Royal Retreats

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Royals tend to lead whirlwind lives, what with all the official functions they’re expected to participate in as part of their duties. However, one of the perks of being a royal is some sensational travel opportunities. Often with a private jet at their disposal, they’re able to dash off to the most luxurious and exotic retreats for some much needed R&R, away from the prying eyes of the paparazzi. Take a look at some exotic locales known to be popular among the royal set.

North Island, Seychelles
Jetting off to a tropical archipelago might sound like quite the cliché. But once you reach the white sandy beaches of Seychelles, it’s easy to see why it is the numero uno choice not only as a wedding destination, but as a place where you can truly switch off from the world. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge came to this island for some much needed R&R after their huge wedding in London, and they spent their time in North Island. Here you’ll find world-class diving and mountain biking which can keep you active through your trip. Otherwise, you can be a beach bum and take in the exceptional scenery.

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Huka Lodge, New Zealand
Set in Taupo on the banks of the Waikato River, this secluded 1920s hotel has developed from a simple fishing lodge into one of the most glamorously secluded resorts in the world. It has remarkably beautiful natural environs that make for the perfect escape, especially if one is looking to recharge from the humdrum of everyday life. The resort has attracted
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, as well as their son and daughter-in-law, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, along with other royal guests from Europe. For those who thrive on their privacy, the Owner’s Cottage, which sits on a headland above the river with beautiful views of Huka Falls downstream, is a dream come true!

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SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, Los Angeles
With Prince Harry’s new romance come opportunities for him to take his lady love on fancy retreats, and this hotel is one of Harry’s favourites for indulging in some spa time. While Prince Harry was in the US for military training, he made a side trip to this Philippe Starck-designed hotel and caught up with David Beckham. While one usually wouldn’t associate Beverly Hills as a destination for a wellness retreat, it sure can give you a few hours of pleasure time with its stunningly beautiful interiors.

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Mount Kenya
Mount Kenya has become hugely popular after it became the location for one of the most famous proposals in recent history. Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton with the stunning sapphire ring at the Rutundu log cabins here. Mount Kenya had long been connected to the British royal family; when Princess Elizabeth was proclaimed queen, she happened to be here. The Sirikoi Game Lodge on the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is a favourite of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

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Mustique, The Grenadines
Princess Margaret was generously gifted a four-hectare plot of land in Mustique as a wedding present by Colin Tennant, when she got married in 1960. The Sienna, an Italian-inspired mansion overlooking Macaroni Bay, is a hot favourite among royals from around the world.

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Klosters, The Swiss Alps
Skiing in glamorous locales like Gstaad, Verbierand Couchevel is truly luxurious, especially because not many people flock to these locations because of their overly expensive rate cards. On the slopes of the Alps is where you’ll find some of Europe’s royals every winter and spring. Prince Charles has been going to Klosters in Switzerland for over 40 years. In fact, a cable car to the top of Gotschnagrat Mountain is even named after the Prince of Wales. Hotel Walserhof is a top favourite among the British Royals. William treated his future wife to a $60,000 weeklong ski holiday in a private chalet in 2008, before they tied the knot.

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St. Tropez, South of France
St. Tropez is a big-ticket party destination, and has been steeped in glamour from the days of the Hollywood icon, Bridget Bardot. Most of today’s royals who want a quick break come to their yachts that are docked here through the year. They come to spend time in the middle of the ocean, on their lavish vessels. King Abdullah and Queen Rania of Jordan love to vacation in this glamorous seaside city.    –Suneela