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

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

 

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

The Dylan Hotel – Amsterdam, The Netherlands 🇳🇱

 

Full of personality and stylish sophistication, The Dylan Amsterdam is arguably the most elegant hotel in town. From its superb setting on Keizersgracht, one of Amsterdam’s main canals, to its immaculately decorated rooms, charming courtyard garden and Michelin-starred restaurant, this is the place to check-in to for serious comfort.

The Dylan Hotel’s historic site is right in the heart of Amsterdam’s chic shopping district, the Negen Straatjes. Hire a bike from the hotel and discover unique boutiques and a host of museums. Alternatively, take a private boat tour of the canals and return to dine in Restaurant Vinkeles for contemporary French cuisine prepared by Executive Chef Dennis Kuipers. For a more casual tasty treat, head to the hotel’s stylish Bar Brasserie OCCO for living room style setting and a delectable all-day menu.

 Accommodation
The hotel rooms are a clever mix of glamour and simplicity, ranging from a succinctly minimalist feel in the classic Loft and Red or White Zensation rooms to the copper tones of the Loxura style rooms to the rich and natural colors in signature suite The Dylan Thomas Suite.
The design of the hotel building is an architectural makeover that respects the past and embraces the future. Each of the hotel’s 40 rooms and suites is individually designed to provide the ideal blend of colour, texture and atmosphere. Renovated in 2014, The Dylan presents 16 rooms in the Serendipity Collection style, designed by Remy Meijers, a well known Dutch designer. Daring and dramatic, offering style, elegance, efficiency and sensational service. The Dylan offers a haven, protecting the privacy of its guests.
Dining

Restaurant Vinkeles is a destination unto itself. Awarded a Michelin star in November 2009, the delicate French cuisine offers an excellent mixture between classic and contemporary styles. Set in a sunken dining room surrounded by original 18th century ovens and with views overlooking the garden, the restaurant offers an intimate and elegant setting.

Executive Chef Kuipers uses only the freshest ingredients for his seasonal menu, which showcases his strict dedication to purity of flavor and presentation. Described by the guests as “exciting, modest, and refined”, Restaurant Vinkeles and Executive Chef Kuipers are an element to the Dylan that must not be missed.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands 🇳🇱

Golden Age canals lined by tilting gabled buildings are the backdrop for Amsterdam’s treasure-packed museums, vintage-filled shops and hyper-creative design, drinking and dining scenes.

Feel Gezellig

Amsterdam is famously gezellig, a Dutch quality that translates roughly as convivial or cosy. It’s more easily experienced than defined. There’s a sense of time stopping, an intimacy of the here-and-now that leaves your troubles behind, at least until tomorrow. The easiest place to encounter this feeling is a brown cafe (traditional Dutch pub). Named for their wood panelling and walls once stained by smoke, bruin cafés have gezelligheid (cosiness) on tap, along with good beer. You can also feel gezellig lingering after dinner in snug restaurants while the candles burn low.

Admiring Art

You can’t walk a kilometre without bumping into a masterpiece in the city. The Van Gogh Museum hangs the world’s largest collection by tortured native son Vincent. A few blocks away, Vermeers, Rembrandts and other Golden Age treasures fill the glorious Rijksmuseum. The Museum het Rembrandthuis offers more of Rembrandt via his etching-packed studio, while the Stedelijk Museum counts Matisses and Mondrians among its modern stock. And for blockbuster displays, the Hermitage Amsterdam delivers: the outpost of Russia’s State Hermitage Museum sifts through its three-million-piece home trove to mount mega exhibitions.

Bike & Boat Travel

Two wheeling is a way of life here. It’s how Amsterdammers commute to work, go to the shop, and meet a date for dinner. Abundant bike rental shops make it easy to gear up and take a spin. If locals aren’t on a bike, they may well be on the water. With its canals and massive harbour, this city reclaimed from the sea offers countless opportunities to drift. Hop aboard a canal boat (preferably an open-air one) or one of the free ferries behind Centraal Station, or rent your own for a wind-in-your-hair ride.

Urban Explorations

Amsterdam’s canal-woven core is laced by atmospheric narrow lanes. You never know what you’ll find: a tiny hidden garden; a boutique selling witty, stylised Dutch-designed homewares and fashion; a jewel box-like jenever (Dutch gin) distillery; a flower stall filled with tulips in a rainbow of hues; an old monastery-turned-classical-music-venue; an ultra-niche restaurant such as an avocado or strawberry specialist or one reinventing age-old Dutch classics. Fringing the centre, post-industrial buildings in up-and-coming neighbourhoods now house creative enterprises, from art galleries to craft breweries and cutting-edge tech start-ups, as well as some of Europe’s hottest clubs.

