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July 2013

Issue Sixty Three

Idyllic Getaways

Eid EscapEs

Where to enjoy a superb short break

ThE R ail dEal Produced in International Media Production Zone

On track in Canada’s Rocky Mountains

TURKEY Linda Cookson sails the south’s blissful waters in a traditional gulet

Barcelona Hong Kong Vienna Doha New York


*All flights *All flights are subject are subject to last to minute last minute aircraft aircraft changes. changes.


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July // 2013

Editor’s Note Issue Sixty Three, July 2013

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A warm welcome to the new-look World Traveller magazine, which not only ushers in a fresh design but also our exciting distribution partnership with dnata. The partnership unites the Middle East’s highest-circulating travel magazine with the region’s largest travel company, giving you, the reader, a passport to discover the finest destinations on earth through stunning photography and our award-winning travel writers. Better yet, each issue will also include a raft of exclusive reader offers from dnata, so you can book to see such places yourself. From now onwards, a new issue of World Traveller magazine will be available from the first day of every month at dnata outlets across the region. In this issue we mark your card for the forthcoming Eid al-Fitr holiday, with vacation ideas to suit all tastes. We also wind our way through Canada’s picturesque Rocky Mountains aboard a luxury train, head to Barcelona to enjoy its myriad attractions, set sail in southern Turkey to explore its idyllic islands, and plot the must-see historical sights in Vienna and Hong Kong’s finest restaurants. If you’ve never been on safari, we give you six very good reasons to do so. And we haven’t forgotten home, either: you’ll find ideas aplenty for how to enjoy a weekend away in the GCC. Leah Oatway leah@hotmediapublishing.com

Managing Director

Victoria Thatcher Editorial Director

John Thatcher

Advertisement Director

Chris Capstick Editor

Leah Oatway Contributing Editor

Hazel Plush Writer

Grace Hyne Senior Designer

Adam Sneade

Designer & Illustrator

Andy Knappett

Production Manager

Haneef Abdul

Senior Advertisement Manager

Stefanie Morgner

To contact any of the above people, email firstname@hotmediapublishing.com

Jun-Dec 2012 | 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 Cover: Gondola on the Grand Canal, Venice. Getty Images.


THE ESSENCE OF MALDIVES. THE SOUL OF SERENITY.

VIP Spa Suite at Jumeirah Dhevanafushi

Kids Club at Jumeirah Vittaveli

Fenesse at Jumeirah Vittaveli

Be spoiled for choice with two exceptional island resorts in the Indian Ocean. Escape to the enchantingly sublime Jumeirah Dhevanafushi, a secret hideaway on the southern end of the rich Maldivian landscape. Or stimulate your senses at Jumeirah Vittaveli, the true essence of a Maldivian island. For more information on our special summer offers, please visit Jumeirah.com/Maldives or contact your local travel agent.

Johara at Jumeirah Dhevanafushi


July // 2013

Contents

6

8-40

49-72

73-96

Check In

Destinations

Concierge

The New York department store that lets you shop around the clock; great options for a memorable Eid escape; and why the world’s big-name chefs are flocking to Doha. Plus, exclusive reader offers from dnata and essential packing tips from our resident style expert.

Local passions run high as Rob Orchard makes his way across the beautiful city of Barcelona. Peter Thompson encounters hungry bears and drinks in stunning scenery as he winds his way through Canada’s Rocky Mountains aboard the Rocky Mountaineer.

Where you need to go to see the best of Dubai’s burgeoning art scene; six idyllic safari lodges; and inspired ideas for a weekend away. Plus, the pick of Hong Kong’s many splendid restaurants and the historical treasures you need to see when in Vienna.


Armani Hotel Dubai +971 4 888 3888 or email info@armanihotels.com Armani Hotel Milan +39 02 8883 8888 or email milan@armanihotels.com armanihotels.com


JW MARRIOT T® MARQUIS DUBAI

Stay longer this summer

at JW Marriott Marquis Dubai.

Located near some of the city’s best attractions, the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai is home to unsurpassed luxury, offering a spectrum of business and leisure facilities for the most discerning travellers. FROM 1ST JUNE - 31ST AUGUST 2013, STAY 3 NIGHTS AND ONLY PAY FOR 2.* ENJOY 20% OFF FOOD AND BEVERAGE AND SPA TREATMENTS, PLUS KIDS EAT FREE.* STAY CONNECTED WITH COMPLIMENTARY UNLIMITED INTERNET ACCESS. BOOK USING PROMO CODE: SUM

Sheikh Zayed Road, Business Bay PO Box 121000 Dubai, UAE T +971 4 414 0000, F +971 4 414 0001 jwmarriottmarquisdubai.com jwmarquis.dubai@marriott.com

The 3 nights for the price of 2 offer is available on Executive Rooms and Suites only. Offer valid for stays between 1 June and 31 August 2013. 20% food and beverage discount applicable at Kitchen 6, La Farine, The Lounge, Velocity, Tong Thai, Rang Mahal, Izakaya, Aqua, Vault (food only). 20% spa discount applicable on treatments and massages at Saray Spa. Kids under the age of 12 eat for free. All offers are subject to availability.

*


World Traveller

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July // 2013

The Essentials

Top Mark

In the city that never sleeps, one Manhattan hotel has come up with an ingenious plan… Travelling to New York can be a bit of a shock to the body clock at first: jet lagged, you find yourself staring up at the ceiling when you should be fast asleep. Luckily, boutique Manhattan abode The Mark has a rather stylish answer to your dilemma: round-the-clock shopping at the super-swanky Fifth Avenue store Bergdorf Goodman. Stay at the Upper East Side hotel and you’ll be granted exclusive all-hours access to the luxury store and the covetous treasures nestled within it. The hotel’s concierge has direct access to Bergdorf’s personal shopping director and, with a heady client list that includes well-known socialites and fashion followers, you know that you’re in safe hands.

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July // 2013

The

SOUTH BANK SHOW A new London eatery looks set for greatness…

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He may be 81, but British designer and restaurateur Sir Terence Conran (below) shows no sign of slowing down. Having recently sold his controlling stake in D&D London, which owns and operates some of the world’s most famous restaurants, most expected him to announce his retirement. Instead, Conran has rolled up his sleeves again. This month he launches his second London-based ‘caff’, with Peter Prescott – this time on London’s South Bank. And if it proves as successful as Albion (the first) has in Shoreditch, a chain is expected to follow. Albion sells good oldfashioned British comfort food such as shepherd’s pie and roast beef and horseradish sandwiches, and also boasts an award-winning bakery and in-house food shop. The new restaurant will be in the Lord Richard Rogersdesigned NEO Bankside building – opposite the entrance to the new Tate Modern. Perfectly placed for a pre-gallery bite.

With Emirates now flying daily direct to Tokyo, immerse yourself in Japanese culture by doing this while there… Sing Karaoke A Japanese-born phenomenon, karaoke is still incredibly popular – particularly in Tokyo, where finding somewhere to sing along to your favourite hits is certainly no chore.

Visit Harajuku In this district of the city, the fashion stakes (and creativity levels) are high. Expect neon hair, highend fashion mixed with Japanese couture, and a dash of wild abandon.

Eat Fugu One for the daring only, this dish, more commonly known as puffer fish, can be highly poisonous if not prepared correctly so foodies need head to a reputed chef and restaurant.


World Traveller

July // 2013

Great escapes

As summer heats up, there are plenty of places to travel to over Eid al-Fitr that offer far more than simply cooler climes… Best for romance… Venice

Arguably the most romantic destination in the world, the City of Water beguiles with its winding canals, narrow bridges, and stunning Baroque and Renaissance architecture. Take in the city sights by gondola before exploring the magnificent Basilica San Marco monument and ornate Doge’s Palace – both on Venice’s romantic central square, Piazzo San Marco. See beautiful Renaissance paintings by Venetian painter Titian displayed at the Church of the Frari or cross the wooden Ponte dell’Accademia (one of only four bridges in Venice) to browse contemporary art at the Peggy Guggenheim museum. Set your heart alight with an astounding ballet or opera performance at La Fenice opera house before watching the fiery sunset light up the Grand Canal from the majestic 16thcentury Rialto Bridge If all of this doesn’t steal your heart away, then the sight of the glistening canals and the maze of red rooftops, viewed from St Mark’s Campanile bell tower, is sure to. 11

Where to stay

Boscolo Venezia Housed in the prestigious Rizzo-Patarol noble palace, this hotel exudes old-school glamour with marble, ornate frescoes and shimmering chandeliers. And its Il Giardino Segreto restaurant serves up fine fare.


Photograph supplied by: Getty Images

July // 2013

Best for cooling off at home… Salalah

For those struggling with the summer heat, Oman serves up a substantially cooler retreat less than an hour’s flight from the UAE. Salalah, in the Dhofar province, is the only tropical destination in the Middle East – and with 8.2km of pristine beachfront, rugged mountains, tranquil water springs and plenty of greenery, it’s a firm favourite among those in the know. Monsoon season, typically between May and September, transforms the region – the marshy areas along the coastline become a bird watcher’s paradise and the 25 degrees temperature is ideal for hiking, playing golf, dolphin watching or snorkelling. Those keen to explore the area should visit Ain Razat, a picturesque picnic spot with springs, hills, gardens, and streams, or visit the highest point in Dhofar, the Jebel Samhan plateau, which is home to the hanging valley of Wadi Dirbat. Proof, if ever you need it, that you don’t have to leave the Middle East to enjoy a cool summer.

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Where to stay

Juweira Boutique Hotel Hotel choices in Salalah were, until a short while ago, limited to a few of a similar standard, but with the opening of this five-star boutique property, this fascinating part of the GCC now has a hotel to match its stunning surrounds. Check In

Best for getting away from it all… Seychelles

Consistently balmy weather, lush plantations, and stunning lagoons make the Seychelles the perfect year-round paradisiacal retreat. A tapestry of more than 100 islands set against the azure Indian Ocean, the tranquility here is infectious: forget crowded beaches and mass tourism, this is a destination where exclusive high-end resorts ensure peaceful beaches. Home to UNESCO World Heritage sites such as the legendary Vallée de Mai on Praslin Island – so beautiful it was once believed to be the original site of the Garden of Eden – and the world’s largest coral atoll, Aldabra, there’s plenty to astound too. And for a taste of how the islands

were hundreds of years ago, visit Aride Island, home to the Indian Ocean’s most important seabird populations, where the only human dwellers are the nature reserve’s staff.

Where to stay

Desroches Island ‘Paradise found’ is the easiest way to describe this most beautiful of private islands. Unlike most single-resort islands that you’ll find in places like the Maldives, this Seychelles island is big enough to warrant a day’s exploration – do so and you’ll encounter giant tortoises and hiddenaway, people-free beaches. You may also spot a famous face: royal couple William and Kate holidayed here.


July // 2013

Best for a swim with the fishes… Maldives

Best for being with the in-crowd... Baku

A cosmopolitan mesh of east and west, the capital of Azerbaijan is fast becoming a city destination to see and be seen in. Its beautiful beaches, Parisian-style boulevards, Baroque architecture, and abundance of high-end boutiques are attracting an increasingly young and affluent crowd. Yes, Baku has its share of cobbled alleyways and UNESCO-listed sites (the walled Old City, Icheri Sheher, and the 15th-century Shirvanshah’s Palace among the finest) but it’s the vibrant city life that is creating a stir. Baku also offers up myriad chic eateries: from the ultra-modern Chinar, with its Chinese cuisine, sushi bar and abstract digital art videos, to traditional Azeri restaurants, such as Karvansara in the Old City.

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Where to stay

Four Seasons Hotel Baku With rooms among the city’s most spacious, and offering views of the Caspian Sea or the Old City, this BeauxArts-inspired hotel sits on the beautiful waterfront promenade and boasts a penthouse spa and a pool in a modern, glass-roofed atrium. Check In

The Maldives host some of the best diving sites in the world: teeming with hundreds of exotic fish, sharks, manta rays and breathtaking coral, there are thousands of diving spots dotted around the islands to explore so you’ll never get bored. Swim through caverns covered in colourful sponges and feast your eyes on the vibrant reefs, home to aquatic characters big and small. Vaavu Atoll offers the largest unbroken barrier reef in the Maldives (50 kilometres to be exact), where grey reef and whitetip reef sharks as well as barracudas and snappers live. Float along with tuna, eagle rays and manta rays in Lhaviyani Atoll, or head to Kandooma Thila in the South Male Atoll where schools of red bass, grey sharks, and green turtles patrol the seas.

Where to stay

Jumeirah Vittaveli Maldives Despite the Maldivian capital Male being only a 4-hour flight from the UAE, most island resorts are then a further flight away. Not much fun if you’re travelling with toddlers. However, Jumeirah Vittaveli is just a 20-minute boat ride from Male and it also boasts one of the Maldives’ best kids’ clubs. The perfect break for families.


GRAN MELIÁ Starting from Gran Meliá Villa Agrippina

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Gran Meliá Colón

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PICTURED: ME LONDON

Register now on mymasamigos.com to start earning points. Daily rates based on Double occupancy per room. Breakfast included. Offers available for travel between 1 June and 30 September 2013. Subject to availability.


