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Ritz-Carlton’s new Bacara Resort & Spa

Santa Barbra just became the home of the ultimate relaxation destination – the new Ritz-Carlton’s retreat. 42,000-square-foot spa, six restaurants, and three pools create a true haven for the wealthy, where they can relax in complete privacy away from prying eyes.

The new resort sits on a 78-acre estate nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the dramatic Santa Ynez mountains. Making the most of Santa Barbara’s stunning landscape, the property is famous for once housing the Bacara Resort, a favorite Hollywood hideaway. Now, a multimillion-dollar transformation has turned it into the plush Ritz-Carlton Bacara, welcoming its first set of guests earlier this month.

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Nestled in lush courtyards and overlooking a private stretch of beach, each of the property’s 358 rooms and suites have been completely refreshed. The resort is a quintessential mix of Californian ambiance and Spanish-style architecture (low-slung, white-washed buildings, red-tile roofs) with Mediterranean influences (wrought-iron balconies, terra-cotta tile floors). Cool coastal colours give each of the rooms a vibe of modern eccentricity and classic luxury, serving as the perfect landing pad for a weekend getaway.

Boutiques of worldwide renowned brands like Hermés, Prada and Chanel are in close proximity as is the historic State Street downtown, so guests will be able to enjoy full rein of the resort’s extensive list of amenities. The resort has three heated saltwater pools, a lounge in a kitted-out cabana, and two private beaches. A 42,000-square-foot spa is the perfect place to get treated to a well-deserved massage or facial before soaking up the last of the ocean sunset from a fireside lounge on the rooftop terrace.

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Not one but six restaurants offer a delectable array of options, which range from the casual, locally focused Bistro to the indulgent Angel Oak for perfectly prepared Kobe beef. A private tasting in the Foley Tasting Room, which houses Angel Oak’s 12,000-bottle collection can be the perfect way to end the evening.

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The Australian Outback’s Most Luxurious Resort

Longitude 131º has redefined what luxury travel means since it opened doors in 2003. Now, the safari-style camp on the border of the pristine Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is making headlines once again with the unveiling of a multimillion-dollar renovation.

Revealed in August, the revamped camp is taking the Outback adventure experience one step further with a new premium suite, spa, and swimming pool as well as upgraded public areas throughout. The two-bedroom Dune Pavillion is now Longitude’s most luxurious accommodation. It boasts floor-to-ceiling windows, vibrant indigenous artwork, and original décor inspired by the iconic homesteads common of the region.

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There is an extended deck outside with a small, black mosaic-tiled plunge pool. Guests can take a dip while enjoying sweeping views of two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Uluru, the 600-million-year-old red-hued monolith, and Kata Tjuta, the 36-domed rock formation in the distance.

Guests can take a dip or clink glasses at the new elevated Dune Top, where a swimming pool overlooking the red and golden landscapes has been added along with a collection of intimate alcoves for private al-fresco dining. Inside, the Dune House main lodge also has a fresh look, with a chic bar and restaurant boasting floor-to-ceiling windows framing Uluru.

Luxury Resort

The new elevated Dune Top features a swimming pool overlooking the red and golden landscapes along with a collection of intimate alcoves for private al-fresco dining. Inside, the Dune House main lodge has also undergone some renovations and now has a chic bar and restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows framing Uluru.

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The new Spa Kinara offers indulgent treatments that rest on the ancient practices of the region’s native healers, using indigenous ingredients like Kakadu plum, quandong, Australian yellow clay, and desert salts in facials and body wraps. Therapies take place in wiltja treatment rooms, which are structures designed to mimic the traditional shelters of the region’s ancestors for a truly immersive experience.

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Old Napa Vintages Worth the Trip

Two of Napa Valley’s favourite boutique wineries—Far Niente and Nickel & Nickel—are now allowing visitors to book relaxed, private tastings that introduce them to samplings of exclusive cellared bottles going back a decade.

Far Niente has created a much more personal experience with this service, where guests can relax in the expansive gardens and enjoy the Private Cave Collection Tasting ($100 per person) with four aged selections of the estate’s Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, as well as current releases. The winery offers a Private Estate Tasting ($75 per person) with four different wines from the Far Niente group.

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At Nickel & Nickel, tasters can gather on the wraparound porch, in the wine cellar of the historic John C. Sullenger House, or in the restored 19th-century Gleason Barn. The vineyard’s Private Terroir Tasting ($125 per person) presents a north-to-south sampling of eight single-vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons, which includes limited-production bottlings only available at the winery.

