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Lifestyle ICONIC DESIGN FOUR speaks to legendary fashion and homewares designer Kenzo Takada about the poetic story of the KENZO brand.

26 ART Beauty in darkness’ explores the baroque-style murals from street artist Ted Pim.


18 LIFESTYLE Lauren Bush Lauren talks about her clothing brand FEED, which donates a percentage to the United Nations World Food Programme.

32 CHEF SAFARI World-renowned chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, takes us to São Paulo for a look at the city’s offerings.

Fine Dining 42 PACO PÉREZ Enoteca, Barcelona, Spain

66 JULIEN ROYER Odette, Singapore

CLARE SMYTH Core, London, UK

54 CHANTEL DARTNALL Mosaic, South Africa


Travel 92 CHECK-IN Four exquisite locations in South Africa, UK, India and Australia.

110 10

TRAVEL FOUR heads to the rugged mountains of Oman to see why it’s becoming a popular travel destination.

100 REBRANDED Two Seasons Hotel, Dubai opens it doors to FOUR.


Travel LUXURY LAYOVER Imagine a place where you can focus on you: Welcome to Mahagedara Retreat, a luxurious getaway in the Sri Lankan jungle.

122 BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS Travel blogging expert, Jeremy Jauncey of Beautiful Destinations, shares his top autumn destinations.

130 CGH EARTH Prakriti Shakti, a clinic of natural medicine.

145 ST BART’S CARIBBEAN FOUR escapes the cold and heads to Le Guanahani Hotel and Spa in St Barths.


119 CHEVAL BLANC La Residence de la Pinede is the creme de la creme of the Cote d’Azur. with a design concept from prolific architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, all set within a lush natural park.

126 TRAVEL INDIA Delhi is a melting pot of ethnicity and religions, we check out the stunning array of historical monuments it has to offer as well as Asia’s Largest Spice Market.

138 RESORT RIO GOA Nestled on the banks of Baga River in Arpora, known for its Architecture and Hospitality, Resort Rio is a Five Star Luxury Deluxe Resort in North Goa.

148 D MARIS BAY An Oasis of Luxury on the Turkish Coast, that features firstclass service, exceptional restaurant options and knows how to cater to a crowd that accepts no less than the best.

Property PROPERTY Engels & Volkers Private Office, the International real estate network has extended it’s superior local knowledge within Spain and Andorra.

161 INTERIOR DESIGN Guy Oliver discusses how design and architecture can be a powerful tool in the healing of a post-conflict economics. 12

158 DESIGN HOTEL An Indonesian Idyll - The Bulgari Resort Bali offers an exquisite piece of paradise.




elcome to the exciting new edition of FOUR Middle East, where we bring together a mixture of Michelin Star talent from the UK, South Africa, Singapore to Spain. We go in depth with a insight to their views on restaurant interior to various topics and signature dishes portrayed as pieces of art. We start with Female Chef of the Year 2018 Clare Smyth sensational restaurant Core, Chantel Dartnell one of a kind Restaurant Mosaic , Julien Roger award winning celebrated Odette restaurant to Paco Perez Enoteca restaurant at the spectacular Art Hotel Barcelona. We wonder through India’s Wellness hot spot with CGH Earth from page 138 to 143, to Turkey’s leading resort D Maris Bay on pages 156 + 157 . An exclusive sit down with fashion icon, Kenzo Takada starting on page 18. We finish off with Mr. Guy Oliver, from Oliver Laws as our guest on Interior Design on pages 165 + 166. Enjoy, indulge and don’t forget to visit four-magazine.com for daily recipes, interviews and lifestyle features.

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Oliver Taylor Special Guest Editor In Chief – FOUR Middle East Keep up with FOUR Middle East magazine on our website at four-magazine.com

CHIEF DESIGNER Pieter Stander DESIGNER Rama Meher CONTRIBUTORS Jeremy Jauncey Scripting Solutions PVT LTD (Vocaberry ) Adit Syal Shivang Sinha Geetika Sachdev Himangi Garg OPERATIONS MANAGER Soni Golden Corda OPERATIONS TEAM Hemant Patil Mohan Gudekar © CREZVATIC PVT LTD FOUR Magazine Middle East is published under license to Crezvatic Pvt Ltd in India, from Sloane Internattional DMCC, United Arab Emirates. Sloane International DMCC and FOUR Magazine do not exercise any management control over or sell any advertising in FOUR Magazine Middle East or its publisher. www.four-magazine.com COVER Kudadoo Private Island Maldives Freedom Re-imagined The Maldives first truly luxury allinclusive island with an Anything. Anytime. Anywhere. philosophy. www.kudadoo.com www.hurawalhi.com






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The Crème de la Crème of Couture Candid, daring and unapologetically himself, Kenzō Takada is a design powerhouse who revolutionised the fashion industry. From being a pioneer of prêt-à-porter fashion to conceptualising the mass-market designer collaborations that are still trending to this day, his label Kenzo is undeniably one of the 20th century’s fashion and design icons.




enzō Takada’s reign of his self-titled line may have ended in 1999, but the Japanese designer’s impact on the industry was so influential since its launch in 1970 that the fashion industry is still feeling the effects. One of the first Japanese designers to take on the Parisian fashion scene, Kenzō Takada opened his first women’s boutique and held his debut fashion show in 1970 at the Vivienne Gallery, showcasing designs that drew inspiration from his travels around the world, intertwining Western and Oriental folk influences. Eccentric prints, fluid lines and ingenious accessories were the defining characteristics of Kenzo’s designs – designs that flaunted Kenzō’s instinctive grasp of his young customer’s fashion desires. In the 1980s, Kenzō’s brand extended to men’s fashion, perfumes and a variety of collaborations, making the Kenzo brand an undisputable star of Parisian fashion in the late 20th century. Almost five decades after his introduction to the industry, Kenzō’s reach has extended far wider than just fashion. His innovative style that has stayed true to his original designs, blending Parisian fashion with his native Japanese palette, has spread to interior design and decoration, leading him to collaborate with a variety of brands and craftspeople to create exclusive designs. In his latest collaboration, with the high-end French furniture house Roche Bobois, Kenzō has created a range of unique fabrics and ceramics reminiscent of his early » 20

PREVIOUS PAGE Designer Kenzō Takada. ABOVE One of the new designs from Roche Bobois and Kenzo collaboration. RIGHT Pops of colour and floral accents typical of Kenzo can be found throughout the collection.



LIFESTYLE « couture. The designs draw on graphic and cultural and cultural references, blending origins, mastering colours and creating delicate patterns. FOUR speaks to Kenzō about his journey in the fashion and design industries, and his recent collaboration with Roche Bobois… WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?

“I was born in Himeji, Hyōgo Prefecture. I grew up in Umegae-cho, just north of Himeji Castle.” HOW DID YOU GET INTO YOUR LINE OF WORK?

“I began to be attracted to fashion at a very young age, probably as early as 10 years old, by reading through the fashion magazines that my sisters were bringing home. “I found an advertisement sayimg that Bunka Fashion College was accepting male students for the first time ever. In April of 1958 I dropped out of the university I was attending in Kobe, and immediately enrolled at Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo. That’s where I learned all the technical aspects and all the various processes. “But my real aesthetic came from my trip from Japan to France by boat in December 1964. The cruise travelled through Far East Asia, India, West Africa, North Africa and, finally, France. During this trip I really felt the impact of the colours, the cultures, the architecture, and discovered really for the first time how the world was immense in values. “Later, after I started my brand in the early 70s, I wanted to mix all these wonderful inspirations I got from travelling.”

ABOVE Kenzō with Yves Saint Laurent. BELOW Takada has been an icon of the fashion scene since launching in 1970.

“My designs are always colourful and graphic. I like them as such, I want it to be joyful, it is important for me to transmit as much positivity as possible”


“About more than three years ago now, I met the team and Nicola Roche through friends. We quickly agreed to work together on this great project. Our teams got along very well and the process took some time, but was a real pleasure to work on as they made everything possible. Roche Bobois is a very well-known brand and I’ve owned some pieces of their’s in the past. “Right after the first few meetings, we decided to work on several concepts inspired by Japanese crafts. The creative process was long, and we reworked several time on the different graphics, textiles and colours, and later added more elements to the collection. “Roche Bobois really allowed me to express myself freely and didn’t obstruct in any creative process, but actually allowed me to go beyond my expectations thanks to their great know-how and manufacturing capacities. Even if it was sometimes very challenging for certain technical aspects, their knowledge has been an excellent asset for me and my team. “In the end it really came naturally. I always loved and enjoyed working around the home environment.” CAN YOU TELL ME A BIT MORE ABOUT YOUR DESIGNS IN GENERAL? DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE?

“I couldn’t choose a favourite, as I pushed Roche Bobois to come out with the three different colour tones. I was convinced that it could give more options for people to choose from, knowing that it is not so simple to pick the right furniture that will fit in harmony with the rest in someone’s home. It is very important to find harmony in a home. I think the collection works very well together, and individually speaking I’m very proud of it.” WHERE DO YOU GET INSPIRATION FOR THE DESIGNS YOU CREATE?

“From everywhere and everything. The world is so vast, so rich in cultures, so interesting in history. Inspirations can come from all directions, even from objects and discoveries » 22



« from my various trips. My designs are inspired by many cultures and different crafts from around the world, but these days probably a little more by Japan.” DO YOU FEEL YOU HAVE A SIGNATURE DESIGN STYLE OR PHILOSOPHY THAT IS APPARENT IN ALL OF YOUR WORK, AND HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THAT?

“My designs are always colourful and graphic. I like them as such, I want it to be joyful, it is important for me to transmit as much positivity as possible. Florals are, of course, an important aspect to my creative identity. As I grow older my design sensibility is a little more sober, but I try to maintain my own style as much as possible.” WHERE AND HOW DO YOU SOURCE THE PRODUCTS, MATERIALS AND CRAFTSMEN FOR THE PROJECTS?

“I source the products and materials from all over. Every single thing can inspire me in my designs, and I can find inspiration during my trips while reading a book, or even from a piece of artwork. As for craftsmen, I enjoy working with artisans. It is inspiring to see them manufacture pieces with their unique savoir-faire.” HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO YOU THAT YOU SUPPORT LOCAL CRAFTSPEOPLE IN YOUR INTERIOR DESIGN PROJECTS?

“It is important for me to be able to support various craftspeople. Although I am not really in charge of the 24

ABOVE Mokko sunglasses by Masunaga x Kenzo. BELOW Green, rose and yellow vases from the Kenzo homeware collection.

manufacturing and production, I really love to visit small manufacturers in Japan, Italy and France. I admire craftsmen’s rare knowledge and savoir-faire, and I am very enthusiastic to see a new generation and wave of artisans that is committed to preserving ancient know-how. WHAT’S NEXT?

Many things, I hope! I don’t work as much as I used to these days, but I will never stop doing what I love. I love collaborating with houses that have a great team and great know-how.”

Fashioning change Flying the flag for a generation of ethical entrepreneurs, Lauren Bush Lauren aims to tackle world hunger and raise awareness of social issues with FEED. Lauren speaks to us about how her line of fashionable bags is just the start of a whole movement towards world change.


I was born in Denver, Colorado, but spent most of my childhood in Houston, Texas. HOW DID YOU GET INTO YOUR LINE OF WORK?

I was actually still in school when I came up with the idea for FEED. During my sophomore year I became an honorary spokesperson for the UN World Food Programme, and it was during my trips to places like Guatemala and Chad, as well as here in America, that my eyes were opened to the devastating effects of the global hunger problem, which affects millions of people – especially women and children – around the world. I knew I wanted to do something more to help, and that’s when I came up with the idea for FEED. HOW DID THIS EXPERIENCE TURN INTO FEED PROJECTS, AND WHAT MAKES IT SO SPECIAL, IN YOUR OPINION?

I was always interested in fashion and design, having spent time modelling and taking design classes during breaks from school. I created FEED out of a desire to provide a tangible, accessible and shareable way for people to engage with such a massive issue and really make a difference. Each product provides school meals in a way that is completely transparent and easy to understand. FEED empowers people to do good with the purchases they make. We were one of the first companies with a giveback at its core, and with so many brands now incorporating a social mission into their model, I think it’s really special to have been one of the first. DO YOU THINK THAT FEED IS ACHIEVING WHAT IT SET OUT TO DO, AND HOW?

Absolutely! It’s always so exciting to reach a new milestone, from making our first sale to hitting the 100 million meals mark this past fall [autumn]. We’re 10 years in, and the FEED community’s dedication to making a difference continues to impress me on a daily basis.

OPPOSITE Lauren Bush Lauren, CEO and founder of FEED. ABOVE The FEED Shop & Cafe in DUMBO, Brooklyn, NYC.


Our first bag, the FEED 1 Bag – still one of our best-sellers – was a burlap tote inspired by the bags the UN World Food Programme uses to deliver food rations around the world. We’ve of course expanded our product offerings since then. Now I work with our incredibly talented inhouse design team to create products that fit the FEED aesthetic, launching 10 to 15 new styles each season to keep the shopping experience fresh for customers. We also work with established cooperatives around the world to create beautiful, artisan-made products while helping to provide a sustainable livelihood. It’s such a unique experience collaborating with these artisans to figure out what their traditional craft is and what materials are available to them locally to come up with a design that stays true to the FEED aesthetic. » 27


LEFT Lauren Bush Lauren with the FEED mural and product line at the NYC store. BELOW A travel duffel bag, cosmetics case and luggage tag from the FEED collection.

“We’re continuing to grow and evolve as a lifestyle brand, finding new, tangible ways for people to engage with the fight against global hunger”


We’ve definitely stayed true to our roots in that all of our designs have a consistent feel – even as we create more elevated silhouettes and now that we’ve incorporated vegetable-tanned leather into our lineup – and a consistent, beautiful, muted colour palette. I’d say that all of our products are incredibly functional, versatile and, of course, impactful without sacrificing style. CAN YOU TELL ME A BIT MORE ABOUT YOUR DESIGNS IN GENERAL? DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE?

It’s so hard to choose! My most-carried bag – besides our original FEED 1, which will always be so special to me – is definitely the Market Tote. It’s so versatile – it’s very structured, and the leather handles are beautiful. Plus, I’m always partial to our products with bold FEED branding; it’s such a strong and lovely reminder of our heritage and » 28


ABOVE FEED works with established cooperatives around the world to create beautiful, artisanmade products.


BELOW Lauren Bush Lauren, assisting with lunch prep at a school in Mozambique last year.

Truly all over the globe, and it varies from collection to collection. We do have a few artisan groups that we’ve worked with again and again to create stunning limitededition bags – the last one sold out so quickly I couldn’t even get my hands on one – and longer-term collections, like our Kenya Bag, which is hand-beaded and gives back specifically in Kenya. WHAT WAS, OR IS, YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE?

New challenges arise every single day when running a business and growing a brand, but I’m fortunate to have an amazing team that is always willing to go the extra mile and navigate collaboratively through any obstacles that come our way. Each new milestone we hit is a wonderful reminder that our hard work is paying off in terms of both building relationships with our customers and making a difference in the fight against childhood hunger. The biggest challenge comes in knowing and acknowledging how much more work there is still to do to fight hunger and how much more we can all do, and pushing ourselves to do more, think outside the box and always stay true to FEED. WHAT FACTORS DO YOU THINK HAVE BEEN THE MAIN CONTRIBUTIONS TO FEED’S GROWTH?

I don’t feel that it’s any one set of factors, but rather the company as a whole. I think we’ve created a brand ethos and 30

voice that is honest, reliable and attainable. We are reactive to trends in the space and we are branching out to reach new audiences, but we never lose sight of our core values and our heritage style – the things that people equate with FEED. I certainly can’t take credit for all of it – my FEED team embodies all of this, and they are always pushing us forward while keeping us rooted. WHAT’S NEXT?

So much! We’re continuing to grow and evolve as a lifestyle brand, finding new, tangible ways for people to engage with the fight against global hunger. We can definitely be proud of the fact that we’ve been able to make a difference – thanks to our incredible consumers – but there’s still so much more to be done.


« always sparks conversations. However, since we just launched our first ever travel collection, I’d have to mention that the Overnighter Bag has been with me constantly so far this summer!


BEAUTY IN DARKNESS Echoing old masters such as Caravaggio and Rembrandt but updated in imagery, street artist Ted Pim creates massive murals that channel Baroqueinspired dark drama and disturbing realism.

