Langham Place, New York, Fifth Avenue – New York, NY, United States 🇺🇸

 

Historic museums, legendary attractions, celebrated entertainment, and award-winning dining establishments. There’s a reason why New York City is the city that never sleeps.

Nestled in the city’s most coveted district, Midtown Manhattan, a limestone tower that soars 57 stories into the sky. Located between Bryant Park and the Empire State Building, discover sharp metropolitan style that embodies the dynamic spirit of the city.

The lobby sets the scene: a sprawling, carpeted, open-plan lounge in royal blue tones, with modern sofas by the street-side windows, and a swanky bar, Measure, at the far end. The drawback is that the glossy finish makes it feel slightly corporate – how a Wall Street banker or Manhattan real estate mogul might decorate their residence.

Accommodation

Contemporary luxury. Urban sophistication. 214 residentially-styled guest rooms and suites designed to relax, inspire, and surprise. Each furnished with indulgent amenities such as Swedish Duxiana beds and large marble-clad bathrooms with rainfall showers. Many  highlighted by views of the iconic Manhattan skyline that is framed by the oversized glass windows.

Dining

A chic setting with Riviera inspired cuisine and an artisanal cocktail bar, Altamarea Group’s Michelin-starred Ai Fiori, translated to “among the flowers”, offers a menu of Italian and French Riviera-inspired cuisine.

Enjoy an elegant fine dining experience inside the main dining room or relax with an artisanal cocktail at Ai Fiori’s contemporary bar.

New York, NY, United States 🇺🇸

Epicenter of the arts. Dining and shopping capital. Trendsetter. New York City wears many crowns, and spreads an irresistible feast for all.

Nexus of the Arts

The Met, MoMA and the Guggenheim are just the beginning of a dizzying list of art-world icons. You’ll find museums devoted to everything from fin de siècle Vienna to immigrant life in the Lower East Side, and sprawling galleries filled with Japanese sculpture, postmodern American painting, Himalayan textiles and New York City lore. For a glimpse of current and future greats, delve into the cutting-edge galleries of Chelsea and the Lower East Side, with their myriad exhibition spaces and festive opening-night parties (usually Thursday night if you want to join in).

The Night Is Young

When the sun sinks slowly beyond the Hudson and luminous skyscrapers light up the night, New York transforms into one grand stage. Well-known actors take to the legendary theaters of Broadway as world-class soloists, dancers and musicians perform at venues large and small across town. Whether high culture or low, New York embraces it all: in-your-face rock shows at Williamsburgdives, lavish opera productions at the Lincoln Center, and everything in between. This is a city of experimental theater, improv comedy, indie cinema, ballet, poetry readings, burlesque, world music, jazz and so much more. If you can dream it up, it’s probably happening in NYC.

Culinary Capital

There’s never been a better time to dine in New York. The city has become a hotbed of seasonal and locally sourced cuisine – with restaurants growing vegetables on roof gardens or their own upstate farms, sourcing meats and seafood from sustainable outfits nearby, and embracing artisanal everything – from coffee roasting and whiskey distilling to chocolate- and cheese-making. Bars have also taken creativity to new heights, with pre-Prohibition-era cocktails served alongside delectable small plates – indeed gastropubs are some of the most creative places to get a meal these days. Of course you can also hit the gourmet food-truck scene or dine more traditionally at one of NYC’s 20,000-plus sit-down restaurants.

Urban Wanderers

With its compact size and streets packed with eye-candy of all sorts – architectural treasures, Old World cafés, atmospheric booksellers and curio shops – NYC is an urban wanderer’s delight. Crossing continents is as easy as walking over a few avenues in this jumbled city of 200-plus nationalities. You can lose yourself in the crowds of Chinatown amid brightly painted Buddhist temples, steaming noodle shops and fragrant fishmongers, then stroll up to Nolita for enticing boutiques and coffee-tasting among the craft-minded scenesters. Every neighborhood offers a dramatically different version of New York City – from the 100-year-old Jewish delis of the Upper West Side to the meandering cobblestone lanes of Greenwich Village. And the best way to experience this city is to walk its streets.

Follow @blackplatinumgold on Instagram

Credits:

http://www.langhamhotels.com/en/langham-place/new-york/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/north-america/united-states/new-york/hotels/langham-place-new-york-fifth-avenue-hotel/

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/usa/new-york-city/introduction

Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara – Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates 🇦🇪

 

Experience unparalleled luxury and comfort amid the mystic desert charm of Abu Dhabi’s Empty Quarter. Ride on a camel over sun soaked dunes as this foreboding landscape unwinds eternally in front of you. Soak in the freeform swimming pool while desert wildlife grazes in the shade below. Be inspired by glorious Arabian décor that channels one of the world’s most ancient and revered cultures.

Located in the legendary Rub’Al Khali, the largest uninterrupted sand desert in the world, Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara embraces the epic adventures of this evocative landscape by providing a luxury oasis for discerning travellers. Recline by the plunge pool outside your own private villa, or stretch out on a sumptuous day bed surrounded by rich Middle Eastern fabrics and local artefacts. Every room, villa and suite is considered to be some of the finest abodes among luxury Abu Dhabi resorts and features desert views, blending our rich interiors with the landscape.

Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara distinguishes itself from other Abu Dhabi hotels bringing its guests the quintessential luxury Abu Dhabi resort experience with leisure facilities to please the most demanding of tastes. A sanctuary of wellbeing that draws on an array of ancient cultures at Anantara Spa. A choice of four dining venues that offer the greatest Middle Eastern cuisine and fine gastronomic experiences from across the globe. Tailor-make your ultimate luxury holiday from our range of other facilities including fitness centre, tennis court, swimming pool, kids club, business centre and library.

Accommodation

Elegantly designed rooms with picturesque desert views at Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara provide the perfect luxury retreat to spend your Abu Dhabi holiday.

This luxury desert resort in Abu Dhabi features earthy hues combined with lush Middle East fabrics adorning every room, with jewel-embedded silver and bronze chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.

Each room offers the finest among Abu Dhabi accommodation and comes with either a balcony or terrace from which to enjoy awe-inspiring desert views.

ROYAL PAVILION VILLAS BY QASR AL SARAB

Set against the dramatic landscape of The Empty Quarter – the world’s largest stretch of uninterrupted sand desert, the exclusive collection of Royal Pavilion Villas, is the epitome of luxury, offering stays of understated sophistication and Arabian elegance. Guests seeking a truly bespoke getaway and seclusion will create lasting memories at this unique Arabian retreat.

Take time to truly relax. Soak in a sublime rose scented bath to your favourite melodies or float in your private pool admiring the views. The choice is yours.

Decadent Arabian décor, rich fabrics and local artefacts have a sense of place in this secluded fortress palace and play homage to one of the world’s ancient cultures, where luxury blends with landscape.

