What to Do with Your Extra Max Interest This Summer

Mackinac Island's celebrated Grand Hotel.

Mackinac Island’s celebrated Grand Hotel.

It’s summertime — and Max members continue to accrue extra interest on their cash in the bank. We’re taking a look at some of the fun things you can do with the money you earn, which you wouldn’t be earning without Max optimizing your cash.

If you keep $1 million optimized through Max, you’re going to earn about $2500 additionally this summer. Some ideas to consider:

  • Video Drone

Drones are a great way to see new terrain or get fantastic video from the sky. For the sport-minded, there’s also drone-fighting. This $2300 camera quadcopter has 4K video and 2 controllers, one for the remote pilot and one for the cameraperson.

  • The Perfect Chair

Is it time to update your decor? Coveted handmade furniture and pottery from Vermont’s husband-wife duo Charles Shackleton and Miranda Thomas always looks tasteful. The couple recently opened a new Brooklyn shop, giving their works access to elegant brownstone living rooms. A pair of walnut Ricardo chairs upholstered in green fabric is $2600.

  • Pastry Chef Boot Camp

Learn to make better eclairs than you can buy in a fine French patisserie. A 3-day dessert boot camp at the ultra-serious Culinary Institute of America’s Napa Valley campus will show you how. $2600 for two people.

  • Make a Difference with Robinhood

Fight poverty by supporting Robinhood, the largest nonprofit in New York doing this work. Max members can set their Max accounts to donate some or all of the interest they earn directly to Robinhood.


A Max member with a $250,000 account will earn an extra $625 this summer. Some fun ways to spend it:

  • Luxury Fitness Classes

Boutique fitness studios are the new trend. They’re more personal and rigorous than a typical gym, with classes that make you work hard. SLT (Strengthen, Lengthen, Tone) has attracted serious fitness nuts in New York City and elsewhere. $680 for a 20-pack of classes will keep you in good shape all summer.

  • Championship Golf Clubs

Up your game with some of this year’s hottest new clubs.

Driver: Cobra King F6+ Pro $400

Fairway wood: Ping G $270

  • Historic Island Resorts

Off the coast of California south of Los Angeles is the celebrated Catalina Island, a historic resort long popular with Angelenos. At the Avalon, a top-rated hotel, you can recline on the rooftop terrace while looking out into Avalon Harbor.  Two nights in a king room with a garden view will be about $700 on a weekend this summer.

Or visit the Grand Hotel on Michigan’s Mackinac Island, an elegant resort where midwesterners have been vacationing since 1887. For about $700, a deluxe room at the hotel includes breakfast, lunch, and a 5-course dinner.

  • Meet the Animals

Why jostle with crowds to see the animals at the San Diego Zoo when you can meet them up close? The world-famous zoo’s exclusive VIP Experience is $599 per person, plus zoo admission, and comes with behind-the-scenes interactions, a personal tour guide, and lunch.

  • Leave Holding the Bag

Suede envelope clutch bags are sweeping the fashion magazines. The Christopher Kane studded suede clutch is $645 while Mansur Gavriel’s Flamma suede envelope flat clutch is $695.

  • Buy the Cow

For $500, the international nonprofit Heifer will donate a female cow to a needy family in the developing world. A cow yields milk for the family’s children as well as income, since they can now sell milk to others. The money they earn can pay for food, school, and housing, helping them climb out of poverty. Heifer is one of the most respected development nonprofits.

Of Slope and Screen: Q&A With The Banff Mountain Film Festival’s Tour Coordinator

NA_Ad Slick-vert colWhen winter is on the horizon, we at Max start anticipating one of our favorite film festivals of the year: the Banff Mountain Film Festival. Kicking off in the Canadian national park known for its ski slopes, the festival has toured the world for the last 3 decades, visiting 450 locations and seating 400,000 viewers. (Team Max has attended the tour screenings annually in 3 cities over 15 years.)

Max Luxe spoke with Suzanne White, the program coordinator for the festival’s world tour, about life in a ski resort and which films she likes best.

As you gear up for this year’s festival, what are you most excited about? 

