lion tracks, snapshots, and kori bustards

March 13th, 2013

With more and more luxury travelers booking a safari as the choice, out-of-this-world experience, operators are upping their “game.”  andBeyond, the organization known for its pioneering eco-tourism, is now offering specialty, niche components to complement and personalize the traditional safari experience to match one’s interests. This includes private game drives focused on getting the perfect picture, learning how to track the Big Five in South Africa, or honing in on the kori bustards during a bird watching adventure in Tanzania. They have even created a yoga package. Add-ons start at $675 per day.


Animal Tracking

Gain the stealth and cunning of a lion and learn how to track wildlife with the help of a ranger and tracker team in a private, open 4×4 safari vehicle. Search for the elusive leopard, follow the warning cries of baboons to discover a pride of lions, look for clues, such as broken branches, to unearth a herd of elephants.

Rate: From R6,120 ($675), offered at Phinda, Ngala, and Kirkman’s Kamp


Bird Watching, African Style

Set out in a private 4×4 safari vehicle with a specialist birding ranger to enjoy the varied species found in the African bush. Most andBeyond lodges offer this opportunity to spot kori bustards, hornbills, secretary birds, and shining blue and red superb starlings – perfect for avid ornithologists.

Rate: From R6,120 ($675)


yoga, rhinos, and dark skies: ampr now representing andbeyond

February 19th, 2013

We are proud to announce  andBeyond as our newest client.  andBeyond is a leader in luxury experiential travel and a conservation pioneer offering well-heeled travelers diversity, escape, and natural heritage.

New & Noteworthy

  • In the first private game reserve donation of rhinoceros to another country, andBeyond is translocating six white rhinoceros from andBeyond South Africa to Botswana.  South Africa lost 668 to illegal poaching last year;  Botswana offers excellent security systems to protect the endangered species.
  • andBeyond is currently offering honeymoon travelers a 50 percent discount on the bride’s travel across all &Beyond lodges.  Highlighted locations include:  andBeyond Mnemba Island where guests can swim with dolphins and watch green turtles hatch before they swim off to sea; and andBeyond Kichwa Tembo, located in one of the richest and most diverse wildlife areas in the world.
  • The Homestead at andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal is now offering Yoga Safaris.  Other speciality safaris include  family, photography, birding, and wildlife tracking. (more…)

win a trip to thailand and become anantara’s 2012 roving elephant reporter!

June 11th, 2012

Ready to become a star? After the success of last year’s contest, Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas is once again looking for an enthusiastic elephant lover and budding TV star between the ages of seven and fifteen to become this year’s Roving Elephant Reporter for the 11th Annual King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament in Hua Hin, Thailand.

As the Roving Elephant Reporter, the winner will become a star of the elephant polo circuit, delivering a television report with VIP access to all areas of the four-day event, including exclusive interviews with participating players, elephant experts, and celebrities.

The winner, along with an accompanying adult, will enjoy an all-expense paid seven-night stay at Anantara Riverside Resort & Spa in Bangkok and Anantara Hua Hin Resort & Spa in Thailand, including return air fares. The reporter will get to explore the Royal seaside town of Hua Hin with a series of signature excursions, including an elephant trek through a local vineyard, a specially devised kids Thai cooking class, an art class on the polo pitch, and more.

“Being the winner of last year’s Roving Elephant Reporter was the most amazing experiences in my life,” said the 2011 winner, 14-year-old, Ann Skelly from Ireland. “From helping with actual vet checks, interviewing the elephant experts and the players including the New Zealand All Blacks and German royalty, to seeing the elephants up close was truly an awe-inspiring experience and I wish all the entrants to this year’s competition the best of luck.”

To enter the elephantastic competition, the media-star-in-the-making must submit a one- to two-minute video on Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas Facebook page. Alternatively, one can mail a CD of the video to:

I Want To Be An Elephant Reporter
Anantara Hotels
17th Floor Berli Jucker House
99 Soi Rubia
Sukhumvit Soi 42
Bangkok 10110


making the world a better place one port at a time

April 18th, 2012

Photos courtesy of and Crystal Cruises

Crystal Cruises is surely doing their part to help make the world a better place. It all started in January 2011, when they introduced the “You Care, We Care” voluntourism program where guests and crew can be directly involved in worthwhile causes in the destinations they visit, including opportunities such as assisting with poverty relief, education, cultural preservation, environmental conservation, animal welfare, and more. In May, Arun Gandhi joins guests aboard Crystal Symphony for a Iberian Peninsula sailing.

Few names in world history evoke such powerful images of integrity, courage, social harmony, and – perhaps most of all – hope. Arun Gandhi carries within himself the same guiding principles as his grandfather, the legendary peace-maker and spiritual leader, Mohandas K. Gandhi, also known as Mahatma Gandhi. A speaker of international acclaim, Gandhi has spoken at hundreds of colleges and universities, and corporate and civic organizations. His unique talents and cross-cultural experiences have brought him before governmental, social, and educational audiences in countries all over the world. Arun is a cultural treasure, offering firsthand insights into one of history’s most influential leaders.

