As the end of 2019 approaches, Scott Dunn has forecasted what’s hot and trending in 2020 within the world of luxury travel. The world is at our fingertips, and travelling to far-flung places has never been so easy. Scott Dunn predicts next year’s go-to travel destinations – hosting a plethora of luxury hotel openings, and plenty of natural wonder.
Israel is one of Scott Dunn’s up and coming destinations for next year, due to more flight connections between Asia and Israel than ever, and with the increased sophistication of Asian travellers. Travellers are wanting to delve beyond the footsteps of Jesus to visit Israel’s more remote locations, such as the Negev Desert. 2020 sees the opening of Six Senses Shaharut, Arava Valley – the new cliff-top lodge will provide unprecedented clarity of the Negev’s famed night sky. Guests are invited to partake in a range of incredible exclusive activities, from discovering Negev winemaking to journeying in a hot air balloon above the desert’s expansive rocky scenery.
Scott Dunn predicts a revival of destinations with bespoke itineraries that go beyond the typical tourist traps for guests to re-discover timeless destinations such as Greece. With journeys to the less-known islands of Naxos, Milos, Paros and Sifnos for a more authentic experience of Greece, visiting secluded bays, exploring traditional villages and sampling the local cuisine. Scott Dunn is one of just a few travel companies that curate itineraries on these hidden islands and organises exclusive experiences such as a private guided gastronomical tour of Naxos, off-road 4×4 explorations of Milos’ untouched beaches and ancient chapels, and speed boat trips to uninhabited Grecian islands.
With an increasing number of guests choosing to re-visit a destination, Scott Dunn curates itineraries for a deeper journey to rediscover an old favourite in a new light. China is often associated with its major cities and well-known historical sites, however for 2020 Scott Dunn is shining the spotlight on rural China. For a chance to escape city life, Scott Dunn allows guests to reconnect with nature and be fully immersed in the country’s landscape through a new partnership with Caravan Liotard. The camp is inspired by the French writer Constantin de Slizewicz and the traditions of the Tibetan caravans along the historic Tea Horse Road, the elegant bell tents invite travellers to indulge in the simplicity and beauty of the surrounding countryside.
FOOD, CAFÉS AND BARS
A popular spot among locals for food in the city centre is the Eastern Food Bazaar, it’s home to mostly Indian cuisine but also features Middle-Eastern food, but a local speciality that is a must-have is Bunny Chow. It is a South-African dish, which consists of a hollowed out loaf of bread filled with a spicy vegetable curry.
Just a stroll away is Honest Chocolate Café, which is a chocolate shop and café by day and gin bar by night. If you haven’t had your fill of bunny chow yet, grab the Honest café’s dessert version of a bunny chow – a banana bread that is cut open and is filled with chocolate chips and vanilla ice cream (a vegan option also available).
To go with this sinful treat is an equally sinful vegan chocolate milkshake with their own homemade chocolate and coconut milk.
Another dining destination is the Old Biscuit Mill in the Woodstock neighbourhood of Cape Town. It is an old steel mill that has been converted into a marketplace with stalls selling clothes, camera equipment, crafts, wine, beers and spirits.
However, the best part of the Old Biscuit Mill is the food hall with a wide variety of food and cocktails to boot. V&V insider tip: go to for the fresh pizza (made in an authentic brick oven), the shakshuka stall, the mac and cheese station and the bourbon bar.
When it comes to nightlife, nothing the scenes on the famous Long Street, which is home to a host of bars and clubs. One of the bigger bars there is Beerhouse which is a taproom that features 25 beers on tap and 99 varieties of bottled beer. The outdoor seating is the best place to sit back and relax and enjoy the New Orleans style vibe.
Right on the western tip of the African continent lies Cape Town, a city that offers some of the most breath-taking natural beauty in the world. With stunning beaches, towering peaks to climb, and remarkable vineyards, this idyllic locale city offers all that and so much more.
MUST SEES AND CULTURAL SITES
A place to start the tour of this city is a visit to the historic Bo-Kaap neighbourhood, which is famed for its bright and colourful houses. The area’s inhabitants are predominantly made up of Cape Malay who are descendants of Indonesian slaves from the 1650s.
The community is incredibly vibrant, and everyone is friendly. There are multiple stalls along the main street where different families sell a myriad of snacks – the koeksisters are a must (imagine doughnuts taken to the next level with a spiced infused honey with ginger).
When we were first introduced to Darel Carey’s monochromatic tape installations, we were mesmerised!
Darel’s work includes dimensional line drawings and immersive tape installations. Optical and spatial perception are his main focus; he uses lines to shape and bend the perceived dimensions of a surface or a space.
Earlier this year, Darel was recently in Bintan, Indonesia to add one of his incredible creations to the walls at The Sanchaya. We managed to catch up with him whilst he was in Singapore…
V&VPR: We LOVE your work! What inspired you initially to work with tape as your art form, and how has your style changed over time?