WHERE ARE YOU FROM AND WHERE DID YOU GROW UP? I am Belfast-born and bred. I’ve been lucky enough to have lived in Spain and the United States, but moved home around five years ago. HAD YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO BECOME AN ARTIST OR WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU GRADUALLY REALISED? I have always been creative, painting and drawing since a child. I studied art at both school and college. After a few years of working in an office I realised it wasn’t for me. I quit the day job to become a full-time artist in 2015. It was always a part-time passion, and I love that I am able to do it full-time now. CAN YOU EXPLAIN A BIT ABOUT THE BACKGROUND OF YOUR RECENT PROJECTS? For the past few years I have been working with The Cool Hunter, building my profile and getting my work in front of collectors. I’ve been lucky enough to have my work in the same collections as some of my idols such as Bacon, Matisse and Freud. After painting portraits for about seven years I started painting still-life flower scenes inspired by the Dutch masters, and have just commissioned my own flower scenes for the next series.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE WORKS FROM THE RECENT SERIES FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN’T SEEN THEM? The recent series has a mix of large floral arrangements painted on to a black background. Ethereal flowers floating – I like to think of them as if they’re ‘boxed in’, and it helps to draw the viewers attention to the flowers. The smaller paintings are cropped floral scenes that look like the flowers are dripping out of the canvas. Bolder and brighter closer in less boundaries. FROM WHAT OR WHERE DID YOU GET YOUR INITIAL INSPIRATION FOR THE RECENT PROJECT? For the most recent series, I’ve printed around 100 Dutchmaster flower paintings stuck them to my studio wall and mashed them all together to get my own arrangement. The lines bring a sense of order to contrast against the floating flowers that are melting down the canvas. DO YOU FEEL THAT YOU ACHIEVED WHAT YOU SET OUT TO DO? Yes; the work is a contrast of dark, but somewhere there lies beauty. I like to think each painting has captured a sense of hope coming out of the darkness. I feel that each painting is a standalone piece, and this is something I consciously I set out to achieve. »



“The work is a contrast of dark, but somewhere there lies beauty. I like to think each painting has captured a sense of hope coming out of the darkness�


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WHAT MESSAGE DO YOU HOPE THAT VIEWERS WILL TAKE WITH THEM AFTER SEEING THE WORKS? That there’s beauty in darkness. CAN YOU TELL ME A BIT MORE ABOUT YOUR WORKS IN GENERAL? I work in oils and like to treat my practice as a job. Paint 8am to 4pm. When I’m in my creative flow I’m usually working between seven to 10 canvases at a time. I usually warm up with one smaller canvas in the morning, then in the afternoon I move on to the bigger multiple canvases. I have always worked this way, it’s slow at the start, but it means when I’m finished I have around 10 paintings finished at a time. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE PIECE THAT MEANS A LOT TO YOU, AND WHY? I usually have a favourite in each series and tend to miss them when I ship off to the collector. I try better my favourite painting from the previous series, and so far it’s really helped me become a better painter. DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE A SIGNATURE STYLE THAT IS APPARENT IN ALL OF YOUR WORK? I think at the minute I have a signature style that is easily recognisable to someone who has seen my work. I like the thought of people being able to identify my work if sat beside another artists work in a gallery. 36

FIRST PAGE Flower Series II – No 2, 2017. Oil on canvas, 120cm x 90cm PREVIOUS PAGE Flower Series V – No 5, 2018. Oil on canvas, 50cm x 50cm ABOVE Flower Series I – No 2, 2017. Oil on canvas, 71cm x 54.5cm BELOW Flower Series IV – No 10, 2018. Oil on canvas, 40cm x 40cm

WHAT’S NEXT? I have been playing around with colour in the current series, and I’m trying to find a balance of flowers and portraits that would work well together as a series for a solo show. Bill from The Cool Hunter and I have also pencilled in some dates for a solo show – a fitting city for my art in autumn, so watch this space!

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CHEF SAFARI Being synonymous with fine dining, Jean-Georges Vongerichten has made culinary history around the world, and his understanding of the restaurant world is second to none. FOUR follows him to São Paulo to sample some of his top recommendations in the city. MANÍ Voted ninth on Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants list for 2017, Maní offers contemporary cuisine deeply rooted in ingredients symbolic of Brazilian cooking. Maní combines fine dining and avant-garde ideas with comfort food. Set in a quaint little former home with large wooden doors in São Paulo’s leafy Jardim Paulistano suburb, the restaurant offers a quiet oasis away from the city hubbub. “The thing I mainly love about Maní is that it is a supercasual, somewhat rustic space, even though it remains a fine-dining venue. Helena Rizzo has created a fun place to taste local ingredients in inventive ways. Its creations, at time extravagant, at times straightforward, always seem to reflect memories – and, most importantly, you feel her love and passion.” manimanioca.com.br

D.O.M Currently the 16th best restaurant in the world in S Pellegrino’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, D.O.M is a unique restaurant that aims to rescue, promote and celebrate the authentic flavours and indigenous ingredients found in Brazil. “I am just amazed by the way the chef has constructed the menu using ingredients foraged from the rainforest. Alex Atala is on a mission to bring Brazilian cuisine to a contemporary gaze, and at D.O.M he succeeds in creating imaginative and progressive food. It’s a truly memorable dining experience, and the food is highly recommended.” domrestaurante.com.br


ABOVE Jean-Georges Vongerichten. BELOW LEFT Brazilian cuisine at its finest at D.O.M restaurant. BELOW RIGHT Nino Cucina, a slice of Italy in São Paulo.

NINO CUCINA Nino Cucina offers a piece of Italy in the heart of São Paulo, and comes complete with authentic Italian hospitality, a relaxed dining experience and, of course, gastronomic delights that will leave you wanting more. “This is an amazing place for classic Italian food in a warm and cosy setting. It is an elegant, laid-back Italian gourmet restaurant, serving various classic and contemporary dishes created by its inventive chef, Rodolfo De Santis. Definitely worth a visit when in São Paulo!” ninocucina.com.br


A CASA DO PORCO Listed in eight place on Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants for 2017, A Casa do Porco is, literally, piggy heaven. Originally trained as a butcher before heading out to work in numerous top restaurants such as El Celler de Can Roca and Attimo, Jefferson Rueda pays true homage to nose to tail dining at this pork-centric eatery. “Described by some as a ‘meat mecca’, this downtown São Paulo bar is a super-casual place to experience local cuisine. Almost everything is done in-house by chef Jefferson Rueda and his team: the sausages, the preserves, the bread – even the pasta.” +55 11 3258 2578 SUBASTOR Found below its upstairs sister bar Astor, SubAstor can be found tucked behind velvet curtains in true clandestine style. Found on Vila Madalena, the busy and bustling bar rivals any of its contemporary counterparts when it comes to mixology. With creative cocktails and delicious food to match, this basement bar is not to be missed. “This is one of my favourite bars in São Paulo. The menu is composed of classic and inventive cocktails, and it has a great atmosphere. It delivers everything you expect from a modern-day cocktail venue – it’s mysterious and moody, yet always charming and cheerful” subastor.com.br

ABOVE LEFT A Casa do Porco is food heaven for pig lovers. ABOVE RIGHT Choice meats and homemade charcuterie at A Casa do Porco. BELOW LEFT Creative mixology at SubAstor in Vila Madalena. BELOW RIGHT The Baretto bar at Hotel Fasano oozes both sophistication and style.

FASANO HOTEL Designed by architects Isay Weinfeld and Márcio Kogan, the hotel embodies both personality and excellence. Based on the ground floor of the Fasano Hotel, Baretto is a piano bar that offers a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere while also giving the opportunity to see world-famous artists in an informal and private setting. Patrons sit close to the artists and feel like part of the performance, and can enjoy the comforts and uncompromising standards that only Fasano can offer. “Whenever I am in São Paulo, without fail I visit this hotel for the Art Deco Italian design and to enjoy a caipirinha. It is one of the most beautiful settings in the city, if not the world, to sit back and enjoy a cocktail and see some great performances. With a strong artistic legacy, the hotel is the height of sophistication, elegance and downright cool.” fasano.com.br




CLARE SMYTH Core, London, UK


PACO PÉREZ Enoteca, Barcelona, Spain


CHANTEL DARTNALL Mosaic, South Africa


JULIEN ROYER Odette, Singapore

THE SUM AND SUBSTANCE Having spent years honing in her culinary skills, Clare Smyth went back to basics when she opened up her first solo venture, Core. With her focus firmly set on creating informal luxury, this chef shows how hard work pays off. P H OTO S CO U RT E S Y O F CO R E BY C L A R E S M Y T H



LEFT The bar and dining room at Core.

I just really wanted to refocus on everything I had learned and done in my career so far, so everything came back to the root – or the core – of everything. It therefore seemed so right to call the restaurant that, and it really puts the focus back on the core ingredients, which is the team.” The chef spent eight years at Gordon Ramsay’s threeMichelin-starred flagship in London. A turning point came when she left Ramsay’s restaurant in 2015 to embark upon her first solo project. “For me it was a natural point to look back on everything I had done and question everything I believed in, so that I could start afresh.” Two years later Core opened, and it has since gone from strength to strength under the dedicated and humble attitude of Smyth. “It was absolutely the right time to do it. You establish and build the personality and ethos that you want to channel, and now the restaurant is a year old, it’s really developing its own character.” During her time at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant, Smyth became the first and only female chef to run a three-starred UK restaurant and quickly developed an international name for herself. She worked hard to carve out a successful career, and proves that this is really what pays off in the kitchen.


“I worked with some brilliant people and focused on working with the chefs that I really admired or wanted to follow. I didn’t really have any issues at all in terms of being a woman – in fact quite the opposite, because I was often the only female in the kitchen and I worked so hard. I often find that is the case when someone works hard and does a good job people want you to be a part of their team – regardless of whether they are male or female” At Core, Clare has stayed true to this ethos and has chosen to focus on what remains close to her heart, as well as the fundamental parts of dining – great-tasting food and a great atmosphere. Therefore, the menu is comprised of organic and seasonal UK produce inspired by her childhood growing up on a farm in County Antrim. “Growing up on a farm, I was always very close to nature and I’m really inspired by ingredients, the seasons and have a real connection to nature. But I have also spent 15 years of my life working in three-Michelin-starred kitchens, so I am quite technique-driven and very precise.” With this weighty combination of creativity and meticulous execution, Clare has already created a dedicated audience of returning customers who have supported her journey at Core. “The good old-fashioned art of hospitality is always something that I think creates a successful venture. This can quite often be forgotten, and chefs can get carried »

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CLARE SMYTH « away with what they are cooking, you know – they cook for themselves and not for people, but no one knows more than the customer.” Aside from a loyal fan base, in less than a year since opening, the restaurant has already received numerous accolades, with Clare herself having been crowned as the World’s Best Female Chef award for 2018 by the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. “The award was completely unexpected, but obviously a nice call to receive. I felt very privileged that people had voted for me to win that award. “I have had lots of achievements in my previous roles, but the thing I have found most humbling has been the support I have received since opening Core. That has been something that has really touched me, and to see that people actually want to come, and that we have regulars, has been the ultimate compliment.” With quality and integrity being at the heart of Core’s ethos, Clare has found that produce and teamwork are both paramount to the successful running of the restaurant. Her approach to sourcing the best of British produce has encouraged the championing of heritage ingredients, such as forced rhubarb and a type of spelt grain that has been around for 5,000 years, on the menu. “This is something essential at Core – to keep that sense of Britishness within the produce, so a lot of our ingredients

PREVIOUS PAGE Clare Smyth plating up a dish. RIGHT Lamb, braised carrot, sheep’s milk and yoghurt.


will be from the region. We really try to celebrate what we have on our doorstep. For example, forced rhubarb. Everyone knows forced rhubarb but they don’t actually really know how cool forced rhubarb is, the history behind it or where it came from. “It was actually developed [by accident] in the Psychic Garden in Chelsea, so is actually a British thing and takes three years to grow. If you understand the story, it makes eating our rhubarb and custard dish a whole new experience.” Equally, the team plays an integral part in the quality of a dining experience, and this is something that continues to grow and evolve at Core. “When you open a restaurant, it takes so long to train and work with people so that they want to buy into the DNA. So, the growth of the team has really been the true evolution of Core. “When you open something it’s all brand-new, whereas I had just come from something that had been open for 18 years and it all ran smoothly, so it was a completely different ballgame. “You are only as good as your team, so I think it’s probably the most important aspect of the restaurant. A strong team allows you to develop strength and depth, which gives you the consistency and the honesty that is required for it to become a success.” Creating what Clare calls the “enjoyability factor” is what continues to set her apart from a lot of traditional gourmet »


LEFT The chef’s table at Core. RIGHT Isle of Mull scallop cooked over wood.

« chefs. Clare wants people to have a genuinely great time, avoiding all the pretention of classic haute cuisine. “I want people to feel like they have had a great time when they leave, so that they want to come back. “I eat out a lot myself and have done many times over the years, so this is a fundamental idea that I think is important when going to a restaurant. I try to think about all the great experiences I have had in my life and combine these with what I want to create at Core. “I think it’s the little details that often make a big difference in the dining experience, and often this has nothing to do with how many Michelin stars or accolades you have. “Enjoyability is the main factor, because we can always go to restaurants that are highly rated in many guides and not have a great time. So, it’s more than the food on the plate and the services: it’s the whole package. You want people to have fun when they go out and feel that they can really relax and enjoy themselves.” Although cool and calm on the surface, you can feel that Clare is undeniably caring and considered about her work. Her unwavering focus is not just to create a successful venture, but also to grow a family at Core that reflects her as a person. “I think the way forward in fine dining is this idea of ‘informal luxury’. For me, this is the ultimate form of »


“It’s so lovely to get the stories about the ingredients and share them with our guests. It just the whole ethos, really – getting back to the core.”

CLARE SMYTH « luxury, because if you can be luxurious environment where everything can be the best in terms of food, interiors, silver service and such but maintain a casual atmosphere, then this is what is really enjoyable. “I think this informal factor has become increasingly popular due to the accumulation of bad experiences that people have had over the years as a result of the pretentiousness that is associated with fine dining. People have been told what to do, eat and wear while chefs rest on their laurels. I think that if you are spending a lot of money on a good time, you shouldn’t be looked down on or be made to feel intimidated. It’s just disappointing.” To avoid this, the food has been carefully curated in order to reflect this human element of gastronomy. It speaks volumes about the type of stories she wants to portray, such as the references to her childhood in the seaweed, cooked potato, herring and trout roe dish. “Potato and Roe is our signature dish, and it’s something that we think has a great story. Not only do the potatoes come from a grower that I have been working with for about 15 years, but also it’s inspired by my childhood.” Clare recalls, “My family has one of the biggest potato farms in Northern Ireland, so I grew up eating potatoes every single day, but it was also by the coast – hence the roe. It is an expression of where I am from.”

RIGHT Lemon parfait with honey yoghurt.


“We take a product and try to tell the story of that product and this is where the process begins. It’s so lovely to get the stories about the ingredients and share them with our guests. It just the whole ethos, really – getting back to the core.” There is no question that Clare’s dedication and hard work have contributed to her success, and that being a chef is no fairy tale, either. She has been fine-tuning her culinary skills since the age of 16, and truly believes that it is a chef ’s responsibility to learn how to do things properly and sustainably. “It’s really important to learn your craft well, because talent only goes so far. Ultimately, you need to have a good toolbox to help you go the full way.” Clare continues, “There are a lot more women in the industry now, and at top levels. I really feel that both front and back of house are witnessing a rise in female presence, and that’s very encouraging. But, to be honest, I think that the Best Female Chef award isn’t really about me – it’s about all the females in the industry. It’s a way of using my career to say, ‘Right, let’s make sure that all females are supported in order to break through into the industry’. “Eventually we won’t need these awards, because it will be commonplace that young women are at the top. It is happening, but we just need to make sure we keep encouraging women in the industry and push for that final step.”

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CATALAN’S BLUE-EYED BOY From baking pizza under the sun to incorporating 3D printing into fine dining, Catalan chef Paco Pérez’s gastronomical journey is imbued with creativity and innovation.


LEFT Welcome area at Enoteca Paco Pérez restaurant.


ward-winning Michelin star chef, Paco Pérez’s passion for the culinary arts was awakened during early childhood. His dream was to become a footballer, but destiny had different plans. He was only eleven years old, when he tried to cook a pizza under the heat of the sun. While the experiment proved to be disastrous, it paved the way for his signature style of molecular gastronomy; one that is inextricably linked to technology. “In the end everything has a link. If an 11-year old boy who does not have the means to cook the pizza decides to do so, there has to be a reason. As he advances in knowledge and technology, he can achieve that evolution or integration.” After training under gastronomic stalwarts like Ferrán Adriá and Michel Guèrard , Pérez began to understand the true meaning of cooking. It was not just a mere activity but a form of meditation that awakens all the senses – you look at the dish, feel the texture, smell the aroma, experience the pleasure and retain the experience. For Pérez, cooking has always been about being creative, consistent and imaginative. He followed this philosophy in his very first


venture, Miramar, a contemporary restaurant that he runs with his wife, Montse Serra. What started off as an ordinary family project went on to earn much acclaim and of course, two Michelin stars. Pérez has always focused on tweaking local products and adding his innovative touch. While he comes across as a simple man, his creations are highly technical! Only a few chefs can translate their ideas into delightful delicacies and Pérez does it with such conviction. He recently pushed the boundaries of gastronomy by using 3D printing at the fine dining level. The masterpiece involves a seafood puree being printed on a plate in the shape of an intricate sea coal, which is then topped with caviar, sea urchin, egg, hollandaise sauce and a foam made out of carrots. “Technology helps us to improve what we do every day, to provide our customers with better elaborations, more precise and also more magic. Thus, technology will continue to change, as it has already done, the panorama of the kitchen.” Pérez’s penchant for experimentation and attention to detail has earned him global recognition. No wonder, he »

export@tafelstern.com · www.tafelstern.com

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LEFT Dinning table with display of wines on the wall behind. RIGHT Gamba con Cresta en Suquet / Prawn in suquet sauce.

