KAA News Roundup

We are excited to report many new hotel openings this spring and summer. The Reverie Saigon in Vietnam is now open and receiving lavish praise from The LA Times article, “A look inside Ho Chi Minh City’s Lavish Reverie Saigon Hotel” and from CNN’s list of 11 hotels openings we can’t wait to check into.

London lovers can now make reservations at the renovated luxe Lanesborough Hotel in Hyde Park for stays starting July 1. Read more on Hotel Chatter.

Six Senses first resort in Europe, Six Senses Douro Valley in Portugal is readying to open.  Read about the UNESCO heritage site in it’s backyard and the resort itself in The New York Times.

Baccarat Hotel recently opened in midtown Manhattan and we are proud to have them in our UK portfolio. Read about the flagship opening for the brand in Forbes, in Conde Nast Traveler and in Business Insider.

Several of our properties made the Condé Nast Traveler Hot List, which is a list of 60 hot new hotels opening this year. Pikaia Lodge in the Galapagos was honored in the “Family Friendly” category. Two Vik Retreats made the list. Bahia Vik in Uruguay for the “Design Stars” category and Viña Vik in Chile for the “Good Food” category. Another Design Star was The Norman in Tel Aviv, and The Brando in French Polynesia was included for the “Remote and Wild” category. Congratulations!

More great accolades for Viña Vik this month.  Food & Wine Magazine recounts a glorious weekend on property, and Truffle Pig writes, “…imagine a vineyard that looks like it belongs in Norway.”

Viña Vik sister property Estancia Vik in Uruguay is written up in The Daily Mail’s article, “Why supermodels and Hollywood stars are flocking to a fishing village in Uruguay.” Departures Mag writes about things to do in Jose Ignacio, including a visit to Estancia Vik and restaurant La Susana.

Another new opening, Condado Vanderbilt in San Juan Puerto Rico, is highlighted in an article here from The Globe & Mail. And a New York Times article, “The Many Faces of Puerto Rico” is an informative read on this next new hotspot for travel.

Over to the Galapagos, where LA Times writer Amanda Jones writes on Pikaia Lodge and more in her article, “Galápagos Islands see an evolution in luxury with Pikaia Lodge.”

In Nicaragua, Mukul’s “Aura Architect” was featured on Yahoo Travel’s article, “Over the Top Hotel Amenities.” Find good advice from travel agents Cari Gray & Phyllis Stoller on selling South & Central America in Travel Agent Magazine. Another industry article from 4Hoteliers on why travelers are flocking to Nicaragua for authentic cultural interactions, biodiversity, and excellent luxe value.  Harper’s Bazaar included Mukul in their roundup of “The New Places to Honeymoon in 2015.”

Iceland was also featured as a new honeymoon spot, and our new client Nordic Luxury specializes in customized trips to the land of fire and ice.

Another new client this month, The Brando in French Polynesia, is thrilled to be nominated in Virtuoso’s 2015 Best of the Best Awards.  Great press on the new island in the LA Times article, “Marlon Brando’s island paradise in Tetiaroa, French Polynesia.” The Australian agrees in their article here, “The Brando hotel is your island haven in French Polynesia.”

Another favorite eco and luxe private experience can be found at Song Saa in Cambodia. Song Saa makes the list for “10 Secret Spots Where the Stars Go Off the Grid” from Pop Sugar. The Telegraph writes a wonderful piece singing Song Saa’s praises, writing “… what makes Song Saa stand out is its conscience.” Jane Mundy from The Vancouver Sun explores Cambodia and reports on her stay at Song Saa here, and a photographer’s wedding portfolio beautifully captures the spirit of a wedding at Song Saa.

Over in Bangkok, read the Wall Street Journal’s Q & A with globetrotting DJ David Guetta.  He names The Siam as his favorite hotel in the world. More exciting news from The Siam as they are now offering a new wellness lineup including Yoga, Ayurveda, Meditation and Reiki classes.

Looking for somewhere remote?  Read about Fogo Island Inn on Forbes, “Where to Get Lost: The World’s Most Remote Luxury Lodges.” Fogo Island Inn was also named as a top spot for a beach wedding by The Venue Report, and was shortlisted for the Azure Magazine Awards for Design Excellence. The Inn was also featured in The Independent’s roundup, “Luxury trekking lodges: From Australia’s Red Centre to the Himalayas.”

Need the perfect family vacation? Look no further than The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch, recently nominated for 2015 Fly-Fishing Lodge of the Year by Orvis. It is the perfect place to find your inner cowboy, as detailed in this article by Luxury Travel Magazine. Don’t miss their annual “Cowgirl Up for the Cure,” benefiting the Susan G. Komen foundation, is in September.

