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Issue 118 | february 2018 | Complimentary copy

LA confidential

Produced in Dubai Production City

From the best pool party to where famous faces walk their dogs

Hong Kong’s stranger things

colombia muscat riga singapore


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Welcome note

This monTh’s travel companions

seeing a destination through fresh eyes can uncover a whole new side to a place you may never have stumbled upon. In this issue of World Traveller magazine, we have called upon a selection of well-travelled personalities to share their take on the destinations we (think we) know and love. Teamed with our top tips from those in the know and our in-depth features from our global team of travel writers, and there is plenty to awaken your wanderlust on these pages.

managing Director

If the glamour of the awards season is inspiring you to jump on

Victoria Thatcher

a jet to LA, you’ll be pleased to learn that we’ve rounded up the

editorial Director

city’s most defining tourist experiences, from the best rooftop

John Thatcher

swimming pools to take a dip in, to the places you’re most likely

group Commercial Director

to rub shoulders with the A-list (page 36). Alternatively let our

David Wade

piece on the quirky cool of Hong Kong tempt you East (page 44).

managing editor

p24 Designer PHILIPPE STARCK lays open his travel journal

For something closer to home, check out our handy guide to

Faye Bartle

Riga (page 62). We boarded Air Baltic’s inaugural flight from

faye@hotmediapublishing.com

Abu Dhabi (it goes direct, four times a week) to check out all the

art Director

vibrant Latvian capital has to offer.

p26

Hakkasan chef, TONG CHEE HWEE, rounds up his favourite places to eat

Kerri Bennett Designer Jamie Pudsey Senior advertising manager

Happy travels,

Faye Bartle

Mia Cachero mia@hotmediapublishing.com Production manager Muthu Kumar

Follow us at… FACEBOOK Facebook.com/worldtravellermagazine INSTAGRAM @dnataworldtraveller

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Jun-Dec 2016 | 22,984 | BPA Consumer Audit

A two-night stay at JW Marriott Marquis Dubai on our website (below)

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

p29 Fashion designer LUBNA AL ZAKWANI tells us where to shop in Muscat

Cover image Classic cars at Mearle's Drive In, California

p67 Dubai-based photographer CATALIN MARIN shares his most memorable travel moments

worldtravellermagazine.com

World Traveller 5


Contents February 2018

18 regulars

10

26

24

17

TrAvEL GOALS

GLOBETrOTTEr

A LIfE wELL TrAvELLED

CHEf’S TOP TABLES

Insta-worthy reasons to jet off to Japan, Morocco and Italy this month

All that’s hot in in the month of love, including our pick of the world's most romantic rooms

Design supremo Philippe Starck reveals whom he'd never travel without

The man behind Hakkasan's global success ticks off his must-dine restaurants

29

30

80

SHOP MY CITY

THE LOCALS’ GUIDE TO SInGAPOrE

SUITE DrEAMS

Lubna Al Zakwani, co-founder of Omani fashion house Endemage, tells us where to shop in Muscat

Three in-the-know Singaporeans spill the beans on their city's best-kept secrets

Take a peek at The Royal Beach Villa at Anantara Al Baleed, Salalah World Traveller 7


Contents

44 features

36

44

52

lOS ANGELES

hong kong

colombia

With awards season in full swing in Tinseltown, our writers reveal the city's best bits

Stanley Stewart encounters the weird and wonderful amid Hong Kong's high-rises

How Bogotรก has shaken of the shackles of its violent past to become a real g0-to city

weekends

62

67

68

A LONG WEEKEND IN riga

travel notes

STAYCATIONs

READER OFFERS

How best to enjoy the Gothic splendour of Latvia's hot-rightnow capital

Photographer Catalin Marin on his fondest travel memories from his life behind the lens

Enjoy a well-deserved weekend away at these luxurious hotels in the UAE

Take advantage of our exclusive deals for a weekend to remember

8 World Traveller

73


MARRAKECH, MOROCCO

A North African odyssey, Morocco lures travellers in search of an exotic adventure. The rose-hued ramparts and maze-like alleyways of Marrakech are a riot of colour and activity. Indeed, the UNESCO World Heritage site crams chaotic charm into every square inch, starting from the bustling main square and famed Djemaa el-Fna market to its enchanting riads, rooftop cafĂŠs and 1,000 years of enduring architectural uniqueness. Look out for ancient Islamic structures such as Mosque du Kasbah and Koutoubia minaret or, marvel at the intricate marquetry and traditional wood-painted ceilings of Bahia Palace before enjoying some al fresco downtime in the vibrant Jardin Majorelle.

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travel goals

World Traveller 11


take me there

MEguRO RivER, JApAn

Spring in Japan is synonymous with the cherry blossom season – the national flower and a symbol of renewal. The whole country waits and watches in anticipation for the first sakura (cherry) trees to burst into bloom. Starting on the southern island of Okinawa at the beginning of the year, in January/February, the floral spectacle spreads up across the country before presenting a final northern flourish in May. Throughout the season, admirers flock to parks, squares and riverbanks, including the popular Meguro River in Tokyo, for hanami (cherry blossom viewing), and enjoy a picnic packed with the latest blossom-flavoured snacks and drinks. 12 World Traveller


travel goals

World Traveller 13


take me there

vEROnA, iTALY

Verona, the capital of Renaissance romance, is famous for its Shakespearean connections, with lovers cosying up beneath the balcony at ‘Juliet’s house’. Couples can also veer off the beaten track and explore the city's network of quiet courtyards, classic piazzas and quaint bridges by taking a bicycle tour through its old cobbled streets. Two millennia of architectural innovation make for picturesque viewing, with highlights including the imposing Roman amphitheatre (where the annual, worldrenowned summer opera festival takes place). Once you’ve had your fill of the sights, venture to the countryside and spend some quality time on the shores of Lake Garda.

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travel goals

World Traveller 15


Holi, the festival of colours. To know more, log on to www.incredibleindia.org

Visa facility available online To get your e-Tourist Visa, simply visit https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html and follow the steps on the right. To know more, visit: www.incredibleindia.org or contact India Tourism, Dubai, Tel.: +971 4 2274848, Fax: +971 4 2274013 E-mail: goirto@emirates.net.ae

Apply online

Upload Photo and Passport Page

Pay visa fee online

Using Credit/Debit card

Receive e-Tourist Visa Online

e-Tourist Visa will be sent to your e-mail

Fly to India

Print e-Tourist Visa and carry at the time of travel

INCA/IT/0171


February

Globetrotter Be informed, be inspired, be there

Let there be Love In the month of valentine’s Day we’ll take you inside six wonderfully romantic rooms (page 18), mark your card for February’s must-visit festivals (page 21) and discover the one thing design supremo Philippe Starck can’t travel without Heart Reef, in the Great Barrier Reef

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Globetrotter

1

2

3

4

5

6

Six of tHE woRLd’S MoSt

romantic rooms Why settle for a bunch of flowers this Valentine’s Day when these beautiful boltholes beckon you? 1 It’s a trek - the long-haul flight to New Zealand, a 40-minute helicopter transfer, followed by a clifftop drive in a 4WD – but your reward for going far-flung is one of absolute privacy. The sole dwelling in a picturesque private bay, Seascape villa’s glass façade lets you watch dolphins and seals frolic in azure waters as you snuggle up next to a roaring fire. 2 What better way to soak up the smulch in one of the world’s most romantic cities than enjoying dînner pour deux on the private terrace of your suite at the Shangri-La Paris with the Eiffel Tower basked in light as a backdrop? 3 London has many a grand hotel, but it’s the city’s boutique properties that offer would-be romantics the best hideaways. The Anouska Hempel designed Blakes Hotel in Kensington tops the bill, where a four-poster bed draped in opulent fabrics is the centerpiece of the deep red hued Cardinal Suite – perfect for 18 World Traveller

Valentine’s Day. 4 Singita’s Ebony Lodge, in South Africa’s Sabi Sands Game Reserve, has just 12 glass-walled suites, each replete with antiques and artefacts and each boasting an outdoor pavilion deck suspended over the river below. Here, silence is broken only by the calls of nature, and of a cork popping as you celebrate the end of another wonderful day in the wilderness. 5 Rooms which feature infinity pools are often easy on the eye, but those attached to the 24 ‘sanctuaries’ at St Lucia’s Jade Mountain are all the more breathtaking for the views they bestow – unbroken, unparalleled vistas of the twin Pitons and the Caribbean Sea, stretched before you. 6 The short hop to the adults only Anantara Veli Maldives Resort is the archetypical escape to paradise, where an Ocean Pool Bungalow offers the best of both watery worlds; your own private pool and access to the iridescent ocean.

This print of Paris appears on a silk scarf by Longchamp, part of a mini collection of accessories released to steal your heart for Valentine's Day. What better way to show your feelings for the City of Love? longchamp.com


C R E AT E SPECIAL MOMENTS WITH US.

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Globetrotter

Party StarterS

February is when some of the world’s best-known carnivals are staged, so pack your dancing shoes and blow off those new year blues in style

What Venice Carnival Where Venice When Until 13 February the narrow, winding streets of Venice are tightly packed with elaborately dressed, masked party-goers during the two-week carnival season, a time that sees the city burst into life after winter. As you’d expect, St Mark’s Square is the epicentre of activities, with musicians and dancers aplenty. But the hottest ticket in town is for the Grand Masquerade Ball on 10 February.

What: Mardi Gras Where: New Orleans When: 13 February new Orleans’ annual carnival is one huge party, to which everyone is invited. Countless colourful parades (including one for canines only) are staged over a two-week period, with Mardi Gras, or ‘Fat Tuesday’ as it’s otherwise known, marking the last day of festivities. The city’s French Quarter is the place to head once day turns to night, as live music envelopes the area.

