Circuit breaker was a glorious time for delivery dining; satisfying that craving in the comfort of your pj’s all while supporting local? Sounds like a dream. Well into phase 2, most of our favourite restaurants have reopened their doors, filled with diners desperate for a good restaurant meal (while adhering to safe distancing, of course). Yet, there are many who would still rather opt for a meal at home either for convenience or safety reasons. When you’re not in the mood to cook, opt for these restaurants that are open for dine-in and still do delivery.  

Shake Shack Singapore

Shake Shack, known for its succulent ShackBurgers, crinkle cut fries, craft beer and frozen custard, has made waves in Singapore since its arrival in 2019, with its fourth Shack soon to open in bustling Suntec City. The modern day “roadside” burger stand also recently announced that on top of the option to dine-in, it would now be delivering from its Jewel Changi, Neil Road and Orchard Road Shacks.

Yàn

Yàn offers unpretentious, authentic Cantonese cuisine. Located within the National Gallery Singapore, guests are treated to a fine repertoire of flavourful Cantonese dishes that are guaranteed to excite. They also offer free islandwide delivery, self-collection and drive-through pickup for ultimate convenience.

Candlenut

The world’s first Michelin-starred Peranakan restaurant, Candlenut serves refined Peranakan cuisine that preserves the essence and complexities of traditional food. Order delivery or dine-in atop Dempsey Hill, enclosed in lush greenery.

Bar Cicheti

Tucked in a charming corner of Singapore’s Keong Saik enclave, Bar Cicheti honours the tradition of a daily Italian meal—pasta and wine. The joint is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, serving dine-in, takeout and delivery. Table reservations are highly recommended and order ahead for curb-side pick-up. They deliver islandwide from $10 with no minimum spend.

Artichoke

Helmed by Bjorn Shen, Artichoke offers Middle Eastern-inspired dishes in the heart of Singapore’s Arts and Heritage district. Dine-in, deliveries and takeaways are available –– you can even order via WhatsApp!

Staycations are the new vacations, and we’ve seen an influx in locals taking ‘Singapolidays’ right in our backyard. As guests are spending more time within the resort during their staycation, Capella Singapore has created a holistic and comprehensive program of activities that will allow guests to try something new every day. Each activity encapsulates the unparalleled ‘Capella Hospitality’ and serves to truly make guests’ stay unforgettable. 

Designed by the dedicated Capella Culturist team, the series of programmes and rituals celebrate heritage, arts, gastronomy and wellness – there’s something for every type of staycationer. Ranging from Family Yoga to a Boba Milk Tea building workshop, each experience is specially tailored to allow you to discover another side of Singapore.

Family Staycation

Parents looking for a family-friendly staycation will be delighted at the host of activities for their little ones at Capella Singapore. From scavenger hunts to arts and craft workshops such as canvas painting and Peranakan pattern handicraft, these activities will allow the entire family to unleash their creativity while spending quality time together. On Sunday, families can join the Revitalising Yoga Class, led by the resident yoga expert. Budding chefs can also take part in the Little Stars Culinary Workshop, with the choice between making cake pops and decorating cookies and cupcakes. 

Foodie Getaway

Highlighting the property’s extensive culinary offerings, the Capella Culturist team have crafted immersive experiences for foodies such as the unique Build Your Own Boba class; guests will get the chance to recreate a delicious brown sugar bubble milk tea, complete with Capella Singapore’s own bespoke Navegante tea. Those looking for a more refined experience can indulge in the Tea Time at The Living Room, where a selection of afternoon tea treats and beverages await or the Rum Appreciation session, where the team at Bob’s Bar will showcase the age-old history of rum, its importance to seafarers and introduce the spirit’s distinctive characteristics. 

Cultural Escape

The new programming also features a host of creative and cultural activities, aimed to allow locals to delve deeper into Capella Singapore’s rich history. The Heritage and Art Tour takes guests around the majestic bungalows built in the 1880s for British officers of the Royal Artillery, highlighting the riveting stories behind the art pieces displayed throughout the resort as well as the five heritage trees within the resort’s compound that are over a hundred years old. Led by the floral craftsmen that have overseen the arrangements for countless of iconic Capella Singapore weddings, the Floral Styling Workshop takes guests through the basics of creating the ideal bouquet, tapping onto each individual’s creative flair.