World Traveller

July // 2013

Best for something new… Tbilisi

For years Georgia’s capital has been overlooked as a city destination but Tbilisi is a little known hub of eclectic sights and experiences that promise to charm the most intrepid of travellers. A crossroad between Europe and Asia, Georgia’s capital was described as the ‘fabulous land’ by Alexander Pushkin, one of Russia’s greatest poets, and it’s easy to see why. Exhilaratingly frenetic and fashionably gritty, the city sits along the banks of the Kura River, encircled by snowcapped mountains. Stroll down Rustaveli Avenue – the city’s main road – and you’ll find many of the city’s important cultural and governmental buildings, including its opera house and Freedom Square. The city is peppered with artists’ studios and slanting guesthouses and is brimming with opportunities to test out authentic local fare: from khinkali, Georgian dumplings embedded with spicy meat, to lamb deepsmoked in restaurants’ outdoor pits, Georgian cuisine has a unique taste.

Where to stay

Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel Perfectly placed on Rustaveli Avenue, this glass-fronted hotel offers up stunning city and Mtkvari river views.

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Best for a shock to your senses… Bangkok

Best for a bit of everything… London

For those who can’t decide what they want to do, there is London: a bustling fashionforward metropolis filled with culture, history and high-end entertainment to suit all moods and tastes. Those seeking cultural stimulation can choose from abundant historical attractions: from Buckingham Palace to the Tower of London. The city’s newest landmark, The Shard, serves fine vistas of the capital while those seeking retail therapy will find it by the truck load at the summer sales or at one of London’s many outdoor markets. This is the epicentre of world-class theatre, so take advantage of any good weather and visit Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, where you can watch the best

of the playwright in an open-air venue. For other entertainment events in an al fresco setting, pack some blankets and watch films while lounging in the beautiful Somerset House gardens with Film4 Summer Screen. The city’s many green expanses, including Hyde Park, are particularly beautiful in the sunshine and Europe’s largest street festival, the Notting Hill Carnival, is sure to leave you in a party mood.

There are few cities better equipped to thrill than the pulsating Thai capital. Awaken the senses in one of Asia’s most exciting cities where, beyond the neon signs, chaotic, polluted streets and bustling markets teeming with exotic delicacies, there lies plenty to soothe too. While most market aromas are pretty pungent, Pak Khlong Talaat – one of Bangkok’s best flower markets – is a fragrant delight (head there in the early hours for the best, and most energetic, photo opportunities). Grand Palace will leave you wide-eyed with its royal heritage and goldplated buildings, while strolling around Lumphini Park in Silom, Bangkok’s largest park, gives a great opportunity to people watch – the city is a hive of different nationalities. And finally, while Bangkok’s vibrant night markets are not for the easily offended, their energy is undeniable. Experience the sounds of this unique city as you haggle with traders to a soundtrack of music from nearby entertainment venues.

Where to stay

Hotel Café Royal Close to London’s finest shopping districts and tourist attractions, this historic hotel – reopened and refurbished to an impeccable standard – has grand classical features that echo the building’s rich history.

Where to stay

InterContinental Bangkok Well placed in Ploenchit to explore the city’s main attractions, the hotel affords sweeping views of the skyline from every room.

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Best for shopping…Geneva

When it comes to ultra highend shopping destinations, few cities rival the luxe offerings (and beautiful setting) of Geneva. What the Swiss city lacks in size it more than makes up for in spending pull. Its cobbled streets are awash with chic boutiques: name a designer fashion, jewellery or timepiece brand and you’ll likely find it here. Top of the wish list, of course, should be a Swiss watch: Patek Philippe’s Geneva store is a must-visit – it is as luxurious as one would expect from the historic watchmakers and houses umpteen covetous pieces. Also, pack light and give yourself an excuse to refresh your wardrobe while

you’re there: aside from the major fashion houses, Apollinaire boutique offers unique antiques and avantgarde designer clothing chosen by its owner, Valentina Caviglia, such as Californiabased Raquel Allegra. For those looking for more contemporary designer brands, La Septième Etage includes chic labels such as Elizabeth & James and Issa London.

Where to stay

Grand Hotel Kempinski Geneva With stunning views of the Jet d’Eau and Mont Blanc, this hotel offers must-see attractions from its rooms.

Best for family fun… Mauritius

When it comes to familyfriendly island getaways that offer something for everyone, Mauritius takes some beating. Yes, it has pristine, white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, but it offers so much more besides. Enjoy the island’s lush scenery on horseback or take a safari at Casela Nature Park, which takes you through the Yemen natural reserve park. Quad biking, helicopter tours and even cable zip-lines offer new perspectives on the island, while adrenaline junkies can parasail, waterski, rock climb, sea kayak or windsurf to their heart’s content. Those looking to unwind may enjoy the stunning range of golf courses on offer, or while away the day at some of the island’s finest spas. There are also spectacular waterfalls to explore, the best one for swimming being Eureka, at the centre of the island, while Le Waterpark, equipped with lazy rivers, pirate ships and giant slides, will entertain your kids for hours on end.

Where to stay

Heritage Le Telfair Standing aside turquoise waters with its back to the rolling green hills (and mountains) that make up the stunning Domaine de Bel Ombre, this colonial-style hotel is ideal for families. It offers activities aplenty, brilliant service for kids (an early kidsonly dinner is often laid on and the excellent kids’ club is open till late evening) while for adults, the rooms, restaurants and bountiful facilities are second to none.

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New tent: Ramadan lounge for Sohour

Gather for a new Iftar experience at Sheraton Dubai Mall of the Emirates Hotel Iftar at Sanabel Enjoy the best of Arabic cuisine and traditional Ramadan drinks. A dedicated kid’s corner with Wii & PlayStation awaits. Ramadan lounge on Vantage Terrace After Iftar, relax in the comfort of a cool tent with typical majlis setting and enjoy à la carte Sohour dishes and more.

Adults AED120 Kids from 6-12 years AED 60 Kids under 6 years complimentary Special group prices upon request

À la carte menu

No entrance charge or minimum spent Sunset until 2am

For more information and reservations please call +971 4 377 2000 e – 03889.sanabel@sheraton.com or visit sheraton.com/dubaimalloftheemirates

©2013 Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Preferred Guest, SPG, Sheraton and their logos are the trademarks of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., or its affiliates. For full terms and conditions, visit sheraton.com/dubaimalloftheemirates


World Traveller

July // 2013

New arrivals World Traveller rounds up the best new places to stay this month…

Those looking for a more than just another luxurious place to stay this summer should explore the cultural charms of the new anantara Hoi an Resort, in central Vietnam (left). The spectacular accommodation will make it tempting to stay in your room but then you’d miss out on the wealth of enlightening experiences available, including Vietnamese cooking, language and art classes. Also open for business this month is the breathtakingly beautiful Four seasons Hotel Lion Palace st Petersburg (bottom two, right). Located in the historic Admiralteysky area, it’s just a short stroll from the Hermitage Museum. Meanwhile, Bali has its first glamping site: Glamping sandat, at Ubud. (top two, right). Whether you choose to stay in one of its five safari tents or three Lumbung cabins, you’re guaranteed a deluxe and relaxing stay in one of the world’s most picturesque spots. From next month the st. Regis. abu Dhabi will be the place to be seen. Not only will it feature the many prestigious hallmarks of a St Regis property, but it will also be home to Rhodes 44, by British celebrity chef Gary Rhodes. Tasty.

FooD FaDs The arrival of the Cronut – half croissant, half doughnut – sent New York into overdrive last month. But it’s not the only food craze that’s created crave waves… Fried chicken London

Dirt Tokyo

Merquén Chile

London’s gone mad for fried chicken, so it seems, with hip restaurants devoted to the breaded delight popping up across the whole city.

One high-end French restaurant in Japan, which shall remain nameless, is taking rustic cooking to a whole new level, using dirt to season dishes.

The paprika-like spice, indigenous to the Mapuche, has caused a stir since it was unleashed on the international gastronomic scene.

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James Gulliver Hancock, ALL THE BUILDINGS IN NEW YORK, Universe Publishing, an imprint of Rizzoli New York, 2013.

World Traveller

July // 2013

Fairytale in New York

An outstanding illustrator makes us fall in love with the architectural splendour of the Big Apple all over again… New York’s inimitable cityscape has long enthralled residents and visitors alike. The latest creative to reveal his infatuation with its many treasures is renowned illustrator James Gulliver Hancock. All The Buildings In New York is described by publisher Rizzoli New York as “a love letter to New York City” told through Hancock’s incredible line drawings of the city’s many different architectural riches: from the Empire State Building and the Rockefeller Center to timeless Brooklyn brownstones and Chinatown’s bustling markets. rizzoliusa.com

Hyde Park, London (Established 1637)

> This summer it’s all about geometric-shaped sunglasses. Not only are these tortoise-shell frames by Fendi bang on trend, but by retaining a classic colour and a wider frame they’ll also stand the fashion test of time. AED 2,290, Marchon Eyewear, Inc

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Park Life

Ueno Park, Tokyo (Established 1873)

Central Park, New York (Established 1857) Summer in the world’s biggest cities sees their parks throng with activity. As a visitor, it’s the perfect time to make like a local and enjoy the goingson. In Tokyo’s Ueno Park, that means the Natsu Matsuri Summer Festival (July 13-Aug 12), a highlight of which is a sea of floating lighted lanterns, spectacular at night. In London, the British Summer Time event (July 5-14) sees The Rolling Stones and Elton John play Hyde Park. And in New York’s Central Park, the city’s Philharmonic lays on free concerts from July 11-15. Picnics essential.

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July // 2013

To book one of these offers call dnata on +971 4 316 6666 or visit dnatatravel.com. 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 exclusive offers from dnata range from the powder-soft sands of Seychelles to the bright lights of London. dnatatravel.com Germany Hotel Atlantic Kempinski Hotel Hamburg Offer: 3 nights from AED2,220 per person, or from AED5,360 per person including airfare and taxes. Details: Kids stay and eat for free, plus a guaranteed upgrade to a Junior Suite Courtyard view when staying a minimum of three nights. Valid for stays from: now till August 31, 2013.

Hong Kong Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Offer: 3 nights from AED1,910 per person, or from AED4,510 per person including airfare and taxes. Details: 33% discount on room rates and a complimentary upgrade to Grand Harbour View Room. Includes: Stay in a Grand Room with breakfast daily, plus airport transfers both ways. Valid for stays from: August 1-September 15, 2013.

Vivanta by Taj

Italy

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Bauer Il Palazzo, Venice Offer: 3 nights from AED3,310 per person, or from AED6,865 per person including airfare and taxes. Details: Stay two nights and receive an additional night free. Includes: Stay in a Deluxe Room with breakfast daily and return airport transfers. Valid for stays from: July 21August 25, 2013.

InterContinental Dubai Festival City

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Le Méridien Ile Maurice


World Traveller

Maldives Vivanta By Taj - Coral Reef Offer: 4 nights from AED3,510 per person, or from AED6,035 per person including airfare and taxes. Details: Stay 3 nights and receive an additional night free, plus 15% discount on room rates and complimentary return speedboat transfers.

July // 2013

Includes: Stay in a Charm Beach Villa with breakfast daily, plus airport transfers both ways. Valid for stays from: August 1-September 15, 2013. Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu Offer: 4 nights from AED3,840 per person, or from AED6,365 per person including airfare and taxes. Details: Stay 3 nights and

receive an additional night free and a complimentary upgrade to full board plus 30% discount on seaplane transfers. Includes: Stay in a Beach Villa with breakfast daily, plus airport transfers both ways. Valid for stays from: August 1-September 15, 2013. Kanuhura Offer: 6 nights from AED5,270 per person, or from

AED7,885 per person including airfare and taxes. Details: Stay three nights, receive three additional nights free of charge. Includes: Stay in a Beach Villa with breakfast daily, plus airport transfers both ways. Valid for stays from: Now til September 30, 2013. (Supplement applies if you travel between August 1– September 30).

Mauritius Le MĂŠridien Ile Maurice Offer: 4 nights from AED1,850 per person, or from AED6,705 per person including airfare and taxes. Details: 40% discount on room rates, a guaranteed complimentary upgrade to the next available room category and a complimentary upgrade to full board. Plus, two children under 12 stay and eat for free. Includes: Stay in a Deluxe Room with breakfast and dinner daily, plus airport transfer both ways. Valid for stays from: July 1-October 15, 2013.

Kanuhura

The May Fair, London

Hilton Mauritius Resort & Spa Offer: 4 nights from AED2,195 per person, or from AED7,055 per person including airfare and taxes. Details: 30% discount on room rates and a complimentary dine around option, plus a complimentary massage on arrival. Includes: Stay in a Deluxe Room with breakfast and dinner daily, plus airport transfer both ways. Valid for stays from: July 1-September 30, 2013. Maritim Hotel Mauritius Offer: 5 nights from AED4,760 per person, or from AED9,695 per person including airfare. Details: Kids stay and eat for free in an additional complimentary room, plus stay four nights and receive an additional night free. Includes: Stay in a Privilege Room with breakfast and dinner daily, plus airport transfer both ways. Valid for stays from: Now til July 31, 2013.

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July // 2013

Oman InterContinental Muscat Hotel Offer: 1 night from AED345 per person. Details: 30% discount on room rates (supplement applies during Eid). Includes: Stay in a Deluxe Room with breakfast daily. Valid for stays from: August 1– September 15, 2013. Millennium Resort Mussanah Offer: 2 nights from AED210 per person. Details: Stay one night and receive an additional night free, plus a complimentary upgrade to a Sea View Room. Includes: Stay in a Deluxe Garden View Room with breakfast daily. Valid for stays from: Now until September 30, 2013.

Sainte Anne Resort & Spa

Seychelles Sainte Anne Resort & Spa Offer: 4 nights from AED6,680 per person, or from AED9,635 per person including airfare and taxes. Details: Stay three nights and receive an additional night free, plus 10% discount on room rates and complimentary boat transfers. Also, two children under 18 stay and eat for free. Includes: Stay in a Garden Villa with breakfast and dinner daily, plus return speedboat and airport transfers. Valid for stays from: August 1-September 15, 2013.

