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* The UK's tastiest food festivals for 2013
* Eating out in Amalfi * Foraging in NYC
* The best Spanish gin joints * Ottolj!nghi's favourite
restaurants * Rick Stein's brunch down under

It's the world's richest gambling haunt, but Macau in China keeps
its cards close to its chest. Poker player Dominic Wells
bluffs his way to where no Western journalist has gone before
HAVE CROSSED MISTY, crocodile-infested
ri vers in a low-slung canoe to be
rewarded with a dawn sighting of the
rare Nepalese rhino. I've tracked three
families of elephant down a Namibian
ri verbed, guided by a one-armed ranger.
And now I've travelled halfway around the
world in search of a different kind of big
game, involving those even more elusive
and secretive creatures: the legendary
sharks and whales of Macau.
'Shark' is the popular term for a poker
pro. 'Whale' is what the casinos call their
million-plus high rollers. The last time
I was in Macau, just over a year ago, I'd
just missed an epic, week-long contest
out of easy money from the hopeful and
the foolish who obstinately believe they
can bend chance to their will. Your first
sight as the ferry glides into the bay under
a bridge of light is the Sands casino, its
Western logo underscored with Chinese
characters fl ashing red. Built in 2004,
this is the emblem of modern Macau,
the first American casino operator that
was allowed to muscle in on what was
previously a one-man monopoly. Other
US casinos foll owed: the Venetian, Plaza,
Wynn, MGM and Hard Rock replicate
the Vegas originals, and in some cases are
bigger and better. There are few things on
earth more surreal than to ascend to the
first fl oor of between Western
poker pros and
wealthy Chinese
one of whom
bought in for
They used to call Macau
the Vegas of the East.
the Macau
Venetian and
along its
arcades under
a starting stake
of £100 million.
In truth, Vegas is now the
Macau of the West
These games
are whispered about on internet poker
forums, but no Western journalist has
yet seen one with his own eyes. I was
determined to be the first.
Macau rises from the water like a neon
mirage, a shimmering dream palace built
painted skies, while Chinese families are
serenaded down the three 150-metre-
long canals by stripe-shirted gondoliers
- a replica of a replica.
There are also two casinos run by Meleo
Crown, and six by Galaxy, as well as the
20-odd casinos that existed already. Yet
another, the Sands Cotai Central, opened
in April last year. Their joint revenues
are phenomenal, unstoppable, almost
unimaginable, growing at an average of
34 per cent a year since the Sands opened
its doors. In 2012, gaming revenues were
£25 billion. The Las Vegas Strip, by contrast,
took about £4 billi on. They used to call
Macau the Vegas of the East. In truth,
Vegas is now the Macau of the West.
Yet if a tree falls in a forest when
there is no one to hear it, does it make


a sound? Macau remains a mystery to
Westerners, who seldom visit, even though
the tiny island-city welcomes 80,000 visitors
a day. That's very nearly 30 million a year
- not far off London's tally - in a city of
about half a million inhabitants. A quarter
of the visitors take the ferry from Hong
Kong, a few fly in from Singapore or the
Philippines, but the vast majority come
direct from mainland China, streaming
through the border gates between 6am
and midnight at the rate of one per second.
Soon more will come. In December, the
China Railway high-speed network was
extended to reach Gongbei, within walking
distance of the border.
ACAU IS, IN PARTS, a beautiful
city. Until 1999, when China
regained control, the place
had been under Portuguese rule since
1557. The influence is everywhere, from
custard tarts and dual-language signs
to the spectacular frontage (the rest is
ruined) of St Paul's church. The historic
centre is on the World Heritage list.
Yet that's not why visitors crush into
Macau. As one resident told me, 'They >-
May 2013 Conde Nast Traveller 149

:>- don't come to enjoy themselves. They
come to gamble their lives.'
The Grand Lisboa casino, shaped like a
lotus, is the tallest building in Macau. Look
out across its hangar-like gaming floors
and you won't see a single Caucasian face.
The cultural differences are immediately
obvious. In Las Vegas, gamblers would be
whooping and hollering at a win, grabbing

they learn to gamble from an early age.
Mahjong is a great family game and, like
poker, it's a game that doesn't make sense
if you don't play for money, however
small the stakes. But also the ideas of luck
and fortune are deep-rooted in Chi nese
society. In the West, it's work hard and
you will get your reward. In China, there's
this idea that some people are just born
high rollers. The baccarat tables here
have a minimum bet of £5,000, though
wagers of 10 or 100 times that are
routine. Liquidity is a problem, as
the Chinese government imposes strict
controls on how much money can
leave the mainland. Macanese poker
players I' ve sat with say they often
see businessmen walking around
free cocktails
from buxom
waitresses. The
players here
place their bets
in stony silence,
frowning in grim
It's as though
they're putting
In China, there's this idea
that some people are just
born luckier. And how
do you find out if you're
lucky? You gamble
luckier. And
how do you
find out if
you're lucky?
You gamble.'
It's hard
to take in how
much money
changes hands
here. The
with carrier bags full of banknotes.
Most VIPs come in on package tours
organised by ' junkets' who advance
cash to the players, take a slice of the
winnings if there are any, and collect
on the debt back at home if there
aren't. Gambling debts are not legally
recognised in China, and collecting
on them is not, to put it politely, a
universally amicable process.
in a hard day's graft at the office, praying
for promotion.
I've arranged to meet Andrew Scott,
CEO of the Macau-based World Gaming
magazine, at the Grand Lisboa's Crystal
Lounge. A former accountant, Scott made
a reputed £l0 million at blackjack using
card-counting techniques. When he was
banned from casinos worldwide, he set
up a successful blackjack school and ran
it for 13 years. If anyone knows about
Macau's high rollers, it's him.
I've heard that the Chinese have a
particular obsession with certain numbers,
because they sound like other words.
The number eight is prized because it
sounds like ' prosper'. It's no accident
that the Beijing Olympic Games launched
on 08/08/08 at 8pm. The number four,
conversely, sounds like ' die'. You won' t
find a fourth floor in any Macau hotel,
nor the number four on the table at
baccarat, Macau's favourite game by far.
'That' s very true,' Scott says. 'Jn fact,
one casino refused to stock our magazine
because they viewed it as a book, and the
word for "book" also sounds like "lose".'
Are the Chinese really bigger gamblers
than other nations, or is this an empty
cultural stereotype? 'They definitely
are,' says Scott. 'Partly it 's that

150 Conde Nast Traveller May 2013
action on the vast gaming floor below,
says Scott, sweeping his hand across
the sober multitudes indifferent to the
three showgirls high-kicking on the
central stage, is nothing compared with
the VIP rooms upstairs. Two thirds of
Macau's gaming revenue comes from
these high rollers, so much that the
government can' t spend its 40 per cent
share fast enough, and simply gives
each citi zen £600 cash-back each year.
According to one US casino boss now
working in Macau, he has 20 whales for
every one you'd get in Vegas.
CROSS THE BRIDGE, in the Cotai
district, is where Macau's
economic miracle
A decade ago, the trade was openly
dominated by Triad mobs. A string of
murders and firebombings before the
1999 handover culminated in an army
clampdown and the arrest of the Triad
kingpin known as Broken Tooth Koi. But
although the odd murder plot or money-
laundering scam has hit the headlines in
the past few years, the junket businesses
are well regulated now. If some retain
Triad Jinks, no one wants to rock a very
profitable boat by any overt show of
muscle. The streets here are safer to walk
than any. Safer perhaps than taking a
cab. Technically, the celebrated Macau
Grand Prix is held every November,
whizzing along a circuit of winding
is most visibly played out. A decade ago, the trade
Just as the Vegas Strip
took over from Downtown, WaS Openly dominated by
so the Cotai Strip is T . d b b . f
re-orienting the gaming r1a mo s, ut a string 0
scene here. While old murders and fire bombings
Macau has run out of
space, casinos in Cotai culminated in the arrest
sprout up like gaudy
mushrooms, thriving in the of the kingpin known as
dark. Last year saw the Broken o o t h Ko1·
opening of the Sands _l 1
Cotai, and two more mega-
developments are now due to be green-lit.
I start at the vast Galaxy Macau, its
entrance lobby dominated by towering
coloured crystals: Superman's Fortress of
Solitude on acid. ' These nine groups of
enchanted crystals will bring you health,
wealth and good fortune,' reads a sign.
I manage to talk my way into the
luxurious top-floor suites reserved for
city streets at speeds of up to 171mph,
but in practice it takes place every time
you step into a taxi.
I brave the drive out to the StarWorld
casino nevertheless, cursing the lack
of rear seat belts, because I have heard
that this is the home of the fabled
high-stakes poker game, the final piece
in my high-roller puzzle. And to my :>-
Visit the Gol Gumbaz.
No secret can ever remain safe inside the Gol Gumbaz, as
every little whisper can be echoed over ten times in the
amazing 'Whispering Gallery'. Crowned by the world's
second largest dome, unsupported by pillars is the tomb
of Muhammed Adil Shah, the then Sultan of Bijapur.
Apart from every little word uttered, this majestic 15th
century structure also echoes the impressive style of the
Deccan architecture. We almost whispered that.
[ ! ] ~ . ~ ~ [ ! ]

· · .11'-"4
• ito..1..- Follow us on:
~ . , , · 3 r.I
[!] ... ...
Nearest Airports:
+ Belgaum + Hubli
Nearest Railway Station:
i Bijapur
Nearest Highway:
Karnataka, South India
www. ka rn atakatourlsm. org

:>- amazement, when I pitch up at the
casino's Poker King Club at 2am, there it is.
HE FIRST CLUE that some special
game is afoot is the presence
of two cute pixie-manga girls
in cheerleader mode: white miniskirts,
white tracksuit tops with 'Poker King'
emblazoned on the back. They hover
decoratively, smiling and waiting to refill
drinks or bring more poker chips.
The players are half-hidden behind
a wooden screen, but through the gap I
recognise Gus Hansen straight away. The
great Dane is a three-time winner of the
World Poker Tour, and I've played against
him myself - gratifyingly, he was knocked
out before me - at the World Series of
Poker Europe in London's Empire casino.
Also at the table are John Juanda, whose
tournament winnings approach £8 million;
the rising British star Sam Trickett; and
Tom Dwan, perhaps the world's most
feared cash player. Ranged against them
are the whales - who can afford to lose
millions and count it as tuition fees.
Stacked in front of each player are
orange tiles worth about £10,000 apiece.
Hansen's not doing so well: he has
'only' about 40 of these, while a couple
of the businessmen have stacks like
the Great Wall of China. The security
guards won' t let me near, so I crane
my neck to see. Hansen pushes half
his stack into the centre: £200,000 on
a single hand. His opponent refl ects,
picks up a pile of chips, reconsiders, then
folds. Hansen lives on.
I try to get the pit boss to pass Hansen
a note, but

success he first has to convert them. He
persuaded the head of Lotus TV, a bouncy
guy in his mid-thirties who's playing in the
big game tonight, to bankroll the feature
film Poker King, in which Chinese-born
pro Johnny Chan appeared. Then came
a weekly poker programme on Lotus TV.
down with about £800, and smilingly loses
the lot to them within half an hour.
Dazed with jet lag, I struggle to hold my
own. Waiting for me back in the splendid
Banyan Tree Macau are all the luxuries
you'd hope for in a casino city: a relaxation
pool in the middle of my suite; blinds that
As to the big
game, Yu won' t
name names,
but says: ' These
may not have
the edge in
skill, but they
are great at
the odds.
They know
how to put
Casinos are protective
of their high rollers'
privacy. I ask if I can
approach a player during
a break, but I'm told: 'No
break.Sometimes they
play for 20 hours straight'
open and close
at the touch
of a button;
on ice; a menu
of pillows. All
And I realise
now what really
goes on with
the high rollers.
The casinos
shower them
with gifts and in a bet you
cannot call. In the past year I' ve seen
a lot of US pros come to take a shot at
this game and go broke.'
It dawns on me that this isn't just a
game of poker. It's a metaphor for the
struggle between China and America
for economic domination. Poker was
born in New Orleans, was taken up the
Mississippi on riverboats and spread
across the USA by the Civil War, until
it was played in every saloon in the land.
It's as American as Clint Eastwood's
drawl, a microcosm of capitalism in
which anyone with the skill and daring
to seize the right opportunity at the
right time can prosper. And now there's
a real cl anger of the Chinese beating
them, quite literally, at their own game.
I sit down
complimentary suites, and they ignore them
all while they gamble through the night.
By Sam, Gus Hansen still hasn' t stood
up, not once. Not surprising when I do the
maths: a five-minute break to spend a
penny would cost him, on average, £10,000.
I can see he's tripled his stack: £800,000
profit in six hours. Me, I'm exhausted and
calling it quits while I've still got my original
£300 stake and the shirt on my back.
HEAD BACK to the Banyan Tree. Not
to sleep, it's too late for that, but to
pack: I'm due to move to the Four
Seasons where, before lunching at its
two-Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant,
I have a much-needed appointment at
the spa. It's pure heaven.
casinos are
of their
high rollers'
privacy. I
ask if I can
approach him
during a break,
but I'm told:
'No break.
It dawns on me that
this isn't just a game of
poker. It's a metaphor for
the struggle between
China and America for
economic domination
at a low-stakes
table to play,
with half an eye
on the screen
separating us
from the big
game, hoping for
a break during
which to say
hi to Hansen.
' Is the pressure all right, sir?' asks the
massage therapist, except that the way
she mixes up the ' r' with an ' I' makes it
sound like: ' Ts the pleasure all right , sir?'
Yes, thank you, I tell her, the crushing
disappointments and miniature triumphs
of hundreds of poker hands melting
from my knotted shoulders. Thank you,
yes, the pleasure's all right.
As far as I know, back at the StarWorld,
the Western sharks and Chinese whales
are locked in sleepless combat still. 0
Sometimes they play for 20 hours straight.'
Later, I'll talk to Winfred Yu, the
former pro who founded the Poker King
Club and manages the high-stakes game.
~ He d•re• to dc"m ; ~ The Ch;ne" don't
r ;y pl•y pn . .. ,., '"to becom"
Poker was only
introduced to Macau's casinos in 2007, but
even in the year since I last played here
the standard has improved perceptibly.
There's a gang of four bright young
Macanese kids in designer outfits who say
they play here all the time, the two girls
immaculately groomed with faux-fur
jackets, cutely decorated fingernails and
hearts of ice. A middle-aged novice sits
Abercrombie & Kent ( +44 845 485 1142; can arrange
a four- night trip to Macau from £1,195 per
person sharing, including return economy
flights from London to Hong Kong, ferry
t ransfer to Macau, two nights at the Banyan
Tree and two nights at the Four Seasons.
152 Conde Nast Travell er May 2013

alta's 7000 years of history has created a
cultural melting pot. From ancient temples,
Roman ruins and medieval castles to
splendid churches and intricate chapels,
at first glance the islands appear to be steeped in the
past. The magnificent fortified capital of Val letta (a
UNESCO World Heritage Site and European Capital
of Culture 2018) with its cobbled streets and old sun-
dappled squares is a history lesson in itself. But there's
also Malta's modern persona: a great cate cul ture,
beach vi be, passion for fiestas and a yachting scene
that gives St Tropez a run for its money.
Malta has a contagious joie de vivre (particularly
during the summer months) with bars, cates and
restaurants brimming over with a mix of islanders and
tourists. Food is integral to the modern Maltese way
of life because it brings together family and friends.
Traditional cuisine is rustic and full of flavour with
many dishes influenced by centuries of occupation but
also by its proximity to Sicily and North Africa Local
delicacies include Lampuki pie (fish pie), Kapunata
(Maltese ratatouille) and rabbit stew. Bar snacks
(tapas-style) include delicious olives, sheep's cheese,
coriander-flavoured sausage and bigilla (a broad bean
pate). Inevitably fish plays a huge part as does pasta