I’m excited to share another amazing lineup of speakers, books, music and film with the festival goers. I’m especially excited to see how many great films could be on our World Tour and our Radical Reels tour. This seems like a banner year for great mountain films.

What are a few of your favorite films that have won at recent Banff Festivals? 

Last year, a film called Tashi and The Monk won Best Film for Mountain Culture and it went out on the World Tour. It’s a wonderful story about the life at an orphanage high in the Himalayas and it really touched everyone who saw it. Crossing the Ice was another stand out film from the past couple of years. It’s got adventure, friendship and humor all rolled into one big snowball.

What’s changed about festival-winning films over the years? 

The technology with which the filmmakers capture their stories has certainly changed, but the stories themselves haven’t changed. The films still have the same heart, courage and humor as they always have.

What’s your favorite thing about Banff itself? What sport do you most like to do there?

Banff is an exceptional place to live if you like being outdoors. Climbing, hiking, mountain biking, road biking, camping and paddling are all the summer activities available to you. In the winter, more climbing, mountaineering, all types of skiing and watching great films are the best things to do! My favorites are mountain biking and skiing.

If you could visit another mountain location, where would it be? 

I would love to visit Patagonia. The mountains there are so different than other mountain ranges I’ve visited.

Traveling in Style: 4 Luxury Travel Blogs We Love

Wendy Perrin's blog showcases interesting places and smart ways to get there.

Wendy Perrin’s blog showcases interesting places and smart ways to travel.

What do you do with all the extra interest – found money – that you earn from your Max membership? Many Max members put it toward their travel itineraries. We’ve put together a list of our favorite luxury travel blogs and sites.

Wendy Perrin’s Blog
Travel expert Wendy Perrin — you know her from her years at Conde Nast Traveler — shares her experiences and those of her husband and kids on this blog. Aimed at families who want to travel in style with a twist, Wendy’s blog spotlights destinations you hadn’t considered and other tips from travel pros: “Would You Take the Plunge Into an Icelandic Volcano?” Wendy’s team of writers and photography contributors also gives you the inside scoop on adventures that look too crazy to try: “I Can’t Believe We Did This: Mountain Climbing in Whistler.” The blog is a smart traveler’s guide to issues such as what to do in Barcelona and the best places to go in September.


Bringing a new dimension to luxury travel is Equitrekking, which discusses horse-related travel of all kinds. Darley Newman, a rider and journalist who hosts the Equitrekking TV series, blogs about trends in equestrian excursions, from Assateague Island in Maryland and Virginia, famous for its herds of wild horses, to the Dublin Horse Show. Max Luxe did a Q&A with Darley on what she’s seeing on horseback, including Botswana riding safaris. Whether or not you have experience riding, a trip by horse can be a fun and novel way to see the world.

Luxe City Guides
We love these petite and chic city guides, which fulfill their promise of telling it like it is about the some of the world’s most interesting places. Not only do they tell you where to go, they tell you where not to go, which is often more valuable. You can buy or download the guides or get the app, but the site also features takeaways like where to shop in Miami for hot shoes (Del Toro) or how best to see the Great Wall of China: “Its status as one of the 7 new wonders of the world (and its sheer magnificence) means this stone fortress is a must see… But it doesn’t mean you have to put up with busloads of yelping tourists and queueing with the hordes to climb the endless steps.” This signature tone — like a snarky but always in-the-know friend — imbues Luxe’s work. If you typically reach out to your besties for this kind of advice, Luxe is a site for you.

Monocle Travel
The luxury-lifestyle magazine Monocle has a line of paper travel guides which get you from city to city with verve. Online, the site also offers quick takes on individual destinations to read or download. In Aspen, for instance, Monocle tells you where to buy unique boots (Kemo Sabe) and offers advice on restaurants by occasion, including “Leisurely breakfast,” “Lunch on piste,” or “Big dinner with friends” (Matsuhisa, naturally). Each destination has five “Essentials,” the top things to know, and an archive of related magazine articles, posts, and podcasts from Monocle.

What Not to Miss in Dubai and Ras al-Khaimah

Dubai's skyline.

Dubai’s skyline.

