Encounters Spring 2013
From the blue waters of the Maldives to the natural bounties of Mozambique, SCMP's regional travel magazine, Encounters, takes readers on rich journeys that are up-close and personal.
Things we like - luxury
With a wide selection of luxury retreats and private islands spread across the world, locations with that extra je ne sais quoi frequented by the upper echelons of society can be harder to find. One place that has been a haunt of the fabulously wealthy since the Gatsby era, and is still a weekend and summer retreat for billionaires Bill Gates, Eric Schmidt and designer Tommy Hilfiger, is the island of Nantucket off the east coast of the United States. Although white sand beaches, quaint cobbled street and clapboard architecture are the island's charm, its allure as a hideaway for socialites is its isolation from the mainland. The waterfront White Elephant Hotel, made up of an eclectic mix of cottages, is the island's historical place to stay while yachties can moor at one of 240 slips at the Boat Basin.
Sunglasses are an easy way to dress up a look and designers have introduced a number of original styles for spring/summer. Oscar de la Renta's tangerine gem set and oval frame sunnies lend any outfit an instant feminine boost, at HK$9,130, while Linda Farrow celebrates the year of the snake with snakeskin shades, HK$10,010, for an exotic look.
This spring and summer's travel accessories for men take a functional and uncontrived approach to luxurious materials. Bags such as the Nero Spalmato linen-washed vintage calf backpack (HK$21,000) and the cross body bag (HK$17,450), by Bottega Veneta, are soft, strappy, slouchy and understated. With neutral, refined colours that pair well with any look, they are an easy way to update any traveller's wardrobe.
Renting a villa estate on the French Riviera doesn't come more luxurious than the recently restored Belle Époque property in Roquebrune, Cap Martin. The historic Villa Egerton, which overlooks the Mediterranean Sea, was a summer retreat of Winston Churchill, who is said to have written his memoirs there. The villa hosted legendary parties, attended by glamorous icons such as Coco Chanel, Greta Garbo and Ernest Hemingway, which characterised the coast in the 1940s and 50s. Guests these days can enjoy a luxury service package including three housekeepers, a butler, chef and chauffeur for €101,000 (HK$1.34 million) a week for a summer season rental.