODGING: Situated on its own beach amidst a secluded and peaceful setting of palms and bougainvillea, Djibouti Palace Kempinski is a spectacular luxury hotel. Renowned for impeccable service and luxurious surroundings, experience the first 5 star hotel in Djibouti.
TRANCOSO, BRAZIL - UXUA Casa Hotel
THE EXPERIENCE: Trancoso is a picturesque, hilltop fishing village on Brazil's verdant Bahian coast. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Quadrado is its grassy town square overlooking the sea and surrounded by colorful fisherman houses. Here UXUA offers nine unique homes set in a tropical garden and complimented by a spa and the nearby UXUA beach lounge.
THE LODGING: Situated on the historic 'Quadrado' a grassy hilltop square closed to traffic except for the occasional horse UXUA's unique 1 - 3 bedroom houses are self-catering or fully serviced according to preference. The units are complemented by a one-of-a-kind aventurine quartz swimming pool (aventurine an alluring green stone considered by many to possess powerful healing qualities), a restaurant, lounge, library, gym, spa, and a dedicated beachfront annex constructed of grounded fishing boats set beside ocean mangroves 5-minutes walk from the Quadrado. Wilbert Das, Creative Director of Italian brand label Diesel, launched the UXUA Casa Hotel (pronounced oo-SHOO-ahh) located in Trancoso, a colorful fishing village on Brazil's idyllic Bahian coast.
ZAMBIA - Chongwe River House
THE EXPERIENCE: Zambia's Lower Zambezi is renowned throughout Africa for its magnificent herds of wild elephant, exceptional predator viewing and of course the Zambezi River.
THE LODGING: It's also home to one of the continent's most spectacular and unique private homes. Chongwe River House sleeps eight in four spacious ensuite bedrooms, making an ideal safari base for a family or a group of friends wanting a private safari. It stands on the banks of the magical Chongwe River, close to the Zambezi, and with a sensational view of the dramatic mountainous escarpment beyond. Many animals come to the Chongwe River to drink and from the deck the game viewing can be as good as any safari activity. The property comes fully staffed with a guide, house manager and private chef all of whom will tailor your private safari.
LAKE POWELL, UTAH - Amangiri
THE EXPERIENCE: Amangiri opened in October 2009 and is located on a 243-hectare (600-acre) expanse of wilderness in Canyon Point, Southern Utah, close to the border with Arizona. The resort is tucked into a protected valley with sweeping views over colorful, stratified rock towards the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. The structures are commanding and in proportion with the scale of the natural surroundings, yet provide an intimate setting from which to view and appreciate the landscape.
THE LODGING: Architecturally, the resort has been designed to blend into the landscape with natural hues, materials and textures a feature of the design. Arrival to the resort is via a winding road that descends into the valley and leads to the central Pavilion. Built around the main swimming pool, the Pavilion embraces a dramatic stone escarpment. Within the Pavilion is the Living Room, Gallery, Library, Dining Room, Private Dining Room and Cellar. Two accommodation wings lead from the Pavilion into the desert: 16 suites are located within the Desert Wing and another 18 suites together with the Aman Spa are located within the Mesa Wing. Outward views from the resort look over the untouched valley surrounded by lofty bluffs.
DESOLATION SOUND, BRITISH COLUMBIA - Sonora Resort
THE EXPERIENCE: Experience ocean rapids in comfort and safety, with close-up views of grizzly bears, orcas, sea lions and dolphins. Fish world famous salmon-filled waters with our expert guides and top-of-the-line Grady Whites. Explore remote glaciers by helicopter. Spoil yourself at our Island Currents Spa with a massage, body wrap and facial, or a soothing soak in hot mineral pools overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy a workout in our gym, all weather tennis court or outdoor pool.
THE LODGING: Sonora Resort is an absolute jewel amid one of Canada's most alluring, pristine environments. It's where uncompromising outdoor adventures meet luxurious accommodations, unparalleled service and extraordinary creature comforts. All this and more awaits you at this all-inclusive Super Natural paradise, less than an hour from Vancouver by air. Whether you want action-packed adventure or an exquisite spa and wellness getaway, you'll find it at Sonora Resort.
THIMPU, BHUTAN - Taj Tashi
THE EXPERIENCE: The Land of the Thunder Dragon, as Bhutan is known, is a landlocked Himalayan kingdom with India and the People's Republic of China as neighbors. One of the most isolated nations in the world, Bhutan is a deeply spiritual country, the last bastion of the Vajrayana school of Mahayana Buddhism. As Bhutan slowly opens up to the modern world, it guards it ancient traditions and pristine ecology zealously.
THE LODGING: Taj Tashi, Thimphu, situated in the centre of the capital city, has adopted age-old Bhutanese traditions in its architecture. A short walk away from the golf course, the hotel offers panoramic views of neighboring mountains. Spacious rooms capture the essence of Bhutanese art and architecture in a contemporary setting at the Taj Tashi. All modern amenities ensure that you have a comfortable stay.
ETHIOPIA - Sheraton Addis, A Luxury Collection Hotel
THE EXPERIENCE: Ethiopia, the oldest independent nation in Africa, has a heritage dating back to first century AD. Traders from Greece, Rome, Persia and Egypt knew of the riches of what is now Ethiopia. Addis Ababa is situated in the foothills of the 3,000-metre Entoto Mountains and rambles pleasantly across many wooded hillsides and gullies cut with fast-flowing streams. Wide, tree-lined streets, fine architecture, glorious weather and the incongruity of donkey trains along the boulevards make Addis Ababa a city of surprises and a delightful place to explore. The clear mountain air gives the city the bracing atmosphere of a summer highland resort. It enjoys a mild climate, with an average temperature of 61 degrees Fahrenheit.
Addis Ababa stands at the very heart of Ethiopia and there is much to do and to see. The city has a flourishing cultural life, with regular exhibitions and lectures. There are many opportunities to experience Ethiopian music, song and dance, to visit museums and to see the city sights. The Horticultural Society and Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society both organize visits to local gardens and trips out into the countryside. Traditional restaurants abound in Addis Ababa, and offer entertainment in the form of the ubiquitous massinko minstrels and traditional dance troupes. There are also many other specialty restaurants in the city, including Chinese, Italian, French, Indian, Armenian, Arabic and Greek.
THE LODGING: Situated in a central location on a hilltop overlooking the city, Sheraton Addis represents African elegance, the first hotel in Africa to join The Luxury Collection. The hotel stands opposite the National Palace and is renowned for impeccable service and luxurious surroundings. Discover ageless beauty and relaxation at The Aqva Club with its attentive service and outdoor swimming pool featuring underwater music and sauna. With one of the world's most unique and celebrated addresses, the hotel's spectacular setting lends itself to rich and memorable travel experiences.