For Instants, hotelier-writer Marie-Christine Clément shares her travelogue in six exquisite, “unforgettable moments” across China, exploring the land’s traditional crops and culture. The second leg of this journey takes us to Chaptel Hangzhou for a secret tea-time.
Winter is arguably one of the most magical seasons, with snow-covered mountains ready to be explored. Luckily, spots across North America offer plenty of seasonal activities for those who don't want to hit the slopes. Here are 10 off-piste experiences that will make you yearn for a frosty escape.
From a remote lodge on Vancouver Island to a former Rockefeller estate in the Adirondacks, these five properties offer guests the chance to commune with nature.
Through pictures by British photographer Adam Slama, explore the heady charms of the Mexican city of Tequila.
Writer Hans Christian Anderson was born on the Danish island of Funen, and still today the island’s idyllic setting and famously cosy lifestyle are worthy of a fairytale. Amid this rural bliss lies Falsled Kro, the epitome of a countryside inn.
"When was the last time you truly relished the great outdoors? I don’t mean a beach vacation – I mean really getting back to the land: a cabin in the woods, a comfortable, high-altitude hideaway. On a hillside deep in the Great Smoky Mountains, that’s exactly what Blackberry Mountain has to offer."
Just a short ride away from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, Hakone is a popular destination to recharge and completely immerse oneself in the surrounding nature. I booked a trip to Gôra Kadan, known for its hot springs (onsen) and gorgeous views of Mount Fuji, for a weekend escape.
Tucked away in England’s idyllic New Forest, Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa is the perfect location to relax, explore and reconnect with nature.
I sit here as the sun starts to rise, with the birds gathering to sing their dawn cacophony, the moon still high in the sky, and look out over the majestic landscape toward the craggy rocks, hills, and acacia trees, feeling that if there is a moment of perfection … this is it.
Explore the city of Cape Town, drink the wine and wild air of the Winelands … but for needs of the heart and soul, retreat to the gardens of The Cellars-Hohenort in the Constantia Valley.
When you look at the map of New England, it reveals, to those who look closely, a few magical white dots, a kind of secret code for insiders: these are the Relais & Châteaux of the East Coast. The collection is noteworthy, sometimes cosy and quiet, sometimes glorious and iconic.
Just two hours from Buenos Aires, you will find a remarkable estancia that distills the charm of Argentinian gaucho tradition in a truly beautiful setting.
To reach the last destination of our trip through beautiful Rajasthan, India, we headed south of Jodhpur, into the Thar Desert. Rising like a mirage in the sand, we arrived at Mihir Garh, the Fort of the Sun.
National Geographic photographer and filmmaker, Beverly and Dereck Joubert, co-founders and owners of Great Plains Conservation, have dedicated their lives to protecting wildlife and wild spaces.
At the base of Mount Tanigawa, northwest of Tokyo, a traditional inn invites you into a world of contemplation. Wrapped in its welcoming simplicity, travelers experience the changing of the seasons more intensely.
In an equally majestic panorama that sweeps from mountains to ocean, the landscape completely changes on the road from Matakauri Lodge in Queenstown to Otahuna Lodge in Canterbury, the last leg of our New Zealand excursion.
In a 1900s Art Nouveau building with stained-glass windows and turrets, Hotel Walther, a sumptuous mountainside hotel, is in one of the most beautiful villages of the southern Alps: Pontresina.
A stay at the Esiweni Luxury Safari Lodge in the Nambiti Private Game Reserve is a gift you give yourself, a moment far from the urban clamor. Here, wildlife and life in the wild weave their spells; days are measured by sunrise and sunset as you share experiences with the animals of the savannah.
Following a devastating wildfire nearby, two R&C properties are back.
A bridge between past and present – this is no doubt the first impression visitors have of the Burg-Schwarzenstein Hotel, some sixty kilometers (thirty-seven miles) from Frankfurt, Germany.
Staying in a hotel that was built in the year 1217 is destined to be a singular experience. But nothing prepares you for the striking visit to the remarkable Château de Bagnols.
Glaciers and fjords, skyscraping mountains and verdant plains, subtropical forests, a volcanic plateau, pristine coastlines – nature’s every variation awaits you on New Zealand’s South Island. First stop: Matakauri Lodge in Queenstown.
Just 25 minutes by train from Paris, the Domaine de Chantilly and L’Auberge du Jeu de Paume provide a delicious and historic cultural experience just a stone’s throw from the French capital.
Behind its carved, 19th-century façade, the Valverde Hotel, located on the celebrated Avenida da Liberdade, is home to a vast, verdant patio. Here, from dawn to dusk, the property thrums with life, from breakfast buffets to fado performances, considered some of the city’s best.
