Super yacht marina to open in Zanzibar

Although Africa is not yet a super yacht hub, it’s about to get much more popular, thanks to a brand new marina opening on the Indian Ocean Island of Zanzibar. Baroque Access finds out all the details

 

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Expected to be up and running by 2019 and fully open by 2020, the Zanzibar Amber Resort will not only feature five luxury hotels (including a Ritz Carlton and an Anantara establishment), numerous lavish offerings such as a championship golf course, aqua park, a fully-equipped equestrian center, international polo club, underwater restaurant and a nightclub, traditional shopping market… but it will also boast a super yacht marina. Oh, and did we mention that there are plans for a private airport for the island with an almost 10,000 foot runway?

The resort will also include a world-class state-of-the-art medical facility and a private international school, so that visitors can reside there permanently if they wish, in a selection of permanent residences in the resort, apparently around 1,900 luxury villas and more than 3,400 equally luxurious apartments that will be priced between $700,000 and $10 million.

 

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The resort is being developed by Pennyroyal Gibraltar and it’s expected that the first residential property may open before the end of 2017. The championship golf course, designed by Ernie Els, and several of the hotels are expected to open in 2018. Once it’s completed, this exceptional island resort will be the largest in East Africa.

This extraordinary estate will not only offer penthouse condo’s and beachside villas; apparently a few private islands will also be available for purchase. But if you decide you’d rather spend a vacation than stay permanently in Zanzibar Amber Resort, and are keen to sail to Zanzibar, the Marina awaits.

 

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Once complete, it will be the largest recreational marina in the Zanzibar region, the departure point for sailing and fishing charters as well as to explore the magnificent Zanzibar archipelago. It will boast more than 100 berths, built inshore of the ocean surge for protection, and easily accessible through a specially dredged approach channel. Support facilities will be top class, including sub-contracted specialists in all areas of yacht repairs, plus accommodation for crews and, of course, the above-mentioned airport facilities.

 

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Aside from spending glorious days sunbathing on Zanzibar’s golden beaches or exploring the historic main town, Stone Town, visitors will soon also be able to enjoy the brand new Waterpark at Zanzibar Amber Resort, with its exciting slides, flumes, waves, fountains and the Lazy River.

Golf enthusiasts who visit the island can also enjoy the new 18-hole championship golf course, unmatched in Africa for its challenging offerings for golfers of all levels.

 

If you would like to find out more about Zanzibar Amber Resort and its brand new marina, why not contact Baroque Access right away? Mail us now, info@baroqueaccess.com and we will provide you with all the information on the marina, as well as anything you wish to know about Zanzibar Amber Resort – its hotels, residences, golf course and waterpark.

Enjoy Dia de los Muertos in Mexico

Why not experience a traditional Mexican festival in San Miguel de Allende? Baroque Travel arranges a stay at Hotel Matilda so you can enjoy Dia de los Muertos

 

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Every year in Mexico, people celebrate Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, a chance to get together and pray for those friends and family who have passed on and support their spiritual journey. This year, Dia de los Muertos falls on 1 and 2 November, so if you’re planning to visit Mexico at that time, you can join the celebrations that include parades, art installations and interactive cooking classes.

 

There are numerous locations where one can celebrate Dia de los Muertos in style, but our choice for 2017 is San Miguel de Allende, a UNESCO Heritage Site in its own right, home to various important sights including locations from the Mexican War of Independence as well as some very well preserved Colonial architecture. Aside from its rich history and stunning architecture, this colorful town is famous for its great food.

On Dia de los Muertos there will be a market, Expo Catrinas, held at the venue La Casona in San Miguel de Allende, where one can pick up all sorts of dresses and festive hats as well as plenty of food and drinks. The highlight is the annual Catrinas Parade, which winds through the town’s main streets and ends in the main square. If you like, you can enjoy a traditional Mexican buffet and open bar at the popular Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar.

 

And where should you stay? We’ve found the perfect luxury destination, Hotel Matilda, known for its modern, edgy décor. The town is an artist’s haven and this exceptional hotel fits right in with its contemporary décor and eclectic modern art pieces. Although many of the pieces are temporarily on display and rotate, there are signature pieces of art that are on display permanently, too, such as a portrait of the owner’s mother, Matilda, after whom the hotel is named, which was painted by Diego Rivera. This stunning piece hangs in the lobby of the hotel, welcoming guests from all over the world.

 

The hotel also boasts a very famous gourmet restaurant, Moxi, that it owns in partnership with Mexico’s most celebrated chef, Enroque Olvera. Gourmet dinners are thus as much a part of a stay at Hotel Matilda as the exceptional art pieces hanging on the walls.

 

Hotel Matilda offers just 32 spacious rooms including 9 suites, all with oversized en suite bathrooms with both shower and bath, 100 percent Egyptian cotton linen on the beds, flat screen LCD TVs and automatic lighting with dim control. Other facilities include an infinity pool, gym and a holistic spa with indoor/outdoor relaxation lounge and an authentic hamman.

 

The hotel is a lively place throughout the year, as it also holds various special events including DJ dance parties, exhibitions by noted artists, art festivals, tequila tastings… you name it. No wonder Travel & Leisure named it Best City Hotel in Mexico! Hotel Matilda prides itself on being pet-friendly, so if you want to bring your pooch with you, you can, as long as he or she weighs less than 20 pounds! Certain rooms are pet friendly, and water bowls are provided.

 

If you would like to celebrate Dia de los Muertos in Mexico and stay at the exceptional Hotel Matilda, let Baroque Travel assist. We can make a booking for you in early November, or any other time that you wish to visit. We can also assist with any other travel arrangements you may require, including flights, transfers, car hire and sightseeing. Contact us at info@baroquetravel.com

The Orient Express gets a makeover

Taking a train journey on the legendary Venice Simplon Orient Express just got a whole lot more luxurious, thanks to three new Grande Suites that have just been completed. Baroque Travel finds out all the details

 

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It’s no surprise that traveling in luxury on a train has made such a comeback recently. Not only do we get to experience luxury in its original form, but we have the bonus of being able to step back in time to a slower, more tranquil pace. On the legendary Venice Simplon Orient Express, time stands still. The cabins are as luxurious as ever, the champagne flows as freely as it always has, and the views never change… they are unbeatable.

 

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Owners of the this legendary train, Belmond, who also boast numerous plush hotels around the world that are as legendary as the train, have just released three brand new ‘Grande Suites’ on the Venice Simplon Orient Express, which will be available to guests from March 2018. The train, which travels between London, Paris and Venice from March to November every year, and from Paris to Istanbul once a year, will now boast even more plush accommodations than ever.

Each of the brand new Grande Suites is decorated in 1920s Art Deco style, with an en suite private bathroom with shower. The bedroom features double beds and there’s also a living area so that guests can relax in privacy. London’s Wimberly Interiors are responsible for the restoration of these three exceptional Grande Suites. They have taken the concept of luxury travel to a new level which retaining the history of the train. The cabins have been transformed into even more luxurious iterations of their previous selves and the results speak for themselves – hand-carved wood, embossed leather and Venetian glass all combine to create the perfect symmetry.

 

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On the iconic Orient Express, your vacation starts the moment you step onto the train. The three new Grand Suites, named after the destinations that the legendary train visits every year – Venice, Paris and Istanbul – also offer special privileges to their guests. They enjoy private transfers to and from the train, are welcomed by a personal cabin steward and then left to enjoy themselves by slipping into complimentary Art Deco bathrobes with a glass of champagne to enjoy the view. This is the golden age of travel reinvented in the 21st Century. And it’s everything you would imagine it to be.

