T H E U K â€™ S B I G G E S T I N D E P E N D E N T T R AV E L M A G A Z I N E
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P H O T O G R A P H B Y M I C H E L E FA L Z O N E . P 4 4
To be the best requires creativity, commitment, and constant innovation—all things we do very well at Sandals Resorts. And one of the reasons we keep getting voted the best all-inclusive resorts in the world is because only Sandals Resorts includes the best of everything. The Caribbean’s most spectacular beaches and decadently romantic suites with private plunge pools. English Guild-trained butlers and world-class service. Premium brand drinks at up to eleven bars, and delectable 5-star Global GourmetTM dining at up to 16 restaurants per resort. More land and water sports than anyone, including golf, waterskiing, and unlimited scuba diving. It’s all included, all unlimited, all the time… and it doesn’t get much better than that.
MORE QUALITY INCLUSIONS THAN ANY OTHER RESORTS ON THE PLANET. CALL 0800 742 742 • VISIT SANDALS.CO.UK COME IN STORE • SEE YOUR LOCAL TRAVEL AGENT
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V I S I T O U R L U X U R Y T R AV E L S T O R E A T 1 3 5 F U L H A M R O A D , S W 3 6 R T Behind the doors of this one-of-a-kind store in the heart of London is a multi-sensory experience waiting to be explored. Immerse yourself in a range of our engaging and interactive experiences and either make an appointment with one of our expert travel advisors, or simply stop by for a refreshment in our Research Lounge.
TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH A SANDALS SPECIALIST, VISIT SANDALS.CO.UK/STORE
FROM OUR HOMETOWN TO YOURS. ALEX S.
28 FOUB ERT ’S P L ACE • LONDON • W1F 7P R DE TRO IT • MI A MI • CHICAGO • LONDON WAS HINGTON DC • LOS A NGELES • S A N FR A NCIS CO SHINOL A .CO.UK
STEFANM., M.,LAKISHK LAKISHK TE’NESHAM., M.,WILLIE WILLIEH.,H.,TITUS TITUSH.H. STEFAN A AR.,R.,TE’NESHA
Associate editor Hannah Summers won Young Travel Writer of the Year at this year’s Travel Media Awards, for the second year running. We're also up for Front Cover of the Year at the PPA Independent Publisher awards next month for our issue dedicated to the refugee crisis. Wish us luck!
hen we set out to create escapism – millions of years ago, it seems now – we wanted to make a magazine that transported Londoners away from the city streets and dropped them into somewhere else entirely. In those days, it helped for us to imagine the perfect conditions for picking up and reading a copy – basically the grimmest, most Londony day you can think of. And while I can't see into the future (I'm kidding, of course I can. Well done Leicester City for winning the Champions League, by the way), past form says the November day you'll be reading this on will be a lot like that. Let's face it, the best you can hope for is one of those rare, blue-skied winter days – but either way you'll be chilled to the bone. It's the kind of day that makes me – and hopefully you – start dreaming about lazing around on a sunny beach, idly digging my feet into the sand and drinking an ice-cold beer while… sorry, drifted off there. But if you're planning on doing exactly that, read our guide to the best winter sun on the planet (p34). On another note, we're still in celebration mode after associate editor Hannah Summers won Young Travel Writer of the Year at the Travel Media Awards last month – for the second year running. To find out what all the fuss is about, head to page 44 and read her guide to winning in Las Vegas (without going anywhere near Britney or a casino). e @escapismmag escapismmagazine
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What's going on in travel, including ski stays, boutique getaways and new flights to exotic places
This issue, we've cruised the oceans and marched round the coolest cities to find you the very best trips going
Looking good takes some serious work, so we've put in the effort for you. You're welcome
12 . Photography 16 . Just Landed 21 . Tried & Tested 25 . Short Stay 26 . In Focus: Bristol
34 . Where to go for winter sun Looking to lie on a beach for hours? Or hike in the sunshine? We've got you covered 44 . Alternative Las Vegas, USA Forget the strip in Vegas, and find the dive bars and local food with our help 51 . Essential Guide: Barcelona, Spain Barcelona's a big old city, so where do you start? With this insider guide, of course 58 . Climbing with Kenton Cool Our writer goes climbing in the Swiss Alps with mountaineering don Kenton Cool 64 . Barbados and Bequia, Caribbean One island you've definitely heard of, one you probably haven't. Both winners
85 . Gear 86 . Girls 88 . Guys
WIN GREAT ESCAPES AT ESCAPISMMAGAZINE.COM
COMPETITIONS Holidays are great, but let's face it, they're even better when you don't have to pay for them. Head to our website – escmag.co/comps – for your chance to win city breaks, beach escapes, intrepid adventures and more besides.
D E PA R T U R E S 12 PHOTOGRAPHY 16 JUST LANDED 21 ON LOCATION 23 WORLD NEWS 25 SHORT STAY 26 IN FOCUS: BRISTOL
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Photograph by ###
JURASSIC PERK: When it comes to shots of the Dorset seaside, it’s usually Durdle Door that takes centre stage. Yep, it’s in this shot by Alex Wright, but the real star of the show is the crisp coating of good old British snow that contrasts with the browns and blues of the Jurassic Coast. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, doesn’t it?
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GET THE GLOW: The only thing more miraculous than this Welsh woodland light show captured by Simon Baxter is you managing to pronounce its location, Llanrhychwyn. For more shots like this, pick up a copy of the new book Landscape Photographer of the Year: Selection 10, published by AA Publishing, for Â£25. theaa.com
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JUST LANDED WHAT’S NEW IN TRAVEL
PARK TIME HERO Delta’s new non-stop flight from London to Salt Lake City, Utah, launched this spring, just in time for summer shenanigans. Now the new flight will be helping avid skiers, too, with a chance to check out the slopes of Park City (just 45 minutes from Salt Lake City), Deer Valley, Powder Mountain and more. Book a tour with Ski Independence. ski-i.com
Park City is America's largest single ski and snowboard resort, with over 7,300 skiable acres. It's suitable for beginners, intermediates and pros.
NAME THAT DUNE
Do you stroll city streets looking at multi-floored period houses you’ll probably never own? Yeah, us too. Well if you can’t buy one, at least try staying in one – specifically No.15 Great Pulteney, Bath’s newest boutique hotel. The 31-bedroom retreat is set in five period townhouses, which means you can get your big bay window and Georgian facade fix without the hefty mortgage. Silver linings? From £140 a night. no15greatpulteney.co.uk
Photograph (main) by Kevin Ebi / Alamy; Chris Cooper
If you're looking to take the family on holiday, but the kids aren't tiny tots anymore, Sani Dunes is the place for you. The boutique hotel, opening next summer, is the latest sophisticated hangout in the Sani Resort (which is famed for its familyfriendly facilities) near Thessaloniki, Greece. It’s aimed at those with kids aged 12 and above, so you won’t have to share your giant pool floats with any little ones. From £115 a night. sani-resort.com
PLANT YOUR FLAG Planting a flag in the wilderness is a symbol of achievement. Of course, the meaning of “achievement” can vary from person to person. For some, climbing Mount Everest is worth planting a flag, while for others just getting through a night in a tent in the backyard might be worth celebrating.
With Hurtigruten’s new Explorer fleet, you will have the chance to plant your personal flag in some of the most exciting and remote areas in the world – like Antarctica. This enormous continent of ice has no permanent human residents, but is home to millions of penguins, seals, whales and seabirds. Antarctica is different from anything you have ever experienced and is the perfect destination for adventure, the ideal place to connect with your inner explorer.
£500pp on board spend credit applies to Explorer voyages to Antarctica departing in 2017, booked by 31 December 2016. Offer can be changed or withdrawn at any time. New bookings only. Full booking terms and conditions are available at www.hurtigruten.co.uk.
© Marsel Van Oosten
BOOK YOUR 2017 EXPLORER VOYAGE TODAY
UP TO £500PP ONBOARD CREDIT Book by 31 December 2016 © Hurtigruten
—— In 1911 Roald Amundsen planted the Norwegian flag at the South Pole. Now it’s time for you to plant yours.
Start planning now at
© Marsel Van Oosten
JOHANNA DAVIDSSON is a nurse and a modern explorer. As part of Hurtigruten’s Plant Your Flag campaign, she will be the first Swede to ski solo to the South Pole without reinforcements. Johanna will plant her flag on the South Pole to inspire everyday people to connect with their inner explorer.
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REAL STAND UP GUYS Imagine seeing a beach full of penguins in the blazing sunshine. You can, you know, and you don’t even have to fly to Antarctica for it. You do have to fly to Cape Town, South Africa, though – which is no bad thing considering Thomas Cook’s new direct flight there. Commencing 15 December, it’ll land you in a city crammed with glorious beaches, sweeping mountain-top vistas and an excellent bar scene. Oh, and penguins. From £599.98. thomascook.com
While there's obviously a lot of wildlife to be seen on safari in South Africa, visit Cape Town and you'll spot its resident penguins waddling up and down the beach .
LEAP OF FAITH Keeping fit doesn’t have to mean hours of pavement pounding on the grey streets of London. Take things up a few levels with Wildfitness’s latest urban retreat, a three-day parkour course in Berlin. The retreat will see you mastering martial arts and mindfulness, while also leaping from building to building in fullon fitness sessions. Sightseeing doesn’t get better than this. From £865pp including accommodation, check the website for new dates. wildfitness.com
You could see the Northern Lights while standing on a cold snowy street, or you could see them from a tiny cabin that’s been towed onto a secluded lake by a snowmobile. New from Best Served Scandinavia is a four-day tailor-made tour to Finnish Lapland, which includes two nights in a family-run hotel and one night bedding down in a cosy box on Lake Inari in the heart of the aurora zone. You don’t have to peer through the glass to catch a glimpse either – there’s a personal hot tub for prime viewing. From £670pp with flights. best-served.co.uk
There are generally over 200 nights of stunning light displays a year in Finnish Lapland, making it one of the best places you can travel to in search of the Northern Lights.
Photographs by (Penguins) Ariadne Van Zandbergen/Alamy; (parkour) Florian Büttner
BEST SEATS IN THE HOUSE
JLA provided us with an itinerary which completely fulfilled our requirements. A superb and memorable holiday. JS, London
Torres del Paine, Chilean Patagonia
As the UK’s No1 specialist in travel to Latin America, we’re proud of the awards and press coverage we’ve won during our 36 years. But what means even more to us is the praise we receive from our clients.
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TRIED & TESTED Give your skin some lovin’ after too much sun or snow
AVEDA STRESS-FIX CREME CLEANSING OIL, £17.60 (200ML)
Did you know you can wash away stress? It’s true, and you can soften skin, get clean and smell like sage and lavender while you’re at it. aveda.co.uk
Don’t let the bed-hopping put you off, ‘The Affair’ is back with a bang on Sky Atlantic and Montauk is its real star #03 MONTAUK, USA
We know, we know – nothing beats a good ol’ summer fling. But when you’re a selfish schmuck-turned-star-novelist (and you have a wife and four kids), those start to sound like some famous last words. If you’ve been watching Stateside smash-hit The Affair over the last couple of years, you’ll have noticed that beyond
Photographs by Craig Blankenhorn/Showtime
AT YOUR SERVICE: Ruth Wilson and Nicolette Robinson in The Affair. The series is filmed in Montauk, which is located in New York State
the extra-marital sack-hopping and family politics (and we’re not talking “are we nearly there yet?”), Montauk’s actually the perfect escape from the Big Apple. Just two and a half hours by car from that Brooklyn brownstone, the roaring seas and vast beaches are capped by lovely locals, nature reserves and the cutest wood-clad shack of a regional train station we’ve seen this side of the wild west. What’s more, if you think you can cope with a family lunch without falling for one of the waiting staff and embarking on a life-changing, family-destroying affair, the Lobster Roll café from the show’s first series actually exists in real-life – and its steamy seafood looks pretty damn tempting if you ask us. So, if you’re looking for an East Coast stayaway with style and sub rolls, cheat on New York next READ MORE AT summer. We won’t ESCAPISMMAGAZINE.COM tell a soul, honest. e
SÓLEY KISSTU MIG HEALING BALM, £18 (15ML) Packed with a powerful blend of handpicked wild Icelandic healing herbs, this all-in-one ointment soothes lips and wakens tired eyes. soleyorganics.com
AESOP BLUE CHAMOMILE FACIAL HYDRATING MASQUE, £33 (60ML) Slather this on your dry skin for some max hydration after a day lazing on the beach or hitting the slopes. aesop.com
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No offence, but you look like you could do with a little kip. Luckily, thanks to a brand new site from a pair of Spanish siesta-specialists, we’ve found a whole new meaning to ‘Netflix and chill’
e know how it is – most of the time all you want from your perfect break is to sit back, lounge out and let the zzzs roll in. If you think you can already hear the wind through the palms, the slowly crashing sea and the, er, softly warbled French commentary on the Pétanque PPF Tour semi finals, it’s not because you’re maxing on the beach in Aquitaine (you should be so lucky), it’s probably because you’ve tuned into the latest streaming sensation, Napflix. Thanks to sleepy-yet-resourceful Spanish siesta lovers Victor de Tena and Francesc Bonet, catching a catnap on a rainy staycation just got a whole lot easier. All
you need to do is head to the most boring video channel on the web, press play and be gently lulled into a deep, tranquil slumber. From documentaries exploring the wonderful world of Tupperware to a day in the life of a koala bear, you can travel the world from the comfort of your coastal cottage in Cornwall (and hopefully catch up on all that sleep you missed in the city). Of course, if you’re an active adventurer up for something a little more high-octane, there’s the visceral epic, ‘Cars in the Rain – Highway’, as well as the intensely convoluted 2011 philosophical smasher, ‘The Tree of Life’, and ‘Code name K.O.Z.’ – the worst ranked movie on IMDB. Try finding chill like that on Netflix. e napflix.tv
SCREEN DREAMS: A woman nods off after a 13-hour pétanque-watching marathon (presumably)
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Look at pretty pictures on Instagram and do some good while you’re at it? That sounds easy enough even for us…
Photograph by Getty Images
Love the planet? Us too. Five photographers from five continents explore the very real effects of climate change, with breathtaking images that pack a visual and emotional punch.
There’s more to the refugee crisis than what you see reported in the news. @helprefugeesuk helps you learn about the valuable work of volunteers, and suggests ways for you to get involved.
Kindness helps shape the world, and the little things count. See how you can be kind with your actions via this account – perhaps by leaving art to be discovered by a stranger, or visiting an elderly person.
