Archive for the ‘luxury travel’ Category

Sri Lanka’s Latest Villa Rentals

On Houses

A view from On Houses Weligama, Sri Lanka

Lately, Sri Lanka is really making the travel aficionado rounds as the next hot destination. As such, we came across On Houses Weligama, located on the beautiful south coast of Sri Lanka, and wanted to let our readers know about these luxury villa rentals. On Houses, Weligama is in a quiet and secluded bay five minutes away from Weligama Bay. With its four houses built into the hillside and each with uninterrupted ocean views and lush tropical gardens, On Houses, Weligama is the newest addition to the growing portfolio of luxury accommodation and travel options now available in Sri Lanka. 

Imagine awakening every morning on a tropical island, rich in culture and history, unrivaled in its natural beauty, facing the white sands and clear waters of the Indian Ocean, in a home that represents refined taste and tropical modern luxury.

On Houses

Take in the views of the ocean from your own private infinity pool

On Houses can be rented out as whole villa rentals, whether only 1 or all 5 bedrooms are being occupied. Each On House rental comes with an in house highly trained chef, as well as housekeeper, waiter, shared gardeners, pool attendant, and security.

Rental of an On House can be best booked and paid for through a variety of property rental services, such as Airbnb, Trip Advisor, Booking.com, Expedia, Vacation Rentals, and others.

On Houses

A room with a view…

Features of the On House include:

  • 5 en-suite bedrooms, each with direct ocean facing views
  • Handcrafted high quality finishes throughout
  • Private infinity edge pool with underwater music speakers
  • Generous terraces and verandahs
  • Spacious living and dining areas
  • Outdoor dining pavilion
  • Fully furnished
  • Private gym/ massage room
  • Enclosed garage
  • Separate two-bedroom staff quarters and laundry
  • Exquisite landscaping
  • On site management, including security, gardening, and maintenance
  • ON House rental program available through ON House management

 

 

A Modern Safari Fit for a King or Queen

The latest Netflix series on our minds (and ‘recently watched’ lists) has without a doubt renewed an interest in the royals and their connection to Africa. andBeyond has created a safari to give guests a taste of the royal treatment…

Kenya and The Crown

cottars-1920s-camp

Cottars 1920s Camp

Home of the classic safari, Kenya has an undeniable connection to Britain’s colonial era with its historical aura of elegance and grandeur. In fact, as documented in the recent television series, it was in Kenya that Queen Elizabeth first received the news of the death of her father, King George, and of her ascension to the throne. Inspired by this and the many other connections between the royal family and this former colonial stronghold, andBeyond has created a modern safari fit for a queen called Kenya and the Crown.

kenya-safari-masai-mara-tours

Lunch with the Masai Mara

This grand itinerary visits places made famous by explorers and royals of old, including special touches like vintage vehicles, which will take the intrepid traveler on a journey far back in time.  andBeyond, one of the world’s leading luxury experiential travel companies, has designed personalized high-end tours in 15 countries in Africa, five in Asia, and four in South America. The company also owns and operates 31 extraordinary safari lodges and camps, which positively impact more than 9 million acres of wildlife land . Taking exceptional care of its guests in order to make a difference; its commitment to sustainable responsible travel, conservation and community empowerment has been globally recognized with multiple awards over the years.

kenya-masai-safari-tours-migration

A Kenyan Migration Adventure

Highlights of the itinerary:

  • Stay in the famous Norfolk Hotel in Nairobi, host to characters such as Theodore Roosevelt on his epic 1909 safari Walk in the footsteps of legends on an historical tour of Nairobi, visiting sites such as the Railway Museum and Karen Blixen’s home.
  • Relax in the lovingly maintained colonial mansion of Giraffe Manor.
  • Experience the wilderness of Tsavo from the luxury private camp inspired by none other than the honorable Denys Finch-Hatton of ‘Out of Africa’ fame.
  • Feel the thrill of walking where the Tsavo man-eating lions once roamed.
  • Ride in a Vintage 1928 International SS motor Truck as driven by Robert Redford in the film ‘Out of Africa.’
  • Explore the Masai Mara celebrating the era of classic luxury at Cottar’s 1920 which is reminiscent of the 1920s.
  • Enjoy a Heliflip to Lake Rutundu for a champagne breakfast where Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton.
  • The obviously excellent photographic opportunities throughout this historical journey.
luxury-africa-safrai-kenya-lewa-downs

The luxurious accommodations of Lewa Downs

Rates:

  • January 1, 2017 – December 31, 2017    
  • Starting from $19,551 USD per person sharing
  • 10 Days / 9 Nights

Make the Most of the Adventure:

Guests can add to this Kenyan adventure by hopping across the border to Uganda, putting them within reach of the once-in-a-lifetime experience of tracking Gorillas and taking them to the end of the ‘Lunatic Line’ in Kampala.

