Absolute Magazine Spring Summer 2022 Edition

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Seychelles our home, your sanctuary

Tourism Seychelles UKSTO@Seychelles.com | www.seychelles.com


9 GRAND JCT RD | BRIGHTON | BN1 1PP (60 yards from Palace Pier)

☎ 01273 326 514

NEW MEMBERSHIP OFFER GET A FREE DRINK, PLUS A £10 FREE BET First visit only, max drink value £10, T&C apply.

www.pier ninebrighton.co.uk @pier ninebrighton pier ninebrighton (over 18s only) Discover more

Index 8 16 18 24 30 34 40 52 58 64 68 76 80 84 88 94 90 102 108 114 118 122 124 130 136 144 146 150 156 162 170


Guest Editor - Glynn Burridge Victoria Marie Emerson | Pete Hayward Tony Shattell (food reviewer) Kasia Kash Features Editor - Victoria Marie Emerson info@absolutemagazine.co.uk Design Pete Hayward petehayward.design Owners | Publishers Simon Darcy Abbott - simon@absolutemagazine.co.uk David Camici - dcamici@absolutemagazine.co.uk Cover model Chlöe Ellman-Baker Location Brighton Beach Photographer Jim Carey

ABSOLUTE is owned and produced by Make a Difference Media Ltd Absolute offices 1 Preston Road, Brighton, BN1 4QU

All advertising enq: info@absolutemagazine.co.uk connect with us www.absolutemagzine.co.uk facebook/absolutemagazine twitter/absolutesussex instagram/absolute_magazine


Editor T

he past two years have delivered many challenges to the amazing businesses across Sussex, pushing people to explore and adapt in different ways to survive. We aim to highlight

just a small few that we feel stand out in the region and beyond. Our enthusiastic team of writers and reviewers have explored the UK and overseas where we have international editions (Ibiza, The Seychelles and the magical Maldives) and have discovered fantastic businesses where amazing owners and teams of staff have not only weathered the storm, but came out the other side stronger than ever. In this issue we feature the very best of Sussex and beyond, Ibiza, the Seychelles and the Maldives. As you take a look at our encounters and expeditions during and post Covid, be sure to add these must-visit places to your bucket list! As we carry on endeavouring to return to normal life, we encourage you all to dream and experience again. Whether it be a staycation, a short hop to Europe or even somewhere much further afield, the world is tentatively reopening. Let’s start living again. ABSOLUTE






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Brighton’s best sunset experience.

“Great night last night, manager and staff outstanding service couldn’t do enough. The DJ’s tunes all night were amazing.”

“Wicked new beach club terrace. Went down last night and bought a table and it was like being in Marbs, bottles flying out all sides and buzzing atmosphere. Finally somewhere decent to go with an outside space in Brighton!”

“I celebrated my hen do at Shooshh Beach Club and I had the most amazing time. The vibes were the best and the cabana package made the night”



ussex by the sea, with 150 kilometres of glorious British coastline and acres of rolling countryside, is teaming with villages to explore, castles to escape to, stately homes to snoop around, gardens to roam and attractions to seek adventure. Whether you are a thrill seeker, an artist looking for inspiration, a day tripper looking for a taste of the Great British seaside, a discerning foodie or you’re in the market for some retail therapy, there are thousands of possibilities right here on your doorstep. www.sussexvisitor.com

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LOVE SUPREME jazz festival

Following a two-year hiatus, the Love Supreme Jazz Festival will return to Sussex in 2022 with exclusive headline shows from the queen of neo soul Erykah Badu and multi-million-selling jazz superstar Gregory Porter.


ove Supreme Festival is Europe’s biggest greenfield jazz festival, taking place at Glynde Place in East Sussex from July 1st – 3rd 2022. The festival launched in 2013 and quickly became the largest outdoor jazz festival in Europe thanks to a unique blend of world-class artists from across the jazz, soul, R&B and funk spectrum. Hailed as “the most spectacular jazz festival in the country” by The Sunday Telegraph, the festival is located within the grounds of Glynde Place in the South Downs, approximately 20 minutes from Brighton. Confirmed as Badu’s only UK show of 2022, the massively anticipated festival appearance will be the multi-Grammy-winning star’s first UK performance for three years. One of the most influential artists of the modern era, Badu’s sound is a lush soundscape blending a multitude of genres including jazz, R&B, funk, soul and hip hop. Triple-platinum certified debut album Baduizm, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2022, won Badu widespread commercial and critical success and earned her comparisons to the likes of Billie Holiday, Lauryn Hill and Stevie Wonder. Love Supreme Festival Director, Ciro Romano said, “We couldn’t be happier to be announcing Erykah Badu, a true innovator and undoubtedly one of the most exciting performers of her generation, as the first artist confirmed for Love Supreme 2022. We have many more big-name announcements planned over the coming weeks and we look forward to welcoming our Love Supreme family back to the South Downs next summer.” Following four sold-out shows at The Royal Albert Hall last year, multimillion-selling jazz superstar Gregory Porter will make his first appearance at the festival in five years when he headlines the Main Stage on Sunday July 3rd. Porter is joined on the line-up by the collaborative project from London rapper Barney Artist and Bombay Bicycle Club frontman Jack Steadman Mr Jukes & Barney Artist, fast-emerging British-Nigerian singer-songwriter Samm Henshaw, hotly-tipped gospel-soul trio Gabriels, the powerhouse US vocalist Lady Blackbird, rising star Blue Note saxophonist Melissa Aldana, and New Orleans-based Grammy-winning UK singer and pianist Jon Cleary. Erykah Badu and Gregory Porter join the likes of TLC, Tom Misch, Lianne La Havas, Sister Sledge, Candi Staton, The Brand New Heavies, Ezra Collective, Franc Moody, Emma-Jean Thackray, Charles Lloyd & The Marvels, Gary Bartz & Maisha, Mulatu Astatke and many more for what is fast-becoming the festival’s strongest line-up to date.

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The most spectacular jazz festival in the country” The Sunday Telegraph

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Love Supreme has five music stages covering everything from global superstars to jazz legends

In order to accommodate this jam-packed schedule, Love Supreme has five music stages covering everything from global superstars to jazz legends; contemporary R&B to the new UK jazz movement; Latin jazz to emerging artists pushing the limits of what jazz, soul and funk is in the present day. Additional offerings at this year’s festival will include Breathe, a wellness and yoga area, secret swimming, organised hill walks across the South Downs, a host of activities aimed at children, the return of the long-table-style banqueting restaurant Lazy Bird Kitchen, the Supremium VIP area, which will offer a range of premium benefits plus the opportunity to watch exclusive artist performances, and the Jazz Lounge, which will present a range of artist interviews, talks, panel discussions and film screenings. Add to all that, glamping, cabaret, late night live jam sessions, a fairground, swimming and hill-walking and you have the ultimate immersive musical weekend with a loyal and dedicated audience. Ever since the inaugural festival back in 2013, Love Supreme has hosted a dazzling array of artists from the world of jazz, soul and R&B including Lauryn Hill, Earth Wind & Fire, George Benson, Nile Rodgers, Van Morrison, Grace Jones, Gladys Knight, Jamie Cullum, Laura Mvula, Louie Vega, Bryan Ferry and Chaka Khan. Love Supreme also supports emerging artists. Gogo Penguin, Nubya Garcia, Shabaka Hutchings, Rag’N’Bone Man, Mahalia, Celeste, Ezra Collective, Jordan Rakei, Moses Boyd, Jacob Collier & Kamaal Williams have all performed early in their careers and have gone on to great success. “The original idea was to meld the ethos of those great European jazz festivals like North Sea Jazz and Montreux with the culture of the UK camping music festival. It hadn’t been done before. In one sense, it’s a niche event as jazz is at the heart of the festival but, in reality, it’s more a series of interconnected musical niches where the respective tribes come together and recognise kindred spirits. I felt there was a desire for a larger scale, authentic, communal experience which celebrated the culture of jazz, soul, R&B and funk and the mark those genres have made on contemporary music.” Ciro Romano Tickets start at £63 at www.lovesupremefestival.com. Tickets retained from 2020 or 2021 will automatically transfer to the festival’s new dates in 2022. LIANNE LA HAVAS

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LOVE SUPREME jazz festival




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Brighton and Hove have waited so long for the return of the city's epic Pride event, but no-one will be disappointed when the delayed 30th anniversary Pride celebrations truly blast the city into a new era this summer.


ulminating in a weekend of campaigning, celebrating and fundraising for LGBTQ+ and community projects in Brighton & Hove over 6th & 7th August 2022, Pride is a celebration of how far we have come, but it is also an ongoing campaign for those marginalised communities at home and abroad who still suffer persecution on a daily basis. Brighton and Hove Pride fundraising events will ensure that vital funds continue to be raised for local LGBTQ+ and community projects. This massive event promises to be an even more euphoric experience in 2022 than ever before, with headline acts of iconic status. The pulsating heart of Brighton & Hove Pride, the Pride Dance Tent is set to return to the huge 6,000 capacity Big Top. Previously playing host to some of clubland's greats – including international superstar DJs Fatboy Slim, the one and only Boy George, DJ Fresh, The Freemasons, Seamus Haji, and Prök & Fitch, if Pride were a religion, the Pride Dance Big Top would be its church. And with yet more A-list names set to grace its hallowed decks this year, it will serve up the finest house and biggest beats to a crowd that just doesn't want to stop. With headline acts whose veins run with passion for everything Pride stands for, the 2022 event will be soul-warming. Hit-making house duo Gorgon City will be headlining the legendary 6,000 capacity Pride Dance Big Top. Paloma Faith, known for her artful pop theatricality and retro-soul sound, is confirmed to headline Sunday's We Are Fabuloso on 7th August. Global superstar and eternal icon Christina Aguilera will headline on Saturday 6th August. The main stage line-up will be added to with an exclusive performance from the original Quarantine Queen, Todrick Hall. Getting everybody's party started in the Big Top, Gorgon City are world builders. Last year alone they racked up 212 million streams on Spotify. Their DJ sets for Defected's Virtual Festival were a constant companion through lockdown, bringing people together and helping to raising millions at the same time.

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This massive event promises to be an even more euphoric experience in 2022 than ever before, with headline acts of iconic status.

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Paloma Faith

Christina Aguilera

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During lockdown Gorgon City also created the epic album Olympia, with standout tracks like You've Done Enough, Tell Me It's True, Nobody and House Arrest. Gorgon City's interest in world building has taken on an even greater significance in the circumstances surrounding the album's release, as dance music fans have spent over a year pining for their shuttered clubs and constantly reminded of the importance of these spaces and the need to protect and sustain them. British singer Paloma Faith takes to the stage on Sunday 7th August, headlining We Are Fabuloso in Preston Park. Paloma was the recipient of the Attitude Honorary Gay Award in 2020, commenting, "I'm absolutely thrilled... [The LGBTQ+ community] just feels like my community. From school age, I've had friends who are gay men or girls who aren't particularly bothered about labelling their sexuality; that's how I've grown up. It's something that's part of who I am. "When I hear homophobia, I take it personally. It feels like I'm defending myself." Paloma is also not afraid to use her status as a public figure for good and as a proud feminist, has spoken out on gender inequality in the media and music industry. She also revealed that she refers to her baby as "they" as she raises them in a gender-neutral environment away from what she believes as the harmful effects of "celebrity culture". Performing an array of hits from her extensive and much loved repertoire, this Pride exclusive show will have fans singing along to classics such as "Only Love Can Hurt Like This" and "Lullaby" as well as new songs from her fifth studio album "Infinite Things." Paloma Faith has garnered both critical acclaim and chart success with her first 4 studio albums going double platinum. After numerous BRIT nominations, she also won her first BRIT Award for British Female Solo Artist in 2015.

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We Are Fabuloso is the UK's biggest LGBTQ+Pride event with community fundraising at its heartand is Brighton & Hove Pride's main fundraiser for the Brighton Rainbow Fund in Preston Park on 6th and 7th August. Legendary pop icon Christina Aguilera is the headline act on Saturday 6th August at We Are Fabuloso. Christina has been a long-time ally of the LGBTQ+ community. From helping raise funds in the fight against HIV/AIDS to advocating for marriage equality and speaking out against anti-LGBTQ+ bullying, she consistently uses her global superstar platform to share a message of hope and inspiration to those who have been marginalized simply because of who they are. In 2019 the six-time Grammy Award-winning singersongwriter was the recipient of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Ally for Equality Award and in a 2017 special love letter to the LGBTQ+community, Aguilera said, "The LGBTQ+community has never had it easy, the struggles each one of you faces daily on an individual level and on a broader political and cultural level are unimaginable, yet you keep fighting, you keep moving forward trailblazing and beating all odds with love always in your hearts." Hot on the heels of receiving the Music Icon Award at 2021 People's Choice Awards, the Grammy Award-winning superstar will perform a Pride exclusive show at the 2022 Pride event. Todrick Hall is also on the main stage at We Are Fabuloso on Saturday 6th August 2022 with headliner Christina Aguilera. Fresh from the launch of his brilliant new album Femuline featuring collabs with Chaka Khan, Brandy, Tyra Banks, Ts Madison and Nicole Scherzinger, Todrick has become an inspirational, larger-than-life character, simply by embracing everything he wants to be to become everything he can be. With over 800 million views on YouTube, he's worked with Beyoncé, won "Video for Good" VMA as co-executive producer on Taylor Swift's LGBTQ+ anthem "You Need to Calm Down", and starred in a selection of Broadway smashes with Billboard summarising his huge appeal as: "He's part oldschool theatre showman, part new-school internet personality, part drag queen... he's also pushing the boundaries of LGBTQ+ representation in a business that has historically been unwelcoming to queer people of colour." Brighton & Hove Pride is a Pride to be proud of. Alongside the smiles, sunshine and good times, Brighton Pride's sole ethos is to promote tolerance and diversity within communities and to organise inclusive events. Supporting local charities and good causes is the cornerstone of Brighton and Pride, a 'Pride with Purpose.' We Are Fabuloso is the UK's biggest LGBTQ+Pride event with community fundraising at its heartand is Brighton & Hove Pride's main fundraiser for the Brighton Rainbow Fund in Preston Park on 6th and 7th August. www.brighton-pride.org/

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Lady Boys of Bangkok

The Boys are Back in Town Expect 90 minutes of all your biggest party and floor filling hits performed by the biggest showbiz divas and singing superstars in the world


elebrating over 23 years touring in the UK after first appearing at the Edinburgh Festival in 1989, The Lady Boys of Bangkok are returning to the Brighton Fringe Festival with their most sensational show yet; Summer of Fun! Back at their original location of The Sabai Pavilion at St Peter’s Square, Brighton from 6th May to the 4th June ’22, the infamous cast features 16 of the world’s most glamorous and beautiful showgirls. The Lady Boys of Bangkok is now officially the largest and longest continuous touring cabaret show in the UK, touring 11 city centre sites and some 40 plus theatres for 9 months each season. This sensational and fast-moving large-scale production is not rude or crude, it is cheeky, funny and filled with more star-spangled sassiness than you can shake a diamanté dripping silk glove at. Expect 90 minutes of all your biggest party and floor filling hits performed by the biggest showbiz divas and singing superstars in the world, in this theatrically choreographed show. Featuring over 400 costumes and spectacular dance production numbers, The Lady Boys of Bangkok is where West End theatre meets Hollywood. As fabulous and as eye-catching as the cast within, the purpose built pink Sabai Pavilion theatre tent and foyer seats over 400 guests at tables of up to 8 people and boasts two fully stocked bars, plus authentic Thai street food served from the foyer. Created by producers Carol and Phillip Gandey for Gandey World Class Productions, each season rehearsals start at the end of January in Thailand when the cast are brought together with costumiers, lighting designers and the creative team to produce an iconic production that gets bigger and better each year.

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The cast work incredibly hard to present and create the high standard that The Lady Boys Of Bangkok are renowned for

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Lady Boys of Bangkok The Lady Boys of Bangkok in numbers

315 lipsticks 400 eyeshadow packs 200 blushers 2360 sets of eyelashes 640 tubs of foundation 640 bottles of perfume 1280 face masks 50 hairbrushes 32 sets of hair straighteners 60 tubs of hair gel 152 wigs 300 metres of cotton used in repairs 4200 replaced sequins and diamantes 400 costumes 256 pairs of shoes 1120 pairs of tights 8,200 miles of coach travel 3250 hotel rooms 76 suitcases 1600 shopping trips 320 hairdresser appointments 22400 selfies taken by the cast 120,000 images, likes and messages sent by our audiences

Such is the popularity of the production team and show, that when a cast member retires or takes a year out, it takes several weeks to narrow down the vast numbers of performers applying to fill those spangled heels, until the team finally select a new performer. Only the best will do and the cast work incredibly hard to present and create the high standard that The Lady Boys Of Bangkok are renowned for. The creative team then spend several weeks with a costume department and set designers to put the show together in the UK, whilst rehearsals continue in Thailand before the cast are flown in to set the show in the UK each spring. Often, the city centre tour venues and theatres are booked a couple of years ahead to ensure the show has the best venues and is hosted every single night between April and November. With a team of 26 people on the theatre tour alone, they ensure the every night is as polished and spectacular as the first. Funnier, Cheekier and as glamorous as ever, ‘Summer of Fun’ is one not to be missed. Tickets range from £15 - £36 depending on dates and times and can be purchased from WWW.LADYBOYSOFBANGKOK.CO.UK

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IRONWORKS STUDIOS There’s space to meet every need at the unique multi-purpose studio venue for hire in the heart of the city.


ronworks Studios is an unrivalled multi-purpose studio and event space in the heart of Brighton, just 5 minutes’ walk from Brighton’s main train station. Whether you’re looking for conference facilities or a well-positioned, flexible production location, this fantastic venue covers it all. Boasting an enviable choice of flexible-use spaces, this jewel in the city caters for every possible need from community meeting spaces and break-out rooms tomultiple space photographic and film studios for large commercial video or TV shoots. No detail has been overlooked, with all fully accessible ground floor studios and meeting rooms offering free high-speed Wi-Fi, conference phone systems and Zoom facilities. Ironworks can manage remote video callers and provide high quality live streaming direct from their studios to multiple platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Zoom. As well as a full digital hub for video and photography productions with green screen, all studios can be configured for conferences, corporate events, workshops and corporate meetings of up to 180 people. There are also spaces available for showcases, filming, press launches or lectures. With fully equipped technical facilities, including audio patch panels throughout, Ironworks Studios provide the option for multiple performance and mix positions. This unique venue can provide multiple cameras, live vision mixing, graphics and video playback, along with a roster of local professionals to match any need, including photographers, video artists, lighting designers, sound recordists, producers, set-design and construction experts, hair stylists and beauticians.

A roster of local professionals to match any need

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This jewel in the city caters for every possible need from community meeting spaces and break-out rooms tomultiple space photographic and film studios for large commercial video or TV shoots.

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The remarkable Ironworks Studios could supply your private hire solutions 34 /


Excited? Check out some specifics that demonstrate how the remarkable Ironworks Studios could supply your private hire solutions: Studio A is a 200 sqm studio with facilities to host live audiences of up to 180 people, with a retractable raked seating system and seats at floor level. Suitable for virtual conferences or awards ceremonies, seminars and lectures, as well as live multi-camera broadcast via YouTube, Zoom, social media, or any number of real and virtual audience-based scenarios. Known as a ‘white box,’ Studio B is 60 sqm with floor-to-ceiling windows at one end suitable for conferences, corporate events, workshops and business meetings of up to 40 people, plus additional break-out rooms fully equipped for conference telephone calls, Skype and Zoom meetings. Its size can be more than doubled by opening the fully retractable walls to the café/bar area. It includes a full 180° green screen with floor, blackout curtains and wall to wall windows. The space connects to smaller rooms that can be used as production or dressing rooms. It also includes various lighting rigging options including three pantographs, eight powered lighting bars which can be patched from dimming to hard power from the power patch bay, DMX points on every bar and at floor level for the ease of adding floor lighting packages and throughout the production space to give total flexibility. There are two lighting control positions, one inside the control booth and one located in the room for live lead productions. Video points are also located across the studio space and all run back to the control room along with sound and lighting. This can all be reinforced with extra equipment provided in-house.

