Photography by Mr Derek Henderson | Styling by Mr Dan May
Words by Mr Benjamin Seidler
Testing out luxury hotels in exotic destinations sounds more like the result
of a lottery win than a description of a working week, but this is exactly what Mr Brad Cocks' employers, travel company Kiwi Collection, pay him to do. Forbes called their guides to luxury hotels "what the Michelin Guide is to restaurants", and Mr Cocks, 34, has the arduous task of critiquing the most luxurious travel spots, room service menus and serene infinity pools, all in the name of good travel writing. Here, the surf enthusiast models our top off-duty pieces, perfect for those lucky enough to enjoy some warmer weather in the coming months.
What makes a great holiday?
Striking the right balance between the company you keep, the activities that inspire you, food and wine, and of course your sanctuary, be it hotel, villa or house.
What destinations are on your holiday wish list?
I have to go to North Korea in 2012. As a traveller, I don't believe you will ever be able to experience such a dictatorship anywhere else. A friend recently visited, flying in from Beijing, and the stories he told over dinner were astonishing. Montenegro seems to have all the right ingredients to be the next Mediterranean hotspot; it boasts a wealth of natural beauty - forests, beaches, mountains - and a unique culture and history, which intrigues me. Lastly - Tulum, Mexico... Why is everyone going there now? A good mate said it's like Saint Barts, but for "cool" people. I'm very curious.
What are your current suggestions for great urban, country and beach getaways?
I still love LA for an urban getaway - be sure to venture downtown. My country break of choice is either Tuscany or the south coast of New South Wales, Milton. For the beach, it would definitely be Sumba, Indonesia, or the Turks and Caicos Islands.
What do you always take with you when travelling?
My Fujifilm global power adapter, various Apple gadgets and my leather passport wallet.
What is your favourite holiday attire?
I love wearing linen clothes, dark sunglasses and a great pair of sandals.
Can you describe the best hotel room you've ever experienced?
My idea of luxury is a bit more rustic or Bohemian than most, I suspect. Villa Haweri at Nihiwatu, Sumba in Indonesia, which is a one-hour flight from Bali, has a large open-plan living room overlooking the ocean, plus no air-con - just fans, which I love - a large private swimming pool and a three-bedroom villa with sand-floor bathrooms complete with outdoor shower and bathtub in which to star gaze.
What is the best place in the world for a massage?
India, without a doubt. Ayurvedic massage has the perfect balance of technique, reflexology and relaxation oils. Thailand is a close second for me because I love the body stretching and deep tissue massage.
What's been your most memorable trip?
My wedding and honeymoon around the Amalfi coast this past July. It was our second trip to the region and I knew the perfect combination of where to stay, eat and relax. I also added a great sense of adventure by skippering a gozzo
[small wooden fishing boat] around the Sorrentine Peninsula.