Complement the Northern section by spending a few nights on Lake Victoria – andBeyond’s travel experts can tailor-make the itinerary.

Specially Created for:

  • History buffs
  • Romance
  • Wildlife enthusiasts
  • Avid photographers

A Luxurious Kenyan Safari fit for a King or Queen

Honduras: An Eco-Resort’s Latest Organic Offering

The Lodge at Pico Bonito’s New Organic Spa and More…

Honduras Eco Hotel

Dinner at The Lodge at Pico Bonito (c) Small Luxury Hotels of the World

We’re back from the holidays and we’re already ready to plan our next vacation. You too? If getting back to the grind is inspiring daydreams of ditching it all for a trip away from it all, we have a great suggestion for you…

The majestic jungles of Honduras!

Because really… there’s nothing like being in the middle of the glorious jungle filled with over 40 different types of tropical butterflies, toucans, motmots, and miles of private trails through canyons, waterfalls, and swimming holes. If that’s not reason enough, how about a mystical Temazcal (Mayan sauna) in the center of the jungle to get your trip – and your soul – steered in the right direction?

The Pool at Pico Bonito

The Pool at Pico Bonito (c) Small Luxury Hotels of the World

Temazcal, which comes from the Nahuatl Word temacalli, means ‘house of heat.’ Originating in the pre-Hispanic indigenous culture in Mesoamerica, legend has it that the dome shape of the steam house represents Mother Earth’s womb, and those taking part in a Temazcal are said to experience a rebirth.

Honduras’ top eco-resort, The Lodge at Pico Bonito, is inviting travelers to abandon the stresses of home, ignite a new outlook on life, and increase circulation of the senses with their new organic spa offerings and we think it sounds like an excellent idea. It’s also been named one of the top 50 eco-lodges by National Geographic Traveler.

Honduras Eco Resort Lodge Pico Bonito

The Lodge at Pico Bonita’s Standard Room in the Center of the Jungle

The new outdoor spa, set to debut on January 15th, will have three circular cabins on stilts to maintain balance and harmony with the natural energies of the environment (one cabin for individual massage, one cabin for couples massage, one cabin with a Vichy shower, one Temazcal, and a nearby plunge pool).

Here some just a few deliciously organic spa offerings:

Revitalizing Cotinga, in the Temazcal, begins with an aromatic steam therapy to oxygenate the pores of your skin. The treatment continues in their Vichy shower with a pineapple exfoliation and a therapeutic anti-inflammatory chamomile mud wrap. (Note: Temazcal rituals need two people per session so bring along your partner for a truly liberating couples experience)

Aromatherapy, or Essential Oil therapy, is also on offer. Taking a holistic approach of using extracts from plants to balance, harmonize and improve the mind, body and soul by using essential oils such as spruce, rosewood spruce, rosewood, frankincense, and blue tansy. Detox relaxes muscles, improves circulation and relieves joint pain by using essential oils such basil, grapefruit, cypress, marjoram, mint, and lavender to drain and remove toxins.

Organic spa treatment

Organic Ingredients Good Enough to Eat!

Organic Fruit Facials incorporate seasonal fruits like cucumber, melon, banana, lychee, papaya, pineapple and passion fruit, along with cacao and honey, to refreshen your face. The best part? Their 50-minute facial only costs US $45. For those feeling even more romantic, there’s the Romantic Rio Coloradito Treatment, a lavender-fused massage to delete back and neck tensions from all those days sitting at the computer. It’s followed with a warm foot purification scrub (using honey and flowers for her and herbs for him) while sipping on a delicious tea from local fruits and aphrodisiac spices.

Honduran Rafting Excursion!