Let us offer you a traditional island welcome. Let us wrap you in our world of exquisite luxury. Let us offer you a traditional island welcome. Let us delight your children daily with the unexpected. Let us wrap you in our world of exquisite luxury. Let us bid you a fond farewell and a welcome return. Let us delight your children daily with the unexpected. Let us bid you a fond farewell and a welcome return.
Intrigue You â€“ The ideal package to create fond memories for the entire family. Includes breakfast for two and third night complimentary. For reservations, call The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain at +973 17580000 Intrigue You â€“ The ideal package to create fond or visit ritzcarlton.com/bahrain memories for the entire family. Includes breakfast for two and third night complimentary. For reservations, call The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain at +973 17580000 or visit ritzcarlton.com/bahrain
Rate is per room/per night, based on single or double occupancy, cannot be combined with any other offer and is not applicable for rewards redemption. Breakfast is in La Med restaurant only. Advanced reservations are required. Void where prohibited. Offer is subject to availability.
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SHORT STAY SWAN HOUSE, HASTINGS With its quirky antiques shops and brand-new pier, Hastings is a coastal spot worth your attention, says Hannah Summers What's the score? You heard it here first. OK, maybe you didn’t, but we’re backing up the others – Hastings, that once down-and-out seaside town, is getting cool. It started long before the new pier (which is excellent, by the way), but has since gathered momentum. There are new restaurants, coffee shops, excellent antiques shops and a handful of pretty hotels – one of which is the very lovely Swan House.
Inside Located on a quiet backstreet in Hastings Old Town, this B&B, which was built in 1490, is a cosy maze of narrow corridors and beams with impeccably designed bedrooms and a comfy lounge area. It’s smart This part of Hastings without being glitzy, roughly corresponds and bedrooms to the size of the are dressed with town prior to the 19th century. Expect antique wardrobes, an arty atmos, natural-hued fabrics pretty streets, and and statement a long promenade with a cycle path. headboards on
the ultra-comfy beds. Each bedroom is a different shape and individually designed, with locally made potions in the bathroom.
The food Breakfast is an absolute feast – one which you can tuck into in the peaceful patio garden or in the lounge inside. Expect scrambled eggs (from Netherfield), haddock and kippers from Peter’s Eastern Fish Shop in the old town, yoghurt from Northiam Dairy in nearby Rye, bagels and French toast. Enjoy it with a side of morning papers. Delicious, and very chilled.
Nearby About 30 seconds from Swan House you’ll find some of Hastings’ best antique shops, selling everything from lamps to teacups. Prepare to give up hours rummaging through them. Make sure you get to the famous Maggie’s for fantastic fish and chips, where fuss-free decor comes with the biggest, best battered cod you’ve ever seen. The pier is everything a pier should be and everything Brighton’s isn’t – no brash noises, garish stalls or tacky knick-knacks – just lots of wide open space and a bar with a view. Perfect. e
SWAN HOUSE ADDRESS SWAN HOUSE, 1 HILL STREET, HASTINGS. TN34 3HU
PRICE FROM £80 A NIGHT GETTING THERE 90 MIN TRAIN FROM VICTORIA
SETTLE IN: [from top] Make yourself at home in Swan House's stylish bedrooms, patio and lounge
Hastings, that once down-andout seaside town, is now getting cool. You heard it here first…
INFO SWANHOUSEHASTINGS.CO.UK OR CALL 014 2443 0014
IN FOCUS: BRISTOL
DOWN BY THE WATERFRONT
With the River Avon running right through it, Bristol has plenty of its action at the water’s edge. But there’s tons going on wherever you are, so get ready to explore, says Tom Powell 26
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off Bristol in the most wallet-friendly of ways. What’s even better is that this branch has a cute little shop selling hard-to-comeby Middle Eastern ingredients. A belly full of mutton sharwarma and home-blended za’atar to take home? Yes please. When it comes to dinner, head to The Ox in the city centre for Bristol’s best bavette, or hike up to Bulrush in Kingsdown for no-nonsense fine dining. You’ll also find award-winning small plates at the latest trendy upstarts No Man’s Grace just around the corner in Cotham. If you’re all done with the hustle and bustle and you’re still not full yet, the half-hour drive out to The Ethicurean near Wrington is more than worth it for a five-course feast sourced from the produce grown in the restaurant’s walled garden and reared in the wide valleys beyond.
Photographs by (main) Philip Clark; (The Ethicurean) Jason Ingram
We know the feeling. You’ve just woken up in a city you hardly know – you’re tired, delirious and it’s time for brunch. Don’t panic – Brew Coffee Company, which sits pretty on Whiteladies Road (that’s up the hill between Bristol University and Clifton Down) has your back. The team are specialists in local bites and all things caffeinated, and stock brews by local singleorigin specialists Clifton Coffee Roasters. If you’re still anywhere near Clifton by lunchtime, make a beeline for Souk Kitchen. Expect moreish (and Moorish – sorry) mezze, pan-fried fish and North African grub that tells Ottolenghi to keep his eyes
Bristol might be famous for Massive Attack, dubstep and Skins (not necessarily in that order), but there’s plenty more to the city than trip-hop, wobble bass and lairy teenagers – we promise. Kicking things off, head to Stokes Croft, the most raucous, cider-soaked and arty part of the city. There you’ll find an abundance of barcades and craft-beer boozers. Start at Canteen – a busy community hub-cum-live music bar with a laid-back vibe. Last time we went we were all over the local cider (they poured our pint straight from the box) and the pair of fiddlers playing Kanye covers. If you’re up for dancing after a couple of tipples (us too), roll down the road to Lakota, an unashamedly brash club a couple of minutes from the Bearpit (that’s the eerie ensemble of underpasses that’s Bristol’s answer to Elephant & Castle) – it’s been blaring beats and bass for 27 years now, and doesn’t look like stopping anytime soon. For something a little pubbier, make your way straight to The Christmas Steps – a cosy little boozer at the foot of the quaintly paved, er, Christmas Steps – recently revamped, it’s famous for its killer jukebox. Meanwhile, if you’re on the other side of the old city, there’s Small Bar, a simple, unpretentious alehouse where you’ll find 39 micro-brewed beers The Christmas Steps on tap. Once you’ve that this pub is tried them all, you’ve named after are a got two options: The set of steep-slanted stairs created in Milk Thistle if you 1669. Many of the like sipping awardpretty buildings that winning cocktails flank the narrow walkway are listed. in flirty French
boho interiors, or Thekla if you fancy, erm, dancing to pop bangers on a boat (we know which we’d prefer).
Shop Ever get sad because your coffee shots aren’t quite right? Us too. Worry no more, just ramble on down to Two Day Coffee, a cool little roastery Wapping Wharf perched on St is a brand-new Michael’s Hill. It’s area that’s been cute, it’s quaint, and developed on Bristol’s harbourmost importantly – side. It features you can blend your shops, independent restaurants and resi- own beans. dential apartments. Heading into town from here, you’ll want to check out Bloom and Curll – an eccentric second-hand bookshop with an impressive selection that’ll keep you occupied if you’re in boring company on the train home. Next, canter down the Christmas Steps and along the ironically narrow Broad Street to St Nicholas Market – a beautiful Georgian covered market full to the rafters with fine foods and freshly cooked fare. Once you’re done gawping and gulping, head across the river to Wapping Wharf, where you’ll find the Bristol Cider Shop’s brand-new premises, perfect if you like to dabble in all things apple.
RIVER CITY: [clockwise from main] Bristol docks; North African dishes at Souk Kitchen; The Ethicurean
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CULTURAL OASIS: [left] Clifton Lido; [above] a stallion by Daphne Wright at Arnolfini arts centre
Do The best way to start any Bristol day is at Clifton Lido – the once-rundown public baths is now complete with a spa, sauna and top-notch swim and breakfast package. Nearby, the Clifton Downs are perfect for a bracing and windswept autumn walk, and have some pretty incredible views of the suspension bridge and Avon Gorge from Clifton Observatory hill. Talking of views, clamber to the top of the slim yet ornate red brick Cabot Tower in the middle of Brandon Hill (just off Park Street) and you’ll be greeted with the best panoramic views in the city. That’s if you can manage 105ft of narrow, calf-shredding spiral stairs to reach the top. Once you’ve wandered back through the gorgeous parkland, catch a show at St Georges – a converted chapel that’s now one of the UK’s best-loved jazz and touring theatre venues. Sip drinks in the converted vaults before heading upstairs to the concert hall, a pew-lined chamber with the
Both offer bumper breakfast buffets and drop you right in the heart of the action. Book a privilege room for a seriously spacious stay and the best city views. Similarly central, but an altogether different experience, is Rock & Bowl Motel. Set above a bustling bar and bowling alley, and near to all of Bristol’s best nightlife, this one’s definitely for the night owl in you. With beds from a tenner, discount pizza and free tenpin for guests on Mondays, it’ll literally, er, bowl you over. For a good night’s undisturbed sleep and access to the quieter, more upmarket neighbourhood of Clifton, try Number 38. The ten-room townhouse has everything you’d expect from a boutique B&B, as well as great views across the rooftops towards the city (or the gorgeous Clifton Down if you’re unlucky enough to get a room that faces the other way). e Great Western Railway offers return fares to Bristol Temple Meads from £37.30, gwr.com. See visitbristol.co.uk for more trip ideas.
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Stay If you’re looking for carefree comfort in the heart of Bristol, either of Mercure’s two city centre boltholes are perfect places to rest your pretty head without dropping your entire payslip. Take your pick between river views, roll-top baths and sensual spas in the Redcliffe-based Mercure Holland House, or a quiet refuge slap bang in the middle of the old city at Broad Street’s Mercure Grand.
Photograph (lido) by A Pattenden
Culture addicts will find plenty of art throughout the city, particularly around the harbour
best acoustics we’ve heard anywhere. For a fix of Shakespeare, make your way to the Tobacco Factory Theatre. As well as a studio theatre, there’s a separately-run creative hub-meets-cavernous-real-ale-bar located downstairs As the name that is well worth suggests, this making the trip critically acclaimed over the Avon to theatre and mixed-use cultural Southville for. hub is located in an Other culture old tobacco factory, addicts will find that was built around 1900. plenty of art throughout the city, and most of it is conveniently gathered round the harbourside at the bottom of town. Check out an exhibition at the Arnolfini before heading over to Spike Island to sip char and coffee among the artists in residence. Alternatively, amble around the harbour to the Watershed multi-arts venue for an arthouse cinema that does talks all week and late-night showings on Fridays. Once you’re there, you’re a stone’s throw from At-Bristol, a cave of surprises and sensations that’s more than enough to keep the kids (and the big kids) entertained. We couldn’t say no to that, could we?
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A Peruvian culinary adventure from just £2,945 pp INCLUDING A SAVING OF UP TO £250 WHEN BOOKED BY 18 DECEMBER 2016 Private tour – 9 Days & 7 Nights
Discover why Peru is at the forefront of the international food scene. Cook with a renowned chef in Lima, browse vibrant local markets and sample traditional cuisine in the Sacred Valley. Journey by mountain railway to Machu Picchu, experience the magnificent Andean landscape and explore breathtaking Incan archaeological sites. Highlights
Taste It All Photographs by Xaviera Jaras/PROMPERÚ (main), Jose Caceres/PROMPERÚ (ceviche), Carlos Ibarra/PROMPERÚ (parachute) and Yayo López/PROMPERÚ (prawns)
Peru’s unique blend of cultures has resulted in food that’s delicious and diverse. It’s easier than ever to try it first hand
ith influences from Spanish, African, Chinese, Japanese and Italian settlers, it’s no wonder Peruvian cuisine is held in such high regard, and that the country’s capital, Lima, is widely considered as one of the top gastronomic capitals in the world. London has seen a swathe of high-profile Peruvian restaurant openings recently, from Casita Andina and Mommi to Michelinstarred Lima, but there’s no better way to experience the diverse dishes Peru has to offer than by visiting the country itself. Peru’s distinctly different regions provide a varied and exciting array of foods to explore, from ceviche and tiradito in Lima to the
superlative seafood and cabrito kid meat found on the northern coast, and majaz, plantains and exotic fruit juices from the Amazon. Appetite whetted? The good news is that reaching Peru is now easier than ever. With British Airways’ newly-launched direct flight from London Gatwick to Lima, so you can be in the Peruvian capital kicking back with a pisco sour in no time. ◆
• Introductory tours of Lima and Cuzco • Market visit, cooking lesson and lunch with renowned Peruvian chef • Cooking lesson and lunch in the Sacred Valley • Visit to the Inca fortress at Ollantaytambo • Overnight stay at Machu Picchu • Pisco sour tasting and join a chocolate workshop • Direct international flights with British Airways For more info: coxandkings.co.uk/peru or call 020 3813 5112
Win a culinary trip to Peru
We’ve teamed up with luxury tour and tailor-made travel experts Cox & Kings to offer one lucky reader and a guest the chance to win a culinary holiday to Peru. This amazing prize is inclusive of international flights, transfers, most meals, guided excursions, entrance costs and fourstar and character accommodation based on two sharing a twin room. For your chance to win visit escmag.co/peru
Fit For Purpose Born in Detroit and built to last, Shinola’s luxury goods come with one hell of a story and are ready for a lifetime of use, from hand-assembled watches to vintage-style bikes
t’s a classic tale of redemption: a once-great city, brought to its knees by changing times and priorities, begins to rise again. That’s the story of Detroit, and if the city needed a star, you’d struggle to find a better candidate than Shinola. Founded in 2011, the brand began life in Detroit with a bold mission: to bring manufacturing back to this great industrial powerhouse by creating accessible luxury products, not to mention American jobs, using traditional production processes.
Five years on, the product range has grown to include not just watches but leather goods, bicycles and journals. Whether it’s a handcrafted titanium chronograph, a buttery-soft leather wallet or a porteur-style singlespeed bike, everything Shinola makes is built to last. So focused are they on standards and traceability that each product is individually numbered – the brand’s watches are even guaranteed for life. These are luxury goods made not just to be admired, but to be used and enjoyed for years.
At the heart of this rigorous, hands-on approach to manufacture are local people that are as much a community as a workforce, and factories and workshops that blend state-of-the-art machinery with traditional hand-construction. The Shinola watch factory is a 30,000 square foot space inside a former automotive lab, where a Swiss-trained team assembles intricate movements and watches, while bicycles are built by hand at the Shinola flagship store in historic West Canfield.