Dubai, the Arab world’s financial hub, is also a high-end destination attracting a growing number of world travelers. The tiny Persian Gulf city-state promises a luxury urban vacation between the desert and the beach. Home to an ever-increasing number of tall towers and over-the-top developments, Dubai is a destination for royalty, celebrities, and travelers seeking architectural fantasies and unique experiences. Nearby Ras al-Khaimah has yet to make it onto many itineraries, but it provides a rare look into Bedouin culture in an upscale oasis setting.

We asked a friend of Max Luxe to fill us in on the highlights from her travels in these Gulf destinations.


Dubai’s skyline is iconic, including as it does the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower. From the Atlantis The Palm hotel on the Palm’s manmade resort island, visitors can take in the panorama. Atlantis itself is a luxury waterpark resort, a cousin to the Bahamas showplace of the same name. Other high-end hotels include the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, which also boasts a waterpark. The Burj al-Arab, known as the world’s first seven-star hotel, is also situated on its own specially-constructed island and was designed to look like a sailing ship.

The view from the top of the Burj Khalifa.

The view from the top of the Burj Khalifa.

Dubai Creek, which splits the city in two, is where visitors can find dhows, an authentic form of Arab trading vessel that still supplies a small fraction of the emirate’s now huge volume of port traffic. The Dhow Wharfage is the place to see the boats in action as they take on freight; visitors can also get a tour of one of the boats or ride on one that’s been repurposed as a harbor-cruise ship. Little remains of old-time Dubai’s economy, and the dhows are one reminder of the city’s origins as a desert trading outpost.

Barrels of spices at a spice vendor's shop.

Barrels of spices at a spice vendor’s shop.

Shopping is one of Dubai’s major draws. Two enormous malls, the Dubai Mall and the Mall of the Emirates, offer nearly every luxury brand, including brands that don’t typically have their own boutiques in other countries. Shoppers can also go skiing and ice skating — a novelty in the middle of the desert — as well as visit an aquarium within the complex.


The Bastakia Mosque in old Dubai.

To step back in time, visit one of Dubai’s market districts that hearken back to early trading days. In the Bastakia Quarter, where Persian merchants built homes with distinctive wind-towers for cooling, shops and galleries set on winding alleyways sell spices and art. The souks are street markets where haggling is expected; visit the well-known Gold Souk for stalls piled high with jewelry.

From the observatory at the top of the Burj Khalifa, the view is unparalleled. A museum explains how the tower was constructed, answering visitors’ questions about how one can build safely on sand. The tower complex’s fountain show, in the mall at the building’s base, is also well-attended.

For cultural appreciation, stop in at the Jumeriah Mosque, the only mosque in Dubai that non-Muslims can visit. (Be sure to dress appropriately.) Also visit Majlis Ghorfat Um Al-Sheef, a former sheikh’s summer home in the Jumeirah district that’s been restored to glory with a beautiful garden.

Ras al-Khaimah:

Bedouin-style villas with infinity pools at the Banyan Tree resort.

Bedouin-style villas with infinity pools at the Banyan Tree resort.

A smaller member of the United Arab Emirates, Ras al-Khaimah is a short drive from Dubai. Its low profile among tourists makes it a perfect place to see the desert, our correspondent notes. One place to find quiet relaxation is the Banyan Tree Ras al-Khaimah Beach resort, where the tented suites offer an opulent take on traditional Bedouin life. While in the emirate, make sure to take a camel ride, go off-roading on the sand dunes, or try your hand at sand-boarding.



Don’t-Miss Luxury Sights in Peru

The ancient Inca civilization left exquisite ruins throughout the Andes mountains, and today’s travelers can see these sites in almost as much luxury as Inca rulers would have experienced.

Max Luxe asked some recent visitors to Peru’s Inca highlands for their recommendations.

Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu.

Our correspondents suggest the Aqua Amazon river cruise on a 130-foot boat that can accommodate up to 24 guests. Cruises run for three, four, or seven days and include fishing for piranhas, swimming in the Amazon with pink Dolphins, and jungle walks in the vast rainforest.

The week-long cruise is $7,385 per adult in a suite or $7,735 in a master suite.

