Posted Wednesday, Jul. 03, 2013
BEACHESThe Cove Eleuthera, Bahamas
Be Here First: This former classic Bahamas getaway on the Out Island of Eleuthera was devastated by Hurricane Irene in 2011. But two years later, with the help of New Orleans developer Stanley Torres, who also helped clean up New Orleans after another better-known storm, The Cove is back. The room count has essentially doubled, from 24 to 50 guestrooms, but the amenities have increased apace, including a new 110-foot infinity pool. New cottages span the worldly and the local, from Sferra linens and Molton Brown bath products to woodwork crafted by local carvers and carpenters. Lead butler Kezang Dorji, who formerly catered to the needs of Keith Richards and Donna Karan, sets service standards high. The resorts two pink sand beaches remain a perennial summer destination. Rooms from $229. 888-776-3901; www.thecoveeleuthera.com.
You Need: This patent-accented satchel from Toss Designs delights as a roomy carry-on (it comes with a detachable shoulder strap), but easily doubles as a beach bag thanks to its quick-drying canvas construction ($192, P.S. The Letter). Theres certainly enough space for this chic Mara Hoffman bikini ($216, Lane-Knight).
Mashpi Lodge, Ecuador
Be Here First: Sincerity meets chic in the new Mashpi Lodge, a 22-room glass box dropped eco-sensitively among the lush and living 3,212 acres of Mashpi Rainforest Biodiversity Reserve, just over two hours drive northwest of Quito. A virgin stretch of the Choco-Darien forest, the bio-diverse hotspot is home to ocelots, monkeys and some 500 species of birds, including dozens of species found nowhere else. The setting is ultra-wild expect to get muddy during hikes, though the lodge provides rubber boots and guides spray them off on your return. But the lodgings are the civilized opposite. The chef prepares Ecuadorean chocolate tastings, local fruit-infused martinis await after a hike and a glass-enclosed Jacuzzi offers the opportunity to bask in the wild indoors. Rooms from $1,296 per person for two nights. 972-907-0414; www.mashpilodge.com.
You Need: Nothing says jungle glam like Guccis cross-body canvas pouch. Its spacious enough for every essential, including Mountain Hardwears Ghost Whisperer hooded rain jacket, which weighs just 2 ounces ($165, Backwoods), and the zippered closing deters curious monkeys ($495, Neiman Marcus Ridgmar).
Cresto Ranch, Colorado
Be Here First: Glamping, or glamorous camping, hits record highs at the new Cresto Ranch in Colorados San Juan Mountains near Telluride. Eight luxury tents come equipped with soaking tubs in the en suite bathrooms, a gas heating stove, alpaca wool blankets on downy beds, framed artwork and photography on the canvas walls and a front deck. In place of chow around the fire ring, a refurbished 19th-century farmhouse houses the restaurant serving Western cuisine such as locally sourced elk, trout and beef. Work it off fly fishing, horseback riding, rock climbing and rafting. Each tent comes with two supplied mountain bikes for off-road touring. Take them a flat four miles down the road to sibling resort Dunton Hot Springs to steep in the signature pools. Rooms from $1,400, all-inclusive. 877-228-4674; www.crestoranch.com.
You Need: Inspired by the majesty of the San Juan Mountains? Write about it in one of these beautiful blank journals (hemp, $10.95; leather, $12.95, Barnes & Noble) with an exquisite Acme pen set, inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, that includes both roller ball and fountain pen assemblies and cartridges, all contained in a decorative wooden box ($250, P.S. The Letter). And when it comes to an elegant dinner, nothing dresses up casual flannel quite like a chunky silvertone cuff ($38-$48, Anthropologie).
Be Here First: The threat of global warming has for hearty earth-huggers inspired niche travels to see the arctic ice before it disappears. With few roads and innumerable icebergs, Greenland delivers, but only in the briefest of seasons. Explore the habitable edge of the island with Norway-based Hurtigruten, an arctic specialist that offers Greenland itineraries June through September. Port calls if you can call them that visit remote settlements skirted by passing icebergs. Hike precipitous mountains in view of dozens of hanging glaciers. In the endless arctic night, watch whales at midnight from the fore lounge. And stand on deck as looming icebergs drift, released in their short summer hiatus. Nine-day cruise from 5,087 euros (approximately $6,637) per person. 866-552-0371; www.Hurtigruten.com.
You Need: Cruise past icebergs in style and comfort with Marmots wind-resistant Polartec jacket with Thermal R insulation ($170, Backwoods). These rimless, hingeless titanium sunglasses from Maui Jim boast a patented polarized lens for an optically correct, distortion-free view thats as clean and crisp as the arctic air ($309-$319, Backwoods).
Be Here First: The Dutch capital celebrates the 400th anniversary of its canal system this year with parties and tours. But its the museum renaissance here that deserves a toast. Ten years in the remaking, the Rijksmuseum just reopened with Rembrandt van Rijns The Night Watch posted in its original position but all other aspects of the museum reordered to streamline the 1885-vintage building, now with a new glass-clad Asian Pavilion surrounded by a reflecting pool. The contemporary Stedelijk Museum next door features a canted extension molded from materials used to make yacht hulls, fronting the original 1895 building. Overnight at the new Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht, a 122-room canal-front stay in the historic heart of town screening works by 40 video artists. Rooms from 300 euros (approximately $391). 011-31-20-523-1234; www.andaz.com.
You Need: Whether youre walking or pedaling, these fabulous Prada cork-heeled flatforms are the perfect choice for day and night ($990, Neiman Marcus Ridgmar). This leather and polycarbonate carry-on case from Ducati by Tumi is the ultimate in Euro-inspired travel luxury and its practical, too, with a fully lined interior filled with multiple zippered pockets and tie-down straps ($995, Neiman Marcus Ridgmar).
Be Here First: San Francisco hardly needs to prove itself to travelers. That, in fact, is its greatest risk, as international tourists queue up endlessly for Alcatraz, cable cars and sourdough. But the cultural wealth of the City by the Bay has reached new heights with several openings, including the Bay Lights, a constantly changing light installation covering 1.8 miles of the Bay Bridge by artist Leo Villareal. See it after a concert at the new 700-seat SFJAZZ Center, an intimate custom-built venue programmed with world-class stars starting with local hero Tony Bennett and home to a restaurant by chef Charles Phan. Sleep it off at the new Hotel Zetta, a SoMa (South of Market) rehab with a kicky attitude, including a mezzanine game room with a pool table, tabletop shuffleboard and video games especially popular during the complementary evening wine hour. Rooms from $220. 415-543-8555; www.viceroyhotelgroup.com/zetta.
You Need: From a day at San Francisco Bay to an evening filled with jazz clubs and wine bars, these glittery, glamorous Jimmy Choo sneakers work in any setting and they make it so easy to hit those hills, you wont need to wait for a cable car ($465, Neiman Marcus Ridgmar). San Franciscos cool air is a terrific excuse to break out this colorful, linen-blend Theodora & Callum wrap ($175, Neiman Marcus Ridgmar). These charming wicker evening clutches from J.Crew pair perfectly with a summer sundress or evening ensemble ($88 each, J.Crew).
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