Issue 115 | November 2017
Make the most of Marrakech
Produced in Dubai Production City
auCkland rajasthan abu dhabi new york
The land of
fire & ice
A guide to Icelandâ€™s dramatic sights
Experience Polynesia in the heart of Dubai Parks and Resorts Step into an exciting world of curiosity with an unforgettable stay at Lapita, a unique gateway to the endless fun and enjoyment on offer at Dubai Parks and Resorts. Create moments to treasure with friends and family when you stay within Polynesian inspired rooms with complimentary theme park tickets*, bond over a meal at amazing restaurants or unwind at the Lapita lazy river. Exactly like nothing else.
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Lapita, Dubai Parks and Resorts, Autograph Collection Hotels Dubai Parks and Resorts, Sheikh Zayed Road, P.O. Box 334221, Dubai, UAE LapitaHotel |
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Island for all the Senses
Founded on the vision of a “beyond luxury” hideaway, Velaa Private Island is a truly ultimate escape; a destination in itself. Indulge in a therapy at My Blend by Clarins Spa, rejuvenate at our snow room and Cloud 9 pod, conquer the climbing wall, relish a game of squash or tennis. Treat yourself to a lavishing tasting menu in our overwater signature restaurant Aragu. Take a tour of the Indian Ocean with Velaa’s own miniature submarine and enjoy any of the latest technology gadgets of our water sports center, even improve your golf strokes at our 9-holes golf course Academy by Olazabal. We cater to every heart and soul.
T.: +960 6565 000 firstname.lastname@example.org www.velaaprivateisland.com facebook.com/velaaisland velaaprivateisland
Editor’s note managing director Victoria Thatcher Editorial director John Thatcher group Commercial director David Wade managing Editor Faye Bartle Editor Tiffany Eslick art director Kerri Bennett designer Jamie Pudsey senior advertising manager Mia Cachero email@example.com Business development manager Mohamed Galal firstname.lastname@example.org +971 4 369 0915
Did you know that fruit bat is a delicacy in the Seychelles? Indeed, it is. And often served in a curry, it’s surprisingly delicious. Trust me on this – I first tried it when I was five years old while on a family holiday and since then, I’ve been back to the exquisite island nation (a few times) for more. Should you find yourself on Mahé (see page 56 for my tips on exploring this hub), I recommend you try this Creolestyle dish at Marie Antoinette. It’s a quirky spot set in a colonial mansion and, just in case you’re a less daring diner, there’s a good variety of ‘safer’ options, too. For me, and I am sure, most of you, travelling is evidently about broadening my horizons, stepping off the beaten track and always trying something new. A recent trip to Marrackech in Morocco (see page 50) allowed me to experience all that. Famed foodie-adventurer Anthony Bourdain definitely subscribes to the same travel ethos, and I’m delighted to include an interview with this chef, TV star and author on page 20. And when writer Stanley Stewart explored a side of India’s Rajasthan that went far beyond the typical tourist circuit (see page44), he discovered leopards, breath-taking landscapes and many more wondrous sights. Iceland has topped just about every destination hot list this year. From delving deep into a volcano to hanging out in glacier caves or seeing the Northern Lights, there seems no end to the awesome adventures available there. As winter approaches, it is a good time to go. Don’t miss our epic guide to its coolest attractions on page 36, which I hope will inspire you to visit this country as well as be of great help. Until next month, Tiffany Eslick email@example.com
Production manager Muthu Kumar
Jun-Dec 2016 | 22,984 | BPA Consumer Audit Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from HOT Media Publishing is strictly prohibited. All prices mentioned are correct at time of press but may change. HOT Media Publishing does not accept liability for omissions or errors in World Traveller. Tel: 00971 4 364 2876 Fax: 00971 4 369 7494
CovEr imagE Goðafoss waterfall with the dancing auroras
Clockwise from above: Royal Mansour’s designer lobby; Hanging out in The Jardin Majorelle, Marrakech; setting off on a sidecar tour
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Contents November 2017
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a change of scenery
Head into the blue in the Maldives; explore Argentina’s vibrant cities and natural wonders; and walk among the baobabs in Madagascar globetrotter
Your guide to all that’s hot in travel, including trending destinations, hotels and spas. Plus TV star, writer and chef Anthony Bourdain on his epic adventures
shop My city
Creative director and founder of luxury handbag brand Mayshad Paris, Nezha Alaoui on where to shop in Paris the locals’ guide to auckland
Three local personalities share their best ways to explore one of New Zealand’s most dynamic cities
chef’s top tables
Gypsy chef, global citizen and wandering soul, David Myers shares his favourite dining moments World Traveller 5
36 44 50
cool as ice
Discover the best that Iceland has to offer with our guide to some of its greatest activities and attractions
state of tranQuility
Beyond the chaotic tour-bus circuit is a Rajasthan still rooted in quiet rural tradition finds Stanley Stewart
With a rich history and culture, dazzling patterns, architectural wonders, great shopping and more, Tiffany Eslick discovers that there’s a lot to discover in Marrakech
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a long weekend on Mahé
From beautiful beaches and luxurious resorts to nature-based activities and a rich cultural scene, the Seychelles’ main island beckons to be explored everyone’s heading to...
Be part of the action at the 2017 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix faMily getaway
The Bartle family goes in search of dancing giraffes, drama free mealtimes and bonding in the great outdoors
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Enjoy a great break on your doorstep at these luxury hotels reader offers
Seven pages of exclusive deals to get you packing suite dreaMs
Step inside the plush new Henri Mouhot Suite at Anantara Angkor Resort, Cambodia
A change of scenery Maldives
From the air, the Maldives scream that you’re approaching an outlandish destination. The island nation’s 1,200 turquoise-and-white islands look like planets orbiting the Indian Ocean’s azure-blue water world. And for anyone gazing at them, be it your first or tenth time, it’s impossible not to feel excited. Spread across 26 atolls, the collection of isles is home of the best luxury hotels and resorts in the business. You can also expect to find picture-perfect beaches and a theatrical underwater world that beckons to be discovered. The variety is spectacular and whether you are snorkelling around vibrant coral walls surrounded by neon-coloured fish or diving in deeper waters among turtles, manta rays and whale sharks, you’re bound to be impressed.
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Change of scenery CheCk In
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A change of scenery Argentina
From bustling Buenos Aires where you can tango the night away and indulge in some of the world’s most succulent steak, to visiting the powerful Iguazú Falls in the north, the Pantanal wetlands or massive ice fields in Patagonia, Argentina offers a wealth of attractions for city slickers and adventure seekers. We suggest you head to the resort town of Ushuaia on the Tierra del Fuego archipelago at the southernmost tip of South America. Known as the ‘End of the World’, it’s the gateway to Antarctica cruises. Take a tour to nearby Isla Yécapasela, which is famous for its penguin colonies.
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Change of scenery CheCk In
A change of scenery Madagascar
With endemic lemurs, jungles, rainforests and desert, Madagascar is an ideal destination for outdoors enthusiasts that deserves to be more popular. Fortunately, itâ€™s far enough off the beaten track that only dedicated travellers will ever end up there. Offering hiking, diving, mountain biking, kitesurfing and phenomenal off-road driving, you can find just about any activity imaginable. Head north towards clusters of islands lying off the mainland, and you will come across some of the most picturesque beaches you have ever seen. Some are so remote you may need to charter a private plane or boat to get there. A must-see site is The Avenue of the Baobabs â€“ a group of Adansonia digitata trees lining the dirt road in Morondava situated in the west of the country.
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C R E AT E SPECIAL MOMENTS WITH US.
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From music in Monte Carlo to naming your own manta ray in the Maldives – here’s what hot in travel this month
NEST IN NATURE Three extraordinary stays for those who love the outdoors 1. NAY PALAD BIRD’S NEST Most Kenyan safaris, however luxurious, involve travelling and sleeping at ground level. The Bird Nest, a new collaboration between Segera Retreat and Nay Palad, offers a whole new perspective on the experience. Designed by architect Daniel Pouzet to resemble a real, organic nest, and from actual tree branches and farmed wood, the structure gives guests 360-degree views of the surrounding Laikipia wilderness – the treetops, the plains, the winding river. Inside is an exclusive suite, fully equipped with a cosy bathroom and solar heated water. Guests arrive at dusk, enjoy sunset drinks and dinner on the upper level, and watch the stars appear in the African sky. segera.com ➤
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Keemala's Bird's Nest Pool Villa
2. KEEMALA BIRD’S NEST POOL VILLAS, THAILAND These ultra-opulent nest-like suites are part of the expansive and organically designed Keemala complex on Phuket. Their woven, tangled wood exteriors were apparently inspired by the Rung-Nok Clan – ancient Siamese tribespeople renowned for their close relationship with nature and superior understanding of art, philosophy, poetry and astrology. You might reflect on all these things while soaking in a stand-alone tub overlooking the island’s lush rainforest, and the glowing Andaman Sea beyond. keemala.com
Louvre Abu Dhabi
The Bird's Nest, Treehotel, Sweden
3. THE BIRD’S NEST, TREEHOTEL, SWEDEN Hidden in the Scandinavian forest, near the Swedish city of Luleå, is a hotel so well-blended into its environment as to be almost invisible. The Bird’s Nest in particular lets guests disappear into this fairytale realm via a retractable staircase, which leads into a cosy family-sized room camouflaged behind a network of tree branches. Inside you are enveloped by nature, but of course you also get free Wi-Fi and easy access to the hotel sauna. treehotel.se
Best for babies However small, portable and easy to please your baby or toddler might be, they tend to make travelling a bit more complicated. This is where Hire4Baby comes in, providing full-service rental packages to ease the hassle for parents visiting the UAE, including essential equipment like infant car seats, high chairs, travel cots and activity gyms. Developed in 2015 by busy Dubai-based mum Jossette Naiken, the company has already proven a lifesaver for many families, with kits tailored to different age groups – including “Jet Setter” babies of 6-12 months – and sourced from respected brands like Britax and Bugaboo. hire4baby.com
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Pampering in Paris
Inside the sensational spa at Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris
Everyone loves Paris in the winter – you can’t beat a stroll along the Seine while wearing a tres-chic wooly hat – but Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris (raffles. com/paris) is going all out to help guests settle into the colder weather. A new seasonal package called My Royal Cocooning includes a yoga class, a massage, a Clarins beauty treatment and full access to the hotel’s premium spa facility (plus sweet little treats like Pierre Hermé pastries). The Mandarin Oriental, Paris (mandarinoriental. com), meanwhile, is welcoming expectant couples with Babymoon Spa Breaks. The package includes a full breakfast and couples’ treatments in a private spa suite – the hotel’s huge health and beauty complex is rated one of the best in a city with no shortage of luxury accommodation and pampering facilities. Expectant mums in serious need of rest and relaxation can also chose options like the mum-to-be massage and private aqua-gym lessons in the lap pool.
BAg IT Briggs & Riley’s new limited edition Sympatico collection is as stylish as it is sensible. Thanks to CXTM ExpansionCompression Technology, the luggage allows for 25% more packing space – which means there’s more room for presents this season. briggs-riley.com
ALL THAT JAzz If you’re in the Mediterranean and are a muso, then head to the Monte Carlo Jazz Festival. This year’s event will open with a show by Marcus Miller who will share the stage with Cory Henry & The Funk Apostles, and set the tone for two weeks of eclectic performances at the Opera Garnier Monte Carlo. Not every act on the roster conforms to the strict definition of jazz (Scottish pop-rockers Texas, for example), but real music lovers don’t get uptight about these things. montecarlolive.com
Indian-Ocean style Where to reatreat to your own island and adopt a manta ray The next best thing to owning a private island is having one all to yourself. The Naturally Exclusive programme now makes this eminently doable at Anantara Medjumbe Island Resort (medjumbe. anantara.com), a secluded paradise-forhire in the Quirimbas Archipelago, off the coast of Mozambique. Twelve catered luxury villas accommodate up to 24 guests amid lush tropical vegetation, soft white sands and luminous blue-green sea.
What’s a good name for a manta ray? “Mandy” or “Ray” seem a little too obvious. You can pick a something better when you adopt one as part of a survey being conducted by Divers Baros Maldives (baros.com). The resort offers underwater excursions combining adventure travel and scientific research, where guests can help experts take photos and “belly prints” of these majestic, mysterious creatures while floating over otherworldly coral reefs. World Traveller 17
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MY BEST TRIP “Guatemala is my home away from home.” Saudi-based Sami Altokhais (@samialtokhais) is an official Fujifilm X-Photographer who has a swoon-worthy Instagram feed showcasing his captivating travel images. It was love at first sight for him when he visited Guatemala – since then, he’s returned numerous times to discover more.
My first trip to the Mayan paradise of Guatemala was my favourite. It was to attend a friend’s wedding, which meant there was always going to be a wonderful connection to the place. I remember how the cobblestones of the Spanish colonial town of Antigua felt on my feet as I walked through its streets, while three giant volcanoes surrounded me. Swimming in the cold waters of Semuc Champey brought me back to life and I felt an intimate connection to Lake Atitlán and its surrounding villages. Walking around the amazing structures in Tikal, an ancient Mayan citadel brought everything into perspective for me as I discovered more about its history, people and culture. People often ask me about Guatemalan cuisine. It’s all about breakfast there for me. A typical morning meal includes eggs, black beans, fried plantains, cream, tomato sauce, cheese, bread and tortillas. It’s a feast by many standards. The country is also one of the largest producers of coffee in the world. Regions like Antigua and Cobán supply travellers with this elixir of life that is tasty and refreshing for the soul. “Guate” as the locals call it, is full of colour. From the traditional attire of the indigenous people to the local “chicken” buses or camionetas, the various hues blend naturally with the beautiful natural backgrounds. I recommend that any visitor ends their trip to this land by staying a few days at the dark-sand beaches of Monterrico where the Pacific waters come to bid you farewell until your next return.
