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Yorkshire Glee

produced in International Media production Zone


A journey full of surprises in Asia’s fragrant Kingdom

Why England’s white rose is blooming marvellous

Fever pitch at the world’s most glam camp sites

Puerto Rico

Alive and kicking on the Caribbean’s party island

Sweet Carolina

Say hello to the USA’s splendid state


Still unspoilt, still welcoming, still stunning


Kanoo World Traveller SePTeMBeR 2011

contents TRAvel BITeS 07 check in

Our all new look at hot happenings the world over...

19 Where to stay Opt for sand or city in vibrant Barcelona

2o Picture this


Standout scenes to make your jaw drop.

25 essential selection Pitch up at the world’s most glamorous camp sites.

66 city Guide: zermatt

Take to the slopes in Switzerland’s famous mountain resort.

68 city Gide: munich

Jade Bremner on Germany’s most visited city.

71 comPetition

Win a three-day break at Prague’s The Augustine hotel.

72 suite dreams

Seek retreat in sheer Parisian splendour at The Ritz.



feATUReS 32 carolina

Charm prevails in the the USA’s farming country, finds Douglas Rogers.

39 corsica Cobbled streets, hill-top villages and unspoilt beaches in the Mediterranean.

47 harroGate

In the UK, Rob Orchard reckons it’s far from grim up North...

52 cambodia

Amid boats and bamboo, Clover Stroud finds beauty and heart in modern Asia.

58 Puerto rico

Shake your body to the beat of the Caribbean’s party island.

On the cover: Corsica Coast Headland. Bodenbender/ Photolibrary.



Managing Director: Victoria Hazell-Thatcher

Group editor: Laura Binder

Production Manager: Haneef Abdul

Publishing Director: John Thatcher

Group Advertisement Manager: Cat Steele

Advertisement Director: Chris Capstick

Group Deputy editor: Jade Bremner

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Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from HOT Media Publishing is strictly prohibited. All prices mentioned are correct at time of press but may change. HOT Media Publishing does not accept liability for omissions or errors in Kanoo World Traveller.

June-Dec 2010 22,620 BPA Consumer Audit Produced by: HOT Media Publishing FZ LLC

September 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 5

check in | news


BE INformEd, BE INspIrEd, BE THErE

new to london

A Cut Above September 1 sees the opening of one very sophisticated hotel; 45 Park Lane. The latest addition to the Dorchester Collection, this more modest-sized venue goes some way to proving the theory that all good things come in small packages. “It is more intimate in size than the other properties,” comments its manager Marie-Laure Akdag, “but offers the same five-star service that the Dorchester Collection is renowned for the world over.” So what else can would-be guests expect to discover? “Contemporary design with art deco influences,” confirms Akdag. “Forty-five guest bedrooms and suites, all with views of Hyde Park, and a Penthouse Suite with a wraparound roof terrace and panoramic views across the London skyline.” Even better for gourmands, though, is the opening of CUT by one of the world’s best chefs, Wolfgang Puck. “It is Wolfgang Puck’s

first restaurant in Europe,” says Akdag. “The menu will feature outstanding steaks, mirroring the award-winning and hugely popular original CUT in Beverly Hills.” And which dishes will leave us salivating at our menus? “The signature cuts of beef,” assures Akdag. “But the menu will provide broad appeal with an array of seafood such as the pan roasted Scottish lobster with black truffle sabayon.” And, for those of you who want to explore England’s capital, 45 Park Lane’s location means you can take to the famous Hyde Park for horse-riding, boating or tennis; shop up a storm in nearby Knightsbridge or sightsee at Buckingham Palace, before returning to CUT for a spot of lunch – available for the first time in a CUT establishment, “so perhaps the French Toast is also a must-try!” enthuses Akdag. We don’t need telling twice…

September 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 7

cool stopovers

September Hotel openingS Jebel Ali Golf resort & spa this month unveils the modern facelift undertaken by palm Tree Court & spa, its five-star beachfront property. Guests can now enjoy revamped suites which are perfectly equipped for families – each features a custom-made sofa that can be converted into two single child-sized beds. While there’s little chance of getting restless with over 50 daily activities offered on the beach – including, uniquely, swimming with horses. For minimalism at its most stylish, make a beeline for Croatia’s rugged, pea-green hillsides and check in to Lone Hotel, an ultra-cool creation by architect Silvije Novak, designed to resemble an ocean liner. Its style harks back to the 1970s and with three restaurants, lounges and a night club it reflects the party era to a tee. In Amsterdam, The Conservatorium gives a one-hundred-year-old building a new lease of life as a luxury boutique bolthole. Set in the city’s Museumplein area, you can head out to visit the famous Van Gogh Museum or bohemian zone of Vondelpark before returning to the hotel’s autumnal-hued interiors and exposed beams for dinner by celebrated Dutch-chef Schilo van Coevorden.


Kanoo World Traveller September 2011

check in | news

IndIAn eXcUrsIon

First Class Hop aboard one of the world’s most luxurious carriages If you’re planning to take in the exotic sights of India, there’s surely no better way to ponder its panoramas than from one of the world’s most decadent trains: The Maharajas Express. Its new, one-carriage grand presidential suite (right) sports polished interiors in spiced hues fit for a regal residence with huge panoramic windows from which to gaze at passing scenery. Not only that, but you’ll be privy to a butler onboard and a private chauffeur and guide off, each poised to whisk you seamlessly between every destination on the train’s eight-day itinerary. The just-launched Royal Sojourn route will take travellers from Delhi to Jaipur, Kota, Ranthambore National Park and Agra, and its schedule incorporates architectural gems (Taj Mahal, Amber Fort), native wildlife (Ranthambore tiger sanctuary) and activities alike (including an elephant polo match) so there’s no more comforting carriage to return to when each busy day is done.

September 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 9


Truffle Hunters

Harbour a taste for luxury? Foodies can’t fail to delight in the chance to sniff out Italy’s finest truffles deep in the Roddi woodland before feasting on your Earth-plucked finds during a four-course lunch in the decadent Hotel Principe di Savoia. The Milan hotel kicks off its Truffle Tasting Package next month when, as well as spending three nights in its five-star surrounds and taking to the region’s wild fields with trained truffle-hunting hounds, you can feed your appetite for the illustrious ingredient by perusing some of the world’s most famous truffle shops in nearby Alba and rubbing shoulders with internationally-renowned chefs at the Alba Truffle Fair.

A Nose For Finery Don’t get caught out with a common mushroom, Hotel Principe di Savoia’s chef Fabrizio Cadei tells us how to sniff out Italy’s crème de la crème... fine White Truffle Also known as the ‘Truffle from Alba’, ‘white truffle’ and ‘Alba Madonna’, you can hunt this fine mushroom from September to December. It grows symbiotically with oak, hazel, poplar and beech


Kanoo World Traveller September 2011

and blooms in autumn, when it can reach 12cm in diameter and 500g in weight. Look for a pale cream or brown flesh with white marbling and you’ll savour the most intense scent and taste of the species. fine Black Truffle The ‘black truffle’ or ‘black Périgord truffle’ is named after the Pérignod region in France and grows with oak and Hazelnut trees. You can find it from late autumn when it reaches up to 7cm in diameter and up to 100g in weight. summer and Winter Black Truffles The black summer or burgundy truffle is prized for

its culinary value. Two varieties are distinguished within this species; burgundy truffles, harvested in autumn until December, and summer truffles, harvested in summer. Spot the latter by its palercoloured flesh and less pronounced aroma. marzolino Truffle Sprouting in Tuscany, Romagna and Marche, this one might look just like the Fine White Truffle of Alba (externally it has many of the same features; irregular, smooth and white) but its smell and taste is less pronounced, it grows darker as it matures and its market value is lower.

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ArAbIAn gUlf

Surfing uAE

September marks the start of the Middle East’s surf season, Jade Bremner finds out all you need to know to ride Dubai’s waves… It’s something of a well-kept local secret that you can actually surf in Dubai. The area produces consistent glassy swells reminiscent of Thailand’s small tropical waves which come with short periods of localised wind-driven swell. In fact, the scene has a core following of regular surfers and even pros such as Joel Fitzgerald, Nate Tyler, Josh Hoya and Nathan Banks have hit the UAE’s coastlines. “Most people get hooked as soon as they get up on a board, then their quest to find the next best wave begins,” says Dubai resident and surfer Axel Server from Australia. “It’s warm, sunny, and there’s a great atmosphere amongst surfers in the water,” agrees Scott Chambers, owner of Surf Dubai – one of two main surf outfits (along with Surf Shop Dubai) who offer lessons on the open beach by Burj Al Arab. On the downside, the creation of The Palm and The World has left only a few surf spots in the city, with waves being blocked by construction, but conditions for those keen to learn are perfect and plentiful still:

“The two main beaches are Sunset Beach and JBR Beach,” explains Chambers. “Typical conditions are two to three foot waves, ideal conditions for learning to surf.” With recent shark attacks reported off the coast of Egypt and the Seychelles, surfers in the emirate can take to their boards in the knowledge that the more peaceful Gulf waters are said to be some of the safest in the world, with no reports of dangerous marine life or hidden jagged reefs lurking beneath the surface. Not only that but you’ll be experiencing a truly unusual ride in the UAE, explains Chambers, “waves in Dubai come from low pressure systems that develop over Kuwait. North Westerly winds blow the length of the Arabian Gulf for several days and these winds generate swell that travels straight for Dubai’s coastline. The emirate sits in the exact location that receives the longest fetch within the gulf,” he says. “If we were anywhere else we would have much less surf.” Want to catch your first wave? Visit or

Surf’S up We head off the beaten track to find waves for all levels, right here in the Middle East. Beginners: Joe’s point, oman Wave size: Three to six feet. Ocean floor: Rocks, reef or sand (locations vary). Just 5km north of Asyllah or three hours south of Muscat, Joe’s Point offers rides of up to 30 seconds long, though plan your trip by checking out weather conditions before the off – wide open beaches mean waves can get blown out. Intermediate: Almina spot, Lebanon Wave size: Three to six feet. Ocean floor: Reef and flat rocks. This world-class surf spot sits on the Mediterranean and gets going after a heavy storm out to sea. Find it 22km away from Beirut near the seaside town of Jieh near Marina Beach. Advanced: socotra, Yemen Wave size: Up to 10 feet. Ocean floor: Sand. Head her for sizeable, offshore waves that are rumoured to be as good as Indonesian swells. Experienced surfers can also master perfectly formed offshore mini barrels.