Each of these three Suites has been individually designed. The Paris Suite features a light, crisp color palette that pays homage to Paris’ haute couture and gastronomy. This is channelled through delicate fabrics and Lalique crystal panels. In the Istanbul Suite, one finds exquisite marquetry panels that reflect the richness of the Ottoman Empire and the patterns found in the Topkapi Palace. The Suite features amber crystal-ware, embossed leather and mother of pearl to evoke a feel of this exotic destination. Finally, in the Venice Suite, damask silk, Murano chandeliers and blue and silver hues evoke the magic of the city of canals and the Venetian mirrors and antique tapestry reflect a Baroque and Renaissance history.

 

If you would like to find out more about this exceptional train and its journeys throughout 2018, or wish to know more about the brand new Grande Suites, let Baroque Travel assist. Write to us, info@baroquetravel.com and we will assist you in any way possible. We can also book your 2018 journey on the train, on one of these Grande Suites if you prefer.

Fashionable London

If you’re heading for London to enjoy the 2017 Fashion Awards this December, then you need a really fashionable place to stay. Like The Milestone Hotel. Baroque Travel fills us in on all the details

 

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The 2017 Fashion Awards will be held on 4 December at the Royal Albert Hall in London once again. And if last year’s extravaganza is anything to go by, this year’s is going to be one of the fashion highlights on the London scene.

The Fashion Awards are considered a major industry event and celebrate London’s global fashion industry. They attract some of the biggest stars in the world – in 2016, guests included Anna Wintour, David Beckham, Kate Moss, Lady Gaga, Naomi Campbell, Karlie Kloss and Tom Ford. For 2017, the Fashion Awards honors the best talent in fashion design, creativity and business and at the same time will raise funds for the British Fashion Council’s (BFC’s) Education Foundation charity.

 

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This year’s main sponsor at the Fashion Awards is Swarovski. The award categories will be voted for by a panel of fashion industry heavyweights. Awards include British Designer of the Year for Womens wear and Menswear, Accessories Designer of the Year, British Emerging Talent – Womens wear and another award for Menswear (both include accessories), Business Leader, Model of the Year, Urban Luxury Brand and Designer of the Year. In addition there will be three special-recognition awards – The Outstanding Achievement Award, The Swarovski Award for Positive Change and the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator.

In 2016, Swarovski set a goal to raise £10 million (US$13.5 million) in the next decade for educating talented young people in the fashion industry. Last year’s awards were a resounding success, and included a spectacular gala to honor many individuals in the fashion industry. According to BCF chairman Natalie Massent, Swarovski and the BFC share the same goal, which is to promote, support and educate talented young people. This year, Swarovski has pledged £300,000 (US$405,000) towards education. The funds are to give “young talent access to the best education available, regardless of financial background”. In addition to Swarovski, the event has secured sponsorship from American Express.

 

Baroque Travel can offer those traveling to London to attend the Fashion Awards a very special getaway, staying at the luxurious The Milestone Hotel, which has been voted as one of the best hotels in Europe (No 2 in London and No 3 in Europe in the Travel and Leisure ‘World’s Best Awards’ 2017).

This historic hotel, which is located in a Grade II listed mansion, offers just 44 deluxe guest rooms and 12 luxury suites. It’s located opposite Kensington Palace and Gardens and with its fine dining restaurant, Cheneston’s, and award-winning Afternoon Tea offerings in the Park Lounge, exceptional facilities and 24-hour butler service, the hotel sets the standard for an exemplary stay.

Especially for those attending the Fashion Awards, visitors can spend the night at the Milestone Hotel with VIP access to the Awards. The special offer is for four guests (four friends, or two couples) who not only enjoy VIP access to the Awards, but also enjoy an overnight stay full of VIP perks.

Aside from luxury accommodation in Deluxe King Rooms, guests will enjoy full English breakfast, a pre-theater set menu, champagne sabrage with dinner or upon arrival, chauffeur service to and from the Awards at the Royal Albert Hall, premium box tickets at the Awards overlooking the ceremonial dinner with direct views of the stage plus red carpet access, bubbly on arrival and a selection of beverages during the event, gourmet hot and cold snacks, tasting plates and hot dishes. There’s also a pre-ceremony dessert and, of course, a dedicated butler service.

 

If you would like to enjoy an overnight stay, or longer, at the magnificent Milestone Hotel, let Baroque Travel assist. Mail us right away to ensure your reservation, info@baroquetravel.com  and we will make all the arrangements for you, including any travel assistance you may require.

Ferrari experience in Florence

Full throttle in a Ferrari of your choice through the Italian countryside? You’d better believe it! Baroque Ground and sister company Baroque Travel have all the details of a vacation of a lifetime for those who love luxury, and speed

 

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Which would you choose? The Ferrari 388 Spider, Ferrari California T or the Ferrari 458 Spider? They are all up for grabs in this exciting luxury trip through Italy, a journey that invites the privileged few who are mad about sports cars the opportunity to drive through Italy from Florence to Verona.

Of course, the luxury doesn’t stop there. The bespoke program, which can include all sorts of activities, from hot air balloon rides to golfing, cooking lessons and wine-tasting experiences to yachting and shopping, is luxury personified.

 

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This exclusive self-drive getaway, called the ‘Italy Full Throttle Experience’, offers those who can afford it a combination of a unique Gran Turismo travel experience with stays at two exceptionally lavish hotels – Il Salviatino, a perfectly preserved 15th Century villa in the Tuscan hills overlooking Florence, and a 14th Century palace in Verona, Palazzo Victoria, which boasts ancient Medieval and Roman ruins integrated into its exquisitely refurbished design.

This is a three-day, two-night adventure, although we’re sure if you wish it can be extended for as long as you wish. You start off with a night at Il Salviatino, exploring the property’s magnificent gardens before enjoying an indulgent, authentic Tuscan dinner at the hotel restaurant, La Cucina del Salviatino.

 

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The next day you’re introduced to the world of Ferrari, and have the choice of three magnificent beasts, mentioned earlier. Then it’s off on the journey of a lifetime in the Ferrari you’ve chosen, driving yourself through the exquisite Tuscan countryside, passing medieval villages and exquisite scenery as you savour the excitement of driving an Italian super car in its home country. The entire two-day 180-mile self-drive adventure is guided by a tour director via a sophisticated mobile radio system, takes you through the world-famous Mugello area, famous host of the Moto GP Grand Prix of Italy.

It also includes stopping off at the Passo della Raticosa for coffee, then roaring off to your next destination, Villa San Donnino, a traditional balsamic producer where you enjoy a tasting. Then it’s onwards to Maranello to explore the famous Ferrari Museum, before heading for your hotel in Verona, the exclusive five-star Palazzo Victoria, where you enjoy a sumptuous three-course dinner.

 

 

Il Salviatino

Luxury has no limits in this grand establishment, with sumptuous, comfortable suites and rooms, each individually decorated, with hand-crafted Tuscan linen bedding, WiFi, Nespresso coffee machines, Plasma TV and en suite rain showers. The restaurant creates dishes from the hotel’s organic vegetable garden, and other plush facilities include a spa with treatment rooms offering a selection of excellent treatments and a lavish pool area for when the weather is good.

 

Palazzo Victoria

This splendid palazzo is located in the center of the ancient part of Verona on Corso di Porta Borsari, that is lined with delightful cafés, restaurants and shops. The hotel has its own museum full of medieval frescoes directly underneath it. Decorated in a contemporary style, it boasts the original Zen garden and a charming inner courtyard. Accommodation is in spacious rooms and suites, some offering incomparable views over the city. The restaurant, Borsari 36, offers a gastronomic journey with a unique concept… the kitchen is in the center, making it the heart of the dining experience and the food is sublime.

