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ROMANTIC ESCAPES Where and how to find that precious ‘us’ time

SUMMER CAMPS For your little champs


MIAMI RISE How the US’ sexiest city is getting sexier



On the cover 80 The hills are calling Deepti Kapoor, finds the Valley of Flowers bereft of its famous blooms and yet comes away awed by its beauty

104 Hot List 2016 The best new hotels from around the world, as reported by our trusted travel snoops

145 No kidding! From football at Real Madrid to courses at Oxford, Shunali Khullar Shroff has the top summer camps for your little champs

204 The magic of Mozambique Peter Browne PHOTOGRAPH: LYDIA EVANS

returns to the Bazaruto Archipelago and finds that its untamed charm is still intact

214 Miami makeover Sure you think South Beach is hot. But the city is writing a whole new chapter, says Nicholas Griffin

A view of the city from the JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa

June-July 2016 Condé Nast Traveller 7


June-July 2016

29 WORD OF MOUTH What’s hot around the world—from waterfalls in India to the best wedding spots in Iceland Plus: How to snag last-minute hotel deals



What’s your idea of romance?

Shashi Tharoor on why he’s

Inspiring itineraries for two by Jasreen Mayal Khanna

charmed by Singapore and finds New York “not very liveable”


165 SHOP & STYLE The watches to wear this summer, and where to wear them. Plus: the jewellery to invest in and the world’s best food markets


FEATURES Khajuraho, Bhedaghat, Bhimbetka—Smitha Menon treads the path less travelled in sunny Madhya Pradesh. And E Jane Dickson goes island-hopping in France to find idyllic stretches of sun and sand



Win a three-night stay at the Coco Bodu

Hithi, Maldives


ROOM WITH A VIEW North Island, Seychelles

8 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016

Model: Nikita Sahay at Ahilya by the Sea, Goa. Photograph by Adriaan Louw. Styling: Tania Fadte. Hair & make-up: Claire Schultz/Inega Model Management. On Nikita: cut-away maillot swimsuit, Shivan&Narresh; long-sleeved chiffon shirt, Stephany; Sunglasses, Jimmy Choo


Sneak peek at the Amari Havodda Maldives. Bed-hopping with Dia Mirza and Sahil Sangha. Plus: The lengths Indian hotels go to, all in the name of love


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New ideas every day on places to see, things to do and ways to make your next trip spectacular GOA HOTELS THAT ARE PERFECT IN THE RAINS Because there’s no season like off season

When you’ve ticked everything off the bucket list, you will need somewhere to come back to



Your complete guide to scaling the tallest peak in Africa

Wipers: check. Tail lights: check. Adventure: right ahead

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EDITOR Divia Thani Daswani


MANAGING EDITOR Jyoti Kumari ART DIRECTOR Himanshu Lakhwani FEATURES DIRECTOR Prasad Ramamurthy PHOTO EDITOR Yogeshwari Singh COPY EDITOR Samira Sood







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Fatima Bhutto Janhavi Acharekar Richard Quest Suketu Mehta Samanth Subramanian William Dalrymple CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

David Crookes Farrokh Chothia Tom Parker Michel Figuet Steve McCurry



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Where and how to find that precious ‘us’ time


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MIAMI RISE How the US’ sexiest city is getting sexier

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How the US’ sexiest city is getting sexier



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Smitha Menon Who: CNT assistant digital editor, writer; The epic centre, p192 A: “As a kid, summer meant visiting the family home in Kerala, playing in the sun and searching for baby coconuts. There’d be one hour of ‘load-shedding’ every evening, so we’d sit in the veranda and watch fireflies dance in the dark.” @champarani

Jasper James

Deepti Kapoor

Who: Photographer; The epic centre, p192 A: “When I was

Who: Writer; A valley of flowers, p80 A: “In Cornwall, in 2013, I got a true taste of summer. Some friends had just opened a pub/bookstore named Beerwolf. When we weren’t drinking and reading into the night, we were hiking the coastline, cider and cheese in our bellies.” @deeptikp

eight, I flew from London to South Africa to visit a relative. When the plane landed and the doors opened, the sensation of breathing African air was unlike anything I had experienced. Over 40 years later, the memory is still strong.” @jasperjamesphotography

Adriaan Louw Who: Photographer; Cover A: “Backpacking down the Croatian coastline in 2004 from Rovinj to Mljet. Cheap ferries and island-hopping in a country that had just reopened its gates to tourism after the war; it was great.”

Salil Deshpande Who: CNT digital editor; Sneak peek: Maldives, p138 A: “I was

Tania Fadte Who: Stylist; Cover A: “In 2008, I was enjoying a lovely Ladakhi summer when it suddenly began to rain and snow. I stayed a few extra days in Leh, came back and quit my desk job. It was the best holiday—and best decision.” @taniafadte 16 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016

around 7, when we drove to a beach town near Alibag. Dad had the car kitted out with a tape deck and a fan especially for this trip. Mixed tapes, coffee flasks and 7 of us packed into one white Fiat. Nothing remarkable happened, and yet it’s a trip I’ll never forget.” @sa_lil



hy does it seem like I am the only person not currently in Europe? One friend is flooding Instagram with photographs of spectacular floral displays from a wedding in Vienna. Another is WhatsApping me each time he finishes a bottle of Rosé in Paris (damn, those guys can drink). On Facebook, my best friend and her extended family (in-laws et al) appear to have so comfortably settled in their villa in Tuscany, I fear I’ve lost her forever. Everything in Europe (at least everything around them) seems bathed in that gentle sunlight, the sky blue like a painting, the passers-by stylishly dressed, sipping on coffee or carrying brown bags stuffed with baguettes, as if they’re all living their lives on movie sets.

diets and eat samosas and drink sweet milky tea, even though they make us slightly ill, because that’s how we did it growing up. Because that’s what a romantic Mumbai monsoon is meant to look like. ‘Romantic getaways’ is one of the most searched-for travel terms from India on Google. This makes me happy: hundreds of people are looking for new ways to spend time with their beloveds. But it’s also a little curious: isn’t pretty much anywhere you go with someone you love a romantic destination? And isn’t anywhere sexy when you’re with someone who gives you goosebumps? What is your idea of romance, after all? Is it long walks on the beach or simply running through the streets of a foreign city at dawn? Is it standing together in silence in front

“Come monsoon, and Mumbai will transform into the Most Romantic City in the World”

Unlike other magazines or newspapers, Condé Nast Traveller magazine does not accept complimentary travel press trips. This ‘no freebies’ policy means you can trust us to speak our mind. All information and travel details are correct at the time of going to press, and may have altered after publication. Unless otherwise stated, hotel prices and airline fares are for the months of publication. Currency conversions are correct at the time of going to press, and may be rounded up.

Divia Thani Daswani Editor Twitter @diviathani

Now, you can read the magazine on your tablet and smartphone. Download it here: 18 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016



Meanwhile, the Mumbai heat is forcing even the five parakeets who spend their afternoons perched on telephone wires outside my window to flee. A slow lethargy is creeping over us all, we are tired by the time we get to work, the sun so hot it feels like noon at 6pm. Just hydrate, I tell the Delhi girls who have recently moved here. It’ll be over soon. The monsoon will be here. And then, voila, just like that, Mumbai will transform into the Most Romantic City in the World, and we shall no longer give a hoot about Paris, Vienna or Florence. Or give less of a hoot, at any rate. We will watch the rain fall outside our windows, the waves crashing against tetrapods on Marine Drive, we will hold books in our hands or reach for our phones to take pictures, we will forgo our

of a painting in a museum or cuddling by a fireplace? What does love look like? Whatever the image in your mind, you’ll find a destination that suits you in these pages. What’s important to remember, of course, is that both European summers and Mumbai monsoons are temporary things. Make the most of them while they last, while you can. Like love, travel is often all about the timing.


O PEN CENTRE The city has a new centre. VR Bengaluru now open.


In conversation with

SHASHI THAROOR The former UN official, politician and prolific author talks about his favourite cities, what he hates about New York and much more Between the UN, book tours and your political career, travel’s been a huge part of your life. Tell us about some of your trips of late.

constantly changes and grows, how it keeps getting smarter, swankier and more ecologically friendly and digitally savvy.

Not New York, your home for 18 years?

Recently, I visited New York and Boston to speak at Columbia and Harvard. From there, I flew to Thiruvananthapuram, my constituency, then Delhi, Mumbai, Indore, Delhi again, Bengaluru and finally, back to Kerala. And that was all in the span of a few days. But I spend most of my time shuttling between Thiruvananthapuram and Delhi.

New York is wonderful, but it is not very liveable. It’s a great place to walk around, to watch some phenomenal theatre, to eat any cuisine in the world, to meet people of any nationality or background. But for god’s sake, the traffic is unmanageable. You can’t afford a place, you can’t afford a car—even if you can, you can’t park. People are rough and there is this competitive urge to get ahead. I have absolutely no complaints about my years there, but moved on with zero regrets.

Two very different cities, aren’t they?

What’s your favourite place to eat at in Delhi? San Gimignano and The Spice Route at The Imperial, and Indian Accent at The Manor— they’re very special. There’s also a little secret known to the international community—the café at the Italian Cultural Centre on the grounds of the Italian Embassy. And finally, Diva in Greater Kailash II, which every Italian I know in India swears by. In fact, years ago, the Italian

You also travel to literature festivals all over the world. Any that are special to you?

“Years ago, the Italian ambassador to India invited me to what he called ‘the best Italian restaurant in the world’. And it was in Delhi” ambassador to India invited me to what he called “the best Italian restaurant in the world”. And it was Diva.

Tell us about some of the cities you love. I adore the atmosphere and culture in Paris. Every café you step into, the way people dress, their attitudes, everything about the physical feel of the city and its intangible ethos is wonderful. Rome is special

24 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016

because of the extraordinary proliferation of historical sites. You can barely take three steps without passing some ancient ruin, some architectural marvel, some great work of art. Barcelona’s incredibly gorgeous. In Southeast Asia, yes, everyone knows Bali, but there are some exquisite spots on the eastern side of Java. Then, Singapore is one place that constantly amazes me. I love the way it

The ones in Edinburgh and Jaipur are fantastic. There’s the Hay-on-Wye festival in Wales— every year, the population of this tiny village goes up by 100 percent for the festival, which always has a tremendous roster of speakers. I also like the vibe of the Harbourfront Centre festival in Toronto.

Your favourite hotels? I love The Leela Kovalam—and I’m not saying this because it’s in my constituency! You walk into the Club Rooms and you feel like you’re on a ship in the high seas, because the sea is right outside the window. It’s got all the facilities of a great business hotel, but it’s set in a tourist paradise. I also really like the Taj Bengal in Kolkata and the Trident in Mumbai. The service at all of these properties is great—Indian hospitality is just outstanding. SHUNALI KHULLAR SHROFF


Oh yes. Thiruvananthapuram has a charm that’s all its own. Despite development and modernisation, it retains an oldworld vibe. It’s a very liveable, well-maintained city—the traffic is manageable and it’s easy to get around. There’s a lovely, small museum. Plus, it’s right by Kovalam, which I think is the best beach in India. Delhi, well, it holds a special place in my heart because I went to college there. I find it’s got a lot going on in terms of arts and culture, interesting theatre—it’s sort of the intellectual capital of the country. And it has great food.


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The wet season is the perfect time to see India in all its gushing glory. Rashmi Shankar tells you where to go

The Dudhsagar falls, situated between Goa and Karnataka

June-July 2016 Condé Nast Traveller 29

WORD OF MOUTH DUDHSAGAR Goa—Karnataka border UNDERWATER FUN Walk from Karnataka’s sleepy Castle Rock station, through tunnels, along train tracks and under the falls. And carry a raincoat.

always do with more magic


Come 16 June, kids (and nostalgic adults) around the world will have a new favourite holiday destination, as China’s second Disney resort opens in Shanghai. It’s got the largest castle in a Disney park, an entire space dedicated to pirates—there’s a show featuring Jack Sparrow—and a hotel with a Toy Story theme. And there’s also a fun local touch—in the Mandarin production of The Lion King and a garden where animals of the Chinese zodiac are reinterpreted as characters from the films. ( RASHMI SHANKAR


WILDLIFE HEAVEN Located in the Sri Venkateshwara National Park, the falls are surrounded by wild flowers. The park is home to nilgai, leopards, sloth bears, sambar, butterflies and birds.


TALAKONA Andhra Pradesh

I DISNEY A H G N RE A S Because the world could H

HOGENAKKAL Tamil Nadu FOR R ‘N’ R A bath in these waters (above) is said to cure diseases. But you can also just enjoy them from spherical bamboo boats, get an oil massage and eat freshly fried fish.

JOG FALLS Karnataka GIVER OF LIGHT With a drop of more than 800ft, the falls supply water to the nearby Linganmakki dam, which is a source of hydroelectricity. Walk down 1,500 steps to the base of the falls and reward yourself with a refreshing dip.


British Virgin Islands

CHITRAKOTE Chhattisgarh INDIA’S OWN NIAGARA About 40km from Jagdalpur, these horseshoeshaped falls (above) on the Indravati River widen to almost 500ft in the monsoon.

30 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016

This cluster of more than 50 isles (above left) ticks every box: white beaches, blue sea and fantastic wreck diving. Getting there: Fly United Airlines ( to Virgin Gorda Airport from New Delhi via New Jersey and Puerto Rico. Cook Islands These 15 tiny spots in the South Pacific have some great beaches. Go surfing, wakeboarding and paddleboarding by day, and hit the bars and markets by night.

Getting there: Fly Malaysia Airlines (www.malaysiaairlines. com) to Auckland from Mumbai via Kuala Lumpur. Then fly to Rarotonga with Air New Zealand (www. Grenada It has lovely plantations of pimento and nutmeg (above centre). Getting there: Fly American Airlines ( from Mumbai via London and Miami. Saint Kitts and Nevis Check out a soca gig and party at The Strip on Frigate Bay.

Getting there: Fly Air France ( to Nevis from New Delhi or Mumbai via Paris and Sint Maarten. Niue Home to one of the largest raised coral atolls on Earth, this Pacific paradise (above right) makes for a splendid diving zone. Getting there: Fly Thai Airways (www.thaiairways. com) to Auckland from New Delhi via Bangkok. From there, fly to Niue with Air New Zealand (www.airnewzealand. PRIYANKA AGARWAL


FOR BRAGGING RIGHTS India’s highest waterfalls drop from a vertigoinducing height of 1,600ft. The Kaas plateau is a two-hour drive away—time your visit to late monsoon and catch the carpet of flowers.

visa +ob a t

THOSEGHAR Maharashtra

you can

BOLLYWOOD STYLE Pose against the famous scapes seen in films like Guru, Raavan and Madras Cafe and spot endangered hornbills.



ure island sc

witho sit u vi

LEGEND OF THE FALL These cascades are named after a local legend about a woman who jumped from here after being tricked into eating her own daughter!


ADD AN EXTRA MAGICAL DAY TO YOUR PARISIAN STAY There is a place just as sparkly and enchanting than lights of Paris and just a stone’s throw away. A place that illuminates imaginations with excitement and adventure for the whole family. A place where memories are made that last a lifetime.

They call this place Disneyland® Paris. V I S I T O N E O R B OT H D I S N E Y ® PA R K S

With jaw-dropping rides, incredible shows as heart-warming Meet ‘n’ Greets with Disney Characters, a day at Disneyland® Paris makes memories that last forever. Wonder awaits around every corner in the two majestic Disney® Parks: Disneyland® Park, Where fairytales take flight. Walt Disney Studios® Park, Where blockbuster fun beckons. Now sweep your family off to the place where dreams come true for all ages!





From 4th June to 18th September 2016, an avalanche of Frozen fun falls upon Disneyland® Park. Keep your eyes peeled for Elsa and Anna as they glide around in a twinkling carriage. Then join them and Olaf to sing the most famous songs from Frozen in a live, interactive sing-along that’s sure to melt your heart!

Abracadabra and alakazam! From 2nd July 2016 to 8th January 2017, get ready to gasp as you follow Mickey on his quest to become a great magician – where Disney Characters conjure up incredible illusions before your very eyes. Fascinating and spellbinding, it’s what real magic is made of.


G O O D TO K N O W !

Two Disney® Parks for endless unforgettable experiences: Live your dreams at Disneyland® Park Fairy tales and fantasy come to life across five lands filled with excitement for all the family – from magical encounters and parades to world-famous attractions you’ll remember ever after. Steal the show at Walt Disney Studios® Park Five star-studded film lots filled with movie-making magic invite you to step behind the scenes and experience a range of unique attractions sure to be a hit with all ages.

Queue less, ride more: FASSPASS®, this free service allows you to cut down the wait time at some of the most popular attractions.

To g e t m o r e i n f o r m a t i o n a n d b o o k yo u r t i c k e t s , c o n t a c t yo u r l o c a l t rave l a g e n c i e s .



If you’ve just gotten married, the world will often let you get away with behaving like your brain has drowned in a pool of honeymoon hormones. But not always, says Ayesha Aleem. Illustration by Soumik Lahiri




Always obnoxious. Period. Don’t be THAT couple.

We know you don’t want to be disturbed when you’re busy with, er, important newly-wed activities, but do have your hotel room cleaned regularly. Otherwise, after you leave and housekeeping enters, the stained sheets and that funky smell won’t make you anyone’s favourite guest.

TALKING INCESSANTLY ABOUT THE WEDDING It may have been the biggest day of your life, but that doesn’t make it as important for the rest of the world. When fellow travellers find out you’re recently married and congratulate you, they’re just expecting a simple thanks. Not details of the flowers, the venue, your outfit and your drunk cousin’s solo dance performance.



Your friends want you to have fun on your honeymoon. They don’t want to know every detail of it. It’s fine to post a few pictures and a status update, but cramming your feed with 100 photos of the towel art in your room and your names in the sand will make even your BFFs puke on their keyboard.







Hotels and airlines are usually happy to throw in a couple of perks to celebrate your new life status. And you should enjoy them. But don’t ask for the most expensive treatment on the spa menu to be given complimentary. Wait for something to be offered, and if it is, just accept it gracefully.



JSW scion Parth Jindal’s epic wedding in Vienna last month was all Baroque palaces and historic monuments. But there’s more to the city. Here’s what you should know so much edm, so little time The birthplace of Schubert, the resting place of Mozart—and the home of an electronic music scene that’s got the world, well, raving. The best clubs in the city include Flex ( and the multilevel Pratersauna (

it’s the world’s largest wine-producing capital city With 1,730 acres of rolling vineyards within city limits, the city’s a wine aficionado’s dream. While the main city is dotted with trendy wine bars, the outskirts are home to more rustic, old-school taverns.

go gourmet It’s not just wiener schnitzel anymore. Try the Nordic-inspired fare at SKOPIK & LOHN ( or the quail with mushroom, carrot and Indian spices at the Michelin-starred Restaurant Konstantin Filippou (www.

colours of the sea Tribe by Amrapali’s Royal Charm is a collection of fine, handcrafted jewellery inspired by deep blue oceans and vibrant, multihued marine life. Choose from a range of bangles, rings, earrings and more. (Studded crysoprase bangle, 2,10,000; 36 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016

rushdie on stage


his festival season, watch Kashmir come alive in the American Midwest. Shalimar the Clown, based on Salman Rushdie’s novel of the same name, will premiere at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in Missouri. At the centre of this dramatic tale of love, betrayal and revenge are Max Ophuls, an American diplomat, and his driver, Shalimar. Set against the backdrop of Valley politics, the story moves between the US and India, via England and France. Acclaimed composer and pianist Jack Perla has used the tabla and sitar for the score, while Pulitzer Prize finalist Rajiv Joseph has provided the libretto. Opening in June, Shalimar the Clown is helmed by the theatre’s artistic director, James Robinson and conducted by Brooklyn-based Jayce Ogren. (


it takes pride in its lgbt scene It’s not just parades and parties, although there are plenty of those. Vienna’s also got a number of gay saunas, lesbian and transgender cafés and even a bookstore with over 12,000 titles and films about and by the LGBT community.

+91 22 7111 7700 AO1, Amerchand Mansion, 16 Madame Cama Road, Colaba, Mumbai 400 001, India |

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The world is one big party this season, and with temperatures in India soaring, it’s the best SUMMERFEST, USA 29 June—3 July & 5—10 July


For 11 days, 11 stages will host more than 1,000 performances in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Held at the 75-acre Henry Maier Festival Park, which is named after the former mayor and the festival’s founder, the event was inspired by Oktoberfest. This year, names like Selena Gomez and Def Leppard are coming to town. (

Watch some of the greatest cyclists from across the globe tear down more than 3,500km of tough terrain, including mountains, as they make their way to the finish line in Paris. The biggest two-wheeled contest in the world, more than 100 years since it was first held, the event still attracts about 12 million people cheering along the route. (

FULL MOON PARTY, THAILAND 19 June & 21 July This celebration started with the belief that the most beautiful moon was visible from a beach in Koh Phangan. Each month, a crescent-shaped expanse of sand at Haad Rin hosts a party that now attracts 30,000 visitors. A variety of music and alcohol means that the dancing goes on till the sun comes up. (

SECRET GARDEN PARTY, UK 21—24 July At this independent arts and music festival in Abbots Ripton, England, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve walked into someone’s wild imagination— it’s fun and trippy and just plain insane. The event seems to deliberately evade description (the website itself is a whole new level of weird), but it does have some ground rules, such as “Spread love. This is a serious party.” We’re happy to obey. (

SUMMERSTAGE, USA Dates to be confirmed NYC’s Central Park will play host to the major performances at this music festival, but numerous acts will take place elsewhere in the city as well. Expect everything—hip-hop, jazz, pop, folk and even stuff your kids will love—because this is a music festival that’s truly meant for everyone. (


SALZBURG FESTIVAL, AUSTRIA 22 July—31 August Mozart’s music occupies prime place at this festival in the city of his birth, with different groups rendering some of his most famous works. There are also operas for children, the musical West Side Story featuring the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela and stage performances of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. (

40 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016

For the first time in its 14-year history, this event is accepting works from all kinds of artists— fashion, graphic, digital and industrial—and bringing them together in the hip central borough of Mitte. The public will be able to interact with multiple projects and engage in dialogue with experts on topics like smart, sustainable design. (

GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL OF CONTEMPORARY PERFORMING ARTS, UK 22—26 June Beginning the day after Jimi Hendrix died in 1970, it has grown to become one of England’s most anticipated summer extravaganzas, with over 100 stages. In 2015, Kanye West and The Chemical Brothers performed; Coldplay is confirmed this year. (www.


SUMMER time to head out. Music, film, art, sport—just take your pick. By Ayesha Aleem MONTREUX JAZZ FESTIVAL, SWITZERLAND 1—16 July



Stay snug in the Australian winter and watch feature films, documentaries, shorts and international cinema at screens across the city. There will also be exhibitions and talks to look forward to. In 2015, The Crow’s Egg, which is set in a Chennai slum and The Wolfpack, winner of the US Grand Jury Prize: Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival, were screened. (

In its 50th year, this celebration on the edge of Lake Geneva will host shows at the iconic Auditorium Stravinski, where David Bowie and BB King have played. There will also be Music in the Park, free aftershows with dance floors, themed Montreux Jazz boats and trains to Gstaad. (www.

BLUE MOUNTAINS WINTER MAGIC FESTIVAL, AUSTRALIA 18 June For this free event in Katoomba, the main street of the town is closed to vehicles and everyone is encouraged to come in costume. Musicians, dancers, a parade and a variety of stalls will keep people of all ages entertained. (www.wintermagic.

9TH BERLIN BIENNALE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART, GERMANY 4 June—18 September More than 100 artists will show at this festival, which will take place at multiple locations in the city: the passageways of a glass building, a school, a former telecommunications bunker and a sightseeing boat. People like Vivan Sundaram and Mariam Suhail have shown at previous editions. (www.bb9.



Local foods are the star attraction at this annual highlight on any gourmand’s calendar. Think fiery spices and a coconut milk base for seafood so fresh you can smell the sea. But offerings here go well beyond the usual suspects, as chefs pull out all the stops to innovate. Just remember to carry those stretchy pants. (

Pools are passé; this summer, stay cool by slathering yourself with some mud. Held on the Daecheon Beach since 1998, the festival sees people of all ages and nationalities get into a massive mud pit to swim, slide and just behave like kids. Evening events include music and fireworks. Seniors, babies as well as people with disabilities get in free. (www.

SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK, USA Dates to be confirmed Even when its hot, summer is a great time to be in New York City. 2016 also marks 400 years since the Bard’s death, so you can expect something special at this celebration of his genius. The public performances are free, but you still need to get a ticket at the entrance to the venue, Central Park. Get there early because the lines are known to be massive. (www.

RUNNING OF THE BULLS, SPAIN 6—14 July Not for the faint-hearted, this absurdly thrilling activity involves running with (and from) bulls. Part of the San Fermín Festival, runs take place across Spain, but the one in Pamplona is the most famous. Locals and tourists are chased by wild cattle every morning, through the old quarter to the bull ring, where bullfights are held in the evening. Plus there’s music, food and drink. (

June-July 2016 Condé Nast Traveller 41

Towering Magnificence Transform your world by choosing to live at Urbana, one of Kolkata’s first luxury townships with sky high towers. It’s changing the cityscape If you thought Kolkata was a crowded city, think again. Six of India’s leading real estate developers—Emami, JB, MKJ, Nahata, Shrachi and Sureka, in association with the Govt of West Bengal, are changing the city’s skyline. And Urbana—a futuristic luxury township, with the one of Kolkata’s tallest residential towers—is the first step in that direction. It makes you forget that you’re in the heart of one of the world’s busiest cities. And here’s why:

“Being one of the tallest, most luxurious residential townships in Kolkata, owning a home in Urbana is like having a piece of the sky. It’s already the city’s most soughtafter address.” – Rahul Todi, Director, Urbana

Luxe abodes With 40 to 45 storeys, these residential towers are one of the city’s tallest, and feature spacious eco-luxury apartments ranging from 1,833 to 9,000 square feet. What’s more, each apartment is equipped with environmentally friendly appliances, VRF air conditioners, modular kitchens, high ceilings, full-length windows, world-class layouts and more. You’ll fall in love with the apartments, duplexes and penthouses that overlook the city. Eco-friendly environment Once a dream, now a reality, the 65-acre Urbana is set amidst lush greenery. With acres of wide, open spaces and organized landscaped areas—designed by Green Architects, a Thailand-based firm—it gives Kolkata that much needed green relief. Under the guidance of Larsen & Toubro, India’s leading engineering firm, the construction techniques applied here make Urbana one of the most environmentally conscious real-estate projects in West Bengal. Conveniently connected Being well connected is one of the many benefits of luxury living, and Urbana doesn’t

disappoint. Located in South Kolkata, just off the EM Bypass and minutes away from ITC Sonar and the international airport, this area is pegged to become the most coveted neighbourhood in the city. From here you can access leading healthcare institutions, schools, and shopping and entertainment centres around the city with absolute ease. State-of-the-art amenities From spacious lobbies and community halls to underground parking for almost 2,500 cars, from water treatment facilities to power backup systems*, an approximately 80,000-square-foot Residents’ Club, a luxurious infinity edge pool, multipurpose swimming pool and more—Urbana offers state-of-the-art amenities. If you’re looking for luxury living at its best,

consider a home in Urbana. It doesn’t get better than this. *Available at an extra cost Limited residences available. Rs 1.8 crore onwards. For more information, call +9198367 60508 or visit


MONSOON MAGIC There’s nothing like a heavy downpour to remind us of our childhood. But how have our rainy days changed? By Samira Sood



Read your worn paperback edition of Enid Blyton’s The Faraway Tree series

Download Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life on your Kindle

Play Kishore Kumar

and RD Burman Golden Collection tapes on

Go to 8tracks or Saavn and find a curated

your stereo system

monsoon playlist

Watch The Sound of Music on your VCR

of Cards

Instagram your

Run outside to get soaked (and come back for a hot shower)

From shopping to yoga, Croatia’s newest hotspot is set to rock this summer, says Ayesha Aleem There’s a new reason to go island-hopping in Croatia. Just off the tiny country’s coast lies Obonjan (pronounced O-bon-yan), a 136-acre island. And from 18 July to 10 September, it will host all kinds of artists for a never-before-seen cultural experience. Yoga, movies, shops and mountains of great food (think fresh seafood and organic veggies) come together in a fail-safe formula for a great time. And that’s just the beginning of it. Tents and forest lodges on the island can be rented for groups of up to four, so the party literally does go on all night. (

windows vista

Make paper boats and float them in puddles

Pass at least 10 levels on Candy Crush Dab on a smidgen of mitti ittar and Uber it (and complain about the 10x surge pricing)

Stand on the road for ages to get an auto, and enjoy the smell of wet earth


Bournvita or adrak chai Eat pakodas

Down a potent

hot toddy Eat pakodas—because some things never change


It’s summer, and that means reading lists for your kids. Luckily, wildlife experts Geetika Jain and Bittu Sahgal have just the answer. Their Wonderful Wildlife A—Z (Roli Books) is a gorgeous, colourful mini-encyclopaedia of all things jungle, with super-helpful explanations. And did we mention the pretty pictures?


you’re invited! From top: the island of Obonjan; platters of food

Netflix the new season of House

Wellness rediscovered Hilton Shillim Estate Retreat & Spa—it’s where sylvan milieus conspire with one-of-a-kind spa experiences to rejuvenate your body, mind and soul


he world is getting smaller and travel options are aplenty. But if you’re looking for a holiday in pristine and relaxing settings, consider Hilton Shillim Estate Retreat & Spa. A short drive from Mumbai and Pune, it is a sanctuary for the body, mind and spirit. Amid the magnificent landscape of the Western Ghats— a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the world’s eight biodiversity hotspots—this picture-perfect property will melt away the stress of your urban lifestyle from the minute of your arrive. While lush grasslands and waterfalls lend themselves to a tranquil state of mind, the property’s

unique holistic wellness programmes refresh and invigorate. Once you’ve checked in, step into the Shillim Spa. Spread over 70 acres of the retreat’s picturesque 320 acres, the spa features extensive facilities including 17 treatment rooms and combines the wisdom of ancient philosophy, spirituality and art with modern practices. Offering one of the most comprehensive spa facilities in Asia, it has been founded on the principle that well-being can only be achieved when your mind and spirit are in complete harmony with the body. After a oneon-one session with a resident lifestyle consultant, a customised wellness

programme will be designed for you. The programmes on offer include a combination of spa treatments, yoga, meditation, acupressure, acupuncture, naturopathy, ayurveda, reiki, hydrotherapy, Watsu sessions, aqua aerobics, Pilates and a host of other services. The Meditation Cave and Yoga Pavilion are deeply calming spaces. On the other hand, if you are looking for an active getaway, you can always pedal bike or trek through the verdant valleys in the area. Or, at nightfall, stargaze under the canopy of a bejewelled sky and admire the universe. At this all-villa retreat, book your stay at one of the villas offering sweeping valley

or forest views. Choose from a Valley View Villa, Spa Villa, Forest View Villa or Spa Pool Villa. Each one is steeped in understated luxury and features a private deck or balcony. Some even include a private pool. The property also offers seven dining

venues that serve an extensive culinary fare including the best spa cuisine in addition to French, Asian and local delicacies. What also sets the retreat apart is the Shillim Institute—a learning centre dedicated to sharing knowledge

on sustainable development and the relationship between humans and the ecology. Hilton Shillim Estate Retreat & Spa is an immersive exploration of wellness in a comfortable and unhurried environment that invigorates your body, mind and spirit.

