Posts Tagged ‘honeymoon trips’

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

Kenya: Hanging with the Maasai Mara

Extraordinary Journeys Africa

This week, one of my friends posted that she was headed to Kenya for some photography work.  In addition to her being an all around creative badass, she’s probably been to Kenya more times than I can count, but each time she mentions Africa, I start to daydream about the dusty roads, colorful smells, and vibrant energy of Nairobi. So, of course, I felt compelled to find some cool, feel good trips to this glorious nation just for you. To that end, I came across Extraordinary Journeys Africa, specialists in bespoke customized safaris to Africa, who are offering a unique six night trip to Kenya for the last minute travel junkies (October 10th-16th, 2011). Now, since I’m a fly-by-my-seat kinda gal, that’s *just enough* time for me to find someone to water my plants so I can jet off to Kenya.  Why is this trip so cool? you ask.

Well, it’s a community exchange program with a remote Masai Mara community followed by a luxury safari adventure, that’s why.  For a special rate of $6,000 per person (normally $7,200), it’s being done in partnership with the Founder and Project Director of Under the Acacia organization and the first two days will be spent in the remote area of Loita hills where travelers will be introduced to an impoverished community that in just two years has been equipped with schools, sanitation, running water and a thriving community. Travelers will experience exclusive interactions with community members and learn ways in which they can make a difference. The next four nights of the trip will be spent in the beautiful Masai Mara exploring the amazing wildlife and experiencing thrilling safari adventures of a lifetime.

Community Project: $500 will be donated on behalf of each participant to help build a new classroom at Esoit Academy in Kenya. This project is spearheaded by Under the Acacia, a not-for-profit that works in tandem with remote communities in Kenya to generate sustainable initiatives and community development.

Masai Mara Reserve

Itinerary:

October 10-11 Loita/Olarro

Participants fly to Siana Springs where their driver/guide warmly welcomes them and takes them on a game drive en route to the luxury Olarro Camp, nestled along the Loita Hills. In partnership with Under the Acacia, guests will  meet with the chiefs, elders, and students of this special community of Maasai. The next day, they participate in the school opening and a very lively dedication ceremony at the new Esoit Academy.

October 12,13,14,15: Maasai Mara/Olanana

On day three, a beautiful three-hour drive takes guests to Olonana Camp where they can experience daily game drives to see the great migration of the wildebeest or track the Big Five; take advantage of the spa facilities by trying traditional African remedies; or relax in the library on their private terrace overlooking the river filled with hippos below. Guests will also be able to arrange for hot air balloon rides, bush dinners or visiting another Under the Acacia school project (a 1.5-hour drive away). After lunch on the last day, visitors fly to Wilson Airport and transfer to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for their flights home.

About EJ Africa
Run by an extraordinary mother-daughter team, EJ Africa organizes customized trips for honeymooners, families and individual travelers to Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Mixing and matching safaris, camps, lodges, and villas, with travel by private planes, 4x4s, hot air balloons, elephant, camel and even horse, EJ Africa has planned over 500 trips to Africa and not one has been the same.

www.ejafrica.com

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