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March 2015

Complimentary Copy

Issue Eighty Three


Produced in International Media Production Zone









A reďŹ ned holiday destination. Comprising two iconic towers, the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai stands elevated above Dubai’s Business Bay on Sheikh Zayed Road, in the heart of the city. With close proximity to Dubai’s key attractions and a •’‡…–”—Â?‘ˆ”‡…”‡ƒ–‹‘Â?ƒŽÂˆÂƒÂ…‹Ž‹–‹‡•ǥ–Š‡ ƒ””‹‘––ƒ”“—‹•—„ƒ‹‘ƥ‡”• the perfect getaway for the whole family. 1,608 LUXURIOUS GUEST ROOMS, WITH INTERCONNECTING ROOMS, IDEAL FOR FAMILIES 14 RESTAURANTS AND THE SUBLIME SARAY SPA OUTDOOR SWIMMING PO       COMPLIMENTARY SHUTTLE BUS SERVICE TO DUBAI MALL

Book your next stay now online on, email or call +971 4 414 0000.

Sheikh Zayed Road, Business Bay, PO Box 121000, Dubai, UAE | T +971 4 414 0000, F +971 4 414 0001 | |




Managing Director

Victoria Thatcher Editorial Director

John Thatcher Deputy Editor

Richard Jenkins Features Editor

Lara Brunt Senior Designer

Andy Knappett Designer

Emi Dixon Sales Manager

Suhail Syed Production Manager

Chalitha Fernando To contact any of the above people, email

Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but the most important thing in life is family. That’s why we’ve dedicated this month’s Weekends section to fantastic family events and activities to try out with your loved ones. From super safaris to perfect picnics, the section is packed with great ideas to get out and about and enjoy the spring weather. Elsewhere, we’ve gone gaga for the Far East. Join Marianne Brown as she explores the sleepy coastal towns of Vietnam on page 54, and there’s plenty of monkey business on page 60 as Mike Unwin treks around Indonesia, spotting some of the stunning wildlife found in Southeast Asia’s biggest nation. Finally, enjoy a bit of downtime and marvel at our list of the 20 greatest Asian spas – it’ll relax you just by reading it, let alone trying out any of the treatments. Enjoy the issue, and happy travels.

Jan-Jun 2014 | 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.

Richard Jenkins


Tel: 00971 4 364 2876 Fax: 00971 4 369 7494

3 Vietnamese woman punting bamboo raft along river. Getty Images.

World Traveller


March // 2015


Check In It’s all about art this month in the Emirates, plus a new resort opens in the Maldives.


Chef’s Top Tables London’s chef of the moment Ollie Dabbous shares his hot spots around the world.


Style & Wellness Urban vs island detoxing, Dubai World Cup fashion, plus three ways to fight jet lag.




Now and Zen Tokyo can be blissfully peaceful and surreally serene, discovers Nick Redman.


20 Amazing Asian Spas From remote sanctuaries to urban oases, we’ve uncovered the best places to bliss-out.


Vietnam ease It’s a luxury hotspot, yet secret shores are still all yours, says resident Marianne Brown.


Aping Around Mike Unwin explores the natural and man-made heritage of Indonesia.



Family Special A round-up of events, ideas and travel tips to keep the whole family amused.

74 4

Six of the Best Take a walk on the wild side with these fabulous, familyfriendly safaris.


The Great Escape Win a weekend for two at Vida Downtown Dubai, plus perfect poolside reads.

54 March // 2015



CHECK Check In

Check In Be Here Now Z E R M AT T, S W I T Z E R L A N D This year, the Swiss ski resort of Zermatt, the highest in the Alps with year-round skiing, celebrates the 150th anniversary ÂœvĂŒÂ…i>ĂŒĂŒiĂ€Â…ÂœĂ€Â˜Â˝ĂƒwĂ€ĂƒĂŒ>ĂƒViÂ˜ĂŒÂ° It was British climber Edward 7…Þ“iĂ€ĂœÂ…ÂœwĂ€ĂƒĂŒĂ€i>VÂ…i` reached the 4,478-metre peak œ˜Ă•Â?Þ£{]ÂŁnĂˆx°/Â…iĂ€i>Ă€i events and festivities planned throughout the summer, including The Matterhorn Story,


March= // 2015

an open-air theatre experience staged in a 700-seat grandstand above Zermatt, affording an unforgettable view of the “>}˜ˆwViÂ˜ĂŒ>ĂŒĂŒiĂ€Â…ÂœĂ€Â˜­vĂ€ÂœÂ“ Ă•Â?Ăž™qĆ‚Ă•}Ă•ĂƒĂŒәŽ°i>Â˜ĂœÂ…ÂˆÂ?i] a new skydiving experience has just launched, whereby you can jump out of a helicopter in tandem with skydiver Marc Heise >˜`vĂ€iiv>Â?Â?ÂŤ>ĂƒĂŒĂŒÂ…iÂ“ÂœĂ•Â˜ĂŒ>ˆ˜°


World Traveller

March // 2015




March // 2015

Be Here Now Founded 15 years ago in Le Méridien Bora Bora’s private lagoon, the Bora Bora Turtle Center aims to protect one animal: the sea turtle, or honu in ̅iœV>>˜}Õ>}iœv,iœ/>…ˆÌˆ° The conservation project was born after a concerned guest brought an injured turtle to the …œÌi°Ì…>ÃȘVi}œ˜ivÀœ“ strength to strength, with a team

of marine biologists on hand to treat injured animals and release ̅i“L>VŽˆ˜Ìœ̅i܈`°/…i Ecological Center opened at the site in 2012 and aims to educate guests about the importance of protecting sea turtles, while a panoramic window affords a birds-eye view of the daily vii`ˆ˜}>Ì£ä\Îä>“°

© Mike Theiss/National Geographic Creative/Corbis

B O R A B O R A , F R E N C H P O LY N E S I A


World Traveller

March // 2015



Globetrotter The Lowdown

Àœ“>ÀÌi݅ˆLˆÌˆœ˜Ã̜ iÜ9œÀŽ½Ãw˜iÃÌwÛi‡ÃÌ>À…œÌi] …iÀi½Ã܅>̽Ã…œÌˆ˜ÌÀ>Ûi̅ˆÃ“œ˜Ì…°°°



Dubai Art Season kicks off this month ܈̅>…Õ}i«Àœ}À>““iœvܜÀ`‡V>Ãà v>ˆÀÃ]i݅ˆLˆÌˆœ˜Ã]ܜÀŽÃ…œ«Ã>˜`œÕÌ`œœÀ «ÀœiVÌÃÌ>Žˆ˜}«>Viˆ˜>˜`>ÀœÕ˜`̅i i“ˆÀ>Ìi°iÀi>Ài̅Àii“ÕÃ̇ÃiiiÛi˜ÌÃo ART DUBAI œÜˆ˜ˆÌ؈˜Ì…Þi>À]ƂÀÌ ÕL>ˆˆÃ̅i Ài}ˆœ˜½Ã«Ài“ˆiÀ>ÀÌv>ˆÀ°7ˆÌ…>˜iÝ«iVÌi` Óää]äääۈÈ̜ÀÃœÛiÀvœÕÀ`>ÞÃ]>˜`“œÀi ̅>˜™ä}>iÀˆiÃvÀœ“{äVœÕ˜ÌÀˆiÃ]̅ˆÃ Þi>À½Ãi`ˆÌˆœ˜«Àœ“ˆÃiÃ̜Liܓi̅ˆ˜} ëiVˆ>°ÌÌ>Žië>Vi>Ì>`ˆ˜>ÌՓiˆÀ>…] ܈̅̅i}>iÀˆiÃ…>«ÀiÃi˜Ìi`ˆ˜̅Àii «Àœ}À>““iÃ\ œ˜Ìi“«œÀ>ÀÞÆœ`iÀ˜ ­`iۜÌi`̜>À̈ÃÌÃvÀœ“̅iˆ``i >ÃÌ>˜` -œÕ̅ƂÈ>®Æ>˜`>ÀŽiÀ­>VÕÀ>Ìi`ÃiV̈œ˜ œv>ÀÌë>ViÃvÀœ“>̈˜Ƃ“iÀˆV>>˜`̅i ƂÀ>LܜÀ`®°March 18 – 21, DESIGN DAYS DUBAI ,iÌÕÀ˜ˆ˜}vœÀˆÌÃvœÕÀ̅i`ˆÌˆœ˜]̅iˆ``i >Ã̽Ãœ˜ÞVœiV̈Li`iÈ}˜v>ˆÀÃiiÃ>˜ ˆ˜ÌiÀ˜>̈œ˜>ˆ˜i‡Õ«œv{{i݅ˆLˆÌœÀÃvÀœ“ ÓäVœÕ˜ÌÀˆiëÀiÃi˜Ìˆ˜}ܜÀŽÃœv“œ`iÀ˜ >˜`Vœ˜Ìi“«œÀ>ÀÞ`iÈ}˜°º/…iv>ˆÀœvviÀà `iÈ}˜i˜Ì…ÕÈ>ÃÌÃ̅iœ««œÀÌ՘ˆÌÞ̜˜œÌ œ˜Þ“iï˜ÌiÀ˜>̈œ˜>`iÈ}˜iÀÃ]LÕÌ>Ãœ >VµÕˆÀiVœiV̈Li`iÈ}˜>˜`i˜…>˜Vi VœiV̈œ˜Ã]»Ã>ÞÃv>ˆÀ`ˆÀiV̜À ÞÀˆ<>““ˆÌ°

iÈ}˜ >Þà ÕL>ˆˆÃ…i`>Ì/…i6i˜Õi] ˜iÝÌ̜̅i ÕÀ…>ˆv>ˆ˜ œÜ˜ÌœÜ˜ ÕL>ˆ° March 16 – 20, SHARJAH BIENNIAL 12 /…i>V̈œ˜ˆÃ˜œÌÕÃÌVœ˜w˜i`̜ ÕL>ˆ° œÕ˜`i`ˆ˜£™™Î]̅i-…>À>… ˆi˜˜ˆ>…>à }ÀœÜ˜vÀœ“>Ài}ˆœ˜>ÞvœVÕÃi`i݅ˆLˆÌˆœ˜ ˆ˜Ìœ>˜ˆ˜ÌiÀ˜>̈œ˜>ÞÀiVœ}˜ˆÃi`iÛi˜Ì° -…>À>… ˆi˜˜ˆ>£ÓÃiiÃœÛiÀxä>À̈ÃÌà vÀœ“ÓxVœÕ˜ÌÀˆiȘÌÀœ`ÕVi̅iˆÀˆ`i>à œv̅i«œÃÈLi̅ÀœÕ}…̅iˆÀ>ÀÌ]܈̅ “>˜ÞŜ܈˜}˜iÜܜÀŽÃ>˜`>“LˆÌˆœÕà Vœ““ˆÃȜ˜Ã°/…i ˆi˜˜ˆ>Ì>Žië>Vi>Ì Û>ÀˆœÕÃÈÌiȘ>˜`>ÀœÕ˜`-…>À>…]>ÃÜi >Ș̅iVˆÌÞœv>L>œ˜̅iՏvœv"“>˜° March 5 – June 5, 7œÀ`/À>ÛiiÀ World Traveller

March // 2015





BACCAR AT SHINES "«i˜ˆ˜}ˆÌÃ`œœÀȘi>ÀÞ >ÀV…] iÜ9œÀŽ½Ã >VV>À>Ì œÌi…>Ã>Ài>`ÞLiVœ“iœ˜i œv̅i“œÃÌÌ>Ži`>LœÕÌ…œÌiÃ ˆ˜ÀiVi˜ÌÞi>Àð Ûi˜LivœÀi> Ș}i}ÕiÃÌ…>ÃV…iVŽi`ˆ˜] ̅i}ˆÌâÞiÃÌ>LˆÃ…“i˜Ì>ÌÓä 7iÃÌxÎÀ`-ÌÀiiÌq>VÀœÃÃvÀœ“

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Õ}}ˆ˜}> -,>ÀœÕ˜` œ˜ޜÕÀÌÀ>ÛiÃV>˜Li >LˆÌœv>V…œÀi]LÕÌ̅i }œœ`˜iÜÈÃޜÕ˜œ œ˜}iÀ…>Ûi̜° œ“«>VÌ cameras are getting a ܅œiœÌLiÌÌiÀ]܈̅ >˜iÜLÀii`œv>À}i‡ Ãi˜ÃœÀ]wÝi`i˜ÃV>“iÀ>à ̅>ÌœvviÀiÝVii˜Ì ˆ“>}iµÕ>ˆÌÞ܈̅œÕÌ ̅iLՏŽœv> -,°7i œÛi̅iÀiÌÀœ‡ÃÌޏi` Սˆw“8£ää/­«ˆVÌÕÀi`®] ܅ˆV…vi>ÌÕÀiÃ>…ÞLÀˆ` À>˜}iw˜`iÀ‡ÃÌޏi ۈiÜw˜`iÀ]£È“i}>«ˆÝi 8‡/À>˜ÃÃi˜ÃœÀ>˜`ÓΓ“ vÉӏi˜Ã]܅ˆi̅iÏiiŽ >ÃÃiL>`-Ìi>ÀˆÃœ˜i vœÀ`iÈ}˜Vœ˜˜œˆÃÃiÕÀÃ] with an option of four `ˆvviÀi˜Ì}Àˆ«w˜ˆÃ…ià ˆ˜VÕ`ˆ˜}œˆÛiܜœ`>˜` Ü>˜ÕÌ>˜`>Ón‡£ä䓓 vÉ£°n‡{°™✜“i˜ÃLÞ



March // 2015





Just opened in the Raa Atoll, this private island resort promises secret beaches and blissful seclusion

THE ROOMS The resort has both over-water villas perched on poles above the shimmering Indian Ocean, or beach villas with modern, yet authentically Maldivian touches. Think thatched coconut Ă&#x20AC;Â&#x153;Â&#x153;vĂ&#x192;]Ă&#x153;Â&#x153;Â&#x153;`iÂ&#x2DC;yÂ&#x153;Â&#x153;Ă&#x20AC;Ă&#x192;>Â&#x2DC;`Ă&#x20AC;>Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC;Ă&#x192;Â&#x2026;Â&#x153;Ă&#x153;iĂ&#x20AC;Ă&#x192;°

THE RESTAUR ANTS There are six to choose from, including Thundi, >/Â&#x2026;>Â&#x2C6;wÂ&#x2DC;i`Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC;}Ă&#x20AC;iĂ&#x192;Ă&#x152;>Ă&#x2022;Ă&#x20AC;>Â&#x2DC;Ă&#x152;]>Â&#x2DC;`iĂ&#x17E;âĂ&#x2022;]> >ÂŤ>Â&#x2DC;iĂ&#x192;iĂ&#x192;ÂŤÂ&#x153;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x153;Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x152;Â&#x2026;Ă&#x192;Â&#x2C6;ââÂ?Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC;}Ă&#x152;iÂŤÂŤ>Â&#x2DC;Ă&#x17E;>Â&#x17D;Â&#x2C6;>Â&#x2DC;` an open-air lounge. Or indulge in a candlelit private dining experience on the beach.