P ROMOTI ON
Leather goods, meanwhile – including 50% of the brand’s already-iconic watch straps – are produced in a facility using American-tanned premium leather. When specialist expertise is called for, Shinola partners with other likeminded American brands including Horween (leather, Chicago), Nokona (baseball gloves, Texas) and Leatherman (tools, Portland). When you invest in a Shinola product, you’re not just buying a stunning luxury item you’ll want to take everywhere you go. You’re becoming part of a story and a legacy, and helping secure the future of an American city that deserves to be great once again. ◆
Visit the Shinola Store London at 28 Foubert’s Place, Soho, W1F 7PR, or visit shinola.co.uk to find out more about the brand’s products, processes and philosophy.
What’s in a Watch? Like the best Swiss timepieces, Shinola watches are made with skill and passion, using a process that combines high-tech machinery with labour-intensive hand assembly. With timeless designs that nod to Detroit’s industrial heritage, along with classic watchmaking style, Shinola watches have become instant horological icons. The understated Runwell – and its chronograph and sport chrono variants – is both a trusty daily-wearer and a precisionbuilt luxury item. The Canfield has a sophisticated top-loaded case construction and distinctly American style, while the retro Rambler is an instant sportswatch classic.
EACH SHINOLA PRODUCT IS INDIVIDUALLY NUMBERED – THESE ARE LUXURY GOODS MADE NOT JUST TO BE ADMIRED, BUT TO BE USED AND ENJOYED FOR YEARS 31
Carvoeiro in the Algarve, Portugal
34 WINTER SUN GUIDE 44 LAS VEGAS, US 51 BARCELONA, SPAIN 59 SWISS ALPS 64 BEQUIA, CARIBBEAN 69 TOP CRUISES
Photograph by ###
CHASE THE SUN 34
Sunrise in Penang, Malaysia
Photograph by Sydeen / Getty Images
Had enough of winter already? We know the feeling. Revel in warmer climes on one of these hotter-than-hot getaways Words by Hannah Summers 35
See the temples of Northern Thailand
Break a sweat in the Maldives
A trip to Thailand doesn’t have to be limited to island hopping (although we’re all over that, of course). With Intrepid Travel, you can discover the country’s culture-packed north in a handy group tour that’ll save you both time and money. Departing from Bangkok, you’ll start by heading to explore the World Heritage-listed city of Sukhothai, checking out its temples and eating the famous dish that’s The capital of named after the Northern Thailand city (rice noodles is pretty chilled, cooked in a slightly particularly in comparison to Bangkok, sweet pork broth and there’s plenty of – underrated and historical buildings absolutely delicious). and local countryside to explore. Then it’s on to a home stay in a small Thai village, where you’ll try local food and dancing before moving on to spend a few days in Chiang Mai. There, you can explore rural Northern Thailand by bike, try a cooking class, or explore the temples of Doi Suthep. The trip is eight nights long, and a great way to experience warm weather and the sun on your face, before heading south to the islands if you fancy it.
If lying horizontal on a pristine swathe of dazzling white sand is your kind of winter sun, then move the Maldives up that holiday wish list. The dreamy atoll is chocka with glistening islands and resorts that’ll offer everything from underwater dining and underwater spa-ing, to cocktails in treetops. But even the most avid sunbather can get restless, can’t they? If that’s the case then Cheval Blanc Randheli is the place for you. The 45-villa destination is at the higher end of the luxe scale, with contemporary rooms and private infinity pools. Take a speedboat journey over to its neighbouring island, Maakurandhoo, and you can try the resort’s jungle bootcamp – a hardcore sweat-fest circuit that’ll work off that decadent resortdining in no time. Cross trainer? Treadmill? Not here, thanks very much.
HOW: Intrepid Travel offers an eight-night trip from £595pp including some meals.
Explore the desert in Arizona, US We get it – sunbathing isn’t for everyone. In Scottsdale, Arizona (which has warming mid-20ºC temperatures in the winter), you’re never more than 20 minutes from a hiking trail – pretty cool stuff seeing as you’re staying in a bar- and restaurantpacked city. But it’s not just about discovering the city’s sun-scorched desert on foot – you can get your adventure fix in other ways, too. Try rock climbing, launch a quad bike along the dusty off-road trails of the Bradshaw Mountains, or see the landscape while kayaking the Salt River. If you’d prefer just to look at mountains instead of tour them, check out the city’s newest and coolest hotel. The Andaz is a colourful hotel with 201 bungalow-style rooms, plus strong connections to the art community and pretty sweet views of Camelback Mountain from its pool and sundeck. Because you have to leave at least a little bit of time to catch those rays, right? HOW: Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa offers nightly rates from £288; book adventures via aoa-adventures.com; BA offers return flights from London from £600. ba.com; see experiencescottsdale.com to find out more.
HOW: ITC Luxury Travel offers seven-night stays from £3,809pp including flights and transfers.
Party in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain Party all night, pray all day that you’ll feel normal again. If that’s your gig, and you’re sad the Ibiza season is over, then hop on over to the Canary Islands, where the latest Hard Rock party hotel has just opened. The new property’s set to revamp the island’s nightlife
STRATA FOR TEN: [clockwise from here] ‘The Wave’ in Arizona; Cheval Blanc, the Maldives; Fort Lauderdale; San Andrés in Tenerife
Photograph by (Arizona) Praveen P.N/Getty; (Maldives) Stefano Candito; (Tenerife) Calle Montes/Getty
with Children of the ‘80s parties running each weekend, with some of your favourite throwback performers (the Village People are performing on Don’t forget your the opening night, leg warmers for the while Corona played Hard Rock Hotel’s weekly disco. It’s the in Ibiza this summer). only time you’ll need Fender guitars and them, though, as sound systems will Tenerife has a pretty be delivered to your pleasant climate all year round. room, should you fancy bringing the party back to yours, and after all that you can swing by the spa and treat yourself to a facial, complete with personalised soundtrack (we’ll take Tina Turner’s We Don’t Need Another Hero, please). Frankie says relax, and we couldn’t agree with him more. HOW: Classic Collection offers three nights from £734 including flights, transfers and breakfast.
Get active in Fort Lauderdale, US Sailing, swimming, kite surfing, windsurfing, water skiing, deep-sea fishing, parasailing,
VISIT SCOTTSDALE AND GET YOUR ADVENTURE FIX IN THE SUNSCORCHED DESERT 37
paddleboarding, kayaking… Nope, we’re not just reeling off all the sports we’re rubbish at, we’re telling you about all the activities you can try out on the jade blue shores of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Located just 30 minutes’ drive from Miami, the so-called ‘Venice of the USA’ (thanks to the number of This neighbourhood waterways) is the is located north of perfect place to kick downtown Miami back on Florida’s and – thanks to a recent influx of new beaches, without the restaurants and showy bikini bods cafés and thriving a further down the arts scene – is seen as a hipster area. coast. Our pick is the neighbourhood of Hallandale Beach, where you’ll find a beautiful swimming beach and the Hyde Beach Kitchen – a cool oceanside restaurant. If the lure of Miami is too much to handle, head along the coast instead and check out the arty scene of Wynwood, or the slightly gritty scene – and great gay clubs – of Washington Avenue. Finish your night on a stool at Cheeseburger Baby, then hop in a cab (everyone uses Uber) back home. HOW: Try an Airbnb for a home-away-from-home vibe. airbnb.com; Norwegian offers return flights from £300. norwegian.com
Hit the pool in Abu Dhabi, UAE
eco tour to experience a side of the emirate you probably never knew existed.
holiday that is). Cabin hopping has never been so fun, or so pretty.
HOW: Virgin Holidays offers four-night stays from £924pp including flights and accommodation.
HOW: Norwegian flies to Puerto Rico from £270 return. norwegian.com; book onward travel with Cape Air. capeair.com; sort your sailing with Antlos. antlos.com
Sail the British Virgin Islands Save us your belly laughs, it turns out you can do the BVIs on a relative budget. Fly with Norwegian to Puerto Rico (from £270 return) then book an inexpensive (if you get it together and book in advance) flight to Tortola. The BVIs are all about the sailing, which is fine if your The British Virgin name’s Abramovich Islands are made and you have ten up of more than 50 trillion yachts islands, around 15 of which are inhabited. hanging out in your Tortola is the largest, back garden. If you and it’s where you’ll don’t, then check out find the capital, Road Town. new boat-sharing website Antlos. It enables you to charter boats (and skippers) for a fraction of the price that you would normally pay, and allows others to book onto the same boat to save costs. If no one else books, don’t worry, your trip isn’t cancelled. In fact, you still pay the same price, which means that, in theory, you could be gallivanting around on an eight-person yacht between just two of you (assuming you’ve convinced a mate to join your on
Eat and sunbathe in Malaysia Most capital cities make good hunting grounds for food lovers, and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia is no exception. Travel a little further, though, and you’ll find the city of Penang – a laid-back island with a strong food heritage and Unesco World Heritage status. Visit here and you’ll get to try char kway teow (a fiery wok-fried rice noodle dish with Chinese sausage and prawns), assam laksa (thick rice noodles in a fragrant tamarind-based gravy with local mackerel) and hokkien mee, which is rice vermicelli and yellow egg noodles in a prawn and pork broth with hard-boiled egg. Stay at Cheong Fatt Tze, a boutique hotel known as the Blue Mansion, in George Town, and book into Indigo restaurant, for a swankier meal. Then you gotta hit that beach. Two hours away by coach is Pangkor, home to little fishing villages, deserted beaches and some top seafood. Stay at the boutique Tiger Rock for cool jungle vibes, or book a few nights at the private island Pangkor Laut Resort, for an over-water on-stilts suite, natural spa
Photographs by (Malaysia) Inti St Clair/Getty; (Thailand) Helene Etschberger; (Egypt) Hugh Miller/Alamy
If it’s fly-and-flop all-out luxury you need, try Abu Dhabi. Smoke sheesha in the cafés, haggle in the markets, ride the world’s fastest rollercoaster – then retreat to a beachside suite and just relax. Luxe hotels litter the desert and shoreline, but for sophisticated interiors – minus most of the glitz – the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi, set on a stretch of white manicured sand, is a great choice. Float around in the calm sea, or dip in the hotel’s pool – which is one of the largest in Abu Dhabi – then try a mangrove
TURN UP THE HEAT: [clockwise from here] George Town, Malaysia; on the beach in Thailand; windsurfing in Soma Bay, Egypt
treatments and more epic feasting. HOW: Trailfinders offers nightly rates at Pangkor Laut Resort from £72pp per night. They’ll help extend trips to include Penang, and book flights from £500 return. trailfinders.com
Windsurf in Soma Bay, Egypt While some parts of Egypt may still be off limits, direct flights are still operating to Hurghada, on the country’s Red Sea coast. From there you can head to Soma Bay, a peaceful peninsula that’s about as far in vibe from the clubs and nightlife as you can get. There’s a cluster of hotels to choose from – the Kempinski is great for all-out luxe and lazy river floating, but our pick is the Breakers Surf Lodge – a simple budget option that’s home to messy-haired divers and surfers. In fact, Soma’s reefs attract it’s one of the best a varied array locations in the world of marine life, for the latter, thanks including barracuda, turtles and eagle to high winds and a rays. There are also flat turquoise sea. If various wrecks and that’s not your bag, caves for experienced divers. then you can’t
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ROCK STARS: [above] The Algarve’s bays and beaches provide a warm welcome year-round; [below] dreamy scenes in the Bahamas
fault the swimming and sunbathing either – although don’t expect to get much more action than whatever’s happening in your book. This place is peaceful, in a good way. HOW: Nightly rates at Breakers start from £110 per room. booking.com; Easyjet flies to Hurghada from £150 return. easyjet.com
Walking is great, until the thermometer hits
THE BAHAMAS’ DAZZLING WHITE STRETCHES OF SAND ARE HARD TO BEAT 40
street stalls, bars and secret beaches – while staying in cool Bahamian beachside cottages for £60 or so a night. There’s a reason this is the A-listers’ choice – these absolutely dazzling white stretches of sand are very, very hard to beat. Time to find your own. HOW: Explore Airbnb for cool and quirky stays on the beach. airbnb.com; British Airways offers return flights from £500. ba.com
Surf in the Algarve, Portugal Here’s a hot fact: 300 days of the year are sunny in the Algarve. Ok, so we’re not talking scorching temps, but certainly enough to warm the skin and get you through the winter. If round after round on the region’s endless golf courses is too
HOW: The Hideaway Club is what the name suggests – a hotel set in a remote part of hillside, nightly rates from £65. hideawayclub.com; Pegasus offers return flights from £150.
Beach hop in the Bahamas Just because Simon Cowell, Rihanna and Johnny Depp escape to the Bahamas on holiday, it doesn’t mean it’s off limits for you (unless they are you – hey, guys!). There are plenty of all-inclusive resorts to choose from, but considering you’re going to be spending the majority of the time on the beach and the sea, try the island’s Airbnb options. It’ll give you a great insight into local life – the
FIND MORE TRAVEL ESCAPISMMAGAZINE.COM
Photographs by (Portugal) Juampiter/Getty; (Bahamas) Pablo Pola Damonte/Getty
Walk it out in North Cyprus
The beaches in 40ºC, that is. Visit the Bahamas are North Cyprus during regularly named our winter, though, as the finest in the world. Aside from and you’ll have looking great, they’re some of the most pretty user-friendly, spectacular hiking with water temps averaging 26˚C. trails in the world virtually to yourself. Explore the Besparmak Mountains, flanking the Kyrenia Coast, or the 143-mile Kyrenia Mountain Trail, which divides the country’s coast from its interior. History dots the route – from the 10th-century Kantara Castle and tiny old villages, to monasteries and rugged beaches. When you’re not marvelling at the sites you can be snapping pics of the island’s wild orchids and lapping up the panoramas of the distant Turkish coast.
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Tours Included: Spectacular range of fascinating cultural excursions with admission fees included: Half Day Nicosia Tour Kyrenia Gate, St. Sophia Cathedral, Old Open Bazaar, Free time for shopping in Old town
Full Day Kyrenia Tour with Lunch included Bellapais Abbey, St. Hilarion Castle, Free time in Kyrenia Harbour & Old Town
Full Day Famagusta Tour with Lunch included Ancient Salamis Ruins, St. Barnabas, Traditional carpets shop, St. Nicholas Cathedral, Old Town
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HOT IN THE CITY: [top] Head to Perth for long-haul heat; [right and above] the Djemaa el-Fna in Marrakech and some of its wares
bedrooms are dressed in natural hues for perfect calm after a few hours in the hotel’s surf academy. Hate being told what to do? Rent boards and go it alone.