Honduran Rafting Excursion! (c) Small Luxury Hotels of the World

The eco-lodge is worth the escape alone. A member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World™, its five-star amenities are set on the edge of Honduras’ second largest National Park, ten miles from La Ceiba. There’s a trio of four-story observation decks overlooking the jungle canopy and adventures like white water rafting and jungle safaris through protected mangroves make it an unforgettable experience. Plus, with only 22 private cabins, it’s the perfect place to escape city life, in eco-chic style.

www.picobonito.com 

Bonefishing in the Seychelles

Seychelles

Bonefishing in the Seychelles

Are you an avid adventurer with a love of island life and in the mood for something new? If so, Frontiers International Travel is excited to announce Astove Lodge, a new fishing destination slated to open its doors in February 2015. Astove is one of the most southerly islands in the Seychelles and a top fishing destination worldwide. The remote raised coral island measures 3.7 miles north to south and about 2.5 mi east to west. Its only settlement was abandoned in the 1980s. The new lodge includes six en-suite single occupancy bedrooms, allowing lucky anglers to spend six and a half full days fishing this remote atoll. The southernmost islands of the Seychelles have a reputation as perhaps the best bonefishing and trevally destinations in the world, yet only an elite group of anglers have wet their flies in these extremely rich waters.

Astove offers opportunities to catch giant trevally, bonefish, permit, barracuda, milkfish, Bluefin trevally, triggerfish, yellowfin tuna, dogtooth tuna, wahoo, sailfish and marlin.

“Cosmoledo Atoll is known as the best giant trevally fishery in the world, but Astove is where anglers have caught more than 40 in a session,” said Mike Fitzgerald, President of Frontiers International Travel. “With this new lodge, six lucky anglers per week will have it all to themselves for some of the best fishing on earth.” 

The 7-night fishing package starts at USD $14,950 pp.

Contact Frontiers at 800-245-1950 for additional information or click here for a unique fishing experience in the Seychelles!

COMO’s Latest in the Maldives: Maalifushi by COMO

maldives overwater bungalow

COMO Maalifushi Overwater Bungalow 

Now this is how to vacation in style. From one of our favorite hospitality groups, COMO Hotels and Resorts, has just introduced Maalifushi by COMO, a new property in the glorious Maldives. On the main resort island, tropical vegetation featuring exotic birds provides lush “curtains” for private rooms, suites, and villas, as well as Maalifushi’s ‘Madi’ restaurant, ‘Thila’ pool bar and lounge. Overwater accommodations, including a number of luxury suites and villas with private pools, as well as ‘Tai’ restaurant, can be found on the west of the island, all offering uninterrupted views across the ocean.  

Interiors throughout the resort are by Japanese designer Koichiro Ikebuchi; they bear the hallmarks of COMO’s signature, pared-back style, with locally sourced materials, natural light, and open vistas taking center stage. Officially open June 2014, the 20-acre secluded retreat and private island is the company’s second resort in the Maldives, and its first in the untouched Thaa atoll. Its sister property, Cocoa Island by COMO, located further north in the South Malé atoll, opened in 2002.

maldives como

Koichiro Ikebuchi’s locally sourced, natural style

The 66-room property’s overwater bungaloos are a shoe in for couples, while their garden accommodations are ideal for families with small children. The island’s white sand and bright turquoise lagoons are surrounded by a string of uninhabited islands, including another small piece of land belonging to the resort that can be booked for castaway picnics and romantic private dinners. I mean…M? Can life be this good? The answer is a resounding ‘yes’. 

Rates begin at $650 per night for a Garden Room

DIVING

Underwater, the Thaa atoll is a range of untouched corals, attracting a host of colorful reef fish and sea creatures. The area offers opportunities to spot Hammerhead and Whale Sharks, a rare treat for dive enthusiasts.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Three expansive, two-bedroom overwater COMO Villas
  • ‘Madi’ restaurant featuring all-day international, Maldivian, and healthful COMO Shambhala Cuisine
  • COMO Shambhala Retreat spa with gym, eight overwater treatment rooms, and yoga pavilion
  • On-island Dive Center and guided diving excursions led by a Marine Biologist and certified PADI instructors
  • Activities and excursions including dolphin cruises, fishing, snorkeling, and sailing

GETTING THERE

Maalifushi by COMO can be reached by a 50-minute seaplane ride from the Maldives’s main airport at Malé.

www.comohotels.com/maalifushi

Escape to La Paz!

Does that look like peace enough to you?

Does that look like peace enough to you?

La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico means ‘Peace’ and we must admit, La Paz has the upper hand when it comes to “off-the-beaten path” activities. We’ve been there and can attest to that. From swimming with sea lions to sipping champagne, there’s no shortage of R&R or adventure.

