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Home & Away with Robert Walshe It will take two miracles for Pope Moroccan salons and a private terJohn Paul II to become a saint. But race complete with an ozone swimRoman Catholics hoping to attend ming pool. La Mamounia has hosted his beatification ceremony may the “who’s who” of international also need divine intervention if royalty, politicians, celebrities and they want a bed for the night. Mil- the jet set its guest list goes back to lions of people – including an esti- Roosevelt and Churchill, Hitchcock mated 700,000 Poles – are expected and Eric von Stroheim. More recent to flock to Rome this year to witness celebrity guests inhis progress clude Omar Sharif towards saintand Elton John as hood. But a well as Sarah Jescombination of sica Parker who canny hoteliers, stayed here dura public holiday ing the filming of and the endurSex and the City ing popularity of 2. While archithe late pontiff tecturally its low are conspiring to wide corridors ensure that the and intersectpilgrimage on ing lobbies 1 May will be a remain art deco, costly affair. Irish the décor itself is Brides have deinspired by the clared one of the great dynasties country’s newest that once ruled hotels, five-star here: Almoravid Lough Eske Castle horseshoe in Donegal, Irearches chisland’s top wedding eled Almohad venue for 2011 for stucco, delicate n La-Mamounia Bedrooms the second year Merenid tile in a row through work and carved an awards scheme with Ireland’s Saadian corbels. It retains its signamost popular weddings website, ture pink-and-green façade, but there WeddingsOnline.ie. The award has been an explosion of colour comes just three months after the within. Big reds, yellows and blacks 17th century castle hotel won the make the public areas dramatic. The coveted World’s Best Luxury Coun- one area that has not been given a try Hotel title for the second time vibrant makeover is Le Bar Churchat the industry’s top international ill, which remains dark & smoky. awards ceremony, the World Lux- The rooms and suites are a triumph ury Hotel Awards, in Thailand. The of traditional Moroccan woodwork hotel, which is managed by Solís and tiling. The beds have Sealy matHotels & Resorts, opened just four tresses and the linen is by Garnieryears ago after being lovingly trans- Thiebaut. Bath products are made formed from a ruin into Donegal’s especially for La Mamounia using only Five Star Hotel by owner and a special fragrance created for the proud Donegal native Pat Doherty hotel by Olivia Giacobetti, one of the world’s great perfumers.La MamouWeekend Hotspot nia has four restaurants two of them Following an extensive restoration (Le Français and L’Italien) boasting project led by internationally ac- Michelin stars. Le Français is slightly claimed interior designer, Jacques more formal; L’Italien is moodier or Garcia, the re-opening of la Mamou- alternatively, walk along the soft nia in Marrakech showcased a stun- gravel path that leads to Le Maroningly re-furbished hotel combining cain, where local cuisine is served refinement, elegance and a true in the company of live Moroccan sense of hospitality. The new uber music, or feast poolside at the laidluxurious hotels boasts 136 styl- back Le Pavilion de la Piscine. If you ish guest rooms; 71 Suites, including a sweet tooth you will love Le Menseven Signature Suites; and three zeh, a little hut in the gardens that Riads, each with three bedrooms, serves up sugary delicacies such as

Pet’s Corner...

macaroons, homemade icecream cornets and wonderful coffee. Fabrice Lasnon, Executive Chef has created a unique dining experience at this property which is truly world class.La Mamounia also features: a 27,000 sq foot Mamounia Spa; a stateof-the-art fitness center; tennis courts and scheduled clinics created by global

Living

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Home and Away Extra n Solis Lough Eske Staff with wedding planner Tara Fay

tennis legend, Henri Leconte; indoor and outdoor ozone swimming pools; The famous eight-acre gardens are fragrant with orange blossom and roses, set among ancient olive trees. Within the gardens there are three riads  -  or private houses  -  for the truly rich and/or famous to enjoy the hotel in perfect seclusion In fact the garden is the link to the hotel’s heritage: the name La Mamounia comes from an 18th Century-prince called El Mamoun who was given the garden by his father as a wedding present. .La Mamounia offers “Unique Experiences” to encourage travelers around the world to experience the hotels magic. Each experience is centered around a theme, ensuring a personalized, rich, and unforgettable journey. Experiences include: ‘Gourmet Delight’, featuring a meeting with a La Mamounia Chef, a guided visit to the hotel garden, cooking classes, and gourmet meals at one of La Mamounia’s four exquisite dining venues; ‘Honeymoon Experience’, featuring relaxing massages and hammam treatments, romantic picnics, and a helicopter ride around the Atlas Mountains; and a ‘Very Mo-

