NEW HOTEL IN THE TUNISIAN SAHARA DESERT
Tunisia is set to see a resurgence in 2020. Situated in the south west of Tunisia in the Sahara Desert, Anantara Tozeur Resort opens in January. Mirroring the surrounding landscape, the resort design is a contemporary interpretation of Tozeur’s 3000 BC period medina architecture.
The 50 desert view rooms and 43 one, two- and three-bedroom villas are set in clusters around landscaped courtyards and the interiors interweave Berber patterns and North African furnishings. Every detail, from marble floor patterns, inlaid timber screens and traditional fret-cut lighting to artwork and handicrafts highlight Tunisia’s rich heritage.
Making the most of its location in the world’s largest desert, Anantara Tozeur Resort can arrange trips to remote canyons such as Mides Canyon, to the surreal Chott el Djerid salt pan and top oases with thousands of date palms. They can also arrange activities including dune bashing and camel riding and shopping trips to Tozeur’ s sleepy 14th Century medina characterised by the traditional geometric brick designs of the Tozeur architecture.
NEW MANOR HOUSE IN PRIVATE VINEYARD IN THE, PAARL VALLEY, SOUTH AFRICA
A newly restored manor house and private vineyard has just become available for exclusive rental. Brookdale Estate, sleeping 10, is located in the Paarl Valley under the Klein Drakenstein Mountains, an hour from Cape Town. Unusually for the region, the vineyard is not open to the public so guests have 27 hectares of vines all to themselves.
The manor house has been completely rebuilt as faithfully as possible to the designs of the original Cape Manor house, which was pulled down in the 50s. The interiors are light and contemporary in design, with modern art by local artists and yellow wood and stinkwood furniture made by local cabinetmakers.
Guests can become immersed in the vineyard with a viticulture tour with the estate’s 27-year-old winemaker Kiara Scott, join in harvesting the grapes during harvest season and sample the wines with pairing menus prepared by the chef.
The chef will tailor menus using local, seasonal ingredients and meals are served in different settings around the estate, including picnics in the vineyard and fine dining in the cellar surrounded by barrels of wine produced on the estate. All wine is included in the price.
NEW RESORT IN SOUTH EASTERN MALAYSIA
Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas is launching on Malaysia’s south-eastern coast in January. Opening up the Johor Bahru coast to luxury tourism, the resort is on a 17-kilometre sandy beach facing the South China Sea. Just one hour and 45 minutes’ drive from Singapore, this opens up a new beach stopover destination on long haul flights from the UK or an ideal twin centre holiday with Singapore.
Inspired by traditional Malay buildings, Anantara Desaru has 123 rooms, one- and two-bedroom villas and large three- and four-bedroom residences all in low-rise buildings that overlook the gardens, ocean and pool. Facilities include Sea.Fire.Salt, a specialty grill and seafood restaurant with alfresco courtyard and beachside dining; an all-day dining restaurant offering local Malay, Asian and international fare; an observatory bar overlooking the ocean and an infinity beach pool bar.
NEW SKI RESORT IN THE DOLOMITES, ITALY
Lefay Resort & SPA Dolomiti is about to embark on its first ski season. The spa and ski eco resort opened softly in August in the ski resort of Pinzolo, within the ski area of Madonna di Campiglio. With its 150 km of slopes, 4 snowboard parks and a single ski pass valid for the entire ski area, Madonna di Campiglio is the biggest ski area in Trentino.
The resort’s 5,000 sqm spa, is one of the largest wellness areas in the alps making it perfect for post ski relaxation and pampering. Highlights include a whole floor dedicated to treatments and rituals with more than 20 treatment rooms, a pool area featuring a swim in/ swim out pool that is heated all year round, an adults zone with indoor pool and the innovative Energy Therapeutic World that is composed of 5 areas with different types of saunas, steam rooms, salt lake and relaxation areas.
Sri Lanka is tipped to be a hot destination for 2020. The country is safer than it has ever been thanks to new security measures put in place by the government, and at the same time, it is an excellent opportunity to see many of the sites without the crowds while the country is getting back to previous visitor levels. The tour operator Yonder has created a number of new exclusive experiences, including culinary tours led by locals in Colombo and Kandy, an adventure tour taking in surfing, cycling and climbing Adam’s Peak and an experience for children to learn to be a park ranger in Gal Oya National park. “We have found the market to be extremely resilient and are increasingly optimistic following a recent upsurge in enquiries and bookings for 2020.” says Nico Kostich, Yonder’s Founder.
THE ANDAMAN ISLANDS
Increasingly people are looking for a complete antidote to their busy lives. Specialist Asian tour operator Yonder are finding more people are interested in visiting the remote Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Indian Ocean, where there is no wifi or mobile signal. A three hour flight from India and two hour boat ride brings guests to the barefoot castaway Havelock Island, where the beaches are known by numbers rather than name.
Jalakara is an informal boutique eco lodge set inland on a former banana and betel nut plantation with just six stylish rooms and one private villa. Guests are encouraged by the British owners to reconnect with themselves and log on to the beautiful tropical surroundings and the analogue pleasures of zero pollution, hassle free beaches and the great outdoors. There is a pool overlooking the jungle, a little spa and superb diving can be found just a short drive away. The food at Jalakara focuses on fresh produce and seafood found on the Andaman Islands.
With the opening of Anantara Iko Mauritius on the south east coast of Mauritius, this less developed corner of the island is set to have its moment. Most of the international resorts are in the north and west of the island and the south east remains relatively untouched. It has some of the region’s richest history, creole culture and is amplified by nature with the best national parks and conservation on the island.
Just 15 minutes’ drive from the resort is Mahebourg, the first capital of Mauritius, known for its local market, museums, fortifications and the historic battles between the French and British. Guests interested in flora and fauna can visit nearby nature reserve ‘Ile aux Aigrettes’ which is leading the way in Mauritius with conservation efforts by the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation and the Blue Bay Marine Park, which has over forty different species of coral including some of the largest spheroid shaped brain corals ever found in the Indian Ocean. The 164 room resort opened officially this month on Le Chaland Beach with a 30-metre ozone-based swimming pool, one of many sustainability initiatives which are incorporated in the property.