September 2016 · From the remote and less frequented islands of Thailand to the unending expanse of the Caribbean beaches of the Dominican Republic, there is so much in between to see and be humbled by. World Travel Magazine highlights a selection of 50 luxury properties across the world that are currently pushing the trend in opulence and style. The beauty of nature and the temptation of exploring the wilderness has been man’s basic instinct. Capitalising on this potential, governments, hoteliers and naturalists have come together in many of the properties on this list to preserve the environment and at the same time make it accessible. Many of the properties are designated UNESCO protected sites. Beaches, forests, vibrant cities, popular tourist friendly townships and old restored properties are featured here as well. It is a fascinating read for it reveals not just options for the traveller but also the zest, endurance and passion that went in to transform a vision into life." />

Lux Tea Horse Road (China)

On one of the oldest trade routes that existed a thousand years ago, China’s Tea Horse Road is among the world’s great romantic journeys. Iconically placed in Benzilan, one of the last towns in the Yunnan province of Southwestern China, before reaching the Tibetan border, this is the second Lux hotel to open on the Tea Horse Road. The original property is in Lijiang, a four-and-half-hour drive south. Undoubtedly, this is the ideal base for hiking the Tea Horse trails and exploring tiny villages in the magnificent mountains that few foreigners have the chance to see.

The pared-back interiors are a well thought-out reflection of rural life comprising largely of a cluster of handmade black clay lights hanging in the lobby, made in the adjoining village of Nixi. The library has a few original wicker baskets and horse bells that were once used by the muleteers to take pu’er tea to Lhasa. The 30 open-plan bedrooms – many of which overlook the outdoor pool and the River Yangtze and beyond – have furniture and floors made of local pine, oil paintings of the surrounding countryside and, in the bathroom, a round copper sink. The food is made of traditional yak-butter tea while supper is a feast of Sichuan-style steamed fish and wine-braised chicken.

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