From May 9 – 21, 2012, join Gandhi aboard Crystal Symphony’s  ”Iberian Journey“ sailing from Barcelona to London, with calls in Mallorca/Palma de Mallorca, Valencia, and Málaga, Spain; Tangiers, Morocco; Lisbon and Oporto/Leixoes, Portugal; and Bordeaux, France. You too can help make the world a better place!

anantara scores a hat trick!

January 6th, 2012

While they may be far from any hockey rink, Anantara Resorts has still managed to score a “hat trick” in the Maldives! They have proudly achieved Green Globe Certification for three of its resorts – Anantara Dhigu Resort & Spa, Anantara Veli Resort & Spa, and Anantara Kihavah Villas. This recognition highlights Anantara’s sincere commitment to operating in an environmentally, socially and culturally responsible manner through a broad spectrum of initiatives in the Maldives, and is proudly the first operator in the Maldives to have all of its resorts Green Globe Certified.

Anantara’s Maldives resorts incorporate all aspects of Green Globe standards in their daily operation, primarily in environmental conservation such as water, energy, and waste management efficiency. The resorts also support their local communities and environments and promote the islands’ social and cultural heritage through resort and local island experiences.

Baa Atoll, the capital of the Maldives, is also recognized as a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO for its conservation, research, and development of their rich coral reef systems. With this, UNESCO acknowledges Baa Atoll’s “great potential for demonstrating sustainable development throughout the Maldives and the region, while relying on a green economy.”

For more information on Anantara and its environmental, social and cultural sustainability policies, please click here.

save the himalayas

November 16th, 2011

The Rubin Museum of Art in New York City is hosting an exclusive event tonight (from 6:00 to 8:00 PM) in honor of Rima Fujita’s latest book, Save the Himalayas, which focuses on the importance of the Himalayan region and the various threats it faces.

Guest speakers will include Sharon Gannon (founder of Jivamukti Yoga Method), Lobsang Nyandak (representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama), and Tendor Dorjee (Executive Director of Students for a Free Tibet). This is one event you don’t want to miss, so get to the Rubin Museum of Art (located at 150 West 17th Street) in time to get a good seat and enjoy!

big game, big fun

November 10th, 2011

When most people think of the Maldives, they think of powdery beaches, deserted pearl-strung islands, and world-famous diving, but that’s not all – the pristine and virtually untouched open water is home to some extraordinary big game fish. From now through November 13, the Maldives Game Fishing Association (MGFA) is holding the first ever Maldives Game Fishing Challenge. In this “tag and release” tournament, competitors bait their lines in hopes of landing Marlin, Sailfish, Wahoo, Yellowfin, Big Eye, and Dog Tooth Tuna. In addition to supporting sustainable recreational fishing methods, scientists are present at the tournament to tag the caught fish for research and conservation purposes.

celebration in bhutan

October 13th, 2011

Big news from Bhutan – it’s another royal wedding! Today, the nation’s ultra-popular “Dragon King” married Jetsun Pema, a 21-year-old student and the daughter of an airline pilot. The marriage, first announced in May, was televised live across the country, resulting in widespread celebration. The colorful ceremony took place in a sacred monastery surrounded by the elated people of Bhutan. Find out more here!

nothing ‘minor’ about it

June 8th, 2011

Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas founder and CEO Bill Heinecke knows it’s better to give than to receive.  Every year for his birthday, Anantara properties around the world give back to their local communities through a number of charitable outreach programs. This year, the annual Minor Founder’s Day celebrations during the first week in June included the release of 50 sea turtles into the wild at Anantara Seminyak in Bali, an elephant meet-and-greet and tree planting event at Anantara Golden Triangle in Thailand, and an Eye Camp for local residents at Anantara Kihavah Villas in the Maldives (including donations of glasses for those in need).

Kind of puts that pony we asked for in perspective!

bali’s beach babes

June 3rd, 2011

The little dudes are just eggs, we leave ‘em on a beach to hatch, and then, coo-coo-cachoo, they find their way back to the big ol’ blue. – Crush the Sea Turtle, Finding Nemo

While Crush may be right, sometimes the turtles need a little bit of help. Tomorrow, the recently Green Globe Certified Anantara Seminyak Resort & Spa in Bali will release one adult and 50 baby turtles into the wild as part of the resort’s ongoing wildlife conservation initiatives. While they may live for up to 80 years, these creatures are endangered and at high risk for extinction. By protecting the vulnerable eggs from predators until the baby turtles are ready to be released, Anantara is doing their part to make sure the sea turtle will still be surfing the ocean for many years to come.