The Amazing Aurora

Travellers looking to chase the Northern Lights should join the new Iceland’s Northern Lights tour by Abercrombie & Kent (A&K). Departing October 12 and November 16, 2017, the eight-day journey not only allows guests to take in the amazing Northern Lights, but also offers the chance to enjoy the country’s incredible landscapes, including the dramatic fjords, geothermal lakes, mountains, volcanic craters, geysers and waterfalls of southwest Iceland. The tour features a visit to the healing waters of the Blue Lagoon, a glacial ice tunnel hike, and a jeep adventure. There’s also time to explore Reykjavik, the compact and stylish capital. Accommodating up to 18 guests, the tour is priced from AU$9,595 (US$7,032), per person, twin share.

Luxurious Cruising

Bangkok-based boutique hotel brand X2 has launched new cruises on Bangkok’s Chao Praya River, offering travellers a luxurious and comfortable way to enjoy Bangkok’s historic network of waterways. The two-hour luxury river and canal tour enables guests to explore all must-see Thai-heritage sites along the Chao Praya River. Inspired by Venetian taxi boats, the modern Italian custom designed cruiser can accommodate up to 14 passengers and features real leather interiors, air conditioning, cold drinks, and a sliding Targa-style roof for open-air sightseeing. Available to be booked for corporate events and private functions, the boat offers the perfect way to impress and caters to those in need of fast, comfortable luxury on the river.

Summer Beach Fun

Those bound for Bali this summer should head over to the new Finns Beach Club Canggu, only 15 minutes from Seminyak. Perched on famous Berawa Beach, the relaxing yet chic beach club is the perfect spot from which to enjoy great food, innovative cocktails, and beautiful sunsets. The striking bamboo structure of Finns Beach Club Canggu was specifically designed to allow guests to enjoy a stunning ocean view. They can laze away the day in the sun from the comfort of single and double day beds on the beach or swim a few laps in the club’s 30-metre infinity edge pool. A resident DJ starts spinning tunes at 4pm daily, setting the perfect scene for guests to take in an amazing Bali sunset.

Underwater Discovery

For those who love delving into the deep blue, Anantara has opened Aquafanatics, the first PADI-certified free diving centre in the Maldives, available to guests staying at Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort, Anantara Veli Maldives Resort and Naladhu Maldives. The less explored activity of free diving strips many restraints attached with traditional scuba diving. Free diving relies on divers holding their breath, leaving them free to move through the translucent Maldivian waters. Every diver is made to feel at ease in the water with Anantara’s professional free diving instructor Mari Kagaya, who is originally from Japan and qualified as a diving instructor in Honduras in 2002.

Foodie Adventure

Looking to enjoy a range of delicacies in Palm Springs, California? Check out the array of establishments on the area’s foodie trail. Kick off your foodie journey at Shields Date Garden, where you can sample nearly a dozen varieties of dates, before heading to Morgan’s in the Desert for a local feast in a breathtaking hacienda-style setting, or savour locally roasted coffee beans at Koffi. On the second day, visit Chicken Ranch, which sources their rotisserie birds from Gone Straw Farms, and try modern desert cuisine at King’s Highway in Ace Hotel & Swim Club. Make sure to explore the wide variety of meats, cheeses and locally-made salsa at Coachella Valley Certified Farmers Markets, before ending the day with a hand crafted beer at Coachella Valley Brewing Company.

Breakfast in Nature

Travellers to Sabah can now enjoy an unforgettable breakfast in the jungles of Borneo, with views of Mount Kinabalu, with the newly launched Breakfast with a View package from Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort & Spa. Guests will trek through the jungle, with an expert guide who will show them long tailed macaque monkeys, deer, squirrels, hornbill birds and 30 species of butterflies along the way. Upon completing their climb, guests will be greeted with a bottle of Champagne and a delicious breakfast of pastries and fresh seasonal fruits from the local markets. After breakfast, they will be lead along a secret trail to a private lagoon, where they will set out on their kayak towards the turquoise waters of Pantai Dalit Beach.

