Remote Lands, the world’s leading luxe and intrepid Asia travel designer, is excited to announce The Bensley Trail, an exclusive expedition in conjunction with renowned architect and interior designer Bill Bensley, taking place February 16 – March 1, 2020.
This extraordinary 14-day itinerary will take just 16 guests on an unforgettable journey through Southeast Asia including Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam, where they will enjoy luxurious accommodations in four of Bill Bensley’s most iconic resorts, each one a truly magical experience that brings to life the destination. Participants will be treated to a deep exploration of each country including immersing in nature, adventure and astounding national beauty, marveling in the culture, history and architecture of metropolitan Asian cities, indulging in authentic regional cuisine and relaxing on picturesque beaches.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with the renowned Bill Bensley on this new exciting new expedition,” said Catherine Heald, CEO and Co-Founder of Remote Lands. “We are a huge fan of Bill’s properties and love his vibrant and unique style. Similar to Bill, we also aim to give our clientele an immersive exploration into the destinations they visit with us, arranging truly special experiences. Southeast Asia offers a wealth of nature, adventure, culture, architecture and more and we are excited for guests to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
“As a client of Remote Lands, I am honored to be working with them on this journey to showcase some of my favorite works of hospitality in these incredible destinations,” said Bill Bensley. “I am passionate about conservation and helping folks and animals in need, and my inspiration in developing this trip was to use hospitality to help people that need it in a sustainable fashion. We will be working with the Shinta Mani Foundation, which aims to enhance the lives and livelihood of people in the communities where they operate, to help families in a rural Cambodian village, providing quality water, a hospitality school and youth dentistry programs. Our hope is that this trip will educate and inspire, while providing remarkable experiences in incredible places.”
The journey begins in Laos at Bensley’s Rosewood Luang Prabang resort, the former estate of French colonial civil servant and diplomat Auguste Pavie, and the first luxury villa and tent resort within the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Luang Prabang. Nestled in the beautiful Nahm Dong Valley, the 23-room resort is centered around a natural waterfall and has a Laotian-French tropical architectural style, combing world-class luxuries with local aesthetics. While spending three nights in this natural paradise, travelers will get the chance to explore Laos, experiencing the nature and wildlife as they interact with elephants at the MandaLao Elephant Sanctuary, cruise downstream on the Mekong River and enjoy a temple walk with Rosewood’s resident Buddhism expert. For a cultural immersion, guests will also get the chance to participate in a farm-to-table cooking lesson at Rosewood, receive a blessing at the Wat Mai monastery, discover the cultural sites and attractions of Luang Prabang, participate in an alms giving ceremony and stroll the Hmong Night Market, shopping for textiles and other handmade creations.
After departing Laos, participants will then make their way to Cambodia where they will stay in two different properties in the Bensley Collection, including the Shinta Mani Siem Reap in Angkor, a lush, Art Deco-inspired private villa resort which offers a serene oasis just moments away from one of Cambodia’s most exciting towns; and the new Shinta Mani Wild, a 15-tent luxury adventure camp in the heart of the Cambodian jungle which plays a vital role in protecting a small part of Cardamom National Park. As part of the collaboration with the Shinta Mani Foundation, a portion of the proceeds from this trip will go towards building a water well in the name of each guest in a remote Cambodian village, which provides a family and its immediate neighbors with easily accessible hand pumped clean water.
In Siem Reap, highlights include exploring the iconic Angkor Wat; visiting the rural Cambodian village where the constructed water wells are being built to meet the families whose lives have been impacted by these generous donations; enjoying a private temple dinner complete with gourmet Khmer cuisine and a traditional Cambodian dance performance; taking a private helicopter tour over Siem Reap; and visiting the Conservatoire of Aspara Dance, which began as part of a humanitarian effort to deliver the essentials to the rural areas of Cambodia.
Following Siem Reap, the group will head to the Cambodia wild in Southern Cardamom National Park. The experience will be an adventure and nature lover’s paradise beginning with an incredible zip-lining arrival experience to check in to Shinta Mani Wild in style. There is more than enough right around the resort to keep guests occupied including Jeep safaris, motorbiking, boating, indigenous cooking lessons, visiting the naturalist’s research center, viewing wildlife and more. As downtime, guests can enjoy the Boulder Spa, indulge in incredible alfresco dining and kick back at a mobile cocktail party in Shinta Mani Wild’s Land Rover Bar: a WW2 vehicle reimagined as a portable, playful bar.
The group will next head to Thailand’s metropolitan capital Bangkok, where they will check into the brand new Rosewood Bangkok, an outstanding urban retreat in the heart of the city and the only non-Bensley designed property on the Bensley Trail.
This part of the journey includes an exclusive soiree at Bill Bensley’s private home, an exclusive hard hat tour of Bensley’s latest project by the river led by Bensley himself, exploring the Buddhist temples and shrines of the city, discovering authentic neighborhoods, cruising on a private long-tail boat along the Chao Praya River, a Muy Thai lesson, and receiving an optional Sank Yant Tattoo, a traditional form of tattooing magical ancient geometric and deity symbols with Buddhist prayers onto the body.
The itinerary ends in Danang, Vietnam for three days of beachside relaxation after an adventure-packed trip. The final resort on The Bensley Trail is the Intercontinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort, a whimsical realm spread across four levels – Heaven, Sky, Earth and Sea – taking advantage of the incredible vistas from the mountaintop and pristine beach. Bensley was inspired by Vietnamese temples in his design and brought this idea into the resort in a light-hearted, innovative way. Participants will spend the final days at leisure, enjoying the resort’s luxurious facilities or heading offsite for a city excursion.
On this expedition, all touring is private and each guest or couple will have their own private car, driver and guide for all airport transfers and touring, along with highly personalized and customizable itineraries.
Remote Lands’ The Bensley Trail expedition will take place from February 16 – March 1, 2020 and costs $37,888 per person based on double occupancy, with places limited to 16 guests. To find out more about this and other future private jet journeys, visit www.remotelands.com/special/bill-bensley