Fancy WAKING UP TO THIS, above, and knowing you should have exceptional Aurora viewing. YOU ARE IN THE FINNISH TUNDRA, the magic of the Northern Lights overhead. Your rooms has low-level red lighting to eyes to adjust to the night sky. The two-floor WOW IGLOO CABIN faces North for optimal viewing. You are at Kilpisjärvi – 30 miles from the Arctic Ocean – and, with a total population of a little over 100 residents, there’s virtually no light pollution.
Jonny Cooper, founder of Off the Map Travel, has devised a programme that STARTS IN TROMSO, moves from Norway to Finland. From Kilpisjärvi go on to ROVANIEMI, capital of Lapland, actually on the Arctic Circle. GIRLAHEAD LOVED HER TWO VISITS TO ROVANIEMI – highlights included dog-sledding, snowmobiling, saunas and arguably far too much alcohol and incredibly-strong black coffee. Off the Map’s six-day/five-night “Stars of Scandinavia” tour starts this December.
Now for some warmth. Think of The Maldives and old stalwars spring to mind. THERE’S A NEW KID ON THE BLOCK, Patina, the first in Capella’s second brand. Now Capella, led by CEO Nicholas Clayton, stunned some by coming in second in worldwide reputation in Travel+Leisure’s 2021 ranking. Girlahead has a friend at Patina right now. ‘It’s amazing’, he says, citing overall design and memorable food, including authentic Mexican by chefs from Mexico City. AUTHENTICITY = LUXURY, or part of it.
It’s all very well thinking open spaces and rural but what about cities? EQUINOX GIVES NEW MEANING TO THE WORD ‘METROPOLITAN’. Part of the $25-billion Hudson Yards redevelopment, the 212-key Equinox Hotel New York soars up to the 38th floor of a 90-floor block. Think art (LOOK OUT AT THOMAS HEATHERWICK’S VESSEL adult climbing frame), think fitness (A 3-FLOOR EQUINOX FACILITY) and stunning food and service – and a forward-thinking over boss. Hear Chris Norton here: