London to Venice
The Lambs Club sees its share of celebrities: Cindy Crawford and Bono were there in recent weeks. But the restaurant really isn’t about rubbernecking; it’s more a comfortable, old-world spot. Housed in the Chatwal Hotel’s Stanford White-designed landmark building, The Lambs Club is an escape from chaotic 44th Street and nearby Times Square. And the modern American menu from chef Geoffrey Zakarian—creator of well-regarded restaurants Patroon and Town—ranges expansively from cod en papillote to crispy duck confit salad to a turkey club with avocado and sprouts.
The Grenadines are a particularly lovely archipelago of 31 islands between St. Vincent and Grenada, but there isn’t actually a lot of land on those white-sand-fringed islands. Instead, what you’ll mostly find in the Grenadines is the Caribbean Sea, in all its most decadent shades of sapphire, aquamarine and turquoise.
This isn’t the Caribbean of cruise ships and large commercial jets, so the best way to get around is on a chartered yacht—also the best way to observe some of the most vibrant coral reefs remaining on the planet. Underwater adventures include swimming in the company of green sea turtles and eagle rays; on land, visit the markets and rum bars on Union Island, play golf at the Grenadines Estate Golf Club on Canouan, or watch traditional boatbuilders at work in Carriacou.
Most visitors to the Grenadines own or rent a home, but the sole occupant of the private island of Petit St. Vincent is a 22 cottage and villa resort where it’s worth dropping anchor for several nights. Guests may charter a variety of sea vessels for area adventuring; popular choices include a 43-foot Tiara yacht, a 41-foot Striker, a Vendetta speedboat and a locally built wooden sloop. “This gives guests who are interested in an ocean experience—but who are not quite prepared to stay on a boat for several nights—the best of both worlds,” says Matthew Semark, general manager of Petit St. Vincent (PSV). “They get out on the water and at night retire back to the island for a nice bottle of wine from our 4,500-bottle cellar.”
• Sunsail charters catamarans from its base in Grenada. Contact: 877.651.8681, sunsail.com
• Barefoot Yacht Charters, based in St. Vincent, charters monohulls and catamarans. Contact:email@example.com, 784.456.9526 or 9334, barefootyachts.com
Via Sports Car or SUV:
Tasmania, Australia’s southernmost and smallest state, is separated from the mainland by 150 miles of water, but it feels a world away. Its 25,000-square-mile landscape offers a little of everything but desert: mountains, fields, vineyards, rivers, cliffs, beaches—all under clean fresh winds that blow in from Antarctica.
What there isn’t a lot of in Tasmania: people. While the island is just a little smaller than Ireland, with about 500,000 residents it has less than a tenth of Ireland’s population. Long miles of well-maintained, car-free winding roads beckon the auto enthusiast. Take a get-acquainted drive in a 2006 Porsche Boxster S from the capital, Hobart, northeast to the Freycinet Peninsula. The Porsche’s 3.2-liter engine takes you from 0 to 60 in 5.2 seconds as you cruise past ocean views that progress from dramatic to jaw-dropping. Park the car and hike for a view of Wineglass Bay, one of the most gape-worthy photos you’ll ever snap.
Stay overnight at Saffire Freycinet, one of Australia’s top lodges, and then set a course for Launceston, in the heart of Tasmania’s wine country, via the Midlands Highway, says Pedro O’Connor, director of Epic Private Journeys in Brisbane. “This is a beautiful road—excellent driving conditions,” says O’Connor. There are also opportunities for off-roading in, say, a Range Rover Sport, near Stanley, where unpaved roads will take you to waterfalls, river fishing and hikes amid the leatherwood forests from which Tasmania’s prized honey gets its flavor.
Contact: Australia Inbound, Epic Private Journeys, Pedro O’Connor, firstname.lastname@example.org, 61.7.3720.8554, epicprivatejourneys.com; Saffire Freycinet, email@example.com, 61.3.6256.7888, saffire-freycinet.com.au
Other car options:
• Overdrive Car Hire in Hobart rents luxury and performance vehicles. Contact: 61.3.6231.9790, overdrivecarhire.com.au
• Other vehicles to consider on Tasmania’s roads include: the BMW Z4 Roadster, with a 3.0-liter engine that produces up to 200 hp; and the Audi TT Coupe, whose 4-cylinder engine generates 230 hp. For all-wheel drive vehicles, try a Porsche Cayenne, whose 3.2-liter V6 engine puts out 247 hp.
Southern African Safari
After a few nights at the same game lodge—even a fantastic one like Singita Sabi Sand in South Africa—most people get a hankering to see different animals in different habitats. Whether it’s endangered black rhinos at &Beyond’s Ngorongoro Crater Lodge in Tanzania or crocodiles you’d like to (safely) contemplate from a mokoro , a dugout canoe, at Botswana’s Okavango Delta from Sanctuary Retreats’ tented Stanley’s Camp, luxury lodge guides throughout southern Africa can make it happen. You just have to be able to get yourself between South Africa, Botswana and Tanzania to follow the game you’d most like to see.
There are no direct commercial connections between the area’s national reserves and parks. A much better plan is to charter a jet to fly as directly as possible from lodge to lodge. An even more seamless approach may be to use NetJets, which recently launched a partnership with longtime safari tour specialists Abercrombie & Kent. This program will manage the transit and flight logistics “from your front door in Manhattan to your hammock in Botswana,” says NetJets SVP Adam Johnson.
Contact: NetJets, 866.538.7241, netjets.com; Singita Sabi Sand, firstname.lastname@example.org, 126.96.36.1993.3424,singita.com/regions/singita-sabi-sand; &Beyond’s Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, email@example.com, 27.11.809.4300,andbeyond.com/ngorongoro-crater-lodge; Sanctuary Stanley’s Camp, firstname.lastname@example.org, 630.725.3449, sanctuaryretreats.com/botswana-camps-stanleys
Other private jet options:
• PrivateFly provides chartered aircraft in Africa. Contact: 866.726.1222, privatefly.com
• Premier Tours specializes in African safaris. Upon request it can also provide guides for charter flights who keep an eye out for game from the air. Contact: email@example.com, 800.545.1910, premiertours.com
• Abercrombie & Kent offers other private-jet safaris in addition to its program with NetJets. Contact: 888.611.4711,abercrombiekent.com
• TCS World Travel offers group and private travel to safari destinations via private jet. Contact: Scott Leviton,firstname.lastname@example.org, 206.254.0228, tcsworldtravel.com