HILTON SHILLIM ESTATE RETREAT & SPA: Village Shilimb, Pawana Nagar, Taluka Maval, Pune 410406. For reservations, call +91-2114-712 468 / +91-775 594 4421 or visit


QUEEN B&B Varsha Rao is AirBnB’s head of global operations—and an incessant traveller. She spills her secrets on how to make the most of her hometown, San Francisco. Photograph by Adil Hasan


GO RUNNING IN THE PRESIDIO I live in the northern

part of the city, so I love running in the Presidio. Running is my favourite form of exercise, and I enjoy the fresh air. The Presidio park has 1,500 acres of space, and includes a 24-mile trail network, plus 15 miles of bikeways. Scenic spots are everywhere, as are spas, yoga studios, a rock climbing gym and even a golf course. (www.



former military airfield that has been transformed into a beautiful green space to run, bike or go birdwatching. It’s got a beach, several picnic spots and a promenade with iconic views of the Bay and Golden Gate Bridge. And it has The Warming Hut, a café located in a historic building, where you stock up on sandwiches, hot drinks, gear, books, maps and eco-friendly products. (www.



As a family, we love sushi. [Varsha is married to Cameron Poetzscher, head of corporate development for Uber, and they have two children.] Richmond Hill is close to our house and has wonderful sushi restaurants. Kabuto Sushi on Geary is my favourite in San Francisco. (www.


Fisher wanted to make delicious, creamy ice cream without chemical additives, so she hit upon a process using liquid nitrogen. The made-toorder concoctions come in flavours based on fresh, seasonal produce (this is San Francisco, after all). You might get maple brown sugar pumpkin in winter and strawberry white balsamic in summer. Whatever you choose is made right there in front of you, and it’s all very healthy. My whole family loves it. (www.

48 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016




For Varsha’s favourite AirBnB experiences and travel tips.

touristy, but still an amazing place to experience so many flavours under one roof. There are great restaurants, like The Slanted Door for modern ◊Vietnamese cuisine (, as well as shops where you can try prosciutto, salami, Blue Bottle coffee and so much more. It’s really special. (www. DIVIA THANI DASWANI

Escape to wellness Surrounded by mountains in the Heidi holiday region in Switzerland is Europe’s leading well-being and medical health resort—Grand Resort Bad Ragaz—where health and wellness come together in a luxurious setting for the ideal spa holiday


f you’re looking to recharge and rejuvenate your mind, body and soul this monsoon, head to Grand Resort Bad Ragaz. Just an hour’s drive from Zurich, near the Tamina Gorge, this 175-year-old resort can trace its origins to 1242, when hunters from the Benedictine monastery in Pfäfers discovered the hot springs gushing from the treacherous rocks. With a constant temperature of 36.5°C and due to their immense curative properties, bathing in these thermal springs became popular, leading to the emergence of bathhouses in the area and the subsequent opening of Grand Resort Bad Ragaz. Continuing this tradition of health and wellness, the resort offers guests an authentic and extraordinary experience in one of Europe’s largest and awardwinning spas, the Wellbeing & Thermal Spa. Honoured as Switzerland’s Best Wellness Hotel by SonntagsZeitung, 2015 and Resort Spa of the Year: Western Europe & Scandinavia by World Spa & Wellness Awards, 2016, here you find ten spring water-filled indoor and outdoor pools, sauna and steam zones, Asian treatment suites and a private spa. Spread across 12,800 sq mts, choose from two bathing programmes, along with a host of body and beauty treatments and special meals that are tailored to your individual needs. What’s more, Grand Resort Bad Ragaz also has evidence-based medical treatments at the internationally renowned Medical

Health Center and at the Swiss Olympic Medical Center. With 18 clinic rooms for inpatient rehabilitation and a host of medical programmes, here you can recuperate in luxury. Ensuring that you have everything you desire during your stay, Grand Resort Bad Ragaz has seven restaurants, a bistro and café that provide a wide range of culinary options, along with two golf courses, a fully-equipped business and events centre, a broad range of cultural activities, the public Tamina Therme thermal spa and its own casino, making your stay truly memorable. So, if you find yourself in Zurich this monsoon, we suggest you book a stay at the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz where an exclusive combination of well-being, health, pure luxury and numerous sports activities in a relaxing environment awaits you.

PACKAGES: Romantic Days for two—A romantic gourmet dinner, a romantic breakfast in the room, one luxury spa treatment per person and more. Honeymoon package—Three-course dinners, Aroma Moments and use of the private spa, a romantic film night at the in-house cinema, a romantic set-up in your room and more. For more information, visit

WORD OF MOUTH HYATT REGENCY CHANDIGARH For: A fun work trip Because: Your next meeting should be held someplace that inspires, and where better than a new hotel in a city planned by design genius Le Corbusier? Just 20 minutes from the international airport, the property has a full business centre and more than 36,000sq ft of meeting space, along with a gym and a pool with a superb bar. (; doubles from 8,500)



For: A healing holiday Because: The hotel’s mission is to make

For: A rustic retreat Because: Panoramic views +

sure you feel the best you’ve ever felt. A three-hour drive from Mumbai, it unrolls across 40 green acres in the Sahyadris and overlooks Mulshi Lake—which means it’s perfectly situated for a bit of rest. Do some outdoor yoga, spend hours at the spa where every knot will come undone and enjoy the fresh, local ingredients used in the food. (www.; doubles from 37,500 for a minimum three-night stay)

personalised service = bliss. Meant to bring to mind a farming village, the 25 simple, pretty rooms are made of bamboo and set in 60 acres of forests and paddy fields, with some mountains and streams to boot. Natural light, fresh air, safaris, an ayurveda spa, your own butler—with every breath, this place whispers luxury. (www.jetwinghotels. com; doubles from LKR46,000 or 21,000)

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK These new hotels should be on your list of travel priorities, says Ayesha Aleem



For: A heritage hideaway Because: You want to see those ancient

For: A staycation Because: There’s no need to leave the

ruins, but you like your luxury, too. After a day in the sun and dust, come back to this elegant, regal space that celebrates Hampi’s past. Inspired by the Vijayanagara dynasty, the hotel treats its guests to a recreated royal experience. Guests can sign up for walks specially designed to explain the area’s history, its architecture, mythology, art and culture. (; doubles from 25,500)

property. Hilton Worldwide’s premium brand comes to India with more than 300 rooms across 14 levels. With a spa, pool, six dining options, Art-Deco inspired interiors and a beautiful outdoor waterscape, this is the perfect place to escape the chaos of the city without actually getting out of it. (www.; doubles from 8,500)

For: A beachside vacation Because: Soft sands and blue waters are reason enough. In a cove flanked by rainforest, the property has 85 suites and four overwater villas. It also features a private beach lagoon that guests can swim in, a lovely spa and an excellent Asian restaurant that looks like a vintage beach house. (; doubles from MYR2,000 or 34,000)

50 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016



Packaged to Perfection Abercrombie & Kent, a pioneer of luxury holidays, can flawlessly plan your most romantic escapade just the way you imagined It could be heading off the tourist trail into a fairytale town, being sequestered on a mysterious island or going off the map in search of exotic adventure. If you have an impossibly unreal idea for a romantic holiday, then Abercrombie & Kent knows how to make it a reality. A&K has, for almost 55 years, cultivated an expertise in curating unique luxury travel experiences with made-to-order vacations for discerning travellers. As varied and diverse as the holiday destinations are, they all have one thing in common—superior accommodation, unrivalled service, gourmet dining experiences and absolute luxury. Whether it’s a romantic

break or a honeymoon, a stopover at Abercrombie & Kent will assure you of a wellplanned experience. ISLE OF ROMANCE Beautiful remote islands, away from the drudge of routine, will offer you an opportunity to discover each other amid the glories of nature or enjoy the luxury of glass-floored bungalows set directly over the waters. AROUND TOWN If it’s a quaint courtship that you would like to rekindle, then nothing could be more perfect than visiting a picturesque European town—a horse-drawn carriage through Salzburg, an enchanted gondola ride through the canals of Venice, or a walk through the lush Palais Royal gardens of Paris. ADVENTURE CALLING Add a dash of adventure to your romantic

escape. Get on board a jetboat and squeeze past a wall of rocks to reach a hot thermal waterfall in New Zealand, or take a helicopter ride to a secluded spot to enjoy a lakeside champagne picnic. Reconnect over a trip to explore the wilderness of Botswana. You can always take it up a notch and really set the pulse racing on a diving trip to Zambezi River’s Devil’s Pool, taking a plunge in the Antarctic, or take a buggy ride on sand dunes in Paracas, Peru. After all, nothing can bring you closer than going on an adventure together. If you can dream it, then Abercrombie & Kent will find a way to make it happen. For more information, email or call +91 8860605900

World-class service in the Indian skies Vistara, a joint venture between the Tata Group and Singapore Airlines, effortlessly weaves the best of international services into the fabric of Indian hospitality on its ights

Flying is technical, but when you’re onboard an airplane, it’s all about comfort. Recognising this, Vistara—a collaboration between the globally renowned Singapore Airlines and India’s Tata Group—has combined superior standards of efficiency with Indian hospitality to deliver the highest quality of service to its customers. And the face of this winning combination is none other than Vistara’s cabin crew. Interestingly, only one out of 10 girls who interview are selected for the job. There’s fierce competition, and standards are high. After being hired, they are required to undergo a four-month training programme where a team of 17 instructors hone them into custodians of the Vistara brand— people who you can depend on and turn to when you’re 35,000 ft above ground level. Just like staff at luxury hotels are trained to anticipate a guest’s every need, Vistara’s cabin crew have their hospitality skills polished, so that they can intuitively attend to your needs. These can be simple yet thoughtful actions such as covering a sleeping customer with a blanket, or switching on a reading light when you’re engrossed in a magazine. Vistara cabin crew are also trained to handle challenging

situations such as an expecting mother suddenly going into labour, or a customer having symptoms of a heart attack in midair. Safety and security are paramount, of course and cabin crew are trained in first aid and how to deal with everything from hijack situations, fires and emergency evacuations. So whether you have a

“Only one out of every 10 applicants for the job is selected to join Vistara’s cabin crew. And being selected is just the start of a four month-long training process, focusing on safety, hospitality, grooming and style. And when you’re on-board, it shows.”

And, there’s more. A part of the crew’s training process focuses on personal grooming, hygiene and mastering Vistara’s trademark ‘look’—which includes neat but stylish hairdos, natural make-up in defined, muted colour palettes, and matching fashion accessories to their designer uniforms. Created by the celebrated designer duo Abraham and Thakore, the uniforms worn by the crew is smart, stylish and functional. It has a contemporary Asian mood with Indian-style tunics and slim-fit pants in deep aubergine, and features the brand’s star-shaped logo. This is worn with a belt whose buckle features Vistara’s signature star motif. It’s only once each trainee has mastered every one of the tasks put forth in the intensive training process that she is allowed on board to be at your service. And it shows.

question about how a life jacket works on a child, or simply whether or not the meal being served to you is suitable for someone with a nut allergy, Vistara’s cabin crew will always know the answer, and happy to put you at ease.

To book a Vistara flight, visit



Atlanta-based Stephen McMennamy merges photos to create one image, playing with objects and scale. “Food is such fun to shoot; I love working with different colours and textures,” he says. “I took a photo of my daughter with an ice cream last summer, and finished the cone shot the next winter.”


INDIAN APPS FOR last-minute hotel ROOMS

This summer, Qatari-American writer, installation artist and screenwriter Sophia Al-Maria will be presenting her first North American solo show at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. The display will portray the feeling of panic and disorientation that many people feel as soon as they enter a shopping mall. Relevant to the Gulf, yet universal enough to appeal to the American audience, the exhibition will blend the abstract (the fear of consumerism) with the very concrete, modern construct of a mall. Born to an American mother and a Bedouin father, Al-Maria, who grew up shuffling between Washington and Qatar, was exposed to vastly differing cultures and lifestyles, and this dichotomy has left an indelible mark on her work—from her numerous exhibitions to her 2012 memoir, The Girl Who Fell. The book is an exploration of “Gulf Futurism”, a term she coined as an art student in London to describe the effects of technology and consumerism in the Middle East. Sophia Al-Maria’s solo exhibition runs in Summer 2016 at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (

A TV that Al-Maria plans to use in her exhibit

54 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016

Last Minute Keys:

SavvyMob: The app states

It covers Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad and Vadodara. We found options in Mumbai from 2,150, plus names such as Waterstone and The Ambassador. (Android, iOS)

it has over 5,000 hotel partners in more than 50 cities. In Goa, we found 42 room options, including in The Zuri White Sands, Alila Diwa, Radisson Blu Resort and Hard Rock Hotel. (Android, iOS)

RoomsTonite: Covering over 300 destinations across India, Nepal, Thailand and Bali, this app offers great variety. Also, it lists vacation villas and homestays along with hotels. (Android, iOS, Windows, BlackBerry)

NightStay: This one lets you book rooms in destinations like Goa, Jaipur, Agra and the metros, for up to three nights. We found options in Goa at hotels like Alila Diwa and Fortune Select Regina. (Android, iOS)


Artist Sophia Al-Maria’s upcoming exhibition will deal with people’s fear of shopping. By Anmol Kumar



TO eat

ICELANDAIR HOTEL REYKJAVIK MARINA From May to August, the sun is up

CAFÉ LOKI At this comfortable, casualchic café, you’ll get homestyle Icelandic cuisine. Try the hearty meat soups and the wide range of homemade cakes and rye bread, which is made with herring, trout, chives and more. (

HOTEL BUDIR Kick off your weekend with a rehearsal dinner at this countryside inn on the edge of Snaefellsjokull National Park, which is home to a glacier. Along with excellent food, expect superb service and a rustic-chic ambience. (

MALARHORN GUESTHOUSE Go to Grimsey Island to see the puffins, then stop in Drangsnes, a quaint waterfront village, for fresh seafood. Sign up for the hotel’s fishing excursion and dine on your catch at the restaurant. (

SUPER JEEP TOUR Put on your crampons and jump in a 4x4 to explore glaciers and volcanoes with Midgard Adventure. Do a day trip or spend the night in a hut downing local Brennivin liquor with your super-buff guides. (

CHURCH MOUNTAIN What better backdrop for your vows than Kirkjufell, aka Church Mountain? (Extra points if they’re officiated by a Nordic chieftain.) After-party among columns of water collected from glaciers at the sleek Library of Water.

KROSSNESLAUG Geothermal pools are everywhere in Iceland. This one, right on a black-sand beach with nary a neighbour in sight, is one of the sexiest spots to chill after a morning of spotting Arctic foxes in the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve.

Newlyweds look out over a glacial lagoon in Iceland

58 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016


HOTEL DJUPAVIK Escape the city and head to the remote Westfjords, known for waterfalls, wildlife and folklore. Check in here and eat homespun stews, visit a herring factory turned art installation and take in the #nofilter fjord views. (; doubles from ISK15,300 or 8,200)


all night—and you and your crew will be too. The lounge at this hotel has great tipples, and if you want to head out, Reykjavik’s coolest bars are close by. (; doubles from ISK56,340 or 30,000)

HOTEL EGILSEN The most epic place to say “I do” is on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, home to a dormant volcano. Have guests stay at the 10-room Hotel Egilsen, a former merchant’s manse that blends sea-shanty charm and a modern aesthetic. (www.egilsen. is; doubles from ISK31,200 or 16,730)

TO do

With some of the wildest scenery and nightlife on Earth, this Nordic nation is a cool place to celebrate, says Brandon Presser

Road No 2, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad – 500034, Telangana, India. For more information, please visit or call us at +91 40 4949 1234



It’s one thing to know your game. Looking the part is entirely different, and equally important. Rashmi Shankar and Yogeshwari Singh tell you just how to fake it






10 June—10 July

27 June—10 July

2—4 September

5—21 August





There’s no excuse to be sloppy in a place like Italy, especially if you’re watching the world’s sexiest car race. Women can play with layers, while men should stick to Sunday classics: a polo shirt with a casual jacket and closed shoes. Skin-tight leather is only okay if you’re part of the organising staff—or are starring in a racing movie. Large bags are not allowed, stilettos are a rookie mistake, so is overdone hair. Tip: the first two days are just practice; save your best look for the last day.

It doesn’t get bigger than this, so you want to stand out, yet keep it classy. Sporty and understated should be your mantra. Dress venue-appropriate, wear comfortable shoes and seek inspiration from your country colours. Stick to ensembles that go easily from stadium chic to evening ready— Rio, the chosen city this year, is synonymous with spontaneous partying, after all.

Earplugs. Because the noise from those cars is louder than you think.

Binoculars: the venues are BIG and you might be seated far away from the action. Plus, when it gets boring, you can people-watch.

When it comes to football, no amount of crazy is too much— unless you’re a coach. First step: don your favourite team’s jersey (all the best players are a No 10). Next, add your own twist—DIY headgear, face tattoos, bright mohawks— knock yourself out. Tip: this is the place to be “spotted” by a movie director.

A bandanna, because it wouldn’t hurt to do like Ronaldinho as you watch the best of world football. “Faute!” (Foul!)

Famous partners of the players, like TV presenter Coleen Rooney and singer Shakira, or the first couple of football, David and Victoria Beckham.

60 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016

Two words: smart and preppy. Think kneelength dresses in sorbet colours with wedges for women, and a crisp white shirt with a sharp jacket for men. Don’t forget your sunglasses, carry a hat and umbrella (just in case)—but don’t be that person who blocks everyone’s view. If you’re thinking sweatpants and sports shoes, don’t bother showing up.

A hand fan, for when it gets hot. Also to hide from the paparazzi (or to look like you’re hiding, which is as important).

“A picnic on the lawns! Strawberries and cream with tea?”

Movie stars, royalty (the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are regulars) or tennis legends Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi.


“I’m so glad he’s at pole position; he was brilliant in qualifying.”

“Usain Bolt is definitely winning the triple triple.”

Formula One group’s Bernie Ecclestone, Hanna Prater (girlfriend of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel) and Fiat group’s Sergio Marchionne.

Model Gisele Bundchen, footballer Pelé or surfer and model Anastasia Ashley.






La Rioja Navarre

When in Spain, Fiesta! Canary Islands

From Navarre to Seville from Valencia to the Canary Islands, the zest for festivity is spread all around the country, far and wide. Here’s a guide through Spain’s burgeoning cultural scene and the raucous local festivals every avid traveller should bookmark...


This way for FUN From throwing tomatoes at one another to running with the bulls. A day-long wine fight to celebrating seafood and partying around bonfires. Spain hosts some of the most out-of-the ordinary festivals, around the year. Arrive. Celebrate. And then leave with memories that’ll last a lifetime, and more than a few (read: a gazillion) Instagram-worthy posts. In many ways, a festival is the ultimate holiday. A life-changing experience, crammed into a few days, which transforms you from a jaded, itinerary-bound commuter into a free spirit, opening your mind through art, music, performance, food and culture. This is what travel is all about, after all. And when you come to a destination as diverse, exciting and stunning as Spain, with fiestas steeped in tradition, history and meaning, you know you’re in for a real treat—the very embodiment of viva la vida, if you may. Here is a peek inside some of the fiestas you can indulge in, but there are many more to explore as well.

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It’s got sunny weather, culture, history, gastronomy, parties, sport and safaris, plus the best paella in the world, the Valencian Region offers a spectrum of experiences. And when you attend any one of their many mind-blowing festivals, you will feel at one with the destination.

Las Fallas



A 7-day invasion of art, music, fireworks, gunpowder, smoke, explosions and emotions. Las Fallas literally means “the fires”, and focuses on the creation and destruction ht is the lig h of ninots, huge lifelike paper-mâché statues, usually ig h e ISS: Th at DON’T M tá which occurs depicting satirical scenes and current events. The d scle tring-line daily ma an 300 s origins of the festival credit the fires as an evolution of th re o n m a r 2pm— ignited fo ual re a pagan rituals that celebrated the onset of spring. The rs e firecrack -less-vis re-audio nt o e m m ninots are displayed until La Cremá (the burning day), l o a u m s unu xciting nother e ng when crowds chant, streetlights are turned off, and display. A is the floral offeri llas of all of the ninots are set ablaze at midnight. Besides of the Fa A parade . ry a M ity gin ” fill the c s to the Vir ra the town literally being on fire, during these days, lle a ds of “F stumes thousan gional co re g you can also enjoy an extensive roster of bullfights, n t ri s a o e streets, w g alongside the m parades, paella contests and beauty pageants. in h . rc a rs e m w d an of flo mountain creative

Moors & Christians Festival APRIL 23, 24, 25


For three days in summer, the Valencia Region becomes a veritable explosion of joy, colours, music, costumes, parades and theatre. History, legend and spectacle come together in DON’T M a celebration full of sparkle and fantasy to commemorate the ISS: On the day, of th e recreate last events that took place in the 13th century. While the festivities d epic battle, an a ppearan are celebrated in many parts of this region, the most famous ce by Saint Ge orge ma one takes place in Alcoy. Thousands of white pennants with rks the e of the fe nd stivities. The patr the cross of Saint George or the Islamic crescent moon saint of A on lcoy app e a rs on horseba decorate the whole town. Scenes are recreated, representing ck, shoo ting arro from the ws the capture of the castle by the Moors and how the top of th e castle, which yo u can eve Christians recaptured it. The din of drums, trumpets, volleys n take home as a souven of muskets in the thick of battle – it is truly impressive. ir.


La Tomatina AUGUST

This is the world’s largest food fight. Every year, during La Tomatina, the charming town of Buñol erupts into a fiery blaze ! of tomato-hurling revellers. The origins of this mass tomato he paella T : S IS DON’T M fore La battle dates back to a fight between children in 1945, and has t be iant The nigh will find g u been celebrated every year since then. More than 20,000 o y , a n Tomati paella electable people from around the world come together in an hour-long d f o , s n n io a p tradit ng, as is epic battle, which starts at 11am. On the backs of trucks, s, re simmeri fi g in d-burn e th people unload the tomatoes and pelt them at anything they over woo in w trying to each one t. s see moving. Within seconds, everything turns red. The te n o ella c iconic pa streets are awash in seeds, pulp and tomato guts that will shortly leave the cobblestoned streets spotless—thanks to the acidity of the tomatoes—after being hosed down with water.


Gypsies, flamenco, horses, bulls—Andalusia in the south, is the Spain of story and song. A melange of landscapes and views, this region has maritime provinces, snow-capped mountains, ski resorts, wildlife-filled wetlands and highland pine and oak forests, and several fiestas full of splendour. It also has cities like Seville that combine all this with creativity and cosmopolitanism, and where the most popular festival in all of Andalusia is celebrated—the April Fair of Seville.

April Fair of Seville APRIL 12 - 17


A fabulous experience, created as a commercial fair by the middle of the 19th century, locals arrive—some on horseback—garbed in typical Andalusian dress for celebrations at casetas, or private canvas tents, spread across the fairground. The week-long fair is inaugurated ISS: The at midnight in the so-called Alumbrado (Lighting Test) – DON’T M the April finale of an ephemeral architecture adorned with thousands of s s e witn Fair and orks bulbs, bringing together the crowds around the Gateway. ular firew spectac day at on a Sun t. h ig n mid


Undoubtedly Spain’s best kept secret, Asturias, sprawled across 345km of the northern coastline is a fairy-tale, a place unchanged by time and unaffected by the outside world. It is maritime, but also mountains. A natural paradise, but also a charming countryside.

The Canoe Festival AUGUST What started off as a recreational trip down the river amongst friends back in 1929, today is a worldrenowned canoe festival attracting participants from around the world. Paddles in hand, thousands of kayakists and canoeists run to the water, as spectators high on adrenalin, cheer along the 20km Sella River course, from the village of Arriondas to the finish line at the seaside resort of Ribadesella.


Rolling hills draped with patchwork fields of green. Granite cliffs looming over vacant beaches. Rich vegetation. Frequent rainbows. And the occasional bagpiper (one of the Celts most visible legacies). Galicia, the damp, verdant, almost mystical corner of the country, with its Celtic roots, is page out of a fairy-tale.

Bon Fires of San Juan JUNE 23


DON’T M ISS: The grandes t bon fire of them all, on the b each at Riazor. At midnig ht, the blazin g flames are reflected by the w aters of the Atl antic Oc ean.


DON’T M ISS: Onc e th is over, jo in the reve e race lry as celebrati ons tran sform in massive to picnics a t Ca Ova, whe re trophie mpos de s are aw to the win arded ners in e ach cate There is gory. food, cid e r, song and dance, a nd as nig ht falls, th continue e fun s in Riba desella u early hou ntil the rs, with te rrace ba open-air rs and parties.

A bonfire to celebrate the arrival of summer, may sound like something out of a Game of Thrones episode, but it is an actual occurrence in A Coruna, a region of the Galicia. Witness euphoric parades and street performances, bagpipers and traditional dancers, people eating sardines and drinking beer. As night falls, hundreds of bonfires are lit to ward off witches, evil spirits or bad vibes that may be hanging around.

Sea Food Fiesta OCTOBER 1 - 12 Since 1963, O’ Grove, Galicia has been hosting this cultural-gastronomic event to highlight: fishing and tourism. Hundreds of thousands of visitors attend this fiesta. It features stands overflowing with the finest shellfish ISS: The and fish, prepared and served by DON’T M d n a e d para shellfish town locals. There is also traditional stival, a Mussel fe ll a Spanish music concerts, cultural rve o e part of th ral res seve activities, sporting events, cooktu a fe , fiesta and activities offs and much more, making it one culinary ons. ti ti e of the happiest events to attend p m co in Spain.



The sunniest place in Europe, these Atlantic islands with long cloudless days are blessed with the best climate in the world. Featuring some of the most beautiful beaches in the world—with golden and white sand, remote and virgin or lively, tiny coves or extensive coastlines surrounded by dunes, with calm waters or stronger swells—they beckon you 365 days of the year.


The Carnival FEBRUARY 1 - 14


t last even ISS: The DON’T M al, Entierro de La rniv ine) is of the ca f the Sard (Burial o , where e d ra Sardina a p k -in-chee k d in blac a tongue lk dresse fo s n w to rnival a the c e th f end o ck mark the out a mo carrying y y the b if it n ir ig p s s sh doll to fi a f r the o e l ft a buri living a sombre return to s. festivitie

This is the carnival of all carnivals and one of the biggest outdoor parties in the world. Crowds throng this fiesta where everything is allowed, and you have only one obligation: to have fun. Streets come alive with joie de vivre, freedom and extravagance for 15 days. Carnival is a Latin word that literally means “farewell to the flesh” and describes the Catholic practice of giving up meat during Lent. Important festivities, like electing a Queen and Junior Queen through a televised beauty pageant, street band competitions, processions for adults and kids are held.


Tucked away in the north, La Rioja is a little region that packs a big punch. Synonymous with wine, you may be tempted to bring out your copas (wine glasses) to savour the world’s finest reds. But here, wine is not just a drink, it is a culture.

The Battle of Wine JUNE 29


Where else in the world can you have a wine battle? Every year in June, faithful riojanos, clad in white with water DON’T M ISS: Afte r the guns, buckets and wineskins brimming with cheap red battle, th e survivo rs wine, make their way out to Haro to participate in a giant return to th e city wh ere they dan wine war. The party kicks off at sunrise and goes on till ce tradit ional laps in th about lunchtime. Hiking out to the mountains, singing e Plaza d e la Paz alon g with th and dancing with marching bands, everyone drinks e City of Haro. and makes merry in honour of a local saint. After mass, the battle begins. It’s every man to himself.


A piece of Spain that few seek, and fewer find, Navarre is an unspoiled kingdom, where life is still lived at a drowsy pace. Embrace the craggy green silhouette of the Pyrenees Mountains. Take in the ancient traditions along the Way of Saint James and indulge in the finest reds, whites and rosés in the region.


San Fermín Fiestas JULY 6 - 14

n est-know S: The b g IS in M n n ’T ru N DO l is the e festiva o. The rr ie c part of th n e lls, or the the of the bu e used in h t are to b a th n throug bulls ru re a ghts daily bullfi f the town to the sts ts o the stree and touri th locals o B e . d g a in bullr event, m te in the ay’s participa Hemingw t s e rn E in ises. s u R o o m ls fa he Sun A T l, ve o n 1926

Held annually in Pamplona, the largest, most vibrant city in the province, this 9-day fiesta honours the city’s first bishop and patron saint, Saint Fermin. Revellers from all around world descend upon the city, which dresses up in red and white. Fireworks called chupinazo are seen at noon followed by the singing of the traditional song. Besides the bullfights, held every afternoon, there is the Procession of Saint Fermin, the comparsa, a parade featuring large puppets carried by the marchers. The festival ends with the singing of “Pobre de Mi” (Old Poor Me).



honeymoon planner Yo Idea of Romance


Romance means different things to different people. For some, it’s about learning new things and growing with your partner, while for others, nothing less than a private island resort will do. Whatever your dream holiday for two, this list of experiences has you covered. By Jasreen Mayal Khanna

June-July 2016 Condé Nast Traveller 67

HONEYMOON PLANNER Instead of just passing through a big city in transit, why not spend a few days exploring its history, culture and nightlife? In Tokyo, take in an elaborate, traditional Kabuki theatre performance. Once you’re done, walk through Tokyo Ramen Street, one of the passageways in the labyrinthine Tokyo Station for mindboggling varieties of this Japanese staple. Stay at the Park Hyatt Tokyo (, which has fantastic views of the sprawling city. Istanbul, that wonderful marriage of East and West, is another great option. Spend a day exploring the historic monuments such as the

Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapı Palace Museum. In summer, check out the poolside cabanas at Suada Club ( on Galatasaray Island, in the middle of the Bosphorus River. Spend a relaxed day at a sea-facing

WATCH SUNRISE WATCH SUNSET Soar over Rajasthan in a hot-air balloon as the pastel shades of pink and orange burst into life. Skywaltz ( offers a number of rides so you can see dawn breaking over Ranthambore National Park, Jaipur’s Amer Fort, Udaipur’s lakes and palaces, to name a few. If you’re not a morning person, lie by the stepwelllike pool of boutique property Anopura (, just outside Jaipur. With just two bedrooms and a luxury tent, it’s the perfect place to enjoy your private sunset. For a mountain sunrise, head to the Dwarika’s

Resort Dhulikhel, Nepal (, where

the glass-panelled poolside restaurant offers meals with lovely views. The wellness programme, which combines ancient Hindu as well as Buddhist medicinal practices, will melt away any remaining wedding stress. Further away, hike the popular Walk of the

Gods on Italy’s Amalfi Coast. The trail, between Nocelle and Praiano, provides the most stunning views off cliffs as the sun sets into the Tyrrhenian Sea below. Stay at Il San Pietro di Positano (, built on the edge of a cliff. Book a room with a private terrace to take in the view as soon as you wake up.

“The Walk of the Gods, a hiking trail on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, provides the most stunning views as the sun sets into the Tyrrhenian Sea below” 68 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016

café in Bebek or browse through tiny fashion boutiques. Stay at the historic Çıragan Palace Kempinski (www.kempinski. com), which was once an Ottoman Sultan’s residence and is right on the river. The Cuban capital of Havana will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time, with its vintage cars and old-world vibe (given recent changes in Cuba-US ties, that might change, so make sure you go soon). Admire Old Havana’s churches and palaces, browse the shops in Centro Havana and enjoy a Cuban Mojito at

La Bodeguita Del Medio (www.labodeguitadelmedio. be). At night, catch a cabaret show or party at one of the city’s popular salsa clubs. Stay at Hotel Nacional de Cuba (www., which has hosted celebrities such as Frank Sinatra and Winston Churchill.

The Amalfi Coast at dusk. Above: a street in Tokyo. Previous pages, from left: a Skywaltz hot-air balloon over Amer Fort in Rajasthan; a couple doing the tango


City culture

The art of honeymooning If you’re looking for a place to unwind after your wedding, head to The Lalit Resort & Spa Bekal. It’s where luxury and tranquillity come together for an unforgettable romantic sojourn


n intimate table setting by the sea or a personalised dinner on your balcony with soulful music, alluring surroundings and exotic food—romance often starts in a magical setting like The Lalit Resort & Spa Bekal. Nestled in the heart of coconut groves along the North Kerala coast, here you will be surrounded by the Nombili River and the Arabian Sea, with a lagoon overlooking a pristine white sand beach, giving you an unparalleled experience.

