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November 2014

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Issue Seventy Nine ENCHANTING






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Chalitha Fernando To contact any of the above people, email

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Tracey Scott

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

TR ACEY@HOTMEDIAPUBLISHING.COM The Taj Mahal in Agra, India. Photographer: Shanna Baker.

World Traveller

Folk this side of the world have spent the past month preparing for, and partaking in, some of 2014’s most celebrated events – Diwali, Eid, Halloween. But rather than let our readers rest and recover, we’ve picked up the baton and charged towards a handful of destinations worthy of their own celebration. First up: Vienna, with a pensioner in tow. Few cities capture the build-up to the festive season quite like the Austrian capital and our writer (plus mother) embark on a winter waltz to remember (page 36). If, like me, you loved Rome before you even touched down at its airport, you won’t want to miss Dana Facaros’s 20 steps for the perfect weekend in the Eternal City on page 58. Moving continents, to South America, and ruptured blocks of ice as big as houses fail to put off Laura Holt, who takes to the Patagonian plains like a duck to water (page 52). Finally, as the festive countdown begins, we round up the best short-haul shopping locations, using Dubai as your base. Ready, set, shop.



November // 2014


Be Here Now From Europe’s best festive markets to Jo’burg’s coolest cultural district, here’s what’s hot this month.


Style & Wellness Scents made exclusively for the Middle East, plus menonly treats.


Golden Girl Nick Redman takes his mum for a city break in glamorous Vienna.


Marvels of the Mughals A whistle-stop tour of Delhi and Agra reveals Shah Jahan’s architectural triumphs.



Iconic Oman From mosques to mountains, we explore the highlights of the Sultanate.



In Plain Sight Laura Holt heads to Patagonia in search of an elusive feline friend.


Roman Holiday Overwhelmed by Rome? We’ve got your weekend sorted in 20 easy steps.


Everything you need to know about short-haul adventures.



Six of the best... Shopping spots within easy reach of the region. 4


Clé Time Greg Malouf gives us the lowdown on his debut restaurant in Dubai.

74 November // 2014

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Check In Be Here Now MOZ A M BIQU E , A FR ICA Hugging the Mozambique coast, the Quirimbas Archipelago is one of the country’s best-kept secrets. Not for long, though. Currently being considered for World Heritage Site status, the 250km-long archipelago includes the Quirimbas National Park, an underwater sanctuary for sea turtles, dolphins and whales, along with 32 pristine coral islands. Just opened is Anantara Medjumbe Island Resort & Spa, reached by a 45-minute seaplane ride from


November // 2014

Pemba on the mainland. In true barefoot luxury style, the 12 thatched beach villas each come with a private pool and hammock for guaranteed seclusion, while the spa is as amazing as you’d expect from a brand renowned for its pampering. There are a dozen known dive sites surrounding the island, with fringing reefs, coral banks and vertical and sloping reef walls, and countless more just waiting to be discovered.


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Be Here Now M YA N M A R , A S I A Myanmar’s Bagan Temples are one of the world’s greatest archaeological sites, rivalling Cambodia’s Angkor Wat or Machu Picchu in Peru – but without the crowds. Framed by distant mountains, hundreds of red brick pagodas rise up from the green delta plain creating a stunning silhouette. The kings of ancient Bagan built more than 4,400 temples between 1057 and 1287. Today, around

half are still standing. The best time to visit is from November to March when temperatures top a pleasant 30°C, while the best view of the sprawling site is from the air. Hot-air balloon yˆ}…ÌÏi>Ûi>Ì`>ܘ]«ÀœÛˆ`ˆ˜} a bird’s-eye view of the temples ­Ã՘ÃiÌyˆ}…ÌÃ>Ài>Ãœ>Û>ˆ>Li®° >VŽœ˜ÌiÀÀ>wÀ“>]…ˆÀi>}Ո`i to show you some of the best out-of-the-way temples by bicycle.


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Globetrotter The Lowdown

From European festive markets to pop art Down Under, here’s all that’s hot in the world of travel this month



Even if you don’t celebrate next month’s seasonal holiday, an al fresco festive market – complete with twinkling lights, carol singers and mouth-watering aromas – is pretty hard to beat. Originating in Germany but now popping up all over the globe, Europe’s wintry markets still get our vote as the most atmospheric. Here are three of our favourites…


The Czech capital hosts a number of lively markets, with the largest ones held in medieval Wenceslas Square and Old Town Square. They’re famed for their dazzling lights and …Õ˜`Ài`ÃœvÃÌ>ÃœÛiÀyœÜˆ˜}܈̅ÌÀ>`ˆÌˆœ˜>

âiV…ÌÀi>ÌψŽiÛ?˜œʼn˜‰VՎÀœÛ‰­viÃ̈Ûi cookies). STAY AT… Hotel Kings Court, a neoRenaissance gem near Wenceslas Square.


Ü>Àvi`LÞ>£ääv̇Ì>wÀÌÀii]՘ˆV…½Ãœ`iÃÌ viÃ̈Ûi“>ÀŽiÌÌ>Žië>Vi>Ì>Àˆi˜«>Ìâ]܈̅ stalls selling handmade Bavarian crafts, sweets and sausages and warm Glühwein. There’s live music every evening at 5.30pm from the balcony of the Town Hall. STAY AT… Kempinski Vier Jahreszeiten, sleek, sophisticated and moments from Marienplatz.


A centuries-old tradition sees nativity scenes displayed around the city, with shoppers yœVŽˆ˜}̜6ˆ>->˜Ài}œÀˆœƂÀ“i˜œ̜LÕÞ …>˜`VÀ>vÌi`w}ÕÀˆ˜ið/…i˜i>ÀLÞvœœ`“>ÀŽiÌ] Porta Nolana, is the place to stock up on traditional susamielli and mustaccioli cookies. STAY AT… Hotel San Francesco Al Monte, a former monastery overlooking the ocean.

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SYDNEY GOES POP Sydney’s summer season gets off to a colourful start, as the Art Gallery of New South Wales launches the most comprehensive collection of pop art ever to be seen Down Under. Pop to Popism features 200 works by more than 70 of pop’s greatest artists, including Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, David Hockney, Jeff Koons, Brett Whiteley, Richard Hamilton and Cindy Sherman.


Ƃ/-"/"*Ƃ ƂƂ It’s been 15 years in the making, but Panama

ˆÌ޽Ïœ˜}‡>Ü>ˆÌi` ˆœ“ÕÃiœ­ÕÃiՓœv ˆœ`ˆÛiÀÈÌÞ®…>Ãw˜>Þœ«i˜i`° iÈ}˜i`LÞ renowned architect Frank Gehry, the eyepopping technicolour structure is devoted to the Central American nation’s vibrant ecosystems. The US$100 million project also features a six-acre Biodiversity Park full of exotic plant varieties, which the architect also had a hand in designing. November // 2014


Frank Gehry is at it again, this time in Paris, as ĂŒÂ…iÂœĂ•ÂˆĂƒ6Ă•ÂˆĂŒĂŒÂœÂ˜ÂœĂ•Â˜`>ĂŒÂˆÂœÂ˜ÂœÂŤiÂ˜ĂƒÂˆĂŒ`ÂœÂœĂ€Ăƒˆ˜ the 16th arrondissement. Inside Gehry’s saillike structure is an exhibition space devoted to contemporary art and architecture, along ĂœÂˆĂŒÂ…>ĂƒĂœÂˆĂƒÂ…Ă€iĂƒĂŒ>Ă•Ă€>Â˜ĂŒvĂ€ÂœÂ“ˆVÂ…iÂ?ÂˆÂ˜Â‡ĂƒĂŒ>ÀÀi` VÂ…ivi>˜‡ÂœĂ•ÂˆĂƒ œ“ˆVÂœĂƒÂ°i>Â˜ĂœÂ…ÂˆÂ?i]ÂœĂ›iĂ€ˆ˜ ĂŒÂ…iV…ˆV>Ă€>ÂˆĂƒ`ÂˆĂƒĂŒĂ€ÂˆVĂŒ]ĂŒÂ…iĂœÂœĂ€Â?`‡ÀiÂ˜ÂœĂœÂ˜i` *ˆV>ĂƒĂƒÂœĂ•ĂƒiՓÂ…>ĂƒĂ€iÂœÂŤi˜i`vÂœÂ?Â?ÂœĂœÂˆÂ˜}> lengthy renovation, with over 5,000 paintings, ĂƒVĂ•Â?ÂŤĂŒĂ•Ă€iĂƒ>˜`ÂŤĂ€ÂˆÂ˜ĂŒĂƒ`ÂˆĂƒÂŤÂ?>Ăži`ÂœĂ›iĂ€wĂ›iyÂœÂœĂ€ĂƒÂ°


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With the sixth edition of Abu Dhabi Art kicking off from November 5-8, Taste of Abu Dhabi in town from 6-8 and the season ending Formula One Grand Prix taking place on November 21-23, the nation’s capital is the place to be. As part of the annual >Ă€ĂŒv>ÂˆĂ€]>˜>Ă€>ĂŒĆ‚Â?->>`ÂˆĂž>ĂŒ hosts Seeing Through Light, an exhibition of works bound for the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Â­Ă•Â˜ĂŒÂˆÂ?>Â˜Ă•>ÀÞxŽ°"Ă›iĂ€œ˜ Yas Island, foodies can enjoy live cooking demonstrations and tastings by a host of top chefs including Eric Lanlard and Jun Tanaka, while Pharrell Williams and The Who will be doing their thing at the postrace concerts on November 22 and 23. And shopaholics will be dusting off their credit V>Ă€`Ăƒ>Ăƒ9>Ăƒ>Â?Â?qĂƒiĂŒĂŒÂœLi the UAE’s second largest shopping centre – makes its much-anticipated debut.


Top of our lust-list is the new SujĂĄn Rajmahal Palace in Rajasthan. Built in 1729, the pink-hued former home of the >Â…>Ă€>Â?>Â…>ĂƒLii˜Li>Ă•ĂŒÂˆvĂ•Â?Â?ÞÀiĂƒĂŒÂœĂ€i` with 20 suites featuring bold colours and intricate chandeliers.



Heading to Halong Bay? Forget the four-hour, overland Â…>Ă•Â?vĂ€ÂœÂ“>˜œˆq6ˆiĂŒÂ˜>Â“Â˝Ăƒ wĂ€ĂƒĂŒĂƒi>ÂŤÂ?>˜iĂƒiĂ€Ă›ÂˆViÂ…>Ăƒ just launched, cutting travel time to just 30 minutes. The 12-passenger planes touch `ÂœĂœÂ˜>ĂŒ/Ă•>˜ Â…>Ă•>Ă€ÂˆÂ˜>] followed by a scenic trip aboard the Emeraude ferry to to the World Heritage wonder.

November // 2014


Start planning your next foodie ĂŒÂœĂ•Ă€\ĂŒÂ…iˆVÂ…iÂ?ˆ˜Ă•Âˆ`ix has dished out its coveted stars to restaurants around the world. London welcomed six newcomers including Jason Atherton’s City Social and Simon Rogan’s Fera at Claridge’s, while New York saw 17 new arrivals, with more than half in Brooklyn and Queens. We can’t wait for Atherton’s return to Dubai later this year ĂœÂ…i˜Â…iĂœÂˆÂ?Â?ÂœÂŤi˜Â…ÂˆĂƒwĂ€ĂƒĂŒ Ă€iĂƒĂŒ>Ă•Ă€>Â˜ĂŒˆ˜ĂŒÂ…iˆ``Â?i >ĂƒĂŒ at the InterContinental Dubai >Ă€ÂˆÂ˜>°





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Kolkata is nicknamed the ‘City of Joy’ after the 1985 novel by Dominique Lapierre about life in the slums. It was made into >w“ˆ˜£™™Ó°

The Calcutta Cricket & Football Club, founded in 1792, is the world’s second oldest cricket club after England’s Marylebone Cricket Club (founded 1787).






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to reject















Geneva Sotheby’s ‘100-carat man’, David Bennett, reveals his cultural highlights and favourite hang-outs in Switzerland’s second city… Start your day on the terrace of Hotel Le Richemond set on the banks of Lake Geneva – it catches the sun in the morning – and stay at the Beau Rivage, one of the last remaining family-run luxury hotels in Geneva and a ‘palace’ in the true French sense of the word. Then spend your morning exploring the Baur Foundation, a wonderful collection of 9,000 Chinese and Japanese objects spanning a thousand years, from ceramics and jade ̜«Àˆ˜ÌÃ>˜`ÃܜÀ`wÌ̈˜}Ã] located in a townhouse in the heart of the city. For luxury shopping, head to Rue du Rhône in the Old Town, which is lined with prestigious boutiques such as Patek Philippe and Valentino. Bon Génie on nearby Rue du Marché, meanwhile, remains the city’s go-to luxury department store; spread >VÀœÃÃÃiÛi˜yœœÀÃ]ˆÌLœ>ÃÌà a very decent restaurant, too.

And make time to explore Parc des Eaux Vives, a grand, sweeping park that leads down to the lakeside within view of the huge Jet d’Eau fountain. When it Vœ“iÃ̜w˜i`ˆ˜ˆ˜}]ޜսÀi spoilt for choice. Try the new Japanese restaurant Izumi on the rooftop of the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues, with a 360-degree view over Geneva, the lake and mountains. Il Mirtillo, meanwhile, has excellent Italian food; Michelin-starred Rasoi by Vineet offers ˜`ˆ>˜w˜i`ˆ˜ˆ˜}Æ܅ˆiThe Tse Fung has a delicious Chinese menu. And don’t leave without booking a table aboard one of the restored paddleboats that head out onto the lake. Enjoy the culinary skills of Philippe Chevrier, a local chef who’s been awarded a Michelin star, as you take the leisurely cruise to the medieval French town of Yvoire and back.


All the media you need, whatever your journey Book








Damien Rice

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson goes on an epic journey through ancient Greece as the titular hero. Swords, sandals and a whole lot of busting heads ensues.

Find yourself in a strange city with no cash? This simple app covers 220 countries and will direct you to your nearest ATM.

Zoe Sugg The YouTube sensation known as Zoella releases her surprisingly assured debut romance novel.

World Traveller

Folk superstar stages his comeback after an eightyear hiatus, with a haunting yet delicate album of ballads.

November // 2014


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Chef ’s TOP TABLES WT caught up with MasterChef Australia judge and restaurateur George Calombaris during a recent trip to Dubai. iÀi]…i«ˆVŽÃ…ˆÃ̜«wÛiܜÀ`܈`i dining destinations and dishes.

The Fat Duck, Bray, UK ORDER: The Sound of the Sea

The pleasure of being in this industry is being able to sit there and eat and be inspired by others. I’ve discovered some amazing dishes that have given me an insight into a person and where they’re going. The Sound of the Sea at the Fat Duck, for me, is an amazing example of how food can touch every sense. Heston is someone I look ̜vœÀˆ˜Ã«ˆÀ>̈œ˜>˜`À՘“Þw˜i`ˆ˜ˆ˜}ŽˆÌV…i˜ÜÀÌœv like his, in terms of a development kitchen.