The Royal Pavilion Villas is the epitome of luxury in Abu Dhabi. Personalised resort excursions complement dining experiences created to delight the most adventurous palates and discerning tastes. While the Anantara Spa provides a sanctuary for relaxation and revitalization, that embodies ancient spa rituals.

Dining

An endless choice of the world’s best cuisines is served within exquisite surroundings at Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort to appease your gastronomic cravings. Traditional dishes meet with the finest imported cuts of meat and an extensive menu of wines and Champagnes in both fine dining venues and intimate cafes.

Dining at The Royal Pavilion Villas 

The Royal Pavilion Villas experience is one where every detail has been considered from the pre-arrival to the farewell. Each overnight stay includes culinary presentations for breakfast, lunch and dinner including soft beverages. On arrival, guests are encouraged to meet with the Chef to discuss their dining preferences, hear details about the ‘market list’ items fresh for the day and have a tailor-made culinary journey created exclusively for them. From the freshest Canadian lobster and Japanese Wagyu beef to simple club sandwiches and Arabian mezzeh, whatever your culinary desires may be, they can be created by a team of highly skilled chefs.

The Anantara Spa

Embracing Anantara’s philosophy, ‘without end’, which stems from ancient Thai origins, among Abu Dhabi Spa Resorts, Anantara Spa at Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort offers timeless spa experiences in iconic surrounds.

Lose yourself in true Arabian luxury and admire towering dunes that stretch as far as the eye can see across the Liwa Desert’s vast Empty Quarter. Drink in a scene of total tranquillity as you indulge in traditional Arabic rituals and exotic wellness therapies from Thailand.

Soothe aching muscles and cleanse body and mind with a traditional Moroccan hammam experience. Detoxify and nourish skin with scrubs and wraps that are infused with remedial, natural ingredients. Treat your complexion to a radiant boost with decadent ruby gemstone facials. Let expert, intuitive hands revive tired muscles and unwind a busy mind with a range of heavenly massages, from advanced western techniques, to holistic Asian styles and Arabian touch.

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates 🇦🇪

The world’s largest hand-loomed carpet, the fastest rollercoaster, the highest high tea, the tower with the greatest lean, the largest cluster of cultural buildings of the 21st century – UAE capital Abu Dhabi isn’t afraid to challenge world records. Welcome to an exciting city where nothing stands still…except perhaps the herons in its mangroves.

For those looking to engage with Gulf culture, Abu Dhabi offers opportunities to understand the UAE’s history through museums, exhibitions, tours and food. But thankfully Emirati heritage isn’t boxed and mothballed; it’s also experienced through strolls around the dhow harbour, haggling in markets, absorbing the atmosphere at shisha cafes and strolling its lengthy and cinematic Corniche.

United Arab Emirates 🇦🇪

For most people, the United Arab Emirates means just one place: Dubai, the sci-fi-esque city of iconic skyscrapers, palm-shaped islands, city-sized malls, indoor ski slopes and palatial beach resorts. But beyond the glitter awaits a diverse mosaic of six more emirates, each with its own character and allure.

An hour’s drive south, oil-rich Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital, is positioning itself as a hub of culture, sport and leisure. Beyond looms the vast Al Gharbia region, which is dominated by the northern reaches of the Rub’ Al Khali desert. Its magical silence is interrupted only by the whisper of shifting dunes rolling towards Saudi Arabia.

North of Dubai, Sharjah does art and heritage best, while tiny Ajman and Umm Al Quwain provide glimpses of life in the pre-oil days, and Ras Al Khaimah snuggles against the mighty Hajar Mountains. For the best swimming and diving, though, head across the range to Fujairah to frolic in the clear waters of the Gulf of Oman.

Follow @blackplatinumgold on Instagram

Credits:

http://qasralsarab.anantara.com/

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/united-arab-emirates/abu-dhabi/introduction

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/united-arab-emirates/introduction

 

 

Kokkedal Castle Copenhagen – Kokkedal, Denmark 🇩🇰

 

Set on a stunning stretch of coastline, just north of Copenhagen, Kokkedal Castle Copenhagen is one of Denmark’s most exclusive castle hotels. Surrounded by acres of parkland, an 18-hole golf course, beautiful beaches, fishing villages and art galleries, this stately manor sits in the heart of the royal North Zealand area. Expect a unique spa, a gourmet restaurant in the castle’s original vaulted cellar, a stylish library bar and a superb choice of beautifully appointed rooms.

The look and feel at Kokkedal Castle Copenhagen is that of a stylish, elegant country house with contemporary touches. Designed to reflect the original style of the castle, built in the mid-18th century, Bohemian crystal chandeliers, gilded mirrors, plush Nina Campbell fabrics adorn the public areas. The colours in the rooms are inspired by nature creating a truly relaxing ambiance.

With Copenhagen just a 30-minute drive away, spend time discovering the medieval centre of the city, its wealth of museums and art galleries and intriguing boutiques. Then, head north along the Danish Riviera to Helsingør, North Zealand’s principal city with Kronborg Castle, made famous as Elsinore in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. It also houses the Danish Maritime Museum. Enjoy a swim at Hornbæk or Gilleleje beaches before returning to Kokkedal Castle Copenhagen for an aperitif on the terrace before dinner.

Kokkedal Castle Copenhagen is everything you would associate with a real castle – a fairytale exterior, a stylish interior, an amazing location set amidst a rolling landscape with forest, sea, beach and open meadows.

Kokkedal Castle Copenhagen is about country life and laidback charm.
It’s about enjoyment and pampering, intimacy and mindfulness
and staff whose passion for the good things in life is truly inspiring and embracing.

Kokkedal Castle Copenhagen offers a classic experience with a contemporary twist. It’s an easygoing destination of Nordic living, one that enjoys a uniquely magnificent setting. 

Escape to an exclusive castle a world away from home. Here you can indulge in classic elegance of the manor salons, rooms and suites. The castle restaurant serves inspiring culinary experiences and you can enjoy access to Kokkedal Golf Club, which is located little more than a tee swing from the castle estate as well as exclusive treatments for body and soul in the state-of-the-art castle spa.

With a perfect location just north of Copenhagen, the many attractions in the region include royal castles, leading art museums, ancient woodlands and seaside villages.

Denmark 🇩🇰

Denmark seems to have cemented its position at or near the top of every global quality-of-life survey. For visitors watching their expenditure, the cost of living here may taint their personal viewpoint a tad but, provided you take heed of expenses, this is a country that is sure to delight in every way. Like most of Scandinavia, the landscape is defined by its water and its many islands – each with its own distinctive character. There is a real joy in visiting towns with unpronounceable names and which, more importantly, rarely turn up in tourism brochures, and discover the unsung glory of picturesque cobblestone streets, skewed half-timbered houses, and bakeries – ah the bakeries, selling some of the best pastries and cakes you are likely to taste this side of – well, Denmark. And to work off all those calories, do what do the Danes do and get pedalling; Denmark is the most bike-friendly country in the world.