The Netherlands 🇳🇱

Tradition and innovation intertwine here: artistic masterpieces, windmills, tulips and candlelit caféscoexist with groundbreaking architecture, cutting-edge design and phenomenal nightlife.

Landscapes

Geography plays a key role in the Netherlands’ iconic landscapes. More than half the pancake-flat country is below sea level, and 20% has been reclaimed from the sea, making rows of polders (areas of drained land) omnipresent. Uninterrupted North Sea winds have powered windmills since the 13th century, pumping water over the dykes, and milling flour and more. Some two-thirds of the surface is devoted to agriculture, including fields of tulips.

Art & Architecture

The legacies of Dutch Masters such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Gogh, Frans Hals, Hieronymus Bosch, Piet Mondrian and MC Escher hang on the walls of the Netherlands’ world-renowned museums, along with contemporary Dutch works.

The Dutch influence on construction spans more than a millennia, from Romanesque and Gothic medieval magnum opuses to Dutch Renaissance creations, revolutionary, Golden Age gabled houses and engineering endeavours including canals, neoclassicism, Berlage and the Amsterdam School, Functionalism, modernism, structuralism, neorationalism, postmodernism and neomodernism, with trailblazing structures making their mark on the cityscapes.

Cycling

The flat, fabulously scenic landscapes make cycling in the Netherlands a pleasure (headwinds not withstanding). Cycling is an integral part of life and locals live on their fiets (bicycle): more than a quarter of all journeys countrywide are by bike, rising to more than a third in big cities.

Experiencing the wind-in-your-hair freedom of cycling is a breeze. Bike-rental outlets are ubiquitous, and the country is criss-crossed with some 32,000km of cycling paths, including the Dutch ‘motorways’ of cycling, the long-distance LF routes. Grab some wheels and start exploring.

Café Culture

When the Dutch say café they mean a pub, and there are thousands of them. In a country that values socialising and conversation more than drinking, cafés are places for contemplation and camaraderie. Many cafés have outdoor terraces, which are glorious in summer and sometimes covered and heated in winter. Most serve food, from bar snacks to fabulous meals. The most atmospheric is a bruin café (brown café), named for the nicotine stains of centuries past – the ultimate place to experience the Dutch state of gezelligheid (conviviality, cosiness).

Follow @blackplatinumgold on Instagram

Credits:

The Dylan Amsterdam

http://www.slh.com/hotels/the-dylan-hotel/?l

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/the-netherlands/amsterdam/

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/the-netherlands/

 

The Hay-Adams – Washington, DC – United States 🇺🇸

 

Steeped in rich history and surrounded by the most iconic institutions of our nation, The Hay-Adams is the discreetly luxurious hotel destination for discerning guests. Enveloped by views of the White House, St. John’s Church, and the scenic Lafayette Park, the 5-star accommodations at The Hay-Adams are the embodiment of refined residence. Marked by Washington, DC’s most accommodating amenities and dedicated services, The Hay-Adams is the boutique hotel of choice for the modern luxury traveler.

The Hay-Adams has, hands down, the best White House views of any Washington, D.C. property (in fact, its rooftop is a local favorite for private events). Housed in an Italian Renaissance-style mansion that was built in 1928, the hotel is genteel and dignified in the best sense. It’s grand enough for political bigwigs, yet welcoming and down-to-earth for travelers seeking an impeccably elegant base for their visit. The hotel’s 80-plus-year history can still be seen in original details such as ornate plaster moldings, high ceilings and the walnut-paneling in the lobby.

Accommodations

The luxury accommodations at The Hay-Adams embody the rich culture and history of Washington, DC, with elegant furnishings, timeless décor, and the unparalleled comfort of your own personal residence. Whether your stay is for business or pleasure, allow us to be your home away from home in Washington, DC.

Guest rooms are modern, with custom Italian linens, Etro bath amenities and Bose sound systems. The hotel’s age may imply a sophisticated clientele, but families are made to feel welcome, and children receive nightly turn-down service with milk and cookies.

Dining: Lafayette Room

Savor refined contemporary American cuisine overlooking Lafayette Square and the White House at the hotel’s exceptional destination restaurant. Featuring elegant chandeliers, folding French doors and milky shades of cream and white, the light-filled dining room offers a stately setting for breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch.

More than just a hotel, The Hay-Adams is a Downtown destination recognized as one of the Nation’s Capital’s top choices for fine dining and elegant entertainment near the White House and The National Mall. With a longstanding reputation as the go-to place for exquisite cuisine in Washington, D.C.  The sophisticated ambiance creates the perfect backdrop for business meals. The historic setting is also a favorite for gathering among family and friends.

Washington, DC – United States 🇺🇸

The USA’s capital teems with iconic monuments, vast museums and the corridors of power where visionaries and demagogues roam.