September 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 11

trAvel tAles

My perfect trip...


Olympic and world champion Laser sailor Paul Goodison is gearing up for the London 2012 Olympics, but always spares a little time to holiday in his favourite destination... I travel every month, wherever the sailing takes me but Hawaii is one of my favourite places in the world in which to sail. Though my hometown of Rotherham comes in at a close second, Hawaii has an amazing climate, great beaches and fantastic surf. I’ve been to the island three times now, both by myself and with friends. I prefer to stay with friends when I travel but the Hilton Hawaiian Village on Waikiki beach resort is a pretty nice place if you’re in need of a great hotel while you’re there. There are tons of activities to keep visitors occupied including surfing, sailing and kite surfing, the waves get really big. If the locals and signs say ‘shark sighted’ they’re not kidding. Also, a handy piece of advice for surfers is to get up early and avoid the crowds. my favourite place to eat on the island has got to be the Argentinean Steak House, Waikiki. It has incredible beef and amazing views over Waikiki beach. If I wasn’t in Hawaii there are a few other destinations I rate; Cancun, Mexico, Canada and Australia – all for their great sailing conditions.


Kanoo World Traveller September 2011

beAch reAd

travel Book oF the Year Globetrotters can pick up a copy of Molotov’s Magic Lantern, by Rachel Polonsky this month, a novel that recently scooped the Dolman Travel Book of the Year award. Polonsky tells a firsthand tale of her experience as an expat in Russia, where she lived below a former Soviet politician, Vyacheslav Molotov. Neglecting to clear the apartment of Molotov’s old artifacts and papers, his foreign tenants discover a magic lantern filled with fading pictures of a buried Russian past, prompting Polonsky to take readers through an enlightening historic portrayal of the city. A gripping read for plane or beach. The olympus E-pL3 is this month’s ultimate accessory for travellers. Its retro exterior matches the size of a ‘point and shoot’ but allows you to swap lenses and snap away at a significantly faster shutter speed than your normal auto focusing number – meaning images are as close to a professional standard as it gets. A video function tops it off a treat, along with a detachable Penpal device that allows you to send messages to phones wirelessly while you’re on the move. From $600.


JUMEIRAH AT ETIHAD TOWERS AT THE HEART OF ABU DHABI You are Welcome! Jumeirah at Etihad Towers. Opening Fall 2011.


Dubai / Frankfurt / London / Maldives / New York / Shanghai & Opening Soon: Abu Dhabi / Azerbaijan / Kuwait / Mallorca

out of this world

Space InvaderS

For the traveller who’s done it all... Dream of spending the night in space? It’s not as far out of reach as you might think: Orbital Technologies has released plans for week-long breaks in its space station at an otherworldly sum of $550,000. Set for take-off in 2016, the company’s CEO Sergey Kostenko tells us what to expect... Our proposed flights will last for a day or the whole week depending on the customer, as opposed to Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, which offers orbital flights for 30 to 40 minutes. The hotel is a space station not a vehicle; it will take a couple of days to reach it and people will fly to the station via a space craft before being transferred using a new generation of vehicle. There will be four sleeping compartments where people will sleep vertically, but there will be no shower in space as it’s impossible to shower in a regular way. People will use wet towels instead. There is special space food which will be catered to each guest’s taste. We will have a menu which people can order from. So, if you like to eat Asian food we can have that delivered to the spaceship, it all depends on you. It’s a very safe experience, we do not estimate any side effects or medical problems. Before the flight, passengers will undergo a medical exam to check their health as well as special training for the flight in to space. It’s a very unusual place, a very unique experience. If you want to see the Earth, if you want to see the stars in a way you have never done before, this is the right place to go.

Pick uP a masterPiece in the ‘Paris of the orient’ Art-lovers should make for China this month where the fifth Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair takes place between September 8-10, showcasing the best of Chinese art and attracting collectors from all corners of the globe. This year’s sculptures and installations will include work from the ‘First Issue Exhibition’ featuring new pieces by emerging artists like Chen Ching-Yuan, Doublefly, Jin Shan, Lu Miao and more. Meanwhile the ‘Hot Spots’ section is set to display large scale, site-specific projects by infamous artists from Birdhead (Song Tao and Ji Weiyu) and Carsten Nicolai to He An and Heman Chong. Meander over to ‘Now Ink’ to peruse poetic calligraphy and ink paintings by the likes of Bai Yiluo, Chen Qi and Jennifer Wen Ma, or sit back and take in a screening at the video lounge. The only problem is deciding where to start...


Kanoo World Traveller September 2011









What in the World?

there Are siGhts to Behold ACross the GloBe this septemBer; KWt rounds-up the CreAm oF the Crop...


25-27 6-13 20-21 10-15


3–4 Blues By the BAy

California’s dreamiest stretch of all-American coast serves as a postcard-worthy backdrop to two days of pure, foot-tappingly good Blues.

5– 1 World Gourmet the five-star Four seasons hotel Bangkok flies in the crème de la crème of the culinary world to whisk up outstandingly good fare in its myriad eateries. the pinnacle? A seven-course Gala dinner where patrons devour a dish from each stellar chef in one delicious sitting. 8 VoGue FAshion niGht shopaholics flex their credit cards amid stars and designers at the fashion bible’s annual celebration which sees fashion capitals the world over, from milan to manhattan, surrender their glitziest boutiques to unbridled late-night shopping. 16

Kanoo World Traveller August 2011

9 uK Air GuitAr ChAmpionships Fingertips flex in a fight for the title of the very best in Air Guitar. those with the goods go head-to-head in lounges across the uK to recreate the musical art of strumming like a rock star. rock on... 16 – 18 VeniCe Country shoW san Giuliano park (the largest in europe) provides a grassy platform for the finest four-legged creatures who prance it out for a winning rosette, while horse-lovers browse country fare and equine goods in the great outdoors.

25 Foire Aux onions the humble onion morphs itself in to all manner of treats, from tarts to soups, in the quaint historic city of le mans on Avenue who have celebrated the chameleon vegetable for some 91 years. it’s enough to make your eyes water.



There is a magical place below one of the most majestic peaks of the Dolomites mountains, where one can experience the best of every season. This is the Cristallo Hotel Spa & Golf, the only 5 star luxury hotel in the Dolomites. Here you will discover suites of unforgettable charm, the most exclusive and luxurious comfort, and the delicate touch of Transvital wellness. And after an intense day of skiing or a gratifying day of shopping, you can relax and let yourself be pampered by the impeccable Cristallo service offered in the various hotel restaurants and in the prestigious Club House of the Cortina Golf Club. Always in surroundings of unrivalled natural beauty. This is what a Cristallo Hotel holiday is about. There is nothing better. Naturally, it is in Cortina.

Via Rinaldo Menardi 42 - 32043 Cortina d’Ampezzo (BL) Tel. +39.0436.881111 - Fax +39.0436.870110 -

check in | where to stay

Where to stay...


Historic architecture versus glorious yellow sand; which side of town will you choose? START










Neri Hotel & Restaurante

W Barcelona Dramatic and decadent this atmospheric retreat occupies an 18th-century palace, with striking Gothic architecture on the outside and modern décor inside. Expect sumptuous rooms with huge beds draped in velvet and silk, stacks of puffy cushions and dark grey slate baths. Located right on the beachfront, along the Barceloneta boardwalk, the trendy and distinctive W Barcelona stands proud in the shape of a bellowing sail and bears both panoramic city and sea views. We’d be so bold as to say it’s the next best thing to Dubai’s Burj Al Arab.



Marina view


Hotel Pulitzer

Eurostars Grand Marina

Ohla Hotel In the heart of the city sits this hautebourgeoisie retreat, offering a more minimalist slice of luxury, along with a Michelin-star restaurant. A designer’s favourite, beds here come in four-poster form and rooms include Arne Jacobson-style egg chairs, big potted-plants and private terraces. Expect avant-garde art, minimalist design, an al fresco swimming pool (with vistas of the port), and breakfast on an orange tree-lined terrace... While away the hours atop the terrace’s ‘Relax Area’ and drink-in sea views, dip in the triangular pool and savour inspired Mediterranean fare.



