In partnership with: Carrier
6 January 2020
To help with your decision, luxury tour operator Carrier presents The Rich List, a curated edit of bespoke experiences that will provide you with a wealth of experiences to recount for years to come. Fifty hotels have been divided into five categories that tap into a different travel trend, whether you’re seeking a digital detox, an eco-conscious escape, a wellness retreat, a cultural awakening or simply time spent with your loved one. Each experience is designed to be life-enriching, from a painting class under the guidance of an acclaimed British artist to a yacht charter complete with a private chef and Holistic Spa Therapist. Here’s our pick of the best trips for 2020.
A Digital Detox
The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Modern technology means that the world is at our fingertips. Maps, local guides and recommendations are just a push of a button away, but it also means the office is just as easily accessible – and unavoidable. For a digital detox, look to Qualia Australia for true escapism. Located on Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays and surrounded by the splendour of the Great Barrier Reef, this serene escape is as far from city life as you could hope for. Everything about Qualia is designed to keep you horizontal – from the beach terrace to the tranquil library and extensive spa facilities. Just don’t forget to put your Out of Office on.
Kruger National Park, South Africa
Deep-rooted in conservationism, Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge in South Africa has been tipped as the most environmentally-sensitive safari lodge on the continent. Boasting all the trappings of a five-star retreat – think state-of-the-art spa, private plunge pools for each of the 13 suites and a well-stocked underground wine cellar – the hotel has been moulded into the earth and designed to complement the surrounding bushveld. Game drives allow you to see this wondrous landscape and its fascinating inhabitants in all their glory.
Nyungwe Forest National Park, Rwanda
Rwandan drummers mark your arrival to one of the most famous tea plantations in the country, Gisakura. Here, perched within a thriving million-year-old rainforest is an eco-retreat, One&Only Nyungwe House, where conservation runs through its very core. Contribute to the monthly nationwide initiative ‘Umundaga’, helping local communities flourish through planting new trees, helping to build new schools and tending to animals.
Holistic Health Treatments
At Trisara in Phuket, no less than six hands deliver the hotel’s signature massage, a treatment designed to settle your body’s energy using oils, herbal compressions and the intuitive skills of three spa therapists. Hidden in the jungle that surrounds the hotel, this sanctuary delivers a spa experience like no other, inspired by the restorative spirit of nature and rooted in traditional Thai healing practices. Post-treatment, retreat to the private beach for cocktails on the sand.
Winter getting the better of you so far? Follow in the footsteps of beauty experts and wellness gurus with a visit to boutique spa Como Shambhala Estate retreat in Begawan Village, a 15-minute drive away from Ubud. With a distinctly back-to-nature approach, wooden-framed buildings, open balconies, nutritious meals and lush views are sure to ease any frantic minds. The Estate runs a number of retreats throughout the year, with visiting yoga teachers and meditation masters – Eat Pray Love much?
An old-school gem amongst Singapore’s establishments, Raffles Hotel has been serving Singapore Slings, charmed countless celebrities and been leading the pack since opening in 1887. Following an extensive renovation, the hotel’s grand colonnade, exquisite suites and verdant gardens are looking sharper than ever before. With such an illustrious past, it’s almost obligatory to spend a night at Raffles – so much so that the playwright Somerset Maugham was compelled to write: “Raffles Hotel stands for all the fables of the exotic East”
Originally built for Oman’s Sultan Qaboos, Al Bustan Palace in Muscat is a dramatically regal building located in the foothills of the Al Hajar Mountains. The building is breathtaking and hard to leave, but no trip is complete without discovering some of Muscat’s fascinating cultural spoils. Just 10 minutes away are some of the city’s most important heritage sites, from the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque to the Jabal Shams, a.k.a the Grand Canyon of the Middle East. Don’t head out without asking the concierge team for their top tips.
Le Saint Géran, Mauritius
So romantic is One&Only Le Saint Géran that even its name alludes to starry-eyed lovers – Le Saint Géran was a ship that sank off the coast that is popularised in the legend of Paul and Viriginie, otherwise known as the Romeo and Juliet of Mauritius. This paradisiacal palace was one of the first hotels on the island when it opened in 1972, and today remains a favourite among visitors, more than half of whom have stayed before. This loyal clientele returns for the pristine sands, enviable roster of water sports and the state-of-the-art spa. For peek romance, ask for a table for two on the candlelit jetty, where your private butler will serve you dinner under the stars.