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ER EL DIB
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APRIL 2014 3.99

THE
MALDIVES

DEFINITIVE GUIDE THE NEWEST OPENINGS, OUR


ALL-TIME FAVOURITES, THE RIGHT ISLAND FOR YOU

NEW
YORK
A ROUND-UP OF THIS
YEARS GREATEST
ADDRESSES

HOT RIGHT
NOW

Omans top desert camps

CAPRI

THE INSIDER PLACES TO


EAT, DRINK AND SLEEP

CLAUDIA
SCHIFFER
ON HOLIDAY

THE WORLDS
BEST FAMILY HOTELS
EXTRA
SECTION

The spirit of travel.


Download t he Louis Vuitton pass app to reveal exclusive content.

The spirit of travel.


Download t he Louis Vuitton pass app to reveal exclusive content.

CONTENTS
April 2014

Features
Family The worldwide hotels every
parent should know about: the best in Europe, in
the city, for action stations and winter sun

65

Georgia Eastern chic rocks the wild


highlands in the ex-Soviet state on the rise

102 Oman

Hawaii Its name is a byword for surf


and sand, but how do you avoid the whopping great
hotels and get to grips with the real Hawaii?

110 Maldives

Capri Insider tips for clever


clogs who stay over on the fashionable Italian
island and want to dig a little deeper

Camping out has never been


so smart on a desert adventure in the Middle
Easts most wondrous destination

Which island is perfect for


you? Check out our atoll-hopping guide

124

132

142

Pictured, One&Only Reethi Rah, Maldives


April 2014 Cond Nast Traveller 7

CONTENTS

April 2014

124

132

142
14 Editors letter
16 Contributors
21 Word of mouth Whats

creating a buzz around the world,


from Glasgow to Sri Lanka

65
50

32 Short break Once a far-of

stop on the Silk Road, Baku is now


accessible and trading in world-class
architecture, hotels and shopping

41 Where to stay New Yorks

nest: ve new hotels to suit all


tastes; The Weekender in Dorset;
Sally Shalams Great British Breaks

48 A letter from Addis Ababa,

where a sacricial lamb is at the heart


of the Ethiopian Easter

156

50 Style fle The UKs brightest


On the cover
The Maldivian atolls
viewed from a
seaplane. Photograph
by Cathrine Wessel

new eyewear and swimwear label,


plus cracking clutch bags and more.
Jewellery Build a minimal look with
gems designed by a star architect.
Beauty Around the world with
Claudia Schifer. Mens Wolves and
wild times on Vancouver Island;
a postcard from New York City; how
to steal the show like Cary Grant.
On the scene Hotel Eden, Rome

60 Neighbourhood on the up

All the addresses you need for the


creatively talented Holesovice district,
otherwise known as Prague 7

10 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

101 Trendwatch This month, get up


to speed on steampunk

154 A travellers tales Around the


world with Mad Mens Jessica Par

156 In Britain Hightail it to Fife,

Scotlands sunniest spot, for golden


beaches and seafood with a twist

173 The experts Meet the founder

of Lovedesh, for bespoke trips to


Bangladesh. Gadgets The Geek
reveals how to shrink what you take
abroad. Feasting Why dal is greater
than the sum of its parts and
which wines will curry favour with it.
Health Two excellent yoga retreats
to stretch out for. Books This months
best new travel titles. Q&A From
spring ski trips to Ionian beaches your
questions answered by our team

184 Competition Win a 2,500


holiday in Singapore

187 Reader ofer Save up to 35

per cent on dozens of hotels and villas


all over Europe

216 View with a room Maisons des


Rves Paraty, Brazil

PHOTOGRAPHS: MATTHEW BUCK; GABRIELA HERMAN/GALLERY STOCK; KEN KOCHEY; TOM PARKER

In this issue

Women Collection

BLANCPAIN BOUTIQUES
ABU DHABI BEIJING CANNES DUBAI EKATERINBURG GENEVA HONG KONG MACAU
MADRID MANAMA MOSCOW MUNICH NEW YORK PARIS SEOUL SHANGHAI SINGAPORE TAIPEI TOKYO ZURICH
TEL. 0845 273 2500
www.blancpain.com

EDITORS LETTER

he kind of holidays you go on before you have children and after you have
children bear no resemblance to each other. At least they shouldnt. The rst
time Marcus and I went away with our baby daughter was on a road trip in
France. Idiotic. Marcus claims he really likes driving but I see no evidence of
this. Driving with him is like watching a piece of bacon frying in a pan that is too hot; a
series of small, bubbling explosions. So, it was no surprise that at the end of our road trip,
while staying at a lovely hotel in the South of France and lunching with the urbane
general manager, our daughters rst word, as she dropped a piece of ham splat on
the oor, was F***. On and on she went, thrilled with it, F***. F***. F***. F***. F***.
You have no one to blame but yourself really, when you decide to take holidays lefteld. Like the time we found ourselves in Laos with a ve-y
ve-year-old and a one-year-old and while I was three
months pregnant, head over the loo after an unfortunate curry lunch at an elephant sanctuary. After Id recovered,
Marcus and I left our children with a babysitter so we could go and have some supper. We came back at around
11pm, to nd all the lights glaring and the children and the girl surrounded by empty Twix and Snickers wrappers,
Sprite bottles, packets of Oreos and cans of Coke and Fanta, having consumed the entire non-alcoholic contents
of both minibars. Ill never forget the scene, all of them sitting tightly on the edge of their beds, their eyes staring
at me with pupils so wide they looked like maniacal baby owls.
Holidays are supposed to be really nice. But getting there can be really stressful. Which takes me back to Marcus.
Obviously. Marcus has a habit of returning home just as the cab arrives to take us to the airport and insisting on
re-packing the contents of every bag into entirely different bags. And so it was, as we set off on our last holiday,
time ticking sonorously on, that he attempted to carry two massive bags down a very slim staircase. There was an
almighty crash. I found him splayed at the bottom of the stairs with both suitcases on top of him. I left him there.
(Im having lunch with another very lovely general manager at another very lovely hotel in the Caribbean, and
hes telling me the hotel term for when a child does a poo in a hotel swimming pool, and the hotel is forced to
drain the whole caboodle, clean and then re-ll. Code Brown its called in the industry. Code Brown. Why was
he telling me this story? I swear to God it had nothing to do with us. Cross my heart. Nope, nothing at all.)
I was once on the same ight as Paul Smith coming back into London. For years Id had this premonition that
one day I would bump into Paul Smith, and I was really looking forward to it because I was going to tell him
about this amazing coat hed once designed that Id loved and how happy it had made me a wondrous, cheeky,
luxey twist on the Artful Dodger. But I couldnt in the end because the baby had an accident and I was absolutely,
absurdly covered in Code Brown.
So this is family.
This month, we have a special section sponsored by St Regis Hotels & Resorts on the hotels that get it right
with children. Ive wanted to do this project for aeons because the difference between getting it right and wrong
means everything to people who desperately love each other but who are also, well, a bit desperate.
And yet, to be contrary, Marcus and I are off on holiday next week by ourselves. No children. We havent
done this since they were born, because it made complete sense to us, with both of us often abroad, that one of
us should stay at home. But now, 10 years later, we feel we are turning into people our children have employed
separately to look after them: a sloppy tag-team of parental ineptitude. And so we are off somewhere hot and
sunny where we shall hold hands.
Have we booked tickets? Yes! For four days time. Have we booked a hotel? No, because the one we wanted to
stay at is full. F***, f***, f***.
This is the new issue of Cond Nast Traveller. For people who need a break.

Melinda Stevens
Editor

@MelindaStevens3

MelindaLP

Truth in Travel is this magazines promise to the reader to be an essential source


of honest, frst-hand opinion and must-have information. You can trust Cond Nast Traveller
to give you the unbiased inside track, with integrity and attitude.
All information and travel details are correct at the time of going to press and may no longer be so on the date of publication.
Unless otherwise stated, hotel prices are low-season rates and restaurant prices are for a three-course meal for two without drinks
14 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

CONTRIBUTORS
Inspired by this months Family
section, we asked our contributors to
name their favourite family holiday

Sophie Pither Writer, Fife (p156)

Tenerife in 1979, my rst holiday abroad, when I was nine.


I remember my mum asked for a Cinzano and lemonade but
pronounced it Sinzano. It was the rst time I was given Coke
with ice and lemon. I thought it was out of this world.
Margate-born Matt is Cond Nast Travellers photographic producer

Kaui Hart Hemmings Writer, Hawaii (p132)


Breckenride, Colorado. Its a sweet small town with
mountains that are grand, proud and serene. We snowboard
during the day, and visit restaurants in the evening. It also
happens to be the setting for my next novel.
Hawaiian-born Kauis debut novel was The Descendants;
her second, The Possibilities, is out in May

Tom Parker Photographer, Georgia (p124)


My most vivid memories are from a trip to Dordogne when
I was a teenager: canoeing with my dad and brother in a rubber
dinghy, discovering amazing food and underage drinking.
Raised in the Cotswolds, Tom worked as a BBC reporter and
wrote for a newspaper in Nepal before becoming a photographer
16 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

David McConochie

Illustrator, A letter from (p48)

The island of Lindisfarne was a frequent childhood


holiday spot. Its an ancient, beautiful and slightly bleak place
where we would spend the day crab shing, playing on windy
beaches and getting soaked by the freezing North Sea.
Originally from the North-east, David now lives in East London

Daisy Finer Writer and editor, Family section (p65)


We didnt go anywhere beyond Cornwall until my youngest
brother was seven; then our whole world opened up: South
Africa with its wide open beaches; Disney World
with its House of Horrors. Now I have three children of my
own I understand how important it is to keep it fun.
Daisy is our Editor at Large and lives in the Cotswolds

ILLUSTRATION: DAVID McCONOCHIE

Matt Buck Photographer, Capri (p142)

As a family were fond of mucking about in the Hebrides.


Harris is a favourite. Well get wrapped up against the
wind, go searching for shells in the sand and dip about in
rockpools on the most beautiful deserted beaches in Britain
before heading back for board games and hot chocolate.
Sophie is a freelancer writer living just outside Glasgow, and is
currently involved in Nick Nairns Scottish Food Family project

EDITOR

Melinda Stevens

EDITORIAL ASSISTANT/PA TO THE EDITOR Tabitha Joyce/Cassianie Cornwall


DEPUTY EDITOR Sarah Spankie ASSOCIATE EDITOR Peter Browne
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COPY

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DEPUTY CHIEF SUB-EDITOR Christy Ward SENIOR SUB-EDITOR Grinne McBride

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS
Jonathan Bastable, Justin Cartwright, Horatio Clare, Sophie Dahl, E Jane Dickson,
Helen Fielding, Giles Foden, Loyd Grossman, Jeremy King, Emma Love, Kate Maxwell,
Lee Marshall, Thomasina Miers, Reggie Nadelson, Harriet OBrien, Redmond OHanlon,
Tom Parker Bowles, Harry Pearson, Antonia Quirke, Paul Richardson, Anthony Sattin,
Nicholas Shakespeare, Sally Shalam, Stanley Stewart, Colin Thubron
CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS
James Bedford, Mirjam Bleeker, David Crookes, Squire Fox, Philip Lee Harvey,
Max Kim-Bee, Ken Kochey, Lisa Limer, Lisa Linder, Martin Morrell, Anders Overgaard,
Tom Parker, Oliver Pilcher, Preston-Schlebusch, Alistair Taylor-Young, Jenny Zarins
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WORD OF MOUTH

Whats hot in Glasgow Italy West Country Australia USA Sri Lanka

EDITED BY FIONA KERR

Two memoirs of epic journeys stride onto the big screen this year: Wild, starring Reese
Witherspoon, and Tracks, with Mia Wasikowska. Heres how to follow in their footsteps

Wild

Tracks

WHO In 1995, after death (her mothers), divorce (her own)


and a drug problem (heroin), 26-year-old Cheryl Strayed strapped
on her overstufed backpack, nicknamed Monster, and went
in search of radical aloneness.
WHERE The Pacic Crest Trail. Over three months, she walked
1,100 miles, solo, from Californias Mojave Desert to the Bridge
of the Gods on the Oregon-Washington border.
WATCH IT This autumn, Reese Witherspoon steps into Strayeds
walking boots in a screenplay by Nick Hornby.
WALK IT The 200-mile John Muir Trail from Yosemite National
Park south to Mount Whitney is one of the routes most scenic
stretches. Cost: 2,190 per person for a 21-day trip, including
meals, equipment and a guide. www.worldexpeditions.co.uk

WHO Robyn Davidson arrived in Alice Springs from Sydney in 1975.


After two years learning to train camels, the 27-year-old set of into
the Australian Outback with four of them (and her dog Diggity) for
little more reason than for adventure and to learn about Aborigines.
WHERE Her 1,700-mile trek from Redrock Gorge near Alice Springs,
via Uluru, to the Indian Ocean took nine months to complete.
WATCH IT In cinemas from 25 April. Mia Wasikowska plays
Davidson, but the sprawling landscape quietly steals the show.
WALK IT The less extreme Bibbulman Track stretches 620
miles from Perth to Albany and takes six weeks to hike, or you
can join it at a number of points. Cost: from 293 per person
for three nights, including transfers, accommodation and some
meals. www.wildernessgetaways.com.au
EMMA LOVE

Above: Mia Wasikowska re-enacts Robyn Davidsons epic trek in Tracks


April 2014 Cond Nast Traveller 21

WORD OF MOUTH

FASHION HOUSE
Stella Jean
DESIGNER Stella Jean

Since launching her label in 2011,


Stella has won Vogue Italias Whos
On Next competition and last year
Giorgio Armani invited her to show
at his catwalk venue in Milan.

FAVOURITE PLACE Rome

The diferent centuries of


architecture give Rome, my
hometown, a look of serendipity.
For a pre-evening Martini, I go to
the verandah at Hotel Locarno
(www.hotellocarno.com; doubles
from about 90), and my hidden
hangout is Lanicio (www.lanicio.
com), a former woollen mill turned
art gallery and restaurant (Cucina,
pictured right) where guest chefs
create menus each week. Also, the
inventive cocktails at the Co.So
Cocktail & Social (Via Braccio
da Montone 80) such as the
Carbonara Sour, made with egg
white are out of this world.

As a new exhibition at Londons V&A celebrates Italys fashion sense, some of its top
designers reveal their favourite places away from the catwalk. By Melanie Abrams
FASHION HOUSE MaxMara
DESIGNER Laura Lusuardi

Fashion director Laura joined the label


in 1964. MaxMaras camel coats are
regarded as couture classics.

FAVOURITE PLACE Mantua

I go to this small historical city for


weekends. The most central location
has to be the minimalist Hotel Casa
Poli (pictured left; www.hotelcasapoli.it;
doubles from about 95), and be
sure not to miss the of-the-beatentrack church Le Grazie (www
santuariodellegraziecurtatone.it)
its Gothic interior featured in
Bernardo Bertoluccis lm 1900.
Visit Caf Borsa at the Pasticceria
Antoniazzi (www.antoniazzi.biz)
for tea and its Seven Veils
dessert a crunchy
chocolate mousse
and stock up on 150cm
salamis and Caciotta
cheese at local favourite
Giovanni Bacchi
Delicatessen
(Via Oreci 16).
24 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

FASHION HOUSE Fausto Puglisi


DESIGNER Fausto Puglisi

Faustos bold designs debuted in 2006 and last year


he was also made creative director at Emanuel Ungaro.

FAVOURITE PLACE Messina, Sicily

I grew up in Messina (shop window pictured below) and I


love its contrasts: rich and poor, beauty and ugliness. The
place to be seen is Piazza Cairoli, the microcosm of the
city; head to Irrera (www.irrera.it) for the most delicious
Sicilian cassata. The Capo Peloro (www.capopelororesort.
com; doubles from about 54) has stunning views over
the straits of Messina to Calabria and local sherman
sell their nights catch outside every morning.

FASHION HOUSE Etro


DESIGNER Jacopo Etro

Jacopos family fashion house is famed for its


signature Paisley designs and eye-popping prints.

FAVOURITE PLACE Palermo, Sicily

FASHION HOUSE Dolce & Gabbana


DESIGNERS Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana

Domenico and Stefano showed their rst collection in Milan in 1985.


Today, their empire spans the globe and has many famous fans.

FAVOURITE PLACE Capri

We go to Capri every August for the breathtaking Faraglioni, the


rocky stacks of the south coast you can see them from the bath in
Punta Tragaras Artsuite (www.hoteltragara.com; doubles from about
354). The terrace at the Jacky Bar (www.capritiberiopalace.it) is the
only place for a pre-dinner Prosecco, then its on to Aurora (www.
auroracapri.com) for homemade ravioli. Visit Canforas boutique
(pictured left; www.canfora.com) for bejewelled sandals, then dance
till dawn at the Taverna Anema e Core (www.anemaecorecapri.it).

PHOTOGRAPHS: CONTRASTO/EYEVINE; GETTY IMAGES; MELANIA MESSINA; OLYCOM SPA/REX

I love Palermo for beautiful palaces like the Palazzo


dei Normanni (pictured above) where it seems time
has stood still. The fresh swordsh and octopus at
the Trattoria Da Salvo (Via Torremuzza) are amazing
and cooked in front of you, while the Enoteca
Buonivini (Via Dante 8) has the best Sicilian wines.
The Francesco Pantaleone contemporary art gallery
(www.fpac.it) is the locals secret with beautiful
views over the baroque Quattro Canti.

FASHION HOUSE Versace


DESIGNER Donatella Versace

Gianni Versace launched the label in


1978 and his sister Donatella took
over after his death in 1997.

FAVOURITE PLACE Milan

Milan, my home, is diferent


from other Italian cities. Its more
about hidden beauty, whether
its a garden concealed behind
a wall like the Vivaio Riva
(Via Arena 7) or a secret place to
discover the most incredible food,
such as Bice (panna cotta pictured
above; www.bicemilano.it) where
the waiter knows your order before
you speak. The Principe di Savoia
(www.dorchestercollection.com;
doubles from about 190) is
the citys most exquisite hotel.
The Glamour Of Italian Fashion
1945-2014 runs from 5 April to
27 July at the V&A (www.vam.ac.uk)

WORD OF MOUTH

Field of dreams

Something is stirring in the West Country as


a crop of new hotels and arts centres takes root
The DFL (down from London) crowd have long swapped Soho House
for country houses. Its not all cheese-making and pub lunches, though,
as the West Country is getting some hip new residents. Gallerists Iwan and
Manuela Wirth extend their empire to their adopted home of Bruton (main
picture) this summer with Hauser & Wirth Somerset (www.hauserwirth
somerset.com), an international art centre converted from a tumbledown farm.
Its gardens are by Piet Oudolf, designer of New Yorks High Line; the restaurant
is run by stylish local foodies At The Chapel; and its art-lled farmhouse
(pictured right) is available to rent. In Gloucestershire, The Convent Hotel &
Spa (www.theconvent.net) is shaking up the Daylesford crew with gigs in its old
chapel, a members club and a reputation for the best nights around plus,
this month, 40 new suites, so make a weekend of it. Add a new Pig (www.
thepighotel.com) near Bath, and the 13-room The Pitt in Cheltenham from the
people behind The Wheatsheaf Inn, and its no wonder Soho House have
their eyes on Great Tew in Oxfordshire for another foray into the countryside.

26 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

saw it as the start of a new


chapter. The last day of the
restaurant is my favourite
memory, he says, because
it was the rst day of the
elBulli Foundation [his
culinary institute, set to
open in 2015]. You wont
be trying many of the dishes
from the seven-volume
elBulli 2005-2011 (425,
Phaidon, published on 7
April) either, though Adri
says, It was never about the
nished plates, it was about
the journey of sequences,
techniques and places.
Adri is also working on
a lm of Lisa Abends book
The Sorcerers Apprentices:
A Season At elBulli, with
Javier Bardem and Robert
Downey Jnr touted for his
role. This might be as close
to the chef as British fans

get for a while. Plans to


open in London are not
going ahead for now as
Albert [his brother and
business partner] is so busy
in Barcelona. So, what
does the futurologist of
food predict for 2014?
Vietnam, Thailand, India
and the Arabic world are all
important culturally right
now. TARA STEVENS
From left: Ferran Adri;
a Parmesan crystal;
Empanadilla de Nori

PHOTOGRAPHS: MURDO MACLEOD; AARON SCHUMAN

MASTER CHEF

Foams, liquid nitrogen


smoke, deconstructed
dishes... youd be eating
none of these had it not
been for Ferran Adri,
the godfather of molecular
gastronomy. When Adri
closed the three-Michelinstarred elBulli in 2011, the
masses were disappointed
each season, its 8,000
spaces drew two million
enquiries but the chef

WORD OF MOUTH

COOL WATERS

A new beach scene in Sri Lanka is breaking for surfers and sunseekers
A nger of land extending out into the Indian Ocean from halfway up Sri Lankas west coast,
Kalpitiya is mostly home to shermen, but its sparsely beautiful beaches are drawing a growing crowd
in search of some of the worlds best kite-surng between May and September. Ambitions to develop
it as a mass tourist destination have recently stalled, meaning just a handful of hotels make up the
emerging beach scene. Udekki (www.udekki.com), this picture and above right, owned by blues musician
Glen Terry, has nine villas and suites with a North African twist, while Dolphin Beach Resort
(www.dolphinbeach.lk), right, brings a safari-camp vibe with its seven Raj-style tents. Simple and chic
cabanas at the Cecil Balmond-designed Palagama Beach Resort (www.palagamabeach.com) are just
steps from the sea, while over at Bar Reef Resort (www.barreefresort.com), tuck into sh curry next to
an innity pool lit with bre-optics to mirror the stars. NELL McSHANE WULFHART

HASHTAG HOLIDAYS

You might think that travel and social media equals smug status updates and
snaps of legs on sunloungers. But new websites and apps are harnessing the
power of online (over)sharing to crowd-source your next itinerary

the trends taking


off and those
running out of fuel

SPOTTLY
Spottly turns your smartphone into an Instagram-like travel journal: take pictures
and add notes to create collections of your favourite places. But the best bit is checking
out other peoples lists. Looking for the best street eats in Singapore? Browse away.
The hottest bars in Hong Kong? Just uploaded. www.spottly.com

THE BIBLE

PINTEREST
It recently launched
place pins, so users can
pin pictures and
locations of hotels,
restaurants, bars and
more that they want to
visit onto the globe
to chart future travels
or highlight their own
Ive been here picks.
Were already onboard,
so click through and
check out Cond Nast
Travellers guides.
www.pinterest.com

EPICLIST
The app for adventurers (or at least wannabe
ones), which lets travellers record their
journeys and challenges (paragliding from
Mount Everest or reaching the South Pole)
not only for themselves but to inspire
others to do the same. www.epiclist.io

28 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

FAMILY HOLIDAYS

Recent launches Smith & Family, Kodomo and


Kid & Coe prove family-friendly doesnt have to be
style-free. Also see our Family special (page 65)
Not just in hotel drawers. Russell Crowe as Noah
oats onto the big screen this month, followed
by Ridley Scotts Exodus. Make a pilgrimage to the
Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem when it opens in August

THE NEW SPACE RACE

Space Adventures has sent eight astro-nots (aka


real, very rich people) into orbit, while Amazon
boss Jef Bezos is about to launch Blue Origin

ALL-THE-FRILLS FINE DINING

FINDERY
This is all about travel stories,
bringing together maps and memories
in a charming new way to discover
the world. Anecdotes include littleknown places (such as the Scottishisland location of the World Stone
Skimming Championships) and secret
histories (for example, the tale of the
tailor who invented the parachute
but fell to his death from the Eifel
Tower testing it). www.ndery.com

Claridges (Simon Rogan replaces Ramsay) and the


Berkeley (Marcus Wareing becomes just Marcus)
re-open their restaurants, with silver service out

PDAS

Public Displays of. All. Naked yoga classes in


New York; naked yoga retreats on Formentera?
Messing with our karma

PET-SITTERS

With doggie spas (get groomed at Raithwaite


Hall in Yorkshire), pet travel agents and Tumis
snazzy new carrier from chic canine brand Cloud7,
theres no need to leave that pooch at home

NOT MANY PEOPLE KNOW THIS...


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SHORT BREAK

THROWING SHAPES

Oil-rich Baku is now burning bright as one of the worlds most ambitious capitals. So why

32 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

is it so ahead of the curve? By Claire Wrathall

he rst time I went to Baku, in


2010, I ew in a construction
magnates private jet. This may
sound like boasting, but actually
it was almost an economic way to travel.
The one direct ight from London at
that time had a starting price of 800,
even in economy, which oil-company
executives the only people who needed
to travel regularly to Azerbaijans then
backwater capital could apparently
expense without blinking.
Four years on, its a very different
story. The airfare has almost halved since
British Airways took over the route, and
half a dozen top-of-the-tree western
hotels have opened. Depending on which
way the wind is blowing, the pungent
odour of oil may still hang in the air, but
the dour Soviet cityscape has been more
than cleaned up: its been transformed.
At night, the bulbs on the cladding of
the Crystal Hall (an arena shaped like an
Elizabethan ruff) glitter and change
colour; the innitely voluptuous curves
of Zaha Hadids thrillingly original and
arrestingly shiny white Heydar Aliyev
Cultural Centre gleam in the moonlight;
and the 10,000 light-emitting diodes on
the Flame Towers icker like, well, ames.
Designed to resemble tongues of re, these
skyscrapers one of which will open as
a Fairmont hotel before long typify
Azerbaijans often-literal approach to
architecture. The soon-to-open Carpet
Museum, for instance, is shaped like a
rolled-up rug. While the International
Mugham Centre, which celebrates
Azerbaijans traditional music, vaguely
resembles a tar: imagine a cross between
a lute and a banjo. Along with a kemana,
a sort of elongated, four-stringed guitar
played like a cello, and a daf (essentially a
tambourine without cymbals), its a key
component in Azerbaijans seductive,
all-pervading musical culture, an exotic,
often melancholic, sometimes dissonant
sound world thats nonetheless compelling.
If you get a chance to hear a singer called
Azerin, seize it. She may look mumsy, as
though shed just put the kids to bed before
coming out, observed my companion, but
her voice will break your heart.
Giddy with oil wealth, Baku is truly a
megalopolis in the making, calling to
The Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre, Zaha
Hadids unique take on Islamic architecture

SHORT BREAK

mind both Shanghai and Dubai. There are


dozens of extraordinary building projects
rising up: towers shaped like sharks ns,
crescent moons, sails (the almost nished
Trump Tower), not to mention an articial
archipelago known as the Khazar Islands,
on which a 185-storey structure is planned:
a skyscraper intended to stand a full 222
metres higher than Dubais Burj Khalifa.
Then there is the shopping. Almost
every luxury brand you can think of is
represented. Tom Ford has opened not
one but three stores, while Burberry has
two, one devoted exclusively to children.
Every major western designer would
seem to have opened on Neftchilar
Avenue, the elegant boulevard that hugs
this seaside citys main bay. Its name may
mean oil workers, but its six lanes throng
with Lexuses, Lamborghinis and the odd
Lada along with London taxis, built in
Coventry by Manganese Bronze, but
painted purple to distinguish them from
their British cousins. To reach the Bulvar,
the great, crescent-shaped, Croisetteinspired esplanade that runs along the
Caspian waterfront, used to mean taking
your life in your hands as you dodged the
trafc. Now there are palatial underpasses
lined in polished travertine
Entertainment is thriving too: Rihanna
and Jennifer Lopez have played the
Crystal Hall; Gerard Depardieu was here
recently to shoot a lm, Alexandre Dumas
in Azerbaijan; and the Oscar-winning
screenwriter Christopher Hampton has
adapted Ali & Nino, the national novel
of Azerbaijan (published in English by
Random House), for the screen. Written
34 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

in 1937 but set before Azerbaijan was


subsumed into the Soviet Union, its
essentially a gripping love story between
a young aristocratic Azerbaijani Muslim
and a Christian princess from neighbouring
Georgia, who meet in Baku. But it works
equally as a still-topical guide to the city, a
place its author Kurban Said describes as
really two towns, one inside the other,
like a kernel in a nut. To lose yourself in
the Icherisheher, as the medieval heart is

There are towers


shaped like sharks
ns, crescent
moons and sails
known, is to nd yourself somewhere
utterly exotic and ancient, a labyrinth of
mosques, palaces, domed hammams (the
less adventurous might prefer the dreamy
spa at the Four Seasons Hotel Baku;
www.fourseasons.com/baku) and houses
with enclosed balconies cantilevered out
from their upper storeys like those you
see in Istanbul. But then, culturally,
Azerbaijan and Turkey have much in
common, not least their Turkic languages.
Then theres the Shirvanshahs Palace,
a complex of pavilions and courtyards
and exquisite Islamic carving dating back
to the 12th century, and arguably the
prime reason old Baku has a UNESCO
World Heritage listing. But its also worth
stopping at Caravansarai Bukhara (+994
12 492 6668), which has been catering to
travellers ever since Baku was established

The Baku Crystal Hall, where stars including


Rihanna and Jennifer Lopez have played

as an important stop on the Silk Route.


At the centre of its courtyard stands the
still-functioning fountain where merchants
would have tethered their camels, and
though there is a large communal space
in the basement, the best tables are
those in 15 vaulted private dining rooms
that open off the courtyard, each one
hung with rugs.
If youve been to Turkey, youll probably
think of the food in Baku as Turkish; if
you know Iran, you might be reminded
of Persian traditions. Both observations
are tactless because obviously the cooking
here is proudly Azerbaijani: lamb shashlik;
saffrony, almondy pilaf, known as plov;
little spinach-stuffed pancakes called
qutabs; stuffed tomatoes, aubergines
and vine leaves; copious aromatic salads
of chervil, parsley, pomegranate seeds
and walnuts, all accompanied by tannic
Azerbaijani wine (which was known in
Soviet Russia as chernilo ink thanks to
the way it stains your mouth) or tulipshaped glasses of perfumed black tea the
colour of woodstain, sweetened with tiny
spoonfuls of barely set cherry jam. Given
its magical setting, the food at Bukhara
isnt really the point though; for better
Azerbaijani cooking, go to the slick Sahil
Dining Center (www.sahil-dining.az) on
the seafront, or Mugham Club (+994 12492
4085), in another ancient caravansarai,
though the quid pro quo for a superior
meal is a oor show with belly dancers.
Even so, restaurants have come some
way in Baku since the citys rst fabled,

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SHORT BREAK

still popular pizzeria Pizza Hat opened


in the early 1990s. Chinar (www.chinardining.com), a pan-Asian restaurant/
bar/club was launched by a brigade from
Londons Hakkasan and remains a
favourite among Bakus beau monde.
And perhaps the best Italian cooking is
to be found at the Four Seasons Hotel
Baku, at Zafferano, where the exquisite
saffron risotto comes sprinkled with gold
leaf (so much prettier than Parmesan,
though it tastes of nothing) and, at Kaspia,
on the ninth oor, named for its views of
the Caspian sea. The room is seductive,
with its oor of under-lit agate and
undulating wall decorations of polished
bronze, and unless you order carefully the
bill may be ruinous (50g of beluga will set
you back 270; a dozen oysters cost 40.
The people-watching is a treat, though).
36 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

At Zafferano, the
saffron risotto
comes sprinkled
with gold leaf
But then, Baku high society has long
dened itself by its wealth. Just look at
the mansions built by the rst generation
of oil barons in the late 19th century.
Perhaps the most splendid legacy of that
genuinely belle poque is the Azerbaijan
State Museum of Art (the highlight of
which is a marvellous Kandinsky of a
top-hatted woman on a rearing horse). It
occupies an ostentatiously ornate palace
commissioned in 1891 by the Rothschild
family, whose fortunes were bolstered by
their interests in Bakus oil elds. As were
those of the Nobel family who came here

in 1879 and built themselves a four-square


villa lled with virile lion insignia, which
they named Petrolea. Both houses, though,
pale beside the Taghiyev Mansion, a fauxRenaissance residence which is now the
National History Museum. You can still see
a fabulously extravagant mosaic ceiling of
mirrored Murano glass, and an Oriental
Hall so gilded as to be almost dazzling.
For all the bling and the bluster, however,
Baku has a palpable charm, a dynamism,
a sense that it is forging its place on the
world stage. For the moment, tourists are
almost non-existent, perhaps because
Azerbaijan is not an obviously easy country
to condone. For all the visible wealth,
theres also visible poverty. Its regime is
authoritarian (the Economist Intelligence
Units Democracy Index ranks it alongside
Qatar, 10 places above UAE, though
it rates better than Turkey and Morocco
when it comes to civil liberties). And
it doesnt tolerate dissent from its media
(though Turkey has more imprisoned
journalists). But it is a new nation, a
thriving, fast-developing one, and well
worth seeing now as it opens up to
visitors, to the West and lets hope
more of its freedoms and values.
You can travel independently, but its best to
use an agency to arrange visas, transfers and
guides. The UK expert in this region is Exeter
International (www.exeterinternational.
co.uk), which offers three nights at the Four
Seasons Hotel Baku from 1,320 per
person, including transfers, guides and BA
ights from London

PHOTOGRAPHS: JONATHAN GLYNN-SMITH; EMIL KHALILOV

Clockwise from above: two nocturnal views


of Bakus modern motorway engineering;
roll up for the new Carpet Museum

PERSONAL
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London SW10 0XE
020 7225 9166
www.dcch.co.uk

WHERE TO STAY
Reviews of the month in New York Dorset Wales
EDITED BY PETER BROWNE

INDUSTRIAL-EDGE SMARTS

REFINERY HOTEL
FIVE GREAT NEW HOTELS IN

MANHATTAN

Theres a reassuring sense of purpose to this


privately owned hotel in the undervisited Garment
District, a neighbourhood once famous for its
concentration of fashion manufacturers. The lobby
is slick and colonnaded, the staf smartly uniformed
and focused, the bar twinkly and meaningful with
its serious collection of whiskeys. Opened last
summer in a ne-looking, neo-Gothic building on
West 38th Street, it owes many design elements
to its origins as a hat factory: desks reference
antique Singer sewing machines; illustrations of
needles and threads are embedded in specially
commissioned carpets; notepaper is stamped
with the words tailored, sophisticated, unique.
The rooms are industrial and loft-like, with high
concrete ceilings, metal windows, exposed pipework
and dark-oak oors (none of which are original,
but youd never know), and the butch, black-andwhite-tiled bathrooms are big and solid, with
heavy brass taps and powerful showers. The new
Parker & Quinn restaurant serves tasty, all-American
comfort food (heirloom pork chops; hickory-smoked
ribs), and with its mosaic oor, central bar and
button-backed booths, its camera-ready for the
part of a quintessential Manhattan tavern. The
rooftop bar, with its retractable glass roof, is best
in the steamy summer months, but even in winter
its bang-on view of the Empire State Building
make it a destination in itself. PB
www.reneryhotelnewyork.com. Doubles from
about 185

April 2014 Cond Nast Traveller 41

WHERE TO STAY
INDULGENT HOME FROM HOME

THE QUIN

Many visitors have fantasised about living like a New Yorker of means in a
sensational apartment by Central Park; in a building with a doorman and
a warm welcome every time you pass through that revolving door. At
The Quin, that kind of excellent, earnest service each guest is assigned
an attach makes a stay a standout, as does the hotels dedication to
art: each of the 208 rooms displays original pieces, a gallery exhibits
featured artists, and a 15ft digital screen in the lobby serves as a rotating
showcase of multimedia work. And when your neighbour is Bergdorf
Goodman, there are perks such as a direct line to personal shoppers and
an in-room provisions cabinet stocked by the store: chic oferings include
books, jewellery and cards. Rooms are done out in a subdued palette
of greys and wood, and theres super-plush bedding by Sferra and smart
marble baths. A bedside tablet controls everything from lights and shades
to temperature and music (it even gives you a heads-up on news headlines
and the weather outside); and theres a touchpad by the door for room
service or housekeeping. The hotels Wayfarer tavern had yet to open
when I stayed, but my in-room breakfast, with perfectly poached eggs
and piping-hot cofee, was one of the best Ive had. BONNIE TSUI
www.thequinhotel.com. Doubles from about 315

A FUNNY LITTLE FIND

THE HIGH LINE HOTEL

Tenth Avenue at 20th Street is an odd bit of sort-of


Chelsea, and this little hotel is unique. Although it takes
its name from a disused rail track, its origins are as part
of the General Theological Seminary, a 19th-century
complex of brick buildings with a cloistered garden,
owned by the Episcopal Church. Its new incarnation is
a nuanced interpretation of the home of a theologian
with an eye for vintage furniture, brasses, taxidermy
and antiques, supplied by on-trend design company
Roman and Williams (see the Viceroy). A 1960s Citron
truck in the front yard selling Intelligentsia cofee raises
the hipster quotient further, as does a rack of retro bikes.
Guests are a mixed bag of media-savvy beardies and
Chelsea art collectors; locals stop in the cosy lobby for
a cofee, which lends the place a pleasant, lived-in feel.
Otherwise, theres no food or drink on site (although an
outdoor Champagne bar will open in May), and service is
limited to a couple of hosts and a busy bellhop. Vanity Fair held its 100th
birthday party in the seminarys Gothic refectory last year; as an indication
of the close relationship between church and hotel, the minstrels gallery
can only be accessed through a seminarians bedroom closet. PB
www.thehighlinehotel.com. Doubles from about 215

42 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

GREAT VALUE IN THE VILLAGE

THE MARLTON HOTEL


This place in Greenwich used to be a eapit hostel back
in the 1950s, when Jack Kerouac wrote Tristessa in one
of the rooms; Valerie Solanas was living in room 214 when
she shot Andy Warhol in 1968. Most recently it was a
dorm for students at Manhattans New School. Then
a couple of years ago the red-brick building on still-shady
West 8th Street was bought by Sean MacPherson, the
low-key zeitgeist meister behind Manhattans Bowery
Hotel and surfer-dude hangout Crows Nest in Montauk,
and it opened last year as a 107-room hotel. Its bistro,
Margaux, followed in January, with instant-nicotinestained mouldings, hanging plants and a good, eclectic
menu (theres a Farmers Board with dollops of pured

vegetables as well as a massive rib-eye for two).


The cocktail bar is packed with well-turned-out,
well-moisturised youths and their admirers, but the
hotel itself pulls in a broader age-demographic of
travellers happy to put up with tiny bedrooms but
not to compromise on style. MacPherson says he
wanted to recreate a Parisian guesthouse feel, and
indeed he has: theres no one to help with luggage,
no room service and nothing in the way of gadgetry.
But there are plenty of gilt sconces, pretty mirrors
and fantastic, Edwardian-style bathrooms with big
shower heads and marble-surround basins. PB
www.marltonhotel.com. Doubles from about 150

SUNNY WEST COAST ARRIVAL

VICEROY

This handsome new hotel just south of Central Park is the


Californian companys rst branded Manhattan outpost.
Designed from the ground up by Ace Hotel vets Roman
and Williams, the 29-oor tower has a striking black-glass
exterior and a narrow but sweepingly high marble lobby
kitted out in wood, leather and brass. Its anchored at street
level by the elegant Kingside restaurant, a collaboration
between chef Marc Murphy and cocktail specialist Scott
Gerber. Popular but pricey, it serves up Old Fashioneds
with hand-cut blocks of ice, a good wine list, and a New
American menu with something for everyone (raw bar,
fregola mac-and-cheese, an excellent burger). The pretty
bedrooms are done up in a clubby style, with thoughtful
design to make use of limited space: chaises with sliding
drawers; compact shelf-desks that recall library carrels.
The big casement windows actually open, and high-oor
rooms have lovely views of the park. Bathrooms have
a wonderful old New York-subway quality, with mosaic
tiles and brass-tted sinks. Until the rooftop bar opens
in spring, guests make the most of complimentary craftcocktail hour in the library Spicy Paloma, anyone? BT
www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com. Doubles from about 285

ROOMS FOR
THOUGHT
New York is having a bit of a
hotel moment, with spruced-up
oldies and hip hangouts
opening in swift succession.
Classic Manhattan stalwart
the ST REGIS recently had
a makeover, and this year its
the turn of LOEWS REGENCY
(a bold $100-million rethink)
and the NEW YORK PALACE
(with a new $25,000-a-night
Jewel Suite). Also in Midtown,
the PARAMOUNT HOTEL,
famous in the 1990s when Ian
Schrager was running things,
is under new ownership, and
downtowns Cooper Square
Hotel has completed its
transformation into the bright
and breezy STANDARD
EAST VILLAGE. Big openings
scheduled for later this year
include two hotels from the fun,
Amsterdam-based, budgetconscious CITIZENM brand
and a new Midtown property
currently under construction
by the UKs stylish FIRMDALE
HOTELS group. The French
jewellery company BACCARAT
has also chosen New York for
a sashay into the hotel world
in a shimmering glass tower
opposite the Museum of
Modern Art and EDITION
HOTELS, Marriotts hip brand
directed by Schrager, has plans
to open a hotel on Madison
Avenue, followed by another
on Times Square. PB

WHERE TO STAY
topped with Montgomery Cheddar, and
thin-crust pizzas straight from the woodred oven. For more formal fodder,
settle into the main restaurant with its
wooden oorboards, huge sash windows
overlooking the street, and candles
ickering inside bird cages. Superb dishes
include a herb gnocchi with Westcombe
Ricotta, and award-winning butcher
Simon Harvells prime cut of beef, aged
specially for the hotel, not to mention
delicious fresh breads and the best
farmhouse butter I have ever tasted.
THE CROWD Parents of pupils at St
Marys Shaftesbury with their wellbehaved girls; Barbour-clad regulars for
whom this is clearly home from home.
WE LIKE The breakfast kippers
from Chesil Smokery; the seriously
cosy bar with its Bloody Mary menu
and newspapers to browse; the dog
food selection: wet or dry, organic
or gluten-free?
WE DONT LIKE The standing fan in
my bedroom in the bleak midwinter.

THE WEEKENDER

THE GROSVENOR ARMS

CONTACT +44 1747 850580;


www.thegrosvenorarms.co.uk.
Doubles from 105 (winter rates)
or 150 (summer rates), including
full English breakfast. MARY LUSSIANA

SHAFTESBURY, DORSET

BEHIND THE SCENES Dont be


fooled by the apparent effortlessness
of the interiors: everything was carefully
chosen by its owners with the help of
designer Marcia Scott from bespoke,
blue-leather bar stools to regionally
sourced wares such as Black Cow vodka
and Green Weald rapeseed oil. Even
the delicious Enchanted Plants Rose
Geranium organic soap is made in town.
44 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

SLEEP The 16 bedrooms and suites


a further 10 are promised vary in
design, with views overlooking the street
or the hotels inner courtyard. Muted
geometric textiles are teamed with
neutral tones in one room; vivid tartans
and bold wallpapers in another. The
best of the bunch is probably the
Cranborne with its warm pinks and reds.
Bathrooms have either a deep roll-top
bath or a shower big enough to host
a party. All rooms have a king-sized bed,
Tassimo coffee machine, iPod dock and
efcient Wi-Fi (plus crumbly, melt-inthe-mouth chocolates on arrival).
EAT The hotels ethos of sourcing
everything locally is well served by
Dorsets numerous artisanal producers,
many of whom supply head chef Neil
Duffett formerly of the Lime Wood
hotel in the New Forest with fresh
ingredients. Informal options served in
the deli include a juicy Dorset burger

WHILE YOURE HERE


Browse the brilliant independent shops
in Shaftesbury, from Sparrow for
British-made gifts, to Turnbulls for
its local cheeses, to Mine, which
showcases dog-print goodies by the
Dorset-based Labrador Company.
Also, walk to Shaftesbury Abbey,
taking in the wonderful views across
Blackmoor Vale and Gold Hill
(pictured above), made famous by
director Ridley Scott in his nostalgic
Hovis advert of the 1970s.

