Isla Palenque, Gulf of Chiriquí

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Jet off to a tropical island paradise at Isla Palenque. Set within the 400-acres of flourishing coastal and marine environment, you are spoilt for choice at this unique Eco-Resort with just eight rooms and seven secluded beaches to explore. It may well be one of the world’s last ‘undiscovered’ destinations, however there is plenty to experience during your stay. Set sail and discover the uninhabited neighbouring islands, dive down to the vibrant coral reefs or perhaps try a mixology class to shake up some tangy afternoon cocktails.

LOCATION

Just off the western coast of Panama, close to Boca Chica, this beautiful resort sits on a National Marine Park, surrounded by dense jungle, lagoons and dramatic coastlines. From Tocumen Airport in Panama City, catch a domestic flight into Enrique Malek Airport in David, Panama. From there, we’ll transport you overland to Boca Chica’s port, followed by a 15-minute scenic boat journey off the beaten track to your island getaway.

YOUR ROOM

Nestled within the palm groves sit the eight Beachfront Casitas. With designs inspired by indoor-outdoor living, the Casitas encourage you to unwind and reconnect with nature. Rooms feature earthy tones, soft furnishings, organic toiletries and yoga mats to help you find your flow. Soak your troubles away in the open-air bathtub and settle into the hammock with a good novel. But be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the local howler monkeys who may just pop by for a visit too.

WHY WE LIKE IT

Isla Palenque has created a harmonious balance between untouched nature and luxury travel through its commitment to sustainability. It’s easy to see the impeccable attention to detail in its inspiring, Earth-friendly designs and use of organic and locally-sourced ingredients which supports the local communities and helps to protect our oceans. It’s clear to see why it’s been recognised by National Geographic as a leading unique lodge of the world.

Joali, Raa Atoll

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Joali: the true essence of island bliss. Take a deep breath and unwind by the silky white sands and emerald waters of Muravandhoo island in the Maldives. Step out of 73 luxury beachfront and waterside villas and discover worldwide gourmet dishes, experiential dining and hair-tingling watersports. Start the day bright and early on a private sailboat cruise with a sunrise breakfast picnic and end with soothing live music at sunset whilst snuggled within a cosy beachfront cabana.

LOCATION

Hidden on the petite island of Muravandhoo, Joali is the perfect choice for its idyllic position on the Raa Atoll, one of the deepest and largest in the world, boasting sensational marine life that’s waiting to be explored. We will whisk you across from Male airport to the island on short 40-minute scenic flight by seaplane, giving you a glimpse into the breathtaking views of the Maldives.

YOUR ROOM

Nothing beats that feeling of stepping out from your room and immediately feeling the powdery sand between your toes. At your spacious beachfront villa, swim under a sky full of stars in an exclusive infinity pool set within the privacy of a lush tropical garden. For that added extravagance, wooden Water Villas perched on stilts directly over the lagoon present sweeping panoramic views of the Indian Ocean, while brightly coloured fish swim beneath the sundeck and pool.

WHY WE LIKE IT

Your days at Joali can be as laid-back or fun-packed as you wish it to be. Get back in touch with your creative side at Joali’s art-immersive studio, which brings together both local and international art-fanatics within its regular workshops and activities. Or for those wishing to slow down, revitalise the body, mind and soul with a signature treatment by ESPA at the wellness centre. From thrilling wakeboarding experiences to island hopping on chartered yachts and snorkelling alongside the majestic manta rays, Joali creates endless moments of magic.

The Nautilus, Baa Atoll

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Who said luxury had to be formal? This one’s for the rule-breakers and the flower children. The private island resort of The Nautilus prides itself for its laid-back bohemian culture, celebrating individual spirit by allowing guests to curate their getaway exactly as they dream it. Following the flow of nature from the tides to moon patterns, the resort removes all restraints of time through its unscripted dining and bespoke activities. Made up of just 26 luxurious holiday homes overlooking the Indian Ocean, you can relax among the Maldives’ sparkling waters in the most intimate setting. It’s time to kick those shoes off and embrace that free-spirit lifestyle.

