Page 1

Thames Travel 373 Richmond Road East Twickenham Middx, TW1 2EF

Welcome... Welcome to the latest issue of our regular travel magazine where we hope to entice you with a varied selection of worldwide holiday ideas and destinations. So, why not treat yourself, partner, family or a group of friends to a well-earned break. Japan is very much in vogue at the moment, so it is fitting that we start this issue with the ideal “beginners” tour to the main island of Honshu. In support of the Far East region we also showcase some of the wonderful Aman properties in Japan as well as Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and a remote island in the south west of the Philippines archipelago.

Christian & Claire Green

The world of luxury travel is certainly gathering pace and there are a large number of incredible new resorts opening worldwide. Of course, this means that some of the established favourites are having to keep a keen eye on maintaining their cherished position with the seasoned traveller. Whether you are thinking of a special break to the Indian Ocean, Caribbean or even Florida, we

hope that our premium selection of resort showcases will tempt you! South Africa remains excellent value in terms of spending power and our featured hotels would certainly work well for a cross country itinerary. Finally, we may be in the throes of a European divorce, but can we ever really be separated! Our special feature is a series of snapshots highlighting some of our favourite countries as well as notable hotels to inspire your next cross-Channel getaway. Whether you are looking for a beach getaway, a city break, an adventure or just news on some of the world’s finest hotels and resorts we are sure this issue will inspire you. So sit back, have a read, then give us a call to discuss your travel plans.

Bon Voyage...

Tel: 020 8891 0166

Published by Travelspeak Limited - 020 8944 6050 -

12 18 4 16 6 14



World Travel News A New England gem re-imagined

The Ritz-Carlton Langkawi - The new Andaman Sea resort for Summer 2017

The Mayflower Grace, part of Grace Hotels, is a country spa retreat and a member of Relais & Châteaux. Nestled in 58 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens and woodland and just 2 hours’ drive from New York, it makes for the perfect addition to a “Big Apple” visit.

Fringed by lush rainforests and lapped by the clear-blue Andaman Sea, the Malaysian island of Langkawi has a new addition to its landscape: The Ritz-Carlton, Langkawi. The oceanfront resort blends beautifully with its surroundings and was designed to reflect a traditional kampong village with 90 guest rooms and 29 pool villas, three swimming pools, a locally inspired spa, three dining outlets, a bar, indoors and outdoors wedding venues.

Renowned as one of New England’s most distinguished luxury hideaways, it boasts one of the finest spas in this picturesque region offering a unique elemental wellness programme including treatments such as Forest Bathing and Sound Healing. In addition to the hotels’ yoga and Pilates classes there is hiking, biking, kayaking, fly-fishing, archery, tennis, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and nature walks right outside the back door.

Rebuilt every year to create a unique luxury camping adventure in Ladakh

The Canny Traveller

Japanese etiquette for first time visitors 1. Bowing Bow politely when you meet someone, thank them, or say goodbye. The depth, duration and number of bows is something non-Japanese aren’t expected to understand and visitors are unlikely to offend if they don’t do this perfectly.

2. Shoes OFF

Embark on a nomadic journey in canvas luxury. Unfurl the centuries-old culture of Ladakh, exploring her fascinating monuments, quaint monasteries enriched with ancient art forms, fairs and festivals. Be part of the region's unique rituals - enjoy the ancient sport of Polo, brought to Ladakh in the 17th century by the Royals. Try your hand at archery set amidst the most dramatic and breath-taking landscape. Raft on the gentle Indus River, stop for a delicious picnic lunch at the most picturesque hamlet. Experience Ladakh in all its splendour at the Chamba Camp, Thiksey, a unique adventure that takes glamping to a whole new level with The Ultimate Travelling Camp. (May-November).

If a building has a sunken-foyer entrance (called a genkan), and there are rows or shelves of footwear by the door, it’s a clear sign you’re expected to remove your shoes. You’ll always have to remove footwear when entering a private home, traditional accommodation (minshuku or ryokan), and temple halls. Some restaurants with tatami (woven straw matting) areas will also require visitors to take off their shoes, as will some hostels and historic sites.

3. Tipping There is no custom of tipping in Japan. Leaving a little extra cash on the table at a restaurant will often result in a waiter chasing you down the street to give it back.

