In The Press

When the heat begins to shimmer, head north, for Lombardy's mountains and lakes. But as the celebrity-chasers go west, towards Como & Clooney, look east instead. Lake Garda, until recently a little tired, a little too much like a rich Russian's idea of a good time, has a new secret weapon: Villa Eden Gardone, an audacious architectural intervention that might just be both the hottest and the coolest place in Italy to spend the summer months.

Here you'll find an avant-garde Teletubbyland of villas designed by Richard Meier, Matteo Thun and David Chipperfield, their thrusting modernist lines reframing the louchely dramatic vista for the 21st century. Each has been built based on almost comically groovy summer specifications: at Villa Sphere Ovest a glass horseshoe encloses a space for poolside barbecuing of medieval banquet proportions, opening out onto the finest view of the lake on the western shore. Villa Eden Gardone also provides a chef who trained at The Fat Duck, a Frauscher 1017 Lido with which to explore Garda's purifying waters, and a limousine service into Verona, where operas are staged in the city's wondrous amphitheatre on warm summer nights.

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Villa Eze, Monaco

It's rare to find a villa that is located so closely to the coast and in such an accessible location in the South of France and this villa's location near to Cap Ferrat in the South of France does not disappoint with views over-looking the Mediterranean Sea. Spread over five floors, this contemporary and modern house sleeps 10 people in its five beautifully designed bedrooms, gorgeous communal areas and stunning contemporary architectural design. It is fully equipped with rooftop pool house and glass-sided pool, barbecue area and fire pit.

 

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The Zemi Beach House opened its door earlier this year and provides an exciting development on Anguilla as the first new hotel to be built on the island for six years. A desirable destination with its powdery white sands, crystal clear Caribbean waters and year-round tropical sunshine, this high-end luxury property is a haven of tranquility. It includes Zemi Thai House Spa, a sanctuary of private spa suites within an authentic 300-year-old Thai house. Trained therapists provide a range of holistic treatments from rejuvenating facials and tropical scrubs to signature treatments inspired by the inhabitants' Thaino therapeutic rituals of layering the body with herbs, fruits, muds and salts.

The Royal Mansour in Morocco offers privacy and exclusivity from which to enjoy Marrakesh and indulge in a holiday for the senses. The property is owned by royalty and takes its inspiration from traditional Moorish architecture.

The spa provides personalised programmes to meet each guest's individual needs, providing guidance in nutrition, exercise, stress management and general wellbeing. Various treatments are available including a choice of three signature Hammam treatments which incorporate a deep cleansing full body scrub and traditional Moroccan purification ritual designed to promote deep relaxation, rejuvenation and detoxification.

Zemi Beach House and Royal Mansour have been carefully selected by Oxford Private Travel. The luxury travel experts have extensively researched their worldwide product range and can personally recommend premier spa choices best suited to your personal requirements. Specialising in everything from super yachts, deluxe villas, private islands to luxury hotels, Oxford Private Travel provide a personalised concierge style service to ensure a stress free holiday experience.

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"A lake as beautiful as the beginning of creation" is how D.H Lawrence described Garda, the largest lake in Italy, just 50 miles from Verona. He was so dazzled by its turquoise waters he ended up spending a year there writing his travel journal Twilight in Italy. The Italian poet Gabriele D'Annunzio and opera singer Maria Callas are among others who have retreated to the hideaways built alongside the shoreline, each one more sensational than the last, with airy limonaias and jutting pontoons, art-nouveau porticos and architectural flourishes. But nothing compares to the Bond-like excess of Villa Eden, a new complex of villas designed by David Chipperfield, Richard Meier and Matteo Thun. For sheer futuristic brilliance, Villa Sphere Ovest stands out thanks to its daring design. Now available to rent for the first time, each of its six bedrooms follows a tightly edited palette of blues and whites, while the glass-fronted living and dining room overlooks the widest stretch of the lake. There is a 20-metre swimming pool, around which Michelin-star chef Christoph Stiglitz can lay on barbecues of Wagyu ribs and the best veal Milanese, accompanied by local red wines. Nothing is too much to ask from the villa's staff, who can organise excursions by Range Rover to explore the neighbouring towns of Gardone and Sirmione, by yacht to see the islets and deserted beaches of Garda, and by helicopter to visit the villa's sister property, the similarly luxe, Bond-style lair, Chalet N, in the mountains of Austria.

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4 Ways to enjoy the best of Napa Valley

Our recommendation is to make the most of your visit to Napa by allowing yourself more time and treating yourself to a comfortable short break. There is a great selection of luxury accommodation in the region which would suit our most discerning clientele. Bardessono Hotel and Spa provides a fully luxurious guest experience whilst remaining eco-conscious where sustainability is at the heart of its design and service. Every room can be transformed into a personal spa space for massages and along with the main spa therapy centre offers a combination of both east and western therapies. The Carneros Inn is set on 27 acres of scenic countryside with its Californian farm inspired cottages silos and barns offering lush vineyard or garden views, as well as excellent concierge service. The exclusive, intimate Auberge du Soleil has all the facilities of a luxury resort including 7,000 square foot luxury spa and Michelin star restaurant. Finally Calistoga Ranch offers supreme comfort, nestled in a private canyon in the Upper Napa Valley amidst 157 acres of mountainside hiking trails and its own private lake and offering the ultimate indoor/outdoor living experience.

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Top 3 Romantic Destinations for 2016

Douro Valley, Portugal - To mark its growing popularity, the oldest demarcated wine region in the world and UNESCO World Heritage Site has recently seen the opening of the new Six Senses property. Its renovated 19th century manor house opened late summer 2015 offering couples a stunning hideaway from which to enjoy the region but also enjoy the hotel's excellent gourmet cuisine using frsh locally sourced products, its wine library and organic garden.

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