There is often a point at which an international hotel group makes a breakthrough and becomes an inescapable part of the conversation about new destinations. Alila Hotels and Resorts was founded in 2001, with its debut property in Jakarta. Now the company has ventured beyond its Indonesian beginnings to Oman, China and India and offers an expanding portfolio of 12 resorts. The most spectacular addition opened in February. Alila Fort Bishangarh is an astonishingly dramatic fortress, perched on a granite outcrop about 40 miles north of Jaipur in Rajasthan. Following a seven-year restoration, it has 59 suites, a variety of restaurants and the Spa Alila wellness center, housed within the former dungeon.
I have long had a soft spot for Harbour Island, a fleck of land off the northeast coast of Eleuthera. It’s not just the dazzling pink-sand beaches — the distinctive hue comes from foraminifera, a microscopic organism with a reddish-pink shell — or even my affection for The Dunmore, a sanctuary of immense charm. Above all, it is the island’s serene and timeless atmosphere that appeals to me. This is engendered by the remarkable friendliness of the local people and also by the pristine British-Colonial architecture of Dunmore Town, where the 300-year-old cottages are painted in an entire paint box of pastel colors. It was therefore with great interest that I learned of the recent sale and renovation of the 11-suite Bahama House, set within a classically proportioned late-18th-century building. My informants tell me that the reimagined property is now a hideaway of the first rank. A return visit to Harbour Island is clearly in order.
Long a favorite with Hideaway Report readers, the Belmond Royal Scotsman offers two- to seven-night itineraries through the dramatic landscapes of the Scottish Highlands. An Observation Car provides armchairs from which to gaze at the passing lochs and mountains, while two mahogany-paneled dining cars serve seasonal Scottish cuisine. The luxury train travels sedately, even taking the bends at a slower speed to ensure a relaxing ride. Starting in April, a new source of relaxation will be provided by a unique spa car. Two stylish treatment rooms, designed by the well-known Bamford Haybarn Spa, based in England’s Cotswolds, afford therapeutic views of the passing scenery. Services include bespoke facials, manicures and pedicures, and deep-tissue massages.