LOCATION

Settled in the iconic Baa Atoll in the Maldives, this tiny, pristine island, laced in exotic coconut palms, lies just steps away from the remarkable coral reef that encircles its beaches. Remote enough for exclusivity, yet close enough for a comfortable journey, Nautilus is within easy access of the capital, Malé. For the first 30 minutes, the resort’s bright purple seaplane will send you soaring above the shifting turquoise tones below, before arriving in style as a luxury speedboat races you the final furlong across to the island.

YOUR ROOM

Small, yet perfectly formed, The Nautilus comprises 26 spacious homes – all with private pools and all flooded with natural light and with direct access to the reef. Coconut-thatched houses perched above the water are dressed to impress with glass-bottomed living rooms, allowing you to watch the tropical fish darting around freely below. The open-planned bathrooms are an absolute treat too, boasting a large free-standing tub with sensational views out to the ocean.

WHY WE LIKE IT

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of diving into the spectacular marine life of Hanifaru Bay, gliding alongside manta rays and whale sharks in season and learning from the in-house marine biologists. At midnight, watch the water come alight and swirl with glitter as you swim amongst the glowing plankton under a sky full of stars. Alternatively, early risers can head out at sunrise to spot the local dolphins. There’s a world of opportunity here thanks to the resort’s ‘can do’ ethos and ability to be whatever you want it to be.

Hotel Le Cep, Beaune

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When you think of an idyllic retreat in the heart of Burgundy, what image springs to mind? Al fresco dining in a 16th century courtyard? Two antiquated mansions punctuated with renaissance sculptures, leather chesterfields and period wood throughout? What about a wine list that offers over 70 burgundies by the glass alone? At Hotel Le Cep each of these fantastic options come as standard, offering the ideal retreat during your stay in Beaune.

LOCATION

Nowhere else on earth gives you a feeling like Beaune. In a town gloriously dominated by 14th and 16th Century architecture, you can’t help but feel lulled into a sense of antiquated relaxation and in this authentic French town. Hotel Le Cep itself is nestled right in the heart of Beaune, which is widely considered the capital of the Burgundy wine region. A scenic three hour train journey from Paris sees you arrive at Hotel Le Cep, part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the world group with good reason. Upon arrival, you’ll feel the pulse of Paris fade away into something more akin to the mute button being pushed. Given it’s placement in Beaune, Hotel Le Cep promises a relaxed vibe whilst still being close enough to the action to offer unrivalled access to Burgundy’s most celebrated vineyards and wineries, meaning you never have to travel far to sample Burgundy’s finest spoils.

YOUR ROOM

Style and tradition are taken seriously at Le Cep, a philosophy which is proven in each of the individually decorated rooms. Our favourite, the Suite Grand Cru Room, which overlooks the 16th century courtyard and offers the ideal home from home during your stay. For families, the hotel offers Villa Le Cepe, a three bedroom gite set away from the main house that offers the perfect space and privacy for a family holiday in this stunning French wine region.

WHY WE LIKE IT

What we really love about Hotel Le Cep is that it doesn’t rest on its laurels, despite being located a stones through from some of Burgundy’s most iconic and tasteful culinary spots. It would be easy for Le Cep to outsource these indulges, but instead it places them right in your hands. Loiseau des Vignes, Le Cep’s restaurant, regularly stakes claim as one of the very finest in Beaune. Offering one Michelin star and style that blends the antique and the contemporary with the perfect subtlety, dining here means could mean that you never have to leave, but we wouldn’t recommend it, outside Burgundy awaits, with enough food and wine to keep any culinary enthusiast at bay.

Grace Cafayate, Calchaquí Valley

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For remarkable scenery, world-class wine and no shortage of discoveries, look no further than Grace Cafayate. Within the Calchaquí Valley of northwestern Argentina, this boutique hotel and spa sits on the sprawling estate of La Estancia de Cafayate, home to a number of quality winemakers. The 52 elegantly designed rooms within the hotel and villas open out onto views that stretch across the impressive vineyards and neighbouring mountains, whilst tennis, horseriding and bike rides around the valley sit just off your doorstep.

