The Travel Issue

Overview

50 great escapes: Maldives, Philippines, France, Chile, Spain, Botswana, California & more. Plus, Mediterranean marvels, the top 5 new megayacht charters for summer. Also, essential safaris - the ultimate guide to Africa's best lodges & expeditions.

From This Issue

The Robb Reader: Barbara Barrett

Barbara Barrett was born to cross frontiers. The daughter of an “Arizona cowboy,” she was raised on a farm in Pennsylvania and could drive a truck, milk a cow, and shoe a horse by the time she was 10 years old. After earning a law degree from Arizona State University, she served as an intern […]

From the Editors: Transcontinental Divide

In 1848, when James Marshall discovered gold in California, travelers from the East Coast to San Francisco were essaying a perilous and prolonged undertaking. These pioneers were condemned to choose between the hazards of crossing the continent’s hostile wilderness by stagecoach and the dangers of traversing the fever-infested jungles of the Isthmus of Panama—a journey […]

A Site to Behold

With a few quick turns of the wheel, Lee Bennett steers his Land Rover away from the airstrip at Singita Grumeti Reserves, over a wooded hill, and out to the infinite savanna of northern Tanzania. Gesturing as he goes at the passing wildlife—a herd of zebras here, a troop of baboons there—the safari guide launches […]

Casa San Agustin

Within the walled city of Cartagena, Colombia, the conversion of colonial residences into boutique hotels has become a common practice. Casa San Agustin, the latest example of the trend, sets a new standard in the city for build quality, service, dining, and design. Opened in October, Casa San Agustin occupies three adjacent colonial-era buildings and […]

Hotel Jerome, an Auberge Resort

A main-street fixture for 123 years, Hotel Jerome has been a hub of Aspen’s social scene since the 19th-century mining days. This winter—after joining Auberge Resorts and closing for a four-and-a-half-month renovation—the ski town’s 93-room landmark unveiled a sleek new look that has helped return the property to its rightful place among Colorado’s finest hotels. […]

Dedon Island

While lounging is a favored pastime at tropical resorts, rarely is it the impetus for such properties. But at the new Dedon Island, the art of reclining is part and parcel of the experience—and of the resort’s existence. Dedon Island is the first hotel from the German outdoor furnishings manufacturer Dedon, which has made alfresco […]

Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel

In honor of its centenary in 2012, San Sebastián’s Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel, closed last February to undergo a $25 million update led by the London-based design firm HBA. The historic Spanish property—a Belle Epoque landmark originally designed by the French architect Charles Mewès—reopened in October after a radical yet respectful renovation. […]

Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa

Regular travelers to Southern California know well the term marine layer and pack appropriately warm clothing when staying at the coast. But San Diego sojourns are seldom foggy for guests of Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa, which is tucked into a sunny North County valley 7 miles inland. Neighboring the sprawling estate homes of Rancho […]

Four Seasons Hotel Toronto

Founded in Toronto in 1960, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts presides over an incomparable collection of 91 properties worldwide. But the hotel chain has always fallen a bit short in its hometown. This past October, Four Seasons finally opened a Toronto hotel deserving of the flagship moniker, a sparkling new property that serves as the […]

Health: Happy, Healthy Trails

Ted Panhuis’s monthlong motorcycle journey through Yukon, Canada, last summer ended earlier than planned when his 2008 BMW R1200 GS Adventure hit a patch of deep gravel. “I tried to straighten the back wheel, but to no avail,” says Panhuis, a retired veterinarian from Ohio who has been riding motorcycles since the 1960s. “According to […]

Robb Design Portfolio: Weather or Not

1914 Mercedes 28/60 Town Car Built the same year that Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft’s Mercedes-branded cars pulled off a hat trick at the French Grand Prix—taking the first-, second-, and third-place honors—and elevated the marque’s already lofty status, this 1914 model 28/60 was initially delivered as a 4-cylinder, torpedo-bodied roadster. Three years later, its German owner returned it […]

Robb Design Portfolio: Cool Runner

Six years of research, development, and prototyping have resulted in the Stealth-X, a carbon-fiber snow sled from New Zealand’s Snolo (www.snolosleds.com). In terms of appearance, the Stealth-X is a far cry from an overturned trash-can lid or even a toboggan. “I wanted it to look like Steven Spielberg and Enzo Ferrari had a few beers […]

Essential Safari Guide

At its core, the African safari is a simple undertaking that requires little more than a good guide, a sturdy vehicle, and the built-in entertainment of a wildlife-filled forest or savanna. Too often, however, the process of planning a safari is unnecessarily complicated by the dizzying array of companies claiming to offer the best and […]