Wine tasting at Nickel & Nickel have long been favoured by connoisseurs of fine wine as they introduce the senses to a palette of acquired tastes and textures.

The Private Single Vineyard Classic Tasting ($75) comprises four single-vineyard Napa Valley Cabernets and demonstrates how dramatically wine can be affected by minute variations in location.

All of the private tastings last an hour and the wineries will waive one tasting fee for a six-bottle purchase or wine club signup. This is a unique opportunity to marvel the Far Niente 125-year-old stone estate building, sitting under cork oak trees planted by the original owner in the late 1800s.

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Botswana’s Chic New Safari Lodge

Natural Selection is offering a fresh take on luxury adventure with the debut of its first lodge, Sable Alley. Situated in northern Botswana’s Khwai Private Reserve, the private lodge opened in May and is as stunning as it is sustainable. The compound consists of 12 elevated tents overlooking a hippo-filled lagoon in one of the region’s most pristine wildlife hot spots.

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Sophisticated in design and ambience, Sable Alley is an earthly oasis in the midst of nearly a half-million-acre reserve composed of floodplains, rivers, lagoons, and savannas. Each of the spacious tents boasts its own private terrace; a private swimming pool and lounge offer further relaxation with a view. For guests with an adventurous streak, there is a treetop sky bed high above a watering hole to experience falling asleep to the sounds of elephants, buffalo, and big cats below.

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Sable Alley’s biggest advantage is its game-drive experience. The lodge offers a unique opportunity to explore the region’s diverse landscapes—and its stunning wildlife, including leopards, lions, cheetahs, wild dogs, and the resident sable antelope. Birding is also on the menu of activities to do, especially while on foot, drifting along in a mokoro or on a sunset boat cruise.

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Guests will have the opportunity for even more intimate wildlife interactions as soon as the lodge’s series of hides are completed. They will form a line of shrouded cottages located near watering holes that offer ultra-close-up viewings. Exciting night rives are also offered to guests for a chance to encounter nocturnal creatures such as leopards, spikey porcupines and fearless honey badgers.

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All tents have been designed and decorated with comfort and style in mind. Elevated onto raised decks, the luxurious tents offer an uninterrupted view of the lagoon. Each comes with en suite bathrooms, private verandas and private, indoor & outdoor showers.

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The ultimate $1 Million Private Island Package

The ultimate lavish Caribbean getaway package costs a staggering $1 million. Guests get to stay at Calala Island a private island resort just off the coast of Nicaragua. Up to 10 guests can be accommodated in four luxurious villas on the island at a time to ensure their privacy and comfort.

The trip starts with a journey to Nicaragua via private jet from any US city. Two helicopters will then take guests from the landing site to the private island as there is a no-fly zone around the island to ensure maximum privacy.

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A host of activities and experiences are available for guests, from scuba diving to a curated treasure hunt (which comes with an actual treasure in the form of a hidden treasure chest containing gold bars and coins worth around $150,000) to caviar tasting and a cooking masterclass by a Michelin-star chef.

Guests can go on a fishing trip and have the fish they catch – cooked by the island’s Itamae Sushi chef.

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Guests can also design their very own cigar, which will be produced and presented shortly after the trip. Nicaragua’s world-class cigar maker, Joya de Nicaragua, has collaborated with the resort to send an expert team to Calala Island to help guests find their perfect cigar blend. Guests get treated to 20 boxes of the custom blends shortly after their stay.

Other highlights of the lavish trip include unlimited fine wines and Dom Pérignon champagne, a 12-course gala dinner for all 10 guests, a Hollywood videographer and professional photographer to capture all special moments. There is even a donation of $100,000 towards the building of a Nicaraguan school, built to the guests’ specifications and named after them.

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Shanghai’s newest hotel is a work of art

Now, wealthy travellers have another reason to hop on their private jet and visit Shanghai- its newest luxurious hotel tucked away in the city’s historic district. Capella Shanghai, Jian Ye Li is fast becoming the city’s most luxurious hotel.

