Magazine article Newsweek International

If You're Going

Magazine article Newsweek International

If You're Going

Article excerpt

Chapter One

The world's treasures may be disappearing, but that doesn't mean you should forgo comfort and style when you go see them. Our picks:

THE COMMUNE BY THE GREAT WALL, CHINA: Located an hour's drive from Beijing, these 11 contemporary villas and clubhouse were designed by cutting-edge Asian architects ($65 per night for a clubhouse room to $3,000 or more for a whole villa with butler service; commune .com.cn ).

THE ROYAL LIVINGSTONE, ZAMBIA: A member of the Leading Hotels of the World, it sits on the edge of the Zambezi river and consists of numerous colonial-style buildings--including a main lodge with a sequence of thatched roofs and a strong African influence in its decor and ambiance (from $650; suninternational.com/resorts/the falls ).

THE SAN CLEMENTE PALACE, VENICE: Beat the crowds by staying at this sumptuous former monastery on your own private island, just 10 minutes by gondola from St. Mark's Square. Dine at the world-class Ca' dei Frati Restaurant and watch the sun set over Venice every night from any of the palace terraces ($315-$730, thi.it ).

THE GRAND HOTEL VESUVIO, NAPLES: Enjoy sweeping views of the bay and the volcano over a glass of wine from your own private balcony ($485-$4,850, vesuvio.it ).

Chapter Two

As we've discovered, even luxury can leave light footprints or coexist with traditional cultures:

FOUR SEASONS TENTED CAMP, THAILAND: This ultra-exclusive resort of 15 luxury "tents" offers everything from elephant rides and a river cruise to spa treatments and gourmet meals (starting at $2,400; fourseasons.com/goldentriangle/ ).

HORAI, JAPAN: At this traditional spa ryokan founded in 1849 on the rugged Izu peninsula, each room has its own hinoki cypress bath and the food--rarefied kaiseki , or haute cuisine--is sublime ($400-$850 per person per night; japaneseguesthouses. …

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