 

If you would like to find out more about this exclusive experience, including which of the stunning Ferrari vehicles to choose from to drive in Italy, let Baroque Ground assist you. Mail us right away, info@baroqueground.com. If you’d like to enjoy this exceptional Ferrari adventure, our sister company, Baroque Travel, can make all your travel arrangements for you. Mail them on info@baroquetravel.com.

The top 25 travel experiences in the world

At the annual Virtuoso Travel Symposium in Las Vegas this month, a new listing was announced, denoting the 25 most luxurious travel experiences in the world. Baroque Travel finds out all the details

 

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We have a Michelin Guide for restaurants, a travel guide that rates hotels, and now, thanks to an innovative travel advisor, we have a Certified 25, a list of travel experiences that are exemplary. Compiled by US travel advisor Chad Clark, this brand new list rates the top luxury experiences to enjoy around the world. The new program will list the top 25 travel experiences to enjoy every year. Of course you need the funds, but if you’re one of the 1%, that privileged few who can afford it, here’s what you can experience in 2017…

 

What to experience in 2017 if money’s no object

Let’s start with what’s available in the US…

New York experiences include staying at the Chatwal Hotel, once home of the oldest theatrical club in the country. This luxury hotel is offering guests an opportunity to enjoy an insight into life on Broadway by actually being part of the cast in a Broadway show. Another New York hotel, the Greenwich, offers an exceptional complimentary selection of snacks in the guest rooms, including vintage favorites and trendy new snacks. They also offer all-natural, vegan and gluten-free options for those with special dietary requirements. If you’re heading for Wyoming, why not stay at beautiful Bush Creek Ranch? They offer an exclusive camping experience that includes private outdoor activities, gourmet meals and plush tepees with decks overlooking the North Platte River.

 

Wait, there’s more. Your experience at Colorado’s Dunton Hot Springs is “only limited by the imagination”, so you can enjoy a bespoke experience depending on your own interests and wishes, including cattle driving and horse riding. And if you head to Utah and stay at the Waldorf Astoria in Park City, aside from the breathtaking mountain views over the largest ski resort in the country, you get a complimentary signature vanilla mint chap stick to take with you on all of your adventures.

 

Italy offers two exclusive experiences to enjoy, including staying in one of the country’s most idyllic locations on the Amalfi Coast at the exquisite Hotel Palazzo Avino. Aside from being scenically breathtaking, perched on a cliff 1,000 feet above the Med, it’s also extremely romantic. The private candlelit dinner and boat trip, entitled the ‘Sea of Love dining experience’ is unrivalled. The Dolomite mountains in the summer months are just as exquisite when they’re not covered with snow, and the stunning Rosa Alpina Hotel offers a unique hiking experience in this exquisite setting, that includes gourmet food and wines.

 

There are so many more refined experiences to enjoy, including staying at the fairy tale Ashford Castle in Cong, Ireland, where guests enjoy an authentic Irish experience, a chance to enjoy access to what goes on behind the scenes at the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace in London, and a delectable, over the top do-it-yourself ice cream sundae at the luxury Beaumont Hotel in the British capital. There’s spiritual luxe in Bhutan, where you dine in a rustic potato shed when you stay at the Amankora, opportunities to enjoy a photographic shoot in more than 200 worldwide locations with a professional photographer, helicopter rides to see the volcano up close on the Hawaiian island of Hualalai and stay at the Four Seasons Hotel there, a gourmet banquet on the Great Wall of China, gourmet French dining experiences in France, and equally rare and exciting experiences in Ecuador, New Zealand, Mongolia, Peru, India and Australia.

 

For more information on any of these exceptional travel experiences, let Baroque Access assist. Contact us right away, info@baroquetravel.com and we will give you all the details you require. We can also make all your travel arrangements for you.

The future of luxury travel

The 21st Century has brought many surprises, and now there’s another in store… the Hyperloop Hotel, where you travel to different exciting destinations without ever having to leave your hotel room. Baroque Travel has all the details

 

Who would have believed it possible? A hotel room that is actually a pod in which you can travel from one city to the next without ever having to pack? Well, it’s about to happen. It will cost in the region of $130 million to build, but the Hyperloop Hotel could well be the next generation of luxury travel, the opportunity to vacation without ever having to pack up, take a plane or a bus or a train…

 

This concept is the brainchild of graduate architectural student Brandon Siebrecht, from the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. His innovative Hyperloop Hotel concept would connect to 13 of the USA’s largest cities, including San Francisco, New York, Boston, Chicago and Washington. The ‘hotel’ is designed so that it will connect to hotels in all of these cities via a high-speed transit system that Siebrecht suggests be developed by Elon Musk. The concept aims to transport travelers to the city of their choice without them ever having to leave the comfort of their hotel room. No packing, not much effort… it sounds like a dream come true.

 

Siebrecht entered a competition together with 64 other aspiring architects earlier in 2017. He received the ‘Radical Innovation Award’ for his innovative concept, an annual award given to the person who comes up with the most imaginative, futuristic hotel design. Siebrecht’s inspiration was DevLoop, a test track that was made functional for a project called Hyperloop located just outside Las Vegas. Apparently, Elon Musk and his team have been conducting trials to estimate the capacity to transport people from one Hyperloop hotel to another in a pod like vehicle in a vacuumed pod at a speed of up to 750 miles per hour. If the system proves successful, it would transport passengers from, say, Philadelphia to New York in just 10 minutes.

 

What’s more, this won’t cost a hefty sum. It’s expected that there will be a flat fee for guests to travel from one city to the next of $1,200. This does not include the cost of spending a night in the hotel room, of course. That’s extra. It’s estimated that it will cost in the region of $10 million to build each pod, or room. These will be made from recycled shipping containers, transformed into luxurious hotel rooms complete with office area, living area with flat-screen TV, spacious bedroom and luxury bathroom.

At the present time, the technology to build this futuristic system has still to be created. According to Siebrecht, it should be possible within the next five to 10 years. The entire project would be managed via a customized app, so that travelers can visit a number of cities in a day if they wish.

 

If you would like to find out more about this innovative project and the man who created it, as well as keep up to date about what’s happening regarding the Hyperloop Hotel, let Baroque Travel assist. Mail us now, info@baroquetravel.com and we will keep you updated with all the details.

Bucket list adventures in the Masai Mara, Kenya

Viewing the Big Five twice over in a matter of days is an expected experience when you visit Kenya’s magnificent Masai Mara. Viewing wild animals from a hot air balloon is another experience entirely. Baroque Travel visits this special part of Kenya and shares a few bucket list adventures

 

Karen Blixen was the author of the famous book about her life in Africa, called Out of Africa, which was made into a movie that was just as legendary, with Meryl Streep as the star. One of the best places to stay in the Mara is a safari lodge named after her – Karen Blixen Camp is a luxury tented camp that has the added advantage of being completely eco-friendly (solar energy is just one of its many energy-efficient projects). It also boasts an unmatched location next to a river, where animals come to drink. Here, overlooking the African plains, one sees buffalo basking in the sun, crocodiles fast asleep, giraffe bending their skinny legs into an awkward V to reach the water with their long necks and drink.

 

In the Mara, visitors spend their days exploring the plains, viewing warthogs and zebra grazing, lions like fat cats asleep with full bellies, hippo, buffalo, leopards, lions, elephants, cheetah...  The Mara is a treasure trove, the Big Five just some of its gems.

