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Issue 111 | July 2017

Complimentary copy

SwiSS BliSS

Discover a hidden gem in the Alps

Sojourn to Sri Lanka Produced in Dubai Production City

An easy introduction to the subcontinent

GREECE madRid PaRma BaRCElona


Editor’s note

Editor’s note As the GCC temperature gauge creeps steadily higher it’s time to get out and explore more moderate climes, and that’s exactly what we’re doing at World Traveller. Join us as we head to southern Peloponnese, Greece’s mystical heart, where unspoilt beaches, ancient architecture and untarnished villages, some with a population of just one, await. Managing director Victoria Thatcher Editorial director John Thatcher Group Commercial director David Wade Managing Editor Faye Bartle Editor Hayley Skirka

Elsewhere, we’re traversing around stunning tea plantations and visiting colonial mansions as we ease ourselves gently into the subcontinent on a visit to Sri Lanka. From the lush plains of the Hill Country to the paradisiacal beaches and towering palm trees of the south, journey with us across the beautiful teardrop nation that is Sri Lanka. Keep an eye out for dnata’s secret stays – sign up and have these exciting offers sent to your inbox every Sunday – for hotel promotions that are simply too good to be revealed until your booking is confirmed. It’s the perfect excuse to book a staycation. And while we’re talking staycations, this issue is packed full of inspiration for your next local trip. Whether you prefer a family-friendly escape to Fujairah or want to spoil yourself at a luxury hotel in Abu Dhabi, there’s something for every taste. You can even win a summer stay for the entire family at Fairmont The Palm, Dubai by entering our competition on page 79.

Art director Kerri Bennett

Happy travelling.

designer Jamie Pudsey

hayley@hotmediapublishing.com

Hayley skirka

senior Advertising Manager Mia Cachero mia@hotmediapublishing.com Business development Manager Mohamed Galal mohamed@hotmediapublishing.com +971 4 369 0915 Production Manager Muthu Kumar

Jun-Dec 2016 | 22,984 | 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

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Smile all the stay.

All our hotels are in dreamlike settings, but if we can go the extra step, rest assured that we have what it takes to surprise you, over and over again, so you’ll keep wondering what’s next? MAURITIUS

RÉUNION

MALDIVES

CHINA

TURKEY

VIETNAM

U.A.E


Contents July 2017

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8

Be here now Head to California’s coolest neighbourhood to mingle with the stars in Venice Beach or head off the beaten track on the road to Hawaii’s Hana

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GloBetrotter Your guide to travel trends, new hotels, cultural happenings and everything else that’s hot in travel this month

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My City: ParMa International celebrity hairstylist Rossano Ferretti hails from the culinary capital that is Parma. He gives us his take on the Italian city's best bits

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SPotliGht on BarCelona Where to stay and what to do when visiting Catalonia’s most famous city

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Chef’S toP taBleS From Australia to Turkey, Chef Michael Muir gives us the lowdown on his favourite eateries around the globe

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eSCaPe Wind things down with our monthly shot of wellness – from arcade-style fitness classes to embracing mind, body and spirit

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the loCalS’ Guide to Madrid From where to find the tastiest pintxos to the best neighbourhoods for partying, an insider’s view on the Spanish capital

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Contents 46

Destinations

40 46 52 6 World Traveller

eid faMily eSCaPeS Exotic Mauritius, the excitement of Bodrum or keeping things local in sunny Fujairah, these spots have Eid family breaks all wrapped up Greek leGend Tranquil beaches, cobbled streets and as much feta cheese as you can manage, southern Peloponnese is Greece’s bestkept secret the PerfeCt Blend From rolling tea plantations to elephantfilled national parks, Sri Lanka is your easy introduction to the subcontinent

WeekenDs

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a lonG weekend in CaSaBlanCa Morocco’s biggest city is cosmopolitan and cultured, this in-depth guide has all the sights you don't want to miss

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a taSte of iStanBul At the crossroads between Europe and Asia, Istanbul’s culinary scene is seriously eclectic, but nothing compares to authentic Turkish bites

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StayCationS Fancy a weekend getaway? Choose from our hand-picked selection of luxury hotels across the GCC


Be here now Hana, Hawaii

Picturesque waterfall views, rugged shorelines and some of Hawaii’s best beaches can be found in Hana, one of the last tropical paradises on Maui. The charm of this place lies in its isolation from the rest of the island; it’s one of the most Hawaiian communities in the state and has a timeless rural character. The road to Hana is probably the most famous drive on the island, you’ll pass by gorgeous rainforests, cascading waterfalls and rainbow-coloured eucalyptus trees, do it with the top down to make the most of the endless tropical scenery. When you finally reach Hana, slow down in quintessential Old Hawaii.

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Check in

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Be here now CheCk In

Be here now

Venice, California

Bustling and eclectic with a vibe all of its own, a visit to southern California’s number one tourist spot is a must-do. Founded back in 1905 as a seaside resort, Venice is a boho haven oozing with Hollywood history. Having transformed itself from the ‘slum by the sea’ reputation it garnered in the fifties to become the coolest neighborhood in LA, the likes of Anna Paquin, Robert Downey Jr. and Tim Robbins now call this spot home. From the glistening canals to the pedestrian-only promenade that’s packed with skate parks, vendors and all types of performers, and not forgetting the beach itself, Venice is a one-ofa-kind Californian hotspot.

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CheCk In Be here now

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Be here now CheCk In

worldtravellermagazine.com Your passport to the Middle East’s first fully bookable travel inspiration website

Extend your journey with World Traveller magazine by heading online to read more inspirational and exclusive travel content and take advantage of up-to-the-minute hotel and holiday offers.

dream ● read ● click ● book 16 World Traveller


globetrotter From the rebirth of a legendary Victorian abode to futuristic hotel murmurings, here’s what’s hot in travel this month

re-IntroducIng: the AdelphI hotel, SArAtogA SprIngS, new YorK Having first thrown open its grand doors back in 1877 during Saratoga’s Golden Age, The Adelphi Hotel has been reimagined as a modern luxury property in this small upstate city that's known for its period charm and cultural calendar. Set to open on July 5th – with the ribbon cutting ceremony coinciding perfectly with the property’s 130th anniversary – everything's come full circle for this New York stalwart.

Harking back to the turn of the century, when grand hotels lined the streets of Saratoga’s Broadway, The Adelphi was once a destination for the rich and famous with the likes of John Morrissey – the man who brought Thoroughbred racing to the city – and famed industrialist Cornelius Vanderbilt frequenting its rooms. The renovation is the result of a detailed two-year project and the new design pays homage to the history of the building, maintaining the old world feel of its past while incorporating all of the modern elements sought by today's travellers. Timeless aspects like the grand staircase, glass-walled conservatory and 11-foot high ceilings remain, and the Adelphi

Group promise all the classic hospitality and service that you’d expect from an old world, first-class Victorian hotel. Go now to be one of the first to spend summer in the last Victorian hotel of Saratoga. theadelphihotel.com The new hotel retains old world elegance

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Globetrotter CheCk In

hotelS In

AmSterdAm

Rooftop W Lounge

Both in the thick of things in the Netherland’s capital, but will you go for a gloriously glossy abode or a hipster haunt w AmSterdAm what to expect A decadent vibe. Spread across a former bank and the old Telephone Exchange with nods towards both in its sharp design: the former with high ceilings and swirling marble; the latter copper pipes and a Brutalist vibe. Go straight to the top with check-in at the rooftop W Lounge. location About 20 paces from Dam Square, this spot shoulders the pretty ‘9 Streets shopping area and the main canals, making it a great orientation point. Hop on a bike and you’re just a 10-minute cycle to Museum Square for a shot of culture. must-do Dine at Mr Porter where it’s all about unequalled flavour combinations and premium quality ingredients. And don’t miss the futuristic fashionista spa. Wamderdam.com

hoxton AmSterdAm what to expect This tottering canal house is the bohemian abode of your dreams. Once the Mayor’s home, it’s made up of five canal houses and is bursting with character. Rooms come in all shapes and sizes with monumental ceilings, double showers and exposed wooden beams, most with gorgeous canal views. location On Herengracht, one of the city’s oldest and most famous canals, the hotel has a prime spot and watery vistas on both sides. It’s also within walking distance from many of the city’s top attractions including Anne Frank House and the Rijksmuesum. must-do Don’t miss the brunch at Lotti’s – not only is it delicious, it’s a great people watching spot. thehoxton.com

Hoxton Amsterdam

Vs

on our rAdAr

culture

Future

AdVenture

It’S A dAte The world’s first visitor experience dedicated to the traditions of authentic date cultivation is set to open in the oasis city of Al Ain, which is listed as a UNESCO heritage site. The centre will allow visitors to find out more about the ancient date-farming methods with organic date-picking activities, factory tours and info sessions. Along with the Liwa Date Festival, the experience looks to further establish the date and palm tree as a symbol of Emirati culture.

hYperloop hotel With the hotly-anticipated Hyperloop One rumoured to be launching in the UAE in the next five years, there’s now murmurings of a Hyperloop Hotel where guests will be able to bed-down in futuristic rooms as they journey from one station to the next. With an urban design, the hotels will be super luxurious and equipped with state-of-the-art technology. Still in concept stage, the project scooped first prize in last month's Radical Innovation contest.

down Below Perfect for scuba divers, a former fuelling vessel that was one of just a handful of ships surviving an attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941, has become a new artificial reef dive site in the British Virgin Islands. Part of the BVI Art Reef project, headed up by Sir Richard Branson, it’s hoped that turtles, sharks, sea sponges and corals will live on, in and around the wreck. Make the most of a visit by booking on to a crewed yacht trip complete with private captain, chef and personal host. themoorings.com

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Globetrotter CheCk In

An ecological design brimming with luxury, Leafey Resort just might be the perfect retreat

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ways to… enjoy an eco-luxe holiday

Summer igloo Embrace your inner child with a stay at one of WhitePod Hotel’s igloos. These geodesic domes are luxury self-sufficient suites that are surrounded by all the beauty of the Swiss Alps. Designed to use minimal amounts of water and electricity, it’s the perfect place for an eco-luxe summer escape. whitepod.com

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Italian delights The wondrous Lefay Resort on the shores of Lake Garda values, above all else, the connection between personal and environmental wellness. The lodgings were all made from local natural materials and are ecologically designed. Enjoy a spot of Tai Chi before a reviving massage. lefayresorts.com/eng

Mountain retreat In the beautiful foothills of Nepal’s mountains near Phewa Lake, The Pavilions Himalayas is a luxury retreat consisting of just 13 exclusive villas. Surrounded by organic farmland, powered by solar energy and harvested rainwater the resort also provides sustainable work for local villagers. pavilionshotels.com/himalayas


CheCk In My city

My CIty

ParMa Cosmopolitan, stylish and ever so suave, this Italian city is known for its superb gastronomy, outstanding music and seriously fine living

Celebrity hairstylist Rossano Ferretti lives his life on the road, but nothing compares to his beloved hometown where eating and family come first. For the last 20 years, I’ve spent my life on the road so it’s difficult to say which city really is ‘my city’ today. Most recently, I’ve been living in London, but I’m moving to Monte Carlo this summer and, in another year, I’ll probably move on somewhere else. That said, Parma is my home and my family are there so it will always be very special to me. Whenever I'm in Italy, my salons tend to keep me between Rome and Milan, but I always make sure to spend at least one weekend in Parma. A truly perfect day at home for me would start by visiting my sons, they’re both professional footballers and I love being in town when they have a match on. Afterwards, I'd gather the whole family together and organise a big dinner, although nothing too extravagant – in Parma we like to keep things simple. As something of an authority on European restaurants, you’ll notice that in Parma people eat, and then they speak about eating, and then talk about food, before deciding exactly when we want to eat again next. It’s not a case of eating to survive: in Italy we feed ourselves simply to enjoy. We often have big family dinners at home but when it comes to eating out, my favourite restaurant in the city is Due Platani. The food here tastes so good it's as if my own mother could be in the kitchen and they’ve picked up multiple awards for having the best ravioli in all of Italy. If you want to dine here, be sure to book ahead by at least two months. Parma is full of hidden gems and one of my favourites lies outside of the city itself, about 20 km up in the hills at a place called the Donati estate. Here, the genius that is Camilo Donati creates absolutely exquisite biodynamic grape. A wander round the lush greenery is an experience in itself and certainly worth a visit. Another thing that you really don't

Parma is famed for its cheese and balsamic vinegar

“Try the Parmesan cheese, there’s no cheese in the world quite like it”

want to miss is a balsamic vinegar tour. I now only drink the stuff if it’s been aged for at least 30 years and when you try it for yourself, you’ll understand why. It's rich, thick and delicious – try squeezing some on vanilla ice cream, it’s a dream. Finally, Parma is world famous for its Parmesan cheese, there’s no cheese in the world quite like it. There are many factories in the city and most of them offer tours, often free of charge. You'll see how the cheese is made and you can learn to distinguish great Parmesan from the more mediocre stuff. I love this cheese and I always take some of the finest Parmigiano-Reggiano with me wherever I go in the world so that I can cook for whoever I'm visiting and share a little taste of home with them. The city is home to some key ingredients that are truly world famous, and people often come to Parma just to eat. We also keep things healthy, something that's very important to me. That's my final advice – life is a journey so no matter where you go or what you do, live it in a way that's healthy, simple and easy, all of which can be done in Parma. Inspired to travel to Parma? Visit dnatatravel.com for a host of Italian holidays

Eating is a way of life in Parma

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expert CheCk In

Ask The experT rob Arrow Head of product at dnata With over a decade of experience in the luxury travel industry, Rob loves nothing more than talking hotels and discovering destinations. His favourite country is Lebanon, his beloved city is Melbourne, and his dream is to own a boutique retreat in the Italian Alps

Porto Montenegro Regent Pool Club

Q A

Montenegro seems to be on the up, what can I expect there? This is a very apt question, as having only just returned from this stunning destination – a small jewel literally pinned against the mountains cascading into the Mediterranean – I’ve got lots to share. Montenegro offers an amazing opportunity to explore a whole variety of landscapes in one small space. Originally part of Yugoslavia, then Serbia and now having gained its independence, Montenegro has worked hard to truly embrace its location, natural wonder and history. Previously, you had to fly via Istanbul, Rome or Zurich, but from this month onwards, flydubai are launching direct flights to Tivat – meaning you can escape the summer heat and be in the beautiful breeze of the Mediterranean in less than six hours. My trip started in the compact capital of Podgoricia which although small, is a fantastic jumping off point to explore

18 World Traveller

the north of the country. Staying at the Centreville Hotel – a trendy laidback abode – I was perfectly placed for a stroll in the open boulevards, taking in the old Ottoman city and relaxing with a coffee in one of the many street cafés. Interestingly, most people will feel a tad short here as Montenegro has the second tallest population in the world. Leaving the capital, get ready to see some of the most beautiful untouched vistas you’ll ever come across. Mountains where brown bears still reside, huge blue lakes including Lake Skadar – the largest in Southern Europe – and the Tara River Canyon in the UNESCO Durmitor National Park, the deepest canyon in Europe. All of this is untouched. Just under two hours from the city, you’ll come across the beautiful Italian-esque costal towns of Bar and Budva, each with their own unique character and history, Bar is home to the oldest olive tree in the world. On the road towards the Bay

of Kotor, you’ll pass the luxurious Aman Sveti Stefan resort, an island resort that’s truly out of this world. The Splendid Hotel, used as the Casino Royale in the James Bond flick, and the new development of Porto Montenegro in Tivat, now home to some of the most luxurious super yachts in the world, are also on the radar. Finally, the Regent Hotel – with its amazing spa and comfortable suites overlooking the glistening sea – is a great pick. The ambience here is very laid back with great cafes, shops and restaurants including Byblos, an authentic Lebanese restaurant with shisha if you want a taste of home. Charter a yacht to enjoy the view from the sea, or take a helicopter tour along the coast and up to Dubrovnik in Croatia, which you might recognise as King’s Landing from Game of Thrones. My best advice: go now before too many people discover this shining jewel. For trips to Montenegro and more, log on to dnatatravel.com, visit one of our stores or call +971 800 dnata.