History & Impact

The world first took notice of Denmark more than a millennium ago, when Danish Vikings took to the seas and ravaged vast tracts of Europe. How things have changed. These days Denmark captures global imagination as the epitome of a civilised society, and it punches above its weight on many fronts: progressive politics, urban planning, sustainability, design and architecture. Recent global crushes, freshly exported from Copenhagen, include a city cycling culture, the New Nordic culinary movement and brilliantly addictive TV drama series.

Happiness & Hygge

It’s heart-warming to know there’s still a country where the term ‘fairy tale’ can be used freely – from its most enduring literary legacy to its fine textbook castles. In a nutshell, Denmark gets it right: old-fashioned charm embraces the most avowedly forward-looking design and social developments. The country wins a regular chart-topping place on lists of both the most liveable and the happiest nations on earth. You won’t have to search hard to find some much-prized hygge, an untranslatable and uniquely Danish trait that has a profound influence on the locals’ inestimable happiness. Hygge is social nirvana in Denmark: a sense of cosiness, camaraderie and contentment.

Quality of Life

While many countries are noticeable for the ever-increasing gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’, Denmark seems to be populated by the ‘have enoughs’ and the obviously rich and obviously poor are few and far between. This egalitarian spirit allows the best of the arts, architecture, eating and entertainment to be within easy reach of everyone. Indeed, the best catchword for Denmark might well be ‘inclusive’ – everyone is welcome and everyone is catered to, be they young, old, gay, straight, male, female, whether they travel with kids, pets or bikes in tow or with a mobility issue or handicap. Cities are compact and user-friendly, infrastructure is clean and modern and travel is a breeze.

The Danish Aesthetic

It’s true, Denmark doesn’t have the stop-you-in-your-tracks natural grandeur of its neighbours, but its landscapes are understated – pure and simple, often infused with an ethereal Nordic light. Such landscapes are reflected in the Danish design philosophy towards fashion, food, architecture, furniture and art. Simplicity of form and function come first but not at the expense of beauty. And so you’ll find moments of quintessential Danish loveliness on a long sandy beach, beside a lake, admiring a Renaissance castle, on the bike lanes of Bornholm or in a candlelit cafe that has perfected the art of hygge.

Follow @blackplatinumgold on Instagram

Credits:

Kokkedal Castle Copenhagen

http://www.slh.com/hotels/kokkedal-slot-copenhagen/?l

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/denmark/introduction

 

Amanzoe Resort – Porto Heli, Peloponnese, Greece 🇬🇷

Amanzoe is an ultra-exclusive resort with an emphasis on health and wellbeing. Situated on a gentle rise surrounded by undulating olive groves, Amanzoe’s 360-degree views take in the Peloponnese countryside and rocky coves. The resort is within easy reach of a wealth of archaeological sites and bustling Porto Heli.

Amanzoe’s location is hard to beat. This region is steeped in mythology, with several important archaeological sites, including the Sanctuary of Asclepius at Epidaurus and the citadel of Mycenae; Spetses and Hydra are within easy reach; and there’s a super-chic Beach Club on the coast just below.

Amanzoe, surrounded by undulating olive groves and overlooking the turquoise Aegean Sea,  is a ten-minute drive from the tavernas and cosmopolitan stirrings of Porto Heli. The isles of Spetses and Hydra are nearby, as are countless ancient ruins, from millennia-old amphitheatres to Byzantine monasteries.

Accommodation

Pavilions

Drawing on classic Greek architecture, with strong lines and a pared-back aesthetic, Amanzoe’s standalone Pavilions all open onto terraces with private plunge pools and views of the surrounding land and sea.

Each Pavilion is accessed via a stone-walled courtyard, leading to a high-ceilinged living area and king-size bed positioned in a marble alcove with views.

Beach Cabanas

Situated directly on the beach, the spacious, air-conditioned Beach Cabanas provide all the comforts of a Pavilion, combined with a terrace, private garden and swimming pool.

Guests can enjoy a day on the beach, swimming in the sea, discovering bays by canoe and sunbathing in privacy. Meals can be enjoyed at Amanzoe’s Beach Club restaurant or in the privacy of a Beach Cabana.

Villas

Amanzoe’s Villas are cool, spacious abodes surrounded by olive groves. Overlooking the Aegean Sea, each of the four-to-nine-bedroom Villas features an open terrace with sand-coloured marble floors, traditional dry stone-clad walls and concrete columns and cornices. A chef and a host serves each one.

 Wellness
The holistic healings of Hippocrates are the inspiration for Amanzoe’s light-filled 2,850-square-metre Spa, combining diet, gymnastics, exercise, massage and sea bathing with modern natural products and treatments.
A gym is also available, and studios host yoga and Pilates sessions.
Dining
From Nama’s Japanese cuisine to the Restaurant’s Mediterranean fare, Amanzoe places the focus on simple flavours, expertly prepared.
Daily deliveries of local bass, bream, grouper and crustacean, as well as locally reared lamb, pork and rabbit, make Amanzoe a champion of produce that is local and seasonal – all served in the airy Restaurant, with its deep-blue sea views, by the pool, at the informal Beach Club, or surrounded by candles in private.

Porto Heli, Peloponnese, Greece 🇬🇷

The Peloponnese (Πελοπόννησος) is the stuff of legends. Literally. It is here that Hercules fought the Nemean lion and gods walked the earth, meddling in mortal affairs; it’s from here that Paris of Troy eloped with Helen and the Argonauts set sail in search of the Golden Fleece. Celestial and mythological charms aside, this region bears tangible traces of the many civilisations that once called it home, witnessed in its classical temples, Mycenaean palaces, Byzantine cities, and Ottoman, Frankish and Venetian fortresses.

The very topography that kept invaders at bay for centuries – lofty, snowcapped mountains, vast gorges, sandy beaches and azure waters – now draws visitors of a very different kind. Filoxenia(hospitality) is as strong here as anywhere in the country; the food is among Greece’s best; and the region’s vineyards are contributing to Greece’s wine renaissance. Locals claim to have the best of everything to give. And that’s no myth.

Greece 🇬🇷

Ancient sun-bleached ruins pierce blue skies as the Aegean laps at the endless coastline. And Greek culture is alive – passionate music, inspired cuisine, thrill-seeking activities.

Wildly Natural

Whether you’re a serious adrenaline junkie or dedicated beach bum, Greece will bewitch you. Days melt from one to the next under wide open skies and a sea speckled with islands that deliver the white-sand, palm-fringed beaches of your dreams. Wander along cobbled, Byzantine footpaths, hike into volcanoes, watch for dolphins and sea turtles and cycle through lush forests. Meander through olive groves, idyllic villages and petrified forests. Thrill seekers will discover world-class kitesurfing, wreck diving and rock-climbing locations that will leave you dizzy with views. Or simply hop on a boat and set sail into the glittering blue beyond.

