KAA News Roundup

New properties this month include Casa San Agustin in Cartagena, Colombia, recently awarded TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Award for 2015. The Wall Street Journal featured Cartagena as an up and coming destination in their article, Dreaming of Cartagena: A guide to the new HOT Caribbean Destination, writing, “A trip to Cartagena, in Colombia, is the ultimate antidote to the been-there-done-that Caribbean vacation. Here’s everything you need to know to get in on the action.”

An Adventurous Trip in Cartagena by Departures includes Casa San Agustin in their roundup of Thanksgiving Travel: Destinations for Every Agenda.  LUX Magazine writes about hot Cartagena and the stunning luxe hotel.

The Costa Esmeralda Airport is open and servicing flights from Liberia, Costa Rica and Managua, Nicaragua making getting to Mukul easier than ever. Mukul is more than a luxury hideaway, details in Departures magazine roundup of Extraordinary Trips That Give Back.  And from Forbes, “Nicaragua, the Undiscovered Luxury Beach Destination for Billionaires and Celebrities.”

From the new Costa Esmeralda airport, hop on a short flight to Liberia, Costa Rica to visit Villa Manzu. The eight-bedroom estate was highlighted in The New York Post’s article on Costa Rica’s Papagayo Peninsula.

In the southern hemisphere, summer is near and Vik Retreats in Uruguay are ready to welcome you.  Sister property in Chile, Viña Vik, was in the news this month. Making the cut from Latina.com for 8 Must-Visit Spots for Food, Drink & Fun in Santiago, Chile, although it is 2-hours south. Learn about the behind the scenes efforts into the winery at Viña Vik in John Mariani’s article in The Huff Post. Architectural Digest features Viña Vik in their roundup of Top 10 Hotel Bathrooms.

Further south to Patagonia, New York Post article, “Luxe-ing out in Patagonia, Argentina’s otherworldly end of the Earth” features Arakur Ushuaia.

View stunning photos of private island Musha Cay and tips from Luxury Accommodations Blog here.

Why not take a wellness break before the holidays to feel at peace ad centered ahead of the madness? From Forbes Travel Guide, Namaste a while longer: 6 resorts for yoga lovers, features Rancho La Puerta and Twin Farms. Rancho La Puerta turns 75 this year and was awarded Best in Mexico in SpaFinder’s Wellness Travel Awards. Congratulations!

Goop.com reviews Ananda in the Himalayas of India and their article sings their praises, as well as a mention of The Lodhi New Delhi.  Read, “Ananda in the Himalayas—India’s Best Wellness Retreat.”

From TravelAge West, VeraVia is featured in “A Guide to Wellness Travel Hotels in Southern California Wellness Travel in So Cal.”

We love this article by Architectural Digest – 10 Sun-Soaked Villas to Visit This Winter – featuring the grandest villas, four of which we are happy to call clients.  Matakauri Lodge, Villa Manzu, Mukul and Gili Lankanfushi.

News from the South Pacific this month features the new Brando resort.  Read about this stunning locale in Australia News, Luxury Travel Advisor, and The Daily Mail. The Brando was honored this month to receive the 2015 Virtuoso Sustainability Tourism Award.

Down to Australia, where North Star Cruises flagship Kimberly Cruise was reviewed in the Globe and Mail, “The land of ahhhs: Exploring the Kimberley, a gem of Australia’s farthest reaches.” Forbes Luxury Travel Holiday Gift Guide features travel inspiration including the same Kimberly Cruise as a gift idea.

In New Zealand, Matakauri Lodge adventure travel options  in UPROXX, “Combining Multi-Day Hikes With Luxury Lodging.” Wild Well Travel contends the luxe adventure getaway is also ideal for wellness.

News from Africa, where award winning Destination Specialist Micato announces two new South African Safaris and their 2016-17 50th Anniversary Brochure is ready.

Up to Dubai where The Palace Downtown Dubai has won best Middle East Luxury Wedding Destination at The World Luxury Hotel Awards. If you are in Dubai for festive season, do not miss this dining and entertainment guide by Address Hotels.

Glowing review from LA Travel Magazine for Gili Lankanfushi in their article which states, “…nowhere have we experienced such indulgence of our wants & desires in such a sustainable way.  More on Gili from The New York Post in their article, “Meet the Maldives’ chicest, sleekest resort on stilts.

To Vietnam where new six star luxury hotel The Reverie Saigon is reviewed in IFDM.

News from Bangkok and the boutique gem The Siam. Watch this video from Wellness Travel Journal on their experiences at The Siam including the cooking school. Get a permanent souvenir at The Siam with their tattoo program, “Sacred Tattoos at The Siam’s New Tattoo Studio,” from DestinAsian.

From Departures, “Song Saa Resort, a Beacon of Hope in Cambodia” describes what to expect from Cambodia’s first—and very sustainability-oriented—private island resort.  The Wedding Notebook ranks Song Saa at #1 in the 15 Best Honeymoon Beach Resorts in Southeast Asia and Harper Travel’s article,“Meet Cambodia’s first Private Island Resort.” Song Saa was awarded best in Cambodia in Spafinder’s Wellness Travel Awards. ‘The Best Hotels on the Planet’ from Smith Hotels in Harper’s Bazaar awards Song Saa The Eco Award.

Book your small group tour to China with WildChina, dates just released for 2016 departures. WildChina founder Mei Zhang was on a panel this month with CNN Asia Pacific to discuss China’s heritage conservation.

To the Atlantic Ocean, where Fogo Island Inn lies at one of the four corners of the world. A big congratulations as Fogo Island Inn won the Community Engagement Award at PURE. Learn more about their community commitment in this great video of Zita Cobb talking about innovation on Walrus Talks. Read more on International Traveller, who writes “perhaps one of North America’s most remarkable and interesting lodgings.”

Down to the USA, where both Twin Farms and Brush Creek Ranch were featured in Buzz Feed’s article by Side of Ginger, “12 Stunning American Hotels You’ll Want To Live In Forever.” At Twin Farms, Chef Nathan Rich spearheads a one-of-a-kind program where guests forgo menus.  More here from Brit + Co. Net-A-Porter recommends Twin Farms to reconnect with nature, Bearleader recommends Twin Farms, and Forbes Travel Guide includes Twin Farms on their list of “8 high-end hotels for literary lovers.”

Lastly, for a once ina  lifetime musical experience, head over to Hawaii where Halekulani presents Jazz Great, Count Basie this December.



The Siam in Bangkok, Thailand: A Luxury Hotel for the Senses

Traveling to Bangkok could be likened to the transition from black and white to color. The city pops in skylines that undulate between ornate temples to the heavens and the latest rooftop party pads atop design-forward feats of steel and glass. Sidewalks crowd with street peddlers selling plastic amulets blessed by monks and shoppers weighted with branded bags from Prada, Louis Vuitton and Chanel. The smell of incense and spice takes hold and suddenly you are in a swirl of possibility, a Candyland for the senses.