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Ironworks Studios are home to one of Brighton’s best comedy nights, Stephen Grant’s Forge Comedy Club,with a roster of top-class comedians

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IRONWORKS STUDIOS Ironworks is also home to ‘Pride at the Ironworks’ – cabaret, comedy and live music celebrating LGBTQ+ culture and diversity.

Immediately adjacent to Studio B, the 80 sqm café/bar is a large usable space in its own right, with tea and coffee facilities and a small kitchen with microwave. It also serves to double the size of Studio B via a fully retractable wall. Alternatively, there are also many independent food outlets close by and onsite catering can be arranged if required. And if you’re looking for a great night out with the best cabaret, comedy and entertainment in the city, look no further than Ironworks Studios for this too! Ironworks Studios are home to one of Brighton’s best comedy nights, Stephen Grant’s Forge Comedy Club,with a roster of top-class comedians that have included Ramesh Ranganathan, Russell Kane, Sarah Pascoe and Zoe Lyons to name but a few. Cabaret Boheme’sregular nights present the very best in burlesque from mistress of ceremonies Veronica Blacklace and burlesque Diva extraordinaire, Allegra Rose. Ironworks is also home to ‘Pride at the Ironworks’ – cabaret, comedy and live music celebrating LGBTQ+ culture and diversity. www.ironworks-studios.co.uk

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Join us for that special Pride VIP experience. Located in the glorious Preston Manor, the VIP experience includes superb food and bubbles from Riddle & Finns, private tents and seating areas and the choice of either a grand stand view of the main stage or an up close and personal VIP circle next to the main stage. Artist line up includes: Saturday 6th August: Christina Aguilera, Ella Henderson, Todrick Hall, Raye, Bimini, L Devine. Sunday 7th August: Paloma Faith, Jake Shears, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Björn Again, Lyra. Plus over 100 LGBTQ+ artists. Official Pride Fundraiser For The Brighton Rainbow Fund Limited availablity Book now at Brighton-Pride.org




T S U G U A H T 6 Y A D SATUR M 12NOON-10.30P

T S U G U A H T 7 Y A SUND 0PM-9.30PM










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A Universal Resort


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pier nine “Once an Art Deco cinema, the iconic building that is 9 Grand Junction Road has, throughout history, provided a mecca of entertainment for the people of Brighton, welcoming guests throughout the decades all looking to spend a few hours in pursuit of pleasure.”


oday, Grosvenor Casinos has renovated the building into it newest guise; Pier Nine Brighton, a vibrant 24 hour leisure, entertainment and gaming destination. Construction got underway the end of 2019 at the £5.5 million venue last year, with all three floors of Pier Nine has being designed for modern work, rest and play, including space to work and meet with friends and colleagues, stylish bars, two classic casinos, a variety of fun and competitive socialising games, as well as a karaoke space to hire. Bringing a sense of style and sociability without the membership fees, this new kind of third place is entirely inclusive and proud to be rooted in Brighton’s community. Overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of entertainment and facilities on offer, Absolute Magazine decided to get the full lowdown from Ethan Dewitt-Bukater, Director of Experience for Pier Nine Brighton, as well as sending our ’Man on the Ground’ Tony Shattell to sample and report back to you on the full Pier Nine experience... Pier Nine Brighton is in a very good location in the town and as it’s only 5 minutes from the centre...We have a fantastic location, as you say, 5 minutes from the lanes and we’re right on the seafront between the Palace Pier and the West Pier. What would you say are some of the most exciting new aspects of Pier Nine Brighton? Pier Nine is a 24/7 entertainment hub which includes several bars and food offers, a wide range of entertainment, competitive socialising, karaoke and of course all your favourite casino and electronic games. Would it be fair to say in addition to this being a major refurbishment, that it’s also seen the venue undertake a major rebranding that includes the name along with the likes of a stylish Live Sports Bar? Our vision was to develop a venue which would give our existing customers more reasons to visit us and encourage trial for a variety of new audiences. With the changing leisure landscape and the change in consumer requirements for their leisure time over the past five years or so, we knew this had to be more than a refurbishment. With that in mind, we undertook a thorough programme of customer insights to look at the product mix, venue design and of course branding. The challenge as always, is how do we create a better venue for our existing customers at the same time as attracting new audiences and that’s always a fine balance. However, listening to the customer feedback we hope we’ve done just that.

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Pier Nine Brighton is in a very good location in the town and as it’s only 5 minutes from the centre

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pier nine

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It’s very early days but this venue has many different experiences to offer different audiences.

We didn’t call the venue Grosvenor Casino Brighton for many reasons. Firstly, research told us that for new audiences, the word casino can be a barrier to trial. Secondly, its Brighton and there is a preference for independent venues over big brands in the locale, and lastly, we have a repositioning job to do so that our customers see this as so much more than a casino. We’re proud of the Grosvenor brand and wanted to use this to emphasise the expertise around the gaming elements but the venue has many more reasons to visit than gaming alone. Restaurants are a proven winner with attracting patrons. What has been the approach with Pier Nine Brighton with regards to the investment in its new restaurant? We’ve been reviewing our F&B strategy nationally and have found that some customers want to sit down to eat for an occasion, many of our casino customers just want ‘fuel for play’ and others want a far more casual dining experience. Therefore, we’re created several options. You can enjoy a casual dining experience in the club house, sit down to a 3 course meal in The View, whilst enjoying the sea view and a glass of your favourite wine or order food to your table straight from our app anywhere in the venue. This venue is really about how the customer wants to interact with each of the individual elements. Infrastructure with these new refurbishments is extensive. What was your organisation’s choice of company to install all the display lighting and sound systems and its interactivity with the venues management operating system? It absolutely is and we’ve worked hard to ensure we have the right systems in place to ensure we create the right atmosphere in each zone relevant to the customer needs andduring the day. This includes lighting and music. We have a wide range of suppliers who work with us on these projects to ensure the customer experience is what it should be. The design and the layout of the table gaming area is impressive. What has been the feedback from patrons? Our gaming team seek feedback from customers every day on the set up of our product mix and layout on a national basis. These learnings are fed into all our venues, including the Grosvenor Casino at Pier Nine. The refurbishment has just been completed so it’s too early to get formal feedback, but we’ve been sure to take our customers on this journey with us and anecdotally the feedback has been positive so far. Is there a seasonal impact on the Casinos revenue or is it steady throughout the year? Before the refurbishment we didn’t see huge seasonal trends in the business, but we had a very core customer group who mainly lived in and around Brighton. However, the vision for this investment is to continue to look after the customers we know and love but also attract a range of new audiences which will include holiday makers and day-trippers - so we would anticipate some seasonality moving forwards. How have guests treated the venue - as a party, entertainment and dining venue or as a casino? It’s very early days but this venue has many different experiences to offer different audiences. The premises itself is a bit of a Tardis - as we’ve taken over an adjacent building. The benefit of this means there are lots of different areas or zones which offer a different experience and atmosphere to meet the needs of each individual customer group.

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pier nine

How does the entertainment and casino venue compare with the other alternative attractions in the Town? Brighton is a vibrant cultural city with more experiences on offer than anywhere else I can think of. That’s almost a blessing and a curse when launching a new venue. Its means people are open minded and ready to trail new experiences but obviously it’s highly competitive. However, it tends to have lots of smaller independent venues, but it doesn’t have anything like Pier Nine to date. In fact, I think Pier Nine is a UK first, not just a Brighton first. Is there an average age group or does the Casino attract patrons from 20s to 70s+? We hope it will appeal to everyone. It certainly has a broad enough range of experiences and as I have said, lots of different zones offering different atmosphere and product environments.

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Nine is certainly an “Pier exciting addition to Brighton’s

entertainment scene, and I cannot wait to go back again and again.”

Tony’s Take on Pier Nine.. I am not normally a big fan of casinos. Mainly because I am exceptionally bad at gambling. So, when my friend called and invited me to join him in checking out Pier Nine, the new entertainment hub-come-casino, I was hesitant to say the least. He managed to convince me, and I am glad he did, as I had a lovely time and am very much looking forward to going back! Firstly, Pier Nine is more of a leisure centre for grown-ups than a casino. Yes it has slot machines, card tables, and a whole host of ways to gamble away your money if that is your thing, but it is also so much more, with a massive array of non-gambling fun to be had twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. Formally a Grosevener Casino, the building has been redeveloped by the rank group and is the first of its kind in the world! Why Brighton? Because the commercial director Laura wanted to bring the business to a town she grew to love by spending the her formative years in the 90’s living in the city, where she enjoyed the vibrant night-life it had to offer. So we made our way into this new look premises not knowing what to expect and what we were greeted with when we entered was a beautifully well designed and considered interior, in keeping with the buildings art deco architecture. This was after we had our car valet parked for us in their own secure underground carpark! We were greeted by a lovely young lady called Laura who gave us the lowdown on what to expect and convinced us to become members, which took only a few minutes of our time and made us twenty pounds better off as we took advantage of the opening offer where they would match the first twenty pounds you load onto the card for slots. There are of course areas where you can play slot-machines, as well as areas for traditional tables with roulette, poker and blackjack in a very tasteful setting that is a far cry away from the usual garish interiors you would expect in a casino. The first floor has a room just for such games, whilst taking an elevator up to the second we were greeted with a huge grandiose room which hosts all manner of fun to be had! You can enjoy similar games to downstairs but in a more laid-back setting but on top of this there are a vast array of different non-gambling gaming activities, including pool, shuffleboard, retro arcade games, and electric dartboards! It has its very own karaoke room which is very smart indeed. There is a bar with a fantastic array of well-priced drinks and its very own food hall serving a vast array of delicacies, from dirty burgers through to much healthier and more refined dishes. Just as we sat to take it all in and enjoy some delicious buffalo wings and a beer, a live band started on a stage in the centre of the room, and after they belted out a couple of hits the singer invited the customers to come and sing with the band themselves! As we had not quite had enough to drink to go and sing in front of a load of strangers at this point we opted to play some pool and darts, and even had a little go on the blackjack where I actually doubled my money! Before we knew it we had spent several hours at Pier Nine, and had an absolute blast! I have already made plans to visit again with some friends and am sure will find myself wandering in for a game or two on a night out in Brighton. The staff were all really lovely and could not do enough for us. Pier Nine is certainly an exciting addition to Brighton’s entertainment scene, and I cannot wait to go back again and again. www.facebook.com/pierninebrighton/

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ROCKWATER HOVE Rockwater Hove is the ultimate boutique bar and restaurant experience


ocated on the picturesque Western Esplanade of Hove’s seafront. It is an oasis about a half hour beach-front stroll or 5 minute drive from Brighton. It’s a stand-alone building that has a complete waterfront view, and no other buildings in the vicinity. An absolutely stunning three floored colossal community hub with a huge garden and seafront decking that provides something for everyone, from morning coffee on the deck to cocktails on the spectacular roof terrace, and everything in between. Each floor has something unique to offer. The venue’s roof terrace where serenity and tranquillity reign is designed as the perfect rendezvous spot for friends and family and an ideal location to enjoy an eclectic array of delicious, locally-sourced food and beverages in the form of seafood platters, handmade pizzas, charcuterie boards, divine pastries and plant-based delicacies accompanied by an extensive, wine, beer and cocktail menu. Designed to be able to operate in all conditions, the Rockwater Hove terrace features an attractive, retractable roof terrace to accommodate Covid-19 protocols and inclement weather. The stunning panoramic seafront views from the roof terrace are breathtaking, and to experience a Rockwater terrace sunset really is something else! With local DJ’s playing chilled Balearic beats, sublime bespoke cocktails and a super relaxed vibe, nowhere else comes close. The ground floor is host to the grandiose restaurant, with beautiful décor, more delicious food options, with hearty dishes like the delicious Rockwater signature burger or line caught beer-battered cod n chips, as well as a fantastic range of small plates and nibbles for those with smaller appetites. The menu caters for all diets with nourishing options to feed the soul, catering for vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free communities with the likes of Buddha Bowls, vegan burgers, and beer battered banana blossom. A huge bar spans the entire north wall where you can sit and relax and enjoy a luxurious cocktail or two with some nibbles. The ground floor also has a decked beach area, with a good sized chunk of decking featuring lots of wooden tables and booths. They also have branded deck chairs out on the pebbles, perfect for chilled summer beers with friends. Serving the beach, decked area and deckchairs are individual shacks such as Jim’s place serving, hot drinks, Shack to the Future, serving cold beers, wines and spirits as well as refreshing frozen cocktails, and the Love Shack, serving up incredible seafood snacks, hot dogs and a range of pizzas.

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This wonderful haven by the seashore really has everything 60 /


The ground floor also has a decked beach area, with a good sized chunk of decking featuring lots of wooden tables and booths. They also have branded deck chairs out on the pebbles, perfect for chilled summer beers with friends. Serving the beach, decked area and deckchairs are individual shacks such as Jim’s place serving, hot drinks, Shack to the Future, serving cold beers, wines and spirits as well as refreshing frozen cocktails, and the Love Shack, serving up incredible seafood snacks, hot dogs and a range of pizzas. Downstairs on the lower ground floor is a decadent lounge bar with a huge rear garden, complete with pergola and fire pit area. The bar is perfect for cosy winter evenings and the area is great for hosting all manner of events. Recently a giant stage was erected in the garden, showing a host of musical and comedy acts for their hugely successful pride event HMS-Rockwater. With architecture reflective the heritage and character of Hove’s stunning beachfront, Rockwater Hove provides a unique opportunity for al-fresco dining on a walk-in basis and for lounging, all-day dining, long-evenings and good times with a wellness centre offering classes in collaboration with local fitness experts via Rockwater Life - a year-round timetable of health, wellness, fitness, sports, and hobbies. Bringing together Brighton and Hove’s finest trainers and instructors’ for sessions on your beach-side deck overlooking the water, on the lawns, and in the sea! From yoga, pilates and meditation to HIT, run clubs, and everything in between. Rockwater also becomes a natural hub for such community activities as chess, creative writing, a Brunch Club, retreat, talks, shows and a host of other activities besides. This wonderful haven by the seashore really has everything, and provides a much-needed antidote to the rigours of Covid-19 restrictions and the consequent disruption to family life by proposing a relaxing yet wellappointed culinary hot-spot where to pamper the palate and socialize safely after the long lock-down. https://rockwater.uk/

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The Salt Room is a modern British seafood and grill restaurant, its focus centres on celebrating the Fruits of the Sea, delivering the finest seafood and grilled meat cooked over charcoal to the table. With emphasis being on sustainability, championing local produce and continuing the ethos of sharing plates like its sister restaurants, The Coal Shed and Burnt Orange.


ocated opposite the West Pier on the ground floor outcrop of the Hilton Metropol, this seaside dining retreat has uninterrupted sea views that can be enjoyed from the inside via its glass fronted windows, and for when the temperatures rise, outside on its vast outdoor terrace

which boasts amazing views of the Skeleton of the West Pier and i360. The luxurious interior of the restaurant consists of striking rustic-meets-industrial décor, in which no expense has been spared. Bare brick walls are sparsely adorned with a grandiose wine rack and the odd west-pier design blueprint, rustic iron downlights and stylish comfy teal leather backed chairs. The ambitious, cleverly designed and easy to navigate menu depicts a whole host of tantalising seafood small plates with delicious offerings such as charred scallops in Café de Paris butter with pickle, lemon and edamame, and grilled octopus, in XO, with seaweed and pomegranate. Irresistible seafood mains like Barbecued Cornish Monkfish and Loch Duart Salmon, as well as singed meaty offerings from the Josper Grill such as dry-aged ribeye steaks. The menu also boasts vegetarian dishes which could tempt even the most ardent carnivore.

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A Brighton Icon On The Foodie Scene of Sussex






The Dessert menu deserves equal attention, the Salt Room’s signature showstopper “Taste of the Pier” dessert is not to be missed! A colourful sharing platter of seaside-themed treats is a masterful and thoroughly entertaining dessert showing off the chef’s technique and vision. Two sticks of cloud-like candy floss, icing sugar coated pebbles of black chocolate truffle, Mr whippy style ice-cream with hints of salted caramel in a wafer thin cornet, sinful iced doughnut’s filled to the brim with intensely fruity jam and chunks of honeycomb encased in white chocolate. The Salt Room is THE restaurant that tops everyone’s list. The extremely talented kitchen team turn out truly outstanding dishes made from fresh well-sourced seasonal ingredients. It is possible to give The Salt Rooms menu a serious and costly going over, though it is accessible to all, with a lunch and early evening menu set menu where you can enjoy three courses for just £20.00. The size and ideal location also make it the perfect place for functions and group bookings with a private dining room available year round. www.saltroom-restaurant.co.uk www.coalshed-restaurant.co.uk www.burnt-orange.co.uk

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The perfect location to enjoy the wonders of this bohemiancity and soak up the luxurious subterranean HarSPA

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Brighton’s best-kept secret on the prom is too good to reserve for the tourists.


his sea-facing Victorian icon takes pride of place on Brighton’s world-famous promenade and is within easy walking distance of both piers and just a stone’s throw away from the glorious pebbled beach. Named by The Times as

one of the best hotels in Brighton, it’s the perfect location to enjoy the wonders of this bohemiancity and soak up the luxurious subterranean HarSPA. Featuring a host of vibrant and contemporary interiors, whilst retaining many of the original Victorian architectural features, Brighton Harbour Hotel & Spa has been fully refurbished and is the only luxury hotel to reside on the city’s outstanding promenade. This makes visiting local sights such as The Royal Pavilion or browsing the bijoux boutiques of The Lanes an absolute sea breeze.

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Sit back, unwind and sip a complimentary gin or sherry from the decanter Often regarded as the quirkiest of seaside retreats in Britain and sometimes described as ‘London on Sea,’ Brighton has been home to the rich, famous and oh-so effortlessly chic for decades, all having been drawn in by the crisp sea air and a super-vibrant artistic and cultural scene that has made Brighton an extraordinary place to live or visit. Life really is a beach, with 79 rooms brimming full of nautical, seaside charm, all featuring beautiful art deco, seaside prints, striped bedding and soft furnishings to match. Why not go all in with a front facing room for a perfect sea view, then sit back, unwind and sip a complimentary gin or sherry from the decanter as you soak up that irresistible view. Top of the bill are the seaview super-suites that overlook the sea and Brighton’s bustling Palace Pier. Large and in charge, with free-standing bathtubs, retro-inspired reclining sofa chairs and a super-king size bed to sink into. Nothing could be sweeter. When exploring the city, a deluxe double is just the ticket. These large, front-facing rooms offer fantastic sea views, super-king size beds, deep cushioned sofa chairs, super-soak rain showers and free-standing bathtubs. Perfect for resting those weary feet after pounding the pavements all day. The superior seaview double rooms live up to their name in every way, with bright, bold and beautiful rooms creating a colourful backdrop to any stay. From yourwindow seats looking out over the sea through Victorian-style bay windows and supremely comfy king-size beds to relax into, you’ll be excused if you start to feel just a little superior. The seaview glimpse double rooms are the closest of all the hotel’s rooms to the bustling promenade - great for night owls looking for a lively weekend away. The comfiest of king-size beds and drenching waterfall showers are sure to cure any sore heads. Change your perspective with an inland facing double room. Soak up the sea during the day and relax in total tranquillity in the evening. With bright and bold furnishings, deliciously comfy king-size beds and a whole host of life’s little luxuries, you’ll find that what really counts is what’s inside this inland double room. Cosy and bijou, these modestly sized inland facing double rooms are perfect for solo travellers who enjoy life’s little luxuries or those content with snuggling in a standard double bed. Beautiful in detail and style, what they lack in size they certainly make up in character. If it’s all about you, these cosy, inland-facing cabinstylesingle rooms will make you feel right at home by the sea. With a well-stocked mini bar, The White Company products and a stand-alone waterfall shower in the bathroom, it’s the perfect seaside retreat.