Explore a sublime, preserved environment, a peaceful oasis where time seems to stand still. Set out to meet nature face-to-face and find utter relaxation in Bavaria’s warm hospitality and unique savoir-faire.
A few miles across the Aude River from Carcassonne is the Domaine d’Auriac – a majestic, historic property where time stands still and the hostess receives her guests like family, with warmth and kindness.
The island of Ischia, off the coast of Naples, is more than colorful palazzi and vertiginous lanes: It’s a renowned hydrotherapy site with volcano-heated waters thought to have great curative powers.
It is an establishment with a soul. The soul of the family that has been caring for it for 30 years.
London, in all its vibrant, metropolitan glory, cannot be missed, but England’s real crown jewels? They don’t reside in The Tower. Come rain or come shine, the English countryside is evergreen and, with some of her most historic houses and princely castles within easy reach of the capital.
Les Hortensias du Lac – an emblematic hotel in Hossegor in France’s coastal Landes département, has been completely renovated and just reopened, now exuding even more human, down-to-earth warmth and wonder.
Located in Barcelona's Gothic Quarter, on the discreet Plaça de Sant Felip Neri, Hotel Neri, a historic 18th-century palace, features classic modern design and contemporary art.
Pulling into the hotel’s circular driveway, with vines sitting prettily off in the distance, I knew we were in for a treat. The Barossa Valley area is a wine region renowned for its outstanding Syrah vineyards (or Shiraz, as we like to call it in Australia).
Wharekauhau Country Estate is the most enchanting sheep station in all of New Zealand, just a short helicopter ride or leisurely drive from the capital city of Wellington, and the perfect home base for exploring wine and food in the Waiarapa.
Megan Lambert explores the works of celebrated 19th-century artist António Xavier Trindade, known as “The Rembrandt of the East”. She discovers a surprising family connection between him and the owner of Ahilya by the Sea, Goa, an oasis of natural beauty and an ideal haven for artists.
Leonardo da Vinci’s little-known project, cut short by his demise, was to transform Romorantin into the “ideal city” and that spirit permeates the city to this day. As it does the Grand Hôtel du Lion d’Or, erected in the days of the Italian genius and designed to make all the senses sing.
That greenest of the Aeolian Islands: Salina the wild, where the tip of Capofaro is anointed with an immaculate lighthouse set amidst an enchanting vineyard. It is the perfect place to discover Mediterranean culture while respecting its profound fragility.
Located in the heart of the South African savannah, Londolozi – literally “protector of all living things” and once a favorite of Nelson Mandela – is an ecotourism paradise. It is a lodge where elegance abides by harmony with nature.
This summer, the little Swiss town of Vevey in the Canton of Vaud is getting ready to hold its 12th Fête des Vignerons. It’s an event you can’t afford to miss, because it only comes around five times every century! Relais & Châteaux is a partner to this year’s event.
Only three hours from Paris on the TGV, located in the center of Aix-en-Provence, the Villa Gallici is so blissful that no one ever wants to leave. As soon as guests arrive, they are made to feel at home in a family that has but one desire: to ensure they have a good time.
For a romantic getaway a few kilometers from Verona, the ageless city of lovers since the days of Romeo and Juliet, Villa Cordevigo is the ideal retreat. This 17th-century episcopal palace, nestling in an Italian-style garden, is the quintessence of la dolce vita.
Rising regally over Menorca’s Port Ciutadella, the Hotel Can Faustino is one of the most beautiful luxury establishments on the Balearic Islands. It is also designed to feel like a family home, where guests are met with warm, down-to-earth hospitality.
Tucked away deep in Provence, far from the hustle-bustle of the big cities, is Le Mas des Herbes Blanches, surrounded by olive trees and cypresses, offering a magnificent view of the Luberon Valley and steeped in Mediterranean atmosphere. An oasis of peace disturbed only by the song of the cicadas.
At Rancho Valencia, the Californian come-as-you-are lifestyle is alive and thriving. Just a few hours in this hacienda will have you feeling suddenly free.
Far from the clamor of the big cities, photographer duo Arturo Bamboo finds inspiration in the soothing, romantic ambiance of the Schlosshotel. From the spacious rooms bathed in natural light to the vast landscaped grounds, the couple eternalizes life in the great outdoors just an hour from Berlin.
The Hôtel Parc Victoria is an Art-Deco masterpiece in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, southwest of France. An inimitable institution that whisks guests back in time a hundred years...