ROOM WITH A VIEW Spread over 26 acres of lush, landscaped gardens, The Lalit Resort & Spa Bekal has 37 suites, a Presidential Suite and a floating boat accomodation, each offering ultimate comfort and spectacular views of

the lagoon or backwaters. But for a truly unique stay, choose the Kettuvallom— the resort’s floating cottage. With a personalised holiday host, a specialised pillow menu and a separate living room, it is guaranteed to help you celebrate your love.

ESCAPE TO SPA-RADISE During your stay at The Lalit Resort & Spa Bekal, rejuvenate your mind, body and soul at the 20,000 sq ft Rejuve – The Spa. Book yourself a couple’s massage at one of the 13 multi-functional treatment rooms and take your pick from ayurvedic, aroma, herbal, international and beauty therapies. Besides its Rejuvenation, Detox and Weight Management programmes, what sets this spa apart is its herbal garden, which is in the shape of a human body. Here the

plants are planted according to their usage on specific body parts.

A TABLE SET FOR TWO Serving only the finest organic vegetables, herbs and fruits, indulge in traditional Kerala cuisines with international culinary concepts at the restaurant and bar at The Lalit Resort & Spa Bekal. Better yet, choose a beachside dining experience or a private dining rendezvous with a chef and butler in the resort’s secluded gazebo, riverside tent, or in the privacy of your room. So this month, take a breather and be a part of nature at The Lalit Resort & Spa Bekal. For more information, visit or call +91 9633396233


“The wine-growing region of Elqui Valley, at one end of the Atacama Desert in Chile, with the jagged Andes peaks on one side, is among the best places in the world to go stargazing”

Valley, at one end of the Atacama Desert in Chile, with the jagged Andes peaks on one side, is among the best places in the world to go stargazing. Stay at the Elqui Domos (www.; pictured), which has a number of observatories and the rooms are geodesic domes with beds on the upper floors and removable roofs, so couples can snuggle up while spotting constellations. For an

exquisite al fresco meal that’s closer home, the Six Senses Samui in Thailand (www. is your answer, with Dining on the Rocks, a restaurant built across nine terraced decks above boulders that jut out into the open sea. If you’re looking to get frisky in the open, rent an entire private island. In the Philippines, Ariara Island (www.ariaraisland. com) has Beach Cottages, Jungle Villas as well as an entertainment lodge and infinity pool. But it’s the unspoilt natural beauty that is truly magical.

70 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016

Learning holidays Acquiring a new skill with your partner can be very rewarding, and your honeymoon is the perfect time to start. Understand how to capture the Northern Lights on film by signing up for tours with The Aurora Zone (www. The expert guides and photographers will take you to vantage points across Scandinavia and teach you how to take the best pictures of the aurora. Diving is another great skill to learn. Sign up with Go Dive Oman (www. and enjoy

the bright blue waters of the Gulf of Oman, topped by rocky mountains and home to turtles, dolphins and whales, with excellent underwater visibility. Stay at The Chedi Muscat (, which has six great restaurants and a massive spa. There are few things sexier than the tango, so if you’d like to up the heat, fly to Buenos Aires and get on the dance floor. Take private classes with Lucia and Gerry, who have over 20 years of experience. (www.luciaygerrytango.


STARRY starry nightS All alone with your partner under a blanket of stars—what could be more romantic? The wine-growing region of Elqui

Tropical paradise Sun-kissed beaches, cerulean lagoons, vibrant house reefs, languid moments, private pools and spacious luxury suites—these are just some of the many things you can expect when you check into Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa, Maldives


f you’re looking for a romantic honeymoon or a luxurious family getaway far away from prying eyes, Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa in the Maldives is the perfect destination. To reach it, get on a speedboat from Hanimadhoo International airport. The sight of the resort, as you approach it, makes your busy urban life feel like a long forgotten story. An exclusive all-suite, multiple-award winning resort, Hideaway has 103 villas, which are among the largest in the Maldives. Wide open spaces are everywhere. The 46 beachfront villas, each with a private beach sequestered by tropical gardens for complete privacy are extremely luxurious. But their 57 over-water lodges, like the Deluxe Water Villa, will take your breathe away. Raised on stilts in the middle of the ocean, it comprises an infinity pool, sundeck, a spacious bedroom, walk in wardrobes, a Jacuzzi tub and more. While you’re here, Island Host—a one-of-a-kind butler

service—will be at your beck and call. While newlyweds can sign up for the honeymoon package, which includes sparkling wines, a cake and exclusive services at the Hideaway Spa, divers, snorkelers and water sport enthusiasts can explore the double house coral reefs that run alongside the resort. The food and beverage options here will leave you spoilt for choice. Samsara Restaurant boasts a romantic, al fresco terrace perched on stilts in the turquoise lagoon and serves delicious Indian, Thai and Japanese fare. With two over-water dining pavilions, which can be booked for private dinners, Matheefaru Restaurant offers delectable buffets. You must dig into the Asian and European dishes at the Sunset Pool Café Beach Club, but if you’d rather sip on exotic cocktails and explore the resort’s extensive wine and spirit list, the Meeru Bar & Grill is the place to unwind. For teetotallers Samsara Tea Lounge offers the world’s finest teas with snacks that bring out

their flavour. But if you’d rather have a private Champagne infused, in-villa dining experience by your private pool, rest assured that their chefs will tailormake your culinary experience. Better still, if you’ve always wanted to see what lies beneath the sea but can’t muster the nerve to go scuba diving, Hideaway takes you into the blue in the world’s first compact semi submarine. It’s a once in a lifetime experience. At Dhonakulhi Island, Haa Alifu Atoll, Maldives. For reservations, email reservations@ or visit www.


Romantic Road in southern Germany is an almost 400km stretch that winds through the forests and mountains of Bavaria and Baden-Württemburg and allows for pit stops to explore fairy-tale palaces like the Munich Residenz and Neuschwanstein Castle. Spend the night at the

Hotel Herrnschlösschen in Rothenburg ( or at The Steinburg (www.steinburg. com), built at the site of a medieval castle and overlooking the vineyards in Würzburg. Combine vineyards with the Atlantic Ocean in Portugal as you drive to the Douro Valley. Sample port and other fantastic wines in the town of Pinhão and then head down to the

Algarve coast via Lisbon. Spend a night at the chic Areias do Seixo (www.areiasdoseixo. com), where the Love Rooms have private terraces, open-air Jacuzzis and in one, a sunken bath for two. Another beautiful drive is through the English countryside. Drive from London to the Cotswolds, a relaxing, pretty way to spend your time. Carry on to Edinburgh in Scotland, where you can visit single malt distilleries like Talisker and Balvenie. A road trip through the United States is a rite of passage—Route 61, which connects New Orleans to Wyoming, has great views of the Mississippi River along the way. It is also called the Blues Highway in a nod to the region’s music culture. Stop along the way for gumbo and jambalaya and spend a night at Isabella Bed and Breakfast (www.

A giraffe at Kruger National Park in South Africa. Above: driving through Bavaria in Germany

Adventure activities Get your adrenaline pumping by heli-skiing, Shotover Jet

boating or canyoning in Queenstown, New Zealand ( Known as the world’s adventure capital, it has great places to stay, such as Blanket Bay (www., a luxury lodge situated on Lake Wakatipu. The honeymoon package includes private candlelit dinners in the special wine cave and Champagne picnics in secluded spots accessed by helicopters. For a safari experience that doesn’t compromise on creature comforts, spend your time in Kruger National Park in

South Africa. Royal Malewane

( and Singita ( are among the biggest names in the luxury lodge business, with a number of superb properties in the area; make sure to book a year in advance to get your choice of bookings. Ultimate thrill-seekers should visit the

Argentinian part of Tierra Del Fuego. Its dramatic scapes of glaciers, oceans, volcanoes and valleys are breathtaking. Eolo (, a 7,410 acre Relais and Châteaux property located in La Anita Valley, is the perfect place to relax with a glass or two of Malbec and soothe your aching muscles after a day of exploration.

“The Romantic Road in southern Germany winds through the forests and mountains of Bavaria and Baden-Württemburg” 72 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016


The wind in your hair, a sexy set of wheels and your spouse for company makes for a pretty perfect way to celebrate the vows you’ve just made. The

HONEYMOON PLANNER Enjoying an isolated island paradise a Honeymoon Deluxe Suite at

Bill & Coo (www.bill-coo-hotel. com). The Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru has a Manta-On-Call service— you’ll be contacted as soon as a manta ray is spotted, and taken to the site for snorkelling. Also in the Maldives, the W Retreat & Spa Maldives (www. has overwater villas with glass floors and an underwater bar, while the One&Only Reethi Rah (www. has an absolutely wonderful spa.

A visitor enjoying the beach at Cap Juluca on Anguilla

74 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016


After all that frantic wedding activity, you may want to just lie low. The Caribbean islands offer glamour with privacy, which is why they’re so popular with celebrities, like Courtney Cox and Orlando Bloom. Anguilla has some great resorts, such as Cap Juluca (www.capjuluca. com) and Viceroy Anguilla (www.viceroyhotelsandresorts. com). For great beach clubs, head to the Greek islands. In Mykonos, party at day clubs like Nammos ( and Kalua ( Book


Warming up by a fireplace

76 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016

looking a little further away,

Uma by COMO in Paro, Bhutan (, has lovely villas with fireplaces and in-room dining and spa services. Switzerland has long been a favourite with Indians and not just because of Hindi films. Zermatt has around 250km of pristine white pistes, perfect if you’re keen on skiing and snowboarding. If not, just curl up with a hot chocolate and your partner at the

Mont Cervin Palace (

The Matterhorn peak at dawn in Zermatt


Watching snowflakes settle on trees while you and your loved one stay snug by a crackling fire sounds pretty perfect, doesn’t it? At Wildflower Hall in Shimla (, you can float in a heated infinity pool as you look out at icy mountains, or get a couple’s massage in the middle of a forest. There’s also The Himalayan in Manali (www.thehimalayan. com), which is built like a Gothic castle, complete with cast-iron fireplaces and a subterranean bar called The Dungeon. If you’re

HONEYMOON PLANNER Wining & dining excellent Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs and the fine Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2012. In Goa, try the beef chilli fry and appams at Gunpowder (083222 68091) or book a spot at Matsya’s Freestyle Kitchen (083909 18385) where Chef Gomes serves a seven-course set meal on a lovely terrace; try the Thai oysters and miso snapper. Hong Kong is another great city for foodies, especially if you love fiery Asian cuisine. Ask your hotel concierge to get you a table at the exclusive China Club (www.chinaclub. com), which has a great wine list and super Chinese fare. Also try the barbecue prime Iberico pork with yellow mountain honey at Mott 32 ( Café Gray Deluxe at The Upper House ( has a fun, casual vibe, excellent modern European food and stellar city views.

A humpback whale in Antarctica. Above: diners at China Club in Hong Kong

78 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016

Once-in-a-lifetime activities Your honeymoon will probably be one of the more expensive trips you’ll take, so why not use it to cross something off your bucket list together? Like hiking to the ancient Incan ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru. Book yourselves a customised tour with Luxury Peru Travels ( Plus, Peruvian cuisine is having a major moment among international culinary trends, so make sure you try ceviche at El Mercado in Lima (www.rafaelosterling. pe). Marine enthusiasts will be enchanted by the sheer variety of endemic flora and fauna on the Galápagos Islands off Ecuador where Darwin conceptualised his theory of evolution. However, most of the islands have no hotels, so you’ll have to tour via liveaboards like the M/V Galapagos Sky ( or the Aggressor fleet (www., which offer

incredible diving trips as well as luxury accommodation. Swim with hammerheads and whale sharks, spot giant tortoises and the endangered flightless cormorants on this life-changing holiday. Another place that will earn you serious bragging rights is the far-off continent of Antarctica, where you can spot entire penguin colonies or ski the interiors. Most people visit on cruise ships that sail among mammoth icebergs and humpback whales. Book through travel operators who are members of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators, such as Abercrombie & Kent ( and Seabourn (www.seabourn. com). These operators follow strict guidelines for safety and environmental responsibility, so you and your partner can have the trip of your lifetime and feel good about it, too.


There’s an old saying, “The family that eats together stays together”. And while we know it’s a cliché, take no chances with your marriage and go on a foodie holiday together. Melbourne has an incredibly exciting food scene, so make sure your itinerary here revolves around your meals. Queen Victoria Market ( is the largest open-air bazaar in the Southern Hemisphere; walk around sampling oysters and cheese, and make a pit stop at the American Doughnut Kitchen (www. au), a van that’s been dishing out the sweet stuff for over 50 years. Try the innovative modern Australian cuisine at St Crispin ( and the Greek food at Gazi (www. Drive to Red Hill Estate, a vineyard in Mornington Peninsula, which has

Heaven has a plan Welcome to Lily Beach Resort & Spa. It is the first five-star resort in the Maldives to offer an all-inclusive Platinum Plan that takes away the worries of day-to-day to expenses


midst the pristine beaches and tropical foliage of the Maldives, lies a piece of paradise called the Lily Beach Resort & Spa. In close proximity to diving sites and coral reefs, this resort comes with an all-inclusive, all-embracing Platinum Plan that offers a no-surpriseexpenditure vacation for honeymooners and those looking to whisk their families away to an exotic destination. Little wonder then as to why it held the title of Maldives’ Leading All-Inclusive Resort 2016 at the World Travel Awards 2016 in Zanzibar, Tanzania. With 69 Beach Villas, 16 Lagoon Villas and 4 Sunset Water Suites spread across Huvahendhoo, the resort has charming accommodation options. We recommend one of the 36 luxurious Deluxe Water Villas that comprises sunken glass floors, direct access to the lagoon, a Jacuzzi plunge pool, a home theatre system and several other amenities. From reception and assistance on arrival and departure at the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, free access to the VIP lounge in the seaplane terminal and unlimited dining options to water sports, leisure activities and fun for the kids, the Platinum Plan takes care of everything. Each restaurant and bar is stocked with some of the world’s finest wines and

spirits. While Lily Maa has unlimited breakfast and lunch buffets, Tamarind— a fine-dine restaurant serving Indian, Thai and Chinese—offers one à la carte meal per person, during a week’s stay. For unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages on the house, head to the Spirit Bar or AQVA Bar. But for your weekly dose of live entertainment, settle in at the Vibes Bar with unlimited cocktails. Better still, the Platinum Plan also ensures that your mini bar is stocked with wines, beers, snacks, water and juices every single day. If you’re hoping to explore the Maldives’ waters, Lily Beach Resort and Spa offers activities like Coral Garden Snorkelling Trip, Local Island Excursions, Sunset Cruise, Sunset Fishing, Turtle Tour, Ocean Adventure, Canoeing, Windsurfing, Pedal Boats, Wake Boarding, Catamaran Sailing and Water Skiing. As per their award-winning plan, you can try two excursions for free during your stay, hire snorkelling gear for no cost and use the Sports Centre as

many times as you like with no additional charges. With Turtle Kids Club that keeps your tykes pleasantly entertained and free wi-fi access across villas and public areas, Lily Beach Resort & Spa promises an unforgettable holiday. At Huvahendhoo, South Ari Atoll, Maldives. For reservations, email or visit


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a va l l e y OF


Deepti Kapoor treks in the mountains of Uttarakhand in search of the famed bursts of colour, but ďŹ nds that the real beauty lies in the journey. Photographs by Jasper James

June-July 2016 CondĂŠ Nast Traveller 81


A view of the Himalayas from Auli. Below from left: a guide riding a mule; signage on rocks near the entrance to the Valley of Flowers; a meadow in Auli. Previous pages from left: sheep at Gorson Bugyal; roses in Auli


lowers. There are supposed to be flowers. We had been climbing a long while: right from Dehradun, stretching ourselves after the train from Delhi, being herded into a car and launched on a road that wound up, up, up, into roller coaster corners and a bout of unexpected rain. Our aim was to get to Auli before it was dark. Thankfully our driver was the standard-issue mountain maniac, so it was only dark for the final hour or so. By now, the clouds had descended, the air was wonderfully clean. Cue blissful sleep. Day Two: I jumped out of bed and ripped the curtains back for a grand view of... Oh. A white blanket of cloud; nothing visible beyond 20ft. It was a curious sensation, knowing the mountains are all around, feeling their power, but seeing none of it. When the elements finally withdrew, the landscape surprised: mystical peaks of granite mimicking a heart attack on an ECG. We swerved round corners towards the valley floor, past sadhus walking barefoot along gorge roads peppered

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with rocks dislodged by landslides along the Alaknanda River. At Govindghat, our vehicles were left behind, packs and supplies were loaded onto mules. We were to join the thread of Sikh pilgrims as far as Ghangaria, a settlement at the base of the climb to Hemkund Sahib. But from there we would take a different track, into the Valley of Flowers. The valley was ‘discovered’ by mountaineer Frank S Smythe and his team in 1931, by which I mean how white people often discover things: blasé shepherds and sages with magic quilts having long preceded them. Over the years, it has taken on legendary status: a spot of rare, mindblowing technicolour beauty. So much so that when I told people in Delhi I was going, there was a sharp intake of breath, a pious hush, as if I’d been granted access to Shangri-La itself. “Have you been?” I asked. “No,” came every reply. “But I’ve always wanted to.” So why hadn’t they? Perhaps it’s to do with space and time. Space: even before the ascent to the valley there’s the 13km trek from Govindghat to Ghangaria, 1.2km as the elevator rises. Time: the only window

of opportunity is July to October, when the flowers bloom and the weather (usually) holds. We began climbing up a dirt track, eventually curving around the hill to trek along the high edge of a gorge, waterfalls spraying down the opposite side into the Lakshman Ganga (also known as Bhyundar Ganga) below. Our path became paved, dotted with chai shops and dhabas. Sometimes the steps rose precipitously, sometimes they levelled out. Chaiwallahs called us invitingly, but we’d barely started. The first hour was the hardest. We couldn’t predict the pace, we walked too hard too early. The muscles in our legs screamed. We distracted ourselves by talking to our fellow travellers. And then, the hypnotic quality of travel took over, dialogue slowed and quieted. Whether one wanted to or not, one fell into oneself. It was almost meditation, walking on this curiously empty trail. Curious, because pilgrims usually fill it to bursting. What happened? Torrential rain. Last week, it had poured spectacularly, with frightening echoes of the devastating 2013 floods.

evive your body and mind with the Ananda Renew Program, which uses the sacred rituals of yoga, ancient beauty and healing in combination with modern day anti-ageing techniques. Jasmine salt scrubs and therapeutic oils are used to nourish your skin. Treatments like the Honey and Rose Facial or the Tibetan Ku Nye massage improve circulation and stimulate a free flow of energy within the body.

A call from the mountains‌ The monsoons are a magical time to be at Ananda in the Himalayas. Misty rain will refresh you as the clouds walk alongside; gentle winds will enliven your senses and your heart beats to the dance of peacocks. Luxurious spa treatments are just the icing on the cake! Restore the vitality of your body with the Ananda Rejuvenation Program. Eliminate toxins through traditional Panchakarma treatments and enhance the body’s immunity with ayurvedic therapies, a dosha-based diet and yoga. Treatments like Udwarthana and Abhyanga improve circulation and digestion while Shirodhara revitalizes the mind. These wellness programs include ayurvedic consultations, meditation, Vedanta talks, ayurvedic cuisine demonstrations, mountain treks, fitness classes and more. To book your stay email or call 0124 – 4516650. For more information on packages, visit


“Snowy crags, obscured by wisps of cloud, soon turned into

The mountains on a cloudy day

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SHORT BREAK Another factor could be that some irresponsible news channels had been playing non-stop videos of those fearsome days, scaring people away. Things were nowhere near that bad: the weather was holding and huge recoveries had been made. But a shadow hung over the trek all the same. Often, we’d see chunks of empty air, cleaved from the mountainside, like a giant had taken a huge bite out of it. Someone said: “There were cafés and restaurants there.” Or: “That was hillside, now it’s gone.” The path had gone in places, the bridges, rebuilt in rubble, made do the way India does, but the scar tissue was unmistakeable.

After a few hours, we stopped for lunch at a dhaba where, miracle of miracles, they had Maggi noodles! With warm hearts and full bellies, we pressed on. Soon, what began as a compact party stretched over a kilometre or so, making a mockery of the order this morning for the front and back to remain within 50m of one another. Sometimes we’d see the tail end; sometimes it vanished. It had been seven hours. Suddenly, up ahead there was a commotion. A silhouette of flowing robes and turban popped over the horizon, bounding pell-mell down the

mountain towards us, swinging a long stave about, crazed warrior and stallion at once. We scrambled out of the way just in time to avoid being clean bowled. Beyond, other, saner pilgrims greeted us with laughter. “Sat Sri Akaal, Sat Sri Akaal.” We were almost there. Our campsite was in a field below Ghangaria. Wild horses wandered nearby. Boots were removed and feet massaged at the altar of the fold-up chair; a prayer said at the shrine of chai. A sacrilegious shot of whisky poured on the sly. The snowy crags of the valley, higher up, were visible through certain gaps, wispy with cloud. Tired, happy, we ate simple camp food and slept early,

mystical peaks of granite mimicking a heart attack on an ECG”

June-July 2016 Condé Nast Traveller 85


A waterfall on the hike up to the Valley of Flowers

intending to depart for the flowers at the crack of dawn. But dawn was when the rain began, big drops on canvas, irregular drumbeats first, pregnant pauses. Then a steady patter. An informal poll was taken: it was decided that we’d stay in bed another hour. It was mid-morning by the time we finally crossed the frontier town, the rain hovering just above, taunting us. The business end of Ghangaria saw a smattering of pilgrims being helped onto mules. The rest of the town had the aspect of apocalypse. At the entrance to the Valley of Flowers was a guard’s hut. A toll was paid, and then, based on rules that we didn’t quite understand, our safety ropes were confiscated. Our lead guide, Bharat, explained that the ropes were for the small glacier we had to cross, but to no avail. We were then grilled on whether we planned to camp (no) or film (yes). Then there was a discussion about whether it was even safe for us to proceed, given the recent weather. But there was a nice big board to examine while we waited, which listed all the flowers that grow here and the 86 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016

months in which they bloom (most would do so next month). But no matter. We were here, this was going to be spectacular. We got the go-ahead, the journey continued. The first obstacle was a small river with no bridge, just makeshift metal ladders laid across it. Onwards we went, through woodland, down to a much larger river, gushing and foaming from a rocky waterfall, spanned by a pukka bridge. From there, we climbed into woodland again, straight up, zigzagging on ferny switchbacks. After almost an hour, we emerged onto a ridge, from which we could look down at the gorge we’d left behind and feel good about how far we’d come. And up ahead, the much-anticipated view opened out—to green, wet hills. There are supposed to be flowers. Timing. Luck. These things matter— people are still surprised by what Goa’s like in the monsoon. “What? La Plage is shut? The sea is dangerous?” And these things matter even more up in these mountains, where it takes time to do anything and go anywhere, and where an unexpected turn in weather can be as serious as life and

death, or as comical as a Valley of No Flowers. And now, the sky is darkening and it’s starting to rain again. The shadows and folds smudge and vanish, the crags lose their edges. It’s past midday now. Beyond 12,000ft. Some in our party have sat at the side of the trail in despondent exhaustion. From the far reaches of the valley, waterfalls are forming down the grassy banks. We’re yet to cross the glacier. There’s a basic path across the dirty ice, but it has holes in it where the ice is thin, and to the right, the drop is perilous. In the absence of ropes, we shuffle on one by one, and then, for lack of anything else to do, we just keep our heads down and continue walking. We cross four rocky rivers in the bowl of the valley. It takes 10 minutes to find a route across one of them: leaping from rock to rock, doubling back, getting stranded between frothing water, wobbling on boulders, finally discovering the right way, jumping to the bank with a splash in the heels. But when the joy of that success fades, we are wetter than ever. As we eat lunch in the cave-space below a

SHORT BREAK large boulder, our plates become so full of rainwater that we can drink from them. A minute inspection of the ground shows the first shoots of flower. In a couple of weeks, it will be gorgeous here. But we don’t have the time to wait. We have to go back down. Our descent is a parody of Werner Herzog’s Aguirre, the Wrath of God. The path is slick and waterlogged. Tentative steps are made, seeking out rocks, but to no avail. Spirits, egos and buttocks are bruised. It snowed that night in the valley. Down in the camp, there are no heaters, no fires, no place to hang our wet things, nowhere to go, nothing to do. Someone developed a bad cough. The prospect of wearing those sodden clothes again was unbearable. The next morning a decision is made: we are going back to Auli, to salvage something elsewhere. This is when things go right. The weather is glorious. We trek through the meadows above Auli, on the

Water gushing down a rocky path


A local resting on a rock. Clockwise from top right: Padiyar Devta, an old shrine in the forest in Auli; a signboard listing the flowers found in the valley; a rare flower found only in this region

Lord Curzon Trail, towards Gorson Bugyal. To get here, we have to ride the ropeway. We glide between hulking pieces of metal while our feet dangle above the grassy ground. The view is spectacular: foreground, middleground, background, wraparound—a widescreen presentation of Uttarakhand. Mountains spread across the sky like a deck of cards, Nanda Devi the ace of hearts. Sufficiently buoyed, we make our way higher, closing in on the treeline of an oak forest. A shepherd and his flock emerge from within; just then, the sun is scrubbed out by clouds and the flock turns into ghostly bells passing through. This is peace, this is beauty. No concrete trails, no dhabas and chai shops, no expectations. And flowers. Yes, in the shrouded woodland, roots of colour push up through the ground— patches of yellow, white and purple. Wild strawberries, too. The acorn-covered forest floor soon gives way to more meadows, and we meander upwards, over rolling hillocks, past boulders and small ponds. There are the discarded bones of dead 90 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016

animals, living flocks of sheep. A light rain falls. Every time we think we’ve reached the top, another hill looms in the mist. A shepherd’s tent appears, made of canvas and tarp, kept up by poles and held down by rocks. The rain is falling harder, so we decide that this is a good time to stop and ask for chai. Our approach is announced by the barking of a couple of Tibetan mastiffs. The shepherd calms his dogs and is happy to provide tea. This is how a fire is lit, and how we come to know the smoke-filled home of Mohan Singh. He has the deeply lined face of a man who has known the mountains all his life, a face with a touch of melancholy, a calm resignation. Perhaps that’s just us projecting our fantasies. He tells us that for six months of the year, he’s here alone and the other six, he’s with his family down in Chamoli. Sometimes he travels as far as the Tibet border with his flock. As we wait for the tea, choosing the rain over the eye-watering smoke, more herders appear around us. A couple from Joshimath passes by, patiently searching for their cows. The woman wears a cardigan and her sari is hitched

up around her knees; her husband wears a woollen sweater and carries a great red stick. They touch Mohan’s feet, share a word and move on. Mohan goes outside and brings the flock from the next hill back towards the tent, where the mastiffs stand guard. When he returns, we drink strong dark chai in tin cups. Strips of meat are brought out of a bag and placed into the flames, on top of the burning coals. Soon, we are eating barbecued goat and listening to the rain as it falls on the tarp, and for a moment, everything is right with the world. The Valley of Flowers trek can be booked via several travel websites, including Thrillophilia (www.

GETTING THERE Fly IndiGo ( to Dehradun from major Indian cities (stopovers in Delhi from Mumbai and Bengaluru). Take the Dehradun Shatabdi express ( to Haridwar, which is the starting point of the trek as offered by most tour operators.

WHEN TO GO From July to October, the weather is pleasant and the flowers are in bloom.



Edgy modern art, sexy beaches, great food and even better wine—Cape Town’s got it all. Sarah Khan has the intel you need. Photographs by David Crookes


ever since the 2010 FIFA World Cup, when it surged onto the global stage, Cape Town has been on an upswing. In the last six years, Capetonians have leveraged their city’s many assets—natural beauty, agricultural abundance, a fascinating, if often tragic history—to build a business and tourism hub that rivals most in the Southern Hemisphere. “It’s become one of the great leisure destinations in the world, like Rio or London,” says Mark Coetzee, executive director and curator of the much-

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awaited Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, slated to open in early 2017. Dramatically backed by the 3,563ft Table Mountain, surrounded by beaches and hiking trails, Cape Town connects urban life with the outdoors like few other cities. It’s still a long trip, but Middle Eastern and European carriers have been adding flights. So, now’s an optimal time to see dynamic neighbourhoods like the Central Business District (CBD), where exciting restaurants and shops keep popping up—proof this city isn’t done booming yet.

Arrive & leave the world behind

Find some place beautiful to get lost in. Discover the JW Marriott Mussoorie Walnut Grove Resort & Spa At first glance, this place will leave you speechless. And then, it will turn you into a story teller. Tucked away in the lap of Garhwal Himalayas, right from your first approach, the hills that surround you will have your heart. And then, the unadulterated luxury and chic style of the JW Marriott, like a page out of a fairy-tale, will take your breath away. The hotel’s interior and exterior design is inspired by its surreal natural surroundings. All of the 115 guestrooms feature private balconies, where you can take in the stunning views as you breathe in the fresh ambrosial air. Spread across a sprawling six acres, the resort features the namesake walnut trees, five on-site dining options which includes a contemporary fine dining Asian restaurant, Teppan, and a 12,000sqft entertainment centre. There’s also a greenhouse, a heated indoor pool, a fitness centre, a salon by Warren Ticomi, and the luxurious Cedar Spa by L’Occitane. What’s more, it’s almost impossible NOT to find a view. Have breakfast designed for the champions at the all-glass JW Cafe overlooking the mighty mountains or indulge

in a mouth-watering lunch of wood fired pizzas at the cosy outdoor Wisteria Deck, where you will feel like you’re on the edge of the earth. Have hi-tea at Perch the tea lounge as you watch the peaks in front of you bathe in the afternoon sunlight. And spend an evening enjoying crafty cocktails at Trout House Grill & Bar with unobstructed views of the hushed hills. The resort has also introduced an interesting concept of ‘Unique Dining Experiences’, bespoke dining options in the lap of nature. The experience includes lunch at the JW Farm, a rustic concept with a table set overlooking the daunting range and a full service breakfast by the stream, surrounded by the valley. Stop and stare, all the while long. For more information, please visit

NOTHING COMPARES All this coupled with the best deals and packages makes this a destination you just cannot resist: eìSTAY FOR BREAKFAST Promotional code: S4B. eìEXPERIENCE DINING WITH US Promotional code: ES1. eìSPA GETAWAY IN THE HILLS Promotion code: ZJ0. eìULTIMATE ROMANCE Promotional code: Z82. eìCOUPLE STAYCATION Promotion code: Z88.


cape town four ways These historic properties—each in a different neighbourhood— offer a window into the port city’s rich and varied past art collectors, take note The contemporary art scene here is getting better by the day, and its hub is Gallery Momo in the CBD. Curator Monna Mokoena’s got his eye on these artists and showrooms:

COMMUNE.1 With the exhibition space’s focus on promising young artists, founders Greg and Leigh-Anne Dale have created “an up-and-coming game changer,” Mokoena says.

JONATHAN FREEMANTLE His signature style mixes earth, resin and oil to create “powerful, engaging” landscape paintings.


The lawn at Ellerman House. Previous pages: hyperlocal fare at Naturalis

Set in the stately former South African Reserve Bank and Temple Chambers, the Taj Cape Town (www.tajhotels. com; doubles from ZAR3,000 or 13,480) is close to some of the city’s top sights, like the 17th-century Company’s Garden and Gothic St George’s Cathedral. Many of the hotel’s 176 rooms have superb views of Table Mountain.

In the Gardens The 15-room Cape Cadogan (; doubles from ZAR3,470 or 15,600) occupies an elegant 19th-century National

Monument building right by the posh restaurants and boutiques of Kloof Street. The sleek décor includes bold stripes and blackand-white checkered floors, offset by touches of Oscar Wilde-inspired extravagance like Versailles chairs and vases brimming with proteas.

On the V&A Waterfront The six-room Dock House Boutique Hotel & Spa (www.; doubles from ZAR5,530 or 24,840) is housed in the former harbour master’s residence, originally built in 1860. The opulent interiors blend old-world details

94 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016

like antique chairs, mirrored desks and vintage hatboxes with modern oversized bathrooms and a lovely (if smallish) pool.

