Remember mix tapes?
Those wondrous gifts of curation where every addition to the tape was carefully considered and added only if it carried maximum meaning.
Think of this bucket list of properties as our mixtape for 2019.
The Royal Mansour
In the heart of one of the world’s most incredible cities lies an extraordinary hotel. The Royal Mansour floats over a network of underground service tunnels filled with staff zooming around on golf buggies, only to pop up when and where they are needed to do the bidding of the guests.
The hotel has 53 traditional riads. Every one designed with elegant and intricate attention to detail and to exceed the demands of the traveler whilst telling the story of Morocco’s culture, architecture, history, and culinary arts.
A spa is situated over three floors offering a range of treatments, two Hammams, and a fitness suite.
Primate Lodge Kibale
The people of Uganda are champions of hospitality. Mix the incredible welcome with the unrivaled natural paradise home of 13 species of primates and perfectly charming accommodation and it is difficult to imagine anything more perfect.
Chimpanzee Tracking starts right next door to the 16 rooms of the lodge. Choose between a Luxury Cottage, a Standard Cottage and the Sky Tree House deep in the rainforest.
Daintree Eco Lodge and Spa, Queensland
The only boutique accommodation within the breathtaking Daintree Rainforest offers sustainable luxury on stilts and blended into the natural surroundings. Stay in one of only 15 eco-friendly bayans, wake up to the sound of the birds and spend your time exploring pristine waterfalls and enchanting forests, relaxing in your own jacuzzi and indulge in exquisite cuisine.
Saffire Freycinet, Tasmania
Neverending surprise and discovery is the result of this accommodation’s award-winning creation. Nothing was spared in a design that revolved around the concepts of relaxation and rejuvenation. Privacy is a key element of your stay on the stunning Australian coast.
La Residence, Franschhoek
The Franschhoek Valley is filled with vineyards, olive groves, and plum orchards and surrounded by breathtaking mountain backdrops. In the midst of all this exquisite beauty, La Residence holds its own as an opulent counterpoint. From glittering Indian chandeliers dangling delicately from vaulted ceilings to original artwork, Liz Biden furniture, and huge mirrors it is simply a delight. Every suite features elaborate and unique décor and the food is to die for.
Ellerman House, Cape Town
An Edwardian mansion sitting in prime position at the top of a cliff is Cape Town’s most exclusive hotel. Discreet glamour, splendid isolation, and spectacular views surround one of South African art’s most important collections. The area is known as Cape Town’s Riviera and it is only a 10-minute complimentary transfer from the Waterfront or Table Mountain.
Tsala Treetop Lodge, Plettenbergbay (Garden Route)
Take a bird’s eye view of the indigenous forest canopy of South Africa from a lodge that rises like monumental ruins of an ancient central African civilization. Inspired by the diverse cultures of Africa this is Jungle living at its most luxurious with wraparound decking surrounding your stilted hut, private infinity pools, and flatscreen televisions. All only 6 miles from the beaches, restaurants and shopping in Plettenberg Bay.
The views are awe-inspiring from this magical place that is a celebration of the spirit of Africa.
Madikwe, Madikwe Game Reserve
Wake up in a very luxury room that blends the outdoors with the indoors and find uninterrupted views of wildlife from your private deck and plunge pool. Warm hospitality, every comfort, and great charm surround every Suite. The Madikwe lodges cater to all different groups of travelers with sublime excellence.
Matakauri Lodge, Queenstown
A luxury lodge accommodation on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, Matakauri Lodge looks out over the mesmerizing panorama of The Remarkables, Cecil and Walter Peak. A most excellent home away from home it is a superb base for exploring Queenstown. The bathrooms have oversized tubs and underfloor heating and the outdoor infinity pool and Jacuzzi goes perfectly with champagne.
Taj Lake Palace
Period furnishings and stunning traditional frescoes in an 18th-century marble palace that was a residence for the pleasure of the Maharana of Mewar. Staying in a palace on its own island in the middle of Lake Pichola near Udaipur is quite an experience. Take a boat out onto the lake before returning to enjoy the ‘royal butler’ service. The elegant restaurants are only open to residents and you can book a spa treatment that draws on the ancient wellness heritage of India.
