Travel diary: Exotic escapes

Travel Diary: Exotic escapes
Bisate Lodge in Rwanda offers superb accommodation

From gorilla watching in style and new swim-up rooms in Mauritius to an oasis in Dubai, here’s our travel diary for the months ahead

Travel Diary: Exotic escapes
Accommodation is in a forest setting, with superb gorilla watching opportunities nearby

New Rwanda opening

Wilderness Safaris has opened Bisate Lodge, next to Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, a luxurious base in this beautiful corner of Africa, with opportunities to spot reclusive mountain gorillas. Bisate Lodge’s six forest villas sit within an eroded volcano cone, close enough to the national park headquarters to make morning treks easy to undertake. Each villa has bedroom, bathroom and living room featuring central fireplace and a private deck with fantastic views. The villas are thatched, in keeping with Rwandan tradition, and furnishings are decorated using imigongo, a unique national art form. Sustainability is a central tenet of these luxury lodges, in keeping with Wilderness Safaris’ approach to conservation and local community engagement.


Travel Diary: Exotic escapes
Beachcomber ‘Victoria for Two’ will be a luxurious and romantic adults’ only retreat

Heaven for two

From next January, Mauritius specialist Beachcomber is opening a new style of accommodation ‘Victoria For Two’ at its Victoria Beachcomber Resort & Spa on the west coast of the island. Designed for adults only, the new wing will have 40 luxurious double rooms overlooking a private beach and the marine park. Guests can choose between ocean view rooms, with vistas over the lagoon, or swim-up rooms – the first of their kind on Mauritius and giving direct access to an 800m swimming pool. The wing will include a new restaurant positioned for romantic sunset views, and a new swim-up pool bar. This new wing is designed to appeal to honeymooners and couples looking for a peaceful retreat. This is one of eight resorts owned and operated by Beachcomber on Mauritius – others include Royal Palm and Dinarobin – and you’ll find exceptional local knowledge from the team about the island. This includes specialist planning services if you want to get married on the island.


Travel Diary: Exotic escapes
Amalfi, one of the most romantic destinations to tie the knot


Wedding belles

Where in the world should you tie the knot if you’re planning a destination wedding? Luxury holiday specialist Destinology has come up with a list of ten of the world’s most romantic places to consider, ranging from Bora Bora Pearl Resort and Spa in the South Pacific, to Bellagio, Las Vegas and Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay, Bali. Closer to home, their top Italian choice is Belmond Hotel Caruso on Italy’s Amalfi coast, a former palace reborn as a unique series of rooms and suites in lavish gardens. Apart from the quite incredible infinity pool and gorgeous local food, it’s the views from the clifftop and the wonderful villages and coastline around it that make this high on our list too.


Travel Diary: Exotic escapes
Dukes Dubai, a home from home with London style and Middle Eastern glamour

Home from home

Those who know and love Dukes London, will feel like they’ve come home at Dukes Dubai, opened officially in April and located on the Palm Jumeirah. Offering five-star luxury, it combines Middle Eastern style and British flair, and is the first international property under the Dukes Collection umbrella. With 279 guestrooms and suites and a ladies-only Liberty Duchess floor featuring rooms decorated with Liberty Fabrics, it also houses over 200 apartments. Its signature GBR (Great British Restaurant) is here, along with Khyber northern Indian restaurant – the first international location for the Bombay-based family restaurant group. And since this is Dukes, you can also get a very fine afternoon tea, so definitely an oasis for anyone in need of a cucumber sandwich or scone. If you are back in London, do try out newly opened GBR in its Mayfair home, a haven of all-day comfort food presided over by executive head chef Nigel Mendham. and


Travel Diary: Exotic escapes
Beautiful Santorini, just one of the destinations offered by Planet Weddings

Destination planning

European wedding-with-honeymoon destinations are plentiful, but the planning still requires time and expertise. Planet Weddings specialise in European wedding and honeymoon trips – and you can tailor things around your schedule. This is useful if you can’t manage the standard seven or 14-night stay, although the team will guide you on minimum requirements so you can be legally married. Cyprus is a speciality (and where they started out), but from the glorious Azores to stunning Santorini, you have great locations in the mix.


Six luxurious hotel rooms for honeymoon style