THE SPA Blending traditional island wisdom with contemporary wellness practices, guests can enjoy treatments in the tranquil Beach Villas or in one of the glass-bottomed Ocean Villa rooms, complete with mesmerising views. March // 2015


GET FRESH Two new casual eateries have caught our attention this month, both with a homegrown feel. In London, executive chef Tom Kime, previously of The River CafĂŠ, is serving up a taste of the Levant at Ceru, a pop-up in Fitzrovia (until April 30). Highlights include Ceruâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s signature slow roast lamb shoulder with shawarma spices and Turkish delight crème brĂťlĂŠe. While in Dubai, The Sum of Us looks set to become just as popular as its sister cafĂŠ, Tom & Serg. The new arrival in the Burj Al Salam building features a coffee roastery, sourdough bakery and gourmet cafĂŠ, with everything proudly made from scratch.


IN THE SWIM The SS15 Elizabeth Hurley Beach Collection has just hit the shelves of Bloomingdales Dubai and Harvey Nichols Dubai. Featuring bikinis and one pieces in signature animal prints, neutral hues, nautical stripes and bright solids, the collection also includes yÂ&#x153;Ă&#x153;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC;}Ă&#x192;Â&#x2C6;Â?Â&#x17D;Â&#x17D;>vĂ&#x152;>Â&#x2DC;Ă&#x192;]Ă&#x192;>Ă&#x20AC;Â&#x153;Â&#x2DC;}Ă&#x192; and cute beach shorts.


INSPIR ATIONAL IMAGES Eagerly awaited by photography fans each year, the shortlist for the Sony World Photography Awards has been announced. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s competition received a record number of entries, with over 173,444 images submitted by photographers in 171 countries across categories including travel, landscape, portraiture and current affairs. The overall winners will be revealed on April 23 and the shortlisted images will go on show at Somerset House in London from April 24 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; May 10. Closer to home, Gulf Photo Plus takes place in Dubai from March 6 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 15, with workshops, exhibitions and the now legendary Shoot Out competition. The closing event pits two visiting photographers against each other in a competition to make the best photograph of a mystery subject.


MADRID The Spanish capital has always had a lot of things going for it â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and now itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s got a couple more. New in town is The Principal Madrid]Ă&#x152;Â&#x2026;iwĂ&#x20AC;Ă&#x192;Ă&#x152;wĂ&#x203A;iÂ&#x2021;Ă&#x192;Ă&#x152;>Ă&#x20AC;Â&#x2026;Â&#x153;Ă&#x152;iÂ? on Madridâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s famous boulevard, Gran Via. A stoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s throw from the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s renowned museums, Prado, Reina 5QĆ&#x201A;C and Thyssen, the interiors of the Spanish Renaissance-style building feature high ceilings, iron Ă&#x20AC;>Â&#x2C6;Â?Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC;}Ă&#x192;]Â?>Ă&#x20AC;}iĂ&#x153;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC;`Â&#x153;Ă&#x153;Ă&#x192;>Â&#x2DC;`Â&#x201C;>Ă&#x20AC;LÂ?iyÂ&#x153;Â&#x153;Ă&#x20AC;Ă&#x192;°*>Ă&#x20AC;Ă&#x152;Â&#x153;v the Design Hotels group, it has 76 rooms and suites decorated with charcoal-hued carpets and sofas and cool grey fabric walls and bed covers. Overseeing the restaurant is acclaimed chef RamĂłn Freixa, who dishes up modern Spanish cuisine. Of course, the city known for its culinary prowess and foodies should also make a beeline to Platea Madrid, an old movie theatre thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been transformed into a gourmet food hall. The menus offer typical Spanish dishes but youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll >Â?Ă&#x192;Â&#x153;wÂ&#x2DC;`iĂ?Â&#x2C6;V>Â&#x2DC;]Ă&#x152;>Â?Â&#x2C6;>Â&#x2DC;]*iĂ&#x20AC;Ă&#x2022;Ă&#x203A;Â&#x2C6;>Â&#x2DC;>Â&#x2DC;`>ÂŤ>Â&#x2DC;iĂ&#x192;ivÂ&#x153;Â&#x153;`] alongside Sinergias]wĂ&#x203A;i`Â&#x2C6;vviĂ&#x20AC;iÂ&#x2DC;Ă&#x152;}>Ă&#x192;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x20AC;Â&#x153;Â&#x2DC;Â&#x153;Â&#x201C;Â&#x2C6;VĂ&#x192;ÂŤ>ViĂ&#x192; by the Michelin-starred chefs Paco Roncero, Marcos MorĂĄn and Pepe Solla.

World Traveller


March // 2015


Marhaba to Manzil A warm welcome awaits at Downtown Dubai’s stylish new boutique hotel


arhaba” (“welcome”). /…>̽Ã̅iwÀÃÌ word you’ll …i>À>ÃÃÌi«ˆ˜Ìœ̅iˆ}…̇wi` lobby at Manzil Downtown Dubai – and it sets the tone for the rest of your stay. Celebrating the renowned tradition of Arabian hospitality, this new upscale boutique hotel aims to make you feel right at home. Centrally located on Dubai’s glittering Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard opposite Souk Al Bahar, Manzil is just moments from The Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountain. Souk Al Manzil, meanwhile, is linked to the sand-hued hotel. While Manzil embraces oldstyle values when it comes to service, its design is distinctly hip and modern. Geometric motifs and subtle Arabesque accents feature throughout, with regional objet d’art sitting comfortably alongside modern furniture, striking lights and complimentary Wi-Fi. Like many homes of old Arabia, at the heart of the hotel ˆÃ/…i œÕÀÌÞ>À`°ƂÀi>`Þ>wÀ“ favourite with locals and visitors alike, it’s a peaceful place to catch up with friends and family and enjoy al fresco dining and shisha.

The lobby

The contemporary interpretation of Middle Eastern culture extends to the Boulevard Kitchen, an all-day dining restaurant with an open kitchen serving food from across the region. The adjoining café, with a terrace overlooking the buzzing boulevard, offers regional beverages and desserts, often with a modern twist, while sports fans will love Nezesaussi, a casual restaurant showing live games. Upstairs there are 189 rooms, many with Burj Khalifa or pool

views, featuring warm walnut timber and grey textured fabrics, and eight Burj View Suites, each with a private balcony offering unbeatable vistas of the world famous tower. Born and bred in Dubai, Manzil is managed by Vida Hotels and Resorts so you can be sure of an authentic, yet sophisticated experience. For more information, visit or connect with Manzil Downtown Dubai on social media.

World Traveller

LOV E S Heart of the House Start your day with an alfresco breakfast in The Courtyard, serenaded by birdsong, and end your evening over shisha with friends. Sleek and subtle design From the mashrabiya screens in the lobby to the laser-cut metal panels in the restaurant, the Arabesque-inspired design successfully blends old and new.


Burj View Suite

March // 2015

Tempting Arabic sweets Guests are welcomed with juice and dates, while complimentary bite-sized treats are available in the lobby.




Bangkok Australian-born chef David Thompson gives us the lowdown on his adopted hometown Stock up at one of the city’s many fruit carts, then take a fast boat ride along the Chao Phraya River at dawn before it gets busy. Earlybirds can also take part in almsgiving, providing food to saffronrobed Buddhist monks; wait at a soi (side road) near a food market or temple from about 5am to 7am. Next, take a stroll through Lumpini Park, where you’ll see everything from ballroom dancing to sword juggling. If you’ve only got 24 hours to explore, visit any of the food markets such as Or Tor Kor to eat until you can’t walk, and Chinatown, which is packed with stalls and street-side restaurants. And make sure you visit the Grand Palace complex, which houses Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), and w˜ˆÃ…œvv܈̅>massage – touristy, but fun. Stay at the Metropolitan Bangkok – which has huge rooms and my restaurant, nahm, crowned the Best in Asia in 2014 – or The Siam if you want to get away from it all. Hit the shops at the Siam Centre, which

has international brands and young Thai designers; Chatuchak Market (also known as JJ Market) for homegrown fashion and Thai handicrafts and souvenirs; and Rot Fai Market for hipster vintage. And visit Pak Khlong Talad, Bangkok’s commercial yœÜiÀ“>ÀŽiÌ]>vÌiÀ££«“vœÀ a bowl of noodles, then shop till you can carry no more! When it comes to dining, my picks are The Never Ending Summer for its vibrant atmosphere and good food; Peppina, which is noisy and fun and serves delicious smoky pizza; Opposite Mess Hall for cool hip food; Appia Bangkok for something straight from Rome; and Eat Me, which has a great vibe every time. Show off at nahm on a Friday night by bagging the last table on the left in the seated central section and clink glasses at UNCLE cocktail lounge (or downstairs at Lady Brett tavern) and The Iron Fairies jazz bar. Lastly, most people don’t know this LÕÌ >˜}ŽœŽ½ÃœvwVˆ>˜>“i has 169 letters.


All the media you need, whatever your journey Book








Kazuo Ishiguro


ň}ÕÀœ½ÃwÀÃ̘œÛiˆ˜ nearly a decade is about lost memories, love, revenge and war, as a couple search for a son they haven’t seen in years.

Six tracks have already been released on iTunes after being leaked, but the Queen of Pop’s 13th studio album is still bound to be big.

A chilling true crime drama starring Steve Carrell as an eccentric multi-millionaire who drives an Olympic wrestler to self-destruction.

This clever new app allows Muslim travellers to share and rate Halal food across the world and work out prayer times.

World Traveller


March // 2015




The cultural centre of Turkey is ideal for a quick getaway or longer exploration

ISTANBUL Eat and Drink


360istanbul Perched in the penthouse of a 19th century apartment building overlooking the old embassy row in Beyoglu, 360istanbul serves modern Turkish meze with a twist. On weekends, it turns into Club360 where international


Topkapi Palace For around 400 years of the Ottoman Empireâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 624-year reign, this was their home. Today, it is a museum and one of Istanbulâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most-loved tourist attractions, visible from many areas of the Bosphorous River, and a UNESCO World Heritage site to boot.

Datli Maya The head chef at former Istanbul favourite Abracadabra took his talents to his own restaurant in 2012, opening â&#x20AC;&#x153;a small oven restaurant with a big heart.â&#x20AC;? Slow cooked, home-style food is the order of the day here.

Galata Tower The 67-metre-high Galata Tower is great to look at, and even better to look off. First built in 1348, it was the tallest building in Istanbul. These days, it houses a cafĂŠ, restaurant and nightclub, all reached by elevators.

Changa Established way back in 1999, Changa is one of the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s foremost contemporary restaurants, spread through vÂ&#x153;Ă&#x2022;Ă&#x20AC;yÂ&#x153;Â&#x153;Ă&#x20AC;Ă&#x192;Â&#x153;v>£äĂ&#x17D;Â&#x2021;Ă&#x17E;i>Ă&#x20AC;Â&#x2021;Â&#x153;Â?` art nouveau townhouse. The kitchen even has a glass ceiling so patrons can walk over and have a look at the chefs below.

Dolmabahce Palace Turkeyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s answer to Versailles, this luxurious, decadent and decidedly beautiful structure has a blend of Ottoman, Neoclassical, Baroque and Rococo design styles. Once inside, make a beeline for the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest Bohemian crystal chandelier.

Suada Club An island between two continents, the Suada Club Galatasaray Island offers great views of both the Asian and European sides of Istanbul, and has a host of nightlife activities from delicious dinners to partying in the nightclub, or just sunbathing by the pool in the daytime.

Grand Bazaar A holiday isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t complete without a spot of shopping, and the Grand Bazaar houses over 5,000 shops â&#x20AC;&#x201C; making it one of the biggest indoor markets in the world. Rare and valuable old coins and jewellery have been unearthed in recent years, making it a great hunting ground.

18 When in Turkeyâ&#x20AC;Ś

Do as the Turks do, at one of the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s famous hammam Ă&#x192;ÂŤ>Ă&#x192;°,>vyiĂ&#x192;Ă&#x192;Ă&#x152;>Â&#x2DC;LĂ&#x2022;Â?]Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC;Ă&#x152;Â&#x2026;i heart of the Zorlu centre, is the newest and most glamorous. Indulge in a

March // 2015

signature Rose, Honey and Sugar Hammam Experience followed by a rose and jasmine infused massage which will leave your skin feeling brand new.

While at Raffles, why not visit Istanbul? Legendary service since 1887 Our reputation travels



+90 212 924 0200




Ollie Dabbous has taken London by storm with his Michelin-starred restaurant, Dabbous. The Kuwait-born chef shares his own hot spots around the world…

Café Loetje

Saxon & Parole, New York

ORDER:)PWFKYKVJNCPIQWUVKPGUCPFDNCEMVTWHƃG Everything you could possibly want from a restaurant in downtown NYC: great food, great atmosphere and great cocktails. The emphasis is steaks and seafood. The interior design comes from Avro-ko, the creative minds also behind Public & Madame Geneva; it’s very much 1960s clubhouse, overtly masculine and aligned with the equine overtones. Parole’s house brand of American spirit is also a must-order, although it will be hard to deviate from the extensive cocktail list.

Trattoria Cammillo, Florence ORDER: Ribollita

/…ˆÃˆÃ̅iÛiÀÞwÀÃÌÀiÃÌ>ÕÀ>˜ÌܜÀŽi`>Ì]>}i`£x] ܅i˜Ü>ÃÃ̈>ÌÃV…œœ>˜`œ˜“ÞÃՓ“iÀ…œˆ`>Þð Ài“i“LiÀ̅iµÕ>ˆÌÞœv«Àœ`ÕViÜ>Ã>ÀiÛi>̈œ˜̜ “i°/…iVœœŽˆ˜}ˆÃÀÕÃ̈VLÕÌÀiw˜i`\˜œÌ…ˆ˜}ŜÜÞœÀ pretentious, just fantastic honest Tuscan cooking. This is ̅iŽˆ˜`œv«>ViޜÕ`Ài>“œvw˜`ˆ˜}œ˜…œˆ`>Þo˜œ need to keep searching or to look elsewhere. Popular with tourists and locals alike.

