1. Mysteries of Ancient Malta
2015 is the year to visit Valletta, Malta’s pocket-sized capital, which is celebrating 450 years since the great siege by the Ottoman Empire in 1565, as well as a dramatic architectural overhaul. Luxury travel specialist Beyond3sixty has teamed up with the Corinthia Palace Hotel to create a unique four-day package that will take guests behind the closed doors of Mdina and Valetta, the Mediterranean Island State’s famous historic cities. Staying at the original flagship of the Corinthia Hotels, you will be conveniently located between the island’s capital and the silent city of Mdina, where the only mode of transport is horse-drawn carriage. The oh-so exclusive itinerary includes a yacht tour of Valetta’s Grand Harbour, a private visit to the stunning St John’s Cathedral, and bespoke dining experiences at handpicked private residences. Go now, before the secret’s out.
2. Restorative art
Contemporary art and medical health may seem an unlikely pairing, but at the Swiss Grand Resort Bad Ragaz in the Heidiland region of Eastern Switzerland, you can experience wellbeing, and one of Europe’s most renowned sculpture exhibitions, all in within the comforts of the hotel grounds. The Bad RagARTz festival, will be installing 400 sculptures in total, across Switzerland’s Sargans region, with the Bad Ragaz Resort art trail taking central stage. Set in lush surroundings, with the backdrop of the Rhine Valley, the resort boasts an award-winning wellbeing and thermal spa, and Medical Health Centre that offers preventative care and even an inpatient rehabilitation clinic. The three-night package includes dining at the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant, a private tour of the exhibition, and an all-encompassing wellbeing package.
3. Call of the Wild
Combine luxury comforts with breathtaking wilderness in this all-American, adventurous getaway at Teton Springs Lodge and Spa Resort, which straddles the Wyoming-Idaho border. Dramatically located at the gateway of the Grand Tetons and iconic Yellowstone National Park, the hotel offers a plethora of outdoors activities, from on-site fly-fishing and teeing off on their world-class golf course, to hiking, horse-riding and bike trails in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest. Thrill-seekers can venture a little further afield and try their hand at heli-skiing or white-water-rafting down the world-famous Snake River. The luxury log cabins ooze with character, with out-of-this-world mountain views and a full service spa to pamper those well-exercised limbs.
4. Fit for (mini) Royalty
Luxury isn’t just for grown-ups you know. The royal treatment extends to the whole family at Royal Palm Mauritius, which caters to toddlers right through to teens. The jewel in the resort’s crown is the Royal kids club, set in a delightful tropical garden, with a host of activities from mini spa treatments, collage crafts, face painting, and even cooking lessons with a professional chef. The hotel garden even has a private paddling pool and mini loungers for kids to enjoy the full R&R treatment. The regal experience extends to the accommodation too, with private, luxury suites that open directly onto the beach, and the option for teens enjoy a suite all to themselves. Don’t forget to pack your tiara.
5. Luxury Bedouin
Photo by Artisans of Leisure Morocco Tours
Fall under the spell of Morocco’s enchanting cities and awe-inspiring landscape with Artisans of Leisure’s bespoke two-week journey, which is perfect for the luxe explorer. This adventurous tour ticks off a handful of UNESCO World Heritage sites, from Fez’s atmospheric medieval medina and the Roman ruins at Volubilis, to the whitewashed Roman port, of Essaouira, on the Atlantic coast. Moroccan cooking classes, a private visit to a local Berber village and the opportunity to visit artisan studios, where traditional carpets, ceramics and leatherwork are made, are all part of the cultural experience. To keep intrepid guests happy, a visit to the colourful and off-the-beaten-track town of Chefchaouen, in the Rif Mountains, was recently added to the itinerary. And luxury is by no means forgotten; with guests spending two nights in one of Morocco’s most acclaimed luxury resorts, Kasbah Tamadot, set on a hillside with panoramic views of the High Atlas Mountains.
6. Singapore Swim
Enrich your mind, body, soul (and fashion credentials) with The Mandarin Oriental Singapore’s Swim and Style package. Staying in an Ocean Grand room, you can gaze over uninterrupted views of the South China Sea, and watch the sun go down over the city’s Singapore Flyer, the world’s largest observation wheel. The two night stay includes private alfresco yoga sessions, traditional Thai massage in your private luxury pool cabana, and a specially curated spa menu, all designed to feed your mind, body and soul. And to guarantee you look effortlessly fashionable – poolside, of course - the package also includes a set of trendy, eco-friendly swimwear from FINCH Designs. Who says wellness can’t be a stylish affair?
7. Eastern Art Escape
For the ultimate cultural immersion, Ampersand Travel has curated a luxury tour of Japan, which takes you to Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto and Naoshima, in a whirlwind 13-day journey of artistic exploration. Highlights include a privately guided tour of Tokyo’s famous art districts, a pilgrimage to the art island of Naoshima, scattered with installations and sculptures such as Yayoi Kusama’s iconic pumpkin (pictured) and a visit to Hakone’s open-air sculpture museum, featuring works by Picasso and Moore. Foodies will also get their fix with the chance to dine at famous Fujiya restaurant, a favourite haunt of Charlie Chaplin and John Lennon. After all that visual stimulation, retreat in luxury to the Park Hyatt, The Ritz-Carlton and Mandarin Oriental Hotels, and experience an authentic stay in one of Japan’s finest ryokans (traditional inns), the Gora Kadan.