Category Luxury

The place to be

The Swiss village of Gstaad is a luxurious getaway for celebrities and Hollywood A-listers.

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In the 1960s, TIME magazine summed it up when describing it as “the place to be”. Gstaad, a small settlement in the municipality of Saanen, south-western Switzerland, had already attracted personalities such as Grace Kelly and Roger Moore. Others included David Niven, Peter Sellers and Elizabeth Taylor. They fled to the Alps to escape busy lives.

Half a century later, little has changed. The village’s high-life society today includes people such as Roman Polanski, Mick Flick and Bernie Ecclestone. One writer called it ‘Monaco with snow’ which is entirely appropriate...

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Idyllic island

From ‘agrotourism’ to serene walks, coastal biking trails and ancient ruins, Cyprus offers more than its size suggests.

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The history of Cyprus may involve its fair share of turbulence, but contemporary visitors are likely to discover an environment of tranquillity. The 9,250-square-kilometre island (3,500 square miles), the third largest in the Mediterranean after Sicily and Sardinia, is a haven for beach holidays, but also for slow, mind-clearing walks along the coastline. Also on the menu are biking, archaeology and rustic resorts. Action-packed adventures will have to wait: here, it is all about taking it easy.

The island’s arch-typical selling point is that of sandy beaches and scorching heat...

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Sleeping with the fishes

Dreaming of spending a night underwater? For a hefty price, the Poseidon Undersea Resort could make that wish come true.

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Submerged sleep has mainly been a fantasy reserved for cartoons and comic books. But the prospect could in fact enter reality. Outside of a private island in Fiji, located inside a lagoon, the so-called Poseidon Underwater Resort facility is at some point supposed to be lowered into the water. It will primarily be a series of cells capable of resisting water pressure, and in which guests can sleep. They will be 70 per cent transparent, enabling visitors to observe life underseas.

The creators of the project claim it will be a ‘seven star’ facility, but although the notion of luxury is clearly high on the agenda, it is hardly the chief selling point...

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All at sea

Far out into the North Atlantic Ocean, an archipelago of nine islands offers a secluded getaway for relaxation and natural activities.

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When Plato in 360 B.C. wrote of the ‘Sea of Atlantis’, a group of scientists believe he referred to the Atlantic Ocean. Citing various theories and recovered material, they insist the Azores is at the exact location of Atlantis, the fabled island Plato said was swallowed by the sea 11,000 years ago. The current settlement, they argue, is based on the mountain tops of the lost civilisation.

Whatever is true, the nature of the Azores does possess a mythical element...

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Lavish feast

The Carnival of Venice was once an extravagant centrepiece for the rich and festive. Since its revival in 1979, its role is has been truly restored.

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If you had a fortnight left to live and wanted to spend your last pennies on a feast of joy and indulgence, you could do worse than attending the Carnival of Venice. For 11 days, people enjoy the finest of food, wine and entertainment; some with a guiltless smirk concealed only by the symbolic Venetian masks and costumes. Elegant balls, gala dinners and private parties are enjoyed in hotels and private suites to the backdrop of the San Marco Square – with artists and musicians providing entertainment well into the morning hours. ‘Luxury’ per se doesn’t quite do it justice...

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A healthy blend

With its tropical islands of secluded beaches, exotic marine life and cool hideaway resorts, Malaysia’s cultural mixture is best enjoyed in luxury.

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There’s an odd yet wonderful sense of variety about Malaysia. From Kuala Lumpur’s giant Petronas Twin Towers fronting the capital city’s high-tech business-like nature in the west, to tribal villages pinned on wooden stilts in the east, the country’s contrasts are remarkable. But that nicely typifies Malaysia, a cultural melting plot where diversity is reflected in everything from food to architecture and heritage.

While it is now among the region’s foremost tourist destinations, Malaysia’s tourism has boomed only recently...

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