IF YOU WANT SUN THAT COMES WITH OVEN-HOT TEMPS, PICK PERTH IN AUSTRALIA
Hang with the cool crowd in Fremantle and Perth, Australia
HOW: A five-night stay costs from £450pp including accommodation, evening meals and eight surf lessons. surferslodgepeniche.com. Easyjet offers return flights from £50. easyjet.com
If you want sun that comes with oven-hot temps pick Perth, a laid-back cosmopolitan city in Western Australia, with a bar and restaurant scene as epic as its ocean beaches. Don’t come all this way and neglect the city’s exploding food scene – try Toastface Grillah for oozy, cheesy toasties, Fortune Five for towering bamboo baskets of dim sum, and the newly opened Sweetwater Rooftop Bar in Fremantle for alfresco Asian cuisine. Although Fremantle is officially considered a separate city to Perth, it’s kind of like a suburb – an arty laid-back one, with original architecture, lively markets and craft breweries. When you’re not beaching and eating (try Cottesloe – the Bondi of Perth – and chilled out Leighton beach in Freemantle), take a Convicts and Colonials tour with Urban Adventures: you’ll see the Freemantle Prison and learn about the shady
Bustling Marrakech is a pretty safe bet if you want to feel a million miles away from the English winter – the sights, sounds and smells couldn’t feel further away from London.
criminals and jail breaks of the past.
HOW: Seashells Freemantle is a great option for short-stay holiday apartments in East Freemantle, from £130 per studio per night. seashells.com.au; Qantas offers return flights from £600. qantas.com, book tours with
Devour Marrakech, Morocco Sometimes you just need a tagine, a new leather handbag and a few pretty tiles. OK, that’s not all there is to Marrakech, but they’re some of our top picks. This is the place for great food with a side dish of winter sun. Check out the Souk Kafe for the best Moroccan salads, beef tagine and preserved lemon tagine in town – or, for a quick, cheap dish on the go, it has to be the super-soft, slow-roasted lamb from the stalls in Mechoui Alley. Grab a tea or orange juice from the stalls in the crazy and colourful Djemaa el-Fna, then chill with a refreshing cucumber martini on the roof terrace at Nomad in the Spice Square. HOW: EasyJet offers return flights from £70.
easyjet.com; Royal Palm offers rates from £349. beachcomber-hotels.com e
Photographs by (Djemaa el-Fna) Jan Wlodarczyk/Alamy; (lamps) Chris Cross/Getty; (Perth) Michael Willis/Alamy
boring to comprehend, then try some other activities, namely surfing. On the southwest coast you’ll find some of the best surf spots in Europe – kilometre after kilometre of beaches, wedges and breaks. Check into Surfers Lodge Peniche – it’s everything you wouldn’t expect from a ‘lodge’. Boho
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Including flights, breakfast & private transfers Tucked away at the south end of Patong beach, this popular hotel is within easy reach of bustling nightlife but enjoys a peaceful location with panoramic bay views. Home to a stunning selection of rooms and suites (including the brand new Ocean Wing), excellent facilities and 3 outstanding restaurants, this is a great option for your stay in Phuket.
Including flights, breakfast & private transfers Located on a secluded stretch of Chaweng beach and surrounded by beautiful tropical gardens, this modern resort has just reopened after extensive refurbishment. The resort has great facilities and a range of understated, elegant rooms. Choose between an array of lively bars and restaurants just a 10 minute stroll into Chaweng or enjoy dining at one of the hotels two restaurants.
Including flights, full board & transfers Nestled on its own idyllic island with calm crystal waters and powder white sand, this brand new and luxury resort offers the perfect choice for a dream Maldives holiday. Enjoy the huge infinity pool, a complimentary guided snorkelling tour of the house reef, a relaxing spa treatment or simply unwind with a delicious cocktail while watching a stunning sunset.
• Coral reef runs close to beach • 3 pools • Dive centre • Spa & fitness room
• Idyllic setting with a secluded beachfront • 2 pools • Thai design with a contemporary twist
• Stunning house reef • Relaxed atmosphere • Stylish villas with chic open air bathroom
Tailormade Travel Worldwide 020 7408 9014 First & Business Class Travel 020 7408 9011 trailfinders.com Prices are per person, based on double share & subject to availability for selected May departures.
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The Seven Magic Mountains art installation, just outside Las Vegas.
STILL WI 44
Proving it ainâ€™t all glitz and gambling, Hannah Summers swaps the classic Las Vegas sights for a bit of edge
Photograph by ###
’ll fess up now: the thought of going to Vegas filled me with a little bit of dread. What if I got drunk and got married by Elvis? What if I got even more drunk and got married to Elvis? What if I got drunk, married Elvis, then woke up in bed with a naked tiger? I mean, that’s what happens in Vegas, right? Well, yes and no. I ‘did’ Vegas but I didn’t really ‘do’ Vegas. I didn’t lose a single dollar in a casino, because I didn’t go to one. I didn’t spray champagne over a naked stag at a swanky nightclub because I didn’t meet a stag, or go to any famous nightclubs. I didn’t shop till I dropped, because – yep, you guessed it – I didn’t go into a single mall. Don’t get me wrong, I partied. But instead of joining the masses to dance to a DJ I can’t remember the name of, I abandoned the strip – all 4.2 miles of it – and ventured beyond the neon lights, crowds and casinos to explore the other side of the famous Nevada city. The one with the gritty bar scene, crazy and colourful art, and vast swathes of mountain and desert to play in. It turns out there’s a whole other world outside the strip’s crazy bubble, and you’d be mad to miss it…
INSTEAD OF JOINING THE MASSES TO DANCE TO A DJ I CAN’T REMEMBER THE NAME OF, I SAW THE REST OF VEGAS
The nightlife If going out dressed in swimwear and cavorting with a load of cocktail-swigging stags/hens/youths is your idea of holiday hell, we could probably be friends. I was more interested in crawling Vegas’ dive bar scene, which is mega, and virtually untouched by tourists. Why wouldn’t you want to hang with some leather-clad, born-and-raised locals? Exactly. No more than 15 minutes’ cab ride from the strip you’ll find a cluster of dives down in Fremont, aka the Arts District. Also known as ‘original’ Vegas, it’s a retro-lit neighbourhood where slightly tired old-school casinos and cool art work line the streets. I tried Atomic Liquors – a Vegas institution and former liquor shop, which now exists as a stool-lined bar with bare-brick walls and neon signs. Cocktails are solid and strong – drink them inside or, for prime people Atomic Liquors is the watching, on the oldest freestanding outdoor terrace on a bar in Vegas and warm desert evening. has showbiz in its veins – the Rat Pack For something and the Smothers grungier, head to Brothers used to Beauty Bar, also on drink there after their nightly shows. Fremont Street in
Downtown, and a great place for catching musicians on the up. Leather seats come with over-the-head old-school hair dryers, plus there’s a linoleum floor and gold mirrors, while the outdoor stage is where Imagine Dragons got their break with Radioactive – the band are from the city. My favourite, though, has to be the Double Down saloon, which is so far from what you’d expect from Las Vegas nightlife, you’ll swear you’ve been transported to a grimy rock bar in the depths of Middle America. Bands come from all over the States to play the dimly lit room’s famous stage, and when you’re not shooting tequila or downing a $4 ass juice (yep, that’s a drink) while an emerging band plays, expect a jukebox soundtrack of punk and rockabilly. Forget paintings and photos – hundreds of stickers from past performers decorate the sticky walls.
PARK LIFE: [from main] A metal grasshopper at Downtown Container Park; an excavator at Dig This; a mural of Hunter S. Thompson, author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Michelin-starred tasting menus, champagnedrenched brunches and steaks thicker than your forearm – you name it, Vegas has got it. And then some. But there’s a big old food scene that exists beyond the strip, one that is refreshingly cheap and accessible. Your best bet is Downtown Vegas, and the Downtown Container Park (look out for the giant grasshopper art installation outside). The area’s full of little food stalls, but my pick is Cheffini’s Hot Dogs, with its pineapple relish. If burgers are more your thing, try the
award-winning Glutton’s in downtown, or close to the strip (but not on it, remember) is an In-N-Out Burger, which is rammed with locals at all times of day. Ask for a Double Double Animal Style, In-N-Out is a muchand thank me later. loved California burger chain that’s made its way to the lights of Vegas. It’s a pilgrimage destination for burger lovers, and you’d be crazy to miss it.
Most people visiting Vegas will get their thrills around the casino tables, which ain’t much fun when you don’t know how to play – and losing plenty of dollars is pretty much guaranteed. Instead, get off-strip – and off-road – with a skid around the Mojave Desert. You’ll be kitted out in helmets and strapped into a Polaris RZR XP1000 (essentially a really big engine in a cage-like car with massive tyres) before you tear up the empty, tawny landscape with some very, very fast accelerator-down, light-on-the-brakes driving. You’ll be coated in dust, but it’s 100% worth it for the chance to hoon about in what feels like a giant toy car. On the way there, look out for Seven Magic Mountains – a desert-based art installation from Ugo Rondinone, featuring stacks of neon-spraypainted limestone boulders. From one dusty landscape to the next – do not leave Vegas without heading to Dig This, which is dubbed ‘America’s Heavy Equipment Playground’. Oh, the
Photograph by Getty Images; Hannah Summers; Nik Wheeler / Alamy
YOU’LL BE LED ONTO A PLOT PACKED WITH BULLDOZERS, DIGGERS & EXCAVATORS
ex-racing driver). You can whizz Porsches around a corner-packed race track, but for some added Americana, try NASCAR racing instead. I was dressed in a giant boiler suit and led to a sun-baked oval track with scarily steep sides, where I watched impossibly loud red, white and blue cars tear up the tarmac. Then it was my turn. The only way into the car is via the window, which is best tackled head first. Your seat is adjusted, your steering wheel fitted, and then you turn to meet your instructor – mine was one of the only female NASCAR racing drivers in the country. They aren’t the simplest cars to drive (they pull to the side, and you have that giant, looming wall of concrete to get over), but your instructor will make an awesome, calm co-pilot, who’ll tell you when to accelerate, slow down and overtake. The whole thing was over way too soon – probably because I was driving so damn fast (you get a certificate at the end with your lap times).
The sights No, not a faux Eiffel Tower, a miming Britney or a room full of flashing, bleeping slot machines, but some real-life Nevada State. Turns out watersports on a Vegas trip can go beyond watching the Bellagio’s fountain show or lolling around on a giant flamingo at a pool party. Lake Mead is 24 miles south east of the strip, and it’s the largest reservoir in America. That makes it no less pretty to look at, but it does mean it’s impossible to see all of it at once. I rented a kayak and joined the locals on a peaceful paddle on Lake Mead. If you’re looking for a low-key getaway from the frenzied strip, this is it. But if you like your watersports high-
octane, try jet packing in the shadow of Spring Mountain. You’ll be fitted with a Ghostbusters-esque backpack, then you try to control your ascent from the water into the air using your arms. It’s 500 times harder than it looks, but you’ll end up with a LAD Bible-worthy video. Life goals achieved. The Grand Canyon may be in Arizona state, but one of the best access points is from Las Vegas – via helicopter, of course. You’ll be whizzed over the strip and the suburbs, before making your way towards the canyon, with your chopper pilot spilling facts at you along the way. As you approach the canyon you’ll be treated to a Jurassic Park music crescendo, deposited on a flat bit of rock, and left to absorb the tranquil landscape. Peace and quiet? On a holiday in Vegas? Stranger things have happened… e
NEED TO KNOW Norwegian has launched new flights to Las Vegas from £169 one-way, visit norwegian.com/uk or call 0330 828 0854. Book off-road driving with zero1.vegas; heavy-duty excavator fun at digthisvegas.com; NASCAR racing at drivepetty.com; kayaking via kayaklasvegas.com and tours at maverickhelicopter.com. Caesars Palace offers nightly rates from £148 per room, caesars.com For more information see lasvegas. com/uk, travelnevada.com and visittheusa.com
Photograph by Henk Meijer / Alamy; Hannah Summers
fun I had here. I was breathalysed first (speeding around in a digger while drunk is no joke), shown a little model version of some diggers, then led out onto a big dirt plot packed with D5G Bulldozers, Side Trackers and Smartie-yellow 315C Excavators (my favourite). Prepare to be hooked up with a walkie talkie, so you can chat to your mates in other excavators, and hear an instructor on the ground signal your manoeuvres. Try your hand at ‘basketball’ with giant lorry tyres, spin your cabin or tilt your heavy-duty machine on to its rear end – trust me, you won’t laugh as much as this anywhere else. Plus, there’s something pretty special about passing a London building site and knowing you’d be able to handle a rogue, out-ofcontrol excavator, should the event arise. You never know… NASCAR , or the Continue the thrillNational Association seeking mission over for Stock Car Auto the Las Vegas Motor Racing, is a big deal in the States. Forget Speedway with the watching it – take Richard Petty Driving the opportunity to Experience (named have a spin on the Vegas track yourself. after the famous
RED ROCK: [from main] The Grand Canyon is officially in Arizona State, but it’s easy to access from Nevada; the Mojave Desert
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Gaudi's Sagrada Familia.
Photograph by Ken Kaminesky Photograph / Getty Images by ###
MÁS QUE UN CITY
Looking to see the best of Barcelona? Love a large, chilled gin and tonic? This is probably the only guide you'll need… Words by Tom Powell 51
Fundacio Joan Miró Got your Gaudi fix? Good. (If not, try beautiful Park Güell, pictured.) For even more arty vibes and quirky architecture, make the pilgrimage up Montjuic to the Fundacio Joan Miró. If modern art’s not your schtick, the trip is well worth it for top notch hilltop city views – just take the funicular from Para-lel if you don’t like achy legs.
Photograph by Luciano Mortula / Alamy
Moloka’i SUP Centre
Censored Barcelona Walking Tour
GO PADDLING: Yep, as well as culture and
cuisine, Barcelona has hell of a beach – about time you used it. When you’re bored of the Barri, hit the Barceloneta for serious maxing – and the chillest stand up paddleboarding on the Spanish side of the Med. Because nothing beats seeing the sights from the water. Group lessons from £27.
Forget standard tours, you won’t be taking in anything quaint and belle here. Instead, ducking through the notorious neighbourhood of el Raval, you’ll be shown the sites of the city’s anarchist revolts and despotic history with a nice sprinkling of street art packed in for good measure. Free two-hour tour meets at Plaça Catalunya.
NEED TO KNOW Ryanair flies to Barcelona El Prat from London Stansted from £19.99 one-way, including taxes, see ryanair.com. Access to the city centre is easy – just take the bus to Plaça Catalunya from the airport. Praktik Bakery, is a great boutique bolthole to explore Barcelona on a budget. Economy doubles start from £75, hotelpraktikbakery.com. For something more luxurious, try Grand Hotel Central on the edge of the Gothic Quarter. Superior doubles start from £280, grandhotelcentral.com
Not content with slapping up the freshest fish in town, this sophisticated eatery tucked between Passeig de Gracia and Diagonal is also home to one of the city’s top cocktail bars. If the hardwood banqueting tables, flaming cocktail garnishes and oyster platters don’t win you over, Barcelona’s most audaciously designed loos probably will. bocagrande.catet
TAPAS TREATS: If you manage to beat the queues
to this classic Catalan canteen, you can swing by for salads, tapas and tons of montaditos – that’s tiny slivers of bread topped with prawn skewers, veal sirloin, or whatever else tickles your fancy. Our favourite bites were the squid (andalusian or fritti, we’re not fussy), the cold shell fish salad, and the beers (lots of them). Pop in for a snack and keep on chowing down till you waddle out the door.
SHAKE YOUR TAILFEATHER:
For fresh fish, hanging hams and Barca’s spin on tiger-nut horchata, head to La Boqueria, off La Rambla – even try a cooking course if you fancy yourself as a Spanish chef. Alternatively, if you can’t take the tourist hordes and slippy floors, the quieter Mercat de Santa Caterina offers the same, but with a bonus wavy mosaic roof. Four-hour market tour and cookery class, £60.
Photograph by Luis Davilla / Getty Images
Six luxurious suites, a new way to discover Barcelona
Photograph by Lucas Vallecillos / Alamy
DRINK Bobby Gin
Can Cisa/Bar Brutal
HIGH SPIRITS: If we’ve learned one thing in
BEST BOTTLES: It’s hard to pick a single bar
Barcelona, it’s that Catalans love a G&T. Cue Bobby Gin, where you can slurp bowlfuls of them from an immense menu full of fine gins given a Spanish citrus twist. Our favourite comes infused with mandarin, bitter chamomline and agave nectar. And obviously, where the best drinks go, the tapas follows – Iberian pork? Gin and tonic salmon? Sold.
So the Barrio Goticá balances cool, dusty heritage with super-luxe hotels, right? Not always. When you head to Sor Rita – the leopard print, stiletto and, er, nun adorned super-kitsch dive bar that sits on the edge of the Gothic Quarter’s warren-like alleys, you’ll feel like you’re walking right into the set of a Pedro Almodovar film. It’s dissident, raunchy and just a little bit weird.
from the bustling alleyways and treelined boulevards of El Born, but this cool neighbourhood tavern just about takes it. Unpretentious yet refined, Bar Brutal blends classic bodega and wall-stacked wine bar. The wines – all 300 of them – burst from barrels and bottles are stacked all over the shop in organic, biodynamic glory.
P ROMOTI ON
With sleek modern rooms, incredible food and acres of splendidly secluded gardens, Fairmont Rey Juan Carlos I is the perfect place from which to explore the lively heart of Barcelona, or just kick back beside the pool and make the most of the Mediterrenean sun
magine lounging in elegant relaxation and carefree seclusion, knowing you have the vibrant and exciting city of Barcelona to explore right at your doorstep. Imagine returning from a long day of sightseeing, shopping or bar hopping to a fantastically stylish modern suite where your only pressing concern is the walk to the pool.
A SUMPTUOUS BLEND OF LUXURY AND BREATHTAKING MODERN DESIGN
Even better, imagine doing so at a completely unique urban resort that offers the perfect gateway to Spain’s best-loved city. Now, thanks to the brand new Fairmont Rey Juan Carlos I – the first Fairmont resort to open its doors in Spain – you can. Set in six acres of lush, mature gardens to the west of the bustling heart of the Catalonian capital, Fairmont Rey Juan Carlos I offers an unparalleled experience that blends sumptuous luxury and breathtaking modern design. Whether you’re looking to pamper yourself with a treatment at Royal Polo Club Fitness & Spa, feed your appetite at one of the resort’s many restaurants, or just get an incredible night’s sleep in one of Fairmont’s 432 thoughtfully designed rooms and suites, you’ll be in the ideal place to create amazing holiday memories from the moment you check in. However, it’s not just divine luxury at the beating heart of Barcelona. Fairmont Rey Juan Carlos I also has 24 indoor and outdoor event spaces to cater to your every need, as well as easy
access to the Catalonian Convention Centre, which can play host to up to 3,000 guests. With this perfect mix of business and pleasure, no matter whether you’re working away or just getting away, you’ll be able to kick back and relax in the comfort of a painstakingly designed urban oasis with easy transport links for the city, the airport, and beyond. The perfect balance of peaceful sanctuary and city break bolthole on the doorstep of vibrant, bustling Barcelona, every stay at Fairmont Rey Juan Carlos I is a serene and straightforward getaway that gives you the best of worlds. ◆ For more information, and to book your new room now, visit fairmont.com/barcelona or call 1 800 257 7544
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“COLD, WET AND MISERABLE. MY KIND OF WEATHER.”
The Weissmies, Switzerland
KEEP YOUR COOL
All photographs by Patrick Tilllard
Scaling Switzerlandâ€™s Weissmies takes poise and planning. Patrick Tillard enlists legendary mountain man Kenton Cool to help him conquer the perilous peak 59
rampons on here. And Patrick, try not to slip on this section.” Kenton Cool’s causal tone and wry grin make light of the severity of the thin, snowy ridge carving a wicked line towards the Weissmies, a peak in the heart of the Swiss Alps. It’s half a foot wide at most and bloody terrifying, to be totally honest. Keeping focus is easier said than done at an altitude of 4,000m – the silky air puts stamina under the pestle and makes the simple decidedly complicated. The ridge looks little different to a tightrope. Not even the endless massifs to my left and right, sprayed with the sun’s early golden glow, can distract me while I’m edging towards the white, pristine plank.
KEEPING FOCUS IS EASIER SAID THAN DONE AT AN ALTITUDE OF 4,000M
Saying that, I am in very safe hands: Kenton is Britain’s most decorated climbing guide and something of a celebrity in the mountains. This year he successfully summited Everest for an incredible 12th time; this effort bearing more personal significance than any other following the catastrophic earthquake in Nepal in 2015, which claimed the lives of over 8,000 people and reduced much of the country to rubble. He lost a number of close friends. His competence at altitude is hugely reassuring – over the past two days I have put my trust firmly in his aptitude, and (at this very moment) the three metres of rope dangling between us. (It’s a far cry from the cosy Soho bar where, four months earlier, we had excitedly ignited the idea of this
ONWARDS AND UPWARDS: [clockwise from here] Sunrise as climbers near the summit; essential kit; conditions are steep and snowy
trip over a few drinks.) With our crampons fastened we push on slowly, Kenton’s spikes cutting a fresh trail in the soft, precarious powder. I place mine meticulously into exactly the same grooves, my mind focusing on mastering the basics of balance, channelling my inner Philippe Petit. The margins of error are absolutely tiny when climbing. One mistake, one misjudgement, one gulp of arrogance is all it takes to fail. Or worse – a wrong move here and it will be a fast, fatal journey to the bottom. Danger and risk are intrinsic to this sport; a sport that renders men and women mere ants among giants, totally at the mercy of elements that are well out of their control. But like a powerful drug, the sacrosanct feeling of success or indeed
failure in the mountains is an unreachable itch that most climbers never shake. “You leave knowing that there is a chance you might not come back,” admitted Kenton when we met in London earlier in the year. “That it could be your last climb. If you become complacent at altitude, the mountain is going to kill you. But when you get to the top, the whole world radiating beneath your feet, there’s this tsunami of overwhelming emotion. I would defy anybody to witness some of the views I’ve seen and not come away feeling inspired.” Challenge accepted… It had been an early start for a basic hut breakfast of dry bread and aggressive black coffee – a taxing 3.45am to be precise. The aim was to reach the peak, or the ridge at least, to watch sunrise over the Pennine Alps. “It’ll be worth it,” Kenton assured me as I threw my pack over my shoulders and stepped out into the bitter cold. A heavy fog was hugging the ground, reducing visibility to only a few metres. For two hours we clambered up the steep, craggy The Swiss Alps are mountainside by the the border between light of head torches, the cool northern a deafening silence European climate and milder southern broken only by the European one, so crunching of rocks temperatures vary. under sleepy soles. In winter, they can average around -7°C. We emerged from the haze as the first inky tendrils of morning teased the skyline – here, just shy of the saddle point, we got a glimpse of the summit, a black silhouette towering into the star-studded ether. Several thousand metres below in the canton of Valais, two hours from Geneva, the municipality of Saas-Grund was still sleeping. By day it is equally as somnolent,
WHEN YOU GET TO THE TOP OF A MOUNTAIN, THERE’S A TSUNAMI OF EMOTION but charmingly so. Timber cabins sit on mushroom stilts, window sills are adorned with vibrant flowers, and the neck-bells of sheep herds resonate above the trickle of glacial streams and the splutter of tottering tractors scything tall summer grass. There is an intoxicating absence of urgency – such folly is left to those at higher climes. As the skiing masses flock to these slopes in winter, so too alpinists take advantage of Switzerland’s dramatic ranges in the warmer months – the country is home to more 4,000m peaks than any other in Europe, from leisurely strolls that wouldn’t strain your grandmother to torturous technical routes suited to only the most adept. Diversity is abundant. Yesterday we had tackled the frozen northern bluff of the 4,200m Allalinhorn,
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THERE ARE ANXIOUS MOMENTS AS UNSTABLE FEET SEARCH FRANTICALLY FOR SAFE HOLDS hiking through serac blocks and setting three ice screw pitches to scrabble up the 50-degree face with two axes – a hard-andfast initiation to ice climbing. By contrast, this morning we’re on the 4,017m Weissmies – lesser in altitude but more physically demanding – featuring nervy scrambling and glacier traversing. (And a seriously antisocial roll call time.) There were anxious moments as cold fingers clawed longingly at uninspiring rock ledges and unstable feet searched frantically for safe holds, but with each successful haul the view got that bit better, the summit got that bit nearer, and the acute feeling of triumph and an end to the pain drew closer. Until we negotiate the ridge, that is. Never
have more cautious steps been taken – I was like a tipsy waiter carefully carrying a tray of delicate crystal-cut champagne flutes. Once safely across, we make the final few strides to the top, where we rest, short of breath from the dearth of oxygen. In every direction, scarped snow-capped peaks puncture the cloud inversion, and way down below the quiet valley towns are gradually waking up A serac block is a – it’s not yet 9am. Up column of glacial ice, here, I appreciate the often larger than a pull to these heights: house. The blocks can be dangerous the early starts; to climbers as they the stale bread; have been known to the willingness to topple without any prior warning. pillage one’s senses in order to summit; and the somewhat selfish risk of being a mountaineer. “You know, time is the most precious commodity we have,” says Kenton, flicking sweat from his forehead, “and the mountains allow you to escape all the crap. I can be physically exhausted when climbing, but mentally I’m never more alive.” Sitting here, gasping for deep gulps of air, I get it. It all makes perfect sense. e If you have an itch for adventure and fancy a change from the run-of-the-mill summer holiday, climbing in the Swiss Alps offers a hair-raising and thrilling alternative – visit kentoncool.com for more information on how to book your trip.
KENTON COOL To have stood on top of Everest 12 times is a remarkable feat in itself. But the fact that Kenton Cool was told he would never walk again unaided, following a sickening fall while rock climbing aged 22, makes this accomplishment somewhat supernatural. He fell on a route called Major Headstress in Llanberis, north Wales, shattering both his heels as though they were china plates. It’s remarkably clichéd to say that if you want something enough you can get there through perseverance, but Kenton is testament to this. Although the pain of his injury still rings through his body today – each morning the awkwardness was evident in his gait – he has gone on to earn a glittering reputation as one of the most accomplished mountaineers of his generation. He has been nominated for the Piolets d’Or (the Oscars for mountaineers); climbed Everest twice in one week; guided Sir Ranulph Fiennes up the epic route in 2009; and he’s also the only Brit to have successfully skied down two 8,000m peaks. It’s an astonishing résumé.
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A TALE O 2 ISLAN 64
Beq-where? Estella Shardlow hops from Barbados to Bequia to find a Caribbean island where sun and chill rule
Port Elizabeth, Bequia Island.