Flour + Water, San Francisco


ORDER: Any pasta dish

Flour + Water March // 2015

Amazing homemade pasta combined with fantastic local Californian produce, treated with respect and sympathetically cooked. The head chef here used to be my roommate when we both worked at Mugaritz ˆ˜-«>ˆ˜°̽Ã}œÌ>VœÃÞ]˜iˆ}…LœÕÀ…œœ`vii]ÞiÌ̅i cooking on show here is another level. Homemade salamis and pizzas are also a must, so bring your appetite. 55 Riley Street Garage

CafĂŠ Loetje, Amsterdam

ORDER:$GGHĆ&#x201A;NNGVKPDTQYPDWVVGTHTKGUCPFOC[Q /Â&#x2026;Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x192;ÂŤÂ?>ViÂ&#x2C6;Ă&#x192;>Â?Ă&#x153;>Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x192;ÂŤ>VÂ&#x17D;i`° iivwÂ?Â?iĂ&#x152;Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x192;Ă&#x192;iĂ&#x20AC;Ă&#x203A;i` swimming in brown butter (they serve it here as if itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gravy) alongside fries and mayo. This is pretty much all Ă&#x17E;Â&#x153;Ă&#x2022;Ă&#x192;iiÂ?i>Ă&#x203A;iĂ&#x152;Â&#x2026;iÂ&#x17D;Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x152;VÂ&#x2026;iÂ&#x2DC;°9Â&#x153;Ă&#x2022;V>Â&#x2DC;½Ă&#x152;LÂ&#x153;Â&#x153;Â&#x17D;]Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x152;½Ă&#x192;wĂ&#x20AC;Ă&#x192;Ă&#x152;VÂ&#x153;Â&#x201C;i wĂ&#x20AC;Ă&#x192;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x192;iĂ&#x20AC;Ă&#x203A;i`]>Â&#x2DC;`Ă&#x17E;Â&#x153;Ă&#x2022;Ă&#x153;>Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x152;>Ă&#x152;Ă&#x152;Â&#x2026;iL>Ă&#x20AC;Ă&#x2022;Â&#x2DC;Ă&#x152;Â&#x2C6;Â?Ă&#x152;Â&#x2026;iĂ&#x17E;Ă&#x192;VĂ&#x20AC;i>Â&#x201C; out your name. Not explicitly a culinary destination, but a great night out, and an authentic slice of Amsterdam. The whole time we were there, a cat was sitting atop Ă&#x152;Â&#x2026;iVÂ&#x153;Ă&#x2022;Â&#x2DC;Ă&#x152;iĂ&#x20AC;Â?Â&#x2C6;VÂ&#x17D;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC;}Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x192;ÂŤ>Ă&#x153;Ă&#x192;°Â&#x2DC;iĂ?ÂŤiÂ&#x2DC;Ă&#x192;Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x203A;i]Ă&#x152;>Ă&#x192;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x17E;>Â&#x2DC;`vĂ&#x2022;Â&#x2DC;°


Saxon & Parole

Saxon & Parole

Dean St Townhouse, London

ORDER: Old-fashioned followed by mince and potatoes My most regular spot in town: comfortable surroundings serving homely British food until late at night. Unfussy but polite service will keep your glasses topped up throughout. You can just grab a bite or you can eat Ă&#x17E;Â&#x153;Ă&#x2022;Ă&#x20AC;Ă&#x192;iÂ?vÂ&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC;Ă&#x152;Â&#x153;>VÂ&#x153;Â&#x201C;>°Ă&#x152;½Ă&#x192;>Â&#x2DC;Â&#x2C6;ViÂ&#x2026;>Ă&#x203A;iÂ&#x2DC;>Ă&#x153;>Ă&#x17E;vĂ&#x20AC;Â&#x153;Â&#x201C; the chaos of Soho, if you want to be able to hold a conversation and enjoy table service.

Flour + Water World Traveller

Ollie Dabbous has a new restaurant, Barnyard, now open at 18 Charlotte Street, London W1. Dabbous: The Cookbook (ÂŁ50; Bloomsbury) is out now. March // 2015





Images: Leipzig Tourist Information

Leipzig, Germany

Famous for the peaceful anti-communist protests in 1989 that helped bring down the Berlin Wall, by 2011, the East German industrial hub of Leipzig was crowned Germany’s “poverty capital”. These days, however, the city is being touted as the “new Berlin”, thanks to its pulsing arts scene, buzzing nightlife and growing university population. The revitalisation of the city, located 190km southwest of Berlin, started with the arrival of big-name employers like Amazon and

Porsche in the mid-2000s; the opening of the City Tunnel underground railway in 2013 has further underpinned growth. The gallerystudded district of Plagwitz best illustrates Leipzig’s transformation. Once covered in soot, buildings on the main thoroughfare, Karl-HeineStrasse – named after the 19th-century industrialist who put the region on the map – have mostly been renovated and now house trendy bars, restaurants and cafes, such as gourmet hotdog spot, Beard

Brothers, and Druckstatt Café. A number of cultural highlights are found nearby, including the Lindenfels Playhouse, Westwerk and Baumwollspinnerei arts centre. Canals are another reminder of Leipzig’s industrial past; genuine Venetian gondolas now oar through the waterways, especially the Karl-Heine-Kanal, and cafés and restaurants have sprung up along the banks. And while Leipzig is no stranger to music – the likes of Bach, Mendelssohn and Wagner


Inspiring ideas for your bucket list

…walk the Great Wall of China According to the famous Chinese saying, ‘He who has not climbed the Great Wall is not a true man’. The world’s largest man-made structure, built over 13 dynasties from the 3rd century BC to protect China’s northern border, attracts throngs of adventurous travellers from around the world. The vœÀ̈wV>̈œ˜ÃÌÀiÌV…iÓœÀiÓä]ää䎓vÀœ“-…>˜…>ˆ}Õ>˜ˆ˜ Hebei province to Jiayuguan in Gansu province. Many sections are accessible as day-trips from Beijing, such as Gubeikou to Jinshanling, a scenic 15km stretch of restored and unrestored ÃiV̈œ˜Ã]œÀ-ˆ“>Ì>ˆ]>“œÀiV…>i˜}ˆ˜}xŽ“Ü>Ž̅>Ìvi>ÌÕÀià around 35 watchtowers spectacularly snaking their way along the mountain ridges. The best times to visit are spring and autumn, when the weather is bright and sunny.


March // 2015

all called the city home – a clubbing scene has also emerged, while international bands play gigs at the historic UT Connewitz, a century-old movie theater cum cavernous dance space. The changes have not gone unnoticed, with overnight stays up from 1.6 million in 2006 to 2.8 million last year, while Leipzig’s new-found popularity has earned it the nickname “Hypezig”. Whatever your view, this repolished German gem is worth checking out.



Style&Wellness Look good, feel good

Spring Clean

Two very different ways to give your body a boost this month

Jumeirah Dhevanafushi

URBAN Charles Hotel, Munich

Close to Munich’s historic attractions and a short stroll from the designer stores around Maximilianstrasse, detoxing at this sleek hotel is anything but dull. Chef Giovanni Russo has created a special four-course menu using ingredients with

Charles Hotel

ISLAND Jumeirah Dhevanafushi, The Maldives

If you’d rather detox far away from temptations, then this secluded spot at the southernmost tip of the Maldives is for you. The resort offers four- or sevennight wellness retreats that start with a welcome foot massage, a couple’s detox body wrap and body scrub. Your Talise Spa consultant will then create a tailored programme to get you clean and lean, with the help of your personal butler. Don’t miss: A personal training session or private pilates lesson in the fabulous over-water gym.

antioxidant and detoxifying effects, ÃÕV…>ÃëiÌ>˜`V…iÃ̘ÕÌyœÕÀ]>ÃÜi as soy products instead of wheat and dairy. The Charles Spa, meanwhile, has new treatments designed to cleanse and clarify. Don’t miss: The Detox Body Ritual, which includes a mud wrap and juniper oil massage.

Charles Hotel

Jumeirah Dhevanafushi

SAFELY STOWED Looking for a cute case to store your baubles when you’re travelling? Stow’s compact jewellery cases are just the ticket. Handmade from butter-soft Spanish leather and Italian goat suede, each one comes with a drawstring pouch and can be personalised with gold foil embossing.

World Traveller


March // 2015



Feelinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Jazzy

A new }iÂ&#x2DC;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x192;Ă&#x192;ÂŤ>Â&#x153;ÂŤiÂ&#x2DC;Ă&#x192;Ă&#x152;Â&#x2026;Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x192;Â&#x201C;Â&#x153;Â&#x2DC;Ă&#x152;Â&#x2026;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC; Ă&#x2022;L>Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x153;Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x152;Â&#x2026;>`iVÂ&#x2C6;`i`Â?Ă&#x17E;Â&#x201C;Ă&#x2022;Ă&#x192;Â&#x2C6;V>Â?viiÂ?°-ÂŤĂ&#x20AC;i>`Â&#x153;Ă&#x203A;iĂ&#x20AC;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x153;Â&#x153;yÂ&#x153;Â&#x153;Ă&#x20AC;Ă&#x192;]>ââ Â&#x153;Ă&#x2022;Â&#x2DC;}i-ÂŤ>Â&#x2026;>Ă&#x192;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x20AC;i>Ă&#x152;Â&#x201C;iÂ&#x2DC;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x20AC;Â&#x153;Â&#x153;Â&#x201C;Ă&#x192;`iVÂ&#x153;Ă&#x20AC;>Ă&#x152;i`Ă&#x153;Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x152;Â&#x2026;Â&#x153;Â?`Ă&#x192;VÂ&#x2026;Â&#x153;Â&#x153;Â?Â?>ââÂ&#x2C6;VÂ&#x153;Â&#x2DC;Ă&#x192;>Â&#x2DC;`Â&#x201C;Ă&#x2022;Ă&#x192;Â&#x2C6;V>Â?Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC;Ă&#x192;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x20AC;Ă&#x2022;Â&#x201C;iÂ&#x2DC;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x192;]Ă&#x153;Â&#x2026;Â&#x2C6;Â?iĂ&#x152;Â&#x2026;i barberâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s salon features guitar shaped mirrors, lampshades made out of drums and Takara Belmont chairs (think the Bentley of the barber world). On the menu is a range of treatments, from wet shaves and facials to massages and Moroccan hammams.





1) MASSAGE YHI Fusion Vitality massage at YHISpa at MeliĂĄ Dubai sees two therapists working in tandem. One therapist will work on the neck and shoulder area, while the other balances your energy through Ă&#x20AC;iyiĂ?Â&#x153;Â?Â&#x153;}Ă&#x17E;°

March // 2015

2) MICRO-NUTRIENTS Wild Traveller contains an ingredient called NADH for reducing symptoms of jet lag (approved by NASA, no less), as well as micro-nutrients Ă&#x192;Ă&#x2022;VÂ&#x2026;>Ă&#x192;âÂ&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC;V>Â&#x2DC;`Â&#x201C;>}Â&#x2DC;iĂ&#x192;Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x2022;Â&#x201C; to help reduce tiredness.

3) MAKE-UP Guerlainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new MĂŠtĂŠorites Baby Glow sheer foundation aims to combat jet-lagged, sleep-deprived skin. It features a light-creating polymer thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s designed to make your skin look more radiant and rested.

Named after a street in San Francisco, Tumiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new Larkin Collection has just arrived on our shores. Female jetsetters will love the stylish, yet practical totes, wheeled and non-wheeled cases and backpacks in pebbled leather or ballistic nylon. Available in 200 stores across the globe from New York to Dubai.





FOR HIM… Zenith Christophe Colomb Hurricane Grand Voyage II To mark its 150th anniversary, Zenith has launched another version of its ultra-complicated Academy Christophe Colomb Hurricane. The 10-piece limited edition Ü>ÌV…ŜÜV>ÃiÃ̅iwÀ“½Ã watchmaking prowess and ˆÌÃy>ˆÀvœÀ̅i>ÀÌÃ>˜` craft, with a large sapphire display caseback and intricate artwork that celebrates the legendary explorer.

2. 4.






Dubai World Cup Wardrobe 6.

7. THE PRODUCTS (1) Roland Mouret Atria dress (2) Arme De L’Amour ring (3) Diane Von Furstenberg 440 Envelope clutch (4) Philip Treacy headpiece (5) Kenneth Jay Lane earrings (6) Gianvito Rossi shoes (7) ˆâ>Li̅>˜` James sunglasses. Available at

READY, SET, SHOP! FOR HER… True Rocks Spinning Globe Pendant Cast in sterling silver and gold plated, these spinning globes come in three colour combinations: oxblood red enamel and yellow gold, forest green and rose gold, or deep purple and rose gold. The globes are available ˆ˜>À}iœÀ“i`ˆÕ“Èâi and hang from a 30-inch gold plated belcher chain.

World Traveller

Selfridges in London has opened a new customer services space especially for tax-free shoppers. Spread across 16,000 square feet, the fourth yœœÀ>Ài>…œÕÃiÃ̅i˜iÜ tax refund lounge, two taxfree halls, several VIP areas, a quiet room, two libraries, a refreshment room and an unadorned faith room. There’s also a new theatre desk, where customers can book anything from a West End show to a day out.


March // 2015



brought to you by

USA The Plaza, A Fairmont Managed Hotel, New York 4 nights from USD1,365 per person. Special offer: Stay 3 nights and enjoy one more night for free. Includes: Stay in a Deluxe Courtyard King Room with return airport transfers Validity: Now ‘til March 26, 2015.

World Traveller Holiday Offers

Spain Melia Barcelona Sarria 2 nights from USD235 per person. Special offer: 30% room rate reduction. Includes: Stay in a Melia Room with Buffet Breakfast and return airport transfers. Validity: May 1 to June 3, 2015, black-out dates apply, book by March 16, 2015.


How to Book 26

You can book these offers by calling dnata on +971 4 316 6666 or by visiting Terms and conditions apply. On the same site you can also sign up to dnata’s newsletter and receive more offers direct to your inbox.

March // 2015

The Westin Turtle Bay Resort & Spa 4 nights from USD792 per person. Special offer: 50% room rate reduction. Includes: Stay in an Ocean Deluxe Room with breakfast and dinner daily and return airport transfers. Validity: Now ‘til April 9, 2015





Kempinski Seychelles Resort Baie Lazare 3 nights from USD492 per person. Special offer: Stay 2 nights and recieve an additional free night. Includes: Stay in a Hillview Room with breakfast daily and return airport transfers. Validity: Now ‘til 31 March, 2015.

Hotel ibis Bangkok Nana 3 nights from USD110 per person. Special offer: 15% room rate reduction. Includes: Stay in a Standard Room with breakfast daily and return airport transfers. Validity: Now ‘til March 31, 2015.

