What's New: The Latest in Travel
The new restaurant from Alinea chef Grant Achatz, the best way to see South America, Australia’s new outback lodge and more.
Australia’s Wildman Wilderness Lodge
Opened in early April, Wildman Wilderness Lodge’s ten cabins and 15 luxury tents are set on the vast Mary River wetlands in the Northern Territory. This is the outback experience for naturalists who prefer to see gaping-mouthed crocs with a chilled gin and tonic in hand. The 17 acres on which the lodge sits are perfect for bush walks led by indigenous guides who combine a deep knowledge of the land with a spiritual connection to its song lines. There are friendly wallabies, less-than-friendly dingoes and water buffalo with whom only fools trifle.
During the day, guests can lounge at an infinity pool. By night, they gather around the fire pit to watch its sparks mingle with stars. And you can’t help but imagine the beady eyes of the dingoes from just outside the fire’s cast, watching jealously as a chef serves up a grilled barramundi with lemon myrtle aioli and salmon caviar.
A safari tent for two starts at $435 a night; a cabin, $575; wildmanwildernesslodge.com.au.
200 Words on How to Do South America
South America is a big place. You don’t want to go to more than three regions during a two-week trip. The distances are huge and the air routes aren’t terribly sophisticated. Happily, since South America is on the north-south axis, it’s a night flight with no jet lag, so you don’t lose a day.
South America is a quintessen-tial natural environment. When people think of Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, they think “Indian,” but you don’t get any of that. In general there’s very little “indigenous” culture in those countries. They’ve all been wiped out.
Uruguay is one of the most underrated countries on the continent. It often—unjustly—fades next to its tango-y, sexier neighbor. But the countryside of Uruguay is like Africa. It looks so much like the Serengeti that it is heart-stopping.
Mendoza, in Argentina, is not my favorite. I find the vineyards quite boring even though I love wine. I prefer the country’s northwest Salta area. For hotels, I absolutely love a place called Fasano Las Piedras (rooms, from $600; laspiedrasfasano.com) in Punta Del Este. The land is breathtaking, and the 1970s ranch house has been beautifully restored. —Lisa Lindblad, bespoke travel agent, willingfoot.com
Hot Pick: Chapel at Grand Del Mar
Though built in 2007, the chapel at San Diego’s Grand Del Mar is an embassy from the Old World. The floor: Italian Vicenza stone. The walls: Jerusalem limestone inlaid with Italian Rossa Levanto marble tiles. The altar: handmade in Arzignano by fourth-generation artisans. And the pews: carved by a Vatican pew-maker. granddelmar.com.