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CheCk In Spotlight

A ShOwCASE Of hISTOry Painter, sculpture and cofounder of the Cubism movement, it was in the city of counts that Pablo Diego Picasso first matured as a painter. The Museo Picasso houses one of the most extensive collections of his early artworks, with well over 3,000 pieces across five medieval palaces. Open daily (except Monday) from 9am-7pm. museupicasso.bcn.cat Other museums worth a visit:

Let the kids enjoy roaming Parc de la Ciutadella

● Fundació Joan Miró ● Museu d'Història de la Ciutat ● MNAC: Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

ONLy IN BArNA Visit Camp Nou The stands, the field, the dug out, the tunnel – walk in the footsteps of some of football’s most legendary players with a visit to Camp Nou, home to the mighty FC Barcelona. Even better if you’re in town on match day. fcbarcelona.com/tour Or try: ● Exploring Gaudi’s architecture ● Dancing flamenco in an underground bar ● Discovering La Ramblas, the city's most famous street

Spotlight on Barcelona Electrifying and mesmerising with an omnipresent sense of culture, it’s no wonder the Catalonian capital constantly features on the world’s most-visited lists Els Quatre Gats

fOr LITTLE ONES In Catalonia, children are part of the culture. So make like the locals and visit a park with the kids in tow. Parc de la Ciutadella in the bustle of the city centre gets our vote. Home to two museums, Barcelona’s zoo and endless patches of greenery, it’s perfect for lettimg them run off some steam. Other green spots: ● Turo Parc ● Parc de l'Estació del Nord ● Parc de Diagonal Mar

Camp Nou tour

Tuck into fresh seafood at Hay's Dock

CATALONIAN EATS Lasarte Headed up by Martin Berasategui, this is the first three Michelin-starred restaurant in Barcelona. Be sure to book in advance as people flock from all over Catalonia for a taste of this culinary genius. Try the sampling menu for an endless procession of flavour, texture and colour. This place is worth the fuss. restaurantlasarte.com Els Quatre Gats Step back in time at this curious café, down a side street in the Barri Gottic. The former stomping ground of Picasso and his bohemian companions, it oozes character with antique chandeliers and painting-adorned walls amidst long waits for tables. Go for authentic tapas and don’t miss the Catalan custard. 4gats.com

CITY STAYS A majestic mansion In the heart of the Paseo de Gracia, Barcelona’s most elegant shopping locale, Monument Hotel is a gorgeous neo-gothic mansion. Book the Suite Enric Batllo, for a stylish abode complete with Jo Malone toiletries, a four-poster bed and balconies with coveted city views. monument-hotel.com Futuristic simplicity In landmark-laden Eixample, Hotel Omm is all simple lines, balanced colours and understated materials. Angled windows ensure privacy and oodles of natural light while rubberlined corridors effortlessly absorb sound. It's also home to Michelinstarred Roca Moo. hotelomm.com

Hotel Omm

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Chef's top tables CheCk In

Chef’s top tables

Join us on an expert-led culinary tour around the world as a chef in the know give us his picks for eating out on a global scale As executive head chef at Ramusake in Dubai, Chef Micheal Muir has also worked in Turkey, the UK and across his native Australia. Here, he gives us the lowdown on some of his favourite eateries around the world

sydney aria Restaurant Aria has a very balanced seasonal menu that features only the best produce on the market. It’s a great fine dining experience with a real sense of elegance headed up by Chef and owner Matt Moran. On the very edge of Sydney’s glistening harbour, expect delicate touches, passionate creations and a true sincerity of delivery in a breathtakingly beautiful dining room. FAvoURiTe DisH? The chef’s seasonal tasting menu is consistently a great choice.

Aria restaurant

bRIsbane bird’s nest yakitori and bar

peRth Rockpool bar and Grill

Istanbul ullus 29

Not only is this place really atmospheric, they have a fantastic array of small bites on the menu making it the perfect place for a great catch up and a social dining experience with friends. Showcasing an Izakaya concept specialising in the traditional art of yakitori cooking, expect delicious Japanese skewered grilled meat and vegetables. Fusing the Japanese heritage of the owners with their love for traditional food, opt for the full tasting menu to get a handle on the menu in its entirety. FAvoURiTe DisH? Chicken tenderloins with wasabi mayo.

It’s all about the experience at this trendy restaurant where the atmosphere is as electric as the food is diverse. The dining style is simple and uncomplicated – wood fired grilled meats and seafood from Australia’s very best producers alongside one of Australia’s greatest grape lists. With impeccable service and impressive interiors over an open kitchen, it highlights the primal appeal of cooking. No reservations are accepted so just turn up. FAvoURiTe DisH? It has to be the charcoal oven roasted King George whiting.

Combining hearty portions of tasty Turkish cuisine with a laidback, mellow ambiance, exceptional views and truly terrific service, you simply can't go wrong with a visit to Ulus 29. In addition to all of this, you’re guaranteed amazing value for money when you compare the quality of the food to other restaurants in the same tier. Part nightclub, part terrace and part restaurant, this bountiful trifecta in bustling Istanbul is well worth a visit no matter what type of evening you're after. FAvoURiTe DisH? Scallops with foie gras served with truffle green pea puree.

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D

iscover the perfect summer haven. As the soft ocean breeze flows through your residence and the sun streams onto the private terrace, the children splash in the magnificent lagoon. Lush tropical gardens create a sense of the exotic and your elegant villa effortlessly captures the spirit of the Ottoman era. Choose from a stay at the Beach Royal Residences, where gorgeous vistas and direct access to a private beach combine with 530 sq m of breathtaking opulence. Or perhaps you prefer a Lagoon Royal Residence, for the ultimate in privacy. Expect 461 sq m of beautifully-designed interiors complete with soothing lagoon views, accessed through your own private entrance. Or why not opt for a sanctuary of warmth: a Seafront Royal Residence, with two-King, two-Queen-and one-twin bedroom. With a private pool, exclusive beach and your own

access elevator, it’s paradise discovered. Whichever Royal Residence you decide upon, a dedicated butler will be on hand to ensure you want for nothing. Indulge further with the exciting Stay & Indulge offer that's only available for Royal Residences guests. With this exciting promotion, prepare to feast like never before with complimentary, all-inclusive dining across nine different restaurants including Lebanese eatery Al Nafoorah, Lalezar where you can dine on authentic Turkish cuisine and The Rib Room, a meat lover’s dream. Retreat to the coolness of the awardwinning Talise Ottoman Spa where you can avail of unlimited access for the duration of your stay. With Jacuzzi, steam rooms, hammam, an indoor saltwater Thalassotherapy swimming pool, and adventure showers, it’s the perfect relaxation haven. What’s more, with

Dhs2,000 spa credit you can indulge in one of the many fantastic spa treatments, guaranteed to send you deep into a world of relaxation. Little ones will be well looked after with complimentary access to Sinbad’s Kids Club where they can have hours of fun playing in the mini water park, tackling the climbing wall, running wild in the playground or bouncing around in the soft play area. For something special, take the family to the movies with an exclusive experience at the hotel’s luxurious 29-seat private cinema. Of course, the entire group also gets unlimited access to Wild Wadi Waterpark ™ where all the thrills and spills of over 30 slides, rides and attractions await. For a stay that's truly fit for royalty, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray is the obvious choice, prepare to indulge. Find out more at jumeirah.com/ jumeirahzabeelsaray or call +971 4 453 0000 World Traveller 23


Al Jabal Al Akhdar

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Escape

Get away from it all with our monthly measure of wellness

360° Wellness To feel your best, you need to consider the health of not just your body but your mind and spirit too – this is holistic health in action. And there’s no better place to look after your ‘self’ in a truly holistic way than at Dubai's Fairmont The Palm. From an anti-ageing partnership between Willow Stream Spa and leading London-based treatment pioneer Dr. Rita Rakus, to its entirely immersive cooking experience that explores the healthy aspects of nutrition, and the wealth of meditative sessions with seasoned gurus, a visit to this resort will ensure the whole you is being well looked after. World Traveller 25


Escape ChECk In

A world of wellness From meditative practices to state-of-theart fitness flair, fairmont The Palm has your wellness needs all wrapped up

A world of wellness

BeAT The heAT There’s a new cycling-focused fitness class in town and this one will eat your spinning class for breakfast. Introducing Aquaspin™, the exercise of choice for Pippa Middleton. But what exactly is it? Well, essentially it’s an outdoor exercise session that makes use of stationary bikes, submerged in perfectly chilled water – ideal for beating Dubai’s summer temperatures. Taking just about everything you already know and love about spinning – think intense cycling, arm and chest exercises performed on a bike, inspiring music and instructors who never stop smiling – it adds a swimming pool, sunshine and enough resistance to make you feel like you have weights strapped onto your body. It's gruelling, effective, and totally therapeutic. Head to the North Residence pool for the perfect way to cool off while getting fit. fiTness: Arcade style The latest fitness craze to take New York by storm has made its way to Dubai, and we simply can’t get enough of it. PRAMA by Pavigym is a bit like an enormous flashing Twister board that flows up the walls. It makes you twist, turn, jump, crawl and run, and guarantees sweat by the bucketload, it can see you burn up to 1,000 calories per session.

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Mind, BodY And sPiriT Offering self-reflection and a host of health benefits, its no wonder that yoga is one of the most popular fitness choices in the world and taking the practice outdoors offers a whole new dynamic by paring yoga down to its original link with nature. At Fairmont The Palm, sessions take place on a stunning slice of private beachfront, headed up by Melanie Swan, a seasoned yoga guru. Join for a weekly session or garner lunar energy at the full moon classes. To enhance your practice further, indulge in the state of one experience – a brand new wellness program that combines spa treatments for the body with meditative yogic experiences for the mind. Created by Wissam Malaeb and Laura Kohlhase – devotees of Sadhguru Mata Amritandamayi Devi – chose from earth, air, fire or water experiences crafted to help you reconnect with nature, eliminate unwanted emotions and emerge at one with the earth and the world as a whole. Namaste.

You Are whAT You eAT It’s true that good nutrition is key to a healthy lifestyle and learning how to consciously create dishes with wellness in mind is fundamental for a wholesome diet. If you’re keen to broaden your knowledge on the subject, The Chef’s Palette by Gaggenau could be right up your street. Taking place in a cooking studio equipped by top German quality cooking appliance brand Gaggenau, this class puts a unique spin on eating out, offering a collection of sessions where you can learn and explore all things nutrition, then try to replicate your new-found talent at home. To find our more about any of these experiences visit fairmont.com/palm-dubai


CheCk In escape

LocaL choice AlohA ArAbiA Fancy yourself as a bit of a surf pro? Get in touch with Aloha Arabia who run surf trips around the UAE. book one of their Surfari’s to oman where expert instruction, boards, transport and accommodation, as well as surefire fun, are guaranteed. alohaarabia.com

Broaden your mind Travelling isn’t just good for your soul; it introduces you to new people, places and cultures. Take this one step further by embarking on a learning holiday to enhance body, mind and spirit This summer, instead of just lounging on a far-flung beach, make use of your well-earned vacation time to learn a new skill, achieving a goal that’s sure to benefit you long after you return home. From mastering the basics of yoga to perfecting your tennis serve in Antigua; learning holidays are the perfect way to add a new string to your bow. If you’re a yoga enthusiast – or would like to be – head to Thailand and the beautiful Chiva Som resort. Nestled amidst the secluded lush tropical gardens by the coast of Hua Hin, it’s the perfect haven for a yoga-enhancing holiday. A whole variety of signature spa treatments are on hand to complement your learning. You can also try your hand at meditation, Pranayama and Ayurveda cleansing techniques from some of Chiva Som's most qualified instructors. Should food be your passion, delight your taste buds as you learn to cook Sri Lankan cuisine with the Spice Spoons cooking school at the Anantanra Kalutara Resort. Learn the secrets from local chefs who will accompany you to the market, take you to a traditional spice mill and help you add a variety of regional recipes to your culinary repertoire. Afterwards,

visit Handunugoda Tea Estate where you can learn more about how tea is cultivated and taste the famed Virgin white tea – a tea untouched by hand that attracts attention the world over. Feeling frazzled? Then make a beeline for celebrity hot spot SHA Wellness Clinic in Spain to banish the strains of modern day living. The world’s first macrobiotic wellness retreat, SHA champions the philosophy of learning to live in harmony with your natural environment. Take part in a series of medical and nutritional consultations, workout under the guidance of a personal trainer, attend macrobiotic cooking classes and educational lifestyle lectures and rest assured you’ll soon be on the right track to a healthier and happier you. Finally, if tennis is your game then the professional instruction on offer at Antigua’s Carlisle Bay could be the learning trip for you. Coaching players of all levels through a combination of private lessons and group classes; you’ll learn to perfect your game with tutoring through the technical challenges, all within walking distance of Carlisle Bay’s pure white sands and turquoise waters.

