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March 2014

Issue Seventy One


Produced in International Media Production Zone

Why spring is the perfect season of all to visit the City of Lights

Canada Mumbai Morocco New York

DO YOU TRAVEL TO SEE OR TO DISCOVER? Isn’t the real excitement of travel about discovering something new? At InterContinentalŽ we use our local knowledge of a destination so you can enjoy what makes it unique. In London, for example, our Concierges will help you explore the city’s lesser known historic markets such as Leadenhall; a beautifully covered Victorian arcade nestled amongst the city’s modern skyscrapers, offering some of WKHÀQHVWIRRGDQGERXWLTXHVWRUHVLQ/RQGRQ:KDWHYHU\RXFKRRVHWRGRZHFDQKHOS\RXGLVFRYHUWUXO\ authentic experiences that will stay with you long after you come home.

Do you live an InterContinental life?

For more information or to make a reservation, please call 800 897 1465 (KSA) or 800 4642 (UAE) or visit

*OPWFSMPDBUJPOTBDSPTTUIFHMPCFJODMVEJOH%6#"*t,6"-"-6.163t-0/%0/t4*/("103& Š 2014 IHG. All Rights Reserved. Most hotels are independently owned and operated.

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Editor’s Note

Issue Seventy One, March 2014 Whenever a new month arrives, the WT headquarters is buzzing with new ideas, new travel plans and new objectives. This issue we’ve tried to capture this flurry of activity in the hope of kickstarting your holiday blueprint for March. First up, Brooklyn-based photographer Guillaume Gaudet takes us on a pictorial tour of his home city, capturing iconic street scenes in the Big Apple. Springtime Europe always rings with activity, and 2014 cues a cultural explosion in Paris. From French pastries at pavement cafés to lazy strolls through blossom-filled parks, local guide Anna Brooke reveals why the city of lights zings in spring. Of course with a new season comes a new wardrobe. The team at WT have trawled the globe for the finest shopping streets to swipe your credit card. Wallets, ready, set, go. And finally, Adam Karlin heads to Luzon, the Philippines’ largest island, and discovers a land of riches. Feeling inspired? You should be.

Managing Director

Victoria Thatcher Editorial Director

John Thatcher Editor

Tracey Scott Deputy Editor

Richard Jenkins Features Editor

Lara Brunt Senior Designer

Adam Sneade Designer & Illustrator

Andy Knappett Production Manager

Chalitha Fernando To contact any of the above people, email

Jan-Jun 2013 | 22,920 | BPA Consumer Audit 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 World Traveller. Tel: 00971 4 364 2876 Fax: 00971 4 369 7494


Tracey Scott


Cover: Champ de Mars near the Eiffel Tower in Paris.


OUR MOST POPULAR DESTINATION. Do not disturb. Stretched out on a fully-flat bed. The sumptuous soft mattress and bedtime drink beginning to take effect. About to touch down on a cotton-wool cloud. From gentle ambient cabin lighting, to soothing pillow mist aromas, see how far we’re going to bring you some well-deserved sleep at Welcome to a more comfortable world.

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Supermodel turned Starwood Hotels & Resorts ambassador Helena Christensen puts in a shift as a travel photographer. Plus, Guillaume Gaudet’s snapshots of glorious New York show us how the real people live, and new hotels from Miami to Kyoto fuel our travelling dreams.

Fresh from the world’s fashion weeks, we bring you the world’s best shopping streets from Shanghai to Milan via Paris. On the other side of the world, iconic Canada puts forward its case for a visit, and Adam Karlin explores Luzon, the biggest island in the Philippines.

We dive into Mumbai’s bustling, madcap lifestyle for a taste of true Indian living, and explore Phnom Penh, the jewel in Cambodia’s crown. Elsewhere, we pick out six hotels which influenced literary history, and an idyllic villa in the Maldives rounds off this month’s Suite Dreams.

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Check In Photography: Helena Christensen

The Essentials

Seasoned traveller, model and photographer Helena Christensen has unveiled her first photo series for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. Following her recent appointment as the brand’s Global Traveller, a role that requires the Danish model to offer an artistic view of The Luxury Collection’s destinations through visual

collaborations such as photography, Christensen‘s debut photo collection, Visual Journey, Peru, documents her journey to the Sacred Valley, Paracas and the colonial city of Cusco. From local wildlife and Peruvian women to mountains at dusk and sand dunes at dawn, the stunning series went under the hammer at Gavel and Grand last month.


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Welcome to Miami COMO Hotels & Resorts is set to open its first urban hotel in the US this month. The 74-room Metropolitan by COMO, Miami Beach will be sited in an old 1930s building in the city’s Historic District, overlooking the iconic Miami Beach. Designed by Paola Navone, the property will also house a COMO Shambhala spa, yoga terrace, rooftop hydrotherapy pool and two restaurants.

For the ladies, Hermès offers a chic backpack perfect for pounding the streets of your chosen destination


Carry your belongings around in comfort this holiday season with WT’s selection of day bags…

Holiday Zen Touted as Japan’s first urban resort, the Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto is now open for bookings. Marking the hospitality group’s fourth property in Japan, the hotel sits on the banks of the Kamogawa River in Nijho Ohashi, close to Kyoto’s popular downtown areas Gion and Kawaramachi-dori. The luxury rooms and suites offer stunning views of the river and the Higashiyama Mountains, while the facilities are second to none.

For something sturdy, look towards Bally and its collection of men’s mini messenger bags


Burberry’s little duffle bag in canvas check, trimmed with soft leather, is a stylish option for holidaying men

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Live the ultimate water adventure Book tickets online now at Open daily from 10AM / +971 2 414 2000

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Relax in the

BIG APPLE Celebrate the Academy Awards this month by picking up a book that inspired an Oscarnominated film…


Martin Sixsmith Based on the 2009 investigative book by BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith, this is a story of one Irishwoman’s 50-year search for her son, who was taken from her at birth and sold. The film of the same name stars Steve Coogan and Dame Judi Dench.

Twelve Years A Slave

A Captain’s Duty

Solomon Northup

Richard Phillips

A true story of betrayal, kidnap and slavery, Twelve Years A Slave documents the memoirs of Solomon Northup, a 33-year-old American man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery. His words were first published in 1853, with director Steve McQueen taking his story to the world in his blistering 2013 film.

Now a major motion picture titled Captain Phillips starring Tom Hanks, this book follows one captain’s fight against his captors, a group of Somali pirates. The book alternates between Phillip’s five-day kidnap ordeal, the plight of his family and the rescue mission being assembled by the US Navy SEALS.

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The recently renovated Loews Regency Hotel in New York is about to be given another boost with the opening of its beauty and wellness centre, The Julien Farel Restore Salon & Spa. Set across 10,000 square feet, the spa will offer 32 custom-designed hair stations, eight spa treatment rooms and private suites when it opens in Midtown Manhattan later this month.


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Food fight! Add a gourmet twist to your next adventure by heading to one of the following food-throwing destinations





Battle of the Oranges

La Tomatina

Olive oil wrestling

Custard pie battle

Italy’s largest food fight, the Battle of the Oranges is set to take over the Northern Italian town of Ivrea for another year this March 2-4. And while the festival’s origins are somewhat unclear, its place on Ivrea’s social calendar is pretty evident, with thousands of participants pounding the streets dressed as kings’ men and armed with oranges. In between ducking out the way of this citrus fruit, take in the wondrous sites dotted about Ivrea, from small Gothic churches and Roman theatres to old libraries and bridges.

Thousands of people gather in the Valencian town of Buñol every year for Spain’s world famous La Tomatina festival, a short food fight involving more than 150,000 tomatoes. Taking place on August 27 – the last Wednesday in August each year – the event is limited to around 20,000 revellers, with 5,000 tickets allotted to locals of the town. And while festival rules state that tomatoes must be squashed before being thrown, goggles and a helmet are recommended. Other exciting events riding in on La Tomatino’s coattails include the annual grapethrowing festival, Pobla del Duc, and December’s flour-throwing competition in Alicante, Els Enfarinats.

A food expedition of a different kind is oil wrestling, touted as Turkey’s national sport. While this food staple can be comfortably consumed at most restaurants in the country, it seems lathering yourself in it then jumping into the ring is far more fun. The highlight on the centuries-old sport’s calendar is the annual Oil Wrestling Kirkpinar championship, held every year in Edirne, a city tucked away in the northwestern part of Turkey. Here, thousands of spectators pile into the stadium – a former hunting reserve of the Ottoman sultans – to watch greased up wrestlers battle it out for the Kirkpinar Golden Belt.

You’ll see plenty of pie in the sky near quaint Kent village Coxheath, home to the Charlie Chaplin-inspired World Custard Pie Throwing Championship. On May 31, cake and custard fans from around the world descend on Coxheath for the one-day pie-flinging event, which involves teams of four hurling pies at their opponents in heats. Interested in participating? Then take note: points are awarded for accuracy of aim, technique and costumes. Unfortunately the pies used in the competition are not edible. In fact, the formula used to make the pies easier to fling is top secret.

Stay Located around 50 kilometres from Turin Airport, you’ll find a handful of cute hotels to rest your head in Ivrea. The three-star Hotel Siro is a great choice. Set on the banks of Lake Sirio, visitors can expect spacious rooms, mountain views and excellent food. Alternatively, head back to Turin and take your pick from a variety of hotels.


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Stay Tomatoed-out? Head back to Valencia, a little under 40 kilometres away, and combine your food-throwing antics with a city break. Book a room at Caro Hotel, a swanky establishment promising a memorable experience.

Stay Edirne – located 230 kilometeres to the east of Istanbul Atatürk Airport – is a small city rich in history. And while a little tricky to get to, travellers will find plenty of mid-range hotels at Edirne’s bustling unofficial ‘hotel street’, Maarif Caddesi.

Stay There’s not a great deal to see in Coxheath so instead hop on a bus (the village does not have a train station) and head to Maidstone, where you can catch a direct train to London. The British capital is teeming with hotels for all budgets and itineraries. The only problem is picking one.

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Flavours of Fez Morocco’s culinary capital fuses Fassi and French cuisine – with exciting results


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a heady mix of Berber, Arab, Andalusian, Jewish and French flavours, was born. A cookery class is a great way to explore this cultural melting pot. We sign up for a half-day class at Café Clock (cafeclock. com), a hip hang-out in the heart of the medina owned by Mike Richardson, a former maître d’ at The Ivy in London. “Fassi cooking has lovely combinations of sweet and savoury flavours,” explains head chef Souad Maidja over a glass of ‘Moroccan whisky’ (mint tea made with gunpowder green tea, sprigs of fresh spearmint – and lots of sugar). “Fez is

Fassi cooking has lovely combinations of sweet and savoury flavours

hile seaside Rabat is Morocco’s political capital, medieval Fez can lay claim to being the spiritual, cultural and culinary capital. Quite a legacy to live up to, but the sprawling city, made up of over 9,500 narrow streets peppered with centuries-old souks and ancient mosques, more than delivers. On first appearances, it seems not much has changed since Fes el-Bali, as the medina is officially known, was founded by Sultan Idriss II in the late eighth century. The World Heritage-listed old town is one of the largest car-free urban areas on the planet and retains its medieval layout, with neighbourhoods divided according to trade: leather tanning, metalworking, weaving, and so on. The vibrant souks are much the same, with vendors gathering together in guild-like fashion in the honey souk or butchers’ alley. And it was here that Fassi cuisine,

famous for pastilla, a light flaky pastry filled with pigeon and sweetened with sugar.” Cumin, coriander, and preserved lemons are common ingredients, along with aromatic cinnamon, rosewater and honey. Maidja leads us out into the seemingly unfathomable streets to stock up on fresh produce, deftly sidestepping donkeys and djellaba-clad locals. First stop is the halal butcher, with his bloody wares dangling on display, followed by the fishmonger with the day’s fresh catch. Passing a camel meat butcher, Maidja tells us about Café Clock’s signature camel burger. “We add spices such as coriander, cumin, mint and paprika to the camel mince, as well as dried rose petals,” she explains. “In our kitchen, we say eating camel burgers mean more babies,” she chuckles, before explaining that the petals from the Dades Valley are said to be a powerful aphrodisiac. An hour later, we’re back in the kitchen. Maidja gives us all jobs – chopping, slicing, stirring – and encourages us to taste as we go. She shows us how to make smoky zaalouk (spiced eggplant salad), hearty harira soup with lentils and tomatoes, and deliciously sweet blighat b t’mer (date and pastry rolls). The highlight though is seksou t’faya – fluffy cous cous with caramelised onions, raisins and succulent lamb that falls off the bone. We return to Café Clock the next day to try their burger. Topped with homemade sweet tomato ketchup, the patty is lean, juicy and justifiably famous (but no comment on its aphrodisiacal abilities). The café itself is one of the medina’s most popular oases for locals, expats and tourists alike. Along with fantastic casual fusion food, the funky townhouse has a


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5 of the BEST RESTAURANTS Dar Roumana French chef Vincent Bonnin adds local ingredients, such as pomegranate, dates and chermoula spice mix, to his classical French cooking at this boutique gem.

Riad Idrissy Charming hotelier and talented cook Robert Johnstone serves up local specialities such as mechwi (a whole spit-roast lamb) in this romantic riad’s fragrant garden.

MB Restaurant

Upon request, Richardson opens his eclectic holiday home to visitors and his chefs prepare an al fresco feast

There’s not a zellij mosaic in sight at this sleek and stylish restaurant. Classical French fare dominates the menu, attracting a fashionable crowd.

Fez Café Chef Hicham Moufid dishes up Mediterraneaninspired Moroccan cuisine in a delightful garden tended by owner Michel Biehn, himself an acclaimed Provençal cookbook author.


roster of live music, films, bellydancing lessons, and cultural workshops in everything from calligraphy to traditional bread baking. We also learn of Richardson’s other venture in the tiny hilltop town of Moulay Idriss, 70kms from Fez. Upon request, the Englishman opens his eclectic holiday home, Dar Akrab (Scorpion House), to visitors and his chefs prepare an al fresco feast overlooking the picturesque whitewashed town. Moulay Idriss also happens to be one of the country’s most important pilgrimage sites. Its namesake, a great-grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, is credited with bringing Islam to Morocco, converting the indigenous Berber tribes and creating the first Arab Muslim dynasty in the eighth century. His tomb is at the heart of the town, and is the focus of the country’s largest moussem (religious festival) during the month before Ramadan. Nearby are the well-preserved ruins of Volubilis. Once

the westernmost outpost of the empire, the Romans abandoned the city around 285, leaving exquisite floor mosaics that rival those of Pompeii. But we’ve come for the food and it doesn’t disappoint. As we gaze down at the tangle of flagstone streets and green-tiled minaret from the breezy terrace, we enjoy spiced lamb kefta kebabs and herbed chicken breast cooked over charcoal on a traditional shawaya (BBQ). It’s served with an array of fresh Moroccan salads, including aubergine marinated in chermoula (a herb and spice mix) with dollops of creamy jben cheese, preserved lemon salad drizzled with honey and cumin dressing, vegetable pastilla rolls with zesty taktouka (tomato and green pepper salad), and street food specialities such as makooda (spiced potato cakes). Dessert includes macaroons and a moist orange-and-almond Sephardic cake that draws on the region’s Jewish influences. Sweet, simple and oh-so-delicious.

Set in a former Arab-Moorish palace turned boutique hotel, this top terrace serves delicate Moroccan salads and meaty mains, with lovely views of the Medina.


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To book one of these offers call dnata on +971 4 316 6666 or visit Terms and conditions apply. On the same site you can also sign up to dnata’s newsletter and receive more offers direct to your inbox.

World Traveller Reader Offers

This month’s selection of blissful breaks to book includes the paradise islands of Bali, Seychelles and the Maldives, plus an old favourite in London... Indonesia InterContinental Bali Resort Offer: 3 nights from USD300 per person, or from USD835 per person including airfare. Includes: Stay in a Resort Classic Room with breakfast daily and return airport transfers. Valid for stays from: Now til June 30, 2014. Situated within the boundaries of the exclusive neighbourhood of Jimbaran Bay on Bali’s southern coastline, InterContinental Bali Resort embraces 35 acres of tropical landscape. Blessed with an endless stretch of white sandy beachfront as its stunning backdrop, the resort integrates ornamental ponds, a winding lagoon and aesthetic stonework, to offer and submerge you in a true Balinese experience. InterContinental have worked hard to be sensitive towards the surrounding environment, whilst respecting the rich culture of the island, its fine artistry and Hindu heritage. With our current discount it is a great time to experience the property.

