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Travel

6 amazing trips to put on your bucket list

Singita Sasakwa Lodge, Tanzania

Where can you find a vacation that will leave your soul soaring and your heart full? Add these once-in-a-lifetime experiences to your list…

Lifestyle

Witness the Great Wildebeest Migration

Under the open skies and vast rolling plains of the central Serengeti, the ground vibrates and the horizon is like a cinema reel on fast-forward; a frenzied blur of black, gray and white, of muzzle, flaming nostril and hoof. Some two million wildebeests are on the move in pursuit of the rain and greener pastures, on a millennia-old journey; seeing it in person will render you speechless. Stay at Singita Sasakwa Lodge, the largest and grandest property on this 350,000-acre private reserve, which comprises an elegant turn-of-the-century manor house with 10 rooms and various cottages perfect for families or romantic couples. From the lodge’s veranda, you get jaw-droppingly majestic views overlooking the Serengeti Park, which extends the prime viewing season for the great migration in Tanzania. There is a helipad right next to the lodge and an airstrip nearby if you fancy flitting to the Mara River to carry on watching the greatest natural spectacle on earth.

Out of Africa
Singita Sasakwa Lodge blends authentic European style with East African influences
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LA INSTITUTION
The iconic Polo Lounge has a history as fabled as Tinsel Town itself

Have lunch at the Polo Lounge

As bucket-list hotels go, the fabulous sugar-pink palace that is the Beverly Hills Hotel is hard to beat. Its restaurant, the Polo Lounge, is celebratory and special while still being slick enough for local lunching power-brokers. The latter tend to sit in the discreet alcove tables with an eye on the mirror-reflected entrance to check out Hollywood’s comings and goings. A live band plays daily to the cluster of tables spread out across the bougainvillea-draped terraces, while white-coated waiters waltz amid the tables with a welcoming yet respectful patter. In a city not short on glamour, this is extra-high-wattage elegance, yet retains a cozy enough mood for the famous regulars who like to know their way around the unchanging menu and its headliners, including the signature McCarthy Salad, Tortilla Soup and Steak Tartare.

Go on the Japanese art trail

Of the thousand islands in the Seto Inland Sea, a handful have become a living museum where art, architecture and landscape come together in perfect harmony. The lesser known island is Teshima, where Rei Naito’s ‘Matrix’ waterdrop installation is located, one of the purest and most elevating wonders on a trail of many throughout Japan. After exploring the island and its artworks, stay in Lemon Hotel, an installation and residence by day and a sensational one-table restaurant by night, serving local produce with a citrus theme. There’s also a bathtub set under a lemon tree in a glasshouse, and a futon dormitory. Book seaplane transfers from the mainland to the art islands through Discover Shikoku.

Architectural beauty
The impressive Teshima Art Museum is situated on a rice-terraced hillside facing out towards the Seto Inland Sea

Heli-ski in Iceland

From the doorstep of Iceland’s remote, 3000-acre former sheep ranch Deplar Farm, you can take off in helicopters to around 30 different landing posts on the edge of the treeless mountains and glaciers that rise 300-feet above the black volcanic shorelines of the Arctic sea. Here, you can experience what it might feel like to be the only person on earth, as you ski on the vertical on virgin powder snow. In the ski season between March and May, the sun scarcely dips behind the horizon, so take to the slopes after dinner; afterwards, erase all memory of stiff limbs in the lodge’s geothermal outdoor pool and hidden sauna.

IN THE WILDERNESS
The luxurious 13-room Deplar Farm houses a stylish spa and restaurant
Hollywood glamour incarnate
Elizabeth Taylor’s former home makes the ultimate Palm Springs retreat

Do Palm Springs the Old Hollywood way

Comprising crystal chandeliers, a hot-pink bathroom and leopard-print bed sheets, Casa Elizabeth is the former Palm Springs home of Elizabeth Taylor – today a luxury vacation villa complete with a pool cabana and guest casita. Some of the icon’s artworks still reside here, including that Warhol portrait. Sip cocktails in the palm-tree-lined pool before reclining on your sun lounger for the rest of the afternoon. Liz would approve.

Sail around the Flores Islands of Indonesia

Silolona, in all its 50-meter long polished teak and crimson-sailed glory, is the most sensational yacht on which to explore the myriad islands and archipelagos of the Indonesian Pacific. With five spacious cabins and 16 crew members, this is the only possible way to reach some of the more remote bays and psychedelic coral gardens around the fabled arc of volcanic island. Watch Komodo dragons prowl across some of the deepest straits in the world from the Komodo National Park to the island of Sumba, where you should stay at the best beach outpost in the southern hemisphere, Nihi Sumba. Daunt Travel can arrange a bespoke itinerary.

THE CALL OF THE OCEAN
Flores is world-renowned for its magnificent diving and snorkeling opportunities