Family-friendly festivities in Fujairah Le Méridien Al Aqah Beach Resort, an ocean-side retreat that sits beneath the striking Hajar Mountains, is celebrating its 15th anniversary and guests staying at this property are in for a treat. As part of its 15 Weeks of Fantastic Fun, #AlAqah15 merriments, the property is inviting everyone to take part in a roster of events, offers, giveaways and various initiatives themed around specific areas of the resort such as the beach, pool, watersports club, spa, restaurant and recently renovated Duckventures Kid’s Club. lemeridien-alaqah.com
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A life well travelled Each month, a seasoned explorer lays open their travel journal Tbilisi, Georgia
Anthony BourdAin was 42 and had worked in restaurants for twenty years by the time he wrote Kitchen Confidential. he has since parlayed that literary fame and his rugged, anything goes charisma into a second career as an intrepid American eating his way to cultural enlightenment. through two seasons of A Cook’s Tour, nine seasons of No Reservations and now ten seasons of Parts Unknown, he has travelled the world, living well and seeking understanding.
With each new show, you’ve been less focused on food and more focused on reporting. do you consider yourself a journalist? I noticed that by asking very simple questions about food, people would tell me extraordinary things about their lives… I’m not a reporter, and I don’t see myself as a journalist. I’m not going out to do danger shows or daredevil stuff. i’m sure it’s hard to pick a favourite country, but are there places you want to return to again and again? Beirut. I can’t get enough of that place. I adore it. Vietnam, too. And Japan. I’ll never
know Japan. I know I love it. I must have been back ten times. I have a lot of friends there. I guess by American standards I know a little, but really I know nothing. But I like that feeling. I like the endless incline of stuff to learn. Which country surprised you the most? Georgia. I had the usual prejudices. It’s a former Soviet Republic. It was in fact really extraordinary and cool and filled with interesting, lovely people and incredible food and lovely landscape. in season eight of Parts Unknown, you had noodles in hanoi with then-President Barack obama. What did you talk about? Our kids. The smell of South-East Asia, how we respond to it. I asked him: ‘Can you at least tell me that it’s going to be OK? Look
Street food in Hanoi, Vietnam
me in the eyes, as a father of a nine-year-old girl, and tell me it’s going to be alright.’ He was very, very comfortable sitting on a plastic stool and using chopsticks. I mean very. I don’t wanna flatter myself but he seemed very happy and relaxed. What was the last really bad meal you ate? A Johnny Rockets’ burger at an airport. It wasn’t that it was just bad. It was prepared with a lack of care exceeding contempt. It sent me into a spiral of depression that lasted for days.
Pigeon Rocks in Raouche, Beirut
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Season Ten of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown is showing on CNN. Spotlight documentary Wasted! The Story Of Food Waste is showing in selected cinemas in the US and is also available on demand.
Interview by Andrew Purcell
Which country would you still like to visit? I want to film an episode of Parts Unknown in Venezuela, but it’s more likely I’ll be able to go to Afghanistan. There’s too much kidnapping in Venezuela and those are always the most dangerous situations, in my experience.
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Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown with Oculus in the foreground
Do downtown New York
Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown This five-star hotel epitomises why this area of New York City is now its coolest neighbourhood. Home to the first CUT by Wolfgang Puck, a go-to spot for drinks just as much as for its sublime steaks, the property boasts impeccable interior design and a premier location – occupying the first 24 floors of one of the city’s tallest residential towers – that puts you at the heart of of the action. fourseasons.com/newyorkdowntown
Historic and state-of-the-art architecture Step out of the Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown and head to your left and you’ll swiftly take in the sight of the neo-Gothic style Woolworth Building, an early skyscraper and an enduring symbol of lofty ambition on the city’s skyline. Turn right and you’ll arrive at the centrepiece of a remarkable transportation hub, Oculus, designed to resemble a bird in flight. It stands in the shadow of One World Trade Center. nycgo.com
Enjoy Seaport’s stunning transformation Downtown is where New York’s past meets its present, and this is no more apparent than in its atmospheric Seaport District. Its cobbled streets once served the ships that sailed in and out of New York, but fast forward to modern Manhattan and they’re about to be home to one of NYC’s most dynamic spots, with the likes of Jean George, Momofuku and 10 Corso Cormo moving in. southstreetseaport.com World Traveller 21
Dining CheCk In
Chef’s top tables
Join us on an expert-led culinary tour around the world as a chef in the know gives us his picks for eating out on a global scale Gypsy chef, global citizen and wandering soul, DAVID MYERS is based in Los Angeles, but is most often found in his restaurants in Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Dubai. His former LA flagship restaurant, Sona, was awarded a Michelin star in 2007, 2008, and 2009. Past projects include Pizzeria Ortica, Sola, Comme ca, and Hinoki & the Bird, and the launch of his new concepts at Dubai’s Renaissance Downtown Hotel are creating quite the buzz.
Pizzas are served straight from the oven at Gjelina in Los Angeles
los angeles, Us gjelina Venice is a beautiful beachside community in LA and Gjelina is a quintessential California-style restaurant. I really love it. All their ingredients come from the farmer’s market. They have an amazing salad with kale and ricotta salata that’s just off the charts, and the butterscotch pudding for dessert is great. WHAT I RECOMMEnD: The guanciale pizza with green olive and a touch of Fresno chili.
Jimenez de JamUz, spain el Capricho This restaurant is absolutely stunning – it’s literally built into the hill and is set underneath the ground. There’s no mobile phone service, it’s lit by candles, you’re in your own little alcove, and the entire menu is just beef. It’s all about the ageing they do on the oxen, then they grill it over a wood fire. It’s truly one of the most magical places I’ve ever been, and the food is off the charts. WHAT I RECOMMEnD: The carpaccio and the grilled beef is amazing. 22 World Traveller
sapporo, Japan sushi shin
bangkok, thailand nahm
I love to eat sushi in Japan, and this is one of my favourite restaurants at which to do so. What I love about this place is that this chef, Masaki Miyakawa, is a real master of his craft. He uses two different types of rice and two different types of vinegar, which is very rare for sushi chefs to do. He also uses a type of brown rice that is also quite novel, while the plates and glassware are all vintage. He has antique Baccarat for sake and Japanese artists’ handmade ceramics that date back more than 200 years. It’s a special place. WHAT I RECOMMEnD: The sashimi. All the seafood is sourced daily from Hokkaido and Tokyo’s famed Tsukiji market.
David Thompson is a British chef who is making some of the best Thai food I’ve ever had in my life at Nahm. He dives deep into ancient traditional cooking, and has really mastered it. He gives the food his own twist, but it’s not one that makes it a new style – it’s straight up Thai and true to the culture. WHAT I RECOMMEnD: Smoky beef curry with chili leaves.
ON MY BUCKET LIST Fäviken in Jarpen, Sweden where Chef Magnus Nilsson serves Nordic cuisine. He only cooks during a certain time of the year, and he sources local ingredients in the wilderness.
CheCk In Shop my city
sHOp paris Nezha Alaoui on market finds, jewellers, bookstores and more in The City of Light Creative Director and founder of luxury handbag brand Mayshad Paris, NEZHA ALAOUI spends her time between New York, Morocco, LA, Dubai and her atelier in Paris. Here she shares her tips on where to shop in the French capital. maisonmayshad.com Paris inspires me because… it has such a massive amount of culture and history. In terms of being a fashion capital, the city draws brands of all types to be based here. When shopping you will find everything, from the best international designers to smaller boutiques that only exist and sell here. The city’s vintage roots also make it perfect for finding a statement piece that no one else will have. From an arts and culture perspective, you are surrounded by exhibitions and concerts. And the arrondissements each have their own personality. Saint Germain is the intellectual area full of libraries and unique design stores. Le Marais is an upcoming trendy area for new designers and last but not least, Rue St Honoré (where I have my showroom), is the luxury fashion district, where I personally like to hang out.
Galerie Vivienne is a covered shopping mall that is on Rue des Petits Champs that has been registered as a historical monument. Within this great shopping destination lies Wolff & Descourtis, where I like to shop every autumn and winter for a beautiful silk scarf and other accessories. The cashmere there is as good as it gets and the boutique is small and beautiful yet it summons celebrities from all around the world.
Marché aux Puces in Saint-Ouen is a perfect location to spend a sunny Sunday, shopping for rare pieces of furniture 24 World Traveller
From top: Galerie Vivienne; one of Nezha's gorgeous Mayshad Paris bags; old postcards and posters at Marché aux Puces
beautiful handbags out of Florentine leather and his collections feature so much diversity. Some really great colours and crafting goes into those bags – find the boutique on Rue de Châteaudun.
and having lunch in a cosy restaurant designed by Philippe Starck. It’s basically one of Europe’s biggest flea markets and, as a whole, it is not fashion oriented; the sellers on site include antique dealers and art merchants. If you have any interest in home décor and interior design then you will be in heaven there. From beautiful coffee tables to pepper grinders, you will find everything.
new abOut tOwn
Since I make luxury leather handbags it would only be right to choose Yasu Michino who grew up in Tokyo and New York, but founded his label Michino, in Paris. He basically makes the most
Waskoll on Rue de la Paix is my personal and secret jeweller, with whom I design my jewellery collections. Two brothers Cyril and Kirk run the store and they make the most beautiful shaped pieces with the most precious gems. Waskoll is based close to my boutique, so I can’t stop going there – it’s a guilty pleasure of mine.
As I read and speak French and English, I like to shop in stores that feature books written in both languages. La Librairie Galignani is where I go when I am looking for fiction, non-fiction, fashion books and architectural journals. It is a few steps from Place Vendôme, so again, it’s right near my boutique and I cant help myself. Although it is a good thing as everyone should read for at least 30 minutes a day.
Saray Signature Dead Sea Journey. Renew for the journey ahead.
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Globetrotter CheCk In
InsIde Q scoop A Expert advice for happy holidays
Rob Arrow, head of product at dnata has more than a decade’s experience in the luxury travel industry and loves nothing more than talking hotels and discovering destinations
Discover Europe's festive markets this season
We enjoy our family skiing holidays in Europe, but we are looking to head to a new destination. We’ve heard that Japan is meant to be a good place to go. Can you recommend any regions and resorts that would be suitable? Japan is a great choice. Overall, it is easily accessible and it’s known for having really good powder snow. One of the most popular resorts is Niseko in Hokkaido. This is a good place for beginners as the terrain is not too mountainous (many other resorts offer much steeper slopes) and lessons are available in English. It also has excellent off-piste skiing. Another very good resort is Kagura. It’s one of the chosen spots among many local travellers but because of this, no lessons are conducted in English. Cross-country or “tree” skiing is popular in Japan and Kiroro resort is where to go for this. It offers great downhill skiing, too. It’s quieter than Niseko and is ideal for anyone looking for a picturesque winter wonderland.
My friends and I are looking to spend a long weekend in Europe in either late November or early December – which festive markets do you recommend?
My first choice would be Zagreb in Croatia. Its festive market has actually been voted as the best in the world for the last two years. It occupies the city’s main square and spreads into the surrounding streets. It has steered clear of becoming commercialised and thus has an authentic old-school vibe. There is a beautiful ice rink and a lot of heartwarming food for sale. Following this, Strasbourg in France is a destination that is so often overlooked. It’s known for having the oldest festive market in France that was founded in 1570. Lastly, Vienna’s main market in front of the City Hall is magical. And there’s a dedicated children’s area where they can learn how to make cookies, candles and handicrafts.
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Skiing in Niseko, Japan
HOW TO Keep yOur cOOl THis fesTive seasOn When it comes to travelling over busy periods, arrive at your point of departure in plenty of time. We’re used to efficient airports in the region, but it is not the same all over the world. And being surrounded by crowds means you are going to need to have patience. Be prepared and aware of rules and regulations and stick to weight restrictions – all this can help you unnecessary delays at security. Also, we all like to save on costs when we can, but if you want a seamless experience, perhaps splash out and upgrade your ticket (allowing for more luggage and flexibility) or pay for helpful add-on services. There are helpful applications to check flights and weather conditions so you can be prepared for any flight delays. Lastly avoid wrapping presents as customs may need to check your bag.
Yala National Park
On Our radar Grab your passport and head to these trending destinations… Monte carlo, Monaco In November the weather is still really good in the Mediterranean, prices are lower and it’s a lot quieter than the summer months, so overall it’s a great time of year to head to the to the Côte d'Azur. Monaco boasts amazing food and luxury hotels, and it’s easy to get to for a long weekend.
I have to use up a week of leave before the end of the year. Where do you suggest I go on one last big adventure (my budget is flexible) for 2017 as a solo male traveller?
If you are based in the GCC, my number one spot would be Sri Lanka, as it is so close and easy to get to. From a rich cultural offering through to safaris there’s a lot to discover and the country really offers a ‘wow’ factor. Travellers always head to Africa for big game viewing, but Yala National Park is teeming with wildlife such as leopards and elephants. it also has some great bird spotting, too. And a great new tented camp. Tag on a couple of days at the coast (Cape Weligama is a great place to stay) and don’t miss a visit to the historic city of Galle.
