There’s a new addition to my Christmas wishlist… It’s the new Mr & Mrs Smith Guidebook to Australia and New Zealand!
We all know that the Smiths are the people to turn to when it comes to luxury accommodation. Their stable of hotels stretches all around the world, and they offer great discounts and deals on arrival.
I can’t wait to see who they’re featuring in my ‘local’ region. Looks like that might even be Sal Salis on the cover, the Ningaloo Reef gem I featured last week. Thanks Smiths!
Ningaloo Reef, safari-style accommodation, and reclining in the lap of luxury… That’s what you’ll find at Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef, located in the stunning coastal dunes of Cape Range National Park, near Exmouth in Western Australia.
Nearby Ningaloo is an ocean paradise, perfect for diving, snorkelling, or boating with hundreds of colourful marine creatures. Parallel to the ocean are the impressive limestone ranges and gorges of Cape Range National Park.
Sal Salis will set you up in one of five luxury tents, complete with ensuite. This is as luxe as camping gets and all meals are provided by the hotel restaurant, who cook up a delightful variety of fresh local produce.
I’ve been meaning to go and swim with the whale sharks for a while. Who knows, maybe 2010 will be the year?
Rudyard Kipling described Milford Sound, in the Fiordland of New Zealand’s South Island, as the eighth wonder of the world*. Middle Earthy mountains, waterfalls, and sheer cliff faces surround the fjord. It’s New Zealand’s top tourist attraction and, guess what? I’ll be there in seven weeks time!
It’s a pretty distracting thought.
*What else has been claimed as the eighth wonder? The list includes the Grand Canyon, the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, and the Empire State Building.
photos by: vitch, f0rbe5, big frank, & adymace
I’m a bit of a Harry Potter fanatic and my trip to Orlando, Florida last year would have been made even more awesome by a trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
This all-out Potter-themed park by Universal Studios is set to open around March/April 2010. You’ll be able to explore Hogwarts, Zonko’s, Honeydukes, and Ollivander’s, ride rollercoasters like the Dragon Challenge and Flight of the Hippogriff.
You can finish off a day of adventures in Hogsmeade with a butterbeer at the Hog’s Head or the Three Broomsticks. I don’t know about you, but a whole lot of people will be very excited for this and I’m one of them!
This week a tip from our friends Mr & Mrs Smith has sent me dream-holidaying to the A’jia Hotel in Istanbul. When you look at it, you can see why!
The A’jia’s former-role was as the humble home of a pasha of the Ottoman Empire. It stands strong and pristine of the Asian shore of the Bosphorus.
“Understated palatial luxury” are how the Smiths describe it, with creamy white marble contrasted against flowing curtains, vast windows, and sleek furniture. There’s a lot to be said for minimalism in such a majestic setting.
From the A’jia you can take a water-taxi to the European side of Istanbul, or simply relax on the balcony, and enjoy the view.
I’m willing to subscribe to the notion that if it’s good enough for Sir Richard Branson, then it’s good enough for me. I’m also dreaming of a holiday in Morocco, possibly to Sir Richard’s luxury hotel hideaway in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains.
Not a bad idea, right? Kasbah Tamadot is just an hour’s drive from Marrakech and a completely secluded get-a-way. Rooms are decorated with a vast collection of international antiques complete with stunning mountain views, and an infinity pool to splash away your cares.
During your days, you can travel to Marrakech, or explore the mountains Branson-style or a 4×4 or mountain bike, hot air balloon over the Atlas, or stay in for spa treatments and delicious Moroccan cuisine.
I’m filing this one away for the next time I do something decadent… Until then, I’d settle for heading back to this Kazbah.
My dear francophiles, I have often wished I could live like a native in some of France’s pretty cities, a dream I am sure many of you share. Haven in Paris makes it possible, with their small stable of luxury apartment rentals, in Paris and Provence. Those whose nocturnes are filled with flashbacks to Under a Tuscan Sun will have their dreams come true in their Tuscany apartments.
All apartments include everything you could need, including someone to greet you when you arrive, wine and flowers, and recommendations of the best places to go while you’re there. Apartments sleep as many as 12, so I’m dreaming of an amazing group trip to Paris. Tres chic!
Hot tip from A Cup of Jo