Singapore Shangri-La Hotel Singapore 3 nights from USD515 per person. Special offer: 15% Room rate reduction. Includes: Stay in a Tower Wing Deluxe Room with breakfast daily and return airport transfers Validity: Now ‘til March 31, 2015.

Australia Hilton Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast 4 nights from USD620 per person. Special offer: Pay for three nights and get an additional night free. Includes: Stay in a Deluxe Room with breakfast daily and return airport transfers Validity: Now ‘til March 31, 2015.

World Traveller


March // 2015




ROB ARROW Explores brilliant Beirut

Sunway Resort Hotel and Spa 3 nights from USD300 per person. Includes: Stay in Premier Room with breakfast daily and return airport transfers. Validity: Now â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;til March 31, 2015.

Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa



March // 2015


Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa 4 nights from USD2,115 per person Special offer: Stay 3 nights and receive an additional night free plus complimentary return speedboat transfers. Includes: Stay in a Sunset Beach Pavillion with Pool with breakfast daily. Validity: Now â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;til May 10, 2015. Create a land and sea Maldives adventure - whether on the private coral island, fringed with white sand and crystal water, or a beautiful overwater villa with direct access to the crystal clear seas. Palmthatched bungalows over the most luxurious accommodation, just 30mins by speedboat from Male Airport. Although compact, the island resort has all you could wish for, including the most stunning spa.

Dukes Hotel London


Dukes Hotel London 3 nights from USD610 per person. Includes: Stay in a Classic Room with breakfast daily and return airport transfers. Validity: Now â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;til March 31, 2015. With a well-deserved reputation for excellent service and a fabulously discreet location in the heart of St Jamesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, this much loved classic was completely renovated in 2007. Retaining the original antique furnishings and historic paintings, all the bedrooms and suites, including the terraced Penthouse with its superb views over Green Park, have the very latest technology. Dukes Dining Room offers classic British dishes, while Dukes Bar remains the most â&#x20AC;&#x153;happeningâ&#x20AC;? bar in St Jamesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. The Health Club offers a 24-hour gym, steam room and a full range of treatments.

Conveniently located 35 minutes from Kuala Lumpur International Airport and just 25 mins from the city, Sunway truly is a great place to be. From the moment you arrive you will feel you are at an upscale resort with the most friendly and fun service. There is a selection of international restaurants and outlets to cater for every craving Â&#x2C6;Â&#x201C;>}Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC;>LÂ?i°,Â&#x153;Â&#x153;Â&#x201C;Ă&#x192;>Â&#x2DC;`Ă&#x192;Ă&#x2022;Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x152;iĂ&#x192;Ă&#x20AC;iyiVĂ&#x152;Ă&#x152;Â&#x2026;i luxury that is synonymous with the resort, and all of this with minutes of the Sunway Pyramids Mall and Sunway Lagoon.

Sunway Resort Hotel and Spa


Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara, Abu Dhabi 3 nights from USD485 per person. Special offer: Stay 2 nights and receive an additional night free. Includes: Stay in a Deluxe Sea View Room with Breakfast daily. Validity: Now â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;til April 10, 2015. Set on the verdant island haven of Sir Bani Yas, just off the coast of Abu Dhabi, Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara offers adventurous travellers an unforgettable island escape. Trek through a desert isle, then return to a stylish resort oasis. The Pool Access rooms and Deluxe rooms provide lavish comforts for island explorers, honeymoon couples or families seeking a once-in-a-lifetime bonding adventure. Spacious and bathed in natural light, these rooms remain true to the islandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s colourful heritage and feature all the modern luxuries.

Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara



o hidden costs and no wallet required. With Club Med’s all-inclusive vacation, everything is truly included – which means convenient, stress-free travel at great value. You’ll enjoy seemingly unlimited sports (with equipment and instruction), children’s clubs with expert childcare, attentive hospitality, gourmet dining, spacious accommodations in all-inclusive resorts, and live entertainment.

Finolhu Villas, Maldives

Villas and Chalets, Le Luxe by Club Med 7 nights from USD5,722 per person Discover our new Eco-nature Finolhu Villas on the tiny, beautifully preserved island œv>Ãw˜œ…Õ° iÃ̏i`ˆ˜Li>ṎvՏ˜>ÌÕÀ> ÃÕÀÀœÕ˜`ˆ˜}Ãœ˜̅ˆÃiÝVÕÈÛiwÛi‡…iVÌ>Ài island are 52 elegant villas perched on stilts - each with their own terrace and private pool - for couples only, providing the perfect balance between modern luxury and the natural charm of the Maldives. The resort boasts a welcome Lounge, gourmet ÀiÃÌ>ÕÀ>˜Ì>˜`“>}˜ˆwVi˜ÌL>À>È`i> spacious swimming pool, plus tennis courts, >w̘iÃÃÀœœ“]>-«>>˜`>«œ˜Ìœœ˜vœÀ leisure and water sports. The entire facility is equipped with solar roofs that produce 100% of the resort’s energy requirements. ƂwÛi‡“ˆ˜ÕÌiLœ>ÌÀˆ`ivÀœ“…iÀiˆÃ Club Med Kani, which you can also enjoy full access to. Surrounded by lush nature populated by brightly coloured birds, the Club Med Kani Resort offers a raft of tailormade services for would-be castaways. Between underwater dives (at an additional cost) and the pleasure of discovering the iݵՈÈÌiy>ۜÕÀÃœvƂÈ>] ÕLi`>˜ˆˆÃ perfect for enjoying new experiences. World Traveller

Includes: U 7 nights stay in a Luxury Villa with garden, private pool and premium services, including a personalised welcome, butler and concierge service U Complimentary sports: badminton, basketball, beach-soccer, volleyball, waterpolo, tennis, table tennis, weights and cardio room, kayaking, glassbottom kayak U Group lessons: snorkelling, yoga, >µÕ>w̘iÃà U Leisure activities: live music, stargazing, swimming pool, festive evenings, talk on marine life, cinema under the stars, meditation U Bars and restaurants: full-board throughout the stay including lunch and dinner. Plus snacks (at the ÀiÃÌ>ÕÀ>˜Ì®>ÌëiVˆwV̈“iÃ`ÕÀˆ˜}̅i day and night



Transfer package: Your package includes transfers by boat exclusively for Finolhu Villa Gentle Members (transfer from airport to Villa takes 40 minutes) Additional terms and conditions may apply

Special Honeymoon Offer: 10% discount on above package. The following conditions apply: U Maximum discount AED2,500 per person U 7 nights minimum stay U Not cumulative with EBB U Only applicable to the couple and one time only U Valid for departure during the year vœœÜˆ˜}̅iÜi``ˆ˜}qœvwVˆ> documentation required March // 2015



SHOPPING ON YAS ISLAND With Yas Mall now open, the island is now one of the region’s most exciting shopping destinations

For fun



ome to 2.5 million square feet of retail and entertainment, Yas Mall is the newest and most modern shopping mall in the UAE. Since opening its doors in November 2014, the mall, located in the heart of Yas Island, has been blowing customers away with its variety of shopping, dining and leisure facilities.

March // 2015

Yas Mall is home to a state-ofthe art cinema operated by VOX Cinemas that houses a massive 20 screens – perfect for catching the latest blockbuster in comfort and style. Or you can try out the quirky iPilot, which gives you the chance to operate a huge passenger jet, including take off and landing – virtually of course, though it’s hard to tell the difference.

For the kids

It’s almost like Yas Mall was designed with young ones in mind – Indigo Kids is the best place to kit out a kid’s bedroom, high-end toy store Hamley’s is a place where you’re guaranteed to spend a lot of time, and youngsters will also go crazy for Fun Works,


MISS Yas Mall isn’t the only place to pick up cool goodies.

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi The Ferrari Store sells everything from fashion to luxurious souvenirs, and even has a seriously decadent “Red Glove” personal shopper service. Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi Tawasha Pearl Shop is the place ̜w˜`«i>À>VViÃÜÀˆiÃ̅>Ì܈ remind you of the park’s Pearl Diving Experience, while many other fun keepsakes are available from Tethkar Souvenirs.

OFFERS />Ži>`Û>˜Ì>}iœvܓiœv̅iÃiÌiÀÀˆwV offers for a shopping trip to remember on Yas Island. Book by calling dnata on +971 4 316 6666 or by visiting

a family entertainment zone that’s got play areas galore for kids to enjoy. There are plenty of kids’ fashion stores too, like Diesel Kids and Chateau de Sable.

For the shoppers

Loads of fantastic brands have a home at Yas Mall. High street chains like Desigual, Cos and Reiss rub shoulders with jewellery boutiqes like Versace Accessories and Al Manara International. Teens will go gadget-crazy in Plug Ins or Geekay Games, and mums will love browsing Lush, L’Occitane or M.A.C cosmetics. World Traveller

Radisson Blu Hotel, Abu Dhabi Yas Island 4* 1 night from USD130 per person. Special offers: Complimentary upgrade to Superior Room and unlimited access to one of the Yas Parks Includes: Stay in a Standard Room with breakfast daily. Validity: Now ‘til April 30, 2015. Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi Yas Island 4* 1 night from USD 122 per person. Includes: Stay in a Superior Room with breakfast daily and 2 Yas park tickets Validity: Now ‘til April 30, 2015. Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi 5* 1 night from USD450 per person. Special offers: Receive 20% discount on Food & Beverage and Guaranteed Check out at 2pm Includes: Stay in a Marina King Room with breakfast. Validity: Now ‘til March 31, 2015.

March // 2015


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:





In March, Abu Dhabi showcases a host of top-line sporting events /…i1Ƃ ˆÃ}iÌ̈˜}wÌÌiÀ>̅ï“i]>˜`̅ˆÃ“œ˜Ì… ƂLÕ …>LˆˆÃ̅iLiÃÌ«>VivœÀ>̅iÌiÃ̜Vœ“i ̜}i̅iÀ>˜`ܜÜ>Õ`ˆi˜Við"˜>ÀV…È>˜`Ç]̅i /17œÀ`/Àˆ>̅œ˜-iÀˆiÃÃi>ܘœ«i˜iÀVœ“ià ̜ƂLÕ …>Lˆ½ÃLÀi>̅Ì>Žˆ˜} œÀ˜ˆV…i]«ÀœÛˆ`ˆ˜}> ՘ˆµÕiœ««œÀÌ՘ˆÌÞvœÀ>“>ÌiÕÀ>̅iÌiÃ̜Vœ“«iÌi œ˜̅iÃ>“iÃÌ>}i>Ã̅iܜÀ`½Ã̜«V…>“«ˆœ˜Ã° iÝÌÕ«]vÀœ“>ÀV…£Ó̜£{]À>˜`->“i}i˜`à Vœ“i̜}i̅iÀvœÀ̅iˆ˜>Õ}ÕÀ>/i˜˜ˆÃ>Ì̅i*>>Vi]

World Traveller

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January March // 2015

REVOLUTIONARY COMFORT New Business class seat: discover the comfort of a fully horizontal bed and exceptional service. Gradually installed on long-haul flight on a part of Boeing 777 fleet as of June 2014.


WT Promotion

The Unforgettable Journey Why Air France’s new business class seat will leave you sky-high with delight


Ré g i s M a r c o n

he journey from Dubai to Paris has been made all the more memorable by Air France’s latest in-flight innovation. From last month, guests onboard the airline’s daily flight between the two cities have been able to experience a new business class seat, uniquely designed to deliver superior levels of comfort and the prospect of the perfect sleep. More a private cocoon than a simple seat, its design was born of dialogue between customers, company employees, designers and ergonomic experts, with the end result offering a range of benefits. Fully intuitive, the seat is easily controlled by touch-button and quickly converts into a horizontal bed. Moreover, its elegant curves serve to envelop the passenger, granting privacy, while the cabin’s layout allows for direct access to the aisle regardless of the seat’s location - each row houses only four seats, significantly increasing the space available to travellers. Once cocooned in their own private space, passengers can indulge themselves in Air France’s outstanding levels of service, none more so apparent than in

the in-flight food that’s delivered on designer tableware. The delectable menus are rotated amongst some of France’s true gastronomic greats, including Régis Marcon, Michel Roth, Guy Martin and Joël Robuchon, the man who holds more Michelin stars than any other of the world’s chefs. Come onboard to enjoy the full flavor of French innovation and hospitality. Air France operates a daily flight from Dubai to Paris.

WHAT ELSE YOU’LL LOVE Each seat has its own personal compartment, which contains audio headphones, a mirror, light and room for personal belongings such as handbags. Meanwhile, books, magazines or tablets slip into a large pocket, accessible even when the seat is fully reclined. "ÛiÀ£]äää…œÕÀÃœvw“Ã>˜`/6 shows can be viewed on your 16-inch, …ˆ}…‡`iw˜ˆÌˆœ˜̜ÕV…ÃVÀii˜]܅ˆV…ޜÕ can also control via a handset that’s designed like a smartphone. /…i˜iܼVœ“vœÀÌŽˆÌý̅>Ì>Ài…>˜`i` out to each passenger are modeled on those once distributed onboard

œ˜VœÀ`i°/…iÞVœ˜Ì>ˆ˜>̅i >Àˆ˜Ã‡ branded beauty essentials you’ll need ̜Vœ“L>Ì̅iivviVÌÃœvyވ˜}°

World Traveller

March // 2015


World Traveller Promotion


COUNTLESS JOURNEYS Amazing Oman has something special for every kind of traveller

Special Occasions SEE THIS Travellers with taste are urged to seek out the MuscArt gallery, one of the region’s premier photography and art spaces, where stimulating art pieces are in abundance. STAY HERE Shangri-La’s Bar Al Jissah Resort & Spa is comprised of three spectacular hotels, each with their own special personalities. The highest level of Shangri-La service and privileges are found in the 180 rooms and suites of the Al Husn Hotel, which are among the largest and most luxurious in Oman. The inviting décor is inspired by Royal Arabian palaces and accented by authentic Omani artworks. Guests looking for a truly magical getaway are invited to use the private beach, as well as a daily afternoon tea. Oman is a popular destination for weddings and special occasions, with its stunning landscape and azure seas providing memorable moments.

Romantic Spa Adventure SEE THIS What says romance better than a seductive scent? A visit to Muscat’s Amouage Perfumery, that produces the most expensive scents in the world, is fascinating for anyone interested in perfume. STAY HERE The five-star deluxe property Al Bandar is Shangri-La’s second hotel, and its name translates as “The Town,” a name reflected in the architecture of the hotel. It’s inspired by the historic and beautiful buildings in old Muscat, with pretty buildings of varying heights and styles. For couples looking to reconnect, a massage treatment at CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La will let lovers relax and unwind in unparalleled luxury. The decadent 90 minute Traditional Thai Massage uses “passive yoga” with deep, stretching movements that focuses on pressure points and is sure to leave guests floating.