For inspiration for your next trip, step into a dnata travel centre, call +971 800 dnata, or visit dnatatravel.com
Hanoi, vietnam This city is easily accessible from the Middle East thanks to good flight connections. Culturally Hanoi has a lot going on, it’s steeped in history, public transport is good (take to the streets on a bicycle for fun) and it’s a great launching pad if you have more time and are looking to trek further into the country. Taipei, Taiwan This cosmopolitan city offers great shopping, a healthy mix of history and modernity, luxury hotels and some pretty amazing food. It’s home of the original Din Tai Fung and, unlike in Dubai, you don’t need to queue at the Taiwanese outlet.
fOllOW THe arrOW
Photos courtesy of Rob Arrow
Rob takes us behind the scenes, with a selection of his favourite finds from his recent travels...
KuWaiT The glorious indoor swimming pool at Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait at Burj Alshaya is ideal for a dip.
palMa de MallOrca Dating back to the 13th century, this city has a rich past. Do make time for some beach time, too.
cairO After exploring the treasure trove inside the Egyptian Museum, take a trip along The River Nile. World Traveller 27
The locals’ guide to…
From a buzzing foodie scene to great shopping and exciting outdoor adventures and sights, New Zealand’s capital city has a lot to offer Auckland views from Mt Eden
HEAD FOR THE HILLS An engineer by profession, Philip La Trobe is an outdoor enthusiast, avid surfer (his custom-designed surf boards are hugely popular) and general adventure guru. He shares the low down on where the nature scene is at. Why do you love your city? Auckland is one of the most diverse cities in the world. It really caters to every culture and interest you could possibly imagine. You can be perusing the halls of the Toi o Tāmaki (Auckland’s art gallery) in the morning and jumping off cliffs into pristine spring water in the afternoon. What are must-do outdoor activities? For those short of time, staying central 28 World Traveller
is key and visiting one of the many dormant volcanoes must be at the top of the list. One Tree Hill or Mt Eden is only a short car ride or, for the more enthusiastic, a short boat ride will land you on the most famous of them all, Rangitoto, which is set in the middle of the Auckland Harbour. Should you not be sticking to a schedule, venture further out to the Waitakere Ranges where you will be spoilt for choice with many nature walks like the Hillary Trail or check out Karekare and Piha beaches. Which top three day-trip destinations do you recommend? If you’ve ever wanted to say you’ve walked across a country then the Coast to Coast Walkway is for you. It’s a 16km walk covering urban landscapes, across volcanoes and through parks and forests. Tiritiri Matangi Island is a
perfect place for birdwatchers and it also has spectacular scenery, a secret fresh water tunnel and is a short ferry ride from Auckland. Matakana offers four white-sand beaches and is the ultimate destination for a day out of swimming, a picnic lunch and an afternoon walk. It’s also home to Auckland’s best snorkelling and if the weather is right, surfing. Tell us something about the city that only a local would know? Well, I don’t even know if most locals know this, but Auckland is home to over 1,300 parks and that doesn’t include beaches or reserves. The best are home to beautiful waterfalls and are all within 45mins of the CBD, I’ll leave you to find those as you get out into the fresh air and explore the wonders that Auckland has on offer.
CheCk In The locals’ guide
The Ruby outlet in Takapuna
SHOP ’TIL YOU DROP
Image of MASU by Nic Watt courtesy of skycityauckland.co.nz
New Zealand-based label RUBY, under the direction of designer Deanna Didovich, is best known and loved for designs that effortlessly embody youthful elegance and adventurous charm. Stop in at the brand’s flagship store in Auckland before heading off to any of Deanna’s suggested stores below. rubynz.com
What's the shopping scene like in Auckland and what are some of your favourite stores? It’s lively and exciting, especially leading up to the festive season. Zoe and Morgan, located down at the City Works Depot, is a great place to go for a special piece of jewellery. This New Zealand brand has a beautiful aesthetic and I always treasure my pieces from them. When in the area I love stopping at Odettes Eatery, particularly for an early morning breakfast. I’m also currently renovating my home and New Zealand brands Citta and Simon James are two of my favourite spots for furniture, linen and homewares. Their products are priced well, have a fresh and modern look and they are of great quality,
Al Brown is a chef, TV presenter, writer and owner of Depot Eatery & Oyster Bar & Federal Delicatessen (AKL) and Best Ugly Bagels in Auckland and Wellington. Who better than to advise us on where to eat? albrown.co.nz
Where are the best areas for shopping? We are lucky to have so many great destination shopping areas, like Ponsonby, Takapuna and Newmarket, each with its own personality. Ponsonby is great for fashion, beauty and homewares with great cafes and restaurants to enjoy post-shopping. With Takapuna being a beachside area, it is a great summer spot to enjoy the best parts of Auckland all in one place.
What's trending food wise? Secondary cuts, wonky vegetables, and embracing the less popular, and some may say ‘unloved’ species of fish. It’s about the chefs and their kitchen teams showing or educating the diners, that the value proposition of eating these products is on a par, or if not greater, than the usual prime and popular cuts and products.
What's a good souvenir to bring home? A block of Whittaker’s Chocolate would also never go amiss, or a jar of Pic’s chilli-infused peanut butter. Many of our garments at Ruby are proudly made in New Zealand, so one of these would never disappoint.
How would you describe the food scene in Auckland at the moment? It feels very progressive and vibrant. Gone are the days of ‘drag and drop’ concepts, similar set ups and ‘same same’ menus. There is a real air of confidence in the new operators, adding their individualism and unique angles to Auckland’s ‘hospo’ scene. There’s some extraordinarily good eating out there.
Who is a new face on the scene in Auckland that you’re excited about? In this fair city, it’s not about singling individuals out. If we all do a good job, we all get a piece of the pie. It’s all about the variety on offer, from high-end to super-fun casual dinning. No matter the mood or the occasion, there is a place for
everyone, all offering up an experience that in most cases ‘over delivers’. When you’re not in one of your three restaurants where is your favourite place to go for a casual and/or fine-dining meal in the city? Apero offers slick service and delicious food cooked with heart and soul. MASU by Nic Watt has knockout Japanese fare, much of which is cooked over charcoal as well as a buzzy dining room and friendly, professional service. The Engine Room is an institution in Auckland for good reason and the owners Karl and Natalia deliver fun and faultless dining. New Flavour Restaurant on Dominion Road is a favourite with my family. It’s down and dirty and the unruly (bordering on rude) staff serves delicious Chinese fare. Make sure you order the cucumber and tofu salad to start. I love the place. What’s one must-try ‘local’ dish that travellers can't leave without eating? The Hapuka or Kingfish Belly at my beloved Depot Oyster Bar and Eatery, but I would say that.
MASU by Nic Watt
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Island idyll Offering cultural experiences, adventure, romance and tranquility, Furaveri Island Resort & Spa is the perfect Maldivian escape for the whole family Beach Pool Villa
f you’re looking for an authentic island break in the Maldives, be it for a dream honeymoon or an action-packed family holiday, then Furaveri Island Resort & Spa should be at the top of any list. This remote and charming destination is a 45-minute direct seaplane flight from Malé and its picture-perfect world offers something for everyone, from spacious accommodation to a wealth of activities and experiences. The resort’s 107 villas include Garden Villas with private tropical gardens and interconnecting rooms for families; Beach Villas with large decks leading onto the chalk-white sandy beach and Beach Pool Villas, complete with private six-metre plunge pools. The Dhoni Pool Villas are designed to look like traditional Maldivian fishing boats and these abodes offer privacy and space amid lush vegetation 30 World Traveller
Beach Pool Villa bedroom
Discover incredible marine life when exploring the turquoise waters surrounding Furaveri Island Resort & Spa
Dhoni Pool Villa bathroom
at the water’s edge. The Water Villas (including the sprawling two-bedroom Water Villa with Pool) are connected to the island by a wooden walkway and hover over a sparkling turquoise lagoon. It’s not often that travellers to the Maldives are able to experience local culture first-hand, however, Furaveri Island Resort and Spa takes guests to a nearby island to meet the community and visit a school, a mosque and the city hall in order to gain an insight into what traditional island life is all about. For those who are looking for even more adventure, there’s a roster of exciting activities including snorkelling and dive trips with the onsite PADI 5 Star dive centre, fishing excursions, dolphin-spotting cruises and much more. There’s just as much variety on offer for younger explorers aged four to 11, too. With kite making courses, coconut bowling, discos, cooking classes and nature walks, they will never be bored. After a busy morning or following a serene sunbathing session, The Furaveri Spa is the place to go. It features eight treatment rooms (including four double rooms), open-air pavilions, a steam bath, sauna and a Jacuzzi. An extensive menu features a variety of therapies, but the ultimate indulgence is perhaps the 180-minute Total Healing Body Repair option, which includes a scrub, massage, and facial finishing with a skin-nourishing milk bath.
To find out more, visit furaveri.com World Traveller 31
Picture this, sharjah Travel shutterbugs are heading to photography festival XPOSURE, for its captivating exhibitions and exciting line-up of workshops and events
his month will see Sharjah come alive with creative spirit as the emirate enters events season with full force. Major events such as the Sharjah International Book Fair, the 3rd largest book fair in the world and the well-known photography festival XpoSure, both taking place this November at The Sharjah expo Centre are part of the reason why Sharjah is being celebrated in cultural circles. The XpoSure festival illustrates Sharjah’s forwardthinking spirit, bringing together an iconic collection of famous names in photography to exhibit, discuss, teach and foster the visionary energy at the heart of this emirate. Taking place at expo Centre from 2225 November, the event will showcase 26 photo exhibitions by 31 of the world’s most renowned photographers as well as a roster of seminars, lectures and workshops that are designed to raise awareness of environmental issues, including natural life, animal rights, conflicts over natural resources and humanitarian issues worldwide. A highlight to look out for among the impressive list of photographers participating at XpoSure is pulitzer-prize winning palestinian Muhammed Muheisen, who will display an exclusive exhibition entitled Faces from Sharjah. In addition to the main display area, smaller satellite showings will take place at
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four locations outside expo Centre, including Sharjah International Airport and Al Majaz Waterfront. These presentations will include the World press photo exhibition 2017, a major feat for the emirate of Sharjah. It’s the first time in 20 years that the uAe will hold a photographic showing of such significance. A total of 15 educational sessions will take place over the four-day event and these will focus on topics such as composition for beginners, location and natural lighting and underwater photography. Those who are interested in learning how to capture a good street shot, should attend How to Street, an intensive workshop that will cover all manner of camera techniques, as well as video documentary and the art of story telling. It will also give you the opportunity to take to the streets of Sharjah to turn your freshly acquired theoretical knowledge into practice. Shutterbugs are sure to be Day 1 at Xposure 2016
captivated by the wealth of material there is to photograph in the city from traditional buildings clustered in Heart of Sharjah to the city’s various souks with its interesting characters and the growing number of the striking contemporary structures. If you’re interested in learning about capturing beautiful long exposure shots then uAe-based pakistani fine-art photographer Waheed Akhtar's session is worth attending. It too includes a location-based practical component and there’s a prize of a Nikon D3400 for the best photo from the course, another good excuse to get out into the streets of Sharjah and take that perfect, award-winning shot. To register for free for Xposure's exhibitions or to book a paid-for workshop visit xposure.ae. For more information on sharjah visit sharjahmydestination.ae
Two UAE-based photographers who will be participating at XposUrE, sharjah.
A Western Clownfish photographed by His excellency Ali Khalifa bin Thalith
“take to the streets of sharjah and turn your freshly acquired theoretical knowledge into practice with the How to Street workshop”
one of Bjoern Lauen's striking shots
German-born Bjoern Lauen (lauen.eu) is an official Sony Alpha photographer who has seen his images published in a variety of titles including the likes of National Geographic Kids, The Guardian, Time Magazine and the Wall Street Journal. His aerial work has been used in various international films and publications and his commercial work focuses on portrait,automotive, and lifestyle photography. over the years, he has travelled across the world to participate in charitable projects and provide photography for the respective causes. He returns to XpoSure this year where he will moderate and interview a number of icons of photography.
His Excellency Ali Khalifa bin Thalith (alibinthalith.com) is an award-winning photographer and documentary filmmaker from Dubai who specialises in underwater photography. He was the first Arab to win the professional photographer Leadership Award for his work and last year he released the book entitled Truly, Madly, Deeply, which showcases a selection of his most striking images from his 20-plus year career. He will be leading a two-part introductory course to underwater photography that combines classroom theory and a practical element at this year’s festival.
Top photographers from around the world to look out for at Xposure 2017
egyptian-Korean photographer and filmmaker Abdul rahman Gabr, who is interested in documenting people and places in egypt. British sports photographer Bob Martin, who is a three-time winner of the prestigious British Sports photographer of the Year. South African Brent stirton, one of the most famous wildlife photographers in the world. War photojournalist sir Don McCullin from the uK who is set to reveal a collection of his most powerful images. Elia Locardi is a professional travel photographer, videographer, writer and dynamic public speaker with a social media following of around three million. His Aerial photography workshop is not to be missed.
