At this time of the year, with love hearts and red roses everywhere you look, it’s hard not to think about love. So I gave in and turned my thoughts to things I love, those seemingly small things that can make an average day into a fabulous one. Arguably frivolous, undoubtedly indulgent and unashamedly luxurious they may be, but that’s why I love them! So here goes. This month I love:
A bath full of shining bubbles, topped with soft petals; an indulgent soak in a tub surrounded by softly glowing lanterns on a private terrace; a sunken porcelain tub obligingly filled with fragrant foam; a huge ovoid bath in a your private bathroom with views of the luminescent sunset… There’s something of the sybarite in all of us, and in a world of rushed ablutions and all too-hurried showers, it’s so nice to be able to take your time and luxuriate in the warm cocoon of a bathtub. It’s a little touch of luxury that can mean so much.
Where are these? Indulge your senses in the superb Royal Suite at Samode Palace in rural Rajasthan, one of India’s finest Heritage Hotels; bathe by lamplight at Pom Pom Camp after a day’s safari in the Okavango Delta; watch wildlife on the floodplain from your tub in Puku Ridge in Zambia’s South Luangwa; soak among the fragrant petals at Neeleshwar Hermitage after a day spent on the beaches and in the tropical palm groves of Malabar
Margarita, mojito, bellini, daiquiri, mai-tai, negroni, tequila sunrise – the names alone are enough to transport you to a far-away exotic locale. Add a maraschino cherry, the odd slice of lemon, a twist of lime peel, dash of bitters, even a daring sparkler and, of course, a smiling bartender, and it’s party time! Here are some to tickle your taste buds and awaken your thirst.
So where can you enjoy these tipples? The cheery barman is pouring you a special drink on board Evolution, a wonderfully stylish Galapagos yacht with svelte lines reminiscent of a 1920s cruiser; unwind after your flight and lie back on your lounger sipping a fruity cocktail at Hotel Grano de Oro as you look forward to your Costa Rica holiday; savour a sundowner by the Indian Ocean at lovely Unguja Lodge after a day on the exotic ‘Spice Island’ of Zanzibar; ‘Cheers’! Indulgent pool drinks at Thande Beach Hotel on Burma’s finest beach, Ngapali, against the heavenly backdrop of the Bay of Bengal.
Sensational Sunset Cruises
What could be more romantic? Take to the water in the late afternoon, relaxing on deck lulled by the sound of water lapping against the hull. As the sun slowly sinks you’ll hear the celebratory ‘pop’ of a champagne cork. Sit back, take a sip of bubbly and watch the sun’s reddening rays spread out across the sky, like uncurling tendrils, as the glowing disc gradually dips beneath the horizon. It’s the perfect way to cap off a perfect day.
Sail into the sunset at….round off a day at Fundu Lagoon on Pemba Island with a gentle cruise on a traditional dhow, its single lateen sail silhouetted against the sun; step aboard ‘Lady Livingstone’, moored at David Livingstone Safari Lodge, for your evening cruise on the Zambezi River, after a busy day exploring Victoria Falls; sailing on the Indian Ocean on Paradise Cove’s private catamaran has to be the ultimate end to a day on the paradise island of Mauritius; sunset is the best time to be rowed across Lake Taungthaman to the famous teak U Bein Bridge, which can be visited from the charming Kyi Tin Hotel near the royal palace in Mandalay.
I’m in danger of a surfeit of indulgence, so I’d better stop there. But I hope you found something at least to like, if not to love, in the offerings above, and maybe some inspiration for future travels with Tribes!