 

Kenya is a safari heaven, the vast variety of wildlife its biggest treat. And when you come to the Mara in winter, the weather is still balmy, the Masai people just as colorful and friendly, and the spectacle even more breathtaking. This is the time of the migration, when vast herds of wildebeest and other animals head from the Serengeti in Tanzania to Kenya through the Mara. Of course, like any main attraction in the wilds, there are setbacks. There’s no times set for the migration. Some days it happens, and on others the animals aren’t seen at all. It’s a waiting game with the prize a chance to see hundreds or thousands of animals crossing a river fast and furiously.

 

This time round, it’s early in July and the migration isn’t in full swing yet. There are more than a hundred wildebeest grazing peacefully in a field, but the highlight is more likely to be a leopard sunning its belly after a kill, a herd of zebra dancing in the tall grass, a mother lion and her cubs playing on a hilltop.

 

A highlight of a visit to this beautiful slice of paradise is a very early morning wake up call followed by a drive to Governor’s Camp in the Mara. From here, you embark on a glorious 45-minute game-viewing journey up in the sky, in a hot air balloon. As the sun rises, the colors of the landscape lighten, the animals below you come out to play, to graze, to drink, to wander.

 

You have a bird’s eye view of one of the greatest spectacles on earth – animals living in their natural habitat enjoying their daily life. There is nothing more satisfying, nothing more beautiful, nothing more fulfilling.

 

From gourmet meals under a starlit sky to breakfasts in the bush, dancing with Masai warriors to showering in the outdoors, a visit to Kenya’s Masai Mara is an incomparable bucket list experience.

 

If you would like to find out more about a vacation in Kenya at any time of the year, or about a trip to the Masai Mara, let Baroque Travel assist. Contact us right away, and we will give you all the information you require to enjoy a superlative safari experience, info@baroquetravel.com.

Dubai’s new Marsa Al Arab project

Dubai is to get a brand new project, the Marsa Al Arab located near the famous Burj Al Arab, which will include two luxury islands on either side of the hotel. Baroque Access finds out all about it

 

The brand new Marsa Al Arab project in Dubai will see the famous Burj Al Arab hotel become even more of a landmark, as it will include two luxury islands located on either side of the hotel. The project, which breaks ground in June, will include hotels, theaters, shops, a marina, an entire business district plus luxury villas and residences, is expected to be complete by late 2020.

 

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Marsa Al Arab will spread across four million square feet of land including the two islands, one of which will comprise a family friendly tourist destination with hotels and entertainment including Wild Wadi Waterpark, which already exists and will be relocated, while the second luxury island, which will be private, will be built on the left-hand-side of the Burj Al Arab hotel, which is operated by Jumeirah. It will feature 140 luxury villas, a boutique hotel and a private marina.

 

Also part of the project is a Marine Park that will feature a theatre with seating for 1,000 people. There, visitors will be able to interact with aquatic animals and fish. There will be a second theatre on the island that can seat up to 1,700 people – this will be home to Cirque du Soleil. In addition, the Dubai Pearl Museum showcasing rare and ancient pearls from the region will be built on the island. It will include a functioning pearl farm and a boutique hotel that is pearl-inspired.

 

Marsa Al Arab’s shopping area will be built where the Wild Wadi Water Park is currently located. Aside from numerous shops, it will also include 300 seafront residential apartments on the island’s 2.2km beachfront. All of the hotels in the new project are expected to add 2,400 hotel rooms to Jumeirah Group’s portfolio of hotels.

 

If you would like to find out more about this innovative and extraordinary new project, let Baroque Access assist. Contact us right away, info@baroqueaccess.com and we will provide you with all the information you require, whether you’re interested in purchasing one of the residential properties or villas, starting a business or store on the island, or just want to know about it.

Wimbledon in style

The magnificent Milestone Hotel in London is offering the ultimate getaway when Wimbledon is on. Baroque Travel has all the details

 

There’s only one way to experience Wimbledon, and that’s in unsurpassed luxury. Which is why we suggest a stay at the lavish Milestone Hotel plus two Center Court tickets to the Men’s Quarterfinals. Of course, Baroque Travel can arrange tickets to the Finals if we do all the bookings now, so that’s just a taste of what’s on offer if you decide to take advantage of this amazing offer.

 

This intimate boutique hotel is situated in the heart of London in a heritage II listed mansion. Staying here is like stepping back in time to a more glamorous era, where the service is personalized and the renowned 24-hour butlers are unmatchable. Offering stunning views overlooking Kensington Palace and its exquisite Gardens, the hotel is just a short stroll to Hyde Park, Harrods Department Store and the Royal Albert Hall.

 

Guest rooms are plush and individually designed, furnished with antiques, fresh flowers, fine fabrics and every modern facility, including flat-screen TV, DVD player, en suite bathroom and treats that are replenished daily, such as homemade cookies, candles, seasonal fruits and candy.

 

Dining at the hotel’s Cheneston’s Restaurant is a gourmet treat with locally sourced and organic ingredients transformed into delectable delights. There’s also the intimate Stables Bar, which offers a stunning selection of more than 400 vintage wines. Or guests enjoy savoring a cocktail or two in the chic conservatory. And then there’s the legendary High Tea in the lounge…

 

So what can you expect when you stay at the Milestone during Wimbledon season? The Wimbledon special includes being transferred to and from the airport in a chauffeur-driven Bentley as well as transfers in the Bentley to all London destinations, three nights’ stay in a luxury suite (date includes 12 July for you to see the Men’s Quarterfinals), English breakfast daily that can be served in the restaurant or in your room by the butler.

 

On your first night you enjoy Champagne Lanson Sabrage and pre-dinner cocktails before enjoying a four-course candlelit dinner in the hotel’s intimate Oratory dining room that is paired with a selection of fine wines by the sommelier.

On the first day of your trip, you are taken on an hour-long private helicopter ride along the River Thames, enjoy a curated pre-public open tour of Kensington Palace, followed by a Champagne Lanson picnic in Kensington Gardens with a private butler.

 

On the second day, 12 July, you’re transferred in a chauffeur-driven Bentley to Wimbledon All England Club, where you enjoy a ‘Behind the Scenes’ tour of Wimbledon, including a visit to the Trophy Room. You then enjoy a Full-day Hospitality Package while watching the Men’s Quarterfinals, sitting in the Centre Court . Afterwards, you return to the hotel in the Bentley and enjoy post-match ‘Smoking Old Fashioned’ cocktails in the Milestone’s Stables Bar.

 

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On your third day you enjoy a bespoke shopping experience that includes two tailored shirts at Turnbull & Asser and a fitting for a pair of ladies’ shoes at Jimmy Choo. Afterwards there’s a private tasting of six Lanson Champagnes at Champagne Lanson in Mayfair, followed by lunch for two at The English Grill Restaurant facing the Royal Mews.

 

If you would like to enjoy this very exclusive Wimbledon package, let Baroque Travel make all the arrangements for you. Contact us right away to ensure you can take advantage of this very special getaway to Wimbledon and The Milestone, info@baroquetravel.com

Unique safari in Zambia

If you’re looking for an African safari that has it all, we have found it for you. Spend seven glorious days and nights in Zambia at a luxury lodge hosted by some of the most acclaimed guides, photographers and naturalists on the continent. Baroque Travel can organize this for you

 

 

Explore Zambia’s legendary South Luangwa National Park as guest of some of Africa’s most famous photographers, naturalists and guides. Stay at the magical Mfuwe Lodge with these esteemed experts including the elephants that live at the lodge, who are the highlight of a stay here. You will embark on a journey of discovery into the vast wilderness of this famous national park, learn about the magic of the stars in the skies above you at night and learn all about the complexities that face nature conservation today in this wildlife paradise.