3 4 5
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An urban oasis
Check into Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara – a sanctuary situated in the heart of Abu Dhabi
Anantara Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa
he view across the shimmering waterfront setting in front of Anantara’s Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa makes it difficult to believe that you’re staying in the bustling UAE capital. Abu Dhabi International Airport is just a 15-minute drive away and it’s even less than that into the city centre and corniche area, yet this five-star property has managed to create a wonderfully quiet and seemingly remote environment. The hotel’s look and feel embodies Arabian elegance with grand arches and Arabesque design elements featuring throughout. Small details such as welcome dates and traditional local coffee add to its sense of place. The sophisticated accommodation options on offer are, quite simply, the definition of refined luxury. Guests have a choice of 222 rooms, set across five floors. Popular abodes are Deluxe Rooms, or the Kasara Executive Rooms and Suites located on the hotel’s upper floors. Among the varied food and beverage offerings at the resort is standout restaurant Pachaylen which specialises in fine exceptional Thai cuisine. The menu includes authentic, perfectly flavoured classics such as tom yum goong (spicy prawn soup), green curry with chicken and sweet mango with sticky rice for dessert. The Pool Deck is the perfect sundowner spot while Impressions – a rooftop lounge is ideal for a night out on the town. Winter is coming to the Middle East, which means its time to head outdoors and make the most of the glorious weather. A way to do so is by trying out one of the property’s Weekend Feasts, which
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include The Thursday Pool Deck Barbecue and the ever-popular Big Brunch at Ingredients. The former features a variety of food stations including live action grilling and carving stations, pasta and seafood corners. At the latter, book a table on one of the two spacious terraces and dine on a smorgasbord of tantalising delicacies prepared in front of you at in five open kitchens. The property’s waterfront setting means that an assortment of site-based activities await. We suggest you grab a kayak or paddleboard and weave your way through the surrounding mangrove wilderness – where you may even catch sight of a dugong. And when you’re in need of some well-earned pampering there is the spectacular onsite Anantara Spa. Marbled walkways with sweeping arches lead to 15 treatment rooms; two Vichy shower rooms; sauna and steam rooms and an opulent hammam. Highly skilled Thai therapists will transport you to a world of serene tranquility and the spa’s extensive treatment menu features an array of indigenous therapies, from Middle Eastern traditions to Thailand’s exotic remedies. It will be tempting to never leave the confines of Anantara’s comfortable kingdom, but do take advantage of the concierge’s customary itineraries and venture out and explore. From beautiful beaches to desert landscapes or the city’s wealth of attractions – there’s a lot to discover in Abu Dhabi. Find out more at abu-dhabi.anantara.com
Kasara Mangroves Suite
Anantara Spa's hammam
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Cool as ice
Discover the best that Iceland has to offer with our guide to some of its greatest activities and attractions
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See the Northern Lights On clear winter evenings, a multitude of cross-country sightseeing trips are organised around the natural phenomenon that is the Aurora Borealis. There is no guarantee you’ll see these fickle dancers of the night sky, but expert guides will do their utmost to ‘hunt’ them down. Extreme Iceland (extremeiceland.is) offers two- to three-hour tours during the winter. A few good locations for independent travellers include Thingvellir National Park, Lake Myvatn, Dettifoss waterfall, the Snaefellsnes peninsula and Húsavik. Explore an ice cave Iceland is home to a number of glaciers, and venturing inside their white, blue and even black natural ice caves (anytime from November until the end of March) is a mesmerising adventure. Most tours will take you to Vatnajökull (the largest glacier in Europe) in the south east, and Langjokull (the second largest) in the south west. guidetoiceland.is
Inside Vatnajökull – the largest glacier in Europe
Delve deep into a dormant volcano A 30-minute drive south east from Reykjavik, you’ll find Thrihnukagigur – the only volcano on earth that can be explored on the inside. Descend 120 metres by opencable lift into one of its three craters for remarkable views of its striking rocks. It’s been 4,000 years since its last eruption, so rest assured there are no indications of this happening again. insidethevolcano.com World Traveller 37
Whale-watch in Húsavík Spurting whales make fountains all along the country’s Arctic coastline – and summer boat tours from Húsavík boast at least a 97 per cent sighting success rate. You’ll get within face-splashing distance on a traditional oak sailing ship, sharing the awe of ancient mariners. Chuckle at the showy acrobatics of breaching humpbacks and drop a jaw for tail flukes from behemoth blues. Four-hour tours operate from May until the end of August. northsailing.is Rescue baby puffins in the Westman Islands Pulling at heartstrings with their sadclown eyes, cute, ankle-height Atlantic puffins take over the south coast’s Westman Islands from April to September, as 60 per cent of the world’s population come here to breed. Visit in August and September to watch chicks take their maiden flight – and bring a box to help local children collect lost stragglers and return them to the Icelandic horses
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wild. Take a ferry from Landeyjahöfn. visitwestmanislands.com Horse-ride through lava fields Famous for possessing two additional gaits that other countries’ horses don’t have (the tölt, which is much smoother than a trot, and flying pace), pony-sized
Icelandic horses are experts at crossing rough terrain, and even gnarled and twisted lava fields are a canter in the park for them. Put their hooves to the test on a ride along hilly pathways and volcanic landscapes, starting an hour’s drive from Reykjavík. Extreme Iceland (extremeiceland.is) offers two-hour rides with transfers from the city.
Words: The Sunday Times Travel Magazine / News Syndication
Reynisfjara It’s dramatic enough in summer, as white waves break along the 3km stretch of black sand. In winter, and snow-dusted, it’s like a living Ansel Adams photograph. Even the seabirds – northern fulmars and guillemots, which swoop between towering basalt columns and through the Dyrhólaey arch, a naturally carved tunnel between cliff and sea – fit the monochromatic colour scheme. For the most spectacular (and driest) views, drive two-and-a-half hours from Reykjavík and park on the clifftop.
Nauthólsvík Not all beaches in Iceland suit bathing (this may be the only one, in fact), but the giant geothermal lagoon here was literally made for it. Just outside Reykjavík, like a giant civic sandpit, the artificial lake attracts a sun-seeking crowd. Kept warm by seawalls and a supply of naturally heated water at a temperature of 15-19°C, it’s safe to brave in a bikini. Want it warmer? Turn up the heat by dipping into a hot tub or work up a sweat with a game of volleyball. nautholsvik.is
Búðir If it wasn’t for the wall of ash-grey mountains sloping right down to the water’s edge as far as you can see, the soft blonde beach here could trick you into thinking you were somewhere ‘normal’. Find a seat of wave-smoothed basalt, dip your toes into the warm, sugar-coloured sand and watch seals play among charcoal outcrops a stone’s skip out to sea. Park at the Hotel Búðir and take the short hike across a prairie of grassy tussocks. World Traveller 39
Moscow destinations Skógafoss waterfall
Skógafoss Looks-wise, it’s a classic: a single silky sheet of water the height of a 20-storey building, tumbling over the lip of an alligator-green cliff in Iceland’s south. On a sunny day, light prisms through the cloud of mist at its base to form rainbows – which, given the right conditions, can sometimes create perfect, Saturn-ring-like circles. Soak up the spray by venturing close to the base, or climb 500plus steps to an observation deck for a view from above. Dettifoss Coloured grey by tons of glacial sediment, this unearthly looking beast (which featured in Ridley Scott’s sci-fi epic Prometheus) crashes across a jagged, alien terrain before disappearing into a foggy abyss. Shipping an average of 438,000 litres of water per second, it’s rated the most powerful waterfall in Europe. The sound alone is bone-shaking – loud enough to drown out a jet. Located in the north, not far from Húsavík, it can be reached by gravel and tarmac roads. Gullfoss This is one of Iceland’s most famous sights, featuring a series of falls plummeting from the Hvítá river into a canyon. It’s also wellcatered, with a café, shop and a manmade pathway that allows you to view this monster from all angles. Allow an hour to admire the different dips and cascades, and come in winter to see it transformed into a stretch of stabbing icicles. gullfoss.is
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Family hangouts are more fun on a glacier
THINGS TO DO WITH CHILDREN
Reykjavík City Museum An archaeological exhibition on the history of Reykjavík might sound like a tough pitch, but hear us out. The Settlement Exhibition at the City Museum uses a combo of hi-tech interactive displays and a truckload of ancient archaeological findings to show how Vikings first came to populate Iceland, way back in the 1st century. While older kids will love playing with the touch-sensitive multimedia board (it’s like something out of Star Trek), there’s also a collection of traditional Icelandic board games and colouring activities in the play area near the front to keep the young ’uns busy. borgarsogusafn.is
“The wild landscapes, vast skies and simple, stucco ranchstyle architecture seemed ideal for spaghetti westerns”
Light hikes You don’t have to clamp on crampons to reach spectacular scenery here. At Skaftafell, even toddlers can reach those glistening glaciers and plunging waterfalls. Drop into the visitor centre (for familyfriendly walking maps and hot chocolate) and head off on one of their many short, easy hikes to waterfalls, or crumbling icy-blue glaciers set in valleys of iron-grey volcanic ash. vatnajokulsthjodgardur.is The waters of geothermal pools are rich in minerals
Swimming That Icelandic air may be bracing and the Blue Lagoon crowded, but the island steams with thermal springs, and pretty much every town has a swimming pool with shallow ends suitable for even the tiniest tot. They’ll love hurtling down the waterslides into a giant geothermal pool at Laugardalslaug (visitreykjavik.is), or paddling in one of the hundreds of hot rivers dotted around the island – easily discoverable on a self-drive trip. visiticeland.com
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SMALLER TOWNS AND VILLAGES
Djúpivogur Iceland’s official ‘slow town’, Djúpivogur, chills out in the East Fjords, its colourful harbour framed by old wooden buildings. A quirky arts scene includes an outdoor installation of 34 giant granite birds’ eggs. You can see puffins on a boat trip to nearby Papey Island (email@example.com); look for the huldufólk (hidden folk) at the towering volcanic rock formation known as the elf church; and also hike to the witch’s-hat peak of Búlandstindur mountain. Reykholt One of Iceland’s most important historical sites and an easy pitstop on the Golden Circle route, Reykholt was home to historian, poet, saga writer and ‘law-speaker’ Snorri Sturluson from 1206-1241. The Snorrastofa Cultural Centre (snorrastofa.is) delves into Norse mythology and medieval Iceland, while the grass-encircled, hobbit-y Snorralaug hot-spring pool is where Sturluson did most of his thinking. Check out nearby Hraunfossar, where bubbling rivulets emerge from beneath a lava field. Seyðisfjörður At the head of a 17km-long fjord, Seyðisfjörður lies just off the circular Route 1. Coloured clapboard houses huddle around the harbour of this pretty village with its buzzing music and arts calendar and top-notch restaurants (including one of Iceland’s best sushi bars – Nord Austur). Head to the mouth of the fjord for some spine-tingling, beautiful scenery at Skálanes Nature Reserve. Seyðisfjörður
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Deplar Farm is located in the north of Iceland
HOTELS IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE
Hotel Búðir Sitting at the tip of the Snaefellsnes peninsula, a two-hour drive northwest of Reykjavík, with only a 19th-century church for company, the sense of isolation here borders on the spooky. Out front: a troll-scape stretching all the way to a line of cloud-capped mountains. To the rear: the silvery infinity of the Atlantic. Fish and local lamb spearhead the restaurant’s gourmet menu hotelbudir.is Ion Adventure Hotel Despite its sci-fi film-set modernity, this hulking slab of concrete and glass jutting from the side of a moss-coated hillside remains thrillingly wild. Bask in the syrupy rays of midnight sun in its geo-thermally heated outdoor pool, before snuggling up in one of the fluffy sheepskins
draped around the minimalist rooms. Walk the site of Earth's oldest parliament at nearby Thingvellir National Park, and dive (in a drysuit) to trace the under-lake gap between two tectonic plates: Eurasia and North America meet here. ioniceland.is Deplar Farm This grass-roofed, glass-fronted converted sheep farm in north Iceland’s Troll peninsula is as secluded as it gets. In winter, being snowed in is always a possibility. (Eventually, the hotel hopes to farm its own food, making it less reliant on the outside world.) Not that you’ll be trapped: in winter, skiing, snowmobiling and swimming in a geothermal infinity pool are all on tap. In summer, you can fish, kayak and go horse-riding. elevenexperience.com Inspired to travel? To book a trip, call +971 4 316 6666 or visit dnatatravel.com
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The view of Kumbalgarh Fort. Opposite: A Rabari tribesman
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State of tranquillity Beyond the chaotic tour-bus circuit is a Rajasthan still rooted in quiet rural tradition. Stanley Stewart finds peace among serpent gods and shepherds
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hey call it godhulivela in Hindi. The hour of the cow dust: day’s end, when long shadows rake across the fields and shepherds herd their cattle and sheep homeward. Silhouetted against the sun, the shepherds are iconic figures with their long crooks, white robes and outlandish red turbans. I was following them home to their village, in the cooling afternoon, along a lane in Rajasthan, breathing in the aromas of the country: cattle, wood-smoke, sage. This is the rural India I have come to find, a place where days are measured by the coming and going of the cows. At the village, I knew Pukia would be waiting for me beneath the wide neem tree – to hand me the battered trumpet to wake the gods, to fret about his sons, and to tell me his stories about the great days when they took thousands of sheep and goats on the annual migration to the Ganges. I was only three days into a week’s journey across rural Rajasthan and already I had found myself a new best friend with a seat in the village square. As India’s most glamorous state, Rajasthan manages to corral most of the country’s romantic clichés into a single region: extravagant palaces, intricately carved temples, charismatic tribesmen, hilltop forts, saris in startling colours, bazaars of silver and spices, and maharajahs with cut-glass accents and vintage RollsRoyces. In Rajasthan, things tend to excess: turbans are the breadth of dustbin lids, moustaches the length of broad swords and landscapes as wide as a continent. Antelopes bound across long horizons, peacocks spread huge fans of feathers, while somewhere leopards pad through dappled shadows. But for all its glamour and big-name attractions, Rajasthan is also a region where you can still find village India, away from the crowds and traffic, from the chaos and noise and stress that can be such a feature of Indian travels. In just a week in Rajasthan, with a car and a driver and local guides, I got to see India at ground level, a rural, tranquil place too often overlooked by travellers hurrying between those extravagant palaces. In Rajasthan, you can still find a seat in the village square and savour the sweet hour of the cow dust. My first stop was Chhatra Sagar, a tented camp atop a 19th-century dam. Built by a local nobleman, Thakur Chhatra
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Singh of Nimaj, the dam holds monsoon waters for farmers. In the days of the Raj, the lovely countryside of Chhatra Sagar became a favoured destination for seasonal camps, for grand picnics and for legendary shooting parties. The Thakur’s great grandchildren have revived the tradition with their luxury camp. The neighbouring village was so deep in rural quietude that traffic was limited to stray cows, the odd bullock and cart, and a couple of women carrying water pots on their heads. In houses and courtyards, a handful of artisans were at work. The potter was throwing water pots in his courtyard for Diwali, the season of new pots. The cobbler was making a pair of dashing shoes for Begum Khan, the schoolteacher’s wife. The silversmith was making an intricate pair of earrings for an upcoming wedding.
