Villas with a View

These seven luxurious private accommodations come with front row seats to the world’s most magical spectacles.

Dujour.com | Written by Maggie Parker

1. Vomo Resort Fiji

00c7554d0bf9When it comes to landscapes, the best seats are in the nosebleed section. While all the villas at Vomo Resort in Fiji are spectacular, the hillside villas offer uninterrupted panoramas of Fiji’s clear blue water, the coral that lies beneath it and the resort’s other private island, Vomo Lailai. Enjoy the view from your own private terrace.

2. The Royal Pavilion Villas by Qasr al Arab

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The Royal Pavilion Villas by Qasr Al Arab places the world’s largest stretch of uninterrupted sand desert at your doorstep. The complex of 10 one-bedroom villas is surrounded by rolling golden hills that seem to go on forever, making it hard to find anything but a breathtaking perspective.

3. IHG Bora Bora

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While any of the Intercontinental Bora Bora Resort‘s overwater villas provide jaw-dropping views, it’s hard not to be partial to the Otemanu mountain view villas. Take in the volcano’s dramatic peak that rises 2,400 feet above the lagoon from your private pontoon or from one of the many huge glass windows that adorn the villa walls.

4. La Corte del Lago

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Vacation like George and Amal in your own private historic villa with undisturbed views of Lake Como at La Corte del Lago. Enjoy landscapes of the lake and the mountains that surround it from one of the house’s seven bedrooms or the private gardens.

5. Villa Honegg Garden House

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While the Swiss Alps are famed for their snow-covered slopes, their peaks are stunning all year-round. For the best view, book a stay at Villa Honegg’s Garden House, where you be situated 3,000 feet above Lake Lucerne and surrounded by mountains. The enchanting views of the vast lake and alps are unimaginably better from your own private villa nestled into the landscape.

6. Luangwa Safari House

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If you stay at the Luangwa Safari House, you don’t need to head out into the bush on a jeep to spot elephants or impalas. While the Neil Rocher-designed four-bedroom villa attracts luxury-seeking travelers from all over the world, it’s not the house that entices the animals. Located on the edge of a lagoon system, the surrounding area is frequented by large herds of elephants, impalas and giraffes that use the lagoon as a source of water and food, so don’t be frightened if you notice a herd of elephants waltzing by your bathroom window. That’s the norm.

7. Casa Palopo

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What could be better than a villa with a view of a magnificent lake and a volcano? A villa with a view of said lake and multiple volcanoes, which is exactly what you get when staying in Casa Palopo‘s two-bedroom villa. This boutique hotel in Guatemala is perched above the 1,000-feet-deep Lake Atitlan framed by various volcanic peaks, including Toliman, Atitlán and San Pedro. Enjoy this one-of-a-kind view lounging by the villa’s private pool as your butler pours you a glass of wine.

Summer Favorites – Pool Chasing

With the last few weeks of summer coming into fruition, we’re grasping onto those final days of our favorite season by giving you the TOP 7 pools to take your breath away. Whether it’s a killer view, a jaw-dropping location or just unbelievable architecture, WGY is bringing you the best of the best.

Amangiri — Canyon Point, Utah

Amangiri — Canyon Point, Utah

Conrad Maldives – Rangali Island

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

Grace, Santorini – Greece

Grace Santorini

Grand Wailea – Kihei, HI

Grand Wailea


Hôtel Du Cap, Eden-Roc – Antibes, France

HÔTEL DU CAP-EDEN-ROC

The San Alfonso del Mar – Valparaíso, Chile

The San Alfonso del Mar

Ubud, Hanging Gardens – Bali, Indonesia

Ubud Hanging Gardens 

Do these shots have you lusting for a getaway? It’s not too late! Indulge with WGY.

For more information on any of these destinations or for booking information and special custom packaging, please contact WGY at (888)-WGY-0808 or info@wgylifestyle.com

Travel + Leisure: World’s Best Islands 2015!

These top 10 Island destinations of 2015 will surely trigger your lust for vacation.