PHOTOGRAPHS: ALAMY; JAKE EASTHAM

WHAT IS IT? An elegant, colonnaded


building right on the main street in
Shaftesbury, dating back to the 15th
century. Originally a coaching inn known
as The Red Lion, it was bought and
renamed by Earl Grosvenor in 1820.
Now owned by a couple of locals with an
eye for laidback luxury, The Grosvenor
Arms is thriving in this latest chapter
in its Grade II-listed life, with its smart
bedrooms and endearingly shabby-chic
ground oor packed to capacity since
its doors opened at the end of last year.

T R AV E L E X P E R I E N C E D

FACE TO FACE
WITH CANADA

Canada is the worlds second largest country and renowned


for its spectacular landscapes; from the breathtaking mountain
panoramas of the Canadian Rockies to the ice-covered wilderness
around Churchill on the Hudson Bay, and the vineyards, farmland
and maple forests of Canadas east. The country is also home
to abundant wildlife, cosmopolitan cities and diverse cultures
from the historic French settlements in Qubec to indigenous
communities scattered throughout the country.
6.'20#'),."#.2#)'05.#(/
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To speak to an expert or request a brochure, please
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WHERE TO STAY

SALLY SHALAMS GREAT BRITISH BREAKS


This month, our happy wanderer returns to Wales for a
lyrical journey inspired by a tempestuous bard
t doesnt take much to tempt me across the
Severn Bridge to Wales, and this is a special
year. It is the centenary of the birth of the
countrys most famous poet and writer, Dylan
Thomas, and a host of events, day trips and short
breaks has been promised (www.dylanthomas100.
org). Most will run from May until autumn, from
Swansea and the Gower to rural Ceredigion.
The Heron and the Horse-Drawn Carriage, a
tour by pony and trap of the Carmarthenshire farms
and cottages where Thomas spent his summer
holidays, sounds heavenly. And if there is one place
to pick as a base, it is Laugharne, which has fewer
syllables than you think (say Larn) but countless
links to the poet. Browns Hotel (www.browns-hotel.
co.uk; doubles from 95), once
Thomas watering hole, has a cosy
bar now revitalised but not boringly
sanitised and 14 rooms, each
a paean to Welsh slate and wool.
Thomas spent the last four years
of his life at The Boathouse (www.
dylanthomasbothouse.com), now
a museum, tucked into the harbour
wall overlooking the Taf Estuary. He
wrote Poem On His Birthday here:
In the mustardseed sun. By full tilt
river and switchback sea. Pick up
a volume of poetry from antiquarian
bookshop Corran Books. Its owner,
George Tremlett, wrote Caitlin: Life With
Dylan Thomas A Warring Absence in
collaboration with the poets widow. The
tome is now out of print, but Tremlett
always has a few secondhand copies, as
well as rst editions of Thomass work.
One of my favourite restaurants, The
Cors (www.thecors.co.uk), also happens
to be in Laugharne, and its three simple
rooms (doubles from 80) are handy if
Browns Hotel is full. Here, in what was
once a private house, signature dishes such as
smoked haddock crme brulee and roasted llet of
Welsh Black beef are served Thursday to Saturday
in candlelit dining rooms painted a conspiratorial
aubergine. The garden is a delight, and in spring and

46 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

summer you can sit on


the terrace beside a
giant tree peony, with
a G&T. It reminds me
of the artistically
eccentric Sri Lankan
hotel Helgas Folly,
owned by a member of
the Blow family. If that
isnt recommendation
enough, I really dont
know what is.
There was late snow
one spring when, in
search of sustenance,
we drove past The Hardwick (www.thehardwick.
co.uk), an inviting, whitewashed inn just outside
Abergavenny. It looked promising, so we turned
around. The minute fresh bread arrived on the table
with a butter pat and Tuscan olive oil, we knew wed
hit the jackpot. Chef-patron is Stephen Terry, who
began his working life in London under Marco Pierre
White. The restaurant had a roaring grate and such
a happy atmosphere; it felt like an old inn, but with
stratospherically better food. The Hardwick now has
eight rooms (doubles from 155) in a typically plain
Welsh style of oak and textiles from the Melin
Tregwynt mill (www.melintregwynt.co.uk). Im dying
to go back and stay. Which reminds me about of a
new arrival, also in Monmouthshire: Raymond Blanc
protg Chris Harrod has recently taken over The
Crown at Whitebrook (www.crownatwhitebrook.
co.uk; doubles from 100). Dont ever let anyone
tell you that Wales is a culinary desert.

PHOTOGRAPHS: 4CORNERS IMAGES; GETTY IMAGES; TOPFOTO

George Kelly, July 19th

Badlands | Alberta

Out here, freedom finds you.

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A LETTER FROM

At an Easter celebration in the capital, Henry Wismayer overcomes his squeamishness


to witness an authentic slice of Ethiopian life. Illustration by David McConochie
walk as though to my own
execution, up two ights of
stairs, down a corridor and
outside onto a triangular
balcony. A big satellite dish,
storage boxes and jerrycans are
arranged along a wall, a neat row
of curved knives on the concrete
oor, and, in the centre, three of
Gods creatures who have just spent
their last night on earth under a
grumpy, smog-infested sky.
Its Fasika, Easter Day, in the Bole
district of Addis Ababa.
Ah, you decided to join us!
exclaims Habte, smiling broadly.
Come, we are about to begin.
For the past two weeks, dwindling
ocks of sheep have occupied every
corner of Addis Ababa. We bought
ours yesterday at a dusty crossroads
in Debre Zeit. One thousand birr,
or 34 best price! for three
lambs (lets call them Breakfast,
Lunch and Dinner), subsequently
steered wheelbarrow-fashion by
their wizened vendor into the boot
of Habtes Peugeot 405.
Their fate is imminent: a lambs
sacrice to break the Lenten fast.
How tempting to avoid this
moment. But I have lived through
the build-up, shared the increasing
tedium of the relentless vegetarian
diet. For 56 days, no tibs, kitfo or
other meat dishes have decorated
our injera atbreads, just lentil shiro
and spiced vegetables.
Now, as a murmur of Geez chants
emanates from the cathedral down
the road, I owe it to my hosts and
to my decades of carnivorous living
to repay their hospitality with
participation, however hesitant. In
this most devoutly Christian country,
where food is sacred and, notoriously,
not always abundant, this is how they
choose to give thanks.
And so the friends I have been
living with for the past month turn
48 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

butcher. One of the trio of lambs


is chosen a yearling with a black
hide and large, liquid eyes and
ipped onto its side.
Muguleta grasps the nose, Habte
the legs. At their cajoling, I skitter
over and place tremulous ngertips
on its ribcage. Destaw, formerly
a deacon at the sunken crucix of
Biete Giyorgis, the most famous
of Lalibelas rock-hewn churches,
wields the knife.
In the name of the Father, the
Son and the Holy Spirit, Destaw
intones in English, presumably
for my benet. A hissing noise;
the body beneath my palm exes;
impossible to look away
The knifes urry continues until
the head is nearly severed. Blood
spurts out in ponderous, incarnadine
sprays, spreading over the concrete
like a cutaway from Poirot. The eyes
fade to opaque jade marbles. The

Never, I confess. I tell him about


bolt-guns, abattoirs and identical cuts
of meat in plastic packets stacked up
on supermarket shelves.
Habte looks up from his bloodsoaked blade, incredulous. Thats so
cruel! You do not have respect for
your food. He thinks for a moment.
So what do you eat at Easter?
We have chocolate eggs.
Eggs! He laughs, shakes his head,
and goes on cutting.
Within 20 minutes, little Breakfast
has been reduced to joints and chops.
The meat is slopped into a bucket
and handed to Habtes teenage sister
Goldie, who will start cooking the
meal to break the fast two months
of deprivation which has culminated
in a fountain of blood-letting across
the country. By tomorrow, hillocks
of empty eeces will have piled
up on central reservations all over
Addis, skulls thrown to the dogs.

By tomorrow, hillocks of empty lambs eeces


will have piled up on central reservations
all over the city, skulls thrown to the dogs
limbs tremble, go rigid. The carcass is
skinned and eviscerated, the innards
spilling out like blancmange, then
hung on a wooden ladder. The eece
is wrenched back and piled in a
glossy heap on the oor.
This is strange for you, yes? asks
Habte. Our friendship is based on
mutual curiosity, forged during many
conversations about the differences
and similarities between our worlds.
He senses my reluctance, but the
empathy-gap is cavernous, a Great
Rift Valley of miscomprehension.
For him, this is an annual celebration
from earliest childhood.
You dont do this in England?
Maybe once we did, but not now.
So you buy the sheep and give
them to a butcher?

But rst, an aperitif, courtesy of


Habte, who, as host, bestows upon
me a dubious honour. This was my
favourite when I was young. I used
to eat it on my fathers knee.
Pinched between his thumb and
forenger is a kidney, tumescently
purple and still warm. Like this.
He indicates that I should dip it in
berbere, a chilli-powder confection.
I do so readily, hoping the chillies
will mask the avour of fresh offal,
and take a frantic bite. It tastes bland,
but the texture makes me gag.
Yet I smile; say, Im honoured.
Take some more
The faithful chant hums in the
distance. The delicious smell of
Goldies tibs creeps up the stairwell.
Easter Day in Ethiopia.

STYLE FILE

Notes on Fashion Jewellery Beauty Mens The scene


EDITED BY FIONA LINTOTT

Shop watch
I would never buy a kaftan; they lack
style and imagination. For me, theyre
the hotel equivalent of a Travelodge.
However, I recently stumbled upon
Roberta Roller Rabbit, and in these
colourful beach and homeware stores
in locations including Punta del Este
and Santa Monica they are called
tunics or kurtas, so sartorially Im safe.
The labyrinths of prints are inspired
by Moroccan tiles, Turkish pottery,
Indian stencils and Mexican
embroidery. The designer behind it,
Roberta Freymann, pictured in hat,
leads an interesting life. She divides
her time between homes in New York
and Paris, and holidays at Cas Gasi in
Ibiza, Le Sirenuse in Positano, Raas in
Jodhpur and the Sotel Legend
Metropole Hanoi. A serious foodie,
she cites Rafael in Lima and Mani in
So Paulo as her favourite restaurants.
To track her and her shops down, youll
have to travel. But you wont regret it.
www.robertarollerrabbit.com

FOUNDER OF
PRISM
The quirky
eyewear and
swimwear label
that marches to
its own bright
beat at a new
London store

The rst cold-pressed-juice and


smoothie bar in London, Roots
& Bulbs, opens this month in
Marylebone. No grinding of
vegetables and fruit here, a cold
press ensures all the goodness
stays intact. Greek architects
K-Studio designed the
pistachio-green and copperdetailed space, making it a ne
combination of hip and healthy.
See you there. 5 Thayer Street.
www.rootsandbulbs.com

ON FASHION

For me, its all about a permanent summer


wardrobe. I love sunny destinations and hate
winter clothes. The Store at The Standard,
Miami Beach is incredible, it has been curated
especially for the guests. In Brazil theyve really
perfected the beach way of life. The boutiques
at the Copacabana Palace in Rio are amazing,
and the shops on the surrounding islands have
great holiday gear. Rossana Orlandis gorgeous
store in Milan is another favourite.

50 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

LAUB

ON TRAVEL

My holiday habits depend on whether they are


on the back of a work trip. From New York I
might go to Rockhouse in Negril, Jamaica, a
boutique hotel on dramatic clifs where the villas
have steps leading to the sea. Or Ill visit the
Parker in Palm Springs if Im in LA. If I have a bit
more time, I head to Bali or Costa Rica with friends
for a surf and yoga trip. I also love Il San Pietro
di Positano; the view from the hotel is idyllic.
Chiltern Street. www.prismlondon.com

ILLUSTRATION: HANNAH GEORGE. LA BANANE SHOT, RIGHT, MODEL WEARS BUSTIER TOP,
297, ISA ARFEN (WWW.ISAARFEN.COM). SILK SKIRT, 850, ROKSANDA ILINCIC AT WWW.
HARVEYNICHOLS.COM. FRINGED SANDALS, 515, TODS (WWW.TODS.COM)

Health kick

I PRESENT TO YOU... ANNA

Buzz word: BRANDALISM

Snap & crackle


Make your look pop with these head-turning
bags. Imperial clutch, 1,295; crisp bag,
995, both Anya Hindmarch (www.
anyahindmarch.com). Sweet clutch, 1,195,
Christian Louboutin (+44 843 227 4322).
Pandora clutch, 995, Charlotte Olympia at
Browns (www.brownsfashion.com)

Inspired by...
The namesake spray-can exhibition by designer and futurist
Antonio Brasko at LAs Seventh Letter Gallery this month

Im back from... St Barths

I stayed at crazy, cool La Banane Villa. Owners Jean-Marc


Israel and Benjamin Fabbri divide their time between St
Tropez, Paris and St Barths, and have mixed distinctly
French flavours to create this nine-bedroom
paradise. Slim Aarons books are piled high in the living
room alongside giant playing cards from Herms; Mia
Zia beach baskets with pom-poms match the ice-cream
palette of each cabana room. Turquoise
tiles line the oors, coral is used as doorknobs
and shutters open onto private verandahs. In the safe
hands of mixologist Thomas Thouvenin, previously of
Jol Robuchon, Monte Carlo, the days and
nights drifted easily into one. The beach is only a few
hundred yards away but with two pools and a top chef,
we saw no reason to leave. www.labanane.com

April 2014 Cond Nast Traveller 51

STYLE FILE

FINE LINES Keep it minimal in cool, curving gems designed by

Brazils greatest architectural legend, says Jessica Diamond

f architecture is the conceived assembly of bricks and mortar in relation to its surroundings, jewellery design is the same,
only rendered in metal and gems. Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer was a virtuoso in the former; Brazilian jewellers
H Stern are experts in the latter. In the last year of his life at the age of 104, Niemeyer revisited some of his earlier
sketches with Roberto Stern, collaborating on a second collection that hits shops this month. These scant new pieces
brilliantly miniaturise Niemeyers linear graphic pen strokes, each one a tiny precious echo of his architectural legacy.

The Niemeyer Copan


Building, below, cuts through
the urban sprawl of So
Paulo like a giant concrete
wave. So massive is this
structure that it has its own
postcode. The (much
smaller) Copan ring
mimicks this edice in white
gold and diamonds. 2,300

PETAL TO
THE METAL
Niemeyers legacy is all about
large statement buildings,
unapologetic in scale and design. But
his genius also lay in creating negative
spaces, and what was left unlled. These
ower earrings resonate with this idea; they
are an exact copy of his sketch in a simplistic
outline of yellow gold. 760

52 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

Designed by Niemeyer:
Niteroi Contemporary Art
Museum, Rio and, below, the
National Museum, Brasilia

SCULPTURAL
JEWELS

Designed by Niemeyer
to mark So Paulos 400th
anniversary, the Ibirapuera
Park opened in 1954 to
much fanfare. He also
created a sculpture that
appears in early
photographs of the
opening ceremony.
Shortly afterwards,
it mysteriously
disappeared,
having been
either carelessly
destroyed or
stolen. These
earrings are
inspired
by this
sculpture,
with a swirl of
white gold and
diamonds.
6,300; www.
hstern.net

PHOTOGRAPHS: GETTY IMAGES; VIEW PICTURES

A SWISH
OF WHITE

Dubrovnik.
Dream until the dream comes true.

Photograph taken on Stradun - Dubrovniks main promenade at 04:00

Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik, Hotel Bellevue Dubrovnik, Villa Orsula Dubrovnik,


Villa Agave Dubrovnik, Villa Sheherezade Dubrovnik, Grand Villa Argentina Dubrovnik,
Hotel Dubrovnik Palace, Hotel Croatia Cavtat, Hotel Kompas Dubrovnik,
Villa Glavi Dubrovnik, Hotel Odisej Mljet and Hotel Supetar Cavtat
are Adriatic Luxury Hotels.

WWW.ADRIATICLUXURYHOTELS.COM

STYLE FILE
Do you like going to spas abroad?

I rarely visit spas but when I do I love


hot-stone massages and reexology. We
have always gone on holiday to Puerto
dAndratx, Mallorca. As soon as I step
of the plane, my childhood memories
come right back: barbecues on the beach,
windsurng, the sense of relaxation. I go
there now with my family and my children
play the same games I did as a child.

Extra-rming Night
cream, 53, Clarins
(www.clarins.com)

Signature eau de
parfum, 49, Agent
Provocateur at Harrods
(www.harrods.com)

Do you sunbathe?

I add a touch of
Chanel bronzing blush
everywhere you would
catch the sun, it
works amazingly well

Beauty kit: Claudia Schiffer on her travels


Do you wear a perfume
on holiday?
At the moment my favourite scent is Agent
Provocateur but I change all the time.

How do you keep looking healthy


after youve come home?
I dont use fake tan unless its for
work, but I add a touch of Chanel
bronzing blush to my cheeks, brow
arches, chin and nose: everywhere
you would catch the sun, it works
amazingly well. I like to use a hydrating
mask by Cellcosmet on my skin and
Schwarzkopfs Omega Repair oneminute mask in my hair. I colour it with
the light cool blonde shade that I
developed with Schwarzkopf. Various
stylists cut my hair, but mostly its
Raphael Salley, Luke Hersheson,
Sebastien Bacle or Eugene Souliman.

How do you look after yourself


on winter getaways?
I keep my skin well moisturised
and when its very cold or when Im
skiing I use my Clarins night cream
as a day cream.

What are your favourite


health stores?
I love Daylesford Organic, not only
for its food but also its packaging and
homeware. Im also a fan of Whole
Foods and Planet Organic.

How do you get in shape for


a beach holiday?
I continue my daily regime of 30 to
60 minutes of walking and yoga,
mixed in with high-powered Pilates.
Then I use Clinique mens face
exfoliator as a body scrub and
afterwards rub in Clarins oils.

Firmarine moisturiser, 225,


Erno Laszlo (www.ernolaszlo.com). Below,
Anti-stress Mask, 87, Cellcosmet
(www.skincaresolutionsstore.com)

What do you wear


on ights?

Normally a dress or jumpsuit


for comfort. I eat as little as
possible and just try to relax and
sleep. I only carry beauty products
that I really use with me:
mascara, concealer, eye shadow,
blush and eyelash curlers.

Essence Ultme
Illuminating Oil,
5.49,
Schwarzkopf
(www.
schwarzkopf.
co.uk)

PHOTOGRAPH: PETER LINDBERGH/AGENCE A

Les Beiges Healthy


Glow, 38, Chanel
(www.chanel.com)

My favourite beach escapes


are Amanpuri on Phuket and
North Island, Seychelles,
but I dont sit in the sun for
very long anymore. I use
Erno Laszlo face cream with
a high factor and if Im
exposed to very strong sun
then I apply Sisley sun cream;
it has a lovely scent. I also
make sure my hair products
have UV lters. Right now
Im using Schwarzkopfs new
Essence Ultme Diamond
Colour line.

Sunlea sun
cream, 153,
Sisley at
Harrods (www.
harrods.com)

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Davids postcard
from...

UMBRELLAS

The Creative Little


Garden, New York City

US statesman
1 Legendary
Alfred E Smith once said,
The American people never carry
an umbrella. They prepare to walk in
eternal sunshine. The New York
Governor had clearly never visited
Manchester where, as the locals
know, the only thing likely to
brighten an April day is a brolly like
this one by Swaine Adeney Brigg.
www.mrporter.com, 130
Real men love maps, but
more than that they love
road signs like the glorious green and
white ones that dot Britains
motorways, as celebrated by the M1/
A5 umbrella from new-school brollymaker London Undercover. Ideal
for casual cartographers, part-time
psychogeographers and
urban explorers
enticed by the
exoticism of
the good
old A406.
www.
johnlewis.
com, 145

Innocently kitsch and endearingly

3
Those
whose
idea of a
good time is less
pre-dawn hiking and
more Pre-Raphaelite
excess need look no further than this
William Morris print number by Fulton.
The Morris & Co Golden Lily umbrella
is the perfect choice for the amboyant
and fantastical, the frock-coated and
foppish, who want to stand out from
the sea of boring black brollies as
they saunter down Pall Mall.
www.fultonumbrellas.com, 27

earnest, this place sits in Manhattans


East Village, one of the last redoubts
of place in New Yorks everhomogenising island of wealth.
Degustation, a local upscale tapas bar,
is beautiful with its open kitchen and
Riesling by the glass, but it could be
anywhere Fitzrovia, Mitte, El Born,
Terminal 5. Not so the Creative Little
Garden. It is a portal back to Alphabet
City as it once was: rubble-strewn and
exhilarating, a place of opportunity and
ruin. Created in 1978 on the site of a
burned-down building, it has been run
by local volunteers ever since. Today,
the gardens idiosyncratic paving and
unkempt ora seem like a sly rebuke
to the regimental real estate of the
new Village. For somewhere so small
and lacking in obvious spectacle, we
linger a long time on the love seat,
watching the sparrows y from box
to box, sensing an old New York that
exists still in fragments, a city within
the city. www.creativelittlegarden.org

GET THE LOOK: TO CATCH A THIEF


Steal hearts on the Riviera this summer by going casual like Cary Grant

From left: Scarf, 45, Tootal Vintage (www.stuartslondon.com); jumper, 90, Lyle & Scott (www.lyleandscott.com);
tapered wide-leg wool trousers, 245, McQ Alexander McQueen (www.mrporter.com); Long Beach shoes, 69.99, Ofce (www.ofce.co.uk)

18K gold with diamonds

SOUTHAMPTON LAKE TEGERNSEE SYLT PALM BEACH


finejewelry@tamaracomolli.com tamaracomolli.com

NEIGHBOURHOOD ON THE UP
Prague 7s transformation from rundown meatpacking district to arty quarter is further
WORDS EMMA LOVE

Clockwise from above: DOX Centre for


Contemporary Art, now in its sixth year;
a propaganda poster from the exhibition
The Medium And The Message: The Poster In
The Clash Of Ideologies 1914-2014; the simple
but popular Bistro 8; the bedroom at chic
rental apartment Taste Of Prague; cofee
house and wine bar Cafeine; a display of
handbags at Luciela Taschen; the striking
Turkish wall tiles at Kid; a Malinov
Mamka Helsinki raspberry vodka,
soda and lime at Zletn Sova

60 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

Holesovice, Prague
proof of a vibrant and exciting city shaking of its industrial past
SLEEP

Skip the hotels and stay in


Taste Of Prague, a onebedroom apartment in
a 1930s building next to
the Bio Oko cinema. Its
chic: Eames chairs in the
bedroom, a breakfast bar
and blackboard in the
kitchen, and a sofa bed
in the living room with an
illustration of the area by
art duo Tomski & Polanski
on the wall. Instead of
a mini-bar, there are
cupboards with Czech
specialities such as
Becherovka a lethal
herbal liqueur and DVDs
you can watch on the pulldown screen. Its owners
are Zuzi and Jan, a couple
of clued-up food bloggers
who have thought of
everything. Frantika Kika
461/11 (+420 603 252 810;
www.tasteofprague.com)
From about 80 a night
(minimum two-night stay)

EAT

Simply set up with three


white tables, a streetfacing window bar with six
seats, and a counter with
plates of homemade food
(spinach and goatscheese tart, banana loaf,
apple strudel), Bistro 8 is
a real locals haunt. Order
pea soup and help yourself
to rolls from the duckegg-blue metal breadbin.
Theres art on one wall
and usually at least one
dog lolling on the oor.
Veverkova 8 (+420 603
786 282; www.bistro8.cz)
About 8 for two at lunch

QBeautifully designed
Kid has patterned
Turkish wall tiles
available to buy, along with
fabrics and jewellery
Moroccan silver lanterns
on the tables, and a
vegetarian menu that
changes daily with dishes
such as roasted mushroom
and beetroot casserole,
plus sh on Thursdays.
Come for breakfast, lunch
or an early supper; in the
summer, grab a bench in
the vegetable garden.
meralova 22 (+420 233
320 426; www.lovekido.cz)
About 10 for lunch for two
QFormer slaughterhouses
by the river have been
turned into open-air
markets and restaurants,
the best of which is the
Asian fusion SaSaZu.
The dark interior is full of
clichs Buddha statues,
teak furniture, ashes
of red but the food is
spot-on. Go on a Friday
or Saturday night for
rice-paper rolls with sea
bass, Thai papaya salad
and pepper calamari, then
party in the nightclub next
door. Hall 25, Bubensk
nbe 306 (+420 284
097 455; www.sasazu.
com) About 60 for two

SNACK

Located in the same


complex as SaSaZu is
Hall 22, where theres
a decent-sized farmers
market, open MondaySaturday. The real reason

to visit, however, is the


Vietnamese food stand
behind Hall 8 just
follow your nose. Prague
has a huge Vietnamese
population and this
wooden hut does the best
pho and bun cha around.
Bubensk nbe 306
(+420 220 800 592;
www.holesovickatrznice.cz)

DRINK

Intimate bar Zletn Sova


looks a bit like a grannys
living room, in a good way.
It has mismatched wooden
tables and chairs, tasseled
lampshades, oval giltframed mirrors and owl
drawings on the walls,
and a drinks trolley in one
corner. Go for chilled-out
cocktails and beers. Just
so you know: some Prague
venues still allow smoking
inside; this is one of them.
meralova 7 (+420
775 643 254; www.
zaletnasova.cz)
QNaCaf is a caf by
day, bar by night, with
a cool Ella Fitzgerald
soundtrack (you can
smoke inside here, too).
Its cosily kitted out with
bookshelves, a piano,
sofas and 1950s low-slung
armchairs for lingering
over wine and plates of
cheese and prosciutto.
Ofcially it closes at
10pm, but no one is kicked
out until the last drinkers
leave. meralova 15
(+420 776 887 339;
www.acafe.cz)

PRAZELENINA IS A COMMUNITY GARDEN SET UP


BY ARCHITECT MATEJ PETRANEK IN 2012. JOIN IN
BY PLANTING YOUR OWN FRUIT OR VEGETABLES
FOR A FEE, YOU GET A GROW-BAG WITH SOIL, PLUS
A PALLET TO MARK YOUR SPOT OR ORDER A COFFEE
FROM THE LOW-KEY CAFE AND SIT ON A BENCH IN THE
SUN (+420 776 104 043; WWW.PRAZELENINA.CZ)
DONT
MISS

NEIGHBOURHOOD ON THE UP Holesovice, Prague


SHOP

Page Five is a bookshop


and independent publisher
founded by Frantisek
Kast and Stpn Soukup
(students in graphic design
and sculpture respectively).
It specialises in art,
architecture, photography
and design tomes, and
magazines in English and
Czech. Prints for sale are
pegged onto hangers and
hung like washing from
a pole above one window.
Veverkova 5 (+420 777 847
048; www.pageve.com)

a look at Czech art


since 1990 (runs till 17
March), and an exhibition
of propaganda posters.
The shop, with its art
books, contemporary
jewellery and impressive
design objects, is worth
a visit alone. Pouptova 1
(+420 295 568 111; www.
dox.cz/en)

QLuciela Taschen
designs leather handbags
totes, oversized clutches
and satchels - and purses
in colours including lime,
patent pillarbox red and
smart navy. You can also
order bespoke, mixing and
matching shades, types of
leather and style. Fat rolls
of soft leather are stacked
up in the corner and
a huge mirror dominates
one wall. Veverkova 6
(+420 777 873 447;
www.lucielataschen.com)

QThe uninspiring,
ofce-like Orco Building is
beside a dual carriageway,
but dont be put of: lots of
creatives have studios and
galleries here. Stand-out
spaces are the Loooox
design shop, owned by
architect rm Oooox
(+420 603 703 475;
www.oooox.com/loooox),
with industrial-style
objects such as concrete
lamps with shiny silver
shades, and stonewashed
grey linen cushions. Also,
dont miss the brilliant
Chemistry Gallery,
best known for showing
rst-class street art.
Bubensk 1 (+420 606 649
170; www.thechemistry.cz)

QSet in a building
that looks residential,
womenswear boutique
Lazy Eye is easy to miss.
New 1950s-style dresses
with sweetheart halternecks, made from vintage
patterns and printed
fabrics red sailboats,
orange birds and tiny white
anchors are the thing
here, but youll nd leather
driving gloves, handbags
and other accessories, too.
Dobrovskho 11 (+420 728
630 275; www.lazyeye.cz)

Bio Oko is a one-screen


independent cinema that
shows a mix of blockbuster
movies and arthouse hits,
mostly in English with
Czech subtitles, and is
frequented by students
from the nearby Academy
of Fine Arts, who all
hang out over cofee or
a casual post-lm drink
in the bar at the front.
Frantika Kika 15 (+420
233 382 606; www.
biooko.net)

SEE

The DOX Centre for


Contemporary Art is
covered with colourful
murals by Pasta Oner and
Jan Kalb, two of the
biggest names in Czech
street art. There are no
permanent installations
here; instead, changing
exhibitions are spread
throughout the three-oor
space these currently
include Zone In Motion,
62 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

CHILL

QFor gorgeous views,


climb the hill to the top
of Letn Park, which runs
alongside the River Vltava.
Fight for a space in the
beer garden and gaze
across to the spires of
the old town and beyond.
Or head to Stromovka
Park for ponds, tree-lined
paths and massive open
spaces, perfect for
throwing a Frisbee
or having a picnic.

Clockwise from bottom left: a Finn Juhl Baker Sofa


at Kehk gallery; The Conversation Vase by Jaime
Hayon for Lladr; Page Five, a specialist bookshop
founded by two local art students; designer and
performance artist Kateina Kubalovs Kdo s
koho (Head-t0-head) at DOX; the dining area
at Kid; view of the old town from Letn Park

My Holes
ovice
Vera Novkov

PHOTOGRAPHS: ALAMY; ONDREJ RYTIR

JEWELLER
Because of my profession,
I always keep an eye on new
galleries opening; one of the
most recent is Z (Hemanova
33), which sells original pieces
by both new and established
jewellers. I might grab lunch at
Tutto Bene (www.tutto-bene.cz),
a delicatessen where you can get dishes such as pancetta
and gorgonzola risotto, followed by a cofee. I also love the
Kehk gallery (www.krehky.cz) for design exhibitions and
the Alfred ve Dvoe Theatre (www.alfredvedvore.cz) for its
special performances. If I want homemade Czech food for
dinner, I go to Lokl Nad Stromovkou (http://lokalnadstromovkou.ambi.cz/en) for wiener schnitzel with potato
and cucumber salad, then to Cafeine (www.cafeineprague.cz)
for a drink on my way home. www.vera-novakova.cz

BEYOND
EXPECTATION
Following in your fathers
footsteps is as much a
pleasure as it is a privilege.

Learning early on what it


means to be polished,
one of the many reasons why.

stregis.com/familytraditions

celebrating the art of play at over 30 of the worlds finest hotels & resorts.
africa the americas asia europe the middle east
20102014 Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Preferred Guest, SPG, St. Regis and their logos are the trademarks of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., or its afliates.

+ EUROPE + WINTER SUN + CITY + ACTION STATIONS


EDITED BY DAISY FINER

Mount Nelson, Cape Town

BEYOND
EXPECTATION
It isnt just imaginations
that are exquisitely well fed.

A childrens dining program,


for your hungry sandcastle builders,
one of the many reasons why.

stregis.com/familytraditions

celebrating the art of play at over 30 of the worlds finest hotels & resorts.
africa the americas asia europe the middle east
20132014 Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Preferred Guest, SPG, St. Regis and their logos are the trademarks of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., or its afliates.

VERDURA GOLF & SPA RESORT Sicily

Italians just know how to do family fun, and nowhere could be smarter
or more sparkling with sophistication than Rocco Fortes beachside
outpost on the south-west coast of Sicily. Few have cottoned on to it
yet (perhaps because it can be so expensive), but those who do have
found sand as ne as sugar, New York-style mod cons and an excuse to
dress up glamorously in the evenings. If you have children under four,
your stark, Olga Polizzi-designed room with wraparound sea views will
be rigged up with night lights and other crucial kit (cots, baby baths,
mini bathrobes and slippers). But the immense, Palm Springs-style villas
earthy toned, minimal, restful are the ones to book. There are bikes
to borrow and children love zooming about, even weaving through the
poolside tables at dinner. The beach is an exquisite, bucket-and-spade
playground, with quiet time spent under white parasols. And then
theres the all-round family entertainment: three immaculate golf
courses (including a nine-hole where juniors can sign up for two hours

FAMILY... EUROPE

of daily lessons), six oodlit tennis courts, an enormous, two-tiered


swimming pool for dive bombing, a separate mini pool for toddlers, and
a free kids club. The food cant fail to please, with pasta, pizza, burgers,
beachside barbecues even a detox menu. One of the four restaurants,
Buon Giorno, opens early for childrens dinners, and highchairs and booster
seats are standard, as are unbreakable colourful plates and cutlery.
JOURNEY TIME A three-hour ight to Palermo, then a 90minute transfer
TIME DIFFERENCE +1 hour
INSIDER TIP Its worth pre-ordering dishes at mealtimes to cut
out at-the-table waiting and whining. Plus, you can then make special
requests for fussy eaters or those with allergies.
BOOK IT Scott Dunn (+44 20 8682 5040; www.scottdunn.com)
ofers seven nights from 1,420 per person based on two adults and
two children, half-board, including transfers (but not ights).

April 2014 Cond Nast Traveller 65

FAMILY... EUROPE
MARTINHAL Portugal

This relative newcomer to the Algarve, far from


the crowds and the concrete, lays claim to a
windswept, untouched spot on the western coast
with empty, golden beaches, clear blue skies and
waves to surf on. While other hotels in the area
claim to cater for children (when really their focus
is on golf), few do so in the detail-driven manner
that is the Martinhal way. You arrive in your
colourful, clean-cut villa to nd a travel cot already
in situ. In the childrens bathroom is a potty, a step
and loo seat. Upstairs (past the stair gate you can
pre-book from the baby concierge) you will nd
plastic plates and cups, a mixer to make pures
(though a selection of Ellas Kitchen baby food is
on sale in the mini Mercado) and games on the
television. Outside lie acres of sand and ve
diferent kids clubs, age-graded from six months
to 18 years, plus playgrounds with princess castles
and climbing frames, a choice of heated swimming
pools (a rarity in Portugal, and it makes such a
diference) and a trampoline by the Beach Club
Pool Bar to bounce on until a juicy hamburger
arrives (while parents enjoy the freshest of oysters;
the food really is the best in the area). There are
Staller bikes on which to roam, tennis courts and
football in the sports eld, and if children arent
energetic, Tigger types, there are also tables and
chairs and a nanny to play and draw with them
why cant everywhere provide this? On the azure
ocean you can go paddleboarding, windsurng,
kayaking, surng, dolphin spotting or big-game
shing. When the fresh air has made your knees
buckle, send teens to the Blue Room to slump in
front of the Nintendo Wii, try air hockey, a spot
of snooker or curl up in the bright turquoise VW
camper van in the M Bar, fruit smoothie in hand.
Parents can unwind in the spa, experiment with
the exclusively Portuguese wine list (try the
delicious Esporo Reserva white) and eat octopus
carpaccio, carob bread and grilled sea bass in the
elegant O Terrao restaurant. You can laze in your
room or your villa (all muted tones and wooden
oors), nishing that book you started before child
number three came along or simply listening to
the whistle of the wind and the cry of the birds.
Once youre here, theres really no need to leave
and when temperatures rise to the 40Cs in the
summer you wont want to.
JOURNEY TIME A two hour 50-minute ight to
Faro, then a 75-minute transfer
TIME DIFFERENCE None
INSIDER TIP The sea breeze which makes
Sagres good for windsurng also means you need
to bring layers to wrap up in the evening.
BOOK IT Tots Too (+44 20 7284 3344; www.
totstoo.com) ofers seven nights from 1,850 per
person, based on two adults and two children in a
deluxe garden house, including ights and transfers.

FAMILY... EUROPE
ANASSA Cyprus

ESPLENDIDO Mallorca, Spain

A seriously useful Spanish address to have up your sleeve, this green-shuttered, balustraded
1950s hotel is tucked away on the north-west coast in Port de Sller, a horseshoe-shaped scoop
out of the Tramuntana mountains. Its a million miles from the egg-and-chips package tours of
Magaluf. Here you have a rather charming seaside town, a pedestrianised waterfront, a curving
stretch of sand backed by tavernas and beach restaurants, and the Esplendido right in the very
middle. Swedish couple Mikael and Johanna Landstrm (who also own the Hotel Portixol in
Palma) have transformed it from rather fusty-dusty traditional lodgings into a gleaming-fresh
temple of Scandinavian chic. The bright and airy bedrooms, retro-cool with mid-century
armchairs and fern-frond-printed wallpaper, have views either out to the water or to the terraced
gardens behind, planted with olive trees, red geranium and bougainvillaea. And because theres
no trafc, you really can go to sleep to the sound of waves lapping the shore. Your mini-bar
comes stocked with complimentary drinks; the wardrobes contain help-yourself ip-ops and
beach bags; bathrooms are loaded with thick, white towels and delicious Korres bottles in the
showers. Mineral water by the bed is topped up nightly and the Wi-Fi (crucial for any charges
glued to Snapchat or Instagram) is free and everywhere. If your brood is made up of under-10s,
theyll love the electric juicer at the breakfast bar, with bowls of grapefruits, oranges, limes
and lemons ready to be squeezed. Theres a kids menu in the bistro, a family pool (and one for
the grown-ups), baby bedding, highchairs and cots all available, as well as junior treatments in
the spa. While theres no kids club, the shallow waters of the bay are great for timid paddlers and
eager snorkellers, and there are pedalos for those needing to burn of excess energy as well as
boat trips out of the harbour to coves further up the coast. In the early evening, when temperatures
cool, take the wooden tram to Sller town for a drink while the youngsters wheel around the
smooth stones in the main square. And if you manage to get everyone to bed in time when youre
back, make a beeline for one of the striped, nautical chairs on the terrace. Order a stif gin and
tonic and marvel as the sun drops straight between the clifs and sets behind the bobbing boats.
JOURNEY TIME A two-hour and 20 minute ight to Palma and then either a 45-minute drive
or an hours train journey via Soller
TIME DIFFERENCE +1 hour
INSIDER TIP If you ask to be in a room on one of the lower oors, youll nd your babymonitor signal reaches to the restaurant.
BOOK IT i-escape (+44 117 946 7072; www.i-escape.com/kids) ofers three
nights from 750 based on two adults and two children sharing a two-bedroom family suite,
including breakfast.
68 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

Cyprus is gloriously hot at Easter and autumn


half-term, but its trump card for those travelling
with under fours is that its less than ve hours
on a plane from London, saving you the hell of
long-haul. And luckily, the nannies from Scott
Dunn (English-speaking, young, smiley) are on
hand to absolve you of a moments guilt about
disentangling yourself for a few hours (or
9.30am5.30pm, if you prefer).The club sits
between the beach and the heated childrens pool;
little ones are cared for in the air-conditioned
playroom, divided into diferent areas to suit
various ages (theres even a sleep room, so that
babies return well-rested rather than scratchy).
Under the shade of pine trees is a playground
and two ping-pong tables for older siblings. And
the Baby Go Lightly service ensures you have all
the kit buggies, monitors, baby walkers, cots
and bottle warmers and will provide baby food,
wipes and nappies. But best of all this is a
stunning, California-comes-to-Cyprus hotel
with a whitewashed grandness thats so pretty
and sophisticated you could even bring the
grandparents. There are rolling lawns, huge bowls
of scented lilies, geraniums and a grown-up but
unintimidating spa. Many of the 166 rooms, and
all the suites, face the gorgeous blue glitter of
Chrysochou Bay; some have their own plunge
pools. Its perfect for big family get-togethers,
with lots of interconnecting family rooms, a
watersports centre with kitesurng and scuba
diving and two tennis courts. And that beach,
just along from the shing village of Latchi (far
from the carnage of Paphos) is lined with sleek
sunbeds and has service as smooth as honey.
JOURNEY TIME A four-and-a-half-hour
ight, then a one-hour transfer
TIME DIFFERENCE +2 hours
INSIDER TIP Pack your babies into a buggy to
walk up into the sage-scented Akamas peninsula
to nd Aphrodites pools.
BOOK IT Scott Dunn (+44 20 8682 5040;
www.scottdunn.com) ofers seven nights
from 1,111 per person based on two adults
and two children, half board, including kids club
access and transfers.

BEYOND
EXPECTATION
Because youd rather dial your
butler than call a sitter.

A family tradition begins


at reception,
one of the many reasons why.

stregis.com/familytraditions

celebrating the art of play at over 30 of the worlds finest hotels & resorts.
africa the americas asia europe the middle east
20102014 Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Preferred Guest, SPG, St. Regis and their logos are the trademarks of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., or its afliates.

FAMILY... EUROPE
THE ROMANOS

BORGO EGNAZIA Puglia, Italy

Anywhere that makes a holiday with three children under six seem easy has got to be doing
something right. This is a dreamy Puglian paradise, an ambitious family wonderland, a hotel as
Mediterranean village. Its so ridiculously handsome that its a miracle small children are even
allowed in. Avoid the umbilically-linked hotel (its really for couples) and plump for one of the
souped-up contemporary villas with three bedrooms, a useful kitchen with a washing machine
(saves a fortune on laundry bills), two sleek, creamy sitting rooms and a little pool in the shady,
lavender-lled garden. Inside, everything is white and natural, with lots of chunky local stone,
bowls of the fattest lemons youve ever seen, decorative jars of barley and wooden ladders draped
with the softest throws. A housekeeper will drop by to clean up the clutter not just once but
twice a day. At night, the whole place is dotted with lanterns and candles that icker against the
pitch-black countryside. Staf have a spring in their step; there are both indoor and outdoor
pools, a village square with festivals and cinema action, and restaurants with mozzarella salads
and crispy pizzas (order the traditional orichette pasta at kids-only restaurant Da Puccetta). At
the childrens club (from eight months to 16 years), leave them clambering up giant climbing
frames, hunting for treasure or playing football as only the Italians know how. Got some budding
Locatellis in tow? Sign them up for the cookery school. Theyll get messy rolling meatballs, making
tasty almond cookies and picking herbs from the garden. Meanwhile, tricky teens will dig the
watersports action at the private beach club (a 10-minute walk away). Until this hotel landed just
a few years ago, Puglia was becoming recognised for its small, humble and quirky properties
now its also home to one of the smartest all-singing family hotels in Europe.
JOURNEY TIME A three-hour ight to Brindisi and a 45-minute drive, or a two-hour and 50
minute ight to Bari, followed by a 50-minute drive
TIME DIFFERENCE +1 hour
INSIDER TIP Avoid the summer when children might ake out in the furious heat and go
during May or October half-term instead.
BOOK IT Abercrombie & Kent (+44 845 485 1143; www.abercrombiekent.co.uk) ofers
three nights from 712 per person based on two adults and one child, including breakfast,
ights and transfers.