Sea view

September 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 19

Picture this

dRAGON SNOW MOUNTAIN lIJIANG, yUNNAN, cHINA Locals have dubbed this mysterious snow-dipped, fog-draped mountain ‘Jade Dragon’ due to the shape the clouds form over its protuding peaks. While the site serves as a sanctuary for wild animals and flora, it’s also home to the region’s highest ski resort and, as pictured here, sets the scene for ‘Impression Lijiang’, a traditional pageant. The mesmerising show sees over 400 performers take to the rust-hued set in local ethnic dress where they shuffle along to music proclaiming “we are farmers; we are stars” and sing all manner of Yunnan folk songs about their matriarchal culture which sees the women go to work and men look after the children. Image: Corbis

Picture this

CUlTIvATed vOlCANO MAdAGAscAr The verdant, emerald green landscape of Madagascar never ceases to amaze its onlookers. Often described as the ‘eighth continent’ by ecologists, it’s fertile landscape homes some 10,000 plant life and species – 90 per cent of which you won’t find anywhere else on the planet. Look west of Lake Itasy and you’ll spy this lush yet dormant volcano posing as the perfect example of the region’s natural wonders: its tapestry-like surface is created by the cultivated farmlands which cover it, while giant troughs peppered across its bulbous body (a result of decades of erosion) make it a true sight to behold. Image: Corbis

EssEntial sElEction | go glamping

eSSential Selection

Go GlampinG

Sleeping in the great outdoors has never been so plush; Jade Bremner seeks out nine of the world’s best ‘glam camping’ sites...

Singita Game Reserve’s Sambora, Tanzania Immerse yourself in the African wilderness and marvel at mountainous forests, fertile savannahs and more naturespotting than you can shake a stick at. Sambora’s hunting lodge-style site places you in the very thick of things and even provides a viewing deck from which to ponder waterholes and the Tanzanian terrain (look out for the ‘Big Five’). Pick one of nine air-conditioned en suite tents, all of which harbour creature comforts galore, from outdoor showers and Persian rugs to antique mahogany furniture and a dressing area for the stylish safari-goer.

September 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 25

The Hoopoe Yurt Hotel, Spain Shrouded by three hectares of ripe olive groves and cork oak forest – and with rolling views of Southern Spain’s Grazalema Mountains – the scenery here will take your breath away. Those escaping city life will be pleased to find that the traditional yurts come complete with their own bathrooms as well as snooze-inducing hammocks where you can gaze across meadows and slip into a sun-licked slumber. Nod off to the tinker of goat bells and click-click of crickets as the sun warms your skin, before cooling off with a dip in a private freshwater swimming pool, no doubt still marvelling at the towering blue mountains before you...

Eco pod, Scotland Pop your head out of a pod by morning light and your cheeks will soon be rouged by the crisp, west coast air. Here you can stand in awe at rolling vistas of Loch Linnhe, the Mull Mountains and the Kingairloch coastline but, inside, your unique abode is as cosy as can be: soft, locally-sourced furnishings lavish interiors while the pod’s dome-like form retain heat – but comes with a wood pellet biomass stove for those who really feel the chill. Wrap up warm and brave the area’s outdoor pursuits, from white-water rafting and biking across the rugged countryside to climbing the Aonach Eagach Ridge and scaling the UK’s highest peak – Ben Nevis. But the ecoconscious among you will most love the pods’ sympathetic approach to the environment: the bods behind the igloo-like structures ensured no footprint is left on the land and appliances keep power to a minimum. Five-star holidays are no longer a guilty pleasure.


Kanoo World Traveller September 2011

EssEntial sElEction | go glamping

Golden Triangle Four Seasons tented camp, Thailand Set on Thailand’s northernmost tip, stranded somewhere between the Mekong and Ruak rivers, the landscape here flits from exotic bamboo jungles and sprawling Salong mountain range to pea-green tea plantations, aromatic coffee bean farms and a flash of scarlet with wild cherry trees. Evoking the adventurous spirit of colonial explorers, the Four Seasons camp is like no other for miles around. Tents come with their own viewing deck while, inside, interiors ooze 19th century style with antique furniture and hand-hammered copper bath tubs. And if that isn’t enough to send you into a state of sheer relaxation, make for its outdoor spa and let botanical oils and warm, spiced scents wash over you during a Thai massage. Alternatively, find your own piece of paradise with a picnic in the jungle.

September 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 27

4 Rivers Floating Lodge, Cambodia

Treebones, California

Seek retreat here (pictured below) and you’ll hover above a river bed while savouring all the amenities synonymous with a five-star hotel (think mini-bar, wi-fi, DVD player and flat screen TV). Perched amid the Cardamom mountains on Thailand’s border, this is one for seclusion-seekers: rare flora and unspoilt forests prevail (along with jungle creatures) marrying together for the most sweetlyscented air. Settle in to your crisp white tent (you can’t fail to spot them protuding from the lush terrain) and explore your newfound surrounds: head to nearby Tatai Waterfall and watch it crash into a gorge 12 feet below; kayak down the river to unchartered mangroves; or visit cultural markets in nearby villages for a taste of local life.

While its name originates from a 1960s recycling wood mill, the area has been reborn into a sustainable paradise comprising five yurtdotted campsites, surrounded by the Los Padres National Forest and ink-blue Pacific Ocean. Lay back on your bed and stargaze through your tent’s sky hole to the distant sound of a sea lion’s whail and gently lapping waves. Step out through the tent’s wooden French doors (yes, really) and you’ll find endless opportunities to explore with a 100 feet high waterfall nearby, whale-spotting trips within easy reach and hikes to historic limekilns just a stone’s throw away. Hungry? Treebones is home to an al fresco sushi bar as well as the Wild Coast Restaurant where you can feast on regional fare before taking a lazy dip in the campsite’s hot tub and letting bedtime beckon...


Kanoo World Traveller September 2011

EssEntial sElEction | Go GlaMPinG

Desert Nights Camp, Oman

Rasa, India

Bedouins could well be the best campers of all; sourcing water from sparse desert terrain and travelling in sun-soaked heat for days without encountering another being. At Desert Nights Camp, two hours from Muscat, the wonder of traditional Bedouin life has been recreated in an altogether more luxurious form with tents standing on silken sands within 10 acres of saffron-hued desert. Experience sheer desertion by shutting yourself away in suites lavished in Middle Eastern décor, from their ruby red-coloured carpets to authentic wall hangings, curved Arabic archways and fragrant oil-lit lanterns. The more active among you can try camel riding and historic excursions to Mantrib’s old fort, while those after a more relaxing time can nibble on plump dates, sip traditional coffee and let the day drift by…

For an more unusual form of camping, Rasa’s unique lodgings on the outskirts of Jaipur won’t disappoint: residing in a curious geometric garden its 40 canvas cubes offer up a futuristic version of Indian nomadic tents. What’s more, perched close to the historic Amer Fort and hovering above hillsides, it has to be one of the most distinctive spots in which to spend the night in this part of the globe. Hiding inside each Tardis-like residence, glampers will discover a surprising space that stretches some 500 square feet, while beneath its loft-like canopy ceilings you’ll find giant fluffy beds, luxurious deep tubs and polished marble fixtures. For a fix of the great outdoors, venture outside for a stroll in its private gardens and enjoy a spot of bird watching or take a moment to admire the valley which unravels before you.

September 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 29

Patagonia Camp, Chile Explore south Chile’s rugged region and get to the heart of the famous Lake Toro area with a visit to South America’s first luxury camp. Here you’ll find 17 wood lattice-framed yurts (originating in Asia and used by Turkic and Mongolian nomads) crafted on wooden stilts in a deliberate bid to save the environment. Inside the cosy abodes you’ll find a king-size bed laden with woven fabrics along with local handcrafted furniture – an ideal spot in which to savour some peace and quiet. But don’t leave this forest-drenched retreat without sampling the food – the camp’s Patagonian chef specialises in barbecued slow-roasted Magallanic lamb, served with locally produced vegetables and thirstquenchingly good fruits. Delicious.


Kanoo World Traveller September 2011


Carolina Once a poor farming state, North Carolina now offers superb restaurants, glorious beaches and beautiful architecture, says Douglas Rogers


Kanoo World Traveller September 2011

oh carolina | USa


y wife’s from New Jersey, and I’m from the Deep South – of Zimbabwe. For years, neither of us wanted to live anywhere other than a city – first London, now New York. But with our one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn no longer able to accommodate my increasing girth and growing family, we decided to look elsewhere for a new home. Grace fancied the New Jersey suburbs where she grew up; I wanted something more rural. In the end, the promise of easy living and a deep porch persuaded us to look below the Mason-Dixon Line. But this had its problems, too. I was keen on going far south – Georgia or Louisiana or Mississippi. My wife rolled her Yankee eyes at the thought of banjos and grits, and suggested somewhere in-between. So last summer we came up with a compromise and paid an extended visit to North Carolina. I had been fascinated with North Carolina since moving to the United States six years ago. To me, there was something intriguing about a state that could produce two senators of such divergent political views (and ethics) as John Edwards and Jesse Helms. But, mostly, I was fascinated because North Carolinian towns I had never heard of – Chapel Hill, Wilmington, Asheville – kept popping up on America’s ‘Best Towns Live In’ lists, and a booming area was being called the Research Triangle and referred to as the Silicon Valley of the south. I asked Grace what was so good about these places but she had barely heard of them either. So we took a flight to Raleigh, the main city in the Research Triangle, to find out what the fuss was about.

‘The first thing I noticed was the smell: mint-fresh forests of towering pine rolled to the Appalachian horizon...’

September 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 33

Opening page: Bald Head Island’s coastal community, North Carolina. This page; Sunroom in The Carolina Inn. Opposite: Exterior of same hotel.

