New 2013 guide to luxury travel released

2012-11-22 14:22

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The Relais and Chateau Group is synonymous with luxury travel - and they've just launched their new 2013 Guide, including 36 new properties. There is also a special Relais and Chateau app for the traveller who prefers a more tech-savvy approach to planning the ultimate escape.

A few local properties have joined, including the breathtakingly beautiful Delaire Graff Lodges and Spa situated in Stellenbosch - certainly one of South Africa's most formidable luxury properties when it comes to experiencing a distinctive art, hospitality and wine destination. The Morukuru Family in the Madikwe Game Reserve is also proudly flying the SA flag, while Ol Donyo Lodge, Kenya, Royal Chundu in Zambia and Zarafa Camp in Botswana bringing the total number of properties within the African delegation to 22.

"2013 is destined to be a great year with new member properties joining the Relais & Châteaux family, all of which are presented in an exceptional new look guide as well as the endless possibilities available for guests to enjoy on multiple Routes du Bonheur not only on the African continent but worldwide.” said Annie-Claude Bergonzoli, Director of Southern, East Africa & Indian Ocean Islands.

The guide promises luxury itineraries a for discerning travellers in search of life-changing experiences or a whole new world of surprises.

Fancy a break?
Leave behind your daily cares, adventure is round the corner – set off for a trip of a life time! Head off to Chilean Patagonia and The Cliffs Preserve (Chile), with its 4 000 hectares of forests and 10 kilometres of Pacific coast, nature to explore as far as the eye can see. Or to the foot of Machu Picchu citadel, and a luxuriant tropical garden, one of 1001 excursions you can make from Inkaterra Machu Picchu Suites (Peru). Or explore the private peninsula of Titilaka Lodge, perched between the sky, the earth and the waters of Lake Titicaca, at an altitude of more than 3 800 metres. Or you could try the Royal Chundu–Luxury Zambezi Lodges (Zambia), just upstream of the Victoria Falls, for long walks along the banks of River Zambezi. Or a tiny private island in the South Pacific, with its limpid waters, at Dolphin Island (Fiji Islands). All around the world, nature welcomes you with open arms and takes your breath away!

Fancy a safari?
Take a trip to the heart of the Bush to the Morukuru Family’s three Lodges (South Africa), the ideal spot to discover the animals of the Madikwe Reserve. To the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro and Ol Donyo Lodge (Kenya), and a dream bush camp where you have free rein to explore the savannah and see its large elephants, on foot, horseback or by four-wheel-drive. Along with buffalo, cheetahs, leopards, giraffes, antelopes and other denizens of this 140 000-hectare private reserve, home to Zarafa Camp (Botswana). Animals such as you have never seen before, everywhere you look.

Morukuru Family’s three Lodges

Fancy high-altitude outdoor sport?
In Val d’Isère, on the Bellevarde Olympic ski run, at Hotel & Spa Le Savoie (France), a family chalet built in 1937. Or you could try a round of golf, or maybe some jet skiing or wakeboarding, on the 35-hectare estate of Jiva Hill Park Hotel (France), between the Jura and Mont Blanc. And there is In Lain Hotel Cadonau (Switzerland) in the Engadine Mountains, with its fishing, hunting, sleigh rides, hockey… Come back to a well-deserved rest.