70 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

A newly polished arrival on the rugged but


truly stunning Peloponnese peninsula, this hotel
was 25 years in the making and is the vision of
the Constantakopoulos shipping dynasty. Here
are miles and miles of golden beaches, the scent
of lavender, acres of immaculate golf courses
and an ambitious super-resort that embellishes
traditional Greek architecture with a mass of
marble, mosaic oors and barbecue repits. Its
vast: 12 restaurants, a tennis academy, a dive
centre, evening concerts and two hotels, of
which the Romanos is the ritziest (the other is a
Westin). While you might need orienteering
skills to get about, dont panic: its meticulously
designed and smoothly orchestrated. If you
arrive as tightly wound as Ethan Hawke and Julie
Delpy in Before Midnight (it was lmed here),
then you denitely wont leave that way.
Children will love making kites, playing with clay
and hunting for wildowers at SandCastle, the
snazzy club run by British rm Worldwide Kids
Company. Theres even a cool dorm with
bunk-bed pods where, if theyre brave enough,
they can sleep over and you can lie in. Tiny tots
from four months to three years get their own
space, Cocoon, all squidgy and comforting.
Sign up for a family cookery class (in a stone
house near Pylos), cycle to the sand dunes on
Voidokilia beach (one of the worlds most
beautiful), spot birdlife at Gialova lagoon or,
back at the hotel, swot up on local wildlife at the
interactive Natura Hall, where you can learn
about lazy African chameleons, or excitingly
watch sea turtles lay their eggs on the beach.
JOURNEY TIME A three-and-a-half-hour ight
to Kalamata then a 50-minute transfer (if you
drive from Athens, it takes around three hours)
TIME DIFFERENCE +2 hours
INSIDER TIP Ask about the hotels own organic
wine, reputed to not give you a hangover.
BOOK IT ITC Luxury Travel (+44 1244 355
527; www.itcluxurytravel.co.uk) ofers seven
nights from 872 per person based on two
adults and one child, including breakfast, ights
and transfers.

PHOTOGRAPH: DAN KULLBERG

Greece

T RAVELLER PROM OT ION

free to

FEEL GOOD

Refreshing and true, this summer three out of the six Scott Dunn
childrens Explorers clubs in the Mediterranean arent
charging outside of school holidays

Clockwise from top


left: The beach at
Daios Cove in Crete;
the main pool at
Verdura in Sicily;
children are divided
into different age
groups with activities
tailored to their likes;
from Sun Gardens you
can easily explore the
delights of Dubrovnik

months to 13 years and are open 10am until 6pm.


An excellent staff-to-child ratio includes one nanny to
every two children under two years old and each
member of staff is an experienced UK-qualied
childcare professional. Safe and stimulating, children
are divided into four age groups and have access to a
mind-boggling array of activities both on and off-site.
Little ones can become artists, inventors, explorers
and chefs and there are dedicated sleep rooms
and healthy meals.

the clubs

very year Scott Dunn gets the luxury family


holiday spot on. From sourcing family-friendly
hotels and baby-proof villas to providing brilliant
nannies and opening exclusive children's clubs,
they were already at the top of their game. But 2014
sees them raise the childcare bar even higher with free
childcare spaces (outside school holidays) at Daios
Cove Luxury Resort & Villas in Crete, Verdura in
Sicily, and Croatian newcomer Sun Gardens.
What we love about Scott Dunn is that they
understand the concept of a family holiday: the need
for time together as well as apart; that different families
require different childcare options; and above all, that
parents need to be 100 percent condent that their
children are in the safest possible hands. Scott Dunn
takes the same tailor-made approach to childcare as it
does to holidays: the results are options galore, happy
children and even happier parents. Some families

might opt for an in-villa nanny, others might prefer a


family-friendly environment with babysitting on tap,
and those who are pro-kids clubs, look no further.

free explorers places


Not only are three of the Scott Dunn Explorers clubs
offering free places outside of school holidays for 2014,
they are impossible to fault. Exclusive to Scott Dunn
guests, these three clubs cater for children from four

With its private sandy beach and fantastic facilities


Daios Cove is the perfect family destination, Scott
Dunn simply elevates it to must-stay status. The
designated club building is full of toys, games and
creative activities while outside there is loads of
supervised beach-based action. 2012 saw Scott Dunn
open an Explorers club at Verdura, Sicily to instant
rave reviews. Surrounded by sweet-scented orange
orchards it is in close proximity to the tennis courts
and football pitch and theres easy access to the beach
for some beach cricket, sand sculpture competitions,
rounders matches and much more. New for 2014 is
Scott Dunn Explorers at Sun Gardens, Dubrovnik.
Located in the entire wing of the sports centre, older
children are in activity heaven with football, tennis,
swimming and a climbing wall, while younger ones are
absorbed in a caring and nurturing environment.
Parents: sit back, relax and enjoy (quite literally)
some free time.
READER OFFER

This summer dont miss the free places at Scott Dunn


Explorers childrens clubs at Daios Cove, Verdura and
Sun Gardens (outside school holidays). This ofer may
be used in conjunction with any other special ofers
available at time of booking. For further information
please visit scottdunn.com or call 020 3582 8269.
Terms and conditions apply. Please quote 'Cond Nast Traveller
Reader Ofer' when booking.

HAND-PICKED VILLAS
SOUGHT-AFTER LOCATIONS
TAILOR MADE SERVICE
With nearly 800 luxury properties in
the Greek Islands, Italy, France,
Spain, Portugal, Thailand, Morocco,
UK and the Caribbean within our
portfolio we have something to suit
every family. Be it an exceptional
view, a beachfront house or a
breathtaking infinity pool, our
luxurious villas provide the ultimate in
comfort, individuality and style.
All our tailor made holidays benefit
from our Travel Experts first-hand
knowledge. They offer high standards
of personal service and meticulous
attention to detail to help you discover
your perfect family holiday.

MASSERIA DELLE PALME, PUGLIA, ITALY


SLEEPS UP TO 10
Set amid ve acres of private and peaceful olive groves, within easy reach of several sandy
beaches, this impressive family villa in Puglia is perfect for family holidays. The traditional
masseria walls now surround an open plan kitchen with breakfast bar, an atmospheric dining
area, a sitting room with big sofas, 42 at screen TV and double doors out to the courtyard.
Spacious outdoor areas include poolside dining gazebo, barbecue and pizza oven, and
exterior staircase to the roof terrace for table tennis, rural views and sundowners. Explore as
a family the trattorias, cafes and shops in Carpignano, just 2km away.

FINCA EL COTO,
SANTANYI, MALLORCA,
SPAIN
SLEEPS UP TO 10
Within easy reach of a choice of
beaches and lawned garden for children
to run around in, this is a fabulous
enchanting farmhouse, built in traditional
island style. Set in suitably rural
surroundings, the villas oak beamed
ceilings and terracotta tiled oors infuse
the house with old world charm. The
beautiful gardens have shaded pergolas
alongside furnished outdoor seating and
dining areas with the solar heated
swimming pool set in a sunny paved
terrace. Furnished for very contemporary
comfort the layout of this villa works well
for two families travelling together.

To book your luxury villa holiday call our travel experts now on 020 7563 7993
or view our full portfolio at www.cvvillas.com

ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE

ATOLIKOS HOUSE, KASSIOPI & KELIA, CORFU


SLEEPS UP TO 6
A fabulous family villa, Atolikos House sits right at the waters edge
on the private headland of The Point Estate, its ten metre pool set in
a sunken terrace with uninterrupted views of the beautiful bay. The
broad terraces are stylishly furnished for al fresco living, with a
covered dining and barbecue area and open-air seating for
leisurely lounging. Steps and a meandering path lead to a jetty
below the house to enjoy swimming and sailing. Kassiopis cafs,
bars and restaurants are a fteen minute walk away.

KALAMAKI BAY HOUSE, KALAMAKI,


ST SPIRIDON & PERITHIA, CORFU

OCEAN VIEW, ST JAMES,


BARBADOS

SLEEPS UP TO 10

SLEEPS UP TO 6

With stunning views from the exceptional swimming pool,


this chic and very spacious villa marries traditional elegance
with modern luxury and boasts a wonderful secluded setting.

A delightful family villa in the exclusive


Merlin Bay enclave of eight homes,
Ocean View is attractively furnished and
enviably positioned for the beach and
busy Holetown.

CASA COTTIMI, UMBRIA &


TUSCANY BORDER, ITALY
SLEEPS UP TO 8/12
Nestling in lawned gardens, this charming
farmhouse enjoys a truly delightful position
with spectacular panoramic views.

BEACH COTTAGE, WESTERN


ALGARVE, PORTUGAL
SLEEPS UP TO 6
This cottage set on a historic 3 hectare private
estate has glorious panoramic views over the sandy
beach below. The gardens and decked terrace by
the pool offer an idyllic spot to soak up the sun and
delicious meals can be enjoyed under the shady
pergola. A gentle track leads down through the
gardens to the wide sandy beach with restaurants
and Ferragudo, a charming old fashioned village,
is just 1 km away.

FAMILY... WINTER SUN

74 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

THE ST REGIS
MAURITIUS RESORT

Your three-year-old wont be able to decide what


she likes best about her arrival here: the carefully
crafted pink marshmallow boat lled with sweets
and a chocolate label bearing her name, or the
white ufy dodo resting on her pillow. Staf dont
just tolerate children, they adore them (dont be
stressed about the thought of grubby ngers in
such an elegant place, theres really no need). Theres
your beaming butler who can pull pretty much
any request out of the bag, and the waiters in the
barefoot-chic Boathouse Bar + Grill who soothe
frayed tempers by swooping in with the freshest
burgers and fat chips followed by scoops of
homemade coconut ice-cream. Admittedly, a
12-hour journey is not the most relaxing start, but
it is quickly forgotten when your children are
playing tennis, tucking into posh mac n cheese
from room service, gazing awestruck at huge clams
beneath a glass-bottomed boat or spotting dolphins
in Tamarin Bay. Standards are American slick. Even
the kids club is a lovely indoor-outdoor space with
its own pool, climbing frame and all kinds of fun
from cake-baking to pirate treasure hunts; best of
all, it works on a drop-in basis, handy for toddlers
who havent got over their shyness or for when
you just need an hour or two in the Iridium Spa.
As youd expect, the colonial-styled rooms are
about super-relaxed, polished comfort rather than
cool design. Go for a junior suite, which comes
with a gigantic shady terrace that you can turn into
a makeshift sunrise-yoga studio, playpen or a
dorm for exciting starry-sky sleep-out adventures.
Its a hit for those who want a grown-up hotel
that seamlessly integrates children without
compromising on anything.
JOURNEY TIME A 12-hour ight, then a
75-minute transfer
TIME DIFFERENCE +4 hours
INSIDER TIP Tuck them into bed, then you can
tuck into the phenomenal Goan and tandoori dishes
at Simply India, overseen by chef Atul Kochhar.
BOOK IT Turquoise Holidays (+44 1494 678400;
www.turquoiseholidays.co.uk) ofers seven nights
from 1,851 per person half board, based on two
adults and one child, including ights and transfers.

FAMILY... WINTER SUN

76 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

PHOTOGRAPH: CHRISTIAN HORAN

SUGAR BEACH, A
VICEROY RESORT St Lucia
The ravishing renovation and renaming of
The Jalousie Plantation is further proof that the
Viceroy group has the Midas touch (its other
Caribbean outpost in Anguilla is rockstar cool,
with frozen fruity Martinis and supreme design).
What a spot. Its anked by the famous twin peaks
of the Pitons in 100 acres of lush rainforest, alive
with butteries and hummingbirds, which drops
down to a perfect cushion of talcum-white sand
(shipped in from Trinidad, but who cares?).
Admittedly, the transfer isnt the easiest, on a
steep and twisty mountain road (pack the
anti-sickness pills), but once you make it here
its terrically pretty: all white on white, from the
clapboard cottages dotting the hillside to the
beach bungalows with their four-poster beds,
claw-footed baths, dark hardwood oors and
plunge pools. Go for the latter, as some are barely
50ft from the beach, which means parents can loll
on their terrace hammock while keeping an eye on
little ones as they paddle. Everything has been
exceptionally well thought out: there are butlers
you can walkie-talkie; toys seem to miraculously
tidy themselves up; the smoothies are health in a
drink (the choco-nana is delicious). The old air of
indolence has been re-energised, especially by the
infectiously enthusiastic individuals running the
watersports centre, gym and new spa with treetop
treatment rooms. Those ready to learn to dive
should make friends with the resorts long- time
instructor Cocoa Pufs, although there are also
sh visible straight of the beach. Yes, theres a
childrens club, Generation V, full of glitter and
crayons and stickers, but there are also glassbottom boat excursions, botanical gardens for
hide and seek, sh-feeding, shell collecting
and movies on the beach with beanbag seating.
Stir yourself for the Friday-night sh fry in town
(by water taxi), or for dinner over at Jade
Mountain. Otherwise, its tempting to simply fall
back onto a double sunbed while the children
make busy. When they are worn out, the organic
chicken soup will perk them up a treat; ditto the
banana split with raspberry sauce. Meanwhile,
adults can gorge on kingsh ceviche, chargrilled
steak, red snapper or duck breast. The room
service ticks every box, with spiced pumpkin
soup, Caesar salad, BLTs, curried chicken roti,
cheeseburgers and an epic, not-to-be-missed
mango crme brle.
JOURNEY TIME A nine-hour ight, then a
one-hour transfer by car
TIME DIFFERENCE -4 hours
INSIDER TIP More than Manolos, mosquito
repellent is the must-have accessory: those
swishy nets around the beds arent just there to
look gorgeous.
BOOK IT Trailnders (+44 20 7368 1200;
www.trailnders.com) ofers seven nights from
2,049 per person based on two adults and one
child, including ights and transfers.

THE DATAI Langkawi, Malaysia

When children are ready to venture beyond Europe but are not quite old enough for the wilds
of Africa, bring them here. Its the perfect stepping-stone. Few places are more thrillingly
tropical; the sea is as warm as bath water and the creamy beach is lined with palms. The jungle
backdrop buzzes with brightly coloured birds and the odd cheeky monkey. Bag a two-bedroom,
open-plan beach villa or, if youre travelling in an extra large pack, go for the four-bedroom
Villa Hutan Datai on stilts that comes with a leafy garden, huge private pool and a mass of
space in the living and dining room. Theres no kids club as such; but that doesnt matter a jot:
the local nannies are charming, plus theres plenty of make-your-own fun to be had in the
jungle and down by the water. There are guided nature walks through the trees, mangrove
tours and organised family treks (this place isnt really suitable for under fours because the
majority of the activities are so nature focused). Little ones will spend hours collecting smooth
shells from the waters edge or counting the fat frogs in the miniature ponds by the bar;
teens will exhaust themselves kayaking, swimming and taking watersports lessons or learning
about traditional batik. But what really makes this place sing are the staf, who whizz around
in the sapping heat in smart khaki shorts and crisp white shirts. Theyll know everyones name
from day one even Henry the hamster who you had to leave at home. Grab time in
the spa, which is set on the banks of a stream, and in the awesome shop where you will want
to buy everything you see. Then tempt childrens tastebuds with mild, warming curries or
fresh sh at the laid-back, low-key Beach Club. At breakfast, the sweet mango lassi will
become a family addiction. This is a Treasure Island-style adventure with whirring-fan colonial
undertones. No wonder its one of the most loved hotels in Asia.
JOURNEY TIME A 14-hour ight with a stop in Kuala Lumpur, then a 30-minute drive
TIME DIFFERENCE +8 hours
INSIDER TIP Children can join the Young Explorers Club at the neighbouring Andaman
hotel for hermit-crab hunts, forest foraging and games of kayak tug-of-war: brilliant when they
need a change of scene.
BOOK IT Cleveland Collection (+44 20 7843 3531; www.clevelandcollection.co.uk)
ofers seven nights from 1,422 per person, based on two adults and one child, including
breakfast, ights and transfers.

FAMILY... WINTER SUN

ONE&ONLY
ROYAL MIRAGE Dubai

SHANGRI-LAS RASA RIA RESORT


Kota Kinabalu, Borneo

Its all about the marathon of activities here, whatever your childrens temperament. For
artists: hand-puppet crafting, batik painting, coconut-leaf weaving and traditional instrument
making; for athletes: dance lessons, traditional rounders, coconut-shell races, horseback
riding, kayaking and paddle-boarding; and for the edgling gardener, programmes called tiny
green thumb and Flora the explorer. Which is a clue to where this hotel really hits the jackpot:
its positioning, on a beautiful long white-sand beach backed by rainforest and a 64-acre
nature reserve packed with deer, monkeys, slow loris and a lovely orangutan sanctuary which
rehabilitates the orphans so they can return into the wild. Seeing the little orange apes learn
to climb and eat gets everybody oohing; but kids can get even closer to them with the Ranger
For The Day programme, helping the adult specialists feed the babies while learning about
the specic habitat and rainforest of Borneo. That will impress their teachers back home.
Loveliest of all is the feeling that you are far away from any kind of cookie-cutter resort. The
hotels two wings are spread along the three-kilometre beach; your best bet is to stay in the
newly renovated Ocean wing where the contemporary rooms come with outdoor bathtubs
big enough for the whole family and jaw-dropping views of the South China Sea. Restaurants
range from the more child-friendly Cofee Terrace (snacks and smoothies) to Naan, a nod to
the islands Indian history. While grown-ups work their way through the divine spa menu at
Chi (try the in Harmony which reduces you to a pre-parenthood state of relaxation through a
pummelling massage and medicinal mud) or a round on the 18-hole, Ted Parslow-designed
golf course, the little ones can be dropped of at the Cool Zone Kids Club to read books, play
or dig in the sand box. And theres the pool with a water slide. This is a hotel where you might
nd yourself more than once.
JOURNEY TIME A 16-hour ight via Hong Kong, then a 45-minute transfer
TIME DIFFERENCE +8 hours
INSIDER TIP Dont miss the rey-watching activity: theyre so pretty and uttery youll be
just as thrilled as your children
BOOK IT Carrier (+44 161 492 1355; www.carrier.co.uk) ofers ve nights from 1,060 per
person, based on two adults and one child, including ights and transfers
78 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

Everything here is gloriously over the top,


from the gold, life-sized camel sculptures and a
Crayola-coloured line-up of Lamborghinis to
the marble domed lobby with tinkling fountain
(that your creatures will probably try and throw
themselves into). Its everything a Dubai hotel
should be, only its also quiet, discreet, smart and
brilliant for children. And unless Titanic-sized
shopping malls with indoor ski slopes or sand-dune
wake-boarding are your thing, you never need
leave the immediate vicinity: the Royal Mirage has
a great location just opposite Palm Island with
views over to Atlantis, home of the Leap of Faith
waterslide that takes you through a shark tank
(the hotel can supply family passes). All three of
the architecturally diferent buildings the grand
Palace, the Arabian Court and the far more
reserved Residence and Spa are connected by a
round-the-clock buggy service through manicured
gardens. The Palace is probably the best bet for
your brood, with a buzzing pool scene, pristine
beach and an excellent kids club for henna
painting, camel riding and belly dancing. Check
the little ones in pronto and slink of to the spa;
its all marble, steam and black olive soap, with
Bastien Gonzalez pedicures that buf your toenails
to shine like glass. All the restaurants are
excellent, but open-all-day Olives serves better
croissants and baguettes at breakfast than youd
nd in France and the waitresses are happy to coo
over your baby while you get to grips with the
lobster at dinner. Nothing is too much trouble.
This is one of the few hotels that supply cots with
proper mattresses rather than a sliver of cardboard.
and highchairs come with the room-service tray.
JOURNEY TIME A six-and-a-half-hour ight,
then a 20-minute transfer
TIME DIFFERENCE +4 hours
INSIDER TIP Escape the sprats and spend a
calming hour in the amazing Oriental hammam.
BOOK IT Turquoise Holidays (+44 1494 678
400; www.turquoiseholidays.co.uk) ofers ve
nights from 899 per person, based on two
adults and one child, half board, including ights
and transfers.

Schooly
holidags
savin
14/15

Top ves for

luxury
family
escapes
2014/15

Not all families want the same thing


from their holiday. Our curated
selection is your perfect starting
point to explore some of the nest
experiences and escapes designed with
families in mind, and include:
Childrens Clubs
The Great Outdoors
& Waterbabies

Carrier have the depth of knowledge and wealth of experience to ensure that
no detail is overlooked in the creation of your tailor-made escape. Our clients also
benet from private transfers, airport lounge access and the Carrier Concierge.
Our new brochure is available now with savings over various school holidays including
February half term 2015. To order your copy or for a personalised quotation please call
our dedicated specialists on 0161 820 4889.

www.carrier.co.uk/traveller

FAMILY... WINTER SUN

CARLISLE BAY Antigua

Its easy to see why parents continue to plump for Gordon Campbell Grays Caribbean outpost
year-on-year. Its safe, its easy (just the right side of a too-long ight time) and its sure-bet
reliable whilst also being savvy and stylish enough to still really feel like a treat. Walk into
the modern, plantation-styled lobby and you cant help but beam suddenly the grey skies
of home feel a world away. Everything is fresh and zingy. There are tropical drinks, cool
annels and a fresh sea breeze. The buildings that hold the bedrooms might not be the
prettiest a series of bright, white, three-storey blocks but you wont care when you clock
the emerald-green backdrop and that surreally perfect bay with its crashing ocean waves right
outside. Bag a two-room beach suite (modern, with dark woods, cofee machines and big
bathrooms) on the ground oor so that you can step straight out onto the buttery sand every
morning. Cleverly, half the beach is a designated family zone so you dont have to worry about
noisy squawking or play ghts on the sand disturbing anyone elses afternoon nap. And good
things appear in the blink of an eye: the best banana milkshakes; healthy bento boxes for
lunch; no-salt pures whizzed up in seconds. There are giant canvas hammocks tied to trees
so you can all clamber in and cuddle up for story time. If small ones get tired of the bucketand-spade action, enrol them in the Cool Kids Club (free for two- to six-year-olds) where
they can splash around in the paddling pool (the hotel will arrange private swimming lessons
on request), get creative with arts and crafts or play at being monkeys in the jungle gym. As
they get older, things get more adventurous: raft-building in the mangroves, star-sh hunting
and zip-lining for sevens to 12s, while teens can chill out at Crush, playing pool, shooting
basketball hoops or wake-boarding. Even the sleek, intimate Blue Spa caters for teens, with a
super-efective T-zone facial for blitzing blemishes. At mealtimes, head for poolside Italian
restaurant Ottimo where the whole family can sit under the shade and tuck into pizzas from
the wood-burning oven, fresh salads and delicious homemade gelato (theres a special
childrens Little Ottimo menu and an early high tea, too) before nishing the day with a
cartoon movie night in the screening room.
JOURNEY TIME An eight-hour ight, then a 40-minute transfer
TIME DIFFERENCE 4 hours
INSIDER TIP Ditch your crew and book in for a private sunset yoga session in the tuckedaway pavilion in the corner of the garden, perfectly mind-quietening.
BOOK IT Carrier (+44 161 492 1354; www.carrier.co.uk) ofers seven nights from
2,108 per person based on two adults and two children, including breakfast, ights,
transfers, watersports, tennis clinics and kids club access.

80 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

ST REGIS SAADIYAT
ISLAND RESORT
Abu Dhabi

Traditionally seen as rather grown-up, St Regis


Hotels & Resorts has revved up its Family Traditions
programme to charm all members of your clan.
The focus is not just on child-friendly experiences
and adventures; its also about the little touches
you might not expect from such a big brand: the
special turn down for the childrens beds with
pint-sized dressing gowns and mini slippers, the
cups of warm milk, and the goodnight treats left
on the pillow. This St Regis, slap-bang on the
beach, is like an enormous sandcastle with a
turquoise moat. But desert-island hideaway it is
not. The hotel is part of the mammoth Saadiyat
Island development which will, in the next few
years, include the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Zayed
National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.
Surprisingly, though, Saadiyat is a breeding spot
for endangered species. Dolphins and hawksbill
turtles dip in and out of the sea right in front of
the hotel, and turtles nest on the sandy beach
a protected area which means no noisy jet-skis.
The sea can get choppy, so for swimming the
pools are better take your pick from indoor,
outdoor, adults-only and one for youngsters, with
water slides and bubbling fountains in the cavethemed kids club. Dining can be as fuss-free or
fancy as you wish. Ask the butler theres one for
every oor to book a table for dinner at 55&5th,
The Grill. Theres no need to take advantage of the
nanny service, though: highchairs mean toddlers
can contentedly pummel chocolate souf into
their faces while you slice wagyu with a Laguiole.
JOURNEY TIME A seven-hour ight, then a
20-minute transfer
TIME DIFFERENCE +4 hours
INSIDER TIP Its not exactly a secret but dont
miss out on a trip to the thrilling Yas Waterworld
(www.yaswaterworld.com) with over 40 slides, a
wave zone and a water rollercoaster.
BOOK IT Hayes and Jarvis (+44 1293 735831;
www.hayesandjarvis.co.uk) ofers three nights
from 399 per person, based on two adults and
one child, including breakfast, ights and transfers.

Discover the Caribbean island


that lifts all your senses

Saint Lucia is the beautiful Caribbean island that has it all and more. Home to the
magical Piton Mountains, unspoilt rainforest, sun-soaked beaches, world-class
resorts, delicious dining and a whole range of unique and thrilling activities for
everyone to enjoy. With daily flights, treat yourself to this simply sensational
island today.
Call 020 7341 7005 or email sltbinfo@stluciauk.org to nd out more.
www.stlucia.org

FAMILY... WINTER SUN

You dont immediately think of the Seychelles as a place for children,


but Four Seasons has nailed it. Theres no need to worry about the
whole place humming with honeymooners, as kids will love the casual
castaway vibe. Set on the south-west coast of Mah, the villas (nothing
as ordinary as rooms here) spill dramatically down a jungle-clad hill with
blue views of the Indian Ocean. They have the look and feel of superchic beach huts: spearmint fresh, with whitewashed wooden walls
and dinky private pools. Some are up high, which is hard work with a
buggy, but the most family-friendly are nearer to one of the most idyllic
crescent beaches you could hope for. Wherever you eat you can pick
child-size portions or stick to the regular kids menu which is full of
semi-forbidden favourites: mini margarita pizzas and chicken nuggets
and at lunch, peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwiches. To stop any
too-hungry tantrums before they begin, children are given a fun, themed
snack to nibble on and a colouring book the second they sit down such
a help. During the day, leave swimmers playing at the outdoor pool by the
beach or at the complimentary kids club (ages four to 12). Theyll be so
82 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

excited about feeding banana leaves and mango to the magnicent


Socrates and Cinderella two of the resorts tortoises they wont even
notice youre gone. They can also don aprons and sign up for cookiebaking or a Little Sushi Masters class where the chef will teach them to
roll their own. Teens can make the most of the ocean, the waves are
perfect for endless boogie boarding, and theres also snorkelling and
diving. The predictably good spa has a few junior treatments, too,
including a coconut-oil hair treatment and a fruit foot and leg massage.
JOURNEY TIME A 13-and-a-half-hour ight, then a 30-minute
transfer by car
TIME DIFFERENCE +4 hours
INSIDER TIP Temperature-wise, October is a great time to visit and
kids will love the party atmosphere of the Kreol festival, which takes
place during the last week of the month.
BOOK IT Cleveland Collection (+44 20 7843 3531; www.cleveland
collection.co.uk) ofers seven nights from 2,155 per person, based on
two adults and one child, including breakfast, ights and transfers.

PHOTOGRAPH: ALEXANDER JAMES

FOUR SEASONS RESORT SEYCHELLES

T RAVELLER PROM OT ION

private PARADISE
Porto Zante Villas & Spa, in Zakynthos, Greece is the perfect destination
this spring. Offering the ultimate in privacy, world-class service and
a distinguished reputation among the international elite
Villa Resort at the World Travel Awards
and one of the Top 100 Hotels of the
World by Hideaways. Plus, it has a
distinguished reputation among the
international elite, many whom are
repeat families and couples that have
chosen Porto Zante every summer
since its opening.

ew locations capture the Mediterranean idyll as


spectacularly as the Ionian islands, Greeces
archipelago of six cerulean-hued utopias. Innite
azure seas and skylines dominate the horizons,
vast olive groves and bright pink bougainvillea dot the
mountains. Its nature at its most exquisite. Spring
is the season to visit; the sun is seductively warm but
temperatures less intense, the beaches blissfully
uncrowded and ora in full bloom.

halcyon hideaway
In 2014 check into Porto Zante Villas & Spa on
Zakynthos east coast. This boutique hideaway, a new
member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, is
small in proportion but big on pared-back luxury,
privacy, peace and quiet. So much so that it has earned
a collection of accolades, including Europes Leading

Unpretentious yet sophisticated this


home-away-from-home ticks the boxes
for couples and families alike. All the
villas (one to four-bedrooms) have private
heated pools and most boast their own private stretch
of beach and tropical gardens. Interiors and decks
are redolent of the natural surroundings featuring
stone, marble and almond-hued wood. Soft
furnishings are Armani Casa, Greek art adorns
walls, bathrooms have jacuzzis as standard and
Bang & Olufsen entertainment systems set
everything to mellow beats.
Dedicated to achieving complete privacy and
relaxation nothing is too much trouble. Enjoy
authentic Mediterranean cuisine in the comfort of
your villa 24/7 or at the resort's beachfront restaurant
which boasts stunning views of the Ionian sea. Indulge
your senses in a Signature Spa Therapy inspired by
indigenous plants, again ensconced in your own villa
or at the Private Spa Area on the water's edge

Clockwise from left:


(products by Bulgari and local
pool area at Porto Zante;
Apivita). Treatments take
lights come on at dusk
place outside in private
around the pool area;
Spa pavilions looking out
take a magazine down
to the endless blue of the
to the shoreline; nearby
Mediterranean. Parents
Shipwreck Beach
will reap further relaxation
rewards from taking advantage of the brand new
Kids Corner and the several kids sports activities
available including watersports, horseriding, table
tennis and many other.

If you fancy a night away from your villa book a table


at the Club House Restaurant and enjoy some predinner sundowners at the beautiful bar.

alfresco adventures
By day, head to some of the fascinating sites to soak
up the local culture and unforgettable natural beauty.
The Shipwreck (or Navagio) beach, The Blue Caves,
Turtle Island and a private cruise to the nearby island
of Kefalonia are highlights. For a quintessential Greek
shing experience go out for the day with Mr Nikos
(the hotels own sherman) to help secure the freshest
catch. Paradise: found.
For more information visit portozante.com,
call 00 30 210 821 8640 or 020 8882 6767.

T RAVELLER PROM OT ION

YOUNG at heart

An experience beyond expectations: pursue your passions and


celebrate the art of play at the St. Regis hotels and resorts worldwide

lose your eyes and picture your most treasured


childhood family holiday memory. Perhaps it
was swimming with dolphins, nding a rare
ower tucked beneath a large jungle leaf,
standing on a mountain top after a long ascent.
Or perhaps it was a simpler moment; the feeling of
being ensconced in a soft uffy robe on a giant hotel
bed; of having a proper grown-up dinner by
candlelight; of being made to feel like a VIP by a
welcoming adult despite being only four foot nine.

Treasured family moments come in many guises;


the art is knowing where to look. Enter the Family
Traditions at St. Regis programme. With captivating
activities, thoughtful attention tailored for younger
guests and their families, and extraordinary Family
Experiences, St. Regis hotels and resorts offer
destinations of distinction that celebrate the art of play.

family memories
At St. Regis resorts, uffy towels over-sized to ensconce
all ages come as standard. So do delectable treats,
miniature slippers and a step stool for little ones. Family
dining strikes just the right balance between rened and
relaxed, to ensure everyone enjoys a special evening out
(with personal requests readily catered to). When a truly
grown up evening is in order, the concierge team can
provide a list of qualied local agencies offering expert
care for children (who can also dine in private
splendour, with 24-hour in-room dining).
When a truly childish day is in order, many St. Regis
resorts offer an expertly staffed Childrens Club that
provides an exciting schedule of supervised activities
and enriching pursuits. On a practical front, an
impressive array of family necessities includes strollers,
baby wipes, diapers, cribs and rollaway beds. And,

nally, there are the memorial St. Regis Family


Experiences a selection of activities designed to help
you explore the enriching culture of each individual
destination.
Take the Back to Nature experience at The St. Regis
Bali Resort an interactive and immersive exploration
into the Eco Learning Park that serves the local
community of Nusa Dua and helps to preserve the
areas vital natural heritage. Or the Cultural Dance
Extravaganza, Balis celebrated Nusa Dua Theatre
showcasing stunning performances that fuse modern
and traditional dance forms and depict Indonesias
rich cultural diversity. Think aerial acrobatics, dazzling
costumes and special effects and backstage access to
meet performers before or after the show.
Water babies (and adults) will love The St. Regis Punta
Mita Resort Marine Safari in Mexico, an incredible
opportunity to get up close and personal with the
intriguing animals of the Marietas Islands National
Park, including dolphins, angelsh and manta rays.
Spring sees rare blue-footed booby birds nesting;
winter heralds the drama of humpback whale
watching; and for cave explorations with a difference,
try stand-up paddling (with lessons off the beach
beforehand to help you nd your balance).

Clockwise from far


left: Pool at St. Regis
Bali Resort; family
adventures include
cycle trips; suite at
St. Regis Bal Harbour
Resort in Miami;
Water babies will
love the St. Regis
experience; pool at
St. Regis Princeville
Resort in Hawaii;
beach at St. Regis
Sanya Yalong Bay in
China; Mountain
Terrace Garden at
St. Regis Deer
Valley in Utah

Prefer the bright city lights? At The St. Regis San


Francisco, a special Day in the Park might include
clay modelling, video making and a delicious picnic,
with juice blended and bottled by your children
beforehand. And museum tours around the museums
of your choice from The Cartoon Art Museum to
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
(SFMOMA) come with a difference, with special
tours providing interactive, hands-on experiences for
the entire family (indeed, for children inspired to
create their own artwork en route, the St. Regis will

even have it framed and delivered back to your


room as a keepsake).
From Africa to Asia, Mexico to the Middle East, its
all about family memories in the making. Following in
the tracks of Olympic racers on a bobsledding track,
surng off the sun-kissed beaches of Bora Bora,
exploring the bright lights of the US capital by
Segway, a private tour of the soaring beauty of
Romes Sistine Chapel. Or for something a little
more off the beaten track riding on tandem
bicycles along mountain roads, soaking up the
silence and marvelling at the scenic wonders
of Chinas Yalong Bay. At St. Regis hotels and
resorts, those childhood family holiday memories
are guaranteed to last a lifetime.
READER OFFER

A Family Traditions at St. Regis Suite exclusive,


specially tailored for younger guests and their
families, includes Suite accommodation, Childrens
Club access, 4pm late checkout, an SPG kids pass
and a daily credit towards family experiences and
other hotel services. For reservations, please visit:
stregis.com/familyexclusive.
Terms and conditions apply.

FAMILY... CITY HOTELS

MANDARIN ORIENTAL, HONG KONG

Some people lay down ne wines for their children, but how about
blowing that out of the water and instead treating them to crazy-good
hotels at strategic points in their formative years? The Mandarin
Oriental is one of those places. It is a must on any budding travellers
list. It has, ever since it opened 50 years ago, somehow embodied the
dazzling success story that is Hong Kong. Its part of the fabric of
the island, a place where locals drop in for tea (try the Taste of the
Legend blend and scones with rose-petal jam), city hot shots broker
deals, young ladies are taken for their rst manicure, and birthdays
are marked with a Motox cocktail (Belvedere citrus vodka, limoncello,
fresh coriander, ginger, apple, pineapple and lemon) or an epic
dinner at Michelin-starred Pierre with its spectacular views. And why
for children? Working out the staggering staf-to-guest ratio would be
good practice for maths, the thick towelling dressing gowns t every
child perfectly, the Chinese zodiac toy (a horse this year) is a delight
for toddlers, as is the T-shirt for children and the baseball cap for
teenagers (and, of course, there are Wii and Xbox game consoles
and a library of family DVDs; but thats not why you come). Most of
all and this is what they will remember there is the feeling that
nothing here is too much trouble, anything is possible and everyone
wants to make you happy. The bedrooms may no longer have harbour
views (because of land reclamation and newer, taller buildings), but
the staf really go the extra mile, and the overall mood encapsulates

86 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

a gravitas that other, less-established hotels simply lack. There is


much to explore on the 25 oors, from the small swimming pool and
holistic spa to the legendary Captains Bar where honoured locals
have their own silver tankards. Bedrooms are warm and elegant,
with good desks and sofas pressed up close to the large windows and
that excitingly glittery skyline. Breakfast on dim sum or, if you are
sweet-toothed, get high on the croissant-doughnut hybrids that
are causing queues at Caf Causette. Afterwards, explore the city,
not forgetting to wander the back streets near the hotel, where
youll nd art galleries and temples, fantastical ower shops and
amazing foot masseuses. And if anyones playing up, threaten them
with a trip to the wet market, hideously alive with plastic containers
of squirming eels, alarmingly jumping shellsh, and choppers
doing fast and bloody eviscerations; or ofer them that traditional
local delicacy, a blackened 100-year-old preserved egg.
JOURNEY TIME A 12-hour ight, then a half-hour transfer
TIME DIFFERENCE +8 hours
INSIDER TIP Forget expensive treats, just let the kiddies have fun
for free, zipping up the steep outdoor escalator nearby: its amazing
how long they can spend doing this.
BOOK IT Cox & Kings (+44 20 7873 5000; www.coxandkings.co.uk)
ofers three nights from 1,828 per person, based on two adults and
one child, including breakfast, ights and transfers.

MOUNT NELSON HOTEL

PHOTOGRAPHS: DOOK; ADAM FRIEDBERG

Cape Town

Painted top-to-toe in pale candyoss-pink, which


in itself is an excitement (ask the children to guess
what colour the hotel is going to be), the graceful
grande dame afectionately nicknamed The Nelly
is South Africas colonial classic, and a great
launch pad for safari action and Cape exploration
though, trust us, you will want a few nights here
rather than just a quick stopover. While it might
appear plantation-old-fashioned, the outlook is
bright and up to speed. Sleep in the newly revamped
Oasis wing (right next to the pool), where there
are smart-but-comfy interconnecting suites with
mini sitting-room areas and a handy little kitchen.
The look is perfectly polished and just what you
would expect from the Orient-Express stable
four-posters, fresh owers and heaps of marble.
When youre not out and about, riding a cable-car
up Table Mountain (so named because its so
at; theyll remember that forever) or taking
pictures of penguins waddling along the sand at
Boulders Beach, youll probably spend all your
time by the huge heated outdoor pool with its pink
towels, pufy sun-loungers and crisp staf in crisp
shorts. If you want to ofoad, deliver young ones
(aged three to 12) to the Nellie & Nelson activity
centre, where unappable staf will organise
cricket matches, face-painting and treasure hunts
before settling them down quietly on beanbags
for storytime featuring magical old African fables.
But whatever else they get up to, do regroup
for the extravagant afternoon tea, a transxing
theatre of waiters in gloves arranging itsy-bitsy
Alice in Wonderland delights including handmade
marshmallows, freshly baked biscuits galore and
mini lemon meringues.
JOURNEY TIME Just over 11 hours ight, then
a 20-minute drive from the airport
TIME DIFFERENCE +2 hours
INSIDER TIP Sit on an ostrich, stand on a huge
egg and feed one of the feathered giants at the
West Coast Ostrich Ranch, half an hour from the
hotel. Children will be busting to tell their friends.
BOOK IT Africa Travel (+44 20 7843 3500; www.
africatravel.co.uk) ofers four nights from 1,250
per person, based on two adults and two children,
including breakfast, ights and transfers.

FAMILY... CITY HOTELS

THE PLAZA, FAIRMONT


New York

88 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

PHOTOGRAPH: STEFANO SCATA

THE ST REGIS FLORENCE Italy

In much the same way you wouldnt let your four-year-old gorge on Charbonnel et Walker trufes
(so rich theyd be sick), The St Regis Florence is a delicacy worth saving for your teenagers. Its a
decadent hideaway, the sort with a urry of doormen exactly what you want in the city where the
Renaissance sprouted. A weekend here is the perfect 16th-birthday present, especially for those
studying art history (do make sure they watch A Room with a View beforehand). The hotel was
reopened and upgraded in 2011, and all is modern grandeur. It sits on the busy, pedestrianised
Piazza Ognissanti in the centro storico, close to everything that matters. The mood aimed for and
achieved is just the right balance between majestic and relaxed. Choosing a favourite among the
100 gilt-and-brocade bedrooms would be as wrong as picking a favourite child, since theyre all
slightly diferent, and all incredibly pretty. Some come with original frescos, most bathrooms are
tiled with Carrera marble, and golden chandeliers tinkle above huge beds folded in white sheets.
Downstairs, the coloured-glass ceiling and elevating columns of the restaurant will inspire the best
manners in the most surly teen. Executive chef Michele Griglio hits all the right notes: pappa al
pomodoro with shrimps and basil sorbet, divine pici pasta with fresh anchovies, and decadent roast
pigeon (yes, pigeon: dare your children) with caramelised gs. Dont forget to take a peek at the
Salone delle Feste ballroom, or to visit the neat Clarins spa; but the other draw, of course, is outside.
Pack comfy shoes (trainers for once allowed). Book tickets for the Ufzi ahead, climb the Duomo,
marvel at the Pitti Palace and the Accademia (where Michelagelos David stands), try the thickest,
stand-a-spoon-in-it hot chocolate at Rivoire caf (ideal for lunch and people-watching), and
take the girls to the Ferragamo museum, where they can see shoes worn by Audrey Hepburn and
Marilyn Monroe. If the museums are likely to feel like cultural rock-climbing for your children, the
hotel can arrange a brilliantly entertaining, privately guided and educational three-hour treasure
hunt a really original way of clocking the sights. They can also conjure up horse-drawn carriages
and cookery lessons, and unearth the best spots for pizza, pasta and ice cream.
JOURNEY TIME A two-and-a-half-hour ight, then a 20-minute drive from the airport
TIME DIFFERENCE +1 hour
INSIDER TIP If your teens should tire of traipsing around, take them across the Piazza Ognissanti
to the Excelsior, also part of the Starwood hotel group, for a fresh virgin Bellini and toasted nuts
on the rooftop bar overlooking the city.
BOOK IT Bellini Travel (+44 20 7602 7602; www.bellinitravel.com) ofers two nights from 440
per person, based on two adults and two children, including chocolate-tasting and a city tour by bike.

With its position facing Central Park on one side


and the world-famous FAO Schwartz toyshop
across Fifth Avenue, plus its association with
Eloise, the precocious childrens book character
who lived at the hotel (her portrait hangs opposite
the Palm Court), the Plaza is just made for kids.
The hotel is styled as a French chteau: crystal
chandeliers, velvet sofas, acres of polished oors.
Stay in the Tower Suite, an extraordinary corner
room with circular beds and ridiculously high,
turreted ceilings. A family ambassador (that is,
a particularly patient and smiley staf member)
accompanies you to your room on check-in, and
knights younger family members with a ceremonial
sword. For young children who have demonstrated
bravery and prowess on the battleeld, reads
the ambassador, totally straight-faced, from a
scroll that might put Magna Carta to shame and
is yours to take home. (And if New York is a combat
zone in terms of shopping and sightseeing, the
citation couldnt be more apt.) Yes, its kind of
hokey, and older children might roll their eyes,
but the under-eights cant get enough of this
shtick or the host of goodies, including a closet
full of dressing-up gear, childrens terrycloth
bathrobes (very knightly), a hardback copy of
The Knight at Dawn from the Magic Tree House
series, and a $100 gift card for FAO Schwartz.
They even throw in a family picnic, to be taken
at Belvedere Castle in the park.
JOURNEY TIME A seven-and-a-half-hour
ight, then an hours drive from JFK or Newark
TIME DIFFERENCE 5 hours
INSIDER TIP For cerebral kids and budding
artists, check out the Calder mobiles (among
other amazing stuf) at the newly renovated
Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum on East
91st Street (www.cooperhewitt.org).
BOOK IT Elegant Resorts (+44 1244 897517;
www.elegantresorts.co.uk) ofers three nights
from 1,219 per person based on two adults and
two children, including ights and transfers.

