TRAVEL Size doesn’t mat­ter when it comes to lux­ury jet-set­ting.

ELLE (Canada) - - Contents -

We’re con­stantly be­ing told to “live large” or “think big”—but right now, we’re all about down­siz­ing. As these per­fect tiny ho­tels, des­ti­na­tions and ex­pe­ri­ences prove, good things come in very small pack­ages.

STAY

Stay­ing at a big, buzzy lux­ury ho­tel has its pros— we could write a novel about all the peo­ple-watch­ing we’ve done in lobby bars. But some­times all those rooms, all those suit­cases and all those bod­ies squeezed in with you in the el­e­va­tor on your way up to your 33rd-floor room can make you feel like just another face in the re­volv­ing door of guests. Meet the new gen­er­a­tion of bou­tique ho­tels: small, in­ti­mate spots with only a hand­ful of suites and in­fi­nite thought­ful ex­tras to make you feel like you very well could be the only per­son there... or even on the planet.

FOR A DES­TI­NA­TION THAT MAKES YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE IN AN EPISODE OF GAME OF THRONES...

We can’t prom­ise you a Jon Snow run- in at De­plar Farm, but the stun­ning scene­ry at this re­mote lux­ury lodge, opened in 2016 in the Fljót Valley in north­ern Ice­land, will make you forget how long it’s been since there was a new GOT episode. Chan­nel your in­ner Stark—but with chicer out­er­wear—with a num­ber of out­door-ad­ven­ture ac­tiv­i­ties (Heli-ski­ing! Whale-watch­ing!), or opt to never leave the fire­side in your suite. (There are just 13 on the prop­erty, all with ma­jor

hygge vibes—think tex­tured walls and Moroc­can wools.) A win­ter trip to north­ern Ice­land may sound daunt­ing, but brav­ing the cold is well worth the thrill of the out­door geother­mal pool, which gives you a front-row seat to the north­ern lights.

FOR AN ES­CAPE FROM THE NON- STOP NEWS CY­CLE...

At Tongabezi Lodge in south­ern Zam­bia—where Harry and Meghan are ru­moured to have hol­i­dayed—the only Wi-Fi is in the main house, which is just fine be­cause you’ll never be on your phone any­way. Best bet: Stay in the prop­erty’s se­cluded tree house. Reach­able only via a hid­den path, the open-plan suite (one of only nine vil­las on the prop­erty) fea­tures a king-size bed, a pri­vate deck and an open-air claw-foot tub, all perched among the branches of three ebony trees. The front of the room is en­tirely open, mak­ing it feel as if it blends into its sur­round­ings—with­out sac­ri­fic­ing any of the lux­ury.

FOR A WINE TAST­ING THAT WOULD IM­PRESS EVEN OLIVIA POPE...

Let’s start with the lo­ca­tion: The dozen or so luxe eco-friendly cab­ins that make up the Sacromonte Land­scape Ho­tel are dot­ted through­out 101

hectares of land (in­clud­ing vine­yards) in south­east Uruguay (about 45 min­utes from hot spot Punta del Este). In­side, they are min­i­mal­ist chic— think low plat­form beds, cowhide rugs and leather chairs. Mean­while, the front ex­te­rior walls are cov­ered with one-way mir­rors, cre­at­ing the il­lu­sion that the cab­ins dis­ap­pear into their bu­colic set­ting. Travel the ter­rain in an elec­tric buggy, catch some R & R by a pri­vate pool, in­dulge at the farm-to-table restau­rant or just sip wine on a hill­top ter­race—you can do it all at the sus­tain­able re­sort, which opens this fall.

FOR GOSSIP

GIRL TYPES WHO WANT A BREAK FROM THE CITY...

GrayBarns, an up­scale spot on the me­an­der­ing Sil­ver­mine River in Con­necti­cut, is idyl­lic year-round but es­pe­cially in fall. (Imag­ine an IRL Stars Hol­low but with way more pri­vacy and no med­dling Tay­lor Dooses.) The bougie inn started life as a tex­tile fac­tory be­fore thriv­ing as a ho­tel in the ’50s and ’60s, play­ing host to A-lis­ters like El­iz­a­beth Tay­lor and Lau­ren Ba­call. The clas­sic-style prop­erty (again, very Lore­lai Gil­more) re­opened last year, boast­ing just six king suites, the re­stored orig­i­nal post-and-beam struc­ture and a rus­tic-themed resto called Tav­ern (whose house-made pasta is call­ing your name). And GrayBarns keeps grow­ing: Its open­ing-soon coun­try store, Mer­can­tile, will let you take the inn’s old-money vibes back home.

