Cryo Cold In The Desert
At Ritz-Carlton Ras al Khaimah Al Wadi, 40 minutes drive from Dubai, awake in a 1,600 sq ft tented villa. Look over a totally private pool – you set its temperature – to undulate desert, gazelles, and oryx. There’s sunrise yoga and full-moon camel riding. Spend hours in an indoor rainforest. Sixteen stations include cryo cold, scented sauna and ankle-boosting walking baths.
No Place Like Rome For Christmas
It’s not too late for Christmas by the Vatican, above, and New Year with fireworks and La Familia. Thanks to a changed itinerary, Windstar’s boutique Star Legend sails from Rome to Barcelona on 24-31 December. One hundred fifty-six suites, 277 sq ft up, plus balconies. Looking ahead, Star Legend will then zigzag the no-tourist winter Mediterranean through March. Escape the cold back home.
Cashmere In Cannes
What to wear, Mediterranean out of Summer heat? Anything, as long as it’s black. Along Cannes’ Corniche, the location of every top brand and those wearing that gear, the ultimate Winter woolly must be Loro Piana’s cashmere polo necks. Puffer jackets or long coats are essential, ideally Michael Kors or Moncler. Long boots or Gucci sneakers with thick rubber soles.
Soni Shivdasani, the Oxford grad who created the Soneva brand, opened his latest Maldives baby, Soneva Secret 2024, on 9th February. Fourteen villas – smallest is a 4,822sq ft Beach Hideaway. All have private pools, gyms and spas – and wine cellars with 150 wines by the glass. There are also private chefs, deliberately from different countries but interchangeable, so if your villa’s culinary wizard is Italian, you can still dine Chinese.
Bejeweled By Italy
Pair the words jewellery and Florence, and the aesthete awakes. Alchimia Contemporary Jewelry School offers short weekend courses in copper electroforming as well as lengthy Masters in finest silversmithing. All materials provided. Design and make your heirloom. Stay at Four Seasons Hotel Firenze for style plus memorable immersion in Italian arts. Bedroom #712 has a sensational carved and painted ceiling and an 18th-century ceramic floor. Meditate in acres of mystical gardens, ideal inspiration for jewellery design
In Paris, there’s eclectic art from all over at Lafayette Anticipations in Le Marais - the 19th-century building has been re-conceptualised by Rem Koolhaus. Anticipations shows art belonging to the Houzé family, the main owners of Groupe Galeries Lafayette. Currently featured is US-born pop artist Issy Wood.
Aman is already considered a leader in luxury lifestyle. The 25-year-old brand, which started with the evolution of Adrian Zecha’s Phuket home into a getaway resort, is now, led by Vlad Doronin, exploding with offerings. As well as resorts and city Aman hotels, a second brand, Janu, will launch in Tokyo in early 2024. Aman sells residences, furniture and beauty products. It has a private members club in New York. In partnership with Cruise Saudi, it is working on Aman at Sea (can Aman in the Air be far behind?).
As a break from the usual ski pad at Courchevel 1850 or wherever, stay at Sir Richard Branson’s private Lodge in Verbier. The cuckoo-clock building has nine bedrooms plus a bunkdown for up to six kids. Indoor pool and indoor and outdoor hot tubs. Michelin-trained chefs and it’s all inclusive, alcohol too. Unusually, it’s taking single-room bookings rather than total buy-outs.