DEPARTURES

BEYOND THE VIEWS

Aroom with a view is always nice. But the world’s most indulgent accommodations go beyond sweeping vistas to offer sumptuous interiors, next-level service, and a dash of the unexpected—from a romantic open-air treehouse in Kruger National Park to a butler-serviced private riad in Marrakech complete with lavish rooftop terrace and home cinema. Take a peek inside:
 

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Grand Riad at Royal Mansour

A four-bedroom oasis spread across three floors, this “medina within a medina” offers palatial-style design, private butler service, and a terracotta roof terrace inlaid with mosaics and offering sweeping views of the Atlas Mountain. Interiors are a vision of stucco lace, heavy drapery, Murano chandeliers, and a riotous mix of colorful wallpaper and precious stones. The ground floor opens onto a private garden with a retractable roof, while a cast iron elevator whisks you to the floors above, where each of the bedrooms has dressing rooms and private bathrooms. Other spaces include a dining room with billiards, a library for artful lounging, a neoclassical-style dining room, and the roof terrace with a plunge pool, Bedouin tent, and hammam.

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Private Reserve at Gili Lankanfushi

A Robinson Crusoe fantasy come to life, the Private Reserve at Gili Lankanfushi is the world’s largest overwater villa, stretching across the Indian Ocean in multi-level tiers. Guests spend their days lounging by the infinity-edge pool and in the overwater catamaran nets; working out in the air-conditioned gym; pampering themselves with treatments at the private couples’ spa (complete with a steam room and indoor/outdoor treatment rooms); and sliding down the top-deck waterslide into turquoise waters. By night, enjoy movie screenings at the private cinema, and retire in the guestrooms (of which there are two en suite master bedrooms and a guest suite), which have doors that open to the breathtaking scenery. Other perks of the Private Reserve include a fully-equipped kitchen and the option to curate your own wine selection from the 400-label cellar.

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Ian Fleming Villa at GoldenEye

Situated within the GoldenEye resort, this villa is tucked away in a private garden, where it’s hidden by tall trees and tropical foliage. It’s here that acclaimed British novelist Ian Fleming wrote all 14 James Bond books, inspired by the lush scenery and the three-bedroom villa he designed to his own specifications. A dedicated butler is on hand to make your every wish a reality, while a chef can whip up Jamaican specialties and martinis (shaken, never stirred) to be enjoyed in outdoor settings like a sunken garden or on the private beach, where there’s a grill built into the side of a rocky cliff. Each of the villa’s three bedrooms has its own tropical garden area with a clawfoot tub and a garden shower, setting the scene for relaxation en plein air. There are also two private stand-alone one-bedroom cottages on site for larger groups or families.

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Producer Suite at The Chatwal New York

Guests of the Producer Suite will feel they’ve traveled back in time to New York’s heyday. Designed by French architect Thierry Despont, the expansive suite harks back to the city’s Art Deco past with its bold colors, geometric shapes, and a spiral staircase that spans two floors, leading to a panoramic roof terrace with views spanning over west 44th street and Manhattan’s skyline. Stretch out on a lounger enjoying the vistas of the city’s most iconic landmarks, and order room service for the ultimate New York power lunch. Butler services ensures you won’t have to lift a finger.

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andBeyond Ngala Treehouse

It’s impossible not to feel a sense of child-like wonder as you sleep under the stars at the Ngala Treehouse, surrounded by the wilds of Kruger National Park. The four-floor treehouse offers the ultimate thrill—of being one with nature— while drifting off to the sights and sounds of the forest, far from the distraction of civilization. Enjoy sundowner drinks and a starlit dinner picnic on the upper deck, then retire to the elevated sleepout platform for sleeping outdoors under a retractable screen (there’s also a covered and weatherproof space should you want to move indoors). And just because you’re off the grid doesn’t mean you have to go without the conveniences of a hot shower or a flushing toilet. Talk about the best of both worlds!

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