the time trying to steal goats. We were lighting fires and staying awake in the night with our slingshots. There were many battles with miscreants.” This was India’s equivalent of the cattle wars of Dawson City – goat rustlers and the great slingshot battles of the northern plains. Pukia was much preoccupied with the foolhardiness of his son who had recently returned from Bangalore with a battered second-hand Fiat. There was united disapproval from the family who were of the firm belief that any spare cash should be invested in gold not thrown away on automobiles. “A car?” Pukia said, wide-eyed. “What is he thinking? What is the bus for? It is coming every week.” In the evenings, after the arrival of the sheep and goats, we had masala chai – tea with spices, made with goat’s milk. Then, lifting embers from
“Things tend to excess here: turbans are the breadth of dustbin lids, while moustaches are the length of broad swords” Pukia, my new BFF, was a presiding presence, a village elder in the shade of the neem tree, and on each of my three visits to the village, inevitably I would find him fishing a hand-rolled cheroot out of his turban. In Rajasthan, a man’s turban is like a woman’s handbag, containing everything from money to clean underwear. Pukia and I bonded over the fact that we both belonged to the priestly caste. He was the bhopaji, the keeper of the village temple, a position that apparently went back seven generations in his family. I was the son of a vicar. In my family it was, admittedly, more of a single-generation thing – it had died out with me – but Pukia, after some initial doubts, kindly overlooked my inability to maintain caste tradition. As we sat together after the hour of the cow dust, Pukia told me of the great migrations he had led. Pasturage can be thin in Rajasthan, so they herded their flocks more than 1,000km east to the valley of the Ganges to ensure the sheep and goats had enough grazing in the dry seasons. It was an epic journey with up to 10,000 head of cattle, and took two months each way. “But some bad places are there,” Pukia said, waggling his head. “People were all
the cooking fire, and carrying them on a metal tray, he beckoned me to follow. “Come,” Pukia said. He still had hopes I might fulfil my caste duties. “The Gods are waiting.” At the temple we left our shoes outside in the empty lane and took the embers in to light the butter lamps in front of the images of Shiva. Then Pukia handed me an old trumpet while he took the conch shell. Together we blew to alert the gods that we had come. Pukia’s conch had a deep resonant note. In spite of my priestly heritage, my trumpeting was less successful – it sounded more like a goose with a severe bronchial issue. But it was volume that counted here, not tunefulness. After a few moments of blowing, Pukia leant forward and flipped an electric switch on the walls. The pride of the village, a bizarre Heath Robinson contraption, jerked into action. With wheels and pulleys, the machine created a cacophony of drums, cymbals and bells. Pukia wagged his head. “Modern technology,” he said. “What are they thinking of next?” A three-hour drive took me further into Rajasthan, to the outskirts of Deogarh, where I stayed at Dev Shree, a colonialstyle country house with deep verandas,
Clockwise from this image: The Royal Tented Suite at SUJĂ N Jawai; a rural, untouched Rajashtan awaits; leopards can still be spotted in India; a young Rabari woman; a peacock in full dislpay
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capture the imagination. Further west along the Aravalli Hills, not far from the 15thcentury fort of Kumbhalgarh, is Jawai, one of the great leopard habitats of India. SUJÁN Jawai is a camp dedicated to leopards, to tracking them and protecting them. This is a haunting landscape. The ploughed fields and the wide stretches of pastureland are broken by granite kopjes of smooth-faced boulders, great outcrops of piled rock in sensual shapes that Henry Moore might have carved. Full of nooks and caves, these hills are the ideal habitat for leopards. Morning and evening for two days I set out on game drives in an open 4WD with Yusuf Ansari, head of wildlife for the property. Peacocks swayed beneath glamorous tails, partridges scuttled away through the brush, while gangs of babblers invaded the roadside bushes. The smell of the dew-laden wheat, like fresh hops, filled the morning. Somewhere, a distance off, a train hooted mournfully. Yusuf was explaining that SUJÁN Jawai was not just a leopard-sighting experience for visitors. They also study the animals here, keeping notes about the various individuals and their relationships, and trying to expand the leopard habitat. Working with locals, they lease or buy land and plant it with native species conducive to wildlife, hoping to connect the isolated granite outcrops with wilderness corridors. In a couple of seasons, they’ve already seen considerable results as leopards and their prey have quickly moved into these new areas. When we paused for a morning coffee atop a high ridge, a radio call came from
Inspired to travel? To book a trip, call +971 4 316 6666 or visit dnatatravel.com
Words: Stanley Stewart / The Sunday Times Travel Magazine / News Syndication Images courtesy of Sam Churchill, SUJÁN Jawai, Vedant
cushion-strewn divans and croquet lawns. Owned by the gregarious Shatrunjai Singh, a scion of the local noble family, it had the kind of rural ease you might find in a village in Dorset – had you been visiting Dorset in the 19th century. On an evening stroll in town I stopped for a shave at a splendid establishment the width of a cupboard, with old-fashioned shaving mugs, razor straps, pictures of Bollywood actresses, and the kind of barber chairs not seen since Clark Gable last had his moustache trimmed. Inder’s shop operated under an irresistible tag line: “God Make the Man… I Make the Gentleman.” Shatrunjai was a train enthusiast and an energetic host, and the next morning we boarded the Kamblighat to Phulad train on a country line so quiet that there were only a half-dozen passengers in our carriage of wooden seats. An old metre gauge line, it climbed a long ridge of the Aravalli Hills at the breathtaking speed of 20kph. Views opened over distant valleys. Across a country of thorn scrub and rock, goats browsed, women collected firewood and the occasional thoughtful cow watched us pass. As we went through the pitch-dark tunnels, the passengers leapt from their seats to howl through the open windows, a tradition of the line in which adults try to persuade children that wolves live in the tunnels. At Goram Ghat, we were expecting crowds of monkeys accustomed to enjoying biscuits thrown from the train. But on this fine morning, no monkeys appeared. “They are lying low. There must be a leopard in the vicinity,” Shatrunjai explained. Tigers may be India’s iconic animal but in rural areas of Rajasthan, it is leopards that
one of the camp trackers. There’d been a sighting. Climbing back into the 4WD, we set out across open country to one of the granite hills to the north. Between a screen of euphorbia and a glen of jujube trees, we waited, binoculars poised. On the ridgeline above us was a troop of langur monkeys giving their alarm call, a kind of coughing bark. Two scouting monkeys had descended the precipitous rocks. We followed their gaze to a smooth ledge. And there sat our leopard, the dominant male of the area, rock-coloured, magnificent, reclining like a sultan in the early sun. The monkeys gazed down at him with a mix of anxiety and awe. That evening we went for drinks on the shores of Jawai Lake. The sun was setting beyond the Aravalli Hills, and birds flew out of a rose-coloured sky – cormorants and egrets, night herons and silverbills. A flock of Indian skimmers passed low over their own reflections on the surface of the water, while a painted stork lumbered away to the west. Beyond, we could hear the chatter of flamingoes. “This kind of solitude is not the usual idea of India,” Yusuf said. We went home past trees loud with sparrow larks. A huge hill of smooth granite loomed above us. “These hills are all home to local gods,” Yusuf said. He pointed to the steps carved in rock faces. “This one is sacred to a serpent god.” High up against the sky we could see the small shrine. And then next to it, we spotted the silhouette of a leopard. “This is what saves them,” Yusuf said. “Sometimes leopards will take livestock, but the locals never hunt them. And it is because they inhabit the same heights as the gods. To the locals, the leopards are divine guardians.” In the lane, we came upon a herdsman taking his cattle home. Veils of dust rose from the hooves, softening the last hours of daylight. Tall and erect, sporting a huge red turban above a moustache wider than his cheeks, the man smiled and waved. It was the sweet hour of the cow dust in rural India, a place to remember when you find yourself in Delhi’s howling traffic.
Tracking leopards with guides from SUJÁN Jawai. Opposite: A shepard with his goats in the Rajasthan countryside
“Full of nooks and caves, the Aravalli Hills are the ideal habitat for leopards”
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Tiffany Eslick shares her tips on how to make the most of Marrakech. With its rich history and culture, dazzling patterns, architectural wonders, great shopping and more, there's a lot to discover
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The stately entrance at Royal Mansour. Opposite: Koutoubia Minaret at sunset from Djemaa el Fna
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othing quite prepares you for the sights and sounds of Marrakech – Morocco’s ‘Rose City’. Terracotta-toned buildings and towering, skinny palm trees stand out against cornflower blue skies. Aromas of spices and orange blossom waft through the air. And its medina, wrapped within ancient ramparts, will suck you into its labyrinth of alleyways, bedazzle your senses and then spit you out. Attempting to see everything this mysterious place has to offer is near impossible, but I hope that by following these steps, you’ll be off to a good start. WhAt to see Once the scene of public executions and a place where traders exchanged salt for slaves, Djemaa el-Fna is the medina’s main square and it’s where a daily drama unfolds. Snake charmers take to their flutes mid morning and henna tattoo ladies set up plastic stools in the afternoon, but the real action begins at sunset when food vendors fire up their grills. Amid a smoky haze, Berber musicians strike up the music, twirling dancers clack castanets, soothsayers want to tell your fortune and slapstick actors put on a show. However, be warned: pickpockets are fellow audience members and, as I soon learnt, photography is the currency in this plaza, so unless you’re willing to pay, ideally don’t hit ‘shoot’. As an old imperial capital, Marrakech showcases some classic examples of Islamic architecture such as the
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“Staying at Royal Mansour also grants you exclusive access to a side of the city that other travellers will not see”
Koutoubia Minaret and Ali ben Youssef Medersa. Intricate marquetry and traditional painted wood ceilings adorn Bahia palace and for a riot of colour and a trippy desert-inspired garden head to the Jardin Majorelle, previously owned by Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé. Marrakech was a great muse to the famed fashion designer and the Jardin, with its fantastic cacti, lotus flowers and fountains often served as his al fresco atelier. Next door to this lies Morocco’s latest cultural addition, the cuttingedge Yves saint Laurent Museum (museeyslmarrakech.com), which opened just last month. Inside this beautifully constructed building dedicated to the oeuvre of the legendary couturier, you’ll find a collection of his flamboyant designs, hundreds of drawings and photos charting the history of the fashion house and a good bookshop and outdoor café.
Where to shop Marrakech’s craftsmen have been making and touting their wares in the souks for centuries. Meandering through the maze of market streets (and testing your bargaining skills) is a quintessential experience. From rows of rainbowcoloured babouche slippers to shiny silver teapots, leather messenger bags to coins and twinkling lamps, shopping here is like hanging out in a massive magpie’s nest. souq semmarine and souq el-Kebir are the main thoroughfares, but smaller spots dedicated to artisan workshops such as souq haddadine are worth visiting, too. It’s inevitable that you’ll be tempted to buy a rug. If you’re serious, I suggest heading to La porte d’or (laportedor. com) – the favourite high-end antiques and carpet haunt of visiting Hollywood stars. Owner Hakim Lebbar will tend to you personally as you explore the private bazaar. His collection incudes an enviable array of traditional 100% lamb’s wool Berber rugs made by the Beni Ourain tribes living deep in the Atlas Mountains. If their beauty doesn’t win you over, Hakim’s charm will. Having personal shopper Abdelhay Binebine (personalshoppermarrakech. com) by my side certainly helped me mission through the Medina’s muddle. One of his top picks and the last stop on our morning tour, Maison du Caftan (facebook.com/Maison-Du-Caftan), quickly became a favourite of mine, too. Highquality caftans (in every shape, colour and size) line the racks of this double-storey store. Suitably high price tags accompany
From far left: Inside Serge Lutens’ exquisite home; babouche slippers; The Jardin Majorelle; mashrabiya-style pattern at Royal Mansour’s spa; the boutique at El Fenn
the garments, but buy more than one, and the salesman will strike a deal. A wave of concept outlets selling contemporary fashion, jewellery, homeware and more are spread across the city. Perhaps one of the most well-known is 33 rue Majorelle (just opposite the Jardin Majorelle). Inside this Scandi-style emporium are items from local designers and producers including hamsa hand bracelets, stylish ceramics and gorgeous garments. Chabi Chic (chabi-chic.com), which sits underneath popular restaurant and bar Nomad, is a foodie-traveller treasure trove offering spices, tea-glass sets and striking salad bowls. The boutique at el Fenn, (el-fenn.com) belonging to Vanessa Branson (Sir Richard’s sister), is where to go for totes, table books, candles, perfumes and many more Moroccaninspired items that have been given a modern twist. Where to stAY Founded by King Mohammed VI to showcase the very best of Moroccan artistry and hospitality, royal Mansour (royalmansour.com) lies on the eastern edge of the medina between the historic centre and the Ville Nouvelle. It’s a remarkable resort, which in my opinion, should be at the top of all must-visit lists. A total of 1,200 artisans produced this architectural masterpiece in just over three years and from the minute you enter its gargantuan etched bronzed doors you’re transported into a true sanctuary which seems worlds apart from its city locale.