Darel: Thank you! Tape for me is a versatile medium I discovered while at Mending Otis College. Artists typically use tape as a means to an end, either to mask straight lines for paint, or for marking areas temporarily. While working with tape on a background grid for a group show, it dawned on me to use tape as a medium in itself, to traverse multiple surfaces and create immersive experiences. My style has gradually become more refined. I used to lay down lines without fully knowing how they would interact. The more pieces I create, the more familiar I become with the organic process, and how it affects the experience of the viewer.
V&VPR: You have quite a strong Instagram following – how has Instagram been instrumental in your success?
Darel: Using Instagram has enabled me to present my art to a worldwide audience, which led to many opportunities. Most of the people I’ve worked with found me on social media or online somewhere.
V&VPR: Do you believe social media also has its downsides when it comes to the world of art? Have you found that people copy your style, and do you think Instagram impacts the ability to be original?
Darel: Social media does indeed have its downsides. More people see more things from more and more other people. That can be negative in the world of art when it comes to copying or stealing styles or other intellectual property. I do see some of that, some copying and stealing, which I think is an unavoidable problem. The more people are copying, the less they are being original. My approach to this is to keep evolving in my art and philosophy, to keep refining my aesthetic and understanding, and to focus on my strengths. Pushing oneself to keep evolving is key to being original. Adapting quickly to new environments, like social media, will help you advance and stay original. What’s new is constantly changing.
V&VPR: You travel a lot with your work – having recently been at The Sanchaya – do you find that new cultures and places influence your style?
Darel: Every time I see and experience something new, I try to soak up some inspiration from it, and expand my horizon, especially while traveling. It may be a pattern I see in architecture, or intricacies in plants I’ve never seen, or nuances in social etiquette. At The Sanchaya, I experienced, and my art became part of, a juxtaposition of different styles from different times and places. I really enjoyed the colonial interiors and the Asian influence in architecture, surrounded by vegetation, all in front of the aqua-coloured coast, on the Northside of Bintan, Indonesia.
V&VPR: What’s next for you?
Darel: I have a few things going on in the coming months. I’m part of a group show at the Millard Sheets Art Center in Pomona, CA, on view until early November. I’ll be in New York soon to create a temporary installation at a tech conference, and shortly after I’ll be painting a mural in a residence lobby in Cambridge, MA. In the bigger picture, I want to expand and try new things, perhaps in the sculptural or digital realm. I also like to write, so maybe that will manifest in some way. I’m just happy to be creating, and grateful for the opportunities to do so!
Breaking free from the fixed pattern of the working week and head-first into new cultures and traditions can be overwhelming; from choosing the destination, to the accommodation, and planning every culinary tour and sidecar adventure in between. But what if we told you that you no longer have to spend hours researching and simply have to arrive at one of the Capella Hotels & Resorts‘ eight exclusive locations?
This exceptional hospitality group focuses on crafting authentic, cultural experiences for its guests, combining a legacy of crafted luxury design with the highest level of personalised service. With this in mind, Capella Hotels & Resorts have recently launched Capella Curates service, offering exclusive adventures, which incorporate interesting characters, whimsical traditions, and the opportunity to hone unexplored skills. These experiences were thoughtfully designed to ensure you see the true soul of your destination – not just the hotel pool. Let’s travel around the world and see what’s on offer!
Heading first to East Asia, allow ‘Capella Culturist’, Troy, to take you on behind-the-scenes tours of South China’s villages, learning about the Li people and their rich crafts – you can even join Grandma to learn more about the infamous facial tattoo techniques practiced by the tribe.
Whizz through the streets of Singapore in the Capella sidecar, learning about the unique design and fascinating fengshui principles present throughout the urban architecture; the route will take in the Marina Bay Area, Singapore Flyer, Art Science Museum, and Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, amongst other highlights.
Escape the humdrum of daily life with 24-hours spent in total solitude within a luxury tented camp nestled amidst the unspoiled beauty of Bali’s luscious rainforest. The Confined to Quarters experience begins with a traditional Balinese blessing ritual and yoga session, followed by a 2-hour Senja massage.
Grab your gardening gloves and head to Düsseldorf , where the buzz of its vibrant city is surrounded by agriculturally rich countryside, with picturesque hills and farmland aplenty. Capella is committed to supporting some of the country’s smaller farmers, and their exclusive experience offers the opportunity to join Chef Philipp on a culinary tour to local farmer, Christian Benninghovens’, famous farm.
Capture the essence of Shanghai’s culture by joining professional photographer, Mr Wang, on his one-man mission to capture the truth of the world. In Capella Shanghai’s Print, Shoot, Retouch experience, guests will be shown to the city’s best-kept, most Instagrammable experiences. Highlights include traditional shikumen terraced houses, quirky art deco buildings, and the best spots to capture the city’s infamous skyline. We’d give that a ‘like’!