 

Each morning guests awaken at dawn and enjoy game viewing when it’s still cool and the light is picture-perfect. After a hearty breakfast, they embark on safari in four-wheel drive vehicles in search of photo opportunities. Meals are either superb dishes served at the lodge or enjoyed as a picnic. After a welcome afternoon nap, guests can relax or be pampered at the Bush Spa, soak up the sun by the pool or read a book. After mid-afternoon tea and snacks, there are evening game drives before returning to the lodge for sundowners and a superb dinner.

 

This is the ideal opportunity to enjoy learning about life in the wilds, watching the animals that live in their natural habitat (including the elephants at the lodge) and finding out all about photography at the same time. In addition, accommodation is comfortable and luxurious, the food is excellent, service is personalized and the knowledge you will glean is something that will stay with you for the rest of your life.

 

The trip features professional advice on photography, learning about astronomy and wildlife conservation, which includes talks and presentations on preserving Zambia’s wildlife heritage. Guests can also enjoy visits to learn more about the community, how they live and work. They will visit a craft center to watch local artisans and artists at work, and have the opportunity to purchase their wares as gifts and souvenirs.
 

If you would like to experience a unique photographic safari in Zambia, let Baroque Travel assist. Contact us right away, info@baroquetravel.com and we can give you all the information you require about this exceptional vacation, or assist you with making your reservations. If you are interested in finding out about other African safaris, we can assist with those as well.

Create your own wine in Australia

What better way to enjoy a vacation Down Under? Baroque Access finds out all about the $100,000 vacation that includes creating your own wine in Australia’s scenic Barossa Valley

 

If you enjoy the finer things in life, especially wine, you can create your very own vintage in Australia’s Barossa Valley with the Home of St Hugo’s Sainthood Fine Wine Experience. Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or a newbie, you will be able to enjoy a unique vacation where you get to create your very own wine legacy by choosing a row of grapevines that will be named after you. A permanent name-plate is then placed on these particular vines. Once the grapes from these vines are harvested, you will have your very own red wine blend crafted by St Hugo Winemaker Daniel Swincer in your name.

 

Once the wine has matured, a portion of your bespoke St Hugo wine is poured into a specially designed hand-blown Australian artisan glass vessel. This exquisite vessel is then kept in the vault at St Hugo, where only you will have access via your personal fingerprints. This personalized wine is then blended, bottled and finally, after three years, it is delivered to your home.

 

This innovative and exclusive 3-day experience brought to you by St Hugo’s in the Barossa Valley, includes luxury five star accommodation in the city of Adelaide, as well as in the heart of the Barossa Valley. You also enjoy a private chartered flight to the wine estate, and a private tour of the vineyard when you get there, followed by private wine tastings in St Hugo’s underground bottle cellar of the finest old vintages of the estate’s spectacular vintages. You also enjoy a fine meal created by the estate’s Executive Chef, Mark McNamara.

 

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There is no better way to mark an important milestone in your life than with your very own wine blend. Each time you want to celebrate something special, a wine ambassador from St Hugo will hand-deliver a bottle of your private blend to your home.

 

St Hugo wine estate is located in the most distinguished region for Cabernet Sauvignon wines, the Coonawarra region in Australia. This exceptional bespoke experience is priced at $100,000 for two people traveling. It is only available to an elite few who can afford to experience one of life’s finest pleasures when they join the exclusive ranks of top St Hugo winemakers and create their own bespoke private red wine blend.

 

To whet your appetite for the magnificent wines that are being created in your name, St Hugo offers visitors a selection of the estate’sfinest vintages to take home as a souvenir.

 

If you are interested in finding out more about this exclusive experience, let Baroque Access assist. Mail us right away, info@baroqueaccess.com, so that we can arrange your trip to Australia to create your own vintage Cabernet Sauvignon. If you are already sold on the idea and would like to organize your trip to Australia including your bespoke wine experience, let our sister company, Baroque Travel, assist. Mail them now, info@baroquetravel.com, and they will make all your travel arrangements for you.

The Ferrari of trains will take you on a trip through Japan

It could be a Ferrari, but it isn’t. Despite being created by the same designer, the Train Suite Shiki-shima is very much a locomotive – and a most luxurious one at that. Baroque Travel finds out all about a journey on Japan’s most luxurious train

 

Bucket list experiences are high on the list of those who can afford to have them. And we have one of these, a one-of-a-kind train journey on the Ferrari of trains, the brand new Train Suite Shiki-shima, which offers the most incredibly luxurious train trip imaginable through Japan. What’s more, this magnificent locomotive could really be a Ferrari – it’s been designed by the very same man who created the Ferrari Enzo, as well as the Porsche AG and the magnificent Maserati Quattroporte.

 

We’re talking about Ken Kyoyuki Okuyama, who previously worked at both General Motors and Porsche AG. This is the first locomotive that this master has created, and it’s full of impressive luxury touches, all in true Japanese style. There are tatami mats in the bedrooms, the lounge has been designed to resemble a tranquil Japanese forest and service is beyond impeccable.

 

The luxurious Train Suite Shiki-shima can carry a maximum of just 34 passengers, who will embark on a journey of a lifetime. When the train was initially announced, people flocked to book to be its first passengers. There was so much interest in the train, that tickets had to be sold on a lottery basis. But tickets for tours later this year will be sold via travel agents as well as the company itself, JR East.

 

Journeys on this impressive locomotive are either one, two- or three-night adventures, exploring Japanese sites such as Naruko Hot Springs, the intricately detailed Nikko Toshugu Shrine and the impressive Hirosaki Castle. Passengers on these and other excursions will get to see how local craftsmen create their artistic products, and will savor dishes traditionally served in the regions that they are visiting.

 

But aside from learning about a side of Japan that is relatively unexplored, passengers on board the Train Suite Shiki-shima will also enjoy a ride on this luxurious, ultra-modern train.

Because of its exclusivity and superior standard of luxury, a journey on Train Suite Shiki-shima won’t come cheap. A two-day journey will cost in the region of $2,900 per person, while a four-day sojourn will be anything from $6,800. And remember, that’s for a standard suite. A deluxe suite will cost much more, whilst the Shiki-shima suite is the most expensive on the train.

 

If you are interested in finding out more about the unique journeys available on this extraordinary train, let Baroque Travel assist. Contact us right away, info@baroquetravel.com, and we will give you all the information you require, and can also book your journey on the Train Suite Shika-shima. If you need travel arrangements made to get you to and from Japan, we can organize this for you as well.

The perfect private vacation in Italy

Baroque Villas spotlights the magnificent Amalfi Coast of Italy, 30 miles of bold, colorful, breathtaking coastline where you can rent a villa this summer

 

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The Amalfi Coast offers a visual feast when it comes to spectacular scenery with its picture-perfect pastel houses clinging to limestone cliffs, charming villages full of lively cafes and great shopping, and an incomparable, vibrant nightlife that attracts the famous, the chic and the glamorous in droves.

 

Our two favorite towns of the many dotted along this stunning coastline are Amalfi and Positano, both exceptional choices for a villa vacation in Italy. Both towns are ideal as bases from which to explore the amazing Amalfi Coast’s pretty villages, beaches, restaurants and sights. They also offer excellent entertainment and dining options, so that those who just want to relax can stay put and have a fun-filled vacation.

 

What makes a villa vacation such a perfect choice is that the private luxury villa is an absolutely peaceful retreat, a haven to return to after a day’s sightseeing or soaking up the sun on the beach. Staying in your own villa means you don’t have to fight to get a restaurant reservation; your personal chef can prepare you something delicious for dinner every night of the week, if you like. It’s the ultimate indulgence to enjoy a comfortable, secluded, bespoke getaway in the summer, without the crowds.

 

Amalfi:

The largest and most historic town on the Amalfi Coast, Amalfi has a breathtaking setting. The town’s grand piazza is filled with shops and restaurants and discovering the town’s many hidden gems is great fun. They include hidden staircases and tunnels, the old paper mill, the Sant’Andrea cathedral and the Museo Arsenale Amalfi, a medieval shipyard transformed into a museum.

 

Positano:

This unique and exciting town boasts sheer cliffs that drop down to famous Marina Grande beach, a lively atmosphere and winding narrow streets just waiting to be explored. Wherever you are in Positano you’ll enjoy spectacular views of the bay, and there is so much to see and do here, from relaxing in a charming café to shopping, dining at excellent restaurants and visiting the lively clubs. There are two lovely pebble beaches festooned with colorful umbrellas and loungers. Those staying here don’t mind the crowds come summertime, and can seek a respite by enjoying the Sentiero degli Dei hiking trails that link Positano to other quaint coastal towns.

 

If you would like to find out more about a stunning villa vacation on the Amalfi Coastline, let Baroque Villas assist. We will find you the perfect villa to suit the type of getaway you require, so mail now, info@baroquevillas.com. If you’d like us to assist with all your travel arrangements to Italy, let our sister company, Baroque Travel, assist. They can arrange everything for you, from car hire and flights to transfers, restaurant reservations and sightseeing. Email them, info@baroquetravel.com.

Travel through Japan on its most luxurious train

Japan’s newest, most luxurious train will be traveling through the Western part of the country from June 2017. Baroque Travel finds out all about West Japan Railway’s Twilight Express Mizukaze

 

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Offering “Superior quality with a touch of nostalgia”, the Twilight Express Mizukaze will start operating this summer, from 17 June 2017. The train is one of three new luxury trains that will be launched by Japanese railway companies this year. This luxurious 10-coach sleeper train offers accommodation for up to 30 passengers; it will offer journeys in Keihanshin, Sanin and Sanyo regions in western Japan. Two special observation cars with balconies at the front and the back will enable passengers to enjoy the sights as they travel in luxury.

 

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Designed with every possible facility, the new Mizukaze is refined, and offers a relaxing, welcoming atmosphere. Passengers will enjoy an unforgettable experience on board, staying in suites, twin or single cabins that are offered in three classes. Designed by architect and interior designer Kazuya Ura in collaboration with industrial designer Tetsuo Fukuka, the interior is plush and comfortable.

 

Dining is a gourmet experience on Twilight Express Mizukaze, with seven chefs, all “masters of Japanese cuisine” to oversee all meals. The coaches are hybrid-diesel powered and battery-assisted motor-driven, allowing the train to run even without overhead wires.

 

This innovative train has been designed with the concept of being a luxury hotel on rails, taking passengers on scenic journeys across Western Japan. It will run from Kyoto and Osaka to Shimonoseki in the Yamaguchi Prefecture and return via coastal areas that lie on the Sea of Japan. Passengers can enjoy one or two night journeys on board. They will also have time to disembark for sightseeing tours.

 

Before the train even takes off on its first journey more than 2,000 reservations have been made for the summer months, between June and September 2017, proving that the Twilight Express Mizukaze is going to be a roaring success. And tickets don’t come cheap – one night in a cabin for two people will cost in the region of $2,400, while a night in a suite will set you back approximately $6,666.

 

But the price is well worth it for such an exceptional train journey: you can discover Japan’s allure from the comfort of a cabin that is as luxurious as any guest room in a top class hotel, enjoy breathtaking scenery and enjoy gourmet delights.

The name ‘Mizukaze’ translates to ‘fresh wind’ in English, and is also the word for a ‘joyous wind that brings fortune’. The train’s logo comprises an ‘M’ for Mizukaze and resembles a mountain range, with angels from the Twilight Express logo that symbolize the sweeping wind.

 

The Twilight Express Mizukaze’s planned routes

Sanyo Course (outbound) – 2 day tour from Kyoto and Osaka stations to Shimonoseki station via the Sanyo Main line. Sightseeing: Miyajimaguchi and Onomichi

Sanyo Course (Inbound) - 2-day tour from Shimonoseki station to Osaka and Kyoto stations. Sighteeing: Kurashiki and Iwukani

 

Sanin Course (Outbound) - 2-day tour from Kyoto and Osaka station to Shimonoseki station via the Sanin Main Line. Sightseeing: Kinosaki Onsen and Higashi-Hagi

-Sanin Course (Inbound) : 2-day tour from Shimonoseki station to Osaka and Kyoto stations via the Sanin Main Line. Sightseeing: Izumoshi and Tottori

 

Sanin and Sanyo Courses (Round tour) : 3-day circular tour from Kyoto and Osaka stations to Okayama station, Shinji/Matsue and Higashihama Station.

 

If you would like to book a trip to Japan to experience one of these unique, luxurious train journeys this summer, let Baroque Travel assist. We can make all your travel arrangements, including flights, a journey on the Twilight Express Mizukaze and any other reservations you require. Mail us right away while tickets on this new train are still available, info@baroquetravel.com.

Glamping in Kenya – like it’s never been done before

Enjoy the ultimate luxury safari at Kenya’s newest and most extraordinary safari lodge, Angama Mara, which is literally between heaven and earth. Baroque Travel has all the details

 

Set on the edge of Africa’s Great Rift Valley in Kenya, this brand new creation from unconventional African luxury hotel brand andBeyond offers panoramic views that stretch forever across the Maasai Mara 300m below. The site, which is where the famous Hollywood film Out of Africa was filmed, is so breathtakingly beautiful that it has been described as being ‘between heaven and earth’.

 

The Maasai Mara is named in honor of the indigenous Maasai people who live here alongside a variety of wildlife including leopard, cheetah, the rare black rhino, lion, elephant and herds of buffalo, some 1,000-strong. Every year in July the famous Great Migration takes place, four months of the most awesome, unforgettable game viewing imaginable.

 

The Mara Triangle, where the lodge is located, is one of the most scarcely populated areas in the Masaai Mara, with very few lodges in this 500 square kilometer area, which is home to such a diversity of mammals and birds.

 

The new luxury safari lodge, Angama Mara, is located on a 700-hectare site, with its own lush forest, home to a variety of wildlife. Each of the magnificent modern tented suites, of which there are 30 in all, divided into two separate camps of 15 on each side, offer stunning 180-degree views from their 1.2 km cliff-side location over the Rift Valley below. Each camp has its own kitchen, dedicated staff and separate guest area where one can dine, drink, relax or read a book from the library. Between the camps is a public area with swimming pool, fitness area and shop. For guests, everything is within a 10-minute walk.

 

Unrivalled exclusivity is the name of the game at this stunning establishment, which also features a private airfield and a track that leads directly down into the Reserve.

 

A stay at Angama Mara is a never-ending spectacle of beauty provided by nature. All of the tented suites have three canvas sides and an 11 m wide floor-to-ceiling glass window in the front offering exceptional views. The suites feature a bedroom, bathroom, sitting area and spacious wooden deck. Luxury additions include Wi-Fi, superb guest amenities, a collection of books on East Africa to browse through and a tablet with all the guests’ personal information on it.