The ‘lobby’ is a marble and mosaic-clad courtyard with babbling fountains and billowing curtains, while the 53 guest riads are set along winding alleyways flanked by cascading bougainvillea, knobby olive trees, pomegranate trees and date palms. Inside these three-storey mini kingdoms (each one is spread boasts a unique aesthetic), you’ll find an outdoor area, a living and dining room, a sumptuous bedroom, a bathroom with MarocMaroc amenities and a private rooftop terrace with a plunge pool. Michelin-star chef Yannick Alléno is behind three onsite faultless restaurants: La Grande Table Marocaine, La Grande Table Française and Le Jardin. And the all-white spa is famed for its glorious hamman and indulgent treatments. Something I found most remarkable
during my stay here, was that I hardly saw any staff. That’s because they were busy travelling between underground passages at all times to ensure privacy is key. Staying at an abode of such grandeur also grants you exclusive access to a side of the city that other travellers will not see. Just one example is the hotel's recent collaboration with Marrakech insiders (marrakechinsiders.com), a vintage sidecar tour company. They took me whizzing through the medina’s back streets before reaching the private home of fashion designer, photographer and perfumer Serge Lutens. I was fascinated by his riad, which like Royal Mansour, pays homage to Moroccan craftsmanship, but is not ordinarily open to the public. Inspired to travel? To book a trip, call +971 4 316 6666 or visit dnatatravel.com World Traveller 53
Weekends There’s a loT you can do in jusT a few days
The main swimming pool at The Oberoi Beach Resort, Al Zorah
Ajman’s Al Zorah Set only a 25-minute drive from Dubai International Airport is Al Zorah, a luxury destination in the emirate of Ajman that boasts stretches of white sandy beaches, glittering lagoons and acres of protected verdant mangrove forests. Its mixed-use complex will eventually feature a number of five-star hotels and resorts, residences, shops, leisure facilities and more. For now check into The Oberoi Beach Resort, Al Zorah to experience the region. Its spacious rooms and suites offer private terraces with sweeping ocean views, while the property’s chic villas all have their own private pools. Besides an array of dining outlets available, the onsite spa is a welcome retreat and the variety of activities on offer include kayaking, swimming and teeing off on Al Zorah’s 18-hole championship golf course. To find out more, visit alzorah.ae and oberoihotels.com World Traveller 55
MINI BREAK An aerial view of Mahé
Your guide to: Mahé From beautiful beaches and luxurious resorts to nature-based activities and a rich cultural scene, the Seychelles’ main island beckons to be explored
anding at Seychelles International Airport, on the nation’s largest island, Mahé, makes for one of the great arrivals in modern leisure travel. The descent over the luminous Indian Ocean, the sight of white-sand beaches and deep green tropical forest, the scent of vanilla and coconut when the plane door opens. Capital city Victoria blends the bustling feel of a trading post with the orderly charm of a former colony – brightly-coloured fruit and fish markets amid courthouses and clock towers. Less-populated corners demand and reward exploration too, from national parks filled with strange, beautiful flora to secluded coves that once lured explorers and pirates. There’s treasure all over this island.
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Creole style fish on the barbecue
LOCAL FLAVOURS Creole cuisine
Housed in a historic colonial mansion, Marie Antoinette is a popular dining spot for both Seychellois and travellers. Originally opened in the 70s, it’s one of the oldest and most famous restaurants on Mahé and offers rustic charm and authentic local dishes. The freshly caught seafood is sumptuous and daring diners should try the fruit bat curry – just make sure you request it one day in advance. marieantoinette.sc
Situated on the wrap-around balcony of Pineapple Boutique, Veranda Café is run two British expats who have lived in the Seychelles for years. Go here for their delicious brownies and carrot cake (the salads, pastas and freshly squeezed juices are good, too). facebook.com/verandacafeseychelles
If tasty Thai cuisine and gorgeous sea views of Anse Intendance tickle your fancy then Banyan Tree Resort’s Saffron is where to go. Chefs at this award-winning restaurant are known for their mouth-watering traditional dishes. banyantree.com
#travelgoals Twitchers will be in their element when holidaying in the Seychelles as rare species of birds can be found there. Find the barelegged Scops Owl or Syer that almost became extinct at the Morne Seychellois National Park on Mahé.
A perfomer at the Carnival International de Victoria
CULTURE TRIP SeyTe Tea Factory
Locals recommend that you leave early to see how tea is made at this working facility on the lush slopes of Morne Blanc, which is best appreciated in the cool morning mist. There you’ll be taken through the whole process, from drying to packing – and to drinking, of course. seychelles.travel
The endangered jellyfish tree, the carnivorous pitcher plant, and other natural wonders of the Seychelles grow inside this century-old national monument. Just 10 minutes south of Victoria it’s a whole other world, rich in fruits and spices and populated by native bats and tortoises. bgci.org
Natural History Museum, Victoria
This archipelago has a storied past that goes back much further than the first British and French explorers. Here in the heart of the capital you’ll be taken right back to the beginning through maps and exhibits that outline the origins of the Seychelles’ unique geology and abundance of mysterious plants and animals. World Traveller 57
MINI BREAK WHERE TO SHOP Kankan
Port Launay Marine National Park
Born in Mauritius, raised in the Seychelles and trained in the high-fashion scenes of England, France and Italy, local designer Karine Dupouy runs her own Kankan label from this flagship boutique in Victoria’s central business district. Her style tends toward a blend of quality and comfort, producing elegant women’s clothing that looks and feels great on holiday. kankan.sc
An eye-popping carnival of brightly coloured fruits and fabrics, powerfully perfumed by native herbs and spices, this vibrant local institution lets you mix with friendly islanders as you browse for sarongs, coconut oil, tamarind, and other Seychelles souvenirs. Saturday is the busiest, most festive time to shop, and it’s best to go early in the morning.
Domaine de Val des Près
THE BEST BEACHES Anse Intendance
Occupying one of the quieter spots on Mahé’s spectacular south-west coast, this kilometre-long stretch of white sand is home to a single property – The Banyan Tree Resort. Well-known and famously beautiful, the beach still promises a sense of discovery, as you follow a trail through the jungle to emerge on the edge of the sparkling Indian Ocean.
Port Lunay National Park
Sublimely comfortable home to the Constance Ephelia resort, this horseshoe-shaped slice of paradise is part of a protected marine reserve. This means an offshore galaxy of hyper-colourful fish and coral, perfect for swimming, snorkelling, or viewing through the floor of a glass-bottomed boat.
Next to Kempinski Seychelles Resort, you’ll come across this exquisite half-moon bay engulfed by lush vegetation. Despite being a public beach, it’s rarely crowded and in addition to its turquoise waters and striking granite boulders it offers many shady spots. 58 World Traveller
The Carnaval International de Victoria is held in late April each year on Mahé. It’s easily the biggest party on the country’s calendar. Among its highlights are three days of street celebrations, various performances and a costume parade.
Tucked into an idyllic bay on the east coast of the island in Anse aux Pins is a craft village with a cluster of Creolestyle huts that serve as showcases and selling points for local artisans. These include the merchants of Maison du Coco, well-known for crafting unique gifts from coconuts, as well as expert makers of jewellery and batik clothing.
Find sarongs at Victoria Market
#travelgoals Don’t miss the chance to go rock climbing, abseiling or even zip lining within and above a forest canopy with SMAC Adventures based at Constance Ephelia Resort.
JA Enchanted Island Resort
La Digue island is home to giant granite boulders and untouched beaches
#travelgoals For the ultimate modern-day Robinson Crusoe adventure, book a stay on privately run North Island – a luxury resort with just 11 large villas. It’s a short helicopter ride from Mahé and it offers superb beaches and faultless service. It’s also a critically important nesting site for hawksbill and green turtles.
WHERE TO STAY JA Enchanted Island Resort
A short speedboat ride from Mahé on the tiny, jewellike Round Island, this exclusive resort offers a range of villas clustered around its famous panoramic Bounty Restaurant terrace and Castaway cocktail bar. jaresortshotels.com
AVANI Seychelles Barbarons Resort & Spa
GO EXPLORE Island hop to Praslin and La Digue
Just off the magnificent Grand Anse Beach, this renowned luxury resort offers health and beauty treatments and gourmet Seychellois cuisine in its own manicured enclave between lush forest and azure water. minorhotels.com
Mahé, of course, is just one of more than 100 islands in the Seychelles archipelago, and various tour packages can whisk you to neighbouring enclaves by boat or helicopter. Praslin is home to the otherworldly UNESCO World Heritage site at Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve, while nearby La Digue is best explored in a walking tour with Robert Agnes of Sunny Trail Guide (sunnytrailguide.net), who will lead you to remote and pristine beaches. You can also visit the island’s popular Vanilla Plantation and Coconut Oil Factory.
Kempinski Seychelles Resort
Besides flanking the beautiful Baie Lazare, this fivestar hotel offers an array of excellent dining options, superb service, a spa, a kids’ club and a comprehensive daily activity programme for the whole family including surf lessons. kempinski.com
Charter a private catamaran
To get the best of the island’s gorgeous surrounding waters – teeming with marine life and blanketed by coral reefs – charter a boat out for the day (or night) and spend some private time swimming, snorkelling, or just floating out there on the ocean.
Go on a reef safari
Set sail from Victoria harbour in a semisubmersible boat that will take you below the waves to explore the coral world below. You’ll also get a chance to feed the fish and snorkel among them at your leisure.
#travelgoals The Seychelles Golf Club, situated on the southeastern coast of Mahé, is a challenging ninehole course. It’s built on an old coconut plantation, is the only one of its kind on the island and visitors are welcome.
An Ocean View Suite at AVANI Seychelles Barbarons Resort & Spa
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EvEryonE’s hEading to… The 2017 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Be part of the biggest event on Abu Dhabi’s social calendar which roars back into town this month Calvin Harris
The circuit in Abu Dhabi
ON YOUR DOORSTEP Lasting Impressions Peruse the lifetime work of award-winning Kuwaiti artist and writer Thuraya Al-Baqsami at Sharjah Art Museum.
Ferrari World Abu Dhabi
Views of Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi from Yas Marina
Sharjah is a hotbed for creativity this month. Budding photographers are heading to XpoSure 2017 (see page 32 for more about this photography festival) and art buffs should not miss the eighth edition of the Lasting Impressions exhibition at Sharjah Art Museum. Bringing together more than 200 of Thuraya Al-Baqsami’s paintings, posters, drawings and illustrations from public and private collections, the showing takes place until 16
Where: Abu Dhabi When: 24-26 November Why: Abu Dhabi is a fantastic place to finish the Formula 1 season and the UAE Capital welcomes drivers, teams and fans in style. Nothing quite beats the sounds and atmosphere of the adrenalin-fuelled race and whether you’re watching it trackside, from a terrace or on a super yacht, you’re sure to be thrilled. Enjoy: Besides having access to the races, Grand Prix ticket holders can also attend the exciting After Race Concerts. Previous years have seen Blur, The Who, Pharrell Williams, Muse, Jay-Z, Aerosmith, Beyoncé and more play to thousands at du Arena, Yas Island. This year’s line-up includes Grammy-winning recording artist Kendrick Lamar, internationally renowned DJ Calvin Harris, alternative rock band Mumford & Sons and the iconic P!NK who will close out the weekend on Sunday 26 November. 60 World Traveller
While you’re there: Explore Yas Island (yasisland.ae). It’s home to the Yas Marina Circuit and is packed with theme parks, shopping malls, a golf course, beach club, and more. Yas Marina (yasmarina.ae) is a great place for dinning with seven on-site restaurants from which to choose and don’t miss an exclusive pop-up event with Opera Gallery and percussionist Walter Scalzone. On 26 November, International Moroccan-American artist French Montana will take to the stage 1 Oak. Where to stay: Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi (viceroyhotelsandresorts.com) is the only hotel in the world that spans an F1 track so is the most coveted location from which to watch the all the action. Partygoers will love its exclusive A-list events and the hotel’s Royal Terrace, with its unparalleled three corner track view, is the place to see and be seen.