Sri Lanka

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The Sands by Aitken Spence Hotels, Kalutara Offer: 4 nights from AED870 per person, or from AED2,665 per person including airfare. Details: Kids stay and eat for free. Stay three nights and receive an additional night free, plus a complimentary upgrade to a Deluxe Room. Includes: Stay in a Standard Room with breakfast daily, plus airport transfer both ways. Valid for stays from: Now til July 10, 2013. Check In

Banyan Tree Al Wadi

Thailand Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel Offer: 4 nights from AED970 per person, or from AED3,280 per person including airfare. Details: Stay 2 nights and receive two nights free. Includes: Stay in a Luxury Room with breakfast daily, plus

airport transfer both ways. Valid for stays from: August 1-September 30, 2013. Radisson Blu Plaza Resort Phuket Panwa Beach Offer: 3 nights from AED895 per person, or from AED4,345 per person including airfare and taxes.

Details: 30% discount plus an upgrade to a Deluxe Sea View Room. Also, kids stay and eat for free. Includes: Stay in a Deluxe Room and enjoy breakfast daily, plus airport transfers both ways. Valid for stays from: Now til October 31, 2013.


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July // 2013

UAE Banyan Tree Al Wadi, Ras Al Khaimah Offer: 1 night from AED590 per person. Details: Kids stay and eat for free plus early check-in and late checkout. Includes: Stay in an Al Rimal Deluxe Pool Villa with breakfast daily. Valid for stays from: Now til August 31, 2013. InterContinental Dubai Festival City, Dubai Offer: 1 night from AED495 per person. Details: Kids stay and eat for free plus complimentary upgrade to Executive Creek View Room. Includes: Stay in a Deluxe Room with breakfast daily. Valid for stays from: Now til August 31, 2013. Al Raha Beach Hotel, Abu Dhabi Offer: 2 nights from AED295 per person. Details: Stay one night and receive an additional night free. Includes: Stay in a Gulf View Room with breakfast daily. Valid for stays from: Now til August 31, 2013.

United Kingdom The May Fair, London Offer: 3 nights from AED2,330 per person, or from AED5,820 per person including airfare and taxes. Details: Stay 2 nights and receive an additional night free. Includes: Stay in a Superior Room with breakfast daily, plus airport transfers both ways. Valid for stays from: August 10-September 8, 2013.

ME London

ME London Offer: 3 nights from AED2660 per person, or from AED5,245 per person including airfare and taxes. Details: Stay 2 nights and receive an additional night free. Includes: Stay in an Energy Urban room, breakfast daily, and city tour pass for two, plus airport transfers both ways. Valid for stays from: Now til August 31, 2013.

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World Traveller

Doha may not be the biggest city in the Middle East, but it is certainly making a case for becoming its culinary capital. It seems that not a month goes by without another wel-known chef announcing their intentions to open a restaurant there. Alain Ducasse launched his own venture, IDAM, earlier this year within the Museum of Islamic Art, joining such names as Guy Savoy, Gordon Ramsay and Jean-Georges Vongerichten, among others, who already have venues in Doha. When it comes to food, Qatar’s 1.8 million residents are certainly spoilt for choice. While the growth of Dubai and Abu Dhabi saw them steal most of the limelight in the past, Doha now seems to be catching up, and with the announcement of the FIFA World Cup™ taking place there in 2022, its expansion is sure to accelerate. So is that the reason that these highly acclaimed and respected chefs have chosen Doha as the location for their newest restaurants? Is that part of the appeal, rather than a city like Dubai, where a larger population would potentially mean a bigger customer base? “The country is booming, and fast developing into the most happening destination in the region,” Guy Savoy told Qatar’s Gulf Times, when his own restaurant opened last year. “I’m truly delighted to be here.” Savoy, Ramsay and Ducasse have all opened restaurants in Doha within the last 18 months, and each has at least one venue elsewhere with three Michelin stars awarded to it – the highest possible accolade for any chef. This puts them among the very best in the world, and they could arguably set up a new venture anywhere and make a success of it. With this in mind, Doha has not just been chosen over the likes of Abu Dhabi or Dubai, but cities that have a more established food scene. By setting up in Doha, could it be that these chefs are not just pre-empting the development to come, but creating a scene themselves, maturing the city’s taste buds? When a new restaurant opens in Doha, there is certainly a buzz around it. Alain Ducasse has planted his own flag inside one of its most iconic landmarks – the Museum of Islamic Art, with its exterior courtesy of renowned architect IM Pei. If that was not enough of a talking point, the interior of IDAM has been designed by Philippe Starck, ensuring that the senses of guests are finely tuned even before they open their menus. Likewise, Quisine by Guy Savoy has a prime location on The Pearl-Qatar, with Restaurant Gordon Ramsay Doha and Opal by Gordon Ramsay both residing in one of the city’s most luxurious hotels, the St Regis Doha. But while these particular outlets are Check In

July // 2013

a taste of Doha

What is it about Qatar’s capital that is attracting some of the world’s top chefs?

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still quite new, Doha has been gearing up for its dining revolution for several years. When the W Doha Hotel opened in 2009, it featured two restaurants with the name of the city’s original adopted Michelinstarred chef attached: Jean-Georges Vongerichten. This had come about through the Frenchman’s partnership with Starwood Hotels, which owns the W brand, and had therefore already opened branches of Market by Jean-Georges and Spice Market at some of its other locations. To create outlets in Doha may have seemed like a natural extension for the chain, but with nothing quite like it in the city at the time, and certainly no other famous chefs, it was to be the start of something special. Developments such as The Pearl-Qatar and Katara Cultural Village helped to spur on the next stages of the city’s culinary development. The Pearl-Qatar in particular, a manmade island with luxury apartments and marinas, could offer restaurants a picturesque, waterside setting, with views across the Gulf to the skyline of West Bay, making it a tempting proposition. BiCE, serving high quality Italian food and with outlets across the Middle East, was the first to arrive, while the openings that followed welcomed two renowned chefs that were also familiar with the region – Richard Sandoval, who has Maya in Dubai, opened a branch of Pampano, the Mexican seafood restaurants he runs in collaboration with tenor Placido Domingo, while Gordon Ramsay, who at the time had Verre also in Dubai, set up on The Pearl-Qatar with his Maze concept. The idea behind Katara Cultural Village was a little different. Here there was a desire to reflect the multi-national nature of Doha’s growing population, with a platform for different cultures. Representing the Indian contingency in terms of food, Michelin chef Vineet Bhatia was asked to develop a venue that served classic dishes, with a more straightforward ethos than his Rasoi restaurant in London, for example. “Rasoi is very much fine dining, the luxury end, very refined and sophisticated,” he said at the time. “At the other end you have Saffron Lounge in Doha, which is trimmed down, more relaxed, so the food is not as intricate, but that does not stop you from getting a fine product. It is what the market wanted, with mass appeal but also traditional.” Bhatia’s restaurant is probably the exception in the line-up of restaurants and big name chefs that have come to the city, in that he is operating differently in Doha from how he might elsewhere – but as he says, this is what the market and also the Katara concept required. Chefs such as Savoy, Ducasse and Ramsay are serving Check In

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When it comes to food, Qatar’s residents are certainly spoilt for choice

the same food as their other restaurants, allowing diners to experience the dishes they would find in London or Paris. “My Doha restaurant provides diners with the exact same experience as they would get in any of my other outlets, in Paris, Singapore and Las Vegas,” confirmed Guy Savoy at his opening. “The menu includes all of my signature dishes, the methods of cooking are the same, and a number of the staff even worked with me in Paris.” It would seem that while these chefs cannot always be present in Doha, due to other commitments and restaurants, every effort is made to ensure that their


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July // 2013

1. IDAM 2. Gordon Ramsay & Gilles Bosquet 3. St Regis Doha 4. Guy Savoy

Doha’s Top Tables Vineet Bhatia Saffron Lounge Katara Cultural Village +974 4408 0808 Alain Ducasse IDAM Museum of Islamic Art +974 4422 4488

Gordon Ramsay Doha is influenced by the three-Michelin-starred Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in London, with a range of traditional dishes alongside some exciting new ones, while Opal by Gordon Ramsay is a more relaxed offering, with popular favourites such as crispy chicken wings, delicious steaks and a pizza menu, and more suited to sharing.” But surely there are challenges to running a restaurant worthy of a big name in a country like Qatar, surrounded by desert, and making it difficult to obtain the standard of ingredients they are used to? Not so, with Ramsay, Savoy and Ducasse admitting that the bulk of their produce is sourced locally. “Around 85 per cent of the produce we use is local,” Ducasse told

Gordon Ramsay Restaurant Gordon Ramsay & Opal by Gordon Ramsay St Regis Doha +974 4446 0000 Richard Sandoval Pampano The Pearl-Qatar +974 4495 3876 Guy Savoy Quisine by Guy Savoy The Pearl-Qatar +974 4002 7245

Text by: Chris Anderson

Jean-Georges Vongerichten Market by Jean-Georges and Spice Market W Doha Hotel +974 4453 5000

4.

stamp and the experience they have spent years crafting is alive and well. But in each case, the Middle East setting does seem to have had an influence. For example, the menu of IDAM by Alain Ducasse lists a number of dishes with ingredients clearly from the region, such as octopus served with potatoes infused with saffron, marinated bonito from the Arabian Gulf, and lemon and gold caviar, or you could try the camel calf, featuring foie gras with truffles and souffléed potatoes. Quisine by Guy Savoy follows a similar route, offering such dishes as confit of lamb and vegetables with halloumi cheese, zaatar, lamb juice and mint oil, and the quail roll with spinach and hazelnut hummus, confit quail legs with quinoa, mint tabbouleh, and steamed ravioli with quail stuffing. But it is not just Middle Eastern ingredients where these chefs have taken note. There is the style of eating too, with locals placing an importance on sitting down together as a family, and an emphasis on sharing food. This was a prominent concept in Ramsay’s first Doha venture, Maze, which has since closed, but has carried over into his newer restaurants, particularly Opal by Gordon Ramsay. “The idea is to offer variety to guests,” he said when visiting the St Regis in January. “Restaurant

The Middle East setting does seem to have influenced the menus

the Dining in Doha website. “Some items like truffle or caviar of course we have to import, but for grains and cereals we localise it.” Savoy also revealed that his head chef personally visits the city’s souks twice a week in search of the freshest ingredients. The standards of Doha’s food scene are certainly rising, and look set to escalate further. There are sure to be more Michelin-starred chefs on the way too - Japanese star Nobu Matsuhisha is a name that has been linked to Doha for years - especially when they see how popular the city is becoming for their peers, and even the restaurants that lack a prominent name as an influence will raise their game to compete. So as the world debates the logistics surrounding the hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup™, at least they can be reassured that there are some exceptional fine dining restaurants in which to do it.

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is this London’s best-kept secret? From outside, it looks like any other (admittedly beautiful) Victorian townhouse in London’s prestigious South Kensington neighbourhood. But venture within and you’ll discover one of the city’s most exclusive, and discreet, boutique hotels: The Adria. It is owned and managed by Qatar’s Al Rayyan Hospitality – request Arabic favourite Foul Medames for breakfast and expect an alcohol-free stay. theadria.com

Love, Dishonour, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish

David Rakoff Doubleday Books

An intricately-written novel that spans the entire 20th century, Rakoff has created a fascinating world in which his many characters are linked together by acts of generosity and cruelty, despite them living in different decades.

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Freud’s Mistress

Karen Mack and Jennifer Kaufman

Ben Aaronovitch Orion Books

Broken Homes

The Light in the Ruins

A novel inspired by the relationship between Sigmund Freud and his sister-in-law, the story begins when Freud is being shunned by his peers for his theories and turns to his sister-in-law for support. The authors blend fact and fiction seamlessly.

When a mutilated body is found in London, PC Peter Grant is sent on the trail of the killer. On the way, however, a town planner is also killed and as events start to unfold, Grant is forced to piece together what are seemingly unrelated happenings.

Italian family the Rosatis thought their ancient Tuscan villa would keep them safe from the war raging across Europe in 1943. But when a German soldier arrives, tragedy strikes. Years later, investigator Serafina Bettini sets her sights on discovering the family’s fate.