Socially Spirited

Socialising is more than a pastime in Greece – it’s a way of life. Cafes overflow with teenagers gossiping or older locals in heated debate. Restaurants are filled will long tables for big gatherings and friends amble arm and arm down the street. Squares are the focal point, where life unfolds collectively. Immerse yourself, whether it’s a coffee, a shot of ouzo, a chorus on the bouzouki or a local celebration. Greeks are passionate and live life to the fullest, even at the most difficult times. The result is a country, seemingly riddled with challenges, yet full of people loving life.

Local Flavours

The secret to Greek cooking is often found in the chef’s garden. Basic ingredients such as feta and olive oil are at home across Greece, but the regional produce and cooking styles make travelling here a culinary adventure. Taste herbs and mountain greens you’ve never heard of, mussels steamed in ouzo, bread baked with olives and fish straight from the sea. Taste-test regional cheeses: crumbling feta, honeyed soft cheeses and sharp, hard rounds. Find Italian influences in risottos and pastas or Turkish spices woven into delicate sweets. A traditional-cooking renaissance has chefs lifting time-honoured recipes to new gourmet heights.

Cultural Treasure Chest

Standing in the shadow of the Acropolis feels otherworldly. Greece is full of such moments. Step into the ring where Olympians first competed. Climb stone-hewed steps to Meteora’s monasteries, perched atop towering rocks. Contemplate the Oracle’s insights from the grandeur of Delphi, take in a starlit drama at an ancient outdoor theatre and be stunned by massive marble sculptures dredged up from the Aegean. But then you’ll encounter bold modern art, the melancholic throb of rembetika (blues songs) and artisans creating new work from traditional techniques. Greece has endless cultural pursuits and a calendar bursting with festivals, holidays and exhibits.

Follow @blackplatinumgold on Instagram

Credits:

https://www.aman.com/resorts/amanzoe

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/greece/the-peloponnese/introduction

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/greece/introduction

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/greece/peloponnese/hotels/amanzoe-hotel/

End of the World Train, First Class – Los Cauquenes Resort & Spa – Ushuaia, Patagonia, Argentina 🇦🇷

 

End of the World Train, First Class: A truly unique experience only for the lucky guests of Los Cauquenes Resort & Spa.

Let your imagination run wild along the valleys and the flavors of Patagonia. The End of the World Train offers a different way to get to know Ushuaia and the National Park, discovering Ensenada Bay and the shores of the Beagle Channel with sightings of the Hoste and Navarino islands, Lake Acigami (Lake Roca) and passing past the Mirador Bahía Lapataia.

Treasure the unique views of Fuegian forests and mountains as seen from this vantage point. A surprise waits at the end of the road. Looking for another option to delight your palate? The Train first-class rate includes an exclusive gastronomic service offering Andean food specialties.

Ushuaia, Patagonia, Argentina 🇦🇷

A busy port and adventure hub, Ushuaia is a sliver of steep streets and jumbled buildings below the snowcapped Martial Range. Here the Andes meets the famed Beagle Channel in a sharp skid, making way for the city before reaching a sea of lapping currents.

Ushuaia takes full advantage of its end-of-the-world status, and an increasing number of Antarctica-bound vessels call into its port. The town’s mercantile hustle knows no irony: there’s a souvenir shop named for Jimmy Button (a Fuegian native taken for show in England) and the ski center is named for the destructive invasive castor (beaver). That said, with a pint of the world’s southernmost microbrew in hand, you can happily plot the outdoor options: hiking, sailing, skiing, kayaking and even scuba diving.

Tierra del Fuego’s comparatively high wages draw Argentines from all over, and some locals lament the lack of urban planning and loss of small-town culture.

Patagonia, Argentina 🇦🇷

On South America’s southern frontier, nature grows wild, barren and beautiful. Spaces are large, as are the silences that fill them. For the newly arrived, such emptiness can be as impressive as the sight of Patagonia’s jagged peaks, pristine rivers and dusty backwater oases. In its enormous scale, Patagonia offers an innumerable wealth of potential experiences and landscapes.

Though no longer a dirt road, lonely RN 40 remains the iconic highway that stirred affection in personalities as disparate as Butch Cassidy and Bruce Chatwin. On the eastern seaboard, paved RN 3 shoots south, connecting oil boomtowns with ancient petrified forests, Welsh settlements and the incredible Península Valdés. Then there is the other, trendy Patagonia where faux-fur hoodies outnumber the guanacos. Don’t miss the spectacular sights of El Calafate and El Chaltén, but remember that they’re a world apart from the solitude of the steppe.

Follow @blackplatinumgold on Instagram

Credits:

http://www.loscauquenes.com/en/

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/argentina/tierra-del-fuego/ushuaia/introduction

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/argentina/patagonia/introduction

 

 

Los Cauquenes Resort & Spa – Ushuaia, Patagonia, Argentina 🇦🇷

 

Virtually at the end of the world, Los Cauquenes Resort & Spa is set on the shores of Beagle Channel in Tierra del Fuego with stunning views of the snow-covered peaks of the Andes Mountain Range. An exclusive resort in an exceptionally beautiful setting, expect peace and tranquillity, gourmet dining, and a spa with a heated pool, sauna, Jacuzzi and body treatments.

Los Cauquenes Resort & Spa is built in the traditional southern Argentine architectural style with the use of lenga wood and stone.  Inside, the 54 rooms and suites are tastefully decorated in neutral tones with highlights of colour. The suites have a private balcony or deck and gorgeous views of the sea.

Sail the waters of the Beagle Channel and observe Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse, sea lions, Magellanic Penguins, and over 20 different sea bird species. Or trek the ancient coastal paths to see condors, steamer ducks, red foxes, eagles and beaver dams. Return to Los Cauquenes Resort & Spa to dine on exquisite Patagonian cuisine and recount your experiences of this most spectacular of places.

Accommodation

Dreamlike views of the mountain range or the Beagle Channel, luxury amenities and lots of room to relax at the End of the World.

Senior Suite: A spacious separate living-room welcomes those willing to enjoy a spectacular first-row view of the Beagle Channel landscape in total privacy. The suite has an exclusive deck overlooking the beach and a large Jacuzzi for hours of relax, and features L’Occitane en Provence amenities, Nespresso coffee-maker; personal weigh scale and audio equipment.

Junior Suite: Enjoy the exceptional view from your private balcony and relax in this suite equipped with L’Occitane en Provence amenities and Nespresso coffee-maker. A subtle blend of modern and classic is the hallmark of its two connected rooms

Dining: Reinamora

European gourmet cuisine and one-hundred-percent Patagonian dishes like lamb and king crab await at Reinamora, ther prestigious restaurant overlooking the Beagle Channel. Inquire about our 3-night Gourmet Experience.