The first thing I noticed was the smell: mint-fresh forests of towering pine rolled to the Appalachian horizon; the air seemed scented with azaleas. And that was just the airport. We cruised into Chapel Hill on a six-lane highway smooth as an autobahn. There was no mistaking it: North Carolina, or this part of it, was both fragrant and rich. It wasn’t always thus. A famous pre-Civil War expression described North Carolina as ‘a vale of humility between two mountains of conceit’. The phrase referred to the state being a very poor rural farming district sandwiched between the great plantation aristocracies of South Carolina and, to the north, the wealth and fine breeding of Virginia. But these days North Carolina is having the last laugh. In the Fifties, local business and political leaders set about transforming the region, around Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, into a hi-tech centre for research and technology. By the Seventies, IBM and other corporations were opening offices and – boom – the Research Triangle was born. Today there are said to be more people with PhDs in the ‘Triangle’ than anywhere else in America, and local universities Duke, UNC and UNC Chapel Hill are among the best in the country. It helps explain those ‘best towns to live in’ lists. We got our bearings at Chapel Hill’s Carolina Inn, billed as the classiest historic hotel in North Carolina. Built in 1924 on the edge of the prestigious UNC Chapel Hill campus, it was like stepping onto the set of ‘Gone With the Wind’: a colonial façade of towering pillars fronted an immaculate lawn; tapestries and mirrored walls lined its halls. They may barely do Afternoon Tea anymore, but they did here, and at 4pm we made our way down to a chandeliered, rose-strewn lobby, where a pianist tinkled jazz tunes and perfumed matriarchs held court over Devonshire Cream scones and cups of Jasmine Oolong served in heirloom china. There were four wedding parties staying at the hotel, and southern belles and their boys waltzed past with champagne flutes in hand. I could have people-watched for hours – had a banjo not started up. Grace gave me a knowing look and rolled her eyes. But when we followed the music outside we came across an extraordinary sight:


Kanoo World Traveller September 2011

there, sipping mint juleps and dancing to a bluegrass quartet on the lawn, was what appeared to be the entire population of Chapel Hill, out for the hotel’s regular ‘Fridays on the Front Porch’ summer music session. There must have been 100 people dancing, including grandparents, infants and hip college students. Our daughter Madeline was soon making friends by the bandstand, and Grace and I marvelled at the easy community of it all. “Hmm… don’t get this at home,” she purred. Raleigh and Durham (the latter famous for its soaring neo-Gothic Duke Chapel, built in 1935 on the grounds of the local university) are the largest cities of the Triangle, but part of the appeal of the area is that it’s easy to live in a small village or on a farm, and still commute between any of the three towns in half an hour. We decided to stay rural, and I fell hard for Hillsborough, 15 minutes west of Chapel Hill, a genteel magnolia-splashed hamlet with a historic district comprised of the most beautiful whitewashed Antebellum homes outside New Orleans. One deep-porch mansion was going for $450,000. “That’s a studio in Brooklyn!” Grace spluttered. In a sidewalk café on the main street we overheard a group of locals discussing the latest Jonathan Lethem book, Lethem being a neighbour of ours in Brooklyn. Hillsborough, it turned out, was something of a literary bolt-hole, and is home to some of North Carolina’s most famous authors, among them Allan Gurganus, whose ‘Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All’ I had just finished reading. I wondered if he was in the café Grace’s other big fear about moving south was an assumed lack of good food. But the Triangle has become a renowned gastronomic centre in recent years, and a thriving farm-totable movement has sprung up, a wave of dynamic chefs taking advantage of the bountiful produce grown on the farms of the surrounding Piedmont area. I had the best Eggs Benedict of my life at Amy Tornquist’s Watts Grocery in Durham (it came with Andouille sausage and crayfish tail hollandaise), and later we tucked into succulent yang chow with teaand-spice-smoked chicken, at celebrated Asian restaurant Lantern in downtown Chapel Hill. Chef-owner Andrea Reusing had opened

oh carolina | USa

September 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 35

This page clockwise from top: North Carolina Beach; Horse and carriage in Wilmington; USA flag hung outside classic Carolina property. Opposite: Cape Fear boat.


Kanoo World Traveller September 2011

Images: Photolibrary, The Carolina Inn, Corbis Text: Douglas Rogers / The Sunday Telegraph / The Interview People

oh carolina | USa

the restaurant after moving from New York and discovering, to her horror, there was no Asian food in town. A few years later Gourmet magazine was rating hers one of the top 50 restaurants in America. Best of all, though, was Herons, the flagship restaurant of a chic new hotel and spa resort, The Umstead, set in several acres of pine forest near the town of Cary. I’m not sure where chef Scott Crawford trained, but if a restaurant in Brooklyn does not start serving roasted quails and pheasants in burned honey sauce soon, I may have to move south just for this wonderful dish. On day four we checked out of the Carolina Inn and into the Inn at Celebrity Dairy, a rustic, working goat farm outside a village called Pittsboro, 30 minutes west of Durham. The dairy makes a delectably creamy chèvre that it sells to farmers’ markets and restaurants throughout the Triangle. Best of all though, you get to stay on the farm. Madeline took a shine to the goats at milking hour, and in the evenings Grace and I sipped drinks on rocking chairs on the porch, ate that chèvre, and watched fireflies light up the fields in front of the early 19thcentury farmhouse. It had six rooms but we were the only guests, and if it wasn’t for the ear-shattering squawk of the farm’s pet peacock at night, we might never have left. The Triangle’s other lure is the proximity of the Appalachian resort town of Asheville - the Aspen of the south - which is only three hours’ drive west, and the Atlantic Ocean, three hours the other way. We wanted time at the beach, and going on the principle that we were more likely to move to a town where there was work, drove south to historic Wilmington, the largest coastal city in North Carolina, on the Cape Fear coast. Thanks to Robert Mitchum even I had heard of Cape Fear, but I knew nothing about Wilmington, so it came as something of a surprise to discover that it’s home to the largest movie studio in America outside Los Angeles (Screen Gems Studios) and known locally as ‘East Hollywood’. Dozens of feature films are shot here, as is the television series One Tree Hill. Katie Holmes lived in town when it was the location for Dawson’s Creek. Given the name Cape Fear, I’d half expected a rugged, rockstrewn port with a population of delinquent jailbreakers. Instead, the 300-block historic district was like a live-in Victorian museum. Horse-drawn carriages trotted tourists past spectacular 18th-century colonial mansions; vintage river boats cruised the Cape Fear; locals in top hats touted ghost tours down oak-lined streets. Wilmington had for me the air of a well-behaved New Orleans Garden District. It was stylish, too. In a formerly rundown area of river dock warehouses, local resident Linda Lavin, star of the Seventies series Alice, and her musician-actor husband, Steve Bakunas, had established a cutting-edge theatre group, Red Barn Studio. Since we had already stayed in a colonial hotel and on a farm, and spent a lot of time marvelling at Antebellum architecture, we decided to go fashionable here, and checked into the Shell Island Resort on Wrightsville Beach, 10 minutes from downtown. This only made us more confused. We woke every morning at the hotel to a glorious view from our balcony of white sand, turquoise water and dolphins surfing the waves. “I don’t know,” Grace said. “Maybe we need to look for a beachfront house, somewhere.” Our search for a new home continues.

‘Horse-drawn carriages trotted tourists past spectacular 18thcentury colonial mansions; vintage river boats cruised the Cape Fear’

September 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 37

Pullman Dubai Mall of the Emirates Summer Special at a Shopping Hotel

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CorsiCan odyssey nigel Farrell explores Corsica’s western coast, delighting in its isolated hilltop villages, stunning seaside towns and delicious local produce

September 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 39


Kanoo World Traveller September 2011



he beaches were still empty, still unspoilt. Nearly 40 years ago, I was working as a deckhand on a sailing ketch owned by an Italian ice-cream millionaire. We were cruising the Mediterranean, and the first stop after leaving Italy was a place that left an indelible memory in my impressionable teenage mind – the breathtaking Golfe de PortoVecchio on the south-east coast of Corsica. We swept in under full sail, past the lighthouse on the Pointe de la Chiappa and into the glorious bay, swathes of undulating forest running right down to the bleached white beaches like great green eiderdowns, and, behind, the first of a small army of mountains which dominate so much of the interior of this verdant, olivine island. The sheltered, sandy coves, guarded by stubby ranks of palm trees; the multicoloured verandas of the little luxury hotels overlooking the marina; the ancient walls of the tiny Genovese town clinging to the cliffs high above the harbour; I fell in love with the place and vowed – one day – to return. Now, for the first time since the early Seventies, I was back in Corsica, flying into Calvi airport in the north, and aiming to spend a week on a leisurely drive down the famed west coast, with the lovely Porto-Vecchio, along with those treasured memories, as our final destination. My first surprise was how little the island has changed. Our journey up to our first stop at the little hilltop village of Feliceto was a delight: poppies and vivid violet borage line the road, alongside great orange and green nets spread beneath the olive trees, ready for an early Corsican harvest, and rows of miniature pillared villas that turn out to be old family mausoleums, a clue to the wealth this northern part of the island must have once enjoyed. Our hotel was like stepping into a 19th-century town house; there’s a chapel on the ground floor, and a sitting-room on the first filled with the Ranucci family’s paintings and furnishings. The current Monsieur Ranucci can be found pottering around the garden in the early morning, watering the plants while his daughter Mireille works on the reception desk. Forty-five minutes’ drive down to the coast led us to Ile Rousse, with its huge, perfectly dimensioned main square, dominated by the

‘We swept in full sail... and into the glorious bay, swathes of undulating forest running right down to the bleached white beaches’

Opening page: Bonifacio. This page: Palombaggia Beach .