InterContinental Bali Resort



The Westin Palace Milan Offer: 3 nights from USD450 per person, or from USD1,130 per person including airfare. Includes: Stay in a Classic Room with breakfast daily and return airport transfers. Valid for stays from: Now til June 30, 2014* * Blackout dates apply, valid only for Fri/Sat/Sun. The Westin Palace is a true haven within the city of Milan. The team at Westin have done all they can to make you forget the outside world and assist in helping you relax in Check In

Anantara Dhigu Resort & Spa

the serenity of the Westin experience. The location, close to both the key shopping area and the new Expo city, puts the hotel in a great location to explore this city. Inside, the hotel has been designed in keeping with Italian culture, the rooms are comfortable and those with dual aspect have great views across the city to the Duomo. With our fantastic


daily and return speedboat transfers. Valid for stays from: Now til April 27, 2014.

Anantara Dhigu Resort & Spa Offer: 4 nights from USD1,595 per person, or from USD2,035 per person including airfare. Includes: Stay in a Sunrise Beach Villa with breakfast

An idyllic tropical island paradise set in the South Male Atoll, just half an hour from Male International Airport, Anantara offers the Maldives resort experience you’ve only dreamt about. Unwind on

reduced rate it makes for a great weekend getaway.

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the original hotels on paradise, re-opened in June 2004. The restored hotel features sweeping thatched roofs and local granite. The open-air lobby, which affords breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean, stands above a stylish bar and library. Founded in 1943, historic Fisherman’s Cove is the Seychelles’ first and most legendary hotel. Over the decades, the resort has gained a reputation for relaxed, understated luxury and friendly, personalised service, providing guests with a peaceful hideaway. It’s truly a place to forget your daily woes.

Thailand Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket Offer: 3 nights from USD245 per person, or from USD775 per person including airfare. Includes: Stay in a Deluxe Lagoon View Room with breakfast daily and return airport transfers. Valid for stays from: April 16– October 31, 2014

The Oberol, Dubai

endless white sand beaches, palm-fringed islands and pristine coral reefs. Anantara Resort Maldives offers 68 beachfront villas; all situated on a private stretch of beach, with unique outdoor bathrooms and rain showers. The 38 over-water suites feature private sundecks and open-air infinity-edged bathtubs. When not relaxing on the beach, treat

yourself to an Ayurvedic spa treatment, or lounge in the beachfront infinity pool to lap up the stunning surrounds.

Seychelles Le Méridien Fisherman’s Cove Offer: 4 nights from USD1,090 per person, or from USD2,145 per person including airfare.

Includes: Stay in a Superior Ocean View Room with breakfast daily and return airport transfers. Valid for stays from: Now til April 30, 2014.* *Excluding April 15-26. 2014. Nestled in the heart of paradise on the southern tip of Beau Vallon, Le Méridien Fisherman’s Cove is one of

Nestled amidst acres of tropical gardens and caressed by the azure water of the Andaman Sea, the Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket hotel is an idyllic retreat tucked away on the stunning island of Phuket. Arriving at Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket hotel you enter a sanctuary of tranquillity shaded by native coconut palms. Gentle sea breezes waft through the vaulted ceilings of the open-air lobby. The resort’s neo-colonial style incorporates variations on traditional Thai motifs with the bright airy rooms defined by native woods and tiles and decorated with ceramics, antique carvings and textiles. With our offer of a 30% discount, now is a great time to discover the tranquillity of Phuket. 19

UAE The Oberoi, Dubai Offer: 1 night from USD195 per person. Includes: Stay in a Deluxe Room with breakfast daily, plus complimentary upgrade to the next available room category. Valid for stays from: Now til March 31, 2014.

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This contemporary hotel is located within minutes of The Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa. The 252 spacious guest rooms and suites have floor-to-ceiling windows and spectacular views of the city’s skyline. Spacious, luxurious and elegantly appointed, the rooms convey a warm and welcoming ambiance. Timber floors, rich fabrics, hand-tufted rugs and specially commissioned artwork further accentuate the elegance of the room. Although a city hotel, here you can treat yourself to luxurious rejuvenation and relaxation in the serenely appointed spa. Holistic therapies drawn from Ayurveda, along with internationally influenced therapies, soften the senses and restore the vital energy within. The outdoor infinity swimming pool is open from sunrise to sunset, and is a soothing place to end a hard day.

Valid for stays from: Now til March 31, 2014. A British icon since 1889, The Savoy has once again taken its place on the world stage after a £100 million restoration. The hotel seamlessly blends elements of the original and the new, while the stunning

English Edwardian and art deco interiors sparkle with timeless elegance and glamour. The 268 guestrooms and suites are the last word in style, luxury and discreet technology with stunning views of London and the River Thames. Adding to the Savoy experience is the fantastic culinary offering, from

Sheraton Dubai Mall of the Emirates Offer: 1 night from USD205 per person. Includes: Stay in a Classic Room with breakfast daily, plus complimentary upgrade to half board (lunch). Valid for stays from: Now til March 31, 2014.


When you live in Dubai, why travel when you can stay surrounded by all the shopping delights on your doorstep at the Sheraton Dubai Mall of the Emirates? Opened in 2010, the hotel is centrally located to many more attractions – this truly is an easily accessible hotel. The rooms house the famous Sheraton Sweet Sleep beds, so after a long day of shopping you have the perfect place to rest up, while the hotel also boasts some great dining options and a beautiful rooftop spa.

Sheraton Dubai Mall of the Emirates

UK The Savoy, A Fairmont Hotel, London Offer: 3 nights from USD890 per person, or from USD1,630 per person including airfare. Includes: Stay in a Deluxe Room with English breakfast and return airport transfers. Check In

The Savoy, A Fairmont Hotel, London

Gordon Ramsey to the Thames Foyer for the best and most relaxed afternoon tea in the city. With its enviable location (literally steps away from some of the world’s finest entertainment) and our thirdnight-free offer, you have extra time to enjoy this Grand Dame of a hotel.

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The Magic of Malaysia Experience Asian hospitality at its finest at one of dnata’s partner hotels…

Rob Arrow For the first of his regular columns on trending destinations around the world, dnata’s travel expert Rob Arrow extols the merits of Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island.

The Taaras Beach & Spa Resort

The Taaras Beach & Spa Resort Offer: 3-nights’ Island Retreat Package starting from USD765 per person. Includes: Stay in a Garden Suite with breakfast and dinner daily, return airport transfers, plus day or night snorkeling, island hopping and 75-minute spa treatment.* Valid for stays from: Now til June 14, 2014. The Taaras is a private beach residence located just off the east coast of Malaysia on Redang Island. Accessible by air, the resort provides barefoot luxury with warm Asian hospitality. In Sanskrit, Taaras translates as ‘Star’ or ‘Goddess of the Sea’. The resort offers 191 rooms and suites and for ultimate privacy, guests can opt for the stunning five-bedroom private villa perched on the cliff top. It features a 16-metre infinity pool and personal Villa host throughout the stay. The Chateau Spa & Organic Wellness Resort Offer: 3-nights’ Stress Relief Package from USD1,645 per person. Includes: Stay in a Deluxe Room with

organic breakfast, lunch and dinner daily,plus return airport transfers. Package includes the following: Health &Stress Management Consultation, 1 x Seaweed Hot Stone Massage, 1 x Stress Relief Massage, 1 x Body Exfoliation - Lavender Sugar Glow, 1 x Relaxing Bath - Aroma Infusion, 1 x Seaweed Peat Ritual Stress Relief Therapy, 1 x Therapeutic Mud in Salt Grotto, 1 x Herbal Bath (Sauna).* Valid for stays from: Now til October 31, 2014. The Chateau is the world’s first organic spa and wellness resort located only 45 minutes’ drive from Kuala Lumpur city centre and 90 minutes from the airport. Inspired by an 18th century castle in Alsace France, this 34,000 m² resort rises majestically amid a lush tropical rainforest. Each of the 121 elegant rooms and suites is tastefully decorated and environmentally friendly with organic bed and bath linens. La Santé, the first European concept spa in Asia, is a sanctuary of healing, offering individual therapies including weight loss, stress relief, pre-and-post natal care and pampering.

*Terms and conditions apply, subject to availability. For further enquiries, please contact

Often I have driven to Abu Dhabi and seen the futuristic shapes of the famous Yas Viceroy and Ferrari World come into view. However, only recently have I turned off to explore the wonders which lie within that whole area. Whatever the time of the year there is something to delight everyone on Yas Island, from the family looking for the thrills of Yas Waterworld, to speed seekers brave enough to ride Formula Rossa, the world’s fastest rollercoaster at Ferrari World, or drive the famous Yas Marina Circuit. Then there’s the golfer’s paradise, Yas Links, Yas Beach, which has to be one of the UAE’s best-kept secrets for kite surfing and paddleboarding, and myriad relaxing spa and dining experiences to enjoy. All of this possible in this one destination. Meanwhile, the cafés and restaurants now open around the marina include the gourmet delights of Cipriani, the laidback Iris and the music and fine food of Diablito. Best of all, having the option of seven hotels ranging from the sleek five-star Yas Viceroy, with its two rooftop pools, Aromatherapy Associates Spa, and the most divine super king-sized beds, to the fun and relaxed atmosphere in the functional and funky three-star Centro, means you can choose what budget you wish to set aside for this weekend away. Take advantage of our offers (see page 67) to discover Yas Island for yourself.




* Terms and conditions apply

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Earn Barรงa Rewards Points you can redeem for official FC Barcelona merchandise or on over 900 airlines, 200,000 hotels or thousands of electronic products.


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Set Seoul Heading to South Korea? Check out the new JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul boutique hotel, the group’s second hotel in the city. Sprawled across 11 floors, visitors have 155 rooms and 15 suites to choose from, alongside an indoor pool, spa and business centre. Step outside the hotel and you’re in the heart of Dongdaemun’s retail district, home to a variety of shopping malls. Time to loosen those purse strings.

DOWN UNDER The 174-room Sheraton Melbourne Hotel swings open its doors at the end of this month. Located in the ‘Paris end’ of the Central Business District, the new property is conveniently close to the Melbourne Cricket Ground, which welcomes a string of hotly contested matches throughout March. How’s that.

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Relax & retail Beijing welcomes its newest hospitality resident this month, in the form of The Waldorf Astoria Beijing. From March 1, visitors to the Chinese capital can check in to this centrally-located hotel, which boasts a range of rooms and suites, all designed to Waldorf ’s world-famous five-star standards.


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The hotel boasts opulent interiors reminiscent of 17th-century Versailles


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f you’re itching to live out your James Bond fantasy, there can only be one place. Monte Carlo. This dazzling district in the tiny principality of Monaco oozes imperial grandeur and Hollywood glamour. The majestic Hôtel de Paris MonteCarlo on Place du Casino is synonymous with the birth of Monte Carlo itself. In the mid-19th century, Charles III decided to build a casino and luxurious hotel at Plateau des Spélugues. Overlooking the shimmering Mediterranean, the district would later be re-christened Monte Carlo (‘Mount Charles’) in his honour. Developed by businessman François Blanc, the casino opened in 1863, followed by Hôtel de Paris on the same square in 1864. Boasting opulent interiors reminiscent of 17th-century Versailles, it has welcomed a glittering guest list of high society and Hollywood royalty, from the Aga Khan to Cary Grant. And with unrivalled views of the harbour below, bobbing with multi-million-dollar megayachts, and the annual Grand Prix circuit, the hotel continues to enthrall.

Historic Hotel #9

CROWN JEWEL For 150 years, this belle epoque beauty has been the Riviera’s most exclusive address

It was Blanc’s widow Marie, however, who created one of Hôtel de Paris’ most famous features: a cavernous cellar, hewn by hand some 33 feet below. Today, it houses almost 600,000 bottles of the world’s most prestigious drops. Elsewhere, the ultra-exclusive private dining room is where Prince Rainier and Princess Grace celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary in 1976. The hotel has twice starred alongside 007 – in Never Say Never Again and GoldenEye – and will soon be seen in Grace of Monaco, the blockbuster biopic starring Nicole Kidman. Scenes from the film were reportedly shot on the terrace of Le Côté Jardin, a charming breakfast spot. Prince Albert, the reigning monarch, is sometimes spotted in Le Louis XV, Alain Ducasse’s gilded gastronomic temple awarded three Michelin stars, and the one-starred Le Grill, which features a wall of windows overlooking the Med and roof that retracts to expose the night sky. But when it comes to sheer star power, the Riviera’s most regal residence outshines them all.


New York World Traveller


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Brooklyn-based acclaimed photographer Guillaume Gaudet takes us on a pictorial tour of his home city, capturing iconic street scenes and day-to-day goings-on.



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1. This was a billboard on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. The giant blonde provides a striking contrast to the passersby. 2. View of the tip of the iconic Chrysler Building from Mercer Street in SoHo, Manhattan. 3. The was taken at a small store by the Fanelli Cafe on Greene Street in SoHo, Manhattan. 4. Shot on the boardwalk of Coney Island in Brooklyn, these kids are having fun feeding and dodging the swooping seagulls. 5. Workers staring back at me as I take their photograph in SoHo, Manhatten. It looks like the girl on the billboard is doing likewise.



6. I captured this girl as she stood by the Manhattan Bridge during a snow storm in DUMBO (an acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), Brooklyn. 7. Basketball games take place on courts across the city daily, and this one happened on a playground located at the corner of Avenue of the Americas and Minetta Street in the West Village, Manhattan. 8. People dining and ordering takeouts at the popular Corner Deli in SoHo, Manhattan.



Many of Guillaume’s photographs are available to buy as fine art prints or custom mountings. For full details and to see more of his work, visit

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March // 2014

I LOVE PARIS... in the springtime


Café-crèmes at pavement cafés, lazy strolls through blossom-filled parks, and real-feel neighbourhoods spilling out onto the streets... The French capital zings in spring. Local Anna Brooke is your guide

March // 2014

oft March sunlight bursts through the clouds, turning the broad boulevards translucent white. Beside the river Seine, trees’ boughs are feathered with peagreen leaves, and steam drifts from café-crèmes, served outside again after the freeze of winter. I’ve lived these seasonal scenarios for 12 years now and never tire of them. Yes, I know they’re clichés. But sometimes clichés are fulfilling: I adore this city when purple crocuses carpet the Jardin des Tuileries; when children file into boulangeries for Easter eggs after school; and when the linden trees on Place des Vosges are bobbled with snowflake blossom. Spring is one of the best times to visit Paris, and here’s how to make the perfect long weekend of it... If you associate spring with pastel pinks, muted greens and cornflower blues, head to the Left Bank and the 19thcentury Impressionist art at the

Opening page: Eiffel Tower seen from below. This page clockwise from top: People at outdoor cafes on the Place Stravinsky; the Picasso Museum garden; Boulevard St Germain street sign; The interior of the Musee d’Orsay in Paris. Opposite page: the Notre Dame Cathedral.


Musée d’Orsay (musee-orsay. fr). Which artistic movement better evokes Nature’s springtime brushstrokes? This giant museum contains one of the finest collections in the world. Put up in 1900 as a railway station for the World Fair, the building itself is as much a pleasure to behold as its contents, its arched glass roof flooding the inside with light. On the fifth floor, amid Monet’s pagan-purple lilies and Renoir’s dance scenes, find Louis Welden Hawkins’ lateFrance

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March // 2014

It’s a well known fact that the Statue of Liberty in New York was a gift to the people of America from the French, to say thanks for their international support. Something not a lot of people know, however,

is that there are exact (ok, a little bit downsized) replicas to be found in Paris. Three, in fact. One, human-sized, stands in the Jardin du Luxembourg and another, larger replica is near the

Grenelle Bridge on an island in the river Seine. The third statue can be found at the Musée des Arts et Métiers, and was the original model created by the artist Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi.