PACO PÉREZ « is the undisputed master of Catalan gastronomy with five Michelin stars under his belt – two for Miramar, two for Enoteca in Barcelona and one star for 5-Cinco in Berlin. His early training under Michel Guèrard, the father of ‘nouvelle cuisine’ significantly shaped his style of cooking and kickstarted his journey in the world of Spanish haute cuisine. “With the changing times, I believe that Michelin has reinforced its value, since it is committed to excellence, continuity, passion, product, work... From my side, we are delighted to be part of Michelin, because it is the reference guide in terms of gastronomy, and it places you on the “map”. For him, food is not just an amalgamation of ingredients, but also a collision of textures and flavours. Each dish created by Perez blends creativity and emotion to achieve the highest level of product excellence. He often indulges his imaginative streak and experiments with myriad combinations without any inhibition. “It will depend on that exact moment and what we are seeking for. We intent to work with proximity products, those that are around us respecting each season, but we are

RIGHT Guisantes / Peas.


always open to “travel” because we believe in miscegenation, which is also present in the products around us since its origin can be elsewhere.” Heavily influenced by the food and produce of the Mediterranean, his creations aim to provide a “gastroartistic” experience. At Enoteca, his two-star Michelin restaurant in Hotel Arts Barcelona, the unique menu entices guests with a blend of modern and traditional culinary techniques. Every dish is generously sprinkled with a dose of Pérez’s imagination and serves as a benchmark in Catalan avant-garde cuisine. While the heart and soul of Pérez’s cooking lies in the Mediterranean, it also reflects in the interiors of his much-acclaimed restaurant. “It is a restaurant located in Barcelona, so we try that the guest who visits us, in addition to being comfortable, feels in the Mediterranean. We try to offer a complete experience, as we just previously said, integrated to the environment.” Most of his dining experiences lay emphasis on the three most significant elements of Mediterranean cuisine – virgin olive oil, sea salt and wheat. “Virgin olive oil, sea salt, wheat have the most potential in terms of diversity,” »



LEFT Dinning area with display of olive oil on the wall behind. RIGHT Paco Pérez at Enoteca’s kitchen.

“Technology helps us to improve what we do every day, to provide our customers with better elaborations, more precise and also more magic. Thus, technology will continue to change, as it has already done, the panorama of the kitchen.”


« he adds. In a nutshell, Pérez’s creations take your taste buds on a whirlwind of a ride and stimulate your senses with the high-quality ingredients and flavours. At Enoteca, Pérez exhibits his craftsmanship by fusing the freshness of the sea in all his creations. He also deploys local farm and mountain products to create an experience that warms the heart and the soul! “Any dish on the menu is my favourite! My dishes are inspired by ideas, environments, experiences, a product itself,” says Pérez. His style of cooking neither focuses on indulgence or exhibition, but honesty. It is a form of self-expression to transform ideas to something concrete; something that surprises the guest every time he takes a bite. It is about creating a culinary experience that’s significantly influenced by the surrounding landscape and natural elements. When asked what inspires him to wake up every day, he is quick to reply, “Maybe getting up very early and walking by the sea.” The sea and elements of marine life are an integral part of his menu and humour his love for Mediterranean roots. His knack to experiment with different flavours »

PACO PÉREZ « lifts his cuisine from superb to sublime and has made the man what he is today. Enoteca is a benchmark in Catalonian dining and offers a scintillating menu without any pretence. That’s the case with all of Pérez’s restaurants – they focus on simple ingredients but deploy a high-level technique to create an unbelievable gastronomic experience. For some, the food happens in the mind, while for others it happens on the palette. In the case of Pérez, he believes both are equally important. While food takes centre stage in all of Perez’s offerings, his inclination towards designing “holistic” dining spaces cannot go unnoticed. Each of his restaurants complements his style of cooking and provides a wholesome experience in trademark Pérez style. His mastery of technique is not just visible in the menu, but also in the design language and warm hospitality. “In the end all the experiences, if we want them to be complete, according to the idea with which we build the menu, the service and the empathy, they need the continent or space to close this circle... If the continent is tuned to achieve that round experience in which everything has

RIGHT Almohada / The Pillow.


to do with each other, it will be much better; At the end you remember the dish, but if the space accompanies that memory it will be much more complete.” Being a public figure makes it even more essential to spread awareness on issues of importance. Pérez is an advocate of “social gastronomy” and believes it is science and technology that will help the world meet food challenges. “It is a subject in which we have to reflect and meditate on how to contribute, within our possibilities, and improve, although it is not only in our hands, it will depend on where we go in other aspects such as the water problem, pollution, etc. I think science and technology will help us move forward in this field; For example, today there are already productive rice plantations without having to flood them with water.” His quest for discovering new culinary techniques has made him the man he is. From the sea to the mountains to the forest, he delves deep into every element to feed his insatiable appetite for creativity and innovation. No one understands gastronomy the way he does and the only way to pay him a fitting tribute is by consuming his edible stories! As he says, “We cook what we love, with our hearts.”

A BOTANICAL EVOLUTION From growing up in the Francolin Conservancy just outside Pretoria to running awardwinning restaurant Mosaic in the same city, South African chef Chantel Dartnall has come full circle. Inspiration from nature has helped Chantel create dishes that have put her, and the African continent, on the international gastronomic map, writes Clarisse Beeby. P H OTO G R A P H Y BY K E V I N M A R K S PA S S & DY L A N S WA RT

CHANTEL DARTNALL Never be content with what you have achieved today, be constantly in competition with yourself and always push to go that extra step further every day. Only then will you reach

great heights.” These are the key elements that Chantel Dartnall believes have led her restaurant, Mosaic at the Orient, to grow from strength to strength over the 11 years she has spent nurturing it. Even though Dartnall holds an array of accolades, including being named South African Chef of the Year twice (Eat Out Restaurant Awards 2009 and 2014), holding the title of 2017 Chef of the Year for Africa and the Middle East (The Luxury Travel Guide Awards) and, most recently, being crowned the world’s Best Female Chef at The Best Chef Awards 2017, these achievements did not come without hard work. “When I arrived in London as a young inexperienced commis chef in the busy Chez Nico kitchen, I was literally chucked in the deep end and had to learn how to swim very quickly.” “It didn’t take long to learn that the quicker and the more perfectly you performed the tasks you were given, the greater the rest of the team’s respect became for you,


and eventually I was one of the team. This taught me that no matter how hard any task may seem, if you practice and persevere, it all becomes easier in the end.” Dartnall used her passion for the kitchen as the driving force to make a name for herself in the male-dominated culinary industry without losing her femininity. In order to succeed you need to be tough, she says. “Upfront, you must understand that the hours are long and you have to give up a lot. For me, though, it is in my blood. I can’t imagine doing anything else. The kitchen is my happy place.” Another one of Dartnall’s ‘happy places’ is nature, and she uses her interactions and experiences with nature to inspire her, to ignite ideas and make them come to life on a plate. This is the backbone of her “botanical cuisine” culinary philosophy. “For me, botanical cuisine is to feature Mother Nature on a plate, where each dish is designed to reflect the beauty, balance, harmony and purity that you find in nature.” She delves even further into this philosophy by investigating what the medicinal properties of these botanicals are, and how she can use these medicinal properties to enhance the culinary experience of her guests. This serves as the inspiration to use unusual herbs and various edible flowers in many of her dishes. »

BELOW The grounds, interior and exterior of Restaurant Mosaic at the Orient.

schane@olalainteriors.com +27 82 551 3361 debbie@olalainteriors.com +27 83 234 2112


PREVIOUS PAGE Katonkel. ABOVE Tidal Pool.

« “Guests don’t always realise that we are deliberately enhancing their experience – and not only visually. For example, fennel aids digestion and stops bloating and the hibiscus flower helps to reduce the symptoms of alcohol.” It is this intricate thought process, paired with her holistic menu approach and awareness of the beauty of food on a plate that has put her and Restaurant Mosaic on the map. According to Dartnall, each dish on one of her themed seasonal menus should tell a story. Each dish forms part of the overall sensory journey, which is enhanced by the carefully selected tableware chosen for each course – much of which is hand-painted and made to order. There is also a link between all her themed seasonal menus, as she explains: “Our autumn/winter menu, Tabula Rasa – Latin for ‘blank slate’ – referred to the epistemological idea that individuals are born without built-in mental content, and that therefore all knowledge comes from experience or perception.” “Our latest menu, titled CosmOrganic, alludes to the origin of things – like the Big Bang and that from the ashes of its cataclysm, first life sprouts. It formed the concept of our new menu, launched on the 22 March equinox. It follows on these two menus and it’s about evolution, something which


people have seen in my food and journey in the 11 years that Restaurant Mosaic has been operating.” For Dartnall, the suppliers of her ingredients are paramount to the success of her dishes. She believes that responsible sourcing, sustainability and sensibility are key when selecting ingredients for Restaurant Mosaic. For her, it is imperative that chefs have an intimate knowledge of their suppliers. “For me it has always been very important to create a strong bond with my local suppliers especially the farmers, and the best way to do this is to personally visit the farms where the fresh produce is grown, or the animals are raised.” This makes the location of Restaurant Mosaic at the Orient ideal, as it sits in the Francolin Conservancy Area within the fertile Crocodile River Valley of Elandsfontein (Gauteng, South Africa), giving Chantel a 31-mile radius of diverse farms to choose her suppliers from. Dartnall believes that the future of fine dining and cooking hinges on the relationships that you build with the people that you work with, including these suppliers. “The entire focus is on building long-lasting relationships with exceptional suppliers and artisans, inspiring and leading dedicated and passionate brigades of chefs, sommeliers and servers in presenting the purest, almost unadulterated, flavours of exceptional quality ingredients in a creatively »

B E CAP TI VATE D BY THE PER E N N IAL BEAUT Y The Table Bay, opened in May 1997 by iconic former South African president, Nelson Mandela, is situated on the historic Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. Perfectly positioned against the exquisite backdrop of Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean, The Table Bay provides a gateway to explore the Cape from scenery to cuisine to wine. A stay at The Best Address in Cape Town affords every guest once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to be graced by the synergy of two oceans, moved by the boastful flavours of food and wine and be captivated by the sheer beauty of the Cape’s breath-taking sceneries.








CHANTEL DARTNALL « unique way, reflecting the personality of the chef and nature on the plate.” Her team at Mosaic certainly lives up to this requirement, especially the sommeliers who work with Chantel. Not only have they managed to curate a cellar with more than 75 ,000 bottles of wine with 5 ,500 different local and international labels, which is a feat on its own, they have also managed to earn a 2018 Grand Award from US magazine Wine Spectator for this cellar and its accompanying wine list. The sommeliers have worked closely with Dartnall to ensure that each course is paired perfectly with the wine from their cellar that will enhance the dish. In true Dartnall style, however, her and her team have also put as much thought into the pairings for the teetotallers. These non-alcoholic drinks also serve to perfectly complement the dish, such as the lime and lemongrass spritzer that accompanies Sea Mist, a dish that merges the soft aromas of the sea with succulent langoustine and scallop, finished off with a touch of saffron foam. Other dishes from her CosmOrganic menu include Song of the Sea, which marries salmon with ground wasabi peanuts, coconut flour, oyster leaf, kombucha and yuzu oil, and Some Birds Don’t Fly, a cold beetroot and ostrich tartare that is accompanied by a hot ostrich ravioli in a rich consommé.


Also on the menu is Tajine du Maghreb, which pays homage to The Orient’s Moorish architectural style. A luscious dish of capretto goat terrine served on the scapula beside a kid-goat tajine and topped off with a deep and slightly sweet sauce. The initial concept for this CosmOrganic menu was born out of Chantel’s desire to create a multi-sensory experience. A menu in which she was able to tell stories with her food and create scenes on her plates based on inspirations gained from nature and the gorgeous setting of Restaurant Mosaic in the lush Francolin Conservancy. “For me it is vital to serve visually appealing dishes that tell a story and start stimulating diners’ senses from the moment the food arrives at the table, and I can’t think of a better source of inspiration for my dishes than from my environment and especially the Francolin Conservancy within which Restaurant Mosaic at the Orient is situated.” For her, the creative journey of dishes needs to follow only one rule: “As a chef I find it of critical importance to respect the ingredients I am working with and feel that it is my duty to not only focus on the natural flavour of my ingredients, but also to enhance those flavours.” Restaurant Mosaic is renowned for the incredible presentations of its dishes – “art on a plate” if you will. However, Dartnall confesses that when she plans a new »

BELOW Interior of Restaurant Mosaic. RIGHT Alchemist’s Infusion.


ABOVE Sea Mist.

« menu, it is not simply to make the plate look pretty. For her, the menu is “a convergence of art and living food, where the plate is the canvas upon which fresh, organic, heirloom produce creates the painting.” Looking back on her culinary journey, Chantel admits that her personal style of cooking was initially inspired by one of the great pioneers of botanical cuisine, chef Michel Bras in Aubrac, France. “As a young chef I could relate not only to his style of cooking but also find a descriptive name for the style of cooking I was interested in. Although I did not work in his kitchen, I studied his book, his recipes and his philosophy. With the ease of travel today, I have been fortunate to make the ‘culinary pilgrimage’ to his restaurant on two occasions.” Chantel’s visits to prominent chefs during her travels as a young chef led her to discover some of the greats in the industry, such as Martín Berasategui, Pedro Subijana at Akelarre, Pascal Barbot at L’Astrance and Peter Goossens at Hof van Cleve in Belgium. It was meeting these chefs and hearing about their philosophies on food that gave her direction in her career. “In some or other way they were all mentors who guided me at different crossroads in my career.” When asked whether she had always seen being a chef as her future career, “Absolutely!” is her answer.


“I was very fortunate to grow up in the beautiful and tranquil Francolin Conservancy in Elandsfontein just outside of Pretoria, and ever since I can remember I have always wanted to cook and to express my creativity. I realised at an early age that food allowed for such a diverse canvas. The variety in colours, textures, tastes and aromas.” Dartnall attributes much of her success to her mother and partner, Cobus, as they were the support system and motivators that allowed her to achieve everything that she has always wanted to, especially in her culinary studies at Prue Leith Chef ’s Academy. When not in the kitchen, Chantel dishes on how she would spend her day off, “I love just spending some quiet time at home with my loved ones… relaxing in the garden or watching a movie – I am a bit of a binge series-watcher – and indulge in these pleasures on a Monday, which is my day off.” Dartnall remains delighted with all the recognition that her and her team have received, but her focus for 2018 centres around the culinary growth of herself and Restaurant Mosaic. “I want to keep on growing in culinary terms and exploring all facets of food. It is all about passion. I put my heart and soul into every dish I create, but I am also happy to say that I am having allot of fun working on my cookbook.”

PAVING SINGAPORE’S CULINARY CROSSROADS France-born chef Julien Royer is co-owner of Odette, a two-Michelin-starred French restaurant located at the National Gallery Singapore. Odette offers a constantly evolving menu that showcases globally sourced produce underpinned by classic French culinary techniques. P H OTO G R A P H Y BY O D E T T E



ince leaving the award-winning JAAN at Swissotel The Stamford to start his own project in 2015, Julien Royer’s journey has been something of a rollercoaster ride. During his four-year tenure at the Singapore restaurant, he won over diners and critics with his integrity and flawless cooking. JAAN received numerous accolades under Royer’s leadership, including coming in at 11th place on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2015 list and 74th on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2015 long list. Naturally, the departure meant that anticipation for his next move was high. But, now two years on, this charismatic chef has surpassed all expectations, with Odette maintaining two Michelin stars in this year’s Michelin Guide Singapore 2017, as well as a coveted 9th place on the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017 list – the highest new entry in the history of the list. The chef is a bright star on Singapore’s current food scene and shows no sign of stepping out of the spotlight. He takes pride in offering guests a unique opportunity to taste exceptional ingredients at his restaurant in the heart of a city that is itself at the crossroads of the world. But where did it all start for this young talent? Growing up in Auvergne in central France, Julien claims without


hesitation “it was my upbringing that really defined my career and culinary philosophy today”. In a small rural village “where there were more cows than people”, it was standard practice to grow everything yourself. Because of this, he ascertains that he knows “the kind of power that can come from simple ingredients. Simple food can be very tasty. I want to bring that authenticity to the table.” With his grandmother as his mentor, cooking came naturally to him, and he soon started developing a real passion for the culinary arts. “I would cook every day if I was not in school, but every weekend, without fail, we would bake tarts and pastries together. I wanted to tell stories through my food.” As a tribute to his maternal grandmother Odette, who still remains one of the greatest influences in his life and the kitchen, he used her name for his first solo project. “Watching my grandmother cook, I realised the kind of joy and love you can demonstrate through food. The kind of emotions that can be passed through food was the impetus for me to start cooking.” Nearly two years on, the award-winning restaurant continues to reflect grandma Odette’s belief in always ensuring the fundamental pleasures of enjoying a meal are »


PREVIOUS PAGE Rosemary Smoked Organic Egg. LEFT Foie Gras ‘Comme un Pho’.