The Siam Experience

And that is where The Siam happens, casting certain spells on what was and what could be in an environment that is quiet and sublime enough to allow guests to take it all in.

As a celebrated urban luxury resort on the Chao Phraya River – Bangkok’s River of Kings – The Siam takes its sense of place, its sense of history and the sense of wonder that is Thailand and puts it all in one eminently experiential package.

With only 39 keys, the Siam offers a certain peaceful intimacy as each room strikes a colonial or literary vision as imagined by socialites of the last century. Those socialites would include silk tycoon/spy Jim Thompson (whose life story crescendos with his final disappearance into the jungles of Malaysia never to be seen again) and his notorious cocktail consort Connie Mangskau, once the toast of Bangkok with parties that attracted the likes of Jacqueline Kennedy, Henry Ford, John Rockefeller and Roger Moore.


The legend lives on in each room and suite filled with worldly antiques and flourishes found in the pages of Architectural Digest. It uses Thai houses initially salvaged by Thompson and Mangskau from the former Thai capital of Ayutthaya. Those historic structures were reconfigured to fit this three-acre space of prime riverfront in the royal Dusit neighborhood (the Royal Palace is around the corner) to form a restaurant, a teaching kitchen and the Siam’s top suite: Connie’s House.


The intriguing design of the Siam, at some $1.5 million per room, includes 16 Siam suites done up in Art Deco décor with interior verandahs for leisurely breakfasts and afternoon teas over the Main Residence atrium. A dozen spacious Mae Nim suites offer views of the river. Then there are the 10 villas that offer private gardens, dipping pools and open-air moon terraces. Upon request, personal butlers cater each suite. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available property-wide.


If plans call for rest and meditation, The Siam’s Opium Spa houses a yoga and meditation center — and a full array of massage and body treatments. A Muay Thai workout is accommodated in the authentic Muay Thai ring in the gym, complemented by instructors for on-the-spot lessons in strength training and weight loss. Guests may also want to immerse themselves in the 2,000-year-old tradition of Sacred Ink or Sak Yant. The Siam offers guests a tattoo retreat that will provide a permanent souvenir of their visit to Thailand.

The Siam's Opium Spa by Sodashi - DenThe Tattoo Studio in The Opium Spa offers one- to three-day tattoo retreats with at Sak Yant master, and includes a visit to Watt Bangphra, a renowned tattooing temple located about an hour outside of Bangkok, where the new tattoo can be blessed by a monk. It is believed these special tattoos are magical and bestow the wearer with mystical powers, protection or good luck.

OBQX-V1ATOFiWJBut most guests will love the lounging at The Siam. The pool and lawn provide an ageless time and place for such musings along with a front-row view of the Chao Phraya, Bangkok’s bustling river highway. The river passes by the Temple of Heaven, the chic scenes to be found at Bangkok’s latest shopping and entertainment phenom: Asiatique, the city’s many historic hotels and colonial properties and a crowded choice of shopping and dining neighborhoods. Riverboats stop at The Siam and passengers ascend the property steps for a leisurely Sunday brunch, or to sip gin & tonics over the riverfront as the sun sets.


Guests retreat to the great room at all hours to ogle antiques of their day, from valuable Lanna kingdom woodcarvings to turn-of-the-century steamer trunks. A library of oversized history, art, design and textile tomes lines the walls. All that is missing is men in white cotton suits and pith hats guiding ladies with feather chapeaus draped in ankle-length dresses.


The Siam is a member of Preferred Hotels Legends Collection and is a part of the Virtuoso collection. Rates start at THB15,223++. The property offers some tempting packages to consider, including a “stay-for-two, pay-for-one” deal for booking two nights in a luxurious, 1,400-square-foot Pool Villa with peaceful internal gardens, a private swimming pool and an open-air roof terrace. The special rate includes daily breakfast for two, butler service, a daily plate of fresh tropical fruits, and longboat shuttles to some of the city’s legendary shopping areas.


Afternoon spa packages are also available and provide the perfect day of r&r following a long trip. The package includes a 50-minute session with a personal trainer, a 60-minute massage treatment of choice, plus a Thai Set Lunch or The Siam Afternoon Tea Set for Two. The afternoon can be booked for THB6,765++ for one person or THN9,573++ for two.

Exploring Bangkok

The capital of Thailand is a city of amazement whether exploring the many temples and traditions in Thai massage, meditation and cooking, or its many malls.

As the only luxury resort to be located in the heart of Bangkok’s rarely seen palace and historic district Guests of The Siam can access most points of interest by foot, Siam Boat or short tuk-tuk ride.  Bangkok’s Old Town, Historic District and Riverside have some of the Kingdoms finest temples, monuments, museums, restaurants, markets, galleries, shopping, temples, neighborhoods and architecture. Slow travel, is the norm here where the journey is just as important as the destination.


The Siam General Manager’s Picks:

Night Flower Market (Pak Klong Talaat) and Old Town
Bangkok comes alive by night. This is my favorite night time stroll, I go at least ONCE per week. Take the night Siam River Boat to the Memorial Phra Pokklao Bridge. Stroll through a local night market on your way to the Flower Market, a short 5-minute walk. The flower market is a feast for the senses, an experience unmatched anywhere else in the world and truly Bangkok at its best. At the end of the market your pre-arranged Tuk-Tuk can take you around the gilded radiance, solitude and beauty of the Grand Palace by night to Jae Fai restaurant to enjoy the kingdoms finest street food. From Jae Fai make your way to Banglampoo for a walk along Phra Athit road and its many walking street tributaries. Looking for a bit of a party? Take a stroll down the festival like Khao San Road, the global epicenter of backpacker hedonism. Shorts and t-shirt attire recommended.


China Town by Night

Starting from the Memorial Phra Pokklao Bridge, adventure through the bright lights and frenetic action that is Bangkok’s China Town. From the bridge walk up Chakraphet Road and then left on Yaowarat Road ending at The China Gate – Odeon Circle.


China Town by Day

For those wanting to explore deeper into this fascinating and vibrant neighborhood take a walk through the tightly packed alleyways of the Sampeng Market. 

Visit Klongs, Grand Palace, Emerald Buddha, Wat Arun, Wat Po (Reclining Buddha) and a floating market (weekends only).

Get an early start for this classic journey through the most famous of Bangkok’s historic sites. Your guide and long tail boat will depart from The Siam Pier at 9am.


Marble Temple, Vimanmek Teak Palace, Dusit Throne Hall and lunch at Krua Apsorn

Get an early start from The Siam by Tuk Tuk to the spectacular Marble Temple, Wat Benchamabophit. Its then just a short walk to the Dusit Throne Hall, which houses a beautiful collection of art commissioned by the Palace. Set within these park-like grounds is the Vimanmek teak palace, one of the few palaces that you can walk around in. From there walk through the royal neighborhood back to The Siam for lunch at Chon or to the legendary Krua Apsorn restaurant.