Chris Bohjalian Random House


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HERITAGE THE VILLAS

COOL DOWN THIS SUMMER IN A 5* VILLA ON THE TROPICAL ISLAND OF MAURITIUS

Are you dreaming of a family holiday this summer to escape the desert heat? You need to try Heritage The Villas in the exclusive setting of the Domaine de Bel Ombre on the South Coast of Mauritius: cooler climes of 25° degrees, spectacular views, fantastic children’s facilities, two 5* luxury hotels with a 1 km white sand beach, four refreshing swimming pools, two kid’s clubs for children (for ages 2 to 11), exciting activities for teenagers, a huge choice of outdoor and watersports and 11 excellent restaurants and bars, unlimited green fees on an award-winning 18-hole golf course and a Nikki Beach-style C Beach Club. The ‘sea, sand & sun experience’ par excellence of the island and so much more…

Book now and get a 3 weeks for the price of 2. Free: access to both hotels, C Beach Club, kids' clubs, teens' club, golf…

HERITAGE THE VILLAS DOMAINE DE BEL OMBRE MAURITIUS www.heritageresorts.mu


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July // 2013

Historic Hotel

Night at the museum The inside story of the majestic Raj Palace

In 1995 Princess Jayendra Kumari began the painstaking task of restoring and transforming her family’s ancient home into one of Jaipur’s leading hotels: the Raj Palace. Striving to maintain the incredible history and inevitable grandeur that accompanied the centuries-old palace and Kumari’s eye-widening family tree – which can be traced to 1503 and the then ruler of Amber (Rajasthan’s capital before Jaipur was built) – was no mean feat. By the time the palace was built by the prime minister of Raj, Thakur (meaning Lord) Mohan Singh Ji, in 1727, this royal family had already amassed great wealth and an illustrious history, which included tales of great warriors and heroic victories rewarded handsomely by the then king. The decision to build it in India’s so-called Pink City was an important one: the Chaumoo Haveli as it was then called (haveli meaning private mansion and Chaumoo being the area of Jaipur that Mohan ruled) was the first private residence of its kind in Jaipur and its use of Mughal architecture set it apart from other buildings in the state. Check In

During this period, India’s rulers were exceptionally powerful and lived amid unimaginable luxury. The palace interiors were elaborately styled to reflect their belief in the divine power of royalty: aside from motifs of the sun and the theatrical use of precious gems and metals in the furniture, the building was built on a ninesquare system, in line with Vastu shastra – an ancient doctrine on how the laws of nature govern human dwellings. From their new base, the family continued to amass wealth and influence. Every morning the ruler would appear to the public at a balcony, called the Jharokas, where crowds would gather. Arriving to the beat of drums, dignitaries would be welcomed in the formal reception room, where religious festivals, royal anniversaries and birthdays were hosted in spectacular fashion. Outside, in what remain Jaipur’s largest courtyard gardens, men would play chess while their wives looked on from their bedroom windows. And during times of celebration, courtiers would enjoy great feasts, live music and fireworks. A maze of hidden doors and passageways allowed the

family to slip in and out of view, in case of plots against their lives. In 1830, then ruler of Chaumoo Thakur Laxman Singh Ji adopted a son, Gobind Singh Ji, to succeed him as heir. It was Gobind’s grandson, Raj Singh Ji, also Jayendra’s grandfather, who last inherited the family’s feudal title before democracy arrived in India. The family lost their titles but retained their property and, like many existing members of India’s royal dynasties, Jayendra decided to open the palace to the public, renaming it the Raj Palace in her grandfather’s honour. Today, the award-winning hotel is the only one in the world to boast personal museums within its suites. Guests, including worldfamous actors and writers, international royalty and Nobel Prize winners, dine under rare chandeliers on palace furniture while admiring the restaurant’s crockery museum, which features items used by the family during the 17th and 18th centuries. Satisfied, they then unwind amid rare artefacts and memorabilia in rooms once shared by the royal family and their closest friends.

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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: reservations.dubai@frasershospitality.com

Look us up. Wherever you are at m.frasershospitality.com

Dubai’s Leading Serviced Apartments


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Wear to Go Make a splash in these stylish swim shorts

Style Solutions

The War drobe MisTress Q. What summer essentials do i need to pack? A. I travel a lot for work, with many huge suitcases packed full of designer frocks for my clients. When I travel personally, however, I travel light. There’s no doubt that packing for holiday can be tricky but fear not: I’ve devised a list of staples that will make the rest of your packing much easier, and leave you ready for anything that comes your way. First to footwear: strappy sandals are comfortable, cool and, for me, a must-have. They’re also a welcome addition to your hand luggage when you hit the runway and your feet are a little swollen from the flight. Just make sure when you buy them that you go for a colour that works with the majority of your wardrobe, such as metallic, tan or nude. Summer trousers are a must. If you’re fed up of the same old linen trousers, why not try a different style of summer pant, such as a peg trouser cuffed at the ankle, ankle crop or sarong trousers?

A great kaftan can make for a beautiful poolside look or add a touch of boho glamour to eveningwear when teamed with summer trousers and wedges. I have been drooling over the kaftans created by Melissa Odabash and Matthew Williamson this season. And buy a maxi dress in a colour that suits you and dress it up with bold accessories and wedges in the evening, or with flip flops and a large beach bag for a more casual look. For an effortless yet chic look on cool evenings, invest in a neutral-coloured cape or poncho. They’re practical and stylish for travelling on planes when the air conditioning gets cool and pack up neatly into your case or hand luggage. Accessories are a lightweight and costeffective way to achieve different looks whilst on holiday and can take items from day to night. A pair of oversized sunglasses can glam up any look, day or night, and is brilliant at hiding jet-lagged eyes. And be sure to pack one or two brightly coloured silk scarves, which not only work as headscarves but can also be worn as neckerchiefs or even as luxury belts. Remember, pack outfits not clothes. Pile everything you want to take on the bed and then look to leave approximately half of it behind. Add layers of tissue paper between your clothes to prevent creasing and to add a bit of luxury to your holiday wardrobe, and only take items that you can mix and match to achieve different looks. Forget any heavy fabrics or high-heeled clothes – you won’t wear them.

Our regular style expert Francesca Salih is the founder of Wardrobe Mistress, which provides style solutions and wardrobe management to the rich, royal and famous. wardrobemistress.co.uk

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Saturdays Surf NYC mrporter.com

Vilebrequin vilebrequinonlinestore.com

Mc2 Saint Barth Harvey Nichols

Zimmerman net-a-porter.com

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Cartier

iWC

Tortue Multiple Time Zone

Pilot’s Watch Worldtimer

Vacheron Constantin

Métiers D’Art, Marco Polo

Patek Philippe Ref: 5130

Time Flies

Travel-inspired timepieces for the jet set > Keen to beat the in-crowd to the latest hotspot? Well, little known is the fact that inside Morocco’s fabulously exclusive Royal Mansour hotel – guests here are served by butlers via a maze of underground tunnels to ensure privacy – you’ll find the world’s only Chanel Spa Suite, one of a handful of stunning suites housed within a huge, beautifully-styled spa. No less fashionable are the dining options, with the hotel’s two restaurants overseen by the multi Michelinstarred Yannick Alleno. royalmansour.com

> Florence’s terracotta rooftops make the city’s sunsets that more sensuous, and there’s no better place to bask in their warm glow than atop the city’s Continentale hotel, a member of Design Hotels™. Owned by the Ferragamo family, the luxury boutique abode has recently refurbished its rooftop terrace, with its designer keen for the new look to evoke the glamour of Italy’s film and fashion scene from the 1950s. Yet the terrace’s most desirable aspect is timeless: the backdrop of Florence and its historical treasures. designhotels.com

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World Traveller Promotion

Home For The Holidays

Abu Dhabi Make the most of the brilliant offers for GCC residents by treating yourself to a weekend at one of these superb hotels‌

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Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal ritzcarlton.com

Bringing a touch of Venice to the UAE capital, The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal’s 10 stately buildings are situated amongst sprawling gardens and aside a glistening waterfront. Using inspiration from 15th to early 17th-century Renaissance architecture, the resort is scattered with ornate water features, Italian-inspired wooden inlays and exquisite chandeliers. Its spacious villas boast breathtaking views of the Grand Canal, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and European-styled sunken gardens. But if you want to truly indulge, opt for a room on The Ritz-Carlton Club Level: with a concierge, private check-in through to access to an exclusive lounge boasting breathtaking vistas of the city skyline and divine complimentary snacks and beverages, you’ll truly feel like a VIP. Parents will have plenty to smile about too: treat your kids to an afternoon in the Kids’ Club (it lays on fun galore, from treasure hunts to culture quests), while you enjoy some downtime lounging on the hotel’s pristine private beach. Meanwhile, foodies will have their pick of ten quality restaurants, three of which were designed by award-winning Japanese designer Super Potato: feast Promotion

on dimsum and noodles at Li Jiang, dine at Mijana for the very best of Lebanese cuisine, or, for a succulent steak, head to The Forge. This month sees Iftar and Souhour served in the hotel’s Giornotte restaurant, which will be transformed into a paradisiacal Arabian retreat for those seeking a truly special Ramadan.

The Offer:

Starting at AED1,020 per room, per night

for a Deluxe Room, Club Room, Executive Suite or One-Bedroom Villa, inclusive of: complimentary third night when two nights are booked; access to the swimming pool and private beach; daily buffet breakfast in Giornotte restaurant; and complimentary local calls and valet parking on arrival.

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Jumeirah at Etihad Towers jumeirah.com

Towering above the beach at the end of the corniche, Jumeirah at Etihad Towers cuts a sleek, imposing figure on Abu Dhabi’s skyline, and a stay here affords privileged guests all manner of luxuries: each room boasts stunning sea views, it’s home to some of the city’s best restaurants, and shoppers can revel in the unique attraction of Avenue at Etihad Towers – the UAE’s first standalone allluxury shopping destination. After a cooling morning swim in one of the hotel’s three outdoor pools, escape the midday heat by visiting the beautifully designed Avenue to peruse the latest fashions and an outstanding selection of

some of the world’s most sought-after timepieces and jewellery. Next, indulge in a treatment at the hotel’s blissful Talise Spa. Try one of their signature or Balinese massages, or, if you have time to truly indulge, opt for the 3-hour Revitalising Journey. It includes a floral bath, body scrub and wrap, and ends with an hour-long massage of your choice. Sublime. Dinner is sure to arouse you from your spa-induced slumber. The award-winning Quest serves up tantalising inspirational Asian dishes, Tori No Su offers beautifully fresh sashimi, while BiCE lays on neverfail Italian classics. And did we mention that the hotel is also home to the region’s debut of London’s finest seafood restaurant Scott’s? Your experience of the highlife becomes literal with a trip to Observation Deck at 300. It’s the highest vantage point in Abu Dhabi and offers unbroken views of a city on the rise. Spectacular.

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The Offer:

GCC residents receive a 10% discount on all rooms, including breakfast, as well as complimentary access to Abu Dhabi’s tallest visitor attraction – the Observation Deck at 300.

Promotion


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July // 2013

Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/abudhabi An architectural masterpiece, Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi is breathtaking: a sweeping expanse of curvilinear glass with over 5,000 LED lights draped across it (at night, the hotel stands as a vision of reflective light and colour), it is connected to a bridge that crosses the landmark Yas Marina Formula 1™ Circuit. It’s a feature that makes Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi one of the world’s most unique hotels. But its architectural glories aren’t the only thrills to be experienced. Walk into its lobby and be taken back by its spacious, light-filled surrounds. Sleek lines and modern furnishings rule the roost while the many floor-to-ceiling windows provide

breathtaking views out over the water. While many will want to relax at the hotel’s two rooftop pools, one for adults only and another dedicated to families, for some adrenaline-pumping fun jump onto a complimentary shuttle bus and head to nearby Yas Waterworld to escape the summer heat: with over 40 exhilarating rides and slides, it will keep the kids occupied for hours or check out the world’s largest indoor theme park, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, and take a ride on the world’s fastest rollercoaster. After a busy, fun-filled day, head back to the hotel for some rest and relaxation at the hotel’s award-winning ESPA spa:

opt for one of its signature treatments, the Tension Soother, which is sure to help you unwind with its blend of oils and hot volcanic stones. And for foodies, Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi is nothing short of impressive. For dinner you’ll have the choice of seven dining venues: from Nautilus, the hotel’s signature brasserie, offering beautiful views of the marina, and Noodle Box, for delicious South East Asian cuisine, through to Atayeb, for rich, Mediterranean and Arabic fare. For post dinner relaxation, Yas Lounge offers a tranquil atmosphere both indoors and outdoors. Then, simply retire to your luxurious room for a restful sleep. Bliss.

The Offer:

15% off the best available rate as well as numerous complimentary benefits.

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Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi abudhabi.park.hyatt.com

Park Terrace Suite

Situated on a nine-kilometre stretch of environmentally protected beach on Saadiyat Island, home to hawksbill turtles and bottenose dolphins, the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi is a serene getaway from the stresses of everyday life. With rooms dressed in Arabic-inspired decorations, many offering beautiful views of the Arabian sea through floor-to-ceiling windows, the hotel is surrounded by sprawling landscaped gardens, and stands as a veritable oasis amongst the desert sands. For those who want the epitome of a luxurious stay, the resort’s deluxe suites each have their own private terrace with stunning plunge pools while the Beach View and Garden View suites offer guests a private sanctuary away from the crowds. If the summer heat gets too much, you can also choose from one of the hotel’s four pools: whether you want to swim laps or have need of a child-friendly area, Park Hyatt has it all. And if you’re looking for some me-time, leave the kids in the capable hands of staff at Camp Hyatt, who supervise activities around the hotel, and indulge yourselves at the Atarmia spa, complete with a whirlpool, steam room and sauna. Come the evening, for a candlelit dinner for two, head to the Beach House restaurant for delicious Mediterranean cuisine alongside the pristine sands of Saadiyat beach. Perfection.

