Posted Thursday, Feb. 06, 2014
Up a Tree
Providing panoramic views of the bushveld from the canopy, Madikwe Safari Lodge in South Africas malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve will debut a new treetop suite next month, giving families a closer-to-nature perch. The open-air treehouse sleeps four in canopy beds and provides a bathroom with running water for the plushest possible sleepovers in the wild. Guests have a radio to contact rangers if necessary, and although the inky darkness, sparkling stars and sounds of nocturnal creatures will make you feel worlds apart, the main lodge is only a short stroll away. Africa Adventure Consultants books the Swiss Family Robinson-style suite on set and custom safari tours. 866-778-1089, www.adventuresinafrica.com.
A Gilded Kiwi Cottage
American financial titan Julian Robertson owns three of the top lodges in New Zealand The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers and Matakauri Lodge and maintains a lavish home, available for rental, at the former two locations. Now hes built the Owners Cottage at Matakauri in Queenstown, too, but dont let the name fool you. This $5 million cottage houses four bedroom suites, a full kitchen and six outdoor living areas with mesmerizing views of the Remarkables mountain range and Lake Wakatipu. Local touches include custom furniture and wool carpets made by costume designers who worked on the Lord of the Rings films. Rent it for about $10,000 per night; 011-64-3-441-1008, www.matakauri.co.nz.
Fabergé by Appointment
Marking the post-revolution return of the famous bejeweled eggs to Russias Imperial capital, the new Fabergé Museum recently opened in St. Petersburg. The restored 18th-century Shuvalov Palace showcases Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselbergs 1,500-plus collection, including nine Imperial eggs picked up from the estate of the late Malcolm Forbes. Master jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé created the elaborate Easter gifts at the behest of czars from 1885 until the 1917 Bolshevik overthrow. Visiting the museum requires an appointment, best arranged by Exeter International. The Russia specialist offers private tours of the museum as well as other exclusive experiences, including behind-the-scenes tours of the Mariinsky Theater and the Hermitage Museums storage rooms. 800-633-1008, www.exeterinternational.com.
St. Patricks Stay
Forget green beer. Celebrate St. Patricks Day in style and in situ at two of Irelands top resorts.
Ballyfin Demesne in rural County Laois, near Dublin, is a 600-acre, 15-room estate that offers a two-night holiday getaway March 16-18, over St. Patricks Day. In addition to tours of the lavish 17th-century estate and outdoor activities like cycling, fishing and falconry, guests can learn to make Irish coffee and then enjoy musical entertainment that includes a post-dinner private piano concert one night, and traditional Irish music the next. $1,088 per night, double occupancy; 011-353-57-875-5866, www.ballyfin.com.
<< Ashford Castle, a 13th-century resort near Galway, will reopen mid-March after a renovation of eight of its grandest suites. Each uniquely decorated suite features antique furniture, custom carpets and spacious marble baths. Red Carnation Hotels, which purchased the castle last year, aims to reinvigorate the County Mayo landmark by fortifying stonework, building a new tea library and sprucing up the 350-acre estates walled gardens, tennis courts and falconry center. Rooms from $530; 800-346-7007, www.ashford.ie.
Pop-Up St. Barths
There are few islands that rival St. Barths for seasonal fanfare. Where A-listers go on the petite French isle, pop-ups follow. Through April, Eden Rock St. Barths (855-333-6762, edenrockhotel.com) hosts a pop-up shop from the French label Each X Other. Artists Robert Montgomery and Blair Chivers, who are part of the resorts Art and Text show at the adjoining Eden Rock Gallery, have contributed items to the temporary boutique, including T-shirts with phrases like Here Comes Everybody, gray jeans with text that wraps around the legs, and leather motorcycle jackets. And across the island, the Hotel Saint-Barth Isle de France (011-590-590-27-6181, www.isle-de-france.com) holds a pop-up champagne lounge each month featuring the biggest champagne houses, such as Dom Perignon and Moët & Chandon, in rotation.
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