Rambutree Street, Khao San Road and Phra Athit Road

For nightlife, markets, walking streets, shopping, cafes, bars and restaurants this area is full of fun. This backpacker haven has evolved into a bustling market and nightlife destination for trendy Thai locals as well as travelers. By day, you’ll still find it great for all things backpacker, such as cheap internet, books and travel deals. Starting in the evening enjoy walking on Rambutree Street for cafes, street side cocktail bars, boutiques and shop for almost anything imaginable — including edible insects and trendy clothes. The legendary Khao San Road will satisfy the party side with an array of nightclubs and street parties that never seem to end. All of this is just a 10-minute boat ride from The Siam and a 5-minute tuk tuk to get home.


GM Tips for Guests of The Siam

  • Don’t overload your schedule.
  • Mornings and evenings are best for exploring the neighborhood
 and the middle of the day is best spent in The Opium Spa, poolside or perhaps taking Muay Thai lessons in The Siam’s kick boxing gym
  • Stay out of taxis and use The Siam River Boat to access points of interest along the river. The boat runs on a fixed schedule and can drop off and pick-up guests anywhere along its route. Once you arrive at The Siam you never need to get into a car until you leave The Siam.

Ask questions: most people don’t know about the riches of Old Bangkok so let us help you plan. That’s what we are here for.


The Siam

Thanon Khao,Vachirapayabal
Dusit, Bangkok, 10300,
(+011 662) 247 0123


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.


Visiting Nicaragua Now Easy with a Stay at Mukul

Best things about visiting Nicaragua? That’s easy: Getting there is easy, only three hours from most U.S. Gateways to Managua. Being there is safe. Visas for visiting Nicaragua are issued on the spot upon arrival, no fuss, no muss with embassies and consulates. And visiting Nicaragua is timely. Nicaragua, is described these days as what Costa Rica used to be before the crowds. And now it harbors one of the best boutique beach resort options in the Western Hemisphere: Mukul Resort on the Pacific’s Emerald Coast.


And easy just got easier. To get to Mukul on the scenic southwestern edge of the country, you have to take a two-hour drive or half-hour helicopter flight from Managua International Airport. As of November 2015, however, private flights, be they ATR-42s, ATR-72s, Gulfstream V jets and most turboprop planes, are able to fly right into the new Costa Esmeralda Airport at Guacalito de la Isla, just minutes from Mukul. Flights are also offered to and from Liberia, Costa Rica. The 5,000-foot landing strip will take your breath away – for it’s beauty.


Mukul is the next cool place, luring such Hollywood icons as Michael Douglas and Morgan Freeman since opening its doors in 2014. But its location makes it all the more compelling. Nicaragua is just emerging into the bounty of travel and tourism with beaches untouched and unseen by outsiders, with people friendly, curious and trusting, with new resort concepts that are creating buzz beyond the borders. Mukul is not only Nicaragua’s pre-eminent luxury resort, it is also the first and it is attracting an international jet-set interested in being first and invested in brining back bragworthy experiences. They will find them here.


Mukul became the passion of Nicaraguan industrialist Carlos Pellas, whose family goes back generations in developing rum, cigars and a swathe of industries in media, healthcare and trade. The Stanford Business School graduate saw potential beyond spirits and commodities, focusing his vision on the pristine beach areas and natural beauty along the Pacific coast. Pellas has not only created Mukul on these scenic cliffs, but a complete residential community where golf, hiking, good living and resort spirit come together at Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa at Guacalito de la Isla.


Mukul: Distinctively Nicaraguan

Mukul is distinctively Nicaraguan with a precious layout of 37 keys in exquisite bohios and cabana villas along 1,670 acres overlooking the ocean. The beaches here are part of Nicaragua’s Emerald Coast, an up and coming mecca for surfers and long a spot for spectacular Pacific sunsets.


As Mukul is the Mayan word for “secret” the spot is a good place to hide, while taking in some of the local treasures: good rum, cigars (Nicaragua attracted many Cuban cigar makers after the revolution on that island in 1959. Award-winning cigars are now a staple in the region), coffee, grass-fed beef and art. The local culture of skilled crafting and art is evident the minute you step into Mukul’s rarefied world. The accommodations and public spaces are filled with furnishings made by local villagers and craftsman and from sustainable woods found in the nearby jungles. Sustainability is a big word at this resort and runs through the food, the infrastructures, the design and the activities.

Hiking at Guacalito

Mukul and Environmental Vision

Pella’s $250 million vision incorporates every aspect of environmental interest. No trees were cut down for construction; trees were planted; soil is conserved and recycled; turtles are protected; villagers are included in plans and purpose.

An 18-hole golf course designed by David McLay Kidd (Bandon Dunes and the Castle Course in St. Andrew) anchors the resort and residential development with a meandering beachfront fairway that did not destroy trees and plunder the native growth – plants and trees from the region were transplanted to areas that needed it while the natural beauty took care of the rest.


The resort is surrounded by Nicaragua’s untouched wonders: dozens of volcanoes rise from the terrain, several of them active. Howler monkeys shout from the trees. Colorful birds and wildlife become part of the Mukul immersion.

 Mukul: Secret Pleasures

While enjoying a vacation of guilt-free resort luxury, guests can take inward journeys afforded by the Mukul Spa. This is not a spa in the classic sense. You won’t find a group sauna or steam room here, or the lockers that usually complement such a facility. The spa is actually six different spa “casitas,” where guests receive private treatments according to the theme of each casita — Secret Garden, Hamman, Rain Forest, Crystal Temple, Healing Hut and Casita Mukul. Each spacious casita offers treatment tables for two, an aqua circuit (for example, enjoy a salt-water soaking session in the Rain Forest casita) extensive indoor and outdoor relaxation areas. Guests can try Thai massage and Ayurvedic ritual, experience a Turkish/Moroccan-style hammam with Middle Eastern body scrubs, or immerse in a “secret garden” Watsu. Casitas can be booked for three hours or for a full day and contribute to some of the serious enjoyment to be had at Mukul.


Other pleasures are of the epicurean kind. The Pellas family made its name on Flor de Caña, one of Nicaragua’s flagship products. The premium rum begs to be tasted the Pellas way – in special tours and tastings offered by Mukul.

A trip to the Flor de Caña rum distillery combines nature, adventure and fun as guests are taken by helicopter to the distillery’s location at the foot of the San Cristobal Volcano, surrounded by miles and miles of sugarcane. The 123-year-old Chichigalpa Ingenio San Antonio, may well distill the best rum in Central America. It’s a full day trip that brings in spectacular views, explorations of the Nicaraguan countryside, an entirely new perspective on rum and lots of sipping and tasting.