Impressionist work The Eiffel Tower, as vivid as a photo on a spring afternoon, showing Falguière’s bronze statue and a midnight-blue Eiffel Tower beyond. Then there’s Edouard Manet’s brutally contrasted Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe (The Luncheon on the Grass). With

its female nudity, it caused mirth and scandal when unveiled in 1863. Revenge is sweet: it’s now considered the departure point for modern art. For your first lunch, settle under the stained-glass ceiling of Les Ministères

( It was a meeting point for the Resistance during World War II. Your struggle will be resisting the crème-brûlée after the hand-cut steak tartare, Tabasco-hot and loaded with capers. Add a bottle of cherry-red Gamay and you’ll fit right in, among ruddy-faced politicians and long-lunching editors from nearby publishing houses. Now for a gentle walk, following the Seine east, past snappable monuments. On the left, the Louvre; on the right the Institut de France, with its gilded tea-cup dome, home of the Académie Française; then the Pont des Arts footbridge, barnacled with more padlocks than a punk has pins (the locks are attached by lovers, who throw the keys into the river as a sign of undying love). Once you’ve passed St Michel’s fountain, where a copper-green Archangel wrestles the devil, you’re on Quai St Michel. Ever seen Maximilien Luce’s long-shot painting of Notre Dame from 1901? This was where he must have set up his easel. On certain spring days the light is just as he depicted: butterscotch on the cathedral, silvery violet on the buildings around. As the day begins to fade, you need to make for Notre Dame (notredamedeparis. fr). Gaze up at Violletle-Duc’s stone gargoyles, grimacing at the world. Up there, Quasimodo’s bell - Le Bourdon - still patiently awaits the hunchback’s return. From the Petit Pont bridge, you can contemplate the city on its east-west axis, simultaneously taking in the Seine and the cathedral. Late on a moody spring afternoon it’s pure drama, as clouds pattern the sky in argumentative patches of mauve and grey. Such beauty deserves a celebratory meal: off Boulevard


March // 2014


Your ready-made spring bouquet is at the top of Rue Monsieur Le Prince. The Jardin du Luxembourg.


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Opposite page: Luxembourg Palace. This page: Place St. Michel. Next page: Panthéon, Paris

St-Germain, in the Latin Quarter, Terroir Parisien is the affordable bistro of Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alléno ( It’s a simple hybrid (wood cabin/New York loft), where forgotten Parisian dishes, including Bercy whiting, are revived with seasonal produce. In spring, that means purpletinted asparagus in lemony vinaigrette and squeaky morel mushrooms. By the time you’ve scoffed the Puits d’Amour (‘Well of Love’), made from puff pastry with stewed berries and cream, you’ll be ready for bed. Next day, grab late-morning coffee and buttery croissants northeast of the Haut Marais (near République), at Chez Prune. It’s an upbeat zinctabled cafe along the Canal St Martin, frequented by Paris’s northeast Bobos (bourgeoisbohemians). A canal boat or two waits at the tree-shaded lock, where sludgy green water pours through the slippery gates. Nab a terrace table and drink in the street scene: passers-by on Vélibs (Paris’s municipal hire-bikes) and white-haired old ladies carrying daffodils back from the market. Overhung with trees of sticky buds, the Canal St Martin was built by Napoleon in the early 19th century to bring drinking water to the Imperial capital. As industry blossomed, so did the area; but when manufacturing declined in the ‘60s, the area was left decayed and neglected. Ballsy property investors have since turned it around - now it is one of Paris’s hippest districts. Between here, Gare de l’Est and Château d’Eau, you’ll find quirky fashion boutiques, dinky wine cellars and some of the city’s trendiest watering holes, full of pretty people in retro garb, drinking

March // 2014

Chartreuse cocktails on the rocks. It’s where you should spend your entire day. I lose myself in Artazart (, a higgledypiggledy bookshop overflowing with deliciously irreverent coffee-table tomes on graphic design and modern art. Another great find is Potemkine (potemkine. fr), a film fan’s heaven, with floor-to-ceiling collections of weird and wonderful movies, in multitudes of languages. Then head to the Centre Commercial (2 Rue de Marseille), where locals buy their denim shirts and cool tapestry boots. This superchic, glass-roofed space is a concept store for fashions made in France, contemporary art, second-hand bikes and funky vintage furniture. Speak to your bank manager first. On a sunny spring day, one of the loveliest idling spots in town is the courtyard of Café A (148 Rue du Faubourg St Martin, 10th), set in the 300-year-old former Recollets convent by Gare de l’Est. It’s circled by aged walls and ancient trees, blossom sprinkling chairs in confetti. Hungry? The modern menu is resolutely Italian. Share a creamy Burrata in golden olive oil, bruschettas of Parma ham and Pecorino, and bowls of cep ravioli with a glass of organic Chianti. Nothing helps digestion like a stroll, so it’s onwards, muffled against fresh breezes, to one of the city’s lesser-known churches, opposite Gare de l’Est. Sandwiched between the car-heavy boulevards of Magenta and Strasbourg, the Gothic Eglise St Laurent (off Rue du Faubourg St Martin) is an essay in 16th-, 17th-and 19th-century styles. Study the comic-strip biblical scenes in blue, red and yellow stained glass. As you skirt the nave, columns intermittently block the light - the sense is of scenes moving, of walking through an eerie celestial zoetrope. After an afternoon exploring the canal and its characterful side streets, start your evening the gastronomic way, with dinner at ‘40s-style bistro Chateaubriand (129 Avenue


March // 2014

WHERE TO STAY A stone’s throw from the Louvre you’ ll find the Mandarin Oriental Paris, a five-star hotel which combines modern Parisian style with the calmness often associated with the Far East. One block from the ChampsElysées is the classic Hotel Warwick, home to 149 sophisticated rooms and suites.


Parmentier, 11th), near Goncourt Métro. It’s your chance to try cuisine by one of Paris’s most talked-about chefs, Iñaki Aizpitartre, a selftaught wizz who invents a new set menu daily, based on his mood and seasonal finds. The greeting may be nonchalant, but the terrific food is a taste explosion more mood-lifting than a freak spring heatwave. The plates of prawns in Calvados are memorable. From here, for a night of frissons, it’s an easy walk to Comptoir Général (lecomptoir, a vast, Berlinworthy hang-out in former stables, bedecked with curiosity cabinets of dinosaur bones and African witchcraft fetishes. There’s even a fumoir, set in a tropical greenhouse. As the music drifts, sip your drink on a squidgy sofa under mounted antlers. Then order another. Out with the new and in with the old. Come Sunday, hop on Métro line 4 to Porte de Clignancourt’s Marché aux Puces (Rue des Rosiers, St Ouen) the city’s largest flea market, in the northern suburb of St Ouen. What started in 1870 as a hook-up for ragand-bone men has turned into a sprawl of markets touting Louis XV chairs, ‘20s dresses, psychedelic ‘70s coffee tables... The works. I love the Marché Paul Bert section (85 Rue des Rosiers): seven alleys of stalls piled high with Napoleon III trinkets and Rococo art. France

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March // 2014

And for lunch? How about spit-roasted chicken or duck terrine with slices of organic saucisson? It’s all delicious at Ma Cocotte (, a recent creation from designer Philippe Starck. From your high wooden table, admire the maverick’s work: chequered concrete floors and a huge open kitchen that sends savoury steam into the air. Make pudding the chocolate mousse, fluffy as grandma intended. Then, after more pottering, head back on line 4, to Odéon on the Left Bank. Your ready-made spring bouquet is at the top of Rue Monsieur Le Prince. The Jardin du Luxembourg (Rue de Médicis, 6th) flickers with chestnut trees sprouting flowers like giant fluffy caterpillars. Paths are bordered by yellow primroses, pink carnations and deep purple pansies. On a bright, brisk day, the scrape of metal chairs echoes, as folk drag them into mild sunlight for a quiet moment with a book. There’s no separating Paris from these gardens: Hemingway hunted pigeons in them; statues by

I’ve lived these seasonal scenarios for 12 years and never tire of them

Rodin and Zadkine pose in its alleys. It’s a legacy that deserves a toast at the Rostand (6 Place Edmond Rostand, 6th), opposite the park entrance. A gooey cheese-andham omelette makes a magical last supper before your grand finale... Nightly on the hour, for five minutes, the Eiffel Tower sparkles. So leave your table in good time, and head up Rue Soufflot to the foot of the white-domed Panthéon. From here you’ll have an unexpected, uninterrupted view. It’s a glittering display sure to put a spring in your step - until you return next year.


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To 40


Your in-the-know guide to the world’s finest shopping destinations To Buy For

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March // 2014

Insider’s Guide

NEW YORK Manhattan’s 10 hottest shops

tart your day in SoHo, fashion capital of the fashion capital. To gird yourself for the multitude of shoppers, you need some sugar. You’re unlikely to secure the wildly popular cronut (half-doughnut, half-croissant) after 6am at Chef Dominique Ansel Bakery (, so try a hazelnut caramelia cake instead. Dress from the top at The Hat Shop (, where you’ll find straw sun hats as well as extravagant works of art for your bonce. Take a break from the hordes at recently revamped neighbourhood staple McNally Jackson (, a bookstore and café just east of shopsville, where you can team a buttered scone with a glossy design magazine. Head west into NoLIta, where Dagny + Barstow ( sells edgy women’s items and art prints in a brick space that used to be a nightclub - the crossword sweaters by Devastee are the hipsters’ choice du jour. Past Houston, turn onto 8th Street, where you’ll find AC Gears (, a cool boutique for the tech-obsessed, stocking everything from toys and

timepieces to candy-coloured headphones. Then press on to Theory (; its trendy basics aren’t a secret - they’re a favourite of Kate Bosworth and Olivia Wilde - but the pink-lit flagship store is worth a visit for chic tees and soft-as-apuppy knits. Ramp things up at Opening Ceremony (; the avant-garde boutique functions as the United Nations of fashion, with items from across the globe. Its own-brand stuff is more reasonable, with a line by Chloë Sevigny. You’ve cracked SoHo so move on to the Meatpacking District and Duckie Brown (, famous for dressing downtown’s coolest boys - the ones with the shiny bowl cuts or the arty stubble. Be brave and grab a pair of turquoise patent-leather oxfords. After a quick walk among the blooms on the nearby High Line park (, head to the West Village, where New Yorker Marc Jacobs has a monopoly. Sought-after sunglasses and metallic clutches can be found at his Marc by Marc Jacobs women’s collection (, across from his bookstore, Bookmarc where US$25 posters and fashion-photography books replace frocks. (There are kids and menswear stores, too.) Finish off your look with something bonkers at the bottom from United Nude (, a shoe haven for architecture addicts where a pair of ankle boots resting on a Mobiuslike glass heel steal the show. If you haven’t spent all your cash, consider splurging on a bespoke item from White Chalk (whitechalknyc. com) in NoLIta. The unisexshop is known for

Splurge on a bespoke item from White Chalk 41

posh suits in crazy colours. Each order takes at least four weeks to make, and they’re not cheap (prices run to $4,000). If you’re feeling daring, order a silk pyjama ensemble and make Oscar Wilde proud. And the latest hot eat? Juni (, where three courses of peanut potatoes, fennel salmon and a seasonal sorbet go down a treat.

March // 2014

World’s Best Shopping Streets

Changle Road, Shanghai 1. DONG LIANG, No.184 Fumin Road

The setting - a 1920s townhouse obscured by London plane trees, just off Changle Road - and sociable staff make Dong Liang feel like an Avon party, albeit with immaculate, highly original fashions on the open rails. The buyers stick to capsule collections by 20 Chinese designers simple, wearable clothes (for him and her) that are devastatingly hip, even by London standards ( 2. NOODLE BULL 291 Fumin Road (entrance on Changle Road)

Once you’re ensconced in the cool bamboo and concrete décor, you won’t mind that the dishes here aren’t Shanghainese but Taiwanese. The menu is simple and cheap: p a choice of three noodles and five toppings in capacious bowls, with spicy soups ps and garlicky greens as side options. And all nd it’s al ll MSG-free, no small thing in the land and of E numbers.

3. TOY CITY No.690

5. HANYI No.217-221

With an infant hospital just up the way, you can’t swing a cuddly cat on Changle Road without hitting a children’s shop. Toy City is the best, positively chockers with a luminous assortment of toy soldiers, action figures, plush dolls and Japanese manga. It’s a must-see for kids, collectors or wannabes. Buy: Japan’s second-favourite kitty, Doraemon.

Qipaos, Chinese-style dresses (called cheongsams in Hong Kong), are a dime a dozen at the tourist markets. But if you want a souvenir with a little more pizzazz - a higher slit perhaps - see the master tailor at Hanyi, where you can get measured for a one-off, or take away one of the brilliant-coloured silk versions in store.


6. THE THING No.276

Mian Hua Tian’s 100-year-old restored villa is set back behind a shady walled garden, with a sparse wood interior by local architects KUU, making it an attractive respite from the congested Shanghai concrete. Inside, the slouchy, deconstructed fashion from mainly avant-garde European brands is stored discreetly behind floor-to-ceiling cupboard doors. Accessories, shoes and even some of the sumptuous wool coats are unisex (

The eastern stretch of Changle Road gets funkier with each storefront. And if you’re on the petite side (sizes don’t tend to go much larger than medium), you can walk home with fashion bargains from Japan, Korea, Taiwan - anywhere. This Shanghai-born streetwear boutique is dedicated to graphic tees, novelty hats and tops with a twist ( 7. CULTURE MATTERS Building 2, No.47

If trendy trainers are your default, you won’t have failed to notice the Shanghainese penchant for local retro Sh h labels. Feiyues or Warriors - both lab b working-class brands dating back to the wo o ‘50s ‘50 0 - sell for upwards of US$8 a pair at this shoebox of a shop near the spaghetti th junction in the centre of town. ju u


To Buy For

d R le g an h C

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March // 2014

WHERE TO STAY The Grand Hyatt Hotel, on Century Avenue in Pudong, has all the amenities you’ d expect from a luxury retreat, including 555 rooms and suites and world-class spa facilities. However, its real genius lies in its location – located on the 53rd to 87th floors of the Jin Mao Tower. Smack in the heart of Shanghai just over the river from Changle Road, the Grand Hyatt is the perfect place to drop off your bags and grab a meal before heading back out for another round of shopping. Book at


March // 2014


To Buy For

World Traveller

March // 2014

Insider’s Guide

t’s not strictly shopping, but it’s the only retail on offer when you’re wide-eyed with jet lag at 4am: Tsukiji (5-2-1 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku), the world’s biggest fish market, is a maze of tentacles and unidentifiable sealife, and best viewed before sunrise (arrive by 4am for the tuna auction). Fuel up for the day with an unbeatably fresh sushi breakfast at one of the small restaurants on the market fringes. Nearby you’ll find the bright lights of Ginza, home to department stores and elegant hat-and-handbag grannies. The avant-garde Dover Street Market Ginza (ginza.doverstreetmarket. com) is home to edgy art installations and a vending machine selling T-shirts. Paper isn’t usually the most exciting of purchases, unless you’re buying it at Itoya (, a temple to stationery, from daintily decorated diaries to origami. Next stop: Omotesando. Just up from Chanel, there’s an unmissable neon blot on this chic Zelkova-tree-lined landscape: Kiddy Land ( is a multistorey stash of robots, fluffy animals, stickers, toy trains and furry Hello Kitty boots. A 10-minute walk away is street-fashion motherlode Harajuku. Too old for over-the-knee socks? Ragtag (ragtag. jp/english) sells grown-up secondhand designer gear on hip Cat Street. Meanwhile, you could lose entire

TOKYO 10 one-off wonders

Nakameguro has edgy boutiques and a cherry treelined canal

holidays in Shibuya’s epic Tokyu Hands ( Not far from the famous scramble crossing, umpteen floors of hardware hold all the worldly goods you can think of, plus plenty you never knew existed (stick-on facial hair and sushishaped erasers). A short hop from Shibuya is Nakameguro, a residential district with edgy boutiques and a cherry treelined canal. Here, riverside Cow Books ( stocks out-of-print design and art books Final stop? Head by train to Asakusa and peruse an array of kitsch souvenirs in Nakamise market, which lines the path to the entrance of the Senso-ji temple.


