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?
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
The boyfriend and I are heading to New Zealand’s South Island in November, so when a bunch of deluxe Kiwi hotels popped up on Gourmet Traveller, I was all ears.
The treehouses at Hapuko Lodge in Kaikoura have got me smitten. Emerging from the treetops of a grove of Manuka trees, 10 metres above the ground, these tiny treehouses offer a breathtaking view through the massive windows.
The Lodge’s unique eco-focus really sets it apart too. The town of Kaikoura is a proud holder of Green Globe Benchmark status for its sustainability initiatives, so Hapuku fits right in.
I’m not sure if the treehouses will fit into our backpackers budget for this holiday, but you can bet I’ll be campaigning pretty hard to spend a night in a treehouse!
So Frenchy! So chic!
Mama Shelter is a hip budget hotel rockin’ the 20th arrondissement of Paris. Plus, it’s scooping up acclaim everywhere. This little Mama is featured on Conde Nast’s 2009 Hot List, as well as being rated for its design and business functionality.
I’m loving its simple monochromatic look, created by Philippe Starck to offer “an eclectic and electric ambiance thanks to its friendly, warm and casual common areas”.
I love it’s choices of rooms (ranging from the basic Mama to Mama Luxe, Mama Deluxe, or Mama Suite). I love its dining options and gorgeous chalkboard covered bar. I especially love that rates start at only 109EUR per night (AU$180).
Ooh la la! Check out this review in Gourmet Traveller.