Resort view

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The Offer:

Book a minimum of two nights before September 14, 2013, and get one night free. Two children under the age of 12 with two paying adults stay free of charge. Offer includes complimentary breakfast, lunch and dinner when accompanied by two paying adults. In addition, a 20% discount is available in all restaurants and bars, and on treatments at Atarmia Spa. Promotion

Beach House Restaurant overlooking the Arabian Sea


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July // 2013

Executive Villa with a private plunge pool facing Saadiyat Beach

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Shangri-La Hotel and Traders Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi shangri-la.com As summer comes into full swing, Shangri-La Hotel and Traders Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi, are both idyllic destinations for a reprieve from the heat. They stand within the stunning Arabianinfluenced architecture of Qaryat Al Beri, and guests of either hotel will enjoy a private, one kilometre beachfront, a luxurious spa, and a series of world-class restaurants. One of Qaryat Al Beri’s most incredible features is The Souq, the first of its kind in Abu Dhabi: take a traditional abra around the winding waterways that flow around the complex to explore, and be prepared to barter for an enticing array of paintings, jewellery, and numerous artifacts. For a romantic getaway, couples will love Shangri-La’s luxurious rooms, which come with a private balcony or terrace, boasting stunning views of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque over the Maqta Canal. For some R&R, head to CHI, The Spa, for a signature CHI Balance massage, which includes acupressure to undo the knots and stresses of everyday life. Alternatively, families will love the convenience of Traders Hotel’s spacious rooms and its Afyä restaurant, which serves up cuisines from all over the world throughout the day. Don’t overlook dinner at ShangriLa, however, which offers an array of delectable choices: from Shang Palace’s exquisite Cantonese cuisine and Pearls & Caviar’s fresh seafood in a beautiful waterfront setting, to Bord Eau, recently voted the best restaurant in Abu Dhabi for traditional French fare. Both hotels are also laying on lavish Iftar buffets for the Holy Month of Ramadan, and an exquisite Arabesque Ramadan tent in Shangri-La has been set up for Sohour, allowing you to spend this special time with your family in a truly wonderful setting.

The Offer: 48

50% off the best available rates until August 31

Promotion


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July // 2013

MAKING

TRACKS Hungry brown bears and spectacular scenery await Peter Thompson on a train journey through Canada’s Rocky Mountains

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esmerised by awe-inspiring views of the majestic Rocky Mountains, I was in a world of my own until a loud shout of “BEAR!” jolted me back down to earth. Throughout the first half of my week in Canada, the subject of bears was one of the main topics of conversation in our group. Will we see a bear? What do we do if we see a bear? What would a bear do if it saw us? Taxi drivers, bus drivers, chefs, tour guides and locals – we asked nearly everyone we encountered. But when the yell of “bear” was bellowed out by Rod, a member of our group, there was no need to demonstrate my survival techniques by playing dead or reaching for the pepper spray, as I was in the safe haven of the magnificent Rocky Mountaineer train. An excited Rod informed us that this particular brown bear was perched at the top of a tree, so we had clearly been well informed when we were warned not to clamber for our lives if we encountered

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Opening page: taking the Rainforest to Gold Rush route. This page: travelling past Castle Mountain outside Banff, Alberta. Opposite page, clockwise from top left: Fraser Canyon, BC, near North Bend; Anderson Lake, BC; SilverLeaf Service lunch, stuffed chicken; GoldLeaf coach with Rocky Mountains.

the wild mammals. Not that my climbing skills are up to much either, I should add. Despite my disappointment at not clapping eyes on the bear, we were not far into a train journey which had already exceeded my expectations. I had spotted bald eagles circling for prey, marvelled at scenery that you could never tire of looking at, while also being treated to fivestar service and culinary delights. In truth, I didn’t know quite what to expect from my trip on the Rocky Mountaineer before I boarded the famous train. I had been on the odd steam train before, but I am certainly no rail enthusiast. But I knew this was not going to be your average train journey and, soon after setting off on our two-day trip from the idyllic town of Banff to Vancouver,

I realised why the Rocky Mountaineer attracts tourists from all over the world. Sitting in the comfort of the GoldLeaf coach, with full length windows extending to the roof, I enjoyed a panoramic view of breathtaking snowsprinkled mountains, ferocious rivers, gorges, waterfalls and wildlife. As we made our way along the route which retraces the historic Canadian Pacific Railway, famous for uniting the country and connecting British Columbia to Canada more than 125 years ago, it was almost as if I had escaped the real world. And the five-star GoldLeaf dining experience was just as impressive as it sounds. As I tucked into tasty buttermilk pancakes for breakfast, I was still able to take in the jaw-dropping scenery while feeling as though I was in a high quality restaurant with no hint of snobbery – a far cry from a trip to the buffet car for a coffee and a packet of crisps. I regularly ventured out to stand in the vestibules between carriages, which not only gave me an opportunity to take in some fresh mountain air, but also offered great vantage points for taking photographs. After a sociable pre-lunch meet back upstairs, we were soon indulging in fine dining once again and I was discovering why the Alberta beef came so highly recommended. There was another bear sighting over lunch, but although that passed me by I was more than content as I watched waterfalls crash down from a great height into huge rivers with vicious currents and gazed at mountain ranges which stretched as far as the eye could see. After an overnight stay in Kamloops, the friendly staff rolled out the red carpet for us to board the train for a second time. En route to Vancouver, we passed vast forests, glided alongside huge powerful rivers which are popular for white water rafters, and I watched the front of the train curve around to cross huge sturdy old bridges and disappear into tunnels. We then looked down on the unforgiving ‘Hell’s Gate’ in the Fraser River, a landmark which must strike fear into even the most experienced whitewater rafter, and the landscape changed to the type of dusty and semi-arid terrain you see in Western movies. Before I knew it we were pulling into Vancouver, where the tranquility of the Rockies was replaced by the hustle and bustle of a vibrant city. I had been a little bit sceptical about spending two days on a train, but as I stepped off the Rocky Mountaineer at the end of the journey I had run out of words to describe such an amazing experience. Luckily for me, that was not the end of my trip to Canada and before boarding


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This page: Kicking Horse Pass, British Columbia: First Passage to the West route.

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I enjoyed a panoramic view of breathtaking snow-sprinkled mountains, ferocious rivers, gorges, waterfalls and wildlife

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‘Home’ to a Rocky Mountains grizzly bear accounts for a lot of space: 500sqkm for females and 1000sqkm for males. This sizeable chunk of land is required to service their habitat needs, as they have to search far and wide for seasonally abundant food. Throughout summer the main source of food changes, from grasses in the early part to other, smaller, animals mid-season and berries in August. In fact, some grizzlies have been known to eat as many as 200,000 berries in a day.

Opposite page: Seton Lake, BC. This page, from top to bottom: Outdoor vestibule, GoldLeaf Service; Wild BC Sockeye Salmon, GoldLeaf Service; Pyramid Falls, Journey through the Clouds & Rainforest to Gold Rush route.

the Rocky Mountaineer, I felt like the red carpet had already been rolled out for me on several occasions. My first night in Canada was spent in The Fairmont Pallister in Calgary - a grand old hotel where the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh stayed just a year before. Then it was on to the stunning little town of Banff for a two-night stay in the impressive Rimrock Resort Hotel, at the foot of Sulphur Mountain. Banff National Park is billed as being one of the greatest destinations in the world, and I only had to look out of the window in my hotel room to see

the sprawling untapped wilderness and spectacular mountains to realise why. We took a trip on the Banff Gondola way up to the top of Sulphur Mountain and the views at the summit in all directions were incredible. Clouds floated below me as I stood 2,285m above sea level and there was a stunned silence from myself and fellow tourists due to the sheer beauty of the surroundings. Banff had the feeling of an Alpine resort and is very popular with skiers, but given it was June we settled for walks through the woods near our hotel – watching out for bears along the way of course. The bears were clearly keeping themselves to themselves, but a pair of elk came out to give us a send off as we waited for the Rocky Mountaineer to arrive in Banff. After our magnificent train journey through the Rockies, we spent a night at the swanky Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. Despite such a short stay in the thriving city, I saw enough to understand why it is such a popular place to live. I then boarded a float plane for the first time as we made the short trip to Victoria. I enjoy flying, but the prospect of landing on water left me a little uncertain. What transpired was one of the smoothest flights I have ever experienced and after checking into the luxury Fairmont Empress Hotel we were soon back on the water for some whale watching. The rain lashed down, but that failed to dampen spirits on our boat, named Prince of Whales, as we got up close to three huge orcas – one of which appeared in the film Free Willy. So although I failed to spot a bear, I did see a movie star, and to quote a well known Hollywood actor, my verdict on the Rockies and Vancouver is: “I’ll be back”. For more information on this trip, call dnata’s dedicated Rocky Mountaineer holiday specialists on (+971) 4 3166671 or email nonairgsa@dnata.com

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Viva

Barcelona

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Rob Orchard takes a break

in Spain’s most intriguing city

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he Catalonian independence movement was messing with my lunch plans. I’d arrived in Barcelona in the morning, checked into a justly-named ‘Wonderful’ room at the W Hotel (w-barcelona.com), spent a full 40 minutes gloating at the incredible views from the floor-toceiling windows, slipped into my nattiest holiday shirt and shorts, and headed into town to get some tapas. This being my first visit to the city, I took my time, wandering along the beachfront path towards the town centre, skirting stray volleyballs and rollerblading teens and generally soaking up the atmosphere. I paused briefly to confirm that Freddie Mercury was correct and that the horizon – dotted with sailboats, under a powder blue sky – was indeed beautiful and, lost in thought, narrowly avoided a collision with an angry pensioner on an electric bicycle. It was as I headed up the Passeig de Joan de Borbó that I had my first inkling that something unusual was afoot. The street was awash in the red and yellow striped flags of Catalonia, large family groups with painted faces were waving homemade banners, and passing cars were letting out staccato hoots of solidarity. But it was only when I turned the corner into the Plaça Reial and ran into what I later discovered to be 1.5 million protesters, that the penny dropped: I had accidentally arrived during the biggest pro-independence rally in Barcelona’s history.

A wonderful combination of modern metropolis and laidback beach town

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It was all most inconvenient. Major fan though I am of the right to political self-determination, this epochal demonstration was putting a serious dent in my eating schedule. I had come to the city armed with a handful of restaurant recommendations from a foodie friend. Barcelona, he had warned me, is awash with tourists dives: if you want to eat well you need to hit the spots which the locals love. After years of visiting the city and weeding out the bad places by a process of culinary trial and error, he’d presented me, somewhat solemnly, with a sure fire list of winners. Sadly however, due to the mass political rally all of these were closed, most decked with notes in Catalan which no doubt said “No food today chums, I’m off to the demo”.


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If you’re after a gastronomic treat while in Barcelona, the food of Sergi Arola is a must try. This youthful 42 year-old culinary genius, who has been garlanded with every award going in the world of fine

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dining, including a pair of Michelin stars, mans the kitchen at his namesake restaurant Arola in the city’s glamorous

Abandoning my plans for a gourmet blowout, I tracked down the one remaining open café in the city centre (staffed, no doubt, by anti-independence federal government stooges from Madrid), grabbed a sandwich and jumped aboard the nearby cable car to Montjuïc. This, as it turned out, was a brilliant idea. The cable car is the perfect introduction to the city: gliding above the skyline, you get a fantastic overview of the place. There’s the elegant sweep of the beach, crowned at one end by the sleek tower of the W hotel, the ancient, palm-lined squares, the warren-like village-within-a-city district of Barceloneta, the bustling harbour of the port, the commercial centre of Las Ramblas and, ahead, the soaring green hill of Montjuïc. After disembarking the cable car, I scaled the hill to the beautiful, ancient castle, where I sat on a sun-warmed battlement, drinking in the views. So entranced was I that I almost missed the last cable car back, and had to make an undignified dash down the hill, much to the delight of a passing tour bus of schoolchildren. Arriving back in town, I headed back to the W, took a seat at their beachfront hangout, Salt, and watched the sun set over a freshly-zoomed smoothie. The hotel’s assorted bars, eateries (including the much-praised signature restaurant Bravo) and terraces filled with glamorous locals and jetsetting guests: I opted for the extraordinary 26th-floor Eclipse, with its wraparound views and superb music, and settled in for the evening. My Barcelona break soon fell into a pleasing rhythm. I’d wake early, have an outrageously hearty breakfast at the W, slip outside for a swim in the sea (I could make it from croissant stand to sand in about 30 seconds), dry off in the sun then head into town to sightsee the day away, taking advantage of the lack of separatist demos to knock a restaurant off my foodie friend’s hitlist at lunchtime. In the evening I’d saunter back to the W, take a dip in the beautiful pool then throw myself headlong into the city’s nightlife. The culture is fantastic. You could happily while away a day in the Fundacio Joan Miró (fundaciomiro-bcn.org), an expansive, beautifully designed shrine to Barcelona’s favourite artist, marvelling

Hotel Arts Barcelona and is known for his deliciously daring tasting menus. For a true taste of the city, order the always-on-the-

menu Boqueria Market tapas. It features myriad dishes created from local-only ingredients that are handpicked each morning from Barcelona’s historic (it dates to 1200) food market.

at the sea of exquisite canvases and sculptures. The Picasso Museum (bcn. cat/museupicasso) – built at the request of the artist, who adored the city – is a showcase of his finest works. Then there’s the architecture, particularly the scattered buildings by Gaudí, instantly recognisable from a thousand living room prints: the Casa Vicens with its chessboard decoration and fairytale turrets; the Alice in Wonderland madness of the Parc Güell; the towering majesty of the Sagrada Familia and the wondrous bubbles and curves of the Casa Milà. Gaudí effectively managed to brand a whole city, creating an

Opening page: view of Barcelona from Montjuic hill. Opposite page: chimneys of Gaudi’s Casa Mila. This page from top: red cable car to Montjuic; fountains in front of the National Museum of Art, Plaza d’Espanya; Sagrada Familia.

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The W Barcelona offers guests direct beach access plus rooms and suites that boast dramatic vistas of the city and sea. There’s also a Michelin-starred restaurant in-house. For the style-conscious, Hotel Arts Barcelona is all contemporary architecture and – as its name suggests – is laden with modern Spanish artworks. It’s also big on fine dining, much like the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona

where designer Patricia Urquiola has applied her golden touch to each of the guestrooms. Book at dnatatravel.com

This page: exterior and interior shots of W Barcelona. Opposite page, clockwise from top left: local waiter; restaurant menu and tilework, the Gothic Quarter; Andalusian mussels and clams; Parc Güell.

