Tag Archives: Resorts

Island Tours: ‘Tetiaroa’ – Marlon Brando’s Carbon-Free South Pacific Resort

Tetiꞌaroa is an atoll in the Windward group of the Society Islands of French Polynesia, an overseas territorial collectivity of France in the Pacific Ocean. Once the vacation spot for Tahitian royalty, the islets are under a 99-year lease contracted by Marlon Brando.

Marlon Brando

“My mind is always soothed when I imagine myself sitting on my South Sea island at night. If I have my way, Tetiaroa will remain forever a place that reminds Tahitians of what they are and what they were centuries ago.”

Marlon Brando first came to Tetiaroa while filming Mutiny on the Bounty and was immediately enchanted by the island’s rare beauty and the sense it gave him of being closer to paradise. Enthralled by the Polynesian way of life – and the leading lady Tarita, the love of his life – he resolved to find a way to own this piece of paradise and succeeded in his goal in 1967. It was in this natural wonderland that he settled down, and finally found a home.

Brando was passionate about preserving Tetiaroa’s natural beauty, biodiversity and cultural richness and was determined to find a way in which it could be a center for research and education, and a model of sustainability. He was convinced that this small atoll could bring good to the entire world.

In 1999 he asked Richard Bailey, a long-time resident of Tahiti who shared Brando’s passion for the environment and who had created some of the region’s finest resorts, to help him conceive a plan that would help Brando achieve his dream. Together, Brando and Bailey pursued a vision of creating the world’s first and foremost post-carbon resort—an island where innovative new technologies would enable a self-sustaining luxury environment for hotel guests, residents and scientific research. The Brando is the legacy of that shared vision.

Travel & Architecture: ‘Ziedlejas Resort, Latvia’

Ziedlejas is a wellness resort rooted in the Latvian sauna tradition. With a secluded location in rural Latvia, it offers natural retreats away from the crowds. Two saunas have already been completed and a third is underway.

Number 1 or the ‘baltā pirts’ (white sauna) is a concrete structure built into the hillside to avoid interfering with the view from the guest cabins. It benefits from natural light and the proximity of the pond for jumping into. We used locally sourced natural materials like wood, herbs and linen to complete the interior.

The more primeval ‘melnā pirts’ (smoke sauna) is built from spruce and fittingly tucked into the woods. While the sauna buildings remain traditional in terms of their purpose, we made sure to enhance functionality and overall aesthetics from a contemporary design perspective.

In 2020 four corten steel and glass cabins opened to overnight guests. Tea houses by day and bedrooms by night, they are designed to be multifunctional. The glass front affords unspoilt views of the landscape. Thanks to the neighbouring herb patches, guests can literally pick and mix their own herbal tea blend. 

This is a place to enjoy slowly. Open AD has been involved in the development since day one in partnership with the owners and Landshape landscape architecture firm. 

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Caribbean Island Views: ‘Belmond La Samanna’ Resort, St. Martin (Video)

Perched beside one of the most spectacular private beaches in the French West Indies, La Samanna is as dazzling as the crystal clear waters that lap the sand. Sink into a chic suite, designed to reflect the hypnotic shapes and colours of sea life. Then dress to impress and sample the world-class restaurants, before diving into the island’s vibrant social scene.

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World’s Top Small Hotels: ‘Tainaron Blue Retreat’, Mani Peninsula, Greece

Surrounded by a beautiful landscape and breathtaking views, Tainaron Blue Retreat welcomes its guests offering excellent cuisine combined with impeccable service and warm hospitality. Unwind and rejuvenate in the midst of nature with a glass of wine, enjoying the unobstructed view in one of the most exciting locations in Greece.

Our intimate restaurant offers guests an authentic Maniot culinary experience during their stay. The rich culture of our region serves as an inspiration for our culinary consultant Chef George Samoilis and awarded Chef de cuisine Stavriani Zervakakou to create a fine menu based on traditional recipes. They transform the inspiration into a magical gastronomical journey full of flavour, aromas and Greece.

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TOP HOTEL VIDEO TOUR: ‘DAIOS COVE RESORT & VILLAS’ IN CRETE, GREECE

Daios Cove Luxury Resort & Villas, Crete is a brand new luxury 5* resort, which opened in April 2010 and is nestled on a hillside overlooking the exclusive Daios Cove. Located right on the waterfront with a private sandy beach, masterfully blending the surrounding landscape together with a unique private bay and direct access to the crystalline waters, the Daios Cove Luxury Resort & Villas has become the unsurpassed destination. Designed by esteemed architecture firm 3SK Stylianidis, Daios Cove Luxury Resort & Villas evokes the intimate charm of the traditional villages found throughout the Greek isles, expressed in an elegant, contemporary aesthetic.

All 300 spacious rooms, suites and villas, most with private heatable pools range from 42m2 to 560m2 , boasting spectacular views of the Mediterranean. The unparalleled choice of accommodation that includes Deluxe Sea View Rooms, Deluxe Sea View Rooms with Individual Pool, Junior Suites with Private Pool, One Bedroom Suites, One- or Two-Bedroom Villas with Private Pool, Wellness Villas with Private Pool, and Two- or Three-Bedroom Family Villas are conceived to meet any expectation.