AlmA rETrEAT Taking place in the beautiful ras Al Khaimah desert, this is the ideal place to inspire your mind, unlock your creativity or change your body. Whether it’s through hypnosis, art or personal training, Alma has something for you. With daily organic food and selected motivational speakers, it’s the place to craft a whole new you. iamalma.com

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Summer in Sharjah From its magnificent museums to its fun-packed attractions and stellar shopping – there are plenty of reasons why people are flocking to Sharjah this summer Sharjah Calligraphy Museum

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hen you’re searching for a holiday that appeals to everyone, it can be a challenge to settle on a destination that ticks all the boxes. If art, culture and plenty of indoor activities are top of the agenda then look no further than Sharjah. This warm and welcoming emirate is becoming increasingly popular among those who are seeking a suits-all break with plenty to see and do. There’s no need to worry about the heat, as there is a long list of indoor attractions to explore. Here we round up just some of the highlights…

For culture enthusiasts Crowned the Cultural Capital of the Arab World in 1998, the Islamic Culture Capital for 2014 and the Arab Tourism Capital for 2015, Sharjah is not short of cultural gems. The emirate is home to more than 20 state-of-the-art museums that offer a 28 World Traveller

fascinating insight into its rich history. The first stop on the itinerary should be Sharjah Maritime Museum, which shines a light on the maritime life of the UAE. Learn how the sea has played a key role in the emirate’s development and was a key reason why the first settlers chose to live there more than 6,000 years ago. Once inside, visitors can discover traditional wooden dhows used for fishing, trading and pearling. You can also get an up close look at genuine Arabian pearls and find out how they were collected, measured and weighed. Next, make your way to the nearby Sharjah Calligraphy Museum to embark on a fascinating journey of discovery of centuries of Arabian heritage in the form of beautifully written script. Created by local artists and well-known international calligraphers, these significant works of art demonstrate the complexity of this vibrant art form

as well as its fascinating historical and Islamic foundations. Budding artists will enjoy Sharjah Art Museum – the largest art museum in the Gulf – which is home to temporary exhibitions and permanent collections by renowned artists. Explore the history of the region through the Orientalist painters of the 18th and 19th centuries before taking in the galleries filled with landscapes, cityscapes and portraits created using a variety of mediums. Kids will adore Sharjah Science Museum, which has more than 50 interactive displays suitable for all ages. Let them have fun thanks to hands-on experiments and illusions, exploring colour, aerodynamics, cryogenics and physiology. Older children can take part in electricity demonstrations while toddlers can explore their own wellequipped play area – and there is plenty more to discover besides.


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For families Sharjah Discovery Centre is causing quite the buzz among local residents. In fact, it’s one of the best-kept secrets among families with young children – until now that is! The centre is just perfect for a full day's outing for the whole family, with seven themed areas packed full of hands on activities. Step into the colourful arena to explore the dynamics of water, learn about the mechanisms of building, or become an instant television star – by the time you’ve worked your way around they’ll be sad to leave. Keep the family smiling with a trip to the 6,500-square-metre Sharjah Aquarium. Spread over two floors, it has 20 large water aquariums that provide a window into the colourful, rich and diverse marine life native to the local sea. Marvel at more than 250 species, from clown fish and seahorses to moray eels, rays and reef sharks. Give the children a glimpse into school life from the past and enhance their education at Al Eslah School Museum. Established in 1935 as the first formal educational institute in Sharjah, this school welcomed pupils from all over the Gulf. Today, your little ones can experience Islamic school life as it was some 70 years ago, sitting at the wooden desks in the shaded classrooms.

Sharjah Science Museum

Blue Souk

For shopping fans It may come as no surprise that shopping is an around-the-clock activity in Sharjah. You can shop for everything from Oriental carpets to jewellery, designer fashions and the latest electronic gadgets, plus so much more. Start by checking out some of the modern malls. City Centre Sharjah is a favourite, as one of the largest shopping destinations in the emirate. Located along Al Wahda Street, it features more than 120 stores from major international brands such as New Look, Sun & Sand Sports and Aeropostale. There’s also a Magic Planet as well as 16 fast food outlets ideal for a mid-spree pit stop. Sahara Centre is another popular choice with anchor stores including Debenhams, Babyshop and Home Centre ensuring there is something for everyone. For a more traditional experience, head to Central Souk at dusk when the weather is cooler. An impressive landmark in its

own right where you can browse the gold, jewellery, perfumes and souvenirs while putting your bartering skills to the test. Those seeking something for the home will find furniture warehouses full of artefacts and antiques scattered around the emirate. Look out for fantastic promotions throughout the year.

Summer of fun Fantastic summer holiday deals are being offered in Sharjah until 8 September 2017. Packages include taking in some of the emirate’s key attractions and world-class events, from theatre shows to shopping expeditions, with something for all ages. Expect to enjoy big discounts on tickets and hotel reservations. To find out more, visit sharjahmydestination.ae Sharjah Aquarium

World Traveller 29


A tropical trifecta Famed for its sapphire waters, powder white beaches and spectacular sunsets, Mauritius has it all and Beachcomber’s trio of luxury abodes are the perfect holiday havens

For the ultimate luxury This five-star resort is the ideal setting for your luxury holiday in Mauritius and the perfect sanctuary to renew your body and soul Truly striking, the five-star Dinarobin Beachcomber, commands a sublime position on a peninsula between the ocean and the towering purple-headed mountain that is Le Morne Brabant. Edged by 7 km of white sandy beaches surrounded by thousands of palm trees and lush tropical gardens. The resort offers an intimate village setting featuring luxurious all-suite accommodation that blends harmoniously into the setting. A vast thatched pavilion greets holidaymakers at this sophisticated haven where accommodation comes in the form of elegant suites or villas. Superbly comfortable and well-equipped, suites are spacious with a hint of a colonial vibe and lots of islandinspired furnishings, bay windows, spacious terraces and huge balconies. Travelling without children? Make a beeline for the adults-only area of the resort. When it comes to eating, there’s a choice of four superb restaurants, don’t miss L’Harmonie where 30 World Traveller

there’s a buffet to remember overflowing with imaginative Mauritian and Creole dishes, many of which can be cooked to order. Guests also have access to the adjacent Paradis Beachcomber where another four eateries await. Add to this, one of the island’s finest spas and a whole host of land and water sports and it’s obvious why Dinarobin Beachcomber is the ultimate luxury Mauritian retreat. Find out more at beachcomber-hotels.com/hotel/ dinarobin-hotel-golf-spa

For a family-centric escape For a luxury family holiday that’s certain to put a smile on everyone’s face, it has to be Paradis Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa. Set against the backdrop of the iconic Le Morne Mountain, this resort is fringed by a stunning lagoon on one side and a spectacular golf course on the other with the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Morne Brabant Mountain in the backdrop. Set over 3 km of white sandy beaches, take your pick from private villas on the waterfront, or rooms and suites overlooking the ocean.


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When it comes to eating, kids will love Italian bites at La Palma or dining on the beach at Blue Marlin. Book a babysitter one evening and enjoy a romantic meal for two at La Ravanne for authentic Mauritian cuisine in a gorgeous al fresco setting. Little ones will love the Kids Club designed specifically for them with their very own swimming pool, exciting activities and a whole host of games and entertainment. With football, tennis and volleyball facilities as well as stand-up paddle boarding, sailing and snorkelling, boredom certainly won’t be a factor you need to deal with. For something truly special, take the family on a helicopter tour for absolutely breathtaking scenery of this island from above. Meanwhile golfers can head to the Paradis golf course to enjoy an unrivalled combination of stunning scenery and challenging play. Find out more at beachcomber-hotels.com/hotel/ paradis-hotel-golf-club

For Romance discovery If it’s a romantic escape that you’re after, then your port of call should most definitely be Beachcomber’s Trou Aux Biches. Situated on the northwest coast of the island, this resort commands a gorgeous strip of white sandy beach, turquoise lagoon and 35 hectares of tropical gardens. Sheltered from the trade winds, the resort’s west-facing position also guarantees gorgeous sunsets all year-round. Accommodation comes in the form of lavish chalet-style suites built in crescents, and for ultimate privacy, standalone villas are tucked away among the lush gardens. All villas have private pools while suites open onto larger shared pools at the heart of each crescent. When it comes to eating, you’ll be spoiled for choice with no less than six dining outlets meaning you can have a romantic dinner for two in a different location almost every night of your stay. If you have the kids with you, they’ll be happy playing in the Kids Club under the careful watch of qualified staff while the Teens Club will keep older kids busy leaving you free to take time out at the luxurious spa, where a side-by-side treatment for two is the perfect indulgence. For the more adventurous, water-skiing, windsurfing and Hobie Cat watersports available or take the whole family on a glass-bottom boat cruise, marvelling at the colourful marine life below. For a family escape where mum and dad can reconnect, or a romantic staycation for two, Trou Aux Biches Beachcomber is key. Find out more at beachcomber-hotels.com/hotel/trouaux-biches-resort-spa World Traveller 31


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Sri Lanka’s southern charm Make memories you’ll treasure forever at the paradisiacal Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort

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rom the moment you arrive at this sprawling resort on the south coast of Sri Lanka, you’ll get the sense that you’re somewhere special. From the authentic welcome ceremony where the sound of beating drums and a chorus of traditional Sri Lankan song pierces the otherwise silent air, to the freshly plucked king coconuts handed to you as you’re welcomed inside, Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort is truly mesmerising. Perched on a cliff top, it’s a postcard-perfect paradise where swaying coconut palms totter over beautifully landscaped gardens and an ocean of vivid blue sprays white waves against a rugged rock face. Set on a secluded stretch of beach on the southernmost coast of Sri Lanka, this 152-room resort in Tangalle is wild beauty unrivalled. And when such beauty surrounds you, it makes sense to keep up the standard by booking into one of the pool villas. Go for one by the river to enjoy a private infinity pool overlooking landscaped gardens with a rushing stream running just a few metres from your door. It’s the perfect place to spot some of the wondrous wildlife that also call the resort home: there’s nothing quite like waking in the morning to be greeted by a friendly family of monkeys frolicking on your front lawn. Indoors, the villas have butler pantries, humidors and humongous bathrooms and anything else that you could possibly desire is taken care of by your dedicated villa butler who is always no more than a phone call away. When it comes to dining, the iconic Verele is a must. Huge basketshaped pods house diners in this Teppanyaki restaurant where succulent meat and sizzling seafood comes as standard. Italian delights come courtesy of Il Mare while Journeys offers an extensive breakfast buffet, with a plethora of healthy options. Indulge with a visit to the spa where ancient therapy-based treatments are the perfect antidote for Sri Lanka’s heat-searing days. Afterwards, get a sense of your surroundings at the high tea ceremony feasting on single estate brews from the highlands served with generous accompaniments of scones, cakes and artisanal jams, with that glorious view as a backdrop. For those seeking a taste of adventure, the surf in this region is some of the best in the country – take a lesson with SurfTropic and you’ll soon be coasting the whitewash. For something slightly more Zen, a sunrise yoga session in the lush gardens accompanied by the sound of rolling waves is an obvious choice and just another memory waiting to be made in this summertime paradise. Book for 7 nights and you’ll enjoy complimentary half board for the whole family. Find our more at tangalle.anantara.com

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World Traveller 33


dnata offers

Singapore

THe WesTin TuRTle Bay ResoRT & sPa

Includes: Stay in a Deluxe Kallang Room with breakfast daily and return airport transfers Offer: 30% discount on room rate and 1 child under 6 years old stays free Validity: Until 30 Sep 2017

Includes: Stay in a Deluxe Room with breakfast and dinner daily and return airport transfers Offer: 60% discount on room rate and 1 child under 12 years stays free Validity: Until 31 Aug 2017

6 nights from USD480 per person

Azerbaijan

Mauritius

THe RiTz-caRlTon Millenia

4 nights from USD 615 per person

JW MaRRioTT aBsHeRon BaKu

3 nights from USD326 per person

Includes: Stay in a Double Room with breakfast daily Offer: 1 child under 12 years stays free Validity: Until 28 Aug 2017

Maldives

THe Residence Maldives

4 nights from USD1,031 per person

Reader Offers WORLD TRAVELLER

Includes: Stay in a Beach villa with breakfast Offer: 50% savings on stay, complimentary return domestic flights and speedboat transfers. Book by 31 Aug 2017 Validity: Until 21 Dec 2017

Get yourself a great deal with our exclusive dnata travel offers

Switzerland

Italy

Boscolo Milano

Tiffany HoTel, Geneva

3 nights from USD310 per person

Includes: Stay in Deluxe room Offer: Stay two nights and receive an additional night free and 10%discount on Food and beverage (excluding breakfast) Validity: Until 28 Aug 2017

3 nights from USD424 per person

Includes: Stay in a Classic Room with breakfast daily Offer: 20% discount on room rate Validity: Until 31 Aug 2017

Australia

QT Gold coasT

6 nights from USD505 per person

Includes: Stay in a QT Mountain Room on room only basis and 6 days car hire including unlimited mileage Offer: Stay 4 nights and receive two additional nights free Validity: Until 15 Sep 2017

How to book

34 World Traveller

By calling dnata on +971 4 316 6666

Turkey

ciRaGan Palace KeMPinsKi isTanBul

3 nights from USD611 per person

Includes: Stay in a Park View Room with breakfast daily Offer: Complimentary upgrade to next available room category and 1 child under 11 years stays free Validity: Until 30 Oct 2017

By visiting a dnata outlet or logging on to dnatatravel.com

On the website you can also sign up to the dnata newsletter and receive more offers direct to your inbox. T&Cs apply.


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Travel in style with Virtuoso For unforgettable experiences and exclusive access to the world’s most exciting destinations, dnata and Virtuoso have you covered

Clockwise from top left: Traditional Moroccan mint tea; Mosque in the medina in Fes; Moroccan kasbah in the Atlas Mountains; Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca

Moroccan Wonders

Bursting with colour, Morocco’s vibrant cities and glorious landscapes are sure to inspire you. This is a land of wandering Berber tribes, bustling souks, intricately designed mosques and ancient medinas. Discover it in style with dnata and Virtuoso by starting in Casablanca and driving towards charming Rabat. Explore the ruins of Volubilis and Meknes – the imperial city known as the Moroccan Versailles – and travel to Fes, the oldest of Morocco's great imperial seats of power. Don’t miss the mix of labyrinthine-like alleyways, secluded palaces, museums and markets in the pink city of Marrakech.

