New and Noteworthy, June 2016

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Ponant Cuba Cruises

In January 2017, Ponant will be offering luxury cruises to Cuba from the United States aboard Le Ponant
In January 2017, Ponant will be offering luxury cruises to Cuba from the United States aboard Le Ponant - © Ponant/Guillaume Plisson

In January 2017, the French-flagged cruise line Ponant will become the first company to offer luxury cruises to Cuba from the United States, permission having recently been granted by the Cuban government. The seven- or eight-night sailings will visit Santiago de Cuba, Trinidad, Cienfuegos, Cayo Largo, Punta Frances and Havana. Cruises will be aboard Le Ponant, a 290-foot, three-masted sailing yacht, with room for 64 passengers in 32 cabins. Ponant currently operates five vessels — the other four are elegant motor yachts each with a capacity of 264 passengers — which have become increasingly popular with Harper members, thanks to their stylish interiors, refined French cuisine and exceptionally obliging multilingual staff. The Cuba voyages will be accompanied by Franklin W. Knight, professor emeritus of history at Johns Hopkins University, a noted authority on Latin America and the Caribbean, who in 2013 was elected a corresponding member of the Cuban Academy of History.

Galápagos Upgrade

Family Safari Suite at Galapagos Safari Camp
Family Safari Suite at Galapagos Safari Camp

For those who prefer to see the Galápagos Islands from a terrestrial base, especially those traveling with younger children, I recommend the Galapagos Safari Camp. Located on Santa Cruz, one of two islands that have small towns and a degree of development (the other being San Cristóbal), it is situated in a transition zone between cultivated land and the national park. A stylish glass-walled main lodge offers an inspiring panorama of the northern and western Galápagos Islands. The nine comfortable safari tents have recently been upgraded to become more like tented suites, with additional furnishings and doors instead of zippers. The camp now also offers a spacious family suite, with a master bedroom and two twin rooms, as well as a playroom.

Chief’s Camp Reinvented

Rendering of the new Geoffrey Kent Luxury Suite at Sanctuary Chief’s Camp
Rendering of the new Geoffrey Kent Luxury Suite at Sanctuary Chief’s Camp

Botswana’s Okavango Delta is, for me, Africa’s greatest wildlife sanctuary. At its heart is the Moremi Game Reserve, not for nothing known as the “predator capital of Africa.” Perhaps nowhere else can boast a comparable density of big cats, especially lions and leopards. At the center of the Moremi is Chief’s Island. There, the famous Sanctuary Chief’s Camp has recently undergone a complete renovation. The 10 new 1,500-square-foot pavilions all have private pools, floor-to-ceiling windows and outdoor showers. The pinnacle of indulgence, however, is provided by the new two-bedroom 6,500-square-foot Geoffrey Kent Luxury Suite, which in addition to a pool, deck and private fire pit, comes with its own private chef, housekeeper and waiter, plus a dedicated vehicle and safari guide.

Harper Collection Latest Updates

The Central & South America and Mexico & Caribbean Hideaway Report Collection books are now available for purchase on our online store
The Central & South America and Mexico & Caribbean Hideaway Report Collection books are now available for purchase on our online store

June brings two more of my personal travel guides: Mexico & Caribbean and Central & South America. Updates feature my latest hotel discoveries, regional notebooks, touring maps, restaurants and, of course, a complete list of my recommended hotels with numerical ratings and detailed descriptions. The Andrew Harper Collection books are available for individual purchase here. They are also mailed bimonthly to Premier members. To upgrade your membership, contact [email protected].

By Hideaway Report Editor Hideaway Report editors travel the world anonymously to give you the unvarnished truth about luxury hotels. Hotels have no idea who the editors are, so they are treated exactly as you might be.
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