The Spa

Just to behold the beautiful Beagle Channel in the comfort of a warm, harmonious ambience will set off the process to achieve full body and soul relaxation. The Spa at the End of the World, equipped to meet the highest international standards, offers 24 kinds of treatments and massages with natural products.

Experiences for guests only

End of the world train, first class.

Ushuaia, Patagonia, Argentina 🇦🇷

A busy port and adventure hub, Ushuaia is a sliver of steep streets and jumbled buildings below the snowcapped Martial Range. Here the Andes meets the famed Beagle Channel in a sharp skid, making way for the city before reaching a sea of lapping currents.

Ushuaia takes full advantage of its end-of-the-world status, and an increasing number of Antarctica-bound vessels call into its port. The town’s mercantile hustle knows no irony: there’s a souvenir shop named for Jimmy Button (a Fuegian native taken for show in England) and the ski center is named for the destructive invasive castor (beaver). That said, with a pint of the world’s southernmost microbrew in hand, you can happily plot the outdoor options: hiking, sailing, skiing, kayaking and even scuba diving.

Tierra del Fuego’s comparatively high wages draw Argentines from all over, and some locals lament the lack of urban planning and loss of small-town culture.

Patagonia, Argentina 🇦🇷

On South America’s southern frontier, nature grows wild, barren and beautiful. Spaces are large, as are the silences that fill them. For the newly arrived, such emptiness can be as impressive as the sight of Patagonia’s jagged peaks, pristine rivers and dusty backwater oases. In its enormous scale, Patagonia offers an innumerable wealth of potential experiences and landscapes.

Though no longer a dirt road, lonely RN 40 remains the iconic highway that stirred affection in personalities as disparate as Butch Cassidy and Bruce Chatwin. On the eastern seaboard, paved RN 3 shoots south, connecting oil boomtowns with ancient petrified forests, Welsh settlements and the incredible Península Valdés. Then there is the other, trendy Patagonia where faux-fur hoodies outnumber the guanacos. Don’t miss the spectacular sights of El Calafate and El Chaltén, but remember that they’re a world apart from the solitude of the steppe.

Follow @blackplatinumgold on Instagram

Credits:

http://www.loscauquenes.com/en/

http://www.slh.com/hotels/los-cauquenes-resort-and-spa/?l

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/argentina/tierra-del-fuego/ushuaia/introduction

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/argentina/patagonia/introduction

 

Rosewood Tucker’s Point – Bermuda 🇧🇲

 

The British colonial-style manor house has become a go-to for those looking to relax in luxurious accommodations. Rosewood Tucker’s Point combines the amenities and perks of a big resort with the charms and intimacy of a boutique hotel.

The center of the hotel is the manor house, which feels more like a beautifully decorated home than a hotel. A grand staircase and elegant library round out the classic but preppy vibe that reminds me of my childhood in suburban Connecticut: blue and white ginger jars, porcelain foo dogs, and antique horse lithographs. I was especially taken with the lobby’s grey and white tiles and the interesting art, including a large-scale model ship and three-dimensional birdcages with mercury glass and painted birds.

Hidden away from the island’s main port and other hotels, Rosewood Tucker’s Point overlooks Castle Harbour on one side and Harrington Sound on the other. Guests are greeted by a cheerful duo wearing a get-up best described as preppy-meets-safari-meets-tropics: traditional Bermuda shorts, knee-high socks, and salmon pink pith helmet. It’s a lovely first impression.

With its sweeping views of jewel-green hills and cerulean blue Atlantic waters, Rosewood Tucker’s Point offers an iconic tropical getaway with unexpected British charm. From the fine marble stonework in each private bath to the bone china at the Point, every element of the Bermuda hotel’s decor and service projects an effortless elegance and luxury designed to ensure guests feel like royalty. Open since 2009, this Bermuda beach resort has quickly gathered accolades and praise from travel and consumer organizations as a romantic dream getaway.

Dining

Fresh from the seas, global in vision and warm with Caribbean spirit, Bermudian cuisine is a highlight of any visit to Tucker’s Point. From chowder to lobsters, visitors will have the world on a platter.

The hotel’s fine dining restaurant, The Point, houses a museum-worthy travel artifact: an 80-foot-long mural from the exclusive Sky Club of New York’s Pan Am Building (now the MetLife Building). In 1966, artist Gerard D’Alton Henderson was commissioned by Pan Am founder Juan Trippe to paint the world’s major ports of the 1880s. After the Sky Club closed in 2005, the mural was relocated to the hotel, and Bermuda’s Hamilton Harbour was added — presumably out of respect for its new home.

The Spa

Rosewood Tucker’s Point is more than a Bermuda getaway. This relaxing sanctuary for mind, body and soul offers four swimming pools, and a fully equipped fitness center, in addition to the world-class Sense®, A Rosewood Spa, offering an array of traditional and exotic therapies from around the world.

Bermuda 🇧🇲

Bathed in the balmy turquoise waters of the Sargasso Sea, the string of islands that is Bermuda is ringed by treacherous reefs that make it one of the world’s top diving destinations. With its pastel-colored houses and stately mansions drowning in lush greenery and fragrant frangipani and bougainvillea, their step-like white roofs poised to catch rainwater, Bermuda feels like a genteel chunk of rural England lifted into warmer climes. But it’s much more diverse than that, with British, North American, African, Portuguese and West Indian influences adding to the unique cultural melange. In spite of its tiny size  just 20 miles by 2 miles – Bermuda’s museums and art galleries add touches of urban sophistication and its many forts attract history buffs, while its varied topography makes it ideal for all manner of water sports, hiking, golfing, or just lazing on a picture-perfect pink-sand beach.

Follow @blackplatinumgold on Instagram

Credits:

https://www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/tuckers-point-bermuda

https://www.forbes.com/sites/fathom/2015/03/07/spend-a-sunny-weekend-in-rosewood-tuckers-point-bermuda/#7bf837fa1d4a

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/bermuda/introduction

 

Castello di Velona Hotel – Tuscany, Italy 🇮🇹

 

Set high on a hilltop in the hills of Siena, Castello di Velona Hotel was once an 11th-century fortress which fell into ruins and has been beautifully restored to produce a magnificent hotel. Overlooking the Val d’Orcia, a UNESCO heritage site, it is in a prime position to enjoy the best of Tuscany’s food, wine and wonderful countryside views.

With its magical setting, the views from Castello di Velona Hotel’s rooms are breath-taking. The antique-filled Castle rooms and suites have oak-beams, vaulted roofs, cotto floors and decorative fireplaces. The more contemporary Sunset spa rooms have private patios to enjoy the region’s spectacular sunsets and bathtubs fed by the thermal waters of the resort’s natural mineral hot springs.