Masters of the Mediterranean

MOGAMBO Built by Germany’s Nobiskrug, the 241-foot Mogambo is available to charter for a limited time in the Mediterranean this summer. The superyacht’s four aft decks offer an abundance of outdoor space, much of which can be shaded with retractable canvas awnings. The large door at the water-level swim deck lifts to expose a teak-clad […]

Making the Marc

“Bruno Moinard’s a magician,” says Sabina Belli, a former general manager of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, “just look at this!” We are à table in the dining room of Hôtel du Marc, the Champagne house’s private residence in the center of Reims, where Moinard, the prominent French designer, has completed a dramatic four-year renovation. The dining […]

Elements of Style

The designer Franco Eyramian’s buffalo-horn sunglasses (top, $3,500; middle and bottom, $5,500 each) lend polish to even the most casual beachwear. Featuring dramatic architectural lines that hark back to the glamorous days of old Hollywood, each pair in the Luxuriator collection is made by hand, using several thin layers of horn that are pressed together […]

FrontRunners: Alila Purnama

Although the ship Alila Purnama (www.alilahotels.com) launched only two months ago, the tales from her voyages sound like legends of old. They tell of navigating seldom-sailed waters and encountering islands overrun with fierce dragons. The 150-foot phinisi, a traditional Indonesian sailing ship, is constructed of Indonesia-sourced rattan and teak and has been designed to meet […]

FrontRunners: Oh Canados

At 120 feet, the semicustom Canados 120 (www.canados.com) is the largest yacht from the 60-plus-year-old Italian shipyard. Canados delivered the first example last year to a Russian owner who christened it Far Away. The yacht has a nearly 650-square-foot flybridge and three decks, and it sleeps eight guests in four cabins, including two master suites. […]

FrontRunners: Buzz Kill

The redesigned Ulysse Nardin Sonata Streamline travel watch (www.ulysse-nardin.ch) does more than just tell the times of day in your destination and in the location from which you departed. In addition to a dual time display, the $39,000 timepiece provides a gentle reminder that it is time to get up from a nap or get […]

FrontRunners: Sip and Tee

The Manhattan-based whisky club 1494, in collaboration with the Scottish travel company Connoisseur Golf, is offering a Founders Golf and Distillery Trip (www.1494ad.com) to the birthplace of both golf and whisky. The trip, which is $175,000 per person and limited to 10 participants, is scheduled for June and includes a membership to 1494. Travelers will […]

FrontRunners: Connect Four

By popular demand, the Four Seasons Around-the-World Tour by Private Jet (www.fourseasons.com/aroundtheworld) is back. Four Seasons has confirmed dates for 2013 after receiving high praise from travelers for its inaugural around-the-world trips last year. Limited to 76 guests, the $70,950-per-person, 22-day adventure includes overnight stays at nine Four Seasons properties and travel by a VIP-configured […]

FrontRunners: Take Down

The outerwear company Moncler and the luggage manufacturer Rimowa have collaborated on the Topas Stealth suitcase (www.moncler.com). Available in black or white, the four-wheel rolling suitcase features an aluminum exterior based on Rimowa’s signature model and a quilted down lining that evokes Moncler’s ski coats. The Topas Stealth is priced at $1,700 and comes with […]

FrontRunners: Load and Lock

As a response to the rise in wireless identity theft, the luggage maker Tumi has introduced the Ticon Collection (www.tumi.com), which features the company’s ID Lock technology. Identity thieves can use radio scanners to steal names, addresses, Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, and other personal information from credit cards stowed in nearby bags and […]

Viceroy Maldives

Time may not stand still at the Viceroy Mal­dives, but it certainly slows down. Guests arriving at the resort, which opened last April on a 17-acre private isle, are reminded to set their watches back an hour to the local “island time.” The delayed zone—designed to maximize daylight during guests’ waking hours—sets an alluringly languid […]

Refugia

Weaving among sheep-strewn hills that roll into the Pacific, the 30-minute van ride from Chiloé Island’s airport to the Refugia resort makes for a captivating first impression. So much so, in fact, that visitors may not notice an unusual oblong lodge as they near the shore of this remote island (Chile’s second largest), which only […]

Essential Safari Guide: Safari Spotlight

KER & DOWNEY The Texas-based outfitter Ker & Downey has been crafting safaris for more than 40 years, and its specialists have a particularly keen ability to uncover private, unheard-of experiences that reveal the true spirit of a destination. More standard perks for clients include room upgrades and complimentary spa services. Ultimate Africa: Primate Tour […]

Essential Safari Guide: Altruistic Adventures

Most African safari lodges and outfitters are deeply involved with conservation and community programs, and they often incorporate volunteer opportunities or charitable donations into their guests’ journeys. This not only allows travelers to contribute to local efforts—everything from restoring wildlife habitats to building schools in remote villages—but also affords them inside access to extraordinary experiences. […]