c:..511alta and her islands dish up
an alternative c:..511editerranean.
Time to get away from the norm ...
and the sweet-toothed are in for a treat with semi-
freddo desserts, fried pastry and lots of almonds
washed down with excellent Maltese wine and
strong coffee.
But much of life in the Med is about the great
outdoors and Malta is no different. During winter
and spring the islands are lush and green: a
walker's paradise, its hills carpeted with wild
flowers, fields filled with vegetables, clover,
iris and myrtle. And come summer the islands'
beach culture hits it stride. Beaches range from
luxuriously developed sandy resorts to quiet coves
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
• Valletta, bui l t by the Knights of St john
• The view from the city of Melina
• Scuba diving off Gozo
• Swimming the Blue Lagoon, Comino
l ....
and rocky inlets off the beaten track, and wherever
you go you're never far from a quick dip. The waters
are clean (Malta won second best bathing waters in
the EU while Gozo and Comino came third in Europe's
Quality Coast Awards), calm and perfect for swimming
and snorkelli ng. There is also a growing dive scene
with people realising they don't have to leave t he Med
to find an abundance of reefs, caves and wrecks, plus
excellent visibility. And with the lively beach scene
comes fun for all the family: from a traditional bucket
and spade holiday to action-packed days water-skiing,
sailing, windsurfing, jet skiing and paragliding. Malta
embraces the active lifestyle and many of the hotels
have excel lent facilities both water-based and on land
(rock climbing, golf, tennis and mountain biking are
also popular pastimes). Looking for a quieter take on
beach life? Then head off to places such as Delimara
Point in the south for quiet swimming or join the locals
at Selmun Bay reached by a narrow winding road
bordered by cypresses and rubble walls. There is also a
blossoming spa industry (both independent and hotel-
based), so spa aficionados should watch this space as
a new spa destination hits the luxury travel scene.
For further information go to
Celebrate the end of Winter with a visit to the contemporary
Laurent-Perrier Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show. Failing
that, sit back and relax with a glass of the Champagne
House's iconic Cuvee Rose at The Dorchester's Floral
Tea, where the colours and of this
magnificent garden will be stunningly recreated
Photography Thomas Rohde
f it's spring cimc agai n, it muse be time for
rhllr ulrimllte harbinger of regenerative
blooms, blossoms and aromas, rhe RHS
C helsea Flower Show. T he worl d's most
fa mous horrieulrural extravaganza rakes
place rhi s year from 21-25 t\ lay and forone
parricular encranr ir will mark rhe srarr of a season
dedicared co fragrance, scenes and riotous colour. This
will be the fi freench '1ppearance of the popular
Laurent-Perrier Garden ar Chelsea and tu mark
the occasion rhe famous Champagne I-louse has
appointed award-winning Swedish garden designer,
If !\'ordfjcll, tu create a garden rhar reflects the
romance and bcaury of rhc Champagne region. And
what bcrcer accompaniment tu a budding garden
could rhcre possibly be than a refreshing fl uce of ics
celebrated Champagne?
Nordfjcll's design is still somerhing of a secret but
it will , he has hi nrcd, merge rhe bountiful plcnry of
Champagne with the classically colourful palettes of
an English country garden. This herbaceous entente cordiale is set to reflect the heritage of t he fa mily-run
l ,aurenc-Perrier, now che largest independent Champagne l louse in che world, raking inspirati on from French
landscapi ng. A Swedish influence runs throughout, embodying che essence of Laurene-Perrier - lightness,
freshness and elegance.
For those unable to attend the show, fear nor, for chc Champagne magic of Spri ng will also be re-created in
the regal surrounds of The Promenade at The Dorchester on London's exclusive Park Lane, wi th the heavenly
Laurene-Perrier Floral Afcernoon Tea - which is served every day, and will run concurrentl y wi th che Chelsea
Flower Show from 21-26 May.
The dearl y loved heart of T he Dorchester, T he Promenade, will come ali ve in a kaleidoscope of colourful
flowers, created by in-house designer florist Phil l lammond, while che fragrant provender of che Champagne
garden in Chelsea will be echoed on guests' palates t hrough a coll ection of specially-baked cakes and tart lets,
deli vered on t he hotel's famous porcelai n. Imagi ne for a momenr 'Candied Lemon·, a sponge cake filled wirh
lemon cremeux and a white chocolate flocage;
'Violet 's Garden', a red fruit mousse flavoured with
violet, on a crunchy short bread with a crystallised
viol et garnish; and the 'Lavcndar Basket', a dark
chocolate tarcl ec infused with lavender scene and
decorated with a spun sugar handle. And that is to say
nothing of the hotel's legendary fi nger sandwiches
and warm scones made from a recipe unchanged
for 50 years.
Of course, Laurent-Perrier has the perfect
complement to a Floral Afternoon Tea. For more than
40 years, its Cuvce Rose champagne, in a famously
curvaceous borrle, has been revered by wine lovers
around the world for ics glorious salmon-pink hues
and is one of a rare breed of champagnes co be made
using the unique 'saignee' method. T his gives t he
Champagne ics individual red berry casce and
exceptional freshness.
To add co chis olfactory feast., the scenes of Chelsea
Flower Show wi ll pervade the air at T he Promenade
in the form of limi ted edi tion lavender candles,
created by master perfumer, Roja Dove. Inspired
by the Laurent-Perrier Garden, these excl usive
candles wi ll be avai lable at The Dorchester's
Flower Corner during the week of RHS Chelsea
Flower Show. Here, you'll find Chelsea Flower
Show bouquets, created by Phil Hammond,
avail able also as part of a package including a bottle
of Laurene-Perrier and a Roja scented candle.
So celebrate spring in style this year wi th a
horticultural visit co chc Laurene-Perrier Garden ac
Chelsea, or immerse yourself in che essence of the
season wi th a stay at The Dorchester. Either way,
raise a glass or rwo ofCuvcc Rose co what is bound
to be a time to remember in London.
For more information about The Dorchest er's
Laurent-Perrier Floral Afternoon Tea, or t o make a
booking, contact The Dorchest er on 020 7317 65oi,
online at thedorchester .com/afternoon-tea.
com. For more information on Laurent-Perrier
Champagnes, please visit
Or why noc go t he full Money Don by booking t he 'Chelsea Flower Show with
The Dorchester', which includes an overnight scay for cwo in a deluxe room with
breakfast, and a boccie of Laure ne-Perri er on arrival, rwo tickers co rhe RHS
Chelsea Flower Show and cwo places at the Floral Afternoon Tea. Subject to
availability and only available on 23 May 2013. Price £786 per room, per night,
inclusive of VAT and breakfast.
haring the sunset with a loved one, discovering
your new favourite beach, smiling as you
stretch out on a sun-warmed lounger after
a dip in the pool - these are moments which
become lasting memories and make a holiday
Leading the way in luxury ocean travel since 1989,
Celebrity Cruises has mastered the art of creating
these moments, taking the essence of classic
cruising and subtly redefining it in a contemporary
context. Accustomed to exceeding the demands of
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has created a cutting-edge fleet offering superior
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please, letting Celebrity Cruises take care of the details
whil e they soak up the memories.
Celebrity Cruises' fleet includes five pioneering
Solstice Class ships which boast up to 12 diverse
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have private balconies. Furthermore, each ship is a
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pools and a two-storey AquaSpa by Elemis offering
everything from massages and Medi -Spa treatments
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Also 'standard' aboard every Solstice Class ship
is The Lawn Club, a unique upper deck of real grass,
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your putting or play croquet, while away an afternoon
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barbecued steak and lobster in The Lawn Club Grill.
Or simply enjoy the sensation of grass between
your toes as you're ushered from one captivating
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enjoy the journey as much as the ports of call.
This summer, British travellers are in luck: the
Solstice Class Celebrity Eclipse will be based in
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For more information call 0844 493 2047 or
Have y ou always been
a keen traveller?
When I was a kid we moved
around: Australia, France,
Swit zerland, Hawaii. And as an
actor, I spend most of the year
abroad or in another US state as
they no longer make movies in
Hollywood. Living in hotel rooms
and having hobbies I can do by
myself comes pretty natural now.
Where have y ou just
come back from?
Cartagena in Colombia. They
had a fil m festival down there,
so I planned my trip around that .
We stayed at t he Casablanca. It
really felt first class all the way.
Describe a memory
from a childhood
holiday When we were
livi ng in London, we used to
go skiing twice a year. The first
time was to Davos, near St
Moritz. We weren't prepared
for the grandeur of the
fabulous chateau, because
my family is quite casual,
and we were surrounded by
Europeans who took it very
seriously. We also used to travel
by car from London to North
Africa each year for three
weeks, seeing every cathedral
and museum along the way.
'r lost my
heart to ••• '
A bratwurst sandwich in
Zurich. It was wonderful.
Where in the world
have y ou felt
happiest? At my ranch in
Montana. My folks are from two
very small towns in that state, so
I've gravitated there. I like the
outdoors; I li ke working the land;
I like learning from nature and
animals. My dad and I clear land
and nurt ure it. We just chop
downs things and drag them
around in the truck. It's sort of a
cliche to get a ranch, but I'll tell
you what, it's nice.
Around the world with
Aaron Eckhart
Describe a holiday
disaster My fami ly rented
a houseboat in Australia: it
was mosquito- infested, and
leaking and you couldn't get off.
The star of The Rum Diary and The Dark Knight
and long-time collaborator of playwright
Neil LaBute on hi s favourite places
I have this image of standing
with my two older brothers
on top of this boat, sweating
our asses off with nothi ng
Name a place that most lived
up to the hype Botswana. I went
there on safari with my then girlfriend. We
were in t he middle of the Okavango Delta
- it was just what dreams are made of. We
were woken by elephants, saw lions dining
and loungi ng after a kill, and zebras and
giraffes. But of course, we were safe
(unfortunately, as it would have been
nice to get in a little more danger).
Which is y our f avourite cit y?
Paris is the most beautiful, but New York
is a wonderful walking city; it's so full of
stimuli at every turn. I also have a great
relat ionship with London. I lived in St
George's Hill in Surrey when I was younger,
so I grew up going to the Hammersmith
Odeon to see Eighties hair bands: everybody
from Judas Priest to Def Leppard. And then
I did a play and lived in Marylebone; I used to
walk to the theatre every day, al l along from
Marylebone to Regent Street to Leicester
Square - that was special for me.
Confess to one thing y ou've
take n from a hotel room
Wel l all the little soaps and shampoos, of
course. And I'm sure I have a robe or two.
And some towels. And maybe a pillow.
Hotels are getting so good at beddi ng.
Which is your road
most travelled?
To Paris. I love the
architecture. I
love the f ashion;
I'm a closet f ashion
Where did y ou go on y our :first
holiday without y our parent s ?
When I was 13, I started goi ng on t rips with
15 of my fri ends from school. We went skiing in
Courchevel, we went to Moscow, and we played
sports all over Europe. From a very young age,
my parents Jet us go. In retrospect, it wasn't
the wrong decision, but it was a bold one.
to do, and this beautiful
speedboat comes past, and t hey're al I
drinking beer and listening to music, a nd t hey
just spray all of us and leave us dripping wet.
It was like National Lampoon's Vacation -
and it's made me not want to have a fami ly.
What is the smartest hotel
y ou've ever stayed in?
The Hot el Plaza Athenee in Paris. You're
eati ng breakfast alone t here, and they have
five people standing no more tha n seven
feet from you. One guy is in charge of the
bowl , another is in charge of the coffee cup,
another is in charge of the napkin. And at
the Four Seasons Hotel George Vin Paris
they had a security man foll ow me around
because I dress li ke a bum a nd they t hought
I looked suspicious.
Which f oreign phrase do
y ou hear mo s t oft en? 'C'est pas
possible.' If there's anything you want to do
in France, it's not possible.
Aaron Eckhart's latest film 'Olympus Has Fallen'
is released on 19 April 0
May 2013 Conde Nast Traveller 157
Tracing her family history in South Africa, Emma Brockes discovers places that tourists never see
HERE ARE LOTS OF NICE PLACES to go in South Africa:
the Garden Route, the game parks, the waterfront at
Cape Town. There are the places of cult ural interest,
like Pretoria, or the battlefi elds in KwaZulu-Natal.
And there is the town I am driving through on a sweltering hot
day, about 35km west of Johannesburg. It is not in any tourist
guide, not even the hipster, knock-yourself-out guide to getting
your wallet stolen in every country in the world. Not even the
one for people on a gap year.
It is, rather, a mid-sized mining town, full of funeral parlours
and pawnshops, where nothing of larger interest has ever
happened, and which, when I tell metropolitan South Africans
I've been there, makes them fall about laughi ng: ' Won't you
take us with you to Krugersdorp, next time you go?'
In the past few months I have been to lots of places like this.
My itinerary reads like something you'd come up with after
drinking gin and sticking pins in a map. Witpoortjie, Zwartkoppies,
Ventersdorp, Vereeniging - hard to find, harder to pronounce;
and, like a Jot of Afrikaans, their names sound as if while saying
them you have something stuck in your throat.
Each one is famous, but only to me, so that I have come to
think of what I' m doing as a new category of travel: ego-tourism
- the selection of destinations based solely on their connection
to one's own family tree. It is the vacation equivalent of
Googling oneself and can, perversely, be more revealing of
a place than the standard approach.
the people who live there, to whom, of course, it is not random
at all). It takes you to places so far off the map it practically
constitutes moon travel.
While researching a book on my mother's life, I have crossed
mountain passes and semi-deserts; stood in cemeteries and
outside mean-looking houses, or empty lots where mean-looking
houses once stood. In a rural settlement, I have driven up a
track that ends, abruptly, in fi elds, then backed up and pulled
in at the town's one sign of life, a grim-looking off-licence. It's
not picturesque, but it's anthropologically fascinating.
Even the big cities, tackled through this egotistical filter, have
given up their less obvious sides. In her twenties, my mother lived
in an inner-city area of Johannesburg called Hillbrow, which
tourists these days are discouraged from visiting. I drive down
her old street, past 1950s mansion bl ocks once reserved for
whites only, now home mainly to Nigerian and Zimbabwean
immigrants. It's an arresting summary of how a country can change.
Occasionally, the famil y history coincides with a place of
actual historical significance. My grandparents were married at
the courthouse in Babanango, a dot on the map in KwaZulu-
Natal, where Michael Caine filmed Zulu, and not far from
where the British were defeated, in 1879, at Isandlwana. It is
a relief to do some regular tourism.
Then it's back to the grindstone. In north Durban, I find a
house in a dishevelled-looking neighbourhood. An elderly Indian
woman comes to the door and
Consider it in reverse: a foreign
visitor comes to the UK and
eschews London, Oxford and
Stratford-upon-Avon for, say, Tring,
Heme! Hempstead and BexhilJ-on-
Sea. OK, so they don' t get to see
Anne Hathaway's cottage; but they
do see the Texaco garage on the
My itinerary reads like I've
been drinking gin and sticking
pins in a map: Witpoortjie,
Zwartkoppies, Ventersdorp
regards me with alarm. But
when I explain why I' m here,
she ushers me in. She is called
Amelia and tells me that 30 years
ago the area was redesignated
from white to 'coloured' , which
is how she came to buy the
house from my mother's aunt.
A413, and the Sainsbury's superstore off the ring road. What
more redolent a symbol of how we li ve now?
If it was my dad's past I was seeking, I'd be in Ireland right
now, in a small town called Enniscorthy, where his mother came
from, or Croydon, where he was born.
Forty years from now, if any of my as yet unborn children
decide to schlep around my background, they'll find themselves
mopping their eyes outside Aylesbury High School; crying into
the duck pond at Chalfont St Peter; maybe laying some flowers
at Milton Keynes shopping centre (specificall y, the McDonald's
and the place where they had Santa's grotto every Christmas).
But it's my mother's history I'm chasing, and so here I am,
in what I suppose is called poor white South Africa, in a place
on nobody' s bucket list but mine: a sullen, fl at, rebuked kind
of town, where the air is so hot it is glutinous.
And yet I am happy to be here. The thrilling thing about
ego-tourism is its combination of intense personal meaning
and sheer randomness (I say 'randomness' with apology to
158 Conde Nast Traveller May 2013
We stand together in the back bedroom, staring at the dismal
spot where my mother was born. Nobody knows what to say.
I take some photographs, thank Amelia and leave.
There are harder places than this. What, for example, am I
supposed to do on a bald patch of earth, an hour from Ladysmith,
where my grandfather committed a murder? Or, when I
finally get there, to the town west of Johannesburg, at the spot
where my mother herself drew a gun? I drive up and down
the street, checking the numbers. The house itself is gone; there
is just the sun on the road.
My family history, it transpires, is absurdly dramatic, but even
if it hadn' t been, I suspect these places would still hold power
over me, belonging as they do to a more mythical realm than the
lost city of Z: the life of one's parent before they had you. It's
an over-quoted line, LP Hartley's ' the past is a foreign country',
but in this case it's apt. There is no greater journey. 0
Emma Brockes's book, 'She Left Me the Gun: My Mother's Life
Before Me', is published by Faber at £16.99
f , ...
~ !
The wheel deal
Shift your driving up a gear with these turbo-charged devices. By George Duffield
Finally, someone has figured out that we
just want to use our phones in the car and
nothing else. This product from Devium
replaces the stereo and satnav with a
dock that you plug your iOS or other
phone device into, then everything runs
through it. The genius part is that the
phone holder is easily replaced as you
keep up with the relentless upgrade race,
while the main unit r emains the same.
The Geek is installing one in his next
ride., from about £255
Anyone who has ever tried to tow
anything will know there are two
nightmares: getting the thing connected
to your car and reveTSing. This cute little
number solves both problems. It's a
portable wireless camera with a separate,
hand-held screen. You charge it from
the cigarette lighter and stick it on the
back of your car, so you can see where
the tow ball is as you reverse. Better
yet, put it on the back of your horse box/
boat/caravan and you have a reversing
mirror that works. With its infrared mode,
you can avoid crushing other festival
goers when you arrive after dark. The
Geek likes to avoid accidents where he
can., from about £145
Motorway coffee is an abomination
- a crime against travellers. A court in
the Hague ought to be doing something
about it. With this beauty, you can
make your own espresso while driving,
though the Geek suggests you pull into a
lay-by to avoid spilling it on your trousers., from about £130
A simple little app that uses your location
to find the cheapest petrol station
nearby. Given the crazy fluctuations
in prices between oil companies, this
will pay for itself in one fill-up. iTunes,
£2.99 for an annual subscription 0
May 2013 Conde Nast Traveller 161
MALAYSI A 1s A BRILLIANTLY soft adventure for that's not really the point) given the epic
young ones who are old enough to venture proportions: soaring ceilings, two large
beyond Europe's safety zone, but not quite bedrooms, a walk-in wardrobe and a spa
up to the rough-and-ready thrills of Africa. bath that would fit 15. The wow factor hits
And nowhere offers more tropical fun, along as soon as you walk in (and immediately
with the joy of fresh blue skies and the helps plant that long plane journey in the
feeling of being somewhere far, far away, distant recesses of your brain).
than Langkawi. This is home to The Datai - Children have total freedom to bomb
a hotel that is a ball for the grown-ups (an around the endless grounds on bikes, and the
idyllicall y quiet beach, a stunner of a pool kids' club keeps them blissed-out busy with
and a shop where you' ll all kinds of games, crafts,
want to buy everything). This is a place where catamaran adventures
But for those who like f .
• k d and even a spa evening
to hunker down with am• ies can squaw an with mini mani/pedis
their gang, and squawk splash and Spread OUt and facials. The hotel
and splash and spread, has a clever North/South
the latest fami ly beach houses at the Four divide between families and couples. There's
Seasons ar e a new travel triumph. a bustling famil y waterworld and, at the
You' ll find these vast temples of Malaysian opposite end of the beach, a sexy, 55-metre,
cool right at the edge of the mile-wide beach, quiet pool for adults, with eight curtained-off
with soothing views of the bath-water-warm cabanas so you can snooze while your kids
Andaman Sea. A family of four could stay go on the mangrove safari tour. A perfect
here and rarely see each other (although fami ly sand haven. ANNA PASTERNAK
.... ... :-.. • '" .:- !"' .:i.. ....... """"""..,. • .:-.. • •" ................ .-........