Food, too, is an important addition to the Mukul experience. La Cocina NiKul prepares dishes with local ingredients with a menu offering Mexican, Italian, French, Mediterranean and even Asian accents. On the menu may be lobster and sweet corn soup, corn gnocchi, basil and vanilla bean custard and steamed black mussels with coconut water, cilantro and special Flor de Caña Gran Reserva rum. The chefs will source the valuable Nicaraguan grass-fed beef and use produce grown by nearby farmers, and fish caught by fishermen in the neighboring villages of Gigante and San Juan del Sur.

011037-10-casona don carlos

Dishes can be prepared for a romantic dinner on the beach or a perfect family picnic. Or time can be spent at nearby villages, exploring the streets and dining like a local. Regional favorites are gallo pinto (fried rice and red beans mixture), nacatamals (pork or chicken tamales) and caballo bayo (a buffet of traditional delicacies spooned onto homemade tortillas).

Small delights to be enjoyed during a stay at Mukul: Macuá, the national drink of Nicaragua made with guava and citrus juices, semillas de marañon (otherwise known as cashews) that are roasted in a wood-fired oven. Instead of potato chips, snacks served here are green plantains and yucca. Try the Nicaraguan corn-and-cheese crackers called rosquillas, usually enjoyed with a cup of hot coffee. Then there are the delightful cajeta candies made with coconut milk, yucca and sugar.


In celebration of life, if not the brand new airport, Mukul is offering two package options.

“Emerald Coast Explorer” package introduces guests to the best of the coast with rounds of golf at the beachfront Guacalito Golf Course and pampering spa treatments using native ingredients at Spa Mukul. The package is inclusive of daily breakfast, two bottles of Nicaragua’s own Flor de Caña Rum, air transfers from the international airport in Managua, and ground transfers from Costa Esmeralda Airport to Mukul. Rates start at $769 per night for a minimum four-night stay, available through December 31, 2015.


Ongoing: Book 4 nights and receive a complimentary 5th night with daily breakfast for two at La Terraza; round-trip ground transfers to and from Managua Airport; two 200ml bottles of Flor de Caña Rum “Extralite” and “5 Aged Years Añejo Clásico”; use of private gym, complimentary high-speed wireless internet and use of on-property golf cart. Available for booking now until December 15, 2015 and from April 1 to November 1, 2016.



Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa
Guacalito, Nicaragua
(+011 505) 25 63 71 00


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

The Top 100 Resorts in the world by readers of Conde Nast Traveler was released this week and several of our hotels made the cut. Congrats to The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek in Wyoming, the #2 resort in the world and #1 in the USA for the second year in a row. Condado Vanderbilt takes #4 in the Caribbean and Central America and wellness properties Lake Austin Spa Resort and Rancho La Puerta make a good showing. The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs is a perennial reader favorite and the new Mukul Resort in Nicaragua makes the list as well.  View full list.

Wellness travel is on a steady upswing. Industry experts weigh in; this piece by wellness guru Anne Dimon in Travel Market Report, features quotes our president, JoAnn Kurtz-Ahlers.

More news form our wellness collection includes a roundup from CNN of “10 of the world’s best hotel spas” featuring Chiva-Som and Rancho La Puerta.  A writer visits Ananda Spa from The Sunday Guardian for a quick weekend, read about her wellness experience. Then get to know award winning Lake Austin Spa Resort through the words of writer Jaime Ratliff.  From Conde Nast Traveller UK, Chiva-Som is rated the Best destination spa for 2015, “… at the heart of Chiva, are its deeply intuitive therapists – among the best anywhere.”

Take an adventure to Papau New Guinea with North Star Cruises. Get inspired by this review from Luxury Australian Travel Trade.

The Brando private island resort has been showered with awards and accolades since its opening just last year. Winning a world-class reputation for its combination of ultra-luxe exclusivity and outstanding ecological credentials, this paradise of the Pacific Islands has fast become a favorite with the most discerning of travelers. Reviewed by ITC Luxury Travel.

Shandelle Battersby from The New Zealand Herald gets a taste for the finer things in life at Cape Kidnappers in Hawkes Bay. Sister properties Kauri Cliffs and Matakauri Lodge listed in Conde Nast Traveller’s roundup of the 18 best New Zealand Lodges.

Song Saa Resort’s accolades keep coming. From Elle Canada, Song Saa private-island resort in Cambodia balances luxury with generosity. From Harper Travel, “The Magic of Song Saa: An Idyllic Cambodian Private Island Resort.” The island also makes a few lists this month: The World’s Most Amazing Overwater Villas, Forbes, “6 Amazing Floating Villas and Overwater Bungalow Hotels,” this list of Luxury Yoga Resorts, and 10 of the best luxury eco retreats in Asia. Listen to founder Rory Hunter explains what Positive Luxury means to him, from Positive Luxury.

Destination Specialist WildChina announces their newest journey outside of China to Myanmar. Now is the time to visit rapidly emerging Myanmar. Dive straight into the heart of a country where the tourist buses are yet to arrive and a religious, gentle population is excited to share their culture.

Traditional Sak Yant tattooing in Thailand is an art, and Hollywood stars have inspired an influx of Aussies taking traditional Thai tattooing retreats, offered at The Siam in Bangkok.

The world’s largest overwater villa is expanding & will be even larger. Gili Lankanfushi’s Private Reserve will be ready for guests Nov. 15th.  Gili Lankanfushi and Six Senses Laamu make the list from A Luxury Travel Blog for “3 of the most awe-inspiring water villas in the Maldives,” and Gili Lankanfushi along with several Six Senses Resorts make this list from CNN for “21 of the world’s coolest outdoor cinemas.”

More news from Six Senses Hotels & Resorts from the newly opened Six Senses Douro Valley, on the cover of HOTELS Mag this month and the surrounding area written about in National Geographic.  Check out the resorts gorgeous new photos. Six Senses Con Dao in Vietnam reviewed by The Luxe Insider and Country & Town House adds rave reviews. Macaron Mag reviews Six Senses Yao Noi  in Thailand, awarding it as a 2015 Editors’ Choice Winner.

The Galapagos Islands are among the most precious places on Earth. What building challenges does this present? Ecuadorian architect Humberto Plaza talks to Kath Hudson about designing eco-hotel Pikaia Lodge.

Vik Retreats in Uruguay offering a three day Craftsmanship Travel Experience, read about it in the New York Times.

Mukul’s new Costa Esmeralda Airport is set to open November, 2015.  5 Outrageous New Journeys for Adventure-Lovers from Coastal Living Magazine features Mukul, Iceland and Fogo Island Inn. Mukul was also featured in Wild Well Travel and Forbes this month.

Up to North America and to the far northeastern corner where Fogo Island Inn continues to be in the news. Departful writes, “Fogo Island Inn has created space for international visitors to connect with place and self.” The Chronicle Herald article entitled, “Fogo Island: Finding ways to celebrate a gift of birthplace,” and The Globe and Mail, includes Fogo in their list of, “Six of the world’s most innovative and stylish buildings.” Read this Q&A with founder Zita Cobb in The Slow Road, and from Mother Nature Network, “10 luxury hotels in the middle of nowhere” features The Serai in India, Fogo Island Inn, and Cape Kidnappers, New Zealand.