September 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 41


magnificent Marché Couvert, built in 1844 to resemble a vast open Greek temple, where a morning market is still held (there aren’t many daily markets in Corsica, and this is the best). In the square is a bust in honour of ‘P de Paoli, Liberatoire… La Patricia Riconoscente’ – the famous Pasquale Paoli, who created a free republic of Corsica before the French invaded in 1768. The name Paoli lives on – it appeared in one form or another virtually everywhere we went in Corsica. Heading south, we found ourselves on one of the most lovely and exciting roads I’ve ever driven, twisting and turning endlessly through the mountainous coast road towards Porto. Most Corsican roads have recently been lavished with EU grants and beautifully upgraded, although you need to allow at least twice the time you’d expect to get anywhere. We stopped at the Col de la Croix overlooking the exquisite Golfe de Girolata. Way below, we could see the tiny, isolated village of Girolata itself, which is only really accessible by boat. The inhabitants make twice-weekly excursions by ferry to Porto for supplies. You can walk down a track named after Guy Le Facteur, who is said to make the journey each day on mule to deliver the post, but it takes two hours down, and considerably longer coming back up. Farther south still, we stopped at a wonderful little hotel on the seafront of the sprawling capital, Ajaccio. The approaches to the town are lined with superstores but the centre was a delightful

September 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 43

Previous page clockwise from top left: Classic colourful architecture; Lagoon along the west coast of Corsica; Whole fried mustelle. This page: Speloncato.


Kanoo World Traveller September 2011

‘We found ourselves on one of the most lovely and exciting roads I’ve ever driven, twisting... through the mountainous coast road’

Images: Corbis Images; Shutterstock Images. Text: Nigel Farrell / The Sunday Telegraph / The Interview People

surprise, resembling a slightly faded, pre-war Côte d’Azur, and here we found our two best meals. At a cool little restaurant behind the port where the cruiseliners line up in serried ranks, we enjoyed delicious one-year-old veal (quite pink and robust), along with a light, locally caught fished called a mustelle. The chef was an Englishman, Simon Andrews, who came here “for the diving” eight years ago and never went home. Then, just by Napoleon’s birthplace, on the Rue Saint-Charles, we found a fabulous pizza joint that had the feel of a private party. After a bracing trip out to sea on the most southerly tip of the island to photograph the extraordinary village of Bonifacio, perched like an eagle’s nest atop the sheer limestone clifftops (they filmed some of The Guns of Navarone here), at last we reached Porto-Vecchio. It’s a deep natural harbour that lies beneath what once must have been an exquisite little 15th-century hilltop town. Now it’s in danger of being ruined by just too many souvenir shops and overpriced restaurants being squeezed into its tiny, cramped streets. For most of its history, the place was well off the beaten track, only thriving after the allied military forces cleared local mosquito-ridden swamps of the curse of malaria at the end of the Second World War. Corsica was the first department of France to be liberated, and a street here is named after that famous date, September 9, 1943. We escaped to one of those little luxury hotels down by the water that I’d ogled from the deck of my yacht all those years ago, and then spent an idyllic afternoon on the virtually empty beaches of Cala Rossa and Bennedettu I’d spotted around the bay – still empty, still lovely, still utterly unspoilt. This was no anticlimax; it was a real joy to be back. Sitting on the sand, sipping a chilled drink, only one disturbing thought clouded my endless blue horizon, the kind of thought that creeps up on you unexpectedly during what you had thought in every other way to be a great, relaxing holiday: just where did those 40 years go?


September 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 45

Experience Magic Malaysia Often known as the melting pot of Southeast Asia, Malaysia blends the flavous of the Orient, India and Europe. Its capital, Kuala Lumpur, is a polished city, energetic, vibrant and always in motion. The Package Travel from the skyscrapers of Kuala Lumpur to the Hindu temples, bazaars in Chinatown and finish off with a traditional Malay buffet dinner and cultural show. Then visit the countryside for further examples of the country’s diversity and history. COST: $1,520 Includes • 3 nights hotel accommodation in a choice of hotels • Return private transfers from/to the Airport • 2 sightseeing tours • Accommodation & airfare

ITInerary TRAnsfeR fRom AiRpoRT To AccommodATion Day 1

oveRnighT AT hoTel mAlAysiAn culTuRAl nighT

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TRAnsfeR fRom AccommodATion To AiRpoRT

The rate at the time of reservation and confirmation will prevail. Kanoo Holidays terms and conditions apply to all bookings. 12

Kanoo World Traveller May 2011

the call of the north | harrogate

The Call of the North

How died-in-the-wool southerner Rob Orchard fell in love with Yorkshire on a flying trip to Harrogate‌

September 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 47

Opening page: Railway Viaduct over the river Nidd. This page: Stone barns in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Opposite page: Restaurant, bedroom and food at Hotel Du Vin.


There’s something strangely exotic about Yorkshire. This bluff, no-nonsense swathe of northern England pitches itself as being ‘God’s own county’ and is fiercely individualistic. It has its own emblem (the white rose of York) and its own dialect as well as ‘Yorkshire day’, celebrated on August 1 each year, which is dedicated to revelling in its native culture. There has even been a minor Yorkshire Independence movement, which has – admittedly to little effect – pushed for Yorkshire to cede from the rest of the UK and become its own country. It’s a place where tradition, culture and local pride are still exceptionally strong. Visitors to the UK looking for that classic British experience – the cute little stone-building villages where cricketers dressed in whites play on the green before decamping to the local for fish and chips – are more likely to find their fix in Yorkshire than in the Cotswolds these days. As a card-carrying Southerner, Yorkshire has always held a fascination for me. And so it was that on a whim one aimless weekend I found myself venturing up for a

Kanoo World Traveller September 2011

flying visit to investigate the joys of Harrogate, the jewel in Yorkshire’s crown. Harrogate is a Georgian-era spa town, built in the days when the North was the workshop of the world, when architects thought big and builders built to last. It’s one of the rare British cities – along with Oxford, Cambridge and Bath – that is still all of a piece, meaning that if you squint to avoid the modern shopfronts along the way you can easily imagine yourself back in the 18th century. The city is wrapped about by ‘The Stray’, a 200 acresized belt of greenery that not only acts as its lungs, but also – due to its protected status – acts as a brake on expansion. Harrogate is thus preserved, a picture-perfect spot kept green and fresh by the regular rain showers which are its most frequent visitors. After a four hour journey from London, I was happy to check in at the Hotel du Vin Harrogate, which is located in a series of gorgeous old buildings in the heart of the city. The room was exquisite – a great loft-sized space with views out over the city – and managed the tricky

the call of the north | harrogate

feat of combining modern luxury (vast walk-in twin waterfall showers, Nespresso machines, a marshmallow-soft bed) and minimalist chic. Downstairs, a sprawling lounge was filled with the great and the good, all merrily tucking in to gourmet coffees and nibbles, and spilling out on to the terrace whenever the weather lifted. Despite a strong temptation to settle in for elevenses or hit the lovely spa for a treatment (the ‘total holistic with hot stones’ package looked particularly appealing), I headed out to explore. After a turn around the city’s shopping parade, I hit the exotically-titled Montpellier Quarter, a small but appealing neighbourhood stuffed with antiques stores and bric-a-brac merchants. I picked up a couple of souvenir knickknacks and then made my way to the city’s star attraction – the Turkish baths at the Royal Bath Assembly Rooms. As well as industry, the main driver of Harrogate’s prosperity was its waters, a series of 90 springs which bubbled with a mix of sulphur, iron and salt and were seen as the perfect health treatment for sickly Georgians. Cures came courtesy of both drinking and bathing in the waters. These days the decoration at the Turkish Baths is extraordinary – soaring archways decorated with intricate mosaics, high ceilings hung with beautiful, delicate lanterns – and would not feel out of place in Istanbul. As I wandered from room to room, alternately dipping into cold water, warming up in the steam room and being vigorously pummeled on a massage table, I felt my cares falling away from me. The baths are not the only big attraction in Harrogate. The other one is Betty’s, an old-fashioned tea room which is held in such high regard that despite covering two large floors it constantly has a large queue of customers waiting outside – come rain or shine – for a table. I joined them and waited my turn, curious about whether Betty’s treats could be worth this wait. They were. Betty’s is worth a visit for the atmosphere alone – it’s filled with a boisterous mix of locals and tourists, waited on by matronly serving staff dressed in 19th-century outfits complete with aprons (it’s only recently that they stopped wearing little maids’ caps as part of their ensemble). The place was founded by a Swiss gentleman, and you can still enjoy some of his native delicacies, including a rather brilliant rosti. But the main attraction here is the tea packages: I plumped for one of these and spent the next two hours working my way through a multi-layered selection of delicious sandwiches, cakes, scones with fresh cream and jam, and – of course – a big pot of Yorkshire Tea. After polishing off my tea, I took a saunter across The Stray, which is filled with immaculately-tended

‘Harrogate is a place where tradition, culture and local pride are still exceptionally strong’

September 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 49

This page from left: Bettys; The Mercer Gallery.