Photograph by ###
veryone’s going to hate me. It is officially the most depressing day of the year – Blue Monday – that dismal point in midJanuary when divorces, debt and lethargy are all supposed to peak. But I’m in Barbados. Barbados! The previous morning I’d shivered on the train to Gatwick, chugging through snow-covered countryside; now I can’t resist a horribly smug social media post pointing out that the only things blue about The Cliff is Barbamy Monday are the dos’s most expensive sky – a cloudless, gasrestaurant, and it’s flame blue – and the pretty exclusive. Try The Cliff Beach sea – deep turquoise, Club next door for clear as glass. a more relaxed vibe Sunshine and and prices that won’t melt your credit card. beaches are, of course, the two main reasons most people choose to visit Barbados. But as one of the bigger and more developed Caribbean countries, it has several different sides: designer shopping and clubbing in Holetown (watch out for the potent lemon drop shots at The Mews restaurant – a punchy combination of vodka, lemon juice and sugar, set theatrically aflame); surfing on the rugged east coast; exploring ruined windmills and rum distilleries inland; or simply holing up in the
west coast’s luxury resorts. It’s a far cry from Robinson Crusoe territory, but for every fastfood chain or flash fine-dining hotspot (Lone Star and The Cliff being two of the best), there’s a ramshackle joint serving flying fish sandwiches and local beer to be found (try Cuz’s Fish Shack at Needham’s Point). While mention of a holiday in Barbados inevitably draws envious/longing/enraged expressions from friends, by far the most common response I had to the second destination on my Caribbean trip was a baffled “where?” To be honest, I didn’t even know how to correctly pronounce Bequia until I got to Gatwick and a fellow traveller set me straight (turns out it’s ‘beck-way’). Therein lies its appeal: not many have heard of this tiny lightning bolt-shaped island in the Grenadines or know how to get there, and fewer still have actually visited. Unlike celeb-packed neighbour Mustique, it has remained thoroughly under the radar. Millionaires reside in its remote pastelcoloured villas and bring their yachts into its bays, but there is none of the ‘scene’ of Barbados, none of the luxury brands – nor a single set of traffic lights, for that matter. wi-fi aside, locals agree the place hasn’t really changed for 50 years. The contrast is immediately apparent when you touch down at Bequia airport. There’s just one runway, one passport desk in the arrivals room, a single conveyor belt for luggage, and no shops. Instead of taxis and tourist touts, there are a few goats grazing on the lawn outside. There aren’t any direct flights from Europe, so we had taken a 40-minute flight from Barbados on a 21-seater aircraft, soaring low over swathes of deep blue sea and tiny, tree-covered outcrops that hadn’t a single building on them (only nine of the Grenadines’ 32 islands are inhabited). When people do manage to make it to Bequia, they fall in love. Case in point: Bengt Mortstedt, a Swedish lawyer and property developer who dropped anchor in Bequia’s Friendship Bay on a sailing holiday and decided it was the perfect spot for a hotel. Fast forward 20 years and, in Bequia Beach, he has created a relaxed oasis with 59 colonial-style guest rooms and villas set in lush gardens – keep your eyes peeled for resident cat Diva strutting around the pool. Evenings in Bequia centre around beach bars and barbecues – occasional bright pockets spilling the sounds of steelpan drums and clinking Hairoun bottles (the local beer) out into the night. Once the rum punch started flowing at Bequia Beach’s veranda restaurant Bagatelle,
LIFE’S A BEACH: [clockwise from here] Golden sands in Barbados; Princess Margaret Bay in Bequia; Bequia’s capital, Port Elizabeth
WHEN PEOPLE DO MANAGE TO MAKE IT TO UNDERTHE-RADAR BEQUIA, THEY FALL IN LOVE STRAIGHT AWAY
NEED TO KNOW THE SANDPIPER, BARBADOS
Photographs (Princess Margaret Bay and Port Elizabeth) by Robert Harding/Alamy
dinner culminated with guests kicking off their sandals and dancing barefoot on the sand, while St Vincent musician Andy gave impressive renditions of everything from Otis Redding to Rihanna. He did, however draw the line at my request for a Taylor Swift number. Understandable. The next day I wish I’d gone a bit easier on the cocktails as we rattle around the hilly island in a safari-style truck, tackling some of the steepest roads I’ve ever seen, all the way up to the Mount Pleasant lookout point. With nothing but lush forest beneath you and views across the sea to St Vincent, it’s worth the nerve-jangling drive. A single day’s tour can easily take in the whole island, a mere seven square miles, and on our way we see the crumbling shell of an old sugar plantation, learn the names of the flame-coloured ‘pride of Barbados’ flowers and calabash Aside from Princess trees laden with fruit Margaret Bay, like bright green visitors to Bequia rugby balls, pop into should make sure they stop off at a turtle sanctuary Industry Bay, an and even see a minor unspoilt beach on a road accident abated; former plantation with hidden ruins. a woman behind us
gets her tyre stuck in a roadside ditch and within minutes half the village is out helping push the car back onto the track. Everyone is laughing. I guess it’s hard to be stressed here. But let’s face it: nothing is going to excite a pale, urban-dwelling Brit like myself as much as a good beach. Out of the countless postcard-perfect stretches of sand to be explored on Bequia, one of the nicest is Princess Margaret Bay, named after the royal who took a dip there during her honeymoon. Anywhere else, and this prime location surely would have been consumed by hotel developers, but in the typical Bequian way there is merely a single beach bar, Jack’s, and the rest of the bay is fringed with cedar and almond trees. Even the island’s ‘capital’ of Port Elizabeth feels more like a village, with its market stalls selling fruit and veg, seafront boardwalk and fishing boats. The brightly painted houses tumbling down towards the shore bring to mind the Amalfi coast. On the way back to the hotel, we pass a young man sitting on a wall beside the road. Naturally, we Londoners assume there must be a reason for his loitering and there’s much speculation about what he’s selling,
Prices start from £335 per night based on double occupancy in a garden view room. sandpiperbarbados.com
BEQUIA BEACH HOTEL
Prices start from £175 per night based on double occupancy in a classic pool or sea view room. bequiabeach.com
British Airways flies daily from Gatwick to Barbados from £566 return, including all taxes and charges.ba.com/barbados. SVG Air flies from Barbados to Bequia from £310 return. svgair.com
or who he’s waiting for, until eventually someone goes and asks him. “Just sittin’,” he replies bemusedly, as if any other reason is needed. Just sitting. I can’t remember the last time I ‘just sat’ back home, not facing a laptop or TV screen, flicking through my phone or waiting for a bus. I vowed that this is just one little bit of the Bequian outlook I would try to bring back with me. e
SHIPS AHOY Photograph by ###
Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas.
Think you're too young for a cruise? Think again. There's never been a better time to hit the sea (or river) and set sailâ€¦ Words by Tom Powell 69
Island hop in Indonesia Nothing’s more regal than floating islandto-island on an elegant white-sailed tall ship in the turquoise waters of Indonesia’s Flores Sea. Setting sail (quite literally) from Bali and making a beeline for Komodo Island, you’ll see komodo dragons basking in the jaw-droppingly beautiful national park they call home – and soak up loads of sun on pink coral-sand beaches, obvs. Aboard the Star Clipper you’ll find gentle relaxation and hammocks hanging over the emerald waters. Seven nights from £2,019pp full board, based on two adults sharing. starclippers.co.uk
Get your foodie fix in Greece Fancy setting sail from Venice and never leaving the Italian flavours behind? Lucky you – the new culinary offering from Celebrity Cruises is bringing Michelin-starred Tuscan delights (and sushi, of course) to every cruise route. So whether you’re maxing it in the old city of Dubrovnik, taking in the hillside sprawl of Santorini or shaking it up
in the champagne bars of Mykonos, you’ll always be able to go back to homemade pasta, dry-aged steak and carefully selected artisanal bites. Good for foodies, bad if you have a taramasalata addiction. Nine-night cruise from £989pp. celebritycruises.com
Break the ice in Antarctica Seals, terns, penguins and ice – if this little lot ticks all your boxes, you’re going to want to hop aboard the Ushuaia in Argentina and keep on heading south until you hit the ice (not literally). On a nine-day tour, you’ll take in heaps of wildlife, the flooded cauldron of an active volcano and plenty of chilly polar waters. Even better, all this is just the, er, tip of the iceberg While the tempera– with three eventures may be a little more-exhaustive chilly for us, there's tours available for a huge array of wildlife species that intrepid Antarctic thrive here. You'll adventurers, it’s likely spot seabirds, about time you penguins and elephant seals. broke the ice.
SET SAIL FROM BALI TO SEE BASKING KOMODO DRAGONS AND CORALCOVERED BEACHES
This archipelago is the remotest part of the UK. There hasn't been a permanent population since 1930, partly because it's so hard to get to. Not so on this cruise, however…
those end of winter blues – with buckets of bourbon, facemelting solos and the blue seas of Belize. Expect sunset guitar shreds and ringing ears. In a good way.
Five nights from £884pp based on two adults sharing. therockboat.com
Scour Scotland’s sea stacks If you fancy a cheeky staycation but want to put the entire UK between you and your desk, this one’s definitely for you. Armed with the expertise of a wildlife guide and three Scottish seafarers, you’ll be scouring the rugged coastline of St Kilda and the Outer Hebrides searching its sea stacks and archipelagos for puffins, machairs, deserted villages and true celtic vibes like no other.
Ten nights start from £3,165pp. hebridescruises.co.uk
Chill out along the Mekong river Panoramic cabin views of the Mekong river are merely the tip of the oar on this seven-night tour of Vietnam and Cambodia from Aqua Expeditions. As well as ebbing regally through some of the most idyllic countryside Southeast Asia has to offer on an indulgently modern 40-berth barge, you’ll take day-long onshore excursions by skiff, bike and, er, shanks’s pony. Mountaintop pagodas? Foodie tours of floating markets? Khmer massages? Watermelon crush cocktails? Count us in. Seven nights from £6,989pp based on two adults sharing, aquaexpeditions.com
Explore onshore with Royal Caribbean Complete with multiple restaurants,
CRUISE CONTROL: [clockwise from here] Flores Island in Indonesia; the Rock Boat; a Celebrity Cruises ship; Canal du Midi, Narbonne
Eight nights from £5,675 based on two adults sharing. onthegotours.com
Go natural in the Galapagos
Photographs by (Indonesia) Joakim Leroy/Getty; (Celebrity Cruises) Michel Verdure; (Narbonne) Mike Matthews/Getty
Move over luxury liners, this cool cruise includes planes, trains and automobiles, too. Starting on land in Peru, you’ll lunch in Lima and march up Machu Picchu before nipping over the border to Ecuador for a gentle jaunt to the Galápagos islands with an expert wildlife guide. When you’re not gawping at blue-footed boobies (the birds, guys, keep up) through thermal vision cameras, you can kick your feet up and sip cocktails on deck. Nine-day tours from £3,995pp. tauck.co.uk
Rock out in the Caribbean Sure, rock isn’t the first word you want to hear when you’re jumping on a ship and sailing the Caribbean Sea, but this frenetic floating festival blows that idea out of the water. Lifting anchor in Tampa, Florida, on 10 February next year, this five-day cruise is pretty much the best way to block out
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VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY: [above] Mutrah harbour and waterfront near Muscat; [below] see wild horses on Sable Island in Canada
luxe lodgings and unparalleled onboard entertainment (hell, you can even surf on some of their ships), there’s not much you can’t do on Royal Caribbean’s fine fleet. Still, you can’t gawp at the Dubai skyline from among the clouds (if there are any). You can’t dive the Arabian Gulf for shoals of tropical fish, either. And you certainly can’t play 18 holes of golf at the Els Club. Luckily, you can do all three as additional excursions from Dubai-based cruise packages. That’s if you ever get bored of mini golf. Seven night cruises start from £295pp, shore excursions extra. royalcaribbean.co.uk
Run with wild horses in Canada
Nine nights from £3,419pp all inclusive based on two adults sharing. discover-the-world.co.uk
Take a booze cruise in the US If you’ve ever wondered which IPA is best paired with the wild northwest (us too), it’s probably about time you hopped on this beer-fuelled wilderness adventure. As well as tipple tastings and tours, you’ll be watching whales, hiking the Olympic mountains and kayaking out to some of the San Juan islands (but not all of them – there are 172). Setting off in April and October each year, this crafty little break redefines the booze cruise – and you know what, Carrefour, we’re not sorry. Seven nights from £1,552pp based on two adults sharing. uncruise.com
Slow the pace in French wine country Whistlestop country-hopping cruises are great and all, but sometimes it pays to take things a little slower. Extending the 57 minute drive between Castelnaudary and Homps in France’s Aude Valley into an eight day ebb down the Canal du Midi, this gentle amble takes in idyllic villages, medieval castles and the famous vineyards of Languedoc-Roussillon. With a personal skipper and local guide on hand, the only
GO WHALE WATCHING, KAYAKING AND HIKE THE OLYMPIC MOUNTAINS time you’ll stop is to fill up on vin and pain. Seven nights from £1,095pp. intrepidtravel.com
Catch some rays across the Caribbean With nine shore stops, private beach parties and hundreds of miles of gorgeous white sand to plonk yourself down on, this classic circuit on Emerald Princess is stately, sensational and (most importantly) incredibly sunny. From the rum shacks of Barbados to the pastel-painted watersides of Curacao (plus Antigua, Nevis and Martinique, too), this two-week jaunt unearths just about all the hidden gems the Caribbean has to offer in one glorious, circular voyage. 13-night cruise from £1,238pp. princess.com e
Photographs by (Muscat) Eric Nathan/Alamy; (horses) Michelle Valberg
It’s not often we'd recommend getting on a boat if you want to see horses, but when it comes
Among the creatures who call the Olympic mountains home are beavers (stop laughing), elk, deer, cougars and NUMEROUS (apparently) black bears. Wits about you.
to Sable Island, Canada, you can’t fault our logic. Setting sail from St John’s in Newfoundland you’ll see some of the planet’s last remaining wild ponies, as well as the world’s largest colony of grey seals – all on one skinny spit of sand 109 miles off the coast of Nova Scotia. Arf arf arf.
Set in an exclusive location, by one of the Algarveâ€™s most famous beach and surrounded by the lush greenery of the Ria Formosa Natural Park, the Ria Park Hotel & Spa is an elegant, modern hotel with a genuine welcoming service, in an ambiance of natural beauty. Amongst the many leisure facilities close to the hotel, the highlights are the many nature trails to be enjoyed by foot, bicycle or horse riding, the fantastic offer of restaurants, ranging from casual beach shack to the most elaborate Michelin stared restaurants, or the seven golf just minutes from the hotel, recognized as the best in Portugal. Now fully renovated, guest will find a new decor in all guestsâ€™ areas and contemporary poolside furniture, to make your stay even more confortable. Come visit the Algarve and rediscover the new Ria Park Hotel & Spa.
VALE DO LOBO . ALGARVE . PORTUGAL
IN SID E R â€™S GUID E
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Photograph by Zoonar GmbH / Alamy
To experience one of the most exciting culture-packed destinations in the Far East, look no further than Macao. Located 40 miles from Hong Kong, Macao’s PortugueseChinese heritage is a must-see for avid travellers looking for a cool alternative twin-centre stop off when exploring Hong Kong, Thailand and the rest of Asia.
From the Portuguese and Chinese buildings of the Unesco World Heritagelisted Historic Centre to the iconic Macau Tower, home to the world’s highest bungee jump, there’s something for everyone. Explore thrilling nightlife, stroll picturesque countryside or feast on delicious cuisine in a place like no other.
S I X RE ASONS TO VI S I T M ACAO RIGHT NOW With rich history, vibrant nightlife and great food, Macao has something for everyone
Sights & Bites VISIT OLD TAIPA VILLAGE
Strolling around the narrow streets and lanes of this atmospheric district, you’ll get a captivating glimpse of Macao’s traditional village life. A treasure trove of niche shops, restaurants and classic villas, don’t miss Rua do Cunha – known as ‘Food Street’ – which is the place to sample local delicacies like almond cookies, egg rolls and beef jerky. Or head to the Sunday flea market to find that perfect souvenir to take home.
