When the British exiled Napoléon Bonaparte to St. Helena in 1815, it took the conquered emperor a full 10 weeks to reach the island. Two centuries later, it’s still a five-day trip by mail boat – assuming you happen to be starting from somewhere as close as Cape Town, South Africa.
But on October 14, the tiny British overseas territory will get its first-ever scheduled flights. Two weeks later, St. Helena’s first luxury hotel, a 30-room property in a trio of Georgian buildings, will open its doors.
Located about 1,200 miles off the western coast of Africa, St. Helena is best known (for those who know it at all) as the place where Napoleon was banished after being defeated at the Battle of Waterloo. The house where he lived – complete with the original furnishings – is one of the island’s main tourist attractions.