4. Drink Up When pouring glasses from a shared bottle (e.g. of sake), it’s customary to pour drinks for others in your party, and allow someone else to pour yours for you, i.e. you don’t pour your own drink. Say kam-pai for ‘Cheers!’ before drinking.

Essence of Japan A place where futuristic cities, ancient temples and spectacular vistas co-exist. ew countries in the world can match Japan for its fascinating juxtaposition of old and new. To many “gaijin” (foreigners) this national identity is manifested in visions of white-gloved attendants jamming passengers into commuter trains in busy cities, of robot toilets and conveyor belts of sushi ...but the truth of it is that Japan is a complex, courteous, friendly and immaculately curated land, where the real experience lies in the deeply engrained culture, history, and traditions.


For the perfect introduction why not join one of Tauck’s extremely popular “Essence of Japan” tours, a 13-night exploration of Southern Honshu Island spinning an unforgettable round trip out of the modern day capital city of Tokyo. With the benefit of high speed travel on the famous “bullet trains”, this comprehensive journey is a kaleidoscope of sights and invariably, those special Tauck moments, prepared by their industry-leading tour directors. Discover the revered customs and unique sense of beauty 4

that pervades both in the bustling cities and the dramatic landscapes. Explore castles, temples, shrines, a samurai home and world class gardens. Discover the cultural treasure trove of the “1000 year” ancient capital city of Kyoto. Drive from Kanazawa through the “Japanese Alps” to take a cruise on Lake Ashi, with impossibly beautiful views across to Mount Fuji. Enjoy the serenity of a Japanese tea ceremony, make sushi, taste sake and take joy in tradition.

Enchanting Kyoto Tauck’s “Essence of Japan” tour includes: Multi-night stays at premier hotels in Tokyo, Kyoto, Kanazawa & at a hot springs resort & spa in Hakone Tokyo’s EdoTokyo Museum, Shinto music, Kagura dancing, taiko drums & sumo wrestling In Kyoto, a private home visit with tea ceremony & Origami demonstration, visits to Nijo Castle, Kinkaku-ji Temple & Pure Water Temple (Kiyomizu Temple) Explore the streets of Kyoto’s Geisha districts with the leading foreign geisha culture expert, Peter Macintosh. A cruise on Lake Ashi beneath Mt. Fuji

In the city considered to be one of Japan’s most beautiful you will find a city centre of glass and steel skyscrapers ringed by hidden temples. Sightseeing includes the three storey goldentopped kinkaku-Ji temple, nestled on the edge of the lake - a position symbolising its place “between heaven and Earth”. Another highlight is Nijo Castle, surrounded by stone walls and a moat. Within this 16th century shogun’s residence you will discover the secret of the “nightingale” floors. Don’t forget to seek longevity, success or love by drinking from a long-handled cup in the main hall at Kiyomizudera (“pure water temple”) built in 1633. Explore the streets of Kyoto’s Geisha districts with the leading foreign geisha culture expert, Peter Macintosh.

Ceramics, glass-blowing, or flower arranging workshops or a whisky distillery tour in Hakone A lesson on sake brewing & a tasting at a local brewery in picturesque Takayama A guided tour of Kanazawa’s Kenrokuen Garden, one of Japan’s most revered landscaped gardens Airport transfers upon arrival and departure 29 meals, (12 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 8 dinners); gratuities to local guides, service charges, admission fees, taxes and porterage


Far East From Thailand to Tokyo with the world’s most exclusive hotel brand The main pool at Amanpuri, Thailand

f you yearn for the very best, then look no further than Aman, whose resorts and hotels are special retreats, renowned the world over for their incredible service, inspirational locations and impeccable attention to detail.


From Thailand to Tokyo and onwards to the remote island of Pamilican in the Philippines there are magical places waiting to be discovered that will pamper the senses and combine authentic experiences with discrete hospitality.

Amanpuri Where the magic began... Since its opening in 1988, the unique beach resort of Amanpuri on the west coast of Phuket, Thailand, has established a worldwide reputation for personal service, fine cuisine and stunning tranquility, all of which complement the exceptional beauty of its tropical island surroundings. Amanpuri, a Sanskrit word meaning ‘place of peace’, reflects its name in more ways than one. Ancient Ayutthayan architecture determines the design of the resort’s pavilions and villas, which overlook lush vegetation, a gorgeous white beach and the pristine Andaman Sea. To this day the resort remains the flagship hotel of Aman.