T RAVELLER PROM OT ION

FAMILY centric

Harmonious family holidays here we come through the launch


of the new Smith & Family website, a collection of unique
hotels who specialise in allowing parents to have a break too

amily holidays should be an escape from the


stresses of everyday life which is only possible
when you know you can switch off and unwind
even as your little ones wind up (and your
teenagers try to wind you up because they are bored).
Enter Smith & Familys inspiring new family-centric
hotel collection.
Who hasnt arrived at a hotel, all set for a family
holiday, only to nd that your family suite is the size
of a cupboard; you have to navigate the only viable
cot space to get into your bathroom (which only has a
shower); teenagers are the overlooked generation
(never a good recipe for a week together); children are
only welcome in the restaurant at certain times of day;
the crches hours are limited to the morning; or that,
quite frankly, the room service staff dont feel they are
there to heat milk before bedtime.
Not so with the brilliant, newly launched Smith &
Family website a unique hotel collection from the
team behind the acclaimed boutique hotel website,
Mr & Mrs Smith featuring a luxe line-up of family-

Clockwise from top:


Beach stroll at
Martinhal Beach
Resort & Spa,
Portugal; Enjoying
the cuisine at Fellah
Hotel, Marrakech,
Morocco; Wellies
at Babington House
in Somerset

friendly stays that are as


suited to children as
they are to their parents.
Here, hip and hidden
co-exists in harmony
with happy families and
a welcoming let-your-hair-down philosophy; romantic
soires can co-exist with family romps; travel kudos
combines with kids clubs that provide a genuinely
action-packed activity programme; parental pampering
is as important as brilliantly planned playtime, and style
isnt so stuck-up that sticky ngers send the hotelier into
a veritable spin. Big or small (think anything from a
30-room boutique escape to a 300-room hive of all-age
activity), theyve all proved themselves on the extra-mile

front to ensure parents and children alike have the


break they are looking for.

en famille
Best of all, these hotels are curated by experts and
personally visited and approved by parents. Which
means accurate in-the-know guides to each one that
dont just tell you how much a babysitter costs and

whether your children will be allowed in the


restaurant, but also give you a parents-eye-view of
things to do on-site and off; recommend the ideal
rooms to book en famille, and let you know precisely
which age and stage from tots to teenagers the
hotel is best for. And bearing in mind that parents
need their own downtime, the Smith & Family team
can also advise you on how to make the most of your
free time from spa-lazing to star-gazing while the
little Smiths are tucked up for the night.
Book online at smithandfamily.co.uk or call the
dedicated 24-hour Family Travel Team on 0845 313
9007. Smith & Family guarantee the best room rates
available at the time of booking, and, because they give
you a free BlackSmith membership when you rst book,
youll earn money to spend on future bookings and
added extras with every single Smith & Family stay.

TOP STRESS-FREE
FLYING TIPS from
Tamara Heber-Percy, co-founder
of smithandfamily.co.uk

With forward planning, having young


children neednt sentence you to endless
staycations. Tamara Heber-Percy,
co-founder of child-friendly travel
experts Smith & Family, shares her
top tips on taking the trauma out of
ying en famille.
QPlan to leave early, then leave
earlier still: unexpected shuttles, broken
travelators and packed lifts stand
between you and the check-in desk.
Pack all essentials: aside from the
obvious, a four-gang plug (for multiple
charging of electronics); toddler

headphones; something new for in-ight


distraction and a sightseeing tick-list
that kids can get excited about en route
are musts.
QBe kind to all around you: smile at
your neighbours and the ight
attendants you never know when youll
need some tolerance, a helping hand or
an extra glass of wine.
QLimit jet lag: time long-haul trips to
land when its light, so toddlers can run
around after being cooped up. Sunshine
can also help them adjust.
QPlan ahead carefully: make sure the
hotel crche has space during that

wine-tasting course youve been


dying to try.
QBuild up excitement about new
cultures by sharing some phrases in
advance waiters invariably smile at a
toddlers grazie.
QDe-stress your departure:
No. 1 Traveller (no1traveller.com) is
my favourite discovery for airport
transfers and lounge access in
several UK airports.
QDitch rules and routines:
European countries, for example, have a
diferent pace of life, so dont fret if the
cheese arrives after the kids bedtime.

LOOK FOR THE SMITH & FAMILY


POSTCARD in this issue, and receive a free
copy of our Smith & Family Annual 2014.
Smith & Family tried
and tested:

FIVE FAVOURITE
ESCAPES
QBorgo Egnazia, Puglia, Italy. A stylish
resort that goes out of its way to keep
families entertained: four pools, two
beach clubs, a golf course, crche, teen
zone and a knockout spa. Expect to leave
in love with Puglia. Rates: Doubles from
181 per night including breakfast.
QFellah Hotel, Marrakech, Morocco.
With its quirky art installations and
mid-century furnishings, Fellah and its
farm grounds might be a connoisseur's
dream, but it's still an exceedingly
child-friendly place to stay: kids can safely
explore the desert grounds and monkey
around in the tree-house. Rates: Doubles
from 120 including breakfast.
QSoneva Kiri, Koh Kood, Thailand.
With a breathtaking jungle-meets-ocean
setting and fun-loving attitude, this
eco-friendly escape takes luxury family

holidays to a new level. Vast private villas,


mouthwatering Thai food and an
am-I-dreaming kids' club mean the entire
brood can have the time of their lives.
Rates: Doubles from 602 including
breakfast.
QCalcot Manor, Cotswolds, UK.
Amid Gloucestershires leafy rural roll,
this country house retreat ofers the
acme of family escapes, with child-geared
facilities at every turn. Rooms designed
specially for families, a crche that takes
newborns and a kids tea every day come
as standard. Rates: Doubles from 280
including breakfast.
QMartinhal Beach Resort & Hotel,
Portugal. Falling onto sun-soaked sands
and boasting a serene spa, this seaside
stay in Sagres ofers relaxed barefoot
luxury. Set in parkland and beside
surfers-paradise seas, you can opt to do a
lot or a little. And with ultra-child-friendly
restaurants, it's a exible base for a stylish
family stay. Rates: Doubles from 116
excluding breakfast.

Clockwise from top


left: Bedroom at
Calcot Manor in the
Cotswolds; exterior
view of the villas at
Soneva Kiri in
Thailand; view from
Martinhal Beach in
Portugal; dining room
at Borgo Egnazia in
Italy; Walking
through Coworth
Park in Berkshire

FAMILY... ACTION STATIONS

92 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

SCHLOSS ELMAU
Bavaria

High up in a secluded valley, surrounded by


meadows, pretty woods, isolated haybarns and
the rocky Wetterstein mountains, this place is
impossibly peaceful. Throw open the windows at
night in your junior suite (the best option for
families as it has a kitchenette, two bathrooms and
extra beds if need be) and all you can hear is the
silence of a starry night. Theres the sense that
children can roam free in an old-fashioned, Heidi
way, but with added perks. Trays of Smarties
and Chupa Chups await on arrival. There are two
playgrounds with a sandpit and large trampoline
where they can run around and build sandcastles
or bounce up and down for hours. Afternoon hot
chocolate and cake sessions in the tea lounge
mean the whole gang can get together to play
board games and argue over who gets to be the
boot in Monopoly. Theres a kids club for one- to
ve year-olds, a creative kids programme where
little ones (ages four to six) can paint, do
handicrafts and sing, and for older ones (aged six
to 15), special organised winter sports such as
skiing and ice hockey tournaments. But the real
thrill is to borrow bikes and go exploring in the
hills nearby (there are trailers for young ones so
you can turn it into a Swiss Family Robinson-style
outing). And when you are ready to retreat there
isnt just one spa here but four. One is adults-only
with saunas, steam rooms and a rooftop innity
pool with spectacular views. Then theres the
Oriental Hammam (the largest this side of Istanbul);
the Nature Spa, with a Finnish sauna, an outdoor
pool and a brook to paddle across; and lastly
the Family Spa, which is open 24-hours a day
and is basically one gigantic heated indoor pool
with oats galore. Mealtimes are just as friendly.
The breakfast bufet at La Salle is of the chart,
childrens lunch is included in the room rate (clever),
and for a special supper try Italian restaurant Fidelo
(for children over six only) where they will be
served sparkling apple juice in utes and shown
how to properly twirl spaghetti with a fork by the
matred. And if you feel like a date night in the
Michelin-starred Luce dOro, the hotel can
arrange a babysitter or lend you monitors to tuck
discreetly between the salt and pepper shakers
(and the reception works).
JOURNEY TIME A two-hour ight to
Innsbruck, then a 45-minute drive.
TIME DIFFERENCE +1 hour
INSIDER TIP Book in for a Thai massage using
heated oils in the adults-only spa: theyre fantastic.
BOOK IT Cleveland Collection (+44 20 7843
3531; www.clevelandcollection.co.uk) ofers
ve nights from 999 per person half board,
based on two adults and two children, including
ights and transfers.

FAMILY... ACTION STATIONS

ROCKSRESORT
Switzerland

CLAYOQUOT WILDERNESS RESORT Canada


Theres something about swooping in by
seaplane, rather than rumbling along asphalt,
that makes coming here the most thrilling
Tintin escapade. You soar over forested hills
and valleys and land into what feels not just
like a diferent place, but a diferent time,
too. Its alive with animals. There are dogs of
every kind imaginable. Cowboy John, who
wears an enormous stetson, gives a stern
speech to fresh arrivals about the dangers of
cougars, which feels rather ridiculous until
you spot the warning signs everywhere. Its a
wild, Waltons-esque wonderland, the most
exhilarating outdoorsy playground. There are
no iPads, no DVD sessions; instead, you all
head out to try paddleboarding and ziplining, get into the boat for whale-watching
and dolphin-spotting. Even children who are
little and a bit timid nd themselves strapped
into a Western-style saddle for a hack into
the woods, picking huckleberries along the
way. And the staf could not be more free and
easy. When youve planned to go kayaking at
10am and then turn up at 11am, it couldnt
be less of a problem. And if riding is booked
for all ve of you but, when the time comes,
only two want to go no worries at all. At

94 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

night everyone camps out: under canvas, but


in the most glorious frontier tent imaginable,
with top-dollar bathrooms and full-throttle
water pressure (after all that activity and fresh
air, everyones so wiped out that the sleep is
deep). There are spa tents as well, strung out
over the water, with incredible masseuses (this
is a place that gets it right for parents, too).
The dining room has huge windows looking
out over the lawns, and those dogs. Children
come out of their shells in minutes and, at
night, yomp around in huge packs, making
smores by the campre with their new buddies
while you feast on grilled oyster chowder.
JOURNEY TIME A nine-and-a-halfhour ight to Vancouver, then a 45-minute
ight to Tono
TIME DIFFERENCE -8 hours
INSIDER TIP If youre looking for a properly
invigorating wilderness trip, this is the place to
do it, rather than in the USA where it is more
of a clipped, health-and-safety experience.
BOOK IT Brown & Hudson (+44 20 3358
0110; www.brownandhudson.com) ofers
three nights from 3,600 per person per night
based on two adults and one child, including
all activities, meals, ights and transfers.

Skiing with little ones in tow is a palaver, what


with all the kit, the clobber, the crashing
about, getting everyone from A to B and up
the mountain. But not here. The shiny,
contemporary, car-free Rocksresort, which
sprang up ve years ago at the bottom of the
Crap Sogn Gion cable-car station, is properly
ski-in, ski out. It has everything you could
possibly want in its main square, from a ski
rental store to a bakery, fondue restaurant, pub,
fantastically chichi Swiss boutiques, a ski
school and the nursery slopes right on the
doorstep. Theres a hotel, the Signina, but the
two- to four-bedroomed apartments are the
places to stay, with their underoor heating,
amazing slate-tiled bathrooms that turn into
mini hammams, full-sized fridges and all the
kitchen gadgets necessary to cook a proper
meal. All the machinations of the resort are
hidden underneath the buildings, including ski
lockers, a laundry room and a huge car park.
The mountains are a snowboarders dream but
clever lift placement (seek out the Porsche
chairs at Lavadinas that swivel to face you out
of the wind, and the heated seats at Treis
Palas) means you can ski and ski and ski and
spend remarkably little time queuing. Once you
have skied like this, going back to a chocolateboxy chalet will seem amusingly archaic.
JOURNEY TIME A one-hour ight to
Zrich, then a 90-minute train to Chur and 20
minutes by car up the mountain
TIME DIFFERENCE +1 hour
INSIDER TIP Changeover days are Sunday
so getting your skis and passes on Monday
can mean hefty queues. Pre-order your skis
and book a ski guide for the Monday morning.
That way you can skip the line to get onto the
cable car, and at the chairlifts, while getting
speedily acquainted with the slopes.
BOOK IT Powder Byrne (+44 20 8246 5300;
www.powderbyrne.com) ofers seven nights
from 1,699 per person, based on two adults
and two children sharing a two-bedroom
apartment, including ights and transfers.

T RAVELLER PROM OT ION

fsted and the odd head teacher might beg to


differ, but travel really is the best of schools (it
also gets an A* for parents sanity, soul and
stress levels). Turquoise Holidays has developed
a strong family niche: founder James Bell has
children, as do most of the team, and it speaks
volumes. They understand the trials and tribulations
of parenthood and the importance laid on the family
holiday. Never selling the unseen, they can dish the
detail on everything from the best inter-connecting
rooms and nappy-friendly hotels to outstanding kids
clubs and wild and wacky adventures.

SCHOOL'S out

child-friendly
Turquoise Holidays new family brochure is bold and
beautiful. We love the child-friendly take on adult-centric

Turquoise Holidays new family


brochure is as vivid as a childs
imagination. For seriously cool
adventures, this is our go-to
family tour operator

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destinations New York with St Lucia, Dubai with


the Maldives nally we can think outside the
bucket and spade box. There are also brilliant
adventures such as poo safaris, horse riding in
Kenya and turtle-rescuing in the Seychelles: never
have holidays been so much fun or educational. In
the words of Roald Dahl a little magic can take
you a long way.

For further information or to request a copy


of the new family brochure please call
01494 678400 or visit turquoiseholidays.co.uk.
Alternatively, for ideas galore and Tommy
the Turquoise duck, head to nappy valley for
an appointment at the Northcote Road shop.
(147 Northcote Road, SW11 6QB)

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FAMILY... ACTION STATIONS

THE ST REGIS ASPEN RESORT USA

FOUR SEASONS SAFARI LODGE


SERENGETI Tanzania

OK, so its not a real safari lodge. Its not rough and ready; nothing
is tented. And it doesnt try and pretend to have anything to do with
Out of Africa. But if youre a nervous African newbie, then a Four
Seasons provides all the coddling you need. This is the companys
rst property in sub-Saharan Africa (there are plans for ones in Zanzibar
and Johannesburg) and for those who dont like bugs, early-morning
game drives or being accompanied to their room by an armed guide,
it is the ultimate play-safe hideout. Theres even a doctor on call
24/7. Bring the over-eights (no one younger is allowed) for their rst
educational safari experience:
nothing will teach them more
about our place in the world as
humans. The lodge, right in the
Serengeti there is no fenced
boundary has a natural watering
hole beneath the innity pool
so theres no need to zoom of
game-spotting in the Land Rover.
Instead, loll by the pool, watching
wildlife from your sunbed. Herds
of elephant regularly turn up midmorning; view from the elevated
walkways that link the thatch-roofed

96 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

TIME DIFFERENCE -7 hours


INSIDER TIP For the best prices, buy lift tickets from a UK tour
operator at least two weeks in advance. Check in at the visitors
centre at Aspen airport (or three other locations around town) for
discounts on ski rentals. At the top of the main ski-lifts at 10.30am
every day are local, highly competent ambassadors who will guide you
for no charge they do it out of the love of skiing and can take skiers
anywhere except on black runs.
BOOK IT Scott Dunn (+44 20 8682 5050; www.scottdunn.com)
ofers seven nights from 1,965 per person, including ights
and transfers.
accommodation (and mean you dont have to worry about snakes).
Those who want to can, of course, go on game drives the Serengeti
has the largest concentration of plains animals on earth and is famous
for its lion as well the great migration or go hot-air ballooning to
get a real sense of the landscape. The Maasai, who also run the Kids
Club, keep an eagle-eye on their charges who will spend mornings
making beaded jewellery, locating multicoloured rock iguana or setting
infrared camera traps to see what lurks at night. Theres a superbly stinky
colony of hippos up the road and chances are youll get to see most of
the Big Five. The real gem is the Discovery Centre, with 3D topographic
maps to chart the migration of the wildebeest and amazing animal
artefacts, wildlife lms and interactive exercises. So your poppets will
score aces in school projects on ecology and animal hierarchy next term.
JOURNEY TIME 12 hours 25 minutes (a total of three ights), then a
50-minute transfer
TIME DIFFERENCE +3 hours
INSIDER TIP Ask for Prescus
for your game drives. His gamespotting vision is spookily brilliant.
BOOK IT Cazenove+Loyd
(+44 20 7384 2332; www.cazloyd.
com) ofer eight-night trips
from 6,404 per person full board,
based on two sharing, with a night
at Hemingways Nairobi and seven
at Four Seasons Safari Lodge
Serengeti, including ights, transfers
and park fees.

PHOTOGRAPH: ANDREW ROWAT

Grown-ups may be fond of a tucked-away boutique hotel and ready to


trade marble and chandeliers for some idiosyncratic charm, but
for children theres nothing like a grand hotel. They take to the glamour
like a moth to a ame. They love the buzz, the lifts, the huge bufet
breakfasts with eggs how they like it, a million sorts of granola and
mufns of every kind. They love room service and on-tap games and a
concierge wholl magic up whatever it is they fancy. And since every
grand hotel knows that the way to encourage loyalty is to butter up the
kids, they get pampered in the most over-the-top way. So it is with the
St Regis in Aspen. Theres always a re in the grate and a hum in the air
in the vast drawing room (make sure you get back from skiing in time
for afternoon tea). Its centrally placed close to the bottom of Aspen
Mountain, a matter of minutes from downtown with its fancy shops
and restaurants as well as the stop where skiers catch the (free) buses
that take them to the mountains. Quite apart from the fact that there is
no better place in the world to learn to ski than the nearby Buttermilk
Mountain, an array of other treats will keep the small set happy.
How about a two-hour dog sled ride, pulled by huskies and guided by
an expert musher, through the scenic Snowmass wilderness? Or a
snowmobile adventure to the base of Maroon Bells, among North
Americas most photographed mountains? Warm up with a cup of hot
cocoa or cider at the glittering lake then explore miles of groomed trails.
Summer here is all about Jeep tours, grills out by the campre (BBQ
spare ribs, baked potatoes), live music and cheesy sing-alongs. For the
under-fours there are horse-drawn carriage rides to Pine Creek. The ves
to nines can join the Friday sledding and aprs-ski art classes at Snowmass
Base Village; the 10-13 crowd can cross-country ski to Pine Creek
Cookhouse; teenagers can go bowling, snowmobiling or even hot-air
ballooning across the Roaring Fork Valley. The food scene is perfect for
kids, too: order bufalo burgers at Boogies or go to The Meatball Shack
for home-made pasta and chicken balls. Portions are American-huge.
JOURNEY TIME A nine-hour ight to Denver, then a 45-minute
ight to Aspen

It only takes a
moment to
rediscover my
sense of wonder.

w w w. a u s t r i a . i n f o

Yo u r p e r s o n a l H o l i d a y I n f o r m a t i o n L i n e :
0845 101 1818 (calls charged at local rates)

FAMILY... ACTION STATIONS

EXPLORA ATACAMA Chile

GROOTBOS PRIVATE
NATURE RESERVE
South Africa

Grootbos lures families back with a concoction


of spectacular scenery, enchanting activities and
food so interesting that even the smallest imps
are converted to leaf-and-ower salads (alongside
a re-baked pizza, of course). Unlike game parks,
teeming with creatures ready to bite anyone who
strays too far, Grootbos is totally tame. Two lodges
(one for families) and a six-bed house are set on
fynbos-covered slopes that beg to be explored on
foot, on bike or with ever-smiling guides who
know what kids like. For instance, bumping along
the bush in the back seat of a Jeep; picnics in the
middle of nowhere; horse-riding in the paddocks,
and exploring big caves where Stone Age teeth
were found. From its rooms, outdoor showers and
window-side baths, there are 180-degree views
of the white, deserted beaches that fringe Walker
Bay. It is from here, from June to December, that
whales can be spotted: take a boat out to see the
marine Big Five (humpback and Southern Right
whales, seals, sharks, penguins and dolphins). Not
that organised activities are necessary. While
parents are being pummelled in the spa or indulging
in the umpteenth lunch (tempura prawn with chilli
followed by chocolate and orange mousse tart),
energetic nannies will take the kids to play
football with local children. And at the end of the
stay, each family is invited to plant a tree with their
name on it, and to return to watch its progress.
JOURNEY TIME An 11-and-a-half-hour ight
to Cape Town, then a two-hour transfer by car
TIME DIFFERENCE +2 hours
INSIDER TIP October and November are the
best months to combine warm weather and
whales (and remember to take motion-sickness
tablets; sea excursions can be choppy).
BOOK IT The Explorations Company (+44
1367 850566; www.explorationscompany.com)
ofers seven nights from 2,233 per person full
board, based on a family of ve in a two-bedroom
lodge, including ights, transfers and activities.

REVIEWS BY: RHONDA CARRIER, ONDINE COHANE,


LISA GRAINGER, LAURA IVIL, HAZEL LUBBOCK,
MARY LUSSIANA, EMILY MATHIESON,
ANNA PASTERNAK, ADRIANNE PIELOU,
MELINDA STEVENS, CLOVER STROUD,
CAROLINE SYLGER JONES, LUCIA VAN DER POST,
ISSY VON SIMSON, JEREMY WAYNE
98 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

PHOTOGRAPH: GUS GREGORY

The excitement builds as you travel in four-wheel-drive-comfort towards what is the best
place to stay in the Atacama desert, across a sci- landscape of dusty earth, all shades of pink
and ochre occasionally as pink as the ocks of amingos you see around the salt ats. On
the horizon, cone-shaped volcanoes soar into a cloudless sky. It is utterly surreal. Explora
Atacama, like Explora Patagonia and Explora Rapa Nui (Easter Island), is about experiencing
the landscape with all ve senses: the smell of sulphur from hot springs, the sound of rock
that chinks like glass, the feel of desert sand beneath your feet, the sight of great canyons,
and the taste of salt from the ground. Children will come away enthralled by the natural world.
The night skies are so consistently clear that this is also the worlds number one destination for
stargazing, and the lodge has its own observatory. Walk inside and your guide will point out
highlights in the milky swathes of stars, and focus you in on the constellations unique to the
southern hemisphere. In the heat of the day, don hats and sunglasses for guided excursions:
the Valley of the Moon bike ride takes you into canyons and up onto dunes; the 18km bike
trail to Laguna Piedra, a large salt lake fed from a spring where you can swim, is at and fun,
but make sure all the family visits the bathroom rst as there is not a single bush if you are
caught short. Have a horse-mad daughter? Exhilarating trail rides or simple lessons can be
arranged, and with more than 20 horses especially bred for the conditions and stabled on site,
this is a fantastic place for everyone to have a go, whatever your level. The lodge itself is simple
rustic elegance with tiled oors and wooden ceilings; meals are often taken outdoors with
lots of quinoa, pataska (delicious stewed vegetables) and turrn de chanr, a sweet sticky
pudding made with honey. But its the space, freedom and freaky beauty of the landscape that
will re childrens imaginations.
JOURNEY TIME A 17-hour ight to Santiago, then two hours to Calama and an hour transfer
TIME DIFFERENCE -3 hours
INSIDER TIP Ask about taking a picnic to the thermal baths of Termas de Puritama, where a
pool is reserved especially for Explora guests.
BOOK IT Journey Latin America (+44 20 8747 8315; www.journeylatinamerica.co.uk) ofers
four nights from 2,406 per person full board, based on two adults and one child, including
ights, transfers and daily excursions.

BEYOND
EXPECTATION
Creating new family
memories at St. Regis.

A tradition you return to


time and time again,
one of the many reasons why.

stregis.com/familytraditions

celebrating the art of play at over 30 of the worlds finest hotels & resorts.
africa the americas asia europe the middle east
20132014 Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Preferred Guest, SPG, St. Regis and their logos are the trademarks of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., or its afliates.

Embrace the worlds most luxurious all-inclusive resort experience. Offering exquisite
cuisine, award-winning spas, lavish accommodations and utterly pampering personalized
service in the worlds most spectacular oceanfront locations.

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and amenities including private beach and pool areas with valet service.

For more information contact your travel agent, call 0808 234 82 71 or visit PARADISUS.COM
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PHOTOGRAPH: SHANNA JONES

GET FIRED UP FOR STEAMPUNK


The steampunk sensation, an industrial, sci-, Victoriana
mash-up of styles, has been slow oating up to the surface.
Of course, at Burning Man theyve been donning brass goggles
for years. And in Downtown LA, a neighbourhood that is
now bubbling with new hotels and hangouts, burlesque girls
at the eccentric Edison restaurant have long danced against
a backdrop of generators (it was once a power plant). In
Europe its just starting to trickle through: look at the bar
in Barcelonas Generator Hostel, with its tables resting on
blackened-steel cog teeth and gears. And watch out for next
years opening in London of the worlds rst Heath Robinson
Museum, crowdfunded on Kickstarter. But it all comes together
here in Cape Town. The cafeine hits at Truth Cofee (www.
truthcofee.com), this beautiful bean-roasting caf in the
Fringe district, may be excellent but really its the interior styling
that tickles. Furniture designer Haldane Martin, known locally
for his ostrich feather-covered interpretation of Castiglionis
iconic Arco lamp, has radically themed the three-storey space
as a mechanical playground. There are raw steel joists, brilliantly
overcomplicated tangles of copper pipework and exposed
machinery like one of Caractacus Potts maverick inventions in
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The star of the main room is a
gleaming three-ton vintage Probat roaster surrounded by what
looks like a gasworks frame. It couldnt be further from the
ubiquitous clean-lined Scandi chic aesthetic. ISSY VON SIMSON

April 2014 Cond Nast Traveller 101

A tented Hud Hud camp on the shores of


the Indian Ocean at Khalouf Beach

PHOTOGRAPHS: TIM CLINCH; ANDRES SHAYLOR

t night the silence in


the Wahiba Sands is
so soft and thick you
feel you could cut a
strip and wear it as a
scarf. The velvet sky is
splattered with stars,
the saffron-coloured
sand covered in the intricate pointillist
patterns left by the feet of dozens of
scarab beetles marching stolidly around
the lanterns of our camp.
Earlier, I had sat watching the sun
descend with what seemed like unnatural
haste behind dunes heavily shaded like
the robes of some rich aristocrat in a
Flemish oil painting; shadow turning them
from golden demerera to burnt orange.
The Wahiba Sands are spotted with clumps
of dark, spiky grass. The twisted forms
of ziziphus trees, the sadistically barbed
branches of which formed Christs
crown of thorns, stalk the atlands.
The ziziphus produces pale-yellow
stone fruits that Omani boys sell from
baskets by the side of the road. The esh is
mealy and acerbic. What it lacks in avour,
the fruit makes up for in history. This, the
Arabs say, is what Adam ate when God
rst set him down in the Garden of Eden.
The previous night we had camped
in Wadi Tanuf, the site of a mineral-water
spring, in the mountains near Nizwa.
The high cliffs magnied and sharpened
every sound, turning the mild act of
chopping rewood into a Wild West
gunght. In the darkness the lonely call

of a Scops owl shrilled like the whistle of


the Cannonball Express.
We had arrived at Wadi Tanuf after
driving through Wadi Bani Awf. The route
climbed dramatically, apparently defying
gravity and physics, tarmac giving way to
grade road and then bumpy track.
Flat-topped bluffs and rocky buttes that
would not appear out of place in a John
Ford Western loomed above. Steel signs
pointed the way to distant villages
sometimes down roads as yet unbuilt. In
what seemed like the middle of nowhere,
we passed a group of footballers jogging
off for a game on a stony pitch carved
into the mountainside, the goalposts
fashioned from branches, the crossbars
made of rope. Crossing the brow of one
last hill, we found ourselves looking down
into the natural amphitheatre of the Sahtan
Bowl, stage left of which is the tiny village

of Misfat al Abryeen. Here, a venerable


watchtower stands sentinel over a cluster
of ochre houses perched on ledges above
a series of terraced gardens where wheat
and onions grow amid banana trees. In
late afternoon the village is softly hushed,
the only sound the bleating of far-off
goats. White-robed men are working in
the elds. High overhead a black and
white Egyptian vulture slowly circles.
A couple of hours drive west, there
are more ziziphus trees in the lush and
paradisiacal setting of Wadi Bani Khalid.
Stands of dark-green reeds grow beside
chuckling water. Succulent trees ripple
in a breeze that wafts down the valley;
an Indian roller bird is a sudden ash of
iridescent blue among the wagging foliage.
Above, rocks the colour of an Arabian
bay rise ancient and craggy until they
disappear in the heat haze. A herdsman

The tented camp on Khalouf


Beach. Below, marinated olives
and chilli. Opposite: the ruined
village of Manah; pomegranates

drives dark-eeced sheep down a


narrow gorge beside an irrigation ditch.
Somewhere in the distance, the ululating
call of the hoopoe, a crested, pink-tinged
bird, mingles with the bray of a donkey.
A man in a batik dishdasha robe and
turban is cutting reeds to sell for oor
covering. He walks down the road
balancing a sheaf of them on his head.
French-blue water trucks rumble by, stirring
up a small blizzard of clouded yellow
butteries that have been feasting on the
sweet nectar of bougainvillaea owers.
The water owing over smooth grey
rocks has worn away the stone to leave
hollows that look like the footprints of
giants. Garnet and amber dragonies
skim across the surface. Beneath it, small
dark sh it among swaying starwort. Rock
martins swoop low across the tranquil
surface of the deeper pools. A large-faced

Omani man leaps across the stream, his


leather sandals slapping on the stone, and
smiles, revealing a missing front tooth.
He skips off down the path trailed by
the sweet, musky smell of bakhoor, the
richly scented powder the locals burn to
freshen up their clothing.
Oman is the perfume capital of Arabia.
Roses and sandalwood grow across the
region, myrrh is harvested in the valleys
close to the Yemeni border and the
worlds nest frankincense is tapped from
trees in the valleys of Jabal al Qamar
the Mountains of the Moon outside
Salalah, an 80-minute ight south-west
from Muscat, the capital.
A zig-zag road like something drawn
by a fastidious maths teacher carries you
up and down the Mountains of the Moon.
In the dark, rugged landscape in which the
prophet Job suffered his many torments,

bright-pink desert roses blossom on


leaess grey shrubs and the stubby
frankincense trees ooze their precious,
sticky white resin from ssures in the bark.
Frankincense is what made Oman
famous. It was one of the most soughtafter commodities in the ancient world
more valuable than gold. Long before
the internal combustion engine and crude
oil, the fragrant gum of the Boswellia tree
made southern Arabia the wealthiest
region on the planet. The Emperors of
Persia took it as tribute, the successors
of Alexander the Great traded for it.
The Romans tried to get their hands on it
by conquest, but the Augustan legions
perished in the sands of the Empty Quarter.
Who is this, King Solomon asked
that cometh out of the wilderness like
pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh
and frankincense, with all powders of
the merchant? The Old Testament
doesnt supply an answer, but it may have
been the Queen of Sheba. No one knows
exactly from where this wise and exotic
monarch came, but Oman was part of her
territory. Sumhuram, an archaeological
site close to Salalah, is sometimes called
The Queen of Shebas Palace.
The ruined city is on a headland anked
on either side by a sweet-water creek,
Khor Rori, that ripples like turquoise silk.
It enters the sea between craggy cliffs; at
low tide a bar of yellow sand closes off
the mouth. Flamingoes and spoonbills, the
supermodels of the avian world, stalk
about the water on stiletto legs. A small

A tented camp in the foothills of Jebel Akhdar

Traditional mint tea and, left,


Omani knives, known as khanjar,
on sale in Muscats main bazaar

sea gate opens onto what would once have


been the busy road to the quayside. Omani
sailing dhows fashioned from Malabar
hardwood brought ivory from the African
coast, cotton from Egypt and spices from
India. They still make them north along
the coast at Sur, where Indian workmen
chisel the spars by hand and the air is rich
with the scent of freshly planed timber.
Omani navigators, including, so local
legend has it, Sinbad the Sailor, became as

their 16th-century forts overlooks the


sea near the Sultans Palace.
Wadi Darbat feeds the creek at
Sumhuram. Driving up it, you enter a
tree-lined valley where black-and-white
dairy cattle stroll across the road oblivious
to the tooting of the orange-and-white
Omani cabs. For nine months of the year
the grass is low and dun-coloured, but the
Dhofar region is in the monsoon belt
and when the khareef rains hit between

insolence of taxi dancers. Occasionally,


one of them breaks wind with a noise like
a Vespa speeding down a Roman alleyway.
The heavy rains soften the landscape
of Dhofar and the plains around Salalah,
giving a tropical air. Great plantations
ank the road to the airport. You can stop
to buy a fresh coconut, chilled from the
freezer, drink the juice and eat the rubbery
esh. Stalls sell sugar cane, bananas no
bigger than a thumb that are as sweet and

Ziploc bags of the best-quality frankincense are jumbled up on stalls amid


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procient at plotting a course on the water
as they already were in the desert, using
the stars to nd their way to Rome, Kerala
and Shanghai. They established outposts
in Zanzibar, Balochistan and Tanzania.
One of the greatest of them, Ahmad Ibn
Majid, reputedly provided Vasco da Gama
with an Arab navigational aid, the astrolabe,
and then piloted the Portuguese explorer
during his rst voyage to Kolkota. In return
for the favour, the Portuguese attacked
Muscat and briey occupied it. One of

mid-June and September it turns instantly


green. Revivied, the landscape is so
verdant that one of the British ofcers
who fought here alongside the Omani
Army against communist insurgents in
the 1970s described it as looking like the
Yorkshire Dales. He must have been
particularly homesick, because you rarely
see camels in Leyburn or Settle. Here, they
are everywhere, slouching about, batting
their huge eyelashes, chewing slowly
and staring at passers-by with the bored

fragrant as those from St Lucia, papayas


the size of watermelons, fresh turmeric,
jackfruit (a gigantic brous banana-ish
thing originally from Kerala), mangoes and
chikku, which has pulpy white esh and
large black seeds that suggest a missing
link between passion fruit and lychee.
Oil and gas are now Omans biggest
exports. Frankincense is no longer as
valuable as it once was. You can buy a
Ziploc bag of pale Hojai, the best-quality
resin, for 10 in souks like the one we

MAP: HEATHER GATLEY

visited in Nizwa. It looks like rock candy


and is jumbled up on stalls amid plastic
washing-up bowls lled with dried baby
shark (the Omani equivalent of salt cod),
big, at aluminium dishes of garlic and
dried limes, bunches of fresh oregano,
owerpots overowing with red chillies,
squeezy bottles of date syrup, green peppers
and puce aubergines, and lavendercoloured colanders stuffed with roughskinned cucumbers, pale courgettes,
bottle-green okra and creamy cauliowers.
An elderly nut-brown man in a turban
sells palm hearts ripe with pollen, not for
eating but for fertilising female palms.
Beside them is a basket of the hard fronds
that old Omanis still use as toothbrushes.
In the sh market next door, white-tiled
counters display the catch: yellown tuna,
polka-dot-anked queensh, slim bluesh,
various species of grouper, red snapper,
red-scaled Indian oil sardines, glistening
anchovies and the bloody remains of what
looks like a hammer-head shark.
Outside, a bearded man strides
purposefully past with a bolt-action LeeEneld .303 rie over his shoulder. Close
by a small boy is selling Vimto bottles
lled with golden honey and a selection of
ferocious-looking lock-knives. Customers
unscrew the caps and sniff the contents
knowledgeably, or test the steel blades
against their thumbs. The smell of
cardamom wafts from a shop making halva,
a sticky caramel-coloured dessert.
On our nal day in Oman we are on
the Azzura catamaran, skimming across a
placid sea where earlier we watched dozens
of spinner dolphins breaking the waves
with a ash of white belly. I am thinking
about Wadi Shab, a vast primeval gorge
that looks like it might hide dinosaurs.
The sandy oor is edged with palm trees.
In late afternoon the buttery light from
the dipping sun pours in, shimmering like
ghee in the sci- setting of the Bimmah
sinkhole; eldritch silence and water so still
that in the gloom its impossible to tell
where reection and reality divide.
I have been to enough places in
Arabia to judge that there is no other
place on Earth where the gap between
the topography of our imagination and
that of actuality is wider. Scheherazade,
Hollywood and the illustrations of
Edmund Dulac and Maxeld Parrish have
created a mythical Arabian landscape of
intoxicating sensuality that reality often
struggles to match. Oman is different: it is
not like most of Arabia, it is what we
imagined Arabia would be.

OFF THE BEATEN TREK

SIFAWY
BOUTIQUE HOTEL

The Sifawy is located


on the edge of the Jebel
Sifah marina, 45km from
the centre of Muscat.
Designed by Italian architect
Alfredo Freda, the hotels
look is sleek and elegant.
The excellent seafood
restaurant is right on the
beach, a few minutes walk
from the main building.
The staf can arrange
day trips on the Azzura
catamaran (www.ocean
blueoman.com), an
experience so improbably
stunning that it only
requires the donning of an
Antony Price suit to turn it
into a Duran Duran video.
www.sifawyhotel.com

JUWEIRA
BOUTIQUE HOTEL

HUD HUD
CAMPING

Hud Huds handmade


Bedouin tents, containing
double beds with real
mattresses, ofer the sort of
comfort that will smooth
the frowns of anyone who
instinctively rebels at the
notion of sleeping under
canvas. Add in private
bathrooms with showers,
a crackling re pit and
excellent food (tifntin picnics with a spicy
Nioise salad, semolina
pudding with cardamom),
and you have a glamorous
package that will draw
cheers from even the most
committed tentophobe.
www.hudhudtravels.com

SALALAH
MARRIOTT RESORT

On the coast at the foot


of the imposing Jebel
Samhan, near the port of
Mirbat with its 300-yearold merchant houses, fort
and lively dock, this hotel
looks out onto rocky islands
where shermen drop
their lobster pots. It has
comfortable rooms in the
modern Arabian style, a
frankincense spa and a
huge swimming pool.
www.marriott.co.uk

A chic and, unusually for the


Arabian peninsula, stylishly
understated 82-bedroom
hotel in an area of whitesand beaches 20km from
Salalah Airport. The
balconied bedrooms have
white wood, bold stripes
and bathrooms so large you
practically need a golf
buggy to get across them.
www.juweirahotel.com
Shaw Travel organises
tailormade holidays to
Oman. A seven-night trip,
including two nights at the
Ritz-Carlton Al Bustan
Palace hotel, two nights at
the Juweira Boutique Hotel,
one night at the Salalah
Marriott Resort on a
bed-and-breakfast basis, a
three-day safari with Hud
Hud Travels (with all meals),
a private tour of Muscat,
ights and transfers costs
from 3,300 per person.
+44 1635 47055;www.
shawtravel.com
Oman Air (www.omanair.
com) ies daily to Muscat
from Heathrow

109

The new Cheval Blanc Randheli


110

PHOTOGRAPH: JENNY ZARINS

FOR 20 YEARS, NOWHERE HAS BEEN MORE TALKED UP, FRETTED OVER
OR GOSSIPED ABOUT THAN THE MALDIVES. HERES OUR DEFINITIVE
GUIDE TO THE BEST PLACES TO STAY: THE SLICK SHOWSTOPPERS, THE
LO-FI HIDEAWAYS, WHATS NEW AND WHO GOES WHERE

BEST FOR DESIGN-SAVVY PERFECTIONISTS

Cheval Blanc
Randheli

Eight years after the rst LVMH Cheval Blanc hotel opened
in Courchevel (booked solid from day one) comes beautiful
Randheli, designed by Jean-Michel Gathy, who also created
One&Only Reethi Rah. Here hes used the same large-scale,
cathedral-roofed template for the beach villas, and the
detailing is superb. Those insouciant little armless sofas; that
Vincent Beaurin lemon-yellow sand-disc artwork, which
slowly turns as the weight of perpetually falling grains of sand
rotate it; the square, slate-lined pool; the de Havilland
seaplane bobbing in the water; the white bicycles for getting
around; the taupe espadrilles in the villas dressing rooms.
Its all so chic. In the Guerlain spa, reached by dhoni, even
a glance upwards from the massage bed prompts a smile
in appreciation of the exquisitely woven rattan ceiling.
Some bits grate: having to press a switch to open the villa
front door from the inside, for instance. But from breakfast
on the terrace molten-centred brownies, celestial with
a cappuccino to the doll-sized mouthfuls on the tasting
menu at Le 1947 restaurant, named after Cheval Blancs
most famous vintage, every element conrms this as
the most sensational new resort in the Maldives.
NUMBER OF VILLAS 45
TRANSFER TIME 40 minutes by seaplane from Mal
GETTING THERE Cazenove+Loyd (www.cazloyd.com)
ofers seven nights B&B in an Island Villa from 5,630
per person sharing, including British Airways ights from
Gatwick and seaplane transfers.

112

PHOTOGRAPH: JULIEN CAPMEIL

NEW

BEST FOR BEYOND-THE-BEACH ADVENTURERS

Shangri-las
villingili resort & Spa
Not many people know this, but down at the southern
tip of this 800km island chain theres a small airport
called Gan. It sits in the heart-shaped lagoon of Addu
Atoll and welcomes around 10 private jets a month, along
with scheduled ights from Mal. Disembarking in the
unfailing warmth (its just 60km south of the Equator),
most passengers head for the ve-star cocoon of Villingili.
They come for the privacy, and for a sense of space
unusual in the Maldives. About three kilometres long,
Villingili has thousands of coconut palms and immaculately
kept white sands, and every guest gets a bicycle to pedal
of to the Chi spa for a coconut-milk-and-honey wrap,
or to wobble home on after a lobster dinner. Villas are
on the beach, over the water, and even up a tree, and there
are dolphin cruises, wreck-diving, sailing in a 68ft yacht
and a nine-hole golf course. But what makes Villingili
really stand out is the four other islands just a short boat
ride away, providing a rare insight into local life as you
cycle through villages and nose about a 1960s RAF base.
NUMBER OF VILLAS 142
TRANSFER TIME 70 minutes by plane from Mal to
Gan, then 10 minutes by speedboat
GETTING THERE Turquoise Holidays (www.turquoise
holidays.co.uk) has a special ofer of seven nights for the
price of ve, from 2,595 per person sharing, including
half board in a Pool Villa, ights and transfers.

BEST FOR SERIOUS FOODIES WITH KIDS

Taj Exotica
Exquisitely presented shellsh and wahoo are now
pretty standard at ve-star Maldivian resorts, but
here chef Sheroy Kermani takes food artistry to
new heights, a fact recognised across the island
nation. Seafood creations such as medallions of
Maldivian reef lobster with cornichon ratatouille
appear on his menus alongside thyme-marinated
quail with caramalised orange. This is fusion food
of dexterous ingenuity. The long, thin island (it
measures 700 metres by 70) has been cleverly
planted with jade trees and sea hibiscus that
need only scant supplies of water, with the two
restaurants, bar and innity pool on the western
side (for sunsets) and the beautiful villas on the
east coast. The water is an astonishing shade of
aquamarine thanks to the islands setting on one
of the Maldives largest lagoons (its a short boat
ride to the nearest reef for snorkelling), and its
calm and safe for small children. The hotel also
has two separate suites for couples at the excellent
Jiva spa on the southern tip of the island.
NUMBER OF VILLAS 54 overwater, 10 beach
TRANSFER TIME 15 minutes by speedboat
from Mal
GETTING THERE Steppes Travel (www.steppes
travel.co.uk) ofers seven nights B&B in a Lagoon
Villa from 2,975 per person sharing, including
international ights and transfers.