Nightlife WHEN THE SUN GOES DOWN
With its cool clubs, sleek modern bars and glitzy casinos, Macao has endless after-dark options to unwind or revel. Whether you’re partying it up with the world’s best DJs, sipping a cocktail on a rooftop terrace or enjoying a nightcap in a cosy bar, you’ll always find the ideal spot to end your evening – with Macao’s glittering skyline as the perfect backdrop.
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DISCOVER MACAO’S PAST
Those looking to step straight into the destination’s unique history should take a walk through the many World Heritage-listed temples and buildings of Macao’s Historic Centre. With 30 sites to check out, there’s hardly a more fascinating square mile for history buffs in the whole of Asia. Wonder at the dramatic Ruins of St. Paul’s, or enjoy Senado Square, with its pastel-painted buildings and beautiful wavy black and white flagstones.
Get Active MACAU TOWER VISTAS
For a rush of adrenaline, there’s only one thing better than taking in the breathtaking city views from the top of the iconic 338m Macau Tower, and that’s bungee jumping off it! It’s the highest commercial bungee platform in the world and – for those with the nerve – the screams and wobbly knees are well worth it for the thrills, not to mention the views. For a less dramatic option you can SkyWalk around the edge of the tower or indulge your taste buds at the 360° Café – the tower’s revolving restaurant. At a lofty 233m up in the sky, it’s one of the best spots for skyline vistas.
CHECK OUT COLOANE’S BEACHES
If you want a change from the hustle and bustle, there’s really no better place to go than Coloane, the beautiful countryside island in the south of Macao. When you’re there, you’ll find rolling green hills, laidback beaches and old Europeanstyle churches and squares that serve as a reminder of Macao’s rich Portuguese heritage. Sip a refreshing drink at an alfresco café, take a stroll along one of the walking trails or chill out beside the lapping waves on Hac-Sa beach.
Enjoy the Show THE HOUSE OF DANCING WATER
If you’re after an evening of highflying action and awe-inspiring storytelling, head to the theatre at the City of Dreams resort on the sparkling Cotai Strip to catch The House of Dancing Water. The mystical tale of a humble fisherman, this electrifying multi-million dollar performance is the world’s largest water-based show, starring over 80 gymnasts, divers, motorcyclists performing high-dive acrobatics and stunts that’ll blow your mind. It’s not just one of the hottest tickets in Macao, the hour-and-a-half extravaganza is one of the greatest shows on earth.
Full-on Flavour From dim sum and sweet pastries to fine dining with a skyline view, Macao is sure to satisfy every palate
hy try one dish when you can try them all? Macao is a heaven for foodies, and its interesting and rich history, with influences from around the globe, makes it a must-visit for any flavour-obsessed traveller. Whether you’re looking to try flaky sweet pastries, indulge in unusual street food or swap the stalls for Michelin-starred dining, you’ll definitely eat well for every meal.
As well as delicious Chinese food of all kinds and some of the best Portuguese food outside Portugal, the local Macanese cuisine – one of the world’s first fusion cuisines – includes
DUCK INTO THE LOCAL RESTAURANTS AND YOU’LL FIND MENUS PACKED WITH REGIONAL DISHES, INCLUDING RICH FLAVOURPACKED STEWS 78
flavours from Africa, India, South East Asia and South America. Duck into the local restaurants and you’ll find menus packed with regional dishes, including the subtle spices of minchi. The pork and beef mince dish is seasoned with garlic, bay leaf and soy sauce, and is often topped with egg, and is a fast-track insight into the delicious world of Macanese foodie culture. Elsewhere you can discover porco tamarindo, a rich flavour-packed stew with shrimp paste, sugar, Chinese seasonings and tamarind, or curry crab – a fragant curry with a sweet and thick sauce. The strong African influence is showcased in another popular local dish, Galinha a Africana: the delicious
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Macanese specialty features chicken cooked with mixed tropical spices and coconut milk, and is a culinary highlight of Macao. For street-side dining, you’ll get your fill around the 16th-century Ruins of St Paul's, which sits in the middle of The Historic Centre, a Unesco World Heritage Site. Here the stalls are stacked with luminous meat jerky which is as sticky as it is moreish. Elsewhere on Rua da Cunha, or ‘Food Street’, you can lose yourself in a maze of colourful restaurants and bakeries, while stopping to sample various versions of Macao’s famous deep-fried pork chop bun, which is its own delicious take on the humble burger.
If you’re looking for something smarter, Macao boasts 16 Michelin-starred restaurants to choose from, where delicious, inventive cuisine sits alongside incredible service and spectacular settings. The Eight has three stars to its name,
and creates exceptional looking, and tasting, dim sum. The signature gold-fish shaped shrimp dumplings, and hedgehog-shaped pork buns are a must-try. Meanwhile, Robuchon au Dôme, which also holds three Michelin stars, serves up decadent French cuisine in a sophisticated chandelier-lit room, with some of the best views over Macao available from its tables.
ABOVE: A trip to Macao is a feast for all senses. Stroll the neon-lit streets and try local delicacies from spicy prawns to pork buns, or satisfy sweet cravings with Macao’s take on the egg custard tarts
Macao’s culinary influence is shaped by its unique heritage, and that's still reflected today. A perfect example of this is the city’s most famous snack – pastel de nata. These delicious egg tarts are a twist on the traditional Portuguese version, and one of the best places to try them is Lord Stow’s Bakery in Coloane (it was set up by an Englishman, Andrew Stow, who created his recipe in 1989). Other snacks include almond cakes, egg rolls and peanut candies that are loved by locals and visitors, alike. ◆
M A C A O EVENTS Y O U MUSN’ T MISS
Rock the Boat MACAO INTERNATIONAL DRAGON BOAT RACES
New Year CELEBRATE CHINESE NEW YEAR
To get right to the heart of Macao’s vibrant culture, make sure you put some of these dates in your events calendar
Get in Gear MACAU GRAND PRIX
For high-octane action and breakneck speed, petrolheads should check out the Macau Grand Prix, which sees the world’s best F3 drivers put pedal to metal as they race through the city’s streets every November (from17-20 November this year). Beyond the street circuit, you’ll be sure to find a festival buzz about the city, as bars and restaurants bustle with the thousands of spectators.
Combine your visit with Chinese New Year on 28 January in 2017 – it’s the most important and colourful Chinese festival of the year. Over ten days the whole city comes alive by day and night with colourful long dragon and lion dance displays, lit-up temples and lanterns lining the streets. Observe the locals setting off firecrackers to ward off evil spirits and receiving gifts of red envelopes containing money for prosperity in the year ahead.
If you’re big on boats but don’t fancy getting yourself soaked, you’re going to want to head down to the shores of Nam Van Lake in the city centre for the Dragon Boat Festival in May. The annual event sees dedicated local and international teams paddle their colourful dragon-shaped longboats ferociously along the water to the sound of beating drums, while competing for the ultimate prize.
Be Amazed MACAO FIREWORKS CONTEST
China is famous for its fireworks, but this event’s simply exceptional. Throughout September and into October, pyrotechnic geniuses from around the world go head to head to see who can create the most incredible show of bangs and bright lights, all set to music. Expect awe-inspiring entertainment on the shorefront of the Macau Tower.
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MA C A O IS J U S T FOR S TA RTERS...
Mix it Up TWIN WITH HONG KONG
Fancy blending the sights and sounds of Macao with the hustle and bustle of nearby Hong Kong, while reclining in unadulterated luxury every step of the way? Perfect, because Travelbag’s sixnight break includes flights, ferry and five-star stays at the luxurious Harbour Grand Hotel, Hong Kong, and Sofitel Macau at Ponte 16 in Macao. Book by 30 November for travel in March 2017 from £799pp, travelbag.co.uk, 0207 001 4112
Macao is the perfect stopoff point on your holiday in Asia and beyond. Why not twin your trip with one of these cool destinations?
herever you choose to go in Asia, Macao’s unique blend of traditional Chinese culture and vibrant Portuguese heritage is the perfect addition to your trip, with jaw-dropping sights, amazing activities, fusion bites and cool nightlife. Whether you’re hopping on the one-hour ferry for a break from the pulse of Hong Kong or stopping off for a city fix on the way to your next Thai beach break, you’ll be in a great place to do as much or as little as you like.
Explore it All TAKE A TOUR OF CHINA
Why settle for just one destination when you can have them all? With Wendy Wu Tours’ flight-inclusive journey through China, Hong Kong and Macao, you’ll be guided through the sprawling Forbidden City of Beijing, the sights of Shanghai and the iconic Terracotta Army at Xian before heading to Hong Kong and Macao for more high-flying culture, incredible fusion food and some of the best shopping in the world. The 12-night break with 8 nights’ fully-inclusive touring is available from £2,300pp, based on November 2017 departure, wendywutours.co.uk, 0800 988 2888
Take it Easy MIX THE CITY WITH THE BEACH
Photograph by uschools; Songquan Deng; kjorgen
Nothing beats balancing a vibrant city break with a little bit of beach chill. Once you’ve experienced the sights and nightlife of Macao, head to idyllic Khao Lak, Thailand, with this four-star, flight-inclusive trip from The Holiday Place. After three days exploring unique Macao, you’ll have a whole week to recover in the secluded luxury of the Leaf Oceanside resort in Thailand. Book by 30 November for travel between 29 April and 31 May 2017 from £799pp, holidayplace.co.uk, 020 7644 1604
The Information about these packages has been provided by the tour operators listed and Macao Government Tourism Office is not responsible for its accuracy. We do not accept any responsibility whatsoever in respect of the Information provided and any use of the Information is at your own risk. Booking and travel is subject to the terms and conditions of the individual tour operator and Macao Government Tourism Office shall not be liable or responsible for any loss or damage suffered as a result of booking or travelling on one of the holidays listed. For full details and conditions of all the offers, contact the operator direct.
It Must Be Love A Sandals holiday combines spectacular Caribbean scenery, incredible activities and amazing hospitality. Here are ten reasons to fall in love with Sandals Resorts…
nless your life is one long holiday, chances are you’re pretty demanding about your precious holiday time. And so you should be – so it helps to know that Sandals Resorts are just as focused as you on squeezing the absolute maximum from your trip to one of their world-class all-inclusive Caribbean resorts. Whether you want to put your feet up and soak up the sun, drink and dine in style, or have the perfect active break – or even a bit of all three – you can do it at Sandals. Here are ten very good reasons to make your dream trip a Luxury Included® Sandals holiday…
1. They’ve won a lot of awards
Looking for the very best holiday in the Caribbean? Of course you are. Offering more quality, choice and inclusions than any other resort worldwide, Sandals Resorts have been voted the world’s leading all-inclusive resorts for the past 20 years at the World Travel Awards.
2. You’ll eat and drink like royalty
Sandals know that holidays are about eating and drinking well. That’s why all meals, from relaxed breakfasts to beachside fine dining, are included in the price of your stay, meaning you’ll have the
opportunity to feast on world-class steaks and authentic Caribbean cuisine with no surprises on your bill at check out. What’s more, all premium spirits are included in the price. That piña colada cocktail has never tasted so good.
3. The undersea world’s your oyster
If diving’s a key part of your holiday, Sandals is the perfect place for you. PADI-certified divers will have all dives covered in the price of their stay, with full use of top equipment and expert knowledge from experienced instructors, not to mention access to the Caribbean’s best dive sites.
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SANDALS RESORTS HAVE BEEN VOTED THE WORLD’S LEADING ALLINCLUSIVE RESORTS FOR THE PAST 20 YEARS AT THE WORLD TRAVEL AWARDS
for you. From breezy beachside bedrooms to infinity pools and Tranquility Soaking Tubs™ on your private balcony, you can expect a spectacular setting with elegant and luxurious interiors.
4. Golf has never looked better
8. You can see more of the Caribbean
Whether you’re strolling the lush greens of Jamaica, admiring the mountainous landscapes of Saint Lucia or gazing at the turquoise seas of the Bahamas, you can guarantee golf has never looked better. With Sandals you can play round after round on the resorts’ challenging, spectacular courses without paying any extra fees. The only surprises might be the quality of your tee shots…
5. There’s a room just for you
Wherever you like to relax at the end of the day on holiday, Sandals is sure to have a room or suite
6. You can stay in the first over-water suites in the Caribbean
For a remarkable over-the-water stay like no other, Sandals is launching the Caribbean’s very first on-water bedrooms. Perched on a deck over the calm turquoise water, the rooms will feature over-the-sea hammocks for two, private infinity pools, jacuzzis and see-through glass floors. Can’t bare to leave? Don’t worry – a butler is on hand to assist with every aspect of your stay.
7. Stress-free weddings are guaranteed For incredible Caribbean hospitality and the sun-drenched wedding of your dreams, there’s no setting quite like Sandals. Choose from intimate garden ceremonies, barefoot beach weddings or one-of-a-kind chapels over the Caribbean Sea. With Sandals, the honeymoon begins the second you say “I do”.
Every island in the Caribbean is different – whether it’s the rugged landscapes of St Lucia, the rum culture of Barbados or the pristine beaches of Antigua. If you’re keen to experience a range of cultures and breathtaking vistas, a Sandals island-hopping adventure will have you doing just that. Stay in one luxurious resort then travel on to another… and another.
fringed beaches line all of Sandals’ Caribbean resorts. They are also located on the calmest and most protected shorelines on each island, meaning you’ll be reading your book, catching up on sleep or trying new watersports on the most chilled-out stretches of sand and water.
10. You’ll save money when booking your 2017 or 2018 dream holiday
Looking to book your holiday but want to spread the costs a little? You can book your 2017 or 2018 adventure at 2016 prices – so you’ll only need to pay a deposit of £150pp today, while the rest can be paid 10 weeks before you leave. It means you can totally relax before and during your trip. ◆ Call 0800 742 742, visit sandals.co.uk, or visit in-store at 135 Fulham Road, SW3 6RT
9. Sandals Resorts beaches are the most relaxing in the world
Peaceful turquoise water and glorious palm-
CLOCKWISE FROM MAIN: Relax on a Sandals beach; the Caribbean’s first over-water suites; fine dining, Sandals-style; diving’s included if you’re PADI certified
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CHECKLIST 86 GIRLS 88 GUYS 98 REAR VIEW
PhotographPhotograph by David Harrison by ###
Outdoor outfitter Filson was founded in Seattle in 1897, first to serve the Alaska goldrush, then the forestry industry. The brand’s Soho store was its first outside the US.