Fancy fine cuisine?
Every Relais & Châteaux property boasts an excellent restaurant. In the 2013 Guide, a further 9 Grand Chefs offer new culinary experiences. Why not go to Courchevel and try Michel Rochedy and Stéphane Buron’s cuisine at Le Chabichou Restaurant & Spa Hotel (France) – tradition meets modernity with the heart as its sole guiding light. Or Jean Sulpice’s Restaurant L’Oxalys (France), in the Three Valleys, with its playful and elegant take on the local terroir. Or Passage 53 (France), tucked away in a typical Paris arcade, for Shinichi Sato’s delicate, refined, cerebral dishes. Enjoy the views over Menton from Mauro Colagreco’s Mirazur (France), which provides the stage for a sophisticated, lively and aesthetic cuisine that is pure Riviera through and through. Head for London, to the Hibiscus (United Kingdom), with Claude Bosi’s author’s cuisine a bold, theatrical, yet balanced experience. Or try Restaurant Da Vinci (Netherlands), overlooking the port of Maasbracht, with its traditionally inspired dishes enlivened by Margo Reuten’s contemporary touches. Or the Menton in Boston (United States) were Barbara Lynch pays tribute to the Riviera. Maybe San Francisco, with dishes that are a delicate blend of locally produced ingredients with inspiration from home and abroad, produced under the aegis of Michael Tusk, Grand Chef at Quince Restaurant (United States). Or the new culinary Eldorado, the brainchild of Diego Muñoz of Astrid & Gastón (Peru), with their unique dishes created as a tribute to the traditions and biodiversity of Peru.

Fancy a Spa & Wellness?
Rediscover your youth at the ‘7 sources beauty & spa’ at Lenkerhof gourmet spa resort (Switzerland) or at the oriental spa at the romantic Die Sonne Frankenberg (Germany), with its old mediaeval houses. Go to Mediterranean Sardinia, for yoga and massages, at the Petra Segreta Resort & Spa (Italy), right next to the beaches and the limpid azure waters of Costa Smeralda. Or maybe try Swiss Perfection and Aromatherapy Associates top-of-the-range treatments either before or after enjoying the pontoon terraces and private plunge pools of the rooms at Delaire Graff Lodges and Spa (South Africa). Soak in hot springs in the cabins and spa at Volando Urai Spring Spa & Resort (Taiwan), and become one with the nature that surrounds you. Cocooning takes on a whole new meaning.

Delaire Graff Lodges and Spa

Fancy heritage & terroir?
Go to the Opal Coast, and La Grenouillère (France) with its jagged metal structures, for a truly radical, terroir-based cuisine. Or gaze out over the ocean blue from Hotel Bela Vista (Portugal), a 200-year-old family home with views over one of the finest beaches in the Algarve. On the banks of the River Duero, Abadía Retuerta LeDomaine (Spain), tucked away in the heart of the vineyard, is a renovated 12thcentury abbey and now a property of charm. Set off for the heart of Umbria, and the age-old olive groves, infinity pool and neo-Gothic buildings of Borgo Dei Conti Resort (Italy). Still in the boot of Italy, you could try the 700 hectares of land belonging to Il Borro (Italy), the Ferragamo family's haven of peace which they have restored in a mediaeval Tuscan village. In all these places, enjoy culture in the countryside for a weekend or maybe longer.

Fancy a bit of urban living?
Where to go for history, the arts, a bit of excitement right at the foot of your bed? Rome and Palazzo Manfredi (Italy) with views over the Coliseum, the Roman Forum and the Domus Aurea. Or you could try Venice, with its picture postcard lagoon and Saint Mark’s Basin seen from the Londra Palace Hotel (Italy). Milan for a fairy-tale experience at Château Monfort (Italy), a charming Art Nouveau building that has rediscovered all its delightful enchantments of yore. Berlin, for a gentler pace of life at Schlosshotel Im Grunewald (Germany), an early 20thcentury manor, redecorated in the 1990s by Karl Lagerfeld. Try Gramado where Saint Andrews Gramado (Brazil) offers a taste of high life in a chateau, in this instance a breath-taking Scottish-inspired folly. Antigua Guatemala with its Baroque churches designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and El Convento Boutique Hotel (Guatemala) in front of an 18th century Capuchin Convent.

Dream destinations on every continent: 21 in Europe, 8 in the Americas, 5 in Africa, 1 in Asia and 1 in Oceania... In all, 36 good reasons to travel.

The launch of the 2013 guide was in conjunction with our longstanding partners, Moët & Chandon, Pommery Champagne, Nespresso and Valrhona chocolates.


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