December. Learn more about this renowned Kuwaiti artist’s inspiring life in cities including Cairo, Moscow and Dakar as well as see her visual interpretation of events that have affected the region, including the Gulf War. sharjahmuseums.ae
weekends Abu dhabi
Abu Dhabi Art fair returns to Saadiyat Island this month with a dynamic programme of exhibitions and events
ll eyes will be on the UAE capital this month as Abu Dhabi Art returns for its 9th edition. This annual fair is a culmination of an extensive public-engagement programme that has seen installations, exhibitions, talks and events take place at a number of locations across the emirate throughout 2017. Visitors to this year’s four-day event can expect to see a varied range of works by renowned and up-and-coming artists as 47 established and emerging galleries from 18 different countries are set to collaborate. Highlights include a new category entitled Solo Projects, which encourages participating galleries to focus on a curated presentation of a single artist. Sabrina Amrani Gallery will put Armenian-Egyptian painter Chant Avedissian under the spotlight and Meem Gallery will present a single monumental work by Dia Azzawi, a pioneer of modern Arab art. Dr. Omar Kholeif, the Manilow Senior Curator and Director of Global Initiatives at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, will introduce a group of inter-generational artists and major projects to a Middle Eastern audience with his exhibition Focus: Beyond Territory. Curator Maya Allison will present an exhibition that draws on connections between established UAE artists and their international peers while Mohammed Kazem and Cristiana de Marchi will present a section entitled Beyond: Emerging Artists. Further to the diverse exhibition programme, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi’s curator Munira Al Sayegh will deliver a series of cultural talks on local and GCC-wide art histories and narratives and there will be a performance programme curated by Tarek Abou El Fetouh and street artists brought together to work on new commissions under the direction of Fabrice Bousteau – who has worked with the fair for years. “Abu Dhabi Art is a cornerstone in the mission and vision of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi to create a vibrant and sustainable cultural ecosystem in the capital,” says His Excellency Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General, Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi. “Each year we see the finest creative minds in the region gathered together on Saadiyat Island to offer visitors fascinating and inspiring experiences. This year will be no different as we see the Abu Dhabi Art programme expand into a more diverse offering than ever before.” Where: Manarat Al Saadiyat When: From 8-11 November To find out more, visit abudhabiart.ae
1 Shahzia Sikander, Night Flight, 2015 - 2016, Courtesy of Sean Kelly Gallery, New York. 2 Hassan Sharif, Jelly Fish No. 13, 2011, Courtesy of Estate of Hassan Sharif and Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Dubai. 3 Anish Kapoor, Untitled, 2016, Courtesy of the artist and GALLERIA CONTINUA, San Gimignano / Beijing / Les Moulins / Havana. 4 Dia Azzawi, Detail of Mission of Destruction, 2004-2007, Courtesy of Meem Gallery, Dubai. 5 Chant Avedissian, P5 Ancient Egyptian Triangles with Plants, 2016, Courtesy of Sabrina Amrani, Madrid. 6 Giuseppe Penone, Spazio di Luce (Space of Light), 2008, Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York / Paris / London
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The Arabian Oryx has been brought back from the brink of extinction at Sir Bani Yas
The family getaway W AnAnTArA Sir BAni YAS iSlAnd reSorTS
The Bartle family goes in search of dancing giraffes, drama free mealtimes and bonding in the great outdoors The Two Bedroom Anantara Pool Villa at Al Yamm
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e all can dance when we find music that we love. If you’re nodding in agreement, you’re highly likely to be in the throes of parenting small children. If you haven’t a clue what I’m talking about, let me explain… It’s actually the end line to the Giles Andreae book Giraffes Can't Dance, which tells the story of Gerald the giraffe who discovers he can dance when he finds his own tune. It’s a favourite bedtime story of my three-year-old son Xander, so when he laid eyes on the real life version of the book’s protagonist on Sir Bani Yas Island, he hit peak toddler levels of excitement. “He’s dancing!” he squeaked in a highpitched voice, letting his imagination run wild. While the animals (there were four of them) weren’t exactly doing a jig, my husband and I were just as in awe to see them up close, jostling to secure the best vantage point from the four-wheel-drive that was guiding us through the island’s famous wildlife reserve. Even our baby let out an appreciative “goo”, pointing a chubby finger towards the animals as they swayed under the shade of the trees.
The Nature & Wildlife Drive was definitely a highlight of our long weekend, although for the couple who shared our vehicle, it was more likely a terrifying glimpse into life as a family. Indeed, while my two young boys were momentarily transfixed by the gazelles making their way through the savannah and the cheetah lazing in the sand, the latter part of the drive descended into an eardrum-piercing chorus of whingeing accompanied by flailing arms and legs, as they battled to break free from our laps. As it turns out, Xander was eager to get back to our temporary home at Al Yamm, where he could jump into the private pool, stalk the animals on the nearby patch of grass and collect shells from the beach in his bright red bucket. I have to admit that the accommodation is special. We were staying in a Two Bedroom Anantara Pool Villa – a secluded beachfront hideaway that’s just perfect for families. From the private plunge pool to the separate bedrooms (ideal for enforcing an earlier bedtime for the kids) to the spa-like bathrooms complete with more Elemis pampering goodies than you can shake a sandy foot at, it was all too easy to feel at home. As the resort is so vast – Sir Bani Yas Island is larger than Abu Dhabi city – we were ferried around in golf buggies and Land Cruisers. Along the way we learnt that the island was once a personal retreat for the UAE’s founding father, His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Now, more than half of it is made up of the Arabian Wildlife Park, which is home to more than 10,000 free-roaming animals. It’s also home to UAE's only discovered Christian monastery, believed to have been built around 600AD, which was discovered during excavations in 1992. When our time at Al Yamm was up we spent a further two nights in a Two Bedroom Anantara Pool Villa in Al Saheel, which, to the amusement of my husband, I found rather rustic – think traditional wooden furnishings, ceiling beams and carved bronze bathtubs. Of course, we were in no danger of roughing it at any point. The very best bit was being able to observe the wildlife roaming directly in front of us. Feeling miles away from city life, we were able to switch off (literally) from the outside world and focus on
Spotting giraffes on a Nature & Wildlife Drive
The Arabian Wildlife Park is home to more than 10,000 free-roaming animals
spending quality time together – with as much outdoors time as possible. We adopted a much more relaxed schedule featuring late wake ups (I would like to personally thank the person at Anantara responsible for buying bedding, as we all slept for 10 hours straight), fun activities and dreamy afternoon naps. Our days largely revolved around eating, however, with Xander tucking into ridiculously large breakfast feasts of sunny side up eggs, cereal, fresh fruit with yoghurt and toast with honey. For dinners, we can thoroughly recommend the South African barbecue at Boma on Thursday evenings, as well as the seafood buffet, which is cooked over an open fire at Amwaj. We loved it there so much that we went twice so we could enjoy a rare meal in peace thanks to the magical staff who happily entertained the children while we ate. Earlier that day, I’d snuck off to the spa for an energyboosting massage, so my new-mum wish list was officially done and dusted. If you’re heading there from Dubai, like us, it is a bit of a drive (around
Saheel ol at Al ming po vourite spots im w s e Th of our fa
four hours) but it’s manageable. We should know – on the way out the baby vomited on himself before we’d even reached Sheikh Zayed Road and we still made it there in once piece. Although we were sad to leave to go back to our “little house”, as Xander affectionately refers to it, my husband and I agreed that, cheesy as it sounds, the memories made there are the kind that last a lifetime. To find out more, call +971 2 895 8700 or visit sir-bani-yas-island.anantara.com World Traveller 63
Palazzo Versace Dubai Choose to be a weekender at this stylish and sophisticated hotel
Set in the heart of Culture Village and overlooking the creek, Palazzo Versace Dubai offers a convenient location. It’s just a 10-minute drive from Dubai International Airport and is within close proximity of a number of world-class attractions such as Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Mall and Jumeirah Beach. Once you’ve checked into this sprawling 215-room property, you may wish to never leave as a world of fashionable accommodation, fabulous food and fun for the whole family awaits. SLEEP A variety of rooms and suites are available and most feature high ceilings and huge windows allowing for an abundance of natural light. They’re all furnished with signature Versace Medusa motifs and silk linens from the brand’s Home Collection. Each one showcases one of five 64 World Traveller
Striking wall decor at Giardino
Ischia Pool is one of three swimming pools
Grand Suite Bedroom with creek view
A Versace designed floor at the Kids Club
distinct colour themes: turquoise, blue, beige, gold and salmon. For the ultimate indulgence, book the Imperial Suite – a gargantuan two-bedroom duplex that comes with everything from a private lift to a sparkling rooftop pool. DINE From tasty Turkish delights at Enigma to classic Italian dishes at Giardino, there’s a variety of culinary outlets to discover. Besides being decked out in Versace’s famous jungle motif, the latter is known for its extensive buffet breakfast and lunch offering as well as a decadent brunch on Fridays. You’ll love al fresco dining venue Amalfi, too. Located next to Portofino, the West Lagoon Pool, it features a poolside bar and laid-back restaurant where chefs whip up an assortment of Mediterranean fare. Its Saturday Barbecue is ideal for families as everyone can
swim or sunbathe in between snacking on salads, pizzas, sumptuous seafood and meat served straight off the grill. RELAX In addition to Portofino, there are two more swimming pools (Capri and Ischia). The onsite SPA includes seven treatment rooms, a nail studio and two Moroccan hammams as well as separate ladies and gentlemen’s relaxation areas with private plunge pools, saunas and steam rooms. Try the 24K ceremony, which in addition to a lavish body exfoliation, skin brightening cocoon and golden scalp treatment, includes a 24-karat gold dust massage. Younger guests will enjoy their bespoke Kids Club complete with a nap room and a Versace-designed floor. To find out more, call +971 4 556 8888 or visit palazzoversace.ae
Exuding European grandeur and urban glamour, discover a space that mirrors your sense of style. Visit Dubai this year and live the iconic Versace lifestyle in a cosmopolitan city that echoes the charms of tradition. Explore our family, business, honeymoon and other stay offers at www.palazzoversace.ae/specialoffers
St. Regis Abu Dhabi Check into Abu Dhabi’s finest Urban Resort for a stylish stay and a spell of R&R Superior Room
Brunch in the Clouds
Set on the corniche in the iconic Nation Towers, St. Regis Abu Dhabi is as bastion of grandeur that will sweep you into a world of opulent décor, sumptuous dining, pampering spa treatments and superb beach time. SLEEP The hotel’s 238 guest rooms and 55 suites are expansive, offering remarkable views of the Arabian Gulf. The design presents a classic and regal aesthetic with polished dark walnut wood furnishings, Art Deco chandeliers and Arabesque touches. Marble-clad bathrooms include mosaic detailing and feature oversized standalone tubs. The jewel in St. Regis’ crown, however, is the Abu Dhabi Suite – a sprawling two-storey abode positioned on the sky bridge between Nation Towers’ 48th and 49th floors. It’s officially the World’s Highest Suspended Suite. 66 World Traveller
Nation Riviera Beach Club
DINE From a sumptuous Tea Lounge to authentic Italian fare at Villa Toscana and a dedicated Cigar Lounge, a range of restaurants and bars await. Standout dining experiences include an exclusive brunch journey in the Abu Dhabi Suite (complete with a cinema full of candy, a caviar ice bar and mixologist on demand) and a Helipad Sunset Supper, which invites you to dine 255 metres in the air. RELAX St. Regis Abu Dhabi’s Remède Spa and Nation Riviera Beach Club is another highlight. The former, a well-known spa brand synonymous with the hotel group, is a sparkling white marble sanctuary with 11 treatment rooms (some with sea views), a wet area and relaxation lounge. There’s a well-curated range of
Remède treatments available, as well as Elemis therapies. Flanked by its own 200-metre-long private beach, Nation Riviera Beach Club, which is easily accessible from the hotel via an airconditioned private tunnel, is a hub for the health-conscious, as well as those looking to relax. Besides a fitness centre, the club offers a temperature-controlled swimming pool (ideal for laps), a Jacuzzi area and an immersed pool bar. Sunseekers will love the 12 private cabanas. Plus, the Treasure Island children’s retreat includes nanny services meaning younger visitors will be kept busy. No day at the club is complete without visiting Cabana Bar & Grill. There you’ll find an enticing range of dishes from delicious burgers to decadent desserts. To find out more, please call +971 2 694 4444 or visit stregisabudhabi.com
Abu Dhabiâ€™s Finest Urban Resort The St. Regis Abu Dhabi soars to new heights of splendour and service beyond expectation. Located on the Corniche with a 200 metre stretch of pristine beach, overlooking the turquoise waters of the Arabian Gulf which is home to the Nation Riviera Beach Club at the finest address in the heart of the city.
ÂŠ2016 Marriott International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Preferred Guest, SPG, St. Regis and their logos are the trademarks of Marriott International, Inc., or its affiliates.
The St. Regis Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates t. +971 2 694 4444 stregisabudhabi.com
Stay exquisite at more than 40 St. Regis hotels and resorts worldwide. @stregishotels
Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates Dubai For a one-of-a-kind experience, check into this renowned hotel
With cosy chalets overlooking Ski Dubai’s famous slope, Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates offers a unique stay for the whole family. In addition to featuring a superb spa and a number of restaurants, the property is also directly connected to the Mall of the Emirates, which means that an array of shops, cafés, cinemas and more are right on your doorstep. SLEEP The hotel offers a variety of guestroom and suite types. For an unforgettable experience book one of the Aspen Ski Chalets, from which you can enjoy views of Ski Dubai’s winter wonderland and gain complimentary access to its powdery slope. Showcasing a sophisticated aesthetic, the chalets are decked out in earthy tones and feature wooden floors and stone faux fireplaces. Guests can enjoy a dedicated butler service at all times, too. 68 World Traveller
Aspen Ski Chalet Living Room
Find Levantine treats at Olea
Afternoon Tea at Aspen by Kempinski
Aspen Ski Chalet King Bedroom
The rustic one-bedroom chalet is an intimate retreat, while the Duplex chalet showcases a separate bedroom, dining room and living rooms, spacious bathroom and a kitchenette, all spread over two floors. Larger families or groups of friends will love the three-bedroom chalet. Set over three floors and accommodating up to six adults, it boasts a spacious living and dining area, separate kitchen, a grand staircase, a powder room, and three marble bathrooms with freestanding bathtubs. DINE The variety of dining outlets at Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates will take you on a foodie adventure across the world. Highlights include Spanish eatery Salero Tapas & Bodega, which is known for its authentic tapas, live entertainment and Fiesta Friday Brunch. Aspen by
Kempinski celebrates European caféstyle food – order the beef cheeks that are slow-cooked in the traditional French style. Olea is the place to go for a gourmet Levantine feast, with delicious dishes created in the live kitchen. RELAX When you’re not whizzing down Ski Dubai’s indoor slope, soak up the warm winter sun at one of the hotel’s two infinity pools. The Mosaic Chill pool bar and terrace is also not to be missed. There’s the onsite K Wellness Health Club that includes a fully equipped fitness centre and tennis court, too. However, leave time for some serious pampering at the renowned Softouch Spa and beauty salon, Maison de Joelle. To find out more, call +971 4 341 0000 or visit kempinski.com
With glorious weather upon us, now is the perfect time to visit Dubai and explore its culture. Five-star luxury Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates has never been this enjoyable, with so many rooms and suites to choose from, including our exclusive Aspen Chalets, that blend the best of the sand and snow. Benefit now from 15% off for your winter break with us. This package includes: Stay 3 to 5 nights, enjoy 15% off Stay 6 nights or more, enjoy 20% off Valid until 31st March 2018
+971 4 341 0000 | firstname.lastname@example.org | kempinski.com/dubai
READER OFFERS exclusive deals to get you packing
This monthâ€™s raft of great offers includes Shangri-La's Villingili Resort & Spa in the Maldives
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the fantastic four
Hotel de Vigny This five-star boutique Paris hotel is located just off the Champs-Elysées and is a short walk from the Arc de Triomphe. It features luxurious rooms and suites as well as the renowned Penati al Baretto restaurant.