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Unique spa treatments that are both invigorating and relaxing Brighton’s subterranean HarSPA Brighton’s best kept secret can be found underground in Brighton’s HarSPA, where you will be sure to find your inner peace in the inner city. Submerge yourself deep beneath the city, in the old smugglers’ tunnels with their exposed brickwork and vaulted ceilings. Take a wellearned dip in the serene, heated pool and float away into complete and utter subterranean bliss. Choose to detox with a steam, lie back in a Scandinavian hot tub or soothe your entire body with a massage while the city above jumps to an altogether different beat. Combining holistic therapies with contemporary techniques, HarSPA has created a series of completely unique spa treatments that are both invigorating and relaxing, using only the purest, natural ingredients. From top-to-toe deep relaxing massages and super-deluxe facials, to invigorating scrubs with their very own range of exclusive HarSPA and luxury Temple Spa products, you’ll soon be in full relaxation mode. With an extensive list of treatments to choose from, you’ll be calmly soaking up the atmosphere while the world above races by. With candles flickering, a soothing soundtrack and an invigorating pool to refresh in, you’ll be forgiven for keeping your new relaxing hideaway a secret.

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Harbour Kitchen & Bar Enjoy laid-back beachfront vibes in the relaxed ambiance of the all-day restaurant and bar. With theunmistakable view of Brighton’s iconic Palace Pier in sight and a cocktail in hand, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a host of British classics and seaside favourites as you plan your next great adventure. The Harbour Kitchen and Bar’s menu features a host of British classics and seaside favourites with a delicious twist. Using only the finest of local ingredients and flavours, all sourced by Executive Chef Director, John Pollard, it’s the perfect choice for lovers of seafood and the health conscious alike. Discover a new favourite from a menu bustling with natural flavours, such as posh fish and chips, steamed mussels with Thai coconut chilliand scallops with crispy pancetta and sea vegetables. It’s a great alternative to the standard fare and includes a catch of the day and plenty of plant-based goodness, which can be perfectly paired with a selection of English wines from Sussex’s very own vineyards. But if craft beers, artisan spirits and seasonal cocktails are more your thing, then the drinks list will leave you a little stirred, if not shaken. Join the merry-go-round of nostalgia with a Brighton Pier inspired afternoon tea. Soak up the heavenly aroma of fresh doughnuts, the fluffiest of cotton candy and mini cheeseburgers that are anything but mini on flavour. Treat yourself to a delicious cocktail to make the afternoon really reach new heights. Tempted by the promise of cuisine as sumptuous as the view, Absolute Magazine’s resident foodie Tony Shattel went to discover the Harbour Kitchen and Bar got himself… “As someone who lives in Brighton all year round I have only ventured into a handful of the many hotel restaurants that exist in the wonderful holiday destination I call home. They just don’t tend to be on my radar unless someone I know is staying at a hotel and I meet them there for drinks or dinner. However after popping in for a Friday night drink in the bar at the Harbour Hotel, and experiencing the laid-back beach-front vibes that this fantastic quirky venue has to offer, not to mention the incredible cocktails, I made it my mission to check out the restaurant, and it seems I havebeen missing out! I took my partner for a Monday lunch date. Firstly making a beeline for the bar to order a couple ofcocktails I had been raving about. Head barman George was already doing his thing, shaking up a couple of experiments in preparation for a cocktail master-class he will be hosting in the week. The venue seemed to exhume even more of the wonderful relaxed and friendly vibe I had experienced on my last visit, with staff making time to welcome us and make us feel at home. Making our way through to the restaurant, which is bright and airy and has been decorated in an offbeat seaside theme, with glorious sailor-style tattoo wallpaper along one side, white-washed wooden walls on the other, and blue velvet furniture, giving the place a tranquil feel. There is a huge open-plan kitchen to the rear of the room surrounded by a bar where you can experience the chefs table, watching the team at work creating delicious plates of food. Being a beautiful sunny day we opt to sit by the huge bay windows which are set right on the seafront between Brighton’s two piers. Theviews really are second to none in the city, and not to be missed.

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Overseeing all things front of house is our waiter Sava, who is well-versed in the fine art of customer service. Friendly, yet professional, and as relaxed as our surroundings. We are left to peruse the menu and overhear him making recommendations to the table opposite from their catch of the day - a Sea Bream baked in sea-salt which he later brings out, cracking the succulent monster of a fish from the salt crust and expertly filleting it for them there and then next to the table. Our culinary adventure begins with king scallops served in a half shell with Sauternes butter and samphire, and white and green asparagus served with a crispy hen’s egg and a parmesan tuille. Both plates of food are a delight. Wonderful plump tasty scallops drizzled a bitter sweet sauce that complimented and even intensified the natural buttery flavour of the scallops. The fresh asparagus, seared to perfection with a beautifully cooked soft boiled egg in a crispy crumb shell, garnished with a crunchy cheesy tuille that packed a salty punch. All the flavours and textures in this dish were a delight, working in harmony to push the delicious earthiness of the asparagus to the forefront. Both dishes exceptionally well presented with a vibrant pallet of colours, and incredibly tasty to boot. Equally as impressive are our mains. My beef fillet is exceptional. Cooked to perfection to my specification (medium rare) with a crisp croquette filled with sumptuous short rib meat. The carapace of crunch sealed in the flavour of the meat which when released had my eyes rolling to the back of my head in sheer pleasure. Served with delicate buttery confit potatoes and a stunning flavoursome red wine jus that just topped it all off in the taste department. Incredible.

The service we received was impeccable and the chilled out ambiance of this charming restaurant made us not want to leave!

My partner plumped for Cod and Crab. A lush velvety fillet of cod, with a crab and herb crust. I could not help but marvel at how the delicate fish flaked at the mere touch of her fork, and how the inspired crunchy crustacean crust really highlighted the sweet delicate flavour of the meat. Served with a silky cream mash, a dollop of tasty crab meat, elegantly scattered with peas and samphire, all drizzled in a sublime butter sauce. A lovely well rounded dish that makes it easy to appreciate how it is one of the Harbour hotels most popular. When you visit the Harbour Hotel restaurant please do make sure you save some room for dessert. The incredibly well thought out dessert menu which consists of some luxurious and decadent sounding concoctions, was just too tantalising to ignore. My popcorn panna cotta, a dreamy creamy marvel drizzled in chocolate sauce with crunchy salted caramel popcorn scattered about. Oh my what a treat! My partner’s indulgent oozing hot chocolate fondant, unapologetically and sublimely rich and gooey, was just fabulous, the silky vanilla ice cream soothingly complimenting, with a scattering of chocolate shards adding a touch of je ne sais quoi! What a way to finish our meal! We thoroughly enjoyed everything about our dining experience at Harbour Hotel Bar and Kitchen. The service we received was impeccable and the chilled out ambiance of this charming restaurant made us not want to leave! Every course we enjoyed was consistently excellent with a huge variety of flavours and textures with a great deal of thought going into the presentation and composition of the dishes. With a regularly changing menu sourcing seasonal ingredients from local suppliers, I am really looking forward to seeing what the newly appointed and extremely talented head chef Nico will come up with next. I also seemed to have stumbled upon Brighton’s best kept secret at the Harbour Hotel. It turns out spa days can be found underground, in their subterranean HarSPA. A little bit of inner peace in the inner city. They offer guest passes at £35 per person Mon-Thurs, these include 4 hour access to spa facilities including gym, swimming pool, Scandinavian hot tubs, sauna and steam rooms. The Harbour Hotel really does have everything. I cannot believe I have not discovered them sooner!” The Harbour Hotel Brighton Harbour Hotel & Spa, King’s Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1NA 01273 323231 www.harbourhotels.co.uk/brighton

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The world's oldest operating aquarium, is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.


o commemorate this incredible milestone, SEA LIFE Brighton has planned a yearlong celebration of exciting events and activities, to pay tribute to both the history and evolution of the aquarium since its opening 150 years ago. Kicking off the celebrations, SEA LIFE Brighton will be treating guests to a special event on the evening of 1st April, with drinks, canapes, and a tour of the site. Theperfect evening to mark this historic occasion, and the start of a series of historical and behind the scenes tours of the aquarium on selected dates throughout the year.Guests will be able to look back at the history of the attraction, whilst learning about the amazing sea creatures that now call it home, getting an insight into the day-to-day tasks of the staff who work there. If you love a bit of local history, you may know that the aquarium was imagined and invented by Eugenius Birch, the famous pier engineer who also designer Brighton's West Pier. The iconic Italianate building cost £133,000 and was opened formally to the public on 10th August 1872, by Brighton's mayor Cordy Burrows. When it first opened, the attraction proved to be a huge hit with Brighton's fashionable society and received many visitors from the royal family. Among the early inhabitants were an octopus, sea-lions and lobsters and by 1888 the aquarium even housed organ recitals,lectures and exhibitions for locals and tourists, with concerts being performed in the building's conservatory. As the world entered the 1900's, the aquarium opened its doors to film showings and became a popular place to visit during the First World War. After running into financial difficulties, the establishment was obtained by the Brighton Corporation and in 1927 the building closed its doors for a £117,000 modernisation. The distinctive clock tower was demolished, with a ballroom, bandstand and other small buildings being added to the attraction. The site was then reopened in 1929 by the Duke of York. At the outbreak of the Second World War, the aquarium was requisitioned by the RAF, as the city became a target for the Germans. Then as the '60s arrived, the aquarium was home to the Montagu Motor Museum, which hosted a large collection of vintage motors and sports cars. During 1970-1991 the building became home to regular dolphin and seal shows, however the captivity of these clever mammals came under scrutiny.

When it first opened, the attraction proved to be a huge hit with Brighton's fashionable society and received many visitors from the royal family. 76 /

As the world entered the 1900's, the aquarium opened its doors to film showings and became a popular place to visit during the First World War. Subsequently in 1991, SEA LIFE Brighton was born, as Merlin Entertainments acquired the aquarium and rehabilitated and released the captive sea mammals back into the wild. It then worked on a £1.5 million restoration of the building, to turn it into the conservational and educational site you can visit today. Since operating as a SEA LIFE centre, the 150-year-old building has received an investment of over £10 million in the last 20 years, to ensure the historical architectural building remains intact and prominent within Brighton's community.

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Be involved in SEA LIFE Brighton's celebratory events throughout the year, make sure to follow the attraction's social channels SEA LIFE Brighton has certainly seen life in the city evolve, and to reflect this they will be celebrating their grand old age in late August with a Victorian Extravaganza Fun Week. The 5-7 daylong events will consist of staff led activities throughout the site and guests will be encouraged to dress up in Victorian outfits to celebrate the era when the aquarium first opened its doors. There will also be Victorian sweets and prizes to be won throughout the week. On September 30th and October 1st, SEA LIFE will continue their celebrations with some very special theatre performances. A child-friendly adaption of Shakespeare's 'The Tempest' will be performed by local theatre company, Brighton Little Theatre, throughout the attraction. This will be an immersive production encouraging the audience to participate with actors throughout the show, paying homage to bygone days when the venue was used as a theatre. The celebrations will then wrap up during the holiday season, with SEA LIFE Brighton hosting Victorian Christmas Markets during the week of 19th December – a great chance to visit the wonderful sea creatures, and get a festive fix at the same time. Neil Harris, SEA LIFE Brighton's General Manager said: "Here at SEA LIFE Brighton, we're proud and honoured to hold the title of the world's oldest operating aquarium. With this being our 150th anniversary, we want to host a range of activities throughout the year for guests of all ages to enjoy, so we can showcase the amazing history behind our attraction." Do you have memories of SEA LIFE Brighton that go back to past decades? They would love to hear from guests who have visited the aquarium in years gone by, to share their memories, photos and any other content they have. These will be set up in a display to celebrate the many years of wonderful memories that have been created in this historic and muchloved aquarium. To be involved in SEA LIFE Brighton's celebratory events throughout the year, make sure to follow the attraction's social channels and monitor its website. www.visitsealife.com/

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South Lodge is an outstanding historic hotel set in the glorious rolling


outh Lodge is an outstanding historic hotel set in the glorious rolling countryside in Sussex. Truly deserving of every one of its five stars, the hotel allows guests to escape and enjoy the luxury of the finer things in life, whilst celebrating the beauty of those that come free. With breathtaking views of the South Downs, award-winning dining, majestic rooms and the most amazing state-of-the-art spa, South Lodge has to be seen to be believed. South Lodge Hotel is located just outside of Horsham and is a vast and magnificent Victorian country house, surrounded by 93 acres of opulent gardens and parkland overlooking the South Downs. As you pull into the impressive hotel grounds, you cannot fail but be impressed by the sheer scale and character of the building. The sweeping drive is surrounded by immaculate gardens and it is this attention to detail that sets the tone for the entire stay. The grand reception area is where guests are warmly greeted by the South Lodge front of house team, with offers of assistance and a speedy check in process. As the weight of our luggage was lifted from your backs, so too is the weight of the world outside. This is a haven away from the daily grind, where luxury awaits around every corner of the impressive and maze of opulence within. The décor is traditional and timeless, with fresh and modern accents. The history of the building itself is celebrated with artefacts that adorn the walls throughout, whilst contemporary additions such as the 3-AA Rosette restaurant 'The Pass' brings this once family home into the 21st century.

The Rooms South Lodge boasts 89 individually styled and designed rooms and suites, all with their own character, but all linked by the common theme of fusing the past and present. With a huge range of accommodation options to choose from, South Lodge pride themselves on going above and beyond to provide flawless attention to detail and homely charm in bucket loads, plus of course the most spectacular views over the South Downs. No matter which room you chose, you can rest assured that every bedroom has ultra comfortable handmade mattresses, hand-finished duvets and even a pillow menu. When Absolute Magazine's Editor Victoria Emerson was invited to stay, a Plush Junior Suite was the accommodation of choice which was simply divine, with an expansive bedroom area, huge windows that framed the countryside beyond, traditional and cosy furnishings, plump cushions, luxe heavy curtains and a very impressive bathroom that featured a shower that could house a whole polo team, a TV for use in the bath, a double vanity and indulgent beauty products from South Lodge's own brand 'The Spa.'

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The Restaurant Widely regarded as the ultimate dining experience in Sussex, The Pass is South Lodge's premier dining hot spot. Unlike many onsite country house hotel restaurants, this multi award-winning exterior is modern and as innovative in décor as it is in cuisine. At the time of visiting, Chef Greg Clarke was in residence, having previously worked in some of the best Michelin-starred restaurants in the UK and Scandinavia. Upon arrival, it is immediately apparent how the restaurant got its name. Propped up on high stalls, guests are quite literally dining at the pass of the restaurant, right next to the action of the kitchen beyond. Making for a very transparent experience, not only are all ingredient traceable from farm to fork, but diners are able to watch the team of highly skilled chefs craft their meal effort their very eyes. One would assume that being sat next to the kitchen, the atmosphere could at times get rather chaotic, but in contrast, what diners actually witness is a kitchen run with precision, calmness and masterful focus. With space for just 28 lucky diners, The Pass offers an intimate experience, with an eight course tasting menu. Looking around the room, it's clear that every guest is on the edge of their seat, not only literally, but also with suspense. With so many ingenious dishes and interesting ingredients on the menu, there is an atmosphere of excitement and expectation. The culinary journey at The Pass began with some canapés and an enthusiast welcome by the serving staff. The team are all experts at their roles, with an unfaltering knowledge and pride in the dishes they are serving their guests. Throughout the menu, every dish sings with flavour, is presented like a fine work of art and leaves the diner savouring every mouthful. Satisfying every taste, you'll find huge variety within the tasting menus and by the end of your culinary journey, you'll be left satisfied, enlightened and inspired. For a more traditional option, South Lodge also offers guests the two AA Rosette winning Camellia restaurant where you'll be served breakfast and come lunch and dinner time, mouth-watering dishes are on offer, all made with skill and flair. Using fresh vegetables from the hotel's walled kitchen garden and the finest local Sussex ingredients, it has its own unique style in creating balanced, contemporary interpretations of traditional seasonal dishes.

The team are all experts at their roles, with an unfaltering knowledge and pride in the dishes they are serving their guests.

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The Spa The Spa at South Lodge opened in the spring of 2019, having cost 15 millions pounds to build and is quite simply outstanding in design and offering . This is a place to meet, workout, relax and eat, making it a hub of mindful activity and so much more than just a hotel spa. Sat within the pristine grounds of the hotel, The Spa at South Lodge is designed to blend harmoniously with the rolling countryside that surrounds it, with its roof following the natural contours of the land. Surrounded by wildlife, nature and peace, the 44,000 sq. ft. Spa champions and embraces the estate's landscape, with both the external and internal design celebrating natural beauty, with a calming colour palette of pale blues, beiges and greens used across all walls, artwork and soft furnishings. This is an expansive, bright and inspiring setting that sees wall to floor windows bringing the outside in and producing a feeling of relaxation, harmony and peacefulness. Guests to the hotel are offered full use of the spa facilities, including the inside and outside swimming pools, thermal spa areas, state-of-the-art gym and even attendance to the full schedule of fitness classes. As with the hotel, luxury is at the forefront of the offering at The Spa, with expansive changing areas being complemented with the very best in grooming equipment, including Dyson Supersonic™ hair dryers and Paul Mitchell hair straighteners. Elsewhere, the Ridgeview Beauty Bar offers manicure and pedicure treatments using Jessica products, a premium experience at high street prices – a one stop shop for all hotel guests and non-residents. When it comes to treatments at The Spa, you'll find a whole variety of options available, ranging from signature massages, to glorious facials, reflexology and special spa day packages which allow the visitor to experience

a combination of techniques designed to offer ultimate relaxation. Each treatment room is designed to encourage deep relaxation, whilst heat, light and sound mood pods are also available, as well as relaxation rooms for post-treatment chilling. A variety of thermal experiences are on offer, including a private mud room and infused sauna, as well as marble-lined salt steam and jasmine herbal steam rooms. The piece de résistance of this spa has to be the trio of swimming pools, each offering a very different experience. Inside you will find a pristine 22m x10m indoor infinity edge UV treated pool, ideal for leisurely lengths whilst gazing out of the window paned walls, whilst outside, lounge chairs lead the way to a vitality hydrotherapy pool and beyond, The Spa boasts a serene heated wild swimming pool (complete with pond life!), with an attractive wooden bathing platform inviting guests to take a revitalising dip. A trip to the Spa can be turned into a full day experience thanks to the popular Botanica restaurant, where healthy and innovative dishes, snacks and drinks can be enjoyed inside or on the outside terrace, whilst light bites, drinks and ice creams are available at poolside spot, The Watershed. A focus on plant-based, vegan and alternative foods is a passion for head chef Jonathan Spiers, who draws on the South Downs as a larder for fresh and seasonal ingredients. The Mediterranean-inspired recipes are a real talking point for members who gather daily to refuel over brunch, lunch or dinner. South Lodge Hotel & Spa is a luxurious haven of relaxation and indulgence for the rich and famous, the romantic couple, the gaggle of girls looking for some luxe pampering, the family reunion and the sports star visiting Sussex. Wherever you look, there is a relaxed sense of occasion, a toast being raised and a memory being made. www.exclusive.co.uk

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Step away from the daily grind and into the tranquility and beauty of The New Forest, where you’ll find Sandy Balls Holiday Village, one of the finest holiday parks around offering luxury accommodation. It’s where natural beauty is an amazing backdrop to the classic Great British holiday.


hether you’re looking for a short break or a long holiday, it isn’t always necessary to head to Gatwick and take the plane. How about simply jumping into the car and travelling under an hour away from the Sussex border to The New Forest in Hampshire where you’ll find Sandy Balls Holiday Village nestled in amongst the ancient trees time, offering a variety of accommodation to suit all budgets, from classic caravans to fabulous insta-worthy wooden lodges. Here lies an opportunity to kick back and relax, rediscover your sense of adventure, indulge in a spot of walking or cycling or otherwise simply live your best life. Whoever you are and whatever you want to do, Sandy Balls Holiday Village is for you. Chill out in the serene spa or take a dip in the pool for a romantic weekend break. Get stuck into a range of outdoorstyle activities with the little ones, make friends with the resident alpacas or hop aboard a Segway and zip through the The New Forest. And what a forest it is! This is where you can escape to ancient woodlands, open moors and wild heathland to feel the pull of nature that lies within us all. Whatever your budget for your caravan or lodge holiday, the Away Resorts team have got you covered; from the classic caravan to our exclusive, high standard Heartwood accommodation. Sink into a hot tub, enjoy a log cabin with woodland views or soothe your spirit in the sanctuary of a Zen holiday home. You’ll find a fantastic variety of self-catering accommodation including the exclusive Knightwood and Heartwood holiday homes plus an Indulgent Lodge that sleeps up to 10 people if you really want a treat in this very special location. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, bring the dog – the team love dogs and dogs love the New Forest. When it comes to dining, the options are plentiful. Cosy nights in your cabin are perfect with some home-cooking in your small but perfectly formed kitchen and glorious summer days are ideal times for BBQs on your private terrace. If you’re feeling too chilled to cook, whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, let the team rustle you up something delicious in one of the onsite restaurants to keep you out of the kitchen. To add some tastebud tingling magic to your holiday, visit Aubrey’s Forest Kitchen. Enjoy freshly cooked dishes from artisan flatbreads, to chargrilled steaks and pasta, and accompany your meal with a classic cocktail or two. If classic British pub vibes are your thing, then take a stroll to the Woodside Inn make your holiday a home-from-home experience. All the family are welcome - including the dog - and there’s Sky Sports, guest entertainment in the Suite, and gourmet pub food adding to the all-round feeling of holiday happiness.