BEST FOR PRIVACY-SEEKERS WHO CANT


DEAL WITH ROUTINE

Banyan tree
madivaru

There are only six villas on this entire island, and each
consists of three whopping great African-safari-style
tents arranged around a decked terrace and pool with a
private stretch of sugar-white beach. Which means you
could easily get away with seeing no one else during your
stay, other than an utterly charming Island Host. And
even they are talented at melting away, having laid out
the most delicious breakfast on your terrace, just as you
emerge blinking and stretching from your tent. Flexibility
is key here, so you can snafe grilled Maldivian rock
lobster, ing yourself down for a Thai massage or train
for a PADI diving certicate wherever and whenever you
like. Sensational spa therapists from Bangkok aside, all the
Banyan Tree-trained staf, including the general manager,
are Maldivian, so the service is impeccable and charming
but not in the slightest bit fawning. And while it is rather
wonderful snorkelling with reef sharks in the lagoon,
simple pleasures such as lying by the pool and sipping
an icy Madivaru Mojito (its all in the mint sorbet) can
just as easily be what its all about.
NUMBER OF VILLAS Six
TRANSFER TIME 30 minutes by seaplane from Mal
GETTING THERE ITC Luxury Travel (www.itcluxurytravel.
co.uk) ofers seven nights full board in a tented Pool
Villa from 6,739 per person sharing, including British
Airways ights from Gatwick and seaplane transfers.

114

BEST FOR FUN-LOVING FAMILIES

Viceroy maldives
Any resort in the Maldives will teach you how to dive,
but night-snorkelling is something special, even at
50 a session. And how about crab-racing to raise
money for local islanders? Excellent! Or feeding Cliford
the blind turtle? Bring him on! Run with a light touch
by genial general manager Mark Sterner (formerly at
New Yorks Carlyle), the family-friendly Viceroy gets
the tone just right. The beaches might look a bit patchy
in places the sands shift with every storm in the
Maldives but thats a minor blemish. In compensation,
theres a glorious glass box of a library with hundreds
of art, fashion and design books and novels, plus the
Treehouse, a ramshackle restaurant-on-stilts of the
type pioneered by Soneva Fushi, which pleases both
children playing pirates on the suspension bridge and
grown-ups ordering cold drinks and hot mezze. The
villas are so big, some guests worry they have been
inadvertently upgraded and will have to pay extra, but
all that space, including big bathrooms (indoor and
out), a decent-sized plunge pool and a shaded dining
area, comes as standard, as does free Wi-Fi, which
makes the Viceroy surprisingly good value.
NUMBER OF VILLAS 60
TRANSFER TIME 50 minutes by seaplane from Mal
GETTING THERE Cazenove+Loyd (www.cazloyd.com)
ofers seven nights half board in a Beach Villa or Water
Villa from 2,997 per person sharing, including British
Airways ights from Gatwick and seaplane transfers.

BEST FOR ECO-WARRIOR SURF DUDES

Six senses laamu


The Maldives is more famous for romantic sunsets
than right-handers, but Six Senses the only resort
in the southern Laamu Atoll sets itself apart from
the y-and-op brigade with its Yin Yang surf break.
Theres also paddle-boarding and catamaran sailing,
alongside the usual dive boats and house-reef
snorkelling. With all that splashing about, youll
hardly notice there isnt a single swimming pool on
the island. Its eco-agenda means that Six Senses
does the at-times-clichd Robinson Crusoe rustic
look with feeling: to discourage the use of air-con,
the beds are draped in gauzy white canopies and
there are wooden slats in the walls to open at night
and catch the breeze; the thatched roofs are also
low-slung to keep things shady and cool. Even the
twig pencils on the desk are responsibly sourced. Of
course, theres no shortage of comforts a 100-plus
cocktail menu at the bar, a cheese-and-wine tower,
a sensational sushi restaurant but the vibe is very
laid-back compared to some of the Maldives more
ashy resorts. And nowhere more so than in the
spa, where its all too easy to hole up in one of the
thatched, nest-like pods for hours on end.
NUMBER OF VILLAS 72 overwater, 25 beach
TRANSFER TIME 35 minutes from Mal by
seaplane, then 15 minutes by boat
GETTING THERE Carrier (www.carrier.co.uk)
ofers seven nights from 2,540 per person, including
Emirates ights from Heathrow and transfers.

BEST FOR CLAUSTROPHOBES

Ayada
At 15 hectares, Ayada, on the southern rim of
the Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll and just 30km north
of the Equator, is big enough to get lost on, and
the more walking or cycling about you do, the
more surprises keep popping up. Take a stroll
after dinner (there are six restaurants) and...
hello, whats this? A wine-and-cheese station for
a glass of rouge and a sliver of brie while sitting
on a bench fashioned from a shing boat. Or as
you head of to Zuzuu (the kids club), you might
stumble across The White Room, a part-colonial,
part-tropical folly (pillars and a thatched roof)
of such kitschness, you half expect the ghost of
Elvis to emerge in a white tuxedo. Or you could
stop in at the Ottoman Lounge (a nod to Ayadas
Turkish ownership) and settle in for a cofee with
a squidge of Turkish delight and a shisha pipe.
The Middle Eastern mood shimmies through
the villas: a ligree lampshade here, a joss-stick
there, a ounce of Turkish fabric over the bed.
And theres a full-on Turkish bath in the spa.
This far from Mal, theres not a hint of light
pollution in the inky night skies; by day there
are dive sites, snorkelling with whale sharks and
(unusually for the Maldives) surf breaks.
NUMBER OF VILLAS 62 beach, 50 overwater
TRANSFER TIME A 55-minute ight from Mal
to Kaadedhdhoo, then 45 minutes by speedboat
GETTING THERE The Couture Travel Company
(www.couturetravelcompany.com) ofers seven
nights half board in a Beach Villa from 2,597 per
person sharing, including ights and transfers.
116

NEW

BEST FOR BOYS WHO LOVE TOYS

Velaa private island


One of the most expensive resorts in the Maldives is owned
by 42-year-old Czech billionaire Jiri Smejc, who asked his
villa butler at Huvafen Fushi to nd him an island. He then
hired a hot-shot general manager, Hans Cauchi from the
Corinthia in London, installed his former butler front-ofhouse, and brought in 500 Czech builders for six months.
The result? State-of-the-art boys toys (not even glossy rivals
Cheval Blanc or One&Only Reethi Rah have a Seabob or
semi-submarine); a Clarins spa with expert therapists, an
ocean-view sauna, snow room and snooze pod; a nine-hole
golf course; tennis and squash courts; an extraordinary
three-storey wine tower with a 6,000-bottle, 970,000
inventory (including a 1978 Romane-Conti for 36,000);
and Aragu, an overwater, open-kitchen restaurant and
Champagne lounge with a French chef. Some design elements
are straight out of a granny at in Prague: suede-efect
giant-weave cushions; patchwork carpets; the hanging chair
and three massive vases you have to dodge to get to the
bath. But the outdoor bathrooms are quite wonderful, and
four-bedroom villas plus top-notch security are great for
those who must factor in space for the bodyguard and
long-range-lens issues. Saudis crown prince was among the
rst guests to arrive when the resort opened in December.
NUMBER OF VILLAS 45
TRANSFER TIME 50 minutes by seaplane from Mal
GETTING THERE Cazenove+Loyd (www.cazloyd.com)
ofers seven nights B&B in a Beach Pool Villa from 6,474
per person sharing, including British Airways ights from
Gatwick and seaplane transfers.

BEST FOR QUESTING HEALTH-SEEKERS

Four seasons
landaa giraavaru
Something to keep in mind when planning a holiday in the
Maldives is that the remoteness once guaranteed by these
faraway atolls can no longer be taken for granted. Resorts
too close to the capital, Mal, may have views across to
its high-rise skyline; others may have a neighbouring hotel
within earshot or clear sight. But the gloriously isolated
Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru, a former coconut plantation,
has no such problems. The villas are also big and well spaced
for privacy, the food couldnt be healthier (catch of the
day at Fuego Grill; Lebanese mezze at Al Barakat) and the
spa is truly outstanding: as well as overwater treatment
rooms, it has a shady Ayurvedic area in a clearing, where
prayerful therapists from a Tantric Ayurvedic centre in
Indonesia administer rituals lasting hours. Its also set up to
provide a restorative 14- or 21-day panchakarma cleanse,
which takes pounds of like nothing else. The islands Marine
Discovery Centre, run by a team of biologists whose main
focus is manta-ray research, could get anyone hooked on
the wondrous world revealed as one sinks below the ocean
surface with a snorkel or tank.
NUMBER OF VILLAS 103
TRANSFER TIME 30 minutes by seaplane from Mal
GETTING THERE Carrier (www.carrier.co.uk) ofers seven
nights B&B in a Beach Bungalow with pool from 3,585 per
person sharing, including Qatar Airways ights from Gatwick
and seaplane transfers.
119

BEST FOR THE A LIST

One&Only
reethi rah
When you spot a woman in Prada getting of one
of the seaplanes arriving at Mal airport, its almost
certain shell have been staying at Reethi Rah.
The hotel is deeply glamorous: guests dress up for
dinner in its dimly lit, gently gleaming environs, and
sometimes for breakfast, lunch and dive school,
too. Super-smart, with its stone baths designed
for two, often with a royal in residence (never seen
but identiable by uniformed bodyguards sitting
outside the villa), this is an immense and hugely
successful hotel, with 12 man-made beaches and
a busy marina where big inatables can be hired.
Theres a very Zen Japanese spa where you can fully
detox, and an amazing teen zone with ping-pong
tables and all kinds of watersports. Since it opened,
a cookery school has been added and its overwater
villas now have pools, but the beach pool villas
are still the best: thrillingly big and impressive, they
have wardrobes and shoe space to match.
NUMBER OF VILLAS 129
TRANSFER TIME 75 minutes from Mal by yacht,
or 15 minutes by seaplane
GETTING THERE Elegant Resorts (www.elegant
resorts.co.uk) ofers seven nights B&B in a Beach
Villa from 3,595 per person, including Emirates
ights and yacht transfers.

BEST FOR COUPLES WITH


CASTAWAY FANTASIES

Back in the 1970s, Cocoa Island was devised as a


Robinson Crusoe haven by German photographer Eric
Klemm, who built a few beach huts here. Fast-forward
to 2002, when it was bought by Singaporean hotelier
Christina Ong. Cleverly retaining Klemms original
castaway appeal, she recalibrated it as a chic retreat,
conjuring a distinctive mood of restrained elegance.
The result is a sublimely stylish hotel of deftly pareddown simplicity, with most of the villas styled as local
dhoni shing boats (six newer villas follow a more
sophisticated pattern). From here, at high tide, you
can kick back from your private deck and drift out
over a coral reef. Many guests are honeymooners who
enjoy the slick room service and rarely leave their
ofshore world-apart. Yet the island is full of sensory
delights such as the Shambhala spa, with its hydro
pool and dreamy treatments including a Balinese
taksu massage. And Ufaa restaurant, masterminded
by Australian chef Timothy de Souza, serves rened
Mediterranean and pan-Asian dishes that might
include roast jobsh with braised lima beans.
NUMBER OF VILLAS 33
TRANSFER TIME 45 minutes by speedboat from Mal
GETTING THERE ITC Luxury Travel (www.itcluxury
travel.co.uk) ofers seven nights B&B in a Dhoni Suite
from 2,529 per person sharing, including ights and
private transfers.

120

PHOTOGRAPH: FRANCESCO LAGNESE

Cocoa Island

BEST FOR GIRLS WHO JUST WANNA HAVE FUN

Huvafen fushi

Niyama may be the newer hotel from this group, with a


proper nightclub scene, but our heart belongs to Huvafen
Fushi. From the vast innity pool that lights up with
twinkling stars to the islands own dance CDs in the
villas, theres a puckish air of naughtiness about this
place. Perhaps its not surprising that this is the island
Kate Moss tipped up to party at with her girl gang.
And where she danced on the tables, others followed.
Cocktails and great food are tempting (the seven bars
and restaurants include a wine cellar where dinner is
served by a brilliant Maldivian sommelier), but there
are also plenty of opportunities to detox in the worlds

rst underwater spa, where you can have a massage


while staring meditatively at clownsh. The spa is even
more spectacular at night, a glass of Champagne in
hand as you watch the lit-up coral garden: the light
attracts ditzy little sh, who get eaten by canny big ones,
a metaphor for life to consider as you sip your zz.
NUMBER OF VILLAS 26 overwater, 18 beach
TRANSFER TIME 30 minutes by speedboat from Mal
GETTING THERE Kuoni (www.kuoni.co.uk) ofers
seven nights B&B in a Beach Bungalow with plunge
pool from 2,399 per person sharing, including ights
from Heathrow and speedboat transfers.

NEW

BEST FOR BIG FAMILIES WITH BUOYANT BANK BALANCES

Coco Prive Kuda hithi

The new, ludicrously pretty and impossibly slick Coco Priv Kuda
Hithi is only available for private hire. Previously a boutique hotel,
the islands main building has an enormous master suite, and there
are ve other villas to ll. The architecture is stunning, with massive
expanses of glass to draw the outside in, and natural materials and
organic shapes to echo the surroundings. Every light, heat-source
and sound setting can be zapped from your personal iPad, and the
attention to detail is phenomenal (the place is repainted between
every stay). The kitchen is yours to use, but the chef is brilliant and
will prepare anything you want (stories include a specic variety of

apple being own in at a guests request), such as baked red snapper


in aromatic herbs, and banana fritters with sweet crpes in caramel.
Sun-bleached decking around the island leads to mini jungle paths
where pretty wicker baubles dangle, red owers burst and the resident
fruit bat swings from palm to palm. As a bonus, the reef is monitored
by a team of experts who know each turn and turtle intimately.
NUMBER OF VILLAS Six
TRANSFER TIME 3040 minutes by speedboat from Mal
GETTING THERE The island sleeps up to 12 and costs from about
4,850 per night in low season. Email yourplace@cocoprive.com.

BEST FOR BOND BADDIES


(WITH LOTS OF LUGGAGE)

Jumeirah
dhevanafushi
Set in the remote southern Gaafu Alifu Atoll, this
island is so small you could stroll its white-sand
circumference in 15 minutes. But what it lacks in size,
it makes up for in swank: the beds are a stonking three
metres wide, and the vast wardrobes indicate that
most guests do not travel light and may be unfamiliar
with the notion of unpacking for themselves. Each of
the villas has a private pool and a mind-reading butler.
The Talise spa and gym sits in the ocean at the end of
an octopus-like tentacle; and 800 metres out to sea,
unconnected to the island, are the Ocean Pearls: 16
overwater villas that might have been dreamt up by Ian
Fleming, with a private spa, bar and Johara restaurant
serving Japanese fusion food. There are another two
restaurants on the island itself, Azara and Mumayaz,
serving wagyu beef, foie gras and trufes to folks who
order bottles of Dom Prignon, barefoot but wearing
watches worth the GDP of a small African country.
NUMBER OF VILLAS 35
TRANSFER TIME Either a 55-minute domestic ight
followed by a 15-minute speedboat transfer, or a
direct seaplane ight that takes 1 hour 45 minutes
GETTING THERE Abercrombie & Kent (www.
abercrombiekent.co.uk) ofers seven nights B&B in
a Beach Revive villa from 3,575 per person sharing,
including ights and transfers.

122

The Church of the Trinity in the foothills of Mount Kazbek. Opposite, the lobby at Rooms Hotel Kazbegi
124

RISE
AND
SHINE

JONATHAN BASTABLE GOT


TO KNOW GEORGIA WHEN
IT WAS A SLEEPY SOVIET
REPUBLIC. RETURNING FOR
THE FIRST TIME SINCE
INDEPENDENCE, HE FINDS
IT IN FEISTY FORM, WITH
A NEW, BRIGHT-EYED,
SAVVY STYLE. PHOTOGRAPHS
BY TOM PARKER

n the highlands of kazbegi, mornings are the best


time of day. The Russian poet Boris Pasternak,
who loved the Caucasus, compared this rocky part
of Georgia to a great rumpled bed. And it is
quite a thing to wake up at cocks crow and, from
the comfort of your own rumpled bed, to look out across the
valley to the lonely Church of the Trinity on the nearest peak. The
distant chapel has the distinctively Georgian spire: an inverted
cone, like the upturned tip of a brand-new crayon. The adjacent
bell tower has the same pointed lid on it, and together they look
like salt and pepper pots placed on a owing green tablecloth.
The Caucasian uplands are craggier, more inty than the Alps
or Pyrenees. Their pikes and ridges are as sharp and dangerous as
the blade of a shashka the long knife wielded by the Circassian
tribesmen who once populated this country. The mountains are
so tightly packed they seem to be jostling for space. The taller ones
stand at the back, like children in a class photo and, like some
schoolchildren, they often have their heads in the clouds. Ah,
but when those clouds part and the summit of Mount Kazbek
appears, you know why this part of the world so captivates visitors,
and why Georgians insist that their homeland is a God-given
corner of paradise. Kazbek at dawn is a superb sight: a soaring

white crest that (it has been said) resembles a cardinals hat. When
the risen sun shines directly on its snowy east face, the mountain
blazes like a searchlight, and is almost too bright to look at.
My vantage point for this contemplation of the mountains was
a hotel called Rooms, a new place to stay in Stepantsminda, the
capital of Georgias Kazbegi region. Capital is overstating it a
bit, since Stepantsminda is little more than a sleepy village: cows
wander the streets, and horses graze unattended on the sparse
green verges. The name Rooms, on the other hand, is something
of an understatement, as this is a remarkably chic place to nd
in such a far-ung and inaccessible spot. In Soviet times, the hotel
was a resort for the meritorious workers of the socialist state.
It was perhaps unlovely to look at then, being one long rectangle.
But now the entire exterior has been clad in wood, making it look
strikingly and appealingly like an enormous Jenga brick.
The interior of the hotel is all timber, too, and this lends it an
Alpine or Nordic feel. But every last plank is Georgian: it has all
been reclaimed from derelict buildings in the west of the country
hence the many mortises and half-laps in the weathered boards of
the walls and oors. The comfortable sitting room is the length
of an Olympic swimming pool. The space is full of deep sofas and
armchairs, and its many bookcases are stocked with airport novels
in Russian and English, coffee-table tomes about art and wine,
and board games and glossy magazines. There is something very
cool about this large communal space. It facilitates that key
Georgian trait: a love of hospitality and fellowship. The same is
true of the breakfast room, where all the tables are 12-seaters. This

Above, from left: a bedroom at Rooms Hotel Kazbegi; a shop window in the village of Sno; the bar at Rooms Hotel; horses grazing on the outskirts

arrangement encourages you to chat and fraternise, and every


day I saw people making the acquaintance of other guests.
The alluring mountains are the reason a hotel was put here in
Soviet times, but there is a different rationale for its swish new
incarnation. We are strategically placed, says Andrey Vlasov, the
general manager. The owner of the hotel is Timur Ugulava, who
made his money through casinos and slot machines and online
gambling sites. Gambling was banned in most of Russia in 2009,
but we are just across the border from [the Russian region of]
North Ossetia, where there are some serious players. Some of
those guys come across once a week, do some big-money roulette,
then head home without ever going near the restaurant or the bar.
For most visitors to Rooms, the reverse is true: they come
and hang out in the long sitting room, and never set foot in the
casino. But they should at least stick their heads around the
door, because as casinos go it is very stylish in a clubby kind of
way. As in the sitting room, there are amply lled bookshelves.
Here, the reading matter is, for some reason, more high-minded
than elsewhere in the hotel. Between rounds of blackjack or
spins of the wheel, players could (if they chose) peruse Russian
and Georgian editions of Zola, Galsworthy, Heine, Stendhal
It is probably the most literate casino in the world, says Nada
Kancheli, the owners wife, with a smile.
It would be easy to spend a lazy day sitting on the vast deck that
runs the length of the hotel. Many people do just that, watching the
sun bowl across the sky and the ever-changing play of light on the
mountains. All the while, birds hop and chirrup or it to and fro:

redstarts and rock sparrows and nches of some highland sort.


Theres something about the air up here in Kazbegi, one Georgian
said to me. It makes you want to eat and drink, to relax or just
sleep. Its true that the warm breeze is almost sweet on the tongue.
It didnt make me hungry, though. Quite the reverse, it somehow
suppressed my appetite and slaked my thirst. It was like breathing
atomised sherbet. Come the evening, people wrap themselves in
a blanket and sip a drink as the sky turns pink. On some days, the
clouds descend and pass through the valley at eye level, like the
ghost of a slow-moving train. Dusk turns the outdoors into a cool
air-bath that is akin to sea spray, albeit without the salty tang.
But tempting as it is to remain permanently ensconced on the
terrace, it would be a shame not to get out into the wider country.
You can go horse-riding, quad-biking or mountain-biking. For
proper adrenalin junkies, theres mountaineering and paragliding.
And in the winter, the hotel offers heli-skiing.
Or you could just go for a walk into town. There is a museum
there dedicated to Alexander Kazbegi, a 19th-century writer born
in these parts, whose subject was the life of the mountain people.
The museum was once his home; next door is the family chapel,
decorated with carvings of chained lions. It is a good example of
a genre of museum the Writers House that ourished in Soviet

of Stepantsminda. Following pages: taking a break on a horseback excursion to Mount Kazbek; locally grown fruit in the restaurant at Rooms Hotel
127

128

THE AIR HERE IS SWEET ON THE TONGUE,


LIKE BREATHING ATOMISED SHERBET

ON THE MENU
ARE DUMPLINGS
THAT LOOK
LIKE MEDIEVAL
MONEYBAGS

130

times and is now out of fashion. But it is worth a look, if only to


get a feel for how the well-to-do once lived in this remote place.
For a longer outing, and a brush with a more contemporary
Georgian hero, you could head for Sno, a tiny nearby village that
is the birthplace of Ilia II, the revered Patriarch of the Georgian
Orthodox Church. His childhood home is adorned with stone
saints in much the same style as Alexander Kazbegis lions. It
stands in the shadow of an ancient watchtower like the ones you
see in Tuscany. The things that make the excursion worthwhile,
however, are to be found in the journey itself: the clouds washing
over a wooded ridge that is the very image of a horses neck and
mane; elds stippled with purple heather and white clover, and
with mountain poppies that are a peachy shade of orange.
Alternatively, and more ambitiously, you could make the uphill
pilgrimage to the Church of the Trinity (look at it long enough
from the hotel terrace, and it begins to beckon). The three-hour
walk will do your spirit good as well as your body. I happened to
go there on a high holiday and was rewarded with a glimpse of
the strange theatre of Georgian Orthodoxy. It was hot and airless
in the dark church, what with the many bodies and the suffocating
perfume of incense. An unseen choir was singing the liturgy in the
heart-searing, otherworldly, precipitous harmonies that are the
audible expression of the Georgian soul. The congregation was
alive with chatter and constantly in motion as worshippers moved
from one icon to another to place a candle. In one corner a boymonk was pouring wine from a plastic bottle into a little clay
chalice that was passed from hand to hand and mouth to mouth.
A priest, standing before the stone iconostasis, was dipping a kind
of horsetail whip in holy water and icking it over the heads of
the faithful. Many clutched lithographed paper icons they had

bought from pedlars outside, and which they now held up so that
a few drops of the blessed water would fall on the image.
You are sure to be hungry by the time you get back to town.
Apart from the hotel (where the food is fabulous), there are
few places to eat in Stepantsminda. But to experience Georgian
cooking as Georgians like it, pop into Shorenas Restaurant on
the main square. The food is rustic, basic and really good. Lamb
kebabs come with a very tart sauce called tkemali that is made
of plums and is the colour of boiled seaweed. The khachapuri,
served piping-hot from the oven, is superb: a perfect circle of
crisp pastry lled with salty white cheese and cut into thick
triangular slices like birthday cake. Also on the menu are khinkali,
Georgian dumplings that resemble medieval moneybags or heads
of garlic wrought in porcelain. You pick them up by the doughy
stalk, take a small bite to release the hot meaty juices, and leave
the stalk on the edge of your plate. It all makes for a ne mezestyle meal, which goes very nicely with a rough-hewn salad and a
chilled Mount Kazbek lager. I found myself looking at the picture
of the mountain on the beer bottle, then at the mountain itself,
and I couldnt tell which I was enjoying more.

GETTING THERE

Jonathan Bastable went to Georgia with Original Travel (+44 20 7978


7333; www.originaltravel.co.uk), which ofers tailor-made itineraries
and insider access to the country. A six-night trip to Kazbegi costs from
1,360 per person including accommodation on a B&B basis at Rooms
Hotel Kazbegi, return ights from Gatwick to Tbilisi and private transfers.

Above, from left: the Monastery of Archangels Michael and Gabriel in the Daryal Gorge, near the Russian border north of Stepantsminda; the
mountain-view terrace that runs along one side of Rooms Hotel Kazbegi. Opposite, traditional Georgian food and wine in the hotel restaurant
131

breaking good

If you want to paddle clear of the wave of clichs that crashes around
Americas 50th state, you need some local knowledge. Kaui Hart Hemmings,
whose Hawaiian-set novel The Descendants became a big-screen hit for
George Clooney, shares her favourite hangouts

132

PHOTOGRAPHS: BROWN CANNON III/INTERSECTION PHOTOS;


DIANE COOK & LEN JENSHEL; JEN JUDGE; KEN KOCHEY

Clockwise from top left: Honopu Beach on Kaui;


typical architecture on Maui; making a splash; at
home in Haiku; watching surfers on Oahu; a
self-service pineapple stall on Maui; spinner
dolphins in Kealakekua Bay; a front door in Haiku.
This picture, Pololu Lookout, Big Island. Opposite,
riding a wave at Oahus Waimea Bay

Clockwise from this picture: hitchhiking to the


breaks on Oahu; Pankaa River on Big Island; beach
scene on Big Island; tropical leaves on Maui island

I was lounging poolside

at the chateau-like hotel.


Cabanas were fully occupied by cocktail-sippers, readers, and people watching their personal TVs. It was a grand
place, luxurious and soothing. I havent told you the location because the truth is, I feel as though I could have
been anywhere: Miami, Cabo, or Anaheim California. The ve-star Maui hotel, while lovely, had absolutely nothing
to do with Hawaii. For some, this is perfectly ne. Others want to discover the real Hawaii and are determined to
avoid the tourist traps. Im constantly asked for the inside scoop on the six main islands which one is best, what
each has to offer and I sometimes feel like a hustler when delivering my answers. You want beaches? Kauais
got beaches. Surf? Oahu. Hiking? Both of the above. Some seek pristine shorelines or rainforests; others, craters
and lava elds. Some are looking for art, food and culture. Others activity and adventure. All want to make the
right choice, to explore the best, both on and off the track, and to avoid the clichd Hawaii experience. Wonderful,
then, to have six islands to choose from, and with all that they have to discover, you cant go wrong. Take off the
plastic lei and go island-hopping.

PHOTOGRAPHS: BROWN CANNON III/INTERSECTION PHOTOS; DIANE COOK & LEN JENSHEL

The Islands:Kauai

The Garden Isle doesnt do understatement. Like a rascal kid, it


uses every opportunity to push the limits. The mountains soar;
the surf pounds down upon its endless shores. There are pockets
and nooks of adventure to be found everywhere swimming
holes and waterfalls, caves and beaches where you may nd
yourself entirely alone. Its like an Eden thats accessible by Jeep.
No snakes and plenty of tempting coconuts. My favourite town is
Hanalei, home of my favourite beach, on Hanalei Bay. Its
expanse provides a wonderful walk, and a vast surng spot. The
area known as Pine Trees is best for experienced surfers; smaller
waves can be found on the south end by the pier (close to the Pats
Taqueria and Wishing Well Shave Ice food trucks, both a serious
must). I have never been to Hanalei without a stop (or three)
at Tahiti Nui (www.thenui.com), a bar and restaurant thats a
favourite with locals, yet where youll feel more than welcome. I
also have to mention Mediterranean Gourmet (www.kauaimed
gourmet.com) at the far end of the North Shore, along a sweeping
coast. A Middle Eastern restaurant in Hawaii? This place is divine
(so is the wine list) and remember, were avoiding the obvious.

Oahu

Oahu is for those who want something a little more bustling.


While there are patches of peace and isolation, Oahu is a busier
place where you dont want to get away from it all, you actually
want it all: beaches, nightlife, shopping, surf. Restaurants here
are outstanding: theyre making island food, but reinventing it.
Prima (www.primahawaii.com), Vintage Cave (www.vintagecave.
com), Town (www.townkaimuki.com) and Taste (www.tastetable.
com) deserve the hype. Taste is a cook space in the thriving
neighbourhood of Kakaako, with rotating chefs and menus
from Hawaiis best restaurants. Its casual, fun and so Hawaii.
Chinatown is a great place to hunt for dumplings, dragon fruit,
saimin (a native noodle soup) and manapua (pork buns). I love
Ducs Bistro (www.ducsbistro.com), with entertainment by the
beautiful Mihana Souza. As you eat French-Vietnamese,
drinking a full-bodied California red and listening to Mihanas
traditional songs, you absolutely know youre in Hawaii.

Oahus surf is very democratic. The North Shore in winter


is thrilling for all to watch, but only for the expert few to
experience. The Triple Crown (www.vanstriplecrownofsurng.
com) is a thrilling series of professional surf contests that
will inspire you to pick up your own board and paddle out,
albeit in friendlier waters. Waikiki is the place to catch your
rst wave. The waves are glassy and user-friendly, and despite
the crowds theres something of the Old Hawaii still to be found
here: canoes and longboards; a particular light that frolics on the
rolling ocean; and the Diamond Head volcanic crater, like a
ship in the distance, content and anchored. When youre on a
wave youll feel part of this hub, and the views are spectacular
both going in and going out or just oating. Hans Hedeman
Surf School (www.hanshedemannsurfschool.com) is the place if
you need an extra push. As for somewhere to stay, The Kahala
(www.kahalaresort.com; doubles from about 300) is away from
the hordes and yet central to everything. Its also the most
beautiful hotel on Oahu.

Maui

Maui seems to be the most popular tourist destination, and


the most common route visitors take is from plane to hotel,
which is usually on the coast. All very well, but when in Maui
I prefer to go upcountry, with its unique views of the Valley
Isle. Head toward Paia, the windsurng capital of the world,
then up the lush slopes toward Kula. Just follow the scents
of eucalyptus, Maui onions and lavender. Its also the
home of Surng Goat Dairy (www.surnggoatdairy.com),
which holds tours, barbecues and, of course, makes cheese.
Keep going towards Makawao, a rural community of artists
that includes wood sculptors, glassblowers, printers and
painters all of whom you can visit, watch as they work and,
of course, buy from. Abigail Romanchak, a printmaker, and
artist Melissa Chimera are two of my favourite talents.
Both Kula and Makawao are gateways to the summit of
Haleakala, a volcano whose highest peak is more than 10,000ft
above sea level, a most astounding place that must inspire the
135

Clockwise from top left: Julias Banana


Bread, Maui; watching a surng competition
at Waimea Bay, Oahu; surfoards near
Paia, Maui; catching a wave at Waimea Bay;
Kaupo General Store, Maui; Maui chic;
Rainbow Falls, Big Island; in the waves.
Opposite, hanging out in Haiku

136

PHOTOGRAPHS: BROWN CANNON III/INTERSECTION PHOTOS; JEN JUDGE; KEN KOCHEY; DEWEY NICKS/TRUNK ARCHIVE

138

PHOTOGRAPH: BROWN CANNON III

Domestic interior in Haiku, on


the north shore of Maui. Previous
pages, surfers ride a wave in
Waimea Bay on Oahu
140

PHOTOGRAPHS: BROWN CANNON III/INTERSECTION PHOTOS, KEN KOCHEY, JEN JUDGE. MAP: MARIKO JESSE

artists below. It will also stir adventure-seekers. If you can


get up to the summit early (sometimes jet-lag comes in handy)
treat yourself to the sunrise: the show of light and colours
will make you slack-jawed. Stargazing from the same spot
will leave you just as dumbfounded. When you wind back
down, stop off at one of the restaurants in these characterful
upcountry towns: Bev Gannons Haliimaile General Store
(www.bevgannonrestaurants.com), serving American dishes
with Asian overtones including popcorn shrimp and sashimi
pizza is worthy of its many awards.

Lanai

Bought recently by one of the worlds richest men, Larry


Ellison, this island is unquestionably enticing. One of its most
alluring attractions is Four Seasons Resort Lanai, The Lodge
at Koele (www.fourseasons.com; doubles from about 265), which
seems to take you back in time. With croquet, bowling and
miniature golf, not to mention 18 holes designed by Jack Nicklaus,
this place could be the set for Hawaiian Dirty Dancing, only with
a spa and a bundle of luxury extras. Venture south to Hulopoe
Bay, which fronts the Four Seasons resort at Manele Bay. This
white-sand beach is a park and protected site, rich with marine
life. I remember screaming into my snorkel, made giddy by all
the sh swimming beside me as though I were one of them,
perhaps a humuhumunukunukuapuaa less poetically known as
a reef triggersh.

Big Island

Famous for its volcanoes and sometimes spectacular lava


ows, the biggest of the islands has many other treats in store.
One thing you wouldnt normally associate with Hawaii is
cowboys, which brings me to one of my favourite places:
Waimea, also called Kamuela. This is Paniolo Country, with
rolling countryside, rodeos, ranches and cold weather, all at the
base of the snow-capped volcano, Mauna Kea. My husband
and I took the kids there last November and watched a cattle
drive, ate at Merrimans (www.merriman shawaii.com), whose
chef Peter Merriman is a three-time regional nalist for the

James Beard Foundation Awards, and drove to the top of


Mauna Kea. Driving through Waimea is an adventure in
itself, along beautiful roads that weave through the countryside.
Another wonderful way to experience this place is from the
back of a horse. Paniolo Adventures (www.panioloadventures.
com) runs tours for all levels on its 11,000-acre cattle ranch.
The sunset tour is awesome, but all of the excursions will
immerse you in the islands rainforests, mountains and blacksand beaches.
We stayed at Puakea Ranch (www.puakearanch.com; doubles
from 200), which has just four secluded bungalows surrounded
by sweeping ocean and mountain views. You have your privacy,
but you also have all the best bits of a hotel, with a concierge
who will arrange a chef to cook for you. Ditto childcare,
massages, provisions from the garden. Unlike a hotel, though,
you never have to check in. Its a dreamy place.

Molokai

There is nothing on Molokai. I say this with admiration,


praising its spareness and pristine, unadorned nature. Halawa
Valley is rugged yet accessible, and the reward of Moaula
Falls is something very special. This is a majestic island meant
for those really wanting to get away from it all. Visit the nature
reserves Moomomi on the coast, Kamakou in the mountains
to get an even greater sense of paradise. I promise you will
feel like a pioneer. As for places to stay, B&Bs are the way to go.
Molokai Komohana (www.vrbo.com/115564; doubles from about
65), adjacent to the pastures of Molokai Ranch, embodies the
Molokai spirit and is particularly genial.

Getting there

British Airways (www.ba.com) ies to Honolulu


from Heathrow via Los Angeles. Turquoise Holidays (www.
turquoiseholidays.co.uk), Kuoni (www.kuoni.co.uk) and Virgin
Holidays (www.virginholidays.co.uk) can all arrange tailormade trips
to Hawaii. A weeks holiday on Hawaii with Kuoni, for example,
staying at the Kahala Hotel & Resort and including ights, costs from
2,246 per person, based on two sharing. Visit www.gohawaii.com

141

Clockwise: a terrace at JK Place Capri;


tuna salad at JKitchen; the entrance to
JK Place; a room at Tiberio Palace Hotel.
Opposite, the beach at Marina Grande

142

Get Capri wrong and it can be a major disappointment. Here Nicky Swallow, whos been going
IRU\HDUVSURYLGHVDOOWKHFODVVLFDGGUHVVHVSOXVPRUHXQXVXDOQGV3KRWRJUDSKVE\0DWWKHZ%XFN

In the mid-19th century the island became a magnet for artists, writers and
intellectuals. Capri makes you forget everything, Lenin once remarked

A bedroom and, left, the breakfast


room at JK Place. Opposite, the
sun terrace of the Paltrow Suite
at the Capri Palace Hotel & Spa

n impressive chunk of limestone soaring


from the Tyrrhenian Sea, Capri has
been attracting attention since Roman
times: the notorious Tiberius ruled the
empire from the cliff-top Villa Jovis,
and in the mid-19th century the island
became a magnet for artists, intellectuals,
aesthetes and especially writers, drawn by the inspirational
scenery, gentle climate and dreamy, liberal lifestyle: Capri
makes you forget everything, remarked Lenin when visiting
Maxim Gorky here in 1910.
In the 1950 and 1960s, the literati gave way to glitterati. Images
of Jackie O wandering the narrow lanes in ankle-skimming Capri
pants, huge sunglasses pushed back on her head, are synonymous
with the islands appeal in the heady jetset age (as are the Capri
sandals she had made by local cobbler Canfora).
Visiting anywhere so famous is always tricky, and I have to
confess to being disappointed the rst time I stepped off the
ferry at Marina Grande, one baking late August afternoon some
12 years ago. The quay was lined with tacky souvenir shops,
cheap bars and restaurants touting xed-price men turistico
deals. Glamour just didnt come into it.
I later learned that in high season an average of 20,000
day-trippers pile onto the island every day; I also learned how

they can be avoided. Capri is the sort of place that grows on you,
and it has been growing in my affections ever since that rst
visit, but it takes a bit of effort: you need to stay several nights
(day visitors all leave by late afternoon) and you really need to
go out of season. In May, the carpets of wild owers add glorious
colours to the wild scenery, but the sea is chilly; I personally
prefer late September or early October when the evenings are
balmy, the water is still warm and there is a sense that things
are calming down to a seductively easy pace.
Most of Capri town is only accessible by foot (as I found out
the hard way, with a heavy suitcase in tow). There are few roads
and fewer cars, so for longer distances one must rely on the
elongated, open-topped Fiat taxis (glam but expensive) or the
eet of Lilliputian orange buses (crowded but cheap). Capris
wilder, more remote side can be explored through its network
of footpaths, but to get a sense of the place, you need to get
down to the sea. A gentle chug around the island reveals secret
coves and sea caves, tiny scraps of beach you cant get to by
land, villas hidden among folds of the cliffs, and towering rock
formations looming over inky-blue depths.
Capri is home to both rural farming and shing communities,
most obviously reected in the islands well-known culinary
traditions, based on simple, fresh ingredients from land and sea
and overowing with the big, bold, sunny avours of southern
145

Clockwise: a view of Ischia


from Anacapri; a vintage
Fiat from the Capri Palace;
the hotels lobby; a sculpture
by Paolo Sandulli from the
collection of owner Tonino
Cacace; one of the hotels
77 bedrooms; an artwork
by Michele Chiossi

Italy. Dishes such as insalata caprese are transported to another


planet when made with real buffalo mozzarella, sun-ripened
tomatoes and the peppery basil that grows on the islands steep,
salty terraces. Fat, round ravioli caprese (stuffed with caciotta
cheese and fresh marjoram, and served with tomato sauce) are
delicious, as is torta caprese, a moist chocolate cake made with
ground almonds. Vines have been cultivated here for nearly
3,000 years, and local wines (mostly whites made from Falanghina
and Biancolella grapes) are a great match for the unfussy
food. After dinner, an ice-cold limoncello, produced from the
alcohol-infused zest of local lemons and often homemade to
a family recipe, cant be beaten.

MARINA GRANDE
Any visit to Capri is likely to start and nish in Marina Grande
which, as already mentioned, can be a grim experience in high
season. So entrust your suitcase to the local porters cooperative
(who, for a few euros, will whisk it up to your hotel) and grab a
taxi or join the queue for the trundling 1907 funicolare and you
will be up the hill in Capri town before you can say granita.
The only reason to return before its time to go home is to visit
the Blue Grotto, the underwater cave discovered (actually
rediscovered because its been known since antiquity) in 1826
by the German poet August Kopisch. Theres a lot of getting
in and out of little boats and waiting around involved, but once
inside, the iridescent blue light is, well, very blue indeed. You
can also swim into the cave from the rocks below Anacapri,
but wait until after the boats have knocked off for the day: you
may even nd you have the place to yourself.
Worlds apart from the slightly grimy goings-on down below,
drop-dead-gorgeous JK Place Capri (+39 081 838 4001; www.
jkcapri.com; doubles from about 400) is set into the cliffside
just above the port. Michele Bnans cool, sophisticated yet
cosy interiors work brilliantly in this marine context: sunlight
streams into the deep sea-blue and white reception rooms
and 22 bedrooms, most of which have four-posters and terraces
with magnicent views towards the Bay of Naples. Theres a
wide wraparound deck for aperitivi and meals, a proper-sized
swimming pool and a great little spa that uses Santa Maria
Novella products. At the restaurant, JKitchen (about 125
for two), I was most impressed by Neapolitan chef Eduardo
Estaticos squid-and-pea cappuccino and a perfectly cooked
llet of sea bass poached in acqua pazza (an intense broth made
with sea water). For something a little more rustic, the nearby
citrus-themed Da Paolino (+39 081 837 6102; www.paolinocapri.
com; about 110 for two) has tables laid out under a splendid
lemon arbour where you can feast on exemplary spaghetti
alle vongole (with clams), sea bass in a salt crust and delizie
al limone (a lemon pudding).

CAPRI TOWN
The Piazzetta, Capris elegant open-air drawing room, lies at the
heart of the medieval town. What the writer Norman Douglas
called the small theatre of the world is a perfect stage set of a
square, every bit as picturesque as you imagine it will be, complete
with ancient church and pretty bell tower and lled with tables
from four rival bars whose cream-jacketed waiters vie for trade
among passers-by from early morning until well after nightfall.
Everyone who comes to Capri passes through this square at some
point, so once aperitivo hour draws near (and the day-trippers
147

Clockwise: a view from Villa San


Michele; the stairway of the
lobby at JK Place; the dessert
room at Il Riccio beach club;
a bedroom at Tiberio Palace

have left), take a ringside seat, order an Aperol spritz, and wait
for the bejewelled, designer-labelled parade to begin.
The Piazzetta and its narrow surrounding lanes are impossibly
crowded during the day, but its easy enough to escape. The
most popular passeggiata leads along quiet via Tragara to the
Belvedere di Tragara and full-on views of the Faraglioni, the
three jagged limestone stacks that soar from the sea off the
south-eastern tip of the island. From here, a circular path involving
hundreds (and I do mean hundreds) of steps and magnicent
views leads around the coast, taking in Curzio Malapartes
red-painted modernist Villa Malaparte and the Arco Naturale,
a towering natural arch formed from eroded rock. The famous
via Krupp (named after a German industrialist) hairpins its
way down to Marina Piccola, a charming little beach hangout
overshadowed by looming cliffs, and a good place for a swim.
You can rent a sunbed at La Canzone del Mare beach club, which
even has a tiny stretch of sand. Its quite a climb to get up to
the ruins of Emperor Tiberiuss Villa Jovis to the north-east
of town, but once at the top, you get an eyeful of what Graham
Greene described as some of the loveliest scenery on earth.
When it comes to choosing a place to stay, options range
from showy ve-star palaces to traditional pensioni with echoes

is the pristine, 18-room La Minerva (+39 081 837 7067; www.


laminervacapri.com; doubles from about 115) which is in
a typical Capri house, all dazzling white paintwork and
majolica-tiled oors, in a quiet garden with pool and views,
near the Belvedere di Tragara.
Inevitably, too many of the islands restaurants are geared
towards tourists, but standards are generally high, and
a couple of new openings by heavyweight chefs from the
mainland are upping the stakes considerably. Most interesting
to my mind is the restaurant launched last year by Gennaro
Esposito (whose two-Michelin-starred Torre del Saracino
in the Naples suburb of Vico Equense is one of my favourite
restaurants). At Mamm (+39 081 837 7472; www.ristorante
mamma.com; about 120 for two), his menus draw inspiration
from local and regional traditions and ingredients, but the
chefs lightness of hand and touches of genius raise dishes
such as lemon-scented gnocchetti with clams and broccoletti,
and roast suckling pig with local annurca apples and sweet
green peppers, to another level. And if you fancy something
a little more earthy, you can always pop over the alleyway
to Pizzeria Mamm and order a puffy Neapolitan pizza or
a traditional mozzarella in carrozza.

