At Explore Tailormade, our regional specialists have travelled far and wide in search of their favourite hidden treasures; however new ideas and properties pop up all the time. We’ve listed some of our new favourite hidden treasures that can easily be added to a tailor-made itinerary:
New for 2014! Aqua Expeditions have been operating luxury cruise vessels since 2007 (check out the M/V Aqua on our Amazon Cruise itinerary), and the newest addition to their fleet is the M/V Aqua Mekong, with its maiden voyage heading out in September. Travelling from Ho Chi Minh City, through the Mekong Delta to Phnom Penh, up to Tonle Sap Lake and finishing in Siem Reap the boat operates on three, four or seven night itineraries. With three decks, a gym, games room, private cinema, bar, lounge, dining room and pool this elegantly designed boat feels like a floating hotel. All suites have air-conditioning, en suite facilities and floor-to-ceiling windows with day beds to watch the views pass by. Price start from £2075 per person on a three night itinerary, including all meals, drinks including local wine and beer, transfers, guide and entrance fees to sights along the way.
Green Hill Valley elephant camp is located near Kalaw, in Burma’s scenic Shan highlands. The project was set up in 2011 to rehome retired elephants that were used for the logging trade. Today the camp is home to seven elephants and guests can get involved with looking after the gentle giants, feeding and bathing them, or contribute to the re-planation project to help the land regrow many of the trees that have been deforested over the years. Alternatively visitors can take a variety of treks into the forest to discover many of the butterflies, wild orchids and birds that call this beautiful area their home. Prices vary dependant on excursions included and number of days. Call us now for more information.
Hot off the press - Mai Chau Ecolodge is about to open its doors in June 2014. Located in Vietnam’s beautiful northern landscape, with a back-drop of lush rice paddies and emerald mountains, the property offers 19 traditional stilt-style bungalows, each air-conditioned, with Wifi access and a private garden. The bungalows are all built entirely of natural materials with thatched roofs, bamboo interiors and wooden furniture. The lodge provides a secluded, peaceful retreat where guests can relax by the pool or in the massage room, or enjoy exploring the area on foot and by bike.
Head north to India’s picturesque town of Leh to stay in the luxury Chamba Camp in Thiksey. This region is an area of extreme beauty, with bright blue lakes, snow-capped mountains and ancient monasteries. You can visit the nearby Thiksey Monastery, enjoy a tour of Leh, chose from a range of optional activities, including a visit to Hemis Monastery, bird watching, trekking or rafting. The camp offers traditional, warm and spacious tented accommodation with four-poster beds and butler service. Each tent has en suite facilities plus air-conditioning with views of the Thiksey Monastery and snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas. Contact Chris, Explore Tailormade’s Regional Specialist for Asia, to add this to your Indian adventure.
Ecuador is a land of stunning scenery with the mighty Andes, rolling fertile valleys and the Avenue of Volcanoes. At Explore Tailormade we believe one of the best ways to enjoy these breathtaking views is to sit back and relax on a train journey through the countryside. Your expedition will include a guided tour of the local villages you encounter at your final destination and some stations have small museums where you can find out more of the trains history before you embark. Journeys can include the icecaps of Chimborazo Volcano, markets selling traditional wares, Cotopaxi Volcano or the iconic zig-zagging along the Devil’s Nose route. Call us today to add a train journey to your holiday.
Burma has had its doors open for a few years now but at Explore Tailormade HQ, we’re still on the lookout for hidden treasures to share with you. The Mergui Archipelago, located close to the border with Thailand in the south, is made up of around 800 islands and is home to the nomadic sea gypsies or Moken. This is an excellent place to go diving or snorkelling where a huge range of fish, rays, octopus and colourful coral can be found. Spend a few days kayaking and exploring the untouched islands. Call us now on 0845 163 7781 to add Mergui to your tailor-made itinerary
Karan Mahal Camp is a luxury camp situated in Srinagar, in India’s Kashmir Valley. With views of snow-capped mountains, rivers and meadows the spacious tents offer an indulgent stay with large four-poster beds and traditional décor. Excursions include a cruise aboard a shikara boat on the tranquil waters of Dal Lake, visit local villages and explore Old Srinagar. Prices start from £1095 per person, for two nights in Delhi with city tours, two nights luxury camp, and one final night in Delhi; including transfers, regional flights, guides, breakfast, one lunch and two dinners.