FOR THE FOODIE WHO PLANS VA­CA­TIONS AROUND HER TASTE BUDS...

Al­most nine mil­lion peo­ple live in Mex­ico City proper, but you wouldn’t know it once you’re in­side the ver­dant grounds of Ig­na­cia Guest House. The chilled-out B & B—a once crum­bling man­sion that was ren­o­vated into five ul­tra-mod­ern suites last year—is the ideal place to rest your Nikes af­ter a day spent tour­ing the Mex­i­can cap­i­tal’s never-end­ing ros­ter of ar­chi­tec­tural and de­sign won­ders and foodie des­ti­na­tions. Also key: It’s lo­cated in Colo­nia Roma, the city’s vi­brant gas­tro­nomic cen­tre. Still hun­gry? Cook­ing lessons are of­fered by the same cou­ple who make your com­pli­men­tary break­fast from scratch daily, which you should def­i­nitely eat in the court­yard un­der the 70-year-old or­ange trees.

FOR IN­DULGING YOUR IN­NER HEIRESS...

Grab your tiara and head to Marl­bor­ough Lodge, a luxe 10-suite prop­erty in sprawl­ing wine coun­try out­side Blen­heim, New Zealand. Orig­i­nally a Vic­to­rian con­vent built in 1901, the newly ren­o­vated lodge is set on six hectares of gar­dens and (oh, yes) vine­yards. (We rec­om­mend par­tak­ing in the pri­vate wine tast­ings.) Stay in the King­fisher Suite—it was orig­i­nally a nun’s chapel and still fea­tures the orig­i­nal arched win­dows, vaulted ceil­ing and stained-glass win­dows but with a con­tem­po­rary and min­i­mal­ist in­te­rior.

VISIT

WALES Not only is Sol Cin­ema a tiny, adorably kitschy mo­bile movie the­atre, it’s also pow­ered by the sun: So­lar roof pan­els give it the juice to play movies day or night. Trav­el­ling around the United King­dom, Ire­land and be­yond, the 1960s hol­i­day trailer screens films on en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues (are you sens­ing a theme here?), and it has plush seats that can ac­com­mo­date up to eight peo­ple.

LIS­BON Sec­ond-hand book­stores have a kind of magic—even more so when you have the place to your­self. Which is pretty much in­evitable at Livraria Simão, a shop so small that the owner has to step out­side when he has a cus­tomer. But he still man­ages to keep some 4,000 books in his space, on vary­ing sub­jects and even in vary­ing lan­guages.

NEW YORK Mmu­se­umm is all about ex­plor­ing the world through ev­ery­day ob­jects from around the globe—for­eign tooth­paste, a bread-bag clip, a pud­ding cup. It’s housed in a former freight el­e­va­tor down a ran­dom al­ley in lower Man­hat­tan and mea­sures a mere five square me­tres.

DUBLIN Miss Boon’s Fab­u­lous Vin­tage Shop car­ries ev­ery­thing from DVP wrap dresses to straight-out-of- Mad-Men retro styles. The only catch is shop­ping is by ap­point­ment only—but you’ll ap­pre­ci­ate that ex­clu­siv­ity when you’re the only per­son in the one-by-three-me­tre store.

IM­BIBE

EL PEQUEÑO Its name trans­lates to “the tiny,” but the just-opened Cuban-in­spired speakeasy in Mon­treal’s Old Port serves up ma­jor flavour in mostly-rum-based bevvies, like mo­ji­tos, daiquiris and, of course, Cuba Li­bres.

THREE­SOME TOLL BOOTH There’s cur­rently a wait-list to get into this nook in Wil­liams­burg, Brook­lyn, that fits just three peo­ple— you, a friend and the bar­tender. It’s so top se­cret, you only learn the ex­act lo­ca­tion the morn­ing of your pre-sched­uled visit.

BAR AMERICANO You’ll find zero ar­ti­sanal drinks at this nos­tal­gic spot in Mel­bourne ded­i­cated to the golden era of cock­tails— zero chairs too. The “broom-closet-size” speakeasy touts it­self as the first stand­ing-only bar Down Un­der. Be sure to wear your Ba­len­ci­aga dad shoes.

