Take inspiration and head for unique resorts, uncharted territories and timelessly classic destinations.
Privacy and exclusivity are intertwined with true ecological credentials on the Robinson Crusoe-style Frégate Island Private. Every effort has been made to regain and maintain the original biological balance of this beautiful island in the Seychelles. Protecting and nurturing the indigenous species of flora, fauna and wildlife on this verdant isle is truly woven into everyday life. Take a nature walk with one of the resident ecologists through lush vegetation up to the summit of Mount Signal, the highest point on the island and learn about the restored rare woodland and almost extinct species of native flora that are now beginning to flourish.
A pioneer of conservation in the Seychelles, the private island is home to the Seychelles Magpie Robin. Thirty years ago, it was the second rarest bird in the world, now thanks to the efforts of the on-island team, the ground-nesting species has been saved from extinction.
The white sandy beaches of Frégate Island also provide a vital nesting habitat for the endangered Hawksbill and Green Turtles. Every nesting season, staff safeguard several hundred nests - you may have the chance to witness first-hand one of nature's true miracles; the sight of a female turtle laying her eggs on the shore.
This genuine commitment to preservation is part of the fabric of Frégate and offers guests an exceptional eco experience. The island strives to be a self-sufficient resort; fruit and vegetables served are grown in organic gardens and sea water is distilled and distributed in glass bottles. And the spa has its own apothecary, where organic products infuse the treatments with a real focus on holistic well-being. A new spa concept also sees Frégate as the only resort in the Seychelles to specialise in Ayurvedic treatments.
Discover more: Read Reservations Manager, Vicki Holding's personal review.
A country famed for its quintessential glamour, art-filled cities steeped in history and La Dolce Vita; there is no better destination for a holiday embracing culture.
Florence is renowned as the birthplace of the Renaissance; the iconic red dome of the magnificently imposing Duomo forming the focal point of this beautiful city. Hotel Savoy on the lively and animated Piazza della Repubblica, is an elegantly contemporary hotel and provides the perfect base to explore all that is on offer at this enticing destination.
The best way to discover Florence is on foot - where you can live and breathe the beauty of this city. Meander in the serene grandeur of the Boboli Gardens, the swaying hush of the Cypress trees juxtaposed against the hum and stir of the cobbled streets of the city below. Learn about the history of the iconic canvas in the Gucci museum; partake of a taste of la dolce from one of the countless gelaterias; and, as the sun sets over the River Arno, meander over the Ponte Vecchio to watch talented artists and street performers in the atmospheric romance of the Firenze dusk.
All roads lead to Rome, a bustling metropolis with an immensely rich historical heritage and a cosmopolitan atmosphere. Centrally located in the beating heart of this wonderfully chaotic city, Rocco Forte's Hotel de Russie (pictured) is your stylish base. Next to the Piazza del Popolo and just a short stroll from the Spanish Steps, the wonders of the 'Eternal City' are on your doorstep waiting to be discovered.
Marvel at the dramatic magnificence of the Colosseum, the unforgettable sight of St Peter's Basilica and the Vatican and the enduring beauty of the Trevi Fountain, before returning to Hotel de Russie's beguiling terraced gardens to sip on a chilled glass of Prossecco beneath ancient trees and fragrant rose bushes.
Epicurean school in Venice:
Gritti Palace, A Luxury Collection Hotel
Occupying a prestigious setting on the Grand Canal just a leisurely stroll from Piazza San Marco, the imposing 16th Century Gritti Palace makes the perfect place in which to learn the secrets of authentic Italian cooking. Executive Chef Daniele Turco takes his participants on an exceptional culinary journey through the world of Venetian recipes, discovering seasonal products from the lagoon and showing how the cuisine reflects the diverse cultural influences of centuries past. Although Chef Turco's gastronomy is rooted in Venetian heritage, extensive travel and working abroad in locations as diverse as Malta, Sicily, Turkey and Morocco have led to him incorporating new gastronomic stimuli into his culinary repertoire. In the half-day private classes, held for a maximum of eight people, you will learn how to cook an exquisite three course dinner using local ingredients. Classes begin with a tour of the atmospheric Rialto Market, one of the oldest in Italy, learning about local products and how to select them. A typical Venetian aperitivo with cicchetti is taken at a traditional bacaro wine bar, before returning to the Epicurean School for the cooking lesson. There is also a three day programme - with a minimum of four participants - for those who want to journey deeper into the gastronomic delights of Venice and its surrounds.
Rancho Santa Fe is the captivating location for the recently revitalised Rancho Valencia. Tucked away amidst lush gardens and olive groves lies an enchanting escape of self-discovery, wellness and relaxation. The Spa at Rancho Valencia is an enclave of escapism and testament to the true focus given to wellbeing at this luxurious Californian resort.
Holistic wellness is a core concept at Rancho Valencia and permeates every aspect of their approach. Whether it be in the Spa, Serenity Yoga Pavilion, Pilates studio or the fitness centre, every detail is meticulously sculpted to create a destination that is at the pinnacle of wellbeing and tranquillity. The treatments on offer in the spa reconnect you to nature and the environment around you; drawing the revitalising benefits of herbs, flowers, oils and minerals to cocoon you in a sense of blissful relaxation. Even basics follow this philosophy. Freshly made organic fruit and vegetable juices are on offer to enjoy following exertions, immersions and indulgent sessions of cossetting.
Tenerife boasts an incomparable year-round climate. The Canary island is a haven of sun-soaked resorts perfect for a family getaway, with luxurious hotels offering plentiful past-times to keep both adults and children happy. Many families regard ABAMA Golf & Spa Resort as a hidden gem. Club Abami provides cooking workshops, sculpture classes, treasure hunts and much more, leaving adults to explore the expansive spa or indulge in a spot of peaceful relaxation by the pools. For family-focused spa treatments, opt for Gran Hotel Bahía del Duque Resort. Parents and children can enjoy being pampered together, with mini manicures and hair treatments for girls and clay play for boys. Alternatively, relax on the impressive beach whilst the kids are entertained in the Duqui Club or the Californian surf-themed Teen Lounge.
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
The superlatives flow easily when the location is as spectacular as the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island; spanning across two idyllic islets, exquisite accommodations are scattered amidst paradisiacal settings. For the ultimate in tropical island rest and tranquillity, few can better the enchanting Retreat Water Villas. Set on stilts above the cobalt waters in a private part of the lagoon, they are designed for pure relaxation of mind, body and soul; each comes complete with its own couples spa treatment room and mini gym. Following a luxurious treatment, stepping outside onto your private sun deck elevates the experience to the sublime - the ultimate and perfect escape from the outside world.