The tiny wining lanes of the historic Xuhui District are in sharp contrast to Shanghai’s towering skyscrapers and futuristic architecture. Travellers who want to be transported to a different era but still enjoy the luxury and comfort of modern life can do so in the Capella Shanghai, Jian Ye Li. The newest member of the Leading Hotels of the World luxury group makes the most of its strategic yet tranquil location — tucked away in the city’s cultural preservation zone. The hotel treats guests to a much-needed reprieve from the bustling city outside—and a chance to connect to its rich heritage and history.

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The compound consists of 55 villas and 40 luxe residences immaculately furnished in a combination of minimalistic Chinese style and contemporary architectural austerity. It is spread across 22 shikumen (or stone gate) lanes that connect over 200 two-story townhouses that date back to the 1930s. It was originally built by a French real estate company and each of the buildings has been meticulously restored by Jaya International Design’s team. This ensures the hotel is able to showcase the unique blend of Eastern and Western architecture—a rarity in the cosmopolitan metropolis. This cultural fusion continues can be found throughout the compound with elegantly decorated villas, which range in size from one to three bedrooms. The residences come in layouts from nearly 1,200 square feet to a palatial 2,700 square feet.

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Apart from ultra-luxurious touches like Aqua di Parma bath products and a dedicated Capella personal assistant, guests of Capella Shanghai enjoy access to the property’s Auriga Spa, with unique treatments based on the cycles of the moon.

The city’s best shopping and must-see sights, like the iconic arts galleries of Tianzifang, are just steps away from the hotel. Guests can then dine at the property’s le Comptoir de Pierre Gagnaire restaurant, enjoying the multi-Michelin-starred chef’s signature take on French cuisine.

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Top New Beach Resorts to Book This Fall

Summer is winding down and it’s time to start planning that perfect fall getaway. If you can afford it, you can spend the cold winter in some of the world’s best new beach resorts. From a Malibu holiday with Chef Nobu Matsuhisa to an island retreat in a secret corner of Indonesia, these are the beach holiday destinations to book this season.

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Nobu Ryokan

Celebrities and oligarchs flock to Nobu Malibu when they want to vacation away from the prying eyes of the press. The 16-room ryokan opened just this spring up the beach from the wildly popular restaurant, and is modeled after Japanese inns. It has a boho Southern California vibe with rooms nearly on top of the Pacific Ocean, a courtyard filled with native plants, and friendly staff to welcome guests with green tea.

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It’s been 10 years since the opening of Indonesia’s celebrated Nikoi Island eco-resort. Now, Andrew and Julia Dixon have unveiled their sophomore property, Cempedak Island. It sits within the same Riau archipelago and features 20 thatch-roofed villas arranged over 42 acres and surrounded by tropical foliage. The accommodations are immersive with design that blends with the surrounding nature. Constructed of sustainable bamboo and native alang-alang grass – they are completely open to the elements. Organic linens, private saltwater swimming pools, and sprawling terraces that spill out onto a white-sand beach complete the idyllic experience.

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Loren at Pink Beach

Opened in April, Loren at Pink Beach resort is Bermuda’s first all-new hotel in decades. It is a fresh move from the island’s trademark colonial style towards a sleek and elegant ambience with floor-to-ceiling windows, contemporary furnishings, and muted nuances. A total of 45 rooms and suites (all with breezy verandas) are modern and filled with light. The cuisine is modern and eclectic, delivering farm-to-table goodness with dishes like beet ravioli with goat-cheese bonbons. Just outside is a Bermudan trademark that never goes out of style: the Loren’s picturesque stretch of pastel-pink sand lined with tranquil water.

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An exclusive travel destination in the heart of Vietnam

Since April, Vietnam will reveal a new luxury destination for travellers looking to get away from it all. The spectacular complex Anam will bring a whole new level of luxury to Cam Ranh’s northern peninsula. Nestled in the middle of a 3,000 palm tree plantation, the verdant Vietnamese property is sited on 12 acres near white-sand beaches, turquoise waters, and sweeping headlands.

Guests will be treated to an off-the-beaten path adventure far away from the bustling lights of Hanoi. A wide assortment of activities are available, including kayaking, snorkeling, motorbiking, and fishing in authentic Vietnamese coracles. This is topped off with sumptuous accommodation at the five-star beachfront property.

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In total, there are 117 capacious villas and 96 well-appointed rooms and suites at The Anam (from $175 per night). Lanterns, mosaic tiles, stone pathways, imperial-style roofs, timber accents, and big-bellied water vases create a casual and traditionally Vietnamese ambiance to evoke the spirit of the exotic country’s bygone Indochine era. Vietnamese artwork and photography adorn the walls, giving visitors intimate glimpses into the nation’s history and culture.