March // 2014

World’s Best Shopping Streets

Corso Como, Milan 1. FELTRINELLI RED Piazza Gae Aulenti

This combination bookshop and tapasstyle ristorante sells everything from local literature and cool comics to hand-printed stationery and foodie souvenirs, including Piedmontese wines and Tuscan olive oil. Tucked into the base of one of the city’s newest skyscrapers in the square at the top of Corso Como, Feltrinelli RED is an oasis that lives up to its acronym ‘Read, Eat, Dream’. ( 2. NAUGHTY DOG No.11

The first flagship store for this glitzy, Italian-designed womenswear brand opened last summer, and they couldn’t have selected a hipper location. Against the shop’s shiny white backdrop, designers Simona Guarraci and Laura Pizzi’s islandinspired (think wild-animal prints, fringed necklines) dresses and faux furs are imminently eye-catching ( 3. CORSO COMO 10 No.10

In 1991, the ex-Vogue fashion editor Carla Sozzani opened this quirky lifestyle store in a former garage. Today, Corso Como 10 is a place of designer pilgrimage. Hit the fashion, jewellery and homeware boutique (for an Azzedine Alaia python-scale dress, or perhaps a neon ‘80s-style Memphis lamp). Or try the photography-heavy bookshop, art gallery and café/restaurant ( 4. HIGH TECH Piazza XXV Aprile 12 46

This treasure trove of Italian and international design sprawls over a labyrinth of late 19th century buildings; part is housed inside what used to be the Milanese newspaper Corriere della Sera’s ancient ink factory. Each room is themed by product, from perfumes to pet accessories. Seek out the knitwear, furnishings, handcrafted candles, kitchen gadgets and leather-bound journals ( To Buy For

5. PANINO GIUSTO No.125 Garibaldi

Here, Corso Como has merged into equally glamorous Corso Garibaldi, and it’s time for a pitstop at Panino Giusto, one of the city’s oldest paninoteche he (sandwich (sa sand ndwi wich ch vendors). Business folk, students nts and nt and shoppers crowd simple wooden n tables tab able less or hover at the long polished bar baa r for for one on of dozens of creative sandwich h ccombos, ombo om bos, s, all served up on home-made bread reead d ( 6. ROSSIGNOLI No.71

Garibaldi Italians make the most st soughtsou ough ghtt after cycles, and this family-run n bicycle bicy bi cycl clee shop has been rolling on since 1900. 900. 90 0. Its Itss custom-made two-wheelers are still sti till ll the t he city’s chicest, as are the leather panniers, pan anni nier ers, hand-designed helmets and all-in-one n-o -one ne GPS-cardio watches. Can’t wait too tr tryy ou out your new gear? Rossignoli also rents ents t ccity ityy it bikes by the day. 7. ...IT! AND MORE No.2 Via Anfiteatro

Fashionistas have been flocking to o th this h is petite boutique on the corner of Corso o so or Garibaldi since it opened in late 2012. 0122 . Owners and longtime friends Chiara, ara, Sara Saa ra and Valentina purvey their own line ne of colourful cashmere cardigans and M Made adee in ad Italy leather handbags, as well as a sma small mall ll selection by international labels, such ch as Chipie trainers and Dr Denim skinny ny jeans (

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C or

March // 2014



o WHERE TO STAY Located in Milan’s fashion district, the Quadrilatero della Moda, the 95-room Armani Hotel Milano is every inch as polished as the label itself. From the sizeable rooms and spectacular service to the 1,000-square metre spa and onsite restaurants, a night here will leave you feeling relaxed and ready to conquer this stylish city. If you’re flying into Milan via Dubai, check out its sister property, the Armani Hotel Dubai: equally chic and deserving of a visit. Book at


March // 2014


10 not-on-the-high-street shops


To Buy For

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March // 2014

Insider’s Guide

t’s impossible to pick between London’s top two museum stores, so if you’re into ergonomic watering cans and tablecloths you can doodle on, hit the Design Museum Shop (designmuseumshop. org). Or, if you’d rather snaffle some tribal jewellery and coffee-table tomes, you need the V&A Shop ( You could even look round the museums afterwards. Kate Moss, Harrison Ford and James Bond have all worn biker jackets made by General Leather Company ( The big designers use these guys for their leather and shearling items. You can take a picture of your dream jacket and they’ll make it better than the original, for less. Just down the road lies London’s least likely chain, Daunt Books (dauntbooks. This branch (there are five other outposts in London) looks like a oneoff, with oak shelves, parquet floor and staff who’ll direct you towards your next favourite read. For a bag of something sweet to devour alongside your new novel, head to Hope and Greenwood in the centre of town (hopeandgreenwood., where nostalgic treats such as sour plums come in stripy seaside packaging. Not far from here, you’ll see local hipsters browsing the trendy bike gear at the new Rapha Cycle Club (, which sells the Italian brand’s top-of-the-range kit. Now, head east. En route, stop off at the Borough Market splinter-group stalls on Maltby Street (Bermondsey; Saturdays). There’s less choice than at Borough, but it’s quieter - so you can pick at juniper smoked salmon without getting elbowed. There are lots of niche homeware shops in London, but the place you might actually buy something from is emerald-tiled Labour and Wait (labourandwait., purveyor of elegant hardware. Nearby are your one-stop shops if you’ve money to burn: The Goodhood Store and The Goodhood Workshop. The former flaunts unusual labels specialising in pricey East London grunge, and the latter sexy homeware such as bowls carved from beech and dipped in neon plastic. But your coolest outfit is waiting at appointmentonly LN-CC in hip Dalston ( With access via an angular wooden tunnel and clothes that are practically framed, it feels more like an art installation. It’s not cheap, so save spare change for a delicious fried-chicken sandwich across the road at busy Birthdays (


March // 2014

Ru e de s ty rs

To Buy For



Just a stone’s throw from the Louvre in one direction and Place de la Concorde in the other, you can’t beat The Westin Paris when it comes to location. Boasting magnificent city views, the rooms and suites feature contemporary décor with period details such as panelling and fireplaces – and seriously comfortable beds. When you’ve had enough sightseeing, you can enjoy fine French cuisine in the stunning courtyard restaurant and then indulge in a treatment at the Six Senses spa. Book at



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March // 2014

World’s Best Shopping Streets

Rue des Martyrs, Paris 1. SPREE 16 Rue la Vieuville

Concept stores are usually snooty, but Spree is as friendly as it is discerningly curated, with great photography books and design, as well as men’s and women’s fashion by Kenzo, Acne, Isabel Marant and Helmut Lang. Just off the top of Rue des Martyrs, before you come to Place des Abbesses, it’s fun for a swift fashion fix, all on one floor ( 2. LIBRAIRIE VENDREDI No.67

This very cerebral Parisian bookstore opens from noon, Tuesday to Saturday, so its owners - who stock only books that they like themselves, and chat knowledgeably with their customers - can spend the mornings reading. There are always rarities to discover here, with the poetry shelves particularly rewarding. 3. PASCAL BEILLEVAIRE No.48

Previously known as La Maison du Fromage, this cheese shop was sold several years ago to the high-quality chain Beillevaire. It stocks cheeses from across

France, as well as raw-milk products from theBeillevaire family’s farm in the Vendée, including yoghurt, cream and fabulous butter - the beurre cru baratté à l’ancienne, with its crunchy salt crystals, is a cult product. 4. ARNAUD DELMONTEL No.39

A top-drawer bakery with four branches across Paris. This one, on the corner of Rue de Navarin, always has a patient queue of people waiting to buy awardwinning baguettes, delightful macarons (bergamot-hazelnut, salted caramel, honey, pistachio), classic treats such as Paris-Brest cakes and palmier biscuits. And look out for seasonal inventions, such as the tropical Christmas log ( 5. LES PAPILLES GOURMANDES No.26

Superb charcuterie from all over France, with a particularly good selection from the southwest, greets you as you enter this fine grocery-cum-deli. At the rear, you can browse bottled and tinned regional specialities of the highest order: fish soup,

cassoulet, duck confit, tapenade, aubergine caviar. The staff are knowledgeable, and will offer slivers of cured meats and cheeses for you to try before you buy. 6. SEBASTIEN GAUDARD No.22

Formerly the top pastry chef at luxury grocer’s Fauchon, where he trained under Pierre Hermé, Sébastien Gaudard took over this venerable patisserie last year. He’s decorated it in exquisite doll’s-house style as a showcase for his impeccable cakes, tarts, biscuits, chocolates, old-fashioned sweets (bonbons, dragées), jams, teas and ice creams ( 7. LA CHAMBRE AUX CONFITURES No.9

This new-generation jam-maker opened two years ago, to sell Lise Bienaimé’s smallbatch, highly seasonal fruit preserves - six strawberry recipes, four marmalades - as well as real chocolate spread, jellies to serve with cheese, and all the wherewithal for preserving fruit yourself. The narrow boutique is as neat as a pin, its curving interior stacked prett prettily with fruity jars ( confitures.c


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Located in Alberta, Banff is Canada’s oldest National Park. Lake Louise is the park’s crown jewel, a 2.5km long, 90m deep hamlet which you can paddle in during the summer months or skate on in the winter. The snow-topped peaks which surround Louise offer stunning views of the entire valley – a gorgeous reward for the testing climb up.


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Ice hockey is Canada’s national sport, and The Toronto Maple Leafs use the iconic symbol of Canada as their logo. Star Leafs players include Phil Kessel and Connor Brown, and they have some famous fans, too – astronaut Chris Hadfield even wore a Leafs shirt under his spacesuit when he returned to earth from the I.S.S in 2013.



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Dominating the Toronto skyline, the CN Tower was the tallest building in the world until Dubai’s Burj Khalifa took the crown in 2007. The tower’s famous 360 restaurant slowly revolves, giving you a dizzyingly complete view of the entire city. With worldclass cuisine, it’s not to be missed – or, once you’ve visited, easily forgotten.

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March // 2014

Aurora Borealis (commonly known as the Northern Lights,) are most likely to be tracked down in the Northern areas of Canada like Manitoba. This aweinspiring display of light and colour dancing across the sky will leave you breathless. The Lights are visible in Manitoba for 300 nights of the year: great news for nature lovers.



Photography supplied by: Corbis / Arabian Eye

World Traveller March // 2014


March // 2014

Adam Karlin tours Luzon, the largest island in the Philippines, and discovers a land of riches


LUZON The Plot Philippines

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March // 2014

Opening page: Taal Lake and volcano, Luzon. This page: An island beach resort. Opposite page from top: Mayon Volcano from Legazpi; Hammocks and lifeguard stand at a beach resort.



World Traveller

he word ‘diversity’ gets tossed around a bit when the Philippines are described, which makes sense when you consider that the nation is made up of more than 7,000 islands. Yet even within that vast archipelago, there are individual islands that contain a nation’s worth of diversity on their own. Nowhere exemplifies this phenomenon like Luzon: the largest island in the Philippines, and the fourth most-populous island in the world (after Java, Honshu in Japan, and Britain). Topping the north end of the nation, Luzon defies easy categorisation, be it by geography, linguistics, culture or politics. It is emphatically Asian, yet the vast majority of people are Catholic - and the varied cuisine across the island reflects Spanish and American flavours. Travellers taking advantage of Emirates’ recently launched flights from Dubai to Clark International Airport in Luzon are likely at least to pass through Manila. That’s not such a bad thing; as chaotic, congested and smoky as it gets, the capital and its surrounding sprawl and suburbs contains the country’s best nightlife, a great diversity of food, and excellent shopping in upmarket areas such as Makati and Quezon City. Manila is also the best location to learn about the nation’s remarkable history; Intramuros - the old city, within the Spanish-built walls - resonates with intrigue and tragedy. People say that the Philippines spent 400 years in a convent and 50 in Hollywood, a reference to the twin colonial dominions of Spain and the US. You get a real sense of this phenomenon once you enter Luzon’s towns and villages, where life revolves around two institutions: the local church and the karaoke bar. Filipino street culture is infectious, from the sound of Bruno Mars’ music roaring out of a pub to the rainbow flash of a passing jeepney - the local

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Luzon’s south-east corner is a crooked arm of bays, inlets, jungle and beaches

public transportation option. It is possible to combine these experiences in Manila with Jeepney Tours (jeepneytours. com); the ‘bus’ comes complete with its own karaoke machine on tours costing from around (US$70). The rainy Zambales coast, west of Manila, could put one in mind of a tropical Cornwall, with the addition of jungle. Dark, looming mountains hem vividly green fields and tiny farming and fishing villages abut stretches of sand and small family-run resorts. The northwest coast runs from San Fernando, a bustling beach town that boasts consistent surfing breaks, to the deep blue waters and sunny sands of Pagudpud. As you cross into the northeast coast of Luzon, the land gets wild and sparsely populated. The beautiful Cordillera region is studded with rice terraces. The cool air is a welcome break from the humidity of the plains, and trekking and backpacking opportunities abound. Luzon’s south-east corner is a crooked arm of bays, inlets, jungle and beaches. The university town of Naga, serves as a good base for


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further exploration. You can hike under lonely limestone cliffs in the remote Caramoan Peninsula, or dive among the whale sharks on the southern coast at Donsol. The eighth wonder of the world is the nickname Filipinos give the rice terraces of the mountains of North Luzon. Here are the dry details: they are 2,000 years old and their irrigation systems are so blessedly clever they haven’t been significantly altered during the ensuing two millennia. The rice terraces deserve their hyperbole: they are perhaps the most beautiful example of landscaping in the world. It’s impossible to convey how grand in scale the sculpted mountains are without heading to the Cordillera yourself. If you do, the easiest town in which to base yourself is Banaue. Pagudpud sits tucked away in the far north-west corner of Luzon, but it’s worth the daylong bus ride from Manila or the Clark area. This is a buttery



Luzon’s highest peak is the imposing Mount Pulag, with an elevation of 2,930 metres making it some 1/3rd of the size of Everest. Due to near-annual precipitation near the summit, Pulag has one of the most fascinating biodiversities

in the Philippines. Giant bushytailed cloud rats, Philippine deer

The eighth wonder of the world is the nickname Filipinos give the rice terraces of the mountains of North Luzon

and the long-haired fruit bat all make their home here. The peak can be hiked, and the grassland summit pushes through the cloud line – an awe-inspiring reward for making it to the top. Remember to charge your camera.

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Opposite page from top left: View of Tagaytay; Saud beach near Pagudpud; Snorkeling near the coast. This page: Rice terraces in Banaue. Next page: Scenic coastal view.


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The rice terraces are perhaps the most beautiful example of landscaping in the world

WHERE TO STAY If Manila is your starting point then follow in the footsteps of Ernest Hemingway and John F. Kennedy and head to Manila Bay where you’ ll find the five-star Manila Hotel, the oldest premiere hotel in the Philippines built in 1909. Before heading to your coastal spot of choice, capture Manila’s city life by booking a room at Raffles Makati – as spectacular as its sister property in Singapore.

Text by: Adam Karlin Photography supplied by: Corbis



spread of sand fronting a royal blue bay that’s pulled right off a computer screensaver. Relax, swim or bicycle around - rental bicycles are everywhere. Almost every post-colonial South-east Asian nation flaunts a preserved town that blends European charm with tropical lassitude and attitude, and Vigan is the Philippines’ version. While the preserved area is small, it’s adorable: cobblestone streets are stuffed with shops selling crafts, and verandas are shaded by windows paned with capiz shells (a type of oyster). Vigan’s homes are distinctive; originally built by the Spanish, they were subsequently remodelled by Chinese merchants. The resulting hybrid architecture - wide plazas, sloping roofs and dark wood - is strikingly attractive. One of the better examples is the old home of former president Elpidio Quirino, the Syquia Mansion, a lovingly preserved (if dusty) remnant of Old Vigan, located at the corner of Salcedo and Quirino Blvd. Just north of the provincial capital of San Fernando, San Juan and the neighbouring barangay (village) of Urbiztondo are surfers’ paradises, of a sort. You’re not getting Tahiti-sized waves here; these two towns are where beginners learn to board. The waves are gentle, consistent and the sea bottom is sandy. The only issue: the English-language levels of instructors runs from fluent to woefully lacking. A good place to start is Sebay Surf Central ( or Little Surfmaid (littlesurfmaidresort. com).

