This Sunday night we will be donning our red carpet frocks and tuning in to the Oscars, where the best of the best will receive accolades and awards for excellence in film. In the same spirit, Sally and Alice Travel Co. would like to announce the winners of our annual Travel Academy Awards. Just like film, travel has the ability to affect us all differently – some destinations can evoke wonder and excitement, some can even change lives.
BEST ORIGINAL STORY
Fifteen years ago, in a break from her work as a designer for cinema, theatre and her own fashion brand, Ellis Flyte travelled to Pemba, the smallest island in the faraway archipelago of Zanzibar. Here she discovered a place that captured her imagination, and wouldn’t let go. She soon returned to the remote beach, and, with the help of architect Emma Garstang and her business partners Brian Henson, Alex Lewis and Marcus Lewis, created a hotel called Fundu Lagoon. They all agreed that the surrounding environment should be altered as little as possible. Today Fundu Lagoon is not only widely considered one of the top beach resorts in East Africa, it also remains as rustic as was always intended – built with natural materials, accessible only by boat and solar powered.
Fundu Lagoon would like to thank you for this award...and in return are offering an incredible ‘stay 7 nights pay only 4′ deal throughout 2015, valid for stays in Hillside and Beachfront rooms.
BEST NEW TALENT
We are very excited to announce that Sally and Alice Travel Co. are now organising luxury holidays and honeymoons to India! Vibrant, tumultuous, welcoming, fascinating, rewarding, humbling – describing India in one word is far too difficult. It’s a huge and varied country, so our advice to first-timers would be to take on a manageable chunk and do it justice, with the understanding that you will be back for more.
Sally and Alice are thrilled to accept this award on behalf of India and would like to thank you all…by offering a complimentary dinner for 2 at the very lovely Dera Amer. And what the heck we will throw in an elephant ride too! Valid for any trip to Rajasthan booked before 31st March 2015
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
And the winner is…Jack’s Camp in Botswana. The camp itself is magical – a registered museum, set amidst giant fan palms, it houses an incredible collection of bones, skulls, paintings, photos and maps all belonging to owner Ralph Bousfield, whose family have run the camp for generations. But it’s the stunning scenery of the surrounding Makgadikgadi Pans National Park that has won this award for Jack’s…and the most exciting way to appreciate the beauty and sheer scale of the pans is on quad bike.
Jack’s Camps operate an epic quad bike expedition to Kubu Island across Ntwetwe Pan, an extraordinary traverse of between 400 – 600 km depending on the seasons and route taken. It is seldom in one’s life that you can drive fast in a straight line for miles without any obstacles in your way, basking in the space and nothingness of this vast lunar expanse. On the horizon an extrusion of granite shapes announces your arrival to Kubu; one of the most graphically beautiful spots in Botswana, studded with boulders and centuries old giant baobabs and full of intriguing detail, such as stone walls, trade and Bushman beads. Guests sleep out under the stars in comfy bedrolls.
Jack’s Camp is THRILLED to win this award…and would thus like to offer complimentary return flights from Maun for any 3 night stay in April and May 2015 (a huge saving!).
BEST SOUND EFFECTS
The sound of gently lapping waves has been putting babies and insomniacs to sleep for decades and it’s for this same mesmeric sound that we have awarded Best Sound Effects to Gili Lankanfushi, an all overwater resort set on a small coral island in the Maldives.
Each of Gili’s 45 sprawling treehouses on stilts are spread across 3 different jettys whilst the Crusoe Residences are completely detached from both the jetties and main island and are accessible only by boat (each villa is allocated its own rowing boat). Gili also have an overwater spa, overwater restaurant, overwater bar….you get the drift, it’s all about the water here! Indeed the whole island is like an open air aquarium – there’s a great house reef and you can snorkel direct from your villa (we saw lots of reef sharks and sting rays whilst sitting on our deck).
Oh wow, Gili can’t believe this honour and would like to thank you…by offering a complimentary night’s stay for every 4 nights you book. Book your dream holiday 60 days in advance and they’ll also throw in complimentary half board!
We’ve had the good fortune of staying several times at Garonga Safari Camp in South Africa. This is a place that abounds in special touches – the canvas tents are simple yet stylish, there’s a bush spa and even a sleep out platform for the more adventurous guests. But the stand out thing about Garonga is the relaxed and informal atmosphere – you really feel like you’re staying at a friend’s house, and this is very much thanks to the wonderful owner Bernie Smith (Sally and Alice love to promote owner run properties for this very reason). This feedback sums him up perfectly; “We had our wedding at Garonga in Jan 2014, and couldn’t have wished for a more perfect setting…When they say ‘All Inclusive’ it really is, – we got heavily stuck into the bar on many occasion and Bernie the owner – rather than worrying what we were drinking too much – just encouraged us with other cocktail ideas! “
Bernie and Garonga would like to thank you for this award…and in return they are offering a fabulous deal, ‘stay 5 nights and get 1 free’.
BEST SET DESIGN
The Royal Mansour in Marrakech took 1,000 Moroccan craftsmen 3.5 years to build from the ground up. It is a breath taking tribute to Moroccan style, design, and elegance.
Tucked within the city walls, the 3.5-hectare site has been contrived as a sort of medina-within-the-medina, an estate of 53 two-storey riads, each individually decorated and serviced via a network of subterranean tunnels. In addition to at least one bedroom, sitting room and roof top terrace with pool, many of the riads have their own dining rooms for guests who seek completely privacy.
Royal Mansour is honoured to win in this esteemed category and would like to thank you all…by offering a last minute special, stay 3 nights for the price of 2 until March 15th.
SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
As our award ceremony draws to a close we’d like to thank Campi Ya Kanzi in Kenya for their ongoing commitment to responsible tourism. The camp is just a 45 min flight from Nairobi, in the Chyulu Hills (where Hemingways ‘Green Hills of Africa’ is set) overlooking Mt.Kilimanjaro. Owners Luca and Antonella live at the camp with their three young children. Not only are they fabulous hosts, they also fund and operate a number of projects under the banner of the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust (FYI, Oscar nominee Edward Norton is a board member and often runs the NYC Marathon with the Maasai guides to raise awareness and money for the charity).
Aside from the usual activities on offer at a safari camp i.e. walks and game drives, they also encourage guests to get involved with the projects i.e. during our stay they were collaring lions to monitor their movements, we also visited one of the 20 local primary schools they support.
LIVE LIKE AN OSCAR WINNER
This Sunday we’ll be backing Eddie Redmayne for his performance in The Theory of Everything. If he wins? He should make like an Oscar winner by heading out to Azura Benguerra’s Presidential Villa in southern Mozambique. We will offer Eddie (and all of our readers) a last minute special - stays booked in the Presidential Villa or Villa Amizade for a minimum of 4 nights will qualify for a 40% discount on the entire stay. The luxurious Presidential Villa is able to accommodate a maximum of 4 adults and 2 children, perfect for families. Valid until 31st March 2015
If you want to avoid having a Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel experience, contact Sally and Alice Travel Co.:firstname.lastname@example.org