LIT­TLE BLACK BOOK

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence -

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.

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