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Concierge Inside Information


Starry nights While Hollywood hums with Oscars buzz, you can live like a star yourself at The Peninsula Beverly Hills. To celebrate the centenary of the ultra-exclusive district, the luxury hotel has unveiled a celeb-

inspired suite – and thrown in a “scrub & spray-tan” treatment to boot. Go the whole hog with a Hollywood-style photo shoot (complete with stylist, borrowed jewels and celebrity snapper), then put

head concierge James Little to the test with a few diva demands: he prides himself on his ability to bag a table at the hottest restaurants in town. Welcome to the A-list.

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Atlantis The Palm, Dubai

Something for the Weekend

YAS YOU CAN Enjoy the wonders of Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island by taking up one of these great offers… Crowne Plaza Yas Island Offer: 1 night from AED476 per person. Includes: Stay in Superior Room with daily breakfast and one Yas Park Ticket (either Ferrari World Abu Dhabi or Yas Waterworld) per person, per night. Valid for stays from: Now til April 30, 2014. (supplement during Easter will be applied) Radisson Blu Yas Island, Abu Dhabi Offer: 1 night from AED250 per person. Includes: Complimentary upgrade to Superior Room with breakfast daily, plus kids stay free. Valid for stays from: Now til April 30, 2014. Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi Offer: 1 night from AED395 per person. Includes: Stay in Deluxe Room with breakfast daily. Valid for stays from: Now til April 12, 2014. To book, call dnata on +971 316 6666.


Just what do I do first at a place like Atlantis? Tough one, we know, but we’d suggest heading straight to Aquaventure to make a splash at its myriad chutes and slides. Sliding through the shark-filled lagoon is one of those must-dos in Dubai, so what better way to start your weekend?

Indeed. That will no doubt work up an appetite, so where do you suggest for lunch? Pizza is always sure to sate a roaring appetite and at Ronda Locatelli you can enjoy slice after slice of authentic, handmade pizza that hits the spot every time. Another good spot is La Brasserie, the décor of which puts you in mind of Paris. Here you can enjoy artisan breads, full-flavour cheeses and the like, being sure to save room for one of their delectable pastries.

Nice. So how about dinner? That would be Seafire. Yes, Nobu, Ossiano are destination restaurants hard to ignore, but at Seafire you’re guaranteed the best steak in Dubai. Our tip is to eschew the Wagyu and other suitably expensive cuts in favour of Atlantis’ own beef, which is best of all and lighter on the wallet to boot.

So which room should I book? Stay in an Imperial Club Room and you’ll get extra benefits worth an extra Dhs3,000 per day. Such benefits include a full, hot breakfast, all day snacks, afternoon tea and pre-dinner cocktails and canapés. Then there’s 2 for 1 on selected treatments at the stunning ShuiQi Spa.


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Hotels these days house art collections worthy of their own museum space. WT takes a look at the UAE’s most impressive artfilled hotels, just in time for Art Dubai



Le Royal Meridien Abu Dhabi

Rosewood Abu Dhabi

Using the entrance as an exhibition space, visitors to Le Royal Meridien Abu Dhabi will find a hand-picked collection of high-impact contemporary art installations when they arrive at the Le Meridien HUB, the hotel’s interpretation of a traditional lobby. The artwork includes two intriguing metallic sculptures and an origami model made of old Abu Dhabi maps. Both pieces have been created by local artists and members of the LM100 – a group of international creatives who transform the guest experience at Le Royal Meridien hotels.

From the moment you step inside the Rosewood Abu Dhabi, art becomes very much part of the hotel experience. Using the property as a blank canvas, curator Nancy Sweeney has strategically placed a 271-piece art collection at various points in the hotel – in the lobby you’ll find royal portraits and mixed media pieces; up on the first floor there’s digital prints and drawings; and in the spa Katina Huston’s ink on mylar adorn the walls. The hotel, too, has partnered with Abu Dhabi Art Hub to host an artist corner that changes every month. Watch this space.

Artistic stay: LM100 and other artistic partners have introduced various creative concepts in the 202 guest rooms and suites here – such as the limited edition room key, an exclusive scent (created by Le Labo’s Fabrice Penot and Eddie Roschi), and a unique 24-hour music playlist.

Artistic stay: Book the hotel’s Rosewood or Royal Suite. Around 46 pieces of art can be found in the two suites, which have been tastefully designed to reflect local culture and Arabian luxury.

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Noon Art Boutique Hotel Apartments

March // 2014

Jumeirah Creekside Hotel

From Gate Village and Al Quoz to the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, Dubai is chockfull with galleries. After a hard day’s gallery trawling, book a table at one of these stylish restaurants… Rang Mahal by Atul Kochhar Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar has brought his culinary skills to the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai.

Local art is very much the focal point at Dubai’s newest hotel apartments, which opened its doors last month. Three artists were tasked with designing the theme for the property’s suites, of which there are 45 – 15 one-bedroom, 25 two-bedroom and five three-bedroom. Artist Khaled ben Slimane combined fire, earth, water and air with ascension when designing his appointed rooms, while Ali Hassa’s designs centered around the Arabic letter noon, or ‘N’. The third artist in the project, Dr. Najat Meky, uses figures to illustrate his designs, which have been carved beautifully into the furnishings and materials. noonhotel. com Artistic stay: Book one of the Ali Hassa-designed suites. From the light fixtures and table stands to the breakfast bar and coffee table, his artistic touch has been subtly peppered around the room.

Dotted about the hotel like clues in a treasure hunt, visitors to Jumeirah Creekside Hotel will have as many as 482 works by 51 artists to relish. The collection, which covers everything from painting and sculpture to mixed media and video, can be seen in every corner of the hotel. From the contemporary lobby area to the rooms and suites, some of the Middle East’s biggest names are showcased here: Lateefa Bint Maktoum, Tala Madani, Abdulnasser Gharem and Halim Al Karim. Artistic stay: No matter what room you book at this five-star hotel, you’re sure to catch a glimpse of its art collection. Failing that, the striking colour palette used throughout the 292 rooms and suites will brighten your stay.

Toko You’ll find this award-winning Australian restaurant in Vida Downtown Hotel, one of Dubai’s newest hospitality spots.

Gaucho, DIFC Quite an institution in steak circles, Gaucho is the ideal place for dinner postgallery trawl around Gate Village.

Social Head to the Waldorf Astoria and you’ll find Social, a restaurant headed up by threeMichelin starred chef Heinz Beck.


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1. The Plaza, New York, USA Opened in 1890, The Plaza was a favourite haunt of F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda, with the author using the sumptuously appointed hotel as a setting in his classic 1920s novel, The Great Gatsby. His fondness for this grandest of all Fifth Avenue hotels was so great that Ernest Hemingway once advised him “to give his liver to Princeton and his heart to The Plaza”.

Novel digs

SIX of the BEST…

Literary hotels



Unveiled last year and designed by Catherine Martin, director Baz Luhrmann’s creative partner-in-crime, the Fitzgerald Suite features dramatic art deco flourishes and period furniture alongside quirky touches like gramophone-shaped iPad speakers and a jazz ageinspired mini-bar. theplazany. com

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March // 2014

2. L’Hotel, Paris, France Oscar Wilde took up residence at the end of the 19th century in what was then Hotel d’Alsace on the Left Bank. The Irish writer and poet, disgraced and penniless after his 1895 trial for homosexuality, lived here until his death in 1900. Famous for his witticisms, he quipped on his deathbed: “My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go.”

Novel digs True Oscar aficionados should stay in his old room, number 16. Decadently decorated with an emerald green phoenix fresco, chandeliers and antique rosewood furniture, the walls are lined with the writer’s (unpaid) hotel bills and his letters to the manager disputing them.


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4. The Balmoral, Edinburgh, Scotland Despite living in the city, author JK Rowling checked into room 552 of The Balmoral hotel in 2007 to finish her final novel in the best-selling boy wizard series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Since then, loyal – and loaded – Harry Potter fans have made a pilgrimage to this glorious five-star hotel, with

3. Old Cataract Hotel, Aswan, Egypt Built in 1899 on the banks of the Nile, this five-star Victorian palace is where famed English author Agatha Christie was inspired to write her 1937 mystery novel, Death on the Nile. Set on a Nile paddleboat, scenes from the 1978 film, starring Peter Ustinov as legendary detective Hercule Poirot, were also shot here. Sadly today, guest numbers



have plummeted amid the protracted political chaos.

Novel digs The hotel reopened in 2011 following a stunning, three-year US$100-million renovation. The lavish Agatha Christie suite has retained its colonial charm, with high ceilings, plush Persian carpets and large balcony overlooking the famous waterway dotted with feluccas.

its majestic clock tower and Michelin-starred restaurant, near Edinburgh Castle.

Novel digs Now renamed the JK Rowling Suite, the elegant, 180sq ft room includes the writing desk used by the author, brass owl doorknocker, and a marble bust of Hermes, the Greek god of travel, signed by Rowling herself.

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5. Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah, Istanbul, Turkey Overlooking the magnificent Golden Horn, Pera Palace was popular with Orient Express passengers when the hotel opened in the late 19th century (the globetrotting Miss Christie also stayed here). In the 1920s, writer Ernest Hemingway, then a young war reporter, checked in and drank at the hotel’s Orient Bar. He later name-checked the grand hotel in his short story, The Snows of Kilimanjaro.

Novel digs Take your pick from one of five suites named in honour of the prolific American author, all decorated in jade blue, to reflect his love of the sea, and earth brown, for his love for cigars.

6. Hazlitt’s Hotel, London, England This boutique hotel in the heart of Soho takes its name from William Hazlitt, the 18thcentury essayist who lived there. While not the most famous of literary figures, these three adjoining Georgian townhouses ooze bookish charm, from the rooms named after famous writers (or women Hazlitt seduced here, according to Bill Bryson) to the well-stocked library. Truly one of London’s best-kept secrets.

Novel digs Go for the Jonathan Swift room, named after the writer of Gulliver’s Travels. The décor is characterful and authentic, with period furniture, heavy damask curtains, and freestanding bathtub. A beautiful old writing desk and bookshelf lend a further literary feel. 73

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March 2014








Music fans, film buffs and techheads should make tracks to Austin, Texas for South By Southwest (SXSW). The 10day extravaganza includes one of the USA’s premier film festivals, a technology conference for creative types, and over 1,700 live music acts.

Europe’s wildest spring party kicks off in Valencia, Spain. Las Fallas is a five-day fiesta where 15-metrehigh papier-mâché figures (fallas) are displayed on every street corner, before going up in flames on March 19. Expect street parties, parades and lots of pyrotechnics.

The F1 season continues to roar into cities around the world this month, starting with Australia on March 16 and Malaysia on March 30. Moving into next month, don’t miss the Bahrain Grand Prix, taking place April 4-6 at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Known as the Festival of Colours, Holi is an annual celebration that sees people take to the streets of northern India and Nepal to throw colourful gulal (powder) all over each other to welcome in spring. The result? A raucous rainbow that is incredibly photogenic.

Feed body, mind and soul at the Bali Spirit Festival, an annual celebration of yoga, dance and music in Ubud. The five-day line-up includes wellbeing workshops by day and world music concerts by night, so you’ll leave feeling rejuvenated rather than wrecked.

Saddle up for the Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest horse race and one of the Emirates’ biggest sporting and social events. There will be plenty of spectacular fashions, fillies and fireworks on show, as well as a postrace concert.


World Traveller

March // 2014

Graphic language


The Stockholm archipelago has 30,000 pine-clad islands and skerries. Islandhopping by ferry is a popular pastime.

Vienna (51%)

London (38%)

New York (14%)

Paris (9%)

Late author Stieg Larsson’s bestselling Millennium trilogy was set in the city. Fans can do a guided tour of locations mentioned in the crime novels.

Stockholm (30%)


Hässelby-Vällingby Hasselby-Vallingby Kungs-holmen Bromma

Skarpnäck Hägersten

Due to its


59°20 of





“ ”

The Vasa Museum houses a 69-metr-long Viking warship, rescued and preserved after sinking in Stockholm harbour in 1628. It attracts over 1.2 million visitors a year.

“Stockholm‘s got everything New York or London has but without all the people and traffic. It’s also become a very creative city, not only for music but also for fashion and computer games.” BJORN ULVAEUS

( ABBA singer and songwriter )


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Discover Phnom Penh Once just a stopover on the way to Angkor Wat, Cambodia’s riverside capital has come into its own

Considered the loveliest of the French-built colonial cities of Indochina, Phnom Penh tends to be defined by its more recent Communist past. While few remain unaffected by its tragic history – the Khmer Rouge embarked on a ruthless genocide from 1975 until 1979 – the city is slowly regaining its flair. Those who linger longer than a couple of days will find an increasingly cosmopolitan city that remains a bargain for travellers. It may be the capital, but Phnom Penh is a compact city criss-crossed by tree-lined boulevards and dotted with old colonial villas. The ‘Pearl of Asia’ sits at the junction of the Mekong, Bassac and Tonlé Sap rivers, and much of the action is centred along the riverside boardwalk Sisowath Quay. The lively, three kilometrelong strip is lined with hotels, bars, restaurants and shops and is a great place for a morning stroll. Come 5pm, it will be packed with locals who come to promenade and people watch. The city’s key sights are nearby. Just one block to the west lies the Royal Palace. The King of Cambodia still lives here, but much of the palace is open to the public. Highlights include the impressive throne room, topped by a much-photographed four-faced tower, and the Silver Pagoda with its splendid 17th-century emerald Buddha. A block north, the terracotta-tiled National Museum, with four galleries set around a leafy courtyard, is well worth a visit. It houses a rich collection of Khmer sculptures, relics and artefacts,



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dating from prehistoric times to the present. Then follow the crowds to Wat Phnom, a hilltop temple where residents come to pray for good luck. Atop the only hill in town, you’re bound to spot the spire that marks the location where the city was founded. The surrounding area has a number of lovely colonial buildings, a legacy of French rule from 1864 until 1953, so take your time to explore. For a more sobering history lesson, visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. In 1975, Pol Pot’s forces turned the former school into the notorious S-21 prison. Thousands of people were detained and tortured, before being sent to the Choeung Ek killing fields, 12 kilometers southwest of the city. Today, a memorial at the site includes a glass and concrete tower crammed with skulls. Back in town, leafy Street 178 behind the National Museum is home to a cluster of art galleries showcasing emerging local talent, such as La Galleria run by artist Em Riem. Nearby, Meta House exhibits contemporary Cambodian art in its large gallery and also has a cool rooftop cinema and restaurant. Street 240 runs parallel and is packed with cafés

Where to Stay Raffles Hotel Le Royal ( Built in 1929, Phnom Penh’s grand dame has welcomed writers, royalty and war correspondents. The famous Elephant Bar is a top spot for an aperitif. InterContinental Phnom Penh (intercontinental. com/phnompenh) This 15-storey hotel has fantastic views over the city, while the open-air swimming pool provides welcome relief from the tropical heat. White Mansion Hotel ( Housed in the former US Embassy, this stylish boutique hotel has high ceilinged rooms that are some of the most spacious in the city.

Ask a...


Muth Makara, of the InterContinental Phnom Penh, on the city’s best places to try traditional Cambodian food

Malis Set in elegant surroundings of Angkorian-inspired pools, garden and architecture, Malis serves authentic Khmer cuisine prepared by the renowned Cambodian chef Luu Meng. One of the city’s top dining destinations. Romdeng As well as leading the revival of Cambodian cuisine, this restaurant trains former street youths in cooking and service skills. With traditional recipes from the provinces, healthy ingredients and a lot of creativity, Romdeng offers a unique Cambodian dining experience.

Getting around While not for the fainthearted, motos (motorbike taxis), tuk-tuks (threewheeler rickshaws) and pedal-powered cyclos are the best ways to navigate the chaotic streets. Whichever you choose, just be sure to agree the fare before you set off.

Text by: Lara Brunt

Khmer is the official language, although you’ll also hear Chinese and Vietnamese. English is widely spoken among the younger generation, while it’s elderly, educated Cambodians who tend to speak French.