Highlights

• Marvel at the magnificent Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, the largest in Morocco, designed by French architect Michel Pinseau and home to the world’s tallest minaret. • Meander through Morocco's postindependence capital, Rabat's charming inner Kasbah. • Discover Fes, described as a venerable place of learning, with its Karaouine Mosque renowned to this day as the world's oldest still-operational university, dating all the way back to 859 AD. • Stay in an elegant riad and sip mint tea with the locals as you watch the world go by in

Marrakech’s famous Djemaa El-Fna square. • Discover the diversity of Moroccan cuisine in a cooking class, be entertained at a traditional dinner and show or extend your trip with a stay at the award-winning Kasbah Tamadot, owned by Sir Richard Branson after he spotted it during a ballooning expedition over the spectacular Atlas Mountains. Inspired to travel Virtuoso style? To book this trip or see what other exclusive journeys await, call +971 4 316 6666 or log onto dnatatravel.com.

World Traveller 35


dnata offers

WORLD TRAVELLER

The fantastic four Four exciting escapes on our radar

Clockwise from top: Banyan Tree Ungasan Bali; Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur; Hotel Atlantic Kempinski Hamburg; Prince de Galles Hotel Paris, The Luxury Collection

To book, visit a dnata outlet, call +971 4 316 6666 or visit dnatatravel.com

Indonesia

Germany

Banyan Tree Ungasan Bali

HoTel aTlanTic KempinsKi HamBUrg

4 nights from USD1,220 per person Includes: Stay in a Pool Villa Garden View Room with breakfast daily and return airport transfers Offer: 30% discount on room rate, 1 complimentary dinner for 2 people per stay, 20% discount on Spa; 1 child under 12 years stay free Validity: Until 30 Sep 2017 Luxury on the tip of beautiful Bali's southern peninsula.

3 nights from USD357 per person Includes: Stay in a Deluxe Room with breakfast daily and return airport transfers Offer: 15% discount on room rate and 10% discount at Outlet city Metzingen Validity: Until 3 Sept 2017 Overlooking the city's huge citycentre lake, the Atlantic Kempinski offers an old-fashioned palatial ambiance and service to match.

36 World Traveller

France

prince de galles HoTel paris, THe lUxUry collecTion 3 nights from USD965 per person Includes: Stay in an Art Deco Room with breakfast daily Offer: 10% discount on room rate Validity: Until 24 Aug 2017 On Avenue George V, a stay in this gorgeous abode means that you’ll be just a five minute walk from the Champs ElysÊes, the Arc de Triomphe and the iconic Eiffel Tower.

Malaysia

sHangri-la KUala lUmpUr 3 nights from USD340 per person Includes: Stay in a Horizon Executive Room with breakfast daily and return airport transfers Offer: 15% discount on room rate and 1 child under 12 years stays free Validity: Until 30 Sep 2017 Grand and gracious this towering hotel located between the Petronas Towers and the KL Tower has truly fantastic views and is a hub of Asian opulence.


MAKE THE MOST OF MESMERISING MAURITIUS AS YOU UNCOVER ISLAND DELIGHTS AND DISCOVERIES IMMERSED IN ITS NATURAL BEAUTY. AN INSPIRED SUMMER OF TROPICAL SPLENDOUR AWAITS AT THE RESIDENCE MAURITIUS! PRICES STARTING FROM US$ 640.00 PER PERSON FOR 4NIGHTS/5DAYS ON HALF BOARD BASIS

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


The locals’ guide to…

Madrid

A summer stalwart, the Spanish capital is a beguiling city where energy abounds and culture awaits at every turn. We get a local perspective

The pedestrianised Plaza del Angel

For a cultural delight Diana Alvara, museoprado.es Guest services manager Diana highlights the crop of Madrid’s cultural delights When it comes to culture, what can visitors expect? Madrid is a museum city! Don`t miss the most famous ones on the Paseo del Arte like the Prado where you can see the work of Spanish painters including Goya and Velazquez, the CaixaForum Madrid museum and the Art Centre Reina Sofia where they have the famous Guernica of Picasso. Many of Madrid’s museums also offer free entry on certain days – so check websites for details before you visit. What’s your favourite museum in the city? Rather surprisingly, it’s probably Temple of Debod just north of the Royal Palace. 38 World Traveller

Dating back to 200 BC, it was donated to Spain in 1968 by the Egyptians as a thank you for the country’s help in saving ancient temples threatened by the construction of the Aswan Dam and I love wandering its grounds. There’s a lovely park around the monument and a viewing platform with fantastic views out over Casa de Campo park. Best cultural spot for children? Created by the Spanish National Organisation of the Blind, Museo Tiflológico is great for kids because, unlike in most museums, all the exhibits here are touchable. With scale models of famous landmarks, art by blind artists and a bit about the history of braille, it’s also free to enter. Afterwards, take the little ones to Buen Retiro park, Madrid`s green lung just a short walk from Gran Via. Enjoy a stroll through the park or take a boat ride on the glistening lake.

What’s the most exciting cultural aspect of the city? There’s so many to choose from but one of my favourite things is to go to Teatro Alfil to watch a show. The performances are all gestural-based so you don’t even need to understand Spanish to appreciate them. It’s universal humour and makes for a great evening out.

Paso del Arte and the vertical gardens


CheCk In The locals’ guide

Where to see and be seen

You can order tapas in almost every restaurant

Maria Martin, streetstyle.madrid.com Blogger Maria shares her tips on the of-the-moment places around town What's the most popular neighbourhood in Madrid? If you want something lively, book a hotel in the city centre. Sol and the surrounding areas are usually a little too busy with tourists so try Malasaña for a Bohemian vibe with loads of places to eat, drink and shop. Lavapiés is the most multicultural spot, while Chueca is probably the most of-the-moment spot. Where should we go for great views? Azotea del Círculo de Bellas Artes has, in my opinion, some of the best views in all of Madrid. On a clear day you can see all the way to the Sierra, sit at a table and enjoy a cool drink or sprawl out on a sun lounger. And when it comes to relaxing? When you’ve had your fill of sightseeing, head to Hammam Al Andalus. Step inside these atmospheric baths and you’ll feel miles from the bustling city, go for a hammam or try an indulgent massage. What’s the nightlife like? Cava Baja is probably the best street for a tapas bar crawl. It’s in Barrio La Latina, and is always packed at the weekend. I definitely recommend stopping at Lamiak, where you can get delicious pintxos (Basque-style tapas). Afterwards, Costello Club is a great place for drinks and even the occasional concert. Cava Baja

For gastronomic brilliance Fernado Larroud, vivaster.com/spain Tour guide Fernando spills the secrets on Madrid’s world-famous culinary spectrum Tell us a bit about Madrid’s dining scene? The city is a capital of gastronomy and you’ll find traditional and avantgarde places to eat. Tapas are the most popular dishes, and you can order these just about anywhere. Surprisingly – given the city’s love for cured meats – there’s also a great choice of vegetarian and vegan spots. Where’s the best place to head for a quick coffee? Honestly, you can find great coffee everywhere. Try one of the bars in the streets between Plaza Mayor and

Puerta del Sol and be sure to order a ‘café solo’ for the authentic Spanish way of drinking coffee – it’s a tiny, strong espresso that’s delicious. Where would you recommend for dinner? My personal favourite is La Gabinoteca. What's the best area for eating out? For evening eats, Malasaña and Chuecas near the Gran Via offer tons of fancy cafes, bars and restaurants and a whole host of live music. It’s the best place for an evening out – start with dinner then party until the sun comes up. Are there any good food markets that are worth a visit? Yes, Mercado de San Miguel is a historic glass-covered market next to Plaza Mayor that’s perfect for getting a real taste of Spanish cuisine. Pick up local cheeses or freshly caught seafood at the fishmongers’ stalls, you can pop in for a snack or spend an entire evening moseying from counter to counter. World Traveller 39


Eid travel

a family guide to

Mauritius The great outdoors beckons families in paradisiacal Mauritius, with a whole host of activities for all ages to enjoy Ile aux Cerfs

Vibrant marine life

Seven Coloured earth No trip to Mauritius is complete without a visit to arguably Mother Nature’s finest accomplishment on the island – Seven Coloured Earth. It’s so named because of the seven colours – violet and red through to yellow and green – visible in dunes formed from molten lava.

ONly IN MaurItuS MuseuMs worth a visit Head to the island’s Blue Penny Museum, home to two of the world’s most expensive stamps (The Blue Penny and Red Penny, which were originally issued in Mauritius and bought back for $2 million) and to the Natural History Museum, where you’ll see bones once belonging to the dodo, the famous flightless bird that was endemic to Mauritius. 40 World Traveller

1. Dive into the blue. Explore multi-hued, myriad marine life via a glass-bottom boat trip, snorkelling, diving or even by taking an undersea walk. The lure of the translucent, warm waters will be too much to ignore as a starting point, but you needn’t be a scuba diver to see beneath them. At Grand Baie, Solar Sea Walk takes helmet-clad explorers, young and old, four metres under for a guided tour along the seabed. 2. Get physical on Ile aux Cerfs. You can spend a full day lounging on one of Mauritius’ most beautiful white-sand islands while your kids can climb between swaying palms on a purpose-built adventure course. 3. Fly through the sky at Chazal. Kids (aged 4 and up) and adults can both enjoy the ziplines at Chazal, which straddle Rivière des Galets. Afterwards, you can take a family trek through Chazal’a tropical forest to seek out its waterfall, the highest in Mauritius. 4. See lions at Casela. Among the myriad attractions at Casela World of Adventures is the Big Cats Kingdom, where you can encounter lions on a safari drive or, if aged at least 15, on foot as you walk alongside them, guided by an expert. 5. Feed a giant tortoise. Younger kids will love La Vanille Nature Park, where they can interact with farm animals, take pony rides, see baby crocs and feed a giant tortoise or two. La Vanille Nature Park


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Where to stay

LUX* RESORTS & HOTELS Contact: +230 698 9800 / 698 2727, luxresorts.com

LUX* BeLLe Mare. This boutique resort, tucked away in tropical gardens, has something for all ages. Water babies can check out the swimming pool – the largest on the island –  while teens can impress their social media followers at the Instagram-worthy ice-cream parlour. Gather around the table for dinner at Amari by Vineet, which raises the bar for modern Indian cuisine. Alternatively, try Chinese street-food flavours prepared with fine-dining flair. Parents in need of some down time can indulge in a LUX* Me spa treatment, while sporty family members can bond on the golf courses.

LUX* Le Morne. This five-star hotel, situated at the foot of rugged Le Morne, is ideal for wildlife fans thanks to its dramatic setting on the UNESCOprotected southwest side of the island, facing the lagoon. Adventurous types can set about climbing Le Morne, or embark on a barefoot walk or bicycle ride at Black River Gorges National Park. Watersports fans should head to the nearby One Eye, which is the ultimate destination for kitesurfing. If the kids have worn down your energy reserves, check out the spa or simply lay back and soak up the glorious sunshine and salty air.

LUX*Grand GaUBe. If you like to plan ahead, this Kelly Hoppen designed resort, opening in December, is sure to impress. Explore the surrounding coves and calming lagoons, as well as the two tranquil beaches and three spectacular swimming pools that grace the resort. All the guestrooms feature outside space and there is a variety of delicious fare on offer, including live cooking stations at Palm Court, Peruvian and Argentinian at INTI, authentic Creole at Banyan and Turkish food at Bodrum Blue. Factor in some chill time at the spa, or take part in one of the inspirational expert-led workshops. World Traveller 41


Eid travel

a family guide to

Bodrum Known as the St. Tropez of Turkey, Bodrum offers azure bays, archeological heritage and all the makings for a memorable family holiday Expect gorgeous ocean views

Whitewashed homes

CatCh of the day Bodrum’s fish market (known as manavlar after the fruit stands at the entrance of this network of back alleys) offers a unique dining experience. Choose from the many fish and seafood piled on ice at fishmongers’ tables then bring your purchase to any of the adjoining restaurants to have it cooked and enjoy.

ONLY IN BODRUM The MausoleuM The greatest achievement of Carian King Mausolus (376–353 BC), who moved his capital from Mylasa (today’s Milas) to Halicarnassus, The Mausoleum is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Relax in the site’s gardens before checking out the excavations to the west and a sprawling covered arcade to the east. 42 World Traveller

1. Admire the state-of-the-art yachts at Palmarina. You’ll also see plenty of gulets (traditional masted wooden sailing vessels) as you stroll along the marina walkway and explore the designer shops before relaxing in one of the cafés at sunset or heading to a seafood restaurant where you can buy your fish by weight to be grilled, fried or steamed. 2. Discover how Bodrum acquired its name. Once you’ve taken in the views from the battlements of the city’s medieval Castle of St. Peter and spotted peacocks in its gardens, head to the Museum of Underwater Archeology, which is located within the castle. There, you’ll discover the city’s rich history. Items are creatively displayed and include a near-complete ancient shipwreck 3. Ride a camel along the beach. With its shallow waters, water sports, cafés serving ice-creams and the option to take a short camel ride, Camel Beach offers a perfectly relaxing family day out. 4. Cruise Bodrum Peninsula. Soak up the scenery of the region’s shoreline framed by forests and hills while out on deck before stopping for a spot of swimming, snorkelling and a visit to Kara Ada, famous for its mineral springs. 5. Hurl yourself down a waterslide. The biggest water park in Turkey, Aqua Park Dedeman Bodrum offers an entire host of watery fun for the whole family. Bodrum's ancient theatre


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where to stay

Mandarin Oriental Cennet Koyu Çomça Mevkii Göltürkbükü, Bodrum, 48400, Mugla, Turkey, Contact: +90 252 311 18 88, mandarinoriental.com/bodrum

Parents in need a relaxing break, listen up! This luxurious Turkish Riviera resort, has teamed up with Worldwide Kids to ensure the children are entertained while you catch up on some much-needed ‘me’ time. Enjoy luxurious accommodation and special dining experiences when booking the Villa or the EID Family Celebrations packages this Eid season (valid for stays from 22 June-2 July). Once you’ve arrived, here’s what to expect... Sleep: The resort’s 129 guestrooms, apartments, suites and villas provide all come with stunning sun decks, terraces or balconies, and many have private

gardens and infinity-edged pools. For little families, one of the best options is the cosy Sea View Suite with its own Private Pool and plenty of cosy touches. Dine: With eight food and beverage venues there’s sure to be something to tempt even the fussiest eaters. Try nibbles at the Blue Beach Club & Bar, dine under the stars at Assaggio or sample traditional cuisine with a modern twist at Bodrum Balikçisi. UnwinD: Make a beeline for the spa to indulge in an award-winning holistic treatment that utilises organic ingredients from the resort’s own gardens.