What: Chinese New Year Where: Shanghai When: 16 February Bursting with colour and light, Shanghai will spring to life when the country celebrates Chinese New Year (the Year of the Dog) on 16 February. See skyrockets illuminate the night's sky and hear firecrackers reverberating in the streets, as locals scare away bad spirits. It's a popular time for locals to head off on their holidays, giving you all the space you need to explore the city.

World Traveller 21


globetrotter

On THE bEAcH

LA MER Dubai’s newest destination by the sea is a gem. Whether you’re on the hunt for family fun, al fresco dining or shopping in the sun, La Mer’s 2.5 kilometre stretch of beach offers the lot, and this month’s glorious weather ensures that now is the perfect time to make the most of it all…

EAT With each passing week a new café or restaurant opens at La Mer. Among the latest is Maison de Juliette, a café fronted by a Parisian chef whose passion for thoughtfully sourced ingredients shines through in dishes such as the seafood bisque (although you won’t find us veering from ordering the croissant perdu and a chocolat à l’ancienne to in which to dip it). Masti, La Mer’s first licensed venue, takes inspiration from traditional Indian dishes, serving sharing plates packed with global flavours. Inventive creations you should try here include a tonguetingling gunpowder scallop with a lemongrass sauce.

THE iTALiAn jOb

Situated in the heart of campo Santi Giovanni in Venice, Palazzo Volpi dates to the 16th century, when it used as an embassy. Today, it's been transformed into three elegant apartment suites, each designed by owners Anna and Fred, who have previously consulted for the likes of bottega Veneta.

SHOP If you’re looking for beachwear, Beach Bunny has you covered (for the most part). It does a great line in embellished cover-ups and far-fromthe-norm eyewear. But if it’s the latter you specifically need, check out iSea for a wide selection of new season styles from leading brands.

THE HOT LiST

Trending Places dnata Travel's seasoned explorer, Rob Arrow, gives the inside track on where to go this month

PLAY A veritable open-air playground for kids, La Mer is home to outdoor trampoline park Hawa Hawa, and the edutainment focussed Little World, where myriad discovery zones include those devoted to water exploration and theatre. For bigger kids, Sea Breeze offers motorized watersports aplenty. Masti

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For a mini trek, Kathmandu is rising in popularity. Just a three-hour flight from the UAE, you can submerge yourself in a different culture and soak up all the sights, sounds and smells of the vibrant Himalayan state.

If basking in the winter sun appeals, Cape Town is sure to appeal. The food scene is booming and you can join the trendsetters strolling along the V&A Waterfront. The One&Only Cape Town is the premier address in town.

Coming into its own, Kuwait City hosts one of the best Four Seasons in the world – Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait at Burj Alshaya – and the Hala February festival is high time for culture, events, shopping and entertainment.

Slovenia is the only country with 'love' in its name, and I recommend you discover its cute, compact city of Ljubljana. Close to the stunning Lake Bled and home to a rather stylish InterContinental, it is a wonderfully romantic getaway.


travel

A lIfe Well trAvelled

PHILIPPE STARCK Travel notes of the French designer, who has turned his talent to almost everything, from chairs and toothbrushes to boats and hotels With my wife, our life is one ever-lasting trip. We embark on a world tour just about every week for work. On Mondays, we wake up at four o’clock in the morning and leave home, only to come back at around three o’clock every Friday afternoon to pick up our daughter from school. When we travel we are efficient; we can visit up to three countries, even more, in one day. We never travel for pleasure, nor have time to visit cities. Yet, we always meet incredible people. I was never interested in cities or countries but rather in people, who are the real inspirations in a city or a country. And that’s what interests me: learning about other people’s brains and hearts. Italy has the best cuisine; Venice in particular, thanks to extraordinary chefs like the Alajmo brothers. Eating at their restaurant Quadri is incredible because it’s not what you think: they have three stars, but they eat, drink, and shake everything up. This is life. They are life. I love La Co(o)rniche on the Dune du Pyla in South-West of France. It is a place where nature is at its strongest, most beautiful, most poetic, most surreal, and most powerful. My second favourite hotel is the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur California. I am a scientist when it comes to packing, which means I travel extra light. But there are a few things I always carry with me, including my iPad Mini full of thousands of carefully selected songs, and my pencil and tracing paper pad especially produced for me in order to resist all kinds of weather. But, more importantly, I cannot travel without my wife.

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food

Chef’s top tables Tong Chee Hwee is the multi-award-winning executive chef behind Hakkasan’s 11 restaurants worldwide. Based in London, he is an authority on Chinese cuisine

On my wish list…

siNgapore Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle This famous food stall serves the world’s cheapest Michelinstar meal – chef Chan Hon Meng’s iconic dish. Everything about it – from the impressive and unique flavour of the soya sauce to the chicken – gives this dish a complex flavour. The pieces of chicken thigh are moist and unbelievably tender, due to the delicious soya sauce in which they were coated. Recommended dish: The famous soya sauce chicken rice or noodle. 26 World Traveller

shaNghai, ChiNa Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet Hidden away in one of Shanghai’s oldest neighbourhoods, Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet features a 20+ course menu and accommodates just 10 diners a night. Its hi-tech private dining room is fitted with video-screen walls, surround sound speakers, bespoke lighting and scent emitters. I once visited the kitchen during service. Each dish was prepared in 14 portions and only the best 10 were served. Recommended dish: Foie Gras Can’t Quit and Tomato Mozza And Again.

bray, UK The Fat Duck

Narisawa, in Tokyo, Japan, where celebrated Chef Yoshihiro Narisawa combines Japanese Satoyama cuisine with ancestral wisdom

Eating at this restaurant is like going on a journey. Heston Blumenthal and his team practise a variety of modern culinary developments, like food pairing, flavour encapsulation and multi-sensory cooking. There's no menu as such, but rather a map of an excursion to the seaside and the dishes follow this imaginary tour. In late 2015 The Fat Duck relaunched after a refurb and the menu was renewed. It’s among the most expensive meals in the UK, but worth it. Recommended dish: Sounds of The Sea.


25

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Shopping From top to bottom: dresses, Dhs8,453 and Dhs6,544, Endemage SS18; Tiffany Victoria mixed cluster diamond bracelet in platinum, Dhs199,500 and diamond band rings from Dhs14,300-62,000 – both Tiffany & Co.; Sophia Webster shoes; Boutique Muscat

shop my city

Muscat

Photo credit: Sophia Webster shoes at Harvey Nichols - Dubai

Lubna Al Zakwani, co-founder of omani fashion house Endemage, shares her shopping secrets “My sister Nadia and I make all the clothing for Endemage (endemage.com) in Oman, so I know the shopping scene well. In Muscat, it is very traditional. There’s a wonderful variety of cultural inspirations, from authentic Omani frankincense and jewellery to colourful Indian embroidered slippers and handmade artefacts from Zanzibar. There are a lot of traditional designers there who focus on heavily embroidered pieces you would wear for a henna party or Omani wedding ceremony. That said, there's also a growing community of Omani designers to look out for. Among them is sara Al Zadjali of Sadz Design (@ sadzdesign) who uses the finest leather and Italian craftsmanship to produce beautiful handbags. You should also check out Flaws (flawsinc.com), the brainchild of a group of young, hip Omanis with a penchant for designing casual wear. One of my favourite stores is Eye candy at Opera Galleria (+968 9882 894, @

EyeCandyMuscat), which stocks international pieces from the likes of Sophia Webster and Derek Lam. For something sparkly, local jeweller Jawahir oman (@JawahirOman) offers myriad high-end brands, including Tiffany & Co. Those in search of one-of-a-kind buys, however, should head for Al Seeb Souq where you’ll have the run of local jewellery makers. Muscat’s historic mutrah souq is a another treasure trove of vintage Bedouin jewellery, as well as authentic Omani massars (embroidered woollen turbans), bukhoor incense and a wealth of other traditional souvenirs. Save some room in the suitcase for pretty home accessories from Boutique muscat (boutiquemuscat. com) in the Al Mouj retail complex, or a custom-made rug from local designer Fatma Al Kharusi at Kharusi interiors (kharusi.interiors). Luxury homegrown brand, Deema oman (deema-oman.com), has beautifully designed fine jewellery and homeware.

“There is a growing community of Omani designers to look out for”

World Traveller 29


locals’ guide

Singapore the locals' guide to

Beyond its high-rise skyline, this island city-state is home to eclectic neighbourhoods and attractions as diverse as its multicultural population

Gardens by the Bay, Bay South

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locals’ guide

Founder of WOMAD Singapore and the driving force behind the upcoming True Colours Festival, AUDREY PERERA is the city’s arts and culture cognoscente The Esplanade - Theatres on The Bay (1 Esplanade Drive, esplanade.com) is one of the busiest arts centres in the world with a year-round programme of free performances, art exhibitions and installations, along with ticketed concerts held in its beautiful hall and theatre. Walk through the venue at any time, and you’ll likely hear music and song. At its quietest, it offers a relaxing spot at which to take a breather, with a great view of the skyline. When it comes to art galleries, the National Gallery Singapore (1 St Andrew's Road, nationalgallery.sg) is a jewel in the crown. You can visit it as much for the world’s largest public collections of Southeast Asian art, as for the grace and sheer presence of the historic buildings it’s housed in. For an even richer experience, consider planning your trip to coincide with one of the city's vibrant cultural festivals. New to the calendar is my latest project, the inaugural True Colours Festival, which is taking place from 23-25 March (Singapore Indoor Stadium, truecolours. sg). Featuring 15-plus performing artistes/troupes with disabilities from Japan, China, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Cambodia and Singapore, with guest artistes from the UK and Canada, we hope it will help open the door to a more open-hearted way of relating to others. Later in the year, the Singapore International Festival of Arts, from 27 April to 13 May (sifa.sg), is a fantastic celebration of the arts with a smorgasbord of theatre, dance and music performances courtesy of a diverse line-up of local and international artists. Another top diary date is the annual Singapore Night Festival in August (nightfestival.sg), which sees the Bras Basah/Bugis heritage district transformed into an open-air performing arts venue. World Traveller 31


locals’ guide

Local faces

To hang with the locals, head to the lesser-known islands, such as Pulau Ubin, to discover the kampong (old village) way of life, or Kusu for its Chinese temples and Malay shrines

PhotogRaPhY hotsPots Self-taught urban photographer and Instagram star, LEE YIK KEAT, takes stunning images of Singapore. He shares his top photo-friendly locations in the city

1

The blend of urban and street culture in Chinatown (in the Outram district), with lanterns hanging above the streets juxtaposed against a backdrop of distinctive buildings, is beautiful from any angle.