The star attraction in Peru is the ancient site of Machu Picchu, considered a world landmark. Visitors can hike up to the site (or travel by bus) and walk around the majestic ruins.

On the way back to Cusco, the Hiram Bingham train offers an “incredibly luxurious” four-hour ride from Machu Picchu. The train, operated by Belmond, which also runs luxury trains like the Orient Express and the Royal Scotsman, is named for the explorer who found Machu Picchu again after hundreds of years. The train trip includes a gourmet five-course dinner and entertainment. Riders can learn to make a Pisco sour in the bar car or listen to Peruvian music while watching the landscape. A one-way adult fare is $336.

Machu Picchu.

Ancient terraces in the Andes mountains at Machu Picchu.

Walking Into Inspiration: Q&A With Photographer Alexandra Huddleston

A marker along the pilgrimage route in Shikoku.

A marker along the pilgrimage route in Shikoku. (Alexandra Huddleston)

Setting off on a walking pilgrimage — a form of religious devotion common to many ancient faiths, and still practiced today — is a way to bring the spiritual and the everyday together. Photographer Alexandra Huddleston explores this dichotomy in her new book of art photographs, East or West: A Walking Journey Along Shikoku’s 88 Temple Pilgrimage. The book contains images from the famous Japanese pilgrims’ route, an 800-mile circumnavigation of the island of Shikoku.

Now based in the American Southwest, Huddleston lived around the world as a child before returning to the U.S. and graduating from Stanford, then Columbia Journalism School. Her last book, published in 2013, looked at the longstanding Islamic scholarly tradition of Timbuktu, in Mali.  Huddleston spoke with Max Luxe about her art, her influences, and her travels.

– How did you become interested in pilgrimages as a subject? 

In his best-selling book, Immortelle randonnée : Compostelle malgré moi, Jean-Christophe Rufin describes the urge to go on a pilgrimage as a viral illness that often has a long and invisible incubation period before the full range of symptoms erupt. There is some truth in this description!

I caught the pilgrimage virus in 1996 when I visited the Pyrenees as a tourist and innocently hiked some mountain trails that I learned were part of the Camino de Santiago. When I realized that I could continue for 500 miles on the same trail before eventually reaching Santiago de Compostela, I was very tempted to do just that. Instead, I continued with my vacation and went on to college. But an unspoken pact was made between myself and the trail that day: that I would return to walk that route, and I eventually did so in 2009.

My experience walking the Camino in Spain made me realize just how rich pilgrimage is as a subject: photographically, historically, culturally…

– What’s special about Japan, Shikoku, and this pilgrimage in particular? 

One of the reasons I decided to walk the Shikoku pilgrimage in Japan after I had already walked the Camino was precisely to see what was the same and what changed in a long walking pilgrimage when you changed the country, religion, and culture (but kept the walking).

In the Japanese tradition spiritual journeys are circular. This is true whether the itinerary is very individual like Basho’s Narrow Road to the Deep North or very structured like the Shikoku pilgrimage. The Shikoku pilgrimage traces the circumference of the island of Shikoku and you end where you began. There is no terminusspiritual or physical–that dominates the journey. This removal of a final goal tends to allow pilgrims to focus more on the present and the actual.

Of course, there is also the delicious seafood of Shikoku, the beauty of walking next to the coast for most of the journey, and the colorful seasonal festivals of rural Japan.

– When you take narrative photos like the ones in “East or West,” what do you look for? What else can you tell us about your practice as a photographer and photojournalist? 

When I’m photographing a project I will have an ever-growing list of themes in mind, and as I photograph I look for moments that evokes these ideas. In the case of East or West the theme that dominated my mind was quite abstract. I wanted to somehow describe the bipolar daily experience of pilgrimage that throws the pilgrim between moments of mundane physical worries and moments of sublime exaltation. In the end, no one photograph could capture this idea. Only the book as a whole could do the work: by combining a very carefully edited sequence of images and text.

As my work has evolved in the last few years–and has, in fact, moved away from traditional photojournalism–my aim has become more to show the inner truth and experience of a situation, rather than just the outer appearance. I definitely think that my experience as a pilgrim myself (and not just as someone who photographs pilgrimages) played a big part in this transformation.