For an informal, lazy lunch, its hard to beat the Capri Palaces beach club:
hopping-fresh seafood is served under a wide pergola right over the water, and you
can have a post-lunch snooze on a sunbathing platform carved out of the rock
of old Capri, although bargains are thin on the ground. The
boutique Scalinatella (+39 081 837 0633; www.scalinatella.com;
doubles from about 275) offers classic Capri glamour in a
fabulous cliff-top location 10 minutes stroll from the Piazzetta,
plus a gem of a pool and a good restaurant. Nearby Punta
Tragara (+39 081 837 0844; www.hoteltragara.com; doubles
from about 355), with its cliffhanger setting directly above
the Faraglioni, is in a villa built by Le Corbusier, and there are
extraordinary views from its 41 sleek rooms and suites, two
saltwater pools and restaurant.
Far enough from the centre of town to feel almost rural,
the Capri Tiberio Palace (+39 081 978 7111; www.capritiberio
palace.com; doubles from about 260) is glowing after a recent
makeover by designer Giampiero Panepinto, whose fun,
colourful interiors combine Sixties glamour with an intriguing
clutter of vintage travel memorabilia. My suite had an outside
space as big as the bedroom; I could have passed entire days
there gazing out to sea, but that would have meant missing
out on the Sodashi spa and the indoor-outdoor swimming
pool. In the evening, cocktails at Jacky are followed by dinner
at Terrazza Tiberio (about 115 for two), where dishes such
as carpaccio of ricciola (amberjack) with citrus fruits, and
buckwheat ravioli stuffed with rabbit, olives and pine nuts
zing with local avours.
More affordable alternatives include the Luna (+39 081 837
0433; www.lunahotel.com; doubles from about 175), a pretty,
pink villa set in beautiful gardens overlooking the sea next
door to the Certosa di San Giacomo monastery. The fabulous
location and huge swimming pool more than compensate
for the indifferent decor. Much more stylish (and great value)

Just across the Piazzetta, LAltro Vissani (+39 081 1899 0575;
www.laltrovissanicapri.it; about 115 for two), the latest project
from high-prole chef Gianfranco Vissani, offers local cooking
with an exotic twist (spaghetti alle vongole might come with
black radish mousse and lime) plus sushi, sashimi, chirashi and
views over Marina Grande.
Back to the tried and trusted, the justly popular La Capannina
(+39 081 837 0732; www.capanninacapri.com; about 100 for two)
is a pink-hued classic that has been serving up perfect ravioli
alla caprese and linguine allo scorfano (with scorpion sh) since
1931. With a tiny terrace tucked away just beneath the bell
towers clock face, Pulalli (+39 081 837 4108; about 70 for two)
provides a hidden front-row perch for goings-on in the square
below, plus tangy risotto al limone. The see-and-be-seen restaurant
of the moment the hovering photographers are a giveaway
is Aurora (+39 081 837 0181; www.auroracapri.com; about
125 for two), where tables spill onto the pavement and the
prices are as high as the celebrity quota. The food is not always
consistent (although my pezzogna, a local bream, in a crisp
potato crust was delicious), but youll be so busy ogling that it
sort of doesnt matter. Quirky EDivino (+39 081 837 8364;
www.edivinocapri.com; about 50 for two) is one of the few places
in town where locals almost outnumber the tourists. Its set up
to look and feel like a private home, and although you can eat
at a proper table, its more fun to balance on the arm of a sofa or
sit in an armchair or even on a bed, surrounded by a collection
of mismatched domestic clutter. The food is good, too, and a bit
different: pasta with monksh and pistachios, and aubergine
parmigiana. Off the beaten track, at Le Grottelle (+39 081 837
5719; about 85 for two), the views from the terrace extend to
149

Clockwise: a clif-jumper by the


Blue Grotto; handmade sandals
at Laboratorio boutique; the
dessert room at Il Riccio beach
club; the lobby at JK Place

the Sorrentine Peninsula and are so impressive that the simple,


authentic food (spaghetti with tomato and basil, fritto misto
di pesce) is almost incidental.

ANACAPRI

MAP: NEIL GOWER

Built on the west side of the island, Anacapri is separated from


Capri town by a wall of cliffs that over the centuries created
more than just physical distance between the two villages; and
today it retains a more rural feel than its glitzy neighbour to the
east. Until 1872, when the rst road was built, access between
the two was via the 900 steep steps of the ancient Greek Scala
Fenicia which still leads down to Marina Grande.
In the mornings, the buses that ply the vertigo-inducing road
up from Capri and Marina Grande are lled with day-trippers
fresh off the hydrofoil, most of whom will either make a beeline
for cliff-top Villa San Michele, built in a mish-mash of styles
by Swedish doctor Axel Munthe, or hop on the chair-lift for the
12-minute glide up to the wild, 600-metre summit of Monte Solaro.
Luckily, not all of them make it as far as the small church of

San Michele Arcangelo and its 18th-century, majolica-tiled oor


charmingly illustrating Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden,
along with all sorts of bizarre beasties.
Anacapri may represent a more authentic side of the island,
but it is also home to its most glamorous hotel. Address of
choice for the red-carpet crowd, the Capri Palace Hotel & Spa
(+39 081 978 0111; www.capripalace.com; doubles from about
435) provides exquisite service and understated opulence
and style throughout the cool, pale reception areas and public
rooms (spruced up with owner Tonino Cacaces impressive
art collection), and 71 dreamy bedrooms and suites, some with
private pools, most with terraces. The serious spa provides
therapeutic treatments as well as the usual facials and massages:
check out the thermal leg school treatment for those step-weary
extremities. Restaurant options include casual alfresco dining
or the raried atmosphere of a Michelin-starred restaurant.
Theres an impressive pool, or you can take the shuttle bus to the
hotels beach club for the day.
Just up the road is seven-room Villa Le Scale (+39 081 838
2190; www.villalescale.com; doubles from about 230), more
luxurious private house than hotel. Standing in lush terraced

gardens with a pool, this secluded hideaway is stuffed full


of museum-quality art and antiques amassed by the collector
owner. A recent discovery for me is the shabby-chic Capri
Suite (+39 366 368 3927; www.caprisuite.it; doubles from about
135), a B&B in part of the ex-convent of San Michele, graced
with faded frescoes and vaulted ceilings. Furnished with a
funky mix of vintage and design pieces, the two quiet suites
share a courtyard, sitting room and kitchen, so this could be
a very good choice for a longer stay.
The only three Michelin stars on the island are all claimed
by the Capri Palace. Two-starred LOlivo (+39 081 978 0111;
about 210 for two) is a cocoon of a restaurant where you
sit on sofas covered in Loro Piana cashmere to sample Ischian
chef Andrea Migliaccios elegant, light-handed interpretation
of regional favourites such as roast suckling pig with apricot
jelly and lemon-scented fennel cream. For an informal, lazy
lunch on the rocks, its hard to beat the hotels beach club,
Il Riccio (+39 081 837 1380; about 130 for two), proof that
Michelin stars are not only awarded for foams, frills and

handbag hooks. Hopping-fresh sh and seafood from the Bay


of Naples sing of the sea (paccheri pasta with squid, artichokes
and mint was a recent standout) and are served under a wide
pergola right over the water. For a post-lunch snooze, there are
sunbathing platforms carved out of the rock.
Finally, a delightful get-away-from-it-all spot high above
Anacapri: set among terraces planted with vines and neat rows
of vegetables, family-run Da Gelsomina (+39 081 837 1499;
www.dagelsomina.com; about 75 for two) is a reassuring
reminder that Capri isnt all about showing off. Tables are laid
out on a shady veranda-with-a-view, and produce from the
garden goes into dishes such as pasta with prawns and asparagus
tips, and coniglio alla cacciatora (a rosemary-spiked rabbit
stew). If you drink too much of the homemade Falanghina, you
can crash out by the pool or even stay the night in one of six
simple rooms (from about 100).

GETTING THERE
British Airways (www.ba.com) and EasyJet (www.easyjet.com) both
y to Naples. Ferries (www.caremar.it; 60/80 minutes) and hydrofoils
(www.gescab.it; 45 minutes) sail regularly from Naples to Capri.
151

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A TRAVELLERS TALES

AROUND THE WORLD WITH

JESSICA PARE

The Canadian actress was a supermodel in the sassy satire Stardom and a vampire rockstar in
comedy-horror lm Suck before making her mark on Mad Men as Don Drapers wife Megan
Where have you just come
back from?
The house I bought in Palm Springs about
a year ago. I nd it really relaxing. Its quiet,
and because its so hot, youre forgiven for
doing nothing. Ill go up for the weekend
and read two or three novels.

Where in the world have


you felt happiest?
Ive been happy in so many places. Eating
seafood in Genoa, or skiing in Canada
I nd it quite easy to be happy!

Name a place that most


lived up to the hype
I shot a lm in the Yukon in the north
of Canada. Id never been there, and
its massive. The sun is up all day in the
summer, and in winter it never comes
up at all. Its really wild, and it made
me realise what tourists see in Canada.
Its so beautiful these huge purple
mountains and crazy light in the sky.
I would go back in a heartbeat.

Whats your favourite city?


Being from Montreal, I know Im
biased, but its such a great place. The
culture is amazing, the food is incredible
and the people are wonderful. Its got
real magic, especially in summer.

Which is the smartest hotel


youve ever stayed in?
The one I love staying in most is The
Mercer in New York. Its a perfect hotel.
It has gorgeous rooms, with everything
you want in them, theres a really small
number of staff, but they are so on the
ball and so nice. And the food is amazing:
theres a shrimp-and-avocado salad I
crave when Im not there.

At night I think
back to a little
private pool I had
in Bali, hoping
to dream about it

Which is your road most


travelled?
The 210 East to Palm Springs. I listen to
the radio, so I dont mind the drive.

Whats your favourite view?


My great-grandparents bought property
on a lake about an hour north of Montreal
in the 1920s, and our family has lived
there ever since. The sunset on the lake,
over the pines and rolling hills thats
my favourite view.

What do you pack rst?

PHOTOGRAPH: SEBASTIAN KIM

remember my brother, aged six, refusing to


let my mother apply his sunscreen, so he
did his own, and missed his upper lip and
chin. He had horrible burns, a weird blister
beard. Hes very careful with sunscreen now.

Good headphones. And my iPad: its so


small and weighs way less than the 100
novels I would usually pack. I prefer to
read a paper novel, but this means I can
bring so many more with less backache.

Describe a memory from


a childhood holiday
My parents took us to Cozumel in Mexico
a couple of times, and I remember being
terried of these huge eels that chased
my brother and me in the water. I also

Describe a holiday disaster


I once went on a Club Med holiday with
my mum and I totally fell for one of
the dudes who worked there. I think
she was hoping for some nice mother/
daughter bonding time, but I was a
horrible, lovesick teenager. It wasnt a
great trip for me, but it was probably
even worse for her!

Tell us about a great little


place you know
There is a B&B in Genoa called Il Borgo
di Genova. Its gorgeous, and the people
who run it are warm and wonderful, and
they have amazing coffee. Genoa is not
a big tourist destination, but its such an
interesting city, culturally.

Confess to one thing youve


taken from a hotel room
We shot at The Royal Hawaiian last
year for Mad Men. We were in this
gorgeous hotel for about a week, and
I took a little memento: the laundry bag.
But its all pink and so pretty! Sorry
about that, you guys.

Sightseeing or sun-lounger,
barefoot or bling?
I think weve already established that Im
pretty into relaxing, but I also love seeing
the sights, and I love museums. So Im a
mix. But the thing that Im least is bling.

Which foreign phrase do you


use most often?
There are so many. One of my favourites
is no bueno, which is no good. And there
are a few in French that I really like, though
they obviously arent foreign to me. In
Quebec, you say quon appelle un chat un
chat, which means, lets call a cat a cat.
Whats your guilty pleasure?
These American chocolate bars called
Baby Ruths. It started on Mad Men, where
they had all these American chocolates
at the catering table, things Id never had
before. As wed get later in the season,
Id eat more and more and more. Id be
eating them every f***ing day. Now my
brother has started buying them for me at
home. Im like, NO! I ate six of the small
ones on set yesterday, then a full-size one
when I got home. The next time we have
this conversation, Ill say the rst thing I
pack is my insulin pen I guess its more
of an addiction than a guilty pleasure.

What would you most like


to nd in your minibar?
Wine. I really like settling in at a new
hotel with a glass of wine to decompress
from the whole travel thing. Preferably
a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.

Most regrettable holiday


souvenir?
I bought fancy silver shoes in Colombia one
time for a wedding. I didnt understand the
exchange rate, and I got home and was like,
What? I think they were a few hundred
dollars, and I was in no position to pay that.
They didnt go with anything, so I dont
think I wore them more than once. Its
stressing me out now just thinking about it.

How do you relax?


Exercise. A hike or a bike ride or a Pilates
class, followed by a swim, reading and a
Law & Order marathon.
Jessica Par was talking to Francesca Babb.
Mad Men returns to Sky Atlantic this month
April 2014 Cond Nast Traveller 155

IN BRITAIN

Clockwise from this picture: a


house in Crail; a shermans shed,
Dysart harbour; a print in Lovely
Pigeon, Cellardyke; lobster pots;
the shop at Culross Pottery and
Gallery; owers in Pittenweem.
Opposite, a view of the beach from
Ravenscraig Castle, Kirkcaldy

156 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

OUR SERIES OF INSIDER


UK GUIDES CONTINUES WITH...

FIFE

The colourful shores of the ancient Scottish kingdom hide a fresh haul of foodie
hangouts, flm-set-worthy beaches and quirky galleries. By Sophie Pither

PHOTOGRAPHS: ZOE BARRIE; PAUL WATT

ts a charming wee peninsula, Fife, a beckoning


thumb jutting into the sea above Edinburgh. A
stash of pretty shing villages Crail, St Monans,
Pittenweem, Elie with cobbled salty wynds
leading to small working harbours are the essence of the
place. But theres also variety, in the little swimming
bays and long sandy beaches for Chariots of Fire-style
barefoot running. Handsome St Andrews is here too,
with its golf, Kate-and-Wills university pedigree and
ruined castle tumbling into the waves. This East Neuk

coastal stretch, from St Andrews around to Leven, is


where smart Edinburghians come for summer jaunts,
buckets and spades in hands and vers in pockets for
lobsters rolls. Like the artists who live here, theyre after
Fifes palette of seaside shades: gold sand, ice-creamhued houses, pastel boats and water that changes
colour from deep slate to aquamarine. The seafood
restaurants are top-notch, theres a farm shop around
every other bend and, double bonus, this is Scotlands
sunniest spot. Pack your sunglasses and come on over.

IN BRITAIN
WHERE
TO STAY

BEST FOODIE HOTEL

Book early at The Peat Inn


because this little beauty,
10 minutes from St Andrews,
lls up fast. Scottish chef Nick Nairn claims
it is one of the top ve places to eat in
Scotland. Owners, chef Geoffrey and
Katherine Smeddle, have earned the
restaurant a Michelin star dishes include
wild Scottish grouse with a blackcurrant
compote and transformed an 18th-century
inn into a quietly tasteful small hotel.
Peat Inn, near St Andrews (+44 1334
840206; www.thepeatinn.co.uk). Doubles
from 195. Dinner about 90 for two

CHAMPIONSHIP HIT
Whats pleasing about The Old Course
Hotel is that it isnt stuck up. (My partner
and I were eating in the fourth-oor
Road Hole Restaurant, overlooking the
most famous golf course in the world,
when a chap sauntered into our oor-toceiling view, stumbled into a bunker and
mooned.) The hotel is ve-star, with a spa,
pool, rooftop hot tub, several restaurants,
24-hour room service and sumptuous
upholstery, but its also friendly and down
to earth. Old Station Road, St Andrews
(+44 1334 474371; www.oldcoursehotel.co.
uk). Doubles from 280 including dinner

PERIOD-DRAMA WOW FACTOR

SELF CATERING WITH SEA VIEWS


A dramatic building on Elie harbour,
The Granary now houses a modernist
holiday rental sleeping up to 10. Its openplan, with a wood-burning stove and
views of sea and sky on all sides, and a
stylish spot for wave watching. Theres
plenty to do, with beaches, shops,
restaurants and cafs all a stones skim
from the door. (+44 1738 506211; www.
holidaylets-scotland.co.uk/thegranary.htm).
From 800 per week
158 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

Clockwise from above: the harbour in St Monans; the


studio at Lovely Pigeon; a boat in Kinghorn harbour;
a lobster lunch; The Seafood Restaurant, St Andrews;
the sitting room at West House, Elie in East Neuk

HOUSE PARTY BY THE WAVES


Gather a gang to stay at West House in an
outstanding location beside Elies sandy
beach. Sleeping 16, plus two dogs, it has a
homely, artistic feel, with painted wooden
oors, open res and plenty of space at the
dining table for all to merry the night away
after a salty seaside day. Very civilised.
(+44 1845 597614; www.house-parties.com).
From 1,990 per week

WHAT
TO EAT

LUNCH IN
THE SUN

Wind your way down the


steep cobbles to the little
shing harbour in Crail and youll get to
The Lobster Store. My last visit coincided
with that of a conspicuously handsome
Italian family (signors wavy grey hair

resting elegantly on his black-suited


shoulders) tucking in with obvious
pleasure to their lunch at the table
outside. In June the harbour is taken
over by Crail Food Festival (www.
crailfood fest.co.uk). Crail harbour
(+44 1333 450476). Open AprilMay:
SatSun noon4pm. JuneSeptember:
TuesSun noon4pm

TOP FISH AND CHIPS


All three of Anstruthers chippies have
award certicates plastered over the
windows. But Anstruther Fish Bar (next
to the Scottish Fisheries Museum) is a
cut above, named the best ever by a
signicant number of Scots, including
Fife singer KT Tunstall. Owner Robert
Smith also has a sh-processing and

PHOTOGRAPHS: ZOE BARRIE; GABRIELA HERMAN/GALLERY STOCK

A grand old Grade-A-listed Georgian


mansion, Balbirnie House is a good-value,
family-run hotel. In 400 acres of parkland,
the Downton-Abbey-esque setting is a
never-ending photo-backdrop: plentiful
rhododendrons, stone pillars, heavy
drapery. The cooking in the Orangery
restaurant is above average modern
Scottish, with perfectly done steaks and
ne sh. The only hindrance is the suited
international bar staff erring on the side
of heel-clicking seriousness. Rooms are
large and worn-velvet plush. Markinch (+44
1592 610066; www.balbirnie.co.uk). Doubles
from 175. Dinner about 75 for two

the glass doors utters the white table


linen. Great for lunch or a summer
supper when evenings are long and light.
Bruce Embankment, St Andrews (+44
1334 479475; www.theseafoodrestaurant.
com). About 95 for two

BEST SEAFOOD ON THE BLOCK


Its a tough call, but Craig Millar @ 16
West End in picture-postcard St Monans
once the mother restaurant of The
Seafood Restaurant, now an eponymous
chef/proprietor operation is hard to
beat for the seafood-cooking skill and
pretty view. Millars tasting menu offers
lovelies such as cullen skink rice crispies,
delicious with a 2009 Hawkes Bay
Chardonnay. West End, St Monans
(+44 1333 730327; www.16westend.com).
About 85 for two

STAR WITH ATTITUDE

haddock-smoking business in nearby St


Monans. He sends the best of the daily
catch to the sh bar: its local, traceable
and tasty. Theres a bench out front but if
hungry gulls prove erce competition,
head indoors to the restaurant.
4244 Shore Street, Anstruther (+44 1333
310518; www.anstruthershbar.co.uk)

SUPPER BY THE SANDS


In a glass box on a rocky outcrop looking
onto West Sands, The Seafood Restaurant
serves exceptional sh, from full platters
to cod with a delicately spiced chorizoand-bean stew. Gaze over the waves with
a glass of superior Chablis in hand while a
man shes for mackerel off the harbour
wall, a pair of Eider ducks and their
chicks bob about and a breeze through

Sangsters in Elie has a Michelin star and


the food is very good: slow-cooked pigs
cheek and pork llet lled with black
pudding and apple, for example. But even
before you arrive Jackie Sangster scolds
like a disappointed parent, Oh and dont
be late! Chef expects you to be sitting at
the table by 7.30pm ready to begin.
Bossy, but you will eat well. Last orders:
8.30pm, school night or not. 51 High
Street, Elie (+44 1333 331001; www.
sangsters.co.uk). About 80 for two

SPICE IT UP
Gordon Ramsay says Nahm-Jim is the
nest Thai restaurant in the land. And
if you need a change from fresh sh, this
is the place for a Panang beef curry with
a modern twist or Thai-spiced haggis.
6062 Market Street, St Andrews
(+44 1334 470000; www.nahm-jim.co.uk).
About 40 for two

FOR FARM FODDER


Fife has a list of farm shops as long as a
garden fork, inspired by a strong localism
movement. I like Muddy Boots Farm
(www.muddybootsfe.com) in Balmalcolm
because my children are the right age for
the entertainment: zorbing, grass sledging,
a bouncy pillow, pig racing (not real pigs).
For a more grown-up experience, head
to Ardross Farm Shop outside Elie
(www.ardrossfarm.co.uk) and pick up
some posh beef pies. Balgove Larder
(www.balgove.com) near St Andrews has
exceptional butchered meat and serves
great steaks and sandwiches.

WHAT
TO SEE
& DO

INTERNATIONAL
BEACH CRICKET

Elies summer beachcricket xtures, run from


The Ship Inn, are played on the sand
at low tide with a wicket that may hide
a scuttling crab or two. Chat to the
management if you fancy a game, though
be warned: you may be dunked in the sea
if youre out for a duck. The Sunday
games have featured legendary players
including West Indies internationals
Courtney Walsh and Richie Richardson
and Pakistans Shahid Afridi. Theres
excellent sh and chips (rather than
cucumber sandwiches) from the pub for
spectators, and barbecues behind the
bowlers arm if its scorching. Elie Beach
(+44 1333 330246; www.ship-elie.com)

A HISTORY LESSON AND


AFTERNOON TEA
Off the East Neuk track on Fifes
south-western tip, Culross is a historic
cobbled town kept in shape by the
National Trust for Scotland. Theres a
13th-century abbey, a 16th-century
mustard-yellow palace with crow-step

IN BRITAIN
BRILLIANT BEACHES

Sweet seaside treats


in Pittenweem

St Andrews West Sands is the setting for


the famous slow-motion opening in
Chariots of Fire, with races still organised
today. For people-watching and a pub,
head to pretty Elie, a long crescent of
kid-safe, dog-free sand with watersports
stretching up to Earlsferry. Dog-friendly
Ruby Bay is around the corner. For a walk,
try Kingsbarns, 10 minutes from St Andrews
and invariably empty. Tiny Billow Ness,
beside Anstruther Golf Course, is fun for
kids, with golden sand and rock pools.

GO UNDERGROUND

STAR BOARDS
Award-winning adventure company
Blown Away takes adrenalin junkies
land-yachting, beach kayaking, stand-up
paddle-boarding and zapcatting: zipping
through the waves on an inatable
two-man catamaran. West Sands Beach,
St Andrews (+44 7784 121125; www.
blownawaylandyachts.co.uk). Three hours
land-yachting costs from 55

WILD WALKS
The Elie to Leven section of the 117-mile
Fife Coastal Path is a bracing, otterspotting stomp over the cliff tops. But
adventurous types will prefer the Elie
Chain Walk, a series of xed chains nailed
into the cliffs, for a challenging two- to
three-hour scramble. Keep one eye on
the encroaching tide below. Although its
not as dangerous as it sounds the wobbly
should park themselves at Elies Ship
Inn with a soothing Edinburgh Gin (a
local blend). Sprightlier types need stout
boots and tide times to hand. www.fe
coastalpath.co.uk; www.mcofs.org.uk/
the-chain-walk.asp
160 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

FOR GOLF-PRO WANNABES


I fell in love with it the rst day I played
it. Theres just no other golf course that is
even remotely close. So said Jack Nicklaus
of the Old Course, the spiritual home of
golf. But despite its mighty reputation,
this is a public course. Its egalitarian ballot
system of allotting tee times still stands.
Links Clubhouse, West Sands, St Andrews.
Green fees from 77. Phone +44 1334
466666 before 2pm, two days before you
wish to play or book the Old Course
Experience (www.oldcourse-experience.com)

SMUGGLERS HIDEOUT
In Pittenweem (it means place of the cave)
St Fillans is a seventh-century Christian
shrine with a spooky past as a smugglers
cave. Pick up the key from Cocoa Tree Caf
and enter through a door on Cove Wynd.

WHAT
TO BUY

ART BY THE SEA

Try the free Museum of the University


of St Andrews. In the third oldest
university in the English-speaking world,
its treasures include a 16th-century
astrolabe. 7a The Scores, St Andrews
(www.st-andrews.ac.uk/musa)

Pittenweem is known for


its shing harbourside
parking is Reserved for
shermens vehicles. But the villages
other speciality is art. During the annual
August art festival, front rooms, garages
and galleries spill over with an eclectic mix
of works by visiting artists. Expect to nd
some gems. Afterwards, dip into the
Cocoa Tree Caf for an espresso.

HOLD THE FORT

QUIRKY JEWELS AND POTS

St Andrews Castle is a stunning ruin on a


cliff overlooking the sea, and theres plenty
to read about it in the adjoining museum.
(+44 1334 477196; www.historic-scotland.
gov.uk). Adult 5.50, child 3.30

Pop into Lovely Pigeon (www.lovely


pigeon.com), a studio in Cellardyke
that opens by appointment, for modern
jewellery, cut-out-style prints and
homeware. Ive received many
compliments for the necklace with three
geometric copper shapes that I bought here
for 21. Even the grandchildren make
fridge magnets at Crail Pottery (www.
crailpottery.com), a family enterprise run
by three generations who create homely
earthenware and elegant ceramics. There
are good postcards in the cosy shop, too.

STUDY THE PAST

SHIP TO SHORE
The Isle of May is a nature reserve further
offshore and easily spotted by its lighthouse.
Anstruther Pleasure Cruises run trips from
April to September. Look out for sweet
nesting pufns and lumbering grey seals.
www.anstrutherpleasurecruises.co.uk

PHOTOGRAPH: PAUL WATT

gables and terraced gardens, and a


17th-century town house, all open to the
public. Head to the Biscuit Caf at
Culross Pottery and Gallery for good
organic, home-made pies and cakes and
speciality teas such as Iron Goddess from
China. Sandhaven, Culross (+44 1383
882176; www.culrosspottery.com).

Theres something for everyone, from


James Bond-inspired boys to Greenham
grannies, in Scotlands Secret Bunker. Built
after World War II as a radar station, this
100ft-deep labyrinth was converted to a
bunker in 1958. With a fake farmhouse on
top, even locals didnt know what was in
their midst. Its now a museum, giving an
insight into Cold War fears, with graphic
What would happen in a nuclear attack
lms. Troywood (www.secretbunker.co.uk)

INSIDE TRACK

WISH YOU WAR HERE

Is visiting a strife-riven country a worthwhile and


intrepid adventure or just bad taste, asks Martin Fletcher

hree months after the Syrian


revolution began, The Times
asked me to try to sneak into
the country as a tourist. I ew
to Beirut and took a taxi to the border,
condently expecting to be turned away.
To my astonishment, the immigration
ofcials admitted me without a moments
hesitation. I spent the next week posing as
a retired history teacher while I travelled
nervously around a country sliding
rapidly towards civil war. Eventually
I was detained in Homs, taken to an
intelligence headquarters and questioned
for several hours. I was released with
my alias still intact, but left immediately
for Lebanon before my luck ran out.
Assuming the war in Syria does end one
day, I nd myself wondering how long
will it be before the tourists return? And
when they do, will they stick to the Old
City of Damascus, the Roman ruins at
Palmyra, the spectacular Crusader castle
of Krak des Chevaliers and other
traditional sites, or will they take in the
newly created ruins of Homs? Will they
wander down the scorched and shattered
passageways of Aleppos great souk,
where in happier times western visitors
shopped for jewellery, soaps and spices?
Will they tour Aleppos centuries-old
Citadel from which regime snipers
presently shoot at anything that moves?
Such questions sound absurd, obscene
even, in the midst of a civil war that
has claimed more than 130,000 lives,
forced millions to ee their homes and
country, and spawned the worlds worst
humanitarian crisis. And much will
depend on whether the war ends with the
regime triumphant, jihadists in charge, or
some sort of edgling democracy. But
precedent suggests that visitors will
indeed go back, and relatively swiftly, for
wars lend countries a dubious cachet.
Northern Iraq, Sri Lanka, Bosnia,
162 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

Cambodia, Vietnam, the Falklands and


even Belfast: all now cater for war
tourists. Increasingly tour operators move
in before conicts have ended. They are
already running trips to Afghanistan and
southern Iraq. An enterprising hotel owner
in Mogadishu is tempting a few brave
visitors by offering bodyguards armed
with AK-47s for upwards of $400 a day.
War tourism and its siblings, dark
tourism, which encompasses any sort of
tragedy, and poverty tourism, which
focuses on slums, are growth industries.
This raises the dauntingly complex
question: are they moral, or the touristic
equivalent of rubbernecking? Are
they inspired by a desire for greater
understanding, or voyeurism? Those are
questions without clear-cut answers,
for inevitably our motives are mixed:

Lanka, and visitors risk looking more like


ghouls than students.
But tourists can help end the sense
of abandonment among populations that
have lived through years of war or
repression. Their presence can encourage
local people to value cultural and
archaeological treasures, while their
absence does the opposite. In 2007, at the
height of the violence in Iraq, I visited
the ancient Ziggurat of Ur and found it
crumbling, neglected and forlorn. At the
start of Libyas revolution I watched a
mob of Gadda supporters rampaging
around the worlds nest surviving
Roman theatre at Sabratha, a UNESCO
World Heritage Site, before staging a
raucous rally on its 1,800-year-old stage.
Above all, war tourism educates. Nobody
could visit the Rwanda genocide memorial

The more contemporary the conict, the


more acute the moral dilemma. Victims
are still alive, memories raw
legitimate curiosity combined with a
less savoury fascination with suffering,
death and destruction.
This year tourists will mark the
centenary of the start of World War I
by ocking to the battleelds and
cemeteries of northern France and
Belgium, and nobody is suggesting there
is anything unseemly about them doing
so. Their visits will be seen as educational,
reverential acts of remembrance. It is
harder to argue that the million people
who go to Auschwitz-Birkenau each year
are not in part attracted by a macabre
fascination with a Nazi extermination
camp. The more contemporary the conict,
the more acute the moral dilemma.
Victims are still alive, memories raw,
sensitivities acute. Repressive regimes
sometimes remain in power, as in Sri

centre in Kigali and see the victims


shattered skulls and bones without being
appalled at how the world stood by
while the Hutus killed more than 500,000
Tutsis in 100 days in 1994. You cannot go
to Halabja in Iraqi Kurdistan and hear
survivors tell of the day that Saddam
gassed 5,000 of their kinsmen without
realising the horror of chemical weapons.
I hope tourists do return to Syria one
day. I hope they will divert to Homs and
Aleppo and see destruction on a scale
that television clips and newspaper
articles do not begin to capture. I hope
they see for themselves the extreme
suffering that a pernicious regime inicted
on its own people for daring to demand
freedom. I hope that war tourism can,
paradoxically, make future wars less likely
by revealing what hell they really are.

T RAVELLER PROM OT ION

PRODUCED BY

The
SEYCHELLES
ISLANDS

PROMOTIONS

Photograph North Island by Dana Allen

Words Alex Green

xquisite expanses of pearl-white sand


encircled by electric blue water, the
Seychelles is the picture-postcard
clich. A thousand miles off the east
coast of Africa, these dreamy drops in
the Indian Ocean have been blessed
with undiluted beauty, rare cultural
harmony and year-round sunshine. The
mountainous inner islands such as Mah,
Praslin and La Digue rise like giant
boulders, while the outer islands lie low,
scattered like shimmering jewels encased
in the vast aquamarine. There are 115
outposts in total; each beguiling in its
own individual way.

Seychelles is undoubtedly the ultimate


beach getaway: ribbons of sand
circumnavigate whole islands while
others add splashes of white to emerald
green canvasses. The beach scene
inevitably attracts a honeymoon crowd
but although the Seychelles is undeniably
one of the earths most romantic
destinations, once the champagne corks
have stopped popping, there is a world
to discover beyond the petal-strewn suites
and luxury private residences.
Known as the Galapagos of the
Indian Ocean, the Seychelles forwardthinking conservation stance saw it

pioneer eco-tourism and in doing so


help preserve and protect its natural
assets. Many rare species of ora and
fauna can be found here: from the
smallest frog to the largest seed, from
the giant tortoise to a pantone-coloured
marine life, these islands are a living
natural history museum.
Once thought to be the original Eden,
the Seychelles is close to paradise on
earth. But the gates to this paradise
have only been partially opened.
Mass tourism is one of the seven
deadly Seychellois sins: long may
tortoises outnumber guests.

Spotlight on Seychelles:
ve reasons to pack
your sarong, snorkel
and sunnies

Beach bliss
he Seychelles is the archetypal tropical
paradise. Whats more, its ridiculously
easy to nd a beach to call your own
for the day, places so quiet you can
hear the thud of a coconut, watch
crabs scuttle, birds shing and tortoises
padding about. Top ten highlights are
impossible, a round up is just about
feasible. Mah has countless picture-perfect
spots but for water sports Beau Vallon on
the north coast is a must (its magnicent
views of North Island and Silhouette island
an added bonus). West from here the calm
reef-protected Port Launay is idyllic for
swimming and snorkelling while Intendance
Bay in the southwest attracts both surfers
and turtle spotters. The beach-blessed
Praslin has two standouts: the perfect
crescent-shaped Anse Lazio, known for its
phenomenal sunsets and the hard-to-access

Map Seychelles Tourist Board

The
SEYCHELLES
ISLANDS

Anse Georgette, a honeymoon


favourite. Youll recognise La Digues
Anse Source dArgent because its one
of the worlds most photographed
beaches: a mixture of salt-white and
amingo-pink sand sparkles against the
dark granite boulders. For real
Robinson Crusoe territory head further
aeld to Desroches, Anse Bamboo on
Frgate or North Islands Anse dEst.

Its only natural


ature lovers have your binoculars at
the ready: these islands have not only
protected the famous coco-de-mer
(sea coconut) and much-loved giant
tortoise but also the less well-known
endemic species such as the jellysh tree
and the Seychelles warbler. A must-visit is
Praslins hauntingly beautiful primeval
forest Valle de Mai. Once believed to be

the original Garden of Eden, it is now


a World Heritage Site home to 6,000
coco-de-mer trees and the last remaining
habitat for the Seychelles Black Parrot.
Hikers should head to the Morne
Seychellois National Park on Mah.
Covering an impressive 20 percent of
the islands total land area, it stretches
from coastal mangrove forests up to the
spectacular Morne Seychellois, and the

T RAVELLER PROM OT ION

rent a clipper; alternatively play


Swallows and Amazons and head out
on a local boat to sh for tuna, red
snapper and grouper.

Food for thought


reole food is a tourist attraction
in itself. Echoing the diversity
of the people, the cuisine is
totally unique, a fusion of
avours including French,
Indian, African and Asian. Fish features
heavily (grilled and basted with crushed
chilli, ginger and garlic is a national
favourite); there are oodles of coconutbased chicken and sh curries; rice is a
staple and everything from shredded
green papaya salad, pumpkin, sweet
potatoes and aubergine to mangoes,
avocados and coconuts that all taste
like they've just been picked. The hotels
house many a star-worthy restaurant but
dont ignore the local food scene. On
Mah, stop off at Le Jardin du Roi,
once a colonial spice plantation
(vanilla, cinnamon, saffron and nutmeg
still grow here), its open-air caf/
restaurant produces simple but exquisite
dishes. For authentic creole, book a
table at the atmospheric Marie
Antoinette with its menu of parrotsh,
tuna steak, sh stew and chicken curry.
And be sure to visit the colourful and
vibrant Sir Selwyn Clark Market in
Victoria and tea factory (near Port
Glaud) for a tour and gift shop perusal.
For romantics destination Praslin. Caf
des Arts provides the perfect tte--tte
environment, for a seafood feast try the
palm-thatched Bonbon Plume and for
an ice cream x, Gelateria de Luca.
If on La Digue, park your bike outside
Loutier Coco for a lunchtime banquet.

thickly cloaked centre is virtually deserted.


Cycling La Digue makes for a great day
out: go in search of deserted beaches,
look out for the Seychelles paradiseycatcher and smell the sweet scent
of vanilla. While Cousine Island is the
place for serious ornithologists, the
remote Aldabra atoll is a tortoiselovers heaven with a shell-count of
more than 100,000.

All at sea
he ocean plays a massive part in
Seychellois life and of course the
tourist industry. An incredible dive
destination, it boasts six marine
national parks, expansive reefs,
walls, pinnacles, wrecks and canyons,
all teeming with sh and coral life. The
water is warm, visibility usually excellent
and there are sites for both beginners

and experts. Spot anything from


angelsh, butterysh, and schools of
parrotsh to octopus, whale sharks and
the rare hawksbill turtle. Niche tour
operators such as Dive Worldwide
organise dive-centric holidays,
alternatively there are a good number
of local outts for day-trippers. Sailing
around the Seychelles has also become
increasingly popular: charter a yacht or

Chill out zone


nd relax: Seychelles is a
feet-in-the-sand, book-in-ahammock, sunbathe-on-asuper-yacht kind of place.
The only real decisions to
make are cocktail or champagne,
pool or sea, snorkel or spa, jungle or
beach, bed or lounger. There is only
one problem, after youve been here
a while you just dont want to leave...

T RAVELLER PROM OT ION

orth Island is without doubt one of the best places


to stay on earth. For 10 years it has pioneered
barefoot luxury and is the benchmark against
which others are judged. Although this private
island retreat is undeniably the best of the best,
it is not a naturally showy place. There are just 11
villas on the whole island, all of which have been built
using materials salvaged from an ongoing natural
rehabilitation programme. The villas have been kept
as open as possible and feel like vast treehouse
palaces tucked away in their very own secret gardens.
Measuring in at nearly 5,000 square feet, its like
stepping into a natural wonderland with beautiful
handcrafted beds, intricately carved mirrors, shell
lampshades and inviting stone sunken baths.

We also love North Islands laidback vibe.


Because there are so few guests staying at any
one time, there is complete freedom, no timetables
or menus, everything is just at your disposal and food
is cooked on demand often using the vegetables and
herbs from the kitchen garden, fruits from the forest
and sh from the sea.
The other success story celebrating ten years is
Noahs Ark: North Islands conservation project. The
island is the project (one of the most ambitious ever
undertaken by a private company). Aiming to turn back
the ecological clock North Island is rehabilitating its
natural habitat and reintroducing endangered fauna
and ora. The past few years have seen a very
successful turtle-breeding programme as well as
the rare Seychelles white-eye and Seychelles black
mud terrapin both successfully returned to paradise.
HOT FOR Privacy, unrivalled exclusivity and
total freedom.
For further information email enquiry@wilderness.co.za
or visit north-island.com

The
SEYCHELLES
NORTH ISLAND
North Island

here are few inhabited places on earth that feel


more remote than Desroches Island. Accessible
only by plane, it is Robinson Crusoe with a superluxury twist. There are no cars, buses or shops;
just one eco-friendly resort on a small coralline
island with ribbons of snow-white sand and a lush
interior. This is quite literally a world away from reality,
a perspective-changing place; a little piece of
paradise that works wonders on tired minds, bodies
and souls. Unsurprisingly it is a favourite with
celebrities: the paparazzi cant access it and the resort
adheres to a strict privacy policy. While celebrities
choose Desroches to escape prying eyes, we mere
mortals come for the ultimate castaway experience.
And once a castaway, you can roam free.
The dive scene is one of the best in the Seychelles
with 18 classied sites and swathes of virgin reef.

READER
OFFER:
Cond Nast Traveller
readers booking with inthe-know tour operator
Just Seychelles can save
30 percent on holidays in
May, June and July 2014
and enjoy an exclusive
complimentary treat.
Quote 'Desroches Treat'
when enquiring.

Swim through great shoals of snapper; spot stingrays


sleeping, nurse sharks hiding and turtles gliding above
the technicolour coral canvas. Snorkel around
neighbouring island St Josephs and dont miss a
shing trip (Desroches is one of worlds best y and
game shing destinations). On land there are
numerous cycle paths that wend their way through the
jungle interior, deserted beaches for picnics (Madame
Zabre comes highly recommended) and twilight walks
led by the Island Conservation Society. As for the
resort, there are popular behind-the-scenes tours, musttry yoga with Sanjeev, a truly heavenly Lava Shell
Massage and the super-sweet Tortoise Sanctuary.
HOT FOR divers, castaways and escapees.
For further information visit justseychelles.com/
desroches-island

The
SEYCHELLES
DESROCHES ISLAND
Desroches Island

T RAVELLER PROM OT ION

READER
OFFER:

SAVE up to 1,837
per couple
Stay seven nights from
2,565 per person, based on
two sharing a Hillside Pool Villa on
a B&B basis, including return ights
from London. Subject to availability.
For further information call
Kuoni on 01306 747 738,
visit kuoni.co.uk or pop
into a Kuoni store

ocation, location, location... Banyan


Tree Seychelles has nabbed an enviable
spot on Intendance Bay, undoubtedly
one of the best beaches in the
Seychelles. Since opening in 2002,
this stunning property on the southwest
coast of Mah has been a regular feature
in honeymoon top tens. Part of this is
down to location, the other part is due
to its romantic ambience. The 60 all-pool
villas have been cleverly built into the hilly

terrain and along the beachfront all are


ercely private. The creole-style villas are
works of intimacy, featuring a private pool
and vast veranda, as well as panoramic
views of the Indian Ocean.
This is also home to Seychelles rst
destination spa and more than a decade
on it remains unbeatable. Tucked away on
a verdant hillside, it feels like a secret
garden where magical restorative powers
take over. Drawing on centuries-old Asian

traditions this is a sanctuary for the senses,


in the purest form. The sensual tone
continues with outstanding food: a mustbook is the award-winning Thai restaurant
Saffron, Chez Lamar for creole-inspired
dishes or for an ultra-romantic experience,
dining deux under the stars. And for
2014 dont miss private cooking classes
using hotel-grown ingredients from the
resort's own garden.
HOT FOR Location, romance and spa.