2

The iconic Marina Bay Sands (10 Bayfront Avenue, marinabaysands. com) resort is probably Singapore’s most photographed structure and makes for cool pictures. If you’re lucky enough to stay there, the views from the infinity pool are fantastic.

3

Nature meets architecture at Cloud Forest at Gardens by the Bay (18 Marina Gardens Drive, gardensbythebay.com.sg). The 35-metre-

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From top to bottom: Cloud Forest at Gardens by the Bay (photo by Lee Yik Keat); the infinity pool at Marina Bay Sands; Chinatown Opposite: National Kitchen by Violet Oon Singapore

tall mountain is scovered in lush vegetation and, once inside, you’ll find the world’s tallest indoor waterfall.

4

Outdoor adventurers can hike to TreeTop Walk at MacRitchie Reservoir (601 Island Club Road, nparks.gov.sg). This free-standing suspension bridge connects the two highest points in MacRitchie and offers spectacular views of the plants and animals that live in the forest canopy.

5

Award-winning residential project dubbed the ‘vertical village’, The Interlace (180 Depot Road, theinterlace.com) is famous for its Jenga block style appearance and it’s even more impressive in real life.


locals’ guide

culiNaRY Feasts Public relations expert and gastronome, FIONA CHEN, is a former food writer/ editor – she rounds up the city-state’s most delicious attractions Singapore’s food scene is moving at a hyper pace. It’s impossible to keep track of all the new openings. It’s heartening to see more young locals entering the kitchens, too – not just of restaurants, but also of hawker stalls – bringing their fresh ideas and ingenuity (sous vide fried chicken from the hawker centre, anyone?) to the table. My top hawker staple, and also the first dish I’d introduce my foreign friends to, is chicken rice. It’s easier on palates not used to bold or exotic Asian flavours (like fermented shrimp paste), but still delivers on taste. Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice at Maxwell Food Centre (1 Kadayanallur Street) is considered to serve one of the best renditions. For a signature taste of Singapore try Kaya, a spread/curd made from slow cooking coconut milk, eggs, sugar and sometimes pandan. I don’t have a sweet tooth but Dong Po Colonial Café’s (56 Kandahar Street) version is creamy and not too sweet. For gourmet dining, head to National Kitchen by Violet Oon Singapore inside National Gallery Singapore (1 St. Andrew’s Road). It serves Peranakan food, a traditional Asian cuisine that blends Chinese and Malay flavours. The opulent setting, with traditional Peranakan accents, is worth writing home about. Simpang Bedok, near Changi Airport, is the place to go if you’re experiencing late night hunger pangs. There are a few Muslim coffee shops that open until the small hours (until 4am) and there’s a huge selection of food, from roti prata (fried flatbread) to kebabs.

World Traveller 33


world traveller x anantara the Palm dubai resort

Hidden depths Escape to the picturesque Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort for delicious dining, adventurous activities and personalised pampering

S

et on Dubai’s iconic Palm Jumeirah, the vast Anantara complex stands out for offering guests a coveted sense of serenity amid luxurious surroundings. Arranged around three temperature-controlled lagoons and a glistening 50-metre-long swimming pool, edged by a picture-perfect beach, its striking design pays tribute to the hotel brand’s Thai roots. There are 293 guestrooms and villas overlooking the turquoise waterways and lush gardens, including 15 Beach Pool Villas with private infinity pools and larger Two-Bedroom Villas that are ideal for families or groups of friends. There are also 18 exclusive Overwater Villas – a unique concept in the UAE. Sunsets are perhaps best viewed from the deep bathtubs in these abodes. Before you're plunged into darkness, however, you can wonder at the underwater world beneath you through the transparent glass floor. There are seven dining outlets to enjoy, with highlights including signature dining venue Mekong, offering authentic eastern dishes eaten at rickshawstyle seating. For relaxed beachside dining, secure a seat on the terrace at The Beach House and feast on tasty Mediterranean fare, such as pizzas, tapas and seafood. Bushman’s Restaurant & Bar is another popular spot for succulent cuts of prime meat and fresh seafood – we challenge you to try the Grilled Crocodile Skewers. For a more intimate experience, you can call upon Anantara’s renowned Dining by Design service for a candle-lit meal on the beach or on the private terrace. There's a roster of exciting activities available within the resort and in the local area. From watersports to cooking classes, shopping sprees and city tours – just about anything can be arranged. Add the finishing touch to a blissful stay by heading to the on-site spa. There you’ll find highly skilled therapists carrying out an extensive range of innovative therapies that blend far-eastern techniques with Arabian traditions. There are 24 treatment rooms, including a dedicated space for Thai massage and Ayurveda. Couples can indulge with a side-by-side massage in one of the five suites designed especially for two. The Anantara Signature Massage, which stimulates the circulation and promotes deep relaxation, while restoring the flow of energy, will ensure you're ready to face the world.

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Premier Lagoon Access Room


One Bed Beach Pool Villa

World Traveller 35


awards season

And the winner of best beach is...’ LA’s finest defining moments, from shopping to celebrity-spotting, brunch to burials, are right here...

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Los AngeLes

Best rooftop pool The Highlight Room at Dream Hollywood Beats the competition because: Rooftop swims are two-a-penny in LA — but a really big pool area ((1,021sqm) with resident DJs, weekend parties, cabanas, a wildly popular restaurant and a 10th-floor view of the Hollywood Sign? Decidedly rarer... How to nail it: Up for a wild pool party? Come on a Sunday afternoon (it starts at 2pm). And dress up: normal laid-back LA style doesn’t cut it at the Dream: it’s about heels and teeny bikinis, smart board shorts and sunglasses. Entry is free, but the pool itself is heaving during the party, and sunbeds are reserved for hotel guests. The cost of a cabana elicits sharp intakes of breath — if it’s any consolation they fit 12, and they, too, have Hollywood Sign views. You could always hire a cabana during the week. You won’t get the decadence, but they are more affordable. Hot tip: The adjacent restaurant is the hottest ticket in town but, this being a party pad, on weekend mornings it’s deserted. Go before 9am (it opens at 7am) and you’ll get a table easily — and you get another view of that sign. World Traveller 37


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Best view of the hollywood sign North Beachwood Drive

clear your view is over the tops of the palms

Beats the competition because: This isn’t

it. After 15 minutes you’ll reach Beachwood

an official hike or viewing point, it’s just a

Cafe, a brilliant blue- and-yellow spot beloved

stretch of fortuitously well-placed open road

of locals. It does a fine BLT and you’ve earned

— meaning no neck-craning.

a break (beachwoodcafe.com). It’s up to you

How to nail it: Park up where North

whether you venture deep into Hollywoodland

Beachwood meets Franklin Avenue, just

from here — you’ve seen the main attraction.

off the freeway, and you’ll soon see which

Hot tip: Make a short detour on your way

direction to walk in. This is a stroll, but an

back to the car to the Monastery of the Angels

uphill one, so don’t attempt it in the heat of

gift shop just off North Gower (1977 Carmen

the day, and wear something comfortable.

Ave). Here, real nuns sell their own delicious

There’ll be no-one walking this street except

pumpkin bread. Yes, you read that correctly.

you (welcome to LA) and you won’t believe how

Only in LA!

— or how ‘normal’ the houses are that enjoy


Los AngeLes

Best celeB spot Runyon Canyon Beats the competition because: It’s where famous faces come to walk their dogs, hike and pretend to be civilians. There are no bouncers on the door here, so it’s just you, them and the landscape.

How to nail it: Be there by 8am — the big beasts tend to turn up early for more privacy. Wear Lycra and a baseball cap to fit in — you want the A-listers to think you’re one of them, not an annoying fan. Enter from the northern entrance, on Mulholland Drive — it’s closer to the megastars’ houses, and means you’ll be facing the view (from Hollywood to the Pacific on a clear day) and walking downhill, which makes for less sweaty star selfies. You’ll find a smattering of celebs — à la Bieber, Timberlake and Gyllenhaals — all day, though most (sensibly) avoid the midday heat.

Hot tip: One of the reasons stars favour Runyon over other parks is its liberal dog policies. Although the pooches make for an easy conversation- starter, watch your step, because there’s a lot of poop around the trails. Open daily, dawn ’til dusk, runyoncanyonhike.com.

Best la la land oddity Los Angeles Pet Memorial Park Beats the competition because: Fame, nostalgia and unabashed eccentricity — nowhere typifies LA’s kookiness like this final resting place for all creatures great and late, from lizards to lions.

How to nail it: Show up on a weekday, between 11am and 3pm, to avoid traffic en route to Calabasas. And make sure you allow enough time, as there are 42,000 graves here, containing all walks of life (or death): chimpanzees from the big screen; celebrity pets (Rudolph Valentino’s Doberman, Hopalong Cassidy’s horse) and their equally intriguing civilian counterparts, buried when the cemetery opened in 1928. Start with the historical graves to the west as you enter, spotting stars (Tawny, the MGM lion, is on the far slope, beside a tree); then make your way round to the modern tombs the northern end.

