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The façade of Goodnestone Park, near Canterbury
The façade of Goodnestone Park, near Canterbury © Goodnestone Park
Inside the house
Inside the house © Goodnestone Park

Immaculate gardens with impeccable literary credentials
Thoughts may well be turning to post-lockdown English escapes. One to bookmark? A gorgeous period house with an intriguing history, available for private use. The 15 acres of immaculately tended gardens at Goodnestone Park are considered some of the finest in south England, and boast impressive literary credentials: they were a favourite of Jane Austen, whose brother Edward married into the owner’s family. She was known to enjoy the Serpentine Walk (now a public footpath that roughly circumnavigates the house’s grounds), and it has been floated that the manor was a model for Longbourn and Netherfield Park, two of the houses in Pride and Prejudice. A full 24 people can have the run of the property for long weekends. And the rooms – dense with chintzes and eggshell paints in National Trust-approved tones – are more or less exactly what you’d expect, in a good way.; POA

Singita Sabora Tented Camp in Tanzania
Singita Sabora Tented Camp in Tanzania © Singita

Reinventing the classic safari camp
Botswana is a place of legend across all strata of safari excellence: wildlife and wilderness, guiding and conservation of course, but also camps with stellar design and food and wine fit for card-carrying gourmands. One name long familiar to Africaphiles will, as of January, be in play here again. Back in its day (which was many years ago), Xigera was among the finest camps in the Okavango Delta. Now it’s been reclaimed in a compelling way under owners Red Carnation, who bring the hotel nous and spectacular design, showcasing the work of over 80 African artists and makers. They are assisted by safari-conservation outfit Great Plains, whose founders Dereck and Beverly Joubert have some of the realest bona fides on the continent. The 12 suites lace the water’s edge of a prime position in the Moremi Game Reserve. Expect visual delights, velvety skies and all manner of charismatic megafauna, including black rhino. Up in Tanzania, the dab hands running Singita’s operations on the Grumeti reserve have spent the Covid pause reinventing Singita Sabora. Gone are all the hyper-nostalgic steam trunks and hard woods; in their place come sleek new design interpretations in leather and canvas, private meditation decks and day beds. (Singita Grumeti’s 350,000 private acres, home each summer to a swath of the great wildebeest migration, require no sell.); from $2,320 per person per night.; from $1,650pp per night

Casa Letty on Colombia’s Barú Peninsula
Casa Letty on Colombia’s Barú Peninsula

A thinking person’s guide to Colombia
Plan South America’s Harry Hastings is the man with the intel we trust on all points south of Mexico. His latest – an intriguing new villa on Colombia’s lush Barú Peninsula, about an hour south of Cartagena – comes online next month. Casa Letty is a fairly unique proposition here, a spectacular private accommodation with a dual remit: to amplify its social impact and minimise its environmental one (it’s 100 per cent solar powered – but with backup generator systems, in case – with full groundwater recycling and filtration systems, composting, and its own vegetable and fruit gardens). To further their social end, Hastings and his team are working with a Swiss-backed local philanthropic organisation, Somos Barú, on creating cultural, culinary and artisan experiences that rely entirely on, and empower, the local indigenous communities, women in particular. His guests will benefit, of course; but the idea is to seed a more thoughtful brand of tourism in a region that’s sorely in need of it.; from $1,995 per night, including activities

Camp Kasbah’s Mauri Waneka (standing) and Tess Ferguson
Camp Kasbah’s Mauri Waneka (standing) and Tess Ferguson

How to escape Aspen – in Aspen
Nobody gets bored on or off the slopes in Aspen; between the late-night hijinks at J-Bar and the daytime allure of the Shigeru Ban-designed art museum there’s ample stimulation to be had. But Camp Kasbah advances a novel proposal: a private retreat from Aspen, in Aspen. Set to open next month below the summit of Buttermilk Mountain, the 1,400sq m camp – with seven bedrooms, 10 baths, spa and gym facilities, an “après” tent complete with fire pit and a treehouse designed by local architect Charles Cunniffe – is the brainchild of LA-based Native Design & Development founders Mauri Waneka and Tess Ferguson. It’s intended for group bookings, and offers the kind of outings, experiences, ambience and food that will evoke the halcyon experience of the classic American summer camp, but for adults – ones with serious means, and some hedonism on the agenda. A smart detail of “rangers” is on hand to plan indoor and outdoor activities. Beyond hiking, hacks through the snow and cross-country skiing are whimsies such as millinery and pysanka, the Ukrainian art of egg decorating. (NB: diehard minimalists need not apply; the decor, with elements of Morocco, the Continent and First Nations peoples, is of the more-is-more bent.); from $15,000 per night for buyout


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