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Issue 110 | June 2017

Complimentary copy

AmericAn dreAming

The ultimate Pacific Northwest road trip

Kaleidoscopic island Take a visual tour of vibrant Zanzibar

Produced in Dubai Production City

moscow PrAgue sAlAlAh Addis AbAbA


9:28AM The moment you turned the beach into a launch pad. From the tranquil beach, breathtaking sunsets and iconic architecture to the sumptuous flavours of the hotel’s dining venues, Fairmont Ajman offers families and couples a weekend retreat that is simply unforgettable.

Create your Ajman memories today. +971 6 701 5757 | fairmont.com/Ajman


Editor’s note

Editor’s note With June upon us, there’s a buzz in the office at World Traveller as our thoughts turn towards summer holidays. Whether you’re planning a multi- destination trip, a few weeks in your favourite country, a short break in the tropics or even just a weekend away, peak holiday season is finally here.

Managing director Victoria Thatcher Editorial director John Thatcher Group Commercial director David Wade Managing Editor Faye Bartle Editor Hayley Skirka Art director Kerri Bennett designer Jamie Pudsey senior Advertising Manager Mia Cachero mia@hotmediapublishing.com Business development Manager Mohamed Galal mohamed@hotmediapublishing.com +971 4 369 0915

Which is why we’re kicking off this issue discovering Salalah, a prime summer hotspot on the south Omani coast. With khareef season rolling in at the end of the month, you’ve got just a few weeks left to enjoy dolphin-spotting trips on Salalah’s crystal clear waters. If you can’t squeeze a trip in before then, don’t fret as the monsoon season brings a whole new set of reasons to visit, not least the annual ‘pop-up’ forest, and with the region’s first luxury villa resort now open, this tropical Arabian locale is an obvious choice. Further afield, we’re headed to Moscow where the snow has melted and the city blooms delightful making it the perfect time to discover Russia’s capital in all its cosmopolitan glory. With cooler temperatures and dry weather, now is also a great time to visit Zanzibar, Tanzania’s colourful gem of an island. We get under the skin of this island nation which is a melting pot of colour, culture and energy. Across the pond, we’re taking advantage of ideal driving conditions to get behind the wheel and cruise the Pacific Northwest. Expect towering cliffs, winding roads and towns that claim character aplenty. Fuelled by some of the world’s best coffee, this is one road trip you need to add to your bucket list. Also in this issue, with longer flights afoot, we get the low-down from an expert on effective ways to minimise pesky jet lag symptoms and bring you a round-up of sun care products that are perfect for your summer packing. Finally, with the holy month of Ramadan upon us, we’ve got a great selection of weekend destinations that are ideal for slowing down the pace. Set sail on a traditional Omani dhow, head to Ajman’s mangrove-laden resort or check in to a palatial resort just outside Muscat, where magical sunsets are guaranteed. Ramadan Kareem.

Production Manager Muthu Kumar

Hayley skirka hayley@hotmediapublishing.com

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

World Traveller 5


Contents June 2017

25 Be Here Now June is the time to witness Serengeti's great migration in the exotic plains of Africa or head stateside to a well-kept secret in California's San Diego

25

spotliGHt oN sHetlANd This northern archipelago off the coast of Scotland is all rolling hills, deep lochs and breathtaking nature

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15

GloBetrotter Your guide to seasonal eats, travel trends, epic self-drive itineraries and the newest abode in the heart of São Paolo

CHef’s top tABles Italy's youngest two Michelin-starred chef Enrico Bartelloni takes us on a culinary tour of his favourite eateries

29

21

My City: AtHeNs One of the world's oldest cities, Athens is a photographer's dream. We garner city secrets and the best selfie spots from a well-heeled local

esCApe Top tips to banish jetlag, sun safe beauty products and an Italian escape with altitude that will leave you refreshed

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tHe loCAls’ GUide to prAGUe From eating out to must-see sights, an insiders' guide to the Czech capital

CheCk in

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Contents 60

Destinations

WeekenDs

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disCover ZANZiBAr Tropical coasts and Arabian-inspired streets, explore this eclectic isle

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A loNG weekeNd iN sofiA Bulgaria's capital is paved in yellow and brimming with art, culture and history

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BlooM towN The snow has melted in Russia's capital, Moscow, leaving behind a glowing gem of nature-filled secrets to discover

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A tAste of Addis ABABA Chef Beide Worku introduces Ethiopia's capital through its array of colourful culinary delights

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west CoAst CrUisiNG From Oregon to Portland via the great Pacific Northwest, fuel up on coffee and hit the road

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trAvel Notes Once used to protect desert territories, shooting is steeped in Emirati tradition: we try some target practice

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tHe oMANi tropiCs Lush, exotic and inticing, Dhofar's Salalah has a new luxury resident

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stAyCAtioNs Fancy a weekend getaway? Choose from our hand-picked selection


Be here now

La Jolla, San Diego

This time last year, when all at World Traveller were pondering where to spend our summer vacations, it was suggested, with more than a hint of reluctance, by our roving reporter Mark that we head to the US to a little town called La Jolla in San Diego. It was suggested reluctantly because La Jolla was a secret he had kept to himself for many a year – a secret he deemed far too good for sharing. We took Mark’s advice, checking into La Valencia Hotel, better known locally as The Pink Lady. This storied, charming and immensely characterful hotel is celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2017 and provides the perfect base from which to explore all of La Jolla’s natural charm; its sapphire blue ocean, swaying palm trees, colony of seals and proud, friendly community which warmly welcomes visitors to share in its little slice of American paradise by the sea. Go see for yourself. Just don’t tell Mark we shared his secret.

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Check in

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Be here now CheCk In

Be here now

River Grumeti, Serengeti

It sounds like thunder. Crashing and rumbling, thousands upon thousands of hooves stomping across the mud, ploughing into the rushing water in a commotional flurry to reach the other side. This is nature at its most epic and, while it’s often hard to predict wildlife spottings, June is an excellent bet for heading to Africa’s Serengeti to catch a glimpse of the mighty migrations. Optimum rainfall and the lure of fresh Savanna grasslands sees masses of wildebeest and zebra gather on the south side of the Grumeti River, building up to a density that makes a river crossing possible. With the water here less continuous than it is further north, most of the migration will make it safely to the other side, although there are an ill-fated few who are destined to become lunch for the river’s largest crocodiles.

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globetrotter

From self-driving in style to new hotel arrivals, here’s what’s hot in travel this month

IntroducIng: PalacIo tangara Elegant design in the heart of São Paolo This brand new and wholly magnificent property by the European Oetker Collection of luxury hotels is the group’s first venture into South America and it’s an obvious hit. Set in Morumbi Village, the hotel is a destination in its own right with all rooms and suites offering gorgeous views across the lush Burle Marx Park. Dining is out of this world, thanks to the vision of world-renowned chef JeanGeorges Vongerichte. Day to day, the culinary offering is headed up by Chef

Pascal Valero, prepare to have a delighted palate thanks to a taste of tropical Brazil. When it comes to wellness, it’s a state-ofthe-art affair with a sprawling 1500 sq m Spa by Sisley Paris. Take your pick from a curated menu of body treatments, facials and massages, energise with a yoga class or enjoy the indoor heated swimming pool. There’s also a private garden, an outdoor pool and a kids' club to ensure the whole family is looked after. Close to the burgeoning business district of Brazil’s economic capital, the hotel is also at the heart of São Paolo’s cultural hub. Guests can explore Sampa’s art scene with an expert tour guide. Visit The Museum of Art to see one of the world’s finest collections of European art

with everything from Goya to El Greco, or head to nearby Vila Madelena, populated with bohemian artists. For Brazilian elegance in the São Paolo metropolis, this is the perfect base from which to get under the skin of one of the world’s greatest cities. palaciotangara.com Spa by Sisley Paris

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Globetrotter CheCk In

hotElS In

ShanghaI

It's a city of glamour, history and mystique, but do you prefer an art-centric abode or an achingly cool urban retreat? thE WatErhouSE at South Bund What to expect A four-storey boutique bolthole, this property has been built into an existing Japanese Army headquarters and is a gorgeous fusion of old and new. The original concrete building has been carefully restored and new additions constructed out of materials that reflect the area. location Situated by the Cool Docks development in Shanghai’s South Bund District, this hotel fronts the Huangpu River with views toward the gleaming skyline of Pudong. Must-do Dine at Table No 1, The Waterhouse’s restaurant for sublime sharing European platters then head upstairs to Roof Bar’s wide-open terrace, popular with expats and locals. waterhouseshanghai.com

thE SWatch art PEacE hotEl What to expect This hotel exists through the eras with a Victorian Renaissance façade, restored Jacobean staircase and a gorgeous modern art collection thanks to the artistin-residence programme. Book the Happiness Suite which has a rattan birdcage bed. location On the waterfront, you’re at the heart of The Bund – Shanghai’s museum of international architecture. Wander the length of the district and prepare to be impressed by the Gothic, Renassiance, Romanesque, Classic and Baroque design. Must-do Pan-Asian restaurant Shook offers gorgeous skyline views. Don't miss a nighttime neighbourhood wander. swatch-art-peace-hotel.com

The Waterhouse at The Bund

The Swatch Art Peace Hotel

Vs

on our radar

culturE

art on thE cotE d'azur If you needed an extra reason to visit Saint Tropez, Art Pampelonne is launching the first contemporary art fair of its kind on the French Riviera, which is not to be missed. Presenting 60 international galleries along the most exclusive beach in the Cote d’Azur, it runs from 29 June to 2 July and will attract an elite audience of tastemakers, trendsetters and globetrotters. Event partner Nikki Beach Saint Tropez will welcome all guests in style. artpampelonne.com 16 World Traveller

thrIllS

florIda fun If you’re yet to visit the original home of themeparks now might be a good time to remedy this thanks to the opening of Volcano Bay. The third of Universal Orlando’s Sunshine State themeparks, it’s set to entertain thrillseekers via a waterthemed space covering a huge 30 acres. Featuring a multidirectional wave pool, sandy beaches, a winding river, twisting multi-rider raftrides and body slides, it’s also the first themepark to operate a virtual queueing system. universalorlando.com

grEEn

an Eco-Stay In kuala luMPur Marriott International has introduced a brand new eco-friendly hotel, part of its Element concept which focuses on crafting new brands in line with green building standards. The latest addition, Element Kuala Lumpur, is the brand’s first in southeast Asia and is within walking distance from the iconic Petronas Twin Towers. The project has been designed using eco-friendly methods and guests can enjoy responsibly sourced cuisine and free bicycle hire. elementkualalumpur.com


CheCk In Be here now

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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 World Traveller 17


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CheCk In Globetrotter

Drive across scenic Tuscan roads

Some destinations are so beautiful that you should navigate them freely, ideally in a beautiful car

3

ways to‌ Self-drive in style

Joi De Vivre Combine the glamour of the French Riveria with a twist of la dolce vita behind the wheel of a classic vintage car with Four Seasons this summer. Starting at the Four Seasons Hotel Florence, drive along the scenic Tuscany road to Four Seasons Hotel Milano then head north for unforgettable vistas enroute to Four Seasons Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrrat. fourseasons.com

Islander route Regularly named as one of the most drivable destinations in the world, the beauty of New Zealand is best enjoyed in a convertible. Head from Nelson to Motueka in Tasman, via Mapau stopping for world famous fish and chips by the wharf. Next, head off through the rolling Moutere Hills where sweeping curves, mountain passes and long straights await.