Hidden away on the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula approximately 135 miles north of Cabo San Lucas on the Sea of Cortez, the city is a gateway to one of the world’s most unique and bountiful ecosystems, declared a World Heritage Site and dubbed by French marine biologist Jacques Cousteau ‘the aquarium of the world’.

Exploring the aquarium of the world

Exploring the aquarium of the world

The city’s rich cultural history, striking natural wonders, white sand beaches, turquoise waters and world-class sports fishing have made it a magnet for romantics seeking a secluded getaway, outdoor enthusiasts looking for adventure and families in search of a kid-friendly place to explore. Outside selected La Paz as best weekend escape of 2013 and Beautiful Bride as one of the top six honeymoon destinations for San Diegans. Direct flights are available from Los Angeles on Aeromexico, while a new four-lane highway makes the drive from Cabo San Lucas only 90 minutes.

A little whale watching up close for the adventurer in you...

A little whale watching up close for the adventurer in you…

For The Adventurer

Adventure is a big draw for experiential travelers who look to connect with the essence of their destination. The waters surrounding La Paz have one of the world’s most diverse marine ecosystems whose exceptional number of fish species-891, 90 of them endemic-has earned the area a World Heritage Site distinction.

Visitors can dive deep into the culture and right into El Bajo, a popular dive site known for schooling hammerheads, amber jacks, tuna, and giant Pacific mantas; or explore Espiritu Santo, a UNESCO protected gem that boasts approximately 23,800 acres of untouched ecosystems.

From mid December to late March visitors can experience the migration of gray whales, which swim approximately 5,000 miles from the Artic and North Atlantic to mate or give birth in the shallow lagoons of Magdalena Bay-approximately two and a half hours from La Paz.  For adrenaline junkies looking for some action, a whale shark encounter is the perfect end to a dive trip. These gentle filter feeding giants, weighing in at 79,000 pounds, are the largest fish in the world and can sometimes surpass 40 feet in length.

Approximately 45 minutes south of the city, travelers can visit a 124-acre cactus sanctuary dedicated to the conservation of the dozen species native endemic to Baja Sur region.  North of the city, trails lead hikers to secluded and pristine beaches, showcasing one of the most impressive sights in La Paz-the juxtaposition of the sea and desert.

The Malecon

The Malecon

For Families

If you are traveling with kids, Los Islotes, a colony of approximately 500 Californian brown sea lions, is a must-see. The playful pups are a fun and special treat for snorkelers and even the most seasoned divers.

La Paz is home to miles of virgin coastline, with dozens of white-sand beaches whose calm, crystalline waters are perfect for kayaking, snorkeling, paddle boarding and swimming. El Tesoro, a bay beach surrounded by mountains, is the perfect beach for kids as it boasts calm and shallow waters, and also features a small playground and restaurant. Coromuel, the first beach on La Paz’s scenic road, is where many families spend their weekends. The beach, lined with palapas (tiki huts), offers Jet Skis for rent and a variety of equipment for water sports.

Balandra, La Paz’s most famous beach, is the ultimate place for relaxation and known worldwide for its spectacular views of white-sand mountains and the bright blue sea. Balandra’s waters are so shallow and calm bathers can walk to the other side of the bay. Balandra is also home to El Hongo, La Paz’s signature mushroom-shaped rock formation.

The century old buildings and bustling boardwalk with ice cream stands, also offer a nice cultural component to any family vacation. The Regional Anthropology and History Museum located in the heart of the city displays an interesting collection of fossils and cave paintings that give insight to the daily lives of the town’s first dwellers.

Fresh ceviche at Azul Marino

Fresh ceviche at Azul Marino

For The Foodie

For those who live to eat, La Paz has a number of restaurants ready to satisfy the even the most discerning palates.

Stroll down the Malecon (boardwalk) to find an array of colorful choices. For starters there is El Bismarkcito, a local favorite popular for its fish dipping sauce, and shrimp tacos. A block away from the boardwalk, travelers can spot the fisherman delivering his catch of the day to El Empanada, a friendly spot famous for its chocolatas, or chocolate clams, a delicacy harvested from the waters of the Sea of Cortez whose peculiar name stems from their brown-colored shells.

Local chefs like Cristina Kiewek, from CostaBaja Resort and Spa’s resort award-winning restaurant Azul Marino, have created menus based off traditional Mexican recipes with an added global flare.

