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October 2014

Complimentary Copy

Issue Seventy Eight

Produced in International Media Production Zone








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Managing Director

Victoria Thatcher Editorial Director

John Thatcher Business Development Director

Jason Brown Editor

Tracey Scott Deputy Editor

Richard Jenkins Features Editor

Lara Brunt Senior Designer

Adam Sneade Designer & Illustrator

Andy Knappett Production Manager

Chalitha Fernando To contact any of the above people, email

Jun-Dec 2013 | 23,167 | BPA Consumer Audit Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from HOT Media Publishing is strictly prohibited. All prices mentioned are correct at time of press but may change. HOT Media Publishing does not accept liability for omissions or errors in World Traveller. Tel: 00971 4 364 2876 Fax: 00971 4 369 7494

As we enter the final quarter of 2014 I have to admit: we’re feeling a little smug about the number of air miles WT has accumulated so far this year. As a result of said miles we’ve created another issue chock-full of exciting adventures that will have you grabbing for your passport before year-end. Up first is millionaire’s playground Monaco. Moneyed clichés aside, I discover that there’s more to this pint-sized principality then Princess Grace and tax breaks (page 35). On page 50 we give you all of Australia (literally) on a plate. Who knew the Land Down Under could be conquered in three weeks? Moving on to food. While Dubai’s Chinese efforts are pretty tasty (our Try Before You Fly feature on page 72 reveals as much), nothing beats hopping on an airplane and devouring a basket of steamed dumplings street-side in China. For writer Ellen Himelfarb, eating in Shanghai is all about the thrill of the chase and, after much sampling, she reveals how this miniature parcel became her madeleine (page 58). Finally, in our Weekends section (page 67), we go in search of the best pools this side of the world – your bikini bod better be ready. Enjoy!

One&Only Hayman Island resort.

Tracey Scott


@WT_Magazine World Traveller

October // 2014



Be Here Now From polar bears in Canada to boutique shopping in LA, here’s all that’s hot this month.


Style & Wellness Celeb-owned wellness retreats and the most stylish picks for a weekend away.


Côte d’Azur’s Graceland Wedged between France and Italy, Monaco offers more than fast cars and F1.


Falling for the Philippines Lara Brunt hops the tropical islands of the world’s second largest archipelago.



Iconic Ireland From the countryside to the coast, there’s plenty to explore on the Emerald Isle.



Hop To It Can you really see everything Australia has to offer in just three weeks?


Wok Around The Clock Shanghai’s stunning food scene discovered and devoured by an expert.


Everything you need to know about short-haul adventures.




48 hours in Doha Flying with Qatar Airways? Make the most of your stopover in Doha with our compact city guide.


Six of the best... The finest swimming pools this side of the world are discovered.

58 October // 2014

Eid Al Adha Celebrations at JW Marriott Marquis Dubai. ‡Ž‡„”ƒ–‡–Š‹•‹†Ž†Šƒ™‹–Šˆƒ‹Ž›ƒ†ˆ”‹‡†•ƒ––Š‡™‘”Ž†ǯ•–ƒŽŽ‡•–Š‘–‡Žǡ‹–Š‡ Š‡ƒ”–‘ˆ‘™–‘™—„ƒ‹Ǥ †—Ž‰‡‹Ž—š—”‹‘—••—””‘—†‹‰•ǡ‡Œ‘›ƒ™ƒ”†Ǧ™‹‹‰ …—‹•‹‡‹͙͜”‡•–ƒ—”ƒ–•ƒ†Ž‘—‰‡•…”ƒˆ–‹‰•—’–—‘—•‹†Ž†Šƒ•’‡…‹ƒŽ–‹‡•‘” ”‡Žƒš‹–Š‡•—„Ž‹‡ƒ”ƒ›’ƒƒ† ‡ƒŽ–ŠŽ—„Ǥ STAY A MINIMUM OF FOUR NIGHTS BETWEEN 3 TO 10 OCTOBER 2014 AND SAVE UP TO 25% ON REGULAR ROOM RATES. QUOTE ‘LRR’ AND BOOK NOW! ‘ƒ‡ƒ”‡•‡”˜ƒ–‹‘˜‹•‹–Œ™ƒ””‹‘––ƒ”“—‹•†—„ƒ‹Ǥ…‘ǡ ‡ƒ‹ŽŒ™ƒ”“—‹•Ǥ†—„ƒ‹̻ƒ””‹‘––Ǥ…‘‘”…ƒŽŽή͙͙͘͘͘͘͟͜͜͜͡Ǥ


Be Here Check In:Now Be Here Now

Check In Be Here Now Looking more like a landscape from a Disney theme park, or possibly another planet, the topography of Cappadocia in central Turkey is likely to be something you have never witnessed before – no wonder it’s the number one destination for hot-air balloon enthusiasts. The rock formations are known as Fairy Chimneys, and were thrown up eons ago by volcanic iÀի̈œ˜Ã>Ï>Û>yœÜÃ]܈˜`>˜` rain conspired together to create


October // 2014

these twisting valleys. In years gone by, native Cappadocians even carved out homes in the soft cliff faces. Late autumn is the best time to take a balloon up, up and away over this historic landscape, with October Liˆ˜}̅iw˜>“œ˜Ì…œv̅i season. Smart entrepreneurs have even turned some of the dwellings into boutique hotels – you’ll be able to step out of your front door in the morning and wave to the balloonists above.


World Traveller

October // 2014

Check In: Be Here Now


October // 2014

Be Here Now Churchill, Canada, goes by a different name during early winter. Throughout October and November, the tiny town at the top of the world is known as “The Polar Bear Capital of the World”. Over a thousand bears slowly migrate inland from the shore during these two months, making it the easiest «>Vi̜ëœÌ̅iÃi“>}˜ˆwVi˜Ì «Ài`>̜Àð-«iVˆ>Þ“œ`ˆwi` buses known as Tundra Buggies allow for safe viewing of the

World Traveller

bears as they wait for the water to freeze on Hudson Bay so they can return to hunt their primary food source, ringed seals. Locals in the town of Churchill are advised to leave their cars unlocked in case a bear in search of food gets too close, necessitating a speedy getaway. There’s even a “polar bear jail”, where authorities tranquilise bears who loiter too close to town before releasing them back out into the wild.


October // 2014

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Here’s what’s on WT’s radar this month

1.Berlin Festival of Lights Each October, for one or two weeks, well known sights in Berlin like the Brandenburg Gate, Victory Column and Berlin Cathedral are illuminated with lights and art shows. The year’s event marks the 10th anniversary of the festival, and the glowing projections create an extraordinary cityscape. Running from October 10 to 19, ̅i}À>˜`w˜>iˆÃ̅iՓˆÃȓœ]܅iÀi iÀˆ˜ >̅i`À> becomes the backdrop to an incredible laser show.

1 World Traveller


2.Alain Ducasse at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée, Paris Many visitors to Paris felt lost and adrift when the stunning Hôtel Plaza Athénée closed down for refurbishments all those months ago. However, it’s time to celebrate as the venue reopens, its façade adorned with bright red geraniums, to welcome back lovers of luxury – and food. Alain Ducasse’s restaurant is one of the gastronomic wonders of the world, and this month opens its doors to diners. October // 2014


Check In

3.The Kempinski, Yanqi Lake, Beijing If this isn’t the most divisive hotel opening of the year, we’re not sure what will be. It took the Kempinski team 24 months to build this monolithic structure by the banks of ̅i9>˜µˆ>Ži˜i>À iˆˆ˜}]>˜`ˆÌÃ`iÈ}˜ – while adhering to the Chinese art of feng shui – is a far cry from the usual towers of the city. The juxtaposition of this space-age LՈ`ˆ˜}>˜`̅iÀœˆ˜}wi`ÃLiޜ˜`ˆÃÃÕÀi ̜돈Ìœ«ˆ˜ˆœ˜q܅>Ì`œޜÕ̅ˆ˜Ž¶iÌÕà know by tweeting us @WT_Magazine


4.Mondrian London at Sea Containers

œ˜`œ˜½Ã˜iÜiÃÌ]VœœiÃÌ>˜`µÕˆÀŽˆiÃÌ …œÌiœ«i˜Ã̅ˆÃ“œ˜Ì…°/…iv>“i`-i> Containers building holds this luxury boutique, which exudes the glamour of a 1920s cruise ship, integrated with modern Ì܈ÃÌð/…iwÀÃÌ̅ˆ˜}̅>ÌÃÌÀˆŽiÃ̅i}ÕiÃÌ is the giant, copper-clad wall reminiscent of the hull of a ship, which runs through the lobby. The second thing will be the rooftop bar, with a hip glass structure and outdoor terrace offering panoramic views over œ˜`œ˜°


October // 2014



Picture: Gary Otte / © The Aga Khan Museum

5.Aga Khan Museum, Toronto Also newly opened is Toronto’s Aga Khan Museum of Islamic Art. The curators have drawn objects “from every region and every period, and created from every kind of material in the Muslim world”, to show North America the beauty and peace found in Islamic Art. The building was designed by 86-year-old Japanese Pritzker prize winner Fumihiko Maki, and was originally planned for œ˜`œ˜qLÕÌ̅i>˜`˜ii`i`Üi˜Ì̜̅i -°œ˜`œ˜½ÃœÃÃÜ>à Toronto’s gain, as the exquisite artworks found inside prove.




Los Angeles Fashion designer and socialite Rosetta Getty reveals her favourite hotels, hang-outs and haute couture gems in LA… Los Angeles sometimes gets this reputation of being overly casual, but it’s probably one of the chicest cities in the world. The women here know what they are doing and have impeccable style. The best luxury shopping can be found at Just One Eye (justoneeye. com). Paola Russo has the most incredible ability to w˜`LœÌ…̅iÀ>ÀiÃÌ>˜`“œÃÌ coveted designers in the world and put them all under one roof. I could spend hours in her store. Ladies looking for couture should head to Dior in North Rodeo Drive. Ever since Raf Simons took over, Dior has been my go-to for both feminine yet bold pieces. The best tailoring can be found at Saint Laurent – I own several “Le Smoking” jackets, which are cut to perfection. For jewellery, perfec Lena Wald (lenawald. L com) designs some of the most irreverent w˜iiÜiiÀÞˆ˜̅i

market today. It’s refreshing. For bespoke menswear at its best, head to Prada in Beverly Hills. The rich Italian fabrics and sharp lines in their men’s suiting are incomparable. The most exceptional service I have received while shopping was at Barneys – every time and always. Saks Fifth Avenue, too, offers a great personal shopping service. Art collectors should visit The Getty Museum – I’ve been about a million times, but the art collection and the views still impress me. For standout cuisine book a table at Bestia q̅iw}>˜`>ÀÕ}Տ>Ã>>`ˆÃ unreal – before checking in to Sunset Tower Hotel – the service and accommodations here are among the best in LA, and you can’t beat the location (, After dark, head to Chateau Marmont (chateaumarmont. armont. com). An LA classic, what more can I say.


All the media you need, whatever your journey Book





1989 Taylor Swift



David Mitchell Teenage runaway Holly Sykes grows up to become a successful memoirist in this six-part, Booker-longlisted novel.

The country queen goes full-on pop with this dissfree album that includes the number one hit, Shake It Off, and more.

A group of mutant superheroes must travel back in time to prevent a mutant genocide in this box œvwViÓ>Å°


October // 2014

This useful app generates a customised packing list based on duration of your trip, weather and planned activities, from “fancy dinner” to “camping”.


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Flying Abu Dhabi to London, starting December 2014.