Le Pyramide, Vienne, France Le Pyramide has been serving this dish for years and years, and it’s just so classic and beautiful. I sat in the kitchen that night and ate dinner and it was just one of those experiences. I can still smell them opening that dish, the chicken comes out and you can smell the Madeira, the shallots, the garlic, the sweetness of it all was just incredible.


Kiki’s Tavern, Mykonos, Greece ORDER: Lamb kebab

Kiki’s is a little tavern on the quiet side of Mykonos. There’s no gas, no electricity, they just barbecue chops and salads, and I’m eating this thinking, “this is one of the best things I’ve eaten in my life”. It’s simplicity, they aren’t chefs, and there are no Michelin stars on their front door. It’s just honesty, and for me that’s a wonderful thing. It’s the Chanel theory – before you send the model out, take something off. November // 2014

Photo courtesy of

ORDER: Bresse chicken en vessie


1. Burger Joint, New York 2. Kiki’s Tavern, Mykonos 3. The Fat Duck, Bray 4. Home-cooked Avgolemono Soup

Photo courtesy of @lapyramidepatrickhenriroux

5. La Pyramide, Vienne



The Burger Joint, New York, US ORDER: Classic hamburger

In New York there’s a very cool place called the Burger ÂœÂˆÂ˜ĂŒÂ°ĂŒÂ˝Ăƒˆ˜>wĂ›iÂ‡ĂƒĂŒ>Ă€Â…ÂœĂŒiÂ?]i*>ÀŽiĂ€iĂ€Âˆ`ˆi˜°ĂœiÂ˜ĂŒ there with my two buddies and we sniffed our way into the place and found what was a really cool burger. Don’t get me wrong, what you’re eating must be wonderful, but the company that I was with and journey through New York City made it a meal to remember. For me, that’s humbling and wonderful.

My mother’s house, Greece ORDER: Avgolemono

4. World Traveller

As random as it sounds, my mum and her house – even though it’s not a restaurant. Growing up, her egg and lemon soup (a simple Greek soup) made me feel great when I was sick. It’s that nourishing aspect that food can give you, the idea that food is medicine, and I wish the world would see food more like that. The recipe is in one of my books and it’s always been a favourite. November // 2014





The Maboneng Precinct, Johannesburg Once a no-go zone, this square-kilometre on the east side of Jo’burg’s CBD is now a thriving cultural district, thanks to twenty-something entrepreneur Jonathan Liebmann. In 2008, inspired by creative quarters such as London’s Shoreditch during his gap year travels, Liebmann started buying old buildings in the area and recruited architect Enrico Daffonchio to help him create a vibrant mixed-use community that would draw the city’s creative types. His plan worked. Today, Maboneng, meaning ‘Place of Light’, is home to restaurants, boutiques, galleries and an independent cinema, loft apartments and artist studios. Check-in to one of the quirky rooms at 12 Decades Art Hotel – each one is designed by a different local artist to represent a decade in the city’s colourful history – then make a beeline for Arts on Main. The warehouse is home to funky clothing boutiques such as Black Coffee Fashion, Love Jozi and Dtle, along with contemporary art galleries including Goethe on Main and Rubixcube Gallery. Local modern art icons such as William Kentridge – whose works have fetched more than US$1 million at auction – also have studios here. Make sure you stop by I Was Shot in Joburg, which teaches former


Inspiring ideas for your bucket list

…ride the Trans-Siberian 20

The mother of all train journeys snakes its way across Russia from east and west. The longest of the three routes, from Moscow to Vladivostok, covers 9,258km and passes through iˆ}…Ì̈“i✘ið/…iÌܜœÌ…iÀÀœÕÌiÃw˜ˆÃ…Õ«ˆ˜ iˆˆ˜}ۈ> Harbin or Mongolia. The latter is considered by many to be the most scenic, passing through endless steppe and thick taiga before skirting Lake Baikal, the world’s deepest freshwater lake, and rolling through the Gobi Desert into China. The public train …>Ãv>ˆÀÞL>ÈVwÀÃ̇>˜`ÃiVœ˜`‡V>ÃÃV>Lˆ˜Ã]Üë>ÅœÕÌœ˜ the private Golden Eagle Luxury Trains, which offers a variety of itineraries throughout the year.

November // 2014

street children photography skills. On Sundays and the wÀÃÌ/…ÕÀÃ`>ÞiÛi˜ˆ˜}œv the month, the warehouse hosts Market On Main, a food market with everything from boerewors (beef sausage) rolls to Ethiopian curries, as well as locally designed furniture, clothing and craft. The Museum of African Design (MOAD), meanwhile, bills itself as ƂvÀˆV>½ÃwÀÃÌ`iÈ}˜“ÕÃiՓ and showcases mixedmedia works by pan-African artists in restored art deco surrounds. Stomach rumbling? Head to Fox and Kruger Streets, the district’s dining epicentre, and take your pick from over 20 independent eateries. Highlights include The Blackanese Sushi & Wine Bar, which serves afro-fusion creations (biltong sushi, anyone?) and a convivial prawn braai (barbecue) on Sundays, and House of Baobab, a local favourite for its authentic African cuisine and regular drumming iÛi˜ˆ˜}ð >ÌV…>yˆVŽ>Ì The Bioscope, which shows underground documentaries, ˆ˜˜œÛ>̈ÛiœV>w“Ã>˜` global indie cinema, or a fringe theatre performance by up-and-coming actors and comedians at POPArt. Then w˜ˆÃ…œvv܈̅>˜ˆ}…ÌV>«>Ì Lenin’s, which specialises in the famous Russian spirit.





Ă€ÂœÂ“yÂœ>ĂŒÂˆÂ˜}ĂŒÂœĂƒĂŒĂ€iiĂŒÂ‡ĂƒÂˆ`i]ĂŒÂ…i“>ÀŽiĂŒĂƒˆ˜/Â…>ˆÂ?>˜`Â˝ĂƒV>ÂŤÂˆĂŒ>Â?>Ă€i Â?i}i˜`>ÀÞ°7iĂŒĂ€>ĂœÂ?vÂœĂ•Ă€ÂœvÂˆĂŒĂƒLĂ•ĂƒÂˆiĂƒĂŒ



Chatuchak Market Touted as Bangkok’s biggest weekend market, visitors have 15,000 stalls sprawled across 35 acres to explore. Open 6am till 6pm, wear your comfortable shoes and bring a fan (it can get a little heated when bargaining for your wares).

Grand Palace If you only visit one temple in the city, this is it. Built in the 1700s, it’s a Thai landmark and packed with historical references. From the palace wander over to Chinatown, a œ˜i‡ŽˆÂ?œ“iĂŒĂ€iĂƒĂŒĂ€ÂˆÂŤVĂ€>““i` ĂœÂˆĂŒÂ…ĂƒĂŒĂ€iiĂŒÂ‡ĂƒÂˆ`iV>vĂŠs and VĂ•Â?ˆ˜>ÀÞLÂœÂ?ĂŒÂ‡Â…ÂœÂ?iĂƒÂ°

Pak Klong Talad (Flower Market) Ă›iÀÞyÂœĂœiÀ‡}Ă€ÂœĂœÂˆÂ˜}Ă€i}ˆœ˜ in the country sells their buds, blooms and bouquets at this kaleidoscopic market. Open 24 hours, refuel while you browse with a cup of grilled skewers from one of the many street vendors.

Sky Bar, Lebua State Tower Capture the city in all its glory at this vertiginous rooftop bar. Offering up one of the best views of Bangkok, order a cocktail, elbow your way to the bar’s edge and capture ĂŒÂ…>ĂŒÂŤÂœĂƒĂŒV>Ă€`‡iĂ€viVĂŒÂ…ÂœÂ?ˆ`>Ăž snap.

Asiatique Night Market Located along the Chao Phraya River, this night bazaar offers upwards of 1,500 shops and restaurants. Open from 6pm until midnight, hop on the BTS (transit system) to Taksin station and board the Asiatique shuttle ferry to the market. Talingchan Floating Market Located on Chak Phra Canal, this is one of Bangkok’s less crowded waterborne markets. Once you’ve devoured some vĂ€iĂƒÂ…Ăƒi>vœœ`Ă€ÂˆĂ›iĂ€Â‡ĂƒÂˆ`i] board a longtail boat and cruise the nearby canals.

Elephant polo Time your trip with the annual Anantara King’s Cup Elephant *ÂœÂ?Âœ/ÂœĂ•Ă€Â˜>“iÂ˜ĂŒ]>ĂœiiŽ‡Â?œ˜} event which sees 50 street iÂ?iÂŤÂ…>Â˜ĂŒĂƒÂŤÂœĂ•Â˜`ĂŒÂ…iwiÂ?`Ăƒ at Bangkok’s Siam Polo Park. Don’t miss feeding time, when the outsized mammals devour a fruit buffet in record time. Nahm Before you bade farewell to Bangkok, book a table at Nahm, the winner of this year’s Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. Here, Thailand’s ĂƒÂˆ}˜>ĂŒĂ•Ă€iy>Ă›ÂœĂ•Ă€ĂƒÂ­ĂƒÂœĂ•Ă€] sweet, salt and spice) are used to delicious effect.

The insider...

From urban to Japanese, Thanarat Menbangphung from InterContinental Bangkok goes in search of three spa escapes... For an urban spa experience head to the Spa InterContinental at the InterContinental Bangkok and book the Signature Package – the perfect way to try the famed Thai massage. The Rasayana Retreat is the ideal

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spot to detox, with its raw vœœ`“iÂ˜Ă•>˜``iĂŒÂœĂ?ˆwV>ĂŒÂˆÂœÂ˜ programme. A unique spa treatment can be found at the Yunomori Onsen & Spa, the wĂ€ĂƒĂŒ>Ă•ĂŒÂ…iÂ˜ĂŒÂˆV>ÂŤ>˜iĂƒiÂœÂ˜Ăƒi˜ in Thailand.

November // 2014

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Secret LONDON You may be a seasoned visitor to London, but there’s always something new to discover there. WT has the inside track on the city’s lesser-known and newest gems…

The Stafford London courtyard

Wiltons Corner Table


Brown Hart Gardens

The shop that’s full of surprises

The steak that’s a cut above

The clandestine club

If you didn’t know what lay behind its nondescript doors, you’d merrily walk by London’s Light Night Chameleon Café (abbreviated to LN-CC) without ever guessing that it houses one of the city’s most bewildering retail spaces. You’ll have to do more than simply pop your head in to take note (entry is also by appointment œ˜Þ®]>Ãœ˜Viˆ˜Ãˆ`iޜսw˜`ޜÕÀÃiv walking in a sometimes light, sometimes dark, lair-like area that design-wise is more space station than shop, save for the tree house, obviously. Cutting-edge fashions are its main driver, but you’ll also come across a library, gallery and record store when LN-CC reopens before the end of the year. LN-CC, 18-24 Shacklewell Lane

There are a copious amount of steak restaurants in London, each laying claim to ÃiÀۈ˜}̅iÛiÀÞw˜iÃÌVÕÌð/…iœ˜Þ«>Vi that can back up its claim with indisputable facts is Boisdale of Belgravia. Here, as much >ÌÌi˜Ìˆœ˜ˆÃ}ˆÛi˜̜̅iw˜iÀ`iÌ>ˆÃœv“i>Ì production (how it’s sourced, matured and LÕÌV…iÀi`®>ÈÃ}ˆÛi˜̜̅iw˜>«>Ìi that’s served up to eagerly awaiting diners, which means that whichever one of the six signature cuts (or the special seventh, the Cut of the Day) you order you can be sure that it’s as good as steak gets in London, particularly when you opt for a slice of Ãi>Ài`vœˆi}À>Ã>˜`vÀiÅL>VŽÌÀÕvyià to go atop it. Boisdale of Belgravia, 15 Eccleston Street

It’s an open secret that in Berners Tavern, The London Edition boasts the most beautiful restaurant in all of London. But what’s little known about this Fitzroviabased hotel (in all aspects a vivacious mix of classic and cool) is that its basement holds one of the capital’s best nightclubs, imaginatively named The Basement. It’s on the crest of a wave of nightlife venues that have recently opened inside London hotels, and the man behind it (and the hotel) is the same Ian Schrager who co-created New York’s legendary Studio 54. Don’t think about coming here to do anything other than dance: there are no seats for this very reason. The London Edition, 10 Berners Street

November // 2014

Photo: Nikolas Koenig

The London Edition Lobby

Sketch dining room

The Boisdale

The gastronomic gallery

The hotel where history abounds

The haven at the heart of hysteria

Super-cool hotspot Sketch is arguably best known for being home to the two Michelin-starred Lecture Room, where French master chef Pierre Gagnaire presides over an exquisite menu that’s served in equally enthralling surrounds. It’s also home, however, to The Gallery, which is part restaurant, part gallery, and wholly excellent. Since the summer this divine dining space has displayed the works of celebrated artist – and Turner prize nominated – David Shrigley. 239 of his sketches now line the restaurant’s walls, and amount to the biggest single exhibition of his work. You’ll also notice his humorous touch extends to decorating the plates and tableware. Sketch, 9 Conduit Street

Few hotels have hidden treasures of the ˆŽiޜսw˜`>Ì/…i-Ì>vvœÀ`œ˜`œ˜° Head down to its vast wine cellars and you’ll discover a mini museum chock-full of memorabilia from WWI and WWII – the cellars were used as an air raid shelter during both wars. Further enquiry will unveil a boarded up, underground passageway that led from the cellars all the way through to St. James’s Palace, which remains the œvwVˆ>]̅œÕ}…˜œÌ>VÌÕ>]ÀiÈ`i˜Viœv̅i Sovereign. Upstairs at the hotel’s American Bar, you’ll notice a stool at which sat Nancy Wake (a spy during WWII) every day of the two years she lived at the hotel. The Stafford London, a member of The Preferred Hotel Group, 16-18 St James’s Place

If you’ve ever been at the Selfridges end of Oxford Street at lunchtime, incessantly zigzagging your way between an onrushing sea of people and their shopping bags, the idea that somewhere serene stands a mere 30 yards away seems absurd. But slip off Oxford Street and onto Duke Street and …>vÜ>Þ>œ˜}ˆÌޜսw˜`̅iiiÛ>Ìi` Brown Hart Gardens, where wooden Li˜V…iÃ]«ÀiÌÌÞyœÜiÀÃ>˜`>ܜ˜`iÀvՏ little coffee shop provide a haven so at odds with frenetic Oxford Street you’ll doubt you’re still in London at all. This public space is open until 5pm daily, with lunch options ranging from salads and sandwiches to pastries and expertly roasted coffee. Duke Street, Mayfair