« delivered in the most thoughtful, welcoming and hospitable manner. “It was important that my restaurant was a space for people to feel comfortable in. I did not want our guests to be overwhelmed by a stiff space. Sometimes, fine dining is too serious. When you are comfortable, your five senses are on top form.” Equally, having been exposed to fresh, quality ingredients throughout his childhood and formative training years, Royer has devoted much of his time to forging lasting relationships with some of the finest boutique producers from around the globe, including suppliers from Japan, France and Australia. “The cooking at Odette is, of course, very much guided by the best available produce. It is also constantly evolving. From my formative years in France, European seasonal flavours are second nature to me. I have also lived in the Caribbean, London, Polynesia and now Asia, and developed a keener understanding of, and interest in, produce and flavours. All these inspire me in my cuisine.” The result of this devotion to sourcing his products is an inspired effort that celebrates and respects seasonality, terroir, as well as the skills of some of the world’s top boutique producers. Perhaps a dish that aptly demonstrates what »


“Ultimately, Odette is also a celebration of people – the people who grow and nurture our produce, the people who cook, the people who serve, and the people who entrust us with the honour of serving them.”


JULIEN ROYER « Royer calls his “essential cuisine” approach is one from his spring/summer 2017 menu. The dish comprises just three elements: foie gras with Japanese abalone in a smoked eel dashi consommé, inspired by Vietnamese pho and finished with fresh herbs – nasturtium, kinome leaf, tarragon, chervil, spring onion and baby mint. It epitomises the intelligent way that Julian manages to combine the flavours that have inspired and influenced his cuisine thus far, with minimal fuss and perfect balance. The dish is also just one element of Royer’s six- and eight-course French tasting menus, which are not only a hit with diners but have also pleased critics ever since their inception in 2015. In 2016, nine months after opening, Odette was awarded two Michelin stars. The restaurant then went on to make its record-making debut on the Asia’s Best Restaurants 2017 list. In the same year, Royer was named Chef of the Year for the second time at the World Gourmet Summit Awards of Excellence. Showing no signs of stopping, Odette’s showing at this year’s Michelin Guide Singapore also proved successful, with the restaurant maintaining its two-star accolade. “Awards are a fantastic recognition for us as a team, but not our first priority. Our priority is to create unforgettable memories by presenting remarkable dishes made with »

“Singapore has an insane culinary scene for such a small country, really. The diversity, quality and choice are truly world-class.”

RIGHT Heirloom Beetroot Variation.



LEFT Lemon T’art.

« the purest ingredients, delivered in the most thoughtful, welcoming and hospitable manner, and we will continue to devote ourselves to this commitment for as long as guests keep coming back.” This level of success comes as no surprise, as the pretty-looking dishes are just a reflection of the whole, well-considered dining experience. This is brought to life at the National Gallery Singapore, which lies at the forefront of the island nation’s cultural scene. It’s a fitting location for food that is also at the forefront of Singapore’s culinary scene. Julian explains: “Singapore has an insane culinary scene for such a small country, really. The diversity, quality and choice are truly world-class. There are many interesting trends coming up and down. People are more conscious about healthy dining, and that’s something that interests me.” The restaurant space has been designed by Londonbased Universal Design Studio with overall creative direction by Singaporean artist Dawn Ng. In keeping with Julien’s whole ethos, the interior, much like the food, pays respect to its history and location. “To us, the National Gallery where Odette is located represents both the past and the future in one space. Stemming from its days as the Supreme Court and City Hall, the gallery


continues to represent Singapore’s growth by being a true destination for world-class art and food.” It also features an exposed kitchen tastefully enclosed by glass, while the soft palette of the décor manages to complement the colourful, delicate-looking dishes with the same intelligent balance. “Diners have the opportunity to witness the chefs at work, reflecting the openness and honesty of Odette that is central to the entire dining experience. We also have a chef ’s table next to the kitchen that allows diners to see what we are doing – and we can see them. I want to feel connected to my guests.” With just 12 tables and a small private room seating up to 10 people, Odette is a calm, elegant space that communicates warmth and comfort from the minute you enter. Most of the front-of-house team are local to Singapore, apart from Royer’s general manager Steven Mason, who came from Bristol to work alongside him. The dedicated kitchen team, which includes sous chefs Levin Lau and Adam Wan, have also stuck by Royer’s side as his culinary talent continues to reach new heights. “Ultimately, Odette is also a celebration of people – the people who grow and nurture our produce, the people who cook, the people who serve, and the people who entrust us with the honour of serving them.”


Travel & Property

Authentically Arabian Maxime Jacovella takes us on a voyage of discovery to the mountainous region of Al Jabal Al Akhdar, in the unspoilt Sultanate of Oman.



f Oman was a recipe, it would go something along the lines of this. A generous dollop of pristine, secluded and powdery white sandy beaches. A spoonful of craggy mountains where vertiginous canyons can be seen carved through them and lush, Garden of Eden-like wadis intermittently dotted along them. Add the smooth, orange-tinted dunes of the ‘Empty Quarter’ and the worldly fjords of the Musandam Peninsula. Throw in a pinch of colourful and pulse-stimulating cities that are steeped in history. And bear witness to the quintessential Arabic architecture with archaeological remains that will induce your imagination to travel back to a time when Camels graced wavy dunes of inhospitable deserts and dhows, the traditional sailboat of the region, travelled the adjoining seas, with each transporting precious Omani-made goods such as Frankincense out to Europe. All of the these ingredients make up Oman’s DNA, a country of outstanding beauty with incredibly varied scenery – and, surprisingly, still very much unblemished. A must-see before the word gets out. Travelling to Oman is fairly straightforward, and although the national carrier, Oman Air, offers direct flights to Muscat, most travellers will include a stopover at either neighbouring Dubai or Abu Dhabi in their itinerary. We choose Abu Dhabi and fly with Etihad, which has helped this Emirate of the United Arab Emirates become, over the years, a real competitor in the region for the battle to win over tourists travelling to Australasia. Moreover, as we were about to discover, Abu Dhabi is much more than a handful of luxury shopping malls, hotels and restaurants. It’s a rich ecosystem with natural wonders, which include the beautiful Arabian dunes of the Empty Quarter, verdant mangrove forests (with tidal channels that make them perfect for bird-watching) and the island of Sir Bani Yas, home to the Arabian Wildlife Park, where giraffes and the exceptional native Arabian oryx (a type of antelope) roam free. These features are turning Abu Dhabi increasingly into a naturebased destination. With only two nights to spare in Abu Dhabi, we choose to stay at the Anantara Eastern Mangroves – which, as its name aptly suggests, sits by the tranquil waterways of the Mangrove National Park and is within easy reach of the city centre, the airport, the Sheikh Zayed Mosque and the Abu


ABOVE The Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara in Abu Dhabi is a great stopover on the way to Oman. BELOW The hamman at Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara.

Dhabi Mall, making it the perfect urban sanctuary. Gleaming chandeliers, typical Arabic archways and a phenomenal view of the hotel’s infinity pool edging towards the mangrove make for a worldly lobby. Following a seamless check-in, we are shown to our beautifully decorated room, whose terrace faces the lush mangroves and Abu Dhabi’s city skyline in its backdrop – a postcard-perfect sight with opportunities for astounding Arabian sunsets. Bliss. The Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara is renowned throughout the Middle East for the amazing treatments its spa offers – and pampering is what we need. Upon entering the spa section of the property, it is easy to see what the fuss is about: a sizable and utterly impressive Turkish-style hammam awaits us, with a typically Arabesque ceiling embossed with gold detailing and a slab of marble that acts as the massage table, all of which is large enough to fit eight people comfortably. A brief moment in the sauna and steam room ensures my pores are open to their optimum levels, which precedes having hot water (precisely 42°C) poured on to my head and body out of a large copper bucket. I then have my body rubbed and scrubbed by my friendly and professional therapist, Hamza, and I close my eyes to the sound of his softly spoken explanations of the fundamental differences between a Turkish hammam and a Moroccan one. The experience is an absolute must when visiting the Eastern Mangroves property. That evening, feeling revitalised by our visit to the hammam, we indulge in some of the finest Thai cuisine in the region at the hotel’s signature outlet, Pachaylen. The space, which oozes a sense of sober classiness, offers dinners with an intimate feel and an opportunity to see the working kitchen in action via the clear tinted windows on display. Some of the highlights of our meal include the crispy softshell crab curry and sea-bass fillet, steamed with lemongrass and dressed with a delectable chilli-garlic dressing with a sprinkling of fresh lime juice on top. Leave some room for the Chiang Rai coconut sticky rice pudding and sweet Thai mango, which is truly delicious. The following day we are up early and following a comprehensive breakfast on the terrace of the Ingredients »




ith its signature brand of hospitality – world-class coupled with modern luxury, Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Muscat, Oman, seamlessly blends state of the art technology with heritage. Newly unveiled after a round of re-enhancement, the five star hotel exudes its own distinct style, a pairing of timelessness and glamour. Al Bustan Palace is a secluded oasis fringed by the Al Hajar Mountains and the azure waters of the Gulf of Oman. Check in to a spacious, beautifully appointed suite that boasts of opulent materials, amenities and neutral tones – all designed to offer an aura of tranquillity and elegance. Five star amenities add a deep level of comfort as you enjoy panoramic views of this exotic part of the world.

Whether you’re here on business, a weekend break, or a few days with your family, we invite you to explore a meaningful wellness experience at Six Senses Spa. This holistic, transformative journey involves a leisurely 80 minute long spa treatment and a workshop to learn how to create a body scrub at the spa’s Alchemy Bar.

You can find out more at: www.ritzcarlton.com/albustanpalace



« restaurant, we finally hit the road for our long-awaited destination, Oman – but more precisely another Anantara property, just recently opened and nested high up on top of Al Jabal al Akhdar, which means ‘Green Mountains’ in Arabic. The altitude at which the Anantara is located (it’s the highest five-star resort in the region) means that it can be visited year-round, with March through to November offering the best weather. This also tends to be the busiest period for the property as folk from neighbouring Gulf countries seek cooler weather to beat the heat. Winter nights can sometimes reach as low as 1-2°C, so if you are to visit in that period be sure to pack your warmest cashmere.


ABOVE Views of Birkat al-Mouz from The Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa. BELOW-LEFT Traditional Omani welcome from staff. BELOW-RIGHT Driveway entrance to the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort in Oman.

The roads of both the UAE and Oman are very passable and offer scenic vistas along the way, which takes in lush oases, fortified towns and magnificent orange sand dunes. From Abu Dhabi and Dubai respectively, the drive takes around six hours, while from the Omani capital, Muscat, it is a quicker two-hour drive. Beware, though, as the ultimate section requires a 4x4 as you will have to go up an impossibly vertical road, which apparently took a construction crew seven years to build! In fact, the roads are that exhilarating here that an episode of Top Gear saw Matt Le Blanc, the show’s current head honcho, take part in a race that finished at the hotel. So, with every metre risen, so does our excitement as we look forward to getting to know this truly stunning property, whose location is clearly its raison d’être. One last hairpin bend causing the tyres to screech and we reach the ultimate pass, which sees us get on to an arid plateau upon which the resort sits. We drive through the sleepy town of Ad Dakhiliyah, the final frontier before reaching the hotel’s impressive entrance, characterised by authentic wooden gates that have a Jurassic Park feel to them. As we enter the luxurious lobby, we are overpowered by a fragrance emanating from the burning of frankincense, an aromatic resin found particularly on the Arabian Peninsula. We are warmly welcomed by local staff dressed in typical Omani garments, thereby adding a sense of genuineness to our experience at the Anantara thus far. Following an »


« invigorating smoothie made from locally picked dates, we are brought to our room, offering breathtaking views over the canyon where sleepy, semi-abandoned Omani villages can be spotted clinging on to an almost vertical cliffside. Patches of green can be distinguished representing the tiered field terraces that are famous for the culture of pomegranate and roses that bloom in April, and whose petals are distilled to make rosewater, part of the national Omani heritage. Each terrace is ingeniously irrigated by Oman’s Aflaj Irrigation Systems, a network of man-made streams and pools that has been granted UNESCO World Heritage Site status and is a true spectacle to behold. Scoping the horizon, a sense of escapism – and to some extent one of perplexity – engulfs me as I contemplate the logistics involved in running this awe-inspiring resort, and the feeling of isolation is heightened upon hearing that it takes a whopping 15 trucks to provision the property with fresh water daily. Staggering. The property oozes character and charm, and as I meander the stone pathways (which are lined with more than 50 well-labelled types of local plants and flowers) it is clear that no expenses were spared in its development, taking 2,000 men to build it and roughly £200 million to complete. Gentle waterways, inspired by the traditional Aflaj mentioned above, run through the centre of the hotel and pay a vibrant homage to the area’s past perfectly. There is a total of 80 rooms and 35 villas, which may seem excessive; however the expansive nature of the hotel’s layout means it retains a sense of intimacy; at times it almost feels like we have the hotel to ourselves. While the architecture of the building is distinctly Omani, Lotfi Sidirahal (the hotel’s architect from international architecture and interior-design studio Atelier Pod) subtly blends in touches of Moroccan design as well, epitomised by the peaceful riad-like courtyard where a fire pit is at its centre and a library and lounge café sit around it. We follow the calm waterways and make our way to the centrepiece of the resort, which is the cliff-edge, pristine and turquoise infinity pool. To the left can be found Diana’s Point, a viewing platform and the resort’s yoga point that hangs above the gorge, offering guest spine-tingling views. The hotel named it so after the princess visited Oman in 1986 and took in these breathless views, just as we are doing. As we gaze at the views, kids and adults alike walk past kitted up ready to take on the Jabal Activity Wall, which offers a 98

ABOVE-LEFT The Premier Canyon View Room offers panoramic views over the rugged terrain. ABOVE-RIGHT Sunset views from restaurant Al Maisan. BELOW Mountaintop yoga, one of the many activities available at the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort.

variety of gradual and intermediate climbing routes. For the thrill-seeker there is a Via Ferrata, which enables you to literally walk along the face of the cliff through the use of steel cables that are bolted into the rock. The property has a generous food and beverage offering, with three restaurants, a café and a shisha lounge. Bella Vista serves freshly made, authentic Italian food and is renowned for its wood oven-fired pizzas. Al Maisan, the all-day dining venue where breakfast is taken, offers an international menu with a gorgeous terrace overlooking the flowery gardens. The signature venue, however, is Al Qalaa, which is housed inside an Omani fort-like building with incredible interior decor. If you have time after your meal, it is worth climbing up to the top of the tower where there is a telescope enabling you to enjoy some stargazing action. The Anantara is a one-of-a-kind property that has become one of the most popular and sought-after properties in the region. Its grandeur, combined with it’s phenomenal location and unique charm, has made it one of the most coveted hotel in the world, entirely justifying its appearance on BBC Two’s Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby in the UK earlier this year.


Diana’s Point

Cliff Pool Villa

Al Maisan Restaurant

A rare jewel in the rocky contours of the vast Saiq Plateau on Oman’s fabled Green Mountain, the highest five star resort in the Middle East has opened its doors. In this extraordinary destination, the true source of adventure is revealed through Anantara’s distinctive natural luxury and innovative Arabian hospitality. An exhilarating escape for culture and history enthusiasts, offering 115 guestrooms and pool villas of luxurious authenticity as well as culinary experiences with six dining outlets to choose from. Guests can continue their journey at the Anantara Spa complete with a Hammam as well as a fitness centre, tennis court, kids club and teens club. Bespoke outdoor adventure sports providing cultural, historical, and environmental activities will be widely on offer and available for all of the guests to experience. Telephone: +968 25218000 Email: reservations.aaja@anantara.com

LIFE IS A JOURNEY. Visit anantara.com


Exquisite Locations Look no further than our hotspots for adventure, pampering, relaxation and investment from South Africa, UK, India & Australia...


