Nestled among white sands and crystal blue waters, this elegant Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi resort is a 40-minute yacht journey from Velana International Airport. Discover indulgent choices from 11 celebrated dining venues, a world-class lifestyle spa sanctuary, and a plethora of activities for all generations. Experience True Waldorf Astoria Service personalized to your every wish.
Set in a tropical paradise, the resort and the beach, reef and overwater villas span across three islands with a wealth of luxuries and experiences:
• 119 beach, reef and overwater villas with private pool, including the Ithaafushi Private Island • 11 dining venues and bars including Terra, an elevated treetop restaurant, and The Ledge by Dave Pynt • World-class lifestyle spa and wellness sanctuary • A myriad of adventure and watersports activities
Maldives, officially the Republic of Maldives, is a small archipelagic state in South Asia, situated in the Arabian Sea of the Indian Ocean. It lies southwest of Sri Lanka and India, about 700 kilometres from the Asian continent’s mainland.
The Cultured Traveller, December 2020-February 2021 Issue 32
Music has always had the power to heal, lift and transport us to another place. And so, embodying a spirit of optimism, issue 32 has a decidedly musical feel, led by a special feature about the legendary SHIRLEY BASSEY, who is celebrating 70 years in the music business. The only performer to have ever had an album in the UK top 40 in seven consecutive decades, Dame Shirley speaks exclusively to The Cultured Traveller.
We sit down with New Orleans-born HARRY CONNICK JR., who is globally adored for his jazz, swing and big-band numbers. And sultry songstress MELODY GARDOT talks about recording her new album during lockdown. Scratching beneath the surface of the Cypriot port city of LARNACA, we uncover a dynamic energy that pulsates through the cobbled streets and sun-drenched promenades of this cultural gem in the eastern Med. And because we are all likely to be in need of a restorative trip next year, we check into a dozen IDYLLIC ISLAND RETREATS, any of which would make for the perfect post pandemic getaway.
Lobsters, treasure hunts and really low Covid-19 numbers. This 3-day getaway up the coast of southern Maine is the ideal antidote to cabin fever.
From wherever you start, plan to arrive in the beach town of Wells by lunchtime. Billowy fried clams and luscious lobster rolls await at Fisherman’s Catch, via exit 19. You’ll also be greeted by wooden smiling lobsters suspended from the ceiling with rolls of paper towels dangling beneath (134 Harbor Road, fishermanscatchwells.com).
Kennebunkport/Wells to Camden, 108 miles
Check out of your hotel and backtrack slightly on Route 1 to Wells. Among its crucial charms is Congdon’s Doughnuts, which opens at 6 a.m. Even if you’re not the type to devour doughnuts at sunrise, you’ll want to be there early or risk missing out on the fiendishly popular maple bacon fritters (1090 Post Rd., Wells, congdons.com).
Camden to Bar Harbor/Acadia National Park, 77 Miles
Rent mountain bikes from Maine Sport Outfitters (mainesport.com) and drive 3.6 miles to the Camden Snow Bowl Trail head at 20 Barnestown Road for easy-to-challenging trails. During October Sundays and some Saturdays, the ski lift operates 11 a.m.-2 p.m. for prime autumn leaf-viewing.
Tourism in Portugal has been cruising on a wave of success and despite its popularity it continues to be one of the best value destinations. It has it all—a rich history, innovative art, stunning views and super friendly, laid-back locals.
SWEETS hotel is an initiative and co-creation of the Amsterdam based architecture office Space&Matter (known for De Ceuvel in Amsterdam), project development partner Grayfield and Seven New Things (Suzanne Oxenaar, Otto Nan and Gerrit Groen, founders of Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy (world’s first 1- to 5-star hotel in Amsterdam – sold in 2018), Llove Hotel (pop-up hotel in Tokyo) and Hotel The Exchange (fashion hotel in Amsterdam)).
First initiated in 2012 as an urban space project, SWEETS hotel is now 8 years in the making. 20 bridge houses are currently available for reservations, with more coming soon.
For 100 years Amsterdam’s bridge houses accommodated the city’s many bridge keepers who were responsible for opening these impressive structures for passing boat traffic. However, with the introduction of a centralised bridge control system the bridge houses became redundant.