Aman experiences across the Far East Share Buddhist tradition at Amantaka (Laos) by joining a boat pilgrimage with the novice monks of Luang Prabang carrying a specially blessed wooden statue of Buddha to Vat Pha Pa O temple.


Visit the Tsukiji Fish Market with a 3 Michelin star Chef when staying at the Aman Tokyo (Japan).

Explore the Vinh Hy Bay’s fascinating rock formations, hidden caves and secret inlets by kayak at Amanoi (Vietnam).

Immerse in the curative waters at Amanemu (Japan) hotspring sanctuary with its Onsen style 2,000m2 spa

Experience Turtle hatching between June and October, when endangered hawksbill and green sea turtles lay their eggs on Amanpulo’s (Philippines) beach at night.

Overlooking Ago Bay at Amanemu, Japan

Spectacular coastline at Amanoi, Vietnam

Infinity pool meets city skyline at Aman Tokyo

Novice monks of Luang Prabang, Laos Aerial view of Amanpuri, Thailand

The traditions of the Amagoya

Steps to the main restaurant at Amanoi, Vietnam

Amanpulo, Pamilican Island, The Philippines


Surf’s Up Ayada Maldives is kicking up a splash in the Indian Ocean hen considering a getaway holiday to the Indian Ocean, Ayada Maldives has certainly excelled in creating a private island resort with superlative facilities, and where the surrounding waterscape is fully appreciated.


stand on stilts over the resort’s peaceful lagoon, while beach villas offer absolute privacy amid tropical greenery alongside powder-soft, palm-lined white beaches.

Included in Conde Nast Traveller’s list of best hotels in the Maldives, it was voted the ‘Indian Ocean's Leading Luxury Resort’ and the ‘Indian Ocean's Leading Villa Resort & Spa’ at the 2014 World Travel Awards. Ayada Maldives offers a truly luxurious retreat with a genuine Maldivian style.

Food lovers can explore the six restaurants with cuisine ranging from exotic Asian flavours to tantalising Mediterranean specialities to the vibrant Ottoman Lounge complete with speciality coffees, teas, and shisha, while those seeking complete relaxation will find their haven in the large spa which boasts a Turkish Hammam and eight private treatment villas.

Set in the relatively unexplored Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll in the south of the country, just a few kilometres above the equator, the luxury resort offers an impressive choice of both land and water based villas and suites, with private pools, butler service and thoughtful fivestar detailing. Traditional thatched-roof water-villas

The resort is noted for its gardens and tropical greenery and is ringed by a pristine coral reef where dolphins are frequent visitors. The active can explore the area on a host of excursions while at the resort they can play tennis or badminton, take up watersports, learn yoga, Pilates or Zumba or simply hit the modern gym.


Outstanding diving and snorkeling opportunities surround the island on reefs that have barely been visited by humans while some of the Maldives’ best surfing breaks are just a quick speedboat journey away offering both beginner and expert level experiences. Ayada Maldives can definitely be described as an ideal, all-rounder resort, with facilities that will accommodate to the discerning needs of its guests, whatever their age. Indeed, whilst it may draw couples for the perfect honeymoon (or perhaps even as a wedding venue) it also has great family appeal with special, family-size accommodation and even child-friendly facilities in the form of the ZuZuu Kids Club, complete with its own pool, nanny room, a stage and playground area with a jungle gym.


The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa

Triple Treat in South Africa Town and country with Red Carnation Hotels hilst many countries may have lost some of their gleam due to poor exchange rates post Brexit, South Africa still packs great value combined with an extraordinary variety of scenery that has justifiably earned its reputation as the “Rainbow Nation�. From the colonial sophistication of The Cape to the natural excitement to be found in the many nature reserves, this stunning destination that straddles the Atlantic and Indian Oceans offers a truly memorable holiday choice, especially in combination with a triple treat from award-winning Red Carnation Hotels.