A 30-minute drive from Bilbao, overlooking the Natural Biosphere Reserve of Urdaibai, sits the majestic Castillo de Arteaga. A neogothic, fortified tower brought to life by Napoleon III back in the 19th century, shaped today as a one-of-a-kind hospitality story.
On the largest island in the Mediterranean, Ragusa seems to have been preserved by time. In its maze of alleyways, the Locanda Don Serafino hotel occupies a former palace stable near the ramparts of the lower part of the city. Blogger Nathan Rollinson recounts his discovery of this place.
Sometimes you just have to be honest with yourself: You deserve the best. The Rajmahal Palace, drenched in rich, flamboyant colors and patterns and boasting monumental architecture and a supremely attentive staff, offers a maharajah’s life every moment you are within its walls.
Meadowood Napa Valley soothes the mind and stimulates creativity — a luxurious wine country retreat woven into nature, refreshing any time of year.
Within the walls of the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Historic District of Old Québec, the centuries converge at Auberge Saint-Antoine, where antiquity meets modern luxury.
Texel is one of the Dutch North Sea Islands. More than one thousand hectares of dunes, tall grasses and wild orchids, but only seven villages. It’s in one of those that Nadine and husband Jef have restored the historic vicarage that is now home to a sleek hotel and its Michelin-starred restaurant.
Welcome to Asturias, an enchanting natural paradise stretching along the Cantabrian Sea. A land of rolling mountains, spectacular beaches, cliffs to cause even the most daring to tremble, colorful villages, resplendent natural wonders, and unforgettable cuisine.
When you arrive at L’Albereta in Franciacorta, in the Lake District of Lombardy, east of Milan, the peaceful setting feels almost like a secret. Passing through vineyards, you arrive at a refined, stately country villa, covered in vines, overlooking Lake Iseo in the valley below.
Wild beauty and well-being are everywhere at Imanta Punta de Mita. Nestled in the equatorial forest, bordering the Pacific Ocean, it is the ideal place to experience this exhilarating feeling of change of scenery and enjoy the wonders of Mexican nature.
Mykonos, famous for its 24-hour summer parties, displays a more authentic side in the offseason. At the Myconian Ambassador, the island’s first five-star resort, rest and relaxation await you, helping you ease gently out of winter and prepare body and soul for summer.
The Grand Hôtel de Cala Rossa, a warm-weather paradise near Porto-Vecchio, offers a more secluded – but just as enchanting – experience before and after the summer season.
Enter the gates and you’ll be surrounded by lush greenery and charming brick houses until you arrive at the alluring castle at its center. With a history dating back to the 16th century, the hotel spans the entire village–from a quaint breakfast house to the elegant castle-spa.
In the heart of Australia's Barossa Valley, Hentley Farm is Chief Lachlan Colwill's favourite place for reflection and experimentation. In the morning, as a true partner of nature, he selects, picks and fishes what you will taste in the evening.
Joann Pai leads us to discover the riches of India. Its first stopover is the Sujan Sher Bagh, nestled in the heart of the Ranthambhore Nature Reserve in Rajasthan. It is the ideal place to meet tigers and experience the luxury camping of the 1920s.
Deep in the countryside some thirty miles north of Amsterdam, the Koopman family has been raising cows for three generations and turning their milk into the only raw-milk Edam still produced in Holland. A trip back in time.
What happens in Kerala doesn’t stay in Kerala! Long, long, long after the poets have disappeared, their songs still whisper through the streets. The same is true for memories of Purity.
At Tobira Onsen Myojinkan, tucked away in a secluded corner of the mountains, a two-hour train ride from Tokyo, the spring waters leave you feeling cleansed from the inside out while the cuisine, reflecting Nagano’s natural bounty, renews body, mind, and spirit.
There are a few special places around the world where old habits and routines can’t find you. Somewhere remote, for instance. Somewhere like Royal Chundu in Zambia, with its private slice of the quiet upper reaches of the legendary Zambezi River offering you a chance to disconnect from everything.
Ancient fortresses, ultra-modern museums and a scenic clifftop setting: a weekend in Luxembourg City reveals why the Grand-Duchy’s fairytale of a capital is greater than the sum of its parts.
It’s a strange yet precious feeling to be alone on a private island. Once my butler had shown me around, explained the intricacies and practicalities of having a never-ending villa home next to a white sand beach in the Seychelles archipelago, it was just me.
German photographers Arturo & Bamboo escape the buzz of their Berliner life, to enjoy Baltic Sea's beaches on Usedom's island and immortalize Gutshaus Stolpe's peaceful atmosphere, a little piece of heaven located in the heart of a natural parc. A dreamy break within two-hour driving from Berlin.