Ask the butler Head butler Graham Hudson shares his favourite eateries around town Maca Kızı Turkbuku. A regular haunt for Turkish high-society during the summer season. macakizi.com Sait palmarina. Offering the freshest seafood accompanied by amazing sunset views. sait.com.tr Marina Bistro neyzar ın Yeri. The best kebab in Bodrum thanks to its charming owner Ms. Neyzar. facebook.com/pages/Bodrum-Marina-Bistro World Traveller 43


Eid travel

A family guide to

Fujairah A visually striking emirate perfect for those seeking relaxation as well as outdoor adventure Snoopy Island

Fujairah Fort

ThaT Friday Feeling You’ll find Fujairah’s busy Friday Market (formally known as Souq Al Juma) just outside the village of Masafi. Despite its name, the souk, a popular tourist destination, opens every day, and is a great place to pick up an authentic souvenir.

ONLY IN FUJAIRAH Locking Horns Every Friday, around 4pm, locals and tourists alike gather near the corniche to watch the UAE’s version of a bullfight. Not the gruesome spectacle of matador versus bull you’ll see in Spain, more bull butting bull (as is their natural inclination) in the hope of nudging the other outside of a circle that’s drawn in the sand. 44 World Traveller

1.Snorkel at Snoopy Island. Fujairah’s most famous rock – which bears a striking resemblance to Snoopy sleeping atop his kennel – is a great place to strap on a snorkel and swim with the fishes. 2.Soak up some history. Considered the oldest fort in the United Arab Emirates, the restored Fujairah Fort has been home to the ruling family and used as a defensive building. It’s now part of the Heritage Village Museum site, which houses exhibits and restored examples of traditional housing. 3. Take the plunge at Ain al-Madhab Hot Springs. These warm, natural springs have long beckoned bathers, keen to soak-in the goodness from the mineral-rich waters. 4. Go off road. Fujairah is blessed with an abundance of wadis – including Wadi Ham, the largest and longest in the UAE – making it ripe for an afternoon of adrenaline-fuelled family fun strapped safely inside a 4x4 as it navigates the rugged terrain. 5. Hit the high seas. Being on the beautiful east coast of the UAE means Fujairah is a veritable playground for waterbabes. All manner of water-based activities are available here – wakeboarding through to waterskiing, fishing through to scuba diving – while kids will never tire of banana-boating. 6. Head to the hills. The Hajar Mountains, the highest range in the eastern Arabian Peninsula, are great for hiking and climbing, but be sure to stick to marked routes. Go off road


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Where to stay

Le Méridien AL AqAh BeAch resort Dibba Road, Fujairah, UAE. Contact: +971 9 244 9000, lemeridien-alaqah.com

Set against a breathtaking Hajar Mountain range backdrop, this Indian Ocean-fronted hotel is one of Fujairah’s most desirable addresses. Ideal for an Eid escape with the brood, Al Aqah is the place for parents to mellow out and kids to ignite their imagination; this east coast-enclave is perfect for family-time. SLEEP: Choose from a range of attractively designed, large rooms, which all have stunning, unbroken views of the ocean. Book a Royal Club Room and you’ll also get access to an exceptional lounge for

complimentary drinks, snacks and an indulgent afternoon tea. Such is the sophistication of the penthouse level Presidential Suite, it has a World Travel Award to its name – savour stunning views from a suite that sleeps 12 and boasts a majlis, two lounge areas, a dining room and a private Jacuzzi spa. DinE: A spectrum of international cuisine will please the epicurean. A total of nine outlets are on hand to tempt, with offerings such as aromatic Indian dishes (at Swaad), sophisticated Italian (Sapore)

and stylish Thai (Taste). Each has childfriendly options for a younger palate. UnWinD: Spa Al Aqah is the place to head for a wellness refresh, where signature treatments are delivered with products from world-class beauty brand Clarins. For kids, ‘unwind’ means burning excess energy, and there are ample activities to catch their attention at the hotel’s Penguin Club, with its large playground, mini golf, gaming arcade, cinema room and dedicated pool – enough to make the grown-ups jealous. World Traveller 45


Looking down on the terracotta rooftops of Monemvasia

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destinations Greece

Greek legend Ancient wonders, white sandy beaches – and no crowds? It’s not a myth. Get ready to uncover Greece at its most storybook-like in unspoilt southern Peloponnese Words: Adam Edwards

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“D

ogs! In the middle of the motorway!” My friend Dee points to the curve in the road where three butterscotch-coloured bodies lie slumped on the tarmac. “Are they dead?” I ask. “No,” she replies, tooting the horn and steering around them. “Just sleeping.” We may have landed only a few hours ago, but so far, the Peloponnese is everything I’d hoped for. In one morning, Dee and I have wandered the ruins of ancient Sparta with little more than ghosts for company; we’ve got lost down ever-narrowing avenues of cypresses; and we’ve accidentally driven right through an olive grove that was clearly never meant to appear on the satnav’s ‘fastest route’. Ahead of us is the abandoned Byzantine city of Mystras, creeping like honeysuckle up vertiginous cliffs, all crumbling churches and tumbledown palaces. And it’s all but deserted. It was here that the successors of Rome’s purple-robed emperors clung to power after both the Eternal City and New Rome (Constantinople) had fallen to the Barbarians. Yet, despite being one of Europe’s most important historic sites, the place is near-empty. There are just a few nuns, a couple of ginger tomcats and a dozen or so Greek tourists, chests swelled with pride beneath Mystras’ incense-dimmed frescoes. This is Greece – but not as you know it. If you’ve ever ‘done’ the Acropolis or watched the sun set behind Santorini’s blue domes, you’ll know that tourist experiences are usually about as exclusive and serene as a World Cup Final. But Dee – a one-time Greece resident – and I were after something different from this Greek holiday. We wanted the ancient ruins and white, sandy beaches we’d experienced elsewhere in Greece – but with the crowd free tranquillity that had thus far eluded us. In short, we wanted somewhere so off the radar that stray dogs can sleep in the middle of the road without fear of being run over. And we weren’t going to find that on the islands. Could the southern Peloponnese be the answer? I’d been tempted by this peninsula ever since Joanna Lumley visited for her Greek Odyssey TV series a few years back. It was a Greece that neither I nor Dee recognised: a land of hidden coves and crumbling towns, where just a handful of devout grannies kept the church lights burning – and the town names from being wiped off the map. So here we are – less than half a day in – and we’ve ticked off two ancient ruins on the drive from the airport to our hotel. As we share a bottle

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Cycling in Monemvasia, the picturesque castle town

of the local grape on our terrace, we tick off a third – watching the sun set over the medieval fortress of Monemvasia, across the bay. We’re staying just outside Monemvasia town at Kinsterna Hotel, a grand manor house shrouded in eucalyptus that – we later discover – was planted to screen the villa from pirates in centuries past. This threat of piracy is also the reason for the hotel’s cooling, fortress-thick walls and near-self-sufficiency: Kinsterna’s terraces bloom with grapes, olives and melons planted in the days when even a simple trip to the market might have been your last. We learn more about this region’s untold history over dinner, eaten beside the lily-filled cistern around which this ancient villa was built. “There used to be 45,000 people living within Monemvasia’s walls,” our waiter, Yanis, tells us, as we tuck into courgette and yoghurt goggles (pasta). “Just nine people live there now.” War, siege and vendettas have been the bane of the southern Peloponnese. So much so, few dared live beyond Monemvasia’s protective walls until after World War II – by which time most of the region had already left for Athens, America and Australia. Dee and I spend the next few days exploring Monemvasia’s knot of narrow streets. We dine at paper-tableclothed tavernas, eating spinach pies under a canopy of geraniums. We laze until lunchtime around the infinity pool, then spend the evening in a buzzy, Old Town lounge.

Fresh seafood in Mani


destinations Greece

Kinsterna House is shrouded in eucalyptus

“Take your time”, the waitress instructs us. “I’m going to take mine.” We take steams in the hotel’s spa, and scenic drives through sleepy hilltop villages, rounding corners to find half the citizenry sitting drinking coffee in the middle of the street, as if every day’s a jubilee celebration. After almost a week here, we’re ready to experience something even further off the radar. And we think we may have found it — on Mani, the middle ‘finger’ of the three Peloponnese peninsulas: a place of ghost towns, blood feuds and crumbling, castle-like tower houses, on the next slither of land. If you thought Monemvasia sounded far removed from the resort-clogged islands, wait until you get to Mani. The government slapped a preservation order across southern Mani in 1958. The result? No high-rises, no concrete, not even swimming pools. (They are considered too eco-unfriendly, but who needs them when flawless beaches are so plentiful?) We’re staying at Citta dei Nicliani, a small, family-run hotel set in an 11th-century tower The Kinsterna Hotel estate dates from Byzantine, Ottoman and Venetian times

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Stone walls feature in all rooms at Citta dei Nicliani

Porto Kaigo

Narrow streets in Monemvasia Town

house (from where burning oil was no doubt once thrown, catapults once fired and guns once shot at neighbouring families). All around, stone towers lie abandoned. The village, Kita, was a thriving hub of more than 2,500 (feuding) people a century ago. Today, fewer than two dozen remain. Panos, who runs the hotel with his sister and their parents, reckons fewer than 200 people are left in the whole southern half of the Mani peninsula. “There are three in that village,” he says, pointing to a city-sized blob on the map. “That one has nine.” It seems Mani isn’t merely devoid of tourists. We watch an owl come in to roost in the adjacent tower house’s window, listening to jackals howl and wild cows clip-clopping through the dirt street. “No-one eats them,” Panos explains of the feral herd. “Keeping cattle proved too costly, so the locals set them free.” The sun barely has a chance to unsnag itself from the aloes the following morning, 50 World Traveller

before Dee and I are on the road once more. We’re keen to explore all the tiny coves we’d spotted on the two-hour drive over here. We skirt nearby Gerolimenas’s teal shallows, but don’t stop. “It’s very popular,” Panos had warned (we count just three local families there). Instead, we make for ancient Kyparissos a few bays round, where we wade up to our shins until Dee spies the glinting altar of a long-submerged temple to Poseidon, its delicate marble filigrees washed with fine white sand. Soon after, we’re lunching on stuffed tomatoes, roast potatoes and a mammothsized block of feta in Porto Kagio, another slither of a beach town nearby, on a horseshoe bay surrounded by mountains. Porto Kagio is the sort of place timewarp travelogues are made of: wooden boats bob just offshore, kids run up and down the rickety town jetty, while a local family sits around a table half-submerged in the sea, waves lapping at their navels, playing cards

and drinking Anise-flavoured beverages. We contemplate joining them after lunch — but there are even better beaches to be discovered. We’re on the lookout for Alypa. “It’s the perfect one from the famous ad,” our waiter had told us. “You know: white sands, no people?’ He had us from the word ‘perfect’ — this was Greece’s answer to the Bounty bar beach: a fantasy so improbably hidden that only the most tenacious TV location scout had managed to track it down. Tourists had yet to sully its sands. And, judging by the difficulty we’re having finding it, they’re unlikely to any time soon. We miss the sign and end up in a neat-and-tidy town, with a much less neat name — and a population of at least two. “Go 8km back in the direction you came,” says one half of the town. “You’ll see a sign,” adds the other. I drive for 20km and see nothing. But Dee does spot an old man who, leaning through the driver’s window, spits directions up my


destinations Greece

Visit the grave of circus clown Yuri Nikulin at Novodevichy Cemetery

A Mediterranean feast

Ancient buildings in Mystras

Adam Edwards / The Sunday Times Travel magazine

An inlet in Alpya

arm. “There’s a sign,” he sprays. There isn’t. But we do spy a track leading down to the sea. “Let’s just see where it takes us,” says Dee. At the end of the asphalt we find a sunbleached cove and marinate in its cool waters, a dozen empty inlets swimmable in every direction. It may not be the beach, and chances are we’d never stumble across this beach again either. But it doesn’t matter. This isn’t Santorini or Crete; we don’t need a guidebook full of tips on where to find the least-crowded sands or best moussaka. There’s no point. There aren’t any tourist traps in the first place. Armed with this revelation, Dee and I spend the rest of our week experiencing the place properly – like laid-back locals. We breakfast for half the morning, playing with the hotel’s marmalade kittens between mouthfuls of chin-dripping preserves, semolina cake and light, feta omelette. We spend afternoons with Panos, buying cherries for his mother’s

“Porto Kagio is the sort of place timewarp travelogues are made of" jam between tours of Mesolithic ruins and ancient temples, letting ourselves into a 12th-century house of worship in Vlacherna, its marble pillars stolen, its dome bereft of bricks. “People still use it,” says Panos, pointing to the icons and gilded incense burners hung proudly above the halfexposed nave. “But let’s get out before it falls down.” Best of all, we even find our own private ghost town, where just one solitary widow, her face creased like vellum, is all that remains of a hamlet of 50. “Aunt Chiona”, as she is affectionately known, is still working

One of Mani's longtime residents

in her garden, aged 88, tending her olives and catching snails for the pot. She invites me and Dee in for tea and Turkish Delight, regaling us with tales of Mani’s ‘glory’ days – before the roads (in the ’70s), the electricity (in the ’80s) and the mains water (in the 2000s). We listen intently, as she remembers wartime hijinks, hiding British airmen in her father’s water tank, and serenades us with songs. This is what the best holidays are all about. We’ve had near-private tours of ancient cities, and we’ve stumbled across pre-Christian relics paddling on the beach. We’ve become experts on the real Greece – without even trying. Chiona’s mobile phone begins to ring. She pauses, elegantly moving her headscarf behind her ear to take the call. Dee and I are happy to hold. This is our hotline to another world. Inspired to travel? To book a trip, call +971 4 316 6666 or log on to dnatatravel.com World Traveller 51


A tea picker at a plantation in Sri Lanka's central highlands

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destinations sri Lanka

The perfect blend

She wants exotic. He wants easy. Can Liz Edwards and her husband find holiday harmony amid Sri Lanka's colonial mansions, ornate temples and tea fields of green?