The
SEYCHELLES
BANYAN TREE
SEYCHELLES
Mah Island

READER
OFFER:
ne island, one resort and
the option of going allinclusive: for a luxury
carefree holiday that
rarely sees your hand in
your pocket, there is no better hideaway
than Sainte Anne. Just 10 minutes from
Mah, this is the perfect base from
which to explore the inner islands. The
87 sea-facing villas are beautiful, bright
and uncluttered (some have plunge
pools) but it is the added extras that
always get the rave reviews. While the
excellent sports centre and free
childrens club (three- to 12-year-olds)
attracts a family crowd, others come to
explore: Sainte Anne organises
everything from complimentary island
treks and a Mah shuttle boat service to
bicycles outside the villa and snorkelling
equipment for the vast marine park on
your doorstep. The food is the surprise
package: in a word, exceptional. Le
Mont Fleuris menus never fail to wow

SAVE up to 20 percent
on accomodation

and the weekly creole buffet at


LAbondance is a must. The all-inclusive
option, available for both couples and
families, includes breakfast, lunch and
dinner (covering four venues), drinks
(even champagne by the glass from
6pm) and the kids favourite afternoon
cakes and cookies. This is the place for
those who read menus by price and
worry about large departure bills.
Having said that, if youve got a little
extra cash the Clarins spa is well
worth a visit.
HOT FOR families, foodies and the
luxury loving penny-pincher.

for stays between May 1-30


November 2014. Seven nights
all-inclusive from 3,150 per
person based on two sharing a
Garden Villa, including economy
class ights and hotel transfers.
For further information or to
book, call Beachcomber Tours
on 01483 445685 or visit
beachcombertours.co.uk

The
SEYCHELLES
SAINTE ANNE
RESORT & SPA
Sainte Anne Island

T RAVELLER PROM OT ION

READER
OFFER:

Opening offer
Enchanted Island Resort is offering
30 percent off daily rates until
April 30, 2014.
Honeymoon offer
When booking three nights or more,
take advantage of the 30 percent
discount plus complimentary
private boat transfers, a bottle of
champagne on arrival, a romantic
three-course lunch or dinner on
the beach, a one-hour couples'
spa treatment and a framed
honeymoon picture on departure.
Offer valid until April 30, 2014.
Terms and conditions apply.
For reservations please call +971
4814 5678 or 080 0015 9708;
email eir.reservations@jaresorts.
com or visit jaresortshotels.com

The
SEYCHELLES
ENCHANTED ISLAND RESORT
Round Island

aving ung open its ve-star doors in


December, Enchanted Island Resort is
Seychelles nom du jour. Luxury hotel
openings are always an industry
highlight but there is even more buzz
around new private island resorts.
Enchanted Island Resort is the rst
international property for UAE-based
JA Resorts & Hotels, and judging by the
positive feedback, we are pretty sure it
wont be the last. The nished product
is private island perfection with all the
Seychellois trimmings.
Just 15 minutes by boat off the coast
of Mah, the island rises up out of a
national marine park and provides
ve acres of pristine natural beauty.

This boutique chic hideaway has just


10 villas: eight Private Pool Villas (onebedroom) and two Enchanted Signature
Villas (two-bedroom). Earthy and rustic in
style they reect the unique colonial past
of the Seychelles and blend so seamlessly
with the natural environment it feels like
they have always been there. No marble
slab has been left unturned in the interior
design: every villa features a king-sized
bed draped in the softest linen, an oh-sotempting French bathtub, a mini bar
(personalised to taste) and all the latest
technology. Outside is zen-like with
shaded areas, large sundecks, private
innity plunge pools and your very own
walkway to the picture-postcard beach.

Although small in size, Enchanted Island


Resort has thought of (and delivered on)
everything. Theres good karma up on the
hill with a stunning spa, yoga pavilion and
gymnasium, all cleverly blended into the
natural landscape. The beachside
Castaway Bar embodies that tropical
feel-good-factor and does seriously good
cocktails; the food is brilliant with an
emphasis on local dishes and the villa
butler service gets a hefty 10 out of 10.
Plus, anyone for all-out privacy or the
ultimate party, can hire the whole
island
HOT FOR trendsetters, honeymooners
and privacy seekers.

T RAVELLER PROM OT ION

The
SEYCHELLES
CONSTANCE EPHLIA
Mah Island

onstance Ephlia (and older sister Lmuria,


below) are two of just seven ve-star
properties in Constance Hotels & Resorts
niche Indian Ocean portfolio. An easy
45-minute drive from the airport, Ephlia
occupies the entire headland of Port Launay on the
northwest coast of Mah. The largest resort in the
Seychelles, it spreads over two beaches and fronts a
stunning designated marine national park. With size
comes variety and the sheer range of facilities attracts
everyone from newlyweds and spa-goers to groups
of friends and families.

Constance has done its accommodation homework:


all luxury bases are covered with seven elegant
options ranging between the Junior and Superior Suites
to the relaxing Spa Villas, super-luxe Hillside Villas and
money-no-object Presidential Suite. All villas come with
private pools, mountain bikes and butler service, but
wherever you stay, you wont be inside for long.
Ephlia offers up to 14 complimentary activities a day
so theres never a dull moment on land or water. From
paddleboards, pedal boats, kayaks and diving to
tennis, squash and a climbing wall, you name it
theyve got it.

or unabashed luxury in a to-die-for location,


Constance Lmuria is one of our
longstanding favourites. Set on the dreamy
island of Praslin (a 15-minute ight from
Mah), it has one of the best positions in
the Seychelles (no mean feat when you
consider the competition). Tucked away on
a hillside in the islands northwest corner,

Lmuria overlooks a trio of gorgeous beaches


including the only-accessible-by-foot Anse
Georgette, often voted one of the best
beaches in the world.
A stay at Lmuria is like pressing the
pause button on reality. Add ultimate luxury
to location and you get the perfect Seychellois
package (as well as a member of Leading

The
SEYCHELLES
CONSTANCE LMURIA
Praslin Island

But the standout feature has to be the spa village


(the largest in the Indian Ocean). We love the village
element: an entire place populated by miracle-working
therapists dedicated to your wellbeing. The treatment
list (Spa de Constance and Shiseido) will momentarily
boggle the mind and the calibre of pampering is
among the best weve come across. And if anyone
has any time left, there are ve restaurants, six bars
and a kids club for four to 11-year-olds.
HOT FOR budding marine biologists, spa goers
and family fun.
Please visit constancehotels.com or call 0023 402 2772

Hotels of the World). Standards are incredibly


high: all accommodation whether Junior Suite,
Senior Suite or Pool Villa is ber-chic and the
Presidential Villa currently leads the Indian
Ocean size poll. There are more rsts with the
Seychelles only 18-hole golf course (PGA
Championship standard no less) plus a
gourmet scene not out of place in London or
New York. While foodies will love the modern
Seychellois dishes at Seahorses, the Beach
Bar & Grill gets our vote for its melt-in-themouth seafood and utterly exotic setting
hanging over the Indian Ocean at Petite
Anse Kerlan.
Lmuria is also known for its strong eco
stance: credentials that have recently gone
through the conservational ceiling with the
employment of its very own resident Turtle
Manager. Need we say more?
HOT FOR foodies, Seychelles-bound
golfers and turtle-loving honeymooners.
For further information visit constancehotels.com
or call 0023 402 2772

T RAVELLER PROM OT ION

hic, stylish and intelligently eco-friendly,


Four Seasons Resort Seychelles is the
perfect destination for ve-star travellers
with a conscience. This is barefoot
luxury at its most sublime. Situated on
the crescent-shaped Petite Anse (southwest coast
of Mah), its setting is a microcosm of the
Seychelles. Dense jungle tumbles down to
piercing white sand smattered with the ubiquitous
Seychellois dark granite outcrops and edged by
gin-clear waters.
Hopelessly romantic, honeymooners hole up
here alongside snorkellers and keen divers who

come to explore the reef's rainbow of submarine


residents. Individual creole-style villas have been
built on stilts and offer lofty luxury living and
innity-view pools looking out over the canopy
of coconut, mango and cinnamon trees. Huge
indoor and outdoor spaces are more sumptuous
and beautiful than you can imagine and perched
at the very top is the hilltop spa. Top marks for its
eco approach: not only are all the products
organic and biodegradable, many are even
made in the Seychelles. The ve open-sided
pavilions emphasise the unique setting and spa
goers get the best of the resorts views.

But for all the luxury, Four Seasons Resort


Seychelles works tirelessly to protect this very
special spot. The hotel employs two
environmentalists to implement marine education
among staff, advise eco-minded guests and
launch sustainable conservation programmes.
This is not just about the here and now, Four
Seasons realises the importance of protecting
its overwater and underwater paradise for
future generations.
HOT FOR eco-honeymooners, romantics
authentic spa seekers and diving buddies.
For further information visit fourseasons.com/seychelles

The
SEYCHELLES
FOUR SEASONS RESORT
SEYCHELLES
Mah Island

et above the beautiful Anse Louis beach (Mah),


MAIA Luxury Resort & Spa is one-of-a-kind. Designed
by top-100 architect Bill Bensley (Architectural
Digest), there are 30 villas for 30 acres, cocooned in
scented tropical gardens, positioned for total privacy,
and all with iridescent ocean views. The outside living
space is sensational with large gazebos complete with
bar/kitchen, good-sized innity pools and sunken
bathtubs for two; the interiors are vast and fabulous,
decked out in rich teak and exotic silk. Discreetly brilliant
butlers with a seemingly sixth sense, top off this

The
SEYCHELLES
MAIA LUXURY
RESORT & SPA
Mah Island

extraordinary villa-living experience.


MAIA prides itself on doing things differently.
Named best hotel for food in two recent Hot Lists, we
love its bespoke menu that allows guests to eat whatever,
wherever, whenever. Five specialist chefs rustle up
delicious creole and seafood dishes; you can eat in-villa,
on the beach, by the pool or cook your own catch. The
adventurous should try Jean-Paul Nourrices bat curry and
there is often the opportunity to accompany him to local
food markets. The spa also goes against the norm with
its minimal menu delivered to perfection. There is

complimentary morning yoga and qigong for guests


and staff alike; all the therapists are handpicked from
Balis exceptional Jari Menari School and new for
2014 is the innovative Omorovicza spa menu. Five
natural facials (the Gold Aprs Soleil is a must-try) and
three heavenly-sounding body massages complement
MAIAs own select signature treatments.Voted best Luxury
Destination Spa at last years World Luxury Spa Awards,
less is denitely more.
HOT FOR foodies, spa fanatics and privacy seekers.
For further information visit maia.com.sc or call +248 4 390 000

READERS
TRAVEL
AWARDS

PHOTOGRAPH: JENNY ZARINS

2014

Make your vote count at www.cntraveller.co.uk/RTA


Nominate your favourite hotels, spas, countries, islands and more before 1 May and you
could win three nights in Le Bristol, Paris. Results will appear in our October issue and online

THE EXPERTS

This months Food Books Health Gadgets Advice


EDITED BY ISSY VON SIMSON

PHOTOGRAPH: RUTH CONNOLLY PHOTOGRAPHIC POST-PRODUCTION: ELLI PETROCHEILOV; TENDAI POTTINGER

WHAT YOU WANT


The way into more
unusual destinations

WHO YOU NEED


Yasmin Choudhury,
founder of Lovedesh
A charismatic ex-actress with a penchant for saris,
British-born Choudhury has travelled throughout
her ancestral home of Bangladesh many times.
Passionate about ofering bespoke journeys to a
corner of the world hitherto associated with oods
and famine, last year she launched Lovedesh, a
chic-meets-grassroots travel venture (desh means
homeland). Whether you want to ride the waves
with the Coxs Bazar Surf Club on the Bay of Bengal,
shadow the Mawali honey collectors of the
Sundarbans, drift along the clear waters of the River
Surma, picnic on deserted dunes, learn beauty rituals
from local women, or snafe the work of Fairtrade
designers, Choudhury will arrange the kind of
access rarely aforded to Westerners. I want people
to see Bangladesh with fresh eyes, she says.
Clients have the option of providing funding for
micro-grants that support local communities not
in a hand-in-pocket way, but through personal
encounters such as purchasing and planting seeds
with a farmer. Choudhury also ofers a pre-trip
concierge service and, as an introduction to
Bangladeshi culture, a pop-up, wood-red curry feast
in London. JINI REDDY www.lovedesh.com
April 2014 Cond Nast Traveller 173

THE EXPERTS... HEALTH

THE FOCUS

YOGA

ost serious spa hotels hook


up with well-known yoga
teachers. The Bulgari in
London, for example, works with superchilled Mercedes Ngoh, fresh from
the LA yoga scene and an expert in
vinyasa ow. Spains Shanti-Som
has Maya Fiennes, the queen of
kundalini yoga.
Thankfully, you
dont have to share
a dormitory, wear
Birkenstocks or trek
all the way to Purple
Valley in Goa (ashtanga
territory) to enjoy
a yoga retreat. The
trick is to follow that
teacher. London is
bursting with gurus
who take their ocks
abroad. Simon Low,
one of the all-time
greats, runs weeks at
Turkeys Huzar Vadisi.
Liz Lark and Jean
Hall, both dynamos
in the yoga world and
also great friends,
frequently team up for
retreats in hotspots from Ibiza to
Mexico, and specialist company
Destination Yoga has lured a clutch
of the best instructors, including
Heather Elton, a big fan of silent walks
and poetry readings.
Why does the yoga scene continue
to buzz? Because yoga not only
allows you to unwind and stretch, it
keeps you strong, focused and grounded.
As Shiva Re says in Titans of Yoga
(a lm containing interviews with 25
of the great masters from Dr Dean
Ornish to David Swensen, Deva
Premal and Swami Kriyananda),
yoga is the ability to dance with life
and not get knocked off your centre.
This month, we review two of Europes
newest and most exciting retreats.
174 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

To tune out

SILVER ISLAND YOGA,


GULF OF VOLOS, GREECE
What a spot. Swathes of brilliant red and
orange geraniums line the balconies,
yellow butteries play between sprays of
wild garlic and the air is heavy with the
smell of fresh herbs and pine. This familyowned 60-acre islet is heady with the sort
of potent healing vibe you just dont nd
in big hotels, and is now open for intimate
week-long yoga retreats between April
and October. Theres barely a phone
signal and no Wi-Fi. Electricity only runs
for two hours in the evenings. But dont
fret: youll be spectacularly well looked
after by Lissa Christie (she inherited half
the island seven years ago with her sister)

Clockwise from this picture: a bedroom


on Silver Island; a lane on the island;
Pebble Beach; the main house

PHOTOGRAPH: KRISTIN PERERS

The outdoor yoga


shala and, right, the
villa interior at the
Spanish retreat

and her Namibian husband Corn Uys,


who are charming, genuine and live on
the island for 10 months of the year.
Three to four hours of daily yoga
take place in an open-air shala with
heart-lifting views out to sea. Teachers
change from week to week. Those
booked this season include vinyasa and
restorative pro Fela Adebiyi, whose
classes are a perfect mix of motion and
stillness, and the gentle, Yorkshire-based
Anne-Marie Burford, known for her
measured, spiritual practice which
includes 30 minutes of meditation.
Concentrate on a mantra and give
yourself over to the island birdsong or
open your eyes a smidgen to gaze at
the wild owers. Between classes take a
walk to the lighthouse, crash out on the
sunbeds at Pebble Beach, light a candle
in the tiny ancient church or catch up
on sleep in your blue-shuttered bedroom,
with a bathroom lled with toxin-free
Korres goodies. Theres an art drawer
stocked with paints to help you unleash
your inner Frida Kahlo, and the restless
can snorkel or kayak around the stunning
island to spot resident monk seals.
Breakfast includes thick yogurts, homemade granola and fruit; lunch and dinner
feature calamari, stuffed vine leaves,
carrot-and-pumpkin fritters and green
salads from the garden, all served in
vintage bowls on an artfully presented,
candle-lit table. CAROLINE SYLGER JONES
+27 72 624 2242; www.silverislandyoga.
com. From 1,100 per person for six
nights full board

To tune in

JANE KERSEL RETREAT,


CORDOBA, SPAIN
Jane Kersel has the kind of glowing skin
and lithe biceps that many other busy,
50-something working mothers would
almost sell a kidney for. And shes not
just a yoga teacher: she also uses Voice
Dialogue, a form of talking therapy
that aims to access all your different
personalities: the inner child, the patriarch,
the rebel and so on. Its all very New Age,
but if youre open to the ride its also a
challenging approach. Just eight places
are available on her bespoke retreats,
held on a beautiful 1,500-hectare private
estate in Andaluca. Rooms are in low,
white-washed buildings laid out around
courtyards with jasmine and fountains.
Kersel has gathered a team of holistic
heroes: up to ve
of her favourite
The entrance hall at the
healers and
villa in Andaluca
therapists are on
hand, so alongside
dynamic morning
yoga and soothing
evening sessions
with meditation
on the rooftop,
there are also
naturopathic
consultations with

Harley Street-based Katrin Hempel,


deep-tissue massage with the wonderful
Enrique Cortadellas and energy work
with shaman James Philip. But if you
arent into sharing circles, fear not. Theres
also plenty on offer for sceptics, including
live blood analysis (on week-long
retreats) where youll watch your red
blood cells under a microscope: it
indicates acidity, vitamin deciencies,
liver disorders. Days are packed, so be
sure to take time out to dip into the pool
set among orange trees or ride the
estates excellent horses. Food is detox
without deprivation, gluten-free and mainly
vegetable-based. By the end of your stay,
youll be on tenterhooks to see your
blood under the microscope again. Chances
are youll notice a
difference, however
small: hard evidence
that living this well
can change you, cell
by cell. LUCY GREEVES
+44 77 7190 6006;
www.janekersel.com.
From 3,500 per
person for seven nights
full board, including
transfers, treatments
and activities

THE EXPERTS... GADGETS

GEEK GEAR

By George Dufeld

The Geek is always striving to minimise his travel kit. Where once
both a phone and an iPod were needed, now a phone sufces,
albeit one loaded with music. This months goodies are masters of
minimisation. Less is more in the travel world. Comfort helps, too.

Weight and size restrictions on


carry-on luggage are becoming
increasingly ferocious. Beat the
system while you still can with the
ScotteVest Fleece Jacket 7.0.
This extraordinary jacket has 23
pockets, so you can load it with
the contents of a large backpack,
then sail onboard with your usual
carry-on. Take it of, stuf it under
the seat in front of you (dont hog
the overhead space) and, bingo,
youve smuggled on an extra bag.
www.scottevest.com, about 95

176 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

SEATGURU

for Beyerdynamic: superb sound,


excellent build quality, and classy,
too - wearing them is like being
a great skier, not a snowboarder.
http://europe.beyerdynamic.com,
about 214

BEYERDYNAMIC T51P
HEADPHONES

Hardly technologically advanced,


these merit inclusion for their
style and efciency. Theyre
relatively cheap, comfortable,
beautifully made and fold up
small. Now you can travel in style
with suede house slippers.
www.laportenga.com, about 75

This handy app shows you plane


layouts for those long-haul
bookings. Now you can see which
seats have loos or kitchens next
to them, and steer well clear.
iTunes and Google Play, free

For the Geek, the most


convenient travel headphones are
in-ear, and Shure make the best.
But for comfort and sound, a pair
of over-ears are essential. Resist
rap-branded mediocrity and go

RODRIGO SLIPPERS

ILLUSTRATION: HEATHER GATLEY

SCOTTEVEST FLEECE
JACKET 7.0

RAFFLES DUBAI

While at Raffles,
why not visit Dubai?
Legendary service since 1887
Our reputation travels

SINGAPORE

PARIS

DUBAI

BEIJING

HAINAN

PRASLIN, SEYCHELLES
ARRIVING SOON:

raes.com

PHNOM PENH & SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA


ISTANBUL

Reservations: (US and Canada) +1 800 768 9009

MAKATI

MAKKAH, SAUDI ARABIA

JAKARTA

(International) +800 1 RAFFLES or +1 506 870 6794

THE EXPERTS... FEASTING

DAL
By Joanna Weinberg

In india, a meal without dal is unthinkable.


In fact, for most people living in or around
the Indian subcontinent, a meal is dal.
Rice is, to this spiced, soupy stew of pulses,
what a bun is to a burger: nutritionally
bereft, and utterly forgettable, without it.
There are as many dals as there are pulses you can split and
shell 50 and counting in northern India and Pakistan. Half
of them sound like cults: youll meet the mungs of Bangladesh,
the urads of Bengal. While current food fashion decrees that
the best home cooking should take a top-notch ingredient
and mess with it as little as possible, great dal is refreshingly
a triumph of the opposite.
The most commonly recognised, tarka dal,
starts with the yellow split pea, an ingredient
so humble it is barely more than its dietary
content, an amoeba of the food world. Next,
you further humiliate it by boiling it in
water till it collapses. Only when it looks
and tastes seemingly irredeemable do you
pile into it a circus of joyful avour. Meet
the tarka, the headily fragranced fat
which, like Clark Kents transformation,
changes its character instantly. Fry, ideally
in ghee, a combination of aromatics and
spices obvious ones would be ginger, onion,

Drink me

turmeric and chilli, though mustard seed, asafoetida, cumin


and curry leaves could make an appearance at a high heat
for a couple of minutes until they crackle, pop and release
their avours. Pour straight from the pan over the dal.
Where once you had benign bordering on bland, now you
have an explosion of heat and avour.

Aprils recipe
Not all dals need a tarka to make them great. My favourite is a less
showy afair: textured, dark and complex, the sort of pal every plate
of rice deserves. Start with 350g whole urad (small black beans)
soaked overnight in 4cm water. Boil them with 2tsp ground chilli
and a little oil until tender, topping up with water if necessary,
for about one-and-a-half to two hours. Meanwhile, add
to hot oil a whole cinnamon stick, a crumbled bay
leaf and a nely chopped onion. Fry till golden.
Stir in 300g chopped (ideally fresh) tomatoes,
one-and-a-half tsp each of ground cumin,
turmeric, ground coriander and garam
masala. Simmer for 10 minutes, then stir
through the dal and cook together for
a further 15 minutes. Season to taste you
may need up to 2tsp salt and nish with
fresh ginger, peeled and nely shredded, and
plenty of roughly chopped coriander leaves.
Serve simply, with rice.

By Malcolm Gluck

Arranged marriages in India are


commonplace. So must it be with this
column. For, in nding the perfect wine
to go with dal, it is not enough to offer
a generalisation like a hearty red or
a pungent white or even an aromatic ros. Such imprecision,
in this instance, is unhelpful as careless as an Indian parent
who says, well, as long as he marries a girl
with brown eyes who is less than 6ft 6in Ill
be happy. More likely such a parent has the
wife already in mind, knows her pedigree.
In choosing our wine, we must approach
the union with the dish with the same
narrowness of focus. This is because of the
particular ingredients. A zinfandel from
California or a primitivo from Puglia are
well able to cope with cumin, turmeric and
garam masala. But our dal does not stop
there. It has fresh ginger, nely shredded, as well as coriander
leaves, which add a subtle but telling pungency; a biting
undertone along with a textured richness.
Not for such a proud and complex dal will any old red wine
sufce (or even, for that matter, an old red at all). We require
a youthful red with a preordained destiny to marry our dal,

and that wine is Old School Rouge 2011 from Chteau Maris,
a bio-dynamic wine producer situated near La Livinire, a
village in that stunning part of the Languedoc called Minervois.
The wine is beautifully made, from mostly Syrah grapes with
a little Grenache, by a much-travelled and very particular
Englishman, Robert Eden. It is his sunny personality which,
every bit as much as the local climate, imbues the wine with its
warmth, polish and soft pugnacity. Touches
of juniper and cinnamon are hinted at from
lightly grilled berries reminiscent of black
cherries with a very distant echo of kirsch
on the nish. It is a tightly knit wine, such
that it will easily keep for 24 hours once
opened, though being so deliciously
drinkable such a situation is unlikely.
You can acquire the wine from Vintage
Roots, the organic wine specialists of Hook
in Hampshire, by freephoning 0800 980
4992 or visiting www.vintageroots.co.uk. It will set you back
just 9.75. Surprising that, dont you think? When I rst drank
it not with dal, I must admit, but with chicken thighs endowed
with fresh ginger and paprika in a Turkish BYOB restaurant
I thought the wine must cost a good deal more. To describe
it as a bit of a bargain, then, is an understatement.

It is a tightly
knit wine,
reminiscent of
black cherries with
a distant echo of
kirsch on the nish

178 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

ILLUSTRATIONS: HEATHER GATLEY PHOTOGRAPH: ALAMY

Eat me

THE EXPERTS... BOOKS

BEST NEW TRAVEL TITLES

Travel-writing reference
books proliferate: from
those that come out
of a personal library (Paul
Therouxs The Tao of
Travel), to the diary-driven
(Fergus Flemings The
Travellers Daybook), to the
mother lode (Peter Yapps
big, fat Travellers Dictionary
of Quotation). Theyve
ghosted the genre from the
start, when there was a
confusion between curiosity
and knowledge: Sir John
Mandevilles late-medieval,
part-ctional Travels
was used as a reference
book by Columbus, despite
extravagant interpolations
that make it read more
like an anthology. Laura
Stoddarts deftly illustrated
Of the Beaten Track:
A Travellers Anthology
(Orion, 8.99) is a nice
little ourish in the category,
making a good gift, and
organising itself, like
Therouxs book, on thematic
lines such as Advice to
the Traveller. Yapps work,
sadly hard to nd, instead
tells you who said what,
about where. Its useful
when combined with the
gargantuan Columbia
Gazetteer of the World, a
wonderful but very pricey
(441) A to Z of places.
180 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

The questing knight


gure, of whom Sir John
Mandeville was a real
incarnation, pops up in the
opening of The Flame
Trees of Thika (Vintage
Classics, 8.99), Elspeth
Huxleys account of growing
up on a cofee farm in
colonial Kenya: We set
of in an open cart drawn
by four whip-scarred little
oxen and piled high with
equipment and provisions.
No medieval knight could
have been more closely
armoured than were Tilly
and I, against the rays
of the sun. Still entrancing
after all these years
it was rst published in
1959 Huxleys book
is reissued this month.

By Giles Foden

A quip from Voltaire about


British beer froth at the
top, dregs at bottom, but the
middle excellent stands
as the epigraph for Robert
Shores Bang in the Middle:
A Journey to the Heart of
the Midlands (The Friday
Project, 8.99), which aims to
rescue places like Coventry,
Birmingham, Leicester and
Nottingham from the cultural
margin. At once light-hearted
and serious, Shore presents
the Midlands as the engine of
English culture and commerce
the cradle of Robin Hood,
Shakespeare, the Industrial
Revolution, Marmite and
Walkers Crisps; and with no
binary other like North and
South, it continues to shape the
rest of the country in its image.

Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent
takes us on a bumpy journey in
A Short Ride in the Jungle:
The Ho Chi Minh Trail by
Motorcycle (Summersdale,
9.99), following the supply
route used by the Communist
military in the Vietnam War.
She dices with lecherous locals,
uncovers memories of US
bombing raids, slogs through
mudslides, and sufers no less
than four engine rebuilds of
the pink Honda C90 on which
she rides, carrying little more
than her passport and a spare
pair of pants. She makes the
2,000-mile trip from Hanoi
to Saigon in six weeks. Both
travel narrative and guidebook,
her account sits astride
those same old polarities of
curiosity and knowledge.

THE GREATEST BOOK ON EARTH


Writer Barnaby Rogerson nominates Lords of the Atlas by Gavin Maxwell
Oh, the otter man who
wrote Ring of Bright Water.
Did he travel? Indeed he
did, with eyes wide open,
and a talent for seeking
out awkward tales. His rst
travel book was about a
dashing Sicilian bandit of
the murky post-war period
who was murdered in 1950. Then came
A Reed Shaken by the Wind, his book about
the seditious cattle-herding Marsh Arabs
of southern Iraq. Lords of the Atlas was half
a lifetime in the making, and is the tale of an
ambitious Berber clan from the High Atlas

Mountains rising to great power in Morocco. It is


the cruel but fascinating story of a castle-building
dynasty who ultimately ended up as pawns in the
pay of the colonial French regime. The book is
a bible for the modern Orientalist, and is also the
apotheosis of a certain form of travel writing, in
which the central hero-narrator has disappeared
from the text the better to concentrate on the
story, in this case like an anthropologist with his
hair down, halfway through the rst bottle,
but with the pen of a poet.
Barnaby Rogerson stalked this book for a
decade before adding it to the list of classic
travel titles published by Eland (www.travel
books.co.uk), the company he co-owns

T RAVELLER PROM OT ION

LIVE

like a
local

Clockwise from top:


RoofTop600 at Andaz
San Diego; room at
Andaz Amsterdam;
1901 Restaurant at
Andaz Liverpool Street;
enjoy the vineyards at
Napa Valley; Suite
balcony at Andaz
New York

$QGD]KRWHOVDUHERXWLTXHLQVL]HEXWELJRQFKDUDFWHURIIHULQJYHVWDU
comforts with a personal touch that makes you feel right at home

rom Shanghai to San Diego, Andaz offers stylish,


ve-star boutique boltholes in some of the
worlds most vibrant destinations. With 11
properties in its global portfolio, Andaz combines
intimate charm with big personality, ensuring each
hotel is as unique as the location in which it is set.
Whether youre drawn to the big city lights of New
York, London or Hollywood, or the laidback luxe of
Amsterdam, Maui or Napa, Andaz excels in giving
travellers a taste of living like a local. Guests can get
inside information at andazsalon.com, where their
cultural insiders and contributors bring the creative
spirit of Andaz to you through evocative content
and inspiring live events at all their properties.

reflects its surroundings


Furthermore, far from adhering to a uniform,
corporate look, each hotel has been individually
designed to reect its surroundings, from the sandpit
lobby/lounge at the recently opened Andaz Maui to
the loft-style rooms at Andaz 5th Avenue in New York.
Several of the hotels are located within stunning
historic buildings, such as the former city library in

Amsterdam or the Victorian brick face of Andaz's rst


hotel, Andaz Liverpool Street in London. Dining
options, meanwhile, showcase local ingredients and
avours the range of artisan spirits and wines
available at Andaz Napa, for example, or exotic fruits
and coffee used in innovative ways on the menus at
Andaz Peninsula Papagayo in Costa Rica.
This year Andaz will open its twelfth property and its
rst in Japan. Andaz Tokyo, occupying the top levels
of a striking new 52-storey tower, will offer an
incredible birds-eye view over the city, which guests can
enjoy from the sky-high alfresco bar. As with all Andaz
properties, smart technology results in a blissfully
smooth check-in process the use of hand-held tablets
means no tedious queuing and endless form-lling
when all you want to do is relax in your room, dive
into the pool or enjoy a glass of wine in the bar.
Its this instinctive understanding of what travellers
really want that makes Andaz stand out from the
crowd. Theres no standing on ceremony or
unnecessary pretensions you are encouraged to kick
back, make yourself at home and enjoy all thats on
offer, including complimentary wi, complimentary
minibar with snacks and non-alcoholic beverages and
a welcome beverage upon arrival. Isnt that what
luxury travel is all about?
For more information, visit andaz.com

THE EXPERTS... ADVICE

Q
A

Where are the best places for a last-minute spring


ski trip this year?

When gambling on late snow, always go high. And Europes


highest ski resort, Val Thorens, is open until 11 May this
year. Traditionally overshadowed in the smart stakes by
sister resorts Courchevel and Mribel, Val Thorens now
has a handful of great places to stay, including the futuristic
hotel Altapura (en.altapura.fr) and the new Koh-I Nor
(www.hotel-kohinor.com), the continents most altitudinous
ski hotel, with the added boon of chef Yoann Conte, famous
for his two-Michelin-starred restaurant by
Lake Annecy. Experienced skiers looking for
something a little diferent could try Pic du
Midi (www.picdumidi.com) in the French
Pyrenees, which saw skiing well into May last
year. It is home to the highest observatory
in Europe, with a new Champagne bar at
the top. You can spend the night stargazing
before making rst tracks back to the
resort of La Mongie in the morning, but
you will need to be comfortable with some
challenging of-piste skiing. For really late
snow, Riksgrnsen (en.riksgransen.se) in
Sweden, the worlds most northerly
Jonathan Thompson
ski resort, is your safest bet. Youll
Contributor
nd some of the best-value heli-skiing
here, and also ski-lifts that are still open in June and
long into the night. In high summer, when it never gets
dark, the lifts restart for midnight-sun sessions. The unique
conditions mean that its not uncommon to see people
skiing in bikini tops in the early hours.

182 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

Q
A

I am looking for a weekend break in the country but


dont want to spend hours getting there from London.
Can you point me in the right direction?
Head for the South Downs (recently made a national
park for its glorious scenery), and specically the
Midhurst/Petworth area. Its about 75 minutes from
London by car, or less than an hour by train (from
Waterloo to Haslemere), so you can make the most of
a Friday-to-Sunday blast without wasting too much
time travelling. You wont be short of things to do in this
part of West Sussex, with the horse racing and classic
cars at Goodwood (www.goodwood.co.uk) and the
world-class polo at Cowdray Park
(www.cowdraypolo.co.uk) the
Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup takes place
from 24 June to 20 July this year.
And there are plenty of pretty places
to bed down, including The Church
House (www.churchhousemidhurst.
com), a really charming B&B in
Midhurst owned and run by Fina
Jurado (known for her sensational
Victoria Higgins
cooking and Jilly Cooper-worthy
Promotions director
knowledge of the polo world). Or,
just outside Fernhurst, theres the recently refurbished
Kings Arms (www.kingsarmspub.co.uk): not only is
this a great Sussex pub with lovely rooms run by an
upbeat young team, but it also has a rather unusual
and fantastic on-site Indian restaurant called Banyan
(www.banyanrestaurant.co.uk).
Now that its been hailed The Worlds Best Restaurant,
I couldnt get a table at El Celler de Can Roca for my
upcoming trip to Girona. Any other recommendations?
Nearby one-Michelin-starred Massana (www.restaurant
massana.com) can be booked at relatively short notice.
I called in the morning and got a reservation for lunch that
day. Pere Massana, who has been running the restaurant
for more than 25 years, is still in the kitchen most days,
and his menu has some daring avour combinations.
As an amuse bouche, we had burst-in-your-mouth
mozzarella tomatoes, lime-and-coriander mussels, and
foie gras with Muscat jelly and tofee. An ingot of tuna
tartare comes with salmon roe
and avocado-and-wasabi ice
cream. My French boyfriend
merrily overindulged, ordering
llet of beef with duck liver;
I played it safe with hake and
sauted vegetables. We skipped
pudding in favour of ice cream at
Jordi Rocas Willy Wonka-esque
gelateria Rocambolesc (www.
rocambolesc.com), where
wacky avours include Cuba
Hazel Lubbock
Libre, beer, and trufed white Assistant editor
asparagus. Try some simple
CNTraveller.com
cooking, too. Locals favourite
Plaa del Vi 7 is cheap, cheerful and relaxed. Half a dozen
dishes from the chalked-up menu is plenty for two. I still
long for the jamn ibrico; the croquettes, salt-cod salad
and French-Spanish cheeseboard were also outstanding.

PHOTOGRAPH: 4CORNERS IMAGES

Q
A

Q
A

I have been to Zakynthos and Kephalonia and am now keen


to explore more of the beaches of the Ionian Sea. Where
would you suggest I try next?
The only Greek island accessible by road, Lefada is a summer
hotspot that mainland Greeks ock to for holidays but still remains
largely undiscovered by tourists. The nightlife is liveliest in the
mid-September high season, but its
best to visit between May and July
when the incredibly lovely beaches
are less crowded. The calm, clear
waters on the eastern side of the
island are sheltered from the breeze
by mountains, and beaches such
as Mikros Gialos, with swathes of
sand backed by white boulders and
lush green hills, are excellent for
Cassianie Cornwall
snorkelling. Over on the western side, if
Editorial assistant
you turn of the main road youll nd great
beaches beneath limestone clifs. The relatively secret sands of
Kalamitsi, Porto Katsiki and Egremni which together cover a
two-kilometre stretch are not to be missed, provided you can
face the 347 stairs to get there. And if you make the efort to
visit any of the coves that can only be reached by taxi-boat or
on foot, youll have them practically to yourself. Take a packed
lunch to Agioli from Vasiliki, well known for windsurng and
its connections to neighbouring islands, or make a day trip to
Mylos from the beachside village of Agios Nikitas.

Q
A

My husband is a design junkie. Where can I take him


on his birthday?
Luckily, you dont have to go far to nd architecture or
interiors with the wow factor. The design world made a lot
of noise about the recent opening of The Berkeleys Opus
Suite (www.the-berkeley.co.uk), designed by Andr Fu
(of The Upper House in Hong Kong and The Fullerton
Bay Hotel in Singapore). With a palette of muted green
and bronze, and textures of bamboo and limestone, it will
delight sticklers for detail especially if you combine it
with an evening of cocktails at Fus Gong bar on the 52nd
oor of the Shangri-La hotel in Renzo Pianos Shard, due to
open this July. Or for one last snowy
weekend, get a dose of Alpine
design at LApoge Courchevel
(www.lapogeecourchevel.com),
the new sister hotel of Hotel du
Cap and Le Bristol in Paris. It was
designed by Joseph Dirand and
India Mahdavi, and every detail
is carefully curated. Finally, if time
and budget allow, Cape Town
Lydia Gard
is Design Capital of the World
Contributor
2014; but you might prefer to
hold back on a big trip until 2016, when the rst hotel by
super-architect Zaha Hadid, ME by Meli Dubai, opens in
her weird and wonderful Opus building.

COMPETITION

WHERE ARE YOU?


Warning: may contain nuts. Peanuts,
to be exact. The farm in the picture
helps to make the country in which
it is located one of the worlds top 10
producers. The fact that a global leader
in the production of anything is still
using pairs of yoked oxen rather than
mechanised, tractor-drawn ploughs
to till the soil is pretty extraordinary;
and in a land where the political progress
of recent years has opened up new

184 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

economic possibilities, this kind of scene


could soon be a thing of the past.
But it isnt a passion for old-school
agriculture that brings most people to
these parts. In fact, visitors are generally
too busy gazing upwards to pay much
attention to the earth beneath their
feet. Raise your eyes from the eld and
youll see fantastical pagodas rising from
the table-at landscape like medieval
rockets ready for lift-off. They are the

dening feature of a nearby ancient city


and the plains that surround it. Countless
temples were built here between the
11th and 13th centuries, and more than
2,000 are still in place. So if youre nuts
about beautiful old buildings, youll love
it here. Where are you? CHRISTY WARD
To enter, identify the city and country referred
to above. Correct answers will be placed in a
random prize-draw. For competition rules and
prize details, please turn the page

PHOTOGRAPH: ANDY W LANGTON

COMPETITION PRIZE

WIN

A HOLIDAY WORTH 2,500

HOW TO ENTER
Identify the location,
left, and send in your
entry to arrive by
30 April. All correct
entries will also be
included in the Grand
Prize draw at the
end of the current
competition period
(1 October 2013
30 September 2014).

COMPETITION RULES
1. Entries for the Where Are You?
competition can be sent on a postcard,
by email or online (stating your full
name, address and telephone number),
and must correctly identify the place
described according to the instructions
given. 2. Entries must arrive no later
than the last day of the month on this
issues cover. 3. The Where Are You?
competition is open to readers of Cond
Nast Traveller who are 18 or older on the
date of entry, except for employees of

186 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

Cond Nast Publications, participating


promotional agencies, contributors to
Cond Nast Traveller, and the families
of any of the above. Entries by post
should be sent to: Where Are You?
competition, Cond Nast Traveller,
Vogue House, 1 Hanover Square,
London W1S 1JU. Email entries
should be sent to: compcntraveller@
condenast.co.uk. To enter online
and for full terms & conditions, visit
www.cntraveller.com/competitions

accommodation in a premier room with breakfast, return ights


to Singapore with Qatar Airways and transfers. The holiday
must be taken by 30 December 2014; exclusions may apply
during high season particularly January, July, August, September
and December and other special events taking place locally.
For more details, visit www.meritushotels.com and www.
qatarairways.com or call +65 6845 1000 and 0333 320 2454

JANUARYS WINNER

Janice Beal of Mill Hill, North London identied


Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah as the location where this
picture was taken. She wins a seven-night break for two
at the Avista Hideaway Resort and Spa in Phuket.

PHOTOGRAPHS: RYAN HEFFERNAN; ANDY W LANGTON

as dusk falls in one of South-east Asias most thrilling cities,


the lofty skyline is lit up in neon. Stay at the Marina Mandarin
Singapore and you have a front-row view. Located in the shopping
and entertainment hub of Marina Bay, this hotel has a spa,
outdoor mineral-water pool, and restaurants specialising in sushi
and dim sum. Enter this months Where Are You? competition and
you could win a ve-night holiday for two here. The prize includes

READER OFFER

FIVE-STAR HOLIDAYS IN

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Save up to 35 per cent on a selection of


luxurious hotels and villas with JustResorts.co.uk

hen you are in search of somewhere to unwind,


the lengthy process of trawling through numerous
websites and brochures to nd that special location can
be anything but relaxing. To make life easier, JustResorts.co.uk
has more than 50 luxurious European resorts available to book
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Readers have the opportunity to save an additional 15 per cent
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FOR MORE DETAILS OR TO BOOK


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quoting the reference CNTrav14

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EXPLORE.
DREAM.

DISCOVER.

What is it that makes Silversea the benchmark of luxury cruising? The cuisines by Relais & Chteaux?
The all-inclusive luxury? The sumptuous suites with Ferragamo soaps... the butler who anticipates your every need?
Or perhaps it is Silverseas European heritage that so appeals to well-travelled, international guests.
Aboard our ships you can explore secluded harbours less touched by time and tourists.
Insider access in the worlds great cities. Bespoke tours so that you can roam where you please.
Hardly what you would expect on an ordinary cruise. But then this is small-ship cruising. And we are Silversea.

For more information or to book, please call Silversea on 0845 835 0069, visit www.silversea.com or contact your local travel agent.

T R AV E L L E R P R O M O T I O N

cruise
cruise CAPSUL
1.

2.

4.
3.

5.
6.

7.

1 . C A M E L C O AT, 6 9 5 , A M A N D A
W A K E L E Y. C O M ; 2 . AT L A N T I S E Y E
P E N D A N T, 1 8 0 , M O N I C AV I N A D E R .
COM; 3. EMMA COOK RED SHOES,
1 8 2 , N E T- A - P O RT E R . C O M ;
4 . P O S T C A R D S C A R F, 6 5 , P L U M O .
C O M ; 5 . S T R I P E D T O P, 8 5 ,
CHINTIANDPARKER.COM; 6. ATLANTIS
GEM EARRINGS, 145; 7. FRIENDSHIP
B R A C E L E T, 1 1 5 , M O N I C AV I N D E R . C O M

n a world where long-haul travel


has become the norm, its easy
to equate holidays with far-flung
destinations. However, by seeking
out those exotic lands we often miss
the rich beauty, culture and heritage
of our back garden, not to mention our
very own doorstep. And lets face it,
a brief hop to Barcelona, short drive
to Southampton, or even a tube ride
to London Bridge beats a long-haul
flight for convenience. So if you do
one thing this year, consider a cruise
closer to home not just to avoid the
airports, save trees, and discover your
doorstep, but to get the most out of
your precious time.