Named for the ruggedly beautiful mountain range that towers behind it, The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa is characterised by clean-lined design and luxury. Situated on the Atlantic Ocean where the sea meets the sky, the hotel, with its brilliant white façade, is an iconic landmark lying a mere 15 minutes drive into the waterfront of Cape Town. It is a perfect location from which to enjoy the surroundings including walks and picnics in Table Mountain National Park, helicopter tours and whale watching. Equally tempting is a salt-glow rub or a pineand-rosemary-infused body wrap in the Sanctuary Spa. Enjoy a sundowner on the terrace at sunset before dinner at the award-winning Azure, and drift off to the sounds of the ocean in an airy room done in contemporary Cape style with all the classic European comforts. 10

In complete contrast, lying 270 km north of Cape Town, and located in the Cederberg Mountains, Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat is an intimate, natural haven framed by wide open plains and rugged rock formations. After enjoying the varied pleasures around Cape Town this is the place to surrender to nature. The retreat is recognised for its splendid accommodation and facilities, authentic South African cuisine and generous hospitality. With over 130 rock art sites of ancient Bushman paintings, dating from ten thousand years ago and abundant flora and fauna, this malaria and predator-free wilderness sanctuary is a magical playground, ideal for restoring mind and spirit. The final treat offers the perfect base from which to explore the riches of KwaZulu Natal with the famous Zulu battlefields, the majestic Drakensberg, numerous game reserves and of course the lure of the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Lying just north of the tropical city of Durban, The Oyster Box combines colonial charm, impeccable service, lush tropical gardens and a breathtaking seaside setting. A lovingly refurbished 1930s landmark, it offers guests a vibrant, contemporary experience, while evoking the warm nostalgia of bygone days, delivering a blend of hospitality and elegance with a wealth of modern facilities and fresh touches.

Koro Lodge at Bushmans Kloof

Private dining at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa

The Lighthouse Bar at The Oyster Box

Presidential Suite at The Oyster Box

Hiking at Bushmans Kloof


Raising the Bar on luxury at The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort in Miami

world-class luxury resort can never rest on its laurels, so it is no surprise to hear that the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort, which opened barely 5 years ago, has been hard at work improving on what was already regarded as Miami’s finest address with a $35 million enhancement that has seen the introduction of new restaurants, 3 new 4-bedroom suites, and additional event spaces.


For those who may not know Miami, Bal Harbour Village is a prestigious enclave at the northern tip of Miami Beach. The Village exudes impeccable, contemporary style with deluxe oceanfront hotels, resorts, residences, ultra-chic shopping and an enviable selection of dining options. Yet Bal Harbour Village remains a natural paradise with pristine, white sand beaches and a serene spirit. The jewel


in the crown of this chic district, and in many ways the hotel that put Bal Harbour securely back on the “top spot” was and very much continues to be The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort. Although it only opened its doors in 2012, The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort has made a lasting impression on Miami Beach visitors. Guests describe their experiences here as phenomenal, primarily due to the property's attentive staff and prime location. Overlooking the Atlantic from its seat in Bal Harbour (about 8 miles north of South Beach), this member of the St. Regis Hotels family provides a less frenzied setting much appreciated by couples and families with children. Guest rooms are spacious and feature pastel hues, five-fixture marble bathrooms and

private furnished balconies, as well as high-tech amenities like 46-inch flat-screen TVs with Blu-ray players and iPod docking stations. Every room or suite has an ocean-facing terrace. When you're not bedding down, you can pass the time at one of two outdoor pools, the 14,000 sq. ft Remède Spa or the adjacent 1,000 sq. ft beach. The resort also features four restaurants, including one with a wine vault.


The Inn at English Harbour Timeless elegance, Italian style and that indefatigable colonial, Caribbean charm

he history of The Inn at English Harbour is a two-part love story and very much reflects that persistent theme of small, privately owned hotels in the Caribbean. It begins with a British pilot who first spotted the pocket of land where the Inn at English Harbour now stands, while flying over it in the 1960s. Struck by its beauty, he vowed to return one day and build a hotel there, which he did. Then, in the 1980s, an Italian family anchored their motor yacht in Freeman's Bay in front of The Inn. They too were struck by the charm of the place, and decided to buy it. Enzo and Susanna Addari still own and run it to this day having renovated and extended over the years, adding Asian and African influences to its traditional colonial style.