Travel + Leisure | World’s Best Islands by Melanie Lieberman

No. 10 Malta

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History aficionados have long-loved this Mediterranean nation, evidence that you don’t need palm trees or daiquiris to be one of the world’s most tantalizing islands. Malta has been overrun by every major empire in the region, from the Phoenicians to the Byzantines, the British to the 1.5 million tourists who flock to the island’s colorful shores. Limestone cliffs are dotted with baroque churches, crumbling castle walls, and fortresses. The capital, Valletta, squeezes half a millennium of history into half a square mile, with forts and stairways that crest in unparalleled harbor views. With the debut of a new Renzo Piano-designed open-air theater, visitors can now marvel at the contrast of 21st and 16th-century architecture. Head to the Gozo for a reprieve from Valletta’s frenetic energy—it’s here that Odysseus is rumored to have spent seven years after the Trojan War. Take one look at this handsome Bronze Age island, set between Sicily and the North African coast, and you won’t blame him.

No. 9 Great Barrier Reef Islands, Australia

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A vast, 1,600-mile sweep of coral reef unfurls from the northeastern tip of Australia, teeming with more than 400 species of marine life spanning from the great baleen whales to thorny urchins. Divers can be found year-round in this labyrinth of 3,000 plus individual reefs, one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World and the largest living feature on Earth, made from billions of coral polyps. Of all the region’s castaway islands (approximately 900) it’s the Whitesundays, at the threshold of this coral paradise, that we love most, thanks in large part to the blinding-white strip of sand known as Whitehaven Beach. The spectacular biodiversity is reflected in the incredible mélange of resorts scattered amongst the Great Barrier Reef. While the enormous, 244-room Hayman Island has acres of marble flooring and a swimming pool seven-times the Olympic standard, modest Qualia has 60 intimate bungalows outfitted with private terraces and kwila hardwood.

No. 8 Kauai, Hawaii

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Kauai, the oldest Hawaiian Island, formed when lava bubbled up from the ocean floor 5 million years. To this day, it maintains a certain sense of dignity that is not uncommon amongst the community’s elders. For example, it’s defiantly more low-key than its glamorous sibling to the east, though no less dramatic. Can’t-miss sights include Pali Ke Kua, or Hideaways beach, kept secret by towering black lava walls, as well as the Waimea Canyon and Na Pali Coast, both banded by scenic hiking trails and switchbacks. Development isn’t unheard of here; Kauai has its famed golf courses and high-profile resorts. But nature still asserts itself in the form of the spiked Anahola Mountains and the bluffs above Hanelai Bay. From here, you get what may arguably the most impressive vista in the state: clouds evaporating over a perfect crescent moon of beach.

No. 7 Maui, Hawaii

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Hawaii’s golden child appeals to everyone from gilded Hollywood celebrities to barefooted surfers. It’s a veritable melting pot for the next generation, complete with buzzy cosmopolitan neighborhoods and ultra-chic resorts (enter the new Andaz Maui at Wailea with three infinity pools and an open-air lobby) as well as breathtaking natural sights to seduce visitors and natives with intrinsic force. Begin your trip with the quintessential sunrise bike ride to the 10,023-foot volcanic crater of Haleakala, or the white-knuckle scenic drive to Hana. Stop at Oheo Gulch, a string of waterfalls and ponds in Hana, for an obligatory dip.

No. 6 Moorea, French Polynesia

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This heart-shaped island levitating on the South Seas has convinced even the most selective travelers that there is such a thing as paradise on Earth, thanks to impossibly blue lagoons and rugged, rainforest-blanketed mountains. The less-trafficked sister island of Bora Bora offers coconut-strewn beaches and an intoxicating aroma of vanilla, grapefruit, and Tahitian gardenia, as well as thatched bungalows at luxe properties such as the InterContinental and views of Tahiti, only 11 miles away, at The Sofitel Moorea la Ora Beach Resort. Friendly Tahitians are full of local lore. It’s believed that the beaches along Cook and Opunohu Bays was formed by the tail of a giant yellow lizard, and that—perhaps more believably—James Michener’s novel, Tales of the south Pacific, was inspired by this otherworldly land.

No. 5 Santorini, Greece

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Everything is brighter on Santorini, where blanched-white houses and blue-domed churches erupt down the sides of an ancient caldera. Highlights include the black sands of Perissa Beach, the richly preserved, prehistoric Akrotíri settlement, best known as the “Minoan Pompeii,” and the postcard-worthy sunsets over Oia, the cliff-top village that is one of the most photographed spots in the world. Book a room at Perivolas, an adults-only resort housed in 300-year-old cave-carved dwellings that feel anything but primeval with a selection of honey and herb-scented Apivita toiletries, and an infinity pool that seems to pour into the Aegean Sea.