The Norman in Tel Aviv is thrilled about an article in The Jewish News, “The Norman is Tel Aviv’s future of hotels.”

The Armani Hotel Dubai embodies beauty, elegance and grace in every aspect of its unique design. Congratulations to 5 years in the world’s tallest building.

Micato Safaris Coffee Connoisseur’s Safari named one of National Geographic Travel’s “50 Tours of a Lifetime” for 2015.

La Corte dei Papi is an idyllic Tuscan hideaway perfect for weddings.  The Venue Report agrees in their review here.

Our wellness portfolio inspires healthy living and each of our worldwide locales can provide a life changing experience. Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico was recently featured in Vogue Magazine’s article on “5 Body Holidays to Jump-Start Your Spring Fitness Routine,” and also in Town & Country’s “7 Detox Destinations You Need To Visit.” Read this insightful blog post on a real Mother Daughter Wellness Retreat to Rancho La Puerta.

Down to Bali, where Fivelements was featured in Life & Soul Magazine. If you are in Bali staying elsewhere, Fivelements welcomes you for their exclusive day experiences and special dinner events.

Learn more about Thailand’s pioneering destination spa, Chiva-Som, in The Bangkok Post’s Q & A with Chairman Khun Krip Rojanastien about the resort’s philosophy and 20 years of success.

Cruise on the Wild Side: Luxury Meets Adventure off Australia on the True North

It doesn’t take long to get your sea legs on the 36-passenger True North as you sail the waters off Australia’s coastlines. The small ship adventure cruise also heads into the wilds of Papua New Guinea in addictive seven to 13-day journeys that have earned parent company North Star Cruises a loyal following among Australia’s traveling elite.

TPA_TN_232_DK_2013The mono-hull vessel accesses intimate coves and inlets with ease, stopping for snorkeling with wild dolphins in the Indian Ocean, fishing for barramundi or harvesting black-lipped oysters off the remote Kimberley coast savoring sunsets in the Solomon Sea or watching the shadows of menacing crocs floating through the currents of the Sepik River.

1004582_10152937366375088_630601463_nThe True North has been sailing since 2005 when North Star Cruises launched it off the coast of Western Australia. The concept: go where larger cruise ship’s dare to travel, make sure the destinations make the mark as exotic, very remote and exquisitely scenic, add an array of super gear – from diving equipment to handy expedition vessels and even a helicopter moored to the boat’s rooftop helipad. Heli-tours to hidden volcanoes and mystical rain forests happen on the six-passenger Eurocopter 130 B4, considered to be the quietest, most spacious helicopter on the market.

1013665_10152937367365088_541288152_nThis is soft adventure at its finest: snorkeling in remote places not used to human interaction, fishing for the lunch of a lifetime, visiting villages whose residents rarely see outsiders, and swimming with large, gentle whale sharks that are only too willing to share their waters.

5842_10152937366125088_2031739521_nThe True North plies the wide Australian coastlines at all points and has separate ventures into West Papua and Papua New Guinea from Darwin and Cairns. The 164-foot vessel packs a lot of punch for its size: luxury cabins to sleep up to 36 passengers, a dedicated crew of 20, six aluminum tenders, a sundeck, a bar, an observation lounge and an attitude that lets every passenger get what he or she wants.

983581_10152937365880088_348865572_nA typical day might offer hiking to a special cliff perch for a picnic or cooling off in a calm cove, or helicoptering over waterfalls in Eucalyptus forests, diving amid submerged WWII battle wreckages or swimming in a billabong with harmless Johnstone’s crocodiles. All cruises are designed to allow passengers to ‘experience the destination’ – as itineraries specifically exclude lengthy periods at sea and feature frequent daily excursions. Multiple expedition vessels take guests away in small groups to experience wilderness up close and the luxury of numerous tenders also means that everybody onboard gets to do what they want, when they want.

7257_10152937366975088_1063746506_nPassengers can opt to stay onboard, enjoying the coastal views while relaxing in cabins designed with a certain Zen-like spaciousness. Naturally, there are a few privileges of civilization that stay with the ship: satellite telephones, Wi-Fi and in-cabin entertainment add a nice touch.

Most passengers hail from Australia or New Zealand, as do the crew, and usually an engaging marine biologist is in tow. And chances are many of the passengers will have been this way before. Northstar Cruises boasts a hefty repeat rate, as no two cruises are alike.

TPA_TN_198_DK_2013With its shallow draft the True North floats through glisteningly clear atolls and unpredictable river systems in sailings that run from March to September along Australia’s Kimberley coast before heading for the Rowley Shoals just west of Broome. In the Australian spring, the True North heads north to rarely visited lands in Flores, before plying the islands around West Papua for whale shark watching. Eventually the True North rounds the top of Papua New Guinea and sets a course toward the Sepik River and the country’s raw and rough interior. Finally, the cruise route moves back to Australia through the islands of the Bismarck and Solomon seas. Click here for full cruise schedule.