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ike all the best marital disputes, this one has been brewing a while. And I confess I may have started it. I've wanted to return to the subcontinent for years, hankering after sundowners on colonial verandas; elephants and saribright birds; colourful temples; spicy fresh fish on the beach. But one woman's 'hanker' is another man's 'nag', especially if that man refuses to picture anything other than million-mile journeys and countless mosquitos. So I park India (for now; losing the battle doesn't mean losing the war) and instead set my sights on Sri Lanka, the teardrop of an island dripping daintily off its southeast coast. A manageable size and malaria-free, without the Delhi-belly reputation and back on its feet post-tsunami and civil war, it answers my husband's concerns and my daydreams. An easy two-week loop out of Colombo will give us the subcontinent for softies. If only all our rows could be resolved this happily. Les is still sceptical, so I know our first hotel will have to ease us in gently. Maniumpathy is just the place for it. A colonial mansion in a boutique-and-embassy suburb of the capital, Colombo, it's an eight-bedroom haven of parquet floors, smiling staff and leafy

courtyard pool. But I don't feel we've quite arrived until we leave its gates and step, Doctor Foster-like, right up to our middles into the exhilarating earlyevening squawk of tuk-tuks; the sizzle and tang of roadside cooking; unfamiliar bird calls; buses belching diesel fumes and movie music. I check Les for signs of alarm. No, we're good. Phew. Softly, softly, though: it helps that half an hour later, we can dive back into Maniumpathy's serenity – just in time for dinner. Pradeep, the butler, tells us that at home, Sri Lankans will always have rice and at least three curries. Here, beneath the humming ceiling-fans, we feast on a few more – green bean curry; fresh, tabouleh-ish gotu kola salad; chicken with lemongrass; curried prawns; dhal; potatoes and spinach; a spiced pineapple dish – each with its own distinct flavour. Pradeep encourages us to add the chilli-hot coconut sambol that, we'll discover, locals use as liberally as the British do ketchup. Breakfast brings further excitement, in the shape of milder fish curries and hoppers; bowl-shaped, coconutty riceflour pancakes with an egg cracked into the middle. It looks as if Sri Lanka might take the traditional route to my man's heart. World Traveller 53


sri Lanka destinations

Luckily for someone who's promised their spouse an easy ride, in Sri Lanka it's normal, and cheaper than you might think, to hire a private chauffeur-guide. So we don't have to worry about bus timetables, train routes or even getting further than Maniumpathy's front door – lovely Sudharshan is there to whisk us away to Kandy, 100km east in the hills. I worried that we'd miss all the colour and life of public transport, sealed away in our bubble. But as our air-conditioned minivan overtakes the first ornately decorated bus – packed with elbows, schoolbags and shopping – the rose-tinting fades. I get legroom; Les gets cricket chat. And we can stop where we like: in Kajugama, to buy cashews from a man with longer hair on his ears than his head; in Kadugannawa, for grandstand mountain views and 25 cent corncobs cooked roadside. “This had better not be like the time you insisted on that Cambodian street food that made us sick for days,” Les grumbles. “On our honeymoon.” And no, it's not. Sudharshan sees to that. Up in the island's cool, green centre, Kandy is Sri Lanka's second city and cultural bastion. Its big draw is the lakeside Temple of the Tooth, although the tooth in question is rarely glimpsed. Even the golden casket holding it can only be seen three times a day; as we arrive for the 6.30pm showing, we get all the dusk atmosphere. Crows caw insistently; huge fruit bats cruise high in the sky; devotees juggle lotus-flower offerings as Colonial architecture in downtown Kandy

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they slip off their shoes. Through a brightly painted entrance tunnel, we join the queue to see that casket. But crowd-control monks usher us along so briskly, I get a better look at the tubby donation-collecting monk than the glittering treasure behind him. After another day of Kandy's eye-candy – its fabulous botanical gardens, its colonial cemetery – we're ready to be whisked off again. Most people carry on north for the Cultural Triangle's ancient monuments, but we settle on the softies' route southeast, towards the tea estates. The island is so lush, the greenery seems barely contained. But the Brits had a good try when they planted tea here 150 years ago. The crushed-velvet plantations stretch on and on, neat rows spiked with eucalyptus and mimosa, planted to cast shade on the bushes – not the women, who work long hours plucking 15kg of emerald leaf-tips a day. “Second class? No air-con?” Les isn't seeing the romance in my suggestion of a train ride to Bandarawela, our next stop – not even softie style, with luggage and driver waiting at the other end. “It's only two hours,” I say. “You've spent longer reading on the loo before. And this will be much prettier.” So Sudharshan drops us at Nanu Oya station and I get my public-transport fix after all. In truth, though, I pay little attention to our fellow passengers. Because: wow. We whistle through thick forest and bucolic scenes in the Horton Plains National Park, then


destinations Usa Train crossing Demodara Nine Arches Bridge

“After Haputale station, we zoom in, the track running by tea bushes and dense banana groves"

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Xxxxxxxxxx destinations

Watching a herd of elephants bathing

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destinations sri Lanka

“The herd amble closer, agonisingly slowly, until they're within eyeballing distance. Les and I are at last in agreement about something: it's magical” emerge onto a ridge that delivers knockout views for passengers on both sides of the carriage. We spot little houses and a stupa gleaming bright white in the hazy sunshine; peaks and dips and russet-coloured roads chiselled into wooded slopes far below. It's like one of those swooping aerial shots film companies usually hire helicopters for. After Haputale station, we zoom in, the track running by tea bushes and dense banana groves. Ten trains a day pass through, but people walking trackside still oblige by waving cheerily. And then there at Bandarawela is Sudharshan, waiting to deliver us to the nearby Dutch House. If ever there were the perfect sundowner spot, it's this gabled, colonial-style villa with gleaming lawn, a chequerboard veranda and a butler who calls me m'darm. That evening, we clink glasses over fluffy wadai (lentil fritters) and a shepherd's delight sunset, soundtracked by muezzin calls and the Für Elise jingle of a passing snack van. But now this is all a little too much comfort for my Goldilocks husband. “Isn't it a bit lord-of-the-manor colonialist? We haven't even broken a sweat yet.” So we restore moral comfort the next day with a walk. People visit this part of the island for the stunning steep gradient scenery, the cooler climate and the tea, and we take advantage of all three on our route around hamlets and estates near Ella, and a scramble up to Little Adam's Peak for epic, large-scale panoramas. We cool off among holiday-mood locals and prowling macaques by a 90m-tall waterfall, picnicking on spicy fish buns as boys slide, yelling, into the rock pools, and burst into boisterous drum-led song. The family next to us crack out the soap and have a sudsy bath in the cascade. Not so lord-of-the manor now, even if we are sitting on a, ahem, pristine picnic rug that Sudharshan's thoughtfully provided. Next day, we take the obligatory tea-factory tour (“actually quite interesting”, concedes Les), before dropping back down into the warmer, palmtreed southern lowlands, what Les calls “the wild”. Sudharshan relinquishes the steering wheel as we all board a Jeep for a late-afternoon drive in Uda Walawe National Park. Anywhere else, we'd be gobsmacked by the sight of a hawk eagle in its wild tamarind tree, the flitting green bee eaters, the peacocks, golden jackal, wallowing water buffalo and mugger crocs. But they're reduced to support act; we're here for the elephants. And soon we find a dozen near a stream, foraging by scuffing up the ground like sulky kids. The herd amble closer, agonisingly slowly, until they're within

eyeballing distance. Les and I are at last in agreement about something: it's magical. Ours is the last truck to leave the park that evening. One of Sri Lanka's selling points for me was the variety we'd be able to fit in. Still, it's time to ease the pace and the next few days will be beach-based – via (sorry Les) Mulkirigala's rock temples, the south's answer to the Cultural Triangle's iconic Sigiriya stone fortress. They're lovely, but 564 steps at noon nearly finish us off. As we return on trembly knees to ground level, a pod falls from a tamarind tree and bonks me on the head. “Karma,” says Les. So we laze oceanside, first in a gorgeous private villa near Matara, then at a funky boutique hotel a short hop west in Thalpe, where we can interrupt the indolence with occasional outings – our favourite is an afternoon in Galle Fort, the port city's beautifully preserved old Dutch quarter. There are a few venerable monuments within the ramparts but the real appeal is in its old-time atmosphere and low-rise, banyan-shaded, terracotta-roofed charm. We've timed our stroll badly, though. In his family memoir, Sri Lanka-born Michael Ondaatje writes of 'sweat [that] runs with its own tangible life down a body as if a giant egg has been broken onto our shoulders', and that afternoon we feel the force of his words. The heat drives us a bit mad. The antidote? In this timewarp town, it has to be tea in the former governor's residence (now the swish Amangalla hotel), where we attempt discreet sweat-patch drying as elegant sari-ed ladies bring the sarnies and scones. Finally, we return to Colombo. Les allows himself to be edged out of his comfort zone once more. On a food tour with enthusiastic Colomboite Mark Forbes, we dive into the heaving Pettah trading district for localsonly cafes, to eat mutton roast and fiery Jaffna crab alongside gem traders and barrow boys. We love it, but we're also happy to go along with Sudharshan's gentler suggestion for our last afternoon. As if to remind us what an un-edgy, mellow, optimistic place Sri Lanka is, he takes us kite-flying by the sea. Galle Face Green is the place for it, he says, and the air is alive with a multicoloured flock of tissue-paper triangles. Among a festival crowd, he spreads out a beautiful picnic, and I realise I've done Sri Lanka a disservice – it's less Indialite, more 'new and improved'. Or, rather, a delight in its own right. And – hurrah! – Les agrees with me. For the past fortnight, the going's been easy. Now going will be hard. Inspired to travel? To book a trip call +971 4 316 6666 or visit dnatatravel.com World Traveller 57


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A gorgeous getaway For a summer escape to remember, Vivanta by Taj - Bentota is one of the finest beach resorts in all of Sri Lanka

S

ri Lanka’s coastline – one of the least spoilt in all of Asia – is rich with harbours, forts, villages and stunning shores so prepare to be awed as you make the 62 km journey from Bandaranaike International Airport to pretty Bentota and the beautiful retreat that is Vivanta by Taj - Bentota. Arriving at the resort, you’ll find a haven of the highest luxury nestled within a tropical paradise. The pictureperfect setting for a summer escape, Vivanta by Taj, Bentota provides the quintessential subcontinental base – think swaying palm trees, rugged headlands and gorgeous powdery bays massaged by the glistening Indian Ocean. Escape the extreme summer temperatures of the GCC to enjoy a perfect average of 30°C, sunshine and the occasional tropical downpour blowing in on the summer monsoon. For ultimate comfort, enjoy a Deluxe Delight room. With gorgeous sea views, discover a stately chamber furnished with intricate Sri Lankan wood, a customdesigned day bed and a private veranda offering stunning views of glorious tropical sunsets.

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When it comes to dining, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Feast on fresh seafood specialities under a starry sky at The Shack or try a taste of the Far East at Oriental Pavilion. When night falls head to The Tease Bar for a flurry of mixed drinks and an abundance of music and great entertainment. The experience is just as much about luxury as it is about tranquil indulgence so make a beeline for the Jiva Spa where an extensive menu of Indian aromatherapy massages, scrubs and body wraps is on offer. There's no shortage of activities and excursions to make your stay at this elegant resort unforgettable. The swimming pool is simply made for lounging by and kids will love splashing in their very own pool. Try your hand at volleyball, badminton or table tennis or up the ante with a spot of jet-skiing on the Bentota Lagoon. Further afield, visit the Kosgoda Turtle Conservation project, take a trip to Galle Fort or wind down the Madu River. Your stay is set to be an experience of exquisite luxury, unlike any other. Find out more by visiting vivanta. tajhotels.com/Taj-Bentota/


Holiday in style A L U X U R I OU S H OL I DAY EXPERIENC E TO REMEMBER AT V IVA NTA Vivanta by Taj – Bentota, Sri Lanka, the five-star luxurious beach resort delightfully located along one of the finest beaches on the south west coast, is riding on a fresh new wave. The perfect place to vacation in style, it’s the ideal escape for the entire family. Celebrate with those you love most at this gorgeous retreat where memories are just waiting to be made. Email to bookvivanta.bentota@tajhotels.com or Call +94 34 5 555555 for reservations. National Holiday Resort, Bentota, Galle, Bentota 80500, Sri Lanka


Promotion

A summer stay in a Polynesian paradise Part of Marriott International's Autograph Collection, Lapita hotel is a tropical retreat where the entire family can delight

W

hen it comes to theme park hotels, Lapita – an exceptional Polynesian themed family resort – has certainly set the standard high. The first hotel to open at Dubai Parks and Resorts, and the newest addition to Marriott International’s Autograph Collection, this is a one-of-a-kind abode that the whole family will love. Inspired by the far-flung islands of Polynesia, get ready for a tropical retreat to remember. Easily accessible from both Dubai and Abu Dhabi and just minutes from DWC Al Maktoum Airport, the hotel is surrounded by all the action-packed thrills of MOTIONGATE™ Dubai, LEGOLAND® Dubai, LEGOLAND® Water Park and Bollywood Parks™ Dubai, yet things in-house are somewhat more tranquil. Spend the day basking in lagoon-style swimming pools or floating serenely down the Lapita lazy river. Wander the lush greenery, admiring beautiful landscaped walkways overflowing with colourful Polynesian flowers or marvel at the bamboo canoes suspended from intricately thatched roofs. A true Polynesian sanctuary exists at Ola spa, where you can escape everyday stresses and unwind with soothing treatments – an indulgence for the mind, body and spirit. This haven of serenity and tranquillity features eleven treatment rooms, aromatherapy steam rooms, vitality pools and even an ice fountain. When it comes to dining, all-day eatery Kalea offers international cuisine of the most extensive variety meaning there’s something for everyone, even the fussiest of little mouths. After the summer season, get a taste of the South Pacific by experiencing the weekly Friday Daycation Brunch. For something a bit different, Hikina offers contemporary Cantonese food and don’t miss out on winding down your day with a sundowner at the pretty rooftop bar & lounge, Lani, where you’ll have park views to remember. Make the most of summer with a stay at Lapita where you can now enjoy unlimited access to Dubai Parks and Resorts’ theme parks and water park. Find out more about the resort and this special summer offer at lapitadubaihotel.com or by calling +971 4 810 9999

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3 things We love

1

Complete serenity: Despite being smack bang in the middle of the excitement that is Dubai Parks and Resorts, Lapita is all about tranquillity – think soothing water features, lagoon-style pools and a laid-back ambiance.