On the Atlantic Seaboard Ellerman House (www.; doubles from ZAR7,000 or 31,450) is a beautiful Cape Edwardian mansion with panoramic views of the ocean. One of the most luxurious hotels in the country, it has an extensive collection of South African art adorning the walls and the manicured cliffside lawns, and offers a number of art and wine tours.

THE KNOW-IT ALL APP VoiceMap, which launched in Cape Town, offers some great audio tours. Look for indepth narratives on the city’s slave history, the Company’s Garden and the struggle against apartheid, all told by locals like genealogist Aubrey Springveldt, writer Eve Sandler, and activist Gael Reagan.


In the CBD

A Congolese artist now working in Cape Town, Mbikayi creates sculptures and mixed-media pieces from discarded computer parts such as keyboards, mouses and USB cables.


the great outdoors With easily accessible trailheads and a stunning coastline, in Cape Town, you’re never far from an afternoon of adventure and fun THE BEST BEACHES The city is fringed by countless stretches of sand, but most visitors find the waters too icy for a swim, even during the peak summer months of December through February. Don’t let that stop you from hitting the coast. Whatever you’re into, there’s a beach for that.

The Top Hikes If you have…

90 minutes The spiral route from Signal Hill up Lion’s Head winds its way around the conical peak, giving you a changing view of the city at every turn.

3 hours

Camps Bay

Take the steep but doable Platteklip Gorge trail up iconic Table Mountain, starting not far from the visitors’ centre. Pause at the top for a well-deserved photo op, then relax on the cable-car ride down.

Surf breaks:

5 hours


At the southwesternmost tip of Africa, the scenic Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve has countless hiking paths, including some overnight routes. The Shipwreck Trail is littered with remnants of boats—there’s a reason this area was originally dubbed the Cape of Storms.

Family-friendly: Clifton 1, 2, 3 or 4

Beautiful people:

Low-key vibes: Llandudno

Penguin spotting: Boulders

Views of Table Mountain: Bloubergstrand

Tourists hiking one of Table Mountain’s paths

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Nudists: Sandy Bay

Big flavours, new twists:China on a dish If you had 99 good reasons to visit The China Kitchen at the Hyatt Regency Delhi (authentic flavours, modern concoctions, and the Peking duck, of course!), here’s one more. The Chinese fine dining hotspot introduces a brand new menu handcrafted by Master Chef Zhang Hongsheng. You’re welcome WHAT WE ALREADY KNOW: This is the ultimate destination for authentic, contemporary Chinese food, created with the freshest ingredients, and adopting the most stylised interpretations of the cuisine. For years discerning diners have enjoyed its luxurious ambience that will transport you into the dining room of a Chinese home. It is divided into four distinctive components: a majestic open kitchen, five artistically designed private dining rooms, a wine wall and tea bar, and the dining area. Its kitchen is further allocated to the famous Peking duck station, a dumpling and noodle bar, the steamer, a wok and a dessert kitchen. Further extending the true-to-style experience, the private dining rooms have been named after and inspired by the provinces of China, which also point

toward the chef’s origins—Sichuan, Hubei, Guangzhou, Anhui and Hunan. ONCE IS NEVER ENOUGH: We’ve all come back, over and again to indulge in mouth-watering delicacies like the legendary Pecking Duck, the Beggars Chicken, the Sichuan poached sliced lamb, and innovative dumplings. The food has a level of integrity which is hard to find anywhere else. For instance, a variety of the vegetables are grown on the restaurant’s farms using Chinese seeds. The restaurant’s traditional tea bar offers a wide selection of Chinese teas, while the wine wall stocks the finest international wines, stored at the perfect temperature to suit all connoisseurs. There is also a music menu and a karaoke set-up in one of the rooms, to keep you entertained.

AND NOW: The China Kitchen is launching a fresh menu that takes your favourites to a whole new level, recreating the magic of authentic Chinese in a way that it will stir your senses. Get excited for a brand new selection of vegetarian dishes, varieties of dumplings that you’ve never had or heard of before and creative, delectable interpretations of desserts. This is a break from the norm even the most oldschool diner will welcome.

Open daily for lunch from 12 noon to 3pm and for dinner from 7pm to 11:30pm. For more information, please call +91 116677 1334. For exclusive discounts and offers, book online at


where to eat & drink From classic charcuterie to inventive modern fare, Cape Town’s culinary landscape has a lot going on chefspeak Liam Tomlin owns Chefs Warehouse and Canteen, a laid-back tapas spot in the CBD that doubles up as a culinary shop selling knives, olive oils and cookbooks from around the world. Here, he lists his recently opened favourites.

a great wine list by David Cope, who’s a big champion of indie wineries like Alheit Vineyards and Migliarina.” (www.ffmm.;

BACON ON BREE & CULTURE CLUB CHEESE “These two spots are right next door to each other. Bacon on Bree (www.bacononbree. com) makes some top-notch charcuterie, and the menu is full of bacon—on salads, on burgers, even mixed into mayo for BLTs.

NATURALIS “Luke Dale-Roberts is the most innovative chef in South Africa. Here, he plays with techniques like fermentation and cheesemaking—and serves dishes like sweet potato salad with miso cream, sumac-smoked trout and beet hummus.”

CNT CLASSIC PICKS Casual may be on trend, but these favourites remain


Culture Club Cheese (www. serves sandwiches and salads, along with the widest selection of artisanal cheeses in Cape Town. Try the raclette.”

FRANKIE FENNER MEAT MERCHANTS & PUBLIK “It’s both a butcher and wine bar. Now chef Ash Heeger’s opening a restaurant called ASH in the same space. You’ll find charcoalgrilled beef, chicken, lamb and pork, nose-to-tail style, alongside

Reservations are essential at this brunch mainstay that regularly revamps its menu and décor. Don’t miss the mosbolletjie bread made from grape juice and aniseed. (www.hemelhuijs.

LA COLOMBE It has a well-earned reputation for churning out top-flight culinary talent like Luke DaleRoberts. Current chef Scot Kirton playfully serves his signature tuna tataki in a tin. (

THE TEST KITCHEN Expect unexpected dishes like roast duck with kumquat, foie gras and barbecue meringue.

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The Local Brew Independent shops serving organic African beans are booming in the CBD, where more and more people are moving, both to live and work. “Cape Town has around 160 independent roasters, more than you’d find in London,” a city with nine times the population, says David Donde, founder of Truth Coffee (www.truthcoffee. com). At the Steampunkinspired spot, waiters in leather waistcoats and top hats serve house blends with names like Antithesis, Resurrection and Vengeance. An expanding roster of entrepreneurs is converting

old commerical buildings into cafés like Haas Coffee, (www. with salvaged wood furnishings, contemporary paintings, photography for sale and killer espresso drinks. Nearby Kamili Coffee (https://www.facebook. com/Kamilicoffee/) is a brickwalled den inside a turreted Victorian-era building. But the grandaddy of the artisanal coffee scene remains Origin (www., which serves a hearty breakfast— omelettes with cured confit pork belly lardons; shakshuka with merguez lamb sausage—along with house-roasted blends.

Haas Coffee, one of the city’s best cafés. Left from top: Luke DaleRoberts of Naturalis; the façade of Culture Club Cheese


where to shop This could be the best place in all of Africa to buy cutting-edge fashion, home furnishings and funky jewellery by local designer Michael Chandler. (+27 21 4186 304)

GOLDBAR, NO. 70 The Veuve Clicquot flows until late at this lounge that hosts soul, hip-hop and funk DJs. ( GoldBarCPT)

HONEY BADGER, NO. 91 Loop Street’s hangout HQ serves Alliance ale and hosts a variety of comedy shows and concerts. (

ISSA LEO, NO. 75 The Wiid Design studio. Below: A corner of Loop Street

bring an extra suitcase Aidan Bennetts, the stylish creative director of the CBD furniture shop Stable, tells you where to get the good stuff.

Dark Horse “It’s expanded into things like dining room tables and armchairs, but the well-crafted leather bags, duffels, and totes remain its best-known offerings—along with an everexpanding selection of buttery wallets, iPad cases and belts.” (

NEIGHBOURGOODS MARKET “The Saturday market at the Old Biscuit Mill is known for its food, but designers show up as well. Furniture and lighting from Jasper Eales Original (www.jasperealesoriginal. com) is worth seeking out, although admittedly hard to pack. More portable is the range of contemporary costume jewellery, as well as

This menswear brand from Spanish designer Issa Lopez mixes classic blazers with graphic tees. (

fine gold-plated and diamond pieces from Black Betty (www., which also has a stand here.” (www.

It’s All About Loop Street


This CBD micro-hood is the most talked about one in Cape Town. Here’s why:


61+ATE, No. 61

“Socks may not sound cool, but these guys have created a colourful range that’s manufactured locally out of sustainable bamboo. They’ve also got a solid section of ties, pocket squares and lapel pins.” (

This casual lunch spot has a rotating menu with dishes like chilli, salt and pepper squid and spinach and feta quiche. (+27 21 426 1273)

Next door to Giulio’s, this bakery is famous for its “naked rainbow cake”, with multicoloured layers slathered in cream-cheese frosting. You’ll also get great muffins, quiches and coffee. (

PRINS & PRINS “You’ll find bracelets, earrings, necklaces and rings, specialising in diamonds and tanzanite. There’s even a gemstone museum in the basement.” (

WIID DESIGN “Laurie Wiid van Heerden works mostly with cork to make barstools, seats and lights, but the smaller items like jugs and vases are just as lovely.” (www.

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GIULIO’S CAFÉ, NO. 16 An Italian spot with exposedbrick and white-walled interiors

VILLAGE IDIOT, NO. 32 The vibe-y pub serves periperi chicken and beef sausage burgers, and hosts a barbecue on summer Sundays. (+27 21 4181 548)

7 reasons why every girl needs to visit Thailand this August A favourite tourist destination it certainly is, but Thailand has gone all out to make every girl book a ticket to the country— to partake in some merrymaking and women-centric celebrations in honour of the 84th birthday of their queen


f Thailand had a theme song for the month of August, it would probably be the 1980s Cyndi Lauper hit, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. And with good reason. Come August, and you can expect a gaggle of girl gangs descending on Thailand. On the occasion of their queen’s 84th birthday, the country is extending its celebrations to all women—and providing unmissable opportunities to make the most of the festivities. 1. PARTY ALL NIGHT If attending the most definitive parties in Thailand is on the short list of things to do, then you have your pick of locations: Koh Phangan for its world-famous fullmoon party is a definite must, or there’s always club-hopping in Bangkok to look forward to. 2. OUT ON A LIMB If it’s adrenalin-pumping adventure that is more your thing, there is enough of that too, from rock-climbing in Krabi, cliff-hanging in Koh Lanta, diving in Koh

6. BE A SPORT Up the ante and challenge yourself with a couple of quick sessions in Muay Thai—an indigenous boxing technique used by ancient Thai warriors to fight battles. Prefer something a little slower? Tee off on any of Thailand’s world-class golf courses, which are offering special discounts on green fees and other packages to lady golfers looking to make a mark on the greens.

4. ON A CULINARY ADVENTURE If you’ve always wanted to stir up a true blue authentic Thai fare, then this is the perfect opportunity to learn the art. From a low-down on selecting the freshest ingredients to chopping them correctly, it’s your chance to become an expert at culinary schools in the country. Tao, zip-lining in Chiang Mai. Or you can hop on to a bike and take a short road trip, all the way up to northern Thailand. 3. CHANNEL YOUR CHI If your holiday in Thailand is all about rejuvenating the mind, body and spirit, then you couldn’t have come to a better place. Check yourself into any one of Thailand’s resorts, park yourself at the wellness spas, or head to a calming yoga centre.

5. RETAIL THERAPY Shopping is probably the first thing you’d want to check off on your list of things to do. You couldn’t have chosen a more appropriate time to visit Thailand, given that you’ll be right on time for the Amazing Thailand Grand Sale 2016, the world’s longest-running sale. From 15 June to 15 August, Thailand offers a 10 to 80 per cent discount on most high-street and luxury brands.

7. TRANSFORM YOURSELF Rest, relaxation and rejuvenation should make you feel like a whole new person, but if you are in the mood for something radical, there are the invasive and non-invasive treatments that have found favour with many a celebrity. From Kim Kardashian, whose age-defying skin can be attributed to a treatment in Thailand, to Kanye West’s trip to the country for a laser treatment, Thailand is coveted for its state-of-the-art cosmetic surgery techniques. For more information, visit womensjourney,, and tourismauthorityofthailand, TourismAuthorityofThailandMumbai


Nikita Sahay at Ahilya by the Sea, Goa. On Nikita: chiffon dress, Stephany; leather sandals, Sanchita Ajjampur. Opposite page: inside a suite at Halcyon House, Byron Bay



HOt LIST 2016


It’s been an amazing year for new hotels and for the hospitality sector in general. Our reporters and contributors have travelled far and wide to find you some absolute jewels—from Incan jungles in South America to an oasis in the urban maze of Milan, from the English countryside to the far reaches of Chengdu and even atop in Kerala. We promise you, this one’s a keeper. Happy holiday planning!




Ahilya by the Sea Goa Shangri-La Hotel, Bengaluru InterContinental Chennai Mahabalipuram Resort The St. Regis Mumbai Hyatt Regency Ahmedabad JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar Pepper Trail Kerala

COMO The Treasury Perth Halcyon House New South Wales The Old Clare Hotel Sydney

Quirk Hotel USA Ace Hotel Pittsburgh USA Baccarat Hotel & Residences USA The Chequit USA Faena Hotel Miami Beach USA Hotel Emma USA 1 Hotel South Beach USA The Inn at Newport Ranch USA The Ivy Hotel USA L’Horizon Resort & Spa USA Chicago Athletic Association USA South Congress Hotel USA Four Seasons Hotel Casa Medina Colombia Hacienda AltaGracia Costa Rica Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba Peru Barbuda Belle Antigua & Barbuda, Caribbean Casa Fayette Mexico Marriot Port-au-Prince Hotel, Haiti Playa Grande Beach Club Dominican Republic

ASIA Phum Baitang Cambodia Katamama Bali Four Seasons Hotel Seoul South Korea The Reverie Saigon Vietnam Shangri-La Hotel, Ulaanbaatar Mongolia The Temple House China Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort Sri Lanka Keemala Thailand TRI, Koggala Lake Sri Lanka Mandapa, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve Bali Amanemu Japan Panacea Retreat Thailand

AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST andBeyond Benguerra Island, Bazaruto Archipelago Mozambique Angama Mara Kenya Elma Arts Complex Luxury Hotel Israel Makanyi Private Game Lodge South Africa Park Hyatt Zanzibar Tanzania Palazzo Versace UAE Four Seasons Hotel Dubai International Financial Centre UAE

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EUROPE Fendi Private Suites Italy The Fifteen Keys Hotel Italy Hotel Gotham UK La Bastide de Gordes France The Laslett UK Mandarin Oriental Italy Palazzo Dama Italy Pousada de Lisboa Portugal The Lanesborough UK Les Bains France Le Pigalle France Schloss Elmau Retreat, Germany Six Senses Douro Valley Portugal Soho House Istanbul Turkey Soho Farmhouse UK Villa René Lalique France The St. Regis Istanbul Turkey Villa Stéphanie Germany Yndo Hotel France JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa Italy The Zetter Townhouse Marylebone UK W Amsterdam Netherlands


India If you’re looking for a quiet escape, then the two selfsufficient villas (of three and four bedrooms each), 10km away from Panjim and a bit removed from the usual tourist haunts, work perfectly. Whether you rent both together for a large group or just a room, you’re guaranteed peace. (www.

Shangri-La Hotel, Bengaluru

InterContinental Chennai Mahabalipuram Resort

The city’s tallest hotel is conveniently located near its business hubs. When you’re done wheeling and dealing for the day, you can return to your perch at the rooftop bar, which will host live music every day, and plot your next steps to world domination. (www.

You can choose to escape the daily grind here or indulge in it, for this one’s suited to both—lounging by the sea and working your bones off at the nearby IT hubs. Either way, the innovative plating at Tao of Peng, the Cantonese restaurant, will keep you nourished. (

The lobby of the Shangri-La Hotel, Bengaluru

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The St. Regis Mumbai Location. Location. Location. It could be the singular reason to head to the reincarnated Palladium Hotel in buzzing Lower Parel. If you need others, there’s Asilo, the rooftop bar, and the Asian cuisine at By the Mekong. At either venue, sit back and gaze at the city’s stunning skyline. (


Ahilya by the Sea Goa


Niraamaya Retreats invites you to step out of the mundane and into the spectacular. Leave your hectic lifestyle behind and imagine yourself a breath away from the soothing lull of the Arabian Sea, or surrounded by the lush greenery of a cardamom plantation. Luxuriate in one of our awardwinning spas, indulge in soul-satisfying cuisine, or simply discover the joy of doing nothing. For bookings, please call Tel: +91 80 4510 4510 or mail Visit us at 3V]HSHTcœLRRHK`c3\THYHRVTc+OPRTHNHS\Yc/VH Niraamaya Retreats Surya Samudra is a member of +VUKķ6HZ[<YH]LSSLY:LHKLYZJHUSVNVU[VV\Y^LIZP[LHUK\ZL8:757+VKL"+6< for special offers


The spa at Phum Baitang, Cambodia. Opposite page: an art gallery at The Temple House in China



Hyatt Regency Ahmedabad

Phum Baitang Cambodia

A CNT Readers’ Travel Award winner, this business hotel offers guests unique glimpses of the city, especially from its upper floors. Book a View Room, where the floor-to-ceiling windows overlook the Sabarmati River. (http://ahmedabad.regency.

We know how tiring a day spent ambling around Angkor Wat can be. Which is why it’s a blessing to return to a blissful therapy at this Siem Reap hideaway’s Spa Temple. For best results, book a villa with a private plunge pool. (

Katamama Bali JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar We couldn’t have wished for a hotel closer to the airport: you can roll out of bed and make it to your flight. But do make the time to eat at the Italian restaurant, Romano’s, which uses herbs and greens grown in the kitchen garden. (

Pepper Trail Kerala Go live 40ft above ground in a home built on jackfruit trees, in the middle of a 200-acre plantation in Wayanad. We dare you to return unaffected by it. (

This all-suite boutique property bills itself as “made by artisans”. You’ll find chic rooms that are furnished with traditional crafts and every modern convenience. Pick a Rooftop Suite, which comes with its own terrace gardens and a view of the Indian Ocean. (

Four Seasons Hotel Seoul South Korea In a no-nonsense high-rise situated in the Jongno-gu district, this hotel suits the business traveller perfectly. Major corporate offices, as well

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as some of the city’s hippest bars, markets and plazas, are just a short distance away, while the indoor lap pool is where you can pretend to be 007 and kick back with a Martini. (www.

The Reverie Saigon Vietnam When the tallest hotel in Ho Chi Minh City ropes in four of the best Italian designers to take charge of its décor and a Michelin-starred chef to helm its Cantonese restaurant, you know it’s going to be nothing short of outstanding. (www.

Shangri-La Hotel, Ulaanbaatar Mongolia Now this is a hotel with a view. We’d completely understand if you didn’t ever want to leave your mountain-facing room. However, if you did, another way to feast your eyes would be

by choosing an al fresco table on the terrace of Naadam, the casual-dining restaurant. (www.

The Temple House China The entrance to this Chengdu hotel will remind you of Shifu’s school from the Kung Fu Panda film series. But inside, it’s a contemporary affair: all the mod cons in place, and excellent organic vegetarian fare at Teahouse, the Chinese restaurant. (www.

Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort Sri Lanka A sexy, secluded resort on a palm-lined shore is excuse enough to use up your vacation days. It’s also a great place to take the kids: blue whales come close to the coast between December and April, and the hotel offers a tour to go spot them. (http://


Asia Keemala Thailand Inspired by imaginary tribes and their idiosyncrasies, some of the villas here look like fruit hanging from trees, which may leave you bewildered. But this wonderfully weird, charming jungle resort in Phuket is the perfect place to hide out for a few days when you just want to disconnect from the world. (

TRI Sri Lanka When math meets design, the result is distinctive. This hotel by Koggala Lake is designed using the Fibonacci Sequence, a mathematical concept. It’s safe to say that when you look out at the refreshing greenery and tranquil lake from your Water Tower room or step onto the

The pool at TRI in Sri Lanka

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cantilevered pool area, you’ll feel like thanking the beautiful mind behind this place. (http://

Mandapa – A Ritz-Carlton Reserve Bali It may not have the beach you’ve come to expect when you think of Bali, but there’s no dearth of bliss to be found here—not

come back new







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A sunset cruise on a dhow at andBeyond Benguerra Island. Left: Masai women at Angama Mara



just because of the array of spa treatments). The best way to experience this Balinese villagelike wellness oasis is by getting in a calming session of yoga facing the incredibly green rice fields, followed by a picnic beside the Ayung River. (www.

andBeyond Benguerra Island Mozambique

The spectacularly minimalist resort right by the Pacific Ocean is centred around a traditional bath house fed by natural hot springs (onsen). It’s the dictionary definition of escape. (

This one ticks every box in the definition of an unspoilt tropical paradise. The waters around the stunning Benguerra Island (which sits alongside the Mozambique Channel) are home to dolphins, migrating whales and even the endangered dugongs. Acquaint yourself with local life as you go horse riding through the jungle, fly fishing off the coast or exploring a nearby mangrove lagoon. That’s if you manage to pry yourself away from the property’s exquisitely made beachfront cabanas. (www.

Panacea Retreat Thailand

Angama Mara Kenya

A set of four-, five- and sixbedroom villas with infinity pools and views of hills or sea—this Koh Samui spot will melt away all your troubles. We can’t think of a better name for it. (http://

Inspired by the Swahili word for ‘suspended in mid-air’, Angama Mara, located in the Great Rift Valley, offers its guests just that feeling—the lovely lightness of being, from high above Kenya’s Masai Mara reserve. This feeling

Amanemu Japan

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is taken even further, as guests can ride hot-air balloons that soar over the grasslands. They can also sign up for safaris that are focused on photography. (www.

cats. This lodge nestled in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve is absolute purr-fection. (www.

Elma Arts Complex Luxury Hotel Israel

A unique blend of white-sand beaches, turquoise seas and ornate Arab, Persian and Indian architecture, this Stone Town property is quite unlike any other beach destination you’ve been to. Trust us. (www.zanzibar.park.

Sure we’ve heard of malls with luxury hotels attached. But one crammed with art and connected to a web of galleries and performance spaces— including a 450-seater auditorium—is certainly a rarity. Enough reason to put this hotel, in Zikhron Ya’akov, on your itinerary for that long-overdue trip to Israel, we say. (

Makanyi Private Game Lodge South Africa Rooms with fireplaces, Nespresso machines and free wi-fi; a variety of safari experiences, sunsets that inspire poetry and, yes, wild

Park Hyatt Zanzibar Tanzania

Palazzo Versace UAE The city of bling already had a reputation for being OTT, and then comes this hotel by the Italian fashion icon. Everything here is so Versace: from the tea set that holds your Dammann Frères to the all-day diner’s jungle-green walls—a nod to JLo’s infamous Grammy gown. (


africa & THE MIDDLE EAST Four Seasons Hotel Dubai International Financial Centre UAE Last year, the Four Seasons opened its sprawling resort on Jumeirah Beach in Dubai; this March, it opened a compact business hotel in the city’s buzzing Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). In

contrast to the towering skyscrapers all around it, the hotel has just 106 guest rooms across eight floors, including spacious suites with views of the Burj Khalifa. And while there’s no dearth of great restaurants and bars in the area—Zuma is just around the corner—there are some great

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options within as well. Firebird Diner is celebrity chef Michael Mina’s decidedly upmarket take on the American greasy spoon, where staples are given a posh spin—the mac ‘n’ cheese is truffled; the pot pie is lobster. And the rooftop Luna Sky Bar is already something of a hotspot.

(Frankly, even the tomato soup and grilled cheese on the room service menu are excellent.) If you’re looking to pamper yourself, book a 24 Carat Gold Cellular Rejuvenation facial at the spa, or request an airport transfer in one of the hotel’s Maseratis. After all, when in Dubai…

Begin again If you thought you knew what perfection is, think again. Conrad Koh Samui is a paradise unlike any other, where time stops and life restarts


ituated on the south-western tip of the idyllic Thai island, the beautiful 25-acre luxury resort is built into a dramatic hillside, framed by azure reefs of Aow Thai Beach below, and the beautiful cerulean sky above. 81 free-standing pool villas, all with private balconies will offer you breathtaking views of white sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters and heliconia-red sunsets. Look inside, and you will be enveloped in luxury and comfort that is overwhelming. Each villa has tropical hardwood floor and is elegantly decorated with Thai artwork, silk and local stone features. Amenities include LCD flat screens, high-speed internet connections, floor-to-ceiling windows and bathrooms with oversized bathtubs and glass-walled rain showers. The finest of them all, the Conrad Royal Oceanview Pool Villa, has a 22.5m infinity pool, a luxe living room and lawn,

a king-sized master bedroom with an ensuite bathroom featuring spa-quality amenities, a dining table and fullyequipped kitchen. Plus, there’s a 24-hour butler service, private chef and grocery shopping service available on request— giving you very little reason to leave. Unless it’s to indulge in the amazing choice of culinary delights. The Cellar, perched on top of the resort offers private dining and interactive wine sessions, while Jahn is known for its contemporary Thai cuisine. For those craving something different, the Mediterranean-inspired Zest—an all-day dining option with a unique ‘Food Library’—promises to satisfy. For an open-air feast, drop into Azure Bar & Grill, or for cocktails and beautiful sunsets, check into the Lobby bar. The resort also arranges destination dining excursions for unique experiences. Or if it’s to pamper yourself with one

of the best spa experiences of your life. Focusing on personal attention and sensory engagement, the treatments here unite contemporary luxury with ancient healing traditions to enhance the well-being of your body, mind and soul. The Conrad also houses an on-site diving and sailing booking centre for those who want to go on a nautical adventure, a fitness centre with Tai Chi and Thai boxing classes, a Kid’s club and two retain shops. If all this wasn’t enough, the resort even has its own concierge app for personal luxury at your fingertips. Download the complimentary app and customise the details of your stay before and during your visit. Here you will find luxury, beauty, bliss—which will make you think, you haven’t truly lived, until now. For more information, visit


Australia COMO The Treasury Perth It’s named quite aptly, given all the goodies your kids get, from chocolate when they check in to other delights if they go on a Sweet Treats trail around the building. The plus for you: there’s enough to do, both inside and outside, to burn the sugar, and children under

12 dine free at Post, the modern Australian restaurant. (

Halcyon House New South Wales Plenty of indigos and bright whites, crazy patterns teamed with solid colours, pictures and paintings on the walls—there is a comforting warmth that

A room at Halcyon House in New South Wales

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draws you in and holds you close. Or perhaps it’s the food by Noma graduate Ben Devlin. We can’t decide, but either way, we’re not complaining. (

The Old Clare Hotel Sydney There’s nothing “old” about this new property, set bang in the

middle of the neighbourhood of Chippendale (aka hipster central). Check in and check out the three cracking restaurants—by Jason Atherton (of 22 Ships, Pollen Street Social, The Clocktower), Sam Miller (formerly of Noma) and Clayton Wells (exMomofuku Seiobo). (www.


A suite at Hotel Gotham in Manchester. Right: a drinks trolley at The Laslett in London

Europe Fendi Private Suites Italy The luxury design brand’s first property—which also has its largest boutique—houses seven suites above Rome’s busy Via dei Condotti. But the slick, minimalist look, heated floors and custom Fendi Casa linen may just have you stay in all day. (

The Fifteen Keys Hotel Italy When you're not lounging in one of the 15 airy rooms—with stunning views and custom Malin+Goetz bath fittings— traipse around Rome’s gorgeous old streets on the hotel's bikes. Plus, the Colosseum is just a kilometre away. (www.

Hotel Gotham UK This place takes indulgence seriously, as seen in the opulent brass fittings, leather upholstery and high thread-count bed linen.

In the rooms, statement chairs in pop colours offset the chevron patterns of the carpets. But it's the VIP lounge, Club Brass, that has Manchester talking. (www.

La Bastide de Gordes France This stone castle that’s set on a hill in Gordes has transformed effortlessly from home to luxury hotel. Chef Pierre Gagnaire brings his Michelin-starred expertise to Pèir, where the Sunday terrace brunch is reason enough to visit. (

The Laslett UK True to the Living Rooms aesthetic, this boutique hotel in London’s Notting Hill has a pared-down, subtle luxury. From the library bursting with art books to the edgy interiors by Pinch and Race Furniture, everything is carefully curated,

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with an easy going vibe that reminds one of home. (www.

Mandarin Oriental Italy This summer, take your family to Milan. Comfortably close to most of the city’s tourist spots, the Mandarin Oriental is stylish enough to suit the fashion capital of the world. It also has free inroom amenities for kids. Leave the little ones to browse the special children’s menu and chill with a drink at the bar. (www.

Pousada de Lisboa Portugal This beautiful property’s location is as impeccable as its aesthetic. Lisbon’s famous landmark, the Church of St Anthony, and the National Museum of Contemporary Art are both within walking distance, as is the Tagus River. The rooms, which once housed the Ministry of Internal Affairs, have been given a chic update: wooden floors, marble bathrooms, carved headboards and free wi-fi. (www.

The Lanesborough UK Palazzo Dama Italy Live out your Jane Austen fantasy at this Rome villa that once hosted prominent dignitaries. The high-ceilinged rooms boast collectables from around the world, and the restaurant, with its crystal chandeliers, will make you feel like 18th-century royalty. (

Live the Downton Abbey life at this charming place on the fringes of Windsor Castle in London, but with 24-hour butler service and all the digital trickery you can imagine. Take high tea in Céleste, the Venetian dining room, retreat to the Garden Room to smoke a Cubano and end your day in the Withdrawing Room. (www.

Heaven on Earth at SKY...

HOT LIST 2016 Les Bains France

Le Pigalle France

A converted bathhouse in Paris, this is where Mick Jagger, Naomi Campbell, Andy Warhol and Karl Lagerfeld partied back in the ’70s. Even today, it remains as glamorous—the rooms have rotating artwork due to an active artists’ residency programme. And each Les Bains Suite boasts a private hammam. (

This Paris hotel truly believes that to experience a city, you have to live in it. So your breakfast croissant comes from the bakery across; the library’s stocked with books from the neighbourhood bookstore. And the piped music is picked by a DJ who lives down the street. Experience it on the inside or step outside—you decide. (

The concierge desk at Les Bains, Paris

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Europe Schloss Elmau Retreat Germany

Six Senses Douro Valley Portugal

This excellent property nestled in the Bavarian Alps is where Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, met G7 leaders, including US President Barack Obama, in 2015. Check out Ganesha, the spa restaurant and Summit for Thai cuisine. (

A 19th-century manor overlooking vineyards turned into something more than just another stopover on your wine-tasting itinerary. This Six Senses property has something for the entire family—birdwatching, helicopter tours, and

A suite at The Lanesborough, London

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adventure sports such as biking and canyoning. If you nose your vino seriously, you can play winemaker for a day: blend your own brew and carry it home. (

Soho House Istanbul Turkey Besides all of the brand’s jet-set snazziness, the hotel draws

much of its look and feel from the character of the city. So while the stairways have ornate metal railings, the rooms feature carved wooden headboards, wall-mounted carpets and freestanding bathtubs. It’s a look that’s supremely local yet international, just like the city itself. (www.sohohouse







The deli at Soho Farmhouse in Oxfordshire, UK

Europe Soho Farmhouse UK This 100-acre property nestled in the countryside of Oxfordshire is all heart, with style to match. The seven-room farmhouse comes with full housekeeping and room service. So, the next time you’re planning that long overdue reunion with the extended family, kids in tow, you need look no further. (www.