382491_10152937366820088_280977975_nPassengers get their bucket list cross-offs when it comes to unusual and adventurous experiences. They may be bringing in medical supplies to a muddy tribal village on a hidden fork of the Sepik one day and then snorkeling through warm and crystalline waters of a shallow atoll the next. But they always return to the True North, where a cold beer or fine Shiraz is waiting and the chef is creating the next barefoot dining oeuvre from locally sourced produce, regional cuisine traditions and whatever is thriving in the surrounding waters. Mangrove jack or mud crab, it’s all on the menu.

1005557_10152937365945088_1350203278_nWhere the True North goes may be truly remote however getting on-board is always convenient. Each departure launches from an easily accessible Australian gateway, be it Perth, Broome, Darwin, Cairns, Sydney or Adelaide. For more information contact the US sales office at: mail@kurtzahlers.com or salesmanager@northstarcruises.com



North Star Cruises Australia
PO Box 654, Broome 6725, Western Australia
(011 61 8) 91921 829

Kurtz-Ahlers & Associates
– Curator of undiscovered luxury travel locales with insider info and news from our worldwide portfolio of hotels, wellness retreats, and eco-resorts. View our portfolio on our Online Directory.

Sign up up for our Wellness Travel Updates and our monthy newsletter for the latest exclusive offers and news from around the globe, follow us on twitter, like us on facebook or follow us on Instagram and Pinterest.



Kiwi Luxury: New Zealand Adventures with a Twist

New Zealand packs in the possibilities – from the New Zealand weather that is always cool when it’s sweltering in the U.S., and warm when it’s biting cold in these parts – and its extreme landscapes that give character to some of the world’s most popular fantasy films.

300773_10150848828525088_1504292105_nThe antipodean nation in the southern seas also offers one of the widest ranges of experiences one can have per square mile. These include civilized afternoons having Wedgewood high tea in The Langham in Auckland to four-wheeling through windswept hills full of sheep and eyeing craggy glaciers in the distance near Canterbury, to dropping off a bridge over the Kawarau River in an act of breath-stopping bungee bravery.

For anyone who travels this way, New Zealand is undoubtedly the land of adventure and for anyone who wants to sample some New Zealand zaniness and then retreat to a lodge that swaddles you in luxury, a stay at Matakauri Lodge in Queenstown would be the requirement.

298703_10150848834465088_652664723_nMatakauri Lodge in Queenstown

Queenstown, on New Zealand’s south island and a leisurely six-hour drive from Christchurch, is rife with crazy Kiwis just waiting to share their wares. With Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand’s second largest in the background, as well as the imposing backdrop of the Remarkables mountain range, Queenstown makes an incredibly scenic place to jump through gorges, swing through canyons and zip through rapids.

_NG_5674If you have ever met a Kiwi – that is a New Zealand national named after a flightless bird the size of a chicken known for its fearless punching prowess, as well as its keen sense of smell and its ability to lay an egg a quarter of its body size – you’ll understand why the country is considered the epicenter of extreme sports.

The area around Queenstown boasts at least five bungee jumping sites, a gorge swing, jet boats aplenty, white water rafting, myriad flying, gliding and parasailing adventures and, well, tamer toned activities such as alpine skiing, mountain biking and hiking. The streets are crowded with travelers looking for a thrill and outfitters all too happy to help the fill the bill.

DQ19241-header-image-internalStart with an overview of Queenstown through the Skyline Gondola near town center. The top of the line brings the views and the dining venues, and it brings the luge ride down. Two tracks, one gentle and one super fast, send lugers down the 2,400-foot descent on three-wheel luge carts. Emboldened riders can grab another gondola to the top and do it again.

Bungaholics will want to visit the Kawarau Bungee Center, on a highway between Queenstown and Cromwell in idyllic Gibbston Valley, one of New Zealand’s many outstanding wineries. The 130-foot bridge leap is complemented by a bungee theater and a bungee museum.

Ever inventive, the Kiwis toiled for new ways to milk thrills from scenic heights and came up with the Shotover Canyon Swing. This little attraction on a cliff in the wilderness is pure nirvana for the strong of nerve set, who hurl themselves from a platform 300 feet above the Shotover River and arc several times across the canyon in a flying swing. The Swing takes the experience of free fall flight a few ticks further than classic bungee ropes as participants swing on a wire pendulum from one cliff face to the other in a heart-pounding swirl of Gs.