2

Kid-friendly: From super cheery staff, the action-packed Luna & Nova Kids and Teens Club and connecting hotel rooms to the fact that there are three theme parks and a water park just metres away, little ones will be in their element.

3

totally tropical: Inspired by exotic South Pacific-style interiors, rooms are totally tropical featuring brightlycoloured prints, flamboyant fabrics and island-inspired wooden furniture.


Weekends There’s much you can do in jusT a few days

Lofty heights Set among lush oases and nourished by natural springs Al Ain – known as the Garden City – is a great idea for a weekend escape. Not only is it the birthplace of Sheikh Zayed, the late president of the UAE, it’s also classified by UNESCO as a cultural heritage site and now lays claim to one of the country’s funkiest hotels. Part of the awardwinning Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium – Aloft Al Ain is the new kid on the block, offering a total contrast to the city’s sleepy reputation. Expect urban-influenced design, tech-forward elements and Al Ain's first rooftop lounge with gorgeous views all the way to Jebel Hafeet, the tallest mountain in the emirate. Find out more at aloftalain.com World Traveller 61


Mahkama du Pacha

A long weekend in…

Casablanca Often overlooked in favour of Marrakech, Morocco’s largest city packs a cosmopolitan punch

For those who want to see and be seen, Ain Diab needs to be on your visit list. The beach is busy all summer long – it’s the only time of year that the ocean is warm enough to swim in – and the adjacent corniche teems with ocean-side restaurants, cafes, bars and luxury hotels. Of course, the real action starts once the sun goes down. A visit to the Central Market is a must for quirky keepsakes and authentic spices. This bustling marketplace on Mohammed V Boulevard was created during the French colonial period to cater to wellheeled European expats. You can find a little bit of everything here – don’t miss the oysters; they’re a regional speciality. Haggle with vendors to take home a bounty of colourful babouche and hand-woven baskets.

Ocean-side cafe in Ain Diab

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See Morocco’s famed Moorish architecture at Mahkama du Pacha. Towering arches and richly decorated walls distinguish this still-functioning courthouse, but you’ll have to try your luck with the guards at the entrance to


weekends Casablanca

get a glimpse inside. If you’re successful, prepare to be wowed by the vivid colours, elaborate finishings and gleaming marble pillars. For a taste of traditional life, head out of town to Azemour Medina. Dating back to the 16th century, this tiny Portuguese-built town has served as the inspiration for many artists – most recently Swiss graffiti artist Jinks Kunst – and its crumbling whitewashed buildings and hand painted walls ooze character. Wander the narrow streets, stroll through the market, admire the wall art and chat with sun weathered vendors. Well worth the drive. You simply can’t come to Casablanca and miss the grandiose Hassan II Mosque. Built overlooking the water, it stands

battered by the waves – magnificent and imposing – and is the site of the world’s tallest minaret, which clocks in at an impressive 210 m. The roaring Atlantic Ocean is visible from the glass floor in the great hall and the décor is a true showcase of the very best Moroccan artisanship. History buffs can garner even more facts by taking one of the guided tours, just be sure to dress modestly. For authentic Moroccan dining, make for family friendly Le Riad. In the heart of central Casablanca, the menu here is simple but wholly delicious, and the prices are more than reasonable. Not overrun by tourists as yet, this place gives you an experience that's akin to eating in a Moroccan home. Go for the omelettes or the tasty traditional tajine, you wont be disappointed. Painted walls in Azemour Medina

Ask A locAl The city has an awesome surf culture, Ain Diab Surf School offers lessons on how to catch a wave. Afterwards, head to Bondi Coffee Kitchen where the surf community like to hang out – don't miss the carrot cake, it's out of this world and they also do some awesome vegetarian options. - Ashraf Hormus, instructor at @aindiabsurfschool

Casablanca has a thriving surf scene

Did you know?

While the city is nothing like it's portrayed in the famed Hollywood movie of the same name, embrace vibes from the 1942 blockbuster at Rick's Cafe – a tribute bar and restaurant. It may be clichéd, but it has oodles of atmosphere and serves up decent food

Hassan II Mosque

Where to stAy FOUR SEASONS HOTEL CASABLANCA Bringing a splash of style to the city, this resort has ocean views, spacious suites and a fantastic spa enticing travellers with 10 treatment rooms, ice fountains, whirlpools and steam rooms. fourseasons.com/casablanca

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A taste of weekendS

A taste of

Istanbul

Straddling the Bosphorus and linking east and west, Istanbul is one of the world’s great cities with a cuisine that's as diverse as its culture. Chef Sedat Bugday tells us more... Introduce us to food in Istanbul Turkish cuisine is one of the most mouthwatering in the world and Turkish people are known to be passionate, especially when it comes to eating. Thanks to its multicultural makeup, Istanbul is a place where you’ll never be far from authentic Turkish cuisine but you can also find food from all around the globe. Is there a specific dish that's served on special occasions? There are many, it depends on the culture or traditions, but one of the best is güllaç, served during Ramadan. It’s a dessert made with milk, pomegranate and a thin pastry that's usually topped off with nuts. What's the most prominent ingredient used in Turkish cooking? Pepper flakes and mint are the two most prominent spices, and cracked wheat is also used in many dishes.

What's the most popular local dish? Kebab, it’s also famous around the world. Are there any customs visitors should know about? Yes, when in Istanbul you should be prepared to spend a lot of time eating – it’s common for people to sit together in tap houses leisurely dining on mezze, seafood and raki for hours. Tell us a little about the general culture of eating in Istanbul? People are very food oriented and tend to have a good grasp of the good places to go and what's best to order where. As well as going out for dinner, we also like to host family and friends at home where we put on something of a feast. Oh, and we love breakfast food – you can usually order breakfast-style dishes at any time of the day. Chef Bugday is the executive chef at Fairmont Quasar Istanbul.

don't miss

Where should visitors go for a special meal? Aila for traditional Turkish mezze and ocakbası. It serves authentic Turkish cuisine from all over Anatolia, combining seasonality and locallysourced ingredients. There’s also a courtyard that’s perfect for dining alfresco when the weather’s right. Local dish to try? I’d say Köfte is a must-try, have it at Mis Köfte, in Haseki. Best place for a quick bite? Kantin is for best place for a quick lunch.

Authentic Turkish cuisine

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Best family-friendly eatery and why? Çiya in the Kadıköy market is great for families. After doing some shopping and wandering the narrow pedestrianised streets, it’s a good spot for everyone to refuel. Discover loads of traditional dishes like lahmajoun, kebabs and various mezze.


WEEKENDs Travel notes

Wild Thing Hayley Skirka gets on the road to explore a desert safari with a difference

“S

you wander golden dun as es

Abu Dhabi, UAE

hhhh,” said Kim as she slowed the truck to a halt, “Look there,” she pointed to the bushes to our right. I looked over, but saw nothing out of the ordinary. Reading my puzzled expression, Kim, our island guide, handed me her binoculars and I looked again, scanning the greenery from left to right until a sudden flash of yellow caught my eye. Adjusting the focus, I peered through the viewfinder watching as the form of a cheetah came slowly into view. Lounging lazily in the bushes, this majestic creature was entirely engrossed in her preening; devotedly licking her gigantic paws. Watching her, I felt like I was traversing Kenya’s Masai Mara and yet, we weren’t in Kenya. We weren’t even in Africa; we were mid-safari on Sir Bani Yas Island, off the coast of Abu Dhabi.

Mound of salt

Established in 1971, by the late UAE president Sheikh Zayed, the island stretches across 1,400 hectares and is home to over 13,000 animals. In addition to the cheetahs with their distinctively spotted coats and black-lined faces, Kim tells us the park is also home to giraffes, hyenas, gazelle, Oryx, ostriches, flamingos and countless birds.

creature. After a while, with temperatures touching 40 degrees, we cut short our desert discovery and head back to the resort for a dip in our private plunge pool, it’s the perfect way to revive.

Island lodgings

Take your pick from one of three places to stay on the island, all headed up by Anantara. We bedded down at African-safari inspired Al Sahel. Beach babies will prefer Al Yamm and those with kids in tow should try the family-friendly Desert Islands resort. Find out more at sir-bani-yas-island.anantara.com Getting there: Pack snacks and take music – you’ll lose radio frequency on the drive. Set off down the E11 from Dubai towards Abu Dhabi, continuing in the direction of Tarif and Mirfa. Go past Al Ruwais and take exit 113/Sir Bani Yas Island. Park up here and board the ferry across to the island.

Ancient history

Nourished by an extensive falaj system, Bani Yas Island is also home to Sheikh Zayed’s former summer residence and is an important archeological site, having once played home to an ancient Christian monastery.

Nature walks

Donning our walking shoes, we set off on a desert hike. Wandering across the golden sand, we’re enthralled by what we find – from ancient fossils inlaid in rocks to rare plants and trees imported from Africa. There’s also loads of animal tracks in the sand, perfect for budding explorers who want to play guess the World Traveller 65


WEEKENDs staycations

Shangri-La Bar Al Jissah Resort & Spa Nestled between rugged mountains and the sparkling Gulf of Oman, this gorgeous integrated multi-property resort has something for everyone

Sleep If you’re staying in Al Bandar, you’re at the heart of the resort and can take your pick from 198 guestrooms, every single one of which offers balcony or terrace views of the garden, sea or swimming pool. Have little ones in tow? Go for Al Waha, where family rooms are aplenty and kids will love the aquatic Splashpad play area. Dine An absolute foodie heaven, there’s an incredible 19 food and beverage offerings across the resort and four more restaurants at the adjacent Shangri-La Al Husn Resort & Spa – there really is something for everyone. For fresh Omani seafood, it has to be Bait al Bahr, right on the beach. In cooler months, head upstairs to the restaurant's dedicated rooftop terrace, BAB Lounge to enjoy post-dinner beverages accompanied by beats from a live DJ. In Al Waha, enjoy the culinary theatre and South American flavours of Samba, or go for kid-friendly picks at Surf Café. Capri Court at Al Bandar serves contemporary Italian cuisine while Tapas is great choice for alfresco eats. The Shangri-La meal plan offers great value with kids under six eating for free, and kids under 12 dining with 50% off, at buffet restaurants. No matter where you dine, you can expect fantastic service. play With some of the most spectacular underwater scenery in the entire Middle East, you’re perfectly placed to discover excellent scuba spots. Alternatively, join a guided snorkelling trip or take to the water on a dolphin-watching tour. Camel and pony rides take place on the beach – great fun for the little ones – while the entire family can pit their golfing skills against one another at the landscaped miniature golf course. You can also check the kids into the Cool Zone in Al Waha where they can enjoy a host of fun activities or head to Adventure Zone and the trampoline park in the

nearby Al Mazaar Souk, accessible by complimentary shuttle bus. Make the most of your free time by taking a spin, aerobics or yoga class, or simply lounge in an inflatable doughnut and float down the Lazy River that connects the properties. UnwinD Inspired by ancient traditions of the Shangri-La legend, CHI, The Spa, between Al Waha and Al Bandar, is a tranquil and relaxing spa villa. Step into a world of calm and enjoy the vitality hydro pool, steam room, tropical showers and ice fountain.

offer The Fun Extreme promotion offers complimentary access to a flurry of activities including pony rides and selected watersports as well as spa and F&B discounts. Or book the Half Board offer to enjoy daily breakfast and lunch or dinner for the whole family plus a spa discount. where: 20 minutes from downtown Muscat and 40 minutes from Muscat International Airport. Find out more at shangri-la.com/muscat/barraljissahresort World Traveller 67


Staycations WEEKENDS

The St. Regis Abu Dhabi Stunning views, fun for all the family and exclusive dining concepts make this property a stand out success

Sleep If a room with a view is at the top of your list, you’ll be pleased to learn that each of the hotel’s 283 rooms and 55 suites has a spectacular view of the Arabian Gulf. But for something truly special – and if budget permits – book the threebedroom, two-storey Abu Dhabi Suite, arguably the UAE's grandest. It's situated high up on the skybridge between the two Nation Towers and boasts a jaw-dropping panoramic view across the sea, Abu Dhabi Corniche and the city skyline. play Watersports fans can take the airconditioned private tunnel to Riviera Beach Club and have a go at the activities offered along the 200-metre stretch of white sand beach. Those with kids in tow, should head to Treasure Island Children's 68 World Traveller

Club – built in the shape of a pirate boat, this supervised facility means parents can take a well-deserved break. Nanny services are available upon request – just be sure to book 24 hours in advance. The club is open daily from 9am-6pm for those aged four to 12. Dine Gourmands have nine food and beverage outlets to choose from, including authentic Italian Villa Toscana, and signature international eatery The Terrace On The Corniche. For an experience to remember, secure a spot at Brunch in the Clouds, which is limited to 50 places and takes place within the world’s highest suspended suite on the last Friday of every month. Eat your way around the suite, from the cinema full of candy, to the dedicated cheese and dessert

room via the caviar ice-bar and oyster room. You can even sojourn to the suite’s private spa for a shoulder massage and manicure. Unique. UnwinD Send your body and mind on a holiday of their own at Remède Spa, where the experienced therapists will customise the treatments to suit you. As a base, the 90-minute massage incorporates aromatherapy blends and warm paraffin along with a variety of massage techniques designed to help you relax. Be sure to make time for a health-boosting herbal elixir before you check-out. where: Nation Towers, Corniche, Abu Dhabi. Find out more at stregisabudhabi.com or call +971 2 694 4444


A Captivating Location, Luxury Redefined The St. Regis Abu Dhabi soars to new heights of splendour and service beyond expectation. Located at the vibrant heart of Abu Dhabi with a 200 metre stretch of pristine beach, overlooking the turquoise waters of the Arabian Gulf which is home to the Nation Riviera Beach Club at the finest address in the city.

Š2016 Marriott International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Preferred Guest, SPG, St. Regis and their logos are the trademarks of Marriott International, Inc., or its affiliates.