Villa René Lalique France We know you‘ve always wondered what it’s like to stay in the home of the rich and famous. You can now shack up at a 1920s villa located in Alsace that was once the residence of Art Deco glass designer René Lalique. In its current avatar, the property has a wine cellar that stocks over 20,000 bottles from around the world. Sounds like a vin(o)vin(o) situation to us. (www.

The St. Regis Istanbul Turkey The Great Gatsby of the 1920s sashays into the future as Art Deco elements merge with aluminium- and copper-clad interiors. Unwind at one of the in-house hammams or kick back with the signature Bloody Mary at the glass-walled gourmet rooftop restaurant, Spago, which is helmed by masterchef Wolfgang Puck. (www.

Villa Stéphanie Germany Ever wished for a switch that you could flip to disconnect from the outside world? This spa retreat, which has a sauna, hammam and medical facility attached, offers rooms where you can switch off from the digital world completely and be free of e-smog. That’s what we call taking off-the-grid to the next level. (

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Yndo Hotel Grance Your first glimpse of this property in the gorgeous wine country of Bordeaux might convince you you’re about to step into a 19thcentury mansion constructed entirely of stone. But once you’re inside, what you see will come as a complete surprise. Rooms with names such as Crazy feature shaggy chairs, bathtubs shaped like ramen bowls, decadent chandeliers made of Murano crystal as well as custom-made ceramics. (www.

JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa Italy Perfectly situated on its own private island, this property is ideal for that romantic getaway. Take cooking classes at its Sapori Cooking Academy, watch the sun set from the terrace or just hang out in the rooms, designed by starchitect Matteo

Thun—some with stunning views of the Venetian lagoon. (www.

The Zetter Townhouse Marylebone UK Kitted out with souvenirs sourced from a fictitious Wicked Uncle Seymour’s grand tour of Europe, this townhouse in central London has all the elements of an eclectic boutique hotel—think antique wicker sofas and in-room guides with staff recommendations. (www.

W Amsterdam Netherlands Amsterdam’s image makeover— from a drugs-and-sex hotspot to one for sophisticated design— gets a boost with this hotel right in the heart of the city. We love the “pets are welcome” policy, which includes services like cosy beds and friendly walkers. (www.

The beginning to your happily ever after If you’re looking for the perfect location to host your wedding celebrations, head to the The Novotel Goa Resort & Spa. Here you will find all you need to make your dreams a reality We all want to get married in a magical location, where the hospitality knows no bounds. That’s why you should choose to hold your nuptials at The Novotel Goa Resort & Spa. Located among lush paddy plantations, close to Goa’s nightlife at Candolim Beach, it has a combine inventory of 206 spacious rooms and suites, with 85 additional rooms five minutes away at the The Novotel Goa Resort and Spa, ensuring that your guests can rest in luxury during their stay here. What sets The Novotel Goa Resort & Spa apart from its contemporaries is its 12 banqueting facilities, including Goa’s second largest event space—Marquee. With a capacity of a maximum of 350 in a round table set up and a floating crowd capacity of 1,000 people and spread over 8,000sqft, it serves as the ideal space to host the reception. For the sangeet, choose the Tulip banquet space that’s interconnected to the Lily event area, for a total of 80-100 guests while Ivy and Iris are perfect for functions that need to accommodate 170 people. However, if you wish to take your vows by the beach, choose LaBrise that has both an indoor and outdoor area for that picture perfect backdrop of the Arabian Sea. And to while away time in between functions, guests can head to the Mediterranean Vera Cibo restaurant or The Vitality Pool deck and Alfresco to unwind. What’s more, The Novotel Goa Resort & Spa has a dedicated Banquet/Event team to help you with whatever you desire. From arranging make-up artists and booking the decorator to contacting outside vendors, they do it all. For the buffet,

choose spreads from the hotel’s seven restaurants. From traditional Indian and Italian to grills and wok counters, they have it all. Indian weddings are all about variety and getting spoilt for choice, and their inhouse maharaj knows it well. Right from Dal Bhatti Churma to a choice of Farsaans, authentic Chaat stalls or Indian street style food stations, they have all this and more. In the days building up to your wedding, indulge in The Novotel Goa Resort & Spa’s special experiential services like a private Cabana dinner by the pool with sparkling wine and a three-course meal. On your wedding night, the hotel decorates the room, along with providing chocolates, a bottle of sparkling wine and a complimentary couples’ massage at the Warren Tricomi Spa & Salon. If you choose to stay on post your wedding, the hotel will organise a catered breakfast on board a private yacht that travels to an exclusive beach in the Divar Islands across the Mandolvi River with a live band and sparkling champagne. And if you want to relive the memories post your wedding, you can make use of the hotel’s Anniversary Package to re-visit the resort on your anniversary, which is valid for two years after your wedding. So host your wedding at The Novotel Goa Resort & Spa for memories that will last a lifetime. Book before July 31st this year for functions before July 31st next year and get a sea facing venue complimentary at Candolim beach. For more information, email


The front porch of a suite at The Inn at Newport Ranch, California. Left: the gallery entrance at the Quirk Hotel in Richmond, US

THE AmericaS Art can instantly put people in a good mood. So if you find yourself smiling in this hotel in Richmond, Virginia, you’ll know why. The rooms are filled with artworks, mostly done by local talent, and the furniture is smart, simple and aesthetically pleasing. (www.

Ace Hotel Pittsburgh US Housed in the former YMCA building, this hotel has an elegant, no-fuss vibe. This is just the place for you if you want to be in a buzzy neighbourhood but come back to a bed that you can sink into for the deepest sleep ever. (

Baccarat Hotel & Residences US There are two kinds of people you’ll find at a Baccarat property—those who can afford to stay a few nights and those

who can buy their own piece of it. Either way, those who check in at this NYC property get a dose of understated glamour in a way only the French know how to do. (

The Chequit US The New York hotel is where Frank Sinatra once slept. A part of the Salt Hotels group, the recently renovated rooms here, done in pastel colours, are so airy and bright, that wired lighting is almost unnecessary. (

Faena Hotel Miami Beach US Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin have directed this epic production of a hotel (a golden woolly mammoth, lions and flamingos are part of the cast) bang in the middle of a new development. You might want to book a (beach) front-row seat for this one. (

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Hotel Emma US Imagine a cowboy who came into money and tried to shed his former identity. Rustic and rich, this 146-room outfit in San Antonio oozes South Texas warmth without compromising on design and fine cuisine. (www.

1 Hotel South Beach US Could an address sound fancier? Minimalist is the magic word at this space that fits right in with its ritzy neighbours on a strip of sand in Miami Beach. Enjoy a superb meal of all that the ocean has to offer, and then roll back to your room, sink into bed and let the sound of the waves lull you to sleep. (

The Inn at Newport Ranch US One of the best things about California is its varied topography—mountain, forest, ocean and desert. Apart from

the last, the rest come together on this 2,000-acre coastal ranch in Fort Bragg for an indoor-outdoor experience that is difficult to match. (www.

The Ivy Hotel US Baltimore may come across as grey and unremarkable. But with its WASP décor, outstanding spa and the delicate fare at the in-house restaurant Magdalena, this Relais & Châteaux property may change your mind about the city. (

L’Horizon Resort & Spa US Located in Palm Springs, a city filled with rich retirees, L’Horizon celebrates the young, but the kind who appreciate the finer things in life. Like ace chef Chris Anderson’s plated perfection. Plus, who doesn’t like a hotel that does room service at all hours. (www.


Quirk Hotel US

Chicago Athletic Association US Historic and grand, this property right by Millennium Park brings to mind old money and glory. But it’s far from snooty; the vibe is warm and welcoming. Spend your evenings at Cindy’s, the rooftop bar and restaurant with great city views. (

130 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016



Romance in the Rains Listen to the rhythm of the rain and fall in love all over again. Le Meridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa—an upscale resort with lush green surroundings and misty valleys provides the perfect romantic getaway


ucked away in the picturesque hill station of Mahabaleshwar, surrounded by the thickly forested Sahayadri mountain range, Le Meridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa is an idyllic getaway for couples seeking a romantic interlude. Particularly in the monsoon when the rain-soaked hills and cascading waterfalls transform Mahabaleshwar into a magical haven, and love is unmistakably in the air. With luxurious accommodation, bespoke dining and unbeatable views—the resort has all the right ingredients for that ideal romantic escape. PRIVATE PARADISE While all rooms are similarly plush, if you want to enjoy the convenience of a modern space along with the luxury of the outdoors, (and just the dollop of decadent indulgence), the Serenity Suite has all that, and so much more.

A private balcony, an open-air shower and a private spa area ensure you make the most of the scenery. A living room with all modern amenities, a separate bedroom and en-suite bathroom hold up the luxurious end of things. The boldly beautiful Sanctuary Suite that combines high style with contemporary design is another option, with a private balcony that beckons you to enjoy an al fresco meal, surrounded by the clouds, and fall in love with your partner all over again. RECIPE FOR ROMANCE Dine with your partner under the carpet of a starlit sky at Fire Place, an outdoor dining venue. You can even enjoy some live music at the Longitude 73 restaurant and bar. Or for some old-school romance with dim lights and ambient music, indulge in a private dinner surrounded

by the warm glow of a candle light at the Chingari restaurant. TWO’S COMPANY While getting drenched in the rain is definitely a great way to reignite the romance, pamper yourself in absolute indulgence at Explore Spa with a couple’s spa therapy, which includes a full body scrub, wrap or massage. Follow up by unwinding at the temperature-controlled Infinity pool, set against the backdrop of misty valley views. Being alone together was never more relaxing. For more information, call 91 2168 262222 or visit


A swing on the porch at the Playa Grande Beach Club in the Dominican Republic

THE AmericaS Breakfast in bed, afternoons spent lazing by the pool, evenings at the sushi bar followed by nights at the rooftop bar—at this lovely property in Austin, Texas, you determine the pace and you make all the rules. Everything about the South Congress suggests a philosophy to stop taking life so seriously and just relax. (www.

Four Seasons Hotel Casa Medina Bogota Colombia If you needed further evidence that the Colombian capital is ditching its rather shady reputation, this is it. A historic monument has been transformed into a sexy, intimate hotel. Plus, it’s located in a buzzy neighbourhood that takes its name, Zona G (for Gastronomy), very seriously. We’re very happy. (

Hacienda AltaGracia Costa Rica

Barbuda Belle Antigua & Barbuda, Caribbean

Marriott Port-au-Prince Hotel Haiti

Sitting pretty on 860 verdant acres in Pérez Zeledón, the hotel spells luxury and adventure. It’s on the edge of a rainforest reserve, and houses a stable of thoroughbreds that guests can canter around the estate on, and a fleet of ultralights they can pilot. Go on, book. You know you want to. (https://altagracia.

The property is built on an island whose total population is just over 1,600. The architecture seems to invite the unspoilt beach in for company. The island is a birdwatcher’s paradise, with a number of lovely avian creatures, such as the stunning Great Frigate bird. It is also known for its abundance of very cool caves, including one that has a rainforest inside it. (www.

In a country ridden with strife, here’s a much-needed spot of sunshine. A short distance from the international airport, the comfortable stay offers highspeed Internet, Haiti-inspired dishes with an international flair at the in-house La Serene and a super-luxurious bed. What more do you really need? (www.

Casa Fayette, Guadalajara Mexico

A palette of soothing pastel hues dominates the interiors of this resort, where it seems like all frills have been pushed aside so they don’t come between you and the beach. But the frills do exist if you just know where to look—in the fresh flowers, the fruit baskets, the well-furnished, pretty bungalows that make sure you never want to leave. (www.

Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba Peru Squashy, comfortably overstuffed leather sofas, handwoven throws, blazing fireplaces and mood lighting—this property in Sacred Valley is the perfect spot for you to acclimatise before you hike up to Machu Picchu. Crops such as quinoa and corn, grown in the on-site garden, are used to create delicious organic meals. (www.

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With just 37 rooms, this sweet, Mexican hideout may be small, but it manages to pack in plenty. Sharp interiors by a Milanese design firm, a small rooftop pool and bar, a restaurant whose focus is on local ingredients and a superb spa. A great spot to relax in a buzzing city! (www.

Playa Grande Beach Club Dominican Republic


South Congress Hotel US

Fall in love. Never leave Love blossoms in the most enchanting settings. Sri Lanka’s very first luxury wellness resort, Santani, is one of them An out-of-time, out-of-place paradise, the soon-to-open wellness destination is an idyllic, irresistibly romantic getaway designed to stir your senses. Whether you’re honeymooners who want to indulge in much-needed luxurious pampering post wedding festivities or love birds looking for a beautiful escape and wellness boost before the big day—arrive and watch time disappear, as you fall in love all over again. A picture of calm and serenity, be prepared to lose yourselves in its dreamy surroundings. Set within a 48-acre abandoned tea plantation near the cultural centre of Kandy, it has 16 nature-inspired rooms, two lavish suites, a restaurant headed by ex-Executive chef of the only Relais & Chateaux property in Sri Lanka, a lounge bar and amenities and ambience that will enthral you. But the main focus here is: healthy, happy living. Couples, you can indulge in cleansing, detox foods and juice diets specially designed

for weight loss and getting into perfect shape. Opt for indulgent couple’s programmes at the 6,000 sqft underground spa and hydrotherapy facility led by an ex Ananda in the Himalayas Head Therapist, like water release and watsu, tea, rice and virgin coconut oil based wraps and scrubs, western and eastern massages and much more. Or take part in activities with your better half like yoga, TRX or Pilates. Take a leisurely swim in the resort’s outdoor infinity lap pool, or get in touch with the great outdoors by going mountain biking, hiking and river bathing, without leaving the luxurious comfort of the estate. The best part: the resort also features a thermal salt bath—a first of its kind in Sri Lanka. Rest assured, this is the perfect antidote to all the wedding mayhem, before and after. With so much beauty, wellness and luxury surrounding you—it’s hard not to fall in love. And we won’t blame you if you never want to leave.

MOMENTS OF ROMANCE The Honeymoon offer of a minimum 3-night stay for couples includes: Đ Santani Bliss package with an add on of a 3-hour couples treatment ĐƋA special celebratory candlelit dinner ĐƋComplimentary bottle of champagne upon arrival ĐƋSpecial introductory rates starting at $600 per night per couple

For more information, visit




Vote for your favourites in each category and stand a chance to WIN A LUXURY VACATION

Destinations Hotels Spas Airlines Airports Tour Operators


Look for voting forms in this issue of CondĂŠ Nast Traveller


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“We love the beautiful location—on the banks of the Bosphorus. There’s nothing like waking up to the calming sound of the water and chirruping birds just outside your window.” (; doubles from €150 or 11,450)

“It will transport you straight into the heart of the jungle, but not without the comforts of a luxe machan for you to lounge in and soak in the sounds of the wild. Baghvan is perfect to experience something new as a couple.” (; doubles from 13,260)

THE KHYBER HIMALAYAN RESORT & SPA, GULMARG THE HAAD TIEN BEACH RESORT, THAILAND “White coral sands, turquoise waters, clear skies—and a villa that overlooks it all. The classic romantic getaway.” (; doubles from THB4,712 or 8,950)

“Lounge in the heated pool and look out at pine trees and mountains or go out and explore the landscape. Either way, it’s the ultimate Kashmir break.” (; doubles from 21,280)

ha g n sa il h sa & za ir M ia D h it w Bed-hopping or and film-maker are still in

“Baghvan will transport you straight into the jungle, but with a luxe machan. It’s perfect to experience something new as a couple”

WILDFLOWER HALL, SHIMLA IN THE HIMALAYAS “The warmth of the hospitality here is all in the details. It’s in the goodness of the ayurvedic treatments, the painstakingly prepared meals and the staff that goes out of its way to make you feel right at home, but in the lap of luxury.” (; 21,500)

DON’T MISS In May, Dia Mirza made her TV debut as the host of Ganga—The Soul of India. The show airs on Living Foodz every Sunday at noon

136 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016


years, but the act They’ve been together for almost eight itha Menon their favourite escapes Sm tell ey Th d. rio pe n oo eym hon ir the


AMARI HAVODDA MALDIVES Powder-white sands, leaping mantas—this new resort has it all, finds Salil Deshpande


nce upon a time, there was an island in the Indian Ocean with little more than windswept trees and white sand. Today, among those trees and on that sand sits the Amari Havodda Maldives, which opened its 120 villas to guests in February. At this private island resort, 60 villas stand over the lagoon, while 60 fringe the beach. All are done up in a contemporary style and come with wood-and-stone bathrooms that have a tub and open-air shower. And all offer direct access to the ocean (but if you’re looking for the best views, ask for overwater pool villa 119 or beach pool villa 216). Days here begin with the blues—you open your eyes to a ridiculous amount of sky and the stunning ocean. Grab your fins and go snorkelling straight from the villa— you may even spot a leaping manta. When

138 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016

you return, treat yourself to breakfast on the sun deck and spend the rest of the morning on the overwater hammocks. But of course, there’s more to the place than lazing. Go diving off the reef, learn kitesurfing, take the glass-bottomed kayak out to sea or borrow the jet-ski and go bouncing off the waves. Come back to the outdoor Jacuzzi at Breeze Spa, where all your troubles will be kneaded away. For those looking to make a romantic holiday of it, the couple’s spa villa is a great option. If you want to take it up a notch, ask for a picnic for two at one of the secluded islands nearby. As the day winds down, head to Iru Bar for cocktails on the beach, followed by dinner at the Japanese robatayaki restaurant. Back in your room, settle down on the deck, tune your ears to the lapping waters and count the shooting stars.

AMARI HAVODDA MALDIVES Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll, Maldives (www.; doubles from US$628 or 41,900) GETTING THERE Fly to Malé with SpiceJet (www. Stopover in Kochi) or Air India ( Stopover in Bengaluru) from major Indian cities. From there, take a 55-min flight to Kaadedhdhoo Domestic Airport and a 15-minute speedboat ride to the resort. The hotel can arrange the domestic air and water transfers. Indian passport-holders get visas on arrival in Malé.

Cooler than your average botique hotels Today, the world is flooded with urban, tech-savvy, stylish globetrotters looking for a new kind of hospitality that’s hip, unique and luxe. Ovolo Hotels, a breed of boutique hotels, is your new go-to address in Hong Kong and Australia Lo Lounge - Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour

ar from cookie-cutter options, Ovolo Hotels, the independent lifestyle hotel brand from Hong Kong, is bold, innovative and art-driven, offering the most unique experiences for the millennial traveller. Founded by Girish Jhunjhnuwala, a convention-challenging visionary, the Ovolo Group provides business and leisure guests the best in effortless living and technology-led travel. And now, with the chic transformation of two signature, heritage-listed properties in Woolloomooloo and Darling Harbour, Ovolo Hotels comes to Sydney for the very first time.

OVOLO 1888 DARLING HARBOUR Tastefully restored, the 90-bedroom boutique hotel, Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour, elegantly brings together Sydney’s old-world charm and contemporary design with Ovolo’s mindblowing experience of modern hospitality. The rooms feature 3-metre high ceilings, exposed brick walls, original ironbark beams, concealed uplighting, huge sound proofed period windows, recycled timber work stations, bespoke furniture and colourful commissioned pieces by celebrated local artist, Jasper Knight.

OVOLO WOOLLOOMOOLOO Just like the Woolloomooloo wharf’s rich history contrasts with the contemporary city, the hotel juxtaposes old and new, light and dark, coastal and urban in an inimitable way. As the wharf celebrates its 100th birthday, the hotel brand has Ovolo-ised the vast echoing space into an inviting laneway filled with surprises around every corner. Retaining the old-school character of the building, the 100 guest rooms have been reimagined with design elements that signify the brand’s aesthetic. Furthering the brand’s commitment to investing in talent, Ovolo has partnered with the government initiative Artbank to display a collection of indigenous and nonindigenous Australian artworks throughout the property.

THE OVOLO WAY OF LIFE From cool, quirky designed lofts for solo travellers to rooftop rooms with patios, and everything in between— when you stay at an Ovolo Hotel, rest assured there is something for everyone. Not to mention, a menu of signature services. From a free mini-bar to Wi-Fi for multiple devices with no download limits, from a daily happy hour to a 24-hour gym, and an Apple TV in each room, the all-inclusive amenities approach of the brand truly sets it apart from the rest. Additionally, every Ovolo property houses Lo Lounge, a multipurpose social area designed for hotel guests to work, network or simply kick back, relax and socialise with like-minded global travellers.

Queen Room - Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour

Cafe - Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour

Ultraroo Room - Ovolo Woolloomooloo

OVOLO WITH BENEFITS 15% Discount on any direct bookings from Indian travellers on To claim the promotional offer, readers of Condé Nast Traveller and Vogue must visit the site, and enter the special promo code: OVOLOXINDIA; The discount applies to all hotels both in Hong Kong and Australia; Booking is subject to availability at full discretion of Ovolo Group; Promotion offer is valid until 31 December 2016

Girish Jhunjhnuwala

Reception / Lo Lounge Ovolo Woolloomooloo



From couple’s wine massages to private dance classes, these hotels really know how to make you and your loved one feel special, says Ayesha Aleem

The 90-minute Vino Therapy for couples begins, ironically, with a welcome detox drink. After a prepping ritual that involves dipping your feet in red wine mixed with warm water, grapes and sea salt, you’ll get a full body massage with grapeseed oil and wine. There’s also a body polish of red wine, honey, black grapes and rice powder, followed by a facial using red wine and aloe vera. All that wine will have positive effects on more than just your skin. (www.

can arrange a chopper ride and will pack you a hamper for a Champagne picnic or wine brunch. A fittingly memorable way to celebrate the start of something beautiful. (www.goa.

GRAND HYATT GOA Cooking is a great way to bond with your partner. At this 28-acre resort, allow the chef to teach both of you how to cook your favourite Indian meal or get the bartender to instruct you on just how to mix that Indian-flavoured cocktail. You learn something new and get to eat it, too. (www.



of your life while flying above a gorgeous seascape. The hotel

Connect with nature and each other in a private spa suite in

140 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016

the mountains. Start the day with tea and fresh fruit and spoil yourselves silly with up to six treatments, the longest of which lasts for a delicious 120 minutes. You could also do some yoga, go trekking or try hydrotherapy. But if you don’t, we won’t judge. (

THE ST. REGIS MUMBAI The butlers are the stars here. From planning the perfect wedding to organising a private dinner with truffles and Champagne, there’s nothing (legal) these superheroes can’t do to make a special occasion truly memorable. They’ll even turn into personal shoppers when you can’t decide what to get your partner. (www.

PARK HYATT CHENNAI Check in to the Presidential Suite and call for a flower petal bath to be drawn up in the sunken tub that looks out to the Guindy National Park. Order the chocolate fondue with strawberries, marshmallows and Champagne, before or after an in-room four-course dinner. (

NOVOTEL GOA SHREM Steal some alone time when travelling with kids. Drop them off at the 2,000 sq ft kids club and dine at the beachside restaurant. You could also sign up for some zip lining or aqua zorbing. Turn up the heat with private dance lessons, which you can have in your room or even by the pool. (




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MEET THE DREAM-MAKERS From styling and pricing experts to the masters of marketing and brand ethics, meet the judges at the Vogue India Fashion Fund as they bring young designers one step closer to their dreams

Alka Nishar Founder, Aza Fashions

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e Anita Dongr r ne Fashion Desig

Bandana Tewari Fashion Features Director, VOGUE India

Kunal Dass n India ign, Van Heuse es D Head of Gaurav Gupta Fashion Designer

Sabyasachi Mukherjee Fashion Designer

Oona Dhabhar Marketing Director, VOGUE India

Suneet Varma Fashion Designer

Pernia Qureshi Entrepreneur, Stylist

Sunil Seth President, i FDCI

Priya Tanna Editor, VOGUE India

Tina Tahiliani Executive Director, Ensemble



the kids are all right Of course, you want to spend time with your children during their summer holidays. But packing them off to a camp for a while isn’t a bad idea either, says Shunali Khullar Shroff



long summer is upon us, and while holidays are a great time for families to travel together, they are also a chance to give your children the experience of a camp. It may be hard to even imagine a night away from your offspring, but in the long run, you might be doing them—and yourself—a favour. In many ways, summer camps are ideal grounds for your children to discover new interests, figure out their strengths, improve on their weaknesses, confront their fears, build resilience and, impossible as it sounds, unplug from technology and connect with nature. There are a number of camps devoted to specific activities, such as skiing, music or theatre, which not only enrich your children’s life and teach them new skills, but also challenge them. They also teach children to be independent in an entirely new environment, to develop social skills and confidence that they may not otherwise, in the more familiar environment of their school. So go ahead, choose from this list of the best camps around the world. You can thank us later.

June-July 2016 Condé Nast Traveller 145


Who better to teach the beautiful game of football than one of the best sports clubs in the world? At this camp, boys and girls between nine and 17 years of age are coached by Real Madrid Foundation trainers and assistants. They learn not only the finer points of the game, but also the values that sport teaches: leadership, self-control, teamwork and respect for others. (www. When: 19 June—10 September Duration: 1 and 2 weeks

Clockwise from top left: Lugano in Switzerland; students at the Italian cooking class offered by TASIS; a young football enthusiast

Little Planet Camp, Malaysia Located on the island of Tioman, this camp for kids between nine and 16 is great for an active summer with a focus on eco-conservation. From trekking and rock climbing to kayaking and swimming, your kids will learn all about the great outdoors, and when they’re indoors, there’s a whole range of fun arts and crafts classes. (www. When: 18 June—25 July Duration: 8 days

SuperCamp at Green School Bali, Indonesia The result of a partnership between SuperCamp, a global leader in kids’ camps, and the Green School Bali, this programme is meant for slightly older

146 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016

kids, who are between 11 and 17. The aim is to educate young people on the importance of sustainable living and of giving back to nature. (www. When: June and July Duration: 1 week

TASIS (The American School in Switzerland), Switzerland Children between five and 18 are taught the basics of a variety of languages, creative and culinary arts and sports. They can also opt for classes in architecture, fashion and textile design, digital photography, film-making and elementary robotics. Alongside, they are guided on how to prepare for higher education such as the International Baccalaureate. ( When: July and August Duration: 4 weeks

Mill on the Brue Outdoor Activity Centre, England Located on a Somerset farm, this non-profit camp grows its own organic vegetables. Its friendly atmosphere facilitates creativity and is good for shy children as well as those who are very competitive. Split into groups of 12 or fewer, kids between eight and 15 years learn the basics of sports like canoeing, zip lining, tunnelling and more. ( When: 10 July—10 August Duration: 1 week

Center for Talented Youth, Johns Hopkins University, USA The programmes here are designed for children with high academic talent. Selected on the basis of tests such as SAT, ACT and the centre’s own Talent Search tests, kids are given challenging work, and are surrounded by like-minded peers. But it’s not all work; there’s plenty of fun and games as well. ( When: July and August Duration: 3 weeks

Oxford Royale Academy, England There’s hardly a better place to learn than the hallowed halls of Oxford University. The courses for teenagers include modules on subjects ranging from business to cinema. Many of the instructors teach at the university or are recent graduates. There’s also a UK University Preparation course, which includes details about admission requirements at colleges across the UK and guidance on how to write personal essays and improve interview technique. ( When: 5 June—13 August Duration: 2 or 4 weeks

Stanford Pre-Collegiate Summer Institutes, USA Across the pond is another collegeoriented camp, which offers highschool students the chance to live and learn on the beautiful Stanford


Campus Experience Real Madrid Foundation, Spain


Clockwise from top left: Stanford Pre-Collegiate Summer Institutes’ camp; Oxford Royale Academy; a boy learning to ride a horse

Japalouppe, India Located just outside Pune, this is one of India’s largest private horse-riding schools and offers camps designed for animal lovers between the ages of eight and 16. Experienced instructors give kids morning and evening lessons in horse riding followed by lectures on the subject. Even if your kids have no previous exposure to equestrian sport, you’d do well to consider this camp, because it provides an ideal opportunity for them to be trained at the safe hands of qualified trainers. It’s not just about learning how to ride, though. Living on the premises of the sprawling 12-acre centre, children are also given an opportunity

148 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016

to engage in stable work, feeding, grooming and training horses on a daily basis. Plus, there’s a bunch of other activities, such as treks and games. ( When: March—June Duration: 6 days

participate actively in health and hygiene campaigns.Kids also spend time with the village panchayat to understand how things get done, and how standards of living can be improved. ( When: April—June Duration: 1 week

Inme camps, India This complete outdoor adventure programme is perfect for children between nine and 17, who like their holidays action-packed. Hosted at five locations across India (in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand and Karnataka), the week-long camp includes tented accommodation and activities such as rock climbing, white-water rafting, mountain biking, wilderness craft, nature walks and courses on ropes. The camps also offer interest-based sessions on subjects like photography, music and rifle shooting, so kids can take extra classes in something they already like. What really makes this camp stand apart is the inclusion of community service in its programmes. Young campers are taken to villages so that they see different aspects of life in India, and

Les Elfes International, Switzerland Students from around the world can come for summer, winter and spring sessions in Zermatt or Verbier. The winter and spring camps include skiing and snowboarding lessons for all levels of expertise. The summer camps, in Verbier, offer exciting outdoor activities like rock climbing, mountain biking, rope courses, wakeboarding, paragliding, basketball, swimming, ice skating, tennis and golf. Children are put into groups according to their age (the camp is open to kids between seven and 17). Excursions to cities like Bern, Lausanne and Geneva, and their famous cheese and chocolate factories, are included, along with crash courses in languages such as French, Spanish and German. (www. When: June—August Duration: 2—4 weeks


University campus, thereby getting a taste of college life. The Summer Institutes’ residential programme gives academically inclined students an insight into what lies ahead for them. Participants, aged between 13 and 17 years, are selected for the programme through a competitive application process, which involves an evaluation of school grades and test scores. At the camp, they can take advanced classes in a variety of subjects, ranging from creative writing to law. (www. When: June and July Duration: 3 weeks



ONUR AIR (www.onurair. com) Popular destinations

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150 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016

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June-July 2016 Condé Nast Traveller 151

Presenting the wedding couturiers... From bridal trends and style statements to draping your dupatta and trousseau shopping, get your bridal 101 with India’s leading designers at the Vogue Wedding Show 2016

THE BIGGEST BRIDAL TRENDS ARE… Mughalinspired floral embroidery and prints, free flowing palazzo pants with long line jackets and light lehenga skirts with cholis in creams, pinks, indigo blues and yellows.

MAKE TROUSSEAU SHOPPING EASIER BY… Picking things that are necessary and versatile. A few musts are a chic, embroidered jacket, a feminine cape or a bodysuit and a few pairs of heels in solid colours.

Anita Dongre

JADE by Monica & Karishma

STAY ON TREND BY... Choosing bold colours and designs. The dominant trends for this season are florals, mirror-work, retro styles and edgy silhouettes. Embellished sweatshirts, long jackets, denim flared skirts with off shoulder or crop top blouses will be the new trend this season.

PLAY WITH YOUR DUPATTA… By draping it differently. The draping style can make the outfit look chic and classy. If the blouse is deep from the back or is a halter neck, drape it over your shoulder. If the blouse is a simple choli, drape it Indian style.

Manish Arora

Manish Malhotra

MAKE A STYLE STATEMENT BY… Working with your instincts and not what you perceive is right for you. You should pick colours and silhouettes that have worked in the past and build on them to look your best.

Payal Singhal

BEFORE BUYING YOUR LEHENGA… Know the time of your pheras— whether it is an outdoor or indoor wedding—and your flowers and decor. A perfect lehenga can become a disaster if these things are not in sync.


CHANGE UP YOUR STYLE BY… Knowing what suits your body contour and then experiment by mixing various elements to create a look. Focus on the right accessories and pair it correctly with your trousseau, keeping the overall look subtle.

Shantanu & Nikhil

CELEBRATE YOURSELF BY… Relinquishing the pantomime of costume and opt for a toned-down elegance based on quality, luxury and your personality. Be confident to be yourself on the most important day of your life.