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Here lies an opportunity to kick back and relax, rediscover your sense of adventure, indulge in a spot of walking or cycling or otherwise simply live your best life

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NEW FOREST If you’re looking to dine in, be sure to book one of the exclusive Aubreys Dining Pods and enjoy a meal, drinks, or tapas and nibbles. Suitable for up to 6 people and perfect for small parties, family get togethers, cocktails, or afternoon tea, why not cosy up and book something special. For early evening family fun and after-hours entertainment, The Woodside Suite is the venue to be. The whole family can enjoy magical moments and laughter throughout the week with acts including live acts, star cabaret, comedy, pub quizzes, gameshows and more. When looking for adventure, you’ll be spoilt for choice at Sandy Balls and the Village Square is the heart of the park and where it all happens. Not only do you have the opportunity to experience the beautiful surroundings of the New Forest National Park but inside and out we have amazing facilities and things to do on park to make your holiday that much more special. Dip, jump or splash in to the heated indoor swimming pool at the Leisure Centre for all-weather family fun. When the sun’s shining there’s nowhere better than the seasonal outdoor pool for soaking up the rays or enjoying a refreshing swim. For those looking to get active, the Cycle Centre has everything you need to explore the forest on 2 wheels! The centre offers a great range of cycles in all shapes and sizes you can hire including tag-a-longs and trailers. You’ll also find a state-of-the-art gym that’s fully air conditioned and offers the latest fitness equipment, including cardio machines with entertainment system. If you want to take it slow and enjoy some well-deserved me time, The Retreat, a pampering beauty treatment suite is found at The Village Square. Choose from a wide range of wonderful sensations including aromatherapy massages, hot-stone massage, and luxurious facials and manicures. You’ll also find the Acorn Place Shop & Deli at the square. From all the ingredients for a great family meal, to just your favourite morning paper, the Shop & Deli has something for everyone as well as a dedicated gluten-free range of products. Little ones will have a great time burning off any excess energy at the onsite softly centre, scrambling through tunnels, whizzing down slides, heading for the top of the climbing frames and loads of other physical challenges in a fun and safe environment. For those seeking adventure outdoors, kids can discover the Bluebells and Brambles Adventure Playgrounds which are ready and waiting for your little explorers to jump, slide, swing and climb their way through the wooden jungle. As well as all the onsite facilities, at Sandy Balls guests can take part in a huge variety of exciting activities such as archery, cycling, PLAY sessions and Alpaca walks. Each activity is designed to suit all fitness levels and the leisure team is professionally trained to provide a safe environment and great experience. Whether you're looking for a relaxing getaway with friends, romantic break with your partner or a jam-packed family holiday, there's something for everyone at Sandy Balls, New Forest. With the New Forest on your doorstep, a host of activities to keep the whole family happy, amazing accommodation and a warm welcome from our Holiday Heroes, you’ll be returning to Sandy Balls Holiday Village time and time again.

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As well as all the onsite facilities, at Sandy Balls guests can take part in a huge variety of exciting activities

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Healthy, happy and fabulous, in that order is the mantra of Bone Idol, a dog grooming company with all the right differences, and a website hub for pet parents near and far.

The seeds of Bone Idol were planted when then-yoga instructor and PR professional Jon Clark and Scott Learmouth moved to Brighton from Essex. The couple were surprised that they couldn't find a luxurious groom for their dogs Krystle and Blake anywhere in the city. Eventually Jon and Scott found home groomer Ben Thorpe and his business Diamond Dogs. A life-long dog lover and rescuer, Ben had previously worked giving human haircuts at Toni and Guy, but soon switched to his passion of dog grooming and made it into his full time work. Ben's professionalism and stylish cuts impressed Scott and Jon and they soon became firm friends and not just customers. The trio decided to take the plunge and go into business together setting up their own grooming parlour. As luck would have it there was a shop for sale in Brighton's St James' Street that was an existing grooming parlour and pet shop and Bone Idol was born! Over the years the business has grown in size and stature, and now encompasses a high-end shop, a healthy dog food brand and most recently, the state of-the-art Bone Idol Grooming Academy in Hove, which coaches dog groomers of the future as they study for their Ofqual regulated iPET Network qualifications. Speaking about the values of the business, Scott said: "We as pet owners have our own set of values around what we want our dogs to experience. It's about what we would expect for our own dogs. The things we want to know are that all the dogs are going to be healthy and happy. We don't want them to ever be locked in cages, we don't want them to be there too long waiting around and we don't want them to be at risk of them being bitten by other dogs. We want whoever is doing the grooming to be taking really good care of them from start to finish and the dogs to love it." The grooming parlour's huge front window shows ultimate transparency, and anyone walking past the shop can see the love and care that groomers put into every treatment. Bone Idol Hove, a recent expansion to the top-end grooms that customers can expect from Bone Idol, also sits alongside Bone Idol Academy, so students can also experience a live grooming environment. Ben said: "It's not just about grooming dogs for us. We want to make sure that every dog leaves super happy and that the owners expectations are met the best way possible wherever we can. "When doing a consultation with an owner, we don't just talk about what groom they would like, we talk about lifestyle; such as where do you walk, how many times a week do you want to brush, does your dog swim on the beach? Then we adapt their haircut to the dog's own lifestyle."

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I mean who doesn't want their four legged best friend looking fabulous on Brighton sea front! "We treat all of our client dogs as if they were our own. So as well as sending them out with a high quality groom, they are bathed in shampoo that's made with essential oils and is natural on their skin and coat, dried and brushed to get rid of any unwanted tangles or loose hair and then styled into a beautiful groom from breed standard, a custom cut or Asian fusion. We love them all. I mean who doesn't want their four legged best friend looking fabulous on Brighton sea front! I absolutely love going to work, it's not a job when you have passion and love for what you do, and our clients become friends and being part of the community is so rewarding. Seeing your work or work from a colleague when you are out and about brings me great pleasure." Bone Idol is also a shop, and when it came to products the trio decided that they didn't want to stock anything that they wouldn't give to their own pets. Rawhide is a no-no and a healthy deli of 'pick-your-own' snacks is irresistible for any visiting dog. Toy lines were brought in which encourage natural play styles for different doggy personalities. A lot of work has also been put into working to secure exclusivity in stocking various lines, including a lead and collar range by the brand Dogs and Horses which is stocked exclusively by Bone Idol in the Sussex area. As well as new lines currently being lined up for 2022. Jon said: "We set out to try and find loads of different companies that were unusual and high quality, to stock in the shop. The week before we took the shop on, it just so happened that the largest pet industry trade fair was happening in Germany. We learned so much in those three days about product and about sourcing and about the difficulties of getting things in from different countries. We came away knowing so much more and ready to start the business." As the business has grown Bone Idol has worked with local and national companies to ensure that they can offer bespoke and unique products too.

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BONE IDOL From Bone Idol Brighton, customers can order made to measure and customised collars, harnesses and leads from Dogs and Horses, as well as customised Cosy Dogs harnesses. In the case of Cosy Dogs, Bone Idol is the only retailer in the country which is allowed to customise their product. When lockdown eased and groomers were allowed to open again, the shop was inundated with hundreds of phone calls from regular customers eager to get their beloved pets pampered and looking fabulous again. There had also been a pandemic puppy boom. And with Brighton and Hove being famous for being the UK's most dog friendly City, the area was right at the heart of this doggy influx. The pandemic cemented dog grooming as a growth industry, and the Bone Idol Grooming Academy, which is run by Pooch Perfect contestant and skilled groomer Helen Kirby, both inspires and guides people who are brand new to the industry. Many people studying at the academy are coming to dog grooming as a dream second or even third career. People like Carola Copland, 53, from Littlehampton who is now loving life in the profession. Carola worked in a manager role for a global IT corporate before she moved with her husband and children back home from Europe. She went freelance working for big corporations in the computer industry, and raised her children Cäcilia, 20 and Jeremy, 17. To relax after a day in her high-powered role Carola had always groomed her dogs. She was self taught, and she always used to joke with friends and family that 'one day I will become fully qualified'. But she never really had the confidence as grooming involves much more than "just cuddling puppies". But during the second lockdown in 2020, Carola decided that it was 'now or never' and says that she is over the moon that she dared to take the plunge. Teacher Helen, who honed her own skills post-qualification by travelling to Malaysia to learn the difficult Asian Fusion grooming style, said: "The academy is a lovely place to meet new and enthusiastic dog lovers who are setting out to start their careers, with us guiding them through their courses every step of the way. We take immense pride in sharing all our knowledge and experience, and to see the excitement of setting up their own businesses or getting a new job grooming once they have completed their diploma is fantastic." "It's been an amazing time so far, meeting new students from all ages to all walks of life, who have wanted to change their careers to work with dogs. We have also seen an increase of new dog owners and gorgeous dogs to groom. Every day is different and that makes it fresh and exciting for students and tutors alike."

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When lockdown eased and groomers were allowed to open again, the shop was inundated with hundreds of phone calls from regular customers eager to get their beloved pets pampered and looking fabulous again. The informative and fun www.boneidol.co.uk website is also a big part of the brand, and offers much more than simply an online store. The site contains puppy advice, expert guides and articles on hot dog-world topics, as well as the new Human Idol, Love Letters To My Dog, where real-life dog owners with a story to share, such as Gavin and Stacey star Adrian Scarborough and Rolling Stones legend Keith Richards, share their heartwarming and inspirational accounts. Bone Idol has also branched out into the world of pet food, and offers exclusive dry and cold-pressed recipes both in store and online. Nora Nose Best is a range of healthy cold-pressed food, inspired by one of the shop's most eye-catching associates Nora the Labradoodle, who features on all of the branding. Nora, the face and attitude of the brand, is owned by Bone Idol COO Simon Coulson, and the sociable labradoodle was more than happy to appear in national media during a highprofile launch campaign. Simon said: "Seeing Nora represent a great new line of food, as well as featuring on the fun and eye-catching design, makes me really proud. "She's a happy and healthy girl, and since being a little puppy, has loved visiting Bone Idol, long before I worked with the company. If I tell her in the morning that she's 'off for a Spa day', she genuinely gets excited and is eager to get me out the house" Looking ahead, there's still a lot of excitement within Bone Idol as the world hopefully gets back to normal. Development of the parlour on St. James St, new lines coming into the shop, and the aforementioned growth of Bone Idol Academy and Bone Idol Hove means that things will be kept fresh, interesting for all their customers – human and canine alike. Scott said: "It's been quite a journey, it hasn't always been easy, but we have a great team. Now is the time to build on all of that and the sky is the limit. We would like to thank the brilliant people of Brighton and Hove who have supported our independent business every step of the way. It's just as exciting now as it was back then and we wouldn't have got here without all of our wonderful customers." To find out more about Bone Idol go to www.boneidol.co.uk

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biza is widely recognised as the party capital of the world, notorious for its round the clock clubbing and beach parties. From the moment you arrive at the airport, and all along the road into the city, you can see billboards for superstar DJs and nightclubs. However, as clubbers on half of the island rave in smoke and lasers and buy their way into VIP booths, there is a new set of island goers emerging. Loosely labeled as the islands “other side” Ibiza has become a hub for wellness and wellbeing, with restaurants, spas, fitness bootcamps and retreats. http://ibiza.travel/en/

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SIX SENSES The new kid on the block in Ibiza this summer is most definitely Six Senses Ibiza


pioneer brand of world-class wellness and sustainability that looks set to catapult the Balearic party island to a new level with its offering of an island-style way of life that embraces music, art, spirituality, fashion, wellness and sustainability. As the first sustainable, BREEAM certified resort on the island, Six Senses Ibiza has partners with a team of prominent tastemakers to fashion a bespoke environment including world-renowned Israeli chef, Eyal Shani and Elaine Groenestein responsible for curating an evolving exhibition of Magnum Photography. Ideally situated on Ibiza’s tranquil northern tip and a 35-minute private transfer from the airport, this 20-acre, village-like resort captures the authentic spirit of the island complete with unrivalled sea views and direct access to Cala Xarraca, one of Ibiza’s most iconic bays. A constantly evolving programme of experiences will celebrate the island’s music, art, sustainable fashion, spirituality, wellness, culinary adventure and culture, all within a resort offering 116 guest accommodations, villas, suites, beachfront caves and village residences with intimate terraces, lush gardens and pools to suit the requirements of those discerning travellers in search of the perfect Mediterranean hideaway.

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SIX SENSES The community celebrates as they soak up the island vibe poolside, meet up with an extended family of islanders

Inspired by the Ibizan culture of community, spirituality and celebration, in the hot season that prevails from May to October, the community celebrates as they soak up the island vibe poolside, meet up with an extended family of islanders or gather at night to embark together on culinary adventures, festival pop-up events and full moon dinners. During the cool season, from November to April, is when the community participates together in deep, spiritual experiences via a series of teaser weekends and longer stay retreats featuring yoga, cleansing and fitness. Immersed in the bucolic ambiance provided by unspoiled caves and groves, Six Senses Ibiza epitomises the light, splendour and natural rhythms of the island so attractive to its visitors. Defined by the tactile, Finca-style aesthetic with its modern, sophisticated design and finish, the resort’s architecture is inspired by locally-sourced materials. The Farm at Six Senses Ibiza is a 400year old agricultural estate and olive press where guests can participate in cultivating the abundance of organic produce supplying the resort’s restaurants, café and bars. Six Senses Ibiza has become the first European showcase for celebrity chef Eyal Shani, his sublime culinary creations in line with the Eat with Six Senses guiding principles of organic, seasonal, nutritious and delicious and enjoyed on the long tables of the Farmers’ market as well as at other signature venues such as The Orchard; The Piazza; Farmacy Bar and Live Cave, complemented by Grow-your-own-veg; chef’s table and even cooking lessons at The Farm.

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SIX SENSES Echoing the natural, mellow, restorative tempo of the island

Echoing the natural, mellow, restorative tempo of the island, the Six Senses Spa houses both single and couple’s treatment room, steam room, hammam, and state-of-the-art fitness area, café and juice bar. The RoseBar offers an opportunity to roll back the years through a raft of healing and preventative longevity programmes that combines diagnostics, biohacking, nutrition and beauty treatments. In addition, there is an impressive, outdoor yoga deck and rooftop boxing ring. There also exists a programme of immersive retreats at the resort facilitated by Friends of Six Senses, visiting practitioners and partners. Six Senses Ibiza provides an exciting new venue for the iconic Ibizan music scene at the shorefront, Live Cave music hotspot at the heart of the resort. Here is where to enjoy live shows, events, emerging artist sessions, and an expansive vinyl collection. Notably, the Live Cave features avant-garde technology from McIntosh and Sonus faber through a partnership with McIntosh Group. There is also a Cave Royale guestroom with a secret door leading to the Recording Studio for when creativity strikes in the middle of the night. Fashion is celebrated at Six Senses Ibiza at the Agora, an innovative concept in retail that is part entertainment, part education and part shopping experience. Curated by famous fashion editors Daniella Agnelli and Tiffanie Darke, it strives to tell a story in a series of chapters: Reduce, Recycle, Rent and Restore. Highlights of the store will be a “Live Magazine” experience, a “Cinderella Room” for dress-up nights as well as an intention tree for customers to remember the change. An essential component of the Six Senses experience is Arts & Culture that allows guests to browse the resort’s galleries and the displays of Magnum photographers especially curated by Elaine Groenestein to reflect Ibiza’s quintessential themes. In addition to photography events and workshops, there is also a wide selection of fine prints available through the Magnum Gallery and an impressive library for guests to enjoy. reservations-ibiza@ sixsenses.com

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Las dos Lunas L

as dos Lunas was created within the site of a century-old Ibizan antique shop and is one of those magical places that by virtue of its elegance and consistency, has withstood the

test of time and helped make the White Isle famous worldwide. The walls Las dos Lunas have seen fashions and fads come and go, the Ibiza tourist market evolve and businesses around it come and go. This stunning venue, however has stood firm, offering those who venture through its gates a culinary utopia of calm and tranquility away from the chaos; true Ibiza gastronomic institution that seduces all the senses.

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A symbol of prestige and charm since 1981

The walls Las dos Lunas have seen fashions and fads come and go

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This iconic restaurant is a must on any connoisseur's list, having been run by the Lucarini family since its doors first opened in 1981

Oblivious to the hidden oasis that lies within, passers by bare witness to the high protective stone walls, filled with a delightful rhythm. In this magical place you can live the authentic bohemian essence of the island. Follow your senses up the charmingly tiled winding path as you venture amongst an array of dazzling flowers and lush foliage, surrounding a magical al fresco dining space. The perfect spot for both an intimate dinner under the stars with your love or a celebratory dinner with friends and family, Las dos Lunas will meet your every desire. This iconic restaurant is a must on any connoisseur's list, having been run by the Lucarini family since its doors first opened in 1981. The unique Mediterranean garden embodies the spirit that has made Ibiza world renown. Countless stories and anecdotes have taken place under the grape vines and bougainvilleas. The palpable heritage and harmonic beauty in the terrace has made Las dos Lunas the favourite of many of its loyal international and local clientele. One half of the extremely talented couple who founded Las Dos Lunas, Massino Lucarini is the gifted designer who created the mesmerising garden. Entwined around the building, historic ornaments, works of art from around the world and graffiti, the botanical splendour symbolically embraces history, with a nod to every era. As does the soundtrack., with music spanning decades, with each track united with a nostalgic feel-good theme. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from - everyone is treated like a King or Queen at Las dos Lunas. That's why when supermodels, rockstars or royalty arrive, there is no need for the exceptional team to change protocol.