Kiewek’s newest venture, Nim, situated in downtown La Paz, has been well-received since it’s opening in in October. Built on an old historic home with large open spaces and ample natural light, the restaurant boasts a variety of international plates such as New Orleans style oysters, Vietnamese pho, Mediterranean Carpaccio, Moroccan lamb and traditional crowd-pleasers like guacamole and Mexican sopes (hand-made, thick corn tortillas with meat toppings).

Nim’s sister restaurant Azul Marino offers its guests a gourmet atmosphere, and the best Asian-fusion in town (think melt-in-your-mouth summer rolls and yellowtail tartare with hints of ginger!).

Fresh fish at Luna Bruja (c) Baja.com

Fresh fish at Luna Bruja (c) Baja.com

Pichilingue, a five-minute drive from El Tesoro, is home to two famous seafood restaurants, Restaurant Playa Pichilingue and Luna Bruja Restaurant. Its shallow, calm waters are perfect for kayaking and paddleboarding, a great way to feel less guilty after indulging in all of La Paz’s delicacies.

Great. Now I want to go back all over again!

Virtue or Vice at the Viceroy Anguilla

Viceroy Anguilla Beachfront

Viceroy Anguilla Beachfront

Thirty five lush acres, 3,200 feet of beachfront land along Barnes and Meads Bays, bluff-top villas with full kitchens and butler service. SOLD! I’m talking about the Viceroy Anguilla offering contemporary beachfront, sophisticated townhomes, and lavish resort residences. Renowned for its remarkable design, superb location and exceptional amenities, the resort draws jet-setting travelers from all over the world.

Chillin Poolside

Chillin Poolside

At Viceroy Anguilla this fall, guests will now also have the choice of being naughty or nice with the new “Vice or Virtue” packages as part of the Viceroy Hotels and Resorts special offers. These limited-time travel packages will deliver up everything from healthy and beneficial to wickedly wonderful amenities and experiences for guests who book during the September – October window using code vicevirtue.   At Viceroy Anguilla, guests will experience its Enjoy the Excess –Vice package, or the Breathe Easy—Virtue package.

A room at the Viceroy Anguilla

A room at the Viceroy Anguilla

Enjoy the Excess – Vice

This lavish (and when we say ‘lavish’ we mean it) package includes private charter air to the island, a five-night stay in one of the resorts 4,800+-square-foot, four-bedroom Beachfront Villas featuring a full gourmet kitchen, dining room, living room, four marble bathrooms featuring a deep soaking tub and oversized walk-in shower. Outdoor living includes a private pool, chaise lounges, a spa pool, an outdoor grill, a cabana and two outdoor showers.

Viceroy Anguilla Spa

Viceroy Anguilla Spa

Bring seven loved ones for $150,000 and enjoy:

  • Private Charter Air provided by Tradewind Aviation (For 8 people originating in choice of gateways New York, Atlanta, Dallas or Chicago)
  • Four bedroom Beachfront Villa accommodations for 5 nights for up to 8 people
  • Two private Chef Dinners prepared in the Villa
  • Choice of daily spa treatment
  • Breakfast and lunch daily

Stay October 5, 2013 – March 31, 2014; not available December 15, 2013 – January 2, 2014.

Viceroy Anguilla Patio

Viceroy Anguilla Patio

Breathe Easy –  Virtue

Experience a relaxing retreat and a daily $100 credit and daily breakfast for two. The $100 credit may be used toward feel-good-for-you perks including spa treatments, healthy island fruit drinks or fitness classes including spinning, and yoga. While at the Caribbean resort guests may also partake in a bevy of complimentary land and water activities certain to add to their overall wellbeing.

Viceroy Anguilla Restaurant

Viceroy Anguilla Restaurant

Starting at $450/night

·         Daily Breakfast

·         $100 resort credit

viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/vicevirtue

And let me tell you… these photos don’t do the joint justice!

If you’re also in the mood for other chic one-of-a-kind experiences, try out any one of the Viceroy properties in Abu Dhabi, Beverly Hills, Maldives, Miami, New York, Palm Springs, Riviera Maya, San Francisco, Santa Monica, Snowmass, St. Lucia and Zihuatanejo with forthcoming openings in New YorkIstanbul, Dubai and Bodrum, Turkey.

You can’t go wrong, you jet set junkie.

 

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