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Photography supplied by: Getty Images; Corbis / Arabian Eye; Shutterstock

Where to Stay


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instantly-recognisable identity, and leaving a trail of world heritage sites in his wake. Barcelona is built for strolling: for ambling through narrow medieval alleyways, craning your neck to take in gothic swirls and arches, wandering down broad, breezy boulevards and stopping off in the squares and green spaces which dot the map. The shopping is excellent – make sure not to miss the al fresco weekend art market at Mercadillo de la Plaça de Sant Josep, the Wednesday flea market at Plaça de les Glories Catalanes, the bigname stores on Passeig de Gracia and the glorious treasure trove of vintage furniture that is Muebles RAM at 547 Carrer del Consell de Cent. But it was the food that really got me. The oysters, shucked in front of your eyes and served up with a squeeze of lemon and a twist of red vinegar. The experimental tapas, including reimagined patatas bravas, guacamole macaroons and cactus tartare. The pintxo bars where you can help yourself to dozens of cheap delicacies – including freshly-sizzled sausages, just-made open sandwiches and wedges of warm tortilla on grilled toast – and then pay according to how many plates you have in front of you at the end (my absolute favourite was Irati on Carrer Cardenal Casanyes, iratitavernabasca.com). The best meal I had, however, was in a seafood restaurant called Barceloneta (restaurantbarceloneta.com), perched on Moll des Pescadors on the harbour and recommended to me by the concierge at the W. Unassuming from outside, it has a tucked-away upstairs terrace whose tables overlook the bobbing yachts of the rich and famous. I spent some sublimely happy gourmet moments here tucking into the world’s best gazpacho, a battery of chubby garlic prawns, toothsome calamari and a simple grilled tuna salad dressed with high octane olive oil that left me grinning from ear to ear. It was on the terrace of the Barceloneta that I realised I was falling in love with Barcelona. It’s very hard not to: this is the city that has everything and which offers its privileged citizens and visitors the most wonderful combination of vigorous modern metropolis and laidback beach town. I will come back as soon as I can – although next time I’ll try to avoid arriving slap bang in the middle of a secessionist rally.

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The Empire State Building – as seen from the observation deck of the Rockefeller Center – was officially opened in 1931 at the height of the country’s Great Depression. The unfortunate timing meant most of the building remained bereft of office tenants, earning it the nickname Empty State Building among locals. Since then it has become New York’s most visited – and loved – landmark.

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Iconic

New Yor k Scenes from the Big Apple

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This year marks 100 years since the opening of Grand Central Terminal. It’s more commonly, yet incorrectly, known as Grand Central Station, and on any given day some 750,000 people pass through it. The clock in this picture has four faces made of opal, and is estimated to be worth between $10-20 million.


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Photography supplied by: Corbis / Arabian Eye

The city’s roaming army of 13,000 yellow cabs actually started out coloured red and green, and it wasn’t until 1967 that all licensed cabs were painted yellow to distinguish them from unofficial taxis. From this year these enduring symbols of New York are to be phased out in favour of eco-friendly Nissan minivans, though their yellow colour remains.

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Why hole up in a hotel when you could sleep beneath the stars on the sea itself? Linda Cookson explores the secluded coves of the Turkish coast

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ontemplative silence prevailed as we sat plotting a Mediterranean escape-with-a-difference. ‘It’ll be like Come Dine With Me at sea,’ I said, brightly, as the five of us pored over the options. ‘You know, Come Sail With Me. Take five people, stick them aboard a Turkish gulet for a week, and get them to score the holiday in secret...’ There was yours truly and Brian, my partner, as well as our friends Simon, Caroline and Debbie. I’d persuaded them to charter Aleyna, a traditional wooden gulet boat, to be our own floating hotel for a week’s voyage around Turkey’s Turquoise Coast. Morning plunges in aquariumblue waters. Lazy lunches in whitewashed towns festooned with bougainvillea. Nights on deck under the stars. In my head, we were already there. I know and love southern Turkey, but even my devotion has been dampened before by some of the hair-raising drives you have to take, through helter-skelter mountain passes. On a boat you glide languidly in and around islands, coves and secret beaches often unreachable by road. And while you could swelter on dry land, it doesn’t quite compare with being soothed by gentle on-deck sea-breezes or cooling off, when at anchor, in one of Europe’s biggest, bluest swimming pools.

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Traditional wooden gulets – with skipper, crew and on-board chef – are an effort-free way for non-sailors to take to the water and experience Turkey’s southwest coast minus the traffic. In the past, though, I might have had reservations that would have sunk a trip before we’d even left home. Early boats were pretty basic, often designed on a ‘pack ‘em in’ principle. The prospect of cupboard-sized cabins, coupled with sanitation barely this side of a hosepipe and bucket, would deter lovers of even modest creature comforts. Less appealing still, for shyer souls, is the thought of sharing life at close quarters with strangers. Choosing and chartering our own gulet solved all these problems. At an impressive 27m long, Aleyna had just four super-size cabins, all with double beds and ensuite shower-rooms. We could tell from the plan that there’d be masses of space above and below deck for anyone who fancied a bit of privacy. And although Aleyna could easily accommodate eight, we’d hit on five as our perfect number of shipmates-to-be. We embarked in Fethiye, a pretty, working harbour an hour or so from Dalaman airport. Aleyna bobbed by the quay, ropes coiled, wooden decks newly scrubbed. Shoes went straight into a wicker basket as soon as we’d left the gangplank and were barely worn again all week, except for occasional forays onshore. Captain Ahmet and his young crew - Sami, Hakan and Yasar, the cook - greeted us like royalty with platefuls of delicious börek (cigar-sized filo-pastry tubes stuffed with spinach and Feta). A tour revealed stately cabins, on-deck hammocks, bean-bags, loungers and every water-toy imaginable - from windsurfers, fins and snorkels to a canary-yellow kayak. Our eyes were out on stalks.


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Opening page: Fethiye Bay. Opposite page, clockwise from top left: a traditional Turkish sailing boat; a man holding a shaboot fish; Fethiye in Turkey at sunrise; the ruins of Tlos near Fethiye. This page, clockwise from top left: gulets in Fethiye Harbour; a traditional Turkish sailing boat; Lycian rock-cut tombs.

Aleyna eased out of Fethiye harbour as though sliding through liquid silk

Then Ahmet unfurled a clutch of satisfyingly salt-stiffened nautical charts and we got down to route-planning. We agreed to start with the islands in the Gulf of Fethiye, before sailing southeastwards to the harbour towns of Kalkan and Kas. The route would take us along the rugged seaboard that was anciently the maritime kingdom of Lycia. ‘Lazy’ was obviously going to be the operative word. Our wristwatches followed our shoes into a further basket, and we said goodbye to time. Aleyna eased out of Fethiye harbour as though sliding through liquid silk. Behind, the town shimmered in a heat haze. Ahead was a marine forest of wooded islands, scattered like lily-pads across the turquoise water. The Gulf of Fethiye is famous for its ‘Twelve Islands’, and mooring up in a sheltered cove or bay for daytime swims or evening suppers was to become the regular pattern for the first few days. Some islands had specific stories. There was Dockyard Island, with a rectangular harbour where ships were built in Ottoman times; and Red Island, which took its name from its pinkishbrown shoreline. Tomb Bay had three ancient tombs set like abandoned houses in the rock face. The Bay of Cleopatra’s Baths presented the submerged ruins of some Roman baths, allegedly built for

Cleopatra, as a gift to be enjoyed on one of her visits to this coast. On Gemiler Island, where we spent our first night onboard, the beach and hillsides were littered with ruined chapels. An ornate arched walkway ran between two churches 500m downhill to the water. Over our first supper, at a table heavy with delicious mezze, Ahmet told its story – it was built for a princess who loved swimming, but couldn’t be exposed to daylight. Depending on which version we preferred, this was either because her skin was too sensitive, or because her father feared she was too temptingly beautiful to be seen out and about by locals. Nights on board Aleyna were sublimely peaceful. We feasted on freshly-caught fish, spiced meats and salads, conjured by Yasar from a galley the size of a handkerchief. At first, we retired dutifully below deck to our cabins each evening. As the week wore on, the beauty of the night skies became too lovely to leave, and we started to sleep on deck, lying on our backs and counting shooting stars as Aleyna swayed like a wonderful creaking cradle. The sounds were heavenly: the rhythmic swishing of water against bows, the hypnotic reedy music of the nightbreeze through the rigging... On the third morning, after two days of island-hopping, we woke at dawn to a stream of apricot light. Below us, the sea was dancing with spangles of sunlight as though some sleepy giant had spilled a bucket of diamonds across the water. Spellbound, we watched the world come to life. Aleyna was roped to two giant rocks on the foreshore, and a couple of brown goats had ambled idly across the pebbles to investigate. Back at the smallholding they’d strayed from, we could just make out a lady baking flatbread in a pan over a fire, while her husband and son scrambled over the promontory with rods. They cast their lines, and a shoal of flying fish sprang from the water in a perfect silver arc. For breakfast, Yasar treated us to gözleme (savoury pancakes), as well as the usual feast of yoghurts, honey and fruit.

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Below us, the sea was dancing with spangles of sunlight as though some sleepy giant had spilled a bucket of diamonds across the water

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Mornings had developed a routine: earlybird swimming, breakfast spent chatting, brainstorming crossword clues and practising our shaky Turkish on the everpatient Sami. Today, he said, we would start our journey eastwards, with a visit to ‘Kelebek Vadisi’. He mimed releasing something tiny from his cupped hand and fluttered his fingers. Butterfly Valley. A vast primeval rocky gorge swirling in mist, with waterfalls tumbling seawards through fir trees, Butterfly Valley is home to almost every species of Mediterranean butterfly. It’s a weird secret kingdom, like something out of Lord of the Rings. Simon, a former zoologist, was in paradise. The blue-lagoon resort of Olüdeniz was nearby, but as it’s one of the busiest tourist spots, we opted to skim smoothly past its frequently photographed pine forest and yellow sands – the milling crowds of sun-worshippers became mere pinpricks of colour dotting the beach. Paragliders drifted skywards – tiny Icarus figures, suspended by fluorescent parachutes that curled like giant feathers in the heat of the sun. Then all activity was behind us. Poster-paint colours melted

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to nothingness, scented forests of pine, juniper and oak trees gave way to wild and towering mountains. We were entering the stony world of ancient Lycia. It felt as though we were sailing into another time altogether. Largely uninhabited, much of this coastline was eerily silent, its former inhabitants evident only in a stone heritage of cliff-tombs high in rock-faces. Only the occasional clank of goat bells confirmed that, somewhere in the mountains, life continued. The tranquillity was blissful. We swam

around ancient funeral caskets scattered at sea level, played cards and roared with laughter, reading from Caitlin Moran’s How To Be A Woman, the soar-away favourite on-board read (much to the mystification of our crew). One evening, I played Ahmet at backgammon for Aleyna and won – although he was quick to decide that we ought to play the best of three, and hastily adjusted his game to take account of the lunacy of my more maverick moves. Patara Beach – 20km of deserted dunes and a protected breeding ground for loggerhead turtles – led us back towards the land of the living and the postcard harbours of Kalkan and Kas, knitted with cobbled streets and lined with timbered shops selling carpets, ceramics and jewellery. Site of the former Lycian port of Antiphellos, Kas wears its history lightly – 3,000-year-old sarcophagi are a common sight. Bits of broken stone coffin serve as geranium pots or litter bins. But after dark, when the cliff-tombs, set vertically on a sheer rock wall above the town, are illuminated, there’s a powerful sense of history, of ghost watchmen standing guard over the harbour. The fifth evening saw us reunited with our sandals for a trip ashore at Kas. The waterfront, quiet by day, was ablaze with lights and lanterns. Cobs of corn sizzled on charcoal burners. Quayside stalls dispensed cornets of roasted almonds. The central tea gardens were busy with townspeople and visitors. Every other rooftop seemed to have a restaurant – all with thrilling views over the harbour and across to Kas’s floodlit mosque. Awash with light, it glowed like a huge blue moon. Our last full day was the most magical, with a leisurely cruise to the villages of Kaleköy and Uçagiz. From the quayside of Kaleköy, a string of shanty jetties and flower-filled restaurants, we climbed through dusty backstreets to a storybook Crusader castle, perched on a cliff looking across to the island of Kekova. From Uçagiz, we transferred to a glass-bottomed boat and sailed to the island itself, over the visible remains of submerged Lycian tombs. Along the coast of Kekova are the ruins of Batik Sehir, a Byzantine city drowned by an earthquake. Drifting through pools of turquoise to the engine’s gentle drone, we gazed through the water into an eerie maze of crumbling walls, doors and arches. Here and there, flights of broken steps would rise through the waterline, as though from nowhere, leading nowhere. A tiny creek, overhung with berries and flooded with birdsong, was our final port before returning to Kalkan. Over our last supper, we reckoned that this had been possibly the best holiday ever. There was no need for any secret Come Sail With Me scoring. It was 10 out of 10 from us all.

The traditional Turkish gulet – a sailing vessel handcrafted in wood and commonly twin-masted and motor-driven – was used by fishermen in Southern Turkey to transport their catch. These days, the gulet has evolved to transport tourists around the region’s beautiful coastline and, as such, its design has been modified to be more accommodating. In some cases, that means interiors you’ d more readily associate with luxury yachts.