Images: Corbis, Shutterstock, Hotel Du Vin, Bettys, The Mercer Gallery

‘People seem far readier to stop, chat and joke than their stressed-out counterparts in London...’

flowerbeds and, when I visited, a fantastic fun fair, which combined petrifying-looking modern rides (a word to the wise – do not attempt these post-Betty’s) with Victorian fare like coconut shys and merrygo-rounds. Then it was time for a spot of culture – I swang by the Mercer Art Gallery, a well-curated attraction filled with 19th and 20th century art. The Mercer offers a crash course in the area’s culture and history: I spent a happy couple of hours sauntering round, engrossed in portraits of proud Victorian merchants and bucolic landscapes. After a full day delving into the delights of Harrogate, I returned to my hotel and popped to its gorgeous Bistro du Vin for dinner. This place is a real treat, combining a relaxed bistro feel (low lighting, friendly service, Parisian décor) with first class food. I started with an out-of-this-world scallop ceviche, finished off with a twist of lemon, before moving on to a superb steak, served sizzling on a board and accompanied by a punchy béarnaise sauce, crunchy fries and indulgent onion rings. The room buzzed with life: although it’s only been in operation for a few years, it has become the main place for


Kanoo World Traveller September 2011

well-to-do locals to meet over a meal, knocking many of the older, stuffier hotels off their perches. The service is friendly and informal – the same as I found it to be throughout the town. People seem far readier to stop, chat and joke than their stressed-out counterparts in London – the famed Yorkshire warmth is pleasingly real. Visitors to Harrogate often use the place as a base for exploring some of the region’s other attractions. The quaint, picture-perfect nearby town of Knaresborough is only a short trip by train, and the rolling valleys and walking trails of the massive, pea-green Yorkshire Dales are just a 20 minute car ride away. Sadly I didn’t have time for much more than a short visit to the lovely Ripley Castle and its beautiful gardens, followed by a quick trip to a local farm shop (the excellent ‘Fodder’, which sells gourmet products from across the county: their jams and chutneys are enough to make gourmets weak at the knees) before it was time to hit the long road down south. I wasn’t worried though – I knew I’d be back soon. Yorkshire had got under my skin.

Clover Stroud revels in the colour, energy and optimism of modern Cambodia, but also discovers a country where few people remain unaffected by its recent history


Kanoo World Traveller September 2011

back to the future | cambodia


hildren are playing basketball in the water. In a caged court on a lake, they dance with the ball, slamming it into the wire walls encasing them. A boat bobs alongside, its driver shouting to the children. They thrust hands out for cartons of mango juice which he exchanges for sweaty coins. I’ve never seen a basketball court on water, but this is Cambodia and it’s one of many things in the country that opens my eyes. The court is on Lake Tonle Sap, south of Siem Reap, home to catfish, freshwater dolphins, lots of crocodiles and towns of stateless Vietnamese, who arrived in 1979 with the soldiers. Today 1.4 million live in floating villages, another four million on the banks. The villages, like much in Cambodia, are testimony to the ingenuity of people fighting for survival. Houses built on bamboo stilts skim the water, faded tarpaulins cover verandas slung with hyacinth-rope hammocks. Women tend steaming pots, lids rattling, over stoves. Children, who can swim before they walk, leave for school in punts. The men fish, or squat, smoking, watching for a water rat to kill with a slingshot. A thick, inescapable smell of concentrated fish laces the air, the main ingredient of teuk trei, or fish sauce, which I’ll take home but fail to reproduce the scented, tangy flavours of sumlar ngam ngouw (chicken soup) and other dishes I’d eaten at the Abacus Restaurant on Pum Khun Street in Siem Reap. Girls with hair the colour of plums wave at me, even though they know I won’t buy their bags of charcoal. Still, they pull their boat towards mine, handing me slices of mango, but disappearing, beyond reach, as I try to pass them some money. The people are poor, certainly, but there’s a vibrancy to what appears to be a thriving community. The floating villages embody the opposites and incongruity of Cambodia. It’s a place of fragrance and beauty, of colourful temples and magical music; a place where I experienced only generosity and kindness from everyone I met. But there’s

September 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 53

Previous page: Local fisherman. This page from top: Cambodian monks; Floral wreaths. Opposite page, clockwise from left: Cambodian apsara dancer; Temple of Bayon; The Royal Palace, Phnom Penh.

As a visitor, knowing how to deal with Cambodia’s past is difficult. I wasn’t sure whether to visit Choeung Ek, the killing fields museum, or Tuol Sleng S-21, where thousands were tortured. But so many conversations I had with guides, porters and waitresses referred to the past that I realised it was something one had to acknowledge and try to understand. On a baking afternoon I went to the killing fields and the school, and the piles of skulls, buried bones and hundreds of photographs of people on their way to death were as dreadful and harrowing as you’d expect. Afterwards, I realised these were necessary visits: in this beautiful and confusing country, no one remains unaffected by the past. But there’s an optimism too, in the sense of a country getting to grips with becoming the place it knew it could be. Phnom Penh and Siem Reap are very different, but both embody this spirit. The capital is a tangle of broad avenues and teeming markets, where the memory of the country’s past as a French colony is evident in the numerous grand colonial buildings, peering incongruously from behind lines of motorbikes, many piled with entire families, or tuk-tuks racing down the street like children’s toys. By evening the Mekong dominates the city, as boats lit by lanterns bob past cafés spilling across the banks, places where families gather, teenagers on bikes sell baguettes and an older generation play chess, their grandchildren playing excitedly around their feet. In the tropical gardens of the Royal Palace, beneath the glimmering towers of the Silver Pagoda, is a gold statue studded with diamonds. It’s jaw-dropping, but I preferred the sense of the messy, living spirit of the city at the hilltop temples of Wat Phnom, where Cambodians come to pray for luck in everything from love and life to job interviews and exams. Offerings of grilled meat and eggs surrounded by grubby stacks of money pile the altars. Outside, girls sell cages of birds, which are released for good luck and fly over the city that roars beneath the hill, even after the sun has gone down. Siem Reap is more sedate, around 190 miles to the


Kanoo World Traveller September 2011

back to the future | cambodia

‘Cambodia is a place of fragrance and beauty, of colour and magical music...’

September 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 55


Kanoo World Traveller September 2011

back to the future | cambodia

Opposite page: Angkor Wat. This page: Floating food markets.

sive jungle all around. I was lucky too, as I was staying at a safari-style camp. Arriving by night, after a long journey down potted roads, I fell asleep to the chirp of the jungle and woke to the screech of swallows outside my tent. As the light thickened, I could make out a massive step pyramid through the trees, reminding me of Mayan temples I’d seen in Mexico. There were no other visitors, just monkeys and red kite to accompany me as I scrambled around the ruins. I hadn’t expected a safari camp near Siem Reap, but this is Cambodia, where children play basketball on water, and where almost everything surprises.

Images: Corbis, Shutterstock Text: Clover Stroud / The Sunday Telegraph / The Interview People

‘By evening the Mekong dominates the city, as boats lit by lanterns bob past cafés spilling across the banks…’

north-west, a necessary stop en route to Angkor Wat. Laid out on a grid, it feels like a provincial town, but with a proliferation of new restaurants. Of course you should go to Angkor Wat, because nothing about it, rising from the jungle, disappoints, except, perhaps, for the number of visitors. The scale is staggering, and there’s a palpable sense of excitement in watching the sun break over the buildings. Stranger, and less visited, are the buildings of Beng Mealea, about 35 miles east of the city. These are surrounded by a huge moat, the jungle twisting through the remaining stones, so that you clamber along wooden walkways, with a sense of the strange, mas-

September 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 57

Party Island Nigel Tisdall explores Puerto


Rico, where making merry is a pre requisite

his is the Caribbean, but not as we know it. Yes, the thermometer is signalling a conventionally balmy 26C, and the palm trees swaying above the bright white beaches look as glossy as ever. But listen… instead of the lilting rhythms of reggae, brassy bursts of salsa are erupting from the passing cars. What would elsewhere be parish churches and cricket pitches are now shopping malls and baseball fields, and the customary drive from airport to hotel – so often a welcoming cavalcade of shacks and thimble–like sugar mills – has turned into a traffic– clogged six–lane expressway bordered with Wendy’s and Walgreens. Welcome, folks, to Puerto Rico – a lively, mountainous, heavily developed, Spanish-speaking island moored between the Dominican Republic and the US Virgin Islands. Only 110 miles by 35, it is definitely part of the Caribbean – yet also arguably the 51st state of the US. Here the dollar is king, children ride to school in yellow buses, and North Americans don’t need a passport to jet in for a break where fine–sand beaches, top–class golf, great coffee and resort hotels glittering with casinos are par for the course. Officially, Puerto Rico is an autonomous commonwealth that belongs to the US. Confusingly, its national flag is the reverse of Cuba’s – one reason to visit is to see how that long–standing thorn in Uncle Sam’s butt might

Party Island | Puerto rIco

September 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 59

‘It has a big surfing scene, and offers an exhilarating scenic mixture of small beaches, rolling green coffee country and steep, forested mountains...’


Kanoo World Traveller September 2011

Party Island | Puerto rIco

September 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 61

‘Thanks to the presence of millions of light–emitting dinoflagellates in the warm water, every time you move your body it glitters with gold…’

Opening page, clockwise from top left: Puerto Rican musicians; classic palm trees; Bannnas; Local woman; W Retreat & Spa’s beach seats; Traditional coloured houses. Previous pages: Puerto Rican bay . This page and opposite: W Retreat & Spa.


