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villalife AUTUMN 2009I sea& iI63 THE FORTRESS, MAHESHWAR, MADHYA PRADESH, INDIA WHERE WILL YOU FIND IT? Above the banks of the sacred Narmada River in Madhya Pradesh at the heart of India. WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT? Glamour, grandeur and mysticism. This magnificent property has one suite, seven superior bedrooms, four standard bedrooms and two royal tents comprising six twins, six doubles, a suite and a single room, each with en suite facilities. The entire property is available for exclusive hire. WHO LOVES IT? Those with a penchant for history and culture. The ramparts of this remarkable Indian fortress hail back to the 16th century and it once belonged to one of the country's most From regal Indian grandeur to palatial Moroccan charm to scorching Mexican style. when you next think villas, think exotic By Kate Rigby celebrated female rulers - Ahilya Bai Holkar. A beautiful example of Maratha architecture, the property ( sleeping 24) graces the banks of a sacred river. WHY WILL YOU KEEP COMING BACK? The Fortress still echoes with 18th century royal splendour. There are temples in the grounds, a vast pool and private tropical gardens. You can go all colonial and take afternoon tea on the deck of a boat ( the tea leaves hail from a Darjeeling plantation, while coffee from Coorg is specially roasted for the estate), indulge in a massage, or take a leisurely lunch in the cool courtyard. Gourmet food - much of it from the property's organic farm - is plentiful and delicious. HOW CAN YOU FIND OUT MORE? At www. uniquehomestays. com ?

64Isea& iIAUTUMN 2009 CASA DEL AGUA, RIVIERA MAYA, MEXICO WHERE WILL YOU FIND IT? At Puerto Aventuras at the heart of the Riviera Maya and its natural parks. WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT? Four oceanfront suites gazing out over powder- white sands and turquoise waves. Leisurely breakfasts are made to order before you retire to a palm- shaded hammock, or take a dip in the pool. A butler, concierge, maid and in- house chef ensure seamless service, and all the bedrooms are en suite with king- sized beds and air- conditioning for ultimate comfort. WHO LOVES IT? Water babies. Along with the swimming pool, you have access to the warm Caribbean waters and the finest marine life. Casa del Agua comes equipped with snorkelling equipment, or you can head off to explore the nearby waters in the villa's kayak. There are also numerous outdoor spaces for sun worshippers to chill out in Mexican style - from the private beach to the pool to the tropical gardens. WHY WILL YOU KEEP COMING BACK? It has a genuine Mexican vibe. It feels fresh and inviting with acres of whitewashed walls, natural wood and exposed stone, and bright splashes of native fabrics. The living room has an impressive, domed thatched roof and doors opening to a terrace with views of your private beach. HOW CAN YOU FIND OUT MORE? At www. villasofdestinction. com PALMERAIE, MARRAKESH, MOROCCO WHERE WILL YOU FIND IT? Just 15 minutes from the heart of Marrakesh and the airport. WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT? Palatial accommodation, exquisite Moorish architecture and designer style. Arriving down a long palm- lined drive, the property welcomes you with five bedrooms set in three hectares of private, tropical grounds abundant with mature olive and palm trees. WHO LOVES IT? Those looking for culture presented with infinite style. An intriguing layout incorporates soft arches, vast windows and captivating lighting effects - electric, candle and sunlight. Fantastically private, it is just 15 minutes from the heart of Marrakesh, the airport and three excellent golf courses. WHY WILL YOU KEEP COMING BACK? Palmeraie places as much focus on the quality of outdoor life as it does on interior living, thus you will find intriguing dining and relaxation areas on a shaded patio, acres of seating in a bright tented enclosure, and cool tiled enclaves with pure white seating. There is more than enough space for relaxation, a pastime that is encouraged by the two beautiful lakes, a beauty room and massage treatments. Meanwhile, a 20- metre swimming pool and fully equipped gym more than cater for active guests. HOW CAN YOU FIND OUT MORE? At www. royalvillaseurope. com