PLAY WITH MOTIFS BY… Opting for unconventional motifs like birds and fruits. Choose the motif size in accordance to your frame as disproportionately sized motifs can make the outfit look tacky and dull.

Tarun Tahiliani

Varun Bahl

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Time was when dinner in the city meant currywurst and a Pilsner. Now, new restaurants rival gallery openings and the local produce is high design. Make way for New German Cuisine. By Belle Cushing


f all the reasons to visit Berlin, food has never been one of them. Stunning art, a compelling history, wild parties, sure—but a meal better than schnitzel? Now all that has changed: The wave of young creative energy that has led many of my friends to ditch New York for the DJ-artist-maker life in Berlin has, in the past few years, extended to food. From performance-art tasting menus to Scandinavian-inflected seafood and a homegrown natural wine movement, New German Cuisine has arrived. It’s nose-to-tail, local, beautifully plated and bound to be served amid some killer interior design. Of course I’ll still drop into some galleries and try to charm the bouncer at Berghain. But really, I’m now going to Berlin for the food. And I have 11 reasons why you should too.

154 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016

VOO STORE Pick out a Helmut Lang top and enjoy a latte made with locally roasted Companion Coffee. (





Book a table at the airy

Industry Standard for an introduction to Neukölln, the hippest neighbourhood in town. The recycled-wood tables are just waiting to be loaded with art projects posing as bar snacks: pickled eggs sprinkled with sea salt and drizzled with olive oil, bone marrow smothered in sauerkraut. Start with some Holland oysters (served with a shot of “Mexikaner”— spicy spiked tomato juice) and end with brown-bread ice cream. (

BUCHHOLZBERLIN Combine a woodworking showroom with an edible garden and you get this chic lunch spot. The flatbreads are served on handmade oak boards and topped with produce from the backyard. (Joachimstrasse 20) TWO AND TWO At this cosy store that sells Japanese stationery and French pastries, creatives nibble canelés as they sketch in smart notebooks. (www.


SHOP AS YOU SNACK Berlin’s got some cool concept stores that double up as cafés, pairing specific foods with just as focused (if entirely unrelated) wares.

156 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016



At cult favourite bakery

Soluna Brot und Öl (Bread and Oil) in Kreuzberg, explore German bread in all its seed-filled, rye-fuelled, long-fermented glory. Bonus: The dense pan loaves will easily survive the flight home. (Gneisenaustrasse 58)


GET LOST IN MARKTHALLE NEUN Once a week, dozens of street food vendors take over one of the city’s last remaining 19th-century market halls for Street Food Thursday (www. This wonderful night of eclectic grazing includes offerings that range from regional German specialities to more fusion-y fare. It can be a bit confusing to know where you should go, so here’s a list of four booths

that you can’t miss—and what to get there. HEISSER HOBEL Käsespätzle (think German mac ‘n’ cheese) served out of a retro van. GLUT & SPÄNE Tartines of cold- and hotsmoked fish, and crispy fish and chips, too. KNÖDEL WIRTSCHAFT Satisfying Bavarian dumplings made with cheese or spinach. BAO KITCHEN Taiwanese bun “burgers” stuffed with slow-cooked pork belly and herbs.

GETTING AROUND Berlin is bicycle heaven. Pedalling is the most practical and fun way to see the sprawling city— plus all the locals do it. Join the city’s bikeshare programme or rent your wheels through shops like BerlinandBike (www.


A table at Industry Standard. Clockwise from right: an elderly couple enjoying kaffee und kuchen; inside Buchholzberlin. Previous page: an al fresco café in Berlin

To Berliners, kaffee und kuchen, the afternoon pause for coffee and cake, is a sacred ritual. At cheery Five Elephant in the Kreuzberg neighbourhood, stop for a single-origin cup and a slice of the best cheesecake this side of the Atlantic. (www.




German cuisine is getting in touch with its New Nordic side, thanks to the handiwork of Icelandic chef Victoria Eliasdóttir. In the elegantly distressed dining room of Dóttir, the Chez Panisse alum creates a four-course menu that rotates weekly, and might include an ambitious but comforting duck and celeriac consommé. But really, they had us at the homemade bread and bowl of melted brown butter. (

Slow-cooked lamb, leek and egg at Dóttir

158 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016


Join the city’s expats (called Wahlberliners, or “Berliners by choice”) for a house-infused cocktail at candlelit Geist im Glas (“Spirit in the Glass”—get it?). If you’re lucky, the owner will regale you with stories of his former life working for a major comedy show in New York as you sip whiskey from vintage cutcrystal coupes long into the night. Try one of the many creative, delicious and importantly, potent infusions, such as Earl Grey and orange. It’s also a great place for brunch. Boozy, of course. (Lenaustrasse 27)

options, and even a mushroom-filled one for vegetarians. For those who want lighter fare, there are some superb salads on offer. Plus, free refills on coffee means no one is willing to leave. (Ritterstrasse 2)



Perhaps the most beautiful of all the city’s repurposed spaces (and in Berlin that’s saying a lot), ORA is an opulently restored 18th-century pharmacy that’s now an all-day café. Start the morning with a tall, foamy milchkaffee or a Bircher muesli that would make an Austrian (or Australian) jealous; end the day with braised beef cheeks, old-school Swabian dumplings and a cocktail. Whatever the hour, this former pharmacy will set you straight. (Oranienplatz 14)




TRY A GOURMET SANDWICH Louis Pretty, cheerful Jewish deli in Kreuzberg, is a favourite with the city’s creative crowd. Apart from the pastramiheavy sandwiches on the menu (and there are so many, you’ll have pastrami coming out of your ears), it also does some great pulled pork

Pilsner is always a pleasure here, but the most exciting drinking is happening in the natural wine bars that have popped up in the past few years. They serve

160 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016

Inside ORA. Clockwise from below: the owner of Not Only Riesling; a sandwich at Louis Pretty

as reminders that yes, Germany makes some damn good wine. HAMMERS WEINKOSTBAR An old butcher shop façade hides one of the city’s best wine lists. Buy a natural Spätburgunder (German for Pinot Noir) off the shelf and have it right there with a salami sandwich. (www. NOT ONLY RIESLING Start the evening early at this chic bottle shop by day, bar by night. There is more than Riesling, but when in Rome… (www. OTTORINK WEINBAR Almost all of the wines here are served by the glass, which is a great excuse to master the Mosel region’s offerings. ( CORDOBAR Head here for a raucous nightcap, and don’t skip the ambitious blackpudding pizza served in a take-out box. (www.


DRINK UP YOUR SOUVENIRS Forget the Kinder chocolate at duty-free. Berlin’s bottled-products game is so impressive, you’ll want to check in a bag for some liquid keepsakes. CLUB-MATE This caffeine-loaded tea is the beverage of choice for hackers and ravers alike. Find it in just about any beverage case or at any news stand. MICHELBERGER SCHNAPPS Even if you don’t stay at the über-cool Michelberger Hotel, swing by the lobby for a whimsical bottle of the house-brand schnapps. OSTMOST OUTCIDER These spritzy ciders made of wild apples support the preservation of Germany’s endangered orchards (and have cute labels, too).




Complimentary with the Vogue September 2016 issue.

For advertising queries please contact



FOOD MARKETS From fish at Tokyo’s Tsukiji to the best cuts of meat in Barcelona, Rashmi Shankar gets insiders to spill their secrets THE TSUKIJI FISH MARKET TOKYO At 57 acres, this is the largest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world, with over 2,000 tonnes of seafood going in and out every day, chefs racing to get their hands on the freshest produce and tourists from all over the world showing up to simply take it all in. Visit before it moves to a new location in Toyosu, in November this year. ( Insider tip: “Make sure to check out Aritsugu (www.aframestokyo. com), a 300-year-old Japanese knife shop, where you can get your name engraved on a knife. Say you’re friends of Muni san from Sri Lanka” - Dharshan Munidasa, chef and co-owner, Nihonbashi and

Ministry of Crab, Colombo June-July 2016 Condé Nast Traveller 165

FOOD MARKETS Also known as the Egyptian Bazaar, this Fatih district market was constructed in the 17th century as part of a mosque. It was also part of the ancient Silk Route. You can find spices, saffron, caviar, dried fruit and even something called Turkish Viagra! When you’re tired, take a coffee break at the 100-yearold Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi ( Insider tip: “The Bazaar is home to the historic Pandeli restaurant, open since 1901. The classic Turkish dishes, such

as ‘dönerli patlıcan börek’ (döner meat, eggplant and cheese pastry), iridescent blue Iznik tiles and photos of illustrious visitors bring to mind the 19th-century grandeur of Istanbul” - Nicola Huxley, travel writer

papaya and fish. Make sure you reach before 9am. (www. Insider tip: “The small boats selling deliciously thick Vietnamese coffee” - Cindy

Fan, writer and photographer,

and blogger

CAI RANG FLOATING MARKET VIETNAM About 6km from Can Tho city, this early-morning market is one of the largest on the Mekong Delta. Boats of all sizes sell coconuts, mangoes,

Crowds at the Spice Bazaar in Istanbul. Previous pages, clockwise from top left: tuna-cutters at Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo; the Cai Rang floating market in Vietnam; the bakery at Carmel Market in Tel Aviv

166 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016

THE NEIGHBOURGOODS MARKET CAPE TOWN Housed in a bright, airy biscuit mill in Woodstock, this Saturday market is a treasure trove of handmade artisanal goods, like tea and unrefined African shea butter. It also hosts speciality

festivals, seasonal events and live music shows. (www. Insider tip: “Visit the Honest Chocolate (www.honest stand for handcrafted chocolate. Also check out Steve Jeffery’s handmade charcuterie; the Cafeteria food truck; local artisanal pear cider at Everson’s ( and macarons from Martin Senekal (” - Sarah Graham, food writer

and host of Sarah Graham’s Food Safari



It’s a suite life Marriott International presents its first all-suites hotel — Marriott Suites Pune Pune hosts several IT and automotive companies and is frequented by business travellers and vacationers all year round. Offering these discerning visitors world-class services, luxury accommodation, delicious dining options and state-of-the-art amenities is Marriott Suites Pune—an all-suite upscale hotel that effortlessly weaves Indian hospitality into the fabric of an international environment. And just so that everything is close at hand, the hotel is situated at Koregaon Park, in close proximity to the Pune airport, key business areas, entertainment and shopping districts. With this hotel, Marriott International holds the largest number of hotels in the city. LUXURIOUS LODGING Featuring 199 tastefully appointed suites, choose from studio suites, one-, two- and three-suite residences at Marriott Suites Pune. Non-smoking and wheelchair accessible rooms

are also available and each one comes with all the creature comforts you could think of. Think luxurious bedding with plush pillows and down comforters, a spacious work desk with a data port, a 40” LED television, an iHome radio alarm clock with iPod docking station, an in-room safe, a washing machine, a fully equipped kitchen and a home entertainment system. It’s literally a home away from home. PET PERFECT Unlike other hotels, Marriott Suites Pune welcomes pets so that you don’t have to spend your time worrying about how your furry friend is doing back home. CULINARY EXCELLENCE Choose from a selection of Indian and international gourmet options with three restaurants that have been carefully curated to cater to selective tastes. While Sen5es—an allday dining restaurant—offers interactive kitchens, alfresco areas and global cuisine, Bistro serves delicious Italian and Mediterranean fare. But if you’re looking to spend the evening sampling cognacs, single malts and cigars, Oak Lounge is

the place to be. RECREATION HAVEN A fully equipped fitness centre, an outdoor pool, tennis and squash courts, a wellness centre, a kid’s play area and a game room, facilities for sightseeing, shopping, trekking and golf trips— boredom doesn’t stand a chance here. FABULOUS FACILITIES Apart from a full-service business centre with boardrooms, coffee break areas, naturally-lit meeting rooms, secretarial services and work stations, the hotel offers safe deposit boxes at the front desk, ample parking spaces, limousine service and more. At: 81 Mundhwa, Koregaon Park Annex, Pune 411036. For reservations call 020 67257777 or visit

FOOD MARKETS The 1920s open-air market on HaCarmel Street is as popular for fresh produce as for its restaurants. The family-run Amrani is known for freshly roasted nuts and spices, and Lehamim Bakery is a great place for artisanal breads. Insider tip: “At Café Cohen, the owner, Shlomo Cohen not only roasts coffee, but is also a big fan of opera. Ask for the strong, aromatic black coffee and encourage Shlomo to sing Frank Sinatra’s I Did It My Way” - Sivan

Askayo, travel photographer

BOROUGH MARKET LONDON Dating back to the 13th century, this is London’s oldest fruit and vegetable market. You can also sample charcuterie, honey and wine, and participate in guided tours and workshops. Follow the market on Twitter (@ boroughmarket) for recipes and regular updates. It’s also one of

the only markets to publish its own magazine—Market Life. ( Insider tip: “Go to Brindisa ( for Nunez de Prado olive oil, sherry vinegar, jamon Iberico and smoked paprika. At Neal’s Yard Dairy (, you can taste lovely cheeses” - Ravinder Bhogal, chef and

food writer

FISH MARKET SYDNEY Home to lobsters, Sydney rock oysters, yellowfin tuna and baby octopuses from the Blackwattle Bay, this market also includes a swanky cooking school. Plus, there are weekend discounts. ( Insider tip: “Vic’s Meat Market ( is fantastic—head to the Wagyu Bar for amazing beef or The Smoker for pulled pork, brisket and other smoked meats” - James Thompson, curator of

A stall at Borough Market in London. Below: cuts of meat at Mercado de la Boqueria in Barcelona

@food_feels on Instagram

MERCADO DE LA BOQUERIA BARCELONA Slices of serrano ham, chorizo, cured sausages, organs (the likes of tripe, hearts, and even bull penises): you’ll find it all. For the ambitious, there are also cooking classes. (www. Insider tip: “Go to the Petras stand, a mushroom and truffle shop with a great selection from all over the world. It also sells dried, travel-friendly varieties” - Isidre Gironés, owner and

founder, Restaurant Ca l’Isidre

MUNICIPAL MARKET OF SÃO PAULO Housed in a building that has stained-glass windows, this one looks more like an art museum than a market. It sells everything from meat, veggies, seafood to cheese, spices and snacks and employs more than 1,500 people. The first floor has various lunch options: Hocca Bar is a local favourite

168 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016

for its salt-cod pastry. (www. Insider tip: “Try the fresh fruit, from the cacao of Amazon to mangoes from the Bahia coast. Visit Empório Chiappetta to stock up on cachaça” - Sandeepa

and Chetan, travel bloggers,

ST LAWRENCE MARKET TORONTO This one is popular not just for its produce, but also for its classes on subjects like macaron-making and knife skills. There’s a Saturday Farmers’ market and seasonal festivals like the strawberry one that’s held every June. (www. Insider tip: “Scheffler’s Deli is a one-stop shop for hardto-find cheeses and expertly cured meats. Try the samples of duck and pistachio pâté and pata negra ham” - Suresh Doss,

Toronto-based food, drink, travel writer





Take a break from your honeymoon planning and save for your future with these investment pieces, recommended by some of our favourite jewellers 2



1 ‘Colours of Life’ ring crafted with tanzanite enclosed in diamonds and emeralds, The House of Rose 2 Necklace with multi-shape diamonds and tanzanite set in 18ct gold, Anjali Bhimrajka Fine Jewels 3 Finger ring with diamonds studded in 18ct gold, from the ‘Zuhur’ collection, Tanishq 4 ‘Adaa’ choker crafted with diamond polkis, yellow gold, pearls and pink rubies, Birdhichand Ghanshyamdas Jewellers. All prices on request. See Directory, p244

170 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016




WATCH THIS SUMMER ROME Hit the road from Rome to Brescia, on the route made popular by the Mille Miglia classic and vintage car race. Enjoy the Italian outdoors and stop for artisanal ham and olive oil in Reggio Emilia. Strap on Chopard’s Millie Miglia XL 2016 so you don’t miss a minute of your itinerary.

PARIS If you’re in Paris this summer, check out the 18th-century art in the Louvre’s Salle Gilbert

et Rose Marie Chagoury rooms, whose recent renovation was backed by Breguet. Look out for the gilded decorative timepieces on display. You can even sport your own work of art—the Perles Impériale by Breguet.

SALZBURG The Salzburg Festival (22 July—31 August), sponsored by Rolex, is great for theatre and opera lovers. Events are held at venues like the Dom cathedral and the Salzburg State Theatre. Pick from Rolex’s Cellini series, which, coincidentally, shares its name with the illustrious Florentine composer.

ASCOT It can’t get more posh than a day at the Royal Ascot (14—18 June) in the United Kingdom. It’s a fantastic excuse (if you needed one) to dress up and hang with London’s swish set. For some serious cred, sport a Longines Equestrian watch, whose design mirrors the buckles of a horse’s saddle.

172 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016

The event may be mired in controversy, but when it does get off the ground, the 2016 Olympics (5—21 August) will give sports fans all manner of reasons to rejoice. To mark the event, the Games’ timekeeper, OMEGA, has created a limited-edition timepiece, the Seamaster Bullhead Rio, in the colours of the Olympic rings.





Clockwise from top: Proenza Schouler Hava bag (; 83,840); Roger Vivier Viv Micro bag (; 1,19,440); Chanel bag ( 1,92,970); Dolce&Gabbana Carretto print bag (select DG boutiques worldwide; 1,46,050). See Directory, p244

174 CondĂŠ Nast Traveller June-July 2016


The importance of a crossbody bag for travellers cannot be overstated. By day, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a wallet, passport- and phone-holder. Come night, just tuck in the strap and slip it under your arm for an instant evening bag. This season, ditch the basic black and go for one that makes (rather than matches) your travel uniform.

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Condé Nast Traveller’s Wildlife supplement is back and packed with stories to get every traveller set and roaring for their next safari adventure. From a keepsake monthly guide to the world’s hottest wildlife destinations, the best time of the year to visit them and more —be a part of this wild, wild issue—advertise now.

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Y T U A E B N BRAZILIA or e brand ambassad more ag gg lu a w o im R d ays and odel an Victoria’s Secret m er travel fitness routine, family holid sio on h Alessandra Ambro

there. We went jet-skiing and paddle boarding, relaxed by the beach and enjoyed great food at Scorpios and Nammos. We usually rent a house, but last year, we stayed at Santa Marina and it was wonderful: all the amenities you could possibly need when you’re on vacation— and the most amazing view.

How do you stay fit and healthy on the road? I try to exercise in the morning before work. When I’m in LA, I go to SoulCycle, Pilates Platinum and The Bar Method, and when travelling, I use the hotel gym. I don’t deny myself anything when it comes to food, but I make sure the portions are not huge and that every meal I eat is well balanced.

What are the must-dos for visitors to Brazil?


What are your travel beauty essentials? I always carry Charlotte Tilbury Lip Magic Rejuvenating Balm, a good hand lotion and a water mist spray from Mimi Luzon. These ensure I keep myself hydrated and glowing.

What is the first thing you pack? I am fortunate that I get to travel to many exotic, warm locations, so the first thing I pack is one of my ále by Alessandra swimsuits. I always try to find some time to relax by the pool or the beach.

Do you have any packing tips? The first thing would be to invest in a great suitcase; I believe that spending just a little extra makes a big difference. I find my Rimowa luggage pieces stylish and practical. They come in different sizes to suit the kind of trip you’re taking,

Alessandra Ambrosio. Clockwise from top left: a view of Los Angeles; the Taj Mahal; ále by Alessandra swimwear

“There’s so much culture and history in India that I’d like to explore” never get bent out of shape and have dividers that keep everything in place.

How do you relax when you’re on the move? I love listening to music. You’ll often see me with my headphones on when I’m travelling. I also like to catch up on movies while in the air.

What’s your favourite city in the world? It would have to be Los Angeles, because it’s my home now. I love

the fact that the city is always sunny and that the beach is never far away. I really enjoy spending time with my children in Santa Monica. We often rent bikes to ride by the beach and we visit Santa Monica Pier, where my kids love to go on the rides and play at the arcade.

It depends on where you go, as each city has its charms. The beaches in Rio are beautiful and the city has great shopping. You can’t beat Rio’s sunsets and energy. I love to listen to samba bands, do some stand-up paddling on Ipanema Beach and hike to Pedra da Gávea. During the winter holidays, I go to Trancoso, a small fishing village in Bahia. It’s hippy and simple, yet chic and charming.

Where would you like to travel to next? I’ve never been to India—there’s so much culture and history there that I’d like to explore. I wouldn’t know where to start, but I definitely want to visit Delhi, the Taj Mahal in Agra and Amritsar’s Golden Temple. JENNY JOHNSON

Where do you travel with your family? Our last family vacation was in Mykonos; we had the most amazing time. We all love the water and outdoor activities and there is so much to do

June-July 2016 Condé Nast Traveller 177



Casa Vogue delves into global trends, design stories from leading architects, fashion-inspired residences and more to bring you its curation in the ultimate guide to stylish living


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Model Preeti Arya at the Khajuraho temples, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Madhya Pradesh. Photograph by Jasper James for The epic centre (p192) On Preeti: raw silk crop top, Gothic pencil skirt, both Nachiket Barve; neckpiece, sunglasses and shoes, stylistsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own. Styling: Yogeshwari Singh, Rashmi Shankar and Smitha Menon



Beyond the flash of the Côte d’Azur are a twinkle of salty island starlets that 182

SECRETS no paparazzi has snapped, says E Jane Dickson. Photographs by Martin Morrell



PINDRIFT falls like meteors on Porquerolles. Spinning spheres of sea spray burst high in the fierce blue sky and fizz on upturned faces. It feels magical, like a snow fight in summer. Les Iles d’Or—Porquerolles, Port-Cros and Ile du Levant— lie just 20 minutes by boat off the Côte d’Azur. The mistral, rushing down the Rhône Valley to the Mediterranean, has its last hurrah here. It’s not called ‘the idiot wind’ for nothing; bent double and forced to a trot by the 40mph gust at your back, it’s hard not to laugh. Here on the western tip of Porquerolles, the canopy of pine is windswept to a straggly green quiff, in keeping, as it were, with the island’s retro vibe. This is the South of France as sung by Jacques Brel, unstyled and unspoilt. If Saint-Tropez is Brigitte Bardot in a bikini, Porquerolles is Jeanne Moreau in a fisherman’s jumper and espadrilles. The charms of this particular island are deliberately low-key, as if it has learned from the Riviera the perils of trying too hard.


Below: the bar at Le Manoir de Port-Cros. Opposite page: Le Mas du Langoustier. Previous pages from left: beachcombing on La Plage Blanche du Langoustier; La Plage Notre Dame, one of the islands’s secluded beaches; Le Manoir de Port-Cros

The croissant-shaped island is just 21sq km in area: small enough to explore by foot or bike, but big enough to find solitude and, if you discount the urgent pulsing of the cicadas, silence. Private cars are banned on Porquerolles and there is no public transport. The best way to get around is cycling, and hire shops are plentiful. It should, however, be noted that the Julesand-Jim fantasy takes you only so far on the extravagantly rutted dirt roads. The best thing would be to go for the BMX option. And don’t even think about a tandem— unless you’re hell-bent on divorce. Island life centres on the Place d’Armes, a vast square shaded and scented by columns of eucalyptus. The trees were planted as a precaution against cholera in the Napoleonic era, when the island was a military garrison. Since then, it has been turned over to a soda factory and a penal colony for children (there is a reason why French kids have such lovely table manners). The pristine landscape and douceur de vivre enjoyed today is almost entirely due to a Belgian gold prospector by the name of FJ Fournier, who bought Porquerolles in the early 1900s on an impulse for his new wife. In 1971, just as Fournier’s descendants were on the point of selling to Club Med, the state stepped in and declared 80 percent of the island a national park. Today, the Place d’Armes is a convivial, buzzing space where doves take dust baths and children turn cartwheels in a blur of brown limbs and Breton stripes. As shadows lengthen and the ferry carries off the last of the day-trippers, the square returns to its imperturbable rhythm. On broad café verandas, l’apéro turns into dinner and dinner streches to un petit digestif—the island-made mandarin liqueur, sharp, unsticky and full of vitamins, does the job nicely. The sudden ceasing of the cicadas is filled by the clink-clank of pétanque—the game is an obsession here—and visitors are invited to consider the binary principle of boules: do you aim for the jack or do you smash your opponent out of play? As the vitamins kick in, the question assumes existential significance. Places to stay on Porquerolles are limited and the position of Le Mas du Langoustier (; doubles from €310 or 23,000), the farthest point from the village, adds to its privileged sense of isolation (a hotel bus picks you up at the dock and runs an hourly shuttle service into the village). Built by the widowed Madame Fournier


Even at the height of the summer season, you can find a in the 1930s, with harmonious modern additions, Le Mas is a low ochre pile arranged around a courtyard, where the scent of lavender blends with pine and sea-salt breezes (Jo Malone, take note). Here, the patina of age and personality is scrupulously preserved; fans of five-star luxury may prefer more attention to finish for their money, but Le Mas fits perfectly with Porquerolles’s genteel horror of showing off. Rooms are decorated rather than ‘done’ with Colefax-y curtains and cushions. Sweetly amateurish watercolour paintings and old family portraits make for a welcome change from lifeless corporate art. Pink marble bathrooms with matching pink towels and bathrobes are scarcely state-of-the-art, but as you lie like Barbara Cartland 186

in rose-tinted bubbles, you’re not minded to miss the rainforest showerhead. It’s a little like being the house guest of a great-aunt who breakfasts in Dior but believes that too much mod-connery thins the blood. The same hearty philosophy applies at the poolside as well (no chilled-towels or ice-bucket nonsense here). A short walk down a sandy track from the house, and enclosed by high hedges, this is not a pool for posing. Dress code is more Speedo than string and kids splash and shriek to their hearts’ content. Mums streched out with novels on their faces send dads to organise swimming races (with generous handicaps for competitors in water wings) and giggly girls give marks for the boys’ underwater

two-person beach with unbroken Mediterranean views handstands. Like a small, immaculate Sisyphus, a toddler in a Petit Bateau playsuit pushes a toy bus again and again up a grassy bank. Unlike Sisyphus, he is hugely amused each time it rolls back, and has to sit down to laugh harder. For those who prefer swimming in the open sea, Langoustier also has a fantastic stretch of beach that is only accessed by hotel guests who make it this far off the beaten track. The cove on the southern side of the peninsula is dotted with sunbeds on fine black sand. The more exposed, north-facing strand (La Plage Blanche) is a whiteon-white installation of fantastically sculpted driftwood and banks of sea grass that flutter like prayer flags, dried by the wind.

The discreet charm of Le Mas du Langoustier extends to its restaurants, too. La Pinéde, a shady terrace cased by speculative magpies, is perfect for relaxed family meals; a long table, with grandparents in a lobster bib at one end and babies beating their spoons at the other, is an ‘ages of man’ tableau vivant. L’Olivier, with its Michelin star and pastel mural of Riviera idylls, is a more formal affair: chartered helicopters from Nice and Monaco chunter through blue twilight to drop off devotees of Joël Guillet and Julien Le Goff’s modern Mediterranean food from the mainland for supper. The domed dishes and lobster-pink napery are a quaint throwback to 1970s fine dining, but if there are occasional Fawlty Towers flourishes

Clockwise from left: rue de la Ferme near the village square; the view from the ferry from La Tour Fondue; pebbles on La Plage du Langoustier; a path to the beach from Le Mas du Langoustier; lobster at Le Manoir; La Plage Notre Dame


in service (“I present to you... The butter!”), the flawless tasting menu more than makes up for it. Seven courses, from a crisp, lacquered croustillant de langoustine with ginger and caramel to sea bass flecked with pistachio foam, truffled beef and a show-stopping pudding with strawberry caviar (this is what I call party food for fairies), are expertly judged and paced. The wine list has its flashy, Alan Whicker moments (Château Petrus at about £4,000), but there’s also a strong showing of the local wines of Provence. Our shell-pink rosé from the nearby Domaine de la Presqu’île de Giens has surprising heft; if one of the Alicebanded girls around us were to hoick up her skirt and show extravagant tattoos, we could not be more delighted. Waking up on Porquerolles, there are two clear options: to tootle or not to tootle. A sizeable proportion of residents at Le Mas never stir from its lovely precincts, but this would be a shame, for Porquerolles packs a lot of topography into a small area. Strike uphill from the village to the 16thcentury Fort Sainte Agathe for a lordly vista of the domesticated interior—orchards of rare orange, lemon and mandarin varieties and scaled down


Below: Place d’Armes, Porquerolles. Opposite page, clockwise from top left: a room at Le Manoir de Port-Cros; the view from Fort Sainte Agathe of Plage de la Courtade; Chemin des Oliviers, Porquerolles; the dining room at Le Manoir; La Plage Blanche du Langoustier; a dish L’Olivier; Le Manoir’s Mini Moke; the hotel’s restaurant; Le Mas du Langoustier

vineyards belonging to the Conservatoire Botanique National (the charming owners of Domaine Perzinsky welcome walkers looking to buy just one bottle for a picnic). Or explore the spectacular clefts and creeks of the island’s rocky fringe (Les Calanques) by bike or by sea kayak; even at the height of the summer season, you can find a twoperson beach with unbroken Mediterranean views where you can imagine yourself to be a castaway (but still manage to be home in time for tea). A short ride on a ferry full of superbronzed men with goatees (the third Ile d’Or on the circuit, Ile du Levant, is a longestablished nudist colony) takes you to the smaller and more rugged island of Port-Cros. Disembarking on the sandy quayside, with its scatter of beach bars and row of royal palms, you could mistake your location for the Caribbean. Walk just five minutes along a coastal path and you’ll reach the green garden gate of Le Manoir de Port-Cros (; doubles from €180 or 13,500), a colonial-style mansion with a unique literary heritage. Since the 1920s when Jean Paulhan, celebrated editor of La Nouvelle Revue Française, struck up a friendship with Marcel and Marceline Henry, who owned Le Manoir hotel (and, for that matter, the island), Port-Cros has attracted respected writers seeking refuge from the stresses of ‘the continent’. André Gide, André Malraux and Paul Valéry were regular visitors to Le Manoir and would find little changed today. Public parts are pretty as a picture; antique furnishing and huge vases of garden flowers are set to advantage against whitewashed walls, while the garden, with its dappled shade and great splashes of oleander, is like a scene painted by Manet. Bedrooms are simple to the point of asceticism: there is no air-conditioning and the hot water is limited, but mine had a private terracotta terrace—the perfect spot to strech out with a book. Guests, almost exclusively French, are apt to congratulate one another on the lack of TV and wi-fi (there is a public screen switched on, we are assured, for coverage of general elections). The real luxury here, by oft-repeated consensus, is peace and quiet. The atmosphere of the library extends to the gated pool area where reading is practically a competitive sport (Derrida trumps all). There’s a vaguely collegiate feel to mealtimes as well; diners are summoned by bells for food that’s more correct than



are excellent grazing opportunities for foodies in Hyères: Pâtisserie Dominique is a destination chocolatier, and the anchoïade, tapenades and pastis artisanal at Cave Massillon elevate the apéritif to an art form. Pascal Bonamy, chef and owner of La Colombe a neighbourhood restaurant, which draws critics from Paris, offers cooking lessons on Saturday mornings; I’m not sure I perfected rissotto à la bourride, but I did learn to chop onions at warp speed in the farmhouse kitchen at La Bastide du Plantier, where Brigitte Martin runs a chic and welcoming B&B. Back down on the Giens Peninsula, with its dramatic cliffs and coves, an appealing beach restaurant, Le Pradeau Plage, presents itself at exactly the right turning of the coastal path to make stopping for a late lunch seem a sensible plan, which turns out to be a stroke of genius. Time passes and light fades. By pudding, I fear I’m quoting Baudelaire calling up his “fair isle of green myrtle filled with full-blown flowers.” Out in the thickening blue, sparse lamps glimmer on Porquerolles, our own lovely island sleeping demurely in the dark. It’s not only bright lights that beckon.