Today, this friendly, low-key hotel has 4 beachside cabanas and 24 junior & deluxe suites spread across 19 acres of manicured tropical gardens, which sweep down to its own arc of white-sand beach. There are two restaurants: the Reef, on the beach, for breakfast, lunch and a renowned Thursday night barbecue, accompanied by a steel band,


and the more formal hillside Terrace for dinner under the stars. Both menus are laden with local seafood (lobster, crab, sea bass, swordfish etc) and produce from the hotel’s own organic garden. Facilities include a boutique spa, 2 flood lit tennis courts, complimentary water taxi to Nelson’s dockyard, snorkelling, kayaks and lasers. A tour of the organic garden with chief gardener, Kenti, is a must. In the vicinity there are lots of nice walks and forts to explore. In the high season (winter months) The Inn is a sanctuary away from the bustling English Harbour with its fleet of multi million dollar yachts. The best kept secret must be the Classic race week in April that takes place the week before Antigua Sailing week, which on the sailing calendar rivals the biggest and best. But the Classic, is all about classic yachts and a refined style of living, civility and everything ‘genteel’. In summer the yachts have all sailed off to Monte Carlo & St Tropez, so English Harbour becomes a sleepy little town, with just a few restaurants and bars, but perfect for people just looking after peace and relaxation.

Ask anyone who has stayed at The Inn and you are sure to get glowing reports about the amazing staff. They really enhance the atmosphere to make it a warm and friendly home away from home. It is a truly peaceful slice of classic Caribbean that would make the ideal hideaway for couples old and young alike.


A View to a Thrill A double act that is hard to beat in the rugged south of St Lucia hen architect Nick Troubetzkoy came to Saint Lucia in the early 1970s he was offered an opportunity to work with a group of fellow architects designing holiday villas on the island. What was meant to be a brief stint in paradise for the Canadian turned into a lifelong passion for the island and its people ...and of course two signature developments in the south of this verdant island facing onto one of the most beautiful views in the world.


Anse Chastenet Anse Chastanet encapsulates the very essence of all that’s St Lucian. You get beach, you get one of the best dive sites in the Eastern Caribbean, you get lush hillsides and you get perfect views of the Pitons. Yet you’re still within walking distance of the fishing town of Soufriere, with its markets and harbour, and just a short drive away from the rainforest in the island’s interior. The magic of Anse Chastanet is the range of activities available including a weekly jazz cruise, some of the best diving and snorkelling in St Lucia. Landside there are hiking & biking trails, tours to the resort’s organic farm and cocoa plantation. Chocoholics can watch it grow, have a sensory experience, make chocolate or just indulge in the eating! Of course there is a spa, non-motorised watersports, 2 beaches, the expert dive centre and a yacht available for day, half day and sunset sails. If there isn’t enough within the hotel to keep you busy then there are The Pitons to climb, rain forest tours, drive-in volcanoes, botanical gardens and thrilling zip line trails. This makes it an ideal choice for families with older children as well as active-minded adults of all ages. The 49 vibrantly decorated “Madras” style rooms are in charming gazebos, semi-open to the elements and individually designed by architect owner Nick Troubetzkoy, some with art treasures left by gifted guests. They range from simple gingerbread cottages with stars on the ceilings, to full-blown tree-houses that blend so well with the exotic gardens that you can’t tell immediately where tree-house ends and forest begins.


Jade Mountain Totally befitting the set of a future James Bond movie, from the moment you take in the spectacular views of the magnificent and iconic Pitons and the Caribbean Sea at Jade Mountain you know you have arrived somewhere very special! Architecturally it is a hilltop feat of ingenious interlocking design, by architect owner, Nick Troubetzkoy. Private spaces have been created for incurable romantics with a choice of 5 Sky jacuzzi Suites and 24 infinity pool sanctuaries each missing a wall or two, ensuring that you will wake up to your personal Piton view every day. It goes without saying that the resort is very much an adult’s retreat, which will appeal to dreamers, bon viveurs, successful entrepreneurs and city slickers. Think of Jade Mountain as the Uber exclusive executive wing of Anse Chastanet where Jade Mountain guests have full use of all the facilities of Anse Chastanet but where Anse Chastanet guests may not tread. During your stay your “Major Domo” will be available at all hours to make your time here as luxurious and relaxing as possible, attending to any and every need. There are a lot of claims across the island that they serve the best food, but the Jade Mountain Club is simply in a class of its own. Guests may wish to amble down the hill to neighbouring Anse Chastanet with its own selection of fine eateries, but the real treat lies waiting with the panoramic views together with the dishes of award-winning chef Allen Susser, who showcases modern fusion cuisine with bold Caribbean flavours. After dinner, take yourself to the Celestial Terrace for some inspirational star-gazing before retiring to the intimacies of the bedchamber.


cafe ra

ce r / sh

A series of snapshots from across the Channel rexit may be underway but the divorce papers will take some time to be finalised. That said, can we really ever be separated from our continental neighbours? Travel tends to have a very global eye, but the sheer variety and relatively short distances to the attractions of Europe still translate into the majority of holidays booked from the UK.