1 Lanzerac Hotel & Spa SOUTH AFRICA

Set amidst the backdrop of dramatic mountain ranges, rolling vineyards and hectares of lush greenery is the iconic Lanzerac Hotel and Spa. The property was shut for an extensive nip-and-tuck following a massive fire in mid2017 but has been restored to its former grandeur with a few contemporary touches. The Hotel boasts 53 exquisitely-styled rooms and suites that reflect the rich history of the Estate. Each of these rooms also carefully blend in contemporary influences that make this property a class apart! What’s most striking about the Lanzerac Hotel & Spa is that no two rooms here are alike. The opulence is not just visible in the rooms but also extends to the en-suite bathrooms, which are massive in size. The Lanzerac Hotel and Spa offers some top-notch gastronomical experiences at its various dining venues. Indulge in a lavish buffet breakfast or classic dinner fare with a twist at Manor Kitchen. If you want to enjoy gourmet pub-style lunches and dinners, then don’t forget to make a stop at Taphuis! Enjoy a drink before or after dinner at the hip Craven Lounge that boasts an extensive selection of the finest local and international spirits, carefully curated wines and a wide range of craft beers. Another hot favourite is the Lanzerac Deli and Tasting Room that’s perfect for all-day breakfast or a casual lunch. The Tasting Room offers a sophisticated wine experience to its patrons amidst stunning views of the Stellenbosch valley. In-house guests and day visitors can rejuvenate at the Lanzerac Spa. Soak in stunning views of the lush vineyards and the Stellenbosch valley, as you relax your senses and


BELOW The spa and pool area at LANZERAC. RIGHT A Royale Suite interior.

indulge in a restorative experience. There’s also an indoor heated swimming pool and steam and sauna room. After a day of pampering, guests can indulge in wholesome dishes and refreshing juices at the Vitality Corner! www.lanzerac.co.za


Winelands at itst Finest GRANDEUR

Set in the heart of a 162ha working wine estate, on the outskirts of picturesque Stellenbosch, the historic Lanzerac Hotel & Spa is the perfect base from which to explore SA’s most famous winelands. With 53 luxurious bedrooms, this country Estate exudes an air of intimacy and provides the ultimate in personalized service. ACCOMMODATION | SPA | RESTAURANTS DELI | WINE TASTING | CONFERENCING | CELLAR TOURS WWW.LANZERAC.CO.ZA



An amalgamation of two cultures and countries, The LaLiT London is a cultural cauldron. The 180-year-old neo baroque edifice had undergone a five-year, £ 50 million refurbishment. It was built by Edward Mountford, the architect of the Old Bailey. The LaLiT London epitomizes the warmth and richness of Indian culture with the finest Victorian architecture. Located on Thame’s South Bank, near Tower Bridge, the grade II heritage listed building lies in the heart of the busy metropolis. It is now an intimate haven of Indian hospitality. The majestic Great Hall reequipped as the signature award winning Pan Indian Destination Baluchi, the Headmaster’s Room refurbished


ABOVE The Headmasters Room. RIGHT The Terrace. BELOW The Teachers Room.

as the LaLiT Legacy Suite, the laboratories as the meeting room, the LaLiT London redefines the grammar of luxury. Baluchi serves modern takes on traditional Indian cuisine from the different regions of the country. Naan’ery the Bread Bar at one end bakes breads in an authentic tandoor oven. The Teacher’s Room and the Headmaster’s Room serve finest of cocktails and cognacs respectively. The wooden panelling, carved ceilings, original windows, luxurious fireplace, great hall, grand staircase, with their majestic and incredible Victorian architecture have been restored and now house a rich Indian imprint. The hand crafted furniture, magnificent Hyderabadi chandeliers at The Great Hall, the symbolic yet decoative light fixtures with a complementary design on the wooden shutters, and carpeting, along with Indian artworks, cut glass mirrors, intricate hand woven tapestries, marble flooring are made in India. The LaLiT London is an experience that enables you to create memories for a lifetime. www.thelalit.co.uk


Shot on location 4 BHK show apartment

3 Kalptaru Avana INDIA

A world of indulgence and privilege, Kalpataru Avana is designed to create a high-class living experience; the likes of which you’ll rarely see. Nothing less than what you’d expect from a place meant for the crème de la crème of the city. Everything about residences at Kalpataru Avana exude opulence. A grand entrance welcomes you into the massive apartments. Large magnificent living and dining rooms offer the perfect setting for soirees that are the talk of the town. The apartments here treat you to panoramic views of the Eastern seaboard on the east and the cityscape with Arabian Sea to the west, that you can enjoy from the sprawling balcony. With only two residences per floor and five elevators on each wing, it’s only a matter of seconds before you reach home and soak in all it has to offer. At the

Artist’s Impression

Artist’s Impression


heart of Kalpataru Avana is a design engineered by none other than Mr. Hafeez Contractor and evokes a feeling of massive space. The East-West layout of the apartment ensures ample natural light and optimum ventilation. The 12’10” floor-to-floor height makes for grand living spaces. Moreover, the sprawling amenities and their wellthought-out layout only enhances the grandeur. Then, there are the little touches, which you’ll find aplenty here. The swimming pool, for instance, is temperature-controlled, so you can enjoy a dip even when there’s a nip in the air. Whether you’re relaxing at home or indulging in one of the many leisure choices here, the amount of attention that has gone into every detail will elevate every day by several notches. You know you’ve arrived when you find yourself raising a toast far far above everyone else. Enjoy the dramatic views of the cityscape from the party hall on the terrace. There is a well-equipped rooftop gymnasium too, while the party hall lets you stargaze the evening away. Life at the top has never looked better. kalpataru.com


4 Swell Lodge AU S T R A L I A

Nestled in the Christmas Island National Park, surrounded by wildlife and overlooking the ever-changing ocean, Swell Lodge is the world’s most exclusive eco-lodge: A single, glassfronted, luxury eco-chalet offering all-inclusive packages with daily guided activities and even a private French chef, serving gourmet cuisine created from local produce - just for you. With your daily program completely tailored to your desires, you can do as much or as little as you want. While Swell Lodge is perfect for relaxing, soaking up the view, enjoying a rejuvenating massage or yoga session, Christmas Island is a wonderland of experiences, many of them within easy walking distance from the eco-chalet through the jungle. There’s amazing wildlife including endemic birds and the world-famous red crabs, there’s boardwalks through RAMSAR-listed wetlands to a refreshing waterfall you can stand under, totally secluded beaches and some of the world’s best snorkelling and diving in crystal-clear, 28°C (82°F)


ABOVE Inside the eco-chalet. BELOW Christmas Island Red Crab’s tidy the jungle floor.

water filled with such a kaleidoscope of coral and fish that you could be swimming in an aquarium, except that there are dolphins and in the right season even whale sharks too! At Swell Lodge, you will at last be able to relax and reconnect with yourself, your partner and with nature. While Wi-Fi is available if you want it along with a phone in your chalet, there is no cellphone service on our otherwise uninhabited west coast, allowing you the peace and quiet we know you’ve been craving. Featuring a floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall glass front opening to an expansive deck overlooking the ocean where seabirds soar past at eye-level, a luxurious Italian-tiled ensuite bathroom, king size bed, stone bench tops and more. Every piece of this remarkable, solar-powered wilderness escape has been carefully carried in and assembled by hand in the middle of one of Australia’s most amazing National Parks. Swell Lodge has been awarded Ecotourism Australia’s highest level of certification ‘Advanced Ecotourism’ as well as a ‘Climate Action Business’ reserved for exemplary operators for our ecological sustainability, natural area management and provision of authentic experiences, which, together with our included carbon-offset program allows you to fall sleep to the peaceful sound of the swell, completely guilt-free. Serviced by flights from Jakarta, Perth and Kuala Lumpur, Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean is Australia’s best-kept secret, a place few tourists have ever visited and those that have call it ‘The Galapagos of Australia’. Whether you’re a couple wanting a romantic break, a celebrity needing a secluded escape, or just a nature-loving traveller keen to experience an incredible new destination, you need to add Swell Lodge to the top of your list, before everyone else does. Where else on Earth can you enjoy the total seclusion of an entire wild coastline to yourself, yet still stay in such luxury? A stay at Swell Lodge is like nothing else on Earth! www.SwellLodge.com

Enchanting Rejuvenation Looking for spaces that lets you unwind your stress? Don’t look further, Two Seasons, Dubai brings you the enchanting aura of luxury and beauty to rejuvenate yourself from your busy lives.



otting the skyline of Dubai’s bustling Sheikh Zayed highway is the Two Seasons Hotel & Apartments – the largest amongst “all suite” hotels in the Middle East. Only a short drive away from the Dubai International and Dubai World Central Airport, this expansive 41-storey property hosts an eclectic range of guests, from business travellers to short-term vacationers or even those who are looking to stay longer. Situated within close proximity to Dubai’s popular business districts – Dubai Internet and Media City, Dubai Knowledge Park and Jumeirah Lake Towers – the Hotel witnesses a steady stream of business guests all year round. That’s not all – it is within a comfortable distance from some of the hottest shopping hubs in the city, including


PREVIOUS SPREAD Premium Suite sea view. ABOVE Lobby entrance. BELOW Pool view.

Dubai Marina Mall, Ibn Batuta Mall, Mall of the Emirates and the iconic Dubai Mall, making it the preferred choice for most visitors. With the Dubai Internet City metro station right at its doorstep, it is extremely convenient to cover the length and breadth of the city without any hassle. The easy access to Sheikh Zayed road, the primary artery of the city that connects Sharjah and Abu Dhabi, also makes it an attractive proposition for guests. When it comes to both comfort and luxury, the Two Seasons Hotel and Apartments leaves no stone unturned. Designed in true contemporary style, the property boasts 506 apartments and 504 suites to accommodate its guests comfortably. The Hotel provides stay here comfortably and some of them can be adjoined into 3 bedroom suites to facilitate larger families. With the area ranging from 58 sq metres to 102 sq metres, all suites and apartments are spacious enough to include a living room, one or two bedrooms, a kitchenette for suites or an enclosed kitchen for apartments, one or two bathrooms and a luggage room for suites. The guests can also avail complimentary Wi-Fi during their stay, among other facilities. The apartments also have a laundry room replete with a washing machine, ironing board and a steam iron. In case you want to lounge around on a sofa bed, you could ask the Hotel to provide one in your suite or the two-bedroom apartment. Besides, the two-bedroom apartments also have a dish-washing machine, while the apartments for long-staying guests includes a cooking range. Each of the suites has a sprawling balcony that affords stunning views of the Jumeirah Beach seafront and the Palm Island. Admire the glittering Dubai skyline at night »

TRAVEL « as you spend some great moments with your partner or friends and family! When it comes to dining options, the Two Seasons Hotel and Apartments offers a host of cuisines to cater to their varied clientele. From International, Asian to Arabic cuisine, there’s everything to satiate the appetite of the hotel guests. Le Grand Café, conveniently located in the hotel lobby, is a great place for some informal banter with friends over a cup of coffee and freshly-baked confectionery. This 24-hour Café offers a wide range of fresh pastries, snacks and healthy eats. If you are a coffee aficionado, you are sure to get thrilled with their association with Starbucks! Open 24 hours. The all-day dining restaurant, La Terrasse, offers not just breath-taking views of Dubai’s cityscape, but also some great food options! Spacious and designed in contemporary style, this restaurant can host close to 200 guests, and offers both a la carte and international buffet options. Every night, the guests can look forward to a themed dinner buffet and relish the eclectic food on offer. That’s not all – there’s also a live cooking station where chefs whip up the choicest delicacies in front of the guests’ eyes! Guests can also enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi access while dining at La Terrasse. Open daily from 6:30am to midnight. The Hotel offers two plush lounges – La Terrasse and Sky Lounge – to its guests, who want to soak in the beauty of Dubai over a softs and shisha. The La Terrasse Lounge, situated on the 8th floor, affords panoramic views of the Dubai coastline and Palm Island area. Guests can enjoy delicious Arabic fare from the a la carte menu and unwind with flavoured shisha. For those who want to scroll through their social media, fret not – there’s complimentary Wi-Fi access for you! Open daily from 9:30am to 3am.


BELOW The Sky Lounge area. ABOVE La Terrasse Restaurant.

The Sky Lounge, as the name suggests, literally touches the sky! Set on the 40th floor with high glass windows, this Lounge offers a towering view of the Palm Island and is a beauty to say the least. Engage in conversations with friends or business partners in a pleasant and comfortable environment. The Lounge is open to both in-house and walk-in guests and serves snacks and refreshments as well as a set buffet for lunch and dinner. There’s also free Wi-Fi access for company! Open daily from 9:00am to midnight. Overlooking the crystal-clear waters of the outdoor swimming pool is the Pool Bar, which is a great place to unwind after a swim. Located on the 8th floor, this outlet serves mocktails, snacks and sandwiches. Open daily from 8:00am to 8:00pm. »









TRAVEL With its best-in-class design and facilities on offer, the Two Seasons Hotel & Apartments is also the preferred choice for all kinds of events – business meetings, conferences or even weddings. There are meeting facilities available on six levels with convenient access to elevators and direct access to car park. The Dalma Ballroom, located on the P4 level, can host up to 600 guests and has a prefunction area, terrace and private entrance. The remaining meeting rooms are interspersed across six levels. OTHER FACILITIES INCLUDE:

• • •

« If you don’t want to miss out on your fitness regime during your vacation or business trip, the Hotel has the perfect solution for you! The Two Seasons Hotel & Apartments offers some great recreational and fitness facilities at the Elixir Fitness and DreamWorks Spa. The Exilir Fitness Centre offers state-of-the-art facilities for fitness and relaxation to the guests. There’s a 25-metre outdoor temperature-controlled swimming pool, a sunbath area overlooking the Dubai skyline, outdoor Jacuzzi, a fullyequipped gym with strength training facility as well as cardio machines. There are separate changing rooms for male and female guests that offer sauna, steam rooms and Jacuzzi. If you are in the mood for some aerobic exercises, you can check with the Hotel staff for classes on offer. The gym is open all-day long and has free Wi-Fi access. For the kids, there’s an outdoor shaded swimming pool and a separate club with indoor and outdoor playing area. The Spa is perfect to rejuvenate and relax your mind and body. Opt from a wide range of rejuvenating treatments that pamper your body, hands and feet or unwind with a massage or facial treatment. Open daily from 10:00am to 11:30pm. You can also opt for a rigorous workout at their welldesigned squash courts or football and basketball courts on the 41st floor. 116

ABOVE La Terrasse Restaurant. BELOW Deluxe Suite city view.

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Ladies’ & Gents’ salon in the lobby 24/7 Mini Mart in the lobby Sweet Corner – chocolate, sweets and confectionary shop in the lobby 24hr Front desk Concierge desk 24hr Business centre Projector (chargeable) Car rental & tour desk Indoor parking Laundry service (chargeable) Bubbles Laundry shop ATM in the lobby Recharging mobile machine for selected countries 24hr security Elevators Handicap facilities Wheel chair access Valet parking Wakeup service Free Wi-Fi Souvenir, Perfume and Fur Shop 24hr minimart Baby-sitting (chargeable) Squash, Football, Basketball and Volleyball field Sauna & Steam room 24hr Room Service

If you are looking to experience true comfort and luxury, you know where to head to! 2seasonshotels.com

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THE WELLNESS RETREAT TREND IN SRI LANKA Female entrepreneur challenging the wellness retreat trend in Sri Lanka’s lush jungle


estled in the heart of Sri Lanka’s largely untouched jungle lies Mahagedera’s Wellness Retreat. Established in 2017 by female entrepreneur Lakmali Abeynayake, the Sri Lankan born visionary set out with a mission to challenge mainstream conceptions of wellness retreats and in doing so, create a holistic and entirely immersive wellness experience. With a focus on sustainable design, eco-tourism and supporting local Sri Lankan economies, Lakmali’s seven-acre plot of land is home to monkeys playing in the treetops’ canopy, elephants roaming in undisturbed rice fields and butterflies flirting with the open skies above. With an aim to disconnect people from the stresses of their usual lives, Mahagedara reconnects people to their free and true selves in a place founded on untamed nature, community ties and organic produce. “What was important when I created this retreat was recognising wellness is not superficial. Wellness is about your physical, spiritual and mental health. To us, it’s about acknowledging the various components of wellness and bringing them together to create a wholesome experience”, Lakmali explains.

ABOVE Paddyfield at Mahagedara Wellness Retreat. BELOW Pool at Mahagedara Wellness Retreat.

Mahagedara, literally meaning ‘family home’ in Sinhalese, offers the curious traveller seeking authentic cultural experiences a home away from home. With the aim to move away from the growing trend to create wellness retreats founded on a whole lot of concrete and a handful of man-made nature, Mahagedara actively encourages travellers to immerse themselves in the natural surroundings, to get lost in the wild and in doing »



« so, remember what truly matters. The simple things in life become the highlights of your retreat whether it be discovering the healing powers of Ayurvedic treatments, unwinding with yoga or marvelling at the wondrous view Sigiriya rock offers. Where better to free yourself of the unnecessary worries distracting your everyday than in a place where the definition of worry has been redefined to include only basic concerns such as choosing between fresh papaya or a bunch of sweet bananas for breakfast? Days roll by under the Sri Lankan sun whilst coconut curry and cups of freshly brewed herbal tea make up meal times. The rest of the day is spent idly walking through lush jungle and picking ayurvedic herbs to nibble on. The only sounds to break the silence are the footsteps of wild chickens foraging for insects, cheeky monkeys grabbing a mango or two from the fruit garden and elephants roaming on the far outskirts of the property. Plus, you can rest assured you’ll always have a friend or two in the retreats dogs who love to keep you company and join you


ABOVE LEFT Lion Rock Sigiriya. ABOVE RIGHT Spices. BELOW Kadulla National Park.

on any ventures including visiting neighbouring banana and corn plantations. If you’re lucky, you may even be offered a freshly picked banana or two by the farmers whose generous spirit and kind nature adds to the place’s warmth. Offering traditional Sri Lankan cooking classes, meditation and yoga, honey harvesting as well as healing spa treatments, consultations with a qualified Ayurvedic doctor and an organic vegetable and fruit garden to snack on, Mahagedera allows travellers to tend to their wellness in a deeply immersive and holistic way. From the food offered to the sustainable practices of the retreat, this is a place that ensures wellness is anything but a superficial experience. Lakmali focusses on the importance of celebrating traditional Sri Lankan culture, eco-tourism, sustainable travel and holistic wellness. “My focus for the retreat has been to create a place where everything is connected from the food we grow, to the leftovers we compost, to the local people we employ, it all works together so the retreat operates in a cyclical way.”