Tuscan magic Gentle hills, cypress trees and a classic Italian car are just what you need for the perfect summer self drive. Discover the history and therapeutic traditions as you cruise through the Italian countryside, discovering Tuscany beyond the crowds. Bed down in historic hotels and take in a route via Montepulciano, Vinci, Monsummano Terme and Pisa. World Traveller 19


Globetrotter CheCk In

FOOD FOr ThOughT From cinnamon flecked to spicy ox flavour, donuts are having a moment. Here's three places that do the circular treats best...

Beachside Bites Not only is Tanjong Beach Club rated as one of the world’s best beach clubs, this sun-soaked sanctuary in Singapore also serves tiny cinnamon brioche donuts with a side of Nutella fondue. tanjongbeachclub.com.

Flavour Medley The original Voodoo Doughnut in Oregon is perhaps the king of donut flavours. Served in bright pink boxes, from Captain Crunch-topped to Mexican hot chocolate, these circular treats will make your mouth water. voodoodoughnut.com

gOIng up In The wOrLD Savoury Delights In sky-high London eatery Duck and Waffle, tuck into spicy ox cheek donut. Proving that the circular treats don’t need to be sweet, it's a crispy bite that packs a punch, served with a side of apricot jam. duckandwaffle.com 20 World Traveller

Argentina’s rising star where? Mendoza why? Peru and Argentina are the two most visited countries in Latin America, and Mendoza – the capital of the province by the same name – is about to enjoy a surge in visitors thanks to new direct flights between the city and Lima, sure to come in handy if you're planning a South American discovery trip this summer. Wide leafy avenues, atmospheric plazas and beautiful countryside, this place is a gorgeous

fusion of culture, nature and Latin American delights that's worth a visit. what? Laidback vibes and some of the best restaurants in the county with plenty yo do. Adventure seekers will enjoy trekking up Aconcagua – one of the highest peaks in the Americas – or having a go at whitewater rafting where to stay? Many bodega’s have opened their doors as small guesthouses – we love the super cute Finca Adalgisa, full of charm. fincaadalgisa.com


CheCk In My city

Amphitheatre on the slopes of the Acropolis

My City

AtHENS

Visit the Acropolis, take in the Parthenon or watch the sun set over Lycabettus hill. We share a local's guide to one of the world's oldest cities Greek travel photographer VanGelis DeleGos shines a light on the archaeological treasure that is his home city As a photographer, one of the things that has always fascinated me is how easy it is to find something new to photograph every single day in Athens – whether that’s something archaeological, architectural, or simply daily life. It’s the ideal city for wandering around, making new discoveries and getting to know the friendly locals. One of the things I love most about Athens is the perfect year-round climate. Winter is my favourite season, as it’s magical heading into the Greek mountains, but I’ve also fallen in love with the exquisite light of Athens in

early summer – the clear blue sky is phenomenal. Take advantage of the weather and head out to explore the Acropolis and Pantheon – set out early to Philopappou Hill to capture the best images of these ancient sites. For breathtaking views of the city, journey onto Lycabettus hill. Go late afternoon to experience a fantastic sunset. You’ll be able to see all the way to the sea and may even spot the island of Aegina on the horizon. Downtown, wonder at the beauty of the city’s ancient buildings in Panepistimiou Street, The National Library and the Academy of Athens all make for really great photographs. When it comes to food, my favourite spot is Aleria. Not too far from the heart of the city and housed in a what is an amazing neoclassical building, the

chef here puts an emphasis on seasonal ingredients from carefully handpicked producers around the country. Don't forget to try souvlaki: give it a go at Dia Tafta, a quaint little tavern in the archaeological centre of Athens where you can also tuck into traditional dishes like handmade pies and tiny fried fish. Despite harsh austerity measures in the city, it’s obvious that Athenians love art. There are so many theatres and musical hubs and there really is art for everyone and every taste. Psiri with its dozens of creative agencies, galleries, art studios and some really nice little taverns and coffee shops is an art district that begs exploration. Truly special to me, Athens is a bathedin-light archeological wonder that you should add to your visit list. Just don't forget your camera. World Traveller 21


Be here now 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

Q A

Ramadan is upon us, where would you recommend visiting during the Holy Month? Firstly I’d like to say a blessed Ramadan to all. This is a time for reflection and peacefulness and, for many people, is also an opportunity to explore the region and beyond whilst things are a little quieter. So where to explore? As temperatures in the GCC continue to increase, it’s a good time to venture to some of the cooler nearby countries and the good news is there are some great prices to be found, as well as some amazing new hotel openings to discover.

Island escapes In the Maldives, Soneva Jani is a stunning overwater villa concept that’s brought to us by the same owners of the acclaimed Soneva Fushi. The resort is true luxury coupled with a relaxed, laidback attitude and the villas are very much oversized, each with private pools and many of which feature waterslides that plunge directly into the sea. The Gathering is the largest overwater structure in the Maldives and offers sublime food and beverages with dedicated chocolate and cheese rooms that are guaranteed to satisfy even the most demanding of taste buds. A little further south, the beautiful archipelago of Mauritius is another great choice. Try the stunning Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita. Recently renovated, it’s perfect for relaxing in and there are plenty of on-site activities to keep you entertained, not least the Ernie Els-designed golf course. Regional retreats If you’re staying closer to home, now is a good time to try some of the newly opened properties in the GCC. The St Regis Dubai, Al Habtoor Polo Club and Resort offers an Andalusian experience overlooking green polo fields just outside Dubai’s city centre. 22 World Traveller

The Mandarin Oriental in Marrakech

If the ocean is more your thing, enjoy Nikki Beach Resort and Spa without the party crowds - you’ll really feel like you've escaped to Europe and the private pool villas are perfect for a romantic weekend. Meanwhile, Jumeirah Al Naseem hotel is the newest part of the Madinat Jumeirah complex and offers a vibe that’s entirely new for the brand with distinct Indian Ocean vibes. It has some great dining options, a fantastic indoor and outdoor balcony concept and, unsurprisingly, a stunning beach with amazing views across to the Burj Al Arab. On the up If you plan on taking a slightly longer holiday this month, then on-the-up Morocco is a good choice for a place to indulge without the high price tag. The Mandarin Oriental in Marrakech has some of the most mindblowing one-bedroom villas I’ve ever come across – complete

with private pools, Jacuzzi, outdoor fireplace and super luxurious bathrooms and lounges. Close to the Medina with the Atlas Mountains as a backdrop, it’s a true hideaway in a very happening locale. Elsewhere in the Red City, Royal Mansour is a fantastic choice especially with its newly opened Le Jardin. Designed by Spanish landscape designer Luis Vallejo, this beautiful area contains lush surrounds, a stunning pool and an Arab-Asian fusion restaurant. Beyond Marrakech is Casablanca, another city worth a visit especially if staying at the Four Seasons Hotel Casablanca, an urban resort with a fantastic feel both in-room and poolside. The super cool Mint complete with roaring wood fire offers fantastic Moroccan cuisine. Whether in the immediate region or a little further afield, there’s much to explore this Ramadan. For all these trips and more, log on to dnatatravel. com, visit one of our stores or call +971 800 dnata


At the heart of life

At Rotana, we believe time well spent, is a life well lived. This enduring thought is at the heart of every experience we promise when you stay with us. Our distinct collection of brands include Rotana Hotels & Resorts, Arjaan Hotel Apartments by Rotana, Centro Hotels, Resorts and Hotel Apartments by Rotana, Rayhaan Hotels & Resorts by Rotana and The Residences by Rotana. Transform moments into memorable experiences as we present a selection of diverse destinations, ideal for every journey. To find out more, visit rotana.com Treasured time. Our promise to you.

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CheCk In Spotlight

EssEntial sightsEEing

Enjoy endless blue ocean on these northern islands

Old scatness This dig near Sumburgh brings Shetland’s history vividly to life with expert guides in Iron Age clothes showing you theatrically around the site. The broch – a stone roundhouse – dates from around 300BC and there’s a reconstruction of the house as it was with a fire and working loom. shetland-heritage.co.uk

Wild surrOunds isle of noss Dramatic Noss has towering seacliffs that are home to over 100,000 pairs of breeding seabirds while inland heath supports hundreds of pairs of breeding skua. Accessed by dinghy – don’t forget to pre-book – take the coastal path anticlockwise around the island for the best views of the cliffs. shetlandseabirdtours.com

gEt activE sea kayaking If you want to get up close and personal to the seals and birdlife on the island then Sea Kayak Shetland is the place to visit for a reputable guided sea-kayaking trip where you’ll paddle serenely through the Atlantic waters. seakayakshetland.co.uk

Spotlight on Shetland Nature rules on these northern islands and summer provides the perfect climate for exploring the far-flung Scottish wilderness Island abodes Waterfront Views In the pictureqeue setting of Bray, Shetland's second largest village, The Moorfield Hotel is a home from home that's been built with sustainability at its core. Locally sourced exposed stone and timber create a cosy welcome and the restaurant serves up local eats. themoorfieldhotelshetland.co.uk

dOn’t miss shetland nature Festival The ideal destination for nature lovers, visit in early July for the annual Shetland Nature Festival where you can enjoy a week-long extravaganza of guided walks, nature tours, boat trips and open days. shetlandamenity.org Hiking and walking are popular summer activities

Tuck into fresh seafood at Hay's Dock

sEa-splashEd Eats hay’s dock Upstairs in Lerwick’s Shetland Museum, this Scandi-feel seafood café carefully selects local and mainland Scottish produce. It has a fair-weather harbour view balcony that’s lovely to sit out on when’s the sun is shining. haysdock.co.uk

Quaint B&B Follow the puffin signpost a mile before Hillswick to Almara B&B where sweeping bay views and excellent rooms await in this cosy hotel where being environmentallyfriendly is the order of the day. almara.shetland.co.uk

Frankie’s Fish and chips Don’t miss this famous chippy in North Mainland. Using only local, sustainable seafood, it serves up everything from delicious Shetland mussels to tasty deep fried scallops. frankiesfishandchips.com World Traveller 25


Be here now CheCk In Authentic AmericanItalian at Del Posto

New York Del Posto For an authentic AmericanItalian atmosphere, this eatery in Manhattan is without comparison. Chef Mark Ladner creates Italian cooking to match the stunning interiors with a cuisine that thrills. It’s a place that offers you amazing flavours served with passion and somewhere you’ll want to go back to time and again. Try the pastas, they are insanely good, but no matter what you pick, you won’t be disappointed. FavourItE DIsh: Scallops carpaccio.