World Traveller

November // 2014


Check In

The fields of dreams It will take a good chunk of your holiday, but you will eventually exhaust the obvious to-do list of London’s family attractions should you head there with the kids. That’s what happened the last time WT visited with its brood in tow, and we were subsequently tipped off about Coram Fields, somewhere even the concierge of our very famous, wÛi‡ÃÌ>À>Þv>ˆÀ…œÌi…>`˜½ÌiÛiÀ…i>À`œv° Run as a charity and spread over seven acres just behind Great Ormond Street Hospital, Coram Fields comprises a city farm, activities centre, sports pitches, a splash pool and adventure play areas aplenty that cater to an age group that spans babies through to 16. Only adults accompanied by children can enter, and on-site staff help ensure that this is one of the safest – as well as the best – places in the city to enjoy an afternoon with your children. Between King’s Cross and Holborn

The redefined classic On the surface, pitching somewhere that has been open and admired by London’s gastronauts since 1742 as a ‘secret’ seems at best imprudent. But hear us out. Wiltons may indeed have garnered two ,œÞ>7>ÀÀ>˜ÌÃ]>VVœÕ˜Ìi`vœÀ>À}>ÀiÌ Thatcher’s favourite restaurant and routinely housed movie stars and members of British aristocracy during its many years of service, yet catering to such esteemed clientele made for rules as stiff as the starched collars of said diners. To eat here required that men wear a jacket and tie, whilst Wiltons’ doors remained resolutely shut each Saturday evening – the busiest night of the week in œ˜`œ˜° œÜ̅>̽ÃV…>˜}i`°œÀiV>ÃÕ> attire is welcomed and Saturdays see Wiltons’ tables alive with chatter. In fact, the only thing that hasn’t changed is the outstanding food and service. Wiltons, 55 Jermyn Street

The secret garden and speakeasy


/…iÃiVÀiÌÃœvœ˜`œ˜>ÀÀˆœÌÌœÌi Grosvenor Square are twofold. Firstly, there’s the wonderful little garden that only guests of the hotel’s Balcony Suites >Ài«ÀˆÛÞ̜°-ˆÌÕ>Ìi`œ˜̅i}ÀœÕ˜`yœœÀ] the suites encompass a four-poster bed, marble bathrooms and that oh-so-important access to a private terrace and garden, replete with water fountain – truly a hidden gem in central London. Then there’s the equally brilliant Luggage Room, an art-deco style, speakeasy-like lounge where the prohibition-era vibe extends to the fact that to gain access guests must knock at a concealed door – a waitress then looks through a peephole and should you meet ܈̅̅iˆÀ>««ÀœÛ>ޜսw˜>Þ}iÌ̜ V…œœÃivÀœ“œ˜iœv̅iVˆÌÞ½Ãw˜iÃÌ`Àˆ˜ŽÃ lists. London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square, Grosvenor Square November // 2014

Wiltons’ dressed crab


Selfridges’ cinema

The big screen in the unusual setting Department stores the world over now offer far more than mere multi-level shopping, with Selfridges currently outdoing all others when it comes to laying on unique attractions. Its latest lure is an in-store Vˆ˜i“>]>wÀÃÌœvˆÌÃŽˆ˜`]܅ˆV…ÃVÀii˜Ã> mix of new releases and classics (Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Rebel Without a Cause…) inside a 60 sofa-seat venue designed like the cinemas of old – the movie titles are up in lights. What’s more, at each screening you get to pick your snacks from Selfridges’ famed Food Hall. Booking is essential (, with private hire an œ«Ìˆœ˜°œÛˆiLÕvvÃÌ>Ži˜œÌi\̅iVˆ˜i“>ˆÃ scheduled to run until spring 2015. The Everyman Cinema, Selfridges, 400 Oxford Street World Traveller


The Stafford London November // 2014

Special Promotion


CHIC OUTLET SHOPPING® As cities prepare for the seasonal holiday, Chic Outlet Shopping® launches its new Step into the Story campaign at its nine Villages around the world. Let’s take a closer look at what’s on offer at four chic Villages this festive period…

There are shops. There are shopping streets. And then there are Chic Outlet Shopping® Villages – Europe’s leading luxury outlet shopping experience. Located one hour from major European cities, each of its nine Villages will be transformed into a winter wonderland this month to celebrate the festive season. It’s time to Step into the Story…

The Village: Maasmechelen Village, Brussels The Location: Located at the crossroads of Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, and easily reached from Brussels, Antwerp and Cologne, the elegant surrounds of Maasmechelen Village were inspired by the artisan architecture of Limburg. This season, expect to see visually stunning storybook settings and mystical winter animals scattered about the Village as part of the Step into the Story shopping campaign.

The Labels: The 100-plus boutiques found …iÀiˆ˜VÕ`i->˜`Àœ]/œ““Þˆw}iÀ] Versace and renowned Belgian designers like Sarah Pacini. The Area: Belgium is famed for its chocolate so before hopping onboard the Shopping Express® coach from Brussels to Maasmechelen Village (visit for information on transfers to and from the Village), head to Zaabar’s Chocolaterie where you can make your own chocolate and tour the factory.

Bicester Village

Maasmechelen Village



Shopping Express®: Staying in Milan, London, Brussels or Munich? Then book this luxury coach service from a city-centre pick-up point to your Village. For times and locations, visit By Chauffeur: Chic Outlet Shopping®’s luxury chauffeur-driven service is available to guests visiting any of the Villages. For opening hours and directions to each Village via car, bus or train, visit

November // 2014

The Village: Bicester Village, Oxford

The Village: Ingolstadt Village, Munich

The Location: Just one hour from London, Bicester Village is a haven for anyone seeking designer shopping for less in a quintessentially English setting. As the original and largest of the Collection, Bicester’s long avenue is often described as a more spacious version of Bond Street in the capital.

The Location: Reached in 50 minutes if you use the Shopping Express® coach service from Munich, the Village’s design ÀiyiVÌÃ̅i>Ìi‡£™Ì…‡Vi˜ÌÕÀÞˆ˜`ÕÃÌÀˆ> heritage of the area. There are over 110 outlet boutiques offering everything from glamorous eveningwear to ski gear – which could prove useful if you’re planning to head into the nearby mountains.

The Labels: The complex comprises 130 elegant outlet boutiques, including Burberry, Céline, Dior and Vivienne Westwood. The Area: Looking to explore the nearby Cotswolds? The chauffeur service at Bicester Village will arrange a tour of the countryside, including lunch at Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, helmed by Raymond Blanc.

The Labels: Top international and German brands include Escada, Hugo Boss, Jimmy Choo and Michael Kors. The Area: Munich’s festive market is the stuff of legend. Held from November 27 to December 24 on Marienplatz (St. Mary’s Square), take some time to meander around its many stalls.


OFFERS Shop till you drop at... Maasmechelen Village The Best of Brussels package includes a Brussels Grand Tour by coach, Shopping Express® return tickets from Brussels to the Village, and a VIP discount card. Dhs160 for adults. Bicester Village The Shopping Day package includes a VIP Card, Shopping Express® return tickets from London to the Village, a two-course lunch or dinner and a £50 Prepaid Gift Card. Dhs580 for adults, Dhs220 for children.

Ingolstadt Village

The Village: Fidenza Village, Milan The Location: Just an hour from Milan is Fidenza Village, an outlet shopping haven where you can secure up to 70 per cent off designer goods all year round. Being Italian, ̅i6ˆ>}i…>ÃLii˜y>“LœÞ>˜ÌÞ`iÈ}˜i`] with many of the boutiques resembling œ«iÀ>ÃÌ>}iÃiÌÃqwÌ̈˜}ȘViˆÕÃi««i Verdi was born in nearby Busseto. The Labels: Ý«iVÌ̜w˜`>…œÃÌœvÌ>ˆ>˜ heavyweights here, such as Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Missoni and Valentino. The Area: For a mini-tour of the region, head south of Fidenza Village to Parma (stop by the Teatro Regio), Modena (home of the Ferrari Museum) and Bologna (sip coffee at Piazza Maggiore).

Fidenza Village

If you would like to build a bespoke travel package that includes a day at a Chic Outlet Shopping® Village, call +44 (0)1869 366 212; email; or visit

Ingolstadt Village The Shopping Day Experience includes a €50 Shopping Card, Shopping Express® return tickets from Munich or Nuremberg to the Village, lunch in Stiftl restaurant and an exclusive gift. Dhs340 for adults. Fidenza Village The Shopping & La Scala Experience includes a tour of Museo Teatrale alla Scala, Shopping Express® return tickets from central Milan to the Village and a VIP discount card. Dhs100 for adults, Dhs50 for children. For more information on these offers and more, visit



To receive your VIP Card and additional 10% saving, present this invitation at the Welcome or Tourist Information Centre in any of the nine Chic Outlet Shopping® Villages in Europe by January 31, 2015. Terms and conditions: Invitation is valid until 31/01/2015. Proof of booking with featured travel partner, dnata, is required. Invitation is not valid during ‘Further Reduction’ or ‘Blackout’ periods, when an alternative gift will be offered. ‘Blackout’ and further Reduction dates are available online at Invitation may be withdrawn at any time and without notice. VIP Card is only valid in participating boutiques/restaurants and the provision of the Card is at the sole discretion of the provider. Chic Outlet Shopping® is a registered trademark of Value Retail PLC. LONDON Bicester Village | MILAN Fidenza Village | MUNICH Ingolstadt Village | DUBLIN Kildare Village | BARCELONA La Roca Village | PARIS La Vallée Village | MADRID Las Rozas Village | BRUSSELS Maasmechelen Village | FRANKFURT Wertheim Village

World Traveller

November // 2014


You can seek the help of one doctor.

Or you can turn to Mayo Clinic.

At Mayo Clinic, a team of experts works together for you. No wonder Mayo Clinic was recognized as the No. 1 hospital in the United States by U.S. News & World Report. Visit or to learn more. ROCHESTER , MINNESOTA , USA








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World Traveller

November // 2014





From shoes to jet lag-reducing gels, no women allowed...

1) Christian Louboutin: Set your style sat nav to the newly renovated Fashion Dome at Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates >˜`ÃÌi«ˆ˜Ãˆ`i …ÀˆÃ̈>˜œÕLœṎ˜½ÃwÀÃÌ standalone men’s boutique in the region. Expect plenty of brogues, boots and loafers.



Say hello to the new Emirates Palace Spa: a tranquil haven as luxurious as the hotel that houses it. Sited in the hotel’s West Wing Beach Club, the new treatment menu combines centuries-old spa rituals with precious elements. From famed podiatrist Bastien Gonzalez, visitors can expect a no-holdsbarred pedicure, while a gold-infused massage by Amra will rebalance the mind and body.

November // 2014

2) Burj Al Arab: How’s this for a room with a view? Dubai’s most famous hotel has launched a sky-high steam lounge overlooking the Arabian Gulf. Located œ˜̅i£n̅yœœÀ>˜`iÝVÕÈÛiÞvœÀ gents, the steam rooms and saunas offer uninterrupted sea views.

3) Eisenberg: Who said beauty products are for women only? Certainly not Eisenberg. Its latest skincare range offers masks, creams and gels. Look out for the ‘megalift’, a highly-concentrated gelÃiÀՓvœÀwÀ“ˆ˜}̈Ài`iÞiÃ>˜`Έ˜]>˜` the ‘youth elixir’, a jet lag-reducing gel.



What you store your holiday wardrobe in when travelling is as important as the clothes themselves. Travel in style with our pick of winter suitcases...




Pull a Tumi around the airport and you’ll get a few stares from well-heeled travellers. The bottle green carry-on has caught our eye this month. Spotted: Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Katie Holmes and Cameron Diaz.

Lightweight is something Rimowa does well. And its Salsa Air line is perfect for any pending winter shopping sprees you have planned. Spotted: Cara Delevingne, Bar Rafaeli, Oliva Palermo and Diane Kruger.

Loved by royalty, celebrities and world leaders alike, packing a Globe-Trotter suitcase is sure to make a statement at the check in desk. Spotted: Daniel Craig, Kate Moss, David Beckham and Rosamund Pike.

Stay connected to the heart of Dubai at Sheraton Dubai Mall of Emirates Hotel In a prime location, the hotel offers world class shopping alongside a direct line to Mall of the Emirates and the Dubai Metro. Enjoy outstanding views from the rooftop infinity pools or a day at Jumeirah Beach Park with our complimentary bus shuttle. For more information and reservations, please call +971 4 377 2005 or email

Š2014 Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Preferred Guest, SPG, Sheraton and their logos are the trademarks of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., or its afďŹ liates. For full terms and conditions, visit

Check In brought to you by

World Traveller Holiday Offers United Kingdom 4QEEQ(QTVGoU$TQYPoU *QVGN.QPFQP PKIJVU from USD945 per person Special offer: 20% rate reduction. Includes: Stay in an Executive King Room with breakfast daily and return airport transfers. Validity: Now ‘til November 27, 2014; December 11-30, 2014; January 1-March 31, 2015. *based on a minimum 3 nights stay for Executive Rooms and above categories.

USA 8KEGTQ[0GY;QTM PKIJVU from75& per person Special offer: Stay 4 nights and receive an additional night free. Includes: Stay in a Superior Room with breakfast daily and return airport transfers. Validity: November 9-26, 2014; December 14-26, 2014.

France .o*Ă?VGNFW%QNNGEVKQPPGWT 2CTKU PKIJVU from USD595 per person Special offer: Stay 2 nights and receive an additional night free. Includes: Stay in an Executive Room with breakfast daily and return airport transfers. Plus Executive lounge access. Validity: November 1-December 29, 2014.

Seychelles How to Book 32

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.

November // 2014

4CHĆƒGU2TCUNKP PKIJVU from USD1,385 per person Special offer: Stay 3 nights and receive an additional night free, plus 2 children under 12 years stay free. Includes: Stay in a Lagoon Water Villa with breakfast and Ă€iĂŒĂ•Ă€Â˜`œ“iĂƒĂŒÂˆVyˆ}Â…ĂŒĂƒ>˜` speedboat transfers. Validity: Now ‘til November 30, 2014.

Maldives 5KZ5GPUGU.CCOW PKIJVU from USD2,160 per person Special offer: Stay 3 nights and receive an additional night free, plus 2 children under 12 years stay free. Includes: Stay in a Lagoon Water Villa with breakfast and Ă€iĂŒĂ•Ă€Â˜`œ“iĂƒĂŒÂˆVyˆ}Â…ĂŒĂƒ>˜` speedboat transfers. Validity: Now ‘til November 30, 2014.

Hong Kong -QYNQQP5JCPITK.C PKIJVU from USD575 per person Special offer: 25% rate reduction. Includes: Stay in a Deluxe Room with breakfast daily and return airport transfers. Validity: Now ‘til December 20, 2014.

Vietnam *KIJNKIJVUQH5CKIQP PKIJVU from USD425 per person Includes: Stay at Asiana Saigon, an Intercontinental City Hotel in a Deluxe Room with breakfast daily, a halfday city tour and return airport transfers. Validity: Now ‘til December 10, 2014.

Thailand (QWT5GCUQPU*QVGN $CPIMQM PKIJVU from USD390 per person Special offer: 25% rate reduction. Includes: Stay in a Deluxe Room with breakfast daily and return airport transfers. Validity: Now ‘til December 20, 2014.