Kenya's Giraffe Manor, just 45 minutes' drive from Nai robi airport , is a
magical start to a family safari t rip. Up t o 12 resident Rothschi ld giraffes ·-4:
... ,
saunter to the house from around ?am each morni ng. Lean down from your '"
bedroom window, marvel at t heir long eyelashes and feed them breakfast ')
in your pyjamas (staff leave buckets of pel lets in your room) . At the Giraffe 1"-
Centre, you can stroke and (if you're feeling brave) kiss the friendly giant s,
and learn more about this endangered species. One of them, Lynn, will i
eat out of your hand for hours: she's pregnant, but so greedy no one realised
for ages. ( J
, - - ... 't ,;. 4 ..,. . "' ..,,. .. ,,S..· ·.,.ti,.r _ • .,....,<.t-
162 Conde Nast Traveller May 2013
:}Rl!:A'.I: :}ALAPA}OS
Taking teenagers to
the Galapagos Islands
is a sure- way
to keep your famil y
holidays going. This
is the most surreal
and exciting wildlife
trip - pelicans, sea
lions, giant turtles,
whales, dolphins,
seals, frigatebirds,
boobies - an endless
Darwin expedition.
The yacht La Pinta,
which sleeps 48
guest s , i s ideal f or
fami l ies , with handy
cabins . The onboard
tour guide s are
amazingly inf ormative
about our planet,
our place within
it and a ll creatures
great and s mall.
Nothing could be
more inspirational .
A three-night
cruise on La Pinta
for a f amil y of
f our cos ts f rom
£ 1,370 per pers on,
including f ull-
board accommodation,
excursions and
transfers. See www.
manti s colle ction. com
for detail s •
V 1 ~ LFE
Jit back and en}'!Y the best of both worlds with a luxury villa
on a James Villas Leisure 7Vfsort
e all love our own home, but most
of us would admit to occasionally
wishing we could change certain
factors. Perhaps we'd move it
somewhere sunnier, add a pool, a stretch of beach
just outside the front door ... or have bedrooms
that magically clean themselves, someone else to
do the cooking, a team of people to keep the kids
entertained. Sound too good to be true? It' s all
possible with a James Villas holiday; your fantasy
house, in a location of your dreams with other
people to do all the hard work.
Voted Favourite Villa Rental Company by
readers of Conde Nast Traveller, a holiday with
James Villas is your chance to live a different life
for a week or two. There are over 2,500 villas
to choose from across over 50 countries, from
familiar favourites such as the Costa del Sol to
more exotic locations such as Morocco and Egypt.
For a truly unforgettable break, choose from
over 1 00 ultra-luxury properties, from architect-
designed beachfront residences on the sandy
beaches of Portugal's Algarve coast, to elegant
villas surrounded by olive groves on the Greek
islands of Crete or Zakynthos.
When you've chosen the location, you can
choose the style of holiday you want. With James
Villas, it's possible to combine the independence
of a villa holiday with all the services and luxuries
of staying in a five-star resort - with their stunning
collection of Leisure Resorts. Spend a week in
one of the luxurious villas in the Grand Rotana
Resort & Spa in the Egyptian resort of Sharm
el Sheikh and you can combine lazy afternoons
by your private pool with pampering sessions in
the elegant Zen Spa, watersports lessons in the
crystal-clear sea or a stroll along the beautiful
beach at nearby Sharks Bay - safe in the
knowledge that younger children will be well
looked after in the resort's own kids club.
Whether you dream of a rustic villa
surrounded by orchards and vineyards, an
elegant townhouse or a beachfront mansion,
James Vil la Holidays offers the chance to live in
your fantasy home with a modern collection of
Leisure Resorts with village-style settings - if
only for a week or two.
Discover the fabulous collection of
handpicked villas at Or
speak to a friendly and knowledgeable James
Villas Travel Adviser on 0800 074 03 11
~ ~
CIRCA 1914
The Poseidonion Grand Hotel is more than just a hotel.
Located in the picturesque island ofSpetses, it was ~ r s t built in 1914, and
is one of the most well known landmarl<s of the island, dominating the
waterfront and the central seafront plaza.
Its legendary verandah, has hosted over the years many political, cultural
and social events and still remains a favorite for people watching and
lounging with a great cocktail in hand!
What sets the Poseidonion Grand Hotel apart is the amazing sense of
history you feel walking through the doors, the unique decor and the warm
hospitality and service.
Poseidonion Grand Hotel, Spetses, Greece
Tel: + 30 22980 74553 • Fax: + 30 22980 74248 • @poseidonion
u c H M 0 R
I ~
1, Princes Street, London - W1B 2AY
Tel. 020 7408 1254 - Fax. 020 7399 3567 -
By Joanna Weinberg
FENNEL IS AN unusual-looking
creature. Its pale-green bulb
gives way to willowy, highl y
scented fronds whose stalks,
eventually, bear sculptural
yellow fl owers, little clusters of
exploding sunshine. In terms
of flavour, it is aniseed's subtler
cousin, lending itself particularly
well (in the form of a fresh
herb) to fi sh dishes, or more
potently as a seed with its
fri ends garlic and chilli , a combination that adds depth and
intensity to all sorts of meat and vegetable dishes.
Fenne l grows wi ld in surprising places. Jn ancient Greece,
the Battle of Marathon was named after the field of fennel
(marathos in Greek) in which it took place. Nowadays, the
plant lines the path of one of the world's great urban walks,
from Beachwood Canyon up to behind the Hollywood
sign in Los Angeles, with its fabulous view over the city of
hopeful dreamers.
In Pakistan and
India, roasted fennel
seeds are chewed to
sweeten breath after
eating - or at least
The stalks bear yellow
flowers, little clusters
of exploding sunshine
that's what we' re told they are for. It's sure ly no coincidence
that they are also a canninative (a substance that encourages
gas expulsion). If you have that purpose in mind but would
prefer a remedy less likely to get stuck in your teeth, put a
teaspoon of seeds in the bottom of a teapot, fill with boiling
water, steep for a few minutes and then strain into cups.
But I like fennel seeds best in their Italian guise, especially
in combination with various kinds of pork. I find it impossible
to walk past a fenne l-scented salami, its bulk studded with the
little seeds, without sampling more than my fair share. But
my favourite sausage-and-fennel moment came some years
ago in a tiny Itali an resta urant in New York's Lower East
Side, above which I lived (with the view and smell of its giant
extractor fan) . The date I was on has been tucked firmly into
the mental compartment labelled ' disaster', but the starter
of wilted bitter leaves tossed with garlic-and-chilli-fried
sausage meat lives on. Here's how to make it.
Fry f ennel seeds, fi nely chopped garlic and chilli fl akes
in olive oil t ill fragrant, t hen add good-quality pork
sausages, squeezed out of t heir skins. Break up the meat
and combine with the oil, frying until golden all over. Strip
kale or cavolo nero from its tough stalks and add to t he
pan, turning to wil t (a good seasonal al ternative would
be blanched purpl e sprouting broccoli). Once everything
is glossy and tender, season to taste, tip onto a plate and
eat with a dollop of sour cream and good crusty bread.
V\At By Malcolm Gluck
deliciously rustic and very
inexpensive dish. So should
not the wine to accompany
it, a hearty red, be of a similar
ilk? The answer has to be
yes. I am very keen, however,
to bring to your attention
another wine that suits the
sausage/fennel/cavolo nero
ensemble perfectly but - and
it's a big but - is considerably
more expensive and far from rustic. Therefore, I shall sing
the praises of both reds (and, to make matters even livelier,
introduce a third). All these wines are Italian, and to acquire
them you must make a trip through the knickers and Y-fronts
of the nation's favourite underwear retailer. Yes, we are
entering the peculiar world of Marks & Spencer, which has
a serious wine department in its larger stores (and online).
Having braved the bras, you will find on the wine shelves
a bottle labelled simply Negroamaro 2011, from Puglia,
the heel of Italy; the name refers to the grape of which it
is composed. It will be a tasty partner for the fennel and
sausage meat because it is full of bustling raspberry and
blackberry fruit - indeed, the wine is berried up to its neck
- and it has a dry fin ish thanks to its abundant tannins. It
costs an extremely reasonable £6.49.
But even more sublime would be Renato Ratti's Barolo
Marcenasco 2008. Once opened, and preferably decanted and
allowed to aerate for two or three hours, an immensely robust
wine emerges with an irresistibly grouchy, uncompromisingly
melancholic fruitiness. It is a toweringly tannic red of richly
wrinkled concentration, almost biscuity in its texture, and
as you sip and explore the myriad flavours within its core
of scented (and
lightly grilled)
blueberries, you
discover hints
of juniper and
almonds. The
Slovenian oak
This robust red has
an irresistibly grouchy,
melancholic fruitiness
in which the wine was partly aged also provides depth. It is
a wine not only for those sausages but also for game dishes
and other potent meats. I t has only one dr awback: it costs
the same as an M&S men's shirt (£27). M&S, however,
a lso stocks Renato Ratti's much cheaper Nebbiolo
Langhe (£11). It is the same grape variety as the
Barolo, but not as crunchily complex or so headily
poetic. At a fami ly supper, I suggest you
give the younger adults the Langhe and
keep the Barolo for yourself: it is strict ly
for mature adults; junior palates require
acclimatisation before venturing into
its giddy, Dantean depths. 0
May 2013 Conde Nast Traveller 167
This month's best new titles By Giles Faden
In September 2011 , Paul Theroux travelled through
Angola with plans to continue up the coast ofvVest
Afri ca. The Last Trai n to Zona Verde: Overland
from Cape Town to Angola (I lamish I l amilton, £20)
doesn' t seem that much ofa stretch at first, wi th
its depiction of Cape Town's luxuries and squatter
camps. But once he gets to Angola, i ts inhabitants
' mule and bru l alised', l hings gel dangerous and
he gels depressed. Fi nally, his credil card maxed oul
through fraud, he doesn' t take the last train to the
zona verde (the bush) but returns to Cape Town.
Thi s capi tulation makes for some of his best writing
on the philosophy of travel. It's an account of failure,
but Theroux's genius shines through on every page.

