Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Ocean Pool Villa.
Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Ocean Pool Villa.
Image: Supplied

FARI ISLANDS, MALDIVES 

The Maldives sets the bar pretty high when it comes to high-end escapes, but the new Fari Islands development in the North Malé Atoll recalibrates even Maldivian luxury, offering three architectural master-strokes in one remarkable destination. While most Maldivian resorts revel in their far-flung isolation, this new “integrated development” sees three distinct luxury resorts — Patina, Capella, and Ritz- Carlton — set on adjoining islands. Conceived by Kerry Hill Architects, the minimalist design of the Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands takes its inspiration from the personality of its remarkable setting, embracing the contrast between wide ocean and calm lagoon. With 100 villas, 24/7 butler service, and a choice of six restaurants, there’s certainly no shortage of diversions. And don’t miss out on Jean- Michel Cousteau’s hands-on “Ambassadors of the Environment” programme to get under the skin of this fragile ecosystem. 

On the northernmost island, Patina Maldives, Fari Islands celebrates simplicity. It’s the work of Brazilian architect Marcio Kogan, with 20 beach suites and 90 villas informed by the principles of biophilic design, ensuring harmony with the landscape. In an environment that embraces a sustainable ethos throughout, guests can explore a dozen unique culinary experiences, including plant-based fine dining at Roots. Patina’s sister resort, Capella, is due to open in 2023. Uniquely, all three resorts share access to the Fari Marina Village, a vibrant central destination where guests can gather, connect, and celebrate. The village includes the Fari Beach Club, under two- Michelin-star chef and DJ Nick Bril — one of seven curated dining experiences. There are also unique retail opportunities, an annual calendar of creative events, and a state-of-the-art yacht marina. Island luxury, reinvented. 

ritzcarlton.ultraluxurymaldives.com, fari-islands.com/patina-maldives

Patina Maldives.
Patina Maldives.
Image: Supplied
A tennis court at the Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Ocean Pool Villa.
A tennis court at the Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Ocean Pool Villa.
Image: Supplied
Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Ocean Pool Villa.
Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Ocean Pool Villa.
Image: Supplied
Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Ocean Pool Villa.
Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Ocean Pool Villa.
Image: Supplied

LOLEBEZI, ZAMBIA

The newest luxury safari destination from African Bush Camps taps into the well of inspiration that is the mighty Zambezi River, which flows at the foot of this idyllic camp in the Lower Zambezi National Park.Hosting just 16 guests in six suites, two of which are aimed at families, Lolebezi is “a camp with lasting value, deeply luxurious, unique in design yet unpretentious”, explains Debra Fox of design agency Fox Browne Creative, which brought Lolebezi to life in partnership with architect Jack Alexander. And the suites are certainly remarkable, each one a private viewing pavilion gazing out over the Zambezi.

Lolebezi.
Lolebezi.
Image: Supplied

Floating above the landscape, the suites blend contemporary design with authentic and organic textures — woven reed, canvas, wood, and beadwork. The signature design element is the cocooning mosquito net, richly embroidered with wooden beads, that spirals around the king-size bed. Twice-daily safari drives allow you to explore the lush landscape of the park, or you can admire the views from the suspended circular walkway rising into the tree canopy, offering remarkable forest and river views. Lolebezi opens to guests in June 2022.

africanbushcamps.com/camps/lolebezi/

Lolebezi.
Lolebezi.
Image: Supplied

NOMAD LONDON, UK

How I’ve missed London. Aside from two years of not seeing family and friends, it’s the hum and hustle of the city, its infectious energy and cosmopolitan spirit that I’ve longed for. And few new addresses in the city are more worthy of that first return visit than NoMad London. It’s the first European outpost of this boutique American brand, transporting all of its drama, décor, and dazzling energy across the pond. But it’s also a property that remains inherently British, set in the heart of the city at Covent Garden. It’s within the walls of what was once the Bow Street Magistrates’ Court and Police Station, a heritage-listed building where the abundance of wood panelling and oxblood leather speak to a distinct aesthetic. New York-based interior design studio Roman and Williams Buildings and Interiors has created a dramatic space, crammed with more than 1 600 artworks. It’s gleefully lavish; a place where Oscar Wilde would have felt right at home (he spent some time in the cells on site, now preserved as the Bow Street Police Museum). In the NoMad Restaurant, the central atrium is a riot of greenery and white-marble tables bathed in sunlight. Here NoMad signature dishes and modern British plates from executive chef Ashley Abodeely fly out of the kitchen. And even if you’re dining out, you’ll want a nightcap at Side Hustle — a bustling cocktail bar. When I’m next in London, you’ll find me there. thenomadhotel.com/london/

NoMad, atrium.
NoMad, atrium.
Image: Supplied

 From the March edition of Wanted, 2022.

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