What’s New in Africa

Phinda Photograph

andBeyond Phinda Rock Lodge Game Reserve by dusk

These days, people are looking for a vacation with meaning. They’re also looking to depart from the standard locations of typical sun and sand for something truly memorable. So, with that in mind, we wanted to share with our readers what’s new in Africa from andBeyond and Belmond Mount Nelson to properties in Marrakech and trips to Dakar!

andBeyond Phinda Rock Lodge reopened its redesigned suites and guest areas in May 2017. Dramatically set into a cliff face overlooking a deep valley, the lodge has restyled its areas with a combination of woven linens, hand-embroidered cotton, and oriental carpets. New French doors open to extended outdoor verandas and a rooftop terrace provides the ideal venue for dining beneath the stars.

Royal Mansour

Royal Mansour, Marrakech

With all eyes on Marrakech this year as the new YSL Museum opens in October, Royal Mansour recently completed a major property expansion that included an additional two acres of manicured gardens. Aptly named Le Jardin, the expanded grounds were designed using a number of traditional Moroccan reference points such as the grid of olive trees that stand at the center of the garden (a nod to the UNESCO World Heritage Agdal Gardens and palm trees).

Ahead of the upcoming release of Nelson Mandela’s new memoir “Dare Not Linger: The Presidential Years” in October, Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel also recently launched its first artist-in-residence program with Cyril Coetzee, Nelson Mandela’s portraitist. Guests can sit for Cyril, or leave a photograph behind to be transformed into an oil painting on canvas. For guests looking to hone their art skills, Coetzee is also available for group classes and private lessons.

Mark Williams

Belmond Mount Nelson’s famous pink facade 

Beginning in November, andBeyond Bateleur Camp will undergo a total refurbishment to be complete by 2018. The new look for this camp on the Maasai Mara will include new private verandas, deep bathtubs, al fresco showers, and fire pits, as well as the addition of two new swimming pools, a fitness center, a massage sala, and a coffee bar.

Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge will be closed for a complete refurbishment starting November 2017. Before its closure, Alexander McCall Smith, author of the popular “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” book series, returns to Botswana to host his second-annual Belmond safari. The six-night safari from September 20-26, 2017 is split evenly between Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge and Belmond Eagle Island Lodge. Alexander will regale guests with stories about his personal connections to Botswana and give an inside look to his newest books for the year ahead.

Ponant is offering a new itinerary from Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain to Dakar, Africa, November 8-17, 2018. The ship ventures through the rugged, volcanic Canary Islands off Africa’s western coast and to Praia, Santiago, the largest island in the Cape Verde archipelago. Le Champlain, set to launch in 2018 and one of the new four PONANT EXPLORER ships, will also be equipped with a world’s first: an underwater multi-sensory lounge, called Blue Eye.

BLUE EYE 2 EXPLORERS (c) PONANT - JACQUES ROUGERIE ARCHITECTE 2

Pennant’s Explorer Impressive Interiors by Jacques Rougerie

Shop Like a Local

andBeyond’s Kenya lodges, Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp and Bateleur Camp neighbor a local Maasai village where guests can speak with locals and buy handmade jewelry and crafts, with all proceeds given back to the community.

Guests of Royal Mansour can enjoy guided shopping trips into the souk, including a culinary-themed trip featuring some of Chef Yannick Alleno’s favorite places. Some of his favorites items include lemon confits from Bab Ftouh, olive oil sourced from the middle and high Atlas in the surrounding valleys, and dried apricots from the Mellah, the popular Jewish quarter known for its hectic atmosphere at the Spice Market.

Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel is a short stroll from nearby Long Street, dotted with boutiques selling South African clothes and home goods. Guests can stop in Greenmarket Square to pick up some locally made crafts, such as malachite bowls, paintings of the Cape, or bone salad tongs.

Look to the stars

andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge has an unobstructed and unpolluted view of the night sky in Namibia’s first Dark Sky Reserve. Resident astronomer is on hand to point out planets and constellations, and over-bed skylights provide the perfect locale for spotting shooting stars.

Each of the Belmond Safari lodges – Belmond Khwai River Lodge, Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge, and Belmond Eagle Island Lodge – allows guests the opportunity to experience the vast dome of Botswana’s uninterrupted night sky. Guests will learn how the local tribes used the stars to direct them.

Guests at andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve can spend a magical night under the stars. After a leisurely afternoon game drive, guests arrive at a romantic setting in the middle of the bush – complete with comfortable beds with duvets and warm blankets draped with billowing mosquito nets, inviting chairs surrounding a blazing campfire, and twinkling lanterns hanging from the trees. (Secure in the knowledge that an armed guard will patrol the site throughout the night.)

At the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, guests of Royal Mansour can enjoy a starry night away from the busy lights of Marrakech. Following a private tour on 4×4 vehicles, guests can indulge in sunset cocktails and a gourmet dinner in their own private camp, served with just the glow of candles, torches, and a blanket of stars above.