For more information about Capella Singapore, you can visit https://www.capellahotels.com/en/capella-singapore

Capella Singapore is dedicated to maintaining the highest hygiene standards to safeguard the health and wellbeing of their guests. To learn more about their commitment to safety practices, please visit their website.

While we won’t be travelling for the foreseeable future, it’s never too early to start dreaming about your first trip once international travel is a reality again. Of course, that first trip will have to be a trip of a lifetime and if it’s not on the ‘gram, did it really happen? Undeniably, this generation of travellers curate their itineraries like they do their feed. From stunning nature views to breath-taking architecture — there’s no Instagrammable destination quite like Sydney. You have the sand, surf, city and nature all rolled into one amazing, unforgettable destination. Bookmark these locations for your next visit, you’re going to want to get them all.

1. Bondi Icebergs

Sydney is renowned for its incredible ocean pools but none are as iconic as Bondi Icebergs. The 50 metre stretch of turquoise is set against the backdrop of the expansive ocean and crashing waves, and is truly a sight to behold. Whether you’re getting a shot in the water or a bird’s eye view from Icebergs Dining Room and Bar, Bondi Icebergs is arguably the most photogenic pool in the world and worth a visit. 

2. Bronte Bath Viewpoint

Already captured your iconic Bondi Icebergs shot? Why not do the scenic Bondi to Bronte Walk and get yourself to the Bronte Baths? Nestled between the well-loved Bondi and Coogee beaches in Sydney’s east, Bronte Beach is where the locals go. The hidden gem is a pictorial haven, offering balmy seaside parks for picnics, a crystal-clear aquatic reserve for snorkelling and diving, as well as an ocean pool for protected swimming. Built into the rocky cliffside in 1887, the Bronte Baths can be found at the beach’s southern headland and travellers can access the panoramic viewpoint by heading to the end of the walkway and climbing up the rocks. From the semi-shaded cove, soak in the sweeping views of the bay and the ocean horizon; early birds will be rewarded with a remarkable sunrise. 

3. Mrs Macquarie’s Chair 

Mrs Macquarie’s Chair has some of the best views of Sydney’s iconic skyline – you’ll be able to get the Sydney Harbour, Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge all in one frame for that money shot. Located east of the Sydney Opera House on the edge of The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, you can set up picnic rugs alongside the western side of Mrs Macquarie’s Chair and if you’re there at dusk, you’ll have the opportunity to witness the sun setting behind the Sydney Opera House. This is a sight for sore eyes, and one sure to satisfy your followers and get the likes rolling in. 

4. Manly Wormhole

One of the city’s best-kept secrets is the Queenscliff Tunnel, also known as the Manly Wormhole. The tunnel is said to have been dug out a century ago by local fishermen as a shortcut between Freshwater Beach and Manly. Follow in the fishermen’s footsteps down the 50-metre long tunnel that burrows straight through the cliff. There will be a few boulders to climb over but the view of the expansive ocean framed beautifully by the opening of the tunnel is truly worth the trip. Budding geologists can also appreciate the rock formations and cross-section of the rock layers along the way.

5.  Queen Victoria Building

Dating back to 1898, the Queen Victoria Building replaced the original Sydney markets on the site and spans an entire block along George Street. The elaborate Romanesque architecture – with its semi-circular arches, stained glass windows and mighty domes – was planned specifically to employ many out-of-work craftsmen during the recession. Now, these heritage architectural features make the landmark hard to miss as you walk down George Street and its many nooks and crannies provide a magnificent backdrop for that perfect Instagram shot. 