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Top Hotel Video Tour: ‘Abaton Island Resort & Spa’ In Crete, Greece (2020)

Bask in the chic surroundings of this Cycladic-style resort. Located on Crete’s northern coastline, Abaton offers elegant accommodation and panoramic sea views. Indulge mind, body and soul at the best Elemis spa together with a collection of restaurants offering Greek and international cuisine.

Crete, Greece’s largest island, is known for its varied terrain, which ranges from fine-sand beaches at Elafonisi to the White Mountains. Mt. Ida, the tallest of the range, is home to the Ideon Cave, which was the birthplace of Zeus, according to Greek mythology. The capital, Heraklion, is home to the renowned Heraklion Archaeological Museum, housing Minoan artifacts, and Knossos, a Bronze Age settlement.

World’s Best Small Hotels: “Huvafen Fushi – Maldives”, Indian Ocean (Video)

Ocean as far as the eye can see. The first and only under-the-sea spa and an underground wine cellar. Dinner with the sand beneath your toes and a world of luxury at your feet. Huvafen Fushi blurs the boundaries between sea and sky, land and lagoon. After all, this Maldives island haven is the stuff that dreams are made of.

Only a 30-minute speedboat ride from the airport, with no disturbance from flight or boat paths, it’s clear to see how ‘Dream Island’ earned its name. Here, private chefs serve you on a sandbank beneath the stars, sommeliers whisk you off on a wine flight beneath the ground, and clown fish dart past your massage table beside the coral reef. But before all that, you’ll be introduced to your bungalow. Whether it’s an Ocean Bungalow or Two-Bedroom Pavilion, you’ll have your own freshwater pool and a staircase into the sea.

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Travel & Wellness Books: “Be Well” By Kari Molvar

Be Well - Gestalten BookBe Well delves into one of life’s greatest pleasures; a day spent rejuvenating the body and nourishing the spirit. Humans have practiced self-care for centuries—in the sweat lodges of the American Southwest, Roman baths, the hammams of the Ottoman Empire, Japanese onsens, and Finnish saunas. Today, a new interest in self-care is redefining how we accomplish wellness, and there have never been more options.

 

In our increasingly switched-on lives, a growing industry of highly choreographed experiences is geared to help us switch off. Be Well is a journey around the world’s most extraordinary spaces for achieving this, looking at the innovative practices they offer and how to carry them into everyday life.

Be Well - Gestalten Book

Kari Molvar is a writer and editor focusing on wellness as seen through the lens of design, culture, and style. She is an online contributor to T: The New York Times Style Magazine and the founder of Rutine Matters. Her work appears in Vogue and The Wall Street Journal, among other titles.

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New Resorts: “Ambiente – A Landscape Hotel” In Sedona, Arizona (Dec 2020)

Ambiente is comprised of 40 cubed-shaped guest Atriums that are elevated above the ground by steel piers and constructed using floor-to-ceiling, bronze-tinted glass and matte-charcoal and rusted metal.

Ambiente Sedona Landscape Hotel Facebook

At dusk, the tinted glass reflects the nature around it creating stunning, mirrored silhouettes. The Atriums’ sleek and contemporary design embodies elegant minimalism and the utmost in luxurious accommodations.

Designed by award-winning, Scottsdale-based ASUL Architects, Ambiente will be constructed around the natural vegetation and topography, requiring less cut and fill, which better meets today’s expectations of being responsible land stewards. The pier-method to building Ambiente’s Atriums basically eliminates the need to grade the land. During construction, this pier technique allows each Atrium to be rotated and individually hand-placed at very specific angles to fit, as best as possible, within the existing trees and flora, thereby maximizing the views.

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New Travel Books: “St. Moritz Chic” (Assouline)

St, Moritz Chic Assouline January 30 2020St. Moritz also takes readers on a majestic tour of its special events, from Winter Olympics to the annual Snow Polo World Cup, as well as the summertime Jazz Festival and the British Classic Car Meeting. In St. Moritz creatives and royals share skiwassers slope-side on the sheepskin benches of El Paradiso, pause to sip champagne on long strolls around its frozen, crystalline lake and enjoy coffee and confections at the centuries old Hanselmann. St. Moritz has never lost its inimitable appeal, and will continue to reign as an elegant hideaway for all those who have come to call it a home away from home.

Nestled in Switzerland’s alpine Engadin Valley, St. Moritz stands on its own amidst a sea of celebrated ski resorts in that it has long maintained an elusive allure. The winter home of personalities from Gunter Sachs and Gianni Agnelli to Sofia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, John Lennon, and Claudia Schiffer, there are few places in the world that manage to unite so many of the top names in cinema, art, and fashion all in one place, year after year. Author Dora Lardelli takes the reader on a journey through Chanel and Hitchcock’s favorite haunts and the hidden parties at Badrutt’s Palace where royalty goes to play, without forgetting the natural beauty, village charm and architectural mastery that define it.

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