St re et a

rt in B a rce lo n


The Mediterranean countries will still draw us to sun-kissed beaches through the summer and the Alps offer the thrills of winter sports and a more refreshing alternative to the sweltering lowland heat of July and August. The great waterways of Europe are now witnessing a boom in river cruising and vibrant cities all over are drawing culture vultures and revellers all year round for time-effective short breaks, thanks in no small part to a burgeoning network of “no-frills” airlines. So, let us join together in a trans-European celebration of some of our habitual haunts, and perhaps in our brief snapshots from West to East, we can keep the “Union” flame burning!

Hot e l

A rt s a

n d the

be a ch

A Regal Country Retreat Discover the hidden Portugal in style


o often for visitors from the UK Portugal is all about the Algarve, but for the inquisitive traveller, there are hidden treats to those that explore the road less travelled!

For instance, discover the charms of the small, spa town of Vidago, just over an hour’s drive north-east of Porto. The region is a wonderful landscape of rolling hills and vineyards that caught the attention of royalty after the discovery of healing waters in the local springs. As more and more people came to “take the water”, the resulting popularity inspired King Carlos I to build Vidago Palace Hotel which first opened in 1910 (and recently renovated). Back then it was one of the most luxurious hotels on the Iberian Peninsula, that included concerts, tennis and croquet courts, and, on the small island


within the lake, there was even a spacious skating rink! For todays’s privileged guests, a more than royal welcome awaits. With an emphasis on preservation as much as innovation, the unchanged Belle Époque façade appears in orange and white between the patchwork of cedar, pine and holly trees. The interiors, too, bring glory to the high-ceilings, stucco artwork and floor-to-ceiling flourishes of classic Noble architecture. The modernist wing of the world-class spa highlights the hotel’s refined eye to the future, providing a contemporary take on a traditional Portuguese thermal spa with twenty treatment rooms, five hydro pools and an indoor swimming pool, all using the region’s curative waters. Within the spacious parkland there is also a challenging, Cameron and Powell designed 18-hole golf course.

utte rsto

ock. co m

Trans Europe - The Iberian Peninsula

The Cosmopolitan Mediterranean Barcelona’s rich mix of beach and city living arcelona combines everything you could want on a Mediterranean break: lots of sights, a curving sweep of glamorous sandy beach and an array of chic restaurants and stylish bars that stay open until the small hours.


The city loves to dine so much that most businesses and offices close two hours a day just to take lunch. Art is everywhere on the streets of Barcelona and it is goes so far beyond graffiti. Even the store shutters on the streets are gaudily painted. Lying on the shores of the Mediterranean, the temperature of Barcelona is pleasingly moderate at worst. With its poised climate, the city offers excellent living conditions throughout the year. So, you have probably guessed it ....that this is the city with the soul of inspired artists, the taste of fine foods and the heart of the beach lover! Taking prime position on the seafront the Hotel Arts overlooks the vibrant “Port Olympico” marina, beach and Frank Gerhy’s famous golden fish sculpture “El Peix”. Designed by distinguished architect Bruce Graham, Hotel Arts, part of the Ritz-Carlton Company, is a masterpiece in its own right, and was named in homage to the rich culture of the city. A chic city hotel with the feel of a super-luxe resort and just 30 minutes from the airport - it’s one of the Catalan capital’s top choices for a memorable stay in one of the UK’s favourite European city break destinations.

Ibiza Chic Redefining lifestyle on Spain’s party island pening at the end of June 2017, Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay will be the island’s newest 5 star luxury hotel, offering 152 stylish rooms and suites, 4 restaurants including Nobu and a Six Senses Spa.