6. Wendy’s Secret Garden

Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden is a popular spot for locals. Nestled in the Lavender Bay Parklands, the garden is a whimsical oasis that allows you to escape the busy city and get a good dose of the best that Mother Nature has to offer. Get lost amongst the towering foliage, lush plantings and meandering paths, while stopping for the occasional artwork and sculpture along the way. The myriad of green tones and pops of colours from the native flowers will have you snapping away. 

7. Forgotten Songs, Angel Place

An ethereal cluster of over a hundred cages is suspended above Angel Place, a pedestrian lane that runs between George Street and Pitt Street. The creator of this artwork, Michael Thomas Hill, explains how the striking installation explores how Sydney’s fauna has evolved and adapted to co-exist with increased urbanisation. Once you’ve captured your shot, take a second to listen to the bird calls, which change as day shifts to night.

8.  Paddington Reservoir 

A short drive from the CBD, the Paddington Reservoir is a heritage-listed public park. Built in the early 1800s, the reservoir was decommissioned in 1914 and has since then been transformed into a Romanesque sunken garden with a lake of contemplation at its centre, a hanging garden canopy around the perimeter and an eastern chamber left empty but for the wall art. The preservation of much of its original architecture – think towering archways, brick and iron structures – make for a rustic Instagrammable spot.  

9. Bare Island, La Perouse

One of the many hidden gems in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, Bare Island is a small atoll that houses a 19th-century fort and old wooden footbridge connecting the island to the mainland. With dreamy coastal views of Botany Bay, this photo spot is the perfect blend of history and nature. Fun fact: the fort features in Mission: Impossible 2 as the hideout of villain Sean Ambrose.  

10. Green Square Library

Boasting floor-to-ceiling shelves lined with a multicolour array of books, Green Square Library seems to have been made for the ‘gram. Besides the impressive rainbow book wall, the library also has reading nooks tucked within the bookshelves, as well as 40 skylights to make sure you get all the natural light you need for your shot and your reading! The photogenic library is a short 15 minute train trip from Circular Quay and is a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. 

Our vibrant garden city will soon be celebrating its 55th birthday on 9th August. While we may not be able to watch the National Day Parade from the seats of Singapore’s iconic floating platform this year, here are some other ways we can celebrate this beautiful country from the comforts of home if you’re looking to avoid the crowds over the National Day weekend (we’re still in DORSCON orange after all).

Eat

The history of Singapore’s Peranakan culture harks back to the 15th century; what better way to celebrate the country’s rich melting pot of cultures and heritage than by tucking into authentic Michelin-starred Peranakan takeaway from Candlenut at COMO Dempsey for a heartwarming dinner. Our favourites are the Chef’s Mum’s Chicken Curry and Aunt Caroline’s Babi Buah Keluak. 

If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, the Chili crab from Jumbo Seafood is a must. You can add on the National Day SG55 set menu bundle which comes with other local favourites such as Deshelled Prawns fried with cereal and Mee Goreng.

Dimsum lovers can yum cha at home with Yàn’s Taste of Home August special that draws inspiration from some of Singapore’s most well-loved dishes including Char Kway Teow and Soy Chicken. 

Drink

Toasting with a glass of English Sparkling wine on Singapore’s National Day…sounds weird, right? Yet, Nyetimber’s Cuvee Cherie entices with a fine balance of zest and sweetness, perfectly matched with fragrant, lightly spiced savoury dishes and flavours found in Asian cuisines. Balance is the basic consideration when pairing the wine; the classic palate of many Asian cuisines is hot, sour, sweet, salty with a hint of bitterness, so slightly sweet wines such as Cuvee Chérie are a good contrast to the salty flavours, while matching some of the sweeter elements of these dishes. 

Nyetimber’s ambassador Murray Lang loves pairing the wine with Laksa for a fresh take on the Singaporean favourite. In honour of National Day, Analogue Wine Merchant is offering a special Nyetimber Bundle, priced at a discounted S$283 until 9th August.

Tipple up local style with GudSht’s bottled cocktails. In celebration of National Day, they’ve concocted a liquid breakfast duo – the Neslo Gao Peng, which features rice vodka infused with white cacao, Milo, and fresh-brewed coffee, and the white rum-based Kaya, I Beg Your Pandan, which brings together local kaya, coffee liqueur, and a fresh milk-and-oat infusion in one creamy brew.