Chef’s top tables Join us on an expert-led culinary tour around the world as chefs in the know give us their picks for eating out on a global scale Technical mastery at Sketch

While in Dubai cooking up a storm with Grana Padano – known as the king of Italian cheeses – Enrico Bartolini, Italy’s youngest two-Michelin-starred chef, took a few minutes out of the kitchen to tell us about his favourite eateries around the globe 26 World Traveller

LONDON Sketch With an attitude that proclaims ‘why have less when you can have more?’, this quirky gastronomic playground in the heart of Mayfair is quite something. Housed in a grand, sprawling 18th century townhouse, pink is the order of the day with scalloped pink velvet booths and pink metallic woodwork. This is teamed with hundreds of whimsical black and white sketches adorning the walls. The staff sport uniforms just as outlandish. The cuisine is adventurous and full of technical mastery while the dishes are imaginative and the flavours both bold and delicious. FavourItE DIsh: Michel Bras brings Whole-roasted duck. dishes to life


CheCk In Chef's top tables

Hong Kong 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombano In my opinion, this place represents one of the most beautiful examples of the success of Italian cuisine outside of Italy. In fact, it's the first three Michelinstarred Italin restaurant not located in the country. Chef Umberto Bombano heads up the kitchen at this spot in the heart of the Central in the elegant Alexandra House which overlooks the bustling Chater Road. The food is delicious with ingredients sourced not just from Europe, but from the world over. FavourItE DIsh: Royal prawns with the famous Bombano sauce

Beautifully plated delights at 81/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombano

Pizza perfection at Roberto's

Dubai Roberto’s Classic and elegant, this is Italian dining in style, which fits perfectly with its surrounds in the sleek DIFC area of Dubai. In this homegrown eatery, tables are dressed in white, the lighting is low and moody and it’s consistently busy – something that won’t surprise you once you get a mouthful of the delicious cuisine on offer. An abundance of flavours and a taste of Italy, this place is modern and romantic and is a great example of first-class cooking coupled with a funky vibe and super popular afterdinner bar. The service is also spot on. FavourItE DIsh: The delicious Roberto's pizza. World Traveller 27


Escape

Get away from it all with our monthly measure of wellness

Italian Altitude Renewal Set against the majestic grandeur of Mont Blanc, Nira Montana is a gorgeous hotel in the Alpine idyll of La Thuile in the northwestern part of Italy’s Aosta Valley. A haven of sleek contemporary design, the real talking point is the Nira Spa, where guests can swim, steam and unwind amid a serene setting of natural wood. Spend mornings hiking in the peaks before sinking into the soothing waters of the hydrapool where floorto-ceiling windows present an emerald canvas dappled with golden sunlight. Holiday here and it won’t be long before you’ll feel a world away from the demands of everyday life. World Traveller 29


Escape ChECk In

here’S COMeS The Sun

Just because you’re on holiday doesn’t mean your skin is. Keep it happy with these summer-friendly finds No one want’s to start their holiday looking like they haven't seen the sun in years. Get your hands on lush Sesame Suntan lotion to get a bronzed glow and sunscreen protection that smells good enough to eat. Keep skin hydrated with Filorga nCTF reverse Day Cream. Enriched with shea butter, it’s perfect for repairing dry skin. Give skin a helping hand with labo Transdermic Fluid base Foundation. With SPF50, it penetrates deep into your skin giving you much needed protection from UV rays.

STeP AwAy FrOM The PhOne If constantly checking your phone is affecting your health, it could be time to take a digital detox Today, the average person spends almost five hours daily on the Internet. Even on holiday we're guilty of checking social media. Could a digital retreat be the cure-all remedy? Mandarin Oriental, kuala lumpur seems to think so, having introduced the Urban Wellness Retreat. Providing rejuvenation for mind, body and spirit, check-in here and enjoy a Digital Wellness Escape Treatment at The Spa paired with a complimentary digital silence service which sees your devices cleaned and polished while you de-stress in a poolside cabana. With benefits including better relationships, reduced anxiety and better sleep, isn't it time you disconnected? Find out more at mandarinoriental.com

Don’t skimp on your daily moisturiser. Invest in Grown Alchemist Tinted hydra-repair Day Cream to improve moisture retention and keep skin hydrated. Sunscreens are a must to protect skin from the sun's harmful rays. Go for a broad-spectrum product like herbal essences broad Spectrum Sunsrceen lotion SPF30. Fast absorbing and nongreasy, it's ideal for the whole family. If you do spend a little too long in the sun spread lush Sympathy for the Skin – packed with cocoa butter and vanilla – on to sore spots.

On yOur bike US-bound this summer? Don’t forget to pack your spinning kit, as indoor-cycling giant Peloton have partnered with select Westin Hotels and Resorts across the States to offer guests in-room bikes. CEO John Foley explained, “Now our riders can continue to get the workout they love even while traveling,” something that fits the company’s long-standing goal to revolutionise the fitness industry.

30 World Traveller

The MOnThly Fix The rise of the vegan snack Virgin Atlantic is set to introduce its firstever onboard vegan snack. Boostball is made using natural, raw ingredients and comes in delicious-sounding flavours like mint choc chip and coconut fudge cake. With tempting tastes like that, it's going to be easy to make an inflight health-conscious snacking choice.


CheCk In escape

when you get back Escape symptoms with a soothing spa treatment Jet Lag Massage Heart & souL spa, aL Barari DuBai re-set your body clock and ease stiff muscles after a long flight with a deeply relaxing massage that use long strokes and sweeping movements to relieve tired muscles. Housed in the beautiful greenery of al Barari and surrounded by bamboo and bird song, it’s the perfect antidote for knocking jet lag on the head. 60 minutes ($122) heartandsoul.ae

Demystifying Jet lag With summer just around the corner, long flights are on the cards. We get some expert tips on banishing the effects of this travel vex Nothing can ruin holiday fun more quickly than a case of jet lag – a pounding headache, that can’t-shake-grogginess and being wideawake at 3am are the speediest ways to put the breaks on an action-packed itinerary. As luck would have it, scientists at the University of California, Berkeley have been carrying out some extensive research into the effects of jet lag. Turns out, it takes around one full day for every hour of time difference to combat the effects. So, if you travel from Dubai to London, a flight of around seven hours, it will take you a week until you start feeling yourself again. If you’re going in the opposite direction, it may be worse as travelling east is a bit more taxing on the body than heading west. Even the most experienced travellers can struggle with jet lag, but there are ways to minimise symptoms says Dr. Tara Swart, Neuroscientist in Residence at Corinthian Hotel London. "Berkeley's studies shows that acute disruption of our biological clocks can cause problems after travellers have returned to their regular schedule. But, there are ways to overcome the effects." According to this neuroscientist, it all comes down to a threepronged approach: pre-trip, inflight and on arrival. Here’s Dr. Swart's seven life hacks to minimise jet lag…

6 ways to combat Jet lag Pre-triP

● Start shifting your internal rhythm before you fly – depending if you’re headed east or west, exposure to additional light in the morning or afternoon a few days before departure will help your body make the necessary adjustments. in-Flight

● Fasting until it's time for breakfast in your new timezone will help to re-anchor your body’s natural rhythm. ● Drink at least 500ml of water for every 15kg of your body weight to limit the dehydrating effects of altitude.

recovery Massage WiLLoW streaM spa, FairMont DuBai recover from your flight at this palm Jumeirah based spa. Let the therapists soothe your body, bringing your inner balance back into sync and helping you to faster negate the tiring effects of jet lag no matter where you've flown in from. 45 minutes ($188) fairmont.com/palm-dubai

On arrival

● Try and do some aerobic exercise when you arrive - not only does this help to physically wake up the body, it also helps boost your mental performance. ● Expose yourself to as much daylight as possible. ● Adjust your sleep routine to the local timezone as quickly as possible and let your eyes see the transition from day to night, don’t sleep through it. World Traveller 31


Summer dreaming Escape the hustle and bustle of the city with a summer getaway at Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort

M

ake memories this summer by treating yourself and the family to a staycation at the beautiful Thai-inspired Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort on the iconic Palm Jumeirah. Kick-start the day with a delicious complimentary buffet breakfast. With a host of international cuisine on offer, even the fussiest of eaters will find something to enjoy. With the kids fed and everyone happy, relax on the resort’s private white sandy beach or cool down in the swimming pool. Should you decide to book a Lagoon Access villa, you can even enjoy stepping straight from your private deck into the glistening blue waters below. Swim up to 32 World Traveller


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the poolside bar for a tropical beverage or head to the beach where you can relax on a sun lounger under the blissful shade of an umbrella. Little ones will be in their element at the Tuk-Tuk Kids Club, where they can enjoy their own outdoor play area, water sports and an indoor playroom that’s brimming with toys and games. With the kids happy, treat yourself to some pampering at the extensive Anantara Spa where 18 luxury treatment rooms offer a wealth of Thai-inspired rituals and therapies. As evening falls, enjoy a sundowner against a backdrop of stunning city skyline views at The Lotus Lounge then get ready to dine in style. Take your

pick from a wide choice of dining options including pan-Asian eatery Mekong, international restaurant Crescendo or laid back Bushman's. This is a summer getaway where memories are just waiting to be made.

Special offer Simply book two nights or more on any best available rate with breakfast directly with the resort to enjoy an upgrade to half board for the duration of your stay. To book: Call +971 4 567 8999 Validity: 27 May – 31 August 2017 Rates start from USD172 (Dhs633). Find out more at dubai-palm.anantara.com

Terms and Conditions Package valid until 31 Aug 2017 and includes two+ nights accommodation in a room or villa with daily buffet breakfast for two adults and two children. Rates only available when booking by phone directly with the resort. Complimentary half board for two adults and two children below 12 years old sharing the room. Applies to Best Flexible Rate with breakfast. Above rate is subject to a 10% service charge, 10% municipality fee, and Tourism Dirham charge per bedroom (1 unit) per night of Dhs20. Offer is subject to black out dates during Eid Al Fitr from 23 June - 30 June 2017. The above benefits may not be used in conjunction with any other discount or exchanged for any other service or cash.

World Traveller 33


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Tour Highlights

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World Traveller 35


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36 World Traveller

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The locals’ guide to…

Prague

Europe’s favourite fairytale city has many faces; we get the inside track on where to go and what to see from three well-versed locals

Take Charles Bridge to the Old Town

For sightseeing Pavel Ruml mandarinoriental.com/prague Head concierge at Mandarin Oriental Prague, this is a man in the know. With just 24 hours in the city, what are the must-dos? Prague Castle with the Old Royal Palace and Golden Lane. Also do not miss Lobkowicz Museum, right at the end of Jirska Street. While there, you can enjoy a short classical music concert – it's on every day at 1pm. Take the Old Castle Steps down to Malostranska and cross Manesuv Bridge, this will lead you directly to the Old Town where you must see the Old Town Square and Old Town Hall with its Astronomical Clock. Tell us something about Prague that only the locals know. There is large Vietnamese community in Prague and there’s a small locale 38 World Traveller

known as Sapa on the outskirts of the city. Also called little Hanoi, it’s a place to experience authentic Vietnamese culture and life outside of Vietnam: pick up bargain electronics or clothes, have a hearty bowl of pho-bo and stock up on fish sauce, green tea, seafood, coriander and fresh tofu. What’s the most exciting cultural aspect? Prague is famous for its untouched historical centre which, for the most part, maintains the look of a Mediaeval metropolis of the 14th century. Even WWII did not leave many scars on the city centre and it’s why Prague has been inscribed on the list of UNESCO heritage sites. What’s the best place in the city to see and be seen? It has to be Vnitroblock. This former industrial space offers a wide range of cultural and artistic experiences. It's ideal if you're seeking a shopping spree in a relaxed atmosphere, you can head to the

Signature store & café – a gallery space for young designers and a showroom for local and Central European fashion brands. Doubling as a stylish café, it's a great spot to sip on a coffee and people watch. Any off-the-beaten track experiences that our readers should check out? Karlín district is located on the embankment between River Vltava and Vítkov Hill, separated from the New Town by Negrelli viaduct. This former ghetto and industrial area paradoxically flourished since the devastating flood of 2002 and it's now a vibrant part of the city, attracting hipsters and artists. It's been compared to London’s Soho and Manhattan’s Meatpacking district. Head here for the trendy cafés and bistros, but also for the cultural venues in former factory halls. The Negreli viaduct hosts pop-up bistros and the occasional concert and is soon to be occupied by cafés and art galleries.