To the south and west, Twin Farms leaf season is nearing its end.  Plan your trip for next season as Forbes Travel Guide agrees, Twin Farms is an ideal spot to, “Namaste a While Longer: 6 Resorts for Yoga Lovers.” Luxury Travel Magazine includes it on its list of “Best Romantic Fireplace Destinations,” and Michael Kors divulges his essentials for fall in the New York Post, which includes a trip to Twin Farms.

Over to Israel, where The New York Post calls The Norman, “Tel Aviv’s hippest, hautest hotel…”

Down to Dubai where Departures Magazine list of where to stay in Dubai includes The Armani Hotel Dubai and The Address Downtown. A spa review on The Armani Hotel Dubai declares, “Armani’s spa in Burj Khalifa stands tall among rivals,” and The Palace Downtown was awarded “Best Men’s Spa” at The Middle East Pool and Spa Awards 2015.

Over to India where several SUJAN Luxury hotels and tented camps are readying for the busy season.  Read up on Jawai in this guest review from What’s Worth It.  Learn about the golden city of Jaisalmer and a stay at The Serai from BRIC Plus Magazine. Read about all four properties in an article by Forbes Life, “Redefining the Business of a Lavish Stay with India’s SUJÁN Luxury.”

In Jaipur the collections crown jewel, The Rajmahal Palace reviews abound: Elle India, House and Garden explores “Jackie Kennedy’s Favorite Place to Stay in Jaipur,” and Travel Plus Style’s list of “50 Hottest Luxury Hotel Openings of 2015” includes The Rajmahal Palace plus several new Six Senses Resorts.

May November include a relaxing getaway before holiday season begins!


Pikaia Pampering: Luxury meets Sustainability in the Galapagos

If there is such a thing as luxury lodging in the Galapagos it can be found in at Pikaia Lodge. A stay at Pikaia is a vacation like no other, delivering the finest show on earth that evolution has to offer in fully inclusive packages that put guests in the center of rare natural splendor untouched by humans.


Pikaia: Dreaming of Darwin

The Bible to be read is not Gideon’s but Darwin’s Origin of Species – many going extinct rapidly in this current era of planet overuse. But in the Galapagos it is possible to experience all time at once – active and sleeping volcanoes, tortoises and avian life found nowhere else in the world, amongst an archipelago far from the driftings of outside influence . At Pikaia lodge this panoply of nature plays out around 14 spacious accommodations, each with floor-to-ceiling views of nature and very little else.


To stay at the luxury-loaded Pikaia Lodge is a rarefied experience that was not available up until last year, a project many years in the making. The lodge was the brainchild of Herbert Frei, an Ecuadorian-Swiss investor with a passion for the environment. Swiss hospitality experts adept in highly advanced environmental management oversaw the design.


Nothing is easy within this ultra protected, UNESCO-marshaled part of the world. There were permissions and permits to be granted and building requirements so restricted it makes most undertakings on these islands prohibitive. And that is a good thing because the result is Pikaia remains a unique experience without parallel in what can only be described as the last true Garden of Eden.


Pikaia Lodge sits on 77 acres at the edge of Ecuador’s Santa Cruz Island – a 4.5-hr flight from Miami to Guayaquil, Ecuador and then a 90-minute flight to Baltra Island. This journey is followed by a 10-minute ferry ride to the island port and an hour drive from there to the lodge. Getting to Pikaia Lodge requires commitment, but the effort is rewarded with every vantage and every choice of how you spend your time.


Luxury Lodging in the Galapagos

Every room has panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows and private shaded terraces for breathtaking unobstructed views across the Galapagos National Park to the Pacific. Peruvian travertine provides a white stone sheen to these quarters with shower areas that open onto views of the ocean. Rooms measure a minimum of 650 square feet and are afforded all the refined amenities of a luxury property with the exception of biodegradable organic bath lotions. But the flat-screened TV and DVD player, the iPod dock, the Wifi and room service allow guests to miss none of their favored conveniences while so far from urban settings. But a step onto the private terrace under a star-filled night is an easy reminder that catching an HBO episode might not be the highest of priorities.


The materials used in the building of Pikaia allow for the furthering of a guilt-free stay in the Galapagos. The buildings were created from concrete, travertine, glass, recycled steel, bamboo and sustainably grown South American teak. Minimalism, not surprisingly, is the architectural motif that allows the buildings to play second fiddle to the grand eternal performance of nature.


The lodge sits atop an extinct volcano and enjoys the weather such a location can bring – sunshine to cool precipitations with the mere wave of a breeze. But the stunning infinity lap pool is on tap for those warm days when the sun’s reflection smiles in the still glass of the water’s surface.


Private Yacht in the Galapagos


For most days, however, guests are going to opt for the eight-stateroom, 100-foot yacht that carries a maximum of 16 guests and navigates island to island in flexibilities and times that ensure Pikaia’s guests do not intersect with the vessels and tour companies carrying volumes of tourists through these island wonderlands.

Sailings happen daily and include visits to blue-footed booby habitats, frigate bird mating grounds, seal pup and Galapagos penguin frolicking waters (and yes, you swim with any creature interested in playing with you), and all manner of colorful lizards and iguanas that might have been described in Darwin’s findings. It’s hard to believe that Darwin spent five weeks exploring these inlets and islands in the mid 19th century, especially as you relax to a gourmet lunch with wine, then a snooze and a shower in the yacht’s private quarters as you navigate the natural treasures of these islands.



Animal encounters are inevitable in the Galapagos. They have been protected from humans and the threat of humans and that fear is not in their DNA. And while the guardians of the Galapagos permit no intentional encounters by humans and no touching by humans (you have to stay at least six feet away from the fauna during your explorations), what the animals do on their own is quite another story. Curious, they do come up to people to figure them out. However, the temptation to touch and pet, even then, must be kept at bay. Click here for a wildlife calendar.


Dining and Delights at Pikaia


Back on Santa Cruz Island, the explorations continue on foot to habitats where the lumbering 450-pound Galapagos tortoise seems to outnumber any human population there. Best time to see them is during the cooler Garua Season from July to November, when the property gets shrouded in mist and the wild tortoises migrate from the arid zone up to wetter, cooler Pikaia for grazing.


Tired travelers can have their pampering in the Pikaia spa, where they can relax in a sauna to release the accumulated toxins of travel and soak in a whirlpool affording180- degree views of the ocean. A favorite treatment is Pikaia’s body rub that uses volcanic Galápagos mud to cleanse the body, followed by a rhythmic and hypnotic shamanic massage.


