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What a year it has been…and what a year it’s going to be. The 12 months of 2012 held some of the most exciting One&Only moments we can remember, events and anniversaries, amenities and experiences we couldn't be happier to have shared with you. This month, we’re taking you on a trip down memory lane to look at a few of those highlights. In addition, we’re letting you in on the New Year’s resolutions some of you shared with us, plus the top bottles of bubbly with which to ring in 2013, as recommended by One&Only Cape Town’s sommelier Luvo Ntezo. We've also created for you a compilation of our monthly recipe columns from 2012, including this month's violet-white chocolate mousse from One&Only Ocean Club. With this loving look back at the year that was, we wish you a festive season filled with peace, love and joy, and a 2013 overflowing with the same. Season’s Greetings from One&Only.

Reservations at One&Only resorts can be made online at oneandonlyresorts.com.

What’s On Your Resolutions To-Do List?
Find out what One&Only devotees around the globe are doing to change themselves in the year to come.

How do One&Only guests plan to change their lives in 2013? Do you want to travel more or stress less? Find more time to spend on yourself? Or maybe you’re all about getting fit by upping your exercise game?

To find out what our guests had on their minds for 2013, we put a poll on our Facebook page, and surveyed our nearly 50,000 followers, asking them to weigh in with their resolutions. The winner? “Stress less,” with “Travel more” a close second and “Get fit and exercise more” something of a distant third.

So what’ll it be for you? Our advice would be to travel more in order to stress less and we know a few fabulous tropical resorts we can highly recommend. If getting fit is on the top of your to-do list for 2013, stay tuned for next month’s One&Only newsletter, which we’ll devote entirely to helping you with that very resolution.

Meanwhile, go ahead and “Like” us on Facebook and be the first to know about exclusive news, updates and offers from One&Only, including super sweepstakes and great giveaways.

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It’s Bottoms Up with Top Champagnes
Toast the festive season and the arrival of 2013 with One&Only Cape Town sommelier Luvo Ntezo’s top ten bubbly picks. 

It’s no small understatement to say that One&Only Cape Town’s Luvo Ntezo knows a thing or two about wine. Named the Best Young Sommelier in South Africa for five years in a row now, he’s wowed guests from near and far with his intimate but accessible expertise in the world of wine, his charming manner and, not least of all, his curation of the resort’s impressive collection of some 5,000-plus bottles. For this festive season, and to help you usher in 2013, Luvo’s generously shared his selections of the most beautiful super-brut bubblies that he recommends to anyone who wants to celebrate the holidays in style.

1. Allée Bleue Rose Brut: Ahead of all Champagnes, this rare South African gem is a stylistically unique sparkling white wine with elegant red berry flavours.

2. Nyetimber Brut: Very seldom do even the English consider their own brut such a worthy New Year's drink, but this little-known bubbly from West Sussex very much impresses.

3. Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill: I simply call this “the Separation of the Classes.”

4. Armand de Brignac Rosé: If Champagne were fashion, this would be my iconic Karl Lagerfeld.

5. Pierre Jourdan Belle Rosé Brut: One of the most flexible of South Africa’s Méthode Cap Classique wines—a term used to describe local sparklers made in the traditional French Champagne style—this bubbly can be enjoyed summer or winter, day or night, wedding or funeral, with food or on its own. Whatever the occasion (or lack thereof) you just have to have the PJ moment.

6. Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut: This winery is the principal authority on South Africa’s Méthode Cap Classique wines.

7. Dom Pérignon: I do like to have some class when I have company over.

8. Laborie Brut Méthode Cap Classique: Character is who you are when no one is watching.

9. Dalla Cia Grappa: There’s just nothing fizzy yet more sophisticated and worth sharing with those very distinguished members of the society you keep.

10. Waterford Brut 2000: This, you have to be me to get hold of. 

A Loving Look Back
Take a trip down memory lane to visit six 2012 highlights at One&Only retreats all over the world

Thanks to you and to the outstanding teams at each and every One&Only resort, 2012 has been quite a year to remember, one filled with friends both old and new, adventures both planned and spontaneous, celebrations both grand and intimate and awards of all kinds, too. Here, we’ve assembled a half dozen highlights of the year that was, reminders of the fun you and we have all had together over the past 12 months. 