 

Guests can sleep with the sliding doors wide open enjoying the fresh air and sounds of the wild. Meshed doors are latched for safety, but still allow the outside world in. Sunrise is an unforgettable, unique spectacle every morning, as hot air balloons float by, taking people on a game-viewing adventure from a most unique vantage-point.

 

Aside from being located exactly where part of the film Out of Africa was shot, the lodge’s dramatic guest areas are reminiscent of the Muthaiga Club in Nairobi, which was built in 1917 and was featured extensively in the film. The area has no clearly defined dining-room, living room or bar; all are inter-connected. It also features an extensive deck overlooking the Rift Valley offering endless views. Here too is the Fitness Room which features state-of-the-art equipment and an infinity pool that is solar-heated with loungers.

 

Life at the lodge is leisurely and full of numerous experiences, including game viewing safaris in four by four vehicles, hot air balloon rides, walking safaris, relaxing or learning about the fascinating Maasai culture. Rates, which are approximately $825 per night per guest, include superb meals, drinks and various safari activities. Hot air balloon safaris and park fees are extra.

 

If you would like to experience the ultimate luxury African safari experience, let Baroque Travel book your travel arrangements to this extraordinary lodge. Contact us right away, especially if you’re keen on experiencing the magnificent Great Migration, info@baroquetravel.com.

Sail the seven seas on the world’s most luxurious cruise liner

Consider yourself lucky. You are one of the 1% in the world who can afford to travel on the Regent Seven Seas Explorer, the most luxurious cruise ship in the world!

 

We wrote about Regent’s Seven Seas Explorer in 2016, when it was christened in Monte Carlo by Princess Charlene of Monaco. But now, as the liner gets ready to sail on its inaugural season this week, Baroque Travel finds out why it’s going to be considered the world’s most luxurious liner

 

The magnificent Regent Seven Seas Explorer that was christened by Princess Charlene of Monaco on 13 July, 2016, set sail from Los Angeles this month on its inaugural journey, the start of its winter season. This spacious, elegant, exquisitely plush ocean liner offers wall-to-wall luxury in each of its 375 suites, all with private balcony and every possible amenity.

 

So what sets the Seven Seas Explorer apart from the rest? Let’s start with the magnificent giant chandelier in the main dining room, created from $200,000 worth of hand-blown glass.  It’s one of 158 chandeliers on board, and contains 6,000 hand-placed octagonal pieces of glass. Then there’s the Regent Suite that takes up the entire front of Deck 14, which boasts its own spa, steam room and mini pool. And let’s not forget the $7 million worth of exquisite artworks decorating the ship…

 

Regent’s $450 million Seven Seas Explorer promises superlative service and unbeatably opulent accommodation. The ship, which has just sailed from Los Angeles to Miami on a 15-night cruise via the Panama Canal, boasts a one-to-one guest-crew ratio and is most notable for its subtle extravagance and exceptional service offerings.

 

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Cruises are renowned for being all-inclusive, but the Seven Seas Explorer takes this to another level. Your caviar, champagne and lobster, staff tips, sightseeing on shore, entertainment and anything else you require is all included in your fare, as if the business-class flights to get you to and from the ship.

 

But it’s the whole atmosphere that oozes luxe. The spaciousness of the cabins and their generous private balconies, the pampering in the bathrooms that offer two tubs and double sinks as well as showers and marble everywhere. The Illy espresso maker, binoculars and cashmere blankets are just the start. There’s also a caviar service in your suite, access to the ship’s private dining room, the Study, and the two-bedroom Master Suite with its baby grand piano and bar.

 

When it comes to fine dining, this cruise ship pulls out all the stops. There are two main lunch restaurants and six where guests can enjoy dinner. Staff is on hand the moment you step aboard, offering caviar and shrimp canapés, and the party is never-ending from then onwards. The largest restaurant is the Compass Room; it seats 400 guests who enjoy superb cuisine on specially designed Versace place settings. And if you’re interested in learning to cook, there’s a dedicated Culinary Arts Kitchen for that.

 

A voyage on the Seven Seas Explorer is full of exciting experiences. Every day is a new adventure, with a choice of entertainment and sports options that caters for everybody. There’s a casino, jogging on the outdoor deck, paddle tennis, golf practice, library, bocce ball… or just lazing on a plush pool chaise and soaking up the sun.

This winter, this superlative super liner will be cruising the Caribbean, visiting the Bahamas and Mexico and passing through the Panama Canal right up till the end of March. The ship cruises the Med during the summer season and then returns to the Caribbean for its second season in December 2017.

 

If you would like more information on any of this superlative cruise ship’s summer or winter itineraries, let Baroque Travel assist. Contact us right away, info@baroquetravel.com, and we will give you all the information you require. We can also book your luxury adventure on board the Seven Seas Explorer for you.

Travel Guide: Experience cherry blossom season in Japan

What a special time! In Cherry blossom season, these beautiful pink flowers transform Tokyo, Kyoto and other areas in Japan into a veritable wonderland. So if you’re planning a visit to Japan shortly, or would love to be there when cherry blossoms are in profusion, let Baroque Travel arrange everything for you

 

Famous around the world for their spectacular beauty, Japan’s cherry blossoms come out to play for such a short time – just two weeks – in different parts of the country at different periods of time. As the cherry blossoms are at their very best (and fullest) in the second week of blooming, this is the time you need to schedule to visit whichever part of Japan you’re planning to spend time in.

 

Where and when to visit

Depending on when the blossoms are in season and when you want to travel, here’s a list of some of the most popular places to visit in Japan in cherry blossom season. The dates shown are approximate as weather can be unpredictable.

 

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Tokyo

26 March to 11 April 2017

It’s always a great time to visit this fabulous city, but it’s great fun to visit during Cherry blossom season. Of course, aside from seeing the pretty pink floral display, there’s plenty to do here, including stunning shopping and dining, superb sightseeing and great entertainment.

Wheres to hunt ‘hanami’ in Tokyo: Aoyama Cemetery, Imperial Palace, Meiji-jingu Shrine, Meguro River, Shinjuku Gyoen Garden, Ueno Park and Yogogi Park.

 

Kyoto

29 March to 12 April 2017

Famous for its exquisite cultural and historic wonders, the country’s ancient capital is one of the best locations to see ‘hanami’ in full bloom. In fact, it’s one of the most popular places to visit during Cherry blossom season for both locals and international tourists.

Where to hunt ‘hanami’ in Kyoto: Imperial Palace Park (known as Kyoto Gosho), Kamo-gawa River, which is lined with cherry trees, Kiyomizu-dera Temple – visit at night to see an unbelievable lit up spectacle, Kyoto Botanical Gardens, Maruyama-koen Park and Shirakawa, the most popular street in Gion, which is also lined with cherry trees.

 

Hiroshima

29 March to 12 April 2017

More famous for the tragic atomic bomb that destroyed most of the city, Hiroshima is a great place to visit to commemorate those lost and see the magnificent cherry blossom trees at the same time.

Where to hunt ‘hanami’ in Hiroshima: Hiroshima Castle, Peace Park and Shukkeien Garden.

 

Osaka

29 March to 12 April 2017

This beautiful city is called ‘The kitchen of Japan’ because it is a gourmet paradise. It’s also full of exquisite cherry trees.

Where to hunt ‘hanami’ in Osaka: Best spot is Osaka Castle, otherwise Kema Sakuranomiya Park, home to almost 5,000 cherry trees that line the Okawa River. This is a great place to enjoy a picnic. Another great place to visit is Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park, home to hundreds of cherry trees.

