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Stay hotel CopenhagenStay hotel CopenhagenWhy stay in a small hotel room when you can have a spacious, serviced apartment or loft for the same price? Stay is a brand new hotel concept located on the Island Brygge, a fast developing residential area, just a five minutes drive from the centre of Copenhagen. And one a stone’s throw from the buzzy meat packing district. Stay offers a total of 193 apartments with 15 different layouts, ranging from a one bedroom 90 m2 to an Atelier XL of almost 150 m2. The design is Scandinavian minimalism with furniture from quality Danish brands. Read more »

Lyngen Lodge, NorwayLyngen Lodge, NorwayLyngen Lodge, NorwayLyngen Lodge, NorwaySo you are bored of skiing in the Alps? Tired of pistes that are black of thousands kamikaze skiers populating them? You long for virgin snow and wild sceneries? Look no further than 70° North, where you can ski from summit to sea. All it takes is to book a room in the extremely cosy Lyngen Lodge owned by the Englishman Graham Austick and his Norwegian partner. Graham invites his guests to climb 1500-meter high mountains so they can ski down in extremely fluffy and pure snow. Read more »

Voted as the happiest place in the world, Vanuatu might be the Pacific’s best-kept secret. Here, the ocean is blue, the beaches are white and empty and the smiles of the Ni-Van are big and plentiful. The greatest plus of these 83 islands that make up Vanuatu is that it offers a mix of comfortable to even luxury lodging and an authentic and fascinating culture. After climbing active volcanoes or visiting custom villages it’s time for extreme relaxation in one of the luxury resorts. Read more »

Life can be sweet, especially if you live in Antwerp and you swing by restaurant Het Gebaar owned by top-patissier Roger Van Damme. To set the mood, the restaurant looks like a gingerbread house found in the small botanical garden in the city centre of Antwerp. Van Damme takes deserts and sweet dishes to a new level and got rewarded for this with a first Michelin star in November 2010. This young chef has also a soft spot for Japan. It all began when he first visited Tokyo for a culinary get-together with ex-El Bulli chefs from around the world. Read more »

Pack your bags (not more than 20 kg please and no Manolo or Gucci needed anyway), hop on a plane for half a day and embark on a trip of a lifetime. Final destination is Botswana where the mighty lions roar louder, the safari camps are more comfy and the views are more va va voom. If you need a helping hand to select one or two camps out of the numerous luxury options, then follow our advice and be a happy camper. Read more »

Ask Classe Touriste what the best trip in 2009 was? Easy. It’s DPRK, aka North Korea, aka the most secret and closed country in the world. Not really politically correct, we hear you saying? Well, for once we didn’t think about politics and just booked our flights to Pyongyang. Yes, it’s true; you can travel as a real tourist to this rather unknown country thanks to the professional assistance of Koryo Tours. This English tour operator imports already more than 14 years curious travellers into North Korea. Read more »

Does the real Italian deal still exist? Si, si! You just need to pack your bags and head to the direction of unknown and Mafia reputated West-Sicily to board an aliscafo that will whisk you away from one charming island to another. Welcome to the Isole Egadi, three minuscule freckles in the sun-tanned face of the South of Italy. So far, only local Italians who fill up the island in July and August have discovered these three Mediterranean pearls. Read more »

Close your eyes and imagine Empress Dowager Cixi roaming the century old dwellings of the Summer Palace in Beijing, Wurthering Hights style. If you don’t fancy Chinese concubines, then stay anyway at the magical Aman at Summer Palace, one of the most charismatic hotels in Beijing. This 51 rooms hotel occupies the former dwellings of the Summer Palace and offers a secrets door to access this famous World Heritage Site when “normal” (read: ten thousands of gymnastic, eating, singing and partying Chinese) visitors are not allowed to enter the park. Read more »

hotel distrito capital, corner suite, Mexico Cityhotel distrito capital, corner suite, Mexico Cityhotel distrito capital, corner suite, Mexico Cityhotel distrito capital, Mexico CityMexico City has never been off the most stylish and interesting cities hotlist. With again more pollution hanging in the air, then H1N1, it’s time to put the spotlight on one of the newest additions to the hotel scène in vibrant MDF. Distrito Capital is owned by hotel entrepreneur Rafael Micha, a man who knows how to turn a hotel into a neighbourhood’s hotspot. Read more »

flight-attendants

We must admit that going around the world in business class, was one of the most exciting things we ever did. With oneworld we flew with Finnair, British Airways, American Airlines, Air Mexicana, JAL and Cathay Pacific around the world for a price of proably one business class ticket to Hong Kong. Real travelista’s don’t have to ask what our top three is. We were extremely charmed by British Airways new World Traveler Class and the T5 facilities at Heatrow. The cabin of the World Traveler Class offers an excellent lay-out in the airplane with a decent amount of privacy for those wanting to sleep or relax. Superb service, tasty food and a good selection of inflight entertainment. Read more »

What is the strangest food you ever ate while traveling? Strange maybe for you but not for the locals who lick their fingers for a glass of brennevin and Icelandic rotten shark or plate of raw octopus just caught right out of the Med and slammed to death on the spiky rocks. For us, it all began with some percebes, or goose barnacles, in an empty restaurant on a beach near Sintra in Portugal. Read more »

WallyBoard now the most stylish, ultra-slick boat in the world. Maybe you don’t have the cash to buy one of these handcrafted and tailor-made beauties, but for a modest 5700 euro a day, you can rent a Wally in the Med. We must admit, it’s a hard choice between all those streamlined beauties. First there is the 106′ ” WALLY B”, sailing around the Western Mediterranean like Sardinia, Cote d’Azur, Corsica and Southern Italy. This beautiful sailing and motoryacht can host 6 guests and has a crew of 5 (skipper, deck hand, engineer, cook and stewardess). Read more »

“I am a sheep in wolf’s clothes”, says Vesa Junttila, artist, car lover and quaint habitue who hangs around in Panimo Barin Saariselkä, a small, snow-covered village in Finish Lapland. Besides skiing or sledging trough empty ice-landscapes, people travel here to dig gold and trade them in Panimo bar for beer, food and even lodging. Even the guys at Morgan Stanley think it’s great. Now, do I still hear someone complaining about not travelling because of recession? Just find some gold in the rivers of Finish Lapland and enjoy the Sami hospitality until you run out of gold. When you do, just dig some more. Dig it? Read more »

map around the world

Classe Touriste goes globelicious. Ever dreamed of travelling around the world? Almost no limits, no frontiers. Just one ticket. It’s easy as 1,2,3. Book a round the world ticket with oneworld and fly, just like me, to anywhere you want. Our RTW trip will take us to Finish Lapland, Helsinki, Miami, Cayman Islands, Mexico City, Riviera Maya, Vancouver, Whistler, Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Taipei, Manila en some lost island in the Philippines. Read more »

mudmen, papua new guineapapua new guineapapua new guineapapua new guineapapua new guineaThere hasn’t been a lot written in press about Papua New Guinea. Maybe for the best. It’s out of this world, a place where you have to travel to without knowing too much. The colors speak for themselves, the expressions on the people’s faces too… Read more »

Honeymoon cliches become reality in French Polynesia where detecting new shades of blue is an activity on itselve. Although there are enough cheaper and closer destinations where the sea is also a blueish and the lagoons are also undefinable transparent, Tahiti and its sister islands stay an ultimate honeymooners paradise. Avoid dissapointment and shattered dream by making the right decisions and staying in the right hotels and places. Read more »

KenyaKenyaKenyaKenyaThe time is now to discover Kenya. The parks and the beaches are more empty, the rates are lower and the animals are still in millions and millions there. Kenya is by far the safari expert in Africa. This expertise is reflected in how people run the lodges and hotels and how friendly and welcoming the Kenians are. Despite the political issues, new lodges are still popping up around the country. Read more »

Faroe IslandsFaroe IslandsAlthough The Faroe Islands (belonging to Denmark but located between Norway and Iceland) are trying hard to be the new Reykjavik, it seems like time passed this archipelo, floating in the Atlantic, by. Eighteen green islands with only 50.000 inhabitants and the double amount of sheep. Read more »

North West ArgentinaNorth West ArgentinaNorthwest Argentina is South-America in a glass. Lush, green valleys, arid plains, snowcapped vulcano’s, saltlakes,… When visiting this area there are two must-stays in the Salta Province: Bodega Colome near the town of Molinos and the House of Jasmines near Salta city. Colome is a wine estate owned by the excentric Swiss businessman Donald Hess who bought this estancia a couple of years ago and turned it very fast into a drinkable example of how ambitious new world wines can be.  Read more »

Sailing Cruises in ComfortSailing Cruises in ComfortSailing Cruises in ComfortSailing Cruises in ComfortSailing Cruises in ComfortThe ultimate way to discover Greece is to cruise from one small island to another. Sailing Cruises in Comfort sails to Greek, hidden drops in the Med with names like Kalymnos, Arki and Fourni… Extreme slow traveling with only the wind deciding which way to go and what to do (or not to do). Sailing Cruises in Comfort is the only “Gulet” organisation who actually sails during a trip. Every day, sometimes the whole day long the sails are up and the only sound is the wind pushing the boat forward. Read more »

Oberoi Zahra EgyptOberoi Zahra EgyptWithout a doubt the best way to experience Egypte is to cruise along the Nile. Even just being docked along the quay in Aswan gives a special oasis sensation, hectic noise of the bustle of the city included. The new style to cruise the Nile is boarding the ultra-luxurious Nilecruiser the Oberoi Zahra. Sleek, minimal, stylish (only too bad about the fake woods on the floor). Every room has floor-to-ceiling windows, even the bathrooms. Read more »

Nomads Of The Seas, ChileNomads Of The Seas, ChileToday my article about Nomads of the Seas got published in De Tijd, the financial newspaper in Belgium. A good reason to look back at this unique sailingtrip we did a good month ago. We cruised around the area of Puerto Montt in northern Patagonia on what is by any doubt one of the most high-tech ships in the world. Owner Andres Ergas made sure the hardware for this flyfishing expedition is top-end: 25 million dollar boat, US Army zodiac of one milion, state-of-the-art helicopter,… Read more »

Valparaiso, ChileWhat we sometimes miss in Antwerp is that special harbour-city feel. You know that the harbour is there, but it’s far away from the citycenter and the hussle and bussle of the coming and going of the ships is missing. Here in Valparaiso, you look out of the window and you see the city below and a bit further the sea and it’s busy harbour. Read more »

Clos Apalta Winery ChileClos Apalta Winery ChileOne of the most attractive things about Chile is it’s diversity in landscapes, climate, atmosphere and overall feeling. We went from chilly and wet Patagonia to dry and hot Atacama and now it’s the Colchagua Valley near Santiago de Chile that is getting under our skin. Why? Surely the place, the Clos Apalta vineyard and it’s guesthouse or rather villa style hotel, which is the main reason why we like this area so much.
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Sizzling hot during the day, freezing cold at night. Not to forget one of the dryest places on earth. Handy for people like me who are used to the rain for almost 8 months a year. A new wave of hotels opened their doors here near or in San Pedro de Atacama. Read more »

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