Indagare Adored 2013

We launched the Indagare Adored list three years ago with ten incredibly special properties—places that defy categorization but excel at one thing: making guests feel transported. This year twelve addresses made the cut.

Arizona: Mii Amo

Adored For: A sacred, healing spa experience.
Ideal for a solo trip or as a visit with friends or family, Mii Amo, a luxury resort outside Sedona, Arizona, leaves guests effusive—and replenished. Mii Amo, which means “journey” in a Native American language, focuses on one’s personal journey to health and wellness. The sixteen spa casitas and suites are decorated with a Southwest aesthetic and minimalist furniture for a sleek, soothing atmosphere. Spa programs last either three, four or seven days, and the surrounding red rocks provide ample hiking opportunity, so guests can be as sedentary or active as they please.

Chile: Cliffs Preserve

Adored For: Simple luxury in incredible nature.
Set on six miles of coastal beach and backing on temperate rainforest, Cliffs Preserve Patagonia is a dream come true for outdoor enthusiasts and wildlife lovers, as well as families and couples. The hotel has left the surrounding terrain untouched, and guests are encouraged to explore the great outdoors on horseback, take a boat ride to a sea lion colony, and celebrate the rural beauty of coastal Chile through photography and culinary tours of the property’s organic farm. Should the blustery cliffs turn chilly, ensuite fireplaces, hot tubs and the serene spa are an indulgent remedy.

India: The Lodhi

Adored For: A retreat in bustling New Delhi.
Located in one of Delhi’s greenest neighborhoods (where the Delhi Golf Course is also found), the Lodhi exudes serenity. Public spaces are at once grand, with huge glass walls overlooking water features, and warm, with plush seating areas and a hushed ambiance. The pièce de résistance is the personal plunge pool that comes with each of the forty rooms, along with a double chaise longue upholstered in beautiful woodblock prints. Also exceptional is a visit to the Lodhi spa, each of whose treatment rooms has its own shower, steam room, bathtub and chaise.

Lake Como: Villa d’Este

Adored For: Understated glamour.
Villa d’Este, on the southwestern edge of Lake Como, is revered by Italians and foreigners alike for its excellent service, divine views and sumptuous accommodations. Built in the 16th century for a private family, the villa is surrounded by twenty-five acres of gardens as gorgeous—and historic—as the public spaces. Meals at Verandah are princely affairs, while the more relaxed Grill is a favorite among guests, thanks to its alfresco setting on the lake.

Mexico: One & Only Palmilla

Adored For: A mix of glamour and laid-back.
Part family-friendly retreat, part adult playground, the One & Only Palmilla maintains a balance between casual and chic, mostly thanks to the welcoming and caring staff. The twenty-five lushly planted acres contain lavish guest suites with breathtaking views of the Sea of Cortez. Two notable stars: the extravagant four-bedroom Villa Cortez and famed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who oversees all of the property’s dining options.

Mozambique: Vamizi Island Lodge

Adored For: A remote pristine getaway.
About seven miles long and a fraction of that wide, Vamizi Island, off the coast of Mozambique, offers a cozy hotel, soft white beaches scattered with turtle nests and only the freshest fish to eat. But the focus here is on the sand, the sea and the creatures that live in the clear blue waters; the snorkeling and scuba diving in this area are world-renowned.

New York City: The Lowell Hotel

Adored For: Discreet luxury.
If you want to live like a local on the Upper East Side, check in tothis welcoming hotel on East 63rd Street. With excellent service (the concierge can arrange for theater tickets and babysitters) and tasteful upscale interiors featuring muted color schemes and mahogany furniture, the Lowell will make even the most footloose traveler feel at home.

New Zealand: Kauri Cliffs

Adored For: Unforgettable views and top golf.
The cottages at Kauri Cliffs comprise two suites, each consisting of a small entryway leading to a large bedroom with a fireplace and sitting area that opens onto a private porch looking over the gleaming Pacific. Those views were what prompted Julian Robertson Jr. and his wife to snatch up this stretch of land along the New Zealand coastline in 1995. When Robertson, an avid golfer, first saw the 4,000-acre farm and the way it hugged the cliff, he thought it cried out for a golf course, and the luxurious lodge soon followed. Golfers from around the world have flocked to the Dave Harman–designed championship course since it opened, but even nongolfers enjoy the cozy living quarters and abundant activities.

Seychelles: North Island

Adored For: Romantic, barefoot luxury.
North Island blends seamlessly into the unspoiled landscape of the Seychelles (the country’s slogan is “as pure as it gets”), providing the ultimate tropical escape for guests. The eleven guest villas, all roughly 5,000 square feet in area and built by Seychellois craftsman from local wood, stone and thatching, are set on stilts, making them delightfully breezy. Couples will appreciate the emphasis on privacy; guests can pull a rope across their villa entrance for peace and quiet. Equipment is available for biking, hiking, kayaking and snorkeling, and divers can explore part of the world’s longest coral reef whose abundance of marine life has earned it the nickname of the Galapagos of the Indian Ocean.

South Africa: Royal Malewane

Adored For: A lavish safari experience.
Royal Malewane is a jewel of a property in Thornybush, a private game reserve in Kruger National Park, which means that off-roading is allowed and wildlife is plentiful. Composed of a main lodge comprising nine suites and Africa House, a private six-bedroom villa, the property is full of personality and supremely pampering. The staff seems to intuit your every desire: hotwater bottles and fleece blankets appear in the Land Rovers on chilly mornings, and unending delicious snacks flow from the kitchen.

South Africa: Tswalu Kalahari

Adored For: A tailor-made safari getaway.
Nicky and Strilli Oppenheimer’s 13-suite lodge, Tswalu Kalahari, meaning “new beginning,” exists “to restore the Kalahari to itself.” Because of the family’s trailblazing conservation efforts, visitors to the luxurious designer property are free to explore and admire this precious corner of the Kalahari Desert, with its black desert rhino herds, 380,000-year-old cave drawings, meerkat and aardvark colonies and dramatic Korannaberg Mountains. Unlike at most lodges, guests set their own schedule, so a predawn game drive can be swapped for a Champagne breakfast in bed or a spa treatment. The Oppenheimers’ own five-suite lodge, flanked by two mountains, is available to rent, as is the very special sleep-out deck, for slumbering under the stars.

Tennessee: Blackberry Farm

Adored For: The perfect culinary weekend.
This fabled farmstead retreat in Walland, Tennessee, lures laureled chefs and enlightened bons vivants, many of whom return year after year to partake in a wholesome hedonism with deep southern roots. Free time can be filled with private whiskey tastings, spa treatments and many outdoor pursuits, from foxhunting to fly-fishing. By the end of a stay, guests may be persuaded that Blackberry Farm is not just a relic of an irretrievable past but an intoxicating declaration that our relationship with the land can be reclaimed.

– Emma Pierce on January 1, 2014

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