CheCk In The locals’ guide

For style seekers Laura Alondra @ondrejlauraphoto Prague-based makeup artist Laura spills the city’s style secrets. Where’s the best spot for shopping? For luxury shopping and beautiful boutiques, pay a visit to Parizska Street; it’s a corner of excess with all the luxury names you can think of. If you prefer vintage finds, local designers and a whole collection of local food, then go to Dlouha Street located not too far from the bustle of the Old Town. What’s a stylish way to spend an evening? Don your finery and head to The Estates Theatre – the only still-functioning theatre in the world where Mozart conducted not one, but two premieres. Tell us a bit about the architectural style in the city Prague’s development is documented in the architectural expression of many historical periods and their styles from Romanesque to Gothic or Renaissance. One of the city's main sights, Prague Castle, is a fine example with its eclectic style visibly representing all the most important styles of Prague’s architecture. What’s the most stylish part of the city? You definitely should not miss Pernerova Street. Once the site of the engineering conglomerate ČKD, these days you’ll find Forum Karlín here, one of the best concert venues in the city. Don’t miss Eska – a popular bakery in the same complex designed by the famed Catalan architect Ricardo Bofill. Enjoy a show at The Estates Theatre

Eska is housed in a repurposed water heater factory

For foodies Jan Valenta

tasteofprague.com The man behind one of Prague’s most successful food blogs gives us some tips. What's trending food wise in Prague at the moment? Just like in many places around the world, donuts have been making some serious waves, with more or less success. Our favourites? The new kids on the block, cronuts by the Oh Deer bakery. Best place for breakfast and why? Definitely Café Savoy. Its breakfasts are very well made, quite opulent and served in beautiful surroundings inhabited by very elegant staff and guests. What’s the city’s best-kept foodie secret? I'd have to say the food on offer at the Story restaurant. Located in a villa district near the end of a tram line, Story has been serving some of the best food in the city for years, easily

outcooking many fancy restaurants in the city centre. The chef, formerly employed in various London Michelinstarred places, cooks like an angel. Must-try local food? Try fruit dumplings, the best representative of the uniquely Czech category of sweet main dishes. Is it a main? Is it a dessert? It’s both. And it’s delicious. Hottest foodie-area in town at the moment? The Karlin district, just east of the city centre. Whether it’s coffee, food or craft beverages, the hip venues in the up-and-coming neighbourhood will keep you satisfied. Your personal favourite restaurant in the city? Eska. From the light and airy environment of the repurposed water heater factory to the modern Czech food made from good and honest local ingredients, this place offers the lot. I could eat breakfast, lunch and dinner here. World Traveller 39


40 World Traveller


Destinations DISCOVER Zanzibar

Tanzania, Zanzibar is an island brimming with culture and history. From Stone Town’s Arabian-inspired streets to eclectic Nungwi on the north, it’s no wonder this archipelago is one of Africa’s most-visited

Cultural Fusion

Not only is Stone Town a UNESCO heritage site and the birthplace of Queen front-man Freddie Mercury, it’s also a smorgasbord of African, Arabian, Chinese, British and Portuguese influences and the largest part of Zanzibar City. Awaken to the sound of the call to prayer, wander cobbled alleyways dodging bicycles and motorcycles, then zigzag through the vibrant Darajani Market. As night falls, feast on street eats at Forodhani Gardens and watch the sun go down as you cheer on young Zanzibarians performing capoeira on the shores of the city's famous beach.

World Traveller 41


EsCapE rEality

Don’t worry – there are no inmates on Zanzibar's Prison Island anymore. The remote isle earns its namesake from its days as a former quarantine station, but today its most famous residents are somewhat more adorable. It’s home to the Giant Aldabra Tortoise colony – a Seychellois gift to Zanzibar many years ago. Massive and magnificent, some of these creatures weigh in at well over 200kg and the oldest ones are well over 100 years old. The island is also fringed with coral reef, making it ideal for a spot of snorkelling. The wooden docking pier is a great insta-worthy spot.

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destinations discover

animal magiC

Once home to countless leopards that are now sadly thought to be extinct, Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park in Zanzibar’s south is the only national park on the island and is a kaleidoscope of colour and exotic wildlife. The rare Zanzibar red colobus monkey resides there – named after Sir John Kirk who was British consul on the island from 1866 to 1887. Many other animals also call this reserve home: keep an eye out for blue duiker, Galago and over 50 species of butterfly. The $8 entry fee includes the services of a guide who’ll enthrall you with stories about the fauna and flora all around you as you wander through the park.

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EClECtiC Charm

On the northernmost tip of Unguja, is the charming village of Nungwi. Known for its dhow-building history, the boatyard is a photographer's dream and make sure that you don’t miss the nightly sunset procession from the beach when around 50 boats, all with billowing white sails, set off on deep sea fishing journeys. A clash of cultural traditions and consumerism exist here: you'll see girls sporting bright neon trainers and men swathed in traditional Masai cloth

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destinations discover

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Bloom town

Blossom dusts the boulevards and tulip beds trim the Kremlin in red, despite its intoxicatingly dark past, Moscow shines at this time of year Words: Phoebe Taplin

Flower beds in the Kremlin Garden

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destinations Moscow

A

fter the long, brutal Moscow winter comes a brief, beautiful spring. From late April, you’ll find the Russian capital at its most beautifully romantic. Wander past banks of tulips by the Kremlin walls or through orchards framing golden domes in blossom. Take riverside strolls, breakfast on terraces, find fairy-tale galleries or lay flowers on Chekhov's grave. Moscow's rebirth, as it finally shrugs off the lingering cold, feels like a miracle every year. And a horseshoe of tree-lined boulevards around the centre makes Moscow a flâneur's paradise. Strolling along the ice-free streets, kept pristine by armies of sweepers, is often quicker than sitting in traffic; while the Mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, has widened the walkways, planting fake flowers and bilingual signs, a controversial spring-clean that has made Moscow an easier city to walk in. When your legs are tired, ride the palatial Metro into the city's surprising suburbs to explore imperial country estates and gold-fountained Soviet exhibition grounds. Here's how to breathe it all in in one short trip‌ World Traveller 47


Day one: A spring painting of melted snow

First trip to Moscow? Start in the heart: Red Square, approaching from Kitai Gorod Metro station, down Ulitsa Varvarka, past historic spires and polished domes set alight by spring sunshine. You'll glimpse the medieval palace of the Romanov Boyars (shm.ru/museum/pbr), where the imperial family once lived; also the whitewashed Old English Court (mosmuseum.ru/association/ englishyard), a proto-embassy from the days of Ivan the Terrible. Finally, the multicoloured vision of St Basil's Cathedral, familiar and fantastical. You can see the twisted onions from below, the Kremlin's red clock tower looming behind. Cross Red Square's cobbles and detour through GUM, the colonnaded, 19th-century shopping centre, seasonally decked with faux blossom. Real flowers lie beyond the brick archways at the far end of Red Square (turn left into the Alexandrovsky Garden): colourbands of tulips march towards the walls and star-topped towers of the Kremlin, best seen over warm syrniki (cheese curd pancakes) with raspberry jam from the terrace of Bar BQ Cafe (barbqcafe.ru/en). The traffic-choked bridge at the garden's end is no idyllic Moscow River crossing. You do it for the photo-opp of the Kremlin over the water, the white Neo-Classical palaces and domed medieval cathedrals stacked above the towers of Moscow's central citadel, prettied with early-flowering cherry trees. Beyond fountain-ringed Bolotnaya Square, five minutes away, are waterside metal trees where newlyweds fasten symbolic padlocks. Duck into splendid Tretyakov Gallery (tretyakovgallery.ru/en/; closed Mondays) to gaze at classical art, from early icons to luminous 19th-century landscapes. Among the spring paintings of melting snow, focus on Alexei Savrasov's The Rooks have Returned, shiver-inducing with its bare branches. Now wander Zamoskvorechye, the surrounding area, all pink-and russetpainted mansions and clapboard cottages, peonies budding outside. Among its treasures is the riverside sculpture garden Muzeon (muzeon.ru), home to the 'fallen idols' of Soviet history, including the granite Stalin with a broken nose. You're now 3km from Red Square. With sunshine and stamina you can manage six more: along the traffic-free riverbank, 48 World Traveller

through revamped Gorky Park, made famous by Martin Cruz Smith's eponymous 1981 Cold War thriller. The original Soviet pleasure grounds, laid out in 1928, are now full of cool, riverside cafes with free wi-fi and even yoga. The AC/DC in Tbilisi kiosk (does a brisk trade in Georgian flavours (big in Moscow) and gourmet burgers with smoked cheese, sour plum sauce, purple basil and pickled peppers. Or grab fresh lemonade and retro pelmeni dumplings filled with salmon or cherries, on sale at neighbouring cafes. West beyond Gorky Park, the riverside woods grow wilder, and carpets of anemones flourish yellow in the shade, as you walk to Moscow's most famous viewpoint. Sparrow Hills, crowned with souvenir sellers and weekend wedding parties, surveys the skyline: domed monasteries, chimneyed factories, and six of the Gothic skyscrapers commissioned by Stalin, the seventh and largest (Moscow State University) towering behind you. Around sunset, the panorama may be washed with gold light, domes gleaming. As the temperature drops, end up at Tramplin Restaurant (tramplin-rest.com) its shavel borscht, a soup of lemony sorrel leaves with cucumber, garlic and mushrooms, tastes like spring in a bowl.

Day two: A picnic of wild strawberries

A ride on the Metro is unmissable - it's like a huge underground art gallery. Be sure to tour the ornate stops of the circular 'brown line', with their stained-glass panels, blingy chandeliers and patriotic murals. Depart from sport-themed Park Kultury, near the Muzeon, and get off, 10 minutes later, at gold-and-white-pillared Prospekt Mira station, for a backstreet wander to Victor Vasnetsov's wood-gabled cottage, full of carved furniture and bright ceramic stoves. Vasnetsov was a 19th-century artist, whose canvases of flowering woods and folkloric princes are the essence of the Russian spring. Several are on show in the attic where he painted them, and his home has a fairy-tale feel, even amid a thicket of tower blocks. For elevenses, you need Prospekt Mira, one of Moscow's huge radial roads. Here, serving homemade honey cake, not far from Vasnetsov's cottage, is one of the Karavaev Brothers' canteens (karavaevi.

