Staying in first-class hotels is great. Your flights on the way there? Often lacking. That's why Four Seasons has built their own Boeing 757 jet, and is kicking off service with this Four Seasons: Around the World Tour. Slated for takeoff in February 2015, this exclusive trip will start in Los Angeles and will cover nine destinations in 24 days, including stops in Hawaii, Bora Bora, Sydney, Bali, Thailand, the Taj Mahal, Istanbul, and London. The best part? You don't have to worry about a thing, as ground transportation, excursions, all meals, and — of course — your Four Seasons accommodations are taken care of.
Winter Olympics got you in a sporting mood? Here's your chance to earn your own gold (participation) medal. The Bobsleigh Ride Experience at the Whistler Sliding Centre gives you and a few friends/strangers the opportunity to rocket down the former Olympic track. The day begins with an orientation, helment fitting, etiquette discussion — no inappropriate touching inside the sled — and safety walkthrough. You'll then meet the track crew and be secured into the professionally-piloted sled for a run down the ice at speeds approaching 80mph. All of which sounds like way more fun than another night of Ice Dancing.
It doesn't matter what season it is — we're always up for a trip to the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora. This upscale resort offers a mix of well-appointed over-water bungalows and spacious beachfront villas, some with private pools, but all with luxury amenities like down pillows, soaking tubs, complimentary snorkeling gear, a private bar, and king-size beds. Take a stroll around the grounds and you'll also find a holistic spa, a fitness center, an infinity pool, tennis courts, two restaurants, two bars, and, of course, immaculate beaches. The only downside? You eventually have to leave.
Sometimes being by the ocean just isn't enough. Sometimes you need to be atop the ocean. And for times like those, Velassaru Maldives is an ideal destination. Located in the Indian Ocean just a 25-minute speedboat ride from the airport in Malé, this private island resort offers a variety of accommodations, ranging from humble bungalows to over-water suites and villas, as well as five restaurants, two bars, a full-service spa, diving, snorkeling, and kayaking. Assuming you feel like doing anything more than just lounging in the water and taking in the views.
You would expect a place that sits atop the sea to serve up some super-fresh seafood. And in the case of The Rock, your expectations will most certainly be met. Perched atop a natural rock outcropping not far from the shores of Michanwi Pingwe beach, this unforgettable eatery serves up a short but satisfying menu that includes fish, prawns, squid, octopus, crab, and other seafaring creatures, along side fresh vegetables, rice, pasta, and even fried chips. Stop in for a leisurely lunch, or arrive later for spectacular sunset views.
Give yourself all the ambiance of a retreat in the woods and all the convenience of the city with a stay at this Buckhead Treehouse. Nestled in the woods not far from I-75, this unique retreat is made up of three separate areas connected by rope bridges: a living room with 80 year old butterfly-filled windows, a 12-candle chandelier, comfortable, antique seating for 6, and a balcony overlooking an acre of lush woods, a deck with a hammock and dart board, and a bedroom with a pillow-top double bed that can be wheeled out onto an outdoor platform, a small desk, and an antique birdcage. Just in case you feel too isolated, the house also has WiFi, but with a bottle of wine and snacks guaranteed on your arrival, we'd recommend just kicking back and relaxing.
Outdoor stuff purveyor Poler's original store was great, if a little cramped. That's not a problem anymore. The new Poler Flagship Store is a spacious 3,000 sq ft space where you can grab, tug on, chew, and otherwise test out their tees, bags, tents, jackets, beanies, hoodies, hats, and other goods before you decide to buy. There's also a selection of collabs with the likes of Raen, Stance, and Nike SB, camp-friendly goods from Juniper Ridge, Pendleton, Leatherman, and Airblaster, a playful mural by Lori D, and a gallery to serve as a pop-up exhibition space. Basically it's everything the old space was, just bigger and better.
The only thing eating at an authentic Italian restaurant in Italy? Not having to sleepily drive your car somewhere after your meal. Set on a hillside on the Amalfi Coast high above the Tyrhenian Sea, La Tagliata is a unique hideaway offering just two rooms — La Botticella, with a king size bed, a private balcony with Jacuzzi, and a mosaic shower, and La Limonella, with a private terrace, king bed, and glass-walled bathroom. Breakfast is included with a stay in either room, as is access to the onsite gardens — but you'll probably just want to eat at the restaurant anyway.
Set in the rainforest at the heart of Bali, Hanging Gardens Ubud is an exquisite alternative to a traditional beach resort. The multi-level property is home to 38 villas ranging in size from 100 to 160 square meters, and all boasting king-size four-poster beds, handmade baths, terraces with open-air showers, and Java stone infinity pools. Speaking of pools, the resort is home to one of the world's most dramatic — a split-level infinity pool lined with Batu Chandi slate stone. Add in the restaurant, bar, river cafe, spa and great views of the neighboring Padmasana Temple, and you've got all the ingredients needed for a stellar vacation.
Going on safari doesn't have to mean roughing it in tents and mosquito nets. At Lion Sands Game Reserve, you get to enjoy all the wildlife and natural beauty of a safari while resting your pampered head in a luxury accommodation. The property includes five lodges, each with multiple suites, as well as three treehouses that put you in the middle of the action while providing a more intimate stay. As for the animals you might see on your outings — they typically take place in the morning or early evening — there are too many to list, but some of the more notable species include elephants, rhinoceros, monkeys, zebra, hippos, giraffes, cheetahs, lions, leopards, and even honey badgers.
Enjoy all the benefits of a top-tier resort with all the privacy of a private residence with a stay at the Banyan Tree Samui. Perched on a private hill cove above the clear sapphire waters of Koh Samui, this unique resort consists of six different styles of villas, each with an attached private pool, comfortable bed, rainfall shower, minibar, Wi-Fi, and 40-inch TV. Also on site are a full-service spa, multiple dining and drinking venues — including the oceanside Sands — and a kids' club, so your children have something to do while you enjoy doing nothing at all.
As winter lingers on — seriously, go away already — it's okay to contemplate a sunny getaway to somewhere warm. Somewhere like La Samanna. This luxury resort boasts 56 suites, 25 bedrooms, and 8 three- and four-bedroom villas, all of which offer king size beds, private balconies or terraces, and either marble or Caribbean-style bathrooms. Also on site are two restaurants, two bars, a wine cellar, a full-service spa, tennis courts, a fitness center, two pools, and, of course, plenty of beachside cabanas. After all, you didn't come all this way to stay in your room, right?