 

Booking a trip to Japan in Cherry blossom season

Cherry blossom season is Japan’s peak tourist season, and you’ll find that hotels in all the places mentioned above will be booked up quickly. So let Baroque Travel assist you with your travel arrangements to ensure that you can enjoy the cherry blossoms to the fullest. Contact us now, while there’s still time, info@baroquetravel.com, and we will make all the arrangements for you. 

Bucket list 2017 – a holiday to the end of the earth

The town of Ushuaia, in the area of Tierra del Fuego in Argentina is the southernmost city on earth. It’s called ‘Fin del Mundo’, which means ‘End of the World’. And what better place to visit on a luxury vacation this year? Baroque Travel has the itinerary...

 

Start off at the end of the world, in the frontier town of Tierra del Fuego, located between the spectacular snow-capped mountains of the Andes and the famous Beagle Channel. This is the departure point for a cruise to Antarctica on a bucket-list luxury journey of adventure.

 

But whatever you do, don’t rush off to explore the Arctic; instead, spend a few days at the magnificent Arakur Ushuaia Resort and Spa, a luxury retreat that is one of the Leading Hotels of the World. Here you can enjoy a selection of relaxing spa treatments, indoor-outdoor pools and hot tubs filled with heated glacier water whilst soaking up breathtaking views of the Beagle Channel, the city and the snowcapped mountains in the distance. This retreat is much more than just a luxe hotel; it’s a one-of-a-kind experience offering a snug, warm and inviting atmosphere.

 

One of the most popular cruise liners used in this region belongs to Norwegian firm Hurtigruten, who have a long history of exploring the polar region. With them you can travel across the notorious Drake Passage that spans the tip of South America to the Antarctic Peninsula in comfort and luxury on the MS Fram.

 

Your Antarctic voyage begins with a champagne toast in the liner’s Panorama Lounge. You also meet the National Geographic photographer who will document your journey of discovery and offer photographic lessons for both beginners and experts. The ship heads east from Ushuaia through the Beagle Channel into Antarctica, the coldest place on earth, an isolated area that is the most pristine natural environment in the world.

 

Built in 2007, MS Fram was designed to bring guests closer to nature, wildlife and unforgettable experiences. Its spacious outside decks are located at the very front of the ship, which is a great place to observe marine wildlife. The ship has been specifically designed as an expedition vessel and features everything required to explore this untouched wonderland. Acting as an ‘expedition base camp’, it is comfortable, safe, environmentally friendly and as luxurious as this type of ship can be. Guests also enjoy comfortable seating at the top of the ship in the observation lounge with its large panoramic windows offering stunning views.

 

Guests are well-looked after, with excellent cuisine in the ship restaurant, which offers spectacular views of the surroundings from every table. At the far end of the restaurant is a balcony where you can take photographs of any wildlife that may appear while you’re dining. Other facilities include a well-equipped fitness room (also with ocean views), a sauna, outdoor Jacuzzis and extremely comfortable cabins and suites.

The ship offers its guests complementary expedition and excursion gear to wear when they embark on sturdy Polarcirkel boats to take them to shore and explore the surroundings.

 

So what will you see and experience on your Antarctic adventure? Magnificent icebergs, whale blowholes, penguins and stunning destinations, such as Elephant Island, home to elephant seals. You’ll glide through the Antarctic Sound with its unequalled array of icebergs, some the size of large aircraft. There’s the ominous 2,450-foot volcanic cliff called Brown Bluff, home to Gentoo and Adélie penguin colonies, the Argentine military base called Esperanza established at Hope Bay in the Antarctic Sound in 1951 and much, much more.

 

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In Antarctica, the itinerary changes according to the weather conditions, so every day is an unexpected surprise. You will visit locations with romantic, historic names such as Deception Island, Whalers Bay and Cuverville Island, an enchanting penguin paradise. Famous ports of call include Port Lockroy, home to the only post office in Antarctica, Half Moon Island close to Livingstone Island and Andvord Bay, which is surrounded on every side by mountains and alpine glaciers.

 

You’ll see birds and animals you’ve only dreamed of coming into contact with, including the Wandering Albatross, which boasts a wingspan of more than 10 feet, the largest of any bird in the world. You’ll experience adventures that will give you stories to tell for many years to come.

 

If you would like to embark on a dream journey to Antarctica, contact Baroque Travel now, info@baroquetravel.com, and we will make all the arrangements for you to enjoy your unforgettable bucket list experience. Contact us right away and get ready to enjoy an adventure like no other!

Travel made easy: Louis Vuitton City Guide App

One of the most innovative mobile phone applications launched in 2016 is an impressive travel app from leather goods designer Louis Vuitton. In fact, Apple has voted it one of its “Best of 2016” mobile apps. Baroque Access finds out all the details

 

Every year, Apple recognizes apps from around the world, including games and tools, shopping apps and mobile wallets, and everything in between. These include mentions of many famous brands, such as Nike, Pokemon, Vogue, FIFA and others.

One of the apps Apple voted as best of the past year (and the year before that!) is Louis Vuitton’s City Guide app, a mobile adaptation of its printed travel city guides, which it has published annually since 1998. Since 2015, Louis Vuitton has offered information on different cities around the world in both mobile app or print form.

 

The Louis Vuitton City Guides are already renowned for being meticulously put together, offering all the information one needs when visiting a new city, and including sections on gourmet restaurants, luxury accommodation, fine food stores, day and night markets, and must-see sightseeing attractions, both well-known ones and those off the beaten path.

Since the beginning of 2015, Louis Vuitton has also offered this comprehensive information on 25 international cities such as Paris, Milan, New York, Venice, Shanghai and Cape Town on mobile app as well as in print. These apps, which are available for both iPhone and iPad, are regularly updated to keep visitors in the loop about what is new and trending in each international city. And, just like it did in 2015, the app has won another accolade from Apple as one of its best mobile applications of the year for 2016. The revised app also added four cities to the list, bringing it up to 29; the new cities are Lisbon, Taipei, Amsterdam and San Francisco.

 

Much like the City Guide books produced by Louis Vuitton, these apps offer an excellent insight into each city, capturing its spirit through exquisite photographs and written descriptions. Every possible aspect of the city is covered, from art and culture, to tradition, as well as new and innovative aspects. The apps are also interactive, intuitive and extremely user friendly to ensure that travelers can glean as much, or as little, information about the city as they wish, in every area that interests them.

What set this mobile app apart from so many others? According to Apple, special features such as geo-location enable users to find addresses quickly and easily. There are also filters for target search results, and users can also send digital postcards from the app, share addresses by email, SMS, and use social media.

 

While the app itself is free and comes with a free Paris City Guide, there is a small fee of $9.99 for each additional city. Innovative sections include ‘Good Things’, which lists organic markets and gourmet deli’s, and ‘Interior Cachet’, that covers art galleries and quirky antique shops not usually found on anybody’s list unless you live in the city.

’24 Hour’ experiences offer a full day’s itinerary in the city, and there are also sections written by guest celebs or famous local residents offering an insight into their personal list of what to see in their home town, including self-guided walking tours.

 

The 2017 collection of City Guides were released in October 2016. If you are interested in finding out more about any of these innovative City Guides in mobile app form, let Baroque Access assist. Contact us right away, info@baroqueaccess.com. If you are planning to visit one of the cities featured in Louis Vuitton’s City Guides, our sister company, Baroque Travel can assist with all the travel arrangements you require, using the innovative guides. Mail now for a unique travel experience, info@baroquetravel.com