MUST DRY HARDER: Filson’s Dry Duffle backpack is your new best expedition buddy. It’ll keep out the muck and water, while keeping your gear in check – adjustable padded straps mean it’s comfortable, too. £138; 9 & 13 Newburgh St, W1F 7RS; filson.com
CHECKLIST ★ GIR L S ★
IT’S SNOW GOOD Hitting the slopes this winter? Or just want to dress up in ski gear and crawl London’s bars? Whatever your plans, this is the gear to keep you looking and feeling cool (yet warm).
1. ROXY X BIOTHERM, Winter mittens, £25. With a chunky knit on the outside and a warming Biotherm lining, these mittens are snowballthrowing ready. roxy-uk.co.uk
3. EIDER, Montmartre feather jacket, £300. Combining the cosy warmth of a puffa with slim-fit style, this jacket is built to take whatever the winter throws at it. eider.com
2. BERSHKA, Long-sleeved high-neck top, £12.99. Polo necks are hard to pull off – we get it. But this one – available in four shades – is head and shoulders above the rest. bershka.com
4. HYDRO FLASK, Drinks bottle, £23. Keep hot bevs warm for up to six hours (and cold ones cold for 24) with this 18oz stainless steel bottle. And yes, you can put booze in it. tiso.com
5. THE NORTH FACE, Endeavour Thermoball jacket, £145. Combines Thermoball insulation and soft fleece for funky functionality. thenorthface.co.uk
6. HI-TEC, St Moritz 200 waterproof II boot, £79.99. Made with suede leather and 200g of Thinsulate insulation, these’ll keep you warm and dry. hi-tec.co.uk
Keeping warm doesn’t mean you have to compromise on style, and this fleece from The North Face is testament to that. Wear it on the high street or high up in the hills.
7. BARTS, Jasmine beanie, £25. Don’t wrap up your bod and neglect your head. Just rock this chunky knit beanie with fleecy lining and GIANT pom pom. barts.eu 8. ROXY, Snowboard Goggles, £50. Cool goggles available in a range of snazzy colours and patterns, including ‘raspberry sorbet’ and, er, ‘windy road’. roxy.co.uk 9 ARC’TERYX, Sentinel pants, £370. These Gore-Tex ski and snowboard pants come with a soft flannel lining and flexible fit, plus they come in five different colours. arcteryx.com
Photograph by David Harrison
★ G UYS ★
Photograph by David Harrison
SNOW COUNTRY FOR BOLD MEN As anyone who’s ever worn a nappy knows, staying dry and warm isn’t without its sartorial compromises. With this gear, there’s no need to sacrifice either looks or performance.
Developed with freeride snowboarding legend Jeremy Jones, this over-the-head shell is breathable, waterproof and bright enough for YouTube heroics.
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The Sabre’s designed for big-mountain action, and Arc’teryx should know all about that: the brand was born in North Vancouver, at the foot of the North Shore mountains.
1. O’NEILL, Jeremy Jones Rider Shell in blue, £159.99. You’re not a proper snowboarder until you’ve hit the slopes in a smock. Not this season, anyway. oneill.com
4. SALOMON, Xmax goggles with extra lens, £150. You vs. The Weather is only ever going to go one way, but at least let your eyes go down with a fight. salomon.com
2. ARC’TERYX, Sabre jacket in magma, £440. A go-anywhere big-mountain jacket with super-clean lines for carving, er, super-clean lines on the slopes. ellis-brigham.com
5. THE NORTH FACE, Gatekeeper trousers in caper berry green, £170. TNF’s Gatekeepers are designed to keep the elements out and the warmth in. thenorthface.co.uk
3. ODLO, Evolution Warm baselayer in seaport, £50. Odlo’s warm baselayer does what it says on the tin (NB tin not included). odlo.com
6. JACK WOLFSKIN, Stormlock pompom beanie in brilliant blue, £22. Windproof and fast-drying beanie, with a breathable fleece liner and
high-performance bobble. (Warning: bobble performance may vary.) jack-wolfskin.co.uk 7. MERRELL,Capra Glacial Ice + mid waterproof, £145. Don’t be that guy who skis like a madman all day, then falls over on the way to the bar and ends up in A&E. Stay warm, dry and upright. merrell.com 8. THE NORTH FACE, Guardian Etip gloves in navy, £45. Low profile gloves with touchscreen-compatible fingertips, so that selfie won’t cost you a frostbitten finger. thenorthface.co.uk
Most goggle brands have released interchangeable lens systems in recent years and Salomon is no different. The Xmax’s twin-lock solution is touch-free to prevent smears.
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Explore & Inspire From climbing the Kroumirie mountains to trekking the Sahara, in Tunisia you’ll discover some of the best sun, open country and adventurous excursions in North Africa
t’s easy to feel energised when you’re surrounded by breathtaking wildlife, vibrant North African culture and enchanting ancient heritage. It’s even easier when you have clear blue skies, beating sun and perfect Mediterranean weather on your side. A brilliant balance of exotic adventure and unadulterated relaxation, Tunisia is elegant, inspiring and full of incredible secrets. From its miles of lush, wildlife-packed national parks and mountains to the picturesque rolling dunes of the Sahara Desert, the country is a playground for active adventures and the perfect place for inquistive explorers. Starting in the incredibly beautiful southern stretch of the country, you’ll find the perfect place to get a taste of the vibrant Tunisian culture and explore the vast open country at the gateway to the Sahara. After wandering the bustling souks and dining on local bites in the city of Douz, you can take an epic 60-mile camel trek into the desert, stopping only to search for addexes, rare birds and pitch camp romantically beneath the stars. Of course, if you’re after something a little
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more adrenaline-fuelled and high-flying you can wheel a quad bike or 4x4 around the fringes of the Sahara, or even take in the most exciting rolling dunes in North Africa from the comfort of a hot air balloon hundreds of feet in the air. Back up north, there’s far more to see than just the beautiful ruins of Carthage and El Djem or the country’s bustling capital, Tunis. Exploring beyond these enchanting sites of ancient heritage in the country’s famous northeast, intrepid travellers will delight in jaw-dropping panoramic views from the top of the Kroumirie mountains, setting sights on vast species of majestic fauna as they climb. Meanwhile, cyclists of all abilities will relish
STELLAR VIEWS: (clockwise from main) Tunisia has been used as a location for several of the ‘Star Wars’ movies; an artisan hard at work; a typically stunning sunset; looking for bargains in the vibrant souks
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the opportunity to take a spin on secluded, stunning and dependable cycle routes out of the major cities into the tranquil countryside and the eastern foothills of the Atlas mountains. Tucked among these rolling hills and the lush Ichkeul National Park further afield, you’ll be able to take in some of the world’s most incredible bird-life – from wild flamingos and rare forest dwellers to the 300,000 migrants that nest around the national park’s tranquil lakes and flora-filled valleys each year. From the vibrant, buzzing towns that sit at the edge of the Sahara to the majestic mountain summits in the temperate northwest, everywhere in Tunisia is an inspiring adventure, and one that’s just waiting to be discovered. ◆ For more information visit discovertunisia.uk or facebook.com/discovertunisia
Land of Plenty
The Sultanate of Oman is a place where a unique natural landscape, ripe for adventure, goes hand-in-hand with ancient and modern sights. Book now with Kenwood Travel
e all want a truly extraordinary holiday, but how often do we actually go on one? In Oman, incredible sights and experiences are an everyday occurrence – from glimpses into ancient worlds to supermodern hotels, via unparalleled natural beauty that’s ripe for your next big adventure. The capital, Muscat, is the beating heart of Oman, where you’ll find ancient forts and castles, sun-drenched shores and a backdrop of dramatic mountains. Traditional Arabic buildings rub shoulders with contemporary architecture; cutting-edge yachts trace the wild, natural coastline; and lush green mangroves are just a short distance from huge expanses of desert. At its core, Muscat is a bustling Arabic city full of history and intrigue. The Muttrah souq is more than two centuries old and retains its buzzing authenticity, while the stunning Royal Opera House and Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque are more modern but no less spectacular.
Travel beyond this glittering city – as any smart visitor to Oman will do – and you’ll find a country where adventure is around every corner. The mountainous landscape of the Sultanate is ripe for exploring on foot, from a stroll along the Muttrah Corniche to a challenging hike through a wadi. These fertile natural valleys are a great place to spot Oman’s wildlife, including deer, the rare Arabian Tahr and wading birds. If you’d rather get about on two wheels than two legs, there’ plenty for cyclists of all standards. For some deeper thrills, why not head underground? Majilis Al Jinn is one of the biggest cave chambers in the world, with a capacity of 4 million cubic metres. If you’re brave enough (and skilled enough), you can base jump in, but most descend by rope. The Al Hoota cave is no less impressive – just two hours from Muscat, it extends more than 5km underground. Away from dry land, Oman’s seas offer some of the finest diving on earth, with a vast array of
features – including cliffs, reefs, wrecks and caves – and an extraordinary diversity of marine life. Above the surface, kitesurfing, sailing, and turtle and dolphin watching are all popular activities. While you could, of course, spend your whole time in Oman on the go, you’ll want to pause occasionally and soak up some of the tranquility and luxury that’s made it so popular with couples, families and honeymooners. World-class spas and an emerging golf culture will appeal to many, too. Whatever you see and do in Oman, expect to be amazed – in a place where you’ll find the extraordinary around every corner. ◆
P ROMOTI ON
Need to know With so much to see and do, it’s no surprise that Oman can be experienced in countless different ways – and Kenwood Travel offers holidays to suit any interest. Take to the mountains, wadis and ocean for an adventurepacked trip; mix city and beach with the whole family in Muscat and Jabal Akhdar; you can even have your wedding or honeymoon in this spectacular setting. Or, for a taste of what Oman has to offer, fly Oman Air to Sri Lanka, Thailand or Malaysia and plan a three-nigh stopover in Muscat. Seven nights’ hotel and flights from £799 per person with Kenwood Travel Call 020 7749 9276 or visit kenwoodtravel.co.uk to find out more
CLOCKWISE FROM MAIN: The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque; traditional body art; Oman’s shores are perfect for kayaking; camel riding at Wahiba Sands; climber Alex Honnold takes on one of Oman’s challenging cliffs
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P ROMOTI ON
Photographs by Michael Werlberger (main); Ski Juwel FG/Thomas Trinkl (chalet); Michael_Werlberger (Kitzbühel); Ski Juwel FG/Berger (friends)
Bursting with culture, fresh alpine air and heaps of sublime snow, Austria’s Tirol region balances fantastic family fun with amazing après ski and the best slopes in Europe
hether you’re an off-piste adventurer or an absolute beginner, when you head to the slopes of Tirol, Austria, you’re certain to find more than just pristine pistes and deep drifts of perfect snow. Wherever you choose to stay, you’ll be revitalised by the calming presence of some of the most beautiful mountains in Europe, and energised by the crisp alpine air from the moment you take to the pistes. For an exciting blend of warm Austrian hospitality and cool après-ski vibes, look no further than Kitzbühel, a picturesque pastelpainted town complete with cosy mountain huts, 35km of cross-country trails and a bar scene that comes alive every evening when the party animals leave the slopes. What’s more, you can take a crash course in adrenaline-filled alpine downhill at the legendary Rote Teufel ski school, where experts are always on hand to get you ruling the runs.
Meanwhile, a short hop across the alps, Ski Juwel balances family-friendly beginners slopes with world-class ski schools and freestyle parks for boarders who like to get tricky. The two-resort skiier’s paradise in Alpbach and Wildschönau is a unique opportunity to find your niche, whether it’s black-run bombing or hacking across 50km of cross-country trails. Beyond the slopes, you’ll find romantic horse-drawn sleigh rides, fun farmers’ museums and a slow train that explores the most rural reaches of the sumptuously snowy region – that’s if you ever get bored of perfecting your glides, jumps and parallel turns on 109km of jaw-dropping pistes, of course. Whether you’re exploring the valleys of the Alpbachtal and Wildschönau regions or perfectly balancing ski-and-city in the charmingly medieval Kitzbühel, every winter break to Austria is easy, effortless and absolutely unique. ◆
© Pascal Tournaire
ALPE D’HUEZ GRAND SKI AREA, FRENCH ALPS
A successful winter holiday, only 3 hours away from London...
Visit us at www.villard-reculas.com and start booking online! In the heart of the Alpe d’Huez Grand Ski Area, Villard Reculas is a resort where you can ﬁnd everything you need for a successful winter holiday. We offer a choice of ski accommodation to suit all budgets and tastes. In this ski resort, both skiers & snowboarders will appreciate the beautiful panoramic views of the summits from the Oisans. Villard Reculas is ideally situated for a quiet skiing & snowboarding holiday with fast, easy access to one of the largest and most sought after ski areas in Europe.
ESSE NTI ALS
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Maps International City trip lover? Our City Street Maps make the perfect gift for a city lover or as a memento of an amazing trip. Cities available include London, Paris, New York, Rome & Barcelona in a range of on-trend colours. Maps International has a great selection of other travel inspired map gifts available this Christmas, visit www.mapsinternational.co.uk/travel for some inspiration.
Paradis Plage 5 minutes from the mythical village of Taghazout in Morocco, stands Paradis Plage Surf, Yoga & Spa Resort on a unique 3-hectare oasis. Waterfront with a 5 Km fine sand beach, Paradis Plage offers an unforgettable stay. Between surfing, yoga, spa, but also golf, this little piece of paradise has been designed to satisfy the desires of every single customer. W: paradisplage.com
ICED GEM AN ALTERNATIVE VIEW
Photograph by Getty Images/All Canada Photos
How do you fancy scaling the side of a frozen waterfall? No? Neither do we. In fact, we’re happy to leave all the crampon-clad clambering to this intrepid young gent in Banff National Park, Alberta, who – alongside Canadian photographer Henry Georgi – struck out into the wilderness in search of adventure and icy ethereality. With average winter highs of a pretty chilly -5°C, there wasn’t too much for the daring duo to worry about, ‘cos that ice ain’t melting any time soon. e
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TOTTENHAM COURT ROAD (OPENING DECEMBER) HOLBORN, ST. PAUL’S, BRENT CROSS, WIMBLEDON
Cold out? I wouldn’t know.
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TOTTENHAM COURT ROAD (OPENING DECEMBER) HOLBORN, ST. PAUL’S, BRENT CROSS, WIMBLEDON
Escapism Magazine - Issue 35 - Winter Sun