Nearing the end of the year, for many of us this is a time of anticipation, as we look forward to the festive season, and the getaway opportunities it brings. Whether you’re planning to welcome the new year’s fresh starts with a family vacation, a couple’s retreat, or perhaps even want to go solo, it helps to have a rough idea of which places to set your eye on when planning how to use those rare long-vacation days. Which is why we’ve put together this quick roundup, specifically tailored towards those of us who are looking for a little creativity with our jet-setting retreat.
If exquisite artistry, culture, and craftsmanship gets you excited, these luxury escapes may prove absolutely irresistible as far as travelling goes. From luxury-meets-rustic stays in Rwanda, to China’s trendiest cocktail bars, and rainforest retreats courtesy of some of the design scene’s biggest names today, each of the featured ventures below has something unique and enticing to offer the true art fans amongst us. Scroll to see your travel plans — the design edition!
For an artistic weekend getaway: Capella Ubud
Here’s a pretty good reason to kickstart your holidays early. From November 1 – 3, Capella Ubud — possibly one of Bali’s most tantilising boutique destinations — will be offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get up close and personal with world-renowned Bill Bensley, who many will know as the mastermind behind the spectacular rainforest retreat we know and love today. Through a specially curated escape in the form of an exclusive design weekend, guests will get to learn more about Bensley’s design philosophy, as well as enjoy an artful tour around the campgrounds and surrounding villages with him — offering insight into his design philosophy, and the stories behind his many creations. Guests will also get to take part in sketch classes, as well as receive a signed copy of Bensley’s famed coffee table book, Escapism, which comes complete with a customised drawing of the tent they stayed in during the weekend. Not only does the trip include guided visits to Neka Museum and picnic lunches with one of the most renowned creatives in the region, but you can also expect to enjoy various wellness elements, including a morning run, an omakase dinner experience at Api Jiwa, and a 75 minute Balinese massage per person. Really, what’s not to love?
For something exciting and new: The Opposite House, Beijing
Whether you’re a long time fan of The Opposite House — part of The House Collective — or simply looking for a holiday destination in Beijing that is at once chic and sophisticated, you definitely don’t want to miss this latest bar opening. The brainchild of New York-based design firm AvroKO — who happens to be the mastermind behind some of our very own Thai-based destinations such as the Rosewood, Waldorf Astoria, and Park Hyatt’s Penthouse Bar & Grill — Union bar is all about offering a social hotspot inspired by elegance and seamless hospitality. Whimsical and characterised by an underlying sense of refinement, expect a showcase of artwork, sculptures, and objects that draw your attention, backed by copper architectural elements and hidden gems throughout the space.
For something creative and meaningful: Kwitonda Lodge & Kataza House
Earlier this year, award-winning hospitality and conservation brand Singita recently opened the doors to its latest project, and already we’re in love. Dubbed the Kwitonda Lodge & Kataza House, the property is named after a legendary silverback gorilla, known for its gentle nature, and is likewise designed to raise awareness of and support gorilla conservation. With eight luxurious suites, and the exclusive Kataza House villa that comes with four spacious suites, the resort offers a haven that brings to light the story of the endangered gorillas, as well as the warm and welcoming spirit of the people of Rwanda and the local cultural heritage. A short ten minute trip takes you to the Volcano National Park, where you can join gorilla treks and immerse yourself amongst 320 mountain gorillas — a third of all the mountain gorillas that still remain in the world. Design-wise all materials follow Singita’s emphasis on sustainability, and tell-tale elements hint at how closely the team worked with the local community to source the best local materials in the area. There is even a nursery on site, which has provided around 250,000 indigenous forest shrubs, bamboo shoots, and trees for Singita’s reforestation initiative.