Dreamy Holiday Destinations To Visit in 2019

On the walls: the ongoing ‘Matter is Light’ exhibition by Per Kirkeby

CHATEAU LA COSTE: Provence, France

Situated in the heart of southern France, Chateau La Coste is an architectural vision by Tadao Ando, where great wine and fine art intersect. At the entrance, Louise Bourgeois’s Crouching Spider sculpture in the vast infinity pool is an unexpected surprise in the Provencal landscape. The Art Centre uses strong geometric lines and Ando’s signature manoeuvre of fusing light, space, and nature to create a focal point of the surroundings and beyond. Discover the biodynamic beauty of the Chateau La Coste wines through its 15 grape varieties, and drop by the spherical aluminium “greenhouses” by Jean Nouvel. Take a leisure walk on Ai Weiwei’s Ruyi Path, formed by cobbles from the Old Port of Marseille, which weaves through trees to connect two ancient paths, representing good fortune and power. www.chateau-la-coste.com

Multiplied Resistance Screened, 2010, Liam Gillick

I wanted to capture the same humble spirit of a Cezanne painting.” – Tadao Ando


Marfa, the enigmatic town of about 2,000 people, is a barren-desert-meets-thriving-art spot a mere three-hour drive from El Paso International Airport. Cruise past swooping hills, stunning mountains, and Prada Marfa, a permanent-installation-turned-cultural-landmark by Scandinavian artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset for vermilion sunsets that’s the stuff of Instagram dreams. Stay on the artful trail at Chinati Foundation, a contemporary museum founded by minimalist artist Donald Judd, where an impressive 100 aluminium prisms are installed between buildings. The design-centric experience continues at the industrial-chic Hotel Saint George, which houses works from artists such as Christopher Wool and Jeff Elrod. www.visitmarfa.com; www.marfasaintgeorge.com


Nourishing geothermal seawater at the Blue Lagoon in Iceland

An atmospheric wonder surrounded by volcanic landscapes, The Retreat at Blue Lagoon is a blissful escape that seamlessly fuses with Iceland’s dramatic scenery. Stylish rooms are decked with serene Scandinavian design by Sigríður Sigþórsdótti, featuring a dominant grey palette with mahogany panelling and earthy moss decor elements. The Lagoon Suite guarantees blissful mornings of baths in the private turquoise geothermal pool and views of lava rocks against clear skies. Afternoons at the spa, the retreat’s raison d’être, is where your skin and well-being get the love that it needs. The signature Ritual draws on the Blue Lagoon’s three natural wonders — mineral exfoliators for face and body, coupled with silica and algae mud masks for detoxification and anti-ageing. Finally, the steam cave moisturises the skin and caps off your ethereal experience. www.bluelagoon.com

Wake up to your personal paradise at the Lagoon Suite


The droplet-shaped Teshima Art Museum, designed by architect Ryue Nishizawa and artist Rei Naito

Three reasons why Benesse Art Site Naoshima should be on your radar: Yayoi Kusama’s Yellow Pumpkin that overlooks the ocean; the straight-out-of-a-sci-fi-film stay at the haunting yet stunning Benesse House Oval; and the underground Teshima Art Museum, designed to resemble a drop of water. The exhilarating intimate journey with art begins with Claude Monet’s ‘Water Lilies’ series and James Turrell’s Open Sky installation at the cutting-edge Chichu Art Museum. The real draw, however, is the way the museum is designed to utilize natural light to challenge the viewer, to see an artwork through the passage of time, across all four seasons. The island’s intriguing balance of architecture, nature, and culture is best explored at the Benesse House Museum, where artworks are not just restricted to the compound, but scattered along the seashore and within the nearby forest as well. A thought-provoking destination filled with next-generation innovation, it’s no wonder Naoshima is dubbed the pilgrimage site for contemporary art lovers. www.benesse-artsite.jp/en

The minimalist yet futuristic cafe in Teshima Art Museum