International Top 5

HEALTH RETREATS
Get your glow on.

VANA MALSI
Dehradun, India
Get a dose of both inner and outer beauty in this
zen retreat in the Indian Himalayas

KAMALAYA SAMUI
Koh Samui, Thailand
The whole shebang: rustic-luxe bungalows, effective treatment
programmes, delicious natural foods, coastal splendour.

COMO SHAMBHALA
Ubud, Bali
Stunning retreat renowned for its rotating programme
of experts in Eastern medicines and practices

SPLIT APPLE RETREAT
Abel Tasman, NZ
Japanesque three-suite beauty with an
emphasis on organic cuisine.

LES SOURCES DES CAUDALIE
Bordeaux, France
Venerable vineyard retreat. Detox with their unique vinotherapie
programme; or drink from their 15,000-bottle cellar.  

Australiana Top 5

HOBART BOLTHOLES

Those convicts sure knew how to build a cool town.

LIBRARY HOUSE
West Hobart, TAS
Live like a local. 4 bedroom mod-fed beauty in
West Hobart with lovely views.

MONA PAVILIONS
Berriedale, TAS
Striking pavilions on the Derwent. Come with their
own brewery and museum.

THE ISLINGTON
South Hobart, TAS
Plush and discreet boutique gem. Regency out front,
glass and steel out back.

ARTHOUSE SALAMANCA
Battery Point, TAS
Renovated sandstone gem just steps from the
square, as much gallery as guesthouse.

AVALON CITY RETREAT
Hobart, TAS

Minimalist 2 bedroom sleeping pod overlooking
the action from its office-top perch.

International Top 5

ASIAN FUSION
Small guesthouses retaining or reinterpreting local culture, history or architecture

RAKKOJAE, SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA
The name literally refers to a place which opens the minds of visitors to old traditions.
Beautiful family-owned stone and wood hanok in Seoul’s Bukchong district with 
heated jade floors and bamboo gardens 

VILLA BENTOTA, BENTOTA, SRI LANKA
Originally one of Sri Lanka’s first guesthouses, designed by Geoffrey Bawa
and now reinvented by the formidably stylish Shanth Fernando of Paradise Road
as a calm neo-colonial beachfront retreat 

THE ASADANG, BANGKOK, THAILAND 
Two architects have renovated this Chinatown guesthouse
into a gorgeous boutique hotel for those interested in the real Bangkok.
Intricate details and a real sense of heritage are prevalent. 

SEVEN TERRACES, PENANG, MALAYSIA
Traditional shophouses now house high-ceilinged sleeping quarters
furnished with beautiful antiques in the heart of Colonial Georgetown.
Another triumph from visionary restorer Christopher Ong. 

COURTYARD 7, BEIJING, CHINA 
Quing Dynasty courtyard in the Hutongs of Beijing.
Now converted into seven "houses" complete with antiques,
silks, and a sense of history. 

Australiana Top 5

FAMILY ESCAPES
If a Big 4 Caravan Park is not your thing, try these on for size.

FRUEAUF FALLS CREEK
After a day on Wombat’s Ramble, Frueauf Village offers not only modish apartments and chalets but an onsite food store and cinema in family friendly Falls Creek in the Victorian Alps.

BASIL'S BRUSH 
Supercute old weatherboard dairy near in equally cutely named Possum Creek, renovated in bright colours with books, toys, and games galore. What’s to do? Market day in Bangalow, beaches at Byron and cows on your doorstep.

RAWNSLEY PARK ECO VILLAS 
Two bedroom luxury eco villas set amongst South Australia’s stunning Flinders Ranges. Great nearby walks for kids including wildlife spotting, and at night, a retractable ceiling means you can have an in house astronomy lesson.

CAPE OTWAY LIGHTSTATION 
Sleep out in the lighthousekeepers’ house on a striking peninsula beneath one of the most historically significant lighthouses on the Australian Coast. Near the beaches of Apollo Bay, the Great Ocean Road stretches behind and ahead of you.

ESUOH 
Sleeps 10 with a dedicated children’s bedroom sleeping 4 little terrors. Plan for them to be exhausted after days at the beach and evenings at your private outdoor cinema, so you can crack open that Cullen red.

Australiana Top 5

HARBOUR HIDEAWAYS
New (and rediscovered) Sydney boltholes 

THE ESTABLISHMENT
Perpetually hip Hemmes flagship in the CBD 

THE DARLING
Casino Royale on Darling Harbour, with style and substance 

HARBOUR ROCKS
Revamped beauty in the Historic District
The Penthouse has a private rooftop terrace with harbour views 

QT SYDNEY
Hipster heaven in the shopping heart of town
More buzz than a honey hive 

PARK HYATT
The best point blank views of the Harbour in town.
Newly polished with price tags to match. 