The St. Regis Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates t. +971 2 694 4444 stregisabudhabi.com

Stay exquisite at more than 40 St. Regis hotels and resorts worldwide. @stregishotels


Staycations WEEKENDS

The Meydan Hotel If the ‘horses for courses’ adage rings true, then it’s active travellers accustomed to a life of luxury who’ll most appreciate this thoroughbred property

Sleep From the Grand Deluxe Balcony Rooms to the Presidential Meydan and Presidential Duplex suites – each of these 284 abodes are among the most generously sized in the emirate. The Presidential Meydan Suite boasts Burj Khalifa and Dubai sykline views while the Presidential Duplex Suite has views of Meydan Racecourse. Both are topped off with treats such as a private dining area, Jacuzzi and huge master bedrooms. Dine The seven food and beverage choices range from sporty casual to sensational fine dining. During racing season, start the day in a winning way with the hotel’s ‘Breakfast With Champions’ stable tour, 70 World Traveller

enjoying a five-star buffet-style breakfast at Farriers Restaurant, followed by a personal, behind-the-scenes peek to see how these steeds are primed for raceday. Shiba (with its themed, mouth-watering Asian cuisine) and the elegant PRIME fine-dining steakhouse (for Wagyu beef connoisseurs) are the places to retreat come nightfall. play A rooftop infinity pool is the headline act, perfect for cooling off in. It's also an ideal destination for endorphin-based bliss: world-class pay-as-you-play golf facilities, immersive tennis programmes and the chance to cycle alongside the Meydan Racetrack are among the highlights.

UnwinD There’s a welcome absence of adrenaline rushes at the Meydan Hotel Massage Rooms, though. A range of aromatherapy, massage and reflexology options will leave you re-energised and ready to push your physical limits – after a well-deserved time out. Offer Book the 'A Summer to Discover’ offer, to enjoy a daily credit voucher per room worth Dhs250 to spend at any of the hotel leisure or dining facilities. wHere: Meydan Racecourse, Al Meydan Road, Nad Al Sheba, Dubai. Find out more by visiting meydanhotels.com/meydan or call +971 4 381 3333


Staycations WEEKENDS

Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa Escape the city this summer for a real desert experience where traditional Arabian comforts reign supreme

Sleep The 115 gorgeously rustic rooms and suites feature beautiful lanterns, rugs and a separate majlis area as well as uninterrupted views of the spectacular surrounding sands and landscaped gardens, plus all the first-rate facilities you would expect from this awardwinning resort. play Cross the sandy dunes by camel during sunset or book an adrenaline-pumping Jeep desert drive. Bab Al Shams also offers falconry, horse riding, archery, personal training sessions and a variety of lawn games to make the most of your surrounds. Afterwards, cool off in one of two temperature-controlled infinity 72 World Traveller

swimming pools. Meanwhile, the kids can be entertained with fun activities from a choice of three different programmes in the indoor Aladdin’s Kids Club. Dine With eight food and beverage outlets to choose from, there’s something to suit all tastes. Enjoy traditional Arabic fare at Al Hadheerah desert restaurant, a real highlight, at which diners are treated to theatrical extravaganzas, including live Arabic music and a must-see camel and horse caravan heritage show. Other options include Masala, noted for its perfectly spiced vegetarian dishes; traditional Italian at La Dune (a great family option, with wonderful pizzas); award-winning all-day international

restaurant Al Forsan, Al Sarab Rooftop Lounge and Al Shurouq Rooftop Terrace. UnwinD At the award-winning Satori Spa, choose between individual and couples' treatment rooms, or enjoy a rejuvenating massage in an alfresco tented area or poolside. The spa also offers signature skincare programmes, an outdoor yoga area, steam room and suana plus indoor and outdoor relaxation areas with gorgeous desert views. Offer: Enjoy Dhs350 daily hotel credit to spend across leisure and dining options. wHere: Al Qudra Road, Dubai. Find out more at meydanhotels.com/ babalshams or call +971 4 809 6498


Staycations WEEKENDS

Fairmont Fujairah Beach Resort The northern emirates’ only art-inspired resort nestles among mountains and the dramatic blue of the Gulf of Oman

Sleep The stylishly designed rooms here are all spacious, with great views over the mountains, the sea or the marina. If the ocean holds the key to your heart, book a Fairmont Ocean View room, where you can relax on your very own private balcony, as the waves roll in beneath you. dine For all-day dining, head to colourful Canvas where breakfast, lunch and dinner comes courtesy of an extensive buffet packed with international eats. Café Pronto is a European-style bistro that’s perfect for lunch, while Arteasan is a beautifully designed tea lounge just off the main lobby. Head downstairs to The Copper Lobster for delicious seafood paired with exciting offerings from the 74 World Traveller

in-house mixologist. For poolside eats or an alfresco dining experience, IAMMAI is the place to go as the day winds down – sit on the upper level for the very best views. play The pool is climate controlled yearround and has amazing views out to the sea, while the nearby marina is perfect if you’re arriving by boat, or perhaps want to charter a vessel during your stay. There’s plenty of leisure options including yoga and paddle boarding, or head out on the high speed aquabatic Seabreacher submersible watercraft for something more adventurous. There’s a whole plethora of watersports on site, and those with a penchant for diving will love swimming amongst the colourful marine life in the surrounding waters.

Unwind Inspired by the healing powers of nature, the Willow Stream Spa is cosy and perfectly formed. A rustic design marrying driftwood beams and arabesque touches, there’s separate male and female hammams, sauna, steam room and experience showers. Leave your cares behind and indulge in a treatment delivered by the finest therapists. offer Book the special 'Spring into Summer' rate to enjoy 20 per cent off the best available rate. Quote code PSRO for a complimentary room upgrade, subject to availability. where: Mina Al Fajer, Dibba, Fujairah. Find out more at fairmont.com/fujairah or call +971 9 204 1111


WEEKENDs staycations

Fairmont Ajman Nestled on a private beach in the prettiest of the emirates, this is the perfect spot for springing into summer with a weekend escape

Sleep Rooms and suites are beautifully designed and all come with gorgeous ocean views, but for something special, book the Penthouse Suite. With panoramic views of the Arabian Gulf, it’s spread over twostoreys and across 500 sq m. Floor-toceiling windows make the most of those views and three spacious bedrooms mean you can bring the whole family along. play Lounge by the huge infinity-edged pool – book the Oasis Cabana experience and you’ll be truly spoiled with welcome drinks, cold towels, culinary samples and Evian water spray (they’ll even provide your sun cream). Feeling active? Burn calories at the Health Club or check out the watersports by the beach. Little ones,

meanwhile, will love the activities at the Kids' Club. Dine Don’t miss Kiyi, which serves authentic Turkish cuisine in a traditional Imperial Ottoman setting, as well as offering a full range of Middle Eastern dishes. For Italian staples, head to Gioia, and when you’re lounging poolside, order up inventive light bites from Salt and Sea. A visit to Spectrum is perfect for international all-day dining sure to delight even the fussiest of eaters and Driftwood is picture-perfect sundowners. UnwinD Take time out at Nine Degrees spa, home to separate male and female treatment rooms, sauna facilities and an

invigorating ice shower. The therapies here derive from several Middle Eastern countries and regions, having absorbed culture, traditional methods and healing remedies along the way. Go for the sunset Hamman therapy for a first-class treatment under the dramatic glow of the setting sun. OFFER Book the special 'Spring into Summer' rate to enjoy 20 per cent off the best available rate. Quote promo code PSRO for a complimentary room upgrade, subject to availability. where: Sheikh Humaid Bin Rashid Al Nuaimi Street, Ajman. Find out more at fairmont.com/ajman or call +971 6 701 5757 World Traveller 75


Abu Dhabi weekenDs

Summer Fun

As temperature rises, keep things cool at Abu Dhabi Summer Season where there’s more fun than you’ll know what to do with…

Tom and Jerry

The world-renowned cat and mouse team are in town with a live show. When the duo unexpectedly meet magical spirit Taka, it’s the start of a fun-filled escapade. Kids will love seeing their favourite cartoon stars in real life. Where: Al Raha Theatre and Al Ain Municipality Theatre When: July 20-22; July 27-29

Ninja Turtles

Iftah Ya Simsim

Get ready to welcome the ninjutsu-trained Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo and Raphael, who made a TV splash fightingcrime and alien invaders in the streets of New York to the streets of Al Ain. Kids will love the bright green foursome. Where: Bawadi Mall, Al Ain When: August 9-12

Translating to ‘Open Sesame’, this well-known Arabic show is in town with a script written exclusively for Abu Dhabi Summer Season. Packed with catchy songs and dance moves, kids will love watching the exciting summer adventure unfold, no matter what language they speak. Where: Yas Mall When: August 3-4

Namaste Abu Dhabi

The Cheese Maze

Bollywood chart toppers Salim and Suleiman return to the capital showcasing a combination of dance moves and song, much of which has been inspired by India’s cinematic scene. Expect a colourful, energetic series of compositions by the truly phenomenal Indian duo and their troupe of dancers. Where: Emirates Palace When: August 18 76 World Traveller

Get down to Dalma Mall and let the little ones run crazy in this interactive maze. Loaded up with a giant block of cheese, kids have to navigate their way through the maze – avoiding all the pesky traps set by Tom – to find Jerry, who is waiting patiently at the end for his favourite snack. Where: Dalma Mall When: August 13-19


dnata offers

Weekend offers To book any of these offers, call +971 4 316 6666, visit a dnata outlet or log on to dnatatravel.com

Clockwise from top left: Lapita, Dubai Parks and Resorts, JW Marriott Marquis Dubai; Nikki Beach Hotel; Hyatt Capital Gate; Grand Hyatt Muscat; The St. Regis Abu Dhabi; Atana Musandam

UAE

JW Marriott Marquis Dubai 1 night from USD68 per person Special Offer: Buy one spa treatment and get an additional one free Includes: A stay in a Deluxe Room with breakfast included Validity: Until 31 Aug 2017 Nikki beach hotel 1 night from USD132 per person Special Offer: Special Summer half board Includes: Stay in a Covet Room with breakfast included Validity: Until 31 Aug 2017 Park hyatt Dubai 1 night from USD64 per person Special Offer: Enjoy a Special 78 World Traveller

Summer offer Includes: Special offer includes a stay in a Park Room Validity: Until 29 Aug 2017 laPita hotel Dubai, autograPh collectioN hotel 1 night starting from USD 91 per person Special Offer: Complimentary upgrade to Half Board, free mini-bar once per stay and 25% discount on Spa Includes: Stay in a Deluxe Room with breakfast Validity: Until 30 Sept 2017 hyatt caPital gate 1 night from USD53 per person Special Offer: 20% discount on room rate

Includes: Stay in a Standard Room View with breakfast, reservations must be booked at least 10 days in advance. Validity: Until 31 Aug 2017 the st. regis abu Dhabi 1 night from USD95 per person Special Offer: Complimentary upgrade to Sea View Room, 1 child under 12 stays free and 50% discount on 2 spa treatments per room Includes: Stay in a Superior City View Room with breakfast Validity: Until 30 Sep 2017

OMAN

graND hyatt Muscat 2 nights from USD200 Special offer: 20% discount

on room rate, 2 children under 12Â stay free, 20% discount on Food and Beverage Includes: Stay in Grand Room with breakfast daily Validity: Until 16 Sept 2017 ataNa MusaNDaM 2 nights from USD135 Special offer: Complimentary upgrade to next available room category, early check-in and late check-out Includes: Stay in a Deluxe Mountain View Room with breakfast daily Validity: Until 30 Sept 2017

Log onto dnatatravel.com to find out more about any of these hotels and offers.


WEEKENDs Competition

WIN!

A 2-night stay for the whole family at Fairmont The Palm, Dubai

E

scape the heat this summer with a fantastic two-night staycation that’s perfect for the whole family. Check-in to a Fairmont View Room where there’s plenty of space for the whole gang (two adults and two children) and feast on a delicious daily breakfast at Flow Kitchen. Little ones will love the Fairmont Falcons Kids Club while adults can cool off with an Aquaspin session, the easiest way to keep fit while you beat the heat, then try a Prama workout. Afterwards, treat the entire family to an award winning Afternoon Tea at Masharabiya Lounge. To be in with a chance of winning, simply answer this easy question:

What is the name of the Kids Club at Fairmont The Palm? A) Tigers Kids Club B) Busy Bee Kids Club C) Falcons Kids Club Email answers to easywin@ hotmediapublishing.com by 31 July, 2017. Prize voucher is valid for 6 months from date of issue, physical voucher must be presented upon arrival. Not valid during black out dates, pre-booking is necessary.

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Suite dreams

Suite dreams Our monthly finish with a flourish, delving into a suite that has a character and style sure to set you apart

80 World Traveller

Mountain Suite, Giardino Mountain, St. Moritz

Turquoise lakeside views? Of course. Towering Swiss mountains? Yes. Sleek alpine décor? Indeed. This mountain suite in Giardino Mountain is nestled some 2,000 metres above sea level and is a picture-perfect summer home from home. It may be hard to believe it, but this luxurious lodge in the village of Champfèr on the outskirts of St. Moritz, was formerly a girls’ boarding school. Today, things have taken a more opulent turn, albeit with an innate respect for its mountain setting. Spread across 60 sq m of space, get a feel for the locale with interiors inspired by the landscapes of Upper Engadine.

You'll fall in love with the focal point fireplace: give yourself an excuse to use it by throwing open the balcony doors and allowing the crisp mountain air to drift inside then cosy up and drink in the views. Come morning, get ready for the breakfast of champions on your private terrace. Tuck into artisan breads, fresh fruit and homemade muesli, but don’t be surprised if this sumptuous spread plays second fiddle to the vivid beauty surrounding you. If you can bring yourself to leave your suite, there’s plenty to do. Go cycling, hiking or try alpine yoga, safe in the knowledge that weary muscles can be soothed afterwards with a soak in that grand freestanding tub. giardino-mountain.ch


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JW MARRIOT T® MARQUIS DUBAI

Stay Longer and Save at the world’s tallest hotel. This summer take advantage of the complimentary shuttle service to The Dubai Mall, or take a trip up the Dubai Water Canal adjacent to the hotel. MARRIOTT REWARDS MEMBERS SAVE 30% ON ACCOMMODATION AND PARTICIPATING RESTAURANTS, PLUS A BONUS 30% OFF THEIR NEXT STAY. For reservations or inquiries, please visit jwmarriottmarquisdubai.com or call +971 4 414 0000

Terms and conditions apply. Special offer is exclusive of 10% taxes and 10% service charge. An additional tourism tax of AED 20 per room per night is payable upon check out. Advanced reservation is required and minimum length stay applies.

World Traveller July'17  
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