Hot tip: Time your visit to coincide with a national holiday, when graves are gussied up in celebration with festive trees and Santa hats around Christmas and Hanukkah, or stars and stripes for the Fourth of July. calabasaspetcemetery.com World Traveller 39


“The Hollywood mogul and mansion count here is stratospheric (it’s better known as Billionaire’s Beach)”

40 World Traveller


Los AngeLes

Best Beach Carbon Beach, Malibu

sunrise and sunset. The entrance is anything

Beats the competition because: Even

nearly always crowd-free. Go at sunset when

though Malibu isn’t short of impressive

the light is the prettiest shade of pink. And

stretches of sand — Zuma, Escondido, El

don’t be surprised if you find yourself gazing

Matador — the Hollywood mogul and mansion

not seawards but shorewards: the decor inside

count here is stratospheric (it’s better known

some of those glass-fronted mansions is

as Billionaire’s Beach). So it really does takes

mesmerising.

but obvious, but the good news is, the beach is

the biscuit.

Hot tip: It’s not just the residents of

How to nail it: Californian beaches are

Billionaire’s who try to keep the sands for

public, yet it took a long legal battle with those

themselves. There are fake ‘Private Beach’

moguls and mansion owners to rubber-stamp

signs all over Malibu. Download the 'Our

the building of a new pathway, making it

Malibu Beaches' app to find out exactly where

easier for civilians to access the Billionaire’s

you can go.

soft, broad sands. Carbon Beach West pathway,

Inspired to travel? To book a trip, call

opposite Malibu Aquarium, is open between

+971 4 316 6666 or visit dnatatravel.com

World Traveller 41


Moscow destinAtions

Best Brunch: République Beats the competition because: Only truly clued-up locals know this light, airy, bohemian brunch spot — and its freshly baked bread and pastries are worth ditching your LA diet for.

How to nail it: Arrive at 10am, just when it starts to get buzzy, pausing to take in the tiled fountain just outside the door. Spanishstyle, it originates from the ’20s, when Charlie Chaplin’s production offices were at this address. Step inside and you’ll find curious mock-medieval arches, white subway tiles and a skylight the length of the room. With exposed brick and European-style floor tiles, it’s a weirdly lovely mish-mash pounced on by Architectural Digest when it opened. While away a morning over your copy of the LA Times with a pot of coffee and one of its Croques Madames — buttery, runny, crusty-sourdough perfection,in this seriously toned-up town it feels deliciously naughty.

Hot tip: Sit at the tables or in the window facing the counter; perhaps recognisable regulars (Jimmy Kimmel) will dash in for takeaway coffee and pastries. Even if they don’t, this place delivers peak peoplewatching. republiquela.com

42 World Traveller


Los AngeLes

Credit. The Sunday Times Travel Magazine

“Freeze-dried reptiles? A redcarpet gown? Melrose Avenue has nothing you need and everything you could possibly want”

Best shopping street: Melrose Avenue

Best studio tour: Sony Pictures

Beats the competition because:

Beats the competition because: Although

Freeze-dried reptiles? A red-carpet gown?

its sound stages now hold TV sets, they once

Melrose Avenue has nothing you need and

captured Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of

everything you could possibly want. This

Oz and Singin’ in the Rain. Tours are pitched

8.5km-long artery slices central LA in two and

intelligently, and star sightings are common.

gets posher the further west you go.

How to nail it: People will tell you Warner

How to nail it: Avoid weekends and skip

Bros has the best tour — and for families,

the international designer stores (you’ll find

it may do (Friends, Harry Potter, plus more

these anywhere). Start west at the foliage-

interactivity and merchandise). But this

draped Fred Segal department store (No.

calmer, cheaper- to-tour lot, formerly MGM

8100; fredsegal.com). It’s expensive, but you

Studios, has more classic-movie romance

might spot the likes of Winona Ryder and

— and no hard sell. The 20-max tour groups

Nicole Kidman trawling the racks. Nearby,

are often smaller, and on-the-day spaces are

vintage temple Decades (No. 8214; decadesinc.

usually available. Some quirkier sights to look

com) is also laughably unaffordable, but

out for: Walter White’s trailer from Breaking

you’ll likely see its one-off gowns on a red

Bad, the studio schoolhouse where Judy

carpet in the near future. Further east, pick

Garland, Elizabeth Taylor and Mickey Rooney

up huge Hollywood sunglasses from the

took lessons, and the water tank where Jaws

Guise Archives Eyewear Company (No. 7928;

lurked and ‘Hollywood’s mermaid’ Esther

guiseshop.com), or the aforementioned reptile

Williams nearly broke her neck.

from curiosity shop Necromance (No. 7222;

Hot tip: Studio tours won’t suit everyone

necromance.com).

— sound stages are bare, while sets are

Hot tip: See melroseavela.com and plan

transient by nature, so they appeal most to

ahead — there’s a map of the shops. You’ll also

movie geeks willing to use their imagination.

hear about new openings and sales.

sonypicturesstudiostours.com. World Traveller 43


Fortune Hong Kong isn't all futuristic high-rises and modern finance. It's a strange, ancient city too, where superstitions are ingrained in everyday life and where there's a cure for every ill

Words: Stanley Stewart

KooKy

44 World Traveller


Hong Kong Hong Kong

A local man practicing tai chi on Victoria Peak at sunrise. Next page, from left: Hong Kong's skyline; Man Mo Temple; a traditional medicine shop stocked with remedies

World Traveller 45


Hong Kong

H

Previous page: practicing Tai Chi Clockwise from above left: the Hong Kong skyline; the historic Man Mo Temple; traditional medicine

46 World Traveller

ong Kong has two identities, the yin and yang of oriental philosophy. Behind the shiny steel-and-glass towers of this sophisticated international city, there beats a very traditional Chinese heart. In the back alleys, away from the multinational offices and shopping malls of global brands, is a society with ancient roots, obsessed with omens and portents, and wildly imaginative about medical practices. Hong Kong may be one of the great markets of international finance, but it is also where worshippers turn up at temples with elaborate cooked lunches as offerings, and where ground-up centipedes are used to treat excessive wind. It's a city where mourners burn fake currency drawn on the Bank of Hell to appease the 'hungry ghosts' of the dead, and where scaffolders will not risk turning up for work if they have seen someone washing their hair the previous evening. Rush hour is much enlivened by elderly citizens who like to stand close to the traffic so the passing cars will run over the evil spirits at their heels, while feng shui, the geomancer's art, is still central to the design of the latest skyscrapers. The lobby layout of the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank had to be revised when it was realised that the alignment of the escalators was inauspicious. Down at the Canal Road flyover you can even hire a little old lady to beat up your enemy. Practising the traditional art of 'villain-bashing', or da siu yan, the women make paper cut-outs of your love rival, bullying boss or noisy neighbour, then beat them with a shoe while chanting curses. In a gloomy amphitheatre of tenements in Kowloon, beyond the bird market, I discovered the temple of Wong Tai Sin. Soothsayers, fortune-tellers and palm-readers gather like gulls round the city's temples to offer guidance to eager pilgrims. I had tickets for Happy Valley, Hong Kong's racetrack, and thought I might pick up a hot tip from a crystal ball. Here, Chinese deities are not so much worshipped

as supplicated. People arrived bearing gifts, like petitioners at a feudal court. No-one was here for moral guidance; everyone had come to cut a deal with those who held the invisible strings of luck. In the courtyard before the main shrine, between brass urns and stone lions, they settled in for a few rounds of genuflection then laid out tempting picnics, hoping for a bit of help with exam results, career prospects, lottery numbers or a new love interest. In one of the long passages around the temple court, among the soothsayers' stalls, I found a woman with gold earrings and wild hair, and booked myself in for a face reading. 'Your face is tree-shaped,' she said. 'It is governed by the properties of wood.' This was interesting but not really what I was after. A wooden face was neither here nor there when it came to the three o'clock at Happy Valley. But there was more. My nose apparently was supportive and promised success. My forehead indicated a good memory and a lack of vanity, and my ears a tendency to stubbornness. My cheekbones were a disappointment — too bony — and didn't say much for my nerve in a crisis. I had good lines for a writer, but she thought I might be better off financially going into the business side — publishing or printing — advice that hardly needed a mystic. In the end I managed only to elicit a lucky number from her — eight — and set off for the races. Happy Valley is the perfect amalgam of Hong Kong's two traditions. The thoroughbreds are all expats, flown in First Class, from Europe and Australia, and stabled in five-star facilities, with air-con, swimming pools, piped music, imported oats and the tightest security in the city. And the passion, the excitement of Hong Kong's tracks is borne along by the Chinese love of betting. In Canton, in the old days, it was said that Chinese housewives could hardly buy a cabbage without offering to shoot craps with the greengrocer,


Hong Kong

“Nothing here evokes the world of a traditional China as powerfully as the medicine shops, irresistible palaces of the weird and the wonderful�

World Traveller 47


double or quits. On race days, Hong Kong's pulse is marked by the crack of the starter's pistol at Happy Valley. All over the city you can see anxious punters pause in their daily chores to turn up the radio as the horses come into the last straight. A veil will be drawn over my own fortunes at Happy Valley. Suffice to say Princess was not the horse that so many tipsters believed her to be, and her number — eight — could not have been the lucky eight that the mystic was referring to. But watching your 12-to-1 outsider lose is a small price to pay for a night at Happy Valley. The facilities are astonishing and the evening race meetings are magical. Beneath floodlights, the track glows as green and lush as an Irish furlong, surrounded by an arena of skyscrapers, their lit windows glittering like constellations against the dark skies. Beyond the hyper-modern city, Hong Kong seems to be populated with hypochondriacs obsessed with indigestion, flatulence and excessive sputum. Nothing here evokes the world of a traditional China as powerfully as the medicine shops, irresistible palaces of the weird and wonderful, full of exotic cures and fabulous ingredients. Over lunch in revolving restaurants urban sophisticates show each other their tongues and discuss their inner meridians. Account executives stuck in traffic jams ring their doctors to order another course of weasel liver. Browsing the pharmacies, I found lotions with inexhaustible properties. Apply for two or three days to the infected area, declared one confident label, for the relief of colds, flu, diarrhoea, inflammation, seasickness, gout, hangover and 'discomfort caused by forest smog and epidemics'. There were crocodile bile pills for the relief of asthma, and gastro-intestinal pills — called Trumpet Brand — for the relief of wind. In the traditional medicine shops, things got even weirder. Ancient clerks shuffled back and forth weighing out mysterious substances. There were terrapin shells for lung nourishment, ground gecko for asthma, birds' nests for facial nutrition, dried hornets to cure children of a fear of the dark, and sea horses for low cholesterol levels. Good health suddenly seemed so dull. Feigning anxiety, I took a journey of discovery, to find what wonders were prescribed. I booked a translator, made an appointment with a doctor and prepared to enter the surreal world of Chinese remedies. Which seemed amusing, until the translator turned up. A woman in her early thirties, Yu Pan was immaculately dressed, with eyes you fall into and a soft throaty laugh. I panicked at the idea that she would be soon translating the details of my supposed ailment into Cantonese. 48 World Traveller

From an alley off Wing Lok Street, I followed Yu Pan up the narrow stairs to the consulting rooms with dread. To my horror, I found the waiting room and the consulting room were one and the same. A row of glum patients sat on divans of lacquered wood like medical students on job experience while the doctor conducted his examinations a few feet away. The patients had mysterious complaints. The first woman declared that she was too wet and the doctor prescribed rose petals. The next was too hot and got buffalo horn. A third was a stooped old lady in silk pyjamas. Nearly deaf, she shouted her complaint across the desk and the doctor gave her honeysuckle flowers. When the doctor called me forward, Yu Pan and I approached the desk like a newly married couple. A slight bespectacled man, the doctor gathered my hands in his long fingers and laid them across a little


Hong Kong Clockwise from left: a medical tea shop; fortune-teller at Temple Street in Kowloon; Tin Hau Temple in Tap Mun

red cushion to feel my pulses. There were three in each wrist, he said, governing different aspects of the body: lungs, digestion, kidneys and so on. He tapped and probed them with long investigative fingers. He was not simply feeling their rate, he explained, but also their strength, their rhythms and their pattern. He made my pulses sound like symphonies, some revelation of the soul. 'Slippery pulses,' he sighed. 'Not good.' Then he popped the question. 'What has brought you to see me. What is your problem?' The other patients leaned imperceptibly forward. Yu Pan crossed her legs with a whisper of nylon stockings. My nerve failed me. 'Anxiety. You know, general... anxiety. I feel anxious.' He nodded knowingly. 'Imbalance of the water element,' he said. 'I can feel the anxiety in your pulses. And I believe your digestive tract is also in difficulty.' He took up a brush and in long graceful World Traveller 49


Hong Kong

characters painted my prescription on a sheet of rice paper. 'Ginseng and lavender for anxiety,' he said. 'And cuttlefish bone for the digestive-tract issue. Come back in six weeks.' My complaint, I realised, was plausible enough, in a city where people live on top of one another — literally, as dizzy ranks of high-rise apartments crowd the horizons. You could be forgiven for thinking that there was nothing but concrete from the harbour to the mainland borders. Yet to the north of Kowloon, the New Territories are a revelation. Here specially designated parks protect the endless rolling countryside from development. Barely half an hour from the skyscrapers and the shoppers you can find yourself on an empty beach, a hiking trail or at the gates of a traditional walled village. I took a ferry to Tsuen Wan, then climbed through tiered allotments to the MacLehose Trail, named after the British governor who created this splendid park system in the late '70s. One minute I was looking down at the skyscrapers of Tsuen Wan, picturesque against ships on water, the next I was in a world of birdsong and bamboo groves, where I stood watching sea eagles rise like ghosts on the thermals. Soon I was on a bus bound for Wong Shek Pier, on the north side of the Sai Kung peninsula. An ancient boatwoman took me to Tap Mun Chau, or Grass Island, one of the most traditional of Hong Kong's outcrops, barely touched by development. An easterly wind blew across rolling downs of palm bushes and cows. The sea crashed on rocks, and fishing boats were laying nets in a heavy swell. I was barely 20km from urban Kowloon but it felt a world away. Down in the village old ladies in silk pyjamas were betting their pensions on mahjong as the slap of the tiles filled every alleyway. Up at Tin Hau temple, a man was unpacking food for the deities — oranges, apples, and a roast duck. I could have stayed all week. Late afternoon I took a ferry back to Sha Tin. It was the last run of the day and I was the only passenger. Weekends can be busy, the captain said. But during the week, almost no-one comes this way. 'Out here you forget about Hong Kong and rushrush,' said the ferryman. 'Rush-rush is very bad for the inner meridians.' As the sun set we slowly rounded the headland of Tolo Channel. Blue hills fell from the heights of Mount Hallowes into the embrace of crimson bays. If I really needed a cure for anxiety in Hong Kong, I'd found it. No need for ginseng or lavender or crocodile bile here, a million miles from the high pressure and the high-rises. Inspired to travel? To book a trip, call +971 4 316 6666 or visit dnatatravel.com 50 World Traveller

Words: Stanley Stewart / The Sunday Times Travel Magazine

The rolling hills of the New Territories


Hong Kong

“Barely half an hour from the skyscrapers and the shoppers you can find yourself on an empty beach, a hiking trail or at the gates of a traditional walled village�

World Traveller 51


Bogotá

Precious Defeating civil war demanded courage of the Colombians, but peace is the reward, and with it a buzz in the funky capital, Bogotá: a shining example to hip-city wannabes worldwide

J

orge gestured solemnly down to the pavement.‘It was on this corner they shot him – right in front of the church,’ he said. ‘I was in the café across the street.’ Through the open door of the Iglesia de San Francisco, where cupids shoot arrows at gilded angels, came the murmur of mass and the scent of incense.‘He must have been a gang member in the wrong place.’ ‘Did he manage to get away?’ I asked, lowering my voice. ‘The killer?’‘Sure he did. In those days, no one interfered with a gunman. Certainly not the police.’ I must have looked a little uneasy, a trifle nervous. ‘Relax. This is a different city now,’ Jorge said. ‘A completely different city.’ Not so very long ago, most visitors to Bogotá tended to be arms dealers, hostage negotiators or gangsters. A decades-old civil war simmered between a right-wing government and left-wing insurgents, and the bad boys had all the best tables at the capital's restaurants. Then, suddenly, there was reconciliation. If tiny Northern Ireland can do it, why not us, said the hard men of the Andean

52 World Traveller

foothills. Exhausted by a lifetime of reading Trotsky and hiding in hedgerows, the rebels announced a ceasefire. Tired of chasing shadows, the government agreed to talk. Over cigars, the two sides now meet regularly in Havana, the new poster city for improbable reconciliation. They are getting on well, and for the first time in a couple of generations, Colombia is at peace. As for the gangsters, the old guys have been taken out while the new generation prefers a slicker, quieter model that doesn't like its lunches peppered with gunfire. It turns out there is a surprisingly fine line between murder capital and hipster haven, and Bogotá has leapfrogged across it with a speed that would impress Usain Bolt. Like Shoreditch, like Paris’s 10th arrondissement, like happy-clappy evangelists, Bogotá has been reborn. It’s hip, it’s vibrant, and it is now one of the safest cities in South America. They say you are twice as likely to be shot these days grooving to the Mardi Gras in New Orleans as you are joining the salsa dancers in Bogotá. If Colombia has emerged as the hottest destination in South America, it helps

Words: Stanley Stewart / The Sunday Times Travel Magazine / News Syndication

Words: Stanley Stewart


Bogotรก

World Traveller 53


Opening page: Graffiti in Plazoleta de Chorro Quevedo Clockwise from above: a food truck in Zona Rosa; a house in the colonial district of La Candelaria; Church Museum

54 World Traveller

that it has the whole continent packed into a single country. There’s a tropical Caribbean coast with gorgeous timewarped Cartagena. There's a wilder Pacific coast of empty beaches, surf breaks and whale migrations. There are Andean peaks, Amazonian jungles, and yellow plains of vast ranches and taciturn cowboys. There are Spanish-colonial cathedrals overlooking elegant squares and mysterious lost cities framed by jungle. There’s also a hot music scene, the world's best cocktails, and a culinary revolution fuelled by a bewildering array of ingredients. I had come up from the steamy coast to cool off and to escape those hip-waggling salsa bars where I’d been spending far too much time. The cool bit worked; at 2,640m, Bogotá hovers year-round at 15oC. But the salsa bars? They are everywhere. Arriving here, I felt for a moment that I was in some retro America: ’50s Brooklyn, perhaps, a street grid of apartments and diners, trolley cars, convenience stores and kids' playgrounds. An archipelago of neighbourhoods revealed a funkier city, stretching north

beneath the mountainous heights of Monserrate. In colourful La Macarena, bookshops and cafes attract a bohemian crowd. In Zona Rosa, it’s designer boutiques, while in Normandía, there’s the sprawling Simón Bolívar Park. In Chapinero, there are theatres and bars, and next door in Zona G are some of the most innovative restaurants in South America. Head for San Felipe for new art galleries, and Usaquén for street markets and street performers. But down in La Candelaria, I found something entirely different. Churches reared like Spanish galleons, palaces commanded several city blocks, and ancient convents turned blank faces to the streets. La Candeleria is Bogotá's historic centre and parts of it are older than most of London. This is Gabriel García Márquez territory – the colonial mansions, the capricious passions, the family histories that make the Old Testament seem a model of brevity. Along the cobbled streets I was lost in reveries of Márquez's Love in the Time of Cholera, watching the window grills and the overhanging balconies for the dark-eyed beauty for whom I would


