The unspoiled coral reefs and lagoons that make up the captivating views around French Polynesia have remained virtually unchanged since 18th-century sailors first reported sightings of these stunning islets. Making the most of the spectacular vistas, the Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa is located on 17 waterfront acres. Guest accommodations are in thatched-roof Polynesian-style bungalows scattered in lush tropical gardens and across the turquoise water. The natural splendor invites such activities as kayaking, outrigger canoeing and catamaran cruises. The serene Manea Spa also takes inspiration from the unique setting, offering such treatments as hot volcanic stone healing and taurumi barefoot bodywork.
Surrounded on three sides by water, Cape Grace has its own private quay on the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. It’s an ideal location, with the waterfront’s shopping and restaurants just steps from the door. Sophisticated and infused with local charm, each of the guest rooms has a distinct décor, featuring antiques, hand-painted fabrics, and thoughtfully chosen African artifacts; all provide the convenience of iPod docking stations, flat-panel HD televisions and limited complimentary Wi-Fi. The buzzing Bascule bar is perfect for an aperitif before dinner at the award-winning Signal restaurant, which serves such heavenly Cape dishes biltong-cured ostrich, rooibos-scented apricot compote, bitter chocolate and goat’s cheese truffles and bobotie-spiced springbok loin, cardamom-scented sweet potato purée, buttered fine beans, savory almond streusel, with caramelized orange jus.
It is easy to see what many guests over the years have seen in Hayman. It is the ultimate getaway and a resort that epitomizes relaxation and adventure. Ringed by beaches overlooking crystal-clear water, the island is home to a wealth of flora and fauna, such as white swans, painted lorikeets, kookaburras and precious Proserpine Rock Wallabies. The proximity to the reef affords a range of diving, snorkeling, sailing and fishing excursions, though many guests choose to stay by the pool, one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.
The Galápagos Islands are a nature lover's dream destination. The islands' geographical isolation, nearly 600 miles to the Ecuadorian coast, has preserved an ecological wonderland unlike any other in the world. Most visitors put up with cramped conditions of boat travel, but those in-the-know book at the Royal Palm, a stunning property located in the highlands of Isla Santa Cruz. The chain's central island, it is the main starting point for touring here, and the hotel makes a wonderful base for following in Charles Darwin's footsteps. Kids especially are excited to discover such rare animals as blue-footed boobies, giant tortoises, Vermilion Flycatchers and Darwin’s finches, all of which seem perfectly content to share their pre-historic paradise with visitors. HRH Prince Charles & HRH The Duchess of Cornwall have stayed here.