If you have ever been daunted by the prospect of planning for an Arctic trip, there’s now a one-stop concierge that’ll help you string all the sightseeing and activities together. Book Lapland, a Sweden-based company founded by adventurers wanting to make the Arctic sights more accessible, pledges to help users “build their adventure” in a seamless fashion by offering unprecedented coverage across activity providers, and even real- time updates on availability.
So pack the fur and go the long haul by cramming dog sledding, ice fishing and gawking at the Northern Lights in one outing. As for concerns on whether the Lights are fading, founder Chad Blakley reassures: “No, they are not getting weaker in the Arctic – in fact, we have experienced some of the most spectacular auroras I have ever seen this winter. (While watching) I have seen grown men cry, couples fall in love, and nervous suitors pop the question.” www.booklapland.com
Drones are no longer just limited to airspace, as China-based robotics developer Powervision would have you know. Its underwater drone, Powerray – the world’s first commercially- available one – is armed with a 4K HD camera and can go to depths of up to 30m. There’s only four hours of power in this robot to tap on, but its real-time video transmission to any smartphone will make for stunning social media feeds. Available at major retail outlets.
STEPPING UP THE BESPOKE
Singapore travellers now have more options and resources when looking to customise their trips. Scott Dunn, a UK-based bespoke tour agency, has recently acquired luxury travel operator Country Holidays, resulting in Scott Dunn Asia becoming the region’s largest tailor-made travel outﬁt. Customers can access an expanded range of European and North American experiences, along with a 24-hour support hotline throughout their holiday.
Country Holidays founder Chang Theng Hwee remains at Scott Dunn Asia as its CEO. Says Chang, who has visited more than 70 countries, including Antarctica and North Korea, of the luxe travel business: “Travellers have moved beyond luxury hotels, Michelin-star restaurants, or premier transport. They want ‘wow’ experiences curated for them, to be in untouched, pristine environments or experience uncommercialised cultures. They want to be intrepid, yet be treated to all the possible pampering.”
This, says Chang, translates to trips such as gourmet hiking, exploring wines in Provence or hunting for white truffle in Istria.
DUBAI’S LATEST GEM
The world’s ﬁfth Bulgari Resort & Residences opened in Dubai, adding to the emirates’ long line-up of ritzy digs. So what’s noteworthy about this one that compels a stay?
01. WHAT’S IN A NAME?
It’s designed by Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel, the name that has made Bulgari hotels famous in Milan, London, Bali and Beijing, and soon Shanghai and Moscow.
02. YACHT HAVEN
The 1.7 million sq ft resort is situated on the seahorse-shaped Jumeirah Bay Island, the latest addition to Dubai’s man-made islands. It also comes with a private beach, and the first Bulgari Marina and Yacht Club, which offers 24-hour dock service for superyachts.
03. WATERFRONT LIVING
The hotel has 101 rooms. Luxe amenities are par for the course. Bathrooms are decked in Italian marble, furniture is handcrafted, and materials are plush – think cashmere and silk.
There are 20 stand-alone villas – each costs $3,500 per night, the priciest in the city. On top of standard amenities, they come with private pools, butler service, and a terrace to soak in the view.