Luxury Hotels


First thought on arriving at CHEWTON GLEN HAMPSHIRE is no need to go on another safari. Stay in southern England at this stylish Relais & Chateaux treasure and the animals come to you.  Apparently there are 19 lifesize bronzes – single or groups of safari animals – dotted around the 130 acres of rolling grounds, but for Girlahead it is the one above, Elsa on top of Land Rover registration KFE881.

The sculpture display is a partnership between Chewton Glen and the Born Free Foundation. Brilliant joint venture and it has certainly encouraged Girlahead to dig more into the sculptors. Interesting couple. He is a Jewish  Australian with a poignant Holocaust heritage. She is a Christian Anglo-Indian Brit, and they are duo-based, London and Sydney. Their wide-ranging talent includes mammoth public bronzes and hilarious labels for a range of Andrew Peace wines – the labels show the pair’s their iconic charaters Rabbitwoman and Dogman characters, illustrating zest for life and love of travel.

What other unique arrivals stand out? An hour outside Hyderabad, at TAJ PALACE NAMASKAR, you are driven up a steep hill in an open-topped horse-drawn carriage and thousands of fresh rose petals flutter down as you reach the building. At FOUR SEASONS JOHANNESBURG you get into a vehicle, a modern buggy, to be driven up authentic village streets, cobbled, natch, to reach your house.

At THE BRANDO in French Polynesia, a 22-minute flight from Tahiti lands on Tetiarøa landing strip and staff welcome with national songs. There are songs too at INTERCONTINENTAL TAHITI if you happen to arrive on a Sunday morning: the weekly brunch is a max-volume, max-fun sell-out, with hundreds of diners clapping and cheering and sometimes joining the dozens of performers singing and dancing on the mega, outdoor, stage.

Now what follows arrival?  See you tomorrow.