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Alex Eagle swoops on Windsor
Even casual followers of fashion will likely be familiar with the name Alex Eagle. The multitalented style arbiter – she’s part designer, part curator, part shopkeeper and all creativity – established herself firmly on London’s scene in 2016 with a sharp eye for an edit (in her store on Lexington Street, pyjamas from New & Lingwood might share display space with glassware designed by the Venetian nobleman Giberto Arrivabene) and, later, a rigorous tailoring hand.
Eagle excels at blurring the boundaries between home and retail spaces: her Soho residence is sort of a showroom, the Lexington Street shop a bit like a super-groovy flat, and 180 The Strand – the combination events/retail/gallery space she’s making happen in Arundel Great Court (the landmark brutalist building on the Victoria Embankment) – like the coolest loft in London. So it stands to reason she’d turn her hand to hospitality, and now here’s Oakley Court, the 100-plus-room Windsor hotel that is receiving its final touches this month. The mix features the debut of Eagle & Hodges, a furniture design collaboration with The Vinyl Factory’s Sophie Hodges; fine art of Eagle’s selection; important 20th-century furniture; and hits of bohemia cohering in all the right ways. Pierre Jeanneret chairs sit under antique sconces, eastern rugs rub shoulders with very British chintz, and gorgeous line paintings by the artist/fashion illustrator Tanya Ling hang against ornate late-Victorian panelling. The gym/pool area features infrared saunas, with cryotherapy coming soon and retreats due to launch as soon as Covid restrictions allow. And, this being an Eagle endeavour, much of what you’ll live with when in residence is quietly available for purchase, conferring an extra dynamism on the interiors – and the experience. oakleycourt.co.uk; from £250
Where the whales are
Few points in North America see mergers of water, land and sky as spectacular as those of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. The San Ignacio Lagoon, on its Pacific coast, has long been famous for watching grey whale pods on their annual north-south migrations (many come to San Ignacio to calve).
Since 1974, Baja Expeditions has been outfitting adventure-studded trips here to observe wildlife, kayak, mountain-bike, stargaze and generally soak up the extraordinary wilderness offering at these coordinates. For the next two months, it’s staging a one-off, Covid-calibrated glamping experience, with private jet-prop transfers to and from Cabo San Lucas airport, and nattily kitted-out beachside tents spaced well away from one another (for built-in distancing).
Guests will speed out on skiffs every day to interact with the amazing – and unusually sociable – mammals. Baja Expeditions’ extensive conservation and light-footprint bona fides only add to the appeal here. bajaexpeditions.com; $2,995pp for four nights
Top of the list of places we dream of returning to post-pandemic: Mozambique – wild, layered in intriguing history, and studded with some of Africa’s best dive sites. Instability has troubled its northern reaches of late, but to the south, once Covid is behind us, it’s on track to be business as usual. New to the landscape here is Sussurro, a sleek, light-footprint lodge on a pristine lagoon north of Vilanculos and Bazaruto island, on the country’s central coast.
The beachfront bungalows come in at 90sq m-plus, but are understated, with natural light and natural tones and everything from the hand-carved stools to the soaps produced on site. With a charming pool, yoga and dining decks, and acres of white beach and aquamarine sea, it’s a compelling vision. Due inland is Gorongosa, the country’s – and one of southern Africa’s – most spectacular national parks. Its animal populations have dramatically increased in the past few years, thanks to improved security and boundary surveillance; and the slopes of Mount Gorongosa are being replanted with rainforest via the enterprising Gorongosa Restoration Project, which is slowing deforestation due to coffee production. Natural World Safaris’ Will Bolsover is the one to take you to experience all of it.sussurro.co; from $298pp all‑inclusive. naturalworldsafaris.com; from £2,995pp for an 11-day trip
Into The Wild on Mykonos
Greece is more likely than far-flung Africa to be on the travel ticket soon, so don’t expect the Cyclades to be as gloriously empty as they were early last summer. But a modicum of throwback exclusivity is promised at The Wild, a retreat set on a private cove, a natural theatre with its own deep comma of private beach.
The 39 rooms evince a familiar global-nomad vernacular – profusions of rattan and wicker, vaguely tribal textiles, earth and sky tones, with a good-looking indoor-outdoor spa. The hotel’s brass promise a host of experiences, from beach dining to wellness and fitness that leverage the landscape.thewildhotel.com; from €220