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Everyone is treated like a King or Queen at Las dos Lunas.

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The perfect spot for both an intimate dinner under the stars with your love or a celebratory dinner with friends and family, Las dos Lunas will meet your every desire.

Oblivious to the hidden oasis that lies within, passers by bare witness to the high protective stone walls, filled with a delightful rhythm. In this magical place you can live the authentic bohemian essence of the island. Follow your senses up the charmingly tiled winding path as you venture amongst an array of dazzling flowers and lush foliage, surrounding a magical al fresco dining space. The perfect spot for both an intimate dinner under the stars with your love or a celebratory dinner with friends and family, Las dos Lunas will meet your every desire. This iconic restaurant is a must on any connoisseur's list, having been run by the Lucarini family since its doors first opened in 1981. The unique Mediterranean garden embodies the spirit that has made Ibiza world renown. Countless stories and anecdotes have taken place under the grape vines and bougainvilleas. The palpable heritage and harmonic beauty in the terrace has made Las dos Lunas the favourite of many of its loyal international and local clientele. One half of the extremely talented couple who founded Las Dos Lunas, Massino Lucarini is the gifted designer who created the mesmerising garden. Entwined around the building, historic ornaments, works of art from around the world and graffiti, the botanical splendour symbolically embraces history, with a nod to every era. As does the soundtrack., with music spanning decades, with each track united with a nostalgic feel-good theme. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from - everyone is treated like a King or Queen at Las dos Lunas. That's why when supermodels, rockstars or royalty arrive, there is no need for the exceptional team to change protocol. www.lasdoslunas.com

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The dynamic new lifestyle brand OKU hotels has opened a second understated, luxury hideaway hotel for the traveller in search of a soulful experience on the island of Ibiza – a powerful invitation to travellers to reconnect with their inner self and embrace the ultimate in elegant, barefoot living.


he hotel’s minimalist design is inspired by the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi and features signature use of earthy tones and natural materials to fashion warm and welcoming spaces. Among this new hotel’s standout features are Ibiza’s largest swimming pools (one of four); an enticing spa; 140 sq m signature suite; private, four-bedroom villa complete with private pool and the OKU restaurant. Nestled in verdant hillsides on the fringe of Cala Gracio Bay, OKU Ibiza focuses on living life at a slower than ‘normal’ pace while providing a rich variety of experiences for the inquisitive traveller. Accommodation comes in the form of 184 bohochic guestrooms and suites; the 140 sq m OKU signature suite; standalone four-bedroom villa with private pool; and ocean-view penthouses. Hotel facilities include two hotel pools (with a further semi-private pool serving the six swim-up rooms); two fine restaurants and a spa. The overarching philosophy of OKU is inspired by the Japanese spiritual concept of ‘Inner Space’ that pervades the architecture of its hotels to offer understated luxury in captivating destinations accompanied by a suite of energising wellbeing practices as well as culinary and musical experiences to stimulate the senses.

OKU principles are brought to life through the hotel’s inspired, soulful use of space 108 /

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Here, eye-catching architecture and thoughtful design join forces in the overall plan of the in-house design team to reflect the innate, unplugged nature of the island beach scene as a definitive invitation to enjoy authentic barefoot living. OKU principles are brought to life through the hotel’s inspired, soulful use of space and further emphasised by the delicate play between natural light and shadows, echoing beautifully the wabi-sabi ethos of connecting to the earth and making maximum use of natural materials. The alchemist of the OKU architectural philosophy is the award-winning father and son team of MG&AG who have combined to work their magic on over 60 residential and hospitality projects worldwide. OKU Ibiza also showcases the work of acclaimed modern artists such as the bespoke commissions by LA-based painter and sculptor Steve Tepas and Belgian artist Tom Van Puyvelde. The resulting ambiance of elegant simplicity ensures that wherever guests are staying – in one of the swim up pool guest rooms, ocean view penthouses, epic OKU Signature Suite or the four bedroom villa – they are sure to feel relaxed as they pick up on the distinctive vibe of this unique Balearic Island retreat.

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Here, eye-catching architecture and thoughtful design join forces in the overall plan of the in-house design team to reflect the innate, unplugged nature of the island beach scene

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Above all, OKU Ibiza is not simply a hotel but a way of life that proposes a different way of enjoying the renowned party island by championing a slower pace of life Above all, OKU Ibiza is not simply a hotel but a way of life that proposes a different way of enjoying the renowned party island by championing a slower pace of life and encouraging guests to take the time to focus on themselves. This is achieved by offering daily, complementary yoga sessions held in the rooftop yoga shala and by the hotel’s unforgettable spa experience in five treatment rooms offering a carefully-curated menu of treatments that combine ancient traditions with modern techniques using all-natural products. The hotel also has a fitness studio with state-of-the-art equipment by NOHrd & Casall with personal trainers available for those wishing to engage with a more personalised programme. The signature Sunday brunch is certainly something not to be missed as a rotating programme of some of the island’s finest DJs and live acts perform while guests enjoy and all-day brunch by the main pool accompanied by a tempting array of fresh juices and mouth-watering cocktails. OKU’s amazing dining scene is to be found in the two main restaurants where destination dining is available at the OKU restaurant, with more relaxed fare available at the poolside TO Kima. The menus of both venues have been carefully drawn up by executive chef Mark Vaessen, formerly of Sushisamba, and well-known and respected for his wizardry in fusion Japanese cuisine. His deft touch ensures that guests embark on a delicious culinary adventure employing only the freshest seasonal ingredients. Diners can look forward to a more refined dining experience at the OKU restaurant that is open for dinner with its adventurous range of international fusion cuisine characterised by a strong Asian influence and tantalising choice of Asian-inspired tapas; grilled meats; fish; menu of raw Asian delicacies of sashimi and nigiri as well as extensive vegetarian and vegan options. The hotel’s impressive bar, located next to the restaurant and the 50m pool serves a selection of cocktails all day long and is also the ideal venue for that aperitif or after dinner night-cap, all enjoyed to the sounds of DJ beats till late. Meanwhile, To Kima provides a more relaxed backdrop for breakfasts and all-day lunches showcasing the finest Mediterranean cuisine with sharing-style platters and light bites, à la carte and poolside snacks. OKU Ibiza even has a juice bar where guests can enjoy fresh-pressed juices and smoothies all day long. www.okuhotels.com/oku-ibiza/

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Designed as statements of island-style luxury

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W Ibiza is a long-anticipated, off-the-beaten-track presence on the palm-fringed, sun-kissed beachfront of the island’s third-largest town, Santa Eulalia, with its cosmopolitan outlook where Hippy culture meets Club Culture in an intoxicating fusion of myth, legend and innate, island spirit exuded by the vibrant, local art galleries, trendy boutiques and amazing dining along shimmering beaches.


onveniently located only 15 minutes from Ibiza town, 21 km from Ibiza airport and the daily boats leaving to Formentera from Santa Eulalia marina. At the core of its boho philosophy, W Ibiza aspires to be a magnet for free-spirits, clubbers and jet setters alike, blending their contrasting lifestyles into an escape that is savvy, soulful and stylish. In short, the ultimate stay and play. Echoing that philosophy are the hotel’s bold and playful architecture and vibrant interiors, a tribute to Ibiza’s Bohemian heritage, that cry out to guests to spark the imagination and make a connection with the soul of the place. However, guests will find that the hotel’s bohemian theme that is so synonymous with Ibiza is tempered by refined sophistication and further reflected through the spatial arrangement and selection of materials and finishes.

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W IBIZA W Ibizaʼs great advantage is its location and the fact that it is one of only a handful of hotels in Santa Eulalia with direct access to the sea.

Something that further defines the W Ibiza´s essence is its whatever/whenever culture that allows guests to enjoy the facilities of the hotel to the absolute maximum whether it’s a craving for a signature cocktail or planning that dream outing or excursion. This is complemented by the role of the W Insiders - mavens who thanks to their experience and knowledge of the very latest trends in fashion, music and design, are able to connect guests to the coolest experiences both inside and outside of the hotel, granting them privileged access to little known hotspots and the chance to really get beneath the skin of Ibiza. W Ibiza´s great advantage is its location and the fact that it is one of only a handful of hotels in Santa Eulalia with direct access to the sea, ideal for sun seekers and beach lovers, while those aficionados of water sports can always head in the direction of the Marina for a dive or a boat ride. For those wanting to stay closer to home, they may do so and still enjoy the music in two different spaces with two contrasting atmospheres: the main wet deck with a kid’s swimming pool and Glow Bar that is an adults-only area overlooking the bay and the mountains of Santa Eulalia. Meanwhile, the Wet Deck is a unique terrace enjoying direct access to the beach and combining a pool, bar, music and relaxing sunbeds – an ideal venue where to enjoy snacks, all-day food and cocktails. This is the place for chilled, theme events and weekly sessions led by renowned DJ’s. Away Spa is where the beauty bar team will pamper guests as they sip a glass of champagne. From their mantra of detox.retox.repeat, there are treatments available to dispel the cobwebs after a night out on the town or simply to help guests to relax and unwind. Away Spa has six treatment rooms as well as dedicated stations for manicures and pedicures. For those with a more active lifestyle, FIT with its state-of-the-art fitness equipment allows guests to recharge their fitness batteries.

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A perfect cocoon of comfort from where to savour the very best of the Ibizan vibe. The W Ibiza meeting room, STUDIO, is a unique space that provides an innovative environment for any type of meeting or private event and able to host gatherings of up to 59 people in an atmosphere conducive to stimulating creativity. STUDIO comes equipped with a screen and integrated projector and allows for the adaptation of the space with different types of layouts. The facility allows for food and beverages to be ordered from any of the hotel restaurants. The hotel Games Room showcases flower power colours for kids and provides a playground, allowing the young to get those creative juices flowing. When it comes to food and beverage, W Ibiza offers a grand diversity of gastronomic experiences across its eight restaurants and bars. At the foundation of this foodie haven lies cutting-edge cuisine and the perfect combination of local products and international collaborations. Glow Bar is a singular space of W Ibiza – an adults-only retreat where sea views and mountain vistas combine to create the perfect ambiance for yoga and mindfulness guided by the best professionals on the islands. The Glow infinity pool provides an oasis of peace and the perfect opportunity to kick back and relax on one of the sunbeds, sip a delicious cocktail or snack on some sushi. In terms of accommodation, W Ibiza’s 162 rooms, including 52 suites, are designed as statements of islandstyle luxury with the hotel suites having terraces with commanding views of the sea or mountains – each one a perfect cocoon of comfort from where to savour the very best of the Ibizan vibe. www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/ibzwh-w-ibiza/

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Chiringuito Blue Roughly a 20-minute drive from Ibiza town, Chiringuito Blue is located on Santa Eularia beach, a charming Mediterranean bay known for its crystal, shallow waters, lengthy promenade and spectacular views of Formentera in the distance.


ith a fortified 16th century church, Puig de Missa, on the hill overlooking the town, a river-walk and a beautiful yacht marina and excellent range of shops, Santa Eularia offers the perfect balance between authenticity and modernity. The municipality also includes delightful inland villages such as Santa Gertrudis and Sant Carles as well as the only golf course on the island. In terms of its culinary offerings, Chiringuito Blue boasts an eclectic range of cuisines that showcases a divine fusion of exotic dishes from the East using only the most choice and high-quality local products taking diners on a journey of flavours. It also features a select list of the finest wines and premier selection of cocktails for that ultimate experience of first class gastronomy that is the responsibility of director of operations, Juanan Martinez and manager Alexis Carreno. This season’s freshly-conceived dishes include the tasteful ‘soft shell crab with salsa verde and homemade zhug mayonnaise’, a savoury, creamy salad made with ‘Charcoal cherry tomatoes, pesto and Stracciatella cheese’; or the exotic ‘yellowtail shawarma with roasted peppers, onions and lentils’. These are accompanied by a selection of starters and dishes designed for sharing: ‘warm chickpeas, tahini,

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grated tomato, turmeric’; the famous Shakshuka ‘2 sunny-side-up eggs in slow-cooked tomato stew served with pita bread and tahini’; or the favourite of many - ‘creamy soft Iberican Joselito Ham croquettes’. With a mouth-watering variety of fresh fish and select seafood, the varied menu offers something for every palate alongside a host of healthy, vegetarian and vegan options. Main dishes include such treats as a ‘charcoal-grilled, free-range whole chicken with sage and Ibizan lemons’ or ‘Mezzi paccheri pasta with calamari and Sicilian cherry tomato’ and grilled catchof-the-day. The extensive drinks menu features an enticing wine list as well as cocktails created from choice spirits and homemade syrups. Memorable desserts are another hallmark of the restaurant with such options as ‘ice cream sandwich’ made with vegan chocolate ice cream and crumble, corn crunch and wafer flake, vegan-friendly, lactose-free and with the possibility of ordering it gluten-free too. Other options include ‘Piña colada tart’ or ‘Cheesecake mousse’. Meanwhile, the promenade kiosk provides coffee, a range of delectable pastries and healthy snacks to take away - perfect for those on the run or picnickers looking for tasty treats. Children are always welcome and are entertained by one of the island’s

premier child-minding service companies every weekend at their eco-conscious kids’ corner. The Kids Menu offers a variety of tasty homemade dishes. Children are well entertained with games, face painting and crafts on the sand while the grown-ups relax on the shaded sofa. Chiringuito Blue’s overarching philosophy remains all about sustainability, placing an emphasis on organic produce from the island that is good for the soul at the same time that is of benefit to the planet. The restaurant collaborates closely with Ibiza Preservation Foundation working to preserve Ibiza and Formentera’s unique environment and cultural heritage and addressing several issues impacting the islands’ wellbeing including tourism, land use, water, energy, waste, biodiversity and transport. Furthermore, the restaurant collaborates with the fundraising initiative ‘1 Euro per Table for the Environment’ which IPF launched in 2013. Chiringuito Blue is an idyllic place to enjoy a drink as an après-beach treat as the sun goes down while evening meals at the restaurant, under the stars are simply the perfect way to end the day. Throughout the summer months, Thursday evenings bring ‘Jueves Blue’ a soirée of dinner, coctails and musical talent featuring a different artist each week. www.chiringuitoblueibiza.com

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Ibizas Best Delivery Service You Need It - We Bring It

seychelles S

cattered like summer blossom across the Indian Ocean, The Seychelles is a destination well-renowned for being the ultimate in luxury, celebrity escapes, family adventures and the honeymoon location that dreams are made of. The 115 islands are hailed for their exquisite natural beauty, the peaceful harmony enjoyed by the multi-ethnic society, heavenly beaches, luscious peaked backdrops and a near perfect climate where the temperature is always somewhere between 24 and 33 degrees Celsius, earning the islands a reputation as ‘land of perpetual summer’. https://seychelles.com/home P H OTO G R A P H Y B Y PA U L T U R C OT T E Le Studio Photo Gallery Anse Lazio Road Baie de Pasquière Praslin Seychelles w w w. s e y f i l m . c o m

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ucked away on the 652-acre granite island and ecological jewel of Félicité in the Seychelles Archipelago amid impressive Jurassic slabs of granite and coral-fringed beaches of picture-postcard splendour lies the Six

Senses Zil Pasyon. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for guests to reconnect with their environment according to the timeless rhythms of nature while enjoying the very best that Seychelles has to offer in absolute comfort. Situated 30 miles (55 kilometers) northeast of Mahé International Airport, Six Senses Zil Pasyon is accessible only by a scenic 20-minute private helicopter journey or an exhilarating one-hour boat trip on a private motor yacht. Both modes of transport allow guests to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Seychelles in the best possible ways. For guests travelling by private jet, landing permits are issued at the discretion of the Seychelles government and should be applied for directly by the client.

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Zil Pasyon Seychelles


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SIX SENSES There is something for every sunworshipper, nature lover, thrill seeker, yogi, Insta family, foodie and lounger. Taking up less than one third of the total island, Six Senses Zil Pasyon is the only resort on Félicité island surrounded by a glittering necklace of satellite islands. Accommodation takes the form of 28 one bedroom and two two-bedroom, spacious pool villas alongside two striking three and four bedroom residences with ultra-sleek finishes, offering optimal seclusion within a uniquely beautiful tropical landscape and sublime, uninterrupted ocean panoramas made in heaven from the various private decks and swimming pools. Guest’s enjoyment of the ultimate in tropical island cocoons comes with their very own multilingual GEM or guest experience-maker to assist in navigating the many facilities and amenities available in the resort that include everything from hiking, excursions, island tours, sunset cruises and discovering nature and even learning Creole to water sports and beach activities in Seychelles and rounding the day off at Cinema Paradiso under the stars. At Six Senses Zil Pasyon there is something for every sun-worshipper, nature lover, thrill seeker, yogi, Insta family, foodie and lounger. Fine-dining together with more casual fare can be enjoyed at Six Senses Zil Pasyon’s eclectic choice of dining venues and private, immersive culinary experiences such as at the Chef’s Kitchen and Wine Vault or blending the idyllic setting of Seychelles with a traditional French afternoon with a game of pétanque accompanied by Pastis or rosé wine and a gourmet charcuterie board. There is also Lakanbiz with its fine selection of home-infused rums, punch and cigars; the Koko bar with its tempting range of bespoke cocktails; the Ocean Kitchen with nonmeat dishes inspired by local Creole cuisine and the Island Café with its fusion of European, Asian and African fare.

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SIX SENSES On this intimate jewel of Seychelles, it is the guest’s choice whether to step in tune with nature or take a dip with the turtles.

Six Senses Spa Zil Pasyon features five double treatment villas (Rock, Cave, Ocean, Nature and Floating) that reflect the island’s eco-system, colours, textures and themes. The elevated pool with sundeck, yoga, and meditation pavilion enhance the personal journeys. The Seychelles spa’s wide range of holistic wellness, rejuvenation, local and African inspired treatments are designed around the natural beneficial properties of the island’s fauna and flora. There is also a sauna and steam room, outdoor infinity pool and yoga and meditation pavilion plus a state-of-the-art fitness centre at guest’s disposal. On this intimate jewel of Seychelles, it is the guest’s choice whether to step in tune with nature or take a dip with the turtles. The island is an ecological marvel, so everything revolves around sustaining its integrity. As part of the resort’s philosophy, social and environmental projects are not obligations, they are an essential part of the island ethos. For example and most encouragingly, in 2019 the resort produced nearly 39,000 kilos of organic herbs, fruits and vegetables to feed guests and hosts. The island is home to plants, shrubs and trees indigenous or endemic to Seychelles, setting Six Senses Zil Pasyon apart from the "artificial" landscapes of other resorts. The landscaping team has worked for a decade to eradicate invasive coco-plum and reintroduce authentic species of trees and plants. The habitats will, in the course of time, be rich and productive and a happy result will be the return of endemic birds including the Seychelles Magpie Robin, Seychelles Paradise Flycatcher, Seychelles Whiteye, Seychelles Warbler and Seychelles Fody. As coastal habitats are also much improved, it is hoped to see seabirds returning in numbers to nest. Meanwhile, 1800 coral fragments have been harvested so far in the island’s nursery with 600 fragments transplanted to the Ocean as part of the resort’s coral restoration project. https://www.sixsenses.com

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Hotel L’Archipel Glynn Burridge


s there an accurate geographical term to describe a place that forms part of a larger entity yet remains wonderfully separate from it? In the context of Seychelles, certainly, such a term would describe the beautiful Hotel L'Archipel,

snug in its glorious niche in the north-east corner of Praslin Island and with an imperious view over almost the entire shimmering, silver strand of Côte d'or, one of Seychelles most exquisite beaches. In this secluded corner of Praslin, L’Archipel, with its splendid history and pedigree as one of the island's finest hotels, has continued to weave its spell over successive generations of travellers for over 30 years. The name L’Archipel - which is French for Archipelago - geographically describes a string of islands , the Seychelles Archipelago , some of whose island names have been adopted by the hotel to christen its impressive suite of accommodation options, each one blending discreetly with the surrounding tropical gardens and commanding a sweeping panorama of the sapphire ocean gently lapping at its front door. L'Archipel was inspired by the vision of its late departed owner, Louis d'Offay, one of the pioneers of Seychelles' hospitality industry and a tourism icon, who together with his wife Cecile commenced the construction of the hotel in 1985 with just 9 rooms, with the latter even helping in the kitchen when necessary. Powered by an energetic marketing campaign in France and with the help of two French chefs, they conscientiously built the foundations of the successful enterprise that L’Archipel is today.

