In this issue, embark on unforgettable journeys of discovery and opulence
“Hey, do you remember that time we went away to…” When a conversation starts this way, I know it’s going to be good. Of course, we remember the place. And those moments. And all the lovely folks we met along the way and felt a connection with, despite coming from a land and culture vastly different from theirs.
For many, reminiscing about travel experiences ranks right up there with the most pleasurable of daydreams. And why not? Especially when these slivers of respite punctuate the rigours of daily life so inadequately and, for far often, too briefly.
On a recent trip to the Maldives to review two of its most splendid resorts (yeah it’s tough, this magazine business), one of the first things I was asked to do was to set my watch to ‘island time’. It was an arbitrary time difference; an hour ahead of the regular time in the Maldives. “This is so that guests can enjoy one more hour of daylight,” explained the butler. How simple and ingenious is that?
As we enter the final stretch of the year, it is about now that we start assembling plans to turn our vacation dreams into reality. A week in the Maldives would be lovely, as I found out, hopping between the JW Marriott and St. Regis resorts. Languidly sweeping and opulent, the two properties more than burnished the Maldives’ reputation as an island paradise par excellence.
Whether close to home or to somewhere more exotic, this issue is packed with firsthand, five- star recommendations. They span idyllic getaways to Laos, Vietnam and Sri Lanka, to newly vibrant Malta as well as opulent rides on old-world sleeper trains that will teleport you to a different time. And because travel helps us decompress, we have also prepared a guide pointing you to the best ways to recharge, from a luxurious sleep hotel in Portugal to swimming in the open sea in Ireland.
“We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next, to find ourselves,” wrote the incomparable travel writer, Pico Iyer. He nailed it. Wherever we go and however we choose to travel, I suppose what we are chasing, really, is to fall in love with the world—and ourselves—over and over again.
Enjoy the issue.