World Traveller


November // 2014

Check In ROB ARROW Why Cairo is back in vogue


In the continual search for the ultimate weekend getaway in the region, I decided to venture to the mystical and historical epicenter that is Cairo. Fondly known as Misr, the city is a country within itself. Having been through a troublesome time recently, I was very intrigued to see how the city Ăœ>Ăƒv>ÂˆĂ€ÂˆÂ˜}>˜`w˜`ˆ˜}ÂˆĂŒĂƒviiĂŒ>}>ˆ˜° And I can happily say that everyone, and everything, is running smoothly. Of course there are a few remnants of the past, but this simply reminds you of a city that has dusted itself down and opened its arms to visitors once again. Cairo is a beast of a city. However, with the majority of sites within easy reach of one another, it really is possible to cover a lot over a long weekend. As the city is slowly waking up again it is still rather quiet when it comes to leisure travellers and this means little queues and lots of space to take those important holiday photographs. L>Ăƒi`Â“ĂžĂƒiÂ?v>ĂŒœ˜iÂœvĂŒÂ…iw˜iĂƒĂŒ hotels not only in Cairo, but also in Egypt: the Four Seasons Nile Plaza, based on the edge of the Nile with many of the rooms overlooking the river. On a clear day, you can see Giza and the Pyramids. The hotel is a haven of peace and tranquility, with balconies to relax on, a large pool area to lounge around and private cabanas to rest in. This truly is the only place to base oneself for a weekend of exploring and relaxing. Cairo is very famous for its sites and no trip is complete without travelling to the Pyramids, about 20 minutes away from the centre. Take note, however: head here on the Friday afternoon to >Ă›ÂœÂˆ` >ÂˆĂ€ÂœÂ˝Ăƒˆ˜v>Â“ÂœĂ•ĂƒĂŒĂ€>vwV°"˜>Ă€Ă€ÂˆĂ›>Â? it is easy to purchase a ticket. Egypt, Cairo especially, is famous for its food so don’t leave without sampling some local dishes around the city, such as ful medames and basbousa. Cairo is becoming ‘the’ place to be again so beat the crowds and head there now. For more information on Cairo and the Four Seasons Nile Plaza, please visit your nearest dnata outlet or call +971 4 316 6666.

November // 2014

The Datai Langkawi

Al Faisaliah Hotel

Four Seasons Cairo at Nile Plaza

De L’Europe Amsterdam


Saudi Arabia

6JG&CVCK.CPIMCYK PKIJVU from USD780 per person. Special offer: Stay 3 nights and receive two additional nights free Includes: Stay in a Deluxe Room with breakfast daily and return airport transfers. Validity: Now ‘til December 20, 2014.

#N(CKUCNKCJ*QVGNC4QUGYQQF*QVGN PKIJVU from USD325 per person*. Special offer: Receive a complimentary upgrade to a Deluxe Room and a late checkout by 3pm. Includes: Stay in a Superior Room with breakfast daily. Validity: Now ‘til December 1, 2014. *Rate is valid Thursdays, Fridays and Saturday only.

Situated on the north-western tip of Langkawi Island, The Datai is nestled inside an ancient tropical rainforest, with a secluded white sandy beach facing the calm Andaman Sea. Some people think a hotel is just a bed for the night, but a stay in The Datai will change that perception.

Egypt (QWT5GCUQPU%CKTQCV0KNG2NC\C PKIJVU from USD1,340 per person. Special offer: 10% rate reduction, a complimentary upgrade to a Diplomatic Suite and guaranteed early check in and late check out. Includes: Stay in the Four Seasons Executive Suite with return airport transfers. Validity: Now ‘til Nov 30, 2014. A bastion of sophisticated hospitality, this sizeable hotel can be found on the legendary corniche along the bank of the Nile. With commanding views across to Giza and the Citadel, Four Seasons unites its timeless, caring, personalised service with the dynamism of Cairo.

In a city that gracefully melds tradition with sophisticated style, the Al Faisaliah ÂœĂŒiÂ?,ÂˆĂž>`Â…]>,ÂœĂƒiĂœÂœÂœ`ÂœĂŒiÂ?]`iw˜iĂƒ the ultimate in modern elegance. From its prestigious base in Riyadh, the stunning hotel boasts the most luxurious leisure and meeting facilities in the Kingdom. With the introduction of dedicated 24-hour butler service, the 224-room property has elevated the art of personal service to new levels in Saudi Arabia.

Netherlands &G.o'WTQRG#OUVGTFCO PKIJVU from USD785 per person Includes: Stay in a Deluxe Room with breakfast daily and return airport transfers. Validity: Now ‘til December 29, 2014. Originally built in 1896, Hotel de l’Europe, which offers 111 rooms and suites, is located in the heart of Amsterdam opposite Munt Tower, overlooking the Amstel River.

%JCOQPKZ/QPV$NCPE(TCPEG Special offer: From 75&per person on twin share basis for 7 nights stay. Room type: The Mont Blanc Club Room offers you a good level of comfort, with the equipment and services essential for a wonderful winter stay. Validity: December 21, 2014-April 12, 2015. All-inclusive resort. Terms & conditions apply. 5GTTG%JGXCNKGT(TCPEG Special offer: From 75&per person on twin share basis for 7 nights stay. Room type: Club Room. A neatly designed and pleasant attic room, ideal for couples. Validity: December 21, 2014-April 19, 2015. All-inclusive resort. Terms & conditions apply. Chamonix Mont-Blanc and Serre-Chevalier Â…>Ă›iĂ€ii˜Â?ÂœLiViĂ€ĂŒÂˆwV>ĂŒÂˆÂœÂ˜vÂœĂ€ Sustainable Tourism. For more information >LÂœĂ•ĂŒĂ€ii˜Â?ÂœLiViĂ€ĂŒÂˆwV>ĂŒÂˆÂœÂ˜]Ă›ÂˆĂƒÂˆĂŒĂœĂœĂœÂ°


WHERE WILL YOUR IMAGINATION TAKE YOU? This winter, Club Med promises to offer discerning travellers more freedom than ever before with a raft of exclusive winter sports. From skiing to snowboarding, speed riding to tobogganing, there’s enough to keep visitors busy for weeks. It’s time to create the perfect ski holiday with Club Med.

Skiing at Mont-Blanc


Chamonix Mont-Blanc World Traveller

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November // 2014

Golden GIRL

Vienna’s the gilded grande dame that just gets more glamorous with age. Where better to take your mother for a winter waltz, asks Nick Redman


World Traveller

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Opening page: Pallas Athene Fountain and Parliament. This page, clockwise from left: The Kiss by Gustav Klimt; Prater Park Ferris Wheel; Cityscape at dusk.

iagonally, winter snow has started to fall, waltzing down in the sodium glow of street lamps beyond the windows of the Ritz-Carlton, a grand hotel in the heart of Vienna. The last trams clatter by, skeins of long lanterns in serpentine motion. Inside, Mrs Redman sleeps in Suite 232, wrapped in the clouds of her luxury duvet. Around her, on the bed, are spread city maps and guides, promising to unlock the festive treats of the Austrian capital. And Mr Redman? That’s me – the figure next door on the rollout bed in the living area, awake under a thought bubble that reads, ‘Could

What’s the point of going away with a loved-one if you can’t spend time idling over calorific banquets? 38

murder a Viennese Fog cocktail. Wonder if the hotel bar’s still open?’. Why, you might ask, are Mr and Mrs Redman in separate beds on a romantic weekend away? Answer: this isn’t a romantic weekend – it’s a once-in-a-blue-moon holiday for mother and son, like The Generation Game, only with flights, a great hotel and strictly no Bruce Forsyth. On the conveyor belt we’re hoping for mulled wine, some reminiscing, lots of laughs and lashings of Habsburgimperial excess. There will doubtless be a few fuzzy photographs of fir trees taken at odd angles, partNovember // 2014

obscured by a thumb (yes, she’s brought her tricky old camera along). That and ambles through Yuletide markets full of portly ceramic Santas that even the dustmen back home won’t want. Mum’s 77 and keen on culture. I’m 50 and more into Martinis – which is why I’m lying on the rollout bed thinking, ‘How well will this work?’. It was she who persuaded me here, in pursuit of a dead sexy Austrian painter – long dead, in fact, and supersensuous. Art nouveau artist Gustav Klimt (18621918) made vamps vogue-ish on canvas decades before Greta Garbo smouldered on the silver screen, and Mrs R long ago fell for the charisma exuded through his work. Where better to get a hit than in his elegiac hometown? Through the windows the next morning, the city has lightened to a day of grey elegance. We shiver out into the funereal cold after a few snaps have been taken of me beside the Ritz-Carlton festive tree. Mist makes our progress atmospherically opaque. Bony winter trees line the broad Ringstrasse, which purrs with Mercs. Baroque and Belle-Epoque buildings loom large, among them the ornate Opera House, and Parliament, a horizontal slab of ancient Athens. Our destination is the Kunsthistorisches Museum, or Museum of Fine Arts, home to a celebrated pile-up of Habsburg treasures – after a leisurely breakfast, of course. What’s the point of going away with a loved-one if you can’t spend lots of time idling over calorific banquets, gossiping about relatives while planning what to do next? Behind ruched-up curtains, Café Schwarzenberg, on the Ring, was made for first-time-in-Vienna immersion. Founded 1861, it’s tourist-populated but just the ticket: marble-clad, with the rustle of newspapers, glass-drop chandeliers and mirrors over the wood-

panelling that double its size. Black-attired waiters hold trays aloft. Time-warped women step in, clad in winter furs. They’re big and shoulder-padded, like auburn King Kongs, peeling off cloche hats and letting custardy blonde tresses fall down. Already Mum’s in her element, polishing off scrambled egg with chives and creamy coffee. “It’s like the ‘50s – like being in a film,” she says, summoning the bill and theatrically pulling on her knitted cap to brave the icy walk to the Kunsthistorisches Museum.

We spy tantalising flashes of Klimt’s talent high in the museum’s ceiling arches and between columns In 10 minutes or so we’re there, for our first fleeting brush with Klimt. We spy tantalising flashes of his daring talent high in the museum’s ceiling arches and between the marble columns. The paintings celebrate periods of crucial artistic importance (ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome): they were imperial commissions for the museum’s grand opening in 1891, although the artist’s work was way ahead of its time. His sylphs float with ethereal hairdos that anticipate hippy-‘60s Biba. His Renaissance figures have post-coital expressions, suggestive of naughty party dolls. His naked Egyptian knocks the average Lady Gaga stunt into a cocked hat – none of which fazes Mrs R, whose ‘70s bashes were synonymous with plunging halter-necks, Cinzano

5 more Viennese must-sees ONE The black limousine at the Museum of Military History (; Dhs30). Notice the bullet hole in it – this is the vehicle in which Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in 1914, provoking WWI.

TWO The façade of the Hundertwasserhaus (das-hundertwasser-haus. at). It looks like something by Gaudí in Barcelona. Symbolising ‘architecture in harmony with nature’, it caused controversy when built in the ‘80s.

THREE The zither at the Third Man Museum (3mpc. net; Dhs35). Fans of the 1949 thriller will love this, the actual instrument on which Anton Karas played ̅iw“½Ãv>“œÕÃvœŽÃÞ theme tune. The burns from his rested cigarettes are clearly visible.

FOUR The horses at the Hofburg, the Habsburg Imperial Palace (hofburg. com; Dhs60). They’re the stars of the worldfamous Spanish Riding School, and you can glimpse them, sweaty and stabled.

FIVE The ceiling of the Jesuit Church (free). In an effort to reassert Catholicism after the rise of Protestantism in the 17th century, the Jesuits produced this multicoloured sensation. The dome appears to soar, but when you look back from the altar, it’s >VÌÕ>Þy>Ì°

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The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna is a luxurious quartet of listed buildings worthy of your Euro, while Hotel Bristol is all imperialera elegance (antique dressers) with dashes of art deco. For townhouse chic book a room at Hotel Kärntnerhof or try Hotel Altstadt for a splash of art nouveau For information visit or call +971 4 316 6666.

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fountains and extra-marital slow-dancing to the Stylistics. I catch her snapping away with her trusty camera, doubtless to shock the neighbours back home. A 24-carat seasonal sparkle permeates the Kunstkammer, the museum’s glittering chamber of art and natural wonders. Set in a suite of warmlit inner rooms are the awesome collections of the Habsburgs, acquired in the dynasty’s ‘glory’ centuries: here a Venetian personal sundial, the size of a pocketwatch; there a silver centaur clock with rolling eyes, which fired an arrow to enthral dinner parties of old. Dating from the 10th to the 18th centuries, these are astonishing, mysterious creations, so precision-honed that it’s hard to believe they were made by preindustrial hands. Captivated by an ornamental basin (Padua, Italy, c.1520-30), with handles made in bronze cast from actual snakes, mum only has eyes for an ebony and gold-enamel salt cellar (1540-43), originally made for King Francois I of France. Depicting Neptune, god of the sea, and Tellus, the earth goddess, its trump card is its base of tiny ivory ball bearings, on which it would glide, with a push, from guest to guest around the table. I’m not suggesting Mrs Redman’s boeuf bourguignon suppers need any embellishment, but I can see why she might want it in her stocking. Under darkening denim skies, our next stop, the City Hall festive market, is destined to suffer by comparison. It’s full of Kermit candles, Santa hats with attached white plaits, lanterns like starter-homes for elves and possibly the worst set of drinks mats in the history of tableware (six raffia snowflakes). Balloon-sellers stand around, only visible from the knees down, so unlucky have they been in selling their wares. The Christkindl Express, a little white train for tots, bumbles by on tyres at quite a pace and instinctively we step aside – imagine the shame of having to put that as ‘cause of injury’ on the travel-insurance claim. City Hall rising above the festive action like a cliffface of Gothic stalagmites. It’s warming. In fact it’s completely transfixing, as we nibble Nutella waffles, drinking mugs of spicy Glühwein. “They’ve got a great

Clockwise from top left: The Ritz-Carlton Vienna; Leopold Museum; Belvedere Palace.

a startling chunk of modern Vienna welded onto the Baroque façades of the old imperial stables: a handful of cubic, contemporary museums edge an elongated piazza under ice-grey skies. It is almost 100 years since WWI ended with the collapse of the Habsburg Empire (1918); a century has passed, of gloomy foreign occupation (WWII), Cold War menace and intrigue. And here the city is, sexylooking, confident and – in the white-cube Leopold Museum – united with its fin-de-siècle creativity. We amble through its galleries of shockingly angular, avant-garde furniture in African wood and mother of pearl by the influential Wiener Werkstätte artisans – simply too wild to possibly date from 1905. We gape at more Klimts and are gripped by the literally twisted genius of his mentee, Egon Schiele, who wrought bodies into such impossible shapes in his portraits and self-portraits I find myself fast-forwarding 60 years to the lean posturing of Iggy Pop. Lean is not a word we’re using much this weekend, as our wanderings take us further through festive Vienna: there’s brandteig, a sort of doughnut filled with ice cream, consumed at the foot of the famous Ferris wheel after a spin in one of its gardenshed carriages. (Remember Orson Welles meeting Joseph Cotten in one of them in the film The Third Man?). There is more Glühwein as we wander the pedestrianised Graben towards the mountainous Stephansdom cathedral, passing under scintillating decorations evocative of Liz Taylor’s jewels. And there are moreish gingerbread hearts to scoff at the tiny Spittelberg Yuletide market – much more stylish than