Lavish Seclusion

Situated in the foothills of the spectacular Atlas Mountains in Morocco, the award-winning Kasbah Tamadot has opened its allnew Berber Tented Suite, offering discerning travellers a luxurious retreat from which to enjoy the beauty of the African landscape. With a private deck equipped with sun loungers and space for outdoor dining, the new Tented Suite allows guests the chance to soak up views of the Atlas Mountains. It also features a private Jacuzzi for them to relax in after a day of adventure. From watching a selection of films in the open-air cinema under the stars, to relaxing in a traditional Hammam in the Asounfou Spa, Kasbah Tamadot makes for a fantastic way to unwind and enjoy Moroccan luxury at its very best.

Explore Laos on Two Wheels

SpiceRoads Cycle Tours has relaunched the Hidden Laos by Road Bike tour, following a mandatory road closure and subsequent travel restrictions from March 7 to June 30 in Laos’ Xaisomboun province. The first departure on this moderately challenging, eight-day road biking adventure is scheduled for October 9, 2016. Beginning in the Laotian capital of Vientiane with a pleasant ride along the Mekong River, the tour offers guests the opportunity to climb through the foothills of the Annamese Caldera, pass through the untouched Xaysomboun Special Zone, experience the vast and mysterious Plain of Jars, and relax on the riverside among the spectacular karsts of Vang Vieng. A support van will follow behind the group carrying cold drinks and snacks for any rider in need of a break.

Fiji Oasis

DoubleTree by Hilton has debuted in Fiji with the opening of DoubleTree by Hilton Fiji – Sonaisali Island. Surrounded by the pristine waters of the South Pacific Ocean, the new resort features 120 generously-sized guest rooms and bures (traditional Fijian bungalows), which offer awe-inspiring views of the stunning Mamanuca Islands. Guests can sate their appetites at Vulani, which provides buffet and à la carte dining with themed nights and live entertainment, or enjoy an extensive selection of BBQ-style meats at the beachfront restaurant, Tavu Bar & Grill. In addition to an array of adventurous and relaxing activities, such as horseback riding and paintballing, a multitude of water activities are also available, including snorkeling, scuba diving and yachting.

Antarctica Exploration

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic has added two new departures – November 7 and 17 – to their Antarctica 2016 season. Both departures will be aboard the 102-guest National Geographic Orion, and will follow the 11-night Journey to Antarctica: The White Continent expedition. Guests will be able to marvel at an astounding number of penguins, a myriad of bird species and whales, as well as majestic ice sculptures. The active, immersive adventure will also include kayaking among icebergs, Zodiac cruises past resting leopard seals, and hikes on the continent with a professional ice team, which comprises an expedition leader, eight veteran naturalists, a National Geographic photographer, a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor, and an undersea specialist.

House of Elegance

If you’re heading to the aesthetic city of Galle, Sri Lanka, you should watch out for the recently-opened Jetwing Lighthouse Club, a luxurious retreat wrapped in elegance and old world charm. Adjoining Jetwing Lighthouse, the new hotel is home to 20 deluxe rooms, furnished with rich timber and eco-friendly fabrics; two themed suites with private Jacuzzis, plunge pools, and separate seating areas; an indulgent spa; and a swimming pool. Guests can embark on a culinary journey at the signature Nihal’s restaurant, overseen by internationally-renowned executive chef Nihal Senanayake, and can access all the bars and restaurants at Jetwing Lighthouse, including fine-dining restaurant Cinnamon Room, Cardamom Café, Anchor Bar, and Coat of Arms & Cinnamon Terrace.

Refreshed Beachfront Gem

Travellers heading to Okinawa in Japan should book the newly-refurbished Sheraton Okinawa Sunmarina Resort. Located on Sunmarina Beach, the luxurious resort offers 200 renovated guest rooms and suites, which boast all of the Sheraton brand’s signature amenities, and balconies with sweeping views of the East China Sea. The resort also features a fully renovated lobby, with an open, airy ambiance, and a variety of dining options. Senses is an all-day dining restaurant which offers fresh, local flavours and superb ocean views; while the Atrium Lounge serves a recently introduced lobby bar menu, Paired. The luxurious resort is on track to add a new wing with additional guest rooms, a wellness center, and new dining options, by December.

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