Enticing journeys off the radar

The world is growing smaller by the minute but the quest for idiosyncratic resor ts and cruises endures.

During breakfast at the new Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village, Ca. I met the public relations director of yet another new Four Seasons Hotel that just opened in Provence. This French masterpiece has 115 suites, each with a private terrace. You’ll find paradise a mere 20 minute drive from the Cannes-Mandelieu Airport in this undiscovered corner of Provence, outside the villages of Tourrettes and Fayence. Unwind and steep in the fragrant “Le Spa,” where lavender and chamomile seduce the senses. The resort’s Spa Café is passionate about fresh, healthy cuisine. Amidst mountains, forest and medieval villages are two world-class golf courses surrounding the Four Seasons Golf Club Provence, a situation unique in France. For the utmost in privacy, reserve the Villa Terre Blanch; it is the largest villa in the resort, with 3,229 square feet and dining for eight, not to mention the private swimming pool.

For another geographically challenging spa, experience the Evason Hideaway and Six-Senses Spa at Zighy Bay, showcasing 85-pool villas, on the northern Musandam Peninsula in the Sultanate of Oman. The soft opening is scheduled for May, with the “full” opening slated for January 2008, so you can beat the crowd . This is the perfect solution for the spa goer seeking aromatherapy, scrubs and magical massage in an exotic setting.

If the concept “Soft Living Places” sounds enticing, find your way to one or all of four hotels in this innovative group-the Green Park Resort in Tirrenia, Pisa, Italy is the ideal “soft” place to recover after a hard climb up the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The Green Park has a spacious spa with a tantalizing spa menu ideal for travelers going onward to Tuscany.

Once you discover that a roundtrip ticket between Paris and Pisa, among other European cities, can be as little as $125 (based on the Euro ) on easyjet.com, Europe suddenly seems more affordable! Anthony Grant, editor of the Harper Collins Access Paris said, “This is the European spin on Southwest Airlines, and deals abound. Book early.”

If all of these destinations are racking up more frequent flyer mileage than you need, get in your car and drive to Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort in Pismo Beach, Ca. for treatments comparable to any world class spa menu. A 90-minute Color, Sound and Aroma Therapy and Healing Session navigates you through a stunning but serene chakra balancing experience.


Now, that you have your act together investigate Travel Dynamics International a rather esoteric cruise company with all-suite ships circumnavigating the seven seas in style while exploring natural and cultural treasures. Guest lecturers are scholars in their respective fields and take the mystery out of uncommon ports such as Port-Gentil, Gabon and Nouakchott, Mauritania. Ponder this, as you may be the only one at your next soiree able to describe an afternoon on Bioko Island in Equatorial Guinea or how you spent a few hours at a traditional Berber Encampment in Nouadhibou, a former French Colony.

And, for all that flying around, here’s a tip for better dining while in the air-forget those abysmal airline generated Bistro Bags that pass for food. If you want to fly in unadulterated luxury, know that Singapore Airlines now has the utmost in in-flight dining, with nine of the world’s top chefs and culinary experts such as Nancy Oakes, owner of the Boulevard in San Francisco, creating signature world gourmet cuisine.

Contact Information:

_ Four Seasons Provence: www.fourseasons.com/provence

__Evason Hideaway and Six Senses Spa at Zighy Bay: www.sixsenses.com/hideaway-zighybay

__Green Park Resort: www.greenparkresort.com


__Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort: www.sycamoresprings.com

__Travel Dynamics International: www.TravelDynamicsInternational.com

__Singapore Airlines: www.singaporeair.com/usa

Pamela Price is the coauthor of “100 Best Spas of the World” published by www.globepequot.com

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The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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