Bogotá

“It turns out there is a surprisingly fine line between murder capital and hipster haven, and Bogotá has leapfrogged across it” Caption please xxx

abandon everything, including selfrespect. Mercifully, she never appeared, but in a salsa bar, I did manage to get lost for an hour or two in the music and liquid movement of Latino hips. Being lost in Bogotá seems to be the form. The city was founded in the 1530s by a band of conquistadors who were hopelessly lost. Having wandered for several months in the Orinoco jungles without a compass or a clue, they finally pitched up here in the highlands where they started dismantling the temples of the indigenous Muisca civilisation in order to build the first church. The Muisca had what the conquistadors were looking for – gold. Colombia was an early focus of the myth of El Dorado, a mysterious jungle kingdom teeming with gold. Some versions of the tale told of a lake from which you could fish out tons of the stuff. For centuries Europeans died trying to find it. It seemed there was always just enough gold to keep the dreamers searching, but never enough to satisfy their dreams. In the fabulous Museo del Oro, the Gold Museum, I pressed my nose against the glass cases. For the Spanish, gold was just cash, but for the Muisca, it was a divine material they fashioned into sacred objects. In illuminated cases votive and decorative objects glowed – earrings and nose rings, bracelets and anklets, shimmering vases with the rounded curves of the female body, delicate golden figures and tiny masks, strange animals and leering faces, gods and voyaging boats, all exquisitely crafted, all carrying symbolic messages about the dualistic nature of the world, about order and chaos, about reality and dreams. When the Spanish got their hands on the richly symbolic objects of Muisca, they melted them down for coins. We are lucky so much has survived. The museum's climax is a circular room that recreates the legend of the golden lake. I stepped inside. A curved section of wall slid shut, closing me in darkness, as if I had arrived in the futuristic lair of some Bond villain. I began to hear the whispered chanting of priests, the sound of wind and water. Then the walls began to glow and flicker with images of gold. A pool of light opened in the floor, representing the lake, and for a moment I completely lost my bearings in a cascade of golden light. The real lake – or at least one of the World Traveller 55


Clockwise from top left: Leo restaurant and (inset) a classic dish; chef Leonor Espinosa; Centro Skandia; Simon Bolívar Park; colourful Wayuu bags for sale at Usaquen flea market

56 World Traveller

candidates for this mythical place – lies out of town. Laguna de Guatavita, a crater lake surrounded by green mountains, was reputedly the centre of Muisca rituals. Covered in gold dust, the Muisca chieftain was said to toss gold offerings into the waters to appease the gods. But try as they might, Europeans have never managed to retrieve the loot. In the 16th century, a conquistador drained the lake only to be rewarded with a paltry 232 pesos and 10 grams of gold. An English company tried again in the 19th century, but didn't find enough to cover the cost of its expedition. On the shore, I gazed into the dark water and saw nothing but my own reflection. Colombia's new-found peace dividend is all about people. In the bad old days, the young, the ambitious, the well connected, left for universities and opportunities in America and Europe. Now they are flocking home, educated, entrepreneurial, and fizzing with energy. Time and again I met young people just back from Harvard, from a stint as a maitre d’ in Paris, from gap years in Madrid. They are the ones making Bogotá cosmopolitan, with a bonanza of boutique hotels, funky restaurants, designer shops, and an art scene that rivals Berlin's. Part of this renaissance is gastronomical. Peruvian cuisine is the latest South American fad – but only for people who haven't been to Colombia yet. With such an astonishing range of habitats – Colombia


Bogotá

“Paloquemao was the kind of market that could turn Hannibal Lecter vegetarian”

is said to be one of the most bio-diverse countries on Earth – its real treasure is presided over by greengrocers. I went shopping with renowned chef Leonor Espinosa, a Colombian cross between Gordon Ramsay and Delia Smith. It was easy to imagine Leo ‘losing it’, but just when you thought you were in trouble, she came over all patient, maternal and understanding. Tall, redhaired and commanding, she swept all before her in the Paloquemao market where she was greeted like a celebrity. A sprawling cornucopia of fruit and veg, Paloquemao was the kind of market that could turn Hannibal Lecter vegetarian. There were endless aisles of exotica, gleaned from gardens and rainforests, from tropical hothouses and jungles. Leo led me from stall to stall, charming the vendors, enthusing about their extraordinary wares as she plucked them from kaleidoscopic heaps, scraping the skins to show me colour and texture, splitting them open to release heady aromas, spooning out the flesh to feed me astonishing flavours. There were a dozen kinds of banana, 40 varieties of mango, and 200 variations on the potato. There were avocados the size of melons and melons the size of small cars. There were wild tree tomatoes, sugar apples and the pitahaya whose pale and seedy sweet flesh is good for tummy problems. The fruit and veg were as sensual

as their names – zapote, uchuva, corozos, níspero, lulo, guanábana, chuguas or ulluco, cubios, guatila – brilliantly coloured (scarlet, vermilion, azure and charcoal), knobbly, sleek, pimpled, elongated, stunningly weird and wonderful. Leo was their champion. At lunch in her stylish restaurant (called Leo) the food was jaw-dropping. The roots of her cooking may be rustic and traditional, but the result is culinary sophistication. A succession of small dishes outdid one another – a cone of crab cream with olive-oil pearls, grilled Pacific tuna with an ant crust served with a drizzle of molasses, boyo mashed corn with snail shavings. The espresso was made from plants grown wild among lemon grasses so that it contained citric notes. How cool is that? For all the city’s buzz and creativity, there was also an echo of the grief that it has endured. It intervened when least expected. In the hush of the Iglesia de Santa Clara, once a convent, now a museum, I was brought up short by a shocking reminder of Colombia's tragic recent past. The church’s facade gives little hint of its stunning interior. A gold altarpiece, riotous with decorative flourishes, overlooks the long nave whose walls are crowded with 17th-and 18th-century paintings. Soaring above is a glorious vaulted ceiling of gold floral motifs. A contemporary art work had been installed in the church. A video showed women's hands tearing clothes, garments in which each had been attacked. The sound of the tearing echoed around the church. In the middle of the nave, these same torn clothes – so personal, so charged with history and identity and memory – had been bundled into tight balls and placed together in a pile. Attached to each were defiant hand-written notes. ‘I will not allow myself to be a victim,’ one said. ‘I am not defined by this experience,’ said another. The clothes were a witness to suffering, their annihilation a statement of intent that remains lodged in my mind still. But fortunately, far more than destruction, it is creation that Colombia can be proud of today. The renaissance of Bogotá is a work of courage and beauty. Inspired to travel? To book a trip, call +971 4 316 6666 or visit dnatatravel.com World Traveller 57


The Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix

The one to watch

Formula One brings its high-octane motorsport showcase to Bahrain International Circuit in April. Here’s how to enjoy the Grand Prix in style

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ith its roaring engines, carnival atmosphere and the added thrill of competition, there are few ways to make attending a Formula One Grand Prix more appealing. The organisers of the Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix, however, have found a way to do just that: by holding the race at night, under floodlights. Bahrain marks the second date on the 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship season calendar, which starts in Melbourne and takes in the likes of Mexico City, Monaco and Silverstone, before a November finale in Abu Dhabi. Only two of the Grand Prix cities – Singapore being the other – host the race at night, and there is something truly magical about witnessing this 300km/h motorsport after dark. In the drama-filled 2017 edition, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel roared from third place on the starting grid to be crowned the Bahrain race winner, and following his podium moment, admitted, “It was a really great day. The last half of the in-lap, with the fireworks and with

58 World Traveller

Fans can meet the drivers


world TrAVEllEr x bAhrAin inTErnATionAl circuiT

the track lit up… I paused and thought ‘I love what I do’. I didn’t find any words.” If an under-pressure four-time World Champion can find time to savour the moment, then imagine being a spectator with an entire weekend to soak up the pre-race concert, trackside hubbub and the accompanying festivities. The 28,000-capacity Bahrain International Circuit is located in Sakhir – a 40-minute drive south from the capital Manama, and Bahrain International Airport. Since its debut in 2004, the race experience has improved each time, and the Bahrain Grand Prix can be credited with raising the profile of elite motorsport in the region. The showpiece gets more popular each year, making early planning essential. The circuit’s eight grandstands provide a fantastic vantage, whether your preference is taking in straight from the Main Grandstand, or watching the fierce manoeuvring into Turn 1. Enhancing the grandstand ticket options are ‘F1 Experiences’ add-ons, allowing guests to get as up-close to the action as they wish.