Typical colourful neoclassical architecture


destinations Moscow

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“Moscow's late spring ensures crocuses, daffodils and grape hyacinths bloom" ru), overlooking Russia's oldest surviving botanical garden. Moscow's late spring ensures crocuses, daffodils and grape hyacinths bloom at once in this little beauty (hortus.ru), founded by Peter the Great in 1706. Paths wind among dinky white Star of Bethlehem flowers and waves of pink corydalis, like little bells; by the ornamental pond is a 300-year-old willow, that's said to be central Moscow's oldest living thing. If it's warm, you could picnic. Ride the orange Metro line from Prospekt Mira one stop to Rizhskaya, for the Farmers' Market behind the Metro stop. The scents of its exuberant flower stalls overpower even the smells of warm bread, dried apricots and pickled garlic. Outside, under umbrellas, foragers sell tiny wild strawberries. Add them to your picnic of smoked cheese and apricots, and take the orange line three more stops to VDNKh station. A decade ago, a Scooby-Doo-themepark air of dereliction hung about the abandoned pavilions and fountains of the Soviet exhibition grounds called VDNKh (vdnh.ru/en). In shiny new Moscow, as canned patriotic music serenades young 50 World Traveller

couples skating past flowerbeds, they're a bit creepy: central among the new museums is an exhibition of Russian history with images of tsars on the outside walls, presided over by a giant portrait of Putin. An authoritarian makeover. Yet VDNKh is enjoyably eccentric, its cafes, shops and galleries ideal for uncertain weather. The real joy? Simply meandering past steel statues 30m high and jasmine-scented gardens – there's even a Soviet-age Vostok rocket. At nightfall, endless fountains are lit up in different colours and you sip glowing bulbs of liquid under the cupola of the Armenian Pavilion, while neon jets play about the 16 gold women and waterspouting wheatsheaf representing the 'friendship of nations'. Strolling from Tretyakovskaya Metro station through restaurant-lined Zamoskvorechye, Strelka bar where a terrace overlooking the edifices that span Moscow's tempestuous ages awaits. On colder nights, there's warm mango punch to sip, as the wide Moscow river flows by, under moon-silvered clouds.

Day three: Scenic stories among apple orchards

Spring is a season for love stories. Moscow has hundreds, haunting every street, and you can ease any weariness in the company of romantic ghosts. Take the T15 bus to Novodevichy Cemetery. Hop on it opposite Kropotkinskaya Metro, and trundle along Prechistenka, one of Moscow's most elegant streets. Isadora Duncan once ran a ballet school at No. 20; she married Soviet poet Sergei Yesenin, who hanged himself three years later, having written a final poem in his blood. After a scenic 20 minutes, disembark by the red-and-white walls of the Baroque Novodevichy Convent. The cemetery next door, full of dead clowns and cosmonauts, is an atmospheric place to wander and idle among the picturesque tombs. In the older part, Anton Chekhov lies buried under the same May-flowering cherry as his wife. A rippling Russian flag marks Boris Yeltsin's resting place. A whitemarble ballerina, flower-bedecked, contrasts with Yuri Nikulin, actor and circus clown, sitting smoking by his sleeping bronze dog.


Phoebe Taplin / The Sunday Times Travel magazine

destinations Moscow

It's time to bus it back, exiting at Nikitskiye Vorota Square, near the fabulous Art Nouveau Gorky House (museum.ru), with its pink-mosaic frieze of orchids and irises around the walls. Inside, organic designs include bronze dragonfly door handles and writhing silver lizards above the waveform marble staircase. Or, to escape a shower, you might step into the yellow church opposite, where the poet Alexander Pushkin married beautiful Natalya Goncharova, dying in a duel over her six years later. Return to the bus stop and turn left along the lilac perfumed boulevard bordered with cafes for lunch, then explore the Metro itself. Five minutes up the boulevard is Tverskaya, a stop on the 'dark green' line, one of Moscow's oldest and finest. One stop north (and a two-minute detour), the mosaic ceiling panels of Mayakovskaya present a 24-hour cycle of swimmers and sunflowers, oranges and parachutes. Four stops south is vaulted Avtozavodskaya station, named after the car factory that operated nearby. One stop further is Kolomenskaya station and Kolomenskoye Park, Moscow's ultimate spring wonder. From the early 16th century, a succession of tsars added to the formal gardens and wooden cottages seen today. It is always lovely, with its honey-scented limes and flowering fruit trees. In late spring, it's a must-see. Paths head uphill, past a blue clifftop spire built by Ivan the Terrible's father to celebrate his son's birth. A staircase lifts you to the highest orchard, its ways scattered with white petals where, weeks earlier there was snow. On one side: apple trees and river views; on the other, steps down to the 'Golosov Ravine', said to be named after a pagan god. Beribboned trees surround revered rocks near a spring. Unearthed settlements date to millennia before Moscow's 12th-century founding. Heading back to the Metro, stop at one of the outdoor log-cabin cafes. Amid drifting blossom, charcoal smoke and views of churches in orchards, enjoy barbecued kebabs, honey-rich mead, buttery pancakes and, for one last time, the Moscow spring, in all its timeless splendour. Inspired to travel to Moscow? To book a trip, call +971 4 316 6666 or log on to dnatatravel.com

Visit the grave of circus clown Yuri Nikulin at Novodevichy Cemetery

Moscow's subways are nothing short of splendid

Enjoy green city views and Russian eats at Tramplin Restaurant

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USA deStinAtionS

West coast

cruising

Get behind the wheel of a dream drive, going solo through a slice of unvarnished America. From Seattle to Portland, coast and city fuelled by a good dose of coffee Words: Adrien Tierney-Jones

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T

he late afternoon daubed brushstrokes of slanting sun onto Seattle airport's clutter of concrete and wire fencing as I signed a bunch of forms and took the set of keys. “Have a good trip,” said the sales clerk in the crisp, white shirt. “Thanks. I'm off on a road trip,” I replied, possibly unnecessarily. The man noted my grin and turned back to his paperwork. As if he hadn't heard that one a thousand times before. As if he hadn't guessed. Still, I had to share my excitement with someone. In the days ahead lay a drive through the great Pacific Northwest, south from Seattle to Portland, a journey I'd long dreamt of, interspersed with dark pine woods and foggy Pacific coves, clapboard villages and refreshing pit stops. In my head, as I searched for my car, I was already on the road, left hand dangling from the window while I swept down a ribbon of tarmac in my glinting '69 Chevy. As it turned out, I'd been allocated a white Nissan Sentra – four doors of calm suburban obedience but, purring into the sunlight, I was soon in the thick of freeway traffic, heading towards the hilly sprawl of Seattle, a colony of cranes spearing the sky. I had a hunch that this city would be the perfect way in to my dream trip-through-a-slice-of-real-USA. It was famously cool rather than naffly Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous (like LA, further south). Home to great coffee, it was also on the doorstep of some wonderfully wild America, the Pacific Northwest – a region remote enough to be romantically atmospheric, but not savage and scary, as in The Hills Have Eyes. To cap it all, I had the ideal 'book-end' to my motoring holiday: Portland, Oregon, Seattle's trendy twin, three hours' drive away if you follow the Interstate 5 direct. Me, I planned to meander for a few days, in a lazy loop taking in the Pacific coast. In Seattle, rested up, I stepped out of boho Hotel Max into a sunny, sensory assault: blonde dreadlocks and bold tattoos, broad avenues and roasting aromas from coffee shops (including the original Starbucks, sprouting an inevitable selfie-snapping queue). Despite the obvious signs of 'corporate creep' — the sun-glittered glass-and-steel towers in the business district — I fell for the individualistic attitude of this historic city, once the last staging post for the Klondike Gold Rush. It was almost a pastiche of its 'alternative' image in places: a grungy young woman on a corner sang saccharine German lieder; a girl went by, leading a terrier with turquoise-painted claws. Seattle's smallbatch/locavore ethic was much in evidence: fresh juice was on sale everywhere, made from apples grown just outside the city limits. In Pike Place Market (a foodie fixture since the early 19th century), white-coated workers belted out acapella chants as crabs and salmon were picked over and tossed backwards to be dressed. Next door, in the

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Seattle is home to the original Starbucks, which opened in 1971

dark-wood confines of the Pike Brewing Company, I settled in with a glass of hops. I left Seattle, blearyeyed, early the next morning on the Interstate 5, rolling south. It was a working day of humming traffic. As Seattle's office outcrops dwindled, Tacoma appeared on billboardsized green route signs overhead, drawing our three-lane slurry south. I hit the radio and Blue Oyster Cult's Don't Fear the Reaper drifted out. I touched the accelerator and, meekly, the Nissan obliged. It wasn't exactly Thelma & Louise, but as Mount Rainier rose to the east — placid, immense and snow-capped at the summit — I felt a buzz of exhilaration about the miniepic journey ahead. The blue glint of Puget Sound heralded the port city of Tacoma itself, 55km down the I-5. When the Western Terminus for the Northern Pacific Railroad (‘All the way from the Great Lakes to the Pacific Ocean!') was built here in 1870, a golden age for Tacoma was promised. But the vicissitudes of the 20th century took an eventual toll. As I stretched my legs, strolling through the Downtown district, I saw the facades of decrepit warehouses, still bearing the faded names of long-gone businesses. Something about it evoked the romantic desolation of the America painted by Edward Hopper in the late '20s. A trolley bus clanged in the distance, the signal to move on. Although not before I'd had a burger the size of Mount Rainier at Harmon — a contented loner among the comforting din of diners. The sense of downturn stayed with me that afternoon, west along Route 12 towards the sea. Through the window brooded the dark hills of the Capitol State Forest as Oakville flitted by, a fleeting vision of Nowheresville, USA: a sign for a firearm auction, a small girl and her Labrador motionless outside the general store.


deStinAtionS USA

Space Needle, an icon of Seattle

“Home to great coffee, it was also on the doorstep of some wonderfully wild America, the Pacific Northwest"

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deStinAtionS USA

“It was as if the humdrum road so far had been laid down to play up this spectacular punchline"

The Long Beach area is filled with winding mountain roads

Gritty Aberdeen, birthplace of Kurt Cobain, announced itself with a welcome sign to Come As You Are, in the words of the Nirvana song. To be honest, I didn't feel that welcome. It was lined with pick-up trucks from which dogs scowled with angry mistrust — gloomy. But as I continued onto Route 105, ahead lay salvation: for the first time in my life, I saw the Pacific. It was as if the humdrum road so far had been laid down to play up this spectacular punchline. Slate-blue, the ocean wobbled and swelled. Cormorants bobbed on the waves like black-clad priests, stabbing the surface for food. This was the Pacific Northwest I'd always imagined, the reason I'd come. I stood inhaling the heady salt air until a speedboat's drone broke the spell, then hopped back in the car, and continued on my way. The road passed more small communities where battered clapboard houses had clearly seen better times, before local industries — timber, fishing — hit challenges. But with the car window down, Washington State was working its way into my veins, as scents filled the air — of brine and wet pine, drifting down from ghostmisted hills. This wasn't a road trip of famous sights — no Grand Canyon, no Hollywood sign — but it was dawning on me how you don't need major-league attractions to feel a thrill in America. Somehow even the everyday has its own tick-list of iconic experiences. I pulled over at Long Beach, where a lonely spit of land lay north-south like a hammerhead in the Pacific. A strong wind was swirling along the beach, speckled with tottering birds and a few hardy families behind windbreaks. Long Beach was nothing like its California namesake. In the dunes I stumbled upon the startling sight of a long-dead grey whale, forsaken by one of the schools that swim this way between March and May, migrating south to Mexico for the winter. Across the border in Oregon, night was falling on the port of Astoria as I swept in with lines of trucks, over the Astoria-Megler Bridge. It reared above the Columbia river, which separates the two states, like the fossilised backbone of some phantasmagorical beast. My arrival was timed perfectly: at the Cannery Pier Hotel, built on the site of a canning factory, they were serving a buffet of local cheese, smoked salmon and white grape. Later, at the boisterous Fort George Brewery, I wound up talking Wittgenstein with a bar-philosopher, drinking Belgian beverages. I drifted off to sleep with a headful of memories from the road so far: wooded ridges and rocky inlets; amber ales and creamy clam chowder at some small diner or other. “We come here every year,” said the husband of a couple who'd heard my accent over breakfast next morning. “There's something down-to-earth about Astoria.” He was right, although there was something otherworldly about it, too: one turreted house looked spooky, and I imagined kids telling World Traveller 57