Not forgetting the mini travellers, the latest addition to the Capella Hotels & Resorts portfolio, Capella Bangkok is set to cause a stir when it opens later this year. They are offering Little Monks, the chance to experience mindfulness and clarity from an early age and the team are dedicated to encouraging guests to interact with notable characters across the city through their Capella Curates Programme.
Capella Hotels & Resorts are masters in the craft of the stay, offering experiences curated for the curious mind, blending nature, history, and the finest attention to detail. So, what’s stopping you? We’ll see you there…!
Singita opened Kwitonda Lodge on 1st August in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. The brand new lodge and private house is positioned on an unrivalled location where a third of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas can be found, marking the next exciting chapter of the brand’s ongoing conservation journey in Africa. As well as supporting important conservation efforts during their stay at Kwitonda Lodge, guests will be able to enjoy awe-inspiring views across the vast Virunga mountain range and volcanoes.
Kwitonda Lodge is designed to honour Rwanda’s people and the country’s fertile land, contributing significantly to conservation efforts, community partnerships and ecotourism to preserve and protect Africa’s wilderness for future generations. Situated a ten-minute walk away from the park’s headquarters, guests can take part in a humbling gorilla-trekking experience to witness these incredible animals in their natural habitats.
Each of the guest suites are beautifully decorated and include private heated plunge pools and massage areas, as well as indoor and outdoor fireplaces for travellers to relax in their secluded haven. Singita has included a dedicated conservation room, gear room for all trekking equipment, and an extensive on-site nursery and vegetable garden to provide fresh produce for the lodge’s farm-to-table food ethos.
More than 500 local artisans and builders were involved in crafting features like the lava rock walks, exquisite woven ceilings and hand-fired terracotta brickwork – ensuring an authentic translation of local culture into the design, while boosting local employment and business.
Singita Kwitonda Lodge and Kataza House are go-to destinations, offering an experience unlike any of Singita’s other destinations. It embodies the gentle, rejuvenated spirit of Rwanda with finishes that include raw and burnished timbers, natural pigments on walls and hand-fired terracotta tiles, and long-lasting furniture pieces anchor each room and space, providing a profound sense of groundedness. Its design creates a sense of place, purpose and perspective, tying in perfectly with the serious and soul-centering experience of meeting gorillas up close on treks.
As expectant parents seek to make the most of their last few months of alone time before their new arrival, the ‘Babymoon’ has seen a continued rise in popularity. For Singapore-based families, The Sanchaya and Capella Singapore provide two of the most luxurious options, without the need for flying, making them perfect for trips up to the last trimester.
Bintan’s most sought-after estate has launched Baby Love – a 3 night stay designed especially for parents to-be. The all-encompassing experience includes one 60-minute massage for both guests, with options including the “Mum to Be,” a prenatal massage that uses gentle techniques to relieve the discomforts of pregnancy.
Also included is a traditional English Afternoon Tea, a cocktail/mocktail session, and return Emerald class ferry tickets – The Sanchaya is situated less than an hour from Singapore by boat, removing the need to fly and making it the ultimate convenient escape, even in the later stages of pregnancy.
Throughout the last decade, Capella Singapore has cemented itself as one of the most luxurious hotels in the region.
Nestled in the lush rainforest of Sentosa Island, Auriga at Capella Singapore is a peaceful cocoon for expectant parents to rest and rejuvenate ahead of their new arrival.
Priced at SGD 718, the Couple Babymoons experience includes a Prenatal Massage and Organic Rose Facial for mums-to-be, and a New Moon Swedish Massage and Gentlemen’s facial for dads-to-be, as well as a nourishing hair and scalp treatment for two. After a morning of relaxation, the pair are invited to afternoon tea at Chef’s Table, where they can enjoy an array of bite-sized sweet and savoury favourites and an extensive Ronnefeldt tea selections.
Go beyond the usual sights and sounds of a Tokyo city tour, and venture west to the Izu Peninsula – a fascinating geological treasure located on the Pacific coast of the island of Honshū, Japan. The landscape of this former island has been shaped by volcanic activity over millions of years, and is peppered with volcanoes and carved by both river and sea, making it the perfect respite if you’re looking for the best of what nature has to offer.
The cobalt-blue Pacific Ocean surrounds Izu and provides the backdrop to a rugged coastline of bays and towering precipices. Curated to suit the adventurous, conscious traveller, the Izu Geo Trail by Walk Japan features an immersive itinerary where you’ll be staying in beautifully located inns, enjoying bountiful seafood cuisine, and luxuriating in soothing onsen hot spring baths while taking in spectacular geological formations, beaches, waterfalls, literature and epoch-making history.
