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AUTUMN 2009I sea& iI27 LUTON HOO T he stately English home of Luton Hoo - designed by the celebrated 18th century landscape designer Capability Brown - has now been renovated and transformed into a hotel surrounded by 1,000 acres of fields, woodland and lakes. The house and gardens have played host to memorable guests overthe years, but it was at the turn of the 20th century that it really came into its own when it was bought by wealthy diamond merchant Sir Julius Wernher, the man who went on to found De Beers. In 1947, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip spent part of their honeymoon at Luton Hoo as friends of Sir Julius' daughter-in- law, Lady Zia. Bought by Elite Hotels in 1999, with the help of English Heritage, the stately home has been renovated in keeping with the Edwardian blueprint and today the d├ęcor pays homage to its past with silk- lined and panelled walls, marble fireplaces and ornate ceilings complete with original chandeliers. Dine in the marble- lined Wernher restaurant, which was formerly the state dining room and is covered with stunning tapestries; or for a more relaxed dining experience, Adam's Brasserie is housed within the historic stable buildings, just a stone's throw from the new pool and spa. Other facilities on the estate that are available to guests include formal gardens, boating and fishing lakes, and an 18- hole golf course. For further information, visit www. lutonhoo. co. uk Game for anything The recently opened Mara Plains is a small camp located within Kenya's private Olare Orok Conservancy. Just a few hundred metres to the north of the Masai Mara National Reserve boundary, the camp is situated within the hunting grounds of many of the big cats. Experience wildlife at its most natural with night drives and walking safaris. The camp caters for 12 guests in six luxurious canvas rooms built on raised decks, with uninterrupted views of the surrounding plains and riverine forest. The camp was designed as an environmentally friendly concept that supports the local community, and the conservancy is made up of land leased from Masai landowners who benefit directly by earning a monthly income. For further information, visit www. ultimatesafarisandislands. com Wellbeing at Carlisle Bay A favourite of sea& i, Carlisle Bay is at the centre of the cruising map in the Caribbean. Situated on a secluded beach on Antigua's south coast, the resort is the perfect location for a soothing, wellbeing break. Together with a team of nutritionists, yoga experts and personal trainers, the hotel has launched a ' chill out' programme focusing on health. Guests can indulge in tennis, guided nature walks in the rainforest, yoga and Pilates, watersports, and treatments at the spa, along with special nutritional menus. For further information, visit www. carlisle- bay. com

28Isea& iIAUTUMN 2009 New for Phuket Situated on the western coast of Phuket, Thailand, the Paresa hotel opened this summer. An impressive development, it sits perched high on the clifftop surrounded by tropical forests and the Andaman Ocean. Paresa's unique architecture and elegant interiors are inspired by traditional Southern Thai homes both in their design and use of natural materials, which reflecttheir surroundings. Each of the 49 spacious rooms and suites boast a spectacular outlook, with uninterrupted sea views. Private infinity pools, two large resort pools, a range of dining options, spa and gymnasium, combine to make Paresa a key player on the Thai map. For further information, visit www. paresaresorts. com A n ideal base from which to explore Borneo, the brand new Kudat Riviera resort in Sabah, which is opening in November, is located in one of the planet's most diverse destinations. The underwater world is a rich marine environment, while above the water is an exotic rainforest overlooking the sea, and Southeast Asia's highest mountain, Mount Kinabalu. The Kudat Riviera's villas are spread across 70 acres of stunning coastline, each villa set within its own expansive, private grounds. It is, however, the Cavia Sky Lounge that is already the talking point of the resort. Situated high above sea level, with 360 degree views of the ocean, Mount Kinabalu and the northernmost tip of Borneo, it looks set to become one of the most spectacular restaurants in Southeast Asia. For further information, visit www. kudatriviera. com BORNEO IDYLL SHANGHAI HIGH T his September sees the long-awaited opening of The Peninsula Shanghai. Located on the historic Bund, in the very heart of the city and on the banks of the Huangpu River, the hotel pays homage to 1920s and 1930s Shanghai, with the Art Deco interior being based on the look and feel of this glamorous era when Shanghai was feted as ' The Paris of the East'. The rooms have stunning views of Pudong, the Huangpu River, the Bund or the gardens of the former British Consulate. The Peninsula Shopping Arcade includes a Chanel boutique designed by Peter Marino in the style of Coco Chanel's private apartment. The Peninsula has five eclectic restaurants and bars, and an ESPA spa. For further information, visit www. peninsula. com