Lifestyle and Adventure
Ever wondered where the winter playgrounds of the rich & famous are? From Verbier to Aspen, here are the most exclusive & expensive ski destinations in the world!
What is it about the opulent wealth and lifestyles of the 0.0001% that we find so enticing? We appear to turn our noses up at the existence of billionaires, yet crave the knowledge to know their net worth, the properties they own, and of course, where they vacation. Skiing has always been described as a 'rich man's sport'; the lavish locations, equipment and a certain je ne sais quoi have...
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The balance between a fun-filled, family holiday and a relaxing, luxury resort is often quite hard to find... but our luxury lifestyle expert, Kerene Barefield, has found the perfect, child-friendly place to whiz away to on the off-season! Having decided to treat the family to a little autumn sun, I booked five nights at Parga Beach Resort on the idyllic west coast of Greece - and I was not disappointed! After booking an early flight from London and dragging the kids out of bed at 3:45am; we arrived at Preveza airport by nine o’clock GMT. Greeted by our friendly chauffeur from the resort, he drove us along the beautiful coastline for a 45 minute journey to the hotel. On arrival we received a very warm welcome from Katerina and her team, and were shown promptly to our room. The extensive grounds of the hotel are stunning, all the rooms and suites are scattered between vibrantly blooming flora and centuries old olive trees. The smell of jasmine fills the air as we walk through the lush and plentiful grounds; it is hard to comprehend that there are over a hundred beautiful rooms hidden away in this captivating Greek resort
Beach holidays can be very undifferentiated. It could easily be filled with endless sun-bed reading and tick-box buffet food. Minos Beach Art Hotel in Crete offers a unique, inspiring experience on the other hand. Culture plays an important role in this 5-star resort. The hotel opened in 1963 but you will struggle to find any remote hint of the 60s anywhere on its grounds. The hotel is constantly renovating and if anything, the resemblance is more towards Tate Modern galleries rather than a retro Greek resort. The hotel is a member of Design Hotels and you feel it's most deserving the moment you step into the lobby. There's Giorgos Gyparakis' 1-sec art installation by the reception wall with intricate waveforms highlighting the increasing digitalisation of society.
Tipping is always tricky. Discretionary is hard too. No one wants to tip too much or too little. What do you leave for the charming waitress at a two-star Michelin restaurant, or the devoted bodyguard that helps keep pigeons from stealing your food? Harry is the hotel’s hawk-in-residence. Working as a security guard, he is (of course) employed by one of the most luxurious hotels in the world to guard its guests against the local pigeon community. His job (albeit an extremely important one) is to protect you, and your food, from the locals stealing the blinis off your plate, dipping their beaks into your quince jam, pecking at your Iberian loin, mobbing your matured manchego and making off with your croissant, raisin roll or other bollería pastries. Breakfast is also served inside at the safer although a little vertiginous Club Lounge forty floors above. Exclusive access is reserved to high fliers, enjoying the good life in the $2000-a-night penthouse suites and superior deluxe rooms with a, “tailored menu of exclusive benefits”. On the rooftop is a spa with a sauna/steam room boasting arguably one of the best views in the world.
Lake Como has always been somewhere that I’ve wanted to visit. For centuries it’s been famed for its dramatic setting, fairy-tale villages and international high-profile visitors, with many movies, including ‘Casino Royale’, ‘Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones’, and ‘A Month by the Lake’ filmed there. Therefore, when I was given the opportunity to enjoy the city for a few days, I jumped at the chance, inviting a close friend to share the experience.
No matter your personal style of self-care or level of yogic knowledge, there’s a wellness destination to suit you. Explore further to see which unexpected but life-changing wellness destinations make the Sybarite edit.
Except you are not in Budapest, but in the scenic, tranquil alpine escape that is Pontresina. Think neighbouring St Moritz but without the Prada shop pretensions. This is a mountain village lined with iconic Belle Epoque hotels and authentic Engadine stone houses with ornate facades. This grande dame of Engadine hotels is the heart and soul of the village and has been welcoming guests since 1848. The personalised service means they've been getting repeat guests for decades; some came as children and then returned with their children. They've had an extensive renovation in 2021 with the award-winning French interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon. The reception, lobby lounge, bar and reading room have all been rejuvenated to tranquil shades of blue that reflect the Engadine sky during various times of the day. You have to applaud their attention to every minutia as even the coffee table books are in hues of blue. The focal point here isn't the regal chandelier or the antique furniture, it's the lush majestic mountains of the Engadine Alps that take centre stage through the almost floor-to-ceiling glass windows.
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