Photography supplied by: Corbis / Arabian Eye; Shutterstock


and classy boutiques. Shop for unique jewellery made from colourful beads and recycled buttons at Waterlily, handmade bedding at Mekong Quilts, and high-quality furniture and contemporary and traditional artwork at Le Lézard Blue. Up the street is Wat Ounalom, which dates back to 1443 and is the headquarters of Cambodian Buddhism, making it one of Phnom Penh’s oldest and most important pagodas. Made up of 44 structures, highlights include a fine bronze Buddha and the crypt containing hundreds of funerary urns of Cambodian dignities. If you’re in town over the weekend, head to the Night Market on the riverfront at the corner of Street 108 to haggle for souvenirs such as silver, silk and brightly coloured khama scarves. Central Market, a handsome art deco building with distinctive yellow dome, has plenty of food stalls serving up stir-fried noodles, home-cooked curries, or fried insects if you’re feeling game.

K’nyay This unique caférestaurant serves a nice selection of mostly Khmer-inspired vegan cuisine as well as a range of Khmer meat dishes. Set in a restored villa, it is a nice retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.


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Squeezed onto a narrow peninsula curling into the Arabian Sea, Mumbai has gone from small fishing settlement to sprawling metropolis in less than 500 years. Home to 16 million people, the city is the centre of business and the Bollywood industry. Yet, beyond the banks and boutiques, a very different Mumbai also exists with millions of people living in sprawling slums. While this city of contrasts is undeniably overwhelming, it remains an endlessly fascinating visual treat.

Where to Stay The Taj Mahal Palace ( Built in 1903, this sumptuous 560-room hotel has hosted everyone from The Beatles to The Obamas. A must-visit spot even if you’re not staying here. InterContinental Marine Drive (intercontinental. com/mumbai) With floor-to-ceiling windows and a hipper-thanhip rooftop bar, this luxury hotel makes the most of its location overlooking the Arabian Sea. The Oberoi (oberoihotels. com) Shake off any jet lag in the opulent Oberoi’s 24-hour spa and try the tasting menu at Ziya, cooked by Vineet Bhatia, India’s first Michelin-starred chef.

The capital of Maharashtra state’s defining landmark is the Gateway of India, opposite its other great icon, the Taj Mahal Palace hotel. The towering basalt arch was built by the British to commemorate King George V’s visit in 1911 and features Hindu-style pillars and Islamic-inspired windows. Ferries depart from here for the hour-long ride to Elephanta Island in Mumbai harbour. The UNESCO World Heritage Site has unique cave temples dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva.

Mumbai’s sights India’s most dynamic city is bold, brash and brimming with amazing attractions


Once back on dry land, stop for a coffee at Leopold Café, a Mumbai institution that featured in Gregory David Robert’s epic novel, Shantaram. A short walk north leads to the tongue-twisting Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (formerly the Prince of Wales Museum), Mumbai’s biggest and best museum. Opened in 1923, the domed building is an eclectic mix of Islamic, Hindu and British architectural styles and houses a vast collection of art and ancient artefacts from all over India. Just up the road are two of the city’s most imposing Gothic masterpieces: the India

World Traveller

Getting around

Photography supplied by: Corbis / Arabian Eye

Text by: Lara Brunt

While the first stage of the much-anticipated Mumbai monorail opened recently, taxis are still the best way to travel. The city’s iconic black-and-yellow Premier Padmini taxis are slowly being replaced with modern, air-conditioned cars.

Language Marathi is the official language, however, multilingual Mumbaiites are quite adept at English and Hindi too. You’ll also hear ‘Mumbaiya’, a colloquial mix of the three languages.

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black stone High Court and the University of Mumbai. The later was designed by Gilbert Scott in 1857, the same architect responsible for London’s St Pancras Station, and has an 80m-high clock tower modelled on Big Ben. Nearby is the Fort area, which has plenty of old-fashioned cafés and street stalls. At its heart are the elegantly curved terraces of Horniman Circle, flanked by the Town Hall-turned-library with its impressive white colonnades. The central gardens are open to the public and offer a shady retreat from the bustle of the streets. Continue north to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), another World Heritagelisted wonder. Completed in 1888, the railway station features magnificent Gothic domes, turrets, spires and stained-glass windows and a stunning staircase. It’s also one of Asia’s busiest railway stations. Marine Drive, a crescent-shaped promenade overlooking the Arabian Sea, is a great spot for a breezy afternoon

stroll. Lined with fading Victorian buildings and Art Deco apartment blocks, at night the twinkling streetlights have earned it the nickname the ‘Queen’s Necklace’. At the northern end of Marine Drive is Chowpatty Beach, the only strip of sand in central Mumbai and a favourite spot with locals. If you do want to venture into Mumbai’s underbelly, Reality Tours and Travel ( organise tours in Dharavi - arguably Asia’s biggest slum and home to over a million people. Set up by Krishna Pujari and his British friend Chris Way in 2005, the tours (with a maximum of six people) aim to showcase the community spirit and small-scale industries, such as poppadum and pottery making, which exist. Their aim is to benefit the community, with 80 per cent of the profits going to the agency’s own NGO, which funds education, health and other development projects in the area.

Ask a...


Albert Amanna, of the InterContinental Marine Drive Mumbai, flags up the city’s best places to shop

Colaba Causeway A good stretch of road where you could spend the entire day. It’s got a nice mix of the upmarket as well as smaller shops, selling everything from clothing and handicrafts to souvenirs and music, and you can haggle, too. I’d recommend somewhere like Bellisimo Boutique, where you can get a shirt made to your specifications in just four hours. Crawford Market This place is a wholesale market for fruits and vegetables, and inside you’ll find Spice King, which is a good shop to buy all your spices to carry back home to help you prepare an authentic Indian meal. There are more than 200 shops within the market, and a good time to get there is around 10.30am when it’s not very busy. Linking Road This place is a fusion of the modern and traditional Mumbai, with branded stores next to independent shops selling lots of women’s fashions. It’s a one kilometre-long road and boasts a lot of good places to stop off for a bite.


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Suite Dreams What:


Garden Water Villa

Cheval Blanc Randheli is the latest offering from LVMH’s hotel division (part of the group that owns over 60 of the world’s most prestigious brands). Opened last month in the northwest of the archipelago, the 45-villa resort is as jawdropping as

Where: Noonu Atoll, Maldives


Noonu Atoll



you’d expect. The twobedroom Garden Water Villa, half perched on stilts overlooking the pristine turquoise lagoon, has an infinity pool out front and luxurious gardens out back (complete with hammock strung between swaying palm trees). Inside, it’s all

soaring thatched ceilings and warm taupe décor, but we doubt you’ll spend much time undercover when you have a coral reef to explore – and your own personal butler to arrange scuba diving lessons, dolphin watching cruises, and indulgent spa treatments.

THE LUXURY OF A HOTEL WITH THE COMFORTS OF HOME Enjoy panoramic views over the sparkling coastline and stunning cityscape at Fraser Suites Dubai. With award-winning service and extensive gold-standard facilities including swimming pools, steam & sauna, Kid’s Club, tennis & squash courts, conference rooms that can cater up to 200 delegates; relaxed dining in Aqua Café and the exclusive Awazen Spa Fraser Suites Dubai has it all.

FRASER SUITES DUBAI - Sheikh Zayed Road, Media City, Dubai, UAE Reservations: +971 4 440 1400 Email:

we love

ABU DH ABI Hotels / Culture / Shops / Activities / Restaurants



For reser vations, call +97 1 2 656 0700, email yas.reser or visit our website

World Traveller // We Love Abu Dhabi

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welcome to

ABU DHABI The past few years have seen the UAE capital mature into a cosmopolitan city without losing sight of its Bedouin roots. And a quick flick through the pages here will show you the many historical and happening reasons why Abu Dhabi is slowly emerging as a must-visit destination. Whether you find yourself here on business or holiday, visitors can relish in a sea of hotels, culinary gems and cultural hotspots. The only problem youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll face is choosing which ones to visit first.


2 Essentials 5 Hotels 18 Shopping 22 Restaurants 27 Culture 29 Activities

About This Guide Our writers have experienced the very best of Abu Dhabi and selected their choice picks of what the capital has to offer you. Enjoy.


Managing Director

Business Development


Features Editor

Designer & Illustrator

To contact any of the

Victoria Thatcher


Tracey Scott

Lara Brunt

Andy Knappett

team, email firstname@

Deputy Editor

Senior Designer

Production Manager

Richard Jenkins

Adam Sneade

Chalitha Fernando

Editorial Director

John Thatcher

Jason Brown

Production in whole or in part without written permission from HOT Media Publishing is strictly prohibited. HOT Media Publishing does not accept liability for omissions or errors in this publication. Produced by HOT Media Publishing FZ LLC

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ESSENTIALS All you need to know

Getting there


Abu Dhabi’s airport has won awards for its customer service, with flights arriving daily via multiple airlines from all over the world. To book a flight to Abu Dhabi, contact dnata (+971 4 316 6666),

GCC residents do not need a visa to enter Abu Dhabi, and citizens of most other countries can get a free entry visa upon arrival at Abu Dhabi International Airport. However, this doesn’t apply to everyone – to find out if you need a visa, check

Getting around A new and intuitively-planned road network means that getting around Abu Dhabi is best done by car. Landmarks such as the world’s most leaning building, Capital Gate, Emirates Palace and super-hotel Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi will help you navigate the roads. You’ll be able to rent a vehicle from any of the major car rental companies, but if you’d rather let someone else do the work, taxis are reasonably priced and extremely plentiful. A fleet of modern air-conditioned buses serves public transport, with an easy-to-use system allowing you to hop on and off any bus you like, simply by placing a one Dirham coin in the box next to the driver.

15 The number of football pitches Yas Waterworld would spread over

87% The amount of land mass of the UAE in total that the emirate of Abu Dhabi occupies

The size in square metres of the pl




World Traveller // We Love Abu Dhabi

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The number of seconds it takes Formula Rossa, the world’s fastest rollercoaster at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, to go from 0-100kmh


The height in feet of each of the four minarets of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque


Prove your globetrotting knowledge with these facts

Authentic Emirati restaurants are thin on the ground in the UAE – you’ll need no more than one hand to count them – so be sure to reserve a table at Mezlai in the glitzy Emirates Palace for a true taste of the region. Despite its many modern and futuristic-looking buildings, remnants of the ancient have been found in Abu Dhabi. An archaeological dig on Sir Bani Yas Island revealed a crumbled Christian monastery, said to date to 600AD. The Yas Marina Formula 1™ race circuit has been part of the F1 season since 2009, and took 35 million man-hours to construct. It’s also one of only four race circuits to run in an anti-clockwise direction. (The others are Interlagos in Brazil, Yeongam in Singapore, and Circuit of Americas in Texas, USA).

lot of land Emirates Palace sits on



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WELCOME TO EMIR ATES PALACE Your gateway to a one-of-a-kind experience ocated on the shores of the Arabian Gulf, this landmark hotel is an icon of Abu Dhabi that exemplifies luxury and true Arabian hospitality. Going beyond five-star luxury, guests have a choice of rooms and suites that range from those affording stunning views of either Abu Dhabi’s burgeoning skyline or the hotel’s 1.3km expanse of pristine white beach, refreshing pools and acres of lush



gardens. In each case you will be served by your own butler, on hand to meet your every need. Those aforementioned facilities include the Anantara Spa, which offers a long list of deliciously indulgent treatments to enjoy. Equally indulgent are the dining options. Serving a variety of the world’s finest cuisines crafted by international culinary experts, here you can dine at

the country’s only fine-dining Emirati restaurant, Mezlai, a genuinely unique proposition, and BBQ Al Qsar, Abu Dhabi’s most romantic spot for a beachside dinner under the stars. Wherever you dine, be sure to leave room to sample the extraordinary creations of the hotel’s pastry chefs, whose sweet treats are a touch of luxury. In a hotel without equal, a truly remarkable stay is guaranteed.

World Traveller // We Love Abu Dhabi

HOTELS we love

There are many superb spots to rest up in Abu Dhabi, and almost as many reasons to do so. We round up the very best of themâ&#x20AC;Ś Hotels

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bu Dhabi’s hotel offering continues to expand and amaze in equal measure – you can now add the world’s highest suspended hotel suite to the world’s most expensively built hotel and world’s only hotel to straddle a Formula One track when listing the city’s standout accommodation options. Such landmark hotels are a good place to begin our recommendations of places to stay, so let’s start with that suite. You’ll find it at the St. Regis Abu Dhabi, bridging the twintowered Nation Tower some 200 meters in the air. Inside, opulence abounds: a cinema, spa and private elevator access are some of the highlights, while enchanting panoramas come as standard. Not to be outdone, sister property St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi (the out of town alternative to the city centre-based sibling) boasts the biggest suite in the whole of the UAE. The Royal Suite spans two whole floors and among its extravagant features are a Steinway grand piano, billiards room, minicinema and the not-so-small matter of a private pool, housed on an outsized, ocean-facing balcony. Other suites of note at this beautiful resort – which offers up a nine-kilometre beach – include the aptly named Majestic Suites and Spa Suites, which house a treatment area and Jacuzzi. As with all St. Regis hotels, the brand’s legendary butler service is laid on for all guests. The armadillo-like façade of the Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi hotel is captivating day or night, but particularly at night when it’s entirely bathed in bright, colour-changing lights that give it an otherworldly glow. Get past that eye-catching exterior and you’ll be in a truly unique setting. Suites here place you, quite literally, on the edge of the action – in this case, overlooking the Yas Marina Circuit, home to the city’s annual F1 race. Go all out with a stay in one of its two-storey Presidential Suites, memorable for their standout features – notably an indoor lap pool, revealed from behind a partition at the click of a button. The extravagance of Emirates Palace is well documented and to label it simply as palatial is an understatement. Inside, gold leaf and Swarovski chandeliers abound, while each guest gets their own butler to bend to their whim. It’s just as lavish outside, too, with a huge stretch of cotton-white beach, pools aplenty and beachfront spa cabanas where you can indulge in a personally-tailored treatment Hotels

Opening page, clockwise from top: Rosewood Abu Dhabi; Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi; Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara; InterContinental Abu Dhabi. This page, clockwise from top: Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel And Villas. Next page: Jumeirah at Etihad Towers.

DISCOVER A MEDITERRANEANINSPIRED GETAWAY The legacy continues with The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort.

Beautifully placed at the gateway of the Beach District of Saadiyat – a natural island and visionary destination, The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi offers Mediterranean-inspired living on a beach so sublime that Hawksbill turtles find refuge in the dunes and Bottlenose dolphins play in the surf along the shore. With a pristine beach and azure waters, the resort is an address of choice for discerning well-traveled connoisseurs.

saadiyat island, abu dhabi +971.2.498.8888

a legacy of luxury. now at over 30 of the world’s finest hotels & RESORTS. ©2010–2013 Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Preferred Guest, SPG, St. Regis and their logos are the trademarks of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., or its affiliates.

moments from the city footsteps from the beach luxur y has never been closer

E XPE RIE NCE L UX URY AT A S P EC IA L RAT E Enjoy a luxurious stay with our Advance Purchase rate at Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi along with numerous benefits including: - 15% off the Hyatt Daily Rate when booked 14 days prior to arrival - Complimentary stay, breakfast, lunch and dinner for children below the age of six - Valid for both mid-week and weekend stays Reservations +971 2 407 1234 or Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi | Saadiyat Island | Abu Dhabi | United Arab Emirates Terms and Conditions apply. The trademarks HYATT™, PARK HYATT™ and related marks are trademarks of Hyatt Hotels Corporation. ©2014 Hyatt Hotels Corporation. All rights reserved.