SWEETS HOTEL PROJECT
In 2012 the initiators of SWEETS hotel presented a plan to the city of Amsterdam to transform the city’s bridge houses into tiny hotel suites. The vision: to introduce travellers to new neighbourhoods and unexpected experiences in the city.
From a Cereal Magazine online article (March 2, 2020):
Of all Gio Ponti’s 100-odd buildings, Sorrento is the only hotel where you can still stay, fully immersed in his art — for as well as the building itself he designed every last detail. He was not just an architect, but a designer — of interiors, furniture, industry, cars — an artist and a ceramicist, a writer and a teacher; and at Parco dei Principi his passion for so many disciplines converged in one triumphant paean to modernity.
The concept of infinite blue was architect Gio Ponti’s driving inspiration when he built Parco dei Principi, his slice of 1960s modernism on a coast of faded antiquity. When it opened in 1962, the hotel was something new for ancient Sorrento: a clean-lined, contemporary edifice on the tufa-stone cliff. Inside, the bright, wide-open spaces were pared down and decorated entirely in white and blue.
When it comes to classic French eateries in New York City, few are more iconic than SOHO’s Balthazar. We sent Alex Delany to this famous brasserie to try one of everything on the breakfast menu, and we didn’t send him alone. For this episode, he was joined by French-speaking pastry expert Claire Saffitz to eat way too much food and drink multiple bowls (yes, bowls) of milky coffee.
Spanning 5,200 acres in the Great Smoky Mountains, Blackberry Mountain continues a legacy of world-renowned hospitality and unwavering dedication and appreciation for the land. Rising above Miller’s Cove in Walland, TN, Blackberry Mountain has dedicated 2,800 acres of land to conservation.
Every adventure needs a home base, and the luxury accommodations on the Mountain offer equal parts modern design, natural charm and refined comfort. Choose from a ridgetop cabin, a stone cottage nestled into the hillside near The Lodge, or a multi-bedroom home. You’ll find each to be well-appointed, thoughtfully furnished and, of course, tastefully stocked.
This effort to preserve the natural wonder of the mountains offers breathtaking views and a serene escape from the stresses of modern life in a private national park setting. A commitment to land conservation and a passion for sharing the wonders of life in the Smokies shapes the unprecedented experience that awaits on Blackberry Mountain. Outfitted for adventure and designed for comfort, this estate takes the Blackberry State of Mind to new heights.
111 Years of Waldhaus Sils ranges across the hotel’s life and history. Founders Josef and Amalie Giger and their descendants, by now in the fifth generation, have guided the “house in the woods” with skill and fortitude through good times and bad through the twentieth century and into the present. The owners and their exceptionally diverse guests—lively families side-by-side with intellectuals and artists of world renown—have created a unique blend of luxury and modesty, historic grandeur and playful fun, smooth professionalism and unexpected idiosyncrasies.
Those in the know are aware that Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel has a real-life counterpart in the Swiss Alps: The Waldhaus Sils, which has pleased and puzzled visitors for 111 years and become an icon of Swiss hospitality. Located above the small village of Sils Maria near St. Moritz, it overlooks a striking landscape of forests, lakes and mountains and offers a combination of Belle Epoque flair and modern comfort. Its distinctive charm comes from the fact that the Waldhaus has been family-owned and operated since its grand opening on June 15, 1908.
“The brief here was to make something that would fit very well into nature” explains Thorsteinsson in the video interview, which was shot by Dezeen at White City House in London on the day of the AHEAD Europe ceremony. “We wanted basically to have continuity between nature, the interior and exterior,” he continued.
Design Group Italia chief design officer Sigurdur Thorsteinsson explains how The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland immerses guests in nature in this video produced by Dezeen for the AHEAD Awards.
The 62-room resort hotel is embedded in the lava formations and turquoise geothermal pools of Iceland’s Blue Lagoon complex, which is situated within the UNESCO Global Geopark.
The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland was awarded in the Resort Hotel category at the AHEAD Europe hospitality awards, which took place in London in November.
Design Group Italia handled the project’s interiors, in collaboration with Icelandic firm Basalt Architects who were responsible for the architecture of the resort.