March // 2015

Family Fun SEE THIS The Mazara Dam (also known as Wadi Daiqa dam) is an impressive reservoir in the middle of the Hajr mountains, with grassy areas perfect for a family picnic. STAY HERE Al Waha, is Oman’s first hotel dedicated purely to families. With 262 guestrooms, each with a large balcony or patio, there’s plenty of room for youngsters to run and play. The name Al Waha means “The Oasis” and has been designed so that the hotel’s many swimming pools resemble a water wonderland. Kids of all ages will be looked after, from youngsters checking into the Cool Zone Kids Club, to older boys and girls enjoying the action-packed Adventure Zone.


Book your getaway by calling dnata on +971 4 316 6666 or visiting Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, Al Waha Hotel 1 night from USD 133 per person Includes: Stay in a Superior Room with breakfast daily Special off er: 20% room rate reduction Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, Al Bandar Hotel 1 night from USD 155 per person Includes: Stay in a Deluxe Room with breakfast daily Special off er: 20% room rate reduction Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, Al Husn Hotel 1 night from USD 204 per person Includes: Stay in a Deluxe Room with breakfast daily Special off er: 20% room rate reduction All offers valid from now ‘til Sept 30 2015 book by March 31 2015. Terms apply.

World Traveller

March // 2015


23,600 $2.1bn 2,745 visitors from 131 countries

of new business generated at ATM 2014

Register now • • • •

Fast track entry with your e-badge Exclusive updates on new show features Regular news on seminar programme Access to ATM’s online planning tool to plan your visit

exhibiting companies


FAR EAST SPECIAL 40 Drifting in Tokyo 54 Vietnam-ease 48 20 Amazing Asian Spas 60 Incredible Indonesia

40 48 39

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March // 2015


Now and Now and


Tokyoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all frenetic modernity and frantic buzz, right? If you want, says Nick Redman. Or it canTokyoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s be the all most frenetic blissfully modernity peacefuland andfrantic surreally buzz, right? serene If place you want, on Earth... says Nick Redman. Or it can be the most blissfully peaceful and surreally serene place on Earth...


March // 2015

Now and



Tokyoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all frenetic modernity and frantic buzz, right? If you want, says Nick Redman. Or it can be the most blissfully peaceful and surreally serene place on Earth...

World Traveller

March // 2015



n a Tokyo sidestreet, not far from the nightlife neon of high-rise Roppongi, the taxi pulls up at a blank door I just know promises more. The cabbie who squinted at the scrawled address that led me here nods and disappears into the damp dark as, around 10pm, I ring and find myself in one of the most perfect wells of tranquillity in Tokyo. Or, indeed, the world. At a bar of Japanese oak, in a tiny room of earthen walls, I take my place among hushed strangers, on one of just eight high stools. With rare drinks twinkling in lamplight as yellow and old as parchment, it looks like the atelier of a bacchanalian monk. Isn’t the Japanese capital meant to be all about futuristic frenzy? I only ask because I’m still basking in memories of a meticulous, meditative metropolis, pooled with therapeutic stillness amid the thrum. I recall the grey tails of curling carp in Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens, vanishing into the gloom of a lily pond reflecting skyscrapers; traffic in patient flow through the upmarket shopping streets of Ginza; and raindrops like tiny pearls, trapped in the gargantuan leaves of the lotus garden at Ueno Park. Even officials in the subway seemed celestial, in white gloves, airily choreographing the crowds. The minute I hit town, I was captivated — from the first sip of a mocktail (lent an exotic twist by orange bitters) at the new Andaz Tokyo. It’s in the thrusting Toranomon Hills complex, with views of Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Bay. At first the city’s impenetrable-looking vastness intimidated me: dark, cubic and cluttered, as if toyed with and discarded by a bored child. But as I eased into a button-back booth, my pulse slowed, and I acclimatised to that view of the diamond nightscape, from 51 floors up. March // 2015

The hotel nodded to calm tradition: staff backed off deferentially in the jazzy, leather-furnished Andaz Tavern, with its bonsai trees and little mushroom lamps; the indoor pool was a classic infinity-slab of quivering blue, looking through skyhigh windows to the Imperial Palace; and my room channelled nature in moss-green carpets and pale walls of repro-washi (bark-fibre paper), framed with walnut to suggest Japanese screens.

I eased into an Eden of curly-limbed black pines and cart-wheel bridges Potions for the circular bathtub in my room were seasonal, bathing in sudsy ‘Autumn Rice’ an instant soothing ritual. So the next morning came as something of a shock: I ‘began’ Japan, as many visitors do, with a tour of Tsukiji wholesale fish market. Mistake! Awash with blood, entrails and scooped-out eyes, the warehouse space rang with the hollers of

rabid trade, as the guide sought vainly to enthuse: “Look! Pinky sea bream! We can feel the season come by the fish here.” It was a visual tapestry of monsters dredged from the deep: snails oozing from shells like florid orange pus; a swirl of semibeheaded eels that had bled red in their tank; a tightly netted octopus in a bucket, pulsing like an alien’s heart; and big bivalves, innards lolling out sleazily, as if angling for a tongue job. At Tsukiji, rare Japanese tuna are auctioned off to the city’s Michelin-starred restaurants, often for tens of thousands of pounds. Cheaper ones arrive from as far off as Spain, frozen for the long voyage. As they lay there — huge, ice-white torpedoes, tails hacked off with evident violence — I felt a little green about the gills. My stomach settled in the leafy peace of Hama-rikyu, which lies 20 minutes’ walk south of Tsukiji. Once an imperial hunting park, it’s now encircled by the towers of commercial Shiodome, which soar skywards, like futuristic-mystic standing stones. I eased into an Eden of curly-limbed black pines and cart-wheel bridges over rippled blue, watching a

Opening page: Cherry blossoms in Nakameguro. Opposite page, from top left: Prayer tablets at Meiji Jingu shrine, Yoyogi Park; Tokyo Tower at twilight. This page, from top: A suite at Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills; Shopping in Omotesando; Octopus for sale at Tsukiji fish market.


World Traveller

March // 2015



wedding shoot in action, the bride-to-be dressed in a scarlet kimono. Silent, save for the reedy squawk of the odd cormorant or heron, Hama-rikyu is home to the sweetest low-eaved tea-house — worthy of Frank Lloyd Wright, the architectgenius whose early-20th-century organic style and horizontality in Chicago was so informed by Japan. I can’t say I quite comprehended the tea ceremony (‘...And with a feeling of gratitude, look at the bowl before returning to the place where the host served’), but I left refreshed, ready to immerse myself further in this curious city. Its pavements patched with leaf-shade, Omotesando on a sunny Saturday is to Tokyo what Passeig de Gràcia is to Barcelona: designer-label-lined, verdant, airy and processional. It’s the closest thing to ‘linear’ in this city that doesn’t really do street addresses, Western-style, but scopes in, from ward to area to block to building, the way victims are targeted in Terminator movies. With my ‘Tokyo’s-sotranquil’ expression radiating, I ambled past shops both familiar (Zara, Ralph Lauren) and strange (Skin Food Store: ‘Beauty Food for Urban Sweety’). By now fancying food for urban tummy, I wafted into Heiroku Sushi, a place bubbly with shoppers’ chit-chat. It was a kaiten sushi joint — one, that is, doing dishes you pluck from a circling conveyor belt, on colour-coded plates to be totted up and paid for later. Scoffing great ruby slabs of tuna on rice, salmon roe that popped like tiny bath capsules between the teeth, I was so hypnotised that before I knew it, things had got calorific-horrific. Still, consuming the here-and-now, getting the smaller picture, my trip continued to unfurl at a mellow pace. Next day I spent a leisurely two hours mesmerised by the joggers circuiting the Imperial Palace, gazing down on them between seasonal offerings (chestnut soup, chestnut pannacotta) at Michelinstarred Crown, high up in the Palace Hotel Tokyo. The moat around the royal residence was flecked white with swans gliding almost imperceptibly, and the maples were a picture, leaves spanning the ruddy-green colour spectrum of apples. Peace reigned again the following day, amid the pines of Yoyogi Park: its dramatic Shinto shrine, Meiji Jingu, was once home to the 19th-century emperor who modernised the nation, and it’s treated with awe. Schoolkids filed by, murmuring, as I approached along parades of acorn trees, under wooden gates like giant dark Pi symbols, seemingly painted upon the clear sky. Meiji Jingu lay folded within itself, heavy-roofed as an alpine village, sacred to its core. It’s a place you could idle away a whole day, the complex quietly tinkling with the tubular-bell sounds of water, lifted in long ladles by visitors for the cleansing ritual required prior to entry. March // 2015

WHERE TO STAY ··· Located on floors 47-52 of the city’s secondtallest skyscraper, Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills has 164 sleek rooms featuring iPod docking stations, deep bathtubs and old-style partitions that let you customise the space. Park Hyatt Tokyo is another high-rise wonder, with spacious rooms and suites decorated in earthy hues and views over the city stretching all the way to Mount Fuji. For more information, visit or call +971 4 316 6666.


World Traveller

March // 2015


Previous page: A back alley lined with bars. This page, clockwise from top left: Fine dining at Crown, Palace Hotel Tokyo; Nakajima Teahouse in Hama-rikyu Gardens; The Shinjuku district at night; A merchant at Tsukiji fish market. Opposite page: Andaz Tavern. 46

March // 2015

In Tokyo, of course, the present always beckons, but it needn’t only be those dizzy postcard districts Shibuya, Shinjuku and Akihabara, winking 24/7, like vast pinball arcades. Nakameguro I’d happily move to tomorrow, having ambled at the pace of a contented pensioner along its focal canal, which turns a magical pale pink in April, clouded with cherry blossom. For now I bumbled around curiosity shops, including ‘& Stripe’, which sells only buttons, and ‘Snobbish Babies’, doing an intriguing line in Beyoncé-style skimpy denim shorts for dogs. Shimokitazawa was more bohemian, a neighbourhood of busy lizzies sprouting from flowerpots on steps up to the front doors of little grey-box homes. I went one sunny afternoon, on a five-minute light-railway ride from Shibuya. Helped possibly by the heat, here was a scene so laid-back it was flat-out lounging. It was Tokyo’s answer to London’s hip

It was Tokyo’s answer to London’s hip Dalston Dalston: streets overhung with telegraph wires, speckled with cyclists on upright ‘grandma’ bikes, lined with niche outlets aimed at twentysomethings with statement frocks and purposeful beards. I ‘spaced out’ (their words) with a posse of this slouchy tribe at the Shisha Café, a den fogged with hookah-pipe smoke, apparently imported intact from Marrakech. I located more of them drifting off to the snickety sound of scissors at the ‘Bad-Nice’ gents’ hairdressers. And I exhaled in relief when I found space among them at the bijou coffee house Bear Pond Espresso, which sometimes shuts at 1pm for fear of knackering its hallowed espresso-maker. Serving lattes in jam jars to the ‘70s sounds of Carole King, it was so hippieSan Francisco, it lacked only flowers for my hair and the Golden Gate Bridge beyond the window panes. “That’s what the Japanese do so expertly,” said Douglas, an expat New Zealander I met on my last night, sitting 52 storeys above the streets, at the Park Hyatt Tokyo’s New York Bar. “They import traditions — coffee, music — and methodically, quietly, refine them to perfection.” In Tokyo, hotel bars aren’t bland dives — they’re part of the scene, and this one is a classic. Here, after dining next door in the New York Grill on Kobe steaks as creamy as butter, strangers slide into friendship over world-class Japanese drinks, to woozy jazz from a live band. As humongous black buildings outside flashed silently with aircraft-warning lights of red and white, I raised my glass in mute tribute, to an utterly unexpected, super-smooth city. World Traveller

March // 2015


20 Amazing Asian Spas

20 Amazing ASIAN SPAS From remote sanctuaries to urban oases, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve uncovered the best places to bliss-outâ&#x20AC;Ś


March // 2015

ESPA at Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore

Indulgence levels are off the scale at this 10,000-square-metre complex, which boasts an authentic Turkish hammam, vitality pools, onsen-style pools, rock saunas and crystal steam rooms. Feeling snoozy? End your treatment in one of 18 fabulous sleeping pods. Must-try treatment: A personalised ESPA facial including deep cleansing and mask.

Spa Naturel at The Fortress Resort, Sri Lanka Specialising in Ayurveda rituals, this boutique hotel’s spa in the historic town of Koggala will relax and heal both body and mind. There are 15 signature treatments with natural ingredients sourced locally by the in-house Ayurveda doctor. Must-try treatment: The Pindasveda full body herbal massage to totally de-stress.

Anantara Spa at Anantara Bophut Resort, Thailand

Experience Anantara’s fabled Thai treatments at this beachfront resort on Koh Samui. There are six glass-walled treatment rooms set amid tranquil gardens, private al fresco tubs and a full range of Elemis spa and aromatherapy products. Must-try treatment: The 165-minute Dawn Renewal ritual to shake off jet lag.

YHI Spa at Meliá Bali, Indonesia

Fabulous for families, YHI Spa is one of the few luxury resorts that caters to kids. Special Balinese packages include massages and manicures for mums, and temporary tattoos for dads and lads, in one of the 10 treatment rooms. Must-try treatment: A Meliá Bali Bale massage on Nusa Dua beach while the breeze drifts by.

Banyan Tree Spa at Banyan Tree Lang Co, Vietnam

Named the Best Luxury Emerging Spa at the Óä£{7œÀ`ÕÝÕÀÞ-«>ƂÜ>À`Ã]ޜսw˜` six spa pavilions with double massage beds and East-meets-West remedies containing tropical ingredients such as pandanus and LÕÌÌiÀyÞ«i>ð Must-try treatment: /…i ÕÌÌiÀyÞ*i> Body Scrub to cleanse and purify the skin. 49

Devarana Spa at dusitD2, Thailand

Situated in the heart of Chiang Mai near the famed Night Bazaar, dusitD2’s multi-award܈˜˜ˆ˜}ë>…>ÃwÛiՏÌÀ>«ÀˆÛ>ÌiÌÀi>̓i˜Ì rooms. New for 2015 are four ASEAN Remedies, involving a body scrub and a truly authentic Thai massage. Must-try treatment: An Ube Ice Cream Scrub to renew dull summer skin. World Traveller

Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore

March // 2015

20 Amazing Asian Spas

Amanpulo, Philippines

The Governor’s Oasis at Belmond Governor’s Residence, Myanmar

Set in the grounds of a colonial-style mansion dotted with lotus pools in the Embassy Quarter of Yangon, this blissful spa has a full range of treatments, such as purifying facials and stimulating body therapies, using organic ILA products. Must-try treatment: Ku Nye, a traditional Tibetan massage that restores energy.

