The best late-summer getaways

A Portuguese palace, a Turkish retreat, an Amazon adventure – and where camping is elevated to an art form

Pelorus x Camp Kerala offers glamping in Tenby, Wales
Pelorus x Camp Kerala offers glamping in Tenby, Wales

Travel and travel planning are being disrupted by the worldwide spread of coronavirus. For the latest updates, read the FT’s coverage of the outbreak

Next-level camping in Britain

Since 2005, the team at Camp Kerala has been making its name hosting what are widely considered to be Glastonbury Festival’s cushiest digs at its eponymous, lavish Bedouin-style camp. It has grown into an international business in the meantime, but this summer the news is all about a very British partnership with Pelorus, the boutique outfitter founded by ex-Army captains Geordie Mackay-Lewis and Jimmy Carroll that charts bespoke adventures worldwide, from the Negev Desert to the North Passage. The two forces aim to reinvent glamping as we know it. Pelorus will bespoke every element of the outdoor experiences, from foraging for supper greens to exploring ancient ruins on foot; Camp Kerala brings the big, luscious maharajah tents and indulgent service. pelorusx.com; POA. 

Lisbon’s Palácio Principe Real
Lisbon’s Palácio Principe Real | Image: José Faria

Palace perfection in Lisbon’s chicest neighbourhood

From 1877 to 1980, Palácio Principe Real in Lisbon was a private home. When Gail Curley and her husband acquired the palace in 2014, they were just in time – both to rescue it from the undignified office-conversion it had been subjected to in the interim, and to join a boom of enthusiasm, and hospitality, that Lisbon was enjoying. Several years, significant investments (of both passion and cash) and one pandemic later, the Palácio is finally opening (with 10 rooms available to book for the time being). The rooms are gratifyingly lacking in any artifice that doesn’t date to the building’s origins (a few mouldings and cornices, some stunning ornate tiles). Ceilings soar, and windows too, flooding spaces with sunlight. Curley clearly loves a bath: standalone tubs abound – some finished in gleaming copper or nickel, others in cast iron painted rich shades of ochre-yellow and jacaranda. Stints in London, Madrid and southeast Asia have shaped Curley’s make-yourself-at-home views on hospitality. Some of the ways it manifests: a breakfast menu served all day; all-day and -evening service in the huge internal garden (some rooms open directly on to it); and, eventually, 100 per cent of her own produce, grown (organically, of course) in a dedicated garden just outside town. Thoughtfully executed chic, in one of our favourite cities. palacioprincipereal.com; from €199.

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A Turkish idyll – by land and sea

Mediterranean beach mavens know: Bodrum is a forever place. And Maçakizi – the funky, singular hotel with a diehard fan club spanning the globe that’s been a summer happy place for artists, designers and bourgeois bohémiens of various stripes and nationalities since opening in 1977 – is its forever address. This summer, owner Sahir Erozan adds twin passions: Halas 71, a 10-cabin vintage motor yacht that will ply the Turkish-Aegean coast to Alaçati and back on overnight excursions (think wine tastings and deserted-beach lunches); and Villa Maçakizi, a new 10-room estate, lost in an artful tangle of oleander bougainvillea (and perfect for buyouts) just 10 minutes’ speedboat ride from the hotel. macakizi.com; Villa Maçakizi from €24,786 per night (max 23 people); Halas 71, POA.

A view from the Maçakizi hotel in Bodrum
A view from the Maçakizi hotel in Bodrum

Up-the-ante on the Amazon

Aqua Expeditions redefined the Amazon-cruise experience when it launched in 2007. Having proliferated its fleet and expanded into Asia with much success, it has gone back to its origins in South America to elevate its already exceptional offering there. Aqua Nera is the result of those ambitions – a new, 20-cabin river-cruiser that will make its first journey in October. With stunning design (an Aqua signature) and state-of-the-art technology powering both its reach and its sustainability, it will depart Iquitos on three-, four- and seven-night explorations of the Peruvian Amazon, with best-in-class wildlife guides and naturalists (another Aqua USP) on hand to explore the world’s most biodiverse rainforest. aquaexpeditions.com; from £3,192 per person for three nights.

The Peruvian Amazon, which new river-cruiser Aqua Nera will explore from October
The Peruvian Amazon, which new river-cruiser Aqua Nera will explore from October

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