Take a walk along the Orcia River near Castello di Velona Hotel or a bike ride through the shaded country roads. There are plenty of opportunities to go horse riding through this beautiful countryside or head to the medieval villages of Pienza, Bagno Vignoni, San Quirico d’Orcia or to nearby Siena. Return to relax in the hotel’s spa with its hot springs discovered during the castle’s renovation.

Accommodation

Inviting and refined rooms where history’s charm blends with modern design and comfort. The Castello di Velona Resort , Thermal Spa & Winery offers 46 rooms, divided between the ancient castle area and the new  area. All 46 rooms and suites are elegantly appointed with period furniture, antiques and prized fabrics and materials. The style of the “Castle” rooms is warm and cosy with exposed beams, vaulted ceilings, terracotta tile floors and large decorative fireplaces. In each room, hand-made decorative motifs and paintings of different colour shades combine with the warm hues of fabrics and furnishings. The 19 new “Sunset” rooms and suites of the castle’s new  wing are characterised by a linear and contemporary design and stylish furnishings. These elegant accommodations feature large travertine bathrooms with thermal water and a private garden for exclusive moments of relax. The Sunset Spa rooms and suites have a private cabin for treatment, to enjoy wellness treatments in the privacy of its own room. All of the rooms provide a stunning panoramic view of the Val d’Orcia and the vineyards that surround the castle.

Dining

With the aromas of the herbs and spices and typical colours of the Tuscan countryside, the vineyards and olive groves surrounding the Castle, the Hotel’s wine and food offer fully satisfies the body and soul, both in the rustic Il Brunello in the historical part of the Castle, and in the modern setting of the Settimo Senso Restaurant, created in the new wing.

The rooms inside look onto the Val D’Orcia thanks to the panoramic terraces of the Castle’s two restaurants, one to the east, exposed to the first rays of the sun, the other to the west, pointing towards the sunset.

Here guests experience complete sensory emotions, immersed in the silence and romance of the landscape, sampling fine wines and the olive oil produced by the Castle estate, and tasting the specialities of regional Tuscan and Mediterranean Italian cuisine, a blend of creativity in the kitchen and respect for the seasons and for genuine ingredients.

The Spa

The Old Spa at Castello di Velona offers a complete fusion between the well-being of the treatments, the natural elements, the landscape, the products of nature, the silence and stunning scenery of the Val d’Orcia.

The perfection of travertine marble is the dominant element of the wellness area featuring a bright ambient with an elegant linear design.

The use of this prestigious material, a Tuscan tradition, characterize also the large pools of warm water, boasting a unique view of the Val d’Orcia, a Unesco world heritage site.

Tuscany, Italy 🇮🇹

With its lyrical landscapes, world-class art and a superb cucina contadina (farmer’s kitchen), the Tuscan experience is perfectly in symbiosis with the land.

An Artistic Powerhouse

Then there’s the art. And, oh, what art! The Etruscans indulged their fondness for a classy send-off with exquisite funerary objects, and the Romans, always partial to puffing up their own importance, left their usual legacy of monumental sculptures. But it was during the medieval and Renaissance periods that Tuscany really struck gold, with painters, sculptors and architects creating world-class masterpieces. Squirrelled away and safeguarded today in churches, museums and galleries all over the region, art in Tuscany is truly unmatched. Edgy street art in Florence and countryside sculpture parks bring the art scene right up to the 21st century.

Perfect Landscapes

Tuscany has a timeless familiarity with its iconic Florentine cathedral dome, gently rolling hills dipped in soft morning mist and sculptural cypress alleys. But then, this regione in central Italy is postcard material. Golden wheat fields, silver olive groves and pea-green vineyards marching in sharp terraced rows on hillsides form a graceful prelude to soul-soaring medieval hilltop villages, mountain ranges and fecund forests in the north, and a garland of bijou islands beaded along the coastal south. Get out, explore, hike and ding your bicycle bell, as this rousing landscape demands.

Sensational Slow Food

No land is more caught up with the fruits of its fertile earth than Tuscany, a gourmet destination whose residents spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about, discussing and consuming food and wine. Local, seasonal and sustainable is the Holy Trinity and Tuscans share enormous pride in the quality of their produce. Tuscan travel is grassroots: to wineries to taste blockbuster wines like Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano; to a family-run pastificio tradizionale where artisan pasta is cut by hand; and road trips in quest of the best bistecca alla fiorentina (chargrilled T-bone steak). Buon appetito!

Living History

Ever since the Etruscans dropped by to party and stayed, Tuscany has seduced. The Romans stocked their grain silos here, Christians walked stages of a medieval pilgrimage route, and Napoleon plundered art (and suffered terribly in exile in a beautiful neoclassical villa with fig trees and sea view on the paradisiacal island of Elba). Florence’s historic churches and monuments were a key stop for British aristocrats on the Grand Tour in the 19th century – and remain so. And at sundown when the River Arno turns pink, whether you like things old-fashioned and simple or boutique chic, know that this handsome city will oblige.

Italy 🇮🇹

Home to many of the world’s greatest works of art, architecture and gastronomy, Italy elates, inspires and moves like no other.

Endless Feasts

It might look like a boot, but food-obsessed Italy feels more like a decadently stuffed Christmas stocking. From delicate tagliatelle al ragù to velvety cannoli, every bite can feel like a revelation. The secret: superlative ingredients and finely tuned know-how. And while Italy’s culinary soul might prefer simplicity, it’s equally ingenious and sophisticated. Expect some of the world’s top fine-dining destinations, from San Pellegrino ‘World’s Best 50’ hotspots to Michelin-starred musts. So whether you’re on a degustation odyssey in Modena, truffle hunting in Piedmont or swilling powerhouse reds in the Valpolicella wine region, prepare to loosen that belt.

Spectacular Landscapes

Italy’s fortes extend beyond its galleries, wardrobes and dining rooms. The country is one of Mother Nature’s masterpieces, with extraordinary natural diversity matched by few. From the north’s icy Alps and glacial lakes to the south’s fiery craters and turquoise grottoes, this is a place for doing as well as seeing. One day you’re tearing down Courmayeur’s powdery slopes, the next you could be galloping across the marshes of the Maremma, or diving in coral-studded Campanian waters. Not bad for a country not much bigger than Arizona.

Inimitable Style

In few places do art and life intermingle so effortlessly. This may be the land of Dante, Titian and Verdi, but it’s also the home of Prada, Massimo Bottura and Renzo Piano. Beauty, style and flair furnish every aspect of daily life, from those immaculately knotted ties and seamless espressos to the flirtatious smiles of striking strangers. The root of Italian psychology is a dedication to living life well, and effortless as it may seem, driving that dedication is a reverence for the finer things. So slow down, style up and indulge in a little vita all’italiana (life, Italian style).

