beyond the spas


THE SPAS. ✜ When friends are in town. I take them for a drink at. Le Quai, a sleekly styled lounge with live music. Overlooking the moored yachts, it's the place.

COMPILED BY MICHAELA WILLIAMS

BEYOND THE SPAS

ASK THE CONCIERGE ALAIN KEYSERS Hôtel de Paris Saint-Tropez Nizuc Resort & Spa

Soak up some luxury beachside in Cancun, beside the Aegean in Greece or snowbound in Niseko, Japan.

Heading down Mexico way? The newly launched Nizuc Resort & Spa is an upmarket option for those wanting to take in the sights of Cancun, minus the shrieking spring-breakers and taco tummy. Unfettered access to the resort’s beach and, beyond it, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef lends itself to a host of water sports, while the nearby Mayan ruins make for an educational daytrip. Spread over 11.7ha, the 274 suites and villas are decked out in wood and natural fibres to ensure siesta time is muy bueno. From $US380 ($406). Kukulcan Boulevard, Punta Nizuc, Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico. +52 (998) 891 5700. nizuc.com

Kimamya Boutique Hotel

Kinsterna Hotel & Spa

Self-touted as a micro-boutique hotel, this hideaway beside the slopes is seriously mini with just nine guestrooms. Scenery is a given, with the lodge dwarfed by Mount Niseko-Annupuri. Take a bento box and spend the day skiing or boarding. Après-ski, there is the choice of a complimentary soak in a moku (wooden) or ishi (stone) tub to relax powder-racked muscles. From ¥26,000 ($280). 170-248 Aza-Yamada. Kutchan-cho Abuta-gun, Niseko-Hirafu, Hokkaido, Japan. +81 (0)136 232 603. kimamaya.com

Situated between a Grecian hillside and the fine sands bordering the Aegean Sea, Kinsterna Hotel & Spa is a retreat that favours a return to all things rustic. Those who fancy being hands-on can get involved in winemaking and olive harvesting. Add in the eight new residence suites to the established 27 rooms and a jaunt to Monemvasia on the Peloponnese becomes a no-brainer. From €180 ($260). Agios Stefanos, Monemvasia, Peloponnese, Greece. +30 27320 66300. kinsternahotel.gr

WHERE I STAY LUCY DURACK HUDSON HOT E L , NEW YOR K “I love this gorgeous boutique hotel, designed by Philippe Starck and teeming with cool, cultured style. It’s worth walking through the dark cherrywood and rich green ivy-leaved lobby to visit the fabulous Library Bar and spectacular Sky Terrace, even if you’re not staying there. The rooms aren’t large, but I don’t go to New York to sit in my hotel room, so that suits me fine. Not to mention, they are super-stylish and feel a lot like cabins on a very fancy boat.” From $US159 ($170). 356 West 58th Street, New York, USA. +1 (212) 554 6000. hudsonhotel.com 1 14 Q A N TA S NOV E M BE R 201 3

HUDSON HOTEL PHOTOGRAPHY: GETTY IMAGES

ACTOR

✜ When friends are in town I take them for a drink at Le Quai, a sleekly styled lounge with live music. Overlooking the moored yachts, it’s the place to begin a lively evening. ✜ The restaurant that best shows off Saint-Tropez is Villa Romana, smartly presented and hidden away in a garden lit only by fairy lights. The menu borrows heavily from southern French and Italian cuisines. ✜ For designer fashion I steer guests towards Place de la Garonne. Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and Façonnable are all lessons in pure elegance, while Diesel and French label Manoush are my first stops for urban style. ✜ For the perfect gift or memento I shop at La Maison des Lices. Specialising in unique homewares and exquisitely crafted furniture, this store is charming and educational, leading browsers through a mix of styles. For a one-off purchase, look for their handmade crafts. ✜ Couples wanting a romantic dinner for two should consider Villa Belrose, a one-star Michelin restaurant in the beautiful village of Gassin overlooking the bay of Saint-Tropez. Diners can eat alfresco on the terrace under the

night sky and enjoy a truly romantic experience. ✜ The best markets can be found at Place des Lices, an open-air market held every Tuesday and Saturday, 8am-1pm, beneath 100-year-old plane trees. Look for the vendors selling fresh berries and jams, perfect to accompany your morning baguette, or join in a game of boules. ✜ For fine wines go to Domaine de la Croix, best known for its Côtes de Provence Cru Classé wines, and vines dating back to 1882. The winery produces red and white varieties thanks to the mix of stony and fertile soils. ✜ If it’s raining take a stroll through the terraced older township, where artists ply their wares. Wander past the small galleries to find Église de Saint-Tropez, the church with a bust of Saint Tropez. ✜ Sights that are overrated include the mediaeval villages surrounding Saint-Tropez – such as Grimaud and Ramatuelle – cute, but all very similar. ✜ Saint-Tropez’s best-kept secret is La Maison des Papillons. It boasts the prettiest collection of any museum in France, with 4500 jewel-winged butterflies pinned to the walls.

Villa Romana is hidden in a garden lit only by fairy lights NOV E M BE R 201 3 Q A N TA S 1 1 5

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