We discover a startling chunk of modern Vienna

Christmas market in Birmingham,” says Mum, out of the blue, possibly half-cut. Whatever, she’s clearly ready for a lie-down, while I’m ready for one of those Viennese Fog cocktails back at the ranch. Wreathed in lovers’ cigarette plumes, the RitzCarlton hotel’s D-bar turns out to be a great Vienna institution, lined in dove-grey wall marble, with claret banquettes. It’s so low-lit that, after sundown, it’s de facto midnight in here, with chill-out Muzak veering to Louis Armstrong, and traffic swishing by through the trio of full-length windows ahead. The Viennese Fog is pure theatre: the whole experiment is conducted before the drinker. The effect is somewhere between a sip and a cigar – a louche, vogueish Vienna in one hit. “Oh yes, in the last 10 years the city woke up,” confirms the balletic waitress in superb English next morning at Café Sperl, in the fashionable 6th District. “It’s not as boring as it used to be. There’s more traffic from Hungary and the east.” We’re all ears over the breakfast eggs served (“since 1880”) at this boho institution, with flock seating bordering on threadbare, nattery young couples and plenty of dangling lamp action. “It’s really exciting,” she goes on. “Vienna is becoming the melting pot it was at the turn of the last century. You must see the Museumsquartier, it’s close by.” We do – and discover World Traveller

yesterday’s, peddling discreet ‘feather-and-rose’ festive lights. Not that Mrs Redman is over-impressed: “I’ve definitely seen them in Bath.” Well, she’ll be back in Bath before she knows it. Meanwhile, the last day finds us around a bistro table at the Upper Belvedere, Vienna’s imperial painting gallery, founded in the 1770s. Tomato-coconut soup comes in oversize bowls, with curry croutons, as we survey the winter cityscape of Vienna spreading below the windows. It’s an unexpected mix of dull-post-war-boxy and granddomed, spiked with canary-yellow cranes and, beyond, smudged foothills against a filmy blue sky. There are conical conifers in the grounds and scattered green benches down the walkways, catching the sun. Out comes the camera one last time. We’re drinking Austrian red grape as a toast to our final big Klimt encounter. On a tip-off from the concierge, we found his most famous painting, The Kiss, here this morning – a glinting mix of ‘painterly illusion and real material’, as the notes explained. Klimt embraced gold early in his career, possibly due to an adoration of Byzantine mosaics seen in Venice and Ravenna. The result is a still a show-stopper, 104 years on. The couple appear halfentombed within an erect sarcophagus. They look ecstatic. So does Mum. Not only did she get up close with her dead sexy Austrian painter – he gave her a festive kiss, too. November // 2014



Marvels of the MUGHALS

Emperor Shah Jahan left an indelible mark on India, as Lara Brunt discovers during a whistle-stop tour of Delhi and Agra


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Opening page: The Taj Mahal. This page, clockwise from top left: The Lahore Gate; Delhi’s Jama Masjid; A painting of Shah Jahan; Old Delhi; Taj Mahal.


t’s one of the most famous buildings in the world, the symbol of India, yet as I catch a glimpse of the gleaming white marble of the Taj Mahal, its onionshaped dome framed by the archway of the main gate, I feel like I’m seeing it for the first time. Not even the searing 48°C heat – my visit coincides with a record-breaking heatwave, resulting in the hottest temperatures in six decades – and thronging crowds can dampen my enthusiasm to have my very own Princess Di moment on ‘that bench’. The sublime 17th-century structure has captivated visitors for over 360 years, with more than three million people making the pilgrimage to Agra, 200km southeast of Delhi in Uttar Pradesh state in the country’s north, to gaze upon it each year. I’m visiting for the weekend, with the three-and-a-half-hour flight from Dubai made even more accessible after flydubai recently launched four weekly flights, including a new business class service, to the Indian capital. The Taj Mahal is, of course, more than just a building. It is the world’s greatest monument to love. Built on the southern bank of the Yamuna River by Shah Jahan, the fifth Mughal emperor, it houses the tomb of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died during childbirth in 1631. “Shah Jahan had a number of wives, but Mumtaz Mahal – a title bestowed upon her by the November // 2014

emperor that means ‘Chosen One of the Palace’ – was the great love of his life,” explains our guide Manprit. The emperor was descended from the fierce Mongol warriors who swept down into India from the Asian Steppe just a century before he took the throne in 1628, bringing Islam with them. Known as a wise leader, Shah Jahan oversaw the golden age of the mighty empire, renowned for its lavish architecture and splendid jewels. After witnessing the

Mumtaz Mahal, meaning ‘Chosen One of the Palace’, was his great love Royal court first-hand, Dutch naturalist Johannes de Laet wrote in 1631: “The nobles live in indescribable luxury and extravagance, caring only to indulge themselves whilst they can, in every kind of pleasure.” Shah Jahan certainly knew how to spoil himself, famously commissioning the Peacock Throne, crafted from over a tonne of gold and encrusted with hundreds of diamonds, emeralds, pearls and rubies. His labour of love, however, is considered the pinnacle of Mughal design – an exquisite blend of Indian, Persian and

Over 20,000 labourers and artisans slaved to realise the emperor’s dream

3 more Mughal monuments FATEHPUR SIKRI The red sandstone citadel, 40km southwest of Agra, was the short-lived imperial capital of the great Mughal emperor Akbar from 1571 until 1585. Its buildings include palaces and the beautiful Jama Masjid mosque.

HUMAY UN’S TOMB Constructed of red sandstone inlaid with black and white marble, Delhi’s wÀÃÌÕ}…>“>Õ܏iՓ]LՈÌˆ˜£xÇä to house the remains of the second emperor, Humayun, is seen as a template for the Taj.

THE BABY TAJ Built between 1622 and 1628, for Persian nobleman Itimad-ud-Daulah, ̅i̜“LÜ>Ã̅iwÀÃÌÕ}…> structure made completely from marble, hence its nickname. It sits on the opposite riverbank to the Taj.

Islamic architectural styles. Work on the Taj Mahal complex began soon after Mumtaz’s death and took 22 years to complete, with over 20,000 labourers, stonecutters and skilled artisans slaving away to realise the emperor’s vision. Clad in pristine white marble quarried more than 400km away in Rajasthan, the main building is topped by a soaring 40-metre-high dome and decorated inside and out with Arabic calligraphy, intricately carved floral motifs and mosaics of semi-precious stones, while filigree World Traveller

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This page: Jama Masjid in Delhi. Opposite: Sari-clad women at the Taj Mahal in Agra. November // 2014

WHERE TO STAY Located in New Delhi’s upmarket diplomatic area, The Leela Palace has sumptuous suites, a rooftop pool with impressive views over the city and four restaurants including the acclaimed Le Cirque. In Agra, ITC Mughal is a fiveminute drive from the Taj Mahal and features newly refurbished Royal Mughal suites, a spa and large outdoor pool, plus the excellent Peshawri restaurant. For information visit or call +971 4 316 6666.

marble latticework shields the final resting place of Mumtaz, buried deep below. Perfectly symmetrical, the mausoleum is flanked by four minarets and surrounded by extensive gardens, a mosque and a building mirroring the mosque called a jawab, meaning answer. In the midst of building the Taj, Shah Jahan upped sticks and moved his capital from Agra to Delhi in 1638, laying the foundations of Shahjahanabad, today known as Old Delhi. Ten years’ later, he moved into the complex, which boasted an imposing red sandstone citadel called the Lal-Qila (Red Fort), marble-clad palaces, and a congregational mosque, the Jama Masjid. Surrounded by more than eightkilometres of ramparts with 14 main gates, it remained the seat of Mughal power for nearly 200 years, before the empire declined and eventually collapsed in 1858 when the last emperor, Bahadur Shah II, was exiled to Burma and the British Raj took over. We run a gauntlet of souvenir sellers who line the approach to the Red Fort, before entering through the Lahore Gate, one of the few gates that remain. The fort was attacked by Persian emperor Nadir Shah in 1739, who looted the fabled Peacock Throne (which was later lost or dismantled), followed by the British in 1857, however, it remains impressive proof of Shah Jahan’s architectural achievements, with pavilions and walls adorned with the Mughal’s trademark World Traveller

floral motifs and semi-precious stones. Making our way through the seething streets of Old Delhi by cycle rickshaw – an experience in itself, as our driver expertly weaves his way through the crowded and chaotic narrow streets – we arrive at Jama Masjid, our final stop. Built between 1644 and 1656 on a raised plinth, the mosque features three great gates and two 40-metre-high minarets made of red sandstone and white marble. “Shah Jahan’s idea was to build the biggest mosque in the world,” explains our guide Hamish. “He fell short of that target but he still created the biggest mosque in India, which can accommodate 20,000 worshippers.” We climb the wide stairs to the northern gateway, remove our shoes, don colourful robes and literally hotfoot it across the scorching courtyard. Sheltering from the sun in the pillared corridors that surround the main space, we admire the bulbous domes and careful attention to symmetry, which by now we recognise as characteristically Mughal. The beautiful mosque would prove to be Shah Jahan’s final architectural extravagance. Two years after it was completed, the 66-year-old ruler fell ill and was eventually deposed by one of his sons, Aurangzeb. Held captive in the Agra Fort, the once powerful emperor spent the last eight years of his life gazing out the window at the Taj Mahal, before he was interred in the magnificent mausoleum alongside his soulmate.


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Iconic : Oman


November // 2014

The Wahiba Sands are a vast, undulating mass of hypnotic reddishbrown sand dunes, some of which rise up as high as 200 metres. They are the quintessential “desert experience� and are still home to many traditional Bedouin people, as well as numerous camels. Reachable from Oman by 4WD vehicle, the sands are best seen at sunrise or sunset, when they glow majestically.




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Iconic : Oman

If you’re in Wyoming’s Yellowstone, you’re in geyser country. The majority of the world’s geysers have been preserved here since 1872, in America’s first official National Park. The most famous of all the geysers is Old Faithful, which erupts every 91 minutes.

Oman is famous for its diving, and the green turtles that live in the warm waters are a big tourism draw. Here, a warden from Ras al-Jinz holds a handful picked up at sunrise, who will be protected during the heat of the day before being released later.


Oman is one of the most green and lush areas in the Middle East. Dhofar, found some thousand kilometres south of Muscat, is not only almost tropical between July-September, it’s also the home of frankincense, the famous aromatic gum resin burned as incense. November // 2014

The Hajar Mountains are the highest mountain range in Oman, and they separate the low coastal plain of the country from the high desert plateau. The roads and hiking trails can reveal stunning plant and animal life, and there are several luxury hotels which are built high up in the peaks, letting the guests view the 500km long stretch of red stone as it changes colour throughout the day due to the sun’s rising and setting.

Muscat’s Royal Mosque was a gift to the nation from Sultan Qaboos to mark 30 years of his reign. The huge mosque can hold over 20,000 worshippers – although children under 10 are not permitted. The mosque also contains the second largest hand-loomed Iranian carpet in the world.

World Traveller


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PLAIN SIGHT Laura Holt takes to the Patagonian grasslands in search of a feline friend. What she discovered far exceeded her expectations


November // 2014


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ast as lightning, a black silhouette shot across the shoreline of Lake Sarmiento. It was too large to be a grey fox and too small to be a guanaco, the curious llama-like creature that roams these lands. “Did you see that?”, my guide, Felipe, pointed. “Puma?” I replied. “I think so,” said Felipe. It was only my first day in the Torres del Paine National Park, a wild portion of Chilean Patagonia that’s lavished with towering glaciers, snow-clad valleys and dramatic peaks. A sighting of this size was simply too lucky. Even if it was over in a flash. Taking in a great swathe of Chile and Argentina, running along the Andes and down to where South America flicks its tail towards Antarctica, Patagonia defies easy definition. It was Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan who first documented the area in 1520, during what became the first circumnavigation of the world. Magellan and his crew described seeing “patagónes” on the coastline – naked men who stood like giants, double


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the height of normal human beings. The fallacy pervaded for centuries, until later explorers encountered the real Tehuelche tribes and decided they were, in fact, of completely normal stature. But the seed had been sown and early maps of the New World continued to mark the area as regio gigantum (region of giants). While other intrepid travellers come to Torres del Paine to tackle the formidable `W’ circuit – an extended trek that links five key points in the national park over several days of scrambling up and down mountains – I planned to take a more leisurely pace, ensconced in the back of a chauffeur-driven van. My goal? To spot Patagonia’s rare big cats and other endemic wildlife. The tour is run by EcoCamp, a carbonneutral retreat of 25 geodesic domes, which stands at the foot of the park’s top attraction: the Cordillera del Paine. This twisted chain of granite and basalt mountains soars up from Magellanic forest, a type of woodland particular to this southermost section of South America, and from the Patagonian steppe,

a semi-arid desert dominated by shrubby plants and glacial lakes. Its highest summit is the Cerro Grande, which tops out at 2,884m, but even more dramatic are the twin devil-like Cuernos – or horns – and the three cathedral-like spires that give the park its name: Torres del Paine (Towers of Paine). As we gathered around a fire on the first night at camp, rumours of recent puma sightings abounded. A mother and her cubs had been spotted in the valley days before; a lone male had been seen casually strolling across the camp’s wooden walkways. But by far the most startling

As we gathered around a fire, rumours of recent puma sightings abounded

Opening image: Guanaco framed by mountains. Clockwise from bottom left: Hosteria Las Torres; Gaucho on horseback; Navigation to Grey Glacier; Macizo Paine; lounging puma.