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Hotel L’Archipel Today, the hotel, which has been ingeniously and tastefully refurbished to capitalise on every aspect of its unique location, continues to dominate Praslin Island's accommodation scene by virtue not only of its spectacular geographical location, but also on account of a tried and tested philosophy characterised by a very high standard of personalised service, meticulous attention to detail and genuine Creole flair. The hotel’s range of accommodation options includes family suites, senior suites, deluxe rooms and superior rooms. Located on the top floor of the main building, at 120 sq.m, family suites are extremely spacious with two bathrooms, a separate lounge and a veranda and ideal for two adults and three children or three adults and one child. The 65 sq. m senior suites feature an elegant seating area and bathroom with bath and shower. Two of these suites are interconnecting and ideal for families. Deluxe rooms, at 60 sq m, are spacious yet intimate and scattered discreetly across the hillside, the welltended gardens and the approach to the beach –ideal for seniors, honeymooners or guests in search of a dash of Seychelles-style seclusion and tranquillity. Finally, the 60 sq.m hillside and garden superior rooms are roomy and enjoy excellent views of the bay of Côte D’or. In terms of interior design, all rooms fuse fine taste and aesthetic beauty with a high level of functionality, ensuring that your stay in this luxurious tropical cocoon will be as inspiring and soulful as it will be comfortable – and memorable! Room features include air-conditioning, flat screen TV, free Wi-Fi, room service and everything you might expect from a 4-star hotel with an eagle eye for detail. Hotel amenities include an infinity pool, lobby bar, souvenir shop and the possibility of in-room massage and baby-sitting. Throughout, L’Archipel’s distinctive Seychellois Creole architecture with its understated, clean lines and colonial aura resonates with the aesthetic charm and timeless appeal of a bygone era. In its operations, first and foremost in L'Archipel's corporate culture comes the welcome it extends to its guests and the enduring policy of Louis d'Offay that each guest must be welcomed personally upon arrival by the hotel's hands-on management team and a rapport quickly established to ensure that those guests' expectations are not only met, but surpassed. The high ratio of return guests to the hotel with certain clients returning as many as 10 times, speaks volumes of its effectiveness.

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Hotel L’Archipel L'Archipel is also very conscious of the positioning of its product and the importance of it reflecting the Creole soul both in terms of architecture, decor and overarching personality. In a modern world where many competitors appear to have lost their sense of identity, this is most assuredly not the case with L'Archipel where even much of the furniture in renovated rooms has been manufactured on site by the maintenance team using local wood and the hotel's Balinese furniture provider is encouraged to adopt the strictly responsible and sustainable approach demanded by the operations team. Minute attention is also paid to the hotel's amenities and levels of comfort by maximizing potential through the adoption of the optimal room design, layout and suite of facilities. Painstaking care is also taken to make sure that high standards of cleanliness and maintenance are sustained throughout the hotel at all times, by the long-serving maintenance team. The L’Archipel philosophy also encompasses the concept of continued growth by increasing yield through product enhancement, particularly via the creation of new room categories which in turn leads to an improved cost of operation ratio leading to available income for hotel upgrades across all departments. Much of the hotel's success in securing market share can be attributed to effective advertising and the identification of appropriate sales channels pairing L'Archipel's products and services with a matching mix of consumers. L'Archipel prides itself on the cuisine of its restaurants La Gigolette and La Feuille d’Or, both recognised as being among the finest in all of Praslin and offering enticing variations on a fine-dining theme with the former located right on the beach from where to enjoy the soft breezes and stunning ocean views while the latter occupies the first floor in a more secluded ambiance. The hotel’s à la carte menu proposes an eclectic variety of international favourites as well as popular Creole dishes. Not to be missed is the Friday night Creole buffet proposing an excellent and varied offering of mouth-watering local cuisine: octopus curry; salted fish and snake gourd salads; satinis of pumpkin and mango; tender tuna steaks; succulent chicken combined with an unforgettable array of suitably decadent desserts. This is highly recommended as it also features a beachside extravaganza of Creole dance which is an excellent introduction to lively, island-style revelry. Typically, the hotel organises theme nights with two buffets per week. Wonderfully complementing the menu is a fine wine list featuring some excellent French, South African and New World wines as well as an enticing array of cocktails, beers, spirits and flavoured rums. An additional plus is how the L'Archipel kitchen makes use of a range of herbs, vegetables and spices grown within its own grounds with plans to extend its vegetable garden in future.

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The management of L'Archipel are aware of the importance of sustainability throughout the hotel's operations and this is echoed in the introduction of a food waste management programme to complement its sustainability practice in power generation and eco-friendly cleaning systems. This initiative targets the problem of unconsumed food which has sometimes been imported from abroad at considerable expense but which ends up in landfill sites, producing unhealthy levels of methane gas which is a major contributor to global warming. Visitors to Seychelles are increasingly aware of the need for responsible environmental behaviour and L'Archipel has already earned global recognition for the way it is using new technology to reduce food waste., resulting in a marked decrease in wastage of food through effective management throughout the chain, from the ordering and purchasing of food items to the disposal of unavoidable waste. This initiative runs in tandem with existing sustainability drives such as the intelligent energy management systems in operation in guest rooms which reduces AC energy consumption by 30% but without comfort loss to the guest. The property is rapidly moving towards 100% LED lighting systems which, in an average guest room, reduces power consumption by no less than 80%! The hotel has also invested in 244 solar PV panels which contribute as much as 20% of its overall power requirement. In a further push towards sustainability, the hotel uses bio-technology cleaning products resulting in the removal of more than 43,000 litres of toxic chemicals from the property per annum. This is in addition to the use of ozone cold water dish-cleaning systems in the hotel kitchens and other ozone technologies designed to reduce the use of chemical cleaning agents in the kitchen and create safe food preparation zones. These combined initiatives have resulted in L'Archipel being only one of 7 hotels with advanced sustainability recognition from PACE Seychelles, the leading Green Technologies supplier in the Indian Ocean region. Mr. Eddie d'Offay, the hotel's deputy managing director believes that the hotel's reputation for excellence in sustainability actively contributes towards greater guest satisfaction and hopes that L'Archipel's success in this area will serve as an inspiration to other hotels to achieve the same, resulting in a massive win for the environment. L'Archipel is also an ideal stepping stone for clients' wider enjoyment of all that Seychelles has to offer via a range of paying excursions that can be organised through the hotel, in particular, both deep-sea and bottom fishing, scuba diving, excursions to neighbouring islands and, of course, car hire for those personal voyages of discovery around the island. Meanwhile, free activities include the use of a twoseater canoe, snorkelling with all equipment provided and a stand-up paddle board. The hotel is also a natural venue for weddings, honeymoons and impromptu romantic getaways where the staff's long experience and attention to detail will make all the difference when it comes to preparing for your special day. A stay in L’Archipel succeeds in distilling the very best that Seychelles has to offer in terms of other-worldly appeal, seclusion, tranquillity and almost surreal natural beauty, with the refined elegance of a unique hotel and the eminent professionalism of its caring team into a truly unforgettable tropical escape and lifelong memory of the islands. https://www.larchipel.com/

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Alphonse Island a Seychelles Paradise


art of experiential travel company, Blue Safari Seychelles and located 400km southwest of the mainland of Mahé, lies the untouched Eden that is Alphonse Island. Part of the Alphonse Group of Islands, which also comprise St Francois and Bijoutier, this pristine, natural paradise is considered one of the purest natural idylls in the world. Alphonse Island is blessed with one of the world’s healthiest climates and gorgeous, consistent weather. Alphonse offers guests year-round summer days with temperatures seldom dropping below 22°C. Beautiful white beaches line the edges of tropical forests, surrounded by miles of unblemished shorelines, lagoons, sea flats and protected coral reefs, home to the vast array of wildlife that exists in this ecosystem. Alphonse Island is truly unlike any other island in the Seychelles. Just 7°South of the equator, accommodation is simplified barefoot luxury. With two four-bedroomed Beach Villas, five Beach Suites, and 22 Beach Bungalows, all have been decorated in hues that complement the natural surroundings and all have outdoor showers and are just steps from the beach. With three accommodation choices, there is something for groups of friends, families, multi-generational families, as well as smaller families and couples to enjoy.

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Alphonse Island encourages its guests to spend as much of their time as possible discovering all the island offers. Due to its size and remote location, Alphonse Island is free from the influx of tourism that is often present at resorts. Guests can explore the island by bike and encounter the array of wildlife that inhabits the island on land as well as discovering the marine life by scuba diving or snorkelling. The experiences are the true luxury of Alphonse Island and are authentic and cannot be encountered anywhere else in the Seychelles. and marvel at the pristine Guests of Alphonse Island can experience the fascinating marine environment on a first-hand basis as they swim in the Indian Ocean and encounter shoals of assorted, vibrantly coloured fish of varying species: green and hawksbill turtles, spinner dolphins, and humpback whales, all in their natural environment. Swimming with sailfish and manta rays is an unforgettable experience, like no other. An encounter with these animals in their habitat is an incredible and unforgettable experience, whether seen from a boat, from the shore, or in the Indian Ocean itself. Be amazed as they flash through the crystal waters and witness these craniate animals in their environment. These unique experiences make Alphonse Island nothing short of spectacular.

Beautiful white beaches line the edges of tropical forests, surrounded by miles of unblemished shorelines

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Aquatic adventures at Alphonse Island are not limited to below the water. Kayaks are a perfect and non-intrusive way to get up close to turtles and rays Alphonse Island Dive Centre offers a full range of PADI courses from Discover Scuba diving to Divemaster. The PADI-certified dive centre caters to children, who can experience their first foray into the underwater world from nine years old by completing a Bubble Maker course. It also offers exclusive dives to families where children from the age of eight can experience the wonders of scuba diving with their parents. 34 dive sites that surround Alphonse Island, all of which are easily reached in under 30 minutes on comfortable purpose-built dive boats. Manta rays and squadrons of Eagle rays, the ‘Wolf Pack’ of hundreds of Bluefin trevally and associates patrolling or even attacking prey on the reef can be seen. Groups of Bumphead parrotfish, schools of batfish numbering in the hundreds as well as interesting animal behaviour such as nesting triggerfish can be viewed. Aquatic adventures at Alphonse Island are not limited to below the water. Kayaks are a perfect and non-intrusive way to get up close to turtles and rays around the flats. Choose between a guided tour by nature experts who will point out seabirds and spot fishermen’s delights such as bonefish, permit, and triggerfish, or explore the island at your own pace. Kayaks are readily available for guests to use and a picnic basket can be organised to choose a spot for a secluded meal. Set sail into the Alphonse Lagoon on one of the luxury boats, ready to salute the setting sun with a cocktail or beer from the onboard bar. This is an exceptional way to view the island from a different perspective as the sun sets, providing an incredible backdrop. It’s not just the resort, the diving opportunities, the thrilling activities, and the weather that makes Alphonse Island so spectacular. Add in the terrain, the techniques, the season, and the species diversity and you have an incredible mix, custom-made for fly fishing. On the terrain front, fly fishing in the Alphonse Atoll sets itself apart due to the largely land-based approach it offers. While blue-water, boat-based fishing is available to anglers, the main draw these atolls holds is for the angler to be able to target challenging species on foot. In line with its environmental ethos and practices, a strict catch and release system is in operation. Saltwater fly-fishing destinations in many parts of the world are boat-based, the Alphonse Atoll stands apart because of the opportunities it gives anglers: to wading in shallow, warm water on hard white sand and turtle grass, on coral flats to discover a plethora of exciting new species. It’s the opportunity to cast at behemoth giant trevally or shoals of bonefish in the same knee-deep water you are standing in, is not something many fly anglers who are accustomed to boatbased fishing, will ever forget.

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Alphonse Island

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Alphonse Island

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The idyllic, pristine, and picture-perfect paradise that is Alphonse Island is the definitive wedding destination. The Island Conservation Society (ICS) team offers activities enabling guests to connect with the natural environment and surroundings whilst respecting it. By assisting the ICS, guests gain a wider understanding of the ecology and ecosystems that exist on Alphonse, St François, and Bijoutier, and the importance of their work and how it greatly affects the islands. As part of the guided walks and the Native Vegetation Restoration project, guests can choose to plant an endemic tree. Swimming with – and photographing – Manta Rays, is a particularly magical ocean experience, which helps capture important data about individual specimens and their movements. These islands provide important nesting grounds for our endemic Hawksbill and Green turtles; the turtle patrol and tracking project provides important insights into the population numbers and their movement, which helps the team protect them. With days filled with adventures on land, in or above the shimmering waters of the Indian Ocean, relax at the central dining and bar area, as the sun slowly dips into the ocean and melts away, signalling the end of another day in paradise. Menus are created from freshly caught fish, and grilled meats and 65% of the fruits and vegetables served are grown on the island’s farm. Combining the influences of local Seychellois Creole and French cuisine, dishes are inspired from all corners of the Indian Ocean. In addition to the restaurant, private dining can be arranged to allow guests to enjoy meals on a special spot on the beach, or alongside the pool. The idyllic, pristine, and picture-perfect paradise that is Alphonse Island is the definitive wedding destination. Alphonse Island has a full license for weddings and the talented team of staff can arrange every detail from providing the registrar to working with the bride and groom to create delicious menus, signature cocktails and canapés, as well as arranging tropical flowers and fantastic music. Each detail is carefully considered to create an unforgettable wedding in paradise. For those who seek exclusivity, Alphonse Island can be hired in its entirety-the ultimate wedding venue! Exceptional experiences last a lifetime. They are stories that people tell people with enthusiasm, passion, and love, they are memories that can never be erased. Alphonse Island is a sanctuary for the senses, a discovery for the mind, and food for the soul. It is a place where guests are at one with the environment, where peace and tranquillity reign. It is a destination like no other, it is paradise perfected and this enchanting island is just waiting to be explored! For more information, please visit www.alphonse-island.com

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OCEAN FRIENDLY SUN SYSTEM Enjoy the b enefits of broad spectrum UV protection wi thout harmful chemicals. Our sun system i s fre e of coral & skin dama ging ingredi ents and is b iod e gradabl e in aquatic systems. One dollar per product donated to coral cons ervation. Learn more at www .peopl e4ocean.co.uk


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MALDIVES IMAGES BY STEFANO PERRONE www.instagram.com/nemophotographer


ike no other place on earth the Maldives are today’s epitome of a tropical island paradise. With their famously crystal clear waters, this Indian Ocean archipelago is a dream destination for travellers from all around the world. It’s not just honeymooners who choose the islands for a romantic getaway; the islands are top of the bucket list for families, nature lovers and anyone seeking peace and quiet. Divers and snorkelers find their mecca underwater: colourful coral reefs, schools of fish or even the gigantic manta rays are a common sight on any adventure in the ocean. https://visitmaldives.com/en

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The fairytale development of an iconic, island holiday resort

In 1972, the Maldives turned its attention to new horizons: tourism.


or visitors flying into the Maldives in 2022, it must be hard to imagine how the Indian Ocean archipelago was 50 years ago, when Kurumba, the country’s first private island resort opened to receive her first guests on the 3rd October 1972. Situated in the North Malé Atoll, merely 10 minutes speedboat from both the capital and Malé International Airport, Kurumba is a 5-star resort that peerlessly blends the heritage of the Maldives with contemporary luxuries. On arrival guests are greeted with the staples the Maldives are renowned for, a tropical sanctuary of powder soft sands and the azure waters of the Indian Ocean; but it’s the charm of Kurumba that sets this island apart from others. An idyllic home away from home for both couples and families, Kurumba’s pathways through lush foliage and stunning gardens of frangipani, hibiscus and bougainvillea lead to a myriad of private villas steps from the shoreline. The lure of this island has seen guests revisit Kurumba time and time again. Its story is synonymous with tourism in the Maldives, an industry that could have easily missed its chance to grow, yet flourished thanks to the right people in the right place at the right time, and the passion and determination of its young Maldivian founders… For thousands of years the Maldives have been a magnet for travellers, with seaman and merchants sailing across the Indian Ocean happening upon the islands either by design or shipwreck. With 1,190 islands (of which only 200 are inhabited) the Maldives in 1972 was mostly unknown to the outside world, with no foreign investment this remote archipelago was home to fisher folk. The 122,673 inhabitants spread across the capital, Malé, and several local islands. Those who have seen Malé in recent years will know it as a bustling city, but in 1972 it consisted of coral-stone cottages, coconut trees, unpaved sandy streets, no main water, and an intermittent electricity supply. There were few motor vehicles, only two taxis, and zero guesthouses. The country’s industry relied almost entirely on its fishing exports to Ceylon. After a halt in this export in 1972, the Maldives turned its attention to new horizons: tourism. The first travellers, a group of Italians, arrived from Ceylon in February 1972. There was neither any guesthouse, nor resort – the guests were hosted in February 1972 on Malé by three friends, Ahmed Naseem, Mohamed Umar Maniku and Hussein Afeef. The three young men were vanguards in Maldivian tourism and began working together to develop the first islands for tourist resorts. М U Maniku, became the Chairman of Universal Enterprises, a position he still holds and Hussein Afeef, who is today the owner of several resorts in the Maldives as well as in the Seychelles and in Norway.

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The Maldives in 1972 was mostly unknown to the outside world, with no foreign investment this remote archipelago was home to fisher folk. They chose their first island, Vihamanafushi (the original name of Kurumba) for their first foray because of its proximity to the airstrip and the capital. Access was by sailing Dhoni, but the island had no jetty (although one was later built using coconut trunks as pillars) so guests had to wade through the surf to the beach. Kurumba Village, named after the Dhivehi word for coconut, officially opened to guests on Tuesday 3rd October 1972 and was a true testament to the tenacity and resilience of Maniku, Afeef and Naseem, their stylistic choices for the resort’s first rooms set the scene for the aesthetic still known in the Maldives today. The goal from the outset was to develop something unique, they had no interest in mass tourism and concrete buildings, they celebrated Maldivian culture in every decision. Local materials such as coral stone and lime for walls, coconut timber for beams and palm thatch for the roof were used on the 30 beachfront rooms in blocks of three, each featuring a brackish water shower, toilet, basic furniture. Meals were taken in the makeshift restaurant, but most often guests ate their catch of the day barbequed on the beach. Recalling the pioneering days М U Maniku says: “We were very young, only in our twenties and we had a lot of ego, a lot of confidence. It was like a fire in my belly that couldn't be put out. We never looked back. Luckily for us, tourists wanted simplicity in natural surroundings and that was what we had to offer - we had nothing in the Maldives then. The streets were sand. There were no banks, no proper airport, no telephone, only ham radio or Morse code contact with Colombo. Even the UNDP experts said that tourism would never succeed because there were no facilities, no infrastructure." he recalls. "We used small boats to get around the islands. The rooms had a tarpaulin on the sandy ground to start with, at first there were no fans, just open doors.” Over the next several years Kurumba’s reputation spread by word of mouth, and the resort went from strength-tostrength. In the space of just six years (1973-1979) 26 resorts opened including Baros, Kuramathi and Velassaru, bringing the number of beds available to 1,536. In 1978 as his involvement with Kurumba and other resorts grew, М U Maniku joined forces with his brother, Ahmed Umar Maniku to consolidate their various enterprises into one entity: Universal Enterprises (Private) Limited, with M U Maniku as Chairman. Sustainable tourism practices were introduced, some obvious – passport control, some more nuanced for the Maldives – a ban on spearfishing and a law prohibiting the unauthorised felling of trees on resort islands. Kurumba began plans to completely redefine what Maldivian tourism looked like; the benchmark standard of accommodation and facilities for tourists was set for other resorts to follow.