Watch

In addition to the live broadcast of NDP2020 on the telly, indulge in Singaporean-made movies that are coming to Netflix ahead of National Day in a dedicated ‘Singapore, Now Streaming’ row. Highlights include Ilo Ilo (a domestic drama chronicling the day-to-day of the Lim family during the 1997 Asian financial crisis), 881 (a musical-comedy-drama film following two sisters who form a getai band) and Singapore Dreaming (following the Loh family’s aspirations for a better life and the harsh realities that prevent them from fulfilling those aspirations).

Explore 

Explore the best of Singapore’s art scene through the National Gallery’s virtual experiences and enjoy these special programmes for Singaporeans to celebrate compassion and kindness amidst adversity. Let art soothe, inspire and unite us.

History buffs can partake in a virtual tour of the Istana, where they’ll be treated to little nuggets of history on one of Singapore’s oldest heritage sites. The National Museum will also be hosting virtual conferences titled Zoom Into History this week, leading up to National Day, where visitors can interact with museum artefacts from its permanent collection like the cheese plate, voiced by local actors and comedians.

Check out the rest of our website here.

With leisure travel out of question for the foreseeable future, there’s only one way to calm the ache of wanderlust (at least a little); a staycation. In a previous life before COVID-19, Singaporeans saw staycations as a convenient but slightly less glamorous version of an actual border-crossing getaway. However, our little red dot isn’t short of fantastic hotels that are reopening and stepping it up, offering experiences that will rival your favourite weekend getaways. As a team of avid travellers, we’re on board with this nation-wide embracing of staycations, especially when it also means that we’re supporting local and boosting the local economy. Here are our favourite re-opened hotels with offers that have us clicking ‘book now’:

1. Capella Singapore: Manor Experience

Located within 30-acres of lush rainforest on Sentosa island, Capella Singapore has cemented itself as one of the most luxurious hotels in the region over the last decade. Celebrating its reopening, the property is inviting families and loved ones to spend quality time together, without the need for air travel through their brand new ‘The Manor Experience’. The exclusive staycation offers an intimate, private yet spacious retreat featuring a range of activities, which all take place within one of the luxurious Manors. 

The Manor Experience includes a dedicated Villa Host, who will be in contact throughout the stay and is on hand to ensure every wish and whim is catered to. Guests will also benefit from an array of in-Manor activities, including a 60-minute private yoga class on the outdoor terrace. Foodies will delight at the option of a private Chef Service, whereby a chef from the Capella Singapore culinary team will create a bespoke menu based on the taste preferences of the group, to be prepared and enjoyed in-Manor. Additionally, Capella Singapore’s beloved Afternoon Tea will be available to enjoy from the comfort of the private pool decks. For families with younger children to entertain, in-manor kids activities and pool props and floats are also available.

Capella Singapore’s Manor Experience is available for stays from now until 30th September 2020, with rates starting at SGD$9,000++ per night, per manor.

2. The Warehouse Hotel: Heritage Staycation 

One of our favourite boutique hotels in Singapore for staycations, The Warehouse Hotel sits within a restored building from 1895 on the waterfront of Robertson Quay. We love how the hotel embraces its rich heritage at every turn; from specially-designed furniture and locally inspired cuisine, to contemporary artwork and the hotel’s own guidebooks of local neighbourhoods. Reminiscent of its industrial past, the lobby features exposed brick, machinery-inspired lighting and a vaulted ceiling. 

The hotel’s signature restaurant, Po, is an homage to the Mandarin word for grandmother, popo. The restaurant delivers sophisticated and memorable renditions of home-cooked specialties, just as popo used to make. The menu has been crafted by Chef-Partner and ‘mod-sin’ pioneer Willin Low.

The 37-room property is a great staycation option for couples looking for a quaint experience. Despite the property’s intimate size, each room has a unique configuration, channelling rustic tones of concrete and copper coupled with modern touches. 