Kanoo World Traveller September 2011

have developed if Castro hadn’t come along. Another is to join a cruise ship, and a third is to fly on to nearby favourites such as the British Virgin Islands and Anguilla. I would recommend the island to families who like Florida but fancy somewhere new – you get the same heat, the big–is–beautiful American lifestyle, but also with an invigorating splash of Hispanic culture. It also has a big surfing scene, and offers an exhilarating scenic mixture of small beaches, rolling green coffee country and steep, forested mountains rising to more than 4,000ft that makes it attractive for independent touring. Where to start? San Juan is the gateway, an intense urban whirlpool in the north–east founded by the Spanish in 1521. Their legacy is best admired in Old San Juan, a World Heritage Site dominated by colossal forts and graceful cobbled streets lined with colourfully painted colonial buildings. Safe and strollable, it’s a bit like Seville run by Ben & Jerry’s – all very charming but heavily geared to the cruise–ship market. In high season there can be as many as seven ships in port, and if you stay here – or in the adjacent seaside resorts of Condado, Ocean Park and Isla Verde – you will be immersed in an all–American holiday world of malls, casinos, jet–skis and television in your bathroom. The Rum Diary, a novel set on the island in 1958 and written by the maverick journalist Hunter S Thompson (it’s also been made into a film starring Johnny Depp and which is due for release this autumn), presents an engaging picture of Puerto Rico on the cusp of tourism. Its narrator sums up San Juan as one–part Tampa, one–part medieval asylum, and in an enjoyably cynical chapter he flies over to the small, eastern island of Vieques with a rapacious developer who plans to build a hotel in “the only place I’d seen in 10 years where I’d felt a sense of peace”. Fringed with 40 beaches, much of Vieques was occupied by the US Navy until 2003, but it is now one

Images: Corbis, W Retreat & Spa Text: Clover Stroud / The Sunday Telegraph / The Interview People

Party Island | Puerto rIco

of the chief reasons for visiting Puerto Rico. Not just for its relaxed atmosphere, but for the chance to swim at night in its thoroughly amazing “bio bay” near Esperanza. Here, thanks to the presence of millions of light– emitting dinoflagellates in the warm water, every time you move your body it glitters with gold like some radiant ghost. Vieques is now home to a super–hip W Hotel with joyous interiors by a Spanish designer, Patricia Urquiola. It goes down well with perky New Yorkers, and is great fun providing you can cope with the incessant music, which even plays underwater in the pool. If you prefer to holiday among Puerto Ricans, head west or south from San Juan – and watch the prices drop. Suddenly everyone’s speaking Spanish, going to cockfights, and strutting around as only a nation famous for producing boxers and beauty queens can.

Puerto Rico’s landscape is so varied it’s as if someone put the Canary Islands in a blender. You can drive the winding mountain roads of the Ruta Panorámica that threads through the Cordillera Central, grab a surfing lesson on the laid–back beaches around Rincón, go birdwatching on the salt flats of Cabo Rojo, or explore the karst country around Arecibo, home to the world’s largest single–dish radio telescope. Save time, though, for Ponce. The island’s second city flourished in the 19th–century sugar boom and has the fancy architecture to prove it. Its neat grid of streets presents a colourful parade of colonial, Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles that I loved. And there’s a bonus. Reopened last November, the Museo de Arte de Ponce houses a thrilling and unexpected collection that includes major Pre– Raphaelite works by artists such as Frederic Leighton and Edward Burne–Jones.

The weekend I visited Ponce there was a fiesta on, which is no surprise given that Puerto Ricans enjoy 22 public holidays a year, along with numerous local festivals and the longest Christmas celebrations in the world. Food and crafts stalls were set out beneath the venerable trees of Plaza las Delicias, while up on stage members of the local police band were belting out salsa favourites wearing smart blue uniforms complete with gold–rimmed Ray–Bans and a pistol strapped to their slinky hips. “Puerto Ricans do three things”, a reveller explained. “We look after our families. We work. And we party!” That’s true. That night I found myself enjoying the salsa romantica of Orquesta Zodiac, who hail from Loíza, east of San Juan. The barman reached under the counter to find some maracas, and a cowbell to mark the beat. Beneath the star–spangled skirt of the US, Puerto Rico is alive and dancing.

September 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 63

KENYA - Experience the magic of the wild Duration: 5 Days / 4 Nights Cost: USD 1144 (Price Per Person Based on Twin Sharing Basis) Validity: Till October 31, 2011 Day 01 (TUE) • Arrival transfer ex Jomo Kenyatta International airport • Optional day tours • Meals on own arrangements • Overnight stay at Jacaranda Hotel BB Day 02 (WED) • Breakfast • Depart for Lake Nakuru Lodge • Lunch Lake Nakuru Lodge • Pm game drive • Dinner and overnight stay at Lake Naivasha Simba Lodge

Day 03 (THU) • Breakfast • Depart for Masai Mara Game Reserve • Lunch at Mara Simba Lodge • PM game drive • Dinner and overnight stay at Mara Simba Lodge Day 04 (FRI) • Optional balloon safari • Morning and afternoon game drives • All meals and overnight stay at Mara Simba Lodge Day 05 (SAT) • Breakfast • Depart for Nairobi • Departure transfer to Jomo Kenyatta International airport

Cost includes: Return airport transfers, 1 night’s accommodation at Jacaranda Hotel, a 3 star property in Nairobi on a bed and breakfast basis, 3 nights on safari on a full board basis, including all park entrance fees and game drives and transportation in a 7-seat, stretch-version, specially converted 4x4 Toyota Landcruiser (guaranteed window seats) with the services of an Englishspeaking driver guide. Not included: Any airfare. Items of a personal nature such as beverages and mineral water, porterage, tipping to drivers and hotel staff, laundry and optional excursions etc. All prices are subject to change. Kanoo Holidays terms and conditions apply to all bookings.


Kanoo World Traveller May 2011

concierge Kenya | germany | switzerland | France

The 30-second concierge

olivia meggy, solio lodge, Kenya What can we expect to find on arrival at Solio? You’ll discover the Lodge nestled in a valley between the dramatic slopes of Mount Kenya and the rolling peaks of the Aberdare Mountains. It’s one of Kenya’s most exclusive properties and is perched on the Solio Reserve (part of a private ranch) and home to a wealth of wildlife – so you can expect to see all manner of creatures including both black and white rhino. Which room do former guests love the most? There are just six luxurious cottages (each with space for up to 12 guests) and each one is uniquely themed, including a zebra print room, banana leaf room, Birds of Paradise room and – for those with families in tow – the Maasai Family Suite. As a result, every guest has a personal favourite. I want to venture outside the lodge – where can I go on a day trip? Let a helicopter pick you up bright and early at the Lodge and whisk you to

Mount Kenya in just 15 minutes – a sight best beheld at day break. At 17,058 feet (5,200 metres tall) it’s Africa’s second tallest mountain and its amazing glacier-capped peaks place you just 10miles south of the Equator (and make for great photos). The chopper will land at the side of a spectacular lake (one of many that cover the upper slopes) where you can touch down to a delicious picnic breakfast and spend a few hours fly-fishing for rainbow trout from the lakeshore. Truly picturesque. How can I spend my evenings at the Lodge? If you’ve already tried a safari by day, night game drives give you a rare and wonderful opportunity to see nocturnal wildlife on the Solio Game Reserve. Hop in to an open-topped vehicle with a knowledgeable guide at the wheel and a tracker will use a powerful spotlight to seek out the creatures. Expect to see aardvarks, bat-eared fox, bushbabies, genet cats and even roaming lions, cheetah, rhinos and zebra. Spectacular.

September 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 65



Laura Binder swaps shoes for skis and finds out what the snow-dipped surrounds of Switzerland’s most coveted mountain resort has to offer… MUST-DOS If you need to brush up on your snow skills, make for The Alpin Center (1) the area’s ski school and mountain guides office. Here you can sign up for anything from guided climbs to major expeditions (Breithorn and Riffelhorn) and, for the real pros who are game for acclimatising, the mighty Matterhorn. But if it’s ice that floats your boat try a glacier hike or ice climbing.


here’s something magical about Zermatt. For starters, the alpine air is palpably fresh thanks to a traffic free policy which sees visitors abandoning their cars and continue on sturdy boot-clad foot, or hop aboard a fairytale-like horse and carriage. But what is most spellbinding is its mighty peaks which pierce the bright blue skyline for all to see; and none more so than the famous Matterhorn, a notoriously tricky peak that towers 4,478 metres above the town with majestic might. While it’s kryptonite for skiers and mountaineers alike, a tragedy placed this alpine wonder on the map after Edward Whymper first scaled it in 1865, only for four members of his team to plummet to their deaths. Today, though, there is plenty of milder slopes to master, along with myriad activities: flock here (as the jet set do) and feast upon swiss fare in charming eateries, peruse quaint boutiques, rest-up in chic hotels and drink-in blankets of snow from the comfort of oh-so-cool lounges. Just don’t forget your thermals…


Kanoo World Traveller September 2011

There are few more sophisticated spots to drop in to for an après-ski break than Vernissage Lounge (2). The brainchild of local artist Heinz Julen, here you can drink-in more than just a beverage but exhibitions or Bond films in its decadent cinema. Alternatively, stick to the tipples and recline amid velvet drapes, chandeliers and candlelit booths. Little ones in tow? Make a beeline for Forest Fun Park (3) – a Tarzan-inspired adventure playground that’s home to swift zip lines that will send you off above the treetops. Bags of fun. For an inside look at mountaineering – from the lives the Matterhorn claimed to Raymond Lambert’s reindeerskin boots (a bespoke creation due to his amputated toe) – the Matterhorn Museum (4) is a must, not just for all of the above but for a look at its cool, stateof-the-art design. Even if you’re not skiing, a stay in Zermatt is incomplete without a look at the Matterhorn


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Images: The Omnia; Mont Cervin Palace

UP, UP AND AWAY: 50,000 skiers are said to clamber aboard the area’s cable cars by the hour during Zermatt’s ski peak – making it one of the most popular resorts on the planet. PEAK PRACTICE The Matterhorn’s name comes from the German words of Matte meaning ‘meadow’ and horn meaning ‘peak.’

