I have just been to Verbier, Switzerland, where we have The Lodge, which feels like a home away from home. As with all of the properties, the people who work there feel like old friends.
I spent my Christmas holiday surrounded by family, skiing the slopes in some of the best snow I have seen in years. It’s also a fabulous destination in the summer with fantastic hiking, biking, tennis and paragliding.
We have also just come from Kasbah Tamadot in Morocco, where I spent my days hiking up the Atlas Mountains and working from beside the pool.
One of the greatest luxuries in my life is discovering and protecting the most beautiful, unspoiled corners of the world. I love being able to share these experiences with others by opening up the properties for people to come and stay.
It’s also really important to me that we protect the environment around us. Our safari lodge, Ulusaba, is based in the Sabi Sand, which saw a 98 per cent reduction in Rhino poaching last year. We also support local communities – Kasbah Tamadot, for example, employs many local people (95% of Kasbah Tamadot’s employees are from the local area - and figures suggest they then support another ten members in their extended family). The Eve Branson Foundation also supports initiatives that promotes education, employment opportunities and better healthcare for the women and young people in the Berber communities that surround Kasbah Tamadot.
All of our properties can be booked year round by guests and sometimes people hire them out exclusively for celebrations. It’s very fitting to me that some of the most beautiful places that are close to my heart get shared by people for special occasions.
As I travel round the different properties I’ll give you a snapshot of what they’re like – and hopefully one day I might run into you there.