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Snow and surf Ever dreamt of heli-skiing atop a dormant volcano in the Arctic Circle? Double-black-diamond and backcountry runs from peaks of 1, metres are generally accessible from March to May. In summer, thrillseekers use Deplar Farm as a base to kayak along the Arctic Ocean coastline, ride horses to geothermal pools, and detour to a satellite cabin on the Holkna River to cast for Atlantic salmon.
Built on a former sheep farm and opened this year, this modern Nordic lodge by luxe retreat group Eleven Experience has its own helipad, theatre, steam room, saltwater pools, and 12 guestrooms with mountain views. After thrilling days, guests recharge in Deplar's outdoor sauna, dine on local cod, lamb and wild goose, and snuggle under Icelandic woollen throws as the Aurora Borealis shimmers overhead.
Best in Train Pack your bags, trainspotters. The stylish locomotive Al Andalus travels the length of Spain, from Seville to Santiago de Compostela, on a nine-day journey in September. And for obvious reasons we're keen to board Belmond's Royal Scotsman when it teams with the Scotch Malt Whisky Society in April, June and October on four-night tours taking in landmark distilleries.
Aeolian hopping Drift from breakfast at Lipari to lunch at Filicudi to cocktails at Panarea - or divert to any of the other film-set Aeolian islands off Sicily - in the smart metre Barca Jost with charismatic captain and cook Pierre Zucchi.
Guests hike to volcanoes, dive for sea urchins and forage for wild capers, which garnish meals served while moored in deserted coves or near the volcanic fireworks on Stromboli. Italian specialist Bellini Travel arranges carefree days at sea and nights in new suites at Hotel um on the bucolic island of Salina.
Among the world's most extraordinary wildlife encounters is a dawn walk with meerkats. Several troops living near Bousfield's four chic desert camps have been slowly habituated to humans to allow scientific research and strolls with camp guests. Guests watch the meerkats group-hug to warm up and follow them as they forage for insects.
So non-threatening is human presence that when someone sits nearby, the sentry scampers atop human shoulders, then head, for a superior vantage. Copenhagen calling Admiralgade 26 is the hospitality equivalent of the difficult second album. Christian Nedergaard and Sebastian Rind Nellemann relied on gut instinct seven years ago when they opened their wonderfully personal wine bar, Ved Stranden 10, on a canal opposite Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen. They're serious about wine but otherwise so relaxed the bar feels like home, albeit a super-stylish one with Zalto glasses, collectible modernist furniture and a full house of passionate imbibers from all over the globe.
But for their first restaurant, Nedergaard and Nellemann went soul-searching. The result is a magic space in an old theatre on the same street as their wine bar, celebrating the aesthetics and craftsmanship of the early s, when the double-height room was created in the building.
The restaurant, which opened in June, is beyond convivial, or hyggelig, as they say in Denmark. Breakfast segues to lunch, lunch to dinner, and even after the kitchen closes at 10pm, obliging cooks will rustle up a snack. The well-crafted menu is "eclectic in a good way" says Nedergaard, including a Japanese-inspired breakfast and what he calls "advanced staff meals" such as hash with fried egg and pickled beetroot.
Ceylon's Finest Greet the day properly with a cup of Field No 7 Broken Orange Pekoe tea delivered to your four-poster bed at Taylors Hill, a stylishly restored tea-planter's bungalow in Sri Lanka's central highlands, about an hour's drive from Kandy. Hike to the neighbouring estate where James Taylor grew the island's first commercial tea inand return for textbook afternoon tea beside the croquet lawn. Despite its perpetual state of drought, this high plateau west of the Andes sustains a rich variety of flora.
