Mnemba Island Lodge

It is probably the sum of it all which makes this place in the ocean so unique – Mnemba Island with its lodge, a 20-minute boat ride away from the northeast tip of Zanzibar. It is this magnificent African sky so close to the equator – this feeling on the beach at night of being able to stretch out your arm and pick a star from the sky. They seem close enough to reach. And it is this joy of dining outdoors with no more than 24 other guests with candles and oil lamps all around. There are but twelve huts on the island where everything is provided for, yet they intentionally have this simplistic touch. But of course, there is also the magical daytime experience: the white sand, the turquoise sea, the wonders of the wilderness, the light blue sky. The sum of it all is just extraordinary. So extraordinary that you would not want to leave anytime soon. Read more


Six Senses Bhutan

What remains after a journey to this enchanted kingdom in the Himalayas? It is this smile of the people there, which is apparently contagious. You take it home with you. Just like this relaxed serenity, this expression of contentment. What remains of Bhutan is the feeling of happiness. I have never brought anything better from a journey. It all started with a visual flight to Paro at about 2400 meters altitude: many kilometers of mountains and valleys, to be seen through the windows left and right. As if one flies into Fantasyland, always curving around new mountain ranges while flying low. How often did I think how good it is that the pilot knows his way around here and does this all the time!

I have experienced Bhutan as a land of beguiling beauty, somehow graceful from the first moment on, original, anything but overrun. And it’s sparkling clean, almost plastic-free. Even the customs officers on arrival wear traditional costumes instead of uniforms. There used to be a traffic light in the city of Thimphu – it caused too much stress. Now there are none in all of Bhutan. Read more


Samadhi Ocean Resort

It is quite intriguing when a hotel does not have an address. When it calls the seven seas its home without it being a cruise ship, when it can be anywhere as long as there is water under the keel: between the Canary Islands, in the Gulf of Naples or near the shores of the Aeolian Islands for example. The ‘Samadhi Ocean Resort’ requires no address at all: it is a sailing yacht which provides the feel of a luxury resort and follows a feel-good philosophy that is worth passing on. I was fascinated when I first heard about it recently. I love the sea, the relaxed atmosphere on the water when nothing is amiss, and there are no disturbances. I like to start off the day with yoga on the polished planks of a yacht, then drink a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice – and comfortably look forward to everything yet to come.

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‘Falisia Portopiccolo’ on the Italian Adriatic coast

If a place is at such a dazzling location – nestling up to the cliffs of Sistiana in Friuli Venezia Giulia like a semicircular amphitheater and offering this kind of panoramic view on the Adriatic Sea – in that case, the name of the best hotel there may be this cumbersome: ‘Falisia, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Portopiccolo’. And with only 58 rooms and suites, it has just the right size to be truly delightful.
I like it when the wind is playfully moving around the curtains in the early morning, when the break of dawn is slowly peeking into the room, when I can smell the sea while hearing a few syllables in Italian that are carried in by the gentle breeze. I have come to love the bar ‘La Piazetta’ and I will return for the ‘Cliff’ gourmet restaurant: what an amazing setting, with the terrace just above the private yacht marina – and these wines, what a creative and recurrently astonishing menu. And the atmosphere tops it all off.
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Nihi Sumba in Indonesia

Should one divulge secrets and desires before living to see all of them oneself? Having given this some thought, I will do it: I will tell you about a hotel that has taken over my dreams ever since I first heard about it and seen pictures. No matter how far off it is, and it really is far off: I want to go, as soon as possible. I just cannot let go of the thought of it. Rice terraces are situated behind the house, the private beach lies in front of it. Jungle to the left and right. And in the mornings, you can ride a horse over the beach not far from here. I dream about the lounge chair on the patio of ‘my’ villa and I already feel the breeze; I can taste the Far Eastern delicacies in my mouth, with something like relaxing temple music in my ears. I just want to go – to ‘Nihi Sumba by Chris Burch’ on the Indonesian Sumba Islands, roughly 400 kilometers southeast of Bali.

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