Perched dramatically on the edge of a cliff along Italy’s Amalfi Coast is one of the most unforgettably opulent hotels I’ve ever been to: Il San Pietro di Positano.
"It feels almost as though it is an island alone in the ocean as you sit on the balcony of your suite, overlooking the cliffs and the raging waves below! In Cascais, the seaside resort where locals escape from the capital, Fortaleza do Guincho is Portugal’s most romantic hotel."
From Cape Town, it takes scarcely an hour to reach the Delaire Graff. The former vineyard, which has since expanded with a very exclusive lodge, has become an essential stop along the legendary and scenic Helshoogte Pass, a road crisscrossing some of the world’s most beautiful countryside.
A haven of peace at the gateway to Bordeaux, between the estuary and the Atlantic beaches, in the heart of the Pauillac vineyards, Château Cordeillan-Bages is a wine tourism destination that renews itself between tradition and modernity around its core business: wine.
Far from the island's main town of Chora, where people move from restaurants to nightclubs, there is still a Mykonos where luxury is synonymous with peace , and sensual delights with design. Founded by the Daktylides family, the Myconian Ambassador hotel is emblematic of that delectable balance.
A château, a Pléiade poet and a lover of Carrara marble all come together here in the heart of Anjou. French historian and writer Xavier Mauduit tells the story of the Château de Noirieux at Briollay with his usual humor.
Since October, Marrakesh has been home to a new museum celebrating the life and work of Yves Saint Laurent. The French fashion icon was so inspired by the ocher-colored city that he made it his second home and left his unmistakable mark upon it. This is a travel into the heart of his legacy.
Nishimuraya Honkan is a haven of peace, 150 km from Osaka. Guests come here to enjoy the benefits of its onsen — the thermal bath of volcanic spring water — for its Japanese garden and for its gourmet cuisine of subtle finesse.
Tea Trails is nestled in the heart of the tea-growing region of Ceylon, near Sri Lanka's Central Highlands, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Walk along the winding paths, enjoying the stunning landscapes as you discover the subtle flavours of tea and life on a tea plantation.
Saint-Tropez is one of those mythic towns in the South of France where you can party or simply let time slip away listening to the songs of cicadas. A few minutes from the port, La Bastide is an elegant residence. A place to enjoy the Saint-Tropez lifestyle and experience the art of relaxation.
Three islands around Vancouver. Three encounters with nature. These Relais & Châteaux properties bring you on a journey into a setting of primary forests and rivers of crystalline waters where the stunning beauty of the landscape and wild fauna are the main spectacle.
Imagine a Tuscan-style villa awash with shades of ochre, surrounded by stone pines and bordered by a sandy beach. This could be a description of paradise. Welcome to Le Club de Cavalière on the Côte d’Azur...
Located in the city centre, Hotel Heritage, housed in a classic building from the 19th century, is the ideal departure point for visiting the medieval city of Bruges. By foot or by boat, discover the gastronomy, history and architecture of this city listed as a World Heritage Site.
Meadowood is surrounded by nature, on a 100-hectare estate. At this unforgettable stopover in the heart of Napa Valley, you can wander through the forest at your leisure, learn to play croquet or golf, and enrich your knowledge of wine.
Château de la Chèvre d’Or sits suspended from the hills of the French Riviera. Cruise the waters by boat, picnic along the beach, enjoy the exotic garden and its gastronomy: this magnificent historic village overlooking the Mediterranean is an invitation to embark on a journey.
With modern and minimalist architecture and an incredible view of the Dolomites, we have officially arrived at Terra by Auener Hof to discover the beautifully delicate cuisine of Heinrich Schneider.
A monumental gothic fireplace, frescoes, tapestries and the richness of the terroir of the region of Lyon. Xavier Mauduit tells us with humor about eight centuries of history of the Château de Bagnols, located in the heart of the Beaujolais vineyard.
After taking the plane, train, and then car, I am now headed to Rosa Alpina in the heart of Italy's Dolomites to enjoy the mountain atmosphere for a breath of fresh air.
There was once a baby elephant, Jabulani, who was abandoned at the age of 4 months. Adopted by Lente Roode, owner of Camp Jabulani, it was at this moment when the reserve's story began. Today, passionate people are making every effort to save and protect these threatened species.
Perched on a tropical hillside, Hotel Wailea is a peaceful oasis in Hawai. Here you can enjoy yourself on the lush garden, practice yoga beside a waterfall or just take your time at the stunning pool. An unparalleled experience to live the aloha way of life.
Checking in for a day-long Mediterranean getaway… in upstate New York
You will be amazed by this exceptional property which blends classical architecture with modern design.