Fairmont Quasar istanbul Set in the heart of Istanbul’s main business district, this sophisticated hotel offers a range of lavish rooms, suites and residences as well as a selection of sumptuous dining outlets.
special offer: 20% discount on room rate. includes: Stay in a Deluxe Room with breakfast daily and return airport transfers. Validity: Until 20 Dec, 2017.
special offer: 15% discount on room rate. includes: Stay in a Fairmont Room with breakfast daily and return airport transfers. Validity: Until 31 Jan, 2018.
3 nights starting from usD 699 per person
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3 nights starting from usD 288 per person
sHangri-la’s Villingili resort & spa Fringed by coral reefs and boasting white-sand beaches and towering forest, this castaway resort offers the ultimate tropical island escape.
3 nights starting from usD 1,510 per person
includes: Stay in a Pool Villa with breakfast daily and return domestic flights. offer: 30% discount on room rate and 1 complimentary 60-minute spa treatment for 2 per stay. Valid from: 1 Nov – 22 Dec, 2017.
tHe royal pita maHa, ubud This resort features a collection of private pool villas and supporting facilities overlooking the Ayung River.
3 nights starting from usD 827 per person
includes: Stay in a Deluxe Pool Villa with breakfast daily and return airport transfers. offer: Stay 4 nights and receive an additional night free, 1 complimentary 60-minute Balinese spa treatment and 1 Indonesian set lunch for 2 per stay. Valid from: 1 Oct, 17 – 10 Jan, 18.
Hilton budapest City
4 nights starting from usD 200 per person
special offer: Stay three nights and receive an additional night free. includes: Stay in a Standard Room with breakfast daily and return airport transfers. Validity: Until 20 Dec, 2017.
anantara peaCe HaVen tangalle resort
bouleVard Hotel baku, autograpH ColleCtion
includes: Stay in a Premier Beach Access Room with breakfast daily and return airport transfers. offer: 30% discount on room rate. Valid from: 1 Nov, 2017 – 19 Dec, 2018.
special offer: 20% discount on room rate. includes: Stay in City View Room with breakfast daily and return airport transfers. Validity: Until 31 Dec, 2017.
3 nights starting from usD 569 per person
3 nights starting from usD 245 per person
arounD the WorlD
4 nights starting from usD 436 per person
includes: Stay in a Grande Deluxe Room with breakfast daily and return airport transfers. offer: 20% discount on room rate. Valid from: 1 Nov, 2017 – 31 Mar, 2018.
ritz-Carlton millenia singapore
3 nights starting from usD 488 per person
includes: Stay in a Deluxe Kallang Room with breakfast daily and return airport transfers. offer: 30% discount on room rate and 1 child under 6 years stays free. Valid from: 1 Nov, 2017 – 30 Nov, 2018.
grand Hyatt amman
3 nights starting from usD 290 per person
Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore
Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur
special offer: 15% discount on room rate. includes: Stay in a Grand Room with breakfast daily and return airport transfers. Validity: Until 31 Dec, 2017.
sHangri-la kuala lumpur
3 nights starting from usD 334 per person
The Grand Mark Prague
includes: Stay in an Executive Suite with breakfast daily, complimentary refreshments throughout the day, complimentary daily afternoon tea and return airport transfers. offer: Stay 2 nights and receive an additional night free and 2 children under 6 years stay free. Valid from: 1 Nov, 2017 – 10 Jan, 2018.
tHe grand mark prague
3 nights starting from usD 244 per person
special offer: Stay two nights and receive an additional night free. includes: Stay in a Superior Room with breakfast daily and return airport transfers. Validity: Until 8 Jan, 2018.
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Something for the weekend From seaside retreats to desert delights, pick one of these properties for the perfect mini break 1
Photographs: 1. Grand Hyatt Dubai; 2. Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa; 3. Centara Muscat Hotel; 4. The Oberoi Beach Resort Al Zorah, Ajman; 5. Tilal Liwa Hotel; 6. Downtown Rotana Bahrain; 7. FIVE Palm Jumeirah Dubai
Grand Hyatt dubai
1 night starting from USD 146 per person
Special offer: Complimentary upgrade to Club Creek Room, complimentary breakfast, 2 children under 12 years stay free, complimentary access to the Grand Club Lounge. Includes: Stay in a Creek Room and return airport transfers. Validity: Until 30 Nov, 2017. FiVE Palm JumEiraH dubai
1 night starting from USD 249 per person
Special offer: 40% discount on room rate, receive complimentary 45-minute body massage per person per stay and complimentary 74 World Traveller
drinks and canapes in Elevate from 5pm â€“ 7pm. Includes: Stay in Lux Sea View Room with breakfast and return airport transfers. Validity: Until 30 Nov, 2017.
room rates and 2 children below 12 years stay free. Includes: Stay in Tilal Room with breakfast and return airport transfers. Validity: Until 30 Nov, 2017.
bab al sHams dEsErt rEsOrt & sPa
tHE ObErOi bEacH rEsOrt al ZOraH, aJman
1 night starting from USD 280 per person
Special offer: Complimentary Upgrade to Terrace Room and late check out until 2pm. Includes: Stay in Superior Room with breakfast and return airport transfers. Validity: Until 27 Dec, 2017.
1 night starting from USD 265 per person
Special offer: 30% discount on room rate. Includes: Stay in Premier Room with breakfast and return airport transfers. Validity: until 30 Nov, 2017
tilal liwa HOtEl
cEntara muscat HOtEl
Special offer: 30% discount on
Special offer: Complimentary
1 night starting from USD 149 per person
1 night starting from USD 125 per person
upgrade to Premium Club Suite, 1 child under 12 years stay free, 20% discount on F&B and 20% discount on spa. Includes: Stay in Deluxe Room with breakfast and return airport transfers. Validity: Until 20 Dec, 2017
dOwntOwn rOtana baHrain
1 night starting from USD 126 per person
Special offer: 10% discount on room rate, early check-in, late check-out, 10% discount on F&B and 10% discount on spa. Includes: Stay in Classic Room with breakfast and return airport transfers. Validity: Until 27 Dec, 2017.
How to book
By calling dnata on +971 4 316 6666
By visiting a dnata outlet or logging on to dnatatravel.com
On the website you can also sign up to the dnata newsletter and receive more offers direct to your inbox. T&Cs apply.
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Travel in style with Virtuoso For unforgettable experiences and exclusive access to the world’s most exciting destinations, dnata and Virtuoso have you covered
Photograph: Witness the Northen Lights in Iceland between October and March
NortherN Lights iN iceLaNd
Every day, there is an adventure waiting to happen in Iceland, the land of fire and ice. Abundant with mountains, volcanoes, glaciers, rivers, lakes and caves, the country is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. The Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon created when particles emitted by the sun interact with the atmosphere in the Earth's magnetic field. This releases energy, causing peculiar luminous green streaks across the skies. The best time to see the Northern Lights in Iceland is from October to March on cold, clear evenings. 76 World Traveller
• Experience the arts and culture, shopping, wellness, cuisine and nightlife in Reykjavik. • Drive to Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and also one of the few places in the world where you can clearly see the effects of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates pulling apart. • Explore the Geysir hot spring area and Gullfoss waterfalls. • Visit Sólheimajökull glacier for an optional glacier-walk. Wearing crampons and other necessary glacier gear, explore the amazing world of this run-off glacier. • Head to the dramatic wilderness area called Thórsmörk (Thor's Forest) north of
Eyjafjallajökull, the volcano that erupted in the spring of 2010. Here travel to run-off glacier Gígjökull, where torrents of glacial melt water transformed the surrounding landscape during the last eruption. • Overnight in the countryside, where conditions for viewing the Northern Lights are optimal, although can never be guaranteed. Indulge in optional activities such as a snowmobile ride on Langjökull glacier. Inspired to travel Virtuoso style? To book this trip or see what other exclusive journeys await, call +971 4 316 6666 or log onto dnatatravel.com
HOLIDAY? Precious memories are waiting to be made...
FREE NIGHTS & KIDS STAY FREE
4 nights & flights from
3 nights & flights from
3 nights & flights from
SHANGRI-LAâ€™S HAMBANTOTA RESORT & SPA, 5* Bed & breakfast. Two children under 12 years old stay free
VILAMENDHOO ISLAND RESORT & SPA, 4* Special dnata Travel upgrade to all inclusive
FOUR SEASONS BAKU, 5* Bed & breakfast
Book at dnatatravel.com, call 800 DNATA (36282) Book or visit at ourdnatatravel.com experts in store , call 800 DNATA (36282) or speak to us in-store
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Terms & conditions: Offers valid until 31 December 2017. Prices correct at time of printing and subject to change and availability. Blackout periods may apply.
In next month’s
World Traveller… ➤ Discover outback adventures, white-sand beaches, kangaroo hot spots and more with our guide to Australia. ➤ Embrace the lure of the sea by discovering the best marine sites in the Philippines. ➤ Meet the locals in Cape Town, South Africa so you can explore their city as you follow their tips.
World Traveller 78
Year round savings: • Group savings of 5% (for a group of 5-15) • Young Traveller discount up to 10% • Frequent traveller discount of 5% Book with confidence : We oﬀer Visa Cancellation Fee Waiver and Deposit Protection Plan. Speak to our experts to know more.
Best of Greece
Prague Vienna & Budapest
German Christmas Markets
5 Days From US$ 1150
8 Days From US$ 1495
10 Days From US$ 1525
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Christmas Markets of Austria Germany & Switzerland
Festive St. Petersburg & Moscow
Northern Lights of Iceland incl. The Blue Lagoon
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7 Days From US$ 1675
6 Days From US$ 2350
• Specially selected 3 and 4 star deluxe hotels • Exclusive Insider Experience including Be My Guest experience • Must-see sights included, with a choice of optional experiences • Breakfast daily and an average of 50% of your evening meals • VIP access and skip the queue to selected sights • Luxury air-conditioned coach with WIFI • Services of a passionate travel director • Complimentary airport transfers in select cities • Porterage, tips and local taxes.
Email us at email@example.com • Call +971 4 316 6666
Suite dreams Our monthly finish with a flourish, delving into a suite that has a character and style all of its own
Henri Mouhot Suite
Anantara Angkor Resort, Cambodia Following a recent extensive renovation, the 39-key Anantara Angkor Resortâ€™s has unveiled two plush presidential abodes, the Henri Mouhot and Anantara Explorer Suites. The former accommodates up to six guests and pays tribute to the French naturalist and explorer who alerted the West to the ruins of Angkor in 1860. Meticulously designed, itâ€™s reminiscent of a Khmer summer home and is decked out with sumptuous Thai silks. It features a lounge and bar area complete with a grape humidor; two dining areas; a marble bathroom with double vanity, bathtub and oversized rain shower; a dressing room; a private spa room with a Jacuzzi bath tub, deep plunge and massage area; and a plunge pool in an enclosed private garden. Find out more at angkor.anantara.com
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20.09.2017 - 19.03.2018 SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE, ABU DHABI
Hilya by Rasheed Butt in nastaliq and thuluth scripts, 2000–01, Pakistan © HE Mohammed al-Murr Collection
Under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs
JW MARRIOT T® MARQUIS DUBAI
Enjoy the Best Family Offer at the World’s Tallest Hotel. Comprising two iconic towers, the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai is centrally located beside the Dubai Water Canal offering a spectrum of facilities. Stay at the ultimate destination of exceptional taste featuring over 14 diverse restaurants and lounges. Indulge in relaxing treatments at the Saray Spa with traditional Hammams and a Dead Sea floatation pool. BOOK A ROOM AND GET 50% OFF THE SECOND ROOM KIDS 12 AND UNDER DINE FOR FREE For more information please call +971 4 414 0000 or visit jwmarriottmarquisdubai.com
Offer is subject to availability. Terms and Conditions: Quote “VFE” when making your booking. Offer is applicable on deluxe rooms only. Bookings must be made for stays until August 2018. Sheikh Zayed Road, Business Bay, PO Box 121000, Dubai, UAE | T +971 4 414 0000 | jwmarriottmarquisdubailife.com JW Marriott Marquis Dubai | JWDubaiMarquis | JWMarriottMarquisDubai