7 sunsets to die for…

September 1, 2019 in AUSTRALIA,MALDIVES,MALLORCA,SOUTH AFRRICA | Comments (1,922)


21 Nettleton above Cape Town’s Clifton beaches

In radiant luxury

For romance, inspiration or simply instagrammability we love sunsets. All the more LUSCIOUS if there is a luxury resort behind the scenes, with sensitively attuned staff ready to place a sundowner in your hand at the right moment. Here are some rewarding havens i have seen or researched.

I have been to the first four – and now they are ticked off my Bucket List – but I would love love love to return. The other three are still on the list – until I get there there will be no images, as all mine are original.

1. Mesmerizing Cape Town sunsets – 21 Nettleton

This artful boutique hotel perches high on a plunging slope above the dazzling white dots of Clifton’s beaches on the Atlantic side of the Table Mountain range. A handful of guests gathers before sunset on the verandas for sundowners …

As the sun circles overhead and plunges into the sea, the sky and ocean are flooded with red, purpole and gold. If you are lucky, as we were, the local hang-gliding club hops one at a time from Lions Head to hover above you with wings pink in the sunset, and land way below on one of the beaches. As the bubbles in your Graham Beck wink, lights begin to twinkle in Camps Bay, and the Twelve Apostle range is black velvet against a delicate sky.

With only 6 rooms, including a penthouse often occupied by the owner, 21 Nettleton makes you feel like his privileged personal guest. Helping yourself at the generous bar, you wander around the opulent villa lounges as if all this is yours – art and sculptures brimming over to the grand piano and sunset verandas.

2. Savage safari sunsets – Londolozi

Sunsets in safari country are fiery and short lived – eclipsed by savage nights, when lion and leopard are likely to steal out of the shadows and slink past your open safari vehicle with luminous eyes.

Londolozi lies in South Africa’s best game watching area along the Sabi Sand River – and is famous for leopard spotting. This exclusive lodge offers Relais and Châteaux cuisine, artful safari decor and suites to die for with wide decks and jewel like pools. But you will not be bathing there at sunset – you will be on safari.

Driving out after a satiating High Tea, your ranger will park the Land Rover with a view, perhaps hippos soaking in a dam, and out comes the hamper to provide sundowners and nibbles (like G&Ts and biltong – raw dried meat). Your ranger drives off again before dark, when the tracker is armed with spotlights to catch predators prowling…

Note: I could have given any of my favourite safari lodges in South Africa – all will take you out into savage sunsets for wild life camera shooting. 

3. Barefoot Maldivian sunsets – Soneva Fushi

Watching out for dolphins in a golden peachey satin sunset

Calm lagoons sheltered by coral reef amplify sunset magnificence with 50 shades of blue shifting to 50 shades of red, gold and purple. Since every luxury resort in the Maldives consists of only one hotel on a private island there is always a sunset side and there is always a sunset bar to enjoy a Tequila Sunset. And there are always sunset cruises…

For those who adore sundowners barefoot, Soneva Fushi is a dream – with its relaxed lifestyle soothed by intuitive service and tinged with the mystique of its owners Sonu and Eva Shivdasani.  Apart from the resort’s sunset bar and glossy sunset cruises, cocktail parties on the sandbank provide a chance to share sunset adulation with other coolly chic guests cradling glasses of bubbly, with toes in the white sand.

The charming Crusoe quirkiness of Soneva Fushi includes beach villas in recycled wood, cycling though living jungle, and multiple flavours from their own organic gardens. As a rehydrating health measure, choose a hairy coconut with a straw through a hole as your sundowner.

4. Surrealistic Mallorcan sunsets – Belmond La Residencia

A delicate, trembling sunset – and yet dramatic – as the audience of guests in the know  pulls out chairs from Miro Bar and gazes up at the towering rocky peaks of the Tramuntana mountains, waiting.

Miro cocktails are a desirable way to while away the time – though gin with hibiscus comes a close second.  There is expectant silence – and then comes a murmur. It has happened. The peak has become almost transparent, emitting rosy light – before disappearing into dusk.

If this valley is a long way to travel for such an ephemeral sunset, don’t miss the rest. The hotel is has it all from Michelin starred cuisine to exquisite decor celebrating its finca history, “Pa Amb Oli” lunches high in the ancient olive groves, and art. The hotel holds art classes and art tours in the Bohemian village of Deia. The citrus-scented garden is adorned with sculptures, and the hotel walls hung lavishly with original works including Miro – hence Miro bar.

5. Awe-struck Australian Sunsets – Longitude 101

A massive hunk of rock sitting in the middle of Australia, Uluru is the continent’s most mystical spot, revered by the Aboriginal people, with sunsets beyond belief. The naturally rusty red rock of the monolith seems to come alive and glow from within.

With 16 tents on the dunes offering views of the rock, Longitude 101 gives sunsets and more with the intelligent luxury of the Baillie lodges. Their lavish all-Inclusive includes small group tours with sundowners and canapés close to  Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) to see the supernatural light displays of purple, red and psychedelic orange, and learn about the Anangu beliefs.

Sunsets can also be viewed from the tents, sophisticated billowing white spaces with decks, from the highly rated restaurant, and the plunge pool – where you help yourself from the open bar. Or, for that not so little bit extra, a private dinner set up for sunset worship.

6. Extreme Atacama sunsets – Awasi Atacama

Dust is a perfect prism for creating magnificent sunsets, absorbing the blue light and scattering red and gold – so deserts inevitably come into the top lists of sunsets for the bucket list. Where else dustier and drier than the Atacama desert in Chile?

At the small Relais & Châteaux property Awasi Atacama in the small tourist town of San Pedro  you are in exclusive company with only 10 rooms hidden behind Adobe walls and your very own guide to take you on excursions, walking, cycling, and driving  in a 4×4  to salt lakes, fluted mountains, and arid wastes.

The excursion to one of the most awe-inspiring sunsets on the planet goes into Salt mountain range. Looking down on the lunar landscape of the Moon Valley and knife-edged mountains, you wait with an aperitif and nibbles. Otherworldly shapes of the time-weathered landscapes reflect different shades of red as the sun goes down, and turn ghostly in the cold air of night, especially when the moon rises.

7. Spiritual Balinese sunsets – Six Senses Uluwatu

A soul-stirring sunset in Bali draws the spiritually minded to Uluwatu Temple, one of Bali’s six key temples, perched on a 70m cliff. Hindus come here to worship Siva Rudra. Tourists come to see the nightly traditional dance performances imbued with exquisite Balinese grace – and the sun dropping into the sea, splashing radiant gold.

Just 10 minutes away is Six Senses Uluwatu, one of the newest luxury resorts on “island of the gods”. Perched 74m above the sea on the cliff top, the resort’s views are breathtaking. Because of the angle of the sun’s rays, the sunset spills gold over the sky while waves surge below. 

In synch with the natural beauty and spirituality of Bali, the whole resort is designed to revere nature and the views – from sea-facing villas to tiered cliff edge pools and breathtaking dining venues.

The best place to immerse in the sunset’s changing colours with a signature cocktail in hand is the Cliff Bar, or if willing to splash out for sunset privacy  – the infinity pool of the Presidential Suite, which perches right in the cliff edge

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