MC Hotels, the owners of Spain’s iconic Marbella Club and Puente Romano together with London & Regional have set a vision to create Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay as the defining lifestyle beach resort in Ibiza, and distinct from all other offerings on the island. Nobu’s global customers will be excited and passionate about this unique and fun, luxury resort and it is sure to attract a sophisticated, yet motivated clientele. Offering four restaurants and a pool bar, Ibiza Bay will be a food lover’s paradise. There are no fixed agendas; breakfast is served at guests’ leisure and spontaneous lunches blend into vivacious nights. Nobu Matsuhisa’s signature Japanese fusion dishes, can be savoured, as well as special creations inspired by Ibiza itself at Nobu, the resort’s signature restaurant.


Great Timing Clocks, chocolates and a shopper’s paradise


eyond its reputation for luxury watches and fine chocolates, Geneva offers a picturesque city with historic architecture, international organizations and corporations, cultural destinations, a charming lake, and high-end shopping. L a k e si

With Lake Geneva at its doorstep and the snowy peak of Mont-Blanc as its backdrop, the Hotel de la Paix, a Ritz-Carlton Partner Hotel has enjoyed a celebrated reputation since it was built in 1865. Bearing beautiful reminders of its original Italian architecture and offering a contemporary design created around Art, Time and Nature, the hotel is one of the most sought-after addresses in the city. The delicate warm, relaxed and lively atmosphere combined with a highly personalised service brings hotel and local guests an unprecedented luxury experience that is both indulgent and familiar.

d e lu x

u ry at

Hot e l

d e la P a ix

k tow T h e cloc

e r at P

la ce d

u M ol a

Music and Drama at Évian-les-Bains A wealth of culture in Évian Les Bains, a jewel of French Belle Epoque

Hôtel Royal

very July and September, the French banks of Lake Leman (Lake Geneva) are hosts, at one of the world’s most famous thermal spa resorts, to prestigious classical music and theatre festivals respectively.


The lakeside spa town of Évian-les-Bains is one of the finest and enduring examples of French Belle Epoque urban planning, with its graceful waterfront promenade, beaches, narrow pedestrian streets, terraces, golf course, casino, marina, bustling summer market and historic buildings including a neo-classical style theatre, built in1885. It can seat 298 and each July it comes alive again with the Evian Musical Encounters and a series of boulevard comedies during the late summer theatre festival.


Hôtel Ermitage

In such stylish surroundings and with access to the many attractions of the region it is not surprising that the region also offers superb holiday accommodation. The 5-star Palace Hôtel Royal is one of the most unique and luxurious hotels in the world. Located in the hills above Évian-les-Bains, the Hôtel Royal is an exceptional place that offers 150 rooms including 32 prestigious suites. Stylish contemporary design blends with the unique Belle Epoque architecture from the start of the 20th century. Located in natural grounds, the sister 4-star Hôtel Ermitage feels more like a family home, conducive to relaxation and simple pleasures. The hotel’s rooms and suites are stylishly and tastefully decorated, inspired by nature. They are also particularly suitable for families.


Como Bello One of the world’s most beautiful lakes zo ike a delicate fork, Lake Como slices l Tre m ez d Hot e T h e icon t G ra n a s through towering, alpine mountains on e ic fa ca it op Su d e o f th e R oo ft e G ra n all sides. Picturesque communes with fro m th d Hot e l Tre m ez r v ie w s la u c a zo e ct ancient church towers cling to the hillsides whilst lakeside grand T h e sp villas vie with charming villages to steal some glory from the awesome geography. At the meeting of two spurs, the lake is perhaps at its most dramatic with the beautiful village of Bellagio sitting on the tip of the central peninsula. Lake Como is pure inspiration...


With unparalleled views across to Bellagio, the iconic Grand Hotel Tremezzo is an authentic 1900s Art Nouveau palace, and yet as a family-owned establishment it also retains an intimate personality that welcomes guests to a true home away from home. With its 100 windows overlooking either the blue waters of the lake or the flowering greenery of the park the hotel provides a range of rooms and suites including spectacular Rooftop Suites with panoramic views from terraces and outdoor jacuzzis. Guest facilities include three pools, a clay tennis court, a three floor gym, private Venetian motorlaunches, a spa partnered with ESPA with hammam suite and panoramic sauna, and five different restaurants and bars offering the culinary art of the famous Italian chef Gualtiero Marchesi.