Cultural Riches

Epicentre of the Roman Empire and birthplace of the Renaissance, this European virtuoso groans under the weight of its cultural cachet: it’s here that you’ll stand in the presence of Michelangelo’s David and Sistine Chapel frescoes, Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and Primavera and da Vinci’s The Last Supper. In fact, Italy has more Unesco World Heritage cultural sites than any other country on Earth. Should you walk in the footsteps of ancient Romans in Pompeii, revel in Ravenna’s glittering Byzantine treasures or get breathless over Giotto’s revolutionary frescoes in Padua? It’s a cultural conundrum as thrilling as it is overwhelming.

Follow @blackplatinumgold on Instagram

Credits:

http://www.castellodivelona.it/en/

http://www.slh.com/hotels/castello-di-velona-hotel/?l

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/italy/tuscany/introduction

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/italy/introduction

One&Only Cape Town – Cape Town, South Africa 🇿🇦

 

An urban chic waterfront resort with unprecedented levels of luxury, One&Only Cape Town is a place of friendly calm and gracious hospitality for couples and families alike.

Nestled within a natural amphitheatre shaped by the vertical cliffs of Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head sits Cape Town in all of its coastal glory. Here, commanding an enviable spot in the city’s fashionable Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, is One&Only Cape Town, overlooking the marina with panoramic views of Table Mountain.

Accommodation

Marina Rise: A seven-storey, crescent-shaped enclave of vibrant South African style, with expansive glass doors, private balconies and inspiring views of Table Mountain or surrounding waterways.

Champagne Suite: In co-creation with the world’s most revered champagne house, One&Only Cape Town has introduced the first ever Champagne Suite Experience by Dom Pérignon in Africa.

Island Rooms & Suites: Located on a beautifully secluded and lushly landscaped island, each of the 40 guest rooms and suites features a private balcony or terrace and waterway views.

Table Mountain Suite: As its name suggests, the most breathtaking views of Table Mountain are enjoyed from expansive open terraces. An air of understated elegance embodies this luxuriously appointed suite.

Presidential Suite: The pinnacle of resplendent living.

Dining: Nobu

No stranger to international culinary influences, Nobu gives classical Japanese cuisine a contemporary twist with a Peruvian influence. Diners can indulge in fresh South African seafood and indigenous spices in mesmerising dishes such as Sake Roast Whitefish with Jalapeno or the Chocolate Bento Box; a dark chocolate fondant with green tea ice cream and a sesame seed tuile.

A sweeping fan-like staircase leads to the 104 seat dining area and sushi counter, which is framed by a textured, translucent origami light that glides along the ceiling. The upper-level Nobu Lounge features a selection of Sakes including Japanese beer and Shochu based cocktails.

The Spa

Unwind. Restore. Elevate.

These are the guiding principals around which all spa therapies and treatments are created. Each features its own specialised set of holistic programmes designed to guide guests in choosing the experiences best suited to their particular needs.

Cape Town, South Africa 🇿🇦

A coming-together of cultures, cuisines and landscapes, there’s nowhere quite like Cape Town, a singularly beautiful city crowned by the magnificent Table Mountain National Park.

Natural Wonders

Table Mountain National Park defines the city. The flat-topped mountain is the headline act, but there are many other equally gorgeous natural landscapes within the park’s extensive boundaries. Cultivated areas, such as the historic Company’s Gardens, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and Green Point Park, also make exploring the city a pleasure. Follow the lead of locals by taking full advantage of the abundant outdoor space: learn to surf; go hiking or mountain biking; tandem-paraglide off Lion’s Head; abseil off the top of Table Mountain – just a few of the many activities on offer.

Art & Design

Human creativity is also self-evident here – it’s one of the things that made the city a World Design Capital in 2014. From the brightly painted facades of the Bo-Kaap and the bathing chalets of Muizenberg to the Afro-chic decor of its restaurants and bars and the striking street art and innovation incubators of the East City and Woodstock, this is one great-looking metropolis. The informal settlements of the Cape Flats are a sobering counterpoint, but these townships also have enterprising projects that put food from organic market gardens on tables, or stock gift shops with attractive souvenirs.

Beyond the City

Wrenching yourself away from the magnetic mountain and all the delights of the Cape Peninsula is a challenge, but within an hour you can exchange urban landscapes for the charming towns, villages and bucolic estates of Winelands destinations, such as Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. Hermanus is a prime whale-watching location, and also a base from which to organise shark-cave diving. Further afield, the delights of the Garden Route unfold, with more inspiring scenery to be viewed on thrilling drives down the coast and over mountain passes.

People & Culture

Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu and traditional African beliefs coexist peacefully in this proudly multicultural city. Given South Africa’s troubled history, such harmony has been hard-won and remains fragile: nearly everyone has a fascinating, sometimes heartbreaking story to tell. It’s a city of determined pioneers – from the Afrikaner descendants of the original Dutch colonists and the majority coloured community to the descendants of European Jewish immigrants and more recent Xhosa (isiXhosa) migrants from the Eastern Cape. They all bring unique flavours to Cape Town’s rich melting pot.

South Africa 🇿🇦

Black-maned lions framed against Kalahari dunes; powdery beaches lapped by two oceans; star-studded desert skies; jagged, lush mountains – this truly is a country of astounding diversity.

Dramatic Landscapes

South Africa’s landscapes are stunning, from the burning Karoo and Kalahari semideserts to the misty heights of the Drakensberg range and the massive Blyde River Canyon. Even in urban Cape Town you need only look up to see the beautiful fynbos (indigenous flora) climbing the slopes of Table Mountain while, nearby, two of the world’s most dramatic coastal roads lead to Cape Point and Hermanus. Add the vineyards carpeting the Winelands, old-growth forests along the Garden Route and Tsitsikamma, Indian Ocean beaches and Lesotho’s inspiring mountains, and there is a staggering variety to enjoy.

History

To visit South Africa without learning about its tumultuous history is to miss a crucial part of the country’s identity. Museum visits, many of which include exhibits on the apartheid era, might not be lighthearted, but will help you to understand the very fabric of South African society and to appreciate how far the country has come. Continue your history lesson with a visit to one of the townships, taking time to chat to locals and to learn that despite a heart-wrenching past, there is great pride here, and an immense sense of promise for the future.

Wildlife

South Africa is one of the continent’s best safari destinations, offering the Big Five (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino) and more in accessible parks and reserves. You can drive right into the epic wilderness at Kruger, Kgalagadi and other parks, or join khaki-clad rangers on guided drives and walks. But it’s not all about big game sightings – wildlife watching here also teaches you to enjoy the little things: a leopard tortoise ambling alongside the road, a go-away bird chirping its distinctive chant in the trees, or on the coast, an encounter with seals, whales or a great white shark.