BAR ANNABELLE With 22 seats, this new­comer to the Cal­gary bar scene is a bit big­ger than the rest of the hot spots on our list, but it’s a must-try. Cozy up with a glass of wine or whisky (they of­fer blends from ev­ery­where from Ore­gon to Ja­pan) at the pink-onyx bar while lis­ten­ing to Tom Petty on the vin­tage record player.

BAR PI­ANO This never-empty spot in Tokyo’s bar-filled Shibuya dis­trict is so small that it doesn’t even have a web­site. The vibe feels very Marie An­toinette meets Alice in Won­der­land— think fuch­sia light­ing, chan­de­liers and vin­tage-look­ing por­trait walls.

EAT

THE HEATHER Hamil­ton, Ont.

Seats: 12 Look no fur­ther for the epi­cen­tre of Hamil­ton’s foodie boom than the Heather in up-and-com­ing Bar­ton Vil­lage. Hus­band-and­wife duo Matty and Meg Cowan opened their exclusive resto in 2016, high­light­ing lo­cal and sea­sonal in­gre­di­ents. THE BITE HOUSE Forks Bad­deck, N.S. Seats: 12 This fam­ily-run es­tab­lish­ment, tak­ing up the main floor of the own­ers’ cen­tu­ry­old farm­house, is so in­ter­na­tion­ally pop­u­lar that it’s booked solid for the rest of 2018. ALDER ROOM Ed­mon­ton. Seats: 12 You have to buy a “ticket” (from $85 a per­son) in ad­vance, but that gets you an in­ven­tive 10- to 20-course tast­ing menu fo­cused on lo­cal sea­sonal foods. You won’t know what you’re eat­ing un­til it’s served, but you know it’ll be an ex­pe­ri­ence. BATTUTO Que­bec City. Seats: 20 The best Ital­ian cui­sine is sim­ple and au­then­tic, and that is Battuto’s man­date. This former snack bar is now a sleek, min­i­mal­ist restau­rant serv­ing up hand­made pas­tas, an­tipasto and tiramisu.

STAY

SKYLODGE AD­VEN­TURE

SUITES, SA­CRED VALLEY, PERU Eat, sleep and stargaze in an in­ti­mate Per­spex pod sus­pended above Peru’s fa­mous Sa­cred Valley with views that feel straight out of Avatar. A heads-up for acro­pho­bics: You have to scale 400 me­tres of moun­tain or take a zi­pline to get to your pri­vate suite. PUREPODS, NEW ZEALAND You have to walk into the bush (don’t worry, there are direc­tions) to get to these eco-friendly clear cab­ins pep­pered through­out New Zealand, but it’s sooo worth it. The pods, 20 square me­tres in size, boast all the ameni­ties of a fives­tar ho­tel (in­clud­ing meals if you or­der ahead but not in­clud­ing Wi-Fi—the goal here is to dis­con­nect) with the bonus of com­plete and ut­ter immersion in na­ture. Even the glass floors are see-through. CON­RAD, MAL­DIVES RANGALI IS­LAND, MAL­DIVES So, the Mu­raka, a villa in the Mal­dives that opens next month, doesn’t ex­actly qual­ify as tiny. But since a small part of it is un­der­wa­ter— a bed­room, bath­room and small sit­ting area are set five me­tres be­low sea level, a curved clear ceil­ing the only thing sep­a­rat­ing you from Floun­der, Se­bas­tian et al.—and it’s gor­geous, it had to make our list.

A PurePod in Kahutara, New Zealand

The bu­colic set­ting of De­plar Farm (left) and the al­most in­vis­i­ble Sacromonte Land­scape Ho­tel (be­low)

Marl­bor­ough Lodge and grounds (left) and a suite bed at Ig­na­cia Guest House (right)

Clock­wise, from far lower left: Sol Cin­ema; Mmu­se­umm; Miss Boon’s Fab­u­lous Vin­tage Shop; the kitchen at the Heather; Bar Americano; a table for two at Battuto; Bar Annabelle

Clock­wise, from top left: Skylodge Ad­ven­ture Suites; a PurePod in New Zealand; Petrin Tower in Prague; Mus­tique; L.A.’s Cac­tus Store; un­der­wa­ter din­ing at the Con­rad in the Mal­dives; a PurePod at night; a villa at the Con­rad

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.