COMO Uma Canggu
Everything’s more fun with three, and that’s definitely true of COMO Hotels and Resorts’ Balinese offering, which now boasts a trio of jaw-dropping resorts on the Indonesian island. COMO Uma Canggu is secreted away from the hectic Seminyak scene on a picturesque 2.2-acre stretch of beach. The contemporary resort marries modern Asian and Italian design across its 64 rooms and suites, plus 55 one- and two-bedroom residences, all with interiors created by designers Koichiro Ikebuchi and Paola Navone, who have both worked on previous COMO projects
Twelve three-bed duplex penthouses on the top of the resort feature private rooftop pools with unbeatable ocean vistas, and bright, airy interiors that allow guests to soak in those sea views. Anyone who has visited COMO Shambhala Estate in Ubud will delight in the presence of the COMO Shambhala Retreat at Canggu: a seven-room spa and wellness centre offing Asian inspired treatments plus yoga and pilates classes. The wellness theme continues in the kitchen, where locally sourced ingredients form the basis of menus in COMO Beach Club, and menus created for health-conscious guests are also on offer. Making the most of its beachside location, COMO has teamed up with Tropicsurf to offer surf lessons, and a tempting selection of local activities including temple visits, jungle trekking, canoeing expeditions and village walks is also on the cards.
Small but perfectly formed, Awasi captures the zeitgeist of today’s experiential luxury traveller. Following the success of its luxury lodges in Chile, Awasi Iguazu is the company’s first venture in Argentina, and what a debut it is. Couched in thousands of miles of rainforest in Argentina’s Misiones Province, the lodge is a short drive from the mighty Iguazu Falls; an all-encompassing destination experience with 14 stilted villas featuring private plunge pools, spacious living areas and outside decks under the canopy of the rainforest.
Asawi hosts (each villa has a private guide and 4x4 at their disposal) prepare tailor-made itineraries based on special interests and fitness levels. As well as the awe-inspiring falls, the Atlantic Rainforest is home to thousands of endemic species and the indigenous Guarani people, plus 18th century Jesuit ruins and hidden waterfalls, all of which can be explored with your guide. There’s jungle treks, kayaking expeditions and bird watching walks to consider, and head chef Aarón Castillo Tellería uses fresh ingredients from the rainforest and local markets to create a daily menu and picnic baskets for day-time excursions.
Every building tells a story in Venice and Palazzo Volpi is no exception. Built in the 16th century, it was originally part of Palazzo Grimani on Campo Santi Giovanni square, before becoming the embassy of the Brescia region and later, the Consulate of Argentina. The three-suite boutique is a now marvel of contemporary design and refined style. Two one-bedroom apartments feature kitchens and separate living rooms looking out on the Scuola Grande di San Marco or the building’s charming courtyard.
But the main event is a 160 sqm three-bedroom duplex and private courtyard with space for five guests. Carrara marble and Slovenian oak parquet flooring complements the French-inspired design, while original elements such as the roof beams and windows capture the character of the historic property. Owners Anna and Fred, who found the building in a state of disrepair, designed all the furniture and lighting in the hotel; if you fall in love with any of it, they’ll happily have another piece commissioned by local artisans for you.
Central, Hong Kong
Fresh from a major transformation at the hands of legendary architectural firm Foster+Partners, The Murray opens its door this month as Hong Kong’s newest luxury property. Situated in the heart of the city’s Central neighbourhood, the former office building was saved from an uncertain future by the government’s 2013 Conserving Central initiative, which saw eight historical buildings earmarked for preservation.
Originally built in 1969, the building’s iconic art deco style has been preserved and enhanced by Foster’s team, using it’s unique square windows as a design element within each of the 336 stylish rooms and suites, framing glorious views of Hong Kong Park. Guestrooms and public spaces are all fitted out in natural fabrics, leather and stone in a neutral palette, to create a refined, understated finish in this slice of Hong Kong history.