LOCATION

The Calchaquí Valley is well-regarded as one of Argentina’s leading wine regions but also stands out for its breathtaking natural beauty and rugged mountainous landscape. Just south of the Salta region in northwestern Argentina, Grace Cafayate is a 2-hour 30-minute drive from Martín Miguel de Güemes international airport whilst downtown is just over a mile away. Due to its remote location, lack of light pollution and crisp high-altitude air, the night sky comes alive with a spectacular array of stars to make for a truly unforgettable sight.

YOUR ROOM

Each of the 52 rooms has been carefully designed with comfort in mind at Grace Cafayate, with spaces you simply want to fall back into. As you do, take in the panoramic views of the Calchaqui Valley and snow-capped peaks over spectacular sunsets without moving an inch. We loved the Villa Master Suites which make the most of the outdoors with the option of a barbeque and a soak in the hot tub out on your own private veranda.

WHY WE LIKE IT

The vineyards of La Estancia de Cafayate create a unique setting and special experience for any wine enthusiast. Visit the cellar door to sample the fantastic wines produced on the estate and learn from the experts about the Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Torrontes grapes they so passionately grow here. Soak up the sunshine by the vineyards as you savour the fine vintages that have been aged to perfection or sample them alongside traditional Argentine dishes served at the Clubhouse restaurant.

Javri Lodge

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The perfect balancing act in chic Scandi-minimalism and maximalist natural splendour, Javri Lodge should be on everyone’s radar. Transporting you deep within the Arctic Circle to a land where you’ll chase the Northern Lights across the sky come winter and forage for cloudberries through the summer, it’s Lapland at its best. Built as a traditional log cabin, infused with the rich scent of pine, Javri falls away to reveal sleek contemporary interiors with just 13 stunning suites, a body-soothing spa and sauna and a restaurant serving up the best in Lappish cuisine. An adults-only enclave, romance awaits you here.

Location

In the far reaches of Finnish Lapland, Javri Lodge makes the most of the tranquillity of the wilderness. Set on the fringes of Urho Kekkonen National Park in a landscape dappled with vast lakes and forests, you need never see another soul if you don’t wish to. From such a setting, comes an inescapable sense of healing with Javri a place where the stresses of daily life seem to simply slip away. The best bit? It’s only a 30-minute drive from the nearest airport at Ivalo.

Your Room

At once a simple log cabin and a stunning feat of contemporary architecture, Javri is as breathtaking as the nature beyond it. Between the 13 suites, choose whether you prefer the warm embrace of the downstairs log suites or the modernist edge of upstairs’s Sky Suites. Each has been carefully designed using a blend of natural and recycled materials, offset with minimalist furnishing in neutral hues. The Sky Suites do have a certain edge though, not just in their slick lines, but in their panoramic views which, come winter, act as your own personal window onto the wonder of the Northern Lights, from the comfort of your bed.

Why we like it

At Javri, it’s not so much about what you do at the Lodge as what you do beyond it. Snowmobile safaris chasing the Northern Lights, dog sledding through the National Park, a teepee bonfire set up for a champagne reception – each and every moment spent here is pure enchantment. But it’s also entirely tailored to you. So if you’d rather just put your feet up? That’s fine too. Allow the staff to light a fire, before spending an evening dining on innovative cuisine or slipping into the indoor pool for a few lengths. Javri is whatever you make of it.

EATER Journeys: Paris & Burgundy

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A bite of a single madelaine – France’s most delicate and buttery cake – was enough to send the narrator of Proust’s In Search of Lost Time into a 1,000-page-long reverie on life and love. And this, we think, says everything you need to know about the French and their food. On this extremely bon excursion around the land of haute cuisine and world-class wines, you’ll learn your Mille-feuille from your croque monsieur.

EIFFEL IN LOVE WITH PARIS

Paris. A city of cute bistros, elegant restaurants, and revolutionary inclinations. Here, our guide will be your maitre’d, swooping you across to Grand Hotel du Palais Royal, your elegant 3-night oasis in the beating heart of Paris, an idyllic base for a Parisian eating adventure. Relax and unwind before getting out on the town, starting with pre-dinner drinks in the stylish Marais neighborhood. Swing by Aux Deux Amis, famous for its organic wines and top selection of tap beers, and Le Vin au Vert for their natural champagnes, before your reservation at La Bourse et la Vie; one of Paris’s finest bistros. 