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rocco’ experience, offering guests the best of Marrakech from the air – a private helicopter ride around the Atlas Mountains as well as a private balloon ride on the outskirts of Marrakech.  Since the hotel originally opened in 1923, La Mamounia has been symbolic of traditional Moroccan hospitality and a classic example of the great age of grand hotels and I look forward to my return. www.mamounia.com

Weekly Best Buy

The Northern lights time of the year is coming around and Project Travel has a few things to keep you occupied while you wait in hope. A Norwegian five-night trip including flights, two nights in a hotel and three nights on a Hurtigruten ship watching the night sky costs from €1,395pps www.project-travel.ie

Etihad Airlines has opened a new lounge at Dublin’s Terminal 2. This will offer Etihad’s premium customers a range of top quality facilities and services that have not been seen in Ireland before, including: a high-tech “Business Centre”, offering Mac workstations with broadband access and printer facilities, along with free Wi-Fi for those that prefer to work from their own laptops; shower rooms; a luggage room for bag storage; a comfortable main lounge area boasting a library of books, magazines and newspapers from around the world, furnished with Italian leather chairs and soft sofas; a full bar; a wide variety of food for customers travelling out of Ireland, including an a la carte menu, international buffet, and a special children’s menu; and a dedicated “family room” for younger travellers, stocked with toys, books and a TV to keep them inspired and entertained.    Robert Walshe is a freelance contributor / broadcaster and is guest travel writer for River Media newspaper titles across the island of Ireland 

with Kathleen Murray

with Kathleen Murray: Animal Behavioural Therapist

So you’d like your dog to have pups? Then here’s a list of some things you need to be aware of and require: l 1 A whelping box… that’s a box especially made for your dog to have the pups in so as to eliminate the risk of her smothering them under her when she lies on them by accident. l 2 Extra food for your dog to make sure she is as healthy as she can be before she has the pups. l 3 Loads of old newspapers for under your dog and the pups for when things get messy… like when she’s having them and then afterwards when they pee on them. l 4 Make sure you have lots of extra cash in the house also as dogs very often require expensive veterinary

assistance during this time. l 5 If the pups are born in the wintertime they will probably require an infrared lamp to keep them warm when the mother is out of the box. l 6 If you have them in the house then you will have extra housework as your dog will be dripping milk etc when she lies down and things will be smellier as she will be feeding the pups and having them crawling over her. l 7 As the pups grow they will get livelier and come out of the box to pee and poo so there will be a lot more cleaning up and mopping or hosing down to be done. l 8 When pups start to eat and drink on their own they will realise that you

are the provider of the food and run to greet you enthusiastically, through lakes of pee and watery poos, jumping eagerly over your shoes and up your legs so you will need a pair of wellies or waterproofs to protect yourself every time you encounter the pups from then until they go to their new homes. l 9 Pups need to be wormed often. They get round worms that look like spaghetti, when they vomit them up or when they come out of their bottoms. They also need to be vaccinated against Parvovirus when they reach six or seven weeks… more expense. l 10 Your dog will need extra food during this time also as feeding

pups takes a lot of energy. She will start to wean off them before they are due to go to their new homes and pups learn valuable lessons at this crucial time. They shouldn’t leave their mother before they are eight weeks old. They will need to be handled and socialized as much as possible to prevent problems arising in later life… your respon-

sibility as you brought them into the world. l NB If your lucky enough to get homes for them all by the time they reach 4 or 5 months old (people can promise to take them but they can also change their mind) then you will be spared having to pay for all that extra food and vaccinations they will need to keep them safe and well.


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