Embrace the elements in accomodations that combine the best of the outdoors with the height of luxury.
Perched atop a granite hill, Alila Fort Bishangarh used to be a warrior fortress
LOOK UP AND OUT AT THESE HILLTOP RETREATS
The Royal Suite at Alila Fort Bishangarh
ALILA FORT BISHANGARH
IN RAJASTHAN, INDIA
Unlike most of northern India’s romantic heritage hotels, Bishangarh began life as an 18th-century hilltop fortress rather than an opulent palace. Situated high atop a granite hill with 360-degree views of the surrounding Rajasthani landscape, it’s easy to see why TIME magazine included the hotel in its list of the World’s Greatest Places in 2018. The secret of its successful transition was the construction of new wings to house 59 lavish guest suites, two restaurants, a cocktail bar and a state-of-the-art spa that all combine traditional style with contemporary comforts.
Clockwise from top left: Dress, $1,157, Zimmermann at Farfetch. Bag, Dior. Top, about $856, Cecilie Bahnsen at MatchesFashion.com. Pump, Aquazzura
The Pavilions Grand villa
THE PAVILIONS HIMALAYAS
IN POKHARA, NEPAL
Contemplate the meaning of life as you gaze out at the Annapurna mountain range (home to the 10th highest mountain in the world, no less) from your private terrace. Set against the majestic Himalayas, and on an organic farm, this luxury boutique resort is where nature and traditional Nepalese touches in the décor come together for an uplifting experience, in all senses of the word. With The Pavilions as your base, you can choose to spend your days exploring the area, be it going hiking, bird watching, mountain biking or even learning how to make momos.
TURN UP THE HEAT AT THIS NATURAL HOTSPOT
Gather around the ﬁreplace at Bisate Lodge
IN RUHENGERI, RWANDA
The six private camps at Wilderness Safaris’ Rwandan camp Bisate Lodge may look like alien dwellings from the outside, but inside, its sophisticated interiors are warmed by a central ﬁreplace. Situated within the cone of an extinct volcano, the magniﬁcent pods are surrounded by lush forest with sweeping views of the awe-inspiring landscape. Guests are given the chance to join morning treks in search of mountain gorillas, golden monkeys and a diverse range of birdlife, and to give back to the environment with tree planting at a nearby nursery.
From top: Top, about $767, Galvan at Net-a-Porter. Sandal, Miu Miu. Belt bag, Fendi
GO WITH THE FLOW WITH AQUATIC ADVENTURE
The Rock Pool Villas’ bathrooms overlook the sea
SIX SENSES NINH VAN BAY
IN NHA TRANG, VIETNAM
Accessible only by boat, Six Senses Ninh Van Bay is located on a dramatic bay, lapped by the East Vietnam Sea. Go for the Water Pool or Rock Pool Villas—the former are built on the edge of the water overlooking the bay’s coral, with wooden steps leading directly to the sea; while the latter are scattered among rock formations, each with a private plunge pool set into the rocks. On top of a wide range of watersports, further the experience with activities including morning expeditions with local ﬁshermen or a sunset cruise complete with drinks and canapés.
From top: Swimsuit, $271, Ambra Maddalena at Farfetch. Necklace, Chanel. Sunglasses, Emporio Armani
GO INTO THE WOODS AT THESE FORESTED ESCAPE
Cempedak Private Island’s villas are made of bamboo and have grass roofs
CEMPEDAK PRIVATE ISLAND
A two-and-a-half hour ferry ride away from Singapore, Cempedak Private Island is an adults-only retreat with a strong focus on sustainability. Each two-storey villa is ma of hand-picked bamboo sourced from Java and Sumatra and topped with grass roofs for natural ventilation, complementing the natural beauty of its surroundings. Its eco-conscious philosophy extends throughout the resort, including the food and drinks. A ﬁxed menu focusing on local ingredients changes daily depending on what is available during the season, while items such as syrups, soda water and coconut milk are made in-house so as to reduce the impact on the environment.
Clockwise from top: Bikini set, about $540, Lisa Marie Fernandez at Moda Operandi. Sunglasses, Michael Kors. Bag, about $180.50, Kayu at Net-a-Porter. Bag, Gucci
The master bedroom of the Four-Bedroom Amanyangyun Villa
IN SHANGHAI, CHINA
After plans for a reservoir threatened to destroy an ancient forest and village in Jiangxi province, a Chinese philanthropist determined to save them embarked on a decade-long conservation programme with Aman. A rescue team of botanists moved over 10,000 camphor trees, known for their calming scent, across 700km from Jiangxi to Shanghai. The resort is made up of 50 Ming- and Qing-dynasty villas, each painstakingly reassembled brick by brick; their interiors ﬁtted out with wood, stone and bamboo.
PHOTOGRAPHY: KRIS TAMBURELLO, CROOKES & JACKSON