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Far from the Maddening Crowds

Booking a special trip, far from the maddening crowds, can sometimes be tricky to perfect. But it’s a skill Travel Counsellor Jen Bekker has got down to a fine art.  We challenged her to uncover the lesser known gems that combine high end luxury with adventure, decadence and really and truly off the beaten track.

Jen’s suggested a mix of 5 unique and exclusive properties from across the globe. Not one to suggest the obvious, we wanted to surprise and wow you.  So, here’s a variety of boutique locations, offering either a taste of the unusual, stunning scenery, wildlife, space, activities, relaxation but above all privacy.

  1. Ultra-Luxurious Safari

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The Geoffrey Kent Suite at Sanctuary Olonana, Masai Mara, Kenya

Overview: OMG it’s incredible!!  The suite opened in April 2019, located in the Masai Mara on a private stretch of the Mara River.  You can visit year-round but if you want to catch the Wildebeest migration book from July – October.

Accommodation:  Totally private suite with 2 en-suite bedrooms, private infinity pool overlooking the river, all accessed by a private road.

What you get:  You will have your own dedicated safari guide and vehicle. On your return, enjoy cocktails from the fully stocked bar and delicious meals served in your own exclusive dining room, cooked by a Private Chef in the suite’s kitchen.  

How to get there? You can charter a private flight to Kichwa Tembo Airstrip or there are several scheduled flights from Nairobi.

Want to know more?

LODGE: https://www.sanctuaryretreats.com/kenya-camps-olonana

SUITE:  https://www.sanctuaryretreats.com/blog-2019-geoffrey-kent-suite-sanctuary-olonana-kenya

  1. Tropical Beach

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Bawah Reserve, Indonesia

Overview: Ideal if you’re looking for a true island paradise … luxurious but sustainable. This previously uninhabited marine conservation area includes 6 islands, 3 lagoons and the choice of 13 magnificent beaches.

Accommodation:  A brand new two-bedroom deluxe villa with its own private plunge pool and dining area, right on the beach with direct access to the lagoon.

What you get: Kayaking, snorkelling, sailing, open air cinema nights

How to get there?  There are a couple of options; either fly into Batam International Airport, then board the Reserve’s private seaplane for a smooth 80-minute journey, soak in the spectacular views before gliding into land on Bawah Reserve’s pontoon. Or, be chauffeur driven from Singapore hotel/airport to the ferry port, where you will be escorted on the ferry to Batam, then by car to the Reserve. ($700 USD per person for return transfers applies - as at Feb 2020)

Want to know more?

LODGE:  https://www.bawahreserve.com/

VILLA https://www.bawahreserve.com/stay/two-bed-pool-villa/

  1. Wilderness & Decadence

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Sonara Resort, Sonara Island, British Colombia, Canada

Overview:  This five-star, exclusive resort resides in a breath-taking environment, a hidden gem in the Canadian wilderness. Perfect if you’re looking for adventure with the epitome of luxury thrown in.  Get away from it all with the fabulous hiking and biking trails and look out for black bears, bald eagles and the occasional Orca!

Accommodation:  Sea Lion Pointe Villa has 4 bedrooms and is located on its own peninsula overlooking the ocean, surrounded on the other three sides by wilderness.

What you get:  The Villa has its own nanny suite, a baby grand piano, billiards room and use of 4 Subaru Foresters, whilst each room has its own private hot tub.  If you want to get out on the water and look back across this extraordinary landscape, why not try fly fishing, paddle boarding, canoeing or a SUP?

How to get there?  Accessible either by helicopter or seaplane from Vancouver or by air float plane from Seattle.

Want to know more?

RESORT: https://sonoraresort.com/

VILLA: https://sonoraresort.com/accommodation/private-villas/sea-lion-pointe

  1. Intimate Food & Wine Retreat

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Helena Bay Lodge, near the Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Overview:  The lodge only takes a maximum of 10 guests at any given time, so exclusivity and privacy guaranteed.

Accommodation:  There are 2 Villa Suites and 3 Junior Suites, all offering waterfront facing balconies.  For guests who want ultimate privacy, the property can be booked for exclusive use with an additional 2 bedrooms in the main lodge.

What you get:  The surrounding area is beautiful, pristine and peaceful. Guests can enjoy hikes and picnic lunches on one of Helena’s private beaches.  World-class cuisine created by Head Chef Michele Martino, with dishes based on age-old traditions of the Sorrento peninsula and the Amalfi Coast, where guests can enjoy ‘estate to plate’ cuisine sourced directly from the Bay’s very own farm.  Each dish accompanied by the perfect wine, choose from over 2,100 bottles of carefully selected NZ and international wines.

How to get there?  Arrive by helicopter from Auckland or if your stay is part of a longer itinerary why not self-drive?

Want to know more?

RETREAT: https://helenabay.com/

REMEMBER:  Seasonal closure June through August (winter time).

  1. Exclusively Deserted

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Beyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge, Namibia

Overview:  This is an amazing new hotel in Namibia, unrivalled in the region for quality and service.  The night skies are literally heavenly, with the concession bordering the International Dark Sky Reserve of the NamibRand Nature Reserve, it really offers a true escape!

Accommodation:  With only 10 suites, it’s got exclusivity written all over it.

What you get:  Although every suite has its own private plunge pool and retractable skylight over the bed, there is a 2-bedroom Star Dune Suite.   With a resident astronomer and onsite observatory, you really will enjoy those beautiful night skies.

How to get there?  The Lodge has its own private airstrip and there are scheduled daily charter flights from Namibia’s capital, Windhoek.

Want to know more?

LODGE: https://www.andbeyond.com/our-lodges/africa/namibia/sossusvlei-desert/andbeyond-sossusvlei-desert-lodge/

REMEMBER:  The best time to visit Namibia is the dry season, from May to November.

For help building your exclusive holiday itinerary contact Jen.bekker@travelcounsellors.com or visit www.travelcounsellors.co.uk/jen.bekker

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