International Top 5

GLAMPING
Begone pit toilets and smelly sleeping bags!

Treehotel, Sweden
Outrageous sleeping pods where the bears can’t get you

Elsewhere, Goa
Hippy luxe tents on the golden sands of Goa

Vintage Airstream, Big Sur
Classic trailers resdicovered and renovated with love and more than a little style.

Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado
Bring out your inner cowboy or indian. Wood cabins and a teepee in the Wild West.

Amanwana, Moyo Island
Aman-zen tents on a tiny island reserve just off the coast of Sumbawa.

International Top 5

RYOKAN
Sliding tatami
perfect orchids behind silk
terrifying bill.

GORA KADAN
Barely a swallow’s wingspan from Mt Fuji. Glorious in Autumn.

ASABA IZU
Peaceful enclave near the River Katsura dating back to 1685 with outstanding Kaseki menus.

HIIRAGIYA
Immaculate traditional inn in downtown Kyoto,
one of the most highly regarded in a city of highly regarded ryokan.


KYOTO MACHIYA
Not true ryokan, these restored shopfronts offer a glimpse into heritage Kyoto with all mod cons.

HAKONE GINYU
Stunning views from this contemporary mountain onsen oasis.

Australiana Top 5

WINTER WONDERLANDS
Baby it's warm inside 

 

THE WHITE HOUSE, DAYLESFORD, VIC
Owned by Empire 111's Lyn Gardener, this vintage 
weatherboard is perfect for cosying up after a day spa

THE LAIR, SWANSEA, TAS
Watch the weather roll in from your glass eyrie;
the kitchen will be well stocked with some fine local red. 

BYRONVIEW FARM COTTAGE, BYRON BAY, NSW
Pastoral and ocean views from this hilltop gem,
owned and styled by the peripatetic owners of Strangetrader. 

FJALL, FALLS CREEK, VIC
As close to Scandinvia as you'll get in Victoria.
Pared back luxury in the Victorian snowfields. 

CLIFF HOUSE, KANGAROO ISLAND, SA
The magnificent views over Snellings Beach from the tower bedroom
are matched only by the sunken lounge with firepit.

International Top 5

BALI VILLAS
Weddings, Parties, Anything

KEMAH TINGGI
Fabulously child friendly
and beautifully designed in quiet Canggu

VILLA ISTANA
Stunning beauty on the Bukit cliffs,
like your own private Bvlgari 

VILLA DES INDES
Antiques furnish the two villas in bustling Seminyak.
Rent either residence or the whole five bedroom compound.

TAMAN AHIMSA
Seven bedroom beachfront beauty near Tanah Lot with
interesting architecture and manicured grounds

THE BALI BALI RESIDENCE
In Umalas not far from Seminyak, this interesting compound
is all angles, ethnic details and rice paddy views. 

International Top 5

CAVE HOTELS
Drag your man (or woman) there by their hair 

Hotel Sant Angelo, Matera, Italy
No Brunelleschi here, just clean interiors in this unique stone city 
in the little-visited south of Italy

Serinn House, Cappadocia, Turkey
Modernist cave amongst the fairy chimneys in 
this desert landscape

Perivolas, Oia, Santorini
One of my favourite hotels ever, rustic
whitewashed wine caves overlooking the stunning caldera 

The Caves, Negril, Jamaica
Breezy Caribbean cottages not so much in,
but on, the limestone cliffs of Southern Jamaica 

Le Prince Noir, Les Baux, France
An artist's honey-stone chambre d'hotes built within
the famous clifftop fortress town.  

Australiana Top 5

Secret Beaches
With a total coastline of over 35,000km, it's not hard to find a beach of your own.

SNELLINGS BEACH, NORTHERN KANGAROO ISLAND, SA
A perfect crescent with an inviting estuary at one end. Iridescent ochre cliffs, resident dolphins, cold clear water. 

DURRAS BEACH, NEAR BATEMAN'S BAY, SOUTHERN NSW
A  low key bay for swimming and surfing, long and undeveloped, sheltered by  50's houses, a retro caravan park, pines and sand dunes,

CAPE BRIDGEWATER, VICTORIA
If the Brontes were to set a novel on a beach, this would be it. White, wild and isolated, surrounded by Victoria’s highest sea cliffs.

WATERFALL BEACH, NEAR ALBANY, WA
The colours of southern WA waters are unique – turquoise doesn’t do it justice. Waterfall Beach is at the end of a little used bush track, through a gap in the rocks. Secret indeed.