Photography supplied by: Corbis / Arabian Eye; Shutterstock

Previous page: Blue Lagoon and Belcekiz Beach, Oludeniz, near Fethiye. This page: filo-pastry stuffed with spinach and feta.


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Image supplied by: Rana Begum and The Third Line

Inside Information

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Dubai’s Best Galleries

In two separate quarters of the city, Dubai’s art scene is flourishing at an impressive rate...


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Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai

Check in to Dubai’s coolest hotel this summer

Images: Clockwise from top: Deluxe room; Shang Palace; View from pool.

Few hotels can boast as perfect a city-centre location as the Shangri-La Hotel. Half way along Dubai’s main artery – Sheikh Zayed Road – it’s just moments away from all of the city’s main attractions, and yet also has spectacular sea views, making it the perfect destination for a cool family getaway this summer. For those in town to shop, one of the world’s largest malls, The Dubai Mall, is just a stone’s throw away and is filled with an incredible array of designer and high-street brands, as well as umpteen eateries and entertainment outlets for younger guests. Meanwhile, those seeking a calm and peaceful cultural retreat could visit the nearby Jumeirah Mosque or Dubai Museum before returning to the hotel for a cooling dip in its outdoor pool. If you’re looking to relax and revitalise your senses then why not shun the summer heat for a few hours at The Spa at Shangri-La? Enjoy a welcoming drink and footbath before embarking on one of the many journeys tailor-made to ensure you leave feeling like the best version of yourself. When it comes to dining options, prepare to be spoilt for choice: the Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai, boasts some of the city’s finest, and most popular, restaurants. There’s the award-winning Hoi An, which serves authentic Vietnamese cuisine under open rafters and ceiling fans; its signature restaurant Shang Palace delivers the finest Cantonese delicacies – and a mouthwatering Dim Sum menu; and for incredible seafood try Amwaj, which means waves, where fresh fish and seafood is prepared to perfection. Before deciding which tickles your taste buds, though, toast the incredible price you managed to snag for your stay – with up to 50 per cent off the best available rates this summer – as you watch the sun set over the sea from your balcony. Promotion

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Six of the best

Safari Lodges

1. Four Seasons

Safari Lodge Serengeti fourseasons.com/serengeti

Central Serengeti, Tanzania, offers unrivalled access year-round to the world’s most impressive wildlife. Nestled amidst its plains is the Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti. Reserve the Presidential Villa and from your private infinity pool you can watch the wildlife take respite at the nearby watering hole. Spend a day in the wild with a knowledgeable and experienced guide and driver: you’ll lunch as you go about spotting wildebeests, umpteen birds and mammals and, of course, big cats – leopards, lions and cheetahs. After a busy day, tap into the benefits of local minerals and plants at the spa. And when night falls, taste the best of African cuisine at Boma Grill: you’ll eat around an open-air firepit while learning of the Maasai culture, including how to perform their traditional dances.

Keep your eyes peeled for:

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At the right time, the Great Migration.

Concierge


World Traveller

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2. Singita Lebombo

Lodge, Kruger National Park, South Africa singita.com/lebombo-lodge

The word Singita means ‘place of miracles’ and it is not difficult to see how this incredible lodge in South Africa’s famous Kruger National Park came to acquire the name. Here, amid an overwhelming array of wildlife that includes The Big Five and a mountain pride of lions, is a life-changing safari lodge nestled in the cliff face. Beautiful and contemporary wooden suites decked in stylish steel, wood and organic materials - and encased in glass - overlook the N’wanetsi River and the wildlife that inhabits it. Having woken before the sun for an early morning game drive, sleep beneath the stars on the serene deck of your suite, falling asleep to nature’s soundtrack on what will prove a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

Keep your eyes peeled for:

The famous mountain pride of lions.

3. Fairmont Mount

Kenya Safari Club

fairmont.com/mount-kenya-safari

Once a haunt of Winston Churchill and Bing Crosby, this award-winning five-star resort – located in Nanyuki, Kenya, offers something for everyone. With several game reserves within reach – including Solio Game Reserve, Sweet Waters Game Reserve, Aberdare National Park and Samburu Game Reserve – those keen to spot their favourite wild animals up close and in their natural environs have plenty of opportunity to do so from this exclusive base. However, this is a resort that offers far more besides: play golf or croquet, bowl, learn as you walk on a nature trail with the resident naturalist, climb Mount Kenya or visit a local animal orphanage. The opportunities are limitless. Familyfriendly, the Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club has plenty to entertain younger children and teenagers too: from pony rides and bicycles to fishing trips and a swimming pool. And restaurants cater to all ages and tastes.

Keep your eyes peeled for:

Enormous elephants and tenacious crocodiles at Samburu Game Reserve.

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4. Cottar’s 1920s Safari

Camp, Masai Mara Game Reserve

cottars.com/cottars-1920s-camp

Arguably the most glamorous safari camping experience in the world, this sublime 10-tent camp provokes heady nostalgia, with its antique furnishings and the homely fireplaces that warm the living room of each of the four family tents. The Cottar family have operated luxurious tented safari camps since 1919, and have been part of the Mara community throughout that time – and it shows in their attention to detail. After a day or night game drive to the reserve and 6,000-acre conservancy, take a safari bath or shower in the savannah before retiring to the refined comfort of your exclusive tented abode. If you’re feeling hungry, fine dining takes place at one of two candlelit mess tents, where food is served alongside sweeping views of the Masai Mara.

Keep your eyes peeled for:

Mara rhinos and Colobus monkeys, which can be seen in the hills behind the camp.

5. Londolozi Game

Reserve, South Africa londolozi.com

Boasting two of only 17 master trackers in South Africa, this family-run luxury game reserve has been at the top of its field for more than 85 years and, with a focus on conservation, its appeal shows no sign of abating. On the banks of the Sand River, deep within the Sabi Sand Game Reserve (part of the six-million-acre Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park that includes Kruger National Park), Londolozi promises extraordinary game drives. White rhino and lion populations here are among the highest recorded in Africa and the wild, and free roaming leopards are a sight to behold. For unparalleled privacy and a seamless interaction with nature, reserve a spacious Private Granite Suite. Inspired by the granite that borders the reserve, the lavish lodge has a private heated swimming pool and is perfect for those seeking an intimate stay.

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Keep your eyes peeled for:

Africa’s largest recorded population of white rhinos and lions.

Concierge


World Traveller

July // 2013

6. Royal Malewane’s Africa House

royalmalewaneafricahouse.com

This self-contained villa within the Greater Kruger National Park offers absolute seclusion for families and groups of up to 12 people. When you are not marvelling at the exceptional wildlife that inhabits the surrounds, there are plenty of ways to remain entertained. Meet the creatures being nursed back to health at Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, take a helicopter flight over the canyons, waterfalls and rock formations that form the reserve’s dramatic landscape, or watch the sun rise over the plains from a hot air balloon. Golf lovers will find the Leopard Creek Championship Golf Estate – home to giraffe, impala and hippo – a thrill, while those seeking an authentic cultural experience can enjoy an unforgettable tour of the weaving community. As the sun sets, dine al fresco overlooking the nearby waterhole frequented by some of the world’s most beautiful animals.

Keep your eyes peeled for:

The Big Five and more than 500 species of birds.

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July // 2013

Kempinski, The Palm

Something for the Weekend

WIN!

To experience this hotel’s charms to the full, we’re giving you the chance to win a night’s stay there in a wonderful two-bedroom suite, plus breakfast. To be in with a chance of winning, all you need do is email us at easywin@ hotmediapublishing. com before July 31 with the answer to this simple question: what is the name of the hotel’s Italian restauarnt? A. Mancini B. Brunello C. Vialli

Why go?

Where should I eat?

It’s rare to experience such a lavish stay in an environment where children are not only tolerated but warmly welcomed and catered for. Keep your little tykes entertained with a dip in the pool or, if you need some time out, then there’s a great Kids’ Club available. Service is impeccable too – expect plenty of home comforts, and the hotel’s prestigious location means you not only have immediate access to a pristine private beach but you are also close to many of the city’s most popular shopping malls.

Head to Brunello for refined Italian fare. Designed with an Italian palazzo in mind, the high-end restaurant serves up dishes that span the length and breadth of Italy – from north to south – and range from buffet breakfasts through to elegant dinners. Alternatively, enjoy a romantic dinner on your private terrace, courtesy of the hotel’s in-suite dining service.

What room should I book? Live like a king and treat yourself to a stay at an Imperial five-bedroom villa. Wake to a view of the beach and start your day with a refreshing dip in your terrace pool (it overlooks the private garden and you have a great view of the Dubai skyline). If it gets too hot, there’s plenty indoors to entertain, too: enjoy the benefits of having a home theatre and a Bose sound system in your games room. Concierge

What should I do while there? Take advantage of the hotel’s excellent concierge service, on hand to tailor an itinerary that takes in your needs and the best of the city’s summer attractions. They’ll also arrange transport for you too. After a busy day of shopping or sightseeing, head to the hotel’s Cinq Mondes Spa for some much-needed pampering before dinner. It boasts a comprehensive massage menu that promises to banish any muscle knots, while a scrub treatment will leave you with baby-soft – and also deliciously perfumed – skin.

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Learn something new As the heat of summer sets in, take the time to gain a new skill courtesy of some seasonal offers… Learn to…

Food for thought Enjoy Iftar at one these stunning settings

Learn to…

Learn to…

The Address Dubai Marina

Cook Like A Pro

Ski

Play golf

On the first Saturday of every month – so that’s July 6 and August 3 – Chef de Cuisine Herve Courtot and his superb team of Japanese chefs at Nobu, Atlantis, The Palm, will show students how to make the most delicious sushi. Learn about the history of the dish before trying it out for yourself, and take home a Nobu apron to boot.

With temperatures soaring outside, there’s only one place to head to take the heat off – Ski Dubai. If you’re a parent looking for something to do as a family then there’s no better place – as well as a ski school that allows you and your loved ones to garner skiing or snowboarding skills, it’s also home to the world’s largest indoor snow park.

Whether you are keen to take up a new sport or you’re a casual golfer wanting to perfect that swing, the summer is the perfect time to take advantage of some great package deals and get on the greens. Almost every course in the UAE will have summer offers running this year so what are you waiting for?

> Luxury pads don’t come more spacious than the Dubai Floor at Raffles Dubai. Spread across the hotel’s 14th floor, this three-suite, three-room abode had been the private accommodation of HE Sheikh Mana Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, the owner of Raffles Dubai, since it opened in 2007. Now the vast space has been made available to the public and is perfect for those seeking a private family home away from home this summer, or somewhere to simply wow and entertain friends if your wallet stretches.

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Concierge

theaddress.com

Six Senses Zighy Bay sixsenses.com

JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai

jwmarriottmarquisdubai.com

Sofra bld, Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi shangri-la.com

Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia fourseasons.com/riyadh


World Traveller

July // 2013

Graphically speaking

Washington DC the White House contains... 35 6 412 147 28 8 3

bathrooms levels doors windows fireplaces staircases elevators

In 1884, when the Washington Monument was completed, it was the tallest structure in the world but was soon surpassed by the Eiffel Tower and numerous others since. 400m

400m

300 metres

300m

300m

170 200m

metres

200m

139 metres

100m

100m

2611 BCE Great Pyramid of Giza

1884 Washington Monument

ve a h ‘I

1889 Eiffel Tower

’ m a e r d a

Many people don’t know that the Lincoln memorial was where Martin Luther King made his famous speech.

in no state

Washington DC (District of Columbia) is not a state, nor is it actually part of any state. In fact, it is a unique ‘federal district’ created solely to be the seat of government in the US.

To kick-start the capital’s construction, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson decided to make it a contest in which the best architectural design submitted would win $500. In the end, however, they didn’t like any of the 17 designs received.


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July 2013

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4-21

6-14

14

19-28

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Manchester International Festival is a real highlight in England’s rainy city and hosts myriad events that span the cultural spectrum. So while Kenneth Branagh and Willem Dafoe star on stage, filmmaker Adam Curtis collaborates with Massive Attack to redefine the traditional ‘gig’.

Running of the Bulls is Spain’s – and possibly the world’s – most dangerous and notorious event, when thousands of tourists flood the streets of Pamplona to try to outrun a dozen bulls that have been let loose on the streets. The spectacle forms part of the San Fermin festival.

Bastille Day commemorates the beginning of the fall of the French Monarchy when commoners stormed the fortress and prison of Bastille. The celebrations are opened with a grand military parade and continue throughout Paris and wider France with parties galore.

Boryeong Mud Festival sees locals in this small town south of Seoul, South Korea, get downright dirty – literally. It’s believed the mineral-rich mud has multiple health benefits and so the locals indulge in everything from mud pools to mud skiing in order to cover themselves in it.

Shakespeare in the Park marks its 50th anniversary in New York’s Central Park, with free-tothe-public al fresco performances staged throughout the summer. This month sees the debut of new musical Love’s Labour’s Lost, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s smart and funny comedy.

Concierge


Mayfair is the heart of London. Brown’s is in the heart of Mayfair.