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The airy accommodations boast with king-size beds and bathrooms with deep soaking tubs, rain showers, and slate-gray stone tiles. The villas have ample private gardens as well as terraces or balconies, and 27 include personal swimming pools. There are also two private pool villas, each equipped with steam rooms and sunken granite Jacuzzis to allow guests to indulge without leaving their villas.

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The resort has its own restaurant, which serves Vietnamese, Western, and European dishes such as lobster chowder and bay scallops wrapped in Italian pancetta with green peppercorn papaya salsa. The Beach Club offers casual weekly seafood barbecues at the oceanfront Beach Club. Three swimming pools, a fitness center, a tennis court, and a pool bar provide plenty of entertainment opportunities for much-needed R&R. The Balinese SPA has 10 treatment rooms, where guests can treat themselves to Nepalese-style tea exfoliation treatments, Bourbon tea body wraps.

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New luxurious Belmond Andean Explorer sleeper train

Wealthy travellers are able to experience the Peruvian Andes like never before aboard Belmond’s luxurious sleeper train. The ultimate travel adventure allows you to explore the harsh but lush terrain of Peru in comfort and luxury – usually reserved for 5-star hotels in the world’s top cities. Now, all of these services are taken to one of the world’s highest train routes aboard South America’s first luxury sleeper train.

Belmond Andean Explorer is a luxury train with the capacity of up to 48 passengers. It passes through Peru in peerless style. Travellers can select from one- and two-night itineraries journey between Cusco, Puno and Arequipa and take in natural wonders such as Lake Titicaca and Colca Canyon en-route.

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Time abroad can be spent in an inviting, indulgent ambiance with superb accommodation and a range of amenities. Guests can enjoy refined Andean cuisine throughout the unforgettable journey. Fresh, colourful and seasonal dishes will be made from locally sourced ingredients and served in the two elegant dining carriages. Top chefs from Belmond Hotel Monasterio, Cusco will be in charge of designing the menus.

There are additional observation, lounge and spa cars for much-needed relaxation spots. Modern comfort and traditional flourishes are combined to create an ambiance of luxury and elegance. The interior is connected to the location to make this a holistic journey of discovery. This journey will begin with the train’s immediate surroundings.

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A luxurious Piano Bar Car sets the musical tone as guests enjoy a selection of exquisite cocktails to the sensational passing scenery as a backdrop.

The Observation Car is the ultimate spot take in the picturesque Andean landscape and breathe in the crisp air from the open deck.

The Llama carriage houses the Boutique with original gifts and handcrafted items from each of the train’s destinations. It’s open from 11am until 7pm daily.

Adjacent to the Boutique is a library with a bespoke selection of literature to immerse guests in the fascinating history, culture and natural wonders of Peru.

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Fiji’s New $100,000-Per-Night Private-Island Resort

Since it opened its doors in April – Kokomo is every traveller’s dream realized. Fiji’s newest resort is the epitome of paradise with the Great Astrolabe Reef surrounding the island, located in one of Fiji’s least developed areas. Naturally, the price for staying in this Garden of Eden doesn’t come cheap at $100,000 per night, but it is well worth it.

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Exotic wildlife and mouth-watering local dishes complete the low-key luxury and relaxing SPA treatments. Guests will be treated to a number of exclusive services at the five-star dive resort, outfitted for water play of all sorts, from stand-up paddleboarding and outer-reef surfing to deep-sea fishing and laser sailing.

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To further enhance the feeling of privacy and exclusivity, the island is only accessible via private Twin Otter seaplane or helicopter. A total of 140 acres house five hilltop residences ranging in size from three to six bedrooms, a beachfront residence with six bedrooms, and 21 beachfront villas, with one to three bedrooms. Designed by Sydney-based Philip Garner – they boast bright and neutral interiors that blend with the surrounding ocean and rainforest views. Abstract artworks in each room are the result of a nine-month commission by Christopher Kenyon. Meals can be served individually in-villa, or guests can dine at three restaurants.

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There is also a state-of-the-art SPA featuring therapies that draw from Fiji’s natural elements. Kokomo caters to the traveller looking for absolute privacy without foregoing the luxuries of modern life in utter serenity.

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