Anabezi Luxury Tented Camp is about to open its doors on the banks of the Zambezi River on the eastern edge of the Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia. The 11 tented camps each have their own deck and plunge pool, indoor and outdoor showers plus spacious lounge area. This is the perfect base from which to enjoy game drives, boat excursions, canoe trips and walking safaris. The camp opens on 1st April 2014.
The Pride of Africa is a luxury train that captures the romance and elegance of a South African bygone era. The wood panelled suites are spacious with Edwardian features, air-conditioning and private en suite facilities. The train also has a comfortable lounge car, relaxing observation car and an sophisticated dining carriage, where guests tend to dress for dinner. Offering a variety of three day routes from Cape Town to Pretoria, Victoria Falls and Durban, or longer 10 day journeys including Namibia and Tanzania; the Pride of Africa will really make your African holiday a special one. Price starts from £1245 per person for three days, including excursions, meals, drinks and a 5* service.
Thailand is well-known for its secluded bays and beautiful beaches; explore the islands, coves and national parks on a cruise aboard the Suwan Macha. The cruise starts in Phuket and ends at Koh Phi Phi, with stops along the way at Phang Nga and James Bond Island, plus snorkel, swim, visit a sea gypsy village and hidden lagoons. The private double or twin cabins can accommodate up to 10 passengers and each have a fan, comfy bed and room for storage, and there is a communal deck where you can relax. A four day package including transfers, meals, accommodation, soft drinks, water sport equipment and entrance fees start from £575 per person, excluding international flights. Call us now on 0845 163 7781 for more information.
Bangkok; where a futuristic transport system, cybercafés and vast neon and steel structures rub shoulders with lumbering elephants, alms-collecting monks and elaborately decorated temples. Many people pass through the city trying to get to the beaches or jungles as quickly as possible, but we recommend spending a few days relaxing on a luxury cruise that takes you up-river from Bangkok to Ayutthaya, the ancient capital of Siam. A three day, full-board cruise in a luxury en suite, air-conditioned cabin, including guided excursions, costs from £1480 per person, excluding flights. Speak to our Tailormade Regional Specialists to add this onto your Thailand adventure. Call 0845 163 7781.
Offering a unique alternative to camping or hotels, the Adventure Domes in Patagonia provide a comfortable and spacious stay within beautiful natural surroundings of the Magallanico forest. This year we are offering a three or four day itinerary giving you the chance to explore Los Glaciares National Park in depth. Trekking to Argentino Lake and Perito Moreno Glacier, your mountain guide will share his knowledge of the surrounding area, flora and the fauna. Prices start from £695 per person including accommodation, meals and drinks, transfers from and to El Calafate, excludes Los Glaciares National Park fee.
Located a few kilometres outside of Hue in Vietnam, Cat Tuong Quan Zen House provides a tranquil haven for those looking for a spiritual retreat. Meaning 'gentle man who brings joy and pleasure' the Zen House is a beautiful complex of halls, Buddhist alters and wooden villas, designed in manicured gardens and based around feng shui philosophy. If you are looking to learn more, experience the Buddhist way of living, practice zen, meditation, tai chi and yoga this is the place for you. The house offers day visits, lunch/dinner packages or a two-day stay. Speak to our Tailormade Regional Specialist for Vietnam to find out more. Call 0845 163 7781.
Tailormade Sales Manager, Rena, visited Lake Mburu National Park in Uganda last year; one of her hidden gems from the country is Mihingo Lodge. The luxury tented rooms are built on wooden stilts for fabulous views over the lake, while the restaurant and pool have perfect sunset views over the national park. The lodge has an array of activities available including walking safaris, game drives, boat trips to see hippos, crocodiles and birds, visit the observation hide or enjoy a night safari in search of jenets, honey badgers, bushbabies and leopards - Lake Mburu National Park is one of the best places in Uganda to see this elusive cat.
If you’re planning a holiday to Argentina or Chile, our Tailormade Regional specialists recommend staying in a traditional estancia to add something special to your holiday. “Estancia” is Spanish for a large estate or cattle ranch and many of the traditional properties are still working farms, giving guests a true gaucho experience, with rustic accommodation and warm hospitality. There are some fabulous properties just outside Buenos Aires and Santiago de Chile – contact Hanna or Maria on 0845 163 7781 today for more information.