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tale came from the Hotel Las Torres, a collection of low-rise, luxury log cabins, just down the hill. During the off-season, when the hotel was closed to guests, a young puma cub had found its way through an unlocked door and into the bar, only to be discovered a few days later by an unsuspecting member of staff, eating its way through a stash of jamón serrano. This was strangely encouraging news, but with only 50 of these elusive cats in an area roughly the same size as Wales, there were still no guarantees. Having made my selection the night before from a range of activities on offer at the camp, the next morning found me driving through a series of lakes in the November // 2014



company of Felipe, before mountainbiking through the eastern side of the park in the afternoon. As we drove into the Patagonian plains, long-legged guanacos grazed amid the grassland, lifting their heads quizzically as we passed. Overhead, majestic caracaras carved black shadows against a brilliant blue sky. We passed eerie fields of burnt lenga trees – casualties of two recent forest fires – whose tangled trunks appeared dark and Dali-esque. Stopping beside the viridian waters of Lake Nordenskjold, Felipe explained the reason for its piercing blue-green pigment. “It is filled with melted glacial ice, which picks up colour as its runs down the mountains.” Andean condors swirled above, their flight so low I could see their red turkey-like heads, their wingspan – I was told by Felipe – reaching up to three metres in the larger males. At Lake Sarmiento, oystercatchers and black-faced ibis squawked as we approached and elegant ostrich-like rheas pranced past like prima ballerinas, flashing their feathered tutus. It was only as we drew closer, that I wondered if perhaps they weren’t running from us. The flash of a puma’s shadow across the shoreline

the only disturbance of the peace. We strolled through slopes carpeted with yellow paramela bushes and crimson neneo shrubs (whose flowers always point south, like the perfect Patagonian compass). We disturbed a group of 10 condors picking over the remains of a fresh kill, a patchwork of muddy skid marks speaking of a fraught struggle hours before. We watched herds of horses gallop past isolated estancias (farms), whose red, corrugated roofs imbued the landscape with an oddly Scandinavian quality. We crept up on caracara nests, woven from twigs and lambs’ wool, in low-slung trees. And we hiked amid ancient, lichencovered forests where Chilean flickers (woodpeckers) and austral parakeets marked our passage. It was here, as we walked through woodland aglow with yellow baubles of fungus – nicknamed `farolito Chinos’ (Chinese lanterns) – and grotesque cow carcasses, victims of the harsh Patagonian winter, that Felipe suddenly spotted a ball of something hairy. “Puma poo!” he gestured eagerly. I found it hard to summon the same enthusiasm. “Like all felines, they lick

Felipe suddenly spotted a ball of something hairy


sent a bolt of excitement through us. But I suddenly felt vulnerable, out there in the wilderness, with nothing but a stick to defend myself. “There has only been one fatal attack in the park,” Felipe reassured me. “And that was a fisherman. The puma came for his catch, not him. But when he ran ...” Apparently, the best thing to do is stand completely still, but I hoped I wouldn’t have to put the theory to the test. Pumas are, of course, more hunted than hunters. Gauchos – the cowboys of South America – can command large sums of money from wealthy farmers for killing them in order to protect livestock, despite it being illegal within the national park. After a hearty barbecue beside the Blue Lagoon, it was time for two wheels. Hurtling down unmade mountain roads at breakneck speed, past the milky green glacial flow of the Paine river, I was more focused on staying upright than spotting pumas, but I returned to camp exhilarated and utterly exhausted. Over the next few days, the pace picked up steadily. There was a walk up to the Mirador Cuernos, through silent valleys of grazing guanacos, to a startling lookout towards the horns, where the sudden thunderclap of a distant avalanche was November // 2014

their fur, so you can always tell.” But the big cat responsible refused to show itself. The final day demanded layers of thermals, before embarking on a boat ride to the Grey Glacier. Set within the Southern Patagonia Ice Field, which takes up the entire western side of the national park, it is the largest of four glaciers in the Torres del Paine. The wind howled as we approached in a tiny tourist boat, across the churning waters of Lake Grey, scattered with ruptured blocks of ice as big as houses. Split by a mighty rock island, the glacier consists of two bulging arms of ice. Sapphire-blue shards shot upwards in all directions, some showing perfect archways of ice, others jagged like flanks of broken glass. Rising with the sun on my last morning, I bade farewell to the camp and drove out of the park. The light danced on the dusty folds of rock that rose all around me. I scanned the hills in the hope of spotting something come to life. The closest I had come to seeing a puma may have been a fleeting glimpse and some hairy poo, but I realised it mattered little. For my search had made me study every crag and cave, bush and boulder in this vast, ultimately unknowable land of giants, all the more intensely.

WHERE TO STAY Located in the heart of the Torres del Paine National Park is Hotel Las Torres, a collection of low-rise, luxury log cabins perfect for adventurous travellers. Surrounded by the Patagonian landscape, the rooms are rustic and simple. Book a Suite Room, which offers a Jacuzzi and amazing views of the Paine Massif. For information visit or call +971 4 316 6666.


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Cuernos del Paine and Nordenskjold Lake November // 2014



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ROMAN HOLIDAY So much art, so much history, so much to do. Don’t know where to start? S’easy. Just follow Dana Facaros’s 20 steps for the perfect weekend in the Eternal City


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ome. As any Italian will tell you, it’s the world’s most beautiful city, a bottomless honeypot of art, history and dolce vita. But it’s hardly a secret. Show up on a whim, and you risk coming away bothered and bewildered, especially by the never-ending queues. Yet the Eternal City is more organised than ever at helping you avoid them: just follow these 20 steps for the best long weekend ever. And be sure to book places mentioned before leaving home.

Opening page: The Colosseum. This page, clockwise from top left: View across Rome; Pantheon; Exploring by Vespa; Vatican City; Via Condotti; Vatican Museum; Street market.


Shake off the airport-to-hotel brain fuzz with a caffeine hit at Tazza d’Oro. The freshly roasted aroma wafting into the streets is as alluring as the cafe’s bas-relief of a scantily clad Nina Simone lookalike sowing beans over Rome. Order a coffee granita while admiring the rapid-fire skills and slick dance moves of the baristas. Afterwards, time for your first only-inRome moment in the nearby Pantheon: watch frothy clouds sail like frigates through the aperture in the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome, a record the Pantheon still holds after nearly 2,000 years. A CAR AVAGGIO APPETISER (FRI PM, LATER)


The afternoon sun ignites old Rome’s ochres, lemons, salmons and grubby greys, the latter the colour of San Luigi dei Francesi church. Slip inside and make a beeline to the Contarelli Chapel for its three high-drama canvases by Caravaggio on the life of St Matthew. Afterwards, in the Largo di Torre Argentina, one of Rome’s great squares, munch on pizza from the hole-in-the-wall Pizzeria Florida, gazing over the ruins of four of the city’s oldest temples and Pompey’s theatre, where kittens in the cat sanctuary gambol over the spot where Julius Caesar was assassinated. November // 2014


Off to the Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums, for their Friday-evening viewing. Minus the throngs, spend time looking at the masterpieces with fresh eyes, from the marble Laocöon and his Sons writhing in the sea serpent›s embrace, to the Sistine Chapel. Is it the greatest all-time achievement by a single artist? Hard to argue, which makes it all the more poignant that Michelangelo portrayed himself in The Last Judgment as a flayed skin, clasped by the vicious

art critic Arentino in the guise of St Bartholomew. SPARKLING GR APE (FRI NIGHT)

Italians are masters of street lighting, turning Rome after dark into a series of gorgeous opera sets. At one of the best, Piazza Navona, seek out Cul de Sac, just off the square – one of Rome’s oldest wine bars, with an encyclopedia of bottles to accompany platters of cheeses and meats or full meals. A tartufo from Tre Scalini is the perfect accompaniment for a perusal of

buildings that burned while Nero fiddled, over a sacred spring you can hear gurgling far below. LUNCH WITH FASHIONISTAS (SAT EARLY PM)

Take the metro to Spagna, then a table at Palatium. Slick white and charcoal décor plus no red checked tablecloths or al fresco tables equals hardly any tourists. This bar-cum-restaurant is run by the region of Lazio, so try a glass of red Romagnano, and dishes such as green gnocchi with courgettes. Gorgeous young waiting staff, but typical Roman rubbish service. RITZ MEETS ROCOCO: GUCCI AND BERNINI (SAT PM LATER)

Time to (window-)shop in Rome’s swankiest grid of lanes, walking up Via Condotti to enjoy the Rococo beauty of the Spanish Steps. They’re invariably bedecked with visitors from around the world. Just to the right of the steps, Keats’s last home is a museum dedicated to the English Romantic poets. Giggling nuns pass by, with a whiff of fries from the nearby McDonald’s. UP BABOON STREET FOR SUNSET PHOTO OPP (SAT PM LATER)

Bernini’s splashing fountain of river gods, strangely alive in the midnight shadows.

its income went on the shows – so much ingenuity devoted to death.



Walk straight past the scrum of gladiator statues to tour the bowels of the Colosseum. Inaccessible since the 6th century AD, its water and sewerage system, subterranean passages and trap doors (through which gladiators and wild animals were hoisted to fight before some 50,000 spectators) are now open to small groups. As the empire rotted, a third of

First a drink at Sicilian pasticceria Ciuri Ciuri, then an amble to the 12th-century Basilica San Clemente, the best place in Rome to grasp the city’s great age. Down the steps: a 4th-century Christian basilica with 9th-century frescoes. More steps lead down to a spooky pre-Christian villa and a cult shrine to the Persian god Mithras. This in turn stands on ruins of

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Among the 19th-century artists who lived up from the Spanish Steps in Via del Babuino – Baboon Street – were the sculptor Canova and his student Tadolini. Stop for a vino in their old studio, now the Caffè Canova-Tadolini, stuffed with busts and bas-reliefs. Further up is Piazza del Popolo with its obelisk and, in Santa Maria del Popolo church, more Caravaggios (the Crucifixion of St Peter and Conversion of St Paul). Behind the church, climb the hill for St Peter’s dome, framed in the sunset, as a swarm of starlings writhes like a dragon in the sky. November // 2014



Sisto Bridge over the Tiber River


Taxi to Piazza Santa Maria di Trastevere, the evening vortex of Rome›s bohemian Left Bank. Green shutters creak open to admit the cool air; buskers serenade; lovers squeeze together on the fountain steps. Evening emphasises the twilit mystery of the square’s ancient church, especially the 12th-century gold-ground mosaics in the apse, glimmering with a beauty to melt the hardest of hearts. FROM FUNKY BAR TO CULINARY HEAVEN (SAT EVE)


The last washing fluttering over the streets is being creakily pulled in as a crowd descends on Trastevere’s cobbled lanes. Order a beer at the Bar San Calisto; amid the fading football and boxing photos on the walls are customers with some of the most interesting faces in Rome. A 15-minute walk and you’re in another world – at Antico Arco you’ll find a minimalist setting, a smart-casual crowd and locals eating some of Rome’s top Italian food: beef tenderloin in nuts, and a chocolate cake you wish would never end. November // 2014


Rome glittering below looks seductive. Wander back into the centre of Trastevere; retro music coming out of the Chakra café in Piazza Santa Rufina calls for a digestivo in its vaguely exotic setting – staff are uncommonly nice in a city that takes a certain pride in being gruff. Stroll over to the Tiber Island, bathed in golden light and rising out of the river like an ancient trireme – squint, and it’s Jason and the Argonauts, returning with the Golden Fleece.

FACAROS’S TOP TIP ··· Don’t leave without embarking on one of the following tours: the Sightseeing Vatican Museums Friday Night Tour (; Dhs100); the Underground Colosseum Tour (coopculture. it; Dhs110); a four-hour Vespa tour with Bici & Baci (, Dhs700pp); and an epicurean adventure around Trastevere and Testaccio with Eating Italy ( Booking is essential for all four tours.


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WHERE TO STAY ··· Jumeirah Grand Hotel Via Veneto offers elegant rooms in stunning surrounds near Villa Borghese, while the nearby Regina Hotel Baglioni is a grand hotel in an unbeatable location. For the ultimate romantic splurge check in to Residenza Napoleone III – more specifically, Napoleon III’s bedroom, restored to its original splendour. For information visit or call +971 4 316 6666.


It’s really quiet in the city centre – except for the bells. Breakfast is cappuccino and pastry at Sant-Eustachio il Caffè, founded 1938 and keeper of a coffee-making formula as secret as Coca-Cola’s. Another secret, just behind the Pantheon: Bernini’s beguiling baby elephant statue in the piazza and Michelangelo’s little-known, but exquisite, marble Christ by the altar in Santa Maria sopra Minerva, the figure’s nudity veiled by a later bronze twirl. ROMAN HOLIDAY THRILLS ASTRIDE A VESPA (SUN AM-EARLY PM)


Clockwise from top: Trevi Fountain; Piazza del Popolo; Piazza di Spagna; St. Peter’s Basilica; Piazza del Popolo.

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Rome’s traffic is half as crazy on Sundays, so time for a tour on a vintage Vespa behind a Bici & Baci guide. You’ll scoot through the city’s streets past many of Rome’s heavy hitters: the Forum, Appian Way, Baths of Caracalla, Bocca della Verità, Castel Sant’Angelo, and the Janiculum for the noon firing of a cannon – the traditional way of keeping all of Rome’s clocks honest. It’s all huge fun, even if, unlike Audrey Hepburn, you have to wear a helmet. BUCOLIC BRUNCH IN THE PARK (SUN EARLY PM)

Ask to be dropped off near the Cinecaffè, in the Villa Borghese gardens. This was a

popular dance hall in the ‘50s and today functions as Rome›s cinematèque, the Casa di Cinema. Summer weekends see it lay on a sumptuous brunch buffet. Sit outside with Roman families eating orzo with pesto, as their bambini, in rainbow Benetton duds, gambol and the parasol pines cast late-afternoon shadows over the lawns. PONDERING THE REWARDS OF NEPOTISM (SUN PM)

Last booking of the day is for the nearby Galleria Borghese, once the pleasure palace of Cardinal Scipione Borghese. Having a family member elected pope (Paul V) was the equivalent of winning the lottery: few, however, had Scipione’s exquisite taste. Amid the masterpieces by Caravaggio (David with the Head of Goliath), Correggio (his softly sensuous Danäe), and Titian (the mysterious Sacred and Profane Love), glance at curiosities including grisly 3rd-century AD gladiator mosaics. SEDUCED BY GELATO, THEN A COIN IN THE FOUNTAIN (SUN EVE)

As a chaser, an ice-cream masterpiece: at spanking new Come il Latte, the gelato is as creamy as a Rococo cloud. Try the caramello al sale (salty caramel), sitting on the bench, and let it linger meltingly on your tongue. Then walk 20 minutes to that happy water theatre, the Trevi Fountain World Traveller

– toss in a coin and make a wish and, as legend has it, you’ll return to Rome again. OH, SHOW ME THE WAY TO THE NEXT WHISKY BAR (SUN NIGHT)

Few passers-by pop into Gregory’s Jazz Club as it has no sign, yet few places in Rome are as cosy and welcoming. There’s a mind-boggling choice of whiskies from around the world as well as Argentine steaks on the grill. Afterwards, upstairs, sink into the comfy seats for great live jazz that keeps the joint jumping long after midnight. MICHELANGELO’S REALLY BIG DOME (MON AM)

Note how St Peter’s Square is a giant sundial. At the entrance to the Basilica pass by the limbo of souls who didn’t

obey the strict dress code, and marvel at sights including Bernini’s Tomb of Pope Alexander VII, draped with a skeleton and the statue of Truth with her foot on top of Protestant Britain. Take the 550 steps (or lift) to the roof for vertiginous views over the Vatican gardens and the square, between saintly, outsized statues. QUICK LUNCH BEFORE THE AIRPORT (MON EARLY PM)

Hotfoot it to deli Franchi, a Sistine chapel of sausages, cheeses, truffles and caviar. It’s packed with Rome’s best supplì (golden deep-fried rice croquettes filled with stringy mozzarella), meats, salads and seafood. Grab last-minute foodie gifts, then a taxi, so as to pick up your bags en route to the airport, humming Arrivederci, Roma! à la Mario Lanza. November // 2014


Weekends Everything you need to know about short-haul escapes





Six of the best cities for a shopping adventure

The pick of The Palm Jumeirah’s resorts


74 Chef Greg Malouf debuts his Dubai restaurant


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November // 2014


48 HOURS IN...

The little island country with the big history is the perfect place for a two-day getaway



Morning Start your day off with an early-morning visit to Bahrain National Museum. With a well-deserved reputation as the most popular tourist attraction in Bahrain, it’s the perfect place to get an introduction to this historic land. The museum can keep whole families occupied all day, with the shop selling chic Bahraini crafts a real treat.