Anantara Kihavah Villas Resort
Arrive by seaplane and sleep suspended over the Maldivian waters. Uninterrupted views of the turquoise lagoon melting into a sapphire ocean, private pools and large sundecks.
No trees are moved or removed on Kihavah island and the design has drawn from the ancient seafarers, merging the Indian Ocean, Arab and Portuguese motifs. It is a paradise where you can snorkel with mantas and Hawksbill sea turtles.
High above the Sacred Valley of Cusco… where the Condors rest, transparent luxury capsules created out of aerospace aluminum and weather resistant polycarbonate hang from the side of the mountain. How do you get there? By protected climbing route or a hike along an intrepid trail with zip lines of course! The once-in-a-lifetime overnight experience is bookended by a gourmet dinner and breakfast. There are only three capsules with a total capacity of eight guests. They all have a private toilet — also with quite the view.
Sol y Luna
Forty-three casitas stand facing the gods of the Incas dwelling in the Andes Mountains. Each private sanctuary is surrounded by gardens in bloom with the flora native to the Sacred Valley. High ceilings, terracotta tile floors, and Peruvian textiles compliment the Spanish colonial style furniture. Original art has been specially created for the rooms and guests and the gastronomy aims to make lasting memories through your taste buds. It is sublime.
Off the east coast of Africa, a remote island provides the full Robinson Crusoe experience. Oh, except for the personal butler service of course. It looks unassuming but the secret underwater bedroom is certainly bucket list fodder. It is the road less traveled and paradise found. Compassion, simplicity and time to unwind translating to true luxury.
A once in a lifetime opportunity to immerse yourself in nature and get as close to the raw African wildlife experience as humanly possible. A camp so exclusive it cannot be booked directly. With a maximum of six tents for a single group, the camp is pitched and set up according to the requirements of each separate booking. You will enjoy a private guide, chef, camp host and staff and the focus is entirely on the experience and the surroundings.
They call it a cocoon in the middle of Ecuador’s cloud forest. Surrounded by 500 species of birds, trees, and frogs that are found nowhere else in the world, Mashpi also boasts waterfalls and dozens of butterfly species. The lodge is beautiful and you will love exploring the surroundings by hiking or even taking a chairlift on an 80-minute journey through the trees, over the treetops and all the way down into the rainforest.
The architecturally stunning hotel has a lot to compete with. Located in one of the world’s most beautiful locations it offers a host of excursions including all types of hiking, animal spotting and horseback riding in the Torres del Paine National Park. Luxuriate your senses in emerald lakes, fantastic mountain ranges, and abundant wildlife.
Zarafa Camp was designed to disappear into the floodplains of northern Botswana’s Okavango Delta. Difficult to spot from the outside they exude the luxury of a bygone era on the inside. Only four guest tents overlook Zibadianja Lagoon. Elephants are regular visitors and the roar of lions can frequently be heard. The location was discovered by renowned filmmakers and conservations, National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert. Their discovery was so good it had to be shared and so they co-founded the lodge to delight privileged visitors.
A private concession in the magnificent Okavango, Sandibe has exclusive rights to a vast stretch of Moremi Game Reserve. This lodge is a contemporary haven, architecturally inspired by the pangolin, that celebrates its stunning setting under a cool forest canopy of palms and fig trees on the edge of the Delta’s permanent waterways. Perfect for adventure-seekers, wildlife enthusiasts, photographers, first-time or repeat travelers, nature lovers, couples and families.
Vumbura Plains, Okavango
Many camps in the Okavango predominantly offer either a land or a water experience. But the luxurious Vumbura Plains deliver both land and water activities in an area that is a perfect mix of water and dry land. Two separate, linked camps with only 14 unique, contemporary rooms stand amidst seasonal wildlife, including wild dog, lion, leopard, and cheetah as well as exceptional year-round birding.
What do a 12-century monastery in Provence and the wildest corner of Kenya have in common? A lot more than one would think. Arijiju delivers surprising harmony by marrying classic, clean lines built from stone with Swahili curves with living grassed roofs. It lies low on the land and nothing is overstated but the luxury is quite extraordinary. The untamed wilderness of the Sieku valley in the Borana Conservancy now has a sanctuary from where you can adventure.