Karma Spa at Angkor Miracle Resort & Spa, Cambodia

Peace, serenity, rejuvenation… these are all words you’ll use after spending any time at this wonderful Siem Reap spa. According to the resort’s staff, customers walk in to the ÃiVÕ`i`ÌÀi>̓i˜ÌÀœœ“Ã]LÕÌ̅iÞyœ>Ì out. Must-try treatment: The private pool that serenely sits outside of the spa is a cool saltwater oasis.


Six Senses Spa at Six Senses Yao Noi, Thailand

Six Senses is renowned for its spa and wellness offerings and this outstanding spa overlooking Phang Nga Bay doesn’t disappoint. There huge treatment menu incorporates the four elements of earth, Ü>ÌiÀ]wÀi>˜`>ˆÀ]«ÕÃ̅iÀi½Ã>ÀœÃÌiÀœv visiting practitioners. Must-try treatment: The Thai Silk Facial ÕÃiØ>ÌÕÀ>ȏŽVœVœœ˜Ã̜wÀ“>˜`̜˜i° March // 2015

Cheval Blanc Randheli, The Maldives

la Terre Spa by L’Occitane at Devi Garh, India The hotel is an 18th century hilltop former palace, and its spa overlooks the surrounding village and mountains. Local ingredients are fused with L’Occitane products specially designed for Devi Resorts. Must-try treatment: The classic Indian Head Massage is perfected here, and will clear your mind completely.

CHI, The Spa at ShangriLa Boracay Resort, Philippines

Massage, exercise, stretching, hydrotherapy and meditation form the basis of the CHI spa philosophy and you can indulge in the lot at this 5,700-square-metre sanctuary on a rocky peninsula overlooking a pristine private bay. Must-try treatment: Palina Hilot Massage is a four-hand massage by two therapists.

Mekong Spa at Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao, Laos

Massage techniques from all over Asia are complemented by a wide range of facials, body wraps, detoxifying and body scrubs that use only organically grown herbs and oils. For afters, a sensual rain ŜÜiÀˆ˜ޜÕÀ«ÀˆÛ>Ìi«>ۈˆœ˜w˜ˆÃ…ià the job. Must-try treatment: Once reserved for Asian princesses, the Tamrap Luang Rose Flower treatment regenerates skin.

Aman Spa at Amanpulo, Philippines

Meliá Bali, Indonesia

Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore

This hillside spa on the recently refurbed private island resort has treatment rooms with a deep-soaking tub to make the most of those Sulu Sea views. There are male and female steam rooms and plunge pools, three relaxation salas and a fully equipped salon for mani-pedis and hairdressing. Must-try treatment: The Pulo Oil Massage Vœ“Lˆ˜iÃ-Üi`ˆÃ…“>ÃÃ>}i]Àiyiݜœ}Þ and aromatherapy.

Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao, Laos


Hyatt Regency Hakone Resort & Spa, Japan World Traveller

Fusion Maia Da Nang, Vietnam March // 2015

20 Amazing Asian Spas

Hyatt Regency Hakone Resort & Spa, Japan

AWAY Spa at W Singapore at Sentosa Cove, Singapore

Meliá Bali, Indonesia

This modern wellness retreat has a sauna, steam room, vitality pool, herbal bath and Vichy showers, along with double suites. For post-treatment relaxing, take your pick vÀœ“>`ÀÞyœ>ÌLi`œÀ«ÀˆÛ>Ìi}>À`i˜܈̅> built-in sound system. Must-try treatment: A Coast to Coast Ãi>Üii`ÜÀ>«̜…i«w}…ÌViÕˆÌi°

Anantara Spa at Anantara Emei Resort & Spa, China

Step into a luxurious world of pampering in breathtaking surroundings. This spa, at the foot of majestic Emei mountain, is the very best place to let Eastern and Western wellness philosophies collide, with deliciously relaxing results. Must-try treatment: The Emei Retreat includes a hydrating Pu-Erh Tea Body Scrub. Banyan Tree Lang Co, Vietnam

Spa Izumi, Hyatt Regency Hakone Resort & Spa, Japan

Spa Island, Cheval Blanc Randheli, The Maldives

Japan knows a thing or two about wellness, and the original Hakone spa treatments here are almost as relaxing as the Fuji Hakone Izu National Park that surrounds the hotel, which includes a traditional and natural onsen hot spring. Must-try treatment: The mineral hotspring spas (there are two) are rich in calcium and magnesium, great for skin.


A dhoni boat disembarks guests on the shores of Spa Island, where Guerlain has created a range of treatments and massages specially conceived for the Maldives. Alone or as a couple, the rituals are discovered in one of six villas overlooking the lagoon. Must-try treatment: Body Sublimation cocoons the guest in an invigorating body polish and wrap, before massage begins.

CHI, The Spa at ShangriLa Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Penang

Within a secluded corner of the resort, enclosed by centuries-old rain trees, the Rasa Sayang CHI differentiates itself from other CHI spas by incorporating indigenous >>Þ>˜`*iÀ>˜>Ž>˜ˆ˜yÕi˜ViȘLœÌ…ˆÌà architecture and massage philosophies. Must-try treatment: At four hours and 30 minutes, the Extreme Luxury treatment is an afternoon of pure indulgence. March // 2015

The Spa at Grand Hyatt Seoul, South Korea

Fusion Maia Da Nang, Vietnam

Urban spas don’t get much better than this. Located on the garden level of this luxurious hotel overlooking Mount Namsan, there are 14 spa suites and a variety of massages on offer, including Korean, aromatherapy, aroma stone and classic Swedish. Must-try treatment: A Korean Ginseng Massage features local herbs and techniques.

Maia Spa at Fusion Maia Da Nang, Vietnam

Pampering is a must at this all-inclusive beachfront boutique resort near Hoi An that allows you to indulge in two treatments per day at no extra cost. The extensive spa menu includes facials, massages, reiki and a series of pregnancy therapies. Must-try treatment: An Active Bamboo Rollout lymphatic massage for tired legs.


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Fusion Maia Da Nang, Vietnam March // 2015


Vietnam EASE

Visitors Brad and Angelina have put the country on the luxury-holiday map. But sleepy villages and secret shores are still all yours, says resident Marianne Brown


March // 2015

perfect, pearly cumulus catches my eye as I stand waist-deep in water looking out at the otherwise cloudless horizon. To the east, a collection of islands sits silhouetted against the sky like pointy purple hats. To the west, the city of Da Nang twinkles on a distant peninsula. I’m so lost in thought I don’t see the gathering wave, curled at the tip, until it has knocked me off my feet and washed over me. I emerge, spluttering in the fizzy aftermath - and discover the sensation is actually quite pleasant, so I lift my legs and allow myself to be buffeted and splashed in the waves as World Traveller

they rumble in from the South China Sea and smash against the sand. My partner, Josh, and I live in Hanoi, so downtime away from the city’s skullsplitting traffic din and choking pollution is essential. Handily, in Vietnam, a soft, sandy stretch of coast is never far away, and until recently, we’ve had the beaches all to ourselves. Vietnam’s coast looks like Thailand’s did 30 years ago, but it’s been tipped as the next Phuket or Bali. A visit by Brangelina and their brood to a fancy Six Senses resort on an island in the Con Dao archipelago, ringed with coral reefs, and famous for its sea-turtle nesting grounds, boosted the country’s reputation

as a luxury travel destination. And last year, a swish InterContinental hotel claimed a spot on Vietnam’s prime central coastline. But despite enthusiastic developers, for now there are still unspoilt shores where you can recline in paradise for peanuts. Our personal favourite is An Bang beach and village on the central coast (not far from the InterContinental). Here, swathes of white sand are speckled with upturned fishing boats among the odd historic relic, and your only company will be fishermen fixing their nets under palm leaves. It’s easy to get to, an hour’s flight from Hanoi and just a 40-minute taxi ride from Da March // 2015



Opening page: Traditional fishing boats on a beach near Hoi An. This page, clockwise from top left: Cao lau, a Hoi An speciality made with noodles, meat and local greens; Street life in Hoi An; Boats on Thu Bon River, Hoi An; Cua Dai beach.


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Nang airport. The village is also only a few kilometres from Hoi An, its Old Town trimmed with traditional wooden shopfronts strung with coloured lanterns. Most tourists follow the main road, lined with hotels, through Hoi An to Cua Dai beach, which is thronged with vendors selling cheap souvenirs to suntoasted tourists. Few venture further along the coast to An Bang, where the only recent development for the tourist trade has been the opening of a handful of stylish homestays, which have cropped up as locals recognise the demand for small, family-run getaways in an authentic setting. We stayed at Be’s Beach Bungalow, where there are no hawkers to interrupt a meditative stroll along the sand. Huong, the owner of our bungalow, tells us that many of the locals are very insulated. “Some have never left the village,” she says, as we sip iced water on heavy wooden chairs in the garden. From the outside, the bungalow, painted white with licks of yellow, looks like a very smart version of the neighbouring fishermen’s cottages. That was the idea, says Huong’s husband, Aaron, who moved

to Vietnam from Australia more than a decade ago. “We based the design on the traditional houses in the area, and made some modifications,” he says. Inside, thick concrete walls stop shy of the timber roof, allowing air to circulate, and large windows throw plenty of light. The simple kitchen is flanked by two double bedrooms with pillows so soft that when I lay down I felt like I was floating. A carving of

At sunrise, the beach is a flurry of activity dragons hangs above one of the beds, and a painting of the village on a piece of wood hangs above the other. Outside, there’s a neat garden of short-cropped grass and a frangipani tree, which releases a sweet and delicate scent every evening. At sunrise, the beach is a flurry of activity as fishermen take their woven bamboo coracles - which look like giant circular bathtubs - out to sea. You’ll often see them later in the day, selling their catch at the village market or in Hoi

An town. The best way to get some of this seafood sizzling on your plate is to take a 10-minute walk down the frothlaced shore to the clutter of restaurants under palm-thatched wooden structures peppering the dunes. Venues vary from the pricey Soul Kitchen, which indulges you with bamboo daybeds, to the more rustic Tuyetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s - which gets a thumbs-up among expats - where fresh grilled squid and shrimp in tamarind sauce costs ÂŁ3. During the soporific heat of the day, the restaurants do a languid trade, but once the sun goes down tables fill up, lamps flicker under palm thatch and the glow of moonlight bounces on the sand. Closer to the sea, mobile vendors roast sweet potatoes and corn-on-the-cob, the rich smells mingling with the salty air. Eating in the village itself is an even simpler affair. Josh and I love street food, so we set off early one morning to see what the local stalls had to offer. We found plenty of choice along the dusty main road, with small grocery shops spilling out of peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s homes. Many front rooms and gardens have been converted into noodle stalls, all plastic chairs and tables neatly set with chopstick holders and small plates World Traveller

March // 2015



WHERE TO STAY ··· Self-catering homestays in An Bang village include Be’s Beach Bungalow, which has two double bedrooms. Or splash out in celebrity style at Six Senses Con Dao. There are 50 villas featuring private pools and balconies, along with two excellent restaurants, a superb spa and plenty of waterborne activities. It’s child-friendly, too. For more information, visit or call +971 4 316 6666.

Clockwise, from top left: A young woman in Hoi An; A local eating noodles with baskets of produce; Women chat on a street at Hoi An; Cua Dai beach; Colourful lanterns in Hoi An.


March // 2015

of thick-cut limes, fresh chilli and garlic. In the end we settled for a bowl of a provincial speciality called mi quang and took a seat on some miniature stools separated from the road by a rickety fence. The dish is a happy medley of udon-style rice noodles on a bed of lettuce, slices of meat and whole shrimp, topped off with a boiled quail’s egg, a sprinkling of roasted peanuts, and a splash of the broth used to simmer the meat. It comes with a separate plate of sliced banana flower, mint, lettuce and a generous piece of toasted rice cracker. Several villagers joined us at our table, eager to chat and tease us for speaking Vietnamese with northern accents. In Vietnam, history is never far away. Brad and Ange’s retreat of choice, Con World Traveller

Dao, was once home to a large prison complex built to contain anti-colonial agitators during Vietnam’s wars with France and, later, the United States there’s now a small museum to poke

Several villagers joined us at our table, eager to chat and tease us around. Back at An Bang, weaving between the coracles pulled high up on the sand, it’s hard to imagine that this stretch of coastline was once packed with soldiers. But there are always reminders. On one

of our walks to contemplate the sunset, Josh pointed to a strange outcrop of palms sprouting from a pile of bricks on the dunes. We moved closer to investigate, and found what looked like a concrete bunker. On it was an inscription, which translated from Vietnamese as: ‘Be on the look out. Hold onto your gun. Protect the nation’. It was an old artillery post. Hoi An was one of the first targets struck during North Vietnam’s decisive 1968 attack on US and South Vietnamese forces, the Tet Offensive. The sun was sinking behind the mountains and Da Nang glittered on the horizon. Behind us, the moon was rising. We walked back along the shore in silence, the sea exhaling breaths of cool air onto our ankles. We had plenty to contemplate. March // 2015



Mike Unwin explores the natural and man-made heritage of Southeast Asiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biggest nation


March // 2015


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March // 2015



he old man of the forest regarded me with small, intelligent eyes and an expression of disappointment. Clearly I didn’t measure up, and I was glad when my scrutineer’s attention returned to the half-eaten pandanus fruit, clutched in fingers twice the thickness of my own. “Old man of the forest” may be the literal translation of orang-utan. But with an infant clinging to her back, this ape was indisputably female. And, to deepen the insult, she was hardly “old” – no more than 20 years, confirmed our guide. In orang-utan terms this made her just as much a young mum as it would in a human. My companions and I were on the deck of a klotok, one of the tourist houseboats that ply the Sekonyer River in Tanjung Puting National Park. Located in southern Kalimantan, the largest, Indonesian portion of Borneo, this wilderness of mangroves and swamp forest harbours all manner of wildlife. Cruising upriver yesterday, we had watched rhinoceros hornbills lurching overhead and proboscis monkeys flaunting their swollen conks as they leapt through the branches. It’s the orang-utans, though, that draw the punters. This female, peering into our boat from her tree fork, was captivating. One of the park’s “semi-wild” individuals – those descended from rescued apes reared at the park’s rehabilitation centres – she had clearly seen people before. Her baby, though, apparently hadn’t, and peeked out at us with a wide-eyed alarm and dishevelled orange quiff that recalled an electrocuted Stan Laurel. Tanjung Puting was declared a national park specifically to protect the orang-utan. This was thanks largely to celebrated primatologist Dr Birutė Galdikas, Borneo’s answer to Dian Fossey, who championed the beleaguered apes – the victims of both hunters and the logging trade – and in 1971 set up the Camp Leakey research centre. Today, tourists enjoy guaranteed sightings at March // 2015

