With the onset of the monsoons coupled with the heat in the Thai capital (and yes, we are talking about the weather, for once), it is time to experience the onslaught of milder summer. Guru By Bangkok Post lists places where you can chill in the cool summer breeze.

White Lotus vibes

When Belmond’s Grand Hotel Timeo opened its doors in 1873, it not only became Taormina’s first hotel, but also quickly rose to fame as a pioneer in putting Sicily on the map. The hotel turns 150 this year and to celebrate has curated a series of cultural moments. 

Highlights include executive chef Roberto Toro taking his culinary craft beyond the hotel walls, to unique locations across the island; the launch of a limited edition Etna wine bottle; a new contemporary art installation in Timeo’s gardens, as part of the Mitico artistic series in collaboration with Galleria Continua; and the publication of the hotel’s first book, honouring its rich history, the people who have kept it alive, and the beautiful landscapes that surround it. 

The culinary series will pop-up in exclusive locations across Sicily, including the Pietradolce winery, which will produce 150 collectible limited edition wine bottles in honour of the anniversary, with hand painted labels by local artist Alessandro Florio. The “Mitico: The Next Chapter In Contemporary Art” will display a new installation until December. Visit belmond.com/hotels/europe/italy/taormina/belmond-grand-hotel-timeo.

Sail the high seas 

Regent Seven Seas Cruises & Fabergé (yes, that Fabergé) have collaborated to create a spotlight voyage. The special sailing will bring guests into the world of Fabergé with small group master-class programmes, exclusive access to intimate shore-side tours, jewelled egg demonstrations and fascinating lectures and screenings. 

Additionally, there is also the option to book a special pre-cruise land programme in London, which includes a visit to the Fabergé headquarters, an exclusive shopping experience in Harrods, private viewing of the royal portraits in Westminster Abbey and more. The 10-night sailing will be aboard the new Seven Seas Grandeur, setting sail in November. Spotlight on Fabergé sailings have been created in celebration of the bespoke, hand-crafted “Journey In Jewels Egg Objet” — the first Fabergé egg to reside permanently at sea — which will be the pièce de résistance of the dazzling art collection on the Grandeur. 

Before the  Fabergé voyage sets sail from Southampton, London, guests have the opportunity to purchase an exclusive pre-cruise experience in London. Prices on the Fabergé voyage begin at US$13,599 per guest, and can be combined with the exclusive two-night pre-cruise land programme for an additional US$1,999 per guest. Call +852-800-930222 or visit RSSC.com.

Pamper yourself

Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc has unveiled the Dior Spa Eden-Roc at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, Oetker Collection’s luxury hotel in Antibes, France. 

This legendary place is celebrated by an eponymous perfume in the Collection Privée Christian Dior. The Dior spa is inspired by and looking out onto nature and the radiant Côte d’Azur light. Having selected this setting for several advertising campaigns, Dior made Eden-Roc a special destination by dedicating an eponymous perfume to it, in an olfactory tribute to this legendary, sun-drenched spot.

Overlooking the southern tip of Cap d’Antibes, Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc is a legend of the French Riviera with an unrestricted view of the Lérins Islands, its elegant Napoleonic residence, majestic alleys and iconic swimming pool set into the cliffside. Visit hotel-du-cap-eden-roc.com.

Take refuge

Homm, a brand of the leading multi-branded hospitality company, Banyan Tree Group, has opened Homm Saranam Baturitin in Bali.  

The resort features 81 spacious rooms and villas, offering guests a warm sense of comfort amidst lush natural landscapes and a backdrop of the picturesque Bedugul mountains. True to its name, Homm Saranam Baturiti, which means “refuge” in Sanskrit, is a rejuvenating retreat surrounded by cool mountain air, green open spaces and farms growing produce on fertile volcanic soil. 

The resort’s all-day dining restaurant, Samiya, serves classic Indonesian signature dishes featuring fresh greens hand-picked from the on-site garden. There is also an upcoming 8lements spa, cooking classes and organic farm-to-table dining experiences with an interactive workshop on offer. Visit hommhotels.com/hotels/homm-saranam-baturiti.

Connect with nature

A wilderness hideaway on the island of Moyo in Indonesia, Amanwana reopens after its annual seasonal closure to celebrate its 30th anniversary. 

