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Archive for the ‘luxury travel’ category

Flying Safari with Ultima Thule Lodge - Alaska
Bush Planes lined up at Ultima Thule Lodge
The best way to explore a vast and almost inaccessible national park in Alaska is to hop on a bush plane and fly along. My rendezvous with the wilderness is somewhere in a forgotten corner of Alaska, around six in the evening. That is, as long as the weather holds. It’s the end of June and the sun never sets in the evening. “Park alongside the log cabin and wait, but stay away from the stretch of ground beside the car park.” were the instructions in the email. I am in tiny Chitina, population 150 people. (more…)

Santo StefanoSextantio SuiteSextantio SuiteSextantio SuiteIs the fate of many unique, virtually abandoned villages in the unknown corner of Abruzzo sealed? Not if Swedish-Italian millionaire Daniele Kihlgren can help it. In 1999, a solitary motorbike trip proved to be a revelation for this modern-day idealist. By chance, he stumbled upon the almost-deserted hilltop village of Santo Stefano di Sessanio in the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park in the Apennines. He was struck speechless, not only by the outstanding beauty of the setting, but also because almost everything was untouched. (more…)

THE VALUE ADDED TAX OF BHUTAN

November 26th, 2013

What is the result when an Asian country tries to manage the tourism industry by charging a fair amount of entry tax to the adventurous traveller? Plus when it wants to keep far away from the madding backpacking crowds? Take 20.000 visitors a year and mix it with a 100% Buddhist population in a landlocked country with dreamy landscapes that will tantalize every serious travelista. Ok, you have to have a certain budget to get in. But who wouldn’t pay a bit more for a destination where the happiest people in the world live, where chilli peppers are eaten as a vegetable rather than a spice and where the beer, called Red Panda, is devilish tasty? (more…)

AMANGIRI DESERT CHIC

June 1st, 2013

amangiriamangiriAmangiri is an ode to the mysterious rock formations of southern Utah and the ancient Navajo culture. An enclave of luxury and style in America’s most dramatic desert landscape. Take one of the world’s most influential and eccentric hoteliers, bring him together with several prominent American architects and drop them into the magical moonscape of immense rock formations, mesas and rolling hills somewhere deep in southern Utah.

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A GOLDEN CHARM CALLED BURMA

April 20th, 2013

monk myanmarballoons over bagan Until very recently a no-go destination for many travellers, Burma aka Myanmar has now become an absolute favourite. With endearing nicknames such as the ‘golden land’ or ‘land of the smile’, everybody wants to go now. Who wouldn’t want to visit a country where until very recently time literally and figuratively stood still, cut off from the rest of the world? (more…)

VANUATU, THE HAPPY ISLANDS

December 20th, 2010

Voted as the happiest place in the world, Vanuatu might be the Pacific’s best-kept secret. Here, the ocean is blue, the beaches are white and empty and the smiles of the Ni-Van are big and plentiful. The greatest plus of these 83 islands that make up Vanuatu is that it offers a mix of comfortable to even luxury lodging and an authentic and fascinating culture. After climbing active volcanoes or visiting custom villages it’s time for extreme relaxation in one of the luxury resorts. (more…)

Pack your bags (not more than 20 kg please and no Manolo or Gucci needed anyway), hop on a plane for half a day and embark on a trip of a lifetime. Final destination is Botswana where the mighty lions roar louder, the safari camps are more comfy and the views are more va va voom. If you need a helping hand to select one or two camps out of the numerous luxury options, then follow our advice and be a happy camper. (more…)

Close your eyes and imagine Empress Dowager Cixi roaming the century old dwellings of the Summer Palace in Beijing, Wurthering Hights style. If you don’t fancy Chinese concubines, then stay anyway at the magical Aman at Summer Palace, one of the most charismatic hotels in Beijing. This 51 rooms hotel occupies the former dwellings of the Summer Palace and offers a secrets door to access this famous World Heritage Site when “normal” (read: ten thousands of gymnastic, eating, singing and partying Chinese) visitors are not allowed to enter the park. (more…)

flight-attendants

We must admit that going around the world in business class, was one of the most exciting things we ever did. With oneworld we flew with Finnair, British Airways, American Airlines, Air Mexicana, JAL and Cathay Pacific around the world for a price of proably one business class ticket to Hong Kong. Real travelista’s don’t have to ask what our top three is. We were extremely charmed by British Airways new World Traveler Class and the T5 facilities at Heatrow. The cabin of the World Traveler Class offers an excellent lay-out in the airplane with a decent amount of privacy for those wanting to sleep or relax. Superb service, tasty food and a good selection of inflight entertainment. (more…)

STEALTH POWER

May 18th, 2009

WallyBoard now the most stylish, ultra-slick boat in the world. Maybe you don’t have the cash to buy one of these handcrafted and tailor-made beauties, but for a modest 5700 euro a day, you can rent a Wally in the Med. We must admit, it’s a hard choice between all those streamlined beauties. First there is the 106′ ” WALLY B”, sailing around the Western Mediterranean like Sardinia, Cote d’Azur, Corsica and Southern Italy. This beautiful sailing and motoryacht can host 6 guests and has a crew of 5 (skipper, deck hand, engineer, cook and stewardess). (more…)

THE OBEROI ZAHRA

May 20th, 2008

Oberoi Zahra EgyptOberoi Zahra EgyptWithout a doubt the best way to experience Egypte is to cruise along the Nile. Even just being docked along the quay in Aswan gives a special oasis sensation, hectic noise of the bustle of the city included. The new style to cruise the Nile is boarding the ultra-luxurious Nilecruiser the Oberoi Zahra. Sleek, minimal, stylish (only too bad about the fake woods on the floor). Every room has floor-to-ceiling windows, even the bathrooms. (more…)

Nomads Of The Seas, ChileNomads Of The Seas, ChileToday my article about Nomads of the Seas got published in De Tijd, the financial newspaper in Belgium. A good reason to look back at this unique sailingtrip we did a good month ago. We cruised around the area of Puerto Montt in northern Patagonia on what is by any doubt one of the most high-tech ships in the world. Owner Andres Ergas made sure the hardware for this flyfishing expedition is top-end: 25 million dollar boat, US Army zodiac of one milion, state-of-the-art helicopter,… (more…)

ATACAMA DESERT STYLE

April 24th, 2008

Sizzling hot during the day, freezing cold at night. Not to forget one of the dryest places on earth. Handy for people like me who are used to the rain for almost 8 months a year. A new wave of hotels opened their doors here near or in San Pedro de Atacama. (more…)

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