Shotover_Canyon_Swing_Queenstown_3Below them, along the Shotover River, jet boats race the wind in shallow river waters. Speedboats carry about a dozen passengers through the winding riverbed at 70 mph speeds, deftly maneuvering turbo-charged turns on a dime – the oil age’s answer to whitewater rafting. Above the canyon, paragliders dip and rise, while up-river, white water rafters take their shot at challenging class 3 to 5+ rapids and river challenges.

And when darkness falls over the valley guests staying at Matakauri Lodge can enjoy adventures of the culinary kind. The Relais & Châteaux property offers a variety of dining venues with menus that showcase local foods and flavors. Wines are paired to each meal with Central Otago Pinot Noir a standout of the lodge’s well-stocked cellar. New Zealand wines sipped on the Matakauri Lodge patio overlooking the lake … possibly one of life’s six moments.

Miz131214_1143Matakauri Lodge keeps all the moments intimate, however. The property offers 12 spacious rooms plus the Owner’s Cottage, all with amazing views of the New Zealand alpines and glacial lake. Then there is the 5,000-square-foot Owner’s Cottage, perfect for families with luxury accommodations that will sleep eight guests. Incentive travelers, CEOs and high value guests also appreciate this cottage with four bedrooms, open fireplaces, large bathrooms and an inviting private hot tub on the balcony over the lake.

It’s possible to experience Queenstown, New Zealand with a Stay 4, Pay 3 offer available at Matakauri Lodge through September 30, 2015. The offer includes pre-dinner drinks, canapés, gourmet dinner each evening, full breakfast each morning, complimentary non-alcoholic mini-bar and use of all lodge facilities (excluding spa treatments).

310673_10150848832550088_1536800176_nQueenstown may be a top attraction for active vacationers but those travelers looking for some quiet time to take in New Zealand’s natural wonders, Matakauri Lodge has two obliging sisters on the country’s north island spread.

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers in Hawkes Bay

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers may be as close to a working sheep ranch as most visitors will get. But this ranch on Hawkes Bay comes with to-die-for ocean views, fine dining, fine wines, a sublime spa and a stunning 18-hole golf course — of Golf Magazine’s “Bests,” should some time on the greens be on the schedule. The farm sits on 6,000 acres of rolling rugged countryside with 22 suites perched above the roiling Pacific surf.

310847_10150848824875088_1461449166_nCall it “Farm-Luxe” and count on farm-to-table local foods showcased on an ever-changing a la carte menu infusing classic French and English touches. Naturally, there is a magnificent Owner’s Cottage on site with four bedrooms, each with a fireplace, and plenty of cozy corners to wrap up with a good book or enjoy the settings with loved ones.

Working-sheep-farmTel: +011 64 6 875 1900
Email: reservations@capekidnappers.com
Website: www.capekidnappers.com

The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs near the Bay of Islands

Find the third sister property near the Bay of Islands at the top of New Zealand, less than four hours drive from Auckland (although air options to all properties cut transport time to considerable degrees). This is The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, which also overlooks the wild austral Pacific and its islands off the coast, and present more than 6,000 acres to wander.

301677_10150848817210088_334795402_nAll properties are Relais & Chateaux-branded, which means that food and wine play a major role in why visitors come this way.  An infinity pool overlooks the golf course and ocean and activities include mountain biking, bushwalking, beach combing, tennis and golf  (with Callaway clubs for hire).

The property offers 22 standard and deluxe guest suites (plus a two-bedroom Owner’s Suite). And the lodge has a spa at the edge of the Totara Forest that overlooks a verdant fern glen and winding stream – something you might see while meandering through a Hobbit castle. But here the magic is in the New Zealand mud rituals with minerals and crystals mixed in for added strength.

310255_10150848819615088_682007004_nFor even more adventure, consider romantic picnics on a precipice over the ocean or scenic walks that take in waterfalls and 700-year-old Kauri trees. North Island’s famous Ninety Mile Beach is close by and there is nothing like a heli-ride over the fantastical New Zealand countryside to put it all together.

Tel: +011 64 9 407 0010
Email: reservations@kauricliffs.com
Website: www.kauricliffs.com

Kurtz-Ahlers & Associates– Curator of undiscovered luxury travel locales with insider info and news from our worldwide portfolio of hotels, wellness retreats, and eco-resorts. View our portfolio on our Online Directory.

Sign up up for our Wellness Travel Updates and our monthy newsletter for the latest exclusive offers and news from around the globe, follow us on twitter, like us on facebook or follow us on Instagram and Pinterest.