Now, my approach is closer to that of an ethnographer than that of a journalist.

– Your last major project was a look at Islamic scholarly culture in Timbuktu (333 Saints). How are these books related? What do they tell us about your interests? 

In both the Timbuktu work and the pilgrimage work I am looking at ancient, mystical, religious cultures and how their traditions have survived and evolved in the 21st century. I am interested in religion in general, but I’m particularly interested in how reconnecting with traditional cultures might be able to renew and re-enchant a modern world that is too often arid, one-dimensional, and flattened by the monopoly of the material over our consciousness.

That said, I hope to photograph these subjects without falling into the common traps of naiveté, delusion, or hypocrisy!

– You’ve lived all over the world. Where would you move tomorrow if you had the chance? 

Well, although I have travelled quite a bit, much of it has been in Europe and Africa. Other than Japan and Sri Lanka, I have not worked all that much in Asia, and I would like to do so! That said, I have this habit of returning again and again to places that I’ve already been. So, if I could move tomorrow, it might just be to go back to Japan!

– What’s your next project? 

Last summer (2014) I walked a third pilgrimage: 500 miles along the Camino de Santiago again, but this time I walked one of the main French trails called the Via Podiensis. So, the first step is to start getting these new photographs in order.

The next project is in the works, but it’s still a secret…

Luxury Horseback Tours: Q&A with Equitrekking’s Darley Newman

For those who love to ride, seeing the world from the back of a horse makes for a perfect vacation. Darley Newman, who hosts the PBS show Equitrekking as well as several other travel-related shows and web-video series, has been riding since childhood. On her show, she takes viewers along on horseback through some of the world’s most exotic places. Her travel company also arranges horseback tours around the globe for vacationers.

Newman talked to Max Luxe about what drives her, what her days are like on the road, and where she’d like to go next.


– How did you get interested in luxury riding trips? 

Horseback riding is such a great way to see a new place and really immerse yourself in nature and culture. There are amazing luxury riding vacations all over the world in destinations as far flung as Jordan and as close to home as Virginia.


 – What’s your favorite place to ride on vacation?

I have a few favorite riding destinations in Ireland, Botswana, Turkey and throughout the American West and Southwest. In Ireland, Castle Leslie is wonderful and unique. The horses and riding are exceptional with hundreds of cross country jumps built by Willis Bros. of Badminton Horse Trials fame sprinkled throughout the private estate, which is still inhabited by its eccentric founding family. You can hang out with Irish aristocracy, unwind in the Victorian-themed spa and spend nights in this splendid castle. Each room is richly decorated with family antiques and fireplaces, great for relaxing after a day on horseback. Past guests have included Irish poet WB Yeats, Prince Pierre of Monaco, Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger and members of the Churchill family, to whom the Leslie family is related.


– What is your typical day like while you’re on the road shooting an episode?

Every day is different and an adventure when we’re filming for Equitrekking. We’re normally in some exotic destination riding horses and trying other adventures with locals, who are passionate about their home area and sharing its rich culture, cuisine and history. When we’re filming, days are long, as we’re always trying to take advantage of the light and capture the diversity of the destination so the viewer feels like they’ve come along for the adventure. We’ve filmed in some extraordinary locations, including the Royal Stables with HRH Princess Alia in Jordan, historic Blair Castle in Scotland’s Highlands and the wild lava fields of Iceland.


Equitrekking host Darley Newman riding in Botswana's Okavango Delta.

Equitrekking host Darley Newman riding in Botswana’s Okavango Delta.

– What are the most popular trips that riders book with Equitrekking?

North American ranches and riding tours in Ireland are really popular. These trips are great for both first time riders and more experienced equestrians and can be a great choice for mixed groups, where some people want to ride horses and others want to fish, golf, go to the spa or do other sightseeing. We started Top20Ranches.com and the Equitrekking Vacation Guide to catalog some of the exceptional ranches and riding vacations we’ve discovered and make it easier for other people to find these often lesser publicized experiences.


– What’s a luxury destination for people interested in riding that’s under the radar?

