Hobart's Sweet Envy has an excellent, constantly changing ice-cream selection, a reflection of Alistair Wise's restless energy. He keeps inventing new flavours and it's hard to keep up. But one thing is a constant: his burnt honey ice-cream, which has been on the menu since the excellent pâtisserie opened midway through 2010, is an instant classic. The flavour is deep, the texture is quite perfect, and you won't want to give away even a single lick.
Located two hours' drive from Abu Dhabi in a picture-book desert setting, the 205-room mirage fortress Qasr al-Sarab redefines Arabian luxe. In the glorious Al Liwan lobby lounge, cooling water sculptures and enormous glass archways overlooking golden dunes have a mesmerising effect. Guests wallow on plump sun loungers beside their private villa plunge pools and gaze across the undulating desert to… more desert. It's quite magical. Sunset camel rides are mandatory, as are cocktails on the terrace in the cool of the evening.
When the cliff-top extravagance of Alila Villas Uluwatu opened in Bali in mid-2009 it signalled a spectacular new style of Indonesian resort design. Traditional architecture was given a modernist twist to create spaces like the geometric frangipani-fringed spa and the bird's nest sunset cabana. Alila's Villas brand proves that high-end hotels can be both striking and sustainable - Uluwatu has the Green Globe seal of approval for environmental sensitivity. The highs won't stop there, with Alila Villas Musandam, a highly desirable stone citadel floating above the Strait of Hormuz in Oman, set to open in 2013.
We can thank an enterprising settler named Pieter van der Byl for creating Babylonstoren in the Cape Winelands a few centuries back. Today the sweeping Cape Dutch homestead and farmyard in the Drakenstein Valley, an hour from Cape Town, has become a magnet for global nomads and design tourists. Babylonstoren's owner is Karen Roos, former editor of Elle Decoration in South Africa and a woman who knows a thing or two about soft furnishings. Roos has renovated 12 rooms into sybarites' retreats, but has wisely left corners of the 200-hectare farm - the walled bee garden, the mulberry grove, the vast orchards and kitchen gardens - to their own devices. Babel restaurant, housed in an elegantly overhauled cattle shed, serves the pick of farm produce.