Museums & Monuments

Thanks, James Smithson, you eccentric antimonarchist Englishman. That $508,318 gift you willed to the USA back in 1829 to create a ‘diffusion of knowledge’ paid off big time. There’s nothing quite like the Smithsonian Institution, a collection of 19 behemoth, artifact-stuffed museums, many lined up in a row along the Mall. The National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of Natural History, National Museum of American History, Freer-Sackler Museums of Asian Art – all here, all free, always.

Alongside the museums, Washington’s monuments bear tribute to both the beauty and the horror of years past. They’re potent symbols of the American narrative, from the awe-inspiring Lincoln Memorial to the powerful Vietnam Veterans Memorial to the stirring Martin Luther King Jr Memorial.

Arts & Culture

Washington is the showcase of American arts, home to such prestigious venues as the National Theatre, the Kennedy Center and the Folger Theatre. Jazz music has a storied history here. In the early 20th century, locals such as Duke Ellington climbed on stages along U St NW, where atmospheric clubs still operate.

History

A lot of history is concentrated within DC’s relatively small confines. In a single day, you could gawp at the Declaration of Independence, the real, live parchment with John Hancock’s, er, John Hancock scrawled across it at the National Archives; stand where Martin Luther King Jr gave his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech on the Lincoln Memorial’s steps; prowl around the Watergate building that got Nixon into trouble; see the flag that inspired the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ at the National Museum of American History; and be an arm’s length from where Lincoln was assassinated in Ford’s Theatre.

Political Life

The president, Congress and the Supreme Court are here, the three pillars of US government. In their orbit float the Pentagon, State Department, World Bank and embassies from most corners of the globe. If you hadn’t got the idea, power is why Washington exerts such a palpable buzz.

As a visitor, there’s a thrill in seeing the action up close – to walk inside the White House, to sit in the Capitol chamber while senators argue about Arctic drilling, and to drink in a bar alongside congresspeople likely determining your newest tax hike over their single-malt Scotch.

Follow @blackplatinumgold on Instagram

Credits:

http://www.hayadams.com/

https://www.lhw.com/hotel/The-Hay-Adams-Washington-DC

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/usa/washington-dc/

El Alma Soul Retreat – Costa Rica 🇨🇷

 

Wake to the melody of exotic bird-song. Stroll onto the floating deck, hovering magically over the gardens. Sip fresh local coffee or juices while gazing across the Pacific. Then while away your days at El Alma Soul Retreat around the pool, on secluded beaches or with a round golf next door. Whether it’s a soul, yoga or tango retreat – or you come for the incredible setting alone – this hilltop hideaway is ideal for recharging batteries.

El alma is Spanish for ‘the soul’ – and this luxury villa is all about re-connecting with yours by de-connecting from the world. There is WiFi, but you won’t find a television. Instead, you’re invited to discover pura vida through massages, walks, or simply absorbing the tropical views. Inside this is a serene, designer escape. Expect open spaces, a soothing palette of neutral earth tones and bespoke artisan furniture such as Balinese wood screens.

El Alma puts you on a hillside on the Península Papagayo, arguably Costa Rica’s pride and joy. Most of it is untamed national parkland, bursting with wildlife. From the air, the contrast between emerald rainforest canopies and sapphire seas is a hint at the paradise beneath. Think picturesque bays, quiet beaches, manicured fairways and scuba diving with rays and turtles.

Accommodations

Whether you book the entire villa or one of the three luxury rooms, you’ll feel at peace at El Alma. A blissful blend of beach house, tree house and art gallery, every furnishing and ornament has been chosen with care. Wood and stone breathe warmth and life, while open spaces and glass walls fill rooms with sunshine and Pacific breezes. Each bathroom offers spa-like relaxation and interiors. While private terraces connect you with nature. Try a yoga or meditation class and for the ultimate in relaxation, follow it up with an in room massage.

Costa Rica 🇨🇷

All trails lead to waterfalls, misty crater lakes or jungle-fringed, deserted beaches. Explored by horseback, foot or kayak, Costa Rica is a tropical choose-your-own-adventure land.

Outdoor Adventures

Rainforest hikes and brisk high-altitude trails, rushing white-water rapids and world-class surfing: Costa Rica offers a dizzying suite of outdoor adventures in every shape and size – from the squeal-inducing rush of a canopy zip line to a sun-dazed afternoon at the beach. National parks allow visitors to glimpse life in the tropical rainforest and cloud forest, simmering volcanoes offer otherworldly vistas, and reliable surf breaks are suited to beginners and experts alike. Can’t decide? Don’t worry, you won’t have to. Given the country’s diminutive size, it’s possible to plan a relatively short trip that includes it all.