World Traveller // We Love Abu Dhabi

while listening to the waves lap the shore. Close to Emirates Palace is one of the city’s perennial favourites, the InterContinental Abu Dhabi. Prior to the building of Emirates Palace, this is where the country’s royalty would stay and host visiting dignitaries, and the iconic landmark has lost none of its charm through the years. In fact, its already impressive line up of attractions – large beach, never-fail restaurants, its own yacht-filled marina – will grow with the addition of a grand spa and dedicated kids’ pool and play area, making it a great choice for all. Also in this part of town is Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, which occupies one of five skyreaching glass towers that look out to sea. The lobby here is spectacular, made up of soaring panoramic windows and oversized glitter balls that dazzle overhead. It’s a hotel chockfull of standout attractions – three pools, a great spa and a handful of

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gastronomic delights – though none more so than the label-loaded shopping destination, Avenue at Etihad Towers, to which there is direct access and designer names at every turn. The high-end shopping opportunities afforded by a stay at Rosewood Abu Dhabi come in the form of The Galleria at Al Maryah Island – walk through to it from the hotel. But the hotel is a big enough draw without that added attraction. Every guest at this lavish property – where ever-changing works of conversationstarting art adorn walls and walkways – is welcomed by their own butler, and the choice of fine and intriguing restaurants and lounges lists is as long as your arm. Then there’s a nine room, full-service treatment spa (which also boasts two hammam rooms), and a choice of rooms and suites that make full use of the hotel’s waterside location – book yourself into the exceptional Executive




There’s never been a better time to treat your family to a weekend at InterContinental Abu Dhabi. Stay Thursday, Friday or Saturday in a deluxe room for only AED 555 per night and get a second room for AED 333. Or upgrade to a deluxe suite for AED 999. Rates include two buffet breakfasts per room, one F&B voucher worth AED 200, 25% off massage treatments, 4pm check out, 10% service charge and 6% tourism fee. Offer valid till 31st May 2014 for GCC nationals and residents only.

Book online at or call +971 2 666 6888 Terms and conditions apply. © 2014 InterContinental Hotels Group. All Rights Reserved.

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World Traveller // We Love Abu Dhabi

Below: Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara.

Suite to see what we’re talking about. As Abu Dhabi’s skyline continues to take shape, one of its most eye-grabbing attractions is Hyatt Capital Gate, Abu Dhabi, which leans a record-breaking 18 degrees. Standing (well, leaning) close to the airport, this hotel lays on the luxury, with stylish rooms lit by spectacular floor-to-ceiling windows and featuring marbleladen bathrooms. Its high-rise spa, specialising in holistic therapies, is a gem. From the same stable is the beautiful Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel And Villas, which is spread before a nine-kilometre stretch of environmentally protected beach and close to the 18-hole, Gary Player-designed golf course at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club. Those villas alluded to in the hotel’s name are an outstanding option, with the oak-floored Executive Villa housing two rooms and an expansive terrace that faces the ocean, and the bigger still Royal Villa offering three bedrooms and the same, sea-facing setting. Both also boast private plunge pools. The exterior of this hotel is instantly calming; all glistening pools, swaying palm trees and styled gardens, and if you want to crank your relaxation up a notch

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Every guest of the Rosewood Abu Dhabi is greeted by their own butler

there’s a fantastic spa on site. Yet this is also a hotel that caters well to families – Camp Hyatt lays on activities aplenty free of charge for kids aged five to 12. Another first-rate spa – this one housing 11 treatment rooms – can be found at the Grand Millennium Al Wahda. At Zayna Spa you can be scrubbed, wrapped and massaged to perfection, so you’ll be in fine fettle to shop up a storm at the adjacent Al Wahda Mall. However, you’ll find us soaking up the sun and the fine vistas at the hotel’s stylish rooftop pool. For rooms with a view – the stunning Sheikh



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Zayed Grand Mosque being the object of your gaze – head to the serene Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri. Here you’ll get a true taste of Arabia, channelled through the low-rise architecture, lush décor, warmth of service and a traditionalstyle souk, which you’ll reach via meandering waterways aboard a gliding abra. Come here for a post-lunch stroll around shops selling artefacts before relaxing on the hotel’s slice of soft sand or inside its superb spa. Also looking out to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the Renaissance-style Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal, which stands proud aside the water like an Italian palace. This crescent-shaped abode has all the trimmings needed to keep you in the lap of luxury, including 85 beautiful villas and a huge spa, while gourmands will be tickled pink by the vast choice of restaurants. Book a Club Level room and you’ll get to enjoy continuous culinary – and complimentary – offerings throughout the day

Abu Dhabi’s hotel offering continues to expand and amaze in equal measure


as you soak in that splendid view. The Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi has just celebrated its twentieth birthday – a rarity in this ever-changing hotel landscape, and even more rare is that some of the original staff remain, including the concierge. That’s the sign of a good hotel, and the Beach Rotana is just that, boasting great rooms, its own slice of sand and an enviable line up of restaurants. The fabulous facelift undertaken by Le Royal Meridien Abu Dhabi has made it a match for any of the city’s other luxury dwellings. Most of the rooms here afford guests panoramic views of the sparkling sea and are great value to boot, with the marble-floored, elegantly furnished suites particularly enticing. On arrival, guests discover a curated collection of high-impact contemporary art installations, while further exploration reveals amenities that include indoor and outdoor pools and some of the most innovative dining options in the city (artisan Hotels

Clockwise from top: Emirates Palace.

Discover the allure of timeless Arabian destinations

Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara

Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Yamm Villa Resort

Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara

Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara

Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Sahel Villa Resort

Explore breathtaking beauty, unsurpassed opulence and the warmth of Arabian hospitality at each of the unique Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas in Abu Dhabi. Be mesmerised by the alluring charm of the Liwa Desert at Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort or escape to the calming serenity of the mangroves at Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa. Relax body and mind in the natural beauty of one of our three Sir Bani Yas Island resorts. No matter what your heart desires, these magnificent Anantara destinations will set the stage for unforgettable memories.

Embark on a journey rich with discovery at

Call +971 (0)2 656 1399 or email for enquiries and reservations United Arab Emirates • Cambodia • China • Indonesia • Maldives • Mozambique • Thailand • Vietnam

World Traveller // We Love Abu Dhabi

Clockwise from top: St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi.

bakery and bistro whEAT is excellent). Not far from here, on the city’s Corniche, is the Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche. Here, French and Arabic styles are celebrated in equal measure, influencing everything from the food to the décor and even the bathroom products – you can lather up with Lanvin or Hermès products while soaking under an invigorating rain shower. But whichever room you plump for – and they range from the art deco-inspired Superior Room right through to the whole-floor Royal Suite, inside which is a Jacuzzi – you can be sure to retreat to seriously chic interiors. Yas Island is a destination in itself, the city’s

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entertainment hub that’s home to a brilliant waterpark, splendid golf course, the whiteknuckle rides of Ferrari World and the famous F1 Grand Prix track (plus an impending mega mall). A stay here, then, puts you at the heart of the action, and the hotel options are plentiful. Away from the aforementioned Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi hotel they include the ever-popular Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi Yas Island, which boasts unbroken views of the golf course and the inky-blue ocean beyond from its lobby – there’s also soothing vistas to be had from the rooms and, best of all, from the swim-up Sundowner Pool Bar. Back inside there’s a good spread of dining options and a kids’ club that entertains four to 12-year-olds – that’s assuming they have any energy left in the tank after a day enjoying all Yas Island has to throw at them. Their elders, meanwhile, will have no problem winding down in one of the hotel’s ultra-comfortable suites. The shortest of walks from here stands the Radisson Blu Hotel, Abu Dhabi Yas Island, where the views on offer are no less outstanding. Book a Business Class Room – sink-in king-sized bed, sun-soaked private balcony – and you’ll get complimentary drinks and delicious snacks throughout the day. For those whose chief aim is to get away from it all, Anantara offers two standout resorts in Abu Dhabi. Anantara Desert Island Resort on Sir Bani Yas Island is one of the few places you can get to grips with local nature – enjoy a 4x4 drive around elegant gazelles and the rare Arabian Oryx. Book a Pool Villa and you’ll be privy to your own private pool, splendid tropical gardens and an outdoor shower. Further sanctuary can be sought in the sweeping, red sands of the Liwa Desert – among the world’s largest uninterrupted sand deserts – where you’ll find the Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara. Like at its sister property, the room of choice here is the Pool Villa, which allows you to soak in a plunge pool while drinking in the sight of seemingly endless dunes before you. Back in the city, the Anantara Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa, built among protected mangroves, looks every inch the royal residence and its serene atmosphere makes it a fairytale spot in which to relax – best undertaken with a spell in its acclaimed Anantara Spa.


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YAS ISLAND The most uniquely brilliant leisure destination in the Middle East

Yas Islandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s du Arena has hosted concerts by some of the biggest names in music history, including The Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder and Sir. Paul McCartney

The stunning Yas Marina has room for 192 boats and yachts, the longest of which can be 150 metres

Spanning 2.5million sq ft, Yas Mall will be Abu Dhabiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest shopping mall when it opens in November of 2014, and boast over 450 stores and 4 international department stores



Yas Links Abu Dhabi is a 7,450 yard, par-72 course and the first links golf course in the whole of the Middle East


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

Yas Waterworld Ferrari World Yas Links Yas Marina Circuit du Arena Yas Beach Yas Island Rotana Park Inn Centro Yas Island Yas Viceroy Radisson Blu Hotel Crowne Plaza Hotel Staybridge Suites

World Traveller // We Lovea Abu Dabi

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1 Yas Marina boasts the longest straight of any current Formula 1™ circuit, plus 21 twists and turns to make it a truly testing drive

Yas Island is home to 7 hotels, including Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi, the only hotel in the world to straddle a Formula 1™ race circuit

In total, Yas Waterworld spans an area the size of 15 football pitches, and includes 43 super slides and attractions to enjoy

Bandit Bomber at Yas Waterworld is the longest suspended roller coaster in the Middle East at 550 metres long







2 SECS The








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SHOPPING we love


If your version of perfect sightseeing is more bulging shopping bags than beautiful landscapes, Abu Dhabi’s got you covered…


he most exciting shopping news last year was the opening of The Galleria at Al Maryah Island. The mall’s slogan is ‘explore the wonder of luxury’, which describes The Galleria perfectly. You’ll find the finest fashions from Alexander McQueen, Jimmy Choo, Tom Ford and countless others among the pristine white pillars of the building. Be sure not to miss the spectacular views of the city from the unique atrium roof. Of the same ilk, Avenue at Etihad Towers – the city’s first all luxury shopping destination – is good enough to make even the most seasoned label lover jump for joy. Step inside and you’ll find two pristine, marble-clad podiums where designer fashion boutiques (Salvatore Ferragamo, Hermès,

World Traveller // We Love Abu Dhabi

Avenue at Etihad Towers.

Chloé, Burberry…) appear alongside the very best high-end jewellers and watchmakers. The likes of Rolex, Van Cleef & Arpels and Bulgari all show their latest models here. And when you’re done perusing you can take a breather at Avenue’s gorgeous Fauchon Le Café, where a stunning fuchsia and black décor guarantees the chicest coffee experience this side of the capital. Nearby you’ll find the World Trade Centre Mall, a cool shopping destination catering to a range of fashion and food-centric customers. Must-visit stores include Missoni, Karen Millen and House of Fraser. The UAE capital is also home to two shopping stalwarts, Abu Dhabi Mall and Marina Mall. The former delivering hundreds

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of shops – from department stores through to specialist boutiques (the likes of Paspaley for pearls and Montblanc for luxury accessories) – and bowling to pep you up once you’re all shopped out. Marina Mall, meanwhile, mixes the highstreet with the high-end. Here you can trawl the latest collections from Chanel, Fendi, Dior and Louis Vuitton, or if your budget is a little more modest, the likes of Gap, Reiss and Ted Baker too. If this is your first time in Abu Dhabi – or even if it’s not – don’t miss out on the eye-catching S*uce boutique. It’s definitely the place to bag a glamorous outfit by a local label that you can be sure nobody else will have. Both malls also house the Emirati-owned Yas Perfumes, which specialises in the traditional


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tanding tall and looking out to the ocean, with its all-glass façade iridescent in the sunlight, the impeccably designed, state-ofthe-art Etihad Towers houses myriad gems (Abu Dhabi’s only Jumeirah hotel and some of the city’s finest restaurants included). Yet chief among them is the designer label-loaded Avenue at Etihad

ELECTRIC AVENUE Head to Abu Dhabi’s first luxury shopping destination, where the world’s leading designer labels await you…

Towers - Abu Dhabi’s exclusive luxury shopping destination. Set across two floors, shoppers will find some of the world’s leading luxury brands here: Tom Ford, Van Cleef & Arpels, Burberry, Chloé, Givenchy, Hermès, Rolex and Versace to name but a few. The contemporary shopping space was also the chosen location for Stéphane Rolland’s flagship prêt-àporter boutique, as well as the venue of choice for watchmaker A. Lange & Söhne’s Middle Eastern debut. In all, close to 35 luxury brands sell their high-end wares here, with many of the watch and jewellery boutiques showcasing unique-to-the-region pieces. This is a retail destination for the discerning shopper. To top up those energy levels in the midst of your shopping spree, you’ll find the upscale Fauchon Le Café here too. Open daily, its elegant cuisine features the most sublime French pastries and always-in-vogue macarons. Aside from fashion, Avenue at Etihad Towers also champions the arts, acting as a high-end exhibition space for local and international artists to showcase their work. Check for upcoming exhibitions.



World Traveller // We Love Abu Dhabi

scents of the region. You can also select – from a vast number – an ornate bottle in which to store your perfume of choice, making for a great souvenir. Al Wahda Mall has cemented itself as a firm favourite, offering hundreds of stores that see international and local names stand side by side. Its crown jewel is the cavernous Magrudy’s bookstore, where you will find literature of all kinds from all over the world. Solace Organics can beautify you with all their lovely lotions and potions, and Galler is a must for chocoholics. If you have little ones in tow, Al Wahda Mall houses what’s probably the city’s best in-mall entertainment zone, Wanasa Land, where you’ll find bowling, paintballing, rock climbing and, for younger tots, face painting. The Collection is an urban getaway deep in the heart of the St. Regis Saadiyat resort. Small but perfectly formed, it features 26 high-end stores and restaurants, but what really sets it apart is the stunning backdrop of Saadiyat Beach, perfect to help you unwind after you’ve shopped yourself out. For new visitors, Mushrif Mall prides itself on its accessible and carefree attitude. With three floors, entertainment areas and an enormous car park, you can lose yourself for days if you aren’t careful – unless that’s exactly what you’re aiming for. Another mall housing a huge number of highstreet brands and specialist stores (some 480 in total) is Dalma Mall. You’ll find it close to the airport on the way into the city, and aside from all those stores – everything from Damas Les Exclusives where you can buy fine jewellery, to Grand Sunglasses which stocks the latest-style shades. If you’re in the market for a new watch, Khalidiyah Mall is your destination. The mall is home of Rolex, Rasool Khoory and Sons and a Rivoli Arcade, all of which are chock-full of myriad brands. Fashion-wise, you can take your pick from an array of international brands spread across three levels and congregating beneath an airy atrium. For fun, why not check out Bowling City or the multiplex cinema. Away from the capital’s bustling shopping malls, you may wish to savour a more historic shopping experience: cue Abu Dhabi’s souks. Of course, gone are the days when people haggle away in labyrinthine souks, but that’s not to say you can’t sample a taste of times gone

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by. Authentic flavours can be savoured at The The Galleria. SOUK at Central Market, which maintains an air of earlier times thanks to traditional wood detailing and coloured glass. You’ll be surprised when you get inside – the traditional look of the outside gives way to modern-looking pillars. That’s not to say it’s all new inside. Lift your head up and admire the impressive slatted ceiling, which allows the Arabian sun to soak the blue mosaics you’ll find under your feet. Once you’re there it will be impossible to resist the individual boutiques, which serve up a refreshing change to the big name brands seen dominating the malls. Souk Qaryat Al Beri (find it beside the Shangri-La Hotel Qaryat Al Beri) is another place designed like a souk of old. Inside, you’ll find tasteful jewellers and regional dressmakers. Not only that, but this shopping spot is flanked by waterways, which means (if you’re a hotel guest at least) you can try out an afternoon’s shopping aboard an abra, one of the UAE’s oldest modes of transport. You will not regret stopping off at one of the multitude of waterside cafés and drinking in the views pre- or post-shop. It’s as idyllic as it sounds and makes for a memory you will always treasure. If you’re feeling really generous, why not indulge in the ultimate souvenir: gold. Decadent deals can be made at the Gold Souq in Madinat Zayed, where precious metals are imported from around the globe, plus pearls from Japan.