Outdoor Adventure

South Africa’s ever-changing scenery is the perfect canvas on which to paint an activity-packed trip. Try rock-climbing in the craggy Cederberg, surfing off the Eastern Cape coast, abseiling from Cape Town’s iconic Table Mountain or bungee jumping from a Garden Route bridge. If adrenaline sports aren’t your thing, opt instead for a hike: options include multi-day treks through wildlife reserves, dusty day walks in the semi-desert Karoo, catered “slackpacking” trails along the Cape coast or an overnight hike into the sometimes snow-capped peaks of the Drakensberg.

Follow @blackplatinumgold on Instagram

Credits:

https://www.oneandonlyresorts.com/one-and-only-cape-town-south-africa

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/south-africa/cape-town/introduction

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/south-africa/introduction

 

 

7 Secrets Resort and Wellness Retreat – Lombok, Indonesia 🇮🇩

 

There’s a sense of exclusivity about 7 Secrets Resort and Wellness Retreat that starts the moment you check in. You’ll be greeted with a fresh cocktail from the ‘molecular mixology’ bar menu. Spa therapists will offer a welcome head, hands and shoulders massage, while your butler readies an aromatherapy suite for you. Set beside the glittering sands and turquoise seas of Nipah Bay, this luxury hotel promises a made-tomeasure escape.

The temple-like suites bring together traditional Indonesian architecture with contemporary, technology-filled interiors. Sink into your very own Jacuzzi, or head for the 7 Secrets Resort diving centre to discover a vibrant underwater world. While away afternoons in the spa or stretch out on a stylish lounger beside the pool, chilled drink in hand. For dinner, feast on imaginative gourmet fine dining, overlooking the shore.

The hotel staff can have personalised excursions ready for your arrival at 7 Secrets Resort. You could see the island from above on a helicopter ride, charter a luxury catamaran for a sailing trip or factor in some relaxation time on the talcum powder beach and colourful reef that curve around Nipah Bay. To finish the day in style, your private butler can arrange a romantic dinner-for-two on your suite terrace.

Accommodation

Authentic influences and modern, minimalist style come together in the 7 Secrets suites. Expect a crisp, calm colour scheme with gold accents, rich wood and traditional sculptures. Each has an open-air bathroom with Grohe fittings and luxury spa products – plus a private terrace with Jacuzzi. High-tech features sit alongside the plush furnishings, from BOSE docking stations to computer-controlled curtains.

Dining

The Gourmet Head Chef at The Majesty creates innovative tasting menus with contemporary flair. Discover 21st-century takes on classic French and Mediterranean flavours as you watch the sun set over Nipah Bay. This fusion of science and art continues to the bar, where award-winning bartenders practice molecular mixology – or ‘liquid art’. There’s also a breezy beach restaurant serving tasty breakfasts, lunches and pool-side snacks.

Lombok, Indonesia 🇮🇩

Long overshadowed by its superstar neighbour across the Lombok Strait there’s a steady hum about Lombok that catches the ear of travellers looking for something different from Bali. Blessed with exquisite white-sand beaches, epic surf, a lush forested interior, and hiking trails through tobacco and rice fields, Lombok is fully loaded with equitorial allure. Oh, and you’ll probably notice mighty Gunung Rinjani, Indonesia’s second-highest volcano, its summit complete with hot springs and a dazzling crater lake.

And there’s much more. Lombok’s southern coastline is nature on a very grand scale: breathtaking turquoise bays, world-class surf breaks and massive headlands. Development on these splendid beaches is just around the corner, but until that moment comes, they are still natural wonders to explore over much-improved roads.

If you’re going to the Gilis, a Lombok stopover is a must. It’s easy to get around the Lombok–Gilis–Bali triangle.

Lombok and the Gilis

Almost as big as Bali, Lombok is the completely different island right next door. From its volcanic centre to idyllic beaches such as Mawun, it rewards travellers who want to explore. Many are drawn to mighty Gunung Rinjani, Indonesia’s second-highest volcano. Rivers and waterfalls gush down its fissured slopes, while its summit – complete with hot springs and a dazzling crater lake – is the ultimate trekker’s prize. In the south, you may need to hold your jaw in place as you encounter one superb beach after another.

Meanwhile, off the west coast, the fabled Gili Islands are three exquisite droplets of white sand sprinkled with coconut palms and surrounded by coral reefs teeming with marine life. Each has become a full-blown destination in its own right with oodles of great places to stay, eat and celebrate.

Indonesia 🇮🇩

Indonesia’s numbers astound: more than 17,000 islands, of which 8000 are inhabited, and over 300 languages are spoken across them. It’s a beguiling country offering myriad adventures.

Beaches & Volcanoes

Venturing across Indonesia you’ll see a dramatic landscape, as diverse as those living upon it. Sulawesi’s wildly multilimbed coastline embraces white-sand beaches and diving haunts, while Sumatra is contoured by a legion of nearly 100 volcanoes marching off into the distance, several capable of erupting at any time.

Rich Diversity

The world’s fourth most populous country – 255 million and counting – is a sultry kaleidoscope that runs along the equator for 5000km. From the western tip of Sumatra to the eastern edge of Papua, this nation defies homogenisation. It is a land of so many cultures, peoples, animals, customs, plants, sights, artworks and foods that it is like 100 countries melded into one.

The people are as radically different from each other as if they came from different continents, with every island a unique blend of the men, women and children who live upon it. Over time deep and rich cultures have evolved, from the mysteries of the spiritual Balinese to the utterly non-Western belief system of the Asmat people of Papua.

Great Adventure

This ever-intriguing, ever-intoxicating land offers some of the last great adventures on earth. Sitting in the open door of a train whizzing across Java, idling away time on a ferry bound for Kalimantan, hanging on to the back of a scooter on Flores, rounding the mystifying corner of an ancient West Timor village or simply trekking through wilderness you’re sure no one has seen before – you’ll enjoy endless exploration of the infinite diversity of Indonesia’s 17,000-odd islands.

Amazing Spectacle

Dramatic sights are the norm. There’s the sublime: an orangutan lounging in a tree. The artful: a Balinese dancer executing precise moves that would make a robot seem loose-limbed. The idyllic: a deserted stretch of blinding white sand on Sumbawa set off by azure surf breaks. The astonishing: the mobs in a cool, glitzy Jakarta mall on a Sunday. The intriguing: the too-amazing-for-fiction tales of the twisted history of the beautiful Banda Islands. The heart-stopping: the ominous menace of a Komodo dragon. The humbling: a woman bent double with a load of firewood on Sumatra. The delicious: a south Bali restaurant. The shocking: the funeral ceremonies of Tana Toraja. The solemn: the serene magnificence of Borobudur.

Follow @blackplatinumgold on Instagram

Credits:

http://www.7secretsresorts.com/en

http://www.slh.com/hotels/7-secrets-resort-and-retreat/?l

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/indonesia/lombok/

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/indonesia/