The Warehouse Hotel is available for stays with rates starting at SGD$330++ per night

3. Fullerton Hotel: Glamping Staycation

Swathed in history, The Fullerton Hotel is a neoclassical landmark in the heart of Singapore’s CBD. The hotel’s new Perfect Staycation experience is tailored for families looking to get out of the house and includes complimentary daily breakfast for the family, $100 food and beverage credit, a pair of Fullerton bears, complimentary parking, 20% off spa treatments and complimentary early check-in and late check-out. 

For something a bit more unique, opt for the Family Glamping Package where camping out with the young ones no longer means having to survive the wild outdoors. Instead, you’ll be able to keep the little ones happy with a glamp-in at The Fullerton Hotel Singapore. When night comes, tuck the children in their own take-home sleeping bags. After a refreshing night’s rest, enjoy a sumptuous breakfast spread overlooking Singapore River and drop by The Fullerton Heritage Gallery for a quick history lesson with the kids in tow.

The Fullerton Hotel is available for stays with rates starting at SGD$430++ per night

4. Raffles Hotel: Iconic Staycation

The iconic hotel, home of the Singapore Sling, has launched enticing staycation promotions to welcome guests back. The Suite Life staycation is available from now until 30 September 2020 and you’ll be able to enjoy your second night on the house. Available from now till 13th December, the Royal Raffles Experience is ideal for those looking for the ultimate luxury treat post-lockdown. You’ll arrive in style in the Raffles limousine and wake up to breakfast in-suite or at the luxurious Tiffin Room. The experience also features their quintessential Afternoon Tea at The Grand Lobby located at the heart of the hotel followed with an exclusive Afternoon Tea Etiquette session, perfect for bonding with your loved ones while learning all about tea decorum.

Raffles Hotel is available for stays with rates starting at SGD$795++ per night

We are well into the last month of circuit breaker, and while staying at home has had its own challenges, we’re looking forward to stepping into better days as our world starts to recover. That being said, if you’ve done all there is you’ve wanted to do at home, and need a little more inspiration to help get you through this last lap here are some ideas and activities the V&VPR team have put together to help you survive – and even enjoy – the remaining weeks of lockdown.

Keep Positive by Practicing Gratitude

Need some perking up to help you stay afloat in all this gloom and doom? Spend some time focusing on the things you know you’re grateful for. As mentioned in our previous blogpost on Wellness in the time of Coronavirus, practicing gratitude is an amazing way to overcome feelings of anxiety and helplessness in this current climate. Keep a journal and write down three things you’re grateful for every day, or even take it one step further and write gratitude letters for friends and loved ones that you appreciate which you can send via snail mail to make their day.

Declutter Your Home

There’s no better time to reorganize that mess in your house you’ve been putting off for a while now. Whether it’s that dusty old guest bedroom you need to clear or the mountain of items you haven’t used in more than two years – now is the perfect time to declutter. Do you really still need ten different coffee mugs or that old skirt you’ve been keeping since your university days? If it doesn’t spark joy, toss it out! Maintaining a tidy home can turn it into a sanctuary that will make rest and relaxation a breeze whilst also giving you more time, space and energy to focus on other priorities.

Learn How to Prep Healthy Meals

Once the circuit breaker is over, one of the most important skills you can step away with is learning how to throw together healthy, nutritious meals to help you support a healthy immune system. If you don’t usually cook, the next few weeks is the best time to pick up your pots and pans and get cracking in the kitchen. Check out these 3-ingredient recipes from Shape magazine, ranging from Honey Mustard Glazed Salmon to Quickie Crab Cakes that you can whip up in a heartbeat – these are great to take along to work as well when it’s time to head back to the office.

Sweat it Out

If you’re feeling restless from staying indoors or looking to tone up and get some ab definition for when pools and beaches are back open, consider taking on fitness challenges or virtual workout sessions that you can carry out from indoors. For beginners, check out Chloe Ting’s trending 2 Week Shred Challenge ranging from just 10 to 40 minute workouts a day – it’s absolutely free, and all you need is a fitness mat to help you get closer to your goals. Take it up a notch with Kayla Itsines famous 12 week Bikini Body Challenge which you can find on her SWEAT app, boasting affordable subscriptions starting from just $0.33 USD a day.