Xxxxxxxxxx deStinAtionS Skidmore in Portland is one of only two designated historic districts in Oregon

“It was an earthy town, its architecture redolent of oldstyle USA" 58 World Traveller


deStinAtionS USA

tales of ghostly inhabitants. It was an earthy town, its architecture redolent of old-style USA. The former state jail (now a film museum) needed only John Wayne in a Stetson outside. A wall on the maritime museum was engraved with the names of residents who'd worked at sea and in the canneries: another humbling story of small-town endeavour. By the time I hit the road again, low clouds had settled in wisps over the wooded hills of northern Oregon. I was now on highway 101, following the Pacific south to Newport, where I'd turn inland and make for Portland, the end of my journey. I made the most of the rain-flecked day, stopping at yet another viewing place to indulge my insatiable fascination with the ocean. The nondescript hiss of passing cars was the only soundtrack until, with a bone-juddering roar, a Harley-Davidson thundered by, quite a sight. The Nissan all but blushed as the rider passed resplendent in lumberjack checks and leather, clearly ruling the road. “You wanna know the best thing about living out here?” a dentist asked me that night as I explored Newport’s nightlife. “You can be your own boss — it's the American ideal.” Country music played on the jukebox and a spritely fisherman called Frosty kept boasting about the day's catch, and the dentist stayed until it was closing time. He was obviously his own boss. Behind the cosmopolitan aroma of coffee, Newport had a stubble-chin charm. It was as far from Seattle as you could possibly be, with sea lions basking in bright sunshine alongside the waterfront Anchor Pier Lodge next morning when I awoke. If only I could

have bottled this place and taken it with me… My recompense lay 145km inland, in the Willamette Valley, its gentle hills braided with vineyards whose delights I had to resist — I could sense the Nissan Sentra giving me one of its prim, disapproving glances from the car park. In Portland, an hour north along Interstate 5, we said goodbye, the Nissan and I. It'd been a faithful companion, but this was the end of the affair. I was about to fall in love with a self-confident city, so much calmer than Seattle. Portland felt European. Elegant columns and gables adorned the facades of Skidmore/Old Town district, wwhere in the 19th century the city began. Restaurants and bars burbled sociably on every corner. Food carts, parked beside the banks of the Willamette river, invited wanderers to munch their way around the world. As I sat devouring a massive stuffed burrito, smothered in a rich Mexican mole sauce, a woman approached. “Are you lost?” she asked, noticing me scouring my city map as she got into her car after a gym session. She reeled off a list of must-see sights then added, “The Navy's in tomorrow and this road will be lined with girls from outside town.” She gave me an appraising look. I thanked her — and promptly walked off at a pace. After the past few days of mellow meanderings, my heart now belonged to the highways of the Pacific Northwest, and my lust was just the wandering kind. Inspired to travel? To book a trip, call +971 4 316 6666 or log on to dnatatravel.com Greenery as far as the eye can see in Willamette valley

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The

Omani tropics

Historically known for its frankincense, things are changing in the summer playground of Salalah with the opening of the first luxury villa resort. We head south to discover it for ourselves Words: Hayley Skirka

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destinations salalah

“T

Dolphins frolick off the coast of Salalah

here,” shouted captain Hussain; grinning widely and pointing to the starboad side of the small boat we were aboard. The vessel tipped sharply to the left as eleven people hurled themselves to the other side of the deck, desperate for a glimpse of Salalah’s most playful marine creatures. iPhone at the ready, I joined the group – craning my eyes to skim the striking turquoise surface of the Arabian sea. And then, I saw it. Ever so smoothly, a gleaming streak of silver, slicing the surface. “There’s more,” announced one of the crew indicating a few metres to the right. Switching my gaze, I looked further out to sea, and sure enough, just in front of us was a flurry of dorsal fins, crescentshaped bodies and gasping blowholes popping in and out of the blue. The next hour passed in a blur as countless dolphin came curiously close to our boat, breaking the surface of the water, circling around and coming back for another look. At one point, we lost sight of the pod. Unfazed, the crew turned on the engine and we sped south where, a few minutes later, the pod reappeared and we all hung out for the next 30 minutes or so – the dolphin seeming almost as curious about us as we were about them. We were in Salalah, on the south coast of Oman and a place that plays host to several species of dolphin, enough that you’re almost guaranteed a spotting. Many of the sailing companies run trips with money-back guarantees so confident they are that you’re venture be unfruitful. It’s another story in Khareef season – the busiest time for this region – the sea is too rough to venture out on so visiting in July or August is likely to bring more time hiking, cycling or picnicking in the lush green landscapes instead of being out on the water. Today, however, our dolphin wishes were sated and we sped back towards the shore, ready for some respite from the bright Salalah sunshine. Passing rocky cliffs, sporadic palm trees and shoreline resorts, we arrived back to the small marina where we disembarked and climbed into the waiting van, headed to the city’s newest abode, the Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara. Having long been Oman’s most-famous coastal playground, what the capital of southern Oman’s Dhofar province has offered in terms of beautiful beaches and unspoilt shorelines it has simultaneously lacked in ultra-luxe resorts, until now. Having opened its doors at the end of 2016, the sprawling coastal resort offers a breath of luxury fresh air to Salalah-bound travellers. We’d landed the day before at the multi-billion -dirham Salalah International Airport – which looks like it has been built with the vision of welcoming millions of visitors every single year – and it was just World Traveller 61


a short 15 minute transfer to the newest abode on this Dhofar coastline. Arriving to a warm Omani welcome featuring traditional music, frankincense-infused cold towels and smiles almost as wide as the resorts’ imposing front doorway, I headed off to my villa where, dangling on the door, was a colourful hand-painted coconut palm bearing my name, a nice touch. Stepping indoors, the ambiance was undoubtedly luxurious, but with a strong sense of location thanks to the majlis-style seating and wooden doors crafted by traditional Omani carpenters. My gaze was drawn to the huge soaking tub overlooking the private garden where, it transpired, I could step immediately outside and into the private plunge pool. Beautifully designed, it’s obvious that these one-bedroom garden pool villas have been carefully planned to offer a sense of privacy, something that's sure to resonate well with GCC visitors. Whether enjoying the pool or lounging on the plush cabana, you're shielded from prying eyes thanks to a surround of walls. That said, the beach vibe is never far away with palm trees that tower over the villa walls and a floppy sunhat and beach ball on loan in-suite. Although I felt like I hadn’t had nearly enough occasion to appreciate my villa, it was dinner time so I ventured outside, headed for Sakalan – the resort’s all-day dining restaurant. With a name that translates to land of Frankincense, sitting on the terrace, surrounded by three of the hotel’s immpresive 29 water features and dining on deliciously fresh seafood – it was easy to grasp why it’s a land worth a visit. Post feast, we wandered across to Al Mina for a beverage and some uplifting entertainment from the resident band. Other dining options include the lagoon facing Mekong which serves Asian-inspired delights and Anantara’s signature Dining by Design where you can dine on the beach at a table carved out of sand, surrounded by flaming torches and enjoying the peaceful sound of the ocean lapping on the shore. After a particularly restful night’s sleep, I awake early the next morning in order to explore the resort in the cold light of day. As the first five-star villa resort on Salalah’s coastline, Anantara has set the standard high for the shape of things to come. Nestled between the lagoon of Al Baleed and a calm ocean inlet, the hotel’s design is inspired by the architecture of ancient Omani fortresses. A logo depicting three frankincense trees adorns the entrance wall – a logo that was penned, at least in part, by Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said – the Governate’s leader for the past 46 years. Keen to explore further, my group and I headed outside towards Al Baleed Archeological Park. A Unseco-protected site – and part of the ancient frankincense trail – it’s a fascinating location and a great way to garner information of Oman’s days gone by. Next 62 World Traveller

Khareef season brings the monsoon rains

Al Baleed resort has no less than 29 water features

Tropical vibes abound on the south coast of Oman


destinations salalah

Enjoy the perfect sunset overlooking the lagoon

‘With our thirst for culture sated, we head back to the resort, passing lush coconut and banana plantations packed with towering tropical palm trees”

door, The Museum of The Frankincense Land shines further light on Dhofar’s most precious commodity then delves into the country’s maritime past. With our thirst for culture quenched, we head back to the resort, passing lush coconut and banana plantations packed with towering tropical palm trees. Speeding by countless fruit stalls a few miles further makes me wonder how on earth any of the stall owners viably turn a profit, given that they’re each selling identical produce from identical stalls. That however, doesn’t seem to be something that bothers the weathered Omani stallholders who flash us grins and wave cheerily as we trundle by. From our airport driver to our villa host, the cheery sailing crew and these market traders, there’s a definite sense of unhurried warmth resonating among Dhofar’s residents. Back at the hotel, we head to the spa. Crafted to evoke the essence of an Arabian villa, it's also home to Salalah’s only hammam and rasul facilities, although they weren't quite complete on our visit. Instead, we indulged in a signature massage: 90-minutes of acupressure, aromatherapy and massage perfection which set us up nicely for a sunset yoga session on the powdery beach.

Following our instructor’s meditative postures,I succumbed to a feeling of inner serenity, watching the orange sun descend from the sky above, spetcaularly transforming the horizon into a shimmering orange mirage. As a camel meanders slowly along the beach, led by a local villager, it gives us pause to take stock of exactly where we are in the world. Having been sealed off from the rest of Arabia by the Rub Al Khaili, the largest contiguous sand desert in the world, things are changing in this bedouin land. The opening of Salalah's new airport, the launch of the city's first luxury villa resort and introduction of direct flights from the UAE and beyond suggest that time is no longer standing still for this ancient land of frankincense. And yet, in the midst of all this change, one aspect of Dhofar is certain to remain constant – the genuine warmth of the Omani people, ever ready to welcome visitors with a smile, their convivial hospitality and, of course, plenty of their frankincense-infused wares. FlyDubai now flies direct to Salalah International Airport from Dubai. Inspired to travel? To book a trip call +971 4 316 6666 or visit dnatatravel.com World Traveller 63


A MODERN HOTEL IN THE VIBRANT HEART OF THE CITY, JUST A SHORT DRIVE AWAY FROM EVERYWHERE That’s what matters to me.

Corner Abu Baker Al Siddique and Sallahudin Road, Dubai, UAE T +971 4 6013999 | E dubai.deira@avanihotels.com avanihotels.com


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

Plain sailing Fancy setting sail in a beautifully restored Omani dhow? Well, now you can with the launch of Dhahab at Six Senses Zighy Bay. An impressive 27 m long, this seafaring vessel cruises the spectacular Musandam fjords at a comfortable 10 knots, perfect for drinking in the surrounding scenery. All aboard for a three day sailing expedition exploring from Zighy bay up the coast of Musandam, past remote fishing villages and secluded bays bursting with marine life. When evening falls, anchor in a private bays surrounded by spectacular rugged mountains and beautiful starry skies. Find out more at sixsenses.com World Traveller 65


A long weekend in…

Sofia

Around a five-hour flight from the GCC, the effortlessly cool Bulgarian capital is brimming with history, culture and yellow brick roads

Follow the yellow brick road for one of the best walking routes around the city. A gift from an Austro-Hungarian emperor to a Bulgarian Tsar, thousands of canarybright bricks pave Tsar Osvoboditel Boulevard and they’ll steer you all the way from the Soviet-style governmental buildings, passed the National Art Gallery to the historic Parliament Square. Culture vultures can't miss the oldest theatre in the country. Housed in the City Gardens, also the oldest park in the city, the Ivan Vosav National Theatre is named after the man deemed the patriarch of Bulgarian literature. After your visit, wander through the garden among chess-playing locals and enjoy the beautiful fountains.