No. 4 Tasmania, Australia

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Readers raved about this Australian state, calling it a little known treasure that’s unmatched by any other island destination. Its diverse and stunning landscape is nearly hallucinatory: rolling dunes covered in psychedelic banksia wildflowers, granite formations that erupt from the beaches, and the wonder of the tessellated pavement at Eaglehawk Neck. Trek the 600,000 acres of pristine coastal wilderness and look out for hyena-like Tasmanian devils, wallabies, and the duckbill platypus. Despite its remote location, Tasmania has a freestyle culinary scene, thanks to local ingredients like handpicked sea lettuce, local game like opossum, and organic Tassie wine. Best of all? The air is as clean as it is in Antarctica, making it the ideal place to take a breather.

No. 3 Maldives

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The world’s lowest-lying nation has no land more than six feet above sea level, meaning a trip to the Maldives is truly about communing with the warm, ebbing tides. Many hotels are built directly over the sparkling azure waters, and the best take full advantage of the otherworldly real estate. Coral nurseries, underwater nightclubs, and feasts enjoyed on floating pontoons are just a few of the luxury trappings travelers might encounter here. Snorkeling and scuba diving appeal to both romance-seeking couples and adventurous families. Feeling fatigued? Unwind on any one of the white-sand beaches or sand bars scattered throughout the reefs and atolls.

No. 2 Bali, Indonesia

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Of all the tropical islands that comprise Indonesia (17,508 to be exact) the mystical island of Bali outshines them all. With its rice paddies, ornate Hindu temples and rocky headlands, it’s the country’s crown jewel. Head to Sanur to watch the watch the sun bleed over the horizon in the mornings, or to Besakih, the holiest and most mystical temple at the slopes of Mount Agung. The island’s dreamscapes may be silver screen-worthy, but the island is making cultural relevance a prominent part of any journey. Take a cooking class (think duck curry and black-rice porridge with papaya soup), peruse contemporary Balinese art, and participate in a traditional blessing ceremony for complete immersion in Indonesia’s heritage.

No. 1 Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

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This wildlife-filled archipelago, hundreds of miles off Ecuador’s shores, has long tempted thrill-seekers and photography enthusiasts with its pods of sea lions, flightless cormorants, the world’s only seafaring lizards, and short-feathered penguins that dart casually across the equator. Volcanic landscapes and beaches relatively untouched by tourism are best seen by sea, and cruise ships, such as Silversea’s 100-passenger Silver Galápagos, pair travelers with naturalists for a truly educational experience. Luxury in this isolated ecosystem took an evolutionary leap with the debut of Pikaia Lodge, a carbon-neutral, five-star resort with its own giant tortoise reserve, which lets you explore the islands at your own pace—with the help of a private yacht, of course.

Nikki Beach to Debut in the Middle East

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Ready, set, Dubai! Nikki Beach Hotels & Resorts is set to debut their first property in the Middle East this Fall and we’ve got it on our radar! The 52,000 square meter beach front resort in Pearl Jumeira, Dubai will boast 400 meters of private, pristine beach, the signature Nikki Beach Club & Restaurant, Café Nikki, a California-style Seafood Restaurant, an Ultra-VIP Lounge, Nikki Spa by ESPA, Tone fitness center with personal training services, classes, custom designed tennis courts, and recreational water sports, along with state-of-the-art meeting spaces and various outdoor event venues.

The Resort & Spa will consist of a boutique hotel comprised of 117 creative rooms and suites, 15 beach front villas alongside 61 luxurious lifestyle units featuring one to four bedroom residences, townhouses and penthouses. Private pools, outdoor showers, spacious rooftop terraces and unparalleled views of the Dubai skyline and Arabian Gulf are just a few of the unique elements resort guests and residents will enjoy.

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A harmonious balance of modern architecture, chic design, serene color palette and clean lines will shape the interiors of the property. The picturesque views and intuitive flux between indoor and outdoor spaces will create the perfect escape from the busy, bustling streets of Dubai.

