- - Friday, January 13, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION

Per Chance to Dream. If dreams, as Freud noted, are the primary pathways to the subconscious, a dream-worthy travel bucket list is a good way to start the journey of fulfillment in becoming a whole and knowing person. A great plan for 2017 might be to get a start on that lofty aim with these amazing travel concepts that will take you to the bottom of Argentina to the eerie night skies of Lapland.

Argentina
Arakur Ushuaia Resort & Spa puts a luxury stay where few people dare to tread – at the bottom of South America in Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego. Overlooking the Beagle Strait and gateway to the great Antarctic, Arakur Ushuaia’s refined accommodations offer floor-to-ceiling windows that let in the season’s light and shadows contouring the majestic scenery, all complemented with gourmet food & beverage offerings and exquisite pampering.

BahamasMusha Cay in the Bahamas as a world that only a talent such as David Copperfield could create. This bucket list dream includes you and 23 of your favorite people, who will stay on an island all their own in five all-inclusive manse spreads. The party will explore a treasure trove of magical sets designed by Copperfield, himself, between swimming and snorkeling in special spots, picnics on secret islands, movies on the beach, even fireworks and special shows on demand. The catch? You must book the entire island at rates that run $39,000 to $59,000 per night, four-night minimum. But these will be nights to remember

Cambodia
Song Saa is a private island paradise off the coast of Cambodia. Luxury villas over calm, warm waters, yoga on the beach, deep relaxation massages in thatched huts that let in the wind and sun; private picnics in magical spots of your choosing. It’s all included and comes with the chance to give back to the environment and local people in creative and sustainable ways.

Galapagos
Pikaia Lodge let’s the islands of the Galapagos be the star of this journey. While these islands harbor habitats and wildlife found nowhere else, Pikaia Lodge offers luxury lodging like nowhere else in the Galapagos. Located on central Santa Cruz Island, private luxury yachts take small groups of guests around the archipelago to see a panoply of nature at its purist and to swim and dive in warm, clear coves. The Lodge keeps its promise to sustainability without sacrificing stunning views from private villas or foods prepared with care and conscience.

Kenya
Micato Safaris heads deep into the wilds of Kenya and East Africa to reveal the true secrets of the plains. See it all with a 17-day African Splendor safari or create your own dream of Africa with itineraries you can design yourself. Bespoke or classic, elephants or chimpanzees, lodges or luxury tents… Africa is calling and yours for the choosing. Micato’s non-profit arm, AmericaShare, gives back with every tour.

Italy
Make Italy into a must this year with a special stay in a Tuscan Manor at the La Corte dei Papi in Cortona. The 17th century farmhouse has 15 rooms and suites, a spa and a renowned wine cellar all on the hilly border between Tuscany and Umbria. Wine tastings are offered as well as amazing multi-course meals prepared fresh daily. Then head south to the heel of the boot that is Italy for a stay at La Fiermontina in Lecce, an easy drive from Brindisi-Salento Airport (BDS). With pinnacled ceilings and traditional pietra di Trani floors common in Salento’s noblest homes, La Fiermontina’s private quarters feature romantic balconies, locally produced bath products, antiques and contemporary artwork. Walk to historic churches; enjoy wine tastings and regional tours.
For time spent in the center if Italian fashion a stay in Milan at the Armani Hotel Milan could not get more trendy. Located in the prestigious Manzoni district, top shopping, dining and people-watching is right at your doorstep. The Armani Hotel offers 95 guest rooms and suites with elements personally designed by Giorgio Armani and chosen for sculptural, aesthetic and sensual qualities.

Mongolia
Have Mongolia to yourself with tours through Nomadic Expeditions, highlighted with a stay at Three Camel Lodge, part of the National Geographic Unique Lodges collection. Experience colorful festivals where nomads and villagers from all around the land descend for horse racing competitions and eagle hunting pageants. Stay in the Steppes in a decked-out yurt. Go hunting for dinosaur eggs and Buddha treasures in an ancient land few travelers get to experience.

Newfoundland
Fogo Island Inn takes you to the edge of the earth off the northeast coast of Newfoundland. Icebergs float by as your feel the sweet remoteness of this Canadian island outpost. But warmth and luxury is close at hand at the Inn – a design intensive architectural wonder touring over the craggy Atlantic coastline. There is much to explore here: hike the island and see caribou and whales. Bike to various artist cottages set up along the shore; dig for muscles; watch for falling stars; forage for mushrooms; fish for cod. Fogo Island Inn is a place like no other, with a people who know how to squeeze beauty out of a life at its extremes.

New Zealand
New Zealand is a world away for most of us and that is not only in distance but in a certain beauty, captured well in such epic film series as “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit.” Much about New Zealand remains large, looming, untouched expanses of fantastical mountain scapes, kauri forests with tree trunks as big as houses, and roiling, steaming volcanic lakes. It’s a country that keeps more sheep than people and one where adventure is an every day occurrence. The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs and the Farm at Cape Kidnappers on New Zealand’s North Island, and  Matakuri Lodge on the country’s South Island offer Kiwi experiences aplenty while wrapping guests in all the beauty New Zealand can muster.

Scandinavia
Nordic Luxury takes you through the wonders of the northlands in bespoke explorations of Iceland, Greenland, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Sweden. Field your way through snow castle fiords and crystalline forests in the northern latitudes. Immerse in remote geothermal springs while gazing at windswept snowscapes as you explore the intriguing country of Iceland. Search for the Northern Lights – and find them.

Tahiti

The Brando is there when you are seeking white sand beaches on your own Polynesian island where the star-power is palpable and the remoteness is something to be savored. Only 35 villas at this former celebrity hideaway on Tetiaroa, 30 miles northeast of the island of Tahiti. But the manta rays, sea turtles and exotic birds are plentiful. For all there isn’t to do, there is plenty to do: bicycling, snorkeling, bird watching, diving and paddle boarding among them. Or relax in the resort library and attend lectures and demonstrations given by onsite researchers about Polynesian culture, history, and lifestyle.

United States
Lake Austin Spa Resort is where you go to keep your New Year’s resolutions about weight management, stress reduction and a healthy lifestyle. Do it all with style, panache and fun at the resort in Austin, TX, where the days melt by in massage after massage and weight melts off in effortless hours spent hiking, practicing yoga, meditating, socializing, learning great life skills and finding your center. Find 40 guest rooms along a wooded lake in the Texas hill country 30 minutes from downtown Austin.
Twin Farms in Barnard, VT gets the energy pumping through a variety of all-season pleasure to be found on this 300-acre stead near some the best skiing on the east coast. In summer, guests hub at “the farm” while heading on day trips through the Green Mountain State for hiking, antiquing, and fun at nearby fairs and festivals. The fully inclusive Relais & Chateaux resort offers 20 artfully crafted accommodations, each one its own design, plus an alluring spa with a Japanese furo bath, and magnificent gourmet meals and snacks at every turn.

Lark Gould produces ETravel.news, a website for the discerning travel adventurer.

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