5 Great Girlfriend Getaways

Dubai’s Shopping Mall

Our friends at Friendly Planet Travel, a leading full-service group tour operator that specializes in high-quality tours to international destinations at affordable rates, has just told us about a five new packaged deals that revolve around exploring, sunbathing, shopping and dining… perfect for a relaxing trip with the girls.

Dazzling Dubai & Bangkok: this 9-day tour starts at $2,299 and takes the ladies to the epicenter of modern luxury in Asia. From world-class shopping and dining, to fascinating culture, it may be hard to convince the girls to come home!

Some leather bags in Florence

Leather bags in Florence

Incredible Italy: this 10-day tour from $3,099 takes travelers through Venice, Florence, Pisa, Rome and more for a true taste of the flavors of Italy. Travelers will enjoy the charismatic Italian countryside, the celebrated wineries and see Italy’s most famous art – not to mention enjoy world-class shopping! If you love leather, the shops in Florence give you plenty of choices when it comes to handmade items such as wallets, belts, gloves, jackets, briefcases, and shoes.  Most of the leather shops are in Santa Croce and San Lorenzo, but Florence is also famous for two outdoor markets between Piazza San Lorenzo and Via Nazionale along the Via Dell’Ariento.  The other market is known as the Mercato Nuovo which was built in the 16th century and is located under a logia a few steps from the Ponte Vecchio.

The Springs Resort - Costa Rica

The Springs Resort – Costa Rica

Captivating Costa Rica: this 7-day tour starting at only $1,179 is the perfect getaway for girlfriends looking to soak up the sun! The tour takes travelers to explore the tropical rainforests and jungles, cloud forest, volcanoes, mountains and more that define Costa Rica.

Kenya Safari Express: this 8-day tour from $2,299 takes girlfriendson the ultimate African Safari. Savvy travelers and novices alike can check Kenya off of their list of dream vacations. With abundant wildlife and lavishly gorgeous, incredibly photogenic landscape, travelers will enjoy the teeming cities and exotic wildlife that Kenya is known for.

Taste of Ireland: this 7-day tour from $1,799 takes travelers through Dublin, Kerry, Limerick and Kilkenny. The ladies can enjoy the quaint Irish towns, explore the rolling green hills and end the day enjoying a pint of Guinness and Irish music.

All Friendly Planet Travel tours include round-trip airfare, deluxe hotel accommodations, many meals, comprehensive sightseeing and more so check them out and tell ’em we sent ya!

www.friendlyplanet.com

Hollywood Heartthrob, Patrick Muldoon, Tells Jaunt Magazine His Favorite Hot Spots

Patrick Muldoon

Patrick Muldoon

Sexy surfer, hot actor, multitalented musician, Days of Our Lives soap star, and, of course… fan of all things travel and adventure, Patrick Muldoon makes a guest appearance on Jaunt Magazine and we couldn’t be more thrilled. With a mug like his, how can he not make us look good too? To that end, he travels a lot like we do: freewheelin, exotic, and family friendly (as in… he’s even got peeps in Croatia!).  In his early years, Patrick was an avid surfer, who could always be found riding the waves of the beautiful southern California shore. Growing up with a lifeguard as a father in the waterfront district of San Pedro, the ocean has remained Muldoon’s secret pleasure. He attributes his laid-back attitude and calm demeanor to his devotion to the sea and sand.

Muldoon is also well known for his role in STARSHIP TROOPERS with Denise Richards and Neil Patrick Harris, and he played the evil “Richard Hart” on Melrose Place, of course.

Rumored to be dating Denise Richards again, Muldoon will next be seen in the indie horror thriller SPIDERS 3D set for release later this year. In short, since he’s charming, witty, and an absolute character, it makes complete sense why he would tell Jaunt Magazine a bit about himself, where he loves to travel, and why. So, say, “Hiiiiiii, Patrick!”

1.    How did you end up in Hollywood?

I was actually born in a small town called San Pedro, which is located about 20 miles south of Hollywood close to the LA Harbor and I commuted to Loyola High School in Los Angeles.

2.    What do you like or dislike about Hollywood?

I dislike when people tell me that they hate the people here (in LA), yet they are actually one of those people. Hollywood is a place where people immigrate from all over the world to make it into the entertainment business and then when they finally get here, they complain about the business itself.

The thing I love about Hollywood is that “There’s No Business Like Show Business’. You have to love the challenge and if it’s tough going, that just means you have to get better at what you do, and there is always room to grow….If you don’t like it, go home!

The crystal clear waters of Saharun beach on the Croatian island of Dugi otok

The crystal clear waters of Saharun beach on the Croatian island of Dugi otok

3.    What is your favorite travel or surf destination and why?

I love going to see my family in Croatia, specifically the island DUGI-OTOK. There’s no surf there, but the visibility of the water is 50 feet and you can see the bottom of the ocean which is so beautiful. To get to the Croatian island of Dugi Otok, you have to take a ferry from the mainland either SPLIT or ZADAR. My family (my mother is Croatian) is from a village called BRBINJ (on the island of DIGI-OTOK); there are no real restaurants, but during the summer, it is very popular place for yachts to dock. ZADAR is a beautiful coastal city that has a lot of restaurants and a great tourist destination. SPLIT is a great destination in the summer for tourists as well and there are also a lot of boats, shops, and restaurants to visit.