Morning Before sunrise, make your way out to Al Fateh Grand Mosque, one of the largest mosques in the world. Covering over 6,500 square metres and capable of accommodating over 7,000 worshippers at a time, it is truly a sight to behold. It’s also the site of the National Library of Bahrain, where the country’s rich literary history can be explored.

Afternoon Take lunch at Bayti, in Bahrain Financial Harbour, which has a reputation for daring dishes like chocolate shawarma and a host of other quirky takes on the classic Arabic staple. Then it’s a trip to visit the Tree of Life, found 2km from Jebel Dukhan. Despite there being no local water source, the tree is covered in green leaves and yœÜiÀÃÌ܈Vi>Þi>À°

Afternoon Search out the Italian restaurant Oliveto in Adliya. You’ll recognise this cosy eatery for one reason – it will be full of expat Italians, which proves its quality. Then, get ready to shop at Bab el-Bahrain Souk. Then head downtown for some shopping, admiring stunning architecture like the jagged World Trade Centre.

Evening Splash out at Nirvana, the region’s most expensive Indian restaurant. The ۈÃÕ>wÀiܜÀŽ`ˆÃ«>ވà just as spectacular to look at as it is to taste, with the Masahari kebabs and local wÅ>˜`œLÃÌiÀ`ˆÃ…iÃLiˆ˜} highlights on the menu. To w˜` ˆÀÛ>˜>]ȓ«Þ…i>` to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel & Spa – it’s one of the hotel’s signature restaurants.

Evening Widely regarded as the best Lebanese food in Bahrain, Zahle in Manama serves contemporary and traditional cuisine. Once you’ve had ޜÕÀw]Ì>Žiˆ˜>ŜÜ at the stunning National Theatre of Bahrain, just a few streets away. The 750-seat auditorium this month plays host to music sensation Elias al Rahbani.

Where to stay

Ask a concierge

Roderick Asahan, from InterContinental Bahrain, picks three of the best restaurants Abd El Wahab consists of two yœœÀÃ]܅iÀi̅iwÀÃÌyœœÀˆÃ mainly for dining only and the second is where you can enjoy live Arabic entertainment. Bushido serves contemporary Japanese cuisine and is an award-winner, providing a balance between austerity

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and richness. Legendz Steakhouse shares its passion for prime meat cuts with friendly and professional service, and is found at the InterContinental Bahrain. Great for romantic evenings.

InterContinental Bahrain ( In the heart of Manama (and therefore close to the best restaurants and culture), this hotel offers fantastic city views over the Financial Harbour and is just 10 minutes away from Bahrain’s City Centre. Or stay on site, enjoying the Spa InterContinental experience or the international dishes cooked up by the chefs.

Gulf Hotel ( The Gulf Hotel is one of the most venerable and respected luxury hotels on the island. With over 40 years of hospitality experience, the v>˜Ì>Ã̈VwÛi‡ÃÌ>ÀՏvœÌi offers resort facilities with a modern city location, and the lagoon style pool will make you feel like you’re on a tropical island. Don’t forget to join the VIP Club, either.

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6 Of The Best

SIX of the BEST


SHOPPING DESTINATIONS Grab your plastic – it’s time for some retail therapy


It’s the shopping destination the whole world talks about – and no wonder, with the choice on offer. The super-luxury The Dubai Mall is the largest in the world based on square footage, but Mall of the Emirates and the Marina Mall are not to be sniffed at either. The Ibn Battuta Mall is a fun-themed shopping centre that chronicles the great man’s life of exploring and is also packed full of high-end brands. A handful of off-the-beaten track malls can be found scattered along Jumeirah Beach Road, such as Sunset Mall and the new Citywalk development. Where to stay: Vida Downtown Chic, stylish and sophisticated – the Vida is Dubai’s most glamorous hotel, and is just a short walk from the Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Mall.




Busy and bustling, Mumbai is a great shopping destination for anybody bored of the “same old, same old” as far as malls are concerned. For the best names in fashion and jewellery, seek out the Palladium, part of the High Street Phoenix Mall. It’s a dedicated four-level luxury shopping precinct that houses Burberry, Chanel, Jimmy Choo and more. For hip Indian fashion, travel to Colaba in south Mumbai. Where to stay: Palladium Hotel What better shopping spot could there be than the hotel >ÌÌ>V…i`̜̅iw˜iÃ̏ÕÝÕÀÞ mall in the area? Each deluxe room is the perfect place to recharge after a day of spending.



New to the scene but not to be underestimated, the capital of Azerbaijan recently opened its wÀÃ̏ÕÝÕÀÞ“>°*œÀÌ >ŽÕˆÃ found in Baku City and, as well as carrying prestigious brands like Ralph Lauren and Stella McCartney, has stunning views of the Caspian Sea. The mall itself was designed by leading British architects Broadway

Malayan and is worth visiting by itself. For night owls, there’s also a mall called 28, which is open 24 hours a day. Where to stay: Fairmont Baku, Flame Towers You can’t miss these sweeping statement towers from anywhere in Baku – so why not book your weekend stay there? Fairmont’s luxury hotel offers impeccable service.


November // 2014


6 Of The Best



As well as the stunning malls you’d expect in this travel hotspot, Istanbul’s true fashionistas head to the Nisantasi district. Its history goes back as far as the 18th century, and the shopping mecca springing up around Tesvikiye Street includes boutiques by Burberry, Cartier and Max Mara. In between stores are cafés and restaurants that refuel the well-heeled. Where to stay: The Sofa Hotel Hip, cool, and bang in the middle of the gorgeous Nisantasi district, this hotel is a little-known gem. It might just be WT’s favourite European hotel.

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As with most cities, heading Downtown is the best bet when it comes to shopping. Retail lovers can choose from countless malls and streets with designer labels, or pick up some local – but no less expensive – work from Russian runway stars. Look out for areas like Tretyakovsky Proezd and the Gosudarstveny Univer Mag (GUM), which is a stunning former exhibition centre that’s now a super-high-end mall. Where to stay: Hotel National Part of the stunning The Luxury Collection, ̅ˆÃwÛi‡ÃÌ>ÀëœÌˆÃ˜œÌœ˜ÞVœÃi̜ Downtown’s shopping highlights, but also great sights like Red Square and St. Basil’s Cathedral.

5 Beirut

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There’s a reason Beirut is known as the “Paris of the Middle East”. In a part of the world renowned for its luxury, this cosmopolitan city offers style to go with its laid-back vibe. Downtown Beirut has boutiques from designers such as Alexander McQueen, Louis Vuitton and Dior, while the nearby Beirut Souks, the city’s largest shopping area, is home to Armani, Bottega Veneta, Dolce & Gabbana et al. Where to stay: Four Seasons Hotel Beirut Centrally located and close to Nejmeh Square, every room has a terrace boasting unrivalled Mediterranean and mountain views.

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Clé Time Australian-born, Lebanese-bred and Michelin-star rated, Greg Malouf is getting tongues wagging with his debut restaurant in Dubai

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Recipe from Malouf: New Middle Eastern Food published by Hardie Grant Books


Recipe from Saha published by Hardie Grant Books


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…ÃÓ]äää]œÀޜÕVœÕ`…>ÛivœÕÀœÀwÛi “iââi`ˆÃ…iÃ>˜`>}>ÃÃœv}À>«i>˜` ëi˜` …ÃÓää°/…iœÌ…iÀÀi>Þˆ“«œÀÌ>˜Ì ˆÃÃÕiˆÃÃiÀۈVi>˜`̅iÃÌ>vw˜}°/…>̈à ܈˜Ìi}À>° œ“>ÌÌiÀ…œÜ}œœ`ޜÕ >Àiˆ˜̅iŽˆÌV…i˜]ˆÌ½Ã̅ivÀœ˜Ìœv…œÕÃi ̅>̽Ã}œˆ˜}̜`ÀˆÛiˆÌ°/…iÞ…>Ûi̜Ž˜œÜ iÛiÀÞ̅ˆ˜}>LœÕÌ̅i«>Vi]̅ivœœ`] “ÞÃivq̅iÞ˜ii`̜Ž˜œÜ>̅i`iÌ>ˆÃ Ü̅iÞV>˜>˜ÃÜiÀ>˜ÞµÕiÃ̈œ˜°/…iÞ½Ài ˜œÌÕÃÌ«iœ«iV>ÀÀވ˜}vœœ`>ÀœÕ˜`]̅ˆÃ ˆÃ>V>ÀiiÀ°˜iL>˜iÃiÀiÃÌ>ÕÀ>˜ÌÃޜÕ܈ œÀ`ˆ˜>ÀˆÞ}iÌ̅>Ì]>˜`̅>̽Ã܅>ÌÜi½Ài }œˆ˜}vœÀ° November // 2014






YOU FLY Turkey is one of the hottest destinations of the year. Before you jet off, Chef Umat Cilit from Lalezar at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray suggests these delectable dishes.

BAKLAVA The celebratory ‘royal’ dessert in traditional Turkey, eaten on special occaisions, is made from a variety of different pastries wi`܈̅“>˜Þ ˜ÕÌíÜ>˜ÕÌÃ] pistachios) and is iÝÌÀi“iÞÃÜiiÌ° /ÀÞˆÌ>Ì؏ØœœÕ in Karaköy, ÃÌ>˜LՏ°

DOLMA The hot or cold `ˆÃ…“>`i܈̅ vegetables, rice and meat is a dish found all >VÀœÃÃ/ÕÀŽiÞ° recommend a great restaurant V>i` œœ>âˆXˆ œÀÃ> ˆ˜>ÀLˆÞi]ÃÌ>˜LՏ°



/…ˆÃ“i>̇wi`“ˆ˜ˆ«>ÃÌ>`ˆÃ…V>˜Li LiÃÌÃ>“«i`ˆ˜̅i̜ܘœv>ÞÃiÀˆ in central Turkey and is made by hand vÀœ“`œÕ}…>˜`“i>Ì°/À>`ˆÌˆœ˜>Þ ܜ“i˜ܜՏ` make this dish for groups of families, due to its complexity and the skills needed to mold ̅i“ˆ˜ˆÅ>«ið

November // 2014

BAB AL SHAMS DESERT RESORT AND SPA, DUBAI What sets Bab Al Shams apart from the rest of Dubai’s luxury hotels? ˆÀÃÌ̅ˆ˜}ÃwÀÃÌ] >LƂ-…>“ÈؽÌvœÕ˜` ˆ˜ޜÕÀÌÞ«ˆV> œÜ˜ÌœÜ˜ ÕL>ˆœV>̈œ˜° It’s nestled in the sand dunes inland, ܅iÀi̅iÀi½Ã̜Ì>«i>Vi>˜`µÕˆi̇ ˜œÌÀ>vwVÜ՘`Ã]˜œVˆÌÞLÕÃ̏i\ÕÃÌ …>À“œ˜Þ°̽Ã>˜iÝVÕÈÛiœÜÀˆÃiÀiÜÀÌ Ì…>ÌLi˜`ȘÃi>“iÃÏÞ܈̅ˆÌÃ`iÃiÀÌ ÃÕÀÀœÕ˜`ˆ˜}ð œÌ̅>̈̽Ã̜œv>ÀvÀœ“

ÕL>ˆ‡ÕÃÌ>{䓈˜ÕÌi`ÀˆÛi>Ü>Þ° What’s there to do there? *ÕÌȓ«Þ\՘܈˜`° >LƂ-…>“ÈÃLՈÌ ˆ˜>˜ƂÀ>LˆVvœÀÌÃiÌ̈˜}ˆ˜>˜`>ÀœÕ˜` >˜œ>Èð˜Ãˆ`i̅iÜ>Ã]̅iÀi>Ài Å>`i`VœÕÀÌÞ>À`Ã]Ü>ŽÜ>ÞÃ>˜`Ü>ÌiÀ features that provide cool shelter and >˜>“Lˆi˜Ì>̓œÃ«…iÀi°/…i->̜Àˆ-«> ˆÃÃiVœ˜`̜˜œ˜i>˜`œvviÀÃ`œâi˜Ãœv rituals, massages, signature treatments and alternative therapies to gently bring vÀ>ââi`Lœ`ˆiÃ>˜`“ˆ˜`ÃL>VŽ̜̅iˆÀ ÛiÀÞLiÃÌ° Are there good dining options? >À“œÀi̅>˜ޜÕ“ˆ}…Ì̅ˆ˜Ž°/…iÀi>Ài several bars, and great restaurants like >Ã>>]܅ˆV…LÀˆ˜}Ã̅iiݜ̈Vy>ۜÕÀà œv˜`ˆ>ÆƂ>`…iiÀ>…܅ˆV…Li˜`ψÛi performances from dancers, falconry iÝ«iÀÌÃ>˜`iÛi˜>…œÀÃiŜÜ܈̅ `iˆVˆœÕÃƂÀ>LˆVVՈȘiÆ>˜`ƂœÀÃ>˜] ܈̅ˆ˜ÌiÀ˜>̈œ˜>vœœ`vœÀ̅i܅œi v>“ˆÞ̜i˜œÞ°


7œÀ`/À>ÛiiÀ…>ÃÌi>“i`Õ«܈̅ >LƂ-…>“à iÃiÀÌ,iÜÀÌE-«>̜ œvviÀ>˜>“>∘}«Àˆâiœv>˜ˆ}…̽ÃÃÌ>Þ vœÀÌܜ«iœ«i܈̅LÀi>Žv>ÃÌ>˜`> V…œˆViœvÕ˜V…œÀ`ˆ˜˜iÀˆ˜ƂœÀÃ>˜ ÀiÃÌ>ÕÀ>˜Ì°/œLiˆ˜܈̅>V…>˜Viœv ܈˜˜ˆ˜}]>˜ÃÜiÀ̅ˆÃi>ÃÞµÕiÃ̈œ˜\ What is the name of the luxury spa vœÕ˜`>Ì >LƂ-…>“ö Ƃ®->̜Àˆ-«> ®9>Ž>̜Àˆ-«>

®->˜ÌœÀˆ˜ˆ-«> Email your answer to easywin@ before November 30. Terms and conditions apply on the prize.

