Views from the top
Anamtara Al Jabal Alkhdar Resort
In the Al Hajar mountains, here is an eagle’s nest where you can hover with your feet on the ground. Built in keeping with Omani custom, the resort nestles in a world of rock cooled by altitude and populated by goats. The irrigated gardens where the chef takes his guests during culinary workshops are home to reeds, fig trees and juniper, as well as the astonishing blooms of Damask roses in April and May. At Diana’s Point (photo), enjoy a private candlelit dinner, an indulgence that can be followed by a climb along the via ferrata on the cliff face, a yoga session at the top or a night under the stars. This lofty stronghold is a stirring place.
anantara al jabal Al Alkhdar resort Al Jabal
Al Akhdar, Nizwa. Tél. +968 2521 8000.www.anantara.com
Between the 33rd and 38th floors of the Otemachi Tower, you’ll be torn: which viewpoint should you choose to contemplate the urban ocean, the gardens of the Imperial Palace, the distant dome of Mount Fuji? Under the high ceiling made out of washi paper in the lobby, from behind the sun-filled panels of the restaurant windows, from the pool in the spa whose 30-meter mirror-like expanse of water stretches to the horizon, through the steam from the furo (stone tub edging each room)? Every visitor to the lofty Aman can find a window with a view of the hustle and bustle of the Japanese capital.
he Otemachi Tower, 1-5-6 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. Tél. +81 03 5224 3333.www.aman.com
Gurneys's Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa
The all-wood buildings are like a huge ship with cedar walkways leading to the rooms opening onto the sea. Everything has recently been renovated, true to the spirit of this place that for 90 years has been a reason in itself to come to the Hamptons. Here you can swim in one of the only seawater pools in New York State; no matter how chilly the sea mist, it remains immutably at 30°C. A healthy dose of salty sea air and seafood, and the reverie of the setting sun around a brazier on the terrace.
A comme Afrique. Impressions d’Afrique Avec un peu d’imagination, avec quelques accessoires aussi, avec une allée et des palmes, la Sicile, c’est aussi l’Afrique. Il ne s’agit pas d’arpenter la ville. Ailleurs est ce qui arrive.
A as in Africa: Impressions of Africa With a bit of imagination and a few accessories, such as a path and some palms, Sicily can also be Africa. You don’t have to amble all over the city. Afar is what appears.
Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa
290 Old Montauk Highway, Montauk. Tél. +1 631 668 2345.www.gurneysmontauk.com
Among the 14 dazzling beaches of Saint-Barthélemy, the island pearl of the Lesser Antilles, there is one that bears a name of poetic contradiction: Grand Cul-de-Sac (“big dead end”). Yet here there is no dead end or impasse where the eyes come up against a wall: mornings open onto a Caribbean horizon, the undulating ocean and surf lining the lagoon like the hem of a stole. The Guanahani, which has just celebrated its 30th birthday, gazes out at this timeless shore in awe: 7 hectares of peninsula squeezed between two bays, two private beaches and two pools rubbing shoulders with a marine reserve. And hidden away in the gardens with their hibiscus, palms and bougainvillea are 67 luxury tropical cottages, decorated with brightly colored woodwork (yellow, turquoise, lavender, etc.) and designed by Luis Pons. To celebrate its grand age, the villagewhere those who prefer to go unnoticed can move about without encountering a single neighborhas added other colors to its palette: those of the artists JonOne and Richard Orlinski, who have contributed two original artworks to the resort.
Grand Cul-de-Sac. Tél. +590 590 52 90 00.www.leguanahani.com
La ferme du vent
While Hugo Roellinger has taken over the kitchen at Maisons de Bricourt, his parents have opened La Ferme du Vent, beautifully located in a field overlooking Cancale Bay. Five kleds made out of stone and wood offer shelter from the sea breeze and picture windows with views of the English Channel flowing around Mont-Saint-Michel, the sentinel on the horizon. As the day winds down, a dinner that “tastes of the wind” is delivered to your private kitchen, with some instructions. Intimacy is the watchword; as it is in the Celtic baths, a perfect blend of ayurveda and foods from the Breton coast. An experience for all the senses.
R comme reflet La règle, ici, pour que le roman s’invente : qu’un mot en reflète un autre et qu’il en brouille le contour. De billard à pillard1, le reflet trace la route.
1. Dans Comment j’ai écrit certains de mes livres, on apprend que c’est la transformation d’une première phrase, «les lettres du blanc sur les bandes du billard» en cette autre «les lettres du blanc sur les bandes du pillard», qui a produit le roman Impressions d’Afrique.
R as in reflection A ground rule for constructing the novel: each word always has to reflect another, blurring the contours. From billard to pillard,1 the mirror effect paves the way.
1. In Roussel’s How I Wrote Certain of My Books, we learn that the novel Impressions of Africa is based on the transformation of the opening phrase“les lettres du blanc sur les bandes du billard” into this other one“les lettres du blanc sur les bandes du pillard.”
La ferme du vent
Tél. +33 (0)2 99 89 64 76. Fermé jusqu’au 01.03..www.maisons-de-bricourt.com
Afrique du sud
Just eight suites here, meals (organic) on request, a (very) colorful Mediterranean style, a smattering of antiques and works of art, and a 180° view of the southern Atlantic. Colona Castle is like a huge balcony overlooking the warm waters of the round False Bay. An eco-friendly address keen to conserve resources, it provides the perfect base for the sporty (golf, horseback riding, surfing), lovers of sealifein particular whales, dolphins, seals and penguinsand for contemplation. Lean against the Muizenberg Mountains and take in the view from Table Mountain to the tip of the Cape Peninsula.
1 Verwood Street, off Old Boyes Drive, Lakeside, Le Cap. Tél. +27 (0)21 788 8235.www.colonacastle.co.za
Castello di Vicarello
This castle has been watching the Tuscan seasons for over 900 years: the variety of wildflowers in spring, the shimmer of olive trees in summer, the silence of the vineyards after the grape harvest, the winter mist clinging to the cypresses. The panoramic view of the hills undulating down to the Mediterranean was so vast that the owners, Aurora and Carlo Baccheschi Berti, wanted to share it: around 15 years ago, rebuilding walls and towers, they created five suites, two rooms and a spa, and planted their terraces with roses and lavender. The wine, vegetables and olive oil come from the estate, meat and cheese from neighboring farms. A welcome as gentle as the Italian light, an hour north of Siena.
Castello di vicarello
Poggi del Sasso.Tél. +39 0564 990 718.www.castellodivicarello.com
In the 1830s, Hokusai did 36 Views of Mount Fuji. Since 2015, the Hoshinoya has offered a 37thyours, from one of the 40 minimalist yet comfortable cabin-rooms in the best glamping tradition. Stacked together on a hillside clad in red pines, each has a view of Fuji and a balcony with a brazier that serves as a campfire. Between you and the mountain lies the mirror-like Kawaguchi. The wooden Cloud Terrace has low-slung chairs for idling as you ponder your next activity (bike ride, walk, horseback riding), or merely lolling about.