CYLINDER BEACH, NORTH STRADBROKE ISLAND, QLD
Half a kilometer of transparent water backed by a shady forest reserve, with gentle waves and rocky bookends.

International Top 5

FILMS TO SEE BEFORE YOU GO TO VIETNAM
Clue: Apocalypse Now isn't one of them

THREE SEASONS
Languid and mesmerising, following the intersecting lives in Saigon of an urchin, a prostitute, a cyclo driver and a lotus seller. Beautifully shot.

THE QUIET AMERICAN
Tense and honest adaption of Graham Greene's seminal novel. Michael Caine is brilliant as the world weary journalist in Hanoi during Vietnam's inevitable move to war.

THE SCENT OF THE GREEN PAPAYA
Moving story, richly filmed, of a young servant girl's maturation as she moves through a household to find love and peace.

CYCLO
Vivid and sometimes shocking portrayal of a young cyclo driver and his sister forced into working for a street gang, beautifully realised with the grit and urban mayhem of Saigon tempered by almost hallucinatory imagery.

INDOCHINE
A political manifest, a love story, a travelogue - all of these more with the glorious Catherine Deneuve in full matriarchal glory. 

Australiana Top 5

B&B's WITH STYLE
Love a doily, some potpourri and flock wallpaper?
These are probably not for you. 

BLACK SPRINGS BAKERY
Beechworth, Victoria 
Small but perfectly formed retreat for two just outside Beechworth. 
French style linens and antiques with a contemporary sensibility. 
Magazine-worthy.

BONDI BEACH HOUSE
Bondi Beach, Sydney 
Light, bright and lovely guesthouse just a short block from the beach. 
Step out onto your balcony, feel the sea breeze and leave the pace of the city behind.

MCALPINE HOUSE
Darwin, Northern Territory
An iconic Darwinian experience – two century old pearler’s houses
updated with kilims, original artwork and Balinese inspired décor.
Much more personality than the resort options around town.

VILLA DONATI
Melbourne, Victoria 
This stunning Renaissance-style Victorian building in eclectic Richmond was
originally the home of an Anglican bishop, then the Moulin Rouge Massage Parlour. 
Its rich history continues as an utterly cosmopolitan retreat.

AMAZING GRACE
Hepburn Springs, Victoria
Weatherboard charmer in the midst of spa country.
Think open fires, fresh baked bread and country flowers.

International Top 5

PRIVATE ISLANDS
An aquatic playground all of your own. Hot tip: 
leave "Lord of the Flies" at home.

TAPROBANE ISLAND
Sri Lanka

Wade across to this glorious colonial perch at low tide. 
It’s withstood a tsunami, a civil war and endless house parties.

MOTU TANE
French Polynesia
Set like a jewel in Bora Bora lagoon,
this tropical idyll sleeps up to 20 fairly loaded guests.

THE RANIA EXPERIENCE
The Maldives
A tiny dot in the midst of the Indian Ocean, accommodating
up to twelve people in beach bures. Private yacht thrown in.

DOLPHIN ISLAND
Fiji 
Newly launched by the folk at Huka Lodge,
this 13-acre island sleeps 8 in style, including an
open-air hilltop pavilion. High on my hit list.

TAGOMAGO
Spain
An island’s island, off the coast of Ibiza. Sleek, flowing, airy and
very Mediterranean, the sole villa sleeps 10, with plenty of room
to spin some discs. Or slip one if you're of a certain age.

Australiana Top 5

PUBS WITH ROOMS
Don't drink and drive 

THE HEALESVILLE HOTEL
A classic, set in the heart of the Yarra Valley.
Great pub atmosphere with simple rooms upstairs. 

THE WARRNAMBOOL HOTEL
At the end of the Great Ocean Road in
the cool country town of Warrnambool you'll find
8 bright and breezy rooms and a heated beer garden.

THE MIDDLE PARK HOTEL
There's a buzz about this new sophisticate, 
between streetwise St. Kilda and leafy Albert Park 

BURRAWONG VILLAGE HOTEL
Glorious NSW country pub with lovely rooms,
rolling grounds and local ales and produce. 

5 ROOMS AT THE STIRLING HOTEL
Climb upstairs to your open fire after an excellent pub meal.
These luxurious suites are the perfect base for 
Adelaide Hills touring 

International Top 5

LODGES
For huntin', fishin', shootin', ridin' - or just lazin' around

ALLADALE
Acres of Scottish highland all to yourself.
Cushy sofas and all manner of whiskies
starting with "Glen" await at day's end.