The sledging season may be coming to an end, but at Megève we can always enjoy the mountain. At Flocons de Sel, the Michelin three-star chef Emmanuel Renaud proposes an imaginative and colourful cuisine. Everything has a direct link with the region. His motto: eating and building locally.
Discover this exceptional place between Amboise castle and Chambord castle.
Arriving in Cartagena is like traveling back through history witnessing the grand architecture, the vibrant colors and the varied textures that have remained in this mystic walled city since the 16th Century.
Only 270 km from Cape Town, located in the Cederberg Mountains, the Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve is a natural haven of wide open plains, rich biodiversity, and the haunting presence of our human ancestors.
Here, we are elsewhere. In Londolozi, located in the heart of the Sabi Sand Reserve in South Africa, time stops and life flows with the rhythm of the wildlife. We are in the land of the animals.
Bubbly isn’t the only reason to visit Reims. Set just beyond the city center and surrounded by 7 hectares of verdant parkland is a place of culinary wonder. At Les Crayeres, inventive Michelin-starred dining comes together with classically-appointed interiors to royal effect.
Here I am, 9,000 km from France, in a country that is not a complete mystery to me: South Africa. Before our first visit, I had always been told that once you visit the country, you become an enthusiast for life. This, I can confirm.
Nestled in the Rocky Mountains at Montana, Triple Creek Ranch is a sanctuary for the region's flora and fauna. In this snowy refuge, skiing or practicing archery rhyme with relaxation and well-being.
Pioneer amongst high-altitude Michelin-starred chefs, Michel Rochedy is a young man who just celebrated his 80th birthday. He runs Chabichou, a unique Relais et Châteaux establishment at the ski resort of 3 Vallées. Here are his 5 best tips.
Barbados... it's a name that elicits dreams. I am on a small island in the Southern Caribbean and at the sight of this turquoise water, into which I dream of immersing myself, the magic instantly hits me...
Truly a blustery New England weekend, we spent our time wrapped in sweaters while happily walking the white shell roads and dune grass paths, admiring the grey shingled cottages of ’Sconset and the calm embrace of fall on the island.
Calm, luxury and sensuality or humility, peace and hospitality? Or all combined? In the heart of Burgundy, the «Abbaye de la Bussière » is however a haven of tranquility. Xavier Mauduit tells us the story …
If the ending of Romeo and Juliette had been a happy one, it would be easy to imagine it being here. Twenty minutes from Verona, the two lovers would have secretly met on the banks of Lake Garda in Villa Fiordialiso...
Riad Fès is a luxury retreat in the middle of the city and a hideaway from the hustle and bustle of the medina.
Don Alfonso 1890 stands on the Amalfi Coast, on the stunning headland where the gulf of Naples meets the gulf of Salerno. More than an hôtel, it is family story, a place where Alfonso and Ernesto Iaccarino create dishes that reflect their love for this part of Italy.
In Cancale, a few kilometers from the port, along the Breton coast, I arrived around noon at Maisons de Bricourt to meet Mr. Olivier Roellinger. The establishment's owner and former Michelin-starred chef, took the time to share with me the adventures of his life, his love for traveling and spices.
Two steps from the most famous beach in all of southern Corsica lies the Bergeries de Palombaggia hotel, which invites you to discover the magic of the Isle of Beauty with its turquoise waters, golden light, magnificent mountains and the scent of pine trees all year round.
Without a doubt it's an abbey, but it's also a house that radiates from inside and out. Pink-kissed stone soaks in the faintest of sun beams; the grounds warm up as the rays arrive and greet the first ripples of spring.
Auberge du Soleil and Californian wines go hand in hand. Come rain or shine, a tour of Napa Valley isn't complete without a visit to this property located on a hillside in the midst of beautiful olive trees!
On the banks of the Dordogne River lies the Château de la Treyne, which boasts original 14th- to 17th-century architecture set in a spectacular location with a French formal garden and the gastronomy of the Lot region. I was in paradise.
Venice is a magical place made up over a hundred little islands interconnected by over 400 bridges. The architecture is beautiful and the food is fantastic. We were lucky enough to find an oasis of calm at Londra Palace, in the heart of this busy Italian city.
Universally, Provence evokes insouciant getaways, strolls through rolling hills and vineyards, and idyllic villages paved with cobblestones. Hôtel Crillon Le Brave brings those images to life, with exquisite views of the Mont Ventoux, whiffs of lavender in the spring and truffles in the fall.
On the hills of Honfleur in Normandy, this former 17th-century school was transformed into a magnificent 5-star hotel and spa. A few meters from the port, this little corner of paradise will transport you into the Impressionist period.