BISTROS AND BRASSERIES

Rise and shine, it’s time to meet a local culinary expert for a tour of some of Paris’s most famed local markets, including Marché Montorgeuil and Rungis. Enjoy the sights and sounds of daily Parisian life as you learn how to source the best ingredients for a classic French meal, followed by a private cooking class near La Bourse. Belly full, it’s time to kick back and relax with an afternoon at leisure before taking a seat at the renowned Champeaux Les Halles, nestled beneath the renovated glass Canopée des Halles. This sleek brasserie revisits classic French dishes from green bean salad to steak frites and succulent lamb chops. The winning dish, however, is their signature soufflé. Sweet or savoury? The choice is yours.

THE CRÈME DE LA CRÈME

Cheese and wine are the ultimate pairing. And so, today’s lunch will be spent learning how France’s culinary traditions have handed them the crown as a world leader in producing rich, bold cheeses and sumptuous wines. A sommelier will coach you through the wine labels and food pairings while you indulge in France’s dairy delicacies. Your dinner reservation tonight is at Sellae, near the Gare d’Austerlitz, for some rustic contemporary French comfort food, including mussels cooked with vin jaune and chorizo, guinea hen in cream sauce with morels. Don’t forget to save room for dessert: a superbly rich chocolate mousse.

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EATER Journeys: Rome & Florence

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With a food scene liberally dunked in the olive oil of history, Italy serves up a truly incomparable eating experience. For Italians, cooking and wine are – well – their culture’s bread and butter, all of it farmed, grown and cultivated from the country’s alpine nose to its balmy tail. Tomatoes raised on rich volcanic soil; plump lemons pulled from the branches of Amalfi; focaccia freshly baked in the ovens of Florence. Good food is good culture. With the world-renowned culinary insight from our friends at Eater, we’ve brought together two of the most mouth-watering spots for you to tuck into; Rome and Florence.

WHEN IN ROME

Your gastronomic journey begins in the heart of Rome. On arrival, we will transport you deep within the city to Spalletti Trivelli, your base the next few nights. Set in a traditional Italian garden, this intimate hotel is the ideal spot for those who want to escape the bustle of the city without missing out on all the action. Once settled, tonight’s meal of classic cucina romana at Trattoria Da Cesare al Casaletto is sure to set the bar high. Here, you can check off most of your Roman food bucket list, from the rich cacio e pepe to tender lamb chops, washed down with a glass of classic Sangiovese. Or a few.

FROM BASIL TO BASILICA

Starting the day bright and early, your private guide will lead you out for a special tour of the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica. Beat the crowds with early access to the Vatican Museum to fully take in that grand beauty of the Sistine Chapel, followed by St. Peter’s Basilica, filled with renowned works of art. Finish the day at a Roman trattoria dedicated to la cucina povera, Italian peasant food. This restaurant boasts true Italian form, showcasing a simple use of local ingredients at their seasonal peak.

BEEN THERE, WINE THAT

The following morning, the stories of the Roman Empire come to life. With a day spent among the iconic ruins of this once mighty (and well-fed) empire, you’ll be served up everything from panoramic views on the historic Capitoline Hill to the eye-opening Colosseum. After a big slice of sightseeing, you’ll be ready for a well-deserved trip to Rome’s most traditional enoteche (wine bars) to savour the best wines Italy has to offer. The tasting tour, led by a professional sommelier, pours a delicious tutorial on the styles unique to the Italian peninsula. From there, it’s on to dinner to sample the soulful simplicity of Rome’s classics at Cicolini’s dining room, based in the Appio-Latino quarter. Chef Sarah Cicolini is one of the hottest young chefs in Rome today, serving up hearty plates of carbonara and a sumptuous trippa alla romana.

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EATER Journeys: Mexico City & Oaxaca

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Everyone wants to go to Mexico; where the guacamole is green, and the tortillas are plenty. This epic seven-night Mexico City and Oaxaca experience, inspired by EATER’s top dining recommendations, will serve up a culinary journey like no other. Stirring together hidden street-food spots, critically acclaimed restaurants, and enticing nightlife – this is all about the darkest mole, the freshest margaritas, and the most indulgent enchiladas. Hungry, yet?

