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The Gold

Our 24-carat pick of

the worlds best hotels, restaurants,
cocktail and beach bars


Aveyron The wildly

wondrous, little-known corner
of France where a sophisticated
crowd have put down roots

108 Johannesburg
A locals take on the unstoppable
rise of a brash, brilliant, swaggering,
shape-shifting city


Fashion in
London Get your groove on
with a serious Seventies look in the
capitals sleekest new hotel

126 Nicaragua


Point your pirate ship towards

Central Americas treasure trove of
emerald forests and golden sand

Lyles in London, a Gold Standard Hot Restaurant

February 2015 Cond Nast Traveller 7






In this issue
10 Editors letter

134 A travellers tales Around the

world with actor Christoph Waltz

17 Whats new for 2015 Our



predictions for the year ahead, from

the sharpest hotel and fashion scenes
to the drinks you will be quaffing

30 Snapshot When it comes to

bathrooms, well see you outside

34 Short break How a new


generation of inspired designers are

remodelling the city of Frankfurt

39 Where to stay An exclusive

rst look at the reimagined Cheval
Blanc St-Barth Isle de France; ve
stylish B&Bs in the Netherlands;
Sally Shalams Great British Breaks;
Bed-hopping with actor Dominic
West; The Weekender goes to Bath


52 Shopping in New Delhi

A guide to the market where Indian
tailoring meets contemporary cuts

On the cover
Tribal Hotel,
Photograph by
Julien Capmeil

59 Style file The material world of

Brooklyn label Ace & Jig, Cornwalls
coolest surf boutique and more. Beauty
Supermodel Karlie Kloss Jewellery
Designers share their travel-inspired
gems. Mens An uplifting adventure
in the Himalayas. On the scene The
Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver

136 In Britain Our insider guide to

Birmingham, the one-time gritty
industrial powerhouse thats riding
high on a new wave of innovation

145 The experts Health The

sun-kissed Californian spas that dont
take life too seriously. Books On
the road to Kathmandu. Plus, tourist
information for Camelot. Gadgets All
you need to turn your travels into a
documentary lm. Food A bouquet of
cauliowers, and the wine to match.
Q&A Advice on what to see in Laos,
off-the-radar Hong Kong and more

162 Competition Win a wonderful

ve-night holiday at Gaya Island
Resort in Borneo, worth 3,300

164 Reader offer Save more than

40 per cent on a holiday at Sandals
Emerald Bay resort in the Bahamas

180 Room with a view Lion Sands

Game Reserve, South Africa






8 Cond Nast Traveller February 2015

In our Cruise Guide

(October issue),
the cover credit was
missed off. Apologies
to photographer
Jeffrey Milstein,
whose other work
can be seen at www.


12 Contributors


veryone has a weird sleeping story, right? That always ends, And then a
mouse ran over my face! In my one, Im with my friend Jo and were stuck
on Komodo Island in Indonesia. This is more than 20 years ago so there
are no actual places to stay on Komodo, but we had been on a boat, and it
had broken down, and now were stuck on an island with flesh-eating lizards the size of
Hummers, as well as, oddly, three butchers from Reigate. There we are, sitting in the
dark not eating whatever the lone villager has kindly offered us, while massive beasts
with licky tongues strut fatly around us and the three butchers from Reigate are
talking us through, blow by blow, exactly how to butcher a cow, how to dispose of a
pancreas, etc. That night Jo and I go to bed on a wooden board in a hut with nothing
but a wet sheet on top of us. And then a rat ran over my face.
Ive slept in some pretty curious places on my travels. I used to find it weirdly easy
to sleep in the footwell of economy class, less so on the floor of a train from Moscow
to Leningrad, with the smell of boiled meat, black tobacco and a fierce freeze that lingers in my nostrils
still. I once went for a snooze at the bottom of the Mayan ruin of Tikal, and woke up with my face in the
lap of a beautiful boy singing Don Giovanni. By the end of today you will love me, he said. Ive slept in
a pigsty in Honduras and in the back of a jeep in Malaysia. In Bangkok it seemed perfectly natural to share
the cost of a room with a man I had never met before. Five dollars split down the middle. What a saving!
It worked until the night we went to Patpong and watched women with numbers on their bikinis fire
darts out of their noo-noos at balloons the customers were holding above their heads. In the tuk-tuk on the
way home my strange bedfellow went fully fruity and I had to flee on foot, running through the traffic in
order to lose him. And my rucksack, which I had to leave behind in the hostel. (Whats the lesson here?
Always carry your passport and money in a purse-belt beneath your T-shirt.) Once, after a particularly
exciting few days at Glastonbury, I fell asleep directly on top of my friend. When I woke up I wandered out
of bed to see Wayne Rooney sitting at the table of our Winnebago.
Now, of course, I know exactly where Im going to sleep every night. Im going to have a bath, and turn
on my electric blanket and make a nest out of the pillows and stick my silicone earplugs in and read the
same page I read last night before I fall asleep with the lights on and my glasses on my face. I do think this
is funny. I wish my husband would take a picture of it. Me? With glasses on my face and the lights on? Oh,
its funny, no doubt about it.
And yet occasionally it would be good to not know where I was going to sleep that night. To not be
quite so certain. To wake up, for example, in a strange room in Mexico, because a boy has let off all the
strings of bangers we bought the day before. Hundreds and hundreds of multicoloured bangers, the
most incredible cacophony of noise. It was infuriating at the time. But now I look back on it, the hundreds
and thousands of tiny little pieces of paper twirling through the morning light in a dormitory full of
upturned faces, well, I realise it was quite beautiful.
Welcome to the new issue of Cond Nast Traveller.

Melinda Stevens


Truth in Travel is this magazines promise to the reader to be an essential source

of honest, first-hand opinion and must-have information. You can trust Cond Nast Traveller
to give you the unbiased inside track, with integrity and attitude.
All information and travel details are correct at the time of going to press and may no longer be so on the date of publication.
Unless otherwise stated, hotel prices are low-season rates and restaurant prices are for a three-course meal for two without drinks
10 Cond Nast Traveller February 2015

Inspired by our feature on whats hot for
2015, we asked our contributors for
their top travel tips for the year ahead

Kristina Raderschad Producer, Frankfurt (p34)

David Crookes Photographer, Johannesburg (p108)

2015 is all about exploring unknowns such as pony trekking in
Lesotho the highest kingdom in the world. A small island of
independence and regal democracy where Basotho ponies are the
main mode of transport through craggy mountains, it is visually
beautiful, with great air, light and simple pleasures. Davids work
has taken him to more than 65 countries. He is based in Cape Town

I am rediscovering my home town of Cologne its back on

the map for art-and-design acionados as so many exciting things
are going on here. We nally have a high-class boutique hotel, the
QVEST Hideaway, and Art Cologne is happening in April, with
shows in the best spaces in town such as the hip Jan Kaps gallery.
Kristina is a journalist specialising in architecture and design

Julien Capmeil Photographer, Nicaragua (p126)

I recommend Tribal Hotel in Granada, Nicaragua. It is

an oasis of style and calm hidden in the beautiful, low-key
colonial town. This country is just waiting to be discovered, from
the volcanos of Lake Nicaragua to the rugged Pacic coast.
Australian-born Julien lives with his family in Brooklyn

Francesca Babb Interviewer, Bed-hopping (p42)

Fiona Kerr Writer, Aveyron (p98)

Warsaw is getting that next-Berlin buzz about it, with design

shops and galleries in old factories around the Praga district.
This summer hang with the cool crowd at one of the pop-up bars,
including Cud nad Wisla, on the banks of the River Vistula.
Fiona is Cond Nast Travellers Word of Mouth editor
12 Cond Nast Traveller February 2015

My top tip is eggs! Last year, an LA-based friend of mine put a

photo on Instagram that read Egg Slut. I was thrilled to discover
that it wasnt some complicated diss the kids were using these days,
but a restaurant devoted to my favourite breakfast staple all day.
Then I found New Yorks Egg Shop and Londons new Bad Egg,
which promises anything but. Francesca is a London-based writer


Josef Talotta Writer, Johannesburg (p108)

The place to be is Pittsburgh. This former steel town at

one point so dirty one had to pack two shirts to wear to the
office has reinvented itself as the USAs most liveable city. You
will nd vibrant neighbourhoods, great food, a philanthropic
culture and the brilliant Andy Warhol Museum. Josef is an
American who moved to Johannesburg more than 20 years ago

18K gold




T H E B E A C H F I X: D O M I N I C A N R E P U B L I C
The original globetrotter Christopher Columbus called this Caribbean country the most beautiful land eyes have ever seen. But more recently it
became better known for the faux-old-world resorts lining Punta Cana. Now it has new travel cred, chalked up largely thanks to the kitesurfers coming
to the north coast. Urban-chic hotel group Gansevoort has been paying attention and just opened the Gansevoort Playa Imbert in Sosa, pictured,
with wraparound terraces looking onto sensational beaches and a chef who worked at El Bulli. A 30-room Aman Resort is also in the works at Playa
Grande. New roads have slashed travel time around the country too. In the south, the colonial charm of the capital, Santo Domingo, got a boost
with the arrival of Casas del XVI hotel last March. But the best-kept secret is Barahona, where there are unspoilt seaside villages and wonderful little
places to stay, including rainforest hideaway Rancho Platn and eco-lodge Casa Bonita looking out to the Caribbean Sea. KAREN BURSHTEIN

February 2015 Cond Nast Traveller 17


Octobubble, staghorn, club nger, massive starlet: snorkelling over these
kooky living artworks is mesmerising. Coral reefs not only make spectacularly
strange gardens but are also vital to the survival of all life in the ocean. A
splashy exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London this March
highlights the increasing threat of extinction for these complex ecosystems.
As well as installing an aquarium with live sea coral, rework-bright sh and
a virtual dive site, the museum is displaying treasures from its archive of
fossils and specimens collected by Charles Darwin. Also concerned about
the health of our reefs, big-name projects such as Blue Marine Foundation
(whose partners include Selfridges) have focused on conserving ocean life
and reducing overshing. Do your bit on your next trip with dive operator
Original Diving, which is working with the Coral Restoration Foundation on
Danjugan, a private island in the Philippines where a handful of beach huts will
open this year. Even Barack Obama is on board, announcing plans to
create the worlds largest marine reserve in the Pacic. HAZEL LUBBOCK
Coral Reefs: Secret Cities of the Sea opens on 27 March at the Natural History
Museum, London. Original Diving ( offers a sevennight trip to Danjugan Island from 2,100 per person full board, including ights

After camping out with penguins in Antarctica, gazing up at the

Northern Lights in Lapland and bouncing over frozen lava elds in
Iceland, whats the next cold-weather kick? Fix your icy stare across
the Arctic Circle on Greenland. The worlds largest island, most of it
is covered by the only ice sheet outside Antarctica, with just a
smattering of primary-coloured clapboard villages along rugged
hillsides. Here, though, its not just hiking to ice caps and helicopter
trips over calving glaciers (which give birth to giant icebergs). At
Hotel Arctic in Ilulissat Greenlands best chef, Jeppe Ejvind Nielsen,
is experimenting with Arctic cuisine, combining foraged angelica (a
wild herb), crowberries and seaweed with reindeer, musk ox and
straight-from-the-line halibut. Smart expedition ships from Ponant
Cruises and Silversea explore Greenlands quiet coastline and North
Sailing takes passengers on wooden sailing boats up close along the
edge of the frozen Arctic in search of polar bears and beluga whales.
This summer, new eco-camps are popping up: Natural Habitat will
open Base Camp Greenland in the remote and little-explored east,
and the spectacular Glacier Lodge Eqi is refurbishing its rather basic
wilderness huts into sustainable, cosy cabins. DEBBIE PAPPYN

18 Cond Nast Traveller February 2015




Like th e h otel, our of f e r is e x t r a or dina r y. . .


per couple

Including ights, half board
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This adults only boutique resort offers an

intimate, romantic atmosphere and friendly,
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Beautiful spa 7 Unspoilt cove
Completely refurbished late 2013 7
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However you slice it, todays meat eaters are a
picky lot, demanding transparency, sustainability,
super-sleek design and old-school technique from
their suppliers. Here are ve that make the cut
The Meat Hook New York The cool kids of meat. In the shadow of
the elevated Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, this whole-animal butchers
shop has top-quality cuts, butchery classes and a new sandwich outlet.

Persill Paris Places like this are changing the fast-food game. Diners
watch their raw meat being expertly prepared then whisked off to the
kitchen before being served at a butchers-block-topped table.
Hill & Szrok Master Butcher & Cookshop London Butchers
shop by day, wildly successful restaurant by night, this Hackney hotspot
encourages customers to take nose-to-tail cooking home.
Corella Barcelona The transparency is literal here, with big windows
for passers-by to marvel at and glass walls offering views of backroom
butchery areas. Out front, the shop is lined with beautiful cuts.

Boucherie Lawrence Montreal A warm, reclaimed interior, a

stunning meat counter and every kind of prepared food and produce
make this a one-stop shop for all things local. EMILY ELYSE MILLER

20 Cond Nast Traveller February 2015


The tasting bar and, opposite, the

butchers counter at Corella in
Barcelona. Below, breakfast at OSSO
Carnicera & Salumeria in Lima


Renzo Garibaldi is changing the face
of butchery in his native Peru and the
world is taking notice. A stint at a Lima
culinary school was followed by a move
to the USA, where Garibaldi acquired
a passion for raw cuts at San Franciscos
4505 Meats and Fleishers in Brooklyn.
His own butchers, OSSO Carnicera &
Salumeria, opened in the Lima suburb
of La Molina 18 months ago. Starting
out dealing in beef and pork free from
hormones and antibiotics, he then
created a chefs table for carnivores.
Steak tartare, Wagyu burgers and pork
shoulder are among the treats on the
menu, alongside carefully aged budget
cuts such as shoulder blade and chuckeye steak. Garibaldi has the skill to
turn tough Peruvian beef into a tender,
meaty dream: his current pride and joy
is a local porterhouse aged for 30 days.
But besides a passion for top-quality
charcuterie, what makes OSSO stand
out is its use of in-house smoke blends
and a range of techniques that goes
beyond grilling: some meats are smoked
in a china box or baked in a clay oven. The
chefs table has become Limas hottest
reservation, and Garibaldis new project,
the pork-focused Puerco, will open in the
Miraores neighbourhood later this




To catch the latest Almodvar lm, make a pre-club rendezvous or watch

life swagger by on free-spirited Oxford Road, youd always head to the
Cornerhouse. But after 30 years, Manchesters arthouse champion is
upping sticks and eloping with the Library Theatre to form the shiny HOME
venue near Whitworth Street. Not as intimate, perhaps, but more ambitious,
bolder. If nothing else, I want to keep the edginess of the old place, says
Sarah Perks, one of its artistic directors, but with a bigger world view. It
opens in May with much fanfare and a noir-ish funfair theme. In February,
sparks will y when the Whitworth Gallery reopens with a rework meteor

Raise a glass to 2014: its been a good year
for drinkers. Cold-brew coffee, craft beers
and coconut water are just some of the trends
that passed our lips last year. So what to sip
moving forward, and when? Here are
BarChicks predictions

10am Carbonated coffee

The concept is as simple as
it sounds: pour espresso
over ice and tonic to get a
caffeine x with a CO2 kick
Where Saint Frank Coffee
Shop in San Francisco, for an
espresso on Fever Tree tonic

the weekend escapeS

For art-lovers A HOUSE FOR ESSEX
Living Architectures newest rental is really
rather special. Cross-dressing
potter Grayson Perry invented a
ctional character, Julie, as
the inspiration for this twobedroom house overlooking
the Stour Estuary. The result?
A jewel-box-like creation
with an exterior clad in
bespoke green and white tiles
and topped with a golden
copper-alloy roof, with
sculptures crafted by
the artist. Interiors are to be
just as whimsical. Expect the
waiting list to be long.

22 Cond Nast Traveller February 2015

shower triggered by sci-curious artist Cornelia Parker. The gallery shrugged

off its redbrick dowdiness when Maria Balshaw took over the creative
reins; now its had a physical overhaul, spilling out into parkland with
a sculpture garden and orchard. Over on King Street the Bond Street
square on the Mancunian Monopoly board two former banks are being
reimagined: one will become the Hotel Gotham, with Twenties-inspired
decor and a rooftop bar; another the King Street Townhouse, from the
same stable as Didsbury House and Great John Street hotels. And as for
that elusive Michelin star, will 2015 be Manchesters year? RICK JORDAN

3pm Modern botany

Expect fern-leaf garnishes,
vegetable-laced low-proof
liquors and fresh mineral
avours Where Londons
hottest hotel bar, Dandelyan,
where the innovative menu
includes a patchouli zz

8pm Bottled cocktails

Ready to pour quicker than
you can say Old Fashioned.
Shops will start stocking
them, too like alcopops for
grown-ups Where Union
Trading Co in Shanghai for its
zesty, tequila-spiked Paloma

For scenesters SOHO FARMHOUSE

Oxfordshire gets an urban x with the arrival of this car-free, bucolic
playground think The Good Life, but far more fashionable at
Tracey Farm near Great Tew. As well as a main farmhouse and The
Barn restaurant it will have 30 cabins, and its summer opening will be
just in time to put the boathouse-style swimming pool to the test.
Anyone seduced by Skye Gyngells cooking at Petersham Nurseries
or, more recently, Spring will need no convincing of her kitchen
alchemy. Her latest role is Culinary Director of Heckeld Place, the
much-delayed country retreat in Hampshire. Its the ideal
showcase for her vibrant avours, with many raw materials
coming from the estates 340-acre farm.
For spa junkies
This hotels set-to-be-sensational Spa
Village has thermal pools, treatment rooms
and a fountain to take the waters. But you
dont even need to leave your room: three Spa
Suites have thermal waters pumped straight
to their roll-top baths. AOIFE ORIORDAIN




Theres a style turnaround happening in 2015. Instead of China gobbling up Western fashion, home-grown designers are now being devoured. The
countrys economic development is fuelling the trend. So is Peng Liyuan, Chinas stylish rst lady, who sparked a frenzy among fashion editors when
she wore a navy Ma Ke trench on a 2013 state visit to Moscow. The world wants to learn more about China and fashion is the easiest way, says
Beijing haute couturier Guo Pei. The starting gun was sounded in 2010 when X-Men star Fan Bingbing wowed at the Cannes Film Festival in a
yellow-and-gold Laurence Xu gown. Five years earlier it wasnt possible to buy Chinese designers, even in China, says Gemma Williams, author of
Fashion China, the rst anthology to document the countrys top talents (out 9 March; Thames & Hudson). According to Huishan Zhang, whose lace
confections were a hit at last Septembers London Fashion Week: Not all Chinese design is about dragons and the colour red. The Costume Institute
at New Yorks Metropolitan Museum of Art is also endorsing this fast-emerging scene; its big spring exhibition, Chinese Whispers: Tales of the East in
Art, Film and Fashion, will place designers including Ma Ke alongside the chinoiserie of Tom Ford and Giorgio Armani. MELANIE ABRAMS
24 Cond Nast Traveller February 2015




Beijing-based Guo shot to

international attention after
designing the costumes for the
opening and closing ceremonies
of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Her
opulent pieces have cloud, water
and wave motifs, and fans include
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
actress Zhang Ziyi and Lady Gaga.
This year she will show for the
rst time at Paris Haute Couture
Week and launch a diffusion line.

Chinas rising fashion star started

his Guangzhou label in 2012, the
same year he won the Asian nal
of the International Woolmark
Prize. Known for his innovative
use of silk, wool and other natural
bres, he changes textures,
creates new silhouettes and
mashes up old and new China.
This season traditional embroidery
appears on modern grid material.

Shandong-born Qiaoran Huang

and New Yorker Joshua Hupper
are the creative duo behind this
fast-growing label. Just four years
old, the brand showed at New
York Fashion Week for the rst
time last September. The tough
yet girlie style wolf heads and
tattoo-inspired graphics with lace
seamlessly fuses the East with
Downtown Manhattan. MA



To stand out in this city, you need a high-wattage designer, an enviable

location and ever-more-unexpected features. Ian Schrager, the man who
put South Beach on the design map when he opened the Delano 17 years
ago, is back in town with the Miami Beach Edition, designed by Yabu
Pushelberg with extras including an ice-skating rink. And hotelier Jason
Pomeranc has taken over the 1950s Morris Lapidus icon, the Nautilus South
Beach, and is restoring it for an early-2015 opening. He was a co-founder
of Thompson, whose new hotel has a restaurant from star chef Michelle
Bernstein and a crudo bar in a restored 1930s house in the grounds. But
this summers Faena Hotel Miami Beach might just be the new standard
to beat. It has a billing worthy of Hollywood: designed by lm director
Baz Luhrmann and with a 280-seat cabaret theatre. ONDINE COHANE

Havana is revealed through the sumptuous prism of the silver screen this
year in Papa, Bob Yaris biopic of Ernest Hemingway (played by Adrian
Sparks). The rst American feature lmed on Cuban turf since 1959, it
will shine light on the writers Cuba connection, focusing on his friendship
with journalist Denne Bart Petitclerc (Giovanni Ribisi) in the 1950s. Many
locations associated with Hemingway were shot foremost his house, Finca
la Viga, now the Museo de Hemingway and preserved the way he left it. The
Gran Teatro de la Habana, home of the Cuban National Ballet, was dressed
up to look like the bar at Hotel Ambos Mundos where he drank. The real
Ambos Mundos is still open: you can visit the room where he wrote, kept as a
shrine of sorts. But most evocative is Cojimar, a seaside village from where
Hemingway shed on his boat Pilar, which remains unchanged. Yari spent
two years coaxing the US Treasury to issue a special licence to lm on the
island, bending the rules of the blockade. The Cuban lm institution, ICAIC,
stepped in with costumes, actors and location scouting. As relations between
Cuba and the USA gently defrost, this lm marks a watershed. LYDIA BELL

26 Cond Nast Traveller February 2015




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THE future: how tech

will change travel
A stellar round-up of the technology
that could transform your next trip by editor Nate Lanxon
This year, language barriers will be chipped
away at harder than ever and Google wants
to be the pickaxe. Its acquisition of the Word
Lens mobile app means deciphering menus and
street signs will be as easy as holding up your
phone and reading the translation on-screen.

It may seem daft, but virtual-reality headsets
could change the way you y. Case in point:
Airbus. Last year it led a patent to use them
on its planes to give passengers a feeling of
physically being somewhere other than
40,000 feet over the Atlantic already at their
destination or perhaps just sitting up in rst
class. On top of that, Facebook now owns
Oculus, the leading maker of the headsets. Its
fair to assume Mark Zuckerberg has big plans.

In 2014 a Chinese company called WinSun
used a 32-metre printer to produce 10 houses
in one day, each made from blocks formed by
printing layers of cement-glass mix. In the
USA this year architect Adam Kushner aims
to build the worlds rst 3D-printed estate, and
a canal house has been created in Amsterdam.
It wont be long before such buildings appear
as holiday rentals and on festival campsites.



While Ferran Adri gets on with his highminded El Bulli foundation, his younger brother
Albert is making his own mark on the scene.
Theres even a lm crew following him for a
documentary called Constructing Albert, with
the premise that he was the unappreciated
co-author of the most important gastronomic
revolution in history: El Bulli. Evidence for this
has been emerging with the restaurant empire
he has built in Barcelonas Poble Sec. In May he
will open Enigma, the fth outpost of his 5.0

28 Cond Nast Traveller February 2015

project, its design inspired by cathedrals and

Blade Runner. Its my last opening in Barcelona
so it has to be amazing, he says. But his
plans for a seafront restaurant, opening at the
Ibiza Gran Hotel in May, are a better indication
of where the chef is heading. With Cirque
du Soleil pencilled in as the entertainment,
it continues his move away from the world of
high-end dining. In the last few months of El
Bulli we were like robots, he says. Restaurants
should always be fun. TREVOR BAKER


Bill shock, the term applied to the horror of

returning from holiday to discover you owe a
mobile network thousands of pounds, will be
no more. A European parliamentary decision
in 2015 is likely to end all roaming charges in
the EU member states. Cue WhatsApp from
the beach and a ood of holiday seles.




Tubs and sinks used to know

their place, but have now escaped
and emerged into the daylight
Top row, from left: water ows everywhere
at Maalifushi by COMO in the Maldives;
Cape Towns The Greenhouse takes its
name and colour scheme including a
sea-green mosaic wall in the outdoor shower
from its Green Point neighbourhood;
an hour south of Melbourne, Orchard
Keepers has hidden a freestanding soaker in
its gardens; at Graine & Ficelle, a
farmhouse-turned-B&B near Vence,
a galvanised-steel bath overlooks the
countryside; a sunken tub at Soneva Kiris
Bayview Pool Villa Suite in Thailand.
Middle row, from left: a courtyard bath
at Alila Ubud, Bali; to keep it simple,
a bucket has been strung up for soap and
shampoo at Hotel Azcar in Mexico;
immerse yourself in the lunar-like landscapes
that surround Hotel Aire de Bardenas in
northern Spain; after snorkelling the Great
Barrier Reef, freshen up at this villa on
Bedarra Island; an egg-shaped soaker at The
Trident Hotel, Jamaica.
Bottom row, from left: with their otherworldly
setting, the pod-like rooms at Hotel Aire
de Bardenas look like a moon colony from
a science-ction lm; spy the claw-foot
tub outside the Ian Fleming Villa at Jamaicas
GoldenEye; soak up the savannah at
AndBeyond Phinda Homestead in South
Africa; Belmond Khwai River Lodge in
Botswana has a copper bath for wallowing
while wildlife-spotting; on Mexicos Pacic
coast, Veranas rustic houses are wedged into
the jungle-covered hillside. FIONA KERR

February 2015 Cond Nast Traveller 31

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The Beatles went to Hamburg and Kennedy went to Berlin,

but only merchant bankers came to this Germany city.
Now its right on the money as young designers rethink the scene



The Plank Caf-Bar-Studio in the

Bahnhofsviertel area of Frankfurt,
owned by local DJ Ata Marcias

ust behind the train station,

in a small studio, Esther and
Dimitrios Tsatsas are busy
making the most beautiful
handbags youve ever seen: strikingly
minimal designs, precisely proportioned
in an unfussy palette of black, navy and
putty greys. Will this matter a year
from now? reads a memo on the wall.
They ship their leather bags to Amsterdam,
New York and Dalston, but if you find
your way to their front door you can buy
one from them in person.
It was our aim to have a very
contemporary look, says Dimitrios. He
could be talking about his hometown. A
New World city in the heart of old Europe,
it is famous for its banks and skyscrapers
and for many who come here this is
just a business destination. But beneath
the high-rise offices, in little ateliers like
Tsatsas, a quiet revolution is taking place.
People tend to look a bit surprised
when I tell them Frankfurt is one of
my favourite cities. Unlike Berlin or
Hamburg, Frankfurt has never been
remotely trendy. Its always been a bit
unfashionable, not try-hard, and thats
exactly what I like about it. Its the
financial centre of the Eurozone, but on
a Saturday morning its like a quaint
market town. There are green hills on the
horizon. The River Main is never far away.
I first came here 20 years ago with
my now-wife Sophie. We were only
passing through, like most people, but
Sophie had a friend in Frankfurt, so
we stayed for a few days. After all wed
heard about the city being dull and
dreary (mainly from jealous Germans
who we assumed couldnt afford to live
here), we were amazed at what we found.
Yes, the main boulevards were bland
and corporate, but the side streets were
full of quirky shops and cafs. Nobody
we knew had ever raved about it. It felt
like our own secret discovery. Ive been
back several times since, and I like it
more and more. Now I was here to track

down Frankfurts new generation of

designers, young creatives who are part
of a dynamic movement thats changing
the face of this sedate city.
Hanna Ernsting makes funky chairs
and footstools just around the corner
from Tsatsas. We go to Caf Plank
a spartan, charcoal-grey space owned
by Frankfurt DJ Ata Marcias, with the
best coffee in town and grab a takeout
before heading back to her studio to
see her work. Studios like Hannas are
helping revive the Bahnhofsviertel, a
once rundown area around the station.
Its still an edgy red-light district, but it
isnt only about sex shops and kebab
shops anymore. There are so many
nationalities living here now, says Hanna,
enthusiastically. And theres a creative
rush that comes from being at the
confluence of so many diverse cultures.

Jugendstil (Teutonic Art Nouveau) villas.

The city isnt full of must-see sights
but its a very pleasing place to wander.
The best inspiration is a blank page,
reads a sign in a shop window. After the
war, Frankfurt was a blank page, but since
then it has been remade.
The prettiest part of town remains
Sachsenhausen, on the south bank of
the River Main. Frankfurts vast array of
galleries would flatter a place twice
its size, and Sachsenhausen is home to
several of the finest museums, including
the Stadel, with its brilliant art collection
all the big international names, plus
a stunning array of German artists,
from Old Masters such as Drer and
Cranach right through to Georg Baselitz
and Gerhard Richter. Theres more
modern art in the Museum der Moderne
Kunst across the river, including some


For many, Frankfurt is the gateway
to Europe. Germanys biggest airport is
barely 15 minutes away by train. Although
it has all the trappings of a capital, its
incredibly compact. The trams run like
clockwork. Within the city centre you can
get to virtually anywhere on foot or bike.
Frankfurt has always been a merchant
city rather than an imperial capital.
The closest thing it has to a palace is the
Rmer, the medieval town hall. This
is one of the few remnants of the ancient
Aldstadt, which was flattened by Allied
bombers during World War II. The
Aldstadt was rebuilt in modern style,
with few concessions to its former
glories. So if youre looking for romantic
architecture, youve come to the wrong
city. However the high-rise skyline is
thrilling (not for nothing is Frankfurt
nicknamed Mainhattan), and beyond the
centre are rows and rows of handsome

bold paintings by American artists

including Robert Rauschenberg and
Jasper Johns. The building, by Austrian
architect Hans Hollein, is an artwork in
its own right. Built out of bright red
sandstone, on a narrow triangular plot,
it has been nicknamed the Tortenstck
the slice of cake.
Its not just the design scene that has
been reinvigorated; Frankfurts restaurants
and bars are thriving, too. Back in the
red-light district, Maxie Eisen is a buzzy
bar with a speakeasy vibe slide through
the secret door at the back to find the
cocktail den with its glossy red bar.
By day theres bottled beer and delicious
pastrami sandwiches. With its locally
sourced comfort food (hot Mettwurst
sausage; a honey, sesame seed and goats
cheese salad) and hip-yet-homely decor,
Margarete is a great spot for lunch,
while Heimat is a modernist gem where
February 2015 Cond Nast Traveller 35


Left to right: the e15 furniture showroom;

James Ardinast in his Maxie Eisen bar, and
the bars daytime bistro section; Margarete
restaurant, which reinvents regional favourites


the food is just as special classic
European with a contemporary twist and
matched to some delicate German
wines. The menu is short and constantly
changing, with the focus on quality not
novelty. I can understand why resident
chef Gregor Nowak is a rising star.
To stay in the very heart of it, head
for the swanky Jumeirah (doubles from
about 170), set in a sleek, 25-storey
tower with twinkly cityscape views and
a sublime spa. Its a big-name brand
but there are some neat local touches,
such as original German artworks
throughout and yummy honey from the
beehives on the roof.
Far more homely is Lindenberg (doubles
from about 80), a tram ride away in
the Ostend district. Its an apartmenthotel in a historic townhouse, and every
room is unique and decorated in avantgarde style: Eames chairs are mixed
with kitschy lampshades; a map chest has
been turned into a mini sink-and-stove
kitchenette; bold art hangs beneath
36 Cond Nast Traveller February 2015

original mouldings. Theres even a private

cinema in the basement.
On my last day I head out into the
suburbs, where Farah Ebrahimi runs
furniture and architecture firm e15 with
her husband Philipp Mainzer. Their
warehouse showroom is full of timeless
designs. Everything in here adheres to
the Bauhaus principle of form follows
function. It is all perfectly practical and
extremely easy on the eye. An Iranian
who moved here from the USA, Farah
encapsulates Frankfurts internationalism,
and so does this collection. Its more
than just furniture its about travelling,
its about experimenting, she tells me.
Were very comfortable with mixing
periods and pieces from different cultures.
Frankfurt has always been a meeting
place for people and ideas, but thanks
to innovative outfits such as e15, its
become far more cosmopolitan.
After lunch I meet another young
product designer, Sebastian Herkner, in
the Offenbach district. Like many of the

creatives I met, he studied at Offenbachs

prestigious University of Art & Design.
He drives me to Morgen, a warehouse
showroom in the industrial harbour quarter.
Its an authentic and special place here,
with a beautiful view, says Sebastian. Its
definitely an up-and-coming area.
Sebastians graceful glass lamps are on
show here, surrounded by some very smart
furniture, but Morgen isnt just a shop. Its
also an artistic hub. Leading German artist
Tobias Rehberger has a studio in this
building. The downstairs storeroom doubles
as an ad hoc dancehall. This dockside
district is ripe for redevelopment, and
Morgen is a catalyst. Here you can see how
young designers like Sebastian are driving
the regeneration of the city limits. The
place has changed a lot, says Sebastian.
Now its much more colourful. I hate to
admit it, but I fear Frankfurt might actually
be becoming fashionable at last.
Lufthansa (+44 371 945 9747;
flies to Frankfurt from Aberdeen, Edinburgh,
London, Birmingham and Manchester


Nina Hollein has lived in

Frankfurt since 2001 and
designs her own label
of womens and childrens
clothes, sold in her boutique
in Sachsenhausen,
Frankfurts Left Bank

Before I moved here the picture I

had of Frankfurt was a big nancial
metropolis with lots of skyscrapers.
When we arrived, I realised that its
more like a village. That surprised
me. Now Im a huge fan.
Its a very open-minded city, very
international. It has a very positive
mentality. I like all the cultural
institutions here: the Museum of
Applied Art (MAK) is great, and the
Museum of Modern Art, of course.
On Sundays I jog along the River Main,
which is beautiful. Theres a lot of
places to stop and eat, such as
Restaurant Emma Metzler in MAK,
by the park, or Restaurant
Gerbermhle for traditional Frankfurt
food such as potato soup and
marinated cheese. In summer its
perfect. Theres a small caf at the

Liebieghaus sculpture gallery (with

the rather straightforward name of
Caf im Liebieghaus), which feels
very hidden and romantic. I love to go
there alone and order a coffee. The
citys cool clubs and bars include Club
Michel and Neglected Grassland (run
by Frankfurt scenester Hans Romanov),
and even in hip places the people are
very friendly. The Sachsenhausen
district has several museums, and
attracts designers with their own labels
as well as a load of artists you always
see the same faces. Brckenstrasse
is home to small fashion shops, one
after the other a few of my
favourites are Ich War Ein Dirndl (for
Fairtrade chic), Freud (where
everything has dots on) and Peggy
Sue (for the rockabilly vibe). This is
the alternative Frankfurt scene.


Reviews of the month in St Barths Netherlands Bath + Dominic West




The top hotel on St Barths is beach-fit after an intriguing makeover, says Vassi Chamberlain
I always thank the good fortune that
took me to St Barths one Christmas
12 years ago, when a friend invited my
family to stay. Weve been back every
year since, and when Im away I hanker
for it like a lovesick teenager.
That first year I fell in love with the
beauty of St Barths, a perfectly sized,
immaculate and hilly island where there
are no Barbados Versailles-like follies
or Mustique Taj Mahals. Its French
territory, so gendarmes walk the streets
wearing kepi hats, the supermarkets

sell Vacherin and fond de veau and the

restaurants (Mayas, Bonito and LEsprit
Saline are the holy trinity) are better
than in the South of France. In Gustavia
(the main harbour where everyone
takes a walk at six oclock each evening
to check out the super-yachts, have a
cocktail in the Carr dOr square and
see whos arrived), the Herms, Cartier
and Louis Vuitton boutiques are always
packed, but its the kooky shops that
I love so much Calypso for beautiful
boho kaftans, or Poupette for pretty

Poolside at Cheval Blanc

St-Barth Isle de France
February 2015 Cond Nast Traveller 39


dresses and hessian clutches. The

beaches, where everyone is topless, are
perfection, unspoilt by restaurants, shops
or ridiculous lunchtime discos. Even
Diane von Furstenberg and Stephanie
Seymour lie on towels on the sand, their
drinks in plastic coolers. There is a Nikki
Beach, but its a sorry little spot where
the uninitiated go on their first trip.
The biggest attraction is the people, an
extraordinary mix not shy to show their
plumage, rich and not so rich, beautiful and
interesting-looking, extravagant, creative
but most of all excited and hungry for life.
It makes me laugh when people tell me
theyve heard the social side of St Barths is
too hectic, like St Tropez. The truth is theres
a lot going on, but its all very chilled and
last-minute, with no pretension.
That first year a friend of a friend invited
us to a party hosted by Russell Simmons,
the co-founder of Def Jam records. Puff
Daddy was there, and Anthony Kiedis of
the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Mary J
Blige. The DJ played hip hop and RnB;
we didnt dare dance but we felt young
and happy. There was a tropical storm as
we left, but we kept the top down on the
Jeep and sang in the rain all the way home.
Another time we went to a party on
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allens 415ft
yacht Octopus, where Jon Bon Jovi sang.
As in all the best places, there is a
grand old lady who has the social scene



clutched to her bosom. The Cte dAzur

has the Htel du Cap; here its the Cheval
Blanc St-Barth Isle de France. Until last
year she was just called the St-Barth Isle
de France, but she recently married into
the LVMH family which owns the Cheval
Blanc hotel trio (Courchevel and the
Maldives are the other two), a union that
many old-timers, despite the newcomers
excellent pedigree, were nervous about.
I had never actually stayed (Id had
sleepovers in friends bungalows and room
service more nights than I can remember)
but because I know many who have, she
felt like an old friend. Ive spent many days
hanging out drinking rum punches on the
beach, spying Jay-Z and Beyonc in the
40 Cond Nast Traveller February 2015

restaurant, Marc Jacobs canoodling with a

new boyfriend and Ryan Seacrest turning
the music up while the staff werent looking.
The low-built hotel sits on the perfect arc
of Flamands beach, where a few billionaires
also live in discreet houses along the sand.
They leave their villas at lunchtime and
head for the hotel, strolling down the beach
five-abreast with their important guests
like penguins migrating to the next ice floe.
At first glance, nothing has changed,
particularly the hotels heart and soul, the
staff. They were always young, charming
and professional, only now theyre dressed
in cute seersucker uniforms from Damien
on the beach to Cristelle the manager.
The decor (whitewashed French country

furniture and pretty fabrics) has been

upgraded with touches of the palest
salmon-pink on everything from glasses
to beach towels. Its a lovely shade that
was meticulously researched and has been
used with restraint, lighting everything
up like a young girls bedroom.
There are rooms and suites on the
beach and bungalows in the garden at the
back. All have huge, modern bathrooms,
and the beds are fluffy and cosy like the
kind you find in a ski resort. Every night
a treat was delivered to our room an
infusion of garden flowers, a beach bag
and flip-flops, a pareo embroidered with my
name. It sounds ridiculously luxurious, and
it is; but theres something very dcontract
about it, like a person who has been rich
for a very long time and no longer needs
to show off about it.
I visited just before Thanksgiving, when
the exacting New York crowd was starting
to arrive, and you could see everyone

Occaboremo berrum exerum et

utetur aut ut eatiis dolupitiam
qui doloresed molor ad ma
aut voluptatem esedit paribus
dest, cum fuga. Sae si a no
nem quas expel mos vid quunt

breathe a sigh of relief. All was as it had

been, or even a little bit better. The food
in the two restaurants (La Case de lIsle in
the main part of the hotel by the pool,
and La Cabane de lIsle on the beach)
has always been excellent, and the perfect
balance remains unchanged. There is
still the same mix of gazpacho, salmon
tartare, the best frites in the world (no
exaggeration) and sole meunire. Its
a feat of restraint on the part of LVMH
to have understood how good the product
they inherited already was. The old lady
of St Barths has had a little work done,
but she still reigns supreme.
Carrier (+44 161 492 1354;
offers seven nights at Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle
de France from 2,355 per person, based on
two sharing a Garden Room, including breakfast,
return World Traveller ights with British Airways
from Gatwick to Antigua, onward ights with
Tradewind to St Barths and transfers

A Garden Bungalow bedroom. Above, the hotel

entrance on Flamands beach. Opposite: an
artwork by Manuel Mrida in La Case de lIsle
restaurant; a nioise salad with fresh tuna



The star of The Wire and The Hour tells Francesca Babb about his favourite hideaways


This is a family-run hotel on the
Pembrokeshire coast. The rooms are big
and elegant, and its a bit like staying
in a friends house. The meals are
home-cooked and theres a great bar,
and of course theres that amazing coast
to explore. Doubles from 80


I stayed here very recently and its really
cool. It has its own bakery and every morning
they hang a bag of croissants on your door
handle. The rooms have these great Gothic
windows and there was a huge lightning
storm during my stay. I was lying in bed when
this enormous bolt came crashing down
outside the window. It was very dramatic.
I just thought, I wish I had my crucix and
a bulb of garlic. Doubles from 100

Dominic West stars in Testament of Youth, released on 16 January

42 Cond Nast Traveller February 2015

Ive been coming here for
about 20 years. Its pretty
cheap, and I like it because
there are ights of creaky
wooden stairs and each
bedroom has a medievalthemed mural and an old brass
bed. Its run by a Moroccan
lady, and every morning she
makes huge bowls of Turkish
coffee. Doubles from about 70


I went here after trekking to the South Pole
with Walking with the Wounded. Its right
by a lake; you stay in pods on the ice and
you can watch the glaciers. Its the best
place Ive ever been, even though it takes
a lot of effort to get there. Expeditions can
be booked through


This hotel is made up of several
riads joined together so that one
peaceful courtyard gives way to
another, with marble basins, song
birds, palms and greenery hanging
down the walls. We ate on the
roof, lying on striped banquettes
(the low tables were perfect for
my wife, who was very pregnant),
with carpets on poles to keep off
the sun. It felt like we were in an
an eyrie far away from the world.
Bliss. Doubles from about 160


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By Pauline Egge



This converted water tower dates back to 1882. Theres a terric restaurant in the
former pump station next door, a beautiful ornamental garden, a vegetable patch
and a market shop. The owers that decorate the breakfast tables will have been
cut that morning, the teatime cakes are baked daily and the delicious dishes in the
restaurant are avoured with home-grown herbs, so everything is full of avour, from the
goats cheese salad starter to homemade ice cream with pears for pudding. Of the
37 bedrooms, 10 have stunning views of the Wantij River in front of the hotel and there are
12 equally lovely ground-oor Garden Rooms. All have interesting design elements, such as
a vintage cabinet or large industrial locker for your clothes. The big reading table in the
restaurant, topped with piles of international magazines and newspapers, is a great place to
start the day with a fresh orange juice and delicious poached eggs. Theres also a boat with
a skipper for day trips to de Biesbosch nature reserve. Oranjelaan 7 (+31 78 639 3111; Doubles from about 100


44 Cond Nast Traveller February 2015



Amazingly, this is the rst
really smart boutique hotel in
the upmarket seaside village
of Noordwijk with front-row
views of the North Sea. Brothers
Michiel and Martijn van den Berg run
the place, and also own the two beach
clubs (Bries and Zuiderbad) opposite.
They are long-term friends with Bart
Akkerhuis, who has worked as an
architect for Renzo Piano in Paris for
years and was responsible for the
interior design, including a sculptural
shelving unit that bisects the building
from behind the ground-oor bar
all the way up to a stained-glass
skylight. The service is skilled but
relaxed: check-in is conducted from the comfort of a sofa rather than a desk; luggage is
delivered to your room pronto; staff welcome you with delicious nibbles (delicate
cheese sticks wrapped in Iberico ham). The bedrooms are a mix of contemporary and
vintage, with many items of furniture bought by the owners from ea markets in Paris.
Suppers are fresh and shy and may include clams, oysters or salmon sashimi. Dutch
suikerbrood the most delicious bread you will ever taste is served at breakfast along
with frisky fresh juices and healthy shakes. Koningin Astrid Boulevard 46 (+31 71 800
9988; Doubles from about 95



When you visit a friend in North Brabant
province, its customary to enter through the
back door. As Michel Deneef, owner of this
former rectory in Tilburg, says, Only strangers
would use the front door, and we want our guests
to feel at home. Fortunately, the back view of
this four-bedroom B&B is particularly lovely, with
its waterfront terrace, sunny garden restaurant
and long communal dining table on the porch.
This is a place where everyday worries cease to
exist, where guests kick back and savour the
laidback vibe and locals pop in for a drink or
delicious prawn croquettes, the most popular
dish on the menu. The bedrooms are all
different: romantic Bad & Boek (Bath & Book)
has a private terrace, a bed with views to
the Piushaven and a freestanding bathtub; Blad
& Borduur (Leaves & Embroidery) has an
embroidered rose above the master bed (the
room sleeps ve), a reference to Tilburgs
position as the Netherlands City of Textiles.
Explore the surrounding neighbourhood on foot,
or take the villas boat. The nearby
TextielMuseum hosts quirky exhibitions, such as
Picassos little-known works with fabrics.
Hoevenseweg 2 (+31 13 211 9040; Doubles from about 65






Owner Saskia Hurd wanted to open a hostel in
Amsterdam, but she couldnt nd the right place.
Then she happened upon a quartet of empty
buildings in Haarlem and snapped them up. The
result is an exceptionally pretty hostel with 12 rooms,
all with private showers (although some do share a loo).
There are simple doubles, and also two with a typical
Dutch bedstee (a bed in a cupboard with doors you
can close). The biggest room has no fewer than 14 bunk
beds, perfect for a group of young friends or as
somewhere to offload the children. Its all very lo-,
without any televisions and only old-fashioned board
games in the lobby; for chilly nights theres an open
replace on the terrace. Meals are served in the living
room; breakfast options include the local Dutch two
cheeses from the region served with artisan bread and
for the sweet-toothed, the Zoetekauw: bread with jam,
chocolate sprinkles, apple spread and krentenmik (raisin
bread with brown sugar). The hostel is a ve-minute
walk from the town centre and the young, enthusiastic
staff are always happy to make recommendations. From
here, youre only 20 minutes from Amsterdam by train,
and the beaches of Zandvoort and Bloemendaal are
close at hand. Spiegelstraat 4 (+31 23 844 6916; Doubles from about 65




This intriguing hotel is made from two
former squats knocked together, and you
would be hard-pressed to nd a more
central location: its near all the canals,
cafs and restaurants you could possibly want.
The hotel is set over four oors, each with its
own colour scheme: choose from black, brown,
grey or white goose. The interior design is
warm and cosy with plenty of exposed beams
and rustic-chic, bare-brick walls. Some of the
bedrooms have magnicent views of the
Domtoren, the highest church tower in the
Netherlands. There is no restaurant, but
breakfast is served at the Daens Caf across
the road, and if you want to try the best coffee
in Utrecht, its just a short walk to Village Coffee
and Music on Voorstraat, where they make
a delicious soy-milk latte. Ganzenmarkt 26
(+31 30 303 6300;
Doubles from about 85

46 Cond Nast Traveller February 2015








2015 Crystal Cruises, Inc., Ships registry: The Bahamas.





This month, our happy wanderer goes on a history-and-art-filled amble to
find three hideaways so cosy they warm up even the deepest mid-winter
Some call the Magna Carta the most important
document in the world, the foundation of
modern democracy. A solution to a medieval
political crisis, signed by King John at
Runnymede in 1215, it is 800 years old this
year. Incredibly, four original copies still exist
and you can see them all, should you choose,
on enlightening 800th-anniversary trails.
I have seen one reputedly the best
preserved in the Chapter House at Salisbury
Cathedral (and that is one of Europes nest
Gothic wonders). Youd think there would be
signposts as far away as Stonehenge, but it was all
rather low-key (this year there will be a bit more
hoop-la as a special exhibition is promised).
After my viewing, I climbed the cathedrals
tower to a balcony 225ft high, and was amply
rewarded with views across red-tiled roofs
towards the chalk uplands of Salisbury Plain.
Then I wandered along the Avon to Fisherton
Mill for linguini with crab, chilli and saffron in
the industrial-chic caf created within this
converted 19th-century building alongside
an art gallery and studios. I stayed overnight at
the fresh, New England-style Quidhampton
Mill (doubles from 90), where three B&B
rooms have just been converted into two big
self-catering suites.

Not far away as the crow ies, yet a world
from ecclesiastical grandiosity, is the Arts
and Crafts loveliness of the Watts Chapel,
near Guildford. Writer and heritage expert
Lucinda Lambton calls it one of the most
magical buildings in the whole of the British
Isles. I stumbled across it while visiting the
Watts Gallery, which houses a permanent
collection of allegorical and portrait paintings
by Victorian artist George Frederic Watts.
The chapel is just along the lane in the
village of Compton and was designed by the

artists wife, Mary. On a winters day you

might get the myriad colours and somewhat
Byzantine interior all to yourself.
Stay near here amid the frosted garden
terraces and lawns of Pennyhill Park (doubles
from 365), where two-Michelin-star
restaurant The Latymer is presided over by the
brilliant chef Michael Wignall. A mid-winter
menu might start with poached and torched
smoked eel, feuille dbrick cigar with eel
mousse, compressed Japanese cucumber in
sake, ponzu jelly and warm quince tea, followed
by Lakeland roe deer, jerk-scented salsify,
black-pudding paste and crumble, juniper
powder and beetroot cooked in beeswax.
Yorkshire forced rhubarb, nitro ginger rocks
and natural-yogurt sphere with Sauternes
cream for pudding will round off such a
vibrant day with suitable amboyance.

I rst tried Wignalls exciting cooking when
he worked at The Devonshire Arms (doubles
from 160) in North Yorkshire. An 18thcentury Herbert Royle painting hangs in the
lobby of this classic country-house hotel, a
view towards the romantically mystical ruins
of Bolton Abbey (the original 12th-century
Augustian priory destroyed during the
dissolution of the monasteries).
Apart from a footpath or two and a gate,
little seems to have altered since Royle put
brush to canvas. It is an easy walk from the
hotel to the abbey, along the winter-bare banks
of the River Wharfe. Then back to log res
and charcoal sofaed elegance for afternoon tea
at the last in my trinity of New Year treats.

48 Cond Nast Traveller February 2015








Each of our beautiful catered villas in Mallorca,

the south of France and Mykonos comes with a
private pool and experienced Scott Dunn staff.
Your private chef will prepare mouth-watering
menus, with the ingredients sourced from local
markets. Your nanny will tailor activities to your
childrens individual needs to ensure they have
the most wonderful time; and your villa host will
take care of everything from bringing you fresh
sorbets by the pool, to advising you on the local
highlights. There really is nothing left for you to
do except relax and enjoy the sunshine.



For more information about our villas, please call

0203 582 8269 or visit




island of smoked trout in a kryptonitegreen cucumber sea comes out still
smoking from under a bell jar. Some
things have been done three ways and
intricately arranged; there are vegetables
that sound like verbs, still-lifes of
scallops and smoked eel, and miniature
mushrooms. Dabs of charcoal-infused
squid-ink cream infused my very head
so I went to bed dreaming of bonfires.
stayed in the Garden Villa for three
months; U2 and the Rolling Stones
have, independently, taken over the entire
hotel. Lovely people, said one member
of staff. And no throwing TVs out of
windows now that theyre middle-aged.
WE LIKE Having all this history to
yourself once the day-trippers have
left. From the moment you drive up on
the cobbled street outside, the welcoming
staff get everything spot-on. Both spa
and restaurant are superlative.


WHAT IS IT? The location, plumb in
the middle of the Royal Crescent,
made me giddy with its loveliness: this
is Georgian architecture at its finest, in
buttery Bath stone, the whole grand
sweep of it Grade I listed. Set in a pair
of terraced houses, this hotel is vast,
with great panelled walls and ceilings
garlanded with fancy cornicing lofty
enough to accommodate even the silliest
of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshires
wigs (as evidenced by Keira Knightley in
the 2008 film The Duchess). Long sash
windows give wonderful views across
the amphitheatre or overlook the acre
of gardens out back, across which are
the Dower House restaurant, a spa, the
Garden Villa and the pillared Pavilion.
Wood the Younger built the crescent in
the 1760s, it was simply a faade. Each
of the 30 frontages was sold, and owners
had their dream homes built behind
it: mansions made for entertaining (Jane
Austen had the Elliots take one in
Persuasion). The hotel takes up numbers
50 Cond Nast Traveller February 2015

15 and 16, which in the 1970s were

turned into a one-star property (and
has since picked up another four). A
top-to-toe refurb in spring 2014, by local
interior designer Jane Clayton, updated
and revivified that Georgian grandeur
with an eye on the present day.
SLEEP Though not quite themed, each
of the 45 rooms and suites has a different
colour scheme and antiques from the
original property. The Royal Crescent
Suite has its own drawing room and
a silk-draped, jump-on-me four-poster
so high you need a leg-up. The blue-andwhite Duke of York Suite is breathtakingly
large and light, with floor-to-ceiling
windows from which you half-expect to
see Anne Elliot tottering after her
Captain Wentworth. Even the most
modest rooms reached up the butlers
staircase to the attic quarters, past a
window-seat reading nook are lovely.
EAT Scottish chef David Campbell is
going for rosettes rather than stars, but
still, its all thrillingly theatrical: an

CONTACT +44 1225 823333; www.royal Doubles from 250,
including use of spa. LAURA FOWLER


Visitors have been coming to take the
waters for 2,000 years, and its still very
much the thing to do. There are tours of
the Roman baths, above, and you can
swim at the Thermae Spa; but for a more
exclusive dunk, the Royal Crescent has its
own spa, with cathedral-like windows above
the 33C pool and sunlight playing on stone
walls. The ESPA treatments are serious
and effective the Lifestage Facial brought
back cheekbones Id forgotten I had.



WE DONT LIKE Sockets are so

discreet youd have to be a ninja to plug
anything in. Theres no minibar, so you
have to order, which can take some time.

ABTA No.V1464


Clockwise: trunks at Nappa

Dori; illustrations at Chez Nini;
ceramics at Artisan Luxe; painting
at the Scarlette hotel. Opposite,
laptop bag at Nappa Dori


Where Mumbai is glittery, chaotic and unpredictable, Delhi
is sensible, staid and proper or so it is often said. Mehar
Chand Market might be the exception that proves the rule.
For years it was known as the Wonder Market, thanks to
the tailors who touted their ability to breathe life into old
clothes. Today like Delhi itself and India as a whole its
in a state of rapid transformation, as old-school shop owners
sell up and are replaced by a bright young crowd of fashion
and design creatives who fuse Indian artisanship with
a contemporary aesthetic. This is where cool Delhi goes to
shop, eat and be inspired. By Charlotte Sinclair

February 2015 Cond Nast Traveller 53

This page, clockwise: Nourish

Organics in the Mehar Chand
Market; Artisan Luxe; childrens
fashion at Almirah; the CMYK
bookstore; bag at Nappa Dori.
Opposite page, clockwise from
left: Cottons and Satins;
ceramics at Artisan Luxe; The
Living Room Caf, just south
of the market; Pia Pauros
boutique; homewares at En Inde


PIA PAURO Pia trained at the London

School of Fashion and her boutique
is a gem, with rails placed under the
canopy of a maharanis tent; the beaded,
jewel-bright mini-dresses and languorous
kaftans pair local tailoring with a
European cut, and are great for sloping
around St Tropez and Ibiza. 40 Mehar
Chand Market (+91 11 4905 2282)
EN INDE The showroom for this
innovative jeweller is a cool loft space
with painted brickwork and floorto-ceiling windows an aesthetic that
matches the labels chunky, industrial
steel collars and tribal beads, as well
as curated homewares including rustic
woven baskets and wooden butcher
boards. No 125126 (+91 11 4905 0832)
NAPPA DORI Leather-goods-maker
Gautam Sinha combines modern and
traditional design for his own label,
making delicious ikat-fabric satchels,
canvas overnighters printed with vintage
photographs, and lacquered steamer
trunks, hat boxes and desk trays. No 25
(+91 11 2462 2599;
54 Cond Nast Traveller February 2015

MANAN DESIGN Kurtas, loose-fit

bed jackets and ankle-sweeping skirts of
Indian traditional dress are reconceived
in a muted palette of navy, white, black
and cream, and given a sleek silhouette.
No 115 (


ARTISAN LUXE An airy, elegant

store that showcases a mix of Indian
decorative talents, with beaten-tin lamps,
engraved glass, Jaipur dhurries and
appliqu-embellished table linen. No 56
(+91 11 4905 1158)
from Artisan Luxe, this stocks heavenly
fabrics in paisley and Suzani patterns
and a rainbow of colourways, available by
the metre, plus matching ready-made
cushions. No 48 (+91 11 4905 0600)
NAVYA The sign makes the boast
Everything beautiful which indeed it
is. Walk past the twee reproduction
French furniture (theres a lot) to find
printed, quilted, appliqud fabrics stacked
up to the ceiling, glass coasters painted
with hummingbirds and Aubusson
cushions embroidered with the directive

Kiss (and an eighth of the price of

something similar at The Rug Company).
No 33 (+91 11 4905 2281)
SOMA and FABINDIA Both are stalwarts
of Indias shopping scene and their
Delhi stores have much to recommend
them, including block-printed cotton
on everything from tablecloths to duvet
covers and, at Fabindia, pretty lacquered
dishes in sorbet colours. Soma, no 46
(+91 11 2462 7046;;
Fabindia, no 2122 (+91 11 4905 1502;
NIVASA Designer Rohit Kapoors eye
for style has given a high-end update
to Indian handicraft, with marquetry
coffee tables, mirrored sideboards and
carved wood chairs. (Staff can arrange
delivery for larger items.) No 27 (+91 11
4905 0421;


LOVEBIRDS As sweet as its name,

with jewellery by young Delhi artisans
alongside owner Amrita Khannas
covetable shirt-dresses and the designer
cast-offs of Delhis fashionable locals.
Theres even a tiny caf on a balcony at


the back for mint tea and walnut cake.

No 32 (+91 98 1003 6992;




CMYK This concept bookstore has an

impressive selection of photography
editions, cookbooks, novels, design
catalogues and works of Indian history.
It also hosts documentary screenings,
photography workshops, calligraphy
lessons and readings. No 1516 (+91 11
2464 1881;


THE LODHI The hotels shop has a welledited mix of textiles, silverwork, carvings,
kaftans, jewellery, cashmere shawls even
paintings. The suites have daybeds for
watching the sun melt over Lodhi Gardens.
www.; doubles from 205.
SCARLETTE For a Paris-meets-India
vibe, this four-room chambres dhte is
furnished with framed Rajasthani textiles,
rattan rugs and wicker chairs; its run by
26-year-old Pauline Bijvoet, who moved
here to work in the fashion industry. www.; doubles from 75

local know-how
Pia Pauro
The location of Mehar Chand Market
is amazing; its in the heart of Lutyens
New Delhi yet remains off the beaten
track. Im here because the rents are
more affordable for the rst time,
there was a real opportunity for young
designers like myself to open a

boutique in the city. Its great that the

market is attracting such eclectic
stores. My favourite spots are Elmas
for puddings, Chez Nini for a glass
of wine, Kunafa for sticky, sweet
baklava and great Arabic coffee.
I shop for jewellery at En Inde, at
Almirah for adorable, printedcotton childrenswear, and Citrus
for colourful, contemporary Indian
clothing. There is no best time to visit
the market, but its fun during
Februarys India Design Week, when
all the stores do something special
and over Diwali and Christmas
there are movie screenings, book
readings and live music.

Greaves Travel (+44 20 7487 9111; offers ve nights
at The Lodhi hotel, from 1,699 per person,
including ights, transfers and breakfast.

, / / ]181,96With nearly 800 luxury properties worldwide within our portfolio we
have something to suit every traveller. Be it an exceptional view, a
beachfront house or a breath-taking innity pool, our luxurious villas
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With the emphasis as much on service as on the villas themselves,
our professional, approachable and friendly multi-lingual travel experts
make sure everything is perfectly tailor-made by visiting every new villa
in our portfolio and regularly returning to our existing properties. With
such a unique knowledge of each villa and its surroundings we can
give you the best possible guidance and advice for your family.
For the ultimate experience some extra services can be added upon
request in many of our villas. So if you would like to be greeted
with champagne, benet from a private chef providing exceptional
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PLUS Beauty Jewellery Mens & On the scene



Sweet as honey
The Mini Bee Bag, 1,295, Burberry (
February 2015 Cond Nast Traveller 59




We both have the same pair of Omnigod

patched boys jeans that we found in Tokyo,
which we cherish. And Cary has a vintage yellow
eyelet dress from Mamzelle Swing in Paris
thats a favourite. We are big collectors. We
always hit up ea markets
wherever we go and
are known to
rummage through
baskets brimming
over with a mass
of materials. We
collect everything
and anything that
tugs at our hearts,
from buttons,
trims, antique
swatches and clothes
to old books.


At the Principe di Savoia in Milan, where we stayed once,

our suite was like a setting from a movie; we immediately
started jumping on the bed like children giddy with delight.
Some of our best meals have been in Italy. Il Latini is in an
alley behind the Santa Maria Novella in Florence. There
are hams hanging from the ceiling and as soon as you walk
in food just starts being brought out in huge family portions.
Da Adolfo restaurant in Positano, below, is another great
nd. A wooden boat takes you to a secluded cove where
they serve just-caught sh and plenty of local wine.
Ace & Jig is available at Liberty of London (

This Brooklyn fashion label puts a smile on your face. The more
weather-worn the vintage fabrics the better, according to design
duo Cary Vaughan and Jenna Wilson, whose mismatched textiles
are made by hand in India. Here they share their patchworked world

The main drive behind Ace &

Jig was to create a seasonless
collection loosely based on
one fabric not denim or tees
or knitwear. We wanted to
make our own yarn-dye material
that could tell many stories. Our
silhouettes are quintessential
pieces that live and travel
with you. We like to play with
weights and textures.

60 Cond Nast Traveller February 2015

We love the colour and quirkiness

of old hotels. A few favourites are
The Greenbrier in West Virginia
and the Madonna Inn, California.
We had the chance to tour
Skylands, Edsel Fords Maine estate,
now the holiday home of Martha
Stewart. It is incredible. The
property is so lovingly preserved
and the gardens are unbelievable.
We also love the Japanese designer
Tsumori Chisato, her patterns are
so whimsical.



Shady lady
If you buy just one thing for your
travels this month make it a pair
of unusual statement frames.

Sunglasses, 322, Alain Mikli at

David Clulow (

Palm Peach sunglasses,

250, Termite Eyewear (www.

SHOP WATCH: MMW at Revolver

Michelle Walsh has struck gold
with her curious new surf store in
Newquay. The location isnt so
surprising the big waves have
brought a motley crew to Cornwall
for years but the idiosyncratic labels
she has sourced from all over the
world to sit alongside the surf gear are
drawing an entirely new crowd to the

north coast. Uashmama washable

paper bags from Italy, colourful Baob
futons and LA-based label Rxmance
(inspired by ping-pong and
snorkelling) are just a few of the star
attractions. Think True Romance
meets Point Break. A pop-up store
in Biarritz is also planned this year.

Last year there was an
insurmountable number
of pineapples appearing
in design. This year it is
the turn of the amingo.

Cast titanium sunglasses, 745,

Khaleda Rajab & Fahad Almarzouq

Swimsuit, 145, Solid

and Striped x Poppy
Delevingne (www.
Melina amingo
tote, 575, Mary
Katrantzou (www.

Black Cat Eye sunglasses, 245,

Erdem (

Flamingo wallpaper, 25 per square

metre, Sera Holland at Handmade
By Me (

Cherry Lips sunglasses, 165,

Yazbukey (

Flavia amingo box clutch, 1,220,

Edie Parker (

Wheres the best place youve
travelled to for work?
I absolutely love Iceland. Its one of
the most magical and extraordinary
countries Ive ever been to. Its unlike
any other spot in the world.

What is your skincare routine

when ying?
I take lots of long ights, so I try to
travel make-up-free. Shu Uemuras
cleansing oil is great for removing
make-up and Im a big fan of Kiehls
Midnight Recovery Concentrate. Its a
brilliant night cream and is perfect for
a long-haul trip when moisturising is a must.



Any tips for keeping up appearances

after a long-haul journey?
Its all about travel-size bottles. I wash my
face half an hour before landing and then
retouch with a little make-up: LOrals
Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara
and a tinted moisturiser.

How do you look after your skin when

youre working all over the world?

Beauty Cleansing
Uemura (www.

I have to wear lots of make-up for shows

and shoots, so its important that the
products I use undo any damage done during
the day. La Roche-Posays Hydraphase
Intense Masque is really gentle on the skin
and LOral Paris Perk-up Cream is fab for
around the eyes.


The all-American supermodel who has been shot by Mario Testino and Bruce Weber talks to Tabitha Joyce
What is the top beauty tip
youve learnt on the job?
Im always learning something
new on shoots but my favourite
is to lightly heat up your eyelash
curler with a hairdryer; the curl
will hold longer and really help
give a full lash. Works every time!

Where do you nd your

best beauty buys?
Im obsessed with City-Pharma,
a big discount pharmacy in the
Saint-Germain area of Paris. You
can get the most amazing
products there.

Where do you go
to relax?
Amanyara in the Turks
and Caicos is so serene.
And I love the foot
massages at Aire Ancient
Baths in Manhattan.
62 Cond Nast Traveller February 2015

Do you like to sunbathe?

My mom would always yell
at us to put on SPF. Her
warnings are ingrained in my
mind and every time I go to
the beach Im super-careful.

How do you get your

body beach-ready?
Fitness is a big part of my
life. I mix up my workouts,
with strength training at
ModelFit and cardio at
SoulCycle in New York.

Do you ever detox?

Keeping my diet healthy is
important, so I try to eat lots of
nutrient-dense foods. I havent
gotten into the detox craze, but
I make sure to have a colourful
diet: lots of green, purple and
orange foods. Its more fun to
think of nutrition in colours than
in calories or grammes.

Clockwise from left: nail polish,

7.99, Essie (
Skin Perfection Anti-fatigue
Perk-up Cream, 7.99, L
L Oral
Paris ( Acqua
di Sicilia, 85, Santa Maria de
Novella (+44 20 7493 1975)

How do you protect your

hair in the sun?
Sun hats!

What fragrance do you

wear when youre away?
I just started using Acqua di
Sicilia from Santa Maria de
Novella and I adore it. I also
like Anthropologies candles.

Do you have a signature nail

colour for holiday?
Pale pink. I did ballet for years and
had to have neutral nails. I like Essies
Romper Room; the ballet look stuck.




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Jewellers often lead a double life. For much of the time they are consumed by the minutiae of
designs, their horizons reduced while huddled over sketch books. So when they travel, the wider
vista gives a flash of inspiration. Five of our favourite designers share such a creative moment


I was on holiday in the Seychelles with my husband. One evening
we were walking along the private beach at Constance Ephelia
hotel when I noticed the water was particularly milky and the sky
was turning dark blue. The next minute a storm hit the cove
and we took shelter under some coconut trees. An hour later the
storm passed, the sun came out, the sea calmed down and left
beautiful little wavelets in the sand. At that moment the light hit
the water and there was an explosion of blues and yellows.
INSIDER TIP Ask one of the local shermen to take you across
the bay to Thrse or Conception island they will grill freshly
caught sh on the beach and take you home at sunset.
Earrings in white and yellow gold with diamonds and blue
and yellow sapphires from the Lumires dEau collection,
POA, Chaumet (


Ring in white gold, white diamonds,

blue and pink sapphires, about 1,790,
Sabine G (
64 Cond Nast Traveller February 2015

Tattoo diamond clip earrings

in oxidised silver, yellow
gold and diamonds, 60,000,
Jessica McCormack (www.

I dont get to return to New Zealand that
often but when I do Im reminded of my
childhood much of my time was spent off the
rugged coast on my fathers yacht. Its where the
idea for the Perfect Storm collection was born,
inspired by girls wreathed in seaweed, old sailors
tattoos and, of course, the boats themselves, with
their sails so thin yet powerful, and the crashing
of the waves thundering in your ears.
INSIDER TIP In Akaroa on the eastern-most cape
of New Zealand there is a tiny bar called HarBar
jutting out over the sea, originally built as a bathing
shed for demure Victorian ladies. Its the perfect
place for a Stolen Kiss ros at sunset.



During a trip to Paris I went to Versailles

for the day to get some inspiration. I fell
in love with the combination of pink and
blue in furniture, art and clothing. It was
everywhere. I could imagine these colours
on the rings I had designed for my second
collection, Harlequin, and went on to make
a capsule collection of blues and pinks.
An homage to Marie Antoinette!
INSIDER TIP Charvet is a beautiful
store on 28 Place Vendme. They make
the most incredible shirts in the world.
Theres an entire oor lled with
hundreds of fabrics, in all sorts of colours
and prints, so you can choose and
have them custom made heaven.


The striped agate used in these earrings
is reminiscent of the vivid patterns of
Japanese sunsets. It was incredible to
watch the sun descend into Japans
Seto Inland Sea while visiting the art island
of Naoshima, below. I was walking to a
traditional kaiseki dinner at Museum
Restaurant Issen around dusk during my
rst night on the island and I had to pause
to sketch a few ideas. In that moment
I felt as though I were surrounded by
only art and water, faintly illuminated
by a golden hue.
INSIDER TIP Yotaro, a family-run
restaurant in Roppongi, is a must-visit
while in Tokyo. The set menu includes an
amazing shrimp tempura that has a much
lighter texture than typical tempura,
and the main course is sea bream
meticulously deboned by the chef
and cooked with rice. The lovely
owners sent us home with a
wonderful bottle of sake at the
end of the feast.

Striped agate
and whitediamond
earrings in
yellow gold,
Monique Pan


The Nevada desert is breathtaking the landscape is serene
and the habitat untouched. The views of the mountains and the
shadows from the sunset enhance the raw texture of the natural
scenery. In such peaceful surroundings my thoughts turned to
jewellery, as they always do, and I was inspired to design a pair
of earrings from some tourmaline stones I had recently sourced.
As the sun sank and the stars came out, it was obvious the
earrings needed to be set in diamonds.


If you share my love of cactus,

you must visit a plant nursery
called Cactus Joes in Las
Vegas: its an oasis of green in
the middle of the desert.

One-of-a-kind white
gold earrings with pink
tourmalines and
brown diamonds,
17,000, Annoushka


A climb in the Himalayas takes Vilebrequin boss Roland Herlory to a whole new level of adventure

66 Cond Nast Traveller February 2015

the smell is something special. I wash in the freezing streams out the
back. Every meal is the same for 10 days: lentil dal bhat and chapatis
with honey. But the lack of luxury is central to the experience. The higher
I go, the purer it becomes; the air gets crisper, more spiritual somehow.
Everything becomes simple: the shapes, the colours. The complex
rhododendron gives way to a blanket of snow. It cleanses the mind.
I reach Gosaikunda, the sacred lake, a place of pilgrimage for Hindus.
The water is a blue that doesnt exist in the West. Its icy, super-intense.
There in the middle of nowhere, it feels like an encounter with something
greater than myself. I have climbed higher than my father, but more than
that I have experienced the kind of extreme beauty that drives people to
faith. It is the unknown, the place that forces us to face the deepest parts
of ourselves. And for me, thats the real purpose of travelling.

READ THIS The Snow Leopard. The Paris

Review cofounder Peter Matthiessens account
of his two-month search for a leopard in Nepal
is essential reading for anyone concerned with
the spiritual side of the mountain-top.
Lifting Me Higher and Higher. Nothing elevates
on an otherworldly journey like Detroit legend
Jackie Wilsons paean to the transcendental
power of love.


athmandu is where I start. My goal is to go higher than my

father. He used to climb Mont Blanc, which, as every French
boy knows, is 4,807 metres. I nd a peak, Tsergo Ri, in Nepals
Langtang province that is 4,982 metres just high enough.
There is a trade embargo between India and Nepal, so there is
hardly any petrol in the city, which means no cars, only a few
motorcycles. It is like being transported to the distant past, with the
narrow streets, dirt tracks and ancient carved windows. There is
little noise, as people mostly travel by pushbike, which makes for
a special, somehow reverent atmosphere.
I set off on the ancient Tibet Road to Langtang, an old trading route
salt one way, vegetables the other that has been well-trodden by
centuries worth of yaks and merchants. Because of this, the settlements
are all separated by a days journey on foot,
which makes for a smooth trip. To begin with
the setting is lush, rich in vegetation and
surrounded on all sides by huge purple and
pink rhododendron bushes, like something
from Alice in Wonderland. At the side of
the path there are stupas, hemispherical
structures containing Buddhist relics, and
around them brightly coloured prayer ags
uttering against the solid blue of the sky.
Every night I stay in a private teahouse
built for traders. We share one big bed, and


Dont be left out in the cold pack a punch of colour on the slopes like Roger Moore

From left: Evolution Crozier jacket, 195, Musto (; Beat leather-trimmed backpack, 240, Porter-Yoshida & Co (www.; wool beanie, 50, Ami (; Forecast goggles, 67, Zeal Optics (


Im on Bransons gaff in the Caribbean, being
eyeballed by a ring-tailed lemur, one of
30-odd that Sir Richard controversially
brought here as part of a drive to protect the
primates imperilled by the illegal logging of
their natural Madagascan habitat. The lemur
looks terried, but lemurs always do, so its
no reection on the surroundings, which are stunning. A tiny,
Australia-shaped plot of 74 acres on the edge of the British Virgin
Islands, Necker is a white-sand paradise, with its innity pools and
ock of shocking-pink ibis. Its as lovely a place as Ive ever been. But
then its nearly 40,000 a night, so youd be after something a bit ner
than Pontins Pakeeld. That said, you could take 29 mates for that
price, which makes it not much more than a grand a night each if you
can rustle together the full complement. Its still a lot of money, but
there are plenty of places where you can easily burn through a budget
like that, without anyone batting an eyelid. Its something about it
being an island that so excites everyone theres a slight touch of the
Bond-villain lair about the idea but really its the extent to which a
tiny island all to ourselves remains our collective paradisiacal absolute.
I stand here, the azure sea lapping at my feet, knowing that Ill never
afford a return visit. I think once more about the Suffolk coast. Poor old
Pakeeld cant compete, of course. But paradise comes in many
forms and although we may want for lemurs, those of us on a tighter
budget might nd a different kind of nirvana on a weekend in
Walberswick with the wife.


On the scene: Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver

68 Cond Nast Traveller February 2015


The look: Leather and layers

ancouver is one of the most spectacularly situated cities in the world a forest
of gleaming, glinting steel-and-glass towers surrounded by real forest, mountains and
ocean. The Shangri-La gleams and glints with the best of them, and makes the most of
the natural beauty around it. Book a room on one of the higher oors to inhale panoramic views
without even getting out of bed. Outdoorsy types adore Vancouver; take a stroll along the
Seawall, a few blocks away between Pacic and Stanley Park, and keep one eye peeled for the
resident coyotes. Exciting sightings of the retail kind are even closer to home, starting with
Burberry, right next door. Misch is best for niche designers, from Isabel Marant to Protagonist,
and Aritzia boutique, which started here, is now a hit all over Canada. Provide is great for
homewares, and for interior nds, its hard to beat Inform. The Shangri-La has one of the
few outdoor pools downtown and theres a fab spa, CHI, a favourite haunt of J Lo.
The Market by Jean-Georges serves some of the citys most delicious seafood (melt-inthe-mouth tuna tartare) and after dinner theres always
a great crowd on the terrace, which has
a more laid-back, LA vibe.
JESSICA WALSH www. Doubles
from about 155
A catwalk look from
Bally A/W 15. Lux
gold watch, 12,400,
Nomos Glashtte
Zadie bag, 1,195,
Jimmy Choo (www.
Shearling hat, 520;
crocodile boots,
7,050, both Herms
(+44 20 7499 8856).
Leather trousers,
1,465, Isabel
Marant (www.
Cashmere sweater,
750, Chlo (www.





123Go! promotion is applicable to new bookings made in Ocean View stateroom categories and above between 2 January 2014 and 28 February 2015 on selected sailings departing between March 2015 and April 2017. Free drinks worth up to $1500 based on the current onboard price for 2 people on a 14 night sailing, including 15% service charge. Free gratuities worth
up to $340 based on GBP price of 217 for 2 people sharing a Concierge Class stateroom on a 14 night sailing. Values shown in USD are based on the current exchange rate and is subject to uctuation. Interior staterooms are not applicable to the promotion. Guests can choose ONE of either: Complimentary Classic Alcoholic drinks package, up to $300 Onboard Spend
or Free Gratuities. Guests can choose TWO of these benets for European sailings. Book Concierge Class or above to recieve all THREE benets on any applicable sailings. The 123Go! promotion is applicable to eligible guests aged 18 and over on the date of any European, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand departing sailing and 21 on any departing
North American sailing will receive a Complimentary Classic Alcoholic drinks package for the 1st & 2nd guest in the stateroom only. Passenger date of birth information must be provided at the time of booking before the drinks package can be applied. This is a legal requirement. Please drink responsibly. Eligible guests under the specied age limits specied can request a
Non Alcoholic Classic drinks package instead and free 40 minutes internet usage. Internet usage is per cruise, has no cash value and is not redeemable for cash. The onboard spend amounts are per stateroom and vary by ship & sailing date. The 123Go! promotion is combinable with Captains Club loyalty savings vouchers & 1 Category Stateroom Upgrade, Shareholders
benets, Back to Back Sailings Offer, Reduced Third & Fourth rates, Future Cruise Certicates only and the benets offered by booking onboard via our Future Cruise Consultants (Cruise Now or Cruise Later Bookings only). 123Go Evergreen benets offered onboard for Cruise Now bookings are not combinable with this 123Go promotion. Interior staterooms and Z, Y, X, XC,
XA and W guarantee staterooms are not eligible to benet from this promotion. 7. For full offer terms & conditions including a list of applicable sailings, visit or contact your travel agent. 8. This publicity is issued by RCL Cruises Ltd (company no. 07366612), t/a Celebrity Cruises 3 The Heights, Brooklands, Weybridge, Surrey KT13 0NY


Welcome to modern luxury. Where exquisite cuisine, sumptuous accommodation and
exemplary service come together for a holiday like no other. For a limited time only our
123go! offer is back, book a Concierge Class stateroom or above on selected sailings
before 28 February and enjoy three enticing offers.
Book your modern luxury getaway, today.



You dream the adventure. Well show you the map.

Adventures dont come off the shelf. A dream journey is about you;
your story, your experiences, your trip of a lifetime.
With insight gleaned from over 50 years in experiential travel, our own
people, guides and contacts all over the world, we can make it a reality.
Anything is possible.
01242 850 669





Song Saa Private Island, Cambodia

February 2015 Cond Nast Traveller 73



This is by no means the biggest or fanciest camp in Kenya, but its strength lies in the fact that its a real home.
Created by a Norwegian family in love with Africa, it has six canvas-and-stone rooms with roaring log res
and hot-water bottles popped between the sheets on chilly nights. Wake up to spectacular views across
the plains to a watering hole where elephants, gazelle, zebra and wild dogs gather as they travel the gamerich corridor that passes through camp. Days can be as adventure-packed as you like: there are game drives
where you wont see another vehicle, helicopter trips for trout shing at Mount Kenya, a resident pride
of lions that can be tracked. There are also think tanks, excursions or simply chats round the campre with
specialists including rock-art experts, conservationists and Kenyan policy makers. And if that sounds a little
taxing, there are long lunches with binoculars at the ready, an orphaned cheetah to play with or the option
of an open-air massage. Unusually for a safari camp, guests can do anything whenever they want, because
Enasoit feels like its your own and, quite frankly, thats worth far more than anything big and fancy.
+254 722 521740; Doubles from 944




At this lodge in the Patagonian Steppe theres an
elasticity of time where hours crystallise into months
of extraordinarily vivid memories, thanks to
midsummer golden dusks that linger until midnight.
The charismatic guides one for each of the 12 log
villas have a vast knowledge of the region that
unlocks the magic of nearby Torres del Paine national
park in a way that would be impossible on your own.
The staff are an essential element because, although
breathtakingly beautiful, the rugged wilds can be
forbidding, and the key to Awasis success is the ability
of its close-knit team to make this stylish outpost feel
welcoming. Housekeeper Rosa awaits with mate tea
and orange-blossom biscuits to hear tales of hiking
treacherous peaks or galloping with the gauchos across
moody purple plains, and unseen house elves light
bedroom hearths and leave bottles of berry liquor while
guests dine on king crab and crisp Sauvignon. But the
clincher is the complete newness of it all; its so far
removed from humdrum reality that its a recharge for
the mind, body and soul. So, as you wallow in the
alfresco wooden hot tub, watching horses silhouetted
against the magnicent sunset, its easy to forget that
youre on a holiday and pretend that this is forever.
+56 2 2 233 9461; Doubles
from 2,970, three-night minimum stay


This white monolith on stilts stands at the very edge of the raging North Atlantic. The astonishing brainchild of Zita Cobb, a local
shermans daughter who left the island and came back a technology multimillionaire, it is otherworldly and homespun,
pampering and austere. All 29 rooms have oor-to-ceiling windows with views of the ocean, where icebergs, some as big as
cities, oat in the distance. International designers worked with local artisans and craftspeople to create the rugs, whimsical
chairs and long benches in each room, and locals take guests for walks over the rocks to artists studios. The double-height
restaurant, fronted by great sheets of glass, is a sensational setting for chef Murray McDonalds home-churned butter, exquisite
snow crab and sea-salt meringue. Cocktails are prepared with foraged berries and cooled with cubes of 10,000-year-old iceberg.
Sipped in the warmth of a wood-red sauna, they make a wonderful addition to the green and blue dance of the aurora borealis
outside. +1 709 658 3444; Doubles from around 495, including meals and community outings




Investment banker James Manley saw 500 ranches before he found one that matched his wish list: in a valley to ensure complete privacy;
near a mountain on which he could ski; a cool town nearby that still looks like a stage set from a Western. He didnt want grizzlies,
rattlesnakes or cougars (though there are elk, moose, deer, black bears and wolves), nor to be at such altitude that it would cause mountain
sickness. Oh, and he wanted a river teeming with trout, too. Eventually Manley settled on 6,600 acres of spectacular cowboy country in
the wilds of Montanas Anaconda-Pintler wilderness, restored its 19th-century buildings and added a granite lodge, some log cabins (the
loveliest are Bluebird, Wrangler, Eagles Perch and the former hayloft by the corral) and a row of river-front tents. But the real appeal is that
all the riding, shooting, shing, archery, mountain biking and, in winter, skiing, skating, snowmobiling, sledding and sleigh rides you have
the energy for are included. As are three meals a day and drinks, even in its Silver Dollar Saloon, where the swivel stools at the bar have
saddles for seats. Theres nowhere better to connect with your inner Annie Oakley. Theyll even lend you a Stetson and cowboy boots.
+1 877 377 9065; Doubles from 538



In 2000 Mark and Sarah Tompkins bought Monkey Valley, a clapped-out sheep farm
in the Eastern Cape, and decided to reintroduce the game that once roamed this
regions immense plains. Within a few years, the couple had snapped up 11
neighbouring farms and begun rehabilitating the scarred and eroded land to create
what is now 66,700 acres of dense thicket, mountains and valleys and high-plateau
grassland that rivals the Masai Mara. From the top of Mount Kondoa, where guests
are dispatched with upmarket picnics, there are magnicent views across the
surrounding Camdeboo Plains that reset heartbeats and elicit sharp whistles. Mark
and Sarah started bringing back the traditional wildlife by opening a cheetah
sanctuary (the population of these endangered big cats was dwindling fast) that
remains at the heart of Samara, and they have slowly added antelope and giraffe,
Cape Mountain zebra, buffalo and most recently black rhino. There are three
intimate and very beautiful lodges, two of which show-stopping Manor House and
the rustic Mountain Retreat are available as private villas. The third, Karoo Lodge,
has just 10 suites. So, with fewer than 40 guests on Samara any one time, its a given
there will always be plenty of elbow room to kick back in solitude and silence to soak
up the sparkling light and blanched blue skies of this astonishing Great Karoo
landscape. +27 23 626 6113; Suites from 225


Restaurants and bars on Anguilla come and
go, but reggae star Bankie Banxs place, on the
beach at Rendezvous Bay, just keeps on doing its
mellow, groovy thing. Dread-locked locals prop
up the bar alongside high prolers (including Bill
Clinton), who come by speedboat, drop anchor
and splosh the last few feet. Constructed over a
20-year period from pieces of old boats and
driftwood blown in by the annual hurricanes, its
an ever-evolving cluster of covered dining areas
and places to hang out. Its also one of the
islands hottest music venues, with planned
and impromptu gigs throughout the week and
the Moonsplash music festival in March, when
Banxs friends Bunny Wailer and Jimmy Buffett
take to the stage. So kick off your shoes, order
an icy Dune Rum Punch, a plate of fresh
craysh and settle in for the long haul. +1 264
729 4215. Dune Rum Punch about 5

There are times in life when hedonism in a
jungle paradise is just what the doctor ordered.
The legendary New Years bash at Bahias
under-the-radar beach bar will have been
etched in the calendar of Brazils party crew
since January dawned. Over the summer
season disco kings battle for residency and
bronzed beauties set alarms to bag an oversized lounger with views of Algodes, one of
Brazils most beautiful beaches. In the bamboo
bungalow a dedicated waiter pours tropical
Cleriquot. Long lunches of giant coconut
shrimp are followed by massages in a Zen-like
hut marooned in the black, mineral-enriched
lagoon. And suddenly its time for frozen
pitanga-cherry shooters as the moon rises pink
out of the ocean and live bands have the
sun-kissed crowd boogieing on white sofas, all
smiles. Tempted to bed down till dawn and
start over again? You wouldnt be the rst. House cocktail about 5



Like the Karate Kid balancing on one leg, the
Pelican Bar stands precariously on stilts in
the ocean. To get here you must nd a willing
boatman on Treasure Beach, around the
corner from Jakes. Once on the water, all is
green and lush on one side, blue and briny on
the other. Thirty minutes later, you reach the
rickety-tickety-driftwood Pelican (it blew down
in a hurricane once and had to be rebuilt) and
things get even more colourful. Lets be clear:
there are no cabana boys to wait on your every
cocktail whim here, what youre served is pure
Jamaican soul: Red Stripe swigged from the
bottle, kingsh cooked on a gas ring and an
invitation to kick back with the Rasta crowd

(theyll let you join in a game of dominoes if

you ask nicely). Or just sit on the lopsided deck
and dangle your feet in the Caribbean. Beach
bars dont get more laid-back than this. www. Rum Punch about 5


Of all the chill-out places in this hippy-chic
kitesurfers Eden, this bar has the best view:
down over emerald lawns and the windswept
Los Lances Beach to the Atlantic and the
mountains of Morocco. Its part of a slightly
rambling whole that includes basic hotel
rooms, a weird and wonderful collection of art,
a restaurant serving terric surf n turf kebabs
and a Surf Centre that teaches kitesurng,
windsurng and stand-up paddle-boarding.
The vibe is relaxed, a bit like an English summer
festival, only multilingual. Bikini-clad babes sip
Mojitos while swinging coquettishly in eggshaped hanging chairs or drape themselves
decoratively over day beds. Glistening surfers
drink beer and tinto de verano in rolled-down
wetsuits and mirror shades. You could sit here
all afternoon and, when a DJ plays every day in
July and August, many people do. www.hotel House cocktail about 5

Jim Bruce is the American guy behind the bar
with the watery-blue eyes, telling off-colour
jokes and the story of his life. He mixes a mean
Opu Ra Magic, a kind of tropical punch whose
punch comes from the liquor of your choice
whisky, gin, vodka, nail-polish remover
and which is served in a jam jar. Bruce is from
Maui. He washed up in the Cook Islands 15
years ago. He runs a hotel with this bar and
restaurant attached on the western side of
Rarotonga, the biggest of the islands. The joint
looks like a shipwreck, strewn with memorabilia.
Yachties love it. Theres a cat that does tricks
on the bar counter, a strip of white sand and
the endless Pacic. At certain times of the
year, you might see whales. Theres a perfect
sunset every day. Opu Ra
Magic cocktail about 5

The tiny, lost-seeming island of Holbox is
innitely sweet and snoozy no all-night
parties thudding, no scooters blustering along
the beach and this bar seems to capture all
its gentle fun and conviviality. It serves traditional
Mexican food and fresh sh during the day
and in the evenings; in the early mornings its
banana-and-corn bread (hot off a brazier, the
huge crusts a deep golden yellow) arrives with
either a cold bottled beer or fresh watermelon

juice, depending on how many days into your

holiday you are. A view of the sea as it meets
the sky a gorgeous two-tone blue wall is
only interrupted by the occasional wooden boat
(rather Dickensianly called Ebineezer or Nelly),
or white-blonde Dutch children carrying large
shells up the beach to join local teenagers
kicking a football. At night, as fresh bass and
talapia are folded into tacos, the music
sometimes the blues, sometimes sentimental
pop seems to animate even the friendly lizards
lounging in the cheek-pink hibiscus. www.
hotelholbox House cocktail about 5


Mottled bright silver, the water on Sicilys
south-eastern coast regularly wins awards for
cleanliness and its still easy to nd wild stretches
with few people on them. But ah, the lure of a
cold beer and a cabana! Low-key but impressively
organised, this beach club, a short drive from
the stunning baroque town of Noto, rents out
towels and sun loungers by the hour under
thatched cabooses. The atmosphere is family
orientated and impeccably friendly. Local clans
gather for the day. Here are chubby over-loved
toddler sons and leggy daughters with hair
snaking down their backs who all rally cluckingly
around if anyone stumbles in the sand. The
sound of sympathetic coos is only interrupted
by a distant transistor playing Sicilian ballads
old and new, wholly dedicated to romantic
frustration. As Nicola Di Baris La Prima Cosa
Bella sings out, the glorious caf serves up
another mountain of pasta with explosively sweet
baby tomatoes and venus shells. This really is
beach food and beach life of the highest
order. Drinks from about 5

There is something a little less overt about
this beach restaurant than its St Tropez buddy
Club 55. A little less. Its set on its own island
off the coast of Cannes, so everyone has to
arrive by boat massive super-yachters, but
wooden tubs, too in order to swim to shore and
emerge looking immediately rather sensational.
The little shop isnt as good as the famous beach
hut on Pampelonne and there are less suede
bikinis mincing about, but there is also more
space and the staff are less frenetic. Lunch is late,
and goes on later. Cute boys and girls whirl
around with great platters of sh buried in salt,
and bottles of pink wine so large they pour them
from over their shoulders. Everything is fresh,
fresh, fresh: lobster, prawns, burrata, sea-bass
ceviche. The fruity sorbets blackberry, mango
are lickety split. The sea twinkles, the feast is on,
somewhere that is cleverly salty-haired and
barefoot yet classically Riviera-glamorous, too. Bottle of Chteau Rasque 45





This somewhat stark beauty was once a

19th-century hunting lodge belonging to the
Thakur of Raipur and it sits in an undulating
desert setting of craggy outcrops, thorn trees
and scrubland. There are 12 stone-and-adobe
thatched guest cottages dotted around, some
reached by a path that winds beneath an ancient
banyan tree, others near a lake, where antelope
and peacocks trip and sip each evening. Theres
a swimming pool hollowed out of rock and a
spa in a stone water tank. A shikar mahal that
was the womens quarters has been converted
into a seating area, with plenty of shaded,
cushioned nooks to escape the midday sun and
a roof terrace for sundowners. Rooms are
evidence of a zero-kilometre design philosophy:
sari-upholstered benches add zip to the mud
tones and chandeliers are created from
dangling copper pots and wooden spoons. And
as darkness falls, guests feast on cardamomspiced lamb in the open-air pavilion, the night
aglow with candlelight and magic. +91 11 2649
4531; Doubles from about 140


This place is as cultured as any of its more fusty aristocratic
Tuscan rivals, but sexy too, and warm, and just a little bit
glamorous. The location helps: south-west of Siena, it stands
not far from the beautiful rooess abbey of San Galgano, in an
area of untouristed hilltop villages surrounded by oak woods
and walnut groves. Its the creation of Danish interior designer
Jeanette Thottrup and her husband Claus, who fell in love
with this remote country house and opened it as a small hotel
in 2008. Inside there are silks and velvets by Fortuny and
Rubelli, quarryfuls of antique marble, Murano chandeliers,
vintage nickel radiators and, in the main entrance hall,
weathered agstones from a 13th-century castle. What really
impresses is the continual ne-tuning: the extensive gardens,
from kitchen to formal, have come on apace, the Treehouse
Bar offers a sweet alternative to the more elegant main
restaurant, and theres an always-evolving range of things to
do, from yoga to truffle hunting, falconry and even Vespa
tours. And now the spa, among the best in the region, is
moving into new, bigger quarters. +39 057 775 1222; www. Doubles from about 315




The most beautiful hacienda hotel in Mexico sprawls
over plant-lled courtyards and manicured gardens
beneath an active volcano, deep in the coffeeplantation country of the Colima highlands; arrive
at night and the whole place twinkles beguilingly
by candlelight. Built by German immigrant Don
Arnoldo Vogel in 1890, the pink house was
meticulously restored by the Goldsmith family,
who also own beachside retreat Cuixmala, a
private-plane ride away. Everythings on a grand
scale here, from the 30-metre swimming pool
to the 25 vast, vaulted suites, each with a working
stone replace, impeccably decorated with bespoke
rugs and tiled bathrooms. There are 190 hectares
of grounds to explore, plus numerous public
rooms lled with exquisite Mexican art, sculpture
and furniture, so seeing another guest can be as
rare an event as spotting one of the crested
caracara eagles that occasionally swoop for prey.
Theres plenty to do beyond the hacienda walls:
hike the estates 2,000 hectares with a picnic,
tour its cheese and coffee factories, or ride on
horseback through bamboo forests. And for a
break from the polished nightly dinner service,
drive into the whitewashed pueblo mgico of Comala
to eat tacos and churros from the street carts.
+52 312 316 0300; www.haciendadesanantonio.
com. Doubles from about 630

This is England at its best. The scent of blousy pink roses, a

vegetable garden like a Mr McGregor pastiche (fat cabbages,
rows of ruby rhubarb) and formal gardens designed by Rosemary
Verey. In short, theres something about Barnsley that makes you
feel connected to a pastoral Britain of yesteryear. In summer eat
supper outside in a hidden nook (the Temple, right, is exquisite); in
winter hunker down by a re on a cosy sofa, dip into one of the best
DVD libraries anywhere, or wallow in a grand, claw-foot bath.
Bedrooms are spot-on pretty, lots of beams, big bathrooms and
the food is fresh and zingy, with just-baked bread to dip into
garlic-infused olive oil, gs drizzled with honey and served with
homemade ricotta, lemon sole doused in butter. Youll wake up to a
glistening dawn and pigeons stirring in the rafters. The spa is also
a lovely retreat, with treatments such as rose facials lasting 90
minutes (plus a mini hydro pool and a relaxation room). Theres a
fun Sunday cinema club with popcorn and pink leather love seats.
No wonder staff walk proud, a spring in their step. +44 1285
740000; www.barnsley Doubles from 300





With its hushed air, exposed beams and open replace, the main hall at this country house could hardly look more authentically
antique. So its a surprise to discover that this serene retreat, overlooking pastureland outside Vejer de la Frontera, was mostly
created from scratch, using tiles, doors and shutters recovered from other farmhouses. Even more remarkably, its English owners,
Lee and Amelia Thornley, were in their twenties when they created it. For their guests, here to visit pueblos blancos, drink sherry
and walk to the lighthouse at Cabo Trafalgar, it is a complete haven. The seven rooms are big and uncluttered, with vintage dressing
tables and roll-top baths. Breakfast is taken at little tables set among the orange trees and lavender; supper, made by Amelia
and including clams cooked in no, is served with wines from the bijou bodega. Days can be divided between dips in the pool,
massages in the yurt, or helping to rehabilitate the rescued horses stabled in the grounds. After all that, and several manzanillas under
the pergola, it would be rude not to sleep very soundly indeed. +34 699 619430; Doubles from about 195


Sergio Herman closed his three-Michelin-starred
Oud Sluis restaurant in the Netherlands in 2013,
deciding it had reached its peak. Hollands loss
is Belgiums gain: his reincarnated cooking at The
Jane, alongside one-to-watch chef Nick Bril,
is phenomenal - and has just been awarded a
Michelin star of its own. This is the coolest new
space in Antwerp, built in the chapel of an old
military hospital, with quirky stained-glass windows
and a luminous skull hanging in the apse. Choose
how many starters youd like (three is a delight,
seven sublime), but the rest is out of your hands.
Oysters with verbena and Champagne granita,
roe and swirls of samphire are served with the
artistry of a De Beers necklace. Forks clash over
sharing plates of harissa-spiced lamb and pumpkin
with ras el hanout foam. All this, and theres an
ace little bar upstairs too. +32 3 808 4465; www. About 85 for two


Head to Rios organic market and youll nd chef
Rafa Costa e Silva browsing the boxes of fresh
produce to supplement his own kitchen garden for
Lasais daily-changing nine- and 12-course tasting
menus. As far removed from kitchen divas as they
come, the former head chef of Michelin-starred
Mugaritz transforms classic Brazilian avours into
innovative parcels of joy (sous-vide egg with
coconut cream; oxtail tapioca and seared tuna),
paired with Brazilian wines and artisanal beers.
The dinner-party vibe kicks off with cocktails and
canaps at the roof-terrace bar overlooking Christ
the Redeemer, before heading down to the rusticminimalist dining room, with its exposed-brick
walls and radishes peeking out of bell jars. While
switched-on waiters request guests preferences,
theres no ordering off a menu and the thrill of
surprise from a culinary master has the reclaimed
wooden tables booked out weeks in advance. +55
21 3449 1834; About 90 for two


Uniting the twin joys of food and art is not a
novel idea. But the Roth Bar & Grill, at Somersets
much talked-about Hauser & Wirth gallery,
does it with aplomb. The old farm buildings have
been tarted up to create a formal dining room
alongside a laid-back caf and courtyard, all
doubling as art galleries. The name comes from
the bar, a behemoth welded by Bjrn and Oddur
Roth (progeny of the great Dieter) out of found
agricultural objects. It forms a rough-and-ready
backdrop for the simple menus: coffee with hunks
of lemon drizzle cake, breakfast of compote and
granola. The cows in the eld next door and
vegetables from the allotments over the road
appear on the lunch menu as burgers and
colourful salads, and the commitment to local
suppliers anchors the whole thing pleasingly to

its rural West Country roots, despite being a

world-class creative venue. +44 1749 814700; About 45 for two

African malva pudding topped with mouthwatering salted caramel and Madagascar-vanilla
ice cream. +33 4 97 19 32 23; About 80 for two


This is a cool-looking restaurant, with Scandiwhite walls and dark-wood tables laid with soft
leather pouches to hold the chunky cutlery. But
the food is what makes it Dublins most exciting
foodie destination. Tattooed chef John Wyer
creates surprisingly delicate dishes, like abstract
paintings on a plate: a smear of tapenade, a
slick of beetroot, a daube of truffled ricotta.
Standouts include venison with tea-soaked
prunes and a nger-licking-good chicken-skin
sandwich. Service, led by Wyers New Yorker
wife Sandy, is slick but super-friendly and the
small open kitchen where the chefs team
seem to have as much fun as the diners adds
to the upbeat atmosphere. Sometimes the
delicious petits fours are even delivered by the
beaming main man himself. +353 1 667 8337; About 75 for two

Set up in 2009 by three business partners,

including Italian actor Antonio Albanese, this
neo-bistro is in a cute Art Nouveau former
railroad storeroom that now stands as a proud
survivor amid the starchitect high-rises of the
redeveloped Porta Garibaldi district. The idea to
create an informal, feel-good restaurant is given
form by chef Cesare Battisti, whose menu mines
the produce of Slow Food-style artisans to offer
gourmet versions of Milanese and Po Valley
classics such as risotto with ossobuco and veal
cheek with mashed potatoes and celery leaves.
The design nods to the buildings former life, with
gunmetal tables and workshop lamps. At aperitivo
time, the bar is crowded with punters tucking
into Milanese tapas and wines selected by the
talented sommelier, Federica Fabi. +39 2 8712
8855; About 85 for two


Like many of the best places, or at any rate
the most diverting ones, theres no sign on the
door of this restaurant at the Marlton Hotel in
Greenwich Village by Sean MacPherson (best
known for the Waverly Inn and whos just opened
The Ludlow hotel), but New Yorks fashion crowd
have found it all the same. Through the lounge
you go, past the clubby bar, and there at the
end is open-all-day Margaux, a Paris brasserie in
miniature, with a conservatory at the back thats
cosy even in winter. Its buzzy, but with nice
acoustics (especially in the booths), and the
food is retro-1990s yet somehow not remotely
ironic. Crudits have been revamped dips
including labne, tahini and bagna cuda, for
instance and the farmers board of tabbouleh,
spicy sweet potato and beets is terric: Ottolenghi
goes to Mexico by way of the Great Plains. Its
all served on mismatched china with bags of
charm by young, clued-in staff. +1 212 321
0111; About 50 for two


This stylish new spot, opposite, in a former
motorcycle repair shop behind the Old Port is
pulling in crowds thanks to the sensational food
from young South African chef Jan Hendrik.
Beyond the romantic, boudoir interiors
petrol-blue walls, 18th-century antiques, crystal
chandeliers his dazzling sense of whimsy
overrides any hint of formality. This is healthy
modern cooking thats both gorgeous to behold
and haute comfort food at its best. The copious
menu, inspired by Hendriks grandmother,
includes slow-cooked lamb shank simmered
in coffee and Pinotage, and traditional South

Foodie Lisbon just gets better and better. Much

of the credit should go to Jos Avillez, whose
culinary talent has spiced up so many corners of
the citys cobbled streets. His latest venture is in
a 19th-century theatre in the chic Chiado district.
Inside, the dramatic theme plays out with bare
light bulbs spelling out Mini Bar, menus that
resemble theatre tickets and tapas-style dishes
divided into Acts. Centre stage is a team of
friendly staff who create a fun atmosphere that
has made this the place to hang out, especially at
weekends when theres live music. Its very much
nger food, but everything that is served from
the Caipirinha (with an explosive twist) to the
ceviche of juicy prawns on a slab of lime
deserves a standing ovation. +351 2113 05393; About 35 for two

A gastronomic beacon between the wispy trends
of Dalston and the West Ends glam status quo,
Lyles is much more than a sequel to St John Bread
and Wine, where chef James Lowe and co-owner
John Ogier rst joined forces. Rather, its a London
counterpart to international young talents
like Sydney-based Pasi Petanen and Relaes
Christian Puglisi in Copenhagen: well-travelled
people whose menus are rooted in home soil. A
winter -la-carte lunch menu might offer bitter
leaves with pear and Berkswell cheese, followed
by partridge, salsify and quince. Chefs work in full
view at a charcoal grill; the space is harmonious,
but with no art, no music just the joyful hum
of people being well looked after. +44 20 3011
5911; About 80 for two



Whether you land on the rooftop helipad or glide up in one of the hotels Rolls-Royce Phantoms, any arrival here will always
involve a delicious sense of theatre. Opened in 1928, and transmogried in 1994 with the addition of a 30-storey tower, this
grandest of Asian dames is a triumphant marriage of old and new. The 300 rooms and suites were given a vigorous makeover in
2013, shifting the interiors to pared-down Oriental chic while upping the technology. But glorious as the nail dryer, free
international-call phone and bedside tablet uent in 11 languages may be, The Pens killer appeal is traditional service. Chief
concierge Echo Zhu is a Beijing-born, 21st-century, female Jeeves; sommelier Dheeraj Bhatia is on rst-name terms with the
cellars 1,000-plus labels. And who could be left unmoved by the pillar-box-hatted pages cheery salutations as they swing open
the main doors? Otherwise, the spa and Roman-themed pool are inspirational, and the restaurants remain unchanged and as
popular as ever in particular Gaddis, where the roasted pigeon breast sets the benchmark for ne French food in this city. A
tried and trusted institution? Yes, and thank goodness for that. +852 2722 4170; Doubles from about 335




New Orleans is a thrilling mix of elegant French architecture, boozy stag
nights, voodoo, trailblazing restaurants, steamy jazz bars and always,
always a cocktail or three. But the one disappointment has always been
the drab hotel scene. Besides a few tired, conference hotels theres never
been much to tickle a smart travellers fancy. So Soniat House, a trio of
Creole townhouses at the quiet end of Chartres Street (just a stones
throw from Brangelinas house and around the corner from Paul Allens
gaff) is a real nd. Each of the 31 bedrooms is decorated differently with
art and antiques collected by avuncular owner Rodney Smith and his wife
Frances on regular trips to Paris and London. The linen is Frette, breakfast
is hot buttermilk biscuits served on a silver tray with homemade strawberry
jam, and Claire the resident black cat rests her weary paws on a sofa beside
the honesty bar. If, like many A-list actors currently working in NOLA,
you want somewhere charming to escape from the buzz of the city, read a
book and pour yourself a drink, then step right in and make yourself at
home. + 1 504 522 0570; Doubles from 140


The Four Seasons brand was born in
Toronto but its rst-ever hotel was
looking a bit tired, especially as so many
shiny arrivals were opening in the city.
So the company spent $500 million on a
new agship, and from the moment it
opened in 2012, soaring high above
the Victorian houses of Yorkville, it has
felt relaxed, rened, spot-on. The
lobby is divided into gallery-like spaces
with velvet chairs and wood-panelled
walls covered in Canadian Modernist
art. The rooms are not only beautiful
(the half-moon corner sofas are
ingenious) but also have all the ve-star
toys, such as TVs embedded in
bathroom mirrors and i-Pa
ds to order room service or book a
treatment in Torontos biggest spa. The
menu in Caf Boulud is sassy French
(lobster salad with coconut shavings;
an exquisite grapefruit givre with halva
candy oss); in the new Buca Yorkville,
the look is distinctly Milanese but
the menu is more coastal (the salumi
de mari is a favourite). +1 416 964
0411; Doubles
from about 245

Its instantly fashionable younger siblings
JK Place Capri (b. 2007) and JK Place
Roma (b. 2013) may get more noisy
attention, but this stylish, clubbish
mothership is still the only Florence hotel
many well-groomed global nomads would
ever dream of checking into. It was here
that local designer Michele Bonan created
his rst capolavoro, a blend of Florentine
antique elegance and artisanal chic that
makes this feel like the townhouse of a
cultured collector. The house-party vibe
is stoked by a communal breakfast table
and complimentary perks that range from
fresh fruit and a well-stocked mini-bar to
use of a nearby gym and steam-bath spa.
The hotel has one of Florences most
personable and knowledgeable general
managers, Claudio Meli, and the place is
always being updated, most recently with
the addition of cashmere plaids and throws
from cult Tuscan fabric rm Valbisenzio.
Plus the JK Lounge & Restaurant has nally
found its footing, after a couple of changes
of tack, as a stylish meeting place with light,
unfussy dishes such as spaghetti with sea
urchins and cherry tomatoes, and mini
Tuscan beefburgers. Its also the place to go
for Sunday brunch. +39 055 264 5181; Doubles from about 355


This is a sultry den of masculinity and rened design, with sleek,
dark mahogany and miles of soft, toffee-butter leather. An
inspired collaboration between Brazilian design heavyweights
Isay Weinfeld and Marcio Kogan, this is old-school glamour at
its best, encapsulating a bygone era where you half expect to
catch Don Corleone sipping the driest of Martinis in a low-lit corner
of the hotels jazz joint Baretto, where Brazils best bossa-nova
talents vie to perform. The hotel groups founder Rogerio Fasano
works the restaurant, charming the regulars as they celebrate
special occasions over Italian classics such as squid-ink spaghetti
and lamb chops with lentils. The 60 rooms, furnished with 1930s
design pieces in muted tones, are popular with global big-hitters,
who can really relax in the 22nd-oor spa and swimming pool.
From here, there are contemplative views over So Paulos most
sophisticated neighbourhood, Jardins, where the streets are leafy,
ladies lunch and life feels pretty fabulous. +55 11 3896 4000; Doubles from about 430



A wafer with a smudge of Gruyre de Comt,
served as you take your seat in this former
ballroom, opposite, is little piece of magic to
precede the French-bistro-inspired, four-course
set menu. Melbourne is undoubtedly Australias
cool foodie capital and its chef-of-the moment,
Andrew McConnell, has made the most of this
light-infused, 55-seat restaurant. His Claire de
Lune oyster and chicken heart with whipped
pine-nut is exquisite. Staff also know that a crisp
Clare Valley Riesling will go beautifully with the
grilled asparagus and burrata cheese, and that a
Yarra Valley Pinot Noir wont overpower the
stand-out smoked beef and tarragon. Everything is
precise and correct, with glass-fronted cabinets of
curiosities overlooking white-painted oorboards,
counterbalanced with jet-black, bentwood
Thonet chairs. Masterful. +61 3 9417 7700; About 80 for two



Eternally resplendent in a pristine white shirt,
Bertrand Auboyneau makes people happy by
sticking to the rules: simple things like making sure
guests feel welcome the minute they arrive, and
putting good, crusty bread on the table. It opened
on a quiet side street near Bastille in 1997 with a
monumental wine list, though, says Bertrand, the
chefs werent that great. Since then, the
bistronomie movement has seen the 11th
arrondissement become a hot destination for the
young foodie crowd (Auboyneau also has his own
neo-bistrot, Le 6 Paul Bert), and Parisians and
visiting francophiles have learnt that the entrecte
frites here now approach a platonic ideal. The menu
isnt restrictively trad, but go ultra-French anyway,
with a plate of white asparagus in season, or rabbit
terrine, then ris de veau or magret de canard. The
interior is headily old school, with tiled and
parquet ooring, leather banquettes, blackboard
menus and almost always, somewhere Bertrand. +33 1 43 72 24 01. About 60 for two


What was once a neighbourhood bistro has
become the paragon of farm-fresh California
cooking, serving locally sourced dishes in a warm,
dinner-party atmosphere while inspring thousands
of imitations the world over. After a re in 2013,
both halves of the restaurant the formal
prix-xe downstairs dining room, and the more
relaxed, la carte upstairs caf have reopened
after an extensive spit-and-polish. Rest assured
that the atmospheric, craftsman-style rooms, with
their copper lamps and redwood planks (as well
as the pitch-perfect service) are still in place.
Request a table in the newly rebuilt porch room
with its lovely stained-glass windows. A recent

dinner menu included Atlantic cod poached in

green garlic brodo, leg of lamb with anchovies, and
an apple and candied Meyer-lemon jalousie with
huckleberry ice cream. +1 510 548 5525; www. About 110 for two

bonito carpaccio or silver-skinned mackerel

nigiri. + 81 3 3567 0014;
About 110 for two


Towards the southern end of the Carretera a

Boca Paila stands Simple, the creation of Richy
Zapata, formerly of Arzak, the three-Michelinstarred restaurant in San Sebastin. An alternative
to the more famous Hartwood, its equal in the
sustainability stakes, this is a sultry, laidback place
of rustic tables under palms, sand underfoot and
candlelight so low the menu of rst-course
aguachiles (wafer-thin sashimi avoured with lime
and chilli) is barely legible. For the main course,
choose from wahoo, huachinango (Mexican
snapper), mahi-mahi, escolar, lobster or octopus.
Richy will weigh it, price it, ask how youd like it
cooked: with rosemary and garlic, say, or chipotle
and spices (take his advice!). Its all exceptionally
fresh, avourful and deftly prepared. +52 55 1204
7777; About 50 for two

This is the place that introduced London to

rustic Italian food and, three decades later, its still
the best place to eat it. The Caf has every
ingredient for a wonderful meal down pat, from
the comfortable and dramatic atmosphere with its
wood-burning oven, open kitchen and summer
terrace, to the precise but never obsequious
service. The food philosophy hasnt changed
since Rose Gray (who died in 2010) and Ruthie
Rogers started: its all about the nest seasonal
fare prepared with minimal fuss. Classics include
chargrilled squid with chilli, pork shoulder cooked
in milk and the much-imitated but never bettered
chocolate nemesis tart. No other London
restaurant has spawned so distinguished a diaspora:
Jamie Oliver, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Theo
Randall and New York transplant April Bloomeld
are just a few stars among its alumni. +44 20 7386
4200; About 150 for two

When it opened in 2010 in the buzzing Bjrvika
district, this eight-tabled restaurant picked up two
Michelin stars in one fell swoop. Chef Esben
Holmboe Bang may be Danish and Maaemo means
Mother Earth in Finnish, but the food is resolutely
Norwegian. Raw, humble ingredients, often
foraged in the forests or shed from the rivers,
come in a succession of sensational bites: an
emulsion of Norwegian oysters with a mussel and
dill sauce; duck breast cooked over burning birch
wood with mountain blueberries and white currant.
Respect hovers in the air as 20 courses brilliantly
wine-paired by sommelier Pontus Dahlstrm are
delivered by the pierced and tattooed chefs to the
table. Sit in the steel-clad Test Kitchen and marvel
at their total commitment and concentration. +47
91 994 805; About 355 for two


Hidden away behind an unmarked door in the
smart shopping district of Ginza, this tiny sushi
place is owned by chef Masakazu Ishibashi (he
has outposts in Bangkok and Singapore but this is
the original). Watch the performance from one of
14 seats lined up at the counter as the freshest
ginger is sliced and the wasabi grated in front of
you. The set menus are based around the catch
of the day at Tsukiji sh market for a total
blow-out, order the seven-course chefs choice
of sushi, sashimi and steamed hairy crab, although
the calling card here is the seasonal Hokkaido
sea urchin, and you cant go wrong with the smoked


Last year, Madrids most exciting place to eat
became the only three-Michelin-star restaurant
in the city. David Muozs provocative amalgam of
Spanish, Chinese and Japanese food combined
with his arresting nouveau-punk image have made
him Spains highest-prole chef since Adri. His
erce energy (the chef famously works 16-hour
shifts) translates into abstract-expressionist edible
artworks presented on huge porcelain canvases;
inventions of edgy brilliance such as the char-roast
duck heart with tomatillo and tabasco ketchup,
pink grapefruit and miso-infused white asparagus.
Its new location in the Hotel NH Eurobuilding is
all futuristic whiteness and comic-cook hilarity.
Staff wear T-shirts branded Vanguardia o morir
(be avant-garde or die). Muozs gastro-revolution
has only just begun. +34 91 570 0766; www. About 230 for two

The Htel Byblos, like Joan Collins and certain
knock-knock jokes, never gets old. The hotel is
closely associated with its nightclub, Les Caves du
Roy, and its Alain Ducasse restaurant formerly
Spoon, now Rivea. The chef grew up in this part
of France and when he launched Rivea in 2013,
with a pared-down, Mediterranean menu, it
marked his spiritual homecoming. Simplicity is
the key. Many of the best dishes are to share; the
lobster, however, you may wish to keep all to
yourself. An ineffably elegant pot of grilled
vegetables is perfection, and so good you may
wish for nothing more. Although that would mean
missing out on the Ducasse take on the Tarte
Tropzienne mais comme vous voulez. +33 4 94
56 68 20; About 140 for two


There are no road signs for this 2,500-hectare private estate, set back on a wild peninsula near Sartne; discretion has always been
key since the Corsican owner Paul Canerelli started developing the hideaway on a hefty chunk of family property (10 times the size
of Monaco) back in 1994. Once guests have set foot in the grounds (leave stilettos and Gucci loafers behind) they might not
venture out again. Theres a positive extravaganza of things to do, including all possible nautical sports, shing, horse-riding,
mountain biking, botanical walks, hunting (for those who fancy whipping up a wild boar stew) and teeing off on a nine-hole golf
course. The maze of red-dirt roads leads to 16 isolated, rustic stone cottages hidden away in verdant mini-valleys, or at the edge
of crystalline coves. All of them from the romantic sheepfold for two to the sprawling villas for up to 13 have pools, replaces
and proper kitchens, although its difficult to resist the temptation to eat at all three restaurants. With a vegetable garden, fruit
orchards, olive groves, 150 resident cows and 500 goats (the domaines fromagerie churns its own brocciu, a soft, creamy ewes-milk
cheese), Murtolis farm-to-table food is the real deal. +33 495 71 69 24; Doubles from about 200





Imagine the Maldives, but with more depth and personality. Here
the clever Aussie owners, Rory and Melita Hunter, have created
an ethics-rst eco retreat, as well as supplying spoiling luxury with a
high thread-count. Theres a spa offering aromatic massages, vast
villas with private splash pools hovering on stilts over the lizard-green
water, and a superb waterside restaurant with a chill-out lounge
and spicy sh amok on the menu. (Eagle rays launch themselves from
the water as you eat mango and coconut for breakfast.) But beyond
the industry-standard palm trees and beachside innity pool, the
differences are telling. The oil drums repurposed as light xtures, for
instance, and the villas outdoor tables made from gathered driftwood
on which guests mix their own drinks, with ingredients and instructions
provided. Then there are the sustainability projects, the hotels work
supporting local communities and its marine conservation, all evidence
of a keen commitment to the area. Not that any of it is forced upon
guests. Its perfectly acceptable to do nothing more than spend the
day kayaking around the uninhabited island of Koh Rong, followed by
a massage under the stars. +855 236 860360;
Villas from about 710 all-inclusive



Its simple, yes, but dont be fooled. The restaurant may not have a Michelin star and there isnt even a fancy spa, but this retreat east of Bali
is everything a perfectly formed island escape should be. Twenty tents furnished in hardwoods, canvas, coconut and coral are pitched next
to a beach lapped by the best water in the world to explore above and below, and then swim back to shore to shower under a cliff (twist
a rock to turn the water on, Flintstones-style). There isnt a lot to do except make friends with the shes, which is the beauty of the place.
Napoleon wrasse, schools of batsh and reef sharks cruise above gorgonian fans and giant sponges; cuttlesh wobble about the sea bed
as camouaged as a chameleon. Even the house reef, named Turtle Street, is worth travelling halfway around the world for. Here you can
snorkel with manta rays and theres a resident three-ippered turtle (who doesnt go around in circles). Look closely to nd a black-and-white
damselsh living under a half coconut on the shore. And if thats the kind of castaway life youre seeking, the camps 32-metre cruiser
Amanikan can make trips to the remote reefs of Raja Ampat. +62 371 22233; Doubles from about 785

Try to imagine a perfect Italian shing village it would probably look

exactly like Portono. Yachts bob in the sheltered harbour and the dockside
is awash with a fashion-forward crowd. Add to this a glamorous, grand
hotel and you have Belmonds Splendido, overlooking this little port since
its days as a monastery. It is quintessentially Italian: relaxed, chic and
decidedly irtatious, oating on a celestial staircase of garden terraces with
airy bedrooms, a saltwater pool, spa and tennis court. The freshest fritto
misto di mare is served by smiling staff in the open-air Terrazza restaurant,
with a panorama of speedboat action below. In the evenings the Piano
Bar is the place to be for local villa owners and smart visitors alike. Antonio
Beccalli, barman of 45 years and friend to the Hollywood greats, may even
join you on the dance oor. From here, expeditions along the Ligurian
Riviera are essayed on the Splendidos handsome launch, seeking out
beaches inaccessible by road. Should, however, sun or fun take their toll,
one can always submit to a massage in the shady garden overlooking a bay
in where models cavort aboard Rivas off Villa Berlusconi. +44 845 077
2222; Doubles from 369





This very special hotel is set in a UNESCO-listed nature reserve abutting the Pacic, at
the end of a very long dirt road about 110km south of Puerto Vallarta. The wild, isolated
location and indigenous ora and fauna coconut palms, exotic blooms, 150 bird
species, including dive-bombing pelicans and herons so still they look like cut-outs, and
the odd armadillo all conspire to give that irredeemable sense of couldnt-be-anywhere-else. The 27 roomy, thatched beach- and lagoon-side stilt houses, candle-lit at
night and with four-posters and terraces, are as romantic as it gets. The food (breakfast
and supper are served at El Diablito on the lagoon; lunch at Nopalito, a rowing-boat ride
away on the shore) is fresh, authentic Mexican: quesadillas, tacos, fresh fruit, much of it
plucked from the hotels organic garden or shed from the ocean. If dozing in one of the
hammocks beside the innity-edged pool gets tiresome, sail the lagoon in a catamaran,
help release soft, leathery, just-hatched turtles from the hotels sanctuary into the Pacic
(just dont ask for survival statistics), or go humpback whale spotting on the beach as
the sun sets. +52 322 281 4010; Doubles from about 375


A bohemian den of heady perfume, hypnotic
music, red velvet and roses, this is a modern-day
Moulin Rouge where everything is done to excess.
The bar takes up the entire ground oor, with
dark alcoves and intimate corners surrounding
the frisson of the central courtyard terrace.
Securing one of the small tables is a ercely
competitive business, but once seated theres an
army of beautiful girls, and even more beautiful
boys, to look after you. The Bar serves citron
presss in the early morning and swells in volume
from midday as the fashion crowd gathers to
show off, or simply enjoy the performance of
each other. Cocktail 239
(vodka, fresh raspberry, lime, ginger) 20

The Cunard liner Queen Mary (launched 1934)
and the bar and restaurant Rogano (established
1935) are Glasgow-built Art Deco masterpieces.
Queen Mary plied the Atlantic until she ran out
of steam, money and passengers in the late
1960s. Rogano sailed on, indifferent to change.
It remains a perfect time capsule, with its plaster
motifs, chrome accents and staff in dickie-bows
and aprons. Ask for a Mata Hari not an exotic
dancer, sex addict and alleged spy, but the
cocktail that bears her name. Its a witty variation
on the margarita, using tequila, Cointreau, lemon
juice and elderower cordial, with a ery note
provided by a fresh chilli pepper, its seeds ground,
like its namesakes lovers, into bits, the exhausted
pod mounted on the edge of the glass as a trophy
garnish. Mata Hari 8.75



Its Wednesday night. The taxi driver will query
the address a seemingly deserted district better
known for its furniture showrooms. But hell
soon see the SUVs parked haphazardly on the
surrounding streets and pavements. Follow the
crowd through a gate and down a side-alley,
then climb up the re escape. The vibe is more
ashback than fashion-forward, like a smalltown American college party, swinging its
collective hip to sing-along songs from Clout,
Talking Heads and Depeche Mode. The look?
Colonial travellers Empire warehouse: candelabras,
broken tennis rackets, rusty bikes, old suitcases
and exotica from throughout Africa and India. It
doesnt make sense and thats its appeal. www. Dawa cocktail 1.50


When it opened in late 2013, this was an instant
game-changer. Comparisons between the man
behind it, Ryan Chetiyawardana, and Heston


Blumenthal are not far off the meticulous mark.
Heres the science bit: no ice, no perishable
ingredients, no brands. All the spirits are
specially distilled and doctored before being
It may bristle with hipsters but theres nothing
stored at the perfect temperature in huge fridges pretentious about this intimate bar named after
behind the bar. Tonics and tinctures are dropped a pioneering American bartender. The jazz and
in with pipettes, so mixing a drink looks more
swing soundtrack and comfortably bohemian,
like a chemistry experiment. Although the
1920s-inspired interiors help stoke the mood,
science is serious, the menus not. Signature
but what really convinces is the deep cocktail
cocktails are described as heaps mad shit plus
culture of co-owners Antonio, Roberto and
its fun trying to work out how chicken bone
Leonardo, who are so serious about the art of
dissolved in phosphoric acid adds to the Bone
mixology they have created their own vermouth.
Dry Martini (a slight savoury edge) or how Ryan
The cocktail menu is a history lesson arranged
makes the Fig Leaf Colada perfectly not-tooby period: there are Sazeracs, Blue Blazers and
sweet (that would be the vanilla salt). www.
other curios, but its the superb Old Fashioned, Bone Dry Martini 9
made with proper sugar-cane pulp, that really
hits the spot. Just dont ask for anything with
vodka in it. For these purists, its a spiritual parvenu.
THE CAMPBELL Old Fashioned 10
If you like a wallop of old-school glamour with
your hit of old-school booze, step right in. This
was once the insanely swanky office of 1920s
tycoon John W Campbell, who seems to have
Set in a basement beneath a ower shop,
mistaken himself for a 15th-century Florentine
this was conceived in honour of the citys
prince. Its hidden in an unspectacular corner of
turn-of-the-century immigrants by master
Grand Central Station, so theres a cinematic,
mixologist Tato Giovannoni. Mystical sea
soaring-violins moment when you go through
creatures are scrawled in charcoal across the
the door. The lofty, gleaming room, opposite,
white-washed walls and stool-hopping regulars
has a vast grid of original leaded windows on one
clamour for prime position along the low-lit
side, beamed ceilings of a height some may well
copper bar, to watch Tato or co-owner
nd dizzying after a couple of Martinis, a walk-in
Julian Diaz shake Balestrini Negronis and
replace, panelled walls, plush red booths and signature Bloody Marys, made with Giovannonis
little lamps glowing on the bar. All along its
own brand of gin, Apostles, and mopped up
length a dapper crowd buzzes amiably, delighted with Spanish octopus seared on the wood grill.
to be here. The signature Prohibition Punch is a
One awless burst of creativity after another,
patent-leather bootleggers mix of rum, Grand combined with Giovannonis rock-star bar crew,
Marnier, passion fruit, cranberry and lemon
ensure Floreria remains as rare as a unicorn.
topped with Champagne; its worth missing your Clericos No. 6 6
train to have another. www.grandcentral Prohibition Punch 12
Named after a line in TS Eliots The Waste Land,
this speakeasy can be found behind an
unmarked door and a heavy velvet curtain
that opens onto a twilit world of secluded tables,
faintly evocative of the Black Lodge in Twin
Peaks. Here, decorous waiting staff ferry little
glass jugs of, say Paddington Station, a revelatory
rum-based concoction named for its homemade
marmalade syrup, which should be poured
at your own pace lest the ice in your glass
dilutes the liquor. But more than its cocktails
(which may involve chipotle bitters, Moscatel
sherry, egg yolk and all manner of esoteric
syrups) and its faintly mysterious setting, its
the house rules that endear: no baseball hats,
no Cosmopolitans, And nally please do
not bring anyone whom you wouldnt bring
to your mothers house for Sunday dinner. Paddington Station 8

The Midland Hotel, a terracotta Edwardian
palace t for a nawab, was about as fashionable
as Brown Windsor soup until back-to-nature
chef Simon Rogan (LEnclume, Fera at Claridges)
gave it a blast of smelling salts in 2013 reviving
its restaurant, The French, then unveiling Mr
Coopers House & Garden, a set-designed space
in one corner of the hotel. The foodie bit has
a playful, globetrotting menu and a 30ft tree; the
grown-up, silver-grey bar has bookish wallpaper,
buxom banquettes and a ceiling so lofty youll
crick your neck looking up. Have a natter with
Nate Cooper, who has his own vineyard and
once ran a Melbourne burlesque club; his team
pluck apple marigold and infuse gin with pink
peppercorns, dispense popcorn-scented bourbon
in wee hipasks. Unlike other bars in town, theres
nothing on the menu named after the Stone Roses. Perennial
Julep (bourbon,walnut bitters, rosemary) 8


Curiouser and curiouser



he french call Aveyron a

little-known region sprawled
across the southern edge of the
rugged Massif Central la
France profonde, the deepest
of deep heartlands. Although
only a couple of hours drive north of
metropolitan Toulouse and Montpellier,
it is sparsely populated and seemingly
impervious to change, a land of secret
valleys, wild pastures and craggy peaks.
Before I visited, a Parisian friend described
it as being lost in the middle of nowhere.
But in a good way, he added. People
who go there tend to rave about it.
There are no motorways or fast-train
lines scarring the Aveyron landscape, so
everyone who travels around it is forced
to slow down. This meditative pace seems
entirely appropriate. Since the Middle
Ages millions of Christian pilgrims have
walked the Camino de Santiago route,
which wiggles its way across the regions
northern reaches towards Spain.
Now there are new saints to worship.
Everywhere I go I hear the same names:
Soulages. Bras. Soulages. Bras. They are the
chefs Michel Bras and his son Sbastien,
whose three-Michelin-star restaurant is

24,000 citizens). It has more official

Les Plus Beaux Villages (the Most
Beautiful Villages in France) than any
other region. There are ancient hamlets
balanced on ridges, villages pressed into
the sides of valleys, settlements wedged
into the rippling green hillsides, each
with their own stories to tell.
On my way to Aubrac, I pass two nuns
eating sandwiches in the shade of fir trees
lining the road. Their habits match the
milky-blue sky above the Aubrac plateau
that surrounds the village of the same name.
This is the emptiest and most untamed
corner of Aveyron, but the Camino attracts
a steady stream of pilgrims to what is not
much more than a hamlet.
There are no shops in Aubrac and only
a handful of buildings: a caf, an old hotel
and two maisons dhtes in grey-granite
houses around the square, their steeply
pitched roofs lined in silvery lauze tiles
that glisten in the sunshine like fish scales.
It is mid-afternoon and the square is
filled with walkers in bright waterproofs and
stout sandals, families with backpacks
and hikers carrying walking sticks. Some
stop for a giant wedge of summer-berry

than 100 people. And we kept coming

back, Virginie says.
Today the only beasts that roam the
hills are doe-eyed Aubrac cattle with silky
coats the colour of burnt cream. Every
May hundreds of them are dressed up in
ribbons and flowers and paraded through
the village. They produce richly marbled
beef and the milk for rounds of Laguiole
cheese, which is stirred into mashed potato
to create aligot, the garlicky local dish
served at rustic buron restaurants in former
shepherd huts (the nearest is Buron de
Born, so far down winding lanes that only
hunger will keep you from turning back).
The couple moved to Aubrac from
Marseille two years ago and they have
created a theatrical place to stay with layer
upon layer of family heirlooms and fleamarket finds. Each room is wildly different:
Transylvania looks like the inside of a
gypsy caravan, with a taxidermy peacock
keeping watch over a dressing table laid
with tarot cards, an embroidered shawl
covering one wall and black lace shrouding
the windows. Or theres Edelweiss, which
interprets the areas snowy winters in
an all-white scheme and, my favourite,
Aubrac, which draws on the landscape for

just outside the village of Laguiole, and the
abstract painter Pierre Soulages, Frances
greatest living artist, who was born in Rodez,
the capital of Aveyron, where a museum
dedicated to his work opened last May.
The rust-brown cubes of the Muse
Soulages are as stark as the artists huge
black canvases, a flash of modernity in
what still looks like a medieval village
dominated by a Gothic bell tower. Within
it, Michel Bras has opened a brasserie,
uniting the regions most famous sons in a
one-stop cathedral for modern-day pilgrims.
There have been other contemporary
incursions into the landscape: the Bras
familys all-glass restaurant; the slender
Norman Foster-designed Millau Viaduct
the highest bridge in the world, which cuts
across the Tarn Valley and the metallic
flick of Philippe Starcks Forge de Laguiole,
where traditional knives are still made.
But, more than anything, Aveyron is
a place of villages (even Rodez has just

tart at Chez Germaine. On the black door

opposite the caf, weathered silvercoloured letters read Htes dAubrac. A
huge glass orb, like a fortune-tellers crystal
ball, hangs above it from a piece of wire.
Thud. Thud, thud. Through the pilgrims
and daytrippers strides a man dressed in
black: skinny jeans, ripped T-shirt, Nike
hi-top trainers, trilby all stubble and
sunglasses. Daarwin? I ask. Oui.
Didier Daarwin, a photographer, runs
the five-bedroom LAnnexe dAubrac
with his partner Virginie Salazard, a former
model. They first came to Aubrac in 2007.
I blame it on the beast, says Virginie that
evening over red wine (a gutsy Marcillac,
for me) and cigarettes (Marlboro Reds, for
her). Didier was photographing places
near here where they found victims of la
bte du Gvaudan. A famous story in
France, it tells of a wolf-like animal that
terrorised swathes of countryside east
of the village in the 1760s, killing more

inspiration, with a dry-stone wall, curtains

hanging from branches and a faux-fur throw.
Across the square is the equally stylish
La Colonie. The buildings that house
both maisons dhtes were once part of a
big hotel for pilgrims, but here the look is
pared-back. The five bedrooms and two
apartments are filled with furniture of a
mid-century bent, contemporary art and
curious objects: an antique scale here, a
gramophone there, an easel with a map of
the Biblical lands. The owner, Cyril Lrisse,
bought the place 10 years ago when it was
so run-down he found drifts of snow inside
and he spent five years renovating it. But
why here? For the peace, he says.
Someone told me, if you like Scotland,
which I do, wait until you see the Aubrac.
On my last night a thunderstorm rolls
in across the plateau, illuminating the hills in
flashes of moody light. The next morning,
fog clings to the village. This is Aubrac
at its best, says Virginie at breakfast. I

Opposite, clockwise from top left: a re in a local buron; Laguiole cheese; Aubrac village; a traditional door; a hillside buron; a dish of mashed potato and
sausage; houses on the River Lot; an Aubrac cow; La Colonies owner Cyril Lrisse. Previous pages, clockwise from top left: the Transylvania bathroom
at LAnnexe dAubrac; the exterior, salon de th and front door of LAnnexe; double baths in the Aubrac room; Transylvanias dressing table; a
replace in LAnnexe; magazines in La Singulire maison dhtes; Didier and Virginie, LAnnexes owners. Previous pages, right: Conques village



The breakfast table at Le Pigeonnier. Opposite, clockwise from top left: Conques; typical sh-scale roof tiles; a street in Estaing; colourful shutters;
a chteau on the River Lot; an old door; a cobbled street in Conques; a sign for a gite in the village; local produce from Aveyron



love the mist, and the snow. Theres

something about the soul of this place. I
grew up in a village near Grenoble and
thought I could never live anywhere as small
again. But here it is different, its spiritual.

On the edge of the medieval town of

Svrac-le-Chteau there is a waymarker
with signs pointing to Ste, Los Angeles,
Liverpool, Naples and Route 66. Its set
in front of a gate, behind which stands
La Singulire, until recently owner Sophie
de Mestiers family holiday home.
The mix of global influences continues
inside, all carried off with a confidence that
hints at Sophies former life as a fashion
stylist in Paris. Theres an antique walnut
chest turned into a marble-topped sink, the
reception is wallpapered in old newspapers,
photographs by her husband Herv hang in
the four bedrooms: a pop of red shoes shot
beside a hyper-blue pool; a woman on a
bicycle piled high with flowers in Hanoi.
Music by Puccini floats through the house
from an opera performance projected onto
a wall in the sitting room, where there are
three squishy sofas in green velvet and
cream linen, and a coffee table heaped
with old copies of Paris Match and Jours

streets where wooden plaques plot out the

towns microcosmic history a hospital
burnt down by angry Protestants, a duke
with a well-stocked library. The alleys hide
tiny art galleries and a cave-like brocante
where a little old lady sells the family silver.
My route from Svrac-le-Chteau to
Aubin takes me through three of Les Plus
Beaux Villages, the most beautiful of which
is Conques, a tumble of blush-coloured
half-timber houses and narrow lanes ringed
by a town wall, set high above the Dourdou
River. Its outsized abbey is still a draw
along the pilgrimage route. Inside, shafts
of sombre light stream in through striped
stained-glass windows, updated in shades of
grey by Pierre Soulages (there he is again).
Aubin is a former mining village and
not nearly as pretty as its near neighbour,
but on the outskirts is Le Pigeonnier, a
wonderful three-bedroom maison dhtes.
The two stone-coloured rooms in the
main house are lovely, but theres no
competing with the charm of the converted
dovecote that gives Le Pigeonnier its
name. The rooms are decorated in linens,
with free-standing metal baths. Upstairs
a double bed has been cut to fit the curve

Laetitia Dhugues, who opened the pottery

P2P Ceramik with her boyfriend Eric
Blanchard two years ago. Together they
make simple, contemporary bowls, vases,
jugs and dishes, this seasons glazed in
white with abstract drips of mottled gold.
Nine years ago a friend of Rain Heron and
Lance Ojeda lent them their holiday home
in Aveyron. It was the two Californians
first visit, but they were so taken with it they
decided to buy three stone cottages outside
Entraygues-sur-Truyre in the Lot Valley.
Rain and Lance have now decamped
to Aveyron permanently and live in the
biggest of the houses. The others, together
known as Sweet French Cottages, are done
up in taupes and whites and rented out
to writers, musicians, or those, like me,
looking to slip into life in this sleepy neck
of the woods. In mine La Maisonnette
theres a muslin-draped four-poster bed,
a bottle of Entraygues le Fel ros in the
fridge and a hand-painted village sign
rescued by Lance when it was replaced
with something more boringly uniform.
Welcome to Entraygues-sur-Truyre, it
reads, crossroads commercial and touristic.
Sixty traders, 40 artisans, 110 rooms.


de France. Bundles of Le Figaro from the
1970s are stacked in a basket beside the fire.
We used to come here every summer and
Christmas, says Sophie, who has named
the bedrooms after her grandchildren. We
try to create the same atmosphere now,
with lots of people and laughter, and food
and wine around the table.
Its a very personal space rows of
yellowing family photographs are tacked
to the wall by the stairs: weddings, babies,
long-ago beach trips. In the evening, a
classic French film (Truffaut, Chabrol) is
played on the projector before Sophie and
Herv host supper around the long dining
table. He talks, I cook, she says. A maison
dhtes is special. The people who choose
to come here relax, talk, laugh. I wanted to
open up the house with all its family
stories, and now its about their stories too.
And no doubt tales from the village,
where there are sensational views from
the half-ruined 13th-century castle. It is
surrounded by higgledy-piggledy cobbled

of the walls, and tucked away in the

former roosts there are vintage novels
and handwritten chalkboards wishing
guests au temps jolies.
Being here is like living in a bubble,
suspended in time, says its owner Virginie
Tallaron, who tends to her guests with
motherly warmth. Every morning begins
with a homemade breakfast on the terrace
rounds of just-baked fouace (like brioche
but denser, flavoured with orange-blossom
water) and madeleines; jams in every
flavour; great big bowls of coffee as she
chatters about plans for the day, circling
maps and handing out restaurant cards.
In the afternoon I drive to the nearby
village of Belcastel, which rises up the
banks of the Aveyron River and is topped
with a little castle. On the way back, I
follow Virginies recommendation and make
a detour to Peyrusse-le-Roc, a cluster of
stone houses with medieval ruins hidden
among trees. Its so peaceful here, it
leaves a lot of room to be creative, says

That evening I meet Rain and Lance for

supper at their favourite bistro, Le Chou
Rouge, which serves surprisingly elegant
tapas: jars of bouillabaisse; Aubrac-beef
sushi; snail bon-bons. This spring the couple
will open a caf-gallery-boutique called
H2O on the edge of town. We thought wed
do something traditional looking, but the
planners insisted it was ultra-contemporary,
says Lance of the bright, white space with
a sculpture garden. This place might seem
unspoilt and very rural, but beneath it
theres a sophisticated undercurrent. And
that is the real secret of Aveyron.
LAnnexe dAubrac (www.lannexedaubrac.
com; doubles from about 85). La Colonie
(; doubles from about
70). La Singulire (;
doubles from about 75). Le Pigeonnier
(; doubles
from about 70). Sweet French Cottages
(; from
about 400 per week)

Opposite, clockwise from top left: the dining room and exterior of Le Pigeonnier in Aubin; the Josphine bedroom at La Singulire; castle walls
in Estaing on the River Lot; a local cat; a dresser at Le Pigeonnier; La Singulires reception area; a town-hall door in Saint-Cme dOlt; the
dining room at La Singulire. Previous pages, left: the bathroom in the barn at La Colonie. Previous pages, clockwise from top left: the entrance hall
at La Colonie; a dresser at La Singulire; a bedroom at La Colonie; the medieval hamlet of Conques



Clockwise from this picture:

hanging out at Market on Main;
Blue Collar White Collar in
Rosebank; Neighbourgoods
Market; Braamfonteins
EasyHotel. Opposite, Joburger
Lorraine Rono in Maboneng

oburg is the one your mother warned you

about. Shes pierced, tattooed, laughs too loud,
and drinks and smokes too much. While most
cities seduce you with their subtle charms, Jozi
just knocks you on the head and drags you
in. After two holidays in South Africa, I decided
to pack up my life in suburban Atlanta and
move to Cape Town. I had only planned to
pass through Johannesburg on my way south,
but 21 years later Im still here. Jozi must have
slipped something into my drink when I wasnt looking. How
else could I have fallen for an ill-tempered wild child with
such a bad reputation? But love her I do. And Im not alone.
Millions from around the world have fallen under her spell,
all the way back to the citys founding in 1886.
Joburg was born from a sudden lust for gold, entirely unplanned
and hundreds of miles from any viable water source. For beneath
her lie the worlds largest gold reserves, a 300km arc producing
more than 40,000 tons (1.5-billion ounces) of bling accounting
for nearly half the gold ever mined on earth.
Thousands of thrill-seekers, fortune-hunters, swindlers,
merchants, bureaucrats, clergymen and prostitutes came to coo
over her golden cradle. Unlike in other New World cities, left to
develop unique traits over centuries, every member of Joburgs
somewhat dysfunctional family including her ruling class and
underclass, criminals and police, as well as her Christian, Jewish,
Muslim and agnostic aunts and uncles arrived on the same day.

became horse trails before becoming roads, then motorways.

Town planning was in place, but practical micro logic always
prevailed over a macro grand master plan. Johannesburgs city
centre has been rebuilt four times in less than a century, says
33-year-old Joburg-born architect and dapper man-about-town
Brian McKechnie who, while still based in the suburbs, has
snapped up a city-centre apartment in the historic Ansteys
Building, keeping a firm eye on the future. The first round
of development was tin shacks and tents, followed by the
Transvaal Republic vernacular, then the British Empire style
and, later, Art Deco. The last the post-war skyscraper boom
still stands, and were now left with a very well-preserved
1970s-era city centre, which is unique.
The city developed like an onion, quickly expanding outwards
in all directions, ring by ring. They say 10 years in Joburg is like
a half-century in other cities. Previously fashionable suburbs
have simply been discarded like abandoned outfits on a teens
date night. With each passing decade the expansion continued,
and now the area contained within its city limits is larger than
that of Los Angeles, although the sprawl, which might otherwise
seem overwhelming, is softened by dozens of village-like
suburbs centered on high streets.
This place has a decidedly American vibe. But again, rather
than reading her script, Jozi has improvised, developing a New
York brain and a Los Angeles body. So while the shiny-new
California-style sprawl is in place shopping malls, housing
estates, townships and office parks, complete with palm trees,


As an instant city, Johannesburg has always been a place
of immigrants. Being half-Italian and half-Croatian, I fit in
perfectly. In the northern suburbs the first-generation
immigrant stock among whites Greek, Jewish, Italian,
Portuguese, Lebanese easily outnumber Dutch- and Germandescended Afrikaners. And the dawn of democracy in South
Africa in 1994, combined with the Yugoslav civil war and
the fall of the Berlin Wall, created a second-generation influx
of Eastern Europeans, as well as Chinese, Bangladeshis,
Pakistanis and Thais, not to mention other Africans. Its a mix
thats unique on the continent. Almost overnight, a new
Chinatown has taken root in the previously Jewish suburb of
Cyrildene; and the high street of what has traditionally been
Joburgs Little Italy, Orange Grove, has become Little Nigeria.
The full spectrum of the citys ethnic and religious diversity can
be experienced by driving north along the M1 motorway. At the
crest of the ridge leading into the suburban basin, the six spires
of the temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
appear on the right, followed by the Houghton Masjid, St Jeromes
Croatian Catholic church, the Greek Orthodox Christian church
of the Pantanassa, the Great Park synagogue, the Lebanese
Maronite Catholic church, St Sergius Russian Orthodox church
and the Nizamiye Turkish Masjid all in a 15-minute drive.
If there was little planning involved in Joburgs birth, even
less was applied to her development. Pathways between shanties

all connected by impressive new motorways and rapid rail

systems theres also a tangible coating of rust-belt grittiness
that permeates the city.
Until very recently, that grittiness was particularly noticeable
around Joburgs inner-city core, where property prices had
plummeted after big businesses moved out to the northern
suburbs. Rock bottom came around the year 2000, says Sharon
Lewis of the Johannesburg Development Agency. From that
point onwards, it became official policy to intervene and
upgrade the infrastructure while brokering strategic property
deals. As a result, the agency developed new icons for the
city, including the Nelson Mandela Bridge (completed in 2003),
Constitution Hill and Newtown (from 2001 onwards), paving
the way for private developers to reinvest.
The nip-and-tuck approach is working. Forward-thinking
young property developers saw promising gaps in the abandoned
city centre. Jonathan Liebmann created Maboneng, a hip
live-work-play district carved out of the industrial eastern
fringe; and Adam Levy began the redevelopment of the
Braamfontein district. Galleries, cafs, one-off retailers, studios
and restaurants have all sprung up, seemingly overnight.
Joburgers are notoriously cynical, but even its hardest-toimpress citizens are taking note.
Researching a story on the city centres regeneration in 2010,
I met the team behind South Point, a property-development

Opposite, clockwise from top left: Ala Mfumu at his Love Vintage Collection shop on Juta Street; wall art at D6 restaurant in Emmarentia; Flash
Republic singer Tamara Dey in Braamfontein; chef Andrea Burgener and a waiter at The Leopard restaurant in Melville

company whose core business is providing housing to nearly

5,000 university students in revamped 1950s office blocks.
I found myself infected by the urban-regeneration bug. A few
months later I joined the company, still creating stories but
now out of bricks and mortar. And its a fast-paced tale: in
2010 there were only one or two places to buy a cappuccino
in Braamfontein; now there are seven independent coffee bars,
including two roasteries, in just one block, all doing a roaring
trade as international government organisations, creative
industries and retailers increasingly return to the area.
For the rst time since the citys founding, Joburgers are
beginning to reinhabit places theyve previously abandoned,
seeking relief from what the citys creative class calls mall
fatigue. Says McKechnie, Anyone younger than 40 who grew
up in suburban Joburg has probably grown up in a shopping
mall. Joburg was always a car-based city, but theres an entire
generation whove never crossed a four-lane street on foot
and dont know how to parallel park. Back in the 1970s, the
first mega-malls might have been new and interesting to our
parents. That was such a turbulent time in South Africa, I think
they sought a sense of order and comfort in the malls. Not so
for us. Theres such a blandness and sameness about them. In
the northern suburbs youll find a lot of architecture driven by
fake history and reality-aversion, places that are meant to make
you feel like youre in Old World Europe, when in fact theyve

reawakening, says Neil Dundas of the ground-breaking

Goodman Gallery, which represents an impressive stable of
internationally collectable contemporary South African artists
such as William Kentridge, David Goldblatt, Kendell Geers,
Mikhael Subotzky, Sam Nhlengethwa and David Koloane. The
citys established cultural calendar is being reinvented and new
cultural arenas are opening up, like the annual Joburg Art Fair,
which has grown tremendously. The photographic exhibition
Rise and Fall of Apartheid at Museum Africa last year was
co-curated by Okwui Enwezor (whos also the curator of this
years Venice Biennale and the first African-born person to
take on that role in the art events 100-year history). More
than a thousand people attended the opening night party,
which was hosted in the streets before moving into the
museum something that would have been unthinkable even
two or three years back. The Wits Art Museum is the new face
on the block, known for its collection of contemporary South
African art, and home to the most important collection of
traditional sub-equatorial African art on the continent.
Chilean-born gallery owner Ricardo Fornoni moved to
Johannesburg from London in 2004, opening the Res Gallery
in the leafy northern suburb of Parkwood three years later.
It was a very disparate art scene, controlled by a handful
of galleries, when I first arrived, he says. Since then theres
been a renaissance of sorts, with all these little galleries
popping up everywhere. Now you can find 20 in a relatively


only been there six months. Younger, more forward-looking
people are starting to appreciate the city centre, seeking out
authentic experiences, architecture and neighbourhoods.
Now suburbanites flock to inner-city food markets in their
thousands every weekend on Saturdays to Braamfonteins
Neighbourgoods Market, on Sundays to Market On Main in
Maboneng. For many young Joburgers these markets have
provided their first taste of street life without climate control.
The pace of change is mind-boggling. The first wave, driven
by pierced and tattooed youth culture, was quickly followed by
a second wave of fashion-forward parents pushing babies in
Italian prams, who are now supplemented by camera-swinging,
small-town and fringe-suburb visitors riding the third wave.
Trendoids and grannies sit side by side tucking into Jewish nosh
at Mabonengs Eat Your Heart Out caf, under an oversized
map of Johannesburg with the street names reimagined in
Hebrew. On the other side of town, in Braamfontein, Puma
launched its South African flagship two years ago the first
international brand to open a stand-alone store on a Joburg
city-centre street and was quickly followed by the flagship
premises of Virgin Mobile and the LOral Institute, with
more big names set to follow.
The citys cultural scene is also exploding, with the rise of
annual events involving previously marginalised communities:
Chinese New Year and Diwali, for instance, and the Portuguese
Lusito Land festival. Were entering a period of cultural

small area. The market itself is still quite small, but its
growing as the smaller spaces seem to have made the scene
more accessible to a younger crowd, and theres a lot more
action taking place.
Joburg has always had a lively theatre scene, dating back
to the long-defunct Theatre Royal, which opened shortly after
the citys founding. The past decade has seen new theatres
opening, including the Teatro at Montecasino and The Lyric,
and the reopening of the Alexander Theatre, rounding out the
mix of dozens of performance spaces and theatre complexes.
The state-of-the-art Soweto Theatre opened in Jabulani two
years ago, adding another 420 seats to the citys estimated tally
of about 17,000, and the historic Market Theatre in Newtown is
getting a 6million refit.
When I first arrived in 1992, Id hang out in Rosebank, a
compact and tree-lined suburb known for its galleries, interiors
shops and restaurants. It was home to Cranks, Joburgs only
Thai restaurant; Cinema Nouveau, the citys only venue
dedicated to art films; and the Brazilian, a coffee bar famed
for its conveyer-belt delivery of cappuccinos. If I walked into
the Brazilian on any given Thursday night I would bump into
a dozen mates. Now I am hard-pressed to bump into anyone
I know more than once or twice a year, as restaurants and
bars are appearing in dozens of instant suburbs that never
existed in the early 1990s. The rebirth of the inner city has

Opposite, clockwise from top left: the lampshade-decorated courtyard at the Great Dane bar on De Beer Street; stylist and model Ntsako Mitenda
at the Great Dane; vermouth, Campari, orange and strawberry at The Leopard; 44 Stanley Avenue, a hip shopping spot in Milpark

countered this, providing a centralised, human-scaled touch

point for Joburg where Sandton, quite literally, meets Soweto,
and often for the first time.
Another new area where people are connecting is the charity
fundraising circuit, where Joburgers give the Big Rich Texas
girls a run for their money. Joburg is unique on the African
continent in that its a self-funding city, with philanthropy
running through its veins. Giving back is part of its psyche.
Theres a fundraiser almost every night, bringing in cash for
organisations concerned with an exhaustive list of societal
issues children and gender, environment and wildlife, arts and
culture, education and health. A recent Monday-night launch
for a Dutch-driven HIV initiative, Orange Babies South Africa,
saw the 79-year-old Zimbabwean jazz legend Dorothy Masuka
share the stage with 36-year-old Brussels-born Afrikaans
rock queen Karen Zoid. The full spectrum of Joburgs air-kiss
brigade fashion, big business, sport, theatre turned out in
full force, partying until 1am.
Work is work and play time is play time, and we play very
well, says Tselane Tambo, daughter of anti-apartheid icons
Oliver and Adelaide Tambo. She moved to Johannesburg
from London, and now works as a fundraiser for the Adelaide
Tambo School for disabled children in White City, Soweto.
When I first arrived, I found it a lot slower than London.
I found it quiet. But now, although it still feels suburban, its
suburbia with an adrenalin rush.


Since coming to Johannesburg 20 years ago, 36-year-old
Bulgarian-born filmmaker and actor Stanimir Stoykov has
pumped out eight films, with a ninth in production. Like
Baltimores John Waters and Madrids Pedro Almodvar in
their early days, Stoykov self-funds, cajoling a potent mix of
celebrities and underground drag queens into working for
free. Joburg has always served as the bad-girl backdrop
for his below-the-radar films, including Lesbian Braai, Me
Kutch Ne Karongi (I Dont Mind) and Fanny. Joburg is
integral to my work, and theres a lot of talent here, says
Stoykov. Its a rebel town. I shoot everywhere without permits.
We even shot a scene at the airport, where we had an actor
impersonating Britney Spears arriving in South Africa.
And we just shot it, with a biiiiiig camera! You can imagine.
But no one blinked an eye.
Joburg is the cultural heart of South Africa, says Tamara
Dey, lead singer of dance band Flash Republic, who also stars
in Stoykovs latest film, Spotlight Terror, about a pop star who
kills her competition. Young people are flocking back to the
inner city, fearlessly. Its full of possibilities if youre creative,
free-spirited and adventurous. Joburgs got a lot of heart, with
a non-stop clash of cultures and energy and young people
are tapping into it. Joburg is the future.

Left, from top: a local in graffitied Maboneng; 44 Stanley Avenue.

Opposite, clockwise from top left: photographer Moyo Oyelola in
Maboneng; the courtyard at the Great Dane bar; Saldanha Bay mussels
at The Leopard restaurant; D6 restaurant in Emmarentia


Clockwise from this picture: a

view of the city centre from the
Ansteys Building; at a caf in
Maboneng; Revolution House
bar; bag designer Facts R Fire


Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff
Joburg is a decidedly business-focused
kind of town, so its relatively tepid hotel
scene has been stirred and somewhat
shaken by this months arrival of the
rst Four Seasons in South Africa. The
former Westcliff Hotel has been entirely
remodelled as a 117-room urban resort.
Duality is key, appealing to work and play.
For business travellers, the interiors have a
calming, neutral feel; those with more time
on their hands will pick up on beautiful
details such as hand-embroidered cushions,
custom-made animal-print fabric and an
outstanding collection of South African
contemporary art. Five restaurants, a
destination spa, meeting rooms and a
tness centre round out the big-city mix.
67 Jan Smuts Avenue, Westcliff (www.four Doubles from about 275
Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa The smartest
place to stay in town for more than a decade,
it is now being given a run for its money
by the Four Seasons. Its still the serene
hideway it always was, with an Aman-inAfrica vibe set in undulating parkland. A
real treat. 36 Saxon Road, Sandhurst (www. Doubles from about 280
Hyatt Regency Johannesburg A sleek hotel
in a great location for car-phobics, in the
heart of one of the citys best walking districts.
191 Oxford Road, Rosebank (johannesburg. Doubles from about 175
33 Melville Road Owner-run, three-room,
Afro-chic place in one of Johannesburgs
most exclusive suburbs, with a dedicated
chef and chauffeur. Cossetting and intimate.
33 Melville Road, Hyde Park (www.33melville Doubles from about 170
54 on Bath The former, much respected
Grace Hotel is directly connected to the
Rosebank Mall. Recently bought by Tsogo
Sun hotels, it has been entirely reinvented.
54 Bath Avenue, Rosebank (www.tsogosun Doubles from about 210
The Satyagraha House This is where
Mahatma Gandhi lived a century ago. Now
a museum and seven-room guesthouse,
its a deeply affecting place and totally unique.
Worth a visit, even if youre not staying here.
15 Pine Road, Orchards (www.satyagraha Doubles from about 100


D6 Cape Malay food in a lively, kitsch-infused
environment. 42B Greenhill Road, Emmarentia
(+27 11 486 7226). About 20 for two
La Cucina di Ciro This is one of Joburgs
top Italian restaurants, run by old-school
chef-patron Ciro Molinaro. 43 Seventh
Avenue, Parktown North (www.lacucinadi About 40 for two
The Grillhouse Previously noted by this
magazine as one of the worlds top 15 steak
restaurants, this is where big business does
big deals over big slabs of meat. The Firs, corner

Oxford Road and Biermann Avenue, Rosebank

( About 45 for two
The Leopard Innovative cooking from
fun-loving author and chef-patron Andrea
Burgener. 63A Fourth Avenue, Melville (www. About 30 for two
Cube Tasting Kitchen Intimate 30-seater,
serving 10-course meals. 17 Fourth Avenue,
Parktown North (
About 80 for two
Market On Main The Sunday food and design
market has everything from Argentine asado
to Ethiopian coffee. 264 Fox Street, Maboneng
Neighbourgoods Market Sister to the
Cape Town original, this is a terric spot on
Saturdays. 73 Juta Street, Braamfontein

Anti Est Watch the world stroll by from this
beautifully designed street-facing bar. 73 Juta
Street, Braamfontein (+27 74 187 2421)
Great Dane Upcycled bar with a cosy brick
courtyard, DJs and designer hot dogs. 5 De
Beer Street, Braamfontein (+27 11 403 1136)
Kitcheners Carvery Bar Joburgs secondoldest pub, for shabby fun. Corner De Beer and
Juta streets, Braamfontein (+27 11 403 0166)
Living Room Eco-minded rooftop caf-bar.
Main Change Building, 20 Kruger Street,
Maboneng (+27 61 402 2843)

Maropeng Explore the origins of our species
at the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage
Site, an hours drive from the city. Within
the site is a contemporary art space, the
Nirox Sculpture Park.
Museum of African Design MOAD This
new pan-African museum is the rst of

its kind in the continent. 281 Commissioner

Street, Maboneng (
Wits Art Museum Modern South African
paintings and sculptures, and an unrivalled
collection of sub-equatorial art. University
Corner, corner Bertha and Jorissen streets,
Braamfontein (
Joburg Theatre This multi-stage performance
complex, including the Nelson Mandela
Theatre, puts on a mix of musicals, drama,
comedy, concerts and dance; its home to
the Joburg Ballet. Loveday Street,
Braamfontein (
The Market Theatre A Johannesburg
institution in the 1913 Indian Fruit Market,
known for its positioning as South Africas
denitive anti-apartheid struggle theatre.
Corner Bree and Miriam Makeba streets,
Newtown (
Soweto Theatre A beautifully designed
arts complex with outdoor performance
space. Opened in 2012 as part of the
Jabulani areas rapid development. Corner
Bolani Road and Bolani Link, Jabulani,
Soweto (+27 11 930 7461)
Teatro at Montecasino The place for bigbudget concerts, dance recitals and West End
and Broadway shows. Montecasino Boulevard,
corner William Nicol Drive and Witkoppen
Road, Fourways (
Bassline Known for its street-cred, this live
music venue has two stages: a 1,000-capacity
concert hall and a more intimate 150-seater
performance space. 10 Henry Nxumalo Street,
Newtown (
The Orbit Joburgs newest all-jazz music
venue, with free lunchtime jam sessions by
Wits University music students. 81 De Korte
Street, Braamfontein ( JT




Shot at Mondrian London

at Sea Containers. In the
Dandelyan bar: jersey
blouse, 2,250; denim
bermuda shorts, 600; Pop
Chips earrings, 550; Mini
V chain earcuff, 320;
Mini V set earcuff, 190
(all worn throughout);
Petite Malle bag, 3,155.
All clothing, accessories
and jewellery, S/S 15
Louis Vuitton (+44 20
7399 4050; www.

In the cinema: velvet

cropped pants, 1,450;
silk-crepe bra, 450.
Opposite, in the Rumpus
Room rooftop bar:
lace-and-velvet knit top,
1,000; silk-crepe
bra, 440; gabardine
trousers, 1,380;
denim boots, 780


Knit top, 1,800;

silk-crepe bra, 440;
over-stitched denim
trousers, 640; Twist
Malletage bag, POA

Chelsea jacket, 1,450;

knit top, 830; silk-crepe
bra, 440; over-stitched
denim trousers, 640; leather
boots, 800. Opposite,
in the Rumpus Room rooftop
bar: sequin tunic, 5,380;
lace leggings, 480
Hair, Stephen Beaver at
Jed Root, using Krastase.
Make-up, Mel Arter at CLM,
using LOral Paris. Nails,
Michelle Class at Jed Root,
using Lancme. Model, Estelle
Yves at Viva. Fashion assistant,
Connie Chamberlayne.
Mondrian London at Sea
Containers (www.morgans has
doubles from 234
Louis Vuitton, the classic
French fashion house known
for its travel-rich heritage, has
just opened its rst European
airport store in Heathrow
Terminal 5. With a digital
artwork set into the six-metre
shopfront, the vast space
sells leather goods, ready-towear fashion, shoes, jewellery,
accessories and watches.
Departures Hall, Second
Floor, Heathrow Terminal 5.
Open 5.30am10pm


An interior and, opposite,

poolside sun-loungers at
Tribal Hotel in Granada


nicaragua is greater than costa rica for its biodiversity, and its rainforest is second only to
the amazon for sheer size. keep an eye out for freshwater sharks, poetry-scribbling politicos
and a colourful new species of eco-smart hotel. by stanley stewart. photographs by julien capmeil


Clockwise from this picture: a sitting

area at Tribal Hotel; masks at a
market in Masaya; Tribal Hotels
pool; tropical fruit and owers

here are places where rivers ood the imagination. In the

tropics, they arc across continents, they wind towards hearts
of darkness, they arrive at the sea in mile-wide deltas of
dazzling brightness. TS Eliot called them strong brown gods,
overowing into legend. In Nicaragua, the Ro San Juan is
not so much a river as a national character treacherous,
beloved, iconic snaking deep into the country. There was
a time when the San Juan was quite the thoroughfare, an
important Central American artery, heaving with pirates and
adventurers eager to make a name for themselves. The river was
the route to Granada, one of the grand cities of the Spanish Main.
Its mansions were said to be stuffed with gold.
Lord Nelson conquered the river as a callow youth of 22; it
was only a bad case of diarrhoea that forced his retreat downriver.
Sir Francis Drake was here, aunting his codpiece, as was the
fearsome lOlonnais, the French pirate famous for drinking
Spanish blood. Henry Morgan, the kind of swashbuckling killer
so beloved of seven-year-old boys, came up this river three times
on his way to the honey pot of Granada. They built the fortress
at El Castillo to ensure he didnt make it a fourth.
These days things have gone rather quiet on the river: a few
shermens dugouts, the odd motorboat crossing between the
banks, a ramshackle river-bus heading upstream. But there are
still travellers on the San Juan, like me, bound for Granada,
entranced by tropical waters and sleepy river towns and stories of
Henry Morgan, and still able to break the journey at El Castillo,

hero is Rubn Daro, the Nicaraguan equivalent of Shakespeare,

Churchill and Bobby Charlton rolled into one. They have named
an entire mountain range after him, and people are liable to start
reciting his work at the slightest provocation.
Poetry here is not a mere spectator sport; no such luck. Everyone
gets in on the act. Daniel Ortega, the Sandinista president, is
a poet. Ernesto Cardenal, the liberation priest, is a poet. My
hotel keeper was a poet. Even Pedro was a poet. Before I could
divert him, he gave me several minutes of lovelorn verse about
a girl who had escaped to Granada.
But the real poetry along this river is wordless nature. Fifteen
minutes downstream is the Indio Maz Biological Reserve, more
than 4,000sq km of primary forest, much of it barely mapped.
Biologists from UCLA call it the gem of Central American
nature. Along its trails are more species of ora and fauna than
in all of Europe. Aside from the spider monkeys performing
acrobatics in the treetops, my favourite were the tree frogs, the
size of a thumbnail and as brightly coloured as beach balls.
Upriver was another Edenic wilderness, Los Guatuzos
reserve. I followed the narrowing Ro Papaturro into its green
heart. Lined with reeds and overhung with vast trees, it felt
like the rst river, something new-born. The glamorous birds
were as tame as pets. Roseate spoonbills and black-necked
stilts and tricoloured herons tiptoed along the banks just a
metre or so from the boat. We peered up through branches
to see a gang of thuggish-looking boat-billed herons peering

High up, among the orchids and bromeliads, I saw a sloth with the air of a chap in a hammock. Close to,
a Jesus lizard stopped on a lily pad, cocked its head, then skipped across the water on splayed feet
where the 19-year-old Rafaela Herrera once fought off a bunch
of English pirates in her nightdress.
In about 200km of river between the Mosquito Coast on the
Caribbean and Lake Nicaragua, El Castillo is the only place youll
nd a cold beer, a restaurant menu and an air-conditioned room.
I made landfall in the early evening. Framed by rose-coloured
river light, a cluster of wooden houses, weathered as prairie barns,
stood on the right bank above cormorants drying their wings.
There are no cars here. Everything comes and goes by the river,
sacks of rice, crates of beer, outboard motors, strangers.
Pedro was the rst person I met, the barman in a wide wooden
room just above the Raudal del Diablo, the Devils Rapids. I was
impressed that he could serve me a beer without stirring from
his hammock. Mangrove swallows were diving on the darkening
water. Pedro was dreaming of Granada. On the San Juan, people
dream of Granada the way kids in Kansas dream of New York or
Los Angeles. Pedro talked of nothing but Granada for three days.
From the depths of his hammock he gazed upriver, as if he might
glimpse the cathedral towers rising above the jungle canopy.
I would have been happy to spend a month in El Castillo. Every
morning I woke to the river, whose moods, as the day waxed and
waned, washed through the town, from innocent blue to brooding
pewter. At night, stars shone in midstream and reies lled the
trees along its bank like wayward constellations. The people here
seemed to have the perfect existence. With occasional breaks for
trips upstream and down, they spent much of their day in rocking
chairs and hammocks, enjoying the river, gossiping, writing poetry.
Poetry is to Nicaraguans what a dodgy derivative is to a City
banker, a thing of joy, a reason to crack open the zz. The national

down at us. We crept up on a beautiful pygmy kingsher, so

close I could almost have stroked its neck.
Iguanas, splendidly Jurassic, with spiny backs, tough hides and
weird aps of skin, climbed trees. High up, among the orchids and
the bromeliads, I saw a sloth with the air of a chap in a hammock.
Close to, on a lily pad just beneath the bank, a Jesus lizard stopped,
cocked its head, then skipped across the water on splayed feet.
The only creatures here that showed fear were the real predators.
Caimans lurked among the reeds like submerged logs, one deadly
eye staring at us, before suddenly thrashing away in whirl of white
water. We found the granddaddy sunbathing on a sandbank.
Two metres long, he was too big to opt for ight. He watched us
pass, mouth agape, teeth glinting.
Departure from El Castillo proved a sad affair. Pedro looked
forlorn I was going to Granada and he wasnt. There were
handshakes, there were heartfelt exchanges, there were poems.
The hotel keeper folded me into her formidable bosom and
kissed my cheeks. Pedro gave me a newly penned masterpiece
which ran to several pages.

settled into a canopied longboat and started upstream. The

banks were a congestion of branches knitted together with
vines: white-trunked guarumo, cecropias, tulip trees, junipers,
native palms. Toucans clattered between ceiba trees as grand
as cathedrals, and howler monkeys shrieked at one another
in some simian version of Jeremy Kyle.
Rush hour in the Ro San Juans history was the mid-19th
century, when more than 80,000 breathless Americans came up
the river en route to California. Sixty years before the building of

A bedroom at Tribal Hotel

the Panama Canal and two decades before the completion of the
rst transcontinental railway lines, Cornelius Vanderbilt ran a
steamboat service on the San Juan, connecting New York and
San Francisco. Nicaragua may have seemed the long way round,
but travellers reckoned it was preferable to several weeks in a
stagecoach with Ringo the Kid keeping lookout for Apaches. We
passed the wreck of one of Vanderbilts steamers, tipped sideways
in aqueous light beneath arches of bamboo, almost as evocative as
the Titanic, the re hatches on the boiler like empty eye sockets.
After the complexities of the Ro San Juan, theres something
innocent about Lake Nicaragua, larger than Lincolnshire, stretching
away to at, watery horizons beneath blameless skies. I decided
against a lake crossing it takes a couple of days and is famous for
short, choppy waves and booked a ight on an eight-seater plane
from San Carlos airstrip, where air-trafc control, check-in and
baggage handling were all the same cheery fellow. I felt the other
two passengers hadnt read the warnings about the contents of
hand baggage with enough care. They sat in the back with AK-47s.
They were transferring money from the San Carlos banks to
Managua. Below us on the rippled surface of the lake, the tiny
shadow of our plane ed northwards.
An hour later I was sitting in a rocking chair sipping a Mint
Julep on the wide veranda of the Hotel Plaza Coln, overlooking
Granadas main square. Readers of Gabriel Garca Mrquez
will already be familiar with the atmosphere here: the crumbling
mansions, the rattle of horse-drawn carriages on cobbled streets,

become a confusion of creative impulses. A painting exhibition

occupied a front room. In its deeper reaches I found printmakers,
sculptors, book-binders and engravers. I opened one door and
found myself in an alternative radio station. Behind another was
a modern-dance class in dark leotards. From upstairs came the
sound of a choir, while in the courtyard several poets, poetically
dishevelled, were declaiming.
In the evenings the whole town comes out to stroll. The central
square swells with people exchanging elaborate salutations.
In the pedestrianised Calle La Calzada, which runs all the way
to the lake, the tables outside cafs and bars begin to ll with
customers as the early-evening promenade transforms into a
late-evening street party. Acrobats perform for coins, itinerant
musicians arrive and people dance across the cobbles with salsa
moves of eye-watering sexiness.

adored granada and even fantasised about buying myself

a rambling colonial mansion for the price of a garden shed in
Gloucestershire. But the truth was I had another destination
in mind. I was heading to Nicaraguas Pacic Coast. Like
many of the worlds best coasts, it was rst discovered by
surfers who migrated to its big swells and empty beaches
like swallows to Africa. But like only a very few great coasts,
large swathes of it are still undeveloped.
At heart it remains cowboy and shing country, into which
beach culture is slowing seeping. This makes for a marvellous

Down every street, open windows allow you to gaze into front rooms with framed Madonnas and ticking
clocks, where shirtless men chew cigars and play cards and papery old women sit in rocking chairs
the slow tropical afternoons, the irtatious evening promenade, the
impossibly beautiful women, the family dynasties whose histories
make the Old Testament seem like a model of brevity, their lives
complicated by inappropriate passions.
Colossal studded doors, designed to keep out Englishmen with
eyepatches, lead through to courtyards of fountains and hanging
gardens. Great churches sail like galleons above red rooftops. Nuns
ghost around street corners. Old men play guitar on benches.
Dark-haired women lean on balustrades. Down every street,
open windows allow you to gaze into front rooms with framed
Madonnas and ticking clocks, where shirtless men chew cigars
and play cards and papery old women sit in rocking chairs.
We think of the New World as new. But Granada, built in 1524,
was already old when the Great Fire consumed wooden London
and when the rst trees were felled by settlers on the muddy
island of Manhattan. The Parque Central, the town square, has
been its main stage for ve centuries and has as many stories as
Hampton Court. Henry Morgan piled the towns loot between
the two fountains here. On the balcony over to my right, William
Walker, the Tennessean adventurer and megalomaniac, declared
himself President of Nicaragua in the mid-19th century. In
front of the cathedral, where I could see fruit sellers hawking
their iced concoctions, they used to execute criminals, defeated
generals and traitors. The mansion on the corner was home to
the Chamorro family, which boasts six presidents, a general and
a famous assassinated journalist among its number.
After the natural world of the river, I dived into culture and
nightlife. I browsed the English bookshop, I went to concerts, I
explored the Casa de los Tres Mundos, a colonial villa that has

mix of horsemen in big hats and tousled-haired surfer dudes, of

willowy beach babes and big-bottomed Latinas, of villagers asleep
in hammocks, shermen selling fresh lobster straight from their
boats and the international young gathering for beach parties.
San Juan del Sur is the chief town, but there are a handful of
hotels tucked into empty bays up and down this coast. The real joy
is hiring a four-wheel-drive and following the dirt tracks through
the dry tropical forests, past the rattling bullock carts and the
roadside shacks selling tamales wrapped in banana leaves, to
emerge at the ocean on your very own stretch of sand, where
all you need is a board and a hammock.
But I wasnt trying to be even that energetic. I was staying
at Mukul, a sybarites dream. It is owned by one of Nicaraguas
old dynasties, the Pellas family, responsible for the exquisite
Flor de Caa rum and for cigars with a reputation to rival Cubas.
The current Pellas Senior used to go deep-sea shing off this
coast. At anchor in the evening, he would gaze at two empty white
beaches the mile-long Manzanillo and the scimitar-shaped
Guacalito and promised himself that he would create something
beautiful here. Mukul, with its 37 villas, six-suite spa and 18-hole
golf course, is the result. It is not only the best hotel in Central
America, it is one of the best in the world.
I drifted from my private pool to a pampering treatment at
the spa to Guacalito beach, where a discreet Man Friday ferried
chilled fruit juices and sun-bleached cushions, to a dinner of
sesame-encrusted yellow-n tuna overlooking the bay, to the
humidor for a late-night cigar and glass of ne rum. Tempted
as I was, I avoided a second drink. Mukul was inspiring. I knew
there was a danger I might take up poetry.

Clockwise from this picture: locally

grown mango; an interior at
Tribal Hotel; a weavers workshop
in Granada; the palapa at Mukul


YEMAYA Caribbean Sea
This sweet place is on the north coast of Little Corn Island, which is
way out in the Caribbean and virtually unknown. It is ttingly low-key,
but with the benet of a seasoned owner (he has opened a handful of
hotels in Tulum). The hippy-chic vibe is reinforced with yoga classes,
vegan cookies and a no-shoes policy in the restaurant. Breakfasts include
energy-packed smoothies made with raw cacao, peanuts and honey, and
Asian avours pep up the seafood: shrimp cakes with cucumber-andchilli salad; Penang-style curry of lobster and pineapple (all cooked
in coconut oil). The beachside suites are simple but smart, with cool
tiled oors and rattan blinds. Paddle-boarding, diving, snorkelling and
lazing around are what its all about. HAZEL LUBBOCK
+505 8239 5330; Doubles from about 180


When building this ve-bedroom gem, its Danish owners took a Latin
American approach to indoor-outdoor living, making the most of the warm
Nicaraguan climate. The scrubbed, Scandi-style interiors include work
by local craftsmen, such as the handsome oor tiles made at the citys
century-old Ladrillera Favilli factory. Theres uidity, with covered sitting
rooms leading into open-air spaces designed for chilling out on low sofas
and hammocks; even the kitchen is a calm, unfussy space. Bedrooms are
mostly white, with bright, geometric throws, one or two pieces of
Nicaraguan craftwork, Swiss lighting and furniture made in Masaya. HL
+505 2552 0641; Doubles from about 55


This is one of the grandest houses in Granada, home to the famous
Chamorro family and central to the life of the city and the country.
Presidents and cardinals, bankers and ambassadors have all climbed
the wide stairs to its pillared veranda. It was transformed into a 27-room
boutique hotel in 2006. High-ceilinged reception rooms lead into courtyards
of shaded archways, whitewashed walls, overowing greenery and
tropical woods. Upper galleries frame a courtyard swimming pool. In the
street, carriages wait for guests. But it is not just the grandeur that appeals.
This place still feels like a home, with its familiar staff and its leisurely
pace. I loved the long veranda, perfect for an evening glass of rum,
settled into a rocking chair, overlooking the main square, catching up
on the town gossip. The best rooms have balconies looking onto the
Parque Central, and there is a wonderful old-fashioned coffee shop next
door with dangerously good cakes. STANLEY STEWART
+505 2552 8489; Doubles from about 70


Built from scratch, this is one of a new breed of Granada hotels that favour
contemporary design over the ubiquitous colonial look. Its the product of
two well-connected Manhattanites: Jean-Marc Houmard, owner of New
York fashions favourite restaurant Indochine, and Yvan Cussigh, who
formerly ran the rooftop bar at 60 Thompson (now Sixty SoHo). The pair
sourced fabrics from all over the world for their tropical-fruit-bowl-bright
boutique hotel, lling it with striped woven rugs, graphic prints, wood
carvings and towering palms planted around a jazzy swimming pool. HL
+505 2552 0037; Doubles from about 60


Its thought that the tiny islands on Lake Cocibolca were formed by the
spray of molten lava when the Mombacho volcano erupted thousands
of years ago. Jicaro is on one of the lushest, and staying in one of the
nine stilted casitas here feels like checking into a rainforest canopy:
squawking blue jays watch from the treetops; turtles paddle about down
below. The whole structure is built from reclaimed mahogany and
cedarwood slats with no glass or concrete; the neighbouring banana
trees make for utter seclusion. In the midst of the jungle theres a

spa and an innity pool with a view. Meals are surprisingly rened
and varied: ayote-and-papaya salad; guava-glazed ribs with fried
plantain; homemade banana ice cream. Swim to the oating platform,
just the right size for two, and have a Jicaro cocktail (jicaro-fruit
liqueur and grama tea) brought out to you. HL
+505 2558 7702; Doubles from about 235


Built on the slopes of Maderas, the dormant one of Ometepe islands
two volcanoes, this is a serious eco-lodge (compost loos, solar power,
recycled water) on an organic farm. The charming casitas, designed
in a pared-back style, have four-poster beds, thatched roofs, private
porches and outdoor showers; and there are breath-stealing views of
the still-active Concepcin volcano from all of them. Ask bartender
Erik to knock up a Macu cocktail (white rum, guava juice and lime)
and laze by the swimming pool, or get founder Martijn Priester to show
you around the bougainvillaea-lled grounds. Breakfasts of eggs,
buckwheat toast with homemade guava jam and full-bodied coffee
grown at neighbouring Finca Magdalena will set you up for the day.
Its a long, steep walk down to the village, so evenings are best spent
at the lodge, playing board games and spotting tree frogs. HL
+505 8358 7718; Doubles from about 40

MORGANS ROCK Pacific Coast

This is everything a great eco-hotel should be, without compromise.The
Breakfast on the Farm experience is an adventure in itself, with sloths,
macaws, howler and spider monkeys to be spotted in the trees above.
Collect eggs, milk a cow, roll tortillas and try the gallo pinto (rice and
beans) and pico de gallo (salsa), sitting family-style in the farmhouse.
Almost all of the ingredients for the restaurant are grown on the 1,600
hectares surrounding the hotel. A 50-metre plank bridge connects the
pool, restaurant and rooms, which are beautifully crafted from tropical
hardwood and built into the hillside overlooking the beach. HL
+505 2563 9005; Doubles from about 100

MUKUL Pacific Coast

Built as a testament to survival after its owner, Don Carlos, and his wife
were involved in a plane crash, this seriously smart hotel opened last
year on 50km of coastline and has impressive green credentials: not a
single tree was cut down during construction and 90 per cent of its
employees are from the area. Created by Paul Duesing, a US architect
and designer (clients include the Mandarin Oriental group), the hotel is
a great marriage of drama and detail, from the soaring cane-and-timber
roof of the central palapa set on columns of fallen nanciton trees to the
beautifully handcrafted furniture. Villas have private pools and walled
gardens, travertine wet rooms and outdoor showers. Anything is possible:
shing charters, helicopter trips to the Cerro Negro volcano, forest
treks, world-class surng and excellent golng. But its the spa thats the
real triumph; each of the suites has its own treatment rooms, relaxation
areas, terraces and plunge pools. This is indulgence on a grand scale. SS
+505 2563 7100; Doubles from about 400


A jungly commune for surfers and yoga bunnies, this is the place for
loosening up and letting go. Family-friendly takes on a whole new
meaning here, with everyone chilling, surng, sleeping (in bunkroom
dorms or private treetop cabanas) and eating together. The Director
of Health & Restoration (yes, really) suggests daily yoga and massages;
surf lessons are with Juan Carlos, one of a growing number of
expert Nicaraguan surfers. At Caf Revolucin, the coolest hangout
on the beach, the stone-baked pizzas are enough to keep the
wave-catching crowd going all day. HL
+505 8796 7243; Doubles from about 40






The smooth-talking Austrian actor, with two Oscars on his mantelpiece, has become
Tarantinos latest gunslinging muse and is set to be villainous in the next Bond film
Where have you just come
back from?
Berlin. I used to live there, so I still
have one foot in the city, but Im not
such a fan. My explanation for Berlin
being so popular now is that its so
bland it isnt threatening. You can
project anything onto it. If you go there
to have a great time, youll get it,
because there is hardly anything that
will disturb that.
Where in the world have you felt
When I can do what I want with the
people I like, I dont care where I am.
People try to nd happiness through
consuming other places: Oh, if I can
leave everything behind, I will be happy.
That just, excuse the expression, fucks
up the world.
Name a place that most lived up to
the hype
Portono. You drive into town on that
little coastal road and enter a time warp
youre in Italy in the 1960s. Well, until
9am, when the tourists come in on the
cheap tours, and then youre in a hell hole.
But early in the morning, its a dream.
Whats your favourite city?
Rome. I rst went as a teenager, and
although I dont think I would like
to live there, I like to visit. Its been a
city for a pretty long time and you can
see its past everywhere. Most of these
beautiful cities are now backdrops
for mass tourism and as much as I
support the idea of travelling because
it widens your horizon, you should treat
places with respect.
Describe your favourite view
I was in LA for a job and so I rented a
house in the Hollywood Hills. I arrived
in the evening when it was dark and
the next morning the sun came up and I
saw the view overlooking Los Angeles.
There was Downtown on one side and
on the other, you could see the fog over
the ocean. Maybe its because it was a
surprise, but it was a lovely, lovely view.
What do you pack first?
Dont talk about packing I would

start my life anew if you promised

that I would never have to pack again.
It is an absolute horror. I have a
resistance against packing that borders
on the psychotic. I fear its getting
worse. Unpacking is OK, though, I can
do that very well.
Confess to one thing youve taken
from a hotel room
Fond memories [laughs].
What would you most like to find in
your minibar?
I hardly ever use them. I nd little
bottles of alcohol depressing because
thats what alkies use, so they cant trace
the amount. Occasionally, if theres a
Japanese beer, Ill take it. But other than
that, just the water.

Describe a memory from a
childhood holiday
I must have been three or maybe even
younger, and we went to Tyrol in the
Italian mountains and stayed on a
farm. I remember they slaughtered a
pig, which I found fabulously fascinating.
I recall every detail. And there was
a thunderstorm coming in, and people
running around the farm getting
hysterical and securing everything.
Tyrol then, in the very late 1950s, was
a dirt-poor area, like a developing
country, but it was fantastic.
Describe a holiday disaster
I was once apprehended at immigration
in Chicago in the 1990s. That was a total
disaster, because immigration in the
USA is tough, and that particular ofcer
a very pretty young lady with red hair
decided she wanted to give me a hard
time, and she really did. I was put in a little
room and I waited there for three hours

with no idea what was going on. There

was an irregularity with my visa, so I had
to pay a fee there was nothing wrong,
but they made me feel like a criminal.
Where did you go on your first
holiday without your parents?
I came to London at 14 to spend the
summer with a family. I travelled by train
from Vienna and it was a very long and
somewhat boring journey. They had to put
the train on a boat because there was no
tunnel, then the attendant in the cafeteria
called me sir, which I found very odd.
I arrived at Victoria Station and I had to
take a cab to the house up in North
London because the family couldnt fetch
me. The cabbie told me it was too far and
made me get the tube, which I thought
was great. These things are extremely
important for very young people, because
they learn how to cope. These days you
carry them to the car and onto the plane,
then you carry them off the plane and
they hardly know how to read signs.
I would never, ever go back to
Villa Bianca restaurant in Hampstead.
My daughter likes trufe oil, and she
wanted bland noodles, with a few drops
of trufe oil. So she got a little childrens
portion of spaghetti, with a few drops
of trufe oil just like she wanted, and
they charged us 29.90. I am prepared to
pay for what I get if its worth it. If its
expensive, it has to be very special; but
thats OK, because special things cost
money. A plate of spaghetti with a few
drops of trufe oil for 29.90? Sorry, you
just lost a customer.
Nominate your eighth wonder of
the world
It shifts. But if you y over the Alps on
a sunny day, thats pretty fantastic.
How do you relax?
I dont. It would drive me nuts.
Christoph Waltz was talking to Francesca
Babb. He is an IWC Schaffhausen
Friend of the Brand and stars in Timeless
Portono, an exhibition by Peter
Lindbergh, which marks the launch of the
new Portono Midsize collection by IWC
February 2015 Cond Nast Traveller 135


Clockwise from this picture: the Ikon

modern-art gallery; a bike display, books
and clothing at Provide, an independent
boutique in the Custard Factory. Opposite,
the Selfridges building in the Bullring

136 Cond Nast Traveller February 2015



Home of TVs gritty Peaky Blinders, the city is showing its brighter side
as an independent young crew mixes up the streetscape in enterprising
Brummie style, says William Cook. Photographs by Matthew Buck


nce a sociologists paradise of

bleak tower blocks and desolate
underpasses, Birmingham
was commonly regarded as a
concrete wilderness. Yet lately, something
strange and wonderful has happened here.
The city of a thousand trades, as those
virtuous Victorians called it, has become
the city of a thousand start-ups. Improbably,
boring old Brum has become chic.
So whats changed? The skyline, for one
thing. First the Bullring, the citys biggest
eyesore, got a much-needed makeover. Now
its home to Selfridges, the most recognisable
building. Even the Rotunda, one of the
ugliest skyscrapers in town, has been
revamped by hip designers Urban Splash.
But the biggest change has been at street
level. Carved up by motorways, Brum used to
be a no-go zone for pedestrians. The yovers
are still here, but today you can actually walk
around. And theres reason to dawdle, the
city centre has come alive. The Dickensian
canal is a pleasant place to stroll, and the
grim thoroughfares I recall from my student
days are lled with people having fun.
If one building sums up Birminghams
renaissance, its the new library. The
structure is stunning, like an enormous
Christmas present wrapped up in gold and
silver foil, but the best bit is whats inside.
Part reading room, part rendezvous, its an
energetic mishmash of highbrow and
lowbrow a lot like Birmingham. When it
opened in 2013, replacing a brutalist hulk
across the road, the library instantly became
a symbol of this rejuvenated city and the
view from the top oor is breathtaking.
Yet this revival isnt merely a matter of
town planning. Theres something in the air
that wasnt here before. Brum now has
one of the youngest populations of any city
in Europe (almost 40 per cent of its citizens
are under 25) and districts such as Hockley
and Digbeth are full of creative twentysomethings making things happen on their
own terms. You could say the wheel has
come full circle. Birmingham was built on
hard graft and enterprise all those earnest
industrialists who turned this modest
market town into the workshop of the
world. Todays resourceful Brummies are
reinventing an old tradition, turning derelict
factories into funky shops and studios.
Innovative, eccentric and endearingly
self-deprecating, Birmingham is constantly
evolving, a metropolis on the up and up.
138 Cond Nast Traveller February 2015

The Library of Birmingham. Opposite,

clockwise from top left: Milque & Muhle,
a record shop in the Custard Factory;
Liquor Store menswear boutique;
cakes at The Plough Harborne; Cow,
a vintage store in Digbeth; a shop
assistant at Urban Village in the
Custard Factory; The Plough Harborne

& DO


Built by Sir Alfred

Bird, whose father
invented instant custard,
The Custard Factory churned out
oceans of the stuff until Birds moved
to more modern premises in 1964. The
site stood empty until 1993, when it
reopened as Birminghams answer to
Londons Covent Garden. However,
unlike Covent Garden, it never lost its
rebellious vibe. The City is a Work of
Art reads a slogan painted on the wall.
Daubed in dazzling dayglo, adorned
with murals and massive sculptures, this
is the way all shopping destinations
ought to be. Highlights include several
vintage boutiques and a splendid little
record shop, Left for Dead.

The historic Jewellery Quarter still
produces nearly half of the jewellery
made in the UK, but nowadays its also
a lively cultural hub. Housed in an old
factory, Symon Blands St Pauls Gallery
sells limited-edition prints by British
artists, including Peter Blake and David
Hockney, but his speciality is album-cover
art, particularly the distinctive LP sleeves
of Pink Floyd designer Storm Thorgerson.
For a really unusual ring or necklace, visit
young jeweller James Newman in his
stylish shop and workshop. His modern
pieces are unlike anything else Ive seen.

Birminghams contemporary art gallery,
Ikon, was 50 years old last year, and

its Ikon 50 programme, which runs until

early 2015, is a greatest hits of its rst
half century. The shop sells all sorts of
aesthetic trinkets, from arty stationery to
button badges. The caf serves British
comfort food: boiled egg and soldiers;
bangers and mash. Run by charismatic
director Jonathan Watkins, the space is
avant-garde and challenging. If your
tastes are more traditional, Birmingham
Museum and Art Gallery has the biggest
Pre-Raphaelite collection in the world.

started the shop with his wife Thiri in

1998. She is Burmese and grew up in
Italy, and the clothes they make are a
beguiling blend of East and West. Theyve
won countless awards, but their holein-the-wall outlet maintains its old
underground appeal. Nearly everything
here is made by them, but there are also
items by guest designers. Look out for
one-off creations at bargain prices:
handmade belts from 15, scarves from 25.

New Street is full of highSHOP

The Great Western Arcade is an ornate

relic of Brums Victorian heyday, but its
not just a museum piece. Restored to its
former glory, it now has some of the citys
most unusual shops. Phil Hazels Liquor
Store doesnt peddle booze it actually


street chains, but hidden

down an alley is Disorder, the citys best
independent boutique. Mark Howard

sells mens apparel yet somehow this

esoteric title feels like the perfect t. The
main focus is Fifties Americana (obscure
baseball caps, rare Levis) but it also stocks
snazzy European brands, including Elka
raincoats, made for Danish shermen.

Matthew Nations eclectic corner of
the Custard Factory will challenge your
expectations. His shop, Provide, sells
hand-picked books, hard-to-get magazines
and Nations own clothing range. But
its also where people come to network
and exchange ideas, and it stages lm
nights and publishes its own magazine.
The space is like a miniature department
store for freethinkers, and Nation is still

only in his twenties.



bar. Craft ale is the local brew, although

lots of customers drop in for coffee and
food (the cooked breakfast is delicious).
But this isnt a fancy gastropub, simply a
great pub with smashing grub.

Tucked away in a quiet side

street in the Jewellery
Quarter is Birminghams
nest curry house and here in the Balti
Triangle, theres stiff competition. At rst
glance, Aktar Islams menu at Lasan
(about 50 for two) doesnt look all that
different from a standard Indian
restaurant, but in his hands dishes are
transformed: uffy Punjabi-style pumpkin
with fennel seeds and fresh coriander;
succulent mahi machli (salmon marinated
in tomato and red pepper with lime).
Even his dahl, a dull staple in most
restaurants, tastes divine. Ive never eaten
a better curry anywhere in the UK.

Another Bitters n Twisted creation, in
the heart of the Jewellery Quarter, the
Grade II-listed Rose Villa Tavern could
be the most beautiful boozer in Britain.
A kaleidoscope of stained glass and
antique tiles, its been lovingly renovated:
the parquet oor was underneath the
old carpet all along. Real ale (try the
Butty Bach from Wye Valley) and
cocktails are the speciality. Grab one
of the big leather chairs in the snug, sit
back and watch Birmingham go by.


Birmingham has four Michelin-starred
restaurants, more than any other UK
city outside London, and one of them,
Turners, is along the road from an Iceland
on Harborne High Street. How like
Birmingham to have such a superb
restaurant in such a down-to-earth
location. Largely self-taught, local chef
Richard Turner opened here in 2007 and
won his rst star in 2009. Its an intimate
space, softened with mirrors and muted
greys, but the food is the main attraction:
beef is slow-cooked for 48 hours; the
coconut-and-liquorice parfait is delicious.
For such ne cuisine, its also excellent
value: the three-course lunch costs 32.50.

Within six months of opening, Adams,
a city-centre restaurant run by Adam
Stokes and his wife Natasha, had been
awarded a Michelin star. Squeezed
into a former sandwich shop, the tiny
dining room can only seat 26 (there are
plans to expand this year), but the
understated decor makes it feel a lot
larger. That elegant simplicity is reected
in the food. My three-course lunch (just
32) was delightful: spelt and crisp pigs
trotters, followed by cod with fennel and
whitebait, and rounded off with several
contrasting textures of dark chocolate.
Comparisons with Turners (see above)
are invidious. Try them both.



The brainchild of Matt

Scriven, the man behind
quirky pub group Bitters
n Twisted, The Jekyll and Hyde feels
like the setting for a good old-fashioned
melodrama. Its all about spending time
140 Cond Nast Traveller February 2015

TO STAY Bloc (from 45 per night)

Above, Malmaison hotel. Top, a dish of beetroot

meringue with goats cheese and onion ash at
Michelin-starred restaurant Adams

is a brilliant idea a
budget hotel with all the stuff you dont
need taken out, and all the stuff you do
need done better: Italian tiles, Egyptian
cotton, king-size double beds, hi-tech TV,
free Wi-Fi. The rooms are deliberately tiny
(no wardrobe; a walk-in wet room with
loo and shower), and lots of units means
lower prices. A double is a tight t unless
youre very good friends, but compact
quality is what Bloc is all about. And the
hotel does deals with local restaurants,
including Lasan around the corner.

sourcing interesting bits and pieces, says
Scriven. The downstairs bar feels vaguely
decadent, in a Hammer House of Horror
sort of way, but the real fun begins
upstairs in the Victorian Gin Parlour.
A barmaid who looks like Cruella de
Vil served the best G&T Ive ever tasted
(Martin Millers distilled in nearby
Langley) and gave me a beginners
guide to gin. We have a resident ghost,
she warned. There have been sightings.
After a few drinks, I believed her.

I adore the clean lines and paint-box

colour scheme of Hotel Indigo (doubles
from 100), but its the location that
makes this contemporary hotel such a
treat. On the 23rd to 25th oors of The
Cube, Ken Shuttleworths glitzy high-rise
(shaped like a gigantic jewellery box),
the vistas are gobsmacking. Drink in the
view from the Champagne bar on the
top oor, or Marco Pierre Whites
penthouse restaurant. The Ikon is a short
walk away, along the spruced-up canal.



Adam Johnson started out managing

record shops and nightclubs before
deciding what he really wanted was to run
his own local. The Plough Harborne is that
rare and useful thing: a busy pub where
you feel like a regular, even if youve only
been here a few times. The industrial look
is contrasted with playful touches: Star
Wars gurines; jars of sweets above the

You probably already know the Malmaison

brand (doubles from 89): night-club
ambience, dark furniture, cheeky chatty
signage. This one is slap-bang in the middle
of the Mailbox, previously Brums postal
sorting ofce, now a swish shopping centre
(Harvey Nicks, Armani) backing onto
the canal. And the hotel bar and brasserie
is a popular nightspot.

hat do you
get when you
combine the
Sunshine Coast's
rolling beaches
and lush rainforest with the Fraser
Coast's iconic World Heritage-listed
Fraser Island? A natural display unlike
anywhere else in the world. Make the
most of Qantas unrivalled domestic
network to explore this spectacular
region with ease - and, better still, in
the ultimate comfort. One minute you
could be soaking up the bright city
lights of Brisbane; the next, you could
have flown direct to one of two local
airports in the region and straight into
the heart of nature.
The heart of nature indeed, for
Australias Nature Coast boasts no
less than 47 state and national parks,
together encompassing coastal

rainforest, massive dunes, towering

cliffs of coloured sands, hundreds
of kilometres of wide ocean beaches
and World Heritage-listed wonders
including, of course, access to the
Great Barrier Reef. Not to mention two
adjoining Biosphere reserves: the Great
Sandy Biosphere, home to more than
7,500 recorded species of flora and
fauna, half of Australias bird species
and vast fish diversity; and Noosa
Biosphere, home to many rare and
endangered animals and 1,365 species
of plants.
Where to begin with such wideranging natural phenomena? Its
hard to imagine a more breathtaking
perspective than the scenic flight over
Fraser Island, complete with aerial
tour and beach landing. Back down
to earth, you can explore 75 miles
of beaches, 100 lakes and amazing

sand-grown rainforest with Fraser

Experiences award-winning hummer
tour. Soak up the mystical beauty of
the Glass House Mountains in the
Sunshine Coast Hinterland (volcanic
crags that rise dramatically from the
surrounding eucalypt and pineapple
plantations), from panoramic lookouts,
dining options or unique Ecolodge
accommodations, including train
carriages, bungalows and a church loft;
or simply walk the islands untouched
In fact, throughout the Nature Coast
all you need do is pick a pathway or
nature trail and follow it to take in the
views, breathe the fresh air, enjoy the
year-round sunshine, marvel at ancient
rainforests and diverse eco-systems
and share the habitat of rare animals,
beautiful flowers and mesmerising bird
life. From Fraser Island to Caloundra


you can choose from 27 dedicated

tracks within beach, coastal, wetland
and forest environments. The
Caloundra Coastal Walk stretches 25
kilometres along scenic shorelines
but if you prefer to immerse yourself
among the trees, the Kondalilla
Falls National Park proffers a
dramatic 90-metre drop through
dense subtropical rainforest with
the added draw of being home to
over 100 different species of birds.
Indeed, Australias Nature Coast
has a reported 300 Northern and
Southern species for budding
ornithologists to spot among a wide
variety of habitats, including coastal
estuaries and heathland, rainforest,
eucalypt forest and the Great Sandy
Strait - an internationally declared
feeding ground for shorebirds from
as far away as Siberia.

The Glasshouse Mountains offer some

spectacular walking tracks for all abilities,
depending on how adventurous you are feeling.
Stop at one of the many breathtaking spots for
a picnic and take in the exquisite scenery and
wildlife. Julie, Travel Designer,

Queensland, Australia

Superlatives are easy to come by, yet are often hard to
substantiate. Not so with Australias incredible, aweinspiring, breath-taking Nature Coast


Talking of shorelines, Australias

Nature Coast also has an abundance
of beautiful beaches and untouched
rivers and waterways. At Rainbow
Bay, with its rolling surf and unspoilt,
white beaches, youll feel like the only
one on the planet. At Tin Can Bay
on the beautiful Cooloola Coast, you
can officially hand-feed dolphins in
the wild. Noosa Discovery offers a

wilderness cruise through the Noosa

Everglades, followed by canoeing and
camping for those so inclined. Noosa
itself, famous for its surf break, is the
perfect place to play beach sports,
swim, body surf, paddleboard or
ride a wave in to shore. For those
who prefer their fun a little further
out to sea, unforgettable days can be
spent on a fishing charter, learning
how to catch local barramundi
fish or spanner crab. Or head out
to get up close and personal with
one of Australias most magnificent
residents: a range of eco-friendly
tours take you out to the calm,
sheltered waters of the Fraser Coasts
Hervey Bay, where humpback whales
relax and play on their migration
making for a majestic show of
breaching, fin slapping and more
whilst friendly dolphins will compete

for your attention as they ride the

waves, somersaulting high in the air.
Dying to dive in yourself ? Lady
Elliot Island is the perfect place
from which to explore the Great
Barrier Reef s incredible eco-system
straight off the beach of the coral
cay. Head into the Blue Lagoon
and discover over 1,500 species of
marine life include tropical fish,
colourful coral, sea cucumbers,
starfish, sea urchins and clams;
swim with manta rays and gentle
sharks; or fly through the big
blue alongside the Green and
Loggerhead Turtles that nest on the
beaches from November-December
surely one of the most memorable
natural encounter experiences in
the world.
Please visit

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Clockwise from top left:

The Glasshouse Mountains
Sunshine Coast; 75 Mile Beach
Fraser Island; Flying Qantas
International Business; The
award-winning Qantas A380;
Whale watching in Hervey Bay
Fraser Coast

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This months Health Books Gadgets Food Advice



There are 14 mountains on the face of the earth that are 8,000 metres high. To date, 33
people have climbed all of them. Only one is a woman. Her name is Edurne Pasaban. She
is very modest, very beautiful and very Spanish specically, very Basque. She was born
and grew up in the village of Tolosa, not far from San Sebastin. Following in her fathers
footsteps, she qualied as an engineer. But she also understood that she had to make her
own way in life and dene herself in her own terms. So she set about scaling the worlds
greatest peaks. To hear her talk about it in her husky, quick-re English, always skittering
on the edge of laughter you would think that nothing could have been easier. But her
achievements as a climber exacted a toll. She lost two of her toes on K2 and (for other
reasons, though the loss of those digits cannot have helped) endured a period of
depression so severe that she was hospitalised. That was in 2006, by which time she had
climbed nine of the 14 eight-thousanders. But she picked herself up and, in 2010,
nished what she had started. Having done so and unlike many athletes who nd
themselves at the top of their game with nothing left to prove she knew exactly what
she wanted to do next. She went home. Now she has set up her own business, Kabi,
which leads expeditions in the Basque Country and the Catalan Pyrenees from craggy
coast to lush forests and snow-capped mountains for clients of all abilities. This is my
country, my backyard, she says proudly. Ive known it and loved it all my life.
+34 608 964268; STEVE KING

February 2015 Cond Nast Traveller 145

Owned by the Cocke family

from Atlanta, it is grander
than other typically rustic
ranches with a columned,
two-story plantation house

A cottage at the Auberge

du Soleil. Opposite,
from left: poached Maine
lobster at the Auberge;
a deluxe bedroom



Healthy living is almost a religion in California; the state brims
with the latest fads and fix-it doctors, while serious get-ups such
as The Ashram promise to undo your wicked ways. But what
if you dont want to suffer? There is an alternative that mixes
blissful treatments with a happy approach to food and wine. Here
the prescription for stress is a double dose of decadence, say
Spa Guide Editor Daisy Finer and Californian resident Britt Collins


Bordeaux aside, nowhere is as obsessed
with vineyards as Napa Valley. This
hotel is a big player, full of moneyed
San Fran types and serious foodies (there
is another Auberge resort nearby,
Calistoga Ranch, but its more low-key
and in Napa thats not the point). Gone
are the hippy dreamers who set out
to prove that these slopes could produce
wines to rival those of France: today,
Napa is a big industry with bottle
prices to match. Here, in the forest of
Rutherford Hill, there are 11 light-lled
houses with two-storey gabled ceilings
and glass walls that lead out onto the

terrace (front-facing Saint-Tropez and

Provence, which overlook the valley,
are the best). The design has a relaxed,
sparkling California vibe beige wood,
cane furniture, sisal rugs and vast
bathrooms. The gardens are manicured,
with plenty of tall grasses for privacy.
Squeeze in an early game of tennis or a
few hours by the tree-lined pool, where
canopies provide shade and the barman is


a charmer who can whip up a killer

Margarita in his cute poolside shack.
Then, let the tastings begin. The hotel can
organise a tour of vineyards (youll need
a driver ask for Steve, a dead ringer
for Donald Sutherland and full of local
folklore). Old-school Forman Vineyard
is run by the matter-of-fact Margaret
who will explain the vintages, whereas
Vineyard 29 is a slick machine with a
controlled approach to wine making. For
lunch, The French Laundry deserves a
visit if you can swing a reservation, but
if not, eating at the hotel is no shabby
affair. The main, formal restaurant serves
up a three- to ve-course extravaganza
spiced lamb with dates, scallops with
miso and sweet potato, lobster with apple.
Wine is chosen from a 74-page book
(go for well-priced local greats such as
Pride or Far Niente).
And then, of course, there is the spa,
built around a courtyard with tinkling
fountains. Yoga, qigong and Pilates are
on the menu, and the treatment rooms
have tall ceilings and glass walls at one
end that open onto private gardens so you
can hear birds chirping as youre being
pummelled. The gardens contain all sorts
of delights: outdoor showers, hot tubs
with views of the valley, and calendula,
rosemary, lemon balm and other herbs
used in the house-infused oils. Treatments
range from reiki to craniosacral (ask for

therapist Vicki Auerbach, who has

February 2015 Cond Nast Traveller 147


been here for nearly 15 years) and

scrubs made from grape seeds. The
Auberge Head to Toe a scalp rub, full
body massage and foot salt scrub is
its signature triumph, after which a
warmed robe is wrapped around you.
Even for those not into glugging wine or
belt-loosening lunches, the spa alone
makes this spot a winner.
+1 707 963 1211; www.aubergedusoleil.
com. Doubles from about 430


Hidden among immaculate horse ranches
and polo elds just a short drive from
LA, Californias only Relais & Chteaux
property is a quiet, romantic, solidly slick
operator. A recent makeover includes two
stunning destination restaurants and a
gigantic spa-as-sanctuary with a Balinesestyle yoga pavilion. While most of the
interiors are pure Southern California,
youll be wowed by the treatment rooms
which are glowy and Moroccan-inspired,
with ower-lled terraces, rain showers
and deep outdoor tubs. The exotic and
good-enough-to-eat treatments use limes,
lemons and other fruit from the gardens

in original, nurturing treatments such as

desert-g facials (they smell divine and
really pep up tired skin), avocado body
wraps and Valencia-orange massages.
The two-hour couples treatments use
custom-blended essential oils, a clay body
mask, bath soak and massage followed
by a private poolside lunch. Theres
also a gentlemens menu of facials, body
scrubs and deep-tissue massages. Its
the essence of the West Coast in big,
soul-nourishing doses, and pretty much
unfaultable in execution.
The moodily lit restaurant, Veladora,
has won many awards for its rustic,
seasonally inspired Cali-Med food. Theres
an original Damien Hirst buttery
painting, wrought-iron chandeliers and
oor-to-ceiling windows with views over
the lawns. Its worth coming just for the
freshly baked buttery focaccia served
with aged Parmesan akes doused in
olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Try the
black-trufe risotto or the ricotta gnocchi
with white wine and chilli akes. Despite
the lavishness of the food, almost all the
148 Cond Nast Traveller February 2015

From left: the bar

at Rancho Valencia;
a Tree House at the
Post Ranch Inn;
Belmond El Encanto

ingredients are sourced from nearby

Chino Farms and on-site beehives,
herb gardens and olive groves, and
meals are served on reclaimed cast-iron
or slate boards. This place has charm in
spades: even the bar has a cosy beach
vibe, opening onto a terrace with re
pits and cushy sofas among the trees.
Rustic and rambling, it feels more like
St Lucia than San Diego, with its sea
breezes, scents of honeysuckle and tropical
sleepiness. The 49 Spanish-style casitas
have four-poster beds, wooden oors and
sunken living rooms. And every morning,
freshly squeezed orange is delivered
to your door, along with a newspaper.
+1 866 233 6708; www.ranchovalencia.
com. Casitas from about 440


On the stunning northern Pacic coast
where cliff faces drop more than 1,000ft
to the sea, Big Sur is a pristine outdoor
playground. Composed of several
state parks, it has mapped and marked

scenic trails of all lengths and levels,

from a mile-long stroll along a deserted
beach to an eight-mile hike up a
mountain. Dirt paths meander by rivers,
waterfalls and redwood canyons. The air
is salty and scented with pine. And here,
almost hidden among the trees, is the
Post Ranch Inn. The feel is of understated
elegance, with wood-panelled interiors
and earthy tones. Stay in one of the Tree
Houses or, for a total hideaway, go for
a private cabin with a kitchenette and
fridge stocked with homemade houmous,

chocolate-chip cookies, artisanal cheeses
and local wine. Theres no television,
but who cares its all about the view
from your deck, where the horizon is so
wide that you can actually see the earth
curving. Schools of whales blow in the sea
below, tiny rabbits dart out of lavender
bushes, hummingbirds it in among the
trees. Start the day with a trail run, or
a yoga session in the glass-walled studio
(mornings are best because you can
watch the sun peek over the mountains).
If hiking, mountain biking or horse
riding dont appeal, set up camp on the
wooden sun-loungers by the pool (theres
a phone for ordering drinks and food at

lunchtime). And for more downtime,

the light-lled spa with views of the
forest delivers treatments that include
chakra clearing, a crystal-and-gemstone
therapy that uses burning sage to clear
your aura, and an almost tribal drum
session with a local shaman to let go
of any painful past experience. If youre
open to it, these treatments can really
catalyse change. If the safety of the norm
is preferable, opt for the more orthodox
organic garden facial, which uses herbs,
local honey and minerals blended for
your skin type to sort out blemishes
and sun damage. One word of advice:
book well ahead and arrive early, as
staff are sometimes a little out of sync.
Skip dinner in the restaurant and
order room service: huge sandwiches
piled with roasted, olive-oil-glossed
vegetables, avocado and apples. Then
sit by the re looking out at that surreal
landscape before clambering up to
the high, dark-wood bed. Youll sleep
well, a reminder that fresh air and
wild surroundings are the ultimate
replenishment for tired spirits.
+1 888 524 4787;
Doubles from about 430


The holistic spa here has an almost
monastic hush. Hummingbirds and
dragonies thrum and the cicadas sing
as youre pummelled into hopeless
relaxation. Treatments are exotic and
earthy, drawing from the surrounding
landscape of vineyards, wild-ower
meadows and ocean. Theres an


courtyards with swimming pools, where
you can take in the scene over greenapple Daiquiris. Most have private
terraces, sunken baths and replaces
in the bedrooms (super comforting)
as well as thoughtful touches such as
Egyptian cotton sheets and iPod docks
with pre-loaded playlists.
Aside from venturing into the glitz
and excitement of Palm Springs, theres
little reason to leave the place, with
its endless tennis courts, golf courses,


The pool at La Quinta,

outside Palm Springs

emphasis on the seasons, with oneoff specials such as the autumnal soothing
sage body treatment that stimulates
circulation and cell renewal; the Pinot
and Cabernet Sugar Crush signature
body-scrub treatment and the deep sea
marine facial leave you buffed and
beaming. Take a dip in a soaking tub
or repair to the spa terrace, sipping
hand-pressed juices or calming organic
teas. Theres also an innity saltwater
pool, a gleaming tness studio with yoga
and dance classes, and custom-made
electric bikes on which to explore Santa
Barbaras wine country.
Its no surprise that this gorgeously
secluded, recently restored hotel was
once a bacchanalian escape for lm stars.
It has everything a glamorous hideaway
needs: a celebrity past, a glossy spa,
fabulous food. The swanky restaurant
spills out onto a terrace with sweeping
views. The farm-to-table ethos, delivered
with urban sophistication, makes the most
of coastal classics: pan-seared lemonherb scallops; artichoke and black cod
with heirloom-tomato ratatouille and kale
and pear salad. Many of the herbs and
vegetables are from the kitchen garden
and the fruit is picked every morning.
And then theres the Holstein cow,
Ellie, who provides fresh milk for the
homemade cheeses, and two beagles who
contribute to the laidback cosiness.
The bungalows have hardwood oors,
plantation-style shutters and private
patios. The lily pond, wisteria arbour,
150 Cond Nast Traveller February 2015

owering trees and climbing roses give

the place a glorious Secret Garden feel,
but if you crave some urban distractions,
Santa Barbaras downtown waterfront
and the Art Deco Riviera Theater, a
cinema showing rst-run art lms, are
within walking distance. Back at the
hotel, its the small but beautiful details
a well-stocked library, telescopes on
each terrace for star-gazing, handmade
chocolate trufes by your bed and
Acqua di Parma bath products that
add the glitter to this old-style classic.
+44 845 077 2222;
Doubles from about 370


On the edge of Palm Springs,
150 just two hours from LA, this
is a palm-fringed desert escape
with citrus groves and secret little
courtyards and coves. Lying in the
shadow of the Santa Rosa mountain
range, this hotel was a favourite haunt
of the movie crowd from the 1920s
onwards; Greta Garbo, Clark Gable,
Katharine Hepburn and others came
to recuperate in the desert heat, hide
out or party the weekends away.
Recently and ravishingly renovated
(millions of dollars have been spent), the
Spanish-colonial aesthetic is evocatively
Southern Californian with a fresh, modern
lustre. The whitewashed, red-roofed
bungalows single- or two-storey and
named after saints surround sun-soaked

croquet lawn, a well-equipped gym,

seven restaurants (because nothing is
ever small in this part of the world) and,
of course, a destination spa and beauty
salon. The lavish spa packs in everything,
with 35 indoor and outdoor treatment
rooms where guests can take in the scents
and views of the honeysuckle- and
bougainvillaea-fringed gardens as they
treat their mind, body and aching muscles
to all manner of marine-based jets,
grape-seed body polishes and hot-stone
massages. The 90-minute HydraFacial,
a non-invasive skin-resurfacing treatment,
delivers instant results using ultrasound
and galvanic currents to push serums
into skin. It works on multiple levels,
detoxing, nourishing and rehydrating by
whisking away dead skin, smoothing ne
lines and deep-cleansing pores, giving
skin a silky smooth, dewy glow. Its this
sort of treatment that has earned the
place such a loyal local following.
Retro fans will love Morgans in the
Desert, the hotels signature bistro
its clubby vibe and surf-and-turf menu
(charred ahi-tuna steak with fennel
salad, braised short ribs with cauliower
pure), sizzles with Mad Men-style
sophistication. Slink into a booth and
sample a proper Martini (the bar also
does great tangerine-and-grapefruit
Mojitos). Come night, retreat to the
terrace, where the tiki torches cast long
shadows, surrounded by stars and the
silence of the mountains. Spellbinding.
+1 760 564 4111;
Doubles from 140




Anthony Quinn nominates Greene on Capri: A Memoir by Shirley Hazzard
Shirley Hazzard rst met
Graham Greene at a caf in
Capri one damp December
morning in the late 1960s, a
prelude to a prickly friendship
she and her husband Francis
Steegmuller shared with the
writer over two decades and
more. Greene kept a small house
on the island, which he prized for its privacy: he
liked to keep a distance. Against a vivid historical
backdrop in its time Capri has hosted the Emperor
Tiberius, Norman Douglas and Gracie Fields this
memoir conjures to life a difficult, combative and
occasionally insufferable man, prone to mindless

152 Cond Nast Traveller February 2015

rages, often against women. Hazzards polished

prose never falters and her beady eye never sleeps;
she pays Greene his due as writer and companion,
but doesnt spare him in her portrayal of his
shortcomings. Late in the book she hails another
literary visitor, Harold Acton, a former friend of
Greenes and in many ways his antithesis: all
charm, kindness and courtesy.
Theres no doubt which man
Hazzard preferred, yet she also
understands her own compulsion
as memoirist: theres a reason
why she didnt write Acton on
Capri. Anthony Quinns Curtain
Call is published by Jonathan Cape



The many-towered court of

King Arthur can be found in
Cornwall. Or Somerset. Or South
Wales. Its uncertain location
makes it something of a Holy
Grail for adventurous romantics.

WHAT TO DO Hunt stag

and boar, pull swords out of
stones. Quests are very popular,
but can take an awfully long time.
Instead, sign up for an aqua
workout with the Lady of the Lake,
or a transformational session with
Camelots spiritual guru, Merlin.


has plenty of room, as most knights
are usually away on a quest. Those
that remain are known for their
honour, honesty, valour and loyalty
its a little like the House of
Commons, but with less ghting.
1 A oaty, pre-Raphaelite-style
dress, and a handkerchief to put on
the lance of your champion 2 A box
of matches (the Dark Ages arent
far away) 3 Penknife (with tool for
getting stones out of hooves)


sure your tetanus is up to date.
Avoid any confrontation with the
Green Knight. RICK JORDAN


Although it has been a travel destination for many years, Nepal is still a
country of mystery. Isabella Tree was struck by this early on, renting a
room on Freak Street, a fading hippy colony in the heart of old Kathmandu,
while on her gap year in 1983. Wandering nearby, she caught a rare
glimpse of the Kumari, a young girl kept in seclusion and worshipped as a
deity: Without warning, a child appears at an ornately carved window on
the second oor. She could be six, eight or nine years old. It is impossible
to tell. She gazes sternly down on the assembled foreigners, pouting
slightly, looking mildly inconvenienced. Her eyes are huge, exaggerated
with thick lines of kohl reaching all the way to her temples. She is dressed
entirely in red... Her tiny ngers, their nails painted red, clasp a wooden rail across the bottom
of the window with the command of a captain at the ships helm.
The enigma of the Kumari became engrossing on that formative trip but as The Living
Goddess (Eland, 12.99) reveals, it would be 14 years before Tree was able to return
and uncover some of the truth behind the elusive gure. Staying with a friend, the wife of a
Gurkha officer, she talks to many ex-Kumaris and immerses herself in Nepali culture. She
discovers that the Kumari, often as young as three, is chosen from a caste of Buddhist
goldsmiths. When she reaches puberty, she is dismissed and another is found. Although she
is Buddhist, the Hindu King of Nepal must kneel at her feet and beg her blessing to rule.
Trees investigations, in this excellent and informative book, are played out against the violence
of Nepals recent history, including the massacre of the Nepali royal family in 2001 and
attempts by Maoist revolutionaries to overthrow them.
It was on his way to Nepal, in search of wild-honey hunters for the bestselling Honey
and Dust, that Piers Moore Ede rst encountered Varanasi. He, too, felt a pull to return
and a decade later came back to live there. As he recounts in Kaleidoscope City:
A Year in Varanasi (Bloomsbury, 16.99), he found himself intoxicated by the spiritual
capital of India, where funeral pyres smoulder beside a river in which thousands of pilgrims
bathe. As well as the 10,000 widows for which the labyrinthine city is famous, he encounters
sweet-makers and silk weavers, boatmen and musicians. Like Tree, Moore Ede is highly
attuned to the sensory experiences which make travel writing come alive, such as the
smells of wood smoke, buffalo dung, urine and jasmine owers and the sounds of rustling kites
and lowing cattle, crackling wood and prayer.





Castaway-style beaches, knockout hotels and a heady

dose of culture Turquoise Holidays takes you away
to the idyllic islands of the Gulf of Thailand

to-earth bar and restaurant The Larder.

Nearby, the islands of Koh Phangan and Koh Tao,
re easily accessible by speedboat and ferry. Anantara
Rasananda resort sits on a coconut-strewn beach on
Koh Phangan and scores top marks for service with a
smile, while Koh Tao is a paradise for snorkellers and
diving enthusiasts and represents an ideal chance to
island hop your way around this beautiful region.

hailand is a kingdom of temples and palaces,

mountains and forests, and extremely friendly
people not to mention home to some of the
most beautiful beaches on the planet. With its
colourful character and unwavering ability to satisfy
everyone from sun-worshippers to night owls theres
no better region to start with than the islands of the
Gulf of Thailand.
These southern islands are virtually a year-round
hotspot though January and September offer
especially lengthy sun-drenched days, and getting
there couldnt be easier, its just a one-hour ight
from Bangkok.
On beautiful Koh Samui, stay at the Banyan Tree
Samui, an all-pool, villa resort nestled around a
small cove with its own private beach. In the islands
northeast, Six Senses Samui not only has amazing
views but, you can enjoy top class Dining on the
Rocks topped off with an amazing Six Senses Spa.
Nearby, the resort of Melati is lauded for its
contemporary villas expect four-poster daybeds
overlooking generous pools and private gardens.
But the secret is to get out and about on the island
too. On Bophut Beach, Happy Elephant restaurant
has sweeping ocean views and one of the islands
best-stocked wine cellars. Or, for something more
rambunctious, head to Q Bar above Chaweng Lake
to sip cocktails on the roof terrace before heading to
the downstairs club, which regularly hosts top DJs.
Also on Chaweng, and well worth a visit, is the down-

Turquoise Holidays specialise in tailor made

holidays to Thailand and beyond. For your
bespoke quotation please call 01494 678400
or email
Order their brand new Islands & Beaches
brochure online at

Koh Samui
from a
different angle
Join a Mountain Safari to explore the jungle
interior of the island and swim in cool pools and
waterfalls. Sail around the Angthong Marine
National Park, a collection of uninhabited islands
located off Samuis west coast. Youll see
spectacular limestone rock formations,
abundant wildlife and beautiful
unspoilt beaches

Clockwise from top:

Samui Beach on Koh
Samui; Long tail
shing boat; Melati
Family pool villa;
Ocean Pool Villa at Six
Senses Samui; Banyan
Tree pool villa; Deck
chairs on the beach at
Anantara Rasananda



By George Duffield

It seems we havent really travelled if we havent filmed our journey. Greater

minds than the Geek can debate why he merely assists in fulfilling this
desire. So this month he looks at technologies that enable our obsession
with recording every moment of every trip

A tiny, Bluetooth-enabled ash that
syncs with your iPhone camera. This
allows you to do some cool, pro-level
photography on the y. Just whip it out
of your pocket, give it to someone else
and set up some crazy lighting effects
on your own. Its guaranteed to make
your late-night party shots better than
anyone elses isnt that what life is all
about?; 49

Mylio is a new program that sits between
all of your devices and manages your
enormous, ever-growing photo library. It
lets you use Lightroom or iPhoto
(shudder) for editing, and then sends
exactly the right les to the right places.
So little pictures go to your mobile while
giant originals stay on your hard drive. It
can even handle syncing photos at home
while youre away on holiday, so you
dont have to panic if you get mugged
in Nairobi. Theres a lot more than
simple Cloud-syncing going on here, and
its worth checking out.;
trial samples are free, but paid
subscriptions are currently only available in
the USA and Canada

Ah, this is either a boom or a bust situation. About
the same size and shape as a pear, 360cam is a camera
that you put on a table or hold above your head while it
shoots stills and videos in seamless 360-degree panoramas.
It even has underwater housing. This is potentially awesome
and the Geek encourages readers everywhere to give it a
go. The sele moves up a notch.; about 320

154 Cond Nast Traveller February 2015

This little beauty is a Bluetooth trigger
for your phones camera. It means you
can wedge your phone in a tree and
step back to get the perfect sele. No
more arms in the shot, no more trusting
random strangers not to cut your head
off regain control! Its clad in colourful
rubber and comes with a silicone band
so you can wear it around your neck or
wrist, and is effective up to a distance of
30 metres. 19.99;


Bed down in


The Mulia and Mulia Villas at Nusa Dua are just

two reasons to visit this super-chic corner of Bali

ast year Mulia Resort, Bali not only scooped

number one Beach Resort in Asia but came
third in the worlds Top 100 Hotels & Resorts,
voted for by readers of Cond Nast Traveler
(US). We checked out two of the three properties that
make up this sensational six-star complex.
Mulia Resort is the main hub, but this big and
beautiful centrepiece is perfectly complemented by
two smaller complexes, The Mulia and Mulia Villas.
Both are a masterclass in space, style and serenity.
The Mulia is a sleek, all-suite property bang on the
beachfront. There are 111 rooms in total, each
beautifully designed and individually tended to by
butlers. From the contemporary interiors to the
world-class service, attention to detail is meticulous
and nothing is ever too much trouble. We also loved
the resident-only Lounge, a super-exclusive hideaway
complete with cosy library and elegant dining room.

Clockwise from top:

The family Beach
Villa; The Beachfront
of The Mulia; The
Earl Suite patio

Mulia Villas is of a similar size, 108 beautiful houses

hidden away in a labyrinth of secret gardens. This
has tropical getaway written all over it and is proving
particularly popular with families. The villas range
from one-and two-bedroom properties to the allsinging-all-dancing six-bedroom Mulia Mansion.
They get exotic villa living spot on:
not only are they just steps away
from the blinding-white sand, each
villa comes with its own hydrotherapy
pool its total bliss by the beach.
Whether suite or villa-bound, guests
have access to a range of the resorts
facilities. The Mulia complex is spread
over 33 acres, a destination in itself,
dotted with beautiful sculptures,
glinting swimming pools and exotic
owers, not to mention a number
of exquisite restaurants and bars.

The food at Mulia Resort gets rave reviews:

the Japanese-style Edogin, Mediterraneaninuenced Soleil, and The Cafes authentic
Indonesian all come highly recommended.
There is also a room entirely dedicated to
desserts, a swim-up bar and the romantically
positioned Sky Bar for cocktails at sunset.
And no stay here would be complete without
booking into the Mulia Spa, an ode to relaxation
and rejuvenation. The Balinese are spa masters and
this is no exception to their excellence. Kitted out
with an emotional shower, Asia Pacics rst ice
room and a super-swish sauna, the top-notch
facilities are complemented by a staggering range
of therapies and rituals. Indulge in a whole new
world of crystal healing and stress-busting massages
topped off with the best in Balinese hospitality.
For further information visit



EAT ME By Joanna Weinberg

One of the upsides to being a kitchen
traveller taking off, in my imagination,
from my worktop is that ingredients
which in one place seem unremarkable can
take on a cloak of tremendous style and
glamour once transplanted somewhere else.
Take cauliower, for example, a dening classic of Britains
infamously awful post-war cooking. Speed backwards through
time, via Renaissance Europe towards Syria, where it originated,
and you leave far behind the pale, abby wateriness of an
unrewarding present-day cauliower cheese. A noble vegetable
of great beauty and versatility begins to emerge.
Cauliower was not always the bland, white creature
that lurks uninvitingly at the bottom of the fridge,
the last-gasp solution to our winter nutritional
needs. The cauliowers of 16th-century
Italy came in a variety of lovely
hues: regal purple, cantaloupe
orange, or, in the case of romanesco,
the cauliowers closest cousin, a
pixillated, architectural lime-green.
These bright colours signify their
greater nutritional value, too, from
vitamin C to antioxidants. And
thankfully, these varieties are gradually
starting to reappear, coming soon
to a farm shop near you.

In terms of avour, you can take a cauliower anywhere.

Its a staple all over the Indian subcontinent, simmered with
every spice combination imaginable: fresh ginger, coconut, green
chilli, turmeric, coriander, curry leaf. You could fry or roast
cauliower with Middle Eastern avours of saffron or cumin, to
serve with a deeply delicious sauce of tahini whipped up with
garlic, spring onions, fresh mint, lemon juice and Greek yogurt.
But my favourite of all (recipe below), in this deep British
mid-winter, is almost plain, utterly soothing and although close
in spirit to cauliower cheese in terms of reward, a world apart.


Preheat your oven to 180C. Take one cauliower
to feed two for supper. Slice two 2cm pieces
lengthways down the middle, so they look like
the cross-section of a tree, and set aside.
Break the rest of the cauliower into
orets and simmer in a saucepan with half
milk and half water for a few minutes until
tender. Strain off the liquid (reserving some)
and pure the orets until smooth, adding
a little liquid if necessary for a soft, cloudlike uffiness, and add salt and pepper to
taste. Set aside somewhere warm. Season the
two pieces on both sides and fry in a little
vegetable oil until golden and catching on both sides,
then put in the oven for 10 minutes. Serve with the pure.

Since we are dealing with a single vegetable

seven bottles from its list, each showing air, individuality and
this month, we shall also deal with a single
character two whites and ve reds.
wine merchant. For just as I feel a good deal
What better match for cauliower with spices than the chalky
of affection for the cauliower, I am also
richness of Domaine Mabys Lirac La Fermade 2013 (11.95)?
steeped in sentimentality for Yapp Brothers,
And with tahini, there is the sublimely complex Chave Saint-Joseph
wine merchants of Mere, Wiltshire. I have felt enthusiasm for the
Celeste 2012 (23.95). This may be composed of the untrumpeted
vegetable, in all its myriad gastronomic guises, ever since my
Roussanne grape but it knocks into a cocked chapeau scores of
mother would press a coin into my schoolboy hand and dispatch
much-vaunted Chardonnays from Burgundy at twice if not three
me to the greengrocer to buy one for her
times the price. On the red side, and for
supreme cauliower cheese. And early in
spicy cauliower dishes, I heartily endorse
1970, when Yapp Bros was in its infancy, I
Grignan-les-Adhmar Le Grand Dves
was among its rst customers, journeying
(9.25), with its cocoa and chocolate
down to Mere and buying six cases of
fruit; Domaine Saparale Corse Sartne
obscure Rhne wines from the garage
2012 (14.95), in which the Corsican
next to the Yapp house, which was all the
SOMEWHAT YOUNGER Sciacarello and Nielluccio grapes are as
business comprised in those days. Indeed,
gripping as any thriller by Carl Hiaasen;
Jason Yapp, son of eponym Robin, who
Domaine de la Source Bellet 2012 (25.50),
now runs the show with business partner Tom Ashworth, is the
as nutty as a fruitcake; and Domaine La Tour Vieille La Pinde
only wine merchant I have ever dandled on my knee and tickled
Collioure 2012 (15.25), which runs the gamut of comparisons from
under the chin (when he was somewhat younger than he is today).
black olives to burnt sage. But for that cauliower steak, I elect the
Forty-ve years ago, Yapp was a breath of fresh and very
bloodcurdling richness of Domaine Saint Gayans Rasteau Ilex
revolutionary air, and it is still a breezy outt, with interesting
2011 (12.75) so potent it could relieve insect bites. You may say
and immensely cauliower-friendly wines. Its strength then and
there are cheaper ways, and I daresay you are right, but none will
now is in the less-clichd wines of France. We have room for
be so fullling or delicious. Its worth getting bitten to nd out.
156 Cond Nast Traveller February 2015


DRINK ME By Malcolm Gluck





Im planning a trip to South-east Asia and Ive heard a lot

about the attractions of Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia,
but Im not sure about Laos. Is it worth my time?

Yes, it most certainly is. Little landlocked Laos is often

overlooked, but it has a tremendous amount to offer. Start
in the north, at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Luang
Prabang, above. It gets a fraction of the number of visitors
that swarm to Angkor Wat in Cambodia, yet it is packed
with monasteries and temples. Monks walk in procession
through the streets at dawn each morning to collect alms
get up in time to give them some sticky rice. The capital
of Laos, Vientiane, is one of the most rapidly evolving cities
in the region and only a half-hour ight away
(with precarious roads and no railways, ying
is the best way to get around). Heavy foreign
investment in recent years has meant that
sleek new hotels and sushi restaurants now
sit alongside old-school street-food stalls
and labyrinthine markets. But whatever you
do, dont leave the country till youve been
south to the area known as the 4,000 Islands,
where the Mekong River expands to its widest
point during the rainy season it can be as
much as 14km across. Many of these islands
are inhabited, and locals are always pleased
to see visitors. The entire river archipelago is
EDITORIAL ASSISTANT, so serene and chilled-out that youll struggle
to prise yourself away.
158 Cond Nast Traveller February 2015


I love taking photographs, especially portraits, when I

travel. What would you suggest when it comes to shooting
someone who doesnt necessarily want to be shot?
This is a problem that any photographer faces when abroad,
from Burgundy to Burkina Faso. But I think its almost always
possible to photograph people, however camera-shy they
are you just have to choose the right approach and judge
each situation sensitively. Having professional-looking kit
can sometimes work to your advantage, but more often than
not it has the opposite effect. Popular opinion says always
ask, and this works about 70 per cent of the time though
by then youve often lost the moment. If its an amazing shot
and Im feeling bold, Ill pull the camera out and just see what
happens. If the subject reacts badly and you havent got your
shot, calm them down, smile and nd out what their issue is.
Charm and honest compliments
are your most useful tools. Tell
them theyre beautiful, or that
theyve got an interesting face.
Sometimes people want money.
I dont have a problem with
that, as long as theyre adults.
As a professional, Im benetting
from them, so why shouldnt
they benet from me? Another
advantage of this transactional
approach is that you can have
someone pose properly and for
longer, since the arrangement
is clear from the start. If none of these tactics work as
recently happened to me with a group of Berbers in Morocco
go back the following day and see them again. People can
only stay angry with you for so long.
My daughter is about to travel through Africa using
public transport. Beyond the obvious warnings, what
advice would you give her?
Congratulations to your daughter I did the same thing
for a book about migrating swallows, and I envy her. My
advice? Pack light. One of my most useful bits of kit was
a paperclip. I used it for hanging my mosquito net; for
repairing it; in place of a missing shirt button; for poking
out splinters; for diverse purposes. A stiff toothbrush and
a good shirt with a collar, another traveller advised me
the collar against sunburn and for moments when one
does well to look smart. This holds for men and women
equally. A light scarf might be better than a hat it will be
useful for your daughter, particularly in the Muslim north, to
have something to cover her head. A transporting book is
standard equipment. Up-to-date advice
is key she should ask repeatedly
about the road ahead. She will
usually be in the company of
local travellers who will look after
her. The main danger is from
traffic accidents. She should
be ready to insist that the driver
of a bus or shared taxi slow down
threatening to be sick can be
effective. The safest place on a
bus is an aisle seat in the middle.
The best advice I was ever given
was Go with a humble heart
and a level head. Do this, and
relish every moment.





Its hard to imagine a dining destination more perfect than Islamorada.

From bustling roadside sh houses to a romantic waterfront table for two,
youll discover the true meaning of from hook to table. In fact, in Islamorada,
the catch of the day is more like the catch of the hour.
Were holding a table for you.
KEY W 0208 686 2600

Every moment,
made to order.







Nothing is left wanting at Zakynthos island hideaway Porto Zante

Villas in Greece, an award wining villa resort that offers ultimate
privacy, delicious cuisine, exceptional service and an array
of unique experiences for families and couples alike

t is a rare thing to nd a European crash pad that

has all the high-class trimmings of a ve-star hotel,
whilst simultaneously providing a feeling of
seclusion and utter privacy. Porto Zante, on the
Ionian island Zakynthos, offers both in spades and is
a hotspot for a truly tranquil break (its discretion has
attracted heads of states and business leaders over
recent years). A new addition to the Small Luxury
Hotels of the World and a double-winner at the
World Travel Awards 2014 (Europes Leading

Luxury Beach Villas and Europes Leading Private

Beach Hotel), the accolades speak for themselves.
Visit between April and October for balmy sunsoaked days.

boutique chic
Large, impersonal and resorty this is not, rather a
boutique-style bolthole tucked away up a dusty dirt
track accessed via a pretty coastal road. Beto the dog
roams the premises enthusiastically greeting guests,
adding to the home-from-home vibe the hotel so
cleverly achieves. Luxuriant pool villas with on-thebutton sophistication think clean-cut design and
contemporary furnishings sit directly on the
beachfront offering absolute privacy and are kept
spotless throughout your stay. Youre allocated a
private beach area, accessible down a set of rustic
ower-lined steps, meaning theres no need to traipse
back and forth laden with seaside essentials each day,
and the shallow sea is warm for paddling. Nothing is
too complicated or too much trouble for the army of
staff, who are slick and professional, working around
the clock making for a rigmarole-free stay.
Overlooking the gin-clear waters of the Ionian Sea
and, further north, the neighbouring island of

Kefalonia, the authentic Greek and Mediterranean

dishes served at the Club House Restaurant are
a culinary triumph think seafood and souvlaki.
The chilled-out Club House Bar mixes up cool
cocktails day and night, or theres the option of
whiling the afternoon away over a carafe of wine.
(Porto Zante is equally well geared-up for eating
in your villa.)
With more activities on site than you can shake
a snorkel at expect riding, cycling, diving, table
tennis, helicopter tours and water sports by the
shedload there is plenty to pack in. Theres even the
opportunity to ride the seas with resident sherman,
Mr Nikos, who is responsible for the haul of fresh sh
each day. If you fancy off-loading, there is a brilliant
new kids club and supervised trips to a nearby
waterpark to keep children amused for hours.
This particularly comes into its own when hitting
the Thalassotherapy outdoor spa: a grown-upsonly zone perched on the beachfront offering
indulgent holistic therapies.

greek mythology
Greece is of course a country steeped in history
boasting ancient wonders, the scars of long-ago


battles and mythical fantasies, so tear yourself

away from the secure connes of the hotel for
culture and exploration. Visit Olympia,
birthplace of the Olympic Games and make
a beeline for nearby Navagio Beach, dubbed
Shipwreck Beach and hailed as one of the
worlds prettiest shorelines, situated on an
exposed cove. Inquisitive types can explore the
remains of a beached vessel, thought to have
run aground in the 1980s. Leap aboard a glassbottom boat from Skinari (at the northern tip
of the island) to visit the Blue Caves where the
light reection under the extraordinary rock
formations turns the water a brilliant
translucent azure.

the natural choice

Whether youre a family, a couple, a group of
friends or simply a romantic world wanderer hotfooting the globe, we suggest that Porto Zante and
Zakynthos scoot up the travel hit list this year.
For more information, call 00 30 210 821
8640 or 020 8882 6767 from the UK, or
or visit

Images clockwise from

far left: Pool villa at
Porto Zante; Nearby
Navagio Beach, also
known as Shipwreck
Beach; Gateway to the
pool area; Poro Zante
is a paradise for
watersports; Seafood
par excellence at the
Club House Restaurant;
Drinks at the Club
House Bar; Sitting
room of a pool villa;
Villa bedroom interiors



When british settlers rst looked up
at the knobbly peaks dominating this
mysterious land, their shape reminded
them of a part of the human skeleton
which is how the mountains got their
English name. In the local language they
are simply called misty.
A 31,000-hectare expanse of this
upland region in the centre of an island
nation that has been independent for
more than 65 years was declared a

conservation forest in 2000 and became

part of a larger World Heritage Site
a decade later. Its an extraordinarily
beautiful place, a befuddling whirl
of landscapes from grassy plain to
cloud forest. Elephant, buffalo and boar
may be seen galumphing around; and
at quieter moments, if youre very
patient and reasonably lucky, you might
spot a leopard, jackal or loris. Its
also a botanical bonanza, with about

160 endemic owering plants, many of

them found nowhere else on earth.
The islands recorded history stretches
back 3,000 years, and theres evidence of
a lively prehistory too; but it has only been
known by its current name since the early
1970s. Where are you? CHRISTY WARD
To enter, identify the mountain range where
the photograph was taken. Correct answers
will be placed in a random prize-draw. For prize
details, please turn the page

COMPETITION RULES 1. Entries for the Where Are You? competition can be sent on a postcard, by email or online (stating your full name, address and telephone
number), and must correctly identify the place described according to the instructions given. 2. Entries must arrive no later than the last day of the month on this issues
cover. 3. The Where Are You? competition is open to readers of Cond Nast Traveller who are 18 or older on the date of entry, except for employees of Cond Nast Publications,
participating promotional agencies, contributors to Cond Nast Traveller, and the families of any of the above. Entries by post should be sent to: Where Are You?
competition, Cond Nast Traveller, Vogue House, 1 Hanover Square, London W1S 1JU. Email entries should be sent to: compcntraveller@ To enter
online and for full terms & conditions, visit

162 Cond Nast Traveller February 2015




Surrounded by lush rainforest and
on the edge of coral reefs, Gaya Island
Resort is just the place to experience
the wild wonder of Borneo, brought to
you by Jasmine Holidays. Days here are
spent snorkelling among schools of
clownsh, diving with the resident marine
biologist or relaxing with a traditional
massage in the heavenly spa. And at dusk,
gather around a crackling re pit for a
delicious barbecue on the beach.
Enter this months Where Are You?
competition and you could win a ve-night
holiday at Gaya Island Resort courtesy
of Jasmine Holidays. The prize, worth
about 3,300, includes accommodation in
a Bayu Villa with breakfast, return ights
from Heathrow with Malaysia Airlines
and transfers. The holiday is subject
to availability and must be taken by 30
November 2015; 1 August to 31 August
2015 are excluded. For more details, contact
Jasmine Holidays (+44 333 7000 747;


Save more than 40 per cent on a holiday at Sandals in the Bahamas

hen james bond was in the

Exuma islands for Thunderball,
he fought off underwater
baddies armed with spear-guns, but guests
at the Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis
& Spa Resort wont have to deal with
anything so stressful. Instead, it will be a
matter of choosing which of the seven
gourmet restaurants to dine in, or what
sort of spa treatment to indulge in, or
whether to set off bone-shing or kayaking.
Cond Nast Traveller readers have the
opportunity to save 40 per cent on a stay
of seven nights or more when booking
a One-Bedroom Butler Suite or Beachfront
Village Butler Suite along with an
additional 200 discount and a saving of
350 on ights. The offer must be booked
by 31 March 2015 and the holiday taken by
26 December 2016, subject to availability.


Call 0800 597 0002 and quote BUTLER.
164 Cond Nast Traveller February 2015

THEA DARRICOTTE uncovers your world

This sultry swimsuit is part of the new Huit range and adds
instant glamour to any poolside.


The Dior VIII Montaigne collection

takes its name from Mr Diors
lucky number and the couturiers
address in the 8th arrondissement
in Paris and we cant resist this
icy combination of steel and blue
with just a hint of sparkle. Dior
VIII Montaigne is 32mm across,
automatic, steel, with diamond set
dial and bezel; 6,600,


Inspired by s globetrotting great

grandfather, the new collection is
ideal for any travelling gentleman.
This rakish wash bag is particularly
charming and comes in a range of
colours betting a dashing hero.




Looking for a gastronomic tour of a city? Try Culinary Backstreets Eatinerary, a personalised guide compiled
by experts on the ground. Each Eatinerary is created for a three-day stay and covers all meals as well as
advice on where to go for a pre-dinner drink or source the best local ingredients.


Looking for a bijou property hidden away in the historic

alleyways of Doha? The Bismillah Hotel is an oasis of
luxury and contemporary design with unlimited access
to the Souq Waqif Boutique Hotels full collection

Nestled in the heart of The Great Barrier
Reef and surrounded by some of the most
breathtaking natural beauty to be found
on our fair planet, the re-opening of the
paradisal Lizard Island this month, is music to
our travelling ears. Boasting 24 white sand
beaches and with over 1000 hectares of
National Park to explore as well as 5 star
dining and accommodation, were ready to
book right when you are.
To book a special rate in March 2015 for
330ppn call Austravel on 0808 274 3541

of culinary experiences and leisure facilities.

SHIFFAs healing balm is a

travel must-have; it contains
chamomile and arnica to
cover every travel eventuality
from cuts and bites to minor
sunburn. 50,

If youre feeling the effect of jet-lag or simply postparty-season-fatigue youll love the Illuminating Eye
Gel from Crme de la Mer which brightens eyes
with light-bending sea pearls and hydrates and
soothes with potent Miracle Broth.


QR 1800 per room per night,

The Tiara Miramar Beach Hotel & Spa is perched
above the Corniche dOr in the Cote DAzur and
just a short journey from Nice airport. Go here for its
contemporary design, exotic air and laid-back luxury,
not to mention exceptional service. From 160 euros
per night in a Classic Hillside View on a B&B

Crystal Cruises is celebrating its 25th anniversary by

launching its rst Chairmans Cruise on the 18-night
North Cape/Arctic Circle itinerary from Reykjavik to
Dover.The luxurious Crystal Symphony will be visiting
Akureyri, Solovetsky and Zayatasky Islands and Bergen
amongst other scenic destinations. All-inclusive
y/cruise prices for the White Sea Exploration
cruise start from 6,162 per person.

Rooting out nausea

are well documented and,
with one of them being
anti-nausea, these Ginger
Pastilles make a very
useful travel companion.
As the nights draw in, a comforting
tumbler of whisky becomes increasingly
tempting and it doesnt get much
more inviting than Islay Barley from
Bruichladdich. It's made from 100%
Scottish barley, matured in American oak
and has hints of cinnamon and ginger
powder. 48,


Dream Destinations



The boutique hotel Helvetia with its 16
individually furnished rooms is a real jewel
among the citys hotels. The family-run
and individual hotel and restaurant offer a
home from home to business travellers,
city explorers and Zurich lovers alike.
Phone: 0041 (0)44 297 99 98


Exotic, Luxurious, Zanzibar!
The Zanzibar Collection is a privately
owned collection of beautiful boutique
hotels inspired by the magic of Zanzibar,
lying on one of the Top 30 Island beaches
in the world. Offering a range of water
sports, stunning spas and East Africas
only National Geographic afliated PADI 5
star Dive Centre. Baraza Resort and Spa
was chosen as one of the Worlds 60
Best New Hotels on the Conde Nast

Hotel Marinedda Thalasso & Spa,

Sardinia. This attractive Delphina hotel is
situated on the north west coast of Sardinia,
overlooking the beautiful Marinedda beach
near Isola Rossa. It has been designed for
couples,singles and families alike to
combine relaxation in the Mediterranean
sunshine with health and fitness. 01202 484858.

SUNLUX collection hotels are positioned

in a Golden Triangle that links Cape
Towns landmark The Table Bay, within the
Victoria & Alfred Waterfront; Sun Citys
The Palace of the Lost City, nestled in an
extinct volcanic crater surrounded by the
Pilanesburg big 5 nature reserve, and
Zambias gracious Royal Livingstone, set
against the stunning backdrop of
Livingstones Victoria Falls. Each part of
the luxury travellers journey is set to
uncover the subcontinents must-see
attractions. En route the new Maslow
Hotel, in Sandton City in Johannesburg,
one of Africas most popular shopping
destinations and theatre districts.
Phone: +27 11 780 7810

corner of a beautiful island. Gorgeous
gardens, peace and tranquillity, birds,
butteries, owers, horses and carriages
no cars how could one not enjoy this
amazing paradise? You will nd this hotel
to have a great joie de vivre as well as
terric food. La Sablonnerie has recently
received the highly coveted award from
Cond Nast Johansen - Small Hotel of
the Year. Visit
or call 01481 832 061.

Set beside a stunning courtyard garden

Blenheim Cottage offers tranquil luxury.
With farmhouse character, a woodburner,
microbrewery and Master Butcher,
everything is in place for a cosy week
away. Quote Hamper for a complimentary
Oxfordshire food hamper (exp. 01/06/15)
+44 (0)7830 165830.

An Exclusive Yacht Cruise Experience on The

Magnificent Gulet Evita. Offering magical
possibilities, discovering the most beautiful
and atmospheric destinations in the Turkish
Mediterranean. Cruises are customised for
guests, ensuring that they enjoy the
destinations that best suit their group profile
and preferences.
+90 542 731.2358.

Deelin Mor Lodge is a secluded retreat in

the midst of the Burren, one of Irelands
most unique areas of outstanding natural
beauty. This design led family home, built in
the style of an Irish Georgian hunting lodge,
accommodates up to 10 people and is
perfect for holidays, special occasions or a
weekend break.
Tel: +353 65 708 9009.

X FLATS is Your Home Away From Home.

It is premium provider of serviced luxury
apartments and corporate housing at 5
locations of Istanbul. We present 1, 2 and
3-bedroom fully furnished stylish
apartments and boutique living quarters
that are accompanied with hotel services
and amenities such as complimentary
housekeeping and concierge service. or call +90 212 251

Dream Destinations


Dream Destinations


A stay at Gangtey Goenpa Lodge offers

an insight into the ancient Kingdom of
Bhutan, which to this day remains one of
the worlds most mysterious and
undiscovered destinations in the world. To
experience unparalleled luxury, breathtaking views and Himalayan hot air balloon
flights visit or call
00975-1712-9072 or 00975-2-340943.

Hotel dei Borgognoni Rome. Enjoy your

sleep at this privately owned hotel. With just
a 4 minute walk from the Spanish Steps
and the Trevi Fountain, it is ideally located.
This Boutique hotel is offering Cond Nast
Johansens readers an exclusive extra 5%
discount on the web rates. Insert code
johansens2013 in the booking engine of
the hotel. Visit:
tel: +39 06 69941505.
Come to the Gran Hotel Atlantis Baha
Real, located in one of the most attractive
areas of Fuerteventura, right on the seafront
near the stunning beauty of Corralejo
Natural Dune Park. This is a hotel designed
for the ultimate in relaxation, privacy and
luxurious pampering, where personal touch
and attention to detail are guaranteed.
Tel: +34 928 53 71 53, E-mail:


Live the Portuguese Charm and Tradition
in the Historic centre of Lisbon. Stay in
one of the 5 Heritage Lisbon Hotels
Collection As Janelas Verdes, Heritage
Avenida Liberdade Hotel, Hotel Britania,
Hotel Lisboa Plaza and Solar Do Castelo.
Tel: +351 213 218 200

PORTIXOL, open all year and located

within walking distance to Palma. The
rooms are light, spacious, well-planned.
Recognized for its food, wines and views,
friendly and efficient service, laid back and
relaxed ambience with a cosmopolitan mix
of guests. Tel: +34 971 27 18 00.

Dream Destinations


ESPLENDIDO, a modern vintage hotel, in

charming Puerto de Soller. Perfect spot
for lazy or active holidays. Enjoy the
outdoor pools and sunbeds, and the spa
which features an indoor pool, saunas and
fully-equipped gym. Bistro serves fresh
Mediterranean food. Sunset views from
the cocktail bar. Tel: +34 971 63 18 50.

In the tranquil shadow of Angkor Wat,

Cambodias chicest private hideaway.

Hotel Dar Zitoune, a luxurious hotel with

14 beautiful bungalows, 8 suites and
8 stunning tented rooms. The resort
features 2 swimming pools, Jacuzzi and
offers Hammam massages at the spa.
Visit their newly opened Veranda
restaurant for spectacular garden views.
Tel: 00 (212) 528 55 11 41

Dream Destinations


Three sister properties in South Africa, Fiji
and New Zealand chic and understated
statements of exclusivity and seclusion, all
offering an exceptional hospitality experience
to the worlds most discerning travellers.
Africa, is located within a one-hour drive
from Cape Town. This 300-year old heritage
estate offers award-winning wines, cuisine
and art gallery with superb accommodation
at The Owners Cottage and La Provenale.
T +27 (0)21 876 8600
DOLPHIN ISLAND, Fiji offers 14-acres of
Pacific private island beauty, romance and
luxury castaway time for a max. of 8
guests, on an exclusive-use basis.
HUKA LODGE, New Zealand, is famed for
its natural beauty, legendary hospitality and
absolute style since the 1920s. With just
25 rooms within 17-acres of manicured
Contact: T +64 7 378 5791
for both Huka Lodge & Dolphin Island

Shambala Petit Hotel is located

on the beautiful South Beach of
Tulum, Mexico. With endless
white sandy beaches, the
property features ten unique
casitas, and is also the ideal
yoga retreat.


On The Move...
To Italy
Discover Le Marche

A balcony steeped in history.

A timeless view.

Villa Miragalli
Mobile +39 339 281 5129 | UK Ph. +44 203 286 7901
2014 GENIUS LOCI _Milan

La Locanda delle Donne Monache

To advertise within On The Move... please call 020 7499 9080 ext 3705

Sorrento Naples Italy

4 Star Luxury Hotel & Restaurant

A peaceful haven of relaxation on the sea
Maratea Basilicata Italy

Contact details:
Tel.: 0039 0973876139
Fax: 0039 0973876203

T +39 081 877 7111 -

Handpicked villas, apartments and hotels,

in all the most sought-after locations in Italy. +44(0)1223 460100 Tel 0039 081 8774455


On The Move...
To Italy

On The Move...
To a Villa



Its not just what we know, its who we know. Every villa hand-picked
by experts. Deep local knowledge and devilishly good value.

01242 787 800

ATOL 10454

A World of Sophisticated

Sicily and its
Aeolian Islands...
Unique 7 night, 6 day gastronomical
adventures including cooking lessons,
vineyard tours, exploring volcanoes, sailing
its shores and much, much more!
Personalised trips for small groups from 4
to 10 people or day long adventures for
those wishing to travel independently.
Tel: 07704 136539


Prepare your taylor-made dream holiday directly with the owner


To advertise within On The Move... please call 020 7499 9080 ext 3705

On The Move...
To a Villa Retreat

A collection of only the highest quality luxury

villas, available to rent directly from their
owners in Europe, Caribbean and more
iconic destinations. A private club of owners
with rates lower than anywhere else and 24/7
concierge service.





Invitation to tuscany

020 8444 9500



Discover Corsica



Villas, apartments & hotels

Order our new 2015 brochure

Twitter: @villainsrilanka
FB: Paragon Holidays & Villas | +94 -778 756 361

0845 330 2060

Located on a secluded beach.
The ideal venue for a wedding.
Your private boutique villa!

Sri Lanka
ATOL 1866 | ABTA V5963


On The Move...
To a Villa Retreat

Holiday Rentals
in Europe,
Morocco and
Tel: +44 (0) 1423 330533


Villas & Suites


Experience a memorable holiday at the family owned and run,

award winning Boutique Villa - Hotel. Private Pool Villas and
Deluxe Suites uniquely combined with 5-star services and facilities
such as superb dinning, beach club, Elixir Spa Gallery and kids club
make this boutique Hotel one of its kind.
Book before 28.02.2015 to enjoy
20% OFF plus complimentary half board T: +30 2810 227721
UK Reservations: 0871 990 3010

Suites: Jl. Sarinande 19, Seminyak Bali
Villas: Jl. Sari Dewi 17, Seminyak Bali
Phone: +62 361 730317
Fax: +62 361 732847


On The Move...
To a Villa Retreat

The Villa Collection

To advertise within On The Move... please call 020 7499 9080 ext 3705

GIC The Villa Collection offers beautiful secluded properties

in Sivota and Stoupa in mainland Greece, Cyprus and on the
Greek islands of Corfu, Paxos, Antipaxos, Lefkas, Meganissi,
Ithaca, Kefalonia, Alonissos, Skopelos, Skiathos and Crete.

020 8232 9780

Introducing Kandui Villas, your getaway to a tropical island paradise! Kandui Villas is a luxury
resort located on a private island in the equatorial Indian Ocean, surrounded by white sand
beaches fringing the turquoise sea. We feature deluxe accommodations in our luxury hardwood
Umas, decadent gourmet meals, and the only infinity pool in Western Sumatra, while providing
access to world-class waves along with a number of other watersport activities. Let Kandui Villas
provide your family their fantasy tropical island holiday!


Il Cortile Pratolino

25 years of experience renting hand-picked villas in Tuscany

+44 207 684 8884


On The Move...

Granadas best kept secret

If you are looking for a special place to unwind, come and stay at this unique hotel in
Granada. Large patios, olive groves, wheat and sunflower fields experience the incredible
beauty of Andalusia at the Cortijo del Marqus.
Cortijo del Marqus Albolote (Granada) Spain

HUNTAWAY LODGE a 5* Lodge located in Northland

This contemporary Lodge and Retreat is perched on a hillside with breath-taking views to a panorama
of golden beaches and rocky promontories. Spacious bright guest living areas open to wide balconydecks with stunning sea views. The main lodge sleeps up to 6 guests in three ensuite bedrooms. The
Retreat sleeps up to 4 guests in two ensuite bedrooms. Established gardens create privacy to relax in
the outdoor spa with its vista of sea views, or as night falls gaze at the stars. Resident host and chef
Victoria provides gourmet breakfasts for you to enjoy indoors or out. Simply relax and enjoy this
special lodge in a pristine setting
1692 Wainui Road, Te Ngaere Bay, Northland, New Zealand, 0478
T: +64 9 405 1611 E:

La Maison DAix 1785

La Maison DAix was once an elegant and private mansion belonging to priestess of love and well known
antiques dealer Henriette Reboul. After 3 years of complete restoration and renovation, the architect Laura
Juhen has turned the mansion into an atmospheric and refined little boutique hotel in the heart of Aix-enProvence. Nothing at this chic retreat has been left to chance and the result is a stunning masterpiece. The
4 rooms at La Maison dAix are exquisite and have been decorated with a real eye for detail. The Corset,
Henriettes Bedroom, the Secret Garden and the Love Suite, each of the rooms and suite is entirely devoted
to comforting the body and mind whilst fitted with the latest technology. Nothing at this chic and romantic
retreat has been left to chance and the result is a stunning and unexpected masterpiece.

T: +33 4 42 53 78 95




Natural Elegance
Understated Sophistication


Saint Lucia W.I.


Muyuna Lodge is located at 84 miles

speedboat ride (3 hours) from Iquitos, up the
Amazon River, in primary rainforest of the
Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo Reserve.
This is a small boutique rainforest lodge,
secluded, intimate, that GUARANTEES the
observation of monkeys, birds, sloths, pink
dolphins, fish, caimans, etc, in their own
habitat; including the endangered Wattled
Curassow Bird.
T: (+51 65) 24-2858


This award-winning boutique hotel is nestled
on a hideaway bay adjacent to a flawless
white sand beach. The adult-only property
features intimate, al fresco dining in our
rooftop restaurant Cafe Luna. Personalized
service, understated style and romance will
define your stay at Little Arches.
Tel: 1-(246) 420 4689 Fax: 1-(246) 418 0207

Campbell House is a tranquil oasis located in the heart of Georgetown. Perfectly positioned to explore
the culture, food and charm of the UNESCO heritage area. Offering 11 uniquely designed rooms
equipped with en-suite bathrooms, heavenly beds, air con, Nespresso machines and organic toiletries.
Enjoy our warm welcome and 5star hospitality.
Staying at the Campbell House can best be described as a welcoming visit in the home of close friends
Experience true Italian food in our cozy restaurant IL Bacaro, offering cicchetti, daily chef specials and
traditional homemade desserts, plus coffee, wine and cocktails. Open daily for lunch and dinner.
Brought back memories of delicious Italian meals from our time living in Italy.
106 Campbell Street, 10100 Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia.
T (604) 2618290 | F (604) 2618360 | E


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WHY WE LOVE IT Guy Chalkley, who founded this 29,500-acre private game reserve in the 1930s, called it a home


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Queensland, Australia


Front cover image:

Whitehaven Beach,
Whitsunday Islands,
This page; Boat at
Crystalbrook Lodge

very so often in life you come across somewhere to which

you feel impelled to return. Perhaps thanks to a particular
person, an exhilarating experience, a breathtaking sight, a rare
creature, a sensational meal, a divine stay, an extraordinary
moment you know you will never have the opportunity to
savour again. Rarely do you come across a place to which you feel impelled
to return for all of those reasons. Queensland, however, is such a place.
This north eastern corner of Australia has it all. Five UNESCO WorldHeritage listed sites. The worlds largest and inarguably most inviting
natural wonder. Burgeoning cities that take cosmopolitan to cosmic levels.
Culinary sensations that encapsulate an extraordinary cultural diversity.
An array of out-of-this world outback lodges, rainforest retreats, beach
houses and island escapes. Weird and wonderful creatures that captivate
and enthrall; from cuddly koalas to curious platypus. An average of 300
days each year in which to soak up the sunshine. And a new backdrop for
every day of the week indeed, month. Pristine reefs, ancient rainforest
and positively mystical Outback, yes but also heathlands, eucalypt forest,
melaleuca wetlands, swirling sands, kaleidoscopic seas, hidden islands,
sweeping dunes, serene waterways, exotic mangroves, raging rivers, rugged
escarpments, red ravines and of course those endless skies, day and night.
The scene is set for an unforgettable interlude. Walk it, drive it, cruise it;
fly high above it, dive the depths below it, sail, swim or even sand-surf. Or
simply stand still just for a moment, take a deep breath, and wonder at all
that Queensland has to offer. Words Liz Delliere


he newest chapter
in the rapid
transformation of
Brisbanes Fortitude
Valley, Alpha Hotels
& Resorts has opened their first
Queensland property; Alpha
Mosaic Brisbane.Guests can
choose between deluxe hotel rooms
and self-contained apartments,
just a short stroll from the bustling
James Street. The hotels lobby
and bar is fast becoming a popular
spot to enjoy a cocktail in the
ubiquitous sunshine.

Global hospitality giant Wyndham

Worldwide has launched the
firstTRYP-branded hotel in the
South Pacific, also in Fortitude Valley.
As a salute to the sites past as an
underground street art haven for the
likes of Magee, Rone, Beastman and
Numskull, each storey is dedicated
to an artist, displaying eye-popping
murals.The hotel is also home to
UP, Brisbanes newest rooftop bar
under acclaimed two-hat chef
Warren Turnbull.
Whitsundays newest luxury
accommodation, One Oceanview,

has opened in Airlie Beach. This

private residence overlooking the
beautiful Coral Sea offers four luxury
suites and spacious, open-plan
living and dining areas spread over
2,000 square metres. Theres also
an infinity pool, formal and casual alfresco dining areas and a big-screen
cinema, making it the perfect family
Just a stones throw from the ocean,
Orpheus Islands newly renovated
South Suites ensure utter privacy in
a laid-back luxe setting. Unobtrusive,
romantic and contemporary, the
two-guest suites provide a uniquely

Queensland, Australia


This winter sees the arrival of

an incredible Australia first: the
chance to swim with humpback
whales. In Hervey Bay, select charter
operators will allow visitors to take
the plunge and share life-changing
connections with these gentle giants
of the deep. Sunreef Mooloolaba
has also launched a three-hour
marine tour that allows nature
lovers to hold a rope from the back
of a boat while floating with these
captivating creatures in a truly
magical, immersive experience. and
Newly opened this summer,
Spicers brand new Scenic Rim
Trail is a private guided four-day
walk among the Great Dividing
Ranges spectacular collection of
mountains, escarpments, forests
and ancient volcanic plateaus,
surrounded by World Heritagelisted national parks. Stay in luxury,
tented accommodation at Spicers
Canopy and Spicers Peak Lodge.

Its impossible to keep up with the coolest new openings across Queensland
but here's a round-up of some of our favourites on the Nature Coast

Australian sanctuary for guests

to unwind among rich tropical
gardens.Located amid the magical
waters of the Great Barrier Reef, it
hosts just 28 indulged guests at any
one time.


experience. Divers can dive into the

crystal clear waters of the rainforest
to swim among turtles, fish, eels and
even perhaps the elusive platypus
a unique experience indeed.

ocated near Mackay in

central Queensland,
Rainforest Scuba is
offering the worlds first
ever rainforest diving


The new Noosa Ferries Biosphere

Cruise introduces you to the amazing
diversity of the Noosa Biosphere
Reserve aboard shallow draft ferries
all the better to cover the 150,000
hectares of freshwater, tidal and
terrestrial areas and try to spot some
of the 626 vertebrate fauna species
living in the rainforest, heathlands,
eucalypt forest, melaleuca wetlands,
sand dunes and mangroves.
The new guided lamplight tours
around Maryboroughs historic
Portside Precinct relive the lively,
bawdy days of colonial Queensland.
Hosts Mary Rivers and the Night
Watchman tell tales of sailors,
smugglers, brothels and opium dens
from years gone by, when it was one
of Australias busiest ports. Tours

Hervey bay is the perfect gateway to Fraser island and the

place to stay if you want to see whales in the wildlife whilst in
Australia. I couldnt believe how close the whales got to the
boat on my tour they even swam under us!
Claire Hancock, Austravel Travel Designer,


Left hand page:

Room at the Alpha
Mosaic Brisbane;
Couple watching
the sunset at
Orpheus Island
This page: Spangled
Emperor Tartare,
Innity pool at
Shadows; Frog in the
rainforest; Flying over
Heart Reef; Flora in
the rainforest

conclude with a port tasting gathered

around rum barrels left over from
the 1860s, in the basement ofone
of Maryboroughs oldest buildings.
Picture this; Rainbow Beach horse
rides. Endless sands, warm surf, the
sound of pounding hooves and the
wind streaming through your hair as
you gallop, quite literally, off into the
sunset, need we say more?
Safari by jet ski? Caloundra Jet ski
Hire and Safaris eco-machines
minimise environmental impact while
enabling visitors to view the nature,
wildlife and ancient volcanoes of
Pumicestone Passage. Skim across the
water in search of incredible birdlife,

turtles, dolphins and dugongs.


ts impossible to keep up
with the coolest new wining
and dining venues across
Queensland but here's a
round-up of some of our
favourites, along with a summary of
what we love about each one:
QTAPs Mooloolaba: cool beer taps

in the table to pour your own beers.
QSpice Bar Mooloolaba:
fabulous ocean view location.
QBohemian Bungalow Eumundi:
laid-back, cosy, hearty, innovative
food, and located across the road
from the Eumundi Markets.
QWild Rocket at Mistys Montville:
homely dishes in a homely

A new light rail system on Queenslands Gold Coast is set to make exploration of the region even easier. Trams arrive
every 7.5 minutes during peak times to carry passengers along the coast between the shopping, dining, and beach
centres of Southport, Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach.
Is it a bird, is it a plane? No, its a bright red helicopter from Heli Taxis North Queensland, who has recently opened up
around the Whitsunday Islands, Whitehaven Beach and the Great Barrier Reef.
Hamilton Island (the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef) has just welcomed the launch of the new Qantas service,
direct from Brisbane. Flying four times a week.
After asking customers as to what they would most like to see, Qantas has launched its new International Economy
meals, new menus, a choice of dishes including; i) healthy ii) cultural iii) comfort food and the roll out of Select on

atmosphere, in a homely town.
QSpirit House Yandina: bubbling
waterfalls, tinkling wind chimes,
the sounds of nature and gorgeous
Thai food. And its brilliant cookery
school means you can bring the
memories home.
QNoosa Nitrogenie: 'science
meets ice-cream' in quite simply
some of the best ice-creams weve
ever tasted, thanks to real flavours
and the magic of liquid nitrogen.
QXO Sunshine Beach: refreshing
modern Asian and Chinese cuisine
that introduces exciting spices and
flavours to the palate under the
aegis of Chef Joo.
QOcean Street: a dining and
entertainment precinct featuring
12 new restaurants, live music and
Big Top Markets, opening in April
QMiss Moneypennys:
a stylish venue offering a diverse
range of international cocktails,
alongside home-style Italian
and Mediterranean food right
on Noosa beach, one of the most
beautiful beaches in Australia.
QGround Caf: a fabulous
health food caf in Mooloolaba.
QCoast Restaurant: located on the
Esplanade, with views across the
calm waters of Hervey Bay, and a
fun menu designed for sharing.

hat do you
get when you
combine the
Sunshine Coast's
rolling beaches
and lush rainforest with the Fraser
Coast's iconic World Heritage-listed
Fraser Island? A natural display unlike
anywhere else in the world. Make the
most of Qantas unrivalled domestic
network to explore this spectacular
region with ease - and, better still, in
the ultimate comfort. One minute you
could be soaking up the bright city
lights of Brisbane; the next, you could
have flown direct to one of two local
airports in the region and straight into
the heart of nature.
The heart of nature indeed, for
Australias Nature Coast boasts no
less than 47 state and national parks,
together encompassing coastal

rainforest, massive dunes, towering

cliffs of coloured sands, hundreds
of kilometres of wide ocean beaches
and World Heritage-listed wonders
including, of course, access to the
Great Barrier Reef. Not to mention two
adjoining Biosphere reserves: the Great
Sandy Biosphere, home to more than
7,500 recorded species of flora and
fauna, half of Australias bird species
and vast fish diversity; and Noosa
Biosphere, home to many rare and
endangered animals and 1,365 species
of plants.
Where to begin with such wideranging natural phenomena? Its
hard to imagine a more breathtaking
perspective than the scenic flight over
Fraser Island, complete with aerial
tour and beach landing. Back down
to earth, you can explore 75 miles
of beaches, 100 lakes and amazing

sand-grown rainforest with Fraser

Experiences award-winning hummer
tour. Soak up the mystical beauty of
the Glass House Mountains in the
Sunshine Coast Hinterland (volcanic
crags that rise dramatically from the
surrounding eucalypt and pineapple
plantations), from panoramic lookouts,
dining options or unique Ecolodge
accommodations, including train
carriages, bungalows and a church loft;
or simply walk the islands untouched
In fact, throughout the Nature Coast
all you need do is pick a pathway or
nature trail and follow it to take in the
views, breathe the fresh air, enjoy the
year-round sunshine, marvel at ancient
rainforests and diverse eco-systems
and share the habitat of rare animals,
beautiful flowers and mesmerising bird
life. From Fraser Island to Caloundra


you can choose from 27 dedicated

tracks within beach, coastal, wetland
and forest environments. The
Caloundra Coastal Walk stretches 25
kilometres along scenic shorelines
but if you prefer to immerse yourself
among the trees, the Kondalilla
Falls National Park proffers a
dramatic 90-metre drop through
dense subtropical rainforest with
the added draw of being home to
over 100 different species of birds.
Indeed, Australias Nature Coast
has a reported 300 Northern and
Southern species for budding
ornithologists to spot among a wide
variety of habitats, including coastal
estuaries and heathland, rainforest,
eucalypt forest and the Great Sandy
Strait - an internationally declared
feeding ground for shorebirds from
as far away as Siberia.

The Glasshouse Mountains offer some

spectacular walking tracks for all abilities,
depending on how adventurous you are feeling.
Stop at one of the many breathtaking spots for
a picnic and take in the exquisite scenery and
wildlife. Julie, Travel Designer,

Queensland, Australia

Superlatives are easy to come by, yet are often hard to
substantiate. Not so with Australias incredible, aweinspiring, breath-taking Nature Coast


Talking of shorelines, Australias

Nature Coast also has an abundance
of beautiful beaches and untouched
rivers and waterways. At Rainbow
Bay, with its rolling surf and unspoilt,
white beaches, youll feel like the only
one on the planet. At Tin Can Bay
on the beautiful Cooloola Coast, you
can officially hand-feed dolphins in
the wild. Noosa Discovery offers a

wilderness cruise through the Noosa

Everglades, followed by canoeing and
camping for those so inclined. Noosa
itself, famous for its surf break, is the
perfect place to play beach sports,
swim, body surf, paddleboard or
ride a wave in to shore. For those
who prefer their fun a little further
out to sea, unforgettable days can be
spent on a fishing charter, learning
how to catch local barramundi
fish or spanner crab. Or head out
to get up close and personal with
one of Australias most magnificent
residents: a range of eco-friendly
tours take you out to the calm,
sheltered waters of the Fraser Coasts
Hervey Bay, where humpback whales
relax and play on their migration
making for a majestic show of
breaching, fin slapping and more
whilst friendly dolphins will compete

for your attention as they ride the

waves, somersaulting high in the air.
Dying to dive in yourself ? Lady
Elliot Island is the perfect place
from which to explore the Great
Barrier Reef s incredible eco-system
straight off the beach of the coral
cay. Head into the Blue Lagoon
and discover over 1,500 species of
marine life include tropical fish,
colourful coral, sea cucumbers,
starfish, sea urchins and clams;
swim with manta rays and gentle
sharks; or fly through the big
blue alongside the Green and
Loggerhead Turtles that nest on the
beaches from November-December
surely one of the most memorable
natural encounter experiences in
the world.
Please visit

It couldnt be easier to explore this
spectacular region, thanks to Qantas
Walkabout Pass which enables you to
take advantage of its domestic networks
when booking your Qantas international
flight to Australia. With the Qantas
Walkabout Pass, you can customize
your trip and enjoy unrivalled access
to the Qantas Australian Domestic
Network for less and with more
than 30 destinations to choose from,
including flights from Bundaberg to
Brisbane, Sunshine Coast from Sydney
or Melbourne and Fraser Coast direct
from Sydney, the Qantas Walkabout Pass
is a great way to see more and save.

Clockwise from top left:

The Glasshouse Mountains
Sunshine Coast; 75 Mile Beach
Fraser Island; Flying Qantas
International Business; The
award-winning Qantas A380;
Whale watching in Hervey Bay
Fraser Coast

WUDYHOThe leading authority on Australia, Austravels Travel Designers
have explored the country extensively and pride themselves on their insider
knowledge and unrivalled expert service, using hidden gems and top tips to
make your holiday that extra bit special. Whether you are looking to soak
up the atmosphere and views of the Glasshouse Mountains, discover new
creatures every day in untouched biosphere reserves, walk the paths less
wandered through ancient rainforest, take to the skies over Fraser Island, or
see how close you can get to a humpback whale, Austravel will know just the
place, and can tailor your itinerary to meet your personal expectations. And
Book with Qantas in its First or Business classes and you can be collected in
your international journey in the comfort of one of the two Associate Lounges
at London Heathrow (mirrored at the other end by the Qantas International
Business Lounge in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane all offering delicious
dining options, shower facilities and private work areas). Then take your seat
on board the award-winning Qantas A380 enjoying the outstanding service,
comfort (including luxurious Skybeds) and Neil Perry-designed cuisine that
this renowned international carrier offers, meaning youll arrive refreshed
and ready to get back to nature. And with Qantas' extensive domestic network
taking you wherever you wish to go, it's little wonder Qantas is the natural
choice for UK travellers to Australia, New Zealand and Dubai.

$XVWUDYHOand Qantas are offering
readers a fabulous 15-day experience soaking up the natural beauty
of the Sunshine Coast & Lady Elliot
Island all from 2,449 per person,
saving 125 per couple. This exclusive offer includes three nights at the
4* Pullman Brisbane, King George
Square; two nights at the 4* Novotel
Twin Waters Resort Sunshine Coast;
two nights at the 4* Outrigger Little
Hastings Street, Noosa; a 4-night
Reef & Rainforest Package with
Fraser Island & Lady Elliot Island;
one night at the Mantra Mooloolaba
Beach on the Sunshine Coast and 15
Based on travel in June 2015.

Clockwise from
main image:
The Outback
at Crystalbrook
Lodge; Chef
catching fresh
barramundi: Pool
at Crystalbrook
Lodge; Helicopter
arrival at the lodge

Queensland, Australia

Red Outback, spectacular reefs and ancient rainforest: indulge in all three

ed Outback, spectacular
reefs and ancient
rainforest: indulge
in these three iconic
Australian experiences, all
within an hour of Cairns in Queensland.
Think Australia, and what do you
imagine? The unspoiled beauty of the
Great Barrier Reef? The lush canopy
of one of the worlds most pristine
rainforests? The glorious, mystical red
expanse of the Outback? Spot on so far.
The fact that they are all so far apart?
Wrong. Travel with Austravel and enter
Queensland: the ultimate triumvirate
of rainforest, reef and red earth, with
all three meeting in one memorable
destination. Indeed, touch down in
Cairns after a relaxing flight from

London, via Melbourne or Sydney,

with Australias iconic airline, Qantas,
and you are only one hour from any
of them.
So it is that within a day of leaving
home, you might find yourself
standing among Outback plains that
stretch to eternity; red hills rising
like giant monoliths from lunar
landscapes; unexpected gorges that
provide lush oases; hidden caves
decorated with pre-historic Aboriginal
drawings; spectacular sunsets that
turn the sand even redder and truly
vast night skies. Think a land in which
days are spent walking, canoeing,
gem fossicking or perhaps hunting
for 100-million-year-old fossils at
the worlds best-preserved dinosaur

stampede. And for the ultimate

luxury Outback experience there is
Crystalbrook Lodge a one-hour
helicopter flight from Cairns, yet as
remote as you could imagine. With
five rooms, it is pure escapism: glide
along lakes on electric boats; soak up
the vast Outback from helicopter;
fish, bird-watch, croc-spot or stargaze
or simply relax in the magnesium

infinity pool, surrounded on every side

by this iconic Australian destination.
Alternatively, the drive from Cairns to
Port Douglas proffers take-your-breathaway panoramics of the oceanic kind.
From Port Douglas, you can swim
with dwarf minke whales, snorkel with
turtles or dive coral gardens that an
incredible 1,500 fish species call home.
Charter a boat and meander between


For an unforgettable experience make sure you head north

to Cooktown, where Willie Gordon will teach you about the
fascinating traditional stories behind the ancient indigenous
rock art of his Nugal-warra clan.
Katie, Travel Designer,


cays, choosing your favourite spot for a

picnic then be lulled to sleep above the
reef with live-aboard cruises. Helicopter
flights enable you to take in the sheer size
of the reef, then land on one of hundreds
of islands scattered across its turquoise
expanse for a paradisical private lunch.
And for a truly heavenly hideaway, head
for the likes of Orpheus Island, where 11
kilometres of coastline, its own National
Park and a World Heritage-listed Marine
Park means days drift by fishing for
supper, enjoying island tours led by
indigenous people; or taking a chefprepared gourmet hamper off
to a pristine bay.
Glorious red, glorious blue or
perhaps the gloriously lush greenery
of Queenslands Daintree Rainforest.
The excellent Qantas network ensures
easy connections to Cairns, indeed,
throughout all of Australia, and just a few
hours from Cairns is Cape Tribulation
where two of these iconic three colours
collide. Here, the Great Barrier Reef
World Heritage Site meets the Daintree
Rainforest World Heritage Site; electric
blue meets verdant green; one incredible
eco-system meets another incredible ecosystem. Enter the worlds most ancient
surviving rainforest, lush with giant bull
kauri pines and king ferns; colourful
butterflies flitting among colourful
flowers; waterfalls tumbling to hidden
pools (perfect for cooling swims). On the
Kuranda Scenic Railway you can weave
through the foliage with champagne in
one hand and delicious local favourites
such as ANZAC cookies and mango
ice cream in the other. Skyrails treetop
Diamond View Gondolas, complete with
glass bottoms, are guaranteed to take
your breath away, and not just because

Clockwise from
this image: Vlasoff
Cay; Diving on
the Great Barrier
Reef; Silky Oaks
Lodge; Qantas
Business Class,
Qantas A380

of the views. No head for heights?

Juan Walker, an indigenous guide at
Walkabout Cultural Adventures, leads
walks on the wilder side, foraging for
rainforest fare. Mossmans Janbal Gallery
introduces Aboriginal Art; the Mossman
Gorge Centre aboriginal traditions
and dreamtime stories. And talking of
dreamtime, what better at the end of
exploratory days than snuggling up in
the ultimate jungle retreat. Silky Oaks
Lodges elevated rooms, restaurants
and spa make the most of its riverside
surroundings both visually and
gustatorily, with local produce including
reef fish, barramundi and crocodile,


The colour and diversity of the Great Barrier Reefs

underwater world is breathtaking. For a truly memorable
experience, take a helicopter ride back to the mainland.
Your pilot will ensure you have a birds eye view that is simply
stunning and an experience youll be talking about for years
to come youll get some great photos from up there too.
Sharron, Travel Designer,
enjoyed to the dramatic backdrop of
some of the worlds oldest rainforest.
From the Outback, to the reef to the
rainforest, Qantas can fly you to more

Ensure you enjoy the royal treatment all the way to and around
Queensland: journey with two of Australia's most iconic names in travel.
The leading authority on Australia, Austravel's Travel Designers have explored
Australia extensively, and pride themselves on their insider knowledge and
unrivalled expert service, using their hidden gems and top tips to make your
holiday that extra bit special. Whether you are looking to relax at a luxury island
hotel with a beachfront location or take a private helicopter tour over the Great
Barrier Reef, Austravel will tailor your itinerary to meet your exact needs. Little
wonder Austravel has been voted 'Best Holiday Company to Australasia' at
the British Travel Awards for the last two years, and has been shortlisted for
Cellar', you will be on holiday in full Australia spirit from the moment you take
off. Better still, Qantas' and QantasLinks unrivalled domestic network ensures

places in Queensland than any other

airline, so let your iconic journey begin.
Please visit

Spend ten days exploring the
Tropical North from 1,749pp
saving 120 per couple. This
luxurious package includes
4* Cairns Harbourside, 2-day
Track and Aboriginal Rock Art,
Resort, Port Douglas, inc. transfers
or Kuranda all-inclusive and
Cruise and return international
on travel by June 2015. For further
details and reservations
please call 0808 274 3541
or visit

rinking a glass of crisp

white wine and dining
on juicy prawns as you
look out across the
Great Barrier Reef;
feasting on bush tucker treats such
as mango and lemon myrtle while
standing in the heart of the Daintree
Rainforest; heading to an oh-sosecluded sandy cay for a picnic;
eating a steak under a sea of stars on
a cattle station. Or how about simply
sipping the perfect cup of coffee by
stunning ocean views? Food that is
fabulous is even more so in fabulous
settings. And Queensland is blessed
with both in equal measure.
Look no further than Brisbane, a
young city that has grown into one
of Australias most vibrant cultural
centres and an oh-so-easy flight
from Sydney on Qantass Domestic

Network. At its heart meanders the

Brisbane River, the citys main artery
and a hive of activity, with people
hopping on and off the CityCat
Brisbanes unique public transport
as they climb the Story Bridge
for a birds eye view of the river and
cityscape. Or disembark to enjoy one
of the citys myriad riverfront bars
and restaurants. Indeed, alfresco
eating is a way of life in Brisbane,
with outdoor options at every turn.
Perhaps Eagle Street Pier on the
riverfront or Jellyfish, recently
awarded Australias Best Seafood
Restaurant' at the 2013 National
Savour Australia Restaurant and
Catering Awards. Alfred and
Constance, with its huge terrace (all
the better to enjoy the omnipresent
sunshine), includes four bars
including the fun-loving Tiki bar,

famed for its locally sourced, noseto-tail cooking. Or for the epitome
of alfresco dining, you could pick up
some steaks at the local butcher and
a few cold stubbies (beers), then head
to Australias only man-made beach
on the rivers South Bank, fire up
one of the public barbies and take
a dip in the pool while you wait: the
ultimate in urban dining.
After a late night, Brisbanes James
Street Markets are the perfect place
to head for breakfast, with an array
of coffee bars and restaurants. Once
youve cleared your head, you can
peruse a wealth of stalls, offering
everything from fresh coffee beans
and fruit to delicious cheeses and
some of Queenslands delicious
oenological offerings, Queensland
produces some world-class wine in
its Granite Belt, just a stones throw


Whilst in Brisbane make

sure you go to Mt Coot-tha,
not only does it offer great
views over the city but the
restaurant is great too.
Kate, Travel Designer,
from top left:
Brisbanes Story
Bridge at night;
arriving at Vlasoff
Cay on the Great
Barrier Reef;
Enjoying the local
seafood on the
Gold Coast

Queensland, Australia


Exciting, exotic, exquisite: pamper your palate with some of the most
extraordinary dining experiences imaginable, in Queensland
from Brisbane. For more decadent
indulgence theres the open-air
Cru Bar, one of the few casual
champagne bars in Brisbane. Or for
refreshment of an even more Aussie
kind, theres no shortage of places to
quench your thirst with Queenslands
quintessential brew and if you head
to the XXXX Ale House, you can
even learn how they make the
liquid amber.
So thats Brisbane at its gastro-


nomic best. But when it comes to

extraordinary dining experiences,
the whole of Queensland is your
oyster. Where to begin taste the
indigenous flavours of the North
in Cairns: from jack fish to sweet
mangoes to lesser known lemon
myrtle, theres an abundance of new
flavours here (dont miss Cairns
Rustys Markets, with its stalls
overflowing with delicious fresh
produce). Head to the Atherton

Thala Beach Nature Reserve in Port Douglas has a

fantastic elevated restaurant looking out over the Coral
Sea, great for cocktails as the sun sets and with a chef that
isn't afraid to try something a bit different, it's a must do.
Dave, Travel Designer,



Tablelands on a self-drive easily

arranged with one of Qantass quality
on-the-ground partners, collecting
delicious local produce as you go.
There's Skybury Coffee, Daintree
Chocolate, Gallo cheeses, fresh fruit,
sweet honey, mountains of vegetables
and even mango wine from the
Golden Drop Distillery for a true taste
of the tropics. So rich is the region
in flavours, you could spend days
following a dedicated Food Trail.
Learn about traditional aboriginal
cooking at Tjapukai Cultural Park,
or discover the delights of the
Daintree Rainforest on a dreamtime
walk with an aboriginal guide at
Mossman Gorge Centre. Seek out the
hidden gems of the Sunshine Coast
Hinterland at the Eumundi markets
where you can pick up everything
from homemade breads and jams

Savour a whole new side to Queensland with two of Australias most iconic
names in travel.
The leading authority on Australia, Austravels Travel Designers have explored
Australia extensively and pride themselves on their insider knowledge and expert
service, using their hidden gems and top tips to make your holiday extra special.
Whether you are looking to take off on a wine-tasting tour, bite into some more
unusual bush tucker, sample the freshest of fresh seafood or try to catch your
own dinner in the aquamarine waters of a secluded cove, Austravel
will know just the place, and tailor your itinerary to meet your most
mouth-watering expectations.
national airline. With daily afternoon and evening departures to Australia from

offering readers a tantalising
seven-day experience designed
to enable you to savour the
full spectrum of gastronomic
Outrigger Little Hastings Resort
Atherton region (with self-drive
to the Atherton Tablelands) and
WKH0HUFXUH&DLUQV+DUERXUside from just 1,419pp, saving
200 per couple. This special offer includes four days car hire,
a Daintree Dreaming Tour and
on travel April 2015.
For further details and reservations, please call 0808 274
3541 or visit www.austravel.

Clockwise from this

image: Beach life in
Noosa; Taking in the
Daintree Rainforest;
Tropical avoured
ice cream in Cairns
& Great Barrier Reef
region: Fresh coffee in
Cairns; Rustys Market
in Cairns; Fresh
seafood on Noosa Beach


to nuts and juices, chilli sauces to

chocolate souffls then head to the
Glasshouse Mountains to enjoy your
Coca Chu on Hamilton
feast to a backdrop of truly beautiful
Island is a new Thai-fusion
views. And just to underscore your
restaurant with great views
tropical surroundings, look no
out over Hamilton Island and further than the range of ice-cream
the Whitsundays. The food
flavours on the menu at Floravilla in
was absolutely delicious.
Cape Tribulation; black sapote, coffee
wattleseed, dragonfruit and banana,
Anthony, Travel Designer,
avocado, and a vanilla classic recipe
that is over 200 years old.

ave a soft spot

for seafood?
seafood is fresh,
sweet and
succulent. From scallops to spanners
crabs, Barramundi fish to the famed
Moreton Bay bugs (shellfish),
Queenslands waters offer a wealth of
succulent treats. How about seafood
to sensational views? With the
glorious beaches of the Gold Coast
stretching the length of the state,
take your pick. A bucket of succulent
prawns washed down with cold beer
(naturally), at any one of the myriad
local surf clubs. A delectable dinner
at Oskars, dining on the freshest


catch of the day while watching

surfers hit the Burleigh Heads
waves. Soaking up the breathtaking views of the Coral Sea,
Mossman Ranges and Daintree
National Park at Port Douglass
On The Inlet restaurant, built out
of the water of Dickson Inlet and
a local institution in Port Douglas
(a high accolade indeed, given
the wealth of wonderful places in
Port Douglass Macrossan Street).
Or perhaps savouring the sweet,
delicate flavour of the very freshest
Spanner Crabs with a chilled glass
of white wine at Spanner Crabs
Noosa, before taking a wander to
watch demonstrations and discover
new flavours in the May-time
Noosa Food and Wine Festival
(although with its chilled out wine
bars, fresh seafood and glorious

beachfront location, Noosa is a

foodie heaven year round).

lternatively, for
those wanting
to really push
the boat out
(literally) it
doesnt get much more sensational
than cruising through the 74
beautiful Whitsunday Islands, then
stopping for a floating lunch to
incredible views of the sparkling
waters and untouched islands
all around you. Except, perhaps,
taking a scenic flight to the divine
Whitehaven Beach and spending
the day sipping cocktails on the soft
silica sands. Back down to earth,
One Tree Hill on Hamilton Island
is hard to beat for a sundowner
rivalled only, perhaps, by the
decadence of lounging in your
private pool at nearby qualia resort,
enjoying your arrival champagne
and strawberries to more stunning
sea views. And for those who prefer
to banquet on the water, you can
always pull up at a pontoon, work
up an appetite snorkelling and
diving the reef, and then dine in
the ultimate ocean style. Life surely
doesnt get much better.
Actually, in Queensland it does.
While youre at Moreton Bay, head
to Moreton Island where you
can hand-feed wild dolphins, an
unmissable experience. While you
are in Hervey Bay savouring the
sweet Hervey Bay scallops, take
time for a whale-watching boat
tour to see the humpback whales
(the Fraser Coast is a whalewatching mecca). Take a trip with
Juan Walker at Walkabout Cultural
Adventures, an indigenous guide
who will take you to aboriginal
cultural sites, explore the rainforest
with you, and teach you how to
spear crabs and fish for your own
dinner. Dine beneath the canopy of
the oldest rainforest in the world,
the World Heritage-listed Daintree
Rainforest, as you soak up the
sights, sounds and smells of the
Flames of the Forest indigenous
dining experience. Or, if youre
feeling brave, you could even climb
to dinner at Skypoints Seventy7
Caf & Bar on the 77th floor of the
tallest building in Queensland
Q1, Surfers Paradise which only
makes those 360-degree Gold
Coast and hinterland views all the
more special.
For more information go to cntraveller.

Pleasures of the
palette reach new
heights, literally,
on Qantas. With
a multi-award
winning wine cellar
and a premium
dining menu
created by Qantas
consulting chef Neil Perry, in First, International Business and
Premium Economy, Qantas has set a new benchmark in dining.
In International Business you can enjoy an equally elegant
delicious Neil Perry Rockpool inspired dishes think the likes of
smoked salmon from renowned London smoke house H Forman
accompanied by a roast beetroot salad with lemon dressing
presented on beautiful tableware. In International Business and
Premium Economy you can pre-order your meal using Qantass
And then of course there is the outstanding wine list, selected by
WKH4DQWDV:LQH3DQHODQGYRWHGBest Overall Wine Cellar at the
High praise indeed.

Clockwise from top

left: Minke whale;
Thala Beach
Lodges private
beach; Lorikeets;
Baby turtle on
Lady Elliot Island

Queensland, Australia


Queensland: one of the most diverse regions on earth in settings, in wildlife and
in truly awe-inspiring experiences, day after day. Let your imagination run wild

here arent many

places in the world
that can claim five
World Heritage-listed
sites. Or that proffer
hundreds of national parks and
forests, vast stretches of unspoiled
beaches,breathtaking landscapes
that encompass everything from
sea to rainforest to outback and,
even better, to-die-for lodges and
camps in the heart of these natural
surroundings. Not to mention an
endless variety of unique wildlife,
with plenty of opportunities to get
up close and personal with a bounty
of amazing creatures. But then there
arent many places in the world as
beautiful, unspoiled and diverse as
Queensland, Australia.

Picture the scene: little more than a

day after leaving London (and feeling
remarkably fresh, having flown what
else but Australias iconic airline
Qantas all the way), you are sitting
on your private deck amid the most
extensive sub-tropical rainforest on
earth. Your binoculars are ready in
hand; just below you, one of the worlds
rarest birds is grazing. At Mission
Beach, the distinctive helmet, striking
blue head and black feathers of the
endangered cassowary, Australias
largest flightless bird, is a regular sight.
And there are few better places to spot
it thanCastaways, an idyllic tropical
escape juxtaposed between beach and
rainforest all the better to enjoy the
nature of both. Not to mention the
beautiful beachside town of Mission

Beach itself, with its sophisticated

eateries, boutiques and art galleries.
North of Mission Beach, the drive
from Cairns to Port Douglas sets the
scene for some of the greatest natural
experiences on earth, with the Great
Barrier Reef making its presence felt

all the way. At Port Douglas, days

are all about the wealth of amazing
activities, from reef trips to rainforest
explorations. But nights will also blow
you away here. Head for Thala Beach
Lodge, take one of the eco-friendly
rooms sensitively positioned among the


Its worth the drive up to Lamington National Park for

the fantastic views out over the Gold CoastHinterland
alone. A bush walk around the area is a must! If youre
an enthusiastic walker allow around three hours for an
incredible hike through ancient cool rainforests to the
stunning Elabana Falls. Why not take a picnic with you
and dip your toes in the refreshing waters!
Julie, Travel Designer,


headlands 145 acres, sit back on your

terrace and enjoy the show. Thalas
positioning means skies free of light
pollution, allowing exceptional views
of the southern constellations (and if
you want to know what is out there,
an on-site observatory provides a
guided tour).
Head out to the Great Barrier Reef
itself (Qantas flies daily from Cairns
to Great Barrier Reef Airport), and
you can get up close and personal
with a plethora of incredible creatures
in one of the most pristine marine
environments on earth. Swim with
fabulously friendly dwarf minke
whales on the ribbon reefs off Port
Douglas, snorkel with graceful turtles,
dive coral gardens or overnight
on a yacht and watch sunrise over
the reef. Or perhaps stand silently
on the beach at Bundaberg, and
watch one of the true wonders of
the natural world unfold in front
of you at Mon Repos Conservation
Park the largest loggerhead turtle
rookery in the South Pacific.Each
year hundreds of turtles return at
night to these bountiful waters to
complete a cycle that begun at their

own birth. And by day, unspoilt

beaches and the Lady Elliot and
Lady Musgrave islands provide
halcyon hideaways on which to
relax.More a walker than a water
baby? The Main Range National
Park, with its stunning mountains,
ridges, escarpments, forests and
ancient volcanic plateaus set in
the foothills of the Great Dividing
Range is home to the Scenic Rim
Trail. This three-day walk proffers a
treasure trove of unique plants and
animals while nights at Spicers
Canopy and Spicers Peak Lodge
en route provide a delicious escape


There is so much to see and

do at Mission Beach, and
whats even better is it doesnt
drop below 25 degrees! You
can explore rainforest and
witness wildlife habitats, and
for those looking for a bit of
adrenalin-fuelled excitement,
why not try a sky dive or
white water rafting?
Chris, Travel Designer,

into a world of natural luxury. Or,

for land-based relaxation of a more
laconic kind, head for Lamington
National Park in the Gold Coast
Hinterland, where OReillys
luxury villas provide contemporary
accommodation designed to
connect with the surrounding
World Heritage Gondwana
Rainforests. Grab your binoculars
and go for a bushwalk; head for
the treetop walkways; bathe in a
cooling waterfall, or just gaze from
your balcony, elevated among the
rainforest canopy, and wait a
memorable encounter with one of
the indigenous creatures is pretty
much guaranteed.
Please visit

Austravel and Qantas are offering
readers a spectacular 11-day
1770 trip from 2,649pp a saving
of 270 per couple. This luxurious
package will take you for a
walkabout on Australias wilder
side, with a night in Brisbane
followed by unforgettable
days spent at Spicers Canopy,
Spicers Peak Lodge, Sandcastle
1770 and OReillys Rainforest Villas.
It also includes seven days car hire
and return international economy
selected travel April 2015.
For further details and reservations, please call 0808 274 3541
or visit

Clockwise from this

image: Lady Elliot
Island, Great Barrier
Reef; Qantas distinctive
tail wings; Guest
enjoying Premium
Economy on a Qantas
A380; Rainforest ora
and birdlife

Make your wildest dreams a reality with two of Australias most
iconic names in travel.
The leading authority on Australia, Austravels Travel Designers have
explored Australia extensively and pride themselves on their insider
knowledge and unrivalled expert service, using their hidden gems and
top tips to make your holiday that extra bit special. Whether you are looking
to marvel at a meteor, bathe in hidden jungle pools, witness a turtle hatching
or hike hidden trails, Austravel will know just the place, and tailor your
itinerary to meet your wildest expectations.
iconic national airline. With inarguably one of the most comfortable Premium
Economy cabins in the sky think dedicated check-in desk; extra-wide
ergonomically designed seats that recline properly and include adjustable
headrest and footrest (all the better for a good nights sleep); and a self-service
snack bar to keep you refreshed in between being suitably wined and dined it
outstanding local partners (from hotels to car hire companies), with whom
Just another reason why youll want to return again and again.

Few national airlines capture the
spirit of their country quite like
Qantas. Inspired by two heroic
war pilots, and underpinned by the
outstanding engineering skills (a
characteristic still synonymous with
mechanic and founded on the deepURRWHGIULHQGVKLSRIWKH4XHHQVODQG
quintessential Australia since its
inception in 1920. Behind everything
from the famed Flying Doctor
breaking boundaries throughout
its history. Almost a century on, it
still is. Recently voted Best Airline in
World Airline Awards and widely
regarded as the worlds leading long
distance airline, today history and
hospitality combine in one of the most
outstanding services in the skies.

Queensland, Australia


There are island experiences all over the world. And then there
are Great Barrier Reef island experiences. Discover the difference, with Qantas

Clockwise from this

image: Whitehaven
Beach; View at
Magnetic Island;
qualia, Windward
plunge pool;
One&Only Hayman
Island; Catseye
Beach, Hamilton
Island; Qantas A380;
Qantas A380 Premium
Economy; Dolphin pool,
Hamilton Island

hat do seakayaking
swathes of
swirling sand
banks, breakfasting with koalas,
adrenaline-fuelled game-fishing,
scenic helicopter flights, wallaby beach
guests, swimming with minke whales,
walking through a million-year-old
tropical rainforest and lounging
on elevated terraces overlooking
arguably the most beautiful World
Heritage-listed Site on earth all have in
common? What else, but Queenslands
Great Barrier Reef islands? And theyre
all, incidentally, fabulously easy to
experience, with Qantas, the premium
airline to Australia to explore all that
Queensland has to offer.

Thats not to say that these island

idylls dont tick all the quintessential
romantic requisites: thousands of acres
of aquamarine seas; glorious ocean
vistas from every room, spa and private
plunge pool; decadent downtime on
huge down-filled cushions; cocklewarming year-round sunshine;
plenty of secluded beaches for private
gatherings; miles of soft sands to
wander along, hand in hand, or simply
relax together in a hidden cove.

Island, a gateway to the Great Barrier

Reef, with its renowned restaurants,
wide range of accommodation and
huge selection of activities: the
ultimate tropical getaway (Qantas
conveniently flies direct from Brisbane
to the Great Barrier Reef Airport, four
times a week in peak season and biweekly for the rest of the year). Or the

They also, however, take island

escapism to a whole new level. Simply
pick your personal paradise (or two)
anything from a remote yet luxurious
retreat to cosy canvas tents somewhere
eco-friendly and idyllic and ensconce
yourself in this watery wonderland.
Perhaps the world-famous Hamilton

Cruise Whitsundays organise a great trip out to the reef - the

standard tour includes snorkelling, a semi-submersible and
an underwater viewing platform. Some stunning additional
extras include helicopter rides from the pontoon and
introductory dives. No experience necessary, you literally
have your hand held the entire time by friendly and very
calming staff. Victoria, Travel Designer,

equally famous One&Only Hayman

Island, an idyllic private island resort
that is ideal for a honeymoon getaway,
its stylish elegance and beautifully
appointed accommodation reflecting
the harmony of nature, set against the
backdrop of the Coral Sea. Further
north, amid the magical waters of
the Great Barrier Reef, yet just an



and experience the ultimate freedom

of fancy; travel in style with Ocean
Freedom, who offer a more intimate
snorkel and dive experience; feel your
adrenaline surge aboard a maxi racing
yacht as it slices through crystalline
waters. Sail, jet-ski, ocean kayak, scuba
dive: the Great Barrier Reef is, after
all, a region of over 900 islands and
coral cays, with 2,300 kilometres of
wild, unique nature. As if that wasnt
enough, it also runs the entire length
of the Queensland coastline. Which

hour and a half from Cairns, the

secluded Orpheus Island is encircled
by 11km of immaculate turquoise
coastline and comprises 1,368
hectares of pristine National Park and
surrounding World Heritage-listed
Marine Park. Nearby the allure of
Magnetic Island, between Cairns and
the Whitsundays, is equally difficult
to resist with its 23 pristine bays and
beaches (many, rather fabulously, only
accessible by boat), while on Green
Island you can stroll through the
lush cool rainforest; laze on stunning
white coral sands; lie by the inviting
swimming pool or snorkel the reef
straight from the beach.
Prefer your paradise without
parameters? Sail around this
stunning seascape of clear blue
waters, past pure white beaches and
endless deserted tropical islands.
Charter your own yacht with Sunsail

means that it couldnt be easier to

combine island idyll with any one of
Queenslands other unique experiences.
Stop over in Brisbane and soak up
some contemporary city sights before
flying to Hamilton Island. Take a
scenic flight over the Great Barrier
Reef to see it in all its glory, before
setting down on an isolated cay. Fly
from Orpheus direct to Cairns (just
an hour and a half away), and discover
the unique nature of the Daintree
Rainforest, the oldest rainforest on


While staying at One&Only

Hayman Island, the hotel
can arrange a private boat
to take you to a deserted
sandbar where you can
snorkel and get up close
to wild turtles - a really
unique experience.
Claire, Travel Designer,
earth. Head to Port Douglas to swim
with dwarf minke whales on the ribbon
reefs; snorkel with turtles at a sand cay,
dive amongst coral gardens overflowing
with colour and life, or watch endangered
sea turtles nest on a beach off the coast
of Bundaberg. Or simply revel in a rare
insight into Robinson Crusoes desert
island existence as you explore endless
deserted hideaways; in the Whitsunday
Islands alone, there are 66 virtually
untouched, unspoiled and ready to be
discovered. Whatever, wherever, one
thing you can be sure of in the Great
Barrier Reef islands: your escape will be
paradise personified. Please visit
queensland for more information

Pamper yourself in paradise with two of Australias most iconic
names in travel.
The leading authority on Australia, Austravel Travel Designers have explored
Australia extensively and pride themselves on their insider knowledge and
unrivalled expert service, using their hidden gems and top tips to make your
holiday that extra-bit special. Whether you are looking to dive the depths a
surrounded by water or experience an up-close-and-personal encounter with
a rare indigenous creature, Austravel will know just the place, and tailor your
itinerary to meet your personal expectations.
to Qantass award-winning Premium Economy cabin in the private 35-seat
upper deck. Think more room and more comfort; self-serve snack bars offering
refreshments around the clock; extra-wide seats and leg rests and a fabulous
Rockpool-inspired Premium Economy menu (which you can choose from before
choose to add the Qantas Walkabout Pass when you book your international
tickets, allowing you to enjoy the Qantas domestic network at attractive prices:
you can see more of the Sunshine State for less as there are 12 Qantas
to fall in love with Qantas.

Strolling along miles of golden
sands, exploring the worlds
oldest surviving rainforest,
discovering the underwater
wonderland of the Great Barrier
Reef, taking in the burnt umber
colours of the rugged Outback;
there arent many places in the
world where you can experience
an iconic destination every
single day. In Queensland it is as
guaranteed as the sunshine.
Better still, en route you can
tantalise your taste buds with
the extraordinary array of
delicious produce that these
diverse environments offer. Dine
on fresh seafood while you watch
surfers tackle the waves on
world-famous beaches, dive into
tasty bush tucker as you listen
to 'Dreamtime' stories from an
indigenous rainforest guide,
or get a taste of the tropical
north with local mangoes,
macadamias and much more.
Let the iconic adventure begin.

Put yourself in the hands of the

Queensland expert, Austravel the
leading authority on Australia since
1977, Austravel's 'Travel Designers'
have explored Australia extensively,
and pride themselves on their insider
knowledge and unrivalled expert
service, using their hidden gems and
top tips to make your holiday that
extra bit special. Whether you are
looking to relax at a luxury island
hotel with a beachfront location or
take a private helicopter tour over
the Great Barrier Reef, Austravel will
tailor your itinerary to meet your exact
needs. It's no wonder Austravel has
been voted 'Best Holiday Company
to Australasia' at the British Travel
Awards for the last two years and has
also been shortlisted for 2014.
Tel: 0808 274 3541


Clockwise from
top: Hiking in
Hinterland on
the Gold Coast;
Diving on the Great
Barrier Reef; Red
Road; Surng at
Surfers Paradise

For a premium travel experience, fly

with the iconic Australian airline,
Qantas. Founded in Queensland
over 90 years ago, and today offering
one of the best services in the skies,

Qantas ensures you enjoy the spirit

of Australia from the moment
you step on board.
The award-winning Qantas A380
departs twice daily from London
Heathrow, to Sydney or Melbourne,
via Dubai with convenient
connections on to Queensland. For
complete luxury, 14 First Suites come
complete with a private dining area
for two (dine la carte or savour
an eight-course tasting menu) that
converts to a long and flat, wide
bed. In International Business, a

Queensland, Australia


When it comes to iconic experiences, Queensland undoubtedly takes the title.

Journey with Qantas, head for Brisbane or Cairns, and let Australian expert
Austravel give you the inside track on all that this extraordinary region has to offer

dedicated upper deck offers fully

flat two-metre Skybeds; a Neil
Perry-designed menu, and the ''Best
Overall Wine Cellar in the Sky'' at
the 2013 Cellars in the Sky Awards
(not to mention a chauffeur-driven
service to and from the airport
for both First and International
Business travellers). And in Premium
Economy, the private cabin on the
upper deck includes extra wide
seats and leg rests; round-the-clock
refreshment bars, and a restful
environment in which to relax and
enjoy the journey. Little wonder
Qantas was named Best Airline
in Australia/Pacific Region at
the renowned 2014 World Airline
Add to this - the unrivalled Qantas
Australian Domestic network,
including over 100 flights a week
from Sydney to Brisbane, over 90
flights a week from Melbourne
to Brisbane, and flights on from
Brisbane to no less than 18
Queensland destinations and why
wouldnt you choose to fly the 'Spirit
of Australia'?
For great priced flights with Qantas,
contact Austravel Tel: 0808 274 3541


With so much to see and do in Queensland, you could easily be left overwhelmed when planning a holiday here.
This is where Austravel can help. Our Travel Designers have visited all over Queensland to gather rsthand
information and insider tips to plan your perfect Queensland holiday. They can design an itinerary based on what
you want to see as well as recommending where to stay, what excursions to take and which restaurants you need
to try. Its this rsthand, reliable information that keeps customers returning to us. So when we say We dont just
go there, we know there you can really believe it.

We dont just go there, we know there

Call our expert Travel Designers
on 0808 163 6000 or

Australia, New Zealand & South Pacic


Calls are free, mobile and other providers charges may apply. ATOL protected.