Tel. : (+230) 209 1900 Fax : (+230) 209 1909 Email : baystone@baystone.mu


LA RÉSIDENCE DE LA PINÈDE Home of Michelin-starred chef Arnaud Donckele with a design concept from prolific architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, and all set within a lush natural park, La Résidence de la Pinède is the crème de la crème of the Côte d’Azur.


t’s possible that La Résidence de la Pinède epitomises everything about classic notions of the Côte d’Azur, with its sweeping views out to the sea and tranquil setting within a beautiful natural park. To top it off, La Résidence de la Pinède is the only hotel on the Côte d’Azur with its own private beach, making it feel discreetly unavailable from the escapades of the main beaches, yet in easy-reach distance to the mythical village just in case some local spirit takes your fancy. The hotel is nothing but sheer elegance from the moment you arrive, and offers Instagram-worthy hotspots at every turn. Three distinct areas – the main building, the villa and the tower – provide varied scenery throughout La Pinède. Located on either side of the main building, the tower – a former oil mill – and the villa facing the pool embody the essence of privacy. However, like all things truly chic, it maintains its understated elegance and boasts just 36 rooms, each with 122

ABOVE Sweeping views of the sea and mountains along the Côte d’Azur. OPPOSITE Rooms decorated with bright and fresh tones of the surrounding panoramic views.

its own unique view of the sea, the pine forest, or the nearby town of Saint-Tropez. With most rooms featuring a terrace or balcony, they are the perfect setting in which to enjoy the balmy evenings and seductive scent of pine trees, which are typical of the Mediterranean. And if there was any mistaking where you were in the world, La Résidence de la Pinède has ensured that you live and breathe the Côte d’Azur, with decor that has been inspired by the bright and fresh tones of the surrounding countryside and its panoramic views. In fact, very recently, La Résidence de la Pinède collaborated with architect JeanMichel Wilmotte to create a new concept for this year’s season. It was inspired by the seafront location, and is a natural evolution for the hotel to transform its interior into a haven that adequately matches the outside. With the exciting new unveiling taking place in May, Jean-Michel has used the hotel’s original aesthetic as a base for the new contemporary finish. Making sophisticated use


of Mediterranean materials in the bedrooms and bathrooms, Jean-Michel has opted for soft-wood furniture and warm colours with hints of blue, which echoes the surrounding landscape. In the more public areas, sandy tones and soft woods have been used to enhance the natural sunlight, which will naturally illuminate the space. As a long-term partner of the LVMH group – and himself a frequent guest of the hotel – Jean-Michel describes the property as “an exceptional place that is bathed by the Mediterranean and expresses a magic that resonates with our time”. The seaside estate will also showcase beautiful pieces by artist and ceramist Roger Captron in an attempt to offer guests an updated warm, welcoming design concept that reflects the charm and ethos of the entire complex. If food is more your bag in the South of France, La Résidence de la Pinède also has that covered. Hosting to two restaurants and one bar, the hotel has left nothing to be desired when it comes to a true gastronomic escape. La Vague d’Or invites guests on a magical journey between land and sea, and is the only restaurant on the Côte d’Azur to be awarded three Michelin stars, five toques and a rating of 19 out of 20 by the Gault & Millau. Having trained with classic names of French cooking such as Michel Guérard, Alain Ducasse, and Jean-Louis Nomicos at Lasserre, executive chef Arnaud Donckele is master of his trade, creating colourful, vibrant cuisine that transports you on a whimsical journey through the Mediterranean. »

“La Résidence de la Pinède is ‘an exceptional place that is bathed by the Mediterranean and expresses a magic that resonates with our time’”



then head to La Terrasse restaurant. Offering modern-day, simplistic cuisine with hints of the Mediterranean, the menu highlights local and seasonal ingredients as well as having direct access to Le Bar. With its nautical-inspired decor, Le Bar invites all to a refreshing interlude with a laid-back atmosphere that is typical of the Côte d’Azur. When all the eating and drinking has become too much, then the private beach at La Résidence de la Pinède is the perfect place to take refuge. Plage de Bouillabaisse not only boasts soft, white sand, private views of the bay of Saint-Tropez and a prime setting for people-watching, but also an infinity pool. The constantly 30C infinity pool lets you indulge in a swim even if the air turns a little chilly, making this the perfect addition to a blissful retreat. With access points for boats at the end of the jetty, all sea excursions and watersports can be organised right from the end of the beach, ensuring that you never need to leave this haven of bliss.


« Using the region’s finest ingredients, subtle flavours and age-old classic dishes, Donckele cleverly allows guests a peek into rustic Provence but with a contemporary edge. The proposed culinary journey takes diners from black truffle and foie gras-stuffed zitone pasta accompanied by triple-textured purple artichoke, and finished with sweet basil – a tribute to one of Arnaud Donckele’s mentors – to ‘three-style’ Tarbouriech oysters and fennel with flavours of anise, to name just a few of Arnaud’s favourite creations. On hand to assist with any sweet cravings is pastry chef Guillaume Godin, who closes the gastronomic experience with enhanced local ingredients such as frozen nougat from the village of Trets in Provence, blackberry and lycheeflavoured extracts, and roses from Grasse. Naturally, when in the Mediterranean, exceptional cuisine is paired with exceptional wines – and this is no different at La Pinède. Wines from around the world are carefully selected by the head sommelier, and act as delicate – or bold – enhancements to the award-winning food. If you fancy a more relaxed lunch in front of the water, 124

ABOVE Jean-Michel Wilmotte’s design reflects the colours and contours of the Mediterranean. RIGHT Inspired by its seafront location, the hotel is the perfect place to relax and unwind.

phuket thailand www.andaraphuket.com

Andara is set on a gentle hill rising from the Andaman Sea on the upscale West coast of Phuket, offering stunning Ocean views just minutes from the island's best restaurants, boutiques, world-class golf resorts and other attractions. Special events and occasions are accentuated by Andara's renowned Silk Restaurant and exclusive 35m Italian designed motor yacht, offering memorable settings for a fabulous wedding banquet and intimate parties.

Your own private paradise 15 moo 6, kamala beach, kathu, phuket 83150 thailand t. +66 (0) 76 338 777 f. +66 (0) 76 338 949 www.andaraphuket.com

e. reservations@andaraphuket.com

SEVEN OF THE BEST SPOTS FOR SPRING As the CEO and Founder of Beautiful Destinations, Jeremy Jauncey is travelling year-round and spring is no exception. Here he shares his top destinations from around the world to explore this season… Beautiful Destinations is the creative agency behind the largest travel and lifestyle community on social media and I am on the road a lot. We create content campaigns for global brands around the world to showcase their story and of course, if I get any spare time to myself I love to explore these amazing places. Spring brings with it balmy temperatures, quieter crowds and blossoming flowers which not only completely changes how a destination looks, it also provides great opportunities for video and photography. Here’s my top seven spots to discover this spring. CANADA Late spring is when Canada’s incredible scenery is at its best and May is the perfect time to visit. Canada’s national parks are where most people head to capture their perfect Instagram shot - the melting snow means the waterfalls are fast-flowing, trees and flowers are blooming and the skies are brilliantly blue, which helps to create a whole palette of colour to capture. Lake Moraine in Banff National Park is especially beautiful and the view from the top of the rockpile is one of my favourites; the Valley of the Ten Peaks Mountains encircle the glacier-fed lake and it’s also unsurprisingly one of Canada’s most photographed locations. HOLLAND When you think of the Netherlands, it’s usually Amsterdam that comes to mind. But if you venture about 45 minutes outside of the capital, parts of the country are transformed into a sea of flowers in spring. Lisse is a town known as the ‘Garden of Europe’ because of the hundreds of tulip fields that surround it. Its estimated seven million bulbs are planted here annually and if you visit in mid-April you’ll be amazed at the seemingly endless multi-coloured strips of land. What’s great about Holland is that it’s completely flat, so you can easily rent a bike and soak up these views during an afternoon cycle. SANTORINI Santorini still remains a firm favourite of mine yearround. Its white and pastel painted buildings offer the ideal backdrop against a clear blue sky, the three Blue Domes of Oia or its rugged, volcanic landscape. If you visit in spring, it’s still the shoulder season so there are less people milling around this usually busy island, meaning you can beat the crowds while still getting the best of the 126

THIS PAGE The iconic Blue Domes of Oia. FOLLOWING PAGE Flowers outside London’s St Paul’s Cathedral; Churieto Pagoda, Tokyo with views of Mount Fiji.

beautiful warm, sunny days and the incredible sunsets which Santorini is famed for. JAPAN I couldn’t write about my favourite spring-time destinations without including Japan in cherry blossom season. If you’re visiting Tokyo, Osaka or Kyoto, the season usually takes place in late March to early April and these already photogenic cities become all the more enjoyable to shoot. One of the best spots is Chureito Pagoda which is about a two hour drive from Tokyo. Here, you can either climb the steps to be greeted by the amazing view of the pagoda itself »

A million enchanting moments. Between you and endless blue.



« or get creative with your foreground and frame snowcapped Mount Fuji with the flowering trees. COPENHAGEN Copenhagen comes alive in spring and it’s a fantastic city to wander around and enjoy the green spaces such as Langelinie Park and the canals which you can kayak along to explore further. Nyhavn, which is the waterfront lined with brightly coloured townhouses, bars, cafes and restaurants is a great place to people watch and offers boundless photo opportunities. What’s more, the Danish capital’s foodie scene is not one to be missed and the city boasts no less than 15 Michelin-starred restaurants.

CUBA Although the Caribbean doesn’t have a typical spring season, the best time to visit Cuba is in March and April. You’ll be spoilt for choice if you’re trying to capture Havana on camera - the colourful but crumbling buildings, vintage cars parked in rows on the side of the street and locals dancing to the sound of salsa music at every turn. For something a little bit different, head out to Vinales, a town in Western Cuba situated amongst steep-sided limestone hills, known as mogotes which is a great place to hike or even try your hand at traditional cigar rolling.

Keep up with where I am in the world by following @jeremyjauncey and @beautifuldestinations on Instagram. 128


LONDON I live in New York, but my home away from home is London and one of my favourite cities in the world. It’s also one of our most liked destinations on our social channels. Choose from the eight Royal Parks to discover the nature on the city’s doorstep, explore areas off the beaten tourist track or view the iconic landmarks from a different vantage point. See St. Paul’s Cathedral from One New Change or take your picture of Big Ben from Houses of Parliament’s archway.

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Delhi – Where the Old and New Coexist Looking for diversified culture? Delhi is the one-stop destination, with the enchanting minaret to the mystique blend of aroma and tradition. Experience a mix of both, ancient architecture and modern wall art and indulge in the cuisines that’ll leave you delighted.


I asked my soul: What is Delhi? She replied: The world is the body and Delhi its life.” These words echoed by prolific writer, Khushwant Singh, paint the true picture of Delhi. As the capital city of a country – India- that’s home to over a billion people, Delhi boasts a culture that’s nothing short of fascinating. It is the perfect blend of ancient heritage and modern life, which unfolds beautifully before a first-time visitor and tells the stark contrasts in India. Delhi has witnessed the rise and fall of several kingdoms, and a trip to the narrow by-lanes of time worm Old Delhi, the walled part of the city, is the best way to soak its heritage. The ancient monuments scattered here bear testimony to the times bygone.


PREVIOUS SPREAD The magnificent Humayun Tomb. ABOVE The Treasured Tomb. BELOW Saluting the capital with Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Fast forward a few centuries, and you will be transported to a different Delhi, one that’s bedecked in a modern avatar. New Delhi has emerged as the political powerhouse of the country. Today, the prominent structures in the city – The Parliament House, Rashtrapati Bhavan and India Gate – serve as icons and leave tourists awestruck with their beauty and stunning architecture. Where to stay: Delhi offers an array of stay options for travellers of every kind – from business hotels to luxury suites and boutique properties for an experiential stay to BNBs. if what you seek is a glimpse into the daily life of this buzzing city. South Delhi is home to some of the city’s best hotels & boutique properties. Its proximity to trendy restaurants, art districts and religious monuments is an added attraction. Scarlette at Safdarjung Enclave, is a gorgeous, effortlessly chic, French-style boutique hotel in a posh suburb of Delhi that’s barely any distance away from the city’s happening Hauz Khas district – the hub of boutiques, bars and upscale restaurants. The Manor is another exquisite property in South Delhi, which boasts a two-storey villa with exquisite landscaped gardens, stellar dining options and courteous service. Hauz Khas, popular for its colourful alleys and gorgeous tea rooms, also boasts some of the prettiest boutique hotels. The Rose, a wonderful stay option in the by lanes of Hauz Khas village is a cosy place that lets you unleash your artistic genius. Speaking of art, it’s not just limited to museums in Delhi. Discover eclectic wall murals and graffiti in Hauz Khas as well as Lodhi Art District. The DPH building that features a larger-than -life graffiti of Mahatma Gandhi is worth admiring. »

Natural healing centre or the island of surrender?



T Tucked away on the idyllic Divar Island off Goa is Devaaya, the home of divine healing. Where ancient sciences conspire with age-old practices to return you to your purest self. Where healing and hospitality blend into a rejuvenating, luxurious indulgence. Come. Surrender. And discover the joyful, evergreen you. The only international brand that combines Naturopathy, Ayurveda and Yoga with integrative healing to balance your modern lifestyle.


Divar Island, Goa, 403403 India | T: +91 832 2280500 E: info@devaaya.com / HB4F9-RE@accor.com | www.accorhotels.com An Alcon Victor Group Enterprise

TRAVEL « Monuments to Visit:The first stop on your list must certainly be the historic Red Fort, also known as ‘Lal Qila.’ Named for its massive enclosing walls of red sandstone, the Fort houses several museums, a majestic palace and a beautiful garden. Located right opposite the Red Fort is the Jama Masjid, an architectural marvel and the largest mosque in India. Towering over Old Delhi, this mosque has a massive courtyard that can accommodate up to 25,000 visitors. Tourists can hire traditional robes at the northern gate before entering the mosque. Next, make your way to Humayun’s Tomb. This UNESCO World Heritage site that resembles a palace is the first garden tomb in India and has gone to inspire many other architectural marvels. The Qutub Minar is the second-tallest monument of India, a soaring beauty and Mughal-era masterpiece. The red sandstone tower finds itself among the likes of the most stunning monuments of the world and is declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There’s no chance you can miss The India Gate, as you set out to explore the city of Delhi. This historic monument is the most revered war memorials in the country and was built in commemoration of the Indian soldiers who sacrificed their lives during World War I. Exploring Delhi can be a little tiring, so make sure you recharge yourself with some delicious food the city has to offer. The food in Delhi is arguably the best you will find anywhere else in the country. Sample local street food while meandering through the narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi (it will be the highlight of your trip). Paranthe Wali Gali (meaning ‘the lane of flat bread’) is a popular haunt to gorge on a variety of ghee-laden parathas served with spicy pickles and chutneys. You can douse the spice with some sweet jalebis at Old Jalebiwala, one of


BELOW The Aroma of Spices. ABOVE Qutb ud Din Aibak’s Red stone Qutub.

the most iconic shops here that’s been around since 1884. Another popular food outlet is Natraj that serves delectable dahi bhalle and witnesses long queues every day. As you walk through the tiny lanes of Chandni chowk, trust your nose to follow the aroma of spices that leads to the western end of the bazaar- Khari Baoli. Haggle at Asia’s largest spice market , a chaotic and colourful bazaar, where you will find dozens of spice traders. This will paint a true picture of why India is called the ‘Land of Spices’. A metropolitan city like Delhi is a melting pot of different cultures, and you will find authentic regional fare to satiate the appetite of people from all parts of the country. Visit Andhra Bhavan Canteen for a taste of trueblue South Indian fare in this North Indian city. The fluffy idlis they freshly prepare for breakfast and delicious thalis for lunch are hot favourites among the crowd. Yet another »


« restaurant, Pot Belly in Shahpur Jat will bring the flavours of Bihar well within reach. Delhi, with its close proximity to countries like Nepal and Bhutan, offers authentic options that take your taste buds on a whirlwind of a ride to these destinations. Visit Yeti, The Himalayan Kitchen where you can relish a meal prepared in traditional Tibetan and Nepalese style. Yeti specialises in delicacies not only from the North Eastern states of India like Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya, but also Bhutan. Delhi is not just known for its mouth-watering street food, but also offers excellent dining options to experience the best Indian food in comfort, be it traditional or modern. Consistently voted amongst the world’s best restaurants, Bukhara is housed in the opulent ITC Maurya Hotel. Known for its Northwest Frontier Tandoori cuisine, it also serves the famous Clinton Platter & Obama Platter to recreate the experience these two prolific guests had here!