SHORT HAUL
The search for the exotic or adventurous does not
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impressive selection of bars,


restaurants, entertainment, sports and
spa facilities, dedicated childrens
clubs and tranquil adult areas. Shell
make several 12-night Mediterranean
voyages from Southampton through

Best cruises departing


from England

BLIGHTY TO THE BALTIC


This summer, ultra-luxury cruise
line Silversea is offering the rare
opportunity to spend the first and
last nights of two fortnight-long
voyages as a tourist in your own
country, berthed by Tower Bridge.
Sailing aboard the illustrious Silver
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT:
AZURA IS ONE OF P&O'S
LARGEST SHIPS; THE VERANDAH
CAFE ONBOARD THE SEABOURN
LEGEND; BERTH BY TOWER
BRIDGE BEFORE HEADING OUT
ON THE HIGH SEAS
WITH SILVERSEA

Cloud, more private yacht than cruise


ship, sleeping just 296 cosseted
guests, youll call at the pearls of
Scandinavia and the Baltic, including
Copenhagen, Stockholm, Tallinn and St.
Petersburg before returning to London
via Amsterdam. silversea.com; 0844
770 9030
HOME FROM HOME IN THE MED
Maritime stalwart P&O Cruises
offers more voyages from UK shores
than any other line and maintains a
reassuring sense of home aboard all
of its ships. One of P&Os largest
ships, Azura, boasts a particularly

August and September, making her


the ideal floating summer base for
families. pocruises.com; 0843
374 0111
FROM TOWER BRIDGE TO
BLEM TOWER
There are few better ways to appreciate
Vintage Europe than from the comfort
of a Seabourn ship. Familiarise yourself
with the all-suite Seabourn Legend
before slipping out of London on a
11-night autumn voyage. Youll be
whisked from St Malo, St Helier and
La Rochelle to the historical sights of
Lisbon. seabourn.com; 0845 070 0500

Delight in never having to ask.


The art of delight is knowing
what you want before you do.

seabourn.co.uk

0843 373 2000


Ships registry: Bahamas. 2014 Seabourn.

T R AV E L L E R P R O M O T I O N

ach summer, more and


more travellers are taking
to the high seas on a
cruise to fall for the
lure of beautiful fjords, hot sandy
beaches, rugged wilderness and the
historic cities of Scandinavia and the
Baltic. So go iceberg-spotting under
the midnight sun in Greenland, spy on
besotted Spitsbergen puffins, soak
up Tallinns caf culture and marvel at
glorious St Petersburg.
FAVOUR OF THE NORTH
Celebrity Cruises, perhaps more than
any other cruise line, has a truly
distinctive style. Sailing aboard the
innovative Celebrity Eclipse, with
her contemporary interiors, diverse
restaurants and hip bars, you can
enjoy a fortnight-long overview of
Scandinavia and the North. Sailing
from Southampton, enjoy two days
at sea to acquaint yourself with the
AquaSpa and top deck lawn before
calling at Reykjavik and Akureyri in
Iceland. Admire the ruggedly beautiful
Faroe Islands before navigating
some of Norways most dramatic
fjords and the atmospheric city of
Stavanger, returning to Southampton
after a rejuvenating day at sea.
celebritycruises.co.uk; 0845 456 0523
FJORD FING
For a fjord exploration with a
difference, book yourself onto
Prinsendam, the smallest ship in
the Holland America Line fleet. The
Prinsendams relatively diminutive size
(835 passengers) creates a sense
of intimacy and affords access to
lesser-visited ports of call. Holland
America Lines imaginative twoweek North Cape Explorer itinerary

starts in Amsterdam and travels the


length of Norways west coast to
its northernmost town, Honningsvg,
before returning to the Dutch capital.
Expect to be mesmerised by the
towering Geirangerfjord, Sognefjord
and Lysefjord and fall under the spell
of the beautiful Lofoten Islands, the
gem-coloured houses of Bergen and
art-nouveau splendour of lesund.
hollandamerica.com; 0843 374 2300

SCANDINA
AVIA
V IA
AND THE BALTIC
L
LTIC

Forego the beach this year for a once-in-a-lifetime


trip aboard a luxurious vessel to a land of
dramatic landscapes and midnight sun

cruise CAPSUL
CAPSUL

4.

6.

7.

8.

1.

2.

3.

5.

1 . E D B R O O K G O L D S U N G L A S S E S , 2 7 0 , H A R D Y A M I E S . C O M ; 2 . C O M B E R E G U L A R C R E W K N I T,
T 85,
H E N R I L L O Y D . C O M ; 3 . P O N T O S S E X T R E M E WAT C H , 3 , 9 7 0 , M A U R I C E L A C R O I X . C O M ; 4 . T R E T O R N
SKYMRA GORETEX SNEAKER, 130, TRETORN.SE; 5. TOM DIXON BAG, 350, NO6-LONDON.COM;
6 . W A X B I K E R J A C K E T, 1 6 9 , J A M E S A U B R E Y. C O . U K ; 7 . F L E U R I B E L T, 9 0 , U K . E D E N - P A R K . C O M ;
8 . B A R B E R I A M E N S C O L O G N E , A LV A R E Z & G O M E Z , 3 0 , C A R T E R A N D B O N D . C O M

NOR
NORW
WA
WA
AY
Y NO BRAINER
NORWAY
Established in 1893, Hurtigruten has
unparalleled sailing experience in
Norway and the Arctic Circle. With
multiple Norwegian itineraries ranging
from six to 11 days, Hurtigruten is
the natural choice for fjord cruising.
However, its the new two-week
National Park Expeditions voyage thats
caught our eye. Starting in Svalbard,
an archipelago between Norway and
the North Pole, and sailing aboard
Hurtigrutens swanky expedition
ship, MS Fram, youll travel through
the dramatic fjords and bays of
Spitsbergen to Greenland and Iceland.
Youll also call at the worlds largest
and least visited National Park, open
just four to six weeks of the year and
home to polar bears, musk oxen and
Arctic wolves.. hurtigrut
hurtigruten.co.uk;
en.co.uk;
0203 411 8216
ONE-WAY TICKET TO THE BALTIC
If you love your creature comforts, fun
and food, let Oceania Cruises entertain
you - Oceania Marina combines
large ship facilities with a mid-size
ship feel and superb cuisine. Sailing
from Stockholm, the Baltic Explorer
itinerary will usher you to Tallinn, St
Petersburg, Helsinki, Riga, Klaipeda,
Berlin, Copenhagen and Bruges before
reaching Southampton. While youre
not seeing the sights, you can recreate
some of the Nordic dishes youve
sampled ashore in the Bon Apptit

T R AV E L L E R P R O M O T I O N

cruise
and plenty of pottering along
Tallinns cobbled lanes.
azamaraclubcruises.co.uk;
0844 493 4016

IMAGES, CLOCKWISE FROM FAR LEFT:


CELEBRITY CRUISES VISITS NUMEROUS
QUAINT HARBOURS ON THE NORWEGIAN
COAST; VISIT THE FJORDS OF NORWAY; THE
HURTIGRUTEN TAKES YOU TO THE ARCTIC
CIRCLE AT SPITSBERGEN; NOBLE CALEDONIA
VISITS BALTIC STATES SUCH AS ESTONIA;
LEARN TO COOK ABOARD OCEANIA CRUISES

SMAL IS BEAUTIFUL
The MS Serenissima is floating proof
that small is beautiful: sleeping just
107 guests, shes able to moor in
the heart of Europes historic cities
and reach small, remote ports. With
the feel of an elegant Swedish
country house, Serenissima creates
the perfect ambiance for a cultured
tour of the Baltic, with experienced
guest speakers providing invaluable
local history and insights. The
eleven-night Baltic Odyssey starts
in Stockholm and brings you back
to Southampton via Amsterdam,
incorporating guided tours of the
Baltics 'must see' destinations Helsinki, St Petersburg, Tallinn and
Copenhagen. noble-caledonia.co.uk;
020 7752 0000

Culinary Centre, luxuriate in the Canyon


Ranch Spa, daub your Baltic memories
on canvas at the Artists Loft, and sip
cocktails as you squeeze through the
picturesque Kiel Canal. oceaniacruises.
com; 0845 505 1920
BALTIC IN BRIEF
If youve only got a week to explore
the Baltic, Azamara Club Cruises will
ensure you get the most out of every
moment. Known for its unique shore
excursions and longer stays in port,
Azamara treats you to three days in
St Petersburg, allowing ample time
to visit the Hermitage, Peterhof, Red

Square and Nevsky Prospect and


even throwing in a red carpet and
champagne evening at the Mikhailovsky
Theatre, one of Russias most
venerated opera and ballet houses.
And theres more: a canal tour of
Stockholm, scenic sailing through the
Stockholm Archipelago to Helsinki,

T R AV E L L E R P R O M O T I O N

European rivers
MAKE 2014 A TAUCK CHRISTMAS
ake a Christmas voyage
with Tauck and not only
will you rediscover your
inner child, delighting in
snowy walks, glittering trees, tongueburningly hot chestnuts and candlelit
shops, but you can also abandon your
sensible outer adult. Celebrated for
its exceptional attention to detail and
thoughtful extras, Tauck will relieve you
of virtually all responsible duties, from
cooking and washing up to arranging
family outings and warming the mulled
wine for your return from snowy
Christmas markets. Simply float down
the Danube from cheery Nuremberg to
chic Vienna in festive style, discovering
Christmas as it should be. tauck.co.uk;
0800 961 834
LA DOUCE FRANCE
If youre a Francophile with a
penchant for boutique hotels, you
need to know about SS Catherine.
Launching in April, the Catherine will
be the latest addition to the Uniworld
fleet
and+promises
++
++
+ + + to set a new
benchmark in luxury river cruising.
The hotly-anticipated ship will boast
exceptionally spacious suites, a lavish

EUROPEAN RIVERS
& MEDITERRANEAN
Meander your way through one of the most
extensive systems of waterways in the world

restaurant and alfresco dining terrace,


chic lounges and a mosaic-tiled pool
and spa. Soak up the beauty of
Provence and Burgundy from your sixstar floating pied--terre, meandering
along the Rhne and Sane and
following in the footsteps of Van Gogh,
Czanne and Gauguin as you visit
Arles, Avignon, Lyon and Beaune.
titantravel.co.uk; 0800 988 5867
VIKINGS ON THE DOURO
Viking River Cruises lays claim to more

ships than any other river cruise line,


operating across the most extensivee
network of rivers, and is popping out
a further 12 ships this year. The new
breed of Viking Longships, complete
with organic herb gardens, suites

T R AV E L L E R P R O M O T I O N

cruise
care for your every need, delivering
Croatian sparkling wine to your
hammock and sourcing tickets for
exclusive festivals, means summers
will never be the same again.
saildalmatia.com; 0800 124 4176

and bar on the prestigious front decks.


Guests staying in the plush enclave
further benefit from priority embarkation,
butler service, a dedicated restaurant
and inclusive fares. So, as you meander
around the Med the children can make
new friends in their pools and clubs
while you enjoy peace and quiet.
msccruises.co.uk; 0844 561 7412

Blue Man Group, over 20 dining venues,


rock climbing, abseiling, 10-pin bowling
and the biggest spa at sea.;; 0845
201 8900

POPPING YOUR CRUISE CHERRY


Even the most experienced cruisers
had to face their inaugural voyage
once, and will acknowledge it can be
daunting. However, thanks to Norwegian
Cruise Line, cruise virgins can dip
their toes in the water with a three or
four-night dabble in the Mediterranean.
Sailing aboard the new Norwegian Epic,
you could grab a long spring weekend
to Barcelona, Aix-en-Provence and
Palma or enjoy an autumnal break to
Rome, Florence, Cannes, Palma and
Barcelona. Boredom is not an option
aboard Epic, with performances from
big-name Las Vegas shows including

Youll be transported in chic Scandinavian style along the impossibly


picturesque Douro to quaint villages, world-famous Port estates,
through the rugged Alto Douro to Salamanca and back
CLOCKWISE FROM THIS IMAGE:
VIEW ALONG THE DOURO RIVER IN
PORTUGAL; THE RIVER COUNTESS CRUISING
THE RIVER RHONE IN FRANCE; MSC
CRUISES ARE A POPULAR CHOICE FOR THE
MEDITERRANEAN; BERTH ABOARD NCL; SAIL
DALMATIA EXPLORES CROATIA'S COASTLINE;
BACKSTREETS OF ARLES IN PROVENCE WITH
TITAN TRAVEL; LE PONT D'AVIGNON;
COLMAR, IN ALSACE, WITH TAUCK

featuring private wraparound verandas


and all-inclusive pricing, is set to
conquer Portugal this spring, as a pair
of new ships launch on the Douro.
Boarding your Longship in Porto, youll
be +
transported
++
+ + + +in+chic Scandinavian
style along the impossibly picturesque
Douro to quaint villages, world-famous
Port estates, through the rugged
Alto Douro to Salamanca and back.
vikingrivercruises.co.uk; 0800 319 6660

BESPOKE DALMATIA
Quite simply, the best way to explore
the 3,625 miles of Croatias rugged
coastline, and the 1,185 islands,
islets and reefs peppered along it,
is by privately-chartered boat. Dora
Vulic, founder of London-based Sail
Dalmatia, will tailor a dream holiday
for you, picking your ideal boat from
her select portfolio and crafting the
perfect itinerary. You can bob around
Korcula on a gulet, slink into Hvar on
a yacht or discover Dubrovnik from
a motorboat. Be warned: having a
dedicated skipper, chef and crew to

cruise CAPSUL

5.
6.

1.
3.

Mediterranean
LA DOLCE VITA AT SEA
Its hard to beat a summer cruise in the
Med for sun-baked, action-packed family
fun. If your little angels already prefer
the company of cohorts to their rentals,
the MSC Yacht Club is for you. Present on
five of the Italian cruise lines ships, the
Yacht Club comprises some 70 spacious
cabins, an exclusive lounge, pool deck

7.
2.
4.
1. ORANGE DRESS, 69.95, WELLICIOUS.COM; 2. RIVA DIAMOND COCKTAIL EARRINGS WITH
LEMON QUARTZ STONE, 450, MONICAVINADER.COM; 3. KOS SANDALS, 95, PLUMO.COM;
4 . F L O R A P U R S E , 4 5 , P L U M O . C O M ; 5 . P I N E A P P L E S C A R F, 3 9 , P L U M O . C O M ; 6 . M O N D A V I
SUNGLASSES, $95, WOODZEE.COM; 7. JUNGLE CANVAS COURTS, 95, PLUMO.COM

where T E M P T I NG
meets U N FORG E T TA BL E

(036,1*&7,5,1(3$,453(4)(&6/;9,6+71)24*(66$%/((:3(4,(1&(521%2$4'274?8(56$45+,350%$4.21$
-2741(;2)6+(3$/$6(9,6+21(2)6+(?1(569,1(&(//$45$65($$1'(:3/24(+$1'521&22.,1*'(021564$6,215,1
2747/,1$4; 465(16(434(5(16('%;Food & Wine 0$*$<,1(8(4;'(/,&,275(1&2716(44(&+$4*(56+(527/
)246+(82;$*($+($'216$&6;2744$8(/42)(55,21$/&$// 
)24024(,1)240$6,21$1'$%42&+74(
248,5,6www.hollandamerica.co.uk.

 =   =   =   =




#  =  

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T R AV E L L E R P R O M O T I O N

cruise
cruise CAPSUL
UL

CLOCKWISE FROM THIS IMAGE:


THE
299,
HEBRIDEAN PRINCESS VISITS THE
DESERTED ISLAND OF ST KILDA;
REGENT SEVEN SEAS' VOYAGER

1.
2.

3.

6.

4.

5.

1. YACHTING SWEATER, 215,


ADIDAS.COM/PORSCHE_DESIGN_
S P O RT; 2 . M E N S A N C H O R S H A C K L E
B R A C E L E T, $ 1 9 , T H R E A D E T I Q U E T T E .
COM; 3. NIKE ROSHE RUN MID, 70,
JDSPORTS.COM; 4. PIPER REGULAR
PANTS, 75, HENRILLOYD.CO.UK;
5 . E X T R E M E C U TAW AY A S P E N S H I R T,
$48, TRASHNESS.COM; 6. JAMMING
JOE WATCH, 75, GAXS.SE

HOME SWEET HOME


f youre going to stick to home
turf, why not splash out and
do so in comfort? Few cruise
lines can rival Regent Seven
Seas for luxury and the all-suite,
700-passenger Seven Seas Voyager
will explore the British and Emerald
Isles over the course of 12 days this
summer. Starting from Southampton,
Voyager will call at Edinburgh,
Invergordon in the Highlands, Kirkwall,
capital of the Orkney Islands, and
Portree on the Isle of Skye. Therell
be a day in Belfast before two full
days to explore Dublin, as well as

BRITISH ISLES

There are some fascinating stories to be told


on a trip around our own breathtaking coastline

visits to Waterford, Cork and the


Isle of Portland before returning
to Southampton. rssc.com;
02380 682 280

THE PRINCESS FT FOR


A QUEEN
Despite her humble car ferry origins,
the 49-passenger Hebridean Princess
is the ship of choice for HRH The
Queen, who has twice chartered her
for family holidays. The Hebridean
Princess is simply the best way to
explore the dramatic, wildly beautiful
Scottish coastline, with diverse weeklong voyages offered from March to
November. However, only two itineraries
offer the opportunity to sail overnight
to the remotest outpost of the UK, the
St Kilda archipelago. Inhabited for over
two millennia until the last remaining
locals chose to be evacuated in 1930,

St Kilda is one of few World Heritage


Sites to hold joint status for its natural
and cultural qualities, and makes for a
moving highlight of a Scottish fling.
hebridean.co.uk; 01756 704700
NATI
NA
ONAL TREASURES
NATIONAL
The thinking mans cruise line, Swan
Hellenic prides itself on providing
acclaimed guest speakers and enriching shore excursions on all its voyages.
Thus, this summers Treasures of the
British Isles itinerary features no fewer
than three speakers - experts in the
field of history, wildlife and theology - and visits to six National Trust
properties. Sailing aboard the enduringly popular Minerva from Portsmouth,
the fortnight-long voyage will call at
the Port of Tyne, Edinburgh, Scrabster,
Portree, Oban, Liverpool, Holyhead, the
Isle of Scilly, Falmouth and Sark.
swanhellenic.com; 0844 644 1770

condenastjohansens.com
Astra Suites, Greece

LUXURY

SPEED DEMON

THEA DARRICOTTE uncovers your world


GENIE AT WORK
Breva, the Swiss-based watch
brand is now available exclusively
at William & Son. Established
in 2010, it launched the Breva
Genie 01 at Baselworld in 2013,
the worlds rst wristwatch
to encompass time, altimeter,
barometer and power-reserve
indications provided by a fully
mechanical movement.
POR, williamandson.com

VELVET TOUCH
Celebrity superfacialist SU-MAN has
launched her own
skincare system which
combines philosophies
and science from
the East and West.
The Velvet Skin
Brightening Serum
is a potent blend of
omega oils, ceramides
and dragons blood
extract to give you
glowing, velvety-soft
skin. 98, Su-man.com

If youre in the market for a boat make sure to look at


HUNTON, which was founded in 1979 by powerboat
racing champion Jeff Hunton. Everything is hand-built to
order, from small ribs to 43ft boats.
Hunton.co.uk

HEALTH & BEAUTY

SAY IT WITH FLOWERS


For its rst special edition of Gelsomino
Nobile, Acqua di Parma has commissioned
highly skilled Tuscan craftsmen to engrave
a jasmine ower which the fragrance is
based on onto each bottle. The fragrance
itself is equally precious with notes of pink
pepper, tuberose, jasmine and cedar wood.
108, acquadiparma.com

LUXURY

TRUE BLUE
This London Blue Topaz Fao
ring by Astley Clarke features
the jeweller's signature rose cut,
which is hand-cut and set in
undulating molten pav diamonds
for extra sparkle.
6,500, Astleyclarke.com

CHARTERING A YACHT WITH EDMISTON


MEANS NOT ONLY AN UNPARALLELED
LEVEL OF ONBOARD LUXURY BUT ALSO
A CUSTOM ITINERARY CREATED BY
REGIONAL EXPERTS. THIS YEAR, THE
45-METRE PRINCESS IOLANTHE WILL
EXPLORE THE UNSPOILT ISLANDS OF THE
JAVA SEA, ENCOUNTERING EVERYTHING
FROM PYGMY SEAHORSES TO THE SURF
CULTURE OF BALI. FROM 150,000 PER
WEEK, EDMISTON.COM

SMOOTH AS SILK
Edie Mac has premium
resort-wear down to a
ne art; pared down with
easy summer shapes and
clean, uid limes. The
Spring/Summer 2014
collection consists of 13
pieces crafted in the UK
from 100 per cent silk.
Ediemac.com

KISS ME QUICK
Lanolips 101 Ointment is the go-to product for anyone who has experienced dry skin. It's 100 per cent natural,
FRORXUIUHHDQGIUDJUDQFHIUHHDQGFDQEHDSSOLHGWRFXWLFOHVOLSVRUDQ\GU\SDWFKIRUDQLQVWDQWPRLVWXUH[
From 7.99, victoriahealth.com

TRAVEL

BORN TO BE WILD
Sasaab, Samburu is one of East
Africas most dramatic and romantic
lodges with its nine cottages set
high on the riverbank, each one with
magnicent views, a private plunge
pool and ensuite open-air bathrooms.
The wildlife is equally impressive:
Samburu is home to some unique
wildlife such as the gerenuk, a type
of gazelle, and famed for its herds of
elephant. It also has a superb spa for
weary guests. Thesafaricollection.com

f a m i l i e s

LUXURY TRAVEL

MOVEN ON UP
For a stop-over close to Zrich,
Bern, Basel or Lucerne, try the
Mvenpick Hotel Egerkingen for
its magnificent Alpine views and
charming hospitality; the hiking
package features a rucksack
filled with a feast for the road!
Moevenpick-hotels.com

GRAFF
DIAMONDS
has opened in the
newly extended
Fine Jewellery
Room at Harrods.
The new boutique
is bristling with
one of a kind pieces,
collection jewels and
watches, displayed
amidst shimmering
luxury with a crystal
chandelier overhead.
harrods.com
SKIN DEEP
Elemis is celebrating the 10th
anniversary of its iconic Cellular
Recovery Skin Bliss Capsules with
a limited-edition, supersized duo:
rose for day and lavender for night
to detoxify and protect from daily
stress. 79.50, houseoffraser.co.uk

Planning a family holiday? TURQUOISE


E HOLIDAYS
has created the denitive brochure covering the South Pacic,
Australasia, Africa and the Middle East, the Indian Ocean
and the Caribbean. The book includes top tips and captivating
itineraries to entrance even the most demanding members
of the family. All holiday bookings will also receive a 50
voucher for Sunuva, which designs cool UV swimwear for
children. turquoiseholidays.co.uk

loes
THE

Dive into spring with the latest fragrance from Sisley.


EAU TROPICALE was inspired by the scents of a tropical forest and
begins with zesty notes of passionower and hibiscus before lengthening into
tuberose and drying down to dry-cedar and patchouli, giving it the perfect
blend of fresh and sultry. 63.50, Sisley-paris.co.uk

LIQUID GOLD
Exhausted by your travels?
Liquid Yoga from Mio is
the ultimate wind-down
wonder. It eases tense
muscles, calms and
re-energises and smells
utterly divine. Our tip would
be to pour a good glug
into your bath to ensure
maximum relaxation!
26, mioskincare.com

HEALTH & BEAUTY

MASK FORCE
It's hard to believe that the legendary
Renewing Pack from Valmont is 30 years
old this year. To celebrate it has revisited the
formula and created the prime Renewing Pack,
which includes anti-ageing and anti-wrinkle
ingredients and will leave your skin fresher and
rmer than ever. Use it as a mask or daily as
a rebalancing treatment and youll notice an
instant improvement in your skins quality.
135, urbanretreat.co.uk/beautique

HEALTH MONEY

2014

NEXT GENERATION

Jack Andraka,
Medical entrepreneur
Speaking at WIRED2013

If a 15-year-old who
didnt even know
what a pancreas
was could find a
new way to detect
pancreatic cancer,
then just imagine
what we all can do.
Discover the
future of health

Health
APRIL 29, 2014
BOOK YOUR TICKET NOW
020 7152 3196
WIRED.CO.UK/HEALTH14

NETWORKING PARTNER

Dream Destinations

EUROPE-UK

La Sablonnerie Hotel is located on the lovely


island of Sark, Channel Islands. It has a strong
international clientele who return-year-afteryear to recapture the beauty of the island and
to enjoy the excellent cuisine, wine, and
friendliness for which the hotel has an enviable
reputation. Guests gather in the bar before a
roaring log fire for a cocktail or a glass of
champagne before dining, and later take a
moonlit walk or simply gaze at star-studded
skies. Featured by the Which hotel guide as
The place to stay in the Channel Islands, the
hotel also received Cond Nast Johansen
Small Hotel of the Year Award and was
nominated as their Most Romantic Hotel.
Also the Hotel of the Year Award from Les
Routier. Visit www.sablonneriesark.com or call
01481 832061.

MELDRUM HOUSE. Set amidst beautiful


countryside, The 4 Gold Star Meldrum
House Country Hotel & Golf Course offers
unrivalled quality. For a weekend break,
Scottish wedding reception, conference or
luxury golf vacation, you can enjoy great
hospitality, ne dining and the tranquillity of
the magnicent Meldrum Estate. T: 01651
872294. Web: www.meldrumhouse.com

THE BULL HOTEL. Easy-going and


bursting with life this 16th century
coaching inn oozes eclectic style and
contemporary rustic charm with two
award-winning restaurants, cider house
and cocktail bar in the heart of Bridport
near the Jurassic Coast in West Dorset.
Call 01308 422878 or visit
thebullhotel.co.uk

A Room With A View is in a prime spot


on Brighton seafront. All rooms have
views over the beach, each beautifully
finished to a high spec with crme dcor,
oak floors, blond wood furniture and local
art. Book direct for free parking or
complimentary locally made chocolates.
Call 01273 682 885, or visit
www.aroomwithaviewbrighton.com

Deelin Mor Lodge is a secluded retreat in


the midst of the Burren, one of Irelands
most unique areas of outstanding natural
beauty. This design led family home, built in
the style of an Irish Georgian hunting lodge,
accommodates up to 10 people and is
perfect for holidays, special occasions or a
weekend break. www.deelinmor.com
Tel: +353 65 708 9009.

Dream Destinations

EUROPE

La Baronnie Hotel & Spa*** proposes


some exceptional packages to give you
the opportunity to discover the charming
Ile de R. In October: for 3 nights stay, 1
night is offered and we offer
complimentary breakfast during
weekdays Private parking / No smoking.
Tel:+33 546 092 129;
www.hotel-labaronnie.com
CASA MONTANI is a luxury guesthouse in
the heart of Rome, overlooking the
prestigious Porta del Popolo. Its ve rooms
and exclusive new apartment are beautifully
furnished with the best Italian and French
brands. The atmosphere is very personal
with breakfast served in your room the
perfect haven to stay in while you explore
the city. www.casamontani.com Tel: +39
063 260 0421.

HERITAGE LISBON HOTELS


Live the Portuguese Charm and Tradition
in the Historic Centre of Lisbon. Stay in
one of the 5 Heritage Lisbon Hotels
Collection As Janelas Verdes, Heritage
Avenida Liberdade Hotel, Hotel Britania,
Hotel Lisboa Plaza and Solar Do Castelo
Tel: +351 213 218 200
heritage.hotels@heritage.pt
www.heritage.pt

Set in Andalucias largest natural park,


MOLINO RIO ALAJAR offers freedom in
a rural paradise. Choose from 6 houses
on the estate and walk, swim, play tennis,
taste the local gourmet cuisine or enjoy
the sun. Visit www.molinorioalajar.com or
call +34 959 501282.

HOTEL CLAUDE MARBELLA is a


luxurious boutique hotel, set inside a
meticulously restored 17th-century
townhouse. Perfectly placed in the heart of
Marbellas Old Town. Experience this
former artists club with its 7 uniquely
styled rooms, restaurant, patios and roof
terraces. www.hotelclaudemarbella.com
Email: info@hotelclaudemarbella.com
Tel.: +34 952 900 840.

Dream Destinations

NORTH AMERICA

ZURICH
HOTEL RESTAURANT HELVETIA
The boutique hotel Helvetia with its 16
individually furnished rooms is a real jewel
among the citys hotels. The family-run
and individual hotel and restaurant offer a
home from home to business travellers,
city explorers and Zurich lovers alike.
Phone: 0041 (0)44 297 99 98
Web: www.hotel-helvetia.ch

The Baker House 1650s luxurious and


relaxing environment makes it the ideal
home away from home in East Hampton,
New York. On offer is a range of amenities
including breakfast daily, local beach
access, spa treatments, and concierge
services to cater to every guests needs.
T: 631.324.4081 or email
info@bakerhouse1650.com.

Dream Destinations

AFRICA & INDIAN OCEAN


TOMTOM SUITES. A lovingly restored
former convent, Tomtom Suites The Old
Franciscan House is a small luxury hotel
with 20 suites hidden in the central district
of Istanbul. The contemporary interiors
include original artwork and a rooftop
restaurant with views of the Bosphorus
within easy access of the Blue Mosque and
Taksim Square. www.tomtomsuites.com
+90 212 292 49 49

RIAD KHEIRREDINE. Charming riad in


the heart of the Medina of Marrakech.
Italian management, attention to detail,
all that a traveller can wish in terms of
comfort, style and hospitality with
attention to each guest.
www.riadkheirredine.com, 00212 524
386 364, infos@riadkheirredine.com

HOT
LIST

THE 60 BEST

NEW HOTELS
IN THE WORLD

QUALITY VILLAS in France, Italy and


Morocco.
Luxury holiday villas with pools on the
Cote dAzur, St Tropez, Provence, Biarritz,
Tuscany, Umbria, Marrakech, Agadir and
more. Our portfolio of villas are visited
personally by us, meaning we can offer
specialist advice down to the smallest
detail. Services including chef, transfers
and maid service are easily arranged.
Tel 01442 870055 or visit
www.qualityvillas.com ABTA & Fully
Bonded.

CASA LA CONCHA, a beautiful finca


situated in the stunning Marbella
countryside just minutes from Puerto
Banus. An Old Andalusian residence, it
has been exquisitely renovated into a large
main house and 5 luxury cottages. Relax
in the living room with a drink, enjoy a
good book from their library or go explore
the hidden treasures of Marbella. Visit
www.casalaconcha.com or call +34 646
520 883.

THE ZANZIBAR COLLECTION


Exotic, Luxurious, Zanzibar!
The Zanzibar Collection is a privately
owned collection of beautiful boutique
hotels inspired by the magic of Zanzibar,
lying on one of the Top 30 Island beaches
in the world. Offering a range of water
sports, stunning spas and East Africas
only National Geographic afliated PADI 5
star Dive Centre. Baraza Resort and Spa
was chosen as one of the Worlds 60
Best New Hotels on the Conde Nast
Hotlist. www.thezanzibarcollection.com

WINCHESTER MANSIONS is an iconic


building on the seafront in Cape Town
within close proximity to the V&A
Waterfront and Cape Town International
Airport. This landmark hotel offers
classically elegant rooms boasting sea or
mountain views. Facilities include a pool,
Ginkgo Spa, signature dishes from
Harveys restaurant and full service
conferencing.
Tel: +27 (0)21 434 2351
Fax: +27 (0)21 434 0215
Email: traveller@winchester.co.za
Web: www.winchester.co.za
Now from only 99 per room B&B

Dream Destinations

AUSTRALASIA & OCEANIA


Borgo Pignano is a private estate
extending over 750 acres set in the rolling
hills of the Tuscan countryside. The villa
and two smaller stone farmhouses are
part of the 18th century converted luxury
hotel comprising of seventeen elegantly
furnished rooms. With 350 acres of
organically farmed land and two organic
vegetable gardens the kitchens prepare
locally sourced, fresh Tuscan delicacies.
Rooms can be booked for individual stays
or the Villa and farmhouses can be
booked exclusively making it the ideal
venue for private celebrations, retreats,
classes, holidays, and conferences.
www.borgopignano.it, +39 058 835 032.

istanbul!place apartments Best City


Apartment winners at i-escape. Stylish,
characterful, self-catering period
properties in Galata, the heart of Istanbul.
Stay close to the ancient sights yet be
part of the contemporary, authentic local
community: live like a local. Perfect for
gatherings of families and friends.
www.istanbulplace.com or 07729 251676.

THE HUKA RETREATS


www.hukaretreats.com
Three sister properties in South Africa, Fiji
and New Zealand chic and understated
statements of exclusivity and seclusion, all
offering an exceptional hospitality experience
to the worlds most discerning travellers.
GRANDE PROVENCE ESTATE, South
Africa, is located within a one-hour drive
from Cape Town. This 300-year old heritage
estate offers award-winning wines, cuisine
and art gallery with superb accommodation
at The Owners Cottage and La Provenale.
T +27 (0)21 876 8600
E reservations@grandeprovence.co.za
DOLPHIN ISLAND, Fiji offers 14-acres of
Pacific private island beauty, romance and
luxury castaway time for a max. of 8
guests, on an exclusive-use basis.
HUKA LODGE, New Zealand, is famed for
its natural beauty, legendary hospitality and
absolute style since the 1920s. With just
25 rooms within 17-acres of manicured
grounds.
Contact: T +64 7 378 5791
E reservations@hukalodge.co.nz
for both Huka Lodge & Dolphin Island
reservations.

CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING FEATURE

Come Fly With Me

3
2

4
1. BAYLIS & HARDING have some gorgeous gift sets for Mothers Day. Beautifully
packaged, they are available in the mood-lifting fragrance of Sugar Cane, Basil &
Lime from their Skin Spa collection and in the delicious new Limited Edition
9
Strawberries & Cream (pictured). Sets range from a Body Cleanser & Body Body
Cream combo to an indulgent 5-piece Bath & Body Gift Set. Perfect pampering
for special mums everywhere! www.baylisandharding.com 01527 505000.
2. HARLETTE presents its first SWIM collection, launched in Paris. Featuring made
with Swarovski Elements, the collection gives a truly luxurious swim experience.
Whether poolside at the Burj Al Arab in Dubai or the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood,
beachside in Bermuda, Bondi, Cannes, Ibiza or Positano, no one will have a one piece or bikini as fashion forward
as your SWIM by Harlette. Visit www.harlette.com to view the full collection.
3. OTTOMANIA. Whether you are at the beach, swimming pool, sports club or on a boat, make sure you take one of these beautifully striped and stylish Ottomania hammam towels with
you. Large yet lightweight, they dry quickly and are easy to fold, making them perfect to pack in any bag or suitcase. Plus, they are suitable for daily use in your bathroom at home. The
perfect gift. For more information, see www.ottomania.nl
4. FOR YOUR EYES ONLY PORTRAITS. The FYEO Girls specialise in body-sculpting boudoir photo shoots for women. Their private luxury studio in London's Covent Garden is the perfect
place for you to create a sexy gift for your husband! Visit www.fyeoboudoirphotography.com or call the girls to find out more 01494 880250.
5. COUNTRY ATTIRE is the home of British style online, offering hand-picked brands, heritage and contemporary, paired with Free UK Delivery. Now launching their resort collections with
luxury brands such as Cool Change (featured above Ombre Rani Capri Tunic in Melon 195.95), Heidi Klein, Zimmermann and Melissa Odabash. Visit their website
www.countryattire.com to view the collections.
6. HIDEO WAKAMATSU combine Japanese heritage with contemporary design to create a stylish range of luggage, laptop bags and accessories. Luxury Luggage and Japanese
Craftsmanship Beauty all in the Detail. Displayed here is the Muscular TSA grey frame case 209.99, made from Panlite a metal used widely in the aerospace industry due to its low density
and resistance to corrosion, and the Twin carry case 199.99, its carbon-effect gives it a unique, frosted, metallic, iridescent look that you just wont see anywhere else! The super stylish
Panlite hard shell comes in four shades gunmetal grey, arctic white, steel blue or cool cerise. Enter Voucher Code HWUK410/14 at checkout and receive 10% discount. Expires 11/06/2014.
See the full ranges, all at affordable prices, at www.hideowakamatsu.co.uk or call 020 3697 7979 for more information.
7. TRU VIRTU OYSTER is a triumph in form and design. The aluminium wallet cleverly stores cash and cards in separate compartments and protects against illegal RFID-scanning of
personal data; which is stored on credit cards stylish, compact, light and secure. Choose from 10 colours at www.stonemarketing.com or call 01732 771771. Enter promo code TVCNT10
to receive 10% off all Tru Viru products. (Expires 30th April 2014).
8. HAMMAMAS introduce their clever cotton towel, the ideal travel accessory that can be used for almost anything! Based on traditional cotton Turkish bath towels, the woven, pure cotton
Hammamas are perfect for holiday. The ultimate in-flight companion for long haul journeys, they cleverly act as an extra layer to combat in-flight air-con and are the perfect blanket for redeye trips as they are compact, lightweight and cabin-case-friendly. Ultra absorbent, super soft and quick drying, Hammamas are also ideal whether used as a cover-up, beach mat, or
post-pool dry off. Or even a sexy sarong! Available in a dramatic array of colours and designs, prices start from 22. www.hammamas.com or call 01580 714714.
9. BLUE VELVET, the home of contemporary and classic footwear direct from the heart of Europe. Always one step ahead, they have established themselves on their quality and first-rate
service. Visit them at: 174 Kings Road, SW3 4UP or call 020 7376 7442. Visit them online: www.bluevelvetshoes.com

CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING FEATURE

On The Move...
To Africa and the Indian Ocean

The most
romantic beach
hotel on the Kenya coast

Msambweni
Beach House

SAVE 15% on Msambweni, call 020 3111 9761 or visit


ImagineAfrica.co.uk/CNT

Life isnt
learnt
in a
classroom

Discover the
smiling coast

For a free brochure call

0845 330 2052


Gambia.co.uk

Explore Africa with your family


4EL     s +44 1865591097
info@pulseafrica.com s www.pulseafrica.com

d^ dD,

Daily, 5* holidays including Heathrow flight


Cairo, city break

from

495,

Cairo & Nile cruise Luxor Aswan from 795


Cairo, Nile cruise & Sharm El Sheikh from 1190


020 7370 6446

A3781

CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING FEATURE

On The Move...
To Italy
ITALY the way
you want it
Hand-picked
holiday villas,
apartments and
hotels in our
favourite regions
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To advertise within On The Move... please call 020 7499 9080 ext 3705

co.uk +44(0)1223 460100

TUSCANY
MONTE ARGENTARIO
Luxury Villa Rentals

Property Sales

For further information, please call 020 8246 6123


www.isolarossa.co.uk

SORRENTO

tel. + 39 081 877 7111


info@exvitt.it www.excelsiorvittoria.com

CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING FEATURE

On The Move...
To a Villa Retreat

Te most magical
villas in Sicily
www.soloSicily.com
020 7097 1413 - info@soloSicily.com

Some of the finest villa


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+44 207 684 8884


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CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING FEATURE

On The Move...
To a Villa Retreat

CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING FEATURE

On The Move...
To a Villa Retreat

CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING FEATURE

To advertise within On The Move... please call 020 7499 9080 ext 3705

On The Move...
To a Villa Retreat

Embrace the Surreal

Tortola, British Virgin Islands

mangomanor.com

CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING FEATURE

On The Move...

Family Beach Paradise


Mexican Style

Discover Corsica
Villas, apartments & hotels
Order a free brochure

0845 330 2060


Corsica.co.uk

info@alamandas.com
Tel +(52)322 285 5500

www.alamandas.com
Skype: res.alamandas

ATOL 1866 | ABTA V5963

Carmos is a cosy, romantic and exclusive 15 rooms luxury Boutique Hotel in the
Portuguese countryside.
Situated at Ponte de Lima, the oldest town in Portugal, 40 min away from Porto.
Emotional Luxury. Romanticism. Traditional Cuisine. Aromatherapy and Well-being.
Tradition. History. Rural Environment.
Home away from home
Tel: +351 910 587 558 / +351 258 938 743
www.carmosboutiquehotel.com

To advertise within On The Move... please call 020 7499 9080 ext 3705
CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING FEATURE

On The Move...

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On The Move...

CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING FEATURE

On The Move...
Blue Poppy
Tours & Treks

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS

Specialising in trips to Bhutan

www.bluepoppybhutan.com
choki@bluepoppybhutan.com
020 7609 2029

#1 rated hotel in British Virgin Islands 2011, 2012, 2013


(TripAdvisor)
9 private stand alone cottages set on a dramatic point
overlooking the Caribbean Sea with Honeymoon Packages
starting from 1.500 GBP including car rental,
couples massage, and sailing adventure.
www.frenchmansbvi.com
Phone: +1 284 494 8811

Luxury
& Style

Cond Nast Traveller reminds you to ensure that when


booking a package holiday to check that the travel
company has arranged a bond, in order to provide
nancial security through a trade association
(eg ABTA), insurance, or a trust account.
Italy

Portugal

Tailor-made holidays in Chile,


Argentina, Peru, Brazil and Bolivia
Tel: 020 7730 5959
www.chiletours.org
Email: London.chiletours@btinternet.com

INDIA

The Dream, Barbados

Some of the worlds most luxurious private


rental Villas, Yachts and Real Estate at your
nger tips.

Telephone 0845 017 6707


www.worldwidedreamvillas.com

Guaranteed Sighting

Romance with the Taj

Bespoke tours on India, Burma, Vietnam and China.


GOA/KERALA 14 nights from 897 inc ights.
To travel in style call 020 7258 7800 or visit www.goaway.co.uk

Germany

CHILE TOURS

Madeira France

SOUTH AMERICA

Mallorca

Be inspired by our
superb selection of fine
hotels in the best locations
across nine destinations.
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or city by air, sea, rail
or accommodation only.
Many offers on our website

Switzerland

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Spain

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To advertise within On The Move... please call 020 7499 9080 ext 3705

Experience the beauty and culture of Bhutan, the last


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MONTH

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Unspoilt Thailand Greek Island beauty


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197 February 2014


Morocco Byron Bay Peru
The Gold Standard
Los Angeles Swiss Alps

NEW THIS MONTH ONLINE

198 March 2014


Kashmir Botswana Aspen
Best UK pubs with rooms
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Just the ticket The best festivals to book for 2014


Capital bites Londons latest restaurant openings
Stick your oar in Kayaking in the Canadian wilderness
The Gold Standard Our 2014 picks are now online
PLUS Win a holiday by voting in the Readers Travel Awards

ROOM WITH A VIEW


WHERE ARE WE? PARATY, BRAZIL
TAKEN FROM THE DINING ROOM AT MAISONS DES REVES PARATY
You might think beachside Brazil is all about the eshpots of Copacabana, but the
shing village of Paraty, between Rio and So Paulo, has a much more laid-back
side. Founded in the 16th century by the Portuguese, its car-free, cobblestoned streets and boat-cluttered
harbour are a draw for weekending Paulistas. Not far from the waters edge is this three-bedroom bolthole, the
latest concept from innovative French hotelier Thierry Teyssier, the man behind the extraordinary Dar Ahlam in
Morocco. The pretty colonial faade, with its sage-coloured doorframes and shutters, is a departure from its more
jauntily hued neighbours. Inside, architect and collector Alain Demachy has created an efortlessly smart seaside
vibe, with earthy tones, soft stripes, Wishbone chairs and crisp linens, set of by black-and-white photography.
Sitting around the table at night after a traditional moqueca (a Bahian-style sh stew), all you can hear is the soft
whirr of the ceiling fan and the sound of cicadas chirping in the lush, green garden. By day, take a trip on the
houses boat, Sem Presa, to explore the coastlines castaway islands. The crew will drop you on a deserted beach
edged by a tourmaline sea and serve a lunch of freshly landed shrimp, rustled up in the tiny onboard kitchen.
Theres a catch: the house is only available to rent from now until 20 July. Its the
INSIDE TIP ultimate pop-up, a precursor to Teyssiers permanent House of Dreams, under
construction one block away and scheduled to open next year. AOIFE ORIORDAIN
Rua Dona Geralda 25, Paraty, Brazil (+33 1 45 44 09 53; www.maisonsdesreves.com).
Three-night rentals start from about 11,160, all-inclusive

WHY WE LOVE IT

216 Cond Nast Traveller April 2014

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