It’s possible that there are better places on earth to practise yoga than on a wooden deck over a cold, clear lake (part of our luxury ranch in Montana, The Ranch at Rock Creek), the sun warm on your shoulders and the legendary big sky reflecting both above and below you, while green mountains stretch as far as the eye can see.
What could be better than seeing the legendary polar bears up close, in their natural summer habitat? How about swimming with beluga whales? Or spotting over a hundred bird species, many of them so-called ‘lifers’? All while staying in a luxury eco lodge in Canada, with a spectacular backdrop of warm weather tundra..
Oman is undoubtedly one of the world’s undiscovered travel gems. From a traveller’s perspective, it has so many of the advantages of its middle eastern neighbours with none of the crowds, the development without the decline. Like Morocco, it offers a warm welcome and rich cultural and culinary experiences, but without the cheerful chaos that marks a weekend in Marrakech, for example.
‘Ruin Lust’ is the slightly offbeat title of the latest exhibition at the Tate in London, “a guide to the mournful, thrilling, comic and perverse uses of ruins in art from the seventeenth century to the present day”. It’s a title translated directly from a German term for the aesthetic appreciation of ruins, Ruinelust.
There’s something visceral about seeing a whale, whether it’s for the first time, or just the latest in a string of whale watching adventures (the activity has a large fan club – don’t be surprised if you become a bit of an enthusiast yourself). Perhaps it’s their sheer size – humbling and wonderful as looking up at the stars – or their innate curiosity and even friendliness, despite the danger humans have long presented to them.
Far above the northernmost regions that your average tourist will ever travel, on a vast, ice-encrusted ocean surrounded by treeless permafrost, is the land of the polar night and the midnight sun – the magical kingdom of the Arctic. Average temperatures here never venture higher than 10 °C, and can dip as low as an astonishing -40 °C, seemingly making it one of the least hospitable places on earth.
Ah, camping. The lure of the great outdoors. Cooking sausages over a crackling fire and telling stories late into the night. Sleeping under the stars, with just a sturdy bit of canvas between you and the wilderness beyond. Leaving the city behind you, and embracing nature at its most pure. Fresh air, exercise, the sun on your face. There’s nothing quite like it.
With the two mega-yachts that make up our Sea Dream yacht club offering incredible luxury cruise charters to top destinations around the world, sometimes we like to check in on where the chic crafts are heading, and daydream about the exotic sights they’ll encounter there.
It’s hard to resist the Amalfi Coast, blessed as it is with crayon coloured houses on rugged cliffs reaching down through terraces of citrus groves to the sparkling sea. Fall in love with this stretch of coast along the Sorrentine Peninsula in Italy’s Campania region and you would hardly be the first – it has housed and inspired artists and writers from Byron, Shelley and Keats to Virginia Woolf, DH Lawrence, John Steinbeck and Gore Vidal. Simply breathing in the air of lemon and jasmine is a kind of poetry, as visitors to our luxury boutique hotel in Sorrento, Villa dei D’Armiento, would attest.
If it’s an outdoor holiday you’re after, you couldn’t do better for a destination than the Bella Coola Valley, an isolated paradise of old growth rain forests, soaring peaks and spectacular wildlife. It’s also home to Tweedsmuir Park Lodge, our luxury eco lodge in Canada, where (despite its remote location), the only hardship is in deciding which of the many activities available to experience first. Ideally you should allow at least four nights for your visit to really get a sense of this beautiful valley, taking in a combination of grizzly bear viewing, fishing, relaxing, and of course, a spot of hiking.
At the heart of the Indonesian archipelago, between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores, lies the Komodo National Park, comprising of three main islands (Komodo, Rinca and Padar) as well as a sprinkling of smaller ones. Sailing here as part of a luxury Indonesian holiday, you’ll be rewarded with a desert island idyll – pink beaches (formed from coral and sand), monsoon forests, and turquoise bays visited by pods of dolphins and bales of languorous turtles.
In many ways, Galle is Sri Lanka’s comeback kid, a city that has seen more rises and falls than John Travolta’s career. It was first discovered by the Portuguese, who built a small fort on its windswept promontory. Then came the Dutch, who replaced the existing architecture with their own, and established Galle as the country’s most important port. A century and a half later, however, the action moved to Colombo, and for the most part, time stood still in this quiet but colourful coastal town.