ABOVE The magnificent Lodhi Colony. BELOW Relishing taste buds in Old Delhi.

Indian Accent has achieved legendary status by becoming the only Indian restaurant to be voted amongst the 50 best restaurants in the world. Reserve a table for an unmatched culinary experience dished out by Chef Manish Mehrotra. Shopping and More: Delhi is a shopper’s paradise. If luxury is your ante, check yourself into the city’s premium malls; Select City Walk, DLF Saket & Emporio that boast a great line-up of luxury brands. If you have some time on your hands, make a visit to Khan Market and Shahpur Jat, where you will find both luxury brands and smaller boutiques by the dozen. Brimming with high- fashion Indian and International brands, it can make any shopaholic go weak in their knees! The biggest and most renowned market in Delhi is Dilli Haat that hosts hundreds of artisans selling the most exquisite handicrafts. It’s a great spot to pick up souvenirs, while making a difference to the local economy. Offbeat Things to do in Delhi: The Mehrauli Archaeological Park & Lodhi Gardens can provide a great escape from Delhi’s hustle and bustle, with its lush green spaces surrounding century’s old architecture. For music lovers, Nizamuddin Dargah is a must on their itinerary. The resting place of one of the world’s most famous Sufi saints, Nizamuddin Auliya attracts Sufi devotees from around the world. Immersing oneself in the soothing sound of live qawwalis (Sufi devotional songs) accompanied by traditional Indian instruments is one of the best experiences whilst in Delhi. Soak in the timeless era of Old Delhi or simply keep pace with the modern vibe and newness of this city. There is an interesting amalgamation of tradition, modernity and individuality that exists here – look closely and your love affair with Delhi is sure to last a lifetime!


JAPANESE HOSPITALITY Palace Hotel Tokyo -highly coveted Forbes Five-Star rating, offering “Palatial Pursuits”.


mbued with understated luxury, sophisticated restraint and subtle Japanese touches throughout, Palace Hotel Tokyo was envisioned and developed as a tribute to design and omotenashi (Japanese hospitality) and is the only Japanese-owned and managed hotel to garner the highly coveted Forbes Five-Star rating – an award recognized worldwide as a prestigious mark of distinction. The hotel’s singular moat-side setting across from the Imperial Palace gardens - a 3.5-square-kilometer green space in the heart of the city - delivers an incomparable perspective on Tokyo’s natural splendor and the skyline that surrounds from every single guestroom, its spa and nearly all of its restaurants and bars. Mere steps away is Marunouchi Naka Dori, a tree-lined boulevard tantamount to New York City’s Madison Avenue and London’s Bond Street – a popular dining and shopping destination for foodies and fashionistas alike. For guests wishing to delve into Japan’s culture, the hotel’s original series of “Palatial Pursuits” packages offer bespoke experiences such as art tours curated by Tokyo’s art aficionados, introductions to the city’s epic culinary culture by fascinating foodie personalities, and insights into Japan’s unique cultural nuances by those who know best.

For more information visit en.palacehoteltokyo.com 137

Healing in the hills Feel the calm that heals you.



nsconced by the Panchalimedu hills in Kerala is Prakriti Shakti, a luxury naturopathy clinic and treatment centre that promises to heal your mind, body and soul. With most people succumbing to the pressures of a demanding work life, it has become increasingly difficult to manage stress and spare some time for relaxation. No wonder, fatigue and lifestyle diseases are not as uncommon as they were earlier. If you are looking to slow down and heal your body, then it’s time to turn to nature. Take a rejuvenating break from your hectic life and experience calm and tranquility amidst lush environs at Prakriti Shakti – the Clinic of Natural Medicine by CGH Earth. Experience ‘Prakriti Jeevanam’, as you wake up to the sound of birds chirping and water flowing

ABOVE Heal in the midst of nature. RIGHT Return to a balanced you. BELOW Naturopathy for holistic healing.

amidst verdant surroundings. Awaken the healer within you and embark on a journey of self-care and rediscovery! The science of naturopathy relies on the power of selfhealing and Prakriti Shakti taps into this potential in the best possible way. The therapies provided here are drugless and non-invasive and strive to treat the root cause of a condition, thereby restoring health and vitality in your body. The treatment dwells on four essential components: Elements of Nature, Diet, Yoga and Energy Medicine. At Prakriti Shakti, all the treatments are provided under the guidance of a specialised team of doctors and therapists. In a nutshell, it is an empowering and holistic experience that enables mental, physical and spiritual awakening and promotes self-healing. Each of the treatments, including » 140

“And if there is heaven it is here, it is here. Dear caring souls at Prakriti Shakti, I am leaving a part of my heart behind as I love Prakriti Shakti. Words are not enough to describe the immense gratitude that I have for all the loving care and support that I have received during my 21 days here. I am leaving here refreshed and rejuvenated, rested on all levels of my being. Each aspect of the space and therapies were beyond compare. This is the ultimate, absolutely the ultimate in healing of the mind body and spirit.� Meenu, Female 58




• • • • • • • • • • •

Diabetes Hypertension High Cholesterol Weight Management Obesity Stress-induced Disorders Respiratory Diseases Neurological Disorders Musculoskeletal and Joint Disorders Hormonal and Metabolic Disorders Cardiovascular Disorders and Others

If you are looking to experience luxury and health away from the chaos of daily life, head to Prakriti Shakti and take charge of your well-being!

« Hydrotherapy, Mud Therapy, Heliotherapy and Energy Medicine harness the power of nature and boost the healing process. Besides, Yoga is an integral part of Prakriti Shakti’s wellness programme to benefit your health and well-being. Diet is another significant aspect of the treatment offered at Prakriti Shakti. Yes, the diet is customized to your body’s requirement and focuses largely on gourmet raw food to energize and revitalize the mind and body.

OPPOSITE Learn to create the most nutritious food you’ve ever had; raw food diet - Uncooked, Unprocessed and Organic; a sanctum for your union with nature. THIS PAGE Reconnect with nature; tap into your body’s healing power with yoga.

PRAKRITI SHAKTI Panchalimedu Idukki District Kerala Phone: +91 90726 10130 Email: admissions@prakritishakti.com prakritishakti prakritishakti Prakriti_Shakti www.prakritishakti.com 143

Resort Rio & Rio Royale The ultimate luxury experience.


verlooking the blue waters of the Baga River is Resort Rio, a five-star deluxe property that’s renowned for its stunning architecture and warm hospitality. Only a few minutes from the popular Baga beach, this resort in Arpora is within close proximity to Goa’s best nightclubs, restaurants, flea markets and beaches. Resort Rio has also been repeatedly awarded the Trip Advisor Excellence certificate for its unmatched luxury and modern amenities. Preferred by both business and leisure travellers, Resort Rio has both Superior and Luxury Rio rooms that are tastefully designed for a comfortable stay. Besides, one can also opt to stay in the 3- & 4-bedroom luxury villas and offer the highest level of opulence and comfort. Unwind with your friends and family in these massive villas that come with a beautiful veranda, where you can sit back and relax with a book! There are also four-bedroom luxury villas with a private plunge pool that offer the best escape from the hustle and bustle of routine life. Spread across a massive 2,800 sq feet, each villa boasts a huge living area, four bedrooms and a spacious veranda. The 1100 Sq ft luxurious palatial suites are the perfect blend of traditional elegance and modern design. The Rio

ABOVE Resort Rio Suite Double Bed Room. BELOW Pickled Mango – Multi Cuisine Restaurant.

Suites boast a spacious living area and a separate bedroom with a king-sized bed. The huge marble bath tub fit for 2, a rainwater shower and a balcony that affords stunning views of the famous salt pans of Goa! There’s also a separate luxury wing - Rio Royale wing, with 60 palatial suites inspired by the ancient Khajuraho temples. »



« At Resort Rio, there’s no way you can stop yourself from indulging at the choicest restaurants. Mamma Mia offers authentic Italian cuisine – from sumptuous antipasto to delicious pizzas baked in a traditional wood-fired oven. If you love seafood, there are numerous options available on the menu at Aagor, a typical Goan shack by the poolside and overlooking the famous salt pans of Goa. Pair your food with the finest selection of wine and you are sure to have a great time! End your meal with one of their flavourful desserts and go straight to heaven! Besides, there is a pure vegetarian restaurant, Jalsa, that serves delectable Gujarati, Jain and Rajasthani fare. Awarded by Times of India Good Food Guide for over six consecutive years. The restaurant offers the best mouthwatering Gujarati and Rajasthani thalis.” The 24-hour Rio Café Bar offers the best ambience to relax and unwind with their range of specialty coffees and light snacks. That’s not all – the desserts on the menu are heavenly and will leave you wanting for more! The evenings can be enjoyed with an exotic cocktail or may be champagne, whatever floats your boat.

ABOVE Resort Rio, Goa. RIGHT Resort Rio, Lobby view BELOW Rio Royale Lobby.

Step into Bar Terrazzo to sip on some of your favourite cocktails, as you soak in the views of the Arpora salt pans and the Baga creek. If you are looking for culinary delights from the world to satiate your appetite, make a stop at Pickled Mango that serves Indian, Goan, Chinese, Mexican, Thai, Arabic and Continental dishes that are prepared from the freshest ingredients. Host the most opulent wedding amidst a stunning backdrop for your guests at Resort Rio and Rio Royale. The beautiful architecture, top-notch hospitality and specialty restaurants will truly make it an affair to remember. That’s not all – the Resort also makes for a perfect venue for meetings, conferences and banquets with its state-of-theart facilities! Another claim to fame is the award-winning Zaara Spa that offers treatments to relax the mind, body and soul! Discover the range of Ayurvedic treatments to soothing your nerves and experience pure bliss. There’s also a beauty salon, spa pool and a foot massage lounge for those days when you need a dose of pampering.

www.resortrio.com 146

The The Luxury Luxury Spa Spa


Contact Details:+91 Details:+91 832 832 2267300 2267300 // +91 Contact +91 832 832 6658700 6658700 E mail: reservations@resortrio.com/info@zaaraspa.com E mail: reservations@resortrio.com/info@zaaraspa.com www.ResortRio.com/www.zaaraspa.com www.ResortRio.com/www.zaaraspa.com

The Caribbean Riviera Maxime Jacovella finds out why St Barth remains the culinary jewel in the Caribbean crown.


ompetition for the title of best Caribbean island is getting fiercer and fiercer. Destinations such as Saint Kitts, Anguilla or even Saint Lucia are increasingly establishing themselves as havens of luxury with the aim of catering to the rich and famous. But make no mistake: in terms of gastronomy, luxury boutique hotels, nightlife and turquoise-coloured bays, the sophisticated yet unpretentious island of Saint Barthélemy, or St Barts as New Yorkers affectionately call it, remains far ahead of its rivals. Indeed, in a truly unique style, this overseas collectivity of France blends the glitz and culinary clout of the French Riviera with the subtleness of the Hamptons, set in a quintessentially laid-back West Indies environment. Exclusive destinations are hard to get to, and St Barth especially is no exception to the rule. This is mainly due to the island’s only airport and the spine-tingling landing strip, which is renowned for being no longer than that of an aircraft carrier. With this in mind, I get chatting to two locals who, with a cheeky grin on their faces, confess to me that not even the Maverick character from the film Top Gun could land his F-14 jet there. We nervously board our tiny propeller-driven aircraft operated by Winair, a pioneering local airline, which connects Princess Juliana International Airport on Saint Martin, to St Barth 10 times daily. One more turn on the runway and we are off, paradise awaits! Following a sweat-inducing landing, we are finally on our very last leg of the journey. Nothing more than a 10-minute

airport transfer stands between us and our beautiful private cottage at Hotel Guanahani & Spa, part of the Leading Hotels of the World collection. As we wind ourselves around the edge of the island and rollercoaster up down its lush rolling hills, I can’t help but notice a spectacular array of turquoise bays with powdery golden-sand beaches each lined with rows upon rows of blooming palm trees, chic bars and popular restaurants. Discerning architectural and design features that are unlike any other style we have seen on neighbouring French-owned islands can be distinguished, and to be honest are more akin to something out of a Stieg Larsson novel, the Swedish master of suspense. Chatting to our driver about them, I discover that St Barth was under Swedish colonial rule for just under 100 hundred years, which explains the town of Gustavia’s somewhat Nordic architecture. This unique, multi-cultural heritage is held on to very dearly by the locals and embodied by the wellrecognised Three Crowns, present in the coat of arms of Sweden and also on the island’s flag. Two flights and one van ride later we finally discover with great eagerness the wonderful charm of the Guanahani – which means ‘welcome’ in the local Taino dialect spoken here many moons ago. The hotel has the luxury of being situated on its very own peninsula offering breathless views of Marigot Bay to the left, where waves roll in from the Atlantic, and Grand Cul de Sac to the right, a reef-lined protected lagoon offering perfect kite boarding and snorkeling conditions. As we step into the comforting environment »



« of the open-air lobby, its walls lined with vintage National Geographic covers and with a front desk that resembles a 1920s luggage trolley, Martein, the property’s charismatic managing director, greets us with a warm welcome and a King Kong Splash, the hotel’s signature cocktail, which at that stage in our journey was exactly what we needed. Martein, who has been at the forefront of the hotel’s four-year and $40m renovation, speaks to us about the amelioration brought to the hotels facilities and assures us that we will have a mesmerising stay. Of that I have no doubt. Winding our way through the lush bougainvillea, hibiscus and palms to our private, creole-inspired cottage, we take in the beautiful scents on offer to us and admire the ways in which designer Luis Pons transformed the Guanahani using the Panama hat (yes, the headwear worn so charmingly well by Sean Connery in The Man Who Would Be King) as his pedestal. I’ll get back to this fun fact in a moment. After several hours basking by our cottage’s private pool, I catch up with Martein once more, this time for a succulent tasting menu at the resort’s signature restaurant Bartolemeo, headed by Italian chef Nicola di Marchi. Following some brief yet necessary smalltalk, we get down to the nitty gritty I first question him regarding Pon’s quirky sources of inspiration, especially the vision behind the Panama hat that I find so curious. In a bold but assured manner, he tells me, “Its elegant and refined way make it the perfect integration of form and functionality,” rendering it an object of great inspiration and key to the resort’s identity 150

PREVIOUS PAGE Marigot Bay. ABOVE Cul-de-sac lagoon at Le Guanahani. BELOW Le Guanahani white sand beach.

and culture. Slightly perplexed, I think back to my grandma’s dictum: “Sometimes it’s the small things in life that matter.” Somewhat clichéd, but devastatingly accurate. When on St Barth, the best and most efficient way to see the island and appreciate its dazzling beauty in its entirety is by renting a car or scooter. Top Loc Rentals has an excellent range on offer and will give you the full lowdown on where to go and what to do. After picking our Mini Moke, the ultimate St Barth ride, we head straight away to the island’s best-kept secret, Colombier Beach, where resident hawksbill turtles are almost a guaranteed sight. This impeccably kept and »

TRAVEL « blissful beach can either be reached by boat or via a raggedy little footpath, adding to the sense of immersion and escape. As you descend, look out for the colourful and almost prehistoric looking iguanas and the friendly red-footed tortoise. After a testing day of being beach bums, we carry on our culinary voyage that evening with a stop at Maya’s, a well-established restaurant run by the eponymous chef who grew up on the neighbouring French island of Martinique but trained in France; and Randy her husband and the maitre d’hotel. Maya’s, which has been running for close to 30 years, is considered an institution by returning visitors and prides itself on serving wonderfully fresh creole food by the water’s edge. Keen to know more about the island’s past and bestkept secrets, I catch up with Nils Dufau, president of the Territorial Tourism Committee of Saint Barthélémy, at Le Tamarin restaurant hoping to unearth some key insights into the island’s beginnings as a jet-set destination, and whether the growth that the island is currently experiencing is sustainable in the long run. Under the branches of a staggeringly beautiful tamarind tree, Nils explains, “Everything started with one family” he says, “well actually two - the Rockefellers and the Rothschilds.” Usual suspects, I think to myself. “They bought some land here in the 1950s for a handful of dollars, and the rest is history” he explains while intermittently tucking into his freshly caught grilled “langouste” and sipping on his crisp rosé with what seems like the garden of Eden as


ABOVE Waterfront beach bar. BELOW The luxurious Guanahani is discretely located on a private peninsula of St Barth.