Brush Creek Ranch: Guest Ranch in Wyoming with Plenty of Pause and Possibility

When seeking a Wyoming guest ranch experience, one of the first things guests should ask is what can you do there. At The Lodge and Spa at Brush Creek Ranch, which currently crowns Condé Nast’s Reader’s Choice awards for top 25 resorts in the U.S. (and holds the #2 spot for the world), the answer is actually a question: how fast can you go?


An ultra-luxury hideaway in the rocky foothills of southern Wyoming, Brush Creek Ranch makes it possible to go fast and far, whether on the back of a spirited paint, in the rushes of a fast river, on a state of the art trail bike or by foot through amazing forest paths, or on inner journeys enabled through onsite yoga and wellness opportunities.

297-c1264a04d974d0f5fe2d6df9c198a452The casual cowboy comeliness of the ranch makes an art of pleasing the range of guests in need of space, sky, slow time and some easy ranch hospitality. That means families get the welcome mat, as do honeymooners, girlfriends on retreat, busy executives bent on some disappearing time, and active outdoor vacationers. The ranch’s 30,000 acres provides plenty of space for those who want to be lone on the range, and lots of social time for guests who would rather be home on the range. Cattle, horses, deer and wildlife wildly outnumber the humans. Guest residents at the ranch are spread out amongst lodge or cabin accommodations for up to 150 guests at a time.

537824_10152551753845088_3985436_nTime here, however, is measured in experiences rather than hours. On any given day, guests are off testing the Platte River in waders and casting for rainbow trout. They are exploring the more than 50 miles of private trails and endless open range around the Lodge on horseback (advanced riders accommodated with less restrictive movements and more challenging trails) or trail bike. Shooters are offered equipment, range use and expertise, whether rifle or bow set, and big game hunters can have their shot at fish, fowl, antelope, deer, elk, moose, and mountain lion in hunts and “cast & blast” programs offered at the Lodge. Families enjoy geocaching and orienteering games set up, while groups benefit from the array of challenge courses to be tested. Ropes, ziplines, paintball, rock-climbing a 30-foot tower – the Wyoming chaparral beckons and the ranch accommodates.

10460879_10155253923625088_4204873077390167569_oThe Lodge also accommodates with a certain luxury, well deserved at the end of a long and adventurous day. There are 13 Trailhead Lodge rooms, 10 two- and three-bedroom Log Cabin Residences, and nine cabin rooms and suites. And if it’s an exclusive group, the Magee Homestead is ready with its private and secluded complex of seven historically restored cabins on a separate, but nearby, area of the ranch. This spot, that sleeps 24, is right for corporate retreats, family reunions, wedding parties and special groups who will love large and ambient social spaces perfect for meals, meetings and relaxing.

79-8d29988a2c969e542e3ec359ec083a9dAll accommodations are 100% non-smoking accommodations and come with welcome amenities, daily housekeeping and nightly turn down, free Wi-Fi (a 24-hour business center is available even though work will seem far away), 400 thread count cotton linens, Egyptian cotton towels, and Brush Creek Ranch Signature Collection toiletries.

112-1b964491bf2b58eb47382294d15e1047Not unexpectedly, luxury comes in many forms at the Lodge and one of them is “inclusiveness.” That means all meals are included as are the spirits, whether these are consumed by the campfire, by the banks of Brush Creek, on the Falcon Peak overlook or in the elegant Trailhead Lodge. Gear, guides and ongoing adventure come with the tariff and the Lodge keeps a non-tipping policy in place throughout the stay. Youth programs, minis’ meals and twilight events mean family vacations can work out for everyone.

250-7d5626e0c06f94e710151b73efea9b21And for those who need to fit some “me” time in, the spa is only too happy to oblige with complimentary sunrise yoga sessions over the plains and cowboy cures for whatever the ailment is. Singles and couples can enjoy an array of treatments for beauty and wellness. Among the signatures here is the Wyoming River Stone Massage that uses smooth, warmed basalt river stones to bring about a deeper state of relaxation: ideal for soothing sore muscles after an active day on the range.

45-b8a2135a9035c508d6a288b09d3a5b19Spend this  summer vacation reconnecting with each other while exercising their range rights in the wide open West.  A true cowboy can-do experience at the Lodge awaits guests who want to expereince memeories to last a lifetime. Book the “Saddle Up & Ride” offer which includes a $500 travel credit per guest for stays of 7-nights or more, including their annual Independence Week Celebration, complete with Rodeo, Barn Dance and Fireworks.


The ranch stays open from May 22 to October 17. The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch in Saratoga, Wyoming, just over an hour’s drive from Laramie’s airport (LAR) and Saratoga’s (SAA) private airport is just 20 minutes from the Brush Creek Ranch front gates.