Also consider supporting local businesses by joining in on their virtual fitness classes, so you can do your part to help the economy whilst staying at home! We recommend signing up for F45’s 45 Day Challenge where you’ll have access to daily 45 minute workouts; UFIT’s daily live 30-minute long virtual classes with programmes ranging from Stretch, Pilates, Build and Burn; and WeBarre’s enjoyable hour-long classes that range from $12/class or $35/week.

Explore the World from Your Armchair

Being stuck at home doesn’t mean you’re completely cut off from the wonders of travel. With the help of today’s technology, there are plenty of ways to see the world that are available at just the touch of a button. Take part in amazing virtual experiences offered by some of the world’s top hotels, resorts and destinations such as Singita’s virtual game drives where you can get up close with some of Africa’s incredible wildlife; the Sydney Opera House’s digital initiative – From Our House To Yours, featuring full-length performances and talks; and Capella Ubud’s Jamu-making tutorial video based on the all-natural, anti-inflammatory juice that has been a known tonic in Indonesia for centuries.

Spend Quality Time with Loved Ones

Finally, make the best of the time you have with friends and family. Whether you’re cooped in the same house, or miles and miles apart, an opportunity for quality time like this is unlikely to come by again soon. Binge an entire series on Netflix together, take part in quizzes and virtual games, solve a 1,000-piece puzzle – the possibilities are endless. Need a few games to get you started? Create your own quiz to play with loved ones on Kahoot!; check out Skribblio – our favourite multiplayer drawing and guessing game or get whisked away to stunning NSW landscapes and adorable wildlife with these virtual jigsaw puzzles.

For more inspiration to get you through this circuit breaker, check out the rest of our blog here.

With travel restrictions in place, cabin fever setting in, and stress and anxiety levels rising, keeping wellness a priority has become more important than ever. Take a mental vacation to some of the world’s most beautiful destinations –– visualising a stress-free place is a simple way to help your whole body calm down and give you the boost you need for the day. 

We’ve put together a series of stunning visuals featuring rolling landscapes, ethereal views and remarkable sights that will be just the pick-me-up for you.

Photo credit: Destination NSW

Golden rays of sunlight lighting up the sand and sea at Zenith Beach in Port Stephens, NSW.

Photo credit: Walk Japan

Plumes of steam rising from chimneys across a coastal town along the Oita Hot Spring Trail with Walk Japan.

Photo credit: Singita

A leopard taking a well-deserved rest up on a tree at Singita Boulders Lodge, Singita’s privately-owned reserve within Sabi Sand in South Africa.

Photo credit: Scott Dunn

Iceland’s otherworldly landscapes on the Highlights of Iceland itinerary with Scott Dunn , featuring Southern IcelandNorthern Iceland and Reykjavik.

Photo credit: Scott Dunn

The Northern Lights casting an ethereal glow across the snow-capped trees of Finnish Lapland on the Simply Finnish Lapland itinerary with Scott Dunn.

Check out the rest of our page here for more mental vacation travel inspiration.

Mr & Mrs Smith latest report Modern Love details a shift from the outdated concept of a romantic trip with champagne, chocolate, rose petals and couples’ massages and onto a rousing notion of romantic travel – becoming more innovative, more exciting and more sensual with new experiences, surprise and plenty of wonder.

Nowadays, there is an increasing demand for authentic and immersive experiences, and the search for spiritual travel is also growing. This concept allows guests to focus on their inner exploration to examine themselves, and self-reflect.

We’ve outlined a list of our favourite itineraries that will allow active travellers to embark on an eye-opening off-the-beaten-track journey of self-discovery this year.