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The fairytale development of an iconic, island holiday resort

The reopening of Kurumba Village in 1987 ushered in a new era The reopening of Kurumba Village in 1987 ushered in a new era, forever changing guest expectation of a holiday in the Maldives. Universal Resorts engaged architects from Germany to help modernise and expand Kurumba whilst preserving their gardens and coconut groves. The new designs were groundbreaking, with specially engineered swimming pools and restaurants curated around specific cuisines. At the time, Kurumba was achieving the impossible; “our food and beverage philosophy has always been the same – to listen and give guests what they want.” says M U Maniku, “When we added those restaurants, we had to make sure we provided the best in service and cuisine. We started the new Kurumba with a German chef and we had the best ingredients, the best of everything, regardless of the cost. We wanted to set a standard.” The island's infrastructure too, was dramatically improved with the construction of a desalination plant converting seawater to freshwater to accommodate their new capacity of 300 guests. Throughout the following 15 years Kurumba’s heritage in Maldivian hospitality was cemented, Universal Enterprises’ policy with resorts, especially the flagship resort of Kurumba Village, has always been to pioneer. “We would often break and build," says М U Maniku, “so that we could create something up to date.” With renovations came innovations with conservation at the heart, solar energy was introduced for hot water, Maniku’s background as a horticulturist developed the garden’s Kurumba are known for today, the orchid nursey was introduced, along with a vegetable garden and thousands of plants specifically introduced to help the control of erosion and countering sand movement to ensure the ecology of the island survives. In 2003, Kurumba underwent a complete transformation yet again, to meet the demands of the 21st century. The result was a world-class resort with 180 rooms, including the Royal Residence, Presidential Suites, Pool Villas, Family Villas and beach and garden superior rooms. Kurumba’s advent as the first holiday resort 50 years ago was the catalyst for the country now known to be one of the world’s most luxurious destinations for discerning travellers. From its humble origins accommodating only 60 guests a month, it’s somewhat astonishing to think that in 2019 there were 1.7 million tourist arrivals to the Maldives’ 132 resorts. In 2022, Kurumba is still driven by the pioneering spirit of M U Maniku, continuously breaking boundaries of Maldivian tourism. Celebrating Maldives in full colour, the resort now features eight room categories, seven restaurants, an award-winning spa, and a kids club for children ages 4-13 years. The resort’s signature Deluxe Bungalows and Deluxe Beachfront Bungalows hide among the fragrant tropic flora in graceful horseshoe shaped clusters, just yards from the pure white beaches corralling the island. Each features a king-sized bed, luxurious dual-basin bathroom, a glass-walled shower, a giant free-standing bathtub, and- adjoining the bungalow- a delightful garden containing an outside shower and spacious decking veranda. Guests wanting more luxury and privacy can opt for Kurumba villa rooms, starting with the Beach Villa and the Garden Pool Villas that offer plunge pools within your private open-plan courtyard with rain shower to cool off. Kurumba’s De-

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luxe Pool Villas are even more sumptuous with the additional luxuries of a large private pool (each uniquely shaped) with a waterfall, day bed and wooden terrace, all enclosed within a walled garden. The largest of these pool villas are the resort’s four Family Villas; these are duplex apartments of over 306 sq metres, each with a large living area and interior courtyard. However, the largest and most extravagant villa on the island is the Two Bedroom Kurumba Residence. Measuring 768 sq metres in diameter and housing two bedrooms, two private pools, a huge living area and veranda, this opulent suite has proved a favourite of many visiting dignitaries and heads of state. Every category of accommodation on the island comes fully equipped with all the modern amenities you would expect from a first-class resort. Few resorts in the Maldives can match Kurumba for the variety and quality of the food available. The resort has a total of 7 restaurants serving an eclectic selection of the finest world cuisines. One could eat solely in Vihamana, the main restaurant, and never tire of the international gourmet cuisines served for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The speciality restaurants on the island still offer a range of fine dining options to suit every palate. Deciding whether to savour far-eastern sushi and teppenyaki at the over water Hamakaze or feast within the palatial Lebanese décor of Al Qasr (sampling its grilled meats and kebabs) is not an easy decision. Making a choice between the delicious Indian, and Thai menus of Mahal and Khing Thai, respectively, is equally difficult. For guests who want to season their meals with a pinch of Maldives romance, Kurumba’s award-winning restaurant Thila offers a unique beachfront setting in which to dine; relish the finest grilled seafood by candlelight surrounded by a panoramic vista of the ocean. Those seeking total intimacy can request a private dining experience for two, either on the beach, out on a yacht or even on their own desert island. The Sounds of the Sea is a favourite. For those feeling a little more social, the resort also features three bars: Fez, the island’s shisha bar with rich Arabic colours and elegant designs serving colourful cocktails and a range of shisha flavours, Athiri, set on the beach for the best sunsets and the lively Kandu, where guests can share a drink and conversation in the company of a live bands and local dance. Surrounded by soothing reflection ponds, the Veli Spa is an oasis of serenity in the heart of the island. Here, guests can enjoy a dedicated yoga session and unwind in the relaxation lounge. Guests are led to one of eight single or couples treatment rooms to feel stress melt away via the creative range of treatments available. Using fragrant local herbs and spices the Thai, Balinese and Maldivian massages are a particular treat. Alternatively, you may want to indulge in reflexology or simply revitalize your skin with a selection of exotic body wraps and polishes. For a more romantic experience “The Spa Under the Stars” offers couples a chance to watch the sunset whilst enjoying unique cowrie shell massage using local hand pressed Coconut oil.

The resort’s other facilities are equally impressive. For families there is the Majaa Recreation Club and the Majaa Kid Club offering fun and enriching experiences with a Maldivian twist including traditional craft making and beachfront games. The Sports centre offers a fully equipped gym, pool, and three floodlit tennis courts. However, if water sports are your passion then Kurumba is the place to visit, with the Dive School offering a full range of PADI diving courses. Beginners are eased into the sport gently in the clear shallow waters of the lagoon and, once competent, guests are taken to explore the most spectacular dive sites in the Maldives. Dazzling shoals of iridescent tropical fish wait to greet you as friendly reef sharks, manta ray and turtles swim by. The calm waters surrounding the island are also ideal for kayaking, waterskiing, windsurfing and parasailing, all of which can be found at the Water Sports Centre and there are Fun Tubes and Banana Rodeos available to keep children entertained. This is all in addition to a wide range of fascinating local excursions including the Sand Bank Picnic. Guests can sail the Indian Ocean in a traditional Maldivian Dhoni (stopping for a picnic on a desert island), wave to the dolphins on the ever-popular sunset cruise or partake in a spot of night-fishing under the stars. Sustainability and conservation have continued to play a pivotal role in Kurumba’s story. The resort run and support several CSR programmes including the Kudhakudhinge Hiyaa Orphanage in Villingili and the new ARC’s Early Childhood Play and Development Training Programme. They continue to strive to operate as sustainably as possible, Kurumba boasts one of the most effective and comprehensive recycling centres of any resort in the Maldives; their glass is ground to reuse in cementing and their recyclable plastics cardboards and metals are all fully recycled. They have ‘super composter’ that composts Kitchen waste within 3 hours for use on the gardens. Kurumba also support local artisans across the resort, Veli Spa uses locally sourced Maldivian coconut oil for massages and treatments and their Nala Boutique brings guests paintings and crafts from Maldivian artists. A process of natural growth, and of proud perseverance, led by heartfelt service over the years. Kurumba has matured into the Grand Hotel of the Maldives, continuously and proudly setting the benchmark for hospitality in the region. www.kurumba.com

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A private island resort offering a 5 star blend of luxury and tranquillity that tempts many a visitor to its sandy shores time and time again.

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KURUMBA Maldives A

cosmopolitan resort with an insatiable vibrant and lively atmosphere, Kurumba Maldives’ is a private island resort offering a 5 star blend of luxury and tranquillity that tempts many a visitor to its sandy shores time and time again. Offering warm and friendly service, elegant guest rooms, exhilarating excursions and a variety of delectable dining options, it’s the perfect backdrop for a dreamy island getaway. Kurumba is conveniently located just 10 minutes from Male International Airport and offers weary travellers a heavenly blend of powder soft sands, the azure waters of the Indian Ocean, lush gardens ablaze with frangipani, hibiscus and bougainvillea stretch across the island and shady coconut groves that loom over 180 luxury bungalows and villas.

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Luxury comes in many shapes and sizes with no less than eight categories of accommodation. What they all have in common is a fresh and modern design, with plush stateof-the-art facilities. Whilst the introductory Superior and Deluxe rooms have a graceful contemporary Maldivian style with open air showers and sunny ocean-side balconies, the resort’s signature Deluxe Bungalows and Deluxe Beachfront Bungalows each feature their very own private garden containing an outside shower and spacious decking veranda for sunset tipples. The bungalows themselves are hidden amongst the lush fragrant tropic flora just yards from the pure white beaches corralling the island. Each boasts a giant free-standing bathtub, a luxurious dual-basin bathroom, a glass-walled shower and king-sized beds. Guests seeking ultimate opulence and privacy can opt for Kurumba's Villas, starting with the Private Villa with Jacuzzi, and the Garden Pool Villas that offer plunge pools within your private open-plan courtyard with rain shower to cool off. Kurumba’s Deluxe Pool Villas are even more sumptuous with the additional luxuries of a large private pool with a waterfall, day bed and wooden terrace. If you want a slice of celebrity lifestyle, the largest and most extravagant villa on the island is the Two Bedroom Kurumba Residence. Measuring a whopping 768 square metres in diameter and housing two bedrooms, two private pools, a huge living area and veranda; this opulent suite has played host to celebrities, local dignitaries and even heads of state. With a total of 8 restaurants based within the resort, each offering an eclectic selection of the world’s finest cuisines, thoroughly spoilt guests are well catered for. Deciding whether to visit Vihamanaa, the main restaurant for unhurried all-day dining, to savour far-eastern sushi and teppenyaki at the over-water Hamakaze or to feast within the palatial Lebanese décor of Al Qasr is not an easy decision to make. Making a choice between the delicious Indian, Thai and Mediterranean menus of Mahal, Khing Thai and Thila, respectively is equally as difficult. One could eat solely at Vihamanaa, the main buffet restaurant; serving varied range of gourmet food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Café offers playful Maldivian and savoury Asian classics with quick bites and comfort foods - not forgetting their famous homemade ice cream. Ocean-side gourmet restaurant Thila offers a delectable premium breakfast, replete with free-flow sparkling wine, a wide range of a la carte options and a luscious breakfast buffet, featuring (among much else) warm baked pastries and a variety of honey! Guests can indulge in a signature coconut Kurumba coffee in the fresh morning air and watch the sun sparkle off the sea.

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Those seeking an extra pinch of Maldivian romance can induge in a private dining experience for two, on an idyllic, secluded beach

Dinner at Thila is a feast for the senses, dining by the sea, under the stars, by candlelight with a menu brimming with the freshest ingredients, prepared with flair by the chefs in the open kitchen. For seafood lovers the expansive open-sea aquarium allows them to choose their lobster. While for true foodies, the offerings also include Australian Wagyu Beef and exclusive Mottainai Carrot and Olive Fed Lamb. Its no wonder this fine-dining restaurant has been awarded a Certificate of Excellence by Trip Advisor users every year since its opening. Speciality restaurants on the island offer a range of fine dining options to suit every palate; savour sushi and Teppanyaki at the over-water Hamakaze or dine on Middle-Eastern delicacies within the opulent Arabic décor of Al Qasr. If Thai is your preferred cuisine, make sure you visit Khing Thai to ample the beautifully spiced, aromatic dishes om offer. Those seeking an extra pinch of Maldivian romance can induge in a private dining experience for two, on an idyllic, secluded beach, out on a yacht or, for the ultimate in romance and privacy, on their very own desert island. The Sounds of the Sea is a favourite treat for guests on a gastronomic voyage of discovery. Sumptuous courses arrive matched with the finest wines at the table, set for two, by the water’s edge, under a starlit sky. For that sunset cocktail, or an after-dinner (or afternoon) drink the resort also features three bars; Athiri, set on the beach for the best sunsets, Kandhu, where guests can unwind in the company of live bands, local dance and fabulous cocktails, or Fez for a wide range of flavoured shisha and colourful cocktails. Finally, those wishing to make the most of their private garden, balcony or hired yacht can request an intimate dining experience for two.

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KURUMBA Voted 'Best Luxury Wellness Spa [Asia]' in the World Luxury Spa Awards, Kurumba's Veli Spa is surrounded by soothing ponds creating an oasis of serenity in the heart of the island. Here, guests can enjoy a dedicated yoga session, unwinding in the relaxation lounge, de-stress in the single or couples treatment rooms or indulge in reflexology and exotic body wraps and polishes. For a more romantic experience “The Spa Under the Stars” offers couples a chance to watch the sunset whilst enjoying a unique cowrie shell massage using local hand-pressed Coconut oil. Life at the Kurumba Resort isn’t just for the sun and spaseekers – the sporting and adventurous amongst us have a whole smorgasbord of activities to entertain. The Sports Centre offers a fully-equipped gym, pool, and three floodlit tennis courts and if water sports are your passion the Dive School offers a full range of PADI diving courses. Explore the spectacular dive sites of The Maldives as dazzling shoals of iridescent tropical fish, (friendly!) reef sharks, manta ray and turtles wait to greet you. Once you’ve met the fishy locals, try your hand at Kayaking, water-skiing, windsurfing and parasailing at the spectacular Water Sports Centre and keep the littl’uns entertained with the Fun Tubes and Banana Rodeos. This is all in addition to a wide-range of fascinating local excursions including a Sand Bank Picnic, the ever popular sunset cruises and even night-fishing under the stars. Kurumba, Maldives, blends luxury and tranquillity in an incomparable way, which tempts many to return to the paradise island time and time again. Having pioneered tourism in the Maldives, as the first private island resort, Kurumba has remained one of the finest; visitors can while away days on the pearl-dust beaches, swim in the protected crystal clear lagoons, explore the vibrant underwater house reef encircling the island, and indulge in a wide variety of exceptional culinary experiences. With the idyllic backdrop of the Maldives, Coconut palm fringed white beaches, crystal clear water and year round summer temperatures, Kurumba makes for a picture perfect setting or a wedding and an unforgettable experience not only for the bride and groom, but for their guests as well.

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Two guests or 20? Barefoot or formal? Day or night? Kurumba understands that the devil is in the detail and that is why an assigned wedding organiser will help plan all the arrangements, making the process worry and stress free from beginning to end. Whether it is a declaration of love in front of family and friends as the sun sets over the Indian Ocean or a private ceremony for two in the overwater gazebo, couples can craft their own dream wedding, reaffirm their love, or get engaged in a romantic setting. Deciding to say ‘I do’ at Kurumba Maldives is an easy choice. For the ultimate romantic gesture, the 300 sqm Presidential Pool Villa provides privacy and intimacy craved by newlyweds. With a private pool and ample living space, couples can hideaway for their entire honeymoon. For those who choose to venture outside, temptations include private island excursions, dinners on the beach and couple’s spa treatments. Kurumba offers three different vow renewal packages with each including as standard, a master of ceremony, venue hire, decorations, wedding certificates and digital photos. Premium packages, in addition to the standard inclusions, come with a welcome tropical fruit basket and bottle of wine upon arrival, a Maldivian Bodu Beru traditional dance performance, the bridal bouquet, wedding cake, canapés at sunset, two bottles of sparkling wine, Kurumba's Signature Sounds Of The Sea Dinner with wine, a commemorative renewal of vows carved wood plaque, bride and groom local sarongs (Feyli), a 90-minute spa treatment for the couple and a premium breakfast for the couple at Thila. It’s worth noting that vow ceremonies in the Maldives are symbolic and not legally binding. This however does not deter the many couples that choose the idyllic backdrop as the location for their special celebration, with the legal formalities being conducted before they venture out to the paradise island. www.kurumba.com

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Beginning with the coral-walled, fan-cooled cabanas of the original resort, Baros has become an icon of luxury in the Maldives.

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BAROS Maldives O

ne of the very first resorts to open in Maldives, it’s been nearly 50 years since Baros first welcomed visitors to its shores. It was a time when locals travelled from island to island on wooden dhoni sailboats when the Maldives communicated with the world by Morse code. Much has changed since then, but more has stayed the same, ensuring Baros remains a place of astonishing natural beauty, cultural richness and feels as magical as ever. With the luxury of decades of experience, the team at Baros Maldvies have learnt over the years that authentic luxury isn't a gimmick, it's the sum of many different, carefully chosen parts. The services on offer are honed by seeing and understanding what works – what people love, keeping them coming back for time and again. Sitting in harmony amongst the the natural beauty of their surroundings, the collection of handcrafted beachfront and overwater villas at Baros are built from timber and sandstone and designed to cocoon you in comfort, furnished with care and with a host of indulgent features for you to enjoy. To help preserve the island, the team at Baros work hard to protect the natural environment, from the house reef fringing the island to its natural jungle heart. In order to ensure the privacy of their guests, the island also strictly prohibits the use of Drones on the island. Baros Maldives is situated in the central southern part of North Male’ Atoll, just 25 minutes by speedboat from Maldives International Airport. Beginning with the coral-walled, fan-cooled cabanas of the original resort, Baros has become an icon of luxury in the Maldives. Throughout every chapter of the island’s story, Baros strive to offer the highest standard of Maldivian hospitality. From the heartfelt service to the ingredients in the dishes, to the artwork on the walls, to the pillows on each bed – these details, perfected, are what makes Baros so very unique.

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Enjoy the freedom of space as well as the inspiration of tropical tranquillity and a chance to relax in solitude.

Whether you stay over the water or on our junglecovered shoreline, your accommodation promises to be surrounded by the greens and blues that characterise the island, with all of Baros within close reach. There are 45 Beachside and 30 Water Private Villas to choose from, many with private pools and each complete with a Villa Host to cater to guests every possible requirement. Rise early to greet the day and experience the early-morning hours in their perfect stillness. Stay up late and watch the stars from your deck. Spend your days exploring the flourishing house reef, a quick paddle away. Privacy, serenity and comfort; each of the villas at Baros Maldives is a world of its own, with everything you could possibly need. The exclusive Baros Suites can be discovered on the eastern shore of the island, via a winding pathway through the lush foliage and feature wooden floors and high ceilings in a traditional Maldivian concept. At the foot of the king-size bed is an ottoman concealing a television screen while on one side there is a work desk and on the other, a cosy reading nook. In the adjoining lounge, there is a 55” television with access to movies and Internet and a sublimely cosy sofa for relaxation. Sliding glass doors open on to an expansive wooden deck ideal for sunbathing or private dining under the stars beside 19ft x 10ft swimming pool (which has a hot and cold Jacuzzi) adorned with fibre optic lights for a magical ambience in the evening. Designed to provide a haven of seclusion, the Baros Suites are specially created to maintain the utmost privacy and tranquillity with classic design, for guests to enjoy the freedom of space as well as the inspiration of tropical tranquillity and a chance to relax in solitude.