Most comprehensive is the Legend package, with a privileged viewing position and indulgent gourmet luncheon. It also affords access to the Paddock Club, pit lane walk and prime viewing of the illustrious podium ceremony. You needn’t have prevailed over 57 laps in a racecar to taste first place: the Legend package includes a private podium visit, where you can be immortalised with a photo keepsake. For those flying in, Bahrain International Airport has allocated a dedicated area for F1 visitors, making a visit to the kingdom as seamless as possible. All that’s left is for you to put in your earplugs, soak up the sun, and cheer on your favourite driver. The 2018 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix takes place from 6-8 April. Guests booking tickets for the main grandstands before 20 February can avail an Early Bird discount of 15% (not applicable to the F1 Experiences packages). To find out more, visit bahraingp.com

Race Day StayS Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa On the kingdom’s west coast is this private beach hotel. Oceanfacing balconies and an exclusive Thalassa Sea & Spa – the only in the GCC – add to the sense of bliss. sofitel.com Wyndham Grand Manama A sleek landmark in Bahrain’s capital, with floor-to-ceiling windows providing views of the glittering Gulf (and soaring city skyline) from stylish its quarters. wyndhamhotels.com Al Areen Palace & Spa Palatail Al Areen puts you practically on the circuit's doorstep. Upscale villas boast private pools, sauna and Jacuzzi, while the hotel has an array of dining options to savour. alareenpalace.com

Naomi Campbell shows there's glamour as well as high-speed thrills

Three-time circuit champion Sebastian Vettel

World Traveller 59


World Traveller x JalbooT

Sail away Rediscover the charm of Abu Dhabi on a luxurious sightseeing cruise

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hile rolling desert dunes, atmospheric souks and luxurious hotels may first spring to mind when thinking about Abu Dhabi, it pays to remember that the UAE capital is home to a clutch of islands offering everything from white sand beaches and wildlife sanctuaries to championship-standard golf facilities. As the savviest travellers will agree, one of the best ways to discover all the emirate has to offer is out on the water. Sightseeing cruise specialist Jalboot operates a fleet of luxury ferries designed to take you on a wave of adventure. Climb aboard one of its modern, air-conditioned vessels and get set to soak up panoramic views of the city, from Abu Dhabi Corniche to Yas Marina, and all the waterways in-between. There is a range of ticket types and packages on offer, including a three-hour tour of Abu Dhabi, exploring all the mustsee sites, a full city tour of Abu Dhabi exploring all the landmark attractions and a Corniche Sunset Cruise, during which you can watch the sun set over the city skyline. There are also a number of exclusive sightseeing experiences that’ll guide you to the capital’s most famous locations, including Yas Marina, Jumeirah at Etihad Towers and the Venetian Village. Jalboot ferries accommodate up to 40 seated passengers and three crew members. The modern boats are fully-enclosed and feature large, panoramic windows that are ideal for showcasing the views as you recline in your plush, leather business classstyle seat. For the VIP experience, you can make a private booking for a bespoke cruise around the city, or simply out to sea. To find out more, visit Jalboot’s showboat in Abu Dhabi Mall, call 600 57 57 56 or visit jalboot.ae

60 World Traveller


Weekends Staycations and short-haul escapes

Capital gains the latvian city of Riga is on the rise and our curated weekend itinerary (page 62) showcases its best bits, including where to eat. anyone for pickled herring (pictured)? plus, we spotlight two of the best staycations (from page 68) and deliver exclusive offers from dnata travel (page 73) World Traveller 61


MINI BREAK

Your guide to: rigA Latvia’s capital city may seem quiet and austere at first, but look a little deeper, and you’ll find a vibrant, cosmopolitan place that beckons to be explored

T

he largest city in the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania), Riga stands beside its namesake stretch of sea, the Gulf of Riga, and is split in two by the mighty Duagava River. Gothic spires dominate its skyline, and architectural wonders flank its maze of cobblestoned streets. Days are best spent wandering the alleys while browsing markets and cutting-edge art centres, and allowing for sufficient time spent on comfy couches in cosy coffee shops. Come nightfall, join locals and resident Germans, Swedes, Russians and Poles in underground taverns, hip bars or Scandi-slick restaurants.

62 World Traveller

The Railway bridge over the river Daugava


RIGA

WAYS TO EXPLORE Take to the water Hop aboard a canal boat, such as 'Darling' or 'Maria', and sail along the Duagava River for a sightseeing cruise of Riga’s historical landmarks. rigabycanal.lv

Art Nouveau architecture by Mikhail Eisenstein

Walk and talk From meandering along the narrow streets of the Medieval Old Town to curated shopping excursions, Discover Latvia offers a range of informative guided tours. discover-latvia.lv Foodie adventures Eat Riga offers a number of gourmet adventures. Learn to cook with a local chef, let your tastebuds do the exploring during the Feast for a Day tour or head to a local hops brewery. eatriga.lv

AMAZING ARCHITECTURE #travelgoals Head to the top of St Peter’s Church to take in breathtaking views of the city. There’s a lift, which means no stairclimbing.

Alberta iela Screaming masks, wicked goblins, phoenix-women, slithering snakes, lions, griffins, peacocks… the list of sculptures adorning the Art Nouveau buildings along Alberta Street is remarkable. You could spend hours staring at all the details on the various façades, most of which were designed by architect Mikhail Eisenstein, who gifted this must-see lane to Rīga on its 700th anniversary. The Three Brothers Situated at numbers 17, 19 and 21 Maza Pils Street, this trio of houses line up in an Instagram-friendly row. The buildings illustrate Old Rīga’s diverse collection of architectural styles dating from the 15th and 17th centuries. No 17 is over 600 years old, making it the oldest dwelling in town. House of the Blackheads Built in the mid 14th century as a house for unmarried German merchants, the original structure was bombed in ’40s and flattened under Soviet rule a few years later. Fortunately, the original blueprints survived the destruction and a replica of this architectural masterpiece, which features a variety of styles and artistic trends of various periods, was completed in 2001 for Rīga’s 800th birthday. World Traveller 63


MINI BREAK SHOPPING GEMS

Cat House

#travelgoals Look out for Cat House, which is known for its two spooky feline sculptures standing on its roof. Ask any local to recount the legend surrounding these curious creatures.

CULTURE TRIP Latvian National

Museum of Art The Baroque exterior of this venue, the country’s main art gallery, is just as impressive as the collection of 18th-20th century artworks that can be found inside. Visitors enter into an opulent foyer with a sweeping staircase that unites two levels of permanent exhibitions. Head to the basement, or to level 4, and you’ll be surprised by the ultra-modern white spaces, transparent glass floors and overall contemporary design. lnmm.lv Latvian National Opera As one of the finest opera companies in all of Europe, Latvia’s pride and joy is also home to the Rīga Ballet. The season runs from September to June, during which time around six new productions will take to the stage. opera.lv Freedom Monument It’s close to impossible to miss this landmark, which towers above the city between Old and Central Riga. Affectionately known as ‘Milda’, the monument was erected in 1935 in place of a statue of Russian ruler Peter the Great. At the base of the monument there are granite friezes of nationals singing and fighting for their freedom. A copper female Liberty stands perched on top holding three gold stars in her hands. 64 World Traveller

#travelgoals For some tasty ‘souvenirs’ check out the local chocolate factory, Laima. The chocolate bars infused with Black Balsam are divine.

For fashion The shops lining Tērbatas and K. Barona streets in the Old Town should be first on your list. At the former, look out for Paviljons that showcase the work of a number of local fashion designers. Concept store 8Rooms in the Galleria Riga shopping centre features Baltic designers. For ‘traditional’ products Discover Latvian wooden and glass interior objects and gifts in the Riija shop on Tērbatas Street, or for more modern designs head to Pienene in the Old Town. This café-shop has a beautiful collection of authentic local eco products including pottery and ceramics, cosmetics, design items, various dainties, and herbal teas. Spikeri Quarter This complex is spread across a collection of renovated warehouses, which are currently home to a contemporary art gallery, theatre and concert hall. Open-air screenings also take place there, as does the bustling Riga Flea Market – the ideal place for getting your hands on some antique items.


RIGA

LOCAL FLAVOURS

The Spa at Grand Hotel Kempinski Riga

Rocket Bean Roastery (Miera iela) Coffee shops are situated on just about every street corner, and while most are delightful, the Rocket Bean Roastery outlet on Miera Street is definitely worth a visit. Set within a renovated sock factory on, it’s modern and flooded with light. We challenge you to find a better latte in the city. rocketbean.lv Muusu Chef Kaspars Jansons is at the helm of this renowned restaurant. Its striking Nordic interiors showcase clean lines, raw brick walls, light woods, metals and sunroofs, but it’s the food that really shines. Both the goat-cheese mousse starter served with figs, leeks and a honey reduction, as well as the duck breast with poached plums for mains, are sublime. muusu.lv Folkklubs ALA Pagrabs For the ultimate dining venue, head to this vaulted underground tavern in Old Rīga’s where Latvian folk and world music come together with traditional and contemporary local cuisine. We recommend the gray peas and a mound of meatballs served with baked potatoes and sautéed sauerkraut. muusu.lv

WHERE TO STAY #travelgoals The recipe for Riga’s Black Balsam – a dark and astringent beverage made from 24 herbs – remains unchanged for 250 years. Swig it back alone or try it in an infused hot chocolate at Black Magic Bar.

Grand Hotel Kempinski Riga Housed in an ornate 19th century building, this plush hotel opened late last year. It’s situated in the heart of the city, just opposite the opera house and is within walking distance of all Riga’s major sights. Its Amber Restaurant and Grand Bar are both lively spots and the on-site spa impresses with its lap pool, experience showers, steam rooms and saunas. kempinski.com

Hotel Bergs This boutique hotel forms part of the Bergs Bazaar – a charming complex with designer shops and cafés. Book one of the splendid suites, and don’t miss an evening of fine dining at the property’s Operating since 1570 renowned restaurant. and now housed in a hotelbergs.lv series of WW1 Zeppelin

hangars, Riga Central Market is an essential Latvian experience. Barter for berries, pick up jars of pickles, try caraway-seed cheese and don’t leave without a heavy loaf of black bread.

