01: REUSE, RECYCLE, RESTORE
Luxury resorts with shining eco-credentials can put a green halo on your next holiday. In Shanghai, the new Amanyangyun resort sets new standards for conservation and restoration. Comprising Ming- and Qing-dynasty architecture, fused with minimalist yet luxe design by Kerry Hill Architects, the estate is nestled in a forest of over 10,000 trees – including a 1,000-year-old Emperor tree. The most amazing part: Each tree and brick in the restored buildings was painstakingly relocated from rural Fuzhou, 700km away from Shanghai. That takes dedication – and about 10 years.
Also a decade in the making is actor and climate-change campaigner Leonardo DiCaprio’s wellness-focused eco-resort Blackadore Caye. The Belize private island, which is rumoured to open late this year or early next year, will be completely powered by solar energy, and aims to have net-zero water usage, and be free of plastic and pesticide. Sitting behind the world’s second-largest barrier reef, the 42ha estate is designed to even improve the natural environment around it.
02: HAVE YOUR SPIRIT, AND DRINK IT TOO
Even if your meditation guru prescribes a teetotal lifestyle, there’s hope. With Seedlip, the world’s first alcohol-free spirit, drinking can truly be all about flavour appreciation. Copper pot- distilled from unique mixes of herbs and then blended, these drops are the work of British hobbyist distiller turned entrepreneur Ben Branson. Unlike alcohol-free beverages that attempt to mimic the taste of their buzz-inducing counterparts, Seedlip has its own complex flavour profile. Spice 94, for instance, has a heady mix of allspice berries and cardamom, with citrusy notes, and a long bitter finish thanks to oak and cascarilla bark.
Next month, a third expression – Grove 42, a summery concoction marked by orange zest, mandarin pith, lemongrass and ginger – will be available in Singapore. The nuanced flavours of Seedlip work well when mixed with tonics, or into martini-style drinks. The likes of The Fat Duck, Eleven Madison Park and Andre Chiang’s Raw in Taipei are proudly serving it.
03: WALK THE TALK
Give your Casual Friday attire an instant – and stylish – green-status boost, with the world’s first luxury sustainable sneaker brand. From Umberto de Marco, the scion of the Coronet Group, which supplies eco-friendly synthetic-leather material to the likes of Louis Vuitton and Armani, comes Yatay. The thick-soled trainers with a clean silhouette are made from high-quality vegan leather. Made entirely in Italy, they also boast the marks of fine craftsmanship.
04: RIDING ON AIR
You’ve got your garage of custom-built speed monsters but, sometimes, you just like going basic – but not quite. That’s where the PG Bugatti bicycle comes in. The product of a collaboration between the supercar maker and premium German bike brand PG, the minimalist-looking bicycle boasts multiple breakthroughs. Its frame is crafted from carbon fibre, and the bike weighs less than 5kg (it’s 9kg for the electric-assisted version), making it the lightest urban bicycle in the world. In fact, the carbon components are handcrafted using materials and methods otherwise applied only in the motor sport and aeronautic industries. Limited to 667 units worldwide, these steel horses are priced from 45,000 euros (S$72,000) to 80,000 euros – and fully customisable, of course.
05: I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW
Located on the 39th floor of OCBC Centre, The Yoga School is designed for those who like to be on top. The 1,606 sq ft space created by Brewin Design Office offers a magnificent view of the CBD, while one perfects the Natarajasana pose. While class sizes here are capped at just 20 persons, one-on-one sessions can be arranged. For the jet set, beautifully enticing yoga studios around the world offer good reason to get those sessions in.
Boasting sleek interiors by award-winning Australian architect Rob Mills, the cavernous Sydney and Melbourne studios of One Hot Yoga put visitors in an instant state of calm.
For those in London seeking to retreat from the madding crowd, Yogasphere offers private yoga classes for two, 250m above ground, on the 72nd floor of The Shard, for a cool price of £1,350 (S$2,400). There is also the option of having a champagne breakfast and refreshments served to you after, of course.
(RELATED: Yoga is now a leading fitness trend)
06: MAT MATTERS
Not all yoga mats are made equal. The Liforme Yoga Mat might cost £100 (S$180), several times that of a regular mat, but it checks way more boxes. Made from natural rubber that is heat-bonded with a “specially engineered eco-polyurethane” that is biodegradable and non-toxic, it provides excellent grip, which matters especially for those sweaty hot yoga sessions. The mats also feature a unique system of alignment markers, so even novices can figure out how to position themselves. Another eco-friendly alternative is from Yoloha, which handcrafts mats from premium-grade cork. Apart from good grip and absorbency, it also offers antimicrobial properties.
07: SET SAIL
Those seeking a meditative retreat will find Guntu a little piece of heaven on earth – or water, for that matter. A luxury vessel with just 19 rooms designed in the style of traditional ryokan, this 3,000 tonner – which embarked on its maiden journey in October last year – sails on the tranquil waters of the Seto Inland Sea. The two- and four-day journeys offered are perfect excuses to go completely off the grid.
Recalibrate in its generously sized rooms that boast a terrace and even an open-air bath, as well as rejuvenate at the spa on board. Also, nourish your body with the creations of chef Kenzo Sato (previously from the two-Michelin-star Shigeyoshi in Tokyo) and sushi master chef Nobuo Sakamoto, made using the freshest catch of the day – taken to the boat directly by local fishermen.
(RELATED: Bringing the Japanese ryokan to the world)