With just 15 tents in total, visitors to Amanwana experience a true sense of seclusion. Embark on a bespoke excursion to come face-to-face with one of the world’s most majestic creatures. The Saleh Bay is home to one of the largest whale shark (Rhincodon typus) populations on Earth with at least 103 known whale sharks inhabiting its waters. The Amanwana Dive Centre caters to all levels of experience, with the option to gain Padi certification during a stay. Amanwana’s stargazing cruise ventures just a short distance out into the bay on the resort’s traditional wooden outrigger Aman XIV. When it’s time to refuel, a traditional dining experience can be seamlessly enhanced for any occasion. A village affair, the local harvest festival will take place in July with Amanwana hosting a multitude of culinary events. 

Until June 21, the resort will host its first Underwater Wellness Retreat, guided b Becky Surassamee, Pete Pawit and Barry B. The seven-day “Transformative Underwater Wellness Journey” allows ample time to explore the depths and embrace the transformative power of the ocean. The halfway package offers a four-day exploration while the “Taste Of Underwater Wellness Journey”, offers a single-day programme, allowing guests to dip their toes into this transformative experience. Visit aman.com/resorts/amanwana.

The modern Londoner lifestyle

The Lanesborough Club & Spa has partnered with The Luxury Aesthetics Group offers members, hotel guests and day spa visitors the opportunity to experience carefully curated, high-tech treatments, including newest additions: Evolve X body sculpting, Morpheus8 facial, No-Needle facelift, No-Needle fat dissolving, Skin rejuvenation peel, Profhilo Super Skin Booster. Visit lanesboroughclubandspa.com.

Dining destination: Ibiza

This summer, Ibiza will see the arrival of Maine Ibiza, which takes over a restored 18th century finca by the small church of Sant Francesc de S’Estany. 

Maine Ibiza will feature 200-cover alfresco dining split across two levels, offering a locally inspired menu, magnificent mixology, and a thoughtfully crafted entertainment programme. It is located by the picturesque salt flats of Salinas, a Unesco world heritage site.

The property features a prominent bar area focused on mixology, a bar bites menu and a selection of premium tequilas and mezcals. Visit maineibiza.com.

City of indulgence

The hotel from Sands China Ltd has reopened after a two-year rebranding transformation. The Londoner Macao comprises five opulent hotels — including all-suite namesake flagship, The Londoner Hotel.

Formerly known as Sands Cotai Central, the integrated resort is now known as  The Londoner Macao, and offer nearly 6,000 rooms, complemented by three spas, four health clubs, more than 20 dining options, boutiques from 150 world-renowned brands, and stateof-the-art conference facilities, including a new 6,000-seat The Londoner Arena. The invitation-only Suites By David Beckham are Macao’s first celebrity-designed suites. The 14 super-luxe apartments range in size from 113-298m2 and are located on the top two floors of The Londoner Hotel. Through the “Be My Guest” programme, the football star invites visitors to enjoy a luxurious stay alongside a few exclusive lifestyle experiences. They can enjoy Beckham’s favourite dishes and his handpicked cigars, whiskeys and cocktails at select restaurants. 

Meanwhile, Londoner Court offers an exclusive sanctuary within The Londoner Macao. Its suites, ranging in size from one to four bedrooms, have been designed to recreate the ambience of a distinguished London residence — with a modern touch. Guests staying at The Londoner Hotel will enjoy exclusive access to The Residence, a private club with themed rooms inspired by historic British figures, royalty and the arts. Visit londonermacao.com.

Head further down under 

Robertson Lodges is one of the top providers of luxury lodges in New Zealand, offering a trio of stunning landscapes. The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers and Matakauri Lodge form a string of luxurious accommodation destinations spanning the length of New Zealand.  

Resting on an unspoilt coastline where high cliffs nestle into three pristine private beaches, The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs is experiential travel at its best.Activities abound with the David Harman-designed golf course, immersive local heritage tours, bountiful fishing, and bush walks, mountain biking, quad biking and spa sanctuary hidden within native forest.

Cape Kidnappers generous suites offer sumptuous comfort and awe-inspiring views in equal parts. Cape Kidnappers delivers stunning exclusive guest experiences including the Can-Am Farm Tour, Kiwi Discovery Walk, Cape Kidnappers Gannet Colony and much more.

New for the summer, Matakauri Lodge’s unique and “flexible” dining option is well suited to longer staying guests and the curious culinarian. Guests may choose this seamless dining experience for one or all nights of their stay. Such evenings will begin in style at Matakauri Lodge for pre-dinner drinks and canapes, before being driven door to door to the restaurant. The lodge will also provide a voucher for return transport, allowing returns to be flexible and in a guest’s own time. Visit robertsonlodges.com.