Guzman covers dainty cuchufli sweets with fragrant dried petals of roses that bloom only once a year, and he gathers parasitic buds that sprout for a few weeks on the quisco cactus for an ice cake of tolilla a daisy cousinmiso and seaweed. To follow in Guzman's footsteps, Bespoke South arranges treks out of San Pedro de Atacama to explore Salar de Atacama, a series of turquoise salt lagoons, the lunar landscape of the Salt Mountain Range and the sublime stargazing summit of Cerro Toco. Zecha, who was ousted from the helm of his Aman empire inhas teamed with Malaysian investors to open Azerai Luang Prabang, a four-star, room hotel in a prime position opposite the city's night market.
It's just two blocks from the French colonial estate of Amantaka where Zecha has hosted several of his birthday parties. That's the challenge facing Dasho Sangay Wangchuk as he oversees the construction of five new lodges in the Dragon Kingdom scheduled to open in April next year. Royal connections and his family's own landholdings secured the five spectacular sites in the kingdom's major valleys of Thimphu, Punakha, Paro, Gangtey and Bumthang.
In the capital, Thimphu, Wangchuk is conjuring "a palace in the sky facing the city's newly completed metre golden Buddha. The lofty setting, formerly part of his own family's apple orchard, will feature a private dining area with cocktail bar "This I have done mainly for His Majesty," says Wangchuka metre pool built to reflect sky and mountains, and views across the roof of the Himalayas to infinity - or at least to Tibet. Travel between the lodges will be by helicopter or luxury four-wheel drive. Wangchuk, a Columbia University graduate and one of the country's leading entrepreneurs, had no shortage of suitors to partner with in the ventures.
He chose the Bangkok-based hotel group Six Senses because, he says, its ethos best aligned with Bhutan's own vision for a sustainable future. Over the moon The 21st-century space race is well and truly under way. Some of the world's most ambitious entrepreneurs - among them Paypal and Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk, Amazon pioneer Jeff Bezos and irrepressible Virgin founder Richard Branson - are vying to launch civilians into space.
Bezos and Branson are racing to realise suborbital flights more than kilometres above sea level by the end of the decade, while Musk's Space Exploration Technologies Corporation SpaceX has its sights set on Mars. Catch Blue Apple's speedboat from Cartagena for the minute trip to a cabana-strewn beach and the promise of grilled catch of the day and Med-Colombian share plates.
Next-gen travel How to inspire the next generation? Take them with you. Travel pushes boundaries and turns out global citizens. Seeing a place through their eyes may give you a new perspective as well, whether on safari in Rajasthan's Ranthambhore National Park to spot tigers sujanluxury. The farther afield, the more their spiritual and intellectual universe expands.
And then let's hope the next generation do the same when their turn comes. Tamil immersion Dedicated Indiaphiles have long been drawn south by the elaborate artistic traditions and festivals - and incendiary thalis and dosas - of Tamil Nadu. One of the state's richest cultural sites is the World Heritage-listed Great Living Chola Temples in the city of Thanjavur, now even more appealing for travellers with the opening of a boutique hotel. Deed and decorated by husband and wife Krithika and Sumanth Subrahmanian, the room Svatma is built around a century-old family home and the experience is one of total Tamil immersion, from vegetarian cooking classes and Vedic chanting to specialist tours of the city's astounding 11th- and 12th-century temples.
We're expecting a kaleidoscope of colour and a mash-up of pattern by de director Kit Kemp, who has styled the light-filled public spaces and 86 guestrooms, all with floor-to-ceiling windows, many with private terraces, in "dozens" of colour schemes and with best-of-British artworks. Hands-on Chanel "Beauty treatments should begin with the heart and the soul; otherwise cosmetics are pointless," said Gabrielle Chanel. A fragrant choreography of warm towels and foot massage follows and, of course, monsieur or madame's choice of Chanel product and face or body ritual from a short menu - with matching soundtrack.
about the reopening of The Ritz Paris here. Miami Nice The gaze of contemporary art curators, collectors, artists and voyeurs will be trained on Miami Beach next month for the annual Art Basel, part business exchange, part outrageous social whirl. Opening just in time are three additions to the city's state-of-the-art Faena District deed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Rem Koolhaas: the curvilinear Faena Forum, envisaged as a showcase of works from the arts, sciences, technology and urbanism; Faena Bazaar, housed in the historic Atlantic Hotel and featuring boutiques and pop-ups on quarterly rotations; and Faena Park, a high-tech subterranean car park, perfect for storing the convertible while you promenade along South Beach.
