Bibendum, London, United Kingdom – 2 Michelin stars
Behind the magnificent Art Deco façade of the building that once housed the Michelin tyre company, as well as the headquarters of that firm’s celebrated red Guide, is one of the most popular eating establishments on the London scene. In the swanky Chelsea district, Chef Claude Bosi relies on his French heritage and Lyon roots to serve refined cuisine crafted from truly top-class ingredients, be it foie gras, caviar, lobster, pigeon or Bresse fowl. The dining-room service is brisk and fluid, helping to make every bite taken here a moment of delight.
Valverde Hotel, Lisbon, Portugal
On the stylish Avenida da Liberdade, the Valverde Hotel rises like an elegant townhouse, its classical facade enchanting the eye with volute columns and sculpted ornamental friezes. Cross the threshold into the profoundly intimate world created by architects and interior decorators José Pedro Vieira and Diogo Rosa Lã: a realm of discreet luxury, 1950s furniture, velvet armchairs, paintings, engravings. The Pateo – the perfect place for quiet conversation, tranquil reflection, or a long afternoon with a novel – is a refreshing, calm oasis away from the bustle of town, home to a streamlined swimming pool encircled by lush vegetation. In the kitchens, Chef Carla Sousa channels her Cape Verdean pedigree into the flavours of her Portuguese cuisine.
Taverna Estia, Naples, Italy – 2 Michelin stars
Mario and Francesco Sposito inherited their detail-focused passion from their parents’ restaurant. Francesco labours in his kitchen-lab wearing the crown of his two Michelin stars, while his brother, Mario, put his encyclopaedic knowledge and love of wine to prudent use as a sommelier. The warm atmosphere and meticulous wine selection are the perfect platform for the superbly crafted dishes reflecting the gastronomic history of the Naples region, the Amalfi Coast and, more broadly, Italy. On the restaurant menu, the producers (farmer, butcher, pasta-maker) are given their due before the delicious listing unfurls in a flavour-filled ode: smoked artichokes stuffed with pecorino mousse, parsley and seasonal garlic, black truffle or Genovese-style Neapolitan pasta.
Le Domaine de la Klauss, Montenach, France
In the heart of the land of the 3 borders (Luxembourg, Germany and France), overlooking the seven hills of Montenach, lies Le Domaine de la Klauss, a place of renewal and refreshment. Behind its imposing stone architecture is a cocoon of well-being, with an 800 m² Gemology spa offering matchless moments of relaxation. Each Suite here is unique, individually decorated and bears the name of a member of the owners’ family. All rooms give pride of place to local stones. In the kitchen, Chef Benoit Potdevin takes tremendous care with his culinary creations, giving them the same love he does the ingredients from the establishment’s own kitchen garden and free-range farm.
Casa Gangotena, Quito, Ecuador
On the historic Plaza San Francisco, a celebrated site in Quito’s old town, Casa Gangotena towers majestically around a palm-framed patio. The cream-coloured, neoclassical architecture glows in regal splendour, while the interiors – a wonderland of painted ceilings, rich woodwork and gleaming mirrors – radiate warmth and welcome. Remember to spend time on the terrace with a magnificent, panoramic view of the square and the Ecuadorian capital’s diverse neighbourhoods. The Chef applies traditional cooking to sustainably grown ingredients sourced from many of the country’s regions. Thus are born his menus, true reflections of Ecuador’s culinary essence, embellished with Spanish and European influences.
Hotel del Parque, Guayaquil, Ecuador
The Hotel del Parque has the privilege of being inside the boundaries of the Parque Historico de Guayaquil. This tropical oasis is a verdant sanctuary where you can savour the site’s eight hectares on foot, discovering more than fifty animal species. The hotel, an exquisite work of colonial architecture, is set on the banks of the Daule River and home to patios where hundred-year-old trees watch sedately over fountains, orchids and birds. A wellspring of refinement, a place of contemplation and comfort, soothing to body, mind and spirit.
Epako Safari Lodge, Omaruru, Namibia
In the mountainous realms of the Namibian bush bordering the Damaraland region, the Epako Safari Lodge combines the refinement of a luxury hotel with the raw beauty of wildlife. Here, guests traverse the lands of the San, whose presence can be detected in many places around the lodge by virtue of their rock paintings. Visitors can also observe the activities of an astonishing variety of animals on the reserve’s 11,000 hectares: white rhino, leopard, spotted hyena, brightly coloured birds. The lodge offers a distinctive human sanctuary amidst one for wild beasts. A nature-lover’s dream, a photographer’s paradise.
The Gut Steinbach Hotel & Chalets, the sister hotel of the Relais & Châteaux Park-Hotel Egerner Höfe, stretches over 50 hectares and convinced by the Bavarian art de vivre and an authentic haven of hospitality, designed to be also fully sustainable. Sports enthusiasts and nature lovers will be delighted with the plethora of outdoor activities on offer in these breathtaking surroundings. The hotel occupies a main building and a number of cottages dotting the banks of a pond, the perfect place for a retreat or an invigorating vacation of physical activity. Each of the seven chalets has its own yard, fireplace and relaxation area. The restaurant serves cuisine that honours farm-to-table principles, featuring vegetables grown in the garden on the grounds and animals raised on site.
Restaurant Orana, Adelaide, Australia
Chef Jock Zonfrillo champions native Australian ingredients in his fine-dining restaurant in Adelaide Australia, Restaurant Orana. He has travelled into Indigenous communities for decades, meeting and learning from the Elders, and translating their sophisticated gathering and cooking techniques into the Restaurant Orana menu. A meal at Restaurant Orana opens your mind – it’s educational, it’s delicious, it’s creative, it respects Indigenous ingredients, culture and methods – a truly unique experience which includes up to sixty native ingredients across your 18- courses, from Moreton Bay fig shoots to strawberry eucalytpus.
MARCH 2019 - MV Theory cruise vessel - Galápagos – Ecuador
Aboard the MV Theory, sister ship to the MV Origin, you will explore the Galápagos, a natural archipelago listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Over the course of this extraordinary cruise, the crew will ensure you enjoy an unforgettable experience in the lap of Mother Nature, honouring the maxims of preservation and respect. Set sail for true adventure!