Leading the Way
This Month’s Dream: Botswana
Known for its stunning scenery and endless miles of private nature reserves (as well as its stable government and economy), Botswana offers, in the words of our correspondent, “one of the most authentic and mind-blowing wildlife experiences on the planet.” This November/December five spots are available for Indagare members on a walking safari organized by Epic Private Journeys, a company that has exclusive rights to walking tours in Botswana’s northwest. The trip is intense but extremely rewarding. The six participants will trek approximately 81 miles, traversing the stretch of land connecting Botswana’s two main wetlands: the Okavango Delta and the Linyanti. According to guide Brad Horn, who has spent six years working in the bush, “There’s no walk in Africa that comes close to this for wilderness, game density, adrenaline, and endurance.” Read about the Botswana Trek.
First to Go: La Samanna
St. Martin’s La Samanna may not be new (it was renowned as a glamorous getaway after Jackie O. vacationed there decades ago), but there’s nothing old fashioned about the sleek new villas the hotel will unveil this winter. We recently toured the first of eight new homes, four of which will be ready for guests by Christmas. They sit atop a cliff overlooking the sea and feature open living and dining areas, private pools, spectacular views and four- or five-bedroom layouts that work well for families or travelers who seek more space and privacy than a hotel room offers. Learn why this Caribbean retreat deserves a visit. Read our review of La Samanna.
In the News: Beijing
Make no mistake, Beijing, where the Summer Olympics will open in two days, is destined to become the world city of this century. In preparation for the Olympic Games, the city has unveiled a series of astonishing, even outlandish, contemporary buildings, including Herzog and de Meuron’s National Olympics Stadium (nicknamed “the Bird’s Nest”), the nearby swimming stadium (“the Water Cube”) and Rem Koolhaas’s controversial design for China Central Television’s headquarters (“the Trouser Legs”). The infrastructure revamp is the largest the capital has seen since the Ming Dynasty, some 600 years ago. Indagare members headed to Beijing should be sure to take a look at our destination report for tips. Top restaurant picks include Blu Lobster, where the dishes are impossibly complex and wholly unforgettable; the Courtyard, with a 5,000-bottle wine list and a head-on view of the Forbidden City; and the flashy new LAN Club, designed by Philippe Starck. Read our report on Beijing.
Indagare Access: Private Jet Trip
Renowned adventure trip outfitter Abercrombie & Kent is making a very special, very limited trip offer: the first few people to book their private jet journey Southward from the Peak: From Hong Kong to Bora Bora (December 27, 2008 – January 19, 2009) will receive a complimentary cabin on the company’s November cruise to Antarctica. The trips, though very different, are both once-in-a-lifetime experiences. The private jet journey makes stops in Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, Australia and Bora Bora. Activities include a cooking class with top chefs in Hong Kong, a visit to an elephant camp in Chiang Mai and a tour of a private botanical garden in the Australian rainforest. All accommodations are top-notch and throughout travelers will meet with various locals and insiders—like a preservation specialist from the World Monuments Fund (in Cambodia)—and attend several special events, including a New Year’s Eve dinner at the prestigious China Club in Hong Kong. Read about the Private Jet Trip.
In the Know: Boston
Boston isn’t known for its exciting food scene, but a new restaurant has everyone raving; Frank Bruni of the New York Times recently declared it the number one new restaurant in the country. Read how an American chef and his sake sommelier wife are turning a forgotten corner of the New England city into ground zero for creative Japanese cuisine. We’ll have a report on the city soon. Read our review of O Ya.
New on Indagare: a destination guide to the Amalfi Coast special Indagare Family Trips for memorable long weekends this fall, including access for Connoisseur members to the private Turks & Caicos Sporting Club, and special offers at Relais & Chateaux properties like the historic Clifton Inn, in Charlottesville. Plus a profile of Indagare member and blogger Tiffany Schauer who has shared dispatches from her recent travels to Thailand, including visits to an elephant sanctuary, an orphanage, a women’s rights summit and an innovative eco-resort.
Coming soon: Reports on Anguilla, Boston, Botswana, Mumbai, the Turks and Caicos and Washington, D.C.
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