The Pure Life

And then there are the people. Costa Ricans, or Ticos as they prefer to call themselves, are proud of their little slice of paradise, welcoming guests to sink into the easygoing rhythms of the pura vida (pure life). The greeting, farewell, catchy motto and enduring mantra gets to the heart of Costa Rica’s appeal – its simple yet profound ability to let people relax and enjoy their time. With the highest quality of life in Central America, all the perfect waves, perfect sunsets and perfect beaches seem like the pura vida indeed.

The Peaceful Soul of Central America

As the eco- and adventure-tourism capital of Central America, Costa Rica has a worthy place in the cubicle daydreams of travelers around the world. With world-class infrastructure, visionary sustainability initiatives and no standing army since 1948 (when the country redirected its defense funds toward education, healthcare and the environment), Costa Rica is a peaceful green jewel of the region. Taking into account that more than a fourth of the land enjoys some form of environmental protection and there’s greater biodiversity here than in the USA and Europe combined, it’s a place that earns the superlatives.

The Wild Life

Such wildlife abounds in Costa Rica as to seem almost cartoonish: keel-billed toucans ogle you from treetops and scarlet macaws raucously announce their flight paths. A keen eye will discern a sloth on a branch or the eyes and snout of a caiman breaking the surface of a mangrove swamp, while alert ears will catch rustling leaves signaling a troop of white-faced capuchins or the haunting call of a howler monkey. Blue morpho butterflies flit amid orchid-festooned trees, while colorful tropical fish, sharks, rays, dolphins and whales thrive offshore – all as if in a conservationist’s dream.

Follow @blackplatinumgold on Instagram

Credits:

https://www.elalma.com

http://www.slh.com/hotels/el-alma-soul-retreat/?l

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/costa-rica

 

Borgo Egnazia – Puglia, Italy 🇮🇹

 

 

Open year-round, Borgo Egnazia is the story of Puglia come to life.

In the ancient culture of the land and through the sheer beauty of its incomparable architecture. It’s a place like “Nowhere Else”, embodying a brand-new concept of hospitality based on authentic local experiences. Inspired by Apulia’s rich traditions, yet thoroughly contemporary in its style, the hotel is a true masterpiece of architecture and design. Every detail of the main building, separate and private villas, has been meticulously crafted to ensure the highest standards of luxury. The adjacent world-renowned San Domenico Golf Course, the Vair Spa with water and body treatments, the Beach Club, tennis and kids club, make it an unforgettable destination. A shimmering coastline, ancient olive groves, the Roman town of Egnazia and the UNESCO World Heritage town of Alberobello are nearby for exploration.

It happens every hour of the year: you come and live your time here, and nature is powerful, peace is intense, harmony is full. It’s a place where you meet your self. It’s Borgo Egnazia: it’s nowhere else.

Dining: Due Camini Restaurant

The evocative and refined gourmet restaurant is decorated with limestone, wood and candlelight swashes. It offers a true auteur cuisine, complex yet authentic and simple. Apulian traditions are revamped by Executive Chef Domingo Schingaro using carefully selected ingredients and skillful creative cooking methods.

The Spa

Winner of the Condè Nast Traveller’s 2017 Most Life-Changing Experience award, Vair is a “spiritual” Spa, a true temple dedicated to the care of body and soul, a comforting place where travelers explore themselves and come out renewed, conscious, joyful. Here Spa director Patrizia Bortolin, star-therapist and “Shaman” Stefano Battaglia and the whole community of Vair’s staff create a harmonious atmosphere of profound spontaneous sharing.

Guests can indulge in revolutionary tradition-inspired treatments divided into 12 programs pursuing three major goals: life-changing, lightness and energy, relaxation and beauty. The 2017 menu also includes psycho aromatherapy sessions, color tests and treatments integrating classic therapies with popular dances or body improvisations.

Puglia, Italy 🇮🇹

Puglia can surely now take its place in the first rank of Italy’s famous regions. Clearly, everything the Italophile craves is there in abundance: ancient towns heavy with the tangible past; extravagant churches dreamt up by Europe’s finest architects; the footprints of an endless procession of conquerors and cultures, stamped in stone, gold and marble; seas of olives; olive-green seas; and food the equal of any in Italy. Travellers bored or worn down by the crowds of Campania and Tuscany can find still release in the baroque splendour of Lecce, ‘Florence of the South’, or one of many lesser (but no less beautiful) Puglian towns.

But its perhaps outside of its cities that Puglia shines brightest. From the ancient Forest of Umbra in the north to the fruitful Valle d’Itria and sun-baked Salento, Puglia’s countryside has always been its foundation – the source of its food, its wealth and its culture.

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://borgoegnazia.com

https://www.lhw.com/hotel/BORGO-EGNAZIA-Savelletri-di-Fasano-Italy

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/italy/puglia/

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/italy/