Moon bathing High-end spas are checking their lunar phases. Estrella Spa at California's Avalon Hotel Palm Springs offers "moon magic rituals" based on lunar cycles, while guests at The Palms, on the Caribbean island of Turks and Caicos, can have moonlit massages on the sand. And the legendary Mii Amo destination spa, in a red-rock landscape in Sedona, Arizona, lists two new treatments performed only on the new moon and full moon.
Meet Mongolia It's the long way around on the Trans-Siberian railway, but arriving overland in Mongolia aboard the Golden Eagle luxury train allows travellers to witness the changing landscape from Moscow to Ulaanbaatar. Disembark here and continue on horseback through the Gobi Desert with multilingual guides from Nomadic Expeditions. This remote wilderness is home to rare wildlife: Bactrian camels, Gobi bears, bearded vultures and snow leopards.
Explore Flaming Cliffs rich in dinosaur fossils, and the towering sand dunes of Khongoryn Els. The lodge's Bulagtai Restaurant serves traditional dishes - khuushur fried dumplingslamb horhog- in an oversized ger. And if you can time your trek for the next Golden Eagle Festival Octoberdetour with Nomadic Expeditions founder Jalsa Urubshurow to the Altai Mountains of Mongolia's westernmost province to witness a revived practice. Competitors gather to show off their skills with these magnificent birds, in a tradition dating back to Genghis Khan.
The renaissance of Nordic cuisine has sparked keen interest in the Faroes, whose doughty residents have evolved a distinctive food culture shaped in part by the absence of trees and sparse resources for livestock. Salt, too, has always been scarce so the Faroese developed unique techniques of air-dried fermentation and preservation. These traditional processes are celebrated at Koks, where chef Poul Andrias Ziska has created a restaurant that's not so much new Nordic as old Nordic reinvented.
Grand tour It's so More space, please Tall travellers get into the habit of memorising the location of their favourite seats in economy cabins. On Emirates's As, for example, seats 68A and K are comparatively spacious because there are no seats in front on the bulkhead. Seat 12F on Swiss's Airbus A sprawls into the cavity behind the jump seat the one used by flight attendants. In airline-speak, legroom equals seat pitch, the distance between seat anchors.
We're not alone in thinking a inch seat pitch - more or less standard across Australian airlines - feels cramped. Some carriers are stretching out. Rather than charging for extra-row seats, we long for the day when airlines acknowledge the human race is getting bigger, and adjust seat plans accordingly. Borobudur at dawn Well before dawn and soon after the day's first calls to prayer echo competitively from neighbourhood mosques, travellers begin the climb to nirvana by torchlight, to the ninth platform of Borobudur.
They wait and watch as the serene faces of hundreds of Buddhist statues blush at sunrise, illuminating the misty plain below and the temple-like resort of Amanjiwo nearby. The name Amanjiwo means "peaceful soul" in Javanese, and the prevailing air of Buddhist tranquillity and Aman cool extends from daybeds by private pools to limestone colonnades directing the gaze to the wedding-cake tiers of Borobudur. Each tier is clad in exquisite friezes, a vast religious storybook in stone. These open-air galleries are Borobudur's chief glory, each tableau, every flagstone salvaged from a mountain of volcanic ash and jungle and returned to its original place after the temple was abandoned in the 14th century and forgotten for years.
Descend to earth in time for breakfast, Amanjiwo-style. On a grassy bank overlooking the confluence of the Elo and Progo rivers guests find a market umbrella shading a picnic bed with cushions, a watercolour set and bamboo bento boxes full of tropical fruit, nasi goreng, pickled vegetables and banana cake.