The sacred and profane
collide li ke never before in
Christopher I sherwood's
My Guru and His Disciple
( Vintage Classics, £8.99),
reissued wilh an inlroduclion
In July 2004, Robert
Macfarlane t ravel led with
his friend, the writer Roger
Deakin, to explore the
holloways of south Dorset .
Holloways are t racks of
pilgrimage, routes to
market , old paths to t he
sea and more. Two years
later, Deakin died. After
anot her intervening
period, Macfarlane
returned to Dorset with
two other friends (artist
Stanley Donwood and
writer Dan Richards)
to retrace t he steps he
had taken with Deaki n.
Thei r JOint account of
this Journey, in drawings
and prose - in fact
t he writing is more like an
incantatory narrat ive
poem or the fragmented
script of a Cocteau fil m -
is col lected in Holloway
(Faber, £14.99). Edgy,
into suicide. Like Anna Karenina, it is
one of the world's great tragedies; but
Madame Bovary is especially touching
in that it is a tragedy on a small scale,
depicted with deadly clarity. Fl aubert
immerses the reader in Emma's world
down to the smallest detai l. The
portrayal of provincial li fe in the town
where the novel is set; the countryside;
the changing seasons; the tastes and
scents of rural France; all come together
to make it one of literature's most
evocative creations. It is also one of
the most accurate portrayals of human
psychology at work, a reflection on
mystical, short : what more
by Simon Callow. Beginning could you ask<
'This masterwork of French realism is
the story of Emma Rouault, a young
and narcissistic bourgeoise raised
on novels and longing for the wild
emotions and exotic trappings of
romance. It foll ows her
progress and decl ine,
through marriage to a dull
man who fail s to realise
her dreams; through a
seri es of disappoi nting love
affairs; through unfulfi lled
motherhood and, finally,
168 Conde Nast Travell er May 2013
the bourgeois condition, the role of
women and the gulf between the
mundane and the worl d of our
expectations, making it as fresh and
rel evant today as it was a century
and a half ago.' Joanne Harris's
latest novel is 'Peaches for Monsieur
Le Cure' (Black Swan, £7. 99)
in 1939, ittellsof l sherwood's
spiritual apprenticeship to
Swami Prabhavananda, the
11 in du pri esl who would guide
him tor the years,
and his Cali forni an li fe dur ing
the same period. Meditation
sessions and abslinence
al ternate wi th depictions of
car ri des with Greta Garbo,
bouts of drinking and sex, and
scripL workshops al MGM.
ome hotels don't j ust offer amazi ng
views of cheir cit y, buc infl uence how
that city is viewed. T he
W Doha introduces all the daring
design, palpable energy and ingenious
innovacion we' ve come to expect from chis
forward-thi nking brand, interlaced wit h che
region's most authentic cultural clements. Step
into a sensory experience: the W Doha is a
hote l that shouts ' \Velcome to wow'.
From the entrance's sweeping arc to the
lobby's curved stairs, ergonomic lines reflect
the smooth beauty of Qatar's famous black
pearls. In the Living Room, 179 hand-blown
lanterns create a uni que acmosphere,
remi niscent of Istanbul's grand Blue Mosque.
In large rooms named in true Vv style
(Spectacular, Marvell ous, Cool Corner Suite,
W Suire, WOW Suite and E WOW suite)
- vibrant colours energised by uber-modern
contrast perfectly with traditional Arabic
elements. As you walk between spectacular
spaces, light merges into darkness, whi le
glorious Arabian sea panoramas contrast with
tranquil private areas, such as souk-like cabanas
ac poolside lounge \Vahm.
J ot onl y is t he \V Doha hot and hip, it is
also very definitely happening. Think
up-and-comi ng incern;1tional DJs spinning the
latest tunes at Crystal & Wahm; an enviable
line-up of fashion, music and design influences;
culinary south-ease Asian and Inrernation;1I
options by three-star Michelin chef Jean-
Georges Vongerichcen, and the only Bl iss Spa
in the region. Not to mention its fabulous
location in t he heart of Doha - where "majesty
meets metropolitan style, art meets
archaeology, history meets haute couture."
From the W Dol1<1 it's buc a shore hop to sandy
dunes, sparkli ng seas, traditional desert
architecture, iconic new edifices, designer
malls, t he spice-infused Bedouin Souq and the
worl d-class Museum of Islamic Art. Not to
mention an array of up-coming events, from
the Doha Tribcca Film Festival to the 2022
FIFA World Cup.
Stopover in Doha en rouce to che Far East,
or stay and soak up the sights and sounds of a
luxury winter sun escape. Five-star Qatar
Airways flies direct from che UK, and from
2013, the Hamad International Ai rport - wit h
its advanced service, unique architecture and
glittering waterside location - will set the scene
perfectly for what's to come.
Be part of all that is happening in Doha.
Seep inside and explore whoteldoh<L
com or call +974 44535000. Reserve a
Marvell ous Room and get an instant
upgrade to a Cool Corner Suite with
complimentary buffec breakfast and late
check our.
C dif-i.o-vi.,
Where are you?
shall ow waters of this Far Eastern
river? There is little fear of your
jaunt being anything but peaceful
as there is no motorised boat traffic
on this tributary of a much longer
437km waterway: the only form
of transport are bamboo rafts
ferrying passengers downriver.
This has become a popular
activity, with visitors beginning their
journey at a 400-year-old stone
bridge and gently drifting for hours
at the whim of the poleman.
The surrounding low-lying river
valley is very fertile, and ideal
for paddy fi elds, although in recent
years farme rs have planted more
fruitbowl-worthy cash crops
including pomelos, tangerines
and mandarin oranges.
The looming misty peaks are
limestone karst, and the craggy
terrain has made this area popula r
with rock climbers who christened
notable spots such as Baby Frog
and Wine Bottle Cliff. ff, when your
cruise ends, you're seeking something
less tranquil, make your way to t he
town 15km away that has become
a buzzing backpacker colony.
Where are you? GRAINNE McBRIDE
To ente r, identify the river a nd count ry
where the phot ograph was ta ke n. Correct
answers will be placed in a random
prize-draw. For competit ion rules and
prize detai ls, please turn t he page
WIN afS,000
French Riviera break
ESCAPE ON AN INDULGENT holiday in the verdant hills of the
Cote d'Azur at five-star Chilteau Saint-Martin & Spa in Vence.
Spectacularly set on the site of a 12th-century fortress, it has
a two-star Michelin restaurant, La Prairie spa and pool. Enter
this month's Where Are You? competition and you could win
a holiday for two here. The prize, worth about £5,000, includes
five nights' accommodation on a bed-and-breakfast basis in
a Junior Suite, return flights from London to Nice and airport
transfers. It is subject to availability and must be taken before
20 October 2013, excluding mid-June to the end of August. For
detaiL5, call +33 4 93 58 02 02 or visit
Identify the location, right, and send
in your ent ry to arrive by 31 May. All
correct entries will also be included
in the Grand Prize draw at t he end of
the current competition period (1
October 2012-30 September 2013).
.,,.,_ --
. , -...... ..,,. · ~ : - : . . .
-. ... - -
The winner of February's Where Are
You? competition is Christine Stacey of
Bracknell in Berkshire, who identified the
picture as Goreme Vall ey in Cappadocia,
Turkey. She wins a holiday in Azerbaijan.
1. Ent ries for Conde Nast Traveller's Where Are You? competition can
be sent on a postcard, by email or online (stati ng your full name,
address and telephone number), and must correctly identify t he
place described according to the instructions given. 2. Entries must
arrive no later t han the last day of the month on this issue's cover.
3. The Where Are You? competit ion is open to readers of Conde
Nast Traveller who are 18 or older on the date of entry, except for
employees of Conde Nast Publications, participating promotional
agencies, contributors to Conde Nast Traveller, and the families of any
of t he above. Entries by post should be sent to: Where Are You?
competition, Conde Nast Traveller, Vogue House, 1 Hanover
Square, London WlS lJU. Email entries should be sent to:
To e nter online and for full terms & conditions,
vis it www.cntravell e -"eJ
dubai's true resort
Nestled within the 5-star Jebel Ali Goll Resort, surrounded by palm trees and lush gardens, lies
Palm Tree Court, a tropical world of tranquillity. Winding walkways, palm trees, lush open
gardens and fish-filled streams complement a pristine 800-metre private beach, with a wellbeing spa.
four temperature-controlled swimming pools, a kids club, creche, teens club and a 9-hole golf course
adding to its allure. Little surprise then, that it's been recognised as the World's Leading Family
Resort by the World Travel Awards.
For more details and reservations, please call 0800 0159 708 or
Terms 8c Conditions apply.
Visit for full T&C's. Price is per person & based on 2 adults sharing, dep
eABTA .f"(r 29 Sep 2013. staying 7 nts Luxury Included• at Sandal Emerald Bay. Great Exuma & Includes
MTANo-'11'E:>lW return flights & In-resort transfers. Pri ces are subject to change but correct at time of going
to pri nt. Offers are subject to validity dates. ·calls cost 5p/ml n plus network extras.
Save up to £3,035 per couple on a 14-night
holiday at Conrad Mal dives Rangali Ts land
RI STI E WHITE-SAND BEACHES, turquoise waters as
far as the eye can see and an overwhelming sense of
calm: nowhere trumps the Maldives for a restorative
break from the everyday. At the glamorous Conrad Maldives
Rangali Island, set on two private islands in the balmy
Indian Ocean, you' ll have a luxurious villa all to yourselves.
As you'd expect, the aquatic life is mesmerising and can
be viewed through the glass-bottomed floor at the overwater
spa while having your chakra rebalanced, or from the world's
first underwater restaurant while sipping a Champagne
cocktail. You can also experience it closer to hand snorkelling
over the excellent house reef, swimming in the lagoon or on
an intrepid voyage in the resort's very own mini submarine.
Conde Nast Traveller readers have the opportunity to
spend 14 nights at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island for the
price of 10, with a complimentary upgrade to half-board
and a sunset fi shing excursion for two. For a Beach Villa in
low season, the offer rate is about £4,125 for two adults, a
saving of £1,650 on the usual price; in high season, the rate
is £7,595, a saving of £3,035. Flights and seaplane transfers
are not included. This offer is valid for travel between 12
May and 25 December 2013, and is subject to availability.
Call the resort on 00 960 668 8680 Q), visit www
or email, quoting Conde Nast
Traveller reader offer
f you are dreaming of blue skies and turquoise seas,
there can be few places more perfectly positioned
to enjoy a spectacular coastline than the Columbia
Beach Resort. Hidden away on the south west coast
of Cyprus and enjoying 340 days of sunshine a year,
the discreetly opulent Columbia Beach Resort sits in
splendour on the Blue Flag two kilometre Pissouri Bay
beach, surrounded by vineyards and orchards, and
dominated by stunning white cliffs.
The hotel, designed to blend seamlessly with the
architectural traditions of the island, is an oasis of
tranquillity and understated luxury. Pretty villas, artfully
arranged around the 80m infinity pool, create a 'home
from home' atmosphere with the delighttul addition of
luxurious Molton Brown products.
Active guests will be spoiled for choice. There
are two squash courts, flood Iii tennis courts, a gym
complete with top class facilities and classes, not to
mention the thrilling watersports on offer. Beginners
and experts alike will relish the mid-strength winds and
warm, clear waters, perfect for windsurfing or for taking
one of the hotel's Hobie Cats out for a high-octane sai l
across the bay.
Relax and unwind after your active day at the hotel's
newly relaunched Spa, Hebe, where guests can choose
from a menu of fabulous products and treatments.
Not only is it Cyprus' only Spa to feature the exclusive
Daniele de Winter products, Hebe Spa uses the
top class Elemis range, as well as creating its own
signature treatments, using local ingredients for a truly
relaxing and indulgent experience.
No five star hotel is complete without fabulous food
and Columbia Beach has an enviable selection of bars
and restaurants creating local, Mediterranean and
international cuisine. Enjoy a snack and expertly mixed
cocktail as the sun sinks over the horizon at one of the
four bars, before you make your way to the stunning
Apollo Taverna, where you can feast on delicious
Cypriot and International specialities while taking in the
splendour of the sea view from the terrace.
This is a truly special hotel - and with Paphos only
four hours flight from the UK, it is also the perfect short
haul choice for an unforgettable spring escape.
For further information visit
or call 00 357 25 833 000
Quote 'Conde Nast Upgrade
Promotion' when booking a
Junior Suite and readers will be
upgraded to an Executive Suite.
To t ake advant age of thi s great
offer. contact; columbia@ or call
00 357 25 833 605
Terms and conditions apply.
For direct bookings made before
30 June 2013
Your travel questions answered by the Conde Nast Traveller team
I have a 24-hour stopove r in Cape Town and I' ve seen
all the tourist sites. What's a new way to do the city?
If you land on a Saturday morning, head directly to
Woodstock. This industrial area might not look like much,
but it's foodie/design heaven. The weekend covered
market has food trucks serving frozen, chocolate-dipped
bananas, and inside, artisanal everything from bread to
beer. It's a see and be seen spot, so go early, t he crowds
Cha rlotte Sincla ir
Cont ribut ing Writ er
can be hectic. On the same site, wander
around t he Old Biscuit Mil l (www. t heold, above, where small shops
by independent designers - African textiles
repurposed into styl ish womenswear at
Kat van Duinen, wicker lanterns at Abode
- do a thriving t rade. The mill also houses
Lu ke Dale- Roberts's innovative and chic
rest aurants the Test Kitchen and the Pot
Luck Club. Next, hi t the beach, but avoid
Camps Bay, with its crowded, slightly trashy
esplanade, and go instead to Llandudno.
It's hell to park and there are no cafes for
miles, but the pay-off is a boulder-strewn
cove that's a locals' secret. Afterwards,
head to the Rumbul li on at the Roundhouse (www. for alfresco
pizzas, DJs spinning tunes and the best view in town.
176 Conde Nast Travell er May 2013
I' ll be spending my wedding anniversary in
London this year and want to spoil myself
at a spa. Which ones do you recommend?
London has an incredible range of options when it
comes to grabbing some pampering downti me. If it's
a facial treat you're after, look to t he Four Seasons
Hot el London at Park Lane (
london) . The t op-floor spa has phenomenal
views stretching from Hyde
Park to the London Eye
and treatments from ESPA,
the Organic Pharmacy,
Omorovicza, Vaishaly and
CACI (the one wi t h the
electronic, lift ing rollers).
Spa days with lunch included
are available, as well as
individual treatments, and
you can book t he private
Sky Suit e if you plan t o bring
your husband along. At t he
Paul a llla ynar d
Managing Editor
Corint hia ( four vast
floors are dedicated to ESPA bliss. The dramat ic
space includes a state- of-the- art gym, Daniel Galvin
hai r studio and huge thermal zone with a black
mosaic steam room. Treatments (from massages to
anti-cellulite therapy) can be combined with lifestyle
consultations and nutritional advice. Finally, take a look
at t he Elemis Day Spa (, a
secret little spot in Mayfair. It does excellent half-hour
sessions wi t h a long list of add-ons to choose from.
Where can I go to chill out at the end of a stay
in Phnom Penh?
Kep, a three- hour drive away, is Cambodia's beach
town that mass tourism forgot. This charming
retreat has an almost deserted (and somewhat
pebbly) beach, or you can catch a ... -------•
boat t o Koh Tonsay, 30 minutes
away; fol low t he t rai l to the west
coast of t he island to get a pat ch
of golden sand all to yourself.
There's not much to see other t han
a handful of mid-cent ury villas,
including boutique hotel Knai
Bang Chatt (www. knai bangchatt.
com; doubles from about £105),
but that's t he point, isn't it? Go
Ha zel Lubbocb.
"' ;,,·
to Kimly rest aurant, at t he fish
market, t o feast on the local
specialit y: fried crab wi t h green
Assi stant Editor , g
pepper from nearby Kampot. Come late afternoon,
the Sai li ng Cl ub, beside t he market, is a great spot
to watch the sun set and sip South Side cocktails.
I'm going to Copenhagen but haven't planned
far enough ahead to bag a table at Noma.
Where else should I try?
Copenhagen has acquired a
worldwide reputation for its
innovative approach to food,
pioneered by the Michelin-
starred Noma chef Rene
Redzepi. But there are plenty
of styli sh - and more
affordable - places to refuel.
Start your day with an espresso
at the cosy Paludan Bog&Cafe Alexalldra Davey
( Editorial Assistant ,
you'll often spy university
students hosting a study
session at this bookshop-brunch spot, borrowing from
the collection of tomes that lines the walls. Later, make
a pit stop at Torvehallerne food hall, next to N121rreport
Station. There you can tuck into traditional open
sandwiches at Hallernes Sm121rrebr121d (www.hallernes.
dk): a classic fiskefilet - breaded plaice with a caper
remoulade - is inexpensive at about £5.20. By night,
the trendy Kmdbyen meatpacking district is the place
to be. Buzzy restaurants such as PatePate (www. serve Danish updates of European dishes
in stylishly industrial settings. Cycle there and dine
on specialities including onglet and veal liver.
I have read everything I can on Jane Goodall's
work in Tanzania. Where's the best place to see
chimpanzees in the wild, preferably from a fairly
comfortable base?
One of the most intriguing and wistful places I've ever
been is Greystoke Mahale camp on lake Tanganyika.
To get there you have to fly from Arusha, stopping at
the Serengeti and Kitavi, followed by an hour in a clunky
old dhow. But what rewards await the intrepid traveller!
The camp sits at the base of dark mountains that rise
sharply from a bright-white sand
beach; the main building is made of
shaggy thatch and battered wood,
and the vibe is beach-shack chilled.
There are 700 wild chimpanzees in
the park, with about 70 habituated to
humans thanks to researchers from
Kyoto University, who've been here
for almost 50 years (Gombe Stream,
Goodall's sanctuary, is further north).
The guides are fantastic and you
can track chimps in the forest
every day to spend an hour in their
Peter Browlle company. It can be heavy going,
A.ssooiat e Edit or but it's worth it. Few experiences
can equal the depth charge of fear
and excitement I felt while watching 20 crazy-busy
chimps snarl, chase, mate and shriek all around me (if
you want calm, go for gorillas). Contact Will Jones at
Journeys by Design ( 0

2) Castle Leslie Estate, Monaghan,
Nestled on 1,000 acres of undulating Irish
count ryside, dotted with ancient woodland and
glittering lakes, Castle Leslie Estate in Monaghan
is one of the last great castle estates still in the
7) The Spread Eagle Hotel & Spa,
West Sussex, England
This is one of England's most historic and oldest
inns. Relax in t he hotel and spa or discover the
beauty of the nearby South Downs National Park
and the old town of Midhurst. Enjoy dinner, bed
hands of its founding family. Just 60 minutes from and breakfast, incl uding a glass of Champagne
Belfast, 80 minutes from Dublin and a million from £99pp.
miles from anywhere. Midweek rates in June, July
and August start from € 1 40 per room.
00 353 47 88100,
3) Kempinski Hotel Barbaros Bay,
Bodrum, Turkey
Kempinski Hotel Barbaros Bay in Bodrum is a
secluded hotel ottering something for everyone:
t ranqui llity, excellent cuisine and spa treatments.
With a fabulous serenity pool, award-winning spa
and stunning views of the Aegean over its own
private bay, this is an unrivalled choice for those
seeking luxurious elegance and style with famous
Turkish hospitality at its best.
00 90 252 311 03 03,
4) Celtic Manor Resort, Newport,
Whether it's an action-packed break or laid-
back getaway, the 5-star Celtic Manor Resort
otters luxury on a grand scale. Set within
2,000 acres, the exceptional facilities include
three championship golf courses including the
2010 Ryder Cup course, two superb spas, six
restaurant s and many outdoor activities. Relax and
unwind from £ 148pp, dinner, bed & breakfast.
01633 413000,
5) 51 Buckingham Gate , Taj
Suites and Residences, London,
01730 816911,
8) The Baker House 1650,
New York, USA
Awarded Conde Nast Johansens Most Excellent
Inn 2012, The Baker House 1650's ivy-covered
walls and formal English gardens create a
distinctive European feel. State-of-the-art
amenities are abound and include three swimming
pools, an inviting spa and newly renovated Baker
Carriage House, which offers additional luxury
00 1 631 324 4081,
9) The Pillars Hotel, Florida, USA
The Pillars was voted number one hotel in Florida
at the 2012 Conde Nast Traveler Readers' Choice
Awards. Ideally situated on the lntracoastal
Waterway it comprises of 18 rooms and offers a
casually elegant and charming experience. Guests
are treated to an exceptional level of service
reminiscent of the finest European boutique inns.
00 1 954 467 9639,
10) One&Only Reethi Rah,
North Male Atoll, Maldives"
Surrounded by the crystal blue Indian Ocean,
this superb all-vil la Maldivian resort otters an
unrivalled level of style, choice and personalised
spa experience. Sleek and spectacular, with
unprecedented privacy, One&Only Reethi Rah
Make the most of a city break to London with four inspires extraordinary journeys for the soul.
nights for the price of three at 51 Buckingham 00 960 664 8800,
Gate. Located j ust moments from Buckingham
Palace, this five AA Red Star hotel is a unique
home-away-from-home with each suite featuring
a fully-equipped kitchen and living area.
020 7769 7766,
6) Ametis Villa, Bali, Indonesia
This brand new luxury lifestyle villa resort in Bali
takes tropical vacations to the next level. Close
to Canggu beach, each of the 14 private vi llas
is a tranquil haven offering exceptional service,
outstanding quality and every home comfort.
00 62 361 844 5567,
Quote 'Johansens/Traveller Promotion' when
making your reservation and you will receive
a complimentary bottle of Champagne and
room upgrade on all bookings. Terms and
conditions apply.
• Not eligible for Reader Offer
'"'!If f f ~ \ ~
For enquiries or reservations, please contact YTL Hotels Travel Centre at or call +60 3 2783 1000
www ·1 ti hot cit. com
www. pangltorlaulrc1ort com
~ o d e r n
Immerse yourself in the buzzing and vibrant
cities of Beijing and Shanghai
rban China is where the
past, present and future
intersect as this vast
nation hunlcs cowards
global supe rpower status.
The contrasting historical and
contemporary narratives of Beijing
and Shanghai - China's two primary
cities - is where the real fun begins.

