LITTLE BLACK BOOK
STEPHEN Winter, international sales director for French yacht cruising specialist Compagnie Du Ponant, lives in Paris after many years in New York. Australia will welcome the group’s new L’Austral megayacht early next year. More: en.ponant.com. Desperate to get back to: Bora Bora for its impossibly beautiful turquoise lagoon. Top shopping secret: The Christmas market in New York’s Grand Central Station. Must visit: Ernest Shackleton’s grave on South Georgia Island: he’s a hero of the golden age of Antarctic exploration. Perfect place for indulgence: Hotel La Mamounia in DEALS OF THE WEEK Light up London: Book before August 5 and spend the 40 per cent you’ll save on your stay at Hilton London Olympia in Kensington High Street’s myriad boutiques; from $144 a room, valid to September 5. Harrods, Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park and Royal Albert Hall are all close by. More: 1800 846 835; hotels.com. Marrakech for understated luxury, excellent cuisine and elegant service. Favourite travel website: No big scoop here, but I read tripadvisor.com before I make a hotel reservation. Stand-out bar experience: The Brooklyn Inn, New York. Beauty in Broome: Time your visit to Cable Beach, WA, to coincide with the 19th annual Opera Under the Stars on August 27; from $599 a person twin-share for four nights at the Oaks Broome, return airport transfers and a ticket to the event, which features a diverse mix of popular music. More: 1300 799 783; escapetravel.com.au. A timeless classic in a 19th-century townhouse. My all-time favourite. Inspirational travel narrative: Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik, a tender and funny account of an American raising a family in Paris. Most memorable splurge: The tasting menu, for $US200 a person including wine, at Bouley, Duane Street, Tribeca, NYC. Best experience afloat: Cruising on the three-masted sailing boat Le Ponant through the pristine waters of the Maldives. Distinctive hotel: The Relais de la Reine in the Parc National de I’Isalo in southern Madagascar: a jaw-dropping hotel built inside caves. Two-for-one: Book by August 31 for a companion-flies-free deal on a 37-day South America tour and Galapagos cruise departing March 17, 2012; from $21,995 a person twin-share including touring, cruising, local flights, accommodation, most meals, transfers and sightseeing. More: 1300 229 804; aptouring.com.au.