Activities are punctuated by moments of perfection served up in meals at the Evolution Restaurant. Here, Ecuadorian and Peruvian culinary traditions fuse with European touches of creativity. The room is airy and open with wide views of the landscape. Fesh local products are used in the menu: organic beef, suckling pig, chicken, catch-of-the-day fish, lobster and jumbo shrimp. Romantic candle-lit alfresco dinners can be delivered under the stars by the infinity pool. Wines, too, get their due from Evolution’s tempered walk-in wine cellar preserving superb Malbecs from Argentina, and renowned Chardonnays and Carmenéres from Chile.


Rates at Pikaia come in three- to seven-day packages that include just about everything but alcohol, flights and that delicious mud massage. Those rates start at $ 7,560 for two, $5,280 for one (Ecuador uses the U.S. dollar for currency).



Pikaia Lodge
Barrio El Camote
Santa Cruz Island
Galápagos, Ecuador
(+011 593) 4371 1670


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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Condado Vanderbilt Suite Offer

With a wonderful and storied history, San Juan’s Condado Vanderbilt has been a Puerto Rico landmark since 1919. Envisioned by Frederick William Vanderbilt, the hotel has played host to the island’s most esteemed visitors, including Charles Lindbergh, Errol Flynn, Bob Hope, and President Franklin and Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt. Unveiled on December, 2014, the cherished hotel is restored to its former glory and offers 319 opulent guest rooms and suites, a tranquil full-service spa, fine dining at 1919 restaurant and intimate nightlife at Vanderbilt Court and Premier guest services.

Until December 20th, offer includes:

30% off suites

15% Spa Treatment

15% Ola Restaurant

 Pool - main pool at dusk with bottom lights


Terms & Conditions

2 night minimum restriction, discount does not apply to Alcoholic beverages. Travel window is from Sept 1, 2015 through Dec 20, 2015

Learn More

Upgrade Offer at Cortona Gem – La Corte Dei Papi

The autumn season is arriving and Tuscany is even more beautiful than ever, the perfect moment of the year to enjoy the sightseeing of our medieval Villages, admire the soft hills that have a mix of extraordinary colors , small local markets that offer the seasonal fruits and vegetables, the local wineries have just finished the new harvest and they are more than glad to open them for a visit and have a taste of the Tuscan “ Novello.” For the cooking enthusiast, individual cooking experiences are offered. If you wish to experience Tuscany in the most unique way, La Corte Dei Papi is a cozy and Romantic countryside Relais just outside the beautiful City of Cortona.


CdP_2013_086Each of the nine Spa suites are dedicated to the balance and wellness of guests, offering a unique experience with relaxing touches. A crystal Turkish bath & multisensory showers with aromatherapy, chromotherapy and music therapy options. Massages and wellness treatments are done in the privacy of the Suite, with treatments tailored to suit guests needs.


After relaxing in a magical atmosphere, you are ready to delight your palate at our Gourmet restaurant, housed in what was the originally the wine cellar of the house and it maintains the integrity of traditional Tuscan cooking with a modern twist. The Chef prepares everything fresh daily including, bread, pasta and desserts.


Contact david@lacortedeipapi.com  for bookings until November 30th to receive a complimentary room upgrade.


La Corte dei Papi Information

The Private Reserve – Privacy, Space & New Facilities at the World’s Largest Overwater Villa

Gili Lankanfushi, named the Best Hotel in the World by TripAdvisor in the Traveller’s Choice Awards 2015, is about to get even better. The resort’s amazing Private Reserve – the largest overwater villa in the world – has been upgraded, making it more dazzling than ever.


SonevaGiliSunloungersStanding alone in the middle of a sparkling turquoise lagoon, 500 meters from the resort and only accessible by boat, the spectacular sprawling villa takes privacy and luxury to another level entirely. The closest neighboring villas are 300 meters away, allowing guests to relax in total seclusion.


An incredible 1,700 square meter space, the luxurious three-bedroom hideaway offers the utmost in natural chic, with its wood and glass design complementing the breathtaking Indian Ocean views and flooding the villa with light through floor-to-ceiling windows.


SGPrivateReserveEntertainingDayNight2As part of an extensive renovation program, a new 63 square meter fresh water swimming pool has been added overlooking the lagoon sunrise side. With a vast sun-deck and shaded pavilions, access is via wooden walkways from the master suites, as well as the main lounging area. There will also be a Jacuzzi within the pool, the perfect spot for sundowners.


“The beautiful pool adds an extra dimension to the Private Reserve, a wonderful alternative for those who prefer fresh water to the sea – and it’s obviously unaffected by the tides,” said Steven Philips, General Manager of Gili Lankanfushi. “We also wanted to make the most of the deep channel right in front of the villa, so it was built without having to disturb any of the local ecosystem.”


A spacious new en-suite bedroom has also been added to one of the two master suites – ideal for families. But as each suite is the same size as the resort’s huge Crusoe Residences, there’s still ample room for total privacy for friends. There are further bedrooms for two live-in Mr Fridays (private butlers on call 24/7 to cater to every whim), or if this is not desired, some guests opt to bring their nannies, secretaries or bodyguards.


Other improvements include a new library and study for any business needs, complete with an en suite bathroom and large comfortable lounging beds. A shower room is being added within the gym and fresh new furnishings throughout the villa.


Guests at the Private Reserve can relax in the ample indoor and outdoor living and lounging spaces, and soak up endless views. There’s a private spa with sauna and steam room for all pampering needs and a state-of-the-art cinema for film screenings of their choice. A wide water slide from the top deck into the lagoon adds to the fun.


When it comes to dining, quality and imagination are key. A personal chef will plan tailored meals using produce from the resort’s organic vegetable and herb gardens. Choice abounds from Michelin-quality fine dining to BBQs and more casual eating – served in the open top-floor dining room or at cushioned round tables close to the ocean. The wine cellar and bar are stocked to individual tastes too.


content_11105_1And, of course, all the facilities of the main resort are just a short boat-ride away, whether guests use their personal motorized boats or enjoy a chauffeur driven water taxi with their Mr Friday.


All Private Reserve bookings include exclusive transfers on the resort’s sumptuous new 14-metre luxury yacht for the 20-minute journey from Male’ airport. Guests also have use of it for an additional day – perhaps for a fishing outing around the local atoll or a private snorkeling trip with the resort’s own marine biologist.


For those who value true privacy, luxury and the space to enjoy it, there really is no place like the Gili Lankanfushi Private Reserve.


The Private Reserve will re-open on 15th November.


Private Reserve Rates / night range from $11,000-$23,630. Plus local government taxes. Room-only basis. The Reserve sleeps up to twelve people.


For bookings contact: reservations@gili-lankanfushi.com or +960 6640304


Learn more


Gili Lankanfushi Information





In Search of the Ultimate Luxury Beach Resort in Costa Rica: Villa Manzu

Finding a luxury beach resort in Costa Rica need not be a task for an upscale Indiana Jones. Luxury beach resorts in Costa Rica can be as brand-stamped as a lovely cliff-side Marriott overlooking Herradura Bay, to an extraordinary Four Seasons spread about an entire peninsula, to a hidden jungle-shrouded mansion just steps from the sea.

Aerial Manzu 21_1

Villa Manzu is just such a luxury beach resort in Costa Rica, a hidden gem set off from the quaint and charming resort town of Liberia and within throwing distance to the Four Seasons at Peninsula Papagayo. That means, that no desire needs to go unfilled at Villa Manzu.

And while every resort needs a key feature that sets it apart from the rest of its class, for most luxury beach resorts in Costa Rica that factor is simply: the beach. At Villa Manzu, guests will find much more than sparkling waves and a white sand expanse fanning out from the palms. They will find a home, call it an estate, with eight suites overlooking Costa Rica’s glittering north Pacific coast.


Private and self-contained, being an estate apart has its privileges. At Villa Manzu guests come as individuals, as families, as wedding parties, as C-suite executives and incentivized performers, and as friends. They find 30,000 square feet of interior spaces to roam, as well as jungle paths to explore and a private beach to play.

Bar 3
Each suite has its own allure – call it African, Moroccan, Indian, Balinese or Pre-Columbian — and motifs seem to flow into one another amid gathering places: family rooms, entertainment areas, terraces, the bar. Suites maintain their own special comforts. Spacious and open, they range from king and queen bed suites to twin and fun bunkrooms for the children in tow. They each come with oversized televisions, a minibar with morning coffee service, as well as walk-in closets detailed with Costa Rican hardwood and full bathrooms that are suites in themselves with tubs and showers finished in onyx, marble and custom tiling.  And each suite is serviced by a personal butler, part of a dedicated team that includes waiters, bartenders, a concierge and a personal chef .

 1 Bedroom b

Yoga? In the morning on the cliffside yoga platform terrace make refreshing salutations to the sun. Gym? At Villa Manzu, the cardio and muscle building equipment is primed and ready. Views? 180 degrees of pure blue bliss. Cigars with the perfect Patron or fine wine? Name your preferences and check out the dedicated wine and cigar room.

 Wine room

Meals make up some of the magic moments at Villa Manzu. Chef Mariano Fernández takes requests and creatively handles all, whether low-carb, gluten-free, or special treats. Spiny lobster dishes and inspired cerviche might be considered musts at the Manzu.

And while relaxing amid the views and the pools may, indeed, be time well spent at Villa Manzu, this is Costa Rica where nature’s wonders are in full splendor. Activity hosts are at the ready for lessons in paddle-boarding, hiking, diving and snorkeling. Sessions with the yoga instructor and walks with the onsite naturalist might be the easiest way to start a Costa Rican adventure at Villa Manzu. But then there are hidden waterfalls and beach coves to find; hiking trails to meander, exotic bird species to track and world-class golf rounds to consider. If it can be dreamed, chances are Villa Manzu’s dedicated concierge can arrange it, onsite or off, for experiences that will last a lifetime.


Villa Manzu in Guanacaste

Villa Manzu is well located to manage the conveniences that can smooth the experience of travel. It is in the province of Guanacaste (referring to the wide and flamboyant “ear trees” to be found) about 40 minutes from the international airport in Liberia and in easy reach of the anchoring city of the same name housing some 50,000 souls. The city is an old one, dating from Spanish colonial settlements, and is known for its charmed whitewashed constructions built from the white sands that characterize the stones in this region. A central plaza opens to boutiques and cafes and museums that make sojourns to Liberia an engaging and fun activity.

Meanwhile, the regions around Villa Manzu are ripe for exploration.

* Bird watching: Costa Rica is home to more than 850 species of native and migratory birds and bird-watching tours abound.

* Barra Honda Caves: Visit the underground caves at Barra Honda National Park.

* Nicaragua: Costa Rica’s northern neighbor is just around the corner from Liberia and provides a worthy destination for a day trip across borders.

* Palo Verde National Park: Search the riverbanks for monkeys, crocodiles, and rare birds on a nature cruise through the Palo Verde National Park.

* Miravalles Volcano: Drive through the Guanacaste mountain range with views of the dormant Miravalles Volcano. The volcano hasn’t been active in a long time but it continues to expel gas and geysers near its base, geo-thermal activity that is now used to produce energy.

* Arenal Volcano: The Arenal is one of Costa Rica’s most major natural wonders. It’s an active (and some say picture-perfect) volcano and it opens to the country’s largest lake. The mountains here are carpeted rainforests alive with animal and plant diversity.

* Tenorio River: Take a rafting tour through the Class 3/4 rapids of the Tenorio River and enjoy the area’s lush scenery.

* Rincon de la Vieja National Park: Hike through the bountiful Rincon de La Vieja National Park with an experienced naturalist guide.

* Santa Rosa National Park: This is one of Costa Rica’s oldest parks and has a surf spot called Witches Rock that believed to be the best surf spot in the country. The 12,000-acre park is also home to the Hacienda Santa Rosa monument (also called the La Casona) and museum that memorializes the local peasant army that took down William Walker and his mercenaries.


Back at Villa Manzu

A relaxed vacation at Villa Manzu is hardly a vacation with nothing to do. Guests have their run of the Villa’s water and land sports amenities: kayaks, surfboards, bicycles, golf carts.  There’s a movie library to tap; hammocks to stretch and staff to arrange zip lining or other unique adventures.

 yoga at the point

Heading to Costa Rica

This region of Costa Rica, the Peninsula Papagayo, has its seasons and the wet season, or green season, runs from late May to November but usually brings quick and dramatic afternoon rains and leaves morning sunny and dry. The warmer and drier times to visit are November to April. The temperature is usually over 85 degrees year-round.

Airlines serving Liberia (LIR) from U.S. gateways: Alaska Airlines, JetBlue, Delta, United, Southwest, WestJet, Copa.

Exterior Deck 6
Villa Manzu officially sleeps 22 guests but is available at $16,500 per night as an all-inclusive experience for 14 guests (additional fees for extra guests) with a three-night minimum (seven-night minimum during holiday weeks).


Villa Manzu
Peninsula Papagayo
Costa Rica
(+011 949) 200 8086


KAA News Roundup

Wellness is in the news this month, and a recent survey shows 86% of travel agents foresee growth for wellness travel in 2015, and our collection of luxury wellness properties is a good place to start for your next healthy getaway.

Ananda is in the news this month with a review by Miss Spa Spy, Little Black Book Bangalore, and National Geographic India. For an in depth look at Ananda, check out this 2-part article from Luxe in a City. Part One / Part Two.

The secret is out! Lake Austin Spa Resort makes Andrew Harper Travel’s Top US Hideaways for 2015. For more info, see Livingly’s Travel Bucket List:  Here’s why we want to relax and be pampered in Texas. Lastly, fashion and wellness merge in Neiman Marcus “Style Series” at Lake Austin Spa Resort, starting November 12th.

Six Senses Resorts & Spas are well known for their innovative approach to wellness throughout their resorts. Read about the newly opened Six Senses Douro Valley in Portugal in Departures, “Incredible Fall Travel Destinations“ and the upcoming harvest time. From Forbes Life, check out “Wine Country Vacation, Reinvented: Six Senses Douro Valley.”

More news from Six Senses, this time down to The Maldives and Travel Squire’s review on Six Senses Laamu. The Spa at Six Senses Zighy Bay in Oman was voted # 1 by Conde Nast Traveller Readers’ Travel Awards. And Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain in China is set to use Tesla Model S electric vehicle for airport transfers.

More Six Senses news from Thailand’s Six Senses Yao Noi and Vogue Magazine’s article, “A Hidden Oasis Due East of Phuket.” More from Holiday Runway, “Six Senses will always have our hearts and there is no end to our future returns to this property and our future visits to that of others.” It is no wonder Six Senses Yao Noi was voted No. 5 in the world’s top hotels from Conde Nast Traveller:

From Harper Travel, The Lanesborough has reopened its doors after an extensive renovation, and it is simply stunning.  James Sherwood’s Discriminating Guide to London agrees, “…like greeting an old friend who’s had the most marvelous face lift.”

This fall head to Mukul where Departures Magazine’s roundup includes “peak surf season” for Nicaragua and the beachfront Mukul resort is not to be missed. Mukul also makes lists this month for both World’s 10 Sexiest Beach Resorts and 7 exceptional Family-Friendly Vacations. For Golfers, Golf Magazine lists Mukul among “9 Amazing Spas for Post-Round Pampering,”and from USA Today, “10 Golf Courses with Epic Views.” Mukul is also a good fit for wellness junkies and design fans. A new yoga retreat is available any time and Architectural Digest included Mukul in their list of The Best Oceanfront Hotels.

Over to Pikaia Lodge in The Galapagos, where the giant turtles are in plain view around the property in their annual migration to the highlands. The hotel has been called the Hottest Hotel in this list of The Ultimate Luxury Travel Hot Spots. From The Huffington Post & Gayot, The World’s 5 Best Extreme Hotels describes Pikaia as, “eco-adventure meets urbane luxury at this architecturally stunning resort.”

Down to Chile where the new Viña Vik has been in the news.  From Departures Magazine, “A Design, Wine, and Art-Centric Escape to Chile’s Vina Vik.” From The Venue Report, Bathtub Bucket List: 26 Beautiful Bathtubs from Hotels around the Globe.  Exciting news from Swide and their list of Five of the World’s Best Hotel Restaurants, including Viña Vik.

Up to San Juan, Puerto Rico, where the renovated Condado Vanderbilt receives deserved praise this month. From Destination Magazine, Why The Condado Vanderbilt is the Exclusive Place for Destination Weddings, and from Prestige Meetings, why the hotel is perfect for meetings.

To the United States, where fall foliage is coming soon to Twin Farms, as well as a November Writer’s Workshop with Amy Bloom Nov 15-18. The Smith Hotel awards has nominated Twin Farms Treehouse Cottage for Sexiest Bedroom in the world, vote here. Twin Farms was also named to Andrew Harper’s Annual Reader’s Choice Awards list as #10 in the world of Top Food & Wine.

Further east and north to Newfoundland, Canada, home to Fogo Island Inn on one of the edges of the earth, and recipient of a well-deserved spot Andrew Harper Travels Reader’s Choice Awards. This accolade is evidenced by the following press mentions: Smith Hotels editor details her unique end-of-the-earth honeymoon, and AFAR Magazine includes Fogo in their roundup, “Pinterest Worthy Hotel Rooms.” For more background, read this Q & A on Hotel News Now with Fogo Island Inn founder Zita Cobb on why the hotel looks to the social aspect of business over the monetary returns. This video narrated by Ms. Cobb includes the beautiful scenery plus the mission behind Fogo Island Inn and the joy in the small details.

The new Reverie Saigon opened on September 1st and was featured on Leading Hotels, “Leading Lobbies.”

Over to Cambodia, where Song Saa’s overwater villa was nominated for Sexiest Bedroom in the world by Smith Hotels. The philanthropic arm of this luxury resort, Song Saa Foundation, deserves praise as well, earning Top Rated Non-Profit for 2015 by Great Non-Profits. Prestige Hong Kong’s Next Big Thing calls Song Saa’s Founders “The Next Adrian Zecha.”

To India, where The Lodhi New Delhi was rated a Top 5 Asian City Hotel by A Luxury Travel Blog. Travel, food & wellness writer Jia Singh shared her experience of a day spent The Lodhi on Wandering for Wellness.

In Bangkok, The Siam was featured in “Thailand by Design” article in Coastal Living, and received a nomination for Best Dressed Hotel by Smith Hotel Awards.

Destination Specialist WildChina can get you off the beaten track with their new tour through Laos and China, “Jewels of the Mighty Mekong.”

A beautifully written article in Travel + Leisure on Israel luxe travel by Daphne Merkin features a bit on the new boutique hotel, The Norman Tel Aviv.  She ponders how Israel has always been a place of pilgrimage—for history, faith, politics, and partying. But now that first-rate hotels, globally celebrated chefs, and forward-looking design are on the rise, can the country establish itself as a destination for more urbane pleasures?

Down to New Zealand, where all three lodges are in the press this month. Read about Matakauri Lodge in Forbes Life, A Room With A View: 10 Hotels To Love.  Matakauri Lodge also made the list for 26 beautiful bathtubs on Venue Report. It is no wonder Matakauri Lodge was nominated for Best Dressed Hotel by Smith Awards.

Sister property Kauri Cliffs made the list on Harper Travels Reader’s Choice Awards for Top International Hideaways.  Cape Kidnappers is on USA Today, 10 Golf Courses with Epic Views.

Another South Pacific gem in our portfolio is The Brando.  The humpback whales are visiting and so should you.  Check out this beautiful video. Three wonderful articles this month on The Brando are all worth a read.  Forbes Life, Luxe in a City, and The Dallas Morning News.

To end this roundup, one more mention of all the great awards from the month.  The following hotels and resorts all made Andrew Harper’s Reader’s Choice Awards: Kauri Cliffs, Twin Farms, Lake Austin Spa Resort, Fogo Island Inn, Halekulani.  See full list here.

Town & Country Magazine also released a list, “The T&C Travel 100: The Best Hotels in the World.”

In the New Hotel Category, Rajmahal Palace and Viña Vik made the list. For Romantic Beach Resorts, Gili Lankanfushi and Song Saa made the list.  For Best Remote Hotels, The Brando, Six Senses Laamu, and Fogo Island Inn made the list. Congratulations! May you find wonderful travels this fall.

For added inspiration, look to these 20 wonderful itineraries by Travel + Leisure that include Iceland, Nicaragua and Fogo Island Inn in Canada.