LUX­URY ES­CAPES NEAR THE AIR­PORT

NATALIE COMPAGNO TAKES US AWAY

Frequent Flyer Destinations - - VOYAGER -

Oh to es­cape! Im­ages of pink sand beaches, huts on stilts with mon­keys swing­ing over­head; per­haps a cas­tle ma­te­ri­al­izes on the horizon of the mind. Day­dreams in­trude, es­pe­cially while try­ing to fo­cus on work. Most far-flung havens are usu­ally just that – too far away.

The per­cep­tion is that lux­ury hides from con­ve­nience. But th­ese impressive prop­er­ties en­com­pass both prox­im­ity to an air­port while also pro­vid­ing a to­tal es­cape from the world. They em­body their en­vi­ron­ment while giv­ing guests that feel­ing of be­ing some­where else en­tirely. Within a few short hours of touch­ing down, th­ese fan­tas­tic re­treats are close enough to be­come re­al­ity.

CHATEAU ST. GERLACH, MAASTRICHT NETHER­LANDS

Maastricht is a fes­tive univer­sity town with me­dieval ar­chi­tec­ture and mod­ern amuse­ments. In­con­gru­ously set just out­side this vi­brant ur­ban party is the mag­nif­i­cent Château St. Gerlach, care­fully re­stored to trans­port vis­i­tors to another place and time. The Re­lais & Châteaux prop­erty in­cludes the orig­i­nal es­tate farm­house, con­vent, and grain lofts, con­verted to 113 gue­strooms. Man­i­cured Baroque gar­dens beg for a leisurely stroll, while Re­nais­sance thoughts drift among the green­ery. Culi­nary op­tions use or­ganic in­gre­di­ents from the es­tate’s grounds – French or gas­tropub de­pend­ing on pref­er­ence. Un­der the arches of the an­cient cel­lar lies the cov­eted Spa & Well­ness cen­ter, where a Ro­man-style swim­ming pool awaits.

BAOASE LUX­URY RE­SORT, CURACAO

Curacao is one of the most wel­com­ing and open-minded es­capes in the Caribbean. The is­land cel­e­brates its Dutch her­itage in its cui­sine and fa­mous cap­i­tal city, with post­card-per­fect multi-hued build­ings sit­ting wa­ter­front. An oa­sis within the trop­i­cal flurry of Curacao “city” life is Baoase, the is­land’s only five-star re­sort. Guests step into another world upon en­ter­ing a Ba­li­nese par­adise where ev­ery de­tail hints of South­east Asia. Beach-front pool suites house pri­vate gar­dens and out­door baths with sinks im­ported from In­done­sia. The ho­tel’s strict “no pho­to­graphs” pol­icy not only pro­tects the pri­vacy of its celebrity and dis­cern­ing guests but also adds to the prop­erty’s com­mit­ment to re­lax­ation. Breathe in the warm air of Curacao while lux­u­ri­at­ing in Ba­li­nese style, worry free.

LA RES­I­DENCE FRANSCHHOEK, FRANSCHHOEK VAL­LEY, SOUTH AFRICA

Ever dreamed of be­ing royal for a day? La Res­i­dence Franschhoek is a pri­vate 30acre “wine coun­try” re­treat, sur­rounded by vine­yards and plum or­chards.

Don’t let the de­scrip­tion mis­lead – the ac­com­mo­da­tions are any­thing but rus­tic. When guests step into the Grand Hall the glit­ter and grandeur amaze. Taj Ma­ha­lesque In­dian chan­de­liers hang from the vaulted ceil­ing and orig­i­nal art­work mixed with an­tiques sur­round. Each room is its own es­cape – no two are alike – with unique color schemes and de­sign in­flu­ences. This prop­erty is mag­i­cal; don’t be sur­prised to see pea­cocks strolling with guests in the evening as the nearby moun­tains turn pink in the cre­pus­cule. Wine is a ma­jor player on the menus, with each dish re­flect­ing the bounty of the sur­round­ings. Hard to be­lieve that Cape Town is less than an hour away.

