29 May 2020
Private Paradise .
If you’re looking for a secluded escape that combines immersive culture with the comfort of an exclusive property takeover, here are five of our favourite boutique cultural escapes. Each of these homes has an authentic sense of place and style that reflects local influences. They employ local staff including a highly skilled private chef who will design a bespoke menu for you that uses local produce often grown in their own gardens. At Casa Cairucu in Brazil, the Chef goes the extra mile and delights in taking guests on foraging expeditions in the rainforest to learn more about the benefits of using natural ingredients that are often right on our doorstep.
Palazzo Bozzi Corso, Puglia
This palatial 18th Century family home is tucked into the centre of the historical city of Lecce and remains the ancestral home of the Fiermonte family. Each of the ten suites is designed to evoke the history and life of the personalities linked to this extraordinary family including the John & Yoko room (the Lennons were friends of Anne Filati, the mother of the current owner. Anne designed the garden in Central Park dedicated to John Lennon). This is the most perfect base from which to explore hidden Puglia through its art, local culture and gastronomy in the hands of a local family with a life-long passion for their home and country.
Dar Zemora, Marrakech
It’s likely that once you’ve spotted the open air pavilion at Dar Zemora with its colourful organza curtains swaying in the breeze and any number of large cushions to recline on, you will make this the base for much of your stay. You may move from here for a swim in the palm-fringed pool or wander through the leafy gardens and into the property’s private luxury hammam to further relax your muscles with a spa treatment or two. Based in the Palmerie on the edge of Marrakech, the Medina and all its hustle and bustle can be easily accessed as well as the fresh mountain air in the Ourika Valley using the property’s vehicles and drivers.
Camellia Hills, Tea country
This luxurious five-bedroom boutique bungalow hotel near Dickoya, in Sri Lanka’s crisp hill country is one of the country’s finest homes. Perched in the hills, the lodge gives you sweeping views of the Castlereagh Reservoir below and surrounding valleys draped in bright green tea leaves. When you’re not out exploring the tea country, relax by an open fire, lounge in the gardens with a book or take a dip in the infinity pool.
Casa Cairucu, Paraty
A stay at Casa Cairucu takes you to the heart of Brazil’s beautiful Green Coast, where Atlantic Rainforest fringes the azure ocean. This is a car-free paradise of islands, bays and golden sandy beaches. A short drive away is the colonial town of Paraty with cobbled streets lined by white houses and colourful pastel doors and windows. Direct from the house’s private pier you can swim with shoals of colourful fish, spot turtles and, if you’re lucky, a passing pod of dolphins. Walk to beaches along a winding footpath or explore the incredible natural surroundings by private boat.
Casa Orpendola, Sierra Nevada
At 1,500 meters above sea level, the views from this private wooden lodge are jaw dropping. Tucked into Sierra Nevada mountains and surrounded by rainforest, coffee plantations and distant ocean views, this is the ultimate remote escape in the heart of nature. A full day helicopter ride will take you deep into the mountains where you can picnic and walk in virgin forest and hover over the archaeological remains of the Ciudad Perdida thought to be at least 650 years older than Machu Picchu.