The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch
66 Brush Creek Ranch Road
Saratoga, WY 82331
(307) 327-5284



Kurtz-Ahlers & Associates– Curator of undiscovered luxury travel locales with insider info and news from our worldwide portfolio of hotels, wellness retreats, and eco-resorts. View our portfolio on our Online Directory.

Sign up up for our Wellness Travel Updates and our monthy newsletter for the latest exclusive offers and news from around the globe, follow us on twitter, like us on facebook or follow us on Instagram and Pinterest.



KAA News Roundup

It is time to start thinking about summer vacations.  From luxury ranches to far flung immersive experiences, make this summer one for the memory books. Try a cruise with North Star Cruises, written up by the venerable Sohpy Roberts in The Financial Times, “Exploring the Solomon Sea.”

Two new clients this month include Arakur Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina and the new Reverie Saigon in Vietnam. Get inspiration to travel to the southernmost city in the world with this video from Arakur Ushuaia.

The Reverie Saigon makes CNN’s list of “11 Hotels Opening in 2015 We Can’t Wait to Check Into.” Another nice write-up, “New in Town: The Reverie Saigon” from Blouin Art Info.

Another edge of the world is occupied by Fogo Island Inn, a perfect unique family getaway for the summer. Get inspired by this video.  Both Fogo Island and Mukul were finalists in the National Geographic World Legacy Awards. See full list here.

More inspiration for adventure seekers – Mukul was in the news this month, “10 Adventurous Spring Break Destinations” from The Active Times and in Forbes article, “So What Is Luxury Surfing?”

Conde Nast Traveller UK writes about Pikaia Lodge in the Galapagos, quoting, “the latest hotel on the archipelago is the first one you’d actually like to stay in.” Read article.

Did you hear? The iconic Condado Vanderbilt Hotel has reopened & is better than ever.  Great review from Travel Age West Magazine here.

The Spa at Viña Vik is the new cover of Celebrated Living Magazine featured on American flights, and the new Chilean getaway has been named the Top Hotel of the Week for The Week.

Another cover story from our portfolio, this time for Song Saa Private Island, on the cover of Organic Spa Magazine this month, article entitled “Sustainable Cambodia.” Song Saa’s Tropical Marine Conservation Program is on Positive Luxury, who details the program in their article, “The Volunteer Program You’ve Been Waiting For… (it’s on a private island).”  Congrats to Song Saa for the great press and for turning three this month, Happy Birthday!

Note Bene’s review of Tel Aviv’s newest hotel is glowing, “The Norman: The coolest hotel in Tel Aviv.”

For frequent travelers like Virtuoso’s Matthew Upchurch, a short stay at The Ranch at Live Oak / Malibu yields long-term benefits. Read about his journey here. And Conde Nast Traveller writes, “Go off-grid and began at a nowhere-to-hide bootcamp.” For detoxifying, energizing, delicious vegan fare at home, look no further than their new cookbook.

More wellness news from Bali’s Fivelements. If you are heading to Bali Spirit Fest don’t miss yoga and lunch with Faith Hunter March 31st. Or, click here to learn about Fivelements experiences for the day, including a Dinner Club the first Friday of each month and a monthly guided meditation.

Wellness for men is alive and well at Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico. Read this article from The Planet D, “A Destination Spa Made for a Man.”

The beachfront Thai retreat Chiva-Som is featured here on FoxNews.com in a round up on vacations that let you unplug.

The Lanesborough is readying to open in late spring. Hotel Chatter writes, “Will Have Crave Tablets Surrounded by Lots of Regency Style.” Read article.  Becca Hensley writes about Micato Safaris and her South African Safari here.  Over in Kenya, Ol Jogi offers a private safari experience. Their newsletter details the myriad of species their conservation organization helps protect.

Lastly, Forbes Travel Guide explains the five things they love most about Twin Farms in their article here.

Follow us on  Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook for more travel inspiration!



Added Savings at Ananda in The Himalayas

This summer, rejuvenate in in the award winning luxury destination spa, Ananda in The Himalayas. Frequented by celebrities and discerning spa goers from across the world, this wellness retreat located on a 100 acre Maharaja’s Palace Estate in the cool Himalayan foothills in India specializes in Detox, Weight Management and Rejuvenation through traditional Ayurveda, Yoga and contemporary international therapies.

  • Book a stay of 4 nights or more this summer at Ananda in the Himalayas and get additional complimentary nights.
  • Book a stay for 4 nights or more and get 1 extra night complimentary.
  • Book a wellness package of 7 nights or more and get 2 extra nights complimentary.
  • Book a wellness package of 14 nights or more and get 3 extra nights complimentary.
  • Book a wellness package of 21 nights or more and get 4 extra nights complimentary. Extra nights include room and breakfast.

Valid April 16- June 30, 2015. For reservations or more information, please contact Reservations@anandaspa.com



Gili Lankanfushi: What Goes into Being the Best Hotel in the World?

Go ahead, make a guess: What property out there is considered the Best Hotel in the World? If you look east – way east — to the Maldives archipelago in the Indian Ocean you would be warm. According to TripAdvisor, Gili Lankanfushi gets top honors as the Best Hotel in the World 2015 as tabbed by its Travelers’ Choice survey and the reasons will not surprise you.

GILI 159-9266

Each of Gili Lankanfushi resort’s 45 villas is an overwater island unto itself.  In the Maldives, it is said each resort is its own kingdom and at Gili Lankanfushi that land would be the Kingdom of Luxury. Each villa is completely private with a large open-air living space and 2,250 -15,000 square feet (depending on villa category) with aromatic hardwood interiors that include dining facilities, outdoor terrace with day bed, open-air private bathroom with separate glass walled shower area, and king bed, — all over open waters.


Villas to Palaces in the Maldives

But to command the kingdom, one must live like a royal and that would mean booking the Private Reserve, a 15,000 square foot palace on two tiers over the ocean.  Accessed only by boat, indulgences include a private spa and gym, rooftop and terrace sundecks, an enchanting sea garden, a 1,000-square-foot open-air bathroom, a private wine cellar and a waterslide into the beckoning waters of a coral pool from the rooftop terrace. It can sleep up to six people in sublime comfort. Attendant Mr. & Mrs. Fridays come with every villa, but the Private Reserve comes with the attention of “a his” and “a hers.”


When you are considered the Best Hotel in the World, you get to make your own time. Gili Lankanfushi sets its clocks an hour later than the rest of the country, giving its guests more time in the day to spend in this magical and mythical Maldivian island kingdom.

Dining and Daytripping at Gili Lankanfushi

Dining is international here, with emphasis on Asian and Mediterranean cuisine. The resort serves a creative array of cocktails and beer at the bar, and offers a wine cellar filled with award winning collections. Picnicking under sun or stars is always on the menu for those who want to add a little bit of heaven to the dining experience.


Activities onsite and on water keep boredom at bay: There’s sunrise yoga for starters, anything from windsurfing, kayaking, sailing, dolphin cruising, snorkeling and diving (the resort has its own fully-equipped PADI diving school) can follow. Grab a bike and seek out what secrets this remote island may harbor; play tennis, board games or take day trips to other islands – the Maldivian capital of Male is just 20 minutes away. Nights might include sunset cruises, jungle cinema or a Japanese fusion dinner at By the Sea.


And not forgetting spa time: Meera Spa with open walls over the ocean, lets in the breezes and the soothing ocean sounds while therapists chime in with local mastery in their facials and massage treatments.


The Maldives: for Un-Tourists

Maldives, a collection of some 19 atolls and 1,190 islands cropping out of the clearest and warmest waters on earth, receives less tourism than it deserves. Some 1.4 million tourists will visit this year (Las Vegas gets 40 million visitors a year as a point of perspective). The country recently joined neighboring Indian Ocean island destinations, such as Rodriguez and Mauritius, in creating a regional designation as the Vanilla Islands. But visitors heading to the Maldives might be attracted by the “un-tourist” quality of these islands, where quiet and privacy are paramount, purity is religion, and beauty is everywhere.


A visit to the Maldives is a visit to the lowest country on earth (not one of its coral islands is higher than six feet). Gili Lankanfushi’s theme: No Shoes, No News means expect to get your feet wet, and expect to not care.


Gili Lankanfushi: Getting There, Staying There

Rates: These start at around $1,100 a night with a complimentary night if a booking is four nights or longer. Early bookings (60 days in advance) are rewarded with complimentary half-board on meals. Rates and packages vary and may include full board, spa treatments, private residence discounts, spring water, Wi-Fi or return transfers from Male. A number of airlines serve Male from the U.S. A flight to Male is 10.5 hours from London, located just south of Sri Lanka.



Gili Lankanfushi
Lankanfushi Island, North Malé Atoll
Republic of Maldives
(011) 960 664 0304

 Gili Lankanfushi Resort Maldives

Kurtz-Ahlers & Associates– Curator of undiscovered luxury travel locales with insider info and news from our worldwide portfolio of hotels, wellness retreats, and eco-resorts. View our portfolio on our Online Directory.

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The Palace Downtown Dubai Suite Offer

552968_10151725144565088_2061616265_nBuilt on the edge of a lake, The Palace Downtown Dubai is a harmonious blend of Middle Eastern heritage and contemporary Dubai with 242 guest rooms, including 81 magnificent suites all featuring balconies with either The Dubai Fountain, Burj Lake or Old Town views. Book one of these magnificent suites this spring for great savings.