If travelers want to combine some of the most amazing wildlife viewing with a luxury, classic safari camp, Botswana has great choices and is lesser known. I’ve traveled throughout, enjoying exciting riding and some of the best wildlife viewing in the world. One amazing place that is definitely lesser visited is the Makgadikgadi Pans, one of the world’s largest salt pans. You feel like you’re riding the surface of the moon in this remote, otherworldly locale, which has the best stargazing I’ve ever experienced. A great time to visit is during the wet season, when you can observe the last surviving migration of zebra and wildebeest in Southern Africa. I even got the chance to gallop with a herd of zebra and wildebeest. This is not for the faint of heart! For guests who want a truly memorable, stylish safari experience, stay at Jack’s Camp, an opulent tented oasis complete with Persian rugs, unusual African art and artifacts and private butler service.

Must-See Sights in Hoi An, Vietnam

Endless tropical pools at the Nam Hai resort.

Endless tropical pools at the Nam Hai resort.

Looking for your next Southeast Asian beach resort — with a deeply local history? Hoi An, a small trading port in Vietnam’s Quang Nam Province, could be your pick. We asked friends of Max to tell us what they liked about their luxury vacation in the South China Sea beach town.

– Stay

All signs point to the opulent Nam Hai Hoi An, one of the GHM Hotels and a Leading Hotel of the World. This all-villa beach resort boasts tranquil private pools and stunning views. Feel free to bring children, who will enjoy the resort’s kids’ club. The food is one of the high points, our informants say. If you fall in love with the place, the villas (up to 5 bedrooms) are for sale, with personal butler service included.

– See

The resort is situated close to three UNESCO World Heritage sites: the old town of Hoi An, My Son and Hue.

Hoi An, UNESCO says,  is “an exceptionally well-preserved example of a small-scale trading port active from the 15th to 19th centuries” revealing the influence of  Japan, China, and Europe. The town has an abundance of temples and features a noted Japanese-style covered bridge with a pagoda.  Lanterns illuminate the town at night, and a special night market is devoted to lights.

Hoi An is an old trading port and life there still revolves around the water.

Hoi An is an old trading port and life there still revolves around the water.

My Son, a day trip from Hoi An, is the ancient capital of the Champa Kingdom, which flourished from the 4th to the 13th centuries. The site includes 71 stone towers dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. It’s comparable in quiet magnificence and worldwide significance to Indonesia’s Borobudur temple and the Cambodian holy complex at Angkor Wat. Hue is another former capital, the seat of the Ngyuen dynasty, which ruled Vietnam from the early 1800s until 1945.

– Do

If lounging by your own pool is too passive for you, rent bikes and ride into the surrounding rice paddies or the local markets. You can also try a cyclo, a three-wheeled bike, which is ideal for touring the Old Town.

Locals traditionally fish using giant baskets. The hotel or a tour agency can arrange an outing where you can try this technique yourself.

For foodie travelers, the Nam Hai offers cooking classes that include excursions to market stalls with the hotel chef. Other culinary seminars off the resort are easy to find and can introduce you to local styles of cooking.

The area is famous for its tailors and some 400 of them are in business here. Stop in with a picture of your favorite dress, or any clothing item you love, and have a tailor replicate it for you.


Postcard from Stockholm: What Not To Miss in Sweden’s Capital

Photo credit: Fatima Holmgren

Photo credit: Fatima Holmgren

Stockholm – a walkable, genteel city featuring royalty, cutting-edge design, and a fever-pitch foodie scene — is gaining attention as a luxury destination. Team Max visited some years ago, and we asked some friends of Max who are Stockholm natives to help us shape an itinerary for a trip to Sweden’s capital.


– Eating

 Where to start in a city with 8 Michelin stars? Celebrity chef Mathias Dahlgren has two restaurants in the renowned Grand Hotel: Matsalen, which boasts 2 stars and a new-every-day menu of seasonal New Scandinavian dishes, and one-star Matbaren, a more casual gastro-bar. Also try two-starred Frantzén, the brainchild of chef Bjorn Frantzén,  which boats what the Guide Michelin called a “particularly interesting wine list.”