Brown’s Hotel personifies modern British luxury, with outstanding personal service, elegant rooms and suites, award-winning afternoon tea and a relaxing spa. The Donovan Bar and HIX Mayfair celebrate British art and cuisine, offering the perfect London experience. Albemarle Street, London, W1S 4BP Tel: 020 7493 6020 Fax: 020 7493 9381 E-Mail: reservations.browns@roccofortehotels.com www.roccofortehotels.com Luxury Hotels and Resorts

Berlin, Brussels, Edinburgh, Florence, Frankfurt, London, Manchester, Munich, Rome, St Petersburg, Sicily. Future Openings: Cairo, Jeddah, Luxor, Marrakech


1. The Pop-Up Hotel; 2. Gilligan’s; 3. Bocca di Lupo; 4. Chanel boutique, Saint Tropez

World Traveller

Every summer in major cities around the world, unique, temporary events pop up in unusual venues. Among the many weird and wacky, there are some that are just plain fantastic – such as London’s award-winning trattoria Bocca di Lupo. The Soho eatery has established a pop-up summer restaurant at British Summer Time Hyde Park. Diners can chow down on the acclaimed regional Italian fare of Chef Jacob Kenedy before watching The Rolling Stones or Bon Jovi take to the stage.

July // 2013

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Pop stars World Traveller rounds up the best of this summer’s pop-up events Cast your net as far as New York and check out Soho Grand Hotel’s (sohogrand.com). delicious pop-up, Gilligan’s – a tropical, maritime-themed eatery serving up Long Islandsourced catches and meats from 11am until late.

If you fancy getting a little closer to nature, and don’t mind risking rain, then don’t miss the fantastic pop-up hotel (in fact, they’re luxury tents) setting up glamp within the majestic parkland of Osborne House, on the Isle of Wight

(thepopuphotel.com/osbornehouse-accommodation). Enjoy Victorian high teas, picnics in the gardens and access to the grand house, and beach. Delightful. Even major fashion houses are getting in on the act. Over in the South of France, Chanel has launched its fourth annual summer pop-up boutique in Saint Tropez at a luxury pool house in the Hôtel La Mistralée: alongside classic Chanel ready-to-wear and accessories, expect exquisite swimwear too. (hotelmistralee.com).

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Where to Stay Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong (mandarinoriental. com/hongkong) Overlooking the stunning Victoria Harbour, the hotel is sleekly designed, has a wonderful spa and is also home, on its 25th floor, to an outstanding Pierre Gagnaire restaurant. The Upper House (upperhouse.com) Designed by renowned Hong Kong architect Andre Fu, the natural materials, eye-catching sculptures and original artwork invoke an Oriental ambience. All rooms boast harbour or island views, and its Café Gray Deluxe serves up delights from celebrated chef Gray Kunz.

Gourmet Hong Kong Grace Hyne reveals the wealth of dining experiences Asia’s culinary capital has to offer…

When it comes to fine dining there are few places in the world better placed to satisfy than Hong Kong. The semi-autonomous Chinese region has 200 restaurants sharing more than 60 Michelin stars, and some of its most reputed eateries are also surprisingly affordable. For food enthusiasts, finding somewhere great to eat certainly won’t be a problem; the challenge will come when deciding between them all... 92

Walk the winding streets of this bustling metropolis and the sights and smells of its vibrant marketplaces immediately assault the senses. Delicious Cantonese cuisine is available everywhere: from the many quirky restaurants to the abundant food markets. But it’s the somewhat remarkable number of world-class eateries and their Michelin stars that really takes your breath away. As does the cost of their fare: Hong Kong’s vibrant Concierge

Island Shangri-La Hong Kong (shangri-la.com/ island) Directly above the Pacific Place mall, this glass tower is decadently adorned in the finest materials and multiple crystal chandeliers.

1.

Michelin scene comes, at times, at an extraordinarily low price. Take, for example, renowned Ho Hung Kee, a no-frills eatery that earned its star in 2011, despite serving up bowls of wonton or noodles for less than AED19. First on our somewhat lengthy list of must-trys, Ho Hung Kee’s attention to detail and loyalty to traditional Hong Kong dining culture has won it fans from around the world. Other affordable Michelin Hong Kong experiences include dim sum restaurant Tim Ho Wan (the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant which now has four branches in the city),


World Traveller

July // 2013

Ask a...

ConCierge

Getting around From the city’s efficient MTR subway system, to taxis, buses and tram, transport is easy here. Explore the surrounding islands by ferry.

Language Cantonese is spoken by the majority, while Hakka, Teochiu, Mandarin and Taishanese also feature. But don’t fret – English is still spoken widely.

Louis Baleros from the InterContinental Hong Kong pinpoints his four must-dos while in town…

Jade Market, Kowloon

Photography supplied by: Corbis / Arabian Eye

2.

and Pang’s Kitchen, which you’ll find in the city’s famous gourmet district Causeway Bay. With dishes such as steamed dumplings served up alongside specialties that include baked fish intestines and seasonal snake soup, both restaurants put worthy Hong Kong-inspired recipes at the heart of their expansive menus. For those in search of a more upscale Cantonese dining experience, head to Lung King Heen at the Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong. This is a restaurant of firsts, being the world’s first Chinese restaurant to be awarded the coveted Michelin threestar rating and led by Executive Chef Chan Yan Tak, the first Chinese chef to receive three Michelin stars. That’s not to say that Cantonese food is all that’s on the menu: Hong Kong is also home to many restaurants serving fine European food. Those looking for evidence need not venture outside of the Four Seasons (again), where Caprice serves up far more than just stunning views across Victoria harbour: it was the first French restaurant in Hong Kong to receive three Michelin stars. Under shimmering Chinese-inspired Czech chandeliers, feast on chef Vincent Thierry’s tantalising creations, including Normandy sole with garden vegetables and orange French toast in Maltaise sauce. Delicious. Where Caprice went, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon followed, earning three Michelin stars for its contemporary French offerings. Here you can choose from three very different menus, including one of tapas-sized portions of French classics. Then there’s the equally excellent SPOON by Alain Ducasse, one of the world’s most celebrated chefs, housed within the InterContinental Hong Kong. Hong Kong doesn’t just do French food well. If you’re hankering for a taste of Italy make your way to Central’s Landmark Alexandra and, more specifically, to 8

You’ll find a vast assortment of Chinese jade, semi-precious carvings and trinkets – but don’t forget to negotiate. And remember to take cash, as most stalls don’t take credit cards.

Museum of History, Chatham Road

If you want to get a better understanding of Hong Kong, a visit here is an absolute must.

Take a walk 3.

1. Island Shangri-La 2. Mandarin Oriental 3. The Upper House

½ Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA: a familiar story in Hong Kong, it seems, but this is the only Italian restaurant outside of Italy to be awarded three Michelin stars – a testament to the skill of its acclaimed executive chef Umberto Bombana. And the restaurant is beautiful: think ethereal forests and soft lighting. Speaking of Japanese influence, don’t leave the city without sampling of Ryu Gin. Fresh from the streets of Tokyo, this is one of the newest eateries on the scene. With a set 10-course menu to get through, you’ll need a good appetite. Hong Kong – renowned for culture, history, and exuding a trendy edge that attracts tourists from far and wide – is now one of the gourmet capitals of the world. The only concern is that after too long dining on Michelin-starred food, readjusting to post-holiday life could prove tricky – and significantly less tasty.

To really immerse yourself in the city, I suggest letting yourself be taken off the typical tourist trail with a customised private walking tour, run by Little Adventures in Hong Kong. You’ll get to uncover hidden gems and experience an unexpected side of the city.

Tsui Wah Restaurant, Carnavon Road

Share a table with strangers at one of the most famous Cha Chaan Teng restaurants in town. It’s always packed. 93


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Getting around Avoid traffic and oneway system headaches by taking the train or the U-Bahn (Vienna’s underground system). Cycling is another, more scenic, option thanks to more than 700km of tracks.

Language The national language is German; English is also widely understood.

Historic Vienna Austria’s capital has centuries worth of scintillating history to discover… 1. Le Meridien Vienna 2. Ritz-Carlton Vienna

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With a fascinating past that dates as far back as the Roman period, it is little wonder that one of Vienna’s major selling points remains its historic centre. Here, exquisite architecture that includes Baroque castles, ornate palaces and breathtaking gardens, along with the illustrious culture they inevitably purvey, continues to capture the imagination of all who visit.

Concierge

Whether you’re strolling down the whitewashed Ring Boulevard (Ringstrasse) or enjoying the city’s blossoming gardens, Vienna boasts an incomparable architectural beauty. Home to many Baroque and Art Nouveau palaces, among the most attractive is Schönbrunn Palace. The preferred summer residence of the Habsburgs (rulers of the Austria-Hungary dynasty), this palace is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is widely considered a work of art. Here you will not only find the Tiergarten – the world’s oldest zoo, but also a vast sculpture garden and ornate carvings. Southeast of the city centre, in Vienna’s third district, sits the historic Belvedere building complex. Within its magnificent grounds are two Baroque palaces – the Upper and Lower Belvedere – built as the summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy in the 17th century. Today they house the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere (the Belvedere museum). Among a vast collection of artistic masterpieces are The Kiss and Judith by Gustav Klimt (both housed in the Upper

Belvedere). For a glimpse of Prince Eugene’s apartments and staterooms, resplendent with rococo interior design, head to the Lower Belvedere. Now the official seat of the President of Austria, for centuries Hofburg Imperial Palace has housed some of the country’s most influential leaders and was the birthplace of Marie Antoinette. Today, it also boasts museums, a national theatre and the Austrian National Library. Designed by Viennese architect Johann Bernhard Fischer von Eriach, it is the largest Baroque library in Europe and holds more than 200,000 tomes. Those seeking more unusual distractions will enjoy the world’s only public museum dedicated to globes, also found here. Of course, there is far more to Vienna than just outstanding palaces. Take, for instance, the neo-Gothic Rathaus, Vienna’s city hall. The Gothic-style building, built between 1872 and 1883, is a city landmark. Then there’s Rathauspark, built in the 19th century by order of Emperor Franz Joseph I, it’s been the site of many peaceful demonstrations and features a wealth of exotic plants. And the


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Christian Plank of the InterContinental Vienna picks three city treats for families

1. For a panoramic view of the city visit Kahlenberg Mountain, located in the Vienna Woods. For those with older children, the popular hike to the top lasts about four hours and takes you through beautiful vineyards. For the less energetic, transport is available. 2. A visit to Schönbrunn Palace and its grounds should be high on your agenda. Take a walk to the Gloriette; visit the animals at the Vienna Zoo, the oldest existing zoo in the world; or get lost in Schönbrunn’s famous maze.

July // 2013

tombs of some of Austria’s most prolific leaders can be found at St Stephen’s Cathedral: a design marvel, it is also surrounded by Roman cemeteries. For art lovers, a visit to the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien will reveal iconic works by Raphael and Rubens, while the Leopold Museum boasts Austrian art from the first half of the 20th century, including works by Klimt and his protégé Egon Schiele. The Museum Moderner Kunst (or Mumok) has more than 7,000 works in its permanent collection, from Picasso to Warhol, and The Albertina houses one of the world’s most important collections of Dutch hand drawings: head here this summer to catch some 140 works by Henri Matisse and the Fauvistes. More recent history is explored at the Sigmund Freud Museum: located at Berggasse 19, in Vienna’s 9th district, the founding father of psychoanalysis lived here for almost 50 years before fleeing Nazi-occupied Austria in 1938. See his original furnishings, his collection of antiques, first editions of his work, and unique film material of his family life shot in the 1930s. Finally, as Vienna played a leading role in shaping European music, try not to leave without visiting the Vienna State Opera. But be warned: tickets sell fast.

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Where to Stay Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna (kempinski.com/ vienna) Brilliantly located at the famous Ring Boulevard, near to cultural sights, this luxurious abode was originally built as a hotel for the World Exhibition in Vienna in 1873.

3. Visit children’s museum

ZOOM, which provides

Photography supplied by: Corbis / Arabian Eye

interactive activities for children of all ages before taking lunch at cosy restaurant Glacis Beisl, Just a short walk away. It opens up onto a lush green courtyard.

Le Meridien Vienna (lemeridienvienna.com) Made up of four landmark palaces, its sumptuously modern rooms, complete with claw-foot tubs and multi-jet showers, are paired with state-of-theart facilities.

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The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna (ritzcarlton.com) Near Vienna State Opera and other city landmarks, it boasts ornate ceiling frescoes, fireplaces and panoramic views from its rooftop terrace.

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Suite Dreams EAST COAST

State of New York Manhattan

What:

Ty Warner Penthouse

Where:

Four Seasons Hotel, New York

About:

It took seven years and US$50 million to create what is the highest suite in New York. Sitting 244 metres above street level, the 4,300-square-foot Ty Warner Penthouse has four glass balconies offering awe-inspiring views of Manhattan’s skyline. And inside, the dÊcor is sublime: from the custom slabs of rare Chinese onyx in the bathroom to the Bosendorfer grand piano and custom-designed iMac computer.

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Let us arrange a personalised tour of the Grand Mosque.

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Let us offer your family a private villa with a personal butler. Let us offer you a choice of eight authentic restaurants every night. Let us leave you with sparkling memories of your beautiful stay.

Weekend Villa Offer – The ideal package to create fond memories for the entire family. Retreat to your private villa overlooking lush gardens for a leisurely weekend break and let a dedicated butler take care of your every need. Starting from AED 1250++. T: +9712 818 8181 W: ritzcarlton.com/AbuDhabi

Offer is valid on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights only. Rates and room types are subject to availability. Rate is per room per night, based on double occupancy, exclusive of taxes, gratuities, fees and other charges; does not apply to groups; cannot be combined with any other offer and is not applicable for Rewards redemption. Complimentary early check-in and late check-out are subject to availability. Advanced reservations are required. No refund or credit for unused portion. Void where prohibited. ©2013 The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.


World Traveller_July13