Suite Temptation Special: Stay 2 nights, save 10%, Stay 3 nights, save 15% until May 15th.

For more information or reservations, contact stay@theaddress.com.



Bonus Night Special at Matakauri Lodge Outside Queenstown, New Zealand

Experience fabulous New Zealand from March to September 2015, stay four nights and pay for only three. An exclusive retreat located on the banks of Lake Wakatipu, Matakauri Lodge enjoys spectacular mountain views and a personalised concierge service. Superbly located just seven minutes’ drive from Queenstown, near charming vineyards, and all the adventure sports and outdoor activities the town is famous for.

Offer includes, pre-dinner drinks, canapés, gourmet dinner each evening, full breakfast each morning, complimentary non-alcoholic mini-bar and use of all lodge facilities (excluding spa treatments).

Stay 4, Pay 3 offer is available March 15 – September 30, 2015.  Learn more.




A Private Island Vacation in the Bahamas: Not just Magic at Musha Cay

It does not take a miracle to book a private island vacation in the Bahamas. But it might take some magic. David Copperfield, a legend on this planet for disappearing acts, makes it possible to wave a hand and teleport, if only by plane, to a private island in the Bahamas where magic is the motif that can be found amid five cottages, fantastical designs and eleven islands that comprise the Islands of Copperfield Bay. Otherwise known as Musha Cay, find this private island in the Exuma archipelago in the Bahamas.

KrqeYbqCfKgIFKohvZ43xWiQAqZc1VA7qEMJVhfpTqIAt David Copperfield’s Musha Cay, celebrities come to stay rather than to buy. Past guest rosters have included Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Sergey Brin, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem and John Travolta. And many of those guests bring their friends. Copperfield rents the run of his island chain, including a doting staff of 30 — all meals and spirits, as well as surprises and entertainment — for $57,00 per night for 24 guests.

Musha (3)But visitors who come alone, come in couples, or come in small parties will not be disappointed. The bucket list destination experience welcomes any guest who seeks to be amazed and wowed with a dizzying array of moments to be had. Those include picnics on a chosen out island, movies watched under the stars at the shoreside “Dave’s Drive-in,” treasure hunts,  mini Olympic trials, take-no-prisoners laser tag games, paddleboarding, jet skiing, or just napping in a hammock.

MushaCayChaisePrior to arrival, guests are asked what their food preferences are, and special air charters are arranged to bring the necessary provisions. All food preparation is done according guests’ wishes. A private island paradise for groups of friends or multi-generational gatherings.  Elaborate and enchanting amenities abound including a celebratory firework display or beach bonfires with a steel drum band.

Musha (2)Five luxurious villas provide a canvas for handpicked opulence in artful collections curated from the magician’s extensive travels. Guests can stay in the 10,000-square-foot manor house perched on a hill with a soaring living pavilion that looks over the island, or take it down to the beach in a thatched cottage with two bedrooms and private outdoor bathtubs. Each cottage comes with, what else? … its own private beach to accent the private island experience.

WjID-8cddGPBUQG2fNqqlX1dFCpjpqb0XT-IuzXAHNY,hdM1HS9HDWaE_sQOHmtTXpRKst50Lx80wuyMh8q_IRc,Z1GiSY0r27bBFCPdd9DSdD0ypalofObIG1mPKKaRO_o,odylYfM-zAdR1-QSrmhF_wfN2fr6QRHBS4HZ1FdBRE0The 150-acre main island at Musha Cay in Copperfield Bay includes 700 other acres of out islands all with sugary sand beaches. A fleet of boats is always on call for transport and water activities. But the three-mile-long sandbar Copperfield christened Heaven on Earth is all one needs, should disappearing for a time be in line.

Musha (1)Getting to Musha Cay and Islands of Copperfield Bay

This private island sanctuary is a 40-minute flight from Miami or a three-hour flight from New York or Chicago by commercial or private jet to Georgetown, Great Exuma. From there it is a 15-minute charter flight to Musha’s 2,200-foot private runway.

Click here to view a video of the complete island experience.

Musha (1)

Musha Cay and the Islands of Copperfield Bay
Exumas, Bahamas
(208) 309-1106


Kurtz-Ahlers & Associates– Curator of undiscovered luxury travel locales with insider info and news from our worldwide portfolio of hotels, wellness retreats, and eco-resorts. View our portfolio on our Online Directory.

Sign up up for our Wellness Travel Updates and our monthy newsletter for the latest exclusive offers and news from around the globe, follow us on twitter, like us on facebook or follow us on Instagram and Pinterest.