In­dus­try ex­perts share their most re­cent ac­com­mo­da­tion dis­cov­er­ies with Barry Oliver

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel -

Songsan Ho­tel, Zhong­dian, Shangrila, China: You are greeted on ar­rival by your Ti­betan hosts with ginger tea be­side a roar­ing fire. This au­then­tic guest­house is filled with won­der­ful an­tiques and mag­nif­i­cent cen­tral Ti­betan rugs and warm hos­pi­tal­ity. It’s homely, clean and at­mo­spheric, and next to one of the world’s most fa­mous monas­ter­ies, the Sum­san­ling. Sue Bad­yari, World Ex­pe­di­tions Villa La Massa, near Florence. Italy: A noble Re­nais­sance res­i­dence with an­tique fur­nish­ings, typ­i­cal of Medicean times, set on the banks of the Arno River in the beau­ti­ful Tus­can coun­try­side just 8km from Florence. www.vil­lala­ Elise Pas­coe, Elise Pas­coe In­ter­na­tional Cook­ing School The Out­post, Kruger Na­tional Park, South Africa: It’s bril­liant; the de­sign is su­perbly mod­ern but in tune with the nat­u­ral beauty of the park. The prices in­clude most things and the menu is in­ter­est­ing, too: os­trich carpac­cio and kudu steak (it’s not one for veg­e­tar­i­ans). www.theout­ Chris Mil­lar, Poppi Restau­rant, Sin­ga­pore La Saracina, Pienza, Tus­cany, Italy: Small, in­ti­mate and close to the per­fect town de­signed by an em­i­nent pope of ages past. Walks in this re­gion are also per­fect; you approach the town along an­cient Ro­man paths from the val­ley far be­low. Clau­dia Rossi Hud­son, Mary Rossi Travel Ho­tel Arc­tic, Ilulis­sat, Green­land: The hi-tech alu­minium igloos at the Arc­tic Ho­tel have the most fan­tas­tic and ever-chang­ing view of 100m-high ice­bergs mov­ing slowly south­wards, mak­ing stately progress across Disko Bay on the west coast of Green­land.­­tel-arc­tic/ Martin Wright, Far Hori­zons Life Re­sort, Hoi An, Viet­nam: Lux­u­ri­ous and stylish but low key, sur­rounded by trop­i­cal gar­dens, right on the river and just a walk into Hoi An town. Beau­ti­ful break­fasts among the palm trees with trop­i­cal fruit and homemade jams, then del­i­cate pho served with all the ac­com­pa­ni­ments. Wish I were there now.­ Maeve O’Meara, Gourmet Sa­faris Ban­nis­ters Point Lodge, Mol­ly­mook, NSW: A re­cent re­fur­bish­ment el­e­vates this lodge to multi award-win­ning sta­tus. There are 31 rooms and eight suites over­look­ing the ocean, com­bined with a sen­sa­tional restau­rant, or there’s pizza din­ing along­side the wet­edge pool, whose bar serves one of the best mar­gar­i­tas out­side Mex­ico. www.ban­nis­ter­s­point­ John Kerr, Ra­dio 2UE Chief’s Camp, Oka­vango Delta, Botswana: Ac­cessed only by light air­craft with just 12 bush pav­il­ions, Chief’s Camp has the best open-air spa over­look­ing herds of ele­phant and the oc­ca­sional leop­ard cross­ing the vast plains be­low. www.sanc­tu­ary­ Su­jata Ra­man, Aber­crom­bie & Kent Hippo Point, Kenya: Ec­cen­tric colo­nial grandeur at its best. This lux­ury hideaway on the shores of Lake Naivasha is in a fairy­tale set­ting: fan­tasy ar­chi­tec­ture, res­i­dent an­telopes, hip­pos and gi­raffes, ex­pan­sive gar­dens with a but­ler on hand. It of­fers one of the finest Kenyan hos­pi­tal­ity ex­pe­ri­ences. Julie McIn­tosh, Clas­sic Sa­fari Com­pany Ha­cienda de San Rafael, near Seville, Spain: Visit­ing this 18th-cen­tury ha­cienda, tucked away in an olive grove, with white­washed walls, ochre trim­mings and bougainvil­lea, is like walk­ing into a ca­ballero’s (gen­tle­man’s) es­tate. You can al­most imag­ine swirling fla­menco skirts and the click­ing of pol­ished boots in the vast but tran­quil liv­ing room. The menu, with Span­ish and Euro­pean in­flu­ences, is fab­u­lous, too. www.ha­cien­dade­san­ Tony Tan, Tony Tan Cook­ing School Tri Yaan Na Ros, Chi­ang Mai, Thai­land: This bou­tique ho­tel is fam­ily run and has only eight rooms. I love it so much as it has real charm, a very cute pool and the build­ings and in­te­ri­ors are all in tra­di­tional Lanna style. So peace­ful. www.triyaan­ Philip En­gel­berts, pub­lic re­la­tions ex­ec­u­tive

An­i­mal vista: Chief’s Camp

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