GETTING THERE Fly direct to Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris with Air France ( Stopover in Amsterdam) from Delhi or with Emirates ( Stopover in Dubai) from other major Indian cities. You can transfer to Orly Airport on an Air France coach. Fly direct from Orly to Toulon/Hyères on Air France. Shuttle boats ( to Porquerolles depart from La Tour Fondue, 15 minutes away by road. Indian passport-holders can apply for a Schengen visa with VFS (www. Visas cost €60 or 4,500 and take up to 15 days to process.


inspired, but conversation flourishes long into the night. Children appear in the tables and in the games room (parents ensure draughts doesn’t become too boisterous), but Le Manoir is essentially a grown-up retreat. Like Porquerolles, Port-Cros and its surrounding waters form an energetically protected conservation area; its hilly trails, shaded by live oaks, are impassable by car or bike, and cigarettes are banned beyond the quayside to minimise the risk of forest fires. Discovery walks can be arranged with park rangers. My guide, Vincent, was excellent company, showing me how to calm jellyfish stings with hot stones and leaping indefatigably into ditches in search of the elusive discoglossidae, a shy and very rare amphibian that’s much like a toad. The most spectacular sights, however, are found beneath the waves. A clearly marked underwater trail, with panels explaining maritime flora and fauna, can be followed by snorkellers off the popular beach of La Palud, and scuba excusions are easy to arrange. Out in the posidonia beds—great silvery savannahs of flat-bladed sea grass—rainbow wrasse flicker and glint while doleful groupers look on. Although privileged seclusion is the point of Les Iles d’Or, it would be a pity not to check out the neighbouring mainland, Hyères. Camping Club Les Palmiers (, 15 minutes from the ferry port at La Tour Fondue, was the original Riviera resort, pre-dating Nice and Cannes. Beloved by pioneering Francophiles, including Edith Wharton, Leo Tolstoy and Robert Louis Stevenson, it remains hugely popular with French holidaymakers, who flock each summer to the extensive campsites on its borders, but is littleknown by foreign visitors. The lovely bones of this old beauty are still apparent in the medieval town and Belle Epoque boulevards, and Robert MalletStevens’ Villa Noailles, where surrealists partied with socialites, is a modernist masterpiece. There

Private terraces at Le Mas du Langoustier



THE EPIC CENTRE from khajuraho’s art to bhedaghat’s falls, madhya pradesh is magical, says smitha menon. photographs by jasper james


Part of the challenge, and joy, of being a writer is to find exactly the right words to express how you feel. In an industry where powerful stories are increasingly reduced to snappy headlines, I find myself guilty of Internet hyperbole—reaching for the most provocative word to elicit a response. The result? Overly dramatic, unnecessarily emotive clichés. Was that dinner I ate the other day truly magnificent? Did that new video on YouTube actually blow my mind? In hindsight, probably not. But recently, on a week-long road trip through Madhya Pradesh, I had the chance to understand what these superlatives really meant, and what kind of experiences are truly worthy of them: from


canoeing on the serene Denwa River and watching the sun rise across the water to pondering the evolution of humankind while standing in the remains of the prehistoric caves in Bhimbetka. My journey got me to see the futility of using these exaggerated words to describe a meal or video when there are sights that will actually take your breath away, experiences that will genuinely leave you speechless and, yes, will absolutely blow your mind. I went to the heart of India a slightly jaded travel writer and returned astounded, humbled, astonished and inspired. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but sometimes, a single word conveys what a thousand photographs cannot.

Temple-hopping in Khajuraho We exit the buzzing main temple compound with a multitude of thoughts swirling in our minds, grateful for the sleepy peacefulness of the rest of Khajuraho. We amble along, stopping to take pictures of psychedelic-looking babas and brightly painted doors, and to grab a cup of coffee at Raja Café (, one of the town’s oldest and hippest spots. Later, as I watch the sun set over the temple-tops from The Lalit Temple View Khajuraho, I wonder what the Chandelas must have thought of when commissioning these sculptures. I sip my wine, grateful for the richness of our past and the infinite future. GETTING THERE Fly to Khajuraho with Jet Airways (www. Stopovers in New Delhi and Varanasi) from most major Indian cities. WHERE TO STAY The Lalit Temple View Khajuraho (www.thelalit. com; doubles from 8,500). Stop en route at Ken River Lodge (www. for lunch and a nature walk.

The Dhuandhar Falls. Top row from left: Pachmarhi’s Bee Falls; flowers at WelcomHeritage Golf View, Pachmarhi; the reception at Reni Pani Jungle Lodge, Satpura; carvings at Khajuraho. Bottom row from left: Golu, a forest guide at Satpura Tiger Reserve; a sloth bear and her cub in the reserve; artwork at the Tribal Museum, Bhopal; Previous pages: the Khajuraho temple complex


An elaborate threesome is underway. A woman is suspended in mid-air, her body curved. Next to her, a couple is engaged in cunnilingus. Another woman stands near them, pleasuring herself. I’m at the Lakshmana Temple in Khajuraho, staring at the famous 10th-century carvings on the wall. While my attention remains focused on the art, I can’t help but notice the reactions of the other Indian tourists around. Some are giggling, others embarrassed, but most are simply curious. With temples dedicated to Vishnu, Shiva and other gods, as well as a host of other Jain temples, Khajuraho is believed to have been the religious capital of the Chandela dynasty. The erotic sculptures they built are stunning, both in terms of thought and execution. We all know about the Khajuraho carvings, they are trotted out as an example of India’s sexually liberated past in every debate on censorship. But to actually see this incredibly intricate, glorious celebration of the human form is truly special.



Boating at Bhedaghat Awesome is a word I use at least a dozen times a day. But for the first time, in a long time, while rowing past the marble rocks that rise 100ft on either side of me at Bhedaghat, I am actually struck by awe. One of the few water bodies in the country that flows from east to west, the Narmada forms a natural border between North and South India, cutting across Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat. Having carved a natural path over the years through soft marble rock, the river flows peacefully across the gorge and eventually tumbles into the powerful Dhuandhar Falls, an apt name for the hazy illusion created by the sheer force of the water. Before getting into the boat, I’d had to ride a ropeway, a simplified version of a cable car, from my hotel to the point where the rocks rise. As I clung to the sides of the swaying contraption, below me, the river gushed over rocks and thundered into the falls. The energy was high, yet the effect was calm.

Back in the boat, Rajesh, my guide, points out the faces of Parvati, Shiva and countless other Hindu gods and goddesses within the rock formations, and, almost in the same breath, rattles off the names of famous Bollywood films shot in the area. His is a lilting, entertaining script with crude rhymes, learnt by rote and recited about eight times a day across the 12km stretch of water. Warm yellow sunshine bounces off the white rocks and is reflected in the water, causing iridescent patterns on the smooth marble. Birds chirp and monkeys squeal as they dart across the rocks, coming in close to inspect us. As we float on the calm river, my heartbeat slows to normal after my daredevilry on the ropeway. I look around, the wild, roaring rapids behind me, the peaceful scene ahead, and I am reminded of how truly small I am, how little I’ve seen, how far I can still go. GETTING THERE Fly to Jabalpur with SpiceJet (www.spicejet. com) from Mumbai or New Delhi. Bhedaghat is 25km away.


Jata Shankar cave in Pachmarhi The ground is eerily cool and the air is still. Incense stick smoke rises in a long, thin stream. Going 50 steep steps underground, I enter the Jata Shankar cave in Pachmarhi. Inside a deep ravine, the sacred cave-shrine gets its name from a rock formation that resembles the matted hair of Shiva, and is believed to contain 108 naturally formed Shiva lingams. As I go deeper into the cave, it gets colder. My head begins to feel heavy and I sense a strange, magnetic force pulling me forwards. My heart pounds and the walls begin to feel like they’re closing in on me. Brushing it off as claustrophobia and a lack of oxygen, I quickly pay my respects; seek the blessings of the priest and head out. Vijay, my driver, asks if I felt anything at the temple. At my surprised confirmation, he nods. “Jata Shankar is known for its powers,” he explains. “One shouldn’t stay too long down there. You never know what can happen,” he trails off mysteriously, as we drive towards the picturesque, urban Pachmarhi I know.


With waterfalls, caves, gardens worthy of Enid Blyton picnics, and the forested ranges of the Satpura National Park, Pachmarhi offers the usual hill-station staples like sunset and picnic points. Head to Handi Khoh, Priyadarshini and Rajendragiri for stunning views of the hills, and the Pandav Caves—believed to have been one of the Pandavs’ hideouts—for a dose of ancient local mythology. Back in the present, the WelcomHeritage Golf View, a pretty, colonialstyle hotel, is the perfect place for me to recover from my cave escapades. As I soak up the bright sunshine in perfectly manicured lawns and contemplate a pot of tea, the haunting feeling from the temple finally starts to fade into a distant, if not forgettable, dream. GETTING THERE Fly to Bhopal with Jet Airways (www.jet from Mumbai or New Delhi. Pachmarhi is a four-hour drive away. WHERE TO STAY WelcomHeritage Golf View (www.; doubles from 7,000)


Exploring the rock shelters at Bhimbetka As I walk towards the caves in Bhimbetka, I realise that I have no network on my phone. Fitting, I think, considering I’m going to see some of the world’s oldest prehistoric paintings. Remarkably well preserved because of their natural pigments, the art in Bhimbetka’s rock shelters dates back to the Lower Paleolithic period (about 2,00,000 years ago), but was discovered only in 1957 by Dr Vishnu Wakankar, an archaeologist. The site also provides insights into the early evolution of humans, as a number of rudimentary tools and blades that point to a hunter-gatherer community were unearthed here. The shelters are easy to navigate—15 are well-preserved and numbered, linked by a concrete path with arrows. The caves vary in size, from narrow and low to double-storeyed, with views of the valley. Walking around, I feel a certain oneness with the environment and respect for the place it holds in history. That, combined with the knowledge that humans took shelter here for thousands of years, makes exploring the caves a deeply humbling experience.

As gaurs, bears, elephants and scenes of community life waltz across the rocks before me, I try to imagine the people behind these works of art. Were they celebrated and respected in the community, or just unknown members of the clan? Where did they come from? What was their daily routine like? What happened to their families? What would they think if they saw us today? Questions swim around my head as I run my hand along the tiny alcoves and rock beds inside the ancient caves. I want to capture this scene, so I construct a frame (to later filter and post on Instagram), but feel silly taking pictures of a picture from so long ago. To reduce all of this to a single image on social media would be to trivialise the entire experience, I think. Conflicted, I take one photograph anyway, and save it, postponing my internal argument. Standing at the spot that marked the evolution of man, there are bigger mysteries of life to ponder. GETTING THERE Fly to Bhopal with Jet Airways (www.jetairways. com) from Mumbai or New Delhi. Bhimbetka is about 45km away.

A peacock in Panna National Park. Top row from left: an aerial view of the Raneh Falls near Khajuraho; a horse in Pachmarhi; signage at Panna National Park; the Denwa River in Satpura. Bottom row from left: the view from Handi Khoh in Pachmarhi; inside the Gupt Mahadeo temple; the signature thali at The Lalit Temple View Khajuraho


Wildlife safari and early morning canoe ride at Satpura National Park We’ve been driving for about two hours and save for some birds of prey, elegant blackbucks and crocs in the distance, our wildlife sightings have been fairly underwhelming. Having spotted a tiger seven years ago in Bandhavgarh, I am eager to get up close and personal with India’s favourite jungle cat. Unfortunately, the cat in question isn’t in the mood. “I can hear some alarm calls, but they’re very distant,” says Aly Rashid, naturalist and co-proprietor of the Reni Pani Jungle Lodge, my home for the night. “The tiger’s probably walking somewhere deep inside the jungle,” he adds. Spanning an area of 524sq km, Satpura National Park is located in the heart of Madhya Pradesh. It is a relatively lesserknown park,as compared to Kanha, Pench and Bandhavgarh, and the tiger reserve here is not known for its sightings of the cat. However, most wildlife junkies swear that it embodies the essential safari experience: the breeze, the play of shadow and light, the


kaleidoscope of greens and browns, the sounds of a life that is entirely unlike mine. Aly, too, urges me to just listen. I strain my ears, but apart from the hum of the jeep’s engine, I’m completely deaf. “My ears aren’t tuned to jungle frequency,” I joke, but no one is impressed. “Tough crowd,” I mutter under my breath as I make my peace with the thought of not spotting anything that will earn me bragging rights back home. And then, as if almost on cue, I hear the soft rustle of leaves underfoot. I whip around and a pair of sambar deer walk daintily across the grass. A few metres away, a civet scrambles to take shelter beneath a tree. Shutting my eyes tight to take in the sounds, I pick up on the beat of the wild. I recognise the deep bass of the gaur, the high-octave chirruping of the crickets and the tenor of the tawny-bellied babbler. It’s a perfect, seamless jungle symphony.

Exploring Bhimbetkaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s caves. Opposite page: carvings on the outside of the Lakshmana Temple, Khajuraho


A reading nook at Reni Pani Jungle Lodge. Opposite page, clockwise from top left: the WelcomHeritage Golf View hotel in Pachmarhi; Aly Rashid of Reni Pani; the lawns at The Lalit Temple View Khajuraho; cave paintings at Bhimbetka


Later that evening, we’re on our way back to the lodge when Aly gets word that a leopard had killed a cow. Excited by the prospect of seeing some kill, we head back to the depths of the jungle. We drive around the area for what feels like hours, but finally, we’re forced to admit that our bloodlust is not going to be sated. Still, I think, as I stare up at the darkening inky sky punctured by tiny pinpricks of starlight, it’s all quite beautiful. By the time we get back to the lodge, it’s cold and I’m exhausted after a long day in the car. Named after locally abundant wild reni berries, a favourite with local sloth bears, Reni Pani is an eco-lodge dedicated to conservation and preservation of its surroundings, visible in the eucalyptus beams and bamboo used to build the lodge. Still shivering, I enter my cottage and am relieved to see that despite the emphasis on environmentally friendly practices. creature comforts don’t take a back seat here: there’s a hot water bottle tucked in my bed. Gratefully, I sink into my mattress and pillows, looking forward to a deep, well-deserved sleep.

It’s 5.30am and we’re just setting out on the Denwa River in our canoe. The cold air whips through my hair and stings my face. I curse myself for not wearing a fifth layer. I yawn, raising my hand to cover my mouth, and my fingers turn numb. Aly senses my discomfort, smiles and tells me, again, to just listen. Dawn is breaking. Pale patterns of pink, purple and blue dance across the water. The morning is silent, save for the dull rhythm of oars hitting water. Above us, a noisy flock of bar-headed geese soars past in a near-perfect V formation. To my right, lapwings, herons and egrets call out to each other, scanning the water for food. I automatically reach for my camera, but something stops me. I realise no photographs or words will match up to what I see. GETTING THERE Fly to Bhopal with Jet Airways (www.jetairways. com) from Mumbai or New Delhi. Satpura is a four-hour drive away. WHERE TO STAY Reni Pani Jungle Lodge (www.renipani; doubles from 18,000). The lodge and Satpura National Park are closed from June to October.



Spice traders came here first, then marauding buccaneers. Now, Mozambique’s Bazaruto Archipelago—wisps of Africa as it once was—is being discovered all over again. By Peter Browne. Photographs by Mirjam Bleeker 204


Opposite page, clockwise from top left: andBeyond Benguerra Island; a bedroom at the lodge; the bar at the Azura Benguerra Island Hotel; the sandbanks of the Bazaruto Archipelago. Previous pages: fishing dhows waiting for the tide to turn


his is the coastline that spoilt me forever. It’s been over half a century since I first came to know the beaches of Mozambique, the lullaby cadence of crashing waves and the suck of the swell, the sting of salt and sand on hot skin as my mother wrapped me in a towel. Each summer, for the first 10 years of my life, we would pack the old Vauxhall Victor with a few clothes and bumper bottles of Hawaiian Tropic and cross the Vumba mountains from Rhodesia into Mozambique, then drive 300km down to the port of Beira. Our beach holidays there came to an end for the same reason everyone’s did: a civil war that would last 15 years, leaving the country limp with fatigue, pockmarked with landmine craters and almost entirely emptied of wildlife. They say even the birds in Mozambique stopped singing for fear of being shot for the pot. Since the end of the war in the early 1990s, I have returned to this coast many times, to sail around the dreamlike islands of the Quirimbas Archipelago in the far north, pub-crawl across the dive bars and nightclubs in the capital, Maputo, in the south, and swim with manta rays in the Mozambique Channel in between. I have scoured the world for a stretch of sand and sea to match this extravagant expanse of wild, dune-backed shoreline, but have seldom come close. The tidy coral beaches of the Maldives are too confined for me; the forestbacked coves of Seychelles, too honeymoonbrochure; the Atlantic waves of Uruguay and Brazil are beautiful but cold; the lagoons of the South Pacific, shallow and tepid. No, for me the coast of Mozambique is perfection, especially at its most terrifyingly loud, wild and windy, when humpback whales breach offshore and whale sharks take shelter from storms in the bulbous coral outcrops and caverns of its depths. The small, sandy islands of Mozambique’s Bazaruto Archipelago lie just a few kilometres from the sleepy mainland town of Vilankulo, in

the district of Vilanculos, where there are sandfloor bars, simple thatched lodges and campsites. The archipelago itself is in a protected marine park and consists of just five islands: skinny Bazaruto, the largest in the group with a 30km phalanx of dunes running down its spine; Benguerra, about half its size. and then, smaller and smaller, Magaruque, Santa Carolina and tiny Bangue. I first came here 14 years ago, when news of the islands’ beauty had just started to filter further afield, but I had been hearing about them for many years before that. In the 1950s, when Mozambique was still a Portuguese colony, the Santa Carolina Hotel (100 rooms, with an airstrip and private chapel in its heyday) opened on the island of the same name, which is also known as Paradise Island. In the 1960s my grandmother and her boyfriend, Tommy, would dance on the terazzo-floor terrace of its dining room as a pianist played the latest Jim Reeves hits on the baby grand. It was the sort of place the young and robust went to sunbathe in olive oil, drink Mateus rosé and feast on fat prawns dripping with garlic and piri piri sauce. The hotel was abandoned in 1973 when its owner, Joaquim Alves, fearing the worst, fled the country just before independence. The increasingly derelict husk later served as a military base during the civil war, then was left to the mercy of storms. Eight years ago, it was announced that Adel Aujan, a Saudi who, at that time, owned five hotels in Mozambique, would raze the old ruins to the ground and build a US$50 million property on the island. His partner in the venture was John Bredenkamp, a Zimbabwean businessman accused of armsdealing during the Iran-Iraq war. The project never happened. Many breathed a sigh of relief when the deal to redevelop the Paradise Island property fell through, for such is the power of nostalgia that couples who honeymooned here in the old days still revisit the ruins, and many will tell you, with great conviction, but no proof whatsoever, that Bob Dylan composed his song Mozambique on the very piano from which my grandmother was serenaded.





The lodges of Bazaruto and Benguerra are great places to stay in the archipelago. My old favourite, Benguerra Lodge, was recently bought by a consortium including South African businessman Dick Enthoven (who also owns the Spier wine farm in Stellenbosch). Now managed by the respected safari conservation outfit andBeyond (; doubles from MZN78,000 or 1,02,500), the rejuvenated property is laid out like a traditional bush camp, with guest cottages on either side of a central dining and living room. Each cottage has a private plunge pool and outdoor shower; the new interiors are smart-colonial and the setting is cool and refreshing, a glade set back from the refractive, bouncing light of the sand and sea. In its previous incarnation, the lodge was managed for a quarter of a century by Sally Bryson, a generous host who taught the staff how to cook superb meals and inducted them into the often perplexing ways of fussy Westerners. Bryson has since retired, but most of the original staff is still here, which lends the place a relaxed, practised rhythm. The cheerful beach bar in front of the lodge is built from a traditional dhow of the sort still used by local fishermen. The elegant sailing vessels are everywhere, a constant reminder that Mozambique was once the Indian Ocean outpost for Swahili and Arab traders, long before Vasco da Gama washed ashore in 1498 and kick-started 500 years of Portuguese rule. The other place to stay on Benguerra is Azura (; doubles from MZN66,000 or 87,000), owned by a British couple, Chris and Stella Bettany. The sophisticated, laid-back beach hotel has a sunny disposition, a great wine list and an excellent menu. Like &Beyond, which is just a short dhow ride down the beach at high tide, Azura slots into island life beautifully: even before opening the lodge, the Bettanys had built a school and set up a charity for villagers, who also built the lodge from scratch. These are not isolated pockets of indulgence of the Maldivian variety. More than 1,500 people live on the islands and you will undoubtedly wake to the sound of fishermen as they set off at dawn. Take a walk on the beach in the milky early-morning light and children will call after you, slapping happily in the shallows as their mothers collect sand oysters in baskets woven from lala palms.

The Indian Ocean here is fabulously warm and rich in marine life: manta rays and whale sharks, schools of dolphins and loggerhead, green and hawksbill turtles. It is also home to about 200 dugongs, Africa’s last sustainable population of the big grey mammals thought to have given rise to the myth of the mermaid. Thanks to the Endangered Wildlife Trust, they have a guardian angel in Karen Allen, a determined young South African based on Benguerra, who has made it her life’s mission to save them. Benguerra has also proved itself a safe haven for eight horses rescued from Zimbabwe by Pat and Mandy Retzlaff, who were forced off their farm during Mugabe’s land invasions. After it was destroyed, the couple returned after dark to save their horses and those of their neighbours. As more and more farmers left Zimbabwe, the couple amassed a herd of over 300 abandoned thoroughbreds, part-Arabian stallions, polo ponies, foals and elderly mares. Finally, they managed to spirit 104 horses across the border into Mozambique, where they have set up a horse safari outfit based in Vilanculos. On a late afternoon ride across the island with Mandy, through villages and up sand dunes, to the ocean, she showed me where my mount—a patient and gentle grey mare named Princess—still bears the scar of a bullet wound on her withers. One of the others, a spirited bay called Tequila, was taken to Benguerra to foil his repeated attempts to head back to Zimbabwe. Tequila’s escapist tendencies still manage to get him into trouble on the island, where he is known for his nighttime escapades, often accompanied by his willing accomplice, named Slash. The northern tip of Benguerra reaches out, but doesn’t quite touch its much larger neighbour, Bazaruto. The bigger island is perhaps even more beautiful, if only because there is so much more of it. There are many freshwater lakes with crocodiles, all stocked with fat tilapia. Flamingos are regular visitors, as are flocks of white-breasted cormorants, grey herons, pelicans, and elegant great ibises. There are meadows of seagrass, mangrove swamps and swaying savannah grassland; evergreen forests shelter shy red duiker. In places, the island calls to mind a mini-Africa, especially in the villages, where women grow sweet potatoes, sorghum and cassava and children run out

Opposite page, clockwise from top left: a thatched cottage at andBeyond Benguerra Island; sandbanks in the Bazaruto Archipelago; a sitting area at andBeyond; an aerial view of the archipelago. Previous pages: an aerial view of the São Sebastião peninsula



Portuguese era, so the story goes, convicts would be shackled together and left here to drown with the rising tide; these days, guests from the lodges are dropped off for desert-island picnics. One of the most beautiful of these ephemeral isles is Pansy Island, named after the sea-urchin skeletons with pansy-shaped imprints found there. Hugging the southern shores of Bazaruto and topped by screensaver blue skies, it has views of the imposing dunes that have, for epochs, protected Bazaruto from extinction. And it has Sailfish Bay, 30km of white beach, an immaculate, almost-to-scale model of the 2,500km Mozambique coastline of my dreams.

Above: seating at the Azura Benguerra Island bar. Opposite page: the beach at andBeyond Benguerra Island

GETTING THERE Fly to Vilanculos with South African Airways ( Stopovers in Abu Dhabi and Johannesburg) or Qatar Airways ( Stopovers in Doha and Johannesburg) from major Indian cities. Benguerra Island is a short flight away; contact the hotels for airport transfers. Indian passport-holders can apply for a visa at the High Commission of the Republic of Mozambique in New Delhi. Visas cost 4,960 and take up to three working days to process.


from huts to wave at passing strangers, still enough of a novelty to induce great squeals of excitement. In 2013, the islandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Indigo Bay Hotel was rebranded following a management deal between its owner, Adel Aujan, and the Bangkok-based Anantara group. Even when it first opened in 2001, it marked a radical departure from the islandsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; quieter, more intimate lodges, and the newly christened Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort (www.; doubles from MZN41,200 or 54,000) is still the biggest and brashest around. On the surface, the rebranding appears to have made very little difference to the hotel, which is exactly as I remember, if now a little frayed around the edges. There are profligate buffets, golf buggies to get around, a great spa and two resort-style pools, one with a cascading waterfall for families, the other with a swim-up bar for grown-ups. South African families love it, and the islanders who work here are perhaps the smiliest and most welcoming on the archipelago. The Bazaruto Archipelago was once part of a peninsula connected to the mainland, and at low tide, the retreating sea exposes millions of sand pits and tiny isles of baking-soda-white sand set in radiating swirls of vivid blue. In the



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f you’re used to Europe, or much of the USA, it’s hard to see a palm tree and not assume you’re on holiday. Miami was long a destination where money and people passed through quickly— hopping on cruises, down for the weekend. But now it’s up to something new; it wants you to stay. It wants you to stay for a week or two. It wants you to stay for good. And there are plenty of reasons why people are listening. Not long ago, Miami Beach was “where neon went to die”, according to the acerbic American comedian Lenny Bruce. The 1950s heyday of Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe was superseded by the age of cheap flights to the Caribbean and the conversion of some Orlando cattle pastures into Walt Disney World. Tourists in Miami disappeared. Construction stopped. And then it got worse. Someone said

decade was out, had become a fixture on the global art calendar—showed that the place was capable of attracting a regular, well-heeled clientele. And was proof that Miami wasn’t so cultureless after all. Perhaps it was Art Basel-inspired, but now there’s another evolution. The buildings of Miami Beach, so many still awkward and downtrodden, are being turned into works of art themselves. The names attached to the new skyline attest to the accompanying ambition: Pritzker Architecture Prize winners Rem Koolhaas, Norman Foster, Zaha Hadid, Richard Meier, Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron. One of the most ambitious projects is by Alan Faena. While others are building hotels or apartments, the Argentine developer is creating a whole neighbourhood: the Faena District. Yes, there’s a hotel, the Faena Hotel Miami Beach (; doubles from US$495 or 33,200), but that’s merely

“MIAMI REACTED TO THE FINANCIAL CRISIS WITH NEW MUSEUMS, A STADIUM, THE NEW WORLD SYMPHONY SPACE AND COUNTLESS OFFICE TOWERS” “Miami”, you said “Miami Vice”. The iconic TV show of hazy sunsets, dirty cops and dope was based on raw truth. By the early 1980s, the fragile city was eaten from the inside out: the perfect gateway for South American drugs to make their way towards northern consumers. The only glamour left by the time I moved to the USA in 1989 was a crumbling Art Deco district, an ageing population and Miami Beach’s famous southern tip—by then as crime-ridden a neighbourhood as existed in all of the country. It’s unrecognisable now. Buildings on South of Fifth Street command the best views and prices in town. Cranes cut the sky and restaurants seem to open weekly. Historically a boom-andbust city, Miami used to lie down and play dead after a crash. But in 2008, it reacted to the financial crisis building new museums, a stadium, the New World Symphony space ( designed by Frank Gehry and countless office towers. Art Basel Miami Beach (—which launched in December 2002 and, before the 216

one of several architectural statements in its six-block radius. Faena calls it “a unique place, a utopian place where the best minds in the world have the freedom to brainstorm”. His version of Utopia lies on either side of Collins Avenue, between 32nd and 36th Streets of Mid-Beach, one half running towards the Atlantic Ocean, the other spreading back to the waters of Indian Creek. The beachfront features Faena House, a residential tower with sharp wraparound terraces and a plush penthouse. Yards away is Rem Koolhaas’ stunning Faena Forum, an arts centre due to open this year. From the outside, the structure is a dazzling white drum and cube, pierced with tall windows. Clockwise from top left: the Thompson Miami Beach’s reception; the dining room at Casa Claridge’s; graffiti in Wynwood; art at Nautilus, a SIXTY Hotel. Previous pages, clockwise from top left: the Miami Design District; a store manager in Wynwood; Ocean Drive, South Beach; décor at 1 Hotel South Beach; a chair at 1 Hotel; Wynwood graffiti; art at Pérez Art Museum Miami; the 1 Hotel lobby; lights at the Metropolitan by COMO


Inside, it’s a flexible version of the Pantheon, able to shift walls to host a variety of exhibitions, concerts and political debates. But it’s for the hotel that Faena has partnered with his most surprising collaborators of all: Academy Award perennials Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin. The Moulin Rouge! director and his productiondesigner wife have transformed the erstwhile Saxony Hotel into a 169room cinematic fantasy, complete with its own cabaret-style theatre. One of the restaurants will be overseen by Francis Mallmann, the France-trained Argentine chef who returned to his roots and made his name cooking the best meal in a steak-obsessed country. And across the street is Casa Claridge’s (doubles from US$189 or 12,700), all pink orchids, leafy courtyard and eyepopping art installations. Faena is not alone in backing Miami Beach right now, and if you want a real vote of confidence, ask a New Yorker. Ian Schrager, the most New York of New Yorkers, thinks the city is going through “a paradigm shift”. The famed hotelier and Studio 54 218

front man should know: he saw the last upsurge before anyone else. Back in 1992 Schrager took a small bet that paid off hugely, launching the Delano (; doubles from US$247 or 16,600), which, in turn, launched a thousand imitations. Boutique-y, design-led, elegant and casual, it was the first new hotel to open on Miami Beach in almost 40 years. It gave the good-looking crowd a place to rest up during the day, and recharge for the long nights in Miami’s eternally effervescent club scene. Thanks to Schrager, the lobby went from a space to stow your luggage to the see-andbe-seen cocktail spot, framed by breezy curtains and deep sofas. Two decades later, Schrager is back on Miami Beach with another hotel. The Miami Beach EDITION (www.; doubles from US$329 or 22,100) is the perfect metaphor for the most recent surge. It sits inside the skeleton of the Seville Hotel, one of the giant 1950s properties from an age when ladies in fur stoles put their kids to bed before heading out to hear Dean Martin croon. There are nods to the past (the sleek Matador

Bar breathes new life into its curves) and a connection to the city’s heritage (the music is put together by Miamiborn former DJ Jauretsi, who rescued records from her parents’ Cuban restaurant to create a soundscape that’s never far from Havana). Hotels here are often as much about after midnight as before it. For before, there’s Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s revival of the original Seville restaurant, Matador Room, with a sunken seating area and a light, refined Latin menu. After the clock strikes 12, slink down to BASEMENT, where there’s a skating rink and bowling alley, alongside the prerequisite nightclub. Neon and wood merge seamlessly and every detail, down to the bowling balls painted with nudes commissioned by artists in New York, is beautifully thought-out. Above: the view from The Standard Spa Miami Beach. Opposite page, clockwise from top left: décor at Casa Claridge’s; a suite at Nautilus, a SIXTY Hotel; furnishings at the Thompson Miami Beach; light fittings at Nautilus; flooring at the Thompson; the minibar at Nautilus; seating at the Thompson; the bar at Nautilus; the pool at The Miami Beach EDITION


The EDITION is a wonderful mixture of showiness and subtlety. It’s sly, decadent and amusing. Even its beach is a little bit honesty, a little bit of artifice: reportedly, almost a million dollars worth of rocks were shipped in to form a small breakwater so guests could still swim on a rough day. Just south of The EDITION is a hidden walkway, set between the hotels and the beach boardwalk. Easy to miss, it runs half a mile south towards the Metropolitan by COMO (www.; doubles from US$202 or 13,500). At this small, cool, oasis, you won’t find a DJ playing by the pool, although during Miami’s Ultra Music Festival (www.ultramusicfestival. com) in March, you’ll see plenty of turntablers staying here, soaking up the peace and quiet and impeccable service, perhaps by the relaxation pool on the roof. The rooms, too, have a cool mood: mint-green walls, monochrome floors and frosted mirrors.

committed place to stay. Consisting of 426 rooms, it’s big, but pulls off the legerdemain of intimacy. The white, high-ceilinged lobby may now be a familiar Miami trope, but instead of acres of cut flowers, there is a ‘living wall’ of 11,000 plants. Beyond the lobby, the green initiatives continue: bedroom doors are unlocked with reclaimed-wood keycards; on the bedside table is a chalkboard instead of a notepad; inside the wardrobe, the hangers are made out of recycled paper and by the minibar there’s a tap that gives out fresh, filtered water. But Miami Beach has always been about decadence and the 1 Hotel provides plenty of that too, with four swimming pools (including one on the rooftop), a fleet of Tesla electric cars to ferry guests around, a gym and a spa. A few blocks further south is another rebuild: Nautilus, a SIXTY Hotel (; doubles from US$255 or 17,000). Like The

“RESTRAINT IS RARE IN MIAMI BEACH, WHERE YOU CAN CHECK INTO A FIVE-STAR HOTEL WEARING NOTHING MORE THAN A THONG” The Metropolitan may be all about restraint, but it’s an attribute that has long been in short supply in Miami Beach, where you can check into a fivestar hotel wearing nothing more than a thong. People tend to think of Miami Beach and Miami as one and the same, but in fact, they’re two separate cities connected by four bridges. Miami Beach was incorporated as a city in 1915. Having failed as a coconut and avocado plantation, this glorified sandbar soon found its natural calling as a holiday destination with an early string of small hotels. Within a decade, the rapidly growing city received its first presidential visit: Warren G Harding on vacation in 1921. In what was already becoming the regular Miami Beach overkill, he was given a special caddy for his first round of golf: a three-ton elephant called Rosie. To this day, Miami Beach hotels will try to give you something different for your dollar. Next to the Metropolitan sits the 1 Hotel South Beach (www.1; doubles from US$360 or 24,200), the town’s first ecologically 220

EDITION, it plays with its origins and there’s a New Yorker behind it, Jason Pomeranc, who co-founded the Thompson Hotels brand. Now with his SIXTY Hotels, he’s restored this 1950s property created by architect Morris Lapidus, the man who reinvented Miami Beach style. Even today, this is still old-school Miami where your stay begins with a drink, as you’re drawn through the lobby past the white columns, grand staircases and curved walls to a gently arched wooden bar. There’s a touch of Mad Men about the rooms too, such as the upended trunk that opens to reveal a minibar. Speaking of Pomeranc, the Thompson Miami Beach (www.thompsonhotels. com; doubles from US$199 or 13,400) has made its mark on the area as well. Here, three buildings have been stapled together to form a place that’s filled with colour and beats. The poolside 1930s House, with its original scalloped roof and Spanish-tiled floor, gives off a speakeasy vibe—just the spot for the first or last cocktail of the night.