Opening page: An orang-utan in Tanjung Puting National Park. Opposite, clockwise from top left: A houseboat on the Sekonyer River; A mother and baby orang-utan; Street food stalls in Yogyakarta; A farmer in Borobudur; Temples at Prambanan; A craftsman adding wax to batik cloth; Wooden statues for sale at Solo market.

the feeding stations where rehabilitated apes drop in for the daily banana handouts that supplement the 400 or so foodstuffs on their wild jungle menu. At Camp Leakey our klotok joined a small flotilla tied up beside the wooden dock. Carnivorous pitcher plants hung their insect-trap chamber pots from the riverside tangle and a metre-long monitor lizard slipped into the dark, peaty waters. We followed our guide along a forest trail, peering into the silk-lined holes of tarantulas, stepping over the immense buttress

resplendent with his fleshy face flanges, seemed to demand the most personal space: I watched as he inserted six bananas into his mouth â&#x20AC;&#x201C; one at a time â&#x20AC;&#x201C; then swung back skywards. Wild pigs rooted below for leftovers and kaleidoscopic butterflies alighted on the crushed fruit. Orang-utans are critically threatened by the loss of their forests to mushrooming palm oil plantations. The following day we visited Pondok Kerja Pesalat Reforestation Project, where each of us planted a small indigenous tree. My spindly, metre-high bekasai

Tourists enjoy guaranteed sightings at the feeding stations where rehabilitated apes drop in for the daily banana handouts roots of giant hardwoods and listening to the distant keening of gibbons. As we neared the feeding platform, a rustling in the canopy and glimpse of orange in the leafy shadows revealed that orang-utans were heading the same way. Up in their arboreal element, the apes had a surprising balletic grace. One airborne figure swung through empty space fully 30 metres up, sinking groundward on a slender branch before reaching casually for the next handhold, which bore him effortlessly aloft again. We watched from a bench as the apes converged. Soon there were six on the platform, all feeding quietly. One big male,

would grow into a mighty hardwood, I was assured, but it took a leap of faith to imagine the great apes swinging through its towering canopy a century hence. The next major feeding session took place two days and a short flight later in the town of Solo, on the island of Java, south of Borneo. This was an altogether messier affair. My companions and I sat around a large table in the colonial back room of the Goela Klapa restaurant, while waitresses ferried in mounds of the delicious local fare. Soon our woven bamboo plates were groaning with nasi liwet (coconut rice with green papaya, chicken and egg), March // 2015



WHERE TO STAY ··· Centrally located in Solo, the four-star Sunan Hotel Solo has bright and modern rooms, an outdoor pool, fitness centre and spa. In Yogyakarta, Melia Purosani is set amid lush tropical gardens with a lagoonstyle pool and is close to the Malioboro shopping district. Also nearby is the historic Phoenix Hotel Yogyakarta, a colonial landmark dating back to 1918 with elegant rooms overlooking a courtyard pool. For more information visit or call +971 4 316 6666.


gudeg (jackfruit curry), klepon (green rice flour balls) and pecel lele (fried catfish), and my napkin was looking ever more like a Jackson Pollock. It was not only Java’s cuisine that was overwhelming. Much the most populous of Indonesia’s 17,000-plus islands, with a population of some 140 million, its in-your-face humanity was a far cry from the dark forests of Kalimantan. The streets of Solo teemed with every kind of traffic, and venturing out from our airconditioned minibus brought stifling humidity, a pungent blend of exhaust fumes and stir-fry, and the call to prayer booming from the rooftops. Just an hour nosing through the market stalls – from the leather puppets of Javanese March // 2015

Clockwise from top left: Motorbikes at Borobudur at dusk; A baby orang-utan in Tanjung Puting; Phoenix Hotel Yogyakarta; A rickshaw; The World Heritage-listed temples at Borobudur.

tradition to the doorknockers of Dutch colonialism – was enough to convey a sense that the island’s history and culture are every bit as colourful, spicy and multi-layered as its food. That evening things became even more bewildering, as we took in the Hindu dancedrama of a Ramayana ballet. The plot, according to a printed synopsis, was a love story, but – unable to discern exactly at which point Kalamaricha turned into a golden deer or Laksmana emasculated himself in a pledge of chastity – I was content simply to sit back and let the eerie beauty of the performance wash over me to the hypnotic strains of the gamelan orchestra. Culture-wise, Solo was just a taster. Our final stop was

the nearby city of Yogyakarta (plain “Yogya” to locals), capital of the Mataram Sultanate in the 1600s and today still Java’s beating cultural heart. First we wandered around the kraton, the open-plan sultan’s palace, where the changing of the guard still takes place on bended knees. Then we toured a batik workshop – an art form born in Java in 1782 (ba meaning many and tik dots) – where we watched the intricate wax designs materialise and learnt to tell originals by their lack of symmetry. Finally we headed out of town to crawl like ants around the ornate immensity of Prambanan, a ninth-century Hindu temple complex that centres upon a 47m-high

edifice to Shiva and looks, from a distance, like a cluster of huge stone spaceships. Anywhere else, Pramabanan would be mind-blowing enough. But Yogya has to go one better. Borobudur, some 40km north-west of the city, is both the world’s largest Buddhist temple and a Unesco World Heritage Site: a wonder of the world by any standards. Also built during the ninth century, this vast structure – which contains more than 500 stone statues of Buddha – was abandoned for centuries, smothered by jungle and buried under a sea of volcanic ash from the ever excitable Merapi volcano, nearby. It was not until a renovation project in the 1970s and 1980s – which involved, among other things, the dismantling and reassembly of over one million pieces of stone – that the jaws

My napkin was looking ever more like a Jackson Pollock of the world dropped at it once again. The time to see Borobudur is, naturally, at dawn. Thus our final morning on Java saw us wrapped in the mandatory orange sarongs – donned at the entrance – and trooping in the half-light up the stone steps through the nine stages of enlightenment that led to Nirvana. As the rising sun prompted a frenzy of selfies from today’s “pilgrims” it was hard to feel that humanity has managed anything more impressive in the thousand years or so since. Although “Think you’re clever? Watch what I can do!” seemed to be the message embodied in the brooding cone of Merapi behind us. Watching the sarong-clad tourists heading back down, I remembered those other orange primates descending to the ground back in Kalimantan. Indonesia’s natural heritage is just as mind-boggling as its cultural one, I reflected. We can only pray – to Buddha, Krishna, Mohammed or whoever – that it lasts as long. World Traveller

March // 2015


Iconic Sri Lanka


March // 2015

The stunning Kandy Lake was built in 1807 by King Sri Vikrama Rajasinha, next to the famous Temple of the Tooth. The lake is protected and fishing is banned, and one of the legends surrounding it claims that the small island in its centre was once used by the kingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s helm for bathing, and was connected to the Royal Palace by a secret tunnel. Today, joggers make their way around its serene 2.1 mile perimeter, catching it at sunset when its colours are most spectacular.




World Traveller

March // 2015

Iconic Sri Lanka

The mountainous regions of the country are also some of the world’s most beautiful. Here, Adam’s Peak looms over the jungle below to a height of 2,243 metres. In Islamic tradition, this is the site where Adam fell to earth and where his footprint can be found. The districts to Adam’s Peak’s south and east are famous for yielding precious stones like emeralds, rubies and sapphires.


March // 2015

Sri Lankan leopards are subtly different to those found in other regions, but they are just as beautiful. Its dark spots and rosettes are typically smaller than their Indian counterparts, and although they are still an at-risk animal with no subpopulation larger than 250 animals, they can be found throughout Sri Lanka. Many safari tours (see p76) give travellers the chance to get up close.

Surfers frustrated with the overpopulated channels of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s busier surfing destinations have found Sri Lanka an untapped boardersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; paradise. The opportunity to take in the sunrise with a surf without another soul on the beach is a fantastically strong selling point for the growing number of surf schools and resorts, as clean swells up to 5ft with 450m rides break onto Plantation point and Coconut point.

World Traveller


March // 2015


FA MILY SPECI A L Everything you need to know about short-haul escapes


72 Fantastic family feasts and Mother’s Day treats PAGE

74 Six of the best familyfriendly safaris



83 Win a stay at Dubai’s luxury Vida hotel World Traveller

March // 2015





Picnics, special brunches and new restaurants are on the menu

he Easter Brunch at Al Forsan, found at the idyllic Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa is going ̜Li>wÀ“v>ۜÕÀˆÌiœ˜Ƃ«Àˆ 5. Indulge in a brunch buffet and enjoy a wide range of delectable delicacies, >œ˜}܈̅>ˆÛiL>˜`>˜`ˆÛiVœœŽˆ˜} ÃÌ>̈œ˜Ã°>“ˆÞv՘ˆ˜VÕ`iÃŽˆ`à entertainment with clowns, magicians, i}}«>ˆ˜Ìˆ˜}]ŽˆÌiyވ˜}]V>“i>˜`«œ˜Þ rides and a traditional egg hunt. The price is AED 325 per person including ÜvÌ`Àˆ˜ŽÃ]œÀƂ {Èx܈̅ÃiiVÌi` LiÛiÀ>}iðˆ`ÃvÀœ“x‡£Ó>Ài>`“ˆÌÌi` …>v«ÀˆVi]܅ˆi̅œÃiLiœÜx…>Ûiv՘ for free.

The family fun isn’t just for Fridays – Original Wings & Rings in DIFC’s “Family Saturdays” are new in Dubai, and show off a specially tailored menu for the Žˆ`Ã>œ˜}È`i >À̜œ˜ iÌܜÀŽœ˜/6Ã] clowns, colouring, face painting, games, balloon art and more.

From Saturday March 7 the Westin Dubai, Mina Seyahi Beach Resort launches its new Saturday Pik-Nik]܅ˆV…Ì>Žià «>ViLiÌÜii˜££°Îä>“>˜`{°ä䫓 >˜`ˆÃ`iÈ}˜i`̜}ˆÛiv>“ˆˆiõÕ>ˆÌÞ time together within the beautiful surroundings of the Westin resort.

œÕ`̅ˆÃLi̅iLiÃ̇Û>Õiv>“ˆÞ brunch in Dubai? Kenza Restaurant at the Ramada Downtown Dubai hosts its v>LՏœÕÃÀˆ`>ÞLÀ՘V…vœÀÕÃÌƂ £Óä «iÀ«iÀܘ°,՘˜ˆ˜}vÀœ“£«“‡{«“] the international dishes are just right for hungry families.



Why not treat the most important member of the family on Mother’s Day?


"˜>ÀV…Ó£]“Õ“Ã accompanied by a minimum of three paying family adults will dine free at Al Hadheerah restaurant, at relaxing Bab Al Shams. Mothers will also ÀiViˆÛi>…i>À̇Å>«i`V>Ži >˜`LœÕµÕiÌœvyœÜiÀð

March // 2015

Or get arty at Fairmont The Palm, Dubai. During March, ̅iÀi½Ã>ÃÌ՘˜ˆ˜}6ˆ˜Vi˜ÌÛ>˜ œ}…i݅ˆLˆÌˆœ˜]܈̅ÃiÛi˜ of the artist’s most famous ܜÀŽÃ]ˆ˜VÕ`ˆ˜}-՘yœÜiÀÃ] on display during afternoon tea at Mashrabiya Lounge.

If the lady in your life has >ÃÜiiÌ̜œÌ…]ÃiiŽœÕÌ Cocosia’s Artisan Macarons, ܅ˆV…Vœ“iˆ˜>Û>ÀˆiÌÞœv y>ۜÕÀÃ>˜`ÃÜiiÌ«>ÃÌi hues, sure to lighten her eyes when she opens the beautiful gift wrapping.

Ƃw˜>ÌÀi>ÌvœÀ>˜Þ“>}ˆV> mum can be found at ESPA, ̅iÕÝÕÀÞë>>Ì9>Ã6ˆViÀœÞ Abu Dhabi, Yas Island. The >Àˆ˜>/À>˜µÕˆˆÌÞ-«> ÃV>«i is sure to relax, indulge and bring mums closer to their œÛi`œ˜ið



Family of Foodies Explore different cuisines with your brood this month

Top activities for tots and teens that mum and dad will enjoy too!



Classical concert

ˆ`ޜÕŽ˜œÜ/܈˜Ži] /܈˜ŽiˆÌ̏i-Ì>ÀˆÃ based on a melody wÀÃÌVœ“«œÃi`LÞ Mozart? Introduce your little ones to classical music as Babies Proms: Meeting Mozart comes to DUCTAC in Dubai. Aimed >ÌӇxÞi>À‡œ`Ã]̅ˆÃˆÛiÞ show combines drama, history and, of course, music. March 22 and 23,

/…i,ˆ«iœœ`E À>vÌ>ÀŽiÌ…>Ã}ÀœÜ˜ˆ˜Ìœ>“ÕV…‡œÛi`ÌÀ>`ˆÌˆœ˜vœÀœÌÃœvv>“ˆˆiȘ

ÕL>ˆ]-…>À>…>˜`ƂLÕ …>Lˆ°Ƃ˜`̅i˜iÜ,ˆ«i ˆ}…Ì>ÀŽiÌ ÕL>ˆ«Àœ“ˆÃiÃ̜LiÕÃÌ>à «œ«Õ>À°ƂÃ̅iÃ՘ÃiÌÃœ˜->ÌÕÀ`>ÞÃ],ˆ«iÌÀ>˜ÃvœÀ“ÃƂ >ÀÅ>*œ˜`*>ÀŽˆ˜Ìœ>“>}ˆV> ܜÀ`œvv>ˆÀޏˆ}…ÌÃ>˜`>˜ÌiÀ˜Ã]>vÀiÃVœi>̈˜}>˜`ˆÛi“ÕÈV°-̜«LÞvœÀ>Ài>Ýi`v>“ˆÞ `ˆ˜˜iÀœÀÃ̜VŽÕ«œ˜vÀiÅ«Àœ`ÕVivœÀ̅iÜiiŽ>…i>`°From 4pm – 9pm,

