Notebook: Titilaka, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Tenbosch House

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Titilaka, Titilaka, Lake Titicaca, Peru

Titilaka, Lake Titicaca, Peru At an altitude of almost 13,000 feet, Lake Titicaca's luminous blue surface reflects the 20,000-foot peaks of the majestic Cordillera Real. The local people exist much as they have for centuries, many living on artificial islands--and paddling in boats--constructed from totora reeds. The boxy, contemporary exterior of Titilaka is underwhelming, but stepping inside we instantly realized we had come to a remarkable place. Opened in 2008, the resort has 18 elegant, loftlike suites. Ours was dominated by a large window with a spellbinding view of the lake. The resort's open-plan dining room/lounge is a light-washed space with a high timbered ceiling and a sitting area ideal for convivial house cocktail parties. The food has a Mediterranean cast, and we especially enjoyed a delicious pumpkin soup followed by fettuccine with smoked trout. This is one of those enchanting, end-of-the-world places where you feel you have left the humdrum and inessential far behind. $455–$725. 866-628-1777, titilaka.com

Sabyinyo Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Rwanda

Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Rwanda A chain of mostly dormant volcanoes, the remote, cloud-draped Virunga Mountains are famous as the location of Dian Fossey's ill-fated gorilla research project. Today the thickly forested slopes conceal around 350 of the huge animals (males often stand more than six feet tall and can weigh over 500 pounds). Sixty-four gorilla-watching permits are issued each day, allowing visitors one magical hour of observation time, often at a distance of less than 20 feet. There is a haunting view of the sheer peaks from Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, 15 minutes from park headquarters. The lodge, efficiently managed by Kenya's Governors' Camp, comprises five cottages, all constructed of local stone, with spacious interiors and log-burning fireplaces (which also heat the water for a walk-in shower and a soaking tub). The food is simple and well prepared, and staff members are consistently amiable. Though not conventionally luxurious, Sabyinyo--whose main competitor is the Sanctuary Retreats camp in Uganda--provides a very comfortable and convenient base (a two-hour drive from the airport in Kigali) for one of the world's most extraordinary wildlife adventures. Expect a full review in the February 2011 Hideaway Report. $680 per person (rates exclude the daily gorilla-trekking fee of $500). 254-20-273-4000, governorscamp.com

Tenbosch Tenbosch House

Tenbosch House, Brussels Our usual grand hotel in Brussels is the 173-room Hotel Amigo. On a recent visit, however, we decided to search for a hideaway and came across a real gem. The seven-suite Tenbosch House opened in April and is now the city's number one address for those who prefer smaller hotels and have a taste for modern design. Located just off the chic Avenue Louise, the hotel was created by combining two 1906 town houses. A soaring white-walled lobby is hung with contemporary art, and the public rooms are furnished with '50s- and '60s-vintage Scandinavian furniture. The guest rooms are uncluttered and light. All come with oak parquet floors and large tiled baths with sleek Duravit fixtures, Belgian linens, and British REN organic toiletries. A wonderful third-floor suite (there is no elevator) offers a sitting room, a dressing room, a bedroom, two baths, and a private balcony. A pavilion in the private garden contains a sauna and a small indoor swimming pool. $337–$408. 32-2-888-9090, tenboschhouse.com

By Hideaway Report Editor Hideaway Report editors travel the world anonymously to give you the unvarnished truth about luxury hotels. Hotels have no idea who the editors are, so they are treated exactly as you might be.
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