Beijing's imperial legacy is
underscored by the Forbidden
City and Temple of Heaven, while
Maoism's imprint hangs over
Tiananrnen Square. Luxury living is
a coveted concept for today's Beijing
hipsters, though, and the hotel scene
exemplifies this. Kengo Kuma's The
Opposite House (r/Jeopposilt/lousuom)
fuses minimalism with contemporary
Chinese art, and Aman at Summer
Palace ( occupies
pavilions once reserved for guests of
the Empress Dowager.

The capital's labyrinthine hucong
alleyways arc where timeless
traditions endure in the shadows
of modem skyscrapers. Explore
the hucongs around the Drum
' fower and Houhai Lakes with
Beijing Sideways (beijing.ridn&ays.
com) - traverse the backscreecs in a
1930s-scyle motorbike and sidecar,
or take a sidecar jaunt co the Great
Wall. Fast forward to China's white-
hot contemporary ans scene with
Bespoke Beijing (bespoke-beijing.
com). A private tour of 798 Art
District is hosted by Tom Pattinson,
founder and CEO of Affordable An
China, who gives expcn insights
on Chinese art, along with the
history of this Bauhaus-scyle, former
munitions factory complex. Private
studio visits can also be arranged.

A younger cicy, whose founding
principal was commerce rather than
imperial decree, Shanghai has a
penchant for showiness, apparent
in its angular skycowers and glitzy
boutiques. Scylish stays include
the slick, state-of-the-an Banyan
Tree Shangahi on the Bund
(banyantree.&om) with spectacular
views, and the neo-dassical Waldorf
Astoria Shanghai on the Bund
('lll!aldoifastoria.rom)-which recalls
Shanghai's 1930s golden age when
aockwi8e from
top: suite at
Aman at Summer
Palace; Panorama
Bund Retreat at
Banyan Tree
Shanghai on the
Bund; atrium
warer feature at
The Opposite
House; exterior
of Waldorf Astoria
Shanghai on
it housed the Shanghai Club, an
exclusive retreat for British gentry.

Shanghai's architecrural heritage
includes a fine portfolio of Art Deco
buildings, from the brooding Park
Hotel (.parl!tote/ to the
pencil-slim Bank of China. Shanghai
will host the 2015 World Congress
on Art Deco, and Patrick Cranley,
founder of Historic Shanghai
(jaa/!tistoric.shangAa1), will
be yous Art Deco guide. Architect
Spencer Dodington of Luxury
Concierge (luxury&onciergec!tina.
&om) offers cxpen walks, through old
Shanghai's neighbourhoods and its
futuristic constructs, as well as private
shopping trips for design pieces from
the 'Pearl of the Orienc' heyday.
Hong Kong • Shanghai • Tokyo • Beijing • New York • Ch icago • Be verly Hills • Bangkok • Manila • Paris 2013 • pe n insula. com
andscaped around the
sple ndid Victoria Harbour
and referred co as Asi a's
World Cicy, Hong Kong lives
up co ics prize billing. While
much of its colonial archiceccure
has been razed and re placed with
soaring monuments co constructive
hedonism, Hong Kong's cul rural
traditions remai n intact. Look
beyond the showy fa\'ade and
discover a cit y defined by its
formati ve hi story, as well as
its blazing neon fucurism.

Hong Kong's eclect ic hotel scene
highli ghts chis double-edged
personality. Designer mini malism
and hi gh-rise harbour views define
T h e Upper House (upptrmuse
oom) in Central. Across the water
in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hullett House
(IIJl.lrttlnise.oom) features 10
individually themed suites in a
white-stucco bui lding from 188 1
that previously housed the Mari ne
Police headquarters.
Clockwise from
top: view from
the spa at I be
Peninsula Hong
Suite at Hullett
House; Sky Bridge
at1be Upper
House; Helipad at
The Peninsula
Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Fl ighcseeing is a thrilling way co
appreciate - and phocograph - the
specrncular Hong Kong cicysca pe.
Leave below the spangly malls and
bouciques, and ascend by elevacor
co che he lipad lounge acop che
landmark hoce l T he Peninsula
Hong Kong (poireila.<Dlv. From
here, HeliServices (hdiservices.
romlil) will whisk you through rhc
skies in a twin-engine Eurocopcer
AS3551 Squirrel. The di zzying
fli ght intro showcases Viccoria
Harbour and the waterfront skyli ne,
before heading across the bays and
beaches of che oucl ying islands or
over rhe ease coast farmlands of rhe
New Terricories - and even co the
border with mainland China.

Back on rerra firma, fine cui sine -
compris ing traditional Canconese
fl avours and conte mporary global
dining - is a Hong Kong trademark.
Several big-name chefs, including
Robuehon, Ducasse and Nobu,
have resrnurants here, and Hong
Kong and Macau were joincl y
featured in the second l\'lidldin
REStaurartGuide co be published
in Asia (Tokyo was the first).
Immerse yourself in t he back
streets of Central and Sheung \Van
with Hong Ko n g Foodie Tasting
Tours (hongkongfoodictours.<DlV
ro explore ics gastronomic cul ture
and local fruit and dried seafood
markets. Half-day tours li ft the lid
on the time-honoured preparati ons
and cultural import ance of
Cantonese di shes, such as wanton
noodles, dim s um and egg carts - all
washed down with a poc of Chinese
cha at a traditional teahouse.

If the urban energy becomes
overpowering, cake to the waters
surrounding Hong Kong for
cherapeucic res pire. Spoilt H o ng
Kong (spoilt.rorn!E) takes couples
on a leisurely sunsec cruise, which
will sea rt from Aberdeen pie r. Jump
aboard a deluxe Be neceau yacht,
armed wi ch a c hill ed boccie of
bubbly and some canapcs, and
revel in the coastal diversity of
Deep Wacer Bay, Repulse Bay and
Middle Island as the sun dips over
che fragrant harbour.
Hangzhou is ct hidden treasure rich with culture.
It -is time to d-iscover the real China ...
odern China is a fascinating prospect,
but can prove to be a stressful getaway.
Crowds and traffic are rampant, and air
pollution a hazardous reality. However,
getting back to the country's stately past isn't as
difficult as it might seem. Less than an hour on the
CRH train from bustling Shanghai lies Hangzhou, a
region of natural beauty and one that proudly holds
on to the physical remnants of its past glories. If
you're looking for the mystical China of mountain
temples and silky lakes, you'll find it in the valleys
of Hangzhou.
The ancient capital of the Southern Song Dynasty,
Hangzhou has been the muse for centuries of
poets and artists, and it's easy to see why. The Wulin
Mountains that rise from the shore of West Lake
return you to a time of temples, the largest of which
is Li ngyin, a large complex dotted with pagodas and
Buddha-inhabited grottos. To the north east of the
city, the town of Wuzhen sits on an old canal system,
tempting comparisons with Venice. Known for its
traditional silk dyeing techniques, it is a mesmerisi ng
locale not unlike a kind of living museum. Uneven
pathways give way to arching stone bridges, and the
old wooden houses are crying out to be explored.
While Hangzhou itself is a city of 8.7 million
inhabitants, there's a languorousness to it that sets it
apart from its noisy neighbours. A great way to see
it is on an early-morning bike ride. While some of
the shores of West Lake are off limits to cyclists, the
city is well set up for tourists, and English-speaking
information centres can help you f ind the right routes.
Be sure to stop off at the gardens of the celebrated
Guo's Villa, a great spot for trying some of the
delicious local green tea.
If you're keen to do Hangzhou in style, check in at
the Amanfayun resort. A picturesque retreat fashioned
from the restored remnants of an old village, thi s is a
place of quiet luxury where time slips away from
you, much as it will tend to do throughout your
Hangzhou experience.
For further information visit
he complexi ry of Japanese
culru re and hisrory is hard
ro define by simply visiting
irs maj or rourisr arrracri ons.
The mazy pathway co
understanding modern Japan is best
approached rhrough irs inrrigui ngly
nuanced arc, architecture and
world class cuisine .

Roasti ng a tine modern art
collecrion, The Peninsula
Tokyo (pminslia.rom'fol\)o) also
offers a private Art of Hospitality
experience. A chauffe ured Rolls
Royce ride ro Kyu Asakura House
in Shibuya is followed by a guided
tour of this hi storic mansion. Built
in 1919 in traditional J apanese style,
t he house and gardens evoke a time
rewind co the progressive Taisho
era, known as Japan's ' Jazz Age'.
Afterwards, a private viewing is
offered of the Art Front Gallery's
( prized collect ion of
cont emporary J apanese a rt.

Japan's refined cuisi ne is cherished
worldwide, but its deep root s
in Japanese island culture are
frequently overlooked. So, when
in Tokyo. Locally based Miehi
Travel ( conduct s
private culinary tours co learn about
t he ingredients, preparat ions and
cul tural influences of favourite
dishes. En route, rhe cour visirs
T ~ u k i j i Fish Market, one of the
world's largest seafood markets,
a nd a local sushi stand for ' fresh-
co-plate' sampli ng. Next scop, via
water taxi, is Senso-ji temple and
Clockwise from top: Japanese cuisine
at the Ryokan Collection; the pool and
Deluxe Suite Jiving room both at The
Peninsula Tokoyo; Ryokan CoUection
Take a culinary and cultural tour of modern Japan, to
understand its complex and extraordinary roots
the nearby delicacy stalls in Asakusa
sell ing unagi (eels) and shabu-shabu
(beef horpor). T he cour cul minares
in upmarket Ginza, for a browse
around its gourmet food scores.

The beautiful gardens and temples
of Kyoto meri t an extended stay and
an explorarion of t he compelling
hi scory and culture. Lux ury Kyoto
(h.1x1.111k) connects visitors
with exclusive private tours t hat
e ngage them with traditional arts,
crafts and cui sine. Entertainment in
Kyoto is synonymous wit h maiko -
you ng women who undergo a long
training period co learn the art of
wearing a kimono, dist inctive whi te
makeup and Aoral hair decorations,
and delivering omotenashi (Japanese
hospitali ty). A pri vate maiko-hosted
ochaya-asobi (reahouse banquer)
features Kyoto-style c ui si ne,
cultural dance performances and
games, as well as a commemorarive
phoco opportunity.

Japanese hospitality is c losely
aligned wi th t he inspirati ons of
nature, so sraying in a centuries-old
ryokan is a bucket list staple of
many travellers. Relax and unwind
amid divi ne pastoral la ndscapes,
cake a rejuvenating soak in a
steaming onscn, and savour kaiscki
haure c uisi ne served by kimono-
wearing staff. Choose your u lt imate
Japanese abode from the Ry okan
Coll ection (ryol<
of 29 t radi tional inns count rywide.
P rivate cul tural tours are also
offered, including an exploration of
Kyoro's lesser know remples and an
opportunity to meet with Buddhist
monks to a sceni c tour of Kobe
and Awajishima, an island ric h in
Japanese mythol ogy and home ro
Izanagi, t he oldest shrine in J apan .
Relax. and uru.vind amid divine pastoral
landscapes, take a rejuvenating soak in a steaming
onsen, and savour kaiseki haute cuisine




























fcen considered a
sropover desrinarion
for brand shopping,
Singapore Sling-
sipping at Raffles and
hi gh-stake gambling, Singapore's
narural assets can be ove rl ooked.
Bounteous tropical greenery, whi ch
flourishes in the equarorial climate
wit h hi gh rainfall, adds colour and
vibrancy ro a d iscincrl y 21 sc-century
urban backdrop, where avant

Yes, there is high life and hedonism - but
there is also magnificent, tropical beauty
garde archicecrure merges wirh
resrored Chinese Malay, Indian and
neoclassical colonial bui ldings.

Ope ned in 20 12 on a coascal
promonrory excending inro Marina
Bay, the 121-hccrnrc Gardens
by the Bay (wcknsll}tlmy. is a funky updace on che
botani cal garden formar. Take
rime ro experience che cool-dry
cli marc Flower Dome, Cloud
Foresc Conservarory, and che 18
'supertree' vcrci cal gardens char
scand up ro SO-metres high, covered
wi rh 200 plane and fern species and
connccced by an aerial wal kway.
.. Bounteous tropical greenery flourishes in
the equatorial climate with hiqn rainfall, and adds
vibrancy to a 21st-century urban backdrop
Pollen (pollmromsg), wirhin che
grounds, serves modern European
cuisi ne by acclaimed Bricish chef
Jason Arhercon in rhe Flower Dome.

More cradicional garde n aficionados
wi ll relish a visit ro Singapore
Botanic Gardens (,
a dcl ighcful green space wichin
walking distance of rhe brand-
saru rated malls of Orchard Road.
Among chc accraccions is chc sublime
National Orchid Garden, where
more chan 1,000 unique species
of orchids - incl udi ng Vanda Miss
Joaquim, Singapore's nacional flower
- are displayed. For early risers,
Urbane Noma ds (urlDn.nllmd<i.
rom) can arrange a morning cai chi
class in rhe gardens, followed by an
orga ni c picnic breakfast.

Curring-edge artiscic expression is nor
usuall y associated wirh Singapore 's
Clockwise from top: the rooftop jacuzzi
and main lobby of The Fullerton Bay Hotel;
concert in the park at Singapore Botanic
Gardens; exterior of Pollen restaurant
rather staid image - bur Gillman
somheasc of che ciry, may change rhi s
percepcion. Originally built in 1936 as a
Rricish army barracks, che whicewashed
buildings have been converted co house
an eclectic cluster of contemporary
arc g,11Ic rics from 10 councrics. These
include ew York-based Sundaram
Tagore, Berlin's Michael Janssen
Gallery, Mi zuma Gallery from Tokyo
and Shanghai's ShangHarr.

Singapore boasts several srylish pillows
on which to rest a travel-weary head.
The sumpruous Fullerton Bay Hotel
(flilerto<mJh:Jtd.ooni) ac Collyer Quay
is t he sassy s ibling of the Fullerton
Hotel, and ics 'lounge ccrrace', by
acclaimed designer Andre Fu.
II of t he hotels and resorts in the Banyan
Tree collection exude chic glamour - which
is just one reason it often tops honeymoon
wish lists. Elegant Resorts has picked two
romantic retreats in Thailand - ideal to combine on
one holiday or to enjoy on their own, and perfect for
looking uber-glamorous in.
One of the sexiest Banyan Tree properties has
to be Banyan Tree Bangkok. The city itself oozes
confidence and energy, and amid this vibrant capital
is a sanctuary that is sublime in every way. A tower
of luxury, Banyan Tree's 61 floors feel like a James
Bond film with super-sleek interiors decked
out in natural wood, warm silk and floor-to-ceiling
windows. The rooms and suites are enormous
(the smallest checks in at 48 square metres); the
bathrooms heavenly; and the views are arguably the
best in Bangkok. Banyan Tree spas are addictive and
Bangkok is no different: particularly after the Master
Therapist Experience or Rainmist treatment. But
the hottest ticket in town has to be cocktails at the
rooftop Moon Bar, followed by Vertigo, the place t o
eat (and be seen). Other places to dress for dinner
are Bai Yun for contemporary Chinese, exquisite
Thai at Saffron and melt-in-the-mouth Japanese at
Taihei. The fashion cue here is chic and bold - the
new Dye-to-Order dresses from Ghost located at
The Village at Westfield London go perfectly with
killer heels. Unleash your inner Carrie Bradshaw
and don't hold back.
After the heady heights of Banyan Tree Bangkok,
Elegant Resorts recommends Banyan Tree Samui
for soaking up the sun in style. This is all -villa
territory, with individual havens cascadi ng down a
tropical hillside to a private beach below. Pools are
mandatory, privacy is fierce, and the stunning villas
conjure up the ambience of a romantic cocoon.
The award-winning Banyan Tree Spa here also
offers an utterly blissful Rainforest hydrotherapy
spa, a hard- to-beat pampering double act. Food for

Order coll ection j
offers stunning !,',,.
dresses in several
sizes, styles and
colours, allowing l
you to choose your
perfect, 'dyed-to- i
order' dress for i
some seriously
............ ...I
thought comes courtesy of Saffron with its exquisite
Thai dishes, fiery cocktails and wonderful views. A
week here is like living in a dreamy island bubble. On
the fashion front, the word on the street from Ghost is
to go sexy and exotic. Suitcases bound for Koh Samui
should include trendy beachwear and colourful bikinis.
For dinner, splash out on bright maxi dresses and a
vibrant Dye-to-Order number. Also, pack good walking
shoes and on-trend boating attire for exploring the
surrounding area in style.
Visit or call
01244 897 502 for more information. Book your
2013 Banyan Tree escape with Elegant Resorts
and you could win a stunning Dye-to-Order
dress from Ghost at The Village at Westfield
London worth up to £195. Quote 'Westfield'.
! Channel your inner glamour on a 10 night Thailand trip !
I with Elegant Resorts from £2,465 per person.• I
; This luxury holiday incl udes three nights at Banyan ;
' ::",:";',:;;';: :.:.:;:"" T'" !,'',_,I
Celebrati ng 25 years in t he luxury travel business, award-
winning tour operator Elegant Resorts conti nues to deliver
global holidays t hat go above and beyond expectation. 1,'.,
· subject 10 availability and elate of travet, offer is based on r.vo guests
sharing Ctnd includes flights and transfers
! ................................. , ... _,,, ............. ,_,._,, ............................................... .!
South, Korea
Go Gangnam style -Seoul's party
hotspot, or head for green Jeju
pop scar named Psy,
dancing as if on
horseback, has bui lt
a planerary buzz for
Seoul's upmarket
Gangnam di strict. !cs neon-lie
boutiques, restaurants and clubs are
a partying hotspot, e ven if Psy was
actual ly mocking their oscencacion.
Gi ving concexc co Seoul 's global
credibility jump is The Seoul
Museum of H ist ory ( llIHllll
St', which houses a fascinating
collection of ancie nt art ifacts and
treasures, plus exhibitions of the
capital under Japanese occupation,
posrwar induscrialisarion and, of
course, Gangnam development.

Standing at t he margin of hiscory
is a rare thrill. The De militarised
Zone, or DMZ, separat ing Norch
and South Korea, is known as the
Grear Divide. T he cwo nat ions
are techni cally scill ac war, and a
captivating day trip from Seoul
bri ngs visitors up close and personal
with strategic global relations in
act ion. DMZ Tours (dmzllllrS.00111)
.. The island's Leading hotel provides guided
tours to picturesque spots used for filming South
Korea's romance-laden soap operas and movies
and Korean Touri sm (visitkorm. operate compelling trips co see
infiltration tunne ls dug beneat h the
DMZ and rhe infamous Freedom
Bridge, used co trade prisoners.
The highlight is squeezing past
che armed face-off between Souch
and North Korean soldiers at
Panmunjeom co stand on North
Korean soil inside t he Conference
Room - a small hue straddling
che borde rline where official
negotiations cake place.

For a more naruraliscic Korean
perspect ive, fly south co che
untamed beaucy of Jej u Island .
Comprising more chan 350 dormant
volcanoes, Jeju is dominated by
Mount Halla, considered both a
cherished landmark and che island's
spiritual heart. Jeju is thought
once co have been pare of the
Korean Peni nsula, bur a volcanic
explosion several thousand years
ago blasted it a pare. The island's
leading hote l The Shilla (sfilla.nrt)
provi des guided cours co picturesque
spots used for fi lming South Korea's
romance-laden soap operas and
movies - which are wildly popular
across Asia - including Scopj ikoji,
a rugged rocky cape, Cheonjiyeon
\Vacerfall and che volcanic caves and
rustic coastal scenery of Udo Island.

For an offbeat reinterprecacion
of Jeju nature, cake time co visit
The S pirited Garden at Bunjae
A r tpi a
Local farmer Bum-young Sung
has de dicated most of his life co
creating one of t he world's largest
bonsai gardens, renowned for its
beautiful and tranqui l landscape.
T he approachable owner - now a
famous local celebrity - can be found
most days tending his wi ndswe pt
rockeries and arci sric topiary
creati ons, and is happy ro s hare a
cup of gree n Cea in the teahouse co
discuss che numerous preside nts and
prime ministers who have visited his
'Garden of Peace' since it opened co
che public in 1992.
Clockwise from top: Seoul Floating
Island; the lobby of TheShillaJeju; exterior
of The Seoul Museum of History; a suite at
The Shill a J eju

Eat street f ood in Kuala Lumpur, and stay
in a heritage-themed hotel in Georgetown
uala Lumpur only gained
ciry sratus in 1972, bur
skycowcr conscruccion,
overhead highways and
glassy malls mark ir as an
e merging South East Asian 'Tiger'
ciry. Sneak between rhe high-rises
and you' ll discover delicious street
food infused with Chinese, Malay
and Indian flavours. Follow rhe
he ritage walking trail from Merdeka
Square, raking in rhe 1897 Moghul-
scyle Sultan Abdul Samad Ruilding
and Tudor li nes of the 1884 Royal
Selangor club, as well as Arr Deco
shop-houses and Ruddhisc and
Hindu temples.

I n rhe 1930s, rhe neoclassical
Horel Majest ic, opposite the
Moorish former rai lway srarion,
was among Southeast Asia's fi nest
hore ls. Ir reope ned in I are 2012
as T he Maj estic Hote l ()tlmtel.s.
oorr\I, with 300 classical rooms, and
an impressive Arr Deco spa. Villa
Samadhi (villasarrodhi.rommy)
in rhe diplomat ic quarter is a
Zen-infused urban retreat wirh
thatched-roof suites adorned by
imported Thai furnishings.

For a nature-based city escape, Villa
Samadhi arranges limousi ne rransfers
for rhe 30-minure dri ve co Bukit
Lagong Forest R eserve (frimgov.
n") on rhe ourskirrs of rhe capital.
Inside the reserve, a network of trails
winds through the verdant rainforest
and wetlands char provide a natural
habitat to monkeys, li zards and
tropical birds. More challengi ng is
the I SO-metre long Canopy Wal k on
a rope bridge spanning the treetops,
and for hard-core adventurers there's
a 30km mountain biking track.

Slower paced rhan Kuala Lumpur,
rhe UNESCO World Heritage
city of Georgetown, on the island
of Pe nang, is renowned for irs
colourful coloni al mansions, rascy
st reet snacks, mosques and Chinese
temples. Georgerown also boasts
top-notch, heritage-themed hotels,
such as Macalist er Mansion
Clockwise from top: Macalister
Mansion main entrance; the pool area at
Villa Samadhi; reception at Macalister
Mansion; suite at The Majestic Hotel
a ccntury-
old Rricish manor redesigned
with contemporary comforts and
sculptures by local arrisrs .

Penang was an original Straits
Sertlemenr, along wirh Singapore
and Malacca, and irs Malay, Chinese
and I ndian cul tures - interwoven
by Rritish colonial infl uence - are
engagingly presented at the Penang
Museum (pnuyn.m.ungov.n").
Full y briefed with local context,
embark on a guided rour ofrhe
cobalr blue C h eong Fatt Tze
Mansion (dloofYalttzmnnsion.coni).
Commissioned in the 1880s by a
rags-co-riches Chinese merchanr,
chis beautifull y rescored mansion
was built accordi ng to feng shui
principles by arrisans from China.
The begui ling stories surrounding
its construction, painted Cantonese
larrices, Arr Nouveau srai ned glass
and irs owner's business dealings,
are pure soap opera.
idden away in its own tropical world, this
boutique resort of just 24 villas enters a
whole new stratosphere of luxury. Indulgent
to the core, it has quickly established itself
on the celebrity travel circuit and is perfect for couples
looking for that once-in-a-lifetime hotel experience.
With its sister resort, Banyan Tree Phuket next door,
DoublePool Vi llas is a stand-alone retreat where its
villas are designed purely for romance, cocooning
you away from the madding crowd. Unsurprisingly
it is most popular with couples and honeymooners,
(although families seeking utter exclusivity do book
into the two and three bedroom villas). The resort
has been beautifully designed in a village style and
the villas (as its name suggests) come with not one,
but two private pools. The first literally surrounds the
bed while the second nestles into stunning tropical
gardens. Beautiful Thai-inspired interiors are larger
than many homes and the floating glass-walled
master bedroom comes complete with direct access
from the bed to the wading pool, bathrooms are vast
and seem to have two of everything, the gorgeous
living room has a large daybed (as well as wine fridge)
and little touches such as shimmery pool lights all add
to the magical ambience.
Within each luxury sanctuary comes your very own
Villa Host, a personal butler on speed dial 24/7 to
ensure a finger never has to be lifted. Breakfast is
cooked in the private pant ry and served whenever,
wherever. From frui t platters and freshly baked
pastries to fresh eggs and smoked bacon, days get
off to a good start. A traditional coffee man visits daily
with flasks of delicious brew that can be mixed Thai
style with sweet cream or taken with a touch of mi lk.
Your Vi lla Host can whisk up your favourite cocktail on
demand, arrange as many in-villa spa treatments as
you desire, organise restaurant bookings or, if you can
tear yourself away from paradise, island excursions.
Guests also have free run of the neighbouring Banyan
Tree Phuket with its tennis courts, golf course, yoga,
award-winning spa and exceptional restaurants, and
the beach of Bang Tao Bay is just a stroll away. Or just
choose never to step foot out of the DoublePool Villa
bubble and your Villa Host can organise in-villa dining
and barbecues.
Redefining luxury and privacy, DoublePool Villas
by Banyan Tree definitely epitomises quintessential
high life, a sanctuary in every sense of the word and
Phuket's most romanti c retreat.

l For further information visit l

he golden roofed palaces
and rem pies of Bangkok,
known locally as rhe Ciry
of Angels, sir side-by-
side wit h some of Asia's
sleekest shops and most captivating
nightlife. Bangkok's cui si ne - all
spicy, sour, sweet Aavours and
fragrances - is legendary, and
glamorous botels such as The
Sukothai, Bangkok (&Jldlothai.
oom) - a central Thai-st yle boutique
hotel wit h extraordinary ornamental
gardens - arc t he envy of many
cities rhe world over.
Journey back in time aboard the
Anantara Song or Anantara
Dream, two converted te ak rice
barges • for
a romantic journey along rhe Chao
Phraya - known as the ' Ri ver of
Kings' . The lifeblood of the modern
Thai capital, rhe river rrip meanders
past the Grand Palace and Temple
of Dawn, and conti nues leisurely
rowards t he ancient Siamese capital
Ayuthaya, ro archaeological si tes and
re ligious monuments from irs four
centuries as t he seat of Thai royalty.
Thailand's spiriruall y minded
second ciry, Chiang Mai, boasts
300 Buddhist temples, many
daring from rhe 13th ce nrury,
plus spectacular forested scenery,
trekking, rafting, and elephant
ridi ng. 137 P illars H ou se
( occupies
a black Indo-Porruguese sryle
reak house dati ng back co 1889.
Tr offers pri vate guided visits to
sceni c rem pies of rhe for mer Lanna
Kingdom, as well as Wat Phrathar
Doi Suthep, a mountainside temple
considered a sacred sire by rhe
T hai people. In addition, T he
Kitchen, housed in a teak pavilion,
hoses classes for learning how
co cook fragrant northern
Thai cuisine.
Four hours drive from Chiang Mai,
at the convergence of the Thailand,
Laos and Myanmar borders, is rhe
remote Golden Triangle wilderness
region. Here, Four Seasons Tented
C amp Golden Triangle (fotrSm'OO'i.
supe r-glamp rents wirh hardwood
floors and handcrafted furni shings.
The resort shares the hillside
bamboo j ungle with an elephant
rehabi li tation reserve. Embark on a
foraging walk, visit remote temples
and, besr of all, learn ro ride an
elephant mahout-style, then swing
into rhe j ungle at sunrise.
Clockwise from
top: elephants at
Four Seasons
Tented Camp
Golden Triangle;
outdoor shower at
137 Pillars House;
Chedi pond at
The Sukothai
All Points East (allpoirtseN-COltj)
implores tri ppers co bri ng t he ir
camera, tripod and spare memory
cards for its all-encompassing
T hai land phorographic rours,
whi ch are led by expe rienced
travel snapper Gary Latham. The
shurre rbug journeys through one of
Southeast Asia's mosr phocogeni c
countries stare in Bangkok, then
head ro rhe ruined, ancient ciry of
Sukhothai and Chi ang Mai, before
goi ng off the beaten track inco
rhe mist-shrouded mounrains and
forest s and remore hi ll-tribe vi llages
of rhe Golden Triangle.
he re do you begin
with 7,107 beauriful
islands near che
Equator? Ry its
own admission, the
Philippines under-promoces icself
as a desti nation, so ics wonderful
beaches, coral reefs, vibrant fescivals
and bio-diverse landscapes remain
comparatively uncrowded.

Manila is che gaceway co che
islands. Whether lingering awhile
in rhe capirnl or scaying en route
co somewhere else, che 280-room
Fainnont Mak ati C ity (fainmri.
rom'mtkati), wich irs Willow Scream
Spa, pal m-Cree-fringed swi mming
pool and Long Bar shared with
che adjoining Raffles Makaci, is
a relaxing retreat in the business
di srricr. If you have cime ro spare
in t he capical, .Teepney Tours
(jelplll'.ltours.oom) are a fun way ro
explore Incramuros, che Spanish-
bui lc old medieval city of Manila
with photogenic churches, colonial
houses and cobblesrones plazas.

Descri bed by UNESCO as "a well-
preserved example of a European
crading rown," the 16t h-cencry
ciry of Vigan blends colonial-era

Islands bursting with stunning, serene
beaches and bio-diverse landscapes
Spanish, Chinese and narive
Filipino inAuences. Ser our in
classic Spanish sryle, rhe cicy's
main streets converge on the
picruresque cencral plaza. A day
rour of\ligan can be combined
wich a stay in one of seven
salvaged-wood-and-scone villas
furni shed wich vintage Tl ocano
furn icure ar Sitio Remedios
(sitioranrli<&ph), a seaside resorc
in a reconstructed village wirhin
rhe cown of Currimao. Then visi r
che embalmed body, displayed in
a glass coffin, of former dicracor
Ferdinand Marcos and his wife
Ime lda - ac che Marcos's famil y
home in the small cown Barne.

Clockwise from
top: the main
pool at Abaca
Resort; Makati
City at dusk; bath-
room at Fainnont
Makati City
Voced as one of rhe seven new
wonders of nacure, P uerto
P rineesa National Park (purto-
in che provi nce
of Pala wan, is prized for its jagged
limescone karsrs and 8.Zkm long
subterranean river. The ourscanding
biodiversity encapsulares an encire
ecosyscem and is famed for ics
d iverse bird life. Afcer all char
exploring, it 's rime co chill our.
A baca Resort (ahlcaresortoom) is a
tropical, bourique hideaway on the
oceanfront ar Maccan Island, wirh a
sumptuous s pa and award-winning
Californi a-Medit erranean resraurant.
Be at the Centre of it All
Pettiway 10 AdvenWN, Fun & FO<IUne Cotat
Jared by 2020 ro hose rhe
world's rhird-callesc bui lding
- scanding 638 mc rrcs high -
Jakarra's freneric energy and
lively nightlife and dining
scenes me ri c exploracion. T he vase
archaeological and ethnography
collections of che Nationa l
Museum (
provide a useful inrroduccion co
che world's largest archipelago,
comprising l 7,508 is lands.
Indonesian concemporary arr has
been maki ng waves of lace, and Art
Seasons GaUery
mm) and Ark Gele rie
showcase che brighcesc local
local culrnre wirh a privace Javanese
dinner ac Pecci Solo, a rescauranr
housed in a tradit ional teakwood
house, and a scay ac d'Oma h Hotel
()og}akartaaaxmmdation.1D111) in
rhe vi llage ofTembi. The owner,
\Varwick Purser, is an expert on
Yogyakarca 's hisrory and arcs.
Tour mountain villages, party in Jakarta,
or immerse yourself in a thriving art scene
Take a mocorbike cour along
Yogyakarca's charming back roads
and mountain vi llages. Visic lmogiri
village, where traditional batik
designs are made wich narnral dyes,
and Mendm, a temple char enshrines
chc full y incacc Buddha sracuc ac
Borobudur. Ac firsc lighr, Soma's
founder, for mer T V hose Criscy
Elmcndorp, will accompany you co
wacch che sun ri se over Borobudur
from chc neighbouring hill of
Menoreh, and chen proceed co rhe
cemple. Finish che tri p ac Selogiyo,
an ancient Hi ndu temple on che
s lopes of Sumbing volcano.
rnlenc. If you are staying a nighc
or {WO, the tradi tional f ndonesian
interiors char reincerprec Majapahic
culrnre and palacial guestrooms
give The Oharmawangsa (tlJe.
che appeal of a
Su lean 's private residence.
A scenic cwo-hour drive from che
capital, Bandung is famed for ics
culcural and arciscic fes tivals, against
an alluring backdrop of Durch
colonial and Arr Deco archicecrnre.
T he cicy is also home ro N uArt
Sculpture Park (nrarta.cml), a
majestic hillside villa and garde n
displayi ng che ecleccic works of
Indonesia's mosc famous sculpture
anise, yoman I uarra. The iconic
sculprures s pan his long career,
and many of che besc pieces are
omspoken social commentaries,
norabl y from rhe era of milirary
dicrarorship. The anise often greets
visirors and is happy ro discuss his
rwo bold publi c arr projeccs, rhe
475-fccr high Garuda Wi snu
Kencana in Bali, and a 196-fee c
open-armed scarne of Noah arop an
ark-s haped hotel overlooking a bay
in Sumatra. Hocfooc ic ro chc fi ne
cicy of Yogyakarca, renowned for ics
classical Javanese culcurc and fine
arr, and che magnificenr 9rh cenrury
Buddhisc monument ac Borobudur.
So ma Journeys
will ease your immers ion inco
Hotfoot it to lJogyakarta, renowned for its
classical Javanese culture and fine art, and the
ma.gniftcent Buddhist monument at Borobudur
from top: the
pool area at The
Borobudur temple
in Yogyakarta;
suite at d'Omah
Hotel; Majapahit
Hall at The
Brand new 5 Star Resort with Stunni ng uninterrupted vi ews of t he Andaman Sea
• 5 Different stat e of the art room types with views to suit your needs
• Located i n tropi cal tranquil i ty wi t h direct access to Nait hon Beach
• Onl y 15 minutes from Phuket Internat ional Airport
• A full range of lei sure acti vities and experiences:
• 2 restaurants • 3 bars • Deli • Yoga
• 3 swimmi ng pool s · Spa • Fitness ·Cooking Cl asses
• Tai Chi • Pi l ates · Kids Club • Free Wi Fi
Vibrant resort for cosmopolitan travellers
Book your reservation at:
T:+66 (0) 76 303 299 - F:+66 (0) 76 303 270
Clockwise from
top: Deluxe Suite
at Shinta Mani;
the pool at Villa
Paradiso; Song
Saa picnic at
Koh Rong island
ambodia's rapidly
gentrifying capi tal
Phnom Penh, and
Siem Reap in the
north - gateway to the
temples of Angkor - arc luri ng lots
of visitors. Phnom Pe nh is a popular
arrival poi nt for its river walks,
fine rescauranrs and sleek hotels,
such as The Governor's House
(govtrnorsho1111en;t), with period and
mod fu rni shings in a redesigned
coloni al mansion, and The Villa
Paradiso (th.'\', an
e legant residence in a Khmer villa.

Despite the crowds, chc angul ar
Angkorian temples around Siem
Reap are always capcivacing,
especially whe n viewed from
above. Helicopters Cambodia
( provides
photo-friendly fl yovers of Angkor
Wac, The Rayon, Hanceay Srei and
float ing vill ages on Tonic Sap Lake,
pl us the less visited hilltop Phnom
Krom te mple chat glows salmon-pink
at sunset. Recencl y refurbished by
scarchi tect Hill He nsley, Shinta Mani
is Siem Rcap's most
decade nr overni ght stay.

Disti nctl y mode rn Asian hospitality
is offered ac Song Saa Private
Island (song;aa.oom) off the
southwest coast. Its 27 t hatched
villas, each with a t errace and pri vate
pool, sic on stilts over the sea and
a forested hillside. Enjoy sple ndid
isolation - che only neighbours
are fishing villages and rainforest
creatures - and indulge mind and
body, or get active and snorke l or
kayak in the clear wate rs, or cake
boar trips co nearby islands.

From its capital Phnom Penh, to the
exquisite temples of Angkor in Siem Reap
Fram Siem Reap, head southwest
co admi re che French-coloni al
archiccccurc of sleepy Haccambang,
and enjoy che undulating counrryside
as you ride the famous Ba mboo
train), a small, motorised plat form
used by farmers co transport produce.

Direct flighrs from che capital
Phnom Pe nh co che coastal town
of Sihanoukvillc provide easy
access for exploring sourhe rn
Cambodia. ABOUTAsia Travel
(ahxda, will cake you
co spoc dolphins off che beaches of
Ream National Park, and zip by
speedboat across paddy-fi elds co che
remoce island of Phnom Da.

One hour's dri ve ease from
Sihanoukvi ll e is the charmingly
s low-mocion co\.vn of Kampor, sec
amid coffee and pepper planracions.
Here, the recentl y renovated The
Columns (tffi.colU1nKcom) hocel is
housed in a French-colonial building
near the riverfront. Daycri ps can
be arranged co Preah Monivong
J acional Park (aka Hokor J acional
Park) co visi t Bokor Hill Station - a
mouncaincop cown of 1920s hotels,
casino and churches built as a
mountaintop enclave.
this polished venue has spectacular
skyline views. Join the convivial
local party, high above Vietnam's
largest city, set to dine, drink and
dance into the early hours.

Ho Chi Minh City's newfound
hedonism is a world away from its
conflict-ravaged 20th century. The
brutal realities of the "American
War" in rhe 1960s and 1970s
are graphically retold through
photos, articles and captured
US mi litary hardware at the War
Remnants Museum. Its equally
compelling counterpart in Hanoi,
the Vietna m Military History
Museum (ttJscr,, also
High life in Ho Chi Minh City, culture in
Hanoi and the beauty of Halong Bay
f a single venue e mbodi es
Vietnam's transforming zeit geist,
it has t o be the lofty C hill
Skybar on
the 26th and 27th Aoors of the
AB Tower in Ho Chi Minh City
(formerly Saigon). Designed by the
team behind Bangkok's Sirocco,
details t he violent struggle to break
free from French colonial rule -
whose legacy remai ns evident in
its cuisine (i ncluding, of course,
delicious coffee and baguettes) and
archirecrure of HCMC and Hanoi.

If prime positioning is important,
Park Hyatt Saigon
hyatt.oonil overlooks the fine Opera
House on central Lam Son Square.
After exploring HCMC's retro
architecture, markets and museums,
the hotel offers an escape from
the city to explore the picruresque
Mekong Delta Tour. Journey into
the surrounding countryside and
terraces rice paddies before boarding
a motorised sampan (wooden boat)
to le isurely cruise along rhe Detra 's
narrow waterways. Sample frui cs
in the shade of a farmer's garden
before navigating small, winding
channels to lunch, where the
speciality di sh is 'elephant car fish'.

Clockwise from top: Halong Bay;
Mekong Delta; the lobby of Park
Hyatt Saigon
Vietnam's capital , the charming
northern city of Hanoi, is also its
cultural heartland. More cerebral
and less hurried than HCMC, its
galleries, heritage courtyards and
pavement cafes implore you to
linger awhile. Abercrombie &
Kent (ablrcronDdittt.oonil will guide
you around its Parisian boulevards
and Chi nese temples by cyclo (a
three-wheel bicycle), taking in a
tradi t ional water puppet show, and
exploring the atmospheric One
Pillar Pagoda.

Then head northeast to sail on the
Emeraude ( a u raude-a-uise;.oonil
around Halong Bay's enigmatic karsc
formations and limestone caves,
created over hundreds of millions
of years. A replica of an early 19th-
century paddle wheel steamer,
Emcraude's modern history began
in 1999, when French entrepreneur
Eric Merlin was rummaging in a
Paris flea marker and unearthed
sepia-ti need postcards of the origi nal
steamer. Today, the Emeraude
recreates those pioneeri ng overnight
cruises through rhe monumental
karscs and islets under the watch of
a French captain.
To explore Asia at its best, begin your journey with us.
www.Toninol I China Toll Free: 400 8625 558
ntil recently, the political
si ruation in Myanmar
and rudimentary
infrastrucrure meant that
only intrepid rrave llers
visired. A reformisr agenda is now
luring camera-toting folk en masse
to this et hereal land of golden
pagodas, ancient ruins and
mist-laced lakes and mountains.
While independem travel is
possible, terrains and timetables
remain irregular, and several tours
take in the highlights .

Built in 1901, The Stra nd
was the well-heeled
residence of choice in old Rangoon
(now Yangon), hosring literary
luminaries such as Kipli ng, Coward
and Orwell, and a timeless glamour
pervades the marbled lounges and
tiled terraces. Executive Chef lai n
Murray, at Yangon's other heritage
horel The Governor 's R esidence
takes guests
ingrediem shoppi ng at a local
market in a 1970s bl ue Mazda taxi,
then returns to the hotel kitchen to
demonstrate how to prepare a local
staple: pickled green tea-leaf salad
with butterbeans, peanuts, sesame,
dried shrimps and chilli.

Yangon's once-grand colonial
arch itecrure is slowly being resrored.
After a stroll around the historic
centre, hai l a cab to Shwedagon, a
2,500-year-old complex of golden
Buddhist stupas. The 98-metre
central srupa gli ms pure gold at
sunset. If you have extra time,
The Strand can arrange a private
excursion to Kyaikhtyo (Golden)
Rock, a 25-feet high granite boulder
shaped like a s rupa, that is perched
on a cliff edge and covered in gold
leaves by Buddhist pilgrims.

The beauty of Burma stretches far
beyond Yangon, and the 1,000-year-
old temple ruins of Bagan arc
esse ntial viewing. Inde pendent
travel opt ions arc two-fold, a onc-
hour flight or a 16-hour jaum on t he
it an endearing experience for rai l

Bagan is integrated into most
Myanmar tours, including
Abercrombie & Kem's 11-day
Burmese Heritage t rip, which
combi nes a starlight temple dinner
at Bagan wi t h an Aycycrwady
ri ver cruise, the sires of Yangon,
pagodas of Mandalay and tranquil
I nle Lake. Balloons Over Bagan
drift rheir hot -ai r
balloons dail y above the Bagan ruins
and Ayayerwady De lta at sunrise
and sunset (From October to
March only).

River journeys are a great way co
traverse Myanmar. I n July, Orient
Express wi ll launch Orcaella, a
Notjustfor the intrepid traveller, Myanmar
is fast-becoming a golden destinationfor all
Bagan Express trai n from Yangon )s
central station. It's a slightly bumpy
ride - certainl y not luxurious - but
priva te cabins can be booked, and
the ti me-warped rural landscapes
of the interior and friendl y locals
bcari ng snacks at each stop make
de luxe SO-passenger rive r cruiser
that will meander the Ayeyarwady
River between Yangon and Bhamo,
or along the less-trave lle d Chindwi n
with onshore experiences
incl uding a candleli t street market
and a monastery housing che Shwe
Sagar Buddha, carved from a single
tru nk of wood.
Clockwise from top left: Balloons Over
Bagan; exterior of The Strand; the pool at
The Governor's Residence
~ ~
Tour operators
<> Abercrombie & Kent
0845 485 1552
<> Ampersand Travel
0207 289 6100
0161 491 7630
Cleveland Collection
devdarxknlhstknqu !k
0207 8-13 3531
Find your way around Asia with these
travel operators and airlines
< Hayes & .Jarvis
W)oo!J!jarvis m11k
0844 855 4488
01244 355 550
0 Kuoni
01306 747 002
Ligh tfoot Travel
(based in Asia for on-
the-ground advice)
Red Savannah
01242 787 800
0207 368 1200
Wendy Wu
0844 875 2-133
British Airways
,) Emirates
> Etihad
!tibacfajr quj{
<> Eva Air
) Korean Air
v J AL
V Malaysia Airlines
"'> Qantas
> Qatar Airways
V Royal Brunei Air
Singapore Airlines
Thai Airways
Vietnam Airlines
Virgin Atlantic
Tea Plantations on
a hazy morning, Cameron
Highlands, Malaysia
'' \' t ""'I\\ f

1 I

Beulah London is an ethical
fashion label which helps provide
a sustainable liveli hood to women
who have come out of t he
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divine. This Purple Zelda dress
would look particularly fabulous
in an exotic setting. £450,
NIGHT CREME from YSL works
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that as of the first morning after
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Exptrts in orthxlortics; Metamorphosis in Parsons Green is the on evtr)hxly's li)l5 wtm it roms
to mtintaining )'OOI" snile. Not only do dry mve tmr vo-y own truni>-suddng dime for little ones rut dry also
off6" imovative tedricps in the treatmtt of adults.
212 Conde Nast Traveller May 2013

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£12. SISU:l "P.\IUS.CO.\I
Struggling wit h jet
lag? The lllumi from
Oregon Scientific
helps you to wake up
naturally by monitoring
your sleep patterns
and gradually waking
you during your
lightest sleep cycle
leaving you feeling well
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RESORTS, part of Starwood
Hotels & Resorts Worldwide
will host the 6th Annual St.
Regis International Cup on 18th
May at Cowdray Park Polo
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UK will see the South American
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May 2013 Conde Nast Traveller 213
Feeling a little jaded post travels?
The Contentment Candle from
Neom includes oils from the South
African buchu plant which smell
incredibly similar to blackcurrant
without any of the nasty synthetics.
Give your hair a boost this spring with
Shu Uemura's Art of Hair new Muroto
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Hair. It will provide strength and
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From RRP £24, 0800 633 5021

.. _
Caorunn gin is infused with
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Caorunn Gin, 50ml pressed
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£70, sldncruticais.m.m
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If you can't make it to America to see the Bulgari:
214 Conde Nast Travell er May 2013
"''"' .
Serpenti Collection exhibition celebrating one of the most
emblematic icons of its timeless style and coinciding with
the Chinese New Year (the year of the snake) make sure
to purchase the stunning book, which commemorates it.
you the perfect retreat in a beaut1tul
tranqua locatioo. This gorgeous hotel 1s al
a.bout comfort, relaxatioo ar.d
views. The hotel accommodat1<>n 1s vaned
and eclectic and the hotel has an enviable
reputation for its suped> food and wines.
For further information, visit or call
01481 832061
Just 45 from central London on
beautiful Osea Island. 6 SpaC100s
apartmwits available separately or together.

Tennis court, saun<l and gym. Cal Joanne

Prov1d1ng luxury accommodation, stunning
loc<ltions and unriv<llted concierge
services, Natural Retreats offer beautiful
places to stay in incredible locations
ac.-oss Europe and the USA. The.-
qomwan Retreat is a hishlight,
villas from 2 to 4 bedrooms with unrivaJled
interiors, private balcodiies 3lld inspiring
views, kx:ated a short drive from

ar.d Lost Gardens of Hefigan. Find out
more today at
+44 (0)8443843166.
BARSHAM BARNS are chic retreats

wrth friends 0r family t0r a special occasion
or ;ust a relaxing break. You C3n 3lso hire
their io house chef who will help make yoor
stay totaly carefree. Sleeps from 4- 14. V1s1t or ring them on
01328 821744 fOf more information.

Website 2012.
Exclusive cherished homes, cosy cottages
and famiiy houses, perfect to enj oy
your precious holiday time.
Sheepskin's service helps yoo tatlor your
break in their seckided, stunning
locations . . . 01865 764087
QUALITY VILLAS in France, Italy and
Morocco, plus ski chal ets in the Alps

Tuse<t6, Umbriai, Mairrakech, Ag<1dir and

specialist :Jvice down to the smallest
detail. SeMces induding chef , transfers
and maid seMCe are arranged.
Tel 01442 870055 or v1Sit
la Baronnie Hotel & Spa••• proposes
some exceptt00aJ packages to give you
the opportunity to discover the charming
lie de RO. In April : 3 nishts st ay, 1 night
offered. In June: compl1mentary breakfast
weekdays ... Private park11g I No
smoking. Tel:+33 546 092 129;
KINVARA SUITES offer holid<ly
apartments with the lU>ruiy of a hotel suite,
the freedom of sett catemg and the

garden in the heart of it is the for more details.
.--- - ....,.--.- -.,...--,,.-., VILLA ROSA HOTEL 4' LAKE GARDA in

combming the touch of an <>kt
neoclassical lakeside villa with a spar1diog
Restaurant, winner of nume.-ous awards.
_ Tel +39 030914 1974
'Iii r . .,
IL 'I · I
, ,. • •• • "') A
. ... ...
P1Ck up a uniquely customised, dassic
VW camper in South West France this
Summer, eacti one with iPod and iPad
pre-loaded with music and games. From
£375 for 7 nights. based on pick up at
Bergerac Airport.
Visit or call
020 7193 9058 .

cuisine, a bar, 3 swimming pools, new
hydro-contact outdoor pool, and enjoys a
4.5 score on Tnp AdviSOf'. Contact detail s:
T: +357 26947750, F: +357 26946049,

L1111assol Cyprus consists of 204 superior
rooms and surtes 11duding deluxe spa
rooms, 4 rest<lurants. 2 bars, 3 swimming
pools, heatth club and gym. T: +357
25323351, E:,
Mykonos Theoxenia. Deluxe. This chic 9'ld
boutique hotcl 11 Mykonos next to the
famous consO!s of 52 delJxe guest
rooms and suites. brooze in bar, the plate
restaurant, breeze oot bat, outdoor swirrmi'lg
pool, fi tness room and treatment rooms. 4.5
:soore on Trip Advs$or. T: +30 228 902
2230, E:

There are superb sea views from high
terraces at this t 1-room, converted
monas tery 1n the small medieval town of
Pisciotta, in the Cilento National Park,
two hours south of the Amalfi coast.
00 39 0974 973792
The boutique hotel Helvetia wit h rt s 16
individually furnished rooms is a real jewel
---=== a
home from home to business travellers,
city explorers and Zurich kwers alike.
Phooe: 0041 (0)44 297 99 98
former convent. Tomtom Surtes - The Old
,- ---... - -..-IP'!

of The contemporaty intenors
ll"IClude onginal artwork and a rooftop
restaurant wrth views of the Bosphorus -
within easy access of the Blue Mosque and
Taksm Square.
+90 212 292 49 49
enchanting IX century residence.
beautrtul y renovated to synthesise culture,
luxury 3lld sty1e. Minutes from Ferarra's
city centre, the 4 suites and 2 double
rooms make for an e1rquisite Renai ssance
luxurious boutique hotel. set inside a
restored 1 ?th·century
townhouse. Perfectly placed 1n the heart
of Marbela's Old Town. Experience this
former artists club with i ts 7 uniquely
styted rooms, restaurant, patios and roof
Tel.: +34 952 900 840.
Marti Istanbul Hotel which is located in
Taksim, the shopping, cultUJal 3lld
commercial heart of the city comprises
spacious guest rooms, dining
meeting facitities and a
Tel: +90-212-987 40 00
LOCANDA ROSSA. Set m the hills of the
Tuscan Maremma at the foot of the
medieval village of Capabio, thi& elegant
buildlOQ wrth 12 rooms and 4 apartments
ha.$ been delicately restored. Surrounded
by an ohve grove of 3.200 trees, locanda
Rossa boasts a trad1t1onal wine bar, spa,

Acanto is known as one of the most
romant!c, intimate and charming boutique
hotels 1n Playa del Carmen. The hotel is

swmming pool, Jacuzzi, sun decks and
chaise lounges. f<x sunbathing. They offer
a cozy Romantic yet famdy fnendly
atmosphere where their expenenced staff
will cater to your every need. They offer 1,
2 and 3 bedroom units.
1 631 882 1986
RIAD KHEIRREDINE. Chatming riad in
the heart of the Medina of Marrakech.
Ital ian management, attention to detail,
all that a traveller can wish in terms of
comfort, sty1e and hospitality with
attention t o each guest., 00212 524
386 364,

and absolute style - since the 1920s.
Offering e)('dusive accommodatioo within
just 25 rooms within 17 ac.-es of
manicured grounds for the world's most
ctiic. boasting 13 acres of private Pacific
island beauty and romance for those
seeking a lu.rury 'castaway' e><penence for
up to 8 guests oo an e)('dusive-use basis.
Tel. +64? 378 5791
' )
"' t e
1. MAGPIE ACCESSORI ES is a luxury accessories label with an ethical sensibil ity. Handcrafted in the
Yorkshire studi o out of the finest locally sourced leathers, they specialize in commissions and work with you
to create exquisite bespoke pieces to meet your requi rements. Personalization is key wit h embossing
available on many items, making them the perfect gift. To view the entire collection visit or call (01142) 756 075 for further
2. MANDARINA SHOES. New India Collection! A vibrant and colourful range of casual loafers, pretty pumps and elegant sl ingbacks in the classic block prints of
Jaipur. Fun, quirky and original. View ful l collection at or call UK 01307 819488 to order. Prices from £85.
3. HANDBAG2HANDBAG is the award winning 11 pocket washable organiser designed for busy women. Each pocket is measured to take all your essentials so
you can find everyt hing in any bas., plus changing bags is done in an instant. The perfect travelli ng companion - wit h a pcx::ket for your passport and boarding card
too. Also makes the perfect gift. Visit and quote TRAV04 on the website to save an additional 10% off before 31/07/13 or call 01344 291120.
4. TUTTABANKEM offer a range of stunning cotton kaftans, tops and warm cotton nighties - the perfect gift for yourself or your loved one. Visit us at or call us for a free catalogue on
01572 717332.
5. Hay fever? Dust or Pet Allergies? Do n't let it spoil your holiday! Apply organic. award-winning HayM ax"' and it traps a proportion of t he pollen (and other airborne al lergens l ike dust and pet
dander) before it gets in. This is a simple preventative measure rather than a cure. HayMaxTM has been proven to t rap pollens. house dust mite and cat allergens. Doctors regularly feature HayMaxTM i n
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406 600. 6. PERILLA. Treat your feet to gorgeous 90% baby alpaca flight/bed socks in sizes x small to men's large. Keep feet at an even temperature on long haul flights and chill y at night destinations.
Website: l"'rilla. or call 01886 853 61 5.
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8. SILKKISS SMOOTH - Straight from the centre of London comes SilkKiss - an online company special ising in luxurious silk pi llowcases for travel. Comfort and a good nights' sleep whilst on the road is not
the only thing a SilkKiss pillowcase offers; sleeping o n t he silky-soft material eliminates frizzy hair and night-t ime knots, and is said to slow t he ageing of your skin. Visit or call 0845 475
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RIAD Flis is '9nowned for its IUl<Ur)I, impeccable osvice and fine rest......m.
Located in the heart of the ancient City of Fez, Ried F96 - Aelais & Ch6teeux has succeeded in
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Its new Spa Rlad F96 by Clnq Mondes, de6lgned by Chltstophe Plltet, Is entirely dedicated to the
relaxation of the body and mind wlll1 a wide range of f\DcUr1ous and lnnovatille spa treatments to
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With spoctaaJlar I/lows of the Modlna and tho Alias Mountalna, Rlad Ria - Rotals & ChAtoaux Is
ldoal to sham romantic moments with the one you love.
5 Deltl Ben Slmane ZeltJtana Fk - Mon>cco
Tel: +212 535 74 1208 Fu: +212 535 7411 43 EnwU: contac:IGll&
Located iust outside Tangier on a
rocky outcrop, The Mirage Hotel has
quickly become known as a leading
hotel for top celebs.
Tel: 00212 539 33 33 31 / 32
Fox: 00212 539 33 34 92
Book a 1rul1
special holiday re1m11 at
\ilia Beige on lhe spectacular Thai
island of Koh Samui and enjoy all-
inclusire delicious Thai food and Spa
treatment and private beach fron1.
Experts in
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to Chi na &
Southeast Asi a
Visit our website for inspiration
or call one of our specialists
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of the island hideaway
www AwayResorts com
A f\:\<I minuks dnve from tk. lown cenl1<' of kmp RNp. Ne1\Utu Dream!- fed) o Thi)
and )hjh)b woclu.Jrtt f{'i.Jlurt·) h"'le ftttpic.ol qorJem. 2 pxJ), a G ounnd Rtl1buronl onJ a
po .,,1h o onJ filn"' u nl l'<.
\/i)if \oOto""""""·n<J\'uluJrt"amuant for mcnl lnfor-m.:1lkm or coll + 55 0 921416<)4
An exquisite contemporary •retreat" for
t he discerning. Luxuriously designed
rooms creat ing a WOW FACTOR ...
Tranquil setting wi th panoramic sea
views. Short walk to t he beach and
minutes from St Tropez. ll
Email . infoOvi
Tel . 0033 617 905 428
Long standing and well respected, we
have 30 years experience in finding the
most beautiful self catering properties
in Tuscany. Contact us now
020 8444 9500
www.i nvitationt
-~ ..... - .
- . ~ ~
We have the finest villas in
the Algarve and Tuscany
ASTA No. L 6737
Tel: 01522 889450
Welcome to Casa Felix, a 12 bedroom 13th century Masia. Just 30 mi nutes
from Barcelona. t he house is t he perfect location for family gatherings. special
celebrations and corporate events.
For more informati on, vi si t or call 0034 93 896 8094
Your perfect view from your perfect holiday villa
St Jean Cap Ferr at, France
The European Villa Specialists info@royalvil
tel +44 (0)207 887 1457 tel +44 (0)753 847 2890
Set amphi theatrically over the cliffs and foll owing the particular
archi tecture of the island. Pegasus Suites & Spa blends in completely
with the uniqueness of the scenery, providing a list of services and
facil ities such as suites with exterior private Jacuzzi. pr ivate Villas. pool
with Caldera vie,v,restaurant.weddi ng ceremonies, Spa and a variety of
treatments to rela:< your body and soul.
Tel: +30 22860 28336 · Fax: +30 22860 28372
View our collection of luxury villas and farmhouses. set in
stunning locations all with private pools and ranging from
2 to 8 bedrooms.
Visitwww. u k for . ~ I reservations,
photo galleries, location maps and floor plans.
...... -
The French Holiday
Chateaux Specialist 0845 389 9582
... .
Set on a dramattc chff top 1n glamorous Santoron1, Astarte Suites boasts milhon·dollar views of
the island's famous caldera Magtc" in the details at Astarte Suites. beginning with the
twinkling Swarovsk1 stones that adorn the ceiling above each suite's Jacuzzi pool, ending with
the personali zed service each guest en1oys Surrounded by soothing shades of white and
stone, guests are sure to find bhss here
Caldera - Akrotl ri I Santorini, 84703 Greece
Tel: +30 22860 83388 Fax: +30 22860 82585
Email: We b: www.asta
Reservations: https://ast
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ......
Your perfect view from your perfect holiday villa
Cap Creus, Catalonia, Spain
The European Villa Specialist s
t el +44 (0)207 887 1457 tel +44 (0)753 847 2890
Elounda, Crete, Greece
Eight Hotels in Portofino and Par.aggi, ""'a wonderful example of the perfect combination of
ancient trndit ion, modem technology and quality of suvicc offc"'d to our guests.
info@ ortofino.ei hdtotels. it h. +39 0185 26991
Bellewe Barbados

.. ·
, .
. ..._ . • .
_., -
Nestled amidst over three acre• or expansive grounds, this charming histo(ic plantation home i•
accessed through private gates at the end or a winding unmru1<ed road BeUevue Estate i• ce11trally
located, lc:leally situated close to all commercial area• and a short drive to west and south coast
beaches The Barbados Yacht Club and the Holders Polo Club are also a short distance
Contact: Paul Astrom·Andrews
Mobile: +44 (0)7860473 111 Email: pau!
are located within historic
listed buildings with
beautifully designed
contemporary interiors in
London, Edinburgh and
Weymouth. They deliver
modern, well-designed
accommodation that
"breaks the mould,"
providing an innovative
and stylish alternative.
Design, service, quality
and comfort are all part of
the philosophy, where a
warm welcome always
awaits you.
For more information, visit
Perfect Stays
,. •ft:
PERFECT STAYS are an exclusive and specialist holiday letting a9e11cy that provides access to a
growing selection of simply stunning and unique holiday homes and villas within Cornwall . Devon
and Somerset and luxury vlnas in Europe If you're seeking luxury accommodation for self catering,
house parties, special occasions, 0< short breaks they have a handpicked collection of holiday
homes Apart from being in superb locations, some holrday homes have swimming poets, hot tubs,
wet rooms, tennis courts and other great facilities All guests have unlimited access to their very
resourceful and Inclusive in·houso conciefge service
Vi sit www.pefiecl st or call 01208 895570
& Dining
I l otel Ranga is a luxury countryside hotel and the only .i star resort in
South Iceland. A celebrity hot spot, top honeymoon desti.narion and
favorite hotel amongst Icelanders. Hotel also offers great facilities
for smaU business meerings. weddings and social gatherings.
Visit www. hote lran or email
emebsse facili ties a. services seven swimming pools, children DOOl pool • lobby bars,
f\vo res1ouronts, room sE>rvlee. lounctry seivlee. business •wedding servfcEos. dvd •
l.>OOk llbrory, fit ness room, tennis• squash courts, speedboat forl uno V50 .. small
• no1orboots tor hire, elemis spa. playground, bicycles, cinema. rWYW bar on the rocks
" t 1 tr
Eblisi bay, 280 84 Fiskatdo
Kefal or1ia - Gteece
Odlssea Androursou, 280 84 Vat hi
irhaka - Greece
T +30 267 404 1200
F +30 267 404 1026
E emelisse@arthotel.91
T +30 267 403 3496
F +30 267 403 3493
E perantzadaiil at thotel gt
W petantzadahotel com
A collection of Sultan's rooms with details of perfection.
Excellence is our Heritage
Tel: +90 212 359 15 00
Kirker Holidays prcwides Cl1rtf11lly crafted taifor-made lwlidnys to ()lier
140 desti11atic111s i11 40 c<11111tries - i11c/11di11,1! 70 classic cities mul c111er
250 relaxi11.I! 111rnl focaticms tliro•(l!lww E11rcipe & bqcmd.
We are deliglrted to o.fier slrort breaks to Madrid iucludi11g e11trn11ce
to tire new ex /1ibitio11 "l111pressio11is111 & Open-Air Pai11ti11g",
1111til 12 May nt tlie T/1ysse11 Bome111isz a.
Vi11cci Crntru **** Superior
A contemporary design hotel in a great
location in the old 10 minutes'
from the Reina Sofi a, Prado and
Thysscn museums.
4 11(f!lttsfor tftr price of J - price from
£580 /IP• s111•i11g £69
illcfwles 1r,111ifers, 11ffo1111m1dnticm
witl1 brc11kji1st, ro111pli111eutary mmmrt·
1,1 tftc Tftyssm-Bcm1c111is:::11 o.:fti/1iti<m
as wdl as tfte Pmdo or R.ciun Sofi•1
t1111I tfte senliccs cf tire Kirker Co11cier:11e.
/>least ask for details 1if 011r ji1ll portfolio
.-if rcco111111c11dcd Madrid hords.
Speak to an expert or request a brochure:
020 7593 2283 qtK>lcXC:N
.............. CHAPTERHOTELS
.. .locaJJy 1nsp1red Wit h you in mind
Escape with us from
£275 for two nights
For two people - accommodation, fu ll English
breakfast and £40 to spend in The Restaurant.
- nfiv'tONTP8.l.E
Cheltenham T: 01242 527 788

Exeter T: 01392 281 000
... book online at
Available for private and corporate hire
This elegant Regency villa offers exclusive luxurious and spacious accommodation in a
peaceful rural selling. Exquisitely refurbished and extended to include 9 bedrooms.
a luxury swimmi ng pool and spa, a games room. a grand formal di ning room and
a luxury bespoke kitchen.
An excellent residential venue for business meetings. training and team building events,
product launches and photo shoots. Our concierge service can ofTer access to exclusi ve high
profile sporii ng events and arrange a myriad of activities for you.
Wyelands E'state is a perfect selling for exclusive grand house parties, special occasions.
bespoke weddings or private group events.
Wliate1•er tile occasio11, Wye/ands ca11 be exclusi1•ely yours.
Pwll nieyric, Monnioutbshire NP16 6LA ·Tel: 01291 -'08062 · Mob: On20 763979
cnquiril'S@: · " uk
Walking & Cycling Holidays
v Boutique hotels, stylish villas,
agritutismo farms, castles
V' Excellent regional cuisine
& fine wines
V' Detailed maps, guides & route
notes - you won't get lost!
V' Bespoke itineraries at
unbeatable value
Call for a brochure or lo speak to one o( our specialists
01954 261431
or visit our website e ABTA ..,...,,...,
ExclusivePortfoho DedicatedPresence ExceptionalKnowtedge
l1fo@m)1<or1 "' ocm
•44 'J!J7 0606244
Conootge •30 22890 28899
Villa i11 Marbe//11, Sp11i11.
Rent per week: Euro 3,000.
For more information, please email
tJ , I.
www.,,-,·,,. ®rrcck .<X>?n
efld.. +353 (0}.91574110
Founded on CEO Andrea Grlsdalo's oxcel)llonal
contacts from her days working as a tour guide
In Italy. IC Bcllag10 has bocomo a multiplo
awar<J.,..onnlng destination spccoallst olfcrong
truly unique and exclusive touring oxpononcos
throughout llaly as well ao vllla rentals and
special ovonts plann1re.
Tel. +39 031 952059
Clouo 9 is on exclusive. luxury horoooy
v1Uo locoleo in beouliful nolurol bush
surrounoings above lhe hisloric town
of Russen. New leolono. this lonomork
property offers beol hloking views over
lhe Boy of lslonos.
Tra :1el & Tours
The Specialist, Tai lor - Made Hol idays since 1979
Daily, 5* holidays including Heathrow flight
Cai ro, city break •o.,. £495,
Cai ro & Nile cruise Lux or- Aswan hom £795
Cairo, Nile cruise & Sharm El Sheikh trom £1190
(fl\ C- ~
~ ; " t f 1 solimantravel. com
.. __
020 7370 6446
Spain Motlorca Portugal
Tailor-made hol idays to
j a delectable collection
of hotels across nine ~
~ destinations by air, sea, if
rail or accommodation only. ~
Visit our website for
fantastic special offers
and inspirational ideas
Conde Nast Traveller reminds you to ensure that when
booking a padtage holday to check that the travel
company has arranged a bond, in order to provide
financial security through a trade association
(eg ASTA), Insurance, or a trust account
Tailor-made holidays in Chile,
Argentina, Peru, Brazil and Bolivia
Tel: 020 7730 5959
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Join the dynamic Media Sales
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Helicopter safari in Ethiopia • Sailing off Indonesia
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• Brazil • Istanbul • Brittany
• Maremma • Sumba• Berlin
• Tanzania • Kazakhstan
1B7 April 2013
• Great hotels for under £150
• Mexico • Naples • Dorset
• Amsterdam• Copenhagen
• Thriller villas This summer's best new rentals in Europe
• Fabulous festivals Our great big worldwide round- up
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Endless Blu Villa Mykonos Blu Greece
The joke among locals on the island of Mykonos is that the best way to secure a spot on exclusive Psarou
Beach, four kilometres south of Mykonos Town, is to book a room at five-star Mykonos Blu, which sits on a bluff
with its own private stretch of sand. If you' re not lucky enough to score a room at the hotel (this view is from the
hotel's two-suite villa), you can avoid an unseemly scramble for a sun- lounger on the public beach by booking
in advance. Alternatively, you could copy Roman Abramovich, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Mika Hakkinen and
swing by in your own yacht, dropping anchor in the cove's turquoise waters. While Psarou Beach is all about
sunbathing, nearby Paradise Beach is for part ying. With this in mind, the very civilised Mykonos Blu serves
breakfast (serious recovery food such as bacon and eggs, and banana pancakes) until 6pm. FRANCESCA SYZ
CONTACT + 30 22890 27900; Bungalows from about £175;
Endless Btu Villa from about £1,790
228 Conde Nast Traveller May 2013
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