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Elite Traveler Summer Issue 2024

Luxury is all about elevation.

By Samantha Coles

I recently went on a trip to The Ritz-Carlton, Fari Islands in the Maldives. It’s a brilliant resort, as you’d expect from the brand and the paradisical location, but what really struck me was the little things that make all the difference in the world of luxury. From not having to touch my suitcase from my beachfront villa until I landed back in London to the ‘jogging station’ stacked with ice-cold waters and cool towels, the divinity is in the details.

Luxury is all about elevation. Whether it’s elevating an experience from a good one to a great one, elevating a watch from impressive to outstanding, or elevating a yacht charter from a vacation to a deeply moving adventure. In this issue, our Leaders in Luxury special, we look at the regular Elite Traveler topics and take a deep dive into a particular trend to see which brands are the true innovators in that sphere.

Emma Al-Mousawi discovers the wonders of travel as a means for self-improvement; specifically, travel that focuses on education and broadening the mind. John O’Kelly summarizes that there is a lot at stake when distinguishing a good luxe hotel from one that’s exceptional, and one of the big tells is the standard of dining — after all, what’s better than a long lunch or getting better acquainted with the culture through cuisine? O’Kelly looks to the hotels “where magic happens and memories are made.”

Going hand in hand with an excellent dining experience is the wine. Kim Ayling explores the role of the sommelier and speaks to those making waves — from pairing fried chicken with champagne to arranging cellars chronologically instead of by region.

Within each feature, you’ll see a QR code which, when scanned, will take you to the relevant section on elitetraveler.com. So if Becca Hensley’s in-depth guide to Los Cabos has you itching for more insider information on the hottest places to visit (and the things you can’t miss while you’re there), scan the code and away you go.

You’ll also find our regular scheduled programming in our Explore section. Michelle Gross heads to Savannah to check out the newly opened Hotel Bardo — and its restaurant, which is named after the patron saint of hangovers. The Elite Traveler team tackle London and its newest, most impressive suites, from the Peninsula Suite with its 13-person cinema room to the astonishing collection of Damien Hirst artworks and an outdoor ‘lake’ at Claridge’s penthouse.

In our Hot List, Emma Al-Mousawi twins safari with sand in an itinerary that takes her to Tanzania. Staying within the continent, this issue’s Flight of Fancy embarks on a full day of heli-biking on Mount Kenya, an extinct volcano and the second-highest peak in Africa (the first being Kilimanjaro). You’ll be dropped at around 13,800 ft, where you will begin your thrilling descent, riding down the mountain and taking in the captivating views.

Samantha Coles, editor, samantha.coles@elitetraveler.com

Read the digital edition here

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This article appears in the 03 Jun 2024 issue of the New Statesman, Summer 2024

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