The experts at Cox & Kings were set the challenge of coming up with the ultimate collection of boutique luxury hideaways for the discerning traveller. The brief was to identify independently owned, often lesser known boutique / small scale properties that feature the combined pleasures of beautiful design, superb service and a stunning setting.
FOR A STUNNING SAFARI EXPERIENCE
Garonga Safari Camp
Makalali Private Game Reserve, South Africa
Garonga is an exclusive 12-bed safari camp located in the beautiful Makalali Private Game Reserve to the west of Kruger National Park. Its design has been inspired by the ochre-red spires of nature’s termite mounds. The camp accommodation has been designed to reflect the textures of the earth. Thick earthen columns, generous cushions on low beds and billowing white fabrics epitomize this oasis in the middle of the South African bush.
Each of the six en-suite 55 square metre rooms are set amongst ebony trees on the banks of a water course and command beautiful views. Indulgences include a hammock on the wooden deck, double indoor shower, single outdoor shower and romantically draped beds. The camp has a laid back atmosphere, perfect for relaxation between wildlife drives. The wildlife itself is spectacular, as the 22,000 ha Greater Makalali Conservancy is a habitat for most of the great African species including lion, cheetah, leopard, buffalo, elephant, hippo, rhino and giraffe.
FOR MAHARAJA LUXURY WITH A MODERN TWIST
The beautiful hills of Rajasthan are dotted with fairy tale forts and palaces, a legacy of some India’s most flamboyant ruling dynasties. Today many of these wonderful architectural treasures have been converted into spectacular boutique hotels and one of the finest is Devi Garh, a glorious 18th century hilltop palace hidden away in the Aravalli Hills. Located 45 minutes from the lovely lake city of Udaipur, this is an ideal base from which to explore the villages, temples and forts of rural Rajasthan.
The fort-palace of Devi Garh has been converted into a luxurious all-suite boutique hotel. With expansive courtyards, sleek white marble finishes, domes, turrets and balconies, Devi Garh combines traditional Indian architecture with a contemporary minimalist interior. Each of the 39 suites is unique and themed on a particular semi-precious stone. Most also offer stunning views. Dining is an experience in itself with special venues for exclusive dining dotted around the palace, while, for those looking to relax the Devi Spa is managed by L’ Occitane.
FOR HERITAGE & LUXURY
Cesme is an historic town and popular resort located on the Karaburun Peninsula, beside the Aegean Sea close to the city of Izmir. The NarsIlica is a stunningly converted 18th-century seaside mansion that preserves all of the original features from its original use as home to the Ottoman nobleman, Tosun Pasha. He lived from 1794 to 1816 and was the eldest son of Muhammad Ali Pasha, an Ottoman Turkish military leader who is often referred to as the founder of modern Egypt. Today, the hotel, which sits beside fine sand beaches and turquoise waters, has stunning sea views.
There are just eight rooms, all individually styled and divided into three categories: classic, premium and one beautiful attic suite. All the rooms feature air-conditioning, wireless internet and an LCD flatscreen television. Each has been designed in simple pastel colours, in keeping with the area. The hotel features a breakfast room, which offers excellent views over the sea from its balcony, and a bar. For those looking to unwind, there is a thermal Jacuzzi filled with therapeutic waters and aroma therapy massages are available. This is a glorious and atmospheric to relax.
FOR FINE WINE IN A DRAMATIC SETTING
Cavas Wine Lodge
Mendoza, founded in 1561 and named after the Chilean Governor Garcia Hurtado de Mendoza, lies at the foot of the Andes range in western Argentina. It is at the heart of Argentina’s burgeoning wine industry, surrounded by vineyards and orchards, and it is a lively place of great charm with beautiful parks and plazas and wide shaded boulevards. Cavas Wine Lodge, the first of its kind in South America, is a luxury lodge set amongst 60-acres of Argentina’s most prestigious wine estates. Located 20 km south of Mendoza, the lodge offers wonderful views of the Andes.
Each of the 14 detached guest rooms features a large bathroom, a living area with fireplace, a private pool with outdoor shower and an outside terrace. The facilities at the lodge include a first class restaurant and an extensive wine cellar. Meals can be taken al fresco in the vineyards and cooking lessons are available to guests. There is also a spa offering wine therapy treatments, facials and aromatherapy, a sauna and a Jacuzzi. During your stay, visits can be made to local bodegas. In addition to appreciating the wine, there are excellent opportunities for various outdoor activities, including golf, cycling, walking and horse riding.
For tailormade holidays to South America, India, the Middle East and beyond, Silver Travel Advisor recommends Cox & Kings