October 21, 2020

As 2020 winds down, open spaces and expansive destinations where we can escape the crowds and get away from it all rank high on the list, as we start making plans for our future trips. Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in nature, land right on white sandy beaches with open coastlines, nestle in the heart of a safari, or dream about all that you can do under a mesmerising star-studded night sky, here are a few options to consider. Paradise isn’t so far away after all.

andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge

Nestled deep in the heart of Namibia’s ancient Namib Desert, the lodge offers travellers several experiences during their stay to help understand and immerse themselves in the unique environment that surrounds them. Desert drives that continue after nightfall reveal an array of unusual desert-adapted fauna and flora that thrives in the area while marvelling in the stark desert scenery. The exploration of the Namib Desert’s incredibly clear night skies can continue back at the lodge, which features a state-of-the-art observatory and telescope. With almost no impact from artificial light and on the best dark skies in the world, guests can discover the constellations of the southern sky under the guidance of a resident astronomer. Adventurous guests can also take the time to explore the desert trails on their own either by hiking or ebikes.

Sustainability and uncompromised luxury go hand in hand at Sossusvlei. Ten beautifully appointed stone and glass suites are spread out along the curve of the escarpment, open onto ever-changing outlooks. Each spacious air-conditioned suite offers a secluded, shaded veranda complete with private plunge pool, a living room with a fireplace, a large retractable skylight above the bed, and an ensuite bathroom with a glass-encased rain shower offering 180º desert views.

Cheval Blanc Randheli

Cheval Blanc Randheli, situated in the impossibly tranquil Noonu Atoll, is part of LVMH Hotel Group. The ultimate location for exclusivity and renewal, Cheval Blanc Randheli is a spacious hideaway made up of islands, each offering a unique and dedicated experience.

45 loft villas all feature a private 12.5m infinity pool, dining pergola, a private beach and spacious overwater decking. Elegant, refined and designed for stylish barefoot living, great attention has been given to the discretion of guests, ensuring a feeling of private space. This is reflected in the sophisticated design of each villa where lofty cathedral-style ceilings are framed by seven-metre-high handcrafted doors that create a strong sense of openness or when closed, an intimate atmosphere.

Cheval Blanc Randheli has curated tailor-made activities and unforgettable experiences including;  marine biology conservation, one of the world’s only dedicated spa islands with bespoke Guerlain rituals, mediation, yoga and mindfulness, and the world’s most secluded tennis island—home to two lagoon-front US Open and Paris Masters standard courts.

andBeyond Benguerra Island

andBeyond Benguerra Island is an exquisite piece of Indian Ocean paradise situated off the coast of Mozambique. In the Bazaruto Archipelago National Park, the island retreat is set on a protected lagoon. Guests can hideaway a variety of luxurious thatched accommodation complete with private wooden deck and pools. Guests can enjoy castaway picnics on secluded untouched islands, sunset cruises, swimming with horses as they ride bareback into the warm ocean or even spot a rare Dugong as Benguerra is home to one of the last remaining viable population. Guests are bound to see more wildlife than people!

The lodge has a range of luxurious thatched accommodation. For families or small groups, the exclusive-use Casa Familia is an ideal option with three ensuite bedrooms, a large deck area and private pool overlooking the beach. Set amidst lush island forest, there are two cosy cabanas, ideal for couples or honeymooners, and the slightly larger 10 casinhas. Cabanas and casinhas all offer private timber decks, rim-flow pools, sun loungers and private salas with irresistible hanging daybeds.

Rates for the Casinhas start from US$940 per person per night based on two sharing on an all-inclusive basis. Alternatively, the island is yours at a price tag of US$30,000 per night buy out.

Villa La Vigie

Located on the cape of the Monte-Carlo Beach, and nestled amid a tree-filled park, Villa La Vigie offers unparalleled views of the Mediterranean, the Principality and the bay of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. Overlooking the coastline, La Vigie stands proudly above the Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel. A strategic location that earned the name “La Vigie”—which translates to The Look-Out in English.

Acquired by the Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer in 1952, “La Vigie” was rented year-round to the legendary Karl Lagerfeld. In return for a rather modest rental price, Lagerfeld undertook extensive restoration work in the villa, ensuring that its exotic garden and panoramic terrace overlooking the sea retained their neoclassical charm. This prestigious villa was where he lived regularly between 1986 and 2000.

The artistic director of Chanel also used the site to display his art collections, marked by the classicism so adored by this baroque and offbeat creative. He used this setting as a backdrop for his work as a photographer, his second passion after haute couture. Notably, the members of the Casiraghi family were photographed here several times.

Spread over three levels, and offering 6 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 2 dressing rooms, high-end appliances and discreet and elegant décor, it also boasts a superb 237-square-metre terrace. Marble, columns, fireplaces, parquet flooring and high ceilings create a modern and sophisticated ambience.

The Villa La Vigie can be rented on a weekly or monthly basis. The villa has its own private road and is surrounded by a tree-covered park so you can arrive by helicopter and be whisked off in a luxury car transfer and arrive at the villa in minutes,

Cheval Blanc Randheli Private Island Villa

For the ultimate in privacy, Cheval Blanc Randheli Private Island Villa, which spans across 1-ha, is only accessible from a private berth and jetty. This four-bedroom villa with over 1,000 sqm of space is the epitome of lush, modern island living with exceptional indoor and outdoor spaces, a private spa, a dedicated team of Ambassadeurs and a vibrant array of tailored services and amenities. In the main house, three light-filled successive reception rooms align a 25-metre-long swimming pool. A fleet of traditional dhoni and expedition boats are available for private excursions throughout the atoll.