Northern Renaissance ra The B

n de n b

u rg Ga

Berlin - “The greatest cultural extravaganza...” Att. David Bowie 1947-2016


G Ele g a nt

a cco m

T h e Cu

m od ati

rt a

on at T

at T in C lu b

h e R it z-

h e R it z-

Ca rlto n,

Ca rlto n,

Be rlin

Be rlin

one, but for a small stretch is the world-renowned Wall, but this symbolic section confirms by its display of street art, the stimulus of the new, unified Berlin as one of the most creative and cultural centres of Europe.

Whilst the city’s nightlife and youth culture is a great draw, it is also a magnet for history buffs (the city was at the heart of much of the turbulent 20th century) and as a destination for families thanks to a wealth of green spaces including the Tiergarten and abundant outdoor attractions such as zoos and dedicated children’s museums. As a luxury city break the discerning visitor will find chic boutiques and designer stores and an increasing number of Michelin-starred dining spots. Little wonder people return to Berlin again and again, especially from early spring to late autumn. The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin is ideally located in the city centre, offering easy access to the Sony Centre, top cultural attractions including museums, theatres, upscale shopping, fine dining and so much more. The hotel’s position in Potsdamer Platz is both symbolic and synergetic, an urban plaza not far from the Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate) and where the Berlin Wall once divided Germany’s capital and now serves as a vibrant reminder of the city’s economic and cultural resurgence. From a romantic escapade enjoying the finest amenities to a historic journey exploring the vibrancy of Berlin’s past, your perfect getaway is assured at one of the finest luxury hotels in this reborn metropolis.


Waltzing through Vienna Castles, palaces and the sweet melodies of Strauss erhaps no other city celebrates its past quite like Vienna, and travelling back in time is as simple as an afternoon stroll. The famous Stadtpark is adjacent to The Ritz-Carlton Vienna on the Ringstrasse, and connects the city centre to the third district with highlights, including the Johann Strauss monument, along the way. With more than 27 castles and 150 palaces, Vienna is an architect’s dream, and many of the beautiful buildings host concerts, operas and glittering balls. Yet it is also a city with a younger, sometimes controversial heartbeat, at the cutting edge of design, architecture, contemporary art, and new directions in drinking and dining.


History is said to repeat itself, which is to the benefit of guests at The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna, who can experience the luxury and service that once filled its historic palaces the hotel calls home. Set within four historic palaces, the five star hotel blends Renaissance, baroque and gothic influences with modern amenities including Atmosphere Rooftop Bar overlooking the city, The Ritz-Carlton Spa and the longest indoor pool, at 18 metres, in the inner city of Vienna.

C lu

At m o sp


u it e at

n, B z- Ca rlto T h e R it

u d a pe st

G ra nd spac

es at Th e

R itz-Carlto

h e re R

oo ft op

Ba r at T

n, Bud apes t

Art Nouveau and steamy baths Budapest is a city of contrasts that blend together beautifully city of contrasts that blend together beautifully, Budapest sits along the River Danube, where each bank offers a unique setting. Buda, built on two hills - offering spectacular views of the River Danube and the city below- sits across from the flat Pest with the city’s lively shopping and business districts. Named the City of Spas for its rich thermal waters, Budapest also attracts those looking to heal the body and mind. Although the city was famously subjugated during the communist years it has now regained a reputation as one of Europe’s most vibrant capitals.


Offering easy access to both banks of the river Danube, The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest, is located within the heart of the city in close proximity to the famously glamorous shopping concours of Andrássy Street, and with breathtaking views of Elizabeth Square, St. Stephen's Basilica, and the traditional architecture and awe inspiring design of the surroundings. With 171 guest rooms and 29 luxury suites this luxury hotel exudes a fresh, elegant, international flair that provides the perfect inspirational environment to match the sights of Budapest.


at T b Su it e

h e R it z-

h e R it z-

Ca rlto n,

Ca rlto n,

Vie n n a

Vie n n a


Thames Travel is an award winning family-run travel agency located in the heart of East Twickenham. We have been trading for more than 30 years and we pride ourselves on our level of personal service and attention to detail when it comes to tailor making your perfect holiday.

We are here

Profile for Net Effect



Profile for neteffect