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Choose a Water Pool Villa and discover an oasis where the turquoise of your plunge pool blends with the blues of our lagoon. Behind the daybed on your sun-soaked veranda, a stairway descends to crystal-clear waters, the house reef ready and waiting for exploration. You will find every comfort in your private cocoon over the water – rich teak floors, comfortable furniture and luxurious bedding, a library of books and indoor games, and every modern convenience. Your tropical overwater haven gives you the perfect balance of privacy and access. Enjoy your own secluded beach garden and shaded pool beneath tropical trees with Baros Pool Villas which provide a peaceful repose within steps of the lagoon. On your deck you've got a canopied daybed and sun loungers, where days can be spent bathed in ocean views. White sands, turquoise waters and the wonders of the house reef are just metres away. Inside, spaces that envelope with effortless charm – a comfortable bed, rich wooden furnishings and bespoke Baros amenities. Relax upon the shimmering waters of the lagoon in a Baros Water Villa - your own personal retreat and warm timber cocoon of tranquillity. The lagoon lies just beyond your canopied daybed, waiting for you to jump in and explore, while a wide timber deck lets you drink in endless ocean views. In the evenings, relax amid spectacular sunsets, and watch as the sky transforms into a light show of constellations. Inside, enjoy a private world of elegantly cosy furnishings and plush amenities, with thoughtful touches of indulgence everywhere you look. Gastromony upon the island is as exquisite as the scenery itself and the options available to guests are plentiful. Step aboard a dhoni for a dinner cruise for two or head to the Piano Deck with your own private chef, for an exclusive gourmet meal. Or how about settling in at The Lighthouse to watch the sunset with cocktails and canapés? At these gourmet Restaurants in Baros, every meal is yours to savour, every bite designed to inspire. The team have been creating culinary magic for more than 40 years, taking the time to perfect classic dishes, while innovating with new techniques and ingredients from around the world. From lavish buffet breakfasts by the pool to fine dining at the legendary Lighthouse, every meal is another opportunity for you to relish a favourite or try something more daring. Intimate and magical, The Lighthouse Restaurant rises over the lagoon, its towering white sail a beacon on the seas. Reserve your table under the stars for an unforgettable dining experience, perched over the water, with views that reach to the twinkling horizon. Enjoy the most succulent local seafood, tender steaks and modern classics infused with exotic flavour. For the ultimate in fine dining, have the resident sommelier recommend the perfect wines for your meal.

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Intimate dining over the lagoon, the aroma of spice drifting through the night – Cayenne Grill offers al fresco à la carte dining with a hint of Indian flavour. Order from a selection of the finest cuts and freshest seafood, grilled to your preferences. Perfectly marbled wagyu beef and young New Zealand lamb accompany a succulent selection of fresh lobster, prawns, crab and fish. Cayenne Grill celebrates the grilling traditions of the world, accompanied by premium wines from across the globe. Another day begins under the brilliant Baros sky, as Lime Restaurant starts you off deliciously with an indulgent buffet breakfast. Chilled Champagne, succulent seafood, Maldivian curries, Asian plates and classic cooked breakfasts begin your day as decadently or as wholesomely as you please. Sit inside in Lime’s cool interior or take your place outside on the deck for views across the lagoon. For lunch, try a hearty highlight like the massaman tuna, or choose from curries, snacks, salads, pizzas and sandwiches for something in-between. In the evening enjoy international and Maldivian cuisine served against the backdrop of an enchanting Baros sunset. Amble along a sandy trail to Sails Bar for drinks or snacks in an intimate and peaceful place. Sway in a hammock as the lagoon sparkles beyond the trees, or relax in a lounger as smooth music melts into the starlit sky. A gentle evening breeze rustles palm fronds overhead. A million grains of sand feel soft underfoot. Your steward brings you an ice-cold cocktail, the perfect toast to another entrancing day at Baros. It is hard for guests to pull themselves away from the spectacular surroundings and privacy of their private villa, however even at mealtimes, they are able to choose not see another person. Thanks to Destination Dining at Baros, guests can enjoy a fine dining experience anywhere on the island. Nowhere is off limits, from the comfort of their villa terrace, on the beach, to a romantic cruise at sunset on the resorts traditional wooden dhoni, ‘Nooma’ or secluded sandbank for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Private dining is also available on the ‘Piano Deck’, a unique wooden deck shaped like a grand piano, floating off the coast of Baros. If you find yourself looking for adventure, you can be sure to find the perfect experience upon Baros Island. The lagoon beckons you to jump in, to swim with turtles and glide over corals. A sailing adventure tempts you across the seas, to see what you can see beyond our atoll. Champagne fizzes in your glass as you toast to another unforgettable moment. A million experiences await you, from daytime excursions on land and sea to intimate ceremonies and bespoke destination dining, Baros inspires blissful memories that will linger long after you have left the shores of Baros.

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If you find yourself looking for adventure, you can be sure to find the perfect experience upon Baros Island. The lagoon beckons you to jump in, to swim with turtles and glide over corals.

When you're at Baros, you have a world of incredible marine life within a short swim of your villa. A shoal of barracuda glides gracefully on a tropical current. A turtle rises languorously from the depths. Wade into the lagoon and discover a world of bewitching beauty, with colourful fish and turtles drifting through the house reef, just 20 metres from shore. Or choose from the dozens of world-class dive sites less than an hour away from Baros – a boon for divers and an incredible bounty this close to Malé. There are many ways you can explore the Baros waters. Glide along the surface on a paddleboard or transparent canoe, plunge into a neon-coloured world of corals during a night dive or let our resident Marine Biologist guide you on a personalised journey of underwater discovery. Baros has direct access to 30 of the world’s best diving spots, and there is nowhere more secluded and calming than the spectacular underwater world of the Maldives. Transporting guests into their own underwater world, Baros offer Diving by Design programmers and a Diver Valet Service so they can marvel at the likes of manta and eagle rays, turtles and sharks and adventure-seeking pairs can even embark on fascinating ‘Fluro Night Dives’. A haven of relaxation, a sanctuary hidden in the trees – Serenity Spa invites you into a world of indulgent spa and beauty rituals. You can come here to escape for a few hours, or craft a personalised journey of wellness with a series of daily treatments. Everything here is designed to help you restore your balance and find your calm, from daily yoga sessions to therapeutic massage. For something beyond the ordinary, request a yoga session anywhere on the island, or enjoy a pampering treatment in the seclusion of your comfortable villa. www.baros.com

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Milaidhoo Maldives A

Set over 13 acres atop the Baa Atoll’s beautiful UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Milaidhoo Maldives is the ultimate romantic Maldivian escape for stylish couples who are seeking true escapism in a utopian setting. A tiny tropical island, Milaidhoo is an emerald drop of paradise wrapped in soft white sands, surrounded by a vibrant coral reef and lapped by warm turquoise waters. Promising an experience that is unlike any other five star resort in the Maldives, at Milaidhoo, the team like to do things differently: they call it 'reinvented luxury’. They think of their guests not as holidaymakers but as storywriters, crafting their dream holiday. Having opened in November 2016, Milaidhoo is a boutique luxury resort close to Hanifaru Bay, 126km north west of Male. Ideal for nature lovers due to the exquisite coral reef, which encircles the island, it is a protected area and noted as an outstanding snorkelling and diving site in its own right. This tiny beautiful island, abundant with tropical greenery, measures just 300m by 180m and is fringed by soft deep white sand beaches. Everything at Milaidhoo has been custom made and made for comfort; crafted around the needs of the guest. Service is exceptional, always friendly, and in line with the resort’s ‘barefoot informality’ ethos. Above all, Milaidhoo are proud to offer a taste of the true Maldives, opening doors to Maldivian culture and unique experiences. When it comes to accomodation, you will be spoilt for choice, with each style offering its guest a place they may never have been before but where they instantly feel like they belong. Whether you choose a beach or water villa, each is spacious and filled with light. Outdoor living is what Milaidhoo do best: each villa opens up 180-degrees to allow the natural beauty of the Maldives inside. Indoors all around you are striking Maldivian elements, art pieces and contemporary custom-made furnishings thoughtfully designed for your comfort.

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ilaidhoo Maldives is delighted to introduce a brand new uber luxe accommodation – the spectacular overwater Two-Bedroom Ocean Residence. Designed to accommodate up to six guests, the Two-Bedroom Ocean Residence is perfect for multigenerational family holidays and comprises two spacious bedrooms with en suite bathrooms featuring premium Acqua Di Parma toiletries, a large living room and an extensive, sunset-facing private deck with a swing chair, sun loungers and huge freshwater infinity pool with steps straight into the sea, allowing guests to explore Milaidhoo’s incredible house-reef. Lavish family feasts can be enjoyed in the dining area and there is even a ‘secret’ loft deck hidden inside the roof of the villa, which is the ideal place for guests to chill out with a glass of wine, taking in the views at the end of the over-water jetty. Due to its premium location at the very end of the lagoon jetty, the overwater Residence offers unparalleled views of the Indian Ocean and the master bedroom features a bathroom that opens up completely for a panoramic ocean view. Guests can exercise with a motivating view from their private gym and yoga/meditation lounge on the upper floor. The 564sqm, luxury residence provides the ultimate in exclusive seclusion and comfort. Guests of the Milaidhoo Residences receive a number of benefits during their stay, including a dedicated, 24-hour butler, champagne on arrival, a dedicated chef to personalize all meals according to preference, a pop-up cinema experience on the deck of their villa, one private, half-day boat excursion during their stay and lots more.

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Milaidhoo recently launched new, spectacular Ocean Residence and Beach Residences – making them some of the most soughtafter accommodation in the Maldives, perfect for getting that Instagram shot. Water babies can opt for the breath taking 475sqm Ocean Residence – an incredibly spacious and elegantly but authentically designed, thatched-roof villa, on stilts with unparalleled views of the Indian Ocean. The outstanding bathroom invites nature in by opening out to the ocean, with steps straight into the water allowing guests to explore Milaidhoo’s incredible house-reef direct from their villa. There is even a ‘secret’ loft deck hidden inside the roof of the villa, which is the perfect place for guests to chill out with a glass of wine, taking in the views. The completely private sundeck comes complete with swing chair, sun loungers, huge freshwater and infinity swimming pool. Guests of the Milaidhoo Residences receive a number of benefits during their stay, including a dedicated, 24hour butler, Champagne on arrival, a dedicated chef to personalize all meals according to preference, a pop-up cinema experience on the deck of their villa, one private, half-day boat excursion during their stay and lots more. Those who prefer dry land can choose one of Milaidhoo’s two 490sqm Beach Residences, created to showcase luxurious, informal, outdoor island living. Guests staying in the Milaidhoo Residences receive a number of benefits during their stay, including a dedicated, 24-hour butler, Champagne on arrival, a dedicated chef to personalise all meals according to preference, a pop-up cinema experience on the deck of their villa, one private, half-day boat excursion during their stay and lots more. The team at Milaidhoo are serious about food, focusing on authentic, light food with clean flavours. three restaurants and two bars are designed to appeal to your senses, offering outstanding dining in wonderfully informal settings. No shoes required. Ever. Possibly one of the few fine-dining restaurants that encourage its diners to come barefoot, Ba’theli restaurant at Milaidhoo Island Maldives is the first modern Maldivian restaurant in the Maldives. Reflecting its heritage, Ba’theli’s architecture takes its name from the local word for a traditional wooden sailing boat and has been built in the shape of three boats that stand on stilts over the lagoon. One ‘boat’ is the restaurant, the second a bar-lounge and the third, the kitchen. Guests can dine under the stars on the restaurant’s deck or inside the boat where a glass floor reveals views of the marine life below, all inhabitance of the resorts spectacular house-reef. Ba’theli’s dishes are steeped in Maldivian tradition, with each dish inspired from the Maldivian Spice Route.

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The story began over 5,000 years ago when The Maldives became a key port of call for traders sailing from Indonesia and India to Arabia with cargoes of cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, cloves, ginger and pepper. The Maldivians bartered coconuts, sun-dried fish, cordage and sails woven from coconut fibre, and cowrie shells (which became currency) for spice, rice, ceramics and silks. Locally-made cargo boats, ‘ba’theli', sailed throughout the archipelago with these goods, spreading knowledge about different lands, their customs and cuisine. This story comes alive at Ba’theli restaurant at Milaidhoo, as their chefs serve gourmet dishes using local herbs and spices to enhance natural flavours. The menu features classic Maldivian dishes which include appetisers such as: Garudhiya (famous Maldivian soup featuring lightly poached skip jack tuna, perfumed with young curry and pandanus heart), Bova Satani (chilled braised octopus salad, cabbage, dressed with kaffir lime and coconut oil), and main courses including: Bakari Sanaamugu Hiki Riha (Maldivian five spiced lamb loin, bitter snake gourd and chickpea gravy, brinjal fritters) and Filolhu Ihi Riha (grilled white snapper fillets, with Maldivian lobster , tomato essence, coconut espuma). Of course an array of mouthwatering dishes and curries inspired by the different atolls are also on offer including Maldivian lobster curry, northern archipelago slow braised beef curry and southern Maldivian chicken curry. Facing the west, Ba’theli commands idyllic sunset views and is reached on foot by an overwater wooden jetty. If you want to experience heavenly informal dining, then be sure to visit The Shoreline Grill, a beachfront grill where you’ll find superb meats and freshly caught local fish and seafood, simply cooked and beautifully presented. You can dine barefoot on the sand in a private beachfront pavilion, or inside the grill for a fantastic view of the show kitchens. For the tropical breakfast you’ve always dreamed of, make your way to the Ocean Restaurant, sit on the deck by the ocean and let the team deliver wave after wave of treats to your table. For lunch and dinner the style remains casually comfortable with international dishes perfectly presented from a la carte menu. Here, the key words are fresh, flavourful and friendly.

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If there’s a place to chill out and fall in love with the Milaidhoo infinity pool, whilst overlooking the ocean, then the Compass Pool Bar is it. When hunger calls, the team are right there, waiting for you with a tempting drinks list of the freshest of fresh juices, infused waters, cocktails and light meals, such as gourmet pizzas from our wood-fired oven; bento boxes; fresh salads; sandwiches etc. The fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down; find yourself a sun lounger and watch the area transform into a laid-back chill out lounge. Milaidhoo Island Maldives has also introduced a new, innovative concept: ‘mood dining’. The five different ‘moods’ guests can choose from are: ‘Deep Sleep’; ‘Getting into the Milaidhoo Mood’; ‘Sunrise Awakening’; ‘Curious Adventures’ and ‘Sunset Chill’. Each ‘mood’ consists of a specially curated food and drinks menu, served at a specific location on the island, all of which has been designed to alter a person’s mood. Some of these dining offerings are paired with spa treatments, special baths and meditation to enhance the experience. The theory behind the mood dining concept is that certain foods can affect body chemistry and therefore a person’s mood, for example creating a burst of energy, uplifting emotions or causing drowsiness and the desire to sleep. The location of the meal also helps shape the mood, with options of dining on deserted islands, sandbanks in the middle of the ocean, on a beach or simply on the private deck of the guest’s own villa. For guests looking to best enhance their sleep patterns, they can opt for the ‘Deep Sleep’ mood. It begins with a peaceful spa treatment in the early evening to physically relax the body. This is followed by a light dinner served in the guest’s villa with a menu designed to encourage sleep, using foods that contain naturally occurring substances that can bring on sleep. Following this, Milaidhoo’s resident yogi leads the guests in a private moonlight meditation session on the deck of their villa to calm and slow the mind. The evening ends with a scented candlelit bath, because the drop in body temperature after a bath triggers the body’s need to sleep. Famous for it’s pristine turquoise waters, captivating marine life and breathtaking coral reefs, Milhaidhoo Maldives offers world-class diving, water sports and fishing opportunities, as well as a whole array of excursions. The team pride themselves on offering guests ‘Milaidhoo Moments,’ where you’ll enjoy experiences that will make you feel a million miles from everyday life, enrich your life and excite your spirit of adventure. Don’t just go fishing: instead let the team arrange for you to join a Maldivian fisherman and learn how it’s done here. Don’t just go on an excursion; instead let a local take you by the hand and guide you through our culture and history. Don’t just do a cooking class; accept chef’s invitation to pick some local herbs with him and create a new dish together. Don’t just drink cocktails; join the sommelier or bar tender for a tasting class and see if you can concoct something good enough to make it onto the drinks menu.

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The castaway includes a sunset dolphin cruise with champagne and canapés as dolphins swim around them

For guests seeking the ultimate seclusion, Milaidhoo takes once in a lifetime experiences to new heights with their new offering – ‘sandbank glamping under the stars’. Guests can opt spend the night as castaways under the stars on their very own private sandbank. Transformed with the luxury facilities of a Milaidhoo Villa, the sandbank comes with a canopied four-poster bed draped in muslin and a private yacht anchored nearby with all the amenities guests would expect to find back at the hotel. The castaway includes a sunset dolphin cruise with champagne and canapés as dolphins swim around them and the sun begins to set and after arriving at the secluded sandbank, cocktails are served followed by a fourcourse dinner. After dinner, as the crew sail away, guests are left to enjoy post dinner drinks by the fire before heading off to sleep under the stars surrounded by candles and lanterns that have been scattered across the sandbank. As the sun rises, guests can kickstart the day with the Milaidhoo Yogi who will take them through a sunrise yoga session before the butler arrives to serve a freshly prepared breakfast. When it comes to wellness, Milaidhoo offer you the opportunity to simply take time out and breathe. At the on site spa, blissful relaxation for your body and soul takes place in four over-water treatment suites which offer inspiring views of sky and ocean. Explore the holistic treatment menu which incorporates the powers of botanicals combined with entrancing healing traditions from Africa, using local herbs and plants. There you’ll feel the benefits of the organic and natural spa therapies offered by Elemis, TheraNaka and Coola. The over-water yoga pavilion hosts complimentary daily yoga or meditation sessions where all you have to focus on is your mind, body and soul. Thanks to the resort’s idyllic location and scenery, Milaidhoo Maldives is the most breath-taking setting for a wedding. Making for a truly spectacular day, Milaidhoo offers couples multiple options for a romantic ceremony. The ‘Love Floats Boat Wedding’, involves couples taking to the ocean and exchanging vows on board a beautiful traditional sailing dhoni, while the ‘Starlight, Starbright Candlelit Wedding’ sees couples declaring their love in a candlelit sunset ceremony on their own private sandbank. Or, for the ultimate party, Milaidhoo’s most extravagant wedding package, ‘The Milaidhoo Extravaganza’ offers the entire island exclusively for the couple and their guests. The hotel work with the couples’ wedding planner to create the wedding week of dreams for those who are after nothing less than the best. After the wedding, the newlyweds can begin their honeymoon at one of the Milaidhoo residences. www.milaidhoo.com

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ALL NATURAL SUN SYSTEM Enjoy the benefits of broad s pectrum UV protection without harmful chemicals. Our sun system is fre e of coral & skin damaging ingredients and is b iod e gradable in aquatic systems. One dollar per product donated to coral cons ervation. Learn more at www .people4oc ean.co.uk

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Jacqueline has shot many campaigns including Sassi Holford, Sharon Bowen-Dryden, Eliza Jane Howell and recently Dando London Bridals with model Sophia Nooshin. Additionally: Google, Cornelia James and Historic Royal Palaces.

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