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Wild HEAT

FROM REMOTE SAVANNAH TO TROPICAL JUNGLE, GET CLOSE TO NATURE ON A SAFARI ADVENTURE

TSWALU KALAHARI, SOUTH AFRICA

Want a luxury safari but don’t fancy battling the tourist hordes at Kruger National Park? Then head to the edge of the Kalahari Desert, where you’ll find the stunning Tswalu, described by Forbes magazine as ‘the best safari lodge you’ve never heard of’. Even in a country famed for its super-luxe lodges, Tswalu is the swishest and sexiest. Stay in one of the eight striking suites at the main lodge, the Motse, all of which have an open fireplace, sumptuous bathroom with

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The OTHER Indian Ocean

HE FAMOUS THREE AREN’T THE ONLY DESTINATIONS IN THE INDIAN OCEAN. BUT YOU MIGHT WANT TO KEEP THESE SECRET IDYLLS TO YOURSELF

THE RESIDENCE ZANZIBAR, TANZANIA

We can still hear the friendly cry of ‘Jambo!’ — the warm Swahili hello 11 HRSi that every member of staff greets you with, and its this super service at The Residence Zanzibar that really sets it apart as one slick operator. In 80 acres of palm forest, 66 elegantly designed villas blend Swahili and European influences with all the honeymoon must-haves (private pool, huge egg-shaped bath, butler service) as standard. This is how

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THE Newcomers

BEAT OTHER HONEYMOONERS TO THE HIPPEST HOTELS BY BOOKING ONE OF THESE HOT OPENINGS NOW

MONASTERO SANTA ROSA, ITALY

This 20-room hotel, housed in a 17th-century former convent, has been 11 years in the making. Looking down from a clifltop, it’s gasp-inducingly beautiful and tranquil. Paved terraces dotted with double day-beds, canopied sun loungers and swings a deux cascade down the hillside, to the aqua infinity pool with dizzying views of the sea below. The rooms are all local chestnut and walnut furniture, marble bathrooms, king-size beds and eye-popping sea vistas. This is Italy so food is, naturally, a highlight.

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THE GREATEST HITS

THE OBEROI UDAIVILAS, INDIA

No trip to India is complete without a visit to Udaipur, and no trip to Udaipur is complete without a stay at the Udaivilas, a fantasy Indian palace that’s all shimmering cream facades, decorative domes, fountains and OTT opulence. Although relatively new, it feels like it’s been the home of maharajas for centuries. Plump for an outside room with a ‘semi-private’ plunge pool that’s actually an off-shoot of the giant one which snakes round the whole thing like a moat (pictured). Do take time to venture across Lake Pichola to the city’s antique palaces, temples and

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STYLISH splurges

VENICE-SIMPLON ORIENT EXPRESS,

LONDON TO VENICE

S’You can never be overdressed on the Orient Express,’ says the brochure. The journey starts on the British Pullman, enjoying brunch as we whizz towards the Channel crossing. And that’s when the real fun begins. Once in France, we’re helped aboard the Orient Express by our cabin steward, wearing that distinctive blue uniform. The cabins themselves are all vintage luxury, lots of polished oak and mahogany, crystal glassware, silk lampshades and art deco luggage racks. During the day, relax on banquette seating, which converts to luxury bunk-beds at night, with your own Orient robes

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SPICE OF LIFE

DISCOVER PEACE IN PARADISE AT ESSQUE ZALU ON THE SPICE ISLAND OF ZANZIBAR

‘ZANZIBAR…’ THE WORD ALONE CONJURES ROMANCE. BOASTING SOME OF THE BEST BEACHES in the Indian Ocean, a warm welcome wherever you go and the surreal beauty of a tropical desert island, Zanzibar really does have it all. To top it off, you’re forced to stay clear of big hotel chains because there simply aren’t any. That doesn’t mean you have to opt for a beach shack though — far from it. Essque Zalu is the epitome of chic contemporary living with an injection of exotic flair. Boasting

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No-fly ESCAPES

FORGET BAG RESTRICTIONS AND SECURITY QUEUES-THESE RETREATS ARE ONLY A DRIVE ORTRAIN RIDE AWAY

CRILLON LE BRAVE, FRANCE

The drive from Avignon station to Crillon Le Brave may take you past 6 HRS1 pretty villages and vineyards, but still nothing can prepare you for your arrival at this exquisite hilltop hotel. Over the past couple of decades, what was originally a single building has spread to become a mini-village of stone houses converted into spacious suites with terracotta-tiled floors and views to die for. If you can tear yourself away from the vista, visit the sprawling terrace for breakfast, and

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KEEP IT COOL

SWAP SAND FOR THE OTHER WHITE STUFF AND SNUGGLE UP ON A COLD-WEATHER HONEYMOON

LE PORTETTA, FRANCE

Conversations about luxury ski hotels normally include the question, ‘but how far are we from the slopes?’ In this case, the answer is about three steps from the bar. So far, so fabulous. All the boxes are ticked off at Le Portetta: a cosy bar with roaring log fires; a ski room with staff who do everything even warming your boots and getting them on and off you when you cant be bothered. And — if you stay in a loft room —

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Indian OCEAN

WE’RE NOT SURPRISED THAT THE MALDIVES, MAURITIUS AND THE SEYCHELLES STILL TOP YOUR HONEYMOON WISH LIST. HERE’S WHO’S DOING IT BEST…

ST REGIS, MAURITIUS

Like its big sister Manhattan, the brand-new St Regis Mauritius is one classy lady. Thankfully, pretensions are few (no one bats an eyelid at our seen-better-days flip-flops) and its locations, on a 900m stretch on the south of the island, adds a breezy vibe to its refinement. All of the 172 rooms have the requisite view (sparkling Indian Ocean), best enjoyed with a signature La Belle Creole Mary cocktail. Most of the action takes place around

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GET FAR FROM THE CROWDS ON ONE OF THESE OF-THE-BEATEN-TRACK HONEYMOON TRIPS

HOSHINOYA KYOTO, JAPAN

It» you need an antidote to the stress of wedding planning, nowhere provides Zen-like calm better than Hoshinoya. Kyoto is another world, with narrow wooden streets, geishas, Shinto shrines and dry temple gardens made of rock and gravel, which are loaded with symbolic and historic meaning. The Hoshinoya Ryokan (inn) delivers an ‘authentic Japan with modern comfort’, and delicate interiors feature exquisite woodblock-printed paper and an aromatic cedar bath, which releases fragrance as it fills with water. A Michelin-starred restaurant tempts with soba noodles and matsutake mushroom soup, while beyond is the Oku-no-niwa zen garden.

WOW FACTOR

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