Zhenski Pazar is a fusion of jumbled market stalls

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For a shopping experience to remember, head to the lively Zhenski Pazar. A fusion of jumbled stores offering fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and cheese, this market is a haven of activity and colour. While there, check out the open-air antique market just across the street – it’s a good spot for finding unusual souvenirs.


weekends sofia

If it’s history that you’re after, then you’ve come to the right place. Built on the ruins of a settlement founded in 2000 BC by a Thracian tribe, the full extent of Sofia’s history has only been uncovered in the past few decades thanks to building work for the metro when bulldozers unearthed ancient streets and preserved houses. Many of these excavation sites are now open to the public. Head to the Presidential Palace to catch the changing of the guard ceremony. Taking place hourly every day, stately soldiers perform choreographed marching in formations dating back to yesteryear. If you happen to be in town on the first Wednesday of the month, arrive at noon for an even bigger event involving live

music, weapon twirling and brightly coloured costumes. The Sofia tram line is one of the quickest and easiest ways to get around the city. Roll down Graf Ignatiev Street to Sloekiov Square where you can spot a sculpture of the two Bulgarian writers Pencho and Petko Slaveikovs, then stroll myriad of bookstores and stop in at Confetti, a favourite with the locals, for delicious homemade ice-cream.

Ask A locAl Try the Balkan Bites Food Tour. It sets off daily at 2pm from Park Crystal, is totally free and will give you an insight into Bulgarian tradition, food and culture as well as showing you the places that we locals like to eat in. Don't miss SunMoon, it's my favourite vegetarian spot. –Olga Peneff, tourguide at balkanbites.com

Keep little ones happily entertained at Ariana Lake in Boris Garden. An ice-rink in the winter, this place is transformed into a popular boating lake during summer. Hire a pedalo or a rowing boat and head out on the water. SunMoon serves vegetarian dishes inspired by Bulgarian traditions

Did you know? The city’s name has changed several times during its history. In ancient times it was known as Sardica, then Sredets, and finally Triaditsa before it acquired its present moniker in the 14th century.

Don't miss the changing of the guard ceremony

Trams make getting around the capital a breeze

Where to stAy SenSe HoTel SoFIa The city’s first luxury boutique hotel located above the yellow-bricked boulevard is a minimalist glass haven has unique brass window shutters that open out to amazing city views. Book the Sense suite to enjoy your own private balcony overlooking the fairytale city below. sensehotel.com

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A taste of

Addis Ababa

Ethiopia is a magical African experience where food takes centre stage. We speak to Chef Beibe Worku about the gourmet line-up in his home city

Introduce us to Ethiopian food Food in Ethiopia is both intimate and shared at the same time. There's both meat and vegetable dishes and we don’t use utensils but eat with our hands using spongy breads to scoop up the food. Traditionally, we also serve meals as sharing platters What’s the most popular local dish? It would have to be shiro, a hearty chickpea gravy that can range from mild to spicy. It’s the everyday-man’s staple dish as it’s super quick and affordable. As with almost all Ethiopian dishes, it’s served with injera – the famous sourdough flat bread crafted of glutenfree Teff grain. You’ll certainly never forget your first taste of injera. Is there a specific dish that’s served on special occasions? Yes, Doro Wot is usually dished up during holidays or festivities. It’s a whole chicken braised in rich spicy sauce and it’s the focus for a welcome dinner for important visitors. What’s the most prominent ingredient used in Ethiopian cooking? Onion reduction is used for all the sauces and stews while berbere

pepper is a local spice that’s similar to cayenne pepper and used all the time. Also, Ethiopian herbed butter, which is a clarified ingredient similar in consistency to ghee. Are there any customs that visitors should know about? In the first few minutes of meeting someone there’s a good chance they’ll invite you to eat with them – declining such an offer is almost a sign of disrespect. If you really need to, then make sure you refuse politely and have a good reason. Otherwise, simply enjoy the hospitality. Tell us a little about the general culture of eating in Ethiopia It’s a really amazing culture where the focus is all about sharing and intimacy – complete strangers will ask you if you want to share their food if they’re served before you. Enebela means 'let’s eat' and it’s the most commonly used word in an Ethiopian restaurant. Gursha means feeding another person from your own hand as an act of endearment and is an expression of genuine affection. Chef Beibe is based in Dubai and owns Gursha restaurant at Club Vista Mare, Palm Jumeirah

Chef Beibe Worku hails from Ethiopia

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don't miss Where should visitors go for a special meal? Yob Abyssinia, it’s the best traditional Ethiopian restaurant – not only for the food, but to experience the music and cultural dances. Be sure to book ahead as it’s super popular. Local dish to try? Our raw beef dishes like beef tartare (called Kitfo) or raw beef cubes known as gored gored, both of which are simply tossed in herbed butter and spices. If you're keen to try them, but are feeling unsure then it’s okay to ask the chef to cook them slightly for you. Best place for a quick bite? One of my favourites is Enrico’s Café. Known for its pastries, it also has some great coffee options. Find it near the Piassa section in Addis Ababa where it has been forever.


weekendS A taste of

Ethiopian food is all about sharing, intimacy and, of course, injera

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WEEKENDs Travel notes

Pulling the trigger A longstanding part of Emirati culture, annual shooting festivals are held across the country every year. Hayley Skirka heads to Al Ain for some expert instruction

N

Al Ain, UAE

ot knowing quite what to expect – other than the loud clap of a bullet leaving a gun at some point –we head out of Dubai in the direction of Al Ain where we’re booked in to the Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club to try our hand at two shooting disciplines - target shooting followed by an attempt at clay shooting. Arriving at our destination, we make our way into the shooting club where we don khaki bulletproof jackets and protective eyewear before being led into a soundproofed room where the pistol shooting takes place. We’re handed some yellow earmuffs to protect our eardrums and then told to stand in our ranges, each surrounded by bulletproof glass. Our instructor begins to brief us on holding our guns, only to notice that I’m struggling a little with the grip. “Are you left handed?” he asks, to which I nod. With that, he disappears for a few minutes and comes back with a slightly different looking gun – and one that doesn’t look quite as professional as the one my friend is holding. A little disappointed, I take the pistol and pay attention as he briefs us on holding the guns, aiming accurately and firing. Directive over, he loads the bullets into each of our pistols and it’s the moment of truth. Standing with my feet shoulder width apart, arms outstretched and aiming slightly above the target’s centre, I feel a strong sense of adrenaline as I slowly press on the trigger. Nothing happens. I squeeze again, a little harder this time and suddenly, a bullet whizzes out, stunning me with its force. The speed at which it leaves the gun is amazing and I’m surprised at how my hand recoils ferociously. While this gun might not look like the others, it certainly does just as good a job of firing bullets. The noise is incredible – a deafening bang. Taking a

breath to compose myself, I’m soon ready to fire again. Our instructor loads up the guns with five rounds of bullets and we’re encouraged to keep firing until the ammunition is depleted. But hearing that loud bang with my hand fiercely jerking upwards after each shot, I feel the need to keep stopping, recovering my nerves and starting again. My friend on the other hand is firing wildly. As we go, I’m pretty certain that I’m way off target but, with the bullets finished, our instructor rolls the target sheet towards us and I’ve actually almost hit the centre. My friend’s wild firing hasn’t been quite successful: her sheet shows a flurry of hits, but they're all way left of target. Feeling pleased with myself, it’s time to head outside for a spot of clay shooting. We’re trying Trap Shooting – where targets are launched from a single house – and our session begins with a talk about the gun, the importance of handling it correctly and how to accurately shoot a moving target. With my cheekbone resting on the handle, I’m slightly apprehensive that if this heavier gun recoils as mercilessly as the pistol, I’m likely to be left with a pretty big bruise on my face but my instructor assures me it wont' be quite as powerful so, I step up to the challenge, Looking down the line of the barrel of the gun, I raise it level with the target and wait for the call to shoot. As soon as I hear it, I squeeze the trigger and CRACK – I’ve gone and hit the target first time! I can’t hide my grin. Easing into the swing of it, I hit a few more and would have loved to keep going, but after 15 minutes, my arms are already beginning to ache. Having never even held a gun before no less fired one, I’m amazed at how much fun was had. For a weekend activity when you’ve had your fill of beach clubs and brunches, this is an ideal choice. aesgc.com

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Staycations

Sometimes you just need to get away from it all. Our round-up of places to escape to across the GCC will guarantee you’re all set for a weekend of stress-free fun

Lapita, Dubai Parks & Resorts, Autograph Collection

JW Marriott Marquis Dubai

Palazzo Versace Dubai palazzoversace.ae

jaresortshotels.com

Location dubai

Location dubai

Location dubai

Location hatta

In a nutshell A Polynesian paradise that's perfect for thrillseekers thanks to its location in Dubai Parks and Resorts. A restful retreat from all the action.

In a nutshell Towering above Sheikh Zayed Road, this is the tallest hotel in the world and offers elegant rooms, an amazing spa and breathtaking city vistas.

In a nutshell Hotels don't come much more fabulous than this waterfront fashion abode with gorgeous Italian interiors.

In a nutshell Family-friendly and beautifully charming, this is the perfect spot for a weekend in the surrounds of the Hajjar Mountains.

Selected suite Inspired by tropical Polynesian landscapes, the Deluxe King Room also has a spacious balcony and pool views.

Selected suite Make the most of the prime location and impressive elevation by booking into one of the Deluxe Corner Suites.

Selected suite Each of the Palazzo Versace suites is a classic masterwork of dĂŠcor and space. Impeccably furnished with exquisite detail, they also offer access to the Executive Lounge.

Selected suite Deluxe Mountain View family rooms feature gorgeous mountain and garden view and are made up of two interconnecting rooms, ideal for the whole family.

Cuisine Try Asian at Hikina or an international spread at all-day dining Kalina. Lani rooftop lounge has Polynesian tapas and sunset views to remember and Palama lobby lounge is a great spot for a beverage.

Cuisine With no less than 14 outlets to take your pick from, boredom certainly won't be a problem when it comes to dining. Try Rang Mahal for exquisite Indian, Prime 68 if steak is your thing, Tong Thai for delicious dishes from Thailand and afternoon tea at La Farine.

Cuisine Home to Vanita's, one of the best Italian eateries in Dubai, there's also Enigma for truly delicious Turkish delicacies, Giardino which is perfect for Friday brunch and Q's Bar and Lounge which offers evenings filled with unrivalled live entertainment.

Cuisine All day dining and pool views in glass fronted Gazebo or gourmet a la carte eats in the cosy Jeema restaurant where live entertainment is also on hand. Roumoul cocktail bar is the ideal spot for a relaxing drink after a fun-filled day.

jwmarriottmarquisdubailife.com

JA Hatta Fort Hotel

marriott.com

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weekends staycations

Millennium Hotel Doha millenniumhotels.com

Location dOha In a nutshell In a fantastic location in the centre of Doha just 25 minutes' from the airport, this is a great base for business or pleasure. Selected suite Truly spacious luxury can be found in the Club Room which sleeps three, boasts fantastic amenities and offers access to the Club Lounge.

