A new retreat on Sumba island eases guests into a plant-based lifestyle.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel


The next time you’re in Switzerland, skip the big cities for Lausanne, voted Monocle’s best small city of the year. Beautiful nature aside, Lausanne is also the smallest city in the world with a metro – making it that much easier to get around town. 

We understand if you want to experiment with plant-based diets after watching the documentary Game Changers on Netflix. Who can discount the eating habits of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lewis Hamilton – buff and high performing as they are – that lead to higher energy levels?

Adopting a new diet, however, is another matter, and this is where Alamayah comes in. Aside from offering guests all the chic amenities associated with barefoot luxury, the new resort will ease them into a new lifestyle. Tucked away in the beachside village of Kerewe, south-west of Sumba, Indonesia, its undisturbed landscape of waterfalls and sparkling mangroves is the embodiment of Zen. The farm-to-table menu, crafted from locally-sourced vegetables and fruits, offers vegetarian options delicious enough to take your mind off a hearty steak. Think carrots, slow-cooked to coax out their natural sweetness, paired with sesame brittle and a drizzle of spicy harissa oil. Or banana peel, smoked to resemble crispy bacon, with lashings of garlic oil.

For drinks, the bar turns to medicinal roots for inspiration – sip on cocktails made from ancient flower and herbal remedies that will leave you feeling blissfully intoxicated. 

Alamayah is open for bookings from April 2020. 

My Reading Room


A new year always holds the promise of a stronger, better you. The Revivo New Resolutions Retreat makes it easier to stick to those wellness goals with a vegan yoga retreat and quiet meditation sessions. The Yoga and Ketogenic Retreat, in particular, is an invigorating mix of stretches and swimming coupled with a diet focusing on a low-carb intake to kick-start a higher fat-burn. 

My Reading Room


Known for its state-of-the-art wellness facilities, the recent facelift at Chiva-Som resort in Thailand means newer, sleeker facilities to enjoy. The new hydrotherapy suite and flotation chamber, for instance, comes with a cold plunge pool and waterjets to help treat chronic fatigue and stress. And if you fancy a soak beyond the bathtub, floating on Epsom salt water in a dark cocoon promises deep muscle relaxation. 

My Reading Room


Well, this is a first. Ultra-luxury cruise line Silversea has come up with a new fly-cruise service to Antarctica that will make exploring the white continent that much more exciting. The journey starts from Punta Arenas, where guests receive their expedition kit – rubber boots, walking poles, the works – before they are ushered aboard a private charter to Antarctica that will save two days at sea each way. This means more time to take in towering icebergs and go on expeditions to visit penguin rookeries. 

My Reading Room


It’s no secret that locals love escaping to the snowy mountains of Niseko, Japan, in the winter. Odin Hills is the latest private luxury residential village in this winter playground. Just five minutes from Kutchan train station, and a mere minute away from the popular Hanazono ski resort, Odin Hills sits on prime land that is increasingly rare in Niseko. The property makes for an enticing summer home, too, with easy accessibility to hiking and running trails that turn into cross-country skiing and snowshoeing routes in the winter.