Special Promotion


PICK OF THE PALM There’s never been a better choice of where to stay on this man-made wonder of the world. Our guide will help you make your holiday on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah one to remember


World Traveller

November // 2014

Special Promotion

For ultimate glamour:


From the moment you enter the stunning lobby at Fairmont The Palm to the minute you depart, you’ll be inundated with sights to make you gasp

The Restaurants A delightful hideaway on the beach, Seagrill on 25° Restaurant & Lounge takes diners on a culinary cruise across the Mediterranean with an exciting new concept – and an allnew menu. Greek chef de cuisine Dimitris Lazarou will transport guests to Spain, À>˜Vi>˜`Ì>ÞLivœÀiw˜>Þ`ˆÃi“L>ÀŽˆ˜} at his homeland of Greece. Introducing a sophisticated alternative to the hustle and bustle of Dubai’s Tuesday ˜ˆ}…̺>`ˆiý ˆ}…Ì»ÃVi˜i] ń,iÃÌ>ÕÀ>˜Ì & Lounge is the perfect place to Wind Down after Work, with two drinks and a delicious dim sum basket for just Dhs99. The last restaurant you should be sure to visit is Frevo, which comes from the Portuguese word ferver (to boil) – and it’s easy to see why. The authentic Brazilian churrascaria experience tempts you with 18 cuts of meat and moves on to live Latina and samba entertainment that’s sure to get your


November // 2014

toes tapping during dinner.

The Entertainment If you’ve spent the previous night dancing yourself dizzy, it might be best to take it easy during the day – and what better place than one of Fairmont The Palm’s four outdoor pools? Most are perfect for relaxing, and hiding behind sunglasses – but families are catered for too with a pool dedicated to kids and grown-ups alike. The family pool opens from 6.30am to 6.30pm, while the adult-only space is open until 10pm for those who want to take a dip under the stars.

The Spa The luxury found at Fairmont The Palm extends to its wonderful Willow Stream Spa, which harnesses the power of nature to rejuvenate its guests. Signature treatments include the Ultimate Facial, an anti-ageing

experience that repairs and hydrates the skin; and the centuries-old Willow Stream Elements treatment that uses a medicinal moor-mud wrap rich in natural vitamins. The Willow Stream Spa is the most elegant way to end your stay at Fairmont The Palm.

The Offer Until March 31, 2015, let Fairmont The Palm be your tranquil escape and enjoy a luxurious stay with plenty of extras when you book for four nights or more. Enjoy daily breakfast, as well as your choice of lunch or dinner, and access to the hotel’s kids’ club. If you decide to stay in a spacious suite or Fairmont Gold View Room, you’ll also receive complimentary return airport transfers. Rates start from Dhs1,799 per night, exclusive of 10 per cent municipality fees, 10 per cent service charges and Dhs20 Tourism Dirham Fee per bedroom, per night.

For f ine dining:


With six distinct dining options to choose from, the Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah is a premier destination for culinary connoisseurs

The Restaurants A dining destination of note, The Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah features six distinct restaurants and bars, guaranteed to impress discerning palates. The innovative European cuisine at Social by Heinz Beck is the world-renowned, three Michelinstar chef’s debut in Dubai. Chef Beck’s stunning modern interpretations of Italian and Mediterranean culinary traditions will delight the senses. From Europe to Southeast Asia, LAO is the next gastronomic highlight to be found at the Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah. Taking inspiration from the wÀÃÌ“ˆi˜˜ˆÕ“ÌÀˆLi̅>ÌÃiÌ̏i`>VÀœÃà -œÕ̅i>ÃÌƂÈ>]̅iÀiÃÌ>ÕÀ>˜ÌÀiyiVÌÃ̅i epicurean traditions of the Lao people, ̅i“ÃiÛiÃ…i>ۈÞˆ˜yÕi˜Vi`LÞVՈȘi from Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. All-day dining is found at Mezzerie, an elegant space combining Arabic details with western character and taking inspiration from the spices used in the region. Each of the three restaurants hosts its own unique Friday brunch allowing you to sample the best dishes at once – just be sure to make reservations.

The Amenities Refresh in one of two temperaturecontrolled swimming pools, or stroll along the hotel’s 200-metre stretch of private beach, with soft white sands. The hotel’s expert Personal Concierge team is always eager to offer suggestions on things to do, ܅i̅iÀˆÌ½Ãw˜`ˆ˜}ܓi̅ˆ˜}Vœœ>˜` exciting to keep the kids entertained like Coco’s Kids Club, or fun water activities like snorkelling, paddle boarding or even water skiing at the dedicated Water Sports Centre, there’s never a shortage of fun to be had at Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah, no matter your age.

World Traveller

The Spa

The Offer

The Waldorf Astoria Spa Dubai offers nearly 50 treatments and services to indulge in. The inviting and relaxing spa area covers over 3,200 square metres of indoor space and has an elegant array of hydrotherapy facilities and even two private couples relaxation suites. Open daily from 10am to 9pm, the spa takes the best of therapies from around the world and combines them to create a soothing, luxurious hideaway.

See in 2015 in style at the New Year’s Seaside Gala dinner. Featuring an elegant selection of dishes, the joyous occasion ˆÃVœ“«i“i˜Ìi`LÞ>wÛi‡«ˆiViL>˜` followed by a DJ after midnight. Priced just Dhs950 inclusive of soft drinks, Dhs1,750 inclusive of house beverages and Dhs875 for children.

November // 2014


Special Promotion

For the wow factor:


Atlantis is world famous for its sheer variety of restaurants, attractions and even shopping destinations. But don’t think it’s overstretched – this is quantity and quality in equal measure

The Restaurants Where to begin? Some of the best restaurants in Dubai are found in Atlantis, which boasts a whopping 23 restaurants, bars and lounges serving over 28 different cuisines. Japanese superstar chef Nobu Matsuhisa has his only Dubai location here, dishing up delicious portions of his signature Sashimi salad with Matsuhisa soy sauce dressing. Saffron is a dramatic and contemporary Asian masterpiece, designed by awardwinning New York restaurant designer Adam Tihany. Twenty theatrical cooking stations take in a taste of every region of Asia, and its Friday brunch, with chefs working at full speed, is a sight to behold. Families will love The Burger Joint, a no-nonsense spot where the emphasis is on vÀiŏÞ«Ài«>Ài`LÕÀ}iÀÃÕȘ}̅iw˜iÃÌ quality of 100 per cent pure beef. TBJ is a huge success because of its constantly evolving menu – there are monthly and even weekly specials that are blink-and-you’llmiss-them delicious.


The Entertainment This is where Atlantis really rules the roost. You could spend a month at Atlantis and Ã̈w˜`˜iÜ>˜`iÝVˆÌˆ˜}Ü>ÞÃ̜ëi˜` your days. Top of the list is the wonderful November // 2014

Aquaventure Waterpark, which has dozens œvψ`iÃ>˜`>“i>˜`iÀˆ˜}]Ài>݈˜}>âÞ river for catching rays. The hotel itself offers over 1.4 kilometres of beach access, as well as two sizeable pools: the Zero Entry Pool for families and kids, and the Royal Pool for >“œÀiÀi>Ýi`]>`ՏÌǜ˜Þ>“Lˆi˜Vi°

The Spa The cavernous ShuiQi Spa and Fitness centre in Atlantis is a tranquil place of serenity that’s bound to stay in your memory long after your stay comes to an end. Set œÛiÀÌܜyœœÀÃ܈̅ˆ˜̅i,œÞ>/œÜiÀÃœv Atlantis, the spa offers treatments, bathing options, traditional and water therapies. Facial and body treatments come from Shiseido, a leader in health and beauty solutions for over 140 years, and ancient Ayurvedic massages can also be enjoyed. Don’t forget to stock up on Margy’s Monte Carlo products before you check out.

The Offer Until 22 December 2014, enjoy 50% room rate reduction on a 1 night stay from USD195 per person. Includes access to Aquaventure Waterpark & The Lost Chambers Aquarium – up to 2 kids stay free when sharing parents’ room. To book call +971 4 316 6666 or visit

The Restaurants Healthy eating is a must if you want to maintain perfect wellbeing, so nourish your body and soul at one of Anantara Dubai The *>“,iÜÀÌE-«>½ÃÈÝ`ˆ˜ˆ˜}`iÃ̈˜>̈œ˜Ã° The quirkiest is Bushman’s Restaurant & >À]>…i>ÀÌÞƂÕÃÌÀ>ˆ>˜i>ÌiÀÞ̅>ÌÀiyiVÌà the rustic outdoors. Succulent cuts of “i>Ì>˜`wÅ>Ài}Àˆi`̜«iÀviV̈œ˜] and there’s even a resident Salt Guru who will recommend the perfect salt variety to complement your meal. Airy and breezy, The Beach House ˆÃ>Ài>Ýi`Li>V…È`i`ˆ˜ˆ˜}>˜` entertainment venue that has superb views of the Dubai shoreline. The cuisine is modern Mediterranean and the menu includes pizzas, tapas and seafood, all complemented by delicious signature cocktails. Ƃ˜>˜Ì>À>½Ã/…>ˆ…iÀˆÌ>}iˆÃiÝ«œÀi`>Ì ̅iiÝVˆÌˆ˜}iŽœ˜}]̅iÀiÜÀ̽ÃÈ}˜>ÌÕÀi dining venue. Named after the legendary river in South East Asia, a night here «Àœ“ˆÃiÃ>œÕÀ˜iÞœvÀˆV…>˜`y>ۜÕÀvՏ discovery. Menu highlights include Chengdu spiced lamb, followed by caramel palm sugar and pandan crème brûlée with coconut ice cream.

For deep relaxation:


Anantara is derived from the ancient Sanskrit word meaning “without end”, and that’s just what you get at ̅ˆÃՏÌÀ>‡ÕÝÕÀÞÀiÌÀi>Ì\…i>Ì…Þ]ÀiÕÛi˜>̈˜}Ài>Ý>̈œ˜ that you’ll never want to leave behind

The Entertainment Perched on the Eastern crescent of the Palm Jumeirah, the amenities on offer at this `iÕÝiÀiÜÀÌ>Ài>«iÀviVÌvœÀ՘܈˜`ˆ˜}° /…iÃÌ՘˜ˆ˜}x䇓iÌÀi‡œ˜}ˆ˜w˜ˆÌÞ«œœ is just steps away from the sea, and the Ü՘`œvÜ>ÌiÀyœÜˆ˜}vÀœ“̅iÃi>…œÀÃi pool ornaments running alongside are a delight for the ears. Treat them even further by listening in to resident musician Josh McCartney, who performs classic, timeless acoustic covers from Monday to Friday and at Saturday’s Lazy Lunch at Bushman’s Restaurant & Bar.

The Spa If Anantara’s Maldivian-style Over Water 6ˆ>Ã…>`˜½ÌÀi>Ýi`ޜÕi˜œÕ}…]ˆÌ“ˆ}…Ì be time to check into the stunning spa. Using holistic methods to attain spiritual wellbeing, the rich cultural traditions of Thailand and the Middle East are at the centre of every type of treatment available. The celeb-favourite, 150-minute Natura Bissé Diamond Life Infusion Ritual helps recharge skin worn down by busy city life and should not be missed; over the winter holiday you’ll also receive a complimentary massage and goody bag when you book this treatment.


The Offer /…iƂÀ>Lˆ>˜-«> Ý«iÀˆi˜Viˆ˜VÕ`iÃ>£x per cent discount on many room types, daily breakfast and complimentary massage for two, as well as 20 per cent discount on all additional spa treatments. Book at World Traveller

November // 2014

Weekends brought to you by

World Traveller Weekend Offers

Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa Al Waha Hotel


Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa Al Waha Hotel 1 night from USD130 per person* Special offer: 20% room rate reduction. Includes: Stay in a Superior Pool View Room with breakfast daily. Validity: October 30-December 25, 2014. *Applicable to GCC markets only

Sri Lanka

Citrus Waskaduwa 4 nights from USD295 per person. Special offer: Stay 2 nights and receive an additional night free. Includes: Stay in a Standard Room with breakfast and dinner daily plus return airport transfers. Validity: Now ‘til December 23, 2014.

Banyan Tree Al Wadi, Ras Al Khaimah

YAS ISLAND If you fancy a short break within the GCC, take advantage of these fantastic offers for a weekend to remember on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island

How to book


Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi 1 night from USD155 per person. Includes: Stay in a Deluxe Room with breakfast daily. Validity: Now ‘til Dec 31, 2014.

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.

November // 2014

Crowne Plaza Yas Island, Abu Dhabi 1 night from USD130 per person. Includes: Stay in a Superior Room with breakfast daily and 2 Yas park tickets. Validity: Now ‘til Feb 28, 2015.

Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Sahel Villa Resort


Jumeirah Zabeel Saray 1 night from USD260 per person. Special offer: 30% room rate reduction and complimentary breakfast daily. Includes: Stay in a Deluxe King Room - Arabian Sea View Validity: November 8-December 26, 2014. Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah 1 night from USD185 per person. Special offer: 44% room rate reduction. Includes: Stay in a Deluxe Skyline Sea View Room with breakfast daily. Validity: Now ‘till December 26, 2014. Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Sahel Villa Resort 2 nights from USD470 per person. Special offer: 20% room rate reduction. Includes: Stay in a One Bedroom Anantara Villa with breakfast daily. Validity: Now ‘til December 20, 2014. Banyan Tree Al Wadi, Ras Al Khaimah 1 night from USD315 per person. Special offer: Kids stay free plus complimentary upgrade to Half Board, complimentary Rainforest Experience and a 45 minute archery session per stay. Includes: Stay in a Al Rimal Deluxe Pool Villa with breakfast daily. Validity: Now ‘til December 27, 2014.


MUST DO Swim in the Dead Sea It’s the lowest spot on earth, and it’s also the saltiest and most mineral-packed body of water in the world. The Dead Sea has been entertaining swimmers for decades – even if it is technically a lake, not a sea. Not only is it great fun to effortlessly bob around ˆ˜̅iÜ>ÌiÀ­Ì…i…ˆ}…Ã>ÌVœ˜Ìi˜Ì“>ŽiÃޜÕyœ>Ì much better), the healing powers of the waters are widely recognised, with the varying minerals doing wonders for any skin or muscle ailments you might be suffering from. Slap a generous amount of Dead Sea mud on any exposed bit of skin, lie back in the water and let nature take its rejuvenating course. For more information on Jordan and trips to the Dead Sea, please visit your nearest dnata outlet or call +971 4 316 6666.

World Traveller

November // 2014




A London pad designed “by Royal Appointment”


Royal Suite Where:

InterContinental London Park Lane About:

145 Piccadilly used to be Queen Elizabeth II’s childhood residence. Today, it’s the home of InterContinental London Park Lane, a timeless and luxurious slice of the city’s history. The Royal Suite forms the crown jewel of the hotel, and contains everything you’d expect from this most upmarket of destinations. The contemporary design draws inspiration from Her Majesty’s style, and has at its heart a stunning living area, which contains an opulent handblown glass chandelier. The windows look out onto the Knightsbridge skyline, and the sumptuous master bedroom houses an expansive walk-in wardrobe and is inspired by the backdrops Cecil Beaton used in his portraits of the Queen. Overall, the suite Vœ˜Ì>ˆ˜ÃwÛiLi`Àœœ“Ã>˜` wÛiL>̅Àœœ“ÃqwÌvœÀÀœÞ>ÌÞ] >˜`wÌvœÀޜÕÀv>“ˆÞ°


November // 2014


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

For reservations please contact +971 2 811 5888 or visit

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World Traveller Nov'14  

The Middle East’s highest-circulating travel magazine

World Traveller Nov'14  

The Middle East’s highest-circulating travel magazine

Profile for hotmedia