The Global Basecamps Blog

Best of Basecamps: Nishimuraya Honkan Ryokan

12.30.2013

by elias

Japan’s Culture Through Ryokan

Nishimuraya RyokanFew countries can claim their hotels as one of their main tourist attractions. Japan is different. Staying in a traditional ryokan provides insight into what Japan values: simple, well-made food, courteous service, tradition, a place that feels like home.

No one travels in Japan more than the Japanese themselves. Part of this is due to the values listed above, and part of this is because of the natural hot springs that dot the islands. Weekends at a hot spring resort are not just common, they’re a necessary respite from the stress of urban living. Knowing this, it’s safe to say that the country’s best ryokan are located near the country’s most popular natural hot springs.

And so we come to Nishimuraya Honkan Ryokan, a traditional yet luxurious basecamp in Kinosaki-cho, Japan.

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Best of Basecamps: Titilaka

10.1.2013

by elias

Getting to Lake Titicaca

TitilakaYou get an idea of why Titilaka is so special as you land at nearby Juliaca airport. As excited as any traveler is to see stunning Lake Titicaca, the cities of neighboring Juliaca and lake-side Puno are… not a good introduction. There is poverty in Puno, there is an indigenous culture forgotten by modern civilization, there are incomplete brick buildings, there is a growing urban haze. And bad news for most travelers: most of the hotels on Lake Titicaca are within view of all of this.

But then your private driver keeps driving, and driving, and driving. Almost blissfully, the city gets left in the rear view mirror. City sounds and sights give way to family farms and the families that work them. Long views of the lake compliment the wide open sky that feels closer at this high elevation. And thirty minutes later, you arrive at your country estate.

Titilaka truly feels like your weekend home on the lake. Titilaka feels like it waits for you, like nothing happens when you’re not there, like somehow you’ve earned this level of service and comfort. Upon arrival, attendants host an almost ceremonial “welcome bonfire” on the shore, where a first sunset is enjoyed with tea and tapas. An attendant is available in your living room at all times. Chefs prepare world-class meals in your kitchen. Your guide knows your name and is ready to take you on any excursion around the lake. Titilaka, in some way, says “welcome home” every time you return, even if you were just gone for the morning.

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Best of Basecamps: Arts Boutique Hotel B

6.17.2013

by elias

Hotel B

Hotel B in Lima’s bohemian Barranco district is our new favorite hotel in Peru’s eclectic capital. Given a choice, if we are spending any significant amount of time in Lima, we see no reason to stay anywhere else.

There are other five-star luxury hotels in Lima worth mentioning. They have ocean views, perfect rooms, and undeniable service. But part of our job at Global Basecamps is to not just put you in a perfect (if forgettable) hotel, but to leave you wowed by your hotel. A true “Best of Basecamps” property is more than a perfect review on a website. There are hotels in the world’s biggest cities that feel like they’ve been there forever. Their sense of history compliments their pristine reputation and A-level service. Hotel B has this sense of history, which is confusing because it’s literally Lima’s newest hotel. (As of Summer 2013)

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Best of Basecamps: Rhotia Valley Tented Lodge

10.2.2012

by elias

Rhotia Valley Tented CampNestled between two hills on the border of Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area in Tanzania, Rhotia Valley Tented Camp is a special place whose mission does not end with being one of the most warm, welcoming and beautiful lodges in the country. On its website’s guestbook page, messages in four different languages sing its praises. It boasts a coveted five stars on its TripAdvisor profile with one reviewer mentioning the words “Heaven on Earth.” And even if you completely forget its special purpose, it is still one of the best safari lodges in the world.

In addition to being a world-class basecamp, the property is also home to thirty six children - mostly orphans - from around the Rhotia Valley (thirty six as of October, 2012). Profits generated from the Tented Lodge directly support the Rhotia Valley Children’s Home, bringing the local community together under a common goal of creating a better future for local children, as well as employing many residents of the village.

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Best of Basecamps: Ol Pejeta Conservancy

8.21.2012

by elias

Ol Pejeta RhinoOn your custom Kenya safari, you are spying one of 700 eastern black rhinos left in the wild, an elephant is not too far off, and a small herd of mooing cattle wanders into your field of vision as you snap the perfect photo of a grazing zebra. There is one place in Kenya where the cows are not out of place, and in fact are welcomed into the environment. This week we’d like to feature a basecamp in Kenya we all get very excited about, Ol Pejeta. Though it is more of a wildlife conservancy, Ol Pejeta is home to a number of lodges and camps, all run by the non-profit organization.

Ol Pejeta encompasses multiple wildlife sanctuaries within its borders. The largest groups of black rhinos and chimpanzees in Kenya live here, as well as the largest herd of Boran cattle in the world. Overall, the park displays a model for wildlife conservation that is effective and inspirational.

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