LYNGEN LODGE
Scandinavian getaway in northern Norway,
think cold snow and hot saunas

THE RANCH AT ROCK CREEK
For those with a longing for the wild west but a
penchant for the finer things.... wedged between
Glacier and Yellowstone in deepest Wyoming 

BLANCANEAUX LODGE
Francis Ford Coppola's jaguar spotting
hideaway in the Belizean jungle 

BLANKET BAY
All schist and snow-capped peaks in the
middle of Middle Earth 

Australiana Top 5

WINE RETREATS
Take friends or take family, but
take a car with a big, empty boot 

PUNTERS CORNER
Coonawarra, SA
Four bedroom glass box retreat smack bang
in the middle of terra rossa territory 

THE LAIR
Swansea, TAS
Owner Rick Bzowy will share his passion for wine
and the jaw dropping views from this modernist beauty are a bonus 

EMPIRE RETREAT
Yallingup, WA
Stone, timber, plump cushions and all of life's comforts
in a beautiful bushland setting in the heart of
Margaret River. 

WOODBOX RETREAT
Yarra Valley, VIC
Cinderella conversion of a low-slung 80's building
into a sleek 3 bedroom hideaway, moments from
Healesville and loads of cool climate Pinot Noir 

LILLIAN'S OF LOVEDALE
Hunter Valley, NSW
Sweet light-filled weatherboard house
on 25 acres in the Lower Hunter.

International Top 5

ADVENTURES FOR KIDS
If Disney doesn't do it for them anymore and you
want something to drag them from their pods and pads......

GAYANA ECO RESORT
Borneo, Malaysia 
Overwater resort with its own marine ecology research centre
dedicated to reef restoration and specialised kids’ programmes.

YELLOWSTONE ASSOCIATION
Montana, USA
Guided naturalist programmes throughout winter
and summer including Wolf and Bear discovery camps.

AGUILA DE OSA
Costa Rica
Family-friendly eco lodge providing whale
and dolpin watching, horseriding, canopy tours,
mountain biking and kayaking.

ATLANTIS THE PALM
Dubai, UAE
Fairly hideous and totally over the top water world including
3 dolphin lagoons, a 42 acre water park, and
a massive underwater maze.

DINOSAUR DIGS
Colorado and Utah, USA
The Museum of Western Colorado will arrange 3 and 5 day
dino digs with instruction from a paleontologist.

International Top 5

DIVE IN STYLE
It's always hard to come up for air but
these places make it worth your while....... 

MISOOL ECO RESORT
Raja Empat Dua, Philippines
Hard to get to, even more difficult to leave.

AMANWANA
Moyo Island, Indonesia

Jungle tents on an island in the middle of the Flores Sea.
Komodo expeditions available on the private teak cruiser, Amanikan.

LAUCALA
Fiji
So exclusive you need to register before being invited to be a guest.
For very wealthy divers indeed.

SONEVA FUSHI
Baa Atoll, Maldives
An oldie but a goodie – overlooking brochure-perfect waters,
pretty thatched and whitewashed bures, with stargazing and spagazing.

BARAZA
Zanzibar
Moorish and more-ish beach resort with huge villas
and a 5* PADI dive centre.

Australiana Top 5

NOUVEAU COUNTRY
If you like a bit of wisteria but can do without 
the potpourri and doilies.....

RED FEATHER INN
Hadspen, Tasmania
Thick stone walls, climbing vines, cooking classes.

STONEBARN
Pemberton, WA
Mod-lodge surrounded by truffle and grape growers
a little past Margaret River. Happy days.

BYRON PLANTATION
Newrybar, NSW
Gracious Queenslander with bucolic views
across the Byron Bay hinterland.

MOOROOROO PARK
Barossa Valley, SA
Gorgeous gardens amongst the vines.

THE KILNS
Ovens River Valley, VIC
Ancient brick kilns now converted into
minimalist digs in Victoria’s lovely north west.

Australiana Top 5

RESTAURANTS WITH ROOMS
Or is it Rooms with Restaurants?
Does it matter? 

THE ROYAL MAIL HOTEL
Dunkeld, VIC
Which is more striking? The Grampians panorama
surrounding you, or Dan Hunter's art on a plate?

THE PROVENANCE
Beechworth, VIC
Classic country gem with respectful, skilful cooking
from Michael Ryan. Don't forget to go to the bakery
on your way home! 

THE LOUISE
Barossa Valley, SA
Stiff competition between a stellar wine list, Mark McNamara's
love affair with local produce, and a soft bed and open fire to follow.

BELLS AT KILLCARE
Central Coast, NSW
Room service from Stefano Manfredi? Si, grazie.