Butterflies levitate in the humidity and on clear mornings the peak of dormant volcano Merbabu rises from a wreath of cloud. Opened in September on the site of the old Greater Union cinema in Russell Street, QT Melbourne already feels like the city's best base for urban exploration and a destination in its own right.
Add the sheer novelty of being the first new boutique hotel in the city for years and there's plenty to get excited about. Though it's less overtly exuberant than other QT properties, QT Melbourne is hardly minimalist - as neon installations in the double-height lobby, and costumed and bewigged Directors of Chaos at the copper-clad front door indicate. But the guestrooms have a clean-lined elegance imparted largely by oak floors and natural light, and de flourishes are tastefully restrained: a bespoke rug here, a wall sculpture there.
Beautifully appointed bathrooms sit behind sliding panels of rippled glass; deep bathtubs in Executive King rooms are positioned in the main room, screened by sheer curtains. There's fun to be had eating and drinking here. With a playful minibar puzzles, children's books and quality boozelifts that farewell guests in a variety of accented female voices and a rooftop bar, QT Melbourne wears its mix of louche and luxe with ease. In fact, it feels perfectly at home. Gaining insider access to private galleries, artist studios and rehearsal spaces, however, still requires certain introductions.
With the recent launch of commercial flights from mainland US and hotel development looming, Cuba really is on the cusp of change. Still, there's plenty of time for malanga fritters, ropa vieja and Mojitos at rooftop bars and paladares, the island's home restaurants, before the Americans arrive in droves. On our dream itinerary, with help from an insider concierge such as US-based GeoEx, we'd watch a rehearsal of Laura Alonso's prestigious ballet troupe at Prodanza, and another with contemporary dance troupe Malpaso, led by choreographer Osnel Delgado Wambrug.
And we'd visit the workshop of Alexis Leiva Machado, known as Kcho, whose works are sprinkled through international exhibitions. With the right introductions, he'll prepare a private seven-course haute Cuban meal. Saffire setting Picture this: standing thigh-deep in pristine Great Oyster Bay on Tasmania's east coast, shucking just-lifted oysters, mist rising, glass of riesling at hand. It's still one of our favourite moments among many at Saffire Freycinet. Burma by boat Myanmar's Mergui archipelago, a scattering of islands in the Andaman Sea off the country's west coast, has precious little in the way of tourist infrastructure, but no one comes here for the social life.
Accessible only by sea, the Mergui is a rare pocket of seclusion in the heart of Asia, with empty white beaches and jungle islands. Burma Boating pioneered Mergui itineraries five years ago and offers trips from five days to five weeks aboard its fleet of small, fully crewed vessels. At the top end of the island-hopping hierarchy is the berth, metre Lamima, billed as the world's largest timber yacht. Night moves World-class diving off the teeming house reef at Baros Maldives gets psychedelic at night as divers head out with lights emitting bio-fluorescence blue light and a barrier filter fitted to their masks.
Marine life - from gardens of coral to pods of sleeping parrotfish - absorbs part of the blue light and emits a crazy kaleidoscope of fluorescent colour. But the beauty of Baros, one of the first resorts to open in the island nation, inand still family owned, is the proximity of its spectacular house reef - less than a pool length from its overwater villas. Hot in Reykjavik Don't turn up at Dill, Reykjavik's top new Nordic restaurant, hoping for a last-minute cancellation.
Like the geothermal bedrock beneath Iceland's capital, this tiny dining room is hot. Chef Ragnar Eiriksson even has trouble squeezing in rock stars headlining at Harpa, the city's stunning concert hall, hungry for the wild Arctic ingredients - dried guillemot, pickled angelica, stewed crowberries - on his seven-course tasting menu. Backup plan?Chatting on the streetcar in Lipari
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Summary Of Devi's Life