The Travel Issue


Explore Australia's private island paradise, the Great Plains of Africa, exclusive spas in the South of France & luxury retreats in Italy, Greece, Thailand, Morocco, and more. Plus, inside Las Vegas' most lavish new suites and aboard three charter yachts in the Caribbean and Mediterranean. Also, extreme terrain vehicles, test-driving Land Rover's 2010 models.

From This Issue

The Robb Reader: Dereck and Beverly Joubert

When Botswana residents Dereck and Beverly Joubert are not traversing continents to promote their latest film, book, or photography exhibition, they live in the bush, tracking the lions and other super predators that are the focus of their Emmy Award–winning documentaries. After 32 years of exploring together, the Jouberts—who are part owners of the African […]

Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara

Though inhabited for thousands of years by nomadic Bedouin tribes, Abu Dhabi’s Empty Quarter is one of Earth’s hottest, driest, and least hospitable environments. The Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara—opened in October amid the Empty Quarter’s golden-red dunes—is one of the planet’s most welcoming. Thailand’s Anantara group modeled its latest resort, which sits […]

Bilila Lodge Kempinski

Big and bold like its surroundings, the 74-room Bilila Lodge Kempinski is one of just five non-tented lodges in Tanzania’s 5,700-square-mile Serengeti National Park. The $50 million property, which opened in July, includes all the requisite amenities of a five-star resort—infinity pools, sun decks, a wine cellar, a spa—plus such over-the-top features as a multistory […]

The Jefferson, Washington, D.C.

Fresh from a top-to-bottom renovation, the Jefferson in Washington, D.C., reopened in August with a new design scheme that is true to the 87-year-old hotel’s Beaux Arts roots and offers subtle nods to the third American president. Wander the halls to peruse original Thomas Jefferson sketches and signed notes before settling into one of the […]

San Antonio

Since Santorini became a regular cruise-ship stop a few years ago, the Greek volcanic island has become a hot spot for the tourist hordes. But last May, a hotel debuted on an isolated stretch of the island, a setting where the Santorini of old—a peaceful perch from which to sit and stare at the Aegean […]

Soneva Kiri

The Eco Villa at Six Senses’ new Soneva Kiri resort is best identified by what it lacks: carbon emissions. This environmentally friendly accommodation—which Six Senses intends as a prototype for its future properties—is one of 42 villas at Soneva Kiri, a stylishly sensitive beach resort that opened on Thailand’s Koh Kood Island in November. Since […]

La Mamounia

After a three-year, $180 million renovation, Marrakech’s La Mamounia has finally swung open its ornate, heavily mosaicked doors to reveal a hotel that, despite dating to 1923, is almost entirely new. “Inside and out virtually everything has changed,” says general manager Didier Picquot, himself new to the iconic Moroccan property. In the process, he says, […]

Il Salviatino

From among the cypress trees in the hills of Fiesole, Il Salviatino peeks out onto the Florentine skyline. This former aristocratic estate opened as a hotel in October following a nearly $60 million reinvention that touched every tile, fresco, and furnishing in the property’s 15th-century villa. Located three miles from the heart of Florence, Il […]

FrontRunners: Grab Bags

A reverence for all things automotive drove the design of the new Ralph Lauren Black Label Duffle ( Composed of durable but lightweight Italian nylon, with leather trim, the sleek $995 carry-on features racing-inspired stripes and black enamel hardware….The handsome new Berluti Venezia Travel line (212.439.6400) is fundamentally—and intentionally—flawed. The raw material for each of […]

FrontRunners: Gold Standard

The Vancouver Winter Olympic Games’ official hospitality provider, Jet Set Sports, has teamed up with Bombardier to offer the Flexjet 25 Jet Card—2010 Gold Edition (, a flight program and travel package centered on the 21st Winter Games. In addition to receiving 25, 30, or 35 hours of flight time aboard any Bombardier aircraft in […]

FrontRunners: Time Traveler

Travel watches should be, first and foremost, easy to use. The Concord C1 Worldtimer (, priced from $16,900 to $22,900, delivers on this functional front without sacrificing form. Created with the help of the Geneva-based company Blade Design, the 47-mm-wide watch features modern lines and a multilevel dial. The dial’s scale and open space make […]

FrontRunners: London Down

When a public-smoking ban took effect in London in 2007, the Lanesborough’s Library Bar could no longer serve cigars. So the hotel set three umbrellas on a sunken outdoor patio and served cigars in the makeshift space. The spot became so popular that the hotel sought permissions to upgrade it. Opened in April with the […]

FrontRunners: Ships Ahoy!

Northern Star ( is bringing a bit of the European countryside to the Caribbean, where the new 248-foot, five-deck megayacht just became available for charter for $650,000 per week. The vessel can accommodate as many as 12 guests comfortably, with roomy interior spaces modeled after those of a French country home. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.–based Moran […]

FrontRunners: John Singer Sargent

The roundly talented Italian-born American painter John Singer Sargent (1856–1925) is perhaps best known for Madame X, a portrait of Madame Gautreau in which the artist emphasized the Parisian beauty’s alabaster skin and black décolleté dress. The painting made waves at Paris’ Salon of 1884, where critics considered it strange and sexually charged. This year […]

Island Wonder Down Under

By the third day of the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2009 off Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the weather gods are clearly unhappy. A high-pressure system has settled over the island on this August morning, bringing the winds to a standstill and leaving a flotilla of roughly 200 becalmed sailing yachts to idle in the […]

Great Expectations

Dereck Joubert strides through tightly planted rows of pyrethrum and sweet potatoes on a steep rise in the Rwandan countryside. Reaching a craggy overlook near the mountain’s peak, he points down to the valley floor, where a muddy footpath snakes through the farmland. “The road will come up through there,” says Joubert, tracing the trail […]

Mind, Body & Soleil

If God lives in Italy, then he vacations in the south of France—or so the Provençals say. Such superlatives, however, pass almost without notice in this land of blue skies, lavender fields, olive groves, and vineyards, all of which—after disembarking from an 11-hour transatlantic flight—I have watched roll by during a two-hour taxi ride from […]

Imperial Heights

Caesars Palace has raised the stakes. The Las Vegas resort’s three Octavius Tower Villas—the property’s only individually designed suites—opened in September as part of an ongoing $1 billion expansion. Central to the development, the $375 million Octavius skyscraper was built to house 665 guest rooms and 71 suites, including this trio of second-floor retreats where […]

Wheels: The Rover Reimagined

Were off-roading enthusiasts to create a Hall of Fame for rugged vehicles, they would surely make the World War II Jeep a first-round inductee. This abiding symbol of U.S. Army mobility did everything and went anywhere, carrying Patton, Eisenhower, and Hemingway, among others, to their respective appointments with history. Of course the Land Rover would […]

Robb Design Portfolio: Sphere of Influence

In 1827, while exhibiting his products in Washington, D.C., globe maker James Wilson declared himself the preeminent American practitioner of his craft. Wilson went on to claim that he had achieved “such a degree of perfection” in his work that importation of globes from London, the trade’s epicenter at that time, was no longer necessary. […]

Robb Design Portfolio: Ferrari Picante

Contrast a leisurely jaunt from Paris to Monte Carlo in a modern supercar with the challenges faced in 1951 by Alberto Ascari and Luigi Villoresi while piloting their Ferrari at top speed in the Carrera Panamericana. The five-day, border-to-border road race, which attracted over 2 million spectators during its brief five-year life span, covered more […]