7Ƃ/½- "" ¶ 7…œLiÌÌiÀvœÀ̅iŽˆ`Ã̜i>À˜VœœŽˆ˜} ΈÃvÀœ“̅>˜ˆV…iˆ˜‡ÃÌ>ÀÀi`V…iv Greg Malouf? The chef has launched ̅i j œœŽˆ˜} ÕL̜Ìi>V…LÕ``ˆ˜} vœœ`ˆiÃ̅iÌiV…˜ˆµÕiÃÕÃi`̜VÀi>Ìi `iˆVˆœÕÓœ`iÀ˜ƂÀ>LˆVvœœ`°/…iÌܜ‡ …œÕÀ]ˆ˜ÌiÀ>V̈ÛiV>ÃÃiÃ܈vœVÕÃœ˜ >`ˆvviÀi˜ÌΈ]VՈȘiœÀVœÕÀÃii>V… “œ˜Ì…°/…iˆ˜>Õ}ÕÀ>V>ÃÃŽˆVŽÃœvvœ˜ >ÀV…Ó{>˜`i>V…>ÌÌi˜`ii܈}iÌ̅iˆÀ own apron and a signed copy of one of >œÕv½ÃÃiÛi˜LœœŽÃ°

LAST CHANCE TO TRY! >ÀŽïÌV…i˜ˆ˜i,œÞ>jÀˆ`ˆi˜ƂLÕ …>LˆˆÃÃiÀۈ˜}Õ« a special sharing menu that’s perfect for families. The Spice >ÀŽiÌÌ>Ã̈˜}“i˜ÕŜÜV>ÃiÃÃÌÀiiÌvœœ`vÀœ“-œÕ̅i>ÃÌ ƂÈ>]܈̅`ˆÃ…iÃÃiÀÛi`Vœ˜Ìˆ˜ÕœÕÏÞ̅ÀœÕ}…œÕÌ̅i“i>° ƂÛ>ˆ>Li՘̈“ˆ`‡>ÀV…°

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FOR TEENS Calligraphy workshop "Àˆ}ˆ˜>ÞvÀœ“À>µ>˜` now resident in Dubai, calligrapher Wissam -…>܎>Ì܈i>`>Ìܜ‡ …œÕÀܜÀŽÃ…œ«>Ì ÕLi ƂÀÌà Ài>̈Ûi i˜ÌÀiˆ˜

 >˜`«ÀœÛˆ`i>˜ introduction to Arabic calligraphy. All materials >Ài«ÀœÛˆ`i`>˜`̅i ܜÀŽÃ…œ«VœÃÌÃÎääƂ  (or free for students with student cards). March 11, 2-4pm and 7-9pm,


March // 2015


SIX of the BEST

FAMILY SAFARIS Take a walk on the wild side, where little ones are just as welcome as big kids

1. Wilpattu Leopard Safari, Sri Lanka

Noel and the rest of the team at Leopard Safaris are the most knowledgeable animal experts around, and their resort in Wilpattu National Park is packed full of fascinating animals – not least plenty of leopards to spot. Kids of any age are welcomed, and there are even baby cots, car seats and chairs for youngsters to go on grownup safaris. Plus, the staff try to educate kids with games like a footprint memory challenge and nature art classes.



2. Sosian Safari Lodge, Laikipia Plateau, Kenya

Sosian is a 24,000 acre private wildlife and cattle ranch in the heart of Kenya, and for ten March // 2015

years has perfected the balance of cattle farming and wildlife conservation. The lodge itself was built in the 1940s by Italian artisans, and accommodates up to 14 people. Sosian offers a huge range of activities


including walking, horse-riding, camel safaris, game-drives, ˜ˆ}…̇`ÀˆÛiÃ]wň˜}]>ÀV…iÀÞ] tennis and swimming in the stunning natural waterfalls behind the lodge. sosian.ccm

3. Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, Gansbaia, South Africa

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/…iwÛi‡ÃÌ>À]vÀiiÃÌ>˜`ˆ˜} luxury suites at Grootbos are just one of the reasons families will love staying here. Other reasons include the chance to see the “Marine Big 5” – whales, sharks, dolphins, penguins

and seals, as well as the usual land-based beasts. Toddlers will love the gentle pony treks through the wilderness, which are a great introduction to a lifetime of animal interest.


March // 2015



4. Madagascar Family Safari

Lacking in the big game and wiÀVi«Ài`>̜ÀÃœvˆÌÃƂvÀˆV>˜ relatives, Madagascar offers a unique and hands on experience vœÀ>v>“ˆÞÃ>v>Àˆ°ƂÀ>˜}iœv weird and wonderful insects and reptiles can be discovered and closely inspected, and of course the instant appeal of cuddly lemurs is magnetic for children. Madagascar’s fascinating history of evolution, since separating vÀœ“ƂvÀˆV>Èx“ˆˆœ˜Þi>ÀÃ>}œ] makes it of real interest for parents too.


5. Arabian Wildlife Park, Sir Bani Yas Island, Abu Dhabi


Many beautiful animals can be spotted right at home in the 1Ƃ °"˜-ˆÀ >˜ˆ9>ÃÏ>˜`] ̅iƂÀ>Lˆ>˜7ˆ`ˆvi*>ÀŽˆÃ home to more than 10,000 free roaming animals and takes up more than half of the island. Visitors can now get up close and personal, at eyelevel, with the island’s giraffes from a purpose-built viewing platform made completely from recycled materials. There are >ÃœƂÀ>Lˆ>˜œÀÞÝ]}>âiiÃ] …Þi˜>Ã>˜`V…iiÌ>…Ã̜w˜`°

March // 2015


6 77

Photo: Mahout UK/Sujan

6. India Family Safari

India’s incredible diversity also extends to its wildlife. i«…>˜ÌÃ]À>Ài-˜œÜiœ«>À`à and slithering snakes can all be

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spotted, but the most famous and rare residents of the country >ÀiˆÌÃLi>ṎvՏ̈}iÀðƂ/ˆ}iÀà & Temples tour combines wildlife and culture, and kids will be in no danger of getting

bored when activities like kite yވ˜}]ii«…>˜Ì«œœ]VÞVi rides and delicious picnics are ˆ˜ÛœÛi`°,i>Ý>˜`ÀiyiVÌi>V… night at the luxurious Rambagh Palace.

March // 2015


Burn rubber in


Be part of the action at the Bahrain Grand Prix 2015


he Bahrain Grand Prix is one of the most exciting of the season, and, as the fourth À>Vi]“>ÀŽÃ̅iwÀÃÌ̈“i̅i }Àˆ`܈Ì>Ži>ÀiVœ}˜ˆÃ>LiÅ>«i and show some hints about who will prevail over the coming months. As the world superstars of racing «œÜiÀ>ÀœÕ˜`̅ix°{Ž“ÌÀ>VŽ] including Schumacher Corner (the organizers announced their `iVˆÃˆœ˜̜˜>“i̅iwÀÃÌVœÀ˜iÀ œv̅iÌÀ>VŽ>vÌiÀ̅iLJ̈“i champion in February 2014, >vÌiÀ…ˆÃΈˆ˜}>VVˆ`i˜Ì®] crowds of thousands will roar them on. You can get away for >˜>V̈œ˜‡«>VŽi`ÜiiŽi˜` LÞÌ>Žˆ˜}>`Û>˜Ì>}iœv̅ˆÃ ÌiÀÀˆwVœvviÀvÀœ“`˜>Ì>° To make a booking call +971 4 316 6666 or visit



Hotel Category: 4* Check-in: April 17 Check-out: April 20 Starting Price: AED4,250 per person based on min. 2-pax travelling together


Includes: U ,iÌÕÀ˜iVœ˜œ“ÞV>ÃÃyˆ}…Ì̈VŽiÌ (Dubai – Bahrain – Dubai) U 3-nights’ accommodation on twin / double sharing basis U >ˆÞLÀi>Žv>ÃÌ


March // 2015


·`>ÞÀ>VïVŽï˜6ˆV̜ÀÞÀ>˜` stand Return airport transfers in a saloon car Return circuit transfers on all 3-days in a saloon car All taxes and service fees

Price Excludes: U 6ˆÃ>>««ˆV>̈œ˜Éviià U Ƃ˜ÞœÌ…iÀˆÌi“ØœÌëiVˆwV>Þ mentioned under inclusions above

Note: U All prices are starting from and subject to change at the time of LœœŽˆ˜} U We are not holding any reservations at this point U Passenger passport copies ÀiµÕˆÀi`̜“>Ži>LœœŽˆ˜} U ƂÃ>iÃ}œÛiÀ˜i`LÞ*>``œVŽ Club Terms & Conditions U dnata Terms and conditions of sale will apply

Exceptional, indigenous, experience. Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa is a luxurious Bedouin encampment in the desert, 45 minutes from Dubai. Built to be a conservation-led resort and situated on a total of 225 square kilometres pristine desert landscape, Al Maha is home to 42 private guest suites and a boardroom for 120 guests. Diverse wildlife and desert activities including camel trekking and desert safaris ensure exceptional experiences for every guest whilst the Timeless Spa serves the guest with a truly rejuvenating and relaxing experience.

LIFE IS A COLLECTION OF EXPERIENCES LET US BE YOUR GUIDE Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa is a luxurious Bedouin encampment in the desert, 45 minutes from Dubai. For more information please contact 971 4 8329900 or visit

brought to you by

World Traveller Weekend Offers UAE


Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara 3 nights from USD245 per person. Special offer: 25% room rate reduction Includes: Stay in a Deluxe Room with breakfast daily. Validity: Now ‘til April 30, 2015 Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and Spa 3 nights from USD490 per person Special offer: 20% room rate reduction Includes: Stay in a Superior Room with breakfast daily Validity: Now ‘til March 31, 2015 Burj Al Arab 1 night from USD800 per person. Special offer: 35% discount on rate, includes stay for 3 children including breakfast, unlimited complimentary access to Wild Wadi, 50% discount on F&B for children up to 11 years, complimentary access to Sindbad Kids Club for 3 children Includes: Stay in a One bedroom deluxe suite including breakfast daily Validity: Now ‘til May 9, 2015 The St. Regis Abu Dhabi 1 night from USD145 per person. Special offer: 25% discount including free upgrade to half board. Includes: Stay in a Superior Room including breakfast daily. Validity: Now ‘til April 2015.

InterContinental Muscat 2 nights from USD261 per person. Special offer: 30% room rate reduction plus complimentary WIFI access. Includes: Stay in a Mountain View Room with breakfast daily. Validity: Now ‘til March 31, 2015 (offer only applicable Thursday, Friday and Saturday with minimum 2 night stay). InterContinental Muscat

The St. Regis Abu Dhabi

Alila Jabal Akhdar 2 nights from USD384 per person Special offer: Complimentary upgrade to Half Board plus a guaranteed late check-out till 4pm, complimentary WIFI access and complimentary Lifestyle Experience based on weekly schedule. Includes: Stay in a Mountain View Room with breakfast daily. Validity: Now ‘til March 31, 2015 (offer only applicable with minimum 2 night stay).

Bab Al Shams


Alila Jabal Akhdar World Traveller

March // 2015




QUICK READS Four poolside companions


Vida Downtown Dubai certainly looks impressive. What makes it stand out? Catering to younger business and leisure travellers who demand all the frills of modern luxury travel but none of the fuss, Vida Downtown Dubai is all about understated cool. There are 156 chic rooms decorated in neutral colours and featuring stylish furnishings. And the location on Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard in the heart of Downtown is pretty hard to beat.

Tell us about the dining options. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s plenty to choose from. 3in1 is a contemporary restaurant serving international Oriental cuisine with a modern twist, while Toko offers modern â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;izakayaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; style dining, with contemporary and traditional Japanese dishes in stunning surrounds. Visitors can also unwind at La Serre Bistro and Boulangerie, an organic space set over two levels with the rustic charm of a Parisian boulangerie.

The hotel is pretty tech-savvy, right? It sure is. Guests can check-in via iPad and take advantage of complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel. They can browse the Internet, watch movies, and play video games on the in-room HDTV, and even register their requests remotely with the concierge and housekeeping. The Connect Desk, meanwhile, is a handy business hub in the lobby with desktop computers and wireless printers.

Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve heard the pool is pretty special. The outdoor swimming pool is one of the most stylish in town. Surrounded by cabanas, guests can sunbathe by day and chill out by night with smooth DJ sounds. *Â&#x153;Â&#x153;Â?Ă&#x192;Â&#x2C6;`iÂ&#x2C6;Ă&#x192;`iwÂ&#x2DC;Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x152;iÂ?Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x152;Â&#x2026;iÂŤÂ?>ViĂ&#x152;Â&#x153;LiÂ&#x153;Â&#x2DC; Fridays when 3in1 hosts its popular Urban Picnic brunch from 1pm until 5pm. Vida supplies blankets, baskets and delicious cuisine, from inventive salads, tarts and pizzas to succulent grills and desserts.

H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald is a stunning emotional tour de force of a woman learning about the death of her father.


John Le Carreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s The Looking Glass War was the follow-up novel to Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and just as good â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 50 this month.


World Traveller has teamed up with Vida Downtown Dubai to offer one lucky reader a two-night stay for two people, including breakfast.


Beneath the Surface: Killer Whales, SeaWorld and the Truth Beyond Â?>VÂ&#x17D;wĂ&#x192;Â&#x2026;Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x192;Â&#x153;Â&#x2026;Â&#x2DC;>Ă&#x20AC;}Ă&#x20AC;Â&#x153;Ă&#x203A;i½Ă&#x192;>VVÂ&#x153;Ă&#x2022;Â&#x2DC;Ă&#x152; of becoming an orca trainer.

To be in with a chance of winning, answer this question: How long does Vida Downtown Dubaiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Urban Brunch last? A) 1 hour B) 4 hours C) 5 hours



Email your answer to easywin@ by March 31, 2015. Terms and conditions apply to the prize.

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Kenny Wright is a normal kid with a secret identity. He is the titular Public School Superhero, in James Pattersonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hilarious comic-style book.

March // 2015



Imperial Suite Where:

Waldorf Astoria, Ras Al Khaimah About:

Perched at the very top of the luxurious Waldorf Astoria in the up-and-coming Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, the King Imperial Suite is 422-squaremetres of sheer opulence. The suite is situated over two yœœÀÃ>˜`…>ÈÌÜܘ«ÀˆÛ>Ìi internal staircase. The king bedroom has an en-suite bathroom, the living room comes complete with a grand piano and there’s also a fully stocked kitchen. Perhaps the w˜iÃÌ«œˆ˜ÌˆÃ̅i«>˜œÀ>“ˆV balcony which runs a full 360-degrees around the outside of the suite, allowing sun-worshippers to catch a tan all day long. Details like the hotel’s emblematic peacock feathers are found on the exterior doors, not that you’ll want to leave the suite after parting with AED70,000 for a night’s stay.


March // 2015


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World Traveller Mar'15  

The Middle East’s highest-circulating travel magazine

World Traveller Mar'15  

The Middle East’s highest-circulating travel magazine

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