Dome Hotel & Spa Just a two-minute walk from Riga’s cathedral, this stylish abode showcases a number of stunning period features – think restored 18th century ceiling paintings, and an original 18th century wooden staircase – alongside contemporary designer touches. On-site restaurant Le Dome, is often said to be the town's leading spot for seafood. domehotel.lv World Traveller 65


abu dhabi

Bait Al Oud teachers and students in concert

AN ODE TO OUD

The prestigious Bait Al Oud in Abu Dhabi is an arts institute quite unlike any other, where a new generation of talented musicians is carrying on 5,000 years of stringed instrument tradition Music is a great way to immerse yourself in the UAE culture, and Abu Dhabi is the musical heartbeat of the emirates. It's home to Bait Al Oud, a renowned centre for Arabic music established in 2008, where students from around the globe study to become masters of the oud, qanun (Arabian harp) and rababah (Arabian cello), or master traditional vocal techniques. The brainchild – and lifelong passion – of its artistic director, Iraqi oud master and UNESCO Artist for Peace, Naseer Shamma, Bait Al Oud operates under the auspices of the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism's musical programme. “The oud is the father of the entire family of stringed instruments from the guitar and mandolin to the sitar, and has been around for more than 5,000 years,” he says. “We have students join our two-year programme from as far afield as Japan, Europe and the Americas, as well as from Arab countries." Shamma’s students are young and old, male and female, and include three successful Emirati graduates who have gone on to carve their own professional niches. “Bait Al Oud is the hub for an Arabic musical renaissance and we also have a professional oud workshop where we hand craft individual instruments,” he notes. Its reputation as a world-leading music institute is something that Shamma is extremely proud of and he continues to 66 World Traveller

spread the word about this regional genre of music as a world-renowned soloist. “Our students perform at venues across the UAE, at events that are open to everyone; sharing the beauty of the music and our cultural roots,” he says. When in Abu Dhabi, you can head to Bait Al Oud for a behind-the-scenes tour (Sun/Tues 1-3pm, Mon/Weds 5-7pm). Simply contact Jarir Abbas on +971 2 599 5941 or at jarir.abbas@dctabudhabi.ae. Free-to-attend rehearsal sessions are held every Wednesday at 7.30pm at Bait Al Oud Theatre (no booking required, although it's best to send an email to the above address before you go). Guests are also welcome to attend the institute’s annual graduation concert series in April. To find out more, visit abudhabimusic.ae

Ali Ahmed AlMansoori, Emirati artist and Bait Al Oud graduate

Naseer Shamma, Artistic Director, Bait Al Oud


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Travel noTes

2

Travel notes 6

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Award-winning photographer and Nikon Middle East ambassador CAtAliN MAriN of momentaryawe.com/blog on his fondest travel memories from a life behind the lens

1. Snowy landscapes in Hokkaido, Japan. I once spent three weeks photographing the minimalist, snowy landscapes in Hokkaido in Northern Japan. One of my favourite moments was being with my tripod, buried to my waist in snow and watching the light change in the surrounding forest. 2. Camping in Antarctica. I really wanted to experience what it’s like to bivouac outside. I dug a hole in the snow, spread the bivouac, built a small snow wall at my head and spent the next few hours photographing. 3. Masirah Island. Sometimes, you don’t have to go too far from home to find amazing places. Masirah Island off the coast of Oman is gorgeous, and I spent a great evening with friends there, photographing the traditional dhows anchored just off the coast as the sun went down. 4. The Milky Way at the Baobab Avenue. Madagascar is one of my favourite destinations in the world and Baobab Avenue, a baobab-lined dirt track, really stands out. I’ve been there a couple of times and most recently, I was able to stay until it got completely dark and the Milky Way appeared over the amazing baobab trees. 5. Herders in Djibouti. As the sun was setting on an almost dried-up lake where locals take their goats to graze, I shot the herders returning to their village in a scene that has probably been repeating for thousands of years. 6. Camping in the Caucasus. In 2015, my wife and I travelled by car for three months from Dubai to Romania and back through 11 countries, camping along the way. One night we camped at an altitude of over 3,000 metres, and watched thousands of stars twinkle above us while falling asleep.

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World Traveller 67


world traveller x the st. regis abu dhabi

STAYCATION

The St. Regis Abu Dhabi Experience signature indulgence in the heart of the capital The rooms Magnificent views of Abu Dhabi Corniche are a signature of the hotel's 283 guestrooms, along with the services of a dedicated St. Regis Butler. The Superior Sea View Rooms feature crystal chandeliers and Bedouin-inspired design aspects while the 1,120-square-metre duplex Abu Dhabi Suite, perched on the skybridge between the two Nation Towers, elevates your stay to new levels, offering panoramic views of the city.

The food A palate-pleasing collection of seven dining venues takes guests on a global culinary journey. Move from the sumptuous setting of Villa Toscana and its regional Italian flavour to enjoy after-dinner conversation in the leather-bound confines of The Cigar Lounge. Alternatively, join a select group of guests at the hotel's monthly Helipad Sunset Supper, where the finest cuisine is served a dizzying 255 metres above the city.

The ACTIVITIes Overlooking the crystal blue waters of the Arabian Gulf, Nation Riviera Beach Club is fronted by a private 200-metre-long stretch of beach, with a temperature-controlled swimming pool and 12 cabanas as its centrepiece. Squeeze in a gym workout before cooling off with a dip in the pool on the terrace. For pampering, head to Remède Spa for a rejuvenating massage that can be tailored to suit your needs.

To find out more, call + 971 2 694 4444 or visit stregisabudhabi.com 68 World Traveller


For replacing my old socks, For keeping your promises, For travelling hundreds of miles, just to see me, For always calling, when I need to talk, For waiting for me in the cold, For carrying our baby, For just being you ...

Give Someone You Love a St. Regis Abu Dhabi Gift Experience this Valentines. Purchase a luxury gift experience from Spa Treatments, Overnight Stays, Beach Club Memberships, an Exquisite Dinner, Helipad Experience and anything your loved one desires. Because they deserve it. For more informations and bookings please call +971 2 694 4444

The St. Regis Abu Dhabi Nation Towers, Corniche, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates t. +971 2 694 4444 stregisabudhabi.com Š2018 Marriott International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Preferred Guest, SPG, St. Regis and their logos are the trademarks of Marriott International, Inc., or its affiliates.


world traveller x Jw MarrIott MarQUIS dUBaI

STAYCATION

JW Marriott Marquis Dubai Stay in this landmark hotel and enjoy the luxury of choice The rooms One of the world's tallest hotels, JW Marriott Marquis Dubai is an architectural gem with ample space to welcome guests from around the globe. Its 1,608 guestrooms and suites have luxurious finishings, like marble bathrooms and oversized tubs, and many boast views of the skyline or Dubai Water Canal. Families can book a suite and spread out in the separate living and sleeping areas.

The food Foodies will find plenty to satisfy the appetite at this property, which has 15 award-winning restaurants and bars to discover. For perfectly prepared cuts of meat, Prime68 steakhouse is sure to impress while, for authentic Indian fare, Rang Mahal by Atul Kochhar is the talk of the town. If Japanese is more your speed, Izakaya provides a casual cool setting for sharing tasty bites with friends and family.

The ACTIVITIes The hotel is close to many of Dubai's top attractions, but there are lots of perks that'll tempt you to linger inside the hotel. Take a dip in the sparkling outdoor swimming pool or, for a spot of pampering, head to the opulent Saray Spa, which draws upon ancient healing techniques to soothe away tension. We rate The Saray Golden Hammam, which includes a decadent skin massage using 24-karat gold.

To find out more, call + 971 4 414 0000 or visit jwmarriottmarquisdubailife.com 70 World Traveller


Destination of Exceptional Taste. Experience a world of choice with authentic flavors at a myriad of award-winning restaurants and lounges.

PERUVIAN FOOD & DRINKS TO SHARE

Sheikh Zayed Road, Business Bay, PO Box 121000, Dubai, UAE | T +971 4 414 3000 | jwmarrottmarquisdubai.com JW Marriott Marquis Dubai |

JWDubaiMarquis |

jwmarriottmarquisdubai


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Reader offers Great deals to get you packing

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Email us at contactcentre@dnata.com • Call +971 4 316 6666


next issue

In next month’s

World Traveller… ➤ spring break special swot up on history on a family-friendly trip to rome ➤ Discover the rivers, mountains, and empty beaches of Vietnam ➤ exploring the amazing Zanzibar archipelago

World Traveller 79


Suite dreams Our monthly finish with a flourish, delving into a suite that has a character and style all of its own

Royal Beach Villa

Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara A sub-tropical paradise and monsoon season destination beloved by city dwellers wearied by the Gulf’s unrelenting summer temperatures, Oman’s southernmost port city Salalah is the birthplace of Sultan Qaboos, the country’s ruler, and cradle of the ancient Frankincense Route. Lose yourself to the allure of the great outdoors, from the beauty of Wadi Darbat valley to countryside vistas populated by lush banana and papaya plantations. Verdant escapism of the ultra-luxurious kind is a given at Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara. Its one-of-a-kind Royal Beach Villa has minimalist styled spaces, allowing the views of your private white sand beach, pool and lush landscaped garden to shine. salalah.anantara.com 80 World Traveller


Surroundings to inspire, experiences to remember. Comprising two iconic towers, the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai is centrally located beside the Dubai Water Canal. The 1,608-rooms hotel has a collection of over 15 award-winning restaurants and bars, a sublime Saray Spa and Club Marquis, and over 8,000 sq m of spectacular indoor and outdoor event space.

JW MarriottÂŽ MarquisÂŽ Hotel Dubai jwmarriottmarquisdubailife.com Sheikh Zayed Road, Business Bay, PO Box 121000, Dubai, UAE | T +971 4 414 0000

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World Traveller - February'18  
World Traveller - February'18