BANNISTERS POINT LODGE
Mollymook Beach, NSW
Rick Stein's only venture outside Padstowe, 
overlooking lovely beaches to remind you where 
your dinner came from. 


 

International Top 5

DESTINATION FOOD BLOGS
Want some porchetta on your forchetta?
Blogs are the easiest way to expert local opinion. 

EAT AND DUST
India
Expat Pamela will show you the difference 
between idlis and uttapams 

NYC FOOD GUY
New York City
The Big Apple? Meatpacking District?
This city is all about food and this guy knows where 
to find the best, from Suicide Wings to Smores Pie. 

STICKY RICE
Hanoi
Makes me want to go to Hanoi 
with empty belly and adventurous heart

AGLIO OLIO E PEPERONCINO
Italy
Lovely blog from a Roman local with
sumptuous photos and the odd recipe too

TOKYO FOOD LIFE
Tokyo
Photojournalistic essay through the back streets 
of a wondrous food capital. Also helpful for 
identifying unidentifiable foodstuffs. 

Australiana Top 5

AUSTRALIAN ICONS

Architecture – if you’ve never commissioned it yourself,
stop looking at it in magazines and get yourself
a piece of the action

SEIDLER HOUSE
Southern Highlands, NSW
Harry Seidler’s airy aerie perched over an escarpment near Bowral
with sweeping bush vistas.

MOONLIGHT HEAD
Great Ocean Road, Victoria
Minimalist lodge designed by Glenn Murcutt with views from
The Twelve Apostles to the Otways

AVALON COASTAL RETREAT
Swansea, Tasmania
Craig Rosevear’s glass box overlooking Great Oyster Bay.
If you can’t get in here, sister property Rocky Hills Retreat
is equally worthy.

SHACK 14
Chewton, Victoria
Ken Latona’s eco shack in the Victorian Goldfields.
Small but perfectly formed.

THE BOYD BAKER HOUSE
Bacchus Marsh, Victoria
Heritage listed 1950’s masterpiece consisting of a number
of buildings on 35 acres designed by Robin Boyd
and Roy Grounds.

International Top 5

MIDCENTURY MAGIC

If you don't know your Eames from your elbow,
look away now......

THE GUEST HOUSE AT FIELD FARM
Massachussetts, US
Eclectic and fantastic selection of pieces administered by
the Trustees of Reservations

SETH PETERSON HOUSE
Wisconsin, US
A rare chance to experience Frank Lloyd Wright’s work
from the interior in Wisconsin

PARCO DEI PRINCIPI
Sorrento, Italy
Blue and white tiled fantasia designed both inside and out
by Geo Ponti in 1962. Furnished with original Cassina furniture.
Shame about the tour groups.

LUNUGANGA
Bentota, Sri Lanka
Acclaimed architect Geoffrey Bawa’s gorgeous
garden house is now taking reservations

HOTEL LE CORBUSIER
Marseilles, France
“La Cite Radieuse” (the Radiant City) is yours to experience
in all its 1952 glory.


International Top 5

EUROPEAN CHALETS
By the time February comes, the heat
will be driving you crazy. Get your skis on...

CHALET BEAR, KLOSTERS
Sleeps 8. 
Chocolate-box chic with views and a big carved
bear to welcome you home.

LA FERME DU BOIS, CHAMONIX
Sleeps 10. 
Rustic luxe chalet owned by a young British
ski champ and his equally talented Swedish wife.

CHESETTA, ST MORITZ
Sleeps 14.  
Gorgeous contemporary chalet in the
heart of St Moritz 

CHALET LE TI, VERBIER
Sleeps 6. 
Cute as a button but much more expensive.

FERME DE MOUDON, LES GETS
Sleeps 10. 
Beautiful chalet featured on Grand Designs
and not afraid to say so.

Australiana Top 5

Beach Shacks
Australian summers are all about nostalgia - hopping on
hot sand, salty skin, Icy Poles, and beach cricket...

AYINDI, BYRON BAY, NSW
Light and airy take on the traditional shack,
set on the hill just above Clarke’s Beach

DICKEBUSCH, PATONGA, NSW 
Beautifully kitted out by Koskela

SEJALA BEACH HOUSE, MISSION BEACH, QLD
Glorious open air Balinese vibe in
a restored weatherboard

ZEALANDIA, PORTSEA, VIC
A cool collection of scandi icons and quirky
artwork by the graphic designer owners

THE BAY HOUSE, CAPE BRIDGEWATER, VIC
Miles of beachfront outside,
cosy 70’s (in a good way) inside