Starting in Tokyo, Japan’s bustling capital city, travellers will make their way by train to Izu Kogen in the Shizuoka prefecture where the trail begins. Led by Walk Japan’s expert Tour Leaders, you’ll have the opportunity to venture to some of the most scenic and untouched areas of the Izu Peninsula, accompanied by the sound of waves crashing against rocky cliffs and echoing through sea caves. On clear days, you may even be able to catch spectacular views of the iconic Mt. Fuji.
Removed from the noise and distractions of the modern world, guests can thoroughly appreciate Japan’s picturesque landscapes and natural scenery. Whether it’s gentle ascents through a native beech forest, visiting a 1,200 year old shrine off the sparkling white sandy beach of Shirahama, or climbing Cape Irozaki – Izu’s southernmost point offers an impressive viewpoint, even the most seasoned travellers will feel entirely spirited away in the ethereal beauty of this mesmerising peninsula.
If you’re looking for some fun activities to spend time with your friends and family, Scott Dunn is here to make your wildest dreams come true. From stunning wild walks or airborne adventures on hot air balloons, Scott Dunn curates experiential excursions to discover areas of outstanding beauty in some of the world’s most inspiring destinations.
Being the pioneers of luxury travel, Scott Dunn crafts walking itineraries and hot air balloon adventures providing a multi-sensory way for you to explore a country and uncover the culture, history and landscape while admiring magnificent views.
Scott Dunn’s Rainbow Mountain Trek in Peru is an off-the-beaten-track exploration of diverse landscapes and remote corners of the Peruvian high Andes. The tour includes a trip to the ancient Inca citadel of remarkable wonder of the world, Machu Picchu for a privately guided tour.
The most exhilarating part of the journey is the high-altitude Ausangate Trek, when you will embark on a challenging 4-day trek through the Vilcanota Cordillera mountain range, reaching altitudes of over 5,000 metres. You will get to visit and take pictures of the well-known Rainbow Mountain with its vivid colours and snow-capped Ausangate peaks. After a long day of trekking, comfortable lodges with spectacular views of the Vilcanota mountains, comfortable beds and thermal feather duvets await. You will also get to take a trip in a hot air balloon drifting gently high up in the sky, and sweeping over dramatic landscapes.
Scott Dunn’s balloon adventure across the Maasai Mara gives you a chance to float above the untouched beauty of one of Africa’s greatest wildlife Reserves. You will have the opportunity to watch the sunrise over impressive plains, home to Africa’s most diverse and renowned eco-systems and wild animals. Ideal for families or groups, Mara House is a private residence tucked away in a prime wildlife area outside the Maasai Mara, fully staffed with an in-house chef, house manager and its own safari guide for flexible game drives and safari walks through the national park.
Through these activities, Scott Dunn offers exclusive experiences mixed with adrenaline-pumping adventure, and without substantial loss of creature comforts.
From luxe-rustic lodges in Rwanda and trendy cocktail bars in China to rainforest retreats designed by one of the biggest names in the design industry today, each of the below have something unique to offer for the diehard design fans amongst us.
Capella Ubud – a weekend with Bill Bensley:
Capella Ubud will host an exclusive design weekend with world-renowned Bill Bensley, who is the name behind the incredible rainforest camp. Guests will be able to get up close and personal with Bill, enjoying an art tour through the camp grounds and surrounding villages and sketch classes together. Each guest will also walk away with a signed copy of Bill Bensley’s coffee table book, Escapism, and a personalised drawing of the tent they reside in over the weekend.
The once in a lifetime experience is valid for stays from 1st – 3rd November 2019, with rates starting from USD 1,300++ per night.
Singita – the opening of Kwitonda Lodge & Kataza House on the edge of the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda
Kwitonda Lodge has 8 beautiful suites and Kataza House is an exclusive haven with 4 suites, less than ten minutes from the Volcano National Park headquarters and easily accessible for the life-changing gorilla treksthrough the Volcano National Park, home to 320 mountain gorillas – one-third of the world’s remaining mountain gorilla population.
The properties were designed by South African based Cécile & Boyd, GAPP Architects and HK Studioto convey the sense of place of the Volcanoes National Park, the story of the endangered Gorillas and the incredible people of Rwanda. These designers took inspiration from Rwanda’s cultural heritage to ensure the lodge and exclusive-use villa reflects Singita’s enormous responsibility to protect the strong, yet vulnerable gorillas.
The Opposite House, Beijing – the launch of UNION
The Opposite House (part of The House Collective) is currently undergoing a refresh, and UNION is the latest F&B concept to open. The stunning space is set to become Beijing’s hottest new drinking destination; inspired by the ancient Silk Road, the space is designed to respond to the versatility of the needs of international guests at The Opposite House