Cuisine All day dining as Cosmo is a delight, be sure to try the themed Seafood, Sushi, Arabic or International nights. The Atrium Lobby Lounge and its grand piano make a perfect spot for light bites whether early morning breakfast or your evening meal.

The Chedi Muscat ghmhotels.com/en/muscat

Location muscat In a nutshell Gorgeous sprawling luxury with an powderwhite private beach, lush gardens and a stunning mountain backdrop. Selected suite The Chedi Club Suites all have breathtaking views and access to The Club Lounge. Cuisine Pick from Arabian, India, Mediterranean or Asian, don't miss The Restaurant: it's flawless.

• Ask the concierge Mohamed Al Sabagh, Chief concierge, gives us some insider tips

What’s your favourite spot for sundowners? I think the best place to watch the sun go down has to be by the Chedi Pool The hotel’s standout feature? There are many: from the longest temperature-controlled pool in the GCC, to the 21 acres of beautiful Zen-style gardens and the amazing staff and unobtrusive service. Tell us a hotel secret… The pools are perfectly chilled during the summer months, ideal for escaping the heat. And I think that we serve the best freshly made Mint Lemonade in all of Oman. World Traveller 73


Abu Dhabi weekenDs

Go Create Slow down the pace this month and get inspired with a host of artistic and cultural happenings at Manarat Al Saadiyat Bringing together a troupe of artists of different nationalities and generations who have emphasised performance, process or human presence in their practice, the second exhibition of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Collection is the ideal place to head to if you’re seeking somewhere to reflect during Ramadan. Entitled The Creative Act: Performance • Process • Presence, the exhibition, taking place at Manarat Al Saadiyat, offers a transcultural perspective on these defining aspects of contemporary art. In addition to the main exhibition, there’s an entire host of activities taking place throughout the month providing you and your family the opportunity to get involved. Here’s our pick of the best...

3 June

Moving | Drawing | Sculpture Kinetic art is artwork that moves. In this exciting workshop, you’ll design a kinetic sculpture that not only moves, but simultaneously creates its own drawings. When you're finished, take your sculpture and drawings home with you. For ages 6-12, 10am-noon.

Fridays in June (+Saturday 24th)

It’s Alive: Activating Sculpture Based on the kinetic artworks of Jean Tinguely and Günther Uecker, participants will create miniature moving sculptures using a range of forms and materials that produce movement and sound. Your finished piece will be yours to activate and enjoy at home. For ages 13+, 2pm-5pm.

10 June

Pose | Photo | Paint Get ready to don a glowing outfit crafted out of lights, and inspired by artist Tanaka Atsuko. Your modelled pose will then be photographed and serve as the basis for creating your very own colourful semiabstract painting. For ages 6-12 years, 10am-noon.

Fridays in June (+Saturday 24th)

The Creative Act In a space conceived by artists Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian, embark on a journey that introduces various mediums and ideas. These drop-in sessions focus on building a community art space. Participants can take part in the creative process of designing a room in which you can express your ideas and creativity. For all ages, 2pm-6pm

17 June

Paint! Canvas! Action! Have you ever created a painting using a bicycle wheel or a toy car? Or perhaps by swinging, jumping or dancing in paint? No? Then now is your chance. Throw, splatter, drip, spray, pour, slide, push, pull and roll and create your own gestural action painting in the manner of the Japanese Gutai artists. Make sure you wear clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty, this is one activity that's sure to be messy. For ages 6-12, 10am-noon. 74 World Traveller


GOLD COAST Fun for the entire family Thrilling theme parks to beautiful beaches

SOMETHING SOMETHING FOR FOR

EVERYONE

Book at dnatatravel.com call 800 DNATA (36282) or visit us in-store Download our app

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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: Park Hyatt Dubai; Viceroy Palm Jumeriah Dubai; Rixos The Palm Dubai; The St. Regis Abu Dhabi; Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah; Six Senses Zighy Bay; Atana Khasab

UAE

Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai 1 night from USD107 per person Special Offer: Complimentary upgrade to Luxe Sea View room Includes: Stay in a Superior Room with breakfast daily Validity: Until 13 Oct 2017

WalDorf asToria ras al Khaimah 1 night from USD129 per person Special offer: Children under 12 stay for free. The offer includes a stay in a Deluxe Room Golf View with breakfast daily Validity: Until 30 Jun 2017

rixos The Palm Dubai 1 night from USD90 per person Special Offer: Enjoy a Special Summer deal Includes: Stay in a Deluxe Room with breakfast daily Validity: Until 5 Jul 2017

ParK hyaTT Dubai 1 night from USD64 per person Special Offer: Enjoy a Special Summer offer Includes: Special offer includes a Stay in a Park Room Validity: Until 29 Aug 2017

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The sT. regis abu Dhabi 1 night from USD127 per person Special Offer: Complimentary upgrade to Sea View Room, children under 12 eat and stay free and 50% discount on 2 Spa treatments purchased Includes: Stay in a Superior City View Room with breakfast Validity: Until 30 Sep 2017

OMAN

six senses Zighy bay 2 nights from USD590 Special offer: 15% discount on room rate

Includes: Stay in a Pool Villa with breakfast daily Validity: Until 30 Aug 2017

aTana Khasab 2 nights from USD108 Special offer: 15% discount on room rate, complimentary room upgrade, early check-in and a late check-out Includes: Stay in a Superior Room with breakfast daily Validity: Until 30 Aug 2017 Log onto dnatatravel.com to find out more about any of these hotels.


WEEKENDs Recommended

World Traveller recommended

Beach stay

Sandy beaches, lush green mangroves and acres of protected forest, this brand new arrival in Ajman is worth a visit

WHERE? The Oberoi Beach Resort Al Zorah.

extremely family friendly and popular with locals and residents seeking a new place for a staycation.

THE LOW-DOWN: Just 30 minutes' from Dubai International Airport, this new beachfront residence is a haven of sophisticated tranquillity that feels a world away from the hustle and bustle. Long sandy beaches, azure lagoons and gorgeous green mangroves – this spot is a tropical retreat.

THE ROOM: Spacious with an abundance of natural light, the Premier Suite has a huge king-sized bed and a private terrace that is accessed through a separate living space. Every viewpoint offers uninterrupted ocean vistas and you also get 24-hour butler service.

THE SETTiNg: It’s fairly new on the luxury hotel scene so this place is still finding its niche. So far, however, it is it

WHaT TO DO: Fitness enthusiasts can try pilates, zumba and water aerobics and there’s a jogging track for the cooler

months. The Sensio Spa by Oberoi has private therapy suites, an Ayurveda room and Turkish hammams. Adjacent is a manicured driving range, ideal for those looking to fine-tune their golf swing. WHERE TO EaT: Vinesse is the all-day dining restaurant located on a faux glass island while Aquino serves up responsiblysourced seafood. THE bEST biT? The drive from Dubai really takes no time at all but you really feel like you’ve escaped the city. Find out more at oberoihotels.com World Traveller 77


Recommended WEEKENDs

World Traveller recommended

cIty stay

Sumptuous and elegant, this luxurious abode in the UAE capital is also home to the world’s highest suspended hotel suite

WHERE? The St. Regis Abu Dhabi THE LOW-DOWN: Set along Abu Dhabi's Corniche, this towering hotel is futuristic on the outside and adorned withArabian opulence on the inside. Prepare to be wowed by the spiral staircase and chandelier in the entrance. THE SETTiNg: The luxurious Arabian vibe attracts guests from the wider GCC. The first floor tea lounge is always busy with guests in traditional dress. It's also popular with holidaymaking families and Abu Dhabi expats. 78 World Traveller

THE ROOM: Checking into our Grand Deluxe Sea View suite it's hard to draw our eyes away from the view – the ocean glistening on one side and the city skyline on the other. When we finally avert our gaze, a super comfortable king-sized bed and a massive soaking tub await.

WHaT TO EaT: While there may not be the widest range of eateries for a hotel of its size, what is on offer here is truly spot on. We recommend Villa Toscana, a pristine Italian venue where everything from the staff to the beverage list is authentically Italian.

WHaT TO DO: If you're visiting on the last Friday of the month, check out Brunch in the Clouds in the world's highest suspended hotel suite, it's something special. The exclusive Nation Riveria Beach Club will be a definite hit with any sunbathers.

THE bEST biT? From having the in-room premium sports channels to a plethora of Remede toiletries and a breakfast that was served until 3pm – it’s all the little touches that make this place truly special. Find out more at www.stregisabudhabi.com


WEEKENDs Competition

WIN!

A 3-night stay in a private villa in glorious Greece

T

he perfect sunshine escape awaits at the stylish beachfront Avaton Luxury Villas. Overlooking the sparkling turquoise waters of Athos Peninsula in Halkidiki, this place is a paradise and you could win a threenight stay in one of just 16 exclusive villas. Enjoy swimming in your own private pool complete with in-water sunbeds and feel at ease in the lush Mediterranean gardens. Dine on delicious Greek eats and allow the onsite mixologist to create a refreshing beverage, tailored exclusively to you. To be in with a chance of winning, simply answer this easy question: How many private villas are there at Avaton Luxury Villas ? A) 18 B) 12 C) 16 Email answers to easywin@ hotmediapublishing.com by 30 June, 2017. Prize includes a 3-night stay for two people in first week of October 2017, nonextendable, transferable or exchangeable. Must be booked in advance.For more info visit avaton.com

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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

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The Penthouse Dome at Hotel Café Royal, London

Overlooking London’s famed Regent Street, this could quite possibly be the most splendid address in all of Piccadilly. Occupying the circular space on the top floor of Hotel Café Royal, you're instantly greeted by ten huge windows that give an almost 360-degree view of the London skyline. The entire room is all clean lines and pristine surfaces with three spacious bedrooms and a gorgeous bathroom, with a vast bath that’s been expertly carved out of a single piece of green marble. If playing host is your game, you'll be in the right place. With almost 300 sq m of space, invite everyone you know then watch them gape at those breathtaking

views. There’s also iPad controlled party lighting, an in-room projector, a huge marble dining table and a statement curved pink leather sofa. The room also comes with butler service, helpful for all those party planning needs. After dinner, invite everyone outside where the pièce de résistance awaits in the form of the enormous private terrace. Towering over the Mayfair skyline, your guests will be able to pick out the statue of Eros, the tip of Big Ben, The Shard and the treetops of St James’ Park, all in the near distance. Having long been a favourite with the likes of Oscar Wilde, Elizabeth Taylor and David Bowie, isn’t it time for you to join London’s high society? hotelcaferoyal.com


IFTAH YA SIMSIM

TOM & JERRY LIVE SHOW THE CRYSTAL QUEST

NINJA TURTLE

COMEDY SUPERSTAR

BALLE BALLE, THE GREAT INDIAN WEDDING

TALENTS AROUND THE WORLD

TOM & JERRY CHEESE MAZE

NAMASTE ABU DHABI FIFA WORLD CUP

An extraordinary extravaganza of entertainment. A sensational line-up of concerts, theatre shows and comedy. An emirate-wide festival of fun for all the family bringing spectacular international events and activities to multiple venues with exciting promotions and prizes.

HOTEL PARTNER

OFFICIAL EVENT PARTNERS

OFFICIAL AIRLINE PARTNER

ORGANISED BY


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 June'17  
World Traveller June'17