TACO ‘BOUT GOOD FOOD

Welcome to great, bustling, heaving Mexico City. Roberto Bolano, the fiery literary prophet of this roaring country, summed it up in the simplest and most powerful way possible. “There are fourteen million people living in Mexico City.” And how can you begin to explain that? Well, via good food and drink. Kicking things off in the beautiful boutique of Las Alcobas hotel, in the vibrant Polanca district, you’ll get a crash course in Mexican cuisine with a mouth-watering walking tour. With a private guide in tow, you’ll satisfy your appetite in traditional food stores, beloved local eateries, and nestled away restaurants. 

MEXICO IS MEZCAL

The best way to understand Mexico City – or any city, for that matter – is to stroll where its locals hang out. Today’s culinary adventure takes you through local markets to learn about spices, produce, and the people who bring them for sale. Once the sun goes down it’s time for a private taco, beer, and mezcal tour around the streets of San Rafael, Anzures, and Condesa. Accompanied by a mezcal master, you’ll savour the smoky, sweet, and herbal flavours of Mexico’s beloved, trend-setting agave spirit. And sample the very best mezcal at La Botia, the city’s first mezcal bar.

A KAHLORIFIC EXPERIENCE

Next up is a tour of the city’s southern neighbourhoods, with lunch at Xochimilco’s market. Your guide will whisk you away to the picturesque cobbled streets and brightly-coloured houses of San Angel to explore the artisanal market of Bazar del Sabado. From there, you’ll experience the cultural hub of Coyoacán, including a visit to the Blue House, Frida Kahlo’s lifelong home, followed by a fresh and flavorful market lunch at Mercado Coyoacán. Once refuelled, traverse the Aztec canals of Xochimilco by boat and marvel at the famous works of fine art by Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo at the Museum of Dolores Olmedo’s. Wind down the day at Contramar, the groundbreaking, must-visit seafood restaurant from acclaimed chef and restaurateur Gabriela Cámara.

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Estancia Peuma Hué, Bariloche

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Start your Patagonian adventure and experience the wild outdoors at Estancia Peuma Hué. Translating as ‘the place of dreams’, this rustic hotel and eco-lodge set in the thick of Nahuel Huapí National Park is the true essence of tranquil mountain life. Thanks to the breathtaking landscapes and abundance of nature-based activities, there is never a shortage on ways to explore the area. Discover your home away from home in the privacy of one of the fourteen guest rooms and drink in the mountain and creekside vistas from their cabin setting as you get to know our favourite corner of Patagonia.

LOCATION

Peacefully settled within the heart of Nahuel Huapí, the first and largest national park in Argentina, 500 acres of vast wilderness and pristine Lake Gutiérrez create a spectacular backdrop. Estancia Peuma Hué is a mere 30-minute drive from the charming town of San Carlos de Bariloche and Bariloche international airport. For ski enthusiasts looking for adrenaline-fuelled thrills, the nearby slopes of Cerro Catedral are a must-visit during the winter months.

YOUR ROOM

Picture sitting under a blanket by an open fire, glass of full-bodied Argentinian Malbec in hand, looking out onto the surrounding forest as the night falls: Estancia Peuma Hue’s lodges tick every box for a classic alpine retreat. The selection of luxury lodges boast panoramic views of the surrounding mountain peaks, lakeside and forests. Within each, wooden beams, vintage Patagonian interiors and grand stone fireplaces create a humbling setting to chill out after a day of exploring.

WHY WE LIKE IT

It’s easy to lose yourself in nature whilst discovering the gateway to the Andes. Hike along the well-marked mountain trails and spot the local birds and wildlife or trek through the trees by horseback on a guided tour. Explore the crystal-clear waters of Lake Gutiérrez with an afternoon of kayaking or challenge your skills at fly fishing in Limay River. After all the excitement, refuel with delicious, organic dishes served at the lodge and wind down with a gentle yoga class or a long soak in the jacuzzi.