Short cuts: La Maremma, Como Hotels and 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin

The 25hours Hotel Bikini in Berlin

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Tuscany

With its ancient villages, sandy beaches and Etruscan remains, La Maremma is increasingly the Tuscan destination of choice for discerning Romans. For the moment, it remains largely terra incognita for foreigners but London-based Italy specialist Bellini Travel has added two alluring villas to its books, notably Villa Mariella (sleeps 10), near Capalbio, 6km from the sea. Built in the 1930s, it is the stylish yet lived-in property of the artist Sandro Chia. The extensive gardens feature a 12m pool and a pomegranate orchard but the estate’s main attraction is that it also contains the Giardino dei Tarocchi, a sculpture garden created by Niki de Saint Phalle that is to some extent Italy’s answer to Barcelona’s Parc Güell. It is open to the public but before or after hours – it is especially magical at dusk – guests at Villa Mariella can let themselves in, with their aperitivi, and wander among the 22 monumental mosaic- and mirror-covered installations. From €10,000 a week, including the services of a highly rated cook. bellinitravel.com


Miami Beach

Como Hotels opens its second new property of the year (after Point Yamu in Phuket) and its first in the US on February 18. Metropolitan by Como is the Singapore-based hotelier’s reinvention of the until-recently dilapidated Traymore Hotel, which opened in 1939 but has just been spirited sensitively into the 21st century by Italian designer Paola Navone. Rooms from $629; comohotels.com/metropolitanmiamibeach


Berlin

For the best part of two decades new hotels in the German capital have tended to be in Mitte but with the Waldorf Astoria, Das Stue and, since last week, the curiously named 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin, the focus of attention is moving west again to the area surrounding the zoo. Located in a 10-storey tower that forms part of the agglomeration of 1950s buildings known as the Bikinihaus, this latest addition has views into the zoo’s monkey and elephant enclosures and has what one might call rough-luxe interiors designed by Studio Aisslinger, which has taken the phrase “urban jungle” as its theme, with vertical gardens, indoor greenhouses, exposed concrete, unsanded wood, neon and hammocks, even indoors. All of which makes the hotel’s partnership with BMW somewhat puzzling, although, that said, it is rare for a hotel to include the use of a Mini in its room rates. Rooms from €89; 25hours-hotels.com


Australia

The term “private jet” doesn’t ordinarily conjure thoughts of 70-seater aircraft, so it’s as well to note that Abercrombie & Kent’s “Private Jet Journey” to “Australia’s Last Frontier” actually involves sharing a Fokker F70LR with 14 other couples. Still, if you want to cover most of Australia inside a fortnight – starting in Perth on August 26, finishing in Darwin and taking in the Karijini National Park, Ningaloo Marine Park, Kununurra (for its galleries of Aboriginal art), the Bungle Bungles, Mount Borradaile, Arnhem Land, Rio Tinto’s Tom Price open-cut iron-ore mine and more – there is no more time-efficient way to do it. From £15,925 per person, all inclusive.abercrombiekent.co.uk

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