Garden gets summer ready 

Summer’s warm temperatures and fragrant blossoms beckon Le Bristol Paris guests to the hotel’s serene courtyard garden in the heart of the property. Le Jardin Français is open for a leisurely and inspiring tea time by the Le Bristol Paris’ new pastry chef Yu Tanaka, featuring an exquisite blend of iconic French delights. Chef Eric Frechon proposes an extensive lunch and dinner menu for Le Jardin Français showcasing house made pastas from Les Ateliers du Bristol, alongside light starters and tried-and-true classics such as the blue lobster club sandwich and the French green beans, artichoke and hazelnut salad.

In celebration of the refined ritual that is al fresco dining and drinking, the Palace hotel has collaborated with American heritage textile house, Schumacher, and award-winning designer Marie-Caroline Willms, founder of Marbella-based EMCI Design Studio, to reimagine the sunlit corridor leading to Le Jardin Français, as well as the garden’s furnishings in a delightful ode to house colours. Visit oetkercollection.com.

The healing power of reiki

Philippine celebrity couple Derek Ramsay and Ellen Adarna-Ramsay bring “Kami No Ken” to  The Farm at San Benito, Philippines from June 19-22.

Discover Kami No Ken techniques for self-improvement and transformation with head coach Nasser Qazi and the co-facilitators, the Ramsays at the eco-luxury holistic medical wellness resort. The transformational four-day programme offers numerous benefits, including pushing the limits of the body to transform and transcend physical disorders, tapping into the mind’s power to heal traumas that manifest as depression, anxiety, panic attacks, addiction, grief and rage, and helping individuals understand their inner divine self. Kami No Ken Training is open to individuals of all ages and fitness levels and offers a variety of techniques, including physical training, mental training, and spiritual training. The 3N/4D all-inclusive package is priced at US$1,730 nett for double, triple or quadruple sharing and $1,925 nett for single occupancy, inclusive of accommodation, nutrient-rich vegan-pescetarian gourmet meals, Kami No Ken training, holistic health assessment with integrative medicine doctors, participation in daily mindful movement & functional fitness activities like yoga, nature walks, organic farm tour, vegan food preparation class, and more, use of facilities: swimming pools, steam/sauna, meditation pavilions, and Pure Energy Gym, plus Wi-Fi access throughout the resort. Email [email protected] or visit thefarmatsanbenito.com.

A timeless journey 

An elegant art deco adventure on the rails, the British Pullman, A Belmond Train departs London Victoria Station for memorable day trips and remarkable dining experiences throughout the year. 

Within the glamorous surroundings of the lovingly restored 1920s carriages, including one re-designed by world-famous filmmaker Wes Anderson, guests can soak up views of the rolling British countryside as they dine on free-flowing Champagne, afternoon tea, and seasonally-created menus.

The train has launched a theatrical, immersive “Moving Murder Mystery” experience. The journey, entitled “Dead On Time”, carefully intertwines the train’s illustrious heritage and the great British tradition for a whodunnit in a captivating theatrical production, brought to life with actors from London’s famed West End. It has also introduced a “The Garden Of England” journey, which tours Kent while guests dine on seasonal produce from the region.

The British Pullman will host a guest chef series by some of England’s most decorated and respected chefs. This year’s roster includes Lisa Goodwin-Allen (June 23), Anna Haugh (July 14), Angela Hartnett (Sept 29), Nieves Barragán Mohacho (Oct 20) and Sally Abé (Nov 10) and is presented in harmonious collaboration with esteemed Champagne house, Dom Pérignon. Visit belmond.com/trains.

A Scottish legend in motion

Departing Edinburgh, the Royal Scotsman is the country’s most luxurious sleeper train, traversing the wild landscapes of Scotland’s highlands. 

The train recently unveiled a partnership with Parfums Christian Dior to create the Dior Spa Royal Scotsman. In homage to Christian Dior’s love for Scotland, where he famously hosted his much-acclaimed fashion show in 1955, the new Dior Spa Royal Scotsman is housed in one of the train’s plush carriages is the only spa on the rails in the UK. The carriage boasts two treatment rooms, styled with Dior’s iconic burgundy “toile de Jouy” motif, and offers three tailor-made treatments. 

This year will see “A Taste Of Scotland with Tom Kitchin’ (Sept 4-6), a two-night journey that delves into the region’s indigenous produce. In addition, a three-night “Highland Survival Adventure” with Wildnis (June 30 to July 3), has been designed by former Royal Marines Sergeant, George MacHardy, and hunter and survivalist, Eliza Brown for adrenaline-seekers. Guests will discover inner primordial skills and survival abilities as they become one with the elements.

Next year, the addition of two ultra-luxe Grand Suites will join the Royal Scotsman rake to create an elevated accommodation category. Visit belmond.com/trains.

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