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No matter the size of your budget or appetite, you’re sure to find a culinary spot to satisfy both in Abu Dhabi…



World Traveller // We Love Abu Dhabi

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bu Dhabi has been cultivating a position of culinary authority in the region for some time now, with a steady stream of Michelin-starred, high-profile restaurateurs and chefs touching down in the UAE capital for one culinary event or another. But it’s a Dubai favourite that has everyone clambering for a reservation. At time of press, Zuma was due to open its doors at The Galleria, promising Abu Dhabians the same sublime Japanese delights beloved by diners at its Dubai, London and other international outlets. One of the emirate’s newest hotels, Rosewood Abu Dhabi, also houses one of its finest culinary draws, Catalan. It’s the city’s first restaurant to focus on Catalan dishes, and what makes those dishes more unique is that they’re prepared by the two Michelin-starred chef who is based at the hotel. Come here for seasonal menus, the finest ingredients and a refined atmosphere.

The location of Scott’s, like the food, is outstanding

The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal, a one-of-a-kind retreat offering enough dining options to keep you full for days, has the stylish signature steakhouse, The Forge. It will tantalise your taste buds with its prime cuts of meat, while the open kitchen at Li Jiang cooks up baskets of dim sum in flavoursome fashion. Over on Saadiyat Island you’ll find Park Bar & Grill, with its range of charcoal-grilled meats, seafood and Asian-themed starters, served in the chic environs of the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel And Villas. If it’s a lighter meal you desire, The Beach House here dishes up elegant Mediterranean cuisine in understated, woodaccented surroundings. On the same island is 55&5th, The Grill at the St. Regis Saadiyat Island, named as an homage to the New York street address of the original St. Regis hotel. It offers up hunks of perfectly cooked, grass-fed vintage cuts – if you’re in the mood to treat yourself, order the Donald Russell dry-aged Côte De Boeuf. In


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created by Alan Yau, should not be allowed to leave without ordering the Hakka steamed dim sum platter, featuring textbook examples of har gau, scallop shumai, and prawn and chive dumpling. A hop and skip from Hakkasan, in the same hotel, is Mezlai, the first Emirati restaurant in the UAE. Pitch up here for authentic cuisine served in inviting, laid-back surrounds. Cooking up a storm in the city since 2008 is fact, if you’re a committed meat-eater, Rodeo Grill at The Beach Rotana has to be on your list. Bord Eau in Shangri-La Hotel Qaryat Al Beri. Billed as Abu Dhabi’s first steakhouse, it’s hard This culinary stalwart has gone from strength to strength, wowing diners with its fresh, to tell what’s softer – the green leather chairs you’ll sit in, or the prime steaks you’ll sink your innovative take on modern French cuisine. Marco Pierre White has also made his indelible teeth into. mark on the city’s restaurant scene with Marco Meanwhile, at the other St. Regis in town, St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Rhodes 44, Gary Rhodes’ Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill at Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, which opened in 2009. celebration of British favourites mixed with his Abu Dhabi offers a generous selection of own culinary creations, is the only one of his Japanese restaurants to please super-svelte UAE outlets to open for breakfast. Opening page, clockwise from top left: Catalan; Pachaylen; Park Bar & Grill. This page, clockwise from below left: Tori No Su; 55th&5th The Grill.


A stone’s throw from here is Jumeirah at Etihad Towers. London’s famous Scott’s restaurant chose it to host its first overseas location, and the hotel is all the better for it. Offering the finest oysters, fish and crustacean, as well as seasonal game, meat and vegetarian dishes, the menu here is simple, with the added bonus of produce being sourced locally wherever possible. The location of Scott’s, like the food, is outstanding: perched over the Arabian Gulf with spectacular views across the sea. Quest, the hotel’s pan-Asian eatery on the dizzyingly high 63rd floor, is another gem. A handful of culinary delights can be found at the neighbouring Emirates Palace, home to the UAE’s first Hakkasan restaurant – the second outpost opened in Dubai in 2011. Anyone visiting this venerable dim sum restaurant, Restaurants

One of the emirate’s newest hotels also houses one of its finest culinary draws types who eat nothing but sushi. Toki at Hilton Abu Dhabi is worth visiting for its commendable selection of katsu curries and donburi, as well as its perfectly prepared maki rolls, while Yotto at Cipriani Yas Island epitomises the chic and sleek vibe that many have come to expect from high-end Japanese restaurants in the UAE. Since opening its doors in 2009, InterContinental Abu Dhabi’s Belgian Café has

World Traveller // We Love Abu Dhabi

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT Gastronomy takes centre stage at Rosewood Abu Dhabi with a medley of dining delights on offer… n a city of gastronomic delights, one hotel truly stands out from the crowd. The Rosewood Abu Dhabi blends traditional cuisine with exciting new creations, in a variety of stunning restaurants. The two-Michelin-starred chef Antonio Saez helms Catalan, the first Catalonian restaurant to open in the capital. On its delectable menu you’ll find contemporary Catalonian cuisine as fresh as any in Barcelona. In fact, ingredients are flown in from Catalonia’s mountains and deep seas to serve the chef ’s exacting requirements. To experience the fun, style and glamour of Beirut, head to Sambusek, where an upbeat vibe is matched with traditional Lebanese cuisine. Fine meats and freshly hooked fish are grilled to perfection and served with hot and cold mezze. The lively atmosphere is stoked by its stunning al fresco bar, Smoke, where open fire pits provide the perfect setting for a post-dinner drink. These two showstopper restaurants are augmented by seven other restaurants and lounges, from the dynamic Indian Spice Mela, to the open-all-day Glo, from which the views are nothing short of sublime. Remember to pack your appetite. Promotion


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Clockwise from top: Angar; Mezlai.

been Abu Dhabi’s foremost gateway to this most European of cuisines. Mussels, frites, and a staggering variety of beverages will greet you. From traditional Belgian to traditional Brazilian in the same hotel, Chamas Brazilian Churrascaria is a fun and lively venue where a seemingly endless supply of freshly barbecued meat and chicken is served at your table on skewers. And exceptionally tender meat is also the highlight of a meal at Barouk, an authentic (and award-winning) Lebanese restaurant at Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi Yas Island. The city is awash with quality cuisine from across India’s states and territories, too. The best known, and indeed most popular, is Ushna, which you’ll find in Souk Qaryat Al Beri. Not only does the restaurant serve a fragrant and colourful combination of multiple Indian dishes but it’s good value to boot. Angar at Yas Viceroy, finds favour by means of its Tandoorcooked meat and fish. It’s divine. For Italian cuisine, try an old favourite: La Mamma. It’s been the go-to restaurant at the Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort for decades and serves never-fail, homely food. A big part of its success is due to an all-Italian staff – perhaps Mamma knows best, after all. Porto Bello, at The Grand Millennium Al Wahda also serves exemplary incarnations of classic Italian recipes, as well as more refined fare including truffle-infused dishes. You can dine in sumptuous surroundings at the majestic Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara. Take some time to meander around this Arabic-inspired resort before heading straight for Pachaylen and its sophisticated Thai cusine. The flavourful curries and spicy salads served up here will transport you to the Land of Smiles in a few bites. And for somewhere special to watch the sun slip away, head to Le Deck, the destination restaurant at the Monte-Carlo Beach Club on Saadiyat Island. Sublime seafood dominates the menu here, with recipes influenced by the French and Italian rivieras. Enjoy.



World Traveller // We Love Abu Dhabi

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CULTURE we love

With the opening of the Louvre and Guggenheim on the horizon, Abu Dhabi is gearing up for an artistic revolution – here’s where to get caught up in the cultural buzz…



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For something truly incredible, head to Sir Bani Yas Island


exhibition of the work of British adventurer Sir Wilfred Thesiger and his 1940s crossings of The Empty Quarter desert. Also in Al Ain is the Al Ain Palace Museum. Built in 1910, it is the former home of the late UAE founder, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and later became a museum housing a large amount of material relating to the ruling family. The ‘Father of the Nation’ is also celebrated at Zayad Centre in downtown Culture

Abu Dhabi. It features a plethora of interesting memorabilia, from rifles to his fleet of cars. For something truly incredible, head to Sir Bani Yas Island where you’ll find an archaeological site that’s believed to be the UAE’s only discovered Christian monastery. Researchers think the original building was erected in 600AD, and archaeologists continue to dig the site to unearth historical treasures. The falcon plays a leading role in Emirati culture, which makes the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital a must-visit spot to learn about these fascinating hunting birds. Visitors are welcome to tour the hospital from Sunday to Thursday at 10am and 2pm. Advance booking is recommended. Abu Dhabi is forging its own identity as a place of modern artistic interest. Saadiyat Island is set to become the region’s cultural HQ, with Louvre Abu Dhabi due to open next year, followed by Zayed National Museum in 2016 and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi in 2017. Until then, Manarat Al Saadiyat and Gallery One inside Emirates Palace both stage high-profile exhibitions, while Abu Dhabi Art Hub in Mussafah exhibits emerging artists from the UAE and beyond.

Previous page, clockwise from top: Renderings of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi; visitors to Abu Dhabi Art; Renderings of the Louvre Abu Dhabi. This page: Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

Images: TCA Abu Dhabi

he first stop for any self-respecting tourist is the majestic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which certainly lives up to its name. Completed in 2007, the architectural icon is one of the world’s largest mosques, featuring 82 domes and 1,000 columns, and can accommodate 41,000 worshippers. Free tours take place from Sunday to Thursday at 10am, 11am and 4.30pm, Friday at 5pm and 7.30pm, and Saturday at 10am, 11am, 2pm, 4.30pm and 7.30pm. To discover what life was like in the preoil days, take a trip to Abu Dhabi Heritage Village. The open-air museum is run by the Emirates Heritage Club, and is effectively a reconstruction of a traditional oasis community. Expect lots of goats, barasti huts and traditionally dressed cultural experts on hand to display their Emirati know-how. Qasr Al Hosn – often referred to as the symbolic birthplace of Abu Dhabi – was once the centrepiece of the city, a watchtower then impenetrable fort from where political power emanated. It has stood for 250 years and was the emirate’s first permanent structure. Today, an annual festival bearing its name celebrates the UAE’s heritage as a whole. In fact, the emirate is home to many historic buildings that have a story to tell. Al Jahili Fort in Al Ain is one such building. It was erected in 1891 to defend the city and protect precious palm groves, and now stands in beautifully landscaped gardens. Visitors are encouraged to explore it and inside you’ll find a permanent

World Traveller // We Love Abu Dhabi

bu Dhabi is slowly becoming the Emirates’ favourite playground, thanks in large part to the development of its worldclass entertainment hub, Yas Island. And the island’s newest attraction, Yas Waterworld, has made quite a splash. Opened last year, the waterpark has 43 wet and wild rides including Falcon’s Fajal (a scream-inducing water coaster full of twists, turns and drops) and the 238-metre-long Dawwama (officially the world’s longest waterslide). It’s going to be an even bigger year than usual at the island’s Yas Marina Circuit. In November, it plays host to the final race of the Formula 1 Grand Prix season, adding extra excitement to an already action-packed weekend (from 21-23). For tickets and further details, visit Outside of F1, Yas Marina Circuit hosts an array of other motor-related activities, from drift driving lessons to a spin in a single-seater Formula 3,000 car. The Yas complex also holds some of the country’s biggest concerts – including Justin Timberlake and Black Sabbath in 2014. For tickets, see Staying on Yas Island, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is one of the city’s top attractions. Highlights include the Formula Rossa, the world’s fastest rollercoaster (240km/h in under five seconds – yikes!) and the Tyre Twist, a classic teacup ride with a Ferrari-inspired spin. The Karting Academy is also set to open later this year, allowing visitors to race souped-up go-karts with a top speed of 80km/h around a 290-metre track. For those seeking a more sedate pace, Yas Island’s beach stretches some 400 metres and is well worth seeking out for some serious sunbathing. If you’re after something altogether more glam, head to Saadiyat Island’s exclusive Monte-Carlo Beach Club, Saadiyat. Spend the day lazing in a private cabana by the 650-square-metre pool, then dress up for dinner at its signature restaurant, Le Deck, or watch the sun set over the Arabian Sea from the stylish terrace of Bubbles Bar. If you’re a golfer, you’ll be pleased to hear the capital boasts a wealth of first-class courses. The Abu Dhabi Golf Club features 27 holes, including the 18-hole National Course, which is where the annual Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship (an European PGA Tour event) is played. Yas Links, meanwhile, is the city’s only Activities

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From the world’s longest waterslide to indoor skydiving – when it comes to having fun, Abu Dhabi’s got something for everyone…


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Opening page, top to bottom: Ferrari World Abu Dhabi; Dune Bashing. This page: Yas Waterworld.

links course (set on the coast and punctuated with natural sand dunes). And then there’s the region’s first ocean course at the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club on Saadiyat Island, which features three saltwater lakes and 60 bunkers. While hubby plays a round, golf widows can head to one of the city’s many luxury spas for some head-to-toe pampering. The Anantara Spa at the spectacular Emirates Palace has an equally impressive Moroccanstyle hammam, with traditional domes and arches, heated marble beds, Jacuzzis, steam rooms and ice room. Try the signature caviar facial – as indulgent as it sounds. On Saadiyat Island, the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi’s Atarmia Spa has gorgeous grey stone walls and a goldmosaic Jacuzzi and combines ancient Arabian ingredients with modern skin care technologies. Plump for the signature Zaytoun Oriental body treatment, a Middle Eastern-inspired ritual that begins with a sweet-smelling honey exfoliation, before you’re slathered in a hydrating Zaytoun olive leaf and mint mask and cocooned in a warm blanket. Two hours of pure bliss. If you’re more of an active type, why not try kayaking and jet skiing around the Corniche?

Abu Dhabi is slowly becoming the Emirates’ favourite playground


Adventure tour company Noukhada offers 90-minute kayak tours through Abu Dhabi’s famous mangroves where you can catch a glimpse of indigenous wildlife, such as flamingos and black crabs. For a somewhat speedier (and, arguably, less eco-friendly) tour, you can hop on a jet ski at the Hiltonia Beach Club, Hilton Abu Dhabi. Other water-related activities include sports fishing charters with Arabian Divers & Activities

World Traveller // We Love Abu Dhabi

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This page, top to bottom: Yas Marina Circuit; Balloon Adventures Emirates.


Sportfishing Charters in Khor Al Bateen, and scuba diving with Al Mahara Diving Centre in Mussafah, which offers PADI Open Water courses for groups and individuals, as well as lessons, courses and excursions for more experienced divers. Or head to Jebel Dhanna Port and catch a 90-minute ferry to Delma Island a oncebustling hub for the Gulf’s pearl trading industry that is now Abu Dhabi’s last residential desert island. There are plans to develop Delma Island for tourism, but for now expect very basic accommodation at the island’s only hotel. If you’d rather not sail too far from the city, there’s always a traditional dhow. Abu Dhabi Dhow Cruise organises two-hour dinner tours along the picturesque Corniche – the perfect way to enjoy sea breezes, views of Abu Dhabi’s impressive skyline and a slap-up meal to boot. There are plenty of things to do in the desert too, from sandboarding and dune bashing (effectively being driven up and down massive sand dunes in a 4x4 at breakneck speeds) to camel rides and falconry demonstrations (the latter being a sacred pastime of the Emiratis). Abu Dhabi Desert Safari and Arabian Adventures are two well-respected companies that offer these heady activities, as well as overnight packages sleeping under the stars in a Bedouin-style campsite. One way to really appreciate the vast magnificence of the desert is from above. Balloon Adventures Emirates offers early morning flights over the desert, starting from the Nahel Mosque meeting point, or cruise the skies with Falcon Aviation which operates out of Marina Mall heliport and offers luxury helicopter tours of the city. Superb. Another way in which to experience the sensation of flying without actually taking to the skies is at Spacewalk Indoor Skydiving at Abu Dhabi Country Club. Both children and adults can throw themselves into a massive wind tunnel, which propels visitors into the air, thus simulating the sensation of skydiving (fear not, qualified instructors are on hand to help you get the knack of it). A truly uplifting experience. Activities

Live the ultimate water adventure Book tickets online now at Open daily from 10AM / +971 2 414 2000


You are different. That is why we have created a modern urban lifestyle experience in the cosmopolitan city of Abu Dhabi that is sure to exceed your every expectation. Introducing Jumeirah at Etihad Towers in the heart of Abu Dhabi.

For reservations please contact +971 2 811 5888 or visit


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