The Thompson Miami Beach. Left from top: the Thompson lobby; art at the ThompsonTwin Palm Island; an artwork displayed at PĂŠrez Art Museum Miami


The sitting room at Casa Claridgeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. Opposite page, from top: books and curios at the Thompson; plant pots at 1 Hotel; neon signs on Collins Avenue


Thompson Hotels was also smart enough to bring in celebrity chef Michelle Bernstein for its restaurant Seagrape, always packed with a healthy mixture of guests and locals. Miami and Miami Beach have always had their own distinct sense of self. Each has its own mayor and police department. Miami Beach has leaned hard on tourism, which sometimes obscures just how fast the rest of Miami has grown up. The beach is an easy sell, but for the curious, Miami runs deep. There’s Herzog & de Meuron’s impeccable museum, Pérez Art Museum Miami (, named after Cuban-American billionaire Jorge Pérez, who also donated much of his own collection of 20th-century Latin American masterpieces. Art is on the street in the area of Wynwood (, just south of The Miami Design District (www. Wall after

If possible, it outdoes the Faena project in both intention and price. The billion-dollar development is a mix of hotel, shops, offices and apartments. Such a combination might be familiar in Hong Kong, where EAST’s owners, Swire Hotels (, developed Pacific Place around The Upper House, but it’s new to Miami. There will be hanging gardens, parks and swimming pools. The top floors stare up and down Biscayne Bay with views only previously experienced by passing pods of pelicans. Running through the centre of it all is a stunning ‘climate ribbon’, a vast, undulating trellis that lets the floors stay cool by harnessing the winds off the sea. Not only are the occasional tropical rains kept out, the water is saved for reuse. Tens of thousands of Miamians live in the surrounding area in Brickell and Downtown. Could this be it: the moment when Miami learns to walk instead of drive?

“A TOWN THAT ALWAYS HAD ITS OWN CULTURE NOW HAS THE BUILDINGS TO HOST IT AND DISTINCTIVE NEW NEIGHBOURHOODS THAT DIDN’T EXIST BEFORE” wall is covered in commissioned graffiti, no matter whether it’s a parking lot, shop or one of the ubiquitous galleries. It’s Brooklyn a dozen years ago: for every block that reeks of neglect, the next offers stunning surprises such as the organic loaves at Zak The Baker ( and Sprout (, a florist-cum-coffee shop. Some of the neighbouring factories that jut against the blue sky are now cooperatives such as The Bakehouse Art Complex (www. Other factories are, well, still factories. There’s no doubt that today, Miami is a city in flux. One of the accusations often levelled against it is that it has no centre. That, too, is about to change: drive off the beach, past the port and the deep bellows of the departing cruise liners, and you’ll arrive at Brickell City Centre ( This new neighbourhood is being built from the ground up and, like the Faena District, has its own soon-to-open hotel, EAST (; doubles from US$219 or 14,700).

Throughout this frenzy of openings, you can sense the city’s desire to be taken seriously rather than just as next year’s hottest holiday destination. This time, the boom has reached further than hotels. A town that always had its own culture now has the buildings to host it and distinctive new neighbourhoods that simply didn’t exist before. There’s so much going on that observers are caught between rosy optimism and the feeling that this is almost too good to be true. Let the long-time watchers worry, for everyone else, Miami’s moment is now.

GETTING THERE Fly to Miami with Jet Airways ( Stopover in London) or United Airlines (www. Stopover in Newark) from Mumbai or New Delhi. Indian passport-holders can apply for a visa online (www.ustraveldocs. com). Visas cost US$160 or 10,700. Applications should be submitted 6—8 weeks prior to travel.



The invitation

The entrance to the store’s superbridal section

Sabyasachi Mukherjee and Amitabh Kant

A SENSE OF PLACE CNT partnered with fashion designer Sabyasachi for the launch of his Delhi store

Ranjeeta Kant and Sunil Sethi

CNT’s Divia Thani Daswani (in Sabyasachi)

V Sunil

When Sabyasachi approached CNT to partner with him for the launch of his new store, he knew he was making a statement: the exquisite 13,500sq ft space is a destination in itself. Located in Mehrauli, it’s steeped in history on the outside and nostalgia inside, with gilded paintings, ornate chandeliers and fading Kashmiri rugs. In a testament to the designer’s unique sense of aesthetic, Amitabh Kant, the man behind the Make in India initiative, declared that “There’s nothing like this store anywhere in the world. Sabyasachi is a genius!” We tend to agree.

The ruins of Mehrauli lend the store ambience

Pratiksha and Prashant

Priya Paul and William Dalrymple Samegh and Tanvir Batra Rohit Bal

Malvika Poddar, Selena Bijli and Debashish Poddar

Brett Kladney Aseem Merchant

224 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016

RSVP Nidhi Verma and Zubin Songadwala

Peter D’Ascoli, Namrata Zakaria and AD Singh Birgit Holm, Gaurav Sinha and Ambica Ranger

Adhiraj Singh

Marut Sikka

Conde Nast’s Arjun Mehra and Karishma Manga Bedi

Anchal Gupta and Preeti Makhija

CNT’s Ritika Bhatnagar and Aditi Chaudhuri Bindu Panicker, Akanksha Maheshwari and Pareina Thapar

Rachna Singh and Vikram Baidyanath


Monia Saigal Pinto

Rahul Jacob and Fiona Caulfield

Aman Nath Nikasha Tawadey Khemka

Ambika Anand

Sabyasachi with his parents, sister Payal and brother-in-law Achin

Smita and Rajiv Shroff Shefalee Vasudev, Sunil and Shalini Sethi

Suvrat, Sanjeev and Shelly Batra Prerika Rao

Joan Roy

June-July 2016 Condé Nast Traveller 225




JUNE 2016 `150




ALL FIREDUP How a Punjabi Rapper turned into a YouTube Superstar THE SMART MANâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S GUIDE TO EURO 2016

The 50 Best Dressed Men In India NOW!







GQ India




FASHIONING BANARAS When the fashion industry celebrated the holy city

Sabyasachi Mukherjee

The terrace garden at Mumbai’s ITC Grand Central turned into a ramp for Weaves of Banaras, presented by the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) during Make in India Week—for which Condé Nast India launched a special magazine. Make In India’s Amitabh Kant and V Sunil were among those who admired the creations of Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Anju Modi, Rohit Gandhi + Rahul Khanna, Anita Dongre, Rohit Bal, Namrata Joshipura, Ashish Soni, Arjun Saluja, Abraham & Thakore, Abhishek Gupta, Rajesh Pratap Singh and JJ Valaya. As live Indian classical music played and perfectly chilled thandai did the rounds, a bit of Banaras came alive in Mumbai.

Anita Dongre

Ranjeeta and Amitabh Kant, V Sunil and David Abraham

CNI’s Alex Kuruvilla and Sunil Sethi

Rouhallah Gazi and CNT’s Divia Thani Daswani

Rahul Khanna Rajesh Pratap Singh Narendra Kumar

Vikram Raizada, CNI’s Oona Dhabhar and Nisha Khetan Raizada

Models in Rohit Gandhi + Rahul Khanna

Vogue’s Bandana Tewari

228 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016

Almona Bhatia and Aarti Gupta Surendranath

Dipak Haksar


Models in JJ Valaya

JJ Valaya, Sabyasachi, Ashish Soni, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Abraham & Thakore and Arjun Saluja with models

Bhavana Pandey, Marielou Phillips, Nisha Jamvwal and Vogue’s Priya Tanna

Gaurav Mahajan

Ritesh Agarwal

Models in Rajesh Pratap Singh JJ Valaya


Kailash Surendranath

Gayatri Rangachari Shah

Philippe H Charraudeau

Nikhil Mansata

Banarasinspired food

Aparna Badlani

Namrata Joshipura, Rohit Gandhi + Rahul Khanna, Rohit Bal, Anita Dongre and Anju Modi with models

June-July 2016 Condé Nast Traveller 229


230 CondĂŠ Nast Traveller June-July 2016


WHERE ARE YOU? Inaugurated in the early 1990s, this 36ft tall iron-and-concrete sculpture of a human hand rises out of the sand in the driest non-polar desert in the world. The artist who created it wanted to portray human vulnerability and suffering, and a cry for help in an unjust world. These ideas, and the use of giant hands to depict them, have been a recurring theme in his works, which can be seen across the world. Where are you? SAMIRA SOOD

Email your answers to and you could win a three-night stay at the Coco Bodu Hithi in the Maldives. See overleaf for detailsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and look out for the


answer in our next issue, out in August.

June-July 2016 CondĂŠ Nast Traveller 231




ediscover life’s beauty is the philosophy of the Coco Bodu Hithi, and at this tropical island resort, you’ll find it easy to do just that. The 100 villas, including some suspended over the water on stilts, come with king-size beds and flat-screen TVs. Some villas have beachfront terraces, private gardens and plunge pools leading to the lagoon. The term ‘meal with a view’ takes on a whole new meaning here, with options including Breeze, the al fresco BBQ diner, Tsuki for Japanese, Aqua for fresh seafood and Latitude for cocktails by the infinity pool. Guests can enjoy a variety of activities, including a sunset cruise

around the island of Bodu Hithi, complete with sparkling wine, canapes and classical music. You could experience it all! Just rush in your entry with the correct answer to this issue’s Where Are You? competition before 1 July 2016. The prize includes a three-night stay for a couple in an Island Villa, with complimentary breakfast. The offer is valid between 1 August 2016 and 21 July 2017, subject to availability. Block-out dates include 22 December 2016—10 January 2017, 23—31 January 2017, 7—16 February 2017 and 9—20 April 2017. For information on prize details, call +960 664 6600 or email reservations@

WINNER: APR-MAY 2016 The winner of the Apr-May issue’s Where Are You? competition is Dr Pravin A Pawar, who correctly identified the above picture as that of the Spiral Jetty art installation on the shore of the Great Salt Lake, Utah, USA. He wins a two-night stay for two at The Oberoi Cecil, Shimla.

COMPETITION RULES 1. Entries for Condé Nast Traveller’s Where Are You? competition can be sent on a postcard, by email or online (all stating the entrant’s full name, address and telephone number) and must correctly identify the place described according to the instructions given. 2. Entries by post should be sent to: Where Are You? competition, Condé Nast Traveller, 3rd Floor, Dubash House, 15 JN Heredia Marg, Ballard Estate, Mumbai 400001. 3. Email entries should be sent to; entries can also be made online at 4. Winners will be judged at the discretion of Condé Nast Traveller. The decision of the judges will be final and binding. No correspondence will be entertained. Only one correct answer will be registered per entrant per issue. 5. Each entry must arrive no later than the first day of the second month on that issue’s cover. The last day of receiving entries is 1 July 2016. Winners will be intimated by post or over the telephone wherever possible. 6. The entries must be in English and complete in all respects. Incomplete entries will not be considered for a prize. 7. Condé Nast India Pvt Ltd is not responsible for late, lost or damaged mail or email. Illegible or mechanically-produced entries are not eligible. Entries by text message are not eligible. 8. Prizes will not be transferred or exchanged for cash or any other item. No refunds or credits for changes or cancellations are allowed. All other expenses and costs, which are not specified as being included in the prize, are the sole responsibility of the winner. 9. All prizes must be redeemed prior to the expiry date.

232 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016

10. Taxes if any on the prize are the sole responsibility of the winner. 11. The Where Are You? competition is open to readers of Condé Nast Traveller who are 18 or older on the date of entry and are ordinarily residents of India. 12. Employees of Condé Nast India Pvt Ltd, participating promotional agencies, contributors to Condé Nast Traveller, and the families of any of those above are not eligible to contest. 13. All entries to the Where Are You? competition become the sole property of Condé Nast Traveller and will neither be acknowledged nor returned. 14. Entries become the property of Condé Nast India Pvt Ltd and may be used for such purpose and in such media as the company deems fit, without requiring the participant’s prior permission. 15. Acceptance of the prize constitutes consent for the use of the winner’s name and likeness and those of his/her travelling companion for editorial, advertising and publicity purposes. 16. Condé Nast India Pvt Ltd will not be liable for any loss, damage or expense incurred by a prizewinner or by his/her travelling companion (for example, costs of repatriation) as a consequence of any party participating in providing the prize becoming insolvent or entering into liquidation or bankruptcy. 17. Condé Nast India Pvt Ltd reserves the right to amend any or all of the terms of this contest, or the prizes on offer, at any time without prior notice. All disputes will be subject to the jurisdiction of Mumbai courts only. 18. Contestants, by entering the competition, agree to be bound by the above rules, terms and conditions. Please indicate if you do not want to be added to our mailing list, which is sometimes made available to carefully screened companies.

Sunita Kohli, Tasneem Zakaria Mehta

Simone Arora

villa a’s Alex Kuru dé Nast Indi on C , er lg land Fo joy Jain, Ro reg Foster, Bi AD editor G


Gopa Menon, Amaresh Anand

Malavika Shivakumar, Niels Schoenfelder, Tony Joseph

Sunu Aibara

The Memphis-inspired stage Vinita Chaitanya

Ajay Arora

Kekin Shah

Vikram Goyal

Sagar Chordia

V Sunil

Suhel Seth

Bose Krishnamachari, Abhinav Khandelwal

Condé Nast India’s Oona Dhabhar, Ashiesh Shah

Amit Syngle

The MercedesBenz S400

Rahul Gore and Sonal Sancheti

Chanya Kaur, Deirdre D’Elia

Srikanth SK and AD publisher Deepa Bhatia Sandip Somany

Rajiv Saini

Asymmetrical shapes and a palette of pop-colours—this year’s AD50 paid tribute to the Memphis movement. As a part of Architectural Digest’s fourth anniversary festivities, the event acknowledged the 50 most influential names in architecture and design from India, along with its neighbouring countries Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan. This year’s Memphisthemed edition was held at Taj Lands End, Bandra, Mumbai in association with Mercedes-Benz.

a photo booth soon—the Nilay Moods of mon

Shimul Javeri Kadri, Alfaz and Brinda Miller

Sameep Padora, Verendra Wakhloo

Abha Narain Lambah

Sandeep Khosla

Samvit and Alisha Tara

Shefali Balwani and Robert Verrijt

Gaganmeet Singh

Condé Nast India’s Arjun Mehra, Amit Thete

Mandira Bedi

Anita Lal

Launch of the La Musique sh ower

Neepa Chatterjee

Amrita Guha, Joya Nandurdikar

Ravi Vazirani

Payal Khandwala

Dipen Gada

AD editor-at-large Manju Sara Rajan, Lekha Washington

Jannat Vasi

Naveen Kanodia

Farooq and Mubina Issa

Saurabh Malpani

Abin Chaudhuri

Industry mavens from the architecture and interior design fraternity came together, while host Mandira Bedi along with percussionist Jonqui and DJ Gavinâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;set the mood for a stellar evening. Renowned architect Bijoy Jain was also honoured with the Mercedes-Benz Award. Nawzer Kerawala

Hemant Singh

Shonan Purie Trehan

Enamul Karim Nirjhar

Nikhil Tomar, Kishin Thakur

Animesh Nayak

Rooshad Shroff, Nimish Shah

Hamendra, Rati and Sukriti Sharma

Prashant Dupare, Shriya Parasrampuria, Amit Patil

lay n Avant on disp The BeO Visio

Siddharth Talwar

Sonam Gala

Michaela McClelland, Basith Zaveri, Anushree Shetty, Raul Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Souza

Sanjay Puri

Hemant Purohit and Smita Khanna

Sharmistha Ray

Spandana Gopal, Sonal Singh

Sujit Nair

Pallavi Choksi, Mohak Mehta

Kanu Agrawal, Puru Das, Brian DeMuro

Manit Rastogi

Palinda Kannangara

Hirante Welandawe

Kalhan and Santha Gour Mattoo Puran Kumar

Mukund and Vidushi Gupta Agarwal

Soumya Keshavan

Andre Pereira Madhav Raman VK Murthy

Sanjeev Panjabi, Sangeeta Merchant

The coffee table book launched at the event

Arjun Malik

Aman Aggarwal

The Hendrickâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bar Philip Weeraratne

Tiipoi trophy for AD50

ON THE GO Our pick of the most stylish finds and travel-related news

SPREAD THEIR WINGS Vistara, a venture between Tata and Singapore Airlines, is spreading its wings, quite literally. The airline, which already boasts 457 flights weekly and 17 destinations, has now added Srinagar, Kochi, Jammu and Chandigarh to its roster as well. Two flights a day from Delhi to Kolkata are slated to launch soon too. (

HOLISTIC HAVEN Looking to escape the hustle bustle of Mumbai’s fast-paced life? Book that appointment at Iridium Spa at The St. Regis Mumbai — the internationally renowned spa’s first outpost in South Asia. The nine treatment rooms coupled with bespoke and sophisticated treatments by award-winning therapists promise the ultimate in rest and relaxation. Their special packages for brides and grooms as well as pamper parties and customized gift vouchers promise luxurious indulgence too. (

READY FOR ROMANCE If you’re looking to rekindle the spark with your sweetheart this summer, you need to plan a getaway that will sweep her off her feet. Experiential travel company, Abercrombie & Kent, has some utterly dreamy ideas for your itinerary. Take a romantic stroll down the flower-laden Chapel Bridge over Lake Lucerne in Switzerland, enjoy a decadent sundowner fit for royalty in the middle of a desert in Abu Dhabi, trek up Mount Batur in Bali to witness a breathtaking sunrise, or feel the adrenalin rush by bungee jumping together in New Zealand. If you’re headed to the city of love, Paris, then you can do plenty there as well — tie a ribbon on the Pont des Art Bridge to solidify your commitment to each other or simply enjoy a cosy dinner date of wine and oysters at a sidewalk café in the city. Abercrombie & Kent ensures that not only will your romantic holiday renew your love, but give you some unforgettable experiences in the process too. ( +91 88603 01010

LOVE ALL AROUND Honeymooners won’t be able to resist Shangri-La’s Eros Hotel, New Delhi’s latest offerings. One option gives couples an exclusive stay in the presidential suite, round-trip transfer in a Rolls Royce Phantom and an in-room candlelit dinner among others. Alternatively, couples can opt for a package that entitles them to a complimentary 30-minute couple’s massage and dinner at Tamra among other perks. (

HAUTE HOROLOGY Swiss luxury watch brand, Breguet, has always been coveted for its technical prowess and refined designs. Their Baselworld 2016 launch, Breguet Tradition’s new self-winding Tradition Dame 7038 model, stays true to this aesthetic. With a bezel set with 68 brilliantcut diamonds and dial made of Tahitian motherof- pearl, this one combines tradition with modernity. (

ON THE GO THE HILLS ARE ALIVE If you’re looking to explore romantic environs within India for your honeymoon or next getaway, simply head to the blissful and hilly terrains of West Bengal. There are plenty of charms to look forward to — the serenity of Darjeeling, the quiet intimacy of Kurseong, the unmatched beauty of Kalimpong or the picturesque hills of Mirik. Take your pick. (

SERENE SANCTUM If all those wedding preparations and celebrations have taken a toll on you and your beloved, recuperate with a wellness honeymoon at Atmantan Wellness Resort in Mulshi, Pune. Tucked in the lap of the Sahyadri mountain range, the quiet and serenity will provide just the relaxation you need. (

A BLISSFUL ESCAPE If you’re headed to Sri Lanka for your honeymoon, staying at Santani, the country’s first destination spa, is a must. The luxurious setting, sprawling 6,000 sq. ft. spa, sophisticated spa treatments, outdoor infinity lap pool, and sumptuous rooms will rejuvenate you two like no other. Avail their honeymoon package (starting at US$ 600 per night for a couple) for a minimum of three nights that also includes a three-hour couple treatment, candlelit dinner and bottle of champagne. (

TIME FOR CHANGE Actress Kate Winslet, who has been Swiss watchmaker Longines’ Ambassador of Elegance since 2010, is using her association with the brand to make a difference. After visiting the Longines Museum, Winslet has selected a watch that will be re-issued for the Golden Hat Foundation, a non-profit organization co-founded by her, which is dedicated to changing public perception of autism. (

BETTER TOGETHER Take a break from the banalities of everyday life with Leela Ambience Convention Hotel, New Delhi’s one-night package that is valid from May to July 2016. For Rs. 6,999 (inclusive of taxes) you can enjoy a complimentary couple spa treatment, 25% off at the restaurants, a lavish breakfast spread and late checkout. An additional Rs. 1,000 will also get you an adjoining room for your kids as well! (

SRI LANKA CALLING Jetwing Hotel’s newest property, Sunrise by Jetwing, exemplifies the beauty of the Passikudah Bay — a coastal resort town north of Batticaloa and home to one of the longest stretches of shallow coastline in the world. Lavish rooms, sumptuous global cuisine and easy access to world-class water sports — your perfect vacation awaits! A meal at their dreamy global cuisine restaurant, Sky Bar, is a must. (

LAP OF LUXURY The Radisson Blu MBD Hotel, Noida is all set to redefine luxury with its MBD Privé Collection — 33 elaborately designed tasteful rooms that are the pinnacle of the good life. Guests can also enjoy the services of a personal butler, access to the MBD Privé Lounge, signature amenities, mood lighting, state-of-the-art in-room technology and an overall unforgettable stay. (

SUN, SAND, AND SURF! Stay at The Novotel Goa Shrem Hotel in north Goa on your next trip to the state. Whether you’re looking for easy access to Goa’s bustling nightlife and beaches or crave some time out with your partner, you will find it all here. The impeccable service, international cuisines and indulgent spa treatments available here are added bonuses. What’s more, their pocket-friendly special packages start at INR 5,700. (


TRAVEL IN STYLE Every travel aficionado will swear by the importance of smart, sleek and practical luggage. Enter Lite-Shock by Samsonite — the brand’s lightest hardside collection to date. Its shock-absorbing shell design, lightweight materials and eye-catching colours make jet-setting in style that much easier. (

CROWNING GLORY On your next trip to Jaipur, stay at Crowne Plaza — an upscale hotel by InterContinental Hotels Group. Ideal for business and leisure trips or even a destination wedding, the property is in close proximity to the airport and boasts 218 sumptuous rooms and 20 indulgent suites. The five eclectic dining options promise to tickle your taste buds too. (

GIFTS GALORE Always thought that wedding registries were a concept limited to western weddings? Online Indian wedding gift registry service, Wedding Wishlist, brings it to India. The service is as simple as it sounds — couples can create their wish list and share it with their wedding guests, who can then choose one that fits their budget. The website even curates, manages and delivers these gifts. Win-win indeed. (

HIGH FLYERS CLUB The Air India SBI Signature Card allows you to get a step closer to your next holiday as you fly. For starters, you rake in 20,000 points as a welcome bonus. After which, you earn 20 reward points on every INR 100 spent to book an Air India ticket with this credit card and four reward points for other purchases. Did we mention you get access to luxury lounges at 600 international airports as well? (

TEA O’CLOCK Cha Palace’s newly launched limited edition range of royal Indian teas will leave tea enthusiasts craving for more. Choose from classic Darjeeling, rare white teas such as the Silver Needle or pick unusual blends like apple cinnamon flavoured infusions. Safe to say, this is one unique gifting option too! (

DIRECTORY The prices and availability of products and services by the following brands were checked at the time of going to press, but we cannot guarantee that the prices will not change or that specific items will be in stock when the magazine is published.

R Raghavendra Rathore: Mumbai 022 6671 3638, New Delhi 093111 12843 S Sabyasachi: Mumbai 022 2204 4774, New Delhi 098103 11155, Kolkata 098300 05953 Sanchita Ajjampur: Bengaluru 080 2253 3252 Stephany: Mumbai 022 2353 4492, Goa 0832 6451 489 T Tarun Tahiliani: Mumbai 022 2287 0895, New Delhi 011 4155 3238, Hyderabad 040 6690 8088 Tod’s: Mumbai 022 4242 1818, New Delhi 011 4666 2700 TOM FORD: New Delhi 011 2461 8587 Tommy Hilfiger: Mumbai 022 6534 5034 U United Colors of Benetton: Mumbai 022 6166 9656, New Delhi 011 4164 6850 V Versace: Z Zara: Mumbai 022 6765 7135

A Anjali Bhimrajka Fine Jewels: Mumbai 022 2204 1832 B Birdhichand Ghanshyamdas Jewellers: Jaipur 0141 2576 517 Breguet: New Delhi 011 4151 3121, Kolkata 033 2282 0626, Chennai 044 2846 4096 C Cartier: New Delhi 011 4678 8888 Chopard: Mumbai 022 2288 4757, New Delhi 011 4666 2834 I ISHARYA: Mumbai 022 2648 9161 L Longines: Mumbai 022 2648 9174, New Delhi 011 4359 2848, Bengaluru 080 6678 3750 O OMEGA: Mumbai 022 6655 0351, New Delhi 011 4151 3255, Bengaluru 080 2206 7784 R Rolex: Mumbai 022 2651 5757, New Delhi 011 4676 7777 T Tanishq: New Delhi 011 6461 3546, Mumbai 022 6199 6666 The House of Rose: New Delhi 011 4606 0953, Mumbai 022 2368 5290

Model Preeti Arya at Raja Café in Khajuraho. On Preeti: raw silk crop top and Gothic pencil skirt, both NACHIKET BARVE; shoes, Zara; sunglasses and coat, model’s own

FASHION Corneliani: Mumbai 022 6631 1303, New Delhi 011 4604 0711, Bengaluru 080 4173 8170 Chanel: New Delhi 011 4111 6840 D Diesel: Mumbai 022 2661 8282 E Ermenegildo Zegna: Mumbai 022 4347 1263, New Delhi 011 4606 0999, Hyderabad 040 6602 6365 F Fendi: New Delhi 011 4604 0777 G Gap: New Delhi 011 4105 3160, Bengaluru 080 2268 2282 C

Gucci: Mumbai 022 6749 9491, New Delhi 011 4647 1111, Kolkata 033 2287 0888 H Havaianas: Mumbai 022 6146 3838 Hermès: Mumbai 022 2271 7400, New Delhi 011 4360 7780 L Label Ritu Kumar: Mumbai 022 6692 5346, New Delhi 011 4356 0074, Bengaluru 080 4112 0278 Louis Vuitton: Mumbai 022 6664 4134, New Delhi 011 4669 0000, Bengaluru 080 4246 0000

244 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016

M Marc Jacobs: New Delhi 011 4103 3059 Marks & Spencer: Mumbai 022 6666 9807, New Delhi 011 4670 6550, Gurgaon 0124 402 9041 N NACHIKET BARVE: Mumbai 022 2661 0091, Chennai 044 2833 3627 P Paul&Shark: Mumbai 022 6673 0693, New Delhi 011 4063 4751 Payal Singhal: Mumbai 022 2351 9139

BEAUTY C Clarins: Mumbai 022 2364 3685, Bengaluru 080 6571 1296 K Kérastase: Mumbai 022 2641 4243, New Delhi 011 4175 7233

MISCELLANEOUS B Bose India: Mumbai 022 2351 9453, New Delhi 011 6473 4663 N Nikon: New Delhi 011 4324 2700, Kolkata 033 4021 8500, Bengaluru 080 4245 0500




From Virtual Reality and The Mars Exploration, to the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best gadgets and everything you need to know about the future of technology. SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT WITH THE GQ AUGUST 2016 ISSUE

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VILLAS WITH A VIEW North Island, Seychelles


ith its creamy scoops of sand, bathwater waves, fish-bejewelled reefs and resident giant tortoises, there is nowhere more bewitching than this mountainous dot of granite in the Indian Ocean. An unpretentious, castaway vibe and wincingly expensive exclusivity (British royalty, Oscar-winner George Clooney, who honeymooned here with Amal Alamuddin, and oligarchs cram the choppers from Mahé) have secured the island’s whispered reputation. But how to improve on perfection? In 2014, ‘North’, as it is known to regulars, underwent a zippy refurb, with two motor-yachts added to the flotilla, rethatched roofs, fresh linen in marine hues and chandeliers in the restaurant. In the 11 villas that peek from the jungle along the curving shoreline, guests pad across the timber floors, through a series of beach-facing, low-slung lounging areas, to bedrooms that feature plush wool rugs, four-poster beds and outdoor-indoor bathrooms with new Philippe Starck fittings. As you soak in your tub, you think: is this the best island hotel in the world, ever? Probably. CHARLOTTE SINCLAIR CONTACT +248 4293 150;; from SCR44,800 or 2,27,900 per person

246 Condé Nast Traveller June-July 2016

Reine de Naples Collection

in every woman is a queen

Chennai: The Helvetica 044 28464095/96 Kolkata: Exclusive Lines 033 22820626 Hyderabad: Meena Jewellers 040 23237170 New Delhi: J o h n s o n W a t c h C o , C o n n a u g h t P l a c e 011 41513 110 / 41513121 – J o h n s o n W a t c h C o , S o u t h E x t n 011 2 4 6 4 2 2 9 9 / 416 4 6 7 6 6 Mumbai: E t h o s S u m m i t , 0 2 2 6 6 1 5 1 3 0 8 / 0 9 – T i m e A v e n u e , 0 2 2 2 6 5 1 5 7 5 7 / 5 8 5 8 B R E G U E T I N D I A N E W D E L H I + 9 1 11 4 6 0 9 2 9 0 7 – W W W . B R E G U E T . C O M