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January 1, 2014updated Jul 13, 2016

Confidante

By MARY GOSTELOW

It’s always good to hear that there are many fortunate people doing their part to help underpriviledged youth.

Petra Nemcova, the Czech supermodel who, unlike her fated fiancé, survived the Thai tsunami in 2004, is devoting her life to helping disadvantaged kids. Her charity, Happy Hearts Fund, is supported by a group of philanthropists, including Philippe Kjellgren, cofounder of Hotel Insider Ltd, the groundbreaking luxury hotel finder and authenticated review site that launched in December 2013. Kjellgren chose to launch Hotel Insider at the world’s most important luxury travel gathering, the International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM), which takes place in Cannes, France, every year during the first week of December. It was also announced that Nemcova is authoring a book on her friends’ favorite hotels. Profits will, suitably, benefit Happy Hearts Fund.

Carlos Slim is the richest billionaire in the world for the fourth year running, according to Forbes magazine. But the accolade for the largest financial transaction to ever take place in Central America was won by Carlos Pellas, who founded BAC Credomatic Network in 1985 and sold it to GE Capital in 2011. Señor Pellas still has plenty to keep him busy. His Grupo Pellas has over 25 subsidiaries throughout the whole of the Americas; one of his subsidaries is the best-selling Flor de Caña rum. On the tourism side, he has invested $250 million in the 1,670-acre Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa resort on Nicaragua’s Emerald Coast. The resort has a mere 37 rooms and suites, designed by Paul Duesing. Favorite lodging at Mukul is the 20,000-square-foot Casona Don Carlos, with six bedrooms and ceilings soaring to 80 feet. All guests can make good use of four miles of beach, an extensive spa with a healing hut, and an 18-hole David McLay Kidd-designed golf course.

Simon Gudgeon is a brilliant English sculptor based at Sculpture by the Lakes, about three hours’ drive west of London in Dorset. Here, spend as long as you like walking around 26 acres of idyllic countryside with some 30 of Gudgeon’s iconic sculptures appearing almost naturally by the lakes or around the undergrowth.

During your jaunt, stop at Chewton Glen Hampshire, an hour from Sculpture by the Lakes. Choose one of the hotel’s tree house suites, which, perched 12 feet above ground, are luxurious wooden accommodations built on tall “legs.” Inside, you have wood-burning stoves and the finest linens, while a Jacuzzi on the milehigh terrace looks out over untouched nature. If you can bear to leave your tree-top home, follow the hotel’s own sculpture walk, also designed by Gudgeon.

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