Picnics of a lifetime

Sunny skies are never a bad thing, especially if it means an extended picnic season. An integral part of any summer experience, the picnic has taken a backseat in recent years to sexier pursuits but that just shows an almost criminal lack of imagination. Whether paired with a suitably exotic location or a perennial favorite, the picnic can make for a picture-perfect experience. As a bonus, tropical weather offers year-long picnic options, for those lucky enough to have it.

Grand Dame Affair

Making the news recently for its USD180 million (thereabouts) refurbishment, La Mamounia is a bona fide Marrakech institution. Right on the edge of the old city, La Mamounia—mere moments away from the Djeema el Fna square and the medina—is the mother of all luxury hotels here. This 18th century royal wedding gift was recast in 1923 as hotel, later rising to become the Art Deco Grande Dame of the city. French interior maestro Jacques Garcia stepped in three years ago and turned her out as the star of the contemporary luxury scene, this time with an air of true North African opulence.

As travelers rediscover this classic watering hole, they’re also finding out that the concierge team has developed a reputation for coordinating lavish picnic experiences for guests. The cuisine of Executive Chef Fabrice Lasno and chefs Alfonso Iaccarino and Jean-Pierre Vigato (of two-star Michelin fame) gets packed into a picnic basket for a sojourn overlooking the Atlas Mountains. Transport for this outing is handled by the hotel’s signature garnet red Jaguar Daimlers and Range Rovers.

La Mamounia Marrakech, Morocco

The Air Up There

Formerly the home of one Lord Kitchener, Commander-in-Chief of India, the Oberoi Wildflower Hall is reminiscent of the Alpine Eagle’s Nest, without the bad karma. At 8,250 feet above sea level, the resort makes for a magnificent picnic location, although the hotel is most famous for its spa offerings. A protected environment since 1879, the splendid views of snowcapped mountaintops and verdant valleys are simply too good to pass up. Possibly in recognition of its peerless environs, the staff have taken care to offer some prime picnic options within the grounds of the surrounding Shimla Water Catchment Sanctuary.

Picnics are organized within the dense pine and cedar forest, with guests having the option of bringing a gourmet picnic basket with them as they explore or having the entire affair set up at a predetermined location.

Wildflower Hall, Shimla in the Himalayas—An Oberoi Resort Shimla, Himachal Pradesh,India

Jungle Fever

Named after one of the fabled Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Ubud Hanging Gardens is well-known as a tranquil retreat for those in search of inspiration. Terraced into the hills of the Gianyar region, the resort consists of 38 private villas, each with heated infinity plunge pool. While both the villas and the French/Asian Beduur restaurant offer spectacular views and sumptuous comfort, the resort has of late also been recommending a hearty picnic for guests.

Whether on the banks of the Ayung River, which runs alongside the resort, or within the already lush grounds, the staff go to great lengths to create and serve up a feast of native Balinese dishes.

Ubud Hanging Gardens Bali, Indonesia

Source: http://www.luxury-insider.com/

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