1. One&Only Reethi Rah, Maldives Welcomes Resident Marine Biologist
With the arrival of Resident Marine Biologist Zoe Andrews, One&Only Reethi Rah is now bringing hands-on, up-close-and-personal underwater adventure and educational experiences to all our guests. Zoe leads four different reef-going excursions plus custom-designed private outings from the resort, which is set amid the white sands and turquoise waters of the idyllic Maldivian archipelago—one of the richest marine ecosystems on earth. Exploring with Zoe, you’ll have the opportunity to discover an array of beautifully colourful fish, coral and countless other creatures, all while learning lessons you’ll not soon forget.

2. One&Only Ocean Club, Bahamas turns 50
May 2012 marked the 50th anniversary of Paradise Island’s beloved One&Only Ocean Club, a resort long renowned for its contemporary elegance, stylish sophistication and exceptional service. Having opened in the spring of 1962 with a glittering “Bal du Paradis” hosted by Huntington Hartford and attended by a host of politicians and royals from around the globe, the resort has only blossomed since then, welcoming generations of guests to its white sand beaches, charming bungalows, championship golf course and gourmet restaurants. Today, this alluring beachfront hideaway reflects the glamorous ambience and posh exclusivity of a grand colonial manor, with its towering palms, restful lawns and waterfront restaurant from starchef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

3. One&Only Palmilla, Unveils a New Herb Garden and Outdoor Kitchen
As you well know, one of the best (and most enjoyable) ways to get to know a destination is through its food, both by eating it and by cooking it from the freshest of local ingredients. In recognition of that fact, One&Only Palmilla, in Mexico’s Los Cabos, opened its own private herb garden this year, one we’ve been using for tours, private dining and, not least of all, a series of Mexican culinary classes. The new garden—where a variety of native herbs and regional chilies grow—now hosts complimentary weekly cooking demonstrations and occasional Iron Chef-style culinary competitions led by visiting Mexican chefs and resort experts. Guests haven’t been able to get enough of either, enjoying the 12-person guided garden tours, demonstrations, tastings and pairings with Mexican wine and tequilas, as well as the more hand-on competitions, in which several are teamed up with local chefs, and the winner receives a complementary meal at a resort restaurant.

4. Launch of Honeymoon Registry
These days, many brides- and grooms-to-be often have more than enough pots, pans and blenders long before their wedding day. So, we thought we’d help them get the gifts they really want—and their guests want to give—by offering them a brand new option. Our Honeymoon and Wedding Registry lets couples create the experiences of their dreams and then allows their loved ones to help them make those plans a reality. This unique offering provides couples with the opportunity to pick their favourite One&Only destination and then select their accommodations (room, suite or villa), activities (spa, golf, scuba, etc.), meals (from Michelin-starred tasting menus to barefoot chic seaside snacks) and much, much more from a seemingly endless array of possibilities. They then share this glam wish list with their guests, allowing friends and family to be a special part of their special day and the romantic trip that follows.

5. Travel + Leisure Magazine Named One&Only Cape Town the Best City Hotel in Africa and the Middle East and Ranked It Number 14 on Its List of the World’s Best Hotels
We always had more than just a sneaking suspicion that One&Only Cape Town was the best city hotel in the region, but in July Travel + Leisure magazine confirmed this as fact, naming the top-flight urban resort the Best City Hotel in all of Africa and the Middle East. The “World’s Best” list from Travel + Leisure is arguably the most prestigious international awards program for luxury hotels, and it has been a tremendous honour to receive the top slot on continents and in regions as large and diverse as these. In addition, Travel + Leisure named the resort the 14th best hotel in the entire world. Now, if that’s not reason enough to book a trip to One&Only Cape Town, we don’t know what is. 