Walk Japan’s Kumano Kodo Pilgramage

The Kumano Kodō is a series of ancient pilgrimage routes that crisscross the Kii Hantō, the largest peninsula of Japan. The routes are registered as UNESCO World Heritage and played an integral part of the pilgrimage process, as pilgrims undertook rigorous religious rites of worship and purification. Walking the sacred Kumano Kodo is a fantastic way to experience the unique cultural landscape of Kumano’s spiritual countryside, offering an immersion into more than a thousand years of Buddhist history. 

Capella Ubud’s Confined to Quarters

Committed to maintaining excellence in the craft of hospitality, Capella Hotels & Resorts have launched Capella Curates. The series has been carefully cultivated by the expert team in each locale, to offer exclusive adventures, meeting interesting characters, experiencing whimsical traditions, and the opportunity to hone unexplored skills.

Capella Ubud’s Confined to Quarters is a life-changing Capella Curates experience, whereby couples can escape the humdrum of daily life with 24-hours spent in total solitude within their uniquely styled tent. The day begins with a traditional Balinese blessing ritual and yoga session, enabling guests to reconnect with one another and refocus. After a restful night’s sleep, made possible by the day spent in solitude, guests can take part in a sunrise purification ritual at the property’s Wos River Temple – a profoundly spiritual process designed to leave a lasting feeling of calm and positivity.

Scott Dunn’s Bhutan Itinerary

 Scott Dunn’s itineraries to Bhutan capture the pure energy and spirituality of one of the last true unspoilt countries on earth. As a Himalayan Kingdom of stunning natural beauty, travellers will discover the awe-inspiring sights – from lush-green rice paddies running alongside fast-flowing glacial rivers to the endless forested-mountains and the snow-capped peaks beyond.

Bhutan carefully manages the numbers of tourists to the country in order to preserve its unique culture and traditions, and so a trip to Bhutan ensures a remarkable vacation with a first-hand, intimate look into the secrets of this extraordinary country. A Week in Bhutan introduces the spiritual and cultural highlights, from experiencing the fascinating capital of Thimphu, home to Bhutan’s national animal in the Takin Preserve, to trekking towards Taktsang Goemba or the Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Paro. Tailored to travellers who wish to be accompanied, all itineraries in Bhutan are escorted by a driver and specialist guide. 

Located on 45,000-acres of untouched wilderness in South Africa’s Sabi Sand Reserve, Singita Castleton Lodge, the former home of Singita’s Founder Luke Bailes’ grandfather is steeped in history. The lodge, accommodating a maximum of 12 guests, has re-opened to showcase a recent design refresh to ensure guests enjoy the utmost exclusivity and comfort in the African bush.

With new wellness experiences on offer, the private villa boasts a brand-new yoga pavilion alongside its state-of-the-art and fully equipped fitness centre – which is accessed via a covered walkway through Castleton’s tranquil gardens. Guests can now also choose between double and single massage treatment rooms. As one of 2020’s wellness trends, Castleton Lodge ensures guests to reconnect with the great outdoors as well as each other, and the expansive deck provides uninterrupted views of the surrounding landscape. It also offers magical fireside dinners under a canopy of stars –the perfect backdrop for a taste of traditional local dishes, cooked by the on-site private chef.

The property’s impressive wine cellar has been expanded and is now conveniently located adjacent to the dining room and lounge. As a highly curated collection of South African finest vintages, it’s the ideal setting for pre-dinner tastings under the guidance of Singita’s knowledgeable sommeliers.

Many antiques and furnishings of the original homestead have been refashioned, adding authenticity to the living areas that extend outdoors onto deep, covered verandas overlooking a busy waterhole nearby, where game regularly gather to drink.

As part of Singita’s Private Villa Collection, guests staying at Castleton Lodge will enjoy the comforts of a private game-viewing vehicle as well as a full staff complement, which includes a Field Guide, private chef and host. Game drives, mealtimes and activities are organised daily according to the preference of each guests – allowing them to have complete freedom to choose the rhythm of their days. The perfect location for a bush escape for families and groups of friends, Castleton offers numerous opportunities for shared activities – from boules to tennis, cricket and a private pool, combining the best elements of an authentic safari with the rustic charm of a farmhouse.