his backdrop. Concerned with the island’s ability to remain sustainable amid the many construction sites that can be seen among the hillsides, I question him on what exactly is being done to make sure areas of natural beauty remain untouched. Reassuringly, Nils conveys to me that above all, his priorities are to conserve the beauty of the island, making sure that certain areas such as Colombier Bay remain pristine and build-free. “We do not want to develop mass-tourism here, unlike some of our perceived competition in the region. In fact, by law, I am told, the construction of a newbuild cannot be taller than a coconut tree, which makes for an interesting and unusual standard bearer. Finally, as our sumptuous lunch draws to an end, Nils insists on the fact that while there is no doubt that St Barth remains a destination for the Roman Abramoviches and Jay Zs of this world - especially during the week of Christmas and New Year’s Eve, when accommodation is known to quadruple in price - it also offers options for a slightly less extravagant clientele who seek a laid-back, family orientated and nonassumptive vibe. This sentiment is echoed by Ashley Lacour, CEO of Sibarth, a pioneering 37-years-old company specialising in villa rentals with bespoke and tailor-made services, as epitomised by its catchy slogan: “Our Island, Your Way”. Just like you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, Ashley tells me that: “Despite its appearance and reputation, life is casual on St Barth. Someone very famous might drive around in a Mini Moke and go for lunch and a Ti Punch, the classic Caribbean drink, at Le Select”- referring to a bar in Gustavia that provides funky vibes and an eclectic mix of people. Ashley goes on to explain, “While you tuck into a cheeseburger there, you could well bump into local legend and singer Jimmy Buffet. Rumour has it that it was at Le Select that he wrote the lyrics to his signature song, Cheeseburger in Paradise. “And this”, Ashley concludes, “is what makes St Barth ‘St Barth’. The reality here is that we all enjoy living and sharing this beautiful haven of peace. Celebrities who live a casual lifestyle here are not bothered, people are not running after them asking for selfies or whatnot. We are one big family sharing a piece of paradise.” Back at the Guanahani, and after a quick game of tennis, it is time for our long-awaited spa treatment at Spa my »


« Blend by Clarins. The spa area here oozes a sense of soothing serenity and is the ultimate gateway for wellness, peace and absolute tranquility. In a unique way, treatments here incorporate lifestyle factors such as climate, sleep, diet and stress into the development of its formulas. As we enjoy our personalised treatment, we feel the Caribbean zephyr gently impressing our skins, and I am quick to doze off to the melodious sounds of waves rolling in and the gentle breeze whistling through leafy palm trees. Nils had mentioned to me that our culinary soujourn to St Barth would not be complete without a trip to La Case de


ABOVE Spa area and pool. BELOW Room with a view.

l’Isle, Cheval Blanc’s signature restaurant, where executive chef Yann Vinsot creates exquisite locally-inspired French food. Here, the design of the restaurant matches the exquisite flavours and colours of the food served. While contemplating the infinite azure of the renowned Anse des Flamands, we indulge in a symphony of incredible food, kicking off with ‘l’Oeuf Parfait”, an egg steamed for 64 minutes at a temperature of 64°C laid on a bed of asparagus and with a drop of caviar on top. The pièce de résistance is ‘l’Agneau Decline de Frères Metzger’ – a slow-roasted lamb shoulder sourced from the famous Metzger Brothers, a high-end meat dealer located in the renowned Rungis market. Sadly, our time on St Barth comes to an end, and as a result I’m made to be shopping assistant at the Guanahani’s very own small luxury goods boutique. While cunningly duped into thinking it was mainly made up of souvenir items, I actually find a curated selection of swimwear, apparel and accessories for men and women. In this moment, my diplomatic and innate negotiating skills come to light as I bargain an hour’s worth of watching her try things on, with one final escapade to one of Ashley’s favorite parts of the island - the rugged and wild l’Anse Toiny, which he tells me offers perfect waves to surf and is renowned for being slightly off the beaten track. At the end of a windy and dusty track, we find recently renovated Hotel Le Toiny’s beautifully landscaped beach club garden, where we enjoyed yet another mouthwatering lunch and our last sunkissed afternoon on St Barth before flying back to London the following day.

Where home feels like a getaway Step in to the newly opened Beach Rotana Residences, the luxury apartments adjacent to Beach Rotana Hotel Abu Dhabi, where the comforts of home and 5-star luxury seamlessly blend into an unforgettable stay. Featuring waterfront views, this new destination is designed to make your life an immersive and exceptional experience. Be it through our contemporary apartment designs, 14 international restaurants, Beach Club, exclusive access to our fitness club or shopping in the adjacent Abu Dhabi Mall. Whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure, staying the weekend or for months, you will feel right at home. For reservations or more information visit rotana.com, call +971 (0)2 207 0000 or email beach.hotel@rotana.com

Al Zahiyah, P.O. Box 45200, Abu Dhabi, UAE T: + 971 (0)2 207 0000, F: +971 (0)2 207 0001, beach.hotel@rotana.com


D Maris Bay An oasis of luxury on the Turkish coast


estled in a secluded corner of southern Turkey’s Datca Peninsula is the luxurious D Maris Bay, which is not just a hotel, but a one-of-a kind experience. Ensconced in nature, where the Aegean and Mediterranean seas meet, this oasis of luxury is the perfect escape away from the humdrum of routine life. Surrounded by five pristine white-sand beaches, D Maris Bay offers a visual treat for its guests who live in this 196-room property. While the top-notch hospitality and luxury are sure to blow your mind, it is the scenic journey to this property that makes the experience even


ABOVE Infinity Pool BELOW Accommodation / Rooms (left). Vitality Pool – Mytha Spa (right).

more worthwhile. One can opt for a chauffeured car and navigate their way to the hillside where this hotel is situated. For those who love a shot of adventure, there’s a helicopter transfer available from Dalaman (130 km) or Bodrum (155 km) airport. As you make your way to the hotel lobby, the first thing that strikes you is the stone and dark wood paneling work that lends great aesthetic appeal to this space. A perfect blend of contemporary minimalist style of the West with the exoticism of the East, this property designed by architect Hasan Mingü stands out, especially with his penchant for attention to detail.


This luxury hotel offers nine room categories that differ in size – from 24 sqm to a 290 sqm. The Presidential Suite that sits on the 8th and 9th floors of the hotel is the pinnacle of luxury. It features a teak-lined terrace with private Jacuzzi, contemporary Italian furnishing and a dining room that can fit eight guests. The Premier Sea View Suite affords stunning views of the sea, as the name suggests. Besides, there’s also VIP accommodation available at the D Maris Bay Villa - a 310 sqm property that features sprawling gardens, a private pool, two guest bedrooms and 24-hour butler service. The luxury and level of service offered by D Maris Bay is high-class, but it is the spectacular beaches here that attract a large chunk of visitors. Take a break from technology at the popular Silence Beach and enjoy sunbathing, relaxing under a beach cabana or suspended day bed overlooking the blue waters of the sea. The mornings are perfect to explore the Maris beach that’s lined with secluded bungalows that feature a private Jacuzzi. Guests can also opt for a relaxing massage in the privacy of their cabana! D Maris Bay is a gastronomy hub for the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts with its world-famous offerings

ABOVE The Silence Beach (left). VIP Helicopter Transfer (right). BELOW Swing on the Maris Beach (left). Presidential Suite – Terrace (right).

- Zuma,Manos, La Guerite and Nusr-Et. The breakfast spread served at The Terrace is fresh and delicious and can be enjoyed with a freshly squeezed glass of juice or some black Turkish tea. Indulge in a meal at Maris Kitchen that specializes in world cuisine. Zuma, the brainchild of Rainer Becker, takes its inspiration from informal izakaya-style Japanese cuisine, where chefs sear salmon for sushi and tataki on the robata grill. The undoubted star is Nusr-Et helmed by Instagram sensation, Chef Nusret Gökçe that offers a gastronomical experience like no other! For a more Côte d’Azur-inspired meal, look no further than the classic French fare menu at La Guérite. If your palate craves seafood, make a stop at Manos and you won’t be disappointed. D Maris Bay, which is associated with Bodyism, the world’s leading health and well-being specialists, is also known for the Mytha Spa that provides tailor-made facial and body treatments for both men and women. Come be a part of this immersive experience that offers luxury and comfort like no other!




UPGRADING REAL ESTATE Engel & Völkers Private Office, the international real estate network has extended it’s superior local knowledge within Spain and Andorra.


ngel & Völkers has expanded its network of high standing services in Spain and Andorra by including the first residential market among the services of its Private Office division. The German company has selected some real estate agents from the Market Centres of Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia, which due to their success and network of contacts, have become part of this division. With this implementation the company reinforces its premium service which already existed in Iberian top locations like Mallorca, Marbella, Ibiza and Andorra. The entire presentation took place at the business centre that the company has in the capital of Spain through a work seminar that ended with a culinary experience at the prestigious Coque Restaurant in Madrid.

APPOSITE Barcelona. E&V ID: W-028YKD and W-028YK7. ABOVE, LEFT Madrid. E&V ID: W-02AB76. ABOVE, RIGHT Valencia. E&V ID: W-028V6W. BELOW Group picture of the culinary experience at Coque. RIGHT Madrid. E&V ID: W-02AB76.

Every estate agent who works for Engel & Völkers has access to all the necessary tools and technological platforms to guarantee their success. Among them, they have a wide workspace in which the network of real estate advisers works by geographically distribution. The Private Office division of Engel & Völkers offers its most exclusive clients a service based on exceptional quality and absolute discretion. This high-standing service includes the portfolio and know-how of its entire international network of property shops, as well as all the agents who have extensive experience in the local market. The range of services goes beyond residential intermediation to include other commercial real estate assets, yachts and airplanes. 159


AN INDONESIAN IDYLL Blending traditional Balinese style with dramatic contemporary Italian design, as well as the latest Michelin star cuisine from Luca Fantin, the Bulgari Resort Bali offers an exquisite piece of paradise.


he Balinese property from Bulgari Hotels & Resorts opened its 59-villa property in September 2006. The breath-taking natural beauty of this secluded setting is matched only by the exquisite design of Bulgari Hotels & Resorts’ newest addition to the luxury group, which debuted in 2004 with the opening of the Bulgari Hotel in Milan. The three key elements that distinguish the Bulgari Resort in Bali are its unique location, the blend of traditional Balinese style with dramatic contemporary Italian design, and the variety of services that have all been crafted with the same attention to quality that has always distinguished Bulgari creations. The resort is comprised of 58 villas with ocean view, 5 mansions offering 3 to 5-bedroom accommodations, and the 1,300-sq.metre Bulgari Villa. All accommodations offer a plunge pool and patio with secluded tropical garden, high technology features and an extensive range of amenities. Besides its unrivalled natural setting, the resort also boasts sophisticated facilities, such as the Italian and Indonesian restaurants, the lounge bar, the Spa and the cliffedge pool, which have been planned to become the vibrant hub of the resort. A Bulgari store, a Balinese arts and crafts store as well as business, conference and wedding facilities complete the resort’s unique features. An impressive Hindu Temple rises on the highest point of the property, designated as a place of worship in accordance with the Balinese

ABOVE Il Bar. BELOW Bulgari Villa. FOLLOWING PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Bedroom; the beach club; the spa; swimming pool.

tradition, while, further inside, the imposing arrival pavilion with its magnificent proportions and masterful design welcomes guests. Italian-inspired and locally influenced-cuisine also distinguish the two poolside restaurants and the cliff-top bar from others in the region. The Sangkar, the Indonesian restaurant, offers authentic Balinese dishes with a selection of international specialties, while the Italian restaurant serves a contemporary interpretation of Italian cuisine »




« in a suggestive and more formal atmosphere. Superior quality of produce, refined techniques and creativity are the fundamental ingredients of the resort’s cuisine. Then there is Il Ristorante by Michelin-starred chef Luca Fantin, an Italian-inspired venue that pays homage to classic dishes from the country. Guarding the same spirit of the successful and award winning, Il Ristorante - Luca Fantin in Tokyo, the restaurant maintains its credentials for being one of most sophisticated dining experiences possible. The menu of the new BVLGARI Il Ristorante - Luca Fantin in Bali, pays homage to traditional Italian cuisine with local, organic ingredients such as tuna, squid, baby pig, pumpkin, corn, lime kafir, mango and coconut. Open for dinner only, the 36-seat restaurant features both Fantin’s signature dishes such as squid ink gnocchi with raw cuttlefish as well as cold spaghetti with caviar and Wagyu beef eggplant, as well as new creative interpretations inspired by the generous richness of the isle of Bali, which include tartare with avocado cream and smoked vegetable, Fassone Beef Tagliata Red garlic and grilled vegetables. The resulting menu characterized by constant research for new colours, tastes and presentations and offers a truly unique dining experience.



L .S . D esig n is a f ull ser v ic e A r c h itec tur e, I nter ior D esig n and P lanning p r ac tic e w ith of f ic es in D ubai and L ond on. Found ed in 2002 by O mar A bd elg h af our L .S . D esig n h as d ev elop ed a d iv er se bod y of w or k f r om lar g e c ultur al, r esid ential, c ommer c ial, and leisur e p r oj ec ts to smaller sc ale installations. L .S . D esig n op er ates at th e inter sec tion of A r c h itec tur e, A r t and I nd ustr ial D esig n. Th e O f f ic e sp ec ializ es in c r eating p ow er f ul and eleg ant solutions, w h ic h ap p ear minimally ef f or tless w h ile r esp ond ing d ir ec tly to c ontemp or ar y d emand s. Th e p r ac tic e h as w or ld w id e exp er ienc e in h osp itality, of f ic e, and sing le f amily r esid ential, r etail and mixed - use d esig n as w ell as ur ban p lanning .


DESIGN THAT GIVES BACK Guy Oliver discusses how design and architecture can be a powerful tool in the healing of a post-conflict economies.


n 1991, Afghanistan was in the middle of a bloody civil war as its neighbour, Uzbekistan, declared independence from the Soviet Union. Everything was in turmoil, yet I was fascinated by the region and the architecture there inspired me. It seemed romantic and otherworldly and it was exhilarating to be there. I saw the restorations of antique adobe buildings of the most incredible scale, and met tile-makers whose artistry with azure and cobalt-blue glazes made the edifices of those buildings shimmer in the intense heat. During the late afternoon we would stop in local markets to sip tea, sitting cross-legged on open-air chaykhanas, elaborately carved four poster beds with colourful textiles hanging about their perimeter screening us from the sun and from quizzical onlookers. My overarching memory was of an exotic and magical place from another time. This experience planted a seed in my mind, but it would be over 15 years before it would bear fruit.

ABOVE The Prince’s Lodge at The Connaught Hotel.

As the son of somewhat strict and religious Scottish parents, the idea of ‘giving back’ was instilled in me from an early age. As a boy, I often “volunteered” to do “good works” – helping the elderly or distributing food from the church. Sometimes I would protest but, of course, such resistance was futile in the face of the firm moral guidance of my mother. Now this behaviour is second nature. My parents, who were avid collectors, also taught me to appreciate fine craftsmanship and traditional techniques in art, antiquities and architecture, so for me to find a philanthropic cause that encompassed all of these things would resonate with me deeply. In 2006, an American Muslim friend based in Islamabad asked if I could help bring attention to the plight of Afghan orphans. She wanted to find a way for them to support themselves by learning a skill or craft. When she came to London I introduced her to HRH the Prince of Wales, and she told him of their perilous situation. » 165


LEFT Peacock House in Kabul, prior to restoration in 2005. BELOW Guy Oliver of design firm Oliver Laws.

“A way to give the Kabul project visibility was to design and commission a suite made by the artisans we had trained”

« Then, 18 months later, the prince arranged for me to be introduced to Rory Stewart, who had walked across Afghanistan and wrote his book The Places In Between. Rory volunteered to go to Kabul to help establish a project to preserve some of the precious historical buildings that had somehow survived decades of conflict. That process would involve employing an impoverished local population and retraining them in woodcarving, adobe techniques, ceramics, calligraphy and miniature painting. I spoke with a wealthy family with whom I had worked for more than a decade, and they generously agreed to help support this venture. At the same time, I was in the middle of a £70m design project, restoring and refurbishing London’s The Connaught hotel, so I thought that a way to give the Kabul project visibility was to design and commission a suite made by the artisans we had trained. In 2008, The Prince’s Lodge was completed. I had to beg favours from friends in the RAF to send tools out to Kabul and to bring the carvings back to London, as no international couriers were operating in Afghanistan at that time. To me, The Turquoise Mountain Foundation is one of the best models for post-conflict and post-disaster aid anywhere and now has programmes running in Myanmar and the Middle East. It helps to give men and women an honourable trade that celebrates their own culture and the dignity of being able to support themselves. Ten years later, The Connaught is commissioning a second suite to celebrate a harmonious relationship with the charity and the 70th birthday of its patron. 166

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7/12/18 10:11 AM

Profile for FOUR Magazine

FOUR Middle East Vol. 2 2019  

FOUR Middle East Vol. 2 2019