Tags: bay | of | naples | namibia

Luxe Travel: Bay of Naples Serenade Beckons, Passion in Portofino

Thursday, 21 Aug 2008 11:45 AM

By Karen Bartlett

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  • Bay of Naples Serenade Beckons

  • Passion in Portofino

  • Get Extravagant in Costa Rica

  • Posh Cheetah Stalking in Namibia

  • Rugged Luxury and Polar Bears in Ontario

    Bay of Naples Serenade Beckons

    From its commanding vantage point 1,000 feet above the Bay of Naples on the Isle of Capri, a 56-room mansion occupies a historic site that has hosted nobility and celebrity since the 9th century A.D.

    Now, like the greatest emperors of Rome, you can drink in the most spectacular view in the Roman Empire, from Mount Vesuvius and the Sorrentine Peninsula, to faraway Ischia.

    If you’re more inclined to conquer a heart than an empire, I highly recommend the honeymoon package, the highlight of which is a private serenata caprese sung beneath your balcony. There’s also champagne, flowers, gifts, a candlelight gourmet dinner, and a private island tour by land or water.

    You’ll want the regal Suite Caesar, with grand windows, Jacuzzi, and a staircase to the cliff-top infinity pool that appears to flow into the sea. Two nights, including breakfasts, taxes and service: about $5,200. Visit www.caesar-augustus.com.

    Passion in Portofino

    Ah, Portofino . . . that much-imitated romantic fishing village at the top of Italy’s boot. On a cliff high above, is an extremely private, 12-acre estate drenched in the scent of jasmine, orange blossoms, and the lemon trees for which it is named.

    La Limoncello comes with five bedrooms, four baths, and a private pool with swim-up rock bar. Also included is a maid, a butler, and a gardener. Terraces and balconies afford sensuous views of the coast, yachts in the harbor, and the shops, cafes, and pastel-colored houses below.

    If all that’s not romantic enough, there are fragrant gardens, and — of course — a vine-covered trellis. A week of all this romance this fall is $22,500, and it comes with a welcome gourmet Italian dinner and area tour.

    La Limoncello is represented by Sylvia Delvaille-Jones, CEO of Villas and Apartments Abroad. Go to vaanyc.com.

    Get Extravagant in Costa Rica

    NatureVacations offers a nine-day, absolute indulgence Costa Rican adventure for travelers with a conscience as well as a generous vacation budget.

    You’ll start with a chartered rainforest-meets-beach sightseeing flight by NatureAir, the world's first 100 percent carbon-neutral airline. You’ll spend plenty of time on private guided tours into the tropical rainforest, and your encounters with three-toed sloths and howler monkeys will be balanced with world-class fishing expeditions and sunset catamaran sails. There’s even golf on a lush Arnold Palmer championship course.

    Your accommodations will include the presidential suite at Issimo Suites and the luxurious Canopy Suite at the Four Seasons, where you can expect candle-lit jacuzzis, personal plunge pools, gracious service, and world class amenities. The best-of-everything “Millionaires Vacation” starts at $12,200 per person. Explore www.naturevacations.com.

    Posh Cheetah Stalking in Namibia

    Imagine an Africa of mountain ranges and stark deserts, moist woodlands, vast thorn-tree savannahs, and the largest sculpted sand dunes in the world. Picture yourself stalking cheetahs, not in an open Land Rover, but on foot.

    "Fabulously Namibia" is a seven-day luxury air charter safari along Africa’s southern coast that includes a leopard safari, bushman walks, and a chance to get up close and personal with four of the big five African game animals.

    Your luxe accommodations include two nights in a stone and glass suite at the Sossusvlei Mountain Lodge in the heart of the Namib Desert, and a chalet at The Stiltz, with breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and the sand dunes. Next is Okonjima Lodge, home of the AfriCat Foundation. Your final destination is the luxurious Mushara Lodge, at the edge of Etosha National Park, Namibia’s largest game park.

    Private air charters, lodging, meals, and safaris are all included. Go first class at $48,000 for two, including airfare from New York. Tantalizing details at www.abenteuerafrika.com.

    Rugged Luxury and Polar Bears

    “High-End Rugged,” says the brochure for your polar bear adventure in Ontario, Canada’s remote north. Which translates into a private charter flight to the wild coastline of Hudson Bay, where nearly two-thirds of the world’s polar bears and lots of beluga whales live.

    Your rugged luxury involves sleeping bags and gourmet native cuisine prepared and served by your personal chefs. Just bring your camera, clothes, and toothbrush. All outdoor gear, guides, and interpretive programs are provided.

    The five-day wilderness trip is $1,800 per person. This is a great one for adventuring with the grandkids. Show them the pictures at www.moccasintrailtours.com.

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