I usually only surf locally here in Los Angeles….there is a break off of SUNSET & PCH, which is my favorite because it’s the least crowded. In addition, if I’m down in the South Bay area I’ll surf ‘Royal Palms.’

Royal Palms San Pedro Surf Spot

Royal Palms San Pedro Surf Spot

4.    Where do you stay when you go there? What’s your favorite restaurant and why?

If I’m visiting Croatia, I’ll stay at my family’s house, or a hotel in SPLIT called The Park Hotel or (Hotel Park) ­– the restaurant is fantastic and the fish is always fresh because it’s pulled out of the Adriatic Sea daily. The restaurant also has outdoor seating available and it’s located right on the beach.

giorgio baldi

Giorgio Baldi Grilled Shrimp… are perfect after riding the waves

Locally in Los Angeles, after a long day of ‘carving my name into the waves’ I like to visit an Italian restaurant called Giorgio Baldi in the Pacific Palisades…for the best Italian food in the world – but don’t try to walk in with board shorts on,  cause they won’t let you in!

5.    Have you ever had a crazy surf trip or a really romantic fun surf/travel experience?

I once went with a former girlfriend to Kruger National Park and we stayed at the Pondoro Game Lodge for a safari experience. If you ever decide to visit, don’t go off the premises, because you WILL get eaten by lions!

6.    What is your dream for 5 years from now? Where do you want to travel? 

I like the whole George Clooney vibe… make great movies, live in a mansion on Lake Como, Italy and switch up my hot model girlfriends every six months (kidding ;).

Sure you are, Patrick! Meanwhile, we’ll be sure to catch your hotness in SPIDERS 3D since we hate spiders, but we wouldn’t mind watching you for a few hours. And, if, for any reason at all, we don’t get to see you in the theaters, we’ll catch you catching waves at Royal Palms or lounging somewhere seductive off the Croatian coast.

Marrakech on my mind

The Great Getaway Medina

The Great Getaway Medina

Located in the heart of the meandering streets of the souk, The Great Getaway Medina is the perfect picture of what one might hope for on a trip to exotic Marrakech. An intimate six-room property, housed in a former Riad, the magic begins the moment you enter the grand circular courtyard with high columns and arches, detailed craftsmanship and fluttering white curtains.

Nothing like sitting in the floor in style...

Nothing like sitting on the floor in style…

The style is carried throughout the rest of this intimate abode with jeweled tones on walls and handcrafted furniture dotted around. But up on the roof is where it really feels like Aladdin’s paradise with views of the ornate historic part and the Atlas Mountains, and the aroma of spices wafting from the grill. Choose from kebabs or fresh seafood to Moroccan staples such as beef tagines with dried plums or home style terrines.

Marrakech on your mind too?

From 150EURO

http://www.designhotels.com/the_great_getaway_medina

An African Safari and Luxe Beach Yoga? That’s right!

OMMMMM

Yes, we’re a bit crazy about Africa and we also dig yoga. So, new for 2012, travel specialists Scott Dunn have launched an exclusive Tanzania safari and Mozambique beach yoga itinerary. Pairing up with Vamizi Island’s brand new yoga retreats in Mozambique and Selous Safari Camp in Tanzania, this package offers the very best in sexy African adventure and holistic luxury.

For those wanting to explore lesser-known southern Tanzania, the Selous Safari Camp offers the perfect sophisticated safari experience. Situated within an open palm forest on the shores of Lake Nzerakera (say that three times fast) in the Selous Game Reserve, you can go on daily walking and boat safaris in one of Africa’s least known, yet wildest, conservation areas. And, after discovering the wilds of Tanzania, why not revive, restore and rejuvenate on Vamizi Island, an ultra-luxurious private beach lodge on the Quirimbus Archipelago, Mozambique? Well, don’t mind if I do!

Me.Wants.To. Go.Here.

Celebrating the launch, you’ll enjoy morning vinasa yoga on the shoreline followed by a freshly-prepared juice or smoothie from the island’s ‘natural pharmacy’ and an evening session against the setting sun – both hosted by renowned instructor Claire Finlay. This exclusive package also offers the chance to sample reviving spa treatments, take to the seas to catch surf-fresh tuna sashimi and dive the island’s azure waters. Does that sound Om-azing or what?

The exclusive Tanzania Safari and Vamizi Spa Retreats package is only available for limited weeks in 2012 from $6,310 per person. Valid for the weeks commencing March 1 and November 6, the price includes three nights at the Selous Safari Camp on a full-board basis with daily safari activities and five nights at Vamizi Spa Retreat on a fully-inclusive basis to include twice daily yoga sessions, one spa treatment, dive and fishing trip per stay. The price also includes taxes, domestic flights and transfers so get on it!

http://www.scottdunn.com