Locals point in the direction of Gastrologik, run by Jacob Holmström and Anton Bjuhr with a produce-first philosophy: “The potato is worth exactly as much as the truffle. It is not nature that decides what´s good or bad, it’s you and me,” reads the manifesto on the restaurant’s website.


Photo credit: Fatima Holmgren

Photo credit: Fatima Holmgren

– Excursions

Start by walking around Gamla stan, the old town center, which is lined with coffee bars and small boutiques. Head down Strandvägen to Djurgården, a leafy island bound by bridges to the rest of the city. There’s enough to do for a whole day: the Grona Lund amusement park; Skansen, an outdoor museum dotted with historic houses moved from all around the country; and the iconic Vasa Museum, which boasts a preserved Viking ship.

 Elsewhere in the city, locals recommend the Hallwyl Museum, in a former Victorian-era castle, and the Modern Museum in Skeppsholmen. Once you’ve taken in the quaint blocks and arching bridges, hop on a ferry to one of the outer islands for a trip to the country.


– Shopping

 Looking for Swedish-born design? Stop in at Svensk Tenn, the venerable home-decor house known for its colorful prints and seen in chic homes around the world. Another destination is Design Torget, which features high-design items from a variety of famous and undiscovered designers, often for a limited time.

If you’d like to take home some of the crystal for which Sweden is famous, try the grand old department store NK, which stocks local favorites Orrefors and Kosta Boda. They have a range of crystal goblet sizes not found elsewhere.



Postcard from Bodrum: Must-See Sights in Turkey’s Top Beach Resort

The Mandarin Oriental Bodrum from the air.

The Mandarin Oriental Bodrum from the air.

Bodrum, the chic Turkish seaside resort, is known for its sparkling beaches and relaxed vibe. We asked friends of Max Luxe who have summered in the area for years to tell us what to visit on this picturesque Aegean Sea peninsula.

– Yachting

Yacht owners aren’t the only ones excited about Bodrum’s new Palmarina, a mega-yacht basin ringed by hotels, restaurants, and luxury shops. The complex includes an outpost of Italian billionaire Flavio Briatore’s night club, somewhat eponymously named Billionaire, as well as Nobu and Cipriani restaurants. Owned by an international shipping conglomerate, the marina has all the services yacht owners need — and a brokerage in case you’d like to pick up a new boat while there.

– Hotels

The chicest hotel in the Bodrum area is the new Mandarin Oriental, which opened in July 2014. The 109-room beachfront property is built into a hillside forested with olive trees. Visitors get the usual plethora of luxury services, including impossibly stunning pools, a spa, and ten restaurants and bars, which often feature international DJs. Jetting in with a large crowd? See if you can book the 4-bedroom, 7-person duplex suite with private pool (from 2000 euros per night).


– Beaches

If sand is your favorite part of a luxurious vacation, you have two choices: beach clubs, which offer full-service amenities, and quieter stretches of coast that you can reach by boat.

The area’s beach clubs typically welcome day visitors, who can get access to restaurants, beach chairs and umbrellas, pillows, drinks, shower and changing facilities, and even cooling mists. Some of these clubs are on the beach in front of hotels. They tend to get crowded, so arrive early.

Those in the know single out the beach clubs at Xuma, Dodo, Kuum, Maki, Maçakızı, Bej, and Moon Beach.

To visit several of the area’s beaches and the nearby islands, consider chartering a captained boat for a few days’ cruise. Beaches you may want to visit include Kisebükü, which can only be reached by sea. Several luxury charter companies offer crewed itineraries on sailboats, motor yachts and traditional Turkish gullet boats, including stops at some of the prettiest beaches like English Harbor. Among them: Europa Yachting, Blue Cruise Bodrum, and Akasia Yachting.

20090830 Boat to Bodrum_dsc6651

– Antiquities

The Bodrum peninsula boasts some spectacular ancient sites, as do many of the towns in coastal Turkey. A huge amphitheater from the fourth century BC graces the town, as well as St. Peter’s Castle, a Crusader-era fortress, which is now the Underwater Archaeology Museum. History scholars will note that the town, once called Halicarnassus, was home to the noted Mausoleum, a king’s tomb, now in ruins, that was one of the ancient world’s Seven Wonders.