Positioned to open during the 4th quarter of 2015, this elite property will be a must-see for the traveler who enjoys exclusive retreats, never-ending champagne alongside a mix of low and high energy venues and a luxurious lifestyle.

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First Class Pets: Luxury Travel

You deserve the ultimate VIP treatment, but you already knew that; it’s one of the main reasons you’ve joined the WGY family. So isn’t it undeniable your pet should enjoy the same benefits as you? American Airlines certainly seems to think so; introducing their brand new personal first class pet cabins!

This remarkable new system, offered to all First-class flyers at an additional $125 per ticket, gives you the option to place your furry friend in their very own personal ventilated cabin, located right next to your seat. Want some cuddle time during the flight? No biggie, your animal can still sit on your lap or at your feet during the flight!

While many airlines currently allow you to travel with your pets under your seat, American Airlines is revolutionizing the pet travel industry (and making it a whole lot less stressful) by going above and beyond with its one-of-a-kind “pet cabin.” American Airlines has made this available on its fleet of A321T aircrafts for small dogs and cats above the age of 8 weeks old. There will be two carriers per plane, so make sure to reserve in advance.

Get ready to grab the pup, sit back and enjoy the ride. It’s vacation time!

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The Best of Bali

One of our favorite parts about our job is questing every country and city throughout the world to find the best, most luxurious hotels, culinary scenes, nightlife venues, shopping destinations and more. Essentially, we’re yearning for those must-visit locations so WGY Lifestyle could give you a dream vacation. We don’t just visit the hotspots an average jetsetter might find online; we travel (first class, obviously), visit, speak to locals and do whatever it takes to make sure we’ve got the crème de la crème for our members.

This week, we’ve got Bali on our mind! Check out our top picks for what to do and where to go when visiting this living postcard.

1. Villa at Pepper Seminyak

Pepper SeminyakWhen it comes to hotel accommodations, we have to give a shout out to Pepper Seminyak. The world-class luxury resort is located on the Southwestern coast of Bali. This oasis is nestled between tropical gardens and lotus ponds while featuring private pools, teak decks and designer loungers to add an extra oomph of relaxation.

2. Potato Head

Potato HeadClaimed as a Bali institution, Potato Head Beach Club is not your typical lunch spot but rather one of the best holiday destinations in the world (says Condé Nast Traveller). Found in Seminyak, you’ll experience beautiful architecture, an outdoor lawn, two bars, two restaurants and an infinity view overlooking the Indian Ocean; it’s a spot that’s definitely not to miss.

3. Sunset at Rok Bar

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Located at the Ayana Resort, at Rok Bar you’ll find 360 degrees of good vibes, great drinks and most importantly, a view to leave you breathless. This innovative open-top bar is perched upon natural rock, 45 feet above Jimbaran Bay, facing the ocean. Voted as one best bars in Bali, we’d recommend checking it out during sunset over and over again.

4. Ku De Ta

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With 15 years of delicious experience under their belts, Ku De Ta is one of our all-time favorite restaurants to grab dinner and one of the most desired dining locations in Bali. With a menu that serves gourmet global cuisine with a Mediterranean twist, you’ll discover a delicious collision of when art meets fine dining.

5. Nikki Beach

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While you may think you know Nikki Beach, this Bali venue brings you a new vision of luxury with a picture-perfect beachfront scene. Upon arrival, you’ll enjoy refreshing cocktails, endless champagne and panoramic views of the Indian Ocean. Lounge (or dance) upon plush white sun beds and enjoy lunch, bottle service and music. Looking to go for a dip? The party doesn’t stop when you get in the water thanks to their underwater speakers and swim up bar.

6. Uluwatu

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After all of your traveling, you’re going to need some downtime. We’re in love with the beaches in Uluwatu. Our favorite secret beach spot is the perfect hideaway to camp out and escape the world that you left behind, so make sure to check out Bingin beach. Free of tourists, you’ll find crystal waters, sandy beaches and a sun that will leave you glowing.

7. Ubud

Ubud

This spiritual town in the heart of Bali is famous for being the center of art, culture and music, as well as the famous hotel, The Hanging Gardens (home to one of the most beautiful pools in the world). Here you’ll find scenic rice fields and small villages upon its Holy River and amazing mountains. While it’s rumored that most of the magic of Ubud is hidden, it’s definitely a treasure hunt worth uncovering.