DHARA DHEVI, CHIANG MAI, THAI­LAND

Chiang Mai isn’t Bangkok, but it still has the fre­netic feel and pulse of a city. Grab a tuk tuk and leave the chaotic traf­fic be­hind. Dhara Dhevi re­sort must be seen to be be­lieved. The prop­erty recre­ates an

au­then­tic Lanna vil­lage, with tra­di­tional Thai houses as guest ac­com­mo­da­tions. Owned and cu­rated by an art col­lec­tor, each pala­tial res­i­dence fea­tures mu­se­um­wor­thy stat­ues and paint­ings. Bring the taste of Thai­land home with cook­ing ex­pe­ri­ences and learn crafts from lo­cal artists. The clas­sic North­ern Thai cui­sine din­ner is a must-ex­pe­ri­ence with trained dancers ac­com­pa­ny­ing the meal. Cul­ture and his­tory swirl around, as each guest feels the al­lure of the King­dom of Thai­land.

BARNSLEY RE­SORT, ADAIRSVILLE, GE­OR­GIA

Barnsley Re­sort sits on an 1840s es­tate, where the ru­ins of the orig­i­nal manor pre­side over the grounds and the at­mos­phere. Orig­i­nally built for his wife Ju­lia, God­frey Barnsley was in­spired by Ital­ianate vil­las and gar­dens. To­day it is a sym­bol of love and his­tory, dec­o­rated for the hol­i­days and used for events and par­ties. A world away, Barnsley Re­sort cov­ers 3,000 acres where guests feel that South­ern com­fort while “play­ing” through­out the prop­erty. Choose an ad­ven­ture – in a ca­noe or boat, on a horse, on the golf course or just re­lax­ing at the pool – all are of­fered along with su­pe­rior ser­vice. Sea­sonal re­gional South­ern com­fort food graces the plates at The Wood­lands Grill, but the Wine Li­brary is a co­zier op­tion for din­ner. Look for the new Inn at Barnsley Re­sort, in­spired by English coun­try homes, open­ing early 2018. A grand stair­case and fire­place will meet vis­i­tors as they en­ter, just an hour af­ter land­ing into At­lanta.

FI­ESTA AMER­I­CANA, PUERTO VALLARTA, MEX­ICO

When lux­ury meets Mex­ico it’s one big fi­esta. Who says an es­cape should be quiet and tame? Fi­esta Amer­i­cana is an all-in­clu­sive bash with impressive in­te­rior de­sign, thanks to the owner’s train­ing steeped in the Mid-Cen­tury aes­thetic. The flair doesn’t stop there – guest room art flaunts an 80s vibe, and street art spray paint mu­rals on each level con­tinue to up the cool fac­tor. La Veranda is the new culi­nary op­tion. Dine al­fresco with a gen­tle Pa­cific Ocean breeze on beef, lob­ster, and shrimp. Fi­esta Amer­i­cana is more than the sum of its parts--the staff makes ev­ery­one feel re­laxed and pam­pered while still en­cour­ag­ing party hat adorn­ment. The new rooftop SONNE club em­bod­ies this per­fectly. An in­fin­ity pool, two jacuzzies, lounge area, and bar get the party started. Ca­banas with daybeds, flat screens, and mini­bars keep the fes­tiv­i­ties go­ing long af­ter the sun sets over the Pa­cific.

THE LOREN AT PINK BEACH, BER­MUDA

Ber­muda is a place of tra­di­tion, known for its Bri­tish past, pro­pri­ety, and colo­nial ar­chi­tec­ture. The Loren at Pink Beach breaks the mold as Ber­muda’s first new ho­tel in 45 years. In­stead of quaint shut­ters and col­umns, the Loren greets a new wave of trav­el­ers with con­tem­po­rary style. Sleek wide open spa­ces and glass fa­cades cap­ture light, and a free-stand­ing wind­ing glass and metal stair­case awe as a cen­ter­piece. Eight acres of coastal landscape and pink sand pro­vide the play­ground, while a heated in­fin­ity pool beck­ons with views of the At­lantic. Treat your­self to a Rum Swiz­zle. This sig­na­ture cock­tail is the per­fect ac­ces­sory pool­side.

La Res­i­dence Franschhoek

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