6. One&Only Le Saint Géran Named the Leading Resort in the Indian Ocean One&Only Le Saint Géran, our retreat on a private peninsula in Mauritius, was tremendously honoured this year to be named the Leading Resort in the Indian Ocean by the World Travel Awards. Based on the votes of travel agents around the world, these awards celebrate excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry, recognising those hotels, resorts and brands that are pushing the boundaries of excellence the hardest and implementing the most ground-breaking of ideas. Our guests agree that One&Only Le Saint Géran—with its silver white sands and sheltered lagoon, thousands of palm trees and spacious terraced suites, impeccable service and outstanding restaurants—is just such a resort, and this award couldn’t have been more deserved. If you’ve not yet been, you must join us in 2013 to find out what all the fuss is about.

Sweet (and Savoury) Indulgence
Cook the One&Only way with this collection of our 2012 recipes from the smashing chefs at our far-flung resorts around the world.

Throughout the year, we’ve closed each of these monthly newsletters with a favourite and oh-so-simple seasonal recipe from one of our star One&Only chefs. There’s been everything from plantain-crusted grouper (One&Only Ocean Club, February) to tortilla soup (One&Only Palmilla, July) to classic French-style meringues (One&Only Cape Town, November). We’ve heard from you that you’ve enjoyed cooking from these recipes so much that we decided to compile all these choice dishes into one beautiful collection you can find here. It makes ideal inspiration for festive-season meals—albeit ones with a bit of a tropical persuasion—or an ideal gift for a loved one with certain culinary leanings. Now get cooking. 

 “Festive, elegant and fun” is how Angel R. Betancourt, the Executive Pastry Chef at One&Only Ocean Club, in the Bahamas, describes this favourite festive-season dessert. It’s creamy smoothness perfectly combines with white chocolate and a hint of a floral violet flavour to create a surprising and decadent taste sensation.

One&Only Recipe of the Month
Dream of a white Christmas with this Violet-White Chocolate Mousse from the Bahamas’ One&Only Ocean Club Executive Pastry Chef Angel R. Betancourt. 

Violet-White Chocolate Mousse

• 305 cl of whole milk
• 20 grams of sugar 

• 70 grams of egg yolk (4 medium sized eggs)
• 5 gelatin silver sheets

• 550 grams of white chocolate

• 900 grams of heavy cream (35% Fat)

• 1 gram violet extract

1. Soak the gelatin sheets in very cold water and reserve.

2. Slowly melt the white chocolate in a double boiler and reserve.

3. Using an electric stand or hand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form, and reserve.

4. Make a crème Anglaise with the sugar, milk and egg yolks: In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the egg yolks and half the sugar until pale. Then, combine the milk and the other half of the sugar in a heavy-bottomed pan, bring to a boil and simmer for four to five minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool for 30 seconds.

5. Pour the milk mixture onto the creamed eggs and sugar, whisking continuously until smooth and creamy, then return the mixture to the saucepan. Place the pan over a medium heat and stir continuously for four to five minutes, or until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.

6. Strain the crème Anglaise through a fine chinois into a dry bowl, add the bloomed gelatin and stir to combine.

7. Add the melted white chocolate to the crème Anglaise and form an emulsion. Pour the warm creme anglaise into the white chocolate stir with a spatula until combinethen add the violet extract.

8. Cool the mixture down on top of a bowl of ice cubes. When this mixture reaches 27ºC (80ºF), fold in the soft-peak whipped cream and pour into molds (martini glasses, ring molds or silicon molds).

9. Refrigerate for at least two hours until it is solid enough to unmold.

10. Decorate with berries before serving.

Escape with One&Only

Always in the world's most supreme locations, One&Only resorts make the perfect summer retreat for families, friends and couples alike. Discover complimentary nights, special rates, extraordinary dining and spa experiences and save up to 25% with summer offers at One&Only resorts across the globe. Simply click your desired destination on the map to view special offers from each property.

Ocean Club Ocean Club Palmilla Royal Mirage Royal Mirage Le Saint Geran Le Saint Geran Reethi Rah Reethi Rah Cape Town Cape Town The Palm The Palm