Through the Looking GlassThe Mad Hatter’s Tea Party – London, U.K
If you’re travelling to London soon, you won’t want to miss falling down this crazy rabbit hole. The Sanderson Hotel, one of London’s finest, is serving up an Alice-inspired take on the very British institution of afternoon tea. The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party serves up tea-time favorites on plates adorned with bird cages, carousels and ticking clocks.
Sanderson’s exclusive teas are poured from teapots that could definitely have been used by Alice at the original Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, and menus are hidden inside vintage books. sandersonlondon.com
Thanda-struckThe Luxurious Private Island of Thanda – Tanzania
One of the few truly private tropical islands in the world, Thanda Island is situated in the Indian Ocean, within southern Tanzania’s Shungi Mbili Island Marine Reserve, 30 kilometres east of the mainland of Tanzania. There are scheduled 30-minute flights from Dar es Salaam to Mafia Island and then it’s a 30-minute boat transfer to Thanda Island.
Book here and you’ll call the entire island home, including an expansive five-bedroom villa that sleeps 10. It features an all-white palette and soft, natural hues and fabrics, and looks like it’s straight out of the pages of Vogue. Leading straight off the pristine white-sand beach, each of the fan-cooled and air-conditioned suites feature indoor and outdoor showers. An impressive swimming pool and a huge indoor aquarium to rival its outdoor counterpart are the finishing touches that make this such a unique property.
Eight hectares in size, the island is just 1.1 kilometres in circumference and 350 metres wide. It’s surrounded by its own private coral reef, with a one-kilometre exclusive-use zone which can be explored with a snorkel and mask, straight from the beach. There are sailing boats, stand-up paddle boards and single- and double-kayaks, while a powerboat zone outside the marine park allows for water skiing, jet-skiing, wake-boarding and tubing, and big game fishing off Mafia Island can be experienced on a 28-foot reef runner cat. thandaisland.com
Hail to the ChiefVientiane – Laos
Vientiane in Laos has just joined the “must” list for travelers seeking the latest in luxury digs.
The opening of The President by Akaryn is set to create a health-and-wellness, epicurean and cultural destination unique in Laos. The sumptuous, boutique property of just 30 rooms – including two Presidential Suites – is centrally located near the House of Parliament, The Presidential Palace and the temple of the Emerald Buddha. Built in neo-classical style with Laotian accents of soaring ceilings, timber floors and tropical shutters, it echoes the architectural grandeur of colonial times in the late 1800s, when the golden age of travel was at its zenith.
There’s a private members’ club, cigar lounge, humidor and whisky cellar, and a revolutionary Ayurah Wellness Centre with bespoke programmes based on the four pillars of wellness: weight optimization, anti-ageing, mind balance and detoxification. Seven dining areas, an ever-evolving menu and Vientiane’s best high tea will satisfy the most discerning palates. akarynhotelgroup.com