Opposite page: The Omnia. This page, from top left: Zermatt cable car; Mont Cervin Palace’s outdoor pool; On the famous slopes.

(5). Its majestic peaks can be snapped from almost any spot in town but if you want a closer snapshot, board a ski lift to Klein Matterhorn’s summit – Europe’s highest lift at 12,533 feet – and you’ll be directly opposite the mighty mountain. Not for the fainthearted. Zermatt Village’s main street, Bahnhofstrasse (6) is a known go-to spot for the international jet set who flock to the region for its pristine slopes. Head here yourself and sample one of a stream of cafes and restaurants. Race headfirst down the icy Cresta Run (7) on a toboggan where winding gullies will zig-zag you all the way down to the village of Celerina. High speed descents make it a winter spectator sport for most, but if you’re feeling brave book a lesson and hit the ice… Glacier Palace (8) is quite simply the stuff fairytales are made of. Head below Klein Matterhorn to discover the fantasy-like land, constructed entirely from ice sculptures. Well worth a visit.


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ZERMATT 5 WHERE TO STAY Mont Cervin Palace (9) Bahnhofstrasse 31, CH 3920. If you can’t shake those winter wonderland fantasies, few hotels will fulfill your wishes than this. Constructed in 1852, it’s the oldest hotel in Zermatt which explains its classic Swiss features: shutter-clad windows, pointed rooftops and, inside, a chalet chic show of honey-hued wood and snuggle-me blankets. Reserve the royal suite and relieve worn-out limbs in the bathroom’s Jacuzzi. From $650. The Omnia (10) Auf dem Fels, CH-3920. For quaint yet seriously stylish digs seek out this mountain lodge where each room harbours cool design features, from egg-shaped log fire furnaces to wooden freestanding tubs. But The Cavern is its true showpiece, where you can sup beverages in a man-made cave decked out with floor-to-ceiling glass and surfaces coined from steel

and granite. Its infinity pool is equally showstopping, poised over the rolling landscape, it’s a stellar spot in which to inhale that crisp, alpine air… From $367

WHERE TO EAT Whymper Stube (11) Bahnhofstrasse 80, 3920 For casual yet filling après bites, try this authentic eatery, named after the man who accomplished the first Matterhorn ascent, Edward Whymper, it serves the tastiest fondue in town with twists on classic dishes, like pears and gorgonzola. And with all those snow sports you can enjoy a calorific feast, sans guilt. From $20. Le Gourmet (12) Hotel Alpenhof, Matterstrasse 43 A trio of eateries battle it out for the ‘best in Zermatt’ title (Rôtisserie La Broche, Le Corbeau d’Or, Le Gourmet) but it’s the latter that scooped a Michelin star. Sit amid luxe furnishings (we love its open fire place) and tuck in to fivecourses of ‘Alpine/Med’ fare. Meals from $107.

September 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 67



With peak season lasting until early October Jade Bremner reckons now is the perfect time to visit this Bavarian wonderland... MUST-DOS Raining outside? Head for Münchner Stadtmuseum (1) and take in a historic or artful exhibition. Don’t leave without seeing sculptor Erasmus Grasser’s Morris Dancers, and be sure to take a look at the Puppentheater-Museum which is filled with hand puppets, shadow puppets, dolls, dragons and other mystical toys (one for the kids, too).


et against an idyllic backdrop of snow-capped mountains, more tourists visit this cultural hub than any other city in Germany. Make one hour north of the Bavarian Alps and its glistening alpine lakes to find this charming 800-year-old metropolis by the River Isar. Here, a medley of rich Gothic, renaissance, baroque and neo-classical architecture awaits, all of which have taken shape over the centuries, along with a wealth of artefacts peppered throughout the city’s prestigious museums and galleries. Once you’ve had your fill of local culture, go shopping in the outdoor markets where stalls parade classic produce like smoked Bavarian cheese, or make a beeline for the many flea markets where you can browse curious bric-a-brac while rubbing shoulders with Munich’s cool bohemian-types. Nights, meanwhile, are best spent at the street cafés where live music plays and fashionable types nibble on international bites. In a word, this place is positively ‘buzzing’. But don’t worry, you won’t be overwhelmed when faced with this relatively small city – just don’t miss out on the following while you’re there...


Kanoo World Traveller September 2011

Shop til you drop in Kaufingerstrasse and Neuhauserstrasse (2). Flanked by historic walls, these areas come alive with street performers and buskers when warm weather prevails. Scour not only high street names like Zara and Mango but arty boutiques before resting your feet in one of its plentiful cafés. Six million visitors descend on Munich in September and October for one thing; Oktoberfest (3), the world’s largest folk festival. To celebrate all things Barvarian, a street parade kicks off the event with people in national costume parading with marching bands, dancers animals. Expect live music, games and merriment to descend for a full four weeks. Meander past 140 stalls brimming with colourful fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, spices and other local treats in the Viktualienmarkt market (4). Over 22,000 square metres in size, it’s akin to a giant delicatessen and an über-trendy place in


SPRECHEN SIE DEUTSCHE? the city’s original name was ‘München’ while in Austro-Bavarian slang it’s dubbed ‘Minga’. CLOSING TIME: Museum hopping? Don’t be caught out; many museums close on Mondays but, unlike the rest of Europe, are open to visitors on sundays from 10am. which to grab a bite. The not so peckish, meanwhile, can visit the maypole in the market’s centre, where figurines depict the history of the area’s trade. Music-lovers should make for the Musikinstrumenten-Museum (5), home to over 2,000 instruments which date back to the 1500s. Saturday mornings are the best time to go, when museum guides play unusual pieces, like the ‘hammerflugel’. Der Englische Garten (6) is one of the largest parks in the Europe – and perhaps one of the most unusual. For while you can rent a paddle boat and meander groomed gardens, you can also partake in activities you wouldn’t expect from a park in landlocked southern Germany: visiting a Chinese tower, Japanese teahouse or go surfing (yes, really). Surfers flock here to ride the River Eisbach which has enough ebb and flow to create a continuous wave.

Images: Shutterstock; Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

WHERE TO STAY Mandarin Oriental (7) 1 Neuturmstrasse Each of this grand colonial building’s 73 rooms come decked out in opulent, neorenaissance style. Outside you’ll find a rooftop infinity pool complete with spectacular city vistas while, inside, it’s home to the Bavarian-themed (and Michelin-starred) Mark’s Restaurant – a must-try for foodies. From $606. The Charles Hotel (8) Sophienstrasse 28

Opposite page: Munich’s National Theatre. This page, from top: The Charles Hotel; Ocktoberfest. Situated in the centre of town, with glorious views over the Old Botanical Gardens, rooms here offer a contemporary classic style set within the grandest architecture. Guests can take a dip in its 15 metre swimming pool by day, while evenings are best spent dining at the hotel’s excellent Italian restaurant DAVVERO. If the weather permits, take a seat on the terrace and delve into a beautifully creamy lobster risotto. From $376.

WHERE TO EAT Tantris (9) 7 Johann-Fichte-Strasse This two Michelin-starred restaurant never fails to impress: its garden salon bestows an Art Deco window with verdant lawn views, while its main room boasts a modern, funky interior. Whichever area you choose to dine in, it makes a compelling spot in which to savour eight gourmet courses or an à la carte menu of Spanish-inspired dishes – we love the beef cheeks with leek purée. From $70. Zerwirk (10) 3 Ledererstrasse, This vegan-friendly restaurant sits in Munich’s second oldest building (built in 1264, it was once a butchers, then a falconry) and now boasts modern interiors with shiny green benches. Seasonal menus change daily, but you’ll see a regular crowd enjoying the best on offer. From $10.




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September 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 69

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concierge | book your trip

win A long weekend At the AUgUStIne, PRAgUe

Pay a visit to the atmospheric Czech capital and discover a mélange of Gothic, renaissance and neoclassical history, beautifully accompanied by winding rivers, glorious parks and endless shopping opportunities. Would-be visitors will find The Augustine hotel in the heart of the picturesque city, located just moments from Prague Castle and the illustrious Charles Bridge. Arrive to a picture of splendour with grand courtyards outside, antique furniture throughout, a standout spa (using the very best organic products) and not forgetting a trio of dining spots – don’t leave without savouring European fare beneath the Monastery Restaurant’s high-vaulted ceilings (its seasonal game is a must-try).

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ThE PrizE The Augustine is giving away a three-night stay in an executive room including breakfast. For your chance to win, email the correct answer to this question to easywin@ before September 30, 2011.

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September 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 71

concierge | france

Suite dreamS

If you want to sleep like a queen, there’s surely no better place to rest your head than in the shamelessly opulent surrounds of the Imperial Suite. The jewel in the Ritz Paris hotel’s crown, it’s accommodated many a royal before now. In fact, step inside its master boudoir (above) and you’ll grace a replica of Marie Antoinette’s Versaille bedroom. Gold leaf mouldings cling to floral-emblazoned walls, crystal chandeliers descend like fit-to-burst fruit from trees and fabrics (silks, velvets) long to be touched – and no more so than on its four-poster bed (cue more gold-gilded wood). But that’s far from all: tread the rest of the chic Parisian suite’s 2,000 square feet and find French furniture plucked straight from the Louis XIV era and two splendid tubs which harbour a contemporary touch – plasma TVs. We say, order room service and recline like any self-respecting aristiocrat (at a princely sum of $13,500 a night). Sweet dreams... 72

Kanoo World Traveller September 2011

Image: Ritz Paris.

the ritz, paris

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