Plaza Mayor is home to the opulent Government Palace, rebuilt in 1938 and home to the president. A changing of the guard takes place daily at 11.45am

10% 3


TOP 50






of the







NO.1 (Central)




(Astrid y Gastón) Lima

The Pisco Sour was purportedly invented in Lima in the 1920s, although Chile and Peru both claim it as their national drink

“ ”

“Lima is something that people should

discover – especially our food.” MARIO TESTINO (Photographer) LATIN AMERICAS LARGEST CITIES (MILLIONS OF PEOPLE)

One of Lima’s loveliest spots is Barranco, a beachside bohemian neighbourhood known for its nightlife, restaurants and colonial architecture












World Traveller

Founded in 1551, the National University of San Marcos is the oldest university on the continent

October // 2014

Chef ’s Top Tables >Ûˆ˜ >viD6ˆ˜

Chef ’s TOP TABLES Dubai-based celebrity chef Gary Rhodes knows what it takes to create a great ÀiÃÌ>ÕÀ>˜Ì°iÀi]…iÅ>ÀiÃ…ˆÃ̜«wÛi culinary spots around the world

/…iÌ>ÀÌy>“Lj>Ì>Ûˆ˜ >viD6ˆ˜


/…i>À̈V…œŽi>˜`L>VŽÌÀÕvyiÜի>Ì ,iÃÌ>ÕÀ>˜ÌÕÞ->ÛœÞ October // 2014


Don Alfonso 1890, Sorrento

ORDER: Home-made caciotta ravioli with tomatoes ƂviÜÞi>ÀÃ>}œ…>`̅iœ««œÀÌ՘ˆÌÞ̜VœœŽ܈̅ ̅ˆÃ}Ài>ÌÌܜ‡ˆV…iˆ˜ÃÌ>ÀÀi`V…ivˆ˜Ì>Þ° ÕÀˆ˜}“Þ ëi܈̅…ˆ“Ü>ȘۈÌi`vœÀ`ˆ˜˜iÀ]>˜`̅ˆÃÜ>Ã̅i ÃÌ>ÀÌiÀ°/…i«>ÃÌ>Ü>ÃÜÌi˜`iÀ]̅iÀˆV…˜iÃÃœv̅i V…iiÃiL>>˜Vˆ˜}Li>ṎvՏÞ܈̅̅iÃÜii̘iÃÃœv̅i ̜“>̜iÃ]«ˆVŽi`̅>Ì“œÀ˜ˆ˜}vÀœ“̅iV…iv½Ã}>À`i˜° /…i`ˆÃ…˜ii`i`˜œ“œÀi]̅iy>ۜÕÀÃ뜎ivœÀ ̅i“ÃiÛið

Restaurant Guy Savoy, Paris

ORDER:#TVKEJQMGCPFDNCEMVTWHƃGUQWRUGTXGF with brioche buns /…ˆÃÜ>Ã>VՏˆ˜>ÀÞiÝ«iÀˆi˜ViÅ>˜iÛiÀvœÀ}iÌ° /…iÜիÜ>ÃÃiÀÛi`>Ì̅iÌ>Li]܅ˆiÜ>À“̜>ÃÌi` “ÕÅÀœœ“>˜`ÌÀÕvyiLÀˆœV…iL՘ÃÜiÀi…>Ûi`>˜` ëÀi>`܈̅vœˆi}À>Ã>˜`ÌÀÕvyiLÕÌÌiÀ°/…iÜի…>` >ȏŽÞVœ˜ÃˆÃÌi˜VÞ܈̅>ÀˆV…˜iÃÃ…>`˜½ÌiÝ«iÀˆi˜Vi` LivœÀi]܅ˆi`ˆ««ˆ˜}̅iLÀˆœV…iˆ˜Ìœ̅iÜիVÀi>Ìi` ÞiÌ>˜œÌ…iÀVՏˆ˜>ÀÞiÝ«iÀˆi˜Vi°-ˆ˜Vi“ÞwÀÃÌۈÈÌ …>ÛiLii˜wÛi“œÀï“iÃ]>˜`̅iÜիˆÃ>Ü>ÞÃ“Þ wÀÃÌV…œˆVi°

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Galvin Cafe à Vin, London ORDER:6CTVƃCODÅ

/…iÌ>ÀÌy>“LjˆÃ>“œÃÌ>«ˆââ>]̜««i`܈̅>“ˆÝÌÕÀi œvVÀm“ivÀ>ŠV…i]vÀœ“>}ivÀ>ˆÃ]œ˜ˆœ˜Ã>˜`ƂÃ>Vi L>Vœ˜°ƂµÕˆVŽL>Žiˆ˜>ܜœ`‡wÀi`œÛi˜VÀi>ÌiÃ> “œÕ̅‡Ü>ÌiÀˆ˜}iÝ«iÀˆi˜Vi°"˜iLˆÌi>˜`ޜÕ>Ài >``ˆVÌi`°/…i>Ûˆ˜LÀœÌ…iÀÃ] …ÀˆÃ>˜`ivv]>Ài}Ài>Ì V…ivÃ܅œ˜iÛiÀ«>Þ܈̅vœœ`Æ̅iÞȓ«ÞVÀi>Ìi> VՏˆ˜>ÀÞiÝ«iÀˆi˜Vi܈̅iÛiÀÞۈÈÌ]œv܅ˆV…Ì>Ži “>˜Þ°

Rockpool, Sydney

ORDER:1UKGVTCECXKCTYKVJRTCYPEWUVCTFCPF ECWNKƃQYGTRWTÅG ۈÈÌi`,œVŽ«œœL>VŽˆ˜£™™Ç°/…i`ˆÃ…ÈÌȘvÀœ˜Ì œvޜÕÃVÀi>“ˆ˜}ȓ«ˆVˆÌÞ]LÕÌ…œ`Ó>˜ÞVœ“«iÝ ÌiV…˜ˆµÕiÃ>˜`ÌiÝÌÕÀið/…i«À>ܘVÕÃÌ>À`VœÕ`i>Ì ̜Ì>Þœ˜ˆÌÜܘ°Ì…>`>Ã>ۜÕÀÞVÕÃÌ>À`Ì>ÀÌ`i«Ì… ܈̅>`ˆÃ̈˜V̈Ûi«À>ܘy>ۜÕÀ]˜œÌˆ˜ÌiÀviÀˆ˜}܈̅̅i V>ՏˆyœÜiÀVÀi>“œÀ̅i눘>V…œˆ`Àˆââi`>ÀœÕ˜` ̅i«>Ìi̜ÃÕ««œÀÌ̅iV>ۈ>À°-ˆ“«Þ“i“œÀ>Li°

Bo Innovation, Hong Kong ORDER: The tasting menu

Ƃ˜œÌ…iÀ}Ài>ÌVՏˆ˜>ÀÞiÝ«iÀˆi˜Vii˜œÞi`Ü>Ș œ˜}œ˜}°7…ˆiw“ˆ˜}̅iÀiܓiÞi>ÀÃ>}œ]Ü>à VœœŽˆ˜}܈̅>Ü>VŽÞV…iv˜>“i`ƂÛˆ˜i՘}°ƂvÌiÀ> “œ˜Ì…œvÌÀ>Ûiˆ˜}]w“ˆ˜}>˜`VœœŽˆ˜}>ÀœÕ˜` …ˆ˜>] ÀiÌÕÀ˜i`̜œ˜}œ˜}vœÀ>“ˆ˜ˆ‡…œˆ`>Þ° ÕÀˆ˜} ̅>ÌÜiiŽ>vÀˆi˜``iVˆ`i`̜Ì>ŽiÕÃvœÀ`ˆ˜˜iÀ>Ì œ ˜˜œÛ>̈œ˜°/…ivœœ`Ü>Ã>Ãi˜Ã>̈œ˜qvՏœvw˜i`iÌ>ˆ >˜`y>ۜÕÀðˆÌ̏i`ˆ`Ž˜œÜ̅>Ì̅iœÜ˜iÀ>˜`V…iv Ü>ÃƂÛˆ˜t œ˜˜œÛ>̈œ˜ÃÌ>˜`Ã̜`>Þ>Ã>̅Àii‡ ˆV…iˆ˜ÃÌ>ÀÀi`ÀiÃÌ>ÕÀ>˜Ì>˜`“œÀi̅>˜`iÃiÀÛià iÛiÀÞÃÌ>À°

World Traveller

October // 2014





Grünerløkka, Oslo Renowned for being one of Europe’s most expensive cities, the Norwegian capital often gets overlooked by travellers in favour of stylish Stockholm or cool Copenhagen. But the oncegritty Grünerløkka in the east of the city has been transformed from run-down industrial area to eclectic hipster hang-out. The district is brimming with vintage shops and boutiques, galleries and cafés, while the buzzing club and bar scene has made it one of the city’s top afterdark destinations. Cycling is popular in these parts, so hire a city bike from one of the stations dotted around, making a pit-stop or two as you explore the area – coffee connoisseurs will love Tim Wendelboe’s Coffeeshop, a tiny espresso bar owned by the celebrated barista of the same name. Then delve into Grünerløkka’s charming little boutiques, such as Dapper, a men’s bike, barber and fashion store; Skaperverket, a design collective selling one-off clothing, jewellery and art; and Conzept for Norwegian arts and crafts with a contemporary twist. Vintage-lovers should head to Markveien, which is lined with second-hand stores that are ripe for rummaging including Ugler i Mosen, Robot and Dianas Salonger. On Sundays, don’t miss the Birkelunden Park market,

܅iÀiޜÕV>˜w˜`ۈ˜Ì>}i threads, vinyls and curios. Fans of Scandinavian design, meanwhile, should check out the Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture (DogA), which hosts exhibitions alongside its design shop and café. When it’s time to refuel, nab a table at Kolonihagen Grünerløkka, which specialises in tapassized portions of “new Nordic cuisine”, or Food Story, which serves up creative dishes from across the country (stock up on ingredients at the organic store next door). Then decamp to the cosy brick cellar at Schouskjelleren microbrewery to sample some of the local drops or the achingly cool Blå for live music. Speaking of which, Oslo plays host to the six-day World Music Festival from October 28, with over 200 artists playing at various venues in Grünerløkka and around the city. This month also sees world-class comedians roll into town for the Comedy Festival (October 10-26), while the Autumn Art Exhibition, Norway’s largest and most controversial contemporary art show, is on until October 12. The Thief]̅iVˆÌÞ½ÃwÀÃÌ…ˆ}…‡i˜` design hotel in neighbouring Landgangen, has also launched a fabulous new spa, giving you one more reason to add Oslo to your must-visit list.


Inspiring ideas for your bucket list

…Meet mountain gorillas Trekking through the forest to observe baby gorillas showing off their swinging skills under the watchful eye of a brooding silverback is a pinch yourself experience. Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park or Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest are the most accessible spots – both parks have several habituated gorilla groups and well-managed conservation and eco-tourism programs. You’ll need to buy a permit, which allows a group of eight people one hour with our hairy cousins. Permits are strictly limited and sell out months in advance, so your best bet is to book as part of an organised tour and visit during the drier months of June to September and December to February.

World Traveller

October // 2014





Straddling the Danube, the Hungarian capital is brimming with oldÃÌޏiVœvvii…œÕÃið7iÃ>“«ivœÕÀœv̅iw˜iÃÌ

BUDAPEST Coffee Houses


Gerbeaud Established in 1858 and decorated in opulent AustroHungarian style, Gerbeaud serves decadent cakes, pastries and chocolates, including its famous konyakmeggy (chocolatecovered cognac cherries).

Chain Bridge One of nine bridges that link Buda and Pest, the cities on either side of the Danube that were united in 1873 (along with Óbuda), this suspension bridge features solid arches and lion statues. Heavily damaged in WWII, it was rebuilt in 1949.

New York Café Prepare to be dazzled by this Belle Époque gem. Opened in 1894 with lavish frescoes and plenty of golden stucco, this café was a favourite haunt of literary types who came for the top-quality coffee and cakes.

Castle Hill Ride the funicular from Chain Bridge to this Unesco World Heritage-listed district that’s home to medieval and baroque gems, including the Royal Palace and Hungarian National Gallery, and fabulous views of the Danube.

Centrál Kávéház This inviting café serves cakes as well as cocktails in beautifully restored 19thcentury surroundings. There’s also an à la carte menu with Hungarian classics such as paprika chicken and goulash.

Hungarian Parliament Inspired by London’s Houses of Parliament, this neoGothic riverside building is just as spectacular. Guided tours in English through the impressive Session Room and Great Vaulted Hall are available throughout the day..

Ruszwurm Cukrászda Located in the Castle District, this tiny café is one of the city’s oldest confectioners. It’s tough to get a table in peak season – be patient and you’ll be rewarded with fantastic sweet treats and beautiful Biedermeier interiors.

Memento Park /…iw}ÕÀiÃœvi˜ˆ˜>˜` Marx loom large as powerful reminders of the past at this unique open-air museum. The e park features monumental statues from Hungary’s Communist period, which lasted from 1949 until 1989.

The insider...

János Valcz from InterContinental Budapest picks two stunning spas


Gellért Spa is the best-known and most prestigious thermal bath and swimming-pool of Budapest with its famous sparkling bath, open-air pool ܈̅>À̈wVˆ>Ü>ÛiÃ>˜`vՏ medical services. It was built in 1918, near Gellért Hill and the Szabadság Bridge. Széchenyi Spa is the largest

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thermal bath of Budapest. The Neo-Baroque baths were built in 1913. Its thermal springs were discovered in 1879 - they are the deepest and warmest thermal wells found in Budapest.

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Young photographer Marc Montes was trekking through the forest in the Val d’Aran, northern Spain, when he found this camera-curious snake.

THE wild BUNCH Snake-eyes © Mark Montes

The 2014 Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition opens at London’s Natural History Museum this month. Enjoy four of the winning entries to the prestigious contest


The elegant crowd © Jasper Doest

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Thousands of demoiselle cranes arrive in the small village of Kchichan, India every year to feed. Each winter, over 20,000 birds arrive in the tiny village.

Bernardo Cesare’s image was shot in India while examining granulite rock from a working quarry. This crystalline geological event is over half a billion years old. Kaleidoscope © Bernardo Cesare


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A lone bat occupies a destroyed German WWII bunker in a remote forest in Poland. It took the photographer a week of camping to get this shot.

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Style&Wellness Look good, feel good


This month sees many of our favourite beauty brands pledging their support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, with sales of specially spec selected products helping help to raise awareness and funds for this important cause. caus Here are our picks of the best ‘pink products’… (1) Cli Clinique moisturising lotion (2) La Mer T The Hand Treatment (3) Estée Laud Lauder Advanced Night Repair (4) Bo Bobbi Brown French Pink Set



Fans of Neal’s Yard will be packing their bags for Portugal following the launch of the organic skincare LÀ>˜`½ÃwÀÃ̈˜ÌiÀ˜>̈œ˜> spa. Overlooking the Atlantic in Lagos, Vivenda Miranda boutique hotel’s spa suite offers bespoke organic facials and aromatherapy body treatments that will leave you glowing. It’s also hosting a week-long wellness retreat to cleanse and revitalise from October 11-18, with healthy menus and holistic workshops.

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Moroccan argan oil is a multitasking miracle-worker that’s great when you’re travelling – it moisturises the skin, treats spilt ends and softens cuticles with one little bottle. Just launched in the UAE, W.S Argan is a cold-pressed, 100 per cent pure oil that hasn’t been diluted with fragrances or parabens, so you only need a few drops to totally recharge your body from tip to toe. The list of vitalityboosting properties in argan oil makes for great reading – from vitamin E to Carotenoids (plant pigments that provide vitamin A), it’s all good stuff for a healthy body.

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OOH LA LA… Jewellery collides with a Parisian landmark






MAGNIFICENT Italian jeweller Pasquale Bruni has created the ultimate accessory for stylish jetsetters. A tribute to one of the most romantic cities in the world, Madame Eiffel features pink gold with amethyst, or prasiolite, and diamonds. Nab your own piece of Paris at Damas in Dubai.

MINI-BREAK ESSENTIALS E ES S 4.. 5. (1) Jennifer Ouellette (2) Coach (3) Alexis (4) Bulgari (5) Jimmy Choo (6) Tiffany (7)ƂˆVi>˜`"ˆÛˆ>





While eating raw is no doubt good for us, it doesn’t exactly tantalise the taste buds, does it? It does now at Alila Villas Soori in Bali. The luxurious retreat has introduced a new raw food spa menu, which combines a 30-minute Àiyiݜœ}ÞvœœÌÌÀi>̓i˜Ì with a healthy – and tasty – wÛi‡VœÕÀÃi“i˜Õ°7ˆÌ…`ˆÃ…ià ˆŽi`ˆÛiÀÃV>œ«ViۈV…i with bumbu kuning lime and coconut jelly and sorbet with Pina Colada air, we can’t wait to go raw.

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The chanteuse’s Florida Beach retreat is called Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa. Sure to soothe.

In Australia’s Gold Coast hinterland lies the Gwinganna Health Retreat. No wonder Hugh’s in such good shape.



Also in Oz, Gaia Retreat & Spa is an awardwinning retreat and day spa in Byron Bay. It’s the one that we want.

The director’s Blancaneaux Lodge offers unprecedented luxury in a stunning jungle setting in Belize.

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World Traveller Holiday Offers United Kingdom Grosvenor House Apartments by Jumeirah Living 2 nights from USD845 per person. Special offer: Enjoy special winter promotional rates. Includes: Stay in One Bedroom Deluxe Apartment with return airport transfers. Validity: Now ‘til March 31, 2015.

Switzerland The Chedi Andermatt 5 nights from USD2,130 per person. Special offer: Free ski pass for the trip duration* Includes: Stay in a Deluxe Room with breakfast daily and return airport transfers. Validity: December 6, 2014-April 26, 2015.* *Limited to 2 free passes/ room/suite. Book by November 14. For stays during entire ski season, black-out dates apply.

Kenya How to Book 30

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.

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Lake Nakuru & Masai Mara Safari 4 nights from USD1,365 per person. Includes: 1 night in Nairobi, 1 night in Lake Nakuru, 2 nights in Masai Mara, with breakfast, lunch and dinner daily plus game-viewing drives and return airport transfers. Validity: October 1-30, 2014.



Kerala Splendor Package 4 nights from USD525 per person. Includes: Mountain Club Resort, Munnar; stay in a One Bedroom Cottage, with breakfast daily, one tour and transfers. The Zuri Resort, Kumarakom; stay in a Zuri Lagoon View Room, with breakfast daily, one tour and transfers. Validity: Now ‘til November 30, 2014.

Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay 3 nights from USD870 per person. Special offer: Stay 3 nights and receive an additional night free. Includes: Stay in a One Bedroom Villa with breakfast daily and return airport transfers. Validity: October 1-December 20, 2014.

Malaysia Shangri-La Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa, Penang 5 nights from USD445 per person. Special offer: Stay 3 nights and receive two nights free. Includes: Stay in a Deluxe Garden View Room with breakfast daily and return airport transfers. Validity: October 1-December 18, 2014.

Mauritius The Westin Turtle Bay Resort & Spa 3 nights from USD615 per person. Special offer: 50% room rate reduction. Includes: Stay in an Ocean Deluxe Room with breakfast and dinner daily plus return airport transfers. Validity: October 1-30, 2014.

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The Domain, Manama 1 night from USD110 per person. Special offer: Get It All Package – 18% room rate reduction plus guaranteed complimentary room upgrade, 15% food and beverage discount and 15% discount on all spa services at Vie. Includes: Stay in The Executive Room with breakfast daily. Validity: Now ‘til December 31, 2014.


When looking for a weekend away it is not often you stumble across an undiscovered gem in the region. I, however, have recently discovered the delights of the Island Kingdom of Bahrain. Small but perfectly formed, and easily accessible from all of the major regional cities, Bahrain is perfect for a weekend escape. With its laid-back atmosphere, Bahrain promises a slice of relaxtion when compared to its neighbours Doha and Dubai. And with the recent surge in new hotel developments and renovations, now is the time to go exploring. If you are looking for a unique hotel experience then head to The Domain Bahrain, a hotel based on a residential member’s club concept. The hotel is almost a destination in itself, the further up the tower you go, the more exciting the property becomes, with a number of fantastic eateries including Lebanese and Japanese. Don’t leave without visiting the private members lounge on ̅i̜«yœœÀ>˜`̅iÀœœv̜«ˆ˜w˜ˆÌÞ pool. If you’re looking for a hotel with a relaxing resort feel then head to the Ritz Carlton Bahrain. Set in its own gardens the hotel has recently been refurbished offering cool bright rooms and lots of space to relax. The leisure areas are vast with indoor and outdoor pools, a number of top class eateries and a jaw`Àœ««ˆ˜}ˆ˜w˜ˆÌÞ«œœ]Vœ“«iÌi܈̅ world class DJ. ƂÈ`ivÀœ“̅iwÛi‡ÃÌ>À…œÌiÃ] Bahrain has a lot of history. A visit to the National Museum is very interesting to learn more about the Island Kingdom, while the King Faisal Mosque is a beautiful piece of architecture. If you are in need of some shopping, Bahrain has its fair share of malls. It, too, has plenty of coffee houses to while away the hours as you watch local life buzz around Bab al Bahrain Souk.

The Domain is staffed by a young, ˆ˜ÌiÀ˜>̈œ˜>]ÕÀL>˜iÌi>“°ˆŽi>˜ÞwÛi‡ÃÌ>À luxury property, the service standards are iÝVi«Ìˆœ˜>Þ…ˆ}…]LÕÌ̅iÀiˆÃ>`iw˜ˆÌˆÛi move away from over-service to a mode of service that is gracious, streamlined, easy and warm-hearted. As you move up in this hotel you discover more and more on each yœœÀ]ˆÌÌÀՏÞˆÃ>˜iÝ«iÀˆi˜ViˆŽi˜œ˜iœÌ…iÀ in the region.


of the Island. There is no better place to experience Zanibar.


InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort 3 nights from USD405 per person. Special offer: 20% room rate reduction. Includes: Stay in an Ocean View Room with breakfast daily and return airport transfers. Validity: Now ‘til December 15, 2014. *book by October 31, 2014. The InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort is located on the former site of Baan Taling Ngam Resort and has >i}i˜`>ÀÞÃÌ>ÌÕÃ>Ãœ…->“Õˆ½ÃwÀÃÌ ever luxury resort of grand dame stature. The stunning 22-acre address is perfectly positioned on a cliff, and boasts prime beachfront, world-class dining and the Baan Thai Spa, raised 120 meters above sea level.

Breezes Beach Club & Spa 4 nights from USD675 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 Deluxe Room with breakfast and dinner daily plus return airport transfers. Validity: November 1–December 19, 2014.


Breezes Beach Club is an ideal choice for those in search of a romantic getaway. It lies along a pristine and untouched beach (chosen as one of the top 30 beaches in the world) on the South East coast of Zanzibar island, which is the most peaceful part

Located on Rome’s fashionable Via del Babuino, between the Spanish Steps and the Piazza del Popolo, the De Russie Hotel Rome is a favourite with the Hollywood A-list. Its stunning terraced gardens and Nijinsky Suite are the talk of the town.

The Domain, Manama

De Russie Hotel Rome 3 nights from USD1,510 per person. Special offer: Stay 3 nights and get and 20% off room rates.* Includes: Stay in a Deluxe Room with breakfast daily and return airport transfers. Validity: Now ‘til October 31, 2014*. *Black-out dates apply

De Russie Hotel, Rome

For more information on great weekend breaks in Bahrain and our other surprising destinations, please visit your nearest dnata outlet or call +971 4 316 6666. InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam

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Breezes Beach Club & Spa

DREAM COLLECTION FROM HERTZ Whether you want to whisk your loved one away for a romantic weekend getaway, have a trip of a lifetime, or simply experience the thrill of a car that would otherwise be unattainable, the Hertz Dream Collection is on hand to provide a convenient and affordable solution. The powerful Bentley Continental GT, the luxurious Bentley Flying Spur, the iconic Aston Martin DB9, and the all-new Range Rover Sport, Mercedes Benz S550, and Cadillac CTS-V are all available for hire. Featuring a VIP customer service and Hertz’s famous Make and Model Guarantee, the Dream Collection has been rolled out in UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Italy & all over the USA. Perfectly polished right down to the tyres, Hertz Dream Collection cars are handed over to the customer in person by one of the specially trained Dream Team, so that customers can bypass the counter. The team will also help load bags into the car and Vœ˜w}ÕÀi`iۈViÃ]ÃÕV…>à iÛiÀœÃÌ*-]>VVœÀ`ˆ˜}̜̅iVÕÃ̜“iÀ½ÃÀiµÕˆÀi“i˜Ìð In addition, each stage of the rental will be closely monitored to ensure complete satisfaction. Prices start from USD275 per day, and customers must be aged 30 and over and have …i`̅iˆÀ`ÀˆÛˆ˜}ˆVi˜ÃivœÀ>“ˆ˜ˆ“Õ“«iÀˆœ`œvwÛiÞi>Àð/ܜVÀi`ˆÌV>À`Ã>Ài needed in order to qualify. Other important terms and conditions apply. For Bookings please contact, or call +971 4 316 6268.

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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’s collective knowledge and innovative treatments have been a shining light to millions around the world. Visit or to learn more.




The Graceland of Côte d’Azur Wedged between France and Italy, Monaco is pigeonholed as the playground for the rich and famous. But, says Tracey Scott, you needn’t be a millionaire to enjoy what this tiny European territory has to offer


World Traveller

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ou know you’ve checked in to the right hotel when Mariah Carey glides in behind you. Welcome to Monaco: the pint-sized principality where Ferraris are as common as taxis, quaffing bubbly is the only way to rehydrate and brushing shoulders with celebrities is all part of the daily grind. Said hotel, where Mariah and I bumped baggage, is the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, one of Monaco’s oldest and most charming with Hall of Mirrorslike corridors, Gustave Eiffel-designed features and original 19th century belle époque touches. Bags dumped, mine in a sea view room and Mimi’s in the presidential suite, I give the hotel a quick once over (a seafood lunch at Michelinstarred Le Vistamar, a stunning restaurant helmed by Joël Garault) then make a move outside. A short 20-minute drive from Nice International Airport, where private jets outnumber commercial carriers ten to two, Monaco is made up of four main quarters – Monte Carlo, the Condamine, October // 2014

Fontvieille and Monaco-Ville (the Rock of Monaco). Size wise, it’s tiny. At just 0.7 square miles, you can conquer it in a day. I, however, have three and intend to cover all of its 4.1-kilometre craggy coastline. Moneyed clichés aside and Monaco tells a captivating story starring the House of Grimaldi, Napoleon and a Hollywood siren. The plot goes something like this: guised as a monk, Genoese leader Francois Grimaldi seized the Rock of Monaco (now the old town) from a rival Italian faction back in 1297, paving the way for centuries of royal success for the House of Grimaldi. Prosperity was thwarted, though, by the French Revolution which saw Monaco invaded by France and members of the Monegasque ruling family imprisoned. The annexation was cut short with the abdication of Napoleon in 1814, however, and all rights of the Grimadis were restored. A slapdash sell-off of half of Monaco in 1861 saw Prince Charles III hand over the sovereign city-state’s natural resources to France, thus leading him to tap into the tourism sector via his newly established umbrella company, Société des

Bains de Mer. Moving into the 1940s and Prince Rainier III ascended to the throne bringing Hollywood status to Monaco with his storybook marriage to actress Grace Kelly. Present day and tourism is thriving and the Grimaldis are celebrating over 700 years in power. The end (not quite). I start my adventure at the district with the loudest reputation: Monte-Carlo. Everything you hear about Monte Carlo is true – the extravagance (Jimmy’z bar where statue-sized bottles of bubbly land on tables as often as still water), the wealth (designer labels and supercars are found in every nook and cranny) and the price (how does Dhs37 for a shop-bought bottle of H20 sound?). Wealth does not whisper here, it shouts. Armed with a budget more suited to Malaga than Monte Carlo I set off for one of the district’s most storied attractions: Monte Carlo’s central square, Place du Casino. Positively chockers with locals and tourists alike, it’s hard to picture the horse-drawn carts that rolled around

This page, clockwise from top left: Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo; Le Vistamar; Place du Casino; Gustave Eiffel-designed cupola at the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo; the Oceanographic Museum; Food at Le Vistamar.

this petite plot centuries ago. Today, I spy impeccably dressed women sipping cocktails outside Brasserie Café De Paris, businessmen decked out in designer tossing their car keys at the Hôtel de Paris valet; and tourists lining the street waiting to stroke the Astons and Bentleys parked outside the casino. I pull up a seat at Café de Paris and rehydrate. When in Rome… A hop and skip from here is the Opéra de Monte-Carlo, an architectural highlight since swinging open its doors in 1879 (and the venue for next month’s Monte-Carlo Jazz Festival). Inextricably linked with Monaco’s history, the opera house was designed by Charles Garnier and modelled on his earlier project, the Palais Garnier in Paris. Push through its heavyset doors (or use Prince Albert II’s private entrance if you ask nicely) and you’re faced with plush red velvet upholstery, imposing gold beams and artwork by some of the world’s greats (Gustave Boulanger, Georges Clairin, Feyen-Perrin). Did I mention the ceiling? A mind-boggling piece of architecture if ever there was one. World Traveller


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The best seats? “The first row on the upper tier for opera, and the first row close to the stage for ballet,” says my tour guide. Perhaps Monte Carlo’s brightest star is the late Grace Kelly, a fan and regular attendee at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo. And a quick peep inside the royal box tells you that everything about this leading lady was very much front and centre – from her well-documented marriage to the Prince of Monaco in 1956 through to her fatal car crash in 1982. From Casino Square to Monaco-Ville I go, following Avenue d’Ostende around the marina (passing super yachts, cafés and coffee shops) towards Monaco’s rugged coast. An energetic mount of the steps at the base of The Rock of Monaco leads me to a medley of tourist treats at its top. After a speedy gawp at the Prince’s Palace (where a changing of the guard ceremony occurs every day outside at 11.55am), the cliff-hanging Oceanographic Museum (a martime masterpiece and a feather in Monaco’s cap) and the neo-Romanesque Saint Nicholas Cathedral (Grace Kelly’s resting place), I venture into the old town’s mini-maze of charming streets. On Rue Comte FelixGastaldi you’ll find Tony’s, a reasonably priced restaurant serving dishes from the land and sea. Ignore its décor and dive straight into the mussels. Tucked away along the adjacent Rue Basse are several souvenir shops selling knick-knacks that’ll make the wallet smile rather than weep (unlike the enticing designer boutiques scattered around Monte Carlo). Rather than take the same road back to Monte Carlo, pound the pavements along Rue Grimaldi, the central street of the Condamine quarter where Monaco’s October // 2014

independent retail stores dominate. The vibe here is more laid-back than luxe, with Rue Grimaldi and its surrounding streets offering an alternative shopping experience to that found next door. For a trip back to Monaco’s heyday, grab your bikini and head to the India Mahdavi-designed Monte Carlo Beach Hotel, home of the world-famous Monte Carlo Beach Club. While the private cabanas are booked out months in advance (sometimes for a year at a time), there are enough sun loungers to go round. Take note: poolside people watching is a given so dark sunglasses are a must. If bikini

Exploring Monte Carlo after dark is a rite of passage. Just don’t expect to be home before 6am

bloat is part of the holiday experience (and the Giselle-Gazelles sprinkled around the pool haven’t roused any self esteem issues) throw on your kaftan, head to Le Deck and order the king prawns Catalan style. Like the Beach Club, the principality’s party scene is stuff of legends. And for many to Monaco, the main draw will be its nightlife. From private parties on board a super yacht docked at Monaco’s marina (a hotbed of activity during the Monaco Grand Prix in May) to sipping martinis at Le Bar Américain (an intimate piano bar in the iconic Hôtel de Paris) or toe-tapping at Buddha Bar (found inside

WHERE TO STAY To capture Monaco’s history in five-star surrounds book a room at the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo. This chic hotel promises a sophisticated stay from its base behind Place du Casino. Families, meanwhile, should check in to Monte-Carlo Bay – sizeable, contemporary and chock-full with activities for the little ones. For information visit or call +971 4 316 6666.

This page, clockwise from top left: Monte Carlo Beach Club; Food at Elsa; Monaco-Ville; La Condamine and Monte Carlo Harbor.

a former 20th century theatre off Casino Square), stepping into your stilettos and exploring Monte Carlo after dark is a rite of passage. Just don’t expect to be home before 6am. Epicureans, like the aforementioned heyday chasers, are catered for with a constellation of Michelin stars sparkling above its restaurant scene. And for someone who plans her meals like a teacher plans her timetable, this pleases me no end. Over the course of 72 hours I sit down with Martinique-born chef Marcel Ravin for a Caribbean-cum-French Riviera feast at his restaurant Blue Bay; I devour a four-course dinner at the world’s first Michelin-starred organic restaurant, Elsa; and I dine under the stars at Le Grill (the roof is regularly opened at this eighthfloor eatery, which calls Alain Ducasse’s three-Michelin-starred Le Louis XV its neighbour). Back outside the Hermitage and the crowds are starting to gather. As I step towards the revolving doors Mariah powers past me for a second, and final, time. “Welcome to Monte Carlo,” mutters the concierge before holding open the door for this pseudo star. World Traveller

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Falling for the


With spectacular islands and happy-go-lucky inhabitants, it’s easy to be seduced by the world’s second-largest archipelago, discovers Lara Brunt


s our guide Joven dangles a halfmetre-long tamilok in front of our faces, he reassures us the slimy woodworm, freshly plucked from the Palawan mangroves, is a sure-fire aphrodisiac. “It’s 60 per cent more effective than Viagra!” he says with a grin. Judging by the moodenhancing menu items I’ve seen so far in the Philippines, from super smelly durian (“tastes like heaven, smells like hell,” the locals like to say) to stomach-churning balut (a boiled, fertilised duck egg), I’m sticking with oysters and Barry White. Although, with the population recently topping 100 million, perhaps they’re onto something. Anchored between the South China Sea

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and Pacific Ocean, the world’s secondlargest archipelago has something for everyone. Made up of over 7,000 islands, the Philippines is divided into three main island groups: Luzon in the north, home to the heaving capital, Manila; the central Visayas, famous for their whitesand beaches and world-class diving; and Mindanao down south, where you’ll find rugged peaks and trees heavy with tropical fruits. Palawan, meanwhile, is an island apart, a long sliver to the southwest of Luzon known as the last frontier, thanks to its unspoilt rainforest and limestone cliffs. Geographically part of Southeast Asia, culturally the country is full of surprises. Malays, Arabs and Chinese were early arrivals, while the Spanish staked

their claim in the 1500s – the country was named after King Philip II – and stayed for 350 years, leaving their mark with Catholicism, colonial architecture and exuberant fiestas (you’re bound to stumble across one at some stage). Widely spoken English, a healthy obsession with basketball and a not-so-healthy taste for fast food belies the influence of Spain’s colonial successors, the Americans, who took over in 1898 and ruled for nearly five decades, after Spain ceded the territory as part of a deal to end a 10-week war between the two nations. “We say the Filipino has a Western mind, due to the US influence, a Latin heart because of our Spanish passion, and an Asian soul. It’s the mix of these personalities that makes us unique,” one local eloquently explains.


World Traveller

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Opening page: Pearl Farm Resort, Davao. Clockwise from left: Mindanao, Davao; Seafood lunch; Guide Joven with tamilok; Honda Bay, Palawan Island; Outrigger boats on Coron Island; Port Barton, Albaguen Island.


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Just an hour’s flight from Manila, Palawan feels far-flung and has remained largely undiscovered by tourists – even a ‘lost tribe,’ the Tau’t Batu, was discovered here in the ‘70s. From the provincial capital of Puerto Princesca, we drive through lush green landscapes of jungle and rice fields, before arriving at Sheridan Beach Resort & Spa on Sabang Beach, an idyllic stretch of sand complete with hammocks strung between swaying coconut palms. Most visitors who do venture to Palawan are lured by Puerto Princesa Underground River, a UNESCO World Heritage Site said to be the longest navigable subterranean river in the world, and we duly make it our first stop. After a short boat ride from Sabang, we board a 10-man canoe and paddle through crystal clear waters to the cave entrance of the eight-kilometre-long river that wends its way through a craggy karst mountain. Pitch black inside, a lone light shone from the bow of the canoe reveals amazing formations of stalactites and stalagmites and thousands of bats (there are eight different species in all). I suppress the temptation to stare, slack-jawed, after our guide advises us to keep our mouths shut, lest we catch some water droplets or worse. The surrounding area is a national park famed for its biodiversity, with more than 800 plant species, 195 species of birds, 30 different mammals and 19 reptiles found here. We spot some large monitor lizards languidly stalking the forest floor, along with a Palawan peacock with its dazzling metallic green-blue feathers, as we make our way to the nearby mangroves. We climb into another canoe for the slow journey along the Sabang River, past thick mangrove trees inhabited by kingfishers and small pythons curled up asleep in the sunshine, while red and blue crabs and more monitor lizards hide among the muddy tangle of tree roots. After dodging the tamilok appetiser, we head back to the Sheridan for the infinitely more agreeable dinner buffet on the beach. The next morning we’re back on a boat, this time to go island-hopping around picturesque Honda Bay, dotted with around 16 tiny islands and framed by green mountains on the main island. The shallow coral reefs are a big draw for divers and snorkellers alike, with the waters of the Philippines home to more than 2,000 different kinds of fish. Our first stop is Luli Island, little more than a sand bar with a few beach huts on stilts and only visible at low tide. We swim and snorkel in the calm waters, before heading to Pandan Island where we drop anchor for lunch. After splashing about in the sea and taking selfies with starfish, we feast on the day’s catch – clam soup flavoured with malunggay, a local herb, steamed oysters and prawns, and grilled fish – served alongside crispy pork belly, seaweed with cucumber and tomato, grilled eggplant World Traveller

After splashing about in the sea and taking selfies with starfish, we feast on the day’s catch

with soy sauce, ginger and chilli, and sweet mango with shrimp paste. Next up, we fly south to Davao, Mindanao’s largest city and the gateway to Mount Apo, the nation’s highest peak and a magnet for trekkers and climbers. The tropical fruit is another crowdpleaser, with grapefruit-like pomelos, purple-skinned mangosteens with sweet, snow-white segments, creamy rambutans that look and taste like lychees, and the dreaded durian (if you haven’t smelt one, imagine rotting meat mixed with threeday-old socks and you’re getting close).

Already a major exporter of bananas, pineapples, papayas, coconuts, and mangoes, Davao has a growing reputation for quality cacao beans, with a number of artisanal chocolate producers cropping up, including Malagos, whose single-origin, bittersweet dark chocolate is a hit with chefs, foodies and visitors like me. A 45-minute boat ride across the narrow Pakiputan Strait brings us to Samal Island, blessed with yet more gorgeous beaches and excellent scuba diving. We check in to the Pearl Farm Beach Resort, a former pearl farm where thousands of October // 2014




white-lipped oysters were once transported from the Sulu Sea in the southwest of the archipelago and cultivated for their pink, white and gold treasures. Today, it’s a luxurious resort with over-water bungalows inspired by the simple stilt houses of the seafaring Samal tribes who still live and fish in these waters. The region is also home to the Mandaya people, known for their colourful cloth called dagmay, hand-woven from abaca fibres, a type of banana tree. I watch them at work at the resort’s weaving centre and can’t resist taking home some of their intricately patterned fabric. Our final stop is the often-maligned megalopolis that is Manila. Much of the city’s charm was destroyed during WWII; fierce fighting saw the city liberated by the US in 1945, following three years of brutal Japanese occupation. “We call it the Warsaw of Asia,” says our guide, as he leads us around what remains of the old Spanish stronghold, Intramuros. Guarded by the Fort Santiago citadel, the 16th-century walled city has been partly restored, while the World Heritage-listed San Agustin Church was pretty much the only building left standing after the Battle of Manila. Casa Manila, a lovely reproduction of a Spanish colonial house, offers a glimpse of what once was, while Barbara’s restaurant next door keeps the Latin spirit alive with a flamenco performance, followed by traditional tinikling bamboo dancing. Then it’s spirits of a different kind, with Ning Sling cocktails at The Peninsula’s Salon de Ning, a 1930s-style nightclub with four eclectically-themed private rooms. We opt for the Shoe Room, a footwear-filled boudoir, which seems quite fitting in a city associated with the world’s most famous shoe-lover, Imelda Marcos (the flamboyant wife of the former dictator was said to own thousands of pairs). After an early dart to avoid Manila’s legendary traffic jams, we spend our final day in Tagaytay overlooking Lake Taal and its small yet volatile volcano. Just 55km south of the capital, it’s a popular weekend escape for stressed out city slickers, with many making a beeline for Sonya’s Garden. Opened by avid gardener Sonya Garcia in 1998, the lush oasis has grown to include a wonderful organic restaurant, B&B and spa. We indulge in one of Sonya’s signature massages, followed by the most delicious tea I’ve ever tasted, a mandarin, honey and basil concoction, and an impressive lunch spread straight from the garden. Afterwards, as we tour the landscaped gardens our host points out exotic plants. “This one,” she says, with a knowing twinkle in her eye, “is an aphrodisiac.” Who needs herbal helpers? I’m already smitten. October // 2014

Clockwise from top left: The Peninsula’s Salon de Ning; Kadayawan festival; Pearl Farm Resort; Local textiles.

WHERE TO STAY ··· Sonya’s Garden is a boutique B&B in Tagaytay ideal for couples that like to travel in style. The hospitality and generosity of the staff is unmatched anywhere in the Philippines. For beachfront glamour, try the Sheridan Beach Resort & Spa. It’s a tropical paradise that has the calm ocean in front and the jungle, ripe for exploring, behind. Privacy, luxury and relaxation are guaranteed.


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Iconic Ireland




The Giant’s Causeway is one of Northern Ireland’s most famous sights, and is both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a national nature reserve. The scientific explanation is that the causeway was formed 60 million years ago when County Antrim was subject to intense volcanic activity, but the legend is that Irish giant Finn MacCool built the steps in order to cross over to Scotland, for a fight with another giant.

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Iconic Ireland

A 179km long circular tourist path, the Ring of Kerry takes in plenty of the gorgeous Irish countryside and several tourism hotspots – and is a glittering example of why the country is known as The Emerald Isle. The narrow roads make it difficult for tour buses to pass one another, so all buses run in an anti-clockwise direction to ensure it never happens.

A location scout’s dream come true, The Dark Hedges of Ballymoney are one of the most photographed natural phenomena in Northern Ireland. The lane so enthralled researchers for HBO TV hit Game of Thrones that it became the setting for the spooky and unsettling Kings Road. The lane is also said to be haunted by a spectre known as the Grey Lady, who appears by the trees at dusk.


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In order to receive ‘The Gift of the Gab’, also known as eloquence, flattery or persuasion, one must kiss the Blarney Stone, found at Blarney Castle in County Cork. Dating back as far as 1200, the castle is now a partial ruin with only a few accessible rooms and battlements. To get near the Blarney Stone, located at the top of the castle, visitors must hang upside-down over a sheer drop in order to give it the required kiss.


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The Reef. The Rock. The Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. The Outback and the Ocean Road. The didgeridoos and the kangaroos and the roads and the rivers and the people too – and the colours, so vibrant they hurt the eyes. If you’re only going to go to Australia once, you want to see it all. But can you really do that in three weeks? And stay sane? Nuala Harvey gives it a go


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HOP to it

hey’ve been one step ahead of me since I landed, 10 days ago. No matter where I go in this country, no matter how many of its icons I cross off my must-see list, I can’t seem to put a line through the first item on it. I’m halfway through my once-andfor-all trip to Australia, and I cannot find a kangaroo anywhere. I scan the horizon again. We’re on a bus travelling through the apocalyptically empty centre of Oz, so there’s not much else to do, but all I can see is asphalt and Outback. It’s a 450km drive to Alice Springs, a town right at the absolute epicentre of nowhere, and after two hours on the road, we’ve seen diddly squat: not a lizard, snake or bird in sight. Which would be OK, except we’re never coming back. This is a strictly once-ina-lifetime trip for my pal, Diane, and me. The distance, the airfare, the meagre annual leave allowance, the even more meagre bank balance – they all mitigate against returning another year, so we’re

doing as much of Australia as we can in three weeks. We’re on a mission, with a list of places to see, boxes to tick, and childhood dreams to realise. We’ve already ‘done’ the Great Ocean Road (a sprawling spectacular dotted with boutique pitstops and stunning views), the Gold Coast (a high-rise horror, but beloved of surfers) and most of the cities on the east coast (the cool cultural pulse of Oz). It’s been a whirlwind, and we’ve lost count of the number of planes we’ve taken, roads we’ve driven and beaches we’ve bathed on. And we’ve crossed so many time-zones – yes, just in Australia – that we don’t know whether it’s time for lunch, dinner or tea any more. But we’re happy. Building ‘quiet’ days into the itinerary has paid off, and we’re feeling pretty smug. Or we were, until the sheer heat and barrenness of the Outback hit us. We’ve just left Uluru, the vast red rock in the country’s heart. It’s sacred to the indigenous peoples, of course, and – despite the searing temperatures and insistent flies– there’s something spiritual

about it. At yesterday’s sunset, as the light moved visibly across the contours of the rock, highlighting its fiery rustred sandstone, and throwing shadows as black as night, even the coach parties fell gradually silent before its 300-millionyear-old majesty. And now, en route to Alice Springs, we’re getting the full Outback experience. The dry, desolate landscape shimmers out to infinity on all sides. The perfectly tarmacked road ahead, glittering in the brazen sunshine, is aiming straight as an arrow to the horizon, dancing in the distance. Clouds streak across a sky so immense it dwarves the scrubby land, trees silhouetted against it in painful, twisted sculptures. My throat is dry with dust, and I can almost smell the heat. The sheer emptiness of the place is epic. And, even in the light of a bright, unforgiving day, it’s kind of eerie. Inhuman. As in harsh and inhospitable. The ‘roos, I’m told, are probably kipping in the shade. My eyes close sleepily. The heat is intense, and the last 10 days’ travel


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is taking its toll. What I need is a nice cool dip in the sea... Less than 48 hours later I’m basking in the waters off Australia’s northeast coast. The sun is pulsing down, but gentler here. Our glass-bottomed boat is anchored nearby – and I’m adrift. This isn’t just any water, this is the Great Barrier Reef – the poster girl of Oz, and one of my do-before-you-die dreams to experience. What’s more, I have the whole place to myself. Diane has headed off snorkelling into the reef, her black wetsuited shape diminishing in the distance. I look at my toes glittering through the crystal-clear blue, a rainbow of fish skittering below. Working your way through a to-do list doesn’t have to be hard labour. We’ve got a lot more boxes to tick. But for now, the Reef is all mine and I’m going nowhere. We’ve allowed ourselves two blissful days here. The rest of Oz can wait. From above, the reef is astonishing. As our seaplane circled low and swooped over it, it was hard to take in the scale of it, the clarity of the water, the richness of the colours: blues, greens, aquamarines, turquoises and every hue in between. Our captain, Scott, pointed out the famous

Working your way through a to-do list doesn’t have to be hard labour


Opening page: Red kangaroo. Opposite page, clockwise from top left: The Gold Coast; Sydney Opera House; Busselton Jetty, Western Australia; Interior of the Royal Arcade shopping centre in Melbourne.

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heart-shaped reef, sharks showing off in the mirror-still waters below, turtles pootling along, heads nodding like old men, popping up, curious for the air. Scott had picked us up from the airport on Hamilton, a busy little island in the Whitsundays. Our visit here has coincided with World Champagne Day, so it’s been bubbly all the way at Qualia, the Indian Ocean-styled resort we’re staying at. It’s been a lovely experience and I’m feeling as chilled as a cat in the noonday sun – it’s amazing how quickly the weariness, the dust and the grime of industrial-scale travelling washes off. We’ve earned ourselves this rathermore-relaxing leg of our tour, anyway: we’ve been at it non-stop since arriving in Melbourne on day one. The country’s second city turned out to be the ideal place to start – it’s no glamourpuss, its architecture an unhappy mish-mash of old and new, but after a couple of days it grew on us like a well-crafted album track. We discovered hidden alleys and lovely Victorian buildings, graffitti’d byways, indie boutiques (we loved the toy shop that doubles as a dolly and teddy ‘hospital’) and trendy bars, such as the tucked-away stand-up Bar Americano that’s open


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Australia This page, clockwise from top left: Aboriginal at Ayers Rock; Water Cascading from Ayers Rock; Red kangaroo at Alice Springs Desert Park; An aboriginal cave painting on Ayers Rock. Opposite page: Ayers Rock and UluruKata Tjuta Cultural Centre.


from 8.30am. A trip to the First Peoples exhibition and the fine Immigration Museum sealed the deal – we left armed with the history and culture of Australia, ready to take on the rest of the continent. Sydney (day five), by contrast, proved to be a showstopper – an instant wow, the catchy hit single that gets you humming after the first listen. This city’s an exhibitionist, every corner revealing a new visual treat. The harbour’s the star, of course, with the sails of the Opera House like nuns’ cowls looking out to sea, the Bridge a shameless look-at-me engineering hussy that dominates the skyline, peeping out at you unexpectedly as you stroll around the city. We did the helicopter thing, sweeping over the Bridge; the boat thing, pootling under the Bridge (stopping for a dip and lunch on the water); and a foodie tour of the Inner West district with ladies who lunch. We sipped local drinks in The Rocks, once home to convicts, now a chi-chi area by the harbour; and we joined Sydneysiders on the ferry to Manly. We’re devoting the last leg of our trip to the grape-growing region of Margaret River in the southwest. We’re pretty exhausted now – between the Reef and here, we had a day in newly-hip Perth (and a guided walking tour) – so we’re taking it easy. Again. We picked up a car in the city, and took a leisurely, scenic drive, stopping for a paddle at lovely Cottesloe beach, just outside town, and ending up with tea and cake at the sweet ‘n’ chic seaside town of Busselton on the edge of Margaret River. We’ve booked in to Cape Lodge, an old-fashioned Dutch Colonial style house, set by a lake. It’s a haven of tranquillity, and just the ticket after our hectic, ambitious trip. Our guide for the day (day 21, although it feels like fewer) is Drew, and from the windows of his car the lush greenery of the landscape is reminiscent of England – and refreshing after the frenetic cities, harsh desert interior and vast oceans of blue. And Drew guarantees we’ll see kangaroos, too. About time. We end our mammoth trip tomorrow and, unbelievably, we still haven’t spotted one. “They’re all over the place,” he reassures us in that blithe Australian way. “You’ll see.” While we’re ‘looking’, we browse some of the hundreds of vineyards hereabouts. With so many October // 2014

The harbour’s the star, of course, with the sails of the Opera House like nuns’ cowls


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WHERE TO STAY A luxury stop in Perth’s centre can be found at The Richardson, a five-star boutique hotel just a few minutes’ walk from King’s Park and Botanical Garden. When in Sydney, Pier One Sydney Harbour will give you incredible panoramic views of the iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge, just by stepping out onto your balcony. For information visit or call +971 4 316 6666.

to choose from, we cherry-pick a lunch at Voyager, where the menu is designed around the wines; we drop in on Swings and Roundabouts, a laid-back vineyard that welcomes kids; and we do a tasting at Vasse Felix, the oldest in the region, and home to a huge art collection. On the way, we get the local lowdown. “That’s great, Drew,” I say. “But where are the kangaroos?” “Mmmm,” he mutters. “They don’t seem to be out at the moment. It’s the wrong time of day.” I think I may be scowling. “I know what you need,” he suddenly shouts. “You need Nola with her Roller! I’ll call her.” Nola, it turns out, is a dead ringer for Lady Penelope. Petite, dressed all in black with signature leather gloves, her hair is styled in a perfect blonde bob. An ex-teacher from Perth, she bought a classic Bentley in 1997 (she has a Roller, too, hence the nickname) and set up her business taking people on bespoke tours. “So what’s the plan?” she asks. “Kangaroos,” I reply. “Easy,” she says. Within 10 minutes, she comes up with the goods. She stops the car, and there, through the trees, are hundreds of the little darlings. Hopping, leaping, staring,

Hopping, leaping, staring, bouncing like Zebedee, tiny heads perched on ridiculous bodies

Opposite page clockwise from top left: Koala mother and young in tree; View of Sydney Tower from Pitt Street Mall; Great Barrier Reef, World Traveller

bouncing like Zebedee, tiny heads perched on ridiculous bodies. We laugh out loud, and we don’t know if it’s joy or just amusement at the comic improbability of the critters. But Lady P has something else up her elegant sleeve. She drives us to a friend’s house, where we’re in for a treat. In Margaret River, many kangaroos are killed on the road; the etiquette is to check there are no joeys in the dead mother’s pouch, and, if there are, they’re taken to be nurtured in people’s homes until they’re ready for a return to the wild. And so, on the last day, here we are, Diane and I, virtually reduced to tears as we each hold a joey in our arms, feeding them with a baby’s bottle. Bob and Marley. Gorgeous, soft as bunny rabbits and sweet as a peachy melba. It’s made my day. Actually, it’s made my trip. As we get back in the car, I heave a sign of relief. We’ve travelled 40,000km, taken 10 planes, two helicopters, two boats, two cars, one seaplane, one bus and nine guided tours. All our boxes have been well and truly ticked. “Where to, ladies?” asks Lady P. “Home,” I reply. “We’re going home.”


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This page: Shanghai market soup comprising glass noodles, chicken, mushrooms, vegetables. Next page: Street food.

Saucy hotpots, smoke-laced barbecues: from breakfast to the latest bite, Shanghai is a cauldron of sizzling local cooking. China fan and dumpling devotee, Ellen Himelfarb, simply can’t stay away


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ou never forget your first. Ours happened in a haze of jet lag one fuggy summer. We were consumed by a yearning to, well, consume. Dragging around the leafy fringes of Shanghai’s French Concession district, in a stream of electric motorbikes, my husband Jason and I were caught in a swell of steam from an open kitchen. Desperate, we joined the bottleneck at the door. It was too tight to escape by the time we realised there was a drill and it involved a command of Mandarin. A woman at the reception took orders. We pointed cautiously at some steamers of dumplings. A tide of bodies swept us to the cashier, where we paid about £2 (Dhs12), then stood dumbfounded as one of them gestured at a tray groaning with an approximation of our order. I don’t remember finding a table or feeling my sweaty thighs on the plastic chair, only those delicate round parcels: the dough a Chinese-style al dente containing herby pork mince. Some floated in aromatic broth; others had soup inside, the Shanghainese classic xiaolongbao. We pierced the skin of the first ones to free the broth, but once they’d cooled down we got cocky, chomping them whole so the tangy juice burst over our tongues. There and then, dumplings became my madeleine. I never returned to the steamy dive I later noted was called Feng Yu, but I’ve spent many meals since chasing the dragon – and eating in Shanghai is all about the thrill of the chase, followed by moments of triumph, as we’d experienced at Feng Yu. Some moments are more glorious than others. Window-shopping one day in Nanjing Road, where Swiss-watch boutiques outnumber restaurants, I ducked into Yang’s – a chain championed by my guidebook – to take out some of its legendary fried dumplings, or shengjianbao. Then, unable to resist the aroma on the train, I ripped open my chopsticks, bit into a still-sputtering parcel and watched the juice shoot out onto a dozen shirtsleeves. Searching fruitlessly for a tissue, I met not a few glances that conveyed what I’d suspected all along: dumplings in transit are a no-no. I know better now. Jason and I have visited Shanghai many times for many reasons – his work, my work, then, later, to visit friends made. And food has always dictated the schedule. We string days together with edible gems; we live for dinner and return home with memories more powerful than the blistering spray from those dumplings. On that same first trip we trailed expat friends most evenings to the Bund, a riverfront strip of Beaux-Arts mansions lit up to resemble a crystal flute. We walked the boardwalk with the hordes and gawped at the city lights. But the restaurants atop those mansions are mostly European – and mostly overrated. Across the river in Pudong, where the LED-lit towers could cause seizures, every mega-hotel has a flamboyant dining room with a 360-degree panorama. They deliver impressive views over the metamorphosing city – but teach you nothing about it. As we grew braver in the city, our eyes and stomachs wandered away from the tourist track. We discovered Zhapu Road the way we have most places in Shanghai – lost and hungry. We’d taken a wrong turn off Suzhou Creek by the old General Post Office and ended up in a snarl of smoke-spewing barbecues, grilling skewers of spicy Hunanese squid. Zhapu Road is just 10 minutes from the Bund, but is the antithesis of it. ‘Snack streets’ like Zhapu often grow up in these October // 2014

paths-not-taken because they’re home to China’s huddled masses – migrants from the provinces who hawk grandmother’s recipes between naps on their wooden carts. They’re worth trekking for – but in Shanghai you barely have to leave the piste. Like the time, waiting for friends at M on the Bund (modern European, white tablecloths), Jason and I sneaked round the corner to Sichuan Road and found a dozen hole-in-the-wall kitchens bubbling with regional specialities. Manchurian hotpot in one, Beijing duck in the next and a vigorous noodle-puller in the rear – it was as if we’d found the city’s boiler room. There’s nothing like a noodle-puller wrangling a hunk of dough into a thousand strands to make you regret a formal dinner reservation. On another trip we rented an apartment in the French Concession. The district is a community of residential lanes and mom-and-pop shops, where suited professionals share stucco terraces with pensioners bathing from buckets in the street. One groggy morning, guided by our dog-eared walking map, we wandered around a tangle of art deco lanes, dodging racks of laundry and bare-bottomed toddlers pursued by grandparents. When we emerged, into a sweeping avenue colonised by wine bars, we spotted Tsui Wah, conspicuously modern in glass and gilt. Inside, the local penchant for harsh lighting and harsher service was banished in favour of a modelesque hostess, who led us to a white-leather booth and explained the concept of the cha canting, or Cantonese diner. Soon we were sprawled out with

Eating in Shanghai is all about the thrill of the chase, followed by moments of triumph menus and cups of yuanyang, a milky tea-coffee combo with pupil-dilating levels of caffeine. All the high-street staples were here, but we were more wowed by the cha canting dishes: toast slathered with condensed milk and Macanese egg tarts. We packed the tarts for our next gruelling mission – Shanghai’s notorious knock-off boutiques – and left a trail of flaky crust in our wake. Cha cantings were one of our triumphs. As we explored the sandy-coloured storefronts we found more of them. A hub of violin shops and sheet-music traders led us to Eason, a bohemian warren where we snacked on greasy potato pancakes. Another time we pushed onward to Fuxing Park, a meet-market for the elderly, who organise ballroom dances and Mahjong tournaments beneath ivied arbours. Exiting by the old home of the venerated politician Sun Yat-sen, we sought out Cha’s, a former colleague’s favourite that won us over with its ‘50s interior and prolific employment of pineapple. It was a friend of a friend of Jason’s who helped expand our repertoire. Faced with an evening of entertaining strangers from the UK, he summoned us to a Yunnanese place called Lost Heaven, which we dismissed as Chinese hyperbole until we closed in on the street, noticing the art deco villas grow vaster, the palms taller and the traffic noise yield to cricket song. Inside the prettiest villa, Eric greeted us by a candlelit bar with cloudy snifters trimmed by bird’seye chillies, which we downed swiftly, our lips


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This page: Xiaolongbao dumplings. Opposite page, clockwise from top: Shanghai skyline; People eating Chinese food; Food vendor in Shanghai’s Old Town; Shanghai salad.


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WHERE TO STAY Cool young things are heading to the URBN Hotel Shanghai, which is trendy and hip – but still luxurious and upscale, giving the best of all worlds. On the waterfront is the Grand Kempinski Hotel, an opulent and dramatic place to stay - check in here for a special occasion in the city. For information visit dnatatravel. com or call +971 4 316 6666.

tingling. Then he led us up a staircase where radiant photos featured farmers in the Mekong, the region skirting South East Asia. Lost Heaven delivered its promised rapture. Speaking Mandarin like an old hand, Eric commanded dishes of willow pancakes, wild mushrooms and tender shredded pork that he wrapped in lettuce as skilfully as a Cuban rolling a cigar. Everything had a fragrant, Thai herby-ness, adorned, implausibly, with edible flowers. Even Jason, who always thinks Thai food overrated, was euphoric. Eric’s other big reveal was Jesse. We almost hadn’t got in. Old Jesse – as it’s called by its devoted clientele – is deep in the southern reaches of the French Concession, on a genteel boulevard shrouded by a leafy canopy. We walked there through Xujiahui Park and watched young couples in formal wear pose for professional photos – a curious Shanghainese diversion. From there we passed the monolithic Hengshan Cinema, a refurbished art deco theatre that’s become a rendezvous of another kind, being furnished almost entirely with love-seats. Moments later, we spotted the queue at Jesse. Oh, the queues! If you’re Chinese, you’ll seek one out and stand in it, because a queue means freshness – and freshness is crucial. But at this Shanghainese bistro you can start queuing for lunch and realise it’s dinner by the time your table is free. Which is what eventually happened to us. We’d had enough time crouching on the pavement outside to work out our order long before we sat down. Top of the list was the house braised pork belly, cut in bits, glazed with sticky soy and so moreish that I felt for our scallion fish as it gazed up, forlorn, while we scraped the sauce from the bowl. Jesse is Shanghainese food at its home-cooked finest, sweet as Cantonese but less a pastiche of cultures. The Shanghainese eat like Italians: course upon course interspersed with cigarettes and laughter. We learned this over an epic lunch in Xintiandi, a pedestrianised shopping plaza set in a cluster of antique houses that could almost have been built in World Traveller

homage to said Italians, with friezes, porticoes and Juliet balconies. At a black-lacquered dining room behind one of those balconies called Yè Shanghai, colleagues of Jason’s plied us with crunchy Mandarin fish and glazed ribs until we were so stuffed we had to postpone the main courses. By sunset we were nibbling on dessert buns filled with red bean paste, then, deciding they weren’t as disgusting as they sounded, ordered more. Over the years we’ve accumulated these savoury snapshots like the thousands of digital ones buried in our hard drives. But the visuals can’t convey the sensation of sweet, sour, sticky and crunchy in a single mouthful. Or the distinction between peppers that burn the throat, tingle the tongue or numb the mouth entirely. The Chinese have as many degrees of heat as the Inuits have words for snow. One by one we pursued and appraised them. Ultimately it wasn’t Sichuan, China’s hottest fare, that made our eyes water with the memory, but rather Hunanese, from the birthplace of Mao himself. After gnawing our way through Hunan’s trademark cumin ribs, we found the winner across the street from our flat. Hunan Xiangcun Fengwei had so far shrunk into the background, thanks to its noisy, brash neighbours. Where we lived, on Wulumuqi Zhong Road in the French Concession, we had to haggle daily with the banana pedlar, and had learned to avoid the guy dishing out blocks of tofu so fermented we could smell the stench from the metro. We had devised a special tiptoe to elude the turtles and hairy crabs stalking the pavement outside their tanks. But when we finally ate Hunan Xiangcun Fengwei’s ‘countryside fare’ – chilli-

Opposite page: People shopping in Yu Yuan Garden bazaar at night.

The Shanghainese eat like Italians: course upon course interspersed with cigarettes and laughter

flecked garden veg, smoky bamboo and sizzling beef – we regretted having not tried it before. The menu was garbled (who fancies saliva chicken?) but the dishes offered intense rushes of heat that subsided into complex flavours. Deep-fried aubergine oozed over chillies and fried mince; green beans mingled with garlic and bacon for an unexpected, yet not unwelcome, bacon fix. When we returned last autumn, the menu had been mercifully edited, but the liberal employment of peppers hadn’t changed. On this last trip, we nostalgically wandered Wulumuqi Zhong Road at closing time, as life slowed – the fruit wagons idled, a pedlar slept on a bamboo mat on the pavement. We looked at the clock: eight hours until the next meal, so time to rest up. As past residents, we knew that at dawn a man in a white smock would appear at the iron grill on the corner to fry up the finest dumplings for a mile, crisp at the edges and sprinkled with green onion. We caught up with him at about 10am, and waved the Chinese hand signal for ‘six’: pinkies out, like a surfer’s shaka, a trick we’d learned at the markets. We handed over our 30p (Dhs1.5) and gobbled those dumplings whole. Another savoury snapshot for the memory card.


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Weekends Everything you need to know about short-haul escapes








48 hours in glorious Doha, capital of Qatar

Go on a subterranean adventure in Beirut

A high-end hideaway in the Maldives

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In association with

48 HOURS IN...


A stopover in Qatar’s capital provides a wonderful opportunity for you to soak up the city’s attractions

FRIDAY Morning: You’ve arrived in Doha. What next? Venture out to Al Zubarah, a UNESCO World Heritage Site packed full of antiques and history. A morning spent here will give you a taste of what life was like in the early days of settlement. Afternoon: Take in a fresh Mediterranean lunch at Market by JeanGeorges, found in the W Hotel. The freshest ingredients go in to beautifully presented food, with the slow-cooked salmon a favourite. Belly full, it’s off to the Museum of Islamic Art. A new exhibition opened on September 16 that explores why the MIA collects Islamic art from around the world. Evening: As the cool evening falls, you won’t want to miss a cruise on a traditional dhow boat. Depart from the Pearl and gently make your way to the Doha Corniche. After disembarking, there are walkways lining the water’s edge for a stroll that will show off the Doha skyline.

SATURDAY Morning: Learn about Doha’s wildlife scene at the Al Maha Sanctuary, home to the Arabian Oryx – known as the symbol of Qatar, and thus the logo for its national carrier, Qatar Airways. These endangered desert deer boast large curved horns and milky white fur – and there are over 1,000 of them protected at this educational sanctuary.

Where to stay

InterContinental Doha ( Featuring eight restaurants and bars, including the famous Belgian Café, this central retreat also has its own private pool area, and the concierge is fully clued-up about the city’s hottest spots. The hotel is just minutes from downtown Doha.

Al Bidda Boutique Hotel ( Five-star luxury and unique touches abound in this small, yet perfectly formed œ«Ìˆœ˜°iÀiޜսw˜`ÕÃÌ£™ rooms and 13 suites. Directly adjacent to Doha’s main Souk area, the Al Bidda is for those that love to shop before ending their day in style.

Afternoon: ̽Ã̈“i̜yiÝޜÕÀÀiÌ>ˆ muscle in the alleyways of Doha’s markets. The Gold Souq and Souq Waqif sell spices, jewellery and textiles and are a real taste of tradition, while modern shopping can be found at the City Center Doha mall, which houses all of the biggest brand names in fashion. Evening: -«i˜`ޜÕÀw˜>˜ˆ}…Ì bopping to live music at Jazz at Lincoln Center Doha ­vœÕ˜`ˆ˜̅iwÛi‡ÃÌ>À-Ì° ,i}ˆÃ œ…>®]̅iwÀÃÌÛi˜Õi of its kind outside of New York. Finally, before boarding ޜÕÀ`i«>À̈˜}yˆ}…Ì]ëi˜` some time in Qatar Airways’ 10,000sqft Al Mourjan business class lounge at Hamad International Airport, showcasing unrivalled service and facilities.

Ask a concierge

Ahmed Mansour, from InterContinental Doha, picks three of the best restaurants


Prime Restaurant uses only the best cuts of meat in the world (like Wagyu and black Angus). Plus it offers unique twists on classic steakhouse cuisine. Here’s a tip: check out the private dining room for a special occasion. L’wzaar Seafood Market lays out all its fresh seafood on ice

October // 2014

ˆ˜>wÅ“>ÀŽiÌÃÌޏi]܅ˆV… will then be cooked to your liking. Al Mourjan is the only restaurant on Doha Corniche, and the setting is stunning. The lamb chops will be among the best you’ve ever had.

+>Ì>ÀƂˆÀÜ>ÞÃœvviÀãnÓyˆ}…ÌÃ>ÜiiŽLiÌÜii˜ œ…>>˜`1Ƃ °/…i>ˆÀˆ˜iÀiVi˜ÌÞ ̜œŽ`iˆÛiÀÞœvˆÌÃwÀÃÌƂˆÀLÕÃƂÎnä‡nää>ˆÀVÀ>vÌœvviÀˆ˜}̅iՏ̈“>Ìiˆ˜ÕÝÕÀÞÌÀ>Ûi° For more information visit





Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi is one of the most impressive hotels in the region. Don’t believe us? Check the numbers...

The number of diamondshaped glass panels that create a ‘veil’ over the two hotel towers

ZEITGEIST This month everyone is... Eating‌ at Mahiki Dubai’s Coconut Lounge, the tropical paradise where ĂŒ>ĂƒĂŒiVœ“iĂƒwĂ€ĂƒĂŒÂ°/Â…iĂƒÂˆ}˜>ĂŒĂ•Ă€i beverages go perfectly with wagyu sliders or Canadian lobster roll. Chilling‌ at The 31 Bar, the cool new Ă›iÂ˜Ă•i>ĂŒĂŒÂ…i-ÂœwĂŒiÂ? ÂœĂœÂ˜ĂŒÂœĂœÂ˜ Ă•L>ˆ° With phenomenal views of the Burj Khalifa and its fountains, the dark-andintimate atmosphere is a guaranteed winner for entertaining. ĂƒÂœwĂŒiÂ?°Vœ“ Shopping‌ at En Vogue, the most luxurious and high-end home store to launch in the UAE. The 2,000sqm space œ˜ՓiÂˆĂ€>Â… i>VÂ…,Âœ>`ĂœÂˆÂ?Â?LiwÂ?Â?ˆ˜} the coolest homes in the city with the biggest brands.



The number of rooms and suites at Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi


October // 2014

The number of hotels located in the middle of a Formula One racetrack

Number of treatment rooms in the spa, ESPA


MUST DO Jeita Grotto, Lebanon

Two separate but connected limestone caves spanning almost nine kilometres makes up the Jeita Grotto, found in the Nahr al-Kalb valley, north of Beirut. The cave was discovered in 1836, although archaeological discoveries proved that the cave was inhabited in prehistoric times. The grotto can be visited by foot or by boat (depending on which part you visit) and is comprised of two sections: the upper grotto, which contains weird and wonderful stone forms; and the lower grotto where an otherworldly



The price, in dirhams, to stay in the Presidential Suite, complete with its own lap pool

rowboat tour takes guests on a journey deep into the cave on the subterranean river. The upper galleries also house the world’s largest stalactite, which stands a huge 8.2m high. Impressive, but not as impressive as the chambers themselves, some of which peak at heights of 120 metres. A thriving tourism ecosystem has sprung up around the grotto, so for those that don’t want to make the underground journey, there are lush gardens, sculptures and a miniature zoo around the entranceway.

World Traveller Promotion

WINNING FORMULA Since its inception in 2009, the Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is a highlight on the UAE’s, and the world’s, annual sporting calendar. As Yas Island prepares to host the sixth edition of this exhilarating race, WT takes a look at what the island has to offer…




The race A record number of race fans are expected to descend on Yas Marina Circuit for the Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this month. To cope with this ˆ˜yÕÝœvÀ>Vi}œiÀÃ̅iÌÀ>VŽ…>ȘVÀi>Ãi` its capacity for the 2014 race by 3,000, LÀˆ˜}ˆ˜}ˆÌÃ̜Ì>V>«>VˆÌÞ̜Èä]äää° ,՘˜ˆ˜}>œ˜}È`i̅iÀ>ViˆÃ9>Ã>>“]̅i >À}iÃÌVˆÌއ܈`i«Àœ}À>““iVœ“«ÀˆÃˆ˜} music, entertainment and activities for the whole family. Where to stay -ÌÀ>``ˆ˜}̅iÀ>ViÌÀ>VŽˆÃ̅i9>Ã6ˆViÀœÞ ƂLÕ …>Lˆ°/…ˆÃ>ÀV…ˆÌiVÌÕÀ>…ˆ}…ˆ}…Ì offers 499 rooms and suites and a rooftop «œœ«i««iÀi`܈̅Ã՘œÕ˜}iÀðƂÃ̜˜i½Ã ̅ÀœÜ>Ü>ÞޜÕ܈w˜`̅i9>Ã*>â>œÌiÃ – a collection of six international hotels ˆ˜VÕ`ˆ˜} ÀœÜ˜i*>â>9>ÃÏ>˜`>˜`̅i ,>`ˆÃܘ ÕœÌiƂLÕ …>Lˆ9>ÃÏ>˜`] ܅iÀi̅ii>ÀÞV…iVŽ‡ˆ˜>˜`>ÌiV…iVŽ‡œÕÌ «œˆVÞ܈>``yi݈LˆˆÌÞ̜ޜÕÀÌÀ>Ûi«>˜Ã°

World Traveller


Trackside dining œÀ>«Ài‡œÀ«œÃ̇À>ViLˆÌi]LœœŽ>Ì>Li>Ì

ˆ«Àˆ>˜ˆ9>ÃÏ>˜`° iÈ}˜i`LޏœÀi˜Ìˆ˜i architect Michele Bonan, this stylish ÀiÃÌ>ÕÀ>˜ÌœvviÀÍ>܇`Àœ««ˆ˜}ۈiÜÃœv 9>Ã>Àˆ˜>°"˜̅i“i˜Õ]iÝ«iVÌ̜w˜` È}˜>ÌÕÀi`ˆÃ…iÃvÀœ“>ÀÀ޽à >Àˆ˜6i˜ˆVi >˜`V>ÃÈVÌ>ˆ>˜v>ۜÕÀˆÌiÃÃÕV…>Ã…œ“i‡ “>`iÌ>}ˆœˆ˜ˆ܈̅LÀiÃ>œ>>˜`i˜œÕ}… >˜Ìˆ«>Ã̜̈Žii«ޜÕvՏvœÀ`>Þð/…i9>à Marina also provides the perfect spot for Lœ>̜ܘiÀÏœœŽˆ˜}̜>˜V…œÀ>˜`Ü>ÌV… the race on board their yachts. Race revival Miss the race? Then head to the Yas Marina

ÀˆÛˆ˜} Ý«iÀˆi˜Vi܅iÀiLÕ``ˆ˜}£ `ÀˆÛiÀÃV>˜ÌiÃÌ̅iˆÀΈÃœ˜̅iÛiÀÞÃ>“i ÌÀ>VŽ>Ã̅iˆÀëœÀ̈˜}…iÀœiðƂÌiÀ˜>̈ÛiÞ] round up your friends and family and hop over to Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, the ܜÀ`½Ã>À}iÃ̈˜`œœÀ̅i“i«>ÀŽ°iÀi] >˜>ÃÜÀ̓i˜Ìœv>`Ài˜>ˆ˜i‡«Õ“«ˆ˜}Àˆ`ià >˜`̅iܜÀ`½Ãv>ÃÌiÃÌÀœiÀVœ>ÃÌiÀ>Ü>ˆÌ°

1. 2. 3. 4.

ˆ«Àˆ>˜ˆ9>ÃÏ>˜` Yas Marina Circuit 9>Ã6ˆViÀœÞƂLÕ …>Lˆ ,>`ˆÃܘ ÕœÌiƂLÕ …>Lˆ 9>ÃÏ>˜`

Formula Facts:

>ÌV…̅iLiÃÌۈiÜœv̅iÌÀ>VŽ vÀœ“œ˜iœv̅iÌÀ>VŽ‡v>Vˆ˜}Àœœ“Ã>Ì the Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi hotel.

iÈ}˜i`LÞÀi˜œÜ˜i`VˆÀVՈÌ architect Hermann Tilke, Yas Marina Circuit is 5.55 kilometres (3.4 miles) œ˜}>˜`Vœ“«ÀˆÃiÃ21 turns The number of international spectators̜̅ˆÃÞi>À½ÃÀ>Vi ÜiiŽi˜`ˆÃiÝ«iVÌi`̜ÀˆÃivÀœ“{ί to 46%

October // 2014






YOU FLY It’s the perfect time to visit China. Chef Xu Xhing Zhong from Royal China in Dubai, picks some local delicacies.


What sets Viceroy Maldives apart from the rest? ̽ÃLœ`]Li>ṎvՏ>˜`iÝÕ`ià Vœ˜w`i˜Vi°v̅œÃiܜÀ`ÃÃՓޜÕÕ«] then a stay here could be a match made ˆ˜…i>Ûi˜°Ì…>ÃÈäë>VˆœÕÃۈ>Ã]i>V… with their own private plunge pools, which are available either on the beach or œÛiÀÜ>ÌiÀ°/…iÀi½Ã>Ãœ>ÃÌ՘˜ˆ˜}ˆ˜w˜ˆÌÞ pool overlooking the ocean, found by ̅iƂ˜}ÕÀÕ >À>˜`Àˆ,iÃÌ>ÕÀ>˜Ì° The diving is out of this world, too, with ؜ÀŽiˆ˜}>˜`ÃVÕL>>V̈ۈ̈ið What’s the food like? ÛiÀÞ̅ˆ˜}ޜÕVœÕ`…œ«ivœÀ°/…iÀi >Ài̅Àiiw˜i`ˆ˜ˆ˜}œ«Ìˆœ˜Ã̜«ˆVŽ from, the aforementioned Anguru offers Ã>>`Ã]}Àˆi`wÅ]Ã>˜`܈V…iÃ>˜` pizzas; the Treehouse lures guests in with iݜ̈Vy>ۜÕÀÃœv̅iˆ``i >ÃÌÆ>˜` the showstopper, Vista (named for its ˆ˜VÀi`ˆLiۈiÜîÃiÀÛiÃy>ۜÕÀÃœv̅i >ÃÌ>˜`7iÃ̈˜>Vœ˜Ìi“«œÀ>ÀÞÃÌޏi°


I’m looking for a private escape… This is the very best spot to get away from it all – 50 minutes away from the nearest airport and spread over 17 acres of palm trees and white sand, Viceroy Maldives prides itself on letting its guests Žii«̅i“ÃiÛiÃ̜̅i“ÃiÛið/…iÀi½Ã a reason that A-list stars Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds saw in the New Year here, ViiLÀ>̈˜}ˆ˜̜Ì>ÃiVÕȜ˜°

October // 2014

These Chinese pastries, traditionally eaten in autumn, stem from a legend about an emperor `iˆÛiÀˆ˜}>Ã>VÀˆwVi ̜̅i“œœ˜°˜ Beijing, try some unique sweet or savoury Macanese mooncakes at the Hilton Wangfujing ­…ˆÌœ˜°Vœ“®°



World Traveller has teamed up with Viceroy Maldives to offer an amazing prize of three nights’ stay in a water or beach villa with breakfast for two people, and two return seaplane ÌÀ>˜ÃviÀÃ̜̅iÀiÜÀÌ°/œLiˆ˜܈̅ a chance of winning, answer this easy question: Which celeb couple stayed at Viceroy Maldives last New Year? A) Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie B) Jay-Z & Beyonce C) Ryan Reynolds & Blake Lively Email your answer to easywin@ before October 31. Terms and conditions apply on the prize.

Made with ginger and spring onions and served with noodles, this Cantonese dish comes from Guangdong province and is extremely popular due to its simplicity and ˆ}…Ìy>ۜÕÀð Sample it at Guangzhou’s Bing Sheng seafood ÀiÃÌ>ÕÀ>˜Ì°

BIRDS’ NESTS Edible birds’ nests have been used in Chinese cooking for over 400 years >˜`V>˜LiÛiÀÞiÝ«i˜ÃˆÛi°1ÃÕ>Þ prepared as birds’ nest soup, we serve our crispy shredded beef ˆ˜>LˆÀ`½Ã˜iÃÌ° Sample one at Sun Tung Lok in Hong Kong ­Ã՘Ì՘}œŽ°Vœ“ …Ž®°




A big family? Newborn in tow? Find out which kids’ club suites you best

Got lots of kids?

Need to be by the sea?

Are you an active family?

Want to blow the budget?

Interested in weird wildlife?

Prefer the pool to the beach?

Sandcastle Kids’ Club Designed from the ground up to celebrate the art of play, the Sandcastle Club is a world of imagination that will delight kids up to the age of 12. Set within a themed cave, this space dedicated to kids boasts an outdoor activity pool and plenty of staff members highly trained in keeping kids occupied.

Atlantis Kids’ Club With morning, afternoon and evening adventures available, kids aged between 3-12 will be spoiled for choice about how to spend their days. Creative types can let their imaginations run wild by experimenting with animation or cooking, and explorers can take part in a thrilling underwater safari.

World Traveller

Sinbad’s Kids’ Club Kids absolutely adore this action-packed club, which is found at Jumeirah Beach Hotel. There’s 1,178sqm of play area to explore, with activities ranging from aqua fun and movie time to arts and crafts.

Emirates Palace Kids’ Club Young princes and princesses will make new friends, learn new skills and play all day long at this huge playground. Kids aged seven-and-up can even have a pampering session in the mini-beauty salon, with nail treatments and hair styling sessions.

The Jungle, Jordan Valley Perfect for the young, or simply the young-at-heart. Kids are looked after from the moment they set foot in this exciting playroom, full of craft tools and games. The outdoor Children’s Mushroom Pool is full of fountains and thrilling areas to explore.

October // 2014


6 Of The Best

SIX of the BEST

SWIMMING POOLS Dive in to the most spectacular pools on this side of the world



October // 2014

1. The Long Pool, The Chedi, Muscat

Take a dip like no other at The Chedi’s epic œ˜}*œœ°̽Ã̅iœ˜}iÃ̈˜w˜ˆÌÞ«œœˆ˜ the region, and at 103 metres it’s twice the i˜}̅œv>˜"Þ“«ˆV‡Ãˆâi`Ã܈““ˆ˜}«œœ° Lined with graphite lava rock stone tiles and vÀ>“i`LÞ>ÕÀˆ˜}"“>˜ˆ‡ÃÌޏiwÀiLœÜÃ] ̅ˆÃˆÃ>Ã܈““ˆ˜}«œœޜսLi…>««Þ̜ ëi˜`>˜i˜ÌˆÀi…œˆ`>ޏœÕ˜}ˆ˜}LiÈ`i° /œ̜˜iޜÕÀ«œœÃˆ`iLœ`Þ]̅iÀi½Ã>Ãœ> ÃÌ>Ìi‡œv‡Ì…i‡>ÀÌ…i>Ì…VÕLÀˆ}…Ì>œ˜}È`i ̅i«œœ̅>̽ÃvՏÞÃ̜VŽi`܈̅>̅i >ÌiÃÌiµÕˆ«“i˜Ì°7i½Žii«̅iV>L>˜>à Ü>À“܅ˆiޜÕܜÀŽœÕÌ°°°

2.Jumeirah Dhevanafushi, Maldives


A honeymooner’s paradise, the pool at this Maldivian resort is what daydreams are made of. The remote atoll in the middle of the Indian Ocean is a far cry from bustling city life, and the views of the glittering turquoise sea are guaranteed to relax. The …œÌi½Ã“>ˆ˜ˆ˜w˜ˆÌÞ«œœˆÌÃivÜ>ȘëˆÀi` by the brilliant majesty of the galaxy, ëiVˆwV>Þ̅iˆŽÞ7>Þ]>˜`̅i«œœ `iÈ}˜iÀÃÀiyiVÌi`̅i>ޜÕÌœv̅iÃÌ>Àà ˆ˜̅iyœœÀœv̅i«œœ]>``ˆ˜}>ÃV>ÌÌiÀˆ˜} œvÌ܈˜Žˆ˜}ˆ}…Ìð/…iivviVÌ܅i˜̅iÃ՘ }œiÃ`œÜ˜ˆÃ“iÓiÀˆÃˆ˜}q>“œÃ̏ˆŽi yœ>̈˜}ˆ˜ë>ViޜÕÀÃiv°

3. The Address, Downtown Dubai

There are only a few places in the world that ܜՏ`“>ŽiޜÕvii“œÀiÃÌޏˆÃ…̅>˜Liˆ˜} waterside at this stunning multi-layered «œœqVœVŽÌ>ˆÃˆ˜>˜…>ÌÌ>˜œÀLÀœÜȘ} the Prada store in Milan, perhaps. The chic and sophisticated pool is in the heart of Downtown Dubai, with perfect views of the ÕÀ…>ˆv>>˜`œÌ…iÀVˆÌއVi˜ÌÀi>˜`“>ÀŽÃ° /…iˆ˜w˜ˆÌÞ«œœ`Àœ«Ã`œÜ˜œÛiÀwÛi levels, meaning you can move up and down lazily all day – or just chill out on one of the comfortable loungers admiring the view. Fitness buffs are in for a treat too – the top level is 35 metres long, offering plenty of ë>VivœÀ>`iVi˜ÌܜÀŽœÕÌ°Ì


October // 2014


6 Of The Best

4. Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa, UAE

5. The Fortress, Sri Lanka

…œˆViÃ]V…œˆVið œޜÕ«ÀiviÀÃ>˜`œÀ VœœÃ̜˜ïiÃ՘`iÀvœœÌ¶->ÌÞœÀvÀiÅ Ü>ÌiÀ¶v̅i>˜ÃÜiÀÃ̜̅iÃiµÕiÃ̈œ˜Ã >Ài̅i>ÌÌiÀ]̅i˜/…iœÀÌÀiÃýÃÌ՘˜ˆ˜} ˆ˜w˜ˆÌÞ«œœˆÃvœÀޜհ/…iÀiÜÀ̏ˆiȘ̅i …ˆÃ̜ÀˆV̜ܘœvœ}}>>]>˜`ˆÌÃÃi`ÕV̈Ûi pool is dotted with LEDs that twinkle like ÃÌ>ÀÃ܅i˜̅i˜ˆ}…Ìv>Ã°Ƃ˜`̅iÛiÀÞLiÃÌ ̅ˆ˜}>LœṎ̶vޜÕ`iVˆ`i>vÌiÀ>܅ˆi ̅>ÌޜÕ`œv>˜VÞ>LˆÌœvLi>V…>V̈œ˜]̅i˜ “iÀiÞÃÌi«œÕÌœv̅i«œœq̅iÜ>À“>˜` ÜiVœ“ˆ˜}˜`ˆ>˜"Vi>˜ˆÃÕÃÌ>viÜÃÌi«Ã >Ü>Þ°


October // 2014


Ƃ˜ÞÕÝÕÀÞÀiÜÀÌܜÀ̅ˆÌÃÃ>Ì …>Ã>˜ˆ˜w˜ˆÌÞ«œœqÜ…œÜ does the Al Maha oasis in the `iÃiÀÌ“>ŽiˆÌÃivÃÌ>˜`œÕ̶ It has 43 of them. Each villa has its own private pool, and ̅iÀi½Ã>Ãœ>>À}iÀVœ““Õ˜> «œœ̜LivœÕ˜`ˆ˜̅iVi˜ÌÀi of the resort, nestled among a grove of palm trees. Al Maha «Àˆ`iÈÌÃivœ˜ÕÝÕÀÞ]>˜`> «ÀˆÛ>Ìiˆ˜w˜ˆÌÞ«œœˆÃ«ÀiÌÌÞ …ˆ}…Õ«ˆ˜̅iÕÝÕÀÞÃÌ>Žið-œ ŽˆVŽL>VŽ]ÃiÌޜÕÀœÜ˜«iÀܘ> «œœ̜܅>ÌiÛiÀÌi“«iÀ>ÌÕÀi ޜՏˆŽi>˜`i˜œÞviiˆ˜}ˆŽi> “ˆˆœ˜>ˆÀi܅i˜ޜÕÃÌ>Þ>Ì̅ˆÃ “>}˜ˆwVi˜ÌÀiÜÀÌ°



6. The Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum, Turkey -iÌœ˜>˜ˆ`ޏˆVœV>̈œ˜œ˜*>À>`ˆÃi >Þ] ̅i>˜`>Àˆ˜"Àˆi˜Ì>…>ÃvœÕÀÃՓ«Ì՜Õà «œœÃ̜ÌÀÞœÕÌqœ˜iiÛi˜`i`ˆV>Ìi` i˜ÌˆÀiÞ̜V…ˆ`Ài˜°/…ˆÃ]̅œÕ}…]ˆÃ̅i«ˆVŽ œv̅iL՘V…°7ˆÌ…}œÀ}iœÕÃۈiÜÃœv̅i dramatic Aegean sea below, the pool greets ޜÕœ˜i˜ÌÀÞ̜̅i…œÌi°v̅ˆÃˆÃ܅>ÌޜÕ }iÌœ˜̅iÜ>Þˆ˜]ˆ“>}ˆ˜i܅>ÌiÃi̅iÀiˆÃ ̜w˜`vÕÀ̅iÀˆ˜Ãˆ`i¶


World Traveller

October // 2014

Weekends brought to you by

World Traveller Weekend Offers Jordan

Evason Ma’in Hot Springs 2 nights from USD170 per person Special offer: 38% room rate reduction plus one way complimentary arrival transfer and a pre-paid mobile chip included. Includes: Stay in a Standard Room with breakfast daily and departure transfer from hotel to airport. Validity: Now ‘til November 20, 2014.


Alila Jabal Akhdar 2 nights from USD422 per person Special offer: Receive a complimentary welcome dinner for two and a 90-minute Spa treatment. Includes: Stay in a Mountain View Room with breakfast daily. Validity: Now ‘til November 30, 2014.

Sri Lanka


Radisson BLU Martinez Hotel 3 nights from USD240 per person Special offer: Stay 2 nights and receive an additional night free. Includes: Stay in a Standard Room with breakfast daily and return airport transfers. Validity: Now ‘til October 29, 2014.

Eden Resort & Spa Beruwela 2 nights from USD210 per person Special offer: 30% rate reduction. Includes: Stay in a Superior Room with breakfast daily and return airport transfers. Validity: Now ‘til October 30, 2014. Burj Al Arab

Banyan Tree Ras Al Khaimah Resort

How to book


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. Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi September // 2014


Banyan Tree Ras Al Khaimah Resort 1 night from USD 320 per person Special offer: Kids stay free plus complimentary lunch, complimentary Rainforest Experience and complimentary 45-minute archery session Includes: Stay in a Beachfront Pool Villa with breakfast daily. Validity: Now ‘til December 27, 2014 (excluding Eid & public holidays).

Burj Al Arab 1 night from USD868 per person Special offer: 33% room rate reduction including 3 children under 12 years sharing the same suite Includes: Stay in a One Bedroom Deluxe Suite with breakfast daily Validity: Now ‘til May 9, 2015* *blackout dates apply

The Oberoi 1 night from USD195 per person Special offer: 20% room rate reduction. Includes: Stay in a Deluxe Room with breakfast daily. Validity: Now ‘til December 28, 2014.

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

Crowne Plaza Yas Island, Abu Dhabi 1 night from USD70 per person Includes: Stay in a Superior Room with breakfast daily. Validity: Now ‘til Oct 31, 2014. 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. Radisson Blu Yas Island, Abu Dhabi 1 night from USD70 per person Includes: Stay in a Superior Room with breakfast daily. Validity: Now ‘til Oct 31, 2014.

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CALL: 8004770 800701 Dubai & Northern Emirates Abu Dhabi & Al Ain

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World Traveller

September // 2014


SUITE DREAMS It’s a slice of heaven in the Maldives


Ocean Pool Villa Where:

Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa About:

This is truly the beach house of dreams. The graceful French windows of the bedroom open out to unveil your own private plunge pool, and beyond that, nothing but the calm turquoise waters of the ocean. Not that you’ll be spending much time inside, but the calming colours and >>Õܜœ`yœœÀˆ˜}}ˆÛi> œV>y>ۜÕÀ܈̅>ÕÝÕÀÞvii° It’s outside where the magic truly happens though, where a daybed, hammock and outdoor rain shower make the perfect spot for lounging and laughing. At a whopping 220 metres squared, this generous space has room for a crowd – but something tells us it would be better shared with just one special person.


October // 2014

Profile for Hot Media

World Traveller Oct'14  

The Middle East’s highest-circulating travel magazine

World Traveller Oct'14  

The Middle East’s highest-circulating travel magazine

Profile for hotmedia