Mallorca’s star is on the rise. This statement may seem rather odd to seasoned travellers, as the Balearic island has for decades been a beach-holiday destination, although perhaps for all the wrong reasons. For too long, experiential luxury was on the back burner and, instead, profit-driving ‘sun, sea, sex and sangria’ package tourists came in their droves – perhaps as part of the post-Franco hunger for capitalism. Yet, those who knew where to go to get away from the throng, or how to hide in plain sight, continued to enjoy and extol Mallorca’s virtues as a cultural destination. Today, the island has gone through an image change and it seems there’s no sign of it stopping.
The islanders – both native and adopted – are overwhelmingly passionate about restoring and breathing life into the island’s culture. From Palma to Pollença, Sóller to Santanyí, they’re renovating historic homes and manor houses – old cans and fincas – and turning them into chic hotels, rural resorts, concept stores, art galleries and star-studded restaurants; all to welcome a new type of visitor. They’re proudly showcasing Mallorcan tradition – albeit with a contemporary twist – in biodynamic agriculture, the arts, crafts, cuisine and hospitality, with the result that this once-seasonal island is now attractive all year round. They’ve committed to cleaning up the stunning beaches, making more of the mountains, opening up their olive groves and lemon orchards and reinvigorating their sleepy but charming farming and fishing villages.
Revelations abound in this issue, where our experientialists make some incredible discoveries. Like photo-journalist David Edwards, who goes behind the scenes of Saint Paul’s Winter Carnival, to the ice harvest, in the backwaters of Minnesota literally. Intrepid explorer Zack Cahill reveals an almost-parallel universe that is the Taiwan beyond Taipei, and I find a thriving civilisation in ‘middle of nowhere’ central Canada. We also lift the lid on what the jet-set are calling the ‘Maldives of South East Asia’ – Bawah Reserve in Indonesia – one of the most beautiful places on this earth. We check into a reimagined icon in the Caribbean – the Belmond Cap Juluca in Anguilla – as one of their first new guests. In India, meanwhile, we’re in seventh heaven in the Andaman Islands, as we roadtest the brand-new Taj Exotica resort on Havelock.
Tel Aviv is awe-inspiring; aesthetically and spiritually, a sophisticated and forward-thinking city. It’s relatively small, but it punches well above its weight. In many ways, it is ahead of the curve, leading the world in innovation and entrepreneurial ventures. The people of Tel Aviv are fascinating, and are wholly fascinated by visitors. They will passionately engage with you on any subject you care to mention; their history, their existence today and where they’re going; their notion of an expressive, ever-evolving city and their palpable need to be part of the global community.
We also travel to new parts of the world. We’ll be telling you about the history of Cambodia, how tourism acts as a force for good in Antarctica and taking you to Park City, Utah. Our Creative Director, Martin, revisits Vancouver, a city he has fallen for, on a trip to check out their Shangri-La. We also talk to people in the field for their viewpoints, like José Koechlin, with his Peruvian eco -tourism brainchild, Inkaterra. Foodie writer Sean O’Callaghan tells us what it like to be vegan on vacation.
In our Equipment session, we’re given exclusive access to the stunning Villa Sola Cabiati, of Grand Hotel Tremezzo fame. Our revamped Basecamps section, focusing on more in-depth hotel experience features, has been quite the hit. We're also thrilled to include a recent journey to Peru with Belmond, as one of the first to stay on their new Andean Explorer train. This features among many other wonderful OutThere places to stay, across the world.
All this is in addition to your favourite reads – our special Benchmarks, Journeymen, tried and tested Basecamp and Equipment sections, this time featuring a swimwear shoot with The Warwick Rowers, the varsity rowing team behind the nude calendar, proceeds of which go towards combating homophobia in schools and sports, shot on location in New York.