Personal recommendations

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‘No news, no shoes’: that’s the only rule at Soneva Jani in the Maldives, surrounded by crystal clear waters and lush coral, this is the Maldives at its most magical. Spacious luxury water villas boast striking design, some even complete with water slide and retractable roof. Of course, activities are aplenty; watch classic movies from the overwater cinema, indulge in a variety of treatments at the spa, star-gaze from the observatory, dive over-board on a snorkeling excursion and discover colour-popping coral or experience the crowd-pleasers including ice-cream, cheese and chocolate rooms. 




Crossing the dramatic wooden bridge to the entrance set above the lush Ayung River Valley guests of this majestic resort will discover a harmonious balance of space and spirit, a mere fifteen minutes drive from the centre of Bali’s cultural heartland. Freestanding villas with private plunge pools enjoy a private setting in the gardens or the riverbank. Dining experiences encompass Indonesian specialities at Ayung Terrace, or sample the al fresco casual fare at the Riverside Café where the menu showcases produce from the resort’s own vegetable and herb garden. Cool off in the large two tiered swimming pool, dissolve tensions and rebalance a sense of well being at the Spa. Those in a more active mood can enjoy pursuits such as cycling, Balinese cookery class, garden tours and guided trekking through the surrounding hills and rice paddies.



Is this the ultimate safari pad? Set on the Laikipia plateau overlooking Mount Kenya, Segera Retreat offers a truly unique experience. Guests will marvel at The Bird’s Nest – the latest addition to the retreat. Set high above the ground, it offers the unique concept of nesting and sleeping like a bird, with a 360 degree birds-eye-view of the surrounding wilderness. Quirky dining venues include the former stables where modern artworks now adorn the walls and the wine cellar housed in a water tower. Bush picnics, nature walks and camel walks are arranged at guests’ convenience, while the pool and spa beckon to those who are keen to simply relax and unwind. 




Set in a pristine white wilderness just 8km from Rovaniemi – the ‘official’ home town of Santa Claus – the hotel features luxury pod-style rooms and suites, raised on stilts to ensure views over the snow-clad forested terrain from the north facing wall-to-wall windows. It provides a welcome touch of Finnish quality with warm wooden interiors, cosy fur covered furnishings and amenities, while arctic glass houses complete with sauna offer a distinctive way to stay. A few minutes walk away, guests can feast on local bistro-style fare in restaurant Rakas